Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Creamy Bow-Tie Pasta with Chicken & Broccoli

Recipe: Kraft

We both liked it, but it's hard not to like pasta. I think I was meant to be born Italian. I used leftover turkey breast instead of chicken and it worked great. Fast and easy!

3 cups (8 oz.) farfalle (bow-tie pasta), uncooked
4 cups broccoli florets
3 TBSP Roasted Red Pepper Italian with Parmesan Dressing
6 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1-1/2 lb.)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups tomato-basil spaghetti sauce
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

COOK pasta as directed on package, adding broccoli to the cooking water for the last 3 min. of the pasta cooking time. Meanwhile, heat dressing in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add chicken and garlic; cook 5 min. Turn chicken over; continue cooking 4 to 5 min. or until chicken is cooked through (170ºF).

DRAIN pasta mixture in colander; return to pan and set aside. Add spaghetti sauce and cream cheese to chicken in skillet; cook on medium-low heat 2 to 3 min. or until cream cheese is completely melted, mixture is well blended and chicken is coated with sauce, stirring occasionally. Remove chicken from skillet; keep warm. Add sauce mixture to pasta mixture; mix well. Transfer to six serving bowls.

CUT chicken crosswise into thick slices; fan out chicken over pasta mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sour Cream Biscuits

Recipe from Prepared Pantry

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup cold sour cream
1 1/3 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the sour cream until the mixture forms coarse pieces.
Add the milk and stir the mixture with a fork until most of the dry ingredients have been moistened. Turn the ingredients onto the counter and knead and fold until the dough is formed. Do not knead longer than necessary.
Roll or pat the dough to about 3/4-inch thickness and cut with a biscuit cutter. Place the biscuits on a greased baking sheet with the edges touching.
Bake for about 16 minutes or until the tops are just golden brown and biscuits sound hollow when gently tapped. Serve warm.
Yield: 15 large biscuits

These were good and so easy to make. No yeast to deal with. The dough was a little sticky, so I ended up adding extra flour to the dough. Turned out perfect. I like the rustic look of the biscuits. They have a heavier, heartier flavor than regular rolls.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Chicken and Basil Calzones

Recipe from: Cooking Light

2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground chicken breast (I used rotisserie chicken)
3/4 cup prepared pizza sauce
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 (13.8-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Coat nonstick skillet with cooking spray and cook garlic and chicken until chicken is no longer pink. (about 5 mins.), stirring to crumble. Stir in pizza sauce and pepper. Reduce heat; simmer 5 mins, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in basil. Let stand 10 minutes.

Unroll dough and pat out into 4 sections. Divide chicken mixture and place on one side of dough. Top each dough section with 2 TBSP cheese. Fold dough in half over filling and pinch edges to secure. Bake at 425 for 12 minutes or until golden. Yield: 4 servings; 1 calzone each.

459 calories, 7.1 g fat, 39.1 g protein, 56.4 carbs, 3g fiber.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sweet Dreams Pudding

Recipe: Rachael Ray

If you like rich desserts, or the peanut butter & chocolate combination, this is the dessert for you. It does, in fact, give you very sweet dreams.

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 TBSP cornstarch
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

1. In a medium bowl, combine the peanut butter, confectioners' sugar, heavy cream and salt. Divide the peanut butter cream among 10 glasses.
2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, granulated sugar, cocoa and cornstarch over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the chocolate until melted. Spoon the warm chocolate pudding over the peanut butter cream; refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Chex Mix Candy

Recipe from: unknown

1/2 box corn chex cereal
1/2 box rice chex cereal
1/2 box wheat chex cereal

Mix cereal together in large bowl.

2 squares margarine
2 cups karo syrup
1 1/2 cups sugar

Pour over cereal and mix well.

1 cup coconut
1 cup shaved or slivered almonds

Stir. Eat.

A family favorite. Very sticky and sweet. I don't go out of my way for coconut, but the coconut flavor in this mix is very toned down and hard to taste. It just adds a little something. Don't be scared of the coconut! Make it today!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Peanut Butter Candy

Just in time for the holidays! My mom makes this every year for Christmas. Tastes like Peanut Butter Cups. Easy to make and delicious!

Recipe from: unknown

2 cups peanut butter
2 squares margarine
1 pound powdered sugar
1 package graham crackers

Blend graham crackers in blender until powdery. Melt margarine and peanut butter together. Add powdered sugar and crumbs. Press in pan. Melt chocolate and spread on top. Let set up, then cut into squares. Makes 1 pan.

I usually just use chocolate chips for the top layer. You can use any kind of chocolate that you want.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs with Edamame & Snow Peas

Recipe from Real Simple

1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
1 1/4 pounds ground chicken
2 scallions, chopped
2 TBSP grated fresh ginger
2 TBSP canola oil
1/2 pound snow peas, halved crosswise (3 cups)
1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 TBSP brown sugar

Cook rice according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the chicken, scallions, and ginger. Shape into 16 meatballs.

Heat 1 TBSP of oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the meatballs, turning, until cooked through, 10-12 mins. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out skillet. Heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add the peas and edamame. Cook, tossing, for 2mins. Return the meatballs to the skillet.

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce and sugar. Add to the skillet and simmer until slightly thickened, 2-3 mins. Serve over rice.

I had a hard time finding ground chicken, but finally found some. I used a mixture of chicken breasts and chicken thighs. It was good, but I would have liked thicker sauce. Will make again, but I'll change up the sauce a little.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Broken Florentine Lasagna Bake

Recipe from Rachael Ray.

4 tbsp (1/2 stick) butter
4 tbsp all purpose-flour
3 c milk
Salt & pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
1½ c grated parmigiano-reggiano
2 tbsp EVOO
1 garlic clove, cracked away from its skin
1 bunch of green chard, stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped
2 pounds spinach, stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped
1 box no-boil lasagna noodles

1. Preheat the oven to 375° f
2. Melt the butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter, whisk to combine, and cook for about 1 minute. Slowly whisk the milk into the butter-flour mixture, season with Salt, pepper and nutmeg, and cook for a couple of minutes to thicken. Stir in half the parmigiano (about ¾ c). Set the sauce aside.
3. Heat the EVOO in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Toss in the cracked clove of garlic and cook for a minute or two to release its aroma and flavor. Add the chard and cook, turning occasionally to wilt down, 2 minutes. Add the spinach a few handfuls at a time, wilting each batch before adding more. Season the greens with salt and pepper.
4. Break the pasta into large pieces. Toss them into The pan with the greens and give them a good stir to incorporate them. Pour the sauce into the skillet, stirring again to incorporate everything evenly. Smooth the top down and sprinkle in the remaining ¾ c parmigiano into the skillet. Cover the skillet with foil, transfer to the oven, and bake the lasagna for 30 minutes. Remove the foil from the pan and let it finish cooking uncovered for about 15 more mins to brown the cheese. Serves 4

It was pretty good. I halved the recipe and found that the 45 mins. of baking time was too much & the noodles were slightly burned. Make sure to evenly distribute the sauce over all of the noodles. If the noodles aren't covered with sauce, they will be hard. Will make again.

If you're going to use the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, make sure you bring your savings - this cheese was $12 at Albertson's.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Recipe from Cooking Light

1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
2 2/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Beat on medium until smooth. Combine flour, baking powder, soda & salt in separate bowl; stir. Add flour mixture to peanut butter mixture, stirring just until combined. Stir in mini chips. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on 2 baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 12 mins. or until golden. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 3 dozen.

1 cookie has 128 calories and 4.5 grams fat (1.1 sat, 2.2 mono, 1 poly), protein 2.3 grams, 20.5 grams carbs.