Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chicken and Spinach Alfredo Bread

Chicken Spinach Alfredo Bread, is an amazing addition to many dishes, soups and salads.  Serve it by itself, and you have an appetizer that is toasty, soft and has just the right amount of melted Alfredo Spread.  When you add cooked, diced chicken and fresh spinach, you have a meal!!  Go ahead and make both for your family.  I know you will be asked to make them time again!  Best served warm.

I made this in a loaf pan.  Obviously, I went overboard, 2 cups of chicken! It just about had to be eaten on a plate with a fork.  <3 and hUgs! 


Chicken Spinach Alfredo Bread

Ingredients

1 loaf frozen bread dough
1/2 cup alfredo spread 
1 to 2 cups cooked chicken, diced
1/2 bag, 8 oz., fresh spinach

Directions

Thaw dough according to directions on package. Once thawed, roll into a 10" x 15" rectangle on a lightly floured counter or cutting board.  Spread the alfredo spread on the dough starting in the middle from end to end lengthwise and move outward.   Leave 1/2" on  each side.   Add spinach and top with chicken.  Moisten sides with a light dab of water and roll up tight,  lengthwise.  Move to greased cookie sheet, or loaf pan, and tuck ends under.  Bake 10-12 minutes and turn the pan around.  Cook another 10-20 minutes until browned on top and done.  Remove from pan and place on rack to cool.  Enjoy! As always, my oven cooks different than yours.   Start checking at earlier than suggested.  Please adjust time accordingly.  




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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Homemade Corn Chips

Today is National Corn Chip Day! My son is always intrigued with all the food holidays there are.  ~smile~  Super easy to do and better for you than store bought.



Homemade Corn Chips

Corn Tortillas, very thin
kosher salt
olive oil cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spray cookie sheet
Cut tortillas in to 6 wedges
Place on cookies sheet and spray with olive oil cooking spray.

Bake in a preheated oven for 3 minutes, check bottoms and turn over if starting to brown.  Cook an additional 3-6 minutes, depending on your oven.  
Sprinkle with salt once they come out of the oven.

I served ours with salsa that I added pineapple to.  YUM!  


To 1 cup store bought salsa, add 1/4 to 1/2 diced or chopped, pineapple.  Try adding black beans, rinsed well and whole kernel corn also.  


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Alfredo Spread and Sauce

I was looking at the newsfeed on facebook the other day and came across a recipe that Lark, of LarksCoutryHeart.com shared for her Delicious Alfredo Sauce! Oh My Stars! It looked so good! There was our supper staring at me. Using her wonderful recipe, I started cooking, changing it a little along the way.   I ended up making an Alfredo Spread as well as sauce.  I hope you like these as much as my boys and hubby did <3 and hUgs !

Alfredo Spread 

 1/2 cup margarine 
 6 oz neufchatel 
 1 1/4 cups grated parmesan cheese 
3-6 teaspoons minced garlic, I use bottled in water 
 1/2 cup milk or heavy cream, I used milk and it was great 
 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, if desired 

Directions

Melt margarine and cream cheese over medium heat. 

Add parmesan cheese, a little at the time. 

As the cheese mixture thickens, add milk, a little at the time. 

Once the cheese has melted take off heat. 
 This will make 1 1/2 cups spread. 


Alfredo Sauce

Make as above but add more milk, or heavy cream, a little at the time, to make it the consistency you like.
Serve over fettuccine that has been cooked as directed on the label.
We usually toss the pasta and sauce together and serve it family style.
Fettuccine Alfredo 


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mini Lemon Pies

This recipe is super simple and you have probably made it before a time or two. For the filling I just mixed 1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk with 1/2 cup lemon juice. I didn't have any lemons on hand. Isn't that terrible...living in FL? ;( Put that in the fridge to set a bit.  Instead of a baked pie crust, try graham cracker crust and freeze the pie(s).  Oh, My, Gosh!  That is so Good!  I LOVE frozen Lemon Anything!!!!

Hubby bought ready made pie crust...well, actually he bought the ones in the pie pan.   I thawed it, floured the counter a little and rolled the pie crust out. I used a Wilton Valentine pan to cook the pie crust in. You can use a muffin tin and they will be super Cute!!! Cut the pie crust out a little larger than the top of the hole. Spray the pan so the crust won't stick. Fit cut pie crust in and bake for 6 minutes., depending on size, check and cook additional time, 1-2 mintues at the time, until light brown. Take out of pan and cool on a rack. My oven is older and is finicky. I always say to cook according to your oven, not mine. ;D  Add filling to pie crust. and a dollop of whipped cream or cool whip. 
Enjoy! <3 and hUgs!



Green Bean Salad

I baked a ham today.  The boys wanted sweet potatoes and green beans.  Hubby wanted a sandwich and I wanted a salad.  I love how you can use ham in so many ways and there is still plenty left for another day or two plus I'll use the bone for soup or beans.   So looking forward to that!
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Green Bean Salad

Saturday, January 21, 2012

White Chocolate Butterscotch Blonde Brownies

My boys were looking through their closet this afternoon and found an unopened Muppets DVD.  You would have thought it was Christmas the way they carried on.  They had to watch it and needed popcorn!  I started the movie, made the popcorn and thought about making brownies.  Knowing popcorn wouldn't last very long I looked on the internet.

I found out tomorrow is National Blonde Brownie Day. I have never made Blonde Brownies *Blondies*  before.  There, I said it.  I  know, it is hard to believe but true.  I have been thinking about making them for some time now but never did for some reason or another. Well, that did it!   I'm making them for my boys.  There were several recipes I looked at and used a little of this one and more of that one.  Added this and deleted that. You get the idea.   I ended up using butterscotch and white chocolate chips in them.  By the way, I found out two of my boys do not like butterscotch!

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Greens and Cornbread Bites

Here is something a little different for you.  Greens and Cornbread Bites.  Yep...a true southern snack if there ever was one.  use your favorite Greens, fresh, frozen or canned.  This is a very forgiving recipe.  Adjust all ingredients to your liking.  Hope you enjoy these..


Thursday, January 19, 2012

National Popcorn Day

Today is National Popcorn Day!  This is the first time we have bought popcorn that wasn't specified to be cooked in the microwave.  And, I didn't even know it was a popcorn holiday when we did!  My oldest wanted his with chocolate.  I wanted a little different.

Here ya go, our first popcorn cooked without a microwave!  ~smiles~

To cook the popcorn.
Put a little bit a canola oil in the bottom of a pot, just enough to coat the bottom.  Oh, and make certain your pot has a lid!
Watch Out!!!!

I didn't put the lid on to try and take pictures and the popcorn was ALL over the kitchen!!!!  You really don't want to know more than that!  ;D  When the oil is hot, drop a few kernels in to check.  When it pops, add enough popcorn to cover the bottom of your pan.  This is a very small pan and we made over 2 cups of popcorn. 

Chocolate Popcorn

Once popped, transfer to a large bowl.  Spray with olive oil.  Toss, repeat if necessary to give a light coat.  Sprinkle salt, toss, taste and sprinkle again if needed.  Drizzle bottled chocolate,  my oldest used Hershey's, over the popcorn and toss.  YUM!  

We also sprayed popcorn with olive oil and sprinkled with ranch popcorn seasoning.  This was mine!  Enjoy your popcorn day!  <3 and HUgs!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bean Burgers

I love to cook like a Southerner and load on the fattening stuff.  I truly love all the foods that may contain a wee teeny tiny bit too many calories.  SOOOO,   I am thinking I need to think healthier.  I'm Trying to incorporate some lower fat recipes into our diet  meals. I was getting the newspapers ready to recycle and found this recipe for Bean Burgers in the Weekend Magazine you get in the Sunday paper.   I thought I would give them a try and lo and behold, they were good!  Y'all will have to forgive the giant roll I served the bean burgers on.  It's what I had on the counter.  ~smile~   Y'all enjoy!  <3 and hugs!  I also write my  recipes on Examiner.com, please take a moment and subscribe to my them there.  They will be delivered to your inbox so you will not miss one.  A few of the recipes are not on my blog.  Check them out, I often add slideshows to the recipes. too.  Love and hugs!

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Bean Burgers

1 can pinto beans, drained with liquid reserved
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt to taste 

Mash the beans, with just a little liquid, with a fork or pulse in the food processor.  Add more liquid as needed.
Add garlic powder, pepper and salt, if desired.  Or, use your own hamburger seasonings.
Start with 1/4 bread crumbs and add more as needed.
Form into 1/2" thin patties.

Generously spray cast iron skillet or non stick pan, with cooking spray.
Heat to medium and add patties.
Cook on medium low to medium until brown and starting to firm up. 
Flip.
Cook until bottom is brown and burgers are almost firm to firm, depending how you like them.  
Place on bun and your favorite fixings.  
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This one was mine!  Enjoy!  <3 and HUgs! 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Filled Sugar Cookies and Afternoon of Fun!

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Banana Nut Cookies

Yesterday, we started our day by going out to eat.  While the food wasn't the greatest...being together was.  After brunch and a quick trip to the store, seems we do that far too often, we came home only to leave a few minutes later.  I took the boys to the playground.  They had fun sliding, swinging and climbing.  I had fun watching, taking pictures and feeling so blessed that I must have looked silly walking around with a continuous smile on my face.  ;D  SEE!

We came home to find a huge container of our Son In Law's delicious spaghetti sauce!  We absolutely love it and consider it a treat when it is given to us.  I cooked fettuccine for the pasta and a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan topped it off.  A salad of romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers and a little parmesan.  Toasted slices of a baguette, I topped some with garlic butter while Reid made pizzas out of the others.

For dessert we had cookies.  I used sugar cookie dough and added fillings.  The Boys Loved Them!  We added peanut butter, chocolate chips, junior mints, peanut butter and chocolate chips, a candy bar and my favorite...banana nut!

Super easy to make.  All you need is...

Sugar Cookie Dough and Whatever filling you want.  A dab of this, a sprinkle of that.

For all cookies.......

Flatten a heaping tablespoon of cookie dough.  Add your desired filling.  Fold over.  Add a little more dough if needed to completely seal.  Roll into a ball.  Place onto an ungreased cookie sheet.   Cook in a preheated 350 degree oven. Cook 5 minutes, turn pan around.  Cook an additional 3-6 minutes, checking after 3 minutes.  Cookies are done when edges start to turn golden brown.  Keep on 1-2 minutes on cookie sheet before you transfer them to a cooling rack.  I know you can't wait for them to cool...go ahead and eat them warm, I won't tell.  ~smile~
As always..My oven cooks different than yours, please adjust time accordingly.  

For the banana nut cookies, I sliced bananas.  Sprinkled with lemon juice , optional, and brown sugar.  Chopped a few walnuts.

For the candy bar...Cut to fit inside the cookie.

All others...just fill, fold and roll.

To a tablespoon of sugar cookie dough, flatten out and add filling.

Fold over, add a little more dough if needed, and roll in a ball. 

The sun is trying to peak through.

Peanut Butter 

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chips

Wade wants that Peanut Butter Cookie!  <3

Peanut Butter Cookies...Yeah, they are vain.  LOL


STATIC!!!!!!  LOL  <3

Chocolate Chips...just a couple.

Caught in the act!   <3

Here is another little hand.  <3 

Time for a break and swirl on the seat awhile.  <3

Endless Cookies!!!!!!!


The twins......<3 and HUGs!


Dark Milky Way...MMMMM!


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mini Chocolate Pie Cups ..... Low Fat

My oldest, Lucas, and I are trying to make up for the Baked Breaded Bacon, I made the other day.  ~smile~ For dessert I made mini chocolate pies in wonton baskets.  Sugar free pudding mix made with fat free milk and non fat whipped topping topped with mini semi sweet chocolate chips.  MMMMM!  The shell was nice and crispy, together with the creaminess of the pudding and topping and little hard bites of the chips...made for a satisfying dessert.  Make it your own by using berries and whipped topping, vanilla pudding and sliced, or diced bananas...you get the idea.  Place it in the mini cups and they will be cute as a button!  Hope you like them, too!  <3 and HUgs!


Mini Chocolate Pie Cups....Low Fat

wonton skins
3 oz fat free pudding mix, any flavor
1 1/2 cups fat free milk
non fat whipped topping...the kind in the container, or make your own

You'll need a mini muffin pan.

Make pudding and set in refrigerator.  Make this 30 minutes or more, before you make the pies.  Putting in the freezer for a few minutes if needed.  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Place wonton skins in muffin pan
Bake for 5-10 minutes, until set 
As always, my oven is different than yours. Please adjust time accordingly
Allow to cool.  Make these while your pudding is setting or even the morning of or night before.  Store in an airtight container or bag.  Be careful and do not crush them.

Allow children to make their own.  Place everything out in assembly line fashion and let them have at it.  Mini M n M's, chopped nuts,  sliced bananas,  strawberries or any berries,  little scoops of ice cream.... You get the idea.  
The boys had fun making theirs.  

Yeah, We play with our food!  ~smile~

Enjoy!  <3 and HUGs!  

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Baked Breaded Bacon

My hubby, Ted, bought bacon the other day while grocery shopping.  Yep,  he does that!  I didn't know what I was going to cook tonight.  While rummaging around in the fridge, I found it.

Okay..now I have bacon.  What am I going to do with it?   I remembered Nel of The Paper Cup Kitchen  mentioned cooking bacon in the oven,  on her facebook.  I don't recall the instructions for it but do remember thinking that my Sweet Grandma and Mama did that!  I also remembered them breading the bacon with flour.  Flour........I used seasoned flour the other day when I fried fish.  Oh My Gosh,  this is really sounding good to me now.  Now I know what I have to do.  I hope you like it like we did.  These were very thin pieces of bacon and did very well.  Boys kept coming back for more.  I broke the bacon in halves.  One boy had 6 pieces, one had 4 and the other doesn't like bacon....I know can you imagine? lol  <3 and hUgs!

Baked Breaded Bacon

12 oz or however much you want to cook,  low sodium bacon
1 to 2 cups seasoned flour...any breading mix will work, or make your own
I used Kentucky Kernel Seasoned Flour

Spray cookie sheets. I used 2 for 12 oz.
Put flour on a plate, in bowl or plastic bag.
Coat bacon completely.
Place on greased cookie sheets.
Place in COLD oven.
Turn oven on to 350 degrees.
Cook for 10 minutes and get out of oven.
Flip the bacon over and put back in oven, turning pans around.
Cook for another 3 - 5 minutes, if it is not done, continue cooking and check every minute or two, so it doesn't burn.
Take out when done..browned and almost crisp.
Place on paper towels to absorb excess grease. 


Enjoy!  <3 and hUgs!

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EMM Church Supper

Blackberry Buttermilk Cornmeal Scones with Lemon Glaze

I have never made scones before and have only eaten them a time or two.  Yesterday....Nettie Moore of Moore or Less Cooking was talking about scones on facebook.  I couldn't get them out of my mind!  All day I thought about them and went on a search for a recipe.  I never did find one I wanted to try so I made up one from many different ones.  This one is slightly sweet, moist yet firm, a hint of buttermilk and cornmeal as you take each pleasurable bite.  I hope you like them as much as my hubby, Ted, did.  He ate most of them. ~smile~

Blackberry Buttermilk Cornmeal Scones with Lemon Glaze
makes 8

2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup plain cornmeal...you could use more, this gives it just a hint of cornmeal
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 granulated sugar
1 1/2 to 2 cups blackberries, well drained..I used frozen and took them out when I started making the recipe
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
1 egg, beaten
1/2 to 1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup superfine sugar, also called caster or baker's sugar, to sprinkle on top

Lemon Glaze

2 cups confectioner's sugar
1-2 Tablespoons lemon juice...depending on how tart you like it

Directions for Scones

Grease cookie sheet and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Rinse fresh blackberries, or take frozen out of freezer, and drain well.
Mix dry ingredients together.

Grate frozen butter and add to dry ingredients.

 Using a pastry cutter, two knives, or as I do...a fork.  Cut the butter into the flour mixture until it is coarse like sand.
Add beaten egg and 1/2 cup buttermilk. 

Gently mix together until a soft dough forms.  Add more buttermilk if needed. Do not over mix.

Put some flour on clean counter or wax paper.  Mine is on a flimsy cutting board.

Knead the dough a several times adding more dough if too sticky.

Add well drained blackberries.  Mine were to wet and I kept adding more flour, 1/2 Tablespoon at a time.

When blackberries are incorporated in the dough, pat into a 8" circle about an 1" or so, thick.  

Sprinkle 1/4 cup superfine sugar on top of dough.  If you don't have this, you can make it by putting regular granulated sugar in a food processor until it is superfine.  I didn't do this and used regular granulated sugar.  I won't do that again.

Cut into 8 triangles...cleaning knife after each cut.
Or.....Pat into a square.  Cut into fourths. Then cut each quater into triangles.

Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.  Turn and bake for another 5-10 minutes.  Checking after 3-5 with a toothpick to see if it comes out clean.  Mine was done at 18 minutes.  
As Always...My oven cooks different than yours.  Please adjust time accordingly. 
Remove from pan and place on rack.

These are best eaten fresh out of the oven while still warm.  Enjoy! <3 and Hugs!

While scones are in the oven.  Mix confectioner's sugar with lemon juice (start with 1 Tbsp) until well blended.  Adjusting lemon juice to taste.  

Drizzle over scones, if desired, once they are out of the oven.  






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