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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad

I first had this at my Mema's for Christmas. Then a friend put it on her blog. I made it for a side to pizza!! Yum!

Broccoli, Grape & Pasta Salad from Southern Living (Sept 2011)

1 cup chopped pecans — 1/2 (16-oz.) package farfalle (bow-tie) pasta — 1 pound fresh broccoli  — 1 cup mayonnaise  — 1/3 cup sugar — 1/3 cup diced red onion  — 1/3 cup red wine vinegar  — 1 teaspoon salt  — 2 cups seedless red grapes, halved  — 8 cooked bacon slices, crumbled

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
  2. 2. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  3. 3. Meanwhile, cut broccoli florets from stems, and separate florets into small pieces using tip of a paring knife. Peel away tough outer layer of stems, and finely chop stems.
  4. 4. Whisk together mayonnaise and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; add broccoli, hot cooked pasta, and grapes, and stir to coat. Cover and chill 3 hours. Stir bacon and pecans into salad just before serving.

Crock Pot Northern Beans and Ham

Go make this now!!! It is so good! My hubby and boys loved it!


Crock Pot Northern Beans & Ham

1 - 16 oz package dried northern beans (1 lb)
3 -4 meaty ham shanks, hocks or ham (1 - 1 1/2 pounds) (I just bought thick ham and cut it into chunks)
1 - small onion, diced
water, enough to cover beans
salt & pepper to taste
1/3 - cup light brown sugar (I used Splenda Brown Sugar)

Sort the beans for any pebbles and the rinse beans under cold water. Add the the rinsed beans, onion, salt, pepper, and ham shanks, hocks or ham (chopped into large chunks) into the crock pot. Add enough water to cover the beans by about 2 inches. (about 6 - 8 cups)

Cover and cook on low for about 6 - 8 hours, or until beans are tender. Remove the ham shanks or hocks and pull off all of the meat. Return the meat to the crock pot and add the brown sugar. Lightly mix to combine. Ladle in to bowls and serve.

Roasted Tomatoes and Shrimp by Ashley

Found this on Pinterest via Real Simple.

This is so good.  I added frozen spinach to mine. 


Ingredients

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 450° F. Place the tomatoes in a large baking dish and spoon the olive oil and garlic over them.
  2. Sprinkle with ¾ teaspoon each salt and pepper and toss. Roast on top rack of oven for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove baking dish from oven and stir in the shrimp, parsley, and lemon juice. Sprinkle with the Feta.
  4. Return the dish to oven until the shrimp are cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm with the bread. 

Baked Oatmeal Cups by Ashley Self

Baked Oatmeal Cups via Pinterest

I made these to pack in my boys lunches and for a quick breakfast.  I definitely would freeze half of them because we couldn't eat them all. 

*my additions

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups applesauce, unsweetened
  • 5 cups, Old Fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 2 3/4 cups milk (I used 1%)
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 6 packets of Sweetleaf Stevia or 1 1/2 teaspoons stevia powder *I used Splenda and added a little more.
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Optional toppings: raisins, walnuts, chocolate chips

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix eggs, vanilla, applesauce, banana and Stevia together in a bowl.
  3. Add in oats, salt, baking powder, flax and cinnamon and mix well with wet ingredients.
  4. Finally pour in milk and combine.
  5. Spray a 12 and 6 capacity muffin tin with cooking spray or use cupcake liners. (*i made about 24)
    Pour mixture evenly into muffin tin cups.
  6. If using toppings add them onto the tops of muffins now. If using fresh or frozen fruit, drop it right into the batter.
  7. Bake 30 minutes until a toothpick in center comes out clean. Cool and enjoy or freeze them in gallon freezer bags.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Sausage and Cabbage

This recipe is awesome! I got it from my Mom. She made it when we lived with them and my husband LOVED it. So, I made it tonight for the first time. It really is so good. If you like cabbage you should definitely try this out. The best part, there is nothing bad for you in this recipe at all. And it is so easy!


-Olive Oil
-1 yellow onion
-turkey smoked sausage
-1 cabbage
-salt
-pepper
-season salt

Pour a little bit of olive oil in the bottom of a big pot. Cut up your sausage. Saute it in the bottom of the pot with the oil. Before you are done cooking your sausage you can add your onion(chopped). Saute until onion is soft. Chop up your cabbage. Add to your pot of sauted sausage and onion. Pour 1/4 cup of water into pot. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and season salt. Put a lid on top and cook for 30 minutes. It will be done in 30 minutes NO LONGER. After mine cooked for a bit I stirred it and added some more salt/pepper/season salt. Thats all! Yum Yum! Hope you like it!

Pinto Beans in Crockpot: by Kimberly

Ingredients:
3/4 bag of dried pinto beans
water
cilantro (chopped)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt (more as desired)
1 tsp pepper
1 yellow onion diced


Place all ingredients in crock pot cover 3 inches of water over ingredients. Put on low for 6-7 hours.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cowboy Quesadillas: by kimberly

Cowboy Quesadillas
Recipe by Our Best Bites

1/2 C white rice
1/3 C black beans
1 cup diced cooked chicken
1/3 C fresh frozen corn kernels (no need to thaw)
2/3 C diced tomato
3 Tbs sliced green onion
1 1/2 C shredded cheese (any type or combo you like)
1/4 C bbq sauce
6 small tortillas (fajita size, about 6″)

Dipping Sauce
equal parts bbq sauce and ranch dressing

Combine rice, beans, chicken, corn, tomato, green onion and shredded cheese. Add bbq sauce and stir to combine. Place about 1/3 C of mixture on half of each tortilla and fold over to close.

Heat a skillet to medium heat on the stove top. When hot, spray lightly with cooking spray, or drizzle with canola or olive oil. Place quesadillas in pan and cook for 2-4 minutes or until golden brown and slightly crisp. Flip and repeat on opposite side. Cool for a few minutes and then serve with BBQ-Ranch dipping sauce.

Spinach and Feta Pasta

Spinach and Feta Pasta
Recipe by Our Best Bites

8 oz. Penne pasta (that's 1/2 a 16 oz. box. Don't use ziti–you want the ridges on the penne to "grip" the sauce)
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
3 c. fresh spinach (you don't even have to chop it! Could life get any better??)
1 onion, finely chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
A handful of fresh mushrooms, chopped
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add pasta. Cook according to package directions. In the meantime, heat a little olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and mushrooms and cook until tender. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Add tomatoes, heat through, and then add drained pasta and crumbled feta. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat through and serve; you can crumble a little extra feta on top if you feel the urge.
Serves 8
Nutritional Information
Calories: 186
Fat: 5.3
Fiber: 3.4
WW Points (New Points Plus System): 4

Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie: by Kimberly

No words can describe how delicious!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie
Recipe from Nestle

1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust, homemade or store-bought.
2 large eggs
1/2 C flour
1/2 C white granulated sugar
1/2 C packed brown sugar
3/4 C real butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
1 C chocolate chips (semi-sweet or dark works best, you might find milk too sweet)
1 C chopped pecans (you are welcome to make it without nuts)

Preheat oven to 325° F.

Beat eggs in large mixer bowl on high speed until foamy. Beat in flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat in butter. Stir in morsels and nuts. Spoon into pie shell.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack or serve slightly warmed. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

Baked Beans by: Kimberly

I've made these both ways in oven and slow cooker...equally delicious! From ourbestbites.com

Recipe adapted from The Big Book of Backyard Cooking

1 15 1/2-oz. can Great Northern beans

1 15 1/2-oz. can navy beans
1 15 1/2-oz. can baby butter beans
1 15 1/2-oz. can pinto beans
2 14 1/2-oz. cans stewed tomatoes
1/3 c. molasses
2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. prepared mustard
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. Tabasco or other hot sauce
6 oz. bacon (1/2 of an average-sized package), divided
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 350. Reserving two slices of bacon, cook the remaining bacon in a large skillet. While it's cooking, place all beans in a colander and rinse and drain. Transfer to a large baking dish.
Pulse the tomatoes in a blender or food processor about 5-6 times or until they are breaking down but not smooth. Pour over beans. Add molasses, brown sugar, mustard, salt, and pepper.
When the bacon has cooked, remove bacon from the pan and cook the onions in the bacon drippings, stirring frequently. While the onions are cooking, crumble the cooked bacon over the beans. Add onions and combine all the ingredients well. Cut remaining slices of bacon into 1″ pieces and place over the beans. Cover and bake at 350 for 1 hour. Allow to stand for 5 minutes and then serve.
Slow Cooker Instructions:
Follow the instructions for cooking in the oven, except place the ingredients in the crock of a slow cooker instead of baking dish. Cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours.

Southwest Stuffed Peppers: by Kimberly

Don't let the ingredients fool you...it's easy.

Southwest Stuffed Bell Peppers
Slightly adapted from America's Test Kitchen

4 very large or 6 medium sweet peppers (red, yellow, or orange)
1 Tbs salt
1/2 C white rice (or brown if you want to take the time to cook it), quinoa also works
2 Tbs olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 – 1 jalapeno, minced (or you could sub a small 3oz can of mild green chilies)
1 14oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 green onions, sliced
1/2-1 tsp chipotle chili powder (you can start with 1/2 and add more to taste)
1 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 black pepper, plus more to taste
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
1 1/4 C jack or pepperjack cheese, divided
3-4 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
tortilla chips, just a handful and more for serving if desired.

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare peppers by washing, slicing tops off, and removing insides. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Boil whole peppers for about 3-4 minutes, until they begin to soften. Remove from water with tongs and place on paper towels to drain.

Add rice to boiling water and cook until tender, about 13 minutes. Drain thoroughly.

Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, and jalapeno (or chilies) and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add corn, beans, green onions, chipotle chili powder, kosher salt, and pepper. Stir until corn and beans are heated through, about 5 minutes. Place peppers in a baking dish. Remove skillet from heat and add rice, tomatoes, 1 cup cheese, and cilantro. Stir to combine well and give it a taste. Add additional salt, pepper, and chipotle powder to your liking. Then evenly divide mixture between peppers.

Top peppers with remaining 1/4 cup cheese (or more if you can fit it on there :) and crushed tortilla chips.

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Pineapple Skewers: by Kimberly

I actually don't use the bacon but I do everything else. It's just as good without some of the calories.

Bacon-Wrapped Teriyaki Chicken Skewers: From ourbestbites.com
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
About 8 oz. lean bacon, NOT thick-sliced (thick bacon is too hard to work with in this recipe)
1 large can pineapple chunks (you won't use all of them)
Kikkoman Teriyaki Baste and Glaze
Kebab skewers or toothpicks
The easiest way to handle the bacon situation is to remove it from the package and while it's still all stuck together, stretch it out a little (lengthwise). If you're using center-cut bacon (and the "slab" is not as wide as regular bacon), just cut it in half. Otherwise, use kitchen shears to cut the slab into thirds. Refrigerate until ready to use, partially because it's easier to work with cold bacon and partially because you don't want to kill any dinner guests with dead pig germs.
Using kitchen shears, cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. You can gauge about how many pieces you'll need by how many pieces of bacon you have; you probably won't use all the bacon, but you'll need about 8 oz. or 2/3 of a standard-sized package of bacon. So count the bacon pieces and keep that in mind when cutting up your chicken.

Drain the pineapple and set up a little work station with skewers, bacon, chicken, and a 9x13 baking dish (for big skewers) or a sturdy Ziploc bag (for toothpick skewers). Wrap a piece of bacon around a chicken piece, secure with toothpick/skewer, and top with a chunk of pineapple. Repeat twice if using large skewers.
When all chicken pieces have been sufficiently staked, pour Teriyaki sauce over everything, reserving about 1/4 c., and marinate in refrigerator for at least 4 hours, no longer than about 8.
Preheat grill; when about 350-400 degrees, place skewers on grill and baste with reserved Teriyaki sauce. Cook about 7 minutes and flip skewers. Baste again and cook another 7 minutes.
*If serving at a party, you can keep the appetizer-sized skewers warm in a crockpot set to low or an electric roaster set to 170 degrees.
**If cooking in oven, preheat oven to 400 and bake about 20 minutes, turning once, following the same basting instructions.

Pecan Pie Bars:by Kimberly

So, I've made these a few times now...so delicious - such a crowd pleaser...so easy! I found it on pinterest posted from someone else's blog.

Pecan Pie Bars
adapted from Allrecipes
Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup unsalted butter, cold (10 2/3 Tablespoons)
Filling:
3 eggs
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups chopped pecans

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9X13 baking dish with heavy foil and spray with cooking spray.

2.In a large bowl, stir together the flour, 1/3 cup sugar, and salt. Cut in 2/3 cup butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. You can use a pastry blender or just two knives. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the prepared pan, and press in firmly.

3.Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven.

4.While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. In a large bowl mix together the eggs, corn syrup, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons margarine, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the chopped pecans. Spread the filling evenly over the crust as soon as it comes out of the oven.

5.Bake for 25-30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until set. I usually like things on the rare side and a little gooey but these you want cooked all the way through so make sure the middle is set. If the top starts getting to browned cover with aluminum foil.

6.Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing into bars with a sharp knife.