Monday, 30 May 2011

Pierogies and Bacon

This is a quick easy meal I like to make during the week. It's delicious, maybe not so healthy, but not THAT bad for you... especially when you use the lower fat version of things.

I'd love to learn how to make homemade pierogies, but for now I'll settle for the pre-made kind.



This makes 4 servings of 6 pierogies each.

24 frozen pierogies of your choice (I like cheese and potato)
1 medium onion (chopped)
1 pkg of reduced salt bacon
2 cups light sour cream (fat free gets a bit too runny, so light is better)

Start by cooking your bacon over medium-high heat in a large frying pan. Once the bacon is done, place it onto a plate lined with paper towel to soak up the grease.

Drain the bacon fat from the pan (don't worry about getting all of it out), make sure you wipe the bottom of the pan so you don't have a fire on your hands! Place the pan on the stove and turn the heat down to medium-low, toss the onions in there and cook them until they begin to get fragrant.

While the onions are cooking boil your pierogies.

When the pierogies are about a minute away from being done, toss the bacon back in the pan and stir in the sour cream.

Drain the pierogies, and toss them into the bacon / sour cream / onion mixture and coat the pierogies well.

Enjoy!!


Photobucket

Saturday, 28 May 2011

S'more Cookies

We were supposed to go up to my parents camp last weekend, so I thought s'more cookies would be the perfect dessert for sitting around a fire, but due to the crappy weather we didn't end up going. So we had to enjoy these while sitting around a TV instead! haha!

One thing I didn't do with this is add marshmallows to the cookies a couple minutes before they came out of the oven, so you can't see the marshmallows very well, so I'm going to include that little change in the recipe below.

I don't have a pro camera or anything, so I know my pictures aren't always the best.. but I'm trying to get a little more creative with my photo taking (as creative as I can be with a camera that has no bells and whistles). Maybe one day I'll have a fancy camera and can take more "artistic" photos.



Adapted from Sing for your Supper.

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup semi street chocolate chips
1 cup chopped graham crackers
1 cup mini marshmallows + 1/2 cup for adding to the cookies while they're in the oven

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda in a small bowl and set aside.

Beat the butter at medium speed for about 1 minute, until smooth. Add in the sugars and beat for another 2 minutes, until well blended. Add in the vanilla, then the eggs one at a time beating for 1 minute after each egg.

Add the dry ingredients in 3 additions on low speed. Then add in the chocolate chips, graham crackers and marshmallows.

Spoon the dough onto the baking sheets in rounded tablespoons about 2 inches apart. Refridgerate the dough for the next batch until you're ready to use it.

Bake the cookies for about 11 minutes - after 8 minutes quickly add a few marshmallows to the top of each cookie. They may be a little bit soft in the middle, but that's okay.

Allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes before removing them from the pan.

Enjoy!!



Photobucket

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Eatmore Bars

Fan of Eatmore chocolate bars?? I am, and so's my Mom.. it's one of her favorites in fact. Sooo she was really excited when a girl at work brought in these homemade eatmore bars, she got the recipe and of course passed it along to me and I whipped them up last weekend, and let me tell you... absolutely gooey, chocolately, nutty, wonderful little treats they were! I was in eatmore bar heaven!!

This is a really simple and easy recipe, it literally took me under 10 minutes to make and prepare these. The only thing that took a while was waiting for them to chill and set in the fridge.

Once you make these, before you eat them, make sure you take them out of the fridge for about a half hour to make sure they're nice, soft and gooey like normal eatmore bars.



1 - 16 oz pkg of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup crushed peanuts (I'm going to try honey roasted peanuts next time!!)
2 1/2 cups rice krispies cereal

Start by melting the chocolate chips, corn syrup and peanut butter together over medium-low heat in a saucepan, stirring well to combine.

Once they're melted, remove the chocolate mixture from the heat and stir in the crushed peanuts and rice krispies. Mix well.

Press down into a 9 x 13 inch pan evenly and chill in the fridge for about an hour.

Once they've chilled, cut them into "chocolate bar" sized bars and enjoy!!!

Store these in the fridge, but remember to take them out for about a 1/2 hour or so before you want to eat them so they get nice and soft, or alternatively you can pop them into the microwave for 15 - 20 seconds.



Photobucket

Monday, 23 May 2011

Spicy Chicken and Spinach Fettucini

Back in the day Boston Pizza used to have a spicy chicken and spinach fettucini that they ended up taking off the menu.. I was so disappointed because that was my favorite thing to order there!

So I naturally just tried to make it at home myself. :)

This is a super easy recipe and is really quick to make, you use a jar of pre-made alfredo sauce, but you can make your own from scratch if you like. I prefer to use the jar of sauce because it's a lot lower in points than making it myself. I personally use Classico garlic alfredo sauce (only 2 WW points for 1/4 cup!!).

You can amp up the spice if you like by adding more, or if you don't like it as spicy you don't have to add as much. I like it to have just a little bit of kick to it!



This makes about 4 servings.

2 chicken breasts (cooked and diced)
1 jar of Classico garlic alfredo sauce (or whatever brand you prefer)
1/2 box of fettucini
2 tbsp buttter
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 of a small sweet onion (diced)
1 big handful of baby spinach
1/4 cup hot sauce (I use Franks red hot & thick sauce)
Parmesan cheese for sprinkling

Start by cooking your chicken (however you like) I always bake mine in the oven.

When your chicken is about 15 mins away from being done, begin making your sauce and boiling your noodles.

Pour the jar of alfredo sauce into a medium sized saucepan and set over low heat.

Melt your butter in a medium sized pan over medium-low heat. Add your onion and saute for a few minutes until it starts to get soft, add your spinach and grate the cloves of garlic finely overtop of the spinach and onions. Saute until the spinach is wilted. Add them to your sauce and stir in well. Add your hot sauce (a bit at a time, testing for desired taste). Stir the sauce every couple of minutes while you wait for your chicken and noodles to finish cooking.

Once the chicken is cooked cut it into bite sized chunks and toss into the sauce. Mix in, coating the chicken completely.

Pour the sauce over your cooked noodles, top with a bit of parmesan cheese and enjoy!!



Photobucket

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Cheeky Monkey Chocolate Cupcakes

I was in Lethbridge a couple of weeks ago visiting family, and we stopped into the old Spudnuts Shop that my Mom used to live down the street from as a kid (she loved that place when she was little). They are now called Crazy Cakes (kind of like Lethbridge's version of Crave). They still make spudnuts on Thursday's apparantly, but they also have an assortment of delicious cupcakes, one of which had banana flavored icing!!

I LOVE bananas, and I love artificial banana flavoring too.. (remember banana flavored penicillin as a kid?). So I naturally had to re-create this cupcake when I got home. I had a box of chocolate cake mix that I needed to use up, and I'm trying to make everything from scratch (I feel like box mixes are for when you have no time and need something quick) but I looked up some recipes that include boxed cake mix and I found some good ones on all recipes, so I kinda took some advice from a few different ones and came up with this delish, moist, chocolately cake!



Cake
1 box chocolate cake mix
1 pkg instant chocolate pudding
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips (coated in flour to keep them from "sinking")

Icing
3 cups icing sugar
1 cup butter
2 tsp banana extract

24 banana chips for garnish.

Preheat the oven to 350 F - line your muffin tin with cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, eggs and vanilla. Once it has been mixed well, pour into your cupcake liners (about 3 - 4 tbsp of batter per cupcake liner).

Bake for about 18 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool.

While the cupcakes are cooling make your icing by mixing together the icing sugar and butter until nice and creamy. Add your banana extract and mix that in well.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, ice them and add a banana chip for garnish.

Enjoy!!!

Photobucket

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Maui Wowi Pineapple Cupcakes

I love pina coladas, I love pineapple, coconut.. and everything tropical! So I decided to make some pina colada type cupcakes and since we went to Maui for our honeymoon and had the most delicious pineapple we've ever had I decided to call them Maui Wowi's.

This is a nice tasty pineapple cake with coconut buttercream icing, rolled in flaked coconut and topped with a piece of candied pineapple.. they were heavenly.. just like Maui!



This recipe makes 24 cupcakes

Pineapple Cake
2 1/3 cup of flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
14 oz. can of pineapple (I like Maui Gold.. you can find it at Costco)
1/4 cup pineapple juice (reserved from can of pineapple)
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup margarine (or butter)
1 2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Coconut Buttercream
3 cups icing sugar
1 cup butter
2 tsp coconut extract

1 cup flaked sweetened coconut
24 pieces of candied pineapple

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder, set aside.

Cream the margarine and sugar together, then add the eggs and vanilla and beat again until light and fluffy.

Add 1/4 cup of pineapple juice to the 1 cup of buttermilk, and in three additions alternately add the flour mixture and the milk mixture to the margarine/sugar mixture until well mixed. Then gently fold in the pineapple.

Pour into 24 muffin cups and bake in the oven for about 30 - 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean.

Let the cupcakes cool.

While they are cooling you can make your icing by mixing the icing sugar and butter together until nice and creamy. Add the coconut extract and mix well (taste test to see if you'd like to add more extract or if it's strong enough for your liking).

Once the cupcakes have cooled ice them with the icing and then roll the icing topped cupcakes in the flaked coconut and top with a piece of candied pineapple.

Enjoy!!!

Photobucket

Monday, 16 May 2011

Red Velvet Cake Balls

A girl at work keeps bringing in these red velvet cake balls that she bought from a lady at a craft fair, and they were delicious, the only thing is she dipped hers in white chocolate which I am not keen on. So I decided to take a crack at them myself with darker chocolate and they turned out awesome!!

I used semi sweet chocolate because it's all I had in the pantry at the time, but next time I'm going to use milk chocolate (so that's what I've included in the recipe). I think the semi sweet was a bit strong, but some of my girlfriends who enjoyed them with me at our monthly "Girl Game Night" said that they liked the semi-sweet and thought milk chocolate would be a bit too sweet. So you can use what you like, but I think I'd probably use milk chocolate next time.

I always thought red velvet was just chocolate cake with food coloring, but I was informed this past week from my girlfriend who's wedding cake was red velvet and her baker told her that red velvet is supposed to be a milk chocolate cake. With this recipe you just make a paste with cocoa and red food coloring, but I suppose adding the milk would make it "milk chocolate" right?! haha!


Red Velvet Cake
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp cocoa powder
2 - 3 ounces red food coloring (depending on how dark you'd like it)
2 1/2 cups cake and pastry flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vinegar

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl, cream together the shortening, eggs and sugar.

In a seperate small bowl mix together the food coloring and cocoa, making a red paste. Add the paste to the shortening mixture and mix well.

Sift together the flour and salt, and add it to the shortening mixture alternately with the buttermilk in three additions. Add the vanilla extract, then fold in the baking soda and vinegar. Pour the batter into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan and bake for about 30 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean). Let the cake cool in the fridge for about 30 - 45 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting
2 cups icing sugar
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup heavy cream

Beat together the cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth. Add the heavy cream and mix until well blended.

Keep in the fridge until you're ready to assemble your cake balls.

After the cake has cooled completely, crumble it into a large bowl and pour the cream cheese mixture over it. Use your hands to work the cream cheese icing and cake together until cake is completely moistened and the icing is no longer noticable.

Pop this into the fridge for about another 20 minutes to make it easier to handle and will keep it's shape better.

Line a large cookie sheet with wax paper and when cake mixture has chilled, begin rolling it into about 2 inch balls and place it on the parchment spacing as close as you can, but still giving you room to work with them as you begin coating them in chocolate.

Chocolate Coating
3 cups of milk (or white if you prefer) chocolate dipping wafers
2 tbsp of shortening


Melt the chocolate dipping wafers 1 1/2 cups at a time in a glass bowl overtop of a pot of gently boiling water (over medium heat). I just sit my glass bowl right into the pot making sure it's not touching the water. Add in 1 tbsp of shortening to the 1 1/2 cups of wafers to keep the mixture smooth.

Using a fork dip each ball into the mixture and cover completely with chocolate, put back onto the cookie sheet.

Once all your balls are coated you can sprinkle them with candy sprinkles if you like, and then place them into the fridge to cool and set.

Store these in the fridge.

Enjoy!!



Photobucket

Friday, 13 May 2011

Chocolate Caramel Tart

I recently bought a tart pan and was really excited to use it! I came across a delicious looking tart on another blog (The Hungry Mouse) and I adapted this recipe from there.

It was definitely really rich and delicious...



Crust
1 1/2 cups flour
5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
10 tbsp butter (softened)
1/2 cup +2 tbsp icing sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla

Caramel
You can buy a jar of dulce de leche (milk caramel) or you can make it yourself by doing this:

Place 1 can of sweetened condensed milk (with the label removed) into a large pot and cover the can completely with water. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 2-4 hours depending on how dark you like your caramel. Turn off the heat and let the can cool in the water before opening.

Ganache
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup butter
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1/3 cup skor baking bits for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 F - grease your pan tart and set aside.

Put the butter and icing sugar in a large bowl and cream it together until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and vanilla, mix well. Add the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Beat well until combined (the mixture will be a bit dry - kind of like play-doh). Gather it into a rough ball and drop it into the center of your tart pan. Spread it out into the pan so it gets up into the sides and fills those rippled ridges.. (makes it look so nice!).

Prick the dough all over with a fork and pop in the oven for 20 minutes. (if the dough is puffy when it comes out of the oven, make a couple more little pricks and press it down gently to squeeze the air out. Let it cool.

Once the crust has cooled, pour in your caramel, and pop into the fridge for about 30 minutes until the caramel firms up a bit.

For the ganache, in a saucepan, melt the chocolate chips and the butter over low heat, stirring frequently until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, stir the whipping cream into the chocolate chip mixture until well blended.
Pour the chocolate ganache overtop of the caramel mixture and spread it around gently with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the skort baking bits overtop.

Pop the tart into the frdige for about an hour until the ganache is set.

Enjoy!!


Photobucket

Fat Elvis French Toast

So blogger is finally back up in running!! Woohoo!! I'm going to do 2 posts today to make up for it being down this week.

I love peanut butter and banana sandwiches... which also happen to the be the favorite of Mr. Presley... and I love french toast so I thought.. why not combine the two!



This recipe will make 4 pieces of toast:

4 pieces of bread (I like to use Cobs cinnamon bread)
2 eggs (beaten)
2 tbsp buttermilk
1/2 cup peanut butter (melted)
2 small bananas

Heat up a large frying pan over medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray.

Add the buttermilk to your egg and mix together. Dip the bread one piece at a time into the egg mixture coating the slices completely and lay them in the frying pan. Cook them for about 2 minutes on each side, or until they're nice and golden brown.

While those are cooking, slice up your bananas (use 1 banana for every 2 pieces of toast). And melt the peanut butter in the microwave (pop it in there for about 1 minute).

Once the toast is done, lay the bananas over top of the toast and pour the peanut butter over top (using 1/4 of a cup of the peanut butter for every 2 pieces of toast).

Enjoy!!!

Photobucket

Monday, 9 May 2011

Dijon Chicken and Portobellos

I love the 550 calorie or less menu from Applebee's because it's very Weight Watcher friendly.. and my fave 550 calorie or less meal is the Dijon Chicken and Portobellos. So I decided to see if I could make it myself at home.. and it was a success!!

I used a frozen chicken breast for this and I often find that cooking these from frozen make for a really juicy chicken breast (sometimes fresh chicken breasts can get a bit dry).



This will make 4 servings of 1 chicken breast each.

4 frozen chicken breasts
1/2 cup honey dijon + 4 tbsp
2 medium sized portobello mushrooms (stem removed and sliced into strips)
1/4 cup mozza cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Brush 1 tbsp of honey dijon onto the top of each of the frozen chicken breasts. Place in the oven for approximately 30 - 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, spray your mushrooms with pam (you can use butter if you don't prefer the lighter option like I do) and saute them over medium-high heat in a frying pan for about 5 minutes moving around and flipping occasionally. Once they have softened and browned up a bit, add the 1/2 cup of honey dijon, remove from heat and mix well.

When the chicken breasts are about 10 minutes from being done, open the oven and carefully lay the mushroom/dijon mixture over each of the chicken breasts equally. Then top with 1 tbsp of cheese on each breast and bake for the remaining 10 minutes.

Serve alongside your favorite veggies.

Enjoy!!



Photobucket

Friday, 6 May 2011

Turkey Strawberry & Brie Sandwich

There's a restaurant near my work that I sometimes go to for lunch with friends and co-workers, and every time I'm there I always get the same thing - the Turkey, Strawberry & Brie Sandwhich.. it's so delicious. I would never have thought about putting neither brie, nor strawberries on a sandwich, but this combination of yummy ingredients is delicious!

So I figured I'd try it out myself at home one day and see how it turned out.. and I must say it was pretty darn good! My husband is allergic to raw berries and wasn't able to enjoy it with me.. but I'd say I enjoyed it enough for the both of us!! Next time I'll slice my tomato a bit thinner, but nothing wrong with a little extra veggies right?!

Sorry the picture is a bit crappy.. I was too excited to eat it! lol!



This recipe makes 1 sandwich.

2 pieces of low fat (fresh) bread
1 tbsp butter (for bread)
2 thin slices of tomato
1 large lettuce leaf
a few slices of turkey breast
1 thin slice of brie (cut width wise so it's still a circle.. not a triangle slice)
1/3 cup of strawberries (sliced thin)
1 tbsp low fat mayo

I started by putting a small frying pan over low heat, and I placed the buttered sides of the bread buttered side down in the pan and left it for about 1 minute to give it that nice "grilled cheese" feeling.

Then I just assembled my sandwich by: smearing the mayo on the bread (the non-buttered side of course), adding the lettuce, tomato and turkey breast. Then I added the strawberries on top and the brie.

It's such a simple quick and delish sandwhich to make!! It took under 5 minutes!! And it's pretty healthy for you, the only things that aren't great on it is the bread of course, and the brie.. but everything in moderation right! ;)

Enjoy!!

Photobucket

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Angel Food Cupcakes with Blueberry Filling and Meringue Icing

I love angel food cake, and I've always just had the box mix, but I always wondered how angel food made from scratch would be, so this past weekend I decided to find out! :)

I looked through some online recipes and decided to try one out that I found on allrecipes.com, so I made a few slight changes and it turned out awesome!! But instead of doing a cake in a fluted pan, I did mini and big cupcakes and then I injected them with blueberry pie filling and topped them off with meringue icing. Turns out a big part of making angel food cake is making a meringue first and then folding the flour into it. Because meringue is so low fat, these are not that bad for you at all!

For all my friends on Weight Watchers, these are a lighter, "skinnier" dessert. I only counted a mini cupcake as 2 points (but if you want to be safe since I didn't actually calculate it - round up to 3 points for a mini cupcake).



Cake
1 cup cake and pastry flour
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups of egg whites
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp almond extract
1 1/2 tsps cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup blueberry pie filling

Icing
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup egg whites

For the cake

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Prep your pan by lining your muffin tins with cupcake liners.

Sift together the flour and 3/4 cup of sugar and set aside.

In a large bowl, whip the egg whites along with the vanilla, cream of tartar and salt until you have medium to stiff peaks in the mixture. Gradually add the remaining sugar while continuing to whip until the mixture has stiff peaks.

When the egg mixture has reached its maximum volume, fold in the flour/sugar mixture gradually, one third at a time. Do not overmix.

Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full and pop into the oven for about 12 - 15 minutes, until the cupcakes are a nice golden color.

Refridgerate the remaining batter until your ready to do the next batch.

Pour the blueberry pie filling through a large strainer to catch the berries (so you're only left with the sauce). Once the cupcakes have cooled a bit, spoon the blueberry pie sauce into a pastry bag with a large round tip and use it to puncture the top of the cupcakes and gently squeeze the filling into them one at a time.


For the icing

In a medium bowl whip together the egg whites and cream of tartar together until foamy and you start to get medium peaks.

Add in the sugar while continuing to whip into stiff peaks.

Spoon into a piping bag and frost the cupcakes as desired.



Photobucket

Monday, 2 May 2011

Cinnamon Buns

My husband and I love cinnamon buns, we're big fans of Cobs Bakery and we always buy them from there, but I decided to give them a whirl myself! I had a recipe I had written down a while back that I'd never tried so I dug it out and gave it a try!

They turned out pretty darn good!! Nice and gooey, and I topped ours with cream cheese icing! They were mighty tasty (I ended up eating 5 of them!!!!).



Dough
1/4 ounce package yeast (approx. 1 tbsp)
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup scalded milk
1/3 cup butter
1 tsp salt
1egg
3 1/2 - 4 cups flour

Filling
1/2 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp ground cinnamon

Cream cheese icing to top them off! For the recipe click here

In a small bowl dissolve the yeast in warm water and set aside. In a large bowl mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and eggs. Add two cups of flour and mix until smooth, then add the yeast mixture and mix in the remaining flour until the dough is easy to handle. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 5-10 minutes. Place in a well greased bowl and let it rise until doubled (about an hour to an hour and a half).

When the dough has doubled, punch it down and roll it out onto a floured surface into a large rectangle.

In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon together well, then spread the melted butter all over the dough and sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon mixture evenly overtop. Roll up the dough (rolling from the longest part of dough) and pinch it together to seal it. Cut it into about 12 to 15 slices.

Coat the bottom of a baking pan with butter and sprinkle with a bit of sugar. Place the rolls about an inch and a half apart in the pan and let them rise until the dough is doubled (approx. 45 mins).

Bake at 350 F. for about 25 - 30 minutes or until they're nice and brown.

While the rolls are baking make your cream cheese icing (again for this recipe click here)

Serve warm with the cream cheese icing on top.

Enjoy!!



Photobucket