Friday, April 30, 2010

How Time Flies

May 3, 2008.

That was a day I will never forget.

That was the day I entered into a very important, serious contract. The second most amazing, fulfilling, life-changing contract of my life. (Second only to my contract with Jesus Christ- his life for mine)

I married my best friend, he is truly the milk to my cookie- we just belong together.

I am more in love with my husband than I was the day I married him. Our souls more deeply entwined than the day we met.

Today, I look back fondly on our wedding day. And, tomorrow I will look forward to the unknown future, holding the hand of my best friend, knowing I can handle life as long as he is next to me.

Here's to you and your culinary adventures, friend. Cheers!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Creative Juices

Not to long ago I shared a recipe for chicken cordon blue. I wanted to come up with a recipe that had the flavors of the dish without all the work.

So, I sat on the idea for a few days. Then it came to me, a burger. Why not? They are quick and tasty. I could make this work.

After a few trial and error recipes in my head I came up with the one I am going to share with you. Jon gave his stamp of approval after the first bite.

I served this with hungry girl "too easy mac n cheese." I adored this side dish! Jon wasn't as sure as I was:

Me- (very pleased with my masterpiece)"So, what do you think?!"
Jon-(cautiously)"It's a little too cauliflower-y for me..."
Me- "What do you mean, too cauliflower-y?"
Jon-"Well, what's all that cauliflower doing in my mac and cheese anyway?!"
Me-"Pretending to be noodle"
Jon- "What? Cauliflower is not a noodle"
Me-"I know, just pretend it's a noodle and eat the cauliflower"
Jon-"Why do we keep saying cauliflower?"
Me- (Rolling my eyes)"Just eat it"
Jon- (giving me the shifty sideways look)"If you say so....."

It was a very humorous and enjoyable meal. We will be eating both of these dishes again. And, yes, I will continue to put veggies in his macaroni. ;)

Here's to you and your culinary adventures, friend. Cheers!

Turkey Cordon Blue Burger
Makes 2 burgers
265 calories per

8oz (93% lean) ground turkey
2 TBS fresh chives
2 slices provolone cheese, diced
4 slices deli thin boiled ham, diced
pepper and Montreal steak seasoning to taste

Mix meat, chives, pepper, and seasoning until just combined.

Form into 4 thin patties. Divide cheese and ham equally among two of the patties. Top each with remaining patties. Press the edges to seal in cheese and ham.

Heat a skillet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray to medium high heat. Cook for 7-9 minutes. Flip burger over. Cook 7-9 minutes longer until well done. Do not press on the patty or the filling will get smooshed out.

Serve immediately.

Mac N Cheese- Hungry Girl Style
Serves 4
202 calories per serving

1 family size (24oz) green giant cauliflower and cheese side dish
2 cups spiral pasta, uncooked
3 wedges Laughing Cow Light (spreadable Swiss cheese)
salt and pepper

Cook pasta in lightly salted water. Drain and set aside.

Cook cauliflower side according to package. Once cauliflower is tender, use a kitchen scissors to cut any large florets into bite size pieces.

Add laughing cow cheese. Stir to combine well. Add pasta and mix. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Crabby Mushrooms

I love the weekend. It's a chance for me to try new recipes and relax.

Last weekend I tried a delightful little recipe for stuffed mushrooms. They are cheesy, gooey, and filling. These would be perfect as an appetizer or a light lunch.

Here's to you and your culinary adventures, friend. Cheers!

Cheesy Stuffed Mushrooms
Makes 12
22 calories per mushroom

12 small-to-medium-sized (1 - 2" wide) brown mushroom caps (stems removed)
4 oz. drained white crab meat
1 wedge The Laughing Cow Light Cheese
1 TBS light sour cream
1 TBS neufchatel cheese
2 tsp. Parmesan cheese
dash of Jane's Crazy Mixed up salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Wipe mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel and then dry them. Place with the rounded sides down on a baking dish sprayed lightly with nonstick spray.

Combine all other ingredients and stir until well mixed.

Evenly distribute crab mixture among the mushroom caps.

Place in the oven for 10 - 12 minutes, until hot.

Monday, April 12, 2010

This hungry girl fights back!

I have been preparing light meals for a long time. In fact, March was my 1 year anniversary of

Jon and I live a fairly clean life- we don't smoke, rarely drink, and use only environmentally/pet friendly products in our home. We try to eat as organically as we can (OK, I do, and since I'm the cook and grocery shopper Jon GETS to eat organically) We've reduced the amount of meat we eat, and are very careful to get what I call "happy meat" when it's available at a reasonable price. Happy meat is free range poultry and grass feed beef.

No, I am not on my soapbox. No, we are not "hippy freaks." I just like to have control over what goes in my delicate system. I am not asking you or yours to change your lives, it's just how we choose to live ours :)

After I decided it was time to take back control in the kitchen we simply migrated to a more organic lifestyle. It's been small changes over the last year. I am extremely happy with the results. I am down 3 pants sizes, Jon is down 2 sizes. We are happier and healthier. It hasn't always been easy, particularly when we only had one income. But we made it work.

As part of our lifestyle change I began subscribing to Cooking Light Magazine. It's a monthly publication with scrumptious dishes, a lot of classics with a make-over. Always fun to try new things!

In addition to cooking light, I came across the Hungry Girl cook books. These books are awesome! They take real food- philly cheese steak, chicken pot pie, chicken lo mien, peanut butter and chocolate bread pudding- and make it healthy. The best part? Jon, my hungry man, has LOVED everything we've tried so far!

We had chicken pot pockets tonight. They are pot pies using egg roll wrappers. Tasty! Next time we are going to try beef pockets :) I did add some additional chicken and changed the cream soup from celery to mushroom. If you prepare the recipe with only 2 oz of chicken and leave the soup as celery, the calorie count is about 88 calories per pie.

Here's to you and your culinary adventures, friend. Cheers!

Chicken Pot Pockets
Makes 12 pies
97 calories per pie

12 egg roll wrappers
1 (10 3/4oz) healthy request cream of mushroom soup- undiluted
2 cups frozen bite-sized mixed veggies
5 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Dice chicken into small cubes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Spray a skillet with cooking spray. Saute chicken and garlic until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from skillet and cool slightly. Chop finely.

In a medium bowl, mix cornstarch thoroughly with 1 tsp. cold water. Add soup, and mix thoroughly. Add veggies and chicken, mix well, and then season to taste.

To Assemble:

On a large dry surface, lay out two egg roll wrappers. (Keep remaining wraps covered so they don't dry out) Set out a small dish of water, dip your finger into it, and then run your finger along all of the wrapper edges.

Starting about 1/2 inch from the bottom, place 2 - 3 tbsp. of filling along the bottom half of each wrapper, leaving a 1/2-inch border on both sides.

Fold the top half of each wrapper over, so that the top edge meets the bottom -- the mixture should be completely encased with a 1/2-inch border on three sides. Dab each border with water, and fold each inward about 1/4 inch to lightly seal all sides. Press firmly along the borders with the prongs of a fork to seal completely. Place completed pockets onto a prepared baking sheet.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until slightly golden. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sweet Chicken Batman!

I found a recipe a long while back for sweet and sour chicken.

A serving suggestion for an almost identical recipe ( was to serve leftovers in a corn or flour tortilla.

Oh mylanta. I skipped the chicken over rice and went straight for the tortilla. It was AMAZING. The flavors just burst in my mouth when I took the first bite.

This recipe cooks for about an hour and 40 minutes. You will drool the entire time it cooks. So simple, but oh so tasty. If you serve this to guests, they will think you slaved all day. I highly recommend this one :)

Here's to you and your culinary adventures, friend. Cheers!

Sweet and Sour Chicken Wraps
Serves 4-6
305 cal (4 servings); 203 cal (6 servings)
Does not include tortilla or cheese

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 TBS rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 clove minced garlic
3 1/2 TBS ketchup
1 TBS soy sauce
2 1/2 TBS corn starch

Grated cheddar cheese
flour or corn tortillas

Preheat oven to 325.

In a medium bowl mix sugar, vinegars, broth, garlic, ketchup, soy sauce, and corn starch. Set aside.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place in a 9x9 baking dish. Pour sauce over all.

Bake, uncovered, for about 1 hour. Turn chicken over. Bake for 30 more minutes.

Remove from oven. Lightly shred chicken and return to sauce and mix well. The sauce will be nice and thick, slightly darkened. Bake for 10-15 more minutes.

Warm tortillas between two damp paper towels in the microwave. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Top with chicken. Serve warm.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Birthday Mania!

Last month I celebrated my birthday. I was blessed to have house full of good friends and good food.

There were 18 of us squished in our apartment to watch Wrestlemania and celebrate my birthday. The next day I was treated to a wonderful brunch with some our closest friends. It was fantastic! :)

Easter was a week away so I decided to wait to have birthday cake with my family until then.

Ever since I can recall, I've had angel food cake for my birthday. It's just so scrumptious! Well, this year, my grandma made me angel food cake supreme. I just had to have the recipe! I am going to try it sometime with some raspberries. It's light and refreshing- the perfect end to a delicious dinner.

My grandma has fibromyalgia. For those of you not familiar with this condition, fibromyalgia is characterized by long-term, body-wide pain and tender points in joints, muscles, tendons, and
other soft tissues. This made moving around very difficult for her. After doing some research, she found an easy way to help reduce the pain. Cut out added sugar. For whatever reason, it reduced the pain and flair ups. It has helped her significantly. She is able to move around more and do many of things she used to when I was growing up.

With her cutting sugar from her diet, she had to find a new way to satisfy her sweet tooth. This recipe was made with sugar-free pudding and sugar-free cool whip. You would never know the cake was the only thing with sugar in it!

Angel food Cake Supreme

1 angel food cake mix
1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple, undrained
1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) vanilla flavor instant pudding
1 cup thawed Cool Whip

Prepare angel food cake according to package directions. Cool completely. Set aside.

Mix pineapple and dry pudding mix in medium bowl, gently stir in the whipped topping. Refrigerate 1 hour or until ready to serve.

Put topping on cut pieces of cake, or slice the whole cake into 3 layers, spreading mixture on each layer and top of cake for fancier desserts. Garnish with seasonal berries if desired.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy April!

As you all know, I am always looking for new recipes.

I stumbled across the Hungry Girl website the other day and found a delightful little gem. It is a taquito recipe, slimmed down. I just had to try it.

I only made one substitution, I used black bean and corn salsa instead of regular salsa. They turned out so tasty!

I would also like to take a quick moment to wish you all a very Happy Easter! Celebrate the joy and peace we all have because Jesus conquered death that we may have life everlasting.

Here's to you and your culinary adventures, friend. Cheers!

Serves 4
197 calories per 2 taquitos

8 small (6-inch) yellow corn tortillas
One 9.75-oz. (or 10-oz.) can 98% fat-free chunk white chicken breast in water, drained well
1/2 cup salsa
1/3 cup shredded fat-free cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp. dry taco seasoning mix
Optional: red enchilada sauce, additional salsa, fat-free sour cream, for dipping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine the chicken and salsa, and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Remove chicken mixture from the fridge, and drain any excess liquid. Add cheese and taco seasoning, and mix to combine. This is your filling. Set aside.

Prepare a baking sheet by spraying with nonstick spray, and set it aside.

Dampen two paper towels, and place tortillas between them. Microwave for about 1 minute, until tortillas are warm and pliable.

Take one tortilla (keep the rest between the paper towels), spray both sides lightly with nonstick spray, and lay it flat on a clean dry surface. Spoon about 2 heaping tbsp. of filling onto the tortilla. Spread it evenly across the entire surface, and roll tortilla up tightly, so that you have a cigar-shaped tube. Secure with toothpicks and place seam-side down on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.

Bake for 14 - 16 minutes, until crispy. Allow taquitos to cool for 5 minutes. If you like, dunk in enchilada sauce, salsa, or sour cream!