Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Chicken Parmesan!

I will post the pic for now and come back for the recipe tomorrow!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

I have been wanting this for a year now. My rhubarb plants are producing this spring, and my strawberry-cup runneth over! Here is mine SB-friendly version of the classic pie:

Strawberry Rhubarb Pies P2
Makes 8 small pies or one 9 inch pie
1 1/2 cup WW pastry flour
1/3 cup canola
1/4 cup water
pinch salt
1/2 TBSP fructose
2 cups chopped rhubarb
2 cups strawberries, chopped (measure these before chopping)
1 1/2 TBSP cornstarch (not really SB, but didn't use much)
1/3 cup fructose
2 handfuls old-fashioned oats (maybe 1/2 cup?)
1/2 cup WW pastry flour
1/4 cup Fleishman's olive oil spread
2 TBSP fructose
1 TBSP SugarTwin Brown
Preheat oven to 425.
For the crust, mix the ingredients in a bowl and pat into the pie pans (or one 9 inch pan).
Mix the filling ingredients in the same bowl, and let them sit for 10 minutes while you make the topping.
Put all the topping ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well mixed. If you prefer, using a pastry blender, you can mix it by hand.
Scoop the filling into each pie crust- maybe 1/3 cup per pan? Top with the streusel. Bake at 425 for 7 minutes, then lower the temp to 350 and bake another 30-35 minutes, or until filling is bubbling and thickened. If the top browns too fast, loosely cover it with foil.

The filling is not as gooey as most pies, so if that's what you want then add up to 1/2 cup OJ or water. The topping did brown quickly, so you may want to wait and add it when you lower the oven temp.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Thai Beef With Green Beans

I have made this twice now, and it is better the next day- cold! It's a great salad!

Thai Beef with Green Beans

1 large steak, at least 1 inch thick (it calls for flank steak, I use top round steak. A more tender cut would be great!)
salt and pepper
olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1 TBSP fish sauce
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions (I have always used minced sweet onion)
1/2 tsp chili paste
1 cup fresh chopped cilantro
fresh green beans, steamed just until crisp-tender

Rub the steak on both sides with the oil, and sprinkle well with salt and pepper. Grill over hot coals until medium-rare (you can cook it longer, but why would you???). Place it on a cutting board with grooves and set aside while you make the sauce.
Mix the lime juice, fish sauce, chili paste, onions, and cilantro. After the steak has rested for about 10 minutes, thinly slice it and toss the meat and it's juices with the sauce. Serve over the green beans. If you want it warm, heat the sauce first before tossing in the meat. It will cool off fast though!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Frosted Rhubarb Cookies

I get requests for these every year from my son. This year, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to eat them! They came out a little crumbly, so I will add applesauce for moisture next time. Here's how I have done it-

Frosted Rhubarb Cookies

1 C shortening (I used canola and will add some applesauce next time)
1 1/4 C packed brown sugar (used 2/3 cup SugarTwin Brown and 1/2 cup fructose)
2 eggs
3 C flour (ww pastry)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C diced rhubarb
3/4 C coconut (I always leave this out)
Cream shortening and sugar, then beat in the eggs. Combine flour, soda, and salt, gradually add this to creamed mixture. Stir in the rhubarb. Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. (I use my small scoop from Pampered Chef) Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes until lightly browned. Cool completely on wire racks.
They are to be frosted with a cream cheese frosting.
3 oz softened cream cheese
1 TBSP butter, softened
3 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C powdered sugar

Instead of this frosting, I did this-
1/4 cup softened LF cream cheese
1 cup milk, warmed to keep from seizing the cheese
1 package SF vanilla pudding mix
Whisk this together and top the cookies with it.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Spinach Goat Cheese Chicken

Okay CB, here's my pic of a dinner with goat cheese!

Spinach Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken

4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
1 container of Chavre Goat Cheese
1 C frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed
1 TBSP chopped garlic
2 TBSP sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
salt and pepper
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Cut a pocket in each chicken breast or pound each one flat to about 1/2 inch thick, salt and pepper them. Mix the spinach, cheese, garlic, and tomatoes together. Using a pastry bag or large zipper bag with the corner cut off, pipe the mixture into the chicken pockets or onto half of a pounded breast. Secure the holes with toothpicks, folding the pounded ones over to enclose the cheese.
Heat the oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat until rippling. Add the chicken and sear on the first side for about 4 minutes, then flip them. Place the whole pan into the oven and bake for around 7-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked thru, depending on the size of the pieces. When done, remove the chicken and pour any juices over it. Let it rest before eating.

I make a little pan sauce for this sometimes.
Pan Sauce
To the juices, add-
1/2 C chicken broth
1 TBSP sun-dried tomato/garlic mix

Bring to a boil scraping the pan to get the yummy stuck bits, and pour over the meat before serving.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Gnudi (Spinach Dumplings)

I got the recipe for these off the SB chat site I use. They are a Food Network recipe, made SB-friendly. Not bad! But they did need extra cheese! Even my hubby liked them...

1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese (I used light ricotta)
1 pound frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (I used 2 cups frozen)
1 cup grated Parmesan
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus 1 cup for coating (I used WW Pastry flour)
1 jar store bought marinara sauce, heated (I didn't heat it)
I added 1 cup Italian blend cheese
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In a large bowl, mix ricotta, spinach, Parmesan cheese, eggs, and yolks. Stir in nutmeg, salt, pepper, and flour. Form mixture in to small, flattened balls. Dredge the formed gnudi in flour to coat, tapping off the excess. Slide formed gnudi into the boiling water. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan; work in batches if necessary. Remove the gnudi using a slotted spoon after they float to the top and have cooked for about 4 minutes. Arrange gnudi on a platter and lightly drizzle with marinara sauce (This is where I baked it at 400 degrees topped with the cheese blend for 15 minutes.)

New Photos!!!

Here are two new pics of me! These are me down a total of 50 pounds from the last pic posted.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

My first "Catering" job...

These are pictures from yesterday. I "catered" the Staff Appreciation Luncheon at my son's school. We served about 30, and had plenty leftover for my helpers to each feed their families last night. Every year they have a "Salad" lunch- ham, chicken, and taco salads. My friends at the PTO meeting last month (That will teach me to skip the meeting!) volunteered me because they knew the meal would be something much more special! I decided to invite the staff for a lunch in Italy! They loved it! I made Grilled chicken Fettuccini Alfredo, Spaghetti with Meatballs, Garlic Bread, and the usual sides- tossed salad, fruit salad, lots of desserts! The recipe for the Alfredo was very much requested, so I will post it here (with my SB adaptations in bold).

Alfredo Sauce

1 stick butter (or 1/4 cup trans-free spread)
2-4 TBSP chopped garlic
1 quart half-and-half (or 1 quart 1% milk)
2/3-1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
black pepper

Melt the butter in a saucepan with the garlic, and bring it to a foam. You may remove the garlic if you wish, I personally like it in the finished sauce. Pour in the half-and-half, and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat, and stir in the cheese. Stirring constantly over very low heat, simmer the sauc efor 10 minutes or so to reduce a little. If you prefer a thicker sauce, you may stir in a slurry of 1 TBSP cornstarch dissolved in 2 TBSP milk. That's it! A few grinds of pepper, and you have a delcious Alfredo sauce!

The principal- who is quite the suck-up- asked me if I catered. She said I should bring in a flyer for them to post in the office advertising my food and prices. I called the school this morning to have my son walk to the library when he got out, and the secretary asked if I was bringing lunch again today. I told her if they want to each pay $3, I would make them another meal next Wednesday. She said she'd mention it to the teachers. I would get about $100 then, with maybe $40 going to the price of the food (depending on what I made). Not bad, eh?

I did not get a picture of the beautiful tablescape we had. I brought the bottles of wine and olive oil my Dad and his wife got us when they went to Italy last May. It looked very nice with my old passport and a red-checkered tablecloth! Very Italian-Bistro!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Parmesan Crusted Chicken- Yummo!

I got this recipe from my friend Danielle. She said it was good, but she lied. It's INCREDIBLE!!! The picture isn't great, my camera doesn't like close-ups!

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

4 slices of ww bread, torn into large pieces
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
2 TAB coarsely chopped fresh parsley, or 1 TBSP dried
1/4 each salt and pepper (I didn't use)
1 large egg, lightly beaten (I used egg white only)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cutlets (I used 3 large ones)
2 TAB Olive oil
2 TAB fresh lemon juice (I doubled)
1 TAB Dijon mustard (I doubled)
2 TAB cold butter, cut into small pieces (I used 2TBSP olive oil spread)
1 pkt of Splenda (I used 1 TBSP)
1) In food processor, pulse bread, Parmesan, parsley and 1/4 tsp salt and pepper until fine and crumbles form. Transfer to a shallow bowl: place beaten egg in another.
2) One at a time, dip chicken cutlets (or strips) into egg and then into the breadcrumb mixture. Press firmly to get the breadcrumbs to stick well.
3)Heat 1 to 2 Tab Olive oil in large nonstick skillet over med heat. Cook cutlets a few at a time and add 1 to 2 TAB more oil if needed for each new batch, until through, 4-5 minutes per side.(Mine were really thick, so I baked them for about 10 minutes at 475, until they read 160 on a thermometer. Let them rest for 5 minutes or so before serving.)
4) Wipe skillet clean. Add lemon juice and 1/4 cup water; cook on low or med til steaming, 1 min. (I brought it to boiling since I doubled it.) Add mustard and remove from heat, and stir in butter until combined. Drizzle over chicken and serve. Note: when adding butter to the lemon-Dijon sauce, be sure to stir vigorously with a wooden spoon or heat proof spatula.

I served this with broccoli that I had buttered (with olive oil spread), topped with more parmesan, and baked at 475 for about 10 minutes. So good!

Stuffed Peppers

These are the peppers I made last night. No measurements, as I did it all by look.

Stuffed Peppers

2 bell peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 bag Uncle Ben's boil-in-bag Brown rice, cooked
2 cups ground beef, cooked
1 can stewed tomatoes, with juices
8 baby carrots, diced
1/2 can black beans, drained and rinsed
garlic powder
shredded cheddar, if desired
In a saucepan mix the tomatoes, carrots, beans, and garlic powder and simmer for 5 minutes on medium. Stir in the beef and rice and cheddar cheese if desired. Place peppers cut-side up in a baking dish, spoon filling into them- filling to overflowing. Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes, depending on how soft you like your peppers.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Big Cookie!

My son is going to a birthday party this afternoon, and he wanted to make his friend a cookie on his own. Here it is!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Tostada (and Strawberries On A Cloud)

Okay, so I don't have a pic of that- YET! But here's one of our dinner from tonight. I made SB Tostadas, and I think they were better than the original! I will post both recipes though.

Strawberries On A Cloud

8oz LF or FF cream cheese, softened
1 package SF/FF white chocolate pudding mix
1 cup skim milk
1 cup FF Cool Whip
1/4 cup SF strawberry jam, melted
10 strawberries, sliced

Beat the cheese, milk, and pudding mix on high in mixer until well blended and no longer lumpy. With spatula, fold in the CW and jam. Spread into a dish and top with sliced berries. Chill 2 hours to "set up" a little.

This stuff is so good!

Here's what I did for the tostadas:

One Flatout 100% White WW tortilla
1/2 cup cooked ground beef
1/2 c FF refried beans
1 tsp taco seasoning
shredded lettuce
FF/LF sour cream
diced tomatoes
black olives

Put the tortilla on a baking sheet and "toast" it in the oven at 400 for about 7-10 minutes, or until crisp. In a bowl, mix the meat, beans, and seasoning- then nuke it for a minute until warmed. Spread the mixture on the tortilla to the edges and top with lettuce, sourcream, cheese, tomatoes, and olives. If you want salsa, add that too!

One of these was too much for me, so I think maybe I will use the smaller tortilla next time. They were better than the fried corn ones for sure!