Monday, July 11, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Dippers

Found this recipe at Sunday Baker.  It's fabulous and super easy.  The original recipe calls for using the oven, but we made these in our quesadilla maker.  My toddler actually ate spinach (and for that matter, so did my husband!) with these!
2 whole wheat tortillas
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded
Finely chopped spinach
1/4 c. shredded mozzarella
1/8 c. shredded Parmesan
1 T. olive oil
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 c. marinara sauce

What to Do:
1. Preheat the quesadilla maker (or your oven to 400*F).  Spread 1/2 T. of the olive oil on the top of a tortilla.  Sprinkle with half of the minced garlic.  Top with the chicken, spinach, and cheese.  Spread the remaining garlic and olive oil on the bottom of the other tortillas and put over the top.
2.  Close into the quesadilla maker and cook until done (or cook in oven for 10 - 12 minutes, or until the tortilla is crispy golden and the cheese is melted).
3.  Serve with a side of warm marinara dipping sauce.

Gingerbread Men

This cookie recipe gives you that fabulous gingerbread taste without the molasses, which can be overpowering in other recipes.  The cookies are soft and yummy!  This recipe if from and submitted under the title name by Kim.  Try it - you'll love them!
1 (3.5 oz) pkg. cook and serve butterscotch pudding mix
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

What to Do:
1.  In a medium bowl, cream together the dry butterscotch pudding mix, butter, and brown sugar until smooth.  Stir in the egg.  Combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon; stir into the pudding mixture.  Cover, and chill dough until firm, about 1 hour.
2.  Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Grease baking sheets.  On a floured board, roll dough out to about 1/8 inch thickness, and cut into man shapes using a cookie cutter.  Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets (you'll want to make sure they have room because they fluff up and grow!).
3.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until cookies are golden at the edges.  Cool on wire racks.  Frost with frosting or icing (you'll want one of the other).  

Strawberry Bread

We picked a bunch of very ripe and juicy strawberries from our backyard this weekend. After gorging ourselves on them, we decided that we'd better do something with the rest. Enter my online recipe search which resulted in this glorious bread! It's so moist and yummy - we're in heaven! I found this recipe on, posted by Ellen Rainey. However, I used some of the comments made by others to create the recipe you see below. Enjoy! It's amazing!
1 1/2 c. fresh strawberries
1 1/2 c. and 1 Tb. flour
1 c. white sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 Tb. vanilla

What to Do:
1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Butter and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
2.  Slice strawberries and place in medium-sized bowl.  Sprinkle lightly with sugar, and set aside while preparing bread mixture.
3.  Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in large bowl; mix well.  Blend oil, eggs, and vanilla into strawberries.  Add strawberry mixture to flour mixture, blending until dry ingredients are just moistened.  
4.  Bake for 45-50 minutes (or until knife inserted comes out clean).  Let cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.  Turn loaf out and cool completely.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cake Box Cookies

Need some cookies fast but don't have all the ingredients?  These cookies are so fabulous when you're in a pinch.  I always try to pick up a cake mix or two when they're on mega-sale, and then you will always have these available to you.  I feel a little chagrined that I can't give the website where I found this exact recipe, but I'll just say this recipe is not my own, and you can find it online at - I do know that much!  Super easy, super yummy, super versatile! PS - The picture below is of chocolate cake box cookies made by my 9 year old cousin for cub scouts - they are that easy!
18 oz package cake mix (any flavor - I've done from chocolate to spice to lemon - really, ANY flavor works!)
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 egg
(Special Note:  If using chocolate cake mix, add 2 Tb. water along with the egg.)
(You can also add chocolate chips, candy pieces, chopped nuts, or oatmeal - totally up to you!)

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  
2.  In a large bowl, combine all ingredients at low speed until thoroughly mixed.  
3.  Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2" apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.
4.  Bake in oven for 9 - 12 minutes.  Cool two minutes on cookie sheets, then remove to wire racks to cool.
5.  Serve plain or with store-bought frosting, or an easy icing (mix powdered sugar and water until you have the consistency you desire) depending on your preference.

Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler

My husband made this wonderful dessert for us the other night, and it was super yummy!  It was a recipe we'd heard of and tried before, so we researched many different ones online and came up with this.  (I might also add that my sweet husband made it more diabetic friendly by using a Sprite Zero and Sugar-Free cake mix - just an idea if you're looking to make it healthier as well!) As with all dutch oven recipes, I'll tell you how to make it in the dutch oven, and how to make it in the oven.
1 box yellow cake mix
2 cans peaches, with juice
1 can Sprite

Directions - Campfire:
1.  Place dutch oven over 15 hot charcoals.  
2.  Put peaches in oven.  Sprinkle dry cake mix over top.  Cover with can of Sprite.
3.  Put lid on top and place 10 hot charcoals on top in a checkerboard pattern.
4.  Bake for about 45 minutes (or until done).
(Thanks to Camp Dutch Oven Cooking 101 for info on the number of coals needed and how to place them!)

Directions - In Home Oven:
1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.
2.  Put peaches in dutch oven.  Sprinkle dry cake mix over top.  Cover with can of Sprite.
3.  Put lid on top and cook in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes (or until done).

Serve with ice cream!  It's fabulous!

Mountain Man Breakfast

This is from the Camp Dutch Oven Cooking 101 Cookbook.  We've always loved Mountain Man breakfast, but had had it with bread instead of potatoes.  Both Shawn and I agreed that we like it with potatoes much better!  This recipes is quick, easy, and great! I'll give you two ways to make it, first you'll see the directions for real dutch oven campfire cooking.  Second, you'll get directions for cooking it in your dutch oven in the oven.
2 lbs. sausage
2 lbs. frozen hash brown potatoes
8-10 eggs, beaten with 1/4 c. water
2-3 c. cheese, grated

Directions - Campfire:
1. In a 12-inch dutch oven, over a full bed of hot coals, fry and crumble sausage.  Remove cooked sausage and drain on paper towels.  
2.  Using the sausage drippings in the pan, brown potatoes, and spread them evenly in bottom of dutch oven. Place cooked sausage over potatoes.  Pour eggs over sausage layer.  Sprinkle top with cheese.
3.  Cook with 8 coals underneath and 16 on top for 20-25 minutes, until eggs are cooked.

Directions - In Home Oven:
1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.
2.  In a skillet, fry and crumble sausage, remove cooked sausage and drain on paper towels.
3.  Using the sausage drippings in the pan, brown potatoes and spread them evenly in bottom of seasoned dutch oven.  Place cooked sausage over potatoes.  Pour eggs over sausage layer.  Sprinkle top with cheese.
4.  Cook in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until eggs are cooked.

Ooey-Gooey Peanut Butter-Chocolate Brownies

Let me begin by saying these are in no way shape or form diabetic friendly.  However, I did figure out exactly how many carbs are in one piece, so you can see that below if you want.  The calorie and fat content are actually not too bad!  This recipe is from Cooking Light (Sept. 2010), but I was introduced to it through Our Best Bites - LOVE that website!  My husband just looked as this picture as I was typing and started remembering how good these were!  AND THEY ARE!  YUMMY YUMMY YUMMY!
3/4 c. sweetened condensed milk, divided
1/4 c. butter, melted and cooled
1/4 c. non-fat milk
1 box devil's food cake mix (18.25 oz)
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
cooking spray
1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow creme (abt. 1 3/4 c.)
1/2 c. peanut butter morsels

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F. Spray 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray.
2.  With an electric mixer, combine 1/4 c. sweetened condensed milk, milk, butter, cake mix, and egg white.  Mixture will be very thick. Press 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of the pan.  (Use either floured hands, or spray your hands with cooking spray in order to press it down.) The layer will be thin.  Bake for 10 minutes.
3.  Combine 1/2 c. sweetened condensed milk and marshmallow creme in a bowl and combine until smooth.  Stir in peanut butter morsels.  Spread marshmallow layer over brownie layer in pan.  Carefully drop remaining brownie batter by spoonfuls over marshmallow mixture.  Bake at 350*F for abt. 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool before cutting into squares.

Makes 12 big brownies with 9 g. fat, 380 calories, and 68 carbs each.

Italian Hodgepodge

This is a no-fail easy recipe that uses whatever you have in your house and makes it look like you meant to plan on that meal!  I created it on one of those days where you just can't figure out what else to make, and we really enjoyed it - it's very versatile, so don't be afraid to mix it up!
1 box whole wheat pasta (any kind) cooked and drained
2 c. protein (chicken, beef, pepperoni, etc....)
1/2 c. cottage cheese
1 -2 jar(s) spaghetti sauce (depends on how saucy you like it)
1 c. frozen veggies (whatever you have in your freezer)
1 c. shredded cheese (divided in two equal parts)

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  
2.  In a 9x13 inch baking dish mix together all the ingredients EXCEPT for 1/2 c. of the cheese.
3.  Bake in oven for 25 minutes.  Sprinkle remaining 1/2 c. of cheese on top.  Bake for 5 more minutes.


My friend, Darci Clark, lived in Brazil for many years as a child, and she has worked for a bit to get these recipes the way she remembers them.  Fejoada is a fabulous bean and meat dish from Brazil, and it's sure to fill you up.  Thanks for the recipe Darci!
2 c. black beans
1 lime
1/2 bunch cilantro
1/2 green pepper
1 ring of kilbasa
1 ham hock (or a couple chunks of ham)
Olive Oil

1. In your crockpot - soak 2 cups of black beans overnight. Rinse beans in the morning and add enough water to cover beans maybe a few inches more. 
2. In blender blend juice of one lime, handful of cilantro and half a green pepper and a couple Tbs of olive oil. Pour on top of beans.
3. Add 1 ring of kilbasa (cut into portion pieces). Add a ham hock or a couple chunks of ham.
4. Let it simmer for the day. (In Darci's words, "Usually I open it 5 hours in and take the bone out from ham and add a bit of corn starch/water mixture.")

Spicy Oven-Fried Chicken

The original recipe is from Elizabeth Hinlely, from On that site it's called Oven Fried Chicken III. However, using a few of the comments left by others, I adjusted this recipe to how it appears below.  We served it for company the other night, and we all enjoyed it.  It has just enough bite to be interesting, but it's not overpowering.  
2 - 3 lbs. of chicken (can be white or dark meat, with or without bones)
1 c. dried Italian bread crumbs
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 c. Miracle Whip
1/4 c. Milk

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
2.  In a medium bowl mix together the bread crumbs and spices.
3.  In another small bowl mix together the Miracle Whip and milk.  Coat the chicken pieces with the Miracle Whip mixtures.  Place chicken pieces in the bread crumb mixture and turn until well coated.  
4. Place in baking dish and bake for 45 - 60 minutes (until juices run clear).

Monday, June 13, 2011

Rhubarb Muffins

What?  You've never tasted rhubarb before?  Well, that's okay, neither had I until I was in college!  Whenever I think of rhubarb I think of strawberry rhubarb pie (which is amazing!), but there's more you can do with this vegetable than put it in a pie.  This tangy vegetable also makes some fabulous muffins.  This is a yummy recipe I got from, contributed by Freya.  It's scrumptious, and my two year old BEGS for these muffins whenever she sees them!  Add rhubarb to your garden for next year, and enjoy the tangy goodness!  (Also, I made these without the almonds on top - because my husband won't eat nuts - and they are fabulous that way too!)
What You'll Need:
1/2 c. vanilla yogurt
2 Tb. butter, melted
2 Tb. vegetable oil
1 egg
1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. diced rhubarb
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 c. crushed sliced almonds
2 tsp. melted butter

What to Do:
1.  Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Grease (or line with paper liners) a 12 cup muffin tin.
2.  In a medium bowl, stir together the yogurt, 2 Tb. of melted butter, oil and egg.  In a large bowl, stir together the flour, 3/4c. of brown sugar, baking soda and salt.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix until just blended.  Fold in rhubarb.  Spoon into the prepared muffin tin, filling cups at least 2/3 full.
3.  In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 c. of brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, almonds, and 2 tsp. of melted butter.  Spoon over the tops of the muffins, and press down lightly. 
4.  Bake for 25-30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the tops spring back when lightly pressed.  Cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before removing.

This recipe makes 12 muffins.  Each muffin has 192 calories, 6.6g of fat, and 
30.8g of carbs.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Clubhouse Chicken Squares

We came across this recipe in the Higbee Family Cookbook (on my husband's side), contributed by Kyle Deal. It's a great recipe for a hot day when you don't feel like a heavy hot meal.  Careful though, they can become addicting, and then you'll eat more than you meant to!
What You'll Need:
2 pkg. crescent rolls
2 Tb. mayonnaise (we used Miracle Whip)
1 tsp. dill mix
1/2 small cucumber, diced
1/2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (or abt. 1/3 c. bacon bits)
1 pkg. cream cheese, soft
1 sm garlic clove, pressed
1 can (10 oz) white chicken, drained
2 plum tomatoes, diced

What to Do:
1.  Preheat oven to 375*F.  Unroll the crescent rolls across a baking sheet.  Roll dough to seal perforations and press up sides to form crust.  Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven:  cool completely.
2.  In mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic and dill, mix well.  Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over crust; top with chicken.  Place cucumber, tomatoes, cheese and bacon over chicken. Refrigerate 30 minutes.  Cut into squares.

Slow Cooker Carnitas

We made this recipe for our dinner group awhile back, and it was a huge hit.  So yummy, and so easy.  I found this recipe at, submitted by Erin Parker.  Using some of the suggestions, I doubled the seasonings that were originally listed and made a few other adjustments.  Below is the way I did it.  Or you can click on the link I included above and find the original recipe.  You won't be sorry - this is a fabulous recipe.  Serve it in tortillas and with all your favorite toppings (we had lettuce, tomato, cheese, limes, cilantro, and rice and beans).
What You'll Need:
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 (4 lb.) boneless pork shoulder roast
4 bay leaves
3 c. chicken broth 

What to Do:
1.  Mix together salt, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, coriander, and cinnamon in a bowl.  Coat pork with the spice mixture.  Place the bay leaves in the bottom of a slow cooker and place the port on the top.  Pour the chicken broth around the sides of the pork, being careful not to rinse off the spice mixture.
2.  Cover and cook on low until the pork shreds easily with a fork, about 8 hours.  Turn the meat after is has cooked for 4 hours.  When the pork is tender, remove from slow cooker and shred with two forks.  Place on baking sheet and put into a preheated 400* oven for 5-10 minutes.  (This give it a crisp "fried" feel without frying it!).  Use cooking liquid as needed to moisten the meat when serving.

Cinnamon Sugar Crisps

These crisps came about by me using this recipe I found at as a jumping off point.  We served them with vanilla ice cream, and they were SO yummy.
What You'll Need:
1 pkg. 10-inch flour tortillas
1 stick butter/margarine
1/4 c. cinnamon sugar mix (2 Tbs. of each)
Cooking Spray

What to Do:
1.  Preheat the oven to 400*F.
2.  Cut or rip the tortillas into small rectangles. Lay them out flat on a greased baking sheet.  Brush evenly with melted butter/margarine.  Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon/sugar mix over the top of each one.  
3.  Bake for 5 - 10 minutes (keep an eye on them!) in the preheated oven (you want them to crisp up).  Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.

Brownie Chip Cookies

Wanting to see if there was an easy way to turn a box of brownie mix into cookies, I went searching online.  Lo and behold, I found this fabulous recipe at  It's quick, easy, and very very yummy!
What You'll Need:
1 pkg. fudge brownie mix (family size)
2 eggs
1/4 c. oil
6 oz. pkg. chocolate chips (or you could use peanut butter morsels, butterscotch morsels, heath bar chips, etc....  you get the idea)
1 can ready to spread frosting, or your best homemade frosting ready to go

What to Do:
1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Grease cookie sheets.
2. In a large bowl combine brownie mix, eggs and oil.  Stir by hand to blend.  Add chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoon 2-inches apart on cookie sheets.
3.  Bake at 350* for 10-12 minutes.  Cookies will be soft to touch.  Cool slightly before removing from cookie sheet.
4.  Frost with your favorite frosting.

Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Fluffy Pancakes

We ate these up so quickly that I forgot to get a picture of them!  The best homemade pancake recipe I've ever had.  Contributed to by "kris."  Thanks Kris - we LOVE them!

What You'll Need:
3/4 c. milk
2 Tb. white vinegar
1 c. all-purpose flour
2 Tb. white sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
2 Tb. butter, melted
Cooking Spray

What to Do:
1.  Combine milk with vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to "sour."
2.  Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Whisk egg and butter into "soured" milk.  Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until lumps are gone.
3.  Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray.  Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface.  Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.  

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cookie Recipe Book

My aunt-in-law is a baker extraordinaire, and she's recently published/created her own cookie and frosting only recipe book.  If you're interested in learning more about how you can get your hands on this book, GO HERE.  Happy Baking!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Barley-Vegetable Medley

This recipe (in it's original, pre-Kristened form) is from the Better Homes and Garden New Cook Book (pg. 71), with a slight variation based upon our likes (and, more honestly, what we already had in our pantry!).  It's a great side dish, and I think it tastes a bit like vegetable soup - super yummy!

What You'll Need:
1 can corn

1/2 c. quick-cooking barley
1/2 c. chopped onion (about 1 medium)
1/2 c. chopped green sweet pepper
1/2 c. chopped carrot
2 beef bouillon cubes
1/2 tsp. dried basil, crushed
1/4 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1/4 tsp. dried oregano, crush
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 can (so 4 oz.) tomato sauce

What to Do:
1. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to boil.  Stir in all ingredients EXCEPT the tomato sauce.  Return to boiling; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer about 10 minutes (until barley is tender), stirring occasionally.
2.  Drain barley mixture.  Stir in tomato sauce.  Cook and stir about 1 minute more.

Makes 6 side-dish servings.  100 calories, 1 g. fat, and 22 g. carbs per serving.

Meat and Cheese Frittata

In my opinion, a frittata is really just a glorified omelet, but it looks cooler and the name is fun to say.  We tried the basic frittata recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book (pg. 233) for dinner one night, and we really enjoyed it.  Once again, I'm going to write it down as we liked it, although you should know you can put basically anything you want into a frittata!
What You'll Need:
6 eggs
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. chopped onion (or less)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tb. margarine/butter
3/4 c. meat (we used Turkey sausage, and it was so good!)
2 Tb. grated Parmesan cheese

What to Do:
1.  Beat eggs and pepper, set aside.  In a 10-inch oven safe skillet, cook onion and garlic in margarine until tender.  Stir in meat. 
2.  Pour egg mixture into skillet over meat.  Transfer pan to a 350* oven.  Cook for 15 minutes (or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean).  
3.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Cut into wedges.  

Makes three servings:  233 calories, 15 g. fat, and 8 g. carbs

Rice and Vegetable Casserole - Mexican Style

This recipe (which can be found on page 73 of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book) comes with many variations, but I'm only going to share with you how we make it:  Mexican style!  It's super yummy, and super easy.  For the other variations, you'll have to get the book (which, by the way, if you call yourself a cook, how do you not have this book already?!!?).
What You'll Need:
1/2 c. chopped green sweet pepper
1/2 c. chopped onion (abt. 1 medium)
4 oz. can diced green chili peppers, drained
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tb. margarine/butter
1 1/2 c. cooked rice
4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

What to Do:
1.  Cook sweet pepper, onion, and garlic in margarine till vegetables are tender.
2. In a bowl combine cooked rice, cream cheese, chili peppers, cumin, salt, and pepper.  Stir in vegetable mixture.  
3.  Transfer to a 1-qt. casserole dish.  Bake, uncovered, at 375*F, for 25 minutes (or until heated through).  If mixture seems stiff, stir in milk (1 Tb. at a time) to moisten.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake 2-3 minutes more (until cheese melts).

Makes 5-6 side-dish servings.  Each servings has 226 calories, 14 g. fat, and 18 g. carbs.

Cheesy Potato Casserole

I got this recipe by way of my sister, Erika Pike, who got it by way of Maureen Wengert (a family friend), who probably got it by way of someone else.  The point is - this is one yummy variation of what we affectionately refer to as "Funeral Potatoes."  Enjoy
What You'll Need:
5-7 baking potatoes
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 pint sour cream
3-4 green onions (chopped)
1 stick butter (1/2 c.)
1/2 lb. grated cheese (cheddar works well)
(The cornflakes, green onions, and cheese amounts can all be played around with until you find the right amount that works to your tastes!)

What to Do:
1.  Set oven to 350 degrees.  Boil potatoes with skins, then peel them, and finally shred/grate them.
2.  Mix the 2 cans of soup with the sour cream.  Melt 1/2 stick of butter (1/4 c.) with green onions.  Mix in with soup and sour cream mixture.  Fold in cheese.
3.  Fold the soup mix into the potato mixtures with a fork (don't mash!).  Spreak into 9x13 pan.  
4.  Melt the rest of the butter and crush cornflakes into the butter - mix.  Sprinkle cornflakes over the top of the potato mixture.  
5.  Cook at 350* until it bubbles/looks cooked through (about 30-40 minutes).

Italian Chicken

This is my go-to recipe that I have been making for years (with many variations).  When you're totally out of ideas, this is where to look!  
What You'll Need:
Frozen Chicken Breasts (1/2 - 1 per person - depending on age and appetite of person)
Fat Free Italian Dressing (the kind in the bottle - not the powder)
Italian Bread Crumbs 
Cooking Spray

What to Do:
1.  Preheat oven to 350*.  Spray the bottom of a baking dish (size will depend on how many breasts you are cooking) with cooking spray.
2.  Place chicken breasts (still frozen) in baking dish.  Cover in Italian dressing (you might just use the entire bottle!).  Sprinkle with bread crumbs (this is totally to your taste and preference here) until each breast is coated.
3.  Bake in 350* oven for 1 hour.  Check to make sure the chicken is cooked through by cutting through thickest part of largest breast - if it's not pink, you're good to go!

Spaghetti Pie

My toddler gobbled this right up - she couldn't get enough of it!  It's very easy, and looks impressive.  Also, it allowed me to still feel like I was eating spaghetti without overdoing it on the carbs!  This recipe is from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, and it can be found on page 353 in that book.  Enjoy!  I highly recommend!
What You'll Need:
4 ounces dried spaghetti
1 Tb. margarine or butter
1 beaten egg
1/4 c. grated Parmesan Cheese
8 ounces ground beef (or turkey)
1/2 c. chopped onion (1 medium)
1/2 c. chopped green sweet pepper (we didn't use this)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. fennel seed, crushed
1 8oz. can tomato sauce
1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
Nonstick spray coating
1 c. low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

What to Do:
1.  Cook the spaghetti to an al dente texture. Drain the spaghetti and then return it to warm saucepan.  Stir in the margarine/butter until melted.  Stir in egg and Parmesan Cheese.
2.  Cook ground beef, onion, sweet pepper, garlic, and fennel seed until meat is brown and onion is tender.  Drain the fat.  Stir in the tomato sauce and oregano.  Heat through.
3.  Spray a 9-inch pie plate with nonstick cooking spray.  Press spaghetti mixture onto bottom and up sides of pie plate, forming a crust.  Spread cottage cheese on bottom and up sides of crust.  Spread meat mixture over cottage cheese.  Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese.
4.  Bake at 350* for 20-25 minutes (until bubbly).  

Makes 6 servings.  Each serving contains 276 calories, 12g. fat, and 22g. carbs.

Crispy Oven-Fried Fish

Last week I decided to delve further into the Better Homes and Garden New Cook Book.  So, you'll be getting a plethora of recipes from there (at least the ones we liked!).  This breading for fish was a yummy addition to the cod.  It was not too much spice, but enough to give it some flavor.  You can find this recipe on pg. 242 of the cook book.
What You'll Need:
1 lb. fresh or frozen skinless cod, orange roughy, or catfish fillets, about 1/2 inch. thick
1/4 c. milk
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. fine dry bread crumbs (we used Italian flavored)
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. dried dillweed
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 Tb. margarine or butter, melted

What To Do:
1.  Thaw fish, rinse, and pat dry.  Cut into 4 serving size pieces.  Put milk in dish, put flour in separate dish, and in a third dish combine bread crumbs, cheese, dillweed, and pepper.  Toss the bread crumb mixture with the melted butter.
2.  Dip each piece of fish in the milk, then in the flour, then in the milk again, and, finally, in the crumb mixture (to coat all sides).  Place fish on a greased baking sheet, and bake the fish, uncovered, in a 450* oven for 6-9 minutes (or until the fish flakes with a fork.).

Makes 4 servings, and per serving:  232 cals; 9g. fat; 13g. carbs. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Nacho Cheese Chicken Chowder

Found this yummy soup recipe in the 2011 Diabetic Living Magazine.  We all enjoyed it!  
What You'll Need:
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 (14.5 oz) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 (14.5 oz) can no-salt-added stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed nacho cheese soup
1 (10 oz) package frozen whole kernel corn (2 cups) 
Shredded cheese (optional)
Crushed chips (optional)

What to Do:
1.  In a 3 1/2 - or 4- quart slow cooker, stir together chicken, undrained tomatoes, soup, and corn.
2.  Cover and cook on low-heat setting 4-5 hours or on high-heat setting 2-2 1/2 hours.  If desired, sprinkle each serving with cheese.
3.  Top with cheese and chips, if desired.

Nutritional Info (for just the soup) per serving (1 1/3 c.):  213 cal, 5 g. fat (2 g. sat. fat), 630 mg. sodium, 23 g. carbs, and 21 g protein

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Did you know that processed spaghetti sauce is a no-no when you have gestational diabetes?!!!?  Yeah, neither did I, and I love spaghetti sauce!  So, I went back to the good old homemade version that I got from my college roommate, Julianne.  When you make your own, you can control the sugars, and it's very yummy!  Thanks for the great recipe Jules!
What You Need:
1 1/2 - 2 lbs. Hamburger - cooked and drained
1 med. onion - chopped
2 (16 oz) cans tomato sauce
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 Tb. Italian seasoning
2 (16 oz) cans diced tomatoes

Here's what you do:
Add together and simmer for at least 1 hour.  Serve!  Yummy and easy!
(You can heat this in your crock pot as well - just a few hours on low!)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Chicken Enchilada Casserole for Diabetics

Have I ever mentioned how awesome my husband is?!!?  When we discovered that I had gestational diabetes, he spent hours online finding websites, recipes, and other resources to make sure that I would be happy and healthy.  It's hard to tell someone who loves to cook to cut out carbs -eek!  I especially love Mexican food, but tortillas are just not that great for me.  So, when he found this recipe we both agreed that we needed to give it a try.  It was actually quite good, and I would definitely serve it again.  This recipe was posted by Annacia here.
What You'll Need:
3/4 c. water
1/2 c. chopped onions
1/2 tsp. chicken bouillon, instant granules
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 c. fat free sour cream
2 Tb. nonfat dry milk powder
1 Tb. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. chicken breasts, shredded cooked (abt. 8 ounces)
1 (8oz) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 (4oz) can diced green chili peppers, drained
2 Tb. fresh cilantro, snipped (or 1/2 tsp. ground coriander)
nonstick cooking spray
4 corn tortillas, 6-inch, cut into 1-inch wide strips
1 c. black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 c. reduced-fat Monterrey jack cheese, shredded
Fresh cilantro leaves (optional)

What to Do:
1.  Preheat oven to 350*F
2.  In a medium saucepan, combine the water, onion, bouillon granules, garlic, and black pepper.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer about 3 minutes or until onion is tender, DO NOT DRAIN.
3.  In a small bowl, combine sour cream, nonfat dry milk powder, and flour; add to onion mixture.  Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.  Remove from heat; stir in chicken.  Set filling aside.
4.  In another small bowl, combine tomato sauce, chile peppers, and snipped cilantro, set aside.
5.  Coat a 2-qt baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Arrange tortillas strips in the baking dish.  Top with chicken filling, then top with beans, and finally top with tomato sauce mixture.
6.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until heated through.
7.  Sprinkle with cheese.  If desired, garnish with cilantro leaves.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Nutritional Note:  This recipe makes 6 1-cup servings, with each serving having 151 calories, 1.7 grams of fat, 8.8 grams of protein, and 25.9 grams of Carbs - quite impressive!

Chicken Cordon Bleu

This recipe is based on one that I found at, but altered a bit using many of the user suggestions.  We really enjoyed it, and homemade Chicken Cordon Bleu is actually a lot healthier for you than the stuff you buy premade.  
What You'll Need:
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
6 slices Swiss of Provolone cheese, divided in half
4 slices cooked ham (possibly more!)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. seasoned bread crumbs
1 can Cream of something soup (can be mushroom, chicken, celery....  whatever you prefer)
1/2 c. sour cream
1 Tb. lemon juice

What to Do:
1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Coat a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2.  Slice the chicken breasts through the center to create 1/4 inch thick chicken fillets.  (Or, if you prefer to take your aggressions out on the chicken, pound it down to that depth instead!)
3.  Sprinkle each piece of chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.  Place 1 cheese slice and 1 ham slice on top of each breast.  Roll up and secure with a toothpick.  
4.  Take each chicken roll and cover it with the egg wash, then place in baking dish and sprinkle evenly with bread crumbs.  Place a small pat of butter on top of each chicken roll.
5.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink.  Remove from oven, and place 1/2 cheese slice on top of each breast.  Return to oven for 3-5 minutes, or until cheese has melted.  Remove toothpicks, and serve immediately with sauce.

To Make the Sauce:
Heat together the Cream of Something soup, sour cream and lemon juice.  Serve on top of the chicken cordon bleu!  Yummy!

Here's an inside peek at what your roll should look like when finished!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Omelets in a bag!

Having gestational diabetes has really limited the kinds of foods that I can eat, but there's one food that is a definite go-for-it, and that's eggs!  See this yummy omelet?
I bet you'd never guess that it was made in a bag!!!!  This is the greatest shortcut to making many omelets at once, and it's also a great idea for a camp out (all you scouters out there).  

For each omelet you will need the following:
1 freezer Ziploc bag
2 eggs
1/4 c. milk
Any filling you desire (we like cheese, olives, ham, etc....)

Here's what to do:
1.  Place all ingredients into the Ziploc bag. (If you are making more than one omelet, be sure to put each person's name on the outside of their bag.)
2.  Seal the Ziploc bag and mix up ingredients by squishing the bag with your fingers.
3.  Boil a large pot of water.  Place the Ziploc bags (make sure they're still sealed tightly) into the boiling water.  Cook in the water for 13-15 minutes.
4.  When they are done cooking you will have a perfectly cooked omelet ready to eat - yummy!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Carrot Cookies

This recipe is from Grandma Polly Brady (my husband's great-grandmother), passed to us through Patty Hawks (our Aunt).  Even though my toddler HATES carrots, she LOVES these cookies. 
1 c. cooked carrots, mashed
1 c. shortening
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. lemon juice

What to Do:
1.  Cream together shortening, egg and sugar.  Add carrots and mix.  Then add remaining ingredients.
2.  Drop by teaspoon onto lightly greased cookie sheet.  Press lightly in the center with a wet finger.
3.  Bake 8-10 minutes at 400*F.

Juice 1 large orange and add enough powdered sugar to make it the right consistency.  Frost cookies while still warm.  (This is really more like an icing.)

German Pancakes

Whenever these are made, not a morsel remains at the end of the meal.  This yummy recipe is from the Holt family (relatives of my husband). 
6 eggs
1 c. milk
1 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
5 Tb. butter

What to Do:
1.  Beat eggs until lemon yellow.
2.  Add flour, milk and salt.
3.  Melt butter and pour in a 9 x13 pan.  Top with the egg mixture.
4.  Bake for 15-20 minutes at 450*F.

Crescent Pizza Pockets

This is a Pillbury recipe, and it's just plain yummy!
1 (8 oz) can Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1/4 c. pizza sauce
3/4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. sliced pepperoni (24 slices)
1 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese

What to Do:
1.  Heat oven to 375*F.  Unroll dough on cookie sheet and separate into 4 rectangles.  Press each into 6x4 inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal.
2.  Spread 1 Tb. pizza sauce on half of each rectangle to within 1 inch of edge.  Sprinkle each with 3 Tb. cheese; top with 6 slices peperoni.  Fold dough diagonally over filling; firmly press edges with fork to seal.  Sprinkle each triangle with 1/4 tsp. grated cheese.  With fork, prick top of each to allow steam to escape.
3.  Bake 13-15 minutes, or until deep golden brown.  Serve warm.