Thursday, September 25, 2008

Oreos in cookies!

Adam's Dirt Cookies
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 sleeve Oreo cookies, crumbled in however big a chunk you like
  1. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a medium bowl, cream the white sugar, brown sugar, and the butter together until smooth. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture, and stir until just combined. Stir the crushed cookies into the dough. Cover, and chill the dough for 1/2 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
  3. Drop dough by rounded spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove to cool on wire racks.
These are really good! A nice change from chocolate chip. I do like my chunks to be sizable!

White Lasagna

Alfredo Lasagna
(adapted from

  • 6-9 oven-ready lasagna noodles
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and dried with a paper towel
  • 1 diced tomato (optional)
  • 1 c. chopped fresh mushrooms (optional)
  • 1/2 c. diced red onion
  • 2 cooked, boneless chicken breast halves, diced
  • 1-2 jars Alfredo-style pasta sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 pint (2 cups) ricotta cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine chicken and alfredo sauce, stir together. In a separate bowl, combine ricotta and drained, cooked spinach, add any other veggies, and stir.
  3. In a 9 x 13 baking dish, pour a little sauce on the bottom of the pan. Then place one layer of lasagna noodles, edges overlapping. Place 1/3 of ricotta mix, then another noodle layer, then sauce, some cheese, then noodles, and whatever's left...some cheese on top. Layer it however- I never layer it the same way twice!
  4. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, until top is brown and bubbly.
This was a fun meal. Sure, it's a little fatty- but it is heavy on the veggies and calcium as well, so it all balances out. Plus you can make your own alfredo sauce using low-fat/no-fat cream cheese if you're worried about that. This is a pretty fast meal that switches it out from normal lasagna.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A tasty fast meal

Apricot Chicken

  • 1 envelope dry onion soup mix
  • 2/3 cup French dressing ( I use no-fat successfully)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 2-3 chicken breasts
  1. Place everything in crock pot over chicken.
  2. Cook on high 3 hours or until done.
  3. Serve over rice or with potatoes.
This is one of our favorites. It is no-fail. I never measure out the ingredients and just throw in the amount of each that looks right and it tastes great every time. Olivia even eats this! She eats it with a toothpick so it will be like free samples. Whatever works.. the sauce is so good we like to add broccoli (I like frozen chopped) to make the veggies taste good. And they do!

Monday, September 15, 2008

My last curry post for a while, I promise!

Curried Chicken and Couscous Salad
(adapted from
  • 2 cups cooked couscous (or rice)
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (I used 1 cooked breast)
  • 1/3 cup celery, sliced
  • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons peach or mango chutney
  • 1-2 teaspoons ground curry powder (to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
In a large bowl, combine the couscous, chicken, celery, green onions, bell peppers, sour cream, mayonnaise, chutney, curry and salt. Mix well, cover and refrigerate until chilled. This serves 2 adults.

I know I seem to have a one-track curry mind lately! I am trying to use the bottle of mango chutney I bought, since it was a good 4 bucks. Plus we're not bored yet and are still Indian-food intrigued. This recipe is a lot like the chicken salad I made last week, but this is more grain based with the couscous. I like this better, it's a versatile salad! Russell said it tasted like stuffing (I guess a good thing) but I think that was the celery talking. I might just skip that next time. The flavors were good, texture great, red pepper and green onion added a lot. I might add some peas in next time for more veggie power.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Warm, creamy soup!

Snowman Chili
(adapted from Laura's recipe)

  • 2 cans cannelloni beans, not drained
  • 1-2 cups cooked chicken, diced (I cook one breast in the crockpot with the chili)
  • 1/2 c. diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic (I use 1/4 t. garlic powder)
  • 1 t. cumin
  • 1 can green chilies (I usually skip)
  • a pinch oregano
  • 1/2 c. chicken broth (you can add more to thin soup later if desired)
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (I use 4-6 oz lowfat)
  • a handful corn
  • 1/2 can diced tomatoes

  1. Add all to crock pot except cream cheese!
  2. Cook for 3 hours on high. Add cream cheese last 30 minutes.
This is a great creamy chili. The girls love it too! That is a rare thing. I added corn and tomatoes to the original recipe for added veggie benefits. I think it's a great addition! I'm glad it is getting to be soup season again. I'm excited to soup it up a lot the next couple of months!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Curry-in-a-Hurry Rotisserie Chicken Salad

(adapted from

  • 1 pound rotisserie chicken meat, skinned, boned and diced (I used one cooked breast and halved the following ingredients for 2 adults)
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 cup seedless red grapes, halved
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots (a couple of handfuls)
  • 4 scallions, chopped on an angle (I used green onions)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder or 2 rounded teaspoons mild curry paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons mango chutney, found on condiment aisle
  • 1/4 cup sliced smoked almonds (2 ounces)
  1. Combine meat, celery, red grapes, carrot and scallions. Add curry to the salad and toss to evenly distribute the curry. Add mango chutney and toss. Season the salad with salt and pepper, to your taste.
  2. Garnish with toasted almonds.
  3. Serve with warm rolls or crackers, or over lettuce.
We tried it! Way more interesting than regular chicken salad, in my opinion. However, you have to be a person that likes these flavors- curry and mango chutney are not for the dull in taste buds! It wasn't sweet; I thought it might be but mango chutney has a sweet/sour thing going for it that takes away sweetness. Some people use apricot preserves in place of the chutney and that would definitely sweeten it up! A nice, flavorful, cool meal. I got the picture from flickr since I forgot and that is pretty much how it looks!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

One of the best desserts...

picture from (we ate ours too fast before picture time!)

Hershey's Hot Fudge Pudding Cake
  • 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided (3/4 cup for cake, 1/2 c. for topping)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa, divided (1/4 cup for cake, 1/4 c. for topping)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1-1/4 cups hot water
  • ice cream
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Combine 3/4 cup granulated sugar, flour, 1/4 cup cocoa, baking powder and salt.
2. Stir in milk, butter and vanilla; beat until smooth.
3. Pour batter into ungreased 9-inch square baking pan.
4. Stir together remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar and remaining 1/4 cup cocoa; (I just use the same bowl- don't worry about batter remnants) sprinkle mixture evenly over batter.
5. Pour hot water over top; do not stir.
6. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Remove from oven; let stand 15 minutes.
7. Serve in dessert dishes, spooning sauce from bottom of pan over top. Garnish with whipped topping (we prefer ice cream!). About 8 servings.

This has been a family favorite for a long time! How can you not be pleased with a chocolate cake that has it's own hot fudge built in? It is quick and great. You can double this recipe and put it in a 13x9 pan for a bigger crowd.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I'm in love

Snickerdoodle Blondies (recipe found here)
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch pan.
  2. In large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt until well blended.
  4. Spread evenly in prepared pan.
  5. Combine white sugar and cinnamon in a little bowl.
  6. Evenly sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the batter.
  7. Bake 23-25 minutes or until surface springs back when gently pressed. Cool slightly. While still warm, cut into bars with a sharp knife.

I was hesitant to try this recipe because I wasn't sure it could be that impressive. I love my cinnamon-sugar recipes, as I have posted several of them already, but this was also a winner! I don't think it tastes exactly like a snickerdoodle cookie, but it does taste like a blond brownie with delicious crunchy cinnamon-sugar addition. We ate the whole pan in 24 hours. I was most impressed with the texture of the brownie. It was crumb-like and soft, not gooey and raw-ish, like a lot of the blond brownie recipes I've used. Hurray! This is actually a big deal to me. I'll be able to get two desserts off this recipe! Next time I'll be able to make this dough recipe and throw in chips (omitting the cinnamon-sugar of couse). Very versatile!