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Friday, April 30, 2010

Pasta with Tomato-Blue Cheese Sauce

When I saw this recipe on The Pioneer Woman Cooks, I knew I had to try it! I made a few small changes. I used 1 lb pasta instead of 1.5 lbs. As it was, the noodles were very lightly covered with sauce. I think 1 lb is the perfect sauce to noodle ratio. The original recipe serves 6, but even with the reduction in noodles, this recipe easily serves 6 large portions. I also subbed half and half for the heavy cream to reduce the calorie content and it worked fine. I plugged the recipe into dailyplate and with my changes it comes out to 476 calories per serving. 

All in all, it was a great light tasting pasta. Perfect for spring and summer. I can't wait to eat up the leftovers and I will definitely be making this again as it is a cinch to make.

1 lb angel hair pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 28oz can diced tomatoes, drained
Sugar, dash
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
¾ cup blue cheese crumbles, plus extra for garnish
¾ cups heavy cream (I used half and half)
4 cups fresh baby spinach
Half and half, as needed for thinning

Cook pasta according to package instructions.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil. When hot, add minced garlic and cook for a minute. Pour in drained tomatoes. Add sugar, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Reduce heat to low. Stir in crumbled blue cheese. Add cream and stir, then a little splash of half-and-half if sauce is too thick. Cook for a minute or two, tasting and adding more seasonings as needed.

At the very last minute, toss in spinach. Immediately toss in the cooked and drained pasta. Serve immediately!


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Thursday, April 29, 2010

New Cooking Project

For my bridal shower, my MOH collected recipes from friends and family to compile into a recipe book for me. Well, two years later, I am finally getting down to business and am going to try out each one. Better late than never! My plan is to cook one recipe from the book each week until I have tried them all. Here is what I have to look forward to in the coming months:
Yum! I cannot wait to try out every one's recipes! I will link up to each recipe once I post them.


Crusted Honey Mustard Chicken

This WW recipe has been a favorite of mine for awhile. Easy to throw together and a great healthy version of chicken fingers.
1 spray cooking spray
2/3 cup lite honey mustard dressing
1/8 tsp table salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 tsp dill, freshly chopped
1 medium scallion, finely sliced
1 cup cornflake crumbs (I usually use slightly more)
1 pound uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast strips
Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a shallow pan with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, combine honey mustard dressing, salt, pepper, dill and scallions; remove 1/3 cup and set aside.
Place cornflake crumbs in a shallow bowl. Dip chicken into dressing mixture and then cornflake crumbs; place in prepared pan.

Bake until chicken is golden and no longer pink in center, about 15 minutes.

Drizzle remaining dressing mixture (the 1/3 cup that was set aside) over chicken breasts and serve. Yields 1 piece of chicken and about 1 1/3 tablespoons of dressing per serving.

Servings: 4
Points: 7


Linked to Prairie Story Recipe Swap Thursday and Lamb Around Not Baaad Sundays.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Thanks for everyone who entered the CSN Stores giveaway! I plugged the number of commenters into and the winner is number 4, my wonderful FIF Chrissie! Congrats, I will email you the info today.

Also, I am behind on blogging, I keep forgetting to download my pictures from my camera. I will have a new recipe posted tomorrow.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Garden-Style Lasagna

This lasagna was time consuming but turned out delicious. It is chock full of veggies and a great lasagna for springtime. I cut up the vegetables using my food processor to cut down on prep time, but I would still recommend this dish for a weekend. This makes 12 servings and leftovers can be frozen. Recipe from Cooking Light.
Cooking spray
2 cups chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 cups chopped zucchini
2 cups chopped yellow squash
2 cups thinly sliced carrot
2 cups chopped broccoli
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
1 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash of nutmeg
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat cottage cheese
2 cups preshredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
12 precooked lasagna noodles, divided
Preheat oven to 375°.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Spoon onion mixture into a large bowl.
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and yellow squash; sauté 4 minutes or until tender and just beginning to brown. Add to onion mixture.
Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add sliced carrot; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add chopped broccoli; sauté 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add to onion mixture. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt; toss well to combine.
Place flour in a medium saucepan. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook 2 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add 1/2 cup Parmesan, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg; stir until smooth. (Note: I also added some additional Italian seasoning in this step). Stir in spinach.
Combine cottage cheese and 1 1/2 cups mozzarella; stir well. Spread 1/2 cup spinach mixture in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 noodles over spinach mixture in dish; top with half of cottage cheese mixture (about 1 1/2 cups), half of vegetable mixture (about 2 1/2 cups), and about 1 cup spinach mixture. Repeat layers, ending with noodles. Spread remaining spinach mixture over noodles; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella.
Cover and bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Servings: 12
Calories: 272

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Baked Oven Fries

Another recipe from Annie's Eats. I've tried several different versions of Oven Fries, and these were quite good. A bit more time consuming than other recipes, but worth it. I left the skins on the potatoes but they would probably be better without them.

3 russet potatoes (about 24 oz. total), peeled and cut lengthwise into even sized wedges
5 tbsp. vegetable, canola or peanut oil, divided
¾ tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

Preheat the oven to 475˚ F. Place the potato wedges in a large mixing bowl. Cover with hot water; soak for 10-30 minutes. Put 4 tablespoons of the oil onto a heavy, rimmed baking sheet. Tilt the sheet side to side to evenly coat the pan with oil (a pastry brush can also help with this). Sprinkle the pan evenly with the salt and pepper. Set aside.

Drain the potatoes. Spread the wedges out on layers of paper towels or on clean kitchen towels. Pat dry with additional towels. Wipe out the now empty bowl so it is dry. Return the potatoes to the bowl and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Arrange the potato wedges on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 5 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the bottoms of the potatoes are spotty golden brown, 15-20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet after 10 minutes. Using a metal spatula and tongs, flip each potato wedge keeping them in a single layer. Continue baking until the fries are golden and crisp, 5 -15 minutes. Rotate the pan as needed to ensure even browning.

When the fries are finished baking, transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain some of the grease. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.



Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Giveaway!

***This Giveaway is now closed***

I was recently contacted by CSN Stores to participate in a giveaway post. CSN Stores has over 200 online stores where you can find tv stands, furniture, toys, home decor, and so much more!

The winner of this giveaway will receive a $40 gift certificate code to use during online checkout at any of the CSN Stores! All you need to do is comment on this post to be entered into the drawing. If you post a link to this giveaway on your blog, you will get an extra entry into the drawing - just leave the link to your blog post in a comment below.

I will select a winner at random (using on Wednesday, April 28th at 3pm EST. Good luck!

To help you with some ideas of what you can buy at CSN Stores with $40, here are some things that caught my eye!

Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor

Nomad Rain Boots (available in more colors)

Okay, I better stop looking now because I am finding too many things I want! Don't forget to comment below to enter and good luck!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chicken Tequilla Burgers

I love trying different versions of burgers. Last year my favorites were Blue Cheese Chicken Burgers. This was another great take on a chicken burger, adapted from Annie's Eats. She has tons of great recipes, if you haven't been by, check out her blog. My only complaint was that I should have been a little more heavy with the salt in the burger mixture.

2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 lb ground chicken
3-4 tbsp. chopped cilantro
Zest and juice of ½ a lime
1 oz. tequila
Dash of soy sauce
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
½ cup panko bread crumbs
Burger buns
Sautéed bell pepper, onion, lettuce or avocado for toppings

Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and brush lightly with olive oil. Combine the garlic, jalapeno, chicken, cilantro, lime zest and juice, tequila, soy sauce, panko, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix until all ingredients are well blended.

Form the mixture into 4-5 patties and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Broil the burgers for about 12-15 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking to brown both sides. Check for doneness before serving. Serve on buns with sautéed bell pepper and onion, avocado, and lettuce as desired.

Pictured with Baked Oven Fries.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Project 365: Week 15


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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cornflake-Crusted Halibut with Chile-Cilantro Aioli

One of these days I need to make a list of my favorite recipes thus far. This would be on that list. Very near the top. This fish was so easy to make, and was so delicious that I planned to make it again this week. The fish was cooked absolutely perfectly and the aioli was a perfect compliment to it. I highly recommend this recipe (adapted from Cooking Light).


2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise
1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 tsp lemon juice
1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup fat-free milk
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
2 cups cornflakes, finely crushed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 (6-ounce) halibut fillets
4 lemon wedges

To prepare aioli, combine cilantro, mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, serrano, and minced garlic, stirring well.

To prepare fish, combine milk and egg white in a shallow dish, stirring well with a whisk. Combine cornflakes, flour, salt, and black pepper in another shallow dish.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Dip fish in milk mixture, and dredge in cornflake mixture. Add fish to pan, and cook 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Serve fish with aioli and lemon wedges.

Linked to Coupon Cookin's Tasty Traditions and Delightfully Dowling Mangia Mondays.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Turkey Enchilada Casserole

I tried out this Cooking Light recipe last night and it turned out to be delcious. Tastes just like enchiladas but without all the work. This one is definitely a keeper. I added sliced jalepenos and olives to mine and served with a side "salad" of chopped tomatoes and avocados sprinkled with salt and lime juice.

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey breast
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano leaves or 1 tablespoon dried
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 can (29 oz.) red enchilada sauce
12 corn tortillas (6 in. wide)
2 cups shredded reduced-fat jack cheese (8 oz.)
Chopped fresh cilantro
1 small can sliced jalepenos, drained (optional)
1 small can sliced black olives, drained (optional)

In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, stir turkey, onion, garlic, oregano, and cumin in oil until turkey is crumbly and no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Stir in 1 cup enchilada sauce, jalepenos and olives (if desired). Add salt to taste.

Meanwhile, cut tortillas in half. Arrange a fourth of the halves evenly over the bottom of a shallow 3-quart casserole, overlapping to fit. Sprinkle a fourth of the cheese evenly over the tortillas, then top with a third of the turkey mixture and a fourth of the remaining enchilada sauce, spreading each level. Repeat to make two more layers of tortillas, cheese, turkey mixture, and sauce; top with another layer of tortillas and sauce, then cheese.

Bake in a 425° regular or convection oven until cheese is melted and casserole is hot in the center, 18 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro. I covered the dish for the first 10 minutes, then let cook uncovered for another 10.

Servings: 8-10
Calories: 249 per serving

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Along Came a Spider


Friday, April 9, 2010

Project 365: Week 14

I stumbled across this chill cat, posing perfectly. I can't decide which shot is my favorite. 

We recently went to our first Nats game of the season.


Stumbled across a lot more blooming trees.

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C + C Marriage Factory: April 2010

C + C Marriage Factory