Saturday, January 28, 2012

Butterscotch Peanut Bread -- posted by Jessica

I'm not sure where I got this recipe, but I had a bag of peanuts I wanted to use up so I decided to give this bread a try. It turned out pretty good; not a strong butterscotch flavor and somewhat crumbly due to all the chopped nuts, but good and pretty quick to throw together.

1 egg
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
2 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp bk soda
3/4 tsp bk pwd
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped

Beat egg. Add sugar till light. Blend in butter. Sift dry ingredients. Add to egg mixture alternately with buttermilk. Fold in nuts. Pour into greased 8x4 loaf pan and bake at 350 for 1 hour.
Yield: 12 slices

Mediterranean Chickpea, Tomato and Pasta Soup -- posted by Jessica

This was a quick and surprisingly good soup. I did not use the cinnamon, but used garlic, some chili pwd and chives to taste. I bet salsa would be a good substitute for the can of tomatoes.

2 tsp olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1 1/2 cups water
16 oz can chicken broth
1/2 tsp ground cumin (I used a bit more)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pepper
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 14.5 oz can diced tomates, undrained (I used tomatoes w/ green pepper and onion)
1/2 cup uncooked macaroni or other short pasta
2 Tb chopped fresh parsley

Heat olive oil in large saucepan medium-high heat. Add onion and saute 3 min till tender (I added some minced garlic as well). Add water and next 6 ingredients. Bring to boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add pasta and cook 9 min or till pasta is tender. Stir in parsley.
4 servings

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Garlic and Herb Bread Pudding -- posted by Jessica

This is another quick and easy way  to use up stale bread! I really liked the way this one turned out; a savory bread pudding rather than a sweet one. The only thing, was that the recipe said to put the bread in the greased dish and then pour on the milk/egg mixture and stir to coat. My pudding ended up sticking to the pan, so next time will mix the bread and milk mixture then pour into the greased dish. I think the stirring in the greased dish moved the cooking spray around too much causing the pudding to stick.  This recipe is from Cooking Light.

1/3 cup sundried tomatoes packed w/ out oil
2 tsp olive oil
2 Tb minced garlic
2 cups fat free milk
3 large eggs
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella
2 Tb grated Parmesan
3Tb chopped fresh basil or 2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
6 cups (1 inch) cubed Italian Bread (about 8 oz)

350 oven. soak tomatoes in a little boiling water covered 10 min till tender; drain and chop.
Heat oil over medium low and add garlic 1 min stirring constantly.
Combine eggs and milk; then tomatoes, garlic, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella and 1 Tb of the parmesan, basil, salt and pepper. Place in shallow greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Pour milk mixture over top gently stirring to  coat. Let stand 15 min. Sprinkle w/ rest of cheeses and bake 45 min or till golden brown. 8 servings

Chocolate Bread Pudding with Turtle Topping -- posted by Jessica

This is a quick and yummy recipe from Cooking Light and a great way to use up extra french bread! I prefer to use a bit more bread or a little less milk & egg to make a little dryer pudding and eggy; either way, it's pretty good! and Add more caramel! I did not have the milk chocolate chips so I just drizzled chocolate syrup over individual servings.

2 1/2 cups 2% milk
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs
1 large egg white
5 cups (1 inch) cubed day old french bread
1/4 cup caramel sundae syrup
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips

350 oven. Combine 1st 6; add bread to soak. Spoon into greased 2 quart baking dish. Bake 50 min. Top w/ caramel and nuts; bake 5 min till bubbly. Melt chocolate chips in microwave 30 seconds and drizzle over top.
Serves 6-8

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate -- posted by Jessica

This is a recipe from It is very rich and tasty; like a melted peanut butter cup! And makes a lot so would be great for a party. I made it with milk as I was using a natural hot cocoa mix that did not have chemical creamer in it! It was very sweet so next time I will try using half cocoa mix and half unsweetened cocoa powder.

1 cup powder chocolate milk mix or cocoa mix
8 cups hot water (or milk)
3/4 cup chocolate syrup
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Pour cocoa mix in a 3-4 quart slow cooker. Stir in hot water or milk. Stir in chocolate syrup. Cover and cook on low heat 3-4 hours or on high for 90 minutes to 2 hours. Whisk in peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Serves nine.

Bran Flax Muffins -- posted by Jessica

I found this recipe on the back of a bag of flaxseed meal and had some carrots and apples to use up to decided to give it a try. They turned out great, healthy but tasty! The recipe does not call for any oil or butter, but I did add in a tablespoon of veg oil to keep them moist. The recipe also says it yields 15 muffins, so I cut the recipe in half thinking I would get 7 or 8 muffins; I ended up with a dozen, so whoever created the recipe must have used a larger muffin cup! They don't rise much so the muffin cups can be pretty much filled to the top.

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup flaxseed meal (ground flaxseed)
3/4 cup oat bran
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking pwd
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrot
2 peeled and shredded apples (I didn't bother peeling the apples)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1 cup chopped nuts (I used sliced almonds as that is what I had on hand)
3/4 cup milk
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together flour, flaxseed, oat bran, brown sugar, soda, pwd, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots, apples, raisins, nuts and raisins, Combine milk, eggs and vanilla. Add to flour mixture just till moistened. Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake 350 for 15-20 min or till done.

Fruit French Toast Bake -- posted by Jessica

This is a great make-ahead breakfast or brunch casserole. It is great with any variety or combination of frozen fruit - blueberries; peaches; cherries, etc. I rarely bother to cut the crust of the bread so it is even faster to put together.

1 pkg (16 oz) frozen fruit
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tb cornstarch
4 eggs or 1 cup egg substitute
2/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 loaf (16 oz) French bread

Coat 9 x 13 inch dish with cooking spray. Pour frozen fruit in. Stir in sugar, syrup and cornstarch until well blended. In bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. Cut crusts off bread and slice into 3/4 inch slices. Dip each slice in egg mixture and place on top of fruit in dish. Pour any remaining egg mixture over bread. Bake immediately or cover and chill overnight. Heat oven to 375. Bake uncovered 35 to 40 minutes or till bubbyl and light golden. Serves  6-8.

Skillet Chili Torta -- posted by Jessica

This was a really simple meal to try together. I did have to cook it much longer than the recipe states (30-40 min). Maybe because my tortillas were frozen when I put the casserole together. I think an extra can of chili or a can of green chili could be substituted for the can of tomatoes. Also, the recipe states it serves 4, but I got 6 decent sized servings from it. Super easy; definitely will make again! I'm not sure where I got the recipe; cut it out from some magazine years ago.

One 14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chilis
One 15.5 oz can small red beans, rinsed
4 8-9 inch burrito size flour tortillas
16 oz can spicy refried beans
2 cups shredded cheese
15 oz can chili, no beans
1 cup sliced scallions
sour cream

Drain liquid from tomatoes over bottom of large 2 1/2 inch deep skillet.  Mix tomatoes and red beans; set aside. Place one tortilla in skillet. Spread with half the can of refried beans then top with half the can of chili. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese and 1/4 cup scallions. Top with a tortilla. Spoon on half the tomato bean mixture. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese and 1/4 cup scallions. Repeat layers once. Cover and cook over low heat 15 minutes or till hot in center. Let stand covered, 5 minutes. Cut in wedges and serve with sour cream.

Holiday Bread Pudding -- posted by Jessica

I found this recipe in the newspaper for an ad for Smart Balance Spread. I had some slightly dry pumpkin waffles (still trying to get the hang of my new waffle maker!) so decided to give this recipe a try using up the waffles and it turned out great! The sauce is really yummy!


11/2 Tb Smart Balance Original Spread, melted
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 egg white
1 Tb vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup dried cranberries
8 oz Italian bread torn in small pieces


1/4 cup Smart Balance Original Buttery Spread
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tb milk
3 Tb bourbon or apple juice (I used brandy as I did not have bourbon)
1 tsp vanilla (as I type this recipe, I realize I must have used 1 Tb vanilla for the sauce as it was very vanilla-ey but delicious!)

Preheat oven to 350. Coat an 11x7 inch glass baking dish with cooking spray and add melted spread.
Combine next 7 ingredients; whisk till well blended. Add cranberries and bread and stir gently (do not overmix).
Pour mixture into baking dish and bake uncovered 35-40 min or till knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients, except vanilla, in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Serve with bread pudding.
8 servings