Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Craisin-Pecan Chicken Salad

4 cups cooked chicken, shredded - I use 2-3 chicken breasts, roasted; cube if you prefer
1 cup pecans, chopped - I pound them into "chopped" size
1-2 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium shallot, minced - or chopped, as you prefer.  You can substitute onion if you HAVE to.
3/4-1 cup dried cranberries - don't use more than 1 cup even if you love craisins.  add more at the end if you need to.  Ever adaptable, you can of course substitute raisins or chopped dried cherries if you prefer.
1/3 cup light mayonnaise
1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt  - or lowfat greek yogurt, doesn't matter
2-3 tbsp. red wine vinegar - I like the bite of vinegar, so i use 3.  If you don't, use only 2.
1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp. pepper, or to taste
2 tbsp. minced flat-leaf parsley, optional - really I just grabbed off some leaves and chopped them up.

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.  Toss.
  2. Combine wet ingredients for dressing in second bowl or measring cup.  Mix well.
  3. Pour wet into dry.  It will look like there isn't enough, but there is.  Mix well using a rubber spatula.
  4. Add in parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.  Stir gently to combine
  5. Transfer to an air-tight container and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more to allow flavors to meld.
  6. Serve as a sandwich with lettuce or romain on the roll, or top a regular salad of greens with about 1 cup of the chicken salad.
09.27.2011 - I made this for mom & Dennis.  Dennis would prefer it with all miracle whip for the dressing, but that's just what he's used to.  I think this proportion of ingredients worked out better for me than the original recipe, but feel free to adapt it and make it your own!

For original Recipe:

Friday, September 16, 2011

Several Smoothies

Blueberry Acai Smoothie
vegan, serves 2

1 1/2 cups vanilla soy milk
1 1/2 frozen bananas
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 acai frozen smoothie pak OR 1 cup acai juice
*if you use the juice, remove 1/2 cup of the soy milk
3/4 cup ice

 recipe from:  http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2010/06/smoothie-faq-plus-vegan-acai-smoothie.html

Pomegranate Smoothie
1/3 cup silken tofu (about 3 oz.)
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1 teaspoon honey (add more if you like it sweeter)
2 ice cubes (or just omit because the frozen berries make them kind of pointless)
Recipe from: http://www.eatmedelicious.com/2008/05/pomegranate-smoothie.html

"Julius" style Mango Orange Smoothie
makes 2 servings

1/2 ripe mango, peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup orange juice
1 cup ice cubes, about 5 regular sized cubes
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons vanilla yogurt
Recipe from:  http://cookingwithamy.blogspot.com/2008/05/orange-mango-smoothierecipe.html

Blueberry Maple Oatmeal Smoothie

(makes 2 smoothies)
Printable Recipe

1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup yogurt
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
2 tablespoon maple syrup
1 cup liquid (I used milk but juices like apple juice would also work well.)
1. Mix the rolled oats into the yogurt and let sit in the fridge over night.
2. Puree everything in a food processor.
Recipe from: http://www.closetcooking.com/2009/09/blueberry-maple-oatmeal-smoothie.html

An indulgent smoothie, made extra-special with frozen yogurt. Serves 2
6 oz frozen raspberries
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
2 scoops vanilla fat-free frozen yogurt
Juice of two limes
6 spearmint leaves
1 banana, cut into chunks
Pinch of black pepper
Recipe from:  http://www.theperfectpantry.com/2010/06/frozen-fruit-recipe-raspberry-lime-and-mint-smoothie.html

Orgasm Smoothie

  • 1 banana 
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup rice, almond or non-fatmilk (substitute with juice of your choice if you don't want to use milk)
  • 1 cup ice chips
  • ½ cup peaches
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed
  • Dollop of honey
  • Sprinkle of ginger root (season to taste) 
  • Sprinkle of nutmeg (season to taste)
 Recipe from:  http://thedoctorstv.com/main/content/Orgasm_Smoothie

Smoothies from Men's Health

Abs Diet Smoothie  (makes 2)
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 2 tbsp low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 3/4 cup instant oatmeal, nuked in water
  • 2 tsp peanut butter
  • 2 tsp chocolate whey powder
  • 6 ice cubes, crushed 
Throw Fruit for a Loop (makes 1)
  • 1 cup pineapple
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt 
Almond Joy Smoothie (makes 1)
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 3/4cup orange juice
  • dash of cinnamon 
Mint Chocolate Morning (makes 1)
  • 3⁄4 cup 1% chocolate milk
  • 1⁄2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons chocolate whey-protein powder
  • 1 frozen Peppermint Pattie
  • 2 teaspoons ground flaxseed
  • 3 ice cubes 
PBBJ Smoothie (makes 1)
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 cup fat-free frozen yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter 
 Kickstarter Shake (makes 1)
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 kiwifruit
Better Breakfast Shake (makes 1)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 peach (cut up)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup ice 
Beta Blast (makes 1)
  • 3 small ice cubes
  • 2 apricots (sliced and pitted)
  • 1/2 papaya (frozen in chunks)
  • 1/2 mango (frozen in chunks)
  • 1/2 cup carrots,
  • 1 tablespoon honey
Belly Busting Blast (makes 1)
  • 1 scoop low-fat vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4 cup each frozen blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla whey-protein powder
  • 3 ice cubes 
Recipes all from:  http://www.menshealth.com/smoothies/breakfast/page5.html

Italian Potato Cake


  • 1/3 cup EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus some for drizzling
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 fresh Fresno or cherry chili pepper, halved
  • 2 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • Sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 
  • Preheat oven to 425°F
  • Place potatoes in bowl and season with sea salt. Discard the garlic cloves and chili pepper and add oil to the potatoes along with the rosemary, fennel and cheese. Toss to coat evenly.  
  • Arrange potatoes in a layered pattern beginning at the center of a 10-inch skillet moving outward and up the sides. Gently pile in the remaining potatoes and press them down. 
  • Place skillet over medium-high heat and cook 10 minutes to get the bottom layer of potatoes and the pan itself nice and hot. Cover potatoes with parchment paper and set a pie plate on top. Fill with beans or pie weights, transfer to oven and bake 20 minutes. Remove weights and parchment, and return to oven. Bake an additional 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are deep golden on top. Remove from oven and let cool to room temp. Place a plate over top of the pan, flip and unmold. 
  • serve with sausages. 
 Recipe from Rachael Ray Show.

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    Apple-Cinnamon Bread Pudding with Ginger Ale Sauce


    • 3 eggs, beaten
    • 2 cups milk, cream, or combination
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons rum extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 6 cups cinnamon bread, cubed (about 15 slices)
    • 1 (20 1/2-ounce) can apple pie filling
    • 1/2 cup raisins
    • 2 packets apple cinnamon instant oatmeal (recommended: Quaker Oats)


    • 1/2 cup ginger ale
    • 1 package whipped topping mix (recommended: Dream Whip)
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt


    In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, rum extract, salt, and brown sugar. Stir in raisin bread, pie filling, raisins, and oatmeal packets until bread cubes are moist. Spray a 9 by 12-inch baking dish with the pan spray and pour the mixture into the dish. Set aside for 30 minutes.
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    Bake pudding until it has risen, browned, and a knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 to 40 minutes.
    For sauce: combine all ingredients in a bowl and blend with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Serve bread with a dollop of sauce. Cover and chill until ready to use.

    Recipe from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sandra-lee/apple-cinnamon-bread-pudding-with-ginger-ale-sauce-recipe/index.html

    Honey-Soy Pork Chops


    • 1/4 cup lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon sherry or unsweetened apple juice
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 4 boneless pork loin chops (4 ounces each)


    • In a small bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Pour 1/2 cup into a large resealable plastic bag; add pork chops. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade for basting.
    • Drain and discard marinade. Moisten a paper towel with cooking oil; using long-handled tongs, lightly coat the grill rack.
    • Grill pork, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. over heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160°, basting frequently with remaining marinade. Yield: 4 servings.

    Edit HTMLNutrition Facts: 1 pork chop equals 176 calories, 6 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 55 mg cholesterol, 132 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 22 g protein. Diabetic Exchange: 3 lean meat.

    Buffalo Chicken Rolls

    from Can You Stay For Dinner?
    makes 12 rolls

    12 egg roll wrappers
    1 cup cooked and shredded chicken
    1/2 – 2/3 cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce
    1 cup crumbled blue cheese
    1 cup broccoli slaw or cole slaw (dry)
    blue cheese dressing, for serving

    Preheat the oven to 400F.
    In a bowl, mix together the chicken and the hot sauce.
    Lay one egg roll wrapper on your work surface. Place 1 tablespoon of the slaw on a diagonal at the bottom right of the egg roll wrapper. Place 2 tablespoons of the chicken on, followed by 1 tablespoon of blue cheese.
    To fold: Fold the bottom right corner over the filling. Fold in the bottom left, followed by the right, so it now looks like an envelope. Roll the wrap, but leave the top corner open. Dip your finger in a small bowl of water and wet the edges of the open corner. Fold the corner over the eggroll. The water will help to seal the eggroll wrapper to itself.
    Repeat with the remaining rolls. Place the rolls on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Spray the rolls with non-stick cooking spray. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

    Recipe  from:  http://www.tasteandtellblog.com/2011/07/buffalo-chicken-rolls/

    Eggnog Raisin-Bread Pudding

    Recipe Ingredients

    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 qt canned or refrigerated eggnog
    • 10 slices raisin-cinnamon swirl bread

    Recipe Preparation

    1. Heat oven to 350°F. Coat a 2-qt. shallow baking dish with nonstick spray.
    2. Whisk eggs in a large bowl until blended. Whisk in eggnog.
    3. Cut 4 slices bread in 1-in. cubes; arrange over bottom of prepared dish. Pour half the eggnog mixture over top. Cut remaining bread slices diagonally in half; arrange decoratively on top. Pour remaining eggnog mixture over all.
    4. Bake, uncovered, 55 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.
    5. Add ground or freshly grated nutmeg to eggnog mixture.
    6. Sprinkle with chocolate chips before baking.l Soak golden raisin and dried cherry blend (Sun-Maid) in rum.
    7. Scatter over bread cubes.

    Tiramisu Cheesecake

     Recipe from: http://www.womansday.com/Recipes/Tiramisu-Cheesecake.html

    Active Time: 45 minutes
    Total Time: 6 hours 15 minutes
    Serves: 16

    Recipe Ingredients

    • 2 Tbsp plus 11⁄4 cups sugar
    • 1 Tbsp Kahlúa (coffee-flavor liqueur)
    • 1 1⁄2 pkg (7 oz each) imported Italian savoiardi ladyfingers (see Note)
    • 3 bricks (8 oz each) 1⁄3-less-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), softened
    • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
    • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
    • 1 tub (8 or 8.75 oz) mascarpone cheese
    • 1 oz bittersweet chocolate, grated
    • Garnish: unsweetened cocoa powder and chocolate curls (directions follow)

    Recipe Preparation

    1. Remove bottom of a 9 x 3-in. springform pan; wrap bottom with plastic wrap.
    2. Stir coffee, 2 Tbsp sugar and the Kahlúa in a shallow bowl until sugar dissolves. Set 1⁄2 the ladyfingers aside. For each of remaining ladyfingers, quickly dip one side into coffee mixture and place wet side up on pan bottom to cover, cutting ladyfingers as needed to fit. Freeze about 15 minutes until firm. Lift plastic wrap, with ladyfingers, off pan bottom and place on a flat plate in freezer.
    3. Heat oven to 325°F. Reassemble the springform pan and coat with nonstick spray.
    4. Quickly dip one side of reserved ladyfingers into coffee mixture. Place wet side up on pan bottom to cover, cutting ladyfingers to fit and pressing to fill spaces. Freeze until ready to fill.
    5. Beat cream cheese, 1 1⁄4 cups sugar and the cornstarch in a large bowl with mixer on medium speed until smooth. On low speed, beat in eggs, 1 at a time, just until blended. Beat in mascarpone and reserved 2 Tbsp coffee. Pour half the batter (3 cups) into pan; spread evenly. Top with ladyfinger layer from freezer; sprinkle with grated chocolate. Spoon on remaining batter; spread evenly.
    6. Bake 45 minutes, or until center still jiggles slightly when shaken. (Air bubbles may form on surface; they’ll sink as cake cools.) Turn off oven (leave door closed); leave cake in oven 45 minutes.
    7. Carefully run a thin knife around the edge of the pan to release the cake (leave the pan sides on). Cool completely on a wire rack. Cover loosely; refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably 1 day for best flavor.
    8. Remove pan sides; place cake on a serving plate. Dust with cocoa; top with chocolate curls.Chocolate CurlsMelt 4 oz semisweet baking chocolate with 1 tsp solid vegetable shortening. Pour into a foil-lined mini loaf pan or sturdy 3 1⁄2 x 2 x 1 1⁄2-in. pan made with layers of foil. Let set at room temperature. Pull a swivel-blade vegetable peeler down length of bar. Refrigerate curls until ready to use.
    9. Imported Italian savoiardi ladyfingers are crisp and longer than the familiar soft sponge cake variety.

    Grilled Plums w/ Ginger Balsamic Glaze


    8 ripe plums
    1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
    1 heaping tablespoon of brown sugar
    2 tablespoons of ground ginger
    1 tablespoon of olive oil
    Pinch of salt

    1. Slice and pit all of the plums.
    2. In a small saucepan combine all ingredients and warm over a low flame for 10 minutes.
    The key here is to reduce blend the flavors and reduce the mixture to a glaze. Balsamic vinegar can go from a wonderful reduction to "I really messed that up" in no time flat, so keep an eye on it and taste it frequently.
     3. In a large mixing bowl, toss the sliced plums with the ginger-balsamic mixture.
    4. Grill the plums sliced-side down for about 5 minutes or until they just start to wilt. 
    5. Remove from the grill and let cool. Place the plums in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes before enjoying.

    Recipe from: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/08/grilled-plums-with-ginger-balsamic-glaze.php
    Blogger's original note: These plums are best enjoyed with a glass of 2008 Primoroso from Oso Libre Winery. Primoroso is swirling with dark berries and minor floral notes. The blend has just a hint of spice which makes it the perfect pairing for this dish.

    Perfect Malted Pancakes

    Put the following in a mixing bowl:
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 1/4 cups milk  (or buttermilk) *see note
    Beat the eggs and milk until light and foamy, about 3 minutes at high speed of a stand or hand mixer.

    Whisk together the following:
    Stir into the milk/egg. Don’t beat; some lumps are OK.
    • Add 3 tablespoons melted butter or vegetable oil. Stir it in.
    Heat a heavy frying pan over medium heat, or set an electric griddle to 375°F. Lightly grease the frying pan or griddle. The pan or griddle is ready if a drop of water skitters across the surface, evaporating immediately.

    Drop 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the lightly greased griddle. Cook on one side until bubbles begin to form and break, about 2 minutes.

    Then turn the pancakes and cook the other side until brown, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
    Turn over only once; lots of flipping will yield tough pancakes.

    *Start with just 1 cup milk if you’re baking under hot, humid conditions, or if you’re going to let the batter rest longer than 15 minutes. Use up to 1 1/4 cups milk in cold, dry conditions.What’s the difference? Depending on the amount of milk used the pancake batter will be thicker/thinner, and thus the cakes will be thicker/thinner. 

    In summer, or when it’s stored in hot, humid conditions, flour acts like a sponge, soaking up moisture from the atmosphere. Thus you’ll usually use less liquid in your recipes in summer, more in winter.
    And how about resting the batter? The longer it rests, the more it thickens, as the flour gradually absorbs the liquid.

    Bottom line: If you prefer thicker pancakes, go easy with the milk. You can always thin the batter with more milk – but it’s hard to use less milk once you’ve already added it!

    Tea Time Punch

    Tea Time Punch
    Recipe by Jim Meehan, owner of PDT in New York City 

    What you’ll need:
    24 oz. tea
    12 oz Banks rum (or other white rum)
    6 oz Grand Marnier
    6 oz lime juice (squeeze it fresh for a brighter flavor)
    6 oz simple syrup (boil 1 cup of water, and stir in 1 cup of sugar and allow to dissolve. Allow to cool before using.)
    A few grates of nutmeg

    How to make it:
    1. Measure ingredients into bowl and use a ladle to stir them together.
    2. Add ice (if you have access to bigger cubes, use them).
    3. Grate nutmeg directly over the bowl. Pours 9 6-ounce cups.

    Roasted Tomato Salsa

    Recipe adapted from Cascabel Taqueria in New York City
    Recipe  from:  http://blogs.menshealth.com/guy-gourmet/harness-the-many-powers-of-salsa/2011/01/19/

    What you’ll need:
    2 medium tomatoes, sliced
    2 garlic cloves
    1 Thai chili, or substitute 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    1 Tbsp cascabel chili powder or hot chili powder
    1 Tbsp lime juice
    5 sprigs cilantro
    1/2 Tbsp salt
    3 Tbsp water

    How to make it:
    1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Place the sliced tomatoes and garlic clove on a lightly oiled baking sheet and roast in the oven until their aromas release, about 10 minutes.
    2. Remove the roasted tomatoes and garlic from the oven and place them into a blender or food processor along with the rest of the ingredients. Pulse for 30 to 45 seconds. Scrape the sides of the blender or food processor with a rubber spatula and pulse until smooth, about another 30 seconds. Season with additional salt, if needed. Makes a small bowl.

    How to: Oven Dried Tomatoes

    Directions from:  http://blog.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/2010/08/16/healthy-how-to-oven-dried-tomatoes/

    How To Make Oven-Dried Tomatoes
    Slice plum tomatoes lengthwise, sprinkle with salt, and bake at 200 to 250 degrees F until shriveled, but still slightly tender. This can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours, depending on the size of the tomatoes.

    The natural sweetness of the tomatoes concentrates as the water is slowly cooked out. Each plum tomato averages 11 calories, so you’ll get big flavor for a tiny amount of calories. An added bonus: cooking tomatoes ups the lycopene content, baking in more antioxidants.

    Use dried tomatoes right away, or store packed in olive oil and herbs if desired. Use them to add a chewy bite of sweetness to salads, pasta, and sandwiches or blend into salad dressings or mayonnaise – they also make a gorgeous stuffing for chicken breasts.

    Recipes to Try:

    Oven Dried Tomatoes with Olive Oil and Thyme
    Oven Dried Tomatoes with Fresh Mozzarella and Arugula

    Rigatoni Bolognese

    Recipe Ingredients

    • 1 box (1 lb) rigatoni pasta
    • 2 medium carrots (4 oz), halved
    • 1 medium onion (6 oz), quartered
    • 1 pkg (8 or 10 oz) whole mushrooms
    • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
    • 2 tsp olive oil
    • 3 links Italian turkey sausage (about 10 oz), casings removed
    • 1⁄2 tsp crushed rosemary
    • 1⁄4 tsp each salt and pepper
    • 1⁄2 cup white wine (optional)
    • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes in thick purée

    Recipe Preparation

    1. Cook pasta in large pot of salted boiling water as box directs. Meanwhile, put carrots, onion, mushrooms and garlic in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped.
    2. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté chopped vegetables 6 minutes.
    3. Add turkey sausage and cook, breaking up clumps, 4 minutes or until no longer pink. Stir in rosemary, salt, pepper and wine, if using; boil 1 minute.
    4. Stir in crushed tomatoes, reduce heat and simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Spoon over drained pasta.
    Recipe  from:  http://www.womansday.com/Recipes/Rigatoni-Bolognese.html

    Tomato-Basil Pasta Salad

    Recipe Ingredients

    3 large ripe tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lb), coarsely chopped (3 1/2 cups)
    1/3 cup chopped red onion
    1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
    1 tsp minced garlic
    1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
    1/4 tsp dried oregano
    12 oz fusilli pasta (or your favorite pasta)
    1 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips

    Recipe Preparation

    1. Put tomatoes, onion, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper and oregano in a large bowl; toss. Let stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes or until tomatoes release their juices, tossing occasionally.
    2. Cook pasta as package directs. Drain and add to bowl with tomatoes; lightly toss. Let come to room temperature. Add basil; toss. Serve or refrigerate up to 1 day.
    Recipe from:  http://www.womansday.com/Recipes/Tomato-Basil-Pasta-Salad-Recipe.html

    Slow Cooker Apple Butter

    recipe from:  Bakin' on the Side (adapted from Eclectic Recipes)
    Yield: 2 Pints

    6 apples
    1 1/2 cups apple cider (or apple juice)
    3/4 cup brown sugar
    3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    1/4 teaspoon allspice
    1/4 teaspoon cloves
    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1. Peel, core and chop apples, add to slow cooker.
    2. Add cider/juice, sugar and spices.
    3. Cook on high until bubbly.
    4. Reduce heat to low and cook 6-8 hours, stirring every hour. When done, the apple butter will have thickened and be a deep brown color.
    5. For a smoother texture, blend to break down any remaining chunks of apple.