Monday, October 31, 2011

Coconut Chicken Tenders


4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast tenders
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut 
3 tablespoons coconut oil 
Sweet chile sauce 


1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and cayenne pepper. Place flour in a shallow dish. Combine buttermilk and egg in a shallow dish, stirring well. Place coconut in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour; shake off excess. Dip chicken in egg mixture; dredge in coconut.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chicken to pan; cook 6 minutes or until done, turning to brown. Serve with chile sauce, delish!

Original recipe from Cooking Light

Cowboy Salsa

1 can (15 oz.) black eyed peas
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup whole kernel corn, fresh off the cob, or thawed from freezer
1/2 cup white onion, chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles
1 cup diced fresh tomatoes
1/2 cup Italian style salad dressing
1/2 tsp. garlic salt

In a medium bowl, combine black eyed peas, black beans, corn, onion, green bell pepper, jalapeƱo peppers and tomatoes.
Season with Italian style salad dressing and garlic salt; mix well. Cover, and refrigerate at least an hour or overnight to blend flavors.  Enjoy with tortilla, pita, or corn chips.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Oatmeal Blueberry Applesauce Muffins

Oatmeal Blueberry

Oatmeal Blueberry

Oatmeal Blueberry

  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 cups oats
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk (***you can make your own substitute, see directions below)
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper cases or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. 
  4. In a medium bowl combine applesauce, buttermilk, sugar, oil and egg. 
  5. Make a well in dry ingredients and add applesauce mixture. Stir until just moist. 
  6. Fold in blueberries. 
  7. Fill muffin cups to the top of paper/cup.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes.
These beauties are surprisingly moist and delicious. I say this with the utmost respect and admiration for butter and fat. These are the kind of muffins that make you feel good about yourself and your morning. Really. Yea… good stuff. They’re whole grain, oat-filled and fruity.  They would also taste great with some added nuts... next time! Makes 12-15 muffins.  I found this recipe at

***For a buttermilk substitute, take 1c milk and add 1 T vinegar or lemon juice.  Let sit for 20-30 minutes, then stir well.  This is what I used for the recipe and it works great.  I wouldn't recommend this for creamy dressings, etc.  But it's a great substitute for buttermilk used in baking!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ravioli with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce


  • 1 package (25 ounces) frozen ravioli of your choosing (I used chicken & mozzarella)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
  • Dash ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted


  • Cook ravioli according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the flour, milk and broth.
  • In a large skillet, saute garlic in butter until tender. Stir in the milk mixture, cheese, pumpkin, parsley, sage and nutmeg. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  • Drain ravioli and stir into sauce. Sprinkle with nuts. Yield: 6 servings.
This was delicious. Just the right amount of pumpkin flavor! However, when I make it again, I will add a bit more flour to the sauce, as it was a bit too liquidy.

Recipe from Taste of Home

Maple Mustard Chicken


  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup stone-ground mustard
  • 2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca (I used corn starch)
  • Hot cooked brown rice


  • Place chicken in a 3-qt. slow cooker.
  • In a small bowl, combine the syrup, mustard and tapioca; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 170°. Serve with rice. Yield: 6 servings.
Now that it's cold outside, I'll be turning to my friend, the crock pot, quite often. I loved how moist this chicken was! Although it seems like an odd flavor pairing, it was delicious!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mama Marsh's Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 4 c unsifted all-purpose flour (I use whole wheat flour)
  • 2 c quick or old fashioned oats, uncooked
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 1/2 c butter, softened
  • 2 c firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 15oz can Libby's solid pack pumpkin
  • 1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine, flour, oats, soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Cream butter and gradually add sugars, beating until light and fluffy.
  4. Add egg and vanilla; mix well.
  5. Alternate additions of dry ingredients and pumpkin, mixing well after each addition.  
  6. Stir in chocolate chips.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes until cookies are firm and lightly browned.
  8. Remove from cookie sheets and cool on wire racks.
Tiffany's mom, Lynda, shared this recipe with us years ago and it has been a favorite ever since.  She is a master cook and can bake like none other.  Love going to Tiffany's Halloween party every year where her mom always brings these treats to share!  These cookies are almost as sweet as she is... almost!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Emma's Famous Bacon, Mushroom, and Basil Quiche

  • 1 pie crust (9 in.), uncooked (for a time-saver, you can use a store bought crust)
  • 1 T melted butter
  • 6-8 slices of cooked bacon (low fat?  try turkey bacon)
  • 4 mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 1 1/2c grated cheese divided (jack, cheddar, swiss, pepperjack or combo)
  • 1 heaping T finely chopped fresh basil
  • Basil leaves for garnish
  • Basic custard recipe:
    • 4 eggs
    • 2 c heavy cream (for lower fat recipe, use milk)
    • 1/4 t cayenne pepper
    • 1/8 t salt
    • 1/8 t pepper
    • 1/8 t sugar
    • 1/8 t nutmeg
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place crust in a 9 inch pie pan and brush bottom and sides of crust with melted butter.
  3. Sprinkle a handful of grated cheese over the crust (enough to cover).  Layer the sliced mushrooms, bacon, and basil.  Finish with remaining cheese.
  4. Whisk together the ingredients for the custard until well mixed.  Pour over the bacon and mushroom filling.  Add 6-8 whole basil leaves on top for garnish.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for additional 40 minutes or until center is set.
This is a slightly modified recipe from Marilyn Blair (Sweetie Pie Cafe).  I made it to take to my dad and step-mom for dinner. Emma made another quiche along side me for our family's dinner.  We had so much fun making it together and were excited with the end result! We will definitely be treating dinner club to this delicious meal!  The recipe below was shared by Laura Ketcham-Duchow as a lower fat alternative that works great for quiche (not pie) and is very easy to make!

makes one 9-inch quiche crust

Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup ice water

Whisk together salt and flour.
Whisk oil and water to thicken and emulsify the oil.
Pour into flour and mix with wooden spoon or spatula.
Roll out large enough to overhang a 9” pie plate by about 1/4 to 1/2 inch.
Tuck overhang under evenly around the pan.
Crimp the edges.
Fill with quiche mixture and bake at 400F until done--about 45 min.

This recipe is not suitable for baked pie crust shells. It makes a nice, flaky crust that's suitable for everyday use in savory recipes.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Traditional Popovers

Ingredients:                                                        source
Non-fat cooking spray
2 large eggs, lightly beaten, at room temperature
1 cup milk, at room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 400° F for 20 minutes. Coat each cup of a six-cup muffin or cupcake tin with non-fat cooking spray.
In a smaller bowl, lightly whisk the eggs until they change color. Whisk in the milk.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt until well blended. Gently whisk the egg mixture into the flour mixture until only small lumps are left, and set aside.
Place the muffin tin in the oven for 4 minutes. At 3 minutes, give the batter a light whisk. Using an oven mitt, remove the hot tin from the oven and immediately divide the batter among the prepared cups. Bake for 25 minutes without opening the oven door. The popovers will be puffy, with crisp brown crusts and hollow, moist interiors. Serve immediately, with butter if desired.

Creamy Potato & Sausage Soup

Disclaimer:  The following recipe is only semi-homemade, but wholly hearty & good!

1 - 11 oz. Bear Creek creamy potato soup mix
8 cups of water
1 - 14 oz. Hillshire Farms turkey or beef Polska Kilbasa, sliced into 1/2 inch wedges and cut in half
4 large carrots, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
4 stalks of celery, chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Pour 8 cups of water into a large saucepan, and then heat water on high until boiling.  While water is heating, chop the sausage, carrots, celery, and onion as directed.  Heat a saute pan to medium-high and coat the inside of pan with non-fat cooking spray.  Saute celery and onion on the stove until both vegetables are slightly translucent.  Once the water is at a rolling boil, add the pouch of soup mix, reduce heat to medium-low.  Using a whisk, stir the soup mix into the water vigorously to loosen up any clumps of potatoes and/or dried soup base.  After the soup pouch contents are thoroughly mixed with the boiling water, add the veggies and sausage.  Simmer soup for at least 20 minutes, stirring and checking frequently that soup contents are not sticking to the bottom of your saucepan.  Soup will thicken while simmering and become a 'chowder' consistency.  After 20 minutes, check carrots for tenderness.  Simmer the soup just until it has thickened and the carrots are tender.  Serve with ground black pepper and popovers (recipe to follow).

"Hello, Yummy!" Bars

These bars have been called anything from Hello Dolly Bars, Magic Cookie Bars, to Seven Layer Bars.  I made them from a childhood memory, so I titled as I wanted :)

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, cut into large pieces
3 cups graham crackers crumbs (about 16 graham crackers, pulsed in a food processor)
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups butterscotch chips
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk (most of a small can)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut the butter into tablespoon sized pieces, lay in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking pan and place in the oven until just melted when stirred (this takes about 7 minutes, be careful not to brown the butter). Add graham cracker crumbs. Mix and then press evenly into the bottom of the baking pan.
Add all of the remaining ingredients, except the sweetened condensed milk to a large bowl.  Gently stir the chips through pecans together and then mound on top of graham cracker base, spreading out the ingredients evenly. Pour sweetened condensed milk over whole mixture.
Bake in oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is light brown. "Hello, Yummy!"

Friday, October 7, 2011

Grilled Chicken BLT

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • Lawry's Seasoning Salt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 Kaiser or other crusty rolls, toasted
  • 8 slices cooked bacon (you can also use turkey bacon)
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced
  • 4 lettuce leaves 
  • 4 slices of cheese (our favorite is pepperjack)
  1. Sprinkle chicken with Lawry's seasoning salt.
  2. Mix mayonnaise and about 1 tsp Lawry's seasoning salt in small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 
  3. Grill chicken over medium heat 6 to 7 minutes per side or until cooked through. 
  4. Spread mayonnaise mixture evenly on rolls. Top with chicken, bacon, tomato, lettuce, and cheese. 
For variety, we ate these without the mayo and substituted Costco's jalapeno greek yogurt spread/dip.  That spread, along with pepperjack cheese definitely had a bit of a kick, but it was awesome!  Emma even loved it! If you have big chicken breasts, you might consider slicing the chicken and putting on a few pieces as opposed to putting a whole breast on each bun.

Yellow Squash Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel

  • 2 lbs crookneck yellow squash
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2  cup brown sugar
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour (streusel)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed (streusel)
  • 3T butter (streusel)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (streusel)


  1. Wash squash, trim ends, and cut into 1-inch slices.
  2. Cook in a small amount of water for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Drain well and mash. (I did mine in a blender)
  4. Measure 2 cups of the cooked squash, combine with eggs, butter, and applesauce, and set aside.
  5. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  6. Make a well in center of mixture.
  7. Add squash to dry ingredients, stirring only until moist.
  8. Spoon into greased muffin tins, filling 3/4 full.
  9. Combine all the streusel ingredients in a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Alternately, you can mash the ingredients together in a bowl using a fork, or just smoosh everything together with your fingers. Sprinkle over muffins or coffee cake immediately before baking.
  10. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean.

The original recipe called for 1c butter, but I was very impressed with the 1/2 applesauce substitute.  I added the cinnamon streusel so it wouldn't be too healthy! This would also be very good if you added apple chunks and some cinnamon to the recipe or even some craisins and walnuts.  My sweet Emma wanted them 'plain' as she was a bit skeptical about the main squash ingredient. Good news... SHE LOVES THEM!   She's already requested that I make more so she can have them for breakfast next week too.  Great way to use up some of that summer squash from the garden! p.s.  That picture was taken this morning on my patio table outside. Have to love that natural lighting for photos!