Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Chewy Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chewy Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies
1.5 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1.5 cups dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg, at room temperature
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1.5 cups white chocolate chips (11 oz bag)
1.5 cups dried cranberries
Line an ungreased cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Set aside.
In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Mix in egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides as needed. On low speed, mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir in white chocolate chips & dried cranberries. Chill dough (covered) for 30 minutes or up to 3 days.
Preheat oven to 350F. Drop balls of dough (1.5 tablespoons each) onto cookie sheet OR used a standard-sized cookie scoop. Bake for 8-9 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. Do NOT cook them longer than 9 minutes. Remove and let cool for 5-10 minutes on the cookie sheet.  If the cookies are a little puffy, lightly press down on them with the back of a spoon. Transfer to cooling rack.  Be sure you do not place dough on cookie sheets until the pans are completely cool.

 This recipe comes from Sally's Baking Addiction.  She has soo many delicious recipes! 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Cajun Chicken Pasta


Cajun Chicken Pasta

8 ounces uncooked linguine1 pound chicken breast strips
1-2 tsp Cajun seasoning (or to taste)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 cup fat free low sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup skim milk
1 tbsp flour
3 tbsp light cream cheese
fresh cracked pepper
2 scallions, chopped
salt to taste
Smart Balance cooking spray

Prepall your vegetables. In a small blender make a slurry by combining milk, flour and cream cheese. Setaside.

Seasonchicken generously with Cajun seasoning, garlic powder and salt.

Prepare pasta in salted water according to package directions.

Heat a large heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; spray with cooking spray and addhalf of the chicken. Sauté5 to 6 minutes or until done, set asideon a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken. Set aside.

Add olive oil to the skillet and reduce to medium; add bell peppers, onions, and garlic to skillet, sauté 3-4 minutes

Add mushrooms and tomatoes and sauté3-4 more minutes or until vegetables are tender. Seasonwith 1/4 tsp salt, garlic powder and fresh cracked pepper to taste.

Reduce heat to medium-low; add chicken broth and pourin slurry stirring about 2 minutes.

Return chicken to skillet; adjustsalt and Cajun seasoning to taste, cookanother minute or two until hot, then addlinguine; tosswell to coat. Topwith chopped scallions and enjoy!

Weight Watchers: 8 Points+

This recipe came from SkinnyTaste.com - what an amazing website - check it out!

Outback Bread


Outback Bread

1 1/4 cups room temp. water
2 T. butter, margarine or vegetable oil
1 T. caramel color
1/4 cup honey
1 3/4 cups wheat flour
2 cups all purpose flour
1 T. cocoa
1 T. active dry yeast
1 T. vital wheat gluten
1/2 teaspoon salt

Add ingredients to your bread machine in the order your machine suggests.  When dough cycle is complete, divide the dough into 4 pieces.  Allow the dough to rest for a few minutes and shape into loaves.  Roll the dough in cornmeal and place on a greased cookie sheet or in load pans.  Let the dough right for another 20 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

This recipe came from Frieda Loves Bread.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Twice Baked Potatoes

Twice Baked Potatoes
4 Large baking potatoes
8 strips bacon (dice before frying)
1/2 Cup chopped green onion
4 Tbsp. Grated Parmesan cheese
1 Cup Sour cream
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp. White pepper
4 Tbsp. Melted butter
Scrub potatoes; dry and prick with fork.  Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour.  While potato is cooling slightly for easy handling, fry bacon in small skillet till crisp.  Drain off excess drippings leaving about 3 Tbsp in skillet.  Add onion and saute till just tender but not brown; remove skillet from heat.

Cut the top off of the potatoes; scoop out potato insides carefully, and put in a mixing bowl.  Start to mash and add bacon, onion, sour cream, cheese, and seasonings (except Paprika and butter).  Mix and mash untill well blended (but do not really whip them - you want to feel a little texture).  

Spoon mixture into potato shells and drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle with Paprika.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or till lightly browned.  

These can be made ahead and heated just before serving time.  You can also freeze them, just be sure to thaw them before baking.

Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Non-stick cooking spray
2 large tart apples (such as Granny Smith or Pink Lady), chopped
1 1/2 cups skim milk or almond milk
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup Coach's Oats 
3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon cinnamon (more or less to your taste)
2 tablespoons milled/ground flaxseed or chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Spray a 3 1/2 quart or larger slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Combine chopped apples, milk, water, oats, sugar, butter, and flax- stirring to combine. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours.  Stir 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt into the oatmeal just before serving.
Divide these up into containers and you have breakfast eat morning!

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
Cheesecake Filling:
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Streusel Topping:
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup caramel topping for drizzling after baked
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender (or 2 forks) until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into a 9x13 baking pan lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 3/4 cup sugar in an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Then add eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour over warm crust.
In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture.

For the streusel topping: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.  Sprinkle Streusel topping over apples.
Bake 40-45 minutes, or until filling is set. Drizzle with caramel topping and let cool. Serve cold and enjoy! Make 16 servings.


Mozzarella Stuffed Peppers


Mozzarella Stuffed Peppers

These are great for your next party or even as a side dish.  All you need is mini peppers and string cheese.  Cut the peppers in half, stuff with string cheese, and broil for 10 minutes!  It's that easy.

Beer Can Chicken

Beer Can Chicken

4 Tablespoons dry rub (like McCormick's Applewood Rub)
1 1/2 full can of beer
1 3-4 lb chicken

Rinse and pat chicken dry.  Rub the chicken generously with the dry rub.  Using a foil pie pan, stand your chicken over the can of beer.  I used a stand specifically designed for can barbecuing chicken on the grill.  This made the process very easy.

Preheat your grill and place the chicken, in the pie pan, on the grill.  Roast for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Always use a thermometer to be sure that your chicken is done.  Your chicken is safe to eat when the thigh registers180 degrees.

When done, carefully move the chicken and pie pan to the counter to rest for about 10 minutes before carving.