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Archive for August, 2010

Tonight’s dinner was just average…nothing to spectacular and something that would require a bit of tweaking for the next time I make it.

Mushroom Cheese Chicken

Chicken Cheese Mushroom

The ingredients seemed normal enough:

* Chicken

* Flour

* Plain yogurt

* Mushrooms

* Mozzarella cheese

* Bread crumbs

For some reason though the combination of these ingredients was just average.  I have a feeling it was the yogurt that wasn’t quite right.  I want to play around with this one and possibly substitute out the yogurt for sour cream.  I’ll post the actual recipe when I get it figured out.

Do you enjoy tweaking recipes? 

I’m starting to feel a bit more comfortable in the kitchen with what ingredients go well together and what ingredients are missing something.

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Two Dinners For One

Due to yesterday’s PGA events I didn’t post dinner but it was a nice cool, quick and filling meal after a long day of sitting on the golf course.

This dish would even be a perfect substitute for a pasta salad at the next pot luck you attend.

Crab Pasta Salad

 INGREDIENTS:

* 8 ounces pasta

* 1 package (8 ounces) imitation crabmeat, chopped

* 1 cup frozen peas, thawed

* 1 cup fresh broccoli florets

* 3/4 cup fat-free mayonnaise

* 1/3 cup reduced-fat Italian salad dressing

* 3 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:

1. Cook pasta according to directions, drain and rinse in cold water.

2. In a different bowl combine the pasta, crab, peas, and broccoli.

3. In a separate bowl combine the mayonnaise, salad dressing and Parmesan cheese; pour over the pasta mixture; toss to coat.

4. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until chilled.

SERVINGS: 4

RESULTS:

The tangy taste of the dressing on the salad was perfect.  I had this for lunch the next day and the dressing was even stronger but not too overpowering at all. 

A few great substitutions would be chicken instead of crab and add chopped carrots and shredded cheese.

Dinner tonight was supposed to be a spaghetti style chicken dish but after taking two trips to the grocery store and still forgetting some of the ingredients it was time to scrap my original plan and go with a different chicken dish.  I have to admit that I’ve never been a fan of swiss cheese…I’ve always called it the “Stinky cheese” and as a result I was a bit leary to make…

Swiss Chicken Supreme

INGREDIENTS:

* 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

* 1 Tbs dried minced onion

* 1/2 tsp garlic powder

* 1/4 tsp salt

* 1/8 tsp pepper

* 4 slices reduced-fat Swiss cheese

* 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) reduced-fat condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted

* 1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream

* 1/2 cup fat-free milk

* 1/3 cup crushed crackers (about 8 crackers)

* 1 tsp butter, melted

DIRECTIONS:

1. Place the chicken in a 13×9 baking dish coated with cooking spray.

2. Sprinkle the chicken with the minced onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Top each piece of chicken with a slice of cheese.

3. In a separate bowl, combine soup, sour cream and milk; pour over the chicken.

4. Toss the cracker crumbs and butter; sprinkle over chicken.

5. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until chicken juices run clear and crumbs are golden.

SERVINGS: 4

RESULTS:

I decided to served the chicken over a bed of peas and it made for a great combo.  This would have been great over rice as well.  If making this recipe I would suggest adding more crackers…the saltyness of the crackers with the creaminess of the soup was perfect.

*Both recipes were from the Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet Cookbook.

Tonight Kim and I watched Teen Mom on MTV…I don’t know why I watch certain shows…they are just like train wrecks that you can’t help avoid watching.  Do you have any TV shows that you watch but question why you do?

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The terrain…

No Phones allowed…

Where is everyone?

Who did we find?

Need a clue?

“Hi Tiger!”…We’ll let you get back to practicing.

The competition is looking stiff!

A final goodbye from previous winners…

Good Luck!

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Today my family got together for a little “good luck” send off for my little brother.  Next week he leaves for grad school down in Florida where he will be studying Statistics and taking after his big sister… 🙂

Jeff and I brought with us Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza and homemade deserts!

Desert 1: Chippy Blond Brownies

 

Please forgive the Ziploc containers…I made this dish at Jeff’s house so I brought the ingredients along with me.  Being a guy I wasn’t sure he would have flour and brown sugar…:)

INGREDIENTS:

* 6 Tbs butter, softened

* 1 cup packed brown sugar

* 2 eggs

* 1 tsp vanilla extract

* 1-1/4 cups flour

* 1 tsp baking powder

* 1/2 tsp salt

* 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

* 1/2 cup chopped pecans

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one.  Beat in the vanilla.

2. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; gradually add to butter mixture until blended.

3. Stir in the chocolate chips and pecans.

4. Spread into a greased 11×7 pan.  Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until the toothpick test passes.

SERVINGS: 2 dozen

RESULT:

I also made some mini banana muffins as a special request for my brother.  This recipe was super easy and quick.

Desert 2: Banana-chip mini cupcakes

INGREDIENTS:

* 1 package (14 ounces) banana quick bread and muffin mix

* 3/4 cup water

* 1/3 cup sour cream

* 1 egg

* 1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips, divided

* 1 Tbs shortening

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large bowl, combine the muffin mix, water, sour cream and egg; stir just until moistened.   Fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips.

2. Fill greased or lined mini muffin cups.  Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes or until the toothpick test passes.  Cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan.

3. Once cooled, in a microwave safe bowl combine the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and shortening; heat until smooth.  Dip the cupcakes into the chocolate.

SERVINGS: 3-1/2 dozen

RESULT:

Everyone loved the deserts and pizza! 

Tomorrow Jeff and I are heading to the PGA championship in Koehler WI so check back tomorrow for some great pictures from the course. 🙂

*Both recipes were from the Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet Cookbook

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Ham & Eggs

I have to admit…I am a huge breakfast fan.  If I was forced to choose my favorite meal of the day hands down it would be breakfast. 

Every weekend that Jeff and I are together I can’t wait for morning to come so I can make him a special breakfast. 

Weekend breakfasts are always a special treat because they take extra time to make and are always better than the weekday bowl of oatmeal or yogurt eaten at your desk.

This morning I jumped at the opportunity to make Jeff and I a delicious Ham & Cheese Egg casserole from my Taste of Home cookbook.

 

INGREDIENTS:

*1-1/2 cups diced ham

*1/4 cup crushed saltines (about 6)

*1/4 cup shredded swiss cheese

*6 eggs

*2 Tbs melted butter

*2 tsp caraway seeds

* 6 ounces plain yogurt

DIRECTIONS:

1. Mix all the ingredients except the eggs into a bowl.

2. Beat eggs in a separate bowl and then add to the ham mixture, folding the ham mixture into the eggs.

3. Pour into a greased 8×8 pan and bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes until eggs are cooked through.

SERVINGS: 9

RESULTS:

Jeff really enjoyed this breakfast and it did a great job of keeping us full well into the afternoon.  There was a strong caraway seed flavor so if caraway seeds aren’t your favorite I’m sure you could omit them and the dish would still come out great.

I also did some treat baking today for tomorrow’s family dinner…I’ll leave you with a photo of the outcome and tell you more about the Blondie tomorrow.

What is your favorite meal of the day?

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Dinner tonight was extremely simple but yet a huge accomplishment for me!  I used the grill!  The grill has always been this scary fire-breathing dragon to me.  I decided to start extremely simple and marinate some chicken breasts and steaks.

I marinated the chicken and steaks for about an hour in the fridge and then cooked them 5 minutes on each side.

I had my sister for moral support as I tackled my fear and the result was pretty good!

 Jeff joined us for dinner and the steaks were actually for him…unfortunatley I over cooked them as he likes his steaks medium and mine were more well done.  There will always be next time.  The chicken was amazing though…perfectly done and extremely juicy!

Tomorrow is my company’s picnic and then date night with Jeff so there won’t be any cooking being done tomorrow…but check back for my attempt at making blondies and mini banana chocolate chip muffins for a family dinner on Sunday.

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Fish Nuggets

Tonight’s dinner was something that reminded me of being a little kid.  It was also something that I haven’t had in a very long time…Fish Nuggets!  Tonight we also had company so I had not only one person to please but TWO.  Luckily the outcome was a success!

(From the Taste of Home Cookbook Diet)

 

INGREDIENTS:

* 1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs

* 1/3 cup crushed cereal

*3 Tbs grated parmesan cheese

* 1/2 tsp salt

*1/4 tsp pepper

*1-1/2 pounds cod fillets, cut into 1-inch cubes

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs, cereal, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

2. Coat the fish with butter-flavored spray, then roll in crumb mixture.

3. Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 375 for 15-20 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

SERVINGS: 4

RESULT:

Everyone loved the result.  I’m starting to feel as though this cookbook is a winner.  After dinner the three of us were on a mission…to find my brother some furniture for school in a few weeks.  We headed off to Ashley Furniture to have a look around.  While we didn’t find anything we did have some fun…

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