This is a blog of my adventures in the kitchen. I always like to try new things, and I'm looking up different recipes constantly. Some recipes on here will be my own, some will be found recipes. Some will work, some won't. Trial and error, right? I'm no professional and I don't claim to be, I just enjoy cooking. :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Chicken and Tomato Fettuccine Alfredo

So, it's been a really busy summer.  I've been cooking quite a few quick dishes, this is one of them.   I was working late one night, my husband was out of town, and I just couldn't stand the thought of eating another canned soup.  I needed REAL food.  I dug around through my cupboards and fridge and found a few things I had lying around to make this dish.  I had bottled alfredo leftover from the cordon blue pizza I had made, so I decided on Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo.  I didn't have any fettuccine, for some reason, so I just used spaghetti pasta.

As I was making it, and tasting, I felt like it needed something different.  I have one tomato plant outside, but it has grown SO MANY tomatoes, so I decided that a tomato was just what the dish needed. :)  So glad I made that decision.

What you'll need:

Fettuccine, or spaghetti in my case.
Alfredo sauce
Tomato, diced
salt and pepper to taste

Start your water for you pasta.  When it's boiling, add the pasta and cook according to package directions.

Cut your chicken up and cook in a little bit of olive oil, with some salt and pepper.  When that's cooked through, add your alfredo sauce and diced tomato and a bit of oregano (tsp or so).  Let that simmer on a low heat while the pasta cooks, to break down the tomato.  Taste and add salt and pepper if you feel it's needed.

When the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the sauce.  Mix it up and dish it out.

This is definitely a new favorite of mine. :)

Chicken Cordon Bleu Pizza

So, I was a little worried about this one.  I didn't know how much I'd like pizza without any kind of tomato at all on it.  Seriously, it was really good. :)

This is a bit of an adaptation of several recipes I've found around.  Idon't have measurments, but it's pretty simple. What's new, eh? :P  I used a pillsbury refrigerated pizza crust, because I was in a hurry, and I happened to have one on hand.

Things you'll need:

Pizza crust
Bottled alfredo sauce
Chicken breast
Cooked ham (I used hormel cubed ham)
mozzarella cheese, grated
swiss cheese, grated

First, you'll want to cook the chicken.  I cooked the chicken and the onion together, with salt and pepper.  When the chicken was cooked through, and the onions were soft, I added the ham to crisp it up a bit.

While that's cooking, roll out your pizza crust on a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Press it out as thin as you like.  I went pretty thin, pressing it almost to the edge.  Bake around 375 for 8 to 10 minutes.

Pull the crust out and spread alfredo sauce on it.  Then add the cheeses and the meat/onion mix.

Put back in the oven for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese is gooey and the crust is browned. :)

Slice and serve!

Biscuits and Gravy Roll-ups

These are so simple.  Seriously...  And my husband loves them!   Growing up my mom used to make something similar to this for dinner.  Except, instead of sausage she would use ground beef and instead of gravy, she made cream and peas.  So delicious!  This is basically my breakfast version of that.

Okay, I'm not going to lie.  I used bisquick... Yep!  I cheated.  Don't want to use bisquick? By all means, go ahead and make your biscuit dough from scratch.  I'm sure it would be yummy!

Things you'll need:

Ground sausage
Salt and Pepper to taste

First thing you need to do is brown up your sausage.  While you're browning, make sure to break it apart so you don't have super huge chunks of meat in it.  You want them small so they'll roll up well. :)

While that's browning, make the dough.  Tough job, really...  :P  Throw some bisquick in a bowl and add water until you get a doughy consistency.  Yep! That's it.  I'm easy like that.

Roll that dough out into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface.

When the sausage is done, sprinkle it on the dough, and roll it up.  Slice into 1 to 2 inch slices, or even 3 if ya wanna!  and place on a lightly greased sheet.  Bake at around 350 until the dough is cooked.

While you're baking those, make your gravy.  If your sausage didn't leave much grease behind, throw some butter in and melt it down.  Add some flour, I'd say 1/4 C or so, and stir it up.  Then, add your milk.  Don't add too much, though.  It's easier to add more if your gravy is too thick than to add more flour if you get it too thin.

Cook that until it's thick and bubbly, and salt and pepper to taste.

Pull the rolls out of the oven, place on plates and cover in gravy!  YUM! :D

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Coconut Russian Tea Cakes

Whether you call them Russian Tea Cakes, Mexican Wedding Cakes, Bon Bons, or something else, the fact remains that these things are amazing -- IMHO...   Growing up I could count on my grandma always having these for me at Christmas time, eventually she gave me the recipe.  This is not her recipe.  Yes, even I keep SOME secrets.  ;)  The recipe given to me is for the original flavor ones, with nuts in them.  This a a recipe I found online.  Pretty similar, actually, but this one doesn't have nuts and it has coconut instead.

The dough itself isn't super sweet, it's still delicious, just not super sweet.  What makes these little guys amazing is the yummy, sugary coating around them.  They completely melt in your mouth.  So *bleep*ing amazing.  Be careful, these are basically pure butter.  So yum, but so not good for you...  lol.

Okay, so the recipe I have I found on the Martha Stewart site.  Yep, good ol' Martha Stewart.  ;)  Love her or hate her, she does have some yummy recipes.  Bad ones, too, but this one is one of the good ones...

Coconut Russian Tea Cakes

What you'll need:

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/4 C powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
2 C all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt (I would probably omit if you used salted butter instead)
2 C sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cream butter with 1/4 C powdered sugar until fluffy.  Mix in flour and salt until just combined. Stir in coconut.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls. (I measured them at 1 tablespoon each).  Place on baking sheet. Bake until just starting to brown, 15-20 minutes. (Don't over bake)

Roll in remaining powdered sugar, while still hot/warm.  (This is what gives them that yummy coating.  the sugar will melt a bit and stick to the cookies.  So yum!)

Let cool completely, unless you're like me and just have to eat one.  Just know they're messier eaten warm. :P

Sunday, July 8, 2012


These are delicious. I've made myself sick eating them. :)

These yummy little things were originally made in the 1700's in the Netherlands. They basically translate as "syrup waffles". They're a bread type waffle with a caramel like cinnamon filling inside. YUM! I was supposed to cut them into perfect circles, but I just couldn't bring myself to waste any of their yumminess. lol.   Traditionally, or so I've read, these are served over your morning cup of coffee or tea, to warm them up a bit.  Personally, I liked them better cold. :)

I first saw these in an Etsy shop, and just had to find out how to make them. Eventually, I bought a pizelle iron, since you have to have a way to make extremely thin waffles. I purchased the iron MONTHS ago, and have been extremely frightened of making these -- the reason being, I hate to admit, is that I seriously SUCK at candy making, and these have a candy filling that has to be made. I've been so worried that I'd go through all of the work of making the waffles just to ruin it with a bad filling. After worrying, I decided for my first time making them I would be safer to just buy caramels, so that's what I did. Yes! I admit it! I did not entirely make the filling!! *sigh* I did add a few ingredients while melting the caramels, though. They still turned out delicious, even if they weren't 100% authentic. Now that I kind of have a "feel" for the whole stroopwafel making process, I'll attempt the real filling next time. ;)

I actually found the recipe online. There are many recipes out there, but this one had good reviews so I went with it.


For the Waffles:

4 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 C sugar
1 C unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 package (or 2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1/2 C warm water

To make waffles:
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.  Cut butter into the flour.  Add the sugar, cinnamon, eggs, and yeast mixture.  Mix well and set aside to rise for 30 to 60 minutes.  (Mine did NOT rise.)

For the filling:
1 1/2 C packed brown sugar
1 C unsalted butter
1 tsp ground cinnamon
6 Tbsp dark corn syrup

To make filling (this is the sauce I did NOT want to make, so I didn't.  Recipe for what I made follows.)
In a saucepan, boil all of the ingredients until it reaches the soft ball stage (234-240F), stirring constantly.

For the filling *I* made!:
1 package caramel cubes, unwrapped
1/4 C cream (total guess on measurement, I just poured some in)
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Melt together in a saucepan. :)  Easy peasy!  

To assemble:
Preheat pizzelle iron.

Roll dough into 12 small balls. (They were too big for my pizzelle press, and just squeezed out the sides. I ended up making 24 instead.)

Squeeze each ball into the press and bake for about 30 seconds. (I went between 20 and 25.)

Slice the waffles into two thin waffles and spread with filling.  (HOT HOT HOT!!!  I used a paper towel to hold the waffles while I sliced them.)

Spread with filling to "glue" slices back together.

From start to finish, this took me nearly two hours.  Yeah, really...  This would be much easier with a partner.  One person to cook and slice the waffles, another to spread filling.

The recipe sounds much more difficult than it really is, especially if you cheat on the filling. haha.  Despite the screaming and swearing coming from the kitchen, I really did enjoy making them.

The next recipe I want to attempt with my pizzelle press would be...

*drum roll*

Cannoli!!!  YUM!!   It's no wonder I have such a "curvy" figure...  ;)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Gyoza - Japanese Potstickers

Yes! I know I haven't posted in AGES!  My husband has been out of town for the past month, and I don't do much extravagant cooking when he's away.  Just basic stuff that I've made a million times, most of which I've already posted.

Please disregard my complete lack of talent in the "food photography" department.  

For some reason, one night last month, I had a craving for Gyoza!  I LOVE these, hubby doesn't.  I realize they're an appetizer, but I paired them with some rice and called it a meal.  Yep...  I totally did.  I get to break the rules when I'm home alone.

Anyway!  Living in a small, SMALL town puts limits on what might be available at the local grocery store.  Needless to say, gyoza wrappers are one of those limitations.  The store usually has wonton wrappers, so I had planned to substitute them instead, but of course! The day I decide to make something fun, they are sold out.  I had to use egg roll wrappers instead.  I did cut them into circles, but they still made VERY LARGE gyoza.

This being my first time ever making these, I don't think I did too bad. :P Are they as cute as the ones you'd get at a Japanese restaurant?  Uhmmm... no... but, I was still pretty proud of myself.

I got this recipe online, the link will be included in the title, as usual. :)

Gyoza - Japanese Potstickers

1/2 pound ground pork (1 cup)
3/4 cup shredded Napa cabbage
1 green onion, diced
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot chili oil, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying, or as needed
30 gyoza wrappers, or as needed

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the shredded cabbage until it is tender but still crisp. Plunge into ice cold water, remove, and drain thoroughly.

In a medium bowl, combine the ground pork, cooked cabbage, green onion, minced ginger, egg, soy sauce, chili oil and sesame oil.

Lay a gyoza wrapper in front of you. Wet all the edges with water. Place a teaspoon of filling in the middle of the wrapper. Fold the sides up to form a semicircle, and then pinch the edges to seal. Continue with the rest of the gyoza wrappers until the filling is gone.

To cook, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy frying pan over medium-high to high heat. Add 12 - 15 of the gyoza and cook for 2 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom.

Add 1/2 cup of water to the pan. Cover the dumplings and cook until the water is absorbed (5 to 7 minutes). Repeat with the remainder of the gyoza dumplings.

So, that's that... I ate mine with teriyaki sauce, shhh... don't tell anyone, but gyoza sauce is quite simple to make! Just search gyoza sauce online and you'll find plenty to choose from! :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mini Cupcakes

Okay, so this definitely doesn't fall into a "healthy" category, but everyone needs to splurge once in awhile, right?

A best friend of mine is having a grand opening for her clothing store this week and asked that I make mini cupcakes for it. Not wanting to make TOO many, I decided to make four flavors using only two batches of batter. You could actually get all four of these flavors with just one batch of vanilla batter, if you didn't want too many, by just adding cocoa to the batter for the chocolate ones. The two batches I made still baked around 200 cupcakes.

I figured I'd share how to make these, but it's pretty basic. It's just taking regular cake batter and regular buttercream and adding a few extra ingredients.

For all four of these recipes I used my basic buttercream recipe:

1 cup softened butter
1 lb powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
and enough water or milk to give you the consistency you want

Beat the butter and vanilla together, then slowly add the powdered sugar. Then VERY SLOWLY add the liquid to desired thickness.

Now, let me tell you how to bake these little cuties, and then I'll get on with the ingredients. Since these are smaller than regular cupcakes there are a few adjustments you'll want to make. You're going to want to lower the oven temperature by about 20 - 30 degrees F. I baked mine at 320F. You'll also want to cut the baking time by about half. The chocolate and coconut cupcakes took about 8 minutes to bake and the lemon took around 10. Other than that it's just like baking any cupcakes.

First, Death by Chocolate.

This is a chocolate cupcake with a sinful chocolate buttercream. Just use your favorite chocolate cake recipe, or even box mix. Make your cupcakes as directed above and let them cool -- takes no time at all.

For the frosting make the buttercream above and to that add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup melted semi-sweet, bittersweet or dark chocolate chips. Mix it up and ice the cakes! :) Mmmm mmm!!!

Island Paradise

This is my absolute favorite flavor combination. It's a coconut cake with a pineapple frosting. Make your favorite white or vanilla cake batter. To that add a good heap of coconut and some coconut extract, tasting for desired "coconutiness" (technical term).

Bake and cool.

For the frosting you'll again use the basic buttercream, but add a couple spoonfuls of crushed pineapple. This will thin down the frosting quite a bit, so just add more powdered sugar to your desired consistency.

Cherry Lemonade

Again, start with vanilla or white batter.  Add an extra 1/4 cup flour and the zest AND juice of one lemon.

Bake and cool.

For the frosting, start with buttercream - of course.  Chop up a handful of maraschino cherries and add that plus some of the cherry juice to the frosting.  Mix up and add more juice or powdered sugar until desired consistency. (I'm sounding a bit redundant, eh)

Peanut Butter Cup

For this, I had wished I had some of those cute mini Reese's PB cups to put on top, but... I did not.

Start with chocolate batter and bake the cupcakes.  Easy, eh?

Now the frosting on this one is just a LITTLE different than the others.  Make the buttercream above, but cut the butter in half and add 1/2 to 3/4 cup peanut butter.  Mix it up and DONE!  :)

As far as flavors go, the sky is the limit. Play around with it and come up with your favorite. :)

So, next time you're hosting a get together, think about these. They're pretty quick, fairly easy and quite cheap to make. :) And, c'mon, who DOESN'T love cupcakes?! :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Steak Fries

This was served right along with the collard greens from the previous post. My husband's favorite meal is BBQ steak (rib eye, of course), steak fries and collard greens. This is the way I do my steak fries. Feel free to change the seasonings however you'd like. :)

You'll be surprised at how simple this really is.

Things you'll need:

Potatoes, any type, peeled and cut into wedges.
Olive oil
Garlic salt or powder

Throw the potato wedges onto a cookie sheet. Drizzle with oil. Top with seasonings and PLENTY of salt. Mix that around with your hands to make sure the potatoes are coated well. Spread out on the pan so none of the potatoes are overlapping. Pop into a 400F oven and bake approximately 15 minutes. Take out, flip the potatoes over and bake again for another 15 minutes, or until nice and browned.

Voila! Steak fries!! ;)

Collard Greens with Ham

They're not the prettiest food in the world, but they are delicious. :)

My husband works on the other side of the country, in West Virginia (We live in Utah), and he came home one day telling me he wanted to cook dinner. He made steak, fries and collard greens. The collard greens he served were canned greens. Now, there's nothing wrong with that, but c'mon... Homemade is always better. ;) I told him I'd make FRESH collard greens for him one day, and it may have been a mistake. Now it's a staple in our home. lol... Sometimes I make it with bacon, sometimes ham, whatever.

Here's what you'll need:

Collard greens (I buy 2 bunches)
Ham or bacon
olive oil or butter
chicken stock
red pepper flakes
salt, pepper and seasonings to taste

First thing, remove the stems from the greens. You mostly just want the leafy part. If you fold them in half and pull on the leaves, the hard stem in the middle will usually just come right off. Chop the greens up into 2inch-ish squares and wash REALLY well.

Add oil to medium to large pot and saute the onion and ham, until onion is soft. If you're using bacon here, don't add oil. Cook the chopped bacon first and save a little oil for the onion, then proceed. Add the garlic and greens, and cook until the greens start to wilt. Pour in enough stock to just cover the wilted greens. Usually takes about 4 cups for me. Add the salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and seasonings. I use my usual "Tony's creole" seasoning.

Cover and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, until the greens are tender. Add more salt and seasonings if needed.

Seriously, that's it.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Creamy Chicken and Pasta

My husband bought some new wine today, and there's nothing I love more than trying new wine. ;) I decided to use some of it in the pasta dish, and the rest we'd drink. (It was delicious.)

The photo is terrible, but at least I can honestly say that this is a 100% Kasi original recipe. Turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself. I'm sorry about measurements, I really just guess as I go.

Things you'll need:

Chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces (I used about 12 oz)
Pasta (I used wheat pasta)
Grape tomatoes
Mini bella mushrooms, or any mushroom really.
Dry white wine
Milk or cream
Parmesan cheese
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Start your pasta water and cook your pasta according to package directions. Do this while making the other stuff.

Heat the oil in a large skillet and add chicken, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook until the chicken is browned and cooked completely through. Add some wine, I'd say about 1/2 cup, and let that simmer too cook the alcohol out. Doesn't take long... Add a handful of grape tomatoes and put a lid on the pan. Cook on a low/medium simmer until the tomatoes start to split. Add a handful of sliced mushrooms, about 1/3 to 1/2 cup milk or cream and 1/4 to 1/3 cup parmesan. Put the lid on and put it on low for a couple of minutes, and then turn off the heat until the pasta is done.

When your pasta is finished cooking, drain it and add it to the sauce. Mix together and serve.

If you want to know how to make the garlic toast, it's fairly simple. I used homemade bread sliced thick, but texas toast from the store would work well or even better slice a loaf of french bread.

Butter the bread with soft butter, then brush on a little olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic salt, dry parsley and parmesan. Put under the broiler and keep an eye on it until it's toasted.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken and Potatoes

This one is going to short and sweet, since there's not much to making it. It's not a pretty, colorful dish but I promise it's delicious. :)

This is one of those meals that I threw together because I was in a hurry, lol... Turned out great.

Things you'll need:

Chicken* (I used 12 oz chicken breast)
Potatoes, quartered (I used red, skins on)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 packet lipton onion soup mix

*You could use other meats, if you wanted. Steak, cubed steak, pork chops, etc.

Mix the soups together with about 1/2 cup water.

Put the potatoes and chicken in crock pot and pour mixed soups over the top.

Cook on low for about 8 hours or high for 4 or 5.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Chicken and Black Bean Fajitas

I had a lonely little chicken breast sitting in the fridge, just begging to be cooked, and fajitas sounded delicious. :) Plus, I wanted something healthy to make up for the pizza and cake I had yesterday, to celebrate my dad's birthday. (Happy Birthday, Dad!) lol.

The photos aren't great. It was hard to get a yummy picture with the tortillas covering all of the yummy deliciousness inside, so I took a picture of the "guts" just to show you what it looked like. Yeah, it's not the prettiest but it really was good! :D

This recipe makes enough for 5 or 6 fajitas. The nutrition listed is for 5.

Here's what you'll need:

5 Don Pancho high fiber, low carb 6" tortillas (love these! - 70 calories ea.)
2 chicken breasts (12 oz total)**
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
onion, sliced
bell pepper, sliced
lettuce, chopped
tomato, chopped
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste

**I'm listing two chicken breasts because if I were making this meal for a family I would use more meat. It's not necessary, though. I used one breast. The nutrition info at the bottom of the page is including 12 oz of chicken, instead of the 6oz I used. You could also go completely vegetarian with this, since the beans and the tortillas (don pancho) add quite a bit of protein.

Start by cooking your veggies. I cooked mine in water, but if you want to use oil be my guest. ;) Just know it will add to the nutrition facts.

Add the veggies to a pan and throw in some water, salt and pepper. Let them cook until the onions are soft and the peppers are sorta soft. Throw in the beans and cook another minute or two, or until all of the water has evaporated. Put that in a bowl and set aside.

Now, add your chicken. I also added water* to cook the chicken, instead of oil. Add the chili powder, cumin and oregano (my favorite seasoning combo), and salt and pepper to taste. (how many times can YOU say "and" in one sentence?) ;)

Cook until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, if you run out of water before then, add a little more.

*Remember as you're cooking this that water evaporates, but salt does not. If your chicken is done and you taste it, but it still has water in it, it's going to taste saltier once the water evaporates. I've over salted because of this more than once.

Add the veggies back in and cook until the water has evaporated completely, you don't want watery/runny filling for the tortillas. ;)

Now, just assemble the fajitas as you like. I warmed the tortillas then stacked filling, lettuce and tomato. I didn't use cheese, but it would be delicious with it. :)


Cal -- 243
Carb -- 31
Fat -- 3
Protein -- 25

Friday, March 30, 2012

Chicken and Spaghetti Squash

This was one of those panic meals. You know, the ones that you frantically run around the kitchen trying to find anything that you can mix together to call a meal. It turned out surprisingly delicious.

I started with a plan of chicken, spaghetti squash and spinach but I didn't have spinach like I thought I did. Instead, this is what I did. This is more of a meal for one sorta thing, but if you add some more chicken to it you could easily feed two with it.

What you'll need:

Spaghetti squash
1 chicken breast
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 roma tomato, diced
1/4 C grated zucchini - completely optional. I just wanted something green. lol.
1/8 C grated parmesan - Yeah, I used the weird powder stuff in the green canister, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. lol.
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp sage
salt and pepper to taste

First, start with the squash. Slice it down the center with a really sharp knife, and be careful! They're sometimes a pain to cut. Scrape out the seeds and gunk (technical term, I swear), and place cut side down on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. I lined a baking dish with aluminum foil, so I didn't have to wash it. ;)

Bake at 375F for about 40 minutes.

When that's finished, carefully scrape out the "spaghetti" with a fork. Set that aside.

In a pan heat up the oil. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and add to the oil. Add some salt, pepper, thyme and sage.

Next time I do this, I'll start with sauteing some chopped onion and garlic.

Cook until the chicken is cooked through.

Throw in the rest of the ingredients and cook until it's all hot and delicious. ;)

Serve it up!

Calories: 484
Carbs: 26
Fat: 16
Protein: 49

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Fizzy Sangria

Since this blog is called "Bread & Wine" I figured I should probably post at least ONE wine drink, eh? :) So, here it is. I really have no idea what to name this. lol... I actually got the idea from a pin I saw on pinterest (love pinterest). The one I saw there had different types of fruit in it, but I was in a very strawberry mood tonight, so I just used strawberries.

How do you say strawberry? My husband always teases me for the way I say it. I pronounce it "Straw-Brie", he says "Straw-Bear-EE". *shrug* Side track, sorry... ;)

Anyway, here's what you'll need:

Red wine (I used merlot -- just because I love merlot.)
Fruit (I used strawberries)

I guessed on amounts, so just play around with it to your own liking.

First, slice the fruit and place in a glass.

Next, add some ice.

Add the sprite and wine (I used about 6oz sprite, 4 oz merlot.)

Stir it up, and drink! Cheers!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Grilled Muenster and Tomato

So, I fell off of the "health wagon" tonight. :)

I'm not even sure why I'm posting this, because it's just a basic grilled cheese sandwich. lol...

Anyway, what you'll need:

Bread (homemade or something similar - so you don't get a flat sandwich)
salt and pepper

Okay, get your griddle or pan heating.

Butter the your bread.

Layer sandwich like this:

Bread, butter side down
Two slices of cheese
One of two tomatoes, depending on bread size)
Salt and pepper
Two more slices of cheese
bread, butter side up

Now grill. Keep an eye on it. You don't want to grill this at a super high heat. The tomato slows down the cheese melting just a little. If it starts getting too dark on one side, flip it over. Continue until the cheese is melted. :)

Like I said, basic grilled cheese -- but OH SO DELICIOUS! ;)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Okay, this is actually a spin off of a family recipe from my aunt, "Sweet and Sour Meatballs." I love, love, LOVE her recipe, but I was looking to make a lower calorie version. I'll share my version. This is extremely low in fat, if you're watching your fat intake. :)

Seriously, this is SO good. It tastes SO sinful, but it's really not that bad. :) The sauce is really low calorie, it's the rice that gets ya. lol... I used brown rice, for the nutrition factor. It's not any lower calorie but it does have more nutrition in it. :)

And before anyone comments and says, "this isn't authentic sweet and sour," I just wanna say, "Yes... I know..." :P

What you'll need:

Brown rice (as much as you need for your family)
Boneless, skinless, chicken breast (2 or 3)
1 large can pineapple tidbits (drain but SAVE juice)
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C splenda**
1/2 C distilled white vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp ground ginger
2 Tbsp corn starch (give or take)

**The recipe actually calls for 1 cup brown sugar, but I wanted to lessen the calories a little. I didn't have splenda brown sugar, but still wanted that brown sugar taste, so I did a half and half.

Start your rice, as per the package directions. Brown rice takes at least double the time that white rice does. I'm always boasting about how awesome having a rice cooker is, but it doesn't work for brown rice, so you'll have to do this on the stove. ;)

Dice up the chicken and brown it in a pan with deep sides. Season it as you wish. I just used salt and pepper.

While that's cooking, mix the sugar, splenda, pineapple juice, vinegar, soy sauce and ginger together in a bowl.

Add the onion and pepper and cook that until the vegetables begin to soften a bit.

Add the sugar mixture to the pan and bring it to a boil.

Make a slurry of cornstarch and water, and pour it into the sauce to thicken. You can add less or more, depending on how thick you'd prefer it. Add the pineapple last.

Now just let it simmer on really low until your rice is done. Serve over the rice.

The sauce easily makes 6 servings. The nutrition information I've added is for the sauce only -- it does not include the info for the rice.

Per serving:

Calories -- 204
Carbs -- 39g
Fat -- 1g
Protein -- 9g

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Creamy Salsa Dip and Baked Tortilla Chips

I was in the mood for some kind of snack, and I truly am obsessed with chips and dip. lol... Only problem, chips and dip are usually high in calories and fat. If you use the right tortillas for this you can make the entire snack (chips AND dip) for less than 100 calories a serving. :)

Things you'll need:

Cooking spray
Light sour cream
Fat free Greek yogurt, plain
chili powder

You could use any tortillas for this recipe but I used 70 calorie whole wheat tortillas. Slice the tortillas anyway you like and spread on a cookie sheet that's been sprayed with cooking spray. Do a quick spritz over the pieces and sprinkle salt on them. Bake at 400 - 450 until they brown a little and get crispy.

And that's all there is to the tortilla chips. :P

For the salsa dip mix maybe 1/4 to 1/3 cup salsa with a tablespoon of plain fat free greek yogurt and 2 or 3 tablespoons of light sour cream. Add a little chili powder and cumin and stir it up. :)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Guilt-free Blondies!!

Who said dessert can't be healthy?! Of course, if you were to read the ingredients you'd probably question whether this was even a dessert at all! Of course it is, I wouldn't lie to you! :) Are they as sinfully sweet and delicious as REAL blondies? No. But at only around 100 calories a square I'd say they were pretty darn good. :) (more calories if you follow her recipe exact.)

I got this recipe from an awesome blog called Chocolate Covered Katie. It's full of healthy vegan snacks. :)

I used her recipe but made a few alterations to make it my own. :) I've posted her recipe, but in parenthesis wrote my exchanges.

Things you'll need:

1 can chickpeas or white beans, drained and rinsed (I used chickpeas)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
heaping 1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup brown sugar (I used 1/4 brown sugar and 1/2 C splenda)
1-2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup ground flax
1/4 cup peanut butter, or other fat source (I used 1 Tbsp veg oil and enough unsweetened applesauce to make 1/4 cup. I didn't want peanut butter bars.)

optional: 1/3 cup chocolate chips (I used 24 guittard milk chocolate chips - melted)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend all ingredients (except chips) until very smooth in a food processor (not a blender).

Mix in chips, and scoop into a greased (or tinfoil-lined) 8×8 pan. (I melted my chips and spread them over the top after baking.)

Bake for 38-40 minutes. You want the blondies to look a little undercooked when you take them out, because they’ll firm up as they cool, and you don’t want them to get hard.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


"New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin." -Mark Twain.

Okay, so the photo isn't the most appetizing of photos in the world, but I promise the food WAS delicious! :P My husband ate half of the pan (and even eating half of the BIG pan, it was only 780 calories.) lol...

This is a bit of a combo of my usual jambalaya and a healthier version I found online. My usual jambalaya is full of white rice and it has andouille sausage in it. I cut out the sausage and used brown rice. :)

This made 4 to 6 servings. The bowl in the picture is the size if it's split into 4 servings. Nutrition info at the bottom.

Things you'll need:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium cloves garlic, chopped
2 large bell peppers, cored, seeded and chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
3/4 cup brown rice, uncooked
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 large bay leaf
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 to 2 tsp creole seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

Add oil to a large nonstick pan (I used my electric skillet. It's HUGE!)

Over medium heat, sauté onion, garlic, bell pepper and celery until onion is translucent.

Add chicken, bay leaf, cayenne pepper and creole seasoning. Cook, stirring often, 5 to 6 minutes. Add tomatoes (with juice), tomato sauce, and 1 3/4 cups cold water.

Gently simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.

Pour rice into the pan** and stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered, 45 minutes or until rice is cooked and absorbs most of the liquid. (**I simmered for over an hour and the rice never finished. I've never had that happen with white rice. Next time I make this I will cook the rice before adding it.)

Stir in shrimp and cook 5 minutes more. Remove bay leaf. Season to taste.

If the meal is split into 4 servings the facts are as follows:

Calories: 396
Carbs: 42
Fat: 7
Protein: 40

If the meal is split into 6 servings:

Calories: 264
Carbs: 28
Fat: 5
Protein: 26

These are based off of the recipe calculator on :) It could be a little different depending on brands used and such...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Baked Onion Rings

I looooove onion rings!! I was skeptical about baked onion rings at first, but wanted to find something yummy for my husband to have with his burger. These were PERFECT! I love them just as much, if not MORE than the greasy, fried rings I've become accustomed to. Plus, I didn't finish them feeling sick and guilty. :)

Things you'll need:

Onion (I used a large white onion)
egg whites
bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350-400F, depending on your oven. Mine runs hot, so I had mine on 350 convection.

Slice your onions and separate them into rings.

Mix the bread crumbs with seasoning of your choice. I used Tony's Creole Seasoning. If you've never had it I suggest you try it. I seriously use this for practically everything! lol... Steaks, burgers, chicken, fries, chips, etc.

Put the bread crumbs in a bowl, or on a plate.

Put egg whites in a bowl and beat them with a little bit of water.

Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.

Dip onions in egg and then in crumbs and layer in a single layer on cookie sheet.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the onions are soft.

Oh, and btw. The ENTIRE dinner pictured here was less than 650 calories, and the majority of that was the burger. lol... :)

Baked Potato Chips with Onion Dip

Another comfort, chips and dip!! Can't live without them, but they're so loaded with oils, salt, creams, etc.

The potato chips recipe I sort of made up on my own, but the onion dip I found on the snack girl website which stated it came from the nutritionist from the Biggest Loser. :)

First, chips!

What you'll need:

Potato (red, russet, sweet, etc)
cooking spray, such as Pam
seasonings (my favorite so far being garlic salt and parmesan)

This is done easiest with a mandolin, so you can get thin slices and slice them evenly.

Preheat your oven to 350 - 400F. I had mine set to 350 convection.

You want to slice your potato, peels on or off - your choice. Slice thin. No thicker than 1/8 inch.

Pat them dry with a paper towel.

Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and layer the potato slices on it. Sprinkle with seasonings and put in oven. Bake for approximately 10 minutes, then rotate your pan and bake another 10 minutes. You'll want to watch them closely the first few times you make them, to get the right baking to suit your oven. It took me at least 5 trials to get them where I like them. :)

That's it. Let them cool and you have chips! My husband says he likes them more than Lay's. ;)

I don't have the nutritional info for these, sorry.

Okay, now the onion dip. This one is a bit time consuming but it makes quite a bit.

Click here for the onion dip recipe on the snack girl site.

Things you'll need:

2 1/2 pounds yellow onions, peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
4 ounces neufchatel cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
Flat-leaf (Italian) parsley leaves, for garnish (optional)

Halve the onions lengthwise and then slice them crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick half-rounds. There will be about 4 cups.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and salt and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until the onions are soft and beginning to release their juices. Continue to simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until the onions are lightly browned and caramelized. Allow to cool. There will be about 2 cups.

Place the onions in a food processor and pulse a few times to chop. Remove half of the onions and transfer them to a bowl. To the remaining onions in the food processor, add the onion powder and process until pureed. Add the cream cheese and yogurt and process just until smooth. Transfer the mixture to the bowl and fold into the chopped onions.

Taste and season as needed. Chill for at least 1 hour. Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and garnish with parsley leaves, if desired.

Per 1/4 cup serving: 80 calories, 3 g total fat (1 g saturated), 5 mg cholesterol, 230 mg sodium, 11 g total carbohydrates (5 g sugars), 1 g fiber, 3 g protein, 2 PointsPlus

Portabella Pizza

Okay, so in my new adventure on trying to become healthier I've decided to challenge myself to make healthy alternatives to normal comfort foods. First one: Pizza!!

Now, I believe that the unhealthiest part of a pizza is the crust. With this, there is no bread crust but rather a portabella mushroom cap turned upside down. This was more filling than I expected. I had this for lunch along with a protein shake. :)

I actually made this recipe from an idea I found online.

Things you'll need:

Portabella mushroom caps
1 can dice tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
mozzarella cheese, grated (1/4 cup per pizza)
truvia (or sugar, if you would rather)
italian seasoning

First, make your sauce. In a sauce pan add the tomatoes and tomato sauce. Add the salt, truvia, and seasonings to taste. Let it simmer until it reduces by half and thickens.

Wipe caps with a paper towel. Remove stems. Add the sauce and cheese and bake at around 350 for 20 minutes. Seriously, that's it! And totally satisfied that "pizza" craving I was having. ;)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Healthier Cream of Broccoli Soup

So, I've been feeling a little guilty about all of the "bad" foods I've made recently. Today, I was craving soup. I looked in my fridge and in my cupboard and found a few things I thought would be good thrown together, but still be fairly figure friendly. :)

The secret is the cream of celery soup. It made it thick and creamy, without adding fattening cream to it. :)

Things you'll need:

4 C chicken or veggie broth or 4 C water with bullion. (This is a complete guess. I just threw some water in and added some bullion granules.)
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 can 98% fat free cream of celery (I think any "cream of" soup would work here)
broccoli (I used the whole bunch but cut off the florets and cut them small)
1/2 C grated cheddar
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 C fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

In a pot, saute the onion in the oil until soft. Add the garlic. Add the water and bring to a simmer.

Add the broccoli and let it simmer until the broccoli is cooked as much as you want. I cooked mine until it was pretty soft. :)

Add everything else, except the cheese, and heat it up until it's simmering.

Take off heat and add the cheese, stirring to melt. (I tasted this before adding the cheese, and it was good without, too. So, skip it if you want to save those calories)

I know some people blend up cream of broccoli soup in a food processor or with an immersion blender, I liked it chunky. :P

I put this into the recipe calculator and these are the nutrition facts I got from it:

Servings: 5

Per serving:

Calories 229

Fat 13

Cholesterol 39

Sodium 1181

Carbs 18

Fiber 2.7

Protein 10.7

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Fudge Truffle Cheesecake

[warning: This is NOT a healthy food. At over 500 calories for a SLIVER of a slice, it just might be a heart attack waiting to happen -- but what a way to go!]

I found this recipe online, and thought it would be perfect for Valentine's Day. It was incredibly rich... TOO rich... It was pretty good, but I don't think I'll be making it again. :) Ray couldn't eat more than a bite. lol...

***update: give the cheesecake a day or two in the fridge. The flavor completely changes -- in the best way! Yum! :)

I didn't use the crust in the original recipe, so if you want that part of it you'll need to click on the link. :) I used brownies for the crust.

Fudge Truffle Cheesecake

Things you'll need:

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).

I baked brownies for the crust, but it would be easier just to buy some. Or make a different crust of your choice. :)

Crush up the brownies, and press them into a 9 inch springform pan, bringing up the sides at least 2 inches.

Melt the chocolate. The recipe says to do this in a double boiler. I used the microwave. Just put it in a bowl (sorry for the ugly bowl) and pop it in the micro for 30 second intervals, stirring after each. It will take maybe 1:30.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy with an electric mixer.

Gradually beat in condensed milk until smooth. Be sure to stop and scrape the sides a couple of times, to make sure it's really mixed in.

Mix in melted chocolate and vanilla, until thoroughly blended. Slightly beat the eggs, and then add them to the mix. Mix it in gently so you don't get air bubbles.

Pour the filling into the prepared crust -- My crust looks disgusting, I know... That's why I didn't post more pictures of the crust up above, when I was explaining it. haha.

Bake at 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for 55 minutes*. The cake will seem underbaked in the center, but will continue to cook after you remove it from the oven.

*I took the advice of some of the reviewers and left the cheesecake in the over after I turned it off. I'm not sure if it was a good idea, or not... It still cracked a little bit, and it continued to cook longer than stated. So, up to you on that one. :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Eggs Benedict

I was craving eggs benedict the other day, but I tried making it years ago and failed miserably. Deciding that I've learned a thing or two over the years, I thought I'd try it again.

I dished some up for my husband and myself and we ate it. After which he told me that he's always hated eggs benedict, but that this was really good to him. lol... He even went back for seconds. ;)

Not for the diet conscious, since hollandaise sauce is basically just butter and egg yolk.

I found the hollandaise recipe online... just click on the link to go to the original recipe.

Eggs Benedict

What you'll need:

English muffins
ham or bacon
lemon juice
cayenne pepper

For the hollandaise sauce, here are the amounts:

1 1/3 cup of butter
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp of cold water
1 tbsp of lemon juice
1 tsp of salt
pinch of cayenne pepper (I used alot more than a pinch)

Make your hollandaise sauce first.

Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over a low heat.

Once the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Taking a spoon, skim off the foam from the surface of the melted butter and discard.
Transfer the rest of the butter to a warmed pouring jug and set aside.

Pour 2 inches of water into a saucepan and heat so that the water is gently simmering but not boiling.

In a glass bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the water until frothy.

Place the bowl over the pan of simmering water and continue to whisk the egg yolks for several minutes until they have thickened.

Remove the bowl from the heat and continue to whisk the eggs for a further minute, in order for the eggs to cool down.

Place the bowl with the eggs back into the saucepan but remove the saucepan from the heat.

VERY slowly, pour the melted butter into the egg yolk mixture, making sure that you continuously whisk the eggs whilst doing so. This is very important. If you add the butter too quickly it will not emulsify and it will separate, or "break". This actually DID happen to me... Don't throw it out! I'll show you how to fix it! :) So, if you finish with this step and you HAVE broken the sauce, continue with the next steps and we'll fix it in the end. :)

I didn't photo this, either. I was too busy whisking.

Whisk in the remaining ingredients until they have thoroughly blended together and the sauce is as thick as you require.

So, this is what MY hollandaise sauce looked like:

Gross, right?

Okay, to fix this mess takes a little bit of time, but it's not difficult. Take a glass bowl and rinse it under hot water to warm the bowl a little. Dry it. Add about 1 tsp of lemon juice in the bowl, then add 1 tbsp of the broken sauce. Whisk until this emulsifies, and makes a creamy sauce. Now continue to add the broken sauce, 1/2 - 1 tbsp at a time, whisking to combine between each. Eventually, you'll have this:

Check the seasoning and then serve immediately or keep warm over a bowl of hot water for up to 30 minutes.

Now for the rest. I didn't take any pictures of the eggs poaching. :( I'm sorry.

So, to start you want to add water to a pot. Make it at least 5 inches deep. Add a tsp or two of vinegar. That's actually totally optional, but it's believed that it will help the egg whites stay together.

Bring that to a low simmer and heat up your ham while you wait for it. If you use bacon, you'll want to have that cooked.

Break an egg open, and place in a cup. That will make it easier to place in the simmering water.

Gently place the eggs in the water, one by one, and cook for 3 minutes - or until the whites are done but the yolks are still runny.

While the eggs cook, toast your english muffins. When they're toasted, butter them and place the ham on top.

Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the eggs and place them on the ham. If you're making alot and the english muffins aren't ready, you can place the eggs on a paper towel to wait.

Now, put some hollandaise sauce over the top and you're done! :)