Sunday, October 30, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Crock Pot Balsamic Chicken

Loved this light chicken recipe. Also, loving crock pot recipes. Super easy. Really good served over whole grain pasta and with any sort of vegetable.

Crock Pot Balsamic Chicken
Source: Skinny Crock Pot

4-6 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts

2 14.5 oz can diced or crushed tomatoes (I think 1 would work as well)

1 onion thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tblsp olive oil

1 tsp each: dried oregano,basil, and rosemary

1/2 tsp thyme

ground black pepper and salt to taste

Another add in idea - mushrooms

Pour the olive oil on bottom of a 3 - 5 quart crock pot
Place the chicken breasts in crock pot, salt and pepper each breast
Put sliced onion on top of chicken
Then put in all the dried herbs and garlic cloves
Pour in vinegar and top with tomatoes
Cook on high 3 hours or low for 4 - 6 hours. Serve over angel hair pasta and garnish with fresh parsley or basil.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Jalapeño Popper Dip

The start of football season - the search for new snacks & recipes get revved up as well. I'd been saving this recipe I saw in various places over the summer. It could be part of my new goto dip recipes. It was yum! with just the right kick! Give it a try!

Jalapeño Popper Dip

2 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 can chopped green chilies, drained (4oz)
1 can diced jalapeño peppers, drained (4oz)
1/2 cup shredded Mexican style cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an oven safe serving dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Using an electric mixer, blend the cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth.
3. Stir in green chilies, jalapeno peppers and Mexican and mozzarella cheeses. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
4. Mix together the Panko and Parmesan cheese and sprinkle it over the cream cheese mixture.
5. Spray the Panko and Parmesan with a quick spray of non-stick cooking spray.
6. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until the mixture is hot and the topping is lightly browned.

Serve dip with French bread, fresh vegetables, tortilla chips, crackers, etc....

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Asian Slaw

Another version of an Asian Slaw. I made this one for Ryan's 1st Birthday. The recipe has been requested a couple times. Easy to throw together and goes with so many things.

Asian Slaw

1 bag of mixed coleslaw
3/4 c. sunflower seeds
3/4 c. sliced almonds
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
1 pkg. of beef top ramen noodles, crushed
1 c. of chow mein noodles

1/3 c. white vinegar
1/2 c. sugar
2/3 c. canola oil
Seasoning packet from beef top ramen

Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well. Make a little ahead so sugar will dissolve (Only use Beef Top Ramen) Pour dressing over salad ingredients about 10 minutes before serving. Recipe serves 6-8.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Asian Lettuce Wraps

It's been TOO long since I've added to the blog. I had a hankering for some lettuce wraps this week ~ I dug around for recipes and settled on this one. It was worth posting. I will definitely make this again. Easy, healthy & delicious!

Asian Lettuce Wraps

1 TBSP canola or vegetable oil (we used sesame)
1 medium shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBSP minced fresh ginger
1 LB ground turkey or pork
1 can water chesnuts - rinsed & chopped (this was an addition)
2 TBSP soy sauce
1/4 bottled chili sauce
1 tsp fish sauce (I omitted - didn't have it on hand)
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 head butter or Boston lettuce, separated

1. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet. Stir fry shallots in hot oil for several minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and stir fry for 1 minute. Add the ground meat and separate for even cooking. Stir in soy sauce, chili sauce, fish sauce and sugar.

2. Cook until meat is brown and crumbly and the liquid is reduced, stirring frequently. Stir in cilantro. Spoon the meat mixture into a serving bowl. Mix in the peanuts.

3. Self serve: Spoon meat mixture onto a lettuce leaf and roll tightly.
1/3 cup minced peanuts

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Lemon Burst Cookies

Thanks to my friend, D & Brown Eyed Baker for this recipe. Quick. Easy. Yummy!! If I make some chocolate cookies I may even be able to pass off a quasi black & gold dessert tray. Lemon Burst Cookies

1 18.25 oz. package lemon cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Zest of 2 lemons
2 TBSP lemon juice
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
1/3 cup confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.

Pour cake mix into a large bowl. Stir in eggs, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and lemon extract until well blended.

Place confectioners sugar in a bowl.

Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and roll in confectioners sugar until lightly coated and place on baking sheet.

Bake for about 10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Cool for 2-3 minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mexican Style Pork

An easy crock pot recipe via my friend M! A get it going before work & ready to each when you return kinda thing. I am looking for more & more recipes like this! M says it's only 7 WW points~ I'll take that too!

Mexican Style Pork

1 lb pork roast
1 20 oz jar of salsa
1 4.5 oz can of green chiles
1 15 oz can of black beans, drained
1 c shredded Mexican cheese blend

Combine the pork, salsa and chiles in the crock pot. Cover and cook on low for about 6 - 8 hours or until pork is soft and tender ~ maybe 7 hours on low, 1 on high.

Take out pork and shred it with two forks. Place it back in the crockpot. Stir in the beans and cook another 5 minutes or until they are hot.

Drizzle some cheese over.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sugar Cookie Fruit Pizzas

I've always wanted to make a fruit pizza. For Easter I was looking for a little munchie ~ making these was great. Bite sized. I'd use this again as an appetizer or for a summer party.

Sugar Cookie Fruit Pizzas
Source: Taste of Home

1/2 cup sugar
1 TBSP cornstarch
1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
1/4 cup water
2 TBSP lemon juice
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 3/4 cup whipped topping
12 sugar cookies ( 3 inches)
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup chopped peeled kiwifruit
1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries

For glaze, in a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, pineapple juice, water and lemon juice until smooth. Bring to a boil; Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Transfer to a small bowl; refrigerate until cooled but not set.

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth; fold in whipped topping. Spread over tops of cookies. Arrange fruit on top; drizzle with glaze. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until chilled.

Yield 1 dozen.

Beef Sandwiches

This is one of my mom's recipes. It's served me well for football Sunday's & for little gatherings. The meat turns out just perfect. It kinda became a joke because a couple years ago I took this with me to a couple outings and it just became known as 'the meat'. So, yes, give 'the meat' a try!

Beef Sandwiches
Source: Mom

3 lb. boneless beef round steak, 1 inch thick
2 TBSP chili powder
2 TBSP brown sugar
3 cloves garlic, crushed/minced
1 TBSP hot pepper sauce
2 medium onions sliced, in rings
12 oz. chili sauce ( I use Heinz brand)
10 crusty rolls, split

Heat oven to 325. Place 28X18 piece of heavy duty foil in shallow roasting pan. Place steak in the center of the foil.

In a small bowl, combine chili powder, brown sugar, garlic and hot pepper sauce, mixing until well blended. Spread on both side of the steak. Top with onions and chili sauce. Bring two opposite end of the foil up over the steak, seal with double foil. Seal end of the foil to close. (Make sure it's sealed really well! I've made the mistake of not having it sealed well enough). Bake in 325 oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until beef is tender.

Remove onions and juices to medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cook and stir 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, trim the fat from the steak. Carve crosswise into thin slices, arrange on a serving platter. Top with onion mixture. Serve with crusty rolls.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Baked Ziti with Spinach

I think I've found a great new source for recipes ~ Gina's Skinny Recipes. So many good weight watcher friendly things to try. This is my first thing I've made. And it didn't disappoint. It was very tasty. Very easy. And provided us 3 meals. (None of which I took pictures of ~ sorry blogging community!) As I get better at meal planning, I see this making our rotation.

Baked Ziti with Spinach

  • 1 lb high fiber ziti such as Ronzoni Smart Taste - I ended up using Penne
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic,minced
  • 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 8 oz fat-free ricotta
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan
  • 2 cups (8 oz) part skim mozzarella
  • Spray olive oil

Preheat oven to 375°.Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with oil spray.

In a large pot of salted water, cook pasta according to instructions until al dente.Drain and return to pot.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, add olive oil and sauté garlic. Add chopped spinach, salt pepper and chopped tomatoes. Season with basil, oregano, salt and pepper.

Add sauce to the pasta and combine the ziti. Add half of the mozzarella, Parmesan cheese and ricotta. Mix well then transfer to the baking pan.

Pour the pasta mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Top with the remaining mozzarella.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until mozzarella is melted and the edges are lightly browned.

This can be made up to a day in advance and stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.

Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1/8th Points: 6 pts Points+: 9 pts
Calories: 331.9 Fat: 7.1 g Protein: 17.5 g Carb: 54.7 g Fiber: 7.8 g

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

With our little guy eating a 'naner a day ~~ We often have the super ripes bananas around. Seeing that little guy doesn't care for the super ripe, I've been on the search for banana recipes. These are easy to make, no mixer even needed and really good. Next time you find yourselves with some extra bananas in the house give this a try!

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
Makes 16 muffins

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips


    1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine the egg, oil, yogurt and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in bananas and chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Say that with me again. Slowly... Peanut Butter. Oatmeal. Chocolate Chip. Yes. Please! Thank you Brown Eyed Baker for sharing this recipe. My only note ~~ next time I'd double it!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes about 16 cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ cup creamy peanut butter

½ cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup light brown sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg

½ cup rolled oats

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

3. On medium speed, cream together the butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat to combine. On low speed, gradually add the flour until just combined. Stir in the oats, and then the chocolate chips.

4. Use a large cookie scoop (3 tablespoons) and drop dough onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden. Cool completely on the baking sheet and then store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes

Saturday pancakes are a little tradition of sort in our house. One morning we didn't have any mix on hand, I thought I'd search a homemade recipe. I'll be saving this as I liked it being 'health'ed' up a bit with the wheat flour and blueberries. I doubled the recipe and froze some to toss in the freezer laster this week.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes

  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk, plus more if necessary (we definitely used more)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon artificial sweetener (I used 1/2 Splenda, 1/2 brown sugar)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries

  1. Sift together flour and baking powder, set aside. Beat together the egg, milk, salt and artificial sweetener in a bowl. Stir in flour until just moistened, add blueberries, and stir to incorporate.
  2. Preheat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, and spray with cooking spray. Pour approximately 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan for each pancake. Cook until bubbly, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn, and continue cooking until golden brown.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Crab Cakes

A neighbor bought these tasty crab cakes to a neighborhood Christmas gathering. She kindly shared the recipe ~ it's the recipe used by a local country club. I made these for the Super Bowl and everyone commented how much they liked them. Sorry I forgot to take a picture. Last post without a picture. Promise. But do try these if you like crab cakes!

Crab Cakes ala Treesdale

3lbs of jumbo lump crab meat
7 1/2 TB mayo
3 TB Yellow Mustard
3 TB Worcestershire
3 TB Parsley
3 cups Bread crumbs
1 1/2 TB minced garlic
1 1/2 TB minced shallot
3 eggs

Mix together, shape & bake for 20-25 minutes @ 425 degrees

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chicken Milanese with Spring Greens

I've had this torn out of my Cooking Light magazine for quite awhile. Finally, I got everything to make this. I really liked it. A complete meal ~ very light, healthy, flavorful, delicious. A perfect portion for 2. Try it!

Chicken Milanese with Spring Greens
& Parmesan Browned-Butter Orzo
Serves 2
From Cooking Light Magazine
Notes: Letting the breaded chicken set for a few minutes ensures the coating will adhere.
While shallot soak - start preparing the orzo
While orzo simmers- pound the chicken, bread & cook the chicken.
While orzo rests - toss salad.

  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced shallots
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • Dash of sugar
  • 2 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 5 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups packed spring mix salad greens
  • 2 lemon wedges
1. Combine juice, vinegar, shallots, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and sugar; let stand 15 minutes.
2. Place chicken between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet.
3. Combine breadcrumbs and cheese in a shallow dish. Place flour in a shallow dish. Place egg white in a shallow dish. Sprinkle chicken with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Dredge chicken in flour; dip in egg white. Dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Place chicken on a wire rack; let stand 5 minutes.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes. Turn chicken over; cook 2 minutes or until browned and done.
5. Add 2 teaspoons oil and 1/8 teaspoon pepper to shallot mixture; stir with a whisk. Add greens; toss gently. Place 1 chicken breast half and 1 cup salad on each of 2 plates. Serve with lemon wedges.

Serve with Parmesan-Browned Butter Orzo: Cook 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat 4 minutes or until browned. Add ½ cup orzo; cook 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons white wine; cook over medium-high heat 1 minute. Add 1¼ cups chicken broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 13 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon chives.

I figured the meal to be about 15 points on the new weight watchers program.

Creamy Chicken & Pasta Bake

So this wasn't my favorite dish of all.. but, for an easy weeknight... I'd make it again. Easy, healthy and usually have most ingredients on hand. It also made a reasonable portion for a family dinner. I do think it is missing just a little something ~~ salt? garlic? a fresh herb maybe? Anyone have any thoughts if you make it?? I forgot to take a picture. I think the snow has me all thrown off.

Creamy Chicken & Pasta Bake
Source: Kraft Food & Family Magazine

1-1/2 cups multigrain rotini pasta, uncooked
1 small bunch broccoli, cut into florets (about 3 cups)
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 oz. (1/4 of 8-oz. pkg.) cream cheese, cubed
1 cup 2% Milk Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
2 Tbsp. Grated Parmesan Cheese


HEAT oven to 375ºF. Cook pasta in large saucepan as directed on package, adding broccoli for the last 3 min.

MEANWHILE, heat large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 min. or until no longer pink, stirring frequently. Stir in broth; simmer 3 min. or until chicken is done. Add cream cheese; cook and stir on low heat 1 min. or until cream cheese is melted. Stir in 1/2 cup mozzarella.

DRAIN pasta and broccoli. Add to chicken mixture; mix lightly. Spoon into 8-inch sq. baking dish; cover.

BAKE 15 min. or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Bake, uncovered, 3 min. or until melted. Let stand 5 min.

WW points on points plus ~ 10.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pan-Fried Onion Dip

Super Bowl meant trying out a new recipe or two. Chips and dip ~ a party requisite. We usually just buy a tub of Helluva. I thought I'd try my hand at a homemade version. This dip will reappear next football season, if not sooner. I really liked it. Thanks Brown Eyed Baker for sharing.

Pan Fried Onion Dip

2 large yellow onions
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup sour cream
½ cup mayonnaise


1. Cut the onions in half and then slice them into 1/8-inch thick half-rounds (will result in about 3 cups of onions). Heat the butter and oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions, cayenne, salt and pepper and saute for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 more minutes until the onions are browned and caramelized. Allow the onions to cool.

2. Place the cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until smooth. Add the onions and mix well. Serve at room temperature. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pepperoni Rolls

This has been a tailgate staple for years. These make me laugh as - when we would leave a tailgate to head into the Steeler game I'd see people loading up their pockets with these for a gametime snack! It works! With the Super Bowl looming it was time to pull out this recipe!

Pepperoni Rolls

1/2 stick better
1 1/2 cup, scolded milk
1/3 cup lukewarm water
1 egg
1 TBSP salt
5 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar, 1 tsp sugar
1 TBSP yeast - 2 packets
1 large pepperoni stick
1 egg beaten

Add butter & sugar to hot milk.
Stir and allow to cool.
Mix yeast with lukewarm water & tsp. sugar. It should puff up in 5 minutes

Mix the egg, salt and all but 1 cup of flour with the yeast mixture until a soft dough forms. Gradually add the rest of the flour and knead for 8-10 minutes or until elastics.
Cover and let rise 1-2 hours

Peel the casing from the pepperoni and cut into 1/2 in. X 2 in. logs. Place a log on a piece of dough. Fold the sides into the center & roll to completely covered.

Place on a greased cookie sheet and allow to rise an hour. (I don't always do this & they turn out fine)

Brush with a beaten egg.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Vanilla Buttercream

Yum! Better than bakery! And I got to use my new icing tool! Loved it! And loved that I could make them Steeler Themed! Thanks Brown Eyed Baker for sharing!

Vanilla Buttercream
Source: Brown Eyed Baker

Yield: Enough to frost 12 cupcakes
(I doubled for our game day cupcakes!)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2½ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1. Using the wire whisk attachment of your stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once or twice.

2. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and add the vanilla, mixing until incorporated. Whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed.

You can store any unused buttercream in the refrigerator in an airtight container; let it come to room temperature and then give it a quick whip in the mixer before using.

Devils Food Cupcakes

Steeler - AFC Championship ~~ We had to have a good spread for the game. And every spread has some baked goods. Such a super easy recipe! Easy & good! And lucky for the win! I'll make them again if not for that alone!!

Devils Food Cupcakes
Source: Cupcake Bakeshop Blog
Makes 24 Cupcakes

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Measure out everything but the eggs directly into your mixer bowl.
2. Mix on low speed just until incorporated.
3. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes.
4. Add eggs, beat on high speed again for 2 minutes.

Measure out into cupcake pan lined with cupcake papers. A 2″ ice cream scoop works great for this. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool slightly in the pan then transfer to a rack to cool completely before frosting.

I frosted with Brown Eyed Baker's Vanilla Buttercream.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Baby Food: Perfectly Basic Pear

As time permits I am going to try to make baby food. It's really pretty easy. I really like knowing what goes into the baby food. We'll see how long I can keep it up. This is my second type - I've made sweet potato as well. For to-be or new mom's give it a try.

Perfectly Basic Pear Baby Food
Source: Baby Love: Healthy, Easy, Delicious Meals for your Baby & Toddler

5 Pears
6 oz. water or apple juice

Wash & peel fruit
Cut each pear in half
Remove the seeds & stem
Cut each half into 6 pieces
Put the pear and the water or juice into a 4qt pot
Turn the burner on high and cover with a lid
Cook for approximately 8 minutes, stirring once
Pour everything into the blender. Puree until smooth.
Pour into two ice cube trays and allow to cool
Wrap & freeze.

Once frozen, I pop the cubes out into a freezer bag labeled with the type of food.

I'll thaw in the microwave at 30% power or in a baggie in warm water.

Butterscotch Oatmeal M&M Cookies

So - what could be wrong with all of that?? Butterscotch. Oatmeal. M&M's. From following Picky Palate Blog - I had to get a muffin top pan. As soon as I got it I ran into this recipe. Of course I had to try it! It didn't disappoint. It has oatmeal... it's healthy... right?!?

Butterscotch Oatmeal M&M Cookies
Source: Picky Palate

2 sticks softened butter
3/4 Cup granulated sugar
3/4 Cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 Tablespoons butterscotch ice cream topping
2 Cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 Cups oatmeal, I used Coach’s Oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 Cups chocolate chips
1 Cup M&M’s

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In stand mixer beat butter and sugars until well combined. Beat in eggs, vanilla and butterscotch topping until well combined.
2. In large bowl mix the flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Slowly add to wet ingredients along with the chocolate chips until just combined.
3. Scoop about 1/4 Cup dough into muffin top pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray. Flatten with palm of your hand then top with 5-7 M&M’s per cookie. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until cooked through and golden around edges. Remove from oven and loosen edges of cookies while warm so they will be easy to remove. Let cool for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.
24 Large cookies
Notes: I found that I had to cook them a little bit longer to have them done. Also my batch only made about 12 - 15 cookies. I may have put too much in each spot causing both problems.

Hot Chocolate Mix

I always prefer things homemade than store bought. Hot chocolate is no exception. I've done things very simply in the past like just use Splenda & Hershey's Cocoa. A friend (Thanks D!) gave me a sample of this at Christmas! It is delicious! I knew I wanted to share it with friends. It got rave reviews by all. I can't wait for another snow day to go out - get nice & cold & come in to a big mug of this!

Hot Chocolate Mix
Source: Brown Eyed Baker

Yield: About 20 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

3 cups nonfat dry milk powder
2 cups powdered sugar
1½ cups cocoa powder (Dutch-processed preferred, but regular okay)
1½ cups white chocolate chips (or chopped white chocolate)
¼ teaspoon salt

1. Whisk together all ingredients in a large bowl. Working in two batches, pulse the ingredients in a food processor until the chocolate is finely ground. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

2. To make hot cocoa, put 1/3 cup of the cocoa mix in a mug and stir in 1 cup of hot milk. Top with whipped cream or miniature marshmallows or maybe even some Peppermint Schnapps or Rumpleminze.

I mixed up about 10 cup worth in the crockpot on low & then let it warm in there most of the day.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Soup

An old college friend mentioned Buffalo Chicken Soup one day on Facebook. OK, this sounds good. I sent out a request & she kindly shared the recipe! So thanks, Michelle! This soup really hit the spot on a cold day. Even better it was just throwing some things into the crockpot and coming home to a good dinner!

Buffalo Chicken Soup

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups whole milk or half & half
2 cans cream of chicken soup (the "Healthy Request" or low sodium)
3 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup sour cream
1 T. dry ranch dressing mix
1/4 cup hot sauce (more or less to taste)
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a pot and heat to warm through; do NOT boil. OR combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low 4-5 hours.

Serve with garlic bread, Texas cheese toast or other crusty bread and a salad or crudites.

I have started sauteeing 1 stalk of diced celery and an half an onion diced in 3 T. butter to start. Sautee until soft. Add some minced garlic (or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder), the dry ranch mix and 3 T. flour. Cook for two minutes and then add the liquid ingredients. Bring to a simmer; then add chicken to heat through. Adding some fresh time stems (bundled together so it is easier to get out later) as it simmers is nice, too.