Four Ingredient Rolls

I love dinner rolls but I never bake them from scrath because I don’t like using quick rising yeast or a rolling pin. When I saw this recipe, it seemed simple enough to give it a try. Who know you could use 7-Up for making biscuits and keeping fruit fresh?

BiscuitsFour Ingredient Rolls on Pinterest
2 c. Bisquick
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. 7-Up
1/4 c. melted butter (a half stick)

Mix together sour cream and Bisquick. Add 7-Up. Sprinkle a cutting board and your hands with Bisquick. Pull apart and roll dough into nine pieces. Melt butter in a 8 x 8 glass baking dish. Place dough balls in dish. Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Notes:

  • I used light sour cream and unsalted butter. I think it turned out fine. You could probably use Diet 7-Up as well.
  • I would suggest maybe adding some seasoning to the recipe like rosemary or garlic powder.
  • I also used the biscuit this morning to make an egg white breast sandwich.

Mr. Food’s

I don’t know about any of you but I was a news junkie as a kid. On my days off, I would watch about every newscast during the day – including KTIV Channel 4 for News at Noon with Al Jones. For those of you still in the Sioux City viewing area, Al still does the Noon news. My father was telling me though that he has a co-anchor now. But I digress. In addition to getting the latest in farm news like the price of cattle, corn, and soybeans, you could also catch a segment with Mr. Food’s. Now I am assuming that Mr. Food’s is a syndicated segment that stations can add but I don’t think they still carry it on KTIV. One of the favorite recipes and first cheesecake I ever baked from scratch was a Mr. Food’s Heath Bar Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake (one of my sister’s favorite recipes I promise to share in a future post).

While home for Thanksgiving, my sister gave me a stack of cookbooks and cooking magazines to review. She told me if I wanted any of them, I could have them. One of the cookbooks was Mr. Food’s Quick & Easy Diabetic Cooking. My sister isn’t diabetic so I am going to assume she got it from my grandmother. But I love Mr. Food’s and he has some great recipes in it. This recipe is a slight variation on one in his cookbook. Instead of hot sauce, I substituted sweet and sour sauce. Probably a little less healthy but turned out pretty good.

Buffalo Chicken Strips
Chicken Fingers
1 & 1/2 lb. chicken breast, cut into strips
one small can of French’s Onions, crushed (the ones you put on green bean casserole)
1/4 c. sweet Thai sauce

Cover a cookie sheet in foil. Lightly coat the chicken with sauce, then do the same with French’s onions. Place chicken strips on baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes at 450 degrees.

Note: If you cook with hot cayenne pepper sauce instead of sweet Thai sauce, here are the nutritional facts based on eating three – 1 oz. strips. 196 calories (84 calories from fat), 9 g. fat (3 g. saturated fat), 51 mg cholesterol, 255 mg. sodium, 0 g. fiber, 0 g. sugars, and 20 g. protein.

Chicken Enchilaldas

I saw this recipe in a Betty Crocker email and it looked so good I couldn’t wait to try it. During my excursion to Sam’s Club, I picked up a rotisserie chicken. It was so flavorful and juicy I wasn’t sure I would have any left for this recipe. To my surprise, the rotisserie chicken has a lot of meat on it so I had plenty for this recipe. Plus, I was planning on halving it since I didn’t want to eat six meals out of it. One of the reasons I wanted to make this recipe was because I was surprised that two enchiladas only had 280 calories. Perhaps that should have been a clue had little meat would end up in each tortilla, as well as a lack of sauce/cheese. Let me tell you 1/4 cup of cheese spread over six tortillas puts only about six pieces on each one. Although this recipe was fine, I would suggest perhaps cutting the tortilla to six but keeping the rest the ingredient amounts the same. If you only eat one, it will be about the same maybe even a little better from cutting the amount of tortilla. Plus, you might want to put a little sauce in the bottom of the dish to help prevent sticking of the shells.

100_0897Creamy Key Lime Chicken Enchiladas by Betty Crocker.com
2 1/2 c. rotisserie chicken
1 medium onion (1/2 c.)
1 can (4.5 oz.) diced jalapeño peppers
1 can enchilada  sauce (mild, medium, or hot)
1 container of lime Greek yogurt

1/2 c. fresh cilantro
1/2 fresh squeezed lime
12 flour tortilla shells
1/2 c. reduced fat Mexican Cheddar Cheese

Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13×9-glass baking dish with cooking spray. In a skillet, cook onion, chiles and chicken over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes or until chicken is warm and onion is starting to turn translucent. Remove from heat; stir in yogurt, 1/4 c. of the cilantro, and the lime juice. Stir in 1/2 c. of the enchilada sauce. Fill each tortilla with 1/4 c. chicken mixture. Roll up; place seam side down in baking dish. Spread remaining enchilada sauce over tortillas; sprinkle with cheese. Bake about 30 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle remaining cilantro over enchiladas and serve. This recipe serves six.

 Nutrition Facts: 1 Serving (2 tortillas) – calories 280 (70 from fat), 7 g. fat (2.5 saturated fat), 55 mg cholesterol, 740 sodium, 30g. carbs, 3 g. fiber, 4 g. sugar, 23 g. protein.

Creamy Spaghetti Sauce

I think recipe came from an issue of Kraft Foods. It incorporates cream cheese into the sauce. It’s a nice quick dinner recipe.

Spaghetti a la PhillySpaghetti a la Philly
1/2 lb. spaghetti, uncooked

1 lb. extra-lean ground beef
1 jar (24 oz.) spaghetti sauce
4 oz. cream cheese
2 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook spaghetti according to package. Meanwhile, brown hamburger. Add sauce and cream cheese. Cook on low for 3-5 minutes until sauce is heated. Add drained spaghetti to sauce. Top with Parmesan cheese and serve. Makes four servings.

Notes:

  • I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese. Fat free would probably work OK as well in this recipe.
  • I made my sauce using a can of tomatoes and Wildtree seasoning. I still added the meat and cream cheese. It was a little healthier but took longer to taste the favors. I might add some fresh basil, spinich, or zucchini the next time I make it.

Zucchini for Dessert

While making cookbooks for my family as Christmas gifts, I ran across this recipe from my aunt Irene in the Chicken Show/125th Anniversary for City of Wayne Cookbook. My aunt was on the planning committee for this cookbook as the Assistant Director for the Wayne Area Economic Development and member of The Chicken Show planning committee.

Irene is also domestic goddess. Not only can she cook but she can also knit/crochet/sew. My newest amazing gift from her is a pair of fingerless gloves. But as I child I remember my uncle Ed making me a doll cradle and my aunt Irene making me my Raggedy Ann & Andy Dolls. Homemade gifts from talented people are wonderful at any age.

I cooked this cake earlier this week and shared with my co-workers. One of my co-workers is doing Weight Watchers so we plugged it in to figure out the points. Each slice is 6 points. I’m sure if you substituted applesauce or yogurt for oil, used egg substitute, switched to whole wheat flour, or used a sugar substitute like Stevia, you could make it a little healthier. The cake was very moist with a more Mexican flavor using the cinnamon and cocoa. Would probably be a great side for my chili recipe.

Chocolate Zucchini CakeChocolate Zucchini Cake by Irene Fletcher
1/2 c. margarine
1/2 c. oil
1 3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. sour milk (1/2 T. lemon juice and 1/2 c. milk)
2 1/2 c. flour
4 T. cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. grated zucchini
1 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. chopped nuts

Cream together butter, oil, and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla, and sour milk. Stir in grated zucchini. Sift together flour, cocoa, soda, cinnamon, and salt. Blend with creamed mixture. Pour into greased 13 x 9 pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

Black Bean Pumpkin Soup

My friend Michelle and I go way back. She was one of my first friends in Kansas City. I don’t remember what classes we had together but I know we met in graduate school at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. We were both working on our Masters in Public Administration. Like me, she loves to cook and enjoys great food. When she first moved to Kansas City, Michelle nannied for people who were great friends with some of Kansas City’s best chefs. Needless to say, she introduced me to a couple of great places in town. Michelle loves Brookside so she took me to a lot of great places by UMKC – Aixois and Bella Napoli to name a few. Michelle also used to host dinner parties at her apartment where everyone would bring different dishes based on a theme like “Caribbean”. A great way to sample a lot of new recipes.

Last fall, Michelle invited me to her new house for dinner and to help handout Halloween candy. This recipe is what she made for dinner. It’s from one of her favorite food blogs – The Smitten Kitten. One of the things I love about Michelle is her willingness to try adventurous recipes. Although this recipe isn’t pretty in appearance it is quite delicious. A hearty, healthy recipe for soup made with black beans, pumpkin, tomatoes, and onions.

Black Bean Pumpkin Soup by Gourmet, November 1996 posted on The Smitten Kitten Blog

Photo by: blogs.babble.com

Photo by: blogs.babble.com

Three cans of black beans (about 4 1/2 cups), drained and rinsed
1 c. drained diced tomatoes
1 1/4 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. minced shallot
4 garlic cloves minced (I would substitute jar garlic)
1 T. plus 2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
4 c. beef broth
1 can pumpkin
1/2 c. dry Sherry
1/2 lb. cooked ham, diced
3 to 4 T. Sherry vinegar

In a food processor, puree beans and tomatoes. In a stock pot/Dutch oven, cook onion, shallot, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper in butter over moderate heat, stirring, until onions is softened. Stir in bean mixture. Add broth, pumpkin, and Sherry until well combined. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally f0r 25 minutes, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Just before serving, add ham and vinegar to soup, stirring, until thoroughly heated. Makes 9 cups.

Note – We ate this with crackers and corn bread muffins. Original recipe suggest sour cream or pumpkin seeds.

Breakfast Potato Bites

Some people dream of winning the lottery. I dream of winning the Pillsbury Bake-off, something most of my friends have never even heard of. Top prize is $1 million paid out in $50K increments for 20 years. Wouldn’t that be perfect? I could work, get out of student loan debt, and maybe even fulfill another dream to start my own foundation. That said, my co-worker Theresa has told me that giving away money is harder than you think. When the need is greater than the amount of money that you have, it’s hard to tell people who wrote wonderful proposals “no”.

If you have been following my blog, then you know that this blog is a labor of love. I love cooking and I’m a pretty good storyteller. Viola! I share my recipes because over the years people have asked 1) What are you eating? 2) Can I get the recipe? or 3) call me saying “Help! I need to make “x” for an upcoming occasion. Any suggestions?” I started this blog to help my friends/family (as well as strangers) with some of my favorite recipes, to organize my recipes in a easily searchable way, and to make myself start trying recipes that I saved for years because I thought “that looks good” or “I’d eat that”. I don’t always love the new recipes but I put them out there for others who might. Consider my blog a long-winded recipe review.

And sometimes I mess up really bad. A few weeks ago I found a picture on my friend Melissa’s pinterest page I wanted to make. I clicked to original recipe and printed it out. It was for baked seasoned red roasted potatoes with chicken, cheese, scallions, and bacon on the top. Sounds good, right? Well, I decided to change it up a little and use melted Gouda cheese and omit the chicken. I would be like my own version of Blanc Burgers cheesy fries. Let’s just say, sometimes it is easier to pay a professional chef to enjoy a favorite dish.

As I read through the recipe, I noticed it cooked at 475 degrees. That’s high! I hate cooking recipes higher than 400 degrees because the second I open my oven door, the smoke detector closest to the kitchen goes off. As I looked at the recipe even closer, it said to cook the diced potatoes for 45-60 minutes, stirring even 15-20 minutes. Wow, that seemed way to long at that high a heat. I cooked for 15 minutes and they were a little toasty. The hallway smoke detector went off. I turned them and returned to the oven for another 10 minutes thinking – they would be done then. When I opened the oven this time, they were complete charred. Now all three of the smoke detectors in my one bedroom apartment were going off. One even saying “Carbon Monoxide detected, please exit immediately.” Really, it wasn’t that bad. Yes, the potatoes were burned but nothing was on fire. But I opened my front door and threw the pan outside. Eventually, all the smoke detectors stopped.

I later noticed that I had frozen diced red roasted potatoes in my freezer. Upon reading the directions, I learned you bake the frozen kind for 20-30 minutes at 450 degrees. So I’m pretty sure the person who posted that recipe meant to write 375 degrees or 45-60 minutes. I guess no blogger is perfect.

I know this recipe is different then the one I was just talking about but it turned out perfectly. Plus, it is a Pillsbury recipe. Quick, easy, and delicious. Consider making this recipe for breakfast. They turned out very puffy.

Bacon-Egg Breakfast BitesBacon-Egg Breakfast Bites by Pillsbury
24 tater-tots
12 slices of pre-cooked bacon, cut in half
1 pkg. round crescent rolls, each slice cut into thirds
5 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk eggs, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Spray 24 mini-muffin cups with non-stick cooking spray. Wrap a tater-tot with bacon. Place on piece on portion of crescent roll and tighten around tot. Place standing up in mini-muffin cup. Complete remaining 23 bites. Pour approximately 1 T. of egg around crescent roll to fill each mini-muffin cup. Bake 13-20 minutes until golden brown/egg cooked.

Nutrition: (12 servings – 2 bites each) 180 calories (100 calories from fat), 11 g. fat (3.5 g. saturated fat, 1.5 g. trans fat, 95 mg. cholesterol, 440 mg sodium, 12 g. carbs, 0 g. fiber, 2 g. sugar, and 7 g. protein.

Notes:

  • I cooked for 13 minutes and they were perfect.
  • I would suggest maybe 4 eggs. I had a little extra at the end. Better yet, use an egg substitute to make it healthier.
  • I used both mini and regular tater-tots. Both worked but you can cut some calories with the smaller tot.
  • If you don’t want to use bacon, I’m sure you could substitute turkey or ham.

Cappuccino Flavor

I’m a sucker for recipes that look cute in shot glasses. That’s probably why this recipe caught my attention. Not only is this recipe super easy to make but it also is low in calories. I hope you enjoy it.

Cappuccino DessertCappuccino Dessert by Kraft Magazine
1 pkg. (1.5 oz.) Jell-o Brand Vanilla Fat Free Sugar Free Instant Pudding
2 tsp. instant coffee
2 c. cold skim milk

Topping
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. fat-free whipped topping

Mix together pudding ingredients. Pour into dishes and refrigerate for one hour. Mix together topping ingredients. Spoon over pudding and serve.

Bacon Wrapped Little Smokies

I ran across this recipe in a Kraft Magazine and thought it sounded good. With a little bit of a kick, maybe this recipe will be perfect for your Super Bowl party.

Bacon-wrapped Little SmokiesBacon-wrapped Hot Dogs by Kraft Magazine
9 slices bacon, cut in half
6 hot dogs, cut into thirds
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne red pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap bacon piece around hot dog. Roll in sugar and pepper to coat. Place seam-side down on a foil lined cookie sheet. Bake 22 minute, turning halfway through baking.

Notes: I substituted 18 little smokies for cut up hot dogs. I would also cook them a little shorter – maybe 18 minutes.