Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Twice Baked Cauliflower and Potatoes

I had every intention of following the original recipe when I saw this. Then I found out that I didn't have as much cauliflower as I originally thought. So I added potatoes.

I think it was better adding the potatoes for the family too.  This way I could tell them that it was potatoes, and be telling the truth.

I thought this was excellent.  I would totally nix the potatoes and just use cauliflower.  No, cauliflower doesn't taste like potatoes but it's not supposed to.  This is very healthy and still makes your mouth happy.

Twice Baked Cheesy Cauliflower & Potatoes
Adapted from Kalyn's Kitchen

1 lb. cauliflower, cut into small pieces
1 lb. potatoes, chopped
4 oz. cream cheese, light
1/2 cup sour cream, light
2 tbsp. onions
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
8 slices of bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
2 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded

Cook potatoes and cauliflower in boiling water until until soft. I found cooking the potatoes for about 10 minutes and then adding the cauliflower until they were both soft worked well.   Drain well and mash with a potato masher, leaving some chunks.  Mix in cream cheese, sour cream, onion, parmesan cheese and the crumbled bacon.  Spread evenly in an 8 x 8 in. pan.  Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. 

One Year Ago...

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Monday, January 30, 2012

Butternut Squash Quinoa Stuffing

Confession; I don't like traditional stuffing. Or dressing, whatever you'd like to call it.  The soggy bread thing just never rocked my boat.  Must be a texture thing. 
Then I found this recipe and it just changed everything. I love quinoa and as you can tell by the plethora of squash recipes on my blog; I completely am in love with squash.

The big chunks of squash paired with the pecans is wonderful. The flavor is excellent and the raisins bring out that touch of sweetness that is irresistible.  Even if you don't like raisins, don't skip them.  The golden raisins pretty much disappear but that sweetness stays.

No more soggy bread for me, this is a stuffing recipe that I will make again and again.

Butternut Squash Quinoa Stuffing
Adapted from Veggie Converter

1small butternut squash, about 1 lb., peeled and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
Salt and pepper
1 cups quinoa, rinsed
2 cups chicken or veggie broth
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. italian seasoning
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins (or craisins)

Cook squash in a pan with a bit of water until soft. Or roast in oven until tender. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Bring the broth to a boil and add the rinsed quinoa. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes, until quinoa sprouts are showing and most of the liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile, cook chopped onion in a bit of cooking spray in a pan until soft. Mix balsamic vinegar and italian seasoning.  Add squash, onions and quinoa and mix.  Mix chopped nuts and raisins.  Pour into an 8 x 8 in. pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 for 15 - 20 minutes or until heated through.  Fluff with a fork and serve. 

One Year Ago...

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Menu Plan Monday ~ January 30 - February 5, 2012

There were a couple of things that I didn't get to last week.  There was some change of plans and not as many to cook for so a couple nights I just ate yogurt and homemade granola bars for dinner.  Easy meal and awesome cleanup!

This week I've planned for the "odd" days and I DO have planned to eat Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Hummus with veggies on Monday night. I can't wait!  The kids will just eat sandwiches, they'll live. :-)

Monday: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Hummus

Tuesday: Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Wednesday: Spaghetti & Meatballs, broccoli; leftovers for me

Thursday: Chipotle Bean Burritos

Friday: Buffalo Chicken Nachos or Tacos

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: Chili

More menu ideas at I'm an Organizing Junkie and Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies

I picked up a couple of bags of cinnamon chips this season on a whim.  I had no plans for them but knew they would come in handy at some point. 

I saw this recipe and knew that it would be perfect.  The kids ate them right up and promptly asked for more.  Sadly, cinnamon chips can be hard to find most time of the year. They seem to make a special appearance close to the holidays. 

If you are able to find a bag, I highly recommend picking one up.  Better get two bags, you'll find a use for them.  We used part of the second bag instead of chocolate chips and cinnamon in this peanut butter dip. Peanut butter, vanilla yogurt and the cinnamon chips, it was fantastic! 

Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies
Adapted from Making Memories...

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1 (10 ounce) package Hershey's Cinnamon Chips

Preheat over to 350 degrees.

Beat butter and sugars in a bowl until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Combine flour and baking soda. Add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in oats and cinnamon chips.

Drop by heaping teaspoons on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool for about 1 minute and then remove from cookie sheet and let cool on wire rack.

One Year Ago...

Green Chicken Chili & Lime Soup

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Banana Brulee Oatmeal

Melted banana.  That is the trick here. 

Microwave it and it gets all melty, gooey and caramely and somehow just...changes.

This is one of those recipe that I didn't measure much, I just threw it in and it tasted GOOD. 

Banana Brulee Oatmeal

1/3 cup regular oats
2/3 cup water
1 banana
Brown Sugar, just a tablespoon or so

Mix oats and water and cook as directions state.  Stir in desired cinnamon and brown sugar.  Melt 1/2 of the banana until caramelized and gooey in the microwave and stir into the oatmeal. Garnish with the other half of the banana.

Two Years Ago...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu is probably one of my favorite meals. Chicken with ham and melty cheese all rolled up with a decadent, delicious cream sauce.  What's there not to like?

I however, do NOT like to stuff chicken.  Pounding chicken is incredibly annoying.  I end up with chicken bits flying all over my kitchen and a row of children asking each other, "What's wrong with Mommy?", "What did the chicken do to HER!?"

Then when all rolled up, rarely does it resemble the beautiful stuffed chicken that I adore so much. It comes out uneven with goo just oozing out of it.  Not so pretty. 

I know, I have issues.

So forget pounding, squishing, rolling and scaring the children.  Simplify, people, simplify.  There is nothing wrong with a beautifully cooked chicken with a sliced of ham, a melted cheese slice and a scrumptious, rich, creamy sauce; sitting right on TOP of the chicken.  It might not be a gorgeous rolled up meal but it will save you a ton of time so you have more time to enjoy the meal. 

This was an excellent meal.  We ate it with a French Onion Risotto that paired wonderfully with the chicken.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe

6 skinless boneless chicken breasts
6 slices Provolone cheese (or Swiss)
6 slices ham
1/4 cup flour (I used gluten free)
1 tsp. paprika
6 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tsp. chicken bouillon
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Mix the flour and paprika in a small bowl and coat the chicken pieces.  Heat the butter in a pan and cook the chicken until browned on all sides.  Add the wine and bouillon.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.  Remove chicken briefly, blend the cornstarch with the cream in a small bowl, add to the pan with the butter and wine and stir to combine.  Return chicken to pan, place a piece of ham on top of each chicken breast and then a piece of cheese.  Cover and heat on low until heated through.  Serve with sauce on top.

One Year Ago...

Apple Pie Pork Chops

Calories calculated from calorieking.com. Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chili & Lime Sweet Potatoes

I love sweet potatoes.  I can just eat them plain with salt and pepper and I'm perfectly fine.  However, with the simple addition of chili powder and lime, it brought this to another level!  It was so good.  I admit, I ate more than intended!

Chili and Lime Sweet Potatoes
Adapted from As Good as Gluten

4 medium sweet potatoes
2 tbsp. butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 tsp. lime juice
1 tsp. chili powder

Peel and cut sweet potatoes into chunks.  Boil until tender, drain.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mash. I left a few chunks.  Taste and season as necessary. 

Two Years Ago...

Fiesta Stuffed Peppers

 Calories calculated from calorieking.com. Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Southwest Wild Rice

 I don't use wild rice too often. I don't know why, it tastes awesome and it's so pretty. 

We ate this with a bit of chicken but it would stand alone by itself as a meal.  I had to make chicken for hubs though.  :-)

The best part for me was the leftovers. I made it into an omelet for the next couple of mornings with some asiago cheese.  Delicious!

Southwest Wild Rice Recipe
Adapted from $5 Dinners

1/4 cup lime juice
2/3 cup brown rice
2/3 cup wild rice
1/2 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1 (15 oz) diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups of water, plus the lime juice to a boil.  Add the brown rice, wild rice and chopped onion.  Return to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and let cook for 45 - 50 minutes, or until brown and wild rices are tender. 

Once the rice is cooked, add the green pepper, diced jalapeno, corn, diced tomatoes, black beans, cumin and chili powder.  Mix well.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Total calories = 1550 calories
6 servings = 258 calories per serving

Two Years Ago...

Crustless Turkey Pot Pie with Quinoa

Calories calculated from calorieking.com. Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Menu Plan Monday ~ January 23 - January 29, 2012

Monday:  Butternut Squash Risotto, tomato soup

Tuesday: Buffalo chicken nachos

Wednesday: Burgers and Carrot Souffle

Thursday: Sloppy Joes & Sweet Potatoes

Friday: BBQ Chicken Wraps

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: Chili and cornbread

Find more menu planning ideas at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Two Years Ago...

Chili Con Carne

Friday, January 20, 2012

Cookies 'n Cream Pie


My baby loves Cookies and Cream.  Jory's 9, so he's really NOT a baby.  He sweetly asked me one day, if we could figure out how to make a Cookie's and Cream Pie. 

So we googled it. What did we ever do before google?

We found this simple recipe that he could make himself.  He was so excited, he even helped make the grocery list to buy the ingredients.

We all loved this recipe!  The first pie dissappeared quickly when the boys had a sleepover.  He wanted to bring another pie to grandma's house for a visit.  He said that Grandma always makes good food for us so we should make something for her.  He's so sweet!

This was really good and a great recipe to make with the kids.   

Cookies n Cream Pie Recipe

1 1/2 cup milk
1 package (4 serving size) instant vanilla pudding
1 tub (8 oz) whipped topping, thawed
1/2 pack Oreos, coarsely crushed
1 graham cracker or Oreo crust

In a medium bowl, with an electric beater, beat together the milk and pudding for 1 minute, until well blended.  Let stand for 5 minutes.

Fold in the whipped topping and crushed cookies, spoon onto crust.  Cover and freeze for a few hours or until firm. 

Slice pie with a knife dipped in warm water. 

One Year Ago...

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sausage & Spaghetti Squash Breakfast Pie

Spaghetti squash is the new hashbrowns.  Spaghetti squash is also the new rice, potatoes, crust, burrito filling... You get the picture.  I've been using squash for a lot of things lately.

I actually get excited when I see a new recipe or think of a new idea for using spaghetti squash.  It is super healthy, so low in calories and a perfect replacement for higher calorie crusts and fillings.

Breakfast casseroles are fantastic.  Although my favorite time to eat them is dinner.  Breakfast for dinner rocks.

I did a little happy dance when I saw Veronica's recipe for this Sausage and Spaghetti Squash Breakfast Pie.  Seriously, no joke. I did the dance. :-)

This meal tasted fantastic. It had all the taste that you love on a breakfast casserole, without all the heavy calories. Squash makes me happy.

Sausage & Spaghetti Squash Breakfast Pie Recipe
Adapted from Veronica's Cornicopia

1 (3lb) spaghetti squash
8 oz. bulk sausage
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 tsp. dried sage
5 eggs
1 tsp. salt
Black pepper
Cheddar cheese (I used 3 oz)

Cook spaghetti squash.  Oven: Cut lengthwise, spoon out seeds and place cut side down on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake for 45 minutes at 375 until tender. Microwave: Cut lengthwise, spoon out seeds and place on a plate cut side down and microwave for about 10 - 12 minutes or until tender.  Let cool a bit and rake out the squash with a fork.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Cook sausage in a pan, breaking apart so you have crumbles.  Stir in onion and green pepper and cook for 3 -4 minutes until softened.  Stir in sage and spaghetti squash. If the squash is very watery, you can cook the mixture a bit to help it evaporate. 

Pour mixture into a 9 x 13 in. pan sprayed with cooking spray.  In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt and pepper, then pour over the squash and sausage mixture.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.  Sprinkle cheese over the top and cook for another 5 minutes until melted. 

Total calories = 2000 calories
6 huge servings = 333 per serving
8 servings = 250 per serving

One Year Ago...

Pumpkin Pasta with Bacon

Calories calculated from calorieking.com. Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Jalapeno Poppers Potatoes

You have to indulge sometimes, right?

I think this was supposed to be a side dish. Well, I chose to eat it as a meal.  The rest of the family had hamburgers along with these potatoes. No burger for me.  This was fairly high calorie but oh-so good. 

The bacon jalapeno topping was so good, I could eat that with a spoon!  Actually, I did make extra and ended up saving some for an omelet the next day. 

I recommend indulging.  This was totally worth it.

Jalapeno Popper Potatoes Recipe
Adapted from Life as Mom

6 slices bacon, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 to 4 jalapeno peppers, sliced
4 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed, diced, and cooked until fork tender
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon, onion and jalapenos until the bacon is crisp and the onions and peppers are tender. Drain and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 °. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl combine the cooked and drained potatoes, sour cream, and 1 cup shredded cheese. Spoon this mixture into the prepared pan.

Cover the potato mixture with the reserved cup of shredded cheese as well as the jalapeno bacon mixture.

Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are hot.

One Year Ago...

BBQ Cola Meatballs in the Slow Cooker

This is linked with:
Let's Do Brunch at My Sweet and Savory

We are That Family at We Are THAT Family
Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop
Best Recipe at This Chick Cooks
Gluten Free Wednesday at Gluten Free Homemaker
The Mommy Club at Crystal and Co.
Made By You Monday at Skip to My Lou
Ultimate Recipe Swap at Life as Mom

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Slow Cooker Taco Chili

Cold days call for hot meals.  This chili will heat things up in more than one way. It wasn't too spicy but it did leave a nice zing in your mouth.

I like to make my own taco seasoning as I have all the ingredients on hand. Feel free to make your own or use a store bought seasoning packet.

Taco Chili Recipe

1 large onion, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can tomato sauce (16 oz)
2 cups frozen corn or a can of corn
2 cans Rotel with green chiles
Taco Seasoning **
2 lbs. chicken breasts

**Taco Seasoning
3 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp. oregano
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper

Combine everything in a slow cooker and cook on low for 10 hours or high for about 6 hours.  Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred.  Return chicken to slow cooker and stir. 

Total calories = 2500 calories
14 cups = 179 calories per cup

One Year Ago...

Chicken Chickpea Soup

Calories calculated from calorieking.com. Some numbers are approximate and rounded.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Zucchini Spaghetti

I've been meaning to make this for years. Seriously.  I eat a lot of zucchini.  I also like to eat pasta sauce over veggies.  But I had never shredded the zucchini like this before. 

Well, thanks to Pampered Chef, I finally got a zucchini julienne shredder. I ordered a chopper and some spoons and I was able to get the shredder for free. Yea!

I knew I would like it but was afraid that the family would think it odd.  Or they would be begging me for their beloved pasta. Well, we all loved it and I've made it a couple of times since.  Yea!  I love when that happens!

Zucchini Spaghetti with Sausage, Tomato and Basil Sauce
Adapted from Kalyn's Kitchen

10 oz. lowfat turkey Italian sausage, hot or mild
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
pinch hot pepper flakes
1 (14.5 oz.) can petite dice tomatoes with juice
1/4 cup water or chicken broth
2 medium sized zucchini (9-10 inches long) cut into thin strands with a julienne cutter or a mandolin Slicer
5 tbsp. chopped fresh basil (or 1 tbsp. dried)
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (or 2 tsp. dried)
1 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano (or 1 tsp. dried)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving if desired

Brown sausage in pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Add onion and cook for a few minutes until softened.  Add garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add tomatoes and herbs and stir to combine. Add water or chicken broth to thin if it is too thick. Cook on medium for about 10 - 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. 

Use a julienne cutter or mandolin slicer to cut the spaghetti into long strands. Add zucchini to sauce and stir to combine.  Cook for about 5 minutes and serve. 
One Year Ago...

Italian Style Green Bean Casserole

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Menu Plan Monday ~ January 16 - January 22, 2012

Monday: Jalapeno Poppers Burgers & Cheesy Cauliflower Pancakes

Tuesday: Tomato Chipotle Soup

Wednesday: Sloppy Joe Skillet

Thursday: Asian Broccoli Slaw Wraps

Friday: Spaghettti & meatballs

Saturday: Pork Chops, Potatoes & Broccoli

Sunday: Tuscan Chicken Stew

Find more menu planning ideas at I'm an Organizing Junkie

One Year Ago...

Amish Lemon Coconut Bread

Calories calculated from calorieking.com. Some numbers are approximate and rounded.