Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pineapple Apple Pie!

 I got my new Taste of Home Healthy Cooking Magazine, Oct/Nov 2011, and stopped literally on the page with this recipe.  I love pineapple and in a pie?? I could not resist!!

Things I changed, I did not put all ¾ c of the reserved pineapple juice, I was worried that it was going to be too runny. After baking it, I do not think it would have been a problem I would just leave it as is. Also when I drained the crushed pineapple I got just under that ¾ c and no extra so I am not sure if I would continue draining it because it seems like a useless step if it came out the same way.
Also for the streusel, I added about a handful of chopped pecans and a half a handful of coconut and an extra 1 tablespoon of melted butter. I also added a good heaping dash of cinnamon.   After having it baked I think I would add a little bit more of the seasonings and maybe a tidbit more of the brown sugar as well.  I just feel the topping needs a little pep.

We LOVED this recipe!!  Definitely loved it hot and we had fat free Coolwhip for the topping but I bet vanilla ice cream would be awesome!!
Now the recipe as in the magazine:

Pineapple Apple Pie:
Pastry for a single-crust pie (9-inch)
3 (I used 4) medium tart apples, peeled and chopped ( I had Fuji apples I used Fuji, I hate HATE tart apples… just saying)
1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple
½ c all purpose flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg


½ c quick cooking oats
1/3c packed brown sugar
¼ c all purpose flour
2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp butter, melted

Line a 9-inch pie plate with pastry, trim and flute edges.  Drain pineapple, reserving ¾ c juice.  In a large bowl, combine the apples, pineapple and reserved juice.  Combine the flour, cinnamon and nutmeg; add to apple mixture and toss to coat.  Transfer to pastry.
In a small bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, flour and butter, sprinkle over filling.
Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes or until filling is bubbly and topping is browned.  Cover edges with foil during the last 15 minutes to prevent over-browning if necessary. Cool on a wire rack.

I baked mine for about 15 minutes more but overall it was a supper yummy pie! We topped it with a dollop of fat free cool whip after heating it up of course, It is even yummier warm or hot!

Chicken Corn Chili!

Chicken Corn Chili… The original recipe comes from Food Network magazine Oct. 2011.  I tweaked it though!

For the Chicken …
You can “Cheat”  and skin and shred a whole already cooked rotisserie chicken or I took a whole thawed chicken and poached it in a large pot of water with salt, spicy pepper and a generous shaking of dried cilantro. If I had not been lazy and entire quartered onion would have gone in as well. Once the chicken is cooked through, peel and throw away the skin and shred the entire chicken and set aside.

I made this for Mom's chili cook off at work and it was loved!! to the point that it was gone quick and several people have requested the recipe.  Loved the tweaks I did and do be careful chopping the Serrano, wash your hands thoroughly before rubbing your eyes and such!!! You all know the deal :D

Chicken Corn Chili: 
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Serrano chili, minced
1 (4oz) can chopped green chilies (I did not drain my can)
A generous shake of cumin (recipe calls for 1 tsp but I just started shaking until I was happy lol)
3 cans of low-sodium chicken broth
4 15 oz cans white beans or pinto beans (2 undrained, 2 drained and rinsed)
2 cups frozen corn (recipe said thawed I just threw it in frozen and it was fine)
1 8 oz bar of pepper jack cheese, grated

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring, until slightly soft, about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic, chopped Serrano chili, green chilies and cumin and cook, stirring, until the cumin is toasted about 2 minutes.  Stir in the chicken broth, chicken and beans (including the undrained liquid).  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer.  Stirring occasionally until thickened, about 15 minutes.
Stir in the cheese and corn.  Cook about 15 minutes until creamy and hot.

Serve with yummy corn bread and  top with sour cream and chopped green onions if you want :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Southwestern Goulash..

I find recipes for various goulash recipes all the time and they seem pretty simple.  I figured I could do something like this and not actually use a recipe from someone else! We had tacos earlier in the week and I wanted to utilize the leftovers and a few other things that I had on hand.  I really just wanted things that I had and not have to go to a store ha-ha. So I did, and yet after getting in the freezer I still had to go to the store lol.  A little bit spicy and definitely a lot comforting this goulash was quite tasty and it made tons! So definitely lunch for the next couple of days :D.  I topped mine with some shredded cheese, a dollop of fat free sour cream and chopped green onions, soo freaking good!

 Southwestern Goulash:
About 1 lb left over taco meat (ours has the seasonings as well as many shakes of tapito for heat!)
1 lb lean ground beef (I used 7% or less fat)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 14 oz can black beans drained
1 14oz can diced tomatoes with diced peppers
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes (I would have used both with peppers but only had 1 haha)
1 c frozen kernel corn
1 can diced fire roasted green chilies
1 can tomato sauce
½ c prepared salsa
2 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lb elbow macaroni pasta, cooked per package directions

Garnish with sour cream, onions and grated cheese if wanted

1.       In large Dutch oven cook ground beef with onions until no longer pink, season with salt and pepper (always season each level of cooking adds depth).  Once cooked and drained add leftover taco meat and stir together until heated through about 5 minutes.
2.       To the meat mixture add the next 8 ingredients, black beans to cumin.  Mix well and bring to a simmer. Stir in cooked macaroni and continue to cook until heated through stirring to make sure everything is well mixed.  Season again to taste.

Super simple and quite tasty! I feel it could use a little more liquid, maybe another can of diced tomatoes but other than that I really like it! The family enjoyed it as well.  I would also add some diced red, yellow and green peppers, even green!! I hate green bell peppers, but a small amount would be ok. Mom so loved it!!! And so did I!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Seriously Yummy Sweet and Sour Chicken

As I grow older, I am discovering I like things I never used to like. Take the color pink, I have always hated that color but in the last year I have discovered that I actually quite like the color now.  I can also add sweet and sour chicken to that.  I have always hated that bright red, sticky like sauce that came with the typical fried chicken pieces at found at most of my yummy Chinese joints. I have always loved different ethnic foods, including good Chinese food, but I simply could never stomach sweet and sour chicken.  I have gotten my Mother to try all kinds of new things in the last couple of years and for her I decided I should try some sweet and sour recipes.I admit that once I made the first attempt it was not too bad, and supper Yummy!!

Sweet and Sour Chicken:

1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce, divided
1 Tbsp reduced-sodium chicken broth (I actually just used a Tbsp of water lol)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes.
1 can (20 oz) unsweetened pineapple chunks ( and uhm.. I just used in natural juices lol)
2 tbsp plus 1/3 c cornstarch, divided
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 c rice wine vinegar
1/4 c ketchup
1 Tbsp canola oil
2 c hot cooked rice

1. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine 1 Tbsp soy sauce, chicken broth, salt, garlic powder, and ginger; add the chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 30 min.
2. Drain pineapple, reserving juice; set pineapple aside. Add enough water to juice to measure 1 cup. In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbsp cornstarch, sugar and pineapple juice mixture until smooth; stir in the vinegar, ketchup and remaining soy sauce. Set aside.
3. Drain chicken and discard marinade ( I actually didn't bother draining it, but I had a little extra chicken cause well I never actually weigh my meat! My bag was not significantly moist so adding it did not really seem like something bad to do).  Place remaining cornstarch in a large resealable plastic bag.  Add chicken, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat.  In a large nonstick skillet or wok coated with cooking spray, stir-fry chicken in oil until no longer pink. I then added my chopped red peppers and drained water chestnuts.  I cooked for about 5 min until heated and peppers started to become tender. Add the sauce and bring to a boil. Cook stirring until sauce thickens.
Serve over rice.

Such a very yummy recipe. Not to sweet or sour just great!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tropical Banana Muffins with Macadamia Nut Streusel

So this is the next muffin I was itching to make, and when I make one batch I am gonna make another one! I am not really capable to be in the kitchen for a single baking experience I need at least 2 recipes to make my kitchen time feel worthy!  Anyway… with yet another bazillion bananas in the freezer and the addition of pineapple and macadamia nuts I had to make this recipe. Of course my tweak is the streusel, the recipe calls for just a sprinkling of the macadamia nuts on top; I made my streusel and mixed in the macadamias. Completely different from my last muffin, and I can’t help but think this recipe would be an amazing quick bread!! Super tasty and easy, so worth my kitchen time! OH! Where is the recipe from you ask?? Cause I am so not going to NOT post where I get my recipes lol .. This recipe comes to us from the July 2011 issue of Simple & Delicious.. there were tons of popsicle recipes I would have loved to make if I had a reason or kids to make them for too haha.   Either way, rock on Simple & Delicious for an awesome Muffin recipe! 

Tropical Banana Muffins with Macadamia Nut Streusel:

3 c all purpose flour
2 c sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 c canola oil
 Tsp. vanilla extract
3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1 c flaked coconut
1 can (8oz) crushed pineapple, drained
1 c macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
Your fave streusel

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.  In another bowl, combine the eggs, oil and vanilla.  Stir into dry ingredient just until moistened. Fold in the bananas, coconut and pineapple.

Fill paper lined muffin cups and top with streusel (toss nuts into streusel first).  Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool 5 minutes in pan on wire racks, then remove from pan and cool completely on wire racks.

Yum!! Seriously.. a quick bread would be amazing but a sweet treat anytime and these will make decisions at breakfast tomorrow morning hard!!  Oh and these got yellow paper cups for the bananas hehe :D.

Orange Rhubarb Muffins with Streusel and Orange Glaze

Since my first Strawberry Rhubarb pie I have been intrigued by Rhubarb.  When I made the strawberry rhubarb freezer jam I chopped some up and through it in the freezer.  I get this magazine from the Cooking Club of America called Cooking Club and there was a section on how to freeze and use Rhubarb.  There were also a few recipes including this recipe.  It s in the April/May 2011 issue and I added my own twist by topping them with a cinnamon streusel and orange glaze.  I had only had rhubarb before with strawberries, I did make the mistake of throwing a raw piece into my mouth during the jam process, and something I do not suggest and will definitely never do again.  I was worried about how the orange and rhubarb would balance, if the citrus would have enough sweetness to cut through the tartness of the rhubarb. I had one just a few minutes out of the oven and I will have to say YUM! They were so good and the streusel and glaze just added a touch of indulgence to the muffins.  A great recipe and I will definitely make them during rhubarb season! Rhubarb… a definite pleasant surprise to me!

Orange Rhubarb Streusel Muffins with Orange Glaze:
1 ¾ c all purpose flour
2/3 c sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 (8oz) container sour cream, room temperature ( I had fat free on hand and worked great)
3 Tbsp orange juice
2 tsp grated orange peel
2 eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 c diced fresh rhubarb (1/2 inch) (I used my frozen rhubarb. I thawed it and then drained it well!)

Uhm.. yea this will not be good but haha I mixed 3 Tbsp of room temp unsalted butter with flour and sugar until I was happy and then added a bit of cinnamon. Pick your fave streusel recipe cause I am horrible and remembering exactly what I did to make it!
Glaze.. the same powdered sugar and orange juice to your liking

Heat oven to 400, line 12 muffin cups with paper liners (I used pink for the rhubarb haha).  Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
Whisk sour cream, orange juice and orange peel in medium bowl until blended. Whisk in eggs until well-combined. Whisk in butter.

Make well in center of flour mixture. Pour in sour cream mixture, fold into flour mixture.  When about halfway combined, add rhubarb, fold just until no traces of flour remain. Spoon into muffin cups, sprinkle with streusel.

Bake 18-20 minutes or until tops spring back when gently pressed and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan and place on wire rack with parchment paper under it. Drizzle warm muffins with orange glaze. Cool completely.

Yummy and pretty! Try them and enjoy the freshness, definitely made me think light fresh muffin, I am looking forward to one for breakfast tomorrow!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Vermont Maple Pecan Cookies!

I have found my new favorite Oatmeal Cookie recipe! From the Relish magazine that comes in our local paper.  You can find other cool recipes at  Anyway, I have had this recipe since fall 2010. Yea I am not sure what was up with me and all the sudden things that were from fall 2010! But they were all great recipes and I am so glad I did!  The only thing I was to try next is to add raisins, but I didn’t even realize they were not in them until the next day.  Mom said that they could very well be the best cookie she has ever had!
The recipe calls for us to flatten the cookie slightly. I felt that the cookies were a little too thin for my liking. My next batch will stay in the puffs of dough non-flattened. They stay wonderfully soft and flavor is amazing! I definitely love these cookies!!!

Vermont Maple Pecan Cookies:

3 c old-fashioned oats
1 c shredded unsweetened coconut
2 2/3 c all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 c packed light brown sugar
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter
½ c maple syrup
2 tbsp light corn syrup
2 tsp baking soda
¼ c boiling water
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c chopped toasted pecans

1.       Preheat oven to 300 and position racks in the middle of the oven evenly.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2.       Combine oats, coconut, flour, salt, cinnamon and brown sugar in a large bowl, whisk to blend.
3.       Combine butter, maple syrup, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until butter melts, stirring occasionally; remove from heat.
4.       Combine baking soda and boiling water, stirring to dissolve. Add to maple syrup mixture, stirring well. It will foam up tons.. so make sure it is a medium and not a small sauce pan.  It made me think of how brittles foam a bit. Add vanilla extract.  Stir into dry ingredients.  Add pecans, stir well.
5.       Place ¼ c size balls of dough on baking sheets, 3 inches apart. Flatten slightly.  (I wanted smaller cookies and used less than 1/4c).
6.       Bake 18-20 minutes, until golden brown and set, rotating positions halfway through the baking process. Cool on the baking sheets 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 2 ½ dozen cookies.

I definitely want to remake them with raisins and not flattened. The recipe was so easy to put together and I was tripping out that it took no eggs and used the baking soda process.  It is an awesome recipe and am so glad we found it in the Relish mag!!