Incredibly blog-worthy!!!

It has been a couple weeks since I have posted any new recipes. With the little man getting bigger and becoming so active, I spend a lot of my time entertaining and keeping up with him. That’s definitely a job all of it’s own!!

However, yesterday I finally had the chance and TIME to cook something new. Inspiration for this meal I have to give to my mother-in-law and her donation of a large green cabbage. I love cabbage in all it’s forms, but I do not recall I time that I have ever cooked it myself. So in my typical fashion, I took to Pinterest for some recipe idea. I even asked some coworkers if they had any suggestions.

Next, I needed to come up with something to accompany it. I had plenty of boneless, skinless chicken breast in the freezer thanks to a great sale a couple weeks ago at my local grocery store. So, as usual, without knowing how I was going to prepare it, I sat some out to thaw. Then, again took to Pinterest.

Below are two of the MOST DELICIOUS recipes I have ever made. So delicious, I got myself seconds….which is SO rare!!!

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Cheesy Baked Chicken

Chicken:
3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2-3 cups multi-grain Club crackers, finely crushed in food processor
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 cup low fat milk
3 cup shredded cheese (I used a 4-cheese Mexican blend)
1 tsp dried parsley

Sauce:
1 10 ounce can cream of chicken soup, fat free
2 tbsp fat free sour cream
2 tbsp butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Pour the milk, cheese and cracker crumbs into 3 separate small dishes. Toss the salt and pepper into the cracker crumbs and stir the mixture until combined.

Cut each chicken breast into 3 equal pieces.

Coat each piece of chicken in the milk. Then press into the shredded cheese. Lastly, coat in cracker crumbs. (Note: You are likely to lose a bit of cheese while coating in the cracker crumbs. Don’t worry! It will still turn out cheesy and delicious!)

Place chicken pieces in single layer in prepared glass baking dish. Sprinkle with parsley. Cover with foil.

Bake covered at 375 for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes until golden brown.

While chicken bakes, in a small sauce pan combine cream of chicken, sour cream, and butter. Stir with a whisk and heat until well combined. (Be careful: It will come to a boil quickly!)

Top chicken with sauce.

**Recipe credit: Jamie Cooks It Up

Cabbage Custard Casserole

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter
1 green cabbage (about 2 -/2 pounds), cored and thinly sliced
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups of low fat milk
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup multi-grain Club crackers finely crushed
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Directions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Melt 1/2 cup butter in large pot. Add cabbage and onion; cook over medium heat until softened, about 20 minutes.

Stir in milk; bring to boiling. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Let cool slightly.

Gently stir in eggs. Add 1/2 cup crushed crackers, salt and pepper.

Pour into prepared casserole dish. Dust top evenly with remaining crushed crackers.

Bake in 375 degrees oven for 30 minutes or until heated through and top is golden brown.

**Recipe credit: Recipe.com

As I mentioned above, these are two of the most delicious recipes I have ever made. Both my husband and my son loved them as well. My son repeatedly asked for more “doodles” ( his word for noodle, which is what he though the cabbage was)!!!

ENJOY!! 🙂

Not exactly cooking, but…..

….so simple and delicious!

I have been pretty lazy lately about going to the grocery store. For some reason, I have lacked the motivation. Which is unusual because typically I love going grocery shopping!! So, needless to say, I am down to bare bones with what to cook.

Again, I laid out some chicken breast to thaw with barely a clue of what I was going to make. When I came home from work I scoured my pantry, fridge, and freezer to see what I could come up. I found some steam-ready green beans and a jar of Alfredo sauce, and this is what I created!

Weeknight Chicken Alfredo

Ingredients:

2 cups short cut whole grain pasta, uncooked (like penne or rotini)
1 jar light Alfredo sauce
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 pkg frozen steam-ready green beans
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in sauté pan. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook 7-8 minutes until cooked through. Halfway through, add minced garlic.

Cook green beans according package directions. Add to sauté pan. Stir to combine. Pour half of the Alfredo sauce into sauce pan. Stir.

Drain pasta and add to chicken and green beans. Add remaining sauce. Stir to combine. Salt and pepper to taste.

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ENJOY!! 🙂

Obsessed With Buffalo!

This is definitely not the first time that I have posted a recipe that used buffalo sauce. I just can’t seem to get enough of it!!

This recipe is very similar to the way in which I prepared the Buffalo Burgers in a previous post. One major change…..I used boneless, skinless chicken breast instead of turkey burgers.

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

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Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 bottle buffalo wing sauce (I again used Ken’s)
1/4 cup margarine or butter
Cooking spray

Directions:

Line a baking sheet with foil. Lightly spray with cooking spray.

Combine flour, cayenne pepper, and salt in a shallow bowl or plate.

Coat each of the chicken breasts in the flour mixture. Place on prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small saucepan, combine buffalo sauce and butter. Heat and stir until butter is melted.

In a shallow bowl, pour just enough sauce to coat each of the chicken breasts. Return to prepared baking sheet. Reserve remaining wing sauce.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees.

Transfer chicken to 8×8 prepared baking dish. Top with reserved wing sauce. Cover with foil. Return to oven for 30 minutes, allowing time for the chicken to absorb the wing sauce.

I then thinly sliced some celery and used a store bough ranch dressing to complete the sandwiches.

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WAIT!!!! There’s more!

Along with the buffalo chicken sandwiches, I made some french (baked) fries. When I bought my potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner, my store had them B1G1. I though t this was a good way to use up some of those potatoes.

French (Baked) Fries

Ingredients:

5-6 medium sized red potatoes
Olive oil, enough to coat potatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.

Cut potatoes into French fry shape. Place on prepared baking sheet. Coat fries with enough olive oil to cover all potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to your liking.

Spread potatoes in single layer on baking sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, or until fries are cooked through.

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This meal was a hit with my family, and I hope it will be in your’s too!

ENJOY!! 🙂

Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving dinner is honestly the best meal of the year, and I’m not just saying that because I make it!!

Even as a child, I always looked forward to the Thanksgiving meal because of the food, and more importantly because of the time spent with family and friends. My family always made a rather tradition Thanksgiving dinner. Now that I live away from my family, I have been making that same traditional meal for my husband and his family, and now for our little guy.

The turkey I made very simply, just as I had mentioned in my previous post (click here). We also had ham that was left from the Thanksgiving potluck at work. Aside from those, we had 4 different side dishes.

Mashed Red Potatoes

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5lbs red potatoes, cubed leaving skins on
1 cup low fat milk, or to desired consistency
1/4 butter, softened
Dried parsley, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste

Boil potatoes about 30 minutes, or until tender and easy to mash. Drain. Add remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth.

Baked Corn Casserole

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4 cans creamed corn
2 cans whole corn kernels, drained
4 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 Splenda blend sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine eggs, flour, and sugar. Add all cans of creamed corn and drained corn kernels. Stir until combined. Pour into greased baking dish. Bake about 45 minutes, or until center is cooked through.

**This recipe I have to give credit to my Aunt. The same Aunt I got the macaroni salad recipe from (here).

Potato Bread Stuffing (Dressing)

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2 bags cubed potato bread (I used Martin’s brand)
1 medium onion chopped
6 ribs of celery, including leaves, chopped
1/4 cup butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp poultry seasoning
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chicken stock, enough to moisten and combine bread cubes (about 2-3 cups)
3 bay leaves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil and melt butter in large sauté pan. Add bay leaves. Cook 1-2 minutes.

Add celery and onions. Cook 5-10 minutes, or until tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

In a large bowl, pour one bag of cubed bread. Add celery and onion mixture as well as 1 cup chicken stock. Stir to combine and moisten bread cubes.

I then alternate between remaining bread cubes and chicken stock until cubes are incorporated and it is one cohesive mixture.

Transfer to a 13×9 baking dish. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil for remaining 15 minutes, or until stuffing begins to brown.

**Recipe inspiration: Rachael Ray

The last side dish I made was a typical Green Bean Casserole. The only change I made from the original recipe was that I substituted fat free cream of chicken for the cans of cream of mushroom. Personally, I am not a fan of mushrooms. So, this is just a preference. No one else seems to mind, and find them just as delicious!

This having been my 5th year making Thanksgiving dinner on my own, I think it gets more and more delicious each year! I hope you find these recipes just as yummy, and maybe they will make it to your Thanksgiving table next year!

Check back tomorrow for a delicious pumpkin cheesecake recipe!

ENJOY!! 🙂

This is a first!

I am always cooking with chicken or fish, and posting those recipes! But……I love pork too! I just try not to eat too much of it. In fact, one of my all-time favorite dishes is pork and sauerkraut. My grandma says we have to eat it every New Year’s Day for good luck the Reston the year. My mouth is watering now just thinking about pork and sauerkraut! Hehe!! 🙂

Tonight I tried something I had never done with pork chops. I stuffed them!

Greek Stuffed Pork Chops

Ingredients:

2 bone-in pork chops, thick cut (at least 1/2 inch)
2 tbsp reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1/4 reduced fat feta cheese crumbles
1 tbsp sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cooking spray (I used Cisco Olive Oil flavor.)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray bottom of 8×8 glass baking dish with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, feta, basil, and sundried tomatoes.

Using a knife, cut pocket in pork chop (like in stuffed chicken). Being sure not to cut through any sides of the pork chop.

Dividing the cheese mixture equally, stuff it into each of the pork chops. Seal with 1-2 toothpicks (dependent on the size of your pocket opening).

Season one side of pork chop with salt and pepper. Place seasoned side down in greased baking dish. Spray top of pork chops lightly with cooking spray. Season with salt and pepper.

Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes (depending on pork chop thickness). Remove from oven and transfer to a plate. Cover with foil and let it rest 5-10 minutes before serving.

**Recipe adapted from: Grilled Pork Chop

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Along with the stuffed pork chops I served a mixture of green beans and wax beans. I purchased one package of each from my produce section. They came in “ready to steam” packages.

Lemon Beans

Ingredients:

1 8 oz package “steam ready” green beans (fresh, not frozen)
1 8 oz package “steam ready” wax beans (fresh, not frozen)
1 1/2 tbs fresh lemon juice
Zest from 1/2 a lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Prepare beans according to package directions. Mine required cutting small slit in package, and then microwave for 2-3 minutes.

Once beans are cooked, place in a bowl. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine.

**Recipe Inspiration: Martha Stewart

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This was a delicious and simple meal. It would be a perfect weeknight meal for 2!!!

ENJOY!! 🙂

Thanks to a coworker….

…..otherwise, I would have never come across this simple recipe.

Typically, when I ask my husband what he wants for dinner, being the creature of habit that he is, I almost always get one of two responses. Either, Chinese food or baked chicken. Since we are trying to be conscience of what we eat, Chinese food is not an option right now. So, baked chicken it was!

But….what to serve with it??? I wanted to make something new so I could post something to share with you all. Lucky for me, one of my coworkers had brought in some magazine she had at home with several different recipes. I came across this dressing.

Simple Dijon Vinaigrette

2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside until ready to use.

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I actually doubled the recipe above for dinner tonight. The original recipe recommended serving the vinaigrette over steamed broccoli, but I had some fresh carrots I wanted to use up. So I steamed them along with the broccoli.

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The dressing was delicious. I think it would be great on a garden salad as well!

ENJOY!! 🙂

If only……..

……there were more than 24 hours in a day!!!!

I apologize for not getting this up yesterday. After working almost 2 weeks without a day off, last night after we ate dinner, I finally reached the end of my rope!! I was absolutely EXHAUSTED!! So, I went to bed at 6:30PM 🙂

Anyway, back to food! Yesterday day before leaving for work (which I was late for….LOL) I put a few things in the crockpot to cook while I was working.

Slow Cooker Ranch Chicken

Ingredients:
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into large pieces
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into large pieces
2 cans fat-free cream of chicken soup
1 package dry Ranch dressing mix
1 cup 1% milk
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Spray your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray and put potatoes on the bottom. Salt and pepper potatoes.

Place the chicken breasts on top of the potatoes. Salt and pepper chicken.

Mix together the condensed soups, Ranch dressing mix and milk. Pour on top of the chicken and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours.

**Recipe developed from: Six Sisters

For some reason, that was not good enough. Then, of course I couldn’t just leave it, so I went a few steps further!

About 45 minutes before I was ready to serve, I removed the chicken to a plate. Using a slotted spoon, I put all the potatoes into a bowl. And returned the chicken back to the slow cooker to keep it warm.

Meanwhile, I added a 1/4 cup fat free sour cream and dried parsley, to taste, to the bowl of potatoes. Blended until smooth.

Then I put the mashed potatoes into a greased 8×8 glass baking dish, and dotted the top with a bit of margarine (about 1 tbsp total). Baked in a 350 degree preheated oven for about 20 minutes.

With about 10 minutes left to bake, I returned the chicken back to the plate to rest a bit before serving. I then poured the sauce into a sauce pan, brought it to a boil, then simmered about 5-10 minutes to thicken it a bit.

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From cooking low and slow all day, the chicken was so tender, and the potatoes were delicious after having absorbed all the flavors!

ENJOY!!! 🙂

Too much cabbage!

Over the weekend when I was at the grocery store to buy ingredients for the fish tacos, I had purchased an entire head of green cabbage, not really even thinking that I would only need about a quarter of it.

Now…..I was in need of a use for the rest of it! I really did not want it to go to waste. Initially, I looked on Pinterest, but I did not find anything that intrigued me. Next, I headed to Food Network, and simply used the search term “cabbage”. About 10 recipes in I found the perfect one (mostly because I knew my husband would like it 🙂 ).

Hot Asian Slaw

Ingredients:

2 tsp canola oil
1 green cabbage (I used about 3/4 since that what I had left), shredded in food processor
2 medium carrots, shredded in food processor
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, grated
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated or finely minced
1/4 cup lite soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
Red pepper flakes, to taste
Sesame seeds, to taste

Directions:

In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add the canola oil and heat.

Add the onion, garlic and ginger and saute, stirring, for 1 minute.

Add the cabbage and carrots. Cook until just starting to wilt, about 2 minutes.

In a small combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Add half to the cabbage and mix to combine. Cook 2-3 minutes.

Stir in desired amount of red pepper flakes to remaining half of soy mixture. Add to pan.

Stir well and cook just until cabbage is wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in sesame seeds.

**Recipe developed from: Food Network

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Along with the Hot Asian Slaw, I served some chicken pieces that I marinaded in a store bough teriyaki marinade. Actually, in my fridge, I had half a bottle each of a honey teriyaki and plain teriyaki. So the chicken was marinaded in the honey teriyaki for 2 hours. Then the other marinade was reduced with a tablespoon of honey, 1/3 cup chicken stock, and sliced onions to use as a sauce, just as I had done previously.

The spicy slaw was a perfect with the sweet teriyaki marinade!

ENJOY!! 🙂

Weekly Ingredient: Chicken Breast

Tonight’s recipe was influenced by the first weekly ingredient I chose: boneless, skinless chicken breast. It is so versatile, and you can pretty much flavor it with your favorite favors. I have marinaded, baked, grilled, and sautéed chicken breast many times, but it can easily get boring!

So, before I left for work this morning, I laid out 4 chicken breasts to defrost. Although, I still had no idea what I was going to do with them. I just knew I wanted to make something I had not previously made.

After some thought in between patients this morning, the idea of chicken cordon bleu popped into my head. I’m not really sure what made me think of it. In times past, I had always bought the pre-made, frozen version at the grocery store. For some reason, it just seemed like a lot of prep work went into making chicken cordon bleu, but in reality, no more prep time than needed for most other recipes. So, below is my version!

Stuffed Chicken Cordon Bleu

Ingredients:

4 large, thick boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 slices deli ham (I used Hillshire Farm brand, low sodium, thin slices)
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 oz Swiss cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 paprika
Cooking spray

Directions:

Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs, pepper, salt, and paprika. In another bowl, lightly beat egg. Set aside.

On the thick side of the chicken breast, with a knife, make a pocket (My pockets were about 2 inches long by 2 inches wide). Be sure not to cut all the way through the other side of the chicken. Continue with the other chicken breasts.

After all the pockets are made, begin to fill. First, I put in 2 pieces of ham and about 2 tablespoons of cheese. Using a toothpick, puncture the chicken to seal and keep the cheese and ham inside. Once sealed, coat stuffed chicken breast in egg, then bread crumb mixture. Place in greased baking dish. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.

Bake the chicken for 30-35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through completely, the cheese is bubbling and the bread crumbs are golden (Prior to baking, I also sprayed the tops of the chicken with cooking spray to help the bread crumbs brown, since I omitted the butter from the original recipe).

**Recipe inspiration: The Girl Who Ate Everything

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As in the original recipe I found, I made a Dijon-parmesan sauce to go on top.

Dijon-Parmesan Sauce

Ingredients: (NOTE: This made quite a bit of sauce. I think I could have probably halved the recipe and had enough for 4 people.)

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup 1% milk
1/4 cup chicken stock (possibly more if the sauce is too thick, I ended up using about 1/2 cup total)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions: When the chicken is almost done, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour, whisking constantly. Cook the flour/butter mixture for 1-2 minutes. Slowly pour in the milk while whisking quickly. Stir in the chicken stock and salt. Whisk mixture constantly over medium heat until the mixture begins to simmer and thicken, about 3-5 minutes.

Once the sauce has bubbled and thickened, remove from heat and stir in the mustard, Worcestershire sauce and Parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted. Keep the sauce warm until the chicken is finished baking. If your sauce is too thick, whisk in some more chicken stock. If it’s too thin, simmer longer.

Additionally, I made a zucchini and squash gratin. Both of the vegetables were on sale at my grocery store. I could not resist buying them at such a great price!

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Zucchini-Yellow Squash Gratin

Ingredients:

2 large zucchini, shredded in food processor
2 large yellow squash, shredded in food processor
1 cup shredded cheese (any combination you like, I used 1/2 cup Swiss cheese and 1/2 cup cheddar-jack cheese), plus extra to top
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place shredded zucchini and squash on a clean kitchen towel. Spread evenly over the towel, roll-up and wring the towel over the kitchen sink to extract as much liquid as possible from the zucchini.

In a small bowl, place the cheese, flour, salt, and pepper and toss to coat the cheese with the flour.

Add the dry zucchini to a large bowl, toss in cheese and flour mixture. Stir to combine.

Spread the mixture into greased 8×8-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle with additional cheese over the zucchini mixture

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Let rest five minutes and serve.

**Recipe credit: RV Goddess

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My family really liked these dishes, and I hope yours does too!

ENJOY!! 🙂

I couldn’t resist!!!

Tonight’s dinner is a repeat from a previous post. I honestly think the two recipes in this post are the best recipes I have ever made. That’s why, when we were in Trader Joe’s, amongst what seemed like the entire Tampa Bay area, I just had to buy the fresh Brussels sprouts I spotted!!! Do you remember the recipes I’m referring to???

Click here to find out!

I did do two variations from the original post. First, I decided to roast (at 425 degrees for 30-35 minutes, turning halfway through) the Brussels sprouts instead of sautéing them, and I also omitted the garlic (but that was an accident).

Both the chicken and Brussels sprouts were just as delicious, if not more delicious, than the first time!!!

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I also have to confess……

I think this is the fourth time I have made these Brussels sprouts since I first posted the recipe. They are THAT GOOD!!!!! If you haven’t made them yet, it is worth giving a try!

ENJOY!! 🙂