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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bread Bowls

This bread was so easy to make and so tasty. It has a similar density to sourdough, so it's perfect to eat with soups. The recipe said to cut the dough into 6 portions but I found the "bowls" to be a little small so we just ate them on the side of our soup. Next time, I'll split it into 4 pieces and the size should be perfect.

2 T sugar
1 1/2 t salt
4 C flour, divided
1/2 C warm water
1 C 1 % milk
2 T butter
1 T yeast (I use active dry)
1 egg, beaten


Using a stand mixer with a dough hook, combine 2 cups of flour and sugar into stand mixer. Add salt and stir around.

Pour your milk and water into the same glass measuring cup and microwave for about a minute. Drop in butter and let melt. (You may need to heat the liquid for a little longer).

Pour the buttery milk into mixer. Mix for about 30 seconds.

Add yeast and remaining 2 cups of flour. Let the dough mix for 5 minutes on low. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Spray a baking sheet and place the dough on it. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 4 equal parts (for larger bowls) or 6 parts for small bowls. To make rolls, cut the dough into 8 to 10 pieces.

Let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then shape into a ball. Whisk the egg and brush on top of each ball.

Place in the oven on 170 degrees for 20 minutes. Increase the temperature to 350 and bake for an additional 15 minutes. (Leave the pan in the oven while the temp rises.) Once the bread has browned and is crispy on top, it is done.

recipe adapted from

Friday, October 28, 2011

Baked Buffalo Chicken Bites

We had a little Friday night tailgate dinner party tonight. I was so anxious to try out these bites I couldn't wait until Sunday to make them. The cornflake crumbs give the outside a nice crust and the inside is so creamy and delicious with the bite of buffalo. Next time I make these I will make them smaller and freeze half of them (before baking) so we will have them handy. They were time consuming, so tonight I made them bigger than a "bite," but they were still amazing!


3 cups shredded cooked chicken
1/2 cup hot sauce - we use Franks Red Hot
4 ounces fat free cream cheese, softened
1 3/4 cups sharp shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions (optional)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cracked black pepper
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3 – 4 cups Corn Flakes cereal, crushed

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine chicken, cream cheese and hot sauce, cheddar cheese and green onions.
Roll a heaping tablespoon of mixture into a 1½-inch ball and place onto a plate or separate baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
Place flour in a shallow dish, season with pepper and garlic powder.
In a second shallow dish, place eggs.
In a third shallow dish, place corn flakes.
Dip each chicken ball first into the flour, then the egg and ending with the Corn Flakes. Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm with ranch or blue cheese dressing.

recipe adapted from Sweet Pea's Kitchen

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pumpkin Hummus

This was so good! If you like pumpkin and you like hummus, its a no brainer. Easy to make and my kids loved it too! I served this at a family event and everyone asked for the recipe. Serve with warm pita bread cut into small triangles and/or veggies.

2 cans garbanzo beans, rinsed & drained
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 TBS Olive Oil
2 TBS water
3 cloves garlic (more or less to taste, I used minced)
Dash of Cayenne Pepper
Salt & Pepper to taste (I used about 1/8 teaspoon of each)
Dash of House Seasoning (I used Paula Dean House Seasoning)
3/4 Can of Pumpkin (more or less to taste)

How to make:
Put the beans, lemon juice, water, olive oil and garlic in a food processor. Process well. If it seems to0 dry or clumpy, add a bit more water or olive oil. Add the remaining ingredients and blend well. You can add more S&P, pumpkin or garlic if you like.

If you don't like pumpkin, follow the recipe but you can sub in toasted sesame seeds, roasted red peppers, onion, sundried tomatoes, etc .

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Creamy Chicken Pillows

I'm not a huge fan of using canned bread for meals. However, some nights I'm begging to cook something super easy. I found this recipe and it seemed like a perfect week night solution. I used fat free, or reduced fat where I could to make it healthier. I also used chicken from one of my at home, crockpot rotisserie chickens to give a nice homemade taste to the meal.


8 ounces fat free cream cheese, softened
½ cup fat free sour cream

½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 ½ Tablespoons dried chives
1 ½ Tablespoons fresh onion minced
 3 cups shredded chicken (I used chicken from a crockpot rotisserie chicken)

 2 (8 ounce) cans reduced fat crescent rolls
1/4 cup melted butter
Italian bread crumbs (around 2 cups)

1 (14.5 ounce) can fat free cream of chicken soup
1 (0.87) package chicken gravy mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine cream cheese and sour cream until well combined.  Stir in salt, pepper, onion, chives, and shredded chicken.

 Take 2 triangular crescent rolls and push together at perforated seam to make into a square. Make sure you seal the perforations well so your filling doesn't come out. Put about 3 tablespoons of chicken mixture in the center of each square. Fold the dough corners to the center over the chicken mixture forming a pillow.

 Brush each pillow with melted butter on all sides. Roll in bread crumbs on both sides. Shake excess crumbs off. Place chicken pillow on foil lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Make gravy by mixing one package of chicken gravy mix, one can of cream of chicken soup and 3/4 can of water in a small pot. Mix together and heat until warm. Serve chicken pillows with gravy poured over top.

recipe adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pull Apart Pizza Bread

I made this last night for a get together with the girls. The way we tore into this, you would have thought we were going to fight for the last bite. It is so easy, so delicious, and fun to eat! I made mine with only cheese and pepperoni, but you could really personalize it and add whatever your favorite pizza toppings are.


1 unsliced round loaf sourdough bread
 12-16 ounces mozzarella or Provolone cheese, thinly sliced and torn apart
1 package mini pepperoni or turkey pepperoni
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasonings
2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
 pizza sauce for dipping

Some other options: ham and pineapple, crumbled sausage and peppers, mushrooms, banana peppers.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the bread lengthwise and width wise without cutting through the bottom crust.

Place bread on a foil-lined baking sheet and insert cheese slices and pepperoni between cuts. Combine butter, garlic powder, and Italian seasonings. Drizzle or brush over bread with a pastry brush. Sprinkle bread with Parmesan cheese.

Wrap bread completely in foil and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Unwrap the bread and bake 10 more minutes, or until cheese is melted and pepperoni is a little crispy.

recipe courtesy of the girl who ate everything

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Teriyaki Grilled Chicken Sandwich

We made this sandwich after visiting Red Robin and realizing that we could no longer eat our favorite item from there knowing the nutrition info! So we decided to give it a go ourselves. YUMMM... turned out great. The kids just ate the marinated chicken and grilled pineapple but we assembled ours into a sandwich which you can customize however you like it.

Boneless Chicken Breasts
1 cup Teriyaki Sauce
Sandwich Rolls
Shredded lettuce
Pineapple slices
Chipolte Mayonnaise (we use Kraft, only 40 calories for 1 TBS, which is PLENTY)
1/4 Red onion, chopped & sauteed with a dash of olive oil in a non stick skillet (optional)
Tomato slices (optional)

Put chicken breasts in a resealable bag, pour teriyaki over and seal. Refrigerate for several hours. Once ready to cook, remove chicken and discard marinade. Heat grill to medium high heat. Add the chicken. After several minutes, add the pineapple slices to the grill. Watch carefully and turn often until they have nice grill marks. Once done, remove & set aside. Add the rolls for a few seconds on each side or until toasted, remove and set aside. Cook chicken until done. Then make your sandwich! Add the chicken, pineapple, spicy mayo, lettuce and whatever else you choose to your toasted roll and enjoy!!

Spicy Grilled Eggplant

Really really good!! Wasn't too spicy, just perfect. This was better than I thought it would ever be. It's definitely a great adult dish, not ideal for the little ones.

1 medium eggplant
1-2 teaspoon salt, to remove water from eggplant
1-2 TBS olive oil (to brush eggplant for grilling)
1 TBS chopped parsley
1 TBS chopped mint
2 TBS olive oil
2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Remove stem end and wash eggplant, but do not peel. Cut eggplant into slices 1/2 -3/4 inch thick, being careful to make all slices the same thickness. Put eggplant in colander in single layer and sprinkle with salt. Let drain 20 minutes, then turn over and sprinkle other side with salt and let drain 20 minutes more.

While eggplant drains, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic puree, and red pepper flakes. Preheat grill to medium. Remove eggplant from colander and put each piece between two papers towels and press with your hand to squeeze out water. Wipe eggplant dry and brush both sides with olive oil.

Place eggplant on grill and cook 4-5 minutes per side, rotating after a few minutes on each side if you want to get nice grill marks. Watch them carefully because they go from nicely browned to overly dark quite quickly.

When eggplant is done, remove from grill and place in large plastic bowl. Pour in the spicy sauce, and gently stir eggplant to coat with sauce. Let sit 10-15 minutes so eggplant can absorb sauce flavors. Chop mint and parsley while eggplant is resting in sauce.

To serve, assemble eggplant on serving plate and sprinkle with mint and parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.

**Recipe courtesy of Kalyn's Kitchen

Balsamic Grilled Pork Chops

These were some of the best pork chops we have ever had. Perfect flavor. Highly recommend. Easy to make marinade too.

1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 TBS honey
3 garlic cloves (we used minced)
1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon pepper (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon Ms. Dash's Original Salt Free Seasoning Blend

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Add 4-5 boneless pork chops to a resealable bag, pour marinade over them and refrigerate for 1-3 hours. Remove chops from the marinade when ready to grill. Grill on medium high heat for about 10 minutes on each side or until done. (time depends on the thickness of the chops). Goes great with Caramelized Butternut Squash!

Caramelized Butternut Squash

This recipe was amazing! Can't wait to make this for Thanksgiving. If anything, it was almost too sweet so I would probably cut back on the brown sugar next time. Tasted like candy! Mine cooked much faster than the recommended time so be careful to check on it often so it doesn't get too mushy.

butternut squash (4 to 5 pounds total)

6 -8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (we used sea salt)
1/2-1 teaspoon black pepper

How to make:
Preheat oven to 400.
Cut off the ends of the squash and discard. Peel the squash and cut in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, remove the seeds.
Cut the squash into 1 1/4" to 1 1/2" cubes (large and uniform is best), and place them on a baking sheet. Add the melted butter, brown sugar, salt and pepper.
With clean hands, toss all of the ingredients together and spread out in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes to 55 minutes, until the squash is tender and the glaze begins to caramelize. (Ours was done in 35 minutes). Turn the squash while roasting a few times with a spatula to be sure it browns evenly. Serve hot, enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pumpkin Pie French Toast

I had planned to make breakfast for dinner tonight, but I wasn't sure what to make. I recently made pumpkin pancakes that everyone really enjoyed so I decided to make french toast with the same theme. They were so tasty and melted in our mouths. I made a homemade maple butter glaze to drizzle on top of them, too!


1 C egg substitute (or 4 eggs)
1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
8 slices of whole wheat bread (You can use french or challah, too)

 Ingredients for Maple Butter Glaze
1/2 cup of butter (I used Smart Balance Spread)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg


In a sauce pot, combine butter, syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg. Heat on low until combined. Serve warm drizzled over french toast.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin, cream, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar.

Heat skillet to medium-heat, spray with cooking spray. Quickly dip bread on both sides into the egg mixture, allow excess mixture to drip off. Place on hot skillet. Heat 2-3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Repeat with remaining bread.

4. Serve immediately with maple butter glaze.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Crockpot Pomegranate Pot Roast

I have to admit that until recently, thanks to Carmen's Pork & Peaches, I have not been a big fan of meat and fruit together. This recipe was really good. It didn't knock my socks off, but it had great flavor and made me drool all day long while it was cooking. Rich absolutely LOVED it and it did pair well with my mashed potatoes. Overall, I would make it again, if for nothing else than to make the house smell delicious!

Pot Roast doesn't photograph well

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, sliced
dash of ground cinnamon (optional)
1/4 tsp rosemary
1/8 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 pounds beef roast (I used a lean chuck roast)
4 garlic cloves (whole is fine, or you can chop them)
1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
1 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup golden raisins (you could also use cranberries)

The Directions:

Use at least a 6-quart slow cooker. Swirl the olive oil into the bottom of the stoneware. Add the onion. Rub the spices on all sides of meat and add to the stoneware with the garlic, the whole can of tomatoes, pomegranate juice, vinegar, and syrup. Sprinkle the raisins on top.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for about 5. The meat is done when it has reached desired tenderness. Serve with mashed potatoes, and drizzle with the sauce.

Tip: Freeze any remaining sauce in a freezer bag to dump over another hunk of meat at a later date.

recipe adapted from crockpot365

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ranch House Chops - Crockpot

It doesn't get easier than this. Only 3 ingredients make this savory dish and you just have to dump them all into a crockpot. The pork chops were very tender and the sauce was full of flavor. We served ours over a bed of brown rice, but it would be good with mashed potatoes as well.


6 pork chops, 1/2 inch thick
1 packet dry Ranch Dressing Seasoning
10 oz can Cream of Chicken Soup (I used Fat Free)

Place pork chops, Ranch seasoning and soup into a medium sized crock pot over high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 6 hours.

recipe courtesy of Picky Palate 

Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte

This isn't as sugary sweet as most iced coffee's I have had, but it's full of the pumpkin flavor and super easy to make. Another benefit, it uses the Pumpkin Spice Syrup that isn't full of artificial flavors.


1/2 C Pumpkin Spice Syrup
1 C cold coffee
1/2 C milk (I used 1 %)
Whipped Cream (optional)

Fill blender half way with ice (about 2 1/2 cups). Add remaining ingredients and blend. Top with whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon.

Pumpkin Spice Syrup (for Lattes)

This pumpkin spice syrup is pretty close to crack. I have made 2 batches in 3 days and I have been drinking coffee nonstop. I have no issues forfeiting sleep for this delicious treat. I also double the recipe to be sure I don't run out too quickly!


3 cups water
3 cups sugar
4 cinnamon sticks or 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (If you use ground cinnamon, be sure to make it into a bundle using a coffee filter and string. The cinnamon changes the syrup into a muddy color and makes it thick and grainy)
1 teaspoon whole cloves (will be strained at the end)
1teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
 10 tablespoons pumpkin purée


Combine water, sugar, cinnamon and cloves in a medium pot over medium heat. Cook until sugar has completely dissolved.

Whisk in remaining ingredients. Cook for about 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Do not allow mixture to come to a boil. Strain syrup through cheesecloth into a large glass measuring cup. Transfer to bottle of your choice and store in the refrigerator. You can store this up to 3 weeks.

Add about 1 1/2 tablespoons to your coffee and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from here

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna Roll-Ups

This recipe is absolutely delish. You can adapt the recipe to make a traditional lasagna, but the roll-ups give a nice portioned piece for each person. You can also make this recipe with any meat and flavorings that you like. I made ours buffalo because we love anything with buffalo flavoring. They freeze well so feel free to double or triple the recipe to make extras!

Ingredients for 15 roll-ups

15 lasagna noodles, cooked as directed
2 cups of shredded chicken (I used chicken from a rotisserie crockpot chicken)
16 oz of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup hot sauce - I use Frank's Red Hot
1 TBSP vinegar
16 oz fat free cottage cheese
1 cup skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup reduced fat parmesan cheese
1 container of blue cheese crumbles
2 eggs
1/2 TBSP Italian Seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder

In a small pot, combine spaghetti sauce, hot sauce, vinegar and 1/2 cup of chicken - simmer for about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine cottage cheese, eggs, italian seasoning, garlic powder, mozzarella cheese and remaining chicken. Toss together.

In a 9x13 glass dish (or 2 8x8's) spread half of spaghetti sauce on the bottom.

On each cooked lasagna noodle pile 1 1/2 to 2 TBSP of cottage cheese mixture at the bottom. Carefully roll them and place them seam side down in the glass dish. Top with blue cheese crumbles, remainder of sauce and 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese.

Bake 30 to 40 minutes on 350 until bubbly and cheese has browned.