Friday, October 22, 2010

Pumpkin-Cranberry Muffins

Pumpkin-Cranberry Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar (I used Splenda baking blend)
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
2 eggs
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans
coarse sugar, if desired

Preheat oven to 400.

Grease 12 regular size muffin cups or line with paper baking cups.

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Stir in pumpkin, oil, eggs, cranberries, and pecans until just moistened. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle coarse sugar evenly over batter in each cup.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan to cooling rack. Serve warm.

Yield: 12 muffins

Two words - fall yumminess. Now that I'm on maternity leave, I figured I should bake these muffins since I've been wanting to make them for awhile. The combo of spices, pumpkin, and cranberries is really good. They're also not overly sweet for breakfast, but also good for an afternoon snack. Which I just had! I've saved one for P and have frozen the rest. I wrapped them individually in foil for an easy breakfast or snack from the freezer in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chicken-Penne Florentine Bake

Chicken-Penne Florentine Bake

From Kraft Foods

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
2 TBSP flour
2 cups multi-grain penne pasta, uncooked (I used Barilla PLUS penne)
2 TBSP Kraft Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing (I didn't have this and used Balsamic Vinaigrette)
1 cup fat-free reduced sodium chicken broth
2 oz reduced fat cream cheese, cubed
1 10oz package chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 cup 2% shredded mozzarella cheese
2 TBSP grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 375.

Toss chicken with flour. Cook pasta according to directions on package.

While pasta cooks, heat dressing in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken; cook and stir 3 minutes or just until chicken is browned. Add broth and cream cheese; cook 3 minutes or until cream cheese is melted, stirring frequently. Stir in spinach.

Drain pasta. Add to spinach mixture; mix lightly. Spoon half into 2 quart casserole dish; top with 1/2 cup mozzarella. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with parmesan.

Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until casserole is heated through and mozzarella is melted.

Yield: 6 servings

Another easy, tasty recipe from Kraft. This one wasn't quite as quick as some of the others I've made, but using pre-cooked chicken would speed it up. I wasn't sure it would be flavorful enough at first, and it might not be for some people, but I thought it had a creamy flavor without being heavy. We can definitely get 6, if not more, servings out of this dish. I'm not a huge fan of leftovers, but this heated up well the following night without the pasta getting too dry.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Scones

Copycat Pumpkin Scones
Found online and unsure of original author

2 cups all-purpose flour
7 TBSP granulated sugar
1 TBSP baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
3 TBSP half-and-half (I used fat free)
1 large egg
6 TBSP cold butter

Plain Glaze:
1 cup plus 1 TBSP powdered sugar
3 TBSP milk (I used skim)

Spiced Icing:
1 cup plus 3 TBSP powdered sugar
2 TBSP milk (I used skim)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch ground cloves
pinch ground ginger

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger in a large bowl.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, half-and-half, and egg.

Cut butter into cubes and add it to the dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender, combine butter with dry ingredients. Continue mixing until no chunks of butter are visible.

Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, then form the dough into a ball (I found the dough to be very sticky, so it might help to flour your hands). Pat out dough on a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1 inch thick rectangle that is roughly 9 inches long and 3 inches wide. Use a pizza cutter to slice the dough twice along the width, making 3 equal portions. Cut those 3 slices diagonally.

Bake for 14-16 minutes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Scones should begin to turn light brown.

While scones cool, prepare glaze by mixing in a medium bowl. Mix until smooth. When scones are cool, use a brush to paint a coating of glaze over each scone.

While glaze firms up, prepare spiced icing by mixing ingredients in a medium bowl (I used the same bowl from the glaze). Drizzle the thicker icing over the scones and allow the icing to dry before serving (at least 1 hour).

Makes 6-9 scones, depending on how you slice the dough.

This was my first attempt at making scones, and these are so good! I'm not sure if I've ever had an original Starbucks pumpkin scones, so I can't say how close these are. If they're anything close to these, then they must be good. Next time I might add a bit more pumpkin, but other than that these will be a great breakfast treat.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes
From The Novice Chef
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 quantity chai spice mix (see below)
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup buttermilk (I used reduced fat)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar (I didn't have any and used plain vinegar)

Chai Spice Mix:
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom (I didn't have any and substituted pumpkin pie spice)
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Mix together spices in a small bowl.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add vanilla and beat in one egg at a time. Stir in half the quantity of the chai spice mix. Fold in the flour and buttermilk and stir until combined, don't over mix. Mix together the baking soda and vinegar and mix into the batter.

Spoon into prepared cupcake cases until 3/4 full. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Vanilla Chai Buttercream:
2 sticks (1 cup) butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 quantity chai spice mix
1-2 TBSP cold milk, if needed

In a stand mixer, beat the butter until it's creamy. On low, mix in vanilla and the rest of the chai spice mix. Carefully beat in the sugar 1/2 cup at a time. If the buttercream is too thick, add 1-2 TBSP cold milk until the desired consistency is reached. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

Yield: 1 dozen cupcakes

I absolutely love vanilla chai, so when I came across this recipe I knew I had to try it out. These were not overly sweet (well, of course the icing was) and a good fall alternative to the typical very sweet cupcakes people make in the summer. I think the cake part would be good for breakfast with cream cheese instead of icing. The icing would also be good on a pumpkin cupcake or gingerbread cupcake.

I have very little cupcake decorating experience, and this was my first time attempting to do something other than smear icing onto the top of the cake. Not having any tools, I just used a ziploc bag and cut a small hole in one corner. Worked pretty well! I may ask for the Wilton 12-piece cupcake decorating kit for Christmas...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Old-Fashioned Chicken Pot Pie

Old-Fashioned Chicken Pot Pie
Adapted from Gooseberry Patch Harvest Kitchen

2 9-inch pie crusts
2 TBSP onion
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
10 3/4 oz can reduced-fat cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup skim milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a 9-inch pie pan with one crust; set aside. Mix together chicken, vegetables, onion, soup and milk; pour into pie crust. Cover with remaining crust; crimp edges and cut vents in crust. Bake at 400 for 40 minutes.

Serves 6.

I've been having a craving for pot pie recently, so I decided to make this really easy recipe. I like that it didn't call for any butter which is unusual for pot pie. This was quick and easy, as well as tasty. I was lazy and used pre-cooked chicken, and this would be a good use for leftover rotisserie chicken.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Turkey Pesto Sliders

Turkey Pesto Sliders
From Annie's Eats

6 slider buns
6 slices turkey deli meat
6 slices provolone cheese
3 TBSP pesto
3 TBSP mayonnaise
2 TBSP butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400.

Line a baking sheet with foil. Split the buns and lay a folded slice of turkey on the bottom bun. Layer each with a slice of provolone. In a small bowl, combine the pesto and mayonnaise and mix until blended. Spread a thin layer of the pesto mayonnaise on the top half of each bun. Replace the top half to assemble the sliders. Brush the tops of the buns lightly with the melted butter. Bake 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the sliders are warmed through.

I've always wanted to make something from Annie's blog, but am generally intimated by her cooking skills. I figured it would be hard to mess up these sliders, and I find myself looking for easier and easier meals as pregnancy progresses. These were very easy and hit the spot! 2 sliders and a small salad were enough dinner for me, and Patrick agreed that they were a tasty weeknight meal. I foresee eating these on a semi-regular basis when the baby is here.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Easy Peach Cobbler

Easy Peach Cobbler
From Southern Living, June 1997

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar, divided
1 TBSP baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup milk
4 cups fresh peach slices
1 TBSP lemon juice
Ground cinnamon or nutmeg, if desired (I decided to try cinnamon)

Preheat oven to 375.

Melt butter in a 9x13 baking dish.

Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt; add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter over butter (do not stir).

Bring remaining 1 cup sugar, peach slices, and lemon juice to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly; pour over batter (do not stir). Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve cobbler warm or cool.

Yield: 10 servings

I halved the recipe since I was just making it for the 2 of us on Labor Day. It's a good thing I did that because this was perfection as far a summer desserts go. We easily could have gone back for seconds, but are saving the rest for tomorrow night.

The peaches I had weren't super sweet, but if they had been the sugar would have needed to be cut in half. I usually use Splenda blends when I bake, but decided to just go for it with this recipe. It's even yummier served with vanilla ice cream. Maybe next time I'll make the whole recipe...

Steak Fajitas

Steak Fajitas
From Kraft Food & Family, Fall 2010

1/3 cup steak sauce
1/4 cup salsa
1.5 lb boneless beef sirloin steak, cut into strips
1/4 cup sour cream
1 TBSP lime juice
1 red pepper, cut into strips
1 green pepper, cut into strips
1 onion, cut lengthwise in half, then sliced crosswise (I didn't have an onion, so I omitted)
6 8-inch flour tortillas, warmed

Mix stead sauce and salsa in a large bowl. Add meat; toss to coat. Refrigerate 30 minutes to marinate. Meanwhile, mix sour cream and lime juice. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Cook steak in 2 batches, in large skillet coated with cooking spray on high heat 3 to 4 minutes, or until evenly browned, stirring frequently. Remove from skillet; cover to keep warm. Add peppers and onion to skillet; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring frequently. Return meat to skillet; stir. Cook 5 minutes or until heated through, stirring frequently.

Serve with tortillas and sour cream.

These were good, but nothing to exclaim over. We do Mexican quite a bit, but always with chicken or ground turkey for taco meat. This Kraft recipe looked pretty easy, so I decided to try it out. Definitely an easy weeknight meal.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chicken Kebabs with Creamy Pesto

Chicken Kebabs with Creamy Pesto
From Cooking Light, September 2010

2 tsp grated lemon rind
2 tsp lemon juice, divided
2 tsp bottled minced garlic
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
8 1-inch pieces yellow bell pepper
8 cherry tomatoes (I only had grape tomatoes, so I just used more than 8)
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small red onion, cut into 8 wedges
cooking spray
2 TBS low-fat plain yogurt
2 TBS low-fat sour cream
1 TBS commercial pesto

Preheat broiler.

Combine rind, 1 tsp lemon juice, garlic, oil, salt and pepper. Toss with bell pepper, tomatoes, chicken, and onion. Thread vegetables and chicken onto 4 12-inch skewers. Place skewers on broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 12 minutes or until chicken is done, turning occasionally.

Combine 1 tsp lemon juice, yogurt, sour cream, and pesto. Serve sauce with kebabs.

Yield: 4 servings (1 kebab + sauce)

This was very easy and very tasty. It looks impressive for a weeknight meal, but really takes no time at all. I like that it's a fast way to combine protein and veggies without a lot of work. I was a little hesitant when I tasted the sauce by itself, but it was very good with the meat and vegetables. I used pesto that Patrick brought back from one of his port visits during his last deployment.

Cooking Light suggests that 1 kebab is enough for a serving, and it was for me. However, Patrick ate 2 of them which means no leftovers for both of us. Next time I'll probably double the recipe so we can eat them again another night.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fajita Turkey Burgers

Fajita Turkey Burgers
Adapted from Cooking Light, July 2006

1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 1/2 tsp Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime Seasoning
1 TBS tomato paste
1 cup bread crumbs
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 egg white or 2 TBS egg substitute
hamburger buns, toasted

Dressing for burgers: Mix mayo with salsa verde until you get desired taste and consistency.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray; add onion and bell peppers. Saute 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in 1/2 tsp Mrs. Dash and set aside to cool.

Combine breadcrumbs, onion mixture, 1 tsp Mrs. Dash, tomato paste, turkey, and egg white in a large bowl. Divide turkey mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 3/4 inch thick patty. Heat grill pan over medium heat. Cook patties 4 minutes on each side or until done. Place patties on buns and top with mayo/salsa spread.

I served these with Trader Joe's crinkle cut fries. Patrick said the burgers tasted like something he'd order in a restaurant. They were probably the best homemade burgers I've ever had. The peppers, onion, and Mrs. Dash really made the flavor pop. You could substitute any seasoning you like, or add red pepper for a kick. We ate 2 burgers tonight and will see how the other 2 re-heat tomorrow.

Pimento Cheese

Pimento Cheese

Shredded Cheddar
Jar of pimentos

Blend items together in food processor or blender.

There's not a whole lot more Southern than pimento cheese sandwiches. I grew up eating them and continue to crave them every now and then. My grandfather's was always the best because he used real cheese and mayo. I personally use 2% shredded cheddar and reduced fat mayo. For this particular batch, I used one package of Kraft 2% shredded cheddar and a 4 oz jar of pimentos. I drained some of the liquid out before throwing them in the food processor, but not all. The less liquid you drain, the less amount of mayo you need which cuts the fat down a bit.

This is one of those foods that I didn't realize until only a few years ago was available for purchase in stores. I thought everyone made their own since it's so simple! Whenever I get tired of lunch meat, PB&J, or taking leftovers pimento cheese is a tasty option.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Blueberry Cinnamon Muffins

Blueberry Cinnamon Muffins
From Southern Living, July 2002

1/4 cup regular oats
2 TBS brown sugar (I used Splenda blend)
1 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar (I used Slenda blend)
1/2 cup egg substitute
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup fat free buttermilk (I couldn't find fat free, so I substituted light)
1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350.

Stir together oats, brown sugar, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Set aside.

Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg substitute, beating until blended. Stir in vanilla extract.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Add to butter mixture alternating with buttermilk, ending with flour mixture. Gently stir in blueberries. Spoon batter into muffin pans coated with cooking spray, filling 2/3 full. Sprinkle evenly with oat mixture.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until tops are golden. Cool muffins in pans for 5 minutes; remove and cool on wire racks.

Yield: 15 muffins (I actually got 17)

These muffins are on the cakey side and don't get huge, but they are tasty! Next time I'll probably line the muffin pans with paper cups because the blueberries sank to the bottom and made them hard to remove without falling apart. However, the blueberries I bought at Harris Teeter were huge, so that might be a factor. Considering there isn't any oil or real eggs in this recipe, they're not too bad for you nutrition wise. Definitely a keeper recipe and I think these would be good to freeze.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mexican Chicken Casserole

Mexican Chicken Casserole
Adapted from Kraft Foods

3/4 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tsp ground cumin
1 green pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups salsa
2 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
1 15 oz. can reduced-sodium or no salt added black beans, rinsed
1 tomato, chopped
2 6-inch whole wheat tortillas
1/2 cup reduced-fat Mexican-style cheese

Preheat oven to 375.

Cook and stir chicken and cumin in nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium heat 2 min. Add peppers; cook 2 min., stirring occasionally. Stir in salsa; cook 2 min. Add cream cheese; cook 2 min. or until melted. Stir in beans and tomatoes.

Spoon 1/3 of chicken mixture into 8-inch square baking dish; cover with 1 tortilla and half each of the remaining chicken mixture and shredded cheese. Top with remaining tortilla and chicken mixture; cover.

Bake 20 min. or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese; bake, uncovered, 5 min. or until melted.

As you can tell, I'm on a Kraft Foods recipe kick. I'm pretty tired every evening these days, and I'd rather make something super easy than eat Lean Cuisine or pizza every night. Like most Kraft recipes, this was really easy and full of flavor. I liked how it called for a lot of fresh vegetables, not just canned. We will definitely make again, and might try with shredded chicken or ground turkey.

(Apologies for the really horrible pictures.)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Creamy Tomato-Basil Pasta with Shrimp

Creamy Tomato-Basil Pasta with Shrimp

From Kraft Food & Family Summer 2010

3 cups bow-tie pasta, uncooked (I used whole wheat pasta)
1/4 cup KRAFT Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing, divided
1 lb. uncooked peeled deveined medium shrimp
1 cup Fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp. each garlic powder and black pepper
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed (I used reduced fat)
2 cups grape tomatoes
1/2 cup KRAFT shredded parmesan cheese (I used grated because it's all I had)
8 fresh basil leaves, cut into strips (I used dried basil and just sprinkled it on top)

Cook pasta as directed on package. Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp. dressing in large skillet on medium heat. Add shrimp; cook and stir 2 to 3 min. or until shrimp turn pink. Use slotted spoon to remove shrimp from skillet; cover to keep warm. Discard any drippings in skillet.

Add remaining dressing, broth and seasonings to skillet; cook 2 min. or until heated through. Add cream cheese; cook and stir 2 to 3 min. or until melted. Stir in tomatoes; cook 1 minute.

Drain pasta. Add to ingredients in skillet. Stir in parmesan and half the basil; top with shrimp and remaining basil.

We really liked this recipe, but Patrick requested less tomatoes and more shrimp next time. He's not a fan of warm grape tomatoes, but I liked them. Using reduced fat cream cheese and reduced fat parmesan helped cut down on the fat in this recipe, but you definitely couldn't tell!

And she cooks again!

So, about that very long lull in the cooking.....pregnancy is just the perfect excuse not to do things! By the time I get home from work I'm either not in the mood for what I was planning on making, feeling ill (not anymore, but definitely for awhile there), or just too tired. However, I will try and suck it up and cook more often because I need to get back in the habit.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

"Healthified" Mexican Pasta Skillet

"Healthified" Mexican Pasta Skillet
Adapted from

1 lb lean ground turkey
1 16oz jar salsa
1 cup tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1 cup corn
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

In 12-inch skillet, cook turkey over medium-high heat 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain.

Stir in salsa, tomato sauce and water. Heat to boiling. Stir in macaroni and corn. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until macaroni is tender.

Sprinkle with cheese. Cover; let stand 1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serves 6.

We decided that this tasted like homemade hamburger helper, just healthier and with more flavor. In my opinion, it was better heated up the next day. I think this will become a freezer meal for us since it makes a lot, is easy, and reheats better than the original.

Pineapple Sweet & Sour Chicken

Pineapple Sweet & Sour Chicken
From a Minute Rice recipe I found on a coupon

2 cups Minute Rice, uncooked (I used brown rice)
1 20oz can Dole Pineapple Chunks
2 TBS canola oil
1 medium green pepper, cut into chunks
1 medium onion, cut into chunks
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced (omitted b/c I don't like them)
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup sweet & sour sauce
2 TBS reduced sodium soy sauce

Prepare rice according to package directions.

Drain pineapple; reserve 2 TBS juice.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add peppers, onions and mushrooms; cook until vegetables are tender crisp. Remove vegetables from skillet; set aside.

Cook chicken in same skillet until chicken is browned and cooked through. Add vegetables back to skillet with sweet & sour sauce, soy sauce, pineapple chunks and reserved juice. Heat through. Serve with cooked rice.

Serves 6.

Another quick and easy recipe that's a great way to get in protein, whole grains, and vegetables. Also good heated up the next day. Who needs to order Chinese when you can just make this?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Orzo with Spinach and Feta

Orzo with Spinach and Feta
From Cooking Light December 1999

5 cups water
2 cups uncooked orzo
5 cups coarsely chopped spinach
1 cup crumbled feta (I used reduced fat)
1 TBS olive oil
1 TBS lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add orzo. Cook 10 minutes; drain. Rinse with cold water; drain.

Combine pasta, spinach, and feta in a large bowl. Combine oil and remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle lemon mixture over pasta mixture; toss well to coat.

Yield: 8 servings (1 serving = 1 cup)

Fresh and easy side dish. This would go well as a side for almost any meat.

Baked Shrimp with Feta

Baked Shrimp with Feta
From Cooking Light April 2009

1 TBS lemon juice
1/2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced (I used bottled)
2 TBS bottled clam juice
1 TBS white wine (I didn't have any and substituted chicken broth)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/t tsp black pepper
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup crumbled feta (I used reduced fat)

Preheat oven to 450.

Combine lemon juice and shrimp in a large bowl; toss well. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add oil to pan, swirling to coat. Add onion to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add clam juice, wine, oregano, pepper, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

Stir in shrimp mixture.

Place mixture in an 11 x 7–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle cheese evenly over mixture. Bake at 450° for 12 minutes or until shrimp are done and cheese melts. Serve immediately.

Yields: 4 Servings

Apologies for the recent lack of blog posts! This baked shrimp recipe was a great one to get started again with. Fast and easy with lots of flavor. I don't think I've baked shrimp before, but this is definitely a recipe to make again. Served with Orzo with Spinach and Feta.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Maple-Glazed Salmon

Maple-Glazed Salmon
From The Best of Cooking Light

2 TBS maple syrup
1 1/2 TBS apple juice
1 1/2 TBS lemon juice
2 tsp hoisin sauce
1 1/2 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp five-spice powder
4 6oz salmon fillets

Preheat broiler.

Combine the first 7 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add fillets to bag, and seal. Marinate in refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Remove fillets from bag, reserving the marinade. Place fillets on a broiler rack coated with cooking spray. Broil for 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, baste fillets occasionally with reserved marinade.

Yield: 4 servings

Fast and easy! One of our New Year's resolutions is to eat more fish, and we both like salmon. It took a little while to find five spice powder on the shelf at Harris Teeter, but we finally found it among the Asian items. Definitely a yummy way to get in your Omega-3s!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Quick Chicken-Corn Chowder

Quick Chicken-Corn Chowder
Adapted from Cooking Light, December 2001

2 TBS butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 TBS all-purpose flour
2 cups 2% milk
1 cup skim milk
2 cups chopped boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 14.75 oz can cream-style corn

Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and celery; cook for 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add flour; cook one minute, stirring constantly. Stir in milk and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, cook until thick (about 5 minutes).

Yield: 1 cup
6 Servings

Very fast and easy soup for a cold night. This was my first recipe using the Dutch Oven I received as a Christmas present and it was a success. This is a slightly sweet soup, so substitute something else for the cream-style corn if you prefer something less sweet.