Sunday, October 28, 2012

Lazy Day Lasagna (Slow Cooker)

I made this lasagna for my family.  They loved it so much I made it twice in the same week!  Using low fat ingredients, you won't feel guilty at all.

15 oz low-fat ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups low-fat cottage cheese
2 TBS water
6 TBS grated Parmesan cheese, divided
3/4 tsp dried oregano, divided
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 (24 to 28 oz) jar marinara sauce (or about 3 cups)**See notes
7 traditional lasagna noodles, uncooked
2/3 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (I used a little more)

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, cottage cheese, water, 4 TBS Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 tsp oregano.  Mix thoroughly.  Set aside.

Lightly brown the ground beef, drain.  Add garlic powder.  Set aside.

Place the marinara sauce in a medium bowl.  Add 1/2 cup water (unless the marinara is already fairly thin) to the empty sauce jar or container, give it a swirl, and add to the marinara sauce.  Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce on the bottom of a 4 to 6 quart slow cooker.  Add the browned beef to the remaining marinara.

Place half of the lasagna noodles over the sauce, breaking the noodles to fit (don't worry if small spaces are uncovered).  Cover the noodles with half of the cheese mixture (about 1 1/2 cups), then top with 1 cup of the meat sauce.  Repeat.

Top with the remaining noodles, cover with the remaining sauce and sprinkle on the mozzarella, the remaining 1/4 tsp oregano and 2 TBS Parmesan.  Cook for 3 to 3 1/2 hours on low or until fork tender.  Turn off heat and let sit at least 15 minutes before serving.

** Notes:  I like to use Mazzetta Napa Valley Bistro Homemade Style Marinara.  I also added some diced red bell pepper.

Source:  Eat More of What You Love - Marlene Koch


Friday, October 26, 2012

Chocolate Ho-Ho Cake

Quite a few years ago, I purchased a City of Kenosha Fire Department fund-raiser cookbook from a co-worker.  When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it!  I have made this cake many times!  It's sooo delicious!

1 pkg. Devil's Food chocolate cake mix

3/4 cup sugar
1 stick butter
2/3 cup Crisco
2 tsp vanilla
dash of salt

1 small can (5 oz) evaporated milk (not sweetened condensed milk) 

1 can chocolate fudge frosting

Bake the cake in a 9 x 13 pan according to the directions on the box.  Let cool completely.

Combine the next five ingredients and mix until creamy.  Add the evaporated milk and mix very slowly at first.  Beat for 3 to 4 minutes.  It will seem like a lot of liquid but it pulls together very quickly.

Spread the cream topping on top of the cooled cake.  Refrigerate.  Make sure the topping is firm before frosting it. 

Place the entire can of frosting (cover and foil removed) in the microwave for 45-55 seconds.  Stir.  Slowly, pour the melted frosting evenly on top of cake.  Refrigerate cake overnight.

Source:  K.F.D. Auxiliary Cookbook II


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Ribbon Pumpkin Bread

When I shared this pumpkin bread with my co-workers, no one realized this was a lighter version of the typical pumpkin bread because it was so flavorful.  No reason to feel guilty enjoying a piece of this pumpkin bread.

6 oz reduced-fat cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 TBS flour
2 egg whites

1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
2 egg whites
1 TBS canola oil
1 2/3 cups flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 and spray two 8" x 4" x 2" loaf pans with cooking spray.

For filling, combine the cream cheese, sugar, flour and egg whites in a bowl; set aside.  In a mixing bowl, beat the pumpkin, applesauce, egg, egg whites and oil.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves; add to pumpkin mixture.  Stir in walnuts

Divide half the batter between the two prepared loaf pans.  Spread each with the cream cheese filling; top with remaining batter.  Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.  Refrigerate any leftovers.

Makes 2 loaves

Source:  2003 Taste of Home Annual Recipes


Inside-Out Stuffed Mushrooms

Rather than taking the time to stuff each mushroom, with this recipe you mix all of the ingredients together.  These mushrooms are a great side dish for almost any meat dish.

1 lb medium whole mushrooms
2 tsp sherry (I used balsamic vinegar)
1 small clove garlic, pressed
2 tsp olive oil, divided
3 TBS Italian breadcrumbs
3 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp dried thyme, crushed
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 350.  Clean, trim stems, and quarter mushrooms.  Place the mushrooms in a large microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave on high power for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, or until the mushrooms begin to soften.  Remove and drain the mushrooms, discarding the liquid.

Place the mushrooms in a 1 1/2 quart baking dish.  Add the sherry, garlic, 1 tsp of olive oil and stir to combine.  In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, thyme, salt and pepper.  Stir 2 TBS of the crumb mixture into the mushrooms and mix well to coat.  Let sit for 5 minutes.

Mix the remaining 1 tsp of olive oil into the remaining crumbs.  Sprinkle over the mushrooms and bake for 15 minutes or until the crumbs are golden brown.

Makes 4 servings

Source:  Eat More of What You Love - Marlene Koch


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Oatmeal Cake with Coconut Frosting

In the late 1950's, I went to the Braselton reunion in Illinois, my mother's side of the family.  I had the most wonderful oatmeal cake and just had to have the recipe.  I make this cake quite often.  It is a hit at any picnic or potluck....also one of my husband's favorites! 

Pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water over 1 cup Quick Cooking 1-Minute Oatmeal.
Let stand for 20 minutes.

Cream together:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar

Blend in:
2 eggs, well beaten
1 tsp vanilla

Add Oatmeal mixture

Sift together:
 1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

Blend dry ingredients well into creamed mixture.  Pour into a greased and floured 9x13 cake pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes, or til it tests done.  Let cool for about 5 minutes then frost it.


1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup evaporated canned milk (not sweetened condensed)
1 1/2 cups coconut
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup nuts

Melt the butter, brown sugar and canned milk in a small saucepan.  Add coconut, vanilla and nuts.  Stir til well mixed.

Frost cake while it is still warm.  Place frosted cake under the broiler.  Broil about 4" from the broiler for several minutes until bubbly.  Watch carefully so it does not burn.

You may also bake this in a 9 x 9 pan for a smaller and thicker cake.  Only make a half recipe of the frosting.


Chai Tea Mix

I found this recipe several years ago and make it as soon as the weather gets cooler.  It tastes wonderful and smells so good.   It's so much cheaper than purchasing it at your local coffee shop. This mix would make a great gift, too. 

1/2 cup instant tea powder
1 cup sugar
1 cup non-fat dry powdered milk
1/2 cup dry coffee creamer
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp white pepper

Combine the first four ingredients together.  Combine the remaining spice ingredients together, making sure all the clumps are out of the spices.  Combine all together.  Mix well.  Store in an airtight container.

When ready to serve, mix 3 heaping spoonfuls with a mug of hot water.  Enjoy!

I use regular coffee creamer, however, it would also be good with a flavored creamer such as vanilla.

Makes approx. 20 servings


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Autumn Vegetable Curry

This is a perfect fall dinner.  The curry will warm you from the inside out.  I like to serve this vegetable curry over brown rice.  Since this dish is so good for you, the serving size is very generous.

1 large onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into chunks
1 1/2 TBS curry powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
2 TBS canola oil
2 TBS tomato paste
2 cups vegetable broth (preferably low-sodium)
1 cup light coconut milk
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
3/4 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1/4 tsp black pepper, plus more to taste
1/2 head cauliflower, broken into 1 1/2-inch wide florets (about 3 cups)
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch rounds
2 tomatoes, cored and chopped
Grated zest of 1 lime
2 TBS fresh lime juice
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
5 cups fresh baby spinach leaves (5 oz)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Cooked rice for serving (optional)

Place the onion, garlic, ginger, curry powder and cayenne pepper in a food processor and process to combine.  Add the oil and process until a smooth puree is formed.  Transfer the curry puree to a large pot and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.  Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture begins to darken, about 5 minutes more.

Add the vegetable broth, coconut milk, cinnamon stick, 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the cauliflower, sweet potatoes, carrots and tomatoes, season with additional salt and pepper, and return to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes.  Remove the cinnamon stick.  Stir in the lime zest and juice, chickpeas or beans and spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes.  Season with more salt to taste.

Serve garnished with cilantro and over rice, if desired.

Makes 4 (2 1/2 cup) servings

Source:  Comfort Food Fix - Ellie Krieger


Banana Snack Cake

The addition of oatmeal to this banana cake makes it a very hearty yet moist cake.  It's great for breakfast with a cup of coffee.

1 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup mashed bananas (2-3 medium bananas)
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 TBS water (or more to reach desired consistency)

Heat oven to 350.  Grease a 9x13 pan.  In a large bowl, combine sugar, butter and eggs; mix well.  Stir in buttermilk, bananas and vanilla; blend thoroughly. 

In another bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda and salt; mix well.  Add dry ingredients to banana mixture; mix well.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

Spread batter in prepared pan and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 

While cake is still warm, combine glaze ingredients and drizzle over cake.

Makes 16 servings

Source:  Summer Fun Cook Book - Pillsbury


Monday, October 1, 2012

Creamy Chicken And Potato Casserole

I saw this recipe in our local newspaper and went to the store to buy the ingredients that day. I think a lot of people had the same idea because I bought the last bag of potatoes.  I am sure you could use any variation of vegetables that you wish.  It was very delicious and will definitely be making this again soon.

Bagged hash brown potatoes (not the frozen type) can be found in the refrigerator section of your grocer, often near the eggs or yogurt.

1/2 cup mayonnaise
10 3/4 oz can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp garlic powder
20 oz package hash brown potatoes (refrigerated potatoes, not frozen)
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 cup green beans, cut into pieces (I used 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup grated carrots (I used 1 cup)
Meat from a 2 pound rotisserie chicken, cubed, skin & bones discarded (about 1 1/2" cubes)
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used 3/4 cup inside the casserole and 1 1/4 cup on top)
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (I used 1 cup)

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a 9x13 baking dish, stir together the mayonnaise, soup, milk, pepper, salt, thyme and garlic powder.  Stir in the potatoes, zucchini, green beans, carrots and chicken (and 3/4 cup cheddar if you wish).  Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and the breadcrumbs.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until bubbling and the vegetables are tender.

Serves 8

Source: Racine Journal Times