Friday, October 30, 2009

Embarrassingly Easy Danish

The story behind this creation comes from our honeymoon. Tyson took me on a cruise to the Bahamas for our honeymoon, and, as anyone who has been on a cruise knows, they had the greatest food. Every morning they had these fresh Danishes and they were so good! So, when we got back I decided that I should try to figure them out. Call me crazy, but I think that I like what I came up with even better than what they served on our ship. And yes, I call them embarrassingly easy because, well, they are. They taste great, look great, but with so little effort.Ingredients:
1 package Puff Pastry (It is Pepperidge Farms in the frozen foods section)
1 can pie filling, I prefer raspberry or cherry, but choose whatever you would like
1 c. powdered sugar
1/2 T. butter
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1-2 T. milk

Allow the puff pastry to thaw for the recommended 40 minutes. Then, on a greased cookie sheet, unfold the dough and cut into 9 squares. (There are 2 sheets per package so feel free to make 9 or 18. You can always save the rest for later)

Fold in the corners and press into the center, as shown.

Make sure to press it down well, if the pastry is dry wet your finger a bit.

Once they are all shaped, place about a teaspoon full of filling in the center.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 10-12 minutes.

While baking mix the powdered sugar, vanilla, almond, butter and milk to create a drizzle. You don't want it to be too runny or too stiff. It should drizzle well from a spoon.

Remove Danishes from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes. Then drizzle.
Yields 18
Points: 4

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Alice Springs Chicken

I love Outback's Alice Springs Chicken, but I can't bear to pay $16 for it every time I want it. My Aunt Jenny put this recipe in our family cookbook and we love it. We use the honey-mustard marinade all the time. It works great as a dipping sauce too.Ingredients:
1/2 c. Grey Poupon mustard
1/2 c. honey
1-1/2 tsp. oil
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 T. oil
2 c. sliced mushrooms (10-12 mushrooms)
2 T. butter
8 slices bacon, cooked
1 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
*I find slices of cheese easier though, and pepper jack is great
2 tsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped (optional)

To make the marinade use an electric mixer to combine the mustard, honey, oil and lemon juice. Whip for about 30 seconds. Pour about 2/3 of the marinade over the chicken and save the rest for a dipping sauce. I like to marinade in a Ziploc bag instead of a bowl. Less wasted space. Allow to marinade in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Chill the remaining marinade as well.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. You will need an oven safe frying pan for this. I use my cast-iron skillet. While the oven is heating I cook the chicken. You can sear it in a pan with oil for 3-4 minutes per side. However I like to grill it for that same amount of time to avoid the oil and add that smoky flavor. Baste chicken with marinade and season with salt, pepper and paprika. While the chicken is cooking saute mushrooms in butter.

Place chicken in your oven safe pan if it isn't there already. Stack 2 slices of bacon on each breast in an X shape. Spoon mushrooms over each breast. Finally sprinkle with cheese (or if you are me place a slice of cheese on top).

Bake in the 375 degree oven for 7-10 minutes, or until the cheese is fully melted and bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley before serving and place remaining marinade in a small bowl on the side.
Serves 4
Points: 9

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Taco Soup

This is a favorite of mine. I make a pot of it and then eat it for lunch for the rest of the week. Oh, and it couldn't possibly be any easier.Ingredients:
1 lb lean ground beef (ground turkey works really well too for a lighter dish)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 16oz can corn
1 16oz can kidney beans
1 16oz can black beans
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 16oz can diced tomatoes
1 pkg. taco seasoning

Brown ground beef and onion until cooked through in 5qt pan. Add remaining ingredients. Do not drain the cans, you need the juice. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

It is great served with some sour cream, cheese and tortilla chips.
Serves 10
Points: 5

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


It is officially Autumn and it is getting cooler. That means that it is the season for soups! I love really creamy soups, but they can kill you on calories. This is a favorite broth based soup. There will be more to come when I get around to actually typing them out.Ingredients:
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 16 oz can garbonzo beans
1 16 oz can kidney beans
1 c. small pasta shells
1 c. sliced fresh carrots
1 c. sliced celery
1 c. chopped onion
1 16 oz can diced tomatoes
1/4 c. olive oil
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
5 c. beef broth
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cloves of garlic, minced

Saute onions. celery, and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, carrots, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.

In a skillet brown the ground beef, drain. Stir into soup along with beans and pasta. Cover and simmer for another 15 minutes.
Serves 15
Points: 4 per cup

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sourdough Starter

Sorry Sunny, I forgot. Essential to any sourdough recipe is the starter. It is very simple.

2 cups flour
2 cups warm water
1 package active dry yeast

Dissolve yeast in water and let stand for 5 minutes. Add flour and mix until smooth. Cover loosely and place in a warm place (80-90 degrees) to ferment for 48 hours.

It will keep for about 2 weeks in the fridge.
Yields 3 cups

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sourdough Bread

We love sourdough bread around here. We tried out this new recipe today and it turned out great. The crust was great and the inside was perfectly spongy. This recipe is courtesy of my Taste of Home baking book.Ingredients:
2 packages active dry yeast (or 2-1/2 tsp.)
1-1/4 c. warm water
1 c. sourdough starter (found here)
2 eggs
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
6 c. all-purpose flour
Melted butter

Dissolve yeast in water in a large mixing bowl. Add sourdough starter, 2 eggs, sugar, oil, salt and 3 cups of the flour. Mix until smooth. Add remaining flour to form a soft dough.

Remove from mixing bowl and knead for 6-8 minutes on a lightly floured surface. Place in a greased bowl and let rise until double, about 1 hour. Punch down and turn onto floured surface, divide into 2 loaves and place in 2 greased 8 inch loaf pans and let rise again, about 45 minutes.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Let cool on wire rack and brush the top with melted butter.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Yet another pizza recipe I know, but this is Tyson's favorite. Today I tried something new and made a sourdough crust. The juxtaposition of flavors was really good so I think that we'll do this again. Ingredients:
1/3 sourdough bread dough recipe (found here)
3/4 c. BBQ sauce, divided (I prefer Sweet Baby Ray's)
3 oz. chicken breast, cut into 1/2 peices
2 strips bacon, cooked and cut into 1/2 pieces
1/3 c. pineapple tidbits, drained
1-1/2 c. mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese

Press, roll, or toss dough and place on a greased pan or pizza stone. Cook for 7 minutes at 425 degrees and remove from oven.

Cook chicken in a frying pan with 1/4 c. of the BBQ sauce. Once fully cooked add the bacon and pineapple and continue to cook together on low heat for 3-5 minutes.

Spread remaining 1/2 c. of BBQ sauce on pizza and then spread toppings evening. Cover with mozzarella and then Parmesan cheese. Bake for another 7-10 minutes or until the cheese and completely melted and bubbles.
Yields: 8 Slices
Points: 6

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


This is one of the few recipes that Tyson brought into our marriage and it is a favorite. Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1 lb. of smoked sausages cut into 1/4 in. slices (I use turkey sausage for fewer calories)
1 med. green pepper, chopped
1 sm. onion, chopped,
2 10 oz cans of diced tomatoes with chilies

1 14.5 oz can of chicken broth
1 c. water
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
1 c. uncooked long grain rice

Cook sausage about 5 minutes. Added pepper and onion and cook until tender. Stir in tomatoes, broth, water, garlic powder and Cajun seasoning. Bring to a boil. Stir in chicken and rice. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 30 minutes until the rice is tender.
Serves 6
Points: 7

Saturday, October 3, 2009


We were putting together out menu for the month and Tyson mentioned that the one thing that we have not had to eat since we got married was spaghetti. Well, truth be told, I generally don't really like spaghetti and it has always seemed so plain and overly simple to me. Anyway, Tyson wanted spaghetti so I figured that I might as well make spaghetti and meatballs.
I'm only putting up my simple recipe for meatballs for now. I'll post a marinara sauce recipe at another time.Ingredients:
1 lb. lean ground beef (I use the super lean ground beef, but ground sirloin or elk is also good. Avoid ground turkey or chicken because the flavor doesn't translate well)
2 eggs
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
*1 package Lipton onion soup mix
2 tsp. Italian seasoning

In a mixing bowl combine the eggs, bread crumbs, cheese, soup mix OR Italian seasoning. *Decide based on the flavor that you would like. The onion soup mix will make for a stronger flavor and the Italian seasoning will complement your basic marinara sauce.

Add ground beef and combine by hand. Don't work it for too long as that can make the meat tough. Divide the mixture evening to create 16 meat balls. Place them in a greased baking dish and broil for 15 minutes, just to brown them.

Remove from the oven and place them in a simmering sauce. Cover and allow to cook for an additional 25 minutes.
Yields: 16