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*