Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Lemon Almond Chicken Salad with Avocado

So, once again I am trying different ways to get veggies into my diet.  This, so far, is one of my favorites.  I love to make homemade chicken salad and adding Avocado just made it fabulous!

Lemon Almond Chicken Salad with Avocado

3 chicken breasts
1 Avocado
2 Tbsp. onion, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dill
1/8 cup sliced almonds
2 Tbsp. real butter
1/2 c. real mayonnaise (can use light) - more or less
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)

Cut chicken breasts into small pieces and saute' in skillet with 2 Tbsp. real butter.  Add salt and pepper.  Cook until chicken is done.  Remove, drain any juices and cool completely.  While chicken is cooling, cut the meat out of the Avocado and mash it with a fork.  

Once chicken is cook, add to a large bowl.  Mix in Avocado, lemon juice, onions, celery, dill and almonds.  Stir to combine.  Start adding mayonnaise a couple Tbsp. at a time. You want it creamy and not stiff.  Mix in the cheese if desired.  After mixing in the cheese, you may need to add a little more mayonnaise.  Stir in the almonds.  Chill and serve!


Monday, January 30, 2017

Chocolate Toffee & Almond Bark

So, last weekend I was craving some chocolate and there was nothing in the house except a bag of Nestle Tollhouse Morsels...so....  this was fabulous by the way!

Chocolate Toffee & Almond Bark

1 bag Nestle Tollhouse Morsels (Chocolate or White Chocolate)
1/2 cup of almonds, sliced
1/4 cup of Heath Toffee Bits

Mix all 3 together and heat in the microwave until it is easily stirred.  Remove and immediately pour out onto parchment paper on a cookie sheet and spread out.

Allow to completely cool (or put in refrigerator).  Break into pieces.  Soooo good!


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Sausage and Rice Dinner

Don't you just love one-pot meals?  Well this one is an easy one that I'm sure you will love.

Sausage and Rice Dinner

1 box Jambalaya Rice (Rice-a-Roni or something like that)
1 stalk celery
1/2 onion, diced
Smoked Sausage
3 baby carrots (more or less)
2 Tbsp. butter

Dice carrots, onion and celery and saute' in butter in a large skillet until tender.  Add box of rice and the seasoning packet and water (according to packet).  Throughout the cooking process you will need to add more water.  Simmer the rice mixture in the covered pan for about 20 minutes.  Check it now and then because you may need to add more water.  Once the rice is tender, add the sausage and cook for another 10 minutes or so.  Still be sure to keep an eye on the water.  You don't want the liquid to cook down until the last few minutes of cooking.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Cheesy Potato and Ground Beef Casserole

This casserole is so easy and such a hearty meal.  I make my cheesy potatoes often, but this time I kicked it up a notch by adding some lean ground beef!  Yummy

Cheesy Potato and Ground Beef Casserole

6 to 8 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 medium onion, diced
3" block of Velveeta cheese
1 cup shredded cheese
1 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. oregano
1/4 cup evaporated milk

Peel and thinly slice potatoes.  Spray the bottom of a baking pan with cooking spray.  Layer the potatoes in the pan.

In a skillet, brown the ground beef with the diced onion, salt, pepper and oregano.  Drain and add to top of the potatoes.

Melt Velveeta cheese in a pan with the evaporated milk.  If it is too thick, you can add a little more milk. It should be pouring consistency, but not too thin.  Once cheese has melted, pour over top of the potatoes/ground beef.  

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes to an hour.  Top with an additional cup of shredded cheese during the last 15 minutes of baking.  Potatoes should be fork tender and cheese should be bubbly on top.


Friday, January 20, 2017

Taco Wrap

I love wraps.  Mostly I eat chicken salad wraps, but last night I decided to try something a little different.  I started out making ground beef for some nachos, but then decided to change it up a little bit.  This is the result

Taco Wrap

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 pkg. taco seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. salsa
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded lettuce
Ranch Dressing 
2 green onions, chopped
4 to 6 12" flour tortillas
Crispy Won Ton noodles (see recipe from 1-16-2017)

Brown ground beef with taco seasoning, salsa, salt and pepper.  Drain well.  Add green onions and mix together.  Place about 1/2 cup of the meat mixture on a flour tortilla.  Pull it to the end and add green onions, shredded lettuce and drizzle with ranch dressing.  Begin to roll the tortilla up, tucking in the sides as you go.  Cut in 1/2 with a knife and serve with extra Ranch Dressing.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Amazing Fruit Salad

My husband loves fruit salad.  Me, not so much...but this one is pretty awesome. 

Amazing Fruit Salad

1 15.5 oz. can of peaches in their natural juices
1 pomegranate
1 apple
1 banana
1 orange

Place the peaches into a large bowl, juice and all.  Peel and dice the apple into small chunks.  Add to the peaches.  Peel and slice 1 banana into thin slices and add.  Peel and remove as much as the rind as you can from an orange.  Cut into small chunks and add to the bowl.  Cut the pomegranate in half and using a spoon, remove all of the seeds and add it to the mixture.  Gently stir to combine all ingredients.

You can serve this immediately or leave in the fridge for a couple of hours to chill. 


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Baby Red Potatoes with Dill Ranch Dressing

I love making my own dressing.  These baby red potatoes are the perfect place to drizzle some of this yummy dressing on top.  It really kicks the potatoes up a notch.  It is fantastic on salads too!

Baby Red Potatoes with Dill Ranch Dressing


6 to 8 baby red potatoes, cut into quarters
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. real butter
1 Tbsp. sea salt
1 tsp. pepper

Place olive oil and butter into a skillet.  Once the butter melts, add the baby red potatoes, peels on, that have been cut into quarters.  Sprinkle sea salt and pepper on top.  Over low/medium heat, fry the potatoes, gently tossing them now and then.  Once they are fork tender, remove from the pan and drizzle with Dill Ranch Dressing

Dill Ranch Dressing:

1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup real mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
A pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp. Dill

Mix well.  Is best if you can chill it for about an hour before you use it.  Will keep in the fridge 4 to 5 days if covered.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Sugar-Free Banana, Pecan & Date Bread

I love banana and zucchini breads, but they are high in calories.  I came up with this recipe as a way to reduce the sugar, yet have the breads I love.  This is fantastic!

Sugar-Free Banana, Pecan  & Date Bread

3 eggs
2 cups Truvia Sugar Substitute
1 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
3 bananas
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped pecans
6 dates, chopped

Beat eggs.  Add oil, Truvia, vanilla and salt.  Mix well.  In separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda & baking powder.  Slowly add to the wet mixture.  When all is combined, stir in the pecans and dates.  Mix well and pour into muffin tins or mini baking loaf pan that have been sprayed with cooking spray.  If you choose, you can grease and flour the pans instead.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes, or until the tops bounce back. 

This is so wonderful and so much better for you than adding sugar!  Enjoy

Monday, January 16, 2017

Crispy Won Ton Noodles

I love adding these crispy Won Ton Noodles to any of my soups.  Especially when I make Egg Drop Soup.  This recipe is only for the noodles.

Crispy Won Ton Noodles

1 pkg. Won Tons
2 quarts canola oil
3 Tbsp. sea salt

I use about 1/3 of the package of Won Tons.  Pull them apart and using a pizza cutter or small knife, cut them into thin strips...about 1/4 of an inch.  Using your fingers toss them until they come part into individual noodles.

Bring 2 quarts of canola oil up to hot.  Test 1 noodle to make sure the oil is hot enough.  Fry them in batches.  Scoop them out onto a paper towel, and as soon as they are done, sprinkle them with Sea Salt.


Friday, January 13, 2017

Beef Cubes over Mashed Potatoes

Talk about your hearty meal!  This is a favorite!  I'll even add some tips on making creamy and not lumpy mashed taters!  Enjoy!

Beef Cubes

1 round steak
2 Tbsp. real butter
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
4 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 can beef broth

Slurry:  1/4 cup water + 2 heaping Tbsp. cornstarch

Cut round steak into small cubes.  In a deep pot or skillet, melt butter and saute' steak pieces until browned.  Add soy sauce, Worcestershire and beef broth.  Simmer over medium heat for approximately 1 hour.  As the meat starts to cook down and the beef broth dissipates, add water 1 cup at a time.  During the last 10 minutes of cooking, when the beef is really tender, make sure you have at least 2 cups of broth on the meat.  Bring to a boil and add the slurry above, stirring constantly until it thickens.  Drizzle the slurry in a little at a time, because you may not need it all.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

6 medium potatoes, peeled
2 quarts water + 1 tsp. salt
1/4 stick real butter
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 Tbsp. sea salt

Peel and cut potatoes into small chunks.  Boil in salted water until the potatoes are fork tender.  Make sure they are tender because if you try to mash them before they are all the way done, you will get lumpy mashed potatoes.  Drain water and put back into the pan.  Add butter to the pan so that it starts to melt and dump the potatoes back in.  Add salt and pepper and begin to beat with a hand mixer, while slowly adding the evaporated milk.  It should take 1/4 cup more or less.  Most people get lumpy or thick mashed potatoes because they don't add enough milk, so make sure they are creamy and not thick.

Place mashed potatoes on a plate and top with the beef cubes and some gravy!


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Cheesy Orzo

Many people think Orzo is rice.  Orzo is, in fact, pasta.  Little tiny morsels of pasta.  I love Orzo.  It is a great filler for soups and can be a stand-alone side dish.  This easy Cheesy Orzo is one of my favorite ways to cook it.

Cheesy Orzo

1 cup Orzo pasta
1" piece of Velveeta Cheese, cut into chunks
1 Tbsp. sea salt
1 tsp. ground pepper
1/2 can evaporated milk (more or less)
2 Tbsp. real butter
2 quarts of water

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil and add the Orzo.  Boil for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until Orzo is tender.  I generally spoon out a couple of pieces, cool it and taste it to make sure it is tender.  Drain all the water off of the Orzo.  Reduce heat and add butter, chunks of Velveeta cheese, evaporated milk, salt and pepper into the Orzo.  Stir well until all cheese is melted and it is creamy.   

Pasta sets up thicker as it cools, so be sure to add enough evaporated milk so it is creamy and not sticky.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Turkey Bacon & Avocado Flatbread

I have been trying to get more veggies into my life in creative ways.  This flatbread turned out wonderful and will definitely be on the menu again!

Turkey Bacon & Avocado Flatbread

8 slices of turkey bacon
1 Avocado
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 small tomato, thinly sliced
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tsp. prepared pesto (or basil)
2 flatbreads (your choice)

Chop and saute' the turkey bacon in a skillet.  Remove the Avocado meat and place into a food processor with the minced garlic and pesto.  Puree until chopped, but still a little chunky.  Thinly slice the tomato.  

Place the flatbreads onto a pan.  Spread the Avocado/Garlic mixture onto the bottom of the flatbread. Top with the thinly sliced tomatoes.  Add the turkey bacon on top and then the mozzarella cheese.  

Bake in a 400 degree oven until cheese becomes bubbly and starts to brown.  Remove and Serve!


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Sweet & Sour Steaks

These steaks are slow cooked and delicious.  They fall apart, so you won't even need a knife!  They are fantastic with some mashed potatoes or steak fries!

Sweet & Sour Steaks

3 or 4 Ribeyes (or your favorite steaks)
1 bottle Kraft Sweet & Sour Sauce
1/2 bottle water
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
1 Tbsp. real butter

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  In a oven-proof dish, melt 1 Tbsp. real butter.  Add steaks.  Mix the Sweet & Sour sauce with 1/2 bottle of water, salt and pepper.  Pour over steaks and turn them once so both sides are coated. 

Bake at 275 degrees for approximately 2 hours.  You want them to cook slowly so that they get tender.  Test them with a fork.  If they are not fall-apart tender, give them another 30 minutes.  About half way thru the cooking process, turn the steaks once to coat the other side.


Monday, January 9, 2017

Cheesy Cauliflower Bites

These little crispy bites are really good and very cheesy!  Try them and see if you aren't sold!

Cheesy Cauliflower Bites

1/2 head cauliflower
1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese + 1/4 cup
1 Tbsp. low fat Mayonnaise
1 tsp. light Ranch Dressing
2 Tbsp. Panko Bread crumbs
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground pepper
cooking spray

Pull off florets of cauliflower and add to a food processor.  Process until it is fine.  Add mayonnaise, Ranch Dressing, Panko, salt, pepper and 1/4 cup of the cheese.   Puree until all is just combined.

Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray (bottom and sides).  Place about 2 Tbsp. of the cauliflower mixture into each cup and top with about distribute the remaining cup of shredded cheese to the tops.  Bake in a 375 degree oven until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.  Using a spoon, remove the bites to a serving dish.  Enjoy!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Mozzarella Cheeseburger Bread

This bread is easy and really great.  It is easy to slice and take as a leftover in your lunch. 

Mozzarella Cheeseburger Bread

2 cans Crescent Rolls
1 lb. lean ground chuck
1/2 small white onion, finely diced
1/2 pkt Taco Seasoning
2 Tbsp. Salsa
6 to 10 slices Mozzarella cheese (or shredded)
2 Tbsp. real butter, melted

Brown ground chuck and onion in a skillet until done.  Drain meat and replace in skillet.  Add salsa and taco seasoning and combine well.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Spray a baking sheet (or use parchment paper) and roll out the 1st pkg. of Crescent rolls.  Pinch all of the edges together so they are one long rectangle.  Layer the bottom with Mozzarella Cheese.  Spread the ground chuck mixture onto the cheese and top with another layer of cheese.  Roll out the second pkg. of Crescent rolls and pinch all edges together.  Place on top of the ground chuck and pinch the edges of the log all the way around, so that it is fully-closed.

Brush the top of the rolls with melted butter.  Bake in a 375 degree oven until the top is browned.  Remove and Enjoy!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Cheesy Tortellini

If you love macaroni and cheese, you will certainly love this recipe.  It makes a great side dish, or add a little smoked sausage to it for a one pot meal.

Cheesy Tortellini

1 pkg. cheese stuffed Tortellini
2" block of Velveeta cheese
1/4 cup evaporated milk (more or less)
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. sea salt
2 Tbsp. real butter
1 tsp. Basil

Boil Tortellini in 2 quarts of water until tender.  Drain completely and add back into the pan
Reduce heat and add butter, evaporated milk and Velveeta cheese, salt and pepper.  Gently stir until cheese is melted and all is combined.  If it is too thick, you can add more evaporated milk.  

Serve and Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Saute'ed Cauliflower

Okay, so like everyone else, I'm trying to get some healthier foods into my diet.  I'm not saying I don't throw in some butter, but at least the foods themselves are healthier!  I tried this the other night and my husband really liked it...Enjoy

Sautéed Cauliflower

1/2 head of cauliflower
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. real butter
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. seasoned salt

Break the Cauliflower into pieces.  Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a saucepan and add 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce.  Add Cauliflower and pepper and seasoned salt.  Over medium/low heat, sauté the Cauliflower, tossing occasionally until all florets are coated and it becomes tender.  (about 10 to 12 minutes).

Drain on a paper towel and serve.


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Peach Tart

Well, the holidays are over and I'm back to blogging!  It was a nice break, but I missed sharing all of my recipes with everyone.  This is such an easy and delicious dessert...and I made it with reduced calories because I used Stevia instead of Sugar.  Try this one!

Peach Tart

1 roll out type pie shell
1 can peaches in natural juices
1/4 cup Stevia or your favorite sweetner (or sugar)
1 Tbsp. real butter, melted

Spray baking sheet and lay out 1 round pie shell (the type that comes in a box that you roll out).  Drain the juice off of the peaches and add about 3/4 of the sweetner to them in a bowl and gently stir.

Place them in an even arrangement around the center and outward, leaving about 2" from the edge all the way around.  Fold up the edges of the pie crush and brush the top of the shell with melted butter.  Sprinkle lightly with the rest of the sweetner or sugar. 

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until top of the pie shell begins to brown.  Remove and Enjoy!