Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cowboy Beef and Been Skillet

I found this recipe in Kraft's Food & Family magazine and I thought it sounded really good, but my wife wasn't to hip on trying it so I fixed it ahead of time and split it up for lunches. It's a very hardy dish and I think it would be great to spice it up like a chili this fall. The only thing that makes me shy away from making this recipe again is that 1 cup is 450 calories, and that's pretty well all the calories you need in one meal. But it will fill you up and keep you full, so that helps.
1 1/2 lb. beef sirloin steak, cut into thin strips
2 slices Oscar Mayer bacon, chopped (I used Turkey Bacon so it may cut down on a few calories)
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 can (16 oz) pinto beans, rinsed
3/4 cup Kraft original BBQ sauce

Cook steak strips in deep large nonstick skillet or dutch oven on medium-high heat 3 min. or just until no longer pink in centers. Remove to plate
Add bacon to skillet; cook on medium heat 1 min. Add onions and peppers; mix well. Cook 6 min. or until bacon is done and vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in beans and barbecue sauce; simmer on medium-low heat 5 min.
Return steak and any juices from plate to skillet; cook 1 to 2 min. or until steak strips are done, stirring occasionally.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Grilled Peach Salad!

The cooler weather has finally arrived and I was able to get in some much needed grill time. I chose to do something new, something I honestly don't do enough of and that involves grilling fruit. The intense heat and smoke makes for such an intense flavor it's unreal, I highly suggest you try it. I'm sure this recipe will be a repeat as it is incredibly healthy and loaded with flavor. My little girl loved the grilled peaches and I served it with a little chicken breast, for protein, and some diced tomatoes. Also I grilled the romaine lettuce which is really quick and adds even more flavor. To grill the lettuce place the lettuce on the grill just long enough to get grill marks, were not looking to wilt the lettuce just a quick grill for looks and flavor.

From Kraft's Food & Family 2011 Summer edition
Prep 15 min. Total 23 min. Makes 10 servings.
what you need
3 fresh peaches pitted, quartered
2 Tbsp. oil
8 cups torn romaine lettuce
1/2 cup coarsely chopped Planters deluxe Whole Cashews(I omitted these as there is always a possibility of cross contamination of tree nuts and peanuts.)
6 slices Oscar Mayer Bacon, cooked, coarsely crumbled(I used turkey bacon which is a great healthy alternative)
1/2 cup Kraft Roka Blue Cheese Dressing; I used Ranch since no one in the house is big on blue cheese dressing

Make it
Heat grill to medium-high heat.
Brush peaches with oil. Grill 3 to 4 min. on each side or just until tender and heated through. Cool slightly.
Cut each peach piece in half. cover platter with lettuce; top with peaches, nuts and bacon.
Drizzle with dressing.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

I fixed this a few weeks ago with my daughter when it was just way to hot to be outside. I used a chocolate chip cookie recipe that was included with my Kitchen Aide Mixer. The recipe was for cookies, but I adapted it for a 8x12 cake pan. I followed the recipe until it came time to dish it all out, then I just simply placed the cookie dough into the pie pan and baked it at the same temperature as the recipe four about 30 minutes when the dough was nice and golden brown. The end result was delicious and I will be repeating this again, but with one slight change. The recipe makes enough dough for 54 cookies, so there is easily enough dough to fill a large bar pan. Which I'm sure would cook much more evenly and be a little closer to a cookie serving size making it much easier for those concerned about their calorie intake.

On a side note, I recently contacted Target about their Market Pantry Chocolate Chips and if they were produced on shared equipment. They stated that they are not produced on shared equipment and in fact safe for those with Peanut Allergies. This is a huge relief for us for two reasons; one being that their safe for our little girl and two, because its incredibly convenient since we don't have to special order them off of the internet.
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

Place sugars, butter, eggs, and vanilla in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and flat beater to mixer. Turn to Speed 2 and mix about 30 seconds. Stop and scrape bowl. Turn to Speed 4 and beat about 30 seconds. Stop and scrape bowl.

Turn to Stir speed. Gradually add baking soda, salt, and flour to sugar mixture and mix about 2 minutes. Turn to speed 2 and mix about 30 seconds. Stop and scrape bowl. Add chocolate chips. Turn to Stir Speed and mix about 15 seconds.

Drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375ºF for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from baking sheets immediately and cool on wire racks.

For the cookie cake place the cookie dough in a large greased bar pan or a 9x13 pie pan. Bake at 375ºF for 30 minutes or until the cookie dough has turned a golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow pan to cool on a wire rack.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Glazed Red Berry Pie

This recipe has been setting in my recipes to fix box for most of this summer when it arrived in the summer edition of Kraft's Food & Family. It was a great recipe, but sadly my skills were put to the test and came up short. The pie filling, which consists of Raspberry Jello Gelatin, raspberries, and strawberries was really good. It was the crust that really disappointed me, it was my first attempt at making a pre-baking a pie crust and it came out really tough and chewy. Now this is in no way a reflection of the recipe, but just my skills and making pie crusts that require bake time before being filled. I know there is a bit of an art to pies and I would like to be come proficient in them, but for health reasons I will not be spending a lot of time doing so.

3/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water
1 pkg. (3 oz.) Jell-O Raspberry Flavor Gelatin
3 cups fresh strawberries, hulled
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 baked pie crust (9 inch)
1/2 cup thawed Cool Whip Whipped Topping

Mix sugar and cornstarch in medium saucepan. Gradually stir in water until well blended. Bring to boil on medium heat, stirring constantly; cook and stir 1 min. Remove from heat. Add dry gelatin mix; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Stir in fruit.
Fill crust with fruit mixture. Refrigerate 3 hours or until filling is firm.
Top with Cool Whip just before serving.

Makes 8 servings; Prep 10 min.; Total 3 hours 20 minutes
Kraft's Notes
Pie can be prepared using a frozen deep-dish pie crust. Bake as directed on package; cool. Fill as directed.
Healthy Living: Save 40 calories per serving by preparing with Jell-O Raspberry Flavor Sugar Free Gelatin and Cool Whip Lite Whipped Topping.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Chicken Tacos!

I found this recipe from a Kraft magazine, while it was very close to how I liked to fix my tacos it did add another ingredient that really rounded out our taco eating experience. That ingredient was plain old canned corn, I mean how simple is that? But the result was delicious and it gave our toddler, who can be picky at times, something more to eat on taco night.
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
Taco seasoning
Romaine Lettuce
Shredded Cheese
Canned Corn, drained
Favorite Salsa or Taco sauce
Sour Cream
Re-fried Beans
Flour tortilla

Place the chicken in a crock-pot with enough water to cover and cook for approximately 2 hours or until the chicken is falling apart. Remove the chicken from water and shred with two forks. Place the shredded chicken back into the water, add your favorite taco seasoning and allow to simmer for another hour.

Assemble the tacos with the beans, meat, shredded romaine lettuce, shredded cheese, canned corn, salsa, and sour cream.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Grilling Classics!

While this dish is nothing new or fancy, is how ever just some plain old grilling classics or staples if you will. As a kid hotdogs were like a mandatory summer food, so it's no surprise that my little toddler loves them. While I will occasionally munch down on a hotdog I have come to prefer the more grown up version, Beer Brats! Those two combined are a must for summer time grilling. The chicken was thrown in to for the simple reason the grill was going and I needed them cooked for lunches through the week, they were simply seasoned with my BBQ rub. I always like seeing meals like this because not every meal I cook is big, fancy, or a new recipe. Not to mention the fact that even a good cook likes to settle up to plate of a meal that was quick, easy, and good.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lifesaving Eggless Pancakes

The other morning my toddler asked me to make fresh chocolate chip pancakes for her, so who am I to say no to that. Well upon arriving at the fridge for the eggs I swiftly realized I am all out, my mind quickly filled with the mental image of my little girl throwing a huge tantrum over this. So I quickly searched online for a pancake recipe that didn't call for eggs and found one on and the recipe was noted to be taking from another site at Any ways, the recipe was incredibly easy and made some really fluffy pancakes, in fact a lot fluffier than any other pancakes I have ever made. Also the recipe calls for cinnamon, something I was skeptical of, but they really took it to another level and has my taste buds tingling to try something new with my pancake recipes.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups while milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons butter

1. Combine dry ingredients and mix slightly.
2. Add milk, oil, water, and vanilla. whisk together until just combined. Be careful not to over mix-it should still be slightly lumpy. Set aside to rest for a few minutes
3. heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. While pan is heating, add butter. As soon as the butter is melted, add melted butter to pancake batter.
4. Return pan to stove and stir butter into batter.
5. When pan is hot, with a measuring cup or ladle, pour 1/4 cup of batter into the skillet for each pancake.
6. Cook until bubbles form on the surface. Carefully flip pancakes with turner/spatula and cook until golden brown.
7. Note: This recipe also works well with whole wheat flour. Chopped fruit, nuts or chocolate chips can be added to batter before cooking four a unique treat.

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