Waist Friendly Chicken Marsala

I had been craving some serious chicken marsala for a while, and so I asked my What’s Cooking sister from A Taste of Home Cooking, if she had a recipe, and SCORE! (she did!!) So, thank you so much for this recipe, which is from Everyday Food by Martha Stewart (my changes noted to make it weight watcher friendly)

Serves 4 (When the chicken was pounded out, it served 6)

Chicken Marsala

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (omitted)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each)
1 tablespoon olive oil
10 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced (used Portobella’s)
1 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage, plus more for garnish (didn’t have this, used oregano)
1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
added oregano
added 2 cloves of minced garlic
added 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Directions
Place flour in a shallow bowl; season generously with salt and pepper. Dredge each piece of chicken in flour, shaking off excess.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add chicken, and cook until golden on the outside and opaque throughout, 8 to 10 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate, and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm (reserve skillet).

Instead of this, I pounded the chicken to equal thickness, put the olive oil in a hot skillet and grilled/seared the chicken until cooked. I added salt/pepper, some oregano and basted with the balsamic vinegar for more flavor while cooking.

Add mushrooms, shallot, garlic, sage (not for me), and 1/4 cup water to skillet; season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing frequently, until mushrooms are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add wine and cream; simmer over medium-high until slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in butter; season with salt and pepper.
Top chicken with mushroom sauce, and garnish with sage. (didn’t have sage)



The results? Total yumminess! Here are the stats:

6 Servings

Amount Per Serving

Calories 191.4

Total Fat 8.2 g

Total Carbohydrate 21.9 g

Dietary Fiber 0.8 g

Weight Watchers Points: 4.5 *

Wilton Course 2…

This was a great course. It took me a while to catch up and learn these flowers but my favorite is highlighted in my final cake.

The filling is fresh blackberries (adapted from Katie’s recipe), the cake is Pillsbury mix (get over it LOL) and the frosting is white chocolate buttercream (oh yeh, yum!)

The coworkers are in for a treat Friday ;)

Mixing filling…looks like something out of Dr. Seuss

Cake from the top…I lovers the LSU colored pansies!

Cake from the side…check out that weave peeps!

A zoom in of those LSU colored pansies..nature has pansies colored right. Geaux Tigers (I need football season again..)

Camo Cake!

This is just a cake I was requested to make…it’s a simple camo cake made with thin consistency icing smeared all over :) I highly recommend to cake decorators to invest (not really invest but buy) the 8 in x 3 in pan. It’s one big cake that you just cut in half when it’s done. It cooks evenly and just (in my opinion) makes things simpler (less cleanup with one pan too!). I bought mine for 50% off last week, so for less than $4….not too shabby right?


Final Cake! :)

I’m finished with my Wilton Course I! Yay!! I may not be taking a course this coming month to help FI move in, since classes are offered on Saturdays (probably the same in Baton Rouge for me) and that would take away from some part of the weekend that we spend together (we only see each other on weekends)…

Anyways, pardon the crumbles…my icing was too stiff for the flimsy diet soda cake I made. I combined spice cake mix with Diet Dr. Pepper :)

TGIF!!

Well, my coworkers are extremely pleased by my cake decorating hobby. So much that I was asked when I was making my next practice cake…so I obliged them with a TGIF cake after a rather hectic work week.

The admin for the Colonel asked me to make him a bday cake….this is HUGE! :)

Strawberry Bread

Hard to believe, but I reduced the calories by 100 calories per serving on this bread, and am sure that I didn’t impact the taste much at all!

My dad bought a flat of Louisiana strawberries late last week, and so I have been trying to figure out ways to get rid of the strawberries since their lives are at their end..lol. This helped me rid of a pint and in an awesome way!

This bread is delicious, especially with a dollop of cool whip. I want another piece but I know I snacked enough earlier when I got home lol. Here is the original recipe with my substitutions from AllRecipes.

Strawberry Bread

INGREDIENTS

* 2 cups fresh strawberries
* 3 1/8 cups all-purpose flour (1 cup whole wheat flour and 2 1/8 cups AP flour)
* 2 cups white sugar (1 cup splenda, 1 cup white sugar)
* 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil (12 oz. no sugar added applesauce)
* 4 eggs, beaten
* 1 1/4 cups chopped pecans (omitted because I hate pecans)

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter and flour two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.
2. Slice strawberries, and place in medium-sized bowl. Sprinkle lightly with sugar, and set aside while preparing bread mixture.
3. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in large bowl: mix well. Blend oil and eggs into strawberries. Add strawberry mixture to flour mixture, blending until dry ingredients are just moistened. Stir in pecans. Divide batter into pans.
4. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until tester inserted comes out clean. Let cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn loaves out, and cool completely.

I did end up just baking this in a 8×8 pan since I couldn’t find the loaf pans :(. Worked out just fine!

All in all this was delicious and I’m looking forward to this for breakfast tomorrow morning!



Original nutritional facts:
Fib
16 servings

Calories: 285
Total Fat: 17g
Fiber: 1.5g
Points: 7*

With my substitutions and omissions (especially note the fat changes):

16 servings

Calories: 165.5
Total Fat: 1.6g
Fiber: 2.1g
Points: 3*

That’s a 4 point difference per serving! I’m sure that was just the applesauce vs. oil difference but that’s amazing!

TCHO Chocolate



Thanks to Blake Makes and TCHO for the sample of the decadent dark chocolate. It tasted wonderful, very rich and chocolatey! My family especially loved it. :)

You should definitely give TCHO a taste if you are a fan of really dark chocolate!

My first Cake!

Just wanted to post a pic of my first Wilton class cake. It’s not really a template, but I felt a need to make an Easter cake using skills learned this week in the class. :) It was a little lopsided but it’s ok..I’m sure the coworkers will enjoy this!


A Fun Idea for Kids!

I am a volunteer teacher for Junior Achievement, which I do one day a week during my lunch hour at a local elementary school. It’s a great program, and it’s nationwide, so if you think this is something you would be interested in, seriously contact your local office! It’s so fun and rewarding :)

Anyways, I always like to get the kids something for their last class as a congrats, besides the certificates that are given out by Jr. Achievement. I decided to make them large lollipops!

I don’t even remember how I found this idea, but I came across it on This Mama Cooks!

Apparently, these little foil pans are hard to find, but I found them at the local Dollar Tree. So, 24 of these for a $1?? SCORE! I bought the lollipop sticks at Wal-Mart in the crafts section and I used two bags of 14 oz. Jolly Ranchers for the candy, as recommended on the website.

Here are the directions for these fun lollipops!

* 8 Reynolds® FunShapes™ Stars or Hearts Baking Cups
* 8 (6-inch) Lollipop sticks
* 40 Jolly Ranchers

PREHEAT oven to 300°F. Place Reynolds FunShapes Stars and/or Hearts Baking Cups on a cookie sheet with sides.

MAKE a hole in one side of each of the baking cups near the bottom of the cups with a toothpick. Insert the lollipop sticks from the inside of the cup through the hole made with the toothpick and push it to the outside leaving at least 1 inch inside the cup.**

ARRANGE 5 candies in each baking cup, placing one candy over the lollipop stick. (It does not need to lay flat, it will melt around the stick.)

BAKE 5 to 6 minutes (it took my oven 9 minutes) or until candy is melted. Carefully remove baking cups from cookie sheet onto a tray to cool; immediately twirl stick to completely coat with candy. Prop sticks with handle of a wooden spoon if necessary to keep the sticks straight in baking cup while lollipop cools.

REMOVE lollipops from baking cups by tearing foil and peeling away from lollipops.

I then wrapped them in little cellophane bags and tied them for cute presentation. The kids LOVED it and the teacher kept asking how did I do that with Jolly Ranchers? LOL!

This was super easy and I recommend giving this little project a try! You can make cute bouquets with these for kid’s gifts or parties too!

WC Recipe Exchange: Rum Buns

On the What’s Cooking? board, there is a recipe exchange held every couple months or so. This is my first exchange, and the challenge was to send a recipe that reigns from your region…that basically says, hey this is my town’s specialty!

EDIT: Found out through comments that the person who submitted this recipe is Sweetie Cakes. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!!!

My first try, I forgot to add the yeast…ugh…so I had to start over at the very end…but it was worth it. This is a great bread with a tinge of sweetness from the icing.

Here is her recipe:

Washington, DC doesn’t have a lot of famous foods but the oldtime seafood restaurants served rum buns instead of regular bread. So when you go to the traditional DC seafood spots, you look forward to the rum buns. This recipe is from the Flagship Restaurant (now Phillips Flagship).

1/2 stick (1/4) c. butter
1/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. scalded milk
1 envelope dry yeast
1 egg, beaten
2 1/2 tbsp. rum extract
3 1/2 c. flour, sifted

For brushing the loaves:
2 tbsp. raisins, chopped
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp butter (melted)

For the icing:
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp of rum extract
2 tbsp hot water

Combine butter, sugar, and salt. Add scalded milk and let mixture cool to lukewarm. Sprinkle yeast over the mixture and beat it until it is smooth. Add the egg and 1 1/2 teaspoons rum extract. Beat in 1 3/4 cups flour until smooth. Add 1 3/4 cups more flour and beat until mixture is smooth. Let the dough rise in a warm place, covered with linen tea towel, for 2 hours or until double in bulk.

Grow little bacteria grow!(yes, I realized after this, I needed to remove the saran and put the towel on instead lol)

Punch down the dough and divide it in half. Roll out each piece of dough into a rectangle 12 inches long, 4 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick.

Ready to ROLL! (after the raisins of course!)

Brush each strip with 1 tablespoon melted butter then sprinkle over each strip 2 tablespoons each of sugar and chopped raisins. Roll the dough up jelly roll fashion, stretching it so that it is 15 inches long. Cut each roll into 18 pieces, each 3/4 inch thick, and put them, cut side down in the bottom of well buttered 3 inch muffin tins.

Let buns rise in a warm place, covered with a linen towel, for 1 hour or until double in bulk. Bake in hot 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until golden.

In a bowl combine 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons hot water, and 1 teaspoon rum extract; spread the buns with the icing as soon as they come out of the oven. Cool buns on wire rack.

*DROOL*

They were delicious!

Now, my issue was, I ended up not being able to cut thin rolls to 36, so I made 18. Here are the nutritional facts..

18 Servings

Amount Per Serving
Calories 169.3
Total Fat 3.4 g
Dietary Fiber 0.8 g

Points: appx. 3.5