Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Bites

Just look at these sweet things! They taste just like a mini pumpkin pie. I'm making them for a baby shower in 2 weeks as they'll be the perfect finger food dessert.
*A note about the recipe: make sure to fill them generously with filling. I noticed that as the pies set overnight, the filling shruk down a bit leaving more of space in the pie cup than I'd like, especially since I'm making them for a shower.
Thanks to Bakerella for the idea.

Pumpkin Pie Bites

2 refrigerated ready-to roll pie crusts

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Use cookie cutter to cut 12 pumpkin shapes from each pie crust. You will need to roll the dough thinner than it comes out of the box.
Press dough shapes into a 24 cup mini muffin tray. (Make 12 at a time, alternating cups to make sure pie crusts don’t overlap each other.)
Apply egg whites from one egg to the top edges of each pie.
Mix cream cheese, sugar, canned pumpkin, remaining 2 eggs, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice together until thoroughly combined.
Spoon mixture into each pumpkin-shaped pie crust.
Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Remove pies to cool and repeat with second pie crust. Place the muffin tray in the freezer to cool it quickly for re-use.

Makes 24 pies. Keep refrigerated.

Note: The used was 3 3/4 inches wide, but if you don’t have one, don’t worry. Just use a round cutter around that size or slightly smaller to cut circle shapes out of the dough. Then make stems with the scraps. Press each stem over the edge and down the side of the dough before filling.

Pumpkin pie spice is a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Greek chickpea & walnut burgers with Tzatziki sauce

These were AWESOME! There is no way you'd miss meat with these burgers. Don't be turned off by the chick peas. I'm no fan of 'em whole but you'd NEVER know that they were a key component in this dish. The Tzatziki sauce was the icing on the amazing burger. Don't skip this! Delish, delish, delish.

NOTE: I will pan fry these with 2 tblsp of olive oil next time. The grill made it virtually impossible to flip them without doing damage and some of the burgers began to fall apart. They're pretty solid but still fragile.

Greek chickpea & walnut burgers with Tzatziki sauce


2 eggs
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 medium carrot, shredded
1/3 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
1/4 cup coarsely chopped onion
1/4 cup Greek olives
4 sprigs fresh parsley, stems removed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas or garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained


1 cup finely chopped cucumber
1/2 cup reduced-fat plain yogurt
1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
1 tablespoon minced fresh mint or 1 teaspoon dried mint
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a food processor, combine the first 11 ingredients; cover and pulse four times. Add chickpeas; pulse until chopped. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes. Combine the sauce ingredients; refrigerate until serving.
Shape chickpea mixture by 2/3 cupfuls into patties. Coat grill rack with cooking spray before starting the grill. Grill burgers, covered, over medium heat for 3-5 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 160°. Serve on buns with lettuce and tomato; top each with 1/4 cup tzatziki sauce. Yield: 5 servings.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Chicken and Green Chile Enchiladas

This was OK. I mean it was good but nothing to write home about. It was easy and I used a rotisserie chicken from the store. I don't know if I'd make it again simply because I think there are better enchilada recipes out there.

Chicken and green chile enchiladas

3 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken
2/3 cup Onion-and-Garlic Mixture
2 (4-oz.) cans chopped green chiles
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
3 (10-oz.) cans enchilada sauce, divided
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Mexican four-cheese blend, divided
8 (9-inch) burrito-size flour tortillas

1. Preheat oven to 425º. Stir together first 4 ingredients, 1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce, and 1 cup cheese.

2. Spoon about 1/2 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla; roll tortillas up, and place, seam sides down, in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese.

3. Bake, covered, at 425° for 20 minutes; uncover and bake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden brown.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cranberry Pear Salad

I took this salad to a potluck at work. Everyone LOVED it! The dressing really makes the salad so don't skip it!

Cranberry Pear Salad

9 cups torn red leaf lettuce
1 medium pear, chopped
1 small red onion, halved and sliced
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
In a large serving bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine dressing ingredients; shake well. Just before serving, shake dressing and pour over salad; toss to coat. Yield: 13 servings.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Crunchy Pumpkin Dessert Squares

Oh mah goodness, these ROCK! I omitted the nuts 'cuz I didn't have any and the kids don't like 'em anyway. I also cut 3 TBLS off the butter (I know, big deal but every little bit counts). Soooooooooo gooooooood.

Crunchy Pumpkin Dessert Squares

1 can (30 ounces) pumpkin pie filling
1 can (12 ounces) fat-free evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 package (18-1/4 ounces) yellow cake mix
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1 cup reduced-fat butter, melted
1-1/4 cups fat-free whipped topping
In a large bowl, combine the pie filling, milk and eggs; beat on medium speed until smooth. Pour into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Sprinkle with cake mix and pecans; drizzle with butter.
Bake at 350° for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack. Garnish with whipped topping. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 20 servings.

Pineapple Zucchini Bread

This was DELICIOUS! Low fat and so moist. The kids loved it. I'm going to make a few more loaves and freeze them to see how that works out.
Pineapple Zucchini Bread

1-1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup canola oil
2 egg whites
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 can (8 ounces) unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Directions: In a large bowl, beat the sugar, applesauce, oil, egg whites, egg and vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and baking soda; gradually beat into sugar mixture until blended. Stir in the zucchini, pineapple and walnuts. Transfer to two 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: 2 loaves (12 slices each).

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tangy Chicken Sandwiches

I ended up marinating these for about 5 hours. The chicken was very flavorful and moist. It was kind of a lot of work for the sauce but it was good. Next time I'll filet my chicken breasts so they're thinner for the sandwich.

Tangy Chicken Sandwiches

3/4 cup Louisiana-style hot sauce
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter
4-1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
3/4 teaspoon taco seasoning
2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (5 ounces each)
2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1-1/2 teaspoons shredded Parmesan cheese
1-1/2 teaspoons minced chives
3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 onion rolls, split and toasted
2 cooked bacon strips
2 slices Colby cheese (3/4 ounce each)
2 lettuce leaves
2 slices tomato
2 slices red onion

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the first five ingredients to a boil; boil, uncovered, for 1 minute. Cool for 10 minutes; set aside 1/4 cup for basting. Flatten chicken to 1/2-in. thickness. Pour remaining marinade into a large resealable plastic bag; add chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Drain and discard marinade from chicken. Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from heat for 5-6 minutes on each side or until no longer pink, basting occasionally with reserved marinade. In a small bowl, combine the blue cheese, buttermilk, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, chives, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic and pepper. Spread over roll bottoms; top with the chicken, bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion. Replace roll tops. Yield: 2 servings.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Southwest Tortilla Pizzas with Easy Spanish Rice

This was really FAST and yummy! Totally filling too. Cheap, fairly nutritious and low fat if you get the FF refried beans, FF tortillas and low fat cheese (non fat cheese melts crappy).

Southwest Tortilla Pizzas

1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, drained
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
8 flour tortillas (6 inches)
3/4 cup salsa
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a small bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Place four tortillas on an ungreased baking sheet; spread with bean mixture to within 1/2 in. of the edges. Top with remaining tortillas. Spoon salsa over tops. Sprinkle with pepper, onion and cheese.
Bake at 400° for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Yield: 4 servings.

The original recipe had the rice cooking for 5 min, then removed from heat to sit covered for another 5 min. Even with instant rice, 5 min is waaay too short of a time for the rice too cook. I'd go by the original package directions and cook it 10-12 min. myself next time. This did have a good flavor and was quick and easy.
Easy Spanish Rice

2 cups water
2 cups instant brown rice
1 envelope enchilada sauce mix
1 cup picante sauce

In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil; stir in rice and sauce mix. Return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in picante sauce. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Yield: 4 servings

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ham and Broccoli Frittata

I made this for dinner because DH was working and he's no fan of broccoli. I love breakfast for dinner and although the kids wouldn't touch it, I enjoyed it.

Ham and Broccoli Frittata

6 eggs
1-1/4 cups shredded Swiss cheese, divided
1 cup cubed fully cooked ham
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup chopped fresh broccoli
1 tablespoon butter


In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, 1 cup cheese, ham and pepper; set aside. In a 10-in. ovenproof skillet, saute broccoli in butter until tender. Reduce heat; add egg mixture. Cover and cook for 4-6 minutes or until nearly set.

Uncover skillet; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Broil 3-4 in. from the heat for 2-3 minutes or until eggs are completely set. Let stand for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges. Yield: 4 servings.

Overnight Caramel Cinnamon Rolls

I just pulled these out of the oven. These are amazingly simple to make so I make them often. They're just as good at room temp as they are hot from the oven and you MUST have coffee. That's the icing in the cake!

Overnight Caramel Cinnamon Rolls

1/4 Cup Butter
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 pkg butterscotch cook and serve pudding -- DO NOT USE INSTANT!
1 pkg frozen bread dough balls
Lightly grease bottom and sides of bundt or angel food pan.
Place 18-20 frozen bread balls in pan -- cut back on the number if the bread balls fill the pan more than 1/2 way.
Sprinkle entire pkg of butterscotch pudding over the bread balls.
Melt together remaining ingredients in microwave. Drizzle over the bread balls. Set on counter overnight.
The next morning bake at 350 degrees for 23-30 minutes.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Gooey Chocolate Cookies

These cookies were good. The gooey part comes in when you're trying to roll them in your hands into balls. Blech. Very, very sticky dough. They cook up quick and they're tasty.

Gooey Chocolate Cookies

1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 pkg. (18 1/4 oz) chocolate cake mix
1-2 cups chocolate chips and chunks of your choice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add cake mix and mix well (dough will be sticky).
Using a melon ball scoop, scoop dough on ungreased baking sheets, flatten slightly with fingers. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 9-11 minutes or until tops are set and cracked. Cool for 2 min. before removing from pans to wire racks.

* The original recipe calls for chilling for 2 hours and rolling into balls, but when using a scoop, this is not needed.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tangy Pork Chop Stuffing Bake

Yummy! This is on the sweet side. I think it makes a nice balance between the pork chops and stuffing. I love this with steamed broccoli.

Tangy Pork Chop Stuffing Bake
6 bone-in pork chops (3-1/2 lb.) (I used boneless)
1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Pork
1 can (16 oz.) whole berry cranberry sauce
3/4 cup KRAFT Original Barbecue Sauce
2 Tbsp. brown sugar

PREHEAT oven to 350ºF. Cook chops in skillet on medium heat 5 min. on each side or until browned on both sides. Meanwhile, prepare stuffing in large saucepan as directed on package.
PLACE chops in 13x9-inch baking dish; set aside. Mix cranberry sauce, barbecue sauce and sugar. Add to stuffing; mix lightly. Spoon evenly over chops.
BAKE 30 min. or until chops are cooked through (160ºF).

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Grandma's Honey Muffins

It doesn't matter who's Grandma came up with these sweet little darlings, they're delicious!
Grandma’s Honey Muffins

2 cups
1/2 cup
3 teaspoons
baking powder
1/2 teaspoon
1 cup
1/4 cup
butter, melted
1/4 cup
In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk the egg, milk, butter and honey; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups three-fourts full. Bake at 400 for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pan to wire rack. Serve warm.

Marinated Ham Steaks

MMMMMMM this was sooo good, flavorful and juicy! I baked them in the oven instead of using the grill which I personally find dries out ham steaks. I also marinated this over night which I think added to the flavor through out the ham.

Marinated Ham Steaks
1/2 cup
ginger ale
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup packed
brown sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons
white vinegar
1 teaspoon
ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon
1/8 teaspoon
ground cloves
4 individual boneless fully cooked
ham steaks (about 5 ounces each)
In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the first eight ingredients. Add ham steaks; seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
Prepare grill for indirect heat. Drain and discard marinade. Grill ham, covered, over indirect medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side or until heated through.

Julia Child be damned

Welcome to my food blog. I decided to start this blog to keep track of all the recipes that I'm trying. I liked the idea of keeping my complaining and eating separate. You'll still find bitchy 'ole me here but a girls gotta eat ya know.