Saturday, February 2, 2013

Cajun Chicken Pasta

Ever since we tried this recipe a few months ago, my husband keeps requesting it.  I think it's a new favorite of his, and mine too.  It is full of flavor, vegetables, and low on fat.  So, I think this is going to be a regular in our house from now on - because it is SO hard to find healthy recipes that actually taste good.  So, if you're like me and are constantly looking for delicious healthy choices, this is a great one to try.  Enjoy!

What are some of your favorite healthy recipes?

Printable Version

2-3 chicken breasts, cubed
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon

1/3 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons flour
4 ounces light cream cheese
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic salt

8 ounces linguine, cooked

1.  In a large skillet, season chicken with Cajun seasoning and garlic powder.  Cook over medium heat until cooked through.  Set aside.
2.  Add oil into the skillet and saute bell peppers, onions and garlic for about 3-4 minutes.  Add mushrooms and tomatoes and saute for another 3-4 minutes.  Season with salt, garlic powder, and chicken bouillon.  Add chicken.
3.  Blend milk, flour, and cream cheese in a blender.  Add to the skillet mixture and season with more Cajun seasoning and garlic salt.  Allow to simmer at least 2 more minutes.  Serve with cooked pasta.

Source:  Adapted from Skinny Taste

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Creamy Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

I've seen this recipe floating around on pinterest lately and I finally decided to give it a try - you know, actually do something with the things that I pin... :)  I've always loved a good tomato soup, and this one has great flavor and variety that is something different from the average tomato soup.  Enjoy!

Printable Version

2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced onions
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
4 cups chicken broth
½ bay leaf
½ cup flour
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
½ cup butter
2 cups half and half, warmed (substitute milk for less calories)
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

1.  Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, oregano, basil, and bay leaf to a large slow cooker.
2.  Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft. At this point I added all of the vegetables to a blender and blended until smooth.  Return blended veggies back to the slow cooker.
3.  About 30 minutes before serving prepare the roux. Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add the flour. Stir roux constantly with a whisk for 5-7 minutes. Slowly whisk in 1 cup hot soup. Add another 3 cups and stir until smooth. Add all back into the slow cooker. 
4.  Stir and add the Parmesan cheese, warmed half and half, salt and pepper.
5.  Cover and cook on low for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Soft Ginger Cookies

Ginger cookies are one of my favorite cookies, but I don't like when they come out dry or crunchy.  This recipe is great if you love ginger cookies, but want them to be soft!

Printable Version

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2-1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
Additional sugar

1.  In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and molasses. 
2.  Combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well.
3.  Roll into 1-1/2-in. balls, then roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. 
4.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until puffy and lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. 

Source:  Taste of Home

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Chicken, Bacon, Ranch Pizza

Pizza is a big deal in our house.  My husband's favorite food is pizza, so I have always wanted to find a great pizza recipe we can make at home.  The crust for this pizza is the best homemade crust I have ever come across, and we love it!  This is one of our favorite types of pizza to make.... it is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine.  So, if you've never tried to make homemade pizza before, you should definitely give this one a try :)  Enjoy!

What is your favorite kind of pizza?

Printable Version

1 package dry yeast
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/3 cup warm water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cups flour
cooking spray or oil to coat pan

Ranch dressing
bacon, cooked and crumbled
tomatoes, diced
2 chicken breasts, cooked, seasoned (I use poultry seasoning), and diced
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

1.  Put yeast, sugar, salt, and dry milk in a large bowl. Add water and stir to mix well. Allow to sit for two minutes. Add oil and stir again. Add flour and stir until dough forms and flour is absorbed.
2.  Turn out on to a flat surface and knead for about 10 minutes. Divide dough into three balls. In three 9" cake pans, spray with cooking spray or coat evenly with oil. Using a rolling pin, roll out each dough ball to about a 9" circle. Place in cake pans.
3.  Spray the outer edge of dough with cooking spray and cover. Place in warm area and allow to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
4.  Spread thin layer of ranch dressing on prepared crust, leaving 1" on the edges.  Sprinkle the cheese on top of the ranch, then top with desired amounts of bacon, tomatoes, and chicken.
5.  Bake in the oven at 475 degrees for about 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and crust is slightly brown.

Source:  Adapted from CD Kitchen

Saturday, November 17, 2012

No Bake, Chocolate Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Cookies

I just remembered how good these are.  I think most everyone probably already has this recipe - it's a classic.  I hadn't had them in years and decided to dust off the recipe and make a batch.  They were SO quick, so easy, and so delicious!  I am such a sucker for the chocolate peanut butter combination.  Really.  Anyway, enjoy this classic and I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.  I know I have a lot to be thankful for :)

What are you thankful for?

Printable Version
½ cup butter
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup milk
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
½ cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups quick-cooking oats

1.  Add butter, sugar, milk, and cocoa powder in a saucepan.
2.  Bring to a rolling boil and let boil for 1 minute.
3.  Remove from heat.
4.  Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until smooth, then stir in the oats.
5.  Drop by heaping tablespoons onto wax paper-lined baking sheets.
6.  Let cool until set.

Source:  Brown Eyed Baker

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Cinnamon Rolls

How did it get to be almost Thanksgiving??  Seriously, I can't believe how fast this year is going!  But, I am so excited for the upcoming holidays.  Here in Utah we have been having some unusually warm weather, and it still felt like fall to me.  This week, however, we got some snow and all of sudden I feel like I'm kicking into gear for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I've been wanting to try out some homemade cinnamon rolls for a while because I really have only ever had the frozen kind that you pop straight into the oven.  As I was making these, I was actually really surprised at how simple they were to make and how delicious they are!  These would be perfect for a Christmas morning breakfast or even to enjoy on a Saturday morning during these cold winter months.  Make sure you eat one straight out of the oven when they are ooey gooey :)

What is your favorite breakfast food for Christmas morning?

Printable Version

1 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks
3 1/4 – 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 (.25 ounce) package instant yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg

1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 tablespoons milk

1.  Place milk and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Heat on high for 1 minute 30 seconds. Butter should be at least partially melted. Stir and set aside. 
2.  In a large mixing bowl whisk together 2 cups flour, yeast, white sugar, and salt. 
3.  When milk mixture has cooled to warm (not hot) add it to the flour mixture along with the egg while the beater is running. Beat until well combined, about 1 minute. 
4.  Add remaining flour only until dough barely leaves the sides of the bowl. It should be very soft and slightly sticky. Continue to let the dough knead for 5 minutes. If you are not using a stand mixer, turn dough out onto floured surface and knead for 5 minutes by hand. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and let rest for about 10 minutes while you make the filling.

1.  make sure butter is softened well. Mix with brown sugar and cinnamon.

1.  Roll dough into a rectangle about 12 x 14 inches. 
2.  Spread brown sugar mixture over the surface and use your fingers or the back of a spoon to gently spread around. 
3.  Roll up from the longer side of the rectangle and pinch edges closed. Score the roll into 12 equal pieces and then cut into rolls. Place in a 9 x 13 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. 
4.  Cover pan with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes. In the mean time, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
5.  When rolls have finished rising, bake for 15-20 minutes or until light golden brown. If desired spread with icing while still warm. 

Makes 12 rolls

Source:  Our Best Bites

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

So.... I'm back!  I know, I know, it's been forever. FOR-EV-ER.  Well, I'm sorry.  I had my first baby and life got a little crazy.  Needless to say, there were a lot of things that took the back burner while I figured out this whole being a mom thing.  I'm sure many of you have made the transition to having kids.  It's a little overwhelming at first - there are so many products to weed through before the baby comes, sleepless nights, learning how to do everything with one arm, spit up, drool, crying, feeding, changing - it's busy, that's for sure!  But, I seriously love it.  Whenever she smiles and laughs it melts me a million times over.  I love, love, love it!  So, now that I'm adjusted, I'm excited to start things up on the blog again and trying more recipes.

The one I'm posting for you today is AWESOME!  I love soups in the fall and winter, and this one is classic.  Can you agree with me that homemade soups completely beat out canned??  I mean after making this chicken noodle, there is no way I could go back to plain old canned chicken noodle soup.  We love to have this soup creamy style, but if you prefer to have regular chicken noodle - you can just leave the cream sauce out.  Enjoy!

How was the adjustment to your first baby?

What is your favorite soup?

Printable Version

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 onion, chopped
5 cups water
1 teaspoon chicken boullion
4-5 large carrots, sliced
1 teaspoon onion salt
4-5 celery stalks, sliced
2 teaspoons salt 

8 ounces Rotini (spiral) pasta

Cream Sauce

6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour
2 cups milk

1. Boil all ingredients (except cream sauce ingredients) for 1 hour.
2. When chicken is tender, remove from broth and shred. If the liquid has reduced too much you can add some more water at this point.
3. Add 2 cups of uncooked noodles and continue to boil for 20 minutes.
4. Start the cream sauce by melting butter in large sauce pan. Whisk in flour, stirring constantly.
5. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly until thickened (get it pretty thick). Add salt and pepper.
6. Add cream sauce to broth/noodle mixture.

Source: Adapted from Real Mom Kitchen