Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sugarless Apple Pie Filling

My mom can't have sugar, and I like to eat as little as possible myself, so I'm always on the lookout for yummy sugarless treats I can pass off as "dessert." This has been a favorite lately. It still has a lot of calories and natural sugars, but if you're just looking to avoid sugar (and any carcinogenic sweetener), this is a great one!

1 can (12 oz) frozen apple juice concentrate
2 T butter
3 T quick-cooking tapioca
1/8 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground nutmeg
6-7 cups peeled, thinly sliced baking apples

In a saucepan, combine all ingredients and simmer, covered 10-15 minutes. 

Use in a pie shell, wrapped in bread dough (like a calzone) or just top with whipped cream and eat out of a bowl. Yummy!

Friday, September 13, 2013

From scratch English Muffins

Adapted from King Arthur Flour recipe.
I love english muffins but buy them rarely for one reason or another, I will never buy them again! I have been wanting to making these for ages but couldn't find the time. I didn't realize that I didn't need the time. I found this recipe incredibly forgiving. The first time I made this I completely skimped on the rise time (45 min first rise, 5 minute second) and they turned out amazing anyway. I cooked these in a cast iron skillet which was fine, but if you have a griddle, I can see how that might be better since my middle muffin got quite toasty while the ones on the edges were a little more doughy, but a quick pop in the oven solves that. Quite possibly the best part about this recipe is that it freezes very well. Now when I make these I double the recipe and pop most of them into the freezer. You can then pull them directly out of the freezer and toast them for a quick breakfast.


  • 1 3/4 cups lukewarm milk
  • 3 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or honey
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast 
  • corn meal, for sprinkling the griddle or pan

1) Combine all of the ingredients (except the corn meal) in a mixing bowl
2) This is a very soft dough, so you'll need to treat it a bit differently than most yeast doughs. If you have a stand mixer, beat the dough using the flat beater paddle until it starts coming away from the sides of the bowl, and is satin-smooth and shiny; this will take about 5 minutes at medium-high speed. When you lift up the beater, the dough will be very stretchy. If you have a bread machine, simply use the dough cycle.
3) Scrape the dough into a rough ball, and cover the bowl. Let the dough rise until it's nice and puffy; this will take 1 to 2 hours or so.
4) Prepare your griddle(s). Using two griddles allows you to cook all the muffins at once; but since you probably don't have two griddles, you'll need to cook the muffins in shifts. Whatever you use — an electric griddle, stovetop griddle, frying pan, electric frying pan — sprinkle it heavily with corn meal. If you're using a griddle or frying pan that's not well-seasoned (or non-stick), spray it with non-stick vegetable oil spray first, before adding the corn meal.
5) Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 16 pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball, then flatten the balls until they're about 3" to 3 1/2" in diameter.
6) The easiest way to handle and cook these muffins is to lay them right onto the cold surface you'll be frying them on. That way, you don't have to move them once they're risen; and they won't mind cooking very slowly as you fire the griddle up to its desired heat. If you don't have enough griddle space to do this, sprinkle a baking sheet heavily with semolina or farina, and place the muffins on the sheet; they can be fairly close together. Either way, sprinkle the tops of the muffins with additional corn meal.
7) Cover the muffins (a piece of parchment works well), and let them rest for 20 minutes. They won't rise like crazy, but will puff a bit.
8) Cook the muffins over low heat for 7 to 15 minutes per side, until their crust is golden brown, and their interior is cooked through. When done, the center of a muffin should register about 200°F on an instant-read thermometer. If you find the muffins have browned before they're cooked all the way through, no worries; simply pop them into a preheated 350°F oven for about 10 minutes or so, or until they're thoroughly cooked.
9) Remove the muffins from the griddle (or oven), and let them cool thoroughly before enjoying. Remember: use a fork to split, not a knife to cut. Fork-split muffins will have wonderful nooks and crannies; knife-cut ones won't.
Yield: 16 large (3" to 3 1/2") English muffins.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Sunrise Frittata

I am a huge fan of breakfast for dinner! Not only is it delicious, but usually quick and easy. I was surprised how quickly this came together for a weeknight dinner. To make this easier you can use frozen diced potatoes and pre-chopped ham. I also served this with homemade bread
and it really made the meal a knock out.


  • 1-1/2 cups diced potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1-1/2 cups cubed fully cooked lean ham
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese, divided
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano or 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 cup julienned sweet red pepper
  • 3/4 cup salsa


  • In a large ovenproof skillet (preferably cast iron) coated with cooking spray, cook and stir the potatoes in oil over medium heat until tender. Stir in ham; heat through.
  • In a bowl, whisk the eggs, 1/4 cup cheese, milk and oregano; add to the pan. Arrange red pepper strips over egg mixture to resemble the spokes of a wheel. Cover and cook over low heat for 8-12 minutes or until almost set.
  • Uncover; broil 6 in. from the heat for 3-5 minutes or until eggs are set and frittata is golden brown. Sprinkle with remaining cheese; let stand until melted. Cut into wedges.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine salsa and cilantro; heat through. Serve with frittata. Yield: 6 servings.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Mediterranean Summer Squash

This is a perfect summer recipe to use with ingredients fresh from the garden.

1/4 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow summer squash, thinly sliced
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 plum tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano or 1/2 Tbsp fresh oregano
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

In a large skillet, saute onion in oil until tender. Add the squash, zucchini and garlic; saute 6-8 minutes longer or until tender. Stir in remaining ingredients; heat through.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Easy Homemade Catsup

Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups 
7 oz (approx 3/4 cup) tomato paste
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 Tablespoons sweetener of choice, or to taste.  (I used 2 T vegetable glycerine and 1/64 tsp stevia.  See stevia usage info here.)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic (if using powder, use 3/4 tsp)
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated onion (if using powder, use 3/4 tsp)
3/8 teaspoon allspice
1 Tablespoon molasses
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2/3 cup water
1.  Place all ingredients in a bowl.
2.  Stir to blend completely.
3.  Store in the refrigerator.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Potato-Crusted Chicken Casserole

This is an awesome recipe for leftover whole chicken. My husband claims that he hates casseroles, but really liked this. This is basically chicken pot pie without the crust. It takes a little effort but is well worth it.


  • 1 large potato, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1-1/2 pounds chicken tenderloins, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons Olive Oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups frozen peas and carrots
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • Dash rubbed sage
  • 1 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


  • In a large bowl, toss potato slices with oil, salt and pepper. Arrange slices onto the bottom and sides of an 11-in. x 7-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until potato is tender. Reduce heat to 350°.
  • Meanwhile, for filling, in a large skillet over medium heat, cook chicken in oil until no longer pink. Remove from skillet. In the same skillet, saute onion in butter. Stir in flour until blended; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat; stir in cheeses until melted. Stir in vegetables and seasonings. Spoon into potato crust.
  • Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over chicken mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes or until bubbly and topping is golden brown. Yield: 6 servings.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Chicken Diable

This recipe is fantastic served with rice and steamed veggies. Sweet and spicy with a very aromatic
sauce. Heavenly! Make this as hot or as mild as you want with your choice of curry and mustard. Feel free to use chicken breasts if you prefer, although thighs make this more budget conscious. The best part of the this recipe is that you can easy half it to make 4 servings or multiply it for a crowd.

8 chicken thighs (bone in - skin on)
1/4 cup prepared mustard
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter

Mix all ingredients (minus chicken) in a 9x13" pan and sauce it. Add chicken thighs and roll them in the sauce. Cook uncovered 350º for 1 hour and baste them once during cooking. Serve over rice. Yield: 8 servings.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Cheesy Penne with Broccoli

  • This recipe is great for kids. My kids and I like this for a easy and light lunch, my husband needs something extra like a chicken breast.


  • 8 ounces uncooked mini penne pasta
  • 5 cups broccoli florets (about 1 medium head)
  • 1 1/3 cups fat-free milk
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese 
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2.5 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2/3 cup)


  1. 1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. During the last 3 minutes of cooking, add broccoli to pan; drain. Place pasta and broccoli in a large bowl.
  2. 2. Combine milk and flour in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly thickened; remove from heat. Add 2 tablespoons Parmesan and remaining ingredients, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add cheese mixture to pasta mixture; toss. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Fettuccine Alfredo with Bacon

My family adores bacon, so when I make this recipe I cook a whole pan of bacon and put what I don't use out for munching. My kids can't get enough of this easy pasta dish. The best part is that it tastes like you spent hours, but it only takes about 30 minutes. For a more substantial meal top with cooked chicken breast slices.

8 oz uncooked fettuccine
2 slices bacon
1 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp flour
1 cup milk
2/3 cup (about 2.5 oz) Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp fresh parsley or 2 tsp dried
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Place bacon on a baking sheet at bake at 425º for about 20 minutes or until done. (Remember you can make a whole pan as easy as 2, and you can refrigerate for up to 2 weeks and have pre-cooked bacon on hand for a recipe such as this one).

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in a colander over a bowl reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.

While pasta cooks, preheat skillet. Add bacon grease or olive oil to pan and then add garlic; saute 1 minute, stirring constantly. Sprinkle flour over garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly; cook 2 minutes or until bubbly and slightly thick, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low. Gradually add cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in salt and reserved 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Add hot pasta to pan; toss well to combine. Sprinkle with bacon, parsley, and pepper. Yield: 4 servings.

While pasta cooks,

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Ethiopian Cabbage and Potatoes

1/2 cup olive oil
4 carrots, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 head cabbage, shredded
5 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the carrots and onion in the hot oil about 5 minutes. Stir in the salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric, and cabbage and cook another 15 to 20 minutes. Add the potatoes; cover. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until potatoes are soft, 20 to 30 minutes.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sesame Salmon with Arugula, Green Onions and Lemon

This recipe just screams spring with a light citrus flavor. The best way to enjoy this is to get a little bit of everything in each bite.
4 (6-ounce) sustainable salmon fillets
Cooking spray
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups (1-inch) slices green onions
1 lemon thinly sliced and halved
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup baby arugula

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Arrange salmon in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Combine sesame seeds and 3/8 teaspoon salt; sprinkle evenly over flesh sides of fillets, pressing gently into fish. Bake at 400° for 14 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.
3. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl. Add green onions; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add lemon slices; cook 2 minutes. Sprinkle green onion mixture with remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper. Place 1 fillet on each of 4 plates. Place arugula in a medium bowl. Add green onion mixture to bowl with arugula; toss. Divide arugula mixture evenly among servings.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Healthy Cheddar Drop Biscuits

I NEVER buy buttermilk but like the effect while baking, so my quick and healthy solution is to simply use powered buttermilk. You can find it right next to the regular powdered milk. Your life will never be the same! If using powdered buttermilk, mix the power in with the other dry ingredients and add the required water at the buttermilk step. Enjoy!


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, divided
  • 1/3 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes


  • In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, salt, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and baking soda. Cut in 3 tablespoons butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; add cheese. Stir in buttermilk just until moistened.
  • Drop by two tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Melt remaining butter; stir in parsley and remaining garlic powder. Brush over biscuits. Serve warm. Yield: 15 biscuits.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

No-Knead Overnight Parmesan and Thyme Rolls

These rolls are basically a savory version of cinnamon rolls. The hardest part of making these is remembering to start them the night before. I like very fluffy rolls
  • 1 teaspoon dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2/3 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 11 cup (4 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat white flour 
  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly.
  • 2. Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add thyme to pan; cook 1 minute or until bubbly and fragrant. Add thyme mixture and milk to yeast mixture, stirring with a whisk; add 1/2 cup cheese, sugar, salt, and egg, stirring well.
  • 3. Weigh or lightly spoon whole-wheat white flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Using a wooden spoon, stir whole-wheat white flour into yeast mixture.  Lightly spoon 2 cups all-purpose flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Add all-purpose flour to yeast mixture, stirring well. Add enough of remaining all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to form a smooth but very sticky dough. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and refrigerate overnight. (Dough will not double in size.)
  • 4. Remove dough from refrigerator. Do not punch dough down. Turn dough out onto a floured surface; sprinkle dough lightly with flour. Roll dough into a 24 x 7–inch rectangle. Brush dough with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese evenly over dough; sprinkle with pepper. Beginning with a long side, roll up dough jelly-roll fashion. Pinch seam to seal (do not seal ends of roll). Cut roll into 16 (1 1/2-inch) slices. Place slices, cut sides up, on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until rolls have risen slightly.
  • 5. Preheat oven to 400°.
  • 6. Place pan in oven, and immediately reduce heat to 375°. Bake rolls at 375° for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Yield: 16 rolls

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Onion beef soup

I love French Onion soup and found this easy recipe.

2 c thinly sliced onions (I chopped mine in a food processor)
1T butter or fat of choice to fry onions
2C. cooked hamburger or beef crumbled or cut small
3T flour (or mashed potato flakes to thicken a bit)
1t mustard
1T honey, sugar or sweetener

cook onions in butter over medium low heat for 15 to 20 min until tender and golden brown.    Stir occasionally.  Add beef and broth, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 min.

in a small bowl combine flour and sugar and stir into soup add mustard,. bring to a boil, cook and stir 1-2 min till slightly thickened.  4-5 servings

Friday, March 8, 2013

Easy and Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

My mom made these regularly when I was a kid and I still love them! These come together in a snap and are a great make ahead meal. Feel free to replace the chicken with pre-cooked beef or pork or leave it out all together if you want for a semi-meatless meal (you still have cream of chicken soup).


1 can low-fat cream of chicken soup
1 can low-fat cream of mushroom soup
1 cup plain yogurt or low-fat sour cream
1-2 cans green chilies
1-3 cups pre-cooked cut-up chicken
1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, mexican, pepper jack, etc) (optional)
Flour tortillas


Combine all ingredients except tortillas and cheese in a large bowl. Place a small amount of sauce in the bottom of a greased 13x9 pan.  Roll even amounts of filling into tortillas reserving about 1/4-1/2 cup mixture. Place rolled tortillas pan. Sprinkle enchiladas with cheese, if desired. Bake at 350º for 20-30 minutes or until heated through.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Chicken BLT Wedge Salad

This recipe was an instant hit at my house. Talk about yummy. I served this with cut up pita bread to round out the meal. To make it super simple use prepared bleu cheese dressing.

  • 1 cup buttermilk, divided
  • large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup panko 
  • (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp dried chives
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • medium head iceberg lettuce, cored and cut into 6 wedges
  • 2 cups chopped plum tomato
  • 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese (1/2 cup)
  • slices bacon, cooked and crumbled


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. 2. Combine 1/2 cup buttermilk and egg white in a shallow dish. Place panko in a shallow dish. Dip chicken in egg white mixture; dredge in panko. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
  3. 3. Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add chicken. Cook 4 minutes; turn over. Bake at 425° for 14 minutes or until done. Let chicken stand 10 minutes; slice crosswise.
  4. 4. Combine 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, mayonnaise, dill, chives, and vinegar. Place garlic on a cutting board; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Chop until a paste forms, scraping with the flat side of knife to mash. Add garlic to dressing.
  5. 5. Place 1 lettuce wedge on each of 6 plates. Top each serving with chicken, 1/3 cup tomato, and 2 1/2 tablespoons dressing. Sprinkle with cheese and crumbled bacon.