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.