Sugar Cookies with icing

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I usually make these cookies on Christmas & Valentine's day. Valentine's day I use melted dove chocolate instead of icing. You will both recipes here for the cookies & the icing.



What you need for cookies:

2 sticks of butter, softened
1 cup of sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Into a seperate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Alternating with the eggs, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating well after the addition of each. Fold in the vanilla.

Roll out the dough on a flat surface, using flour on the rolling pin & surface you are using. Roll it pretty thin...but not too thin. Use cookie cutters to cut out the shapes of your choice. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake until golden brown on the bottom, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 mins before transferring to a plate.

Once completely cooled, decorate with icing.

What you need for icing:

Powdered sugar
Milk
Food coloring

Directions:

I don't measure how much I use. I'm estimating 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon of milk and 3 or so drops of food coloring for each color you are making of icing. A little bit of milk goes a very long way when making the icing, so it's better to use too little at first and add more if needed. Mix the icing & milk using a fork to get any clumps dissolved.

Using a butter knife (one for each color of icing so you don't mix the colors together) decorate the cookies by spreading the icing onto the cookie into any design you like. Icing may be watery. I usually place the cookies into the freezer to harden the icing, and then transfer to a container or plate afterwards.

This recipe makes a varied amount of cookies depending on the size cookie cutters you use. I usually double up my recipe for extras!

Pasta & Spinach Mushroom Sauce

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pasta & Spinach Mushroom Sauce



What you need:

1 box of Tri Color Rotini (12oz), Cook according to package directions
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons shallots OR green onion
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt & pepper
2 cups milk
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup baby spinach leaves, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh grated parmesan

In a large non-stick skillet, over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add shallots/green onion and red onion until translucent & fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in flour, salt and pepper; mix well. Add milk, all at once, stirring to combine. Add mushrooms and cook until bubbly. Add spinach and Parmesan and cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Toss with warm pasta.

This recipe is not mine--"Full Circle" pasta box is where it came from!

Red Beans & Rice, Chicken Stew

Wednesday, June 9, 2010



What you need:

1 Family size box of Zatarans Red Beans & Rice
4 3/4c water
1 lb chicken cut into bite size peices
2 carrots chopped
3 or 4 red potatoes in chunks
1/2 of a whole white onion cut into chunks
1 can diced tomatoes

What you need to do:

Add All ingredients except for chicken into a pot. Bring to a boil.

While you're waiting for the mixture to come to a boil, place your chicken in a pot or pan with a little oil (enough to barely coat the bottom). Cook the chicken til it's almost done (5-7 mins). Cook it with the lid on, but stiring occasionaly so all sides cook evenly.

Add the chicken to the other pot. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until veggies are tender & chicken is completely cooked.

Spicey Chicken Sandwhich

Monday, May 31, 2010



This sandwhich can be made with your choice of condiments/bread, etc, but this is how I made it, and it was VERY yummy!

What you need (makes 4 sandwhiches)

-2 Chicken Breasts, pounded to about 1/2 inch thick
-Seasonings for chicken, I used Mrs. Dash, garlic salt, and season salt
-4 Rolls/Bread of choice. I used sour dough rolls
-Lettuce
-Red Onion
-1/2lb bacon
-pepperjack cheese (about 2oz per sandwhich)
-Chipotle Mayo (Happened to find this new item at the store by Best Foods!)

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 375. Cut the pounded chicken into about 8-10 peices, arrange on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Spray with non-stick spray. Cook for about 35 minutes or until done.

While the chicken is cooking, cook the bacon.

Toast the buns/rolls in the oven face down until toasted how you like it, be careful not to burn it.

Spread the chipotle may on the bottom bun, top with chicken and bacon. Place the cheese on top and place back in oven (on a cookie sheet) until cheese is melted. On the top bun, place the chipotle mayo as well, a long with the lettuce and onions.

Enjoy...you won't be disappointed!

Curry Chicken

Sunday, May 23, 2010


What you need:

2 chicken breasts (boneless skinless), cut into bite size peieces
1 box curry (I use the blocks, not the powder)
1 green bell pepper, cut in large chunks
4 medium russet potatoes, peeled & cut in chunks
1lb baby carrots, halved
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 white onion, cut in chunks
olive oil
2c uncooked white rice

What to do:

In a large frying pan, cover the bottom with olive oil. Add the chicken & onion. Cook until it's browned & almost done.

Meanwhile, Add the remaining veggies to a large pot with enough water to just cover them. Bring to a boil.

Cook the rice according to the directions. I use quick cooking rice.

When the chicken is done, pour it into the boiling veggies. Cook an additional 10 minutes, or until chicken is tender. Break the curry into smaller peices and boil with the chicken/veggie mix. Be careful to not have too much liquid or it will come out "soupy" and not like a sauce, which will not be as flavorful. Boil for 5 mins, uncovered. Make sure all the curry is dissolved.

Serve over rice, or mix rice in!

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Friday, April 23, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu



What you need:

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or 1 per person)
Swiss cheese
ham (deli meat)
1 cup bread crumbs (may need more if using more than 2 breasts)
1 egg
tooth picks (2 per breast)

Preheat oven to 375.

Pound the chicken breasts with a meat mallet/tenderizer, using the flat side, or use a heavy pan. Keep the chicken in a freezer bag while pounding it. You want the chicken to be thin, but not too thin where it starts breaking apart.

Scramble the egg in a bowl, set aside. Spread the breadcrumbs on a plate, set next to the bowl with the egg.

Dip the flat (top) side of the chicken into the egg, and then place the egg dipped part into the breadcrumbs, so that the bread crumbs are only on the egg dipped side. Leaving the chicken on the plate, place the Swiss cheese and ham on the chicken. Roll the chicken up, using the toothpicks to hold it in place. Place the chicken on a foil lined, nonstick sprayed, cookie sheet. Repeat for each piece of chicken. Bake for 45 minutes.

Rolling the chicken gives it the appearance that it is "stuffed."

**Tip, after the chicken is pounded, if it is very large, you can cut it into two pieces and roll those up, making the meal go further.

English muffin breakfast sandwhich

Friday, March 19, 2010

This a simple but filling breakfast!

What you need:

1 whole wheat english muffin
1 egg
one or two spoonfulls of leftover ground chicken or turkey
low fat grated cheese of choice

Directions:

Scramble your egg in a non stick pan, when the egg is almost done, add in the meat until it's heated.

Meanwhile, toast your english muffin.

When the egg is done, stir in cheese. Spoon the egg onto your english muffin, enjoy!

Lemon Pepper Chicken Tacos

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

These are very easy & yummy tacos! Goes well served with your choice of rice or Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup!



What you need:

1 large chicken breast or 2 small breasts
Lemon Pepper
1 Lemon cut into wedges
1 bunch Chopped Cilantro
1/2 Chopped white onion
10-12 corn tortillas warmed before serving
2 tablespoons olive oil
Your choice hot sauce, optional

Directions:

Heat a nonstick pan with the olive oil. Cut the chicken into small bite size peices, place in pan once its heated. Sprinkle the lemon pepper over chicken. I don't measure how much I use, but I use enough to give it lots of flavor. Cook until chicken is fully done, about 10 minutes. The last minute of cooking, squeeze half of the lemon over the chicken and stir.

Spoon the chicken into the tortillas. If the tortillas split, use two instead of one. Top with cilantro & onion to taste, and extra lemon if you like even more flavor, and of course top with your choice of hot sauce!

Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup, weight watchers friendly (3 points), very healthy!



What you need:

1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with mild green chiles
1 (14 oz) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups thawed frozen mixed vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, corn, and red bell pepper)
1 cup water
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 cup chopped cooked chicken breast
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
12 baked tortilla chips, cumbled

Instructions:

Combine the tomatoes, broth, veggies, water, and cumin in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, 10 minutes.

Stir in the chicken and cook until heated through, 2 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Top with the tortilla chips just before serving (3 chips a serving, recipe makes 4 servings).

3 Weight Watchers points

Baked Ziti

Friday, March 12, 2010

Baked Ziti

I have also converted the recipe to Weight Watchers points, with substitutions, see my notes at the end.



What you need:

1 package ziti pasta (16oz)
1 jar spagetti sauce (26oz)
1 container ricotta cheese (15 oz)
1 package shredded mozzerella cheese (8 oz)
1/4c grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta as directed on package. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.

Mix spaghetti sauce, ricotta, and reserved water in a cooking bowl. Add pasta and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese; mix lightly, sppon into a 13x9 baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and the parmesan cheese. Cover with foil.

Bake 30 mins. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes or until heated through and the cheese is slightly browned.

This recipe is from the Kraft website.

MY NOTES: I made this slightly more healthy, making it 8 servings, one serving is 7.5 Weight Watchers points. I used regular ziti pasta (if you use whole grain the points will drop slightly), Ragu light tomato basil spagetti sauce, part skim ricotta cheese, and only 1/3c mozzerella cheese. I only added the cheese to the top of the pasta before baking instead of in the pasta since I didn't use much. The pasta was still full of lots of flavor!

Slow Cooker Sweet & Sour Chicken

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

This is a recipe I obtained from the Kraft Foods website.



What you need:
1 medium onion sliced
1 medium carrot, peeled, sliced
1 medium celery stalk, sliced
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (1-1 1/2lbs) cut in bite size peices
1/3c finely packed brown sugar
1/3c Catlina Dressing
1/4c soy sauce
1 tsp grated gingerroot
1 can (8oz) pineapple chunks, drained, liquid reserved
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 medium green pepper, sliced
1 medium red pepper, sliced
4 1/2c hot cooked rice

What to do:

Place onions, carrots and celery in the slow cooker; top with chicken.

Mix in a bowl: brown sugar, dressing, soy sauce and ginger. Add over top of chicken. Cover lid.

Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours (or on high for 3 1/2 to 4 hours) During the last 30 minutes of cooking time, increase to high. In a bowl, mix cornstarch and reserved pineapple juice, add to slow cooker along with the pineapple and peppers. Cook 30 minutes or until peppers are crisp-tender and sauce is thickened. Serve over rice.

My side notes: I substitued the chicken thighs for boneless skinless breasts, used fat free dressing, omitted the ginger root (didn't have on hand), and served over brown rice instead of white.

Mexican-ish casserole

Friday, March 5, 2010



I literally just pulled stuff from my cupboard/fridge, it's one of those nights. Kind of like a chicken & rice mexican casserole.

What you need:

1 large chicken breast (boneless skinless) boiled & shredded
2 cups dry white rice (quick cooking)
tomato bullion
2c shredded mexican cheese
3 corn tortillias cut into strips
1 can diced green chiles
1 1/2c salsa of choice
1/4-1/2 white onion cut into thin strips
2 garlic cloves, diced
few pinches of cilantro to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375.

Boil the water for the rice adding the tomato bullion. (Add as much to your taste). Once the water is done boiling, add the rice and let it sit for 5 minutes covered.

Meanwhile, in a frying pan, add the olive oil. When heated add onion & garlic, cook until tender/browned. Add the shredded chicken, diced chiles, and half the salsa. Stir until heated.

Once the rice is done, add the rice to the frying pan, add the rest of the salsa, heat again, eliminating any excessive moisture. Add cilantro, stir.

In a casserole or glass basking dish, spray with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the mixture into the dish. Layer the corn tortilla strips, top with cheese & a little cliantro. Cook 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted. Top with sour cream if desired!

Ricotta Cheese & Spinach Stuffed Shells

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ricotta Cheese & Spinach Stuffed Shells*


What you need:

Jumbo Pasta Shells (12-18 shells)
1 26 oz jar/can of spagetti sauce
1 16oz-package frozen chopped spinach
1 15oz container ricotta cheese (can be subtituted with part skim)
Parmesean Cheese to top

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cook the shells according to the package. This recipe makes about 12-16 filled (depends how full you make them), but I always cook some extra shells because they tend to split while cooking and the extras that split are just added to the pan (see rest of directions). Drain the water when they are done cooking.

While pasta is cooking, boil or microwave the spinach according to package directions. Strain.

Once the spinach is done, stir in the package of ricotta cheese, mixing well.

Spray the bottom of a rectangle shapped pan (I use a glass dish) with non-stick cooking spray. Pour enough spagetti sauce to just cover the bottom of the pan.

Spoon the ricotta spinach mixture into the shells. Place the shells in the pan. Any shells that split while cooking can be added to the pan as well, just don't fill them.

Once you have all the shells placed in the pan, top each shell with a spoonful of spagetti sauce. Sprinkle parmesean cheese over the sauce.

Bake 15-25 minutes until heated through.

*Using fat free spagetti sauce & low fat/part skim ricotta cheese, the shells are 2 weight watchers points each.

Lemon Poppy Chicken Over Rice

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

This is a recipe I originally got from the Rachael Ray show, but in her recipe she serves it over couscous with peas. To see her orignal recipe, see the link at the bottom of the blog.

I usually serve this with asparagus, and if not asparagus, then whole green beans.

What you need:

2 14oz cans chicken stock (or chicken broth), 2c set aside for the rice
2 cups dry quick cooking rice
3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 cup flour
Salt and pepper
2 lemons zested, 1 juiced
1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets, cut into bite-size pieces
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons butter or margerine
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

In a sauce pan, boil 2cups chicken broth. Stir in 2c rice and let it stand for 5 mins.

While the rice is cooking, place a large skillet over high heat with 3 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 3-4 tablespoons. While the skillet is heating up, place the flour on a plate. Toss the chicken in the flour to coat, shaking off any excess. Add the chicken pieces to the hot skillet. Season the chicken liberally with salt, pepper and the lemon zest, and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring every now and then to get them brown all over.

Once the chicken has browned, add the remaining chicken stock to the skillet. Once the stock is hot, add the butter and poppy seeds. Stir until the butter has melted and the sauce has thickened up a bit, about a minute. Turn off the heat and squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into the pan.

With a microplane or the smallest grade of a handheld box grater, grate in the garlic the last 2 minutes of cooking.

Serve the chicken over the rice. With the other remaining lemon you used for the zest, you can cut up and use it as garnish. It's good over the asparagus, or if you like extra lemon flavor, add it over the chicken/rice.

Orignal recipe can be found here.

London Broil with Peppers & Onions served over rice

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I'm making this meal with the left over london broil from my previous entry "Egg Noodles & London Broil".



What you need:

-2lbs London Broil cut into bite size strips
-2 green bell peppers, thin strips
-1 white onion, thin strips
-1 packet Lawrys meat marinade (or one of your choice)
-2 cups dry quick cooking rice
-1 14oz can of cream of mushroom soup*

Cook the meat, peppers, & onion together in the same pan. When the meat is almost cooked (about 10 minutes), and the peppes & onions are "wilted" down & tender, stir in the marinade (mix according to directions on packet). Cook for an additional 5 minutes.

While the meat is cooking, cook the rice. Once the rice is done, stir in the cream of mushroom soup.

Serve the meat mixture over the rice and enjoy!

*Optional: You can leave out the cream of mushroom soup and serve over the rice by its self, or even melt swiss or provolone cheese over the top. Also good with french bread or bulky bread.

Egg Noodles & London Broil

Friday, January 29, 2010

This is a very fast and inexpensive meal when London Broil is on sale. You can also substitute for another cut of beef, but I always use London Broil. On sale, 4.5lbs is about $8 (and I use only half of the meat, and freeze the rest until the next time I make this or another recipe like this), egg noodles are about $1 for a 12oz bag, and the marindade mix $1, that's a $6 (or $10 if you use all the meat) meal that feeds at least 4 people (generous portion sizes)!



What you need:

-London Broil (about 2lbs)
-12oz bag of egg noodles
-package of Lawrys Beef Marinade (or your preferred choice)
-Water to boil the noodles & to mix marinade

Instructions:

Cook the noodles according to the package. While they're cooking trim the fat and, thinly slice the London Broil into thin, bite-size strips.

In a dry, non-stick frying pan, cook the meat over medium-high heat. There's no need to add oil or anything else in the pan, the meat will naturally produce liquid. After the meat is fully cooked, add the marinade to the meat (mix the marinade packet according to the directions). Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes allowing the meat to absorb flavor, but leaving marinade in the pan.

Once the noodles are cooked, drain and return to pan. Add the meat & marinade mixture to the same pot as the egg noodles, mix & eat!

Chinese Chicken & Broccoli with Rice

Sunday, January 24, 2010






A simple "Chinese" dish to make at home.


What you need:

2 cups dry, fast cooking white rice
2 ½ cups water (1/2c set aside)
2 table spoons olive oil
2 heads broccoli
1 medium brown onion
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or beef )
1 package Kikkoman Beef & Broccoli mix or similar (and another 2/3c water)
Soy sauce (optional).

Directions:

Cut the broccoli into spears, cut onion into strips, set aside.

Cut the chicken into strips or bite size pieces. In a frying pan, add the olive oil and cook the chicken until it’s done.

While chicken is cooking, cook the rice according to the package—boil 2c water. When water boils, turn off and add 2c dry rice, stir and let stand for at least 5 minutes.

When chicken is done, add ½c water to pan and add the broccoli & onion. Cover, stirring occasionally til tender.

Mix the package with 2/3c water (if you don’t use the same brand, follow their instructions). Once the veggies are cooked, add the mixture in with them, coating evenly.

Serve over rice. Use soy sauce to add flavor.

Roast

Friday, January 22, 2010

For dinner I made a Boneless Chuck Roast with red potatoes.



What you need:

Chuck Roast
Red Potatoes, 4-6 scrubbed, and quartered
1 brown onion quartered
2-3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 cup red wine
Salt
Pepper
Italian Seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil

Place roast in slow cooker. (You can also brown it in a pan to add more flavor to it before you put it in the slow cooker). Salt & pepper the roast. Add the potatoes around the roast.

In a pan, brown the onions & garlic in olive oil. Once browned, add the wine and a dash of Italian Seasoning. Bring to a boil, let boil for about one minute. Pour over roast.

Cook for 4-6 hours on high.

Mac 'n' Cheese

Thursday, January 21, 2010



This recipe was obtained from the Weight Watchers "Now & Later" recipe book. The recipe is meant to be halved and used for a "later" recipe, but I used the entire recipe so we could have left overs.

3/4 lbs elbow macaroni (I used the regular enriched stuff this time, 16oz bag)
1 lb ground skinless chicken breast (I used 20oz package of ground turkey)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated fat-free milk
1 (8-ounce) bag shredded low-fat Mexican cheese blend
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
3/4 cup salsa
1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
4 scallions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small zucchini, shredded (I diced mine)
2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced (I chopped)

1. Preheat the oven to 375, Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.

2. Cook the macaroni according to the package directions, omitting the salt if desired.

3. Meanwhile, set a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring to break it apart with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 5 minutes. Stir in the flour; reduce the heat and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Gradually stir in the milk until blended. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 2 minutes.

4. Drain the macarni in a colander, then rince under cold running water; drain again. Return the macaroni to the pasta pot. Add the chicken mixture, cheese, corn, salsa, chiles, scallions, and salt, stirring until the cheese melts.

5. Stir the zucchini into the pasta mixture and transfer to the prepared baking dish (I actually placed mine on top instead if in the mixture) transfer to the prepared baking dish; top with the tomatoes. Bake until hot and browned at the edges, 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition info (if followed by the ingredients that I didn't substitute): serving size 1 3/4 cups: 345 cal, 5 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 0 g transfat, 42 mg Chol, 793 mg Sod, 46 g Carb, 5 g Fib, 32 g Prot, 274 mg Calc. WW Points 7.

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