Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Guacamole BLT's

Here is a healthier version of the BLT. I might even say "tastier" too! The guacamole was awesome addition to an already excellent sandwich! Just moistens it up perfectly! I love making BLT's for dinner because it is so fast and everyone is happy! :)

Guacamole B.L.T.'s
Prepared guacamole dip/spread
cheese (if desired)
Hearty Whole Wheat Bread, toasted.

Spread the guacamole on the toasted bread in place of mayo or mustard, then layer other ingredients.

Hello B.L.T!!! Mmmm... you make my mouth water just to look at you!!! :)
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Bacon Blueberry Scones

Here is an "odd-couple" that is actually pretty tasty. Our cooking group theme this month was unusual or surprising ingredients. I brought these scones. They turn a breakfast thing into a nice "brunch". :)

Bacon Blueberry Scones
(Taste of Home)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup cold butter, cubed
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk

In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk buttermilk and oil; add to crumb mixture just until moistened. Stir in blueberries and bacon.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead 10 times. Pat into an 8-in. circle. Cut into eight wedges. Separate wedges and place on a greased baking sheet.
In a small bowl, beat egg and milk; brush over scones. Bake at 425° for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 256 calories, 12 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 51 mg cholesterol, 488 mg sodium, 31 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 6 g protein.
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Monday, March 29, 2010

Grilled Chicken with Creamy Honey Mustard

Hello, my friend buttermilk-- making yet another debu. I wasn't kidding. I make all my buttermilk recipes at once. I found this in a Rachel Ray magazine and I thought I would give it a try. I have to say that although the buttermilk gave the chicken a tender texture, I didn't think there was much by way of flavor. I think I would definitely marinate it in something else next time. (A waste of that good buttermilk! :) However, the dipping sauce was excellent. And can I just say I love the George Forman grill- I makes me feel like I am a grilling expert! (Which by the way, I am not... just to clarify. :) And it makes me not worried that I am eating raw meat! Love it!

Grilled Chicken Tenders with Creamy Honey Mustard


  • 2 pounds chicken tenders
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Salt and pepper


  1. In a large bowl, toss the chicken in the buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard and honey.

  3. Heat a grill to medium-high and lightly brush with oil. Drain the chicken tenders; pat dry and season with salt and pepper. Grill, turning once, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Serve with the honey-mustard dipping sauce.

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Toasted Millet Banana Muffins

This is another one of Kathleen's great recipes. Are you thinking what I'm thinking... For Pete's sake Kathleen, start a blog! She is a "real" cook- she does the research and truly experiments. BUT- I have no problem whatsoever including her goodness here either! :) She made these particularly for me with the "perfect crunchy texture" just the way I like it.... and I must say- it was perfect. My husband and I were munching and talking after a long day, and before we even batted and eye we had each eaten three. They were fabulous! We both had to leave the kitchen because we could have kept going, but we wanted to save at least one for breakfast. :) Try this one out- loved the millet and the yummy banana flavor!!

Toasted Millet Banana Muffins
1 cup millet
1 cup all-purpose flour [I used 2 cups of white whole wheat flour]
1 cup white whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg [I don't care for nutmeg so I used 1/2 t cinnamon]
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar [I used 1 cup Sucanat instead of white + brown]
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 and 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 2 very large bananas)
1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract [I used 1 Tablespoon Real Vanilla]

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 14 regular size muffin cups with paper liners. [I got 18]

Spread the millet out on a cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes. Every three or four minutes, take the pan out and give it a careful shake (not too hard, or you'll have millet all over your oven and floor--yes, I'm speaking from experience); this will ensure that every kernel of millet gets toasted. Set aside to cool. [Mine only needed 9 minutes; it was starting to smoke and I figured the little guys had had enough toasting for the day.]

Whisk the flours, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg in a medium bowl with a whisk.

Beat the sugar, brown sugar, and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the banana, yogurt, and vanilla, beating until blended. Add flour mixture and millet, beating at low speed just until moist. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
[I used a large size cookie scoop for my batter and ended up with 18 muffins.]

Bake 15-18 minutes until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove muffins from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
Makes 14 muffins.

Nutrition per Serving (1 muffin):Calories 188; Fat 4.8g (poly 0.9g, mono 1.5g, sat 2.4g); Protein 3.5g; Fiber: 2.6g; Cholesterol 40mg; Carbohydrate 35g.
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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Blackberry Hazelnut Honey Crisp

I found this yummy recipe in a Sunset magazine at the doctors office. I was impressed at how little sugar/honey this recipe required. You could tell- it wasn't like pie or jam, but it was still really good. Not adding so much sugar meant you could actually tasted the flavor of the berries. :) I liked the top part (even though I don't think I did it right- I think it was supposed to be more chunky. I think I accidentally halved the butter, so it didn't hold together as well, but I still liked it.) Also- I didn't have haselnuts, and that seemed like a tedious process of toasting and de-shelling, so I actually just used chopped pecans.

Blackberry Hazelnut Honey Crisp

Yield: Makes 8 servings


  • 36 ounces fresh or frozen blackberries (8 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1/4 cup berry blossom or wildflower honey
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup shelled hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup each flour and sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats


1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, toss berries with tapioca. In a small bowl, combine honey, lemon juice, and 1 tbsp. boiling water. Stir to dissolve honey. Add to berries and toss to combine. Put in an 8- by 8-in. baking pan and set aside.

2. Spread hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast in oven until medium golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Rub nuts in a kitchen towel to remove skins; let nuts cool. In a food processor, pulse nuts until finely ground. Add flour, sugar, and salt and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture forms a thick dough. Stir in oats. Drop in flattened 1-tsp. chunks over berries. Bake until topping is brown and berries are bubbling, about 1 hour. Let cool to set, 30 minutes.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Nutritional Information

341 (50% from fat)
19g (sat 7.7)

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Honey Mustard Salmon Burgers

I'm trying to squeeze a bit more fish into our diet. This was a good fit- I picked up some salmon patties just to experiment. They were easy to grill up and tasted a little more fishy then I like, but they were really yummy with the honey mustard. It kind of helped to moisten the patties and disguise the fishy flavor. This is another recipe I got from "Sook the Cook." I thought it was a fun idea- thanks Sook! This sauce would be good on any grilled meat!

Lyd's Tip: Make an already-low-calorie dinner even lower, by substituting plain yogurt for the mayo. The consistency is a little bit more runny, but it is just as good.

Honey Mustard Salmon Burgers
(Makes one burger: 1 salmon burger with the honey mustard sauce has under 300 calorie.)

1 SandwichThin rolls
1 cooked salmon patty
Lettuce, chopped
1/2 tomato, sliced
1 tablespoon honey mustard sauce (recipe follows)

Honey Mustard Sauce: (makes about 5-7 tablespoons)
2 tablespoon low fat mayo
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 green onion, chopped
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/8 ground black pepper
Pinch of salt


In a medium bowl, combine all the honey mustard ingredients and mix well. Set aside.

Place lettuce, tomato slices, and salmon patty on a SandwichThin and spread 1 tablespoon of the honey mustard sauce on the salmon. Place the top bun and enjoy!
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Do the Ripe Thing...

This can make a yummy breakfast treat or a special simple snack. They layers are so pretty and it's a great way to get in your fruit! (I got the idea from the Family Circle magazine.)

Pina Colada Yogurt Parfait
1/4 cup canned mandrine oranges in a parfait glass. Top with 1/3 cup vanilla yogurt and 1/4 cup crushed canned pineapple. Repeat layering with 1/3 cup yogurt, 1/4 cup pineapple and 1/4 cup mandrine oranges. Sprinkle top with shaved toasted coconut. (Or just some coconut flakes.) (I bet this would be good with some bananas in the layers... or any fruit for that matter. :)
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010


My husband about had a heart attack for joy when he found out I was making this for him. I even made it a complete "Asian" meal by serving some "Miso Soup" at the begining. He spent two year serving an LDS mission in Japan, and he loves Asian food. A couple weeks ago, we ate out at an Asian restaurant. The food was so good (this was one of the things I ordered), but pretty expensive, so I decided I would give it a try at home. I was excited to find that I would I made the whole meal and a bit for left-overs for about $8. That was half the cost of one plate at the restaurant. They weren't perfect, but they could definitely compete! Doug was delighted! I have to admit that they were a bit more labor intensive- maybe that's because I'm not used to frying things, but I thought it was well worth it. I also think now that I know how this works, I could easily make a good country fried steak as well. It is about the same process. I didn't realize how important the "tenderizing" was. Anyway- this one sounds fancy, but it is pretty simple and VERY delicious- especially if you like Asian food. We both really like the "Katsu" sauce- it is like Japanese A1 sauce- I think I like it better. Just a fun unique flavor- but it is esential if you are making this. You might have to shop for a few unusual ingredients for this one, but it will be worth it! :)

Lyd's Tip: I purchased an inexpensive, fairly lean pork roast for about $1.38 per pound. That is pretty cheap meat (from Winco). Then I cut it up at home and was able to make it stretch a little further and do the "portion size" I wanted. I think that is a whole lot cheaper then buying pork chops for over $2 a pound, and not much more work.

I got this recipe from "Sook the Cook" She makes some great Asian dishes! I really enjoy her site! Her is what she had to say about the dish:
Tonkatsu is a very popular lunch among younger folks in Korea. Tonkatsu is originated from Japan, meaning "Pork cutlet". It is super easy to make as long as you have "panko". Panko is a little bit different from the normal bread crumbs. It's got a little more flavor, I think. I use panko for everything. I usually buy a Korean brand panko but you can get Japanese ones at any local grocery stores. They usually come in a little box. Another great thing about this dish is the katsu sauce. We get Kikoman's katsu sauce and it tastes wonderful. Just drizzle it over fried pork cutlet and you will be able to enjoy an authentic Japanese tonkatsu at your home. If you don't like pork much, you can use chicken instead. Just make sure to tenderize the meat before cooking.



4 pieces of pork loins
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup panko
Canola oil (about an inch thick in the frying pan.)
Cabbage or lettuce to garnish


In a large ziplock, place the pork loins one by one, and pound the meat on both sides with a tenderizing hammer. (*Or buy a pre-tenderized pork meat. Any local grocery store should tenderize it for you if you ask.)

In separate bowls, place the flour, eggs, and panko.

Coat the meat lightly in flour, then dip in eggs, then cover in panko.

In a large skillet or a frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. (Drop a small amount of panko in the oil and if it bubbles, it is ready.) Place the breaded pork in the pan and fry until the edges of the breaded pork are golden brown, flip it to cook the other side. Remove the pork from the pan when it's cooked through. (It usually takes about 3-5 minutes to cook it.)

Drain oil on a paper towel.

Serve the pork on a bed of chopped cabbage or lettuce to remove extra oil. Serve with rice and tokatsu sauce.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Beans by a Mexican

I LOVE BEANS! My family wishes I didn't like them as much as I do. :) But some things are worth the sacrifice- at least that's what I think . :) I have always wanted to learn how to make authentic Mexican Beans, and my friend Susana was willing to share her recipe and teach me some tricks. I think it is fairly similar to the Crockpot Beans I posted a while back. This one just seems to add the ingredients after the beans are cooked. The recipe is fairly simple, so it is surprising how much flavor comes as a result. I thought they were excellent- my girls seriously gobbled them up!

Beans by a Mexican (She called it that, just so you don't think I'm being racist. :)
1 lb. dry beans (pinto or black)
1/3 cup chopped onions or more if desired
1/4 cup cooking oil or less
1/2 to 1 pepper (Serrano or Jalapeno) (Now I'm not big on heat, but I was surprised that I could handle this much spice, and I think it is pretty important to the flavor.)
2 tsp salt

Clean beans. Soak in about 6 cups of water for at least 4 hours, overnight works perfectly.

Rinse the beans a couple of times for better digestion. (This is really supposed to make a difference.) Put beans in a slow cooker plus enough water to cover the beans; about 6 cups. Do not add anything else at this point. Can replace slow cooker for pressure cooker which would cut time substantially. Cook on high for about 4 hours. Beans should be soft but not destroyed.

In a medium pan,. heat oil on medium or low setting. Add chopped onion and chopped pepper according to preference. Include seeds if you prefer a spicier flavor. Saute onions and pepper until onion is clear and tender. Add beans and salt and bring to a boil on medium heat until beans have absorbed the flavor. Boil longer for a thicker consistency. Then simmer and enjoy! If you prefer re-fried beans use a blender (or an immersion blender) Make sure you separated the water first and add as needed or your beans will be too runny.
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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Chocolate-Fruit Crepes

LauraM- I'm with you when you said you don't usually have buttermilk. It isn't usually on my shopping list either, so when I do get it, I have to make about five things containing buttermilk- feast or famine! :) (I thought your idea with the milk, lemon juice and vinegar was brilliant by the way. I have heard of it, but never tried it, so I would be curious to see how well it works.) I love it in breakfast things! It really does seem to make a difference and give it that perfect flavor! I was excited to have it on hand, because I saw this recipe a little while back and really wanted to try it. It wasn't as chocolate-y as I had imagined, but it was still really good. The filling sounded fabulous, but I didn't have the cherries, so I stuck with chocolate and bananas.

Lyd Tips: I love to mix the batter the night before so I don't have to hassle with it in the morning. It seems to work well cold too. It just gives me some direction in the morning when I know I have a plan that is mostly already carried out! :)

Chocolate-Fruit Crepes
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
3 eggs
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa

1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
1 can (8-1/2 ounces) sliced peaches, drained and chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup hot fudge ice cream topping, warmed
Whipped cream, optional

In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs and butter. Combine the flour, sugar and cocoa; add to buttermilk mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Heat a lightly greased 8-in. nonstick skillet over medium heat; pour 2 tablespoons batter into the center of skillet. Lift and tilt pan to coat bottom evenly. Cook until top appears dry; turn and cook 15-20 seconds longer. Remove to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining batter, greasing skillet as needed. When cool, stack crepes with waxed paper or paper towels in between.

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the pie filling, peaches and cinnamon. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 3-4 minutes or until heated through, stirring once. Stir in extract. Spoon 2 tablespoons filling down the center of each crepe. Fold sides of crepe over filling. Drizzle with ice cream topping and garnish with whipped cream if desired. Yield: 10 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 2 filled crepes (calculated without whipped cream) equals 241 calories, 6 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 74 mg cholesterol, 109 mg sodium, 41 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 5 g protein.
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One-Pot Salsa Beef Skillet

No matter how much I plan ahead, I always seem to have an occasional night where I'm rushed to get dinner on for whatever reason. This one was perfect for one of "those nights"--even faster than the taco macaroni I recently posted. Give this one a try on a busy night!

Lyd Tips: I like to pre-brown a big batch of hamburger or turkey-burger with a bit of salt and pepper and sometimes a diced onion, then I put them in individual bags and freeze them for "just such a night". It totally speeds up the process, because all I have to do is microwave or warm it up on the stove top and dinner is done in a matter of minutes! (Saves me a good 15 minutes!)

One-Pot Salsa Beef Skillet
1 lb. extra lean ground beef
2 cups water
1 cup Thick 'N Chunky Salsa
1 pkg. (14 oz.) KRAFT Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese Dinner Made With 2% Milk Cheese
2 cups frozen corn
1/2 cup Mexican Style 2% Milk Finely Shredded Four Cheese
1 green onion, chopped

BROWN meat in large skillet on medium-high heat; drain.

ADD water, salsa and Macaroni; stir. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover. Simmer 10 min. or until macaroni is tender, stirring occasionally. Add corn and Cheese Sauce; stir. Cook 2 min. or until heated through.

TOP with cheese and onions.

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Friday, March 19, 2010

THE BEST Buttermilk Whole Wheat Pancakes!

Ok- so as I was frying up these pancakes, I realized that I pretty much use a different pancake recipe EVERY TIME I make them. I'm not sure why this is... something about the morning... I don't know exactly. It isn't like the pancakes I've made in the past aren't good. I have found some recipe I really like, but hunting through my blog in the morning seems too complicated, so I almost always pull out a cookbook. My latest search, however, will be my last. I will look no further because I found the winner! I'm always looking for a "hearty" whole pancakes with the nutrition, but that doesn't taste like it. The buttermilk offset the "wheaty" flavor and combined to make, what I think is... THE BEST PANCAKE I have made yet! (And just look if you don't believe me... I have made quite a few!) I found this one in the Bosch Sensible Cooking cookbook. Doug and I said this was definitely the best whole wheat pancake we've ever had! I'm sticking to this one--with that gourmet coconut cream syrup drizzled all over it! (It is worth every penny! There is nothing else like it! I totally recommend it!) I have to get my whole wheat in so that I have some "nutrition" to my breakfast. :)

Whole Wheat Pancakes (Dixie Shaw - Nutrition Lifestyles)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 T oil
2 T honey

Add ingredients to Bosch (or other) blender or combine with wire whisk until thoroughly mixed.
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Parmesan-Crusted Tilapia

I have been saving some fresh Halibut from my in-law's Alaskan fishing trip, waiting for my mother-in-law's AMAZING recipe for frying them up... and I feel like I'm leading you on a false errand, because this not it. I haven't gotten the recipe yet, and I could wait for this good fish no longer, so I fried them up with this recipe. It was pretty tasty- how can you go wronger with fresh Alaskan halibut, truly! It made a good substitutes, but I have to say I liked the Pecan-Parmesan Fish Fillet recipe better. This was a good one though! Now if I only had Momma Stew's recipe, my "sea food" life would be complete! :)

Parmesan-Crusted Tilapia By Simple and Delicious
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup crushed butter-flavored crackers (about 10 crackers)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tilapia fillets (5 ounces each)
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
Lemon wedges

Place flour and egg in separate shallow bowls. In another shallow bowl, combine the crackers, cheese and salt. Dip fillets in the flour, egg, then cracker mixture.
In a large skillet, cook fillets in oil over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown and fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve with lemon wedges. Yield: 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 fillet equals 287 calories, 13 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 125 mg cholesterol, 440 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 31 g protein.
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patricks Day!

Don't you wish you were "Lucky" enough to be munching on these beautiful sugar cookies! Thanks Kathleen! Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Maple-Apple Pudding Cake

Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant! All I can say is that I must love you for sharing this one! Pure dynamite! They captured the goodness of a moist cake, bread pudding, a crispy apple-fritter, and a sweet maple syrup sauce all in one dessert. Does it get better? I submit that it does not! This was heavenly! I wiped it out in no time! Dangerously good! I will be making this one again... and again. Loved the apple-cranberry mixed with the nuts. SO GOOD!

In a feat of culinary magic, an intensely maple-flavored sauce forms in the bottom of the dish and a tender fruit-studded cake rises to the top while this homey cake bakes. Use grade B (cooking) maple syrup if you can find it to ensure a deeper maple flavor.

Maple-Apple Pudding Cake (By: Patsy Jamieson, Cooking Club of America)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 medium apple, such as Braeburn, peeled, chopped (1/2 inch)(1 cup) (Said to peel, but I didn't- you don't even notice- it's so good!)
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped (don’t thaw if using frozen)
1 1/4 cups pure maple syrup, preferably grade B
1/2 cup apple juice
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

1. Heat oven to 350˚F. Spray 8-inch square glass baking dish with cooking spray. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in large bowl.
2. Whisk egg and brown sugar in medium bowl until smooth. Whisk in milk, butter and vanilla. Stir into flour mixture just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in apple and cranberries. Pour into baking dish.
3. Bring syrup and apple juice to a boil in small saucepan. Gently pour over batter; sprinkle with walnuts. (I felt a little weird doing this, but trust me, it turns out. All that flavorful sweet liquid runs through to the bottom.)
4. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until top of pudding springs back when lightly touched and sauce forms on bottom (do not overbake). Cool 20 minutes on wire rack; serve warm.
8 servings

PER SERVING: 365 calories, 10.5 g total fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 4 g protein, 67 g carbohydrate, 45 mg cholesterol, 265 mg sodium, 1.5 g fiber
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Taco Macaroni

This ended up being a flavorful weeknight meal. I like to brown hamburger ahead of time and freeze it for those busy nights, and it always really speeds up a meal like this. (Found this in an old Simple and Delicious)

Taco Macaroni
1 package (16 ounces) elbow macaroni
1 pound ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained (I have a bunch of this "Mexican Blend" with cilantro and lime in it. It is actually pretty spicy, but it tasted pretty good in this.)
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed tomato soup, undiluted
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 envelope taco seasoning
Shredded cheddar cheese

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
Stir in the tomatoes, soup, tomato sauce and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until thickened.
Drain macaroni; stir into meat mixture and heat through. Sprinkle with cheese. Yield: 6 servings.
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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cheaper by the Dozen...

I TOTALLY LOVE an easy cookie recipe! I'm talking 5 ingredients or less and a 10 minutes cook time. It just means you can get that goodness in you that much faster!!! Well- here it is. A super speedy cookie recipe! I whipped the whole thing up from start to finish in under 15 minutes! How cool is that! (The girls loved rolling out the balls- very kid friendly!) I also want to note that it made a perfect 2 dozen. I feel like any recipe that makes exact dozens deserves an award. Something about that just delights me- I'm not a cookie dough eater, so I never know what to do with the "potentially" 5 more cookies that I can't squeeze on the sheet, but don't want to dirty another one for. :) So hooray for the dozen! (Also wanted to add that they figured this was about $.07 a serving. Cheap treats!)

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
By Simple and Delicious
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1-1/4 cups quick-cooking oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

In a small bowl, cream peanut butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg. Add oats and baking soda to creamed mixture; mix well.
Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets; flatten slightly. Bake at 350° for 6-8 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 2 dozen.

Nutrition Facts: 1 cookie equals 67 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 9 mg cholesterol, 57 mg sodium, 8 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1/2 fat.
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Bread/Pizza Dough for our Hawaiian at Home...

This week, we had our "Hawaiian At Home"- it was fabulous! I am going to share a great bread or crust recipe for you. I went to an awesome Woman's Conference, and in one of the classes they demonstrated simple bread making and she showed us how to make an amazing Alfredo Pizza. The whole thing tasted wonderful! I loved the white sauce and the crust was really good. I knew then and there, I would have to get busy in the kitchen and post a few of these great recipe she shared! I used her crust/bread recipe for our Hawaiian pizza, but I did half wheat-half white, and having tasted both, I recommend just sticking with white. I think the wheat kind of dried it out and it was SUPER thick. I couldn't get it to spread and it took a lot longer to rise. Her's didn't seem to do that. It still tasted great though! This won't be the last time I try this one out- I've got to try the Alfredo- we just had all the stuff for Hawaiian this week and it sounded good. :) Thanks for the recipes Cecily!

For our Hawaiian toppings, the girls helped me layer, sauce, mozzarella cheese, pizza seasoning, ham, pineapple tidbits, and more cheese... and then more cheese. :) Can you ever have enough cheese, I ask you? (You can add whatever you want though-- in case you didn't know that. :)

Bread/Pizza Dough
2 cups warm water
1/3 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 cups bread flour
  • In a large bowl, stir sugar into warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to sit until yeast resembles a creamy foam.
  • Mix salt and oil into the yeast mixture. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour...or if you’re low on time, 15 min!
  • For bread: Punch dough down. Divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9x5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
  • For pizza: divide dough in half. Form two large pizza crusts. Top with your favorite toppings and bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until brown on the bottom. (Mine was thick enough, that I would recommend cooking it for about 15 minutes before you put the toppings on so you won't get a doughy middle.)
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Creamy Saucy Pork Chops

I have been resurrecting some of my old Simple and Delicious magazines, in search of something I may have missed... I am so glad to have found this one. This was such a simple sauce mixture but the flavor was phenomenal. It was great over rice! I threw it all in the crockpot and it was fabulously flavorful and tender!

Creamy Saucy Pork Chops
4 boneless pork loin chops (1 inch thick and 6 ounces each) (I didn't have pork chops, so I used a cheaper sirloin cut.)
1 tablespoon canola oil
4 ounces cream cheese, cubed
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
1 tablespoon lemon juice

I ended up making those one a crockpot meal and I must mixed the sauce, threw it over the meat and cooked it on low for 5-6 hours. It was so tender and flavorful! We really enjoyed this one and it was so easy!

Here are the skillet instructions in case you do want to do it that way:
In a large skillet, cook pork chops in oil over medium heat for 8-10 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160°. Remove and keep warm.
Add the cream cheese, broth, cheese, vinaigrette and lemon juice to the skillet; cook and stir until blended. Return chops to the pan; heat through. Yield: 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 pork chop with 1/2 cup sauce equals 410 calories, 27 g fat (11 g saturated fat), 118 mg cholesterol, 456 mg sodium, 3 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 37 g protein.
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Calico Corn Cakes

I was rummaging through some of my old simple and delicous magazines, and came across this one. I thought it had a really fun "South-western" flair. I liked the flavor. It was easy and fun too, because they could be used in a variety of ways- as a side or breakfast. It is a great way to use up old salsa. :)

Calico Corn Cakes
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup 2% milk
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 tablespoon diced pimientos
1/2 cup salsa

In a small skillet, saute onion and green pepper in oil until tender; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, oregano, baking powder, cumin, egg and milk just until combined. Fold in the corn, pimientos and onion mixture.
Heat a large skillet coated with cooking spray; drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls into skillet. Cook for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve with salsa. Yield: 3 servings.
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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Caesar Chicken Burgers

I cannot possibly begin to tell you how amazingly good this one is! If I ever urged you to try a recipe- THIS WOULD BE THE ONE! This one has inspired me to create a "Lyd's Favorites" list. I had no idea what was coming when I decided to make this one for dinner on a busy night. I pulled out the "George" and grilled some chicken up with just a bit of Montreal Seasoning, and it just kept getting better! When I sat down and took that first bite... time stood still. The kids might have been calling me... the world might have still been turning, but it stopped for me. All that existed for about 10 minutes was me and the burger. I slobbered and dueled like baby over this one, licking my fingers and savoring ever last bite. I had no idea food could taste this good! This was restaurant quality coming out of my kitchen in about 10 minutes or less. When Doug got home from class, I just sat him down, put the burger in front of him, and said, "ZONE OUT!" And he did. He was equally impressed, and the taste and the memory lingered for the rest of the night... and morning... and the following day, until I posted it for you to enjoy the same experience. I BEG you to do so! You might need a bib for this one! :)

Caesar Chicken Burgers (simple and delicious)

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each) (You can use a whole chicken breast per sandwich, but I cut two big ones up and it make it go a lot further.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 slices red onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 4 hamburger buns, split (I used those thin whole wheat sandwich buns I like!)
  • 2 cups torn romaine
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup creamy Caesar salad dressing, divided (I used Ken's Steakhouse brand- it was fabulous!)
  • Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Grill on an indoor grill coated with cooking spray for 4-5 minutes or until juices run clear. Grill onion slices for 4-5 minutes or until tender.
  • Meanwhile, spread butter over cut sides of buns. Place buttered side up on an ungreased baking sheet. Broil 3-4 in. from the heat for 1 minute or until golden brown.
  • Toss romaine with cheese and 1/4 cup dressing; spoon onto bun bottoms. Top with onions, chicken and remaining dressing. Replace bun tops. Yield: 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 burger equals 416 calories, 22 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 89 mg cholesterol, 760 mg sodium, 24 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 29 g protein.

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sweet Potato Casserole

If I ever loved a sweet potato, it wasn't completely... not until I met this casserole. This was TRUE LOVE for me! Throwing the egg and milk in there turned it into more of a "custard" and even if you don't like yams/sweet potatoes (like my own dear husband) this one has enough sugar and butter to convert you. :) This here is SWEET POTATO HEAVEN! I got this from my good friend Megan. She brought a sample over for me to try. I warmed it up a little later, and immediately, I had to get on the phone and I literally said, "Oh My Heck Megan! That is incredible!" My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Doug heard my talking about it and while I was talking to her, he finished it off. (That's saying something eh?) But I wasn't very happy with him, so I had to make another batch. SO GOOD! I could eat this any night! (But I can't for health reasons. :) This one is on the menu for Thanksgiving for sure- but I plan to make it frequently until then. :) Thank you Megan. I found a winner!

Sweet Potato Casserole

3 cups fresh cooked sweet potatoes cubed and drained
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
Dash of salt
1 T vanilla
1/2 stick melted butter

Mix all ingredients until smooth. Pour into greased 2 quart casserole dish. Cover with topping and bake uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes.

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup flour
1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)

Mix first three ingredients, then add nuts.
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