Wednesday, October 27, 2010

You'll Go Bananas for this Monkey Bread


Do you love the taste of cinnamon rolls, but don't enjoy all the work that goes into making them from scratch? If you answered yes, then I have a recipe for you! This monkey bread is so easy you might even decide that you like it better than homemade cinnamon rolls. It is pretty too when baked in a bundt pan.
Do you have a super easy breakfast bread recipe? Please comment and share! I would love to hear about your recipe.

Grands Monkey Bread

1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cans (16.3 oz. each) Pillsbury® Grands!® Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, if desired
1/2 cup raisins, if desired
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted


Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 12-cup fluted tube pan with shortening or cooking spray. In large food-storage plastic bag, mix sugar and cinnamon.
Separate dough into 16 biscuits; cut each into quarters. Shake in bag to coat. Arrange in pan, adding walnuts and raisins among the biscuit pieces.
In small bowl, mix brown sugar and butter; pour over biscuit pieces.
Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until golden brown and no longer doughy in center. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn upside down onto serving plate; pull apart to serve. Serve warm.

Nutrition Information:
1 Serving: Calories 450 (Calories from Fat 200); Total Fat 22g (Saturated Fat 11g, Trans Fat 4.5g, Polyunsaturated Fat 0g); Cholesterol 30mg; Sodium 890mg; Potassium 170mg; Total Carbohydrate 58g (Dietary Fiber 0g, Soluble Fiber 0g, Insoluble Fiber 0g, Sugars 31g); Protein 5g

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mexican Dip

I apologize that I haven't been consistently posting recipes lately. I am currently taking four accelerated college classes, so I have been a little busy. My write ups will probably be short and sweet until two of my classes end on November 7.

I am excited to share this yummy Mexican Dip recipe with you! I got this from a good friend when we lived in Meridian, MS. She now lives in Texas, and I am in Italy, but thanks to Facebook we can still keep in touch. I am so thankful for the friends all over the world that the Lord has brought into my life. Each new friend makes my life so much richer, and I am truly grateful!

Mexican Dip

2 pkg. 8 oz. cream cheese (I use 1/3 less fat)
¾ cup mayo (I use light)
3 T. taco seasoning
2 green onions, sliced (set aside 2 T. for topping)
1 cup diced red bell pepper
¾ cup salsa
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can whole kernel corn, drained

Combine cream cheese, mayo, and seasoning until smooth. Set about 1 cup aside, spread the rest on bottom of serving dish and about ½ way up sides. Slice green onions and set aside 2 T. for top. Combine green onion, red bell pepper, salsa, garlic, beans, and corn. Spread ½ of salsa mixture over cream cheese layer. Repeat both layers. Sprinkle 2 T. green onions on top.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bourbon Chicken

My family LOVES this Chinese inspired dish!! I have to double it whenever I cook it. It is super simple to make, so I love it too!
It calls for 3/4 tsp crushed red pepper and is pretty spicy. The first time I made it, Collin took a drink after every bite! lol! Now, I half the amount of red pepper. It still has a slight kick to it, but it is definitely not too hot.  

Bourbon Chicken
Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 35 mins

2 lbs boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1-2 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ginger
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (I half the amount of pepper)
1/4 cup apple juice
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup gluten free soy sauce

1. Heat oil in a large skillet.
2. Add chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned.
3. Remove chicken.
4. Add remaining ingredients, heating over medium heat until well mixed and dissolved.
5. Add chicken and bring to a hard boil.
6. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
7. Serve over hot rice and ENJOY.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

I love pesto! It is really easy to make and so nice to have on hand. It is great as a spread for bread or crackers for a quick appetizer, or tossed with pasta for a quick, simple, and delicious dish.

Pesto is typically made using fresh basil, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and olive oil. However, there are many variations. I tried this recipe for Sundried Tomato Pesto a few weeks ago and loved it!

It is helpful if you have a food processer when making pesto.  I don't have a food processor, so used the chopper blade on my blender.  It worked just fine.

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto
Adapted from At Home with Magnolia by Sara at
Yield: About 1 Cup

• 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
• 1/2 cup toasted whole almonds
• 4 garlic cloves
• 1 tsp lemon zest
• 1/4 tsp coarse salt
• 1 generous cup packed cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil
• 1/4 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
• 1 cup olive oil

1. Drain your sun dried tomatoes, lightly rinse them, and then pat them dry with a paper towel.
2. Toast your almonds in a dry shallow pan. They will take about 10 minutes, and you will smell when they are done.
3. In a large food processor, combine the basil, toasted almonds, garlic, lemon zest, and salt. Process until coarsely chopped.
4. Add the sun dried tomatoes and parmigianno cheese and process until the tomatoes are coarsely chopped.
5. Now stream in the olive oil slowly and process until the pesto comes together.
6. Serve immediately or store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 6 weeks.

Buon Appetito!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Eggs Florentine Casserole ~ Tastes Like Christmas

Is there a food that you associate with Christmas? You know what I mean. Whenever you eat a particular cookie or candy recipe, your grandmother's special cake, or your Aunt Trudy's Peanut Brittle it reminds you of Christmas. A couple of weeks ago my sister asked me for the recipe for this Egg Florentine Casserole. I had just been thinking about it when she asked me for it. So I decided, that was a sign that I needed to make it and share it with you too! I realized when I took the first bite that it tasted like Christmas! I have been making this breakfast casserole recipe every Christmas morning for about the past 7 years. I probably haven't made it since last Christmas and was surprised how it triggered Christmas memories.

Traditions are so important. It gives children a sense of belonging and security. It is something they can pass down to their families or simply tell their children about. Maybe you don't have children or your children are grown. Perhaps you live alone. Whatever your current life situation, I would encourage you to continue or even start Christmas traditions. It makes the holidays really special. I know it is early to be talking about Christmas, but it will be here before we know it. Besides, it is never too early to plan.

I would love to hear about your Christmas breakfast traditions! Is there a particular food that you serve on Christmas morning? Please share!

Eggs Florentine Casserole
 Florentine usually means that the recipe includes spinach.

10-oz package frozen chopped spinach
1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1 pound ground pork sausage
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
6 green onions (about a cup), chopped
2 T butter, melted
12 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup shredded swiss cheese
1/4 tsp paprika

Cook spinach according to pkg directions, drain well. Sprinkle cheddar cheese in bottom of lightly greased 9x13 baking dish, spread spinach over cheese. Brown, crumble, and drain sausage; spread over spinach.

Saute mushrooms and green onions in butter until tender; spread over sausage.
Combine eggs and whipping cream, beating with wire whisk until blended. Pour egg mixture of vegetable mixture. Top with cheese and sprinkle with paprika .

Bake uncovered at 350 for 40 minutes or until set.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Figure Friendly Chicken Parmesan

Parmigiana originated in Southern Italy. It is a baked dish made with fried eggplant layered with cheese. Variations, such as Chicken Parmigiana or Chicken Parmesan, were developed in other countries where there were large numbers of Italian immigrants.

This recipe is a healthy version of Chicken Parmesan. You don't have to feel guilty when you indulge in this delicious dish. To make this dish even more figure friendly, I use whole wheat noodles. They are a little darker than regular noodles, but I cannot tell a difference in the taste. I really like that each serving is baked in separate dishes. It makes for a nice presentation.

Chicken Parmesan
from: The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook

 Yield 4 servings

4 (4 ounces) skinned, boned chicken breast halves
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
2 tsp. olive oil
4 cups hot cooked spaghetti (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta)
3 cups Ultimate Quick-and-Easy Pasta Sauce
1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded mozzarella cheese
Chopped fresh basil (optional)


1. Place chicken between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; flatten to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin.

2. Combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge 1 chicken breast half in flour. Dip chicken breast in egg whites;dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken, flour, egg whites, and breadcrumb mixture.
3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, and cook 5 minutes on each side or until done

4. Preheat broiler.

5. Place 1 cup spaghetti in each of 4 gratin dishes. Spoon 1/2 cup Ultimate Quick-and Easy Pasta sauce over each serving. Top each with 1 chicken breast half. Spoon 1/4 cup sauce over each serving. Sprinkle each serving with 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese. Place gratin dishes on baking sheet; broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts Garnish with basil, if desired.

CALORIES 614 (19% from fat); FAT 12.8g (sat 5g, mono 4.8g, poly 1.5g); PROTEIN 49.1g; CARB 74.8g; FIBER 5.4g; CHOL 86mg; IRON 6.1mg; SODIUM 937mg; CALC 375mg

Ultimate Quick-and- Easy Pasta Sauce
You can substitute crushed or whole tomatoes for the diced. Crushed will give you a smooth, thick sauce; whole add a nice chunkiness. Serve this sauce with your favorite pasta.

1 tsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry red wine or 2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. sugar
1 T. chopped fresh or 2 tsp. dried basil
2 T. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/4 black pepper
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
2 T. chopped fresh parsley

1. Heat oil in a saucepan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 5 minutes. Stir in wine and next 6 ingredients, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, uncovered, about 15 minutes. Stir in parsley. Yield: 3 cups (serving size 1 cup).

calories 126
fat 2.3 grams