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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Chicken Parmesan

I have to let you in on a little secret.   Well, I guess it may not be a secret to some, but I have recently made the decision to join Weight Watchers.  Over the years I have seen the weight on the scale slowly creeping up, however the number I see now I have not seen since I was NINE months pregnant with my little ones.  While I do hope to shed some of these extra pounds, I really just want to be healthier.  I love junk food and sweets and I hate to exercise.  This lifestyle may have been ok 10 years ago but the older I get the more I notice this is not ok.  I want to feel better and I want to have more energy.  I have learned a great deal about healthier food choices, especially appropriate portion sizes, through the Weight Watchers website.  What I love about their program is that you can still eat whatever you want...you just can't have as much as you want.  I have been experimenting with some of the Weight Watchers recipes and have not found one yet that wasn't a hit with my whole family!  That is a huge plus!

I debated about whether or not to post these recipes on my blog because I don't want to turn it into a "Healthy Food Blog".  And I have no intentions of doing that.  But when I thought about why I started this blog in the first place, I realized that yes, I want to share the recipes that I love with others, but first and foremost I started this blog as a way to keep track of all the recipes I love and want to use again.  I refer to my blog all the time when I meal plan and cook so in order for this blog to continue to serve me I decided to post the recipes I love because even if they are lower in calories and fat they are still delicious!

 Picture Source: Weight Watchers

This recipe comes from www.weightwatchers.com.  It is the best chicken parmesan I have ever had.  I've never been a huge fan of chicken parm as I've always found it to be too rich.  This was so fresh tasting and so delicious.  I served mine with long grain and wild rice and mixed vegetables.  So yummy!

Chicken Parmesan
via: Weight Watchers


Prep: 10 min        Ready in: 75 min.         PointsPlus Value: 8

29 oz canned diced tomatoes, with Italian herbs (2 cans) 
1 tsp Italian seasoning 
1/2 tsp dried basil   
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper   
1 Tbsp sugar 
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (I omitted this)
1 pound(s) uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast(s), four 4-oz pieces   
1/2 cup(s) seasoned bread crumbs, Italian   
4 tsp olive oil, divided 
1 spray(s) cooking spray
3/4 oz shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese   
1/4 cup(s) grated Parmesan cheese, fresh   



  • Combine first 5 ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 35 minutes. Stir in sugar and vinegar; simmer 5 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1⁄2-inch thickness, using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Dredge chicken in breadcrumbs.
  • Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 chicken breast halves to pan; cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and chicken breast halves.
  • Arrange chicken in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Pour tomato mixture evenly over chicken, and sprinkle with cheeses. Cover and bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half, 3⁄4 cup tomato mixture, and 1 ounce cheese mixture).





Monday, June 11, 2012

Basil Chicken Over Pasta



This recipe comes from my recipe binder, which means I'm not really sure where it originally came from.  It is a very simple and delicious dish.  It's also great with Italian sausage instead of chicken.

Basil Chicken Over Pasta


2 tsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped (1/2 tsp jarred)
2 C. chicken, cooked and chopped
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 finely diced onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 3 tbs. dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/3-1/2 box spaghetti
Parmesan cheese

Boil pasta and drain.  Sautee onion in hot oil until tender but not brown (1-2 min).  Stir in tomatoes, chicken, basil and salt.  Reduce heat to medium, cover skillet and simmer 5 minutes.  Add pasta to skillet and stir to combine.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Recipe linked up to Mandy's Recipe Box Linky Party.












Thursday, June 7, 2012

Fudge Brownie Cupcakes with Cookie Dough Frosting

Picture Source: Sally's Baking Addiction

I found these cupcakes this morning and new I had to make them right away.  I am so glad I did because I honestly think they are one of them best things I have ever made.  Not only were they really quick and easy but they are so so so amazingly delicious!  I followed the recipe exactly and although it says you can substitute your favorite brownie mix for the brownies, I honestly don't see why you would want to.  The brownies are pretty quick to put together and they really are so tasty.  The cookie dough frosting was really easy too and it tastes just like cookie dough!  I will definitely be making this again.  Next time though I think I will make these in mini muffin tins because they are so rich.  Even I couldn't eat more than a few bites at a time.  The recipe says it makes 10-12 cupcakes, I only got 8 cupcakes out of this recipe.  

Fudge Brownie Cupcakes with Cookie Dough Frosting

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • cookie dough frosting (recipe below)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper cups.
  2. Melt butter in the microwave in a large microwave safe bowl. Mix in the sugar until smooth and microwave for about 1 minute. Stir the mixture until smooth again. Whisk in the vanilla and eggs.
  3. In a seperate bowl, mix together the salt, baking powder, cocoa powder, and flour. Slowly add to the wet ingredients and stir until completely combined.
  4. Fill the muffin tins about 2/3 full. Bake in the prepared muffin tin for about 8-10 minutes (mine took a little under 9 minutes). Allow to cool completely before frosting.
Notes
*You could easily use boxed brownie mix as a shortcut, but you would need to adjust the frosting accordingly since the cookie dough frosting recipe below only makes enough for 10-12 cupcakes.
*Depending on how full you fill the muffin tins, you could get anywhere from 8-12 cupcakes. I filled mine about 2/3 full.

Cookie Dough Frosting

makes enough to frost 10-12 cupcakes
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temp
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp milk (I used vanilla almond milk, but soy or regular would be fine)
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  1. In the bowl of a stand alone mixer with paddle attachment OR using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until creamy.
  2. Add the vanilla and beat well. Stir in the flour and salt until doughy.
  3. Stir in the milk and beat until fluffy. Gently fold in chocolate chips + frost brownie cupcakes.
*I find these cupcakes are best served cold.  I kept mine in the fridge.  It also helped to avoid the cookie dough frosting from melting.














Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Flat Apple Pie

Photo Source: Food Network Website

It's no secret that I love Pioneer Woman's recipes and now I also really love her new show on Food Network.  I've had my eye on her recipe for flat apple pies for a while and finally had the chance to make it.  I love apple pie and usually use my mom's recipe, which is amazing but I was intrigued by this recipe.  It was very easy to make (especially since I used refrigerated pie crust).  One of my pies leaked all the liquid out which was pretty disappointing but tasted great nonetheless.  Luckily I put the pies on rimmed baking sheets lined with non-stick foil.  I highly recommend you do this or you could end up with a huge mess in your oven.

The recipe posted below is the original recipe by Pioneer Woman, however I did make a few adjustments which are written in red.

Flat Apple Pie

Ingredients

  • 5 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced I used a combination of gala and fuji apples because I prefer them sweet to sour.  I also cut my apples into small chunks because I prefer that to slices in pie.
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon I left this out because I forgot to buy a lemon ;-).
  • 1 recipe Perfect Pie Crust, recipe follows I used Pillsbury refrigerated pie dough
  • 6 tablespoons butter

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In large bowl, stir together the apples, brown sugar, granulated sugar, flour, salt and lemon juice. Set aside and see how long you can keep from sneaking a slice of apple.
With a rolling pin, begin rolling out the Perfect Pie Crusts into large circles. Roll the dough from the center outward. Be gentle and patient, it'll take a little time to get the dough completely rolled out.
If you think the bottom is really sticking to the surface below, use a nice, sharp spatula to loosen the dough and sprinkle some extra flour on top. Then flip it over to finish rolling. Remember to roll from the center in single, outward strokes, no back-and-forth rolling.
Again with a spatula, loosen and lift the dough and carefully place the circles on large baking sheets.
Place half the apple mixture on one crust and the other half on the other crust. Fold over the edges of each crust so that it covers 2 to 3 inches of the apple mixture. No need to be artistic - the more rustic the better. Dot the tops of the pies with chunks of the butter. I sprinkled the crust with cinnamon and sugar.
Bake until the filling is golden and bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. If the crust appears to brown too quickly, cover the edges with aluminium foil for the remaining baking time.
Allow to cool slightly, then slice into wedges with a pizza cutter. Eat 'em on the go!

Perfect Pie Crust:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks cold butter
  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add in the butter and shortening. Using a pastry cutter, gradually work the butter and shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles tiny pebbles. This step should take 3 or 4 minutes.
Lightly beat the egg with a fork, and then add it to the mixture. Next, add in the cold water and vinegar. Stir the mixture together until it's just combined, and then remove half the dough from the bowl. Yield: dough for 2 crusts.