Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Baked Acorn Squash

Baked Acorn Squash with honey and bacon bits.

This is a real easy tasty side dish.
preheat oven to 350. Cut squash in half, clean out seed cavities.
Spay a pan with cooking oil.
Spray each half with butter spray, and sprinkle with pepper.
Place upside down on baking pan.
Add just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until skin give when touched.
Turn over squash and drizzle with honey.
sprinkle bacon bits and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden.
We eat it right out of the shell.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Potato gratin with mushrooms

A tasty variation of scalloped potatoes.

1/4 cup butter, divided
1 lb. mixed fresh mushrooms (button, crimini), sliced
3 Tbsp. flour
1-1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 pkg. (8 oz.) KRAFT Finely Shredded Italian* Five Cheese Blend
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2-1/2 lb. Yukon gold potatoes (about 8), peeled, sliced 1/8 inch thick. I used a salad shooter type to slice them nice and thin.
2 Tbsp. Grated Parmesan Cheese.

How to make it.....
HEAT oven to 375ºF.
MELT 1 Tbsp. butter in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; cook 6 min. or until tender, stirring frequently.
MELT 2 Tbsp. of the remaining butter in medium saucepan on medium heat. Whisk in flour; cook and stir 1 min. Gradually whisk in milk, then sour cream; cook 4 min or until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in shredded cheese, salt and pepper; cook 1 min. or until melted.
GREASE 3-qt. casserole with remaining butter. Layer 1/3 each of the potatoes and mushrooms in casserole; repeat layers twice. Cover with cheese sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan; cover.
BAKE 1-1/2 hours or until potatoes are tender and top is golden brown, uncovering after 1 hour. Let stand 10 min. before serving.

This was really a very tasty dish!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Baked Zucchini sticks

We tried these as a side with dinner, but these would be great, just as a snack!

2-4 medium zucchini
2 eggs
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
Dash of garlic powder
Dash of dried basil
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with tinfoil - spray with cooking spray
. Cut the zucchini into half lengthwise then into thick spears.
Combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and seasonings then mix thoroughly.
Dip the spears into egg then bread crumbs and Parmesan mixture, making sure to coat evenly. Place on baking sheet and spray the top of each spear with cooking spray.
Bake for 10-15 minutes then turn over and cook another 10-15 until golden brown.
Serve with marinara sauce or better yet, lite Creamy Caesar dressing. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken.
2 Tablespoons dark sesame oil.
1 cup chopped onion.
2 garlic cloves minced.
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs cut into 1-inch pieces. We used chicken breasts for less fat.
3/4 cup water.
3 tablespoons lower sodium soy sauce.
2 teaspoons cornstarch.
1 teaspoon brown sugar.
1/2 teaspoon bottled minced ginger.
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper.
1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper. (about one large pepper)
1 cup snow peas trimmed. Craig doesn't care much for snow peas, so he used less of them and more onions. :-)
2 tablespoons chopped unsalted, dry roasted peanuts.
1. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add onion to pan; saute 3 minutes or until softened.
Add garlic; saute 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
Add chicken; saute 3 minutes or until chicken begins to brown.
2. Combine 3/4 cup water and the next 5 ingredients(through crushed red pepper), stirring with a whisk until sugar dissolves.
Add water mixture to pan; bring to boil.
Add bell pepper and snow peas to pan; cook for 2 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender and sauce thickens. Isn't this looking good?.
Sprinkle with nuts.

We served this over Ramon noodles for a nice tasty dish! You could use any type pasta or rice.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Marinated Asparagus, roasted garlic basil potatoes

We served these with out tasty spicy sweet pork cutlets.
Marinated Asparagus.
Clean and break off tough stems.
Put in a bag with,
1 Tbl olive oil,
2 Tbl soy sauce,
2 Tbl lemon juice,
2 Tbl balsamic Vinegar.

Mix well and let sit at room temp for about an hour.
Drain and put on a greased pan under the broiler for 10-15 minutes until fork tender.
Serve with spray butter and Parmesan cheese.
Roasted garlic Basil Potatoes.
Clean and towel dry potatoes. We used red skinned.
Cut potatoes into bite sized pieces.
Put in a bag with
2 Tbl olive oil,
1 Tbl Basil,
1 tsp granulated garlic,
1 tsp chives, fresh or dried,
1 tsp paprika.

Roast on a greased pan at 450 for about 40 minutes. Turning a couple of times.
Serve buttered.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Salisbury Steak

Here's a real easy tasty Salisbury steak dinner.

1/3 cup grated onion, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground sirloin, we used extra lean ground beef.
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon butter
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered. or you can use any kind of mushrooms.
1/3 cup dry red wine
1 1/4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

1. Combine 1/4 cup onion, pepper, salt, garlic, and beef. Shape into 4 (1/2-inch-thick) patties. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray.
Add patties; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned.
2. Melt butter in pan. Add mushrooms; saute 4 minutes.
Stir in wine and remaining onion; cook 2 minutes.
Combine broth and flour; add to pan, and bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes or until thick.
Add patties and vinegar to pan; cook 2 minutes.

Now we served it with boxed mashed potatoes instead of real mashed potatoes cause we were lazy.
And we had squash.
I forgot to get a pic before we ate, so I got this one off the Cooking Light website.
But it was good!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

spicy-sweet pork cutlets

Add a spicy-sweet kick to your traditional pork chop recipe by simmering pork chops in a honey, Dijon mustard, ground ginger, cinnamon, and clove glaze.

1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Cooking spray
4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl.
Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Reduce heat to medium-low; add honey mixture. Cook 10 minutes or until done, turning pork once.

To go with the pork, I sliced potatoes about 1/8 inch thick, put in a pan with 3 tbl oil, covered and cooked on medium low, stirring frequently until cooked through. Then remove the top and cook on medium stirring frequently until nicely browned. The entire cooking time is about 30 minutes so start these before the pork.

Don't these look delish!
We served them with steamed broccoli for a tasty dinner!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cabbage Roll Casserole #2

Here's a slightly different version of Craig's Cabbage Roll casserole.

2 lbs lean Hot Italian Sausage
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can(15 ounces) tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups cooked rice
1 medium head cabbage (2 pounds) shredded
1 cup (4 ounces) mozzarella cheese.
1/4 cup bacon bits.

In a large skillet, cook the sausage, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink, drain.
Stir in one can of diced tomatoes and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Stir in the rice and bacon bits, heat through. Remove from heat.

Layer half of the cabbage in a greased 13in. x 9in. x2 in. baking dish.
Top with meat mixture.

Top with remaining cabbage. Pour tomato sauce over the top.
Cover and bake at 375 for 45 minutes.
Uncover and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Creamy Hot Italian Turkey Sausage pie

1lb light hot Italian sausage
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 oz package fat free cream cheese
I pkg frozen spinach, thawed and pressed of excess water
1 can sliced mushrooms
1 pkg low fat refrigerated biscuits or pizza dough(the kind in a rolled can)
2 eggs
1 24 oz fat-free cream-style cottage cheese
1/4 cup reduced fat Parmesan cheese
1 tbs corn starch
chopped tomatoes
chopped chives
4 oz. fat free shredded cheddar cheese

Saute onion, drain, set aside.
Brown sausage, drain, add sauteed onion, stir in cream cheese and mushrooms, set aside.

In a 9 x 13 dish, lightly grease and press dough onto bottom and up sides just over top.

Spoon in meat mixture evenly.
In a bowl, combine eggs, cottage cheese,spinach, and corn starch.
Spread mixture over meat mixture
Bake uncovered 25-30 min. at 350
Sprinkle cheese and let melt. Remove from oven and let rest 5-10 min. Garnish with tomato and chives.
Enjoy! makes more than enough for leftovers too!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tortilla Lasagna

Here's a tasty twist to Lasagna, ....Tortilla Lasagna.

I don't have pics showing the steps because I thought I had already posted this recipe. So this is a pic of the leftovers.


1 Tbl vegetable oil.
1 lb ground beef. You can also use chicken or turkey.
1 cup chopped onion.
1 1/2 cups chopped green and/or red pepper.
1 cup corn
1 4oz. can of sliced black olives.
1 4oz. can diced green chilies.
1 pkg taco seasoning mix.
1 16 oz. jar mild taco sauce, divided.
10 flour tortillas, divided.
2 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese, divided.

Pre-heat oven to 375.
Grease a 13x9 baking dish.
Heat oil in large skillet over med heat. Add ground beef; cook stirring occasionally until no longer pink. 5-6 min. Stir in vegetables, chillies and seasoning mix. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally 3-4 min or until veggies are tender.
Spread 1/2 cup taco sauce on bottom of baking dish. Cover with 5 tortillas. Spread with 1/2 the meat mixture and 1/2 the taco sauce. Sprinkle with 1 cup of cheese. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese melted.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu Pizza

Here's a tasty twist to traditional pizza. It's called chicken cordon bleu pizza. And you use Alfredo sauce instead of pizza sauce, and ham and chicken nuggets instead of ground beef or peperoni.

The recipe, courtesy of Taste of Home magazine...........

1 tube refrigerated pizza crust.
1/2 cup Alfredo sauce.
1/4 tsp garlic salt.
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese.
1-1/2 cups cubed cooked ham.
10 breaded chicken nuggets thawed and cut into 1/2-in pieces.
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese.

Now instead of refrigerated pizza crust, we used Boboli pizza crust. We're hooked on them now.
So spread the Alfredo sauce over the crust.
Sprinkle with salt and Swiss cheese.
top with ham and chicken.
and sprinkle mozzarella cheese over that.
Bake at 425 for 8-10 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.

And this was some good food! Of course it doesn't substitute for regular pizza, but it's a tasty dish all on it's own!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Meat Loaf

Craig makes a number of different meat loafs, but this on is particularly good!
He starts out with equal parts extra lean ground beef, and lean hot Italian sausage.
Add 2 eggs, bread crumbs, finely chopped onions, and Italian seasoning. Mix well and set in the fridge to 'rest' for an hour.

Roll out on wax paper to a thickness of about 3/4 of an inch. Craig used fat free shredded cheddar cheese and frozen spinach, thawed for the filling.
Roll into a log and place into a greased casserole dish.

Press the ends together and cover with tomato paste.

Bake at 325 for an hour or until done.
It was very tasty!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Turkey Tetrazzini casserole

Turkey Tetrazzini, Craig's way.

We found this recipe on-line and Craig thought it looked good. But as usual, he 'modified' it. So first, the original recipe.

10 ounce uncooked vermicelli
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 pound turkey breast cutlets
3/4 teaspoon onion powder, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 (8-ounce) packages presliced mushrooms
3/4 cup frozen green peas, thawed
3/4 cup fat-free milk
2/3 cup fat-free sour cream
1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can reduced-fat cream of chicken soup (such as Healthy Choice)
Cooking spray
1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 450°.
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle turkey with 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add turkey to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Remove turkey from pan.
Add 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, sherry, and mushrooms to pan. Cover and cook 4 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.
Combine peas, milk, sour cream, cheese, and soup in a large bowl. Chop turkey. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, pasta, turkey, and mushroom mixture to soup mixture, tossing gently to combine. Spoon mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Combine breadcrumbs and butter in a small dish, tossing to combine. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over pasta mixture. Bake at 450° for 12 minutes or until bubbly and thoroughly heated.

Now what Craig did different.
He used left-over chopped turkey breast from our turkey last week.
He hates peas, so he put chopped green onions in it's place.
He didn't have any dry sherry, so he used dry vermouth.
Instead of regular mushrooms, he used baby bellas.
And then before serving, he topped with shredded fat free cheddar cheese, and diced tomatoes.
It was delicious!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ummmmm broth!

Pictured here are 11 pints of wonderful rich turkey broth.

After we cook a turkey, Craig saves all the 'stuff' in the bottom of the roasting pan and puts it in a freezer bag and in the freezer. After we've eaten enough turkey, he salvages the rest of the meat and freezes it for later use. (Craig makes a wonderful turkey rice casserole) Then he freezes the rest of the carcass. This turkey, we didn't have regular stuffing, so he 'stuffed' it with onions, celery, and oranges. They help to keep the turkey moist, and add some nice flavor too. So all this 'stuffing' gets frozen also. Also when ever he trims veggies for meal, he keeps a freezer bag in the freezer he adds the veggie scraps to it. Once he has accumulated enough stuff, he makes a batch of broth.
First in the pan, the frozen liquid from the roaster pan.

once that has thawed, the rest of the stuff.
Add enough water to cover everything, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and let simmer for 6-8 hours. When it's done, it should look like this.
Strain in a colander, pour into containers, cool, and freeze for future use.
This would make a wonderful soup base, but we're not much soup people. So Craig uses it for making mashed potatoes, boiling rice or noodles, anything where he can substitute for water. Makes things taste richer. And if you want clearer broth, use a finer screen colander.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Pork stir fry

This is another tasty stir fry.
Start with pork cutlets trimmed of fat and thin sliced.
You can add what ever vegies you like, but for this stir fry, I added the following..
Sliced red pepper,
baby portabela mushrooms,
sliced carrots,
sliced onions,
slivered almonds.

saute the veggies with a little olive oil until tender crisp. Set aside. Add almonds.
And pork to pan with more oil if needed. Season with your favorite seasonings. Craig used garlic powder, minced garlic, and Mrs Dash, onion and herb. Cook until no longer pink.
And sauteed veggies and 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup teriaki sauce, and 1/8 cup cornstarch mixed with water to thicken .
simmer for 5-10 minutes or until thick and bubbly.
serve over rice.
And boy was it good!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sauerbraten Lasagna

Sauerbraten Lasagna

Craig quite often modifies recipes, but this time, he created a completely new one.


18 oz beef gravy.

2 Tbl. vinegar.

2 Tbl. crushed ginger snaps.

1 small onion sliced.

1 small zucchini shredded.

1 lb steak, cut into 3/4 in pieces.

1 can beer.

2 bay leaves.

1 14 oz can sauerkraut.

8 0z fat free cream cheese.

8 0z. shredded Swiss cheese.

9 lasagna noodles.

Combine steak, beer and bay leaves in a Ziploc bag and marinate over night.

Mix vinegar and ginger snaps into gravy.

Mix sauerkraut and warmed cream cheese.

Drain meat, and lightly brown in a pan. set aside.

Saute onion until lightly browned.

Stir in meat, zucchini, and 1/3 gravy and set aside.

Pre cook lasagna noodles until soft. Grease a 7 x 9 casserole dish and layer 3 noodles.

add 1/2 meat mixture.

Then 1/2 sauerkraut/cream cheese.
Repeat layers and top with last 3 noodles and then with remaining gravy.
Cook at 350 for 40 minutes or until bubbly.
top with shredded cheese and heat till melted.

And I have to say it was delicious!
Craig did say, next time he'd use a little less gravy. It was a bit runny, but I liked it!