Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Creamy Turkey Lasagna

 I haven't been here for a while,
and I'm sorry,
very sorry,
And I'm a little late with the turkey leftover recipe.
But I know you have picked turkey in your freezer.
Yes, you do.....
Because I do!
This is a perfect dish to serve using leftover turkey.
 Why haven't I been here for a while?
Because I have been working on my life. 
I have to have my life in order before I can bring you any
kind of goodness.
I have met a man named John.
John loves to cook.
John loves to travel for FOOD.
John is the perfect match for ME.
FOOD + ME + JOHN = HAPPINESS
John and I searched All Recipes to see what we could do
with our leftover Thanksgiving turkey.
This is what we found:
We took out the chicken and added turkey.
Genius, I say!!
We used 1 elephant garlic in place of the 4 cloves of garlic.
We also used a parm mixture (Parmesan, Asiago, and Romano mix). 
So click on the link above to gather this amazing recipe.
We loved it!!
And we had loads of fun making it TOGETHER.  

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Friday, October 4, 2013

Doubletree Hotel Copycat Chocolate Chip Cookies

 Everyone LOVES cookies, right?
And a cookie with the perfect amount of softness and crunch 
is usually a hit at any kind of function.
Whether it be treating associates (which I did),
family gatherings,
pot lucks,
or just making a batch to satisfy a craving.
This is the perfect cookie!
Thanks to The Little Kitchen I was able to create a cookie that
my associates loved.
Within minutes this cookie was demolished.
Since I followed this recipe exact there is no need for me to
type out the recipe.
You can find it at The Little Kitchen.
If you are looking for a GREAT chocolate chip cookie,
look no further.....
The blended oats in this recipe make this cookie irresistible.
And by the looks of my photos, can you tell I was in a hurry?

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Blind Spot Nut Butter

 Look what I got in the mail today.....
Blind Spot NutButter, Cinnamon Roll flavor.
This is not your "average joe" peanut butter folks.
This is extra special because it is homemade made by two special people.
Sheri at Blind Spot NutButters contacted me through Facebook
and asked me if I would be interested in promoting her and her husband's product.
She said she would even send me a sample, flavor of my choice, to see if I liked it.
HANDS DOWN!!
This is some awesome stuff.
While Sheri and I were emailing back and forth
I told her that I was going to purchase some English muffins 
and wait patiently for the nutbutter to arrive.
And that is just what I did.....
 Blind Spot Nut Butters offers many different flavors.
You are sure to find something you like.
And with the Fall season and Thanksgiving coming quickly,
they offer a pumpkin pie flavor.
Just think what could be done with this if placed in your Fall baking.....
 As I was sitting enjoying my breakfast with this delicious nutbutter,
thoughts were going through my mind:
CAKES
COOKIES
BREADS
FROSTING
GLAZES
How else can I use this awesome product?
With all the ingredients being all natural, this product would make an
awesome ingredient in smoothies.
A couple spoonfuls of this nutbutter, a banana, and some chocolate almond milk??
Oh yeah, I'm thinking dreamy, creamy, nutty, smoothie.
And the hazel nut mocha flavor?
Need I say more?
Get your blenders primed people, and head over to Blind Spot NutButters
and order some of this amazing nutbutter.
This will definitely be added to my regular list of online orders.
Blind Spot Nutbutters even lists the nutritional information for every 
flavor they create. How amazing it that?
Once you order your first jar of this heavenly product, 
taste it, 
experiment with it,
come back and let us know what you think.
I promise, you will not be disappointed.
Take some time to read Troy and Sheri's story too.
These are two very special people.
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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Liver and Onions The Way My Mama Taught Me

 Do you have a favorite childhood meal that you fix for yourself just so you can 
reminisce?
I have one.
Liver and Onions
 It is very hard to find liver and onions the way mom used to make it.
So, since I was home alone this weekend I made it for myself.
I know some of you are saying, "GROSS!"
But just think of all the iron this meat entails.
 Now to really gross you out, here is the liver in the raw.....
And this is not beef liver it's buffalo liver.
Better for you, yeah?
Straight from grass fed buffalo.
Yes, a private ranch. 
Can't get any fresher than that.
 This is what my mama taught me.....
Dredge the liver slices in flour seasoned with garlic powder and fresh pepper.
Brown them really good.
I use olive oil.
I do mine in an electric skillet on about 325 degrees.
 After the slices are browned (I had about 8) don't clean the skillet.
You want to keep all those brown yummy pieces.
Place your liver back into the skillet, slice one whole sweet onion.
Place your onion slices on top of the liver.
Using 4 cups of water and two TBS of Worcestershire sauce,
pour it over everything.
Turn the skillet heat down to about 250 and simmer with lid on until
liver is fork tender. 
Mine took about an hour and a half. 
 I made red skinned mashed potatoes,
and spiked up Caesar salad.
When I say spiked up I mean, a Dole salad kit that I added a couple
handfuls of spinach to.
Talk about an iron fortified meal. 
I should be set on iron for about a month.......
If you look closely at the gravy you can see all those yummy
bottom of the skillet chunks.
Cooking the liver this way, it makes its own gravy.
There is no recipe required for this dish.
And you can use beef liver in place of the buffalo liver I used.
Just follow the steps I gave you and you will be fine.
Give it a try!
You never know, you may just become a liver lover.

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Friday, September 13, 2013

White Chili (with artichoke hearts)

 The weather is nice and cool this weekend.
And what do I have on my mind?
Chili!!
One of my all time favorite soups for the fall season.
But I did a little something different with this chili.
Wait till you see the spices and ingredients involved.
I am a stickler when it comes to leftovers.
I DO NOT throw away!
There are so many meals that can be recreated through leftovers.
This chili is one of them.
I had two leftover chicken spinach feta brats from dinner the night before.
YUP, you guessed it....
They went into my white chili.
And have you ever thought about adding artichoke hearts to your white chili?
FANTASTIC!!
I loved it!!
The spices and ingredients in this chili sound to be extremely fiery hot,
but don't let them fool you.
The spices and ingredients are the good ones.
One of those dishes that has the good bite but no burn.
Okay, I won't keep you waiting any longer.....
Here is the recipe!
White Chili

2 c. water
1 TBS chicken soup base
1/4 c. medium salsa
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 can artichoke hearts (organic if possible), drained and chopped
1 can chili ready beans, rinsed and drained
1 c. milk
2 fully cooked chicken brats, sliced in bite sized pieces
*You can use any fully cooked meat of your choice; chicken, ground turkey, sausage, etc...

Add all ingredients except milk. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add milk while stirring and bring back up to heat (maybe 5 minutes).

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Peanut Butter Pistachio Muffins

 OH MY WORD!!
I haven't been here since June!
JUNE people!!
I am so sorry :(
And I had promised you a year full of Weight Watchers recipes.
It is amazing the havoc a move, a new job, and new lifestyle can bring.
But, if you can accept weekend work I will do my best to be here.
(considering my long (17 hour) working hours)
I have so missed the time in the kitchen creating recipes.
Over the Labor Day weekend I did just that.
I created these awesome Peanut Butter Pistachio Muffins
(say that five times fast)
It felt so good to get my mind back in the groove of food.....
These muffins were so darn good.
A little strawberry jam and it was just like eating peanut butter and jelly. 
 As you can see, the batter was really thick.
Make sure you only mix until dry is incorporated.
Actually, you can still see a little flour in my batter.
But that's okay....
 I filled my silicone cups clear to the top.
I love those little cups.
They pop right off after the muffins have cooled. 
I chopped my pistachios and sprinkled them on top before baking.
If you love peanut butter you will love these muffins.

Peanut Butter Pistachio Muffins

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup bread flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup brown sugar
6 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter (or smooth)
2 large eggs
1 cup whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Sprinkle chopped pistachios on top  


Preheat oven to 375F. Line a a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners (I used silicone cups).
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, peanut butter, eggs and milk until smooth. Pour into flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Divide batter into your paper-lined muffin tin. Each cup should be filled to the top, not just half way up, to ensure you get a nice dome on the muffin.
Sprinkle with chopped pistachios.
Bake for 26-28 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean and the top of the muffin springs back when lightly pressed.
Cool on a wire rack.

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Weight Watchers Monday: Steak Wraps

 Don't you just love steak wraps?
It is a simple meal that packs a great punch. 
Full of veggies and very little meat. 
Can't beat that.
 I love color in the kitchen.
Especially cooking with it.
And I have to capture it every time......
Gorgeous!
This is how I packed my whole wheat tortilla....
Very little meat and very little cheese.
And according to Food.com, this wrap is only 1 WW point.

Weight Watchers Steak Wrap

1 pkg. sandwich steaks (I used sizzle steaks. Cooked them and cut them into strips)
1/2 c. sliced white onion
1/2 c. sliced red pepper
1/2 c. lettuce
Avocado slices
Shredded cheese
Sour cream
Whole wheat sandwich wraps
1 TBS olive oil
Low sodium soy sauce

Drizzle the sizzle steak patties with soy sauce. Allow them to sit for a couple hours. Cook the patties until done and then cut into strips. Set aside and cover. Using olive oil saute the onion and red pepper. Fill your wraps and enjoy.

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Weight Watchers Monday: Lemon Curd Blueberry Cornmeal Mini Muffins

 When I ran across these beauties I just knew I had to make them.
Lemon
Blueberry
Cornmeal
Perfect combination!
And these bad boys were taken to my associates at work.
I am now in charge of weekend goodies......
And just to let you know, the associates loved them!
2 mini muffins = 2 WW points

Lemon Curd Blueberry Cornmeal Mini Muffins

1 c. yellow cornmeal
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. Splenda Blend sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 1/4 c. light vanilla yogurt
1/4 c. canola oil
1 c. fresh blueberries
1 container lemon curd (you will have a little left over)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Lightly grease or line mini-muffin tin
In a medium bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In large bowl, whisk together eggs, yogurt, and oil.
Add yogurt mixture to the flour mixture, and stir the batter until it is just combined. 
Stir in blueberries.
Divide batter among the muffin tins (filling half way). Take a small dab of lemon curd and place in the center of each muffin. Cover with more batter.
Bake the muffins in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.
Let the muffins cool in the tins on a rack for 3 minutes. Turn them out onto the cooling rack, and allow them to cool completely.

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Weight Watchers Monday: Creamy Chicken Mushroom Soup

 Today is Memorial Day, and let's not forget why we celebrate this day.

With the weather being so unpredictable....
cold one day
raining the next
I decided to slip in one more soup recipe.
This soup is out of this world fantastic.
I am a creamy mushroom soup fan, and the chicken added is a super bonus.
This will certainly warm your soul.
This creamy soup is only 5 WW points per serving (1 cup).
So if you want to end your day with a warm heart, this soup will do the trick.

Creamy Chicken Mushroom Soup

1/2 lb. mushrooms cleaned and sliced
2 1/2 c. cubed cooked chicken (I used Tyson ready to use grilled chicken (1 1/2 packages))
1/4 c. onions, chopped
1/4 c. celery, sliced thin
1/4 c. carrots, sliced
5 1/2 c. chicken broth (I used chicken soup base)
1/4 c. butter
3 c. half and half 
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. pepper, add to your liking
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1 pinch dried tarragon
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1 TBS minced parsley
1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt, add to your liking

In a large Dutch oven, saute mushrooms, onion, celery, and carrot in butter until tender.
Stir in flour until blended. Add broth and seasonings, mix well. 
Bring to a boil, reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. 
Stir in half and half, chicken, parsley, lemon juice, and salt. Heat 5 more minutes on low heat.

WW points per serving: 5 
Nutritional information per serving: 205 calories, 13.5 g fat, 0.6 g fiber

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Healthy Taco Salad (low calorie too)

This is my version of a healthy. low calorie taco salad.
Come along, I'll tell you what I did.
I tore up about a cup of romaine lettuce,
topped that with a handful of baby spinach.
I browned a 1/2 pound of ground chicken
along with 1/2 of a jalapeno chopped fine,
and 1 slice onion chopped fine,
and then seasoned with my favorite taco seasoning without draining.
Place six tortilla chips along the side of bowl (Trader Joes organic).
2 TBS lite sour cream
2 TBS guacamole 
2 TBS pico de gallo
Absolutely NO dressing. 
Eat and enjoy.....
I did!!
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Monday, May 20, 2013

Weight Watchers Monday: Pear Salad

 This is the best darn fruit salad I have had in a long time.
The flavors in this salad cause an explosion to the palate.  
One thing about this salad, it is best served fresh.
Don't get me wrong, the next day salad is still full of flavor, 
but you know how cut fruit gets if it sits till the next day.
So, if you are entertaining for 6 (this recipe serves six) make sure it is all served.
I had some for breakfast the next day along with my whole wheat bagel.
Excellent breakfast side.
This Weight Watchers recipe is 5 points per serving.
Pear Salad

4 celery heart stalks, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
2 ripe pears, diced (I left skins on)
6 leaves Boston lettuce
2 TBS honey (I used wildflower honey)
2 TBS pear infused vinegar
1/4 c. pine nuts, slightly brown in a skillet (until fragrant)
1 c. diced white cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
fresh ground pepper, to taste

Wash celery and pat dry. Cut lengthwise and then into slices.
Toast the pine nuts in a hot (medium/high heat) skillet until slightly browned and fragrant.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the honey, vinegar, and salt. Add the pears and stir gently to coat.
Add the cheddar cheese, pine nuts and celery, stirring to combine. Season with pepper. 
Place 6 lettuce leaves on plates and divide the salad, placing an equal portion of salad on top of lettuce leaves.
Serve either at room temperature or chilled.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Chicken Burgers with Guacamole on a Pretzel Bun

 Have you seen or tried the becoming very popular pretzel buns?
I have seen many restaurants adding this scrumptious bun to their menus.
They are soft, and definitely a pretzel.
I found a package of them on the same day bakery rack.
I grabbed them, paid for them, gently carried them home, and then stuck them
in the freezer for later eating. 
I wanted to do some studying and research something special to place in the
amazing pretzel buns.
 Look what I found.....
Chicken Burgers with Guacamole.
And yes, I found this awesome recipe on Pinterest.
Which lead me to What's Gaby Cooking?
 Once I got my burgers assembled, I had to stand back and really
look at these beauties.....
And then all of a sudden it hit me.
How am I going to eat these?
How am I going to get my mouth around these giant burgers?
Not only that, how am going to pick them up to GET them to my mouth?
This is how I had to eat the burger.
Yup, I had to cut it in pieces.
Then I had guacamole dripping off my elbows.
For real!
I did!

Chicken Burgers with Guacamole

1 1/2 lbs. ground chicken
1/2 c. finely chopped vadalia onion
1/4 c. finely chopped fresh cilantro
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp. (a half of a jalapeno) chopped jalapeno
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/3 c. finely shredded cheddar cheese
salt and freshly cracked black pepper

In an olive oil coated skillet heat over medium heat.
Transfer the ground chicken to a medium bowl.
Add onion, cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, cumin, paprika, cheddar cheese, salt and pepper. Using your hands, incorporate everything together. Make sure everything is evenly incorporated without over mixing the ground chicken.
Form the mixture into four 1/2"-thick patties. Cook burgers over medium heat until cooked through, 5-7 minutes per side.
Serve each patty in pretzel burger buns topped with guacamole, pico de gallo, and fresh spinach.
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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Pesto Chicken Casserole

 Pesto Chicken!
One of my favorites!
Actually, anything with pesto is a favorite of mine.
I made a trip to Trader Joe's and found a package of pesto chicken breasts.
I took it home, cooked it up, ate one piece for dinner, and found out
quickly that one person absolutely cannot eat 6 pieces of chicken....
Well, maybe one person can, but this ONE person cannot.
So, I had 5 pieces left over. 
 This is what I did with my leftover pesto chicken....
Pesto and pasta are awesome together,
so I created a Pesto Chicken Casserole.
 This is what it looks like before entering the oven.
The tomatoes were an awesome addition.
It kind of looks like something you would get at the Olive Garden, right?
I was thinking the same thing....
I sided it with a Caesar salad. A kit that I picked up at my local Meijer store.
A kit! Did you catch that?
But when I went to prepare the kit there was no Caesar dressing.
Are you kidding me?
Parmesan cheese, croutons, but no Caesar dressing. 
I had to use what I had on hand, ranch.
Now let me see if I can get this into recipe form for you.

Pesto Chicken Casserole

5 pieces fully cooked pesto chicken breasts
1 c. onion, chopped
3 TBS butter
3 TBS flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 TBS balsamic vinegar
3 c. chicken broth
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2 TBS dried parsley flakes
2 c. chopped fresh tomato
1 box cooked spaghetti

Place the chicken in a lightly greased casserole dish.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a Dutch oven place the butter and onion. Cook over med/high heat until the onion is translucent and beginning to caramelize. Add the flour and stir for one minute. Slowly add the broth and cream stirring constantly. Bring to a light boil and stir for 2-4 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and add the vinegar, cheese, salt and pepper, and parsley flakes. Stir well, and then pour over chicken. Place the chopped tomato down the center of the casserole and bake in oven for 25-30 minutes. Cook pasta during the last 10 minutes of baking time. 
Plate the pasta and spoon casserole on top. Serve.

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