Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Parfait Breakfast

I love to set up a 'parfait buffet' when we have company over. The kids all love to pile on the toppings in Sundae dishes!

Breakfast Parfait!

If I let them, my kids would eat ice-cream sundaes for breakfast! I love to offer them the next best thing: sundaes made with yogurt, cereal, granola, and fresh fruit layered in sundae glasses! 

We love: yogurt, kix cereal, homemade granola, and all kinds of fruit!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sweetened Whipped Cream

Never purchase the cool whip from the freezer section of your grocery store! This is soooooo much better!

Sweetened Whipped Cream

Makes 2 cups

1 cup cold heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Whip the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (you can also use a hand mixer). When it starts to thicken, add the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until firm. Don't overbeat!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fiesta Shrimp Tacos with Cucumber Salsa

You will feel good after you eat this! Your body will absorb the nutrients, and you will be full of energy!

Fiesta Shrimp Tacos with Cucumber Salsa

1 1/2 cups nonfat sour cream
1/2 cup chopped seeded peeled cucumber
1 (1.25 ounce) package Old El Paso(R) Taco Seasoning

Mix 2 avocados, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 pound shelled deveined uncooked medium shrimp
1 (4.6 ounce) package Old El Paso(R) Taco Shells
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup Old El Paso(R) Thick 'n Chunky Salsa
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Cooking Directions

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. In medium bowl, combine sour cream, cucumber and 2 tablespoons of the taco seasoning mix; mix well. In small bowl, combine avocados and lime juice; toss to coat. Set aside. In another medium bowl, combine shrimp and remaining taco seasoning mix; toss to coat. Heat taco shells at 375 degrees F as directed on package. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add shrimp; cook 3 to 5 minutes or until shrimp turn pink, stirring frequently. Spoon shrimp into warm taco shells. Top each with sour cream mixture, avocados, salsa and cilantro. Yield: 12 servings.

Contributed by Michelle Olsen

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pulgolgi {Korean BBQ} Beef

Becki, who has a beautiful Korean daughter passed this recipe along. She says it is best to go to a Korean meat butcher and have the beef sliced super thin.

Pulgolgi Korean BBQ Beef

1-1/2 pounds beef top sirloin, thinly sliced
9 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 pear - peeled, cored, and minced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons rice wine
1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh gingerfreshly ground black pepper to taste (optional)

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine beef with garlic, pear, green onions, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, rice wine, sesame seeds, fresh ginger, and ground black pepper. Seal, and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.Preheat grill pan over high heat. Brush oil over grill pan, and add beef. Cook, turning to brown evenly, for 3 to 6 minutes, or until done.

Add romaine lettuce for wraps... this beef is also fabulous over rice!

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Monday, January 19, 2009

hot chick bbq chop {Hungary Girl}

This recipe goes right along with my new years goals of eating healthy!
hot chick bbq chop

Chopped Romaine Lettuce
6 chopped boneless chicken breasts
Chopped Cucumber
Chopped Tomatoes
Chopped Jicama
Chopped Red Onions
2 cans sweet corn
1 can black beans
Chopped Cilantro

For Sauce:
(per person:)
1/4 c canned tomato sauce
2 t ketchup
2 t brown sugar
2 t cider vinegar
1/2 t garlic or garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Coat chicken in sauce. Heat, if desired. Place all other ingredients in a bowl and toss until mixed. Top the salad with BBQ chicken and enjoy!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Old Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies

Old Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter-flavored shortening
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda
3 cups flour
1 to 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and mix well. Add remaining ingredients, except chips. Mix well and fold in chips. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

Tip: After cookies cool for about 30 minutes. Put in a sealed container to store (they will be soft when you serve them). These cookies are perfect to share at a football or soccer game or to offer comfort with a glass of milk to the kiddos after school.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Chocolate Dessert Fondue

A yummy dip of chocolate fondue is our favorite New Year's Eve tradition!
Chocolate Dessert Fondue

12 1-ounce milk chocolate candy bars, broken
1/4 cup milk
10 large marshmallows
1/4 cup whipping cream

Place chocolate bars and milk in Fondue Pot. Turn temperature dial to warm. Stirring constantly, add marshmallows until melted. Gradually add whipping cream.

Serve with fruit pieces, pound or angel food cake. Yield: 3 cups

Fruit Dippers:


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

BBQ Chicken Salad

The perfect lunch salad...
BBQ Chicken Salad
Romaine chopped
red onion sliced thin 
1 block pepper jack cheese
grated cherry tomatoes 
1/2 c. at least, cilantro
avocado cubes 
grilled chicken 
a bit of lime  
Top with tortilla strips. Fry julienne cut corn tortillas until just crisp. Dressing is equal parts ranch dressing with BBQ sauce.

Recipe from Brit Gharring, and shared by Michelle Olsen...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Fish Tacos with Honey-Cumin Cilantro Slaw and Chipotle Mayo

This is the best ever fish taco recipe!

Fish Tacos with Honey-Cumin Cilantro Slaw and Chipotle Mayo
Cook Time: 10 Minutes Ready In: 4 Hours 40 Minutes
s tilapia fillets,
Yields: 4 servings INGREDIENTS: 4 (4 ounce) fille
t cut into chunks 1/2 cup fresh lime juice 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
nd ground black pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten 2 cups panko crumbs 1 cup vegetable oil salt
a to taste 1/3 cup fresh lime juice 2 tablespoons honey
p mayonnaise 1 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce 1
1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 c
utablespoon adobo sauce from chipotle peppers 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 cups 3 color coleslaw blend
the tilapia chunks in a flat
1 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves 1 (7 inch) (8 inch) flour tortillas DIRECTIONS: 1. Place
dish and pour 1/2 cup lime juice over the fish. Cover, and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
etable oil, and ground cumin a small bowl. Set aside until needed. 3. To make the chipotle mayonnaise dressing, place the mayonnaise, chilies, adobo sauce, 1/
2. Meanwhile, make the honey-cumin sauce by whisking together 1/3 cup lime juice, honey, ve
g4 teaspoon salt, and cayenne pepper together in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Cover, and refrigerate until needed.
aste. Dip the fish pieces first in the four, coating evenly, and shaking off any excess. Dip next in the eggs, and last in the panko crumbs, patting the pieces to help the breadcrumbs hold. Set the fish aside on a plate. 5. To cook the breaded fish, pour 1 cup vegetable oil into a skillet to 1/4 inch deep. Heat the oil to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C) ove
4. To bread the fish, place the flour, eggs, and panko crumbs in three separate shallow dishes. Season the fish with salt and pepper to
tr medium heat. Cook the fish, turning until all sides are golden brown, and flesh is easily flaked with a fork. Drain on paper towels. Brush the fish with the honey-cumin sauce. 6. Mix the coleslaw and cilantro together in a bowl. Reserve 1/4 cup of the chipotle mayonnaise dressing, and pour the remaining dressing over the coleslaw mixture. Toss to coat evenly with the dressing.

7. Place the tortillas on a flat surface, and spread each with 1 tablespoon reserved chipotle mayonnaise dressing. Divide the fish between the tortillas. Top with the cilantro coleslaw.

I liked this recipe because if the dressing was too hot, all you have to do is add more mayo to cool it off. Perfect!

Contributed by Michelle Olsen

Friday, January 9, 2009

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Jerk Chicken is believed to have been conceived when the Maroons introduced African meat cooking techniques to Jamaica which were combined with native Jamaican ingredients and seasonings used by the Arawak. The method of smoking meat for a long period of time served two practical purposes, keeping insects away from the raw meat and preserving it for longer once it has been cooked. This process also introduces a strong smoky flavour to the meat.

There are two commonly held theories regarding how the name "Jerk" came to be used. One is that it originates from the Spanish word "Charqui", used to describe dried meat. Over time this term evolved from "Charqui" to "Jerky" to "Jerk". Another theory is that the name derives from the practice of jerking (poking) holes in the meat to fill with spices prior to cooking. Nowadays, the word "Jerk" is used as a noun to describe the seasoning applied to jerked food and as a verb to describe the process of cooking used.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

• 1/2 teaspoon Jamaican jerk seasoning (such as Spice Islands)
• 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
• 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves • Cooking spray
• 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
• 1 teaspoon brown sugar
• 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
• 1 (16-ounce) jar sliced peeled mango, drained and chopped (such as Del Monte SunFresh) Preparation:
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon of salt evenly over chicken. Coat chicken with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until done. While chicken cooks, combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, cilantro, and remaining ingredients. Serve salsa with chicken.
Contributed by Becki Cutler

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Vegetable Lasagna

The spinach leaves are just screaming "I'm so good for you"...

Light and Luscious Lasagna

Sauce: 1 bottle of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1/4 tsp. Olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 oz. extra lean ground turkey breast
2 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar

2 cups fat-free cottage cheese
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg salt and pepper to taste
3 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup shredded low fat mozzarella cheese
12 pieces lasagna pasta (I like Hodgson Mill whole wheat Lasagna), cooked
12-14 fresh basil leaves
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, heat olive oil and cook onion until soft, then add garlic. Add ground turkey and cook until browned. Add spaghetti sauce and vinegar, heat for about a minute and set aside. In a separate bowl mix together cottage cheese, egg whites, nutmeg and pepper: set aside. In another bowl mix together zucchini and mozzarella cheese and set aside. In the bottom of a 9x13in pan, evenly spread 1 cup of spaghetti sauce. Place 3 pieces of pasta on the sauce without overlapping. Now build your lasagna layers starting with ½ cup of your cottage cheese mixture. Next comes all of your basil leaves followed by your mushrooms and 1 cup of the sauce mixture. Now add 3 more noodles, 1 cup zucchini mixture, and spread your spinach over the top evenly. Add ½ cup cottage cheese mixture and three more noodles. Add remaining sauce, zucchini mixture and top with the Parmesan cheese. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake 35 minutes: uncover and cook another 20 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand10-15 minutes before serving.
Contributed by Becki Cutler

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Winter Fruit Salad

This winter salad is a holiday classic at our table!

Winter Fruit Salad

Pineapple or other canned fruit
Sour Cream
Mini Marshmallows

Measure out equal ingredients of each item, and mix together. Make this at least a day ahead, and let the flavors blend while in the refrigerator.

This is one of my mother-in-law's recipes, and it is always a treat to make this time of year.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Blueberry Bundt Cakes

More appealing than just a muffin...
Lemon Glazed Blueberry Bundt Cakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 400°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (flour through nutmeg) in a medium bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Combine buttermilk, egg, and rind; stir well with a whisk. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moist. Gently fold in blueberries.

Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until the muffins spring back when lightly touched. Remove muffins from pans immediately, and place on a wire rack to cool.

Combine lemon juice and powdered sugar in a small bowl. Drizzle glaze evenly over cooled muffins.

Note: You can make these muffins/bundt cakes up to 2 days ahead and glaze them the morning of the brunch.

We made these as mini bundt cakes, but this recipe can be used to make muffins as well... delicious!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

{PiStAcHio SaLaD}

       This is a beautiful, quick and easy salad that you can whip up just before                                any gathering. Your  guests will be green with envy!!
1 large carton of cool whip
1 package pistachio pudding
1 can crushed pineapple
1 bag mini marshmallows

Put cool whip into a large bowl.  Open package of pudding and pour powder directly over the whip cream and stir.  Drain the can of pineapple and fold into mixture.  Add  the mini marshmallows by folding in gently. Use 3/4 to all of the bag depending on preference. 

Chill if desired.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Caramel Chocolate Cake

Don't you dare make a regular old chocolate cake mix!!! This is soooooo much better!


1 (18.25- or 18.5-ounce) package chocolate cake mix
1 (14-ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 (14-ounce) package caramels, unwrapped
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans (optional)


Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare cake mix as package directs. Pour 2 cups batter into greased 13x9-inch baking pan; bake 15 minutes.
In heavy saucepan, over low heat, melt caramels and butter. Remove from heat; add sweetened ondensed milk. Spread caramel mixture evenly over cake; spread remaining cake batter over caramel mixture.
Top with nuts. Return to oven; bake 25 minutes longer or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool. Garnish as desired. Store leftovers covered at room temperature.
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