Thursday, June 28, 2012

Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Lush

Peanut butter, chocolate, cream cheese, Oreos, peanut butter cups - need I say more? This is a decadent dessert to make for special occasions. I made this for my book club luncheon today and doubled the recipe. I made it in a 15x10 glass pan. It was HUGE. I think you could make the normal single recipe listed below in a 13 x 9 pan instead of the 9 inch square, and it would be fine. It would also allow you to cut it into smaller pieces since the calorie count on this recipe is ridiculous.





Ingredients:
20 Reduced Fat Oreo cookies, divided
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 package (8 oz.) reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, divided
1 carton (16 ounces) fat free frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
15-20 miniature peanut butter cups, chopped
1 cup cold skim milk
1 package (3.9 ounces) sugar free instant chocolate pudding mix

Directions:
Crush 16 cookies; mix with the butter. Press into an ungreased 9-inch square dish for a thicker dessert, or a 13 x 9 for a slightly more normal size; set aside. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter and 1 cup confectioners' sugar until smooth. Fold in half of the whipped topping (8 oz). Spread over crust. Sprinkle with chopped peanut butter cups. In another large bowl, beat the milk, pudding mix and remaining confectioners' sugar on low speed for 2 minutes Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in remaining whipped topping (8 oz). Spread over peanut butter cups. Crush remaining cookies; sprinkle over the top. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours.

Serving Size: Makes 9 servings (485 calories if you divide it into 12 pieces; 323 if you divide it into 18 pieces)

Adapted from Let's Dish

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What's for Dinner Menu Plan - I'm Back!

Wow! I've missed two weeks in a row of blogging! I'm not sure that's ever happened! I kind of feel like a blog slacker. But, it was for good reasons. As I stated in my last post, we went on vacation to the Caribbean the second week of June (which was fabulous, by the way). The day after we returned from vacation, I had oral surgery to get yet another gum graft (hopefully the last one). So last week, we just ate a bunch of mushy stuff that you probably wouldn't be interested in anyway. ;) I'm thinking June is oral surgery month for my family. I had my procedure last week, Eric had to get a crown today, and Corey gets his wisdom teeth removed tomorrow. The dentist must love our family! Since Corey will be eating soup the rest of the week, I'm taking advantage and making fish a couple of times this week. :) I do have some new menu items this week, so as soon as I make them, I will add the photos for you.

Here's this week's menu. Enjoy and have a great week! Be sure to follow me on Facebook to get fast updates from the blog. :)

Sunday - We ordered carry-out pizza as we had been on the road all day returning from a college visit.


Monday - Steak, Foil-pack Potatoes, Green Beans, Salad, Peaches (from our own peach tree!)


Tuesday - Manicotti with Cheese, Fried Zucchini Strings (treat for my son), Salad, Peaches


Wednesday - Grilled Salmon, Rice, Grilled Cabbage Wedges (new), Salad


Thursday - Lemon and Crab Linguini with Feta (new), Broccoli, Salad, Peaches


Friday - Spicy Blue Cheese and Tomato Soup (new), Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Salad, Strawberries


Saturday - BLT Pizzas, Strawberries and Peaches




For more menu ideas, visit orgjunkie.com.

Spicy Blue Cheese and Tomato Soup

This is a very tasty tomato soup. If you want it spicier, add more Sriracha sauce (the original called for 2 T - too hot for me!)


Ingredients:
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
pinch of Kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz can crushed tomatoes (no added salt)
1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth 
1 cup whole milk (I substitute fat free evaporated milk)
1 t sriracha sauce
1 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1/2 cup (2 oz) blue cheese 

Directions:
Heat the olive oil in a 4-quart pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and salt and sweat for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to sweat for 2 more minutes.
Add the tomato and stock and bring to a simmer. Add the milk, sriracha sauce, and oregano and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Add the blue cheese and blend soup in a blender or by using an immersion blender (you can also omit this step for a slightly chunky soup). Serve with additional sriracha and blue cheese, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings (about 1 1/3 cups each) 

Recipe Source - Prevention RD 

Lemon and Crab Linguini with Feta


Light and fresh tasting, you can go wrong with this easy pasta dish.

 

Ingredients:
6 oz linguini pasta (can also use spaghetti, angel hair, etc. - I use Ronzoni Smart Taste Spaghetti)
3 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 t dried Italian seasoning
12 oz flaked imitation crab meat
Juice from 1 lemon
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
4 oz crumbled reduced fat feta
2 T fresh basil or parsley, chopped

Directions:
Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the tomato and Italian seasoning and cook for about 5 minutes, until tomatoes are soft. Stir in crab, lemon juice, salt and pepper and heat about 1 minutes, until just heated through.

Toss pasta with crab mixture and serve sprinkled with basil and feta. 

Makes 4 1 1/2 cup servings

Recipe adapted from Cooking Club

Grilled Cabbage Wedges

Well, this is a recipe that was definitely a "fail" for my family. The cabbage was just to crunchy for my style. If I were to make it again, I would chop up the cabbage instead of leaving it as a wedge, and then cook it in the foil pack. But, maybe others will like it as is.



Ingredients:
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp real bacon bits
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 Medium Head of Cabbage

Directions:
Preheat the grill or oven to 425 degrees.
Mix the olive oil, bacon bits, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to make the marinade.

Prepare the cabbage. Rinse it under water and remove any yucky loose leaves. Cut the head in half on the core.Then cut the halves in half again to make quarters.

Lay each wedge on a sheet of aluminum foil large enough to wrap it up in. Spoon about 2 tbsp of the marinade on top making sure to get it in all the nooks and crannies.Wrap each wedge and bake for 20-30 minutes.

Tip - they will continue to cook once you pull them out, so if you are going to let them sit for a little while, pull them out around the 20 minute mark.

The wedges reheat well in the oven or the microwave.

Recipe Source - Green Lite Bites

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What's for Dinner Menu Plan - Sorry I'm Late!

I apologize for the lateness of my post. I'm finally out of school, and I've simply been enjoying my first week at home. :) We are preparing to go on vacation next week, and I have been busy packing and getting the house ready for our house sitter. :) We are going on a cruise to the Virgin Islands with our whole family, and we are very excited! As an added bonus, Eric and I will celebrate our 20th anniversary on the cruise!

We have done some fun things this week. The hubby and I went out for a sushi date while the boy was at national math contest. Look at this stuff - it's a work of art! Love the chef at Nagoya!



The best thing was that after sushi, we went to Andy's and it happened to be the first day of fresh blackberry concretes! That is my favorite summer treat, and they only have them for a limited time during blackberry season. Yum!







As as special treat for myself in honor of our trip, I got my first real manicure, and I'm getting a pedicure today. Being librarian is murder on fingernails, so I usually don't have nice nails, but I've been growing mine out this week, and they look pretty darn good! Check out the finished product! Those are my very own nails - no tips, no sculpture! :) Yes, I know I'm a nerd, but I never have nice-looking nails, and I'm proud of them.


Corey and I are off on a hike in Arkansas tomorrow morning since the weather is supposed to be great, and then we are heading to the lake for a family reunion dinner. Then, it's vacation time! Sounds like a pretty good week, doesn't it!

I know, enough of my rambling. You just want the menu. Here's this week's menu. Enjoy and have a great week! Be sure to follow me on Facebook to get fast updates from the blog. :)


Sunday - Sausage Potato Soup in bread bowls, Salad

Monday - Sausage Potato Packets (I used Simply Potatoes, onion, and sliced up a turkey smoked sausage, wrapped in foil pack, and grilled for 20 min - 10 on each side), Fresh Peaches, Salad

Tuesday - Italian Sloppy Joes with Homemade Buns, Salad, Strawberries

Wednesday - French Dip Sandwiches (just a roast in the slow cooker that I will slice and use the juice to make a dip) - using the homemade buns from yesterday, Salad, Peaches

Thursday - Eat out

Friday - Steak, Baked  Potatoes, Green Beans (won't leave any leftovers)

Saturday - Cruise! House sitter is on their own (but is excited to use my kitchen!).


For more menu ideas, visit orgjunkie.com.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Quick and Easy Hamburger Buns

These are really tasty hamburger buns, and they are fast and easy to make. The recipe calls for dividing the dough into 12 portions, which makes pretty small buns. I think I will divide it into 8 next time. I will also brush them with an egg wash next time to give them a golden color.


Ingredients:
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (110° to 115°) 

1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 



Directions:
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add oil and sugar; let stand for 5 minutes. Add the egg, salt and enough flour to form a soft dough. 


Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes. Do not let rise. Divide into 12 pieces; shape each into a ball. Place 3 in. apart on greased baking sheets. 


Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Bake at 425° for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: 1 dozen. 


Recipe Source - Taste of Home

Italian Sloppy Joes

A different twist on the traditional sloppy joe sandwich.


Ingredients:
1 pound Italian turkey sausage
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup spaghetti sauce
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
4 slices provolone or mozzarella cheese
4 hamburger buns (or other roll of your choice)

Directions:

Remove sausage from casings and break up in large skillet. Brown sausage with onion over medium heat until cooked through. Drain. Add the spaghetti sauce and spices. Heat through. Serve on toasted hamburger buns (even better if you toast them with a little butter and garlic powder so they taste like garlic bread) and top with a slice of cheese.

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