Sunday, November 8, 2009

Black Bean Enchiladas

I found this recipe on Annie Eats and modified it a little. Here is my adapted recipe.

Black Bean Enchiladas

For Black Bean filling:

2 cans organic black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp. EVOO
1/4 c. chopped onions (I am not an onion person)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 c. corn kernels (I wanted to use the whole can)
1 c. pico de Gallo (recipe below)
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 c . Reduced Fat Mexican Cheese

For the enchiladas:

Black Bean filling (from above)
6-8 Whole Wheat tortillas
Enchilada sauce (recipe below)

To make the black bean filling, place the black beans in a medium sized mixing bowl. Partially mash the beans. In a medium sized skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic and sauté for 4 minutes. Mix beans, corn, pico de Gallo, cumin, and chili powder into the skillet. Cook for 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove the pan from the heat, mix in cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.

Grease a 9×13” baking dish. Preheat oven to 350°. To make the enchiladas, spoon some of the black bean mixture down the center of a tortilla. Fold sides over the filling and roll up. Place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Pour sauce over the tops of the enchiladas. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese and bake 2-3 minutes more or until cheese is melted.

Recipe for Pico de Gallo (adapted from Proceed with Caution):

5 plum tomatoes, diced
6-oz. of pickled jalapenos (I didn't use the whole can, I thought it might be too hot for us.)
1/4 of a sweet onion (Again, not an onion person.)
1 to 1.5 c fresh cilantro
1 to 2 avocados
juice of 4 limes

Combine all ingredients except avocado and lime juice in a large bowl and refrigerate at least one hour. Dice avocado(s) and add to the bowl, along with the lime juice. Toss together and let sit for 15 minutes.

Also in an attempt to be more healthy I made my own enchilada sauce. I got the recipe from here. Of course I modified it a little, trying to be more healthy.

Easy Enchilada Sauce

3 tsp. EVOO
1 tbsp. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. chili powder
2 c. organic vegetable stock
10-oz. tomato paste
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin

In a medium saucepan heat oil, add flour, smoothing and stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 minute. Add chili powder and cook for 30 seconds. Add stock, tomato paste, oregano, and cumin. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken and smooth out. Adjust the seasonings. Serve atop your favorite enchiladas.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

S'more Bars

These are SO good! I've made them for several occasions recently and they've been a big hit - Taken from September 2009 Family Circle magazine

14 whole graham cracker boards, crushed (2 1/4 cup crumbs)
I put them in a gallon ziploc bag and go over them with a rolling pin to crush
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla

1 jar (7.5 ounces) marshmallow cream (about 1 1/2 cups)
I've only found a 7 oz jar and it's worked fine
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup Hershey's mini chocolate Kisses
3 whole graham cracker boards, broken up

Crust: Combine cracker crumbs, sugar, salt and butter in a bowl until evenly moistened. Transfer to a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; press evenly into bottom. Refrigerate 1 hour until set.

2. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Brownie: Combine chocolate and butter in a glass bowl. Heat in microwave on HIGH until chocolate and butter are melted, about 1 minute. Stir mixture until smooth.

4. Beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl until blended. While beating, gradually add chocolate mixture to egg mixture; beat until smooth.

5. Stir in flour and salt. Add vanilla. Pour evenly over crust.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until center is set.

Topping: While brownie layer is baking, whisk marshmallow cream a;nd milk in a small bowl until well blended and smooth. Remove brownie from oven; cover with marshmallow topping. Spread or tilt pan to level topping and completely cover brownie layer.

8. Sprinkle mini Kisses evenly over marshmallow. Scatter crumbled graham crackers over the top.

9. Bake at 350 degrees for 3 more minutes or until chocolate Kisses are glossy and marshmallow topping is set. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars; remove from pan.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Evelyn's Favorite Pasta

Taken from Proceed with Caution

I made this last week for DH and myself. It was so good. It is taken from a Cheesecake Factory entree. I am also trying to incorporated Clean Eating recipes into our diet. Find out more about Clean Eating here.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced, pressed or grated
salt and pepper
2 chinese eggplant
1 large head broccoli
1 can artichoke hearts, halved or quartered
15 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (choose low fat to make it clean)
1/3 cup prepared pesto8-12 ounces penne pasta (choose whole wheat or multigrain (we like Barilla Plus) to make it clean)
handful of fresh basil, cut into a chiffonade

Directions:Remove the ends from the eggplant. Slice the long way, in thirds, and lay on a cutting board. Salt cut sides of eggplant very well, cover with paper towel and then another cutting board. Place a weight on top of the board. Let stand for 30 minutes, then rinse the eggplant well and cut into 2 inch long pieces.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. When the eggplant is ready and chopped, place in a large bowl. Add chopped broccoli, artichokes, and tomatoes. Combine garlic and olive oil in a small bowl with about 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; mix well. Add olive oil mixture to the vegetables and toss to coat. Spread on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with olive oil. Roast vegetables for about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, start heating water for the pasta in a large stock pot. Heat a small saute pan over medium heat, and add the pine nuts. Heat for a few minutes, tossing frequently, until nuts are lightly toasted, then set aside the nuts. When the pasta water has come to a boil, salt generously and add the pasta. Cook according the time instructed on the box.

When pasta is done, drain and add to a large bowl. Add roasted vegetables, kalamatas, cheese, pesto, and toss to combine. Serve and garnish with toasted pine nuts and basil.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I've had this at a friends house many times, and made it myself for the first time earlier this week. It was AMAZING. I really enjoyed it, and so did Brian! :)

1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed chicken broth
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup whole corn kernels, cooked
1 cup white hominy
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
crushed tortilla chips
sliced avocado
shredded Monterey Jack cheese
chopped green onions

In a medium stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic in oil until soft. Stir in chili powder, oregano, tomatoes, broth, and water. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

Stir in corn, hominy, chiles, beans, cilantro, and chicken. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Ladle soup into individual serving bowls, and top with crushed tortilla chips, avocado slices, cheese, and chopped green onion.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Chicken And Stuffing

Got this recipe from my cousin's MIL. She kind of does things her own way, so, some things don't have measurements. Just use your own judgement...I did. But when using the spices, remember that the stuffing will have seasoning in it as well...don't overseason the chicken broth.


4 to 6 boneless chicken half breasts (about 3 - 4 cups of cooked chicken)
1 Medium Onion, diced
Seasoning Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Oregano and Celery Seed to taste
2 Cans of Chicken Broth (or 3 - 4 cups of water)
Approximately 14 oz. of Stuffing (Stove Top, Peppridge Farm, etc...This is another thing where you just add the stuffing to your tastes.)
2 Cans of Cream of Celery Soup (you can substitute any creamed soup you have on hand. I used one can of cream of celery, one can of cream of chicken)
2/3 Cup of Milk
1 and 1/3 cups of Mayonnaise (don't use Lite Mayo)
2 Cups of Cheese (Cheddar or Mozzarella work best)

Cook the chicken in the chicken broth, onion and seasonings.
After chicken is cooked and then cooled, cut it into cubes.
Toss the chicken and stuffing together in a lightly greased 2 quart casserole dish.
Mix in the soup, milk and mayo and fold thoroughly. The mixture will be very moist.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 - 45 minutes.
Top with cheese the last 10 minutes.

**This freezes well too. Prepare the casserole without baking and then freeze it (Don't add the cheese though!). Do not thaw before baking. Once ready to eat, put tin foil covered, unbaked casserole in the oven for one hour. Uncover and cook for 30 more minutes. When fully cooked, add the cheese and cook for 10 more minutes.**

Not exactly the healthiest casserole, but we certainly don't plan on making it a weekly staple. It does taste really good though.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Caribbean-Spiced Roast Chicken

I was looking for a quick way to make some chicken tonight and I found this. I fried it instead of baking it but it was AMAZING! It only took me about 10 minutes to fry it, I also only had 2 chicken breasts instead of a whole one! Definitely something I'll be making again.


* 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
* 2 fluid ounces rum
* 1 tablespoon brown sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1 teaspoon black pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
* 1 (3 pound) whole chicken
* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
2. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, rum, and brown sugar; set aside. Mix together the cayenne pepper, clove, cinnamon, ginger, pepper, salt, and thyme leaves. Brush the chicken with oil, then coat with the spice mixture.
3. Place in a roasting pan, and bake about 90 minutes, until the juices run clear or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of the thigh reaches 180 degrees F. Baste the chicken with the sauce every 20 minutes while it's cooking. Allow chicken to rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Delicious Arroz Con Pollo

Arroz con Pollo

1 (3 to 4-pound) chicken, cut in 8 serving pieces
1 medium yellow onion, quartered
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 cups chicken broth, homemade or canned low-sodium broth
1 cup light beer, such as lager
3 tablespoons Delicioso Adobo, **recipe follows
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup fresh chopped cilantro leaves
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 cups white rice
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
2 medium carrots, finely diced
8 ounces green beans, trimmed and quartered
1 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, ribbed and thinly sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, ribbed and thinly sliced
1 cup pimento stuffed olives *optional*

Place the chicken, quartered onions, 1 cup of chicken broth, beer, Delicioso Adobo, Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 of the cilantro, and garlic in a large pot or skillet over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside to cool; once cool shred and set aside. Strain the broth into a bowl through a fine-mesh sieve discarding the onion pieces.
Pour the broth into a measuring cup and add water to make 4 cups of liquid. Return it to the pot or skillet and add the rice, peas, carrots, green beans, ketchup, and salt. Stir well and bring to a boil. Let the liquid evaporate to just below the level of the rice, about 10 minutes, and then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is tender and fully cooked, 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the peppers and the remaining sliced onions and cook until they're tender, 8 minutes. Shred the cooked chicken meat discarding the skin and bones, and add the chicken to the vegetables. Cook until it is heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and add the chicken and vegetables to the rice mixture. Stir in the olives, sprinkle with the remaining cilantro and serve.

Delicioso Adobo:
1 tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder or flakes
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1 tablespoon achiote powder*
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon salt
Combine all measured ingredients in a small glass jar with an airtight lid and shake to blend. Store in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks.

Note: This recipe for adobo is a staple seasoning for many of my Latin recipes. You can make a large batch, store it in an airtight container and use it as a flavor enhancer in your favorite dishes.

*Achiote is also known as Annatto seeds
Yield: about 1/2 cup

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies!

I like this recipe because it only contains 3 ingredients.

1 cup Peanut Butter
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1 egg

Mix all three ingredients together. Roll into a ball, place on cookie sheet and flatten with fork making a criss cross pattern.

Bake at 350 for 6 - 8 minutes.

Very, very soft and chewy!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Soft & Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies


1 cup unsalted butter-soft
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 ½ cups oatmeal
2 cups chocolate chips


In a large bowl cream butter and sugars well. Add eggs, one at a time. Add milk and vanilla. Blend well.

In a separate bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add flour mixture to sugar mixer a little at a time. Blend well.

Stir in oatmeal and chocolate chips until incorporated.

Refrigerate batter for 20 minutes before baking.

Preheat oven to 350.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden. Do not over bake.

Yield: 5 dozen


Tracy (aka: electracity)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Chile Con Queso

1/2 onion diced (about 1/2 cup)
4 cloves of garlic minced
3 Serrano peppers diced
3 jalapeno peppers diced
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of flour
1 cup of milk
6 cups of shredded cheese, can use any combination of Longhorn cheddar and Monterrey Jack
1/2 cup of cilantro, chopped
2 plum tomatoes, peeled and diced (about 1 cup, can use canned if tomatoes aren’t in season)
1/2 cup of sour cream
Salt to taste

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan on medium-low heat, and then cook the onions and peppers for about five minutes or until onions are translucent.
2. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
3. Whisk the flour into the butter, vegetable mix and cook for about 30 seconds.
4. Add the milk to the pot, and cook on medium, whisking constantly until sauce is thick, about five minutes. Stir in the cilantro and tomatoes.
5. Turn heat down to low, and a 1/4-cup at a time, slowly add the shredded cheese stirring into the white sauce until completely melted. Repeat.
6. Stir in the sour cream.
7. Add salt to taste.

Notes: You can vary which chiles you use to control how hot you want the queso to be. Also, if the sauce is too thick, feel free to add a bit more milk a tablespoon at a time. The key, however, to a smooth sauce is adding the cheese very slowly and not adding any more cheese until the previous addition is completely integrated into the sauce.

Hope you enjoy a little bit of Texas girls!
Puffy heart! Marelina

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Pizza Pasta

Pizza Pasta has become a household tradition when we have not had a chance to grocery shop.
We always keep the ingredients in the house, and DH loves Pizza Pasta nights.

Slightly undercooked spaghettini Pasta ( I suggest to break it before cooking for easier sesrving)
Canned/Homemade Pizza sauce
Pre-made / Homemade meat balls
Tex-Mex cheese
1 Tbsp Oregano
Your favorite Pizza Toppings

How to make:
1) Place the slightly undercooked pasta and the meat balls, and half the Oregano in an oven-proof dish, mix them.
2) Spread the pizza sauce on top, and be generous!
3) sprinkle the cheese on top
4) Add your favorite pizza toppings
5) place in the oven at 395 degrees, until the cheese starts bubbling.

Bon Apetite!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Colorful Pepper and Onion Pizza

I like to use orange, yellow, and red bell peppers for the nice colorful presentation of this dish, but when I can't find any good ones, or the store doesn't have any, I will use red and green peppers instead.

One prepared pizza crust (such as boboli)
1 yellow bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 small-medium sweet onion
Fresh mozzarella cheese
Minced garlic
1 large tomato (optional)

- Preheat oven to 450 degrees
- Cut peppers and onions into bite size pieces
- Saute peppers and onions in a large pan with 1 tsp minced garlic and about 2 tbsps EVOO until peppers are soft and onions are translucent.
- Remove peppers and onion from heat
- In the same pan, add 1 tsp or more of minced garlic and an additional 1 tbsp EVOO. Saute garlic until it starts to turn brown.
- Slice about 8oz of fresh mozzarella cheese.
- Pour garlic and EVOO sauce onto prepared pizza crust
- Alternate topping with peppers and onions, tomato if using, and cheese, making sure the cheese is the final ingredient on top.
- Put pizza onto a baking pan, or directly on oven rack for crispier crust, and bake for 8-10 min or until cheese is melted.

Wait about 2 min or so before cutting pizza to ensure toppings stay on!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Baked Mac and Cheese

My mom used to make this for me all the time growing up. It's definitely my favorite comfort food!
This version is taken from Cottage Living 2004

Prep: 15 minutes, Cook: 40 minutes.
Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 (8-ounce) package dried elbow macaroni or favorite pasta (about 2 1/4 cups, uncooked)
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1 (8-ounce) package shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)
Toppings (optional):
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan over low heat; add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Turn heat to medium; gradually whisk in milk, and cook over medium heat, stirring or whisking constantly until thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in pasta, mustard, and next 4 ingredients, stirring just until cheese begins to melt.
3. Pour pasta mixture into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano or more Cheddar. If desired, top with fresh breadcrumbs, and drizzle evenly with melted butter.
4. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Chocolate Zucchini Cake


· 2 1/2 cups regular all-purpose flour, unsifted
· 1/2 cup cocoa
· 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
· 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 2 teaspoons cinnamon
· 3/4 cup soft butter
· 2 cups sugar
· 3 eggs
· 2 teaspoons vanilla
· 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
· 2 cups coarsely shredded zucchini
· 1/2 cup milk
· 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
· 1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

· Glaze (directions below)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
1. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.
2. With a mixer, beat together the butter and the sugar until they are smoothly blended. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. With a spoon, stir in the vanilla, orange peel, and zucchini.
3. Alternately stir the dry ingredients and the milk into the zucchini mixture, including the nuts with the last addition.
4. Pour the batter into a greased and flour-dusted 10-inch tube pan or bundt pan. Bake in the oven for about 50-60 minutes (test at 45 minutes!) or until a wooden pick/knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes; turn out on wire rack to cool thoroughly.
5. Drizzle glaze over cake.

Glaze: Mix together 2 cups powdered sugar, 3 Tablespoons milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until smooth.
Cut in thin slices to serve. Makes 10-12 servings.
This is an absolute "must make" recipe if you love zucchini and/or chocolate. Hubby loves much so he's asked me to make another this weekend!
Tracy (electracity)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Wine Wednesday - Well today is Thursday

So I am late for our first Wine Wednesday post, I promise Wine Thursday won't become a tradition!

Ernst & Co. Pinotage

Vintage- 2007
Price- $7.99-9.99

This wine is a Pinot Noir and Meritage blend of uber deliciousness! Perfect for BBQs. And for less than $10/bottle you can let all your friends in on your secret too.

We had some fabulous bottles of wine flowing at my reception and the Pinotage went over the best. I bought two full cases of it and am only left with a half case. Sad face.

This Pinotage is from South Africa. Tasting of ripe dark fruits. But with a hint of smokiness to it, those BBQ flavors in your meats will really pop. Anything hearty and thick will bring out all the flavors in this wine -stews, roasts, a good pork tenderloin, ribs. It is also a perfect sitting by the fire and drinking wine. It will not disappoint you when standing on its own!

Ernst & Co Website


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

6 Can Casserole

This has been one of my favorite dinners since I was a child. It is called "6 Can Casserole" because it used to take 6 canned items to prepare it. One of those ingredients is now in a bag though, so, now it's not really 6 "Can" Casserole anymore. When I first made it for Brett, he was a little leery. But, once he tried it, he loved it. It's my go to recipe for something quick and tasty.

1 Bag of Chow Mein Noodles (You'll likely only need about 3/4 of the bag)
2 Large Cans of Chicken (the canned chicken that looks just like the cans of tuna. You can add more chicken if you'd like, it depends on how much chicken you'd like in your casserole)
1 Can of Cream of Mushroom soup (low fat, low sodium, whatever you prefer)
1 Can of Chicken with Rice soup (again, low fat, low sodium, whatever you prefer)
1 Small Can of Evaporated Milk

Spray a medium casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Spread an even layer of Chow Mein Noodles at the bottom of the dish. Add the remaining ingredients over the Chow Mein Noodles. Cover with another thin layer of Chow Mein Noodles. Mix.

Bake at 350 F for 35 - 40 minutes and enjoy!


Zucchini Wraps

These are really yummy!

goat cheese
olive oil

Cut the zucchini into strips, long ways, like a hotdog. Coat in olive oil, salt, and pepper and grill until soft.

Right off the BBQ, put a little spoonful of goat cheese and pesto and a leaf of spinach on the top of the zucchini. Since the zucchini is warm the cheese should melt a little but still stay firm.

Roll the zucchini over the spinach, cheese, and pesto. Let sit for about 5 minutes. It will firm up a bit and shouldn't fall apart too much in your hands when you eat it.


Ashley (sred)

Layered Mexican Chicken

1 spray olive oil cooking spray
2 lbs uncooked boneless skinless chicken breasts
30 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups fat free sour cream
2 cups shredded reduced fat Mexican-style cheese blend, divided
8 oz chopped green chilies, two 4 oz cans
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp black pepper
12 medium corn tortillas, cut in to 2 in. strips
1 cup salsa
Preheat oven to 350, coat a lasagna pan with cooking spray.
Place chicken in a medium saucepan and fill with enough cold water just to cover chicken. Set pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer chicken until chicken is cooked through, about 10 – 15 minutes; drain. When chicken is cool enough to handle, cut into 1” pieces.
Transfer chicken to a large bowl and add beans, sour cream, 1 cup of cheese, chilies, cumin, and pepper. Mix well and set aside.
Arrange half tortillas in bottom of prepared lasagna dish, overlapping pieces to cover surface. Top tortillas with half the chicken mix, layer with remaining tortillas and then top with remaining chicken mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cup of cheese.
Bake until filling is bubbly and cheese is melted, about 30 minutes. Let stand for five minutes before slicing in to 12 pieces. Serve with salsa on the side.
WW Points – 6
Prep time – 20 min
Cooking time – 45 min
This will last up to five days in the fridge.

Submitted by Samatha

Monday, August 3, 2009

Put your onion goggles on - Corn and asaparagus salad

This recipe I got from Paula Deen and made it with the tequila shrimp listed in the post below. The red onions are delicious in this recipe but may make you cry hence the need for onion goggles.

6 ears yellow corn, shucked
2 bunches asparagus, trimmed
1 small red onion, diced small
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Fill a large stock pot with water, salt and bring it to a boil. Place shucked corn in boiling water and blanch the corn for 3 minutes until bright yellow. Then toss the corn into an ice bath. In the same water used for blanching the corn, blanch the asparagus for 1 minute and toss into the ice bath. For the corn, once cooled, remove the kernels off the cob with a sharp knife and cut the asparagus into 1-inch angled sections. Place both the corn and then asparagus into a medium size bowl.
In another medium size bowl, mix together sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Drizzle over corn and asparagus. Mix together well and chill or serve at room temperature

Hungry Girl how I love you and tequila and shrimp!

For dinner tonight DH and I made this yummy dish from Hungry-Girl :

Te Quiero Tequila Shrimp

8 oz. raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed2 Roma tomatoes, chopped1 small onion, sliced3 tbsp. (1 1/2 oz. or 1 shot) tequila2 tbsp. lime juice2 tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro1 tsp. minced garlic1/4 tsp. chili powder1/4 tsp. salt

Directions:Bring a large pan sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook until onion is slightly translucent, about 3 minutes. Carefully add tequila to the pan and stir. (It's unlikely it will flare up, but be cautious, just in case.) Cover the pan and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Add shrimp and cook for about 3 minutes, until shrimp are nearly opaque. Add tomatoes, lime juice, cilantro, chili powder, and salt, and mix well. Stirring occasionally, cook until tomatoes have softened and shrimp are cooked through, about 2 minutes. Enjoy!


HG Alternative! The cilantro works reeeeally well here (believe it!), but if that herb's a non-negotiable for you, just skip it or swap it out for chopped scallions.

PER SERVING (half of recipe, about 1 1/2 cups): 206 calories, 2.25g fat, 470mg sodium, 9.5g carbs, 1.75g fiber, 4g sugars, 24g protein -- POINTS® value 4*

Friday, July 31, 2009

8 minute Cheesecake

I love this, its so simple and tastes great. DH loves it too!! I like to pour some caramel syrup over mine!

1pkg. 8-oz cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 8-oz container cool whip
1 graham cracker crust
fresh strawberries to garnish if you want

Beat cream cheese until smooth,gradually beat in sugar, Blend in sour cream and vanillaFold in cool whip. Blend well. Spoon into crust. Chill 4 hours or overnight. Top with strawberries if you want.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lemon Supreme Pie

My MIL made this for dessert one day and I had to have the recipe, it was so delicious! It is a little time consuming and requires that you chill it overnight before serving, so it's not a last minute dessert you can whip up.

1 unbaked deep-dish pastry shell (9 inches) (My MIL recommended Marie Calendar, it's in the frozen section)

Lemon Filling:
1-1/2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
4 to 5 drops yellow food coloring (optional)
2/3 cup lemon juice

Cream Cheese Filling:
2 packages (one 8 ounce, one 3 ounce) cream cheese softened
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1-1/2 cups whipped topping
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Line un-pricked pastry shell with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Bake at 450 degrees for 8 minutes. Remove foil; bake 5 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack. In a saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir in water; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Remove from the heat; stir in butter, lemon peel, and food coloring if desired. Gently stir in lemon juice (do not overmix). Cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Fold in whipped topping and lemon juice. Refridgerate 1/2 cup for garnish. Spread remaining cream cheese mixture into shell; top with lemon filling. Chill overnight. Place reserved cream cheese mixture in a pastry bag with a #21 star tip; pipe stars onto pie. Store in the fridge.

Makes 6-8 servings

Smores Cookies

This recipe is from the Rookie Chef. Instead of making them from scratch, I made them with a Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix. They were delicious!
1 pkg. dry chocolate chip cookie mix(I used Betty Crocker)
1 egg
1 stick of softened butter
1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 Hershey bars (break them into pieces) ( I brought 1 pack of the miniature bars in the snack pack)
1 cup of miniature marshmallows

I followed the directions on the package of the cookie mix. I added in the graham cracker crumbs. After I mixed it, it was a little dry so I added about 2 tablespoons of water and it was much better.

I scooped out the dough by teaspoons on a ungreased cookie sheet. Preheat your oven to 350. I baked the cookies for 8 minutes then pulled them out and put marshmallows and pieces of the hersey bars into each cookies. I put them back in the oven for about 3 minutes.

Allow them to completely cool on a wire rack.

Sparkeling Summer Sangria

This is a great summer drink! It's slightly carbonated so it tastes nice and crisp. Very fruity and easy to make :-)

1-2 bottles of Moscati D'Asti wine
Large bag of frozen assorted fruits (make sure there are strawberries and peaches in it)

Pour frozen fruit into a pitcher (depending on the dimensions of your pitcher, you'll want to have about 2-3inches of fruit in it)
Pour bottle(s) of Moscati over fruit
Let mixture sit about 10 minutes

Serve and enjoy!

Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad

My favorite part about this recipe is you can really customize it to your liking by adding more or less of the ingredients, mixing up the seasonings, or adding other ingredients.

This recipe can easily be halved or made in the larger quantity so you can have it for leftovers

Also, I keep experimenting with the chicken seasonings, but I'm including my favorite so far. Sometimes if I'm in a hurry I'll omit the chicken, although if you buy the tenderloins it really doesn't take too much extra time.

Lastly, this is a dish that is best cold... it actually is better the next day (although I still devour it right after I've made it!)

1 box farfalle (bow-tie) pasta (you can use ziti or rotini, but I like farfalle the best!)
Your favorite pesto
Parmesan cheese
Sea-Salt, fresh ground pepper, and onion powder
1 bag craisins
1lb chicken tenderloins (give or take a little, I usually get about 1.25lbs)
1 container grape or cherry tomatoes (I prefer grape)

Pre-heat oven to 350
Trim the chicken, place on a pan and season with salt, pepper, and onion powder
Bake approximately 20 minutes or until chicken is done
Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces

While chicken is baking, put a large pot of water on to boil
Boil whole box of farfalle until done
Drain pasta, throw a couple of ice cubes in the pot, and throw the pasta in the freezer or fridge for a couple of minutes to cool the pasta off.

While chicken is baking and pasta is boiling, cut tomatoes in half for grape tomatoes and in quarters for cherry tomatoes.

When pasta is cool, mix together all the ingredients in the following order:
Parmesan cheese


Tilapia with Basil & Tomato

This recipe is easy, yummy and healthy. If I can handle preparing this, anyone can :)


4 (4 ounce) fillets tilapia
salt & pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic, pressed
4 tablespoons butter *(or substitute olive oil)
4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1 cup white wine

1. Pre-heat oven to 425
2. Place the tilapia fillets side by side on a large piece of aluminum foil. Season each one with salt and pepper. Place one tablespoon of butter on top of each piece of fish (I usually drizzle olive oil to lightly coat it instead of the butter for a healthier option), and sprinkle garlic, basil and tomato. Pour wine over everything. Fold the foil up around the fish, and seal into a packet. Place the packet on a cookie sheet for ease in transportation to and from the oven.
3. Place foil packet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Open the packet carefully so as not to get burned from the steam.

Other variations I've tried that have been good: adding a splash of lemon juice to the fish packet before baking and then afterward sprinkling the fish with feta cheese before serving. You can also grill the fish in the foil packet on a grill pre-heated for medium-high heat, but in my experience, it comes out better when baked.

Turkey Chile

This is so delicious and a go to in our house in the wintertime!

Very weightwatcher friendly - 1pt/1 cup serving

Makes a shit ton, so go get a big pot!

32 oz can canned tomatoes
1 can Black Beans
I package ground turkey breast
2 cans fat free beef broth
2 chile seasoning packets - 1 hot, 1 mild
jalepenos to taste

Brown the meat, garlic, onion, with 1 package chile seasonings.
Add tomatoes, beef broth, and beans.
Add chopped veggies and 2nd chile seasonings and simmer 3.5 hours.


Mexican Lettuce Wraps

This recipe proved to be a winner, not only when wrapped in lettuce, but also when served as a sandwich, dip or salad with tortilla chips. It is so easy to make it ahead, chill and take for a picnic

I will make this recipe and use it throughout the week, on a bed of lettuce with some Taco sauce and shredded cheese as well as on a tortilla as a wrap.
I also don't use the avocado or sour cream, just cause I don't like them, But I add a can of corn.



TIME: Prep/Total Time: 20 min.

3 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium tomato, seeded and finely chopped
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
1/2 cup salsa
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet red pepper
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
12 Bibb or Boston lettuce leaves

In a large bowl, combine the first 11 ingredients. Refrigerate until serving. Just before serving, stir in avocado. Place 1/2 cup chicken mixture on each lettuce leaf; top each with 2 teaspoons sour cream. Fold lettuce over filling. Yield: 6 servings.

Mexican Lettuce Wraps
This recipe proved to be a winner, not only when wrapped in lettuce, but also when served as a sandwich, dip or salad with tortilla chips. It is so easy to make it ahead, chill and take for a picnic
TIME: Prep/Total Time: 20 min.
3 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium tomato, seeded and finely chopped
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
1/2 cup salsa
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet red pepper
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
12 Bibb or Boston lettuce leaves
In a large bowl, combine the first 11 ingredients. Refrigerate until serving. Just before serving, stir in avocado. Place 1/2 cup chicken mixture on each lettuce leaf; top each with 2 teaspoons sour cream. Fold lettuce over filling. Yield: 6 servings.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Emergency Chocolate Cake

This is a really easy recipe. And it satisfies any sweet craving you may have!

2 Tbsp. cake flour (you can use all purpose flour too)
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cocoa powder
pinch of salt
2 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. oil

Spray the inside of your mug with non-stick cooking spray
Dump in all of the ingredients
Stir together with a fork until well blended
Microwave for 60 seconds
Turn out onto a plate (or eat in the mug) and satisfy that cupcake craving!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Busy Night Chicken Casserole

Busy Night Chicken Casserole
from Southern Living
Makes 4 servings

1 cup cooked chicken
1 cup of uncooked instant rice
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup of sour cream
2 tablespoons melted butter ( I used spread)
1/2 of a sleeve of Ritz crackers
1 tablespoons poppy seeds (omitted these)
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Mix chicken, rice, soup, pepper, poopy seeds (omitted) and sour cream together. Put in a baking pan, I used a small oval pan.Crush ritz crackers and mix with melted butter. Place on top of rice mixture and spread evenly.Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Sweet Tea

Per Esther's request

Open 4 bags of family size Lipton tea bags, place in 2 qt sauce pot and cover about 3/4 of the way with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer (2 or 3 if you have numbers on your burners). Let simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. Grab a gallon container and add 2 cups of sugar. Then this is the key - dump all of the water out of your sauce pot into your container and then take a spoon and mash the rest of the juice out of your tea bags without them breaking. I tend to use a fine mesh strainer and just run the water and tea through there and then using a spoon "mash" my tea bags. Then add water to fill the container, stir and put in the fridge to cool.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Zucchini Lasagna

2-3 small zucchini or 1 large
2-3 medium tomatoes
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 green pepper
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
2 tbsp. butter
16oz shredded mozzarella cheese
1 can tomato soup
Parmesan cheese

Brown turkey in a medium skillet. Meanwhile melt butter in a large skillet, saute zucchini, onion and garlic. Spread turkey in a 9x13 inch pan. Spread 1/2 of the cheese on top of the meat. Layer zucchini, onion and garlic evenly across cheese. Top with remaining cheese. Slice tomatoes and green pepper and arrange evenly on top. Spread tomato soup (just the soup, no water) over top and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake covered for 35 minutes at 375 degrees. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Citrus Garlic Shrimp Pasta

This is my favorite pasta recipe. Its a great meal when you are looking for a pasta dish that doesn't feel to "heavy."

Citrus Garlic Shrimp Pasta

1 pound linguine
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup orange juice*
1/3 cup lemon juice*
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled
5 teaspoons grated lemon peel*
4 teaspoons grated orange peel*
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Shredded Parmesan cheese
Fresh parsley, scallions, or chives to garnish
*I use 2 lemons and 2 oranges which is about the right amount for the zest and juice needed

Cook linguine according to package directions. Meanwhile in a food processor combine the next 8 ingredients; cover and process until well blended.

Pour this mixture into a large skillet; heat through. Add shrimp. Cook or 5 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Drain linguine; toss with shrimp mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and garnish if desired.

Feta Stuffed Turkey Burgers

I found this recipe on and tried it. It was amazing! I didn't make the sauce for the burgers, but I'm going to try to do that next time.

A simple yogurt-based sauce and a rich feta-and-spice stuffing makes these turkey burgers stand out above the rest. Pair with sautéed zucchini. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

4 servings

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ground turkey
6 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
Cooking spray
1/4 cup grated English cucumber
1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices tomato
4 green leaf lettuce leaves
4 (2-ounce) Kaiser rolls or hamburger buns


1. Combine first 6 ingredients. Divide mixture into four portions. Indent center of each portion; place 1 1/2 tablespoons feta into each. Fold turkey mixture around cheese; shape each portion into a 1/2-inch-thick patty.
2. Heat grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add patties; cook 5 minutes on each side.
3. Combine cucumber, yogurt, and mint in a small bowl. Arrange 1 turkey patty, 1 tomato slice, 1 lettuce leaf, and 2 tablespoons yogurt mixture on bottom half of each roll. Top with top halves of rolls.
Sautéed zucchini: Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 cups sliced zucchini and 2 minced garlic cloves; sauté 5 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Spinach Artichoke Calzones

This is a Rachael Ray recipe. I liked this so much that I made it again for bunco one night. I just cut the pizza dough into smaller rectangles and made them appetizer size. Yummy!

2 cups low-moisture part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg, or a few pinches ground
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a couple handfuls)
1 pkg (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
1 can (15 oz) quartered artichoke hearts in water, drained and coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tubes prepared, refrigerated pizza dough (10 oz each)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (available in pouches in the dairy aisle)
2 cups tomato, marinara or pizza sauce, warmed, for dipping

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine ricotta, nutmeg, black pepper, Parmigiano Reggiano, spinach, artichoke hearts, and garlic in a bowl to make the filling.

Roll both tubes of pizza dough out on 2 separate nonstick cookie sheets and cut each dough in half across. Spread 1/2 cup mozzarella and up to 1/4 of the filling over half of each rectangle, then fold dough over top of filling; pinch edges firmly to seal. For a half-moon pizza parlor look to your calzones, mound filling into a half moon shape, fold dough over top, and trim edges following the rounded shape, then seal by pinching with fingers. If the dough tears, remove a little of the filling and repair. Repeat process, spacing calzones evenly on a baking sheet, and bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve with warm tomato, marinara, or pizza sauce for dunking. Add a tossed salad and you've got a complete meal.