PB & Chocolate Pan Cookie from Southern Living

For those who know me, and I mean, really know me, they know that I am a peanut butter lover. I am even a bigger fan of peanut butter and chocolate. This mixture of dark chocolate, chunky peanut butter and baking mix makes a rich, crusty cookie that is simple and divine. This recipe is perfect when you’re in a hurry or need to make something quick and easy for a party, bake sale or just to wow the kids after school.

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook 25 minutes

Yield: Makes about 24 pieces

Ingredients

3/4  cup  chunky peanut butter

2  large eggs

1  teaspoon  vanilla extract

1  cup  firmly packed light brown sugar

2  cups  all-purpose baking mix

1  (12-ounce) package dark chocolate morsels, divided

Preparation

1. Stir together peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla in large bowl.

2. Stir in brown sugar until combined. Add baking mix and 3/4 cup dark chocolate morsels, stirring just until moistened. Spread mixture in a lightly greased 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan.

3. Bake at 325° for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, and sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 1/4 cups dark chocolate morsels; let stand 5 minutes or until chocolate melts. Spread melted chocolate evenly over top. Cut into triangles, bars, or squares.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Bisquick All-Purpose Baking Mix and Hershey’s Special Dark Chips.

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I used to only prepare Caesar Salads when I was having a large Italian or steak dinner. Now, I make them all of the time since my three kids (who are 8, 10 and 11) love them so much. This version is only five ingredients which is perfect this time of year when you want to eat light but also are in a hurry. Purchase already-peeled and deveined shrimp to save time or substitute chicken or salmon for the shrimp. If I don’t have time to prepare a homemade dressing, I buy Ken’s Reduced-Fat Caesar dressing, which is really yummy.

 

Shrimp Caesar Salad

Prep: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

6 cups romaine lettuce leaves

11/4 pounds cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup croutons

Reduced-fat Caesar salad dressing (I like Ken’s)

Preparation

1. Toss romaine and remaining ingredients in a large salad bowl or serving platter.

Walnut-Chicken Salad from Southern Living

I love to make salads for dinner, and this southern-style salad makes a great main-dish dinner or weekend lunch. The walnut coating on the chicken cutlets is delicious paired with buttermilk, honey and basil. Feel free to use almonds or pecans instead of the walnuts, and if you’re short on time, use your favorite jarred salad dressing.

 

Walnut Chicken Salad

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 6 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

4  chicken cutlets

3  tablespoons nonfat buttermilk

3/4 cup  finely ground walnuts

1/2  cup  fine, dry breadcrumbs

1/2  teaspoon salt

2  tablespoons olive oil

6  cups  torn mixed salad greens

4  cups  torn fresh spinach

1  cup  (4 ounces) shredded colby-Monterey Jack cheese blend

16  cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Buttermilk-Honey Dressing

Preparation

1. Brush buttermilk evenly over chicken.

2. Combine walnuts, breadcrumbs, and salt in a shallow dish; dredge chicken in mixture.

3. Pour oil into a large skillet; place over medium-high heat until hot. Add chicken, and cook 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Cut chicken crosswise into thin slices.

4. Combine salad greens and spinach, and arrange on each of 4 individual plates. Sprinkle with cheese, and top with tomato halves and chicken. Serve with Buttermilk-Honey Dressing on the side.

Buttermilk-Honey Dressing

Prep: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 cup

Ingredients

1/3  cup  honey

1/3  cup  nonfat buttermilk

1/4  cup  chopped fresh basil

2  tablespoons lemon juice

1/2  teaspoon pepper

Preparation

1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well with a wire whisk.

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Coming up with five ingredient recipes can be really challenging as a Recipe Developer, especially when it comes to desserts. I love warm desserts such as cobblers and crisps. A crisp is a dessert of fruit that is topped with a crumbly pastry mixture, usually oats, brown sugar and butter. Using low-fat granola is a great way to cut down on the amount of ingredients. This recipe is very simple, low-fat, great for kids, and it works well in individual baking dishes, such as this clover for St. Patrick’s Day. 

 

Pear-Cranberry Crisp

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 35 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

4 very ripe pears such as Bartlett, Anjou, or Seckel pears, peeled, cored, and chopped  

1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries

1/21 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 cup low-fat granola (I used Udi’s original)

Preparation

1. Saute pears over medium heat in a large saute pan coated with cooking spray  7 to 9 minutes or until slightly softened; stir in cinnamon.

2. Transfer to a lightly greased 11/2-quart baking dish. Stir in cranberries and honey, stirring well.  Bake at 375F 20 to 25 minutes. Top with granola and cook 5 to 10 minutes more or until granola is lightly browned.

 

Guinness-Braised Chuck Steaks with Horseradish Mashed Potatoes from Cooking Light

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, try this comfort food recipe that actually has only 400 calories and  13.1 grams of fat. I worked on a recipe development job a year ago: “Cooking with Beer”, and I was amazed with the beer flavoring. Beer can add such a great flavor to many recipes, especially beef. This recipe is ideal for this time of year while there’s still a chill in the air. Also, the mashed potatoes are delicious with the beef or on their own with a touch of horseradish. Enjoy for a Sunday night dinner or on St. Patrick’s Day.


Also, if you missed my television spot yesterday with my daughter, Leigh, on WBRC Fox 6 News in Birmingham, take a look at the link below:

link: ttp://www.myfoxal.com/dpp/gda_publish/20090315Weekend_Cooking_Healthy_Break

 

Guinness-Braised Steak with Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

Prep: 25 minutes

Cook: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 6 servings 

Ingredients

STEAK:

1 1/2  pounds  boneless chuck steak, trimmed

1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper

1/2  teaspoon  salt

2  teaspoons  olive oil

1 1/2  cups  finely chopped onion

1/2  cup  chopped carrot

1/2  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided

1  teaspoon  dark brown sugar

1  teaspoon  chopped fresh rosemary

1  (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms

1  garlic clove, minced

2  bay leaves

1  (12-ounce) bottle Guinness Stout

POTATOES:

2  pounds  peeled baking potatoes, quartered

2  tablespoons  butter

1/2  cup  fat-free milk

1/4  cup  finely chopped green onions

1/4  cup  reduced-fat sour cream

2  tablespoons  prepared horseradish

1/2  teaspoon  salt

1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

 To prepare steak:

1. Sprinkle steak with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add steak; cook 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove steak from pan; set aside. Add 1 1/2 cups onion, chopped carrot, 2 tablespoons broth, and sugar. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook 10 minutes. Stir in rosemary, mushrooms, and garlic. Cover and cook 2 minutes. Add bay leaves, stout, remaining broth, and steak; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour and 30 minutes or until steak is tender.

To prepare potatoes:

1. Place potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender; drain. Return potatoes to pan. Add butter; beat with a mixer at medium speed just until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients. Keep warm.

2. Remove steak from pan; keep warm. Discard bay leaves. Increase heat to medium-high; cook 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Spoon stout mixture over steak. Serve with potatoes.

Bourbon Bread Pudding from Cooking Light

I usually prepare bread pudding during Thanksgiving since I love a traditional Southern Bread Pudding drizzled with whiskey sauce. This recipe is a twist on my recipe, and it’s a great dessert idea for  St. Patrick’s day. This bread pudding is flavored with Irish whiskey and is actually a low-fat recipe weighing in at 367 calories and 6.5 grams of fat. 

By the way, I will be on Fox 6 News, WBRC in Birmingham, Alabama this Sunday at 8:40 a.m central time.

 

Irish Bread Pudding

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 45 minutes

Stand: 10 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

1/4  cup  light butter, melted

1  (10-ounce) French bread baguette, cut into 1-inch-thick slices

1/2  cup  raisins

1/4  cup  Irish whiskey or 1/4 cup apple juice

1 3/4  cups  1% low-fat milk

1  cup  sugar

1  tablespoon  vanilla extract

1  (12-ounce) can evaporated skim milk

2  large eggs, lightly beaten

Cooking spray

1  tablespoon  sugar

1  teaspoon  ground cinnamon

Irish Whiskey Sauce

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Brush melted butter on one side of French bread slices, and place bread, buttered sides up, on a baking sheet. Bake bread at 350° for 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Cut bread into 1/2-inch cubes, and set aside.

3. Combine raisins and whiskey in a small bowl; cover and let stand 10 minutes or until soft (do not drain).

4. Combine 1% milk and next 4 ingredients (1% milk through eggs) in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add bread cubes and raisin mixture, pressing gently to moisten; let stand 15 minutes. Spoon bread mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine 1 tablespoon sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over pudding. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until set. Serve warm with Caramel-Whiskey Sauce.

Irish Whiskey Sauce:

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Yield: 1 1/2 cups 

Ingredients

1 1/2  cups  sugar

2/3  cup  water

1/4  cup  light butter

2  ounces  1/3-less-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel) (about 1/4 cup)

1/4  cup  Irish whiskey

1/4  cup  1% low-fat milk

Preparation

1. Combine sugar and water in a small heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Cook an additional 15 minutes or until golden (do not stir). Remove from heat. Carefully add butter and cream cheese, stirring constantly with a whisk (mixture will be hot and bubble vigorously). Cool slightly, and stir in whiskey and milk.

Note: Substitute 1 tablespoon imitation rum extract and 3 tablespoons water for the Irish whiskey, if desired.

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Instead of using pizza crust, why not try pita bread? This recipe is great topped with Italian sausage, green peppers and mushrooms, but feel free to use your own favorite toppings. These pizzas can also be grilled easily. Grill over medium heat 7 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is lightly browned. Not only are these pizzas delicious, but they are economical and child-friendly. 

 

Mushroom Pita Pizzas

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

3/4 lb. spicy Italian sausage

1 cup marinara sauce

4 (6-inch) pita bread rounds

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1 cup diced green bell pepper

11/3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preparation 

1. Brown sausage in a medium pan over medium heat 5 minutes or until meat crumbles; drain, if needed

2. Spread each pita round with 1/4 cup marinara sauce. Top evenly with sausage, mushrooms, green pepper and cheese.

3. Bake at 350F 15 minutes or until pita is browned and cheese is melted.

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