Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas Cookies - Rum Balls

Since Thanksgiving is over, I can now, officially, begin the Christmas season. Thanksgiving was a little late this year, so we don't have much time before December 25th! While I want to give you healthy recipes, a little indulgence (in moderation) can be a good thing. So, here is the first of many Christmas Cookie recipes that I want to share with you.

This is one of the first Christmas Cookie recipes that I learned to make as a child. No baking is involved with these Rum Balls, so it is very easy. If you don't like Rum, you can add Bourbon instead. If you want to make these without alcohol, simply omit it and increase the amount of corn syrup. Making these in advance will save you some valuable Holiday time!

Rum Balls


2 cups crushed vanilla wafers
1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
2 tablespoons cocoa
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1/4 cup rum
1 cup powdered sugar

Mix crushed cookies, nuts, sugar and cocoa in a large bowl. Add syrup and rum. Mix well. Shape into 3/4-inch diameter balls and roll in powdered sugar. It works well if you coat your hands with butter before making the balls. Place balls in an air tight container with wax paper between layers. Let these sit for a few days in the refrigerator or a cool room since these balls improve with age.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Double Layer Pumpkin Pie

I love sharing recipes with my friend Susan, especially this time of year. So, I'm always pleased when she asks for a recipe from my collection. Susan was looking for a low sugar pumpkin pie recipe. This pie is delicious and it's a quick way to cut a few Holiday calories! Since temptation is around every corner during Christmas, this pie makes it a little easier.

Double Layer Pumpkin Pie


4 oz fat free Cream Cheese - softened
1 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp Splenda
1 tub (8 ox) fat free Cool Whip
1 pre-made graham cracker pie crust - reduced fat
1 cup skim milk
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
2 pkgs (4 oz) sugar free Vanilla instant pudding
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Mix cream cheese, 1 Tbsp milk and Splenda in large bowl with wire whisk until blended. Gently fold in half of the whipped topping. Spread onto bottom of crust.

Pour 1 cup milk into large bowl. Add pumpkin, dry pudding mix and spices. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. Spread over cream cheese layer.

Refrigerate 4 hours or until set. Top with remaining whipped topping just before serving.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Chicken Vegetable Casserole

I wasn't sure how this recipe would turn out, but I should have known that anything with cream of mushroom soup and french fried onions would be good! I simply had some leftover chicken to use up and wanted to add vegetables to it for a quick lunch.

Chicken Vegetable Casserole

1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1 pkg frozen broccoli, cauliflower, carrot mix- about 2 cups (cooked according to package directions)
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup French's Fried Onions

Pre-heat oven to 375 and spray small casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Layer cooked vegetables in casserole dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with cheddar cheese and top with chicken. Mix soup and milk together and pour over chicken and vegetables. Mixture will be thick. Top with mozzarella cheese. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes. Top with french fried onions and cook another 5-10 minutes or until onions are golden brown.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cheeseburger Muffins

This recipe for Cheeseburger Muffins is quick and easy. They are are conveniently sized for individual servings for lunch or dinner.

Cheeseburger Muffins

1 lb ground sirloin or ground chuck
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 & 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup Bisquick baking mix
3 eggs, slightly beaten
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin pan with non-stick spray. Brown beef, spices and onions; drain. Spoon approx. 2 tablespoons of beef mixture into each muffin tin. Sprinkle each muffin with cheese. Whisk milk, eggs, and Bisquick until smooth. Spoon approx. 1/4 cup of this mixture into each muffin. Bake 20-30 minutes until brown on top.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fireside Coffee

As the weather turns cooler, it's time for Fireside Coffee! Here's a quick recipe that will get your morning off to the right start.

Fireside Coffee Mix

2 cups non-dairy coffee creamer (powder)
1 & 1/2 cups hot cocoa mix (dry)
1 & 1/2 cups instant coffee crystals
1 & 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend well. Store in an airtight container. For one cup add a generous tablespoon to 8 ounces of hot water. Stir well.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Love Egg Rolls?

I love homemade egg rolls, but they take a lot of time. And, let's face it, deep-fried egg rolls are not so healthy. This simple dish takes all of the good things from the inside of an egg roll. You can add some fresh broccoli or your favorite fresh vegetable to make this recipe your own. It's also very good served over brown rice. I like to add some hot-mustard sauce or soy sauce on the side when serving.

Pork Stir-Fry


6 boneless breakfast pork chops (these are sliced thinner than regular chops)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
salt to taste
1 medium onion, chopped
2 packages of shredded cabbage/slaw mix (16 oz bags that include carrots)
1 can sliced water chestnuts (optional)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Slice pork chops into thin strips or bite size pieces. In a small bowl mix pork, oil, black pepper, cayenne pepper and salt until the spices and oil coat all the pieces of pork. In a non-stick skillet over medium heat saute the pork until no longer pink. Add onion and continue cooking until tender and pork is browned. Add cabbage/slaw mixture & water chestnuts. Don't be alarmed that this looks like a lot of cabbage because it will cook down quickly. Add vinegar and soy sauce over cabbage. Continue stirring and cooking about 3-5 minutes over medium heat until cabbage is slightly tender. It will cook down to about half the amount you started with in the beginning.

Friday, November 7, 2008

What's for Supper?

Sometimes you know there are a few days of frantic errands or work headed your way. Some days it hits you like a ton of bricks and you can't even think of what to cook for supper. This is a simple starter dish that will stand by itself. Ample leftovers tonight will save you time tomorrow. When you have more energy, you can dress it up or use the leftovers for a brand new dish. I like to top this with mozzarella or cheddar cheese. You can take a dipper full and wrap it in a whole wheat flour tortilla, top it with shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream for a quick burrito. It also makes an excellent base for chili or soup. Go ahead and play with the spices!

Spicy Beef & Beans

1 pound lean ground beef, ground sirloin, or chuck
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can dark red kidney beans, drained
1 can diced Italian tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
salt to taste

In large skillet over medium heat, brown ground beef, garlic, chili powder, pepper, salt and onion. If your ground beef is lean enough, you shouldn't have to drain this mixture after browning. Add kidney beans and tomatoes. Continue cooking until heated thru, about 3 minutes. Top with cheese and serve in flour tortillas.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Easy Chicken Casserole

This is a quick and easy chicken casserole that you can easily make from ingredients you have on hand. I used a package of Chicken Parmesan noodle sauce mix because they were expiring soon and I hate wasting food! You can use any kind of noodle mix you have on hand. Or, if you want to be super healthy, try using whole wheat noodles with some low-sodium seasonings.

Chicken Parmesan Casserole


1 package Chicken Parmesan noodle & sauce mix (approx. 4 oz pkg depending on brand)
1/2 cup milk - or the amount needed per noodle sauce directions
1 can white meat chicken, drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 package of frozen brocolli and cauliflower mix (16 oz)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt/pepper to taste

Prepare noodle & sauce mix according to package directions. While noodles are cooking, place chicken in a medium bowl and shred or break it apart so you don't have any large pieces. Mix in pepper and salt, if desired. Add mushroom soup. When noodles are done, add to chicken mixture. Stir in frozen brocolli and cauliflower mix. Top with grated parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for approximately 45 minutes or until bubbly.

Healthy French Toast

French Toast without Eggs???

Yes, it is possible. I didn't believe it until I tried this recipe. Honestly, I really didn't miss the eggs! This is simple, healthy and easy.

Healthy French Toast

1 tablespoon milled flax seed (or whole flax seed ground finely)
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup Silk Vanilla soy milk
2 slices whole grain bread (sliced diagonally)
Butter-flavored cooking spray

In a small bowl, mix milled flax seeds with cinnamon, add water and blend for one minute. Add soy milk and beat until mixed well. Dip the bread in this mixture and cook until browned in a nonstick skillet sprayed with butter-flavored cooking spray. Serve with honey or maple syrup. I sprinkled mine with a little powdered sugar.