Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Waffle Bites

Super quick and easy to make for breakfast or brunch.  The picture shows bites topped with canned whipped cream.  The next time I made them I picked up real whipped topping from Publix.  It tastes and looks much better than the canned and is about the same price. Basically, the can topping will melt but the whipped will not.  I toasted the waffles in the oven before topping them off with strawberry preserves, whipped topping and syrup.

1 box of mini waffles-you need to break them apart before you top them.
Half a jar of strawberry preserves
4oz. whipped topping
syrup for drizzling

Baked Zucchini Fries

I saw a few variations of this recipe on pinterist that looked delish so I made my own. I preheated the oven to 425 and baked them for 15 minutes.


Zucchini cut into 1/4 inch strips

2 eggs

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 cup Italian breadcrumbs

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Squeeze of lemon

Salt and pepper

Mix all dry ingredients in a large zip-lock bag. Coat sliced zucchini in egg and transfer to bag. Shake to coat and place on baking sheet.  Bake for 15 mins or until the fries are golden brown. Transfer to serving plate along with a squeeze or two of lemon.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Sausage Puffs with Sweet Peppers and Butternut Squash

This recipe is so tasty my husband ate his leftovers the next morning for breakfast.  It takes no time at all to make, just 20 mins. or less depending on prep.  If you can't find  buffalo chicken sausage at the store, just add hot sauce and a little cayenne pepper to spice up mild sausage.  This recipe brings just the right amount of heat along with the nutty sweet taste of the butternut squash in a flaky puff pastry.  If you're counting your calories it will stand alone without the puff pastry.   If you haven't tried any of my recipes thus far, this would be a great one to start with!


1 package of buffalo chicken sausage-minus the (remove casing)

1 bag pre-cut butternut squash (if you cut yourself bake first to make for easy entry, then cut into 1 inch cubes)

1 or 2 shallots-diced

1 small bag of mini tri-colored sweet peppers.
1 pinch garlic salt, pepper, oregano and paprika

6 frozen puff pastry cups

1 tbspn.  Rosemary (fresh is always best)


For Pastries-Preheat the oven to  425 degrees.  Bake puff pastries for 12 to 15 minutes or until they are slightly golden brown.

If you buy the pre-formed puffs, carefully removed the top middle layers first.  The picture above shows the transformation from right to left.

Get out your pan:
Take sausage out of casing.  I remove it to create a ground chicken consistency. Cook over med heat on the stove-top until golden brown.  Remove from the pan and drain excess fat.
Remove chicken from pan:
Saute shallots, squash and peppers with a little olive oil before returning the meat to the pan.  Reduce heat to med-low and cover your pan.  Cook for an additional 15 minutes or until squash is soft.  I like to mash the mixture up a bit before filling the puff pastries.

 As I said above, you do not need the puff pastries if you're watching the calories.  I've made this several times now and this was my first time with the puffs.  My husband noted that he likes it just the same with or without.  I have even made this on the grill, covered with tin foil for about 35 mins.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

You can put just about anything in stuffed peppers.  Lately I have been experimenting with soy crumbles in place of ground beef. 

4 to 6 bell peppers (green, yellow, or red)                                   
1 1/2 cups jasmine rice
Half a bag of soy crumbles-I prefer morning star over boca
4 oz. goat cheese
Half a jar of tomato sauce (your choice) I use spagetti sauce
2 cloves fresh garlic-minced
Salt and pepper
1cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1 tspn cayenne pepper
Optional-roasted corn
Optional-fresh chopped basil

This is one of my favorite recipes to make!  I usually throw in whatever I have on hand, but these ingredients make the best stuffed peppers.  I also love replacing ground beef or turkey with the Morning Star soy crumbles.  Ground beef and turkey are high in fat and calories.  Soy crumbles have lower calories and fat than even the lean ground meats, but using real meat won't take away from this recipe.

Directions: Preheat oven to 375
Sautee garlic in a tspn of olive oil over medium low heat.  Add corn (I use fresh corn uncooked that I cut right off the cob.  Cook for 2 mins and then add your soy crumbles for another 5-7 mins.  Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl and add in the rest of the ingredients (excluding monterey jack).  Use only half of your tomato sauce, and save 1/4 cup for the topping. 
Wash peppers and pat dry with a paper towel.  Cut peppers lengthwise in half and take out seeds (I found that the traditional method of cutting just the tops off the peppers makes them watery inside).  Fill with mixture and top with 1/4 cup tomato sauce of your choice.  Bake at 375 for 20 mins and then remove from oven.  Top each pepper with the monterey jack cheese and continue to bake for another 10 mins.  Let cool for a few minutes before eating.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My first blog

Hi everyone!  I've decided to start my own recipe blog.  If you know me, you know I love to cook.....and to eat of course.  There isn't a food I won't try try once and I usually like everything.  Picky eaters are my nemesis and I feel sorry for all they are missing out on :)  This blog will be mostly healthy meals, cooking techniques, and eating in and out on a budget. If my husband has anytime for me I will try to do some short videos as well.  I don't usually follow recipes but I will try my best to measure things out. Here we go...

Recently I purchased my very first cast iron skillet.  I remember my mother having them growing up and I always thought they were a pain.  I could barely pick it up because it was so heavy, and cleaning it seemed a bit tedious.  Now that I have purchased my own and have practiced with it, I can tell you it is worth it!  They say you can use a mild soap to clean it, but if you use it often just soak with some hot water and wipe it with a paper towel. You don't want to wash it with harsh soap because your goal is a well-seasoned pan.  Not only will your meals taste better, but they won't stick if the pan is seasoned.

The pan I purchased is one of Emeril's pans from bed bath and beyond and  was only $20.  That was a steal considering most cast irons run anywhere from $50 and up.  What I love about cooking with cast iron is that you can start your dish on the stove-top and then finish it in the oven.  The food gets evenly crisp and the outcome does not compare to any other pan. Cast iron is similar to cooking with stone except stone cannot go on your stove top (ask my hubby about that one)  and you cannot exceed a temperature of 400 degrees with stone.  Ok, enough of the technical stuff, here's my first recipe:

Herb-ed Apple and Brie Chicken

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsps.  apple jelly
3oz. Brie cheese
1 tbsp. chimichurri rub (dry)
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375.  Unfold chicken and lay flat.  Cut off any excess fat and pound the chicken.  Rub each side with the chimichurri mix, salt and pepper.  Heat a 10 or 12 inch cast iron skillet with oil over medium.  Once the pan begins to smoke add your chicken.  Slide each piece back and forth for a few seconds when you drop it in.  This will prevent sticking.  I didn't flip my chicken but you can if you like. I cooked it on the stove for about 3 mins and then I transferred it to my pre-heated oven.  I placed the rack near the top of my broiler and let it cook for about 15 to 18 mins more.  Serve with what ever you like, rice, spinach etc.  I served the chicken over steamed cauliflower and it was delish! 

Some fun facts about this dish:
I used boneless skinless chicken thighs because they are so juicy and it's almost impossible to overcook them.  They do have about 10 percent more fat then boneless skinless breasts, but they have more flavor and more iron and nutrients than the breast.  I like to get my thighs I Costco when I can.  Their chicken comes with the fat trimmed and they are ready to go for cooking.

Brie Cheese:  If you haven't tried it yet, do it!  It is one of my favorite cheeses!  Pair it with something sweet like grapes, apples or jelly.  This creamy cheese is made of cows milk and needs to sit out to soften before use.  Before it sits however, it is best to cut the white rind off that surrounds it.

Chimichurri: A friend of my husband was kind enough to give me his own special blend and I couldn't wait to try it. You can use this rub on almost anything.  Add some olive oil and sprinkle some parmesan cheese, and dip your favorite bread in the mix.  The homemade rub also came with a recipe that is worth sharing:

    "marinate little mozzarella balls (I think they're called pearls) in olive oil with
    the chimmi rub, then skewered with grape tomatoes and basil leaves"

You can purchase your own rub or even make it yourself.  Follow the recipe bellow:

  • 3 tablespoons dried oregano leaves

  • 3 tablespoons dried basil leaves

  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes

  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme leaves

  • 2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon dried savory leaves

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper

  • Hope this serves you well!