Thursday, January 31, 2013

Bisquick-Breaded Chicken Tenders



Bisquick-Breaded Chicken Tenders

I pinned this recipe on Pinterest.
It claimed to be the "Ultimate Chicken Fingers"

I am a sucker for baked chicken tenders (i.e not fried!), so, I thought I'd give this one a shot.
Generally, when I make baked chicken tenders, I use Panko breadcrumbs because 
I *heart* panko breadcrumbs!

 But, I am always up for using what I have in the house + trying something different. 
Guess it's the adventure in me, the accountant. Because you know we accountants are 
Just. So. Adventurous.


Baahh aah ahh!
Sorry, I couldn't resists a nerdy accounant joke AND a shirtless Ryan Gosling.

Fine, what was I saying?
Shirt, Gosling, Accountant, Recipe...Riiiight....Back to the recipe.
(Okay, a quick peek at Ryan first, THEN the recipe.)

So, as I was saying, I thought I'd try this "Ultimate Chicken Finger" recipe in lieu of my preferred Panko Chicken Finger recipe.

Was the chicken finger "ultimate"?
More like average.
 The recipe produces a good standard, average chicken tender.
Nothing earth-shattering or amazing, but just "there."
I STILL prefer my Panko Chicken Fingers for the crunchy texture, but, if I were out of panko in the house, I'd make this again as an alternative. 

Here's the Recipe and the LINK:
(p.s. I did not make mine gluten-free as in the link)

Ingredients:
 3/4 cup Bisquick® Gluten Free mix
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 lb), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips (or 8 tenders)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
Cooking spray
 
Directions:
1. Heat oven to 450°F. Line cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper; spray with cooking spray.
2. Stir Bisquick mix, cheese, paprika and salt in shallow baking dish. Dip chicken strips into eggs, then coat with Bisquick mixture; repeat with other pieces, dipping in eggs and Bisquick mixture two times each. Place chicken on cookie sheet. Spray chicken with cooking spray.
3. Bake 12 to14 minutes, turning after 6 minutes, until no longer pink in center.
 

 ****


I am still partipating in Tina's Best Body Bootcamp!
Tina's already announced there will be another Best Body Bootcamp in April - Count me in! $25 for 8 weeks of butt-kicking instruction?
It's a steal
.
This week, we finish up Week 4 (Set #2 of Workouts).  The first week of the set #2 of workouts, I was soooore! But this 2nd week of #2 workouts, I'm sore not nearly as much (?). It's probably been my least sore of the 4 weeks 
('Cause, in general, I have definitely been "feeling" the exercises).
I'm not complaining...this program is great and "kicking my butt!" (Which I like!)

At the end of this week we are to do a "Fitness Test" to gauge our progress.
Fingers crossed for good results. I know I feel stronger. I'm hoping my speed on the treadmill has improved a bit, too. I'll keep you posted!

We also start next 2 weeks of *new* workouts (Set #3) this coming week! All I'm saying is...Oh. My.
My muscles are quivering already....can't wait!


Sunday, January 27, 2013

"Fabulous Wet Burritos"


I have another good one for ya....
Fabulous Wet Burritos

The recipe is YUMMY!
It seems like forever ago I found this recipe on www.allrecipes.com, and have finally decided to make it. 
It's like the extreme version of an enchilada...it's an enchilada to the MAX!
The "MAX" is acheived by combining ingredients such as beef, refried beans, green chilies, enchilada sauce, and chili!
I know, you're thinking...that sounds like a lot going on, but, honestly, it works together wonderfully.
I wouldn't say these are "traditional" wet burritos, but I like them! I think I may have found my beef "go-to" enchilada/burrito recipe. 


Fabulous Wet Burritos
Recipe Link Here!

Makes about 6 very filling Wet Burritos

Ingredients:

Filling-
1 pound ground beef 
1/2 cup chopped onion  
1 clove garlic, minced 
1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

1 (4.5 oz) can of diced green chilies
1 (16 oz) can of refried beans

"Wet" Sauce-
1 (15 oz) can of chili with no beans
1 (10.75 oz) can of condensed tomato soup
1 (10 oz) can of enchilada sauce

Toppings (these are optional)- 
2 cups of shredded lettuce
1 cup of chopped tomatoes
2 cups of Mexican shredded cheese
1/2 cup of chopped green onion

6 (12") tortillas

Directions

  1. Crumble ground beef into a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until evenly browned. Add onion, and cook until translucent. Drain grease, and season with garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir in the green chilies and refried beans until well blended. Turn off heat, but keep warm.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the chili without beans, tomato soup and enchilada sauce. Mix well, and cook over medium heat until heated through. Turn off heat and keep warm.
  3. Place a warmed tortilla on a plate, and spoon a generous 1/2 cup of the ground beef mixture onto the center. Top with lettuce and tomato to your liking. Roll up tortilla over the filling. Spoon a generous amount of the sauce over the top, and sprinkle with cheese and green onions. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds, or until cheese is melted. Repeat with remaining tortillas 

My "spin" on the recipe:
  • I used fat free refried beans
  • I used turkey chili w/o beans
  • I varied my toppings: I used a Velveeta Queso shredded cheese (and a lot less than 2 cups) and used only lettuce and sour cream
  • Oh, and, not by choice, I made my own Enchilada Sauce (something about not including it on my Grocery List and not realizing that I didn't have until I was starting to cook. Go figure. Here's the Homemade Enchilada Recipe I used. It's a lot thicker (like a gravy) than canned enchilada sauce.
Ingredients:
    • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 2 tbsp flour
    • 2 tbsp chili powder
    • 1/2 tsp cumin
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 8 ounce can tomato paste
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
Preparation:
  1. Heat the oil, flour and chili powder together in a large pot. Allow to cook for a minute or two.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a slow simmer. Stir well to combine and dissolve tomato paste in water. Allow to cook for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more spices as desired (which I totally did).
You should decide to make these. 
Definitely.



Thursday, January 24, 2013

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Chip Cookies


Brown Sugar Cinnamon Chip Cookies
Well, It's been a while since I've posted a dessert. 
I've been trying to do better since the holiday.
But, I snagged this bag of Hershey's Cinnamon Chips a couple of weeks ago for $.75.
Couldn't resist. 
I do love Cinnamon...a lot. (In fact, it is the only "necessary" addition to my oatmeal.) 

I found this recipe on the blog Sprinkle Charms <--- Click for the blog link.
They are REALLY good.
I made this for work and I had at least 5 people tell me they were  not just "good," but DELICIOUS!

Crap, now that I have discovered Cinnamon Chips and this "dog gone" yummy cookies, I fear cinnamon chips are only popular in stores during the Christmas season. 
Darn.
Oh, well, I will keep this recipe "on file" for when I come across these babies again.
(My waistline hopes this isnot soon, but my tummy wants otherwise).
Maybe you can find them or have a "stash" awaiting to be consumed?

If you love cinnamon, you NEED to make these!

My Mess of a Kitchen during the Baking Process

Before the Oven
Baking in the Oven

Voila! Nice and Beautiful...and Buttery...and Sugary.....YUM!
Ingredients: 
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
4 tbsp. butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup cinnamon chips
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients, leaving out the cinnamon chips, and mix well.
Gently stir in cinnamon chips.
Roll dough into 24 balls and place on cookies sheets.
Bake for 12-15 minutes

Yields about 24 small cookies


* I doubled the recipe and it made about 4 dozen small, tea-party size cookies. (I think they were cute!)
* Looking back, the cookies didn't spread as much as Sprinkle Charm's cookies. Perhaps I should have let my butter softened a bit more. Nevertheless, still awesome.
Wee tiny cookie, in the palm of my hand.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Easy Crockpot Baked Potato Soup

<-----Easy Crockpot Baked Potato Soup 

Man, I am on a lucky "streak" this week!
I have another More Make It Fast, Cook It Slow recipe.
This one was soooo easy.
I mean really

I love that this recipe was so simple, the deliciousness took me by surprise. 
Yummy.

Ingredients:
5 lbs, potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-2 inch chunks
1 small onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp season salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 quarts chicken broth
2 (8 oz) pkgs cream cheese
optional: crumbled bacon, green onion, or chives as garnish

Directions:
1) Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Put potatoes in the stoneware, and add the onion and garlic. Sprinkle in the seasonings and pour in the chicken broth. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4 hours. 
2) The potatoes should be fork tender. You can use a potato masher or handheld stick blender to mash the potatoes into the soup (to get rid of large chunks of potatoes to make a smooth soup). 
3) After smashing the potatoes, squeeze in packages of cream cheese and replace the lid on your slow cooker. 
4) Cook on high for 30 minutes, or until the cream cheese is completely dissolved, stirring a few times. 

What did I do differently?
  • I made half of the original recipe
  • I used lowfat cream cheese
  • I cooked my potatoes whole and skin-on, then, chopped them up after they were cooked with a knife (while still in the crockpot). 'Cause I like the texture (and it's easier). *aka, I left my soup chunky! *

******

The next book on my reading list --------------->
I just picked it up from the library today. Anybody read this?
If so, what are your thoughts?






******
I Work Out! ----------> We received the next 2 week set of workouts from Tina's Best Body Bootcamp this week.
So far, 3 workouts down.
These 2 weeks focus on Endurance.
Lots of reps with lighter weights and longer, more steady intervals in cardio.
I'll tell ya, running at 8 RPE for 5, then 7, then 10 minutes...Hard!
Definitely a challenge - which is a good thing!
Oh, yeah, my "hammys" were sore on Monday.

Tina provides progress charts to help us gauge our progress.
Well, I did my measurements at the start of Bootcamp.
I re-meausred at 2 weeks and guest what?
RESULTS, baby!
I've lost about...
  • 1" off my waist
  • 1 " off my butt
  • 1/2" off my thigh
  • 1.5 lbs
I'm not going to lie, I am shocked. I wasn't expecting these kind of results so fast.
Yes, it's hard work, but so worth it!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Turkey Chili and Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie by Rachael Ray

Let me just say first...YUMMY!
I loved this recipe! 
And to be honest, my decision to make Turkey Chili and Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie was not a long thought-out decision; it was a rather quick decision (for me). 
Sunday, I was wondering, "What am I going to make for dinner next?"

I had just finished making a big batch of pork for the Pulled Pork + Beer Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (so, I was a bit "porked out" <har har>). Plus, I had already made Mexican that day and we had Salmon last week. I was looking for something different, yet, something different with stuff I already (primarily) had in stock. I thought, "What is a recipe that involves both sweet potatoes and ground beef?"

Google had the answer, naturally. 
Alas, Google holds a world of knowledge. If you don't know the answer..."Google It!" Chances are, you'll find a pretty dependable answer.
Well, Google had a darn good and dependable answer for me - a recipe by Rachael Ray. 
This was YUM-O! (I know, very cliche-couldn't resist).

I had never had anything quite like Turkey Chili and Sweet Potato Shephard's Pie, so, I was a bit cautious of the unknown. I wasn't for sure how the flavors would work together. 
Shame on me - I shouldn't have doubted Rachael and the recipe's 5 star rating on www.foodnetwork.com. 

Click HERE to go to FoodNetwork.com for the Recipe and Reviews

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, 4 to 5 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • Salt
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 small chile peppers, red fresno, jalapeno or serrano
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 to 3 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder (recommended: Gerhardt's)
  • 1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin, a palmful
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander, a palmful
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 to 3 cups turkey or chicken stock
  • 2 cups shredded sharp yellow Cheddar

Directions

1) Add the potatoes to a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Salt the water and cook to tender about 12 to 15 minutes. Drain and return to hot pot. Add the zest, butter, creme fraiche or sour cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg, to taste.
2) While potatoes are coming to a boil, heat a chili pot with extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high to high heat. Add the turkey and brown, then add in the onions and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Chop the peppers, then add them along with the garlic to the turkey. Stir in the spices, and add salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, then add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the stock and simmer a few minutes to thicken and combine flavors.
3) Preheat the broiler.
4) Transfer the chili to a casserole, spread the potatoes over the top and cover with Cheddar cheese. Brown under the broiler until golden and serve.


I skimmed a few of the reviews before I made the dish-just for some pointers. This recipe is pretty forgiving, since I used what I had on hand. So, based on the reviews and items in stock, I changed the following:
  • I scaled back the orange zest and nutmeg (used just a dash)
  • Used half Greek yogurt and half sour cream in the mashed sweet potatoes
  • Chose a half of a jalapeno for my hot pepper of choice (seeds and ribs removed).
  • I used ground sirloin (simply because it is what I had in the house).
  • Reduced the amount of butter and olive oil.
  • Used Tomato Sauce instead of Tomato Paste.
One thing to change next time - the ratio of sweet potato to ground beef.
As written, the sweet potato to meat ratio is about 2:1.
For us, we prefer equal amount of sweet potato to meat- but, that may just be use. After all, Hubby is a definite meat-eater.

P.S. My kitchen was a mess after putting the dish together...Hello, cyclone in in my kitchen! So, to prevent cyclone destruction, I suggest having out all ingredients before you start cooking. Lesson learned.

Hope you enjoy!





Thursday, January 17, 2013

Crockpot Pulled Pork + Beer Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

  
 Yes, you read correctly....
Crockpot Pulled Pork + Beer Grilled Cheese Sanwiches!

I found the recipe courtesy of the blog How Sweet It Is
I followed her recipe almost exactly - except I made a 1/3 of the original recipe. 
Because 6 lbs of pork for 2 people is a heck of a lot of piggy for dinner. 

With my 1/3 of a recipe, I made 6 sandwiches (dinner + tomorrow's lunch) and I still have enough pork left over for another dinner night (or to eat on an "as hungry" basis). 
So, with this recipe, you are actually making tonight's dinner AND extra pork for another night....sweet!  

A couple of pointers:
1) The recipe recommends using pork shoulder or pork butt, but I decided to use boneless thick cut pork chops instead at it worked great. 
2) I used my George Foreman indoor grill to toast the sandwiches (the George Foreman is GREAT for grilled cheese!). 






 Making the Beer Cheese Sauce on the stove top ------------->


 Pulled Pork en la crockpot----------------------------------->










 <----------Pre-Grillin'





I love the concept of a Crockpot Pulled Pork + Grilled Cheese concept. I may experiment with my cheese...I want MORE gooey cheese. I crave this gooey cheesiness. 
'Twas Tasty!

****

Today was a running day for BBB. 
Man, my body was still tired from these awesome workouts. 
It was a cardio only day, which is easier, but I still switched from doing running intervals to incline intervals (From higher impact to lower impact).
Lovin' it!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Pesto Turkey and Sweet Potatoes Layered Dinner - Crockpot Dinner!

 Howdy, y'all!

I'm still busy trying out some NEW recipes from the cookbook "More Make It Fast, Cook It Slow." 
Tonight's Menu:
Pesto Chicken Turkey and Sweet Potatoes Layered Dinner
I purchased a couple of Turkey Tenderloins from Sam's Club this past weekend and thought I'd try the ol' switcher-roo.
 
As I was making the pesto, I could tell, this was going to be good. 
I opted to add Parmesan and basically omit the Mozerella in the original recipe.. 
This recipe is "Husband Approved" (Trust me, those are high standards in this household). 

I thought this was easy to assemble and it took me a whole 10 minutes to put together?
I also liked that while the Sweet Potatoes cook in the same crockpot as the protein, it remains separate by the foil. See what I mean:

Ingredients: 
Pesto
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbs Lemon or Lime Juice (I used lemon)
4 garlic cloves (I used jarred, minced)
2 cups of fresh basil (I used 1 1/2 tsp dried basil...I WISH i had had fresh. :( )
2 Tbs pine nuts, walnuts, or sunflower seeds (I used walnuts)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt

4 chicken thighs or breast halves (I used 2 lb turkey tenderloin)
Sliced Mozzarella cheese, as much as desired
aluminum foil or parchment paper
4 small sweet potatoes, washed well, skin on

Directions:
  • In a food processor/blender (I have one of the tiny $10 ones from walmart), combine the ingrediens for the pesto. When liquidy. Taste. Add more citrus or salt and pepper, if desired.
  • Arrange chicken/turkey at bottom of slow cooker. Layer on mozzarella cheese. Pour the pesto evenly over the protein.
  • Place aluminum foil loosely over pesto covered chicken/turkey. 
  • Scrub sweet potatoes, prick with a fork, and place on top of aluminum foil. 
  • Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours, or on high for 4-5 hours.
 *********

Today was a "rest day" from Tina's Best Body Bootcamp. 
Whew! Am I sore!
I am loving this workout plan! 
It is challenging me in a way I LOVE. 
Plus, I naturally tend to opt for cardio over strength and because of BBB, I am doing more strength training. YAY!!!

Tomorrow's workout = Interval Cardio.
I swear I am already improving on my running. 

Week 2 is half-way over....we'll be getting a new round of workouts for the next 2 week period.
Whoa, Nelly...
Bring. It. On.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Chewy Peanut (or Almond) Butter Granola


Oh, Let me tell you, this smelled YUMMY baking away in the oven!
As it was baking, I was like, "Oh, I want it NOOOOW!" 
ha ha.
Okay, I wasn't that terrible, but it smelled sweet and heavenly.

I was strollin' and patrollin' the 'net (yo, dawg), when I stumbled upon this recipe:
Chewy Peanut Butter Granola

Hmmm. Chewy, you say?
And you offer Peanut Butter with that chew?
Yes, I think I will. 




Not to mention the other attractive features of the recipe:
 Only a whopping 3 ingredients needed
+
All Natural ingredients
Cooks in 8 minutes
+
Minimal Prep (aka EASY)
+
I had these items currently in the "food stash." (That one is quite important.)


Now, I've made granola once before, and, I personally thought it to be too crunchy and I just didn't fall in love with it. Didn't hate, but I could live without it.
This Granola has the perfect amount of crunchy vs. chew.
Crunchy enough to be granola, but not so dog-gone hard you chip a tooth. 
(Ask Elroy about the chipped tooth...)

 
 
 So, why did I refer to the recipe as Chewy Peanut (or Almond) Butter Granola?
Well, because I used Almond Butter instead of Peanut Butter.
At that (baking) moment, I had some fresh 100% natural Almond Butter from Fresh Market in stock. 
Oooh, I do love thee, Almond Butter.
 So, feel free to use any kind of nut butter: Peanut, Almond, Cashew, etc.

I ate my Granola for Breakfast by making a Greek Yogurt Parfait.

Yum!



Sunday, January 13, 2013

"Throw Together" Vegetable Soup *Updated*

*Forgot to add an ingredient to my Veggie Soup Recipe...see recipe below. (Sorry!)

My friends, we are in the middle of "Soup Weather."
I'm sure you are aware, unless, you are one of those lucky dogs who are busy "sunnin' their buns" in balmy Florida (For those of you who reside in balminess, I am jealous.)

This recipe, Vegetable Soup, resulted from a fantastic deal I scored recently on Living Social - an online coupon site tailored to your local area (like Groupon). Living Social introduced me to Farm Box Delivers.

Farm Box Delivers is a company that delivers local (usually) natural and organic food TO YOUR DOORSTEP. Seriously, you don't have to even go out and get it. They bring it to you. Talk about spoiled. 
Anyway, Living Social had a deal for Farm Box Deliver's $34 produce box for $17. AND to top that off, I had a Living Social coupon (from a prior purchase) for $10.
So, yes, if you calculated that in your head, I received a giant box of produce for $7!!!
I received
  • about 10 small Potatoes
  • about 7 Granny Smith & Gala Apples
  • 3 Oranges
  • 3 Pears
  • Small bag of Green Beans
  • Small bag of Mushrooms
  • Head of Cabbage
  • Green Leaf Lettuce
  • 3-4 Roma Tomatoes
  • 2-3 Small heads of Broccoli
  • Bag of Carrots
  • 1 Zucchini
...and I think that about covers it. Again, $7.

Yeah, it's okay to be a tiny bit jealous.  *wink*

So, what did I do?
I made a pot of good ol' Vegetable Soup.------------------>
Yum.


***

There is really no "wrong" way to make vegetable soup-just throw together the vegetables you like!

Here's what I "Threw Together:"

  •  1 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Large Onion, chopped
  • 2 Carrots, sliced
  • 1 (14.5) oz can of Diced Tomatoes
  • 1  (32) oz can of Chicken Broth, low-sodium
  • 1 cup Fresh Green Beans, chopped (and ends removed if fresh)
  • 1 Zucchini, quartered and chopped
  •  1/4 Head of Cabbage, shredded (previously forgot to add that!)
  • 1 (14.5 oz) Northern Beans, rinsed 
  • Additional Water, if desired, to make mixture less chunky.
      Seasonings: (Use what you like, but here's mine.)
  • 1 tsp Garlic, Minced
  • 1 tsp dried Basil
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 1/2 tsp Au Jus/Beef Base (Like Beef Bullion, but waaaaaay better)
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
Directions:
1) Heat oil in Dutch Oven on stove-top. Saute Onion and Carrot until softened and translucent. 
2) Stir in Seasonings (garlic, basil, etc). Cook for 1 minute.
3) Add in Tomatoes, Broth, and remaining Veggies.
4) Bring to a boil and simmer low to medium for at least 20-30 minutes (or until vegetables reach their desired "doneness").
5) Serve and enjoy!

'Twas my dinner with a half Almond Butter Sandwich on Wheat. 
Deeeelicious!



Now, I have extras for lunch and such.
Also, this is helping me meet my goal for Best Body Bootcamp of a minimum of 3 servings of vegetables a day.



Thursday, January 10, 2013

Side Dish: Oven-Roasted Cauliflower & Best Body Bootcamp

In a rush and need a healthy, fast, and delicious side dish?
How about Oven-Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic, Olive Oil, and Lemon?
Sound Yummy?
Oh, it is. 

I had a head of cauliflower hanging out in my refrigerator.
I originally planned to try and make Mashed Cauliflower (the healthier substitute for mashed potatoes), but I was in the mood for something lighter and crunchier.

Oven-Roasted Cauliflower is ready to eat in less than 20 minutes - prep time and all!
Plus, easy clean-up.
Loved it!

Recipe by Emeril Lagasse---->Click HERE

Ingredients

  • 5 to 6 cups cauliflower florets, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter (from 1 medium cauliflower)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sliced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • Chopped chives, for garnish

Directions

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Place the cauliflower florets in a large saute pan or a roasting pan. Drizzle the olive oil over the cauliflower, and season with the garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Place the saute/roasting pan in the oven and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even roasting. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Garnish with chopped chives and serve immediately while still warm.

***

On another note, I started a workout program on Sunday called Tina's Best Body Bootcamp. 
Click hereto check out her site---> http://tinareale.com/.
Tina emails you workouts to do every 2 weeks.
The programs is structured for 5-6 workouts per week with a combination of strength and cardio workouts.
If you are unfamiliar or fear certain workout moves, the bi-weely emails contain links so you can watch videos of the workout move.
This plan provides enough direction so you have a great workout, but also lists alternate moves to make the workouts easier or harder. I love that you can modify to suit your personal fitness level.

So far, I LOVE BBB!
BBB is motivating me and challenging me to workout out differently...which I am due for a change-up in my workout routine. I tend to gravitate to the same ol'-same ol'.
I strongly recommend this program!

Another Awesome thing about BBB?
It's only $25...for 8 WEEKS!

It's like having your own personal trainer (without them standing over you) for $25!!!
That's less than the cost of one month at a gym. One Month!

Seriously, check it out. This chick knows her stuff.



Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Baked Pumpkin Fettuccine Alfredo


Hey, all!
This Baked Pumpkin Fettuccine Alfredo recipe was past along to me from a friend who found it on the blog, How Sweet It Is.  
I had been periodically looking for some sort of Pumpkin-Pasta dish since we at at Bonefish Grill a few months ago. Their special of the evening was Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage and Browned Butter Sauce.
I was almost "game," but the fear of ravioli swimming in a browned butter sauce, while delicious, had me fearing a very high caloric intake.
 So, when my friend mentioned she made Baked Pumpkin Fettuccine Alfredo, I said, "Recipe, please!"
She passed this baby along my way.

To be honest, while I had been searching for a Pumpkin-Pasta recipe, I was kind of scared. I mean, I had never had pumpkin and pasta together. 
Part of it intrigued me and the other part of it scared me a bit. 
I was afraid it would be too odd, even for me. 
The result?
I actually really, truly liked it - a lot. 
If you love pumpkin? This Baked Pumpkin Fettuccini Alfredo recipe is for you.       
 
As a positive - the pumpkin replaces some of the fat often associated with Alfredo sauces. 
It tastes so warm and yummy.
The sage, cheese, salt and pepper balances out this dish, so, that it isn't too "sweet" for dinner. 
Of course, as I do most of the time, I increased ALL spices. :)
Pleasantly surprised. 
I like pleasant surprises, don't you?

Baked Pumpkin Fettuccine Alfredo
YIELD: SERVES 4-6

PREP TIME: 25 MINUTES

COOK TIME: 20 MINUTES

TOTAL TIME: 45 MINUTES
ingredients:
1 pound whole wheat/whole grain fettuccine (I used Ronzoni Garden Delight)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (I used light butter)
2 tablespoons flour
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups low-fat milk (I used Skim)
2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese (Subbed 1 1/2 Tbs Cream Cheese & 1/2 Tbs Sour Cream)
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cups pumpkin puree
1 tablespoons freshly chopped sage leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon
 pumpkin pie spice
freshly grated fontina cheese for topping (I omitted)
fine breadcrumbs for sprinkling (I omitted)
fried sage
10-15 fresh sage leaves
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Boil water and prepare pasta according to directions, shaving 1-2 minutes off of cooking time. I cooked my fettuccine for 6 minutes.
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add butter. Once sizzling, whisk in flour and stir to create a roux, until bubbly and golden, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add in milk, stirring constantly and increasing heat a little bit until it begins to bubble and thicken, about 5-6 minutes. Add in mascarpone, parmesan, pumpkin, sage, salt, pepper and pumpkin pie spice, mixing well until smooth and combined and thickened into a sauce.
Spray a baking dish (mine was 7x11) with nonstick spray and add pasta to the dish. Pour sauce over top and toss well with kitchen tongs to coat. Add some grated fontina on top and a sprinkling of bread crumbs. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until bubbly and slightly golden.
While pasta is baking, heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add olive oil. Once hot, add sage leaves 4-5 at a time and fry for about 30 seconds. Remove and place on a paper towel.
Serve pasta immediately and top with sage leaves.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Chicken Enchilada Chili


This is very similar to "traditional" chili -  but with a TWIST
(albeit, a "safe/non-weird" twist).
This was great!
Hubby loved it. 
I loved it. 
Definitely a keeper. 

I purchased the cookbook "More Make it Fast, Cook It Slow."
It's costs me a whole whopping $6.
Love a good deal.
 I am kind of picky with cookbooks, because, so often I look through them a think, "Would I actually make this stuff?"
With this book, the answer is, considering the majority, "Yes."
First recipe from this book=SUCCESS!
And to be honest, the rest sound awesome. 
I recommend. 

Here's the Chicken Enchilada Chili Recipe (as written)



Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups prepared Enchilada Sauce (I used Red Sauce)
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans of Tomatoes with Seasoning (I used 1 Garlic & Onion and 1 Spicy Red Pepper)
  • 2 (15 oz) cans of pinto or kideny beans with juice (or 1 cup dry pinto beans, soaked overnight)
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 onion diced, or 1 Tbs dried onion flakes (I have an onion-hating hubby, so, I used onion powder)
  • 1-2 tsp of chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken
  • shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream for serving (optional)
***I added 8 oz chopped green chilies and MORE seasoning of chili powder, cumin, onion powder, and garlic (to taste) - we like LOTS of flavor. 

Directions:
  1. Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Pour enchilada sauce & tomatoes in bottom of stoneware insert.
  2. Add beans, celery, onion, and spices. Stir to combine.
  3. Place chicken on top (whole, I shredded the chicken after it was completely cooked)
  4. Cover and cook for 7-8 hours on low (I did 6 hours). 
  5. Top with cheese and sour cream if desired. 
* If you are using dry beans it may take the whole 8 hours.
* If you chicken has bones, fish the bones out after cooking and before serving.