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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Crockpot Cheeseburger Soup

Warm, cheesy, chunks of potatoes and full of flavor.  This soup is so easy to make. I threw it together the night before I was going to serve it and transferred it to the crockpot in the morning. I let it simmer all day while we were entertaining guests and by dinnertime the potatoes were nice and tender and I didn't have to spend the day cooking. Everyone loved it!



2 carrots, shredded
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
8 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
8 cups low sodium chicken Broth
1/4 c flour
1/2 c butter
1 lb lean ground beef, 93/7
1/2 c 1% Milk
6 - 8 Cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded (depending on how cheesy you want it)
Pepper to taste

Optional 2 TBSP corn starch


Brown the meat, drain and set aside.

Melt 1/4 c of the butter in a large 5 qt pot and saute the onions, carrots and the celery until softened. Add cooked hamburger meat and chicken broth.  In another sauce pot, melt the remaining butter add the flour over low heat. Stir until thick and add to the large pot.

Stir well, then add the cheese along with the milk. Stir occasionally until the cheese is melted. Add the potatoes (uncooked).

Transfer the soup to a large crockpot and let it simmer all day on low. About 6 to 8 hours to make the potatoes tender. Depending on how thick you like your soup, towards the end remove 1/2 cup of broth and whisk in 2 TBSP of corn starch. Pour back into the crockpot and stir thoroughly. Let the soup cook without the lid for another hour to thicken.

Serve with a hunk of crunchy bread and season with pepper.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Crunchy Peanut Butter Snack Mix

This is one of those snacks that you will have to force yourself to step away from the bowl. It is so yummy and you can throw it together in under 10 minutes! Perfect for a fall gathering or Halloween party. It makes a TON.

4 cups Golden Grahams® cereal
2 cups Cocoa Puffs® cereal
2 cups thin pretzel sticks (2 1/4 inch)
1 cup candy-coated peanut butter candies
1 cup dry-roasted peanuts
10 oz white chocolate baking bars or squares, chopped
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 cup powdered sugar

In large bowl, mix cereals, pretzels, peanut butter candies and peanuts; set aside.

In 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave white chocolate and butter uncovered on High about 1 minute, stirring once, until melted and chocolate can be stirred smooth. Pour over cereal mixture, stirring until evenly coated.

In large resealable food-storage plastic bag, toss half of the cereal mixture with 1/4 cup of the powdered sugar until evenly coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Repeat with remaining cereal mixture and remaining 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Store tightly covered at room temperature.

recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Turkey Meatball and Spaghetti Soup

My family has never been huge on soups, unless they are hearty and the broth is pretty much nonexistent. Back when my daughter was born a neighbor delivered this delicious soup to me. I literally ate the entire container by myself. I have been dreaming of this soup for over 2 years and finally decided to make it. I added extra noodles and less broth in hopes to please my picky people. The verdict? They ate it and didn't complain! I even convinced Rich to keep some broth in his bowl (he tends to drain it all and go for the chunks) and he had seconds! I'm slowly converting them :) 



For the soup:
7 cups low sodium, fat-free chicken broth
2 cups water
2 chopped cloves garlic, divided
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 onion, chopped, divided
8oz can of tomato sauce
pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
kosher salt and fresh pepper
12 oz dry cut up whole wheat spaghetti

For the meatballs:
16 oz 99% lean ground turkey
1 small egg
1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tsp italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder

In a soup pot over medium heat, bring chicken broth, water, crushed garlic, italian seasoning, 1/4 of the chopped onion, tomato sauce, crushed red pepper flakes and fresh black pepper to a boil; simmer about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the meatballs by combining ground turkey, parmesan cheese, egg, garlic powder, remaining onion, italian seasoning, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Form into little 1 inch meatballs (about 36).

Drop meatballs into the broth, cook about 3 minutes; add pasta and cook according to package directions. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve with grated parmesan cheese.

recipe adapted from Skinny Taste

Baked Meaty Pasta with Cheese

Had a last minute guest coming to dinner so I had to scratch the planned dish and make something that I had more of.  This makes A LOT so be prepared to freeze some or invite extra people to dinner.  This is super easy to make and always a hit.  Also,  I love that I can make it a head of time and just pop it in the oven when we are ready to eat. Serve it with italian bread and dinner is done! 

1 box of pasta (I usually use rotini or elbow macaroni)
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (I use Ragu meat flavored)
1 lb lean ground turkey (or beef)
1/4 finely chopped yellow onion
2 TBS Italian Seasoning
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups part skim mozzarella cheese

1.  Cook the pasta according to box instructions.  Drain well. 
2.  While the pasta is cooking, brown the meat in a large non stick skillet.   Add the 2 TBS italian seasoning, black pepper and chopped onion to the meat and stir well.   Once cooked, drain the grease and set aside.
3.  Heat the spaghetti sauce in a pot until warm. Season to taste if necessary. 
4.  Heat oven to 400.  
5.  Spray a large casserole dish with cooking spray. 
6.  Add the well drained pasta to the dish.  Then add some of the spaghetti sauce and stir well, until the pasta is covered (just use enough to coat the pasta, keep the extra sauce on the side.)
7.  Add the meat and onion.  Stir into the pasta until it is spread throughout.
8.  Top the meat and pasta with the cheese.
9.  Put in middle shelf of oven until the cheese is melted.  Serve with bread and the extra sauce for dipping. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Italian Sausage Hoagies - kid approved

I got this recipe from my Cooking Light Magazine and this was a "kid tested & approved" recipe.  I thought I'd try it.  My 7 year old son is super picky but my 2 year old daughter eats anything, so it seemed like a good choice.   And the added plus is that one hoagie is only 300 calories and 7g of fat.  Super quick to make too.  We used 4 sausages to make this but since the kids only split one, we had enough for lunches for us adults the next day -- win win! 

4 hoagie rolls, halved lengthwise (we only used 3 for dinner and saved the next one for lunch the next day)
4 links of sweet turkey italian sausage, cut into 1" thick pieces (they get a little mushy but it's ok)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion (to hide it from picky kids)
1 TSP minced garlic
1 cup marinara sauce (more or less depending on preference, we used a bit more)
1 small red pepper, finely chopped (again, to hide it from picky kids)
1/4 TSP black pepper
1 cup shredded part skim mozz cheese

1.  Preheat broiler to high.
2.  Hollow out the top halves of the rolls.   Arrange the rolls, cut sides up on a baking sheet.  Broil 1-2 minutes until toasted (pay close attention so they don't burn).  Set aside.
3.   Heat a large non stick skillet over medium high heat.  Add sausage to the pan, cook a few minutes or until slightly browned, stirring occasionally.  
4.  Add the onion & garlic to the sausage, cook 1 minute longer.
5.  Add the marinara sauce, bell pepper and black pepper.  Bring to a low boil.    Reduce heat and simmer until the pepper is tender (or in my case, let cook on "warm" on the stove for 30 minutes because the hubby was stuck in awful traffic, lol).
6. Arrange about 3/4 cup sausage mixture over bottom half of each roll, sprinkle each with some cheese.  
7.  Place on baking sheet, broil 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Top with the top halves of rolls.   

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Crockpot Bacon Ranch Chicken

Carmen mentioned the other day that cooking in a crockpot is a form of torture for stay-at-home moms. I couldn't have said it better after smelling this chicken cooking all day long. The chicken was super tasty and perfect comfort food on a chilly day. Also, who doesn't love bacon?!?

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2.5 oz real bacon bits
1 tsp minced garlic
1 pkg ranch dressing mix
1 can fat free cream of chicken soup (low sodium)
1.5 cups fat free sour cream

1 package of whole wheat egg noodles

Place chicken breasts in the bottom of the crockpot. Combine bacon, garlic, ranch dressing mix, soup, and sour cream; mix well. Pour over chicken in the crock pot. Cook on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours.

Shred the chicken and put back in the pot and add the cooked egg noodles; mix together. Serve with your favorite veggie.

recipe courtesy of Crock Pot Girls

Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore always reminds me of my dad. He used to make my grandmother's recipe pretty often and it was always so delicious. I have tried a few versions of the recipe but it never quite compared to what he made. I gave this Skinny Taste recipe a try and it was AMAZING. I can't say it is better than my grandmother's recipe but it came very close to it and that's good enough for me! It helps that it's a crockpot recipe, too!

5-8 chicken thighs, with the bone, skin removed
28 oz can crushed tomatoes (Tuttorosso my favorite!)
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
1/2 green bell pepper, sliced into strips
1/2 large onion, sliced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
salt and fresh pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh herbs such as basil or parsley for topping

Season chicken with salt and black pepper and place in the slow cooker. Pour tomatoes over the chicken, top with onions and peppers, add oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper, give it a quick stir and cover. Set crock pot to LOW 8 hours or HIGH 4 hours. An hour before serving remove the lid from the crockpot, remove the bones from the meat (it will fall apart) and shred the chicken. This will thicken the sauce as well.

Serve over a bed of brown rice or your favorite noodle.

recipe courtesy of Skinny Taste

Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken

I have made this a couple of times now and each time I can't seem to make enough chicken. We devour this - to put it mildly. I truly don't think you can buy something better at an authentic Chinese restaurant. There is a bit of sauteing in oil but majority of the cooking is in the form of baking, so it's much healthier than the deep fried stuff! Yum!


 3-4 boneless chicken breasts

The chicken coating:
 salt + pepper
 1 cup cornstarch
 2 eggs, beaten (egg substitute is fine)
 1/4 cup canola oil

The sweet and sour sauce:
 3/4 cup sugar
 4 tbs ketchup
 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
 1 tbs soy sauce
 1 tsp garlic salt


Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees. Rinse your chicken breasts in water and then cut into cubes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dip chicken into the cornstarch to coat then dip into the eggs. 

Heat your 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet and cook your chicken until browned but not cooked through.

Place the chicken in a 9x13 greased baking dish. Mix all of your sweet and sour sauce ingredients in a bowl with a whisk and then pour evenly over the chicken.

Bake for one hour and during the baking process you will need to turn the chicken every 15 minutes.

Serve over a bed of brown rice and broccoli. Yum!

recipe courtesy of Life as a Lofthouse

Friday, September 7, 2012

Pancake Bites with Turkey Sausage

I saw this idea on Pinterest and got so excited. My kids absolutely love pancakes (and sausage!) and these are perfect for busy school mornings! You just pull them out of the freezer, pop them in the microwave for 1 minute and you have an easy homemade breakfast. I can't keep up with the demand in my house.

These bites are very versatile so you can use frozen sausage patties (I like turkey), blueberries, sliced strawberries or even mini chocolate chips.

Fluffy pancake with a bite of savory turkey sausage - yum!

If you're feeling ambitious, you can make a homemade pancake mix or use a pre-made mix. My go-to is Heart Smart Bisquick mix. (Follow the recipe on the side of the box for pancakes).

Here is my favorite pancake recipe:


1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg - I use egg substitute
1 cup milk, plus more if necessary - I use 1%
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon all natural sugar - I use pure cane
Whisk together egg and milk. Slowly stir dry ingredients until moistened.
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a mini muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. Take a frozen turkey sausage patty and break it into bite sized pieces. Place a piece on the bottom* of each muffin tin.
Cover with about 1 tbsp of pancake batter.
*If using fruit, put pancake batter in tin first, then top with fruit. The fruit tends to stick to the bottom of the muffin tins.
Cook bites for 12 minutes. Serve with maple syrup for dipping!
To Freeze: Let bites cool completely. Place on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer for 10 minutes. Place them in a freezer safe container or freezer bag.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Cherry Cream Cheese Danish

 This is a Kraft recipe that I've tweaked & have been making for years.
Always a big hit at parties.  I make mine using all low fat / calorie products so it ends up not being awful for you to enjoy because usually one piece is never enough.  The key is to make sure you cook it long enough to avoid soggy dough (lesson learned the hard way, lol).   Also you can change the cherry filling to another filling if desired.   Always good the next day too so you can make it a head of time.

2 cans  (8 oz. each) refrigerated low fat crescent dinner rolls, divided
2 pkg.  (8 oz. each) Neufatchel Cream Cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups  powdered sugar, divided
1 egg white
2 tsp.  vanilla
1 can  (20 oz.) cherry pie filling
3 Tbsp.  1 % milk
1/4 tsp splenda (optional)

How to make:
HEAT oven to 350°F.

UNROLL 1 can crescent dough into 2 rectangles; press onto bottom of 13x9-inch pan sprayed with cooking spray, firmly pressing perforations and seams together to seal.
BEAT cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar, egg white and vanilla with mixer until well blended (optional to add 1/4 tsp splenda to make it sweeter).  Spread onto crust. Cover with pie filling. Unroll remaining can of crescent dough; separate into 2 rectangles. Pat out to form 13x9-inch rectangle, pressing seams and perforations together to seal; place over pie filling.
BAKE about 30 min. or until golden brown.  MAKE SURE IT IS COMPLETELY COOKED.  (Sometimes mine takes up to 35 minutes, depends on your oven.)   Let sit for about 5 minutes.   Gradually add milk to remaining powdered sugar, beating with whisk until well blended; drizzle over warm dessert.   It's good served warm or room temperature.  Enjoy.

Recipe & picture courtesy of Kraft 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hot Caprese Dip

Gooey. Cheesy. Good. This dip is so easy and SO yummy. We ate it as a late night snack with slices of whole wheat french bread and I slightly died at how good it was. You can make it in advance and keep it in the fridge for when you're ready to use it! A great way to use up those tomatoes from your garden, too!


16 ounces part-skim mozzarella, cubed
6 oz low fat cream cheese, cubed
2 cups tomatoes, diced, seeded and juiced*
3 tablespoons freshly chopped basil (or about 1 tablespoon dried)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp pepper


Spray a medium oven safe dish with cooking spray. Put about half of the mozzarella on the bottom of the dish. Top with tomatoes, basil and spices. Top with cream cheese cubes and remaining mozzarella.

Bake for about 15 minutes on 375 and then broil until cheese is bubbly. (There will be liquid at the bottom of the dish from the cheese. using a lower moisture mozz will decrease this!)

Serve with your favorite cracker, bread or spoon!

*A great way to get excess juice out of your tomatoes is to sprinkle them with salt and let them sit for about 30 minutes. Then rinse and pat dry with paper towels.

Recipe adapted from How Sweet Eats

Friday, August 24, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Chili

This recipe was absolutely delicious (and low cal/fat)! My only complaint is that it didn't make a lot so that I could freeze half. Next time I'm going to double it, or triple it! This is perfect football food -You can make it in advance and then keep it warm in your crockpot for the day. We ate ours with multi-grain scoops as "nachos" but it is also great with a spoon! I enjoyed mine with crumbled blue cheese and Rich topped his with sharp cheddar. Enjoy!

1 pound ground chicken
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, sliced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground
1 can of light beer beer or chicken broth (use the beer!!)
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup hot sauce (or to taste) - Franks Red Hot!
salt and pepper to taste
Toppings: crumbled blue cheese, feta cheese, cheddar cheese
  1. Cook the chicken in a large pan over medium heat and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in the pan, add the onions, celery and carrots and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
  4. Add the beer or broth and deglaze the pan.
  5. Add chicken, tomatoes, beans, paprika, oregano, cayenne and hot sauce and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Serve with topping of your choice.
Recipe comes from Closet Cooking

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Veggie & Hummus Wrap

Meat is expensive lately so I wanted to make a healthy satisfying meat free dinner full of veggies.  This wrap was so very tasty, easy to make and healthy.  We were shocked by how filling it was.   You can customize this any way you want with whatever veggies that are in season or that suite your taste.   Definitely going on the menu rotation!  We served the wraps with sweet potatoes.  The only thing I would change is that next time I think I will make my own hummus instead of using store bought. This recipe makes 6 wraps. 

1 med-large zucchini, peeled and quartered
1 small red onion, sliced (divided)
1 red pepper, cut in small chunks
1 green pepper, cut in small chunks
1 cucumber, peeled and quartered
10-12 ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups baby spinach leaves
black olives, halved (optional)
banana peppers (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt (more or less depending on taste)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (more or less depending on taste)
1 teaspoon italian seasoning (more or less depending on taste)
1 TBS Olive Oil
3-5 TBS hummus (depends on how creamy you want the wrap to be)
6 whole wheat tortillas (6"), warmed

Add the zucchini, 1/2 of the red onion, green & red pepper to a pan on medium heat.  Add the olive oil, salt & pepper (to taste) and italian seasoning.  Stir to coat.   Let cook until tender crisp, about 3-5 minutes.  (Be careful not to overcook.) 
Add the spinach leaves to the pan and stir to coat.  Cook one additional minute. Remove from heat. 

Spread a layer of hummus on one side of the tortilla, next add about 1/4 cup veggie mixture.   Top with cucumber, tomato, the uncooked red onion, and the optional black olives and/or banana peppers.  Roll up and enjoy! 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Turkey Pepperoni Pizza Mini Muffins

This recipe came from Everyday with Rachel Ray and has circulated around Pinterest. My kids have been complaining about their almost daily lunch of PB&J so I decided to give these a try, with my own changes, to give them a lunchtime variety. One great thing is they freeze so you can make them whenever and then just pop them in the microwave or toaster oven when you're ready to use them!

This recipe makes 48 mini muffins

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
pinch of salt (my addition, optional)
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 1/2 cups 1% milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten (can use egg substitute)
2 cups part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup turkey pepperoni, diced into small pieces
1 cup store-bought pizza sauce

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, Italian seasoning, salt and red pepper flakes (if using) ; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella, Parmesan and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes.

2. Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, microwave the pizza sauce until warmed through. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping.

To Freeze
Arrange pizza muffins on a cookie sheet. After they are completely cooled, freeze for 1 hour. Then place in air tight freezer safe container or zip-lock bags.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Taquitos

These taquitos rocked!  Every time I think I spend too much time on Pinterest, I find an awesome recipe that has me going back for more!  lol.    As soon as we tried them, we thought of the perfect occasion to serve them - football season!  I actually think they were even better the 2nd day so you can definitely make them ahead of time and just warm them up.   They were crunchy and full of flavor.  So good!  (I added kid friendly directions under cooking instruction #4 below).  


4 cups of chicken, cooked and shredded
12 flour tortillas
2 cups of mozzarella cheese, grated
4 oz cream cheese (we used neufatchel)
1/3 cup of Frank’s hot sauce or something similiar
1/3 cup of milk
2 TBSP of butter (we used I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Light and it worked fine!)
1 tsp. of Mrs. Dash
1 tsp. of garlic powder
2 TBSP of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a small sauce pot over medium low heat, melt butter.
  3. Add Mrs. Dash, garlic powder. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add cream cheese and stir until melted and completely combined with butter and spices.

    ** To make some taquitos kid friendly, we added only the milk from the next step and let it simmer for several minutes and then put it aside so we could keep some NON spicy.  Then just stir in a handful of chicken and the non spicy ones are ready to assemble. **

  5. Whisk in hot sauce and milk and simmer for about 3-5 minutes.
  6. Combine chicken and sauce.  Simmer several minutes or until the sauce thickens up a bit. 
  7. Lay out a tortilla; fill with about ¼ – 1/3 cup chicken and 2 tablespoons of mozzarella cheese.
  8. Tightly roll up taquito and place on a greased baking sheet; repeat until chicken is gone.
  9. Brush taquitos lightly with EVOO on all sides.  (We brushed very lightly and used way less than the 2 TBSP it called for and they still came out very crispy.)
  10. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes; rotate them every 5 minutes, until golden brown.

*recipe adapted from here


Friday, July 27, 2012

Baked Tortellini

I've never had baked tortellini, but have wanted to try it because it sounds so yummy. I found this recipe and it seemed like just what I was looking for. WARNING: Make this recipe on a night when you aren't counting calories. It isn't terrible for you if you watch portion control (which you won't have a choice because it's very rich) but it's not light or "skinny." I usually go full steam ahead on Friday night with the carbs and filling foods because I run so much on Saturdays. I digress...make this. It's GOOD.


3 cups or 1 (13 oz) bag fresh cheese tortellini (I used 20oz and shared with the neighbors. It made a ton)
1  (24 oz) jar of marinara sauce of your liking
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup fresh grated reduced fat Parmesan cheese, divided
salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 11 x 7-inch baking pan.

In a pot of boiling water, cook tortellini for 3 minutes. You don’t want it fully cooked because it will cook more in the oven. Drain and place in a bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoons of butter to prevent sticking.

Combine the the marinara, cream, and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Then add to the pasta and gently toss until coated. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

Place the tortellini into the greased baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and mozzarella. Then bake uncovered for 25 minutes at 350 degrees or until lightly browned.

Serve with a nice hunk of french bread of garlic bread. YUM!

recipe adapted from:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Barbecue Chicken Pizza with Gorgonzola

We are huge pizza eaters around these parts. I always make my own pizza crust, which you can find here, and then I vary the toppings. Tonight I wanted something a little more 'grown up' than the cheese pizza topped with broccoli that I usually make. I have always loved barbecue chicken pizza so I threw this together and it was DE-LISH. I highly recommend using the Gorgonzola cheese but you could substitute sharp cheddar and sit on the lame side of the table. Enjoy!

This recipe makes 1 medium sized pizza. If you follow the whole wheat pizza recipe above, cut it in half.

1 pre-made or homemade pizza dough
1/2 cup barbecue sauce of your choice. I used Kraft Original.
1 medium red onion, sliced thin and caramelized
1 cup of shredded chicken
1 5oz container of crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

Spread dough on a well greased baking pan or pizza pan. Top with barbecue sauce, chicken, onions and cheese. Bake for about 15 minutes on 425 until the sauce is bubbly. The cheese will not melt so don't wait for that to happen!

Avocado BLT with Fried Egg & Chipolte Mayo

Ok, so not the most health conscious meal around but my husband and I are pretty sure we have never tasted a better sandwich.   We did our best to make it healthier but sometimes you just have to give in to the flavor!  I don't have a picture of this one either but you can see a pic of it on the Closet Cooking link.  Makes 2 sandwiches.

  • 4 slices bread, lightly toasted (we used whole wheat)
  • A few crisp lettuce leaves
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • pepper to taste
  • 6 strips bacon, cooked until crispy (we used turkey bacon)
  • 2 eggs, fried (don't overcook the yolk!)
  • 1 avocado, cored, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle mayo (more or less to taste)
  1. Assemble sandwiches and enjoy.

**Recipe from Cooking Closet

Summer Taco

This was such a wonderful light tasting and flavorful taco.  Super easy to make too!  I don't have a picture of mine but you can see a picture on the link to the original recipe that I adapted from.   Perfect season for this too since it requires yummy tomatoes!  This recipe makes 4 tacos. 

Half a Rotisserie Chicken - shredded (bought one for $5 at my grocery store and had enough to make chicken salad for lunch the next day)
1 ripe avocado, cored, peeled & sliced
Handful of ripe tasty baby tomatoes, sliced in half
Handful of Cilantro (more or less depending on taste preferences)
 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon of any hot sauce (more or less depending on taste preferences)
Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon maple syrup
1 lime
4 small tortillas (we used 6" whole wheat tortillas)

To Make:
1.  Mash the avocado in a small bowl until it becomes a smoother texture.  Add S&P to taste.

2.  Mix the greek yogurt, honey, maple syrup and hot sauce together in a small bowl.  You can add more honey or maple syrup to taste (it helps knock out the tartness of the yogurt).

3.  Warm the tortillas.

4.   Start by spreading some of the yogurt mixture down the middle of the taco.  Then add the avocado mixture, cilantro and chicken.  Top with tomatoes.  Squeeze a few drops of fresh lime juice over the entire taco.  

5.  Roll it up & enjoy!!!!!!!!!!! 

**Recipe adapted from here. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Caramel Apple Pork Chops

I've never been a huge fan of fruit and meat food combinations, but ever since Carmen introduced me to the Skillet Pork Chop Sautee with Peaches I have been branching out a bit. This recipe is perfect for a fall meal. It came together really quickly and all of the flavors worked perfectly together. I made these sweet potatoes to go with the meal.

4 (3/4 inch thick) pork chops
1 teaspoon oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
2 tart apples (peeled, cored and sliced)
1/4 cup pecans (chopped, optional)

1. Brush the pork chops with oil, cook them in a pan until done, about 3-5 minutes per side and set aside.
2. Melt the butter in the same pan.
3. Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
4. Add the sugar mixture and the apples slices to the pan with the butter and cook until the apples are tender.
5. Set the apples aside and simmer the sauce to reduce so that it thickens a bit.
6. Serve the pork chops topped with the apples, drizzled with the caramel sauce and garnished with the pecans.

recipe courtesy of Closet Cooking

Twice Baked Savory Sweet Potatoes

Generally when I think of sweet potatoes, I think brown sugar, cinnamon and butter. I found this recipe on Pinterest and I couldn't resist trying it. I'm so glad I branched out to savory sweet potatoes because these were amazing!

Makes 4
 2 sweet potatoes, lightly pricked all over with a fork
 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
 2 tablespoons milk
 2 garlic cloves, minced
 1/2 cup feta, crumbled (plus extra for garnish)
 1 tablespoon minced thyme
 salt and pepper to taste
 chopped pecans
 crumbled feta

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until sweet potatoes have softened.
 3. Once sweet potatoes have cooled enough to handle, slice each potato in half and carefully scoop the flesh out into a mixing bowl (be sure not to tear the skins).
 4. Begin mashing warm sweet potatoes with butter, milk and garlic until smooth. Salt with salt and pepper.
 5. Fold in feta and thyme until fully combined. Scoop mixture back into the sweet potato shells.
 6. Bake sweet potatoes for an additional 10-15 minutes, top with crumbled feta and chopped pecan and serve.

recipe courtesy of

Friday, July 20, 2012

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Burgers

Another awesome recipe from Closet Cooking.   This burger was so much better than I even imagined it would be.  I thought it was going to be too spicy but it was perfect.  So flavorful.  One of the best burgers I've ever had.    The roasted jalapeno mayonnaise was amazing, highly recommend making that.   We didn't actually wrap our burgers in bacon, we just put some on top so either way works.   This makes 4 burgers.

  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (I used neufchatel)
  • 1 1/2 pound ground beef (used 93% lean)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 strips bacon
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns (toasted)
  • 4 leaves lettuce
  • 4 slices tomato
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise or roasted jalapeno mayonnaise
  1. Grill the jalapenos over medium-high heat until charred all over, about 6-8 minutes.
  2. Place the peppers in a zip-lock bag or other sealable container, seal and let them cool until you can handle them, about 20 minutes.
  3. Pinch the skins off of the peppers, cut in half and remove the seeds. 
  4. Dice 2 of the jalapeno peppers and mix into the cream cheese.
  5. Divide the beef into 8 equal portions, form into patties, place 1/4 of the cream cheese mixture on 4 of them, top with the free patties, pinch the sides closed to seal and form into patties again.
  6. Season the patties with salt and pepper to taste and wrap each with 2 strips of bacon.
  7. Brush the grill with oil and grill the burgers over medium-high heat until cooked, about 4-5 minutes per side, topping each patty with a slice of cheese after flipping.
  8. Assemble the burgers and enjoy!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Spicy Peanut Chicken Grilled Cheese

This was incredible.  Easy to make too.   Not too spicy, just a little kick.  This was a Pinterest recipe from an awesome site I found called Closet Cooking.   Check it out!  This recipe is for one sandwich so be sure to double for two.

1 TBS butter, room temp
2 slices bread
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (room temp)
1/4 cup cooked, shredded & warm chicken (we used a store bought rotisserie chicken)
2 TBS spicy peanut sauce
1/2 avocado, sliced thin
1 TBS cilantro torn (we used a little less)
Hot sauce to taste. 

  1. Warm a pan over medium heat.
  2. Butter one side of each slice of bread, place one slice in the pan buttered side down, sprinkle on half of the cheese, then top with the chicken, spicy peanut sauce, avocado, cilantro, hot sauce (if wanted) and the remaining cheese followed by the remaining slice of bread, buttered side up.
  3. Cook until golden brown on both sides and the cheese is melted, about 2-4 minutes per side.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Crunchy Taco Casserole

We inhaled this taco casserole. Topped with tons of shredded lettuce, fresh salsa and a dollop of sour cream, with the crunchy crust on the bottom, it was like eating a super fresh taco salad. It is by far the best taco casserole I have made. From start to finish it took about 45 minutes to make - and well worth it!

1 cup uncooked brown rice
2 cups plus 4 to 5 tablespoons water, divided
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)  You can also use turkey or chicken
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
1/4 cup water
1 envelope low sodium taco seasoning
2 eggs, lightly beaten  (I use egg beaters)
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro (optional)
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded lettuce
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
3/4 cup salsa
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream

In a small saucepan, cook rice according to package.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in enough remaining water to form a soft dough. On a floured surface, roll dough into a 12-in. x 8-in. rectangle. Press into a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. (Don't worry if there are holes) Bake at 400° for 13-15 minutes or until very lightly browned.

For filling, in a large nonstick skillet, cook the beef, onion, green pepper, black beans and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add water, taco seasoning and cooked rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat. Stir in eggs. Spread over crust and top with cheese.

Bake uncovered for 15-17 minutes or until filling is set and cheese is bubbly. Cut into squares. Top with lettuce and tomatoes. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

recipe adapted from

Monday, May 21, 2012

Watermelon Salad

This was soooooooooo unbelievably good & refreshing!  Colorful for presentation and easy to make.  It's probably going to be my "go-to" dish for cook outs and such.  Such great flavor.  (The pic isn't mine, its from the magazine Taste of Home but I will take a pic of mine next time I make it.)   Surprisingly, mine turned out just as pretty!  You can make it in a bowl and skip the watermelon slices but I liked how it looked on them.  We substituted feta cheese for the blue cheese because we already had some on hand so either will work.  Best served within a few hours of making.  Doesn't hold well overnight because the watermelon gets mushy.  This recipe makes 10 servings. 

8 cups cubed seedless watermelon (about 1 medium)
Watermelon slices (to present the salad on, but is optional)
1 small red onion, cut into rings (I chopped mine)
1 cup coarsely chopped and toasted almonds (or macadamia nuts)
1 cup fresh arugula or baby spinach
1/3 cup balsamic vinaigrette
3 TBS canola oil (we used Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
1 cup crumbled blue cheese (we substituted feta)

In a large bowl, combine the cubed watermelon and onion, cover & refrigerate until cold (about 30 minutes).   Just before serving, add the nuts and arugula (or spinach) to the watermelon mixture.   In a small bowl, whisk the vinaigrette and oil, drizzle over the salad and toss to coat.  If desired, serve over the sliced watermelon wedges.   Sprinkle with the cheese. 

**recipe & picture courtesy of Taste of Home

Monday, April 23, 2012

Baked Mini Corndogs

My kids absolutely love corn dogs and could eat them daily if I let them. In the past I bought store brand corn dogs as an easy lunch "treat" for them, but always felt guilt for how unhealthy they are. So, I decided to start making my own! These are so easy and the kids don't seem to mind that they aren't fried or full of fat. Each corn dog (using the ingredients I list below) are about 50 calories and 1.5 grams of fat. Granted, a corn dog is a corn dog so I still feed these to them in moderation.


Box of corn bread mix - I use Krusteez brand Fat Free Honey Cornbread

6 Hot dogs, sliced into 5 pieces - I use Oscar Myer Fat Free Turkey Hot dogs

Directions: Make cornbread according to directions on the package.

Spray a mini muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Fill each muffin tin, about half way, with muffin mixture. Press a piece of the hot dog into each tin and then top with a bit more cornbread mix.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 to 12 minutes. Makes 30 to 32 corndogs

**These freeze really well!**

Dreamsicle Fruit Dip

Fruit salad stands alone just fine by itself, but sometimes it's fun to jazz it up a bit. I made this dip over the weekend to take to a cook-out at Carmen's. The fruit and the dip disappeared in an instant! It's light, refreshing, sweet but not sugary, sick to your stomach sweet and it compliments pretty much all fruit!

(sorry I forgot to take a pic)

12 ounces fat free cream cheese, softened
 1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow crème (Fluff)
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 tablespoons, fresh orange juice

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to blend all ingredients until well combined. Refrigerate Dreamsicle Fruit Dip for at least 3 hours before serving. Serve with a variety of fresh fruit.

- This dip can be made up to two days in advance, simply store in covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Recipe comes from 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ginger Lemon Mojito

There are no words to describe this drink.... so light & refreshing. From personal experience, I recommend sipping slowly, lol. They are stronger than they look! Very light tasting but packs a powerful punch! :)

We used Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueor. Its expensive but one bottle lasts a very long time, considering how strong they are. Perfect spring/summer sipping cocktail.

2 parts Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueor
1/2 part light rum (we used bacardi)

Muddle with fresh mint and 2 lemon wedges. Shake and serve in a tall glass with ice. Top with club soda.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce

We love bread pudding so I was all about trying this recipe. Very velvety and rich. Loved it. Easy to make too. One slice is 300 calories and 4g of fat.

Bread Pudding Ingredients:
5 cups (1/2") cubed French bread
1 cup evaporated fat free milk
3/4 cup 1% low fat milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 TBS bourbon
1 TBS vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs

Sauce Ingredients:
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 TBS bourbon
1 TBS unsalted butter
6 TBS half and half, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350. Arrange the cubed bread pieces on a baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until slightly toasted. Combine evaporated milk and next 7 ingredients (through eggs) in a large bowl, stir with a whisk. Add bread cubes. Let stand 20 minutes, occasionally pressing on the bread to soak up the liquid.

To prepare the sauce, combine brown sugar, 3 TBS bourbon and butter in a small saucepan over medium high heat, bring to a boil. Simmer 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Stir in 5 TBS half and half, simmer 10 minutes or until its reduced to about 1 cup. Remove pan from heat. Stir in remaining 1 TBS half and half, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Keep warm.

Spoon half of the bread mixture into a 9x5 loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Drizzle 3 TBS sauce over the bread mixture. Spoon remaining half of bread mixture over the sauce. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Pour the remaining warm sauce over each slice before serving.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Slow Cooker Stuffed Pepper Soup

This soup is only 300 calories and 7 grams of fat per serving (2 cups!) It has all of the flavor of stuffed peppers but it takes half the time to prep! Also, it's great comfort food without being unhealthy. We all really enjoyed it (even the kids ate it without complaint!)

1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 cup diced onion
1 - 2 tsp minced garlic
28 oz can diced tomatoes w/ the juice
6 oz can tomato paste
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
3 cups chopped green pepper (i used 1 green pepper, 1 orange, 1 yellow
and 1 red)
2/3 cup uncooked brown rice
2 TBSP brown sugar, packed
1 tsp dried basil
ground black pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese (optional)

(it calls for 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon but i didn't add it)

In a large skillet, cook turkey, onion and garlic over medium heat
until browned / drain any juices and transfer mixture to a slow

Add remaining ingredients and stir gently to mix. Cook on low for 8-9
hours / add water to thin if necessary. The soup will really thicken up over the cooking period.

Serve over additional brown rice* and sprinkle with Parm cheese

Makes 6 cups.

I made additional brown rice to place in the bottom of our bowls to make it more hearty.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Asian Lettuce Wraps

This recipe blew my mind! I'm a huge fan of lettuce wraps when we go out to eat but I swear these were better than anything I've had at restaurants. The recipe calls for you to use lean ground turkey (which I did) but a friend of mine made it with diced chicken and said it was just as good. 2 filled lettuce wraps = 275 calories!

1.25 lb extra lean ground turkey
1 pkg (16oz) frozen stir fry vegetable blend, thawed & coarsely chopped
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
1/4 cup hoisan sauce
3 TBS creamy peanut butter (we used reduced fat)
2 TBS minced fresh gingerroot
1 TBS rice vinegar
1 TBS sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 green onions, chopped
10 crisp lettuce leaves

Cook turkey in a large nonstick skillet until no longer pink. Add the chopped stirfry veggies to the pan. Stir in the teriyaki sauce, hoisan sauce, peanut butter, ginger, vinegar & sesame oil. Stirfry over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add garlic, cook 1 minute longer.

Remove from heat, stir in the green onion. Fill the lettuce leaves with about 1/2 cup mixture each. Serve with additional hoisan sauce for dipping if desired.

*recipe courtesy of Simple & Delicious

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Maple Jalapenos

Sweet & spicy! Easy to make too. These disappeared off the plate faster than any other appetizer I had out. Everyone loved them. You can cook them longer to make them milder if you aren't a big fan of spice. This recipe makes 50 but you can cut it in half. You really can't go wrong with these ingredients.

25 jalapenos (look for thicker ones that will hold a filling)
1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese, softened (we used low fat)
1 cup (4oz) crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 lb bacon strips, cooked & crumbled (we used real bacon bits to save time)
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Cut jalapenos in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Beat the cream cheese, feta cheese and syrup in a small bowl until smooth. Spoon into the pepper halves.

Place the pepper halves on 2 greased baking pans. Top with the bacon and then sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake for 20 minutes for spicy, 30 minutes for medium and 40 minutes for mild.

*recipe courtesy of Simple & Delicious

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Savory Spinach Bites

This appetizer is perfect for the fall or winter. The stuffing makes them very savory and reminded me of Thanksgiving. They weren't heavy but they were super filling. The recipe makes a lot so they would feed a big group!


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 1 clove)
2 10-ounces packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 8-ounce bag of herbed seasoned stuffing mix
6 large eggs - I used EggBeaters
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter.

3. Add onion and cook until the onions are translucent and soft, about 5 minutes or so.

4. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool.

5. In the meantime, remove excess water from thawed spinach by pressing it between paper towels. **You do not need to cook the spinach.

6. In a large bowl, combine the stuffing mix, spinach, eggs, Parmesan, salt and pepper, and onion/garlic mixture. Combine well.

7. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

8. One at a time, using your hands, roll the mixture into individual 1-inch balls. Place each one on the parchment-lined baking sheet.

9. Bake the balls for about 15-20 minutes, or until very slightly browned. **Your kitchen will smell fantastic, I promise.

Dipping sauces: I used marinara, but you could use Ranch dressing, sour cream, horseradish, etc. Whatever you like!

recipe adapted from The Curvy Carrot

Baked Cheesy Artichoke Dip

I am all about artichoke dip. This recipe was so easy to make and really delicious! It's really creamy but not TOO terrible for you with the substitution of low fat products.

Yield: Makes about 2 2/3 cups

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (packed) grated parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons lite mayonnaise
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fat free sour cream
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 14-ounce can artichoke hearts packed in water, well drained, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 cup italian cheese blend
French-bread baguette slices, toasted

Whisk 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, pepper, onion salt, and garlic powder in medium bowl to blend. Stir in chopped artichoke hearts. Transfer mixture to 3-cup ramekin.

Sprinkle dip with remaining 2 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese italian cheese and paprika.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake dip until heated through, about 25 minutes (about 35 minutes if chilled).

Serve warm with crackers or toasted bread.

Recipe can be made in advance and refrigerated overnight.

adapted from Picky Cook

Buffalo Chicken Bites

These bites were AMAZING. I didn't read the recipe through before committing to make them and I wish I had because the proofing time for the dough is long. However, it all came together very quickly once the dough was prepped. They were well worth the wait and disappeared quickly! I will definitely be making these frequently!

1 cup shredded cooked chicken (I used chicken from one of my crockpot rotisserie chickens)
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup hot sauce (Frank's brand is what I used)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 1/4 teaspoons rapid rise dry yeast
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup warm milk ( I used 1%)
2 1/2 cups of flour

To make the buffalo chicken mixture, in a small bowl, combine the chicken, blue cheese, cheddar cheese, softened butter and hot sauce; set aside.

In a 1 cup measuring cup, heat the milk and then add the 2 tablespoons brown sugar; stir into warm milk until dissolved; place in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.

Add 2 1/2 cups flour and yeast to the stand mixer and mix on low speed until a soft dough forms, adding up to 1/2 cup additional flour, a little at a time, if necessary. Allow the dough to knead in the stand mixer for 5-7 minutes. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead a few times to form a smooth ball. Place dough into a clean bowl that's been lightly oiled. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled and bubbles appear on surface, about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and cut into 4 equal pieces. Lightly dust your hands with flour, then gently roll and stretch 1 piece of dough to form a 12-inch-long rope. Flatten dough and arrange so a long side is nearest you, then roll out to a roughly 12- by 4-inch rectangle with a lightly floured rolling pin. Gently press one fourth of buffalo chicken mixture into lower third of rectangle, leaving a 1/2-inch border along bottom edge. Stretch bottom edge of dough up over filling and press tightly to seal, then roll up as tightly as possible to form a rope. Cut rope into 12 pieces and transfer to a sheet pan. Make 3 more ropes with remaining dough, filling and cut into pieces, transferring to sheet pans. Let rest at room temperature, uncovered, 30 minutes (dough will rise slightly).

Bake buffalo chicken bites in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned. Remove from oven (some cheese may have melted out.) and brush tops with melted butter before serving (optional).

Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping!

recipe adapted from Joelen's

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken - Crockpot

Another delicious shredded chicken recipe from the crockpot. You can use any flavored barbecue sauce that you like but I went with a fruit infused sauce. It was full of flavor and super easy! 

4-6 Boneless Chicken Breasts (mine were still frozen!)
1/2 a bottle of Sweet Baby Rays Raspberry Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
1 20 oz. can Pineapple Chunks, drained

Spray the inside of your crock pot with cooking spray for an easy cleanup! Place frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot and cover with sauce. Empty can of drained pineapple chunks on top. Cook on High for 2-3 hours or Low for 4-6 hours. Shred chicken with two forks while still in the crock pot so the chicken will be well coated with sauce. Serve over brown rice.

recipe adapted from Six Sisters' 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Hot Reuben Dip

Holly knows my love of corned beef reubens and recently sent me this recipe to try. It was killer! Made it for the not so awesome Ravens game yesterday. Tasted just like a reuben sandwich. It was different and unique and a new favorite among our friends. Definitely recommend and can't wait to make again. Plus it was super easy!

8 ounces cream cheese, softened (we used low fat)
1½ cups (6 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
1/4 lb deli corned beef (ask for it chopped at the deli and then give it a little extra chopping when you get home)
½ cup Thousand Island dressing (we used a light version)
½ cup drained sauerkraut
1/2 loaf rye bread, cut into fours

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl mix together the cream cheese, 1 cup of the Swiss cheese, the dressing and corned beef. Spread in a pie plate or other shallow serving dish. Top with the sauerkraut and the remaining ½ cup of Swiss cheese.

3. Bake until cheese is fully melted and it's bubbly around the edges (ours took about 25 minutes). Serve hot with cocktail-size rye bread squares.

***recipe & picture courtesy of Brown Eyed Baker

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Jalapeno Cheese Sauce

I made this dip to go with soft pretzels and it was AMAZING. It would be great to use with tortilla chips, veggies or whatever you want to dip in it. The flavor is so good and it keeps well in a crockpot to stay warm!

1 T unsalted butter
1 T flour
3/4 cup milk - I used 1%
1 clove garlic, finely grated or minced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely minced
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
1 tsp cayenne pepper

In a small sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk to combine, cooking about one minute until smooth. Add milk, whisking to incorporate. Add garlic and jalapeno. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir frequently until thickened, about 15 minutes. The sauce should begin to coat the back of the spoon. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Add cayenne pepper to taste.

White Chicken Chili - Crockpot

I was a little skeptical about how this chili would taste since I've only ever made traditional chili's. However, this was SO good. It was creamy, but not heavy and packed a nice bit of heat without being too spicy. It was perfect football food on a cold winter day.

3 cans (15-1/2 ounces each) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
3- 4 cups cooked chicken (I used shredded chicken from one of my crockpot rotisserie chickens)
1 jar (15 ounces) LITE Alfredo sauce
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 can (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies
1-1/2 cups frozen gold and white corn
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded pepper Jack cheese
1 cup fat free sour cream
1 small sweet yellow pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1-1/2 teaspoons white pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
Salsa verde, optional

In a large slow cooker, combine the first 15 ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or until heated though, stirring once. Serve with salsa verde if desired.

Yield: 12 servings (1 cup each).

recipe adapted from taste of home