Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Crock Pot Applesauce

Wow. Today's weather was absolutely GORGEOUS!! Summer has definitely been over-staying it's welcome but I think Autumn is finally stepping in!

The sun was warm, golden and and the air was crisp and fresh. So it wasn't all out chilled (which I would have LOVED) but we're getting there.

This morning, as I sat and sipped my coffee, relishing the cool early day air caressing my cheeks from the open windows, I suddenly had the urge to make some type of comfort Fall-ish food.   What better than some homemade applesauce? I pulled up the recipe for it that I just pinned days ago on Pinterest, then the kids and I rushed out to the store to get our ingredients.

I will admit, I HATE peeling apples. Like seriously HATE it, but for anything apple, I'll suffer through it. And next time I may just double my peeling and fire up BOTH crock pots becuz even though I peeled and chopped up 20 smallish apples, it still cooks down a LOT in the crock pot. My changes/adaptions are in italics.

I want more applesauce!

Serving Size: 12
Size: 1/4 cup

20-ish small apples (the original recipe calls for 8 medium apples. SO not enough!)
1 strip of lemon peel (use the vegetable peeler)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice (I really just guestimated and squeezed like half a lemon in)
5 tsp brown sugar
cinnamon (again, I don't measure, so maybe it was like 2-4 tsp?)


1. Peel, core and chop the apples.
2. Add the sugar, lemon peel, lemon juice and cinnamon.
3. Set crock pot to low and cook for 6 hours. (I ended up only needing about 5 hours). Stir apples occasionally.  Use an immersion blender OR let applesauce cool and blend in your blender (this is what I did, since I don't have an immersion blender).
4. Can it however you normally would! Since we will be eating this up quick, it's in our fridge. But the next batch I will can it for sure!


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Slow Cooker Cheesy BBQ Chicken Bacon Sandwiches

Wow it's been so long since I posted in my food blog...does anyone even read it anymore??? ;-)

This is a SUPER easy but crazy delicious meal I've made a couple of times already. It is now in our rotation. This recipe was found through Pinterest...if you want to see what else we're cooking in my house, go check me out!

Slow Cooker Cheesy BBQ Chicken Bacon SandwichesIngredients:
4 chicken breasts (I like leftovers so I used 6 breasts)
1 (16-20 oz) bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce (my favorite is Sweet Baby Ray's, I usually use I think 18 or 20oz)
1 lb bacon strips, fully cooked
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I don't measure my cheese. We are a cheese-aholic family!)
6-8 large onion rolls/buns

Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray (honestly, I forgot to do this the second time I made it and it made no difference). Place chicken breasts in the slow cooker and pour bottle of BBQ sauce on top of them. Cook on low for about 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Shred chicken and set aside.
Set oven at 425 degrees. Split onion rolls in half and lay on a large baking sheet covered in foil.

Put some shredded BBQ chicken on the top of half of the bun.
Place 2-3 strips of bacon on top of the chicken and top with a handful of shredded cheese.
Put the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 3-4 minutes (until the cheese is melted and the edges of the bun are golden.
Top with the other half of the bun and enjoy!  YUMMY!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Baked Potato Soup

I made this yummy soup quite a few years ago and I have NO CLUE why I waited so long to make it again. It tastes so good, like a loaded baked potato. And hubby highly approved, three bowls later (and yes, after three bowls of all that milk, cheese, cream he was having a bit of a belly ache. Moderation, buddy! LOL). We paired this with some really delicious sourdough bread. Perfect!

Note: I didn't have low fat cheese so used full fat version. Also, we only drink 1% milk so we used that instead of 2%.

Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 1 hour, 28 minutes


4 baking potatoes (or about 2 1/2 pounds)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat extrasharp Cheddar cheese, divided.
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup chopped green onions, divided
6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pierce potatoes with a fork (and I wrapped them in foil); bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour or until tender. Cool. Peel potatoes; coarsely mash. Discard skins.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Place flour in a Dutch oven; gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 8 minutes). Add mashed potatoes, 3/4 cup cheese, salt and pepper, stirring until cheese melts. Remove from heat.

Stir in sour cream and 1/2 cup onions. Cook over low heat 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated (do not boil). Ladle into bowls, and sprinkle with cheese, onions and bacon.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size about 1 1/2 cups of soup)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

I have always been a huge fan of sweet potatoes. So, needless to say, I am IN LOVE with this recipe (adapted from Kraft Foods)! It was utterly creamy and sweet and delicious.

I made a couple of changes to the basic recipe based on other people's reviews of it, so be sure to look at my additions to ingredients, in italics.

Prep Time: 10 min Total Time: 53 min
Makes: 4 servings (with my changes it can serve up to six)

2 large sweet potatoes (I used three)
2 oz. (1/4 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, cubed (I used a whole block of regular Philadelphia Cream cheese)
2 Tbsp. fat-free milk
3-4 Tbsp. of butter
1 Tbsp. brown sugar (since I wanted it a bit sweeter, I did a total of 3-4 Tbsp.)
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon (I am a cinnamon lover so I ended up adding about 3 Tbsp.)
1/4 cup chopped PLANTERS Pecans (Unfortunately I forgot to buy the pecans so I didn't use them, but next time I will be sure to put them in. But I will actually mix them into mixture as opposed to just putting on top, like recipe calls for.)

HEAT oven to 425ºF.

CUT potatoes lengthwise in half; place, cut-sides down, in foil-lined 15x10x1-inch pan. Bake 30 to 35 min. or until tender. (With my oven, it actually took me about 45 minutes to bake potatoes.)

SCOOP out centers of potatoes into bowl, leaving 1/4-inch-thick shells. Add Cream Cheese, milk, butter, sugar and cinnamon to potatoes; mash until blended.

FILL shells with potato mixture; top with nuts. Bake 8 min. or until potatoes are heated through and nuts are toasted.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pumpkin Bread

This recipe is adapted from Kraft Foods and is actually called Layered Pumpkin Loaf. But I don't like the sound of that. Heh heh.

So Pumpkin Bread, it is!

Anyway, my variation to the recipe is that I omitted the cream cheese (but only becuz I was out, not becuz I wouldn't have liked it that way!) and I threw in some yummy chocolate chips. Like I told Big D, everything tastes better with chocolate!


Prep Time: 20 min Total Time: 1 hr 25 min
Makes: 16 servings

1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
4 egg whites, divided
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup canola oil
2 cups flour
2-1/2 tsp. CALUMET Baking Powder
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. salt
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, softened

HEAT oven to 350ºF.
MIX pumpkin, 1 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, 3 egg whites, milk and oil in large bowl. Add flour, baking powder, spice and salt; stir just until moistened. Beat Neufchatel cheese, remaining granulated sugar and remaining egg white with whisk until well blended.

SPOON half of pumpkin batter into greased 9x5-inch nonstick loaf pan; cover with layers of Neufchatel mixture and remaining pumpkin batter.

BAKE 1 hour to 1 hour 5 min. or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Loosen bread from sides of pan; cool in pan 10 min. Remove bread from pan to wire rack; cool completely.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers

I don't really follow a recipe...and I don't make Stuffed Peppers all that often so when I DO, the ingredients vary a bit. But I'll share how I made them the other night, becuz they came out SO yummy!

1 lb. ground beef (or turkey)
jar of pasta sauce
4 peppers (I usually use green, but this time opted for red)
1/2-3/4 of another pepper
1/2 an onion
Shredded cheese (I used both mozzarella AND a cheddar mix for some variety)

Chop up the onion and 1/2-3/4 of lone pepper and saute in a frying pan. Add ground beef and brown meat. Season as you wish (I pretty much just used salt and pepper). Sprinkle in some of the shredded cheeses and mix until blended and melted in meat mixture, over low heat.

Add about 1/2 the jar of sauce...enough so that the meat is not dry, but not too much so that it is soupy. Cut off the tops of the peppers and clean out the seeds and membranes inside so they are hollowed out. I set up the four peppers, standing, in a small casserole dish so that they would not fall over in the oven. Fill the stuffing into each pepper. Pour a bit of sauce over the top of each pepper and stuffing mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes, covered over with tin foil. Remove the foil after 50 minutes, sprinkle cheese over each pepper, and bake for an additional ten minutes or so.

Serve and enjoy!!

P.S. I do not blanch my peppers ahead of time, becuz I like my peppers to have a little bit of crunch to them but if you want them softer, I'd advise boiling the empty peppers for about five minutes before stuffing.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Fiesta Chicken Enchiladas

(this is a Kraft recipe)
Prep Time: 15 min.
Total Time: 35 min.

1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cooked small chicken breasts, shredded
1 cup salsa, divided
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz pkg) cream cheese, cubed
1 tbsp. chopped cilantro
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 cup Kraft shredded cheddar and monterey jack cheese, divided
8 flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat large skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium heat. Add onions and garlic; cook and stir 2 min. Add chicken, 1/4 cup of salsa, the cream cheese, cilantro and cumin; mix well. Cook until heated through, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 cup of teh shredded cheese, mix well.

Spoon about 1/3 of the chicken mixture onto each tortilla; roll up. Place, seam-side down, in 13x9 inch baking dish sprayed with cooking oil; top with remaining 3/4 cup salsa and remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through. Makes 4 servings, 2 enchiladas each.