Thursday, March 29, 2012

Barbecued Chicken Stuffed Potatoes

I love stuffed baked potatoes, my son - not so much, since he is anti any kind of potato. This was a great compromise because I felt like he was still getting a hearty healthy meal, even if he just ate the topping of the potatoes! :) Plus my husband like the extra "skins" that were tossed his way!!

Barbecued Chicken Stuffed Potatoes
(recipe found in Taste of Home Healthy Cooking)

4 large potatoes
cooking spray
1 teaspoon garlic salt with parsley
1 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
2/3 cup barbecue sauce
1 can (16 ounces) chili beans, undrained
1 can (2 1/4 ounces) slice ripe olives, drained
2 green onions, sliced
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced fat colby monterey jack cheese
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream

Scrub and pierce potatoes. Coat with cooking spray and rub with garlic salt with parsley; place on a microwave safe plate. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 18-22 minutes or until tender, turning once. Cut each potato in half lengthwise. Scoop out the pulp, leaving 1/2" shells. Discard pulp or save for another use. In a large bowl, combine chicken and barbecue sauce. Spoon into potato shells. Top with beans, olives and green onions; sprinkle with cheese. Place on a baking sheet. Bake, uncovered, at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until heated through. Serve with tomatoes and sour cream.

Serves: 8
Points: 5 points

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Beef Stuffed Shells

This was a tricky recipe for me - mainly because it required making it early and letting it sit in the refrigerator overnight. Normally this would be awesome for me but for some reason I kept leaving it until the night that I wanted to have it and then having to frantically make something else... I'm glad that I finally got around to making it the night before because it was delicious!! We scarfed down the shells and the kids thought that this was a fantastic meal!! These shells are definitely easier to stuff then the manicotti, which was another plus for me! :) So, make these for your family - just don't forget to make it the night before! :)

Beef Stuffed Shells
(recipe found in (Taste of home Healthy Cooking)

20 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
1 pound lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 1/4 cups reduced fat ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced fat italian cheese blend, divided
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup prepared pesto
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) italian diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (8 ounces) no salt added tomato sauce
1 teaspoon italian seasoning

Cook pasta according to package directions to al dente; drain and rinse in cold water. In a large skillet, cook the beef, onion and green pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 1 cup italian cheese blend, parmesan cheese, pesto, egg and half of the beef mixture.

In a small bowl, combine tomatoes, tomato sauce and italian seasoning. Spread 3/4 cup into a 9x13 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon cheese mixture into pasta shells; place in baking dish. Combine remaining beef mixture and tomato mixture; spoon over shells. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove dish from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Serves: 10
Points: 7 per 2 shells

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Crescent Roll Pizza

I saw this recipe on pinterest and had to recopy it immediately! I knew that the daycare kids (and my kids!) would love it and I was right... They thought that they were the best things ever and wanted more and more! It is a fun way to switch up the menu with something that I knew that they would like.

Crescent Roll Pizza
(recipe found on

1 can crescent rolls
turkey pepperoni
string cheese
pizza sauce for dipping

Preheat oven to 375. Unroll crescent rolls. Layer pepperoni on large side of the triangle.

Place 1/2 of string cheese on top of pepperoni. Roll up crescent roll and place on baking sheet. Bake 10-15 minutes, until browned and crescent rolls are no longer doughy. Dip in pizza sauce.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup
(recipe provided by Nourishing Hearts!)

1 (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 (8 ounces) tomato paste
2 (14 1/2 ounces) black or pinto beans
2 (14 1/2 ounces) corn
1 package taco seasoning
1 package dry ranch dip seasoning
1/2 cup salsa
1 green pepper, chopped
2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded

Combine ingredients and mix well. Freeze.

To Serve: thaw and ADD 1 cup water. Heat and simmer to blend flavors. Serve.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

No Boil Three Cheese Manicotti

Manicotti is a great filling meal that I have started to make more often... I like finding manicotti recipes that call for filling the noodles before you cook them - that makes it SO much easier to fill! Anything easier is better in my eyes! :) This was a quick and easy meal that our whole family enjoyed...

No Boil Three Cheese Manicotti
(recipe provided Nourishing Hearts!)

Filling Ingredients:
2 cups cottage cheese
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoons pepper

Remaining Ingredients:
1 (8 ounces) package manicotti
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 jar marinara sauce

Combine filling ingredients and gently mix until thoroughly combined. Fill manicotti shells. In a 9x13 pan spread about 1/2 cup of the sauce. Place filled manicotti shells on top of sauce and cover with remaining sauce. Cover with mozzarella and parmesan.

To freeze: Spray top of foil to prevent cheese from sticking and cover completely.

To serve: thaw 24 hours. Bake covered at 375 for 1 hour until shells are tender. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cheddar Chowder

I LOVE a good soup and when I find one that is quick, easy and delicious I love it even more. This recipe is a definite keep because not only is in all these things - it also includes ingredients that I usually have on hand - YAY!!

Cheddar Chowder
(recipe found in A.C.C.C.)

2 cups water
2 cups potatoes, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup ham, diced

Cheese Sauce
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Boil first 7 ingredients together until vegetables are tender. Do not drain. Add ham. Cheese Sauce: melt butter in saucepan, add flour and milk. Add cheese and melt. Add cheese sauce to undrained vegetables and ham. Serve.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Taco Casserole

Yet again Pinterest came through for me! This was a delicious healthy meal that tasted mouthwatering... It definitely tasted like you were indulging but you weren't! It's easy to lose weight with recipe like that! :)

Taco Casserole
(recipe found on Pinterest via

1 pound ground skinless chicken breast (I didn't catch this part - so I just used lean ground beef)
1/2 cup onions, chopped
1/2 cup bell peppers, chopped
1 clove garlic
1 package taco seasoning mix
8 ounces taco sauce
1 cup fat free sour cream
1 cup fat free cottage cheese
1 cup low fat tortilla chips, broken up
1 cup low fat cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 cup salsa

Heat oven to 400. Spray cooking spray on bottom of a 2 quart casserole dish; set aside. In a skillet, cook chicken, onion, peppers and garlic clove until tender. Add seasoning mix and taco sauce; set aside. Place half of broken chips in the bottom of the casserole dish. Add meat mixture to cover the chops, then cover the meat with sour cream mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and remaining broken chips. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until cheese has melted. Top with 3/4 cup salsa.

Serves: 8 (1 cup per serving)
Points: 7 per serving

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hot Fudge Marshmallow Monkey Bread

This was the fun breakfast treat that I made for the daycare kids on my daughter's birthday... I usually don't go quite so sugary that early in the morning, but I thought that it was a special occasion! :) They LOVED it - I barely got a chance to have some for myself!

Hot Fudge Marshmallow Monkey Bread
(recipe found at

1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 can (16.3 ounces) buttermilk biscuits
1 can (10.2 ounces) buttermilk biscuits
13 large marshmallows
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup hot fudge ice cream topping
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking cocoa

Heat oven to 350. Grease 12 cup fluted tube cake pan with butter. Cut all 13 biscuits into quarters; set aside. In large microwavable bowl, place marshmallows, 1/2 cup butter, hot fudge topping and vanilla. Microwave uncovered on high 1-2 minutes, stirring once, until melted. Using wire whisk, stir until smooth. In medium bowl, stir sugar and cocoa until blended.

place 1/4 of the biscuit pieces into hot chocolate mixture, gently folding in to coat. Using tongs, remove biscuits from chocolate, letting excess chocolate drip off. Drop 1 biscuit piece at a time into sugar mixture; spoon sugar over biscuit to coat. Layer biscuits in cake pan. Repeat with remaining biscuits. Sprinkle any remaining sugar mixture over biscuits. Bake 30-40 minutes or until biscuits are deep golden and no longer doughy in center. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Place heatproof serving plate upside down over pan; carefully turn plate and pan over. Remove pan; immediately scrape any remaining topping in pan onto bread. Pull apart warm bread to serve.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Cake

The daycare kids have found their new favorite breakfast!! I was making this as a special treat for Valentine's Day, but it got postponed for a week or two due to illness at my house... I finally made it for them when they came back and they loved it!! Can we have this every morning were the exact words that I heard! :) It was definitely very tasty, sweet and delicious!

Cinnamon Roll Cake
(recipe found at

3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup butter, soft
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 cups powdered sugar
5 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all cake ingredients together, except butter. Slowly add melted butter. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Mix all topping ingredients together. Drop evenly over batter and swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes. Mix all ingredients for glaze together. When the cake is done cooking, pour glaze over the top.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Barbecue Chili with Corn

Barbecue Chili with Corn
(recipe found at

1 pound lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped, 1 cup
1 can (22 ounces) southern pit barbecue grilling beans, undrained
1 can (14.5 ounces) fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 box (9 ounces) frozen corn
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups corn chips

In heavy 3 quart saucepan, cook beef and onion. Drain. Stir in remaining ingredients except cheese and corn chips. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until corn is tender. Top individual servings with cheese and corn chips.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

No Knead Artisan Bread

I am a carb addict and love bread with soups, salads, casseroles, pretty much anything! :) I also love to make breads that are easy and don't take a lot of effort. This one definitely fits the bill! No kneading, just a little mixing and throw it in the fridge... Try it, seriously, it's easy! :)

No Knead Artisan Bread
(recipe found from Nourishing Hearts!)

3 cups lukewarm water (about 100 degrees)
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt (not table salt)
6 1/2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all purpose white flour

Add the yeast and salt to the water in a 5 quart container with a lid - not airtight but able to lift a corner for venting. Mix in the flour with a wooden spoon until uniformly moist. Don't knead! Cover loosely and allow to vent. Allow mixture to rise at room temperature (about 2 hours) until the mixture begins to flatten overall. If temperature is too low it can rest for longer rising time, up to 5 hours or overnight and this will not harm the result. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

On baking day: pull up and cut off a portion of dough (approximately the size of a large grapefruit). Hold dough in hands and add a little flour as needed so it won't stick to your hands. Gently shape the surface of the dough by pulling the bottom down on "four sides" shaping into a round loaf, rotating the ball as you go. This should take no longer then 20-40 seconds - more handling will result in a loaf that is dense. Place ball on parchment paper. Let it rest, uncovered, for about 40-90 minutes.

20-30 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 450 (if using a baking stone, place the empty stone in at this time too) using the middle rack in your oven. Place an empty broiler tray for holding water on another shelf below, trying not to interfere with the rising bread. Dust the top of the loaf with flour, which will allow the slashing, serrated knife to pass without sticking. Slash a few 1/4" deep cuts along the top of the bread. This will help with expanding. Slide the loaf and parchment paper onto the baking rack in the oven. Quickly but carefully, pour about 1 cup of hot water into the broiler tray and close the door to trap the steam. bake for about 30 minutes or until the crust is browned and firm to touch. Allow the bread to cool completely.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

I know, I know, it is the middle of winter... We actually just got our first good amount of snow and I am making pink lemonade cupcakes! It was my daughter's 3rd birthday and while we had an ice cream bar at the party she wanted cake for her actual birthday. I had this recipe sitting in my folder and knew that this was the time to make them... They were a great hit and oh so cute with the straws stuck inside. It was even cuter when 2 of my kids tried to suck on the straws to eat the cupcakes! :)

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes
(recipe found at

1 package white cake mix (not the pudding kind)
3 egg whites
1 cup water
1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup frozen pink lemonade, thawed, divided
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
5-8 drops red food coloring, divided
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
lemon slice candies

Preheat to 350. Beat cake mix, egg whites, water, 1/3 cup concentrate, oil and 4-6 drops food coloring. Spoon into cupcake cups. Bake 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes, remove and let finish cooling. Beat powdered sugar, butter and remaining 1/4 cup concentrate in medium bowl with electric mixer at medium speed. Beat in remaining food coloring. Spread frosting over cupcakes. Garnish with candies and straws if desired.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cheese and Chicken Shells

My newest addiction... How can I spend so many hours dreaming of everything that I want to cook, decorate, make??? It is so fascinating to me! I found this recipe thanks to my new love of pinterest and it is fabulous. Super easy to throw together, easier to stuff then manicotti and super delish! :) And to top it off it is healthy! Yay for us!

Cheese and Chicken Shells
(recipe found at

12 jumbo pasta shells
1 1/2 cups pasta sauce
2 large egg whites, gently beaten
1 1/2 cups part skim ricotta cheese
4 ounces chicken, cooked and diced
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and chopped (drain all excess water)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon chopped basil
3/4 cup part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Cook shells in boiling water according to the directions on the box. Rinse with cold water and set aside for later use. Lightly spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and spread 1/2 cup of pasta sauce evenly over the bottom of the pan. Set aside. Stir together egg whites, ricotta, chicken, spinach, garlic powder, basil and seasoning. stir in 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Fill each shell with mixture and place filled shells in the baking dish on top of the sauce. Spread remaining sauce on top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 30 minutes.

Serves: 4 (3 shells a piece)
Points: 9

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Red Lobster Cheese and Garlic Biscuits

If you have been to Red Lobster, you know that these are a must have... They are so flaky and delicious and I have to stop myself from eating the whole basket all by myself. So when I saw this recipe I knew that I had to try it. The taste was fantastic... Not as flaky as Red Lobsters version but definitely yummy!!

Red Lobster Cheese and Garlic Biscuits
(recipe found at

1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
5 tablespoons cold butter
1 cup milk
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Get a large bowl. Toss the flour, salt, baking soda, pinch of garlic and parsley together to mix. Cut cold butter into chunks. Add the butter chunks to the dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender cut the butter into the mixture. Keep mixing until it looks like coarse crumbs. Make a well in the bowl. Pour milk into the well. Using a wooden spoon mix the ingredients together. Don't overmix. Stop mixing just before everything is incorporated. Toss your shredded cheddar into the bowl and stir just until incorporated. Spoon dough onto a large cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, or until golden and crispy along the tops and bottoms. Combine melted butter and garlic. Brush hot biscuits with garlic butter and serve.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Mug Brownie

Found this recipe on pinterest, which has become my new obsession by the way ! :) I thought that it would be a fun recipe to try out and maybe do for a teacher gift for my boys' teachers for Valentine's Day. Of course I had to try it out for myself first so that I wasn't sending them something nasty! :) Wow, big mistake - it is so easy and so gooey and delicious that it might become a mainstay at my house!! Instead of eating it all myself I shared with the kids, but these could easily become addicting! So, I found a couple of cute valentine's mugs and these went off to school with the boys...

Mug Brownie
(recipe found on pinterest, for original link click here)

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
dash of salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons water

In large mug combine all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir until well combined. Place in microwave for 1 minute 15 seconds. Enjoy!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting & the SRC

This months Secret Recipe Club had me really stretching my wings! is exactly what it sounds like - a fabulous tool for recipes that are healthy, organic and yummy and SO MUCH MORE... Now I am all about the healthy cooking, but I am not so stocked with the organic side of things! :) This called for a recipe that could handle a little adapting on my part with some of the ingredients and making sure that I had (or could find) everything that I needed.

I found a few recipes that I am going to try really soon - probably this week! They will definitely include her Perfect Blueberry Scones and these Delicious Yellow Cupcakes... This time, since my brother's birthday fell right in the middle of this month's secret recipe club I decided to make these Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cupcakes... Seriously how can you go wrong?? While mine didn't include anything organic, they still tasted fabulous and I was super happy with the maybe not so healthy version!! The daycare kids helped me make these and got to enjoy them for snack. They were pretty excited with the results as well - one of my kiddos even told his mom I was "the best cooker in the world". Now if that isn't high praise, I don't know what is! :) If you would like to see all that Winnie has to offer and for the "organic" version of this recipe click here. Thanks Winnie for the fabulous treat and I can't wait to try the scones next...

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
(recipe found at

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips

2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour through salt). In a medium bowl, mix the wet ingredients (sour cream through vanilla). Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well with a rubber spatula. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour batter into cupcake tins that are lined with paper liners. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool before removing from the pan. Serve as is, dusted with powdered sugar or topped with chocolate sour cream frosting.

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler (or use the microwave; about 1-2 minutes.) Add sour cream and whisk until smooth. Frost tops of cooled cupcakes.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Grilled Banana Splits

My oldest had his first play date the other night and I wanted to make some fun treats for them after supper... I had just picked up a batch of bananas and I remembered seeing this recipe before. I searched online and came up with it in time to make these sweet treats for the kids (and one for myself!) :)

Grilled Banana Splits
(recipe found at

4 ripe bananas
chocolate chips

Cut a slit in each banana 1/2" deep, leaving 1/2" at the top and bottom of the banana. Spread slit apart to create a pouch. Stuff slit with chocolate chips and top with marshmallows. Create a "boat" with the tin foil around the banana and grill, covered, until marshmallows begin to expand and are browned. Serve warm.