Friday, February 28, 2014

Lightened Chocolate Swirl Cake & Weekend Potluck #107

WELCOME TO WEEKEND POTLUCK! 



We are always so glad you choose to stop by...please know that we are excited about seeing what you're bringing to our table this week! 

The recipe I've chosen to share for....



A favorite 'lighter' dessert that will have you asking for seconds - 
uses a cake mix & cherry pie filling with a cream cheese topping...
moist and delicious!!!



Now, let's take a quick peek back at last week...

The recipe with the most clicks was ~


Make Your Own Pepperoni by Simply Savvy Recipes

Recipes that caught our attention ~


Whole Wheat Pancake Mix by Coffee With Us 3

Easy Homemade Chicken Taquitos by The Shady Porch

~Your Hostesses~

Remember that when you link up, it shows on all FIVE blogs. Plus…

We TWEET. We PIN. We LIKE.

Linky Guidelines:

If you wish to be a featured recipe or for us to promote your recipe either on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you MUST follow these instructions.
  1. Please link up to your exact post and not the main page to your blog.
  2. LINK BACK HERE from your post so that others can find the fun. (Need help linking back? Read this or watch this great instructional videoPlease use a direct link within your post.
When you are kind enough to follow our guidelines, we work hard to get you as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested. We want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone!


























Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Chicken and Dumpling Casserole

I was just amazed at HOW much flavor this simple casserole has!

IT.WAS.SERIOUSLY.DELICIOUS! 

It's simple to make. We love chicken and dumplings and this is such a 'fun' and easy way to make the dumpling part. 


Mix up a milk/flour mixture, with a couple other ingredients, and pour over the chicken/soup mixture...top that with broth & milk...and it makes dumplings!

This also has browned butter...OF WHICH I AM A HUGE FAN! 
(Kim made a mistake and overbrowned it, but it was the 'perfect' mistake!)


Go ahead...I dare you to try it soon. You can use mushroom soup, but I had chicken soup so that's what I used. You probably have all the ingredients you need on hand.  I'm partial to recipes like this one!

Make it soon...and then you'll want to make it again soon.  It's one of those 'Comfort Food' dishes!

I adapted the recipe I found at Makin' it Mo' Betta.


CHICKEN AND DUMPLING CASSEROLE 

3 - 4 c. cooked chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
(use rotisserie chicken if desired) 
1/4 c. unsalted butter, browned
1 c. (skim) milk
1 c. flour
(I used half white wheat)
1-1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
(omit salt if using salted butter)
2 c. chicken broth
1 (10.75 ozs) can cream of chicken (or mushroom) soup 

Preheat oven to 400. 

Place butter in 9" X 13" baking dish and place in oven while it's preheating. Once butter is melted, watch for it to begin browning. (This isn't a necessary part, but really makes a big difference in end result.) You should be able to smell the delightful nutty smell from the butter, but be sure to watch it. 
(Of course you can brown the butter on top of the stove if you prefer)

Once butter is browned, remove it from the oven, being careful as it may splatter. 

Place the prepared chicken over the top of the butter. 

In medium bowl, whisk together milk, flour, baking powder and salt. Pour over the chicken, but do not stir. 

In same bowl (scrape out the flour mixture first please), whisk together chicken broth and cream of 'whatever you're using' soup. 

Pour that over top of casserole; do not stir.

Bake uncovered for 35 - 45 minutes. When done, the top will be beautifully browned and bubbly around the edges.  

Yield: about 6 servings 

Linked to Weekend Potluck



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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Guest Post - Gluten Free Skinny Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chippers (Nancy Fox)

I am so honored & delighted to get to share Nancy from Skinny Kitchen with you today!

This will be the first of 2 guest posts she'll be sharing over the next few weeks. 

I've made many of her tasty recipes.  I love that she makes them 'skinny' (I especially love all her Copycat Starbucks drinks that are most often, half the calories!) AND....she includes Weight Watchers points!

Nancy and I have emailed each other many times, but it wasn't until recently that I realized what a BIG NAME gal she is! So proud of her accomplishments and that she was willing to come to a guest post for li'l ole me. 

My son and gr'daughter are eating gluten free...it seems I know many others who are too, so I asked if she'd be willing to share this yummy GF cookie...

(Remember...this is just a sample of the goodness that Nancy shares at her blog, so please pop over there and sample more of her amazing creations!)

Take it away Nancy....



Nancy Fox is no stranger to the food industry. She founded Mrs. Beasley's, a gift-basket company featuring baskets full of decadent baked goods. It became the "hot" gift to give among the Hollywood community. 

Nancy later opened 2 low fat restaurants called Nancy’s Healthy Kitchen. Her line of reduced-fat cookies were featured on "Oprah's Favorites" gift show.

Continuing her passion for cooking and baking Nancy created a recipe website called 
Skinny Kitchen. Each week she shares skinny recipes, cooking and kitchen tips, food finds and the healthy benefits of many recipes. There’s also nutritional facts and Weight Watchers POINTS on each recipe.


SKINNY OATMEAL DARK CHOCOLATE CHIPPERS (GLUTEN FREE) 

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 18-20 minutes

Ingredients

2 tablespoons light butter, melted (I used Smart Balance Light Butter and Canola Oil Blend or Smart Balance Light)
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats or gluten free oats, see shopping tip
1 (14 oz) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 cup dark chocolate chips, I used Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Parchment paper for baking, see shopping tip

Instructions

1. In a large bowl, add melted butter. Stir in remaining ingredients. Mix well to combine all ingredients.
2. Refrigerate batter for at least 30 minutes so it’s easier to handle. The batter is not your typical cookie batter.
3. To Bake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using a tablespoon, scoop 1 level tablespoon for each cookie and add to pan. When scooped it creates a little blob of batter. You’ll need to squish each cookie together a bit.  It does hold together once baked.

4. Place both trays in oven. Bake for 10 minutes. Rotate trays and bake for an additional 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown. Total bake time, 18-20 minutes. If you have batter left, bake remaining cookies.
5. Store cooled cookies in an airtight container or plastic bag. These cookies freeze great too!
Makes 50 cookies total


Healthy Benefits

Rolled oats are very good for you. There is 25 years of clinical proof to show the soluble fiber in rolled oats can help lower cholesterol, which has wonderful benefits for the heart

Dark chocolate has less sugar and the most health benefits. Eating a small amount of dark chocolate is heart healthy. Dark chocolate, not milk or white chocolate, is a potent antioxidant and can help lower blood pressure.

Shopping Tips

I love Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips. Most supermarkets sell them or use your favorite dark chocolate baking chips.

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Rolled Oats are one of the brands available in many supermarkets and health food markets. There are other brands of gluten free rolled oats available.
Parchment paper is available in most supermarkets in the plastic wrap and foil aisle. It’s packaged the same. Target, Bed Bath and Beyond and Smart and Final also sell it.

Weight Watchers (old points) 1

Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS 2

SKINNY FACTS: for 1 skinny cookie
69 calories, 2.5g fat, 1mg chol, 2g protein, 11g carb, 1g fiber, 15mg sodium, 6g sugar

Thanks and thanks again Nancy for sharing this wonderful cookie recipe!
I sure can't wait to try it. 


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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Easy Fruit Salad

This quick and delicious fruit salad recipe was shared with me by a blogging fan, Linda Silvernail. (Thank you Linda!) I made this recipe often when my kids were young.  It’s frugal also.

I love that you can use sugar free pudding along with no sugar added fruit, for a special taste treat for those having to watch their sugar intake. 

I suggest slightly draining all the fruit for a thicker result.  You can always add more juice, but it does thicken as it sets up. 


Easy Fruit Salad

1 can fruit cocktail (15 oz.) slightly drained 
1 small can mandarin oranges, slightly drained 
1 can pineapple tidbits (15 oz.), do not drain
3-4 bananas (sliced)
1 (4 serv.)pkg. (sugar free) lemon (or vanilla or cheesecake) instant pudding
4 - 8 ozs. cool whip, optional 

In large bowl, stir fruits & pudding together. If using, stir in cool whip. Refrigerate at least 1 hr. before serving. 

Linked to GBP Roundup - Picnic
        Meal Plan Monday
      Weekend Potluck


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Friday, February 21, 2014

Slow Cooker Cheesesteak Sandwiches & Weekend Potluck #106

WELCOME TO WEEKEND POTLUCK!!


AND...

When I share something worth sharing...again...


This is my hubby's favorite sandwich.  Toss everything into the slow cooker and let it fix dinner for you.  VERY tasty and simple too!


Now, let's take a quick peek back at last week...

The recipe with the most clicks was ~


Dorito Beef Casserole by 4 Little Fergusons

Recipes that caught our attention ~


Corn Dog Casserole by Everyday Mom’s Meals


And, a personal favorite ~




Your hostesses ~

Remember that when you link up, it shows on all FIVE blogs. Plus…

We TWEET. We PIN. We LIKE.

Linky Guidelines:

If you wish to be a featured recipe or for us to promote your recipe either on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you MUST follow these instructions.
  1. Please link up to your exact post and not the main page to your blog.
  2. LINK BACK HERE from your post so that others can find the fun. (Need help linking back? Read this or watch this great instructional video Please use a direct link within your post.
When you are kind enough to follow our guidelines, we work hard to get you as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested. We want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone!













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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

3 Favorite Recipes using Crescent Rolls {Blast from the Past}

Easy to fix...quick to be gobbled up. 
Oh so satisfying - OLE!

Easy Taco Pie




WOW oh WOW!  This is one of my all time favorites - EVER!
You can't believe how scrumptious this is til you've tried it. 

Cherry Pie Cream Cheese Coffee Cake



Cream cheese and chicken wrapped in crescent rolls...
what's not to love???  This dish is fit for kings...and company too. 

Amazing Chicken Squares





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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Guest Post - Quick and Easy Homemade White Bread (Debbie Baker Taylor) {UPDATED}

Today's guest post is from a very special woman in my life...
My Precious Daughter, Debbie Jo...the one who made me a first time mother,
and my Favorite Daughter (OK, yes, she IS my only one=)

I continue to learn many things from Deb and thank God for all she means in my life. 
She is the one who insisted I begin blogging. And she's the 'tech support' when I need something done at my blog too! =) She's mommy to my 3 youngest and precious grandchildren and a very busy gal.  

She's the author of her own blog...
Finding Grace & Glory in a messy life and continues to inspire me in
more ways than she'll ever know. 

I am always excited when she tries a challenging recipe....like some may feel this one is. 

It's all yours Deb Jo...

I have been blogging since 2006.  I have always loved to read and write, and prefer to use purple ink and college ruled paper.  I am a busy wife & mom, and work part-time at a pregnancy center, educating women about relationship choices.  I  write passionately about abortion, adoption, natural living, and growing in my relationship with Christ.  I hate washing dishes and find myself on the "martha" side more than I would like.  But I am finding Grace and Glory in a Messy Life and enjoy every cup of coffee I can get!


Onto the recipe...
*There is NO baking powder in this recipe.  It was included in the directions,
but is NOT an ingredient.  Sorry about that!!!  Deb

Baking yeast bread is somewhat of a science.  It actually requires accurate measurement, fresh ingredients, and reliable tools.  Some people avoid yeast bread baking altogether because it seems harder than it has to be.  Or maybe you are like me, and you simply don't have time (or energy) to make fresh bread on a regular basis.  

My family loves bread and we also want to improve the food we eat, the quality of ingredients, and work on changing the foods we consume.  After searching the net for something simple to try at home, I think I discovered the perfect recipe and kinda adapted it for my family! 



It's Easy.  It's Fast.  And it's really delicious! 

  

Quick & Easy Homemade White Bread

Ingredients


    1 cup warm water (warm, not hot)

    2 1/2 tsp instant yeast

    2 Tbsp (lightly pressed) brown sugar 

   2 3/4 cup flour 

1/2 Tbsp salt

1/4 cup oil



Instructions



    Add yeast and brown sugar to warm water, stir, and allow to sit for 10 minutes. In the meantime, mix the flour, oil, and salt in large mixing bowl. When yeast mixture is ready, stir into dry ingredients with a fork until it begins to form into a ball.

Dump the bowl contents onto a lightly floured surface and begin kneading it (push the heel of your hand into the dough, pull the upper edge towards you, give it a quarter turn, and then pull the upper edge towards you, push the heel of your hand into the dough and give it a quarter turn. REPEAT). Continue to knead the dough until soft and elastic (about 5 minutes). 

In another bowl, spray with nonfat cooking spray and put ball of dough into greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover with towel and set in warm place for 45 minutes (i warmed my oven, turned it off and let the dough rise inside with the oven light on).

Remove from oven, punch dough down and lightly knead for 1 minute. Spray a 9" loaf pan with nonfat cooking spray and shape dough into loaf. Plop into the pan and return to oven, covered with a towel, and allow to rise 30 minutes.


Take pan out of oven and set aside while you preheat the oven to 350. Place pan in oven and bake 35-40 minutes. Rub butter over the warm top after you pull it from the oven. Allow to rest in pan for 5-10 minutes, and then cool on wire rack. 

Notes

*I would encourage you to use COCONUT OIL in this recipe.  Coconut oil gives this bread an amazingly soft texture - not fall apart in your hands soft, but soft like bread-store bread, and does NOT leave a coconutty flavor. I LOVE baking bread with coconut oil.  I have used other oils with this, but coconut oil is by far the best!

*Feel free to substitute honey for the brown sugar, and use your favorite flour blends (whole wheat, white whole wheat, etc.) to the maximum flour measurement.  I have only ever used a blend, not whole wheat alone, and it has had a lovely texture.

Baking a good loaf of yeast bread does not have to be complicated or require a whole day.  There is something about feeling the warm dough becoming more pliable in your hands that is satisfying and there is nothing like that fresh-baked smell of bread to delight your family.

Thanks Debber for sharing this yummy recipe....

Linked to Weekend Potluck


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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Chicken Pillows Extraordinaire

These lovely yummy tasty scrumptious chicken pillows are seriously delicious.

I've had the recipe for some time, just waiting for the perfect time to make them to share.


I am also soo in love with the name of this tasty dish...Pillows! =)
(I added the Extraordinaire because they're soo delicious!)

It happened since we've been vacationing in Florida! Our friends loved them and wanted the recipe, so I decided to get it on the blog soon, so you can enjoy them too.


We were thrilled...to say the least...to be eating dinner outside just after they'd gotten 9" of snow back home in Ohio....

Was thrilled to find this variation of my Amazing Chicken Squares (that's in my first cookbook) at Mommy on Demand

I adapted this recipe numerous ways, but I think the biggest change was using garlic butter crescent rolls instead of original.  It added a perfect touch of garlic.

Try these, you're sure to love them.  And the sauce over the top after baking makes them extra wonderful.  The 6 of us ate 14 of the 16 made in this recipe. M-M-More please!  *-*


(hover over image to pin) 

CHICKEN PILLOWS 

2 - 1/2 - 3 c. diced or shredded chicken breast
(can boil, bake or use rotisserie chicken) 
1 (8 ozs) pkg. (lite) cream cheese, softened 
3 Tb. butter, melted, divided
2 cans (8 count each) crescent rolls 
(we loved the garlic butter ones)
fresh ground pepper to taste
(we like garlic pepper - Watkins) 
3/4 - 1 c. panko crumbs 
(could use crushed croutons or italian bread crumbs)

Sauce:

1 can cream of chicken soup, divided
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
(I used co-jack)
1/4 c. Greek yogurt
(or sour cream)
up to 2 Tb. milk, depending on how thick you want the sauce 

Preheat oven to 350*. 

In large bowl, combine chicken with cream cheese, and 1 Tb. of melted  butter. (I also added a heaping spoonful of cream of chicken soup to this mixture also...it's totally optional). I stir this by hand. Add fresh ground pepper to taste. 

Open crescent rolls, pressing on the widest part of each to spread out before adding about 3 Tb. chicken on the wide side. Bring up sides around the chicken, then pull the long 'tail' of the roll over the top; pressing  all seams together to seal. 

Place remaining melted butter in small dish and panko crumbs in another. 

Dip tops of rolls in melted butter, then into panko crumbs, then lay side by side in an ungreased 9" X 13" baking dish. 

Bake about 13 - 15 minutes or until golden brown. 

While rolls are baking, heat remaining chicken soup along with shredded cheese in small saucepan. When warm, stir in Greek yogurt (or sour cream), along with milk until desired consistency is reach.  Serve over top of baked 'pillows'. 


Linked to  Meal Plan Monday
Weekend Potluck

Yield: 16 pillows 

If you like this recipe, you may also enjoy this 
Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole






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Friday, February 14, 2014

Ooey Gooey German Chocolate Bars & Weekend Potluck #105


WELCOME TO OUR VALENTINE WEEKEND POTLUCK! 

AND...

When I share something worth sharing...again 

This irresistible treat is one of my very favorites.
Only FIVE ingredients to whip up this amazing chocolate bar.
(including a cake mix and a tub of coconut-pecan frosting!!) 
What a great way to show someone you love them by mixing up this easy 
and luscious dessert! 



AND A HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY TO YOU TOO! 

This is my very favorite holiday. May you enjoy a sweet day from beginning to end. I have never believed this special day was just for sweethearts.  We all have someone beloved in our lives...Whether it's a parent or sibling, a cousin or friend - Take time to let someone know you love and care about them this holiday. 
Now, let's take a quick peek back at last week...

The recipe with the most clicks was ~


Recipes that caught our attention ~


Valentine Popcorn Snack Mix by Made from Pinterest

And, a personal favorite ~


Chicken Cordon Bleu (Super Simple) by Faith Filled Food for Moms

Your hostesses ~

Remember that when you link up, it shows on all FIVE blogs. Plus…

We TWEET. We PIN. We LIKE.

Linky Guidelines:

If you wish to be a featured recipe or for us to promote your recipe either on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you MUST follow these instructions.
  1. Please link up to your exact post and not the main page to your blog.
  2. LINK BACK HERE from your post so that others can find the fun. (Need help linking back? Read this or watch this great instructional videoPlease use a direct link within your post.
When you are kind enough to follow our guidelines, we work hard to get you as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested. We want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone!

INLINKZ CODE