Sunday, November 29, 2009

Chex Mix

Nibble Stuff
Recipe from Elizabeth's Grandmother

Melt in pan:
2 sticks oleo (margarine)

1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp onion salt
1 tsp garlic salt
3 TBSP Worcestershire sauce

1/2 box Cheerios
1/2 box Corn Chex
1/2 box Wheat Chex
1/2 box Rice Chex
1/2 box Nabisco thin pretzels (I used half a bag of pretzel sticks)
8 oz can peanuts
as many other kinds & amounts of nuts as you can afford

Mix it all up. Cover roaster. Cook 1 hour at 225 degrees, stirring occasionally. Remove cover, cook 1 more hour stirring occasionally.

You may have to vary the seasoning to suit your own taste. It gets stronger as it sets, so be careful.

The above recipe is copied exactly as written down by my grandmother. I had to ask my mom what "oleo" was! In addition to an 8oz can of peanuts, I added an 8oz can of Spanish peanuts and an 8oz can of mixed nuts. I don't think it needs any additional seasoning, and it definitely gets stronger as it sets so be careful if you add more!

This is THE BEST chex mix and definitely makes enough for a crowd.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mint Chocolate Delights

Mint Chocolate Delights
Nestle Tollhouse recipe

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup baking cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 butter cup or margarine, softened (I used butter)
2/3 cup granulated sugar (I used Splenda blend)
2/3 cup packed brown sugar (I used Splenda blend)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 10 oz pkg Nestle Tollhouse Dark Chocolate & Mint Morsels

Preheat oven to 325.

Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Drop by well-rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheet.

Bake for 11-13 minutes or until cookies are puffed and centers are set. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes approx. 4 dozen cookies.

I saw these chocolate chips in the Christmas section at Target and decided that I needed to make these cookies. They taste like cookie versions of chocolate mint brownies that my mom makes. Very good! I used my cookie scoop for the first time today. So easy!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Santa Fe Chicken

Sante Fe Chicken
From Kraft Foods

2 cups instant white rice, uncooked (I used brown rice)
1 can (19 oz.) black beans, drained, rinsed
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 can (10-1/2 oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup (I used Campbell's Healthy Request)
2 cups water
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)
1/2 cup salsa
1 cup Mexican Style Finely Shredded Four Cheese (I used 2%)

Preheat oven to 400.

Mix rice, beans, and pepper in a 9x13 baking dish. Combine soup, water, and cilantro; pour evenly over rice mixture.

Top with chicken. Spoon salsa over chicken.

Bake for 35 minutes; sprinkle with cheese. Bake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serves 4.

Very easy to throw together on a weeknight with ingredients you probably already have on hand. Chicken came out moist and the rice/beans/pepper has a wonderful flavor.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Easy Italian Pasta Bake

Easy Italian Pasta Bake
Adapted from Kraft Foods

1 lb ground turkey
3 cups whole wheat penne pasta, cooked
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1/3 Kraft Reduced Fat Grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 1/2 cups Kraft 2% Milk Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Preheat oven to 375.

Brown meat in a large skillet; drain. Add pasta, sauce, and 1/2 the Parmesan. Mix well.

Spoon into a 9x13 dish; top with remaining cheeses.

Bake 20 minutes, or until heated through.

Serves 6.

I thought this needed more sauce, but Patrick liked it the way it turned out. He's not a huge fan of sauce anyway. Just a quick, easy meal that's good for a weeknight. We have a ton of leftovers and will be eating this throughout the week.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Garlic Roast Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon

Garlic Roast Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon
From Rachel Ray 30 Minute Meals

2 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into chunks
6 garlic cloves, crushed (I used bottled)
3 TBS fresh rosemary leaves stripped from stems
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced (I used bottled)
1 TBS grill seasoning
1/2 cup chicken broth

Preheat oven to 450.

Arrange chicken in a 9x13 baking dish. Add garlic, rosemary, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon zest and grill seasoning or salt and pepper to the dish. Toss and coat the chicken with all ingredients, then place in oven. Roast 20 minutes. Add wine and lemon juice to the dish and combine with pan juices. Return to oven and turn oven off. Let stand 5 minutes longer then remove chicken from the oven. Place baking dish on trivet and serve, spooning pan juices over the chicken pieces.

This is a quick and easy recipe for when you have chicken breasts, but not sure what you want to make with them. The chicken had a lot of flavor and came out of the oven moist. Served with stuffing because the cook was having a craving!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Oven-Roasted Green Beans

Oven-Roasted Green Beans
From Cooking Light, November 2005

2 lbs green beans, trimmed
4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

Place a jelly-roll pan in oven for 10 minutes. Place beans in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil, salt, and pepper. Toss well to coat. Arrange green beans in a single layer on preheated baking sheet. Bake at 425 for 8 minutes or until crisp-tender.

Serves 12.

No pictures for this one either.

Quick and tasty! Mine were a little on the crisp side, so next time I might leave them in for a few more minutes.

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells
Adapted from Cooking Light, October 2007

2 cups pasta sauce (I used Ragu Tomato, Garlic, and Basil)
Cooking spray
2 1/2 cups part skim ricotta (I used light Harris Teeter brand)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
1 large egg yolk
1 garlic clove, minced (I used bottled garlic)
24 jumbo pasta shells, cooked

Preheat oven to 350.

Spread 1/2 cup pasta sauce over bottom of a 9x13 baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Combine ricotta and next 8 ingredients (through garlic) in a large bowl, stirring well. Spread about 1 1/2 TBS filling into each pasta shell. Arrange stuffed shells in prepared dish; spread with remaining 1 1/2 cups pasta sauce. Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 6.

Again, sorry for the lack of pictures. I'm sure you can imagine what stuffed shells look like though! :)

This is a tasty, and healthy, vegetarian stuffed shells recipe. Just a good, easy, basic recipe. I made it about 4 hours ahead and it's a definitely a make-ahead meal I'll have again!

Mixed Greens with Goat Cheese, Cranberries, and Walnuts

Mixed Greens with Goat Cheese, Cranberries, and Walnuts
Adapted from Coastal Living, December 2006

16 cups mixed greens
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries (I used Craisins)
1 cup toasted walnut halves (I used untoasted walnut pieces
Lemon-Maple Vinaigrette
1 11oz pkg feta cheese, crumbled

Combine greens, cranberries, and walnuts in large bowl. Just before serving, toss with 2/3 cup Lemon Maple Vinaigrette, and top with feta cheese.

Makes 8 servings.

Lemon Maple Vinaigrette
From Coastal Living, December 2006

1 TBS dijon mustard
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (I used bottled)
2 TBS maple syrup
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Sorry for the lack of pictures, but this was served last night when my parents and sister were over for dinner. I completely forgot to take pictures!

This salad was really good, and we got more than 8 servings out of it. The dressing is slightly sweet and is a good variation on a vinaigrette. I substituted feta cheese for goat cheese because it's cheaper, and didn't toast the walnuts. A good fall salad!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fall Cookies

Cookies for Santa
From Gooseberry Patch Christmas Cookies

2/3 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 TBS + 1 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
2 cups + 2 TBS all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375.

Blend butter, sugar and milk with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add vanilla and egg; beat well. Add flour, baking powder and salt; mix to combine. Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with cookie cutters; arrange on ungreased baking sheets and bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen.

This sugar cookie dough was very easy to roll out and cut. It didn't require extra flour, and didn't stick to the rolling pin. However, they didn't come out very sweet. I iced them with powdered sugar and milk icing, so hopefully that sweetens them up.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Cranberry-White Chocolate Cookies

Cranberry-White Chocolate Cookies
From Southern Living, December 2005

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups white chocolate morsels
6 oz dried, sweetened cranberries

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; set aside.

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.

Add flour mixture to butter mixture gradually, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in white chocolate morsels and cranberries.

Drop cookie dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets.

Bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

These cookies aren't super sweet, but the combination of white chocolate and cranberries is wonderful. I'm not a huge fan of white chocolate, but these are definitely a hit. I imagine this recipe will end up as a regular in my Christmas cookie baking.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Slow-Cooked BBQ Chicken

Slow-Cooked BBQ Chicken
From Gooseberry Patch Harvest Kitchen

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
18 oz bottle barbecue sauce
3/4 cup cola

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker; cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Shred chicken; stir back into sauce. Serves 4-6.

Fast and easy! This is a great weeknight meal that you can put together in the morning and cook all day.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Turkey Enchilada Casserole

Turkey Enchilada Casserole
From Sunset, September 2002

1 1/2 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 TBS minced garlic
1 TBS dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp canola oil
1 29 oz can enchilada sauce
salt (I omitted)
12 6-inch corn tortillas (I could only find packs of 10 or 20, so I only used 10)
2 cups shredded reduced-fat jack cheese

Preheat oven to 425.

In a 5-quart or 6-quart pan over high heat, stir turkey, onion, garlic, oregano, and cumin in oil until turkey is crumbly and no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Stir in 1 cup enchilada sauce. Add salt to taste (I omitted this step).

Meanwhile, cut tortillas in half. Arrange a fourth of the halves evenly over the bottom of a shallow 3-quart casserole, overlapping to fit. Sprinkle a fourth of the cheese evenly over the tortillas, then top with a third of the turkey mixture and a fourth of the remaining enchilada sauce, spreading each level. Repeat to make two more layers of tortillas, cheese, turkey mixture, and sauce; top with another layer of tortillas and sauce, then cheese.

Bake at 425 until cheese is melted and casserole is hot in the center, 18 to 20 minutes. Yields 6-8 servings.

Yum! I'd like to know if reduced-sodium enchilada sauce exists because this is a pretty salty casserole, and I even omitted some of the salt the recipe calls for. Overall very good and very easy. It could be made healthier by cutting down on the cheese to 1 1/2 cups rather than 2.