Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Chunky Chicken Minestrone Soup

I love this soup because not only is it healthy, but it has a very light broth to it.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium green pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
4 medium carrots, sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 cloves minced garlic

1 can diced tomatoes, with their juice
1 can white beans, undrained
4 cups chicken broth
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 cup salad macaroni

In a stockpot heat the oil over moderate heat. Add onion, green pepper, carrots, and garlic and saute until soft, stirring occasionally. Add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes or until pasta is cooked to desired tenderness. Add salt and additional seasonings as necessary.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cornbread Croutons

I love cornbread croutons on a very fresh salad. They are a little heartier than the standard fare. They have a more interesting texture. They also add a sweetness. Whenever you have leftover cornbread, do yourself a favor and make this recipe. Imagine these on top of some good chili?

leftover cornbread, cut into desired size squares
half a cube of butter
1 tsp fresh garlic, minced fine
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter and add garlic, pepper, and salt. Stir and continue to mash garlic to release the juice. Put diced cornbread in a bowl and coat with butter mixture. Carefully mix to coat without breaking up the pieces. Spread flat onto a baking sheet and bake until evenly browned. Stir a couple times while cooking. Allow to cool if using on salad. You may serve warm in soups.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Lemon Frosting

This is worth making a cake for. It is good on lemon cake, white cake, or sugar cookies ... or off the spoon.1/2 cup butter, softened
2 boxes or 1 large bag powdered sugar
juice of 2 lemons
zest of 2 lemon
milk: 2 Tbsp to 1/2 cup (depending on the consistency you want. Add slowly.)
1/4 tsp lemon extract (you might not need this depending on how much juice you get out of the lemon and how you like it so DO NOT add until the end!!)

Mix the butter and powdered sugar until mixed. Texture will not be smooth, but will be consistent. Add lemon juice and zest. Mix until smooth. Add a little milk and check to see if you like it. Taste it. You can now decide whether to add the extract or not. Mix and add milk until you like it. Enjoy!!

Note: You can add yellow food coloring if you wish, but I like seeing the flecks of lemon zest and they show up better without it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

There are two different ways to enjoy chocolate frosting. One is pure chocolate and cream: the ganache. It is fudgy and decadent. The other is a chocolate buttercream. This is a chocolate buttercream and it is lovely. It is not really fudgy: you can taste the cocoa in it. In fact, it is a little on the semi-sweet side. But I love it. It definitely tastes homemade and you can use it on anything. I love it on a really rich and chocolaty cake because it adds a different layer of chocolate. 4 cups powdered sugar
1 cube butter, softened
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 to 1/2 cup milk, depending on the consistency you desire

Mix the butter, cocoa, and sugar until crumbly. Add vanilla and start adding milk a Tbsp at a time, mixing with each addition. Continue until you like the feel.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits


2 cups Bisquick, reduced fat baking mix
3/4 cup low fat buttermilk (1%)
1 cup shredded low fat Cheddar cheese (I use regular cheese)
2 Tbsp low fat butter spread
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried parsley flakes crushed fine

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine baking mix, milk and Cheddar cheese in a bowl. Mix by hand until well combined. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions (about 3 Tbsp each) and spoon into a lightly greased or nonstick cookie sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the tops of the biscuit begin to brown. in a small bowl, combine the buttery spread with the garlic powder. Heat this mixture for 30 seconds in the microwave, then brush a light coating over the top of each biscuit.

makes 12 biscuits
112 calories 3 g fat each

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Taco Soup

This is too easy. However it is like tacos when you are out of some of the ingredients and you get to eat it with tortilla chips, or in our family Fritos. And any meal that calls for Fritos is going to be pretty popular.

3/4 lbs. ground beef, brown and drain off the fat
1 small brown onion
1 packet taco seasoning
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
1 can corn

Saute the onion and add back the drained meat and the cans. Do not drain the cans, just dump. Add the seasoning and then enough water just to cover everything. Bring to a boil and then simmer for thirty minutes.

You can also add any leftover veggies that you might have. Chop as fine as you need to to sneak it in if the kids don't like it. You can also add any other leftover Mexican sauces or salsa that might be laying around.

Now for the good stuff. Serve the soup in a bowl and have the following on hand to sprinkle on the soup: shredded cheese, sour cream, olives, green onions, green peppers. Use Fritos to either sprinkle or dip into soup. You can use any tortilla chips, but Fritos Scoops are the best ... and favorite.