Friday, December 2, 2011

Roasted Bone-in Chicken Breasts

I originally thought of is as a post under the "good idea" category, but it can also make a delicious dinner idea so that's a double-duty post for you!

I've posted before about prepping chicken & freezing it until you're ready to use it. It saves time all around, for sure.

But recently, I've found it's more cost-effective and MUCH easier to buy the bone-in-breasts and roast them. After they cool, I cube & shred & freeze some delicious chicken. The chicken tastes so much better when it's roasted first!

So before the holiday season gets TOO busy for you, find a sale (bone-in breasts were on sale for $1.00/pound here recently), roast & prep some chicken for your freezer.

You'll be ready for those busy-busy holiday nights and you'll have chicken all ready to bring a yummy dinner to a holiday party too!

Double-bonus: These are great straight out of the oven, paired with a salad & some cornbread, for example - they're a perfect, quick dinner. AND/OR - allow chicken breasts to cool, place in Tupperware & save for a quick lunch the next day.


Roasted Bone-in Chicken Breasts

Bone-in chicken breasts
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

  • Preheat oven to 375*F.

  • Line baking pan(s) - not a cookie sheet! - with heavy duty foil, if desired. (It makes clean-up a breeze!)

  • Trim excess fat and skin from chicken breasts. (I bake mine skinless, but it's up to you.)

  • Place chicken breasts about 2" apart in the baking pan. Rub chicken breasts with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.

  • Bake 35-40 minutes, or until cooked through.

  • Serve, if making dinner.

  • OR - Set aside until cool enough to handle, if you'll be shredding or cubing.

  • After chicken breasts have cooled a bit, remove meat from the bones (you can use the bones to make a delicious homemade chicken broth!). Shred/cube chicken.

  • Place in freezer bag(s) in desired quantities.

  • Freeze for up to 3 months.
NOTE: 6 bone-in chicken breasts will give you 4-6 cups of cubed chicken.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Scones - Starbucks' Pumpkin and Chocolate Chip

We're deep into hot cocoa weather here in Utah and there's nothing better with a cup of hot cocoa than a scone. Yummm!!!

The Starbucks' Pumpkin Scone recipe came from, the Chocolate Chip Scone recipe was adapted by me from a few recipes I had in my recipe book. They're both amazing!

The Starbucks' Pumpkin Scone tastes just like the ones they carry at my local Starbucks, but they don't cost $4 and they're fresh from your oven. Awesome.

They only take about 10 minutes to make and about 10-15 to bake and you'll have a plate full of deliciousness - ENJOY!!

Starbucks' Pumpkin Scones
Makes 12 scones

For the scones:
2 cups all-purpose flour
7 Tblsp granulated sugar
1 Tblsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
6 Tblsp cold butter - must be COLD, not room temp
1/2 cup canned pumpkin - 100% pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling
3 Tblsp half-and-half (or 2 Tblsp heavy whipping cream + 1 Tblsp milk)
1 large egg

For the powdered sugar glaze:
1 cup + 1 Tblsp powdered sugar
2 Tblsp milk

For the spiced glaze:
1 cup + 3 Tblsp powdered sugar
2 T milk
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground ginger
Pinch of ground cloves

Preheat oven to 425*F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves & ginger in a large bowl. Use a fork (I used a whisk & a pastry cutter) to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter are obvious; set aside.

** This process is not immediate. Be patient & thorough. It's totally worth it! **

In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, half-and-half, and egg until thoroughly mixed. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and form the dough into a ball.

Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle, about 3 times as long as it is wide. Use a large knife or a pizza cutter to slice the dough twice through the width, making 3 equal portions.

Cut each of the portions in an X pattern (into 4 pieces) so you end up with a total of 2 triangular pieces of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until light brown. Remove from baking sheet to a wire rack to cool.

Mix the powdered sugar and milk together until smooth to make plain powdered sugar glaze. When scones are cool, use a brush to spread plain glaze over the top of each scone.

While powdered sugar glaze is firming on scones, combine all the ingredients for the spiced glaze. Drizzle spiced glaze over each scone. Allow icing to dry before serving (about an hour).


Chocolate Chip Scones

Makes 8 scones

2 cups Bisquick - I used the Heart Healthy style

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream + about 2 Tblsp more for brushing on scones

3 Tblsp granulated sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

Additional or decorative sugar

Preheat oven to 425*F. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. (I lined mine with foil first).

Stir Bisquick mix, chocolate chips, 1/3 cup whipping cream, 3 Tblsp sugar, the egg & vanilla in a medium bowl until soft dough forms. (I needed an additional teaspoon of whipping cream so my dough would stick together. You do not want this dough wet though. It is very dry & crumbly.)

Pat dough into 8-inch circle on cookie sheet. (If dough is sticky, dip fingers in Bisquick mix.) Brush circle with additional whipping cream; sprinkle with additional or decorative sugar.

Cut into 8 wedges with a long knife or pizza cutter, but do not separate.

Bake about 12 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully separate scones. If possible, serve warm.


Make it even easier by making drop scones. Heat oven to 400*F. Drop dough into 8 mounds onto greased cookie sheet; pat slightly to flatten. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. If making the pumpkin scones, brush & drizzle glazes after scones have cooled on a wire rack.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Meat Lasagne

**This is a great recipe with the taste of Lasagne, but without all the added calories. It also does not have any pasta so it is low carb. This came from Sandy at Light Recipes.**

Meat Lasagne


1 lb ground turkey or beef

1 can Italian flavored diced tomatoes

¼ tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

Cheese filling:

½ cup Part Skim reduced fat Ricotta Cheese

1 ½ cups Mozarella cheese – DIVIDED

3 TB parmesan cheese

2 TB Egg beaters

¼ tsp garlic powder

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1/8 tsp pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown ground turkey or beef in a skillet. Add the tomatoes and seasonings. Simmer for 2 minutes. Pour into an 8x8 baking dish.

In a separate bowl, add all the ingredients for the the cheese filling. (only use ¾ cup mozzarella cheese at this point) Stir well and spread over the meat mixture. Now sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese over top.

Bake for 35 minutes until the top becomes bubbly.

Serves 4

Low Carb Pizza - Cauliflower Pizza

**This is a recipe where if you are really wanting pizza, but are watching your weight, it will fill that craving without the guilt!!! It DOES stick though even with spray, so I started using the no stick foil which has helped, a silpat may work, or parchment paper also. **

Cauliflower Pizza
1 cup raw cauliflower grated or just chopped up smaller
1/4 cup egg beaters
1/4 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese or mexican cheese blend
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp basil

1/4 cup low carb pizza sauce or pureed diced tomatoes (I just use pizza sauce)
1/4 cup mozarella cheese
1/4 cup lean italian turkey sausage, turkey pepperoni, vegetarian sausage crumbles
1/4 cup chopped up peppers, mushrooms etc..

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place non stick foil on cookie sheet. Combine cauliflower, egg beaters, cheese, garlic powder and basil into a blender. Blend until smooth. If you grate the cauliflower, you could just mix this well instead. Pour onto the foil and create a circle crust. The thinner the mixture the less chance of it being soggy. Bake for 30 minutes. Carefully flip the pizza crust over. (remember that it does stick so be careful while loosening it from the foil UNLESS you are using NON-stick foil which seems to help a lot!). Bake an additional 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and place all ingredients on top of pizza. Place back in the oven for about 10-15 minutes.

Makes 1 pizza

Healthy Versions of Chili

**Here are 3 recipes of different versions of Chili for those that are watching their weight or want some lower sodium recipes. Each of them are recipes that I really like**

Turkey Chili

1 lb ground turkey

2 cups water

2 packets HERBOX sodium free Chicken bouillon

5 fresh tomatoes diced up (I use 2 cans no salt added diced tomatoes)

5 green onions diced

1 garlic clove

½ TB chili powder

½ tsp cumin

½ tsp paprika

½ tsp mortons lite salt

½ tsp pepper

Brown turkey bresast in a large skillet. Add to a large saucepan with remaining ingredients. Stir to combine all ingredients. Bring chili to a boil and then simmer over medium heat for 30-45 minutes. (If you use canned tomatoes, you don’t need to simmer as long)

Serves 3-4


1 lb ground beef

5 green onions diced

1 garlic clove

1 TB chili powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp oregano

dash of red pepper flakes

2 cans no salt added diced tomatoes

3 cups water

3 packets HERBOX sodium free Beef bouillon

Brown Ground beef in a large skillet. Add to a large saucepan with remaining ingredients. Stir to combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil and then simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes.

Serves 4

Mexican Chili

1 lb lean ground turkey or beef

¼ cup and ½ cup reduced fat Mexican blend cheese

1 cans diced tomatoes with green chiles

6 tsp low sodium taco seasoning

3 wedges Laughing Cow Queso Fresco and Chipotle Light cheese

Brown ground beef in a skillet. Add to a medium saucepan. Add ¼ cup Mexican cheese, diced tomatoes, taco seasoning and 3 wedges of cheese. Stir and heat to boiling. Serve with remaining cheese sprinkled over top.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Classic Mac-n-Cheese

Creamy, cheesy, comforting - SO delicious! Our family loves mac-n-cheese. :)

I've posted a few recipes before, but this one was the cheesiest & yummiest (according to my family). It will be out go-to mac-n-cheese from now on.

This is not a low-cal recipe! But every once-in-awhile, it's nice to just load up on some cheesy-ness, right?

We really enjoyed the chicken & apple sausages I served with this mac-n-cheese!! Their low-cal, no trans fat, stats almost made up for the carb overload that is mac-n-cheese. LOL!

Go to the end of the post if you want to see what kind we had.


Classic Mac-n-Cheese
Makes 1 2-quart serving dish - should serve about 8 people

Prep: 10 mins Cook time: 25 mins

1 box (1 lb) elbow macaroni (or penne)
1 1/4 lb shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 Tblsp butter
3 Tblsp all-purpose flour
2 cups milk (you can use evaporated or powdered, reconstituted to equal 2 cups)
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper or paprika, if you don't like it spicy

Optional breadcrumb topping:
2 Tblsp butter
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350*F. Coat an oven-safe baking dish with nonstick cooking spray & set aside.

Cook macaroni according to package directions, drain & set aside.

In a large bowl, toss together cheddar and Parmesan. Set aside.

In a large pot (I used a dutch oven), melt butter over medium heat.

Whisk in flour, onion powder, salt & cayenne or paprika until smooth and bubbly.

In a thin, constant stream, whisk in milk until smooth.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often or constantly, if possible.

Reduce heat & simmer 3 minutes.

Remove from heat; whisk in 2 1/2 cups of the cheese mixture. (This will be hard to whisk at first, but dig in & whisk hard until it's smooth & all the cheese is melted in.)

Dump cooked macaroni into the cheese sauce; stir until well combined.

Spoon half of the cheesy macaroni into prepared baking dish.

Sprinkle with a generous cup of the cheddar/Parmesan cheeses.

Spoon remaining cheesy macaroni into the baking dish (over the top of the cheese).

Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese.

The next step is optional:

In a medium skillet, melt 2 Tblsp of butter with 1/2 cup breadcrumbs.

Cook & stir until butter is melted & breadcrumbs just begin to turn golden brown.

Sprinkle cooked breadcrumbs over the top of the mac-n-cheese is the baking dish.

Bake for 20 minutes at 350*F.

Remove from oven & serve hot! Enjoy!

If you didn't use the breadcrumbs & you'd like the top of your mac-n-cheese to be lightly browned, put the baking dish under the broiler for 2-3 minutes before serving.


We served this mac-n-cheese with chicken & apple sausage and a side of steamed broccoli.

The sausage we used was:

I bought it with a Buy-1-Get-1-Free coupon, but they're regularly about $3.75/pkg at my grocery store.

I've been wanting to try them because they're chicken (not pork, which I can't eat), they have no trans fats, and the apple sounded yummy.

The had a terrific snap as we cut through them and they were SO juicy! The apple could've been stronger, in my opinion, but my family had no complaints. Just "yum" noises all around the table. :)

I cooked them on a grill pan on my stovetop. You can microwave them or cook them in a skillet with a bit of water, but the grill sounded yummiest to me.

I'm getting no compensation from Johnsonville for this post - just wanted to share something we'd tried and loved.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Spiced Pumpkin Sippers

The chill of Fall is creeping into the air these days & warm, cozy foods are on our menu. Our treats are changing too - from Summer's cool treats to the belly-warming treats of Fall. It's one of my favorite times of year!

I found this treat on The Farm Chicks' blog. I made it this weekend and it's going to be a struggle not to make it every single day! SO yummy!!

A nice change from traditional hot chocolate & so perfect for Fall!!


The Farm Chicks' Spiced Pumpkin Sippers

Serves 4-6

4 cups whole milk

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Add all ingredients to a saucepan & whisk together thoroughly.

Whisk occasionally, over medium heat, until hot.

Ladle into mugs. Top with softly whipped cream & sprinkle with nutmeg. Serve hot.

Notes & Tips:

If you prefer a less-sweet drink, you can reduce the sugar by half.

These sippers are a great drink to serve to guests. To ease the work at party time, prepare the recipe in advance and refrigerate until ready to use.

Keep a crockpot full of the mixture to serve warm throughout your gathering.

Or, drink it one cupful at a time, simply reheating in the microwave.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Big Skinny Greek Turkey Burger

**This recipe came Sandy's Kitchen. We really enjoyed these and thought they had great flavor, especially for being on the healthy side. The BUMMER is as I am typing this up I realized I FORGOT to add the Feta cheese!!!! Oh, that would have made it so much better than it already was. But the fact that it was great without it, is really good news too.**

My Big Skinny Greek Turkey Burger
1 lb LEAN ground turkey (I used 93%)
1/4 cup reduced fat Feta cheese
1 heaping tsp oregano
1/2 heaping tsp salt
1/2 - 3/4 cup chopped red pepper
1/2 - 3/4 cup chopped fresh spinach leaves

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and and mix together well. Form into 4 patties. You can grill these inside or outside.

If you are doing the Medifast program:
7oz lean ground turkey
1 oz feta cheese
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp salt (I've been subbing garlic powder for the salt)
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh spinach leaves

1 lean, 3/4 of 1 green, and 3 condiments


Mac-n-Cheese Muffins

Aren't these cute?!? I love the idea of having this cute little side dish on my family's plates. :) Plus, perfect portion control!

I found the idea for these on Betty Crocker's website (link here) but I didn't like their actual recipe. So I decided to post the technique & let you use your own Mac-n-Cheese recipe. Even a box of Kraft Mac-n-Cheese would be fun for this recipe!

A couple of notes:
The meat is not necessary for this recipe. You can omit it altogether, or change it to something else. Ideas: chicken, Italian sausage, ham or crumbled bacon, kidney beans, or veggies (like broccoli).

If you're cooking this as a meal, I'd definitely add something to it. As a side dish, it's fine all by itself.

I was thinking you could cook most pasta recipes this way... Might be fun to put down a couple of these muffins using a marinara-based dish (like baked ziti?) and a big salad plus garlic bread for dinner!

I also think they would be a cute appetizer or snack!

Get creative & enjoy!

Mac-n-Cheese Muffins
adapted from Cooking With Sugar's recipe on

Your favorite recipe for Mac-n-Cheese (here's mine)
1 cup (4 oz) finely shredded cheese
(pick a cheese that reflects the flavors in your mac-n-cheese recipe - Cheddar,
Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack for basic mac-n-cheese, Italian cheese for Italian
mac-n-cheese, etc)
1/2 cup Italian-style panko crispy bread crumbs

If adding meat: 1/2 lb ground meat/sausage

Heat oven to 350*F. Spray 12 regular-sized muffin cups with cooking spray; set aside.

Prepare your favorite Mac-n-Cheese recipe.

If using ground meat, brown it thoroughly & drain, if necessary.

Fill each muffin cup with Mac-n-Cheese. If using them, sprinkle add-ins (like meat, beans, veggies) over the top.

Sprinkle bread crumbs & shredded cheese over top.

Cover pan loosely with foil, making sure foil does not touch cheese. Bake 15 minutes.

Remove foil; continue baking for 5 minutes more to brown mac-n-cheese muffin tops.

Remove from oven. Cool at least 10 minutes before removing muffins from pan.

Recipe note on
Muffins will still be wet when first removed from the oven. But once they cool, they are easy to remove from the pan with a small metal spatula.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Chocolate Caramel Cookies

I posted about cake mix cookies a couple of months ago - love 'em! They're easy & super yummy. This recipe puts a new twist on the cake mix cookie. There's a hidden surprise inside!

These are baked with a Rolo candy hidden inside - YUM!!

They were easy to make, delicious to eat, and perfect for a cold & blustery Fall day.


Chocolate Caramel Cookies

1 box devil's food cake mix
1/4 cup water
1 egg
3 Tblsp vegetable oil
3 Tblsp all-purpose flourRolo candies
Chopped nuts (hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans - pick your favorite)
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350*F.

Combine cake mix, water, egg, oil & all-purpose flour in a large bowl. Stir until well-combined.

Spray hand lightly with cooking spray. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls.

Press a Rolo candy into the dough ball...

... then re-shape the ball to completely cover the Rolo candy.

(You may need a smidge more dough to completely cover the Rolo)

Dip tops of dough balls into chopped nuts.

Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake at 350*F for 8-10 minutes (mine took about 12 mins) or until tops are cracked.

Cool for 2 minutes before removing from baking sheets to wire racks.

Store in an airtight container.


I wondered if this would work with different combo's - chocolate cake mix with Reese's peanut butter cups, maybe? Yellow cake mix with Hershey's kisses? Pumpkin cake mix with Hershey's Hugs (white & milk chocolate)?

If you try another combo & it works, let me know!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Balsamic Tri-Tip Roast in the Crock Pot

If you like balsamic vinegar, you'll LOVE this roast! If you don't like it, stop reading now.

This roast, for those who like balsamic vinegar, is amazing. Fall-apart, mouth-watering amazing! And SO easy!

Just a few ingredients & about 5 minutes in the morning for a delicious dinner that night. Especially satisfying now that the cooler days of Fall are here.

FYI - Balsamic vinegar is the dark vinegar they bring you to add to your olive oil for dipping bread at nicer Italian restaurants, in case you're not sure what it is. It has a strong, tangy, rich flavor. It's a flavor you either love or hate, so be sure you like it before making this dinner. It's easy to find at any grocery store. Don't spend the money for the super expensive brands since it's cooking all day in the crock pot, the store brands work just as well.

We serve this with mashed potatoes, gravy & usually green beans and corn on the side. DELISH!!

Balsamic Tri-Tip Roast in the Crock Pot

3 lbs tri-tip roast (You can buy 1 big roast or 2 smaller ones for this recipe. Watch for tri-tip on sale since it can be expensive, keep it in the freezer & take it out for this recipe.)
1 8-oz bottle balsamic vinegar
2 Tblsp minced garlic
Spices: salt, pepper, sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley

Turn crock pot on LOW.

Sprinkle minced garlic on the bottom of the crock pot. Place the lid on top to keep the heat in.

Sear tri-tip on all sides in a very hot pan. Use tongs to hold the roast upright to be sure you get all sides well-browned.

Use tongs to move browned tri-tip from the skillet to the crock pot. Try to lay the roast mostly flat, but don't push it down.

Sprinkle roast with spices - don't overload it, just a light covering (see below).

Pour balsamic vinegar into the crock pot. Don't pour it over the top of the roast or you'll wash away all the spices. Just pour it along the sides, into the bottom.

Replace lid & cook on LOW for at least 8 hours. (10 hours is best, but 8 is great too)

About 30 minutes before serving, use tongs to turn the roast in the crock pot. This will allow the vinegar to get into all sides of the roast. Replace lid & prepare side dishes.

To serve, remove from crock pot with tongs. (The roast will usually just fall apart. Sometimes, it holds its shape.) If necessary, move roast to a cutting board & cut into slices.

Serve with your favorite sides.

We like mashed potatoes & gravy, baked potatoes, or rice pilaf with this roast. Veggies on the sides are yummy too.



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