Monday, July 21, 2014

*Spicy Sausage Pimento Cheese Dip*

This dip is definitely a crowd pleaser! If you are serving more than 5 people, I would definitely double the ingredients.  It is best served with tortilla chips or Frito's. 

1 lb. ground spicy pork sausage
5 green onions, chopped
1 cup low-fat sour cream
1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 2 oz. jar pimentos

Simply combine all ingredients, and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until heated through!

Friday, July 18, 2014

*Greek Chicken & Veggie Bake*

After making this recipe, I am even more unsure of why I have never prepared a Greek recipe.  Jay O. & I both love Greek food, and this will definitely be a repeat dinner in the near future!  I would choose this over my favorite Greek salads in town any day. 

I made plenty for us to have for dinner tonight, and lunch tomorrow.  If you're cooking for 2, you can always half the recipe.

When I glance at this recipe, it looks like it entails a lot of work.  However, it is easy to prepare & doesn't put a big dent in the pocketbook because a few of the ingredients you probably already have on hand!

1 lemon
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Red Onion, cut into thick slices
Olives (however many you would like - I did ~10 olives - 1/2 green & 1/2 kalamata olives which I got at the olive bar at Kroger) - even if you aren't an olive fan I suggest it for the flavor, and you don't necessarily have to eat the olives.
4-5 chicken breasts
Salt & Pepper
~3 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
4 cloves garlic, minced
~1 cup hummus (I used the Sabra store bought brand)
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
Feta, crumbled (optional if you use dressing listed below)

Additional things I used: NAAN bread, fresh spinach, feta & dill Greek yogurt dressing which you can find in the refrigerated area in your produce section. (if you use the feta & dill dressing,  the crumbled feta isn't really necessary)


-Preheat oven to 450
-Zest lemon.  Place zest in a large bowl, add olive oil & minced garlic.  Add in the red onion slices and olives, toss to coat.  Place onions and olives in the bottom of the baking dish (spray with nonstick cooking spray if it's not non-stick).
-Cut the chicken breasts into tenders.  Season the tenders with salt, pepper, and oregano (generously).  Place them on top of the onions & olives.
-Spread hummus evenly over the top of the chicken breasts. 
-Squeeze juice of zested lemon over the hummus.
-Sprinkle paprika over the top.
-Bake uncovered for 15 minutes.  Add the tomatoes to the perimeter of the pan, then drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the top of the tomatoes.  Return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

We chose to tear pita bread & place on the bottom of our plate, top with fresh spinach leaves, the chicken & veggies, & drizzle the feta & dill dressing over the top (sprinkle feta also if you would like)!  I also sliced cucumbers & dipped them into the feta & dill dressing.  YUM!
It would also be good with the chicken & veggies on their own, with a spinach salad & brown rice.

Monday, June 23, 2014

*Mexican Chicken Marinade*

This is the marinade I did over the weekend for Saturday's dinner.  I had done this a few times last year too, but never got around to posting it!  It is definitely my favorite marinade, especially because you can work Mexican flavors in with the rest of the meal, too.  It's a nice change to stick with a Mexican theme, but not to have the typical enchiladas, fajitas, etc. 

I recommend marinating the chicken overnight.

Chicken of your choice (I did 11 chicken thighs)
1 cup fresh lime juice
2/3 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. hot paprika
2 tsp. dried chile powder
3 tsp. kosher salt
4 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

In a large Ziploc bag place chicken.  In a small Ziploc bag or small bowl, combine dry ingredients (seasonings).
Place lime juice, olive oil, and garlic in large Ziploc bag with the chicken.  Add dry ingredients to large Ziploc & chopped cilantro. 
Close large Ziploc & toss until the marinade is evenly distributed on the chicken.

I know a marinade picture is never going to look pretty, but this is what the finished product should look like.  Keep in fridge overnight & until you are ready to grill the next day!

*Biscuit Breakfast Casserole*

We had our good friends Jack  & Rachel to the lake over the weekend & the lovely Feland's were able to join us for dinner on Saturday night.  Even though the weather wasn't great on Saturday, the clouds cleared out by the end of the day & we were able to catch some rays.  We had a great time!  It had been awhile since I had planned out meals for the weekend.  I had a lot of fun doing it & having the chance to try out new recipes :)

This is what we had for brunch on Sunday.  It's very easy to prepare.  I always serve mine with a little bit of hot sauce on the side.  I can't have eggs without my hot sauce!

1 lb. sausage
8 eggs
3/4 cups milk (I used skim)
1 heaping cup shredded cheddar
1 heaping cup shredded mozzarella
1 can biscuits (mine had 9 & I use the flaky Pillsbury Grand's biscuits)
salt & pepper to taste
Optional: spicy sausage or sprinkling red pepper flakes on top if you use regular sausage.

Cook sausage in a non-stick skillet over medium/high heat (I cooked my sausage ahead of time so it would make morning prep even easier). 
Place biscuits in a nonstick baking dish or spray bottom of baking pan.  I had 9 biscuits, so I did 3 across.
Mix together eggs, milk, cheese, and cooked sausage.  Pour over the biscuits.  Sprinkle cheese on top. 
Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.
Sprinkle red pepper flakes on top (optional).
I served fresh fruit on the side with a little drizzle of honey mixed in.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

*Prosciutto Wrapped Cantaloupe*

This is another refreshing summer appetizer that has become one of my favorite things to prepare!  One plus is, it requires no cooking.  The only thing that makes this at all difficult is having patience with the prosciutto, because it tears very easily!

On a side note, I am not a huge fan of cantaloupe, but I do enjoy it this way.  The combination has the perfect ratio of sweet & salty.  If you're not at all a fan of cantaloupe, this would also be good with honeydew melon :)

1 package prosciutto, cut into slices
1 small cantaloupe, cut into cubes

Simply wrap each cube of cantaloupe with a slice of prosciutto & skewer with a toothpick.

I also just found this recipe ... click here.  This is next on my list!  YUM!!!

*Goat Cheese Crostini w/Strawberry Bruschetta*

This is the other amazing appetizer that Donna prepared!  I was very impressed!!!

6 large, fresh strawberries (or 10 smaller ones), diced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon white sugar
8-10 large, fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
6 slices of a baguette, 1/4 inch thick, lightly toasted
4 ounces spreadable goat cheese (not the crumbles)

Prepare the bruschetta:  Combine the strawberries, balsamic, sugar and basil in a small bowl.  Let sit while preparing the crostini.
To prepare the crostini:  Lightly toast each piece of bread. Spread each toasted piece with a thin layer of goat cheese.
Top each crostini with approximately one tablespoon of the bruschetta mixture.

And, another plus, these app's make a great presentation!
Donna found the original recipe, here.

*Watermelon Skewers App*

My apologies for being MIA lately.  I have been doing a lot of repeat recipes when cooking or just cooking basic things because of being short on time! 

Last week, my dear friend Donna made 2 delicious app's that I had to share.  I definitely recommend them both for a refreshing summer app :) 

1 watermelon, cubed
1 block feta cheese
bundle of fresh mint

Cut Watermelon into cubes.  Skewer watermelon cubes, a slice of feta cheese, & a piece of fresh mint on each toothpick.  And, voila!

Friday, February 14, 2014

*Caprese & Artichoke Chicken*

Last night, my sister Hatley joined us for dinner & this is what I served.  We all really enjoyed it!  Jay O. is not a big fan of tomatoes, but he loved this recipe's ingredient combo. 

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 Roma Tomatoes, diced
1 Can Artichoke Hearts, drained & diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. EVOO
Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
fresh basil

Combine tomatoes, artichokes, garlic, sugar, flour, and olive oil in a large bowl.  Generously season with sea salt & ground pepper.  Stir to combine.

Place tomato & artichoke mixture over chicken breasts in a casserole dish. 

Bake @ 350 until chicken is almost cooked through (~35 minutes).  Take out casserole dish & top with mozzarella.  Broil on high for ~5 minutes, until the cheese is slightly brown on top. 

Remove casserole dish & top with fresh basil. 

You may serve this with noodles if you would like, but it would be great by itself!  I served mine over whole wheat noodles with a side of Caesar Salad.  I used the Bolthouse Farms Caesar dressing you can find in your produce section (the kind made with Greek Yogurt).  ENJOY!

Original recipe found here.

*Mexican Chicken & Corn Soup*

So, it looks like the chilly days are soon to be behind us for 2014.  Can you say, hooray?!  At least it looks like it is going to be warm for the next week or so.  Fingers crossed it stays that way.

Unfortunately, I am sure we will still have some chilly days ahead.  And, when we do, I suggest you try out this easy peasy & yummy soup!

2 tsp. butter
2 tsp. minced garlic
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 10 oz. tomatoes with green chiles (Rotel)
4 cups frozen corn
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded & skin removed
1 cup fat free half & half
sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
Colby Jack cheese for topping

Add butter and garlic to a large pot. Simmer for a few minutes. Add chicken broth, Rotel, frozen corn & all spices. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low/simmer. Add in your shredded chicken and let it warm up for a few minutes. Stir in your half & half until combined. Cook for 5 more minutes.
Ladle into bowls & sprinkle cheese on top. 

I served mine with cornbread.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

*BLT Roll Ups*

This is the recipe I made for our dear friends Megan Moore & Phil Brick's engagement party.  Megan is one of my life-long best friends & I could not be happier that she found Phil! 

I chose this appetizer because it was a mid-afternoon wine party & we were going for light finger foods that would be easy for people to pick up & eat while they were working the room :)  And, it's also good because you don't have to worry about this appetizer getting room temperature before the end of the party.

I doubled the recipe.

8 burrito size tortillas
1 package 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp. Dry Ranch Seasoning
8 pieces bacon, cooked crispy & crumbled dressing
2 roma tomatoes
2 cups shredded lettuce

Combine cream cheese (softened) & Ranch seasoning evenly, stirring to combine.  Spread mixture in a thick line down one side of each tortilla.  Sprinkle bacon, tomatoes, and lettuce on top.  Roll up like a burrito.  Chill for at least two hours or up to overnight covered in saran wrap.  Before serving, cut the burrito's into slices.  I chose to serve mine with my low-fat ranch dipping sauce.
Since I'm such a dork, here is a picture of the soon to be Mr. & Mrs.!

And, a picture of what we drew for their party.  It turned out a lot better than Becca & I anticipated, thank goodness!