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.

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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.

Warm Fudge-Filled Cheesecake from Southern Living

Okay, yes, my birthday is today so deciding what to put up on the blog was tricky. I tried to think what are some of my favorite desserts? Coconut cake, carrot cake, chocolate cake and any peanut butter treats come to mind. I even thought, maybe a cupcake or a chocolate chip cookie, hmm. Well, after much debate, I remembered one of my all-time favorite cheesecake recipes from when I still worked at Southern Living. This version is awesome! The hint of pistachios makes it really special, and I’m a semisweet chocolate lover for sure. Enjoy this recipe for years to come for your celebrations.

 

Warm Chocolate Cheesecake

Prep: 25 minutes

Cook: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

1/2  cup  butter or margarine, softened

1/3  cup  sugar

1  cup  all-purpose flour

1  tablespoon  vanilla, divided

2/3  cup  chopped pistachios

4  (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 1/2  cups  sugar

4  large eggs

1  (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate mini-morsels

Sweetened whipped cream (optional)

Garnish: chocolate shavings

Preparation

1. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; add 1/3 cup sugar, beating well. Gradually add flour, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla and pistachios. Press into bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

2. Bake at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.

3. Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy; gradually add 1 1/2 cups sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears. Stir in remaining 2 teaspoons vanilla. (Do not overmix.)

3. Pour half of batter into crust; sprinkle with chocolate morsels to within 3/4 inch of edge. Pour in remaining batter, starting at outer edge and working toward center. Place cheesecake on a baking sheet.

5. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until set. Cool on a wire rack 1 hour. Serve slightly warm with sweetened whipped cream, if desired. Garnish, if desired.

Love This Lasagna Soup

March 2, 2009

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If you love lasagna, you will love this soup. All of my favorite ingredients, spinach, sausage and tomatoes and cheese, fill this soup, and it is so quick and easy. Using the mini farfalle noodles works perfect in this recipe as they truly look like mini lasagna noodles. My family was wowed by the soup. Serve with a salad and some fresh crusty bread, and dinner is on the table in no time.

 

Lasagna Soup

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

Yield: 8 cups

Ingredients

1 pound mild Italian sausage

1 cup diced onion

1 cup diced carrots

1 (8-ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 cups low-salt, fat-free chicken broth

1 (141/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil and oregano

1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce

1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

1 cup mini farfalle pasta (piccolini) “Barilla” makes it

2 cups fresh spinach

2 cups freshly grated Asiago cheese

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Fresh basil, (optional)

Preparation

1. Brown sausage in a large Dutch over medium-high heat. Add onions and carrots; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and garlic; saute 3 minutes more.

2. Add chicken broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and Italian seasoning; bring to a boil. Add pasta and simmer until cooked, about 10 minutes, or according to package directions. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted. 

3. Place 1/4 cup Asiago cheese into each bowl; pour soup on top garnish with Parmesan cheese. Garnish with basil, if desired.