Friday, November 30, 2007

Holiday Appetizers

Each month a group of ladies from our church get together for a cooking class. As we have many countries and cultures represented in our church these are usually recipes and foods from other lands. This month I was asked to be the guest cook. It won't be to international but I am going to make and share the recipes for several appetizers. It seems that during the Holidays there are always occasions to take a yummy appetizer. Here are some of the recipes I will be making and sharing tonight.

The first one is a low fat Hummus. I love Hummus but always balk at buying the pre-made ones because of the fat content. I found this one in one of my WW cookbooks and love it! It is really very tasty! I serve it with Baked Pita Bread. One of the keys to this recipe being good is the yougurt. I use Nancy's. I have tried other ones but it has not tasted as good. It needs to be a good quality plain yogurt.


1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

In a food processor or blender, puree all the ingredients until blended, but still a little chunky.

Serve with Baked Pita Chips
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut each bread round horizontally in half, then cut each half into 8 wedges. Arrange pita triangles on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp. If you like, before baking spray olive oil on wedges and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and/or garlic powder.

I love this recipe for Spinach and Artichoke Dip

1 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Dash ground pepper

Boil spinach and artichoke hearts in a cup of water in small saucepan over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. Heat cream cheese in small bowl in microwave on high for 1 minute. Add spinach and artichoke hearts to the cream cheese and stir well. Add remaining ingredients to the cream cheese and combine. Serve hot. Serve with crackers, chips or sliced, toasted bread.

I have a little crockpot that I like to put this in. I can keep it warm and take it with me if the party is away.

Another recipe that is a nice low fat one and maybe more a summer recipe but I like it anytime of the year is Chunky Artichoke Salsa

1 jar (6.5 oz) marinated artichoke hearts
1/4 cup pitted black olives, chopped
2 tablespoons red onion, chopped
3 medium plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, snipped
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Drain marinade from artichokes into medium mixing bowl. Chop artichoke hearts, olives, onions and tomotoes; add to marinade in bowl. Press garlic into vegetables; add basil and mix gently. Season with salt and pepper.

This one is great served with the Baked Pita Chips as well!

I will add a couple more later. Hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Chocolate No Bakes

Imagine my surprise when I clicked on my blog and realized I had not added a new recipe for over a week!! We have been going to a parenting class on Monday nights and my sister has been keeping Annalynn. Each week I have made them a dessert for their help with her. When we pull up the discussion at their dinner table turns to what dessert may be. Of course I make enough to take to class as well. Tonight is our last class - so alas, the last Monday night dessert from the Clarks to the Bradleys! I took the easy route tonight and made one of my favorites - Chocolate No Bakes. These wonderful little cookies have many names and variations on the recipe but all turn out about the same.

Chocolate No Bakes

2 cups sugar
1 stick butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cocoa
4 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup peanut butter

Combine the first four ingredients in a saucepan. Stir until it comes to a rolling boil. Continue stirring for one minute. Remove from heat and add peanut butter and oats. Stir together. Quickly drop by teaspoonful onto wax paper lined cookie sheets. Let cool until they harden.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Menu Planning Monday

Well, last week went pretty well so I am going to try this again. I did switch one night around and then used that nights leftovers for another meal so did not make the Fried Noodles. I will have to try them another time! Find other great menus over at Laura's site.

Monday - Pork Roast and Rice (I have leftover pork roast from an event this weekend)

Tuesday - Crock Pot Beef Stew

Wednesday - Chicken Pot Pie with Herb Crust

Thursday - Leftovers

Friday - eat out

Saturday - Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Couldn't Be Easier Tuna Casserole

For most of our married life I have avoided making tuna casserole as early on I was informed it was not something my husband wished to eat. As he has grown up :-) he has decided that tuna casserole is not so bad after all. I had made my own recipe but recently came across my sister's recipe for this one. I did add peas as it suggests because Annalynn LOVES peas! It was easy and made enough for us to have for two meals. It is one of my favorite comfort foods so glad it is back in our menu list!

Couldn't Be Easier Tuna Casserole

4 cups cooked egg noodles
2 (6 oz.) cans tuna, drained
2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
1 can mushroom soup
1 soup can full of milk

Layer in a 2 quart casserole half the noodles, 1 can tuna and 1 cup cheese; repeat. Mix soup and milk; pour over other ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
You could add green onions, peas, olives, etc. and top off with crushed potato chips.

This could be made in a 9x13 and double the noodles, tuna and soup/milk combo.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Blueberry French Toast

I had to make "snacks" for my Bible Study group this morning and went through several ideas before I finally landed on the perfect one. One thing that we have been so blessed with is blueberry bushes in our backyard! We have a lot of frozen blueberries that we picked this summer so it only seemed right to make something with them! I found this recipe when I was adding my sister's recipes to a cookbook that my sisters and I are putting together. It was a big hit and really quite easy as it is one that you assemble the night before and then just have to bake it in the morning. I made the syrup while it was baking. It was a big hit at Bible Study and I am glad it will be in our new cookbook! It is originally from Taste of Home.

Blueberry French Toast

12 slices day old white bread, crusts removed
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
12 eggs
2 c. milk
1/3 c. maple syrup or honey

1 c. sugar
2 tbsp. corn starch
1 c. water
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tbsp. butter or margarine

Cut bread into 1-in. cubes; place half in a greased 9x13 baking dish. Cut cream cheese into 1-in. cubes; place over bread. Top with blueberries and remaining bread. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add milk and syrup, mix well. Pour over bread mixture. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake at 350* for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 25-30 minutes more until golden brown and the center is set. In a saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch; add water. Bring to a boil over medium heat; boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in blueberries; reduce heat. Simmer for 8-10 minutes or until berries have burst. Stir in butter until melted. Serve over French toast.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Chicken with Veggies

This is another recipe that I have had for many years and it is another favorite! It is very simple to make with great results!

4 chicken breast half without skin
1 pkg (12 oz) mushrooms, halved
3 small onions, quartered
1 large yellow pepper, diced large
1 large red pepper, diced large
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons water

Stir fry chicken - then vegetables seperatley. Meanwhile mix other ingredients except basil. Add to chicken and veggies - then add basil. Cook 5 minutes. Serve over rice.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Lily's Fried Noodles

This recipe is from my friend Lily who is from Indonesia. She made these the other night at a cooking class and not all the directions were written down. I have tried to write it down as she did it. She cooks like I do - by taste and sight. I am going to attempt to make these on Tuesday so if there are changes I will post them. This recipe would make a large batch - unless you are cooking for a large family I would probably half it. The vegetable seasoning that is in the recipe is like bouillon but vegetable based. It is available in an Asian market - not sure if there is a product like that in regular grocery stores. The Kepac Mannis is only available in Asian groceries at least in our area. It would be best to make this in a wok or at least a very large frying pan.

2 pounds Yakisoba noodles (you can also use spaghetti noodles)
1/2 pound chicken, cubed and marinated in soy sauce and rice wine
1/2 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup oil
3 eggs
1/2 pound napa cabbage, chopped
1/2 pound carrots, julienned
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons vegetable seasoning
2 tablespoons Kecap Manis (sweet soy sauce)
4 green onions
bean sprouts

Marinate chicken in rice wine and soy sauce for a few minutes. Stir fry chicken; when the chicken changes color add carrots and saute for a few more minutes. Add shrimp. Make a hole in the middle of the food and break the eggs into the pan; when the whites begin to turn white stir them a little and let them cook. Add cabbage and continue to stir fry. Meanwhile heat noodles in microwave for 3 minutes (if you are using dry noodles - fix according to package directions and do not microwave - they just need to be warm already when they are added to the veggies) Add noodles and other ingredients. Continue stir frying until well blended and heated through.
If you add bean sprouts - you should not keep for leftovers. If you don't think that it will all be eaten and want to include bean sprouts; serve them on the side.

Menu Planning Monday

I have been motivated to plan my menu by Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie.
I am going to attempt to plan a menu this week and stick with it. Since my recipe blog is new I don't have all my recipes here yet but will link the ones I do have.

Monday - Spaghetti I made my sauce today (Sunday) and will freeze two batches for another week

Wednesday - eat out - late dr's appt

Thursday - Tuna Casserole

Friday, November 2, 2007

Mushroom Cheddar Frittata

Another hit from Everyday Food! I made this Mushroom Cheddar Frittata last night for dinner and it got rave reviews from my husband who had to it eat it on the run as he got called out just as we were sitting down for dinner :-(. Annalynn has been sick and has not been eating much but did pick out the mushrooms and ate them. She loves her veggies!! The other night at Panda Express the lady behind the counter gave her candy. We let her eat it since it was on Halloween and she ate it intermittently with her zucchini and mushrooms.
Mushroom Cheddar Frittata

1 package (10 oz) white mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
1/2 pound red new potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
coarse salt and ground pepper
8 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 cup shredded white cheddar
1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and patted dry

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a 9 inch deep-dish pie plate, toss mushrooms, potatoes, and oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast 20 minutes, tossing once. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, mustard, hot pepper sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Stir in cheddar and broccoli. Pour egg mixture over mushrooms and potatoes, and stir to distribute them. Bake until puffed and set in the middle, and a paring knife inserted in center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes.