Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ranch-y snack mix

Delicious to munch on at Christmas-time, this snack mix sells at Hy-Vee for 4 bucks for a tiny container...why not make your own?

I have a container of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix but you could use 1 packet instead of the same thing.

3 Tb ranch mix (equal to 1 packet of dressing mix sold at grocery store)
3 Tb vegetable oil
1-2 c. each chex cereal, oyster crackers, goldfish (or whales), pretzels

Pour all cereal/crackers into a big bag (paper or huge ziploc both work). Pour in vegetable oil, close bag, and shake like crazy. Open bag and pour in ranch mix. Close and shake like crazy again.

Pour into a tupperware to store and snack on for days to come! Enjoy!

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

I made these for our Thanksgiving dinner and they were a hit!

Start by making basic mashed potatoes:
6 medium potatoes
2 Tb butter
1/2 c. cream
dash of salt and pepper

Peel and cook potatoes until done. Drain and mash in large bowl. Add butter and cream (start with a little and work your way up, you may not need all of the 1/2 cup). Add salt and pepper.

To make them loaded:
1/2 c. milk
1 pkg cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp parsley flakes
1 tsp garlic salt
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used white cheddar but yellow is good too!)
1/2 lb bacon (I used one pkg of ready-cooked bacon from target)

In same large bowl that potatoes are in already, add milk, cream cheese, sour cream, parsley flakes and garlic salt and mix with hand mixer on medium speed until creamy.

Spread into greased 9x13 pan and smooth out top. Break up bacon pieces and sprinkle over top of potatoes. Sprinkle top with cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until warm inside.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Peanut Butter Pie

I got this recipe from a friend, and it is SOOOOOOOO GOOD! I'll try to post more than just desserts, but I have a major sweets addiction. I highly recommend this, and I'm not even a pie person.

1 graham cracker crust
1 cup Crunchy Peanut Butter
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 c chocolate chips
1 small instant chocolate pudding
1 1/2 c. milk
1 container of cool whip

Mix peanut butter and sugar (it makes a weird but yummy crumble mixture). Pat crumbs on top of crust, saving some to sprinkle on top of the pie.
Whisk pudding and milk according to package (2 minutes) pour over top of crust.
Refrigerate for 3-4 hours. Add Cool Whip and peanut butter crumbles and sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Monster Cookies

This recipe makes A LOT of cookies, so they are perfect if you are giving baked goods away for the holidays and need large quantities. I also LOVE that they have M & M's in them...yummy!

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar PACKED
3 eggs
2 cups peanut butter
3/4 tsp. light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. vanilla
4 c minute oats
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup M&Ms
1 6oz. package semi sweet chocolate chips

Cream butter and add sugar to it. Then add in the eggs, corn syrup, peanut butter vanilla, salt & baking soda. Add oats & mix into batter. Stir in M&Ms & Chocolate chips. Roll into large balls and place on cookie sheet & press into circle. (Warning - the dough feels gooey-er than most cookie dough, and that's ok!)Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Watch them closely. My oven cooks faster than most, so I put it on 325 and took them out around 10-12 minutes. They are really good!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pumpkin Bars

Guilty confession...David and I ate an entire pan of these ourselves last week. They are THAT good. :)

Pumpkin Bars
4 eggs
1 2/3 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a medium bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir into the pumpkin mixture until thoroughly combined.
Spread the batter evenly into an ungreased 10x15 inch jellyroll pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in preheated oven. (You can also use a 9 x 13 pan and bake at 350 F for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.) Cool before frosting or the bars will get flattened (but if you can't wait and don't mind flat bars, this is okay!).
To make the frosting, cream together the cream cheese and butter. Stir in vanilla. Add confectioners' sugar a little at a time, beating until mixture is smooth. Spread evenly on top of the cooled bars. Cut into squares and serve!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Banana Bars

We had frozen bananas coming out of our ears and you can only eat so much banana bread:


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
  • 1 (16 ounce) container cream cheese frosting


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 10x15 inch jellyroll pan.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the sour cream and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the batter. Finally, mix in the mashed banana. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow bars to cool completely before frosting with the cream cheese frosting.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Italian Chicken Calzones

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 (14 ounce) can marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained, liquid reserved
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup white wine
2 tubes pre-made pizza dough
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
pizza sauce (for dipping)

Preheat oven according to directions on pizza dough package.
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken in oil and butter for 5 to 7 minutes per side; remove from skillet, and set aside.
Place artichoke hearts and mushrooms in the skillet, and saute until mushrooms are brown and tender. Return chicken to skillet, and pour in reserved artichoke liquid and wine. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
Roll out pizza dough and portion the dough into as many calzones as you want.
Place some of the chicken mixture into the center of the dough piece. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Seal the dough around the chicken mixture being careful to completely enclose the contents.
Place the calzones on a greased cookie sheet and bake until the crust is golden brown.

Dip the calzones in the pizza sauce if desired.

Macaroni and Cheese

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound elbow macaroni
8 tablespoons (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Muenster cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded mild Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup (8 ounces) Velveeta , cut into small cubes
2 large eggs , lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a deep 2 1/2-quart casserole.

Bring the large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the oil, then the elbow macaroni, and cook until the macaroni is just tender, about 7 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain well. Return to the cooking pot.

In a small saucepan, melt eight tablespoons of the butter. Stir into the macaroni. In a large bowl, mix the Muenster, mild and sharp Cheddar, and Monterey Jack cheeses. To the macaroni, add the half-and-half, 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese, the cubed Velveeta, and the eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the buttered casserole. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese and dot with the remaining one tablespoon of butter.

Bake until it's bubbling around the edges, about 35 minutes. Serve hot.

Chickpea and Potato Curry

2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
One 14 1/2-ounce can fire-roasted or stewed tomatoes with chiles (If you can't find canned tomatoes with chiles you can add half a 4-ounce can of diced green anaheim chiles to a 14.5 ounce can of tomatoes.)
6 baby (new) Yukon Gold potatoes (about 12 ounces), quartered
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1-2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 In a large pot, combine the broth, chickpeas, tomatoes, potatoes, onion, butter, ginger, 1 teaspoon of salt, cumin, coriander, and cayenne. Stir to mix and nestle the potatoes into the liquid.

2 Set the pot, uncovered, over medium heat. Simmer vigorously for about 35 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add more salt to taste. Serve the curry in bowls over Jasmine rice.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Garlic Chicken Farfalle

This is a yummy recipe from a friend. So I thought I'd share it! We love this meal

16oz. farfalle (bow tie pasta)
1 cup whipping cream
3 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
1/2 Tbsp. pepper
1/2 cup butter
1 lb bacon, cooked & crumbled
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 12oz. bottle Lawry's mesquite with lime juice marinade
*2-3 cloves crushed garlic (optional)

Cook chicken in crock pot with marinade, 4-6 hours. Boil pasta. Melt butter; add whipping cream, pepper, parmesan cheese, & bacon. Whisk together on low heat 5 min. In a large bowl add pasta and sauce, mix well. Cut up chicken into small cubes and add to mixture. Serve with garlic toast.

Also, I half the recipe because it makes a ton!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry

I made this for dinner last night and Brandon enjoyed it. It wasn't that spicy either which I like!

Prep Time:
20 min
Total Time:
10 hr 20 min
10 servings
10 chicken thighs, skins removed (2-3/4 lb.)
1 jar (16 oz.) TACO BELL® HOME ORIGINALS® Thick 'N Chunky Salsa
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. curry powder

PLACE chicken in slow cooker. Combine salsa, onions and curry powder; pour over chicken. Cover with lid.

COOK on LOW for 8 to 10 hours (or on HIGH for 5 hours).

REMOVE chicken to serving platter; cover to keep warm. Add sour cream to slow cooker; stir until well blended. Serve over the chicken.

Serving Suggestion
Serve over hot steamed vegetables. Or, spoon over 2/3-cup servings of hot cooked brown rice.

Cooking Know-How
Heat releases the fragrant flavorful oils in curry. For optimum flavor, measure the curry powder into a small microwaveable bowl and microwave on HIGH for 30 sec. before adding to the slow cooker.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Tortilla Chips

My cousin made this for our family reunion and it was a total hit! I made it and it was easy and delicious!
1 Fuji apple - peeled, cored and diced
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
2 kiwis, peeled and sliced
2 bananas, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
**You can really use whatever fruit you have laying around. We used apples, pears, peaches, raspberries and strawberries in ours. Honestly...use whatever fruit is in the fridge or whatever you think sounds yummy! Just be sure to cut everything small enough it will be easy to scoop up with the chips!

1 cup oil for frying OR cooking spray
6 (10 inch) flour tortillas
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

In a medium bowl, mix together Fuji apple, strawberries, kiwis, bananas, lime juice, white sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cover and chill in the refrigerator approximately 20 minutes.
For fried tortillas:
Heat oil in a medium heavy saucepan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Slice flour tortillas into triangles. Carefully place tortilla triangles into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
Place white sugar and cinnamon in a large ziplock plastic bag. Drop fried tortilla triangles into the bag and shake to coat.
For baked tortillas:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Cut tortillas into triangles. Spray both sides with cooking spray and sprinkle cinnamon sugar over top. Bake until crispy(about 10-15minutes).

Serve the cinnamon chips warm (room temp is fine, too!) with the chilled fruit salsa.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Alex Streeter's Famous Pie

I had a craving - got the recipe from him - and now I'm posting it here so that I can't lose it

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 12-oz. container firm silken tofu
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 9-inch premade graham cracker crust
1/2 cup chopped chocolate-covered pretzels


Place chocolate chips in microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on high for 30 seconds.

Stir chocolate, and heat 30 seconds more. Repeat heating and stirring until chocolate is just melted. Set aside.

Combine tofu and maple syrup in food processor, and blend 3 minutes, or until smooth.

Add peanut butter, and process until smooth. Add melted chocolate, and process once more until smooth.

Pour peanut butter-chocolate mixture into pie crust, smoothing the top; refrigerate 20 minutes.

Sprinkle pretzels on top, and serve, or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Asparagus Roll-ups

1 bunch asapragus, cut to length of bread slice
8 oz. cream cheese
5 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 bunch of green onions, sliced very thin
1 loaf of whole wheat bread
freshly grated parmesan

Steam/ blanch asparagus. Do not overcook! Lay asparagus on a paper towel until it drys and is cool. Roll bread flat and cut off crust. Combine cream cheese, bacon and onion. Spread cheese mixture on bread slice. Place spear on bread. Roll up on angle. Place seam side down on baking sheet. Brush top with melted butter and sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake 10 -15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Creamy Spinach Lasagna

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 1/4 cups chopped onion (about 2 medium)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (16-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 ounces)
3 cups skim milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (26-ounce) jar marinara sauce, divided
Cooking spray
12 cooked whole wheat lasagna noodles, divided
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 375°.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook 10 minutes or until onion is browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic and spinach. Reduce heat, cover, and cook 3 minutes or until spinach is tender. Set aside.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, milk, salt, black pepper, and red pepper in a small saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add 2 cups milk mixture to spinach mixture. Cover remaining milk mixture, and set aside.

Spread 1/2 cup marinara sauce in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles over sauce; top with half of spinach mixture. Top with 3 lasagna noodles, 1 cup marinara sauce, and 3/4 cup cheese. Layer 3 more lasagna noodles, remaining spinach mixture, and remaining 3 lasagna noodles. Top with remaining marinara sauce. Pour reserved milk mixture over the top, and sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake at 375° for 50 minutes or until lasagna is browned on top.

Pork Chops with Cinnamon Apples

1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
Cooking spray
1 teaspoon butter
4 cups (1/2-inch) slices peeled Granny Smith apples (about 4 medium)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash of salt

Combine first 3 ingredients, and sprinkle over the pork. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add pork; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove the pork from pan. Cover and keep warm.

Melt butter in pan over medium heat. Add apples and remaining ingredients, and cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Serve the apples with pork.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Cherry Nut Bread

I've been looking here periodically for a few months and love all the great recipe ideas, so I figured it was time to share one. Thanks Allison!

Cherry Nut Bread

2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup soft butter
2 eggs beaten
½ tsp. vanilla
1 13 ounce can evaporated milk

Mix all ingredients together. Lastly, add 1 10 ounce jar of cherries and juice to the above mixture, fold in 1 cup of chopped pecans.
Bake at 350 for one hour. Makes 2 loaves.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

penne and italian sausage with cream sauce

I am in love with this dish so I wanted to share with you all!

1 batch of cooked penne pasta
1 pkg sweet italian sausage (turkey)
1 pint heavy whipping cream
dash of garlic powder
dash of black pepper

Cook pasta and drain. Squeeze sausage from casings. Cook sausage in hot pan until browned. Drain all grease from pan and dab meat with papertowels to get any extra off. Return to pan and pour in heavy cream. Sprinkle with seasonings. Bring to boil while stirring and continue cooking for 5 to 10 minutes over a medium heat until sauce thickens some. It will still be pretty runny but will thicken more as it cools. Add pasta and toss. Serve with toast to soak up all the delicious sauce.

You can top this with parmesan cheese if you like. You could also add chopped scallions and mushrooms while cooking if you like them.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Extreme Bruschetta

6 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh basil, stems removed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 French baguette
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven on broiler setting.
In a large bowl, combine the roma tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes.
Cut the baguette into 3/4-inch slices. On a baking sheet, arrange the baguette slices in a single layer. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until slightly brown.
Divide the tomato mixture evenly over the baguette slices. Top the slices with mozzarella cheese.
Broil for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 Devil's Food Cake
2 eggs
1/2 C. oil
1 bag (I used a little less) chocolate chips

Mix ingredients together and drop in spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes.

So easy and yummy!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Most Fantastic Drink Ever: Frozen Hot Chocolate


6 half-ounce pieces of a variety of your favorite chocolates
2 teaspoons storebought hot chocolate mix
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
3 cups ice
Whipped cream
Chocolate shavings


Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place it in the top of a double boiler over simmering water, stirring occasionally until melted. Add the cocoa and sugar, stirring constantly until thoroughly blended. Remove from heat and slowly add 1/2 cup of the milk and stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature.
In a blender place the remaining cup of milk, the room temperature chocolate mixture, and the ice. Blend on high speed until smooth and the consistency of a frozen daiquiri. Pour into a giant goblet and top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Enjoy with a spoon or a straw. . . .or both!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

BEST Brownies Ever

Oh how I love these brownies!

3 Layers- Brownies, Marshmallows, Fudge... what could be better?

2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup butter, melted
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

1 (16 ounce) package miniature marshmallows

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
2 (1 ounce) square unsweetened baking chocolate
2 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, stir together the white sugar and cocoa. Mix in the melted butter until well blended. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir into the chocolate mixture. Fold in walnuts. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from the oven and cover with an even layer of miniature marshmallows. Return to the oven for about 2 to 3 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan. Pop it in the fridge so it's ready for the next step.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine brown sugar, water and unsweetened chocolate. Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons butter and 2 teaspoons vanilla until well blended. Mix in the confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread over the marshmallow layer. Allow frosting to set before cutting into bars.

Don't store these in the fridge, they become rocks! Keep them at room temperature. They are especially good if you microwave them for 30 seconds before eating! Also great with icecream ;)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

2 cans Campbell Chicken and Wild Rice
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 box Rice-a-Roni Grain Wild Rice
2 Chicken Breasts- cooked and shredded (or you can use 2 of those Sams club Chicken Breast cans)
2 cups Chicken Broth (1 can)

1. Mix 2 cans Campbell Chicken and Wild Rice and 1 can Cream of Chicken Soup. Simmer.
2. In a different pan, mix Rice-a-Roni like directions on back of box say. After you bring to a boil, when you turn it down to simmer, add the Chicken Breast and Chicken Broth, and the Chicken and Wild Rice/Cream of Chicken mixture.
3. Simmer for about 30 min or so.
4. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Tuscan Soup

Jared really liked this one...

I cut the recipe in half and we still had more than enough

1 pound bulk mild Italian sausage
1 1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large onion, diced 1 tablespoon minced garlic
5 (13.75 ounce) cans chicken broth
6 potato, thinly sliced
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 bunch fresh spinach, tough stems removed

1. Cook the Italian sausage and red pepper flakes in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crumbly, browned, and no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. Cook the bacon in the same Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain, leaving a few tablespoons of drippings with the bacon in the bottom of the Dutch oven. Stir in the onions and garlic; cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
3. Pour the chicken broth into the Dutch oven with the bacon and onion mixture; bring to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes, and boil until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the heavy cream and the cooked sausage; heat through. Mix the spinach into the soup just before serving.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Malaysian Chicken Pizza

3/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
Cooking spray
1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat, reduced-sodium Swiss cheese (such as Alpine Lace)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 pilsbury pizza crust
1/4 cup chopped green onions

Preheat oven to whatever the pizza crust says.
Combine first 8 ingredients in a bowl; stir well with a whisk.

Heat a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add chicken, and sauté 2 minutes. Remove chicken from pan.

Pour rice vinegar mixture into pan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook mixture 6 minutes or until slightly thickened. Return chicken to pan; cook 1 minute or until chicken is done. (Mixture will be consistency of thick syrup.)

Sprinkle cheeses over prepared crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border, and top with chicken mixture. Bake for 12-18 minutes on bottom rack in oven or until crust looks done. Sprinkle with green onions. Place pizza on a cutting board; let stand 5 minutes.

6 servings

Balsamic Glazed Chicken

Cooking spray
1 1/4 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 chicken breasts
1 head of broccoli cut into florettes
1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
4 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup diagonally sliced green onions

Place a grill pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat until hot. Sprinkle pepper and salt over chicken. Place chicken in grill pan; cook until done. Remove from heat.
Combine broth, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Throw in broccoli at the end and heat through. Spoon glaze over chicken; top with green onions. We served this over rice

4 servings (serving size: 1 breast and 1 tablespoon glaze)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Asian BBQ Chicken

MMMM...another 2 person meal. I let Jared do it on the Foreman (I hate it- but it made him feel manly)

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 chicken breasts

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; add chicken. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 4 hours, turning occasionally.

Remove chicken from bag.

Place chicken on grill until done in the center.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sesame Orange Shrimp

I'm trying to do better by cooking a little more healthy and in smaller portions. So. this made 2 medium sized portions...


1/4 cup fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons peanut butter (I use crunchy for the texture)
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons fresh garlic
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
1 cup instant rice (or noodles)
1 cup sugar snap peas (you can also add whatever veggies you have here.. broccoli, carrots etc)
1/2 pounds shrimp (chicken or beef would also be really good!)
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Combine first 7 ingredients in a bowl.
Cook rice according to package directions (I always throw out the package: for minute rice it's 1 cup rice 1 cup water covered in the microwave for 5 minutes.)

Brush shrimp with 1 T sesame oil, and saute until cooked. Add the sugar snap peas to heat through

Mix the shrimp and peas with the rice and add the sauce mixture until it is flavorful enough for you. I didn't need all of the sauce but Jared added more to his so see how you like it.