Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Who Says You Can't Have Bliss? Snickerdoodles Hugged with Bliss

Who would have thought that snickerdoodles could be hugged with bliss?

Me!! That's who.....

The college that I attend holds a bake sale every year with proceeds going to the adult education program.
You know it! When there is a bake sale anywhere I have to get involved. And I usually try and make my bake sale creations "over the top".
Valentine's Day, Hershey's Dark Chocolate Bliss is what sent these snickerdoodles over the top.

Here is the serenade......

And I unwrapped all those dark chocolate bliss without eating a single one. I think I deserve a prize for that.
Oh, wait a minute.....I got to indulge in bliss hugged snickerdoodles.....

I added 1 tsp. butter with the Bliss chocolates just to make them a little more creamy.

Dunked the snickerdoodles to be hugged half way, and WHALLA!! Introducing Snickdoodles Hugged with Bliss.

Snickerdoodles Hugged with Bliss

1 c. butter, soft
1 c. sugar
2/3 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 c. bread flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. salt

For Sugar/Cinnamon Mixture:
4 TBS sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

For Chocolate Hug:
1 pkg. Hershey's Dark Chocolate Bliss Candies
1 tsp. butter
Melt in double boiler

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Mix flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt in bowl. Mix into wet ingredients until smooth. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar/cinnamon mixture. Bake for 14-16 minutes (I used Wilton cookie baking sheets and mine only took about 10 minutes), or until cookie turns slightly golden.
Let cookies cool completely and then dip in melted chocolate candy (you don't really have to worry about getting chocolate on the bottoms of the cookie. I kind of scooted the cookie in the melted chocolate to just cover half of the tops).

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Never Too Late: Cream of Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup

This recipe was sent to me by Mary Howard. Mary is a faithful fan at A'lil Country Sugar fan page. We have been emailing each other back and forth for a while now.

And let me tell you a little bit about Mary:

Mary is truly an inspiration. She has taken the time to share with me a little bit about herself. She is the one that is driving me to eat more healthy, smaller portions, and she lets me know if I make a mistake reading food labels. See, Mary is diabetic and she is doing everything she can to control her disease through the foods that she eats. She wants to be medicine free. And that is what she is working toward. She knows it won't happen overnight, but her approach is amazing.

I think we all need to form a line and let Mary take high fives......I just love being involved with people that set goals for themselves and have an ambitious drive. Kind of rubs off on other people. Her drive rubbed off on me.....

I have never had cream of broccoli/cauliflower soup with potato cubes in it. And this soup is so easy to make. Just add water to the top (just cover) of the veggies. Boil till tender and then add the rest of the ingredients. Quickness to the table.....

Cream of Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup

1 pkg. (16 oz.) frozen broccoli/cauliflower mix
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 TBS chicken bouillon
1 slice Velveeta cheese (1/2 - 1 inch), cubed
2 slices crumbled pepper jack cheese (added a little bite)
1/4 c. milk

Place veggies in pot. Cover with water. Once boiling, add bouillon, stir and simmer on medium until veggies are tender. Add cheese and stir until melted. Add milk, heat through, and serve.
I did not have add any other seasonings to this soup. It was perfect!

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Friday, February 24, 2012

I Know It's Over.....Wilton Sugar Cookies

I know Valentine's Day is over, but.........

I purchased this Wilton cookie pan for 50% off after Valentine's Day. You didn't expect me to throw it the cupboard until next year, right?

Right! I have to test this pan to know if I will use it next year or not. And what a great test it was.
These little Valentine sugar cookies turned out great!
They even went to a bake sale at the College.

I even got creative and colored some of the cookie dough. Kind of cool, huh?

The kissing lips are my favorite.....Just way too cute!

Wilton Sugar Cookies

1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 1/2 c. bread flour (I always replace all-purpose flour with bread flour in a cookie recipe)
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray pan cavities with vegetable pan spray.
In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer at medium speed until well blended. Beat in egg and extracts; mix well. Combine flour and salt; add to butter mixture. Beat until blended.
Take half of the dough out of mixing bowl and set aside. Add 11 drops of red food coloring to the remainder of the dough in the mixing bowl. Mix until evenly colored.
Press dough into cavities, filling 2/3 full (using the red dough as you wish). Bake 9-10 minutes or until light brown around edges. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Turn pan over; lightly tap pan to remove cookies. Cool completely on cooling rack.
Sprinkle with sugar if you like.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Have You Been Thinking Salad? Marzetti Simply Dressed & Light

I love grocery shopping and taking the time to search out new food items.....

Part of the reason for that is, I love to taste new things.

Marzetti has created a new salad dressing. And let me tell you what, they have done a great job on this one. Just look at their nutrition facts.

There is only 80 calories per serving. And the serving size is 2 Tablespoons.
It is made with yogurt, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and fresh ingredients.

If you love blue cheese dressing, you will love this one. Tons of flavor and chunks of blue cheese.

I'm ready to go back to the grocery store to see what other flavors Marzetti has to offer in their new Simply Dressed & Light salad dressing line. And I'm thinking about buying myself some celery just to dip in this dressing.....Or top a tomato slice with it, or create a pasta salad, or use it as a dressing on a panini, or, or, or.....What a great light, healthy snack product.

I bet this would be excellent on hot wings too......

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Can You Believe It? Less than 250 calories: Banana Carrot Cake Muffins

Can you believe that a muffin can be less than 250 calories?

It's true!!

I created these myself.....And I kissed each one with a star of sweetened cream cheese. You have to have cream cheese with carrot cake, right?

That's what I thought too.....

These turned out gorgeous! Nice puffy tops and awesome flavor!

As I did my thorough research on the muffins before presenting them to you, I noticed one thing that I didn't like.

The muffin is kind of sticky and the papers want to stick to the muffins.
But if you can over-look that little issue, you will be eating a great tasting, low calorie, and low in sugar muffin.
One of the sweeteners I used in this recipe is honey. I think the honey is what's causing the papers to stick.

I absolutely loved the way these looked when I pulled them out of the oven.

You could even enjoy two of these and still be okay on calories for the day. How cool is that?

This recipe is linked to:

Mandy‘s Recipe Box

Banana Carrot Cake Muffins

1 1/2 c. bread flour
1/4 c. Domino light sugar blend
1/4 c. Splenda brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 eggs, separated
1 TBS honey
1/4 tsp. lemon peel zest
1 large banana, mashed and mixed with the juice of 1/2 of a lemon
1 c. shredded carrots
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/3 c. golden raisins

In a large bowl combine the first seven ingredients. In another bowl, beat egg yolks until light and lemon-colored. Beat in honey and lemon peel. Stir into dry ingredients (will be crumbly). Fold in banana and lemon juice mixture, carrots, raisins, and applesauce.
Beat egg whites on high until stiff peaks form; fold into batter a third at a time.
Fill paper lined muffin tin almost to the top of papers. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 25-30 minutes or until wooden pick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

This recipe does not contain any oil or butter, and each muffin is less than 250 calories.

For the sweetened cream cheese: 1 tub spreadable cream cheese and 2 tsp. Domino light sugar blend. Mix them together and place a dollop on each muffin.

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Friday, February 17, 2012

An Adventure: Irish Lamb Stew

Do you ever go on an adventure and want to try new things?

I found myself entering a new whole foods store right here in my area called, All Things Food.

This store is very strict on the food items that they sell. The beef has to be grass fed right along with the lamb and goat meat that they sell.

I have never had the opportunity to try lamb, so I grabbed up a pound and brought it home.
What do I do with ground lamb?
Make stew, of course.
So, that's what I did.

This is the lamb cooking with the onion and garlic.
The lamb meat is very clean in color, don't you think?

I had purchased a bag of tri-colored potatoes. I wish I would have taken a picture of them. Have you seen them in your grocery store? They are a mixture of golden, red, and purple potatoes.
Purple potatoes? Yes indeed-y.....
One thing I noticed about the purple potatoes is, they have a very strong potato taste. A lot stronger than the normal baking, or Idaho potatoes.

Have you ever eaten a stew that is rich and creamy in flavor? If you want to try one, you will have to make this stew. Sure did knock my sock off.....

Irish Lamb Stew

1 lb. thick sliced bacon, diced (I always dice my bacon before frying it. That way you can skip the crumble part)
1 lb. ground lamb
1/2 tsp. salt (I didn't use any seasoning for the meat)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 c. water
4 c. beef stock (I used beef soup base according to package directions)
2 tsp. sugar
4 c. diced carrot
6 small tri-colored potatoes, cut in bite sized pieces
1 tsp. dried thyme (I used fresh)
1 c. white wine

Place bacon in a large skillet. Cook over medium heat until evenly browned. Place on paper towels to drain.
Brown the lamb in a little of the bacon fat along with onion and garlic. When lamb is browned add the water and flour. Stir until thick. Pour the cooked lamb mixture and bacon in a dutch oven. Add beef stock, carrots, potatoes, spices, and white wine. Simmer covered for 20-30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I Have Got To Show You What I Did!

I know Valentine's Day is over, but I just had to take some time to show you what I put together for a friend.

Do you remember the Pan'O Sugar Cookie post? You can find it here.

I gave some of the cupcakes to a friend to take home and his wife loved the sugar cookie kiss on top. So, this friend of mine placed a Valentine order for his wife. He wanted to give her just the sugar cookie. He asked me to make the sugar cookies and sprinkle them with the word candy hearts that are so popular during Valentine's Day.
Well, we all know that men aren't really creative, right? Sorry for that comment men. There are a few that go over the top.....
I decided to make the sugar cookies look like the word candy hearts. How cool is that?

I baked the Pan'O Sugar Cookies in my two 9-inch heart shaped pans.

And this was the result.

I am not a professional pastry chef, or cake decorator, but I have to say that it turned out pretty darn cute.

To find out if my friend's wife liked it, tune into my Facebook fan page. I will post the results there.

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day Fruit & Meat? Raspberry Balsamic Glazed Chicken

Okay, say it....."Angie, you have been posting nothing but chicken recipes. Don't you think it's about time you mix things up a bit and bring us something other than chicken?"

I hear ya....I have been trying to talk myself into doing that the whole month of January, but myself isn't listening.

Do you know why?

Because I am trying to put better foods in my body, and chicken is one of the meats that is best for you (and me), (and myself).

This would make the perfect low calorie Valentine's Day meal. And the fresh raspberries make it so pretty.....Think Pink!!


One thing is for sure....Smucker's has got it go'n on!! Especially with their sugar-free preserve recipes.

Pictured above is the balsamic vinegar sauce made with sugar-free raspberry preserves. That is what you dump over your chicken. And when I make this again I will double that sauce recipe because it is out of this world fantastic on rice.....

If you love fresh red raspberries you will love this recipe. The fresh fruit and chicken just go hand in hand.

Raspberry Balsamic Glazed Chicken (Smucker's Sugar-free Recipe)

2 tsp. olive oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut in strips
3/4 tsp. season salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 c. chicken broth
2 TBS balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
1/3 c. Smucker's sugar-free red raspberry preserves
1/2 c. fresh red raspberries

Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle chicken with seasoning salt and pepper. Cook chicken in skillet 14-18 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Remove chicken to serving platter; keep warm.
Heat remaining 1 tsp. oil in same skillet. Add garlic and cook over medium heat 15 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in chicken broth, vinegar, and rosemary. Simmer for 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in preserves; heating until melted. Spoon sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with fresh raspberries.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Can I Match Lean Cuisine? Chicken and Dumpling Soup

Have you ever used Reames noodles or dumplings in your soups?

I remember my mom using the noodles in her chicken soup. They are so puffy and yummy. These can be found in the frozen food section of your grocery store.
During my grocery store trip I saw these laying in the grocer's freezer, and so many memories came flooding back. I just had to buy them and make some chicken soup. I hadn't tried the dumplings yet so I thought I'd give them a whirl.
Yup, they are puffy just like a dumpling should be, and placed in my chicken soup, delicious....

Yes, another chicken recipe. What can I say??? I am bound and determined to get some weight off.
Since I have found the Lean Cuisine meals, and have been cutting some calories in my diet, I feel so much better. It's amazing what a few less calories can do for a person.

I gave some thought to the Lean Cuisine containers....If the meals in those containers are less then 400 calories, why can't I put my own food in that container and still be in a safe calorie range? That is my chicken and dumpling soup in a Lean Cuisine container. One slice of plain multi-grain bread and a banana. Looks like a good lunch to me.....

Let me see if I can get my chicken and dumpling soup in recipe form for you.

Chicken and Dumpling Soup

3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, boiled in 8 c. of water (simmer with lid on for 35-45 minutes)
Cut the cooked chicken into pieces, set aside
Using the broth that the chicken was cooked in, add enough water to make 12 c. of broth
2 1/2 TBS chicken soup base
1 c. chopped celery
1 c. chopped onion
2 c. chopped carrots
Add the veggies to the broth and boil until they are almost fork tender
The dumplings have to boil for 30 minutes, so keep that in mind when it comes to the cooking time for your veggies. You don't want them to be mushy.
Add the Reames dumplings, chicken, and 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (follow package cooking directions for the dumplings)
Salt and Pepper to taste
I also sprinkled in a pinch of white pepper

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Really? In The Garbage? Dark Chocolate Fudge Stripes

Those sneaky little elves have been up to creating something new (Dark Chocolate Fudge Stripes) without me knowing.....And this new product must be delicious, because I found the empty wrapper in the trash.
Yup, this package of cookies didn't even survive in the house for 12 hours......
What does that tell you?
They are a damn good cookie!!
Here, let me straighten things out for you a little.....hold on while I try and get all the wrinkles out.
There, that's better....now you can see the package.


I'm not even going to show you the nutrition facts because we all know that cookies are "BAD".
The person that ate all these cookies and threw away the package before I could get pictures will not be mentioned (SEAN!).

All I have left to give you is a description of this wonderful product.

With his mouth stuffed full (imagination is required here)...."Have you tried these cookies?" (package in hand and dark chocolate cookie crumbs splattering from the mouth.....)
"These cookies are awesome!" (stuffing more in....and spitting crumbs....)

I quickly grab two cookies (just missing my fingers getting bitten off) to test for myself.

The cookie is definitely dark chocolate, crisp, and striped with more dark chocolate.
If you are a dark chocolate fan (like Sean), you will love these cookies. Make sure you pick up a package. But keep them hidden if you have a cookie monster in the house.

If you read this Sean, I hope you know I am just kidding with you....you weren't spitting cookie crumbs. Okay, maybe just a little.....
Love you honey!!

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Monday, February 6, 2012

What Do You Do Without A Bun? Fiesta Burger

Hamburger

Avocado

Sharp Monterey Jack cheese

Pico De Gallo

Eggs
What will these five food items create?

A bunless Fiesta Burger!

I found this idea in my son's Men's Health magazine. I put this together and found that I really, really, really like it.
I don't even miss the bun.
I bet if you serve this to your man he will love it. Just tell him that the grocery store was out of hamburger buns, and you've come up with a new way of serving hamburgers.....
Do you think it will work?

There is really no recipe required.

I cooked my burgers on the George Forman, and fried my egg in a little butter.....Assembled it and ate it with a knife and fork.

This post is linked to:


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