Thursday, June 30, 2011

Turkey Cranberry Wrap

On a recent trip to Baltimore to see some fabulous family, my aunt, cousin, and I stopped at a little place called the Fresh Cafe.  One of their specials was this yummy wrap.  This is my attempt to re-create it.  It turned out just as yummy as I remember.  I will be having this is so easy!  I am trying to have some grilled chicken on hand for lunches...whenever we grill anything outdoors, I have the hubsters throw on some chicken that has been marinating in italian dressing.  It is nice to have it to chop up and have it on salads or wraps at lunchtime :)  Another great summer meal.

Turkey (or Chicken) Cranberry Wraps
From:  my recreation of the one at Fresh Cafe

*No real measurements...just put as much as you want on that will fit in the wrap!*

tortillas (the one I originally had was on spinach...didn't have those today)
chopped up turkey or chicken, cooked (I like mine grilled)
romaine lettuce, chopped
mandarin oranges
swiss cheese, shaved or shredded
raspberry vinaigrette dressing (Kraft makes a good one)

Assemble and enjoy!

Copykat Outback Steakhouse Wedge Salad

I hadn't been to Outback in years, and when I did I always ordered the same thing.  We had some gift cards to use, so a few weeks ago we headed on over.  I ordered this salad (hot BBQ/steak did not sound so good on a super hot humid day).  It was so good, I've thought about it frequently since we've been.  I went on a hunt for a copycat recipe and found  this.  It was a dead ringer...FABULOUS!  It's funny, because up until recently I could swear up and down that I did not like blue cheese, but the more and more things I have tried recently that it is in, I love it!  The balsamic glaze sets this one apart, gives it something special :)

This is hearty enough to be a main dish, but we served it with some grilled steak and chicken....oh how I love summer!

Outback Wedge Salad
For the Blue Cheese dressing

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
6 ounces crumbled blue cheese

For the salad

1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into 4 equal wedges
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved (blah, yuck...left these out :)
1/2 cup chopped red onion
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
6 ounces crumbled blue cheese
Black pepper to taste

For the Blue Cheese dressing

In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, and buttermilk. Mix well.
Next, thoroughly mix in the remainder of the ingredients.
Afterwards, refrigerate the dressing for up to 24 hours before serving for best flavor.

For the Salad

First, you need to cook the balsamic vinegar into a glaze. Heat the balsamic vinegar in a saucepan on medium heat. Cook until reduced by half, then remove from heat and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, place the iceberg lettuce wedge on a serving dish. Then liberally pour blue cheese dressing over top of wedge. Next, top with halved tomatoes, chopped onion, crumbled blue cheese, and crumbled bacon.
Drizzle a little of the balsamic glaze on top of the wedge, and sprinkle with black pepper. Eat immediately or it will go soggy!

Recipe Source: Feature Dish

If you are new to eating wedge salads, there are 2 ways to go about eating them. You grab a steak knife and a fork and can cut off bite by bite OR I like to cut up the whole thing, mix all the ingredients together and eat it like that :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Turkey Wafflewiches

I am so glad it is sunny for pictures turn out so much better!  There is nothing like putting a twist on an old favorite.  This time, I am jazzing up my usual lunchtime turkey sandwich.  I love cranberry and turkey together...I mean who doesn't!  I knew I'd love this recipe, and I sure did.  Give this a try next time you need to switch up your normal lunch rotation :)

Turkey Wafflewiches

1 pkg. (3-oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup whole berry cranberry sauce 
1 Tbs. maple pancake syrup

1/4 tsp. pepper 
8 slices bread

3/4 pound sliced deli turkey 
2 Tbs. butter, softened

In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, cranberry sauce, syrup, and pepper until combined. Spread over four slices of bread; top with turkey and remaining bread. Spread butter over both of sides of sandwiches.

Cook in a preheated waffle iron or indoor grill according to manufacturer's directions for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Serves 4.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Asparagus Carbonara

It had been a long time since I had spaghetti carbonara.  When I saw this recipe and the reviews, I figured it was about time I gave it another shot.  I am grateful I did.  This is bacony, and garlicy...two adjectives that win me over every time!  I loved the addition of the asparagus.  That is what regular carbonara is missing!  Again, another great recipe from Rachael Ray :)  It is a quick fix and great for a summertime dinner.

Asparagus Carbonara
From:  Rachael Ray

* 2 large eggs
* 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 3/4 pound spaghetti (I used gluten-free)
* 1 bunch asparagus, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 5 slices bacon, coarsely chopped
* 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
* 1/4 cup dry white wine (or chicken broth)
* Salt and pepper

1. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and cheese. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until al dente, adding the asparagus during the last minute of cooking. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add the hot pasta and asparagus to egg mixture; toss to coat.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, stir in the garlic. Add the wine and cook until slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Stir the bacon mixture into the pasta, adding enough of the reserved pasta water to moisten; season with salt and pepper.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

One Ingredient Ice Cream

Say what?!  One ingredient!  You betcha.  This ice cream is fantastic, creamy, sweet, flavorful, and healthy.  The ingredient...bananas!  Who knew that something so dang healthy could replace my love for ice cream?!  I am excited to try some variations of this...this first time around I added a few tablespoons of nutella...tasted like a chocolate banana, yum!  See below for more variations to try :)

One Ingredient Ice Cream

2-3 ripe bananas

  1. Slice bananas into 1/2 inch slices and place on a small cookie sheet and freeze for 1 hour.
  2. Put the frozen banana slices into you food processor and puree until creamy.  You can scrape down the sides if needed.  Don’t worry, it takes a minute for it to all get creamy but it will happen.  Freeze for a few hours to get the texture of ice cream.

Other variations:

Strawberry version – just add 1 cup frozen strawberries for each banana and a little milk if needed.

Nutella version – add 3 -4 Tbsp of Nutella

Banana Peanut Butter – make like the chunky monkey minus the nuts and chocolate chips and add a little more peanut butter

Banana Chocolate Chip – make like the chunky monkey minus the PB and nuts

Banana Maple – add a Tbsp or two of maple syrup

Banana Chocolate – a 2 tsp of cocoa powder

Banana, PB and Chocolate – just make the banana chocolate version and a 2 Tablespoons of PB

Caramel Banana – add a Tbsp or so of caramel syrup

Chunky Monkey-

  • 2-3 ripe bananas (just depends on their size)
  • 1-2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp honey (for added sweetness)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1-2 Tbsp mini chocolate chips

Skinny Crockpot Sausage Pasta Sauce

I love my crockpot during the hot summer months.  This sauce was really good...I am kicking myself for not doubling it and freezing a batch.  Oh well, good thing it is easy!

Skinny Crockpot Sausage Pasta Sauce
From:  Skinny Taste

  • 1 lb lean chicken Italian sausage, casings removed (Italian pork sausage is great to...just not "skinny")
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 28 oz tuttorosso crushed tomatoes
  • fresh cracked pepper

Brown the sausage in a large skillet, breaking up any large pieces with a wooden spoon. When sausage is browned, drain if needed and add to crock pot.
 skillet with a paper towel and set flame to high; when hot 
 garlic and 
 until golden but do not burn; 
tomatoes and garlic to crock pot along with fresh cracked pepper.
 on low for 6-8 hours.
If you wish, take an immersion blender and blend the sauce a 2-3 seconds to break the sausage up into smaller pieces to combine with the sauce.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thai Chicken Pasta

I love peanut sauces over spaghetti.  I have another recipe that we really like is found here, that is wonderful.  This one came together really quickly, I'd definitely add it to your 30 minute (or even 20 minute) recipe list.  The flavors were great, but at first glance I thought it a bit crazy to add SALSA to a ASIAN dish.  Again, that's why I try others recipes instead of creating my own!

Thai Chicken Pasta
From:  Recipe Shoebox

12 oz. uncooked whole wheat spaghetti noodles (or fettuccine)
2 cups salsa 
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup orange juice
2 Tbs. honey
4 tsp. soy sauce (After tasting, I thought it needed a little more, use your judgement)
4 cups chicken breast, cubed and cooked
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

Avocado Bean Dip

Lets be quite honest, this dip isn't going to win the 'prettiest' dip award!  It is so dang good though, and why wouldn't it be with beans, cilantro, and avocado!  There are different variations of it I want to try, using different beans and salsas.  It would be great for your 4th of July get togethers.  Here are a few other dips that would be fabulous...
Avocado Bean Dip
From:  Sister's Cafe
1 15 oz can of white (or black beans), drained
1 avocado-mashed
1/2 cup salsa (red salsa, salsa verde, pico de gallo...experiment and find your favorite!)
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions (Leave this out if the salsa has alot of onion)
2 Tb chopped diced green chilis (I use canned)
2 Tb chopped cilantro
1 Tb lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients and serve with chips! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Raspberry Cream Pie

I love a good pie...and this one can be lightened up a bit, which is always good!  I love the fresh raspberry taste, and it is perfect for this time of year when raspberries are so inexpensive!  I love the chocolate crust...perfect!  If you like a good cream pie, this one will become one of your favorites :)

Raspberry Cream Pie
From: Pioneer Woman Cooks
  • 25 whole Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookies (use reduced fat)
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
  • 1 cup (generous) Raspberries
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 containers (6 Ounce Each) Raspberry Yogurt (light)
  • 1 package (3.4 Ounch) Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix(sugar free)
  • 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream 
  • Extra Raspberries For Garnish
To make the crust, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Crust cookies in a food processor (or smash in a Ziploc bag with a rolling pin). Stir in melted butter until all combined. Pour into a regular pie pan and press crumbs all over the pan and up the sides. Bake for 3 to 4 minutes—just long enough for it to set. Cool crust completely.
Place raspberries on a plate or in an empty pan. Smash them with a fork, then sprinkle on 3 tablespoons of sugar. Stir together and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine raspberry yogurt with the instant vanilla pudding mix (just the powder itself.) Beat on low until combined, about 1 minute. Pour in heavy cream and whip on low for 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Turn mixer on medium-high speed and beat for two minutes, or until mixture is thick.
Turn off mixer, then fold in raspberries until just combined. Pour into cooled pie pan and spread evenly. Freeze for two hours, or until very firm. Cut into slices and top each slice with cookie crumbs, dollops of whipped cream, and extra raspberries. Keep in freezer, allowing time to thaw before serving.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mongolian Beef

 The hubsters loves his beef.  I like it, but could live without it.  Every once and I while to appease him, I pick up some steak at the store.  This time, I was craving asian food, so after looking at my huge collection of recipes to try, I decided on this one.  It was really tasty, and the sauce was great over the veggies as well.

Mongolian Beef
From:  See Jane In the Kitchen

teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
vegetable oil, for frying (about 1 cup)
1 lb flank steak
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 large green onions

Make the sauce by heating 2 tsp of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over med/low heat. Don't get the oil too hot. Add ginger and garlic to the pan and quickly add the soy sauce and water before the garlic scorches. Dissolve the brown sugar in the sauce, then raise the heat to about medium and boil the sauce for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Remove it from the heat.

Slice the flank steak against the grain into 1/4" thick bite-size slices. Dip the steak pieces into the cornstarch to apply a very thin dusting to both sides of each piece of beef. Let the beef sit for about 10 minutes so that the cornstarch sticks. As the beef sits, heat up one cup of oil in a wok (you may also use a skillet for this step as long as the beef will be mostly covered with oil). Heat the oil over medium heat until it's nice and hot, but not smoking. Add the beef to the oil and sauté for just two minutes, or until the beef just begins to darken on the edges. You don't need a thorough cooking here since the beef is going to go back on the heat later. Stir the meat around a little so that it cooks evenly. After a couple minutes, use a large slotted spoon to take the meat out and onto paper towels, then pour the oil out of the wok or skillet.

Put the pan back over the heat, dump the meat back into it and simmer for one minute. Add the sauce, cook for one minute while stirring, then add all the green onions. Cook for one more minute, then remove the beef and onions with tongs or a slotted spoon to a serving plate.  Serve over rice.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Chicken Bacon and Avocado Quesadillas

Aaah...back from a great vacation visiting family in Baltimore, with day trips to Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Hershey!  Now I am back to cooking.  I love a good grilled chicken sandwich, and if you throw some cheese, bacon, and avocado, it's even better!  Why not throw all these things together in a quesadilla for a change?  These were very tasty, they will be made again :)

Chicken, Bacon, and Avocado Quesadillas

8 medium-sized flour tortillas
1 pound chicken breasts
Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
8 strips of bacon, chopped
1 avocado, sliced
Lime juice
Shredded Monterey jack or pepperjack cheese
few dashes of hot sauce for each quesadilla

1. Fry bacon in a skillet over medium heat. Set bacon aside to drain on paper towels. Drain all but 1/2 tablespoon of drippings from the pan.

2. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder and add the chicken to the bacon drippings. Cook until chicken is golden brown and cooked through. Let chicken rest for 3 to 5 minutes, then dice very finely or shred. 

3. Slice avocado and sprinkle with lime juice to preserve color. Top four tortillas with cheese, chicken, bacon, hot sauce, and avocado. Sprinkle with more cheese and top with other four tortillas. Cook each quesadilla until browned and crispy.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Malawi's Chicken Pesto Pizza

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE grilled pizza. I love it a lot! I have waited months and months, and have kept my hope alive that the rain would stop so we could get the grill up and running. I saw this recipe for this pizza, and knew I wanted to give it a try, only on the grill. It was pretty dang good....the only thing that would have made it better would have been a little crumbled bacon :) I have never been to, or heard of Malawi's (I guess it's in Utah County)...maybe one day. In the mean time, I will just enjoy their pizza recipe!

Malawi's Pesto Pizza

From: Our Family Treat

1 recipe pizza dough (need a recipe? Look below)
1 cup pesto (homemade or store bought)
2 chicken breasts, shredded
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup feta cheese
1 bunch asparagus, halved

*Next time I will add bacon!

This pizza can be as easy or as difficult as you would like. To save on time, use rotisserie chicken and pre-made pesto....or make your own!
Follow directions for pizza dough. Roll out and spread pesto over the crust. Then layer with chicken, cheeses and asparagus. Bake as directed (or grill...using instructions here.) Sometimes we have to finish it off on the broiler...otherwise the crust will get burned!

Pizza Dough

1 Tablespoon Yeast
1 Cup +2 Tablespoons warm water
1 Tablespoon Sugar

Set aside and let grow.

2 Tablespoons Shortening
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Sugar
3 Cups flour

Combine, and then add yeast mixture.

Once mixed well, let rise for twenty minutes.  Roll out dough and add toppings!

Bake at 400 for about 15-20 minutes

Monday, June 6, 2011

Skinny Red Potato Salad

This recipe apparently comes from Paula Deen.  That's right, this SKINNY potato salad recipe comes from the queen of butter!  It is delicious, and definitely better for you than most potato salads.  If you want to fatten it up a bit, some crumbled bacon would be devine :)  We served it up with some burgers and some grillin' beans.  

Skinny Red Potato Salad

  • 4 cups baby red potatoes, cut in small pieces
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 3 scallions, diced
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp reduced fat mayonnaise
  • salt and fresh pepper

Boil potatoes in salted water until soft, approx 10 minutes. Drain and let cool.

While the potatoes are boiling, combine red onion, green pepper, mustard, olive oil, vinegar and mayonnaise and season with salt and pepper. Mix well and let the flavors marinade while the potatoes cook. Once the potatoes are done and cool, mix into the bowl and add scallions and additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve room temperature or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Crockpot Chops and Gravy

After my last tasty crockpot pork recipe (found here ), I knew I needed to find some more recipes.  This is the next one that we tried.  The gravy was delicious....never would have thought to put soy sauce, worchestire, and mushroom gravy together to eat over mashed potatoes, but hey, that's why other's come up with the recipes, and not me!

Crockpot Chops and Gravy
From:  Real Mom Kitchen

4 lean pork chops
4 T soy sauce
1/2 C sliced mushrooms (left these out)
1/2 tsp pepper 
2 T Worcestershire sauce
2 can cream of mushroom soup
1 medium onion, sliced or diced
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp parsley
Place pork chops crock pot (or in baking dish for oven). Lay onion slices (I chopped mine but you could do rings also) over pork chops. Mix the rest of ingredients in a bowl and pour over pork chops. Cook on low in crock pot for 5-6 hours (or in oven on 350 for 1 hour). Note: After baking I remove the chops and strain the gravy. This way I have a smooth gravy and I reserve the onions (and mushrooms if you use them) for those who like them to put them on their chops.