Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Pudding

I didn't have any Splenda or lowfat baking mix, so I used regular granulated sugar and regular Bisquick, and I forgot the lemon zest.  I cooked these in eight 8-oz. ramekins in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or so (I lost track of the time when I went to fix my hair, so I'm not sure).  Anyway, I thought they were tasty and a great alternative to higher-fat/calories traditional pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin Pie Pudding
15-oz. can pumpkin
12-oz. can evaporated milk
3/4 cup Splenda
1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk baking mix
2 eggs, beaten, or 6 egg whites
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. lemon zest

Combine all ingredients in 3-quart slow cooker sprayed with cooking spray.  Stir until lumps disappear.  Cover.  Cook on Low 3 hours.  Serve warm or cold.

Moist Poultry Dressing

This turned out so moist and delicious!  I used 1 loaf of white and 1 loaf of wheat bread.  I should have doubled the seasonings (salt, sage, poultry seasoning, thyme, and pepper).  The 2 eggs with 2 cans of chicken broth was just enough to moisten this much bread.  I cooked it on HIGH for the first hour because I made this the night before so it was cold, but I don't really think it was necessary.  I think it would have cooked just fine in 5 hours on LOW.

Moist Poultry Dressing
2 4 1/2-oz. cans sliced mushrooms, drained, optional
4 celery ribs, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 medium onions, chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/4-3/4 cup butter (enough to flavor bread)
13 cups cubed day-old bread
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. sage
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 eggs
1 or 2 14 1/2-oz cans chicken broth (enough to moisten bread)

In a large skillet, saute mushrooms, celery, onions, and parsley in butter until vegetables are tender. Toss together bread cubes, salt, sage, poultry seasoning, thyme, and pepper.  Add sauteed vegetables.  Combine eggs and broth and add to bread mixture.  Mix well.  Pour into greased 5-quart slow cooker.  Cook on Low 5 hours, or until meat thermometer reaches 160 degrees.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Enchilada Sauce (Homemade)

Enchiladas are a quick-to-put together meal on nights when I forget to plan ahead. This sauce recipe is handy to have because I usually have all the ingredients on hand. Then I can vary the enchiladas to use up whatever items I currently have. This time, I rolled up refried beans, diced green chiles, shredded chicken, and cream cheese in flour tortillas. Then I topped the tortillas with the sauce, and baked them for about 20 minutes at 375 degrees F before adding shredded cheese (Monterey Jack & cheddar) and baking about 10 minutes more to melt the cheese.

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon chili powder
2-1/2 teaspoons gorund cumin
1-1/2 cups water
1 can (29-ounces) tomato sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons salt

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour, chili powder, and cumin and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in water, tomato sauce and salt. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes; set aside until ready to use for enchiladas. (You can make it ahead and refrigerate it or freeze it if desired.)

Big Beautiful Muffins

This is a great base recipe for muffins. The recipe is intended to be used with the additions that follow. When filling the muffin tins, fill them all the way to the top--or even a little heaping. I made lemon-raspberry muffins today, but I've also made some of the other variations in the past and they've all been great!

3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups whole or low-fat plain yogurt
2 large eggs
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray muffin pan with Baker’s Joy.

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk the yogurt and eggs together until smooth. Gently fold the yogurt mixture into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined, then fold in the melted butter.

Using a greased 1/3-cup measure (or large muffin scoop), portion the batter into each muffin cup. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 22 to 26 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.

Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack, and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Lemon-Blueberry (or Raspberry) Muffins:
Add 1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest to the yogurt mixture. Gently fold into the batter 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen berries (do not thaw if frozen).

Lemon-Poppy Seed Muffins
Add 3 tablespoons poppy seeds to the flour mixture and 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest to the yogurt mixture. While the muffins bake, cook ¼ cup sugar and ¼ cup lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat until it turns into a light syrup, about 3 minutes. Brush the warm syrup over the warm baked muffins and serve.

Banana-Walnut Muffins
Substitute light brown sugar for the granulated sugar and add ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg to the flour mixture. Fold 1 ½ cups finely diced bananas and ½ cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts into the batter.

Chocolate Chip Muffins
Add 1 teaspoon vanilla to the yogurt mixture and fold 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips into the batter.

Apricot-Almond Muffins
Add ½ teaspoon almond extract to the yogurt mixture. Fold 1 cup finely diced died apricots into the batter, and sprinkle a few sliced almonds over the muffins before baking.

Raspberry-Almond Muffins
Add ½ teaspoon almond extract to the yogurt mixture. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the batter into each muffin cup. Drop 1 teaspoon raspberry jam into each cup, then spoon the remaining batter evenly on top.

Cran-Walnut-Orange Muffins
Add 1 teaspoon grated fresh orange zest to the yogurt mixture. Fold 1 ½ cups coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries and ¾ cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts into the batter.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Three-Flavored Wedding Cake

For those of you who are curious, here is a picture of the wedding cake I made this last weekend. (The cake had a little trouble with the transporting, but other than that it worked out well.)

The bottom tier was chocolate fudge with ganache (I used the recipe for Favorite Fudge Birthday Cake which I've already posted, using some milk chocolate with the semi-sweet in the ganache). The middle tier was strawberry with strawberry buttercream (using the recipe for strawberry cake from scratch that I posted recently with the frosting made by adding seedless strawberry preserves and some lemon juice to snow-white buttercream). The top tier was white cake with white buttercream (I used the recipe for Elegant White Cake from King Arthur Flour's Baker's Companion).

I received several compliments on the cake. One of my young nephews (about 10 years old) said it was the best cake he has ever eaten!

Philadelphia Meatball Heroes

This Pillsbury recipe is easy and delicious!

Philadelphia Meatball Heroes
1 pkg. (18 oz.) frozen cooked meatballs, thawed (I made my own)
1 jar (14 oz.) spaghetti sauce (2 cups)
2 cup sliced green bell peppers
1 cup sliced red bell peppers
1 onion, sliced
6 unsliced hot dog or hoagie buns
4 oz. shredded Cheddar cheese (1 cup)

In large saucepan, combine meatballs and spaghetti sauce; cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until meatballs are hot, stirring occasionally. (I just put this in a crockpot on high for a couple of hours.)
Meanwhile, spray medium skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Add bell peppers and onion; cook over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes or until peppers are crisp-tender, stirring frequently.
Split each bun lengthwise, cutting to but not through bottom; place on ungreased cookie sheet. Place meatballs in buns. Top each with pepper mixture and cheese. Broil 4-6” from heat for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted (I didn't broil; the cheese melted automatically over the hot spaghetti sauce). Makes 6 servings.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Five-Chip Cookies

This Taste of Home recipe is a keeper!

Five-Chip Cookies
Taste of Home

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
2 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2/3 cup each milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, peanut butter, vanilla or white, and butterscotch chips

Cream peanut butter, butter, and sugars.  Add eggs one at a time.  Beat in vanilla.  Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl and gradually add to creamed mixture.  Stir in chips.  Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls two inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet.  Use a fork to place a criss-cross shape on top of each cookie.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Cool for 1 minute on baking sheet before removing to wire racks.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Grilled Chicken with Barley

This one was a keeper! I really thought it was "good chicken". My first try at barley was yummy, however I think I would just add some minced garlic into the pan when I saute the other vegetables, and not add the "reserved marinade" into the barley at the end, it was a little too lemon-ey for me. Then I would just use all the marinade on the chicken.

1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon canola oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 oz each)
1 can (14.5 oz) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup medium pearl barley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 small sweet red pepper, chopped
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, oregano and basil. Pour 2 tablespoons marinade into a large resealable bag; add the chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade.

In a large saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Stir in barley and salt. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45-50 minutes or until tender. In a small nonstick skillet, saute carrot and red pepper in remaining oil until crisp-tender. Add the onions and pepper; saute 2-3 minutes longer or until tender. Stir vegetables and reserved marinade into cooked barley.

Coat grill rack with cooking spray before starting the grill. Drain and discard marinade. Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat for 4-7 minutes on each side or until juices run clear. Serve chicken with the barley mixture.

1 chicken breast half with 3/4 cup barley equals 270 calories.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Strawberry Cake

It's hard to find a strawberry cake recipe (from scratch). This recipe is delicious! For the sample we tried before I made this as part of a wedding cake, I frosted it with a mixture of heavy cream and berry pie filling whipped together.

2 cups (14 ounces) white sugar
1 (3 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin
1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs (room temperature)
2 3/4 cups (11 ounces) sifted cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup (8 ounces) whole milk, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup strawberry puree made from (thawed) frozen sweetened strawberries

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and dry strawberry gelatin until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Combine the flour and baking powder; stir into the batter alternately with the milk. Blend in vanilla and strawberry puree. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.

3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a small knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool in their pans over a wire rack for at least 10 minutes, before tapping out to cool completely.

Greek-Chicken Pasta

The original recipe recommends broiling the pasta for 5 - 7 minutes before serving to make it golden brown. We liked it without the broiling.

2 cups uncooked penne pasta
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) chicken broth
3 cups cubed or shredded rotisserie chicken
1 jar (7-1/2 oz.) marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1 cup (4 oz.) crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/3 cup sliced pitted Greek olives (we used Kalamata olives)
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large ovenproof skillet, melt butter. Add onion; saute until tender. Stir in flour until blended; gradually add broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the chicken, artichoke hearts, cheese, tomatoes and olives.

Drain pasta; stir into the pan. Sprinkle with parsley.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tangy Shrimp Kabobs

I got my new Taste of Home Healthy Cooking 2010 Annual Recipes book. So after a yummy and over-indulging Easter weekend, I'm back on my health kick and I planned my menus from the new cookbook. This recipe I thought was delicious! None of my kids ate it, but that's ok, because now I have a couple more meals for me ready to go. I couldn't find my skewers, so I actually just put it in a big pan and cooked it like a stir fry and I served mine with brown & wild rice.

1 can (20 oz) unsweetened pineapple chunks
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1/2 cup fat-free Italian Salad Dressing
4 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 1/2 pounds uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
12 pearl onions (I left these out)
1 large sweet red pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large green pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
Hot cooked rice, optional

- Drain pineapple, reserving 1/4 cup juice; set aside. In a bowl, combine the tomato sauce, Italian dressing, brown sugar, mustard and reserved pineapple juice. Pour 3/4 cup marinade into a large resealable plastic bag; add the shrimp. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 3 hours, turning occasionally. Cover and refrigerate remaining mixture for sauce.

- In a dutch oven, bring 6 cups water to a boil. Add onions; boil for 2 minutes. Add pepppers and boil 2 minutes longer. Drain and rinse in cold water; peel onions. Refrigerate vegetables until ready to grill.

- In a small saucepan, bring 3/4 cup of reserved tomato sauce mixture to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Keep warm.

- Coat grill rack with cooking spray before starting the grill. Drain shrimp and discard marinade. On 12 metal or soaked wooden skewers, alternately thread shrimp and vegetables.

- Grill the kabobs, covered, over medium heat for 3-5 minutes on each side or until shrimp turn pink, basting occasionally with remaining tomato sauce mixture. Drizzle kabobs with warm sauce. Serve with rice if deisred.

-2 kabobs with about 2 Tablespoons sauce (without rice) is 194 calories.

Italian Mini Frittatas

Taste of Home Healthy Cooking 2010 Annual Recipes

2 Tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
1/2 cup boiling water
2 thin slices prosciutto, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tesaspoon butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
4 egg whites
2 eggs
1 cup shreded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese
1/2 cup canned water-packed artichoke hearts, chopped
2 Tablespoons minced fresh basil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper

- Place tomatoes in a small bowl; add boiling water. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

- In a small nonstick skillet, saute the prosciutto, shallots and garlic in butter until shallots are tender. Remove from the heat; set aside.

- In a large bowl, whisk flour and milk until smooth; whisk in the egg whites and eggs until blended. Stir in the cheeses, artichokes, basil, salt, pepper and tomatoes and prosciutto mixture.

- Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray; fill with egg mixture. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Carefully run a knife around edges to loosen; remove from pan. Serve warm.

- 2 frittatas equals 172 calories