Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Stormy Weather

Tonight my friend Ali came over for dinner, and luckily she blew in just before the storm! This is crazy Indiana, so if you don't like the weather, just wait 10 minutes. At 7pm when we started eating dinner it was dry and 50 degrees. Before we even got to dessert we had a tornado warning, it was pouring, and the temperature was plummeting! Luckily we never lost power and we had a fun dinner, including 3 recipes below.

Brushetta n' Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

4 servings

1 can (14-1/2 oz.) Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
1-1/4 cups Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese, divided
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 pkg. (6 oz.) Stove Top Stuffing Mix for Chicken
4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/3 cup Kraft Roasted Red Pepper Italian with Parmesan Dressing

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine tomatoes, 1/2 cup of the cheese, the basil and dry stuffing mix; stir just until moistened.
Place 2 chicken breast halves in large freezer-weight resealable plastic bag. Pound chicken with meat mallet or side of heavy can until chicken is 1/4 inch thick. Repeat with remaining chicken, adding two at a time to bag. Place chicken, top-sides down, on cutting board; spread evenly with stuffing mixture. Starting at one of the narrow ends, tightly roll up chicken. Place, seam-sides down, in 13x9-inch baking dish. Drizzle evenly with dressing. Bake any remaining stuffing mixture on the sides of the chicken if desired.

Calories 280 Total fat 8 g Saturated fat 3 g Cholesterol 80 mg Sodium 880 mg Carbohydrate 20 g Dietary fiber 1 g Sugars 5 g Protein 32 g Vitamin A 10 %DV Vitamin C 15 %DV Calcium 15 %DV Iron 10 %DV

recipe adapted from Kraftfoods.com

Sauteed Spinach with Garlic and Bacon

4 servings

1/4 cup Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups packed baby spinach leaves
2 Tbsp. Real Bacon Bits

Heat dressing in large deep skillet or Dutch oven on medium heat. Add garlic; cook and stir 1 minute or until tender.
Add spinach; cover. Cook an additional 4 to 6 minutes or until spinach is wilted, stirring after 3 minutes.
Sprinkle with bacon bits.

Calories 80 Total fat 5 g Saturated fat 1 g Cholesterol 5 mg Sodium 480 mg Carbohydrate 6 g Dietary fiber 3 g Sugars 1 g Protein 5 g Vitamin A 150 %DV Vitamin C 25 %DV Calcium 10 %DV Iron 20 %DV

recipe adapted from Kraftfoods.com

Crista's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 2 dozen large cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup Crisco baking stick
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Beat crisco, sugars, and vanilla in a large bowl until creamy, adding eggs one at a time. Gradually beat in the dry mixture. Stir in morsels by hand. Use a standard size ice cream scoop to measure out the cookies on to ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes until sides become golden brown.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Winding down from a nice weekend

This weekend has been nice and quiet...for me anyway. Scott did have to get up around 5am on Saturday because his wrestling team started sectionals. It was a very long day for him, so I wanted to make him a nice dinner to come home to on Saturday night. I was inspired by a recipe I saw on Bobby Flay's Throwdown last week on the Food Network, and it got rave reviews from a very tired and hungry boyfriend.

Grandma Maroni's Meatballs

1 pound ground chuck
4 ounces dried bread crumbs
4 large eggs
4 ounces whole milk
6 ounces grated Romano
3 ounces grated Spanish onion
2 ounces finely diced fresh garlic
2 ounces finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
2 ounces finely chopped fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray.
Mix all ingredients thoroughly in large bowl. If mixture seems a little loose add more bread crumbs. Roll meatballs loosely about the size of a golf ball and place on baking sheet. Place into preheated oven for approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Enjoy!

Grandma Maroni's Sauce

6 ounces good olive oil, not extra-virgin
12 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 large or 2 medium Spanish onions, finely diced
2 (28-ounce) cans imported crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white or black pepper
1 large handful julienned fresh basil leaves

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add oil. Once heated add the finely sliced garlic and onions to the pan. Cook over medium heat until soft and slightly brown. Next add the canned crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper and stir. Allow the sauce to come to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the julienned basil.

recipes from Foodtv.com

I served the meatballs and sauce over spaghetti along side some good ol' cheesy texas toast garlic bread and a nice bottle of Chianti. I of course made dessert, but I'll have to give Mrs. Smith all of the credit on that one!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cheesy, just like me!

Nothing exciting to report here, except that it is really freaking cold outside. This healthy vegetable packed dinner warmed us up!

Cheesy Chicken, Vegetables, and Noodles

(6 huge portions, I'm guessing more like 8)
4 cups egg noodles, uncooked
1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/4 cup Light Italian Reduced Fat Dressing
3-1/2 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 large red pepper, cut into strips
1 yellow squash, sliced
12 oz. Velveeta Made With 2% Milk Reduced Fat Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product, cut up
3 Tbsp. fat-free milk

Cook pasta as directed on package.
Meanwhile, cook chicken in dressing in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat 5 to 7 min. or until chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally. Add vegetables; stir. Reduce heat to medium; cover. Simmer 5 min. or until vegetables are crisp-tender.
Meanwhile, place Velveeta in small microwaveable bowl. Add milk. Microwave on high 2 to 3 min. or until Velvetta is melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after 1-1/2 min. Add to chicken mixture, add drained noodles, and mix lightly.

Calories 320 Total fat 8 g Saturated fat 3 g Cholesterol 100 mg Sodium 660 mg Carbohydrate 28 g Dietary fiber 3 g Sugars 6 g Protein 35 g Vitamin A 50 %DV Vitamin C 80 %DV Calcium 20 %DV Iron 15 %DV

recipe adapted from Kraftfoods.com

Monday, January 21, 2008

Slowly but surely, I'm getting him trained.

My boyfriend Scott is a great guy, no questioning that. However he isn't a big planner. I'm a total planner, and on a personality trait test our HR department had us take, my #1 trait out of 34 was "Futuristic," meaning I like to (and most importantly) have to plan ahead.

On Sundays, I plan out our menu for the week and hit the grocery. I always involve Scott when planning so I know what nights we'll be home and what nights he has a wrestling meet, ect. This week we discussed how we would both be home late on Monday night and he said, and I quote:

"Since we are both going to be home late on Monday, we should do something in the crock pot."

I could not have been prouder...and dinner couldn't have been tastier.

Saucy Swiss Steak in the Slow Cooker

(4 Servings)
1/4 cup Italian Dressing
1 boneless chuck blade or shoulder steak (1 lb.), cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup beef broth
1 cup chopped green peppers (about 1 medium)
1/2 cup shredded Swiss Cheese

Heat the dressing in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Meanwhile, coat steaks evenly with flour; gently shake off excess flour. Add to skillet; cook 2 to 3 min. on each side or until each steak is browned on both sides. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm.
Combine the tomato paste, tomatoes and broth in slow cooker. Add steaks and peppers; cover with lid. Cook on high 3 to 4 hours. (I did low for 8.)
Sprinkle with cheese just before serving.

Nutrition per serving: Calories 270 Total fat 12 g Saturated fat 4.5 g Cholesterol 60 mg Sodium 700 mg Carbohydrate 17 g Dietary fiber 3 g Sugars 5 g Protein 23 g Vitamin A 20 %DV Vitamin C 40 %DV Calcium 15 %DV Iron 20 %DV

recipe adapted from Kraftfoods.com

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Maiden Voyage

Here is my first post...I sit here with all this blank white space not knowing exactly what to say. I don't really know what kind of blog this will become. I'm guessing as it takes on a life of its own it will include many things. Perhaps I'll include recipes...reviews of movies...thoughts on life...

Today we went and saw the new National Treasure movie. It wasn't bad. It did make me feel bad about how little I know about American History. Sure, I learned all the stuff they start putting in front of you in text books in school, but how much of that is really true. Now, I'm not saying that this movie is accurate and that I learned anything new from it, but it did make me stop and think that there are people out there that find places like the Library of Congress very facinating. I wish I could say I did, but I really have no desire to go there. Does that make me a bad American?

I do however enjoy a good conspiracy theory, so I think I'll buy this book I've been wanting: Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong. At least this way I'll get a refresher on all the stuff I learned in History class, plus maybe I'll learn the real story.