Friday, January 30, 2009

Fiesta Chicken Chowder -FAST!

3 T flour
1 envelope fajita seasoning, divided
1 lb chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
3 T oil
1 onion, chopped fine
2-3 garlic cloves, pressed
3 cups water
1 can black beans, drain and rinse
1 can mexican stewed tomatoes w/juice(I used regular stewed)
1 can mexicorn, drained (I used reg)
1 cup uncooked, instant brown rice
4oz can mild green chilis
1 can condensed fiesta nacho cheese soup
3 T chopped cilantro- optional
1 T fresh lime juice
In gallon ziplock, toss cicken, flour and 2T fajita season. Coat well. Dump it into lage pot with your oil on med-high heat. Cook just till juices run clear, then set aside in a bowl. In same large pot, add a little more oil and cook onions and garlic. Add water, rice, beans, tomatoes, corn, chilis and remaining fajita seasoning. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 5-10 mins till rice is tender. Stir in cheese soup, chicken, cilantro and lime juice. Heat through. Serve with tortilla chips and sour cream on the side. (The brown rice ROCKS in this. It's a hearty, yummy soup. I used reg. stew tomatoes and reg. corn to cut down on spiciness. If you love spice then use the mexi version. The way I modified it, it was just a little spice. Not too spicy for the kids.

Cheesy Meat Lasagna (Low fat)

1 lb lean ground beef
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 jar spaghetti sauce (Prego)
1 large tomato, chopped
1 egg
16oz container cottage cheese(2% milkfat)
1/4 cup grated parmesan
9 lasagna noodles, cooked
2 cups reduced fat shredded mozzarella, divided
Heat oven to 375. Brown meat with oregan and garlic. Stir in spaghetti sauce, simmer 5 mins. Remove from heat, stir in tomato. Mix cottage cheese, egg and parmesan. Spread 1/2 cup meat sauce on bottom of 9x13. Layer with 3 noodles, 1 cup cottage cheese mixture, 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1 cup meat sauce. Repeat layers. Top with last 3 noodles and remaining meat sauce. Cover and bake 30 mins till bubbly. Uncover, top with remaining mozzarella and bake uncovered 5-10 mins till melted. Let stand 5 mins. Serves 9. Per serving: 300 cals, 10g fat, 27g carbs, 25g protein. ( This is a lighter version lasagna. I didn't feel overwhelmed with cheese like I'm used to in a lasagna, not like thats bad! The sauce is so chunky and satisfying. I felt that for the portion size, 10 g of fat isn't bad! Make a green salad with fat-free dressing and you've got it made)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Miss Kimball's Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe comes from a good friend and neighbor, Heidi. I saw these cookies on her counter and they looked so good I had to have the recipe. I finally got around to trying it and OH, I have a new favorite choc. chip cookie recipe! Kelly LOVED them! He did say they'd be even better with walnuts which is probably right.

1 cube butter, room temp.
1 C shortening
1 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
2 eggs

Make as you would regular cookies, whipping butter with sugars, then add eggs and whip for 2 minutes.

3 C flour
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
2 t vanilla
1 pkg choc. chips (I use some milk chocolate with the semi sweet-it mixes up the choc. flavors perfectly)

350 degree oven for 10-12 min.

Roast Pork with Pears

This recipe is from the Williams-Sonoma magazine and it is excellent! We made this for Sunday dinner a few weeks ago and everyone loved it! I love their recipes! (You can get a large pork roast at Costco for a good price.)

3/4 C packed fresh parsley leaves

1/4 C chopped sage

3 garlic cloves

salt and pepper, to taste

5 T olive oil

1 boneless pork loin roast, about 3 1/2 lbs., halved horizontally

3 ripe pears, halved lengthwise

4 leeks, white portions, halved lengthwise (you could use white or yellow onion instead)

Creamy mustard pan sauce: (this is optional but trust me, you don't want to miss out on this!)

2 t flour

1/4 C white wine

1/2 C chicken broth

2 T whole grain or dijon mustard

1/4 C heavy cream

*I think I doubled this because the pork roast was so big! The more the better especially if you have mashed potatoes on the side! This is a delicious gravy!

Preheat 400. Lower rack. In processor, process parsley, sage, garlic, salt and pepper, 3 T oil-or less if it gets too runny. You want a fine paste. Spread inside pork and on top of pork after tying with kitchen twine. Tuck any left over sage under twine. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. In Dutch oven or large heavy frying pan that is oven safe, warm 2 T oil. Add pears cut side down. Cook 5 min. Transfer to plate. Brown pork on all sides-8 min. Put leeks in pan with pork and pears around sides. Roast until temp. is 140 degrees, 45-55 minutes. Let pork rest in tented foil for 10 minutes. Carve and serve with sauce and mashed potatoes. Serve 8-10

For Sauce:

Pour pan drippings into bowl and discard all but 2 t of fat. Pour reserved fat in pot and heat, adding garlic and then flour. Cook on med./high for 30 seconds. Add wine and cook for 1 min. Add broth and pan drippings and cook until slightly thickens about 3 min. Remove pot from heat and whisk in mustard and cream. Season with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sloppy Joes

I know sloppy joes are probably low on your list of high class dinners, but I love them. They are so quick and easy and comforting. Today I tried something different. I took 1 pound hamburger and cooked it with some onions. Then added 2 small cans tomato sauce, 1/4 to maybe 1/2 cup brown sugar (I put enough in til it tasted good and sweet to me) and a 7 oz can of green chilies. Everyone really liked it. Just thought I'd share it with you. We had cheddar cheese on them.

I also liked Holly's version. She used stewed tomatoes and then served them on biscuits that were cut open. It was really good. Did I get that right Holly? It's been a long time.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Angel's Chicken Roll-Ups

2 1/2 cups shredded or cubed cooked chicken (I used a rotissere)
12 oz sour cream, divided
3 tsp taco seasoning
1 can cream of chicken
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar, divided
1 small onion, sautee in butter
1/2 cup salsa
1 can refried beans
1/2 cup sliced olives, divided
10 smaller size flour tortillas
Combine in a bowl: chicken, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 1/2 tsp taco season, half can of soup, 1/2 can beans, 1 cup cheddar, onions, salsa, and half the olives. Place 1/3 cup filling in tortillas and roll up, place in greased 9x13. Mix together remaining sour cream, soup, taco seasoning. Spread over tortillas, cover and bake 35 mins. at 350. Remove from oven, uncover, and put small dollops of remaining refried beans over top. Then sprinkle with last of the cheese and olives. Return to oven, uncovered, and bake aditional 5-10 mins. Serve with lettuce, tomatoes and salsa on side.
This is excellent-the beans add so much flavor.

Lentil Soup with Ham

I have been making this for years. I look forward to this after Christmas and Easter using the ham bone! The children eat it fairly well-- 2 better than their older brother!!! It is from the back of the Albertson's brand lentil bag. Simple and delicious.

1/2 # lentils
4 cups water
1 ham hock or meaty ham bone
1 Bay leaf
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped carrot
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/2 t salt
1 small garlic clove, minced

Wash, sort and drain lentils. Combine all ingredients in large pot with tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered until tender. Approx 45 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Before serving, remove ham hock or bone. Cut ham off bone, dice. Add to soup and serve. 8-10 servings.

(I always do more veggies than called for. This is awesome with cornbread.)

Mini Breakfast Quiches

I got this recipe from Our Best Bites. They are just awesome and the two girls who run it are so sweet. January is health month on their website, so all their recipes are healthy ones. They also include nutritional information, Weight Watcher points, and South Beach information on most recipes. I'm always looking for different ways to eat eggs and this is a great recipe! I also like the fact that you can freeze these babies and just nuke them when you want one.

4 eggs
1 c egg substitute (Eggbeaters Original)equivalent to 4 eggs if you're doing all eggs
3/4 c shredded low-fat sharp cheddar
1/4 c fresh shredded parmesan
1/4 c cottage cheese, low-fat
1/2 a box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed
1/3 c roasted red peppers, diced (I like Vlasic)
1 oz finely diced ham, canadian bacon, or crumbled bacon (I used Hormel's pre-packaged real bacon bits to save time)
1/4 c finely chopped onion (green would be great too)
1/4 t kosher salt
1/8 t black pepper
a few drops of Tobasco
foil muffin tin liners

-Mix all ingredients well. SPRAY TIN LINERS WITH PAM! Scoop 1/4 c for each muffin tin. They can be filled to the top.

-Bake 350 for 20 minutes or so, depending on your oven. I baked mine for 22 minutes. Don't overbake. You don't want them to get too brown.

-Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. When heating in microwave, remember to take foil liner off!

-Makes 12.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Again, not a recipe, but I have to tell you about it!

OK this is really good for those who are looking for a healthy snack to nibble on in between meals. It is Archer Farm's brand(from Target) trail mix called "A Handful of Everything". It is located on the snack/chip isle I believe, and it is awesome! It has raisins, raw almonds, chocolate chips, peanuts, cashews, coconut, and dried fruit like pineapple, mango, banana, dates, cranberries, cherries and apricot. It is so good, and only 5g of fat per serving, which isn't bad! My boys went crazy and ate half the bag which is OK cause it's good for them. They have like 12 different mixes of trail mix- a lot of them are quite yummy. This one filled me up after eating a serving and I didn't crave anything after either.

The Best BBQ Sauce on the Planet and in the Universe!

This isn't a recipe, but I wanted to share a BBQ sauce that I found- it rocks. It is called Sweet Baby Ray's and it is the Original flavor. It is found almost anywhere, including Sam's and Costco. I crock potted a pork roast (cut up an onion and doused it with garlic salt and pepper). I shredded it after 7 hrs, then put the meat on Target's hoagie buns(so good) and slathered it with BBQ sauce. It was amazing. I put a thin layer of mayo on the bun too-even better, but not neccessary. Anyways, easy dinner, the whole fam loved it and I now have a new staple to keep in the pantry!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Slow-Cooked Sweet and Tangy Beef BBQ

This is the best bbq recipe I've tried! I got the recipe from Allrecipes. We had plenty left over and I've been enjoying it wrapped inside a lettuce leaf with a little low-fat string cheese for a yummy low-carb meal.

3 lb chuck roast
1/2 c water
1 1/2 T white vinegar
2 T brown sugar
1 t dry mustard
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 c ketchup
1 t salt
3/4 t fresh ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced

-Place roast and water in crock pot. No need to add anything else for now. Cover, cook on low for 4 hours or until beef can be easily shredded with a fork.

-Shred the beef, removing fat and bone as you go. Remove 1/2 c broth from crock pot and reserve for later.

-Mix the remaining ingredients for the sauce and pour over meat in crock pot and stir until well-coated.

-Cover and contiue to cook on low for an additional 4 hours. Add the reserved broth only if necessary to maintain moisture.

-Serve on toasted buns with a little mayo. The meat can be frozen for future use.

-Serves 12+.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Simple Shrimp Tacos

**These are waaaaay good!**
1 lb. cooked medium shrimp, tails cut off
handful cilantro, chopped
half a lime
1 clove garlic, pressed
4 roma tomatoes, chopped
5 green onions, sliced thin
corn tortillas
sour cream
grated cheddar
lime wedges
Herdez green salsa (mild)
Heat a skillet on medium heat and melt 1 T butter. Add shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Toss 1-2 minutes till heated through. Meanwhile, in a bowl throw together the tomatoes, onions, cilantro, garlic and squeeze the half lime. Season with salt. Heat tortillas in the microwave or spray with cooking spray and fry briefly in hot pan to soften. Serve tortilla with spoonful of shrimp, tomato mixture, and add any of the garnishes listed above! Divine.

Baked Tilapia

**For when your sick of grease and want to be healthy**
20 ritz or saltine crackers, crushed in a bag
1/4 grated parmesan
3 T olive oil
3/4 tsp dried basil
4 tilapia fillets
2 T dijon mustard(optional-I did not use)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Heat oven to 425. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Mix crackers, cheese, basil and oil in a bowl. Place tilapia on baking sheet and spread mustard on top sides (if using. If not, just season with salt and pepper) then season with salt and pepper. Take the cracker mixture and pat mixture on top of fillets so the crumbs stick to fish. Be generous. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges if you desire. Makes 4 servings. I liked this without the mustard! I felt healthy.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Skillet four-cheese "baked" pasta

This is from Family Circle a few months back. Really tasty and easy and fast. I have late church, so I cooked the meat mixture and the noodles before and then just added the sauce and cooked it the rest of the way. We were eating by 4:30! Nice!!

1 lb rotini past or penne (I used mini wheels)
3/4 lb hot Italian sausage (I used mild, and I think it needs 1 lb sausage)
2 sweet red peppers
1 large onion
1 T olive oil
1 jar (26 oz) marinara sauce (my favorite is Prego)
2 cups shredded Italian four-cheese blend

1. Heat oven to 450. Cook pasta following package directions. Drain.
2. While pasta is cooking, cut sausage into 1/2-inch slices. (I used loose sausage) Seed and slice peppers and slice onion for a total of 4 cups. Heat olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage, peppers and onions. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until peppers and onions are tender and sausage is cooked. Add sauce and bring to a simmer. Stir in the drained pasta and 1 cup of the cheese.
3. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the pasta and bake at 450 for 8 minutes or until cheese melts and casserole starts to bubble. Cool 5 minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Enchilada Lasagna

1 can refried black beans (Rosarita)
4oz can diced green chiles
15oz container ricotta cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp taco seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
2 cans(10 oz each) enchilada sauce
18 corn tortillas
11oz can corn (mexicorn if you like spice) drained
1-2 large chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
2 cups shredded Mexican-blend cheese
Heat oven to 400. In microwave safe bowl, heat black beans and chiles for 1 minute covered. In separate bowl, mix ricotta, egg, taco seasoning and salt. Set aside. In a 9x13 dish, spread 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on bottom. Lay 6 tortillas on bottom, overlapping to cover the bottom. Then take half of the bean mixture, then half the ricotta mixture and spread in layers. Then sprinkle half the corn, half the chicken, and a handful of cheese. Top with 1/2 cup enchilada sauce. Repeat layers, starting with 6 tortillas again, then beans, ricotta, corn, chicken, cheese, sauce. Finally last 6 tortillas topped with remaining enchilada sauce and last of the cheese. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes and bubbly. Let sit 5 mins before serving.
*This was a hit with ALL my picky eaters. Brandon had seconds. You could even make this without the chicken and it would be a great vegetarian dish! I served it with sliced oranges and it was a complete meal. From Family Circle Oct. issue.`It wasn't spicy using the regular corn!*

Coconut Cake

I got this from the December Family Circle magazine. It was on the front cover and looked so wintery with the white frosting and coconut! It is a delicious, dense, moist cake. I was a little nervous about the strawberry in the middle, but it is great!

3 c cake flour (not self-rising)
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 c sugar
3 eggs
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/2 t coconut extract
1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
1 c sweetened flake coconut, finely chopped

Frosting and Filling:
1 pkg (8 oz) reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
4 T unsalted butter, softened
1 t vanilla extract
1 box (16 oz) confectioners' sugar
1/2 c strawberry preserve
1 1/2 c sweetened flake coconut

1. Heat oven to 350. Coat two 8-inch round cake pan with nonstick spray. Line bottoms of pans with waxed paper, and spray paper.

2. Cake: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. In another large bowl, beat butter and sugar on medium speed til light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and coconut extracts; beat until combined.

4. On low speed, beat in flour mixture in three addition, alternating with coconut milk. Beat well after each addition. Fold in chopped coconut. Divide batter equally between prepared pans.

5. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove cake layer from pans and cool completely.

6. Frosting: In large, bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in vanilla. On low speed, beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth.

7. Trim cake layers level if crowned. Place one cake layer on a plate. Spread top with preserves. Add remaining layer. Secure with skewers. Spread top and sides of cake with frosting. Remove skewers. Gently press shredded coconut onto sides of cake. Refrigerate 1 hour before slicing.

(Note from Nikki: I used regular flour and sifted it and used about 1/4 c less. I used homemade jam for the preserves. And lastly, why do all of my recipes contain 3 or more sticks of butter???!!!)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Crimson Crunch Jello Salad

(from memory, because my recipe disappeared!!Sorry, I hope it's right)
6oz cherry jello
20 oz crushed pineapple, drained-save juice
1 or 2 cans whole cranberry sauce( I think I used one and a half)
2-3 apples peeled and chopped (I love gala)
1 pomegranate
8oz cream cheese softened
1/3 cup sugar
12oz cool whip
Make your cherry jello with the 2 cups hot water, but instead of adding 2 cups cold water, you will use the juice drained from the pineapple. Don't worry if it's not equal to 2 cups. Then add pineapple, cranberry sauce, apples and half of the pomegranate seeds. Pour into a 9x13. Let set up in fridge. To make frosting, just whip cream cheese and sugar, then stir in coolwhip. Spread over firm jello and sprinkle top with remaining pomegranate seeds. Enjoy ladies!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Chicken Ole'!

I got this recipe from Good Things Utah. They got it from the "Fix it and Forget-it Cookbook:Feasting with your Slow Cooker" recipe book. It is super easy and really yummy! Everybody loved it. Enjoy!

10 3/4 oz can cream of mushroom soup
10 3/4 oz can cream of chicken soup (or use 2 chicken if you don't like mushroom)
1 cup sour cream
2 T grated onion (I just minced mine)
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
12 flour tortillas, each torn into 6-8 pieces
3-4 cups cubed, cooked chicken
7 oz jar salsa
1/2 grated cheddar (for garnish)

In separate bowl, combine soups, sour cream, onion, and 1 1/2 cups cheese. Place one third of each of the following in layers in slow cooker: torn tortillas, soup mixture, chicken, salsa. Repeat layers 2 more times. Cover. Cook on Low 4-5 hours. (This recipe does not respond well to cooking on High.) Gently stir. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover. Cook on Low another 15-30 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips and lettuce.

They said on GTU that it only took 3 hours, so check and see at 3 hours and go from there. Don't use the good raw tortillas for this. They get too sticky. Just use the regular ones. We had corn as a side with this. Chris said the corn needed to be in the casserole! So, add that, too, if you want.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


I know Christmas is over, but this wassail is so good I could drink it all winter long! It's especially good when you are sick and have a sore throat--so soothing. It also smells so good as it brews on your stovetop. I got this recipe from my mother-in-law and it's one you can't go wrong with.

2 1/2 c sugar
4 c water
2 sticks cinnamon
8 whole allspice
10 whole cloves
3 chunks of crystallized ginger (in spice aisle)
4 c orange juice
2 c lemonade
2 qts. apple cider

-Combine sugar, water and spices in a large pot (very large). Boil 5 minutes. Take off heat and put lid on and let sit an hour or more. When ready to serve, remove spices and add juices. Heat and serve. Can be reheated. Makes 1 1/2 gallons.
-If it's too sweet for your liking you can add a little fresh lemon juice.