Look My Food's On TV!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Creamy Garlic Alfredo

Along with not being able to make a great potato soup I couldn't make a great Alfredo sauce. I have tried many recipes and all have been mediocre. This recipe is not one of them. This recipe was fantastic. I found it on Mel's Kitchen Cafe. I drool over her blog on a regular basis. She's just amazing. I tried to make this WW friendly. It's still a little points heavy but oh so worth it. Paired with my Garlic Bread Sticks I felt like I was at Olive Garden. Enjoy!

(I doubled this recipe since I think you can never have enough Alfredo)

Creamy Garlic Alfredo
from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Printer Friendly Version

8, 1/2 cup servings-6 WW points per serving for the sauce
1 cup of wheat pasta is 4 WW points

4 tablespoons butter
6 garlic cloves, minced (I used 3 tablespoons jarred minced garlic. It was very garlicky)
8 oz of reduced fat cream cheese, softened and cut into pieces
2 cups skim milk
5 oz Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a medium pot or skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly, taking care not to let the garlic burn. Add the cream cheese, stirring with a whisk until the mixture is smooth. It will look curdled at first, but with constant whisking for 2-3 minutes, it should come together to form a smooth, creamy paste. Add the milk gradually, about 1/4 cup at a time, whisking quickly and constantly until each addition is incorporated fully into the sauce. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, pepper and salt. Stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is the desired consistency. Cook for 2-3 minutes for a thicker sauce or remove right after the cheese is melted for a thinner sauce. Serve immediately over hot, cooked noodles.

This reheats well too.

Black Bean and Beef Chili

I made this chili awhile back and loved it but I didn't get a picture. I don't like posting recipes without pictures. The weather is getting colder and making chili for the chill seemed fitting. I got to use my first jar of canned tomatoes I helped can this year. What I like about this recipe is that you can brown the meat and throw everything into your slow cooker and let it cook all day. This time when I made it I let it simmer on the stove. But whatever method you choose will taste fantastic.

Black Bean and Beef Chili

from Smells Like Home

Printer Friendly Version

10 one cup servings, 4 WW points per serving

3 cans (14-15 oz) black beans
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes or pint jar of canned tomatoes
1 diced chipotle chili pepper (canned in adobo sauce) or a pinch of ground chipotle chile powder
1 – 2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb very lean ground beef (less than 10% fat)
1 medium red onion, very finely diced
1 tbsp regular chili powder
1 1/2 tbsp ancho chile powder
Pinch ground chipotle chile powder
2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 cups beef stock or 1 (15 oz) can beef broth
2 tbsp tomato paste
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

  1. Drain 2 cans black beans into colander and rinse well, until no more foam appears. Let beans drain while you use a food processor to puree the third can of undrained beans, diced tomatoes and liquid, and the diced chipotle chile pepper (or chipotle powder). Process the beans and tomatoes about 1 minute, until they are fairly smooth.
  2. In bottom of heavy soup pot or large Dutch oven over medium heat cook the beef and onions until the beef is no longer pink, drain. Add all the chile powders and cumin and saute about 30 seconds.
  3. Add beef stock, browned ground beef, pureed bean mixture, drained beans, and tomato paste and simmer over low heat, uncovered, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Stir the chili occasionally to prevent any sticking on the bottom of the pot. After 45 minutes, check the seasonings and add more chile powder, salt, and/or pepper as needed. Or if using slow cooker add all the ingredients and cook on low for 4 hours.
  4. Just before serving Chili, stir in the chopped cilantro and lime juice and cook about 5 minutes. Serve chili hot with toppings of your choice.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

I don't think I have the words to describe the insanity of these cupcakes. These are right up there with the caramel chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecakes. The frosting is just like a chocolate chip cookie. So you get a big dose of chocolate chip cookie all around and it's awesome. I have seen this recipe floating around the blogs I read for quite awhile but I wanted one that you actually baked the cookie right in the cupcake. With some searching I found what I was looking for and I adapted it to what I wanted. I made these for my bosses birthday. Her husband said that chocolate chip cookies were her favorite treat so I thought this was the perfect time to try this recipe out. She loved them and so did everyone else. The cookie dough center stays soft I think from not putting eggs or baking soda or powder into the batter. The dough doesn't rise it just stays in it cookie doughy goodness. I think I mentioned the awesome frosting. Try these soon!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes
inspired by Kevin and Amanda blog and Annie's Eats

Printer Friendly Version

Cookie Dough Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup caramel topping
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
4 tablespoon water or milk
4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups mini chocolate chips

For the cookie dough: In a medium bowl, combine the butter, caramel, and sugars for the cookie dough. Add the water (or milk), vanilla and blend. Mix in the flour, salt and 2 cup chocolate chips. The dough will be fairly soft. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop out the cookie dough and place them on a wax paper lined plate or baking sheet. Place them in the freezer to harden. I let them freeze for 2 to 3 hours. You should at least get 24 balls.

For the Cupcakes:

1 box of white cake mix or party chip or your favorite homemade recipe

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Follow the instructions on the box to make the batter. Line two cupcake pans with cupcake liners. Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full with the batter. Place a frozen cookie dough ball on the top center of each cupcake.

Bake at 350 for 16-18 mins.

For the Frosting:

3 sticks softened butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup mini chocolate chips

In a mixer combine the butter and brown sugar in a mixing bowl and cream on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in the salt, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth and combined. Add in the chocolate chips.

Frost the cupcakes. I used a pastry bag with a large round tip to frost my cupcakes.

It makes 24 cupcakes.

Baked Potato Soup

I have never been able to make a really good potato soup until now. This recipe that I found on Foodie with Family is great and I thought pretty easy. What I thought really put this over the top was the Greek yogurt green onion mixture. Mixed into the soup was so good. It gave it a tangy, onion yumminess to go with the bacon bits and cheese. I enjoyed this soup for a couple of dinners and several lunches. I will be making this again.

Baked Potato Soup
adapted from Foodie with Family

Printer Friendly Version

12 one cup servings, 6 WW points per serving

Soup ingredients:

12 large baked potatoes, cooled (*see instructions below for directions on how to bake potatoes)
4 tablespoons butter, divided
6 tablespoons flour
1 onion, chopped finely
4 cups skim milk
6 cups chicken broth
2/3 cups Weight Watchers shredded Mexican cheese
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder
optional: up to one cup of instant mashed potato flakes to thicken soup

Creamy onion topping

2 cups Greek yogurt
1 bunch green onions (scallions), cleaned, trimmed of roots and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt

In a bowl mix together the yogurt, green onions and salt. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge until ready to use.

To Bake Potatoes:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Gently scrub potatoes under cool running water to remove any dirt. Pat the potatoes dry on a baking sheet. Bake for 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes. They are done when they yield to gentle pressure when you squeeze them. (Wear an oven mitt when squeezing them! ) When they are done, transfer to a rack on your counter to cool. Once cool peel off the skins and smash the potatoes in a large bowl and set aside.

In a skillet melt one tablespoon butter and cook the onions until soft. Add in the rest of the three tablespoons of butter. Once melted sprinkle the flour over the onions and butter and whisk until smooth. Turn the heat back to medium. Although at first the fat and flour will seem to seize up it will loosen and become liquid again fairly quickly. Once it returns to a liquid state and begins bubbling stir constantly and cook for 1 minute. This is your roux, or your thickener, for the soup. Whisk all of the milk into the roux and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently until thickened. To check whether your base has thickened enough dip a soup or wooden spoon into it and remove it. If it is still thin, simmer a little while longer or until it does coat a spoon.

Whisk the 6 cups of chicken stock into the thickened milk base and then stir all of the smashed potato innards into the soup. With the pot over medium heat, stir frequently to prevent scorching. You don’t need to boil the soup; you just need to get it steaming hot. When it is steaming check the consistency. If it is not thick enough for your liking, sprinkle two tablespoons of instant potato flakes over the top of the soup and stir in quickly. Wait a couple minutes and check the consistency of the soup again. You can continue adding potato flakes until it is as thick as you like it. We like our soup quite thick, so I have added as much as 1 cup of flakes before. Make sure, though, to wait a couple of minutes between additions as it takes a little while for potato flakes to reach full thickening power. Stir in the cheese until it is completely melted. Adjust flavors with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.

Remove the soup pot from the heat and serve immediately with Creamy Onion Topping, the bacon pieces, sliced green onions and shredded cheese.

BBQ Chicken Calzones

I found this recipe on Life as a Lofthouse's blog. Holly has some really great recipes and so far all the ones I have tried have been yummy. Will even liked these though he told me he would have liked them better without the green stuff, meaning the cilantro. I love cilantro and all this time didn't realize that he really doesn't. I really liked the filling for this calzone all by itself. I think it would make a great BBQ chicken salad.

BBQ Chicken Calzones
adapted from Life as a Lofthouse

Printer Friendly Version

10 servings, 4 WW points per serving

2 cans Country Style Biscuits (there are 10 biscuits in a can and they are smaller)
1 can Chunk Chicken, drained
1/2 cup BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's)
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup Real Bacon Pieces like Oscar Meyer's
2/3 cup shredded Weight Watchers Mexican Cheese or low fat cheese
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, mix together the chicken, BBQ sauce, onion, bacon, cheese, and cilantro together. Remove biscuit dough from cans. Take one dough piece and lay out on a clean surface. Roll out flat into a circle. Repeat with all dough circles.

In the center of a flattened dough circle, place 2 tablespoons of the BBQ chicken mixture. Take another dough circle and place over the top. Seal the edges by pressing them together. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. You will have 10 calzones total.

Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pumpkin and Apple Donuts

I got myself a Wilton donut pan and I just had to use it. I knew I wanted to make pumpkin donuts and apple donuts. I thought that the pumpkin donuts needed something but the apple donuts were fantastic. Will loved them. I think he begged me to make more and I was a bad wife and didn't. What's nice about both of these recipes is that you don't need a donut pan. You can make them into muffins. I made these for my book discussion group. Once again these were a big hit, probably more so than the book. Though we did have a very good discussion on the book this month.

Pumpkin Donuts
from Culinary Cory

2 cups flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 eggs
2 Tbl. milk
¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, nutmeg and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside. Cream together the brown sugar, canned pumpkin, eggs, milk, butter and vanilla extract until the butter is well incorporated. With your mixer on medium low speed, slowly add the dry sifted ingredients to the wet mixture. Mix until just barely combined. Be careful of over mixing.

Spray the donut pan with cooking spray and fill each donut mold halfway with the pumpkin batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 6 – 8 minutes or until the exterior springs back when touched. Allow to cool completely and top each donut with cinnamon glaze.

Cinnamon Glaze

½ cup powdered sugar
1 Tbl. milk
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg

Mix until smooth and creamy. The glaze should pour easily from a spoon. You may need to add additional milk or powder sugar to get the right consistency.

Apple Donuts

from the Savvy Kitchen

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 cup cored and finely diced apples
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix the first 5 ingredients with a fork. Add the shortening and mix until the shortening is broken up. Set aside. In another bowl combine the eggs, milk and diced apples. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix until just blended.

Spoon into a greased muffin pan, or use paper liners. Bake 20 – 25 minutes or until muffins are light to medium brown (15-18 minutes for mini-muffins).

While donuts are baking, melt the butter and set aside. Combine 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon in a separate bowl. When the donuts are done and before they have had a chance to cool, dip the tops in butter and then roll them in the cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Store in an airtight container.