Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Lighter Chicken Tetrazzini

This is another meal perfect for after practice this spring. I typically get home from soccer around 5:45-6. Norris starts school earlier than I do, so his track practice gets over earlier, putting him home before me. He doesn't mind cooking, but I know we both prefer that I do the cooking, so I made some dishes a couple weekends ago and stashed them in the freezer. This dish was excellent and I was really looking forward to it and excited to know that I had a good warm dinner to come home to. (it was a little chilly today!)
This freezes nicely, but you have to think ahead the night before so you pull it out to thaw overnight before baking. Whoever is home first can pop it in the oven and dinner will be ready as soon as everyone is home! I steamed some peas and called it done. We both really liked this and will definitely make it again!

Lighter Chicken Tetrazzini
1 tsp butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion (omitted..used some onion powder instead)
1/3 cup finely chopped celery (omitted..used some celery salt instead)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
28 oz low sodium chicken broth, divided
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
12 oz sliced mushrooms
2 oz Neufchatel cheese(low fat cream cheese)
8 oz whole wheat spaghetti noodles, cooked
2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (about 12 oz)
1 slice whole wheat bread
2 tsp Italian seasoning
If baking the same day, preheat oven to 350.
Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, celery, salt, pepper, and mushrooms. Saute until mushrooms are tender, about five minutes. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth.
Add flour to pan and stir continuously for a few minutes. Whisk in the rest of the broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer five minutes, stirring often.
Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and cream cheese. Stir until combined. Add the pasta and chicken. Pour mixture into 9x13 baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
Place bread in food processor along with Italian seasoning. Pulse until fine crumbs form. Combine breadcrumbs and remaining Parmesan cheese and sprinkle over pasta dish.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes OR cool completely in the fridge, then wrap for the freezer and freeze. To bake the frozen casserole, thaw it out overnight, then bake at 350 for 40 minutes.
from Cooking Light
Hope you had a nice Easter! We certainly enjoyed our family, beautiful weather, and this beautiful view! 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Funfetti Cake Batter Dip

We had this at a coworker's baby shower and everyone wanted the recipe--it's so good and perfect for showers and get togethers (perfect because then you don't eat it all yourself). She got it from her sister in law, who got it from Pinterest, so I don't know who to give the credit to, but I wish I knew so I could personally thank them! I am so guilty of licking the bowl of cake batter when I make a cake...I like it better than the baked cake. This is just like it, but without the risk of foodborne illness from raw eggs. This is great served with vanilla wafers, animal crackers, pineapple, and strawberries. I am sure it would be good on just about anything!! Also, you could use any flavor of cake mix that you like--devil's food would be a great fluffy chocolate dip for the same dippers, lemon would be a pretty springy option, or whatever your favorite flavor is would probably be really good, too!

Funfetti Cake Batter Dip

2 (6 oz) cartons fat free vanilla yogurt
1 (8 oz) tub light cool whip
2/3 of a box of funfetti cake mix (she said she used the whole thing, but I thought it was plenty flavorful with just 2/3 of the box....plus, this way I can make it in tiny batches in the future:)

Beat all ingredients together for about three minutes. I liked it better after it was refrigerated for at least an hour. It gets fluffier and I thought it was better that way. But hey, I'm not saying I didn't eat it right after I made it...

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Blood Orange Sorbet

The two grocery stores closest to our house are Walmart and a locally owned grocery store. I prefer to give the local grocer my business and go there as often as I can, but sometimes they just don't have what I need. They do always have a better produce section and I was surprised and excited to see bags of blood oranges on sale for 49 cents (per bag!!) a few weeks ago. I don't know why they were so cheap, but I was really excited to see them and for that price! I had seen some different blood orange recipes, but the sorbet immediately popped in my head when I saw them at the store.
Sometimes the freezer is where things go to die in our house...leftovers that we didn't love that I think I'll take for lunch in the following weeks, leftover pancakes, even items from friends freezers as they were moving that we thought we would use instead of waste. This sorbet did not go to die in the freezer. I enjoyed it thoroughly and was a little sad when it was gone because I don't know when I'll be able to purchase blood oranges again. You could use any citrus fruit juice--regular oranges, grapefruit (yum!!), lime, lemon, whatever you think sounds good. It's a great dessert for this warm weather--it's perfectly light and refreshing. Plus, it's easy to make!

Blood Orange Sorbet

1 cup blood orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
2-3 tablespoons sparkling white wine, optional (I used some leftover Riesling)

First--be sure you freeze the container of your ice cream maker for the recommended amount of time!
Combien 1/4 of the blood orange juice with the sugar over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in remaining blood orange juice and white wine. Chill thoroughly, then freeze according to ice cream maker's manufacturer's instructions.

from Dave Lebovitz via Annie's Eats

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Lemon poppyseed muffins

I love lemon poppyseed and have made a few variations, most of them trying to be on the healthier side. These are made with a higher percentage of whole wheat flour than white, but still have the good stuff: butter and sugar, that would lead some to call these cupcakes. Since I'm planning to serve them for a friend's birthday breakfast, I am calling them muffins to make myself feel better:)
These are very good and have a strong lemon flavor, which I love. The greek yogurt adds some extra moisture and a tiny bit of tang, which I also love. With a simple powdered sugar glaze on top, they're perfect!

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins
makes 9 muffins

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp lemon zest
1/4 lemon juice
1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
1 tbsp poppy seeds

1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp milk
1/4 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 F and line muffin tins.
In a medium bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Cream together butter and sugar. Add egg and lemon zest and beat until combined. With mixer on lowest setting (or use a spatula), alternate adding 1/3 of the flour mixture and the lemon juice until just combined. Stir in yogurt and poppy seeds.
Fill muffin tins 2/3 full (batter is thick) and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until they test done.
For glaze, stir together ingredients and drizzle over warm muffins.

adapted from forgiving martha