Sunday, July 29, 2012

My new toy!!!

I've been wanting a bread maker forever. I thought for sure I was getting one as an anniversary gift, since when asked what I wanted that's what I told Jason, but I got a ginormous electric griddle instead (which I LOVE).

Yesterday we were out shopping and I asked if we could just go and look at the bread makers (ulterior motive? I think not!). We saw this beauty and it just happened to be on sale (and I had a coupon!). Jason took one look at it and said "let's get it!". I sure love that man!

Trying it out tonight!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Au Gratin Potatoes

I *think* this was a Weight Watchers recipe that I've played with and made my own. These are sooooo good and sooooo cheesy, but a lot lighter than traditional Au Gratin Potatoes!

Au Gratin Potatoes
6 servings

2lbs russet potatoes scrubbed and sliced thin (I use a mandolin)
1 onion sliced thin
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
2 cups skim milk
1 1/4 cup low fat cheddar, shredded
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1. Preheat oven to 375. Coat a 2-3 qt covered casserole dish with cooking spray. Melt butter in a large pot. Add onion and cook, until onion begins to soften. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes.

2. Slowly add in milk whisking constantly, removing any lumps. Add potatoes, stir to coat and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and add in salt, pepper and one cup of cheddar. Mix well. Pour mixture into prepared dish and cook, uncovered for one hour.

3. Cover potatoes and bake for another 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Sprinkle Parmesan and remaining cheddar on top and broil until cheese is melted and slightly brown. Remove from the oven, let sit for 5-10 minutes and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Another great Pinterest find! I changed up the original recipe just a little and Jason loved it! He asked for it to be in 'our rotation'. (that's a pretty big deal, btw.) He suggested that I add peppers and pineapple to the sauce next time. Why didn't I think of that!? I served it with steamed rice, broccoli and my homemade veggie egg rolls.

Sweet & Sour Chicken
Serves 2

2 chicken breasts, cut into one inch pieces
1/4 cup grape seed or olive oil
1 egg, beaten
1/4 - 1/2 cup flour
1/4 - 1/2 cup cornstarch
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup chopped pineapple
1 cup chopped bell pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375. Coat an 8x11 baking dish with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine sugar through red pepper flakes and whisk until combined. Pour just enough of the sauce to coat the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Add pineapple and bell pepper to bowl; set aside.

2. Heat oil in large skillet. Place flour, egg and cornstarch in shallow dishes; season cornstarch with salt and pepper. Working in batches, dip the chicken into the flour, egg, then cornstarch. Carefully place chicken in oil and brown both sides. After chicken is browned, but not cooked through, place in baking dish.

3. Once all the chicken is browned, pour the remaining sauce over the chicken and bake for 35-40 minutes, flipping once or twice. Serve over steamed rice and enjoy!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cheese and Zucchini Rice

Awhile ago I had "pinned" this recipe for Cheesy Zucchini Rice.  It sounded good, but I thought I could make it a little better :)  I decided to give it a try tonight and it was awesome!  Jason loved it - he almost finished off the entire thing!  I think next time I might try it with quinoa instead of rice.

Cheese and Zucchini Rice
Serves 4

3/4 cup rice, cooked according to package
1 medium zucchini, grated
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (I used reduced fat)
1/4 cup light cream cheese
2 tbsp milk
Black pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1. Cook rice as directed on package. While rice is cooking, place grated zucchini in a fine mesh strainer and sprinkle with kosher salt. This will remove excess water from the zucchini. Allow to sit while rice cooks.
2. Preheat oven to 350 and coat an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray. Once rice is cooked, combine all ingredients except Parmesan in a large bowl and stir to combine.
. Place rice mixture in prepared baking dish and top with Parmesan cheese. Bake 30 minutes then broil for another 2-5 minutes. Remove from oven and enjoy!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Bacon and Beef Meatballs

I created these a couple weeks ago when we were gearing up to head back home to MI. I had ground beef and bacon that needed to be used up, so bacon and beef meatballs were born! Jason loved them. Normally, I would use more fresh ingredients, but it was slim pickens in our house :)  Serve over pasta or as an appetizer.

Bacon and Beef Meatballs
Makes 6 Meatballs

1/2 lb lean ground beef
4 slices center cut bacon, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
2 tbsp Italian bread crumbs
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp onion powder

1. Preheat oven to 375. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and combine well.

2. Divide meat mixture into six equal parts and form into balls. Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning once halfway through (I bake mine on a wire rack to eliminate some of the grease). Remove from the oven and enjoy!

Chicken Cacciatore

I know I've said it before, but I just LOVE crock pot meals! I found this recipe on Skinnytaste and actually didn't alter it too much. Jason and my mother-in-law raved about it - Jason said it was even better the next day.

Chicken Cacciatore
Serves 4-6

4 lbs chicken, skin removed (I used bone-in breasts and boneless thighs, boneless breasts may be too dry)
1 tbsp evoo
28 oz crushed tomatoes (preferably no salt added)
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried herbs de Provence
1 bay leaf
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper
Fresh basil, chopped
Freshly grated Parmesan
Cooked rice or pasta

1. Heat evoo in a large skillet. Season chicken with salt and pepper and sear until browned. Add to crock pot and top with peppers and onion.

2. Open the can of crushed tomatoes and add in the sugar, oregano and herbs de Provence and mix well.  Pour over the chicken, peppers and onion.  Cover and cook on low 7 hours.  Uncover, add in the mushrooms and mix.  If sauce is too thin, leave the lid off and turn the temperature to high.  Otherwise, recover and cook for one more hour.  Serve over cooked rice or pasta and top with fresh basil and/or Parmesan.  Enjoy!