Green Bean Casserole (with a twist)

I love Green Bean Casserole! When I was making diet coke chicken, I realized I needed a side item. I found 2 cans green beans and the onions, however, no mushroom soup! So, I improvised. I figured broccoli cheese, being a creamy soup, would take its place, and boy did it! I found it to be better!! I usually use the recipe off the French’s bag.

Here it is!

Ingredients:
1 (10 3/4) oz. can CAMPBELL’S® Cream of Mushroom Soup (I used broccoli cheese soup)
3/4 cup milk
1 1/3 cups FRENCH’S® French Fried Onions
4 cups cooked whole green beans (I used 2 regular cans)

Directions:
1. MIX soup, milk, 2/3 cup French Fried Onions, and beans in 1 1/2-qt. baking dish.
2. BAKE at 350°F for 30 min. or until hot. Stir.
3. TOP with remaining onions. Bake 5 min.

Take a whole spoonful!

Diet Coke Chicken Revisited!

I’ve made this before on my blog, and it’s a favorite. However, last time there were no pics so here they are!

Diet Coke Chicken

Source: Aimee’s Adventures

1 cup ketchup (I do half ketchup, half bbq sauce)
1 can diet coke
1 pack of boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Put chicken in a non-stick skillet with some olive oil. Brown chicken on both sides for a couple minutes. Then, pour ketchup (and bbq sauce) and diet cola over the chicken. Turn heat to medium high and cook chicken for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook another 15-20 minutes. Remove lid, and cook until sauce thickens and sticks to chicken. Sauce will taste like BBQ and the chicken is very tender.

Simmering away!

Zoom in on that BBQ yumminess!

Finished product..

Blake Makes! PBDDL!

The wonderfulness that is peanut butter dulce de leche (otherwise known as PBDDL) came in earlier this week, and let me tell you how excited I was! How do you get it? Go to Blake’s website and sign up to be in Soopz! He is a foodie like many of the bloggers that are Soopz members, and he has a new product, which is PBDDL. In order to get the word out, he has giveaways of his products, and now I’m pretty sure many people are all anxiously awaiting it’s selling debut! (mmm)


Another bonus? He is a fellow NOLA-ian. Represent f’real!

With my PBDDL, I made cupcakes! Weight Watchers friendly cupcakes! Now these were flimsy, but there was nothing bad to say about the richness and taste of it…just take a spoon and go crazy! Mmm…

Recipe

10 oz. diet coke
1 box Chocolate cake mix
1 egg white

Bake according to the box recipe. However, halfway in the middle of the baking time, I placed mini Reese’s cups inside, and then let it bake the rest of the time.

The real fun is here…thanks to Allrecipes!

I 1/4ed the recipe though since I only had 1/4 cup of peanut butter to work with :). Delicious though!!

INGREDIENTS

* 1/8 cup butter, softened
* 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (used PBDDL)
* 3/4 tablespoons milk, or as needed
* 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

DIRECTIONS

1. Place the butter and peanut butter into a medium bowl, and beat with an electric mixer. Gradually mix in the sugar, and when it starts to get thick, incorporate milk one tablespoon at a time until all of the sugar is mixed in and the frosting is thick and spreadable. Beat for at least 3 minutes for it to get good and fluffy.



Happiness = New Apron!

I went to Etsy and bought this, because I’m all about supporting fellow crafters! It’s more cute than I thought it would, so this girl rocks!

Thanks again to indulgeaprons

Packaging is SO cute!

The happy chef!

Steak Sandwich Delight!

I had been craving beef for quite some time and let me tell you, it was well worth the wait! My dad brought home tons of hamburger buns, leftover from a concession stand at the rec park he coaches at, so this used them quite nicely. This recipe was yum! I would recommend tenderizing the meat more than the marinade does though. It was a slight bit tough!

Enjoy this with some grated cheese…I had pepperjack..yum!

Source: Cooking Light

Ingredients

Steak:
3/4 cup cola (used diet cola)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (used balsamic)
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bay leaf, crushed (didn’t have this)
1 (1 1/2-pound) flank steak, trimmed

Remaining ingredients:
Cooking spray
6 (1/2-inch-thick) slices Vidalia onion
6 (2-ounce) Kaiser rolls (I used hamburger buns)
12 (1/4-inch-thick) slices tomato

Preparation
To prepare steak, combine first 7 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add steak; seal and marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours, turning bag occasionally. Remove steak from bag, reserving marinade. Pour marinade into a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at high 2 minutes or until mixture comes to a boil. Set aside.
(forgot to do this step…may have played a huge factor in tenderizing the meat!)
Prepare grill.

Place steak on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 8 minutes on each side or until steak is medium-rare or desired degree of doneness. Remove steak from grill; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Place onion slices on grill rack; grill 4 minutes on each side, basting occasionally with reserved marinade. Place rolls on grill rack, cut sides down; grill 2 minutes or until lightly browned.

My trusty Foreman!

Basting…

*Drool*

Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices. Spread 2 tablespoons dressing on bottom half of each roll. Divide steak, tomato, and onion evenly among bottom halves of rolls. Top with top halves of rolls.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 sandwich)
Nutritional Information

CALORIES 417(24% from fat); FAT 11g (sat 3.3g,mono 3.8g,poly 2.2g); PROTEIN 30.5g; CHOLESTEROL 38mg; CALCIUM 104mg; SODIUM 747mg; FIBER 3.2g; IRON 3.9mg; CARBOHYDRATE 49.1g

Chewy Thin Mints

These came out really rich but good. Remind me SO much of the taste of girl scout cookies but really chewy. I left about 8 at home with the fam and brought the rest to work. They were gone in minutes!

Chewy Thin Mints
Source: Cooking Light

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
Cooking spray

Preparation
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, cocoa, and baking soda in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

Combine the brown sugar and next 5 ingredients (brown sugar through peppermint extract) in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed for 2 minutes. Beat in the egg white. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed until well-blended.

Coat your hands lightly with cooking spray. Shape the dough into a 6-inch log. Wrap log in plastic wrap; freeze 1 hour or until firm. ** For me, firm was after 24 hours, and it wasn’t really firm but it was enough to manage with! **

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cut the log into 24 (1/4-inch) slices, and place 1 inch apart on baking sheets lightly coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool on wire racks.

** I then melted white chocolate and drizzled that on top of the cookies with sprinkles. Added food coloring for a fun look :) **

Would you like a bite?

Makes 2 dozen cookies (serving size: 1 cookie)

Nutritional Information

CALORIES 76(22% from fat); FAT 1.8g (sat 1.1g,mono 0.5g,poly 0.1g); PROTEIN 1.2g; CHOLESTEROL 4mg; CALCIUM 8mg; SODIUM 33mg; FIBER 0.2g; IRON 0.7mg; CARBOHYDRATE 13.7g

A Dog’s Therapy…

My poor dog today…we have had severe weather all day and there was a funnel cloud sighted in my town :(.

After doing some research online, I found the perfect dog treat recipe…simple and nutritious! Thanks Brown Eyed Baker! :)

This made a bunch of little heart treats and she gobbled up a couple :D I would half this for next time though!

PB Dog Treats

1 cup Natural Peanut Butter
2 cups Whole Wheat flour
1 cup 2% milk
1 tablespoon baking powder

Mix wet ingredients in one bowl (pb and milk). Mix dry ingredients in a different bowl (flour and baking powder). Mix wet ingredients slowly into dry ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until starting to brown.

This made a ridiculous amount..

Dixie enjoying the treats :D

Please!! Can I have sah-more??

I believe the Reese’s factory exploded in my 8×8 pan

This is another recipe from bakingblonde’s blog. It’s sooo amazing! The kitchen smells heavenly and these are my first brownies I’ve ever made from scratch. They came out super moist too!! These are not for the dieters…oh well! I’m bringing half to work tomorrow so there isn’t that much to tempt me!

Double Peanut Butter Cheesecake Swirled Brownies

3/4 cup butter, very soft (not melted but softer than room temp)
1 cup sugar (I used 1/2 c of splenda and 1/2 c of sugar)
1 TBS vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate, melted (I used another oz of semi sweet instead because I love sweeter chocolate)
1 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted
1/2 cup all purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Swirl
4 oz cream cheese, softened (I used 1/3 less fat)
1/2 cups creamy PB
1/3 cup sugar (I used splenda here)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

5-6 Reese’s peanut butter cups (regular size) cut into 6-8 pieces each
IMPORTANT: Do NOT omit the Reese’s Peanut Butter cups. They take these brownies over the top and add the “Double” Peanut Butter taste the title tepts tastebuds with

Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8×8″ square pan with foil and lightly coat with PAM cooking spray.

In a microwave safe bowl melt the two baking chocolate squares in 30 second intervals stirring after each interval until smooth and melted after stirring. Do not scortch! Remove from microwave and allow to come to room temperature.

In a large mixing bowl, Beat together butter and sugar until combined. Beat in eggs one at a time until blended. Add vanilla and melted chocolate. Mix to combine. Combine dry ingredients in medium bowl and wisk together. Gradually stir dry ingredients into butter mixture. Do not overmix.

In separate mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese, peanut butter sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add egg and beat until just combined.

Spread about 2/3 of chocolate brownie batter into prepared pan. Evenly drop 1/2 of cheesecake batter in dollups over brownie batter. Run a knife through both mixtures to slightly swirl.

Dollop remaining brownie batter and cheesecake batter over swirled mixture. Run knife through the brownie and cheesecake dollops (not all the way through the already swirled layer) to create a swirled pattern.
Bake for 35- 40 minutes**, or until center is set and a toothpick inserted in the center has a few crumbs stuck to it. Do not over bake or they will harden, if under baked they will be too gooey. Every oven is different so watch and check these after about 30 minutes of baking to ensure they are done.

**After about 30 minutes of baking (with about 5-7 minutes of baking time left, you just need to eyeball it) gently place cut up Reese’s cups over top of almost fully baked brownies. Finish baking until a toothpick inserted in the center has a few crumbs stuck to it. The Reese’s PB cups will melt but hold their shape slightly. Cool completely on wire rack before cutting and serving.


Here is the batter..

The finished product…

Want a bite? mmm…

Nutritional Info: (if I dare)

If you go by the regular recipe, it’s about 400 cals/brownie for 12 brownies. However, I cut them into 16 and my substitutions make them:

Calories 244.1
Total Fat 17.8 g
Total Carbohydrate 19.4 g
Dietary Fiber 2.2 g
Sugars 11.4 g
Protein 5.7 g

Weight Watchers Points: 6 (a splurge well worth it!!)

Valentine’s Day Cookies!

This was a spur of the moment thing, but when the WC ladies were talking cookies, all I wanted to do was bake some. After my Christmas snafu with the cookies that were too sticky, I saw bakingblonde’s blog entry for her cookies and tried making them myself!

I did make them sugar free to give myself an excuse that they were diet friendly, so here goes the recipe.

Famous Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter (VERY soft)
1 cup sugar (I used 1 cup splenda)
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 375.

In a small bowl stir together the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
In mixing bowl beat butter until soft and smooth. Add in sugar and beat to combine. Add egg and vanilla and beat until just combined. Add flour mixture. Beat until just combined and dough is smooth.
Turn out to floured work surface and roll to 1/3″ thickness. Use cookie cutter to cut desired shapes.
Place cookies on baking sheets and bake for 6-9 minutes until beginning to brown on bottom and around edges. Don’t overbake or they will be crisp. Tasty, but crisp.
Cool on counter.

Nutritional Information:

Servings Per Recipe: 24
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 126.7
Total Fat: 8.0 g
Cholesterol: 29.3 mg
Sodium: 44.2 mg
Total Carbs: 12.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.4 g
Protein: 1.8 g

Weight Watchers Points: 3

For the frosting, I didn’t have cream cheese so I found this one on allrecipes and used it. It was really really sweet. Beware, I halved the recipe and I really should have quartered it because I didn’t need that much at all :) Here is the original recipe.

Sugar Cookie Frosting:
INGREDIENTS

* 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
* 1/2 cup shortening (I used butter)
* 5 tablespoons milk
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* food coloring (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1. In a large bowl, cream together the confectioners’ sugar and shortening until smooth. Gradually mix in the milk and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth and stiff, about 5 minutes. Color with food coloring if desired.


Here is my dog begging for a taste…I gave her a treat instead though!!

Whole Wheat Blueberry Streusel Muffins

I’m back to blogging!! Last week, I made cinnamon streusel muffins from a mix, and it came out delicious. I bought a LOT of blueberries (Winn Dixie had them at $1/pack), so I wanted to use up some this week. I found this recipe off of Betty Crocker’s website, so here is my attempt.

Cinnamon Streusel Topping

1/4 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose or whole wheat flour (I used whole wheat)
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar (I used 1 tablespoon of Splenda Brown Sugar, since it measures 1/2 cup to 1 cup regular brown sugar)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons firm butter or margarine
Muffins
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used 1/4 cup of applesauce)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose or whole wheat flour (I used whole wheat flour)
1/3 cup granulated sugar (I used 1/3 cup Splenda)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh or canned (drained) blueberries (I used fresh)

1. Heat oven to 400°F. Grease bottoms only of 12 regular-size muffin cups or line with paper baking cups. In medium bowl, mix 1/4 cup flour, the brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut in butter, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until crumbly.
2. In large bowl, beat milk, oil, vanilla and egg until well blended. Stir in 2 cups flour, the granulated sugar, baking powder and salt all at once just until flour is moistened (batter will be lumpy). Gently stir in blueberries. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle each with about 2 teaspoons streusel topping.
3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from pan to cooling rack. Serve warm or cool.




All in all, this recipe is not very sweet at all. I think it would taste loads better with some brown sugar in the batter. I think I would also put another egg white to make the muffins more moist, since these were a bit on the dry side. Overall I would give these muffins a 6/10 since the blueberries and streusel topping helped enhance the muffin for the lack of sweetness it had.