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Watermelon cutting

September 27, 2014

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I love cutting a watermelon like this.  It is so fast and easy and makes for great finger food.

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1.  Cut watermelon in half

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2. Turn watermelon over and cut in 1 inch slices.

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3. Turn and cut in 1 inch slices in the other direction.

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VIOLA!!!  Watermelon finger food !!!

 

Farfalle with Chicken and Mushrooms

August 3, 2014

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 This is a delicious pasta dish with chicken and mushrooms.  The sun-dried tomatoes and prosciutto ham give it an incredible flavor!

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NOTE:  I doubled this recipe  – so the pictures below show twice the ingredients.  Ingredients stated is for a single recipe.

Prepare all ingredients ahead of time so they are ready to add when stated.

Cook and slice chicken, boil pasta, slice sun-dried tomatoes, slice mushrooms, dice prosciutto ham, measure all other ingredients.

1/2 pound Farfalle – (which is the fancy name for bow tie pasta) boiled to al dente (about 11 – 12 minutes), drained

6 T. butter

3 T. flour

1  – 14.5 oz. can 99% fat free chicken broth

1/2 cup half-and-half

1  1/4 cups grated parmesan cheese

2 chicken breasts, cooked and sliced or cubed

8 oz. mushrooms, sliced

1/3 cup  sun-dried tomatoe brochette  

1  1/2 oz. prosciutto ham

1/4  tsp.  seasoned salt

1/4 tsp. garlic granules

1/4 tsp. pepper

3 T. shredded Parmesan cheese for topping

 

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I cut the chicken breasts in half  lengthwise and cooked them in a non-stick frying pan (no oil added).  I seasoned them with pepper and garlic granules.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

6 T. butter

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat.

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3 T. flour

Whisk in flour to make a rue.

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1  – 14.5 oz. can 99% fat free chicken broth

Gradually stir in chicken broth.  Heat and simmer for a few minutes to thicken.  Remove from heat.

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1  1/4 cups grated parmesan cheese

Stir in parmesan cheese.

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1/2 cup half-and-half

Stir in half-and-half.

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1/4  tsp.  seasoned salt

1/4 tsp. garlic granules

1/4 tsp. pepper

Stir in seasonings.

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1/3 cup  sun-dried tomatoes brochetta

Note:  The original recipe called for  1/2 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and cut into thin strips, which is shown in the picture.  By mistake, the second time I made this, I bought sun-dried tomato bruchetta.  It gave it such a great flavor – now I buy this all the time.  It is quite oily so I blot it with a paper towel to absorb some of the oil.

Stir in tomatoes.

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8 oz. mushrooms, sliced

Stir in mushrooms.

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1  1/2 oz. prosciutto ham

Stir in prosciutto ham.

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1/2 pound Farfalle – (which is the fancy name for bow tie pasta) –  boiled to al dente (about 11 – 12 minutes), drained

Add pasta a little at a time, stirring after each add in.

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2 chicken breasts, cooked and sliced or cubed

Carefully stir in chicken.

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Spoon into a 9 x 13 baking dish.

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Sprinkle with 3 T.  parmesan cheese.

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Bake, uncovered, about 30 minutes or until hot in the center.

THIS RECIPE FREEZES VERY WELL.

WEIGHT WATCHERS:  8 servings: 9 PointsPlus per serving         6 servings: 12 Points Plus per serving

FULL RECIPE WITHOUT PICTURES —

FARFALLE with CHICKEN and MUSHROOMS

1/2 pound Farfalle – (which is the fancy name for bow tie pasta) boiled to al dente (about 11 – 12 minutes), drained

6 T. butter

3 T. flour

1  – 14.5 oz. can 99% fat free chicken broth

1  1/4 cups grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup half-and-half

1/4  tsp.  seasoned salt

1/4 tsp. garlic granules

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/3 cup  sun-dried tomatoes brochetta

Note:  The original recipe called for  1/2 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and cut into thin strips, which is shown in the picture.  By mistake, the second time I made this, I bought sun-dried tomato bruchetta.  It gave it such a great flavor – now I buy this all the time.  It is quite oily so I blot it with a paper towel to absorb some of the oil.

8 oz. mushrooms, sliced

1  1/2 oz. prosciutto ham

2 chicken breasts, cooked and sliced or cubed

3 T. shredded Parmesan cheese for topping

Prepare all ingredients as stated above.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat.

Whisk in flour.

Gradually stir in chicken broth.  Heat and simmer for a few minutes.  Remove from heat.

Stir in parmesan cheese.

Stir in half-and-half.

Stir in seasonings

Stir in tomatoes.

Stir in mushrooms.

Stir in procuiutto ham.

Add pasta a little at a time, stirring after each add in.

Carefully stir in chicken.

Spoon into a 9 x 13 baking dish.

Sprinkle with 3 T.  parmesan cheese.

Bake, uncovered, about 30 minutes or until hot in the center.

 

WEIGHT WATCHERS:  8 servings: 9 PointsPlus per serving         6 servings: 12 Points Plus per serving

 

 

 

Cheesecake

August 3, 2014

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This is the recipe that the Cheesecake Factory uses for their famous mouth watering cheesecake.  It does take time to let the ingredients come to room temperature, takes 2 hours and 15 minutes to bake, and tastes better if you give it time to season……BUT….it is totally worth the wait!!!

This cheesecake is topped with the Strawberry Topping found in this blog under the Fruit tab.

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CRUST:

1  1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 1/2 sheets)

Crush graham crackers in a zip lock bag.  Using a heavy mug helps.

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1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Combine the graham cracker crumbs and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

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1/3 cup butter, melted

Mix in the melted butter with a fork.

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Line a 9-inch spring form pan with parchment paper.

I had a hard time getting the parchment paper to stay, so I used some clips around the edge.

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Press the crumbs into a 9-inch spring form pan that has been lined on the bottom and sides with parchment paper.

Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan and up the sides and inch or two.

Put the crust in the freezer while you are preparing the filling.

FILLING:

All the filling ingredients should be at room temperature.  This takes several hours.  

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

1  1/2 pounds cream cheese (3 large packages)

Beat the cream cheese on low speed until light and fluffy.  Keep the mixer on low the entire time.

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1  1/3 cups sugar

Add the sugar a little at a time and continue beating until creamy.

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5 large eggs

Add one egg at a time and beat after each egg.

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1/4 cup flour

2 tsp. vanilla

2 tsp. lemon juice

Add flour,vanilla and lemon juice, mix well.

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16 oz. sour cream

Add cream cheese and beat well.

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Pour cream cheese mixture into the spring form pan.

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Place on the top rack in the middle of the oven.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

When the time is up, turn the oven off, prop open the oven door and leave cheesecake in the oven for one hour.

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Remove from oven and let cool – then refrigerate for 24 hours.

IMPORTANT TIP:   A cheesecake should season.  The wait is worth it.  The flavors ripen and become enriched.

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FULL RECIPE WITHOUT PICTURES —

CRUST:

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 1/2 sheets)

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/3 cup butter, melted

Combine the graham cracker crumbs and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

Mix in the melted butter with a fork.

Press the crumbs into a 9-inch spring form pan that has been lined on the bottom and sides with parchment paper.

Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan and up the sides and inch or two.

Put the crust in the freezer while you are preparing the filling.

FILLING:

1  1/2 pounds cream cheese (3 large packages)

1  1/3 cups sugar

5 large eggs

16 oz. sour cream

1/4 cup flour

2 tsp. vanilla

2 tsp. lemon juice

All the filling ingredients should be at room temperature.  This takes several hours.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Beat the cream cheese on low speed until light and fluffy.  Keep the mixer on low the entire time.

Add the sugar a little at a time and continue beating until creamy.

Add one egg at a time and beat after each egg.

Add flour,vanilla and lemon juice, mix well.

Add cream cheese and beat well.

Pour cream cheese mixture into the spring form pan.

Place on the top rack in the middle of the oven.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

When the time is up, turn the oven off, prop open the oven door and leave cheesecake in the oven for one hour.

Remove from oven and let cool – then refrigerate for 24 hours.

IMPORTANT TIP:   A cheesecake should season.  The wait is worth it.  The flavors ripen and become enriched.

Strawberry Topping

August 3, 2014

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This is a simple deliciously strawberry topping that can be used for cheesecake or ice cream. 

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2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries

If using fresh strawberries, wash and remove stems.

Place strawberries in a saucepan and smash them up a bit.

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

Add sugar and vanilla.

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Cook over medium/high heat, stirring occasionally.

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Cook until sauce thickens – about 10 – 15 minutes.

Remove from heat.

Cool.

Tastes delicious over Cheesecake!!!

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FULL RECIPE WITH PICTURES —

STRAWBERRY TOPPING

2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

If using fresh strawberries, wash and remove stems.

Place strawberries in a saucepan and smash them up a bit.

Add sugar.

Add vanilla.

Cook over medium/high heat, stirring occasionally.

Cook until sauce thickens – about 10 – 15 minutes.

Remove from heat.

Cool.

Parmesan Knots

August 3, 2014

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These Parmesan Knots can be made quickly since they are made with Refrigerated Biscuits.

Great side to any meal!!

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1 tube (12 oz.) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (I used Pillsbury Golden Layers Refrigerated Buttermilk Biscuits)

Roll each biscuit into a rope (about 9″).

Tie into a knot, tucking ends under.

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Place on a greased baking sheet.

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Bake at 400 degrees for 9 – 10 minutes or until golden brown.

1 T. butter, melted

Remove from oven and brush with butter.

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parmesan cheese (the kind in the green can)

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

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garlic granules

Sprinkle with garlic granules.

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parsley flakes

Sprinkle with parsley flakes.

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Cool on a wire rack.

WEIGHT WATCHERS:  3 PointsPlus per roll

 

FULL RECIPE WITHOUT PICTURES —

PARMESAN KNOTS

1 tube (12 oz.) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (I used Pillsbury Golden Layers Refrigerated Buttermilk Biscuits)

1 T. butter, melted

parmesan cheese (the kind in the green can)

garlic granules

parsley flakes

Roll each biscuit into a rope (about 9″).

Tie into a knot, tucking ends under.

Place on a greased baking sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees for 9 – 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from oven and brush with butter.

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Sprinkle with garlic granules.

Sprinkle with parsley flakes.

Cool on a wire rack.

WEIGHT WATCHERS:  3 PointsPlus per roll

Coconut Crusted Seafood Fillet

August 3, 2014

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The coconut in this recipe gives the fish a light sweet taste.

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

non-stick spray

Place foil on a cookie sheet and spray with non-stick spray.

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1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs

5  Whole Wheat Ritz Crackers, crushed

1/4 tsp. garlic  granules, or to taste

1/4 tsp. seasoned salt, or to taste

1/4 tsp. pepper, or to taste

Combine coconut flakes, Italian bread crumbs , crackers and seasonings on a shallow plate.

1/3 cup liquid eggs – either whole eggs or white (doesn’t change the Weight Watcher points)

Put liquid eggs in another bowl.

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6 fillets of tilapia, halibut, sole or any other white fish

Dip the fish fillet in the egg, and then in the crumbs mixture.

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Place on the cookie sheet.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until fish is done.

WEIGHT WATCHERS:   About 7 PointsPlus per fillet (This is based on a 5 oz fish fillet).  The crumb mixture equals 9 PointsPlus.  Measure fish and add points accordingly.

 

FULL RECIPE WITHOUT PICTURES —

COCONUT CRUSTED SEAFOOD FILLETS

6 fillets of tilapia, halibut, sole or any other white fish

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs

5  Whole Wheat Ritz Crackers, crushed

1/4 tsp. garlic  granules, or to taste

1/4 tsp. seasoned salt, or to taste

1/4 tsp. pepper, or to taste

1/3 cup liquid eggs – either whole eggs or white (doesn’t change the Weight Watcher points)

non-stick spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place foil on a cookie sheet and spray with non-stick spray.

Combine coconut flakes, Italian bread crumbs , crackers and seasonings on a shallow plate.

Put liquid eggs in another bowl.

Dip the fish fillet in the egg, and then in the crumbs mixture.

Place on the cookie sheet.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until fish is done.

WEIGHT WATCHERS:   About 7 PointsPlus per fillet (This is based on a 5 oz fish fillet).  The crumb mixture equals 9 PointsPlus.  Measure fish and add points accordingly.

 

 

Campurritos (Breakfast Burritos)

July 22, 2014

 

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Making Campurritos is a fun and different meal to have while camping.  Besides, doesn’t everything taste better in the mountains!

Chelsie was a Happy Camper!!

These Campurritos were prepared a few days before going camping and put in the freezer.  We put them in the frig the night before to thaw out.  They made for a fantastic breakfast!! Quick and Easy with no mess!

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Sausage – Eggs – Steak – Peppers – Onions – Cheese – Hash  Browns – anything you like.

Prepare all ingredients at home and lay out in an assembly line.

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Have each person mix all the ingredients they want  in a bowl and mix them up.

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Fill tortillas.

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We added a slice of Anaheim chili on top! Yum!

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Fold up, tucking the sides in.

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Wrap in foil and mark.

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Campurritos can be put right on the grill or in a tin pan. (Easier to just put on the grill.)

Takes about 15 minutes or so to heat through. Turn from time to time so they don’t burn on one side.

Serve with taco sauce or salsa.

FREEZE AHEAD:  Campurritos can  be made ahead and frozen.  Take out and thaw the night before.