Sunday, December 30, 2012

Coconut Custard Pie

I made this for Christmas this year and was adored by all!!  I found it in Real Simple magazine.
14 oz can Sweetened condensed milk
13.5 can coconut milk
3 large egg yolks
1/4 tsp kosher salt
flaked or shredded coconut

Parbaked 9 inch pie crust (use this recipe, poke holes in the bottom with a fork and cook for 10 minutes to before adding filling to "parbake" it)

Whisk together sweeteened condensed milk, coconut milk, egg yolks, and kosher salt.   Pour into the Parbaked pie crust and bake at 325 until the center is set by still slightly wobbly.   (Recipe says 50-60 minutes, but baked mine 70 min).  Let cool, then chill until firm, 4-5 hours.  Before serving, top with 1/4 Cup Flaked coconut.   I added more... and was probably too much. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Zucchini Pie

Holy deliciousness!!!!!   An accidental find in my Taste of Home Cooking Magazine... realized I had all the ingredients and gave it a shot lost minute.  SO glad I did!!! 
3 eggs1 Cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 Cup Olive Oil1 Tbsp minced parsley
3 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3 Cups slices succhini
1 Cup biscuit/baking mix
1 small onion

In  a large bowl whisk the first 7 ingredients.  Stir in the zucchini, baking mix and onion.  Pour into a greased 9-in. deep dish pie plate.  Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until lightly browned.

Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

Since I loved the other Stuffed Peppers I made the other day, I decided to give these a try too!! Loved them even more... and were easier to make (less ingredients)!!  I found this on Pinterest here

8 oz. Thinly Sliced Roast Beef
8 Slices Provolone Cheese
2 Large Green Bell Peppers
1 Medium Sweet Onion
6 oz. Baby Bella Mushrooms
2 Tbs. Butter
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 Tbs. Garlic - Minced
Salt and Pepper - to taste
Slice peppers in half lengthwise, remove ribs and seeds.
Slice onions and mushrooms.  Saute over medium heat with butter, olive oil, minced garlic and a little salt and pepper.  Saute until onions and mushroom are nice and caramelized.  About 25-30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400*
Slice roast beef into thin strips and add to the onion/mushroom mixture.  Allow to cook 5-10 minutes
Line the inside of each pepper with a slice of provolone cheese. 
Fill each pepper with meat mixture until they are nearly overflowing.
Top each pepper with another slice of provolone cheese.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese on top is golden brown. 
Makes 4 servings

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Italian Risotto

The other night I was all out of ideas for new dishes  and asked the hubs if there was anything he'd like me to learn how to cook.   We watch alot of cooking shows together so he said, "Risotto".  They are always making Risotto on those shows and we even googled it once cause we weren't sure what it was.  Yes... me... the girl with a cooking blog... didn't know what risotto was.  Hey, I'm just an ordinary gal trying to cook without acids!  Lol!  Anyways, I found this recipe that was really simple and made it with my newly discovered Pork Loin recipe that I'm obsessed with... OMG, best all around meal ever!!!!
3 Tablespoons Butter 
1-½ cup fancy rice (Arborio or Orzo) 
3 cups Chicken Or Vegetable Stock 
6 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Basil
 1 cup Parmesan Cheese (I used 2/3 Cup cause that's all I had...still good!)
½ teaspoons Salt 
¼ teaspoons Pepper

Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the rice and saute for a few minutes, until the orzo starts to get golden brown. Add the broth and cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until all the broth has been absorbed. Remove from the heat, add the basil and Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.

Breakfast Burritos

I made a huge batch of these and froze them for quick breakfasts/lunch (yes, I eat breakfast for lunch... alot!).  

12 Eggs
1 Tbsp milk
1/2 can black beans
1/3 cup green onions
1 Cup mozzarella cheese
No Tomato Salsa (FYI: you'll probably have extra grab some chips and snack away while cooking!)
7-9 large tortillas

In a large skillet, whisk together first 4 ingredients over medium heat.   Continue stirring constantly until eggs become firmer.   When eggs are at your desired creaminess... add mozzarella cheese and stir until melted (less than a minute).  Spoon egg mixture onto tortilla and top with salsa.   Eat right away or freeze in foil for later.  

Makes 7-9 tortillas. 

Hamburger Gravy Over Biscuits

Before you look at the picture and run.... don't!   I know it doesn't look delicious, but this dinner was to die for!!! I must admit, I was skeptical.  I thought the short ingredient list meant this recipe would be bland, but it was soooooo good!!! And a very economical meal at that.   Try it... then thank me.  :)  Found on while trying to find a generic gravy recipe.  Such an unexpected find!!!  This recipe is culinary genius I tell you!!!

1 pound hamburger meat
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 cups milk
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp butter
1 1/4 tsp ground sage
salt & pepper to taste (I used about 1/4 tsp salt... 1/8 tsp pepper)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tube refrigerated biscuits of your choice


Bake the biscuits per directions.  

Meanwhile, crumble the ground beef into a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until evenly browned. Leave the grease (yummy!!) . Add the onions, and cook for a few more minutes. 

Pour 1 cups of the milk into the pan, and stir to scrape up any bits of food that could burn on the bottom of the pan. Mix in the chicken broth, butter, sage, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently

 Slowly mix the flour into the last cup of milk until smooth. Slowly pour into the skillet, stirring constantly. Simmer for a few minutes to thicken. If the gravy is too thick, thin with a little bit of milk. If it is too thin, simmer longer, or add more flour. Taste and adjust seasonings before serving.  

Serves 4

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Stuffed Peppers

I've always wanted to try these and finally did!!  I followed a couple recipes loosely, but mainly added what I wanted.   Turned out great! Even the hubs liked them and he was skeptical.
1 pound ground beef
5 various bell peppers ( I used red, yellow, and orange)
1 1/2 Cups cooked brown rice
3 Tbsp olive oil
6 garlic cloves ( I used dried minced)
1/2 white medium onion
1/2 Cup green onion
6  ounces fresh baby spinach
1/2 can black beans
2 Cups  shredded mozzarella
1/2 Cup bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook the rice according to package directions.  Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over low heat.   Add the garlic and onion and saute until translucent.  Turn the heat up to medium, and crumble the beef, separating it as best you can.   Saute the meat until it browns, about 7 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add the spinach, green onion, black beans, rice, and 1 1/2 cups mozzarella.   Stir and cook until spinach is wilted and cheese melted.

Cut away the tops of the peppers.  Discard the ribs and seeds.  Fill each pepper completely with the mixture.   Sprinkle last 1/2 cup of cheese on top and then the breadcrumbs.

Cover with foil and cook for 35-45 minutes.  Then remove the foil and broil an additional 5 minutes until the tops brown.

Side note:  I enough of the stuffing left over to wrap in a tortilla and eat for lunch the next day.  Yummy!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Creamy Garlic Pasta

A very yummy... very filling... very garlicky pasta!!!!  Found on Pinterest.   I made two versions.... one for me and one for the non-fish-eating-hubby.   Both were yummy!!

2 tsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp butter
¼  tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
3 cups chicken stock
½ lb spaghetti or angel hair pasta
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
¾ cup heavy cream
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Optional: 8-12 Large Shrimp

In a pot, bring the olive oil to medium-low heat. Add the garlic and stir, allowing it to cook for 1-2 minutes. Mix in the butter until melted. Add the salt, pepper and chicken stock. Raise the heat to high and let it come to a boil. 

Once it is at a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook for as long as the box’s directions indicate. Reduce the stove to medium heat and mix in the parmesan until completely melted. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream and parsley. Serve immediately.

If doing the Shrimp version, Saute shrimp in 1 Tbsp butter, 1 Tbsp Olive Oil, & 3 cloves garlic for 4-5 minutes.   Serve on top of pasta. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Chicken and Rice

This was one of the first recipes I found and liked after being diagnosed with IC, but when I was pregnant I could not stomach it so I completely forgot about it until last week! Thankfully my palate loves it again!!!  Also, when I was working (outside the home),  I used to make double and triple batches of this and bring it to work for lunch.  Found through the wonderful IC Network here.
2 small boneless chicken breasts, cooked & shredded (I bake with salt & pepper)
1 box chicken Rice a Roni

Cook rice according to box directions except only use 1/2 of the flavor packet to reduce the sodium (I find, I don't even notice a difference).  Add the cooked chicken at the end.   Serve!

Cheesey Broccoli

Ok, this recipe is barely even a recipe.  But I use my blog to create my grocery list and I don't want to forget how delicious this healthy side was!!!

Fresh Broccoli
Sliced white American cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste

Remove stems from broccoli.   Steam broccoli for about 5 minutes.  Add sliced cheese until just melted.   Remove from heat and sprinkle with salt & pepper.

Peanut Butter Cookies

I almost thought about calling these 100 Peanut butter cookies because this is my 100th recipe!  A goal I had for 2012 and I'm meeting it in June.  Exciting.  Ok... on with the cookies.   So I don't know what other PB Cookie recipes are like.... this is the only one I have tried, but hello... can we say easy??!!!   They only have 3 ingredients.   Ok... 3 and a half.   But still... what a cinch!! It's a Paula Dean recipe. 
2 Cups Peanut Butter (crunchy or creamy)
2 Cups Sugar
2 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a large baking sheet. In a mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, the egg, and vanilla, and stir well with a spoon.  Roll the  dough into balls the size balls about the size of a tablespoon (too big and they don't look as pretty).  Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet.  With a fork,  dipped in sugar to prevent sticking, press a crisscross design on each cookie.  Bake for 9-10 minutes (recipe said 12 min, but mine cooked quicker and the ones I cooked a little longer were too crunchy for my taste)  Cool slightly before removing from pan.

Yields a little over 4 dozen cookies

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sweet Garlic Chicken

Excited, excited, excited!!!  I am very excited about this recipe!!  It is delicious...  It is easy...  It involves very few ingredients that I usually have on hand... and it is different than anything I've had before, in a good way!!   Can we say new staple??  Love new staples!!!! Now this doesn't have to be made with white rice... but I would highly suggest doing so and pouring the pan drippings over the rice... OMG Good!!  Found on pinterest via
2 boneless chicken breasts
6 cloves minced garlic
6 Tbsp brown sugar
3 tsp olive oil
1 cup white rice

Preheat oven to 350.  In a saute pan, saute garlic in olive oil until soft.  Remove from heat, stir in brown sugar.  Place chicken in baking dish and cover with garlic/sugar mixture.   Bake 30 minutes.   Meanwhile, make rice per instructions on package.   When chicken is done, there will be about 1/2 cup of juice in pan.  Reserve juice and pour over chicken & rice.   You won't be disappointed!!

Serves 2

Easy Cubed Potatoes

I wanted potatoes with my dinner, but I just didn't have the energy for my scalloped potatoes or anything that would take longer than 5 minutes to prepare.  So I took some red potatoes, didn't even peel them, and mixed them with olive oil and spices.  And they were good! Who says you have to slave in the kitchen to have a fab meal?  This recipe proves otherwise!!!
3 large red potatoes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp kosher salt (kosher salt isn't as strong, if using table salt, I'd use half the amount)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 Cup olive oil

Cut Potatoes into small cubes.   Toss in all ingredients.  Spread on foil lined cookie sheet (for easier cleanup).   Cook at 425 for about 30 minutes....tossing about halfway through.

Serves 2

Pork Loin

I tackled my first loin!!!  I think this was a pork loin, but because it was only 1 pound... the online world seems to think it's a tenderloin.  So I don't know, it's a loin of some sort and it's pork and it was delicious!!!!  I made a gravy to go with this, but I liked it better without.  They key (I read) is to make sure and cook it to the right temperature (145 degrees)...which really stressed me out!   I got a little meat thermometer and that helped a ton.   It was perfect and juicy.  Oh and I also brined the meat (first time for that too!)  Which just means soaking the meat in salt/sugar water for like 8 hours prior to cooking.   Phew... lots of new stuff...and I conquered all!!!
For brining:
4 Cups Water
1/4 Cup Salt
1/3 Cup Sugar

 For Pork:
1 pound Pork Loin (my package read "Pork Center Cut Loin Filet)
minced garlic
dried marjoram
kosher salt
rubbed sage

To brine, combine all brining ingredients and let sit (in the refrigerator) 8 hours or overnight.  When done brining remove from water mixture and pat dry with paper towel.   Generously rub pork with all spices.  Place on rack in roasting pan and bake approximately 40-50 minutes at 375 until meat gets to 145 degrees.  (again, I'd use a thermometer).  Let sit 5-10 minutes before slicing. 

Serves 4

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Potato Soup

I have Stu's Grandmother's recipe for potato soup that I adore and every time I try a friendly potato soup, I find myself wishing I could still have this one.  So I got the recipe out the other day and realized the only non-friendly ingredients were 2 can's of soup... then thought, "wait a minute, I have a "soup substitute"!!!.  So I set out on a mission to make my altered version of Mamaw's soup.  Now it's been a while since I've had the original, but from what I can remember, it is just as good!! Delicious!!! I love my soups hearty and this fit the bill.  I am so excited to add potato soup back into dinner rotation!!!
1 32 oz bag southern style frozen hash browns
3 Cups chicken broth
1/3 chopped medium onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped Carrots
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp salt
1 to 2  cream soup substitutes  (2 for soupier)
Any friendly cheese for garnish (if desired)

In a large pot combine all ingredients.  Bring to a simmer and then cook about 30-45 minutes, until vegetables are tender.    Garnish with friendly cheese if desired.  I also eat mine with crackers, yummy!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Easy Hamburgers

I was cooking for some friends and wanted to throw together some quick burgers and came up with these as an alternative to my Cheesy Spinach Burgers which take a bit more time (and more grocery ingredients).
1 lb Hamburger meat (I used 80/20)
1 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
3 Tbsp Parsley
1/2 tsp  Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
Kraft All American Cheese slices (for cheeseburgers)

Mix together all ingredients and form into flat patties.   Grill approximately 3 minutes on each side (depending on preference).

Makes 5-6 patties. 

Blueberry & Pear Cobbler

This All-American dessert is so easy to make and is always a crowd pleaser.  From the Confident Choices Cookbook (adjust slightly... extra sugar!)
1lb canned blueberries, drain and reserve half syrup
1lb canned pears, drained
1 1/2 Cups self-rising flour
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup butter
1 egg, beaten
1/3 Cup milk

Place pears in a deep pie dish; add the blueberries, syrup, and 1/4 Cup sugar.  Mix well.  Mix flour, 1/4 C sugar and egg.  Rub in margarine and add enough milk to make a soft dough.  Spoon dough over fruit and sprinkle with extra sugar.  Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes, until golden brown.  Serve hot with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Salted Nut Squares

I've always been confused about whether or not Peanut Butter is a safe food.  The original Food list I went off said it was a no-no, but then I read something that it was recently changed to be on the safe list.   For a long time I was too scared to even try.  Then things got under control for me and I felt comfortable enough to try and viola.... no pain!!!   And thank goodness because these little treats are straight from Heaven!!  Sweet and salty deliciousness!  They are a bit messy to cut up, but well worth it in the end! I find it's best to keep them lightly frozen to keep the mess under control.  Found on Pinterest!
3 Cups Salted Peanuts
2 & 1/2 Tbsp Butter
2 Cup Peanut Butter Chips
1, 14 oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 Cups Miniature Marshmallows
Kosher or Sea Salt

Place 1 1/2 Cups Peanuts in the bottom of an ungreased 11x7 pan (I line mine with foil for easier cleanup).  Melt Butter and Peanut Butter Chips in a large Saucepan over low heat.  Stir until smooth.  Remove from heat.   Stir in condensed milk and marshmallows.  Continue stirring until well blended (I did not melt my Marshmallows).  Pour peanut butter mixture over peanuts in pan.  Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 Cups Peanuts over top of peanut butter mixture (press lightly into mixture).  If saltier bars are desired, sprinkle lightly with salt.  Cover and refrigerate until chilled.  Then, cut into bars.  Bars can be served chilled or at room temperature.  

Makes about 30 bars.

Flourless Peanut Butter Bars

I did it again... I found a couple peanut butter recipes to try and couldn't decide between the two so I had a peanut butter dessert bake-off!!!   These were the first ones I tried and were so good!  I brought them to my nephew's Birthday Party and were loved by all!  Another Pinterest find.
2 Cups Natural Peanut Butter
3/4 Cup Honey
2 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Baking Soda

In a mixing bowl, use a fork to combine all ingredients.  Spread batter into a 9x13 baking pan (I used foil for easy clean up and sprayed with Pam).  Bake at 300 for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are nicely browned.  Cool and cut into squares.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Chicken Quesadillas

I wish every recipe I tried turned out fabulous.   It seems alot of recipes I've been trying lately have turned out to be flops.   Including one for Spinach and Feta Quesadillas I found on Pinterest.  Yuck-a-rama!  However, it was not a complete failure because I learned that making Quesadillas is actually really easy and not scary at all... I just needed to adjust the entire filling of the Quesadilla.   Here is what I came up with.  The hubs and I loved them soooo much it's going to be a new favorite and staple in our house.   Love that!
4 small Flour Tortillas
1 10 oz can of Valley Fresh Organic Chicken Breast in water (or other IC friendly canned chicken)
3 oz of Cream Cheese (brick not tub)
1/2 small Yellow Onion, diced
1/3 Red Bell Pepper, diced
1/3 Green Bell Pepper, diced
1/3 Cup Green Onion, diced
1/3 Cup Black Beans (or whatever bean you can tolerate)
1/2 to 1 tsp Cumin (depending on your tolerance of Cumin... I can handle a full tsp)
1/2 Cup Mozzarella Cheese
1Tbsp Olive Oil
1tsp Butter

1)Prepare filling: Drain can of chicken and put in a small pot along with the cream cheese.   Heat on medium/low to melt the cream cheese.  Meanwhile, saute the Yellow Onion, Red Bell Pepper and Green Bell Pepper in Olive Oil for about 5 minutes until onions are clear.   When cheese is well melted and mixed into chicken add the Onion/Pepper mixture to it.   Also add the Green Onion, Black Beans and cumin.  Stir until mixed well and heated through.  Just a couple minutes.  The filling is ready.

2)Melt a touch of butter in a pan.  Place a tortilla into the pan, swirl it around in the butter and repeat with all tortillas (only buttering one side of the tortilla).  Add half the filling to one tortillas and sprinkle with half the Mozzarella cheese.   Cook the Quesadilla butter side down until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes and then flip (Tip: To easily flip the Quesadilla place a plate onto the Quesadilla in the pan and flip it from the pan to the plate and then slide it back into the pan.)  Repeat for second Quesadilla

Makes 2 Quesadillas.

White Chocolate Oatmeal Crunch Brownies

These were the second brownie I tried during my white chocolate brownie bake-off.   These were good too, but I thought they tasted less "brownie" and more "cake-like".   Much more pleasing to the eye that I would feel comfortable serving these go guests.  I found this on

1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup oatmeal
1/3 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled

2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2-oz white chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Make cookie base: Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, for easy removal later. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, oatmeal and coconut. Pour in melted butter and stir to combine. Pour into prepared 8-inch square baking pan (pan can be ungreased if not using foil). Bake for 12 minutes.

Make brownie batter: Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
In another small bowl, melt white chocolate and butter together in the microwave. Set aside to cool.
Whisk together sugar and egg until light colored. When butter mixture is no longer hot, stir it into the egg mixture. Stir in the flour mixture, milk and vanilla extract, whisking until no streaks of flour remain.

When cookie base comes out of the oven, gently pour brownie batter on top and spread it out carefully with a spatula or the back of the spoon. The crust will not be set yet, so try to be gentle as you move the batter towards the corners of the pan. Return to oven and bake for 30 minutes.
Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Makes 20 brownies.

White Chocolate Brownies

Yes, I said brownies!! Who knew you could make white chocolate brownies??!!   Well I didn't until I was browsing Pinterest the other day.  Then I became obsessed and started googling all different kinds of white chocolate brownie recipies.   I couldn't decide which to make so I had a brownie bake-off.  These were first.   I must say, I liked these the best... but they look nothing like the picture that came with the recipe (isn't that always the case!) and quite frankly... look down right ugly.   But my belly sure isn't complaining.  YUMMEEEE!
1/2 Cup butter, chopped
1.5 Cups white chocolate chips
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs, lightly beaten,
1 1/4 cups plain flour, sifted
2 cups white chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. In a medium size microwave safe bowl heat the chopped butter on high for 30 seconds. Stir then repeat for another 30 seconds, the butter should be melted. Add the white chocolate and heat for another 30 seconds. Remove and stir until blended. You may need a further 20 seconds. Stir until smooth. Cool slightly so that you do not cook the eggs when you add them.
3. Add the brown sugar and the beaten eggs. Stir through.
4. Add the sifted flour and stir through until smooth.
5. Pour the batter into a greased (or foiled & greased) 8x8 brownie pan.
6. Evenly spread the last 2 Cups of White Chocolate Chips on top of the brownies. Don’t be suprised by how many there are I have been very generous but then again I really love rich chocolate brownies. The reason I do not mix the chocolate chips into the batter is that this way you can instantly see what type of brownie you are eating increasing their WOW! factor.
7. Bake for approximately 30 minutes.
8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing to a cake rack to cool completely.
 9. Store in an airtight container for one week. The white chocolate brownies can be frozen for up to two months.

Makes 24 brownies.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Blueberry Breakfast Casserole

I love something sweet for breakfast and this fits the bill.   I've made this twice and it was spectacular both times!!! From Confident Choices Cookbook.
12 slices homemade-type white bread
16 oz cream cheese, cubed
1 C fresh blueberries
12 large eggs
1/3 C maple syrup
2 C milk
Blueberry Sauce

Prepare the night before: Remove crusts from bread and cube bread into 1-inch pieces.  Layer ingredients in a buttered 9x13-inch baking dish:
1. Half the bread cubes (the bottom)
2. Cubed cream cheese
3. Blueberries
4. Other half of the bread cubes

In large bowl, whisk together eggs, syrup, and milk.  Pour over bread/blueberry layers.  Cover, and chill overnight.

In the morning:Preheat oven to 350.  Cover casserole with foil and bake for 30 minutes or until puffy and golden brown (I usually have to cook longer).

Make the blueberry sauce to serve on top.

Blueberry Sauce

This sauce comes from the Blueberry Breakfast Casserole, but could be used to top all kinds of desserts like ice cream or cheesecake.   Soooo delicious!  (from Confident Choices cookbook)
1 C sugar
2 T cornstarch
1 C water
1 C fresh blueberries (I actually used half fresh, half frozen and as fine)
1 T unsalted butter

Stir sugar, cornstarch, and water in small saucepan.  Cook mixture over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Mixture will thicken.  Stir in blueberries and simmer the mixture, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes until berries have "burst".  Add butter and stir the sauce until butter is melted.

Spinach and Feta Quiche

I made this for brunch with the in-laws... very good!   From Confident Choices cookbook... my favorite IC cookbook!
2 (10 oz) pkg frozen chopped spinach (thawed)
3 eggs
1 C half & half (may substitute 1 C evaporated skim milk)
1 C crumbled feta cheese
2 T chopped green onions
1/2 t lemon zest, if tolerated
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell or handmade version here 

Pierce bottom of pie shell and bake for 5 minutes at 350.  Cool slightly.  Raise temperature of oven to 400.  Drain spinach and press out all liquid (this can be done easily between layers of paper towels) Set aside.  Whisk eggs and half and half (or milk) in bowl.  Add cheese, green onions, lemon zest, salt, and pepper.  Pour into partially baked pie shell.  Bake on middle rack, 400 for 10 minutes, reducing oven temperature to 350 for the last 25 minutes.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pie Crust

This is my incredibly easy pie crust recipe I use for desserts and even quiches. I can never seem to find the pre-made ones in the store so I always end up making my own.

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 sticks of butter, chilled and cut into pieces
5 to 8 tablespoons of ice water

Add the flour and salt into a food processor and pulse several times.  Put cold butter into the mixture several pieces at a time, pulsing several times for each addition and taking care that the butter remains chilled. The butter should be thoroughly incorporated. Add the first 5 tablespoons of ice water and mix until just moistened. Then  add the remaining tablespoons of water one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Don’t add too much water! Only add as much as needed for the dough to form a ball in the mixer and almost clean the sides of the bowl. When it does this, turn the food processor off and remove the dough from the bowl.Form the dough into a ball and flatten it into a disk. Chill a few minutes in the freezer, until cold from still pliable. Remove from freezer and place on a well floured piece of wax paper. Using floured hands and a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out into a 12 inch circle. Fold the circle in half, then in half again, and place the point in the center of a 9 inch pie pan. Carefully unfold the dough and fit in into the pan. Trim any overhanging pastry, and if desired, press the tines of a fork into the rim of the crust, to create a pattern.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Roasted Veggies

The first time I tried this recipe, I roasted the veggies for too long for my taste.  I'm told roasted vegetables are suppose to be soft and creamy, but to me they were just plain soggy.   This time, I cut the cooking time in half and viola.... perfectly crisp, hot and delicious veggies!   Pair this with some grilled chicken and you got a recipe for a low-calorie dinner that's big on taste!!  Even the hubs who was shy about the eggplant gave it two thumbs up!  Thought about puree'ing the leftovers to make a vegetable pasta sauce, but never got around to trying it before it went bad.   A cooking adventure for another day I suppose....

1 Zucchini
1 Eggplant
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 small Yellow Onion
1 Tbsp dried Rosemary
1 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
Drizzle Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 350.  Cut all vegetables up into desired shapes.   Toss with spices and Oil, making sure the oil is coated well.   Spread out onto a baking pan (I put foil down first for easier cleanup) and bake about 30-45 minutes.

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Don't you just love when you find a new recipe that you simply adore and it was incredibly easy to make??  I do!!   My friends and family better get used to this cake because I think I will be bringing it to all future barbeques, holidays, and potlucks!  I may try preparing it in a bundt pan next time though... to give it some extra visual appeal.   I found this one on Pinterest.  It was noted on there that it was from: "Southern Living Magazine December 2006 Issue, pages 138-139, From With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart Blog."  I thank them ALL for getting the recipe into my hands!!

1 ½ cups butter, softened
1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (FYI: I forgot this part, still turned out fab!)

Preheat oven to 300°F.

Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

Combine flour and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended.  Stir in vanilla.  Spoon batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan.

Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour and 45 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove from pan, and let cook completely on wire rack.

Makes 12 servings
Snowy White Glaze
1 10-oz pkg. powdered sugar
5 Tbs. milk
2 tsp. vanilla

Stir together to make a thick glaze that won't drip all the way down the sides of the cake.  Stir in an additional Tbs. or two of milk if you'd like a thinner glaze.
NOTE:  This makes much more frosting than I used on my cake.  You could half the recipe, if desired.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

IC Taco's

TACO's!!! Yummy and a close alternative to real Taco's.  Having said that, I probably wouldn't serve these to non- IC'ers.  It's just not "traditional taco's" and they would probably be confused. LOL!  
1 lb lean hamburger meat
1 Cup packed Cilantro
2 tsp Cumin
Shredded Lettuce
Monterrey Jack Cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste
12 Taco Shells

Brown Hamburger meat in skillet with Cumin and Salt & Pepper.   Toward the end add the Cilantro.   Add the cooked meat to the Taco Shells and garnish with Shredded Lettuce and Cheese.   Serve with No Tomato Salsa

Serves 4

No Tomato Salsa

I've been on a Mexican kick lately and this idea just popped in my head.   I tried it out and it was so good!! The hubs is still raving about it.   In his words, it has an "after kick".

1 Red Pepper
1/2 can Sweet Corn
1/2 packed cup Cilantro
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 clove Garlic
1/3 small Onion
Tortilla chips

Saute garlic in Olive Oil for just a few minutes over medium heat.   Add all ingredients and then puree to desired consistency.   Serve with Tortilla Chips.

Mom's Thanksgiving Stuffing

My absolute favorite thing to eat on Thanksgiving is my Mom's Stuffing.  It is so delicious!  It can also be used to stuff things like Pork Chops or Chicken.

3/4 package of white bread (I use Nature's Own brand)
2 Eggs
1/4 Cup melted Butter
1 tsp Poultry Seasoning
1 tsp Onion Salt (careful, could be a trigger for some)
1 Tbsp Parsley Flakes
Salt & Pepper to taste

 Tear the bread into small pieces.   Add all the seasonings to the bread.   Pour egg and melted butter over bread and mix well.  Stuff in meat of your choice.

Stuffed Chicken with Herbs

I finally did it, I cooked an entire chicken whole!   It's something I've been wanting to do for a while, but was too chicken to do it.  Ignore the vegetables underneath the rack pictured, that attempt failed.  I would recommend roasting vegetables in a separate pan for a shorter amount of time or they become a mushy mess.
1 whole chicken (mine was 5.33 pounds)
Melted Butter
Olive Oil

Make sure you take the packet of gizzards and stuff out of the chicken.  Replace with Stuffing. Baste with Olive Oil and then rub Salt, Pepper, and Allspice on the chicken.  As much or little as you like.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes per pound.  I baked mine for 2 hours.... or until the internal temp is 165 F. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Traditional French Toast

This was one of the few things that wouldn't make me nauseous when I was pregnant and was easy enough for the hubs to make me when I spent lots of time in bed.   So good!

3 slices bread (I use regular sandwich bread, but you can spruce it up with french bread)
2 eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
1 Tbsp Milk
1/8 tsp cinnamon
Maple Syrup (make sure it's pure)

Mix together eggs, vanilla, milk, and cinnamon.  Dip bread in mixture and cook on griddle or  frying pan.   Pour maple syrup over and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  

sprinkle powdered sugar

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Blueberry Mug Cake

MUG CAKES!!! How come I had never heard of these before??  Another lovely Pinterest find.  
4 Tbsp all purpose flour
5 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
3 Tbsp milk
3 Tbsp oil
7-8 Blueberries, fresh or frozen

Add all ingredients except blueberries in mug until smooth.  Drop in blueberries.  Heat in microwave about 1 1/2 minutes.  Cool for a few minutes and eat warm.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Mushroom Spaghetti

Oh. My. Gosh.  What a delicious meal that can be prepared in minutes with only a few ingredients.  LOVE!  Can we say staple staple staple?!!  Another Pinterest find, adapted slightly (minus red pepper flakes, ouchy!).  

1/2 Cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 tsp salt
4 servings spaghetti
3 Tablespoons dried parsley
1/4 tsp black pepper

In a medium frying pan, heat the olive oil over moderately low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic softens, about 1 minute. Add the sliced mushrooms and the salt and cook until the mushrooms exude liquid, the liquid evaporates, and the mushrooms begin to brown, about 5 minutes.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the spaghetti until just done, about 9 minutes. Drain and toss with the mushroom mixture, the parsley, and the pepper.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chicken and White Bean Soup

I joined a boot camp for weight loss and found this healthy recipe through my personal trainer.  I had never cooked with leeks before and found out I really like them!!  They're also very IC friendly...a milder version of onion.   I plan to experiment with them more.
2 tsp Extra-virgin olive oil
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
1/2 tsp dried sage
3 14-ounce cans reduced sodium chicken broth
1 15 ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed
3 boneless chicken breast, baked and shredded

Heat oil in large pot over medium high heat.  Add leeks and cook stirring until soft, about 3 minutes.  Stir in sage and continue cooking until aromatic, about 30 seconds.  Stir in broth, increase heat to high, cover and bring to boil.  Add beans and chicken and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.  serve hot. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Chicken Calzone

My husband took one bite of this and said, "Top Five!"  This is from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. 
2 10 ounce packages frozen broccoli spears, thawed and chopped
4 Cups shredded Mozzarella (I used 2 cups to reduce fat)
2 Cups cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
1/2 Cup Pesto
2 pre- made pizza crusts
1 Tbsp olive oil for oiling the pizza sheet
Flour for counter
Salt & Pepper to taste

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450.   Pat the broccoli dry, then toss with teh mozzarella, chicken, and pesto.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  On a lightly floured counter, roll out the dough into 2, 12 inch circles about 1/4 inch thick.  Add the filling leaving 1 inch  border along the edges.    Brush the edges of dough with water.  Add top dough and press the edges to seal.   Transfer to oiled baking sheet.  Use a sharp knife to cut 5 slits diagonally across the top of the calzone.   Brush oil over the tops and sprinkle with coarse salt.  Bake until golden about 15 minutes.    

Cucumber sandwiches

I literally just finished this sandwich and am so excited about it I had to come post it right away!   These sandwiches are all over the IC boards and yet I had never tried them because I thought they sounded boring.   But trust me, they're not!!  The crunch of the toasted bread combined with the freshness of the cucumbers along with the yummy-ness of cream cheese makes this simple combination effortlessly brilliant!!   I'm so excited to have a new easy, healthy, and delicious lunch option.   So much so in fact, I'm having this again tonight for dinner.   YUM!
2 slices of bread
1/2 cucumber, sliced thinly
2 Tbsp cream cheese

Toast bread.   While bread is toasting, slice the cucumber.   Spread cream cheese on each slice of bread.   Add the cucumbers.   Enjoy!

Friday, January 6, 2012

French's Crunchy Onion Chicken

This was another Pinterest discovery.   I seem to be able to handle French's Fried Onions, but I don't think it's a safe food.   Try with caution.
2 Cups French's Original French Fried Onions
2 Tbsp Flour
4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 egg, beaten

Crush French Fried Onions with flour in plastic bag.  Dip chicken in egg.  Coat in onion crumbs. Press firmly to adhere.   Bake at 400 for about 20 Minutes.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Spring Salad with Chicken & Pear Dressing

Who says Spring Salad's are only for the Spring?  This is my favorite salad right now and I can't get enough.   It's really easy to throw together and you could always add more veggies if you like more complex flavors.  I eat my salads pretty simple.
1 chicken breast baked and shredded
Prepackaged Spring Salad Mix (I use Marketside Organic from Walmart)
Chopped Almonds
Feta Cheese
Pear Salad Dressing
1 pear
1-2 Tbsp honey

Cut the pear into slices and saute in olive oil about 3 minutes.   When pear is done cooking, smother in honey.  Combine all ingredients
above using as little or as much as you like.  


Monday, January 2, 2012

Harvest Ham Supper

For Christmas I got some Crock Pot Recipe cookbooks.   I found this gem in there and tried it tonight.  Only 4 ingredients... my kind of cooking!! It was really good and really filling.  Watch your portion size if you're watching your waistline.   I think this would make a great Christmas dish as well!!!

6 carrots, sliced in half lengthwise
3 sweet potatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
1 1/2 pounds boneless ham steak (watch out for Nitrates,  you may need to buy this at your health food store to avoid)
1 Cup maple syrup

:Place carrots and potatoes in bottom of slow cooker to form a rack.  Place ham on top of vegetables.  Pour syrup over ham and vegetables.  Cover; cook on LOW 6 to 8 hours.

Makes 6 servings (or 4 large)

Blueberry Dressing

Here is the last of the three salad dressings I currently use.
1/4 Cup frozen blueberries
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp dried basil

Blend all ingredients in a blender.  Add to salad.

Cottage Dressing

When I get on a salad kick, I will make lots of dressings in bulk so it's easier to whip up a salad quickly.  I'll store them in empty water bottles and keep in the fridge.  I have my hands full enough with my newborn, I don't want to be spending lots of time in the kitchen preparing lunch.   This is a another delicious Salad Dressing when I'm in the mood for something creamy.  I made it up me-self!
1 Cup low-fat cottage cheese (I use Daisy brand)
1/2 tsp dill
1/2 tsp onion powder

Add first 3 ingredients and blend in blender.   Slowly add milk to get the consistency that you want.

Pear Dressing

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!   It's the first of the year and one of the most popular resolutions out there is to lose weight.   My New Years Resolution is no exception.   I've got about half my baby weight still left to lose.   Having IC sure can make for tricky dieting.   I used to think I couldn't eat salads until I found some fun salad dressings to spruce 'em up.  This one is my favorite on a spring salad with feta cheese.  It's light and sweet... yummmm!!!  Found it in the Confident Choices Cookbook. 
1/3 C olive oil
3 Tbsp pear juice (I use the juice from canned pears since I can't find any friendly pear juice)
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract

Add all ingredients and whisk.    

P.S. I triple the recipe to keep around for a while.  Just make sure you shake before using again.  

Zucchini Cakes

One of my new hobbies is looking up recipes on Pinterest.   There's quite a bit of IC friendly recipe ideas out there... or ones that with only a couple modifications could become IC friendly.   This was my first recipe I found on there and it turned out so good.  It's meant to be an appetizer, but I made it as a side dish to chicken.   It got two thumbs up from the hubs.

-1 large zucchni grated, excess water removed (Note: To do this, after you grate the zucchini, put the grated zucchini into paper towels and squeeze to release the water
-1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
-1 cup Panko bread crumbs (I found these next to the Asian food in my Supermarket)
-sprinkle of ground nutmeg, about 1/8 teaspoon (Note: If you add too much it can quickly take over the taste, less is more)
-1/4 teaspoon paprika (This is a no-no, but I seem to be able to handle a bit of no-no foods lately.   Feel free to omit)
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1 egg
-salt and pepper to taste
-1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil

 Directions :
Combine all ingredients, except olive oil, in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Using a heaping tablespoon form the mixture into 8 patties.  Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Once heated, add patties and cook until golden brown. About 3-4 minutes per side. Serve.

Makes 8 cakes