Sunday, May 30, 2010

Oatmeal Cake with Caramel Icing

This cake is so good you won't be able to stop at one piece. You would never know it was a lighter recipe just by tasting it. The frosting is amazing.

Oatmeal Cake with Caramel Icing

1 1/4 c. boiling water
1 c. quick-cooking oats
1/4 c. butter, softened
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. butter, cubed
1/4 c. fat-free milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. confectioners sugar

In a small bowl, pour boiling water over oats; let stand for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in applesauce and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in the oats. Pour into a 13x9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs. Cool completely on a wire rack.

For icing, in a small saucepan, combine brown sugar and butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk. Return to a boil. Cook and stir 1 minute longer. Transfer to a small bowl. Stir in vanilla and salt. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Immediately spread icing over cake. Let stand until set. It will only take a few minutes to set, so frost the cake immediately after it cools.

Makes 20 servings

Nutritional info: 1 piece equals 216 calories, 5 g fat, 33mg cholesterol, 193mg sodium, 41g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 2g protein.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Night Pajama Party - Pizza dough and BBQ Chicken Pizza

About a year ago we started a weekly tradition in our house. Every Friday night we get in our pajamas, make pizza and watch a movie picnic style on our basement floor. I have been through numerous pizza recipes in search of the best one. So far I haven't found the perfect recipe but a few have been pretty good. This one is a good one because it is very quick.

In the picture, I did a BBQ chicken pizza. I don't like a lot of cheese on my pizza so feel free to add more to yours. I have included the recipe below.

Fast and Easy Pizza Dough

3 c. flour, more or less (I like to use about 1/2-1 c. whole wheat flour and the rest all purpose flour)
1 Tbsp. honey, heaping (I am not sure how to do a heaping tablespoon of honey so I just add a little extra)
1 Tbsp. olive oil, heaping (Same as honey, just add a little extra oil)
1 c. warm water
1 Tbsp. yeast
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
Additional olive oil and garlic salt to spread on dough

Preheat oven to 475. If you are using a pizza stone, let stone heat in oven for at least 30 minutes before baking the pizza. If you are using regular baking sheets, lightly spray with non stick spray.

Mix all ingredients together except the flour. I like to let it sit for a few minutes to make sure the yeast is dissolved and activated. Add 1 1/2 c. flour and combine. Slowly add in the remaining flour until you have a dough that barely sticks to your fingers. You can do this in your stand mixer or just in a bowl. Once all the flour is added, turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Just a minute or two should do. At this point I like to let the dough sit for about 10-15 minutes but you don't have to. You can either shape your pizza into a large pizza on a stone or pan but we like to make our own individual pizzas. To do this, divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 6-7" circle. Place on a baking sheet that has been lightly sprayed with non stick spray.

Brush a small amount of olive oil over the dough. Lightly sprinkle with garlic salt. Pierce several times with a fork to avoid bubbling. Bake in oven for 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and add sauce, toppings and cheese. Return to oven for about 7-8 minutes or until cheese is melted and starts to brown.

BBQ chicken pizza

The ingredients are enough for 1 pizza, so adjust to however many pizzas you are doing.

1 boneless skinless chicken breast
Salt and pepper
BBQ sauce (Bull's eye tastes the best)
1 tsp. chopped cilantro (optional)
Mozzarella cheese (a blend of mozzarella and Gouda is also very good)

Cut chicken into small bite sized pieces. Season with salt and pepper. In a non stick skillet over medium high heat, cook chicken until no longer pink. Place cooked chicken in a small bowl. Add about 1 tbsp. of BBQ sauce and stir, coating the chicken.

Spread the desired amount of BBQ sauce over pizza dough and top with chicken and cheese. Bake at 425 for about 7-8 minutes or until cheese is melted and starts to brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

You can also top your pizza with red onions.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Buttermilk Waffles

At our house, we make some form of pancakes or waffles at least 4 days a week. Usually it is my son asking for a blue, green or red pancake/waffle. I think I used green food coloring in pancake batter for St. Patrick's day a couple years ago and since then he always wants colored pancakes/waffles for breakfast. So, I am always on the look out for good waffle and pancake recipes. This one is one of the better recipes. The syrup on the waffle in the picture is Hot Buttermilk Syrup found here: Hot Buttermilk Syrup.

A few years ago I got a professional Belgian waffle iron for Christmas and it has become my favorite kitchen appliance. It makes waffles taste so much better than a standard waffle maker. Even the store bought pancake mix (which I can't stand) doesn't taste all that bad in this waffle maker. If you love waffles as much as I do, I would highly reccomend investing in one of these irons.

Buttermilk Waffles

3 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. oil
3 c. buttermilk
5 egg whites

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. In a medium sized bowl beat egg whites until light and fluffy (or until soft peaks form). Add oil and buttermilk to dry ingredients. Gently fold in egg whites just until combined. Cook in waffle iron sprayed with non stick spray. Serves 6-8 people.

Per whole waffle (4 triangles): 259 calories, 5g fat, 8g sugar, 1g fiber, 10g protein, 4 mg cholesterol, 43g carbohydrates

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Shredded pork (or beef) tacos with homemade tortillas

I love a good crock pot dinner. Something I can just throw in the crock pot and not worry about all day. This one is so easy and very good. You can half it if needed since it makes enough to feed an army or you can make the whole 3 lb. roast and freeze it. It freezes well for a couple of months. It is best to use pork but you can use beef. I had a beef roast I needed to use up so I used that in the picture.The rice recipe is from Cilantro Lime Chicken and Rice Bowl.

Shredded Pork (or Beef)

3 lb. pork (or beef) roast
16 oz. salsa
1 can Coca Cola
2 c. brown sugar

Place the roast in your crock pot. Puree salsa in a food processor or blender. Combine the salsa, Coke, and brown sugar. Pour over roast. Cook on low about 6-8 hours or high for 4-5. Shred with fork.

Homemade Flour Tortillas

2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. water
3 Tbsp. olive oil

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Stir in water and oil. Turn onto a floured surface; knead 5-6 times. Divide dough into 8 portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a 7 inch circle.

In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook tortillas over medium heat for 1 minute on each side or until lightly browned. Keep warm.

Nutritional facts: 1 tortilla equalls 159 calories, 5g fat, 0 mg cholestorol, 148 mg sodium, 24g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber

Tortilla recipe source: Taste of Home Magazine (June/July 2010)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Salted Nut- Roll Bars

You can't beat the mixture of salty and sweet together as well as crunch and chewy. These are just all around tasty.

Salted Nut-Roll Bars

For base:
1 lb. peanut butter sandwich cookies, coarsely crumbled (such as Nutter Butter)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

For the topping:
2 c. peanut butter chips
2/3 c. light corn syrup
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. miniature marshmallows
2 c. dry-roasted peanuts
2 c. crisp rice cereal (such as Rice Krispies)

Preheat oven to 350; coat a 13x9x2 inch baking pan with nonstick spray.

Pulverize cookies in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Add melted butter; process until crumbs clump together. Press crumbs into prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Melt peanut butter chips, corn syrup, butter, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth, about 5 minutes. Spread 1/2 cup of the peanut mixture over crumb base.

Top with marshmallows and return bars to the oven. Bake until marshmallows puff, about 2 minutes, then remove from oven. Don't let marshmallows brown or they will turn crunchy.

Toss peanuts and cereal with remaining peanut mixture to coat. Drop spoonfuls of the topping over the marshmallows, then spread with a spatula (sprayed with non-stick spray to avoid sticking). Cool bars before cutting with a knife coated with nonstick spray.

Makes 28 bars
Total time: about 45 minutes + cooling

Per bar: 310 calories, 18 g fat, 13 mg cholesterol; 32 g carb, 206 mg sodium, 5g fiber, 7 g protein

Recipe source: Cuisine at home magazine

Monday, May 24, 2010

Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy

This recipe calls for cognac and since I don't usually have a bottle laying around I just use pear juice. You can find a can of it in the ethnic latin food isle at the store. It works just the same as the cognac just without the alcohol.

The picture doesn't look terribly appetizing but it really is very good.

Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 (10 oz.) can condensed cream of mushroom soup, divided
1/2 c. Italian bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 c. frozen chopped onions
1 tsp. Montreal steak seasoning
1 Tbsp. canola oil
2 Tbsp. butter, divided
1/4 c. cognac (or pear juice)
1 (8 oz.) package sliced fresh mushrooms
2 c. low sodium beef broth
1 (1.2 oz.) packet brown gravy mix

In a large bowl, combine beef, 1/4 can mushroom soup, bread crumbs, egg, onions, and steak seasoning. Mix thoroughly and shape into 4 oval patties. Heat oil and 1 Tbsp. butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown patties on both sides and transfer to a plate.

Remove pan from heat and add remaining butter and cognac (or pear juice). Place back on stove and add mushrooms. Saute for 7 to 8 minutes. Add beef stock and whisk in gravy mix until smooth. Stir in remaining mushroom soup.

Return patties to skillet and spoon gravy over top. Cover pan and simmer for 20-25 minutes.

Serve patties over rice, egg noodles or mashed potatoes then top with mushroom gravy.

Recipe source: Sandra Lee

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lighter Chicken Parmesan

I love this recipe. I make it often enough that I keep any left over flour mixture and panko mixture on hand to make this a quick meal. Also, to save time you can substitute 2 cups of your favorite plain tomato sauce for the Simple Tomato Sauce but the tomato sauce is so good I would highly recommend making time for it. You could even make the sauce ahead of time and freeze it.

Lighter Chicken Parmesan

1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
3 large egg whites
1 tablespoon water
3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cups tomato sauce , warmed (see recipe below)
3 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 3/4 cup)
1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced

Simple Tomato Sauce

1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes (*or crushed tomatoes)
4 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil leaves
1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 475 degrees. Combine the bread crumbs and oil in a 12-inch skillet and toast over medium heat, stirring often, until golden, about 10 minutes. Spread the bread crumbs in a shallow dish and cool slightly; when cool, stir in the Parmesan.

2. In a second shallow dish, combine the flour, garlic powder, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together. In a third shallow dish, whisk the egg whites and water together.

3. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, place a wire rack on top, and spray the rack with vegetable oil spray. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge the cutlets in the flour, shaking off the excess, then dip into the egg whites, and finally coat with the bread crumbs, Press on the bread crumbs to make sure they adhere. Lay the chicken on the wire rack.

4. Spray the tops of the chicken with vegetable oil spray. Bake until the meat is no longer pink in the center and feels firm when pressed with a finger, about 15 minutes.

5. Remove the chicken from the oven. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the sauce onto the center of each cutlet and top the sauce with 2 tablespoons of the mozzarella. Return the chicken to the oven and continue to bake until the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the basil and serve, passing the remaining sauce and Parmesan separately.

*I like to make a little spaghetti or angel hair pasta as a side and top it with the remaining tomato sauce. I used whole wheat thin spaghetti in the picture.

For Simple Tomato Sauce:
Pulse the tomatoes in a food processor until mostly smooth, about ten 1-second pulses; set aside. (*You could also just use a can of crushed tomatoes if you don't have a food processor). Cook the garlic, tomato paste, oil, and pepper flakes in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the tomato paste begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in the pureed tomatoes and cook until the sauce is thickened and measures 2 cups, about 20 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside until needed.

Nutritional info per serving:
Cal 310; Fat 8 g; Sat fat 2.5 g; Chol 75 mg; Carb 20 g; Protein 38 g; Fiber 1 g; Sodium 790 mg

Recipe source: America's Test Kitchen

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Baked Doughnuts

I love doughnuts! I have always wanted to make homemade doughnuts but didn't want to deal with deep frying them. I found this recipe for baked doughnuts but it required a doughnut pan. I have been on the lookout for doughnut pans but didn't want to pay $10 -$15 a piece for them. So I set aside this recipe and hoped some day I would get around to buying pans.
So, I was at D.I. this week and I was just about to leave when I glanced over at a cart of stuff about to be put on the shelf and what did I see? Doughnut pans!!! I was so excited. They were brand new too.They didn't have a price on them so I took them to the cashier to ask. He gave them to me for $.50 a piece. I couldn't believe it. I was so excited to make these doughnuts. So last night I made the Vanilla Cake Doughnuts and they were so good that we had to make the chocolate ones tonight. They were equally as good.

Vanilla Cake Doughnuts
1-1/4  cups all-purpose flour
1/2  teaspoon baking soda
1/4  teaspoon salt
1/2  cup low-fat buttermilk
1/3  cup packed dark-brown sugar
1  egg
4  teaspoons unsalted butter, melted
1  teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/4  cups confectioners sugar
3  tablespoons milk
Sprinkles, toasted coconut, mini chips, cinnamon-sugar
1  tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Coat a 6-indentation doughnut pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In large bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk buttermilk, sugar, egg, melted butter and vanilla extract until smooth. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; whisk until smooth.

3. Spoon batter into a large resealable plastic bag. Cut off a corner and squeeze batter into prepared indents, about 2/3 full. Smooth tops. Bake at 325 degrees F for 13 minutes, until doughnuts spring back when lightly pressed. Cool in pan on rack 3 minutes, then carefully turn out onto rack to cool.

4. For powdered doughnuts: Place 1/4 cup confectioners sugar in a sifter and gently sift over cooled vanilla doughnuts. Flip doughnuts; cover with sugar.

5. For white-frosted doughnuts: In small bowl, combine 1 cup of the confectioners sugar and 1 tablespoon of the milk. Stir until smooth. Dip cooled doughnuts into bowl and allow excess frosting to drip back into bowl. Transfer to rack. Top with sprinkles, coconut or mini chips, if desired. Transfer any extra frosting to a plastic bag.

6. For chocolate-frosted doughnuts: Combine remaining 1 cup confectioners sugar, the cocoa and remaining 2 tablespoons milk. Stir until smooth. Dip cooled doughnuts into bowl and allow excess frosting to drip back into bowl. Transfer to rack. Top with sprinkles, coconut or mini chips, if desired. Transfer any extra frosting to a plastic bag.

7. For drizzle: Snip small corner off bags of frosting. Decoratively drizzle over cooled doughnuts.

8. For cinnamon-sugar doughnuts: Toss still-warm vanilla doughnuts in cinnamon-sugar to coat.

Chocolate Cake Doughnuts

1  cup all-purpose flour 
1/4  cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
1/2  teaspoon baking soda 
1/4  teaspoon salt 
1/2  cup low-fat buttermilk 
1/2  cup packed dark-brown sugar 
1  egg 
4  teaspoons unsalted butter, melted 
1  teaspoon vanilla extract 
2  cups confectioners sugar 
3  tablespoons milk
Sprinkles, toasted coconut, mini chips
1  tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Coat doughnut pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In large bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In small bowl, whisk buttermilk, sugar, egg, butter and vanilla until smooth. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; whisk until blended and smooth.

3. Spoon batter into a large resealable plastic bag. Cut off a corner and squeeze batter into prepared indents, about 2/3 full. Smooth tops. Bake at 325 degrees F for 13 minutes, until doughnuts spring back when lightly pressed. Cool in pan on rack 3 minutes, then carefully turn out directly onto rack to cool.

4. For white-frosted doughnuts: In small bowl, combine 1 cup of the confectioners sugar and 1 tablespoon of the milk. Stir until smooth. Dip cooled doughnuts into bowl and allow excess frosting to drip back into bowl. Transfer to rack. Top with sprinkles, coconut or mini chips, if desired. Transfer any extra frosting to a plastic bag.

5. For chocolate-frosted doughnuts: Combine remaining 1 cup confectioners sugar, the cocoa and remaining 2 tablespoons milk. Stir until smooth. Dip cooled doughnuts into bowl and allow excess frosting to drip back into bowl. Transfer to rack. Top with sprinkles, coconut or mini chips, if desired. Transfer any extra frosting to a plastic bag.

6. For drizzle: Snip small corner off bags of frosting. Decoratively drizzle over cooled doughnuts.

Recipe Source: adapted from Family Circle Magazine

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cashew Chicken

This dish is pretty good. I think it needs a little more Asian flavor to it, maybe a little fresh ginger but the crunch of the cashews makes it great!

Cashew Chicken

4 chicken breast halves, cut into pieces
1 tsp sugar
4 Tb cornstarch, divided
½ tsp salt
¼ c. soy sauce
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 Tb oil
2 c. hot chicken broth
2 tsp lemon juice
½ c. cashews
cooked rice

Combine sugar, 2 Tb cornstarch, salt, soy sauce, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Dredge chicken pieces in this mixture. Drain and save dredge; then stir fry chicken in hot oil in frying pan or wok until chicken is lightly brown and tender, about 10 minutes. 
Remove chicken from oil and drain excess oil from the pan. Add remaining cornstarch and the dredge drained from the chicken. Blend well, then add chicken stock to the pan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook until thickened. Add lemon juice; add chicken pieces and reheat. Do not boil. Taste to correct seasonings. Add cashews. Serve over hot rice. Makes 4-5 servings. You can stir fry some vegetables and add them to the mixture at the end. 
Recipe source:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"3 for 100" Pumpkin Mini Muffins

With only 100 calories for 3 muffins how can you go wrong. Not to mention one of my favorite flavors....pumpkin. I love pumpkin anything. I am counting down the days until fall when I can make everything pumpkin. I am trying to keep my pumpkin obsession under control until then since it is a seasonal flavor but sometimes I just can't resist!

I tried a few different toppings on my muffins. I did semi-sweet chocolate chips, toasted pecans, low-fat granola, oats, brown sugar and just plain. My favorite was the toasted pecans or the brown sugar. These are great to have around for a quick low-calorie snack when you need a little something to get you through the day. Of course the toppings I did probably alter the calorie count slightly.

"3 for 100" Mini Pumpkin Muffins
Recipe source:

1 cup whole-wheat or all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 can (15 oz.) 100% Pure Pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups low-fat granola cereal, crumbled

Preheat oven to 350º F. Paper-line or grease mini-muffin pans.

Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder and salt in small bowl. Beat sugar and oil in medium mixer bowl until blended. Add pumpkin and eggs; beat well. Gradually stir in flour mixture. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 2/3 full. Sprinkle each with about a 1/2 teaspoon of crumbled granola. Press granola lightly into batter.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted into centers comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Store muffins in covered containers or resealable plastic bags.

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving (3 muffins)
Calories 100
Calories from Fat 30
% Daily Value
Total Fat 3.5g 5%
Saturated Fat 0.5g 3%
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 85mg 15%
Carbohydrates 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 12g
Protein 2g

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Garlic Chicken Farfalle

The sauce on this pasta has such a great smokey flavor from the bacon and with just the right amount of kick from the marinade added. I think I might try a lighter version next time by using half and half and turkey bacon. I'll let you know how it is.

Garlic Chicken Farfalle

16 oz. Farfalle Pasta
1 c. heavy whipping cream
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp.pepper
2 to 3 cloves of crushed garlic
½ c. butter (I only used 1/4 C and it was still great)
1 lb. Bacon crumpled
½ c shredded Parmesan cheese
1 (12oz) Lawry's mesquite marinade with lime juice

Place chicken in Crock pot and add bottle of marinade (save a little to add to the cream sauce). Cook on low for 6 hours or 3 hours on high. Remove chicken from Crock pot, allow to cool a few minutes and shred. Set aside. 

About a half hour before serving, boil the pasta according to package directions.*(I added broccoli to my dish. I just placed about 3 cups of frozen broccoli into the pasta water the last 3-4 minutes of cooking time until the broccoli was tender)

In a small saucepan, melt butter; add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Then add whipping cream, pepper, Parmesan cheese, and crumpled bacon. Whisk together on low heat for 3-4 minutes. (I added some of the marinade for some extra flavor) 

In a large bowl, pour sauce over cooked drained pasta (and broccoli), add chicken and stir. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese just before serving. 

*This would also be good with some sun dried tomatoes or other vegetables.

Recipe adapted from:

Monday, May 17, 2010

Caramel-Pecan Bars with Chocolate Drizzle

I was anxious to try these bars since they came from a Weight Watchers magazine. Most diet desserts are not as good as the picture looks but these bars did not disappoint. They do not taste diet in anyway. Just be careful you don't have any loose fillings in your teeth. They are very chewy and sticky.

Caramel-Pecan Bars with Chocolate Drizzle

3 Tbs butter, softened
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
¾ cup all-purpose flour
30 individual soft caramels (unwrapped)
1 Tbs fat-free milk
¼ cup pecans, sliced lengthwise in half
1 ounce chopped dark chocolate
1 ounce chopped white chocolate

1. Prepare crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch-square baking pan with enough foil to extend 2-inches over the sides; spray foil with nonstick spray.

2. With an electric mixer on low speed, beat butter, brown sugar and vanilla until well mixed. Add flour, beating until it is blended and mixture is crumbly. Press crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake until crust is lightly browned at the edges, about 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, to make the topping, combine caramels and milk in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes until the mixture is hot, stirring once halfway through the cooking time. Stir again until the mixture is smooth.

4. Pour topping onto the hot crust and spread evenly, leaving a ¼-inch border along the edge. Place pecans on top..

5. Return the pan to the oven and bake just until the topping is bubbling in the center, about 12 minutes longer. Melt two chocolates separately in microwave and scoop into individual ziplocs. Snip tiny corner of each ziploc and drizzle in a zigzag manner on top of the caramel topping. Cool completely on a rack.

6. Using the foil overhang as handles, transfer to a cutting board. Gently peel away the foil and cut into 16 bars.

Servings: 16
Yield: 16 bars

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving

Calories 171.22
Calories From Fat (36%) 61.79
Total Fat 7.26g
Saturated Fat 3.46g
Cholesterol 7.07mg
Sodium 64.44mg
Potassium 85.41mg
Carbohydrates 26.30g
Dietary Fiber 0.92g
Sugar 17.03g
Net Carbohydrates 25.38g
Protein 1.99g

WW Points: 4
Cooking Tips: White chocolate is sometimes tricky to melt. If yours isn’t melted well, just add about 1/2 tsp. shortening to the white chocolate and it should smooth it out and melt a little easier.

Recipe source: who adapted it from Weight Watchers magazine

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Guacamole Chicken Burger

If you have ever had the California Chicken Burger at Red Robin, this burger is pretty much the same thing.

Guacamole Chicken Burger

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 packet mesquite marinade packet (or whatever flavor you prefer)
8 pieces of bacon, cooked
4 slices Monterey Jack cheese
2 cups guacamole
4 hamburger buns

Other toppings: lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, onion

Marinate chicken as directed on packet of marinade. Grill chicken about 5-6 minutes each side. On the second side just before the chicken is done, add  2 pieces of bacon to each chicken breast then top with cheese. As cheese is melting toast the buns over low heat. Remove chicken and buns from grill. Stack chicken on bun, then top with guacamole. Add other toppings as desired and enjoy.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Outback Steakhouse Alice Springs Chicken

Another family favorite!!  This is on my husband's top 5 list of things I make.

Outback Steakhouse Alice Springs Chicken

Honey Mustard Marinade:
1/2 c. Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
1/2 c. honey
1 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Using an electric mixer, combine mustard, honey, 1 1/2 tsp. oil and lemon juice in small bowl. Whip mixture for about 30 seconds.

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 c. sliced mushrooms (10-12 mushrooms)
2 tbsp. butter
salt and pepper
8 slices bacon, cooked
1 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh parsley

Place chicken in a Ziploc bag and pour 2/3 of marinade over the chicken. Seal and refrigerate for about 2 hours.

Chill remaining marinade until later. After the chicken has marinated, preheat oven to 375. In a large oven safe skillet (large enough to hold 4 pieces of chicken) heat 1 teaspoon of oil over medium heat. If you don't have an oven proof skillet, transfer the chicken to a baking dish for the baking. Remove chicken from bag and discard bag with marinade. Sear chicken in pan for 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove the pan from heat, but keep the chicken in the pan. As the chicken is cooking, saute the sliced mushrooms in butter in a small frying pan.

Brush each seared chicken breast with a little of the reserved honey mustard marinade (not the portion the chicken was marinated in), being sure to save a little extra to serve as a side. Season chicken with salt, pepper and a dash of paprika. Stack two pieces of cooked bacon, crosswise, on each chicken breast. Spoon the sauteed mushrooms on the bacon, being sure to coat each breast evenly.

Spread 1/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese onto each breast, followed by 1/4 cup of Cheddar. Bake the pan of chicken for 7-10 minutes or until the cheese is thoroughly melted and starting to bubble. Sprinkle each chicken breast with 1/2 teaspoon of parsley. Serve with leftover marinade for dipping.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Skillet Baked Ziti

This recipe is so easy and quick and tastes so good. You have to try this recipe. If you don't have fresh basil (which I highly recommend using) you can use dried basil but only use about a 1/2 - 1 tsp. Adjust to your liking. Also, if you don't want to use heavy cream you can use half and half and get a similar result.

Skillet Baked Ziti

To complete this recipe in 30 minutes, preheat your oven before assembling your ingredients. If your skillet is not ovensafe, transfer the pasta mixture into a shallow 2-quart casserole dish before sprinkling with the cheese and baking. Packaged pre-shredded mozzarella is a real time-saver here. Penne can also be used.
Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
6 garlic cloves , minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
3 cups water
12 ounces ziti (3 3/4 cups)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Making the Minutes Count: Measure the water and the pasta before you begin cooking. Prep the Parmesan and basil while the pasta cooks.

1. Heat Oven: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees.

2. Simmer Ziti: Combine oil, garlic, pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in 12-inch, ovensafe nonstick skillet and sauté over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add crushed tomatoes, water, ziti, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring often and adjusting heat as needed to maintain vigorous simmer, until ziti is almost tender, 15 to 18 minutes.

3. Add Cheese and Bake: Stir in cream, Parmesan, and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over ziti. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until cheese has melted and browned, about 10 minutes. Serve.

Recipe Source: America's Test Kitchen
Picture Source:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Olive Oil and Rosemary Rolls

These rolls have a nice crusty outside and soft middle. Make sure to adjust the amount of flour added. I only added about 2 1/2 cups and it was almost too much. The rolls were a little dry. Keep in mind these take about 3 hours to make. Make sure to leave yourself plenty of time.


¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 ¼ tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
3 ¼ cups bread flour (more or less)
1 ¾ teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt
extra flour for dusting
1/4 - 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
nonstick spray

1. In a small bowl, combine olive oil and rosemary; let marinate for at least 30 minutes.

2. Pour yeast into 1 cup of warm water (about 105 to 110 degrees… no warmer). Stir to dissolve the yeast and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Mixture should foam and bubble (a sign that the yeast is still good).

3. Insert paddle attachment into your stand mixer. Pour water/yeast mixture into the mixing bowl. Add ½ cup of flour and the salt and mix on low speed until incorporated. Keep adding ½ cups of flour until all flour is used up and incorporated. Remove the paddle attachment and replace it with a dough hook. Knead on low and slowly pour in the olive oil/rosemary. Increase to speed 3 and let the machine knead for about 2 minutes.

4. Remove the dough and shape quickly into a ball. Dust lightly with flour and place in a zip bag, pressing out air and sealing. Place on a cutting board and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size (about 1 hour). Punch down inside the bag and let rise again for an additional hour.

5. Punch the dough to deflate and let rest 10 minutes. Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Divide dough into 12 equal-sized pieces. Shape each piece of dough into a ball and transfer to the prepared baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature for about 1 hour (until almost doubled). They’ll continue to rise as they bake, so don’t worry too much if they don’t look large enough.

6. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap and lightly brush each roll with melted butter. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until browned and hollow sounding when tapped. Remove to wire rack to cool.

Yield: 12

Tip: Trick to dividing the dough into 12 equal pieces: Divide the dough in half, then in half again, then you can divide each of the four pieces into three equal dough balls.

Recipe source:

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sunburst Lemon Bars

These lemon bars are always a hit. I recommend using fresh squeezed lemon juice unless you don't particularly care for the lemon taste then you can use the bottled stuff. The bottled stuff only gives it a hint of lemon taste. Just a warning, make sure they are done in the middle before taking them out of the oven. More often than not, I take them out before they are done and I end up with a gooey mess. You may need to place a piece of tin foil over the top toward the end of the baking time to avoid getting too brown on top and not cooking through.

Sunburst Lemon Bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes (Ready in 2 hours)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup margarine or butter, softened

4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup lemon juice

1 cup powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice

Heat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine all base ingredients at low speed until crumbly. Press mixture evenly in bottom of an ungreased 13x9 inch pan. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until light golden brown.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine all filling ingredients except lemon juice; blend well. Stir in 1/4 c. lemon juice. Pour mixture over warm base.
Bake at 350 for an additional 25 to 30 minutes or until top is light golden brown. Cool 1 hour or until completely cooled. 

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup powdered sugar and enough lemon juice for desired spreading consistency, blend until smooth. Frost cooled bars. Make sure to cool completely and let the filling set before attempting to cut. 

Yield: 36 bars

Nutrition Information Per Serving

Serving Size: 1 Bar. Calories 140 --- Calories from Fat 50 --- Total Fat 6 g --- Saturated Fat 1 g --- Cholesterol 24 mg --- Sodium 75 mg --- Dietary Fiber 0 g
Dietary Exchanges: 1 1/2 Fruit, 1 Fat or 1 1/2 Carbohydrate, 1 Fat

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Frosted Banana Bars

I was a little skeptical of these bars at first since it is a light recipe but they are really good! This is a great recipe if you need to use up a couple of bananas before they go bad.

Frosted Banana Bars

2/3 C. Sugar
1/2 C. Sour Cream
2 T. Butter, softened
2 egg whites
3/4 C. mashed banana (about 2)
1 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 T. Finely chopped walnuts(optional)
1 tsp. vanilla

Heat oven to 375. Spray 9x9" pan. Beat sugar, sour cream, butter, and egg whites in large bowl 1 minute on low speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in bananas and vanilla on low speed 30 seconds. Beat in flour, salt, and baking soda 1 min. Spread in pan. Bake 20-25 minutes til light brown. Cool completely.


1 1/4 C. powdered sugar
1 T. butter, softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1-2 T. milk 

Makes 9 servings
Nutritional info per serving: 257 calories, total fat 6.8g, cholesterol 16mg, sodium 182mg, potassium 117mg, carbohydrates 47.1g, dietary fiber .9g, sugars 33g, protein 2.9g

Recipe source: who got it from Lion House Lite Cookbook

Friday, May 7, 2010

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes with Hot Buttermilk Syrup

 These pancakes would be great for a Mother's Day breakfast!

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

3/4 C whole wheat flour
3/4 C all-purpose flour
3 Tbs sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C low-fat buttermilk *
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbs canola oil
1 large egg
1 large egg white
Cooking Spray or butter for pan

*It is best to use real buttermilk but if you don't have any on hand you can make your own substitute by placing 1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice in a measuring cup and fill with milk to the 1 1/2 c. mark. Let sit for about 5 minutes.

Combine flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk together.  In a separate bowl combine buttermilk, eggs, oil, and vanilla and whisk well.  Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix just until moistened and combined.

Heat a nonstick griddle or skillet to medium heat.  Coat pan with non-stick spray or a little butter and then pour on pancake batter.  Use about 1/4 C batter for large pancakes (5-6") and 2 T for small ones (2-3").   Wait until bubbles form and edges are set and then flip.

Makes 12 large or 24 small pancakes.

Freezer Instructions:  These pancakes freeze wonderfully.  Just lay out pancakes in a single layer on a baking sheet or other pan.  Freeze until solid and then place in a zip-lock bag.  To serve, just warm up in the microwave or toaster.

Recipe source: who adapted it from Cooking Light

Hot Buttermilk Syrup 
This stuff is so good you could drink it....wait, I think I have!

1 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, 1 stick
1/2 c. buttermilk (I use 1/2 c. water and 2 Tbsp. buttermilk powder)
Scant 1/8 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

In a small bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (including buttermilk powder).

In saucepan, bring butter and buttermilk (or water) to a boil. Pour dry ingredients into saucepan, stirring constantly! Re-bring to boil and stir for a minute or two. It will thicken as it cools. Take off heat and stir in vanilla.

Hot Buttermilk Syrup

Hot Buttermilk Syrup 
This stuff is so good you could drink it....wait, I think I have!

1 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, 1 stick
1/2 c. buttermilk (I use 1/2 c. water and 2 Tbsp. buttermilk powder)
Scant 1/8 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

In a small bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (including buttermilk powder).

In saucepan, bring butter and buttermilk (or water) to a boil. Pour dry ingredients into saucepan, stirring constantly! Re-bring to boil and stir for a minute or two. It will thicken as it cools. Take off heat and stir in vanilla.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Orange Flavored Chicken

This recipe was inspired by my trip to Costco today. They were sampling Panda Express' Orange Chicken Sauce. It was good but lacking an actual Orange flavor. I have loved making America's Test Kitchen's Orange Flavored Chicken but it takes 2 hours to make and the chicken is deep fried, (something I try to avoid). So I came up with this version of Orange Flavored Chicken.

Orange Flavored Chicken

3-4 boneless, skinnless chicken breasts

3/4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 c. Orange juice, plus 1 1/2 tsp. grated zest, and 8 strips orange peel, each about 2 inches long by 1/2 inch wide) from 2 oranges.
6 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/2 c. packed dark brown sugar
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 Tbsp.)
1 piece fresh ginger, grated (about 1 inch piece or 1 Tbsp.)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (if you don't like heat, don't use this much)
8 small whole dried red chilies (optional)

1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. corn starch
2 Tbsp. cold water

Place chicken in 1 gallon zipper-lock bag; set aside. Combine chicken broth, orange juice, grated zest, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger and cayenne in large saucepan with at least 3 quart capacity; whisk until sugar is fully dissolved.
Measure out 3/4 cup mixture and pour into bag with chicken; press out as much air as possible and seal bag, making sure that all pieces are coated with marinade. Refrigerate 30 to 60 minutes, but no longer.

Bring remaining mixture in saucepan to a boil over high heat. In small bowl, stir together cornstarch and cold water; whisk cornstarch mixture into sauce. Simmer sauce, stirring occasionally, until thick and translucdent, about 1 minute. Off heat, stir in orange peel and chilies. Sauce should measure 1 1/2 cups. Set sauce aside.

Grill marinated chicken over medium high temperature until cooked through, about 6-7 minutes each side. Let chicken sit for about 5-10 minutes. While chicken is sitting, reheat the sauce over medum low heat until warm. Cut chicken into strips and add to the sauce. Stir and serve over rice. You can remove the orange peel and chilies before serving if you would like.

Recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Fried Ice Cream

This is so easy to make and it cuts out a few calories by not actually frying the ice cream. It is very tasty. I think next time I make this I am going to add some coconut to the cereal mixture to give it more of a nutty flavor. 

3 c. Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, crushed
6 scoops (1/2 c each) vanilla ice cream
Whipped cream, if desired
Maraschino cherries, if desired (I added a few chocolate sprinkles to mine)

Place cereal in shallow pan. Quickly roll 1 scoop of ice cream at a time in cereal to coat. Place coated scoops of ice cream on an ungreased baking sheet. Cover and freeze about 2 hours or until firm.

Set oven control to broil. Working quickly, uncover pan and broil coated scoops of ice cream with tops 6 inches from top of the oven where the heat source is for 30 seconds. Place in a dessert dish and top with whatever you desire.

A little hot fudge sauce is great on this too.

Mexican Pita Pizza

If you need a quick dinner this one is great. You can be creative with toppings but this is what I did.

Mexican Pita Pizza

4 Pita breads
1/2 c. Sour cream (I used fat free)
3/4 - 1 tsp taco seasoning
1 can refried beans
3/4 c. salsa
3/4 c. cheese
Shredded cooked chicken or you can use taco meat ( I just used left over chicken)
Handful of cilantro, chopped

Preheat oven to 400. Bake pita bread for about 7-9 minutes. While pita is baking, combine the sour cream and taco seasoning.

Remove from oven and spread a layer of refried beans over pita. Layer with guacamole, sour cream mixture, salsa, meat, cheese and olives.

Bake pitas until the cheese melts, about 6-7 minutes. After removing from oven, sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve.

*This is also a quick way to make regular pizza. Just follow the same directions for baking but just use pizza sauce and toppings.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cilantro Lime Chicken and Rice Bowl

Don't be intimidated by the size of this post. Some of the recipe can be done ahead of time. The dressing and the marinade can be made and refrigerated until ready to use. The work is definitely worth it. This is one of our family favorites.

Cilantro Lime Chicken and Rice Bowl

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 c. cilantro lime marinade, recipe below
1 c. mango salsa
3/4 c. sour cream
1/2 c. finely chopped cilantro
1 1/2 c. shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
Tomatillo Ranch Dressing, recipe below
Extra cilantro and limes for garnish

Cilantro Lime Marinade

3/4 c. vegetable oil
Juice and zest of 2 limes
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 c. finely chopped cilantro

Add all ingredients except for oil to food processor or blender. Slowly drizzle oil in while food processor is running. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Place chicken breasts in a re-sealable plastic bag. Add prepared marinade and mix to coat. Marinate for 4 hours. Do not marinate longer than 4 hours. The lime in the marinade will break down the chicken and make it mushy.

While chicken is marinating, prepare tomatillo ranch dressing and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

You can also prepare the cilantro sour cream at this time by mixing 3/4 c. sour cream with 1/2 c. chopped cilantro. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Tomatillo Ranch Dressing

1 c. buttermilk ranch dressing packet
1 c. mayo
1 c. buttermilk
5 small-medium tomatillos
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
2 tsp. garlic, minced
Juice and zest of 2 limes
1 jalapeno (seeded or not depending on how spicy you like it)
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

Use a food processor to blend all the ingredients thoroughly. Refrigerate until ready to serve. This makes about 4 cups of dressing. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Leftover dressing is great on any "south-of-the-border" style salad or dish.

Thirty minutes before removing chicken from marinade, prepare cilantro lime rice as directed below. Set aside for later use.

While the rice is cooking, remove the chicken from the marinade and discard bag. Grill chicken about 5-6 minutes each side or you can cook in a fry pan about the same amount of time or until no longer pink. Let sit for 10 minutes. Slice thin or shred with fork. 

Cilantro Lime Rice

1 c. uncooked rice
1 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 tsp. garlic, minced
Zest of one large lime
2 c. hot water
1 chicken bullion cube
2 tsp. granulated sugar
1/3 c. chopped fresh cilantro

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add hot water and bullion. As soon as water comes to a boil and bullion is dissolved, stir in rice and reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender.

Remove from heat and add lime zest, juice, cilantro, garlic and sugar. Fluff rice with fork, stirring ingredients together as you do so.

To compile rice bowl, place desired amount of rice in an oven safe bowl. Preferably the same bowl you'll serve it in. Top rice with the following in this order: shredded or sliced chicken, cilantro sour cream, mango salsa, and finally shredded pepper jack cheese.

Place bowl under the broiler just until cheese is melted and the dish is warmed through. Serve with a drizzle of the tomatillo ranch dressing, garnish with cilantro and lime then enjoy!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Old Fashioned Butterscotch Cookies

These cookies are so good, especially the frosting. I attended the food bloggers bake sale fundraiser a couple of weeks ago and bought some of these cookies. I had to have the recipe! The recipe comes from


1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 (8 ounce) carton fat free sour cream
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy on medium speed. Turn mixer speed to low, add in remaining ingredients, mix until well incorporated. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees 8-10 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool cookies before frosting.


1/2 cup butter
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
5 tsp + boiling water
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

In a saucepan, brown butter over medium low heat. (About 5-7 minutes). Be careful not to scorch the butter. Remove butter from heat and mix in powdered sugar, boiling water, and vanilla. Use a wooden spoon and stir until the frosting is easy to spread. (You may need to add more than the 5 tsp of water. Sometimes I have to add up to a tablespoon or more. Make sure you only add the water a tsp at a time). Immediately spread the frosting on the cookies and top with walnuts if desired. If frosting begins to harden, stir in a tsp of boiling water to soften.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Roast Beef and Blue Cheese Panini

I love this sandwich. I have it at least 2-3 times a week for lunch. It goes great with the Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup.

Roast Beef and Blue Cheese Panini
This is for 1 sandwich. Just adjust for however many sandwiches you want to make.

2 slices of rustic bread (I used sourdough for the picture)
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tsp. blue cheese, crumbled
Deli sliced roast beef
Butter or garlic butter

In a small bowl, combine mayo and blue cheese with a fork. Spread butter or garlic butter on 1 side of each piece of bread. Turn the bread over and spread the mayo blue cheese mixture on the other side. Stack sliced roast beef to your liking on 1 slice of bread with the butter side down. Then top with the other slice of bread with butter side up.

Place in a preheated grill pan or panini press, and cook to your liking.  You don't need to run out and buy a press or grill pan. You can use a regular skillet and find a flat rock about 3-4 inches long and wrap it in foil. While the sandwich is cooking, place the rock on top of the sandwich. Flip and do the same on the other side.
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