Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fishy Wishy

I feel like all we eat sometimes is chicken. And while chicken is good, there is only so much you can do with it. So tonight I thought I'd try a new fish recipe. It was really good, and you could make the recipe with any kind of white fish, and adjust the seasoning to your favorite herbs.

Flounder Baked in Sour Cream

1 pound of flounder fillets
1 Tablespoon and 2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 Tablespoon paprika
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a flat 2 quart casserole with the 1 Tablespoon butter. Arrange the flounder in the casserole. Mix the remaining ingredients (except butter) together with the sour cream and spread over the fish. Dot with the remaining butter. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Source: Stellastyle.com

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Breakfast Quesadillas

This recipe was so easy to make, almost everything came out of the freezer. I had chopped onions, chopped peppers, flour tortillas, and breafast sausage patties all frozen in the freezer. The only other things I needed were eggs & cheese! I threw this together this morning because neither of us felt like going out for breakfast. They were great!

Breakfast Quesadillas

1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup diece green pepper
4 large eggs
2 sausage patties, (pre-cooked and chopped)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 large flour tortillas
olive oil

Sautee onions and peppers over medium high heat until soft. Add sausage. Whisk 4 eggs together and add to skillet. Cook until eggs are done.Heat another skillet over medium high heat and spray with cooking spray. Add a tortilla and fill one side with egg mixture and top with shredded cheese, then fold. Cook on both sides for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is browned.serve with salsa and sour cream if desired.

Veggie "No Mac" and Cheese

So this pretty much defeats the healthiness of the veggies, but boy is it good! Plus it satisfies the macaroni & cheese cravings with little carbs!

Veggie "Mac" and Cheese Casserole

Kosher salt, as needed, plus 1/2 teaspoon
2 cups cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 cups broccoli, cut into small florets
Vegetable oil spray 1 cup heavy cream
2 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar, plus 1/2 cup for topping the casserole
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season the water with salt.
Spray the baking dish with vegetable oil spray.
Cook the cauliflower in the boiling water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well and pat between several layers of paper towels to dry. Transfer the cauliflower to an 8x8 baking dish and set aside.
Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan, and whisk in the cream cheese and mustard until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese, salt, pepper and garlic and whisk just until the cheese melts, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat, pour over the cauliflower, and stir to combine. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake until browned and bubbly hot, about 15 minutes. Serve.

Source: Adapted from foodtv.com

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Easy & Cheesy

Here is another easy fast and flavorful recipe using similar ingredients as the one below. It is a great way to work veggies into your meal.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus a few whole leaves for garnish
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 dashes cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup julienned green bell pepper
2 tablespoons diced red onion
1 medium plum tomato, cored and diced (about 1/4 cup)
4 ounces shredded Colby-Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Whisk together the oil, chopped cilantro, cumin, salt, garlic, pepper, and cayenne in a bowl; add the chicken and toss to coat.

Transfer chicken to a foil-lined baking sheet and arrange the green pepper, onion, and tomato over each. Roast until the largest piece is just cooked through, and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 165 degrees F, about 20 minutes.

Remove the chicken from oven and immediately top with the cheese and serve as the cheese melts. Transfer the chicken to a platter or among plates and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.
Source: Adapted from Foodtv.com

Make yourself a Quesadilla!

This week I went searching for recipes that use similar ingredients, to minimize the groceries and likely hood of throwing out left over food. So here is one of the dishes I made and they were very tasty. Stay tuned for more recipes using similar items!

Fajita Quesadillas

3 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, julienned
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 green bell pepper, julienned
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
8 ounces Colby Jack cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons sliced green onions

In a large saute pan, heat oil over high heat. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, chili powder, cayenne, cumin, and garlic, and add to the hot oil. Next add the peppers and onions. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked thoroughly.

Melt butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add quesadillas and cook for about 2 minutes on each side until toasty and the cheese is melted. Garnish with cilantro and scallions, and serve with salsa and sour cream, if desired.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Mucho Yummy!

I've been trying to cut back on the carbs lately, but sometimes that makes for a pretty boring diet. Not anymore! This is probably the most creative low carb dish I've ever made, and it was awesome. I didn't miss carbs at all! Even if you are eating carbs, you should try this dish anyway, it was delicious!

Low Carb Taco Bake


4 ounces cream cheese, softened 3 eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon taco seasoning
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded


1 lb ground beef
3 teaspoons taco seasoning
1/4 cup tomato sauce
4 ounces chopped green chilies
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

For the crust, beat the cream cheese and eggs until smooth. Add the cream and seasoning. Grease a 9"x13" baking dish; spread the cheese over the bottom. Pour in the egg mixture as evenly as possible.

Bake at 375ºF, 25-30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before adding the topping.

For the topping, brown the hamburger; drain fat. Stir in the seasoning, tomato sauce and chilies. Spread over the crust. Top with cheese. Reduce oven to 350ºF and bake another 20 minutes or so until hot and bubbly. Serve with the toppings of your choice (add additional carbs).

Source: Recipezaar.com

Spinach & Blue Cheese Stuffed Chicken

I found this recipe on Cooking Light, but adapted it a little at the end by adding sour cream. It was very good. The blue cheese was very mild, I might add a little more next time.

Spinach & Blue Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

1 teaspoon vegetable oil, divided
1 1/4 cups finely chopped onion, divided
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 (4-ounce) skinned, boned chicken breast halves 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup low-salt chicken broth
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup sour cream

Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup onion; sauté 6 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Add spinach, and sauté 3 minutes. Combine spinach mixture, cheese and 1 teaspoon mustard in a small bowl. Stir well; set aside. Wipe pan dry with a paper towel.

Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each chicken breast half to form a pocket. Stuff about 2 tablespoons spinach mixture into each pocket. Sprinkle chicken with pepper.

Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; sauté 6 minutes on each side or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from skillet. Set aside, and keep warm. Add 1 cup onion to pan, and sauté 5 minutes. Add wine and thyme; cook 3 minutes or until reduced by half. Add broth and 2 tablespoons mustard; cook 4 minutes or until slightly thick, add 1/4 cup of sour cream, stirring occasionally. Return chicken to skillet; cover and simmer 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve sauce with chicken.

Source: Adapted from Cooking Light

Souper Cheezy!

This soup was awesome! Perfect for a cool fall day. I'm sure to be making more pots of this soon.

Loaded Broccoli Cheddar Soup

1/2 cup diced onions
5 cups frozen broccoli
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream
12 oz shredded cheddar cheese
2 oz cream cheese
2 TBS butter
salt & pepper to taste
12 oz chicken breasts
2-3 tsp corn starch

Combine all ingredients (except chicken & corn starch) in a pot and cook over medium heat.

Meanwhile, dice and cook the chicken. Add cooked chicken to pot and bring to a boil. Mix corn starch in a few tsp. of water, then add to the pot and allow soup to thicken.

Top with additional sour cream, shredded cheese, and bacon bits if desired.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Better Than B-dubs! (BW3's)

As you can see from my blog, I love salads for dinner! I also love spicy foods, so Buffalo wings are also one of my favorites. Throw the two together and you've got a great spicy salad. You can put out the fire with some semi-homemade Ranch dressing of course!

Crista's Crispy Buffalo Chicken Salad

1 Chicken Breast, cut into strips
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg, beaten
salt & pepper
Vegetable oil
1/4 cup Frank's Red Hot
1/4 cup melted butter
Salad Mix
Grape Tomatoes
Shredded Cheese
Ranch Dressing

Season chicken strips with salt and pepper. Combine flour with garlic and cayenne pepper. Dredge strips in flour and shake off excess. Next, toss chicken strips in the beaten egg, and then coat a second time with the flour mixture. Pan fry in a skillet over medium high heat in vegetable oil until browned on both sides.

Combine Frank's Red Hot and melted butter. Toss chicken strips in the hot sauce mixture and serve over a salad of lettuce, grape tomatoes, and shredded cheese.


Ask any Indiana University grad what the best night time study food is, and I bet 75% would answer cheese stix from either Mad Mushroom or Pizza Express. I'm torn, they were both delicious!

I thought I'd make my own and see how they came out. Oh, and of course dip them in Ranch! :)

Crista's Cheezy Stix
Pillsbury Thin Pizza Crust
Olive Oil (I used Zesty Italian Flavored)
Shredded Cheese (I used Colby Jack)
Roll out dough on a cookie sheet. Brush with oil. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake as directed on the pizza crust tube.

Toppings Galore!

I love Cobb Salads. Especially Cobb Salads with Ranch Dressing! And since I have a huge container of freshly made Ranch, I'll surely be posting recipes that will allow you to use it all up!

Here is my version of a Cobb Salad, with all my favorite toppings. Feel free to make substitutions. It is a great way to use up veggies and cheeses from your fridge!

Crista's Cobb Salad
Blue Cheese crumbles
Diced tomatoes
Grilled chicken strips
Diced red onion
Bacon pieces
Shredded Colby jack cheese
Hard boiled eggs
*Ranch Dressing of course!*

The 5th Food Group....Ranch Dressing

I believe in the following theory:

Anything can be improved upon if it is covered in or dipped in Ranch dressing.

But not the nasty bottled stuff! You must make your own to achieve a Ranch euphoria! :)

Here is a doctored up version of the recipe you will find on a packet of dry Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix.

Crista's Better Than the Bottle Ranch Dressing

1 packet dry ranch dressing mix (Hidden Valley)
1 cup light mayo
1 cup light sour cream
1 cup skim milk
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Mix all ingredients together and store in the fridge for a few hours. Enjoy!