Category Archives: Recipes

Baked Green Bean Fries with Skinny Ranch

Green Bean Fries

Ingredients:

  • 20 fresh green beans
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, grease a large cookie sheet with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil.

2. Wash and trim green beans.

3. Add all spices to breadcrumbs and mix well.

4. Dredge  green beans in flour, shake off excess flour and dip in egg, add to  breadcrumbs and coat well.  Lay green beans on the cookie sheet about a half inch apart.

5. Bake in 425 degree oven for 12-15 minutes, flipping once. Enjoy!

 

Skinny Ranch

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 6 ounce containers of plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup low fat milk
  • 1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a clean jar. Add lid and shake like crazy until well blended. Refrigerate and shake well before you eat it. 🙂

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Easy Apple Cake

IMG_1727[1]Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 3 large apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon sugar mixture (1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon)

Icing Ingredients:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Up to 1 tablespoon milk or water (You want the icing a little thick so it doesn’t just run off the warm cake.)

Directions:

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray and coat the pan with the 1/4 cup cinnamon sugar mixture.
  2. Stir together sugars, oil, apple sauce, eggs and vanilla until well blended.
  3. Add flour, baking soda , salt and cinnamon. Stir until it just comes together and everything is moist.
  4. Fold in apples.
  5. Pour into bundt pan and smooth the top with your spoon. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour, 5 minutes. I poked mine with a long steak knife and when it came out clean, I knew it was done. Mine took 1 hour, 5 minutes.
  6. Let sit for 5 minutes and then run a butter knife around the edges and turn onto a plate or cooking rack.
  7. Mix together the icing ingredient and stir until smooth. Drizzle over the cake.
  8. Enjoy warm or at room temperature. Oh so yummy!

 

Healthy Southwest Egg Rolls

I love Chili’s Southwest Egg Rolls, but I don’t get them very often because they are so high in calories and fat. I scoured the internet for a great recipe for them and then changed it a bit so they would be Weight Watchers Points (the old ones) friendly. Here is my recipe:

Healthy Southwest Egg Rolls

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 skinless, boneless chicken breast, diced
  • 1/4 cup tablespoons minced green onion
  • 1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons diced jalapeno peppers
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoonchili powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 6 flour tortillas

Directions:

1. Cook your chicken breast. You can bake it, poach it, or even buy a rotisserie chicken and use that. Dice up the chicken breast into 1/2 inch cubes. Thaw your spinach so it’s ready when you are!

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet. Add diced bell pepper and green onion.

3. Drain and rinse the can of black beans, drain the corn and add both beans and corn to the skillet and stir it up.

4. Drain the spinach really good. (I just squeeze it in my hand over the sink) and add that to the skillet and stir it up.

5. Dice the jalapenos. How small is up to you. I dice them pretty small do I don’t get too much heat in one bite. Add them to the skillet and (you guessed it!), stir it up.

6. Add diced chicken to the skillet. ( I don’t’ have a pic for that one…Samuel must have distracted me!)

7. Add the cumin, chili powder, salt and dash oh cayenne powder (if you don’t want it too spicky, leave the cayenne out) and STIR IT UP! 🙂

8. Turn off the flame and add the cheese and stir it up. Resist eating some of the filling…ok, I never have been able to. GO FOR IT!

9. Divide the filling into 6 equal parts.

1. Heat the tortillas (wrapped in a damp paper towel) for 1 minute in the microwave. This is the brand of tortillas we use. They are only 97 calories and really yummy.

11. Fill each tortilla with 1/6 of the filling and roll into a burrito (with both ends closed). You want a longer, skinnier burrito, as opposed to a short, fat one.

12. Brush each “egg roll” with the other tablespoon of vegetable oil. One tablespoon is plenty for 6 egg rolls.

13. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Flip the egg rolls over and bake for another 10 minutes.

13. Slice them on an angle and serve with ranch dressing. I use a full fat Ken’s ranch dressing. It’s worth the splurge for me. Mike also suggest dipping them in honey mustard…I don’t get the appeal, but he loves it. 🙂 Enjoy!

If you would like to make this recipe and review it, please do so and leave me a comment letting me know what you thought. And don’t forget to pin it! 🙂

Cowboy Caviar

I had this at a friend’s house a while back, then my mom made it a couple days ago and I’ve been craving it ever since. It’s delicious, fresh and healthy! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 (14-16 oz.) can of corn, drained
  • 1 (14-16 oz.) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 5 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1-2 ripe avocados, diced
  • 1/2 cup light Italian dressing

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a big bowl. Stir it up and eat with tortilla chips. Yes, that’s it! A little more than 1 cup of the Cowboy Caviar is 2.5 old Weight Watchers points.

Strawberry Shortcakes

Here is a recipe for one of my favorite desserts!

Strawberry Shortcake

Ingredients:

  • 2 pints strawberries, sliced
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup firm butter
  • 2/3 cup milk (I use fat free)
  • whipped cream (we use the stuff out of a can. :/ It’s what Mike likes.) If you want to make your own, here is a great recipe: http://southernfood.about.com/od/dessertrecipe1/r/bl30825b.htm

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, stir strawberries and 1/4 cup sugar untuil mixed well. Let stand about 1 hour so strawberries will become juicy.

2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

3. In a medium bowl, mix flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt.

4. Cut in butter using a pastry blender until mixture looks like coarse crumbs.

5. Stir in milk until just blended.

6. Drop  dough by 8 spoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookies sheet. Flatted out the mounds a bit with your hand.

7. Bake 12-14 minutes or until golden brown.

8. You can let them cool or eat them right out of the oven. Split the shortcake, fill the bottom with strawberries and whipped cream, add the top. ENJOY!

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits

I found a recipe for cheddar and herb biscuits on Pinterest the other day and I knew I would have to try them! The picture looked so good. I printed out the recipe and started my revisions. I changed the name because there aren’t actually any herbs in the recipe, just in the butter topping I omitted. I make all my recipes healthier and lower in fat than the original. Here is what I came up with and MAN! Were they yummy!!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced (We LOVE garlic, if you just LIKE it, then use 1 clove)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 cup fat free milk
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar (I used what I had, apple cider vinegar, but I don’t think it matters)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (sharp would be best, but I used what I had, some Kraft Mexican blend)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Pour the milk into a measuring cup and add the vinegar and garlic. Let sit for 10 minutes. (If you have buttermilk, you can use that and skip the vinegar)
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Cut in butter until coarse crumbs are formed.
  5. Fold in the cheese.
  6. Mix in the milk mixture until moist. Don’t over mix! You may have a couple dry spots, that’s ok.
  7. Drop the biscuits onto a cookie sheet sprayed with a non stick cooking spray. (I forgot to spray it and had a heck of a time trying to get the biscuits off the cookie sheet. Also, I was able to get 16 medium sized ones. If you like big ones, divide the batter into 12 even plops. 🙂
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the little peaks get golden brown.
  9. Serve immediately.

These came out so moist and tender! I can’t wait to make them again. If you get 16 out of the batch then they are 2.5 Weight Watchers Points each.

Chewy Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

The chocolate craving hit at about 1 pm today. Here is the result! 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces (1 bag) Hershey’s dark chocolate chips

Directions: (PLEASE NOTE: The pictures are for a half batch because, well, let’s face it, the last thing I need is 5 dozen cookies lying around my house!)

Before we start, check out my sou chef! I love that he is playing with a Cookie Monster book too! 🙂

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cream butter, sugars and vanilla in a large bowl.

3. Add eggs and stir well.

4. In a medium bowl mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

5. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring until combined.

6. Add dark chocolate chips and stir.

7. Drop by heaping tablespoon onto a cookie sheets.

8. Bake for 8 minutes. (I have to turn my sheets around half way through since my oven does not cook evenly.)

9. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack.

10. Pour yourself a big glass of milk and enjoy!!

Full recipe yields about 5 dozen cookies.

Country Chili Recipe – With Pictures!

This recipe originally came from my mom but somewhere along the way, the ratios of chili beans to kidney beans to tomatoes changed. This recipe is now completely different than my mom’s, it’s all mine. 🙂 This is one of Mike’s favorite dinners. He called me today and said that since the day was “chilly”, it was a “chili” day! Enjoy!

Country Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 – 14 oz. can chili beans
  • 1 – 14 oz. can red kidney beans
  • 2 – 14 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 2 T. chili powder
Directions:
1. Chop onion. The easiest way, I think, is to cut it in half, peel it, slice it almost all the way through vertically, slice down the middle horizontally, then cut through it. Viola! Chopped onion! I always reserve a little onion and dice it really fine for the top of our chili once it’s ready. That’s up to you!
2. Put onions and ground beef in a skillet to brown. 
3. Break up the meat and add 1/2 t. garlic powder and cook until the meat is brown and the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.
5. Open the cans of beans and tomatoes. Pour the contents, INCLUDING liquid, into the crock pot. The liquid in the cans is what makes the chili soupy.
6. Pour the cooked meat and onion mixture into the crock pot.
7. Add 2 T. chili powder and stir it all up.
8. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. I serve it topped with diced onion. Mom’s recipe calls for shredded cheese. Put whatever you want on top of it! I also serve it with saltine crackers. I really like it with corn bread, but Mike doesn’t like corn bread and if I made it would eat the whole pan, and we all know I don’t need that! LOL! Enjoy!

Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Butter Cream Filling and Perfectly Chocolate Frosting

So, I’ve been nesting. With every cookie, bread and cupcake I make, I wonder if Samuel knows I’m ready for him to come…who knows, maybe I will go into labor as I write this!

Let me start by warning you, if you have ever said that a dessert was too chocolaty or sweet, this is NOT the cupcake for you! 🙂 I personally don’t think I have ever said anything like that, so I think this cupcake is “Perfect!”

HERSHEY’S “PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” Chocolate Cake (Halved Recipe)

Ingredients: 

1 cup sugar

¾ cup + 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour

¼ cup + 2 tablespoons  HERSHEY’S Cocoa

¾ teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 egg

½ cup milk

¼ cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup boiling water

Directions:

1. Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. (I used silicone ones)  Heat oven to 350°F.

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl.

Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes (I used a whisk).

Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).

Fill cups 2/3 full with batter.

3.  Bake 22 to 25 minutes.  Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. About 12-15 cupcakes. (Looks like I over filled them a bit! OOPS!)

For the buttercream filling:

This is not the recipe I used, but this looks much better than what my made-up recipe finished product looked like, so I would use this recipe next time! I found the original recipe at http://sunshineinmyfood.com/. I would half it for the amount of cupcakes the above recipe makes.

Ingredients:

A pint of strawberries

2 sticks of butter, softened

1/2 cup of shortening

3 cups of confectioners sugar

Directions:

1. Prepare the buttercream frosting while the cupcakes are cooling. Begin by washing and hulling the strawberries.

2. Puree the strawberries in a food processor. Strain the puree.

3. Set aside. Beat the butter and shortening until combined and fluffy with a mixer at medium speed.

4. Add the sugar and mix at medium speed until light and fluffy. About 2 minutes. Add the strawberry puree slowly, and beat another minute until combined.

“PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” CHOCOLATE FROSTING (Full Recipe) This makes double the amount of frosting you need for the 12 cupcakes but I like to make a whole batch…who doesn’t need a container of chocolate frosting in their fridge, right??

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine

2/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Melt butter.

2. Stir in cocoa.

3. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.

4.  Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

To Fill Cupcakes:

1. Take a knife and cut a circle in the center of the cupcake, with the knife angled away from the center so you cut out a cone.

2. Cut off the end of the cone.

3. Spoon the Strawberry Butter Cream into the hole. Cover with top of cone.

4. Frost liberally with Chocolate Frosting. ENJOY!

MIKE SURE DID! 🙂


Whoopie-Pie Cookies

Ingredients for cookies:

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 4 oz. chocolate chips
  • 1 box of devil’s food cake mix (18.25 oz.)
  • 2 large eggs

Ingredients for filling:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup marshmallow cream
  • 2 oz. white chocolate chips
  • 1 stick of butter, softened

Frosting:

  • 1 tub of chocolate frosting. I used  Betty Crocker Chocolate Frosting.

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  In a microwave-safe bowl, combine stick of butter and chocolate chips and microwave for 30 seconds, or until melted. (Sorry no picture, decided to blog about this after I added the cake mix and eggs!)

3.  Add cake mix and eggs to melted butter and chocolate chips. With an electric mixer on low, combine ingredients until a soft dough forms. 

4. Drop dough by tablespoon onto a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 6 minutes, or until just set.

5.  Using the back of a spoon (I used a 1/2 tablespoon measuring spoon) make a depression in the center of each cookie. Let cookies cool.

6.  In a clean microwave-safe bowl, microwave 2 oz. of white chocolate chips on high for 15-20 seconds.

7.  Add powdered sugar, marshmallow cream, and softened butter about 30 seconds or until light and fluffy.

8. Divide marshmallow mixture among the center of cookies. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

9. Frost cookies with the chocolate frosting and chill. Enjoy!