Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Creamy Greek Pasta Salad

I needed to use up some Feta so I decided to go with something with a Greek flair. This worked out very

No process pictures as I lost my camera battery charger and I am waiting on a new one!

I wanted to add diced red bell peppers too but mine was icky... Next time!
Olives would be a nice addition too, but I had none on hand.

1 lb pasta (shape of your choice) cooked al dente

1/2 lb chicken breast, cooked and shredded
10-15 slices pepperoni, sliced into strips

3/4 cup pickled banana peppers
1 medium zucchini, diced
2 cups baby spinach leaves
3/4-1 cup crumbled feta cheese

1 cup Non Fat plain Greek Yogurt
3/4 cup sun dried tomatoes(oil packed, drained slightly but you want a little oil)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 TB dried oregano
1 TB dried parsley
2 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper to taste

In a large mixing bowl place cooked pasta, chicken breast and pepperoni, add peppers, zucchini, spinach and feta.

In a smaller bowl mix yogurt, tomatoes, vinegar and seasonings. Blend well.

Pour dressing over the pasta mixture and toss gently until everything is evenly covered.

Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sweet Monte Cristos

MMMM ....a yummy "French Toast" sandwich. The kids LOVED them!!

Amounts to taste but don't overload or they will be sloppy!

Peanut Butter
Fruit Jelly/Jam/ Preserves of your choice
Mashed Banana
Cream Cheese

2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 TB sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Spread 1 slice of bread with peanut butter and jelly, top with a spoonful of mashed banana. Spread the other slice with cream cheese.

Place the cream cheese spread side on top and press lightly to spread the banana but not quite to the edges.

Gently whisk the eggs with the milk, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.

Preheat a pan or griddle to 300(medium-ish) and grease

Dip the sandwich in the egg dip allowing to soak for a few seconds, flip and dip the other side.

Place on hot griddle and cook for 3-5 minutes until nicely browned. Flip and cook the other side until it is browned as well.

Allow to cool for a few moments before slicing then enjoy.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Colonel Munch Cereal

LOL....The other day I came across a copycat recipe of Planet Hollywoods Cap'n Crunch Chicken and it sounded interesting. Then I started thinking about Cap'n Crunch....worth a shot I think! While it is not EXACTLY like them, this turned out pretty tasty if I do say so myself!!! No preservatives or artificial colors and it doesn't cut up your mouth LOL

2 cups corn flour
3/4 cup white sugar(I used Zulka Cane Sugar)
1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup (+ or-) water

In a food processor mix together flours sugars and salt.

Turn the processor on and slowly add the coconut oil and process until it is well blended and the mixture is pebble like.

Slowly add the water 1-2 TB at a time until it just sticks together and slightly sticky. (sorry I missed this pic)

Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for a hour.

Preheat oven to 325

On a floured surface(corn or oat flour) roll the dough to between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thickness and slice into small rectangles. ( I think mine were a tad too thick)

Place squares on a greased baking sheet.

Bake for 12 -15 minutes and GENTLY stir around(flip if needed) Bake for 7-10 minutes more until golden brown.

They will crisp as they cool!

Cool completely and store in an air tight container.

I put this under "Breakfast" items but in my opinion its not exactly a healthy breakfast....there is quite a bit of sugar in these....not any worse than any other sugary cereal I guess but not really our cup of tea for the first meal of the day LOL.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Salisbury Meatloaf

A slight variation on my Salisbury Steaks. I got lazy and instead of making individual patties I shaped it into a loaf and baked it!

1.5 lbs lean ground beef
1 can condensed french onion soup(recipe here) (1/2 cup for this part)
3/4 cup bread crumbs( I used gluten free)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 egg
1 tsp garlic power
seasoning salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 
Combine 1/2 cup of the condensed soup with the beef, bread crumbs, egg and seasonings. 
Place into a greased 8 x 11 pan and shape into a loaf.

Remaining french onion soup
2 TB tomato paste
1/2 cup sauteed mushrooms
1 cup beef broth
salt and pepper to taste
1 pinch of sugar
Combine all sauce ingredients and mix well. Pour over the loaf.

Bake 45 minutes until an internal temp of 165 is reached. (time will depend on the thickness of your loaf)

Allow to stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Top with some of the sauce and enjoy!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Casserole

We celebrated Father's Day with Steaks yesterday since my husband had to work today....We were kind of iffy on dinner tonight. I had planned something completely different but when it came right down to it, no one wanted that.....My husband suggested grilled cheese and tomato soup. I took that idea and ran with it!
My kids said they like this better than "regular" grilled cheese and tomato soup! Easier to eat LOL.

10 slices bread (whole grain or gluten free if you need)
4 cups tomato sauce
2 TB heavy cream(cream is best but milk would be fine too)
1 TB dried parsley
1 TB dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
4 eggs

6 oz shredded sharp cheddar

1 TB butter

Preheat oven to 350

Toast the bread and slice into cubes. use the 1 TB Butter to grease a 9 x 13 dish. Place bread cubes in the bottom of the pan.

Mix tomato sauce, cream ,seasonings and eggs together in a bowl. Whisk well.

Pour over the bread cubes.

Top with shredded cheese.

Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes, remove foil and bake another 10 minutes or so until baked through and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Top with cheese crackers and a scoop of sour cream(ok I am the only one who likes sour cream on my tomato soup....but I like sour cream on everything!)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Honey Bourbon BBQ Sauce

The other day at the store I was looking at BBQ sauce. Every brand on the grocery shelf had high fructose corn syrup in it. No thanks! Easy enough to whip up my own!!! Plus its a recipe without ketchup as a base...again lots of HFCS and salt!
Great for a marinade or as a dip.

18 oz tomato paste(3-6 oz cans or about double this recipe)
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar*
1/4 cup worcestshire sauce
1 small onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 TB dry mustard powder
1-2 tsp hot sauce(I used chaoula)
1 tsp liquid smoke
salt and pepper to taste
1/2-3/4 cup  Bourbon

* you may want to start without this sugar addition and add to your sweetness preferences

 Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium low heat.
 Cover and Simmer over low heat for 1 hour. Adjust sugars, seasonings and bourbon as desired(If you make adjustments , simmer at least 30 minutes longer)

I prefer a smooth sauce so I ran my immersion blender through it, you can leave it chunky if you like.

 Pour into a container and enjoy!!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

"Blond" French Dip Crescent Rolls w/ Chicken Au Jus

My 9 year old wanted French Dips for dinner. I didn't have a beef roast on hand and none on sale this week, but nitrate free turkey breast was on special in the deli so I decided to pick some of that up and make a "Blond" French Dip with a Chicken Au Jus......Of course you can make these "Classic" with Roast Beef and Beef Au Jus too.

Crescent Rolls--

This is a Gluten Free Recipe you can your favorite crescent roll recipe, or even premade dough if you like.
I got 24 out of this...

2/3 cup warm water
2 tsp sugar
1 TB yeast
1 tsp cider vinegar
2 egg
2 TB melted butter
1 1/3 cup sorghum flour
2/3 cup potato starch
1/2 cup rice flour
1/4 TB tapioca starch
2 tsp xanthan or guar gum
1/2 tsp salt

Sliced Turkey, Chicken or Roast Beef as you see fit
Small chunks of cheese of your choice

In a bowl combine the yeast,sugar and water. Allow to proof and foam up for 5 minutes

In another bowl combine the sorghum flour, rice flour, potato and tapioca starch and gum. Mix well.

When the yeast is proofed add the egg, vinegar and melted butter.

Add flour mix 1/2 cup at a time until fully incorporated.

Divide into 3 equal balls. Set 2 aside and roll/pat 1 to a large circle.

Carefully cut into 8 wedges.

On 1 wedge place a little sliced meat(to your preference, but dont overload it!) and 1 small slice of cheese.

Carefully roll up and seal the end with a bit of water. Place on a greased baking sheet.

 Continue with the rest of the the dough, meat and cheese.

Brush with a little more butter if desired. Allow to rise in a warm draft free spot for 20 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 15-20 minutes.

While they are baking, make the Au Jus
Au jus:
1 TB butter
1/2 small onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 TB fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 TB fresh oregano, chopped
2 1/2 cups chicken stock*
1 TB worcestshire sauce
2 TB white wine*
1 TB cornstarch
salt and pepper to taste

*for beef au jus, just sub beef stock!
** sub chicken broth if you like

In a pan heat butter over medium heat, saute the onion and garlic until very soft.

Add in the chicken stock, worcestshire and herbs. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Strain out the vegetables and herbs.

Mix the white wine and cornstarch together , then add to the chicken broth. Heat gently and stir to slightly thicken. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve it on the side for dipping the crescents!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Spaghetti and (copycat Aidells) Buffalo Chicken Meatballs with Ranch Alfredo

I wanted to make a copycat of Aidell's Buffalo Meatballs.....but what to serve them with? I think this does quite nicely! We don't care for bleu cheese here, but feel free to make it a bleu cheese alfredo if you like!!


20 oz ground chicken breast(freshly ground or store bought)
1/4 cup Celery, minced fine
3 TB onion, minced fine(package ingredients state these are sauteed...but I skipped that)
2 TB green bell pepper, minced fine
2 TB Cayenne Hot Sauce (such as Franks Red Hot or homemade if you like)
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt as desired
(If you want them even spicier add  ground cayenne pepper!)

2 TB butter
2 TB olive oil

Place everything but the butter and oil  in a bowl and mix well.

Scoop into balls in your desired size. (I made 20)

In a large deep pan heat the oil and butter over medium heat.

Gently place the balls in the hot oil (I did half the batch at a time)

Cook about 5 minutes and flip gently.  Cook until an internal temp of 165 is reached.

Set on paper towels to drain.

Ranch Alfredo:

1 1/4 cup skim milk
1/2 cup ranch dressing*
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese

1 1/2 TB cornstarch

*sub bleu cheese dressing if you like!

Mix 1/4 cup of the cold milk with the cornstarch and set aside.

In a pan heat the remaining milk and ranch dressing over medium heat. Add in the cornstarch mixture and season to taste.

When it is thickened add in the parmesan cheese and stir until fully melted.

Cook 12 oz pasta(or however much pasta you desire) according to package instructions, drain well

Place a serving of pasta on a plate, add some meatballs and top with a scoop of Ranch Alfredo...

Drizzle on a bit more hot sauce if desired!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Homemade "Nutella"

I made this to make Strawberry and Nutella Stuffed Pancakes with. SUPER delicious for all you Nutella fans out there!!!

This gave me 1 quart jar and 3/4 of a pint jar.....

3 cups Raw Hazelnuts
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar(I made my own with unrefined pure cane sugar, I just whirled it in my vitamix until it was powdered)
1/2 cup baking cocoa
2 TB hazelnut, walnut or vegetable oil
6+ TB skim milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375.

Place hazelnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake 12-14 minutes until fragrant and a deep brown color, watch carefully, they go from roasted to burned quickly!

Remove from oven and pour onto a large clean towel. Fold the towel over them and gently rub around and get as much of the skin off as possible. Don't worry if you cant get it all, it wont hurt you or the flavor.

Cool completely.

Place cooled nuts in a food processor or high powdered blender, process until the natural oils are released and you get a smooth paste.

(I transferred to my food processor from my vitamix at this point, it was a little thick so I wanted more aeration)

Add sugar, cooca powder, oil and 1/4 cup(4 TB) of the milk, blend until smooth. Add remaining/more milk as necessary to get a smooth consistency. Add in vanilla and salt and blend until fully incorporated. Adjust sugar to taste if desired.

Pour into jars and store in the fridge....if it lasts long enough LOL...