Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Seriously Delicious Low-Fat Pumpkin Shake


I stumbled upon this recipe on Cooking Light and knew I had to try it.  Boy, this did not disappoint.  It was so, so good.  You must try!

Pumpkin Pie Shake (Adapted from Cooking Light)

2 cups vanilla reduced-fat ice cream, softened
1/2 cup fat-free milk (you can add more to get it to the consistency you prefer)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2T packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
3 tablespoons frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed
Pumpkin-pie spice (optional)

Combine first 5 ingredients in a blender; process until smooth. Pour ice cream mixture into glasses. Top each with about 2 teaspoons whipped topping; sprinkle with the additional pumpkin-pie spice, if desired.

Monday, September 26, 2011

White Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chile Sour Cream Sauce


4 words:  you must try this!  These were soooooo good!  To top it off, it was one of the quickest dishes to put together.  Huge hit in our house!

White Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chile Sour Cream Sauce (Let's Dish)

8 soft taco size flour tortillas
2 cups shredded Monterrey jack cheese, divided
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
Chopped, fresh cilantro for garnish

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan with cooking spray; set aside. Mix the chicken together with 1 cup of the cheese. Distribute the chicken and cheese mixture evenly among the tortillas. Roll up and place seam side down in the prepared pan. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, whisking until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat until sauce is thick and bubbly. Stir in the sour cream and diced green chiles. Pour the sauce in an even layer over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Sprinkle with cilantro just before serving.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Crockpot Baked Potato Soup


I stumbled upon this recipe on my new found addiction, Pinterest (props to Molly for pinning it).  I'm always searching for recipes that allow me to utilize my crockpot.  This recipe appeared too easy and I didn't have high expectations.  Boy, was I wrong.  This was delicious.  Matt loved it, but asked me to add some additional protein  To satisfy his request, I may add ground turkey next time.  Perfect comfort dish for fall. 

Easy Crockpot Potato Soup (Pearls, Handcuffs & Happy Hour)

1 30oz. bag of frozen, shredded hash browns
3 14oz. cans of chicken broth
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1 8 oz pkg. cream cheese
bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, green onion, sour cream for garnish

Combine everything (except cream cheese) in your crockpot.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  About one hour before serving, add cream cheese to the crockpot and cook until thoroughly melted.  Ladle soup into bowls and top with bacon, cheddar cheese, green onion and/or sour cream.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Garlic Steak Pasta Bowl


There's not a better way to use leftover steak.  This was super easy and tasted great!  I called it "garlic steak" because I used this recipe when we grilled the steak.  However, feel free to use whatever you may have leftover.

Garlic Steak Pasta Bowl

1lb of leftover grilled steak, cubed
2 cups pasta, cooked
1 orange bell pepper, sliced
1/2 of a large red onion, chopped in bite sized pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium high heat.  Add oil.  Once oil is heated, add onions and pepper to the pan.  Saute veggies until tender (5-7 mins).  Season veggies with garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Add pasta and sauted veggies to a bowl and toss together.  Top with grilled steak.  Enjoy!

Sirloin Steak with Garlic Butter


We grilled up some steak the other night and it was delicious.  We cut the recipe in half and only ended up using half of that on our steaks.  Ah-mazing!  This was our first attempt at grilling steak.  I'm determined to get better grill lines next time.  :o)

Sirloin Steak with Garlic Butter (Allrecipes)
1/2 cup butter
2 teaspoons garlic powder
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 pounds beef top sirloin steaks
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. 

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat with garlic powder and minced garlic. Set aside. 

Sprinkle both sides of each steak with salt and pepper. 

Grill steaks 4 to 5 minutes per side, or to desired doneness. When done, transfer to warmed plates. Brush tops liberally with garlic butter, and allow to rest for 2 to 3 minutes before serving. 

Chicken Pasta Salad with Toasted Pecans


This chicken salad was delicious.  I kept it pretty basic, but the toasted pecans give it amazing flavor.

Chicken Pasta Salad with Toasted Pecans (adapted from Allrecipes)

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups chopped, cooked chicken meat
1/2 cup toasted pecans
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1.5 cup of pasta shells, cooked

To toast pecans, put them on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven at 300 degrees for about 5 minutes, or until they become aromatic.  Watch them, because they can burn easily.

In a medium bowl, mix together mayonnaise, lemon juice, and pepper. Toss with chicken, pecans, pasta and celery.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken

There is no other word to describe this recipe other than YUM!  It was so flavorful and was simple to put together.  This will become a regular staple.

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken (Kraft)

4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.) 
1/4 cup  KRAFT Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette Dressing, divided 
1 tomato, finely chopped  
1/2 cup  KRAFT Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese 
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil


HEAT grill to medium heat.
COVER half the grill grate with sheet of heavy-duty foil. Place chicken in large resealable plastic bag. Add 2 Tbsp. dressing; seal bag. Turn bag over several times to evenly coat chicken with dressing. Refrigerate 10 min. Remove chicken from bag; discard bag and dressing.
PLACE chicken on uncovered side of grill; cover with lid. Grill 6 min. Meanwhile, combine remaining dressing, tomatoes, cheese and basil.
TURN chicken over; place on foil. Top with tomato mixture. Grill, covered, grill 8 min. or until chicken is done (165ºF).

Catalina Taco Salad

This is a dish my Mom has made for years and was one of my favorites growing up.  I totally forgot about it until my Mom mentioned she was making it last week.  It makes for a quick, tasty meal.  It's also one of those recipes that you can modify to your taste.  We tend to decrease the amount of Catalina dressing, as it is on the sweet side.  Enjoy!

Taco Salad (adapted from Food Network)

2 ripe tomatoes, diced (we were out of tomatoes)
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 green onions,chopped
1 head iceberg lettuce, washed, drained and shredded
1 pound lean ground beef, browned, crumbled and drained
1 envelope of reduced sodium taco seasoning
1/2 cup salad dressing (recommended: Catalina)
1 (7-ounce) Doritos, crushed

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef and drain excess fat.  Add taco seasoning and cook as directed.  Let cool.

Combine the tomatoes, cheese, onion, lettuce, and ground beef in a large bowl. Add the salad dressing and mix well. Just before serving, add the Doritos tossing to combine with other ingredients.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Caribbean Jerk Chicken Skewers


Loving our Weber grill.  It's so easy and makes clean-up a breeze.  This recipe was really good.  The chicken was tender, flavorful and just flat out delicious.  The only thing I'd change next time is to only use a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.  Matt's not a pinapple fan, so I used red onion.  Other than that, it was very tasty.

Caribbean Jerk Chicken Skewers (Kraft)

1 env. (0.7 oz.) GOOD SEASONS Italian Dressing Mix
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp.oil
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp.ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground thyme
1/2 tsp.ground red pepper (cayenne)
1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces
3 red bell peppers, cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces
1 fresh pineapple, cut into 1-1/2-inch chunks (I substituted red onion)
MIX first 7 ingredients until well blended; pour over chicken in large bowl. Stir to evenly coat chicken. Refrigerate 30 min. to marinate.    
HEAT grill to medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Thread chicken onto 12 skewers alternately with bell peppers and pineapple.    

GRILL 15 min. or until chicken is done, turning frequently.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Layered Ice Cream Sandwich Dessert

I made this dessert over the weekend and it was a huge hit. Everyone asked for the recipe. Once they found out how this was put together, they couldn't believe it. There are so many variations you could do with this. I think my next one with have some sort of peanut butter layer instead of caramel and crushed Reese's Peanut Butter Cups on top.  ENJOY!

Ice Cream Sandwich Dessert -- Adapted from Allrecipes.com

19 prepared ice cream sandwiches (I used Kroger brand)
1 (20ounce) jar of Sanders Caramel (I used about 3/4's of the jar)
1 (20 ounce) jar of Sanders Hot Fudge (I used about 3/4's of the jar)
2 (12 ounce) containers Cool Whip (I used all of the first container and half of the second container)
1 large Hershey's Symphony Milk Chocolate Bar, crumbled


Cut one ice cream sandwich in half. Place one whole and one half sandwich along a short side of an ungreased 13x9 pan.  Arrange eight sandwiches in opposite direction in the pan. Spread with caramel.  Repeat layer of ice cream sandwiches.  Spread with hot fudge.  Spread whipped topping.  Top with crumbled Hershey's Symphony bar.  

Remove the dessert from the freezer a few minutes before serving.  Cut into squares and serve. 

How to lay the ice cream sandwiches

Love me some Sanders

The final product

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Chicken Tamale Casserole


This was so yummy and easy to make.  It made for great lunch leftovers, too!  

Chicken Tamale Casserone (Cooking Light)

1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese, divided
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup egg substitute
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (8.5-ounce) box corn muffin mix (such as Martha White)
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
Cooking spray
1 (10-ounce) can red enchilada sauce (such as Old El Paso)

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Combine 1/4 cup cheese and next 7 ingredients (through chiles) in a large bowl, stirring just until moist. Pour mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

3. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until set. Pierce entire surface liberally with a fork; pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with chicken; sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces; top each serving with 1 tablespoon sour cream.

Calories:354 (36% from fat), Fat:14.1g (sat 7.1g,mono 3.3g,poly 1.2g), Protein:18.9g, Carbohydrate:36.3g,
Fiber:2.5g, Cholesterol:58mg, Iron:1.7mg, Sodium:620mg, Calcium:179mg

Tuscan Chicken Soup

This was absolutely delicious. I'm not one for soupy soups and this one fit the bill. It was extremely flavorful, filling and made for great leftovers. One-dish dinners are awesome!

Tuscan Chicken Soup
Weight Watchers Best One-Dish Dinners Fall 2010 Magazine


Cooking Spray
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup chopped onion
1 pound ground chicken breast
2 (14.5-oz.) cans fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
½ cup uncooked orzo
1 (14.5-oz.) can stewed tomatoes, undrained and chopped
1 (16-oz.) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 (6-oz.) package fresh baby spinach
6 teaspoons shredded Parmesan cheese


Heat a large saucepan over medium heat, coat pan with cooking spray. Add garlic and onion; sauté 5 minutes or until just tender. Add chicken, and cook 5 minutes, stirring to crumble.
Add broth and next 6 ingredients. Bring to boil; reduce heat, and simmer 22 minutes or until orzo is done.

Stir in spinach; cook 3 minutes or until spinach wilts. Ladle soup into bowls; top with cheese.
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 ½ cups soup and 1 teaspoon cheese).

Per Serving: CAL 253 (8% from fat); FAT 2.2g (sat 0.7g); PRO 26.1g; CARB 33g; FIB 5.4g; CHOL 45mg; IRON 3mg; SOD 785mg; CALC 88mg

Monday, December 13, 2010

Baked Pork Chops


Well, Matt said that this was the best pork chop recipe I've ever made, so that says a lot.  To me, pork chops are boring and rarely ever hit the spot.  However, I must say, this dish was pretty spectacular.   Definitely give it a try.

I followed the recipe pretty closely.  My only change was that I doubled the sauce using a can of cream of chicken.

Baked Pork Chops (Allrecipes)


6 pork chops (I used 8 thinly cut pork chops)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
2 egg, beaten
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup (I also used 1 can of cream of chicken soup)
1/2 cup milk (doubled this)
1/3 cup white wine (doubled this)


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2.Rinse pork chops, pat dry, and season with garlic powder and seasoning salt to taste. Place the beaten eggs in a small bowl. Dredge the pork chops lightly in flour, dip in the egg, and coat liberally with bread crumbs.

3.Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the pork chops 5 minutes per side, or until the breading appears well browned. Transfer the chops to a 9x13 inch baking dish, and cover with foil.

4.Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour (I only baked about 40 mins). While baking, combine the cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, milk and white wine in a medium bowl. After the pork chops have baked for an hour, cover them with the soup mixture. Replace foil, and bake for another 30 minutes.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Creamy Taco Mac


Thanks, Annie, for another great recipe.  This was such an easy dish to make after a long day at work.  Soooo tasty and much, much better than the boxed stuff.

Creamy Taco Mac (Annie's Eats)


1¼ lbs. ground turkey
8 oz. dry pasta shapes
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
4 tbsp. taco seasoning
3 oz. cream cheese
½ cup sour cream
Salt and pepper
Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)


Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain, reserving ½ cup of pasta water. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet or sauté pan, cook the ground turkey over medium-high heat until no longer pink. A few minutes before the turkey is cooked through, add the chopped onion to the skillet. Once the turkey is cooked through, mix in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Mix in the diced tomatoes and taco seasoning and let simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked pasta, cream cheese, sour cream and reserved pasta water, and continue stirring until the cream cheese is melted and the sauce is well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over medium-low heat 3-5 minutes to reduce the sauce a bit. Remove from the heat and top with shredded cheddar cheese, if desired.

Source: adapted from Delish

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Spicy Shrimp Po’ Boys


I was stumped on my meal plan for the week, so I headed over to Annie's Eats.  She has such great recipes, so definitely check her out. 

This was so easy to put together and it had such incredible flavor.  Highly recommended!

Spicy Shrimp Po' Boys (Annie's Eats)
Yield: 4 sandwiches


For the remoulade sauce:
½ cup plus 2 tbsp. light mayonnaise
2 tbsp. stone ground mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1½ tbsp. pickle juice
½ tsp. prepared horseradish
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. hot paprika
Dash of hot sauce

For the sandwiches:
1 lb. medium-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. Cajun seasoning blend
1 baguette (or 4 sandwich rolls)
Shredded lettuce
Sliced tomato


To make the remoulade sauce, combine all of the sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. (If you don’t have a blender or food processor, you can just mix it in a small bowl with a spoon.) Adjust seasonings to taste. Chill until ready to use.

To prepare the sandwiches, combine the shrimp with the olive oil and cajun seasoning in a medium bowl. Toss well to coat the shrimp. Heat a grill pan to medium-high and grill the shrimp just until opaque, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.

Slice the baguette into 4 servings, and cut horizontally to open the bread. Spread some of the remoulade sauce onto both pieces of the bread. Layer the bottom slice of bread with shrimp, then top with lettuce and tomato as desired. Top with the remaining piece of bread and serve immediately.

Source: adapted from Ezra Pound Cake

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Creamy Garlic Pork Chops


This is a recipe my mom often made.  It's super easy and is always a great go-to choice for a quick weeknight meal.  Matt really enjoys this one . I serve it with mashed potatoes or rice and a veggie on the side.

Creamy Garlic Pork Chops:

4 boneless center cut pork chops
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Lawry's seasoning salt (to taste)
Black pepper (to taste)
1 can (10 3/4 ounce) Campbell's cream of mushroom with roasted garlic soup
1/2 can skim milk (I use the Campbell's can)
1/2 cup sour cream
Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat olive oil and butter in skillet over medium-high heat.  Season chops on both sides with Lawry's & black pepper.  Add chops to skillet and brown on both sides (approximately 5-7 mins per side).

In a medium sauce pan, add cream of mushroom soup, sour cream and skim milk.  Stir to combine and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat.

Once pork chops are browned, place them in a greased 9x9 glass baking pan.  Cover the chops with the soup mixture.  Cover with foil and bake for 1 -1 1/2 hours, until pork chops are tender.



Thanks to Annie for this fabulous recipe.  It was incredibly easy to put together and was a big crowd pleaser!  I'll be putting this recipe into regular rotation. 

Cheesy Chicken "Benchiladas" (Annie's Eats)

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 oz. reduced fat sour cream
8 oz. Ranch salad dressing
flour tortillas (10-15) - we like Azteca, packs of 10
jar of salsa
shredded mexican cheese (I usually use close to 4 cups, I love cheese!)


Cook chicken breasts by preferred cooking method until cooked through. Set aside to cool a bit.

While chicken is cooling, mix up the sauce. In a large mixing bowl, combine half of the sour cream and half of the Ranch dressing. In a small bowl, combine the rest of the sour cream and Ranch dressing. Stir both until well combined. Shred or chop the cooked chicken and add to the large mixing bowl. Mix well with sauce.

Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease a 9 x 13" pan (and possibly another, smaller pan if needed). Take one tortilla and top with a little less than 1 tbsp. of the sauce from the small bowl. Spread over the tortilla in an even layer. Add some of the chicken mixture to the center of the tortilla. Top with salsa to taste. Sprinkle with shredded cheese, to taste. Roll up tortilla and place, seam side down, in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining ingredients (usually makes 10-15 enchiladas).

Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes (30 for a crispier tortilla). Allow to cool a few minutes before serving.

**I boiled my chicken breast in 4 cups of chicken broth for about 25 mins and then chopped it up after it was cooled**

Monday, May 24, 2010

Strawberry Bread


This has officially become my FAVORITE bread.  I took a loaf over my parent's house last night and they feel the same way!  This is a must try!  You can find the recipe here.  Her pictures are much better than mine!

Strawberry Bread
Vintage Victuals

2 1/2 cups strawberries, chopped (frozen strawberries work too!)
2 tablespoons sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 eggs, beaten
1 ¼ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a medium bowl, mix the strawberries with the 2 tablespoons of sugar. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until the juices start flowing!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease well two 8×5-inch loaf pans. Combine first 5 ingredients in large mixing bowl; make a well in the center. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients (except strawberries), stirring just until combined.

Gently fold in the strawberries with their juices. Divide evenly between the prepared loaf pans, and bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaves come out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and then remove to racks.

Note: this recipe also makes great muffins. Fill muffin cups almost full and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Creamy Shrimp Over Brown Rice


This recipe is a twist on the Creamy Shrimp & Grits recipe I found on With a Cherry on Top.  The recipe was a huge hit with my husband.  Would definitely make it again! 

1 1/2 lbs. Shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 Lemon
1/4 Tsp. Lawry's Seasoning Salt
2 slices Bacon, chopped
1 Sm. Onion, chopped
1/2 Red Bell Pepper, cliced
1 cup Fresh Baby Spinach, chopped
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 cup Scallions, sliced
2 Tbsp. Flour
14.5 ounce can of Chicken Broth
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

Prepare rice, following directions on package.

In a medium bowl, combine the shrimp with the juice of the lemon and 1/4 tsp Lawry's; stir and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until browned. Add in the onions and red peppers; continue cooking until onions become translucent and peppers are tender. Stir in the garlic and scallions and let cook up for 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and continue cooking for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the chicken broth, salt, pepper, spinach and cook until thickened (about 5-10 minutes). 

Once the gravy has thickened, add in the shrimp and cook until pink (about 3-5 minutes).

Spoon the rice into a large shallow bowl and top with shrimp mixture; serve immediately.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Spaghetti with Sausage and Simple Tomato Sauce


So delicious!  Great weeknight meal.  I added some red bell pepper and spinach.

Spaghetti with Sausage and Simple Tomato Sauce (Cooking Light)

8 ounces hot Italian turkey sausage links
8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
1 (28-ounce) can no-salt-added whole tomatoes, undrained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup torn fresh basil
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1. Preheat broiler.

2. Arrange sausage on a small baking sheet. Broil sausage 5 minutes on each side or until done. Remove pan from oven (do not turn broiler off). Cut sausage into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange slices in a single layer on baking sheet. Broil sausage slices 2 minutes or until browned.

3. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

4. Place tomatoes in a food processor; process until almost smooth. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add crushed red pepper and minced garlic; sauté 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, sugar, and salt; cook 4 minutes or until slightly thick. Add sausage and cooked pasta to pan; toss well. Top with fresh basil and Parmigiano-Reggiano.