Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Al's Best Doggone Pancakes

For our birthdays last year, my aunt and uncle handed out homemade maple syrup and a bag of pancake mix that they use for their pancakes. It was so easy and delicious that I actually put my box of Bisquick back on the shelf and started using this mix all the time - even when I have all my daycare kids! They are so fluffy!!

Al's Best Doggone Pancakes

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespooons sugar
3 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk
3 tablespoons oil
1 egg

Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Combine wet ingredients and stir into dry ingredients. Stir to make a smooth batter.

As you can tell by the picture, I added chocolate chips to mine! This makes them even better... Also, I usually double this recipe if I have more then just my kids eating! If you have extras you can always throw them in the freezer and have them later. I have these on hand and just pop a couple in the microwave for a minute and the kids still gobble them up!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Layered Pizza Salad

Here is an easy recipe to take along to a potluck! I threw it together in the morning and it was ready to go when we walked out the door. I was a little short on Italian dressing and it made it a little dry, so make sure that you have enough when you start this recipe! :)

Layered Pizza Salad
(recipe found in Pillsbury Potlucks)
Serves: a lot!!

1 package (16 ounces) uncooked rotini pasta
2 tablespoons salad supreme seasoning - can use 1 teaspoon italian seasoning in place of this!
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 package (3.5 ounces) sliced pepperoni
8 ounces fresh mozzarella ciliegini (cheese balls), drained, halved - can use sliced mozzarella sticks instead!
3 green onions with tops, sliced
1/2 cup sliced pimiento stuffed green olives
1 cup zesty italian dressing
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Rinse with cold water to cool; drain. In a 3 or 4 quart clear bowl, layer 4 cups pasta, 1 tablespoon of the seasoning, the red bell pepper, tomatoes, green bell pepper, remaining pasta, remaining 1 tablespoon seasoning, the pepperoni, mozzarella, onions and olives.

Pour dressing over salad; sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Refrigerate 2 hours. Stir just before serving.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Italian Baked Chicken Breasts

I found this recipe in Taste of Home Healthy Cooking and loved it! The crust of the chicken turns out to be somewhat crispy and the taste was wonderful! I tripled the recipe to make enough for my family and they all gobbled it up...

Italian Baked Chicken Breasts
(recipe found in Taste of Home Healthy Cooking)

2 egg whites
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
butter flavored cooking spray
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

In a shallow bowl, beat egg whites and vinegar. In another shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs, parsley, garlic powder and garlic salt. Dip chicken in egg mixture, then coat with crumb mixture.

Place in an 8" square baking dish coated with cooking spray; lightly coat chicken with butter flavored spray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake, uncovered, at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 170.

Personally, I skipped the butter flavored cooking spray step. I think adding more spray on top of the chicken sounds gross and I definitely try to cut out salt wherever I can... So, if you want to try it, go for it but it was delicious even without this step!

Serves: 2
Points: 4

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lasagna Roll-Ups

These are such a favorite at our house! They make a huge batch, so there are always leftovers for the next day. Honestly, they might even be better as leftovers! :) So easy to make and lasagna a little bit different...

Lasagna Roll-Ups
Makes: 12-14 roll ups

1 pound ground beef, browned and drained
1 (2 pounds) cottage cheese
2 cups mozzarella, divided
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 eggs
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 jar (28 ounces) spaghetti sauce
12-14 lasagna noodles, prepared according to package directions

Preheat oven to 375. In a medium sized bowl, combine ground beef, cottage cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, eggs, parsley and salt until well blended. Pour half of the spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan. Spoon cheese mixture over the noodles, distributing evenly and roll up tightly.

Place roll seam down on the spaghetti sauce in bottom of baking dish, top with remaining sauce.

Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and bake for 35-40 minutes or until heated through.

This recipe did not originally call for ground beef, but my hubby needs meat in everything!! So, it makes a little extra then the 12-14 noodles it calls for, so I usually add an extra small baking dish to make them all fit!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Blueberries and Cream Pie

Before I froze all my blueberries, I just had to make a pie out of some of them! I found this recipe that I have had for ages and haven't tried yet and decided to make it. I had all the ingredients, but no crust, so I hopped on-line and found a crust recipe... Not too excited about the crust, but I will share the pie recipe - cause it was DELISH!!

Blueberries and Cream Pie
(recipe found at
Serves: 8

1 unbaked pie shell
4 cups blueberries
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 400. Rinse berries and pick out any undesireable ones. After the berries have drained and are somewhat dry, pour them into the pastry shell. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Stir in the milk and the whipping cream, whisk until smooth. Pour over the berries and bake for 45 minutes. After about 30 minutes you may want to cover the edges of the crust with foil if it is getting too dark. Cool on a wire rack and refrigerate 2 hours before serving.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Banana Blueberry Smoothies

I got a 20 pound box of blueberries the other day and was working on freezing them for muffins and other deliciousness and I came across this smoothie recipe that I had to try with the kids! Good thing I did, I don't think that their glasses were gone before they were asking for more!!

Banana Blueberry Smoothies
(recipe found in Taste of Home Healthy Cooking)
Serves: 6

1 cup fat free milk
1 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 medium bananas, halved
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup frozen unsweetened blueberries

In a blender, combine all ingredients; cover and process for 30 seconds or until blended. Pour into chilled glasses; serve immediately.

I think that next time I make this recipe, I might try adding some ice to it. I think that it would make it a little colder and thicker, which is how I like my smoothies. But, it was definitely good this way too! If you don't believe me, just check out these faces!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Penne with Vodka Cream Sauce

This meal turned out very yummy, but was bit time consuming to make... I felt like I was in the kitchen a lot with this one, but that could have been because I was also making refrigerator pickles, cleaning and freezing blueberries and cutting up watermelon all at the same time! :) Definitely a keeper, especially on those nights where I don't want to have to bust out any meat for supper! Sorry for the horrible picture, but enjoy the recipe!

Penne with Vodka Cream Sauce
(recipe found in Taste of Home Healthy Cooking)

1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (one 28 ounces, one 14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
1/4 cup vodka
1 package (12 ounces) whole wheat penne pasta
2 teaspoons prepared pesto
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan, saute onion in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in tomatoes and vodka. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook penne according to package directions. Stir pesto, salt and pepper flakes into tomato mixture. In a small bowl, combine flour abnd cream until smooth; stir into pan. Add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Drain penne; serve with sauce. Sprinkle with cheese.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fish Tacos with Avocado Sauce

I have been wanting to try fish tacos for a while now and when I got my newest Taste of Home there was a recipe right there waiting for me! I wasn't too sure what kind of reception this was going to get, but Josh really enjoyed them also!

Please note the beautiful plating with the additional lime wedge... Josh was feeling artistic this evening! :)

Fish Tacos with Avocado Sauce
(recipe found in Taste of Home)
Serves: 4

1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound halibut or tilapia fillets
2 medium ripe avocados, divided
1/4 cup fat free sour cream
1/4 cup reduced fat mayo
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon dill weed
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
dash cayenne pepper
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
4 1/2 teaspoons chopped, seeded jalapeno pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 flour tortillas (6 inch)
2 cups shredded cabbage

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the lemon juice, oil and garlic. Add the halibut or tilapia fillets; seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

For sauce and salsa, peel and cube avocados. In a small bowl, mash 1/4 cup avocado. Stir in the remaining sauce ingredients. Place remaining avocado in a small bowl; stir in the remaining salsa ingredients. Refrigerate sauce and salsa until serving.

Drain fish and discard marinade. Broil halibut or tilapia fillets 4-6 inches from the heat for 8-10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Place fish on the center of each tortilla. Top each with 1/4 cup cabbage, about 1 tablespoon sauce and 1/4 cup salsa.