Monday, February 23, 2009

Chipotle Tamale Pie

I have had this recipe marked ever since I bought cornmeal at the grocery store. I honestly don't even remember why I bought it. I am still trying to clear out our deep freeze so I can start freezing meals. If this tells you anything, its that I have a LOT of food in the deep freeze. I won't have even made it through the summer garden harvest before this next garden season is upon us.

This casserole is a good way to eat up a lot of items in your house. I think you could adapt the ingredients to whatever you have on hand really. Change it up with some black beans & ground chicken. Anyway you slice it, it was easy, healthy & made a lot of food, for not a lot of $$$.

Chipotle Tamale Pie
1 3/4 cups chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
3/4 pound ground round
1/2 cup bottled salsa
1 to 2 tablespoons bottled chipotle sauce (such as La Preferidia) or hot sauce
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can pinto beans in zesty sauce (such as S&W), undrained
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup 1% low-fat milk
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 400°.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and beef; cook 5 minutes or until meat is browned, stirring to crumble. Stir in the salsa, chipotle sauce, beans, and tomatoes; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1/2 cup cilantro. Spoon beef mixture into a 3-quart casserole.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (flour through salt) in a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup cilantro, milk, butter, and egg; stir until well-blended. Spoon the batter over beef mixture; spread evenly. Bake at 400° for 35 minutes or until golden.

A few changes to the recipe: I used ground turkey & our homemade salsa. I couldn't find pinto beans in zesty sauce so I just used regular ones. I also couldn't find chipotle sauce, but I did have adobe peppers in chipotle sauce, so I used about 2 Tbsp from that. I added some 2% mexican mix shredded cheese. It looked like it would be a little dry (i am assuming b/c I drained the beans) so I kept part of the tomato juice.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Creamy Ranch Chicken Pasta

I'll make this a quick post. When I received my daily email from BHG and saw "Ranch" in the title I knew I had to make it for my husband. There are two things my husband loves, anything with ranch dressing (it has to be Hidden Valley though) and anything wrapped in bacon.

So when I actually read the recipe and saw it had ranch & bacon, oh I knew he would just love it. I changed out the whole milk in the recipe, that is too much fat. I just used 2% and it was fine. And we have pretty much banned white pasta in our house. We only eat whole wheat.

Creamy Ranch Chicken
6 slices bacon
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. ranch dry salad dressing mix
1-1/4 cups whole milk
3 cups dried medium noodles
1 Tbsp. finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1. Cut bacon into narrow strips. In a large skillet cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels; discard all but 2 tablespoons drippings.

2. In the same skillet cook chicken in reserved drippings until tender and no longer pink, turning to brown evenly. Sprinkle flour and salad dressing mix over the chicken in the skillet; stir well. Stir in milk. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Stir in bacon. Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions. Serve chicken mixture with noodles; sprinkle with Parmesan. Makes: 4 servings

I decided to do a salad with this too. I am not always in the mood for a fresh garden salad, so I like to change it up a bit. Greens, an apple, candied walnuts & a homemade dijon balsamic vinaigrette.

Thai Fish Sauce & Lime Chicken

I am finally getting around to making some of the recipes I had tagged back in January. The two that I am posting about today have been on the menu rotation since probably mid January. After I finally made them, the hubs said "why have you been holding out!" I think I just had to be in the mood to make this stuff.

I think the biggest struggle I have when making my weekly menu is that I like to have a variety of dishes. I won't have a pasta dish two nights in a row. Or Mexican two nights in a row. So I try to be creative. This is good & bad; good b/c I am forced to make a variety of dishes, bad b/c it takes me forever to come up with my menu.

I like to throw some Thai or Chinese in throughout the week. I knew I had fish sauce & limes in the fridge so I searched myrecipes and came across this one.

Thai Fish Sauce and Lime Chicken
Cooking Light

4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons sweetened chili sauce
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts
Lime wedges (optional)
Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.

Add broth, chili sauce, and fish sauce; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook until broth mixture is reduced to 2/3 cup (about 4 minutes). Remove from heat; add lime juice and peanut butter, stirring until smooth. Serve sauce over chicken; sprinkle with peanuts. Garnish with lime wedges, if desired.

I only made half of this recipe because I wasn't sure how well it would reheat. I served this with some store bought pot stickers & edamame. So an all around healthy meal. Don't be scared off by the ingredients-you can buy fish sauce in any grocery store & I used Thai sweet red chile sauce for the sweetened chile sauce.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Toasted Pecan, White Chocolate & a bunch of other stuff...

Back in December, all the grocery stores had their baking items on sale. I am pretty sure I purchased enough chocolate bark, chips, frosting, cake mix, etc... to last me until the Spring. I mean really, who leaves the grocery store down close to $100 and all they bought was baking supplies??? Me. That's who.

I boycotted baking for awhile. The hubs was complaining about gaining sympathy weight, I wasn't in the mood to bake. I needed a little break. That didn't stop me from collecting recipes in my "to make" document that I keep handy. So when I was bored last week & on a baking/cooking spree, I knew these would be a hit. I had toffee chips leftover from said baking shopping spree but didn't want to make plain old cookies.

These were awesome! I really should have taken the advice of Baking Blonde & saved some of the dough in the freezer. Oh well, I will just have to make them again. In my attempt to make them not so bad for you, I made the cookies smaller. That didn't really work b/c I just felt the need to eat two at a time.

Toasted Pecan, White Chocolate & Toffee Chip Cookies

Toasted Pecan, White Chocolate and Toffee Chip Cookies
adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted & cooled until warm
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup Heath Toffee Pieces
3/4 cup Toasted Pecan Pieces
1 cup White Chocolate, chopped (I recommend using white baker’s chocolate, not white chips)

Toast the Nuts:
Adjust oven racks to upper & lower -middle positions & heat oven to 350.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Spread nuts on a baking sheet.
Bake in oven, stirring occasionally, for about 10 to 15 minutes until fragrant.
Remove from oven and allow to cool. Turn off oven.
*** I just toasted the nuts in a pan on the stove***

Whisk dry ingredients together; set aside.
With electric mixer, or by hand, mix butter & sugars until thoroughly combined.
Beat in egg, yolk and vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients & beat at low speed just until combined.
Gently fold in toffee pieces, pecan pieces and white chocolate chunks.

Cover bowl tightly and place in refrigerator until ready to bake (at least 12 hours but up to 72 hours).
***I didn't have time to let them sit for 12 hours, I held out to 6 hours & started baking. ***

When ready to bake allow dough to come to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using a spoon or medium cookie scooper, place dough balls on prepared sheets about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 9-12 minutes until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft & puffy. Do NOT overbake!

Cool cookies on sheets until able to lift without breaking and place on wire rack to cool.

*Instead of baking all of the dough at once you can drop dough balls onto a cookie sheet and chill until firm. Place in Freezer bag and freeze for later baking. Allow to come to room temp and bake as usual watching carefully not to overbake.

Next time I will probably double the recipe & freeze half for a later date. I'd better do this before the baby is born!


One of the things I love about cooking club is that it makes me cook with ingredients I wouldn't normally buy. A few highlights from the last cooking club was the walnut oil (thanks to Miss Nemmie at Cast Sugar) & figs.

Figs are kind of like raisins, at least they were in this dish I made. I wasn't sure what to expect out of the figs, I mean, I like Fig Newtons so I figured I would like figs. I did not tell the Hubs that the topping for the chicken was made with figs until he tried it.

Chicken with Balsamic Fig Sauce

Cooking Light
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup finely chopped dried figs (such as Mission)
Sprinkle both sides of chicken evenly with 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan; keep warm.

Reduce heat to medium; add butter to pan. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add broth, vinegar, soy sauce, and figs. Simmer until sauce is reduced to 1 cup (about 3 minutes). Add 1 tablespoon thyme and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cut chicken breast halves lengthwise on the diagonal into slices. Serve sauce over chicken.

This was good, healthy & a nice alternative to your standard grilled chicken with pan sauce. I still have some figs left & I think I am going to bake something with them instead of cook. Any recommendations?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Chicken & Sausage Gumbo

I hope I have some New Orleans readers out there b/c I have a question. What is the difference between a Gumbo & a Jambalaya? We love both, but I was trying to find recipes for smoked sausage (it was on sale, I stocked up) & this gumbo came up and it made me wonder, what is the difference really?

Chicken & Sausage Gumbo
6 to 8 servings

1 (16-ounce) package Cajun-style smoked sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium-size green bell pepper, chopped
4 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 (32-ounce) container chicken broth
1 1/4 cups uncooked long-grain rice
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
Garnish: chopped fresh parsley
Cook smoked sausage in a Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring constantly, 3 minutes or until browned. Add celery, onion, and bell pepper, and sauté 6 to 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Stir in chicken and next 3 ingredients; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes or until rice is done and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, and let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Garnish, if desired.

If you omit the rice from this or use a brown rice, this is a very healthy meal. I used turkey smoked sausage in mine. But I made it unhealthy by using a box of Zatarain's Garlic & Herb rice. But wow, it was so good! I had more gumbo than rice, so I froze half of the recipe for post-baby time.

Creamy Spinach, Mushroom & Chicken Enchiladas

We love Mexican food. Problem with Mexican food is that its sooooo bad for you, especially if you eat out. I am sure I am only taking out about a quarter of the fat when I make it at home, but for some reason I just feel like its a ton better for us.

Creamy Spinach, Mushroom & Chicken Enchiladas

1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 (10-ounce) can condensed reduced-fat cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 (8-ounce carton) fat-free sour cream (I used low fat)
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, undrained

Cooking spray
1 cup chopped onion
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
10 (6-inch) corn tortillas
**diced cooked chicken**

1/2 cup chopped seeded plum tomato
1/4 cup chopped green onion tops

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare sauce, combine first 4 ingredients; stir well.

To prepare enchiladas, heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion and jalapeño; sauté 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in garlic powder, cumin, salt, and spinach; cook 5 minutes or until heated. Combine spinach mixture and 1/4 cup cheese in a large bowl; stir to combine.

Spoon 1/2 cup sauce into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon about 1/3 cup spinach mixture down center of each tortilla; roll up. Place filled tortillas seam sides down in the baking dish. Spread remaining sauce evenly over tortillas; top with 3/4 cup cheese.

Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Top with tomato and green onion.

While we liked the taste of this recipe, we didn't like the spinach part. Frozen/thawed spinach tends to stick together in clumps. So when you would get a "bite" of spinach, it was more like a big clump. I would recommend using fresh spinach leaves & just letting them cook with the mushrooms. And b/c my husband doesn't believe a meal is a meal without some form of meat in it, I sauted some chicken & added it to the enchiladas as well.

The best part of this meal, I pulled out some of our homemade salsa from the freezer for chips & salsa. It almost made it feel like summer.

Cake Cookies

I have a few boxes of cake mix in my pantry from the holidays. They were on sale for something like $.99/piece so I picked up a few (ok 4) without any intention of using them. I don't make cakes all that often. So when I came across this recipe, I was thrilled! Cake cookies-what a brilliant idea.

The hubs & I were headed to my 7 yr old nephew's basketball game so I the perfect reason to make some cookies & not keep them in my house.

Chocolate Cake Cookie Sandwiches
Yield: 10 sandwich cookies (using a medium-sized dough scoop)

For the cookies:
1 package chocolate cake mix (or other flavor of your choice)
1 egg, at room temperature
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

For the frosting:
3/4 cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp. milk

For decorating:
multi-colored non-pareils, or other sprinkles or candy of your choice

To make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cake mix, egg and butter. Beat on low speed until just combined and all dry ingredients have been incorporated. Roll the dough into 1- to 1 1/2-inch balls, place on the prepared baking sheets and press down to slightly flatten. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool completely on the cookie sheets.

To make the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the powdered sugar, and beat until incorporated. Add vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until fully incorporated. Add 2 tablespoons of milk and beat on medium-high speed until smooth. If the frosting too thick, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of milk and beat until incorporated.

To assemble, pair the cookies based on size on a work surface. Frost the flat side of one cookie from each pair. Place the other cookie of each pair on top of the frosting, flat side down. Lightly press down so that the frosting reaches the edges of the cookies. To decorate, place sprinkles in a small bowl. Dip the sides of each cookie in the sprinkles, pressing down gently and rotating to cover the sides completely

Now, I don't know why mine were thinner than the original recipes-maybe b/c I used premade frosting & not my own. These were super sweet but the kids loved the shapes. To do the shapes, I made the cookies in circles, after they were cooled, I used the cookie cutters to cut out the shapes. So much easier than trying to make the shapes beforehand.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pumpkin Pound Cake

I went on a baking/cookie extravaganza this past weekend. My house was clean, laundry was done, I didn't know what to do with my time. So I decided to bake. I had cleaned out the lazy susan and came across 4 cans of pumpkin. I went to my trusty word document that had my "to-bake" items on it & found Pumpkin Pound Cake w/buttermilk glaze.

Now this pumpkin bread/pound cake has a funny story. I'll tell you it at the end.

Ok I didn't want the cake part so I decided to make it in a loaf pan. For some reason this makes me think its ok to eat it for breakfast. Secondly I didn't want the glaze so I left that part of the recipe out. I had high hopes for this recipe. The banana bread I made a few weeks ago called for Buttermilk & it was FABULOUS!

Pumpkin Pound Cake with Buttermilk Glaze
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour (about 13 1/2 ounces)
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup fat-free buttermilk

1/3 cup fat-free buttermilk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare the cake, lightly coat a 10-inch tube pan with cooking spray; dust with 1 tablespoon flour. Spread pumpkin over 2 layers of paper towels; cover with 2 additional layers of paper towels. Let stand about 10 minutes. Scrape drained pumpkin into a bowl.

Place 3/4 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 3 minutes or until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla. Lightly spoon 3 cups flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture and 3/4 cup buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pan, and cool completely on wire rack.

To prepare glaze, combine 1/3 cup buttermilk and remaining ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Drizzle cake with glaze.

I knew this would take longer to cook, it was more like 75-80 minutes. I think I should have turned the temp down to 325 after 60 minutes & let it cook for an additional 30 minutes. It was a little gooey but still super tasty.

Now the funny part. I was baking at about 7am on a Saturday. I cant sleep in anymore with this baby. I get too uncomfortable. Well I must have been half asleep because for whatever reason I used 2 sticks of butter. Only I didn't realize I had used 2 sticks until later in the afternoon when I made cookies. Said cookie recipe called for 1/2 cup of butter, when I set the stick on the counter, I saw the conversion thing on the side. You know, the one that says 8 Tbsp=1/2 cup=1 stick. I dug the recipe out of the trash & re-read it. I wasn't going to say anything to the hubs but I thought it was too funny to keep to myself. Needless to say, the center of the pumpkin bread is not really edible.

Chicken,, Pancetta & Bechamel Sauce

Post cooking club, I had no desire to cook, nor was I even thinking about defrosting something to make for dinner the next evening. But I was refusing to eat out. So I was determined to make something at home.

We didn't use all the chicken in the chicken, fig & pancetta bites. So those small chunks had been marinating in the balsamic vinegar sauce over night. I figured I would saute those up & toss them in a pasta. But I didn't know what kind of sauce.

I was going to do an alfredo, but I didn't have parmesan cheese. I was trying to find some kind of white wine cream lemon sauce, but I couldn't find any in my cookbooks & I didn't want to turn on the computer. So I pulled out Giada & reviewed her bechamel sauce. Easy peasy.

Giada's Bechamel Sauce
1 stick unsalted butter (4 ounces)
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 quart whole milk, at room temperature
Pinch fresh nutmeg
Sea salt and white pepper

In a 2 quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Always stirring, gradually add the milk and continue to whisk until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Simmer until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. This will take approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in nutmeg, salt & pepper.

So I changed some things here. I had some heavy cream leftover. For whatever reason whenever I need 1 cup of heavy cream, I buy the giant container. If I need two cups I buy the little container & then have to go back to the store. This consistently happens. Anyway, I used about 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream & then 1/2 cup of 2% milk. I omitted the nutmeg & added some oregano.

I boiled whatever noodles I had in the house, I think they were extra wide egg noodles. Then I tossed the chicken, sauce & pasta together. It was delicious.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Cooking Club-Romantic Dinner for Two

Our February Cooking Club theme was in honor of the upcoming holiday-Valentine's Day. My husband often says he likes my cooking better than going out to dinner. I don't know if he is just saying that to make me feel better or if it is actually true, but I appreciate the compliment.

Valentine's Day falls on a Saturday this year. I can only imagine what the restaurants are going to be like. We forgo dining out on Valentine's day, opting to go out the following weekend (which happens to be our dating anniversary). I have heard many people say the same thing, why spend a romantic dinner with 200 other people? Why not just cook at home?

I decided to host Cooking Club before I got too big & too tired. We had a great time & a great turnout (15 people!) On the menu for the night:

Feta & Mushroom Bread Tarts; Chicken Fig & Pancetta Bites
Asparagus Salad with Walnut Oil Vinaigrette; Cream of Asparagus Soup
Beef en Croute with Mustard Sauce
Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Marsala; Minty Mashed Potatoes and Peas
Molten Lava Cakes; Raspberries in Champagne Gelatin

Some of the recipes are at home, so I will have to update the post later. I also don't have pictures of everything, so those who attended-please post a link to your blog/pictures in my comments section.

I think this was the favorite dish of the night: asparagus salad

Minty Mashed Potatoes & Peas:

Marsala Mashed Sweet Potatoes:

I tried to use ingredients that were deemed aphrodisiacs: asparagus, almonds, avocado, chiles, chocolate, figs, ginger, honey, & oysters.

Thank you to all the members who helped clean up, wash dishes, etc... My house was completely picked up-and we had a lot of dishes!

Breakfast Casserole

It has been a long time since I have made a breakfast casserole. The hubs & I were getting tired of eating cereal & oatmeal for breakfast so I decided to make this casserole.

The one thing with a breakfast casserole is that you need to make it on a weekend. Most of the them require an overnight (or at least 8 hour) soaking period. So I threw this together on a Friday night & popped it in the oven Saturday morning. This made enough for us to have breakfast for the week.

Breakfast Sausage Casserole
Cooking Light
Cooking spray
1 (16-ounce) package frozen turkey sausage, thawed (such as Louis Rich)
8 (1 1/2-ounce) slices sourdough bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
2/3 cup (about 2 1/2 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
1 cup egg substitute
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 (10.75-ounce) can condensed 30% reduced-sodium, 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sausage to pan; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring well to crumble.

Arrange bread in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top evenly with cooked turkey sausage and cheddar cheese. Combine 2 1/2 cups milk, egg substitute, and Dijon mustard, stirring with a whisk. Pour over bread mixture in dish. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Uncover casserole. Combine remaining 1/2 cup milk and cream of mushroom soup, stirring with a whisk. Pour over bread mixture. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

I had to make some adjustments so I could use what I had on hand.
Turkey Sausage became just regular pork & bacon sausage
Shredded Cheddar-I used 2% shredded cheddar
Egg Substitute- I use 4 eggs

This was good, but I was disappointed that the cheese didn't melt well. I mean, I know 2% doesn't melt as well as the good ole full fat stuff, but this didn't melt at all. I think maybe had I mixed it in as opposed to sprinkle, I would have liked it more.

So much to blog about!

I have a lot of blog updates today. I got off track last week with cooking. The hubs & I ate out way too much. So we are back on track this week-expect a lot of updates.

First I wanted to start off with a thanks to Stephanie. She nominated me for a lemonade award-something about a blog being refreshing.

Now the rules are as follows:
- Add the logo in your blog.
- Add a link to the person who gave you the award.
- Nominate 10 other (refreshing…like lemonade) blogs of your choice.
- Don’t forget to add links to those blogs in yours.
- Also leave a message for your nominees in their blogs, informing them about the award.

Anywho, I am happy to see others read my blog & like it! So here are my favorite blogs, they may or may not be food related but are quite refreshing.

Cast Sugar
Simply Tasty
Jagged Diary
Runs with Spatulas

Ok wow, 10 is a lot. I am stopping here...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Onion Roasted Potatoes

This is a nice quick side dish that I have been enjoying since college. My roommate introduced me to this and we would eat it as a full meal.

First you need some potatoes, either regular or red. if you are using regular, peel them. Dice those bad boys up into about 1" thick pieces.

Now put the potatoes in a plastic bag or tupperware container, drizzle with olive oil, probably a lot. Then dump in a package of Lipton Onion Soup mix. Toss it all up. You may need more olive oil if the powder is still present.

Dump this onto a foil lined cookie sheet (sprayed with cooking spray) & bake in the oven for about 25 minutes at 415F. They should look crispy but not burnt.

Buffalo Chicken Tenders

I really like buffalo chicken. I like that spicy taste & soothing ranch. What I don't like is getting about 1 oz of chicken off of a wing, or having to mess up my hands/face/etc while I am trying to eat wings. I am usually that person at BWW who is trying to eat with a fork, or better yet, I just order the boneless wings.

Awhile back, chicken drumsticks were on sale at the P.Chop. (Something like .99/pound) So I bought some wing sauce & cooked these up in the oven. They were great! Well I stocked up on boneless chicken breasts & chicken tenders last week ($1.99/pound) and decided I was going to make buffalo chicken tenders. I have been feeling rather large as of late and did not want some deep fried tenders from BWW.

I use the recipe on the back of the Bisquick box for my tenders, this time I added the remainder of the panko I had in the pantry to make them a bit more crispy. I don't really follow the recipe for amounts, just wing it.

Ultimate Buffalo Chicken Tenders
1 package chicken tenders
about 1 cup bisquick
1/2 cup panko
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
garlic powder
smoked paprika
(you could add cayenne pepper here if you want them extra spicy)
1-2 eggs, beaten
3 Tbsp butter, melted

In a ziploc bag, add bisquick through S&P. Shake up to mix thoroughly. Dip the chicken tenders into the egg mixture, then in the bisquick mixture. Shake to thoroughly coat. I did this in two batches so they didn't all stick together.

Preheat the oven to 450F. Line a cookie sheet with foil & spray with cooking spray. Place the tenders on the cookie sheet. Drizzle the butter over the tenders. Bake for 7-8 minutes, then turn over & bake for an additional 7-8 minutes. They should be pretty crispy at this point.

Remove tenders from the oven. In a tupperware bowl, place 4 tenders, douse with buffalo sauce, put the lid on it & toss it. Place those tenders back on the cookie sheet & repeat. You can either be done here or I put them back in the oven for 3 minutes.

These are so good & so much healthier than fried chicken tenders!