Wednesday, March 25, 2009

pancake squares...

3/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 egg
1 Tbsp sugar
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease an 8x8 baking dish. In a med bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat together milk, butter and egg. Add sugar, then gradually beat the dry ingredients in, being careful not to over mix. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

If you love pancakes, but the thought of standing over a pan flipping them wears you's your answer. These are fantastic, and are so easy. I usually double the recipe and bake in a 9x13 pan. Great for a weekend breakfast, but even better for a week day because they come together so quickly! An 9x13 pan makes 12 large servings. *Check after 20 min. If cooked too long they can turn out a little dry. Still good...just dry. Recipe from Big Red Kitchen.
(3pts per serving)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

almond poppy seed bread/cake...

1/4 cup butter, melted
3 1/3 Tbsp canola oil
2 eggs; room temp
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp poppy seeds

Grease and flour an 8X4-inch loaf pan and set aside. In a large mixing bowl cream together butter, oil, eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract. In a separate bowl mix together flour, salt, baking powder, and poppy seeds. Add this mixture to the first and mix until well blended, be careful not to over mix. Pour into loaf pan and bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes. Cool completely and top with icing.

powdered sugar icing:

1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon milk
Combine sugar and extract and add milk a little at a time until pouring consistency. Pour or drizzle over cake.


Friday, March 20, 2009

meatball sliders...

One recipe for meatballs (cut in half)
18 1 oz rolls, lightly toasted
18 slices mozzarella cheese
1/2 jar spaghetti sauce
fresh basil (if desired...I forgot this step)

Heat up spaghetti sauce, add meatballs, stirring to coat. Place one meatball on each roll and top with a slice of cheese. Place under broiler or in warm oven until cheese is melted. Top with one fresh basil leaf.

I've mentioned before that my family LOVES anything in mini form. When I saw this idea on Smitten Kitchen's site I knew we had to give it a try. It was a hit. I used an ice cream scoop to get bigger, uniform meatballs. We LOVED them!!
(1 slider-4 pts)

Monday, March 16, 2009

taco chicken...

1 lb. chicken breasts or thighs (I used tenders)
juice of 2 limes
splash of red wine vinegar
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed or coarsely chopped
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large ziploc bag & smoosh (a technical term!) around to coat chicken. Marinate for at least 4 hours, no longer than 8. Heat an outdoor grill (you can also use a grill pan inside. Or your broiler in your oven.)

This was fabulous. Fabulous, I say. Fabulous. Think I enjoyed it? I did. We all did. I rarely come across a chicken recipe that I love, and then I just get sick of chicken. This will probably become a weekly meal around here. The options are endless. You could make a taco salad, quesadillas, add it to a tortilla soup, make it into a southwest chicken salad, or eat it just as it is. The recipe is from here. I altered it a little (because I didn't read the recipe all the way through before diving in..oops!)

I paired the chicken with this yummy jicama and black bean salad from Lindsay at Cafe Johnsonia...

1 small jicama, peeled and cut into 1/4" dice
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed well
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4" dice
1 cup yellow corn
4-5 green onions, sliced, white and tender green parts only (I used a small red onion instead)
Juice of 1 lime
1-2 tsp. grape seed or other flavorless oil (like canola)
coarse salt and black pepper, to taste
pinch of chili powder
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro (I used parsley)

Combine the jicama, black beans, red pepper, corn and green onions in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together lime juice, oil, salt, pepper, and chili powder. Pour over the veggies and stir to coat. Just before serving, add the cilantro.Makes 4-6 servings as a side dish.
LOVED it! I will be making this a lot this Summer!

Friday, March 13, 2009

red velvet cupcake heaven...

1 Red Velvet cake mix (made according to pkg directions)

Cream Cheese Frosting:
6 oz cream cheese; room temp
1 cup butter; room temp
4 tsp vanilla
5 cups powdered sugar
milk (if needed)

Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating well. If frosting is too thick add milk 1 Tbsp at a time until creamy.

Boxed cake mix, you say??? ABSOLUTELY. Cakes from scratch are not my specialty. I generally don't even like the taste of boxed mixes, but this Red Velvet is a winner. Canned frosting is something, however, I have to pass on...especially when there is a cream cheese frosting as fabulous as this one.
These cupcakes were my offering for a fun bake sale. They were a hit. Worth every fake dollar that was spent on them!
The frosting recipe is doubled here because when you use a piping bag & a large tip to frost with it uses more frosting. What a shame, huh? There was a little extra left over and if you have never tried frosting on graham just haven't lived life to it's fullest.
I used the cooking tongs to lower the cupcakes into the cellophane bags. Great tip!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

spring risotto with peas & parmesan...

2 cans (14.5 ounces each) plus 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

Heat 2 cans of broth and 2 1/2 cups water in a saucepan over low heat; keep warm. Meanwhile, melt 1 Tbsp butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook until soft, about 5 min. Season with salt & pepper. Raise heat to medium. Add rice; cook; stirring until translucent around the edges, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth; cook until absorbed, about 2 minutes.
Cook the rice, adding 1 cup hot broth at a time (stirring constantly until almost all of the liquid is absorbed before adding more), until tender, 25-30 min total.
Add the peas; cook until they are a bright green, 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the remaining tablespoon butter and the Parmesan. Serve, topped with more cheese.

I got the Everyday Food cookbook from a cookbook exchange last Christmas and have had my eye on this particular recipe for quite a while. I have always wanted to try my hand at risotto, but knew it was a little time consuming...and quite frankly, wasn't sure when I would have the time to stand at my stove and stir for 30 min straight. Dinner time/homework time/hungry/tired kids time = no time to make a labor intensive risotto for dinner. Well, I made the time and am sooooo glad I did. Totally worth it. This was delicious. I changed the recipe a little from the original (omitted zucchini). Had I been a little more on the ball I would have added asparagus tips, as well. I will add them next time, because there will definitely be a next time for this recipe!
(6 servings=6 pts per serving)

Monday, March 9, 2009

AMAZING grilled cheese...

sour dough bread
extra sharp or sharp cheddar cheese, sliced
mozzarella cheese, shredded
bacon; cooked
green apple (granny smith); thinly sliced

Layer ingredients in between buttered slices of sourdough bread. Grill over medium high heat until cheese is completely melted and bread is golden brown and crispy.

FAB.U.LOUS. Really. Next time you have a craving for plain old grilled cheese, kick it up a little. The crunch of the apple with the crisp bacon is just amazing.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

can't get enough of...

...this stuff from Costco.
I have been in berry heaven lately.
I can't even say that I've made anything extremely wonderful with any of these, but they do make the BEST snacks!!