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!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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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 Kenโ€™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!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Rise and Shine!

This morning our sick little man had us up at 5:00AM!!! We tried so hard to get him to fall back asleep, but without success. After some time, we thought giving him a breathing treatment might do the trick. And we were right!! Within minutes he was fast asleep, and when the treatment ended, he continued to sleep as he was put back in his crib.

By now, it was 7:00AM, and I was already exhausted! I really wanted to go to sleep, but as a concerned mom, I just couldn’t make myself go to sleep. So what did I do instead???

I got on Pinterest, and began pinning away to find something to make my family for breakfast when they woke up. It needed to be something that included ingredients I already had on hand, and it needed to be easy!

Baked Egg and Hash Brown Cups

Ingredients:

20 oz package shredded potatoes, with extra liquid removed
Eggs (amount may vary, I needed 16)
1/3 cup shredded cheese, plus extra to melt on top
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
4 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
Cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly spray muffin pan with cooking spray.

Combine hash browns, oil, 1/3 cup shredded cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Divide evenly among the cups in your muffin tin (again, for me this was 16).

Bake hash browns at 425 degrees for 15-18 minutes, until edges are toasted.

Remove from the oven, and reduce to 350 degrees.

Meanwhile, crack an egg into each of the cups on top of the hash browns (I used 10 eggs, and equivalent of 6 eggs in Egg Beaters).

Top with bacon and a sprinkle of extra cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 13-16 minutes, or until eggs are to desired firmness.

Slide a knife along the edges to remove from pan once partially cooled.

**Recipe Inspiration: The Little Birdie

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ENJOY!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Chicken Piccata(ish)!

There is no significant story behind tonight’s dinner. Other than the fact that I laid some chicken out to thaw before I left for work this morning. Initially I had planned to make plain baked chicken, but for some reason I was not content with that!

I took to Pinterest to find something delicious, and came across the recipe below. The original recipe was a typical chicken piccata, but I changed it up a bit

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Baked Chicken Piccata

Ingredients:

8 chicken pieces (I used 2 thighs and 6 drumsticks)
1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1 cup plain bread crumbs
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
1 tbsp dried parsley
1/2 cup egg substitute
1 cup Flour, Plus 1 1/2 tbsp
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp Red Chili Flakes
2 whole Lemon, juiced
1 whole Lemon, sliced thinly
1 1/2 cup Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth
1 Tbsp Butter, softened
Cooking Oil Spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray foil-lined baking sheet.

In non-stick skillet over medium heat, heat up 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Pour in both panko and plain bread crumbs and toast until golden brown. Stir often to avoid burning. Pour into shallow bowl or plate. Stir in 1 tbsp dried parsley. Let cool.

In two other separate bowls, place 1 cup flour and 1 whisked egg. Salt and pepper flour to taste (I just did a few turns of my salt and pepper mills).

Dredge each piece of chicken in flour, covering throughly. Then dip into egg wash, coating throughly. Then transfer and coat with toasted bread crumbs. Place onto prepared baking Sheet. Repeat with other chicken pieces.

Bake at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove from oven and set aside.

In large non-stick skillet heat remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add in garlic and cook until about 30 seconds. Stir in chili pepper flakes, lemon juice, lemon slices, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then lower to simmer. Cook until reduced by half.

When the liquid is reduced, in small bowl stir together 1 1/2 tablespoon of flour and softened butter. This will create a thickening agent for the sauce. Whisk into reduced sauce pan and bring to a boil. Continue to stir until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat.

**Recipe adapted from: Country Cleaver

This was yet another simple weeknight meal. It would also be great to entertain guests!

ENJOY!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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!! ๐Ÿ™‚

A day late….

……it was well worth the wait!!!

The recipe below was supposed to be yesterday’s dinner, but I just ran out of steam! After going to a “moms’ night out” Thursday, dinner with friends Friday, tailgate and football game Saturday, and the aquarium yesterday, I was tapped out. But today, I was determined to get back to cooking!

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Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless
1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
6 tablespoons egg whites or egg beaters, divided
5 oz frozen spinach, squeezed dry of any liquid
15 oz part skim ricotta cheese, divided
10 oz reduced fat shredded mozzarella, divided
olive oil non-stick spray
1 jar pasta sauce (about 16 oz)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly spray a glass baking dish with cooking spray.

Cut pocket in thick side of each chicken, being careful not to cut through the other side (like in the cordon-bleu chicken recipe).

In a bowl, combine breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup grated cheese (for coating).

In another bowl, 1/4 cup egg beaters or egg whites (for coating).

In a third bowl, combine spinach, 1/4 cup mozzarella, 2 tbsp egg substitute, and 1/2 cup ricotta cheese.

Divide cheese and spinach mixture evenly among the chicken breasts, and fill pockets. Seal chicken breasts with a toothpick. Season chicken with salt and pepper.

Coat each chicken with egg, and then breadcrumb mixture. Repeat with remaining 3 pieces of chicken. Place in greased baking dish. Spray top of chicken lightly with cooking spray.

Bake at 450 degrees for 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine pasta sauce and remaining ricotta cheese. Heat through.

Remove chicken from the oven, top with sauce and desired mozzarella cheese. Bake an additional 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Let rest about 5 minutes before serving.

**Recipe adapted from: Skinny Taste

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I served this along with steamed broccoli, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste.

ENJOY!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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 sautรฉing 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!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Weekend Recovery

The weekends are always the hardest for me to stay on track and eat healthy. Since I typically do not work on the weekends, there naturally tends to be less structure throughout the day. We wake up whenever little man decides its time to get up. Thankfully, that was not until 9AM this past weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚

The time we wake up influences what we do for breakfast. Since I knew we had some things to get done Saturday, we just had some fresh fruit and yogurt, then we got ready and got on our way. My husband was beyond excited that a Trader Joe’s had opened up near us. It was out favorite place to grocery shop when we lived in Philadelphia, and have been waiting 5 years since we moved to Tampa for one to open. Now, we still had to drive an hour to get to it, but it was so worth it!! And since we were near the outlet stores, we stopped there for a bit. Little man needed some new clothes. He is growing far too fast!!! I also needed to pick up a birthday present for someone, but can’t say who, just in case he/she reads this!

So, because of a busy weekend, and usually eating on the go, I like to try to go vegetarian for our dinner on Monday which will typically include fish or seafood of some sort. Tonight that was cod that we picked up while at Trader Joe’s for a fantastic price! I took to the Internet to find something I had never made before, but something that was also easy and quick since I do work. Below is our healthy Monday meal.

Creamy Fish Bake

Ingredients:

2 (10 ounce) packages frozen broccoli spears, cooked and drained
4-5 pieces cod fillet (may be able to fit up to 6 pieces depending on the size of the fillets)
2 (10.75 ounce) cans cream of broccoli soup
2/3 cup 1% milk
1/2 cup reduced fat Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 teaspoon margarine, melted
1/4 teaspoon old bay seasoning, plus extra to sprinkle on top
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray 13×9 glass baking dish with nonstick spray.

Arrange cooked broccoli in the bottom of the baking dish. Season with salt and pepper.

Place fish on top of broccoli. Season fish with salt and pepper.

Mix soup and milk and pour over fish. Sprinkle with cheese.

Mix bread crumbs, margarine, and old bay. Evenly distribute on top, then sprinkle with additional old bay on top.

Bake uncovered at 450 degrees for 20 minutes or until fish is done.

**Recipe credit: All Recipes

The addition of the old bay seasoning was a suggestion I came across as I read through the reviews. It was a fantastic substitute for paprika. Definitely made the dish taste better!!

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This was a delicious, healthy, and easy weeknight meal. Even better that little man liked it too!!

ENJOY!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Dressed Up Broccoli!

After breakfast, I spent most of the day trying to figure out what to make for dinner with what I had on hand. I knew I was going to make baked chicken, but I still needed something to serve with it. Initially, I wanted to have some corn, but I only had canned. And my mind just wasn’t coming up with any way to use the canned corn.

I then began brainstorming what I could do with frozen broccoli. When we lived in Philadelphia, and all I had was a 2 burner stove and a small toaster oven. I would often make this baked cream cheese broccoli dish, and I was wanting to make something similar to that tonight. However, I did not have any cream cheese. I then remembered the Parmesan sauce I made yesterday with the Seafood Lasagna. I thought this sauce, or one similar, would be delicious with broccoli! Below is what I created!

Ingredients:

2 bags frozen broccoli, thawed and drained
2 tbsp butter or margarine, melted
2 tbsp flour
2 cups low-fat milk
1/2 cup grated/shredded cheese (I used 1/4 cup Parmesan and 1/4 cup asiago)
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste

Bread Crumb Topping:
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:

In a saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour. Let it cook a minute or so. Slowly whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, and cook for 3-5 minutes. Watch it carefully, it will bubble and boil over quickly. Add cheese and stir until melted. Add nutmeg as well as salt and pepper to taste.

In a bowl, combine the thawed broccoli and cheese sauce. Pour into an 8×8 glass baking dish.

In a small sautรฉ pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine. Cook just enough to brown the bread crumbs. About 10 minutes.

Once bread crumbs are browned, sprinkle on top of broccoli and cheese mixture.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

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ENJOY!!

Quick tip!!

Always try to find a way to re-invent the wheel! Meaning, even if you buy some packaged foods, try to find a way to change it up and make it your own.

For example, I rarely have the time to prepare my own bread crumbs to make baked chicken. I often buy bread crumbs or coating mix already packaged at the store. Then when I decide to use it, I think about how I can change it and add more flavor.

Tonight I did just that! I took one package of coating mix, added about 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese and freshly ground pepper to taste. For me, that’s a lot of pepper! Then just bake it according to the package directions. Typically, that’s 400 degrees for about 45 minutes.

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You can serve it with any of your favorite side dish. Tonight I took a bunch of fresh vegetables from my refrigerator (broccoli, asparagus, zucchini), and quickly sautรฉed them in olive oil and crushed garlic. At the very end, I added the juice of half a lemon and salt and pepper to taste. Yummy! It was the perfect compliment to the baked chicken.

But….you can add almost anything to bread crumbs or coating mix. As in previous posts, I have made a taco baked chicken by adding some taco seasoning. I have also made a buffalo ranch chicken by adding dry ranch dressing to buffalo flavored crumbs. That was my favorite!

Experiment with it, and add any spices or favors that suit you and your family!

ENJOY!!!