Sunday, October 21, 2012

Chocolate Chunk Cookies (with Jello Pudding)

Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Kraft Pudding Recipe)

1 cup butter, softened (not melted)
3/4 cup of packed brown sugar
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 package (3.4 oz) Jello instant vanilla pudding
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 cups flour
1 package 12 oz chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat butter, sugars, dry pudding mix and vanilla in a large bowl with mixer.  Add eggs and baking soda.  Gradually beat in flour.  Fold in Chocolate chunks.  Drop about
a tablespoon of cookie dough on an ungreased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.  Bake for 10 minutes, or till light golden brown.  Cool 2-3 minutes on cookie sheets, and remove with spatula to wire rack to cool. 

These are really good! Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili


1 -2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large sweet onion
4 cloves garlic, pressed
4 cooked chicken breasts, diced
48 oz. non fat/low sodium chicken broth
2 4oz. cans chopped green chilies
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
dash cayenne
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 cans Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
8 oz. frozen corn
shredded Mexican blend cheese, crushed tortilla chips
Heat oil in a large soup pot.  Add onions and garlic and saute till tender, about 7 minutes.  Add the chicken, broth, green chilies, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, and cayenne pepper and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, add the beans and corn.  Simmer for about 20 minutes.  Serve in individual bowls topped with crushed tortilla chips and Mexican blend cheese. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Homemade Pizza


Homemade Pizza Crust is a wonderful thing!

Using the new Fleischmann's pizza crust yeast (or "Quick yeast") makes it easy to make your own homemade crust.
Preheat over to 425 degrees.
Combine 2 cups of flour, 2 envelopes of quick pizza yeast, 3 teaspoons of sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt in a large bowl.  Add 1 1/3 cups of warm water and 6 Tablespoons of vegetable oil.  Blend well for about 1 minute.  Gradually add another cup of flour, or enough to make a dough ball.  Put flour on a counter, and knead the dough till smooth and elastic (a few minutes)  Add additional flour if it becomes too sticky.  I roll into a large circle, and them put into a large pizza pan sprayed with PAM.  Top with sauce (I like Contadina's 4 cheese pizza sauce).  Top with cheese, and your favorite meats or veggies.  I used bacon on this one - my personal favorite!  Bake for about 13 - 15 minutes - give or take a minute or two depending on your own oven and how brown you like your crust. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fabulous Fall Grilled Cheese

Fabulous Fall Grilled Cheese

I think I just created the best fall sandwich - ever! 
2 sliced of Ancient Grain w/ Cranberries bread (Wegman's bakery)
2 thin slices of Perdue Bourbon Peppercorn Chicken Breast (deli)
very thinly sliced Empire apple slices
Lite Havarti cheese, sliced (brie would be great, too)
New England Cranberry Cranberry Pepper Jelly
Margarine or butter
Butter the bread on the outside.  Put one side in non stick pan.  Layer the turkey, apple slices, and Havarti slices on top.  Spread the Cranberry Pepper Jelly on the inside of the other bread slice.  Place on top of sandwich in pan.  Heat till brown on both sides.  A panini maker would probably work great with this sandwich. 
You could serve this with a nice green salad and small cup of soup - maybe butternut squash or tomato?  for a great, easy, fall dinner. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Harvest Pasta

Harvest Whole Wheat Pasta

8 oz. of whole wheat pasta, cooked and drained
20 oz. of butternut squash (I use Wegmans' recipe ready, and cut in bite size pieces)
1/2 of a red onion, chopped
about 1 Tbsp of Wegman's basting oil (oil with herbs)
4 slices of bacon
3 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 cup of sherry
1 bunch of spinach, washed, stems removed, and chopped
13 oz. of lite Alfredo sauce
about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
Romano cheese
Toss squash and onion with basting oil.  Roast squash and onion at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until tender and edges are beginning to brown.   Cook 4 slices of bacon in microwave till crisp enough to crumble.  Drip some of the bacon grease in a large skillet, and saute garlic.  When garlic is golden, add wine, reduce slightly, and stir in the jar of lite Alfredo sauce.  Simmer the sauce mixture, and toss in the spinach to wilt.  Add the squash and onion, and drained pasta.  Top with crumbled bacon, toasted walnuts, and Romano cheese. The original recipe called for escarole instead of spinach, and pine nuts instead of the walnuts, so feel free to substitute if you like!  This is one of my favorite fall dishes.  If you want, you could even make it a "Meatless Monday" dish by omitting the bacon crumbles.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Apple Cake - a Perfect Fall dessert

Apple Cake:  A Perfect Fall Dessert

3 cups of diced apples (peeled - I used Empire, about 3 large)
1 cup of lightly toasted walnuts (or pecans)
2 teaspoons of vanilla
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar (packed)
1 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
3 eggs
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Lightly spray a bundt pan.  I used a new silcone bundt pan and it worked great!
Beat sugars, eggs, and oil.  Add vanilla, cinnamon, flour, baking soda, salt.  Batter will be stiff.  Fold in toasted nuts and apples.  Pour and spread in prepared bundt pan.  Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Cool in pan about 10 minutes, place rack on top, flip, and slowly lift cake pan.  Allow cake to cool completely if frosting.  I just sprinkled it with powdered sugar, and served it with whipped cream.  Everyone loved this cake!  

Thursday, October 4, 2012

My favorite side salad

My Favorite side salad

My favorite salad mixes seasonal fruits, nuts, plenty of greens, and fresh veggies.  Here is a list of my favorite ingredients:

Red leaf, or Red Romaine lettuce
fresh spinach leaves
red, yellow, and green bell peppers cut in thin strips
carrots, sliced
celery, sliced
English Cucumber, sliced
grape tomatoes
strawberries, sliced
blood oranges, sliced
apple or pear, peeled and sliced
Top with Emerald glazed pecans, and Ken's lite Raspberry walnut vinaigrette.

Awesome!  I eat salad nearly every day, and change the fruits with whatever is in season.  In a pinch, you can always use canned mandarin orange segments.

Beef Stew

Beef Stew

2 pounds of lean, cubed stew beef
2-4 scrubbed, peeled (optional - you can use skin, esp with red potatoes!) potatoes
4-6 carrots, peeled and sliced in chunks
2-3 ribs of celery, sliced in chunks
1 large onion, cut in large pieces
seasoned flour
1 can beef broth (low salt)
1 can of either Campbell's Golden Mushroom Soup or 8 oz. tomato sauce
1/2 cup of red wine or cooking sherry
salt, pepper to taste
1 heaping teaspoon of herbs De Provence or Italian seasoning
1 bay leaf
1-2 cups fresh green beans cut in pieces (optional)
Dust beef with seasoned flour.  Brown in veg or olive oil.  Layer in a pressure cooker - beef, potatoes, and cut vegetables.  Mix the soup, broth, seasons, and wine or sherry and pour over all in a pressure cooker.  Make sure the pressure cooker is not over 2/3 full!  Put lid on securely, and lock.  Heat till the pressure indicator is rocking, and time for 10-12 minutes.  Cool cooker at once.  Mix 1-2 tablespoons of flour in a small glass of water, and add to the stew to thicken as desired.  I serve my stew on top of either rice or wide egg noodles.  I love this meal in fall with homemade biscuits and a salad!

Mediterranean Cod Fillets

Mediterranean Cod Fillets in a Skillet


4 cod fillets, approximately 1 lb. of fish
1 cup of chicken broth
1 bunch of spinach (or a bag of baby spinach leaves)
1 can 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes, any variety - I used garlic fire roasted
2 cloves of fresh garlic, pressed
several large black olives, sliced
Romano cheese for garnish
Take the cod fillets, dust with seasoned flour, and sear in a hot skillet with olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan, not to have the fish "swimming" in oil).  Remove fish from pan, and briefly saute garlic in remaining olive oil.   Add broth, spinach leaves (rinsed, chopped, and de-stemmed), and tomatoes.  Simmer till spinach is "wilted".  Put the fish on top, top with sliced olives and Romano cheese.
  This is a relatively quick, healthy dinner!  Serve with either pasta or risotto.