Thursday, August 31, 2017

Parmesan Garlic Cheeseburgers

My girls made these.  They were quick and easy and tasted great!
Parmesan Garlic Cheeseburgers

1 pound ground beef
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon dried minced onion
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
4 hamburger buns
Optional: extra Parmesan cheese for topping

In a medium bowl, combine beef, garlic, Parmesan cheese, minced onion, and Worcestershire sauce. Using your hands, mix until all ingredients are well-mixed.

Separate the beef mixture into 4 approximately equal portions.  Form into patties.

Grill burgers for 3-4 minutes per side, flipping once, until the internal temperature measures 160 degrees F with a meat thermometer.

If desired, lightly toast buns on the grill during last few minutes of cooking.

Top burgers with extra Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Salsa Verde Queso Dip

I made half this recipe for the football game.  It was simple and tasted great!
Salsa Verde Queso Dip

1 8 ounce cream cheese
2 cups or 1 16-ounce jar salsa verde(this is the green sauce)

Cut the cream cheese into pieces, and stir them together with salsa verde in a microwave-proof bowl.

Microwave for 3-4 minutes, stopping to whisk the mixture after each minute, until the cream cheese is melted and smooth. Serve warm.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Low Carb and Gluten Free General Tso’s Chicken Wings

I made these for football Saturday--but we ate them before the 8:00 Packer game.  I really liked these.  See my changes in bold.

Low Carb and Gluten Free General Tso’s Chicken Wings

3 lbs chicken wings Beth used a 4# bag

For the Sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
3 Tbl unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tsp white vinegar
3 Tbl wheat free soy sauce
1/4 cup water
3 Tbl granulated sugar substitute Beth used Spenda
1/2 tsp xanthan gum Beth used cornstarch--so it wasn't totally gluten free
1/4 cup scallions, chopped Beth used chopped onions
4 – 5 small dried chillies, chopped

Cut your wings through the joint if whole, to separate the wing from the drumette. Spread on a sheet pan and bake at 375 degrees (F) for about 45 minutes or until crunchy and golden brown.Beth cooked it at 400 degrees for  hour.

Meanwhile, combine all of the sauce ingredients into a small saucepan and whisk together until smooth. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 2 minutes until thickened. Remove from the heat. When the wings are fully cooked, toss in the sauce to coat. Put the wings back on the baking sheet and broil (carefully!) for about two minutes or until the sauce is bubbling. Serve with lots of napkins!

Approximate nutrition info per serving: 417 calories, 27g fat, 1.75g net carbs, 37g protein

Monday, August 28, 2017

Twix Bars--No Bake

I needed some 'baking' therapy last Friday and made this.  I crushed the nilla wafers and the original recipe said to use 1 c of sweetened condensed milk.  I used the whole can.  These are rich and decadent.  Cut them small!
Twix Bars – No Bake

For the Cookie Layer

11 oz. Box of mini nilla wafers or regular size, crushed in food processor
16 oz. bag of mini marshmallows
½ Cup Butter room temperature and cut into pieces

For the Caramel Layer

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar packed
4 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk

For the Chocolate Layer

2 cups MILK chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter room temperature

Cookie Layer

Place mini marshmallows and cut up slices of 1/2 cup of the butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for two minutes. Microwave for an additional 15 seconds at a time until butter is totally melted. Stir until you have a smooth mixture.

Pour in Nilla Wafer crumbs and stir until they are completely coated with marshmallow mixture. Butter a 9×13 baking dish and then pour the mixture into baking dish. Press it down evenly, making it as level and even on top as possible. Put it in the fridge to cool while you mix the caramel layer.

Caramel Layer

In a heavy 2 quart pan combine 1 cup of the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk. Bring it to a boil at just under medium heat stirring constantly. Boil for 5 minutes while continuing to stir preferably with a wooden spoon so as not to scorch your caramel. When five minutes are up, remove from heat and continue to stir/beat with a wooden spoon for an additional 3 minutes. Your sauce will start to thicken up.

Remove refrigerated cookie mixture from fridge and pour caramel sauce on top. Spread it evenly into the corners with a spatula. Place it back into the fridge to cool for at least 30 minutes.

Chocolate Layer

Place milk chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes. If not melted, microwave for an additional 30 seconds at a time until they are melted.

Stir in 2 Tablespoons of the butter until it melts and your chocolate is a good spreading consistency.

Remove the dish from the fridge and spread the chocolate sauce evenly on top making sure to spread it into the corners and as evenly as possible. Put the bars back in the fridge and cool for an additional 30 minutes to an hour. After they are nice and chilled, cut them into squares and serve!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Protein Balls

Kathleen made these this past week.  I just tasted one and really liked it.
Protein Balls

1/2-3/4 cup almond butter
1/8 cup honey
1 tablespoon almond milk or water
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 scoop protein power (we use Vega Protein and Greens, Vanilla flavor)
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons flaked coconut

Melt the almond butter and honey together for about 30 seconds. Add the oats, protein powder, and fruit. Splash in almond milk, if needed to keep it together.

This is a very versatile recipe! You can use chocolate protein powder with peanut butter or whatever sounds good to you!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Delicious Green Beans

These were excellent!  Try them and see!
Delicious Green Beans

1 lb. fresh green beans
3-4 cloves of garlic
2-3 tbsp. olive oil
2-3 cups of chicken broth
3-4 tbsp. butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in the pan and melt 3-4 tablespoons of butter over medium high heat. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add the green beans.

Stir them around and get them as flat as possible in the pan. Cook them until they turn bright green.
Add some salt and pepper and cook for a couple more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add enough chicken broth to cover them and stir.  Let it come to a rapid boil.

Cover and turn the heat to medium low, venting the pan so steam can escape. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until most of the chicken broth has cooked out. Serve warm.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Lemon Lime Marinated Chicken for the Grill

This chicken is so tender and delicious.  We all really liked it.

Lemon Lime Marinated Chicken for the Grill

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts Beth butterflied these
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed Beth used 1/4 c Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, pressed
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

Place chicken in a gallon size ziplock bag. MIx remaining ingredients and pour over chicken.
Seal bag and refrigerate 8 hours to overnight.

Remove chicken from bag and grill until done, 5 to 6 minutes on each side.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Low Carb Breakfast Casserole

This was easy too make and tastes great.  Heats up nicely for a quick breakfast.

Low Carb Breakfast Casserole

1 #breakfast sausage, browned
1T garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
3 c spinach, chopped Beth used a 9 oz bag
12 eggs
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 c cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Brown sausage in a skillet until fully cooked. Add garlic, peppers, and onions to the skillet and sauté with sausage for 2 minutes.

Place this mixture in prepared baking dish. Add chopped spinach on top. Beth didn't chop, but should have.

In a separate bowl whisk eggs with salt and pepper. Pour egg wash over vegetables in baking dish and gently mix to make sure eggs are covering the entire dish. Top with cheese and bake for 45 minutes or until a fork can come out clean and eggs are cooked all the way though.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Hot Bacon Dressing

I made this to accompany homemade pizza for Kathleen's 23rd birthday.  I put it over spinach that had hardboiled egg and onion added to it.  Jenna and I really liked it and it was easy to make.

Hot Bacon Dressing

1 large egg, well beaten
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup water We needed at least 1 c of water
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 strips bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon all purpose flour

Beat the sugar into the egg. Add the vinegar, water and salt; beat well. Meanwhile, brown the bacon in a small saucepan. Stir in the flour and stir until smooth.

Add the liquid to the bacon mixture and cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Pour hot dressing over coarsely chopped greens and mix thoroughly until wilted. Serve immediately.

Notes: The dressing can be prepared ahead and reheated, stirring constantly to keep from sticking to saucepan. If it gets too thick, add a little water. Depending on how many greens you use, you might have leftover dressing. It can be refrigerated and reheated before pouring on fresh greens. Leftover salad can be refrigerated and reheated in microwave until warm. The greens will wilt more but taste just as good.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Peanut Butter Maple Cookies

I used the last of my maple syrup from my 50th birthday trip for these cookies.  They are quite tasty!
Peanut Butter Maple Cookies
Taste of Home Cookies cookbook

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter (not reduced fat)
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 package (10 ounces) peanut butter chips

1. In a large bowl, cream the butter, peanut butter and sugars. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in syrup and vanilla. Combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture. Stir in peanut butter chips.

2. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 325° for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 1 minute before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: about 5 dozen. Beth got 4 dozen

Monday, August 21, 2017

Chicken with Queso in Crock Pot

I found a jar of queso in the pantry and thought I would try this recipe.  I am glad I did.  It was easy to put together and my family really liked it.  We ate it as it was, but could have made tacos with it, too.
Chicken with Queso in Crock Pot

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, fresh or thawed Beth put hers in frozen
¾ cup Medium Queso Dip
10 oz. can Mild Rotel, drained
4 oz. can Diced Green Chiles, drained
½ tsp. Garlic Salt

Place chicken in Crock Pot, and cook on HIGH for 3 hours or LOW for 6 hours.

After 3 hours on HIGH or 6 hours on LOW, drain juices from Crock Pot.

Evenly spread Queso over chicken, then sprinkle with Garlic Salt. Top with Rotel and Green Chiles.
Cook on HIGH for ½ hour covered, or until done.

    Sunday, August 20, 2017

    Mexican Style Refried Beans

    I found a recipe I liked and had to greatly adapt it to fit how much time I had before supper!  :-)  These turned out really good.
    Mexican Style Refried Beans

    2 large cans pinto beans Beth used a 19.75 oz and a 15 oz1 tablespoon olive oil
    1/4 lb sliced bacon, finely chopped
    1 cup chopped onion
    1 /2 jalapeno finely chopped
    1 tsp finely chopped garlic
    1 c water
    1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoons salt

    Drain beans.  Heat oil in stock pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat.

    Add bacon, onions and jalapeno; cook until browned.

    Add drained beans, water and cumin seed.

    Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 10 minutes, or until most of the water is cooked out.
    Add salt and then puree. 

    Friday, August 18, 2017

    Coconut Chicken

    This was very easy to put together and we all loved it.  I did use tenderloins and added cayenne pepper.  
    Coconut Chicken

    2 chicken breasts Beth used 6 tenderloins
    2 eggs
    1 Cup shredded coconut
    Salt & pepper
    1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
    Cut breasts into strips or use tenderloins.

    Crack the eggs into a bowl.

    In a different bowl, add the shredded coconut.

    Dip the chicken into the bowl of egg and then into the bowl of shredded coconut.

    Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, until golden brown.  

    These can be baked for about 10-15 minutes at 200°C/400°F.

    Thursday, August 17, 2017

    Creamed Asparagus

    This was delicious.  Next time I will cut the asparagus in half to make it easier to get out of the pan!
    Creamed Asparagus

    1 lb (1 bunch) asparagus, small/medium thickness
    1 cup heavy whipping cream
    1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
    Salt to taste
    Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
    ½ cup freshly grated Asiago cheese
    1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

    Preheat the oven to 400 and lightly grease a 1.5-2 quart baking pan. 

    Wash and dry the asparagus stalks. Trim off the white ends, if any. Place asparagus into the baking dish and spread them evenly.

    In a small mixing bowl, whisk together heavy cream, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and grated Asiago cheese.

    Pour heavy cream mixture all over the asparagus.

    Spread mozzarella cheese over the top.  Bake for 18-20 minutes.

      Wednesday, August 16, 2017

      Chewy Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

      These are very good.  They do get soft quickly, so I froze them.
      Chewy Cherry Oatmeal Cookies
      Yield: 48 small cookies Beth got 3 1/2 doz using small cookie scoop

      1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
      1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
      1 teaspoon baking soda
      1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, or 1 cup apple butter (a healthier alternative)
      1 cup packed light-brown sugar
      1/4 cup honey
      2 large eggs
      1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
      3 cups Quaker Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
      1 cup dried cherries Beth used dried pomegranates

      1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper.

      2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt; set aside. Place butter, sugar, and honey in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat to combine. With the mixer on low, gradually add reserved flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Stir in oats and cherries.

      3. Drop 1 tablespoon of dough at a time about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake until lightly golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

      Tuesday, August 15, 2017

      Cauliflower "Potato Like" Casserole

      I had a head of cauliflower to use and adapted this recipe. Next time I will add more seasonings like garlic and onion powder.

      Cauliflower "Potato Like" Casserole
      adapted from

      1 head cauliflower
      1 cup sour creamBeth used 1/2 c sour cream and 1/2 c greek yogurt
      1 cup cheddar cheese
      6 green onions sliced thin
      1/2 teaspoon salt---Beth found out she needed more
      1/4 teaspoon pepper coarse ground

      Cook the cauliflower in a microwave. This took about 10 minutes.

      Slice green onions. Move cauliflower to mixing bowl and mash with potato masher. You could also use a mixer or food processor, but you are NOT trying to cream this.

      Add cheddar cheese, sour cream, scallions, salt, and pepper.

      Mix well and move to baking pan. Add paprika to the top.   May be refrigerated or cooked now.

      Cook in preheated oven 375 convection until top is browned. About 20 minutes. (you may adjust the temp depending on your needs for timing or cooking with other foods)

      Try to let set for 5 minutes before serving.

      Monday, August 14, 2017

      Championship Cookies

      These are thin and crispy, just like Don likes them!

      Championship Cookies

      Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2002, p218                                              

      2/3 cup shortening Beth used 11 T butter
      1-1/4 cups packed brown sugar
      1 egg
      1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
      1 teaspoon baking powder
      1 teaspoon baking soda
      1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      1/4 teaspoon salt
      2 Snickers candy bars (2.07 ounces each), chopped Beth used 4 oz snickers baking bites
      1/2 cup quick-cooking oats

      In a bowl, cream shortening and brown sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in chopped candy bars and oats.

      Drop by round tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased or parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: about 5 dozen. Beth used a cookie scoop and got 2 1/2 dozen

      Sunday, August 13, 2017

      Beef Tips With  Peppers And Onion

      We all loved this!  I had a 3 # package of stew meat and next time I will cut the pieces smaller.
      Beef Tips With  Peppers And Onion

      3 lb beef tips, cut into 1-inch pieces
      ¼ cup Teriyaki or Soy sauce
      ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
      3 Tbsp olive oil, plus additional for cooking
      2 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley or cilantro
      3 clove garlic, minced
      1 tsp red pepper flakes
      2 tsp steak seasoning, divided
      1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
      1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
      1 large sweet onion, cut into thin wedges
      Black pepper to taste

      Whisk together the teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, olive oil, chopped parsley, 3 clove minced garlic and red pepper flakes. Place into a plastic storage bag and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
      To prepare, remove the sirloin tips from the marinade. Discard the marinade.

      Heat a few drizzles of olive oil in a large cast iron or heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sirloin tips. Cook for 5-7 minutes until browned and to your preferred doneness. Season with 1 tsp of steak seasoning. Remove from the pan to a platter to rest.

      Add the sliced bell peppers and onion wedges to the pan. Season with 1 tsp steak seasoning and black pepper to your taste. Add additional olive oil if needed. Cook for 5 minutes scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Cook until browned and crisp tender.

      Add the sirloin beef tips back to the pan. Stir until heated through then serve.

      Saturday, August 12, 2017

      Mint Chocolate Chip Brownie Bars

      I saw this recipe and had these chocolate chips in the freezer.  I used 10 drops of food coloring but it didn't turn out green enough.  They tasted great.

      Mint Chocolate Chip Brownie Bars

      1 box brownie mix (for a 9×13 pan), plus ingredients called for to make brownies

      For the cookies:

      1/2 cup unsalted butter
      3/4 cup granulated sugar
      1 egg
      1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
      1/2 teaspoon baking soda
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      2 cups all-purpose flour
      8-10 drops green food coloring, optional really need 10-15 drops
      1 1/2 cups mint chocolate chips

      Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9×13” pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.

      Prepare brownies as directed on the box. Set aside.

      Make the cookies: Cream together butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl using a hand mixer. Mix in egg, extracts, baking soda, and salt. Stir in flour, then stir in food coloring if using, being sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure all the dough gets turned green. Stir in the chocolate chips.

      Spread brownie batter in prepared pan. Scoop tablespoons of cookie dough, flatten slightly with your hands and then lay over the top of the brownies. It’ll be hard to spread because it’s thicker than the brownie batter, so it’s best to drop flattened tablespoons evenly over the batter and then press lightly with your fingers to adhere them to each other.

      Bake for 30-40 minutes until the tops are starting to get golden. The toothpick test in the center will come out with some crumbs on the toothpick.

      Cool completely before cutting into small bars.

      Friday, August 11, 2017

      Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar

      I made these to go with the crockpot chicken recipe I posted yesterday.  These are easy to make and delicious!
      Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar

      1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
      1 pound brussels sprouts trimmed and halved
      5 cloves garlic peeled, or more to taste
      Salt and freshly ground black pepper
      1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

      Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Put the oil in a large oven safe skillet(Beth used a jelly roll pan) and heat on medium-high. When the oil shimmers but before it smokes, arrange the sprouts in one layer, cut side down. Add the garlic and season with salt and pepper.

      Cook, undisturbed, until the sprouts begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Move the pan to the oven and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the sprouts are very brown and tender, about 30 minutes.
      Drizzle with the vinegar and adjust seasoning as necessary. Stir and serve.

      Recipe Notes from original poster:

      Note: I recommend removing the garlic cloves before serving. They're left whole and they cook down to a delicious, mellow garlic flavor, but for my family it was too much. You can leave them in or set them aside and spread them on crusty french bread for a tasty side also.

      Thursday, August 10, 2017

      Slow Cooker Garlic Parmesan Chicken

      This was an easy recipe to make.  We all liked it!

      Slow Cooker Garlic Parmesan Chicken

      4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, thawed(Beth sliced in half since hers were thick)
      2 sticks (1 cup) of Butter, softened
      1 cup real Mayonnaise
      1 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
      12 Garlic Cloves, finely minced
      ½ tsp Oregano
      ½ tsp Basil
      Optional: 1 tsp fresh squeezed Lemon Juice
      Optional: pinch of Salt

      Add Chicken to Crock Pot.

      Cook on HIGH for 3 hours or LOW for 6 hours {covered}

      After 3 hours on HIGH or 6 hours on LOW, drain juices from Crock Pot.

      In small mixing bowl, combine Butter, Mayo, Parmesan, Garlic, Oregano, Basil & Salt and stir well.

      Pour mixture over chicken.

      Cover, and cook on HIGH for 30 minutes more, or until done. ENJOY!!

      Wednesday, August 9, 2017

      Chocolate Chip Cookies with Rolos and Cashews

      I saved this recipe in January of 2013.  I am not sure why I waited so long to make these! They are delicious!

      Chocolate Chip Cookies with Rolos and Cashews

      1 cup butter (1 cup = 2 sticks)
      1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
      1/2 cup granulated sugar
      2 eggs
      2 teaspoons vanilla extract
      2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
      1 teaspoon baking powder
      1/2 teaspoon baking soda
      1/4 teaspoon salt
      2 pkgs (1.7 oz each) chocolate-covered caramels, quartered(Beth used 1/2 of 7 oz bag of rolos)
      1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
      1 cup coarsely chopped cashews
      1/2 cup premier white morsels

      1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.

      2. Spray your baking sheets with cooking spray; set aside.

      3. Combine flour, baking powder baking soda and salt in a small bowl; set aside.

      4. In a large bowl, beat Blue Bonnet and sugars with electric mixer until creamy.

      5. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Gradually add the combined flour mixture and beat well.

      6. Stir in caramel candies, chocolate morsels, cashews and white morsels.

      7. Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart.

      8. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

      9. Cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheets, then transfer the cookies to wire racks. Cool completely

      Tuesday, August 8, 2017

      Ranch Dressing with Avocado

      Jenna found this recipe, so I made it last week and doubled it since we are big 'dippers' here at our house.  I did have to add more hot sauce.  This was very good.
      Ranch Dressing with Avocado

      ½ cup low-fat buttermilk
      4 Tbsp sour cream
      3 Tbsp mayonnaise
      ½ large avocado (or 1 smaller avocado)
      1 Tbsp cilantro
      ½ tsp dijon mustard
      ½ tsp Tabasco sauce Beth added more to get a spicier taste
      1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
      ¾ tsp salt, or to taste
      ¼ tsp black pepper

      Combine all ingredients in a food processor, pulse to combine then blend until smooth, scraping down the bowl if needed.

      Season with more salt and pepper to taste if desired (I didn't think it needed any) and serve as a dip or salad dressing. Refrigerate any unused portion in a small airtight container (the less air inside, the better) up to 3 days.

        Monday, August 7, 2017

        Pesto Chicken and Veggies

        I cannot begin to tell you how yummy this was. It was a quick meal to make and was one of the easiest and tastiest I have made in a long time! I used chicken breasts and the last of my garden tomatoes.

        Pesto Chicken and Veggies

        Yield: 4 servings

        2 tablespoons olive oil
        1 pound chicken thighs, or breasts, boneless and skinless, sliced into strips
        1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained of oil, chopped
        1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed, cut in half, if large
        1/4 cup basil pesto
        1 c cherry tomatoes, halved Beth used romas, cut up

        Heat a large skillet on medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, add sliced chicken thighs, season chicken generously with salt, add half of chopped sun-dried tomatoes - and cook everything on medium heat for 5-10 minutes, flipping a couple of times, until the chicken is completely cooked through. Remove the chicken and sun-dried from the skillet, leaving oil in.

        Add asparagus (ends trimmed), seasoned generously with salt, remaining half of sun-dried tomatoes, and cook on medium heat for 5-10 minutes until the asparagus cooked through. Remove asparagus to serving plate.

        Add chicken back to the skillet, add pesto, stir to coat on low-medium heat until chicken is reheated, 1 or 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add halved cherry tomatoes, mix with the pesto and the chicken. Add chicken and tomatoes to the serving plate with asparagus.


        Sunday, August 6, 2017

        Garam Masala Roasted Pecans

        Jenna and Kathleen made these and doubled the recipe right away. I am glad they did. This is great!
        Garam Masala Roasted Pecans

        2 cups pecans
        1 tsp cinnamon
        1 tsp garam masala
        ¼ tsp sea salt
        ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (adjust to your liking)
        1 tbsp + 1 tsp coconut oil
        2 tbsp maple syrup (We used Cary's Sugar Free Pancake Syrup)

        Preheat your oven to 365

        Place the nuts into a medium bowl and set aside.

        In a small bowl combine the cinnamon, garam masala, sea salt, and cayanne pepper and combine with a spoon.

        Add the coconut oil and maple syrup into the seasoning and mix well.

        You can place the bowl into the hot oven for a minute if your maple syrup is cold and the coconut oil hardens.

        Pour the mixture over the nuts and stir with a spoon until all the nuts are evenly coated.  Spread the nuts onto a parchment paper on a baking dish and place them into the oven.

        Roast for 10-13 minutes. Taste them after 10 minutes, they should be crunchy and sticky.
        (The coating hardens after they cool down.)

        Cool them completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

        Saturday, August 5, 2017

        Spinach Artichoke Portabella Quiches – Low Carb and Gluten-Free

        I saw this recipe and made sure to put portabellas on my grocery list.  These were good.  I really liked them.
        Spinach Artichoke Portabella Quiches – Low Carb and Gluten-Free

        Serves 6 quiches

        2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
        6 Portabella mushrooms, wiped clean, stems and gills removed (try to choose deep caps to hold the filling better)
        1 container Whole Foods Spinach Artichoke Dip, room temperature
        4 large eggs
        1/2 tsp kosher salt
        1/4 tsp pepper
        1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

        Preheat oven to 350F and brush a large glass or ceramic baking dish with olive oil.Beth had to use 2 pans.

        Place mushrooms cap-side down and bake 15 minutes.

        While mushroom caps are baking, combine Spinach Artichoke Dip and eggs in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

        Remove caps from oven and fill with quiche filling. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

        Bake 20 minutes, or until filling is set and slightly puffed.

        Turn broiler on high and broil 3 to 5 minutes, until cheese is beginning to brown.

        Remove and serve hot.

        Recipe Notes

        Serves 6. Each serving has 11 g of carbs and 5 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 6 g.

        221 Calories; 15g Fat; 15g Protein; 11g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 152mg Cholesterol; 538mg Sodium.

        Friday, August 4, 2017

        Balsamic Oven-Roasted Green Beans

        I must have been in a balsamic mood the day I made these.  I also made balsamic grilled chicken.  These beans are our new favorite.   We love the caramelization they got.
        Balsamic Oven-Roasted Green Beans

        3/4 lb of fresh green beans
        2-3 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
        Sea salt, to taste
        Homemade lemon pepper seasoning (or cracked black pepper), to taste
        Granulated garlic, to taste
        Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
        2-3 teaspoons of good quality, aged balsamic vinegar

        Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash, dry and trim off the green bean ends. Snap or cut each bean in half. I did this because I wanted the beans smaller for a leafy salad. If you'd prefer, you can leave the beans whole. Place the green beans in a pile in the middle of a large rimmed baking sheet.

        Pour the cooking oil over the green beans and mix them around so they're evenly coated. Season to taste with the sea salt, lemon pepper (or cracked black pepper), granulated garlic, and crushed red pepper.

        Spread the green beans out on the baking sheet giving as much space between the individual beans as possible. Shake or measure the balsamic vinegar over the green beans.

        Bake for 10 minutes, stir the green beans and then bake for another 5-10 minutes. If you like your green beans more crisp-tender, you'll probably want to pull them out after 15 minutes. I cooked mine for 20 minutes so there would be a bit more caramelization.

        Thursday, August 3, 2017

        Grilled Chicken with Balsamic Vinegar

        This was easy to put together and grill.  We all loved the flavor!
        Grilled Chicken with Balsamic Vinegar

        (Makes 6-8 servings; recipe can be cut in half if desired but the leftover chicken is good in salads or lettuce wraps.)

        6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts Beth used tenderloins

        Marinade Ingredients:
        2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
        1/4 cup Dijon mustard
        1/4 cup olive oil
        1 T dried parsley
        1 T dried shallots or onion (or 2 T minced fresh shallots or onion)
        1 T Spike seasoning (Or use another all-purpose seasoning blend)
        1 tsp. dried thyme
        1 tsp. garlic powder
        1/2 tsp. coarse ground black pepper

        If desired, use a mortar and pestle or spice grinder to grind together the dried parsley, dried shallots (or onions), Spike seasoning, dried thyme, garlic powder, and black pepper. Then mix the balsamic vinegar, Dijon, olive oil and spices to make the marinade.Beth did not grind these.

        Trim all fat and tendons from chicken breasts and trim underneath side if needed so chicken pieces are close to the same thickness. I like to make small slits crosswise along each chicken breast to help chicken cook more evenly and give more surface for the marinade to stick to.

        Place chicken in Ziploc bag or container with a snap-tight lid, laying them flat. Pour the marinade over over chicken and marinate in refrigerator 4-6 hours or more. (Marinating all day is fine if you're not going to be home.)

        When you're ready to cook, take the chicken out of the fridge, drain it in a colander in the sink to remove excess marinade, and let chicken come to room temperature while you heat the grill. Oil the grill (a wadded-up paper towel dipped in oil works well) or spray with non-stick grilling spray; then preheat gas or charcoal grill to medium-high.  (You can only hold your hand there for a few seconds.)

        When grill is hot lay chicken diagonally across grill grates, top side down first, and cook until you start to see grill marks, about 3 minutes. As soon as you see marks, rotate chicken so it's going diagonally in the other direction and cook a few minutes more. 

        When you have desired grill marks, turn chicken over and cook until it's browned on both sides and firm, but not hard to the touch, probably only a few minutes longer on the second side unless your chicken breasts are really thick. (Actual cooking time will vary depending on chicken thickness and how hot your grill is, so remove it from the heat when the chicken feels firm when pressed with your finger.) 

        Wednesday, August 2, 2017

        Stuffed Peppers

        Kathleen made these for lunches last week.  Some of the peppers were a bit spicy!  This was tasty.
        Stuffed Peppers

        3 poblano peppers
        1/2 pound ground beef, browned
        1/2 packet taco seasoning
        2 tablespoons water (for the taco meat)
        4 ounces cream cheese (optional)
        3/4 cup cheddar cheese

        Preheat oven to 350.

        Slice peppers in half length-wise and remove seeds and ribs. Bake for 5-10 minutes until slightly cooked and soft.

        Mix the ground beef, water and taco seasoning together. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted and combined.

        Spoon the ground beef mixture into the peppers and top with cheese.

        Bake for about 5 minutes more, or until cheese is melted.

        Tuesday, August 1, 2017

        Essential Oil Moisturizer

        Jenna and Kathleen made this last week and have been using it daily.  
        Essential Oil Moisturizer

        1/2 cup of coconut oil
        10-15 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil
        10-15 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil
        10-15 drops of Lavender Essential Oil

        Whip the coconut oil with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes. Add in the essential oils and stir gently.

        Store in a glass container at room temperature--you only need a little bit (1/4-1/2 teaspoon) for your whole face!