Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Mayan Hot Chocolate

Now i know you are going to think this is nuts (no pun intended), but i've tried it and it's good. This year, i am going to experiment with a winter squash called sweet meat.

Bake a small butternut squash, half sides down, in an inch of water in roasting pan at 375f till tender, 30 minutes.

Measure out 2/3 cup squash and puree with 1/2 c. milk in the blender till smooth.

In a saucepan, combine 2 cups milk, 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate, and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon with a pinch of nutmeg and pinch of cardamom. Heat over double boiler, stirring constantly until chocolate is melted and creamy. Remove from heat and whisk in pureed squash. Serves 4.

300 cal, 14 g fat, 4g fiber
recipe from Chef Jesus Gonzalez via relish mag.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Easy Cheese Lasagna WW style

1 - 28 oz jar spaghetti sauce
6 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 - 15oz container of fat free ricotta cheese
1-2 cups sliced or chopped raw veggies
8 oz shredded low fat mozzarella

Layer 1/3rd of sauce and 1/2 the noodles on the bottom of an 11x7 baking dish. Top with 1/3rd more sauce, all of the ricotta and veggies and 1/2 the mozza. Then layer remaining noodles and sauce. Cover with foil and bake at 375f for 1 hour. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

6 sevings/6 pts per piece
Weight Watchers Angel Food Cake

I love this cake as it is really easy to throw together and not too bad for your waistline. And you can make it seasonal to boot. And all you need is 1 box of Betty Crocker "1 step" angel food cake mix and one other ingredient.

In the summer you can mix in 1 - 15oz can of crushed pineapple.
In the winter you can mix in 1 cup of pumpkin puree and 1/3 c. water.
Follow directions for baking on the box.
Then dig in! 3 pts per serving and the whole cake is 12 servings.
Remember, if you're going to eat in front of the fridge, you might as well pull up a chair. :o)

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Yummy Candied Pecans from Sarah

These are the best and easiest i've ever tried to make!!

Spread chopped pecans on parchment on cookie sheet.

Pour a couple handfulls of brown sugar, or mix it up with a bit of maple sugar and brown sugar, over the nuts.

Add spices...which for us is lots and lots of cinnamon, but you could add anything.

Drizzle any liquid over top: we use port, Sarah uses coffee syrups sometimes, i could see a citrus juice with some corriander.

Place in 350 degree oven until it starts to smell up your kitchen (5-8 minutes), then remove to cool.

Break up and place in airtight jar--good for 2-3 days.

NOTE: along with the cinnamon, i like adding a little Sale alle Erbe (Salt and Rosemary)--gives it a little ooh la la!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

3 Cheese Manicotti from Julie

8 Uncooked Manicotti shells (or as many as you can fit in your baking dish, adjust quantities below as necessary. Glass/ceramic baking dishes work best.)

Cheese Filling:

2 Tbsp. Minced onion
½ teaspoon Dried oregano -- crushed
2 Eggs (or 4 eggs whites or egg substitute) -- beaten
1 ½ cups Shredded mozzarella cheese
1 ½ cups Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup Grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Snipped fresh parsley
1 dash Pepper

(Nothing fancy about stuffing the shells, but this is when filling them uncooked makes this recipe much easier.)


2 jars of Classico Marinara/Tomato & Basil

5 fresh mushrooms, sliced

(I usually short-cut the marinara sauce by buying Classico, but if you are feeling ambitious you can use your homemade version instead.)


½ cup of Shredded mozzarella cheese

Pour half the tomato mixture into a 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Arrange stuffed manicotti in the baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over shells. If desired, cover and chill manicotti for up to 24 hours.

Bake the stuffed manicotti, covered, in a 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining topping of cheese for 5-10 minutes, or until noodles feel cooked when poked with a fork. Remove from oven and let sit for 5-10 minutes to cool and set.

FYI – instead of manicotti shells, you can also stuff the jumbo sea shells and reduce the baking time by 5-10 minutes. In a pinch, I’ve kicked the oven up to 400 degrees and watched closely to reduce baking time.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Oven Baked Bacon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line baking sheet with parchment and top with wire rack.

Place bacon on rack (no overlapping) and bake until crisp and browned, 10 - 15 min.

Blot with paper towel before serving.
Lollipop Cookies by Martha

This is such a great idea!

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Potluck Dinner Invitation Contribution: Lentil Soup with homemade bread

Today, in reading the list of blogs that keep me informed and inspired, i found an entry about a woman have a potluck dinner, of sorts, for guests of her blog. It's a really grand idea, i think, because of all the potentially wonderful recipe ideas to be gleened from the experience!

So here are my two pence, as it were: a doctored up Lentil Soup recipe from WW (to make it more like my favourite lentil soup at my new favourite restaurant, The Comfort Food Cafe) and some delicious homemade bread from my friend, MacD's recipe stash on her blog (click"homemade bread" above to link to that recipe.)

Heck, some nights i might even throw in a roasted chicken a la Nigella. :o)

Lentil Soup

10 cups reduced sodium broth
1 pound lentils, French green variety if you can, as they hold their shape the best
carrots, chopped
leeks, sliced
1 bay leaf
1 c. crushed toms with basil
1/3 to 2/3 c. tom sauce (dependent on how tomato-y you like your lentil soups)
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
ground pepper
other fresh herbs (optional)
1 Tbsp olive oil

In olive oil, saute' the leeks (amt: to your liking--i used two the diametre of half dollars in this recipe), carrots (amt: to your liking, i used 6), bay leaf until leeks are wilted. Add lentils, and stir to coat with oil. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to bring a covered pot to simmering, for 30 minutes.

Stir in all the tom varieties, vinegar, pepper and other herbs you may like (i love the marjoram we grow around here, so i flood our soups, sauces, usw. with it.) At this point, check the thickness of your soup--if you like a thinner lentil soup, add up to a cup to 2 cups of water and adjust flavours accordingly.

Notes: I've tried the "Better than Boullion" instant stock--if using it, cut down to 8 cups and use plain ol' water for the rest, otherwise it's really ever too salty!

What's really handy too (especially if you have wee ones who might have rather wishy-washy views on lentils) is to roast up some of Nigella's chicken...here's the jist from my blogpost about it:

"Basically, dressing your chicken how you like (evoo and herbs or citrus or garlic, what have you...), place it, covered with alum. foil tent, in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes per # + 10 minutes extra. After retrieving it from the oven, you let it to rest for 10 minutes before you carve it.

And the *WHOLE* trick to a moist and tender breast of chicken every time is:

roast it upside down--breasts on the bottom. "

Throw some of this chick in the lentils soup--nummy!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Slow Cooker Lasagna from Kraft's Food & Family magazine

Don't know how many people actually subscribed to this free magazine, but it's chock full of recipes and every once in a while i gleen an idea from it. Granted, i don't use the Kraft ingredients called for the in recipes, or the low fat options, because we buy mostly organic, however, none the less, the recipes can be really yummy.

A couple months ago, i received notice that they would no longer be sending them, unless you paid for them. Well, truth be told, i don't find them that great. So i skipped it. This month, i found another in my mailbox, with "helpful tips" for cutting time and expense of making meals. (Both of which i still think has a drastic impact on the family table....but i digress.)

One recipe i found intriguing was lasagne slow cooker style. Here it is....

Brown 1# ground beef in a skillet and drain. (I also added onions and garlic to the mix, because personally, no spaghetti sauce is worth eating unless it has the flavours of these two ingredients.)

Add 26 oz bottled sauce and 1 c. water and let simmer.

In another bowl, mix 15oz ricotta, 1.5 cups mozzarella cheese, 2TBSP parmesan, 1 egg, and
2 TBSP fresh parsley.

Into crock, add 1 cup meat sauce, break 3 lasagna noodles to fit in crock and arrange to cover sauce. On top of noodles, spread half of the cheese mixture. Repeat (2 c. sauce, 3 more noodles, and rest of cheese mix.) Finish off with the rest of the sauce and put on the lid.

Cook for 4 to 6 hours on LOW heat or until the liquid is absorbed. Then sprinkle with another 1.5 cups of mozzarella and let stand, covered, until cheese is melted (10 + minutes.)

Easy, eh? The recipe says you can make it even easier by making it up ahead of time, refrigerating it, and then cooking it by the following day.

I can't wait to try my Dad's homemade spaghetti sauce recipe in place of the jarred sauce used in this recipe! With the Italian sausage and spices. Eewwww wee!