Friday, September 19, 2014

Joann Fluke's Chocolate Highlander Bars

So this was one of the recipes from the Joanne Fluke books, and we enjoyed these quite a bit.  I was actually surprised by how they turned out, I expected them to be a shortbread base with kind of a creamy chocolate topping, but these were brownies with a shortbread base.  I enjoyed how well these stayed together, and how moist they are.  We all would've appreciated more chocolate flavor, but over all these were great. The calories, for 1/24 of the total, were 320 calories, so high, but still yummy :).

Chocolate Highlander Cookie Bars
Preheat oven to 350.
1 c softened butter
½ c powdered sugar
¼ t salt
2 c flour
4 beaten eggs
1 c melted butter, cooled
1 c sugar
1 t baking powder
¼ t salt
½ c flour
2 ½ c chocolate chips, melted

1.      Cream butter and powdered sugar and salt.  Add flour and mix well.  Pat it out in a greased 9x13 pan.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven.
2.      Mix eggs with melted butter and sugar.  Add dry ingredients and mix well.  Add melted chocolate chips to the dough.

3.      Pour over shortbread dough and cook for at least 30 more minutes, then remove from oven.   Let cool completely then cut into bars.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Michael Symon's Marinated Chicken Tenders and Feta and Cucumber Salad

So this was a hit at our house.  I didn't like either of these recipes as well by themselves, but together these were awesome.  I didn't just come up with this pairing on my own, Michael Symon made this suggestion, and I'm so glad I followed it.  We made some changes to the chicken, so I will post what I did.  This is a 30 minute dinner, and Owen, Aaron and I all gave it a 9, while Noah gave it an 8 because it was too spicy for him.

The calories for this are super duper low, for the serving pictured above, the calories are only 275, and that just makes life easy :).  

Marinated Chicken Tenders

1 1/4 lb chicken tenders
1 c Greek yogurt
3 garlic cloves, minced
Grated zest and juice of 1 tangelo
1 T coriander
2 t cumin
2 t paprika
2 t chipotle powder (here's where the spice is, cut back if you want a little less spice)
1 c chopped parsley

Rinse, dry and salt the chicken thoroughly.  
In a gallon bag, mix together all the rest of the ingredients, salting more if desired.  Throw in the chicken, and shake it/mix it well to distribute the ingredients.  Marinate for about 4 hours.
Spray a large skillet with non-stick spray (I used olive oil spray), remove the chicken from the marinade, and cook for about 3 minutes per side.  Serve with the cucumber feta salad.

Cucumber Feta Salad

3 cucumbers
1 garlic clove, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 T fresh oregano leaves
Grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
1/4 c olive oil
6 oz crumbled feta cheese

Slice the cucumbers as thinly as possible (wishing for a mandoline here :)).  Toss the cucumbers with a large amount of salt and let them sit in a colander.  (I underdid the salt, don't make the same mistake :))
Whisk together the garlic, shallot, jalapeno, oregano, salt, lemon zest and juice, and then add in the olive oil.  Drain off and discard any water that the cucumbers have released.  Add the dressing and toss to combines.  Just before serving, add the feta.  Serve with the chicken.


Monday, September 15, 2014

The Border Cookbook's Creamy Crab Nachos

So although Aaron was freaked out by the name, and none of us were sure how these would be, we really liked them.  The boys and I gave these nachos a 9, and Aaron gave them an 8, but he also had them when they weren't warm anymore.  This meal is so super fast and easy, we loved it.

Each serving, and that is what is pictured, was 371 calories, and these are delicious.  I made just a few changes from the Border Cookbook's original recipe, but I pretty much followed it.  Here's what to do:

6 oz cream cheese
4 oz Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 c sour cream
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, chopped and seeded, and about 2 t sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 t cumin
8 oz Krab (imitation crab meat, but splurge on the real stuff if desired :))
6 oz tortilla chips
minced scallions for the top
tomatoes, avocados, and other toppings as desired

Preheat the oven to 400.  Mix all the ingredients, excluding the chips together.  This can be made ahead, and refrigerated until ready to bake.  Spread each chip with topping, cook them for 5 minutes on a cookie sheet.  Top with toppings and eat.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Make It With A Cake Mix's Maraschino Cherry Cupcakes

As you can tell from the name, this was a cake mix recipe.  I bought this cookbook, Make It With A Cake Mix recently, and when Aaron told me he needed something for a potluck for work the next day, I decided to try this one out.  The boys helped me decide which one to try, and this one turned out so well.  We all gave these a perfect 10, and they are super easy to make, and only 258 calories each, so not too bad!  The calories will differ based on cake mix brands/types, but that is what ours turned out being with 24 cupcakes.

1 box yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 c oil
3/4 c milk
1/2 c sour cream
2 t almond extract
1 c maraschino cherries, roughly chopped

1 c butter, softened
1 1/2 t almond extract
3 1/4 c powdered sugar (may need more or less)


Preheat the oven to 350, and line muffin tins with liners.
Mix together the eggs, oil, milk, sour cream, and almond extract.  Sift in the cake mix, then fold in the cherries.  Fill the cupcakes, and cook for about 18 minutes, checking often.  Cool completely.

Beat the butter for a few minutes, then add in the almond extract.  Mix in the powdered sugar, then pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, and top with sprinkles.  Serve

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Michael Symon's Tomato Salad with Red Onion and Dill

So although I didn't love the way the meat turned out, and you can tell from the picture the meat wasn't great, the delicious salad from Michael Symon really hit the spot for us.  We love heirloom tomatoes anyway, and having the onions, cucumbers, peppers, and fresh dressing was great.  This was an easy salad to put together, let set while making the meat, and then have the salad and meat come together at the same time.  Anyway, each serving was 221 calories, and we all gave this a 9.  Here's what to do:

1 c thinly sliced red onion
1 lb heirloom tomatoes
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1/2 c olive oil
1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 c thinly sliced cucumber
1/4 c chopped fresh dill
1/4 c chopped fresh mint

Cut the tomatoes into bite sized chunks.  Combine the garlic, salt, and the vinegar in a large bowl.  Whisk in the olive oil in a slow stream.  Add the onion, bell pepper, cucumber, dill and mint.  Let marinate for 15-20 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and toss gently to combine.  Season with salt to taste.  Serve immediately.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Absolutely Avocado's Cheese Bellied Guacamole Turkey Burger

These were a fast and easy dinner for us, and although kind of a calorie bomb, they were delicious.  Aaron and Noah gave them an 8, Noah because they were spicy, and Aaron because he had his cold, so didn't love it :).  Owen and I gave them a 9.  This recipe was from the Absolutely Avocado cookbook, and these are super easy.  I used Wholly Guacamole, and store bought buns, so these came together super quickly.  Each burger was 600 calories, so save up :)!

1 lb ground turkey
1 T paprika
1 T chili powder
1 sprinkle red pepper flakes
1 t garlic salt
4 slices pepper jack cheese
4 hamburger buns
2 t olive oil
4 slices bacon
1 package Wholly Guacamole
some cotija cheese

Combine the turkey with the chili powder, red pepper flakes, paprika, and garlic salt.  Make four balls of the turkey mixture, fold up a slice of pepper jack cheese, and form a patty around it to make four patties.  Warm the olive oil in a skillet, and cook the turkey on both sides until done.  Make your burger with buns, burgers, bacon, guac, and cotija cheese.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Michael Symon's Honey Nectarines

So although these weren't a hit with everyone in our house, Aaron for example thought they weren't sweet enough, I had to feature these because they are so unique and delicious.  Michael Symon came through with a winner for me again, I love that these aren't super sweet, and that they have such a great flavor.  These weren't too difficult, aside from the amount of nectarines to be chopped up, and they are a great summer side dish.  Each serving, and we made at least 10, is 141 calories, and you just need one pot for this, so nice and easy.  I gave this a 9, as did our friends who ate with us, but I think Aaron gave them a 6, and the boys gave them an 8.  Also, my keyboard is fully functional again--hooray!  Here's what to do:

3/4 c dry white wine or white grape juice (the grape juice would obviously make them a little sweeter, something to consider)
Juice of 3 limes
1/4 c honey
1 shallot, minced
12 nectarines, pitted and quartered
3 T chopped fresh mint
3 T pine nuts

Bring the juice or wine, lime juice, honey, and shallot to a simmer in large pan over medium heat.  Add the nectarines and cook until the mixture is syrupy, about 20 minutes.  Gently stir in the mint and pine nuts.  Serve hot or at room temperature.

We had this as a side dish, but Michael Symon also suggests using this as an ice cream topping, and that would be fabulous.