Monday, June 29, 2009

Blueberry and Tortellini Fruit Salad

Note: Looking for something different? Keep this fruit salad in mind the next time you visit the Farmer's Market!!! Whether for a light lunch or a simple supper, it is a delicious treat! Little Guy's parents have a huge garden and raise fruit too so when they handed me grocery sacks full f blueberries I knew I wanted to try this out!

Blueberry and Tortellini Fruit Salad

1/2 cup Low Fat Poppy Seed Dressing
1 pkg (9 oz) Three Cheese Tortellini (in refrigerated section)
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
1 can (11 oz) mandarin oranges, sliced
3/4 cup green grapes
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Gently mix pasta and fruit in a bowl. Pour dressing over the top and gently mix again. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. Chill until ready to serve.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Spinach Casserole

Note:     Little Guy and I LOVE spinach.    Hubs and Big Guy?   Not so much.    Oh, well, more for us!

Spinach Casserole

2 boxes frozen spinach, drained and thawed
1 pint creamed cottage cheese
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup American cheese, shredded
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 (103/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
2 tablespoons onion, chopped
11/2 cups croutons
Salt and pepper, to taste

Toss croutons in melted butter. Mix all ingredients, except 1/2 cup croutons, in a large bowl.  Pour into a greased casserole dish; sprinkle with remaining croutons.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Three Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta

Note: A complete meal that includes three cheeses? It is definitely one of my favorites! This is a quick and easy meal especially when I buy a bag of fajita chicken strips to use.

Three Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta

1 stick of butter
1 cup of cream
6 ounce provolone
6 ounce mozzarella
1 cup parmesan
4 chicken breasts
1 box of penne pasta (I like whole wheat.)

Grill or bake your chicken according to your taste preference. Cut into bite size strips.

Boil penne pasta in salted water according to package directions.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Pour in cream and add cheese. Stir until all is melted and well mixed.

Pour sauce over pasta and chicken and toss well.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Skillet Salmon

Note: My husband adores salmon. In fact he loves all fish. The problem? It seems to be my achilles heel in cooking. However, this recipe is very simple and has wonderful flavor! It is also very quick!

Skillet Salmon

1 Tbsp oil
4 salmon filets
1 cup fat free milk
1/2 cup light cream cheese
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
2 Tbsp chopped dill

Heat oil in skillet in medium high. Cook salmon for five minutes on each side until flaky. Remove to warmed plate and cover with aluminum foil.

Mix milk and cream cheese in skillet. Stir in cucumber and dill.

Add salmon back to skillet and cook for 2 more minutes.

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Friday, June 19, 2009


Cornbread 2 cups stone-ground cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons canola or other vegetable oil
1 beaten egg
2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray an 8- to 9-inch square baking pan (heavier is better) and set aside.
Mix ingredients together.  Pour into the prepared pan and bake immediately until browned.
If you allow the batter to sit, the baking powder and soda will activate before the pan gets hot. This will prevent the cornbread from rising.   

Like a sweet cornbread?  Add up to another 1/2 cup sugar to the batter.
Like a flavorful cornbread?   Add cooked corn, cheese or diced peppers.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Plum Frozen Yogurt

Note:   No, I am not kidding.  

Plum Frozen Yogurt

2 lb Plums -- pitted & chopped
3/4 c Sugar -- or substitute
1 Cinnamon Stick
32 oz Nonfat Yogurt -- vanilla

In saucepan combine plums, sugar, cinnamon stick and 1/2 C water. Bring to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 min. until plums are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; discard cinnamon stick.

In blender process plum mixture until smooth. Press plum puree with back of spoon thru sieve set over bowl. Discard skin and pulp. Pour plum-yogurt mixture into 9" sq. metal baking pan. Cover and freeze for 2 hours until firm.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Plum Barbeque Sauce

Note:    So great on pork tenderloin!!

Plum Barbecue Sauce

1/4 c Onion; Chopped, 1 small
1/4 c Butter Or Margarine
1/4 c Chile Sauce
2 ts Mustard; Dijon-style
16 1/2 oz Purple Plums; pitted and finely chopped
6 oz Frozen Lemonade; Thawed,1 cn

Cook onion in margarine in 2-quart saucepan stirring occasionally, until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Makes about 2 cups of sauce.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Plum Chutney

Note:    On Friday the boys and I went to a friend's house to pick plums.     She had four trees and they were loaded.     The first thing anyone thinks of when they think of plums is jam or jelly.   My first thought is just standing there underneath the shade of the tree eating them straight off the tree until until I get sick.   Then, I think about all the ways I am going to use these delicious fruit!    Chutney is so delicious and great on chips or chicken.

Plum Chutney

3 lb Plums -- pitted/quartered
1 lb Apple, granny smith
1 Onion, large -- chopped
2 Garlic clove -- minced
2 c Brown sugar
2 c Vinegar
1 tb Salt
1 tb Ginger, ground
2 tb Cloves, ground
1/2 ts Red pepper

Pit and quarter the plums. Peel, core, and quarter the apples. Combine all ingredients in a large Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Cook, uncov- ered, over medium heat 2 hours or until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Quickly spoon chutney into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4" head-space; cover at once with metal lids, and screw bands tight. Process 10 minutes in boiling-water bath.


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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Funnel Cakes

Note: The boys woke up this morning and wanted something different for breakfast. What about funnel cakes they suggested? OK. Why not! It is summer. So we made funnel cakes and they were definitely a hit. All we were missing were some fresh strawberries!!

Funnel Cakes

3 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
oil for deep frying
sifted confectioners' sugar

Beat eggs with milk. Sift together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder; add to eggs and milk. Beat until very smooth. Heat oil in deep fryer to 370°. Holding the funnel with one finger keeping the opening closed, fill with batter. Open the end of the funnel and allow batter to run out in a stream into deep hot fat. Move funnel from center, swirling outward in a circular pattern. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer fried funnel cakes to paper towels to drain. Shake sifted confectioners' sugar over drained funnel cakes.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Grilled Parmesan Tilapia

Note: One of my Facebook friends recommended this recipe. You can use any filet... catfish works especially well too! Yummy!

Grilled Parmesan Tilapia Fillets

3 tilapia fillets (6-8 ounces each), rinsed thoroughly with water
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup mayonnaise (I’ve tried other things, but there’s no substitute - this just works)
4 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons margarine or butter

Mix the Parmesan, the mayonnaise, and half of the lemon juice, and soften the butter/margarine. Dip the tilapia fillets in the butter, then the remaining lemon juice. Grill them over high heat for 6 minutes, flipping halfway through. Flip again, then spread the lemon-Parmesan sauce on top. Grill for 3 more minutes until the sauce turns golden brown. Serve!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Steak Kebabs

Note: This is a quick and easy meal to make on the grill or under the broiler. Serve with a baked potato and a simple salad!!

Steak Kebabs

2 Tb soy sauce
2 Tb honey
1 tsp ground ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1/4 tsp crushed hot red pepper flakes

12 oz boneless sirloin steak, trimmed & cut into 1 inch cubes
8 cherry tomatoes
4 large mushrooms, cut in half
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded & cut into 8 squares

Combine marinade ingredients & stir well. Place steak into a ziplock. Add marinade & refrigerate a few hours to overnight, turning a few times. Preheat broiler. Using disposable bamboo skewers alternately thread veggies & meat. Place on broiler pan & broil 5 minutes then turn sticks & broil another 5 minutes.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Quick & Easy Breakfast Shake

Note: This is a quick and easy breakfast drink OR a really refreshing pick me up after going to the pool!

Quick & Easy Breakfast Shake

1 (14 oz) frozen orange juice concentrate
4 cups skim milk
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
ice (as much as you need)


Monday, June 8, 2009

Southern Pecan Chicken

Note: I am lucky that my local grocery store sells pecan meal which saves me a lot of time. We love this southern pecan chicken because it satisfies our southern need for chicken without the frying!

Southern Pecan Chicken

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
4 cups ice water and ice
4 t salt
3/4 cup ground pecans
2 whole eggs
2 T milk
2 T honey
1/2 t salt
1/2 t black pepper, course ground fresh

Marinate the chicken breasts in iced salt water for 1/2 hour. Beat milk with honey, then add beaten eggs, salt and fresh ground pepper. Put egg wash in one shallow bowl, and pecan meal in another. Dip each chicken breast in the egg wash, then into the pecan meal and pat the meal into the breast to form a crust. Place the breasts in a shallow baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray, and bake for 35 minutes at 375, or until the breasts are done through.

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Artichoke Dip

Note: This is one of the best artichoke dip recipes I have ever found. Great for showers, football games or just inviting the girls over to gab!

Baked Artichoke Dip

1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar/jack blend cheese
dash of garlic salt
small can of green chilis
sprinkle paprika over the top

Mix all together & place in a 8x8 baking dish. Bake @ 350 for 30 minutes.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Lime Smoothie

Note: Lime may not be your typical smoothie flavor, but maybe that is why I like this one. It is different and I like to try unique things. Most times they are the most refreshing!

Lime Smoothie

1/2 cup lime (peeled and sliced)
3/4 cup low-fat milk
1 cup lime sherbet
1/2 cup raspberries
2 cups ice

Blend and serve.
You can substitute key lime yogurt for the sherbet for a smoother, albeit, slightly different taste.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Note:   Today was really busy running around from place to place.       Little Guy and I had about an hour in between some errands and his swimming so we ran home and I made him one of these to give him an energy boost for an hour of swimming.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie


1 cup apple juice
1 cup milk
1 frozen banana
1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries
1 cup strawberry yogurt

Pour  liquid ingredients into the blender. Add frozen ingredients. Blend at MIX setting for 30 seconds then blend at SMOOTH setting until smooth. While the machine is running, stir around to help mix. Serve immediately.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Breakfast Smoothie

Note:   No excuses for rushing out the door without breakfast!

Breakfast Smoothie

1/2 cup Grape Nuts cereal
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt (low-fat)
1 cup ice
1 banana
2 cups juice (orange or apple or whatever you like)


Monday, June 1, 2009

Banana Split Smoothie

Note: This smoothie is in honor of my sweet Big Guy whose 12th birthday is tomorrow. He loves a good banana split and I think this will be very refreshing after he gets home from working VBS. I think it is a very special kid who is willing to volunteer to work with preschoolers at VBS on his birthday.

Banana Split Smoothie

2 bananas
8 oz. crushed pineapple, drained
1 1/4 cup of milk
1/2 cup of unsweetened strawberries
2 tbs. honey
6 ice cubes
1 scoop of vanilla ice cream

whipped topping
chocolate syrup
maraschino cherries

Combine bananas, pineapple, milk, strawberries and honey in a blender. Blend until smooth, no lumps. Start adding ice slowly and blending until slushy. Pour into large glasses, preferably chilled then garnish with whipped topping, chocolate syrup, and maraschino cherries. The perfect banana split in a glass.

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