Friday, January 29, 2010

Apple Cinnamon Butterscotch Muffins

I just love having muffins on hand for the week, and these were no exception. I found this recipe on Annie Eats blog, which I read all the time. She has all kinds of great recipes, so make sure you check it out. Back to the muffins, I had most of the ingredients on hand for these, so they were a quick fix. Annie put dried apples on top for decoration, but I didn't have any so they aren't as pretty. The flavor is amazing, well anything with butterscotch is amazing!
I also wanted to have these on hand in case I go into labor this weekend. I thought they would be a great treat for the nursing staff (wink, wink) I want them to be nice to me, so I will bribe them with food. If I don't go into labor, expect another treat post soon.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 old fashioned oats
8 T. unsalted butter, at room temp.
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup applesauce
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup milk
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
3/4 cup chopped apples
1/3 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line wells of muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Mix lightly with a fork to blend. Stir in the oats. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and smooth, 1-2 minutes. Beat in the applesauce, eggs and vanilla extract until incorporated. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients in three additions alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and beating just until incorporated. Fold in the butterscotch chips, apples, and toasted pecans with a rubber spatula.
  3. Divide batter evenly between muffin cups. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan 10-15 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Verdict: I love them warmed up with a little pat of butter!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Light Veggie Soup with Tortellini

This soup is AMAZING!!! It is great comfort food on a cold winter night, and super nutritious with all the veggies incorporated. I found this recipe on, which I like to check out every once in a while. They have great ideas, when I feel I need a little extra nutrtion in my day. I did substitute the recipe a little bit, by adding fresh onion and peppers, rather than using frozen. This only took about 30 minutes to whip up, so it was a great weeknight meal.

1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup red onion, diced
1 cup green pepper, diced
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 28 oz. can crushed tomato ( I found a can with basil added for extra flavor)
1 15 oz. can reduced sodium chicken or veggie broth (I used homemade)
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 tsp. dried basil
1 9 oz. package of fresh or frozen whole wheat tortellini (or ravioli)(cheese or meat)
2 cups zucchini, diced
Fresh ground pepper to taste

  1. Heat oil in large sauce pan over medium heat. Add onions, peppers, and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, broth, water, and basil; bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Add tortellini and cook for 3 minutes less than package directions. Add zucchini; return to a boil. Cook until the zucchini is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Season with fresh pepper.
Verdict: DELISH. We both added a little feta cheese to the top of our soup, which added a little tang. This soup will be added to our soup rotation. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fettuccine Alfredo with Bacon

Like I said.....just cooking my way through this issue of cooking light. What more can you ask for comfort food with less calories. This dish was really quick and very tasty. I love that it has a short ingredient list. and I already had most of it on hand. I served this with peas, yes I know this is boring, but I might even mix the peas in next time I make this. The peas made the pasta a little bulkier, and more of a carbonara style.

1 (9oz.) package fresh fettuccine ( I subbed whole wheat linguine)
2 slices bacon, chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 T. all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
1 cup 1 % low-fat milk (skim works)
2/3 cup grated Pamigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.
  2. While pasta cooks, cook bacon in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat 4 minutes, or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings. Add garlic to drippings in pan; saute 1 minute, stirring constantly. Sprinkle flour over garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly; cook 2 minutes or until bubbly and slightly thick. Reduce heat to low. Gradually add cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in salt and reserved 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Add hot pasta to pan; toss well to combine. Sprinkle with bacon, parsley, and pepper. Yield: 4 Servings
Calories: 339 per serving!

The Verdict: Thanks Cooking Light for making our favorites healthy, or at least less caloric:)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Chicken Noodle Soup- The fast Way!

I am so happy I re-subscribed to Cooking Light Magazine. I think I dog eared every page in the Jan. issue. They have recently reformatted the magazine, and I love what they did with it. First recipe I made was the 20 minute chicken noodle soup. Being 37 weeks pregnant, this is the new type of recipe I like, EASY! This soup tasted great, and it was even better the second day. The recipe calls for a rotisserie chicken, which is a double bonus, because now I have a freezer full of homemade broth.

2 cups water
1 (32 oz.) carton fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth ( used my moms homemade)
1 T. olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 medium carrot, chopped
6 oz. pasta (used whole wheat egg noodle)
2 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie
2 T. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  1. Combine 2 cups water and chicken broth in a microwave-safe dish, and microwave at high for 5 minutes.
  2. While broth mixture heats, heat a large sauce pan over medium high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, celery, salt, pepper, and carrot.; saute 3 minutes or until almost tender, stirring frequently. Add hot broth mixture and pasta; bring to a boil. Cook 7 minutes or until pasta is almost al dente. Stir in chicken; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Stir in parsley. Yield 6 serving.
Calories: 237 for 1 cup of soup!!