Cheese Stuffed Chicken

4 Skinless chicken breast filets

4 oz goat cheese

Sundried tomatoes, diced

1 red pepper cut into strips

garlic salt

black pepper

8 slices of bacon

toothpicks

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut the chicken breast (start at the thickest part of the side) and fold open as pictured below:

I must interrupt this recipe to point out the new pan in the above picture.

 It was a gift from my Aunt Cheryl.

She saw my recipe for Italian Sausage Stromboli and the pathetic cookie sheet I was using (that I had hoped no one would notice) and she felt compelled to buy me a new baking sheet.

 Thank you Auntie Cheryl! I can now hold my head up high!

Now back to our regularly scheduled recipe.

After you have split the chicken breasts, spread with goat cheese,

Take your red pepper slices:

Place a few slices on top of the cheese,

sprinkle a little of your diced sundried tomatos, sprinkle black pepper and a little garlic salt

 and fold the chicken over.

Now, take 2 pieces of bacon per filet and wrap around chicken using toothpicks to help keep the chicken secure.

Put in oven and cook for aprox 30-35 minutes, make sure chicken has no pink color left to it.

You should believe me when I say YUM!

Let me know what you think!

Chicken Fajitas

 

I make these chicken fajitas at least 2 times a month. This is one of our favorite dinners.

The ingredients below don’t necessarily tell you how much you should have because it all depends on your preference, you decide. I’ve listed the ingredients I personally like.

Get creative, add some of your other favorite ingredients. Peppers, onions, etc.

Flour tortillas (soft taco size)

1 Tbsp Olive oil

Butter

1 to 1.25 (approximate) lbs chicken

1 packet Lawry’s fajita seasoning

Shredded sharp cheddar

Pace salsa

Sour Cream

avocado

Put 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in skillet & heat. Add chicken and cook well.

When chicken is thoroughly cooked, chop or shred. I prefer to cut it with my kitchen scissors into little chunks.

Add packet of seasoning and mix with water as directed on packet. Mix well.

In a separate skillet, melt a pad of butter and spread around. Keep your burner on medium heat.

Put your tortilla in your skillet and cook until its slightly golden or starts to ever slightly stiffen and flip over.

Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese on top while still in skillet. While the other side of the tortilla is cooking, this will melt the cheese nicely.

Once the cheese starts to melt, place tortilla on your plate to start topping with your other ingredients.

Then place some of your chicken in a row down the middle of your tortilla, making sure you have enough room on the bottom and sides to fold over.

I personally love Pace salsa, a little light sour cream and some slices of avocado to make the perfect fajita for me.

Once you have your toppings on, first fold up the bottom, to keep ingredients from falling out when eating.

Then fold over each side and enjoy! YUM I tell you, these are delish!

Now you could just slap your ingredients in an uncooked tortilla, but I prefer them warm and slightly crisp. It just gives it that extra tastey UMPH.

Taco Soup

This is a tasty recipe that is good for you.

I started making this when I was on Weight Watchers.

It is low in points yet filling. It’s even lower in points when you make it vegetarian style, without the burger. I personally, like a bit of beef so that is how I’ve made it for you here.

Am I crazy when I say it felt good to cook a little again?

It’s just so much better than ordering out.

Unless you’re incredibly busy, as I’ve been (and honestly still am), but sometimes you just have to make time for things like a good home cooked meal and after ordering out so much, I need some seriously low-calorie meals like this.

1 lb (or less) of lean ground beef (optional)

1 medium yellow onion (chopped)

1 Tbsp minced garlic

3 cans diced tomatoes

1 Can Great Northern white beans undrained

1 can corn drained

1 package McCormick Taco seasoning

2 cups chicken broth

 

First if you are going to cook with beef, I recommend buying a pound or less of the leanest burger.

Brown your hamburger, drain the grease and add chopped onion & cook for a few minutes on medium heat.

Add all other ingredients.

 Make this recipe for your heart, it’ll thank you.

I know, I’m not right.

Don’t drain the beans, put the whole can in the pot.

 

Add the chicken broth. I state 2 cups in the recipe, use your judgement for your liking.

Stir ingredients until combined well.

Cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occassionally.

 A filling, light, warm lunch. Yum.

If I recall correctly, 1 Cup of this soup (vegetarian style) is only 3 points, with the burger it’s approximately 5 points per cup.

A slightly higher calorie option is adding a little light sour cream to your individual serving, top with a little shredded cheddar.

I hope you enjoy!

 

Grape Salad Recipe

This recipe is a delicious escape from the norm. Well, for me it was anyway, before trying this for the first time a few years back, I’d never had grape salad. In fact, when my sister-in-law announced she was making this for a family gathering I apprehensively said “Um, O.K.?” But I’m oh so glad she did! I’ve taken this to work before on a “Everyone bring a dish” day, and copies of this recipe were requested by quite a few.

Ok, this recipe will fit into your standard 9×11 (or similarly sized) casserole dish.

In the pictures below, I made a half of a recipe because I just needed a smaller portion.

8oz package of light cream cheese, softened

1 C Light sour cream

1/4 C sugar

1 tsp vanilla

3 cups EACH seedless red & seedless green grapes (total of 6 cups of grapes)

3/4 C Brown sugar

2 T butter, softened

1 C chopped pecans

First, wash your grapes.

Remember how I said in the Chicken Chili recipe that I didn’t like using flash but would have to in my kitchen due to an insufficient amount of natural lighting?  Well, I did. Then I took the picture below & discovered that the flash can cause you to see the water droplets in the stream of water. It freezes them, and I was intrigued. (Yes, I’m easily entertained!) So after the recipe was done, I played with, believe it or not, taking pictures of water, I’ll show them some other time, don’t worry, because I know you are on the edge of your seat…. 

 I digress….On with the recipe:

 

In my best Robet Dinero voice “Hey, who you lookin at? You lookin at ME?”

I know, I know, I’m not ‘right’, you don’t have to tell me, my awesome friends & family all ready do.

In a seperate bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, sugar & vanilla. Mix until creamy.

THEN gently stir in the grapes.

Don’t do like I did below, trying to be cute and play with your food because trust me, its much more difficult to combine without squishing the grapes!

I know, momma said “Don’t play with your food!” but I’m a rebel that way!

 

So after you have sufficiently combined your creamy mixture with your grapes, you will need the rest of your ingredients. In a seperate bowl, combine brown sugar, butter & chopped pecans.

Spread out your grape mixture into your casserole dish.

Then top with brown sugar/pecan mixture.

Yum, Yum.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do and others I know have. I would even venture so far as to recommend you take this to a football party! Maybe its not “manly” food, but I’ll almost guarentee they’ll love it and if there are any female football fans present, they’ll probably be thankful there’s something at least slightly lighter than hot dogs, chili & chips.

For those of you reading my blog for the recipes, I want to let you know that over the next few weeks, you may see a few less than normal. It is Autumn here in mid Missouri and I fully plan on being on the go with “G2″ (my camera) capturing the beautiful autumn colors in the fleeting time they are here. I will also be attending some art & craft shows with my photography in hand so basically, I won’t be cooking that much until the leaves are all down. (Here that G1? Better start ordering that pizza for dinner!) I assure you though that there will be more recipes forthcoming as my busy season slows in a few weeks.

By the way, for those of you who do read my silly musings, Thanks! I love all ya’ll and I love hearing from you.

 

White Chicken Chili

This recipe is perfect for a football game.

This recipe is perfect for a party.

This recipe is good for your family, and for you.

Oh and did I mention, this chili won an award? I think I did here. And o.k., it wasn’t exactly an AWARD, but it was a prize.

This recipe is good for a chili cookoff contest at work, because I know. Thats where I won a prize! My 40 hour a week job held a chili cookoff and I won with this exact recipe. It was up against about 12 other red chili recipes and it took first place.

I was in Weight Watchers for a while & put the ingredients into their point calculator & IF I remember correctly, and IF you go easy on the cheese & sour cream, for one cup, its only about 5 points and pretty filling, not to mention deeelicious!

So here we go, this is what you will need: (In the photos, I halved the recipe because I didn’t need a full recipe, the below ingredients are a full recipe.)

8 chicken breast halves, boneless, skinless

4 cans Great Northern white beans, undrained (I actually prefer a little less beans so I only add 3 cans to a full recipe)

2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped

2 Tbsp minced garlic

1 Tbsp Olive oil

8 oz minced green chilis

1 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper

1/2 tsp Pepper

3 cups chicken broth

3 cups of Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Here we go:

Boil chicken for about 45 minutes. Remove from water and let cool.

While chicken is cooling, chop onions & saute with Olive oil & garlic in your empty pan (that you used to boil the chicken in).

Once  your chicken has cooled a bit chop or shred it while your onions are sauteing, don’t forget to stir your onions now and then so that they cook evenly.

 

Oh, and didn’t I just say to saute your onions & garlic in your big pot? Well, thats the efficient, less dishes way of doing it. For some reason I used a seperate skillet, but its ok, all the same outcome, only another dish to do. I don’t know why I did it.

Maybe it was aliens!

Oh and I know the above photo is a bit dark, but I don’t like to use flash. Flash causes shadows and its just not as purty looking.

BUT since my kitchen does not have a lot of natural lighting, I think I’ll (reluctantly) start using a flash sigh.

I apologize for all of you non photography buffs who just fell asleep. WAKE UP, I’m moving on.

After your onions & garlic are sauted until tender, add Chilies, oregano, Cayenne Pepper and Pepper into your cooking pot.

Now put in your chicken, undrained beans and chicken broth & stir.

 

 Simmer for 30 minutes, then turn off heat and add 1 1/2 cup of cheese. Stir in while hot so that cheese melts & blends in.

When you fix a bowl, put a dab of light sour cream & top with a little more cheese & jalapenos if desired, stir and enjoy!

Hope you like it! 

The Best Guacamole EVER

Ok, so when I spout off and say “The Best Guacamole EVER”, I guess you could say “Yeah, right!” or “I don’t think so!” or whatever you might say to that, but just so you know, this isn’t just a matter of MY opinion. This recipe has now been tried on several people. Some, including myself, former guacamole dis-likers. Yes, thats what I said, there have even been a few people, like me, who went from “Ew, guacamole!” to “Thats pretty darn good, and I don’t even LIKE guacamole”!!! With a few, like me, who Love this stuff!!!

 Now I’m not claiming that EVERYONE will like it, some people are just bound to never like certain things, I get that, but  I have only met one person, who dared try the “green slimy looking stuff” that said, “Meh, its ok.”

I have to give credit where credit is due. My husband, G1 taught me how to make this. Thanks Honey!

So here’s what you need:

2 ripe Avacados

1/3 medium yellow onion

1/2 tomato

1/4 Cup Pace Picante Salsa

Louisiana Hot Sauce

Garlic Salt

A few notes: Avacados are ripe when you can sqeeze them gently and feel them smoosh just a little. If they are real hard, they aren’t ready yet, if they smoosh too much, they may be too ripe.

Also, depending on your tolerance for hot & spicy should depend on whether you get Hot, Medium or Mild salsa. I can tell you I’m a hot & spicy wimp and I still use the Hot salsa, since there is not a huge amount added to this recipe, its really not all that hot but if you are afraid of “hot” then use a milder version of salsa.

Last: If you are not familiar with avacados, they are similar to bananas in the way that, after being peeled, they tend to “brown” quickly and taste does change. I highly suggest you make this recipe same day as you intend to eat it, for best outcome, immediately before serving. Remember: Fresher=better when it comes to this recipe.

Peel Avacados, de-pit (save one pit for later). Chop avacado with knife until it creates a chunky but slightly creamy mixture.

 

Chop onion & tomato into small, chunky pieces & add to avacado.

Add a few sprinkles of Garlic salt.

add 1/4 C salsa, a few squirts of the Louisanna Hot sauce & stir everything together.

Stir until a creamy yet chunky combo forms.

Keep one of the pits and put into mixture (obviously not to eat), this is said to keep it fresher a little longer, I still recommend serving right away, at the most, within a few hours.

The recipe size here will serve 2-3. If you are making this for more, you can easliy double it.

Serve with Tortilla chips or on crackers. Yum. I personally buy baked tortilla chips to cut down on the amount of calories. Avacados contain a lot of fat themselves, but by everything I’ve read, its the good fat. Its the type that helps build the ‘good’ choleterol. Everything in moderation, but this is one of your healthier choices and personally, my fav!

Italian Sausage Stromboli

Ok, here it is, the Stromboli recipe I promised.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Your shopping list:

Parchment or waxed paper

8 oz pizza dough or seamless dough sheet

1 lb italian sausage

1 Tablespoon Olive oil

1/2 green pepper

1/2 medium yellow onion

3 pieces of sundried tomato (Stores sell sundried tomatos in jars packed in oil)

1 large tomato

1 and 1/2 C Shredded italian cheese

2/3 C speghetti sauce

1 egg white, lightly beaten

First, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Chop onion & green pepper

Heat olive oil in skillet then add your green pepper & onion stirring occassionaly. Cook on medium heat for aproximately 2 minutes.

What? You’ve never made a smiley face in your skillet? No?? oh. Well, I blame this on my mom. She used to make us Mickey mouse & heart shaped pancakes. Thanks mom!

Anyway,

Fine chop 3 sundried tomatos.

Add sundried tomatos & Italian sausage to skillet, cook with pepper & onion for about 5 mintues

The sausage will finish cooking in the oven so it will not be fully cooked at this point. Drain grease from the skillet.

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Unroll dough onto paper. Dough should be in an aproximate 14x 10  inch rectangle.

UPDATE: I’ve tried this again without using waxed paper & its much better without it. Just spray a little cooking spray on the cookie sheet, and roll out your dough. The longer the dough sits out the harder it is to work with but if you use it straight out of the fridge, this really is pretty easy.

Spread speghetti sauce on top of dough in the center, long ways leaving about a 2 1/2 inch border each side, more than an inch on each end.

Spoon ingredients cooked in the skillet on top of the spaghetti sauce, remembering to leave a border.

Slice tomato into slices and place on top of filling, overlapping each peice slightly.

Top with cheese.

 

With kitchen scissors or a knife, cut slits aprox 1 inch apart on each side, stopping about an inch before the filling.

Fold each end up on top of filling, then altnernately fold strips of dough slightly angled to the top of the filling, with strips  from each side overlapping slightly in the center. 

Lightly brush with egg white.

 Warning: Before this thing is cooked, it looks pretty ugly so don’t be scared. Just let that thing cook & you’ll be a happy camper.

Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until top is golden brown. Cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

YUM YUM.  

 Note: The parchment paper will be fairly easy to remove from stromboli when its cooled. I’ve considered trying to make the stomboli without the parchment paper but am afraid that it will make wrapping it in the raw form, very difficult.

More recipes to come, including a fruity kind of salad/desert and the BEST ever Guacamole.