Wednesday, September 21, 2011

French Pear Cake

I subscribe to Taste of Home Cooking Magazine and can usually find a couple IC friendly recipes in each issue or can alter a few ingredients that will make some work.  I substituted lemon oil for lemon juice in this one (could probably leave out all together) and used pears instead of apples.  Beware!  If you've never made caramel before it may take some practice.   The first batch I made failed so I watched a video on youtube and tried again... better!! 
1 1/2 Cups sugar
4 tsp lemon juice (I halved and used oil)
3 Cups thinly sliced pears
3 eggs
4 oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1 Cup all purpose flour

In a large saucepan, cook sugar without stirring until amber.  Stir in lemon oil and quickly pour into a 10-in springform pan, coating bottom.  Arrange pear slices on caramel in circular overlapping pattern

In a bowl, beat eggs and remaining sugar until blended.  Beat in butter, then cream cheese until smooth.  Stir in flour.  Spread over pears.

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.  Cool 5 minutes .  Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen;  remove sides of opan.  Invert onto a serving plate.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

"Ice Cream" Graham Sandwiches

I started eating Graham Crackers dipped in milk as a snack and found this IC Friendly recipe on the back of the box... bonus!    Gave it a try and they were delicious!
1 pkg JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1 Cup cold Milk
1-1/2 Cups thawed Cool Whip Whipped Topping
16 Honey Maid Honey Grahams, broken in half (32 squares)

Beat pudding mix and milk in medium bowl with whisk, 2 min.   Stir in Cool Whip.   Spoon onto 16 graham squares.  Top each with second graham square to make sandwich;  press together gently until secure.  Place in shallow pan; cover.   Freeze 2 hours or until frozen.  Transfer to airtight container.  Store in freezer up to 2 weeks.

Butternut Squash Sauce

Another pasta sauce.   This one has a very out of the usual, but yummy & unique taste.

1 Medium sized Butternut Squash (sometimes I can find Butternut squash already cut and cubed, saves time)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 small Yellow Onion
5 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp Dried Sage
1/4 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Milk
1/3 Cup Butter
1/4 tsp Salt
Cut Squash into 1 inch cubes.  Chop Onion into small chunks.  Cook onions in oil until clear.  Add Sage, Garlic, and Salt. Add Squash and water.  Cook about 15 minutes until squash is soft.  Transfer to blender and blend.  Add more water if you want thinner.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Simple White Sauce (Garlic & Cream)

I make this sauce all the time for quick pasta meals.  It's the same sauce I use in my Creamy Spinach Pasta.
4 Tbsp Butter
3 Tbsp Flour
1/2 tsp Minced Garlic (= to 2 fresh cloves garlic)
1/2 pint Whipping Cream (about 1 1/2 Cups)
1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
Sprinkle of Parsley if desired, to add color

Melt butter in saucepan and add the flour, mixing until creamy.  Slowly add whipping cream while whisking.   Add Minced Garlic, Salt, and Parsley if desired.  Cook over medium heat continuing to whisk until hot and creamy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Crunchy Potato Casserole

I am so proud of this recipe because I made it up all by myself and it was fabulous.  In a daring move, I served it for the first time at a dinner party.   Luckily it was so good, everyone got seconds!!  My measurements may be a little off since I just threw stuff together.  It's pretty easy to eyeball it though.
1/2 bag frozen hash browns (cubed kind)
1 Cream Soup Substitute
1 C cottage cheese
1/2 C mild cheddar cheese (on the maybe list, feel free to leave out)
2 C crushed Corn Flakes
Sprinkle Garlic Salt

Make the cream soup substitute per directions.   Mix potatoes, cream soup, cottage cheese, and cheddar cheese in a greased casserole dish.   Cover top with corn flakes and sprinkle with garlic salt.   Bake uncovered at 400 for about 35-40 minutes until Corn Flakes are golden.

Serves 6 large helpings

Angel Food Cake

I was so nervous to make this recipe because the directions called to, "beat until stiff peaks form".   My experience trying that has always not gone over well, but this time it worked out!!   You really do have to blend for a while... maybe 15 minutes or so.    This was so good, it was definitely worth the anxiety! 
Ingredients:10 to 12 egg whites equal to 1 1/2 C
1-1/4 C powdered sugar
1 c cake flour (I substituted all purpose flour which was 1 c minus 2 Tbsp)
1 1/2 t cream of tartar
1 1/2 t vanilla
1/4  salt
1 c granulated sugar (I added about 1/2 cup extra sugar)

whipped cream

Move oven rack to lowest level.  Heat oven to 350.  After separating eggs, let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.  In second bowl, combine powdered sugar and flour.  Sift mixture three or four times.

In large mixing bowl, add cream of tartar, vanilla, and salt to egg whties; beat on high speed.  Add granulated sugar, beating until sugar is dissolved and stiff peaks form.  Add dry ingredients into egg mixture 1/4 cup at a time, folding in by hand after each addition.

Gently spoon batter into an ungreased 10 inch angel food cake pan.  Cut through batter with a knife to break up air bubbles.   Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until cake springs back to the touch.  Invert pan to cool to prevent collapse of cake.  (if pan doesn't have its own stand, balance pan on a glass bottle.)  Cool for at least an hour.  Turn cake over; use a large serrated knife to loosen sides of the cake.  Invert again over large plate or serving tray.  Serve with whipped cream and blueberries.

Tarragon Dip

I don't have alot of experience cooking with Tarragon, but it is really good.  It has a very unique flavor that's almost mint-y.... or maybe thyme-y.  I served it with a mixture of triscuits, club crackers, wheat thins, and corn chips.  This one is from A Taste of the Good Life Cookbook.
1 c cottage cheese
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped fine (I used about a tsp of dried parsley)
2 Tbsp fresh chives, snipped
1 tsp dried tarragon
1/4 tsp coarse-grind black pepper

Blend cottage cheese with parsley, chives and tarragon.  Place on a plate or in a bowl.  Sprinkle with black pepper over top.  Surround with crackers for scoops.

Deviled Eggs

I am a huge deviled egg fan.   These were really good!  Another great one from the Confident Choices Cookbook. 
6 fresh eggs
2 T Basil Buttermilk Salad Dressing (I used more like 3 T)

Put eggs in a large pot and cover with cool water.   Eggs should be able to lie on the bottom of the pot without touching.   Bring the water a rapid boil.  Cover pot and remove from heat, keeping the eggs in the hot water for 10 to 12 minutes.  (cooking and resting time may need to be adjusted depending on the type of pan you use)

Use large slotted spoon to take eggs out of hot water and put in a large dish of ice water.  This will stop the cooking process.   Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.  Peel eggs under cool running tap water.

Cut eggs in half and remove yolks to separate bowl.  Crumble yolks with fork and mix in dressing.  Put heaping teaspoonful of mixture back into each half egg.  Makes 12.  

Buttermilk Basil Salad Dressing

I used this to make IC Friendly Deviled eggs, but I'm sure would be just as delicious on a salad.   From the Confident Choices Cookbook
2 C fresh basil, chopped finely (I used dried basil)
2 green onion
3/4 C buttermilk
3/4 C low-fat cottage cheese
1 t lemon zest
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper

Combine fresh basil, green onions, buttermilk, and cottage cheese in blender.  Blend until smooth.  Add lemon zest, salt, and pepper and whisk together.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cream Cheese Sauce

I'm trying to get pictures of all my sauces separately.   I originally made this over pork, but also love it and tend to make it more often over chicken.

1 Tbsp Butter
8 oz cream cheese (Original or Plain Philadelphia Brand, brick not tub)
1/ 2 Cup Milk
2 Clove Garlic
2 tsp Chives

Melt butter over medium heat.  Cook the garlic in butter about 1 minute, stirring occasionally.   Reduce heat and add cream cheese and milk.  Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly or sauce will scorch, until smooth and hot.  Stir in chives.   Serve over pork, chicken, or as a dipping sauce.

4 Servings

Chicken & Rice Casserole

I am so excited about this recipe for three reasons:   1) I made it up all by me-self, go me! 2) It is so easy to make and 3) It was stinkin' yummy!!    A new pantry staple, love those!!
2 large cans Valley Fresh 100% Natural White Chicken in Water (could probably use one, but I like lots of chicken)
1 c cooked white rice (cooked in chicken broth instead of water to add flavor)
2 c chicken broth
1 small can sweet peas
1 serving cream soup substitute
1 slice kraft american cheese, tore into pieces (could leave out)

Cook the rice in the chicken broth.  While rice is cooking, make cream soup substitute.  When done combine rice, chicken, peas, soup,cheese, and mix well.  I sprinkled a little extra salt & Pepper on mixture as well.  Cook at 350 for approximately 35 minutes.

Made 3 servings

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Maple Oatmeal Bars

Superb!   From the Confident Choices IC Cookbook.
2/3 c flour
2/3 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 c chopped almonds
1/4 c softened shortening
1/4 c softened butter
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c maple syrup
1 t vanilla
1 egg
1 c quick-cooking oats

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt;  combine with chopped almonds and set aside.  Cream together shortening, butter, and sugar.  Blend in maple syrup, vanilla and egg.  Add sifted flour and almond mixture to the batter.  Stir in oatmeal and mix well.

Spread in greased 9x9 inch cake pan.  Bake in an oven heated to 350 for 35 minutes.  Let cool slightly, cutting into squares while still warm.   Makes 12 bars.  

Blueberry Muffins

Did I mention I'm about to have a baby?  Well I am less then 3 weeks away from the big day and wanted to cook some food ahead of time to freeze for some easy meals when I have my hands full.    I read online that muffins freeze well and thought they'd be perfect for easy breakfasts/snacks.   I got this from Bev Laumann's a Taste of the Good Life IC Cookbook.  I also sampled one to make sure they met my taste test.  Result.... yummy-riffic!
2 c flour
1/3 c sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

3 eggs, beaten until frothy
1 c milk
1/3 c canola oil (I used Olive Oil and it worked fine)
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 400 and grease muffin pans, or use paper bake cups.   Mix together the first five ingredients in a bowl, making a crater in the center.  Set aide.   In another bowl, beat egg, then add mil, oil, and vanilla, stirring to blend.  Pour the liquid mixture and blueberries all at once into the center of the dry ingredients.  Stir quickly, just until dry ingredients are moistened.  If over-beaten, muffins will be tough and have a dull crust.   Fill bake cups and bake until golden, about 25 minutes.

If you don't use bake cups, remove muffins from pans while cooling to keep crusts from getting soggy and sticky.   You can use frozen blueberries in this recipe, but do not thaw them before adding

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Orange Beef Stir Fry

I was looking for a recipe to use some leftover beef cubes I had and found this in one of my IC Cookbooks, Confident Choices.   The hubs and I loved it.   It is in our top 5 of all home cooked meals of all time...even non-IC meals.   Yes, that good!!!
1 lb boneless beef cubes
1 t olive oil
1 clove garlic
2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cups carrots, julienned (I bought baby carrots and sliced them in half lengthwise)
1 1/2 cups Cream Soup Substitute
2 t molasses
1 t orange zest
1 t salt (I used a little under 1 t)
Dash pepper, if tolerated

Cooked White Rice

Ingredients I did not add:
1 medium onion (starting to think I can't handle these)
1/4 cup water (I like my sauces very creamy)

 Heat oil over medium heat in skillet or wok.   Add the beef and garlic;  cook until the beef is starting to brown.  Toss in broccoli, carrots, and onion.  Cook for additional 5 minutes.

Add soup substitute, water, molasses, zest, salt, and pepper and heat to boiling.  Cover, reduce heat to low.  Cook additional 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.  Serve over rice.

Serves 4

Cream Soup Subsititue

I got this out of the Confident Choices Cookbook.  You can use this in lieu of canned soups in recipes.  It suggests using it as a base in casserole's, Soups, as a Pizza Sauce, ect.   It was really good.  I would eat it as is with crackers on a winter night. 

2 T Butter
2 T Flour
12 oz can of skim evaporated milk
1/2 t salt
1/4 t garlic powder (I use minced garlic, I handle it better)
3/4 T chopped dried chives (or Onion if you can handle)
1/8 t pepper, if tolerated

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add flour blending with whisk until sooth.  Slowly add milk, whisking constantly constantly until mixture thickens, remove from heat.  Blend in seasonings.