Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Crush on Cornmeal Mush

I was reading "Little House in the Big Woods" to my girls (I love those books, by the way- they just make me want to be a pioneer!!!) and they mention "Cornmeal Mush" in the book and how delicious it was. Ever since then, I have wanted to give it a try, just to see what it actually was, so after doing some internet searching, I came up with this for breakfast the other morning. I thought it was delicious! We decided to do a sweeter version with syrup and strawberries, but you can do more of a ketchup thing if you want to. I thought it was really fun- but I happen to really like mushy things in general. :) It firms up in a cool way, and then it tastes yummy kind of fried up in butter- the crispy edge reminded me of a corn chip/Frito. It was fun for a breakfast change!

I got this from the Recipe Zaar and here is what it had to say on the site:
"This is delicious served with syrup or ketchup - your preference, and served alongside eggs. We also like to eat it here in Lancaster County with milk - or just browned butter - right after it's cooked. (before putting it in the loaf pan) Otherwise, pour it into the loaf pan & let it cool, then keep it in the refrigerator until cooled completely & it can easily be sliced. This recipe is so simple, I was almost embarrassed to post - but it's what we eat here - and I've seen numerous requests for this - so here it is! ENJOY!"

Lancaster County, AMISH cornmeal mush
3 cups water
1 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt

1. Mix all ingredients together.
2. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
3. Cover& simmer 10-20 minutes (LOW heat).
4. Pour into a loaf pan.
5. Cool and then cut into thin pieces.
6. Fry till golden brown on both sides.
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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Country Pork

I lost my camera for a while, so I have been catching up! :) This pork was delicious! I based this off of the "Country Rib Sandwiches" from Simple and Delicious, and I obviously did some pretty intense "tweaking" but I was happy with the results. I just love throwing something like this in the morning and having a yummy food smell in the house by dinner time. It was so flavorful- great as a sandwich, on a baked potato, or just by itself! You'll like this one!

Country Pork
1 large onion, chopped
2 pounds boneless country-style pork ribs (Why not just a pork roast? It is just so you can call them ribs-- just use a cheap roast!)
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup plum sauce (who has plum sauce--honestly--it probably wasn't the best sub, but I used raspberry jam and it was really good.)
1/4 cup chili sauce (I used a can of chili with beans... sometimes I get desperate when I don't have all the right ingredients, but it seems to turn out all right in the end.)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon celery seed (Subbed celery salt)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke, optional (I think this was a good addition!)
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice (I was a little more liberal with it)
8 kaiser rolls, split

Place onion in a 3-qt. slow cooker; top with ribs. Combine the ketchup, plum sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar, celery seed, garlic powder, Liquid Smoke if desired and allspice; pour over ribs.
Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until meat is tender. Shred meat with two forks and return to the slow cooker. Cover and cook 15 minutes longer or until heated through. Serve on rolls. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 sandwich equals 405 calories, 13 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 65 mg cholesterol, 713 mg sodium, 45 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 26 g protein.
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Saturday, April 24, 2010

If You Give a Moose a Muffin...

..He'll probably wish you had put some of this delicious crumb topping on it. And I can do it!!! I can make a crumb topping! I was delighted at the top of these little beauties-- I could eat the tops off of every one of them!!! My friend Emily sent me this recipe a while back and I finally got around to trying it. LOVE LOVE LOVE the crumb topping! I thought the actual muffin was good too. :) I think I'm a bit partial to the recipe I found a while back for the best blueberry muffins, but next time I make them, I'm going to use this crumb topping, because this is a winner too. I saw the sugar content in this one and just had to make them whole wheat to ease my conscience... why do I do that? Why can't I just enjoy an unhealthy muffin? :) But they were still delicious whole wheat as well. PLEASE double this recipe- I think it made about 8 or 9 muffins. That is just against the law- if you are making muffins then MAKE THEM for heaven's sake- 2 dozen at a time!!!! :) Also want to note, and this might be just because I used whole wheat flour, but I was totally baffled by the texture- it was just like cookie batter that I was spooning into the muffin tins. I'm use to it being a lot more runny... but it does come right in the end... BELIEVE YOU ME! :)

To Die for Blueberry Muffins
(Emily Goodman)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.

To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.
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Taco Bean Soup

My cute sister-in-law has a fun site Edible Experiments. I think she posts some great stuff! A little while back, she made some Taco Bean Soup that just had to go on the menu plan. I was glad I tried it out- it was quite creamy and delicious. I even liked the chili's in it and I usually can't handle much spice. My only beef was with the name- it just didn't seem like your typical "Taco Bean"- maybe I would call it "Creamy Chicken and White Bean Soup... with a kick" but then that might be too long. :) Thanks for the recipe sis! Keep up the good cookin'!

Taco Bean Soup (From Amy Jo's Edible Experiments)
5 C. of water
6 tsp. chicken bullion
3-4 Carrots, chopped
2 cans of Great Northern white beans, drained
1 can greed chilies
1 can cooked chicken
1/2 C. frozen corn (optional)
onion powder to taste
2 TBSP Butter
2 TBSP Flour
1 C. Milk
1 C. Sour Cream
Shredded cheese
Frito corn chips

1. Mix together the water and bullion in a large pot and boil. You can also use chicken stock in cans or whatever. I think it is just easier to add the bullion to water. I think the rule is 1tsp for every cup of water, but I always add a little bit more. Taste it to see if you need anymore.
2. While the water is boiling, chop and peel your carrots. Add them to the water and let them boil for a while.
3. While the carrots are boiling, start opening and draining you cans. Then add the beans, chilies, and chicken. My mom didn’t use corn, but I threw some in because my husband likes it. It was good. Season with onion powder to taste. A note about the chilies: you can buy them diced, but if you use whole ones you can slice them open and scrape out the seeds before you chop them up. I honestly don’t know which is better. My mom claims that whole with no seeds is the way to go, but I have never noticed the seeds in the diced kind. Either way is good.
4. While the soup is cooking, mix up a roux in a smaller pot. Melt the butter and then stir in the flour. Slowly add the milk, constantly stirring. Once it thickens, add it to the rest of the soup.
5. Add sour cream at the end and stir until it melts away.
6. To serve, put Frito corn chips on the bottom of a bowl. Pour in hot soup and add grated cheese. You must follow these serving suggestions! They really add to the yumminess of the soup. The corn chips add a little bit of crunch and the cheese gets all stringy and melty. So good! If you want to make this, go buy corn chips first! If you want, could also top with sour cream and salsa.
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Friday, April 23, 2010

Barilla Jumbo Stuffed Shells

I had a hankering for some stuffed shells. This is one of my favorite things, because they always seem so fancy, but they are really pretty easy to make. (Sorry mine look a little hammered, I didn't get a picture until I was eating the left-overs. :) I just used the package directions. (I sometimes like to slip in some frozen chopped spinach- just because it is the only way I can handle it and I know it's good for me. :) This also makes a good meal if you are taking one to a neighbor or friend, and it's fairly affordable-- meatless. :)

Barilla Jumbo Stuffed Shells
1/2 pkg. jumbo shells
26 oz. baking sauce
1 egg, beaten
1/2 of 15 oz. container ricotta cheese (I don't always have ricotta, and I've found that cottage cheese is a fine substitute.)
2 cups (8 oz.) mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup (3 oz.) Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

In large bowl, beat egg, add 1 3/4 cup mozzarella, 1/2 cup Parmesan and parsley. Cook and drain shells. Spread 3/4 of sauce on bottom of lasagna pan. Fill shells with cheese mixture. Arrange in baking dish and pour rest of sauce over shells. Top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
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Spill-the-Beans Minestrone

This was a very simple soup, so packed with good-for-you veggies and beans, you don't even need meat! I also threw in extra veggies I had on hand and added a bit more liquid to make it stretch. That is the sheer beauty of minestrone! :) It is also a great way to use up the Parmesan rind- it adds a lot of flavor to a soup like this! Just throw it in and melt it.

Spill-the-Beans Minestrone (Taste of Home)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) stewed tomatoes, cut up
2 cups chopped fresh kale
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup uncooked small pasta shells
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
6 teaspoons shredded Parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan, saute onion and garlic in oil until onion is tender. Add the broth, beans, tomatoes, kale, water, pasta, Italian seasoning and pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until pasta is tender. Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese. Yield: 6 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 cup equals 238 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 1 mg cholesterol, 738 mg sodium, 39 g carbohydrate, 8 g fiber, 13 g protein.
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

I found a good use for some of that left over holiday chocolate! It's the perfect spring dessert! :)
I still saved one more bag to try out Andrea's idea of just crushing it up and putting it in cookies. (I thought that was smart, Andrea!) But this worked well for most of them! (You guys thought I was joking about how much chocolate she gave me! :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Busy-Day Baked Fish

What a fabulous way to have fish! This made a great Sunday dinner! I got the fish all coated and breaded, kept them in the fridge until I got home from church and popped them in the oven for about a half an hour and we were good to go. Doug and I agreed that this was one of the best ways to have some fish and I loved that I could do a bunch at a time.

Busy-Day Baked Fish (Taste of Home)
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream (I subbed 1/2 cup plain yogurt and 1/2 cup sour cream)
2 tablespoons onion soup mix
1-1/2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
2-1/2 pounds fish fillets
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

In a shallow bowl, combine sour cream and soup mix. Place bread crumbs in another shallow bowl. Cut fish into serving-size pieces; coat with sour cream mixture, then roll in crumbs.
Place in two greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dishes. Drizzle with butter. Bake, uncovered, at 425° for 12 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese; bake 2-6 minutes longer or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 406 calories, 21 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 125 mg cholesterol, 680 mg sodium, 17 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 33 g protein.
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Cafe Rio Chicken

I got this recipe from my friend Megan- an amazing cook! She is always experimenting with something fun. One time she brought over fudge made with black beans. (How cool is that? I still need to get the recipe- it tasted great- you would never know!) I'm such a Cafe Rio fan, that anything with that name is a must try. (If you haven't tried the cafe rio pork, it is time!!!) This is a super simple recipe using the beloved crock pot. :) I thought it was great! We made ours into kind of a Mexican Pita, using flat bread and rice, beans, and lettuce. It was delicious! I'll be making this one again!

Cafe Rio Chicken
1 small bottle Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing (8 oz.) (I used the packet mix and prepared as directed but used less oil.)
1 T chili powder
1 T cumin
3 cloves garlic (minced)
5 lbs. chicken breast

Cook all together in a crock pot on high for 4 hours. Shred meat and cook one additional hour.
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cherry Triangles

This last Valentines day, my good friend Afton and her husband popped in with these delicious Cherry Triangles to wish us a happy day! (She said they are a tradition at her house for V-day! :) I thought it was so sweet and they were quite scrumptious! I finally got the recipe (2 months later :)- which is quite labor intensive, but when I talked to Afton, she said she likes to take some short cuts (my kind of gal! :). She likes to use canned cherry pie filling and the store bought roll out pastry pie crusts. (That would save a ton of time!) I'm sure the taste is a bit different- and looking over the recipe, I bet this would be SUPER GOOD! But if you are in a hurry, take her short cuts and you'll still end up with something delicious! :)

Cherry Triangles
(From Afton Richards)
3/4 cup sugar
5 T cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 quart called pie cherries in juice or 2 no. 303 cans water-packed tart red cherries
1 cup reserved cherry juice
1 T butter
2 tsp lemon juice
a couple drops of red food coloring

Mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt in saucepan. Add cherry juice and cook, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir in butter, lemon juice, cherries and red food coloring. Cool.

2/3 cup milk, scalded
1 pkg. yeast
1 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cup flour 4 egg yolks, beaten

Cool milk to luke-warm; add yeast. Cut butter into flour. Add liquid ingredients and egg yolks to dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Turn out onto floured surface and knead about 10 times. Divide dough enough to cover surface of an ungreased 11 1/2 x 17 1/2 jelly roll pan. Spread cooled cherry sauce over dough. Roll out second portion of dough and fit over dough and cherry sauce in pan. Pinch edges of the two layers of dough together gently. Allow dough to rise in warm place for about 15 minutes. Bake at 350 for 45 to 55 minutes. Cool.

1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cream
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Cream together butter, vanilla and sugar. Add powdered sugar, beating until mixture is blended. Spread frosting over partially cooled pastry. Sprinkle with chopped nits or maraschino cherries. When cool, cut into 3 inch squares, then cut each square diagonally into triangles. Makes 48.
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Monday, April 12, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake... lots and lots of it...

Here is "My Take On Cake"-- I DON'T CARE WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE! IT IS ALL ABOUT THE TASTE! (I think I mentioned that with the dinosaur cake.) Now, this doesn't mean I don't appreciate a good cake decorator! Power to you! I think it is awesome, it is just a talent I never acquired. I remember decorating cupcakes for mutual and Merry Miss activity day and I bombed it- I just couldn't make a leaf or flower to save my life. I'm left handed and I like to blame it on that, but I think it goes deeper... something in my genes perhaps? I don't know... but I have accepted it, and I usually feel like the pretty cakes taste terrible anyway-- the chiffon icing makes me gag and sometime the center isn't even cake anyway, right? I don't know... I guess my point is- a good looking cake can enhance the cake, but the flavor IS THE CAKE... and that is what I want. "Let them eat cake!" That being said, I made a yummy Strawberry cake from scratch. One of my first, I'm ashamed to admit (especially after my "sh'pill" above) Those darn Betty Crocker mixes are just so easy! Throw in an egg and some oil and your good to go. I've decided the difference is well worth it, however the cake mix has it's place if you can disguise it. :) This was a yummy cake for my daughter's b-day. (I was in labor with her on my birthday. Three of us have birthday's within a week... I'm just coming out of "birthday central" and maybe that is why I am feeling like such an opinionated expert on cakes today. :) Anyway- without any further adieu, here is a good one to try if you want a "REAL" cake. :)

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries Cake (Taste of Home)
2/3 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
4 egg whites
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

(I halved this recipe, and I'm glad I did! I had more then enough! They stacked their cake, so I'm sure that takes more, but this will make a ton, just so you know.)
7-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1-1/2 cups baking cocoa
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
8 whole fresh strawberries

In a large bowl, cream butter and 1-1/4 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.
In a small bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, on high until stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Fold into batter. Fold in strawberries.
Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
For frosting, in a large bowl, combine confectioners' sugar and cocoa. Beat in butter and milk until smooth. Beat in vanilla.
Spread frosting over bottom cake layer; top with sliced strawberries. Top with remaining cake layer; frost top and sides of cake. Dip whole strawberries into frosting; arrange around and on top of cake. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 16 servings.
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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Strawberry Pork Chops

RIPE STRAWBERRIES, RIPE... (If you were here, you would have heard me singing that at the top of my lungs (from the musical of Oliver) and then on to "Who will buy my sweet red roses, two blooms for a penny..." ANYWAY... Let's hear it for strawberries! I love Spring, and I love when strawberries become somewhat affordable. I saw this recipe, and knew this was a MUST TRY! I was not disappointed. The pork was sensational!!! Be careful not to overcook the strawberries- they get mushy fast!

Lyd's Tip: You totally have "raspberry vinaigrette" hanging around, right. (Please sense my sarcasm, and sorry to offend if you do.) Oh, not one of you staples. :) Never fear, here is my trick... you probably have raspberry jam... or some kind of preserve (nod you head, yes) Ok, good. Just substitute about 1/3-1/2 cup of jam, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, and about 1/4 cup water for diluting. Whisk well, an vwallah... no fancy vinaigrette... NO PROBLEMO! :)

Strawberry Pork Chops (Taste of Home)
3/4 cup raspberry vinaigrette
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 to 1 teaspoon pepper
4 bone-in pork loin chops (1 inch thick and 6 ounces each)
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries (1/4-inch slices)

In a small bowl, combine the vinaigrette, onion, brown sugar, paprika and Worcestershire sauce; set aside. Combine rosemary and pepper; rub over both sides of pork chops.
In a large skillet, cook chops in oil over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes on each side or until browned. Pour vinaigrette mixture over meat; cook 3-4 minutes longer or until pork juices run clear.
Remove chops and keep warm. Add strawberries to the cooking juices and toss to coat; serve with pork chops. Yield: 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 pork chop with 2 tablespoons sauce (prepared with fat-free raspberry vinaigrette) equals 365 calories, 18 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 83 mg cholesterol, 259 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 28 g protein.
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BBQ Bacon Burgers

I found this recipe in Family Circle, and I adapted it a bit. This was a fast way to make a very flavorful burger. I have been anxious to break out the grill! Let the grilling begin...

BBQ Bacon Burgers
4-5 slices cooked, crumbled bacon
1 1/2 lbs hamburger (or turkey burger)
½ c. (1 oz.) French's fried onions
2-3 T BBQ Sauce (I used Honey BBQ) Plus additional for serving, if desired
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp pepper
6 100 calorie english muffins or thin sandwich buns

Cook bacon in a medium-size nonstick skillet over medium heat, 7 minutes. Set aside and crumble when cooled. Place crumbled bacon in large bowl and add ground meat, fried onions, 2 tbsp. of the BBQ sauce, the Worcestershire sauce and the black pepper to bacon in bowl. Stir to evenly blend. Divide mixture into 6-8 patties. Grill hamburger patties for 6 minutes. Flip over, grill for another 5 minutes or until thermometer inserted into center reads 160 degrees. (Or let George Foreman work his magic. :) Meanwhile, broil English Muffins for 3 minutes, turning once. Stack and serve with hamburger toppings. You can also cook extra bacon and add that too if you want- more bacon is always a good idea. :)
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Dinosaur Cake

My daughters helped me make this dinosaur cake for my son's birthday. I am terrible at decorating cakes... I am not embarrassed to admit it. I see what some of you do, and I am blown away! Such talent! But... if you are like me, and the art has passed you by... and you are totally fine with it-- honestly, I don't really care what the cake looks like... it is all about the taste-- then here is a quick "Lyd's Tip" for you:

Make the cake colorful and buy something cheap and big (like a plastic dinosaur) that will make the cake look fancy and fun, (and distract from a really bad frosting job :), because they can eat and play. :) I promise that is will be A LOT more memorable.
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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Peanut Butter-Kiss Cookies

Happy Late Easter! Hope you had a good one.

Have any of those left over holiday chocolates? (My friend gave me 15 little bags of foil covered chocolates hearts in the mesh bags she got from an after v-day sale, so I'm trying to be creative. Share your ideas PLEASE! :) Here is one good way to put them to use. Admittedly, I'm not one for "cake-mix" cookies... mainly because... well, they taste a lot like cake mix. But I really think adding the peanut butter really helped on this one. I wasn't going to eat them, and then I tried a bite and I was pleasantly surprised. Needless to say, I finished off the cookie... and a couple more. :) These are great ones to make in a hurry- a quick recipe! (I got this from Stephanie Ashcraft's "101 Things To Do With a Cake Mix.")

Peanut Butter-Kiss Cookies
1 yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
3/4 peanut butter
1 package Hershey's Kisses

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together cake mix, eggs, and oil until mixture reaches brownie consistency. Mix peanut butter into the dough. Drop balls of dough onto a lightly greased pan. Place an unwrapped chocolate kiss in the center of each ball.

Bake 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from pan and cool.
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Chinese Pork Chops

You know how I love a good crockpot recipe. This was a hit! It was so easy to throw together and it tasted fantastic!

Chinese Pork Chops (Taste of Home)
6 boneless pork loin chops (4 ounces each)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3 cups hot cooked rice

Place pork chops in a 3-qt. slow cooker coated with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine the onion, ketchup, brown sugar, water, soy sauce, garlic and ginger. Pour over chops. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or until meat is tender. Serve with rice and cooking juices. Yield: 6 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 pork chop with 1/2 cup rice and 3 tablespoons juices equals 305 calories, 7 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 55 mg cholesterol, 496 mg sodium, 34 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 25 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 starch.
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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Three-Grain Muffins

I don't think it is possible to top Kathleen's Toasted Millet Banana Muffins, but these were still really good. I made some substitutions that worked well. Say good-bye to the last of my buttermilk. I will miss you... :)

Lyd's Tip: Let the kids help- they can crunch up the shredded wheat. (In our case we used frosted mini-wheats. Put it in a zip-lock, give the a masher, and let them go to town. :)

Three-Grain Muffins (Taste of Home)
2 cups quick-cooking oats
2 cups crushed Shredded Wheat (about 4 large) (I crunched up frosted mini-wheats)
2 cups All-Bran (I didn't have much bran left, so I subbed flax seed flour. It is so good for you and it worked perfectly.)
4 cups buttermilk
1 cup boiling water
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2-1/4 cups packed brown sugar
5 cups all-purpose flour
5 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine oats, Shredded Wheat and bran. Add buttermilk, water, oil and eggs; stir for 1 minute. Stir in brown sugar. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; add to the cereal mixture until blended.
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 400° for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Yield: 4 dozen.

Editor's Note: Muffin batter can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 166 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 19 mg cholesterol, 218 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein.
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Everyone's Favorite Chicken (or so they say...)

I found this recipe in one of those "American Profile" inserts in the newspaper, and with a name like that, I just had to find out if it was "my favorite." A bit of a presumptuous title, if I do say so myself. :) I did like it, but I don't think I could call it my favorite. It was a fun mix though. I liked the top-- french fried onions and cheese just scream "greasy success!" :)

Lyd's Tip: I've mentioned this before, but sub plain yogurt for mayo in the one and you can pretty much pull it off. If that idea is making you nervous :) go half and half- it will be perfect, and healthier!

Everyone's Favorite Chicken
3 cups diced, cooked chicken (2 large breasts)
2 medium celery stalks, finely chopped
1 (8-ounce can) sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1 (2-ounce) jar pimientos, undrained
1 tablespoon minced onion
3/4 cup light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup (2 ounces) canned French fried onions
6 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 11 x 7-inch baking dish.
2. Combine chicken, celery, water chestnuts, almonds, pimientos, onion, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a large bowl; mix well.
3. Place in prepared dish and top with the French fried onions and cheese. Bake, covered, 30 minutes, or until cheese melts. Serves 6.

Tips from the Test Kitchen
Tips From Our Test Kitchen: If using precooked chicken, omit ½ teaspoon of the salt. This recipe can be doubled easily and made in a 15 x 10-inch baking dish.

Nutritional Information
430 calories, 29g fat, 31g protein, 10g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 750mg sodium.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Asparagus Fettuccine

Yippy for asparagus! I love when it comes into season. I can remember my mom sending us out to hunt the ditch-banks for it when I was little. It is a lot harder to find these days and quite a bit more expensive, so I'm always excited when it's spring and asparagus goes on sale! :) I don't think it get's much easier than this one, and it seems like something that you might have slaved over. I threw in some mushrooms and green onions, but I was so proud of myself making this a "meatless meal" and we were all totally satisfied! (Start to finish, I think I had this on the table in about 15 minutes. This was a quick one! Love that!)

Asparagus Fettuccine
(Taste of Home)
4 ounces uncooked fettuccine (I didn't have fettuccine, so I used whole wheat spagetti)
1/2 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup chopped onion (I used green onions)
I added about a pound of fresh sliced onions, and I would totally recommend it! Made a good combo!
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon butter
2 ounces cream cheese, cubed
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Cook fettuccine according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the asparagus, onion and garlic in butter until tender. (It doesn't say it here, but I would recommend "blanching" asparagus slightly first, or at least putting a lid on so it steams, asparagus it just to thick to really saute. At least that is what I have found- you always still have a tough middle.)
Add the remaining ingredients. Cook and stir over medium heat for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is blended. Drain fettuccine; toss with asparagus mixture. Yield: 2 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1-1/4 cups (prepared with 2% milk) equals 396 calories, 17 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 45 mg cholesterol, 388 mg sodium, 47 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 17 g protein.
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