Sunday, November 21, 2010

Spicy Apple Cider

2 c. water
2 cinnamon sticks
1 Tbsp whole cloves
1/2 tsp whole allspice
2 qts apple cider
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 orange, thinly sliced

1. Combine water and spices; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
2. Strain mixture discarding spices, return water to pan. Add cider, lemon and orange.
3. Cook over low heat until thoroughly heated.
4. Serve warm.

**My grandmother's recipe-delicious on a cold winter day! It tastes like Christmas to me;)

Santa Fe Grilled Chicken Salad Wrap

4 c. torn romaine lettuce
1 lb chicken breast, grilled, baked or fried
1 large tomato, chopped
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 c. Mexican style shredded cheese
1/4 c. Ranch dressing
1/4 c. Salsa
10 tortillas

1. Mix first 5 ingredients, toss.
2. Combine salsa and Ranch.
3. Pour over salad; toss.
4. Place in tortillas and enjoy!

**I added a can of black beans and used grape tomatoes. Delicious and very simple!

Banana Split "Cake"

9 graham crackers, finely crushed
1 c. sugar, divided
1/3 c. butter, melted
2 pkg. (8oz) cream cheese
1 can (28 oz) crushed pineapple, drained
6 bananas
2 c. cold milk
2 pkg (4 serving size) vanilla instant pudding
2 c. thawed Cool Whip
1 c. chopped pecans

1. Mix graham crackers, 1/4 c. sugar and melted butter. Press into 9x13 pan. Freeze10 min.
2. Beat cream cheese and 3/4 c. sugar with electric mixer until well blended. Spread carefully over crust; top with pineapple. Slice four bananas; arrange over top.
3. Pour milk into large bowl. Add dry pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 2 min. or until well blended. Gently stir 1 cup whipped topping; spread over banana layer in pan. Top with remaining 1 c. whipped topping. Refrigerate at least 5 hours.
4. Slice remaining bananas just before serving; arrange on top. Sprinkle with pecans.

**EXCELLENT! I have had this recipe for a couple of years and dug it out for a family event a could of weeks ago and was told to never bring anything else for dessert!:)

Caramel Delights

1 pkg caramels, unwrapped
1/2 c. butter or margarine, melted
1 can evaporated milk (small can)
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 box white cake mix
3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Add cake mix, melted butter, 1/3 c. evaporated milk, and walnuts in bowl. Stir with spoon. Spread half of mixture in 9x13 pan. Bake 6 min. at 350 degrees.
2. Melt caramels with 1/3 c. evaporated milk on stove or in microwave.
3. Add chocolate chips to crust after partially baked. Pour caramel mixture over chocolate chips.
4. Place remainderof cake mixture on top of caramel layer in scattered mounds.
5. Bake 18-20 minutes at 350. Cool and Cut.

**This is an old recipe that I found that everyone loves! Kadon nicknamed them "Tenacious D'lights" back in the day...this recipe is always a big hit!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Italian Panzanella Salad


2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
8 cups (2 L) Italian bread cubes (about 3/4 of a 1-lb/500-g loaf, cut into 3/4-in. 2-cm cubes)
2 garlic cloves, pressed
Salad and Dressing
8 cups (2 L) torn romaine lettuce
1 cup (250 mL) mushrooms, sliced
1 jar (7 oz/200 g) sweet roasted red peppers, drained, patted dry and diced
8 oz (250 g) diced salami or ham
1/2 cup (125 mL) pitted ripe olives, chopped
1/2 cup (125 mL) sliced red onion
1 medium zucchini, sliced (about 1 cup/250 mL)
1 cup (250 mL) Italian vinaigrette
1 oz (30 g) grated fresh Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup/50 mL)

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). For bread, toss bread cubes with oil and garlic. Place bread mixture evenly onto Large Bar Pan. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely.

  2. In (8-qt./8-L) Collapsible Serving Bowl, combine lettuce, mushrooms, peppers, salami, olives, onion, zucchini and bread cubes; pour dressing over salad and toss. Top with cheese.

Yield: 8 servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 430, Total Fat 31 g, Saturated Fat 7 g, Cholesterol 30 mg, Carbohydrate 30 g, Protein 14 g, Sodium 1200 mg, Fiber 3 g

**Another great recipe from Pampered Chef!

Spicy Sausage & Peppers Penne

ounces uncooked penne pasta
1 pound hot Italian turkey sausage (about 4 links)
1 each: medium green, red and yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch strips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes in sauce, undrained
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
2 teaspoons Pantry Italian Seasoning Mix
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions in Professional (4-qt.) Casserole; drain and keep warm.

  2. Meanwhile, cook sausage in Family (12-in.) Skillet over medium-high heat 14-16 minutes or until sausage is lightly browned and no longer pink, turning occasionally. Remove sausages from skillet; cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces and set aside. Cut bell peppers into 1/4-inch strips using Chef's Knife. Coarsely chop onion using Food Chopper.

  3. In same skillet, cook bell peppers, onion and garlic pressed with Garlic Press over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until peppers are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Add sausage, tomatoes, tomato sauce and seasoning mix. Cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until heated through.

  4. Place pasta in large bowl; pour sauce mixture over pasta, tossing to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Yield: 6 servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 330 (27% from fat), Total Fat 10 g, Saturated Fat 3.5 g, Cholesterol 50 mg, Carbohydrate 40 g, Protein 21 g, Sodium 980 mg, Fiber 3 g Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 starch, 2 medium-fat meat, 1 vegetable (2 carb)

Cook's Tips: We've chosen penne for this recipe, which are straight tubes of macaroni that are cut on the diagonal. Other sturdy shapes such as mostaccioli (short tubes), ziti (curved tubes) or rotini (spirals) can be used in this recipe. Perfectly cooked pasta should be al dente-tender but still firm to the bite. Test pasta for doneness before the time stated on the package. Get a head start on tomorrow's dinner by cooking extra pasta. Drain the pasta thoroughly, then toss it with 1 teaspoon of oil to prevent the pasta from sticking together. Place in an airtight container or resealable plastic food storage bag and refrigerate up to 3 days. Use it in salads or soups, or toss it with your favorite sauce. Italian seasoning can be substituted for the Italian Seasoning Mix, if desired.

**I had a Pampered Chef party and we had this for lunch-a great, easy recipe!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Quick Chicken Noodle Soup

Quick Chicken Noodle Soup


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (32-ounce) carton fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup prechopped onion
  • 1/2 cup prechopped celery
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 6 ounces fusilli pasta
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


1. Combine 2 cups water and chicken broth in a microwave-safe dish, and microwave at HIGH for 5 minutes.

2. While broth mixture heats, heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, celery, salt, pepper, and carrot; sauté 3 minutes or until almost tender, stirring frequently. Add hot broth mixture and pasta; bring to a boil. Cook 7 minutes or until pasta is almost al dente. Stir in chicken; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Stir in parsley.

Nutritional Information

4.8g (sat 1g,mono 2.4g,poly 0.9g)
This was really fast! I did not use prechopped anything, nor did I use the microwave to jump start cooking. I doubled the recipe and was good left over!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Big-Batch Baked Penne With Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Baked penne with spinach and sun-dried tomatoes

Serves 16| Hands-On Time: 30m | Total Time: 1hr 25m



  1. Divide the oil between 2 large saucepans and heat over medium heat. Divide the garlic and sun-dried tomatoes between the saucepans and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Divide the crushed tomatoes between the saucepans.
  2. Break up the whole tomatoes by cutting them up with scissors (while in the can) or by crushing them with your hands. Divide the tomatoes and vinegar between the saucepans; season each with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring 2 large pots of water to a boil; add 1 tablespoon salt to each. Divide the pasta between the pots; cook for half the recommended time on the package directions (the pasta will continue to cook when it is baked). Drain the pasta; return it to the pots.
  4. Divide the spinach between the saucepans of sauce and cook, stirring, until the spinach begins to wilt, about 1 minute. Pour a saucepan of tomato sauce into each of the pasta pots and toss to combine.
  5. Divide one of the pots of the pasta mixture among four 8-inch square baking dishes (the dishes will be halfway full). Sprinkle each with 1 cup of the mozzarella. Dividing evenly among the dishes, top with the remaining pot of pasta mixture. Sprinkle each with 1 cup of the remaining mozzarella and ¼ cup of the Parmesan.

  1. To eat tonight: Bake the pasta on a rimmed baking sheet at 400° F until bubbling and beginning to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. To freeze and cook later: Freeze the unbaked pasta, tightly sealed, for up to 3 months. To cook, thaw the pasta and bake, uncovered, on a rimmed baking sheet at 400° F until heated through, bubbling, and beginning to brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
I made this recipe, but cut it in half, before I had the boys in order to have some frozen quick meals on hand. It was good with an easy salad and garlic bread. The balsamic vinegar adds a little tartness that made this dish so tasty!

For the single family recipe of this, go to and search for Baked Penne with Spinach.

Southwestern Cobb Salad

Southwestern Cobb Salad

Total: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 servings


  • Vinaigrette:
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Salad:
  • 3 slices center-cut bacon
  • Cooking spray
  • 8 ounces skinless, boneless turkey breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 cups torn romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 cup refrigerated fresh pico de gallo
  • 1/2 cup diced avocado
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled queso fresco
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained


1. To prepare vinaigrette, combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add oil, stirring constantly with a whisk; set aside.

2. To prepare salad, cook bacon in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Wipe pan clean with paper towels. Increase heat to medium-high. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle turkey with salt. Add turkey to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until done.

3. Arrange 2 cups lettuce on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with about 2 teaspoons bacon, 5 tablespoons turkey, 2 tablespoons pico de gallo, 2 tablespoons avocado, 2 tablespoons queso fresco, 1 tablespoon onions, and about 1/3 cup beans. Drizzle vinaigrette evenly over salads.

Nutritional Information

13.6g (sat 2.5g,mono 7.2g,poly 3g)

Chipotle Turkey Club



  1. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and chili powder.
  2. Spread the mixture on the bread and form sandwiches with the turkey, Cheddar, bacon, and sprouts.

Nutritional Information

  • Per Serving
  • Calories 530
  • Fat 31g
  • Sat Fat 9g
  • Cholesterol 72mg
  • Sodium 1,408mg
  • Protein 3g
  • Carbohydrate 35g
  • Sugar 4g
  • Fiber 6g
  • Iron 3mg
  • Calcium 257mg
We loved this sandwich! It was very simple and quick to make, had great flavor, and was filling! Easy enough for lunch or great with soup for dinner! (I could not find chipotle chili powder so I used regular and it was fine.)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Chicken Tetrazzini

1/2 c. butter (will reduce to 1/4-1/3 c. next time)
1 can cream of mushroom soup, reduced fat/reduced sodium
1 can cream of chicken soup, reduced fat/reduced sodium
mushrooms (I used 80z package)
2 tbsp. chopped pimiento
2 c. cooked chicken, cubed (I shredded a rotisserie chicken)
4 oz spaghetti, cooked and drained (I used about 6 oz angel hair)
1 c. low-fat sour cream
Parmesan cheese

In medium to large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add soups and mushrooms, stir until well blended. Remove from heat. Add pimiento, chicken, spaghetti and sour cream. Pour into 13x9 pan. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and paprika. Bake, uncovered at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

**Tried last night and everyone loved it. Super fast, and tasty considering there aren't many "fresh" ingredients in it!