Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Baked BBQ Kale Chips (Gluten-Free)

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Baked kale chips are a perfect healthy snack that come together in a cinch and don't leave you feeling guilty. When Chris and I are in the mood for a snack, but are either dieting or have been indulging a lot lately, we usually turn to Roasted Chickpeas or Parmesan Edamame. This is a great alternative when we want to switch it up.
The BBQ flavor on these tastes almost identical to your favorite BBQ flavored potato chips.  With only a few calories and a low amount of carbohydrates, you can have as many of these "chips" as you want. You can also bypass the BBQ seasoning and sprinkle on some salt in its place. They are a perfect healthy Super Bowl snack for anyone watching their figure, too. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

  • 1 large bunch fresh kale
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

Wash kale and allow to dry completely. Remove the leaves from the stems and tear into bite-size pieces.

Lay kale evenly on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Place in the oven and cook for about 25 minutes or until crispy. It might take more or less time depending on your oven and if the kale was completely dry after washing.

Meanwhile, mix the chili powder, paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Taste and adjust to your liking.

Once kale is crispy, remove from oven and place in a large bowl. Immediately sprinkle with desired amount of seasoning (I used about 3/4 and then added more as necessary). Shake the bowl around so the kale is completely coated. Enjoy!

Source: SK Original

Monday, January 28, 2013

Chinese Fried Rice

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Once again, here's another normal take-out recipe that can quickly and easily be made in the comfort of your own home. I served this with homemade Beef and Broccoli and it was just like having Chinese delivery. The fried rice tastes incredibly similar to what you would find in your local restaurant. You can make the rice at home beforehand, but since there is a Chinese restaurant right by my office I bought some on my lunch break and decided to use that instead. Shortcuts are my best friend. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

  • 3/4 cup onions, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp. oil, divided
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 drops soy sauce
  • 3 drops sesame oil
  • 8 oz. cooked lean boneless pork or 8 oz. chicken, chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 4 cups cold cooked rice, grains separated
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. light soy sauce
Heat 1/2 tbsp. oil in a small skillet. Add the chopped meat and cook until done, about 5 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp. oil in wok; add chopped onions and stir-fry until onions turn a nice brown color, about 8-10 minutes; remove from wok. Allow wok to cool slightly.

Mix egg with 3 drops of soy and 3 drops of sesame oil; set aside.

Add 1/2 tbsp. oil to wok, swirling to coat surfaces; add egg mixture. Working quickly, swirl egg until egg sets against wok; when egg puffs, flip egg and cook other side briefly. Remove from wok and chop into small pieces.

Heat the remaining 1 tbsp. oil in wok. Add the carrots, peas, and cooked onion; stir-fry for 2 minutes.

Add cooked meat, rice and green onions, tossing to mix well. Stir-fry for 3 minutes and serve.

Source: Adapted from

Friday, January 25, 2013

Roasted Vegetables (Gluten-Free)

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These roasted veggies are my Mom's specialty that Chris and I instantly became obsessed with. I'm not sure if it's the combination of vegetables she uses, the crispy yet soft texture they turn into, the perfect balance of oil and Adobo seasoning, or a combination of all three factors, but they are addicting.
Making these one night turned into making these as a side dish for every meal we ate that week. If you can find regular Adobo seasoning, thats' the way to go. I've used other mixes of seasonings that work just the same (Mrs. Dash has some great ones), but Adobo is by far our favorite. Just let these cook away for about an hour and you'll get a perfect (and healthy) side dish. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

  • 1 (12 oz.) bag broccoli florets
  • 1 (12 oz.) bag cauliflower florets
  • 1 (8 oz.) package sliced bella mushrooms
  • 1 large onion, cut in half and sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1-2 tbsp. Adobo seasoning

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Arrange vegetables on a large baking sheet. Cut broccoli and cauliflower into smaller pieces if necessary. Drizzle with vegetable oil and Adobo. Toss to coat.

Cook for 45-60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes until vegetables are tender and begin to get crispy. Enjoy!

Source: My Mom

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Pan Seared Salmon with Avocado Remoulade (Gluten-Free)

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I'm bad at cooking salmon. Like terrible at it. I always think I cook it long enough, but every time I take it off it's always, always still a dark pink color inside. Don't be like me. Make sure the salmon is cooked all the way through and flaky so you don't have to go back and put it on the stove. It's embarrassing.
This is a quick salmon recipe with tons of flavor. The Avocado Remoulade reminds me of guacamole, so if you're a fan of that you're definitely going to love this. Dijon is also a new favorite flavor of mine when cooking. I love it in my other favorite salmon recipe, and more recently I had it on chicken tenders. It adds a tang that really brings out the flavor of whatever you're cooking. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

  • 2 large avocados, cut and peeled
  • 3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice (can substitute lemon)
  • 3-4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. shallots or green onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp. parsley, minced
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard or to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 to 1 1/2 lbs. of salmon fillets
  • Grapeseed or canola oil
Add the avocado and lime juice to a food processor. Blend until smooth. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while pulsing the avocado mixture until you reach your desired consistency of sauce. Add minced shallots (or green onions) and parsley and pulse until combined. Pour avocado mixture into a bowl and stir in mustard, salt and pepper, to taste. 

Heat a saute pan to medium high heat and coat the bottom with oil. Heat until oil is almost smoking. Season both sides of the salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Lay the salmon in the pan skin side down. Cook the salmon about 3-4 minutes per side, or until it reaches your desired doneness.

Serve salmon with avocado remoulade sauce.

Source: Simply Recipes

Monday, January 21, 2013

Omelet Roll (Gluten-Free)

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Today's SRC post is from Mommy's Menu. Toni is a mom to seven (you read that right, SEVEN!) children, and I loved reading her blurbs about her daily life and how she manages to cook for all those mouths. I give her major props for being able to maintain a beautiful blog and raise all her fabulous children at the same time!
I love hosting get-togethers, so as soon as I saw this Omelet Roll recipe I knew I needed to try it in anticipation of our next brunch gathering. It was very easy to prepare and I love that it can be made ahead of time. You can also freeze it in slices so you can pop one out of the freezer before heading to work, zap it in the microwave for a minute and be on your way.
I had my go-to omelet ingredients on hand (bacon, onion and cheese), but I was craving another vegetable. Spinach was the only thing I had in the fridge, and it worked out perfectly. I love the texture of wilted spinach and it really grabs the flavor of the onion, garlic and bacon while cooking. The filling can be completely customized to whatever your favorite omelet fillings are, and I took advantage of that. Tomatoes and green peppers would also really amp this up. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

  • 4 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup reduced-fat milk
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 12 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 2 cups fresh spinach

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line the bottom of a greased 15 x 10 baking sheet with parchment paper. Grease the paper very well and set aside.

In a bowl, beat the cream cheese and slowly add the milk until smooth. Add the flour and salt and mix until combined.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs until the mixture is homogeneous. Add the cream cheese mixture and mix well. Pour into your prepared pan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the eggs are puff and set and golden on the edges.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon pieces in a medium-sized pan until cooked through. Remove from the heat and drain on a paper towel-lined dish.

Pour out bacon grease from the pan. Heat 1 tbsp. oil and add onion. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add bacon pieces and spinach. Cook until the spinach begins to wilt, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Remove the egg from the oven and use the parchment paper to remove the egg from the pan. Immediately spread with mustard and sprinkle with 1 cup of cheese. Sprinkle with spinach filling and remaining cup of cheese. Roll up from the long side, peeling the parchment paper away while rolling. Place the roll back on the baking sheet and put back in the oven for about 5 minutes to melt the cheese.

To freeze: Allow the roll to cool completely before slicing. Slice into 12 pieces and lay them flat on a greased baking sheet. Freeze. When frozen, transfer to a freezer bag. To reheat, cook in the microwave for 1-1 1/2 minutes or until hot and the cheese is melted.

Source: Adapted from Mommy's Menu

Friday, January 18, 2013

Lighter Baked Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts

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Baked doughnuts are all the rage these days. They deliver the same great taste, but you avoid the frying process so you save tons of calories. Cinnamon doughnuts paired with a cold glass of milk are amazing, especially when they come right out of the oven. The doughnut base can be used as a standard recipe (just omit the cinnamon and nutmeg) if you want to top it with a glaze or even (gasp!) melted chocolate. Yum!
I lightened these up a bit more by using reduced-fat milk and light butter. If you haven't cooked or baked with light butter before, don't be alarmed. I've used it in almost all of my recent recipes, and the taste is hardly detectable. Plus it's half the amount of fat as regular butter, so it's a sacrifice your body will appreciate. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe


For the doughnuts
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups reduced-fat milk
  • 2 tbsp. light unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the topping
  • 8 tsp. (1 stick) light unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

For the doughnuts: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a baker’s spray with flour, such as Baker’s Joy, to coat 1 or 2 doughnut pans.

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a mixing bowl.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, melted butter and vanilla extract in a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Fill the wells of the doughnut pans a bit more than three-quarters full with the batter. Bake for 17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the wall of a doughnut comes out clean and the doughnuts are puffed and lightly browned. Let them cool (in the pans) for 5 minutes, then gently invert the doughnuts onto a rimmed baking sheet.

While the doughnuts are cooling, make the topping: Melt the butter in a small bowl. Whisk together the sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

Dip the warm doughnuts into the melted butter, then dip them into the cinnamon-sugar mixture on one or both sides.

Source: Adapted from "Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust," by Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter, 2012)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lighter Creamy Chicken and Pasta Bake

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Chris' company takes all of its employees on a tropical vacation every January. Their CEO sets a sales goal (more than likely it's very attainable), so it motivates everyone to work extra hard during the year. They've gone countless places, and for this year's trip to Jamaica I was finally invited! I guess getting married has its perks! Not only did we get to stay at an all-inclusive resort with three pools, swim-up bars and tons of activities, but they also chartered a plane so we didn't have to worry about lines, losing our baggage or sitting next to strangers. Talk about company benefits!
We both tried to eat as healthy as we could a few weeks prior to the trip, but with Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years standing in our way, it was a difficult feat. The two weeks prior to the trip, we ate limited carbs and worked out almost every day, so you better believe we went all-out during the vacation! I'm just happy to come home to pasta, potatoes and rice. I've missed them. And this Chicken and Pasta Bake is just the thing to welcome us home. It's creamy and filled with tons of protein and veggies (and carbs!), but it's still light enough to not feel too guilty. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

  • 12 oz. small pasta (fusilli works great)
  • 2 tbsp. light butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 cup frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 can cream of chicken
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 3/4 cup Mexican blend cheese, shredded
  • 1 tbsp. light butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup panko
  • 2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13x9" pan and set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Melt 2 tbsp. butter and add onions. Cook until they begin to brown. Add garlic and cook for one minute.  Add chicken pieces and season with garlic powder, parsley, salt and pepper. Cook until chicken is done.

Add broccoli, peas and corn. Add cream of chicken, milk and sour cream. Stir to combine.

Add the drained pasta and toss. Sprinkle the Mexican blend cheese over top and stir until just combined. Pour into the greased pan.

Combine the 1 tbsp. melted butter, panko and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl. Sprinkle on top of pasta.

Cook for 30 minutes or until bubbly and the top begins to brown. Enjoy!

Source: SK Original

Monday, January 14, 2013

Boston Cream Pie

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Okay, I won't lie to you. This definitely isn't the easiest thing in the world to make. You have to melt, fold, boil, beat, whisk. Pretty much every sort of baker definition in the book is used in this recipe. If you can get past the baker jargon and have a few hours to spare, this is well worth the wait.
Sponge cake is so light and airy and the pastry cream is amazing. It's thick and creamy and sweet enough to satisfy a sweet tooth. The chocolate that is drizzled on top is just the icing on the cake (literally). So even though this might make your kitchen a disaster, the end result is well worth the wait and effort. Whoever you are making it for will appreciate it, too. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe


Pastry Cream:
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/8 cup  all-purpose flour
  • Scant 3 tablespoons  cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups reduced-fat milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Sponge Cake:

  • 5 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plain cake flour
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. reduced-fat milk
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
Chocolate Glaze:

  • 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter

Pastry Cream: In a medium-sized heatproof bowl, mix the sugar and egg yolks. In another bowl, sift or whisk the flour and cornstarch together and then add to the egg mixture, mixing until you get a smooth paste. Meanwhile in a small saucepan, bring the milk just to a boil over medium heat. Pour the milk slowly into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. (Strain if necessary.) Then place the egg mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking constantly. When it boils, continue to whisk constantly for another minute or so until it becomes thick. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. Pour into a clean bowl and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming. Let the cream cool in the refrigerator for a few hours. 

Sponge Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter and line the bottoms of two-8 inch (23 cm) round cake pans with parchment paper. While the eggs are still cold separate three of the eggs, placing the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another bowl. To the yolks, add the two remaining eggs. Cover the bowls with plastic wrap and allow the eggs to come to room temperature (about 30 minutes). Meanwhile, in a bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt. Place the milk and butter in a small saucepan, over low heat, and warm until the butter melts. Remove from heat, cover, and keep warm.

In your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, (or with a hand mixer) beat the whole eggs and yolks and 1/2 cup (100 grams) of sugar on high speed until they are thick and fluffy (3-5 minutes) (when you slowly raise the beaters the batter will fall back into the bowl in a slow ribbon). Beat in the vanilla extract. In a clean bowl, with the whisk attachment, (or with a hand mixer) beat the egg whites at low speed until foamy. Increase the speed to medium-high and gradually add the remaining sugar, beating until soft, moist peaks form. Gently fold a little of the whites into the batter to lighten it, and then add the rest of the whites folding just until incorporated. Sift half of the flour mixture over the top of the batter and gently fold through with a rubber spatula or whisk. Sift the remaining flour over the batter and fold in. Make a well in the center of the batter and pour the melted butter/milk mixture into the bowl. Gently but thoroughly fold the butter mixture into the batter. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake for about 18 - 20 minutes or until light brown and springy to the touch. (A toothpick inserted in the middle will come out clean.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Immediately run a spatula around the inside of the pans and then invert the cakes onto a wire rack. Remove parchment paper and re-invert. Cool completely.

Chocolate Glaze: Place the chopped chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Bring the cream and butter just to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and gently stir until chocolate has melted. Set aside until it has thickened to pouring consistency.

Assemble: Place one cake layer on your serving plate, bottom side facing up. Spoon the pastry cream onto the cake, spreading to make an even layer. Place the second cake layer (top side up) onto the filling. Pour the glaze onto the center of the cake and, using an offset spatula, spread the glaze to the edges of the cake, allowing the glaze to drip down the sides. Let the cake sit until the glaze sets, about one hour. This cake is best eaten the same day it is made. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers. Serves 8-10.

Source: Adapted from Joy of Baking

Friday, January 11, 2013

Turkey and Cheese Bundles

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I know I don't have kids yet, but I think it's important to get children involved in the kitchen when they are young so they can learn the importance of healthy eating. As a child, I loved helping my mom out in the kitchen and watching her work, and I think that is what mainly contributes to my love of cooking today. When I have kids, I plan on making them as hands-on as possible in the kitchen so they learn how to make healthy and easy meals.
These turkey and cheese bundles are a creative way for kids to help prepare their own lunch. Since almost all kids enjoy turkey and cheese, finding a new twist to their normal sandwich routine while making them involved in the process is really beneficial. It's also an easy way to make them try new things (maybe replace turkey with ham? or a new type of filling altogether?) and since they were a part of the process, I'm sure they want to try their masterpiece (I know I did). It's worth a shot, and you'll get a tasty treat out of it regardless. Enjoy!
This is how they should look prior to rolling them up.

Printable Recipe

  • 1 (8 oz.) package reduced-fat refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 16 slices deli turkey, sliced thin
  • Yellow mustard
  • 8 slices Provolone cheese, sliced thin, cut in half
Preheat oven according to crescent roll package. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.

Unroll the crescent rolls into 8 triangles. Squeeze a line of mustard down the middle of each. On the wide end, place 1-2 slices of turkey and top with a half slice of Provolone cheese.

Starting with the wide end, roll the crescent rolls up to make a log shape, ending with the tip. Place the rolls with the tip side down on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake according to crescent roll package directions, about 15 minutes, until rolls are lightly browned. Enjoy!

Source: SK Original

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Slow Cooker Black Eyed Peas and Ham Soup

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Chris' family has a tradition of eating black eyed peas on New Year's day. It's supposed to bring good luck throughout the year. Since Chris so graciously adopted all of my family's (sometimes crazy) traditions, I felt as though this one would be easy for us to stick to.
I was originally going to save this recipe to share with you next year, but since it's such a hearty soup I figured it would be perfect to share this winter. I had never cooked beans in a slow cooker before and was a little hesitant, but they turned out perfectly. The soup becomes thick, almost like a stew or chili, and the chili powder gives it a little kick. The ham is entirely optional if you want to make this vegetarian, but I think it adds great flavor to the beans. This is a perfect weeknight meal. Some of us even let it sit and thicken up for a little and used it as a dip with tortilla chips. Delicious. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

  • 8 oz. smoked lean ham steak, diced
  • 1 lb. dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and soaked overnight
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
  • 1 jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. chipotle chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
Soak peas overnight in 6 cups of water. The next morning, drain peas and add to slow cooker. Add 4 cups of water, bay leaves and ham. Cover and cook on high 5 hours or until the beans are tender.

After 5 hours, in a large frying pan, add oil and sauté onion, garlic, bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, and tomato until soft, about 6 minutes. Add to the slow cooker and season black eyed peas generously with cumin, chipotle chili powder, chili powder, salt and black pepper. Cover and cook on high for 1 more hour. Discard bay leaves and serve.

Source: Adapted from Skinnytaste

Monday, January 7, 2013

Baked Honey Dijon Chicken Tenders

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Homemade chicken tenders are so much healthier than the processed chicken from fast food resetaurants and they're really simple to make. I often find myself making these on the weekend when Chris and I want a quick lunch. They're also a great weeknight meal because they require little effort.
These specific chicken tenders are a twist on the original flavor since honey mustard is infused in the chicken during the cooking process. I'm a huge honey mustard fan so these were right up my alley. The crust gets nice and crispy and you get some tang from the honey mustard in every bite. If you aren't keen on honey mustard, you can substitute an egg in place of the Dijon and honey during the dredging process. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

  • 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 3 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into vertical strips
To make honey mustard dipping sauce:
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2-3 tbsp. honey
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lay a baking rack over a baking sheet and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In a pie plate, combine the panko, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne. In another pie plate, or a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together the butter, mustard, and honey. Working one chicken strip at a time, dip the chicken first into the mustard mixture, then the panko. Turn and pat the breadcrumbs on all sides to be sure each piece of chicken is fully coated.
Carefully arrange the chicken tenders on the baking sheet, and cook 25-30 minutes, or until they are golden-brown and the chicken is cooked through. Serve with your preferred dipping sauce (honey mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce, ranch..).
To make the honey mustard dipping sauce, mix the Dijon and honey together. Taste and add more honey as needed.
Source: Adapted from Pink Parsley

Friday, January 4, 2013

Easy Parmesan Knots

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One of Chris' coworkers brought us some of his delicious homemade bolognese sauce to try a few weeks ago, so I found myself out of the task of making dinner. Since I often get restless in the evening without having at least one thing to do or make, I decided I would make a simple side.
I've made these Parmesan Knots once before when my Dad and brother came over for dinner, and they were gone in minutes. They take no time at all, but the spreadable topping makes them flavorful and great to pair with a homemade pasta dish. Pasta stands alone just fine, but together with an amazing bread creates an unbeatable pairing. I'm sure no one can deny that. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

  • 1 tube (12 oz.) refrigerated layered buttermilk biscuits or croissants
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
Roll each biscuit into a 6-in. rope and tie into a knot; tuck ends under. Place 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; brush the warm knots with the mixture.

Source: Adapted from Real Mom Kitchen

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Baked Beef Ravioli

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When Chris was younger, his Dad always used to make him Chef Boyardee Ravioli before his basketball games. This went on for all four years that Chris played in high school, and although I can't imagine having a stomach full of pasta before running around, it must have worked for him. Chris ended up scoring a career high 1,124 points, had his basketball jersey retired and ended up playing for James Madison University. Chris took my parents and me to see his jersey hanging from the rafters in his high school auditorium, and although I wasn't there for that part of his life, I could not be more proud of him.
Chris still plays basketball regularly with a few men's leagues, but they are nowhere near as competitive as his high school or college teams. Since I know ravioli was a favorite for him before games (I guess they give you a boost of energy!) I made a grown-up version of the meal his Dad used to give him. Mixing pre-made ravioli with ground beef, fresh cheese and diced tomatoes makes this a fuss-free meal that's super tasty. Enjoy!
Chris' retired jersey hanging in his high school's auditorium.
Printable Recipe

  • 2 (9 oz.) packages refrigerated cheese-filled ravioli
  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (10 3/4 oz.) can condensed tomato soup
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely shredded
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cook ravioli according to package directions; drain. Return to pan; cover and keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook ground meat, onion, and garlic over medium heat until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain off fat. Stir in tomatoes, soup, basil, and oregano. Gently stir in cooked ravioli.

Transfer mixture to an ungreased 3-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, about 20 minutes or until heated through. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Source: Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens