Friday, January 30, 2009

peanut butter kisses...(revisited)

48 Hershey's Kisses
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
granulated sugar

Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; mix until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on greased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

I made these a few months ago, but I like this recipe from Hershey's Kitchen much better!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

southwest beans...

1 can kidney beans; rinsed and drained
1 can black beans; rinsed and drained
1 can fat-free re fried beans
1 can pinto beans; rinsed and drained
1 can diced green chili's
1 can diced stewed tomatoes
1 can corn
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 envelope ranch dip mix

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Place in crock pot on low 2-3 hours, or warm for 5-6 hours.

This was really good, and could not be easier. It would make a great chili, a great dip for chips, a burrito or taco filling, or whatever you want it to be! Offer it as a healthy (no one would even know or care) option while you watch a little football (or great commercials) this weekend. The length of time to cook this is really up to you. It really just needs to be warmed through long enough for the beans to soften. I cooked mine on warm for about 5 hours and turned it up to low for one hour. The longer it sits, the better just so the seasonings can combine well.
(1 cup=1point)

Monday, January 26, 2009

sugar cookie bars...

1 cup butter; room temp.
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
5 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp soda

1/2 cup butter; room temp
1/2 cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
4 cups powdered sugar
5 Tbsp milk
food coloring (if desired)

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each egg. Add vanilla & mix well. In a separate bowl combine flour, salt & soda & stir with a whisk to combine. Add to wet mixture and mix just until combined. Spread on a greased baking sheet (I used a 13 x 18 half sheet pan). Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 min, until light golden brown or until a toothpick comes out clean.

For frosting combine butter and shortening until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla and salt. Add powdered sugar in 1-2 cup increments until combined, then add milk & mix until smooth and spreading consistency.

If you LOVE frosted sugar cookies (and seriously, who doesn't???), but don't like all of the work associated with making them...these babies are for you. The cookie is a cross between a cake & a cookie and the frosting...oh...the frosting...!!!!! Treats with frosting have never offended me.
(I dare you to figure out the points...)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

chicken club pizza...

1 "thin crust" pizza crust
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
1/2 cup 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1/2 packet ranch dip mix
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
8 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes; if desired

Cook pizza crust according to directions; let cool completely. Meanwhile, mix sour cream, cream cheese & ranch seasoning; set aside. When crust is cooled spread on cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with chicken, bacon, lettuce and tomatoes. Slice & serve.
*recipe adapted from here*

Just a delicious way to use up that cooked chicken!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

chicken, chicken & more chicken...

I was cooking chicken in the crock pot the other day and decided to cook a lot of chicken and use it different ways throughout the week. I just put in a bunch of frozen chicken tenderloins and a packet of salad dressing mix (and a few carrots) , and cooked it on low for six hours. When it was done I shredded it, made chicken quesadillas, and stored the rest of it in the fridge.
Since then we've had chicken salad, chicken noodle soup & chicken club pizza...more recipes to come! (I know, I can hardly wait...)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

cream cheese potato soup...

4 cups chicken broth
6-7 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 Tbsp dried or fresh chopped parsley
1 8oz pkg 1/3 less fat cream cheese, cut into chunks
1 cup frozen corn
Bacon; cooked & crumbled (if desired)

In a medium sized soup pot bring potatoes, onions & seasonings to a boil. Reduce heat and continue to cook until potatoes are fork tender. Remove about 1/2 cup of the potatoes & mash to release the starch and act as a thickening agent. Reduce heat to low and add cream cheese, stirring until melted. Add corn & heat through. Serve with crumbled bacon on top.

I got this AMAZING soup recipe from Marci and LOVED it!!!!! I have another potato cheese soup that I love (hi Lindz!!), and this one is a dead heat for the favorite. The plus side of this one is that it takes less time and is a lot less fattening. With the light cream cheese it is a very light soup. If you are serving a crowd (more than 4 people) double the will want leftovers! Marci suggested some great add ins: cheddar cheese, scallions, corn, carrots, bacon or Italian sausage. I added the corn and just crumbled one slice of bacon on the top. This will be a new favorite during the cold months. I seriously was in heaven with this one!
(1 cup soup with 1 piece of bacon 5 pts)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

cheddar-cornmeal waffle blt...

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
2 Tbsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
4 eggs, separated
2 cups milk
8 Tbsp butter, melted
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
8 oz bacon, cooked

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt & sugar. In a medium bowl whisk together egg yolks, milk and melted butter. Add to dry ingredients and stir until combined. Stir in cheese.
In another medium bowl beat the egg whites until stiff. Gently fold into batter.
Bake on waffle iron (according to iron directions).
Toast waffles under the broiler for a few minutes and assemble with mayo, bacon, lettuce, tomato, salt & pepper.

This was a winner. It was a nice change from original blt's on toast. You could easily make the waffles ahead of time and just toast them under the broiler right before serving to cut down on the prep. My kids ate the insides of the sandwich, then dunked the waffles in a little syrup...not exactly what I had planned, but whatever..they ate their dinner.

Monday, January 5, 2009


1 can (8 ounces) Pillsbury Crescent Recipe creations
1 cup mozzarella cheese
6 slices salami, diced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 egg white, beaten

Heat oven to 350°F. Unroll Crescent dough sheet onto large cutting board. Sprinkle the dough with the mozzarella cheese, salami and herbs. Starting at shortest side, roll up the dough sheet into one large cylinder; pinch edge to seal. Cut roll into 12 slices. Place slices 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Gently press down on slices to ensure uniform baking. Brush with beaten egg white. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Have you seen this new Pillsbury product in the grocery store? I hadn't...but I've seen them used recently in several different ways so I hd to give them a try. I got the idea for this here, and just adapted it to what we like and what I had on hand. You could really get creative with the ingredients. My family really loved these. I doubled the recipe and there was only one left! It was a super easy, quick to throw together, yummy dinner.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

peanut butter balls...

2 1/2 sticks margarine (NOT butter)
2 cups creamy peanut butter
5 cups powdered sugar

In a large bowl mix all ingredients together until the consistency of play-dough. Using a tablespoon measure, roll into balls & place on a waxed/parchment paper lined baking sheet. Refrigerate.

2 big Hershey bars (or 8 reg size)
1 12oz pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 bar of wax (melt in a rinsed out soup can inside a pan with 1-2 in water)

Melt chocolate together. Melt wax separately. Gradually add wax to melted chocolate, stirring constantly.
Drop balls into melted chocolate mixture, pick up with a fork and gently slide back onto lined baking sheet. Keep chilled in fridge.

If you are a chocolate/peanut butter lover...look out. I'm not the biggest fan of chocolate & peanut butter and I LOVE these. My sister makes them every Christmas and everyone who knows her hopes they are on the recipient list.
I made these as a Happy New Year gift for a few friends and will probably do it again next year. Nothing says "I love you" like one more treat delivered on January 1st...hee hee!!

(The wax can be found by the canning supplies in the grocery store. Each box contains four bars. You could also melt it in the microwave in a container that you don't mind throwing out.)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

belgian waffles...

1 3/4 cup flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 egg yolks
1 3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup canola/veg oil
2 egg whites

In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, baking powder, & salt. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients; set aside.
In another med bowl beat egg yolks slightly. Stir in milk and oil. Add egg yolk mixture all at once to dry mixture. Stir just until combined (batter will be lumpy).
In a separate bowl beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold beaten egg whites into flour and egg yolk mixture, leaving a few fulffs of egg white. Do not overmix.
Pour 1-1 1/2 cups batter onto preheated, lightly greased waffle iron, spreading to edges, if necessary. Bake according to waffle iron directions.

We enjoyed a lovely Belgian waffle bar for New Years Eve. We were well equipped with any kind of topping desired, including chocolate whipped cream!!! YUM! It was a hit, and will probably be our new tradition.
The recipe came from the "Better Homes and Garden" cookbook. If you don't have this one..get it. It is one of the best basic cookbooks out there.
Happy New Year!