Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Baked Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal

I made this oatmeal on a cold and snowy Wisconsin morning.  It was delicious. Since baked oatmeal has a thicker consistency, I added a little milk over the top of mine before serving.

2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
1 cup 1% milk (you can also use unsweetened almond or soy milk)
1 cup pumpkin puree
4 TBS brown sugar
4 tsp mini chocolate chips
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Spray a 1 quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Pour oatmeal mixture into dish.

Bake for 20 minutes. At the end of baking, place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to crisp up the top.

Serves 4



Saturday, December 14, 2013

Raw Cookie Dough...Yes, it's O.K. to eat

Who doesn't crave raw cookie dough? Yes, I admit it, I eat raw cookie dough.  However, everyone says you shouldn't eat the raw eggs.  So, when I saw this recipe, I thought it was something fun to try.  It makes just a little bit of dough but it really satisfies the craving.  Don't attempt to bake this as an actual cookie because there is nothing in the recipe that will help them rise.

1 1/2 TBS butter
A few drops of vanilla extract
3 TBS flour
1 TBS sugar
1 TBS brown sugar
1 TBS milk or water
as many chocolate chips as you want (I like the mini chips)

Mash the butter.  Add everything else except the milk and the chocolate. chips  Stir together.  It should be a little crumbly.  Now add the milk until you get a desired cookie dough texture.

Yum!  Enjoy!

Makes 1/3 cup


Friday, December 13, 2013

Zesty Roasted Chicken and Red Potatoes

The honey Dijon mustard gives this chicken dish a wonderful flavor.  Everyone enjoyed this.  There were already requests to make this again soon.  It is a very healthy, low calorie and low fat meal as well.

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 lb small red skinned potatoes, quartered
1/3 cup mayonnaise
3 TBS honey Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
chopped chives or fresh parsley, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Arrange chicken and potatoes in a lightly greased 10x15 pan.  Blend mayonnaise, mustard, pepper and garlic in a small bowl; brush over the chicken and potatoes.
Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender and the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a fork.
Sprinkle with chives or parsley, if desired.  Serve with a salad and a piece of crusty bread.

Serves 6
Source:  Gooseberry Patch - Quick & Easy Family Favorites

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Classic Pot Roast (Pressure Cooker)

This roast is so tender and delicious. I have also made this recipe using venison. No need to heat-up the oven to make a delicious roast for dinner.

3 to 3 1/2 lb boneless chuck roast
salt and pepper
1 TBS vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped into 1 1/2" slices
1 cup red wine
2 cups beef stock
2-3 springs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
3 carrots, sliced into 2-inch slices (or use 18 baby carrots)
18 fingerling potatoes, left whole (or use 6-8 red potatoes, cut in half)
2 TBS flour or cornstarch
1/4 chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Pre-heat an electric pressure cooker using the "brown" or "high" setting.

Season the roast on all sides with salt and pepper. Add the oil to the pressure cooker and let it heat up for a few minutes. Add the roast to the pressure cooker and brown it on all sides. Remove the browned roast and set aside.

Add the onion and celery to the pressure cooker and cook for a few minutes. Pour in the red wine and using a wooden spoon, scrape up any brown bits that have formed on the bottom while you bring the liquid to a simmer. Add the beef stock, thyme and bay leaf; return roast to the pressure cooker.

Pressure cook on "high" or "meat" setting for 60 minutes; quick-release the pressure. (If the meat is not fall-apart tender, cook for an additional 5-7 minutes.) Add in the carrots and potatoes; bring the pressure cooker back up to pressure and cook on "high" or "meat" setting for another 5-7 minutes; quick-release the pressure.

Transfer the roast and vegetables to a plate and tent with foil. Bring the sauce to a simmer using the "high" or "meat" setting and let it reduce for about 10 minutes while the roast rests. Mix the 2 tablespoons of flour or cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water and stir the mixture into the sauce; bring to a boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Slice the beef and sprinkle the meat and vegetables with parsley, if using. Serve with gravy.

Serves 6-8

Source:  Comfortable Under Pressure - Meredith Laurence


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Quick Amish Cinnamon Bread

I have seen this recipe posted all over the internet so I figured it must be really good.  I'm not even sure who to give credit for this recipe because it is on so many blogs....maybe the Amish!  This bread is delicious and easy!  Now I know why it was re-posted so much.  It's a great bread to make in a pinch because you most likely have all the ingredients on hand. 

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk or 2 cups milk plus 2 TBS lemon juice
4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

Cinnamon-Sugar mixture:

2/3 cups granulated white sugar
2 tsp cinnamon 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two 9x5 loaf pans. 

Cream together butter, sugar and eggs.  Add milk, flour and baking soda.  Put 1/2 of the batter (or a little less) into two greased loaf pans (1/4 of the batter in each pan).  Mix in a separate bowl the sugar and cinnamon mixture.  Sprinkle 3/4 of cinnamon mixture on top of the 1/2 batter in each pan.  Add remaining batter to pans; sprinkle with the last of cinnamon topping.  Swirl with a knife.  Bake 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick tester comes clean.  

Cool in pans for 20 minutes before removing from the pan.

 Makes 2 loaves

Source: The Amish


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini bread is one of my favorite quick breads.  This is the recipe that I have been making for many years.

3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 TBS vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 TBS cinnamon
2 cups grated zucchini (with the skin)
1 cup chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease and flour two loaf pans.

Stir together, eggs, oil, sugars and vanilla.  Combine the flour, salt, baking powder and soda and cinnamon.  Gently fold in the zucchini and walnuts.

Pour into prepared pans.  Bake for one hour.  Let bread cool about 5 to 10 minutes before removing from pans.

Makes 2 loaves


California Sunrise Toast

I absolutely love fried eggs sandwiches and I love avocados.  So when I saw this sandwich it was...duh!  Now, why didn't I think of this?  So delicious.  

1 ripe avocado
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
4 slices toasted whole-grain bread
4 fried eggs

Mash the avocado.  Add the lemon juice, salt and red pepper flakes.  Toast the bread, spread with the avocado mixture.  Top with a fried egg.  

Serves 4



Broccoli with Mustard Sauce

Dress up that broccoli!  This side dish is easy and so delicious.  The mustard sauce was not overpowering at all.  It was a light flavor that really gave this dish an extra special flavor.

2 lbs fresh broccoli florets, cauliflowerets or sliced carrots
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp prepared honey Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Place broccoli in a steamer basket; place in a large saucepan over 1 inch of water.  Bring to a boil; cover and steam for 5-8 minutes or until crisp-tender.

Meanwhile, in a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.  Cover and microwave at 50% power for 2 minutes or until heated through, stirring every 30 seconds.  Drain broccoli.  Serve with sauce.

Serves 4

Source:  Taste of Home Magazine - October/November 2007


Breakfast Casserole

This recipe has been served many times over the years for shower brunches, Easter and Christmas breakfast at our church.  It's the perfect breakfast dish because it is very easy and is assembled the night before.

6 - 7 slices of bread, crusts removed
butter, softened
1 1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups (1 pint) half & half
1 lb. pork sausage (cubed ham or bacon is good, too!)
6 eggs, beaten
1 tsp salt

Spread butter on the bread.  Place butter-side-up in a greased 9 x 13 pan and set aside.  Cut the bread to fit your pan.  Fry pork sausage (or bacon) and drain well.  Spoon the meat over the bread.  Sprinkle cheese over the meat.  Combine eggs, half & half and salt.  Mix and pour over cheese.  Cover casserole and chill overnight.  Remove from refrigerator 15 minutes before baking. 

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Serves 8 - 10

** I usually only use about 3/4 lb of meat instead of 1 pound.  However,  you may adjust to whatever you prefer. 

Source:  Home Cookin' is a Family Affair, Community Church of the Nazarene Cookbook - Jayne H.


Slow-Cooker Penne with Chicken, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Spinach

Serve this with a loaf of crusty bread and a salad and you have a delicious meal.  This was so good!   

2 1/2 cups chicken broth
8 ounces (2 1/2 cups uncooked) penne pasta
2 tsp olive oil
1 (15 ounce) jar Alfredo sauce (I used reduced fat)
1 tsp minced garlic (my addition)
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped coarse
Salt and Pepper
1 pound chicken tenderloins (or boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1/2 inch thick slices)
4 ounces (4 cups) baby spinach
1/2 lb. sliced mushrooms and/or artichokes (my addition)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Line the slow cooker with a foil collar and spray with vegetable oil spray.  Microwave broth in a bowl until steaming, about 2 minutes.  In separate bowl, microwave penne and oil at 50 percent power, stirring occasionally until spotty brown, about 5 minutes.  Transfer the hot pasta to prepared slow cooker and immediately stir in hot broth (pasta will sizzle).  Stir in 1/2 cup Alfredo sauce, tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and nestle into pasta.  Cover and cook until pasta is tender, 2 hours on high then turn to low and cook an additional hour.  After this has cooked about 1 1/2 hours, I added a 1/2 cup of water because it seemed to be a little dry.  Also, about halfway through cooking, you may add a 1/2 lb. sliced mushrooms and or artichokes.     

Remove foil collar.  Gently stir in remaining Alfredo sauce, adjusting sauce consistency with hot water as needed.  Stir in spinach and let sit until spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve.

Source:  Cook's Country


Pancetta Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Tossed with dried cranberries and topped with sauteed leeks, this veggie side is perfect for Thanksgiving dinner....or any time!  This recipes makes a lot, so you may need to cut it in half.  Instead of Brussels sprouts, this would also be delicious using two pounds of broccoli florets.

3 large leeks, white and light green parts only
1/4 cup butter
3 pkgs. (10 oz. each)  Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved lengthwise, about 10 cups
4 oz pancetta or bacon, diced, about 1 cup
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 TBS oil
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Halve each leek lengthwise.  Cut one half-piece lengthwise into 1/4 inch wide strips; reserve.  Cut remaining 5 leek half-pieces crosswise into 1 inch-wide slices.

In medium nonstick skillet, melt butter over low heat; transfer to large bowl.  Stir in Brussels sprouts, pancetta, salt, pepper and leek slices until coated.  Spread vegetable mixture in a single layer in an ungreased jellyroll pan. 

Roast 20 minutes; stir.  Roast until sprouts are browned and pancetta is cooked through, about 5 minutes.  (see my note below)

Meanwhile, in same skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add reserved leek strips; cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 1-2 minutes.  Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels.  Toss cranberries with sprouts; transfer to bowl.  Top with frizzled leeks.

Note:  I used bacon instead of pancetta.  I prefer my bacon very crispy so I fried it on top of the stove instead of in the oven with the Brussels sprouts.  I then added it at the end with the cranberries.

Serves  8-10

Source:  Paula Deen


Monday, October 21, 2013

Hot Grains

If you are tired of eating oatmeal for breakfast, give this recipe a try. I really enjoy the flavor of these grains. I add a few dried cherries to my hot grains. I found amaranth, millet and quinoa at Woodman's grocery store. Some stores may carry Bob's Red Mill brand.  I usually buy quinoa at Trader Joe's. Make sure you rinse the quinoa before using it or your hot grains may taste bitter.

1/3 cup amaranth
1/3 cup millet
1/3 cup quinoa, rinsed
3 1/4 cups water
1 tsp cinnamon

Toppings for hot grains:

flax seeds, ground
maple syrup or brown sugar
dried fruit

Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and add to a 4-quart crockpot along with the amaranth, millet, water and cinnamon; stir to combine. Cook on low for 7 hours. Stir in flax seeds, milk, maple syrup and dried fruit to taste.

Makes 4 servings


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This soup is super fast and easy to make.  I like this recipe because it uses frozen broccoli and uses real cheese (not Velveeta).  Instead of using packaged shredded cheese, I always shred my own because I think it tastes better and melts better, too.  When using frozen vegetables in a soup, remember to use a good quality broth or else the soup will wind up tasting flat.  A quick way to thaw frozen vegetables is to cook them in a covered bowl in the microwave for a few minutes. 

1 minced onion (about 1/2 cup)
2 TBS unsalted butter
2 minced garlic cloves (I used 4 cloves)
1 1/2 pounds thawed frozen broccoli florets
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Cook onion and butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Add thawed broccoli and chicken broth, cover, and simmer until broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes.  Puree soup in a blender or use an immersion blender.  I reserved some of the broccoli and chopped it instead of pureeing it all because I like pieces of broccoli in my soup.  Return the soup to the pot, and whisk in heavy cream.  Return to simmer, then slowly whisk in the shredded cheese.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4

Source:  The America's Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook 


Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

My daughter and I had fun baking these cookies to bring to the Independence Day picnic.  Oatmeal Raisin are a family favorite!  

1/2 cup plus 6 TBS butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups Quaker Oats (Quick or Old Fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup raisins

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed until creamy.  
Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well.
Add oats and raisins; mix well.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto un-greased (or parchment lined) cookie sheets.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown.  Cool for one minute on cookie sheets; remove to a wire rack.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Bar Cookies:  Bake 30-35 minutes in un-greased 9x13 inch metal baking pan.

Source: Quaker Oats

Cindy and Susan

Monday, September 30, 2013

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Is it bread or is it cake?  The addition of the chocolate, coconut and chocolate chips adds a little something special to regular zucchini bread.  This bread freezes well.  I like to bake a few batches and enjoy it during the winter.   


3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tsp vanilla
1 cup oil
2 cups shredded zucchini (with skins)
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut
1 (3 oz) box instant chocolate pudding
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat eggs until light.  Add sugar, vanilla and oil; mix well.  Stir in zucchini.  Stir together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.  Blend with creamed mixture.  Fold in coconut, dry pudding, nuts and chocolate chips.  Pour into 2 greased loaf pans.  

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  When cool, you may sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Makes 2 loaves


One-Pot Orecchitte with Sausage, Kale, and White Beans

When I work late it's often difficult to get dinner on the table at a decent time.  By prepping the vegetables the night before, you can have this fast, hearty and healthy meal on the table in about 30 minutes.  Also, there are not many dishes to wash after dinner is done!  I served this dish with the Easy Parmesan Knots. 

Orecchitte is a small pasta meaning ''little ears".  I used Cavatappi pasta since the store I was at didn't carry the Orecchitte.

2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed, sausage broken into 1/2 inch pieces.  (I used a mild sausage)
1 white onion chopped fine (about 1 cup)
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed (I used 2 cans)
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp fennel seeds (I omitted)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1/2 pound orecchitte pasta  
12 ounces kale, stemmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 ounce Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (1/2 cup), plus extra for serving
Salt and pepper

Heat 1 TBS oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking.  Add sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 5-7 minutes.

Add onion and beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is browned, about 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic, fennel, oregano, and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in broth and water and bring to a boil.  Stir in pasta and half of kale.  Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer until pasta begins to soften, about 4 minutes.  Without stirring, add remaining kale on top of pasta.  Cover, and continue to cook until pasta and kale are just tender, about 4 minutes longer.

Uncover and stir kale into pasta.  Simmer, uncovered and stir occasionally, until most liquid is absorbed, 3 to 5 minutes.  Off heat, stir in Pecorino and remaining 1 tablespoon oil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with extra Pecorino cheese.

Source:  Cook's Country


Easy Parmesan Knots

So simple...yet delicious.  No one will know they came from a can.

1 tube (12 oz) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (I used Pillsbury Golden Layers Refrigerated Buttermilk Biscuits)
1/4 cup canola oil
3 TBS grated Parmesan cheese 
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano (I used dried basil)
1 tsp dried parsley flakes

Roll each biscuit into a 12 inch rope and tie into a knot; tuck ends under.

Place 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; brush the warm knots with the butter mixture.

Makes 10 knots


Pasta with Pesto and Vegetables

Using my homemade pesto, I made this delicious and simple pasta dish. You can add any vegetables you like to this pasta. I used what I had in my fridge.

8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 small zucchini, sliced about 1/4" thick
1 tsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup - 1 cup roasted tomatoes (or you can use sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained)
1/2 cup pesto
1 lb pasta, boiled and drained
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Saute mushrooms and zucchini in butter and olive oil until tender. Add roasted tomatoes to mushrooms and zucchini to heat through. Stir pesto into hot pasta; stir in vegetables and top with Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4


Basil and Spinach Pesto

I had so much basil in my garden this summer that I was able to make several batches of this pesto. I froze my pesto so I can enjoy it all winter long. Pesto is great on pasta, chicken and even on pizza!

1/2 cup walnuts
1 1/2 cups basil
1 1/2 cups spinach, chopped
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Toast walnuts in a dry skillet until lightly browned; let cool. Pulse walnuts in a food processor until finely ground. Add basil, spinach, garlic, red pepper flakes and kosher salt to processor; pulse until finely chopped. Add Parmesan cheese to processor and pulse to combine. Slowly pour in extra-virgin olive oil, pulsing to incorporate.

Makes 1 cup (use 1/2 cup of pesto per pound of pasta)

Source:  Food Network Magazine - September 2013


Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Filling

Turn a ho-hum cupcake into something special by adding a cream filling. Watch the little kid's eyes light up when you serve them one of these!  My friend Judy gave me this recipe years ago and it quickly became a favorite.

Bake cupcakes according to the cake mix package.  I like to use Chocolate Devil's Food.

With a knife, cut out a little piece of the cupcake center.  You may also poke a hole in the cupcake with the end of a wooden spoon.  Mix together the cream filling.

Cream Filling:

4 TBS butter, softened
1/4 cup Crisco shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 TBS flour
1/3 cup milk - room temperature
1 tsp vanilla

With a mixer, cream the butter, Crisco and sugar.  Gradually add flour a little at a time.  Beat in the milk.  Beat well until creamy.  Add the vanilla. 

Using a pastry bag with a decorator tip, generously fill each cupcake with the cream filling.

Place an opened can of Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Dark Chocolate frosting in the microwave for about 10 - 15 seconds or until smooth and creamy, stir.  Frost cupcakes.
Makes 24 cupcakes


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Spicy Soba Noodles with Sriracha

If you are looking for a quick, healthy and filling meal, this one is for you. There are only 313 calories per serving. If you add the broccoli, it will add additional calories. Do calories from vegetables really count?

12 oz soba noodles
1-2 cups frozen broccoli (this is my addition)
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp Sriracha hot sauce, or more to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Five minutes before the noodles are done, add the broccoli to the pasta. Drain the pasta and broccoli; return to the pan. Add the broth, sesame oil and Sriracha sauce and set pan over medium heat. Cook for 1-2 minutes to heat through. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serves 4

Source:  Robin Takes 5 - Robin Miller


Margherita Pizza

I made this pizza using my homemade pesto and tomatoes from my garden.  This is a quick weeknight meal.

1 Whole Grain Ultra Thin Prepared Pizza Crust (I used Golden Home)
1/2 cup part-skim Ricotta cheese
1/4 - 1/2 tsp garlic salt
3 TBS basil pesto
1/2 cup thinly sliced and chopped tomato
1/2 cup part-skim Mozzarella cheese
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven according to pizza crust directions.  Spread Ricotta cheese over crust; sprinkle with garlic salt.  Spread pesto over the top of the Ricotta cheese. Arrange tomatoes over pesto and top with Mozzarella cheese; sprinkle garlic powder over the top.

Bake 12-14 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Serves: 4


Monday, July 29, 2013

Raspberry Chicken Amandine

In Door County, Wisconsin there is a place called The White Gull Inn.  I had this chicken dish in their restaurant and was so excited to see the recipe was printed in their cookbook.  Needless to say...I had to add another cookbook to my collection!  Sometimes I change this recipe a little and use pecans instead of almonds.  So, I guess the proper name would then be called Raspberry Pecan Crusted Chicken.  I like to serve this with a wild rice blend and Sesame Green Beans.

Raspberry Sauce:

1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup honey
2 TBS cornstarch
1/8 cup cold water
Salt and pepper

2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 cups finely crushed almonds (or pecans)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded flat
8 ounces Brie cheese
1/4 cup olive oil

Bring raspberries, water and honey to a boil in a small saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until raspberries begin to break up, about 3-4 minutes.  In a small bowl mix cornstarch with cold water until smooth.  Add to raspberries and continue to cook 1 minute longer, stirring constantly.  Strain through a fine sieve.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

Beat eggs and milk in a small bowl.  Dip chicken breasts in egg mixture.

Place crushed almonds (or pecans) in a shallow pan.  Press each breast into crushed almonds (or pecans) to coat both sides.  Cut Brie into 4 pieces.  Slightly flatten the cheese with your fingers.  Set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat.  Saute both sides of breast until cooked through and golden brown.  Immediately, top each breast with a flattened slice of Brie cheese.  Let Brie melt onto the chicken.  You may place in a warm oven or toaster oven to melt.  However, I found that the cheese melts fine without doing so. 

The original recipe states to sandwich the Brie cheese between the chicken, which you can see I did in the picture.  However, I do not think it is necessary to do so as it makes it difficult to eat.  Next time I will just place the Brie on top of the chicken instead.

To serve, top with warm Raspberry Sauce.

Serves 4

Source: The White Gull Inn, More Favorite Recipes From Our Kitchen


Sesame Green Beans

It's hard to believe how just a few ingredients can make green beans taste so wonderfully different.  These were delicious.  I will definitely make these beans again, soon!

1 1/2 pounds green beans, washed and trimmed
1 TBS vegetable oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 TBS sesame seeds, toasted
Coarse salt

Steam green beans covered in a half inch of boiling water for 2 minutes.  Transfer beans to a colander and run under cold water.  Drain well.

Heat a large nonstick frying pan or a wok shaped skillet over high heat.  Add 1 TBS vegetable oil, add sesame oil and crushed pepper flakes.  The pan will smoke.  Carefully, (the oil will splatter) add the beans and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until slightly tender.  Add sesame seeds and coarse salt.  Toss to coat beans evenly.

Makes 4 - 6  servings

Source:  Rachael Ray - TV Food Network


Friday, July 26, 2013

Chicken Enchilada Bake

This enchilada bake is so delicious and a much healthier version than most enchiladas.  There are only 250 calories and 7 grams of fat per serving.  Go ahead, enjoy!

1/2 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 cup light sour cream
2 TBS flour
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
4 (6") reduced-carb high-fiber flour tortillas (I used Mission Carb Balance tortillas)
1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce
3/4 cup rinsed, drained, canned black beans
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies, drained
1 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican Blend cheese
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium pot over medium heat, combine the onion, chicken broth, garlic and pepper and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 3 minutes or until onions are tender.

In a small bowl, mix the sour cream and flour until smooth.  Add to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened (about 5 minutes).  Remove from the heat and stir in the shredded chicken.  Set aside.

Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Cut tortillas into 1" long strips and line the bottom of the dish with them.  Top with a layer of the chicken filling, then the black beans, then the green chilies and end with the enchilada sauce.

Bake for 25 minutes.  Top with the cheese and bake for another 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.  Let it sit for 10 minutes before cutting.  Top with fresh cilantro.

*For a firmer bake, add another layer of tortilla strips by cutting three additional tortillas into strips and laying them over the green chilies before adding the enchilada sauce.  This will add 40 calories per serving.  This is how I made my enchilada bake.

Source:  Eat More of What You Love - Marlene Koch