Recent Recipes

Overnight Apple Cinnamon Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Comments (0) | Sunday, February 26, 2012

Thank heavens for Pinterest. What would I do without that never-ending time-sucking black hole of unattainable possibilities? No, but seriously... I found this recipe there that originated from a blog called The Yummy Life And like most things I "pin" onto my virtual pinboards, I wasn't sure I'd ever actually get around to making it. Oatmeal sounded delicious and I vaguely remembered this recipe. I pulled it up and realized I had everything I needed. So hey... why not?! The recipe even stated that leftovers could be easily reheated... gourmet breakfast for a week!

*Printed recipe is for a 3 1/2-quart or larger slow cooker, I doubled everything but the apples and butter when I made it for a larger quantity (and more leftovers!)*

Slow Cooker Apple-Cinnamon Steel-Cut Oatmeal

2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked steel cut oats
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons butter cut into pieces
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1/4 teaspoon salt
Optional garnishes: chopped nuts, raisins, maple syrup, additional milk or butter

Coat inside of slow cooker very well with cooking spray (or brush generously with oil.) Add all ingredients except optional toppings to slow cooker. Stir, cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours (8 hours if you're doubling the recipe.) Spoon oatmeal into bowls; add additional toppings if desired. Store leftovers in refrigerator or freeze individual servings.

To reheat single serving: Put 1 cup cooked oatmeal in microwave-proof bowl. Add 1/3 cup fat-free milk. Microwave on high 1 minute; stir. Continue cooking for another minute or until how.

Recipe can be doubled for a 6-quart or larger slow cooker.

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Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Yes, you read the title correctly. These are Chocolate Chip Cookies swirled with the 0h-so-delicious chocolatey-hazelnut spread, Nutella! I was delighted when I found this recipe. Even more so once I made them. Those of you who know me well, know that I am rather picky when it comes to the infamous CCC. I've found some favorite recipes, but I don't know that I've found the one that tops my rating scale. I have to say that these came in at about an 8 though (out of 10) and that's getting pretty darn close! Originally from a blog called The Nerd's Wife, I don't even remember how I ran across it but I'm ultimately glad I did.

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup softened butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup Nutella
2/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Cream the butter, sugar and brown sugar with an electric mixer. Add in eggs one at a time and vanilla. Mix well. Slowly add the flour mixture to the batter, mixing well. Stir in chocolate chips. Add Nutella and mix briefly, causing the nutella to "swirl" through the batter but not mix completely.

Drop dough by tablespoon-fuls (or use small cookie scoop) onto parchment lined baking sheets (or ungreased baking sheets.) Bake for 8-10 minutes until bottoms have just started to turn brown. Allow to cool 2 minutes on baking sheets then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

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Chicken Asparagus Stir-fry

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I thought I had all the ingredients on hand. My pantry is usually stocked with even some of the rarest of ingredients. So it came as a slight shock as I was preparing this meal, when I reached for the sesame oil and realized I had never replaced it. Oops! Wanting to be true to this new recipe I dilaed my husband at work.

"Hey honey... you haven't left yet? Would you mind stopping by Fred Meyer for me? I just need some sesame oil..."


"It's with the Asian food... by the soy sauce?? Possibly down the same aisle as the Mexican food?"

"Ummm..." he replied, "sure... I'm just getting ready to head out now."

Any woman who is the primary shopper of the household knows this feeling all too well... I actually debated whether it would be faster just to toss the kids in the van and go to the store myself. I could be in and out of that place in minutes (if not for the children) knowing the layout of the store like the back of my hand! But no, I asked... he went... and he succeeded. He handed me the bottle with a kiss on the cheek, a sweet "your directions were perfect" and an even sweeter "dinner looks delicious!" The dish was a hit.

Chicken Asparagus Stir fry

2 large chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups chopped asparagus
2 cups red bell pepper pieces (cut pepper into 1-inch pieces)
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Cooked brown or white rice

Heat a large nonstick skillet (or wok) over medium-high heat. Add olive oil. Add chicken and fry until cooked through. Set aside. Add asparagus, bell pepper, green onion and ginger to pan. Fry for a few minutes. Add chicken back to pan and stir to combine. Add sesame oil and soy sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over rice.

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Peachy Pork with Rice

Comments (0) | Friday, February 17, 2012

This dish was absolutely fantastic. Especially with the lemon-garlic green beans on the side! Of course, there wasn't much "peachy" taste to the meal. I would have enjoyed a bit more sweetness and would probably add a little more of the preserves next time. Husband and children at every last bite as they sang my praises :) Delicious and easy... this one's a keeper.

Peachy Pork with Rice

1 1/2 cups uncooked rice (brown or white)
1 lb. pork tenderloin cut into 1-inch cubes
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp taco seasoning (you can use store bought or refer to my recipe here)
1 cup salsa (I used Pace Mild Chunky Salsa)
3 Tbsp peach preserves (I used apricot because I couldn't find peach and would probably use about 1/3 cup or more!)

Cook rice according to package directions (substituting broth for water if more flavor is desired.) Meanwhile, place pork in a large bowl; drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with taco seasoning; toss to coat.

In a large skillet coated with coking spray, cook pork for 8-10 minutes or until no longer pink. Stir in salsa and preserves; heat through. Serve over rice.

For Lemon Garlic Green Beans:
In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook and stir 1 lb fresh, trimmed green beans in 2 tsp olive oil over medium heat 10-13 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add 2 minced garlic cloves; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Garnish with grated lemon peel if desired.

*Courtesy of Taste of Home: Healthy Cooking*

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Creamy Butterscotch Pudding

Comments (0) | Monday, February 13, 2012

I'm a pudding lover. I'll admit it. Whenever I'm at a loss for something to fix for dessert, I whip this one out (or, let's face it, I'm not afraid to admit that I've been known to indulge in a box of Jell-O pudding now and again... but only if it's the cook-n-serve kind!) But the thing that ultimately draws me to this recipe time and time again is the quickness and ease of the "always on hand" ingredients. Seriously... crazy easy and SO delicious...

Creamy Butterscotch Pudding

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar (I use whatever I have... light or dark)
2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp. salt
2 cups fat free milk
2 egg yolks lightly beaten
1 Tbsp. butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add milk and egg yolks; stir with whisk until smooth. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Cook and stir 1-2 minutes longer or until thickened.

Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Cool to room temperature, stirring several times. Pour into 4 individual desert dishes. Cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours or until chilled (who are they kidding... I never have enough discipline to actually wait 1-2 hours!)

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Sweet Potato Crab Cakes

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Before the combination of "sweet potato" and "crab" turns you off to this recipe, let me assure you that I'm not even sure why they bear the name, when the scant 1/4 cup of mashed sweet potato lends only the very slightest flavor to the dish. I was thrilled to try them. I figured the odd combination might turn out well. And while I absolutely LOVED these cakes, it left me wishing for a little more "sweet potato-ness" :) Having said this, I will no doubt keep this recipe around as it was much better than the previous ones I attempted. Delicious with a good tartar sauce or aioli and served alongside steamed zucchini and roasted potato wedges! But if you're going to go to the trouble of peeling, dicing, boiling and mashing a small sweet potato, you might as well toss the whole thing in there.

I just might try that next time...

*Courtesy of Taste of Home*

Sweet Potato Crab Cakes

1 egg plus 1 egg yolk, beaten
1 medium green pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup mashed sweet potato
1 green onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
2 tsp. seafood seasoning
2 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 tsp. cajun seasoning
4 (6 oz.) cans lump crabmeat, drained
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup canola oil

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients through cajun seasoning. Fold in crab. Form into 12 patties; sprinkle with salt.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook crab cakes in hot oil in batches for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

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Broiled Parmesan Tilapia

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Tilapia has always been a "plain" fish in my taste. Mild in flavor, to me it tastes similar to all the other mild white fish out there. So, in this regard, I'm never really sure what to do with it. Don't get me wrong, I like white fish... even tilapia... I use it in fish tacos. But when I ran across this recipe I thought "hmm... it's definitely worth a try!" Kids both devoured it and Joe enjoyed every bite. I'd say it was definitely worth the try :)

*Courtesy of Taste of Home Healthy Cooking*

Broiled Parmesan Tilapia

6 tilapia fillets
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. minced fresh basil or 1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay)

Place fillets on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients; spread evenly over fillets. Broil 3-4 inches from heat for 10-12 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork and topping is brown and bubbling.

*serving suggestion: steamed asparagus and a pasta side dish*

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