Thursday, December 27, 2007

Mushroom Cream Chicken

Another great looking recipe from my new cook book! I can't wait to try this one out!

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
3 Tbsp. flour, divided
2 tsp. butter
1 tsp. olive oil
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 Tbps sliced green onion
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup Madeira wine OR additional chicken broth
1 Tbsp. fat free half and halr cream

Flatten chicken to 1/4 in. thickness. Dredge in 2 Tbsp. flour. In nonstick skillet, brown chicken in butter and oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes on each side or until juiced run clear. Remove chicken and set aside.

In the same skillet, saute the mushrooms, green onion and garlic for 2 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle with remaining flour and stir to blend. Gradually add broth and wine or additional broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat; add the cream. Return chicken to skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until chicken is heated through (do not boil). Yield: 2 servings

Ashlee side note: I'm imagining this to be similar to the Boursin chicken. Probably not nearly as good, but this only has 9 grams of fat per serving. Not too shabby for a cream sauce.

Penne Sausage Bake

My mom got me a great new recipe book for Christmas. It is the Taste of Home Best Light Recipes of 2006. Basically all the yummy comfort foods we like to eat, but made lighter. This is one I'm excited to try. I've made something similar before but this one is much lighter.

1 pkg. (pound) penne pasta
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 pound turkey Italian sausage links, casings removed
3 cups fat free meatless spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. In a large skillet, saute green pepper and onion in oil for 6-7 minutes. Add sausage; cook and stir until sausage is no longer pink. Drain. Stir in the spaghetti sauce and pasta.

Transfer to a 3 quart baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with cheeses. Bake 5-10 minutes longer until cheese is melted.

Ashlee side note: I have used ground turkey sausage instead of the links. I prefer it that way. But, it depends on your tastes. And honestly, I have never actually seen fat free spaghetti sauce. The regular stuff isn't too fattening. So, if you can't find it...don't stress. The thing that truly makes this originally fattening was the sausage. And, if you buy the ground turkey sausage, it's only got about 5 g fat per serving. So, you can feel better knowing you've cut that WAY back.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Chocolate Revel Bars

These are some of the yummiest treats I have ever had. You will think you've died and gone to heaven! I promise! I'm taking these to a Christmas party tomorrow. I don't think I'll have to worry about bringing any of them home. ;0)

1 cup butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 14-ounce can (1-1/4 cups) sweetened condensed milk
1 12-ounce package (2 cups) semisweet chocolate pieces
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons vanilla
1. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the butter. In a large mixing bowl beat the remaining butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar; beat until well mixed. Beat in eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla. In another large bowl stir together flour and baking soda; stir in oats. Gradually stir dry mixture into beaten mixture. Set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan combine the reserved butter or margarine, the sweetened condensed milk, and chocolate pieces. Cook over low heat until chocolate melts, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in walnuts and the 2 teaspoons vanilla.
3. Press two-thirds (about 3-1/3 cups) of the oat mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Spread chocolate mixture over the oat mixture. Using your fingers, dot remaining oat mixture over the chocolate.
4, Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 25 minutes or until top is lightly browned (chocolate mixture will still look moist). Cool on a wire rack. Cut into 2x1-inch bars. Makes about 75 bars.
Ashlee side note: If you don't have a 15x10 baking pan (like me) just bake in a 9x13 and adjust the bake time by a few more minutes. Keep an eye on it as you don't want to over cook it. And, if you are like like your cookies soft and this was is better for me. ;0) It obviously won't make as many bars though, so keep that in mind. You can also bake this in a cookie sheet if you'd like. They run about 11x16 or so, so just slightly larger than the requested size for this recipe. Again, just adjst the bake time so you don't overbake.
And, as always....forget the nuts! It will ruin it!
As far as "dotting" the top of the bars with the oatmeal cookie mixture, just make little "patties" with your hands and decorate the top with these. Definitely doesn't need to be perfect as you will cut them up anyway. And thick patties are GOOD patties. Don't make them thicker than your crust though. You also want to make sure that you have chocolate peeking through the patties to LURE your friends into eating them. :0)

Red Velvet Cupcakes With Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Found this recipe and thought it would be fun to make these with the kids today as they are out of school now. He's already "bored". Sigh. cupcakes! It's the color is perfect!

You'll need this stuff for the cake:
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1 1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 c. buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp. red food coloring paste*
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
*I couldn't find "paste" but regular food coloring worked just fine for me.
And you'll need this stuff for the frosting:
1 brick cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. sifted confectioners' sugar
[ DIRECTIONS ]Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers. There is a lot of oil in this recipe, so I prefer the foil kind. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with an electric mixer or balloon whisk. The liquids should be emulsified. Add dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined. Stir gently with a large spoon just until combined. Do not over work the batter or your cupcakes will be tough.Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins, about 2/3 filled. Bake at 350 for about 22-25 minutes. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Cakes will be a little soft while still hot, but will set once cooled. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting. [ MAKING THE FROSTING ]Combine all ingredients until smooth. Chill for at least 30 min. before frosting cupcakes.
Ashlee side note: plain yogurt can be used as a substitute for oil in most recipes. It really makes for a moist cake. This recipe has A LOT of if you're trying to be "good", give the yogurt a try. I just LOVE red velvet cake and cupcakes are one of my FAVORITE desserts, so I'm excited to try these out!

Friday, December 14, 2007

O Christmas Tree!

This was such an easy appetizer and it was so yummy! It also looks very festive! Yes, this is the one that I made last night for girls night. I was truly impressed with myself. ;0)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take one can of crescent rolls (make sure it's very cold) slice it into 16 rounds. (Do not unroll the dough. Leave in the roll and slice the circles that way) Place on cookie sheet in tree shape. Start with one circle on top for row 1 until you get to a five circle row. Use the final round for the trunk of the tree. Bake for 11 minutes or according to can directions. Remove from oven and let sit for 1 minute. Using a large pancake spatula remove from cookie sheet and place on cooling rack to cool.

The recipes spread uses cream cheese, sour cream, dill and garlic. I had unknowingly used the last of my sour cream for my dips, so I improvised and used the very last of my Boursin cheese (5 oz.) and a package of cream cheese and whipped it together. It was so yummy! Anyway, spread this on the top of the tree until each piece is completely covered.

Chop your choice of veggies into very small pieces. Use these as decoration for your tree. I used red pepper, yellow pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and green onion. The red pepper I used for the garland and the yellow pepper I also used to make the star on top.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Butterscotch Pull Apart Balls

This with the Quiche for Christmas morning is something I look forward to. It's tradition! Both recipes are so easy, and so yummy!

18 frozen Rhode's rolls
1 cup melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 small pkg. regular butterscotch pudding

About 8 hours before serving, or the night before, spray a bundt pan well and place the frozen rolls in the pan. Sprinkle the dry pudding over the rolls evenly. Mix the melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon together and pour over the top of the rolls. Cover rolls in pan with a towel and leave out to rise for the 8 hours, or overnight.
Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, until golden brown.

Ashlee side note: The rolls in the picture are shown with pecans on top. Do not ruin this recipe! Pecans are yucky! ;0)
You can make your own roll dough rather than using the Rhode's rolls. However, if the dough isn't frozen first, you will not want it to rise overnight!
Once these babies are baked, turn the bundt pan over onto a serving plate and the pudding/sugar mixture that isn't baked into the dough just sticks to the buns. We just tear off chunks...roll by roll. So yummy. We definitely go through two batches of these!

Impossible Quiche

This is a Christmas morning tradition for us. My mom makes a couple of these for all of us to devour. So yummy!

12 slices bacon, fried crisp
1 cup swiss cheese, shredded
1/3 cup onions, finely chopped
2 cups milk
1/2 cup Bisquick mix
4 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Sprinkle broken bacon pieces, cheese, and onions evenly in bottom of lightly greased 9 or 10-inch pie plate. Pour milk, Bisquick, eggs, salt and pepper into blender; blend 1 minute. Pour over ingredients in pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, and a knife inserted comes out clean, about 50-55 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.
Ashlee side note: I've made this for dinner before as well. It's quick prep, as you don't have a crust to worry about. The Bisquick in the recipe sets the egg mixture up so you don't need an actual crust. So yummy!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Crescent Wrapped Brie

I was looking for some appetizer recipes for my girls night next week and came across this recipe. It looks so yummy!

1 (8-oz.) can Pillsbury® Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls
1 (8-oz.) round natural Brie cheese
1 egg, beaten

Heat oven to 350°F. Unroll dough; separate crosswise into 2 sections. Pat dough and firmly press perforations to seal, forming 2 squares. Place 1 square on ungreased cookie sheet. Place cheese on center of dough.
With small cookie or canapé cutter, cut 1 shape from each corner of remaining square; set cutouts aside.
Place remaining square on top of cheese round. Press dough evenly around cheese; fold bottom edges over top edges. Gently stretch dough evenly around cheese; press to seal completely. Brush with beaten egg. Top with cutouts; brush with additional beaten egg.
Bake at 350°F. for 20 to 24 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 15 minutes. Serve warm.
Ashlee side note: How easy is this? For a video that gives you a clearer idea of how to put this together go to this website.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Gooey Butter Cakes

This recipe is one that I got out of Paula Deen's "The Lady and Sons Just Desserts". My house smells so yummy right now, you would not believe it!

1 (18 1/4-ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter together and mix well. Pat into a lightly greased glass 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
Prepare the filling.
Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla. Add the butter and mix well. Add the powdered sugar and mix well. Spread over the cake mixture. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. You want the center to be a little gooey, so do not over bake. Top each cake slice with a dollop of whipped cream.

Here's the best part! She has nine variations of this recipe! Here are the best ones...

For a Banana Gooey Cake: Prepare cream cheese filling as directed, beating in 2 ripe bananas instead of the pumpkin. Proceed as directed above.
For a Peanut Butter Gooey Cake: Use a chocolate cake mix. Add 1 cup creamy peanut butter to the cream cheese filling instead of the pumpkin. Proceed as directed above.
For a Pumpkin Gooey Cake: Follow the original recipe, adding a 15 ouncs can of pumpkin pie filling and an extra egg to the cream cheese filling. Bake as usual.
For a Chippy Gooey Cake: Stir 1 cup of your favorite kind of baking chip (white chocolate, peanut butter chocolate, butterscotch, toffe bits, etc) into the filling. Bake as usual.

Ashlee side note: You can make so many different variations of your own with this recipe. Pick your favorite kind of cake mix, and flavor your cream cheese filling as desired to compliment the flavor of your cake mix base and tah dah! These cake squares are very, very rich and a little will go a long way! So only eat three instead of five! Enjoy!