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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chicken Scarpiello

One of my favorite channels is the Food Network. The chefs rock on that channel and I love to record their shows and watch them when I have time- and make their meals! Anne Burrell, who was Mario Batali's sous chef came out with this super awesome dish that I just HAD to make and I could not change it at all to be my own. Not yet anyway- I have some new ideas to spice it up for the next time I make it :) Scarpiello requires a whole chicken that you chop up- this is where my husband comes in. I said, I will make this meal, but only if you cut up the whole chicken. He agreed and then turned into my sous chef/assistant/partner in Scarpiello crime! Together we got this meal done and it tasted AWESOME!! Beware you need a good 1 hour to prepare everything and less time for cooking, maybe 25 minutes! Ingredient Line Up:

  • Olive Oil

  • 1lb fennel sausage- we used italian-turkey sausage is a healthy alternative option as well

  • 1 whole chicken- diced up, bones intact- get rid of the guts!

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 spanish onion- or any onion you like sliced

  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped

  • 3/4 C white wine- we used Pinot and did NOT use measuring cups :)

  • 1 C quartered hot cherry peppers

  • 1/2 C hot cherry pepper juice, from the jar

  • 1 C Chicken stock, or more if needed

  • 3 sprigs fresh oregano, I used dried because my herb garden is not ready yet!
Isn't this chicken chopping lovely?! He did a great job! Cherry Peppers=YUM! Find them in any grocery store Diced onions, garlic and soon to be chopped cherry peppers! Directions:

  • Coat a large wide pan with Olive oil and bring the pan to a medium-high heat. Add the sausage and brown well. Remove the sausage, put aside for later use.

  • Add the raw pieces of chicken to the same pan the sausage was cooked in, season well with salt and pepper and brown. Once browned on all sides, remove and set aside for later use.

  • Drain the oil from the pan, and add new oil to the pan. Add the sliced onions and season with salt. Cook the onions over medium heat for 6-7 minutes, add garlic and cook for 2-3 more minutes.

  • Add wine to the pan and reduce it by half, while the wine is reducing scrap up all browned bits from bottom of the pan. Return the sausage and chicken to the pan, add cherry peppers, cherry pepper juice, chicken stock, and oregano. Bring to a boil, and reduce to simmer, simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for 5 minutes, add more chicken stock if the stock has reduced too much.
See the browned chicken and sausage in separate bowls as well as the sliced cherry peppers in the juice and of course the white wine- feel free to pour yourself a glass while cooking! Sweating onions Smells so YUMMY

This was so good!! YUM Enjoy :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ooey Gooey Chocolate and Chewy

Time for another sinful treat! My husband decided to buy a bulk container of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough because we are trying to sell our house and he believes he needs to bake cookies everytime we have a showing or open house. I can do without the fresh cookie dough because I will eat it! I do not need to eat this stuff!! That being said, today was an 'I am going to eat Cookie Dough' Day. I had to great creative to make it worth my cheating. So here we go!

  • Get a bag of marshmellows and your favorite cookie dough

  • Whether you make your cookie dough or buy it already made, do that first!

  • Scoop your cookie dough and form a big ball of cookie dough around one big marshmellow

  • Put onto your baking sheet, add parchment paper to make for easy clean up.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until nice and chewy. NOTE: the marshmellow wont melt into the cookie until you bring it out of the oven, don't be alarmed! You get a large chocolate chip marshmellow ooey gooey chocolate and chewy cookie! Beware very messy, enjoy with some milk!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Fireside Grilled Veggies

My favorite side dish has got to be grilled veggies. I believe all veggies should be grilled with a little spice and they will taste great. I get tons of compliments on this side dish, which is a huge shocker to me. Who knew veggies would be such a hit! You can play with this recipe all you want. I have specific veggies that I like to make. This recipe has steamed green beans, onions, mushrooms, and peppers. It's super easy- Line Up:

  • 1 Onion- Red preferred

  • 3 Peppers- any color

  • 1 package of mushrooms

  • 1 package of green beans
Directions: Steam the green beans in the microwave for 5 minutes. Dice up your onion and slice your mushrooms. Get your grill on med-high- I use an indoor grill pan, however the outdoor grill works just as well, if not better. Use your veggie grill tray to hold all your veggies in and slice your onions, peppers and mushrooms a bit large in size. Slice your peppers to tiny square bits, about 1-2 inch in size. 2 TBSP Olive Oil over your onion/mushrooms- get those started first, they take a bit longer. Add the green beans and peppers on top, mix up, add salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I also switch it up and sometimes add other spices. You might want to sprinkle more Olive Oil as well. I would also suggest doing asparagus or even broccoli on the grill, mixed with other veggies or by themselves are great. I am not a squash or zucchini fan, but if you are- go for those as well! Cook until barely showing grill marks to keep the nutrients in your veggies. This will serve about 6-7 meals. I make this amount and it lasts me an entire week. I reheat with different meals all week long. Saves me time, money, and keeps me healthy and skinny! Enjoy :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

S'more Popcorn

It was time for another cheat meal, but I had no time to get to the store. I had a bulk size bag of chocolate chips with no desire to bake cookies. I had some heavy cream that I needed to use up quick before it expired and thought well I can melt some chocolate chips with the cream, but then what? I'm not going to eat the chocolate melted by itself!!! Back into the pantry I went looking for something to create. Right in front of the chocolate chips as I grabbed them was popcorn!!! I thought, yes!! I will pop the corn and drizzle the melted chocolate on top!! Almost like moose munch from Harry and David, except homemade! Then I thought, no that is too boring, I must get even more creative. I saw a big bag of marshmellows and ground graham crackers. All the ingredients to fix up S'mores, and why not melt it all over popcorn? YUM!

So here it goes:






Ingredients:

  • 1.5 C Chocolate Chips
  • 1 C Heavy Cream
  • * marshmellows* I used large, but next time I'm going to do it with mini's, so I'm suggesting you get mini's and about 3 Cups, enough to cover your popcorn overall
  • 3 tbsp of ground Graham Cracker
  • 1 pkg plain popcorn


Directions:

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler over simmering water with the heavy cream, I actually melted some marshmellows into the chocolate for more flavor. Pop your popcorn in the meantime. When the chocolate is ready, take off stove to cool. Once popcorn is popped and cooled down a bit, spread out onto a baking sheet over parchment paper. Layer your marshmellows on top of the popcorn. I only had large marshmellows on hand so it worked, but definitely go for the minis!! Bake for 10-15 minutes in a 350 degree oven, or until slightly melted over the popcorn. Once out of the oven, drizzle the chocolate sauce all over, as much or as little as you want for your snack. Sprinkle the ground graham crackers over that and eat up!



S'more Popcorn Snack!!




If you do opt for the large marshmellows you get larger pieces to eat, so either way you go-large marshmellows or mini's it's going to be super yummy.

ENJOY :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cream Cheese Baked Oatmeal



Ahh good old fashioned oats, the healthy way to eat your oatmeal. Did I mention I can't stand oatmeal cooked? There is something about cooked oatmeal that makes me feel like I'm eating mush so I just cannot stand it. It's really good for you though, so I do try. I throw it in my burgers, meatballs, homemade protein bars etc Anyway I can get them in my system without the mush texture.

I've been paying attention to professional figure and bodybuilder competitor, Jenny Grothe. She wrote the book '75 ways To Love Your Oatmeal- Great Tasting Recipes That keep you Lean'

So here we are- Baked Oatmeal. I figure it's another step in the right direction for me to get my oats down. I played with the cream cheese recipe today.




Torani is a sugar free, carb free, calorie free flavored syrup used in baked oatmeal, protein shakes, and yogurts. All the flavor without the guilt!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C Oats
  • 1/8 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 5 tsp Fat-Free Cream Cheese
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 2 tsp liquid egg whites
  • sugar substitute to taste
  • 2 tbsp Torani Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Syrup

Mix everything together and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. UNLESS you are like me, and you need the texture crunchy- I baked for more like 45 minutes and broiled at the end to give it a golden brown crust. It's also optional to add some almond milk on top once it's baked. If this is a post workout meal, I might add some mini chocolate chips to it as well :) yum











Nutritional Info:
Calories 211
Fat 3.33g
Sat. Fat 0.75 g
Cholesterol 3.33mg
Sodium 179.12mg
Carbs 34.58g
Fiber 5.25g
Sugar 5.08g
Protein 12.17g

French Toastwich



One of the keys to a healthy life is to eat breakfast. There is no way around it, starving yourself so you can have a large lunch or dinner wont do you any good. You've just fasted for a good 6-8 hours depending on how long you sleep and your body is craving energy to get going for the day. This is the most important meal of the day, and deserves some good carbs, lean protein, and good fat. You can definitely go a little higher in calories if you'd like with breakfast since it's the first meal of the day.


I believe in 5 small meals ranging 200-300 calories per meal, ending up having had about 1300-1500 calories total for the day. When I'm wanting to drop a little weight, I usually will eat 1300 on a workout day and 1100 on a rest day. I switched to egg substitutes about 3 years ago, I still have eggs every once in a while, but I find egg substitutes to be cheaper and less calories. They all taste the same to me, so it works well. Scrambled Eggs became my famous breakfast...every single day for months on end. It does get old, so one day I came up with a healthy French Toast recipe to have when I crave a sweet morning treat for breakfast.


I researched sugar free syrups and so far my favorite is this one here, Cary's. Cary's is an American Diabetic Association sponsor :) It's just 30 calories per serving which is 1/4 of a cup, just enough to cover your French Toast!




Ingredients:


2 Slices Double Fiber Bread


STOP! Let's talk Double Fiber Bread real quick: My favorite brand is Healthy Life, they have a 60 calorie per slice or a 40 calorie per slice which has 13g of Whole Grain per slice and 40% of your daily fiber intake- oh and no high fructose corn syrup! If you choose to go with the 40 Calorie per slice, you also get Omega-3 and flaxseed in it, bonus!)


Ok back to Ingredients:



  • 2 TSP Nutmeg

  • 2 TSP Cinnamon

  • 1 Cup Egg Substitute, or 4-5 Egg Whites

  • 2 pcs Canadian Bacon

  • 1/4 C Car's Syrup



Directions:


Pour your cup of egg substitute into a bowl, add cinnamon and nutmeg and mix together.

Spray your pan with some Pam or good cooking spray. Take 1 piece of bread and dip into egg mixture, once fully covered put into the pan, cook on high for 1-2 minutes each side. Once you have your 2 piece of bread done, I always pour the leftover mixture into the pan to cook up and 2 piece of Canadian Bacon. If you want to add butter to your French Toast I suggest Smart Balance to keep healthy! Put your Canadian Bacon on top or in the middle of your French Toast along with the leftover cooked egg, pour Cary's syrup on top and eat up!!




You can see here the bacon under the leftover cooked egg mixture. It's yummy!!!


Your total calories for this breakfast if eaten with the 40 calorie Healthy Life Double Fiber bread and butter is 260 (210 without butter, 300 with butter and 60 calorie Healthy Life Double Fiber bread), and it has your lean protein, good fat, and fiber. A well balanced sweet treat for breakfast!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bailey's Oreo Irish Cream Pie

I LOVE Bailey's Irish Cream. I have it once or twice a year because I dont drink much. BUT, it's St. Patrick's Day, therefore it's a day for Bailey's Irish Cream. PS: My puppy was named Bailey :) See a trend?

Anyway, I wanted to make an Irish Cream Pie for St. Patrick's Day. I had Irish Cream Pie in an Irish Pub a couple years ago on St. Patrick's Day and it was amaze as the Kardashians would say. I really wanted to create the same tasting pie for dessert. This one has a couple twists, surprise surprise! The original recipe calls for a specific crust recipe, and an overload of chocolate. I wanted to make it easier, cheaper, and less chocolatey.






Ingredients:

  • 1 Oreo Crust (from the grocery store- it's cheaper than buying a package of Oreos to make the crust!)
  • 1/2 Cup Bailey's Irish Cream
  • 2 Pkgs Jell-O Instant Pudding, Vanilla Flavor
  • 1.5 Cups Milk
  • 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1/4 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips




Directions:

Prepare Instant Vanilla Pudding Packages together following box directions, but instead of 2 C of Milk add 1.5 C of Milk and 1/2 C of Baileys

Put your whipping cream into your mixer, and mix on medium speed until soft peaks form.

You can choose to fold the pudding into the whipping cream once it's mixed up or you can mix both on a medium speed. I find mixing it helps take the lumps out of the pudding mix.



Pour your batter into the grocery purchased crust and set in the refridgerator for at least an hour.




Garnish the pie with the Mini Chocolate Chips





So creamy, and yummy!






A slice of Irish heaven





If you love Baileys, you will love this pie, and it's super easy.
Enjoy and again, Happy St. Patricks Day!!




Chocolate Chip Irish Soda Bread

I know I'm a health nazi and I owe this blog many healthy recipes that I make, but for now we'll go with what I do for my cheat meals :) I do enjoy them after all! In honor of St. Patricks Day I decided to make a full Irish dinner and dessert! I have corned beef, cabbage, and red potatoes cooking in the crock pot and Bailey's Irish Cream Pie w/ Oreo Crust setting in the fridge!

To go with my Irish meal I wanted to make Irish Soda Bread, but one problem.... I hate raisins! Did I mention I am a picky eater? Yes, I'm not a raisin, fish, or mayo fan! There are more items on that list, but for now we'll move on. I got my Irish Soda Bread recipe out and thought what can I replace the raisins with... looked into my pantry... and sure enough I found chocolate chips! Why not right? Every can use a little chocolate in their bread, after all if you visit France you will find the best Chocolate croissants. The Chocolate oozes out of the croissant, so imagine this being a French twist on Irish Soda Bread.

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and spray your bread loaf pan with a good cooking spray. It's important to use a loaf pan for this recipe.

2. Mix your dry ingredients in one bowl, and wet ingredients in another, melt the butter separately


Ingredients:

  • 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 Cups Buttermilk
  • 1/4 Cup Butter, melted
  • 1.5 Cups Chocolate Chips

3. Mix the Chocolate Chips into the dry ingredients
** this keeps them from falling to the bottom of your bread**

4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, add the melted butter and mix away with a good spatula until everything in incorporated.

5. Pour into your loaf pan and bake for 60-75 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
** You might find some melted chocolate on your toothpick, which is okay





This is yummy goodness :)




Fresh out of the oven!


Slice it up and serve with dinner! It's almost like a dessert, but on St. Patricks Day you must get your Irish Cream Pie~ that's my next blog :)
YUM, Enjoy! Happy St. Patricks Day!



Friday, March 11, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

Call me a sinner, because aren't we all? But whoa this one is a bit over the top even for me! I really am a health nazi, that is no joke. But I also believe in refeeds also known as cheat meals, and you better believe when it's my cheat meal, I enjoy it!

That being said, we have family in town this weekend, and everyone is getting together for dinner so I thought- ahh opportunity to make another sweet concoction! See the other trick to experiment and bake with all my fun kitchen toys is giving away the sinful treats I make. I have one or two and the rest go to other people, saves me my figure, but gives me the chance to be creative.

This recipe is very versitile. You can use all kinds of combinations with this. I stuck to the basics.

Oreos, Cheesecake, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough- YUM!




RECIPE:

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 1 1/2 C. finely ground Graham crackers
  • 1/4 C. Sugar
  • 6 tbsp butter, melted

Mix together in a bowl, and press firmly against your 8X8 sprayed pan.



Cookie Dough Recipe

  • 2 1/4 C Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda

Mixed together in a bowl

  • 1/4 C Sugar
  • 3/4 C Brown Sugar
  • 1 Pkg Jell-0 Instant Vanilla Pudding
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 sticks butter, melted
  • 2 C Chocolate Chips

In your mixer, cream the sugars, butter, pudding, and vanilla extract. Add eggs one at a time. Add dry Ingredients slowly while mixer continues at a med speed, add chocolate chips

Take cookie dough mixture and spread on top of graham cracker crust, followed by the cream cheese mixture



Cheesecake Filling
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/3 C. Sugar

Mix together, and like I said spread over cookie dough mixture. I highly suggest very soft cream cheese, makes it much smoother to spread.


Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, take out of oven and crumble Oreo cookies on top (Yellow creme spring edition again of course!) Put back in oven for 3-4 minutes



The top might look undercooked, but dont let it fool you, this is a super chewy cookie dough recipe. In fact if you make the cookies by themselves you will also find yourself having to work out like 3X that day to make up for the yummy goodness you just ate :) I got that recipe from my mother in law by my husbands request like 3 years ago, and have tried taking ownership of it. It is the BEST chocolate chip cookie dough recipe out there!



I wanted to show the layers close up! See the cookie dough surrounding the cheesecake filling with the graham cracker crust on the bottom and the ever so awesome Oreos on top!



YUM!
This can serve about 10-15 small bars, or 9 large bars!




Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mozzarella Stuffed Turkey Meatballs

For over six months now if not longer, I have been dreaming up this recipe. I LOVE meatballs. I'll take a meatball over sausage any day! In fact I love them so much, that when we are out for Italian, you better believe no matter what I've ordered I always ask for a side of meatballs.

I found a super healthy route to meatballs since they are high in fat and calories with regular beef, bread crumbs, and the other goodies mixed in. I have switched all my ground beef recipes to ground turkey or bison. Then to trick myself I add spinach and rolled oats to my ground meat recipes. This gives me a great boost of iron, fiber and all the other healthy adds to the mix. Did I mention I even throw some egg substitute in over a regular egg? Call me crazy, but I am married to the pickiest flavor eater ever! He notices simple changes, but when it comes to this recipe, he LOVES it :)

I thought now why not stuff the meatball with a big ball of cheese? How fun would that be!




Ingredients:

1 lb Ground Turkey (or meat of your choice)
1/4 Red onion, diced
1/4 C Rolled Oats
1/4 C Egg Substitute (or 1 egg)
1/4 C Spinach, chopped
salt and pepper, pinch of each
Parmesean Cheese
Mozzarella Cheese

Directions:

Mix your meat together with all ingredients, by hand!



Cut your cheese into small cubes




Make a patty, like a hamburger patty, press your cheese into the middle and wrap meat mixture around the cheese.




Brown each side of your meatballs in a little Olive Oil. Lookout these are HUGE meatballs!






Bake your meatballs at 375 for 20 minutes


Remove meatballs from baking sheet, put back into your browning pan over a med-high heat for 3-4 minutes. Turn heat to med-low, add your marinara sauce. Heat until sauce is warmed.






Cheesey Goodness






Even though I'm Italian, I'm not a big pasta eater. I will eat the meatballs in sauce all by themself! Add pasta if you would like, plate up with a couple meatballs, and sprinkle Parmesean on top!
YUMMY!!


Recipe makes about 8-9 large meatballs.