Saturday, November 17, 2012

Lemon Monkey Bread


I made this for my mommy's birthday breakfast this year.. it was so special and we loved it! Let's not discuss that her birthday was in July and hence how late I am posting this recipe. Let us just rejoice that I am posting it now for your viewing (and possibly feasting) pleasure!

These little guys are really, REALLY sweet ya'll so bring your sweet tooth with you. Seriously. Or cut back on the sugar if you don't want your children bouncing off the wall for 12 days. Just a suggestion.

I say you make this for someone special soon! Everyone loves traditional monkey bread, but why not surprise them with this tangy twist?



-Ingredients-

12 Rhodes dinner rolls, thawed but still cold
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 c sugar
3 T butter, melted

Icing:
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 T lemon juice

-Directions-

1. Cut rolls in half and place in a greased 9x13 pan.
2. Drizzle with melted butter.
3. Mix lemon zest in sugar in bowl. Sprinkle HALF of the mixture on the rolls. Let rise until doubled in size.
4. Sprinkle remaining sugar mixture on top. Bake in a 350* oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
5. Combine Glaze ingredients. Drizzle over rolls while still warm.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK?! I was fortunate enough to have a lovely coworker switch with me so I can spend the holiday with my family this year as our center is going to be open for business. (Thanks Annette!)
 
I'm so excited to get in the kitchen and cook with my mom. We haven't finalized our menu yet but I'm sure many of the recipes I have posted in the past will appear on our table this year! Please take a look through and try some of these recipes for this year's holiday spread!
 
 
Overnight Sticky Buns - An easy holiday morning breakfast!
 
 
Thanksgiving Oreo Turkeys - Keep the kids busy!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

*Better Than Boxed* One Pot Mac and Cheese


I'm sure you've seen this guy floating around Pinterest and the internet. "Miracle" Mac and Cheese that you make in one pot. No box included.

"How?" You ask. It's easy. You boil the pasta in the milk. Add the cheese and seasonings. And BAM creamy mac and cheese that is not neon and you can feel good serving to your family. I made mine lower fat and it turned out fine!

-Ingredients- 

2.25 cups milk (I used skim)
1 c dried macaroni (I used whole grain shells)
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dijon mustard (optional)
fresh cracked pepper

-Directions-

1. Pour 2 cups of the milk and macaroni into a medium pot. Cover and place over medium/medium-high heat until it comes to a boil, stirring occasionally.
2. As soon as it boils, reduce heat to low and let simmer until pasta is tender. (About 10 minutes.) Make sure you're stirring often so the pasta doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. Promptly replace lid after stirring to retain moisture.
3. Once the pasta is tender and most of the pasta is absorbed, add the mustard, salt and pepper. If the mixture looks dry, add the remaining 1/4 cup of milk. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar cheese.

Recipe Source: Budget Bytes

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Crock Pot Carolina Barbecue


I freakin' love some Carolina pulled pork, y'all. The vinegar based sauce pairs so well with the rich meat and is lip smakin' good. Wow, my country is really coming out isn't it?

Of course the best way to have Carolina BBQ is to slow cook it in a smoker or the likes or even better to let someone else do it at a pig pickin. But when you're craving that Carolina BBQ taste but don't have time to slow roast a hog, try this Crock Pot recipe that cooks while you're working. We just had this with some packet lemon broccoli, one pot mac and cheese (recipe to follow) and biscuits. This would be great as a sandwich with some slaw on it though, maybe with some baked beans and hushpuppies on the side.

Bring the summer taste back into your home this winter with this simple crock pot recipe! Adjust the spicy ingredients to taste. I did not find this spicy but if you have little ones they might.




-Ingredients-
1 3-5 lb pork roast- preferably a shoulder (I used a boneless roast 3 lb but go 5 lbs if it's bone in)
1 T salt
ground black pepper
1 1/2 c apple cider vinegar
2 T brown sugar
1 1/2 T hot pepper sauce
2 t red pepper flakes
2 t cayenne pepper

-Directions-

1. Place the pork roast in the crock pot. Season with salt and pepper. Surround with vinegar. Cover, and cook on low for 10 hours or until meat is tender. If you have a boneless roast it will take much less time, around 7-8 hours. 
2. Remove pork from crock pot and shred with two forks when ready. Strain the liquid out of the crock pot and save 2 cups. Discard any extra. Return the reserved liquid to the crock pot. Add the remaining ingredients (again, adjusting heat to taste) and stir. Return pork to crock pot and stir to mix. Put slow cooker on warm and cover until ready to serve.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Wallet Friendly Italian Stromboli Roll



Hello? Readers? Are you still there? I'm here to say I'M SORRY I have dropped the ball on this fun little blog of mine. I know it's not very popular but I also know I had some diligent readers. The hours of my job have been affecting my life in ways you probably won't understand. Waaaah wahhh I know. 

I'm going to try MY HARDEST to pick this ball up and keep running. I love cooking, I just haven't had the time (or the money) to do it as much as I like lately. That's where this recipe comes in.

This is the most budget friendly (and kid friendly) meal I have whipped up in a while! I know it's nothing fancy... but sometimes fancy is too much and you just want something quick that will please everyone. Promise.

Forgive me? Pretty please?




-Ingredients- 

1 can Pillsbury Pizza Dough
1/2 lb thin sliced deli ham
1/2 lb hard salami
pepperoni
2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
1 c marinara sauce
italian seasoning
parmesan cheese

-Directions-

1. Preheat oven to 375*. Spray a foil lined baking sheet with cooking spray. Roll the dough out on the baking sheet and flatten into a rectangle. Layer the ham, salami, and pepperoni (you choose how much to use) down the center of the dough. Top with the shredded mozzarella cheese.
2. Fold the ends of the roll in about 1/2 an inch and seal the dough. Then roll the long side of the dough over and pinch well to seal the roll.
3. Top with some grated parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
4. Let cool 5 minutes or so- we cut our long roll into 4 pieces. I ate one, took one to lunch and Mr. Picky ate two. You can cut into small rolls (about 8) for little hands to be able to pick up easily. Dip in marinara sauce.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Delicious Product Alert: My Three Sons Pimento Cheese


http://www.digtriad.com/images/300/169/2/assetpool/images/120515062146_640x360_MIT%20MyThreeSons%20PKG2.jpg



Hey ya'll, Julia here with another DELICIOUS PRODUCT ALLERRRRTTTT. (Imagine me saying that 'lets get ready to rumble' style. I don't know why, just do it.)

I got this yummy Pimento Cheese at Whole Foods a while back and I. Am. Hooked. I don't even like pimento cheese, really. Not a fan of mayo and most homemade pimento cheese spreads are mayo-heavy. I can't even taste mayo in this.. it seems to be mostly cream cheese based. Can we say YUM.

What makes this pimento cheese special is that it uses a sharp white cheddar cheese with just the right amount of cayenne for a kick. Not to mention it is made right here in North Carolina! I think that it is only sold locally now, but I can see this stuff reaching the masses soon. It is that good.

If you live here in NC... search out this locally made product. It's amazing.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Cheeseburger Pie

This recipe is super kid friendly and soooo versatile! I used the base recipe and just added to the meat mixture what I usually put in my hand pattied burgers. It tastes like a cheeseburger without having to light the grill. I cut this into 8 pieces and it was more than enough of a serving for me! Way to stretch out that ground beef...so it's also very budget friendly!!!

This is a great meal to make when you aren't able to make it outside to grill.. but you need that summer taste. :)




-Ingredients-

1 lb lean ground beef
1 can crescent rolls
1 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp steak seasoning
1/3 c chopped dill pickles
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp worcestershire
2 tbsp pickle juice (dill)
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp milk
2 cups shredded cheddar or american cheese, divided

-Directions-

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Press the crescent rolls into the bottom and sides of a greased 8 inch pie dish.
3. Cook beef in skillet, drain well. Return to skillet and season with onion powder and steak seasoning. In a separate bowl mix together ketchup, mustard, worcestershire, and pickle juice. Stir into skillet with beef.
4. Add milk and sprinkle beef mixture with flour. Stir frequently until mixture is thickened.
5. Remove from heat and add 1 c of cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Pour meat mixture into pie dish.
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
7. Remove from oven and top with remaining cheese. Let sit until cheese is melted.
8. Garnish pie with more ketchup, mustard, pickles and onions if desired.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Creamy Italian Chicken (Crock-Pot)

I've been LOVING my crock pot lately. This recipe is no exception. It's so simple and the results are heavenly! Just come home and boil up some pasta and voila! Dinner is ready. 

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did. And I promise the recipes will start coming in again!



-Ingredients-
1 1b chicken tenders
1 packet Italian dressing mix (Good Seasons)
8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1 can 98% fat free cream of chicken soup
3/4 c chicken broth or white wine
whole wheat angel hair pasta

-Directions-

1. Place the chicken in the bottom of the crock pot. Mix together the dressing mix, cream cheese, soup and wine or broth. Pour over chicken.
2. Cook on low for 8 hours.
3. Serve over cooked angel hair pasta.


Recipe Adapted from Plain Chicken

Friday, May 25, 2012

Memorial Day Recipe Ideas

It's Memorial Day weekend, ya'll! Time to get out the grill, crack open a beer and enjoy living in this great country! 

[Okay... that sentence just reminded me of Zac Brown's "Chicken Fried." Love that song! Going to listen to it while I finish this post, actually!]

I digress... As you have obvi noted, I'm still adjusting to this new job. I do have a couple of recipes to post though, so stay tuned! In the meantime, get ready for your holiday weekend with some great recipes. Delicious, tried and true!







Try them out! And please!! Let me know if you like them :) Happy Memorial Day.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

White Chicken Chili



First of all, I would like to apologize for the lag in posts lately. I just started a new job, my shift is from 2-11 and I am just adjusting. I know I will get back into a routine soon, and I'm working on it! So thanks for bearing with me. :)

This recipe is tried and true and I have made it several times. I am not really a huge fan of regular chili. Which is weird.. I mean if you are a follower of my blog you know I LOVE meat. But for some reason..chili.. essentially meat SOUP does not appeal to me. Odd. But I love some white chicken chili.

I would like to say I've tried a bunch of recipes and this is the best one out of all of them and bla bla bla but... this is the ONLY recipe I have ever used for white chicken chili. It's that good. So... ya know, make it. Sorry for the poor picture, by now we all know I'm not a photog. But my recipes are good, no?

-Ingredients-
1 c low sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 c water
1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
1 tsp ground cumin
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 c chopped onion
2 (8 oz) cans white shoepeg corn (drained)
2 (4 oz) cans diced green chilies (undrained)
1 tsp of ground cumin (again)
2-3 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 (14 oz) cans great northern beans (undrained)
shredded cheese to garnish
crushed tortilla chips, to garnish (optional)

-Directions- 

1. In a large stockpot or dutch oven, combine water, chicken broth, lemon pepper seasoning and first tsp of cumin. Bring to a boil. Add chicken. Return to boil, reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove from broth. Allow to cool until you are able to handle it.
2. Once cool enough to handle, shred with two forks or dice into bite sized pieces. Your choice. Return chicken to broth.
3. Add garlic, onion, corn, chiles, beans, lime juice and remaining cumin. Bring to a boil.
4. Simmer until heated through, about 30-45 minutes.
5. Serve hot with a lime wedge, and topped with shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese. Crushed tortilla chips are awesome on top too! Mmm.
6. Leftovers heat up GREAT the next day!

Serves: 8
7 WW Points Plus per serving (1/8 of recipe) without cheese or chips
(Points calculated with recipe builder on www.weightwatchers.com)


Recipe Adapted from: Food.com

Monday, May 7, 2012

Twice Baked Greek Potatoes


If you love feta cheese, you will LOVE these potatoes. I adapted this recipe from one I found on the Weight Watchers website, and it was more than I could have ever hoped for. The serving size is 2 potato halves, for only 5 points! I find one half to be enough, as they are so rich and filling. I made these 3 times in a week I loved them so much and they reheat beautifully. My friend could hardly believe they were not so bad for you. 

I can't wait to try the same recipe with blue cheese. How perfect would that be with some barbecue chicken?? 

-Ingredients-

4 small potatoes (5 oz each)
1/2 c feta cheese
1/2  c fat free sour cream
1 tbsp Country Crock Light
1 tbsp green onions (or chives)

-Directions-

1. Wash the potatoes and poke holes all over with a fork. Bake potatoes in the oven at 425* for 45 minutes. 
2. Remove potatoes, turn oven down to 350*. Let potatoes cool.
3. Once cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh out of the potatoes into a large bowl. Mix in the cheese, sour cream, country crock and half the green onions.
4. Scoop the mixture evenly back into the potato skins.
5. Bake until browned, about 15 minutes. Top with remaining green onions.

Weight Watchers Points Plus: 5 (for 2 halves)
3 (for one half)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Delicious Produce Alert: Yoplait Splitz Birthday Cake Yogurt


"Yoplait Splitz: Great Tasting Kid's Yogurt That Tastes Like a Sundae!"

Yeah, it's made for kids. And what? It is SO good, creamy even! I usually eat yogurt as a snack. I never really considered it a "treat' per se. But this birthday cake flavor is the bee's knees.

It still has that tang of yogurt but seems creamy too, which is why I'm excited to "Try it frozen too!" (Wow. Am I a slave to marketing?)

Plus, there are sprinkles. SPRINKLES.

They make 3 other flavors as well: Strawberry Sundae, Rainbow Sherbet, and Strawberry Banana Split. I can't wait to try them!

These perfectly portioned 3.25 oz cups are only 2 points plus a piece. So, ya know, get em.

This post is in no way endorsed by Yoplait

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mighty Meatloaf Muffins




 
Hello. My name is Julia, and I am addicted to adorable foods.

These meatloaf muffins are not only ADORBS but unbelievably easy to make. And you'll never guess the secret ingredient that makes them so, so tasty!

Stove Top Stuffing!

Yep! Stuffing perks these little meat parcels right up and gives them a TON of flavor. Plus it makes the recipe pretty cost effective as well.

I have made these many, many times and they never let me down. Or anyone that tries them, really.

Oh, did I mention you can freeze them? And they heat up in a flash in the microwave? So make lots of them while you're at it. Freeze em. And heat em up for lunch or dinner when you're feeling lazy or if you really need something cute in your life. 




-Ingredients-

1 lb 93% lean ground beef
1 box Stove Top stuffing (I used Savory Herb)
2 egg whites
1 tsp garlic powder
1 c water
1/2 large onion, diced or grated (I grated them to hide them from you know who)
6 tbsp ketchup (optional)

-Directions-

1. Preheat oven to 350*.
2. In a large bowl, mix everything but ketchup until well combined. (Easy, right?)
3. Spray 12 muffin tins with cooking spray. Fill evenly with meat mixture. (I separated the meat into 4 even sections. Then I separated each section into three equal balls and put them in the tins.) Press down lightly.
4. Top each muffin with 1/2 tbsp ketchup.
5. Bake at 350* for 45 minutes.
6. Let stand a couple of minutes before removing. Using a butter knife, go around the edges of the muffin and then pop it out.

To freeze: let muffins cool to room temperature. Flash freeze on a baking sheet for an hour. Then put them in freezer bag for storage.

Makes 12 meatloaf muffins
Weight Watchers Points Plus Values:
1 Mighty Meatloaf Muffin- 3 points plus

I planned on eating 2 muffins, for a total of 6 points plus a piece. I felt full after one though so I saved the second. Mr. Picky ate 7...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Flaco Pollo Loco


How do you like this NEON picture? Kinda jumps right out at you, doesn't it?

Well I saw the original recipe for this over at Plain Chicken. She makes some of the most sinfully delicious concoctions, ya'll. Problem is, I'm trying to be an angel. So I take her recipes sometimes and "healthify" them.

I know, you're thinking that this doesn't look healthy AT ALL, right? Well it's actually a very small portion, but just enough to satisfy. And the thing about the jarred salsa con queso is that it is NOT that bad for you, in moderation. I even heard Trader Joe's makes a store brand that has 0 points plus per serving! Can't wait until we get a TJ's here! The above photo only has one Tbsp of queso. Doesn't look like that does it? Your eyes are deceiving you.

That's why this is "Flaco" Pollo Loco. It's skinny. Or flaco. It's 1/2 of a thin chicken breast topped with 1/2 tbsp queso and 1/2 tbsp salsa, 1/4 cup of brown [Spanish] rice with another 1/2 tbsp queso, 1 small steam fresh corn (no butter. Don't need it.)

And then we can take a look at Mr. Picky's plate. 1 large chicken breast (not the fat 1/2 pound suckers, but still pretty large)....two corns, 1/2 cup of rice and about 1/2 a cup of queso, haha. For the record, he went back for the rest of the rice, another piece of chicken and the last corn after finishing this plate.

I will share a normal human portioned recipe. This recipe serves 4, normally.


-Ingredients-
Lawry's Baja Chipotle marinade or Lawry's Mesquite Marinade [I used Mesquite]
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup salsa con queso
1/4 cup salsa

For the rice:
1/2 cup brown rice
1 cup fat free, low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 tbsp taco seasoning
1 tsp cumin

-Directions-

1. Put the chicken and some of the marinade in a large zip bag. Put in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes up to overnight.
2. Since brown rice takes forever to cook, go ahead and start it while your chicken is marinating. Over medium/medium-high heat toast rice in some cooking spray for about 3 minutes. Pour in chicken broth, tomato sauce, taco seasoning and cumin. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender. Add more broth if it dries out towards the end. Set aside and keep warm. Fluff with a fork before serving.
3. While your rice is cooking, take your chicken out when it has marinated as long as you can stand. Preheat the grill or broiler to medium high heat. I used the broiler. Put a rack on a foil covered pan and put in the oven to preheat under the broiler.
4. When hot, put chicken on rack. Cook 5 minutes on each side. Then turn it up to high. Brown and cook the chicken an additional 5 minutes or until cooked through.
5. While the chicken is finishing up, heat up your queso. Set aside.
6. To assemble (flaco style) put 1/4 cup of rice and 1/4 of the chicken (4 oz piece) on a plate. Top whatever you choose with 2 tbsp of queso. Top with salsa or diced tomatoes if desired. I highly suggest serving it with a Steamfresh mini corn on the cob!

Recipe makes 4 servings
Weight Watchers Points Plus Values:
4 oz chicken with 1/4 cup rice and 2 tbsp queso: 7 points plus
Original "Pollo Loco" recipe: 16 points plus per serving!!
You save 9 points plus with Flaco Pollo Loco!

Recipe Adapted from: Plain Chicken

Friday, April 20, 2012

Delicious Product Alert: Dale's Steak Seasoning [my favorite *premade* steak marinade]



I like to make my own marinades. [Like my favorite marinade for beef or chicken.] But sometimes I don't. Actually, a lot of times I don't. When I make steaks I use one of two things: simple salt/pepper/garlic powder OR Dale's Steak Seasoning.

I've loved this marinade since it was introduced to me a few years ago. The best part about it is that it only takes a fraction of the time of most marinades to flavor the meat throughout. Seriously, for thick steaks. Put them in 30 minutes to an hour MAX before you're planning on grilling. For thinner cuts, put them in when you light the grill.

If you over marinate, they will be way. too. salty. They make a low sodium Dale's, but I have a hard time finding it. And to be honest, it is still packed with sodium.

Just for humorous reasons, I would like to point out that the above picture was for a dinner Mr. Picky and I shared. Yeah, just the two of us. The two fatter steaks on the left are very lean thick cut sirloin steaks. The one on the bottom left was 4 oz, and that one was mine. It was a perfect size for me.

The other 3 steaks were Mr. Picky's. Yep. He ate 3 steaks. He amazes me. :)

So try Dale's next time you want a great grilled steak. Just don't over marinate and you'll be in beef heaven. [Where I plan on going when I pass, btw.]

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Grilled Chicken & Vegetable Kebabs [and my favorite meat marinade]


First off, I would like to apologize for this blurry, dim picture. I'm pretty sure I was few glasses of wine in once dinner was ready. My bad.

I have always used this marinade recipe for beef. I stumbled across a marinade recipe probably 5 years ago, TOTALLY messed it up and had to throw something together to save myself. This was it.

I posted the recipe on food.com (then Recipezaar) and it got a few 5 star reviews, with one mom even saying that it became her son's favorite meal and he had even requested it for his birthday dinner! That's big people. Birthday dinners are important. [To me at least..]

The original kebab recipe used top sirloin instead of the chicken. I was trying to be a little healthier and steer clear of the red meat for a while [meaning one night], so I used chicken.

I put the meat and veggies on separate skewers because I [obviously] like my veggies well done. [Seriously. Look at the picture!] I do NOT like my chicken overcooked though. Veggies always take longer than meat, so I would suggest you separate them too. I know it's not as pretty, but the chicken won't dry out and it's well worth it.

Feel free to use whatever veggies you want. Squash, tomatos, or mushrooms would be great additions!

-Ingredients-

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast (4 4 oz breasts)
2 bell peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large onion, cut into 1 inch pieces
[any other vegetables of choice]

For the marinade:
3/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3 tbsp light brown sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground ginger (or fresh if desired)
1/4 tsp black pepper

-Directions-

1. Cut each chicken breast into 12 even cubes. (The point of this is so each skewer will have the same amount of chicken. If you desire larger cubes, cut into 8.)
2. Put the chicken and vegetables in a large ziploc bag.
3. In a bowl, combine the marinade ingredients. Whisk vigerously to combine. Pour over chicken and vegetables in bag. Marinate for 30 minutes-2 hours in the fridge. (If using beef, marinate 2-3 hours.)
4. When finished marinating, skewer your chicken and vegetables. (If using bamboo skewers, make sure you have soaked them for 30 minutes first.) Alternate vegetables on one set of skewers. Skewer chicken separately. Put 6 cubes of chicken on each skewer (or 4 if you cut into 8 larger cubes.) Discard marinade.
5. Heat grill over medium-high heat. Put vegetables on first. About 5 minutes later, put chicken on. Grill 10 minutes, turning every 2 minutes for even cooking.
6. Remove skewers from grill and serve together.

It is hard to calculate the TRUE points value for this, as most of the marinade is discarded in the end. The following points are a representation of  the skwers with full marinade calculations. I'm still trying to figure out how to calculate accurately.

Serving size: 2 chicken skewers and 1/4 of vegetables (serves 4)
Weight Watchers Points Plus Values:
6 points plus

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Smoky Beer Burgers with Dijon Dill Sauce


So.. okay. These burgers did turn out pretty good. Really good, actually. But it caused me to freak out just a little bit when I was making the beef mixture.

The mix was looking and smelling pretty delicious. I usually just throw the same old things into my burgers.. so it was nice to see a change happening. Then I poured the 6 oz of beer in. The result was a very mushy, soggy, wet burger mixture that was not holding into a patty. I was freaking out. I didn't want my burgers (and all that delicious smoked gouda..) to stick and fall through my grill. But I fixed it by adding a good amount of breadcrumbs to the mixture to absorb the beer. It worked wonders. Thank goodness.

So, long story short, although these are called "beer burgers" I would not suggest adding the beer. Maybe just a little bit, if you really wanted to. If you do add the beer, add some breadcrumbs. I'd say I added about 1/2 a cup. But without the beer, these burgers would form some nice patties without the breadcrumbs!

And they were SO good. I literally said "mmm" out loud when I came across one of those gooey smoked gouda pockets that were all throughout the burger. The dijon dill sauce was zesty and creamy and the fresh herbs gave it a freshness that I was not expecting.

I loved this different burger. I served mine in a lettuce bun with onions and pickles and a couple dollops of the dijon dill sauce.

Mr. Picky had his on toasted kaiser rolls. He made 2 double cheeseburgers (!!) added bacon and some ketchup. Safe to say he enjoyed them as well.

-Ingredients-

For the burger patties:
2 lbs 93% lean ground beef (or fattier if you prefer)
4 oz smoked gouda cheese, diced into small cubes
1 medium onion
2 tsp smoked sweet paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp grill seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 T worcestershire
6 oz beer (I would suggest leaving this out..)
cheese slices (optional)
buns
lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles etc..

For the Dijon Dill Sauce:
1/2 cup spicy brown mustard
1/3 c fat free sour cream
2-3 Tbsp chopped fresh dill

-Directions-

1. Preheat grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. (I used my *teeny* charcoal grill.)
2. Put the meat in a large bowl. Add the smoked gouda cheese. Cut half of the onion into rings (for burger toppins') and grate the other half of the onion into the meat mixture.
3. Add the paprika, cumin, grill seasoning, garlic powder and worcestershire. (Add beer now if you choose to do so. Add 1/2 c breadcrumbs to mixture ONLY IF YOU USE THE BEER.)
4. Mix the meat mixture until just combined. Form into 8 patties.
5. Oil the grates of your grill so the burgers won't stick and grill about 6 minutes on each side, or until desired doneness.
6. While the burgers are cooking, mix together sauce ingredients. Set aside.
7. Right before burgers are done, split buns and throw them on the grill next to the burgers. Add cheese slices to the top, if desired (we added some American.)
8. Serve burgers with a couple tablespoons of sauce on toasty kaiser rolls and your choice of toppings!


Recipe makes 8 burgers, 1 burger per serving
Weight Watchers Points Plus Values:
Burger without bun or extra cheese slice and 2 tbsp sauce: 6 points plus
Burger without bun with extra cheese slice and 2 tbsp sauce: 7 points plus
Burger with kaiser roll and cheese slice and 2 tbsp: 12 points plus

Points Plus values were calculated on the recipe builder at http://www.weightwatchers.com/


Thursday, April 12, 2012

I'm on Facebook!

Hey, ya'll! I realized that I have never posted that Delectameals has a Facebook Fan Page!

If you don't mind, will you take a moment out of your day to "Like" me? Just click the link below and hit the "Like" button on my page!

Click here and Like me on Facebook!



While you're at it, go ahead and "Follow" my blog by clicking the google link to the right that says "Join this site." I only have 16 and I know there are more than 16 people who read my blog ;)

Hey, maybe if I get enough followers and likes I will do a giveaway soon. Who likes giveaways?

I do.

I'd like them even more if I ever won any. Derp.

Lightened Up Coconut Cream Cupcakes


Soooo... if you can look me straight in my eyes and tell me that these cupcakes are not adorable, I will know something is wrong with you. Because.. seriously.. how CUTE?! And the best part? They're LIGHT!

The frosting is so delicate and light you cant wait to sink your teeth into another bite. I made these for Easter weekend and everyone that tried one loved them. I plan on making them for mother's day too.. without the Easter themed decorations of course! I used dyed green coconut for some, toasted coconut for others and the regular shredded coconut for a few. I think the toasted coconut cupcakes were my favorite!

To toast the coconut, I just put a little bit in a small, nonstick skillet (dry) over low heat, stirring occasionally until brown and toasty. It doesn't take long. And you'll love me for it, if you don't already.

Head over to Dashing Dish to see the original recipe in the form of a beautiful cake.



-Ingredients-

For the cake:

1 box vanilla cake mix
1 Tbsp coconut extract
1 (20 oz) can sugar-free crushed pineapple (do not drain)

For the frosting:

1 c cold skim milk (I used Smart Balance Fat Free Milk)
1 vanilla sugar free instant pudding (the small box)
2 (8oz) containers fat-free cool whip
1 Tbsp coconut extract
shredded coconut, for garnish

-Directions-

1. Preheat oven to 350*. Line 24 muffin tins with cupcake liners.
2. Mix the cake mix, can of pineapple, and coconut extract until the batter is smooth.
3. Use an ice cream scoop to fill your cupcake tins evenly. Bake cupcakes according to package directions, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
4. Meanwhile, mix the skim milk with the pudding mix. (Pour the milk in the bowl first and slowly mix in pudding mix- if you do it the other way around you will end up with icky lumps. I did this with a lemon cake for my mom and the frosting ended up looking like scrambled eggs. Ew.)
5. Stir in the coconut extract. Fold in the containers of Cool Whip until the pudding mix is incorporated throughout. Put in the fridge until you are ready to frost your cupcakes.
6. When your cupcakes are cool, scoop your frosting into a piping bag (or ziploc bag). I fitted mine with a Wilton star tip 22. Gently pipe frosting in a circular motion, starting from the outside and moving in. I did two layers of frosting.
7. Top with coconut decoration of choice! Make sure to refrigerate your cupcakes as this frosting will melt on you even at room temperature.
8. Thank me later.

Nutrition Facts: (Recipe Builder on myfitnesspal.com)
These values differ slightly from the original recipe on Dashing Dish. I'm not sure why- I put the ingredients in exactly. I'm still tinkering with it. BLAH!

Serving Size: 24 (1 cupcake per serving)
Calories: 124
Fat: 2g
Carbs: 26g
Protein: 1g
Fiber: 1g

Weight Watchers Points Plus: 3 pp per cupcake

(Nutritional values will vary depending on what candies you put on top. Add points appropriately.)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easter Recipes

I don't know about y'all but I am so excited for Easter this weekend! I love spending time with my family around food and beautiful pastel decorations. We have a tradition of serving the same thing every year, and I do not mind that one bit.

I have collected some of the recipes that I have posted in the past year that would make a great addition to YOUR Easter table! And rest assured, cheesy potatoes, deviled eggs and asparagus will surely make an appearance on our table this year!



























Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Light Deep Dish Pizza Casserole



Wow. For a light recipe this casserole is just....wow. First off, it's super simple to whip up. Second off, it does NOT taste light, at all. But rest assured, it IS a lighter recipe. I always trust Emily at Emily Bites and her light, hearty recipes never dissappoint. (Like that golden potato bake I made.. blegh.) I had to redeem myself with "diet food" for my boyfriend after that potato bake. This dish did just that. Plus the portion size is huge, it almost makes you feel like a cheater!

Of course, if you're on a diet you don't want to eat something like this  EVERY night but it is something you can throw in your rotation when you're craving a satisfying, rich meal.

-Ingredients-

1 lb 95% lean ground beef
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
Italian Seasoning to taste
garlic powder to taste
cooking spray
7 turkey pepperonies, quartered (optional)
black olives (optional)
1 can refrigerated pizza dough
6 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

-Directions-

1. Preaheat oven to 425*.
2. Brown beef in over medium-high heat. Drain off ALL grease (I even blot it with a paper towel at this point to get as much grease off as I can.)
3. Return to skillet, season with Italian seasoning, garlic powder and a little salt. Stir to combine.
4. Add the tomato sauce, and stir until heated through.
5. Meanwhile, spray a 13x9 glass baking dish with cooking spray. Press the pizza dough in the dish, making a "crust" that goes about halfway up the sides.
6. Pour the prepared meat mixture over the crust and spread evenly.
7. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven. Top with cheese and any other desired pizza toppings. I also sprinkled a little extra Italian seasoning over the top.
8. Bake for 5 additional minutes or until the cheese is melted. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 6. Weight Watchers PointsPlus Value: 9.
317 calories per serving.




Recipe adapted from Emily Bites

Monday, March 26, 2012

Skinny Taco Salad


This was SO yummy, ya'll. I made an entire recipe for myself and ate it for days. I just kept the beef and corn mixture in separate containers already measured out. It was filling and tasted just like a taco!

I should also mention how easy this was to throw together. It was great to make on a night when I had no one to cook for.

-Ingredients-

1 lb extra-lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
low sodium taco seasoning
1 cup frozen corn kernals, thawed
1 cup salsa, divided
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1/2 cup shredded cheese- 2% (any kind you'd like. I used colby/jack)
4 cups chopped lettuce
green onions, chopped

-Directions-

1. Brown and drain the beef. Add the taco seasoning and cook according to package.
2. Mix in 1/2 cup salsa and the corn. Cook until heated through.
3. For each salad use 1 cup lettuce, 1/2 cup beef mixture and top with 2 tbsp each of salsa, sour cream and cheese.
4. Top with chopped green onions and enjoy!
(For lunch I would halve this recipe and use only 1/4 cup of the meat mixture)

(According to myfitnesspal.com: Calories- 313, Carbs- 21, Fat- 12, Protein-30, Fiber- 3. Weight Watchers Points Plus: 8)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Just Some Facts About Me...

It has been brought to my attention that more and more people are reading my blog that I may not know personally, I LOVE this! I mean, that's the reason I'm blogging.. is for people to read it, right?

I wanted ya'll to get to know me a little bit. I want to get to know you too, so follow my blog so I can see you! Or leave me a comment when you try a recipe and let me know how it turned out. I would love a little feedback. It would make my day in fact. Wouldn't you like to make my day?

Sorry for the non-food related post.. we will return to your regularly scheduled program in a moment. ;)

A. Age: I'll be 26 in June.


B. Bed size: Queen. I got it in 8th grade. It is totally being held up by college textbooks that I never sold back on one side. Might need a new one?

C. Chore you dislike: All of them, really. But if I had to choose one it would be laundry. I hate putting laundry away. Like with a passion. I will find any excuse to NOT put my laundry away, which in turn makes my mornings chaos and make me hate laundry even more.

D. Dogs: Lucy. My sweet little pitbull rescue. She has no ears and her teeth were filed down but I swear she is the sweetest little pup ever. She is just kinda a nut job. Okay. She is a complete and utter nut job.


Def. Naughty



E. Essential start to your day: When I did my internship teaching 2nd grade it was TOTALLY coffee. Now that I just sit at a desk I don't find it to be something I need every day. I don't really have something I NEED to get the day started, I just start it. (While complaining the entire time...)

F. Favorite color: Purple

G. Gold or silver: silver

H. Height: 5′ 4"

I. Instruments you play(ed): The recorder in the 5th. What what. I would REALLY like a keytar.

J. Job title: Right now I am a temp. office assistant at the Division of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. I start at VZW at the end of April for customer service.

K. Kids: Not yet.

L. Live for ______: the weekend.

M. Most embarrassing moment: Ummm... my life? Lets just say if something awkward could potentially happen in a situation, it WILL happen to me. My sister's work collegues get a real kick out of it. They are excited for me to start my job at Verizon because they know the stories will start rollin' in again. Oh well.

N. Nicknames: Boo, Slobbo (whoops), Jugs

O. Overnight hospital stays: Never.

P. Pet peeves: people who complain about situations they can do something about. When my boyfriend says "we'll see." I guess when anyone says "we'll see".....that is SO not an answer.

Q. Quote from a movie: Anything from Grandma's Boy.

S. Siblings: older sister, Heidi and older brother Sean

T. Time you wake up: it SHOULD be at like 6:30 but this is me we're talking about... I wake up at 7:30. (And have to be at work at 8... I'm a morning wizard.)

U. University attended: UNCW

V. Vegetables: Asparagus, broccoli, corn, green beans, onions, peppers

W. What makes you run late: waking up late. (See answer for time I wake up.) I always have these wonderful ideas while I'm hitting the snooze button. I'm like.. constantly late. Whoops.

X. X-rays you’ve had: just of my teeth. No bigs.

Y. Yummy food you make: Pretty much everything. I mean.. have you SEEN my blog?! (oh duh. you're here!)

Z. Zoo animal favorites: I have not been to the zoo since middle school. I'd say monkeys but they smell. Like really bad. So probably polar bears or something.