Thursday, May 31, 2012

Take Home Chef's Cajun Chicken and Potatoes

Here is the link for tonights dinner.

We found the chicken to be really full of flavor and yummy, and the potatoes were a nice accompinament, but the potatoes were not full of flavor.  I used a mild sausage rather than the sausage called for in the recipe, so that may have been part of the problem.  The corn was delicious, I love fresh corn!  We gave the chicken and potatoes a 7, so pretty good, and the calorie count was approximately 450 calories for 4 servings. 
Tomorrow night we're having a shrimp dish.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Kellog's Shredded Wheat Banana Bread

I don't know about anyone else, but I buy tons of cereal when it goes on sale and I have coupons, and so I sometimes buy too much and need ways to use it up, especially if my kids don't like a certain cereal.  This recipe was such a great use of our shredded wheat, and we also used up some of my freezer bananas!  Hooray!  We give it an 8, great consistency, and surprisingly not so sweet.  We really enjoyed it.  I didn't use margarine, and I added some salt to the recipe since my butter is unsalted. Calories were 186/slice, kind of high, but pretty healthy for sweet bread.  Tomorrow is Cajun chicken and mashed potatoes and pan fried spinach.  Maybe I can get Aaron to like cooked spinach with this recipe, right?  I doubt it but we'll see :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Robert Irvine's Chicken and Hash and Cheddar Chive Turnovers

This was our dinner for tonight.  It was just not good.  The chicken and sauce were good, we used chicken broth instead of the wine, but the hash was not.  The chicken and hash were 381 calories together, so a low calorie dinner, but no flavor on the hash.  We gave it a 4 out of 10, and that's because the chicken was good.  Here is the simple recipe for the biscuits, and they are great.  I got the recipe off of

Cheddar-Chive Turnovers

225 calories / biscuit


Mix 2 (less) tablespoons melted butter with a pinch of salt and cayenne. Lay out rounds of refrigerated biscuit dough on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush with the butter; top with shredded ½ c cheddar and chopped chives. Fold into half-moons and crimp to seal, then bake as the label directs. Brush with more butter
Tomorrow we are having some Shredded Wheat Banana Bread.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Our Best Bites Chocolate Zucchini Bread and Apple muffins

Our breakfast was found here, and we liked them.  I especially like that the recipe only made 4 muffins, and wasn't too high in calories.  We gave them on average an 8.  Only 190 calories/muffin.

We also had chocolate zucchini bread from Our Best Bites cookbook.  This might be on their blog as well, I'm not sure.  I like that this uses so much zucchini, 3 cups shredded for this bread, and I love the flavor, but I didn't like how many calories each slice was, 190 calories for a very thin slice and that was with my substituting yogurt for sour cream, and my bread was very difficult to get out of the pans without falling apart.  We gave it a 7, and again, when zucchini is coming out our ears this summer, this is a good way to use it up.  Tomorrow we're having a chicken recipe for dinner, we'll see if we like it!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Take Home Chef's Jack Crusted Pork over a Spinach Salad

Here is where you find tonight's dinner.  We used less egg and less breadcrumbs, and 1/4 cup was the measurement for the flour.  The boys scored this a solid 10, saying it was the best pork they had ever had, and Aaron and I gave it an 8, so we averaged a 9.  Calorie count for the pork and salad was 391 calories/4 servings, and we only used half the dressing, and that was more than enough.  Tomorrow I will be trying a muffin and a quick bread recipe, we'll see how it goes!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Snickerdoodle Donuts, Crockpot Mexican Pulled Pork, Pioneer Woman's Watermelon Granita

Breakfast was found
and they were the best baked donuts we've ever had. So good and easy. 231 calories/donut, and I had to tweak the recipe a bit to make only 6 donuts, so if you made the full recipe the calories would be less.  We give the donuts an 8, and that's only because Aaron scored them less because they don't taste like Krispy Kremes :) is the recipe for dinner, but I used canned creamed corn, Rotel (10 oz) tomatoes, and Kidney beans rather than black beans.  I also added cumin to the spices, and kept some of the onions with the pork.  The tacos we made were delicious, the pork was a little sweet and spicy, and we topped it with avocado, homemade salsa, and cheese.  The taco meat we split into 16 servings, so per serving it was 122 calories and we gave it a 9.  So delicious!

We also tried the Pioneer Woman's Watermelon Granita from her new cookbook, and I liked the flavor and the texture, but Aaron thought it was too cold to eat like ice cream, so he added pop to his and drank it.  He gave it a 4, and I give it a 6.  I think we'll stick to ice cream :)  Tomorrow we're trying Jack crusted Pork with a spinach salad. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cook's Illustrated's French Toast and Chicken Fried Steak

 For breakfast we had French toast, the recipe form Cook's Illustrated New Best Recipes cookbook, my all-time favorite cook book, and in my opinion the very best French toast recipe in the world.  It's topped with pumpkin cream cheese spread, and it's delicious.  With my homemade bread, each slice is 150 calories. 
1 large egg
2 T unsalted butter, melted
3/4 c milk
2 t vanilla extract
2 T sugar
1/3 c flour
1/4 t salt
3/4 t cinnamon
6-8 slices regular sandwich bread

Warm up your griddle.  Beat the egg, then slowly whisk in the butter, then the milk, then continue adding ingredients in the listed order until all whisked together.  Put bread in the batter on both sides, then cook.  Serve with desired toppings!

Now on to the chicken fried steak!

Also from the same cookbook, I can't say enough good things about Cook's Illustrated, I have our favorite chicken fried steak recipe.  Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, with yummy creamy gravy on the top.  We had ours with salad with lettuce from our garden.  So good!  Aaron gives this 9 stars, and I give it 8.5 for the calorie count, which is 605/steak with gravy.  Worth it ;) 
1 c flour
salt and pepper
1/8 t cayenne pepper
1 large egg
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/3 c buttermilk
6 cube steaks, pounded to 1/3-inch thickness
1/2 c oil

1 medium onion, minced
1/8 t dried thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 T flour
1/2 c chicken broth
2 c whole milk
3/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
pinch cayenne pepper

For the Steaks:  Measure the flour, 5 t salt, 1 t pepper, and the cayenne into a large, shallow dish.  In a second large, shallow dish, beat the egg, baking powder, and baking soda; stir in the buttermilk.  Pat the steaks dry with paper towel and sprinkle each side with salt and pepper to taste.  Drop the steaks into the seasoned flour and shake the dish to coat.  Shake the excess flour from each steak, then dip the steaks into the egg mixture, turning to coat and allowing excess to drip off.  Coat the steaks with flour again, shake off the excess, and place them on a wire rack.
Heat the oven to 200 degrees.  Line a plate with paper towel.  Heat 1 inch of oil over medium-high heat to 375 degrees.  Fry the steaks, about 5 minutes, then flip and remove to the paper towel lined plate.  Keep them in the oven to keep warm while making the gravy.
Strain the hot oil, reserving the brown bits and 2 T of the oil.  Add the onion and thyme, and cook until the onion has softened and begins to brown.  Add the garlic and cook, then add the flour and stir until well combined.  Whisk in the broth, then the milk, salt, pepper and cayenne.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Serve with the steaks.

Tomorrow we're having Baked Snickerdoodle Donuts for breakfast and for dinner we're having Mexican pulled pork tacos for dinner with watermelon granitas.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Reese's Pieces Double Chocolate Cookies

We didn't have chicken fried steak tonight, we went out to lunch with the boys for their last day of school, and we both had dates scheduled for tonight with the boys, so we couldn't afford the calories for chicken fried steak, so tomorrow we'll have that.  I still have a recipe to share, it's found but I used part reese's pieces, part peanut butter chips.  I am always looking for ways to use the peanut butter chips, and this cookie is probably my all time favorite cookie.  Yummy!  I usually get 32-33 cookies out of the recipe, at 175 calories per cookie.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Halibut with Cilantro Sour Cream, Pepperjack Potatoes, and Strawberry Cream Cheese Danishes

Today we had, but we used Panko instead of pepitas, and since I didn't have eggs, we didn't do the eggs or flour.  Calorie count was 294/serving of fish and sauce.  This was delicious, and we had to go along with it.  We like them mashed.  Calorie count was 290/serving.  The cream for the fish was great, the potatoes are delicious, and of course corn is always good :)  Unfortunately I oversalted the fish, so it wasn't as good as it could've been.  Sigh... The potatoes get an 8 out of 10, and the fish gets a 7 out of 10.  For breakfast this morning I made easy strawberry cream cheese danishes, I tweaked a few recipes I had found on the internet a long time ago, and just made do with what I had.  411 calories/danish.  I used crescent roll dough, and since I didn't have eggs (again), I just used cream cheese, whipping cream, sugar, and lemon juice, then sugared the strawberries just a little.  These were delicious right out of the oven, but the bottoms became soggy as they set.  5 out of 10.  Tomorrow night--chicken fried steak.  Yummy!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breasts with Avocado Sour Cream Sauce

Dinner tonight was found here
and I always use less sour cream, I use chicken breast tenders, and I use less parmesan and more salt in the avocado sauce.  330 calories/serving.  This is one of our favorites, and we have it often.  Everyone loves this, kids included.  The bread is homemade wheat bread from Aunt Denise and steamed broccoli.  We give this 8 out of 10.
Tomorrow we're having Strawberry Cheese Danishes for breakfast and Panko Crusted Tilapia with Cilantro Sour Cream and Green Chile Mashed Potatoes and Corn for dinner.  Yummy!  Two new recipes in one day :)

The Beginning

This blog is hopefully going to help me keep track of all the meals we have been trying.  We are trying 2-3 new meals a week, and I'm starting to lose my grasp on what we like/don't like.  Nothing fancy, just our culinary explorations :).  Tonight's dinner is Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Avocado Sour Cream Sauce.  Pictures after we make it.