Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Not-Quite-Fetuccini Alfredo

This dish has been a staple in my home for the entire 8 years of my marriage. It is super quick, inexpensive, relatively healthy and can be customized to fit your particular tastes. The "Not-Quite" part is due to the fact that I've never actually used fetuccini noodles for it. I use egg noodles or bow tie pasta most of the time. The majority of times I make it, it remains mostly meatless. But in the past I have added in grilled chicken strips, shrimp, and crab meat. All of my children love it, even my elusive 6th Marks!

1 box of bow tie pasta
1 small container of sour cream
1 can of reduced fat mushroom soup
5 cooked stips of bacon crumbled
1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch DIP mix
1/2 cup of butter
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook pasta per instructions on box
2. Drain pasta and add remaining ingredients into pan with pasta
3. Stir gently and warm through

~as I said above, at this point you can add in grilled chicken, cooked shrimp or crab pieces
~this meal almost always is joined by some crusty garlic bread and frozen green peas (cooked of course), it adds beautiful color to the plate and is delicious

Monday, March 22, 2010

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Shredded BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

4-5 bonesless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pkt. onion soup mix
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
1 cup of water
1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
Wheat sandwich rolls

In a bowl stir the onion soup mix, 1/2 of BBQ sauce, water and brown sugar together.
Spray sides of crock pot with non-stick spray
Place chicken in bottom of pot
Pour BBQ mixture over the top and cook for 6 hours on low and 3-4 on high
Depending on cooking temps of your crock pot, your dish will have a lot of liquid or not much. Mine had a lot, so I scooped all the chicken out and then added in about 1/2 cup more of barbeque sauce before I put it on the rolls.
Before serving use a knife and fork to shred the chicken and pile on rolls

Pasta Salad
I box of whole wheat penne
1 cup Lite Sun-dried tomato salad dressing
1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved
1 can of black olives, sliced

Cook pasta, rinse in cold water, mix in dressing, tomatoes and olives

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Favorite Recipes

A few noteworthy notes:

1.Today, no recipe. I have some waiting, ready to come out and wow you. But I want to know what is the food that makes you do that far off stare and smile crazily when you tell someone about it, the one that makes you salivate like Pavlov's dog or takes you back to your grandma's kitchen. Or things that you love to eat in the Spring.

2.Also, don't forget to give me some feedback if you are trying the recipes, I would love to know if you like them as much as me. I fixed my comment form so that anyone can leave me a message, You DO NOT have to join blogger to comment. Simply click on the "Anonymous" option, but please do sign your name at the bottom of your message. It is also possible to add my page as a RSS feed, honestly I don't really know how to do it or what that means, but if you click on the button on my page I'm sure you can figure it out. I think it sends any updates I have to your home page. For instance, on my yahoo home page I can add websites that interest me.

3. I am amazed and honored that I am getting visitors from overseas! It is thrilling for this girl who has only ever been to Niagra Falls, (does that really count as leaving the country?) to have visitors from the U.K., India, China, Canada, Ghana etc.!

4. If you want to be notified whenever a new recipe goes up you can email me your email and I can put you on the list to receive updates. It really goes without saying, but I will assure you anyway that I am not a junk mailer or spammer. Simply send a request to

5.I think that's it for today, except to say that I am going to be adding some desserts soon as well. As Jeb Clampett would say, "Whoooo Dogggy!" I LOVE to cook, but baking..... passion. Here's a teaser, Caramel Apple Cake and my version of Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Faux Chipotle Burrito

I was overjoyed when Chipotle opened a branch in my town. I rushed over on opening day, bought a burrito with everything on it, savored every bite, and then spent about two hours laying on my back willing myself to digest that huge amount of food. So, when I decided to attempt a version of my favorite burrito I decided that I was going to have to cut back on the toppings to a number that my poor digestive tract could withstand. I spent a good long while at the grocery store deciding on what would make it into the tortilla and what I would have to sacrifice for the good of my belly. I was optimistic though and I was right! It was delightful and delectable and a number of other adjectives that Fancy Nancy would approve of! So keep in mind that when you are making your burrito, you can add any additional ingredients you like. I was very sad that black beans didn't make my list, and perhaps next time they will.

Ingredient List:

One can of fat free refried beans
1 cup White rice
1/4 cup of Cilantro
1 Lime
1 pkg. of large tortillas
1 cup of chicken broth
2 avocados
1 clove of fresh garlic
2 Tb lemon juice
1 lb. lean ground beef (substitute chicken, steak, pork etc.)
1/2 tsp of cumin
salt and pepper
1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese or mexican blend, pick what you like

Cook one cup of white rice in pot with 1 cup of water and one cup of chicken broth

Brown ground beef with cumin and salt and pepper to taste

Warm refried beans in a bowl in microwave for 2 minutes

Scoop out inside of avocados with a spoon. In a medium bowl add juice of half a lime, 2 Tb lemon juice, 1 clove of garlic minced, salt and pepper to taste (because I never measure). Mix and smoosh with a fork until it is well mixed.

When rice is done cooking, add minced cilantro and stir gently.

Spread beans on tortilla, then layer rice, ground beef, guacamole and cheese. Fold sides in, and roll up. Enjoy and don't be ashamed to lick your fingers. It's inevitable.

*Optional toppings I passed on:

Home made pico de gallo

Black beans

Diced green chilies

Shredded lettuce

Black olives

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Easy, Easy, Easy Roast Chicken

I've never cooked a turkey or chicken without a roasting bag, and had my doubts that this chicken was going to turn out dry. What actually happened though was that it was the juciest, most delicious chicken!

1 (3-pound) whole broiler-fryer chicken
1 tablespoon butter, melted
4 medium red potatoes, cut into quarters
2 cups fresh or frozen whole baby carrots
2 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
12 small white onions, peeled
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crushed
1 cup Swanson® Chicken Stock
1/2 cup orange juice
Brush the chicken with the butter. Place the chicken and vegetables into a 17 x 11-inch roasting pan. Season with the rosemary. Stir the stock and orange juice in a small bowl and pour half the stock mixture over the chicken and vegetables.
Roast at 375°F. for 45 minutes.
Stir the vegetables. Add the remaining stock mixture to the pan. Roast for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
*Recipe courtesy of Cambell's Kitchen
A Few of My Tips
*If you slice between the skin and meat and put the butter and rosemary under the skin it helps to seal in the flavor
*I didn't put the potatoes in the pan, but opted to make mashed potatoes instead
*I used one medium onion instead of the baby ones. Peeled it, sliced it and just tossed it in.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Creamy Tomato Rotini and Meatballs

I'm struggling with this recipe because I can't decide if I can label it "a healthy low cal choice" or not. I did use several healthi-er alternatives to the normal ingredients so lets just call it a 50/50. It was so over the top good. Unfortunately at my house I have what I will refer to as "Pasta Purists." They come by it honestly due to my Italian husband, but sadly for me it means that they don't appreciate when I swap in whole wheat pasta for the good white stuff. To that I say: Tough Noodles, eat it anyway!

*(I'm not too proud to admit I made myself chuckle with my own pun)

Without Further Ado, Creamy Tomato Rotini and Meatballs

1 bag of turkey meatballs (they sell THE most fabulously delicious ones at Aldi)
1 box of whole wheat rotini or penne or spaghetti
1 14 oz can of diced italian style tomatoes
1 can of tomato sauce
*using tomato sauce and diced tomatoes saves you on calories from spag. sauce
1 pkg. low fat neufatchel cream cheese
1 bag of fresh baby spinach
2 tsp. italian seasoning

Boil a pot of water seasoned with salt and add in rotini.
Cook meatballs per instructions
In a sauce pan mix tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and italian seasoning
After sauce warms, cut cream cheese into chunks and add to tomatoes, stirring until melted in
Add spinach to pot of boiling pasta for last two minutes of cooking and then drain.
Mix pasta/spinach, sauce and meatballs in a large dish and serve!!