Dec 19, 2010

Cappuccino Snowtop Crinkles

What you will need: 
1/3 cup of unsalted butter - softened (not melted) (we use only Land o' Lakes)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (we like Hershey's Cocoa Powder)
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules (we like Starbuck's Via Instant Coffee)
1 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 egg whites
1/3 cup  low fat vanilla yogurt
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix butter in a large mixing bowl using a stand or electric mixer at medium speed for about 30 seconds. Next add brown sugar, coffee granules, cocoa, baking soda and cinnamon. Beat until well combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg whites and yogurt until well blended. Next beat in flour using mixer... beat in as much of the flour as  you can with the mixer. Towards the end, the mix will start to get too stiff to use the mixer and you may just have to add in the remaining flour using a wooden spoon and stirring well.

Place granulated sugar in a small bowl and set aside. Next take the dough by heaping teaspoons and roll into balls then roll into granulated sugar, coating each one well. Repeat with each ball. Place balls 2 inches apart on a "PAM For Baking" sprayed cookie sheet.

 Bake 10-12 minutes until the edges are firm and the top starts to look cracked. Once you remove from the oven -allow to cool well before placing into your cookie tin!!

Make about 32 cookies.

Dec 18, 2010

Chocolate Covered Pretzels with Candy Cane Topping

What you will need: 
1 pound bag of pretzels (we used Utz Pretzels
2 Blocks of Almond Bark (Milk Chocolate or White Chocolate and we use Plymouth Pantry)
At least 20 miniature Candy Canes for topping (or 10 regular size) crushed

Start by removing the wrapping from the candy canes and place them in a zip-lock bag. Next seal the bag and begin crushing the candy canes into pieces. This will be used as the topping for the pretzels. 

After you crush the candy canes, empty the contents into a small bowl and set aside to use for the sprinkle topping. 

When you are shopping for Almond Bark in the store, here is what it looks like, in case you don't know: 

I like to use the thin regular sized pretzels, but you can also use miniature pretzels. Be sure to sit the broken pretzels pieces off to the side. No one likes broken pretzels and they won't be as pretty. You can use these at the end if you have any left over chocolate. 

Take the Almond Bark (1 block at a time) and melt it in the microwave in a glass bowl on high for about 2 minutes. Check the chocolate every 30 seconds to ensure that it is melting and stir with a metal spoon. After 2 minutes, you can melt at 30 second intervals until completely melted. 

Next you are ready to begin dipping the pretzels in the melted chocolate - one by one, using tongs to shake off the excess chocolate. 

After you shake off the excess chocolate, place on waxed paper to dry. Sprinkle immediately with the crushed candy cane topping. 

Please note that chocolate covered pretzels are easy to make, but they take time. I would allow 1.5 hours for the process. They make great gifts! 

This is what your finished product should look like: 

Dec 9, 2010

Pecan Sandies

What you Need:

2 sticks of unsalted butter, melted (we like Land O' Lakes)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
1 cup of confectioners sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup of pecans, chopped
1/2 cup white sugar for decoration


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Using your stand mixer, cream together butter, vegetable oil, sugar and confectioners sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Next - add vanilla.

Gradually mix in the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and sea salt. Add the pecans to the mixture last.

Roll dough into 1 inch balls and roll in remaining white sugar.

** Refridgerate Dough overnight or at least 4 hours for best results **

Place the cookies 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet sprayed with "PAM for Baking".

Bake for 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven or until the edges start to turn golden. Remove from cookie sheets and place on wire racks to cool.

** recipe derived from **

Nov 22, 2010

Aunt Lody's Crockpot Turkey

The idea behind this EASY dish is that you let the turkey cook overnight while you sleep and wake up to a wonderful meal - ready to eat the next day!

1 Large Crock Pot for cooking
1 Frozed Turkey Breast (5-7 pounds only - we tested Butterball)
2 tbsp Cavender's All Purpose Greek Seasoning

Turn your Crock Pot on "high" temperature. Unwrap the frozen turkey and remove "gravy packet" if you can (if you can't remove it now, don't worry, once the turkey thaws slightly, you will be able to remove it and throw it away - I use gloves to do this because it grosses me out!!! ).

Wash off the turkey really well in the sink with water and paper towels and then place frozen turkey in the Crock Pot. Sprinkle generously with the seasoning.

Cover the turkey with the crock pot lid and let cook for one hour on high.
Once the hour has passed, turn the crock pot down to the "low" setting and let simmer for the next 12 hours, preferably while you sleep.

When you wake up the next morning, test the termperature of the turkey if you like with a meat thermometer until it reads in the "poultry" setting. I can pretty much guarantee you that the meat will be practically falling off the bone and moist.

Start to peel back the skin a little bit with a fork. If it looks a little pink, don't panic, the meat will begin to turn white after it cools. Turn off the Crock Pot and remove the turkey (I used 2 sets of big tongs) and place into a dish to cool. With a fork, you can begin to gently remove the skin by pulling it back. Once it cools for an hour - it is ready to cut and enjoy!

Your finished product should look like this:

Nov 21, 2010

Homestyle Mac n' Cheese

What You Will Need:

Non-Cooking Spray
1 pound Elbow Macaroni, uncooked
1/2 pound American Cheese, grated
1/2 pound Cheddar Cheese, grated
2 cans (12 oz.) evaporated milk
2 cups of water
3 eggs slightly beaten
2 t. ground mustard
1 1/2 t. salt
2 t Worcestershire sauce
1/2 t hot sauce
3/4 c plain bread crumbs
1 t paprika

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, toss uncooked elbow noodles with 3 T. melted butter. Coat the noodles. Then stir in all of the cheese.

3.  Pour noodle mixture into casserole dish. Take a medium sized bowl and combine, evaporated milk, water, eggs, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and salt. Whisk together and pout oven noodle/cheese mixture in casserole, and stir slightly to make sure everything is evenly covered. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 60 min. (Time may vary slightly depending on the strength of your oven, mine cooks pretty fast and I cook it for 60 min.)

4. Combine bread crumbs, paprika and remaining 2 T melted butter. Sprinkle over the baked mac and cheese and return to the oven and broil on low for 1-2 min, or until golden brown. BE VERY CAREFUL, can burn quickly, really watch this step!

Makes 12 servings, so good for big families, second helpings or leftovers! And who doesn't love mac n' cheese left over? Great to serve with a veggie on the side.
** Add-ins: Diced ham or Broccoli

Nov 13, 2010

Barefoot Contessa's Italian Chicken with Lemon Dressing

What you will need (Serves 2): 
2 Chicken Breasts
2 Eggs
1 Cup of Italian Bread Crumbs
Field Greens
Parmesan Cheese (for topping)  
1 Lemon
1/2 tablespoon of Sea Salt
Ground Peppercorns
1/2 cup of Olive Oil

I make this dish using my George Foreman Grill - this makes it easy and delicious. If you don't have this grill - you can do this in a skillet.

Set the stage... 

Set up the following in a row: 1) Chicken on a plate, 2) Eggs in a shallow bowl (whip it up with a fork or a whisk), 3) Place Bread Crumbs in a Shallow Bowl

If the chicken breasts are thick, I cut each chicken breast in half - lengthwise - which will give you 4 pieces of chicken. Take the first piece of chicken and dredge it through the egg, coating well on each side. Next take that piece of chicken and coat in bread crumbs (the eggs make the bread crumbs stick well).

Then place each Chicken Breast on the Foreman Grill (or in a skillet if you chose to do it that way) and let cook on each side for about 4-5 minutes..Repeat these steps with each piece of chicken.

It should look like this when it's ready to come off of the grill.....

Next, you need to make Lemon Dressing: 

Cut one Lemon in half and squeeze out all of the juice (I use a lemon squeezer and it yeilds about 1/3 cup of lemon juice), next mix the lemon juice with 1/2 cup of Olive Oil, next add the Sea Salt and Pepper and stir well.

Now add your field greens onto a Dinner Plate, Place the Chicken atop of the greens, sprinkle the lemon dressing across the dish generously and sprinkle with a little shredded or shaved Parmesan cheese.

Here is what your final PRODUCT should look like and it's sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Super Healthy Pumpkin Pie Muffins

What you will need: 
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1/2 cup of ground flaxseed
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice
1 can of organic pumpkin puree
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
3 tablespoons of low fat vanilla yogurt
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 cup of apple juice concentrate

Set the Stage:
Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Spray your muffin pan with Floured Cooking Spray (PAM for Baking is my favorite).

Next, in a large bowl, mix together whole wheat flour, flax seed, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice - let's call this the "Flour Mix".

In a stand mixer (if you have one) - add pumpkin, eggs, yogurt, apple juice concentrate, and vanilla and blend well. Let's call this "the Pumpkin mix".

 Next add the Flour Mix to the Pumpkin Mix and mix well for about 2 minutes or until well blended.

I chose to use a fun shaped mini bundt pan for this recipe. 

Next drop your batter into your muffin pan or bundt pan...

Now bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes and when they come out ... let them cool for a good 10 minutes or more before removing from pan... sprinkle with a little confectioners sugar if you want to dress it up (which will take away from some of the health benefits). 

This is what your finished product should look like: 

Nov 11, 2010

Chicken and Vegetable Stew

2 (32-ounce) containers fat-free chicken broth 
4 skinless chicken breasts, cooked, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped 
2 tsp Celery Salt 
1 package frozen mixed vegetables 
1 package frozen baby lima beans
1 package frozen butternut squash, chopped
1 can Cream of Potato Soup 
¼ cup ketchup 
1 tablespoon sugar 
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (you can substitute rice wine vinegar here and its very good) 
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 
½ teaspoon hot sauce  (more if you like it spicy)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic salt
½ cup water 

Bring broth to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 -45 minutes.

** Serve with warm bread or cornbread muffins for a delicious fall or winter treat.**