Friday, August 20, 2010

Broccoli, Chicken and Tater Tot Casserole...

It was a rainy, gloomy day and I was looking for something comforting to make. I came across this recipe from one of my favorite blogs, and it was perfect. This recipe is very kid and adult friendly. :) Here is the original recipe, below is my adapted and somewhat healthier version.


1 small can of low-fat cream of chicken soup
1 small can of low-fat cream of broccoli and cheese soup
1 cup skim milk
8-10 cups broccoli florets (I used fresh broccoli, but I'm sure you could use frozen)
4 boneless chicken breasts (or I used chicken strips to make for easier cutting), cooked and shredded
1 tsp. (or more if desired) hot sauce
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 bag Ore Ida Tater Tots, frozen
1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese (or soy cheese)

1. Preheat oven to 375. Place soup and milk in a large pot over medium heat. Whisk until smooth and heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in broccoli and cook for another 5 minutes to soften slightly. Stir in chicken, hot sauce, pepper, and garlic. Pour mixture into a 11x7 inch baking dish that's been coated with cooking spray. Top evenly with tater tots and cheese; bake for 20 minutes uncovered. Then, cover with foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and serve. You may add more hot sauce once on your plate if desired. Yum!

Now for dessert...this recipe is sinful, yet so so so amazing. It's...a special treat :)

Coming from the same blog as the recipe above...are you ready for this???!!! Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Bars. Holy Yummo. I love this lady's blog because a lot of her desserts have two of my favorite ingredients...chocolate and peanut butter. Doesn't get much better than that, folks!

Here is the link.

I made a couple changes to the recipe, and here is my slightly different version below:

1 box devils food cake mix
1 egg
1/2 stick softened butter
1/2 cup water
8 oz softened fat-free cream cheese
1 egg
1/3 Cup sugar
10 regular size Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, cut into little pieces
1 Cup semi sweet chocolate chips
4 Tablespoons fat-free cream

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13 inch baking dish with tin foil. Spray with non stick cooking spray. Mix cake mix, egg and butter together then press into baking dish. Add water to mixture to help w/making the mixture more moist and easier to stir.
2. Mix cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Stir in egg until well combined then stir in peanut butter cups. Pour over cake layer and bake for 30-40 minutes or until cheesecake is cooked through (it only took 30 minutes in my oven). Remove and let cool completely.
3. Carefully lift bars out of dish using ends of foil. Melt chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals until melted through. Stir in heavy cream and stir until glossy smooth. Spread chocolate over cheesecake layer, cut into squares and serve.

These are ooey, gooey heaven. :) Go ahead and eat some...happy special treat to you!

Spicy Apricot Asian pork tenderloin

Daniel and I both love pork tenderloins. I love all of the different marinades that you can do with them. I never buy the already marinaded tenderloins because they are SUPER salty. Below is a recipe from a friend's blog that turned out delicious. Here is her blog if you would like to check it out: Enjoy!

Spicy Apricot Asian Pork Tenderloin
low-sugar apricot preserves (about ½ a cup)
~2 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ cup orange juice
2-3 Tbls Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
½ tsp dry ginger powder
¼ tsp chipotle powder (more if you like it spicy!)
Pork tenderloin (you could use any meat or tofu, I’m sure!)

Combine all ingredients on the stove over medium heat until they’re well mixed together and bubbly. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly, then pour into a pan or ziploc bag on top of pork tenderloin. Let it marinate a few hours in the fridge (I only got to marinate them for about 4 hours…I might even attempt to do it overnight next time) and then cook in the oven or on the grill. If you don’t have a lot of time to marinate it, make some extra marinade and baste it while it cooks.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Yet another dessert recipe...

Because I have been training clients around our typical dinner time, I have been making easy/quick dinners this week. All tasty, but nothing extra fancy. Tonight, however; I am making pork tenderloin and other goodies...I will blog about it later. Yesterday we didn't have any sweets left in the house. Probably a good thing, although the hubs and I have HORRIBLE sweet tooths. ugh. I wanted to make something quick, easy and with ingredients I had on hand without having to make another trip to the grocery. I had a bag of peanut butter/chocolate chips, so thought I'd make cookies. Well nevermind about that because we didn't have any more eggs left (one of our dinners this week was breakfast for dinner: eggs, biscuits, grits, eggs were used up!). I then decided that I still wanted to use the peanut butter/chocolate chips, and thought I'd make bar cookies with them. Still, no eggs. I then convinced myself to experiment and make eggless bar cookies. Boy, oh boy, did they turn out AMAZING. So amazing, Daniel and I have almost eaten half the large pan...sigh.

I learned that you can substitute 1/4 cup water and 1 tsp. of cornstarch to equal one egg. The recipe I used called for 2 eggs, so instead I substitute 1/2 cup water and 2 tsp. cornstarch. I was a little nervous about this, but it worked out beautifully. These cookies are super easy, SUPER moist and melt in your mouth. Enjoy with a tall glass of skim milk! Oh, and I got the recipe off my new favorite recipe web-site.


½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
½ cup vegetable shortening
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (or whatever kind of "chips" you want)
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (I didn't add these)
Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9X13-inch baking dish. Set aside.


Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9X13-inch baking dish. Set aside.
In large bowl, or in large bowl of electric mixer at medium seed, beat butter, shortening, granulated sugar and brown sugar for 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Beat in flour, baking soda and salt. Fold in chips and nuts.
Spread dough evenly in prepared baking dish. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Cool completely.
Makes 16 (2X3-inch) bars
Variations: Substitute peanut butter chips, milk chocolate chips or raspberry-flavored chips for all or half of the semisweet chocolate chips.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Chocolate Cobbler

My brother, Stephen, is in town this weekend visiting, and my Mom's out of town for work, so me, Daniel, Stephen and my Dad had dinner made by Dad. It was a "special treat" dinner! We had lobster (YUM!), steak, asparagus, baked potatoes, salad and corn on the cob. Yum, yum, yum! We were all STUFFED after this meal, but had a little tiny room left for dessert. I made the dessert...Chocolate Cobbler. It's basically like a chocolate molten cake...delicious, warm, creamy and gooey. Mmmmmm. It was stupid easy and super delish. I served it with a scoop of vanilla icecream...

Chocolate Cobbler

from Taste of Home


1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup milk

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup packed brown sugar

1-3/4 cups hot water


Preheat oven to 350.

In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder sugar and 2 tablespoons cocoa. Stir in milk and oil. Pour into a baking dish – I used an 8-inch oval. Combine the brown sugar and remaining cocoa and sprinkle over batter. Pour hot water over top (do not stir). Bake for 40-45 minutes.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

South Carolina Peaches

I had a wonderful girls weekend at my parents house in Pawleys Island, SC, with a few good Clemson sorority friends. I hadn't seen them since our wedding, but even then I didn't get to talk with them much, so it was a great weekend of catching up and reminiscing of old times. My Mom requested that I bring her back a bunch of SC peaches, so...I did. I brought back a HUGE box of peaches, and they have been simply amazing. My Mom is going to make a bunch of fresh peach jam with some. Daniel and I have been eating them like candy...they just melt in your mouth. My Mom is out of town this week for work, so tonight I had my Dad over for dinner. I had a peach-themed was wonderful. Shared below are the recipes I used to make this dinner a sure hit!

Found at I made Grilled Pork Chops with Peach Salsa. Instead of grilling the pork chops (our grill isn't quite ready yet), I seared the chops on the stove, then popped them into the oven at 350 for 40 minutes. Before searing them, I put salt, pepper, and chili powder on one side of each chop.

Cook Time:8 min Level: Easy Yield: 4 servings


Peach salsa:
1/2 red onion, diced (reserve the other half for Online Round 2 Recipe Orzo Soup with Pork)
2 peaches, halved, pitted and diced
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
Pinch kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pork chops:
5 pork chops, end cut
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper



In a bowl toss all of the salsa ingredients together and set aside.

Pork chops:

Heat an outdoor grill or grill pan over medium-high heat.

Brush the pork chops with the oil. In a small bowl combine the chili powder, salt and pepper. Generously sprinkle the rub over both sides of each pork chop. Grill the chops until cooked through, about 4 to 6 minutes per side. Arrange the chops on a serving platter and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Serve the chops with the peach salsa.

Along with the chops we had brussel sprouts that I just boiled in fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth. I also made Potato Salad for our starch. We had a salad and delicious wine my Dad brought as well.

Potato Salad

Makes about 5 servings

2 lbs. red potatoes (about 5), cut into chunks
1/3 cup low-fat mayo
1/4 cup kraft light zesty Italian dressing
1 1/2 tsp. grey poupon dijon mustard
1 hard-cooked egg, chopped
4 green onions, sliced

-Cook potatoes in boiling water in saucepan about 15 minutes or until tender; drain. Rinse with cold water until cooled; drain.
-Mix dressings and mustard in large bowl. Add potatoes, eggs, onions; mix lightly.
-Refrigerate at least 30 mins. before serving.

And, last but not least...drum roll, please...

PEACH COBBLER thanks to Paula Deen's recipe! I used a little less sugar that Paula, but nothing too drastic. I didn't want the overload of the sugar she put in to take away from the sugars of the fresh peaches.

1 1/2 cup self-rising flour
8 tablespoon (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup water
2 cup sugar, divided
4 cup peeled, sliced peaches
1 1/2 cup milk
ground cinnamon, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the peaches, 1 cup sugar, and water in a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Put the butter in a 3-quart baking dish and place in oven to melt. Mix remaining 1 cup sugar, flour, and milk slowly to prevent clumping. Pour mixture over melted butter. Do not stir. Spoon fruit on top, gently pouring in syrup. Sprinkle top with ground cinnamon, if using. Batter will rise to top during baking. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes. To serve, scoop onto a plate and serve with your choice of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

Servings: 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 45 min
Difficulty: Easy

Show: Paula's Home Cooking

Thanks to two of my favorite men in this world for sharing in this meal with me. :) Love you!!!!