Recent Recipes

Appetizer Party

Comments (0) | Friday, January 7, 2011

I frequently pull out and file recipes for yummy looking appetizers and then have no excuse to ever try them out. For this reason I was ecstatic when my friend, Molly, invited us to her home for New Year's Eve and announced that it would be an "appetizer party", asking if I'd be willing to contribute to the menu. WOULD I?? I immediately ran to my recipe file, pulling out much anticipated recipes which yielded amazing results.

Blue Cheese and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms
24 large fresh mushrooms
1 carton (8 oz.) reduced fat spreadable chive and onion cream cheese
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
4 green onions finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup Hormel REAL bacon bits, divided

Remove stems from mushrooms using a metal measuring teaspoon to scoop out a small indentation and set caps aside; discard stems. In a small bowl combine the cream cheese, blue cheese, onions, garlic and 1/4 cup bacon bits. Stuff into mushroom caps, a scant tablespoonful in each.

Place in a greased baking pan and sprinkle with remaining bacon bits. Bake, uncovered, at 375 for 18-22 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.

Spinach Cheese Triangles

1/3 cup finely chopped onion

1 Tbsp butter

1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

3 Tbsp. crumbled feta cheese

2 eggs, beaten

2 Tbsp. soft bread crumbs

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

12 sheets phyllo dough

Butter-flavored cooking spray

In a large skillet, saute onion in butter until tender. Stir in spinach; cook over medium-low heat just until spinach is warmed. Transfer to a large bowl; add the cheeses, eggs, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Place one sheet of phyllo dough on a work surface with a long side facing you. Keep remaining dough covered to prevent drying out. Spray sheet with butter-flavored cooking spray; cut into 4 (9 x 3.5 inches) equal strips.

Place 1 Tbsp filling on lower corner of each strip. Fold dough over filling, forming a triangle. Fold triangle up then over, forming another triangle. Continue folding, like a flag, until you come to the end of the strip. Spritz end of dough with cooking spray and press onto triangle to seal. Turn triangle and spritz top with cooking spray. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

Place triangles on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

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Sesame-Soy Meatballs

Comments (0) | Thursday, January 6, 2011

Let me start by reminding you that when you don't see the recipe typed up in my post, it is linked within the name beneath the picture. Just click the name and it should take you right to the recipe. Since I utilize a lot of Cooking Light recipes, this is the layout for many of my posts.

Though the picture may not do it justice, this recipe was amazing. Brendan cleaned his plate and said sweetly "mommy, you always make such good dinner." I love that boy.

The only alteration to the original recipe is that (surprise, surprise) I left out the chile paste. If you enjoy spiciness (this family does not) then by all means, add it in. I'm sure it would be pleasing to the palate.

Serving suggestion: make a pot of rice substituting chicken broth for the water. When the rice is done cooking add garlic salt to taste and 2 teaspoons of sesame oil. Stir-fry some veggies in a small amount of olive oil and drizzle a small amount of soy sauce over veggies during last couple minutes of cooking. Serve meatballs over rice with veggies on the side.

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Gluten-Free Santa

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I have a very close friend whose daughter was recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease, a condition which causes a person's body to become "allergic" to all things gluten. As a self-aclaimed foodie, I took it upon myself to keep the search out for tasteful gluten-free recipes. A hard task to manage as I had NO idea how many products had gluten amond the ingredients! But low and behold, one of my most favorite food magazines (Taste of Home Healthy Cooking) actually publishes a section of gluten-free recipes. Kudos ToH! So if your Santa is among the growing population adhering to a gluten-free diet, these cookies will be a hit :)

Gluten-Free Almond Crispies

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup canola oil

1 Tbsp. water

1 tsp. almond extract

1 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup almond flour (or almond meal)

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. salt

1/2 cup finely chopped almonds

In a small bowl, beat the syrup, oil, water and extract until well blended. Combine the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt; gradually beat into syrup mixture until blended. Stir in almonds.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheets; flatten slightly. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Cool for 1 minute before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

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Cornbread-Topped BBQ Chicken

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No photo for this one. I apologize to those of you who look forward to my attempts at novice food photography. Casseroles are difficult to cast in an attractive light but this one is just too darn good (and easy) not to share. I don't even care how "white-trash" it may sound. It really is that good...

Cornbread-Topped BBQ Chicken

1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 red or green bell pepper, diced
3 cups shredded cooked chicken (3 medium-sized chicken breasts)
1 cup prepared barbecue sauce
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 (8.5 oz.) box cornbread mix (such as Jiffy)
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 375. In a saucepan, saute onion over medium-high heat. Cook until onion is soft, about 4 minutes. Add bell pepper and cook another 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chicken, barbecue sauce and broth. Transfer mixture to a 1 1/2-quart baking dish and set aside.

In a bowl, combine cornbread mix, egg, milk and cheese; stir just until combined. Spoon batter in mounds over chicken. Bake until cornbread is cooked through and juices are bubbling, about 25 minutes.

*Serve with a fresh green salad or steamed veggies.

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New Year

Comments (0) | Tuesday, January 4, 2011

So I want to start this new year by apologizing for slacking on the food blog. I find myself getting overwhelmed when I think of how many recipes I've let slide without posting them to share. My blog resolution? To post at least 4 recipes per month. Think I can do it? I'll do my best...

But for now I want to share with you my system (because, after all, you may want a system of your own...) As many of you know, I subscribe to two of my most favorite food magazines, Cooking Light and Taste of Home Healthy Cooking. At my leisure and sometimes quite procrastinatorily (I think I just made that up...) I sit down and read each one and pull out recipes that I think I'd like to try. I file them away in an accordion file with headings like "Main Dishes" "Side Dishes" "Desserts" and "Drinks." Then when I sit down to do my weekly grocery shopping I pull out a few new recipes and make my shopping list. It keeps things interesting at mealtime for sure. And fortunately I have a loving and supportive husband who enjoys my kitchen theatrics and the fruits of my labor. But as you can see, I've been falling behind and for the last few months have fallen back on my "easy" meals, not feeling the motivation to keep up with the trend.

I'm feeling it now :) Watch out, here they come...

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