Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ravioli with Arugala, Tomatoes and Pancetta

1 pound cheese ravioli
6 oz thinly sliced pancetta, chopped (or just use bacon)
1 (15-oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
3 cups arugula
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, divided
2 tbsp butter, at room temp.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the ravioli and cook for 7-9 min. until tender. Drain.
In a large nonstick skillet over med.-high heat, add the pancetta and cook stirring frequently, until crispy, about 8 minutes. Remove to paper towels to drain.  Add the tomatoes, olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and cook for 2 minutes until tender.  Add the arugula and 1/4 cup basil and cook until wilted, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the butter and melt.   Add the ravioli and cooked pancetta and toss until coated.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Transfer the ravioli to a large serving bowl. Garnish with the remaining basil and serve.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mini Chocolate Fudge Cookie Bites (weight watcher friendly)

I know we are all looking to eat healthier, these little cookies are perfect to satisfy any sugar craving I might have.  They are bite-size, so one is not enough.  Luckily they are only 1 point each.

1/3 cups cocoa (without sugar)
1/4 cup margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar, white (I might try reducing this and substituting the difference with splenda or something like that)
4 oz. applesauce, unsweetened
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour, white
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
powder sugar to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 375.  Coat cookie sheets with spray.  Place cocoa, margarine and sugar in a medium bowl; beat with an electric mixer.  Add applesauce and vanilla; beat to blend.  In another small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt.  Stir flour mixture into cocoa batter with a wooden spoon.  Shape batter into 48 marble-sized balls  (I did a little bigger, about 1/2 a small spoon ).  Arrange 1 inch apart on cookie sheets.  Bake until set, about 8 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow cookies to stand for 1 minute.  Remove to wire rack and cool; sprinkle with a little powder sugar.  You can store any extra in freezer -safe containers and save for another day.

p.s. The first time I made these I made them what I thought was "marble sized" and I got like 5 dozen.  This time I made them too big and only got 3 dozen (so maybe 1.3 points per cookie, but WW rounds to the nearest whole number).

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Recipes

I've tried a couple of good recipes from Pinterest and wanted to share. Especially because they are super easy!

Cheesy Crockpot Chicken and Rice

This is SO easy and SO yummy! I prepped everything in the morning, turned the crockpot on and dinner was done. I already crave it again.

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 large onion, chopped
1 -8 ounce box Zatarain's Yellow Rice Mix, cooked according to directions
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 - 10.5 ounce can cream of chicken soup (regular or fat free)
1 -15 ounce can whole kernel corn, drained

Place chicken in bottom of slow cooker. Scatter chopped onion over top. Spoon cream soup over top of that. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours. A few minutes before serving, add in cooked rice, corn, and cheese. Stir to combine. Serve hot.

Here's a link for pictures and more detailed instructions.

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

This recipe comes so highly recommended that I wonder if my expectations might have been to high. It is yummy and easy to make but I felt like it was missing something. A freshness to it if you may. Like a squeeze of lemon juice and some zest? I don't know. The flavor was good. It just felt like something was missing to complete the flavors. Maybe fresh basil? I don't know. If you try it and figure it out let me know. I substituted fresh tomatoes at the end instead of cooking them. I also used fresh garlic. The recipe serves two so you may need to double to feed a family.

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips

4 ounces fettuccine, cooked

2 teaspoons cajun seasoning

2 tablespoons butter

1-2 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes

1 green onion thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder (I used fresh minced garlic)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Place chicken and Cajun seasoning in a bowl and toss to coat. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté chicken in butter or margarine until chicken is tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat add green onion, heavy cream, tomatoes, basil, salt, garlic powder, black pepper and heat through. Pour over hot pasta and toss with Parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Coconut Chicken

This has become a staple around here. Love it! Going to try baking them next.

(photo courtesy of Budget Bites)

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 large eggs
1/4 c coconut milk
1/2 c all purpose flour
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c vegetable oil, divided
1 cup sweet chili sauce (I bought mine at Costco, Thai Kitchen brand)

STEP 1: Cut off any extra fat globules from your chicken breasts. Cut each breast into 6 strips, diagonally to prevent the end strips from being really short.

STEP 2: Prepare your breading station by gathering three bowls. In the first bowl combine the flour and salt. In the second bowl, combine the eggs and coconut milk. Whisk together until well combined. In the third bowl, stir together the panko bread crumbs and shredded coconut.

STEP 3: Place 1/4 cup of vegetable oil in a large heavy duty skillet and heat over medium/high heat until it is just below smoking. You can test the heat by throwing in a little bit of flour. When it is hot enough, the flour will sizzle and create a lot of bubbles.

STEP 4: While the oil is heating, dredge the chicken strips. First, coat each strip in the flour and salt mixture. Then dip each into the eggs/coconut milk and finally coat each in panko and shredded coconut. I find it easiest to coat all of them in the flour then go back and then do the egg wash and panko/coconut for each before moving onto the next.

STEP 5: After breading the strips, the oil should be hot enough. Place about 6 strips in the pan at once. There should only be one layer in the pan and there should be about an inch between each strip. If you over crowd the pan it will get too cold and the strips will soak up a lot of oil instead of frying. Fry the strips for 2-3 minutes on each side or until they are golden brown and crispy. Place them on a plate with paper towel to drain and move on to the next batch. After a couple of batches you may need more oil so you can add the second 1/4 cup to the pan. Allow the oil to come up to temperature before frying the next batch (2-3 minutes). Because the strips are thin, they should be cooked through by the time both sides are browned. You can tell by the texture of the chicken; it should be stiff when pressed. If you cut your strips thicker, you will need to bake off the chicken after frying to make sure the insides are cooked through.

STEP 6: When all of the strips are done frying, serve immediately with sweet chili sauce to dip in. I garnished mine with a little bit of chopped cilantro.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pumpkin Squares

Pumpkin Squares

1 pkg. Yellow cake mix (reserve 1 cup) You can also try it with Spice cake mix.
1/2 C. butter or margarine (room temperature)
1 egg
Mix & press into greased 9x13 pan.
(It's VERY sticky, so spray your fingers with pam to keep it from sticking to your fingers.)

1 Lg can Libby pumpkin pie mix (make sure it says "mix", not just the regular pumpkin)
2/3 C. Evaporated milk
2 eggs
Blend & pour over the cake mixture

1 C. Reserved cake mix
1/4 C. Sugar
1/4 C. Butter or Margarine, room temperature
1 tsp Cinnamon
Mix & sprinkle over pumpkin mixture (also very sticky)

Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes till toothpick comes out clean.
Chill, and serve with whipped topping.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Easy BBQ Crock Pot Chicken

I have to say, I LOVE Pinterest!! I'm finding the best recipes on there. Here's one I made last night.

BBQ Crock Pot Chicken

4-6 pieces boneless skinless chicken breasts (i threw them in frozen... even easier!)
1 bottle BBQ sauce (sweet baby ray's all the way!)
1/4 c vinegar
1 tsp. red pepper flakes (I didn't even have these, so I skipped it, and it was still delicious.)
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp. garlic powder

mix BBQ sauce with all ingredients listed under it. place chicken in crockpot. pour sauce over it and cook on low for 4-6 hours. you pretty much don't even have to stir it... how easy is that!?

I served it over rice. It is so yummy!!

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Best Zucchini Bread

 I know that claim is completely subjective, but this bread is so moist and delicious! I had my regular recipe that I always used until I found this one, SO GOOD! (from except I didn't add the walnuts.  Remember you can always substitute 1/2 cup of oil for 1/2 cup of applesauce.

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  4. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.