Monday, October 29, 2007

Holiday Bark

1 package white chocolate
Pretzels, crushed
Oreo cookies, crushed
Halloween: candy corn, orange and brown M&Ms, etc.
Christmas: peppermint candy, red and green M&Ms, etc.
Easter: malted milk eggs, blue, pink, green M&Ms, etc.

Melt 1 package white chocolate (I use the chocolate in the baking section that is specifically for candy/bark making) over a double boiler. I boil water in a large pot and put the chocolate in a glass bowl on top of the pot to melt. While it's melting, put the pretzels in a Ziploc bag and crush them, and then do the same with the Oreos. When the chocolate is completely melted pour it out on a sheet pan and spread it out fairly thin. Sprinkle the pretzels and Oreos over the chocolate, and then press in whatever candies you like. Press everything into the chocolate a bit. Refrigerate until hard, and then break into pieces.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

My Favorite Slow Cooker Apple Oatmeal

2 cups milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. melted butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup regular oats
1 cup peeled, chopped apple

Spray the inside of a 3-4 quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker and mix well. Cover and turn on LOW setting. Cook overnight or 8-9 hours. Stir well before serving. 8 servings. And your house smells like apple pie.

Brett would have preferred this with more butter, which I will probably do next time (or at least more of the Smart Balance that I used!)

Pillsbury Spider Web Cookie Pizza

I'm planning on bringing this for Halloween! I just need to find some plastic spiders, heck if I have time to make them... And I'm substituting white frosting & black gel for the top.

Spider Web Cookie Pizza
Makes: 16 servings Nutrition Information
So cute, it's scary! A simple cookie crust becomes a web of delight!

1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® Create 'n Bake® refrigerated chocolate chip cookies
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil

1 . Heat oven to 350°F. Line 12-inch pizza pan with foil; grease foil with shortening. Cut cookie dough into 1/4-inch slices; arrange evenly in pan. With floured fingers, press slices to form crust.
2 . Bake 16 to 20 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
3 . In small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Use foil to lift crust from pan. Carefully remove foil from crust; place crust on serving platter or tray. Spread cream cheese mixture over crust.
4 . In a small resealable food-storage plastic bag, place chocolate chips and oil; seal bag. Place bag in bowl of very hot water. Knead bag several times to melt chips. Cut small hole in 1 corner of bag. Working from center to outer edge, pipe chocolate to form spiral design over top of cream cheese mixture. Working from center of spiral to outer edge, draw tip of knife lightly through spiral to form web design.
5 . Refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour. To serve, cut into wedges or squares. Cover and refrigerate any remaining pizza.

Hungry Girl's Butternut Squash Fries

To me, these were even better than sweet potato fries!

1/2 butternut squash
kosher salt
any seasoning of your choice, optional

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Peel and de-seed your butternut squash. Slice it in half. Then cut it up into french fry shapes. We like to use a crinkle cutter to make authentic looking crinkle cut fries, but they'll work any way you slice 'em. Place on a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick spray. Cover lightly with kosher salt (regular salt works, too, but we prefer kosher salt). Place tray in your pre-heated oven and bake for 40 minutes or so, flipping halfway through baking process. Fries are done when they are starting to brown on the edges and get crispy. Serve with ketchup, or however else you enjoy fries your sweet potato fries!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

10 Casseroles Under 300 Calories

Another winner from here are a couple that caught my eye:

Halloween Treats

Pumpkin Biscuits
Makes 16 (2-inch) biscuits

2 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into thin slices 1 (15-ounce) can unsweetened solid-pack pumpkin

Put a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet. In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter until the mixture looks like cornmeal. Stir in the pumpkin until you have a soft dough.

On a well-floured surface, with well-floured hands, pat out dough into an 8- by 8-inch square, 1 inch thick. Cut dough into 16 (2-inch) squares and transfer to the cookie sheet.

Bake the biscuits 20 minutes. Because they're already brownish to start with, you may need to break one open to see if they're done — they'll be soft and moist in the center but cooked through. Serve hot.

What's Good for You
Many brands of canned "pumpkin" are actually butternut squash. It doesn't matter nutritionally, though: Both are a rich source of beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A. Vitamin A helps maintain healthy eyes.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Cheeze-it Chicken

Ok, so there's absolutely nothing healthy about it, but if you need a quick, tasty casserole, this might just fit the bill...
  • 8 skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • sour cream (about 1 1/2 cups, but maybe more)
  • cheeze-it crackers (about half a package, maybe more)
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  1. Grease an 9x13" baking pan.
  2. Lay the chicken in the pan.
  3. Spread a thick layer of sour cream over the chicken.
  4. Crush the cheeze-it crackers and sprinkle over the sour cream.
  5. Drizzle with melted butter.
  6. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Honey and Oats Granola Pie - a Derby take off

1 Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crust (from 15-oz box), softened as directed on box

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs, lightly beaten
4 Nature Valley® Oats 'n Honey crunchy granola bars (2 pouches) crushed. To easily crush granola bars, do not unwrap. Use rolling pin to crush bars.
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup chocolate chips
Whipped cream or ice cream, if desired

Heat oven to 350°F.
Place piecrust in 9-inch glass pie pan as directed on box for One-Crust Filled Pie.
In large microwavable bowl, microwave butter on high 50 to 60 seconds or until melted. Stir in brown sugar and corn syrup until blended. Beat in salt, vanilla and eggs. Stir crushed granola bars, walnuts, oats and chocolate chips into brown sugar mixture. Pour into crust-lined pan.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until filling is set and crust is golden brown. During last 15 to 20 minutes of baking, cover crust edge with strips of foil or pie shield to prevent excessive browning.

Cool at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled. Great with whipped cream or ice cream.

Store in refrigerator.

This one won the Pillsbury Bake-Off several years ago. It is REALLY good!

Variations on a Kentucky Derby Pie - Kristine's version

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c pecans, coarsely chopped
Mix, place in prepared pie crust, bake at 325 for 40-45 minutes, or until golden and set in the middle. Best served with vanilla ice cream
* I use a flat-bottom quiche pan, and I like the longer, thinner pieces.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Spinach Artichoke Dip

I've tried a lot of them... this is my favorite, hands down. Worth the effort to roast the garlic as it says. Originally from

* 4 cloves garlic
* 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
* 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
* 1 (10 ounce) container Alfredo-style pasta sauce
* 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
* 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Place garlic in a small baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven 20 to 30 minutes, until soft. Remove from heat. When cool enough to touch, squeeze softened garlic from skins.
3. In an 8x8 inch baking dish, spread the roasted garlic, spinach, artichoke hearts, Alfredo-style pasta sauce, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and cream cheese.
4. Cover and bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until cheeses are melted and bubbly. Serve warm.
**Easily doubled with 1 add'l pkg spinach, using the whole pkg of cr. cheese, more mozzarella and Parmesan. And of course more garlic. You don't need to double the artichokes. Bake in a 9x13 dish or 2- 8x8s. Freezes wonderfully for a quick appetizer.

Slow Cooker Fresh Vegetable-Beef-Barley Soup

Here's one of our fall favorites!

Feel free to substitute any & all veggies that you have on hand. Also to save $$, instead of buying the already cut beef stew meat, I buy a nice chuck steak & cut it up myself.

Make Ahead Mashed Potato Casserole

5 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
8 oz cream cheese, room temp
8 oz sour cream, room temp
1/2 cup milk, warm
1 stick butter, softened
2 tsp onion powder, or garlic powder if you prefer
Salt & Pepper to taste

Add quartered potatoes to large pot of cold water and bring to boil.Cook for 20 min or until tender. Drain and transfer to large bowl. Mash potatoes and then mix in remaining ingredients. Transfer to greased 9x13 pan.

From here you can do either: 1. bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes until lightly golden on top & serve immediately. 2. Allow to cool 1/2 hour, cover and refrigerate. Then bake for 45min to 1 hour at 350 prior to serving. or 3. Freeze and then defrost in fridge and follow 2.

serves 10-15

WW Crustless Pumpkin Pie 1 point

So good, you won't miss the crust!

1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
1 can evaporated skim milk (12 oz)
3/4 cup egg substitute (or 3 egg whites)
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 C. Splenda (or sugar) or to taste

Combine all ingredients and beat until smooth.
Pour into a 9" sprayed pie pan
Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, and then at 325 for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Serves 8 Whole Pie: 8 points (or ONE pt. for 1/8 pie)

Top this pie with a little fat free Cool-Whip for even more of a treat! Counts as a vegetable serving and high in fiber!