Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mexican Chicken Casserole

1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 (4.5-ounce) cans chopped green chiles, divided
1 3/4 pounds skinned, boned chicken breasts
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup evaporated skim milk
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup (2 ounces) tub-style light cream cheese
1 (10-ounce) can enchilada sauce
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
Cooking spray
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup crushed tortilla chips


  1. Combine broth and 1 can of chiles in a large skillet; bring to a boil. Add chicken; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until chicken is done, turning chicken once. Remove chicken from cooking liquid, reserving cooking liquid; cool chicken. Shred meat with two forks, and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 can of chiles and onion; sauté 3 minutes or until soft. Add reserved cooking liquid, milk, Monterey Jack, cream cheese, and enchilada sauce; stir well. Stir in shredded chicken; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat. 
  4. Place 4 tortillas in the bottom of a 2-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Spoon 2 cups chicken mixture over tortillas. Repeat layers twice, ending with chicken mixture. 
  5. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and chips. 
  6. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Hot Tamale Pie

· Cooking spray
· 1 ½ pounds ground beef or turkey
· 1 onion, diced
· 3 tablespoons minced garlic
· 1 envelope taco seasoning
· 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
· 1 16-ounce salsa
· 2 cups diced poblano peppers (can use green, red, yellow peppers)
· 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
· 2 8.5-ounce boxes corn muffin mix
· 2 eggs
· 2/3 cup milk, divided
· 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
· 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
· 1 cup canned or frozen corn, thawed

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray a 9x13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
  3. Cook and stir ground beef in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until meat starts to brown and release juices, about 5 minutes. 
  4. Reduce heat to medium and stir in onion, garlic, taco seasoning, salt, pepper, salsa, and peppers; cook and stir until seasoned beef is crumbly and no longer pink, about 10 minutes. 
  5. Add black beans to meat mixture. 
  6. Mix one package of corn muffin mix in a large bowl with 1 egg and 1/3 cup of milk. Whisk to combine. In a separate large bowl, mix the second package of corn muffin mix with 1 egg, 1/3 cup of milk and half the Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses.
  7. Spread the prepared corn muffin mixture without cheese into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle corn over the muffin mix, followed by remaining half of the cheeses, then the beef mixture.
  8. Spoon the corn muffin mix with cheese on top of the beef and carefully spread over the top with a fork, leaving about half an inch from the edges of the pan.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, until golden brown.
  10. Serve with sour cream, black olives, tomatoes, guacamole, and/or salsa.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Peanut Cluster Candy (Slow Cooker)

· 1 (16 ounce) package dry roasted salted peanuts
· 1 (16 ounce) package unsalted dry roasted peanuts
· 1 (12 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate bits
· 1 (4 ounce) German chocolate bars
· 32 ounces white almond bark


  1. Put peanuts in bottom of slow cooker; add other ingredients.
  2. Cook on low setting for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until chocolate has melted. 
  3. To avoid burning the nuts and/or the chocolate, stir first after about 15-20 minutes, and then several times after, about every 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Place rounded spoonfuls onto wax paper and allow to cool.

Note: New slow cookers cook much hotter than older models, even on low. If you are using a new model, you may want to try cooking this on warm and for a longer time to avoid burning.

Optional Add-Ins: Optional add-ins: Can also add in 1 to 2 cups of any crunchy dry cereal - Cheerios, Chex, Wheaties, Kix, Rice Krispies, Corn Flakes, or choose your favorite cereal, or other embellishments such as raisins, chopped dried fruit, dried berries or cranberries, flaked coconut, crushed candy canes, Heath bits, or any combination. You can also substitute or use a combination of nuts - chopped pecans, chopped cashews, chopped macadamia nuts, toasted chopped or sliced almonds are all good.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Creamy Ranch Cauliflower (Slow Cooker)

· 1 can Mexican-style corn, drained
· 1 can cream of onion soup
· 1 8-ounce container sour cream
· 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
· 1 envelope (1-ounce) ranch-style dressing mix
· 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
· 3 10-ounce packages fresh cauliflower florets
· 3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled


  1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a 6-quart slow cooker. Add cauliflower, stirring to coat.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until cauliflower is tender. 
  3. Sprinkle with bacon.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Chicken with Artichokes & Mushrooms (Slow Cooker)

· 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
· 2 chicken drumsticks
· 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
· 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
· 1 teaspoon salt
· ½ teaspoon pepper
· 3 Tablespoon olive oil
· 2 4-ounce packages mushrooms
· 2 ½ cups vertically sliced Vidalia or other sweet onion
· 1 cup chicken broth
· 1 (12-ounce) jar artichoke hearts


  1. Rinse chicken, pat dry. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a large zip lock plastic freezer bag. Place chicken in bag, seal bag and shake to coat. Remove chicken.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until hot; add chicken.
  3. Cook 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Place chicken in a large 5 quart slow cooker, reserving drippings in skillet.
  4. Cook mushrooms and onions in hot drippings for 5 minutes or until tender. Add mushrooms, onions, broth and artichokes to slow cooker. 
  5. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or until chicken is tender.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Rich Chocolate Truffle Pie

· 12 ounces milk chocolate chips
· 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
· ¼ cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
· 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
· 1 9-inch prepared chocolate cookie crumb crust
· Strawberries, for garnish

  1. In microwave bowl combine chocolate chips and 1/2 of the cream. Cook on high for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Cool to room temperature. 
  2. Stir in sugar and vanilla. Set aside. 
  3. In small bowl, beat the rest of the cream until soft peaks form. Beat in chocolate mixture on high speed 1/3 at a time. 
  4. Mix well and spoon into crust. 
  5. Refrigerate at least 8 hours before serving. 
  6. Add strawberries before serving. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Romance in a Bowl Salad

· 4 cups baby salad greens
· 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
· 2 green onions, chopped
· 6 strawberries, hulled and sliced
· 12 fresh raspberries
· 1 teaspoon minced garlic
· ¼ cup chopped walnuts, chopped
· ¼ cups seasoned almond slices
· ¼ cup dried cranberries
· ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
· ½ cup seasoned croutons
· ½ cups herb vinaigrette salad dressing, or to taste

  1. In a large bowl, toss together the salad greens, carrot, green onions, strawberries, raspberries, garlic, walnuts, almond slices, cranberries and feta cheese. Divide between two salad bowls. 
  2. Top each bowl with some croutons and serve with vinaigrette dressing.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Crab Stuffed Manicotti

4 uncooked manicotti shells
1 tablespoon butter
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 cup fat-free milk
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup lump crabmeat, drained
1/3 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Minced fresh parsley


  1. Cook manicotti according to package directions. 
  2. In a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in Parmesan cheese. 
  3. In a small bowl, combine the crab, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, lemon-pepper, pepper and garlic powder. Drain manicotti; stuff with crab mixture. 
  4. Spread 1/4 cup sauce in an 8-in. square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with stuffed manicotti. Pour remaining sauce over top. 
  5. Cover and bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until heated through. 
  6. Just before serving, sprinkle with parsley. Yield: 2 servings.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pound Cake with Peanut Butter Glaze

Ingredients for the cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup creamy peanut butter (don't use natural unless you have the no-stir kind)
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
3 cups granulated white sugar
6 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips or chopped peanut butter cups

Ingredients for the glaze:

1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions for the Cake:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray 10-cup bundt pan generously with nonstick spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together peanut butter and butter. Add sugar and beat an additional 5 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until well combined.
Add dry ingredients a little at a time, beating just until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips. Scrape batter into prepared bundt pan. Tap it a couple of times on the counter to shake out any hidden air pockets.
Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, or until a skewer, sharp knife, or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Check on the cake at 1 hour to make sure it's not browning too quickly on top. If it is, just place a piece of foil loosely over the top of the pan. Let the cake cool for 20 minutes, then flip it onto a rack or platter and let it cool completely.

Directions for the glaze:
In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, milk, peanut butter and vanilla until smooth.
Drizzle glaze over the top of the cooled cake, letting it drizzle down the sides. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips on top.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Parmesan Garlic Roasted Potatoes

  • Potatoes Cut in to cubes or wedges 
  • Olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Cut potatoes into cubes or wedges. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 3 to 6 minutes depending on size.
3. While potatoes are cooking put enough oil to just cover the bottom of a cast iron skillet or other heavy pan and heat in oven.
4. Drain the potatoes and place them back in the pot. Put the pot back on the burner and shake to dry the potatoes and to rough up their surface. This is what gives roasted potatoes that perfect crust.
5. Add the potatoes to the hot oil, toss to coat and roast turning once or twice.
6. When potatoes are almost tender sprinkle with fresh garlic and Parmesan, salt and pepper and continue roasting until potatoes are tender. Turn at least one more time for even browning.
7. Just before serving, toss with fresh chopped parsley.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Surf and Turf

Ingredients for Beef Tenderloin:
·         2 3-ounce beef tenderloin medallions
·         Olive oil cooking spray
·         2 teaspoons paprika
·         1 teaspoon sea salt
·         ½  teaspoon coarse black pepper
·         ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
·         ¼ teaspoon lemon pepper
Ingredients for Sautéed Shrimp:
·         4 shrimp, peeled and deveined
·         2 teaspoons olive oil
·         1 clove garlic, minced
·         1 teaspoon sea salt
·         ½ teaspoon paprika


  1. In a small bowl, combine the paprika, salt, black pepper, garlic powder and lemon pepper.  Dividing it between the two pieces of beef, gently rub the spices into the beef, coating both sides.  Cover and refrigerate for one hour.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together shrimp ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes to an hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Mist a medium, ovenproof saucepan with cooking spray and heat on medium heat.  Add beef and sear on one side for 4-5 minutes.  Turn over; transfer pan to oven and roast to desired doneness; about 7 minutes for medium-rare or 9-10 minutes for medium.  Test with meat thermometer to get an accurate reading. 
  4. In a non-stick sauté pan on high, add shrimp and sauté for about 3 minutes, until just cooked through. 
  5. Top beef with shrimp.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Chewy Good Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened 
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 tablespoon honey 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 2 ½ cups quick-cooking oats 
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1 1/3 cups dried cherries 
  • 1 cup white baking chips 
  • 1 cup chopped macadamia nuts 

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
2. Beat in the eggs, honey and vanilla.
3. In another bowl, mix the oats, flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
4. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart onto greased baking sheets.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Cool on pan for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool.