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.