Monday, December 22, 2008

Buttermilk-brined Pork Chops

2 cups fat-free buttermilk
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
4 (6-ounce) bone-in center-cut pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray


Combine first 6 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; shake well to dissolve salt and sugar. Add pork; seal and refrigerate overnight, turning bag occasionally. Remove pork from bag; discard brine. Pat pork dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle pork with pepper.

Heat a large nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with cooking spray. Add pork; cook 3 1/2 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.


--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Pepper Jelly-glazed Carrots

1 (2-pound) package baby carrots
1 (10 1/2-ounce) can condensed chicken broth, undiluted
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 (10 1/2-ounce) jar red pepper jelly


Combine carrots and chicken broth in a skillet over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, and cook, stirring often, 6 to 8 minutes or until carrots are crisp-tender and broth is reduced to 1/4 cup.

Stir in butter and red pepper jelly, and cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until mixture is thickened and glazes carrots.



--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Green Beans with Walnuts

1 1/4 pounds green beans, trimmed
2 teaspoons butter
2 tablespoons finely crushed walnuts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground whole nutmeg


Place beans in a large saucepan of boiling water; cook 5 minutes. Drain.

Heat butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add walnuts; sauté for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add beans, salt, and nutmeg; cook for 1 minute.


--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Potato and Cheese Biscuits

These would be a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. I'm not much of a biscuit maker, so I didn't try to cut the dough into rounds. I just dropped it on the pan. Maybe it wasn't as pretty, but it tastes just the same.



1 cup (1-inch) cubed peeled Yukon gold or red potato
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chilled butter or stick margarine, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup minced green onions



Preheat oven to 425°.

Cook the potato in boiling water 15 minutes or until very tender. Drain well; mash potato, and cool.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add mashed potato, cheese, buttermilk, and green onions; stir just until moist.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead lightly 5 times. Roll dough to a 3/4-inch thickness, and cut with a 3-inch biscuit cutter. Place on a baking sheet.

Bake at 425° for 20 minutes or until golden.






--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Tuscan Bean and Barley Soup


Very simple, very tasty.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
5 cups water
1 cup canned cannellini beans or other white beans, drained
1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley
2 beef-flavored bouillon cubes
4 cups fresh spinach




Put the oil and onion in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in rosemary, salt, and pepper. Add water, beans, barley, and bouillon. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until the barley is tender.

Add spinach. Serve immediately - before the spinach loses its bright green color.




--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Sichuan Green Beans

1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


1. Cook beans in boiling water 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse under cold running water; drain. Pat beans completely dry with paper towels.

2. Heat a 14-inch wok over high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to wok, swirling to coat. Add green beans to wok; stir-fry 3 minutes or until browned. Spoon green beans into a bowl.

3. Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to wok, swirling to coat. Add shallots, garlic, ginger, and crushed red pepper; stir-fry 15 seconds or just until garlic begins to brown. Return green beans to wok. Add vinegar, soy sauce, and salt to wok; toss to combine.



--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Chicken and Bean Slaw Wraps

2 (6-ounce) packages fully cooked chicken strips, chopped
1 1/2 cups coleslaw mix with carrots
1 (15-ounce) can chili powder-seasoned pinto beans, drained
1/3 cup Ranch dressing
1/2 cup chopped green onions
8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup barbecue sauce


Combine first 5 ingredients, and set aside.

Place tortillas on baking sheets, and sprinkle each evenly with Cheddar cheese.

Bake at 350° for 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Top evenly with chicken mixture. Drizzle evenly with barbecue sauce. Roll up, jellyroll fashion, and cut in half. Serve immediately.



--Adapted from Southern Living magazine

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Beer-Cheese Spread

This is surprisingly tasty. I used a Bass instead of the amber ale it calls for. You can taste the beer, so I imagine using different types will result in different tastes. Also, notice that it is not cooked - which means all the alcohol is still present. Plan accordingly.



(2-lb.) block sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (12-oz.) bottle amber beer, at room temperature
Salt and pepper to taste



Beat together first 5 ingredients at low speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until blended. Gradually add beer, beating until blended after each addition. Beat at medium-high speed 1 minute or until blended and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cover and chill 2 hours. Garnish, if desired. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.



--Adapted from Southern Living magazine

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Grits Casserole with White Beans and Rosemary



Very tasty. Looks impressive.



4 (1-ounce) slices French bread or other firm white bread, cubed
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
7 cups boiling water, divided
3 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped leeks, cleaned and separated
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (19-ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans, drained
1 1/2 cups uncooked regular grits
2 tablespoons butter
Cooking spray


Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1 cup. Combine breadcrumbs, cheese, and parsley in a small bowl; set aside.

Combine 3 cups boiling water and sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl; let stand 10 minutes or until soft. Drain tomatoes over a bowl, reserving 1 cup liquid.

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks, rosemary, crushed red pepper, and garlic; saute 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and reserved 1 cup liquid. Bring to a boil; cook 7 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper, and beans.

Preheat oven to 400°.

Combine 4 cups boiling water, 1 teaspoon salt, grits, and butter in a large saucepan. Cook 8 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly. Pour grits mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon tomato mixture evenly over grits; top with breadcrumb mixture. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until golden.



--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Mocha-Chocolate Shortbread

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels, divided



Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl; add butter and vanilla, and beat at low speed with an electric mixer until blended. Stir in 1 cup chocolate morsels.

Press dough into an ungreased 9-inch square pan; prick dough with a fork.

Bake at 325° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup morsels over top, and spread to cover. Cut shortbread into 25 (about 1 3/4-inch) squares; cut each square into 2 triangles. Let cool 30 minutes in pan before removing.



--Adapted from Southern Living magazine

Sugared Cranberries


I'm not sure what to make of these. They are tasty, but you really don't want to eat a whole bunch. Still, they would make for interesting conversation, if nothing else.

You can make your own superfine sugar by putting regular white granulated sugar in a food processor for a minute or so.


2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water
2 cups fresh cranberries
3/4 cup superfine sugar


Combine granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring mixture until sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer; remove from heat. (Do not boil or the cranberries may pop when added). Stir in cranberries; pour mixture into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate 48 hours.


Drain cranberries in a colander over a bowl, reserving steeping liquid, if desired. Place superfine sugar in a shallow dish. Add the cranberries, rolling to coat with sugar. Spread sugared cranberries in a single layer on a baking sheet; let stand at room temperature 1 hour or until dry.





--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Spicy Herb Roasted Nuts


Instead of buying all the different varieties of nuts, Target sells a great big container of mixed nuts under the Archer Farms brand. We get the Deluxe Roasted Unsalted to make these. Best thing about them is no peanuts! So if you want to stretch the container, add your own.

If using dried herbs, use half the fresh amount.



1 1/2 cups almonds
1 1/2 cups walnut halves
1 cup hazelnuts
1 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh savory leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt



1. Mix almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, maple syrup, cayenne, oregano, sage, thyme, rosemary, savory, marjoram, and oil in a 10- by 15-inch rimmed pan. Sprinkle nuts with 1 teaspoon salt.

2. Bake in a 300° oven, stirring occasionally, until all liquid evaporates and nuts are golden under the skin (break open to test), about 30 minutes. You'll want to start checking on them about 20 minutes in. Don't let them burn!

3. Let cool. Taste and add more salt if desired.




--Adapted from Sunset magazine

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Linguine with Peas and Mushrooms

1-ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 pound linguine
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 leeks, chopped
2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese


Soak porcini mushrooms in 1 cup hot water for 15 minutes. Drain, reserve soaking liquid and set aside.

Cook linguine according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and cook 2 minutes. Add drained porcini mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms and cook 3 to 5 minutes, until soft. Add sage and stir to coat. Add peas, broth and reserved porcini soaking liquid (strain liquid through a paper towel to remove debris) and bring to a simmer. Simmer 5 minutes. Add mixture to linguine, add parsley and toss to combine. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Transfer to a serving platter and top with Parmesan.




Adapted from Robin Miller

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Perfect Christmas buffet appetizer. I made this in the oven, but I see no reason why you couldn't do it in a slow cooker. Just adjust the cooking time to 4 hours or so.

This recipe calls for a lot of black pepper. You may want to add half the amount, and taste at some point in the cooking. As the sauce reduces, the pepper flavor will intensify. I happen to like pepper, so it doesn't bother me. Your tastes may differ.


2 1/2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
Black pepper (about a tablespoon)
1/4 cup tablespoons pineapple juice (reserved from the cans listed below)
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup chopped green onion
6 cloves chopped garlic
2 pounds cooked and frozen mini-meatballs, thawed
2 (8-ounce) cans pineapple chunks, drained, juice reserved

Coarse black pepper




Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the first 10 ingredients (ketchup through garlic) in a large bowl. Stir well to combine. Add meatballs and pineapple chunks. Stir again to coat.

Add the meatball mixture to a deep greased baking dish. Bake 1 hour, stirring after 30 minutes. If the mixture looks dry, add the rest of the reserved pineapple juice. Season with more cracked pepper, and serve hot.



--Adapted from Shane Grenald and Paula Deen

Pan-fried Salmon with Pineapple Relish

2 cups chopped pineapple
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic-chile paste (more if you want it really spicy)
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup plain bread crumbs
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, skin removed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil


Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl; stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt.


Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over fish. Gently press salmon fillets into bread crumbs to coat. Add fish to pan, skin side up; cook 2-4 minutes on each side (depending on thickness) or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serve with pineapple mixture.



--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

New Mexican Hot Chocolate

I listed the stove-top directions, though I made this is in a pitcher in the microwave.



1/2 cup water
1/3 cup honey
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Combine first 6 ingredients in a large, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk and extract, stirring constantly with a whisk. Heat to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge, stirring with a whisk (do not boil).

Beef Daube Provencal


2 teaspoons olive oil
12 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (2-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 cup red wine
2 cups chopped carrot
8 oz. whole mushrooms
1 cup less-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon herbes de provence
Dash of ground cloves
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
3 cups cooked medium egg noodles (about 4 cups uncooked noodles)



Preheat oven to 300°.

Heat oil in a small Dutch oven over low heat. Add garlic; cook 5 minutes or until garlic is fragrant, stirring occasionally. Remove garlic with a slotted spoon, and set aside. Increase heat to medium-high. Add beef to pan; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove beef from pan. Add wine to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add garlic, beef, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, carrot, and next 8 ingredients (through bay leaf), and bring to a boil.

Cover and bake at 300° for 2 hours or until beef is tender. Discard bay leaf. Serve over noodles.




--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Friday, December 5, 2008

Pancotto con Broccoli (Toasted Bread with Broccoli)

This is a great recipe.


2 1/2 pounds broccoli
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for garnish
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 red chile pepper, cut in half (or big pinch of crushed red pepper flakes)
5 (1-inch) slices day-old Italian peasant bread, cut into 1-inch chunks
Salt
Grated Parmesan, for garnish



Bring 8 quarts water to a rolling boil and add 2 tablespoons salt. Add the broccoli and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. Drain, reserve the cooking liquid and set aside.

In a 12-inch saucepan, heat the olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add the garlic and chile pepper halves and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 5 minutes. While the garlic and pepper cook, cut the drained broccoli into small florets, about 1/2-inch each.

Add the bread to the pan with a few ladles of reserved broccoli water. Then add the broccoli, season with salt and simmer 4 to 5 minutes. Garnish with extra-virgin olive oil and grated Parmesan. Serve very hot.



--Adapted from Mario Batali

Honey-Maple Chicken Salad

This is a very sweet chicken salad. It gets a bit cloying when you eat a lot, but is very tasty in small doses. So it is probably better suited to an appetizer than a main dish.


4 cups chopped cooked chicken
3 celery ribs, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Garnish: chopped toasted pecans


1. Combine first 4 ingredients.

2. Whisk together mayonnaise and next 3 ingredients. Add to chicken mixture, stirring gently until combined. Garnish, if desired.





--Adapted from Southern Living magazine

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sausage and Rice Soup with Spinach

1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
1 pound turkey Italian sausage
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3 cups water
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
3 (16-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
3 cups torn spinach
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese



Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add wild rice; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until tender. Set aside.

Cook the sausage in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until browned; stir to crumble. Drain sausage; set aside.

Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add garlic, and sauté for 1 minute. Add the sausage, 3 cups water, and the next 5 ingredients (water through tomatoes); bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in cooked wild rice, spinach, salt, and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls; sprinkle with cheese.




--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

French Toast

3 large eggs
3/4 cup nonfat milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Cooking oil spray
8 slices sweet French or challah bread, about 1 inch thick (8 to 12 oz. total)
Powdered sugar
Maple syrup
Orange wedges


1. In a 9 x 13 baking dish, whisk to blend eggs, egg whites, milk, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

2. Soak bread overnight, in egg mixture.

3. Lightly mist a 10- by 15-inch nonstick pan with cooking oil spray.

4. Place slices slightly apart in a single layer in baking pan.

5. Bake in a 500° oven until toast is golden on bottom, about 5 minutes. With a wide spatula, turn slices over and bake until other side is browned, about 3 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer hot French toast to plates.

6. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, drizzle with maple syrup, and serve with orange wedges, squeezing juice onto toast.





--Adapted from Sunset magazine

Mashed Potato Gratin

I used Swiss and Munster cheese, and it was perfectly tasty.


4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
1 cup (4 ounces) fontina cheese, shredded and divided
3/4 cup (3 ounces) Gruyère cheese, shredded and divided
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup warm 1% low-fat milk (100° to 110°)
Cooking spray



Preheat oven to 400°.

Place potatoes in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until tender; drain. Return potatoes to pan. Add 3/4 cup fontina cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyère cheese, butter, salt, and freshly ground black pepper to pan; mash with a fork or potato masher until well combined. Add warm milk to pan; continue mashing potato mixture until desired consistency. Spoon into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/4 cup fontina cheese and remaining 1/4 cup Gruyère cheese. Cover with aluminum foil lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes. Remove from oven; remove and discard foil.

Preheat broiler.

Broil gratin 5 minutes or until cheese is brown and bubbly.




--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Jezebel Sauce

Serve with ham, or just eat with crackers - maybe add some cream cheese.


1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup dried apricots
2/3 cup pineapple preserves
1/3 cup red pepper jelly
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
Dash of freshly ground black pepper


Combine 1/2 cup boiling water and apricots in a bowl; let stand 10 minutes. Drain. Finely chop apricots.

Combine apricots, preserves, and remaining ingredients in a bowl. Cover and chill.


--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Sweet Potato Tart with Pecan Crust

The interesting thing about this recipe is the use of silken tofu in the place of eggs and cream. It gives the pie a custard-like texture, but without nearly as many calories.


Crust:
1 cup pastry flour
1/4 cup pecans
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Cooking spray


Filling:
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes
3/4 cup soft silken tofu, drained
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange rind
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg


Syrup:
1/2 cup maple syrup



Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare crust, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour, pecans, and salt in a food processor; process until pecans are finely ground. Add butter; pulse 4 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal.

With processor on, slowly add 2 tablespoons syrup through food chute, processing just until combined (do not form a ball). Place dough on a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 4 or 5 times (dough will be sticky).

Place dough in a 9-inch round removable-bottom tart pan lightly coated with cooking spray. Place a sheet of plastic wrap over dough; press dough into bottom and up sides of pan. Discard plastic wrap. Pierce bottom and sides of dough with a fork; bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

To prepare filling, combine 1/2 cup syrup and cornstarch. Place syrup mixture, sweet potato, and next 6 ingredients (sweet potato through nutmeg) in a food processor; process until smooth, scraping sides. Spoon mixture into prepared crust, spreading evenly. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.

Place 1/2 cup syrup in a heavy saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1/3 cup; remove from heat. Cool and drizzle about 1 1/2 teaspoons over each serving.



--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Holiday Brunch Punch


Very tasty. The rosemary gives it a unique flavor, but it doesn't taste like a Christmas tree.

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
4 rosemary sprigs
4 cups cranberry juice cocktail, chilled
2 cups fresh orange juice (about 6 oranges), chilled
3 cups club soda, chilled


Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 4 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Add rosemary; simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour sugar syrup into a bowl; cover and refrigerate overnight.

Uncover sugar syrup; remove and discard rosemary sprigs. Combine the sugar syrup, juices, and soda in a large pitcher. Serve immediately over ice.



--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Stir-Fried Broccoli with Oyster Sauce

2 pounds broccoli
6 cups water
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine or sake
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup minced green onions
1 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 8 cloves)


Cut broccoli florets and stems into bite-size pieces to measure 10 cups.

Bring water to a boil in a large Dutch oven; add broccoli. Cook broccoli 3 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain.

Combine broth and next 6 ingredients (broth through sesame oil); stir well with a whisk. Heat the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, ginger, and garlic; sauté 15 seconds. Add broth mixture; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly. Add broccoli; cook 30 seconds, tossing to coat.



--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Creamed Corn with Bacon and Leeks

2 lb frozen cut corn, thawed
2 cups 1% low-fat milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 slices bacon
1 cup chopped leek


Place 1 1/2 cups kernels, low-fat milk, cornstarch, sugar, salt, and pepper in a food processor; process until smooth.

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 teaspoon drippings in pan; crumble bacon. Add leek to pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add pureed corn mixture, 1 1/2 cups corn kernels, and corn milk mixture to pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until slightly thick. Stir in crumbled bacon just before serving.



--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Maple-Orange Sweet Potatoes

The microwave makes this quick and convenient.


2 1/2 pounds peeled sweet potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon stick margarine or butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted



Place the sweet potato slices in a 2-quart casserole.

Combine juice and next 5 ingredients (juice through cloves) in a small bowl. Pour juice mixture over potatoes. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and microwave at HIGH 10 minutes. Stir after 5 minutes. Uncover, and microwave at HIGH 5 minutes or until potato is tender. Sprinkle with pecans.




--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Tropical Shrimp Salad

This was pretty good. It made for a nice change from the traditional.


1/2 lb cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined. Tails off.
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon canned chopped green chiles
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained
1 (8-ounce) can pineapple tidbits in juice, drained
Salt, to taste.




Combine all ingredients. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.






--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Creole Shrimp Remoulade over Baby Arugula

Shrimp:
4 cups water
2 tablespoons crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 bay leaf
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined


Sauce:
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Creole mustard
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

4 cups baby arugula



To prepare shrimp, combine the first 6 ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Add shrimp; cook 2 minutes. Drain; rinse with cold water until cool. Drain; discard bay leaf.


To prepare sauce, combine green onions and next 8 ingredients (through 1/8 teaspoon salt) in a large bowl; add shrimp, tossing to coat. Cover; chill 20 minutes. Arrange 1 cup arugula on each of 4 salad plates; top each serving with 1/2 cup shrimp mixture.



--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Creamy Tomato-Basalmic Soup

1 cup less-sodium beef broth, divided
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
5 garlic cloves
2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, drained
Cooking spray
1/2 cup half-and-half
Cracked black pepper (optional)



Preheat oven to 500°.

Combine 1/2 cup of broth, sugar, vinegar, and soy sauce in a small bowl. Place onion, garlic, and tomatoes in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Pour broth mixture over tomato mixture. Bake at 500° for 50 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned.

Place tomato mixture in a blender. Add remaining 1/2 cup broth and half-and-half, and process until smooth. Strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Garnish with cracked black pepper, if desired.




--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

One-dish Rosemary Chicken and White Beans

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1 pound)
1 (14.5-ounce) can stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 (15-ounce) can navy beans, drained
2 tablespoons cup chopped capers



Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Combine rosemary, salt, and pepper; sprinkle over one side of chicken. Place chicken in pan, seasoned side down; cook 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; turn chicken. Add tomatoes and beans; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir in capers.



--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Linguine with Red Clam Sauce


12 ounces uncooked linguine
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
1/2 (25.5-ounce) bottle fat-free marinara pasta sauce
2 tablespoons sun-dried or regular tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 (6 1/2-ounce) cans chopped clams, undrained


Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in marinara sauce, tomato paste, and red pepper; bring to a simmer. Drain clams in a sieve over a bowl, reserving liquid; set clams aside. Stir reserved clam liquid into marinara-sauce mixture. Simmer 10 minutes. Stir in clams, and simmer 3 minutes. Serve pasta with sauce.





--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hasselback Potatoes


2 pounds potatoes, medium sized (your choice of type)
Salt
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup canola, vegetable oil
1/4 cup very finely parsley leaves


Peel the potatoes and rinse to remove any traces of dirt. Cut into the potatoes into uniform pieces. (This will help in cooking time if they are all similar.) Take a sharp knife and beginning on 1 end, cut about 2/3 through the potato. Repeat the same incision from 1 end of the potato to the other, spacing the cuts uniformly.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Add a pinch of salt and cook until just tender. (Do not overcook. The potatoes should remain a little hard, as they will continue to cook during roasting.) Drain the potatoes and place them on absorbent toweling to remove excess water.

Mix the flour and salt and pepper, to taste, in a bowl and carefully toss with the already blanched potatoes. Place the floured potatoes onto a baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Bake until golden brown, approximately 30 to 40 minutes.

To finish, scoop the potatoes with a slotted spoon onto absorbent paper toweling and to drain any excess oil. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the parsley.





--Adapted from Robert Irvine

Chocolate Fudge Pie




Very, very good. One of the best desserts we've tried.



1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1/3 cup light-colored corn syrup
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 cup frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa (optional)



Preheat oven to 350°.

Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Fold edges under; flute. Place pie plate in freezer until ready to use.

Combine brown sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa, and flour in a large bowl. Combine milk and next 5 ingredients (milk through egg whites); stir with a whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to brown sugar mixture; stir until combined.

Pour mixture into crust. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until just set. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Cover; chill at least 4 hours. Spread whipped topping evenly over filling; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon cocoa, if desired.




--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Classic Steakhouse Rub


2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dry mustard
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
4 (4-ounce) beef tenderloin steaks, trimmed (1 inch thick)
Cooking spray



Prepare grill.Place peppercorns and rosemary in a spice or coffee grinder; pulse until the pepper is coarsely ground. Combine pepper mixture, dry mustard, salt, and garlic powder; rub evenly over both sides of steaks. Place steaks on a grill rack coated with cooking spray, and grill 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.




--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pumpkin Pound Cake with Buttermilk Glaze

This "cake" has a texture and flavor closer to pumpkin bread. It is more of a breakfast cake than a dessert cake.


Cake:
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour (about 13 1/2 ounces)
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup fat-free buttermilk

Glaze:
1/3 cup fat-free buttermilk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare the cake, lightly coat a 10-inch tube pan with cooking spray; dust with 1 tablespoon flour. Spread pumpkin over 2 layers of paper towels; cover with 2 additional layers of paper towels. Let stand about 10 minutes. Scrape drained pumpkin into a bowl.

Place 3/4 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 3 minutes or until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla. Lightly spoon 3 cups flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture and 3/4 cup buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pan, and cool completely on wire rack.

To prepare glaze, combine 1/3 cup buttermilk and remaining ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Drizzle cake with glaze.



--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Kinda Classic Chex Mix

6 cups Rice Chex cereal
1 cup goldfish crackers
1 cup bite-size pretzels
6tablespoons butter or margarine
2tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2teaspoon onion powder



In large microwavable bowl, mix cereals, goldfish, and pretzels; set aside. In small microwavable bowl, microwave butter uncovered on High about 40 seconds or until melted. Stir in seasonings. Pour over cereal mixture; stir until evenly coated.

2. Microwave uncovered on High 5 to 6 minutes, thoroughly stirring every 2 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool. Store in airtight container.

Roasted Garlic-Potato Soup


3 whole garlic heads
2 bacon slices, diced
1 cup diced carrot
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups diced baking potato (about 2 pounds)
4 cups low-salt chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
1 cup 2% low-fat milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


Remove white papery skin from each garlic head (do not peel or separate cloves). Wrap each head separately in aluminum foil. Bake at 350° for 1 hour; let cool for 10 minutes. Separate cloves, and squeeze to extract 1/4 cup of garlic pulp; discard the skins.

Cook bacon in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until crisp. Add carrot and minced garlic, and sauté 5 minutes. Add potato, broth, salt, pepper, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potato is tender; remove bay leaf.

Combine garlic pulp and 2 cups potato mixture in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Return purée to pan; stir in milk, and cook over low heat until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat, and stir in chopped parsley.




--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Sweet and Sour Grilled Salmon

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup lemon juice
About 1/2 teaspoon salt
About 1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 pieces (about 6 oz. each; max. 1 1/4 in. thick) boned, skinned wild salmon fillet
1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter
Lemon wedges


1. In a large, wide bowl or 9- by 13-inch baking dish, stir brown sugar, wine, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until sugar is dissolved.

2. Rinse fish and pat dry. Add to marinade and turn to coat. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours.

3. Lift salmon from marinade and transfer to a 12- by 17-inch baking pan. Pour marinade into a 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan over medium-high heat; add butter and stir until butter is melted and mixture is simmering, 4 to 5 minutes.

4. Lay salmon, skinned side down, on a generously oiled grill over a solid bed of medium-hot coals or medium-high heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand at grill level only 3 to 4 seconds). Brush fish generously with the baste; close lid if using a gas grill. Cook until salmon pieces are well browned on the bottom, 3 1/2 to 4 minutes (keep a spray bottle filled with clean water on hand to spritz any flare-ups). With a wide spatula, carefully turn pieces; brush tops with baste and continue to cook, basting often, until the salmon is just opaque but still moist-looking in the center of the thickest part (cut to test), about 5 to 6 minutes longer. Discard any remaining baste.

5. Transfer salmon to a warm platter or plates and garnish with lemon wedges. Add more salt and pepper to taste.




--Adapted from Sunset magazine

Macaroni Salad with Dill and Ham

2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus additional for salting water
8 ounces elbow macaroni (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup sour cream
6 ounces cooked ham, cut into 1&3-inch cubes
3/4 cup frozen baby peas, thawed (about 4 ounces)
2 ribs celery, with leaves, diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill



Bring a large pot of cold water to a boil over high heat and salt it generously. Add the macaroni and boil, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the macaroni in a colander, put in a serving bowl, and toss with the milk. Allow the macaroni to cool slightly while you make the dressing.

Whisk the vinegar, mustard, the 2 teaspoons salt, and black pepper to taste in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil, starting with a few drops and then adding the rest in a steady stream to make a smooth, slightly thick dressing. Whisk in the sour cream. Add to the macaroni along with the ham, peas, celery, and dill. Add the dressing and fold to coat the pasta evenly. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.



--Adapted from Food Network Kitchens

Four Cheese Macaroni

1 pound uncooked medium elbow macaroni
1 (1-ounce) slice white bread
2 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Emmenthaler or Swiss cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cooking spray
1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
2 teaspoons butter or stick margarine, melted



Preheat oven to 400°.

Cook pasta in boiling water 5 minutes or until almost tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Place pasta in a large bowl.Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs form. Set aside.

Bring milk and bay leaves to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour in a small bowl; gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until well-blended. Return milk mixture to pan. Cook over medium heat until thick, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat. Add cheeses, salt, and pepper; stirring until cheeses melt. Pour cheese sauce over pasta; stir well. Spoon mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine breadcrumbs, sage, and butter in a bowl; toss with a fork. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over pasta mixture.

Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.




--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Sunday, October 12, 2008

White Bean and Roasted Garlic Dip


2 cans white beans (such as cannelloni or great northern), rinsed and drained
1 head roasted garlic, cloves removed from peels
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon herbes de provence
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons grated or shaved Parmesan, for garnishing
Sea salt, for garnishing



In the bowl of a food processor, combine the beans, the roasted garlic, olive oil, herbes de provence, salt, pepper, cayenne, and red wine vinegar and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl, as necessary. (If the dip seems too thick, thin with a bit of chicken broth or water.)

Transfer to a saucepan and heat gently over low heat until warm. (Dip may also be served at room temperature if desired.) Transfer to a shallow serving bowl or wide rimmed plate, smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Garnish with Parmesan, and salt and pepper. Serve with crostini or crackers.



--Adapted from Emeril Lagasse

Mint Julep Iced Tea

Maybe this isn't traditional. It's still tasty.


8 mint stems, leaves attached
1 lemon, sliced
1 lime, sliced
1 cup bourbon
3 cups cold sweetened tea
Cubed or crushed ice


Combine first 3 ingredients in a 2-quart pitcher, pressing with spoon to crush mint. Stir in bourbon and tea. Add ice.



--Adapted from Coastal Living magazine

Honey-Sesame Grilled Chicken Wings

1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon Asian chili paste
2 pounds chicken wings, tips removed, cut apart at joint
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 green onion, trimmed and chopped



1. In a medium bowl, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and chili paste. Add chicken and let marinate for 15 minutes, stirring often.

2. Set up a gas or charcoal grill for medium heat (350° to 400°; you can hold your hand 5 in. above the cooking grate only 5 to 7 seconds). Put chicken on grill and cover with lid. Cook, turning often, until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.

3. In a small bowl, combine honey and hoisin sauce. Using a pastry brush, generously baste chicken wings with honey glaze. Cover grill with lid and cook till honey glaze starts to caramelize, about 3 minutes. Turn chicken wings over and baste again, using the remaining honey glaze. Cook 3 minutes more, being careful not to let the glaze burn, removing pieces from the grill as they're done. Alternatively, if you don't plan on serving immediately, you can grill the wings for closer to 20 minutes, and toss them into a baking dish. Cover with the honey mixture, and keep them warm in the oven at 250, until needed.

4. Transfer to a platter. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onion. Serve any remaining honey glaze on the side.




--Adapted from Sunset magazine

BBQ Snack Mix

This is an interesting snack mix. You might want to add some Tabasco, if you want it spicy.


2 cups crisscross of corn and rice cereal (such as Crispix)
1 cup tiny pretzel twists
1 cup reduced-fat cheddar crackers (such as Cheez-It)
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon bottled barbeque sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray



Preheat oven to 250º.

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Combine butter, stir-fry sauce, powder, cumin, and salt; drizzle over cereal mixture, tossing to coat. Spread mixture into a jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 250º for 30 minutes or until crisp, stirring twice.




--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Fruit-filled Acorn Squash

I made this with the oven directions. I have also included the microwave directions from the original recipe.


2 medium acorn squash (about 1 pound each)
1 tablespoon margarine
1 1/2 cups diced Granny Smith apple
1 (16-ounce) can whole-berry cranberry sauce


Place squash in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Bake at 400° for 45 minutes or until tender.

Melt margarine in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add apple; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in cranberry sauce; cook 2 minutes or until apple is tender, stirring occasionally.

Cut squash in half lengthwise, and discard seeds and membrane. Cut squash lengthwise again to make quarters. Peel the tough skin from the squash (it should just pull right off). Spoon 1/3 cup fruit filling into each squash quarter.


Microwave directions: Pierce squash with a fork, and arrange on paper towels in microwave oven. Microwave at HIGH 9 to 10 minutes or until tender. Prepare fruit fillings as directed above.




--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Flank Steak with Mushroom Sauce

Add some cooked elbow macaroni to turn any leftovers into a decent pasta dish.


Steak:
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed
Cooking spray


Sauce:
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushroom caps (about 1/2 pound mushrooms)
1 cup less-sodium beef broth
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup minced green onions



Preheat broiler.

To prepare steak, sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over both sides of steak. Place steak on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; broil 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove the steak from oven; loosely cover with foil.

To prepare sauce, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add mushrooms; sauté for 4 minutes. Add broth, wine, and vinegar. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, and cook until reduced to 1 1/4 cups (about 6 minutes). Add green onions, and cook for 1 minute.

Slice steak diagonally across the grain into 1/4-inch slices. Serve steak with mushroom sauce.




--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Friday, October 3, 2008

Spaghetti Squash with Lemon and Capers

2 large spaghetti squash
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons sweet butter
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
1/4 cup tomato, peeled, seeded, and diced



Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut both squash in 1/2 lengthwise and scoop out all seeds. Rub them inside and out with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the squash cut side down on a sheet pan or cookie sheet and cover with foil. Place in the oven and cook until the rind is slightly soft or gives with a little pressure, about 20 minutes.

When they are done, scrape the meat out with a fork and reserve, keeping warm.


In a hot skillet, melt the butter and continue to cook until dark brown. Add the capers, zucchini, and bell pepper to stop the butter from cooking any further, and cook, stirring, until tender. Stir in the lemon juice and parsley and season with salt and pepper. In a large mixing bowl mix the squash, butter sauce, and tomatoes and serve.


--Adapted from Food Network

Monday, September 29, 2008

Hash Brown Casserole with Bacon

6 bacon slices
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (32-ounce) package frozen Southern-style hash brown potatoes
1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded Four Cheese blend, divided
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (10.75-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
Cooking spray



Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, and crumble. Discard drippings in pan. Stir in the potatoes and garlic; cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Combine crumbled bacon, 1/4 cup cheese, green onions, sour cream, salt, pepper, and soup in a large bowl. Add potato mixture; toss gently to combine. Spoon mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Cover with foil coated with cooking spray. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Remove casserole from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Bake casserole, covered, at 350º for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until bubbly around edges and cheese begins to brown.




--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Salisbury Steak with Mushroon Gravy

1 pound lean ground beef
1 (10-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup, divided
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon steak seasoning (recommended: Montreal)
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup cognac
1 (8-ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 (1.2-ounce) packet brown gravy mix
Cooked rice, for serving



In a large bowl, combine beef, 1/4 can mushroom soup, bread crumbs, egg, onions, and steak seasoning. Mix thoroughly and shape into 4 oval patties.

Heat oil and 1 tablespoon butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown patties on both sides and transfer to a plate. Add remaining butter and cognac (remove pan from heat when adding cognac.) Saute mushrooms for 7 to 8 minutes. Add beef stock and whisk in gravy mix until smooth. Stir in remaining mushroom soup.

Return patties to skillet and spoon gravy over top. Cover pan and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve over hot cooked rice.




--Adapted from Sandra Lee

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Korean-style Grilled Chicken

8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Cooking spray
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
4 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted


Combine soy sauce and next 5 ingredients (through garlic) in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken to soy sauce mixture in bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes, turning bag occasionally.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade. Place 4 thighs in pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done. Repeat procedure with remaining 4 thighs. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon green onions and 1 teaspoon sesame seeds.



--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Mustard Herb-Crusted Pork Tenderloin

This recipe calls for a pork tenderloin, and is roasted in the oven. I used boneless loin chops, and fried them in a non-stick pan with a little bit of olive oil, 2 minutes per side. However you make it, the leftovers are great in sandwiches.


1 (1/2-ounce) slice white bread
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1 garlic clove, minced
Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 450°.

Place slice of bread in a food processor, and pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1/4 cup. Combine the breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup chopped parsley, cheese, and 2 teaspoons thyme in a shallow dish. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Combine Dijon mustard, fennel seeds, and garlic in a small bowl. Rub pork with mustard mixture, and dredge in breadcrumb mixture.

Place the pork on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 25 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160° (slightly pink). Let stand for 10 minutes. Cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.



--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Praline-Glazed Salmon

12 ounces boned, skinned salmon fillet, cut into 2 pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pepper
1/4 cup chopped pecans
3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon lemon juice


1. Rinse salmon and pat dry. Sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mix pecans, brown sugar, butter, lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

2. Place salmon on a foil-lined 12- by 15-inch baking sheet. Broil 6 inches from heat for 6 minutes. With a wide spatula, turn fish over. Spoon pecan mixture evenly over fish and broil again, checking frequently to be sure nuts do not scorch, 1 to 2 minutes longer.

3. With a wide spatula, transfer fish to serving plate.




--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Grilled Portobello, Bell Pepper, and Goat Cheese Sandwiches

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 red bell pepper, seeded
4 (4-inch) portobello mushroom caps
Cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 (2-ounce) Kaiser rolls
1/2 cup (4 ounces) soft goat cheese




1. Combine balsamic vinegar, olive oil, basil, and garlic in a large bowl. Add bell peppers and portobello mushrooms; toss gently to coat. Marinate while preparing grill, or up to 30 minutes.

2. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

3. Place bell peppers and mushrooms on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side. Remove vegetables from grill; cool slightly. Cut bell peppers into thin strips. Combine bell peppers, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl.

4. Cut rolls in half horizontally; spread cheese evenly over cut sides of rolls. Arrange 1 mushroom cap on bottom half of each roll; top each serving with about 1/3 cup bell pepper mixture and top half of roll.

5. Place sandwiches on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Place a cast-iron or other heavy skillet on top of sandwiches; press gently to flatten. Grill 3 minutes on each side or until bread is toasted (leave cast-iron skillet on sandwiches while they cook).



--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Chicken with Goat Cheese Sauce

4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
4 thyme sprigs
1/4 cup (2 ounces) soft (log-style) goat cheese
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves


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. Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.

Add wine to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook until mixture is reduced to 1 tablespoon (about 1 minute). Add broth and thyme sprigs; cook until mixture is reduced to 1/2 cup (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat; discard thyme sprigs.

Add cheese to pan; stir with a whisk until smooth. Serve sauce over chicken; sprinkle with thyme leaves.




--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ricotta Cheesecake with Fresh Berry Topping


This was a super easy dessert. I substituted store-bought ricotta cheese, and I also used the frozen berry mixture that you can find in the freezer section of your grocery store.


Ingredients
Cheesecake:
4 cups (2 pounds) Homemade Ricotta Cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Topping:
2 cups quartered strawberries
1 pint fresh raspberries
1 pint fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Mint sprigs (optional)


Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare cheesecake, place first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour batter into a 10-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until cheesecake center barely moves when pan is touched.


Remove cheesecake from oven; run a knife around the outside edge of cheesecake. Cool slightly; remove outer ring from pan. Sprinkle cheesecake evenly with powdered sugar.


To prepare topping, combine berries, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and juice; toss gently to combine. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve berry mixture with cheesecake. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.


-Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

Pasta, Beans, and Greens

2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped green onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (15.75-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup uncooked penne (tube-shaped pasta)
1 (16-ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry (about 1/3 cup)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese



Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Sauté carrot 5 minutes; add garlic. Add the oregano, salt, pepper, broth, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high; add pasta, beans, and spinach; cook 14 minutes or until pasta is done, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle each serving with cheese.



--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Tuna Cornbread Cakes

1 (6-oz.) package buttermilk cornbread mix
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 green onions, thinly sliced
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 (5-oz.) aluminum foil pouches herb-and-garlic-flavored light tuna chunks
3 tablespoons olive oil



1. Preheat oven to 425°. Stir together cornbread mix and 2/3 cup milk. Pour batter into a lightly greased 8-inch square pan.

2. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack 5 minutes or just until warm.

3. Stir together mayonnaise and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl.

4. Crumble cornbread to equal 2 cups. Reserve remaining cornbread for another use. Fold cornbread crumbs and tuna chunks into mayonnaise mixture until well blended. Shape tuna mixture into 8 (3- to 3 1/2-inch) patties.

5. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tuna patties, and cook, in batches, 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown; drain on paper towels.





--Adapted from Southern Living magazine

Friday, September 5, 2008

Cheesy Shrimp and Grits

Very good.


3 cups chicken broth
1 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
6 slices bacon, chopped
2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
6 green onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced



Bring chicken broth to a boil over medium-high heat; stir in grits. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in salt and next 3 ingredients. Set aside, and keep warm.

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 3 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon from pan.

Cook shrimp in same pan over medium-high heat 3 minutes or until almost pink, stirring occasionally. Add lemon juice and next 4 ingredients, and cook 3 minutes. Stir in bacon.

Spoon grits onto individual plates or into shallow bowls; top with shrimp mixture. Serve immediately.




--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Chicken and Couscous Salad


Salad:
1 1/4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup uncooked couscous
1 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken (about 6 ounces)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup diced radishes (about 3 large)
1/2 cup chopped seeded peeled cucumber
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

Dressing:
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced



To prepare salad, bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually stir in couscous. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Spoon couscous into a large bowl; cool slightly. Add chicken, onions, radishes, cucumber, parsley, and pine nuts; toss gently to combine.

To prepare dressing, combine vinegar and remaining ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle dressing over salad; toss to combine.



--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Monday, September 1, 2008

Pink Lemonade

1 cup sugar
10 cup water
1 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup grenadine


Cook sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Cool; pour into a large container. Stir in remaining 9 cups water, lemon juice, grenadine, and, if desired, raspberries. Chill 2 hours.



--Adapted from Southern Living magazine

Parmesan Black Pepper Crackers

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix until creamy. Add the Parmesan, flour, salt, thyme and pepper and combine.

Dump the dough on a lightly floured board and roll into a 13-inch long log. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30 minutes to harden.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut the log crosswise into 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick slices. Place the slices on a sheet pan and bake for 22 minutes.



--Adapted from Ina Garten

Pineapple Upside-Down Biscuits

1 (10-ounce) can crushed pineapple
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick butter), at room temperature
10 maraschino cherries
1 (12-ounce) package refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (10 count)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Grease 10 cups of a muffin tin. Strain the can of crushed pineapple, save juice for later.

Combine the pineapple, sugar, and butter, and mix well. Divide the pineapple mixture among the muffin cups. Place a cherry in the center of each muffin cup, making sure cherry hits bottom of cup. Place 1 biscuit in each cup on top of sugar and pineapple mixture. Spoon 1 teaspoon reserved pineapple juice over each biscuit. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden. Cool for 2 minutes. Invert the pan onto a plate to release the biscuits. Serve warm.


--Adapted from Paula Deen

Lemon and Lager Grilled Chicken

1 cup lager beer
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Cooking spray


Combine first 10 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken; seal and marinate in refrigerator 3 hours, turning bag occasionally. Remove the chicken from bag; discard marinade.

Prepare grill to medium-high.

Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 5 minutes on each side or until done.




--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Linguine with Butter, Arugula, and Parmesan

Salt
1 pound linguine
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups very finely grated Parmesan
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 cup coarsely chopped arugula

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the linguine and cook until it is al dente, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.


Immediately toss the hot pasta in a large bowl with the butter to coat. While tossing the linguine, gradually sprinkle the cheese, pepper, and enough of the reserved cooking liquid evenly over the linguine to moisten. Add the arugula and toss to combine. Season the pasta, to taste, with salt. Divide the pasta among 6 plates and serve.



--Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Spinach-Artichoke Dip with Bacon


1/3 cup fat-free mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (8-ounce) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) package fat-free cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup (about 2 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
5 center-cut bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
1 (14-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry



Preheat oven to 350°.

Place mayonnaise, garlic, 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, and fat-free cream cheese in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended and creamy. Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, bacon, artichoke hearts, and spinach. Spread mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until thoroughly heated.



--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Southwestern Breakfast Casserole


1 (8 1/2-ounce) package corn muffin mix
3 cups (1/2-inch) cubed white bread
8 ounces hot country sausage
2 1/2 cups fat-free milk
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
1 (8-ounce) carton egg substitute
Cooking spray
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack or mild cheddar cheese, divided


Prepare corn muffin mix according to package directions; cool. Crumble muffins into a large bowl; stir in bread. Set aside.

Cook sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain.

Combine milk, cumin, pepper, tomatoes, and egg substitute; stir with a whisk until well-blended. Add sausage mixture; stir well. Stir into bread mixture. Spoon half of bread mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with 1/2 cup cheese. Spoon remaining bread mixture over cheese. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Bake casserole at 350° for 20 minutes or until set. Top with 1/2 cup cheese, and bake an additional 20 minutes or until set. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.



--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Garlic-spiked Broccoli with Cranberries

Interesting combination, and very tasty.

2 teaspoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
Salt and ground black pepper


Steam broccoli in microwave for 90 seconds.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add broccoli and cranberries and saute 3 minutes, until broccoli is crisp-tender. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper.



--Adapted from Robin Miller

Raspberry Coulis

2 cups raspberries (about 12 ounces), rinsed
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brandy
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch


Bring the sugar, water, and brandy to a boil. Add the raspberries and lemon juice to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan over low heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the berries are very soft, about 8 minutes.

Sprinkle the cornstarch over 2 teaspoons cold water and stir to dissolve. Pour into the simmering raspberry mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes.

Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl; discard the seeds. Cool completely, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use.



--Adapted from Emeril Lagasse

Tuscan White Beans

2 bacon slices
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped green onion


Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 tablespoon bacon drippings in pan; crumble bacon. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add rosemary, beans, wine, water, rind, and pepper; simmer 30 minutes or until thick. Stir in crumbled bacon, green onions, and parsley.


--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Chicken with Provencal Sauce

4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons dried herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Fresh thyme sprigs (optional)



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. Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken; cook 4 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.

Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add broth and herbes de Provence; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook until broth mixture is reduced to 1/2 cup (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat; add butter and lemon juice, stirring until butter melts. Serve sauce over chicken. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.



--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dijon Potato Salad with Smoked Sausage


For best results, cut the sausage and potato into evenly sized pieces. To steam in the microwave, place potato and a few tablespoons water into a bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap.


6 cups diced red potato (about 2 pounds)
1 (12-ounce) package smoked sausage, quartered lengthwise and sliced
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely green red onion
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Steam potato in microwave, covered, 10 minutes or until tender. Place a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add sausage; sauté 2 minutes. Combine potato and sausage in a large bowl. Add celery and remaining ingredients; toss well to coat.

Garnish with smoked paprika.



--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Friday, August 22, 2008

Angel Hair Pasta with Orange and Spinach Clam Sauce


The bread crumbs give this a really great texture. It's a very interesting recipe.


1 pound angel hair or cappellini pasta
4 (6-ounce) cans whole baby clams, drained and liquid reserved
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup sliced green onion
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1/2 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup pasta cooking water
1 cup fresh baby spinach (or more, if you really like spinach)


Cook pasta according to package directions.

Combine broth, clam juice, and orange zest in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and simmer 5 minutes.

Toast bread crumbs in a small, dry skillet over medium heat.

Drain pasta, adding 1/2 cup of cooking water to clam mixture in skillet. Add chopped clams. Simmer 1 minute. Place pasta in a large serving bowl. Top with spinach. Pour clam mixture over pasta and spinach. Top each plate with toasted bread crumbs. Serve immediately.



--Adapted from Robin Miller

Salmon with Orange-Fennel Sauce


2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
Cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper


Combine first 4 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; add fish. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 20 minutes, turning once.

Prepare broiler.

Remove fish from bag, reserving marinade. Place fish, skin sides down, on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.Bring reserved marinade to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes. Serve sauce with fish.


--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine