Comfort Foods {Recipe & Giveaway}

(Disclosure: I received products for review but all thoughts are my own.)

If it were up to me I’d probably eat pasta every day. It’s one of the foods that brings back the most food related memories from childhood. I loved when my mom made lasagna (cheese only, no meat!) and Beef Stroganoff. My dad used egg noodles to make his homemade chicken noodle soup in winter. My favorite food using Creamette® Pasta though is homemade mac & cheese. I remember my grandma making it when I went to visit her years ago and thought it was odd that she added tomatoes to this cheesy pasta dish. It’s my favorite way to eat macaroni & cheese now and I can’t imagine it without tomatoes.

Since having a family of my own, quick pasta dishes have become my new comfort food. I still have the memories of pasta without the time consuming task of making the dishes. One of our favorite ways to have noodles now is to add a red spaghetti sauce to them. I make mine with just veggies but Sinisa likes his with a meat sauce. Here is one of his favorite sauces to make called a Bolognese Sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground pork or ground beef
  • 1 can of mushrooms (pieces)
  • 1 white onion (diced)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • Italian seasonings

Directions:

  • Saute the ground meat and use a spatula to break it in tiny pieces
  • In a separate pan use a small amount of oil and saute your onion and mushrooms.
  • Add meat to the onions and mushrooms
  • Simmer for a few minutes over low heat
  • Add a can of diced tomatoes (don’t drain them)
  • Add seasonings to taste (Sinisa uses garlic, basil, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper)
  • Simmer for a few minutes over low heat
  • Put a generous spoonful over noodles
  • Sprinkle with shredded cheese (optional)

When it comes to sharing good food and good times with family and friends, nothing makes us feel more at home than comfort food. Creamette® Pasta is proud to have been a part of creating comforting family meals for 100 years and – to honor ten decades of warm memories and mealtime moments – the brand is launching its Comfort Food Recipe and Essay contest.

Through May 30th, Creamette Pasta invites families from the Midwest region to share their favorite comfort food recipe made with Creamette Pasta along with an original essay of 100 words or less explaining their family mealtime memory as it relates to the recipe and what makes it so comforting for a chance to win $10,000. In June 2013, ten semifinalists will be chosen to participate in a nationwide online vote.

You can submit your recipe here: Creamette.NewWorldPasta.Com/100thAnniversary

GIVEAWAY:

One winner will win a delicious prize pack including two boxes of Creamette® Pasta, two Creamette® Pasta recipe cards, one colander and one casserole baking dish.

HOW TO ENTER:

Tell me what your favorite comfort dish made with Creamette Pasta is

Additional Entry:

Share this giveaway on a social network

Giveaway ends June 3, 2013 at 11:59pm Central time. Must be a United States resident 18 years of age or older to enter.

Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomato Orzo {Recipe}

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 ounces orzo (rosamarina) – preferably whole-wheat
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup tomato(es), sun-dried – (not oil-packed), chopped, divided
  • 1 medium tomato(es), plum – diced
  • 1 clove(s) garlic – peeled
  • 3 teaspoons marjoram, fresh – chopped, divided
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar, red wine
  • 1 2/3 tablespoons oil, olive, extra virgin – divided
  • 4 piece(s) chicken, breast, boneless, skinless – (1-1 1/4 pounds)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, black ground
  • 9 ounces artichoke hearts, frozen – thawed
  • 1/2 cup cheese, Romano – finely shredded, divided

 

DIRECTIONS

·         Cook orzo in a large saucepan of boiling water until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse.

·         Meanwhile, place 1 cup water, 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, plum tomato, garlic, 2 teaspoons marjoram, vinegar and 2 teaspoons oil in a blender. Blend until just a few chunks remain.

·         Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent burning, until golden outside and no longer pink in the middle, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; tent with foil to keep warm.

·         Pour the tomato sauce into the pan and bring to a boil. Measure out 1/2 cup sauce to a small bowl. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes to the pan along with the orzo, artichoke hearts and 6 tablespoons cheese. Cook, stirring, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Divide among 4 plates.

·         Slice the chicken. Top each portion of pasta with sliced chicken, 2 tablespoons of the reserved tomato sauce and a sprinkling of the remaining cheese and marjoram.

(Disclosure: The above recipe and image are courtesy of RecipeRehab.com. No compensation was received.)

Tropical Fruit Parfait {Recipe}

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Pure Orange Extract
  • 4 fruit choices such as finely diced mango, pineapple, grapes, strawberries or whole blueberries

Directions:

  • Combine the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, milk and orange extract in a mixing bowl and beat using an electric mixer.
  • Alternate layers of the cream cheese mixture and the fruit in a trifle dish or parfait glasses by either spooning the cream cheese mixture or piping with a pastry bag.

Note: Approximately 3/4 cup of each fruit choice allows for 2 tablespoons per layer in parfait glasses.

Serves 6

(Disclosure: This is not a compensated post. Image and recipe provided by Nielsen-Massey Vanillas.)

Strawberry Jam {Recipe}

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar (optional)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon ground chia seeds

Directions:

  • Puree berries in a food processor with the vanilla and optional coconut sugar.
  • Pour into bowl and stir in remaining whole berries and chia until well combined.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • While you’re sleeping the chia will begin to gelatinize, turning your fresh berries into even MORE of an antioxidant-rich goodness.

Recipe and image courtesy of Peggy Kotsopoulos, Host of Peggy K’s Kitchen Cures on Veria Living. This is not a sponsored post.

Bistro Beef Tenderloin {Recipe}

Cook Time45 min
Prep Time15 min
Yields12 serv.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 pounds beef, tenderloin steaks – trimmed of fat
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt, Kosher
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, black ground
  • 2/3 cup herbs, mixed, fresh – (such as chives, parsley, chervil, tarragon, thyme)
  • 2 tablespoons mustard, Dijon

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Tie kitchen string around tenderloin in three places so it doesn’t flatten while roasting. Rub the tenderloin with oil; pat on salt and pepper. Place in a large roasting pan.
  • Roast until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the tenderloin registers 140 degrees F for medium-rare, about 45 minutes, turning two or three times during roasting to ensure even cooking. Transfer to a cutting board; let rest for 10 minutes. Remove the string.
  • Place herbs on a large plate. Coat the tenderloin evenly with mustard; then roll in the herbs, pressing gently to adhere. Slice and serve.

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Calories:185
Sodium:178mg
Saturated Fat3g
Total Fat:9g
Carbs:1g
Cholesterol:67mg
Protein:24g

 

(Disclosure: This healthy St. Patrick’s Day inspired recipe is courtesy of RecipeRehab.com.)

Three Leaf Chocolate Clovers {Recipe}

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of Hershey Kisses
  • Green M&Ms (You may have to pick them out of a regular bag of M&Ms)
  • 1 bag of pretzel knots
  • Wax Paper
  • ½ cup Confectioner’s Sugar
  • Green food coloring
  • ¼ stick of butter
  • 2 T of milk

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 200°. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Place the pretzels on the cookie sheet. Place an unwrapped Hershey Kiss on each pretzel. Place the cookie sheet in the oven. Allow chocolates to melt until they become soft. Remove cookie sheet from the oven and promptly press the chocolate flat on the pretzel. Add three green M&Ms to the pretzels to form a three leaf clover. Allow the pretzels to cool completely. In a mixing bowl add Confectioner’s sugar, green food coloring, butter and milk. Add food coloring until you get your desired color. The consistency of the mixture needs to be like play dough. You can keep adding Confectioner’s sugar until desired consistency. Pinch off a piece of the icing and roll the stem of the clover with your fingers and add to the pretzel. Enjoy!

Image and recipe provided by emeals founder, Jane DeLaney.

Black Bean Avocado Dip {Recipe}

Ingredients:

·         2 Cups Canned Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed

·         2 Avocados, Diced

·         2 Plum Tomatoes, Diced

·         1 Bunch of Scallions, Chopped

·         2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Cilantro

·         1 Medium Red Onion, Diced

·         5 Oz. Italian Dressing

Directions:

In a large bowl, place black beans, avocados, tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, red onion and toss with Italian dressing.

Recipe and image courtesy of Maria Zoitas, creator of “Maria’s Homemade” line of prepared food sold exclusively at Westside Market NYC.

(Disclosure: I was not compensated for posting this recipe.)

Sweet Potato, Corn and Kale Chowder {Recipe}

 

I have the perfect meal to share today for these chilly days we have been having! This recipe is from Terry Walters, author of best-selling cookbook Clean Food. Walters says the chowder “is a colorful variation on an old favorite. It cooks up quickly and provides a balanced meal rich in nutrients all in one satisfying bowl.”

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 cups corn, fresh or frozen
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups rice milk, plus more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons cashew butter, dissolved in 1⁄4 cup hot water
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped into small pieces
  • Water or stock as needed
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In large pot over medium heat, sauté onion in oil until soft (about 3 minutes). Add celery, carrots, sweet potatoes, corn, thyme and stock and simmer 5 minutes. Add enough rice milk to cover the vegetables. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are soft (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat and add dissolved cashew butter. Partially purée using a handheld blender. Add kale, return to heat, thin with water or stock to achieve desired consistency and cook until kale is tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

SERVES 6

(Disclosure: This post is not compensated but the recipe and image were provided by Terry Walters, the author of this recipe.)

Butternut Squash Tortelloni {Recipe}

 

Photo by Tim Turner

Benny’s Chop House (444 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL, 312-626-2444) is featuring a delicious Butternut Squash Tortelloni on its menu in celebration of National Tortellini Day, February 13. Tortelloni is simply a larger version of tortellini. The sweet yet nutty flavor of butternut squash creates a comforting dish, perfect for a cold winter’s day.

Here’s the recipe if you want to try making your own to celebrate National Tortellini Day :)

Pasta Dough

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 8 oz ap flour
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp whole milk

Combine ingredients into a mixer with a dough hook on medium speed and mix until dough is smooth and elastic. 10 to 15 minutes. Remove dough from mixing bowl, wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge for 30 minutes

Pasta Filling

  • 1 pound butternut squash
  • ¼ cup cream cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Parmigiano -Reggiano
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt and white pepper taste

Dice Squash into 2 inch pieces. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Roast in an over (350°) until tender for 30+ minutes. While the squash is still warm, fold in the cream cheese, olive oil, Parmesan and salt/pepper. Let the mixture cool.

Roll out pasta dough into sheets, you should be able to see through the pasta. Cut pasta into 4 inch diameter squares. Place squash/Parmesan mixture in the center of each square. Egg wash the corners of the pasta. Make a triangle out of the square and then bring the two corners together to make the tortelloni. Cook pasta in boiling salted water for 2 to 3 minutes. Fresh pasta cooks very quickly.

Sauce

  • 1 oz. butter
  • 4 oz. heavy cream
  • 1 oz. fresh sage
  • Salt and white pepper to taste

Melt butter in pan over medium-high heat. When butter is brown, add cream and sage. Reduce by half and check seasoning. Add cooked pasta to the sauce – gentle – to lightly coat pasta and serve.
Garnish with fresh sage

(Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post but Benny’s Chop House provided the recipe and image for me to share.)

Lobster Guacamole {Recipe}

If your honey loves guacamole, surprise him or her with this special version! This recipe would be perfect for a Valentine’s Day date night at home.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced avocado (about 1 large)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 to 2 limes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon seeded, minced fresh Anaheim chili
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 3 grindings black pepper, or to taste
  • 2 ounces cooked lobster meat, chopped
  • Pickled ginger slices (gari) for garnishing
  • Sesame rice crackers

Instructions

1. In a medium, nonreactive bowl, combine the avocado, lime juice, cilantro, onion, and chili, and carefully mix together with a spoon.

2. Add the salt and several grindings of pepper, or to taste, mix gently, then fold in the lobster.

3. Serve in chilled, large martini glasses and garnish with a little of the pickled ginger on the rim of each glass. Or use other decorative bowls and garnish with a few pieces of ginger in the center of each serving. Accompany with the crackers.

 

(Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. Recipe and image were provided by Linda De Villers, Ph.D., author of Simple Sexy Food.)

 

Sandwich Recipes With Flatout

Lunch is a meal I normally skip because I’m working throughout the day so when I was contacted about creating some sandwich recipes I thought this was a great opportunity to find some deliciously easy lunch options. I stopped by Walgreens on my way home from running an errand to get some ingredients to create lunches for the week. I was surprised to see a larger variety of lunch options than I expected because I never had bought anything refrigerated from there other than soda and milk.

I am not a fancy cook but I made some delish lunch options that a wanted to share with you. The first is a warm sandwich that I am going to call the Crispy Onion Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich. The next is a cold sandwich that’s similar to a turkey club sandwich but I used cucumbers instead of tomatoes so let’s just call it a cucumber club sandwich.

Crispy Onion Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich

Ingredients:

  • Flatout Flatbread
  • Teriyaki Boneless Bites
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Blue Cheese Dressing
  • Crispy Onions (I used ones with Garlic Pepper)

Directions:

1) Make the boneless bites as directed on the box

2) Put the meat on the flatbread and sprinkle cheese on top

3) Microwave just long enough to melt the cheese a little

4) Add lettuce, blue cheese dressing, and crispy onions

5) Enjoy!

Cucumber Turkey Club

Ingredients:

  • Flatout Flatbread
  • Turkey Lunchmeat
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumbers
  • Bacon
  • Mayonnaise

Directions:

This ones super simple! Cook bacon and add all of the ingredients together instead of the flatbread. Yum!

What kind of sandwiches do you like to eat for lunch? Have you ever tried the Flatout Flatbread? Don’t wander far because in the next week or so I’ll be sharing more about Flatout and hosting a Walgreens gift card giveaway!

(Disclosure: I received compensation for this post but all thoughts are my own.)

Gluten-Free Chewy Chocolate Macaroons {Recipe}

 

You can’t go wrong with these easy to make, gluten-free macaroons. Yum. Recipe and image courtesy of Terry Walters, author of the best-selling cookbook CLEAN FOOD.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1⁄4 cup coconut milk
  • 1⁄4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup gluten- and dairy-free chocolate chips or 6 ounces dark chocolate

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In large mixing bowl, combine coconut with salt. In separate bowl, whisk together coconut milk, maple syrup and almond extract. Add to coconut and stir until evenly moist.
  • Melt chocolate chips or chocolate in double boiler or in small pot over very low heat and pour into coconut mixture. Fold until evenly combined. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Scoop batter by the tablespoonful and place on cookie sheet in equal-size mounds.
  • Gently press to make each mound of mixture stick together. Bake 18–20 minutes or until tops appear dry. Remove from heat and place on rack to cool.

MAKES 18 macaroons

(Disclosure: I did not receive compensation for posting this recipe.)

Chicken Fricassee With Tarragon {Recipe}

{Recipe and photo provided by BetterEats.com}

Fricassee is a classic French stew of chicken and vegetables, cooked in white wine and finished with a touch of cream. The light tarragon-infused sauce begs to be sopped up with crusty bread.

 

Cook Time25 min
Prep Time15 min
Yields4 serv.

 

INGREDIENTS

·         2 ½ pounds chicken, pieces (breast halves, thighs, and drumsticks) – bone-in, skin removed

·         ¼ teaspoon salt

·         pepper, black – to taste

·         2 tablespoons flour, all-purpose

·         1 tablespoon oil, olive, extra virgin

·         5 large shallot(s) – finely chopped, (about 1 cup)

·         1 cup wine, dry white

·         1 ½ cups broth, chicken, less sodium

·         1 medium carrot(s) – peeled and thinly sliced

·         1 pound mushrooms, fresh small button – wiped clean and halved or quartered

·         4 sprig(s) tarragon, fresh

·         4 teaspoons tarragon, fresh – chopped

·         1 tablespoon cornstarch

·         1 tablespoon water

·         ¼ cup sour cream, reduced-fat

·         2 teaspoons mustard, Dijon

 

DIRECTIONS

1.       Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour, shaking off the excess. Heat oil in a large deep skillet or Dutch oven. Add chicken; cook until browned, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

2.       Add shallots to the pan; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine and scrape up any browned bits. Simmer until reduced slightly, about 3 minutes.

3.       Add broth; bring to a simmer. Return the chicken to the pan; add carrot, mushrooms and tarragon sprigs. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer gently until the chicken is tender and no longer pink in the center, about 20 minutes.

4.       Transfer the chicken to a plate; cover with foil to keep warm. Discard tarragon sprigs. Increase heat to medium-high. Simmer the cooking liquid for 2 to 3 minutes to intensify flavor.

5.       Add cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Whisk in sour cream, mustard and chopped tarragon. Serve immediately.

 

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Calories:404
Saturated Fat:3g
Sodium:551mg
Dietary Fiber1g
Total Fat:10g
Carbs:20g
Cholesterol:138mg
Protein:48g

 

Crab Tacos with Corn, Pecan and Avocado {Recipe}

 

Crab is one of my favorite foods so I was really excited when the National Pecan Shellers Association sent me this recipe for Crab Tacos. The tacos have pecans which are full of “good” heart healthy fats. This recipe looks so delicious and seems pretty easy to make. One thing to note about these is that you have to make them ahead of time and let the meat mixture refrigerate for a bit before eating them. Enjoy! :)

Ingredients:

8 oz. crab meat
10 grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
½ cup drained canned corn
¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
½ green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 to 3 Tablespoon chopped pickled jalapeno
2 Tablespoon pickling liquid from jalapenos
1 Tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1 ripe avocado
¼ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup pecan halves, toasted
6 corn taco shells

Directions:

Several hours or day before serving, combine crab meat, tomatoes, corn, red onion, bell pepper, lime juice, pickled jalapenos and their liquid, and the cilantro in a medium bowl. Mix well, cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. Just before serving, stir pecans into crab mixture. Peel and pit avocado; mash with salt to form a paste. Spread a thin layer of avocado paste inside each taco shell. Fill shells with crab mixture and serve.

Nutrition information per serving:

protein: 11g; fat: 17g; saturated fat: 2g; carbohydrate: 19g; fiber: 3g; sodium: 331 mg; cholesterol: 34; calories: 261.

(Disclosure: The recipe and image were provided by the NPSA but this post has not been compensated.)

Chocolate Soufflé {Low-Calorie Recipe}

{Recipe and image provided by BetterEats.com}

So excited to share this recipe because I LOVE chocolate! Soufflés may look like a restaurant-only dessert, but they are actually easy to make. Whip them up right after dinner and enjoy while they’re still warm from the oven. Enjoy!

 

Cook Time20 min
Prep Time15 min
Yields2 serv.

 

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons sugar, granulated – divided

2 ½ ounces chocolate, bitter or semi-sweet – chopped

1 large egg(s)

2 large egg white(s)

1 tablespoon cream, heavy

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, ground

1/8 teaspoon salt

Sugar, powdered – as garnish, optional

 

DIRECTIONS

1.       Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 375°F. Lightly coat two 10-ounce ramekins with cooking spray; coat the insides of each with 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar.

2.       Place chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on Medium, stirring every 20 seconds, until melted, 1 to 2 minutes.

3.       Whisk egg yolk and cream in a medium bowl until combined. Whisk in the chocolate until smooth, then whisk in flour and cinnamon until incorporated.

4.       Beat egg whites and salt in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Beat in the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in four additions, until stiff, glossy peaks form.

5.       Using a rubber spatula, gently fold half the beaten whites into the chocolate mixture until fairly smooth; then gently fold this combined mixture back into the remaining egg whites until no white streaks remain.

6.       Divide between the prepared ramekins and place on a baking sheet. Bake until puffed and firm to the touch, 18 to 22 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Serve immediately.

 

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Calories:331
Saturated Fat:9g
Sodium:235mg
Dietary Fiber2g
Total Fat:15g
Carbs:43g
Cholesterol:113mg
Protein:10g

Skillet Gnocchi with Butternut Squash and Kale Pesto {Recipe}

Hearty, whole grain gnocchi and the “superfood” kale lay the foundation for this nutrient-rich comfort dish. The winning combination of canola oil and walnuts give the meal two of the best sources of plant-based omega-3 fat available. Healthy convenience foods such as pre-packaged whole grain gnocchi and frozen cubed butternut squash save time in preparing the dish.

Ingredients:

Kale Pesto:

2 cups chopped kale leaves

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

1 and a 1/2 Tbsp chopped walnuts

1 clove garlic, minced

2 Tbsp canola oil

Gnocchi:

1 and a 1/2 cups frozen pre-cut (1-inch cubes) butternut squash, thawed

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1 package (16 oz) prepared whole grain gnocchi

1 cup kale leaves, cut into fine strips

Instructions:

1. To prepare pesto: In food processor, purée kale, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, walnuts and garlic for 2 minutes until paste forms. While processing on low, drizzle in canola oil.

2. Warm large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add pesto, butternut squash, red onion (reserve 2 Tbsp for garnish) and sauté for 5 minutes. Add gnocchi and sauté another 5 minutes until thoroughly heated.

3. Top with kale strips and chopped red onion. Serve.

***

Yield: 6 servings. Serving size: 1 cup gnocchi.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving: Calories  260, Total Fat  8g

(Recipe and image courtesy of canolainfo.org)

 

Chicken Parmigiana with Spaghetti Squash {Recipe}

According to the folks at CanolaInfo.org, the trick to a crisp but healthy parmigiana is “bake-frying.” Canola oil is ideal to bake-fry breaded chicken with in a very hot oven because of its high heat tolerance (smoke point 468 °F). Using spaghetti squash instead of angel hair pasta provides four times fewer calories per cup (174 versus 42 calories).
Ingredients:

1 spaghetti squash, halved and seeded

1/2 Tbsp canola oil

1/2 cup whole grain flour

1 Tbsp dried oregano

3/4 cup whole grain bread crumbs

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 egg, whisked

4 chicken breasts (3 oz each), pounded until uniform thickness

canola oil cooking spray

2 cups your favorite marinara sauce

1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 °F (200 °C).
2. Brush squash with canola oil and place squash flesh side down on baking sheet. Bake 40 minutes or until squash is tender.
3. While squash is baking, combine flour and oregano in shallow bowl. In second shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs with pepper. In third bowl, add whisked egg.
4. Dip chicken into flour mixture, then egg, then bread crumbs – shake off excess with each step.
5. Mist breaded chicken with canola oil cooking spray on both sides and place on baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes, top with marinara and Parmesan cheese and bake additional 15 minutes until heated and cheese is melted.
6. Once squash is cooled, pull fork through flesh, creating spaghetti-like strands.
7. Serve chicken on top of spaghetti squash and sprinkle with fresh basil.

Yield: 4 servings.

Serving size: 3 oz chicken and 1 cup spaghetti squash.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving:
Calories  400

Total Fat  10 g

Saturated Fat 2.5 g

Cholesterol  125 mg

Sodium  360 mg

Potassium  580 mg

Carbohydrates  40 g

Fiber  7 g

Sugars 11 g

Protein  37 g

(Disclosure: Recipe and image courtesy of canolainfo.org. This is not a compensated post.)

Cherry Pie Bites {Recipe}

The following recipe and image come from CanolaInfo and is made with heart-healthy canola oil, which has the least saturated fat of all common culinary oils and is free of trans fat and cholesterol.
Ingredients:
Crust
  • ½ cup slivered almonds (skin on)
  • 2¼ to 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup canola oil, chilled in freezer for 2 hours*
  • 1 egg, beaten slightly
  • ¼ cup ice water
  • ¼ cup 1% milk
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar
  • canola oil spray
Cherry Filling
  • 4 cups frozen unsweetened tart cherries, thawed (drain off any extra juice)
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 1¾ Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1½ Tbsp fresh orange zest
Instructions:

1) To prepare crust: In food processor, add almonds and pulse once or twice for coarsely ground consistency. Add flour, salt and baking powder. Pulse one or twice to combine ingredients. Add cold/frozen canola oil. Pulse again once or twice.

2) In small bowl, combine egg, water, milk and vinegar. With food processor running, pour liquid ingredients through feed tube. Turn off machine as soon as ingredients are mixed, about 10 seconds.

3) Remove dough and place on lightly floured surface. Knead ingredients 4 or 5 times to finish mixing. Divide dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to roll out.

4) To prepare filling: In saucepan, combine thawed cherries and orange juice over medium low-heat for about 8 minutes. In small bowl, completely combine sugar and cornstarch. Add sugar-cornstarch mixture and orange zest to cherries. Cook cherry mixture until it comes to rolling boil. Cook for 2 more minutes until well thickened. Cool cherry filling slightly.

5) Preheat oven to 425 °F. Spray mini muffin tins with canola oil spray.

6) Roll chilled dough out on well-floured work surface. With 2½-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter, with its edge dipped in flour, cut 24 rounds from dough. Roll out remaining dough and use it to cut small decorative pieces of dough to decorate top of pies.

7) Carefully fit 2½-inch dough rounds into bottom of prepared mini muffin tin. Pat down bottom with excess coming up sides. Spoon about 1 Tbsp cooled cherry pie filling into each crust-lined cup. Carefully top each mini pie with decorative pieces of pie dough.

8) Bake for about 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown and filling is bubbly. Remove from oven and set on wire rack and cool completely, then remove from muffin tin and serve.

Yield: 24 mini pies.

Southern Stew {Recipe}

Here’s a great recipe to make on New Year’s day! A common good luck food in the southern United States are the black eyed peas. Black-eyed peas are thought to bring prosperity, so Allens Vegetables wanted to share this great recipe, wishing you only the best of the good luck that is yet to come!


Ingredients


1 Rotisserie chicken, fully cooked
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1/2 cup Green peppers, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 cup Onions, chopped
8 oz. Smoked sausage, cooked and diced
1 can Allens Cut Okra, Tomatoes and Corn
2 cans Allens Blackeyed Peas, drained and rinsed
1 32 oz. carton Low sodium chicken broth
2 cups Water
1 tsp. Cumin
1 pound medium Shrimp, peeled and deveined

Directions


Remove meat from chicken, discarding skin and bones from chicken. Chop into bite size pieces. Set aside until needed. Heat oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add peppers, garlic and onions. Saute 5 minutes until peppers and onions are tender. Add sausage and continue cooking until sausage is browned. Add okra, tomatoes and corn, peas, chicken broth and water. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Add reserved chicken and cumin. Stir to combine. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add shrimp. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until shrimp are pink and opaque, about 8 minutes. Ladle into 6 shallow soup bowls. Serve hot.

(Disclosure: Recipe and image courtesy of Allens Vegetables. This is not a compensated post.)

Eggnog Martini Recipe

So Christmas is almost here and I’m sure you are super busy with all the prep. I say once the kids are in bed tonight, you make yourself this yummy eggnog martini and relax on the couch! You deserve it!

To prepare:

1) Combine equal parts of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Frangelico and prepared eggnog in a martini shaker with ice and shake well.

2) Strain beverage into a chilled martini glass with a graham cracker crust rim, sprinkle with nutmeg and serve.

3) Enjoy! :)

The above recipe and image is from Rock’n Fish. They have 3 locations in California: Manhattan Beach, Laguna Beach, & L.A.

Cooking With Nuts {Fisher Nuts/Food Network Prize Pack Giveaway}

The holidays are just around the corner, which means it’s time to break out the roasting pans and make an extra trip (or two) to the baking aisle. Fisher Nuts is teaming up with Food Network Chef Alex Guarnaschelli, a regular judge on Chopped, to make your holiday cooking a bit easier and offer some simple twists for cooking with nuts during the holidays.

Here are some of my favorite ideas she offers:

No Regret Vinaigrette: Need a new vinaigrette? Roast a handful of nuts and blend them with 3 parts olive oil and 1 part lemon juice.

Upgraded Spice Rub: Next time you’re cooking meat, add some ground nuts to your spice rub. The nuts can mellow some of the heat from the spice and add needed richness to the mix.

Fresh Twist on Rice: Nuts are delicious in a classic rice pilaf. Stir some roasted nuts into the rice just before serving. You can also mix nuts with wild rice.

MY RECIPE

One of Sinisa’s favorite things to make for breakfast are crepes. We normally fill them with Nutella but we decided to try making a filling for them with Walnuts instead. Here’s the recipe:

Crepes Ingredients:

2 eggs

TBS sugar

2 TBS salt

3 cups flour

3 cups milk

Crepes Directions:

Beat the eggs, salt and sugar. Add flour and milk and stir to a soupy consistency. Ensure that the batter is smooth and has no chunks.
Let the batter sit for a bit. Ladle the batter on a hot oiled up pan and flip crepes one at a time.

Filling Ingredients:

20 oz. Walnuts

1 cup milk

4 TBS sugar

Walnut

Powdered sugar (optional)

Filling Directions:

For the walnut filling use a food processor or a chopper to grind up 20 oz of whole walnuts into a fine consistency. Once that is ready, heat milk with sugar on a stovetop, stirring occasionally. Once it is boiling add the ground walnuts and stir quickly for about a minute until it turns into a paste like consistency.

To Serve: Use about a spoonful of mix and spread on the crepes and fold. Before serving you can sprinkle some powdered sugar on top.

GIVEAWAY

One reader will win a prize pack valued at $70. It will include: Fisher Chef’s Naturals Slivered Almonds, Fisher Chef’s Naturals Pecan Halves, Fisher Chef’s Naturals Walnut Halves & Pieces, Food Network 5-Piece Stainless Steel Measuring Cups, Food Network Silicone Spatula, OXO Whisk and a Wood Cutting Board.

HOW TO ENTER

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Tell me how you include nuts in your cooking

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Follow Food Network Chef Alex Guarnaschelli on Twitter

4) Follow me on Twitter

5) Like Fisher Nuts on Facebook

6) Like Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

Giveaway ends December 26, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. US 18+ only.

(Disclosure: I am working with Fisher to share Chef Alex Guarnaschelli’s recipes and create my own original recipe using Fisher Nuts and tools they provided. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.)

Champagne Shrimp and Angel Hair {Recipe}

Here’s a great dinner recipe shared with me by the Shrimp Council!

Ingredients

• 1 lb of shrimp, peeled and deveined

• 8 oz of angel hair pasta

• 2 cups of your choice of Champagne

• 1 cup of fresh mushrooms, sliced

• 1 cup of heavy cream

• 3 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped

• 2 tablespoons of minced shallots

• 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

• ¼ teaspoon of salt

 

Instructions

Cook the pasta as directed; drain afterwards and coat with a tablespoon of olive oil. White the pasta is cooking, heat the other tablespoon of extra virgin oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Cook the mushrooms in the olive oil until tender; then remove and set aside. Combine the shrimp, Champagne and salt in the pan, and cook over high heat. When the liquid starts to boil, remove the shrimp and add the shallots. Boil for 8 minutes; until reduced to about half a cup. Stir in 3/4 of the cream and boil for an additional 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and the mushrooms to sauce, heating through. Toss the hot, cooked pasta with the remaining 1/4 cup of cream and the freshly chopped parsley. Spoon the shrimp with sauce over the pasta and serve.

Number of Servings: 2

(Disclosure: I was not compensated for posting this recipe.)

Stuffed Figs {Recipe}

I think that this recipe, provided by Better Eats, would make an elegant appetizer for Holiday meals.

Cook Time0 min
Prep Time40 min
Yields16 serv.

 

INGREDIENTS

·         16 medium figs, dried – about 8 ounces

·         1/2 cup port

·         1 tablespoon vinegar, balsamic

·         1/4 cup cheese, crumbled Gorgonzola – 2 ounces

·         1/4 cup cream cheese, reduced-fat – softened

·         1 teaspoon rosemary, fresh – chopped

·         2 ounces prosciutto – sliced and trimmed of fat

·         pepper, black, coarsely ground – to taste

DIRECTIONS

1.       Snip the stem off each fig and make a crisscross cut two-thirds of the way down to partially open the fig. Trim the base of each fig so it will sit upright when finished.

2.       Place the figs, port and vinegar in a small saucepan; cook, uncovered, over low heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until the figs are plumped and softened and most of the liquid is reduced, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle.

3.       Meanwhile, combine Gorgonzola, cream cheese and rosemary in a small bowl; blend with a fork.

4.       Cover and refrigerate until the figs are cooled.

5.       Cut prosciutto into 1/4-inch-wide ribbons.

6.       Using a teaspoon, melon baller or small spoon, place a dollop of cheese mixture in the opening of each fig.

7.       Garnish each appetizer with a ribbon of prosciutto. Dust with a grinding of pepper.

 

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Calories:76
Sodium:109mg
Total Fat:2g
Carbs:11g
Cholesterol:7mg
Protein:2g

 

Caramelized-Pear Bread Pudding {Recipe}

Image and recipe courtesy of BetterEats.com.

This custardy, raisin-studded bread pudding highlights the sweet, comforting taste of baked pears. When turned out of its baking dish, the flanlike pudding sits in a pool of caramel syrup, making it worthy of any holiday table. Serve it warm or chilled.

Cook Time95 min
Prep Time15 min
Yields8 serv.

 

INGREDIENTS

·         2 1/2 cups milk, lowfat (1%)

·         4 large egg(s)

·         1/2 cup sugar – divided

·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract

·         1/2 teaspoon lemon zest – freshly grated

·         1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, fresh

·         4 cups bread, whole-wheat country – day-old, crusts trimmed (4-6 slices), cubed

·         2 tablespoons raisins – or currants

·         1 teaspoon butter, unsalted – softened

·         2 tablespoons butter, unsalted

·         2 pear(s) – ripe, peeled, halved and cored

·         1 tablespoon lemon juice

 

DIRECTIONS

1.       Heat milk in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring, until steaming, 4 to 6 minutes.

2.       Whisk eggs in a large bowl until blended; gradually whisk in 1/4 cup sugar. Slowly whisk in the hot milk until blended. Whisk in vanilla, lemon zest and nutmeg.

3.       Add bread and raisins (or currants) to the milk mixture; gently fold together. Press down lightly with the back of a large spoon. Cover and set aside at room temperature.

4.       Butter the bottom and sides of a round 2-quart baking dish with 1 teaspoon butter. Preheat oven to 350°F. Put a kettle of water on to boil.

5.       Cut each pear half lengthwise into 4 slices. Place in a medium bowl and toss with lemon juice.

6.       Heat a medium skillet over low heat until hot. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and swirl until just melted and the foam subsides. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup sugar over the melted butter.

7.       Arrange the pear slices on their sides in the pan in an even layer. Increase the heat to medium-low and, without stirring, let the pears begin to brown and the sauce slowly caramelize, adjusting the heat as needed to prevent burning, about 10 minutes.

8.       Remove the pan from the heat and carefully turn each pear slice with a fork. Return to the heat and cook until the sauce is uniformly golden, 2 to 4 minutes more.

9.       Carefully transfer the pears one at a time to the prepared baking dish, arranging them decoratively in a circle and slightly overlapping them if necessary. Use a heatproof silicone spatula to scrape any remaining syrup over the pears.

10.   Set the baking dish in a shallow baking pan. Spoon the bread and custard mixture into the baking dish. Press down on the bread until it is submerged in the custard. Place the pan in the oven and carefully add the hot water to the shallow baking pan until it is halfway up the sides of the baking dish.

11.   Bake until the pudding is browned on top and set in the center, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Carefully remove the pan from the oven.

12.   Transfer the baking dish to a wire rack and let cool for at least 45 minutes. To serve, run a knife around the edge of the pudding. Place a serving platter over it and invert the pudding onto the platter.

 

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Calories:210
Saturated Fat:3g
Sodium:149mg
Dietary Fiber2g
Total Fat:7g
Carbs:31g
Cholesterol:116mg
Protein:7g

 

Chocolate Chip Sweet Potato Bars {Recipe}

Ingredients:


2 cups Flour
2 tsp. Baking powder
2 tsp. Ground cinnamon
1 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Salt
4 Eggs, beaten
1 15 oz. can Princella or Sugary Sam Mashed Yams or Cut Yams, drained and mashed
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1 cup Cooking oil
2/3 cup Mini chocolate chips
1 can Chocolate frosting


Directions:


Preheat oven to 350°F.Sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, soda and salt; set aside. In another bowl, combine eggs, sweet potatoes, sugar and oil; beat until combined. Add dry ingredients; beat until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread batter in un-greased 10×15-inch baking pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool. Frost with chocolate frosting. Cut into bars.

(Disclosure: This is not a compensated post. Recipe and image courtesy of Allen’s Vegetables.)

Apple Mallow Sweet Potato Bake {Recipe}

Ingredients
1/2 cup Brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
2 Apples, sliced
1/3 cup Pecans, chopped
2 15 oz. cans Princella or Sugary Sam Cut Sweet Potatoes, drained
1/4 cup Margarine
2 cups Miniature marshmallows


Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, mix brown sugar and cinnamon. Toss apples and nuts with combined brown sugar and cinnamon. Alternate layers of apples and sweet potatoes in 1 1/2-quart casserole. Dot with margarine. Cover and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Sprinkle marshmallows over sweet potatoes and apples. Broil until lightly browned.

(Recipe and image courtesy of Allens Vegetables who shows us that eating our veggies can be delicious! Disclosure: No compensation received.)

Red Velvet Cake {Recipe}

Hi I am Shannon from Coupon Savings In The South. I wanted to stop by and share one of my favorite recipes. Here is a recipe for Red Velvet Cake.

photo credit: texascooking via photopin cc

Ingredients:

1 ½ cup sugar

1 1/3 cup Wesson oil

1 cup buttermilk

2 ½ cup self rising flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon vanilla

3 eggs

½ bottle red food coloring

Directions:

Mix sugar and oil together; add eggs 1 at a time and mix well. Add flour alternating with buttermilk (baking soda is added to buttermilk). Mix well. Add vanilla and food coloring. Pour into greased and floured pans cook at 350 for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Icing Ingredients:

1 stick margarine

1 8 oz cream cheese

1 box 10x sugar

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup of chopped nuts

Icing Directions:

Mix cream cheese, margarine, and 10 x sugar until smooth. Add vanilla and chopped nuts. Spread over the cool cake layers.

Westin Los Cabos’ Lava Flo, Ho, Ho! Drink {Recipe}

For those who aren’t big on the peppermint-flavored or white chocolate drinks that are popular over the fall and winter holidays, The Westin Resort & Spa in Los Cabos invites you to try blending up this colorfully merry tropical drink with distinctly South of the Border flavors for the holidays.

In a tall, frozen drink glass, place:

1-2 generous dollops of thawed strawberry pulp

In a blender, combine:

2 tablespoons rum

3 tablespoons pineapple juice

2 tablespoons coconut cream

1 tablespoon milk

1 cup ice

Pour blended mixture into the glass and top with another generous dollop of strawberry pulp. Garnish with a fresh pineapple wedge and serve with a long straw.

(Disclosure: This is not a compensated post.)

Acorn Squash Soup {Recipe}

There’s nothing better on a cold chilly night than a bowl of warm soup. This Acorn Squash Soup recipe was created by Bravo’s Top Chef, Richard Blais. By using Dannon Oikos Greek yogurt Blais makes the soup a little healthier, but still delicious!

Ingredients:

1 whole acorn squash

1/4 white onion,chopped

1 bay leaf

4 cloves garlic

2 tbsp celery, chopped

1 and a 1/2 quart chicken stock

1/2 cup Dannon Oikos plain Greek nonfat yogurt

1/2 cup chorizo, crumbled

2 tbsp cranberry canned jelly

3 leaves cilantro

1 tsp smoked paprika

Pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional)

Lime for ganish

Directions

1) In a stockpot, cook the onion, bay leaf, garlic and celery in some olive oil until garlic releases aroma.

2) Add the chopped acorn squash and then the chicken stock and simmer. When the acorn squash is cooked, swirl in Dannon Oikos plain Greek nonfat yogurt and remove from the heat.

3) In a separate pan, cook the chorizo and paprika.

4) When the squash is cooked thoroughly, puree the soup and pass through a sieve so it is smooth.

5) Garnish with the crumbled chorizo, the cilantro, pomegranate seeds, a squirt of lime and top with a dollop of yogurt.

(This is not a compensated post but the recipe was shared with me from Dannon.)

Mini Meatball Sandwich Bites {Recipes}

This is a quick and easy recipe from the Quick Meal Queen, Natashja Szortyka, using Mama Lucia Meatballs. The recipe is for delicious mini meatball sandwich bites! These would be great as an appetizer at a holiday party or while watching this weekend’s football game.

Ingredients

1 12-ounce package Mama Lucia Meatballs
1 8-ounce can refrigerated crescent rolls
Marinara sauce
Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Directions

1) Heat oven to 375°F. Thaw out meatballs in microwave for 1 minute; cut in half.
2) Dip each half in marinara, then roll them in the cheese until they are well coated
3) Separate dough into triangles. Wrap dough triangle around two meatball halves. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
4) Bake at 375°F for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown

Optional: With about two minutes left, sprinkle parmesan cheese on each crescent.

Chocolate Mud Bars {Recipe}

This isn’t the kind of mud you step in when it’s raining outside! This chocolate mud bar recipe from The Old Farmer’s Almanac new Everyday Baking cookbook is called “mud” because of the moist, dark chocolate filling. It’s the best mud you’ll ever eat!

Everyday Baking features 118 original recipes by celebrated baker and longtime Almanac collaborator Ken Haedrich. A winner of the Julia Child Cookbook Award, Haedrich may be best known as the author of Pie: 300 Tried-and-True Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pie, which was recently named one of the best baking books of the past 25 years by Cooking Light magazine.

Everyday Baking, with its handy reference section and time-tested advice sprinkled throughout, demystifies the art of baking and will inspire home bakers of all skill levels to make delicious breakfast treats, after-school snacks, and impressive desserts. The easy-to-follow recipes in Everyday Baking don’t demand unusual ingredients or abstract cooking techniques, but rather just a desire to make delicious home-baked goods completely from scratch.

Everyday Baking is available online at Almanac.com or wherever books and magazines are sold.

Chocolate Mud Bars

From The Everyday Baking Cookbook, page 54

CRUST:

1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of salt

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

FILLING:

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

¾ cup sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

¼ cup cake flour

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Butter an 8-inch square baking pan and set aside.

For crust: Combine the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix well with your hands. Add the melted butter, stir well with a fork, then rub the ingredients together well with your fingers until thoroughly mixed. Press the mixture evenly in the prepared pan to form a level layer on the bottom with a lip extending about ¼ inch up the sides of the pan. (Do not prebake the crust).

For filling: Combine the butter and chocolate in the top of a double boiler over not-quite-simmering water. When melted, whisk to smooth, then remove the pan from the heat. Scrape the chocolate into a medium bowl and cool to lukewarm. Preheat the oven to 325oF. Whisk the sugar, eggs, and vanilla into the lukewarm chocolate. Stir in the cake flour, mixing until smooth. Stir in the walnuts. Scrape the batter over the crust and smooth with a spoon. Bake on the center oven rack for 35 minutes only – no longer. Cool on a rack. Refrigerate an hour or so before slicing. Serve at room temperature. Makes 16 bars

(Content courtesy of The Old Farmer’s Almanac Everyday Baking.)

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins {Recipe}

This spicy, fudgy bread will tantalize your taste buds. A mix between a pudding and a cake, it’s the perfect item to bring parties…or just keep to yourself at home!

Yield:    1 (9×5-inch) loaf                                 

Prep time:  15 minutes                       

Cook time: 1 hour

 Ingredients:

1 cup Date Paste

½ tsp. baking soda

1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin purée

½ tsp. salt

3 TB. flax eggs

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ cup pure maple syrup

¼ tsp. ground cloves

1 TB. alcohol-free vanilla extract

¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

1 ½ cups oat flour

¼ tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. aluminum-free baking powder

1 ½ cups grain-sweetened chocolate chips

Directions:

1.       Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

2.       In a large bowl, combine Date Paste, pumpkin purée, flax eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until smooth.

3.       Gently stir in oat flour, aluminum-free baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger. Mix until no lumps remain. Add chocolate chips, and evenly distribute throughout.

4.       Pour batter into 9×5-inch loaf pan, and bake for 1 hour. Allow bread to cool before cutting and serving.

(Recipe courtesy of  Julieanna Hever, M.S., R.D., C.P.T., also known as “The Plant-Based Dietitian,”. She is the author of the best-selling book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition and  host of upcoming series What Would Julieanna Do? on the healthy living TV network Veria Living.)

Chocolate Coal Lumps {Recipe}

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 bag (10 oz) large marshmallows (5 cups)
  • 8 cups Cocoa Puffs® cereal (from 11.8-oz box)
  • 3 bags (12 oz each) semisweet chocolate chips or 36 oz (from two 24-oz packages) chocolate-flavored candy coating
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • Black sugar and/or black jimmies sprinkles

Directions:

  • Line 13×9-inch pan with foil. Spray with cooking spray.
  • In 4-quart microwavable bowl, microwave butter uncovered on High about 1 minute or until melted. Add marshmallows; toss to coat. Microwave about 2 minutes, stirring after each minute, until marshmallows are completely melted and mixture is well blended. Add cereal; mix well.
  • Spoon cereal mixture into pan. Spray hands with cooking spray, and press mixture firmly in pan. Cover with waxed paper; press second 13×9-inch pan on top to compress bars. Remove pan and paper. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Remove bars from pan; peel off foil. Using sharp knife, cut bars into 8 rows by 6 rows to make 48 squares. Line cookie sheet with waxed paper.
  • In 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave 12 oz of the chocolate and 1 tablespoon of the shortening uncovered on High 1 minute 30 seconds; stir. Continue microwaving and stirring in 15-second intervals until melted and smooth. Using 2 forks, dip and roll each cereal square in coating. Place on cookie sheet. Repeat twice to use up chocolate, shortening and squares.
  • Sprinkle coated squares with black sugar and/or sprinkles. Place in freezer 15 minutes or refrigerator 30 minutes until chocolate is set. Store in airtight container or sealed storage bag.
Makes 48 pieces
*Recipe/image provided by MyBlogSpark on behalf of Betty Crocker*

Easy Cinnamon Apples Recipe

Ingredients:

*2 apples

*2 tablespoons of brown sugar

*1 teaspoon of cinnamon

*2 tablespoons of butter (not required)

How to make them:

1) Peel apples (optional- I did because my toddlers don’t eat the skin)

2) Core apples and arrange in a small casserole dish or bowl

3) Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a separate bowl and then sprinkle mixture on top of apples

4) Add butter (optional- I also cut mine into pieces so that the butter all wasn’t in one place)

5) Microwave for 1 minute, stir, and then microwave for another 45 seconds (microwave times vary… apples should be soft)

6) Stir again and enjoy

*** For additional yumminess, serve with caramel praline ice cream (or plain vanilla ice cream)***

 

National Popcorn Month Giveaway

In celebration of October being National Popcorn Month, The Popcorn Factory, is offering FREE popcorn to the first 31,000 customers who order the Try Me Trio. I received samples to try and I loved the caramel popcorn. In addition their blog has many popcorn-inspired recipes like this one that they have sent me to share with my readers:

Almond Pecan Popcorn-Crusted Salmon

4 four-oz. salmon filets

½ canister The Popcorn Factory® Almond Pecan Clear Favorites (Item# S3551A)

1 clove garlic, finely minced

½ tsp. kosher salt

¼ tsp. black pepper, freshly ground

2 tbs. butter, melted

1)      Place half of the contents of The Popcorn Factory® Almond Pecan canister in a food processor and chop until finely ground (a flour like consistency).

2)      Add garlic, kosher salt and black pepper to the food processor and blend until mixed well.

3)      Brush melted butter evenly on both sides of the fillets, and then roll the fillets in the popcorn flour, patting both sides so they are evenly coated.

4)      Heat a non-stick pan on medium-high heat and drizzle with olive oil.  Brown the coated fillets on both sides, 5-6 minutes per side.

Serve warm.  Makes four servings.

Giveaway:

1 reader will win a Try Me Trio

How To Enter (leave a comment for each one you do):

1) Leave a comment telling me what your favorite flavor of popcorn is

2) Tweet: “Enter to win popcorn from @aliciamarie112 in honor of National Popcorn Month at www.makingtimeformommy.com”

3) “Like” Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

Giveaway ends on October 31, 2010 at 11:59pm.

(Disclosure: I received samples of popcorn from The Popcorn Factory to try. All opinions are my own.)

Recipe- Mom’s Lemon Bars

While I was going through one of my mom’s recipe boxes to find the recipes for Monday’s menu plan I found her recipe for lemon bars. Since I didn’t find the recipes I was looking for I thought I would share this simple dessert with you. These things are so yummy!

LEMON BARS

1) Prepare a 9×13 dish by buttering it well.

2) Mix: 2 cups of flour, 1 cup Margarine (or butter) softened, and 1/2 cup White Conf. Sugar. Mix together cutting with 2 forks until mixture is crumbly.

3) Press into well buttered 9×13 baking dish

4) BAKE @325 20-25 minutes until slightly golden. DO NOT OVERBAKE.

Filling:

5) Beat 4 Eggs and 2 cups regular (granulated) sugar together

6) Add: 1/3 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 tsp. baking powder

7) Pour over BAKED CRUST

8) Put back into oven and bake again for 20-25 minutes

9) When cool, sprinkle with powder sugar

10) Cut when slightly cooled, with wet knife

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