Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sweet 'n Salty Pretzel Brownies

Every once in awhile I like to make brownies or sweets. Not too often because I'm really trying to cut back on the unnecessary things in my diet. These brownies had some good flavors to them, but ended up being way too sweet. I don't think I'll make these again, but if someone finds out how to make them taste yummy, let me know!

Sweet 'n Salty Pretzel Brownies
Sweet 'n Salty Pretzel Brownies-adapted from Betty Crocker
Total Time 1 hour
Makes 24 brownies

  • 1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 box brownie mix
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 container vanilla frosting
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pretzels
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped peanuts
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix crushed pretzels, sugar and butter. Press in ungreased 13x9-inch pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes.

In a medium bowl, mix brownie mix, water, oil and eggs until blended. Carefully spread batter over cooled crust.

Bake 19-22 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 1 hour.

Frost cooled brownies with vanilla frosting. Sprinkle with chopped pretzels and peanuts. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Tuna Pasta Primavera

To be honest, it's been so long since I've made this that I don't really remember it. I wrote that it was okay, and I know I ate it for dinner and then lunch the next day. So give it a try!

Tuna Pasta Primavera
Tuna Pasta Primavera-adapted from Cheap & Easy Recipes by Gooseberry Patch
Total Time: 20 minutes
Serves 4

  • 8 ounces rotini pasta, uncooked
  • 2 cups frozen broccoli, thawed
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 12 ounces tuna, drained
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cook pasta according to package directions, adding broccoli and carrots to cooking water during last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain and return to pan; keep warm. Mix remaining ingredients together and add to pasta; toss to coat.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Buttermilk Mac & Cheese

I love mac and cheese! I've said before, Scott always wants to make sure the mac & cheese I make has something that makes it "different". He actually loved this recipe! It had great flavors, and the consistency was so different! It wasn't creamy, but it wasn't dry. Just try this--you'll love it!

Buttermilk Mac & Cheese
Buttermilk Mac & Cheese-adapted from SparkRecipes
Total Time: 1 Hour
Serves: 12

  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 16 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 ounces macaroni pasta, cooked according to package directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, salt and pepper, then stir in the cheese. Add macaroni; stir well. 
Pour into greased 9x13 pan. Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Layered Tortellini Salad

I was kind of nervous to make this recipe. I'm not sure why-but I think it was the cabbage. I haven't worked much with it so it kind of scares me. I'm so glad I made this though! It was absolutely fantastic! I don't have a glass bowl, so I couldn't take a great picture of the layers, but it doesn't even matter with how awesome this was! The flavor of the dressing was an awesome surprise! Make this for your next potluck-you won't be disappointed!

Layered Tortellini Salad
Layered Tortellini Salad-Adapted from Taste of Home
Total Time 30 Minutes + Chilling
Serves 12

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dired dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 package (20 oz) cheese filled tortellini
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 8 ounces diced colby jack cheese
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
For dressing, place the first eight ingredients in a blender. Cover and process until blended; process 1-2 minutes longer or until smooth.

Cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water

In a large glass bowl, layer the cabbage, lettuce, and tortellini. Top with cheese, bacon, onion and tomato. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours. Drizzle with dressing. Toss to coat.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

French Onion Soup

My grandma and mom always seemed to get french onion soup when we would go out to eat in the winter time. For the longest time I didn't want to try it because it was brown, and looked kind of gross, and I knew it had a lot of onions in it (which I thought I didn't like).

Now that I'm older, I've tried this soup at restaurants and love it! I put onions (especially cooked ones) in almost everything where it makes sense. I love cheese. I love bread. I love warm soups! I was so excited when I found this recipe! It had great flavor to it, and would be great as a side to steak or chicken for dinner.

I don't have oven safe bowls, so I just put the soup with bread and cheese in the microwave for about a minute to melt the cheese. It's not quite the same as broiling it, which is why I'm keeping the recipe that says that. But it's still delicious!

French Onion Soup-Adapted from Cooking Light's "Comfort Food"
Total Time: 2 and 1/2 hours
Serves 8

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil 
  • 4 cups thinly vertically sliced sweet onion 
  • 4 cups thinly vertically sliced red onion 
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine 
  • 8 cups less-sodium beef broth 
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme 
  • 8 (1-ounce) slices French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes 
  • 8 (1-ounce) slices reduced-fat, reduced-sodium Swiss cheese
Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions to pan; sauté for 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in sugar, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat to medium; cook 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Increase heat to medium-high, and sauté for 5 minutes or until onion is golden brown. Stir in wine, and cook for 1 minute. Add broth and thyme; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 hours.

**If you have oven safe bowls follow directions below. If not, add the bread and cheese and pop in the microwave for about 1 minute**

Preheat broiler. Place bread in a single layer on a baking sheet; broil 2 minutes or until toasted, turning after 1 minute. Place 8 ovenproof bowls on a jelly-roll pan. Ladle 1 cup soup into each bowl. Divide bread evenly among bowls; top each serving with 1 cheese slice. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese begins to brown.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Broccoli Beer Cheese Soup

I love broccoli cheese soup and beer cheese soup. Seeing both in the title made me know I had to make this! I absolutely loved it! There was so much flavor to this soup! The only thing Scott wasn't a fan of was that it wasn't a very thick soup. I think that's okay though, because of all the other things that are in it. I will definitely be making this again--and you can make it as a freezer recipe too!

Broccoli Beer Cheese Soup
Broccoli Beer Cheese Soup-adapted from Taste of Home
Total Time: 55 Minutes
Serves: 12

  • 5 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cans chicken broth
  • 4 cups frozen broccoli florets, thawed
  • 1 medium red pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 package cream cheese, cubed
  • 12 ounces light beer
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, saute celery, carrots and onion in butter over medium high heat until tender. Add the broth, broccoli, red pepper, salt and pepper. Combine flour and water in a small bowl until smooth; stir into pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 30-40 minutes or until thickened and vegetables are tender.

Stir in cheese and beer; cook until heated through and cheese is melted, stirring occasionally (do not boil). 

**To Freeze**
Cool remaining soup; transfer to freezer containers. Freeze for up to 3 months. To use frozen soup: thaw in refrigerator overnight. Transfer to a saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until heated through, stirring occasionally (do not boil).

Nutrition Facts

  12 Servings

Amount Per Serving
  Total Fat11.0 g
     Saturated Fat6.8 g
     Polyunsaturated Fat0.6 g
     Monounsaturated Fat2.0 g
  Cholesterol36.7 mg
  Sodium1,071.2 mg
  Potassium444.3 mg
  Total Carbohydrate10.4 g
     Dietary Fiber1.7 g
     Sugars1.7 g
  Protein11.3 g

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Pulled pork is always a staple at any gathering-bridal showers, baby showers, birthday parties-you name it. I don't have parties all that often, but this was a great and easy recipe! I would highly recommend it!

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Pulled Pork Sandwiches-Adapted from Crock Pot's "Best Loved Slow Cooker Recipes"
Total Time 5-6 hours
Serves 8
  • 3 1/2 pound pork shoulder roast
  • 21 ounces barbeque sauce
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 hamburger buns
Place roast in a 5 quart slow cooker. Cook on low 10-12 hours, or on high 5-6 hours.

Remove roast from slow cooker; discard cooking liquid. Shred pork with two forks and return meat to slow cooker. Add barbecue sauce, lemon juice, garlic, brown sugar and onion. Cook on high 1 hour or low 2 hours. Serve shredded pork on hamburger buns.

Nutrition Facts

  8 Servings
Amount Per Serving
  Total Fat46.2 g
     Saturated Fat15.8 g
     Polyunsaturated Fat5.8 g
     Monounsaturated Fat19.7 g
  Cholesterol166.5 mg
  Sodium1,158.3 mg
  Potassium744.4 mg
  Total Carbohydrate43.0 g
     Dietary Fiber2.3 g
     Sugars13.6 g
  Protein48.3 g

Monday, October 8, 2012

Spinach and Ricotta Quiche

Scott always gets scared when I make an egg dish--frittatas and quiches alike. One of my very first (like way before this blog, freshman year in college) attempts at cooking was a quiche. And I didn't know the portions for green peppers and it was way too many peppers for one quiche. And neither of us really like green peppers anyway. But this was pretty tasty. I've never worked with puff pastry before, and I thought it was delicious! There's a lot of flavor-especially if you get good Italian sausage!

Spinach and Ricotta Quiche
Spinach and Ricotta Quiche-adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Serves 4

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 5 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 4 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 pound Italian sausage
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 ounce ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Press the puff pastry into a pie plate, trim the edges. Prick the bottom all over with a form, line with parchment paper, and place and oven safe bowl over the top. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool, and turn oven down to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat and cook sausage until browned. Spread the sausage and spinach in the pie shell. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, ricotta and milk; pour into pie shel. Bake until the eggs are set and the crust is golden, about 35 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

  4 Servings
Amount Per Serving
  Total Fat30.5 g
     Saturated Fat8.2 g
     Polyunsaturated Fat4.2 g
     Monounsaturated Fat19.2 g
  Cholesterol272.7 mg
  Sodium456.7 mg
  Potassium357.4 mg
  Total Carbohydrate14.3 g
     Dietary Fiber1.7 g
     Sugars3.2 g
  Protein19.6 g

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Baked Oven Fries

I have seen this post everywhere on Pinterest and I finally got around to making them! Overall, the fries were very easy to make. I didn't think they were very flavorful-we had to use a lot of ranch and ketchup. However, I would still make them again. I might just add some chives and more seasoned salt the next time.

Also, in my quest to get healthy, I am now using Spark Recipes to calculate nutrition facts at the bottom of my posts. If I use a reduced fat/sodium/anything in my recipes, I will note it in the ingredients list. Actual nutritional value may vary with any substitutions you use.

Baked Oven Fries

Baked Oven Fries-adapted from Annie's Eats
Total Time: 1 Hour
Serves 4
  • 3 russet potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Place potato wedges in a large bowl and cover with hot water. Let soak 10-30 minutes. Pour 4 tablespoons of oil onto a rimmed baking sheet, and use a pastry brush to cover the entire pan. Sprinkle the pan with salt and pepper.

Drain the potatoes and pat dry with paper towels. Return to mixing bowl and toss with remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place flat and evenly on the baking sheet. Cover with tin foil, and bake for 5 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake 15-20 minutes, or until bottoms are golden brown, rotating the baking sheet after 10 minutes. Flip the potato wedges, but keep them in a single layer on the pan. Continue cooking 5-15 more minutes, or until crisp.

Nutrition Facts

  4 Servings
Amount Per Serving
  Total Fat17.1 g
     Saturated Fat2.4 g
     Polyunsaturated Fat1.5 g
     Monounsaturated Fat12.4 g
  Cholesterol0.0 mg
  Sodium452.9 mg
  Potassium1,171.8 mg
  Total Carbohydrate48.7 g
     Dietary Fiber6.2 g
     Sugars2.2 g
  Protein5.6 g


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