Easy Microwave Caramels Recipe

Autumn makes me think of baked goods and new recipes. I tried this easy microwave caramel recipe and it turned out delicious!


Ingredients:

1/4
cup butter

1/2
cup
white sugar
1/2
cup brown sugar

1/2
cup
light Karo syrup

1/2
cup sweetened condensed milk

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients
2. Cook 6 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes
3. Stir and pour into lightly greased dish (Pyrex works great!)
4. Let cool
5. Cut, wrap in wax paper and store in air tight container

*Makes 12-24 caramels


Pumpkin Pie White Hot Chocolate Recipe

I love pumpkin pie and I could eat it anytime of the year. I also love coming home after a long walk on the beach to a hot cup of hot chocolate. So why not combine these two comfort foods and make a delicious autumn beverage!




Ingredients:

3 cups whole milk
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 ounces white chocolate (roughly chopped)
pinch salt

Directions:

1. Heat the milk, pumpkin puree, and spices in a sauce pan until it just starts to simmer and remove form heat.
2. Add the chocolate and stir until it has melted.
3. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream and garnish with cinnamon.

*Makes 4 servings

**Thanks to ClosetCooking for this fabulous treat!

Small Soup for Quick Dinners

Smart Idea! Make large batches of soup then freeze in silicone muffin molds. Pop 'em out and freeze. Just reheat 2-3 pucks in a mug for a quick dinner. Perfect for the upcoming fall/winter season!




Thanks to TheMommyInCharge.com for this fabulous idea.

Cheers!!
Link

Maple Cupcakes Recipe

I love cupcakes and maple syrup! This recipe combines both delicious foods to enjoy this fall.

Source: None via Elizabeth on Pinterest




Ingredients:

2 1/2
cup all-purpose flour
2
tsp baking powder
1
tsp baking soda
1/2
tsp salt
3/4
tsp ground ginger
1
stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2
cup light-brown sugar
2
large eggs
1 1/4
cup maple syrup
2
tsp vanilla extract
1/2
cup buttermilk
1/2
cup walnuts or pecans, finely chopped

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ginger. Set aside. Beat the butter and sugar together using a mixer set on medium speed in a large bowl until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, syrup, and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture by thirds, alternating with the buttermilk. Stir in nuts. Fill 18 lined muffin cups and bake until a tester comes out clean about 20 minutes. Cool completely. Ice with maple butter frosting.

*Makes 18 cupcakes

Frosting Ingredients:

1
cup unsalted butter, softened
3
ounce cream cheese softened
2/3
cup dark-brown sugar
1/4
tsp salt
3/4
cup maple syrup
3/4
tsp vanilla extract
1
cup sugar

Directions for Frosting:

Beat the butter, cream cheese, brown sugar, and salt in a medium bowl with a mixer set on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Continue beating, and add the maple syrup and vanilla. Gradually add the sugar, increase the speed to high, and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Chill for 1 hour before using. Makes 4 cups.

**Thanks to Country Living for this fabulous fall recipe!


Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Recipe

I had a dream the other night about baking cookies with my grandmother. We baked oatmeal raisin cookies. Baking with my grandmother was something special that we shared together. We laughed and learning to bake with her was a privilege. This recipe is quick, easy and you can modify it however you like.



Ingredients:

1 cup of shortening or (2 sticks of butter)
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract (I use 2 tsp for extra richness)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 cups oats
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup raisins

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheet.

Beat shortening/butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add shortening mixture; mix well. Stir in oats, nuts and raisins. Rolls into balls and place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Use a fork to slightly flatten the balls of dough. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

*Makes 5 dozen cookies

**If you don't want to bake all 5 dozen, take dough and wrap in wax paper and store in refrigerator for later.

Cheers!

Skillet Lasagna Recipe

I think that lasagna is delicious as the weather gets cooler. This skillet lasagna recipe is an easy alternative to baking it in the oven. I serve mine with a toasted sliced baguette and green beans or peas. Feel free to modify this recipe to your liking.

http://pinterest.com/pin/180828285/


Ingredients:


6 oz dry campanelle pasta, uncooked (or use your favorite shell pasta)
1 pound Italian pork sausage links, casings removed
1 can (26.5oz) meat flavored pasta sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, cook sausage in large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until crumbled and no longer pink, breaking up clumps with the back of spoon. Blend in pasta sauce; simmer 5 minutes. Remove from skillet; cover to keep warm.

Drain pasta. Place half of cooked pasta in bottom of skillet. Pour half of sauce mixture over the pasta; sprinkle with half of the cheese. Top with remaining pasta, sauce mixture and cheese.

Cover and cook over medium heat 5 minutes, or until heated through and cheese melts. Remove from heat; let stand for one minute. Serve.

Peach Berry Waffle Topping Recipe

What is better than waffles on a calm and relaxing Sunday morning? Why the topping of course! This is a super easy topping and very enjoyable too. This recipe serves 4 people.

Source: google.com via Elizabeth on Pinterest


Ingredients:

1 can sliced peaches
1 bag frozen berry blend
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp ground cardamom
Whipped topping

Directions:

Combine and serve on top of warm waffles. Add a dollop of whipped topping. Enjoy!

Peach Cobbler Recipe

Fall is my favorite time of year. With hot cocoa, warm fuzzy sweaters and cobbler! This recipe could be substituted with apples as well. Thanks to Splenda for another great and easy recipe for all lovers of fall to enjoy. I love to pair my cobbler with french vanilla ice cream.







Source: pauladeen.com via Amy on Pinterest



Ingredients:


Batter:

1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 room temperature milk
1 room temperature egg

Filling:

28oz can sliced peaches
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Directions:

Melt butter in a 9 x 13 inch pan. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in milk and egg. Pour evenly over melted butter. Combine peaches, sugar and spices and spread over batter. DO NOT STIR! Bake 35-45 minutes at 350F until batter comes to the top and is golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream. Enjoy!

Glazed Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

Meatloaf is delicious any time of the year. This low calorie turkey meatloaf recipe would be tasty with some red potatoes and some fresh green beans. I would complete this dinner with some sourdough rolls or biscuits. Cheers!






Ingredients:


Meatloaf:

1 pound ground turkey, 7% fat
½ cup finely chopped onion
¼ cup quick oats
¼ cup seasoned bread crumbs
½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 eggs
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon SPLENDA® ESSENTIALS™ No Calorie Sweetener with Fiber, Granulated

Glaze:

½ cup ketchup
½ teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 tablespoon SPLENDA® ESSENTIALS™ No Calorie Sweetener with Fiber, Granulated

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Combine meatloaf ingredients in a medium size bowl. Mix well and pat into a 4x5 inch loaf pan.

Mix glaze ingredients together in a small bowl. Spread over meatloaf.

Bake in preheated oven 45-50 minutes.

Be sure to check out more delicious recipes at Splenda's site.

Banana Mini-Chip Muffins

These cute and tasty banana muffins would be perfect for a Sunday brunch. A touch of chocolate chips help make these a treat for everyone of all ages! Enjoy.






Ingredients:


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup light butter, softened
⅓ cup SPLENDA® Sugar Blend
⅓ cup packed SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1 large egg
1 (12 ounce) package Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips


Directions:


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 48 mini-muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl; set aside.

Combine butter, SPLENDA® Sugar Blend, SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend and vanilla in large bowl; beat at medium speed with a mixer until creamy. Beat in bananas and egg. Gradually mix in flour mixture; stir in morsels. Spoon batter evenly into prepared pan, filling cups ⅔ full.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans on wire rack. Remove muffins from pans to wire rack to cool completely.

Baby Spinach 'n Bacon Salad Recipe

If you like spinach and bacon; why not make them into a salad? This is a perfect and easy recipe to enjoy them both. Feel free to modify the recipe to your liking.





Ingredients:


1 (7 ounce) bag baby spinach greens
½ cup fat free salad croutons

Dressing:
¼ cup white vinegar
¼ cup water
¼ cup Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
5 slices turkey bacon
¼ cup chopped red onion
2 garlic cloves, minced

Directions:

Place spinach greens in a large mixing bowl. Remove any undesirable leaves or large stems. Add croutons. Set aside.

Make dressing. Blend together vinegar, water, mustard and SPLENDA® Granulated Sweetener in a small mixing bowl.
Set aside.

Finely slice bacon into small strips. Place in a medium saucepan and fry over medium-high heat until crispy (approx. 3-4 minutes). Add onion and garlic and cook over medium-high heat 1-2 minutes.

Add vinegar mixture and simmer 1-2 minutes. Pour over spinach and croutons. Toss well. Serve immediately.

Thanks once again to Splenda for this quick and yummy salad recipe!

Citrus Glazed Chicken with Almonds Recipe

This is a fantastic Chicken recipe that I found on the Splenda website. They have lots of great recipes that use their product. From berry salads, to chilis and beverages to meat dishes. Since I am big fan of chicken I enjoyed this one particularly.




Ingredients:

4 (4 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate, thawed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
1½ teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup almond slices, toasted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place chicken breasts on an un-greased baking sheet. Brush with one tablespoon of orange juice concentrate (reserve remaining concentrate for sauce). Bake in oven 15-20 minutes or until cooked through. Place remaining orange juice concentrate, lemon juice and chicken broth in a small saucepan.

Blend together SPLENDA® Granulated Sweetener and cornstarch in a small bowl. Stir cornstarch mixture into broth. Heat over medium-high heat and simmer 8-10 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken slightly. Remove from heat. Whisk butter into sauce. Add chives and parsley. Pour sauce over chicken breasts. Sprinkle almonds over breasts and serve. Cheers!

Thank you Splenda for this yummy chicken recipe.

Fruit Salad Pictures

Fruit salads are delicious anytime of the year. Check out these colorful fruit salads below and see if you get inspired to make one:















World's Greatest Sandwich Recipe

Do you remember the Spanglish Sandwich? This was the sandwich that chef Thomas Keller developed for Adam Sandler to make in the movie Spanglish. It had to justify the title the "world's greatest sandwich," and by the way the recipe immediately flew around the internet, it did seem like it achieved that!

It's basically a bacon-lettuce-tomato sandwich dressed up with a fried egg and drippy egg yolk. Delicious! It's an indulgence for a busy night since it comes together quickly, and it's filling without being too heavy. It's comfort food and brain food at the same time. And if you want to dress it up just a little more, or leave off the egg, try topping it with avocado like in the top photo.



Ingredients:

3-4 slices of bacon
2 slices of Monterey Jack cheese
2 slices of toasted rustic country loaf (pain de campagne)
1 tbsp of mayo
4 tomato slices
2 leaves of butter lettuce (yes, it's called butter lettuce)
1 teaspoon butter
1 egg

Preparation:

1. Cook the bacon until crisp, drain on paper towels
2. Place slices of cheese on one side of toasted bread. Place in toaster oven or under broiler to melt.
3. Spread mayo on other slice of bread top with bacon, sliced tomato, and lettuce
4. On non-stick skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Fry egg, turning over briefly when the bottom is set (keep yolk runny)
5. Slide finished egg on top of lettuce, top with other slice of bread (cheese-side down genius)
6. Place sandwich on plate and slice in half, letting yolk run down sandwich

Recipe given by The Kitchn

Blackberry Walnut Salad Recipe

This recipe would be delicious on a hot summer day, it is also served with a yummy Lime Ginger Vinaigrette. Pair this salad with a glass of Viognier or Chardonnay to complete this tasty meal made for two.




INGREDIENTS and DIRECTIONS

Vinaigrette:

2 limes, juice and zest from (approx. 1/2 cup juice and 2 teaspoons zest)
3 teaspoons finely chopped shallots
1 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons agave or raw honey
Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all ingredients together.


Salad:
1 cup blackberries
4 cups mixed greens
1/2 cup walnuts

Toss all ingredients together. Top with vinaigrette to taste.


Brought to you by: RawMazing.com


16 Healthy Food Choices

We need to remember what foods are actually good for us and do something about it. This chart is non-threatening and inspiring for me to eat healthier. I like the majority of these foods too. Cheers!


Blueberries and French Toast Recipe

This is a quick, easy and delicious take on blueberries and french toast recipe that I found and recently tried.




INGREDIENTS:

1 - 3 oz package cream cheese, softened
1- 1/2 tablespoons confectioner sugar
1 package (12 oz) frozen french toast slices
3/4 cup fresh blueberries


DIRECTIONS:
  • In a small bowl mix cream cheese and sugar. Set aside.
  • Heat french toast according to directions. 
  • Spread cream cheese on one side of bread, add blueberries, top with other slice.
  • Garnish with extra blueberries and confectioner sugar if desired. Cheers!

Recipe courtesy of Blue Willow Blog


Baklava Recipe: A Tasty Greek Treat

My great friend Wendi and I were having a glass of Syrah from Columbia Winery on a hot summer day and were thinking about Greece and how it is a country that we would both love to visit. So we thought "Hey, we can make baklava and be that much closer to the Greeks." Let's do it!





INGREDIENTS:

8 sheets of filo dough
2 cups shelled and finely chopped pistachios
1/2 cup honey
1/8 tsp ground cardamom (if you don't have cardamom, you can use cinnamon)
1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tsp orange flower oil (if you don't have orange flower oil, try almond extract or rosewater)


DIRECTIONS:
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the chopped pistachios, honey, and cardamom. Set aside. Lay 4 sheets of filo dough down onto a buttered baking dish. Brush half the butter over the dough with a basting brush. Spread the pistachio mixture over the buttered filo dough. Lay the remaining 4 sheets of filo dough on top of that and then brush the remaining butter across the top. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Then raise the temperature to 400 degrees F and bake for 10 more minutes.

While the baklava is baking, in a sauce pan over medium heat dissolve the sugar and honey into the water. Stir in the lemon juice and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens into a syrup. Stir in the orange flower oil and remove from heat. Allow the syrup to cool.

When the cake is baked, cut into into diamond-shaped lozenges and pour the syrup over it. Allow the baklava to sit for 15 minutes and then serve immediately or chill and serve later...Cheers!

Cabbage Head Crudité

I came across this picture on Pinterest and found it fascinating! I never thought of hollowing out a cabbage head for a center piece crudité. The presentation is fabulous.





Have you ever created anything like this or wanted to? Check out the step by step easy instructions at EddieRoss.com.

Easy Spaghetti Recipe

Spaghetti is everyone's favorite Italian dish. Well, it is for me. It's easy and delicious. I love to pair mine with some good hot french bread, green beans and a glass of Sangiovese red wine. I came up with this quick and easy spaghetti recipe that cooks of all ages can prepare and enjoy!






INGREDIENTS:

2 ground beef or turkey patties
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup of chopped purple onion
1 whole jar of red spaghetti sauce
1 package of angel hair spaghetti pasta

salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Coat sauce pan with light olive oil. Place patties and cook until brown. Add minced garlic and onion. Let simmer. Boil water for pasta. Continue to stir the sauce. When water boils add pasta; I like to add a small dab of olive oil in with my pasta so it doesn't stick together. Drain pasta after 8-10 minutes of cooking. Drain through strainer. Combine sauce and pasta. Cheers!

Creamy Green Pea Soup Recipe

This is a nice and easy recipe for green pea soup. Make this after a tough day at the office. Pair it with a delicious french or sourdough bread; curl up with a good book and enjoy this tasty pea soup.




INGREDIENTS:

2 shallots, minced
2 tbsp butter
2 cups chicken broth
2 sprigs of fresh mint
1 pound of frozen green peas
1/4 cup cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Sour cream and sugar snap peas for garnish (optional)


DIRECTIONS:

In a medium saucepan melt butter on medium heat. Add minced shallots and cook until softened. Add the broth and mint sprigs to the shallots, increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the frozen peas and return the mixture to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Discard the mint and purée the soup in a blender until completely smooth. Blend in the cream. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or chilled. Garnish with sour
cream and sugar snap pea pods. ~ Cheers!

Courtesy of Wendi

A Tasty Herbal Beverage Recipe

My fabulous friend Wendi and I made this herbal lemonade from scratch a few weeks ago on a hot summer day. It did take some work but in the end it paid off. The fresh herbs and lemons helped make this lemonade a delightful summer drink. Pair this recipe with a good book and some shade. Cheers!






INGREDIENTS:

For the Syrup:
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup mixture of fresh herbs, finely chopped or roughly ground (I use a blend of lavender flowers, rosemary, and sage. Pure mint is tasty too...)

DIRECTIONS FOR SYRUP:

To make syrup, heat water in a small sauce pan to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and whisk in the sugar. Place herbs in a satchel and dunk it down into the mixture. (If you don't have a satchel, you can just put the herbs directly into the pot and then strain them out out the syrup with a fine sieve. It's messy though!) Let the herbs infuse the mixture AT LEAST five minutes, or until it smells like ricola before removing the satchel. Maintain a low boil until the liquid reduces and the mixture becomes syrupy. Remove from heat and let cool. It'll last for several weeks in a covered jar in the refrigerator.

For the rest:
Juice from 6-8 lemons (however zippy you want it)
Water (or sparkling water if you're fancy)

DIRECTIONS TO FINISH:

Add the syrup to a large pitcher. Stir the lemon juice into the syrup. Then add enough water to the mixture to fill up the rest of the pitcher. Serve chilled.

My thanks again to Wendi for sharing this fabulous and tasty beverage.

Comfort Pie a.k.a. Shepards Pie Recipe

I got together recently with an old friend of mine, Wendi, we had a glass of red wine and caught up on each others lives. During our talk I mentioned that I missed my mom's home cooking. Wendi said "I can make almost anything! Can I make you something?" I was flattered and we continued talking. Before I knew it, she was cooking yellow potatoes and asked me "Do you like Shepards Pie?" Of course I do :o) Wendi cooked this delicious comfort pie for me.

*Bear in mind that no two shepherds pies are alike because their ingredients tend to be whatever is in the fridge.





INGREDIENTS:

8 medium potatoes, cooked (Wendi used golden Yukon potatoes)
1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
1/2 stick butter
Pinch of both Salt and Pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
1 celery heart and leafy bits, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 (10ish oz) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup cottage cheese
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup fortified instant baby cereal/oatmeal

DIRECTIONS:

Mash the first 3 ingredients together (mashed potatoes!) and add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat the olive oil and saute the onions, celery, and carrots until onions are transparent. Season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and the ground turkey. While turkey browns, add the Worcestershire sauce and more salt and pepper. When it is cooked, add the tomato sauce an the frozen peas. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Stir in the baby cereal (to thicken it). Pour the mixture into a large casserole dish. Then spread the mashed potatoes on top. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand for 5 minutes then serve hot.

Thank you Wendi for sharing this delicious Shepards Pie recipe with our readers.

Yummy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Everyone's Favorite Cookie!! It's Chocolate Chip!

These have been a comfort food for as long as I can remember and are easy to bake. The recipe I recently made makes up to 24 good size cookies. If you want to add nuts or something else special feel free.

Tip: Most cookie recipes call for using a tablespoon to put your cookie dough on a baking sheet. I use a teaspoon which equals more cookies and less calories per cookie. It's a win-win!



INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)

Using a blender; mix together butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Remove from blender and add egg, vanilla and milk.
In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips. Add moist mixture to dry mixture and mix well. Drop by small spoonful onto greased baking sheet and bake for 9 minutes. Once cookies are nice and golden brown let sit on sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack or plate.

Adapted from AllRecipes

Tasty Beef Stroganoff Recipe

One thing I love about this Stroganoff recipe is that it's easy, cheap, filling, and delicious. It's not a traditional Stroganoff recipe, it's even easier! While growing up this was one of my favorite meals and to this day it still makes me smile :o). Make a complete meal by pairing the stroganoff with whole wheat toast and green beans. You could also add sliced mushrooms for an extra veggie. Cheers!



INGREDIENTS:
1/2 pound of lean ground beef
1 tablespoon of minced onion
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
2 pinches of sea salt (regular salt is fine too)
1 pinch of black pepper
3-4 cups pasta of your choice (I like to use egg noodles)


DIRECTIONS:
In a large skillet or sauce pan brown the beef and mix in onion and garlic over medium heat. Once browned stir in cream of mushroom soup and milk. Let simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes during this time begin to boil your water for the pasta. One the sauce has simmered add sea salt and pepper. Cook noodles according to package directions. I like to add a bit of olive oil to my noodles so they don't stick together. Drain water from the noodles; continue to stir the meat mixture. Pour mixture over noodles.


Adapted from AllRecipes

Patriotic Blueberry Cheesecake

When I think of the Fourth of July, blueberries top my list of must-have foods. We did an article about all the fabulous health benefits of these blue fruits last year so today we're focusing on yummy cheesecake with blueberries. This recipe has a unique phyllo crust...don't let it intimidate you, it's easy to work with and really makes the recipe special.



When buying fresh blueberries look for firm, dry fruit that is smooth and relatively free of stems and leaves. While size is not an indicator of maturity, color is. Berries should be deep purple-blue to blue-black in color. Reddish berries aren't ripe, although they may be used in cooking.

Avoid containers of berries with juice stains, which may be a sign that the berries are crushed and possibly moldy. Soft, watery fruit means that berries are overripe, while wrinkled fruit means they have been stored too long.  Fresh berries should be stored covered, in the refrigerator. Wash just before using and use within 6 days of purchase.




Yield: 8 to 10 portions

Ingredients:

8 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
1/4 cup melted butter
16 oz. of 1/3 Less Fat "Neufchâtel" Cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 eggs, room temperature*
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup organic raspberry jelly
1 cup nondairy whipped topping

Preheat oven to 425°F.

For crust: Grease a 9-inch pie plate; set aside. On a flat surface place one sheet phyllo (keep remaining phyllo covered to prevent drying out); brush with the melted butter. Top with another phyllo sheet; brush with butter. Repeat with remaining phyllo and butter to make a total of eight layers. Using kitchen scissors, cut the layers into a 12 inch circle. Carefully press circle of phyllo into the prepared pie plate and gently fan the edges. Bake crust until the edges are just golden, usually six to eight minutes. Cool crust slightly on wire rack.

Reduce oven to 350°F.

Using an electric mixer...In a medium size bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until it is light and fluffy. Add eggs; beat until well blended. Gently fold in one cup of the fresh blueberries. Pour mixture into the prepared crust. Bake cheesecake in oven until set...40 to 50 minutes depending on your oven. To prevent over-browning of the crust, gently cover with aluminum foil for the last 25 minutes of baking. Cool
cheesecake on a baking rack completely before serving.

Topping: In a small bowl beat jelly until smooth; spread over cheese cake filling. Arrange remaining blueberries on top in a star shape. Garnish with whipped topping.

*Tip - remove eggs from the refrigerator about 20 to 30 minutes before you use them or put them in a bowl of warm water while you assemble other ingredients. Dry them with a towel before cracking.

For more info about Blueberries: http://www.blueberrycouncil.org/

{St. Patrick's Day} Easy Guinness Gingerbread Cake

Photo: William Dickey
With St. Patrick's Day approaching quickly, we wanted to do something with beer, other than drink it!

This Easy Guinness Gingerbread Cake recipe uses boxed cake mix as well as extra stout beer as a secret ingredient. The full flavor of the Stout complements the spices within the cake. For those who don't like Stout, don't worry, you'll never know that it's in the finished cake. A simple butter cream frosting completes this delicious picture!

Top your St. Patrick's day masterpiece with some toasted pecans and you'll be the hit of the party.

 

 

 

80 Great Ways to Celebrate National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month, and a great time to focus on your nutritional health.

Whether you're a model eater, or could use some help in the diet department, this month will give you a good opportunity to think more about the food you're eating.

Try these activities, habits, and small changes to celebrate nutrition and food this month.

~ Roxanne of Nursingschools.net




{Guest Post} Brunswick Stew Recipe

(photo by: Romulo Yanes)
There are conflicting claims as to where Brunswick Stew originated. Brunswick Georgia? Brunswick County Virginia?

Hard to say – but one thing is clear to me – this is good stuff!

Brunswick stew was reported to be traditionally cooked in a huge pot over open flames. I do not have that option, so I use a heavy stockpot.

Obviously cutting the recipe down IS an option. This makes a lot of stew – and as far as I can remember – it does freeze and reheat fine. Just be careful not to burn it when reheating. I prefer to reheat on the stove, not in a microwave.

Options: This stew can be made with just chicken (1.5-2lbs) but the smoked pulled pork really adds to the flavor. Unfortunately, if you do not have your own smoker – it does also add to the cost of the stew. ~ Cookie Galore of Cooks Insanity

Whole Wheat Applesauce Pancake Recipe

Pancakes - Photo by WayTru
The homemade goodness of applesauce and pancakes come together in this delicious dish that your family will love!

Chunky unsweetened applesauce, cinnamon and whole wheat pastry flour combine to create a flavorful breakfast treat. You might consider substituting the applesauce with finely diced apples; which would enhance the flavor even more.

Top these tasty pancakes with a drizzle of maple syrup, sweet apple butter or fresh fruit and....enjoy!


Grilled Pesto Chicken Sandwich Recipe

Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Pesto Mayo
A perfect Grilled Chicken Sandwich recipe for indoor entertaining or a weeknight meal.

You'll savor the flavor of the Pesto Mayo. These sandwiches offer a classy, yet casual approach to mealtime. Make your own homemade pesto >> Homemade Pesto Recipe or your favorite pre-made brand.

We love French rolls, however these sandwiches are awesome on Ciabatta rolls too.



Tomato-Basil Tortellini Recipe

Whole Wheat Tortellini
Sometimes semi-homemade meals become a necessity during busy times! It's just not always possible to create a completely homemade meal when you've been driving your kids from dentist to their piano lesson and then to soccer practice.

We're using Whole Wheat Three-Cheese Tortellini by Buitoni© and topping it with a semi-homemade sauce in today's recipe.  Whole Wheat semolina pasta rings, filled with a blend of fresh creamy ricotta, aged Parmesan and Romano cheeses make this tortellini recipe extra special.  Enjoy!


Classic Mac 'n Cheese

Macaroni & Cheese - Food.com
Today's recipe is a lovely, thick and gooey comfort food that will warm your insides during the long cold months. 

Mac n' Cheese is the perfect compliment to ham and spinach; meatloaf; fruit salad;  for a potluck or lunch. Add some crumbled bacon on top for a delicious change. Why not add some delicious extras like minced onions, salami or red bell peppers?

Our favorite version of this recipe uses Mild Cheddar; however Sharp Cheddar, Colby-Jack or Pepper Jack can all be substituted depending on your own taste preferences. We hope you like this simple and yummy recipe...enjoy!

Tilapia Parmesan Recipe

Tilapia Parmesan with sweet peas & jasmine rice
Tilapia is a wonderful fish that is easy to prepare!

We aren't big fish eaters in our household; however tilapia has such a lovely light flavor that it can be prepared with flavorful sauces or toppings to disguise the fish taste.

Our Tilapia Parmesan recipe is fast, easy and simple to prepare. The fish is broiled with a creamy cheese coating for an impressive flavor and texture.
 
Not sure what to serve your tilapia recipe with? Try sweet peas and jasmine rice; steamed broccoli and whole wheat cous-cous or mashed potatoes and steamed asparagus.



{Vegetarian} Insalata Pizza Recipe

Cooking Light Magazine
These individual pita pizzas are loaded with fresh vegetables, melted cheese and sauce. It's a one-dish meal that's sure to please!

It's simple to create this recipe by using packaged greens plus a few Mediterranean ingredients. Garlic, cheese, onions, tomatoes, olives, and basil are combined with cider vinegar for a sweet-tart flavor.

These little pizzas are a snap to create in your oven and don't forget to give them a try on your grill during the hot days of summer.


Whether you fold your pizzas and eat like a wrap or you dig in with a fork...you'll be pleased with this simple vegetarian recipe.


{CONTEST CLOSED} $65 Giveaway for Valentine's Day

American Drew - Tribecca 9 Piece Round Leg Dining Table Set

...and the winner is comment number...

True Random Number Generator
2  
Powered by RANDOM.ORG
 
Congratulations to the winner, Mami2jcn.
 

My favorite time of each day is sitting down with my husband to enjoy a home cooked meal. Even though it's just the two of us we set the table each night with place mats, cloth napkins plus add a bit of candlelight for ambiance. Whether we are eating bologna sandwiches or chicken Parmesan - the ritual remains the same. Since we'll be celebrating our 28th wedding anniversary next week maybe some extra candles and mood music will be added too!

Our dining table can easily seat 8 (and has sat even 12 at times) but the best memories are of the hubby and I sitting together at one end while chatting about our day, the news, favorite baseball players and the delicious food.  For too many years we ate in front of the television each night and now we both look forward to this time together where we completely focus on each other.

If you've gotten in the habit of eating in front of the TV, on TV trays or at the kitchen counter then we encourage you to SIT DOWN.  If you still have family at home then this is even a better reason to sit and eat together - you'll be glad you did!

We are happy to announce that CSN Stores has offered to sponsor a giveaway for our readers so you can purchase a few new items for your dining room.  In case you aren't familiar with their stores...they offer everything from modern dining room furniture to flatware, dishes, serving bowls, candles and napkins. The winner will receive a $65 gift code to use in any of CSN's 200+ online stores for ANY merchandise they sell.

How to Enter:
  • Simple leave a comment with an email address (so we can contact you when you win)
  • One entry allowed per email address
Rules:
  • Giveaway closes Saturday, February 12, 2011 - 6:00PM PST
  • Winner will be randomly selected by Random.org
  • Open to U.S. and Canadian readers only 
Enter Now and Good Luck!

Fresh Asparagus Soup Recipe

Photographer: Tomi Fumimoto
A smooth, creamy and elegant soup that's sure to warm you up during the winter months and easy to create.

The original recipe called for the use of chicken stock; however we wanted to create a vegetarian soup so used vegetable stock...substitute as you wish. Another variation is to use soy milk in place of the heavy cream.

Looking for more Asparagus recipes? we suggest AsparagusRecipes.net. ~ Marie Rhoades

New Jersey Style Tuna Melt Recipe

AllRecipes.com
You cannot go wrong with this sandwich!

"If you order a tuna melt in a New Jersey diner, you'll get something very similar to this! My method of topping the tuna salad with cheese FIRST, then tomato and more cheese, keeps the toppings from sliding off the bread." according to recipe creator COOKINGIRLLJ of AllRecipes.com.

That Girl Can Cook! has created various versions of this recipe including using an English muffin with cheddar cheese and sometimes we use whole wheat bread and add some minced garlic.

Making the tuna salad the night before and keeping it in the refrigerator lets the flavors really mix together nicely. ~ Marie Rhoades


New Jersey Style Tuna Melts 

Ingredients:

12 oz. Solid White Tuna in water, drained (2 - 6 oz. cans)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
3/4 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 pinch sea salt
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
4 slices seedless rye bread
8 slices ripe tomato
8 slices Swiss cheese

Directions:
Preheat the oven broiler.
  • Mix tuna, mayonnaise, celery, onion, parsley, and vinegar together.
  • Season tuna mixture with salt and pepper.
  • Place bread slices on a baking sheet and broil for 1 minute or until lightly toasted. 
  • Remove from broiler and spread with tuna salad. 
  • Place 1 cheese slice over the top of tuna, layer with a tomato slice, and top with remaining cheese slices.
  • Return layered bread to oven and broil 3 to 5 minutes, until cheese is melted.
 Adapted from: AllRecipes.com

Veggie & Sausage Strata Recipe

"A strata is a savory bread casserole. Essentially, you pour an egg mixture over bread and cheese and let soak in overnight." explains Martha Stewart.

Stratas are a popular choice for Christmas breakfast; however they are really great anytime you have a gathering - no matter what time of the year it is. 

The entire casserole is prepared the night before. Simply throw it in the oven while you enjoy your first cup of coffee. Your guests will think you slaved all morning! ~ Marie Rhoades


Apple Slice Delight Recipe

A super-easy and delicious recipe that can be whipped together in no time! There isn't an easy way to categorize this apple dessert since it's not a pie or cake. It's layers of sliced apples with cinnamon then topped with a cake-like batter.

Our Apple Slice Delight recipe was created using Splenda granulated; however feel free to use granulated sugar, natural sugar...whatever works for you. We were very pleased with the sweetness of the finished product by using the Splenda (and we like really sweet desserts!).

We served the dessert while still warm and topped with a small scoop of Vanilla ice cream; however it is very tasty without the ice cream too. ~Marie Rhoades

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe

Chicken Cordon Bleu in Skillet - SouthernLiving.com
Chicken topped with Canadian bacon and Swiss cheese are commonly known as Chicken Cordon Bleu.  This skillet recipe offers all the traditional flavor of the original recipe without the hassle.

We used chicken breasts; which were cut into strips for the recipe; however pre-cut chicken tenders would work well too.

Don't have any Canadian bacon on hand? Try sliced ham instead. ~ Marie Rhoades







Buffalo Chicken Wings Recipe

A buffalo wing, hot wing or wing is a chicken wing section that is traditionally fried unbreaded and then coated in sauce. Classic Buffalo-style chicken wing sauce is composed of a vinegar-based cayenne pepper hot sauce and butter.

Here’s a broiled version of one of America’s favorite appetizers. They are perfect to make for Super Bowl parties or any get together.

Since Buffalo wings are traditionally served with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing we've included that in the recipe below.  Make sure you have plenty of napkins on hand before digging into these delectable appetizers.