Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Homemade Tomato Soup

This soup is so GOOD! I never want it out of a can again. This recipe took no time at all and it was so smooth and velvety. Next time I make this I'm going to do a double batch and freeze some. This yummy tomato soup recipe was found in this issue of Everyday FOOD by Martha Stewart.

1 T. Extra virgin olive oil
1 Large red onion, chopped
1 Garlic clove, chopped
salt and pepper
3 Large tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 Cup low sodium chicken or veggie broth
1/4 cup heavy cream (I use half and half)

  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until onion softens, 4 to 6 minutes. Add tomatoes and increase heat to medium high. Cook, stirring, until tomatoes begin to break down, 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. Add broth and 1 cup water. Simmer until tomatoes are very soft, about 10 minutes. In batches(small batches, ask me how I know), puree soup in a blender. Return soup to pot and simmer 1 minute; stir in cream and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
**Side notes: Please blend in small batches, unless you want tomatoes all over your is not fun to clean up.
If you plan on freezing some, omit the cream....then stir in cream after thawing and reheating!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Chicken Potpie

In need of some good comfort food this fall? I was! The hubby and I teamed up and made these fabulous pot pies the other night. They tasted so good, way better than frozen. I will warn you that these take a little bit of time to make, it is not a 20 minute meal. I halved the original recipe, which I found in this months Everyday FOOD by Martha Stewart, but used the full amount of veggies. I should have made the full recipe and baked it a couple days later, because Abe wanted potpie again, a couple of nights later.

4 T. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, cut into medium dice
1 large carrot, cut into medium dice
1/2 cup all purpose flour
salt and pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 cups cooked chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces ( 1 lb. total)
1 cup frozen peas
1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves ( I didn't have any so I used 1 tsp. dry sage)
1 frozen sheet of puff pastry, thawed
1 large egg yolk

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and carrot and cook until onion softens, about 6 minutes. Add flour and 1/2 tsp. salt; cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is pale golden, has a slightly nutty aroma, and is the texture of cooked oatmeal, about 5 minutes.
  2. Whisking constantly, add broth. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens, about 8 minutes. Reduce to a simmer and cook 10 minutes. Stir in chicken, peas, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Divide mixture between four 12 ounce baking dishes; refrigerate until room temperature, about 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 375. On a lightly floured work surface, roll pastry to an 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into 4 equal squares, 1 inch larger than dishes; with a sharp knife, cut vents into pastry. In a small bowl, lightly beat egg yolk with 1 tsp. water; top potpies with pastry and brush with egg wash. Refrigerate 15 minutes. Bake until pastry is deep golden and juices are bubbling, about 35 minutes.
I f you half the recipe like I did you will have extra puff pastry left. Use this for dessert!! I took the two leftover squares, topped them with brown sugar, cinnamon, and diced apples. I then folded them up, sealed the edges, and brushed with the egg wash. I popped them in the oven the 20-25 minutes at 400. These were DELISH...just wished I had some vanilla ice cream to go with it:) ENJOY!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Taco Chicken with Spanish Beans and Rice

I am loving these quick and easy 20 minutes meals from Cooking Light!!! I have been so unmotivated to make big elaborate meals lately, so this has been a quick, healthy fix. I did change up the recipe a little and the prep went even faster. The flavor of this was just like a chicken burrito, but with out all the fat:)


1 T. less-sodium taco seasoning
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
cooking spray
1/4 cup mexi blend 2% cheese
  1. Sprinkle taco seasoning over both sides of chicken.
  2. Place a large non-stick skillet over medium heat until hot. Coat chicken with cooking spray.
  3. Add chicken to pan, and cook 7 minutes on each side or until chicken is done.
  4. Remove chicken from heat; sprinkle with cheese. Cover and let stand for 3-4 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve with Spanish Rice and Beans(recipe below).
Spanish Rice and Beans

1 pkg. pre-cooked brown rice ( you know the ones in the microwaveable packages)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (I used black beans with diced jalapenos)
1/4 cup mild salsa

  1. Combine rice, beans, and salsa in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for a 1-2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Quick, Easy, Weeknight Menu!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Creamy Dijon Chicken with Balsamic Tomato Salad

This is an effortless dinner when you need a quick weeknight perk up meal. We had been car shopping all day and when we got home, cooking was the last thing I wanted to do. I found this recipe and had everything on hand, plus with us both pitching in it only took 20 minutes to make!! This is a cooking light recipe, and it tasted light and healthy...but still great! Abe couldn't get over the fact that it tasted so yummy without a lot of prep.

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
cooking spray
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 cup light mayo (I use the olive oil kind!)
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary

  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Coat chicken with cooking spray; sprinkle with salt, pepper, and paprika. Place chicken on broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 5 minutes per side or until done.
  3. Combine mayo, and remaining ingredients in a small bowl.
  4. Serve chicken with sauce.

Balsamic Cucumber and Tomato Salad

1 cucumber, seeded and cubed
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
2 T. balsamic vinaigrette
2 T. parm cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

  1. Combine all ingredients, tossing gently.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Texas Rancher Ribs

YUM YUM! These babies fall right off the bone, after being slow-cooked for 6 1/2 hours. This was a perfect recipe for Monday night football, and I am going to make them for the next get together I go to. They were just too easy. The ingredient combo kinda freaked me out, but they turned out perfect and tender. I got this recipe from Sandra Lee Semi Homemade Slow Cooker Recipes 2. So it's kinda of a cheater recipe!

2 racks baby back ribs, rinsed and patted dry
1 T. steak seasoning
1 cup BBQ sauce
1 cup chili sauce
1 envelope onion soup mix
1/4 cup yellow mustard
2 T. apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup molasses
2 jalapenos, seeded, veined and diced

  1. Preheat broiler. Line heavy duty baking sheet with foil and set aside.
  2. Slice ribs into single bone portions. (My store sells them like this already!) Rub ribs with steak seasoning and place on prepared baking sheet, meat side up. Broil 6 inches from heat source for 10-12 minutes. Turn and broil additional 10-12 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together remaining ingredients. Using tongs, coat ribs, several at a time, with sauce and coat thoroughly. Place in a 5 quart slow cooker. Repeat until all ribs are well coated. Pour remaining sauce over ribs. (I just mixed the sauce in the bottom of the slow cooker and tossed the ribs in the sauce)
  4. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Strain and defat the cooking liquid. Serve as sauce on the side.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries

Need a good party treat? This is one of the easiest desserts I have ever made and they flew off the table at the last party I was at. I got this idea from Delicious Melicious Blog. Hers are way prettier, because I have no patience to drizzle chocolate....I just went with the dunk method, and I am sure they tasted the exact same. I am definitely going to make these again for parties, or maybe even just for desert for myself:)

2 quarts of fresh strawberries
1 box of Jello No-Bake Cheesecake Mix (gasp!), (make sure it comes with graham cracker crust mix)
Chocolate, melted

Wash the berries, cut off the tops, and hollow out the centers. I used a small paring knife for this. Mix the cheesecake according to the directions. Put the cheesecake in a plastic storage bag, and cut off the corner to make a small tip. Fill each strawberry until slightly overfilled. Then, place the graham cracker crumbs into a bowl and dip each strawberry into the crumbs to coat the top. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments stirring between. Then dunk each strawberry in chocolate just to cover bottom end. Refrigerate.

Like I said, these flew off the table, so if you want a crowd pleaser make these!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Chili

Aww so nice, my hubby made dinner for me the other night while I was busy doing baby classes!! He made Rachael Ray's Buffalo Chicken Chili, and wow was it good. He said it was pretty easy to throw together, and I could tell because he only used half of every utensil we own rather than all of them. We are going to make this again soon and make a double batch, ten we can freeze some for later when the baby comes!! He made the recipe exactly as written, but did not make the blue cheese tortilla chips, maybe next time!

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 pounds all-white meat ground chicken breast
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 5 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika (you can substitute with chipotles or chipotle chili powder)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup hot sauce, depending on how hot you like it
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce (if you have a big can of tomatoes, don't go to the store to get the sauce, it's fine. Just use what you have)
  • 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 7-ounce bag yellow corn chips
  • 1 7-ounce bag blue corn chips
  • 3/4 pound blue cheese, crumbled, recommended type Maytag Blue
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped (a couple of handfuls)

Yields: 4 servings

Preheat oven to 375°F or broiler to medium

Place a large pot over medium-high heat, add 1 turn of the pan of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon,

and the butter. Once the butter has melted and the pot is hot, add the ground chicken.

Brown it, using the back of a wooden spoon to break it up in to small pieces, about 5-6 minutes.

Add the carrot, onion, celery, garlic, paprika, bay leaf and some salt and pepper.

Cook, stirring frequently, for about 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken stock and scrape up any brown

bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the hot sauce, tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes, and

bring up to a bubble. Simmer for 8-10 minutes to let the flavors come together.

While the chili is simmering, spread the yellow and blue corn chips out on a cookie sheet.

Top with the crumbled blue cheese and transfer to the oven to melt the cheese, about 4-5 minutes. If using the broiler, 2-3 minutes should do the trick. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

Top each serving of buffalo chicken chili with a few blue cheese-topped corn chips.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

These have come to be my best friends in the last couple days. Whenever I need a quick snack I grab one, and its perfectly fulfilling. I don't feel too bad about eating them because they are a cooking light recipe--HOORAY!! All the flavors in this cookie combine amazingly together. Go ahead try one. P.S. also a great way to use up ripe bananas:)

1/2 cup mashed banana ( 1 medium)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Cooking spray

  1. Preheat oven 350.
  2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add egg; beat well.
  3. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, oats, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to banana mixture in bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. bake at 350 for 18 minutes or until golden. Cool on pans 2 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
ONLY 115 Calories per Cookie!!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Zucchini & Shrimp Stir Fry with Tofu & Snow Peas

YUMM-O! I got this recipe out of one of my favorite cooking mags, Clean Eating. I had skimmed over this a couple months ago, and my friend Katie reminded me about it. I followed the recipe pretty close. She sauteed the veggies in a wasabi oil, which I think would have been fab. I just added a little red pepper flakes and Sriracha sauce for a little kick of heat. I also served this over barley, which is a nice change to rice!

1/2 cup barley, rinsed
1 cup low sodium veggie broth
2 T. peanut oil
1 large onion, sliced
3 scallions, chopped
1 lb frozen shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 T. low-sodium soy sauce
1 large zucchini, cut into matchsticks
1 large red pepper, sliced
8 oz. extra firm tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cups fresh sugar snap peas

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add barley. Stir in vegetable broth. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes or until barley is tender. Remove from heat. Drain. Set aside and cool.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a wok or deep frying pan over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles. Add oil swish around pan and quickly add onion, scallions, shrimp, and soy sauce. Stir gently. Add zucchini, pepper and tofu and continue to stir. Add peas and stir until tender.
  3. Carefully plate shrimp stir fry over barley. Serve piping hot.