Thursday, October 21, 2010

7 Up Salad - aka Bring the Green Jello!

Before you read the ingredient list, I insist that you try it before you say "ew" and skip over it. Sure, there is a weird ingredient in it, but that's what makes it tangy. I'd be happy to make it for you, : ) cuz then I'd get some!

It's the Jello dish of the gods. Yum.

So, as far as I know, this recipe comes from my Great Grandma Edwards. If she is the creator, she is a culinary genius. This jello side/dessert is present at almost every Edwards/Baker family gathering, and I recently shared it with my work crew. I have new fans : )

7 Up Salad

Cook until melted:
7 oz. 7 Up (or other clear lemon lime soda)
1/4 lb Marshmallows (mini's are fastest to melt)

3.4 oz pkg Sugar Free Lime Jello (or regular)
12 oz. Neufchatel Cream Cheese (or regular)
Stir until smooth.

20 oz. can crushed pineapple (do NOT drain)
Chill until partially set.

Fold in:
1 c. Heavy Whipping Cream - whipped
2/3 c. Light Mayonnaise (or regular) (that's the weird ingredient)

Chill until set. Grab big serving spoon and 7 Up Salad. Hide from family. Eat all in one sitting. Die of happiness.

I would assume that you could do this with orange soda, orange Jello, and mandarin oranges, but I'm just so in love with the original that I haven't tried.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do... or not, then I'd get it all to myself : )

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

French Onion Soup

My wonderful aunt stopped by the other day to get the pictures from her recent trip to Germany, and dropped off a cookbook. WeightWatchers New Complete Cookbook has some great and interesting recipes in it, not at all seeming like a diet cookbook!

Tonight I made French Onion Soup.
Now, I've never had French Onion Soup before so I had no idea what to expect, nor did I know it is simply broth and a whole lot of onions. I was slicing a slivering leeks and onions and the pile just kept getting bigger and bigger. That's really all it is. Hmmm...

Well, Dad loved it, Boo loved it, Chelle hasn't tried it yet, and I am unsure. Isn't that lame? That's the second dish I've made where everyone loves it, but I just think it's ok. I know a lot of people love French Onion Soup and all the glorious onions, but I think I was just overwhelmed after not knowing what to expect. Dad and Boo practically licked my cute little ramekins clean, but I just finished the broth and half the onions. Still though, for a diet book's measured-out single serving, I was surprisingly full.

Dinner tonight was simply a small, fresh salad, French Onion Soup, and a slice of French Bread.

French Onion Soup
Serves 2

2 t. Olive Oil
2 small-medium Spanish Onions (or yellow) Slivered
1 small Leek, sliced and cleaned
1 c. low sodium Beef Broth
1/8 t. Pepper
1 c. Water
2 slices French Bread (or 4 slices small baguette)
grated Parmesan Cheese
shredded reduced-fat Swiss Cheese

In nonstick saucepan over medium heat, heat oil. Saute the onions and leek until onions are golden, about 15-20 mins.

Add broth, pepper, and water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

Preheat the broiler. Place 2 oven safe/flame proof bowls on baking sheet. Ladle soup into bowls and top with bread. Sprinkle parmesan, then swiss. Broil until cheese melts, about 2 minutes.

Nutritional Information (per bowl)
cal 264
fat 10g
carb 32g
fiber 4g
protein 14g
WW points - 5

So a little something I didn't know how to do was prepare leeks. I've never worked with them before. I had no idea they were so big. Chelle went out to buy them and was looking for 1 SMALL leek. I don't think that's possible... They are monsterous!!
Anyways...  To prep a leek, you cut off the base, but just a small bit, or it all falls apart. Then you remove/cut off the green leaves. The white part of the leek is the only part used, (what a waste). Cut the leek in half the long way, then slice/chop/dice. When you've cut it as your recipe says, place it in a colander under water, or a bowl of cold water, to wash. The was the plant is designed, a lot of dirt is easily trapped between all the layers. Make sure you clean your leeks!!!

The original recipe (above) serves 2 and it was so easy to double, though I only used 3 and 1/2 onions, instead of 4.
I hope you like it!!!

Penne with Polish Sausage and Veggies

Ready in 25 minutes.
This is, simply put, grown up macaroni and cheese. It is so easy and so tasty! It's got your grain, protein, and vegetables. The original recipe called for Kielbasa and frozen Sugar Snap Peas, but I already had Polish Sausage and bagged Snow Peas. Also, I like whole grain pasta. It's really easy to swap out ingredients in this recipe. Feel free to experiment : )

The original recipe is courtesy of the Pillsbury Favorite Casseroles cookbook.

Penne with Polish Sausage and Veggies

Serves 6-8
1 lb uncooked Penne Pasta
1 Red Bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large Onion, cut into small wedges
small bag Snow Peas (the ones found in the produce area with prepared fruits and veggies)
2 Polish Sausages (the ones like footlong hot dogs)
1 c. Milk
16 oz. Velveeta, or similar product, cubed

Cook penne as directed. Drain, and cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat 12 inch skillet over med-high heat until hot. Add bell pepper, onion, and peas; cook 4-5 minutes, or until veggies are crisp-tender. Stir frequently, drain if necessary.

Reduce heat to medium. Add polish sausage, milk and cheese to veggies. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth, stirring frequently.

Add cooked penne, stirring to coat. Cook 1-2 minutes longer until thoroughly heated.

estimated Nutritional Information 
(based on the original recipe)
cal 470
fat 19g
carb 48g
fiber 4g
protien 27g

Like I said, I did change the recipe a bit, as well as adding garnish. I topped it with diced tomatoes and some green onion for color.

This is nice and easy, but super tasty!


Friday, October 15, 2010

Citrus Chicken with Rice and Veggies

This is a recipe for the days you know you aren't going to have time for dinner prep later, and your only downtime is between 7 and 9 in the morning. Have you met my friend - Mr. Crock Pot? He really is perfect.

Dad, Boo, and Chelle loved this. Dad just loved the flavors and and tenderness of the slow cooked chicken. I , personally, thought it was good but I wasn't as big of a fan as the family was. I don't know that Citrus flavored meat are really my thing. But don't take my opinion... get your own!

Ok, this recipe is courtesy of 1001 Slow Cooker Recipes with adjustments by me. I made this last night for dinner and got awesome feedback. The lime and thyme really give you a kick of flavor and wake up your taste buds. If you like citrus flavor and are looking for a different way to season your chicken, look no further!

 Citrus Chicken with Rice and Veggies

4-6 bone-in Chicken Thighs
1/4 c fresh Lime Juice (about 1 and 1/2 large Limes)
14 oz can Chicken Broth
1 t. minced Garlic
1/2 t. dried Thyme Leaves
1/4 c. Butter, melted
3-4 c. Instant/Minute Rice
2 c. Frozen Peas, thawed (That's what I used anyway, canned might not hold up)
1 t. Dried Parsley (optional)

Place thawed chicken in sprayed slow cooker.

Combine lime juice, broth, garlic, thyme and melted butter in small bowl and mix well. Pour over all chicken. Cover and Cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours.

Remove chicken to platter. Increase heat to HIGH. Stir in rice and peas, cover and cook 15 minutes.

Serve chicken over rice, sprinkled with parsley.

--So technically the directions say to leave the chicken in the crock pot and stir in rice and peas, and that's what I did, but I think this will work better EDIT 1. The rice ended up on top of the chicken and I couldn't get all the rice cooked evenly, and served a couple crispy kernels. Not Cool : (
--Also, after 8-10 hours of cooking the chicken just about falls apart so remove it carefully.
--The original recipe called for only one cup of rice, but that's just not enough to serve everyone. Also, there is a ton of broth, so you can probably cook about 2 cups of rice if you want it. EDIT 2

I hope you enjoy this. It really is a quick prep, and I just served it with a side of broccoli.

Cook on!

1 - I cooked this again and took the chicken out before adding rice and peas. Wonderful.
2 -  I made this again and used about (unmeasured) 4 cups of rice. The great thing about minute rice is that it only takes a few minutes to cook, so you can tell if you have enough liquid to add more rice. With this much rice, you get cooked rice and no broth/juice. : ) just what I wanted.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Cook's Comments

Hello there!

So my little sister was cooking yesterday, and it inspired me to add a little note... Her Chicken Corn Chowder turned out fabulous, (one day it will appear here) but some moments in the kitchen were almost ...scary.

Things to know before cooking:

" c. " is an abbreviation for cup(s), whereas "cans" will be spelled out. (You want 5 cups of broth... not 5 cans...)

Big T. is Tablespoons, little t. is teaspoons.

You want to know how much a recipe yields before you make it.  A 3-4 serving recipe is not going to be enough for a 4 hungry persons family.

If you have to saute some vegetables in a frying pan, then add them (not drained) to an empty soup pot, you can usually skip the first pan and just saute them in the soup pot, and go from there. Save yourself a dish.

and last but not least...

1 and 1/2 + 1 and 1/2 = 3.. not 5.

Apple Cream Pie

Hello Cooks! Today I present you with a NO-BAKE dessert. I love pie : ) especially apple pies. I've been called crazy, but I am not such a huge fan of traditional pie crust, or all the mush that goes in pie with the fruit. So, when I found this non-traditional Apple Pie, I decided it's better than the rest. You don't have to agree, but at least try it out. It's easy to make and doesn't take much time, so you can throw it together the day you need it. Make it before dinner, and it's ready when you are!

Now, there are a lot of this-or-that's in this recipe, but don't freak out. If you don't like to make decisions when reading recipes, just do the first option, my preference, listed. The ingredients in (parentheses) are from the original recipe.

 Apple Cream Pie

1 9” Graham Cracker Crust (or pre-baked pie crust)
4c. Thinly Sliced Granny Smith Apples (or about 3 Large apples)
2T Sugar
2T Lemon Juice
Dash of Cinnamon (optional)
¼ cup butter
8 oz. Nuefchâtel (or original Cream Cheese)
1c. + ½ c. Cold Milk
3.4 oz pkg Sugar Free Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix (or original)
1t Lemon Peel
¼ c. Apple Jelly (or Strawberry, if you want it topped red)

Sautè apples, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice in butter until slices are soft but still hold together. Set aside on paper towel to remove excess liquid, and cool.

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add 1c. Milk, dry pudding mix, and lemon peel. Add remaining milk. Beat until thick.

Spread into crust and arrange apples on top. Heat jelly in microwave for 20-30 seconds until thin. Brush jelly on top of apples.

Refrigerate at least one hour.

Note: Since I usually have sautèd apple slices left over, I layer about 8-10 on the crust before adding filling.
Sometimes liquid appears on top of pie, around edges, prior to serving. Dab off with paper towel.

I hope you enjoy this! I think it's so great and easy.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Mommy's Chicken Enchiladas

Hello there my Sous Chefs! This is a recipe I love. I got it from my mom and I'm so glad she has it. She's made it, I've made it, but my favorite is when we make it together : ) though, we usually have to have extra chicken because we snack on it while we assemble the enchiladas - oops!

I hope you love it!

Mommy's Chicken Enchiladas

8 pack large Flour Tortillas
Grated Monterey Jack Cheese
Grated Cheddar Cheese
3 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
Whole Chicken's worth of cooked shredded chicken
2 pints Sour Cream
Sliced Olives
Chopped Green Onions
Green Chilies
1 diced Green Pepper
Chopped Tomatoes


Mix Cream of Chicken Soup and Sour Cream


Lay out 1 tortilla.

Layer 2-3 tablespoons of each of the following: Chicken, Cheese, Peppers, Onions, Sauce.

Roll up.

Lightly coat bottom and sides of 13x9 pan with sauce. Place each Enchilada seam side down in dish. Pour remaining sauce so all are covered.

Bake 350° for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and top with shredded cheese, olives, onions, tomatoes, and chilies. Bake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.


Lemon Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Lemon Cream Cheese Cupcakes

I'm about to go pick up my sister from the airport, but I'm grabbing a cupcake uh, healthy vegetable on the way out the door : )

This recipe is courtesy of

Lemon Cream Cheese Cupcake

1 pkg (2 layer) White Cake mix
3.4 oz Lemon Instant Pudding mix
1 c. Water
4 Egg Whites
2 T. Vegetable/Canola Oil
1 t. Fresh Lemon Zest (optional, enhances lemon flavor)


Beat cake mix, pudding mix, water, egg whites, and oil in mixer on low speed until moistened.
Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Spoon into 24 lined 2.5 in muffin cups.
Bake at 350° for 21-24 minutes. Cool in pan ten minutes then move to cooling racks.

16 oz. Powdered Sugar
8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
¼ c. Butter, soft
2-3 T. Lemon Juice
1 t. Fresh Lemon Zest (optional, enhances lemon flavor)


Mix all on low speed until well blended.

Do not attempt to make frosting thicker by adding more powdered sugar. This works for other frostings, but the butter in this frosting makes it a smooth frosting. Additional powdered sugar makes the frosting almost sickly sweet.
Buy a fresh lemon. You will get enough juice and have fresh zest for flavor and garnish.
Substitute : Prepare using PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese.

Calories 240
Fat 9g
Carbs 40g
Protien 2g
Calcium 6%

Cook's Comments

I breathe. I blink. I sneeze. I cook. I smile. I think. My heart beats.
All this I do without conscience consent or warning. It just happens, and good thing, too!

This is a way for my to share all my recipes and notes with all of you. I'm pretty sure this blog will end up being mostly recipes, but some stories are bound to slip through. You'll be reading a recipe for Mousse and end on a story about cleaning walls. This I guarantee.

Read, comment, question, and inspire. You might end up caught in the kitchen with me someday.