Thursday, August 19, 2010

Recipe 31: Braised Short Ribs

I have been wanting to make these since I saw the episode of "Secrets of A Restaurant Chef" on Food Network but I was waiting for the short ribs to go on sale since they were something I had not made orbought before.

After searching for about a month, I finally realized that this cut of meat doesnt go on sale very often and since I have a small family, I cut the recipe in half and only needed a small pack so I splurged for Sunday dinner and bought them.

This recipe although it has a lot of ingredients is very easy to follow and my husband LOVED this dinner. He said it was one of his favorites.

Braised Short Ribs
Recipe courtesy Anne Burrell
Prep Time: 25 min
Cook Time:
3 hr 30 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 8 servings

6 bone-in short ribs (about 5 3/4 pounds)
Kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled, cut in 1/2 lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 1/2 cups tomato paste
2 to 3 cups hearty red wine
2 cups water
1 bunch fresh thyme, tied with kitchen string
2 bay leaves

Season each short rib generously with salt. Coat a pot large enough to accommodate all the meat and vegetables with olive oil and bring to a high heat. Add the short ribs to the pan and brown very well, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Do not overcrowd pan. Cook in batches, if necessary.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
While the short ribs are browning, puree all the vegetables and garlic in the food processor until it forms a coarse paste. When the short ribs are very brown on all sides, remove them from the pan. Drain the fat, coat the bottom of same pan with fresh oil and add the pureed vegetables. Season the vegetables generously with salt and brown until they are very dark and a crud has formed on the bottom of the pan, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Scrape the crud and let it reform. Scrape the crud again and add the tomato paste. Brown the tomato paste for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat if things start to burn. Reduce the mixture by half.
Return the short ribs to the pan and add 2 cups water or until the water has just about covered the meat. Add the thyme bundle and bay leaves. Cover the pan and place in the preheated oven for 3 hours. Check periodically during the cooking process and add more water, if needed. Turn the ribs over halfway through the cooking time. Remove the lid during the last 20 minutes of cooking to let things get nice and brown and to let the sauce reduce. When done the meat should be very tender but not falling apart. Serve with the braising liquid.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Recipe 30: Turkey Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are one thing I know that Lil Harrison likes so when I came across a Ground Turkey recipe that was from scratch instead of using the high sodium packet, I had to try it out.

They were really good. My husband said that he prefers the packet ones I made previously but they were very flavorful. One thing he knows though is that I am always going to try to make any recipe healthier for us and he respects that and doesn't complain too much.

Turkey Sloppy Joes
Courtesy of
Submitted By: Sue Ann O'Buck
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Ready In: 25 Minutes
Servings: 6

1 pound ground turkey breast
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup no-salt-added ketchup
3 tablespoons barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 whole wheat hamburger buns, split

In a nonstick skillet, cook the turkey and onion for 5 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink. Add the next seven ingredients; simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve on buns.

Recipe 29: Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot Pie!

I am not a Chicken Pot Pie fan but my husband loves it so I have been looking for a lower calorie recipe that doesn't make too many servings and thanks to Rachel Ray, I found it!!! He loved it and rated it a 5!
Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot Pie!
Courtesy of Rachel Ray
Yields: 4 servings
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
3 small onions, 2 cut in half, 1 chopped, divided
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 pound button mushrooms, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
Salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup milk
1 cup chicken stock
5 to 6 sprigs fresh tarragon, leaves picked and chopped
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup frozen peas
1 sheet puff pastry or pie dough, defrosted if frozen
1 egg, lightly beaten with a splash of water

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Place chicken, whole onion half and bay leaves in a large pot and cover with cold water. Place pot over medium-high heat and bring up to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until chicken has cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and let cool. Reserve about 1 cup (a mugful) of the cooking liquid and then discard the remaining.

While chicken cools, place a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add chopped onion, mushrooms, carrots, celery and parsnips to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 7-8 minutes. While the veggies are cooking, remove the chicken breast meat from the bones and shred.

When the veggies are tender, scoot them over to the side of the pan and add the butter to the center of the pot. Once butter has melted, add the flour and cook for about a minute. Whisk in white wine, milk, chicken stock and reserved poaching liquid. Bring up to a simmer then add the tarragon, Dijon, peas and shredded chicken. Bring back up to a simmer, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the sauce has thickened, 2-3 minutes.

Transfer to a casserole dish and cover with the pastry dough, trimming it as needed to cover the entire surface. Make a few slits in the dough to allow steam to escape, then brush the top with the beaten egg.

Bake the pot pie until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve.

Recipes 27 and 28: Apple & Sage Pork Chops and an Apple Vinaigrette Dressing

Another rated 5 dinner by my husband and I. The pork chops were served with a simple spinach salad topped with the dressing recipe below....Enjoy!

I am always looking for new things when I go grocery shopping and love to come upon new things "On Sale". The spice people, "McCormick" recently came out with a new line called "Recipe Inspirations". This new line is a Pre-measured Spice Pack and Recipe Card and its very convenient and cost effective because you don't necessarily have to purchase new spices every time you want to make a new recipe. My spice collection is vastly growing as are my potted herbs. It is really fun to try new flavors and tasts. I would encourage you to try this recipe whether you have all of the spices already and go from the recipe below or if you go to the grocery store and pick up the packet. The packet itself has been on sale at both Lucky's and Safeway the last few weeks.

Apple and Sage Pork Chops
Recipe Courtesy of McCormick & Co., Inc.

1 1/2 tsp. Sage
1 tsp. Minced Garlic
1 tsp. Thyme Leaves
1/2 tsp. Ground Allspice
1/2 tsp. Paprika
1 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. salt
4 boneless pork chops, 1 inch thick( about 1 1/4lbs.)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, thinkly sliced
2 red apples, thinly sliced
1/2 cup apple juice
1 tbsp. brown sugar

1. Mix flour, all of spices and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of pork chops with 1 tbsp of the seasoned flour.

2. Cook pork chops in hot oil in large skillet on medium- high heat until browned on both sides. Remove from skillet. Add onion; cook and stir 3 minutes or until tender. Add apples; cook and stir 2 minutes.

3. Stir in juice, sugar and remaining seasoned flour until well mixed. Return pork chops to skillet. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 5 minutes or until done.

I used bone in pork chops (still around 1 1/4 pounds total) because my husband and I prefer this cut.

provided by Michigan Apples
Makes about 6 2-tablespoon servings
• 1/4 cup apple juice
• 1/4 cup oil
• 3 tablespoons vinegar
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• Paprika, salt, and pepper (optional)

1. Combine apple juice, oil, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, and spices (if desired) in a covered jar. Shake to mix well.2. Serve over fresh greens or pasta salad.

Nutrition Information per serving:Calories 95 Calories from Fat 81Total Fat 9.0 gSaturated Fat 1.6 gCholesterol 0 mgSodium 0 mgTotal Carbohydrate 4 gDietary Fiber 0 gSugar 3 gProtein 0 gVitamin A 0 REVitamin C 2 mgCalcium 1 mgIron 0 mg

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Recipe 26: French Dip Sandwiches (Super Easy and Really Yummy!)

This is at the top of my husbands list now. I didn't even know he liked French Dip Sandwiches but I was looking for something once again...easy and tasty to throw together for dinner and Rachel Ray came to the rescue with this one.

I added a slice of Provolone on Harrisons sandwich which he said added to the yumminess. This is a recipe I will definitely be making again.

French Dip Sandwiches
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 4 servings

2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, chopped
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 jigger dry sherry, optional
2 cans beef consomme, found on broth and soups aisle or beef broth
1 1/2 pounds deli sliced roast beef
Grill seasoning blend for steak, such as Montreal Steak Seasoning Blend, or, coarse salt and pepper
4 torpedo sandwich rolls, split

In a large, shallow skillet over moderate heat, melt butter. Add shallots to butter and saute 2 minutes. Add flour to butter and shallot and cook a minute longer. Whisk in sherry and cook liquid out. Whisk in consomme in a slow stream. Bring sauce to a bubble and allow to simmer over low heat until ready to serve sandwiches.
Pile meat loosely across your cutting board or a large work surface. Season meat with grill seasoning or salt and black pepper. Set out 4 ramekins or small soup cups for dipping sauce, 4 dinner plates and 4 split torpedo rolls. To assemble, using a pair of kitchen tongs, dip meat into loose au jus sauce and pile into rolls. Set ramekins or cups with extra dipping sauce along side the sandwiches.

Recipe 25: Easy Chicken Teriyaki

I made this on Wednesday, July 28, 2010 and I was still battling the worse summer cold I have ever had. This was quick, easy, flavorful and I had everything in my kitchecn to make it so I didn't have to make any trips to the store....


2 skinless chicken breasts

Teriyaki sauce

Lemon-Pepper Marinade Seasoning (Lawry's)

Rinse chicken pieces and pat dry. Place chicken in baking dish and pour 1/3 cup teriyaki sauce over chicken. Coat chicken on both sides. Sprinkle both sides heavy with Lemon-Pepper Marinade Seasoning and bake, uncovered at 325 degrees for about 1 hour until tender and slightly browned.

Recipe 24: Green Beans Almondine

I needed a new side dish for my husbands favorite meal...bone in ribeye steaks with baked potatoes....

I was in the produce department and saw this recipe on the back of a package of prewashed green beans. It was good but I can do amazing things with a can of green beans so it had a lot to live up to. I think my husband preferred my canned versions better :)

Green Beans Almondine
Fresh Green Beans (whole or already trimmed)
2 Tablespoons Butter
4 ounces Almonds, sliced
Salt and Pepper to taste
Saute almonds in butter until lightly browned.
Boil or steam green beans (or saute right in the same pan for a slightly less heathy recipe.)
Drain beans in a colander (if not sauteed.)
Toss the beans with almonds, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Recipes 22 and 23: Crockpot Shredded Beef and Shredded Chicken for Tacos

Saturday, July 24, 2010, we had friends over after the "Soul Intention" show at Santana Row---see footnote at bottom of blog if you are asking "Who is Soul Intention?"

I needed to make something that was easy and could be prepared in advance, so I decided to make a taco bar. This worked out perfectly and the tacos were fresh and tasty. These recipes make quite a bit but you can used the leftovers in enchiladas, salads or as a baked potato topping.

Shredded Beef

Cook Time: 9 hours
Total Time: 9 hours
4 pounds boneless beef chuck roast or stew beef
2 packages (1 oz. EACH) taco seasoning
1 onion, halved and sliced
2 teaspoons seasoned salt (Lawry's)
Trim fat from meat; place in slow cooker. Sprinkle both packages of taco seasoning over meat and top with sliced onion. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours. Remove beef to a large plate or bowl and shred with two forks. Return shredded meat to juices in slow cooker; stir in seasoned salt. Serve shredded meat in tacos, burritos, taquitos, flautas, on rolls or over cooked rice. Serves 10 to 12.

Shredded Chicken

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
A chopped onion (optional)
A chopped green pepper (optional)
1 packet taco seasoning
16 ounces salsa (that's 2 cups if you're using a larger bottle).

Put the chicken in a Crockpot. Add the onion and pepper if you want. Mix the seasoning with salsa and pour over chicken. You can add some more water if you think it needs more liquid, but the salsa and the chicken will produce ample liquid as it cooks. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours. The chicken is done when it can be shredded easily with a fork.. Lift the chicken out and shred it with a fork.


Soul Intention is a band that my husband is a part of that plays at both private and public events in the Bay Area. They play funk and R&B and their shows are a lot of fun. Check them out at

Behind On My Blog But Still Cooking....

I didn't want anyone to fear I had given up so I wanted to let you know that I am okay.

I have been sick and then because I was sick, I was behind on my work and it was month end and because I was behind on work, I didn't have time to blog so I am now behind on my blog....but guess what, I have been cooking :)

Its amazing how much I missed blogging and how much my love for cooking has really grown. It has changed the way I order when I eat out, the way I grocery shop, even the way I spend my down time. I am now throughly immersed in my joy of cooking.

So keep an eye of right now, I have 7 recipes to blog and I am determined to be caught up within the next 48 hours :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Recipe 21: Deep Dish Pizza Casserole (Weight Watchers)

This was soooooooooo yummy!! I would encourage you all to try this recipe because we could not believe it was a Weight Watchers recipe and it was so easy to make and soooo tasty!!

Deep-Dish Pizza Casserole
1 pound ground round
1 (15 ounce) can chunky Italian-style tomato sauce
Cooking spray
1 (10 ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough
1½ cups (6 ounces) preshredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 425°.
Cook meat in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned, stirring until it crumbles. Drain, if necessary, and return to skillet. Add tomato sauce, and cook until heated.
While meat cooks, coat a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Unroll pizza crust dough, and press into bottom and halfway up sides of the baking dish. Top the pizza crust with meat mixture.
Bake, uncovered, at 425° for 12 minutes. Top with cheese, and bake 5 minutes or until crust is browned and cheese melts. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

Yield: 6 servings. Each serving is 6 Weight Watcher's points.
Serve with a salad mixed field greens and a fat-free or low-fat vinaigrette.
This recipe is from the Weight Watchers 5 Ingredient 15 Minute Cookbook.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Recipes 18,19, and 20: Easy Cheesy Creamed Spinach, Skinny Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Turkey Cutlets w/ Parmesan Crust

I feel so accomplished. This is the first time I have attempted three completely new dishes in the same meal and they all came out great!

I make fabulous mashed potatoes but they have more butter and milk than this skinny version and the family couldn't tell the difference...hahaha!

The turkey cutlets were another mark down find marked down from $6.99 to $2.99!! Gotta love it.

Easy Cheesy Creamed Spinach

Eating Right recipe courtesy of Safeway

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used skim)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 bag (8.5) Eating Right Spinach
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese

Microwave spinach according to package instruction. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and whisk until incorporated. Cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, until very thick. Whick in garlic powder. When spinach is tender, open bag and drain excess water. Stir spinach into white sauce, add Cheddar cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until cheese melts.

Makes 3 servings.

This recipe can easily be doubled in a larger saucepan if desired.

Skinny Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes

Servings: 4 servings Size: 1 cup Calories: 217 Points: 3 ww points

2 lbs (4 medium) yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1/4 cup fat free sour cream
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons skim milk
1 tbsp reduced calorie butter
kosher salt to taste
dash of fresh ground pepper
Fresh herbs of choice: parsley, thyme, tarragon

Put potatoes and garlic in a large pot with salt and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain and return potatoes and garlic to pan. Add sour cream and remaining ingredients. Using a masher, mash until smooth ( I used my mixer). Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Turkey Cutlets with Parmesan Bread-Crumb Crust

Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes

Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1 cutlet Calories: 192 Points: 4 pts each

8 (4 oz) turkey breast cutlets
4 egg whites, beat
3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
salt and fresh pepper
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp olive oil
lemon wedges for serving

Heat oven to 250°.Season cutlets with salt and pepper. Combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in a medium bowl. In another bowl beat egg whites. Dip turkey cutlets in egg whites, then breadcrumb mixture, shaking off excess.Heat a large nonstick frying pan on medium heat. Add half of the butter and olive oil. When butter melts, add 4 cutlets and cook a few minutes on each side, until golden brown and cooked through. Set aside on a baking sheet and keep warm in oven. Add remaining butter and oil to frying pan. Cook remaining cutlets. Serve with lemon wedges.

Try one or try them all....Enjoy!

Recipe 17: Thai Satay Chicken Skewers

Now anyone that knows me, knows that at a festival the first thing I am looking for is "Chicken On A Stick". This was definitely yummy chicken on a stick!

I served this recipe along side an Asian Salad that consisted of lettuce, shredded carrots, dried cherries, and wonton strips tossed in a Sesame Orange dressing.

My husband raved and couldn't believe that it was a healthy meal because it tasted so yummy.

Thai Satay Chicken Skewers

Courtesy of TLC

Yield: Makes 4 servings

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons water
3/4 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
4 green onions with tops, cut into 1-inch pieces

1. Cut chicken crosswise into 3/8-inch-wide strips; place in shallow glass dish.
2. Combine soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes in small bowl. Reserve 3 tablespoons mixture. Add water to remaining mixture. Pour over chicken; toss to coat well. Cover; marinate in refrigerator at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours, stirring mixture occasionally.
3. Soak 8 (10- to 12-inch) bamboo skewers 20 minutes in cold water to prevent them from burning; drain. Prepare grill for direct cooking.
4. Meanwhile, for peanut sauce, combine coconut milk, 3 tablespoons reserved soy sauce mixture and peanut butter in small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 2 to 4 minutes or until sauce thickens. Keep warm.
5. Drain chicken; reserve marinade. Weave 3 to 4 chicken strips accordion-style onto each skewer, alternating with green onion pieces. Brush chicken and onions with reserved marinade. Discard remaining marinade.
6. Place skewers on grid. Grill skewers on uncovered grill over medium-hot coals 6 to 8 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, turning halfway through grilling time. Serve with warm peanut sauce for dipping.

:) I would definitely recommend this recipe for all to try!

Recipe 16: Rosemary- Lemon Roasted Chicken

To celebrate recipe #16, I would like to let you in on a little secret....this chicken cost me $2.29. Have you ever checked the meat department for the marked down meat? Usually it is discounted because it needs to be used or frozen within 1-2 days. The whole chickens were already on sale in that weeks paper and it was on sale for $4.29, then because it needed to be used or frozen 2 days later, it was marked down an additional $2.00. Woo Hoo!! I love a good deal!

This recipe was very flavorful, left the chicken moist and juicy and the outside skin was crispy and golden brown.

I served this along side french cut green beans and white rice and it made a nice Sunday dinner.

(Note: The larger the bird, the better the results. The breast of a smaller bird may dry out before the thigh meat is fully cooked.)

Rosemary-Lemon Roasted Chicken

Recipe Courtesy of

  • Heat oven to 425°F.

  • Remove giblets and pat chicken dry, inside and out, with paper towels.

  • In a food processor or with a fork, combine 3 tablespoons of butter, 1 clove of minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of finely chopped rosemary.

  • Using your fingers, work mixture under the skin of the chicken.

  • Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the top, and squeeze the other half inside the cavity.

  • Put one squeezed half inside the cavity.

  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon of finely chopped herbs (try parsley, tarragon, dill, or any combination).

  • Place chicken on a rack inside a roasting pan.

  • Roast for 18 to 25 minutes per pound; chicken is done when a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh (without touching the bone) registers 165°F, or when the drumstick wiggles freely and juices run clear.

  • Let rest 15 minutes before serving.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Recipe 15: Weight Watchers Oven Fried Prok Chops

This is no boring pork chop. Just looking at the flavors alone do jit no justice.

This recipe came out better than I expected while cooking it. I think a better name for it would be WW Smothered Pork Chop because it doesn't get crispy like a fried pork chop.

There were mixed ratings on this recipe...I thought it was very flavorful but my husband thought it was a little dry and the flavors a bit off.

I would love to hear others opinions of this recipe.

Weight Watchers Oven fried Pork Chops

Servings: 4

4 (6 ounce) lean center-cut pork loin chops
2 tablespoons pineapple juice
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 dash garlic powder
cooking spray

Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 1 hr


1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2 Trim fat from chops. Combine juice and next 4 ingredients in a bowl; stir well. Combine breadcrumbs, italian seasoning, paprika, and dash of garlic powder in shallow dish; stir well. Dip chops in juice mixture and dredge in breadcrumb mixture.
3 Place chops on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray.
4 Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until tender, turning after 25 minutes.
5 Yield 4 servings.
6 5 ww pts per serving.

Recipe 14: Chicken Enchiladas (Weight Watchers)

I love cooking good flavorful food in a healthier way and this was a true example.

The enchilada recipe I used to use had much more cheese, much more sodium and honestly, this one tasted better.

This recipe was a hit in my house. They raved over how tasty it was and my husband couldn't believe it was healthier than the ones I have made for years.

Chicken Enchiladas Weight Watchers

Courtesy of:
10 Ounces cooked chicken -- shredded (I cubed mine---see variations below)
2 cups scallions -- finely chopped
2 1/2 Cups enchilada sauce
6 Inch prepared corntortillas
1 1/2 Ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese -- grated

Preheat oven to 400º F, unless you have a microwave. In a bowl, combine the chicken, half
the scallions, and 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce. Soften the corn tortillas, two at a time, by
steaming them for 10 seconds, or cook in a microwave for 10 second on high. Spoon 1 cup
of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9x11-inch pan. Fill each tortilla with about 1/4 cup
of the chicken mixture. Roll each tortilla and place seam side down on the sauce in the pan.
Top with the remaining cup of enchilada sauce, sprinkle with the cheese and the remaining
scallions. Bake for 10 minutes-15 minutes.

Recipe Variations
I cubed my chicken rather than shredding it and after filling my tortillas, I had chicken left over so I sprinkled it on top before topping with the remaining enchilada sauce and the cheese. Also I doubled the recipe.

Super Yummy!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Recipe 13: Baked Ziti Pasta Recipe (Weight Watchers)

First of all, if you have tried any of my recipes and have not already, it is time to go out and purchase a Basil plant and a Rosemary plant. They are very inexpensive, in fact the basil is on sale this week at Safeway for $1.99. This is a great deal considering that a bunch is $2.49.

With that said, this was the freshest recipe I think I have ever made and the aromas in my kitchen were amazing! My Baked Ziti recipe that I used previously from Rachel Ray's collection is a good one, saucy and rich as you would expect but it isn't so great nutritionally so I decided to try this one to see if my family would like the lighter version.

Baked Ziti Pasta Recipe
- 12 oz Ronzoni Smart Taste Pasta (any whole grain penne will work)
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
- 1 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup yellow onions, finely chopped
- 1/2 lb extra lean ground beef (96/4)---see below variation...I used chicken
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp fresh basil, finely chopped
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp rosemary
- salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add onions and garlic and sauté 2 minutes. Add beef and cook until browned, breaking up meat with a spoon as it cooks, about 3 to 5 minutes; drain off any fat and set pan back over medium heat.Add the oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and mushrooms and bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.Spoon a small amount of beef-tomato mixture into bottom of a 4-quart casserole dish (just enough to cover surface); top with half of cooked pasta. Next, layer with half of remaining beef-tomato sauce and half of mozzarella cheese. Layer with remaining pasta and then top with remaining beef-tomato sauce; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake until cheese is golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Cut into 6 pieces.
Entire recipe makes 6 servings
Serving size is 1 piece

Recipe Variations:
I sprinkled each setting with Parmesan Cheese and also substituted boneless, skinless chicken for the ground beef which I definitely liked better.

My husband rated it a 4. He said it was very flavorful and good but he missed the sauce and the additional meat. My 4 year old ate all of his food and asked for seconds which is very rare.

Additional Notes:
It makes ALOT and says it is only 6 servings but there is no way we could have eaten 1/6th of it per person. This would be a good "Dinner Party" meal as your guests would not only be impressed with the aroma upon arrival, the freshness of the meal but also there would be plenty to go around. With the low WW point value, you even have points left over for a glass of wine/ dessert!


Recipe 12: Herb Roasted Lamb Chops

Picture wouldn't upload but hopefuly I can fix it and upload soon....

I only made 3 rather than 6 since I was cooking them only for myself (my hubby doesn't like lamb). They came out so flavorful and tender. I personally like my lamb cooked well done so I did leave it in the oven longer than suggested. I have made lamb chops before but never with this flavor mix and it really made a difference.

Herb Roasted Lamb Chops

Bon Appétit February 2009
by Maria Helm Sinskey
The chops don't need to marinate long to take on great herby flavor.
Yield: Makes 4 servings
4 large garlic cloves, pressed

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, lightly crushed

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, lightly crushed

2 teaspoons coarse kosher

tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

6 1 1/4-inch-thick lamb loin chops

Mix first 4 ingredients and 1 tablespoon olive oil in large bowl. Add lamb; turn to coat. Let marinate at room temperature at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Add lamb; cook until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer skillet to oven and roast lamb chops to desired doneness, about 10 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer lamb to platter, cover, and let rest 5 minutes.

Recipe 11: Oven Baked Pork Steaks

For some reason the picture will not upload corrcectly from my camera but I didn't want to keep this tasty dish from you. I will continue to try to upload the photo and edit this entry later if possible.

This recipe was very good and the meat came out soo tender. I only made 2 since I was making Lamb Chops for myself--- hubby doesn't like lamb (see Recipe #12). I added some sliced onion on top during baking just to give it some extra flavor.

Printed from COOKS.COM
□ 4 pork steaks

□ 1/4 tsp. salt

□ 1/2 tsp. pepper

□ 1/2 tsp. meat tenderizer

□ 1/2 tsp. garlic salt

□ 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Sprinkle meat on both sides with salt, pepper, meat tenderizer, garlic salt and Worcestershire sauce. Place steaks on foil lined cookie sheet. Bake 20-30 minutes, turning once.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Recipe 10: 7 Bone Roast--- Slow Cooker

Super Easy! Super Economical! Super Yummy!

Typically different types of meat go on sale and I often wonder to myself....can I find a good way to cook that? Well I had a 7 Bone Roast in my freezer and wanted to make a nice Sunday dinner for my family since I knew that I had a busy day ahead and no time for cooking. I did a few things differently....I marinated the roast over night in the red wine and garlic and I cooked mine for 11 hours just to make sure it was extra tender. Also I didn't add my veggies (I used all of the below plus quartered button mushrooms in until half way through the cooking process so they wouldn't be too mushy.

7 Bone Roast

Courtesy of

7 Bone roast is easy but a rather long period of cooking is need if you use the traditional crock-pot. The ingredients you need are: 1 7-bone roast about 4-5 lbs, 1 envelope
Lipton Onion Soup Mix, half a cup of water, 1 cup red wine, I onion (chopped), carrot slices, potato cubes, minced garlic to taste. If you are using the tradition crock-pot, place onion, carrot slices, potatoes in the bottom on the pot. Place the roast on top of the vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Add water and wine and sprinkle with soup mix. Cover it and cook on low for 8-10 hours.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Recipe 9: Smoked Sausage Pizza

I found a recipe on Hillshire Farms webpage for Barbeque Smoked Sausage Pizza but when I went to make it thinking I had all of the ingredients, I was out of BBQ sauce and not wanting to go back to the store, I made my own version of the recipe.

It came out very good. I love any recipe my son eats well so I will definitely make this again and of course it was super easy.

Smoked Sausage Pizza

1 Package Smoked Sausage sliced at a slant (I used the new Hillshire Farms Chicken Hardwood Smoked)

1 small onion

1 cup muchrooms sliced

2/3 cup marinara or pizza sauce

1 package refrigerated thin crust pizza dough (I used Pillsbury)

1 cup Reduced Fat Mozzarella Cheese

Bake crust at 425 for 5 minutes and then build it like you would a normal pizza. Even though the thin crust pizza dough is a large rectangle, I did not use the entire sausage and just stored the leftovers in the freezer for something else. Put in oven for an additional 20 minutes or until crust in brown and cheese is melted and bubbly brown.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Recipe 8: Chicken Fried Rice

I have made Chicken Fried Rice before from a packet but I have to say that this one was not only more healthy but actually. I would recommend that you cut the chicken smaller than I did but other than that it was really good.

I used 15 ounces of chicken rather than 12 because when I weighed the two breast I had, they were 15. Hubby didn't mind the extra chicken, trust me :) He rated it a 10 :)

Weight Watchers Chicken Fried Rice Recipe

- 2 sprays non-fat cooking spray

- 4 large egg whites

- 1/2 cup scallions, chopped, green and white parts

- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced

- 12 oz uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

- 1/2 cup carrots, diced

- 2 cups cooked brown rice, regular or instant, kept hot

- 1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed

- 3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

Directions:Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set pan over medium-high heat. Add egg whites and cook, until scrambled, stirring frequently, about 3 to 5 minutes; remove from pan and set aside.Offheat, recoat skillet with cooking spray and place back over medium-high heat. Add scallions and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add chicken and carrots; saute until chicken is golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes.Stir in reserved cooked egg whites, cooked brown rice, peas and soy sauce; cook until heated through, stirring once or twice, about 1 minute. Makes 6 servings.
Serving size is 1 cupEach serving = 3 Weight Watchers Points

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Recipes 6 and 7: Thai Chicken (Weight Watchers) and Asian Salad (Biggest Loser Collection)

These recipes were a hit! Thai Chicken with Asian Salad and a side of white rice...just because my hubby loves it so......


Thai Chicken Thighs
Weight Watchers Recipe
Serves 4

8 chicken thighs (about 2 lbs), skin removed
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp lime juice
1 hot chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped or 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp minced fresh ginger root of 1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup chopped peanuts or cashews
chopped fresh cilantro
1. Place chicken thighs in slow cooker. In a bowl combine stock, peanut butter, soy sauce, cilantro, lime juice, chili pepper, and ginger. Mix well and pour sauce over chicken.
2. Cover and cook on Low for 6-8 hours, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a fork.
3. Serve garnished with chopped peanuts and additional fresh cilantro.

Asian Salad

Biggest Loser Pocket Cookbook

4 oz. green cabbage thinly sliced

4 oz. red cabbage thinly sliced

1 cup grated carrot

1 red pepper sliced julienne style

2 tbsp chopped cilantro

1/2 cup asian dressing ( I used Newmans Own Lowfat Sesame Ginerger- 35 calories per 2 tbsp)

Toss well

Yum... the salad was 6 servings...but only 60 calories per 1 cup.....yum

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Recipes 4 & 5: "Italian Style" Cubed Steak and Simmered Cabbage--- Both recipes received a 5 from Hubby!!

I feel great right now!! Many thought I would be sick of this by now but I just started and I realize that I really enjoy cooking. I had a great time grocery shopping today as well for recipes 4-8 and all I can say is...Stay Tuned because tomorrows meal sounds really yummy and ladies.....Its A Slow Cooker Meal!!!

Recipes 4 and 5 were once again, easy to make, healthy and very inexpensive. When my husband was asked to rate, he didn't hesitate to give them both a 5. First of all, let me tell you that my husband has said for years, " I dont like cabbage." Tonight he said, "This is the best cabbage that I have ever had!" I just grinned from ear to ear :) The cube steak recipe was named simply, "Cube Steak" but I think in my blog and book it must be names "Italian Syle Cube Steak" :)

"Italian Style" Cube Steak
Recipe From
Nutritional Info
Fat: 11.2g
Carbohydrates: 12.6g
Calories: 237.8
Protein: 21.6g
Ingredients14.5 oz can of Hunt's Diced Tomatoes with Sweet onion
8 oz can of tomato sauce
1 cup beef broth
1 lb cube steak
medium onion, sliced (about a cup)
1 clove of garlic crushed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup flour
2 TBSP Olive Oil

DirectionsCombine flour, salt and pepper. Dredge cube steaks in flour mixture. Heat olive oil in a large pan. Once hot, brown dredged steaks.After browning, add in rest of ingredients. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for an hour.Serves 5.

Simmered Cabbage
Recipe #100417
by Julesong
25 min 5 min prep
· 1/2 head cabbage, chopped into approx 1 inch squares or pieces
· 1 tablespoon olive oil
· 1 tablespoon butter
· 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
· 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, to taste
· 1 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth (I prefer it with the chicken)
· 3 tablespoons dry sherry (optional)
Heat oil and butter in large heavy and wide saucepan or saute pan; add cabbage, salt, pepper, and stir over low heat for 5 minutes.
Add broth (I usually add a bit of sherry, too) and bring to boil, cover and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring often, for about 15 minutes or until cabbage is tender.
Raise heat to medium, uncover and let juices reduce to about half (be careful not to let burn).
Taste and adjust seasoning, serve hot.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Recipes 2 &3: "Almost Fast Food Burgers" and "Oven Roasted Peppered Potato Wedges"

Tonight I conquered two recipes, "Almost Fast Food Burgers" and "Oven Roasted Peppered Potato Wedges".

Both recipes were easy to prepare and tasty. I. decided to cut the calorie count by 60 by using Orowheat Sandwich Thins as a bun rather than a Whole Wheat bun. It was a great decision for me but hubby said he missed the rest of the bun.

Overall he rated the burger a 5 (if it had a regular whole wheat bun), otherwise a 4 and he rated the fries a 4. Little Harrison didn't care too much for the sauce on the burger and the fries were a bit spicy but he ate them all. I would recommend that other mommies pepper half of the batch so that they aren't too spicy for your little ones.

Asa a combination, it was a fun meal to make and I will definitely make it again but a little bit different.

Almost Fast Food Burger
The Biggest Loser Cookbook

Makes 1 serving (I quadrupled it and made 4 servings)

1 tablespoon low-fat mayonnaise1/2 teaspoon ketchup1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard

1/4 pound 96% lean ground beef1 slice (3/4 ounce) fat-free American cheese (optional)

1 whole-grain or whole-wheat hamburger bun

1/4 cup chopped romaine lettuce leaves

1 thin slice red onion

3 dill pickle rounds

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard. Stir to mix. Set aside. Shape the beef into a patty that is about 1/2" wider than the bun.

Preheat a medium nonstick skillet or grill rack on high heat. Place the patty on the pan or grill. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until desired doneness. (Do not smash the burger with the spatula.) About 30 seconds before the burger is cooked, top with the cheese, if desired. Place the bun halves, cut sides down, on the pan or grill. Cook for about 45 seconds, or until toasted.

Place the bun bottom on a serving plate. Top with the patty, lettuce, onion, and pickles. Spread the reserved sauce evenly over the inside of the bun top. Flip onto the burger. Serve immediately.

Nutrition at a GlancePer serving: 281 calories, 26 g protein, 27 g carbohydrates, 9 g fat (2 g saturated), 60 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 736 mg sodium

Easy Low Fat Oven Roasted Peppered Potato Wedges Recipe #193370
by French Tart
55 min 10 min prep
· 2 lbs roasting potatoes
· 1 tablespoon olive oil
· fresh ground black pepper
· sea salt
1. Pre-heat oven to 450°F.
2. Wash and scrub your potatoes well - no need to peel them!
3. Cut them into chunky wedges.
4. Place in a ziplock bag or plastic container and add the olive oil & black pepper.
5. Do NOT add the salt now as it encourages water!
6. Shake the container or bag well - making sure every potato wedge has been covered in oil.
7. Place peppered potatoes in a large and sturdy oven proof roasting tin - shake around to ensure they are in a single layer, more or less!
8. Sprinkle on the sea salt and any herbs & spices you may be using.
9. Give another good twist of ground black pepper over the potato wedges and roast in the oven for about 45 - 60 minutes or until crispy and brown!
10. Sprinkle over any fresh herbs, if you are using them for a garnish or just serve "au natural" as a vegetable accompaniment.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Recipe #1: Tuna Casserole 1

About a week ago my hubby said to me, " You know one thing that I love that you haven't made....Tuna Casserole." Since I had dinner plans with friends this evening, I thought it would be fitting to start with a classic that I actually do not like but my hubby requested.

When looking for a recipe, I was looking for one that didn't make too many servings (this size was perfect) and that wasn't too many calories per serving (this one is 354 calories per serving). This recipe was very easy in preparation and it was perfect for a busy mom because I was able to prepare it ahead of time. I did add bread crumbs on the top to add a little crust and when I asked him how he liked it, he said it was a 5 out of 5! The best part....Lil Harrison cleaned his plate!

Tuna Noodle Casserole I
Submitted By: Cat
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 50 Minutes
Ready In: 1 Hour
Servings: 6

1 (8 ounce) package wide egg noodles
2 tablespoons butter (or margarine)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (6 ounce) can tuna, drained
1 (15 ounce) can peas, drained
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat a 2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray.
2. In a large pot of salted water, boil noodles until al dente. Drain well.
3. In a medium saucepan, combine flour, butter, and salt. Stir until butter is melted and ingredients are combined evenly. Add milk, and whisk until the sauce thickens (usually it is at the proper consistency by the time it begins to boil). Add cheese to mixture, and whisk until cheese is melted and mixture is well blended. Stir in tuna, peas, and noodles. Spread evenly in prepared dish.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Completely Inspired

Relaxing on a lazy Saturday at home I flipped through the guide to see what was on and realized that the movie, "Julie and Julia" was just coming on. Now when this movie was first previewed I wanted to see it in the theatres but either lack of time or just life with a 4 year old had stood in my way. Now here it was on Showtime and it was starting in 4 minutes, so I adjusted the couch pillows and prepared myself for the movie not knowing that it was going to take my love of cooking to a whole new level.

After watching the movie my mind was spinning....I love to cook....I could do something like this....hmmmm..... but those of you that know me know two things....1. I am very picky and 2. I am on a quest to make my family happy and more healthy. I jumped up to gather all of my cookbooks including my Weight Watchers and Biggest Loser collections and realized, I don't think I could cook my way through any of these.

Then it hit me.....why should I have to cook my way through just one? I can create my own collection of recipes based on the needs of my family and cook 365 new recipes in 365 days.

Thus this blog is born....