January 31, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Sausage Panini

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I was going to be a "chicken" and not post about this because I didn't like how the photos turned out. BUT this sandwich turned out SO GOOD I decided I had to share it with you. Please excuse my inept ability to photograph panini as beautifully as Panini Kathy! ;)

Yesterday I told you how Grumpy told me I couldn't cook chicken anymore? Well, I truly don't understand it. ;) Really! Everything I made, he ate and liked! Especially the Buffalo Chicken Sausage Paninis!

I was floundering again and hadn't a clue what I wanted to make. I went to my kitchen freezer and checked out the sausages. I had some Buffalo Chicken Sausages. Of course, I think of the Buffalo Chicken Panini I found on Panini Happy and how much I LOVED them. So, I pulled them out and cooked the sausages....to make Buffalo Chicken Sausage Panini!

When Grumpy walked in the house the first words out of his mouth were "what smells so good". HAHA. I will definitely buy these sausages again - and maybe make some sort of pasta dish with them!

Buffalo Chicken Sausage Panini

1 package Buffalo Chicken Sausage
Ken's Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing (If I had crumbly blue cheese - I would have used that, but this worked great too!)
Red Hot Sauce
Caramelized onions
Mozzarella Cheese
Ciabatta buns

Cook sausages until they are done. When cooled slightly, slice sausages in half, then in half again.

While sausages are cooking, heat butter in a large saute pan over medium heat and saute onions for 13 minutes until soft. Stir in some brown sugar and saute for another 10 minutes or until onions are caramelized. Set aside.

To assemble:
On ciabatta bun place in the following order:
  • caramelized onions,
  • blue cheese
  • chicken sausages
  • sprinkle red hot sauce to taste
  • mozzeralla cheese
  • top layer of bun
Place in panini press and cook! Delicious!

January 30, 2009

Chipotle Chicken Skillet

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Have you ever started to make a dish and then find out you don't have all the ingredients that you thought you had? That is what happened to me last night. I was making a dish that called for a can of diced tomatoes. I always have diced tomatoes in my cupboard.....or so I thought!

While searching through my cupboard for the diced tomatoes I did come across a can of diced tomatoes with chipotle peppers. I set it aside. No way was that going to work. My recipe called for balsalmic vinegar and I couldn't mix balsalmic vinegar and chipotle!

After more digging I finally realized I had to change my plan . The chicken was already in the pan cooking....so I decided what the heck. I'll use the tomatoes with chipotle and just wing it. That is when I realized that many times when I do have to "wing it" that I end up with something I really love! Grumpy did enjoy it, but I was told I don't have permission to cook chicken anymore. Ha ha, right. If he wants me to make something other than chicken now, he can either help me decide what to have before dinner, or just keep quiet about it and eat. I will admit I have made a lot of chicken lately....but only to you. I'll never admit that to Grumpy!

Chipotle Chicken Skillet
ala HoneyB's

3 large boneless skinless chicken breast
garlic powder
1 onion, sliced
1- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with chipotle peppers

Brown chicken in saucepan sprayed with cooking spray. Season chicken to taste with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Once browned on both sides, add sliced onion. Saute with chicken until onions start to turn soft. Add tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes or til tender.

I served this over rice pilaf. D-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s

January 29, 2009

I'm in love

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I sure am! I'm in love with Amano Chocolate. I was one of the lucky winners of the Amano chocolate giveaway on Blake Makes.

Before Amano there was Lindt Dark chocolate. Before Lindt there was Dove Dark chocolate. But now that I have tried Amano Jembrana , I will never go back. Jembrana is 70% dark chocolate and is SO CREAMY. It is solid, but creamy and it just melts in your mouth. I savored every last bite of mine over the week. I also hid it in my nightstand so Grumpy couldn't find it. I savored one piece each night while I did my reading. he he. What he doesn't know, what hurt him. Might hurt me...but not him!

If you would like to try this chocolate out for yourself, you can check out their website where you can find out more about their chocolate and what goes into it AND see the very pretty design on their other bars! I want to thank Blake Makes and Amano Chocolate for giving me the opportunity to try this chocolate it was a great experience!

January 28, 2009

Easy Chicken Potpie

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Its snowing outside right now. Snow is coming down quite good and it is supposed to continue....we have 6-12" in the forecast! What better time than to think of something warm and comforting for dinner? Not to mention, quick and easy!

This is one of my go to meals when I need to think of something quick that will please Grumpy. Have you all figured out that I am pretty easy to please for the most part? ;o) I found this recipe in a Light & Tasty about 3 years ago (along with a hot fudge pudding cake that we love too!).

Chicken Pot Pie
Light & Tasty

1 can (10-3/4 ounces) reduced-fat reduced-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) reduced-fat reduced-sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1/2 cup plus 2/3 cup fat-free milk, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 packages (16 ounces each) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed (I only use 1 bag - 2 bags is way too much!)
1-1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
1-1/2 cups reduced-fat biscuit/baking mix

In a large bowl, combine the soups, 1/2 cup milk, thyme, pepper and poultry seasoning. Stir in vegetables and chicken.

Transfer to a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. In a small bowl, stir biscuit mix and remaining milk just until blended. Drop by 12 rounded tablespoonfuls onto chicken mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 40-50 minutes or until filling is bubbly and biscuits are golden brown.

6 servings.

January 27, 2009

Chocolate and Ginger

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I debated. I decided no. Then I went to the TWD website to see what else we were making after this week. Then I debated some more. Did I want to really make chocolate gingerbread? Who would eat it besides me? Is it something my co-workers will eat? Well, I decided I would try it and see. So, I made the gingerbread.

I really like the icing recipe. Melted semi-sweet chocolate and coffee, stirring in softened butter and just enough confectioners sugar to make it sweet. I love how it tasted and I love how easy it was to spread on the cake. I will definitely keep that icing in mind for other recipes! I also like how moist the cake turned out. I did use a "real" 9x9 pan as Dorie had contacted our group to tell us we would have too much batter if we went with an 8x8 instead. I was lucky - apparently 9x9 pans are hard to come by, but I have one from an elderly friend who left me a lot of her dishes when she passed on. Turned out perfect. I think if I was to eat this cake, I probably wouldn't be able to stop it looks and smells so good to me.

Our choice this week came from Heather of Sherry Trifle the name of the recipe is Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread which can be found on Heather's blog or on page 212 of Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours.

To check out the other Gingerbread cakes you can visit our blogroll. Next week is Dorie's World Peace cookies. These I have made before and LOVE them!

January 26, 2009

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and an award

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Last week I found some fingerling potatoes in the grocery. I think this is the first time I have ever seen them in our area! So, naturally, when I saw them, I grabbed them right up! I had to try them. Besides, they were cute! :0)

I thought just roasting them with fresh rosemary, olive oil, salt & pepper would be a great way to try these out for the first time. They were delicious! But then again, what potato isn't delicious?

Rosemary Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

1 lb. fingerling potatoes
2 stalks fresh rosemary
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Wash and slice potatoes. Coat with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and sprinkle with chopped leaves from two stalks of fresh rosemary.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until done.

A little while ago, Linda of Weekend Cook gave me the Triple Award. Thanks Linda! The rules for recipients are:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

I have more than 10 blogging buddies, but at this point in time I will recognize 10 - however all of you are special!

1. Cristine of Cooking with Cristine. I feel a real connection with Cristine. She is number one in my book. Number one mom, wife, and blogger.

2. Barbara of Barbara Bakes. Barbara and I have been emailing back and forth since last July. She and I seem to have a lot in common (the last name snow, children getting married, cooking light to name a few!) and I enjoy hearing from her on a regular basis! :) We have become email buddies and I really like that!

3. Jessie of The Hungry Mouse. Jessie and I converse back and forth a lot on stumbleupon! I love our going back and forth and the bits of info we share with each other. I feel like she is a real friend even though I have never met her in person!

4. Marthe of Culinary Delights. Oh Marthe. This woman deserves all kinds of recongition from me. Marthe has a huge heart and is super thoughtful. There has been real snail mail exchange between Marthe and I and I think the blogging world deserves to know what a wonderful person she is! She is so super thoughtful.

5. Laura of The Spiced Life. I met Laura when I was paired with her for Taste & Create. I have enjoyed our exchanes and I was delighted when she and her mom particpated in sending goodies to a soldier from my area right before Christmas.

6. Val of More than Burnt Toast. I have been reading Val's blog ever since I knew blogs existed. We share a little bit of geographical location in common and I just totally enjoy her blog. She amazes me at how much she seems to accomplish and the events she participates in!

7. Beth of Cookie Pie. Beth is a newer blogger that I have enjoyed reading. She was a winner of my Pay it Forward, a soon to be mom (come March) and is the food editor in one of my favorite magazines. She is a special girl, you can see that just from reading her blog!

8. Patsy of Family, Friends and Food. I have gotten to know Patsy even better since Facebook. She is super friendly and has an awesome blog. I am looking forward to getting to know her more!

9. Amanda of Bits and Bites of Everything. Amanda is my real life friend. She is a sweet, quiet and somewhat shy woman who has been there for me during a tough time a few months ago. She is a good friend who listens and doesn't judge! She started a blog and I'm really proud of her work! She recently made pizza on her own from scratch. Good going Amanda! :)

10. Robin Sue of Big Red Kitchen. Robin Sue is another woman with a big good heart! I love everything about her blog. She has a lot of interesting things to tell us and her most recent posts on Stromboli is one of my favorites!

Its hard to stop here. I feel like I'm leaving people out. You are all in my heart! Blogging has become a real part of my life and the friends I have made this way are all very special in their own way!

January 25, 2009

Be my Valentine.....

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Two events are coming up real close to each other. Grumpy's birthday and Valentines Day. I tell him that someone born so close to the day of love should be super sweet. He just laughs. But, I think there is some sweetness hidden there as proof I am about to tell you. You see that picture above? Well that was Grumpy's idea. Can you believe it? The man who laughed at me over a year ago for taking pictures of food is now telling me how he "thinks" I should "present" my food! lol. Just as proof, I got a picture of his hand below putting together his version of what my cookie should look like. he he. When I told him I had the photo he informed me I that I can't talk about him anymore. Yeah, right. I'll get right on it.

Earlier this week I told my son Justin that I would make him and Kristina some cookies. These are the cookies I made for them. An early Valentine treat. Probably not the only one either, so kids....here is a start! ;0)

The recipe I used for this cookie is the same one I used when I made chocolate chip cookies just last week. You can click here for the recipe. This time I used all dark brown sugar, made the cookies twice as big and added the Valentine M&M's instead of chocolate chips and pecans.

Stay tuned for some more cookies to come....some special ones.

In the meantime, make some Thick, Chewy Chocolate Chip cookies and put some "love" into them to pass on to your Valentine! Ok, I'm off to find Grumpy....

January 24, 2009

Irish Cream Dream

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Yeah, my brownie kick is about over....for now anyway! I have other things on my mind so brownies are going to probably take a back seat for a little while! But I have one more to share.

Irish Cream Brownies. I have all this Irish Cream Liquor and since I didn't use it to make a cheesecake or liquor soaked cake over the holidays, I needed to use it in something.....besides a shot glass. ;o)

This is another Cooking Light recipe so it won't break your calorie or WW points bank! It turned out really fudgy and you could detect the flavor of the Irish Cream in the brownie. Was it my favorite? No. The Mocha Toffee Brownie was my very favorite, but it was good and they all disappeared before noon in the office (which is a good indication of a good recipe!).

Irish Cream Brownies

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup egg substitute
1/4 cup Baileys Irish Cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.
Place the chocolate chips and the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 1 1/2 minutes or until the chocolate chips and butter melt, stirring every 30 seconds. Cool slightly. Add sugar and next 3 ingredients (through vanilla extract), stirring well with a whisk. Microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until sugar dissolves, stirring every 30 seconds. Fold in the flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Spread batter in a thin layer into a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Makes 16 servings.
Per Serving: Calories: 145, Fat: 4.9g, Fiber: 1.1g
WW Points: 3

January 23, 2009

Italian Sausage Sandwiches

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Do you ever get in a slump where you have no idea what you are going to do for dinner? Believe it or not, I am in that slump often. I want to make something Grumpy likes so I will ask him what he might suggest and this is how it will go: "I don't know" or "I'm not hungry, I can't think of anything right now". It can be so frustrating! A simple "lets have such and such" would sometimes make my life so much easier! I have a feeling it is this way in a lot of homes....at least my co-worker gets what I'm talking about when I mention it to her so I don't think I am alone here.

I make sure I am happy too...I mean, look at all the baked goodies I have been making lately. Believe me, that isn't for Grumpy's happiness. He's not a super big sweets person. I'm the sugar monger in the house. I like to believe that I am like my Nanny in every way. I have a big heart, love my family immensely, hate to see anyone hurt, and have a big sweet tooth. ;o) I probably have the nagging part down pretty good too. hehehe

The other evening was one of those nights that I had no idea what to make. I hadn't taken any meat out of the freezer and didn't have a clue. So, on my way home from work I gave Grumpy a call. No answer. After I put gas in my car I gave him another call. Still no answer. I headed on home thinking what am I going to fix? By the time I was 2 miles from home (and had already decided what I was making) Grumpy called me back. Too late. He didn't get a choice anymore. I had already decided - but I will say, he was not unhappy at all and commented that they were really good this time. I think its because I added some vinegar as suggested by Elle in her post on Italian Sausage Sandwiches!

Italian Sausage and Pepper Sandwiches

1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large green or red bell peppers, or a mixture of both, sliced into 1/2-inch strips
1 large onions, sliced
1 large cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 pounds Italian Sweet Sausage Links
8 hoagie or steak sandwich rolls

Heat olive oil in large sauté over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until slightly wilted. Add garlic and cook one more minute. Add peppers and seasonings; stir to combine. (this is where I added a couple tablespoons of vinegar) Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until peppers are very tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the lid to evaporate liquids.

Meanwhile, place sausages in frying pan and cook until browned on all sides and thoroughly done. Place cooked sausages in pan with peppers to keep warm. To serve, place a sausage in roll and top with peppers and onions as desired. (I slice my sausage, while Grumpy keeps his whole - fix yours however you like!) I toast our rolls - we like our rolls for all our sandwiches (hamburger, hotdogs, sausages) sprayed with some I Can't Believe it's Not Butter and broiled in the toaster oven.

January 22, 2009

Fudgy Mocha Brownies

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The brownie love that is! I admit it, I'm on a brownie kick. I don't see anyone I'm feeding them to complaining! These brownies were fudgy and yummy! Even Grumpy liked these - and he normally won't eat anything with toffee bits because he doesn't like "crunchy"!

These brownies went to work and they were all gone before noon. I didn't bother to move the box once it was empty and people kept coming in and looking in the box hoping for a brownie. I know, what a tease. I even had one faculty say that the box sitting there was her favorite box and she gets excited when she see's it next to the coffee maker. I would have to say that the faculty and students in my department are not only well fed but spoiled rotten!

Since I posted my Junior Mint Brownies I have seen even more brownie posts popping up. Check them out for some more brownie ideas!

Easy Chocolate Caramel Brownies by Patsyk (my Cooking Light baking buddy!)
Peanut-Butter Nutella Brownies by Cathy
Triple Chocolate Brownies by Grannyloohoo

Fudgy Mocha Brownies
Cooking Light, JANUARY 2005

Cooking spray
2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
1/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/4 cup toffee chips

Preheat oven to 350º.
Coat bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
Combine coffee and hot water, stirring until coffee dissolves.
Combine butter and chocolate chips in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at high 1 minute or until butter melts; stir until chocolate is smooth.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine coffee mixture, butter mixture, vanilla, and eggs in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add coffee mixture to flour mixture; stir just until combined. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle evenly with toffee chips. Bake at 350º for 22 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
WW Points: 3

Calories: 145 (30% from fat)
Fat: 4.8g (sat 2.4g,mono 1.8g,poly 0.3g)
Protein: 2.2g
Carbohydrate: 24.9g
Fiber: 1.1g
Cholesterol: 30mg
Iron: 0.9mg
Sodium: 121mg
Calcium: 23mg

January 21, 2009

Flavorful Venison Stew

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Venison. It has always been abundant in our home since Grumpy and I have been together. When he and I got together, the one thing he warned me about was that he hunted and nothing interfered with his hunting. Little did he know that I was happy to hear that because it meant I had the whole hunting season to myself to do my "thing" while he was doing his "thing"! I admit, buy the time the season is over with, I am ready for it to be.....but the beginning of the season its like I hit the jackpot! he he.

This year something did interfere with his hunting season - his work and his mom's strokes. Work has been busy for him and his mom needing us took precedence over everything we had planned. By the way, we saw her last evening and I was amazed at how great she was doing! She looks great and is actually able to walk some without her walker. She's still wobbly, but she his making awesome progress!

As a result of hunting season being preempted, we will not have a freezer full of venison for the next year as we have always had. You can bet that next year Grumpy will be full head on the hunt for next year - and will be looking for that "big one" to come by! In the meantime, we will enjoy what we do have in the best way's possible!

Flavorful Venison Stew

Adapted from: Cooking Light
, JANUARY 2004 (Beef Stew Recipe)

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups diagonally cut carrot
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups sliced celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon or other dry red wine
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 (14.5-ounce) cans no-salt-added stewed tomatoes, undrained
2 bay leaves
Hot cooked rice

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef; cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove from pan. Add carrots through garlic to pan; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Return beef to pan. Stir in water and next 6 ingredients (water through bay leaves); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour. Cook for 30 minutes or until beef is tender. Discard bay leaves. Serve over top of hot cooked rice.

6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)
WW Points: 6
Calories: 288
Fat: 10.3g
Protein: 25.2g
Carbohydrate: 20.1g
Fiber: 5.7g
Cholesterol: 71mg
Iron: 5.5mg
Sodium: 584mg
Calcium: 100mg

January 20, 2009

Sliding along

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I decided to skip today's Tuesdays with Dorie. Basically because the recipe called for a heavy cream filled sponge cake and I knew I would not keep it away from my mouth! If your here looking for the Berry Surprise Cake you can find it on Mary Ann of Meet Me in the Kitchen's blog. You can also see the other TWD Baker's post on this cake by going to our blogroll. If you have the Baking: From my home to yours book, the recipe is on pages 273-275. I will look forward to reading the post on the cake but will have to enjoy it that way only this week!

Instead I am going to post today my favorite kind of burger. A slider. The slider is the absolutely perfect sized burger - for me anyway! The first time I ever had a slider was when I went to Cheeseburger in Paradise. Yum, yum, yum. The last time I had a slider was right here at home. ;o). I live too far away from Cheeseburger in Paradise to eat there on a regular basis!

For this burger I did use the Amazing Taste seasoning packet. If we didn't love it....I wouldn't be mentioning it here! It was an awesome burger! Their recipe is below - I of course fixed it up my way with the fixings - and I made mine into sliders....but you can enjoy them any way you want to. Below is just a suggested way of making them!

Hearty American Burger
Amazing Taste Foods

1 1/2 lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 large red onion (sliced)
1 packet of Amazing Taste® for Burger
4 wedges of iceberg lettuce
1/3 cup chopped pickle
1 large tomato cut into slices
4 onion rolls (split)
4 slices of your favorite cheese (optional)

Shape beef into 4 (1/2 inch thick) patties. Evenly coat patties (both sides) with 1/2 Amazing Taste® packet. Set aside. Grill onion slices over medium heat. Sprinkle remaining Amazing Taste seasoning over onions. Cook 5 minutes. Grill or broil burgers for 5-6 minutes on each side. Top with cheese (optional). Add your favorite condiment to bun. Layer with lettuce, burger, grilled onion, pickle, and tomato.

Serve with Fries, Chips, or Potato Salad.

January 19, 2009

Chickpea and Corn Patties

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Sometimes I just crave vegetarian foods. As I sit here this morning, looking at this photo, I could dig right into another one of these....but I will contain myself! One of the hardest parts of being a "foodie" and a cook is leaving well enough alone. I admit, I'm having a harder time lately and therefore I have resorted back to my cooking light recipes.

I attended a boarding school in my high school years that served only vegetarian foods. My mom also made vegetarian meals at home, so for me this wasn't a horrible thing. I really crave some of these foods at times. Since last evening Grumpy wasn't particularly in the mood for anything I decided to make these Chickpea and Corn Patties. He promised me he would try them - he's good like that. He didn't care for these but I really liked them! Guess I know what I will be eating for lunch the next few days - but I certainly won't mind!

Chickpea and Corn Patties
Cooking Light Complete

2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1-1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears) (I just used canned corn - no fresh corn in the middle of winter here and no frozen corn in my freezer!)
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 (19 oz) can chickpeas, rinced and drained
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
4 teaspoons cornmeal
cooking spray
1/4 cup fat free sour cream
1/4 cup bottled salsa
Thyme sprigs (optional)

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn, onion, and minced thyme. Saute 2 minutes. Place onion mixture, chickpeas, breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons cornmeal, salt and red pepper in a food processor. Pulse 8 times or until combined and chunky.

Divide chickpea mixture into 8 equal portions (I used a 1/4 cup measure and it worked out perfectly!), shaping each into 1/2 inch thick patty; dredge in cornmeal. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add 4 patties; cook 5 minutes. Carefully turn patties over; cook 4 minutes or until golden. Repeat procedure with 1/2 teaspoon oil and remaining patties. Serve with fat-free sour cream and salsa. Garnish with thyme sprigs if desired. Yield: 4 servings (2 patties equals 1 serving), 1 tablespoon sour cream, and 1 tablespoon salsa.

261 calories, 5.7 grams fat, 6.1 grams fiber
WW points: 5

January 18, 2009


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CCC reminds me of an old friend. His name is Michael. I have no idea where he is anymore. Maybe he still lives in MA but we lost touch and I have no idea how to find him again. He was such a great friend and he loved Chocolate Chip Cookies. He was always bugging me to make them for him and wanted me to mail them to him. I did once and he actually sent me photos of when he received them! So, whenever I make CCC, I think of Michael and his music. He also was a musician and had made his own CD - which I still have!

These are not cooking light or low fat or good for you. They are just plain good. They are called Thick, Chewy Chocolate Chip cookies. If you eat just one (or two) you will be good. Throw the rest in the freezer and don't allow yourself to eat anymore until the next day. he he. Right. If your like me, once and a while you'll run to the freezer and eat a frozen one. They are good that way too. But, alas, I am being a good girl and not doing that. Honest! Cross my heart! I have that cruise I'm going on and I need to look good for it! I'll probably give some of these away. If any of my kids are reading this and you let me know you want some.....well, Mom will be over (or you can come grab some)!

I make these cookies a bit smaller than they are supposed to be. I get about twice as many cookies as the recipe says I should. I use my small cookie scoop when scooping them out. They spread some, but not a lot. They stay rounded some and have some substance to them. The bigger you make them, the thicker they will be.

Thick, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sunset Magazine, November 2003

1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I used Giradelli 70% dark big pieces!)
1 cup chopped pecans

In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. (I use my Kitchen-aid)

In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir or beat into butter mixture until well incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans, if using.

Drop dough in 2-tablespoon (1/8-cup) portions, 2 inches apart, onto buttered 12- by 15-inch baking sheets. (I use my small cookie scoop which gives me twice as many cookies)

Bake in a 400° oven until cookies are lightly browned and no longer wet in the center (break one open to check), 6 to 8 minutes; if baking more than one pan at a time, switch pan positions halfway through baking. (I still bake 6-8 minutes - they don't seem to get too brown to me - but I always check at 6 minutes first because after the first batch it can take less time)

With a wide spatula, transfer cookies to racks to cool. If hot cookies start to break, slide a thin spatula under them to release; let stand on pan to firm up, 2 to 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely. (I always use parchment paper and since my cookies are smaller I never have trouble with them breaking!)

Now for the scary part...

Nutrition Information: Calories (1 big cookie or 2 small ones) 208, Fat 11 grams.

January 17, 2009

Grumpy's "thing"

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Grumpy has a "thing" for chewy cookies. He also has a "thing" for white chocolate and macadamia nuts. I have a "thing" for my Grumpy. he he. I couldn't resist that!

A lot of us have been looking at lighter recipes to get rid of extra poundage and still be happy and satisfied with what we are eating. It is no secret that I love Cooking Light recipes. They can be very tasty while not killing the calorie/fat count! I made it knowing it would be chewy and yummy just by reading the ingredients! I also knew it would make my Grumpy a very happy man, for a while anyway ;o).

Coconut-Macadamia Nut Cookies
Cooking Light, December 2000

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup regular oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup golden raisins (I use white chocolate chips instead)
1/3 cup flaked sweetened coconut
1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup butter or stick margarine, melted
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons honey
Cooking spray (I line with parchment paper instead as these can be sticky!)

Preheat oven to 325°.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and the next 6 ingredients (flour through baking soda). Combine butter, water, and honey, stirring well to combine. Add butter mixture to flour mixture, stirring until well-blended. Drop by level tablespoons 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325° for 10 minutes or until almost set. Cool on pan 2 to 3 minutes or until firm. Remove cookies from pan, and cool on wire racks.

Serving size: 1 cookie
Per cookie: 90 calories, 2 grams fat, .5 grams fiber
WW Points: 2

January 15, 2009

A winner and awards

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The fruit roll-ups giveaway winner is:

Anonymous Michelle said...
those are too cute. I love they can be customized. We have a little rock star want to be in our family, he got a guitar and lessons for Christmas so that would be cool. Or airplanes since my husband is air force and the boys share his love for airplanes. I'm a new visitor to your blog, but have enjoyed spending time checking out your old posts. You have some great recipes I would love to try.
January 10, 2009 2:40 PM
Congratulations Michelle!
Chosen by:

Random Integer Generator
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Timestamp: 2009-01-15 18:34:54 UTC

I apologize for taking a little longer than I should have in getting this done. My last couple of posts were already set to go or they might not have made it up. You see, Grumpy had an accident at work and I have been a bit distracted. He's going to be fine - we are lucky he wasn't hurt as bad as he could have been. So, I'm busy taking care of Grumpy and working my job. Not much cooking going on as of the time I'm writing this, but maybe I'll have something else made soon! ;)

I have received some awards and want to thank and acknowledge them here today!

AK Mom of What's Baking awarded me with the One Lovely Blog Award.

I want to pass this on to Linda of Weekend Cook. She has a great blog with some great recipes! I am pleased to be able to give this award to Linda and I am super excited and look very forward to meeting her in person which we will be doing in the near future at one of my cousin's shows! (Big Grin here!)


Barbara of Barbara Bakes awarded me with the Butterfly Award.

I want to award this to one of my cooking friends who's blog is very new! If you haven't seen her blog yet, please do visit. She is a very insightful lady who writes well and you will love what she has to share! She also has a knack for making her photos look so inviting. You will love her! Katypi of Food for a Hungry Soul, this goes to you!

I also want to pass this on to Debbie of The Friday Friends. Oh my. Just read her posts, she will have you laughing so hard at times you think your going to wet your pants....seriously, she just did that to me this morning! Debbie is awesome, down to earth and so honest! I love her blog!


Megan of Megan's Munchies awarded me with the Holy Yum! Award

I want to pass this on to one of my most favorite blogs ever! Pam of For the Love of Cooking. If you've been reading my blog all along, then you know I have tried some of her recipes and all of them have been a hit with both Grumpy and myself! Everything this girl cooks looks amazing and I want to be her neighbor!

Junior Mint Brownies

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What is it that makes us all think of the same thing (or food) at the same time? What is it about brownies lately that have us all thinking about them? I'm not sure what the answer is to that question. Maybe its because we all (guys and girls!) are having chocolate cravings?

Of course, I am trying to make things in the house healthier so Grumpy doesn't blame me anymore for his getting fat. (did I just say that?!?) Cooking Light has a lot of brownie recipes. I have earmarked a few recipes that I want to try and if they turn out and are scrumptious, I will share them with you.

Which brings us to today's post. The Junior Mint Brownie, published in Cooking Light, March 1999 magazine. Ten years later I am finally making it. I don't know why it took me so long. I love chocolate, I love brownies, and I love mint. I can tell you this....I won't wait another 10 years before I make this recipe again! Try it....and see for yourselves!

Junior Mint Brownies
Cooking Light, March 1999

Cooking spray
1/4 cup butter
32 (about 3 ounces) creamy, small-size mints in pure chocolate (such as Junior Mints)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 large egg
1 large egg white
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Coat bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
Combine butter and mints in a 2-cup glass measure; microwave at high 30 seconds or until soft. Stir until smooth, and set aside.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Combine flour, soda, and salt in a bowl. Combine sugar, cocoa, egg, and egg white in a large bowl; beat at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended. Add mint mixture; beat well. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until blended. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean; cool completely on a wire rack.
This makes 16 brownies at 121 calories per brownie!

Want to try some other luscious looking brownies? These sites have been tempting me with their yummy chocolatey goodness! Below are other bloggers who have been thinking about brownies too!

by Matt's Kitchen
Brownies with Caramel Creme Fraiche by Chocolate Shavings
"Baked" Brownies by The Spiced Life
Nutella Chocolate Fudge Brownies by Spatulas, Corkscrews & Suitcases

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