Friday, December 25, 2009

Soft Molasses Spice Cookies

When it comes to spice cookies and gingersnaps I'm in love. I could eat a whole box of them to myself and it'd be totally worth the belly ache. I made these soft darlings for goodie bags I gave to my co-workers :) I rolled them in brown and then white sugar and I definitely have to say I prefer white sugar as it sparkles a lot better. These had the spice flavor, but I didn't find them too overpowering like some store bought cookies. Also be sure to give them enough room to expand as you can see I didn't and got a few Siamese twins :P That was okay by me though, more for me to eat!

Soft Molasses Spice Cookies
from The Great American Cookie Cookbook (Publications International, Ltd.) - buy it here on

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets.
Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt and cloves in medium bowl.

Beat 1/2 cup butter in large bowl until smooth and creamy.
Gradually add brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg until fluffy.
Beat in molasses and 1 teaspoon vanilla until smooth.
Beat in flour mixture at low speed alternately with 1/4 cup milk until blended.

Drop rounded tablespoonfuls (sprinkle or roll in sugar if desired) of dough about 1 1/2 inches apart onto prepared cookie sheet.
Bake 12 minutes or until set. Let cookies stand on cookie sheets 5 minutes; transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am one of those people who go completely nuts for pumpkin, so these are no exception whatsoever. They're not perfect and circular, but who cares? They're pumpkin AND chocolate, best combination ever. Pumpkin is such a great ingredient due to the fact it makes food extremely moist. These are moist and sweet with that touch of chocolate. Go ahead, make them! They didn't last long in my house, and no I didn't eat them all. But now that I think of it, I should of...

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
from Old Fashioned Country Cookies (Gooseberry Patch) - buy it here at

4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1 lb. margarine or butter
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla
16 oz. can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and salt and set aside.
Cream the margarine and sugar together. Add eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin.
Stir in dry ingredients and chocolate chips.
Drop by desired spoonful size and bake for 15min. or until done.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sour Cream Cookies

My mother tends to always have an obscene amount of sour cream in her fridge so I wanted to make use of some if not most of it. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the stuff! But one container is enough for me :) I found this recipe and was curious at how they would taste and turnout! They aren't thtat sweet for being a cookie, but I find just a drizzle of icing is all they really needed. Not too powerful, not too weak, but just right! So let's get started on this easy peasy recipe:

Sour Cream Cookies
from Old Fashioned Country Cookies (Gooseberry Patch) - buy it here at

1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup chopped nuts (optional, I made mine without due to co-worker's with allergies)

Mix together thoroughly the shortening, brown sugar and eggs.
Stir in sour cream and vanilla.
Sift flour, soda, baking powder, and salt; stir into sour cream mixture. Add nuts.
Chill at least 1 hour. Drop by rounded teaspoonfulls about 2" apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake until delicately browned, about 8 to 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

I drizzled mine in festive colors but the possibilities are endless! The book recommends slathering these cookies with a Burnt Butter Icing. Recipe is as follows:

Burnt Butter Icing:

4 tablespoons butter
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 2 tablespoons hot water

Melt butter until golden brown. Blend in powdered sugar and vanilla.
Stir in hot water until icing spreads smoothly.
Icing for about 30 cookies.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Edible Christmas Wreaths

It's that time of year again! Time to crack open those cookbooks and find what sweet treats you're going to make this holiday season. Every year my mother and I bake up a storm to make goodie bags for our co-workers. Last year I was left to making it all on my own! So i did and it was tiring but well worth it in the end. Some of my co-workers don't have family anymore so it's sometimes all they get for Christmas. It breaks my heart but warms mine as well because I know they appreciate it and are grateful for our gift to them.

This is your typical "rice krispie treat" but I used Special K for this as it's what I had one hand. Honestly, you can't even taste the difference between the two cereals after you pile on all that sweet gooey marshmallow :)

I used red icing for the holly berries, but feel free to let your imagination wander! hots...crushed candy cane...

Edible Christmas Wreaths

10 oz. marshmallows
6 cups of corn flake cereal (crush with your hands) or rice krispie cereal
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. green food coloring, or to your desired green-ness
bagged red frosting or other candies for decorating the wreaths

Melt butter and marshmallows over low heat stirring constantly.
When completely melted add vanilla and green food coloring.
Add in corn flakes. Stir until they are completely coated and green!
Grease hands with butter or cooking spray and start shaping into little O's on a silicone baking mat or wax paper. CAUTION: Very Hot!
Repeat steps until all of the mixture is used. Cool before serving.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sticky Chinese Wings

I saw these on Fake Ginger and thought they sounded super easy and looked delicious. Five ingredients and all I have to do is throw them in a crockpot for a few hours? YES! Normally I'm very eh about using anything with bones in it and I regret being frugal when I bought these. We normally eat the store brand boneless skinless chicken breast, but wings are just another story. The quality wasn't there, so I blame the store not Amanda

Amanda is 100% right that they are sticky, salty, and a little tiny dash of sweet. I was too impatient when it came to letting the sauce simmer forever, but it still was thicker than started. I served this with just plain white rice and butter. They smell AMAZING while cooking, I had to keep slapping the boy's hands away everytime he went toward that crockpot to lift the lid.

Next time I may cut down on the soy sauce since it was a tad too salty for my taste. I also might create the wings and strip them of their goodness and add veggies to the mix such as green peppers, onion, etc. and serve all that over rice.

Sticky Chinese Wings
from Amanda at Fake Ginger.

3 lbs chicken wings
3/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic powder together. Toss wings in the mixture and allow to marinate overnight. In the morning, put wings and marinade in slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Remove wings from slow cooker and transfer marinade (now sauce!) to a small saucepan. Allow to simmer until thickened. Pour over wings and enjoy!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Peanut Butter Bars

It's nearly that time of year again when the sweets get delivered by the bucket loads and they are wrapped in bright colors to match the season and holidays. Now I know that some of you out there just aren't the greatest bakers, and that's fine. Perhaps you're better at math than I am, though that's not hard to do :P This is a very simple tasty treat that you can make for your holiday goodie bags, gift jars, work parties, or just for you and the kids to enjoy. Honestly, who DOESN'T love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate??

I found this recipe from
Betty Crocker, and it actually called for butterscotch chips as well, but I passed as the family doesn't much care for them :)

Remember, this is a quick and easy recipe and calls for you to cheat a bit by buying store bought cookie mixes....but they are delicious! Though feel free to try it with your own peanut butter cookie recipe and if you do leave a comment on how yours turned out! I much prefer scratch to anything :)

Peanut Butter Bars

1 pouch (1lb. 5oz.) of Betty Crocker® peanut butter cookie mix
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon water
1 egg
2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13x9 inch pan with cooking spray.
In large bowl, stir cookie mix, oil, water and egg until soft dough forms. Press into pan. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 10 minutes.
In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips on High 30 seconds, stir, and repeat until completely melted. Spread evenly over cookie base. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until set.
Cut and wrap or serve this delicious treat! :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies!

So while browsing one of the forums I frequent I found a contest for Fall/Halloween goodies. I could make a sweet or savory dish and of course I pounced on savory. I'm not 100% sure this is what I want to enter in the contest as I have something else in mind (chocolate pumpkin cake with dulche de leche!!). So for now these are my Plan B and will be served tomorrow at my job for our little Halloween celebration :)
The Pumpkin Whoopie Pie part was a recipe I found on Recipezaar posted by Mitra. I loved the adorable pumpkin faces and it got 5/5 stars and seemed like a fairly easy recipe. I added more pumpkin spice than what she called for, but that's just because I'm mildly obsessed with the stuff! These are EXTREMELY moist and delicious.
The Cream Cheese Frosting recipe from Martha Stewart. :) It is delicious and so much better than store-bought icing/frosting. I originally wanted to do some sort of sweet marshmallow fluff, but had none to throw into the mix. The icing wasn't overly sweet and did have that deliciously addicting cream cheese flavor. So if you're not big on cream cheese in general, this isn't the recipe for you! :P

Pumpkin Whoopie Pie

3/4 cup unsalted butter, 1 stick melted, 1/2 stick softened
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (i recommend about a 14-15oz. can)
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cups flour
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Use a non-stick baking sheet or silicone mat
In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar until smooth.
Whisk in the eggs, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, 1 teaspoon vanilla, the baking powder, the baking soda and 3/4 teaspoon salt.
Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour.
Using an ice cream scoop or tablespoon, drop 12 generous mounds of batter, spaced evenly, onto each baking sheet.
Bake until springy to the touch, about 10 minutes.
Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Whoopie Pie Filling
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Make the filling: Sift confectioner' sugar into a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth.
Add cream cheese and beat until well combined.
Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla, beat just until smooth. (Filling can be made up to a day in advance. Cover and refrigerate; let stand at room temperature to soften before using.)
Assemble the whoopie pies: When cookies have cooled completely, pipe a large dollop of filling on the flat side of half of the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies, pressing down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edge of the cookies. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate cookies at least 30 minutes before serving and up to 3 days.
enjoy and have a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Peach Pie and Pie Pops

Now I'm not exactly why I decided to start baking at 10pm, but I made my first ever pie! I was really inspired when I came across these Pie Pops by scoochmaroo. I thought it was such a cute idea..who wouldn't love a little mini pie for that craving every now and then and then on top of that it was on a stick! Every thing's better on a stick, right *wink* ;)

I tried creating the little mini pies, I made probably around 10 and really got sick of the tedious process. I would've had to of had tons of dough, more than the recipe called I decided that I was going to make one nice big juicy peach pie. Though I have to say they make a really good breakfast snack (though I'm sure the sugar in it all isn't great for you, it's not too overpowering). I kind of played with the recipe and cheated a little (store bought pie dough), so I encourage you to do the same! (Play with the recipe, not cheat!) :P

Peach Pie (Whole)

5 peaches
1 1/4 c. sugar
2 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. butter
1 box of ready made 9" pie crust (box must come with 2, or make your own pie crust)
1 egg
cinnamon, to taste
nutmeg, to taste

Bring pot of water to a boil and place peaches in for 5min. to cook. Immediately place them in ice water to stop the cooking process. This helps make peeling the peaches easier! Peel and chop peaches to whatever size you desire (I love big chunks in my pies). Toss with sugar, butter, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg until thoroughly coated. Place pie crust in pie tin or glassware and follow directions on box or recipe. Toss in the filling, place top pie crust and do some pretty slits in the center. Pinch edges together in a scalloped shape (I failed in this part, could of been sleep deprivation!) I added cinnamon and sugar to an egg and whipped it up and brushed it along the top of the pie. I then sprinkled the top with more cinnamon and sugar to give the dough some taste. Bake at 375o for 30 minutes or until your pie crust is deliciously golden brown!

Pie Pops (exactly how scoochmaroo posted)

2 fresh peaches
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
Fresh nutmeg and cinnamon to taste
Two pie crusts
Lollipop sticks
1 egg

To peel peaches (and accelerate cooking), bring a pot of water to a boil.Add peaches and boil for 5 minutes. Remove peaches with a slotted spoon and immerse immediately in ice water. Now your peaches will peel easily! Peel, pit and finely chop peaches. Cut together flour, butter and sugar. To the peaches, add dry ingredients. Stir to coat. Season with fresh ground nutmeg and cinnamon!

Cover your workspace with plastic wrap or a fine dusting of flour or cornstarch. Roll out pie crusts as thinly as possible - otherwise you'll be eating a mouthful of crust! Cut with a circle cutter or something similar - I used the lid off of a small jar. Gently press sticks into crust. For added security, you can use a scrap of crust to cover the stick. Add a small dollop of filling to the center. Cover with another circle of dough, and press edges together securely. Using the end of a lollipop stick or a fork, crimp the edges.

Transfer pops to a baking sheet. Mine is covered with a silicone sheet. Brush beaten egg white onto crusts. Cover the sticks with foil to prevent burning.Bake at 375o for 15 minutes. Pops are done when they are golden brown!

Cuban Mojo Grilled Pork

Or broiled in our case since we haven't got around to buying a grill :) money is rather tight around here. This is another delicious recipe I got from Slim Fast. If you know of any other websites or blogs I should visit for low-calorie dinners please don't hesitate to throw me that way! I need as many options as possible. :) My next goal is to order one (or all!) of Hungry Girl's cook books. I've really got my eyes set on 200 Recipes under 200 Calories. Their website is stuffed to the brim of good healthy food. They take fast food options and turn them into HEALTHY options. Go check it out!
Now back to the meal, hehe. This was awesome even though it was broiled and not grilled. It had a nice little kick to it with the jalapeno in the glaze, but not so strong that I couldn't bare.

Cuban Mojo Grilled Pork

2 tablespoons mayo
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 cup cilantro, fresh
2 garlic cloves
1 jalapeno pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
4 pork chops, boneless

Chop cilantro, garlic, and jalapeno (remove ribs and seed first). In medium bowl combine all ingredients except chops. Season chops with salt and pepper if desired, then brush with mayo mixture. Grill or broil chops, turn and coat often with mayo mixture until chops are done.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Stir-Fried Ginger Pork with Asian Green Beans and Classic Rice Pilaf

Now I'm the kind of person that if I had to choose one meat to live off of for the rest of my life it wouldn't be pork, it'd definitely be chicken. B'gawk! Hehe. This meal though, it sways me ever so slightly to the pork side. Haha, it's like going to the dark side, but tastier! It's a filling and comforting meal and it really is a belly pleaser. Nothing is more enjoyable than to listen to people's "mm's" as they chew their way through their plate of food. The contented sighs of full bellies....oh it's just fabulous! Try this, the whole meal is only 440 calories per serving!

Stir-Fried Ginger Pork

2 tablespoons of soy sauce, low sodium
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon of brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1lb. pork tenderloin, raw

Finely chop garlic. Cut pork into thin strips (about 1/2"). In medium bowl blend soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, and ginger. In non-stick skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat and brown pork. Add garlic mixture and cook for 7 minutes or until pork is thoroughly cooked.

Asian Green Beans

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1lb. whole fresh green beans
3 tablespoons Lawry's Marinade Teriyaki with Pineapple Juice
1/4 dry cup chow mein noodles

Finely chop garlic. In non-stick skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat and cook garlic 30 seconds. Add green beans and marinade and cook 10 minutes or until beans are tender. To serve, top with chow mein noodles.

Classic Rice Pilaf

2 teaspoons of butter
3/4 cup brown rice, uncooked
1/3 cup white onion, chopped
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground thyme
1 3/4 cups of chicken broth, low sodium
1 teaspoon of parsley, fresh, chopped

In 2-quart saucepan melt butter over medium high-heat and cook rice, onion, pepper, and thyme for 4 minutes or until rice is golden. Stir in broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and let simmer 40 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes and then stir in parsley.

Tasty Turkey Burgers

Nothing is better than homemade burgers, mm. My stomach is growling and I think these sound fantastic again for dinner. I get a lot of mixed feedback for turkey used in burgers. My opinion? What's wrong with it? It's delicious and it's healthier for you! :) This is a simpler version of what the boy and I normally eat. We have it at least once a week...or twice with leftovers :P

Tasty Turkey Burgers

1lb. ground turkey
3 tablespoons of green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce, low sodium
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder w/ parsley (Lawry makes this, or just use garlic powder.)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 red onion, medium sized. (I use only about half, but if you love em' pile em' on!)
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
4 pieces of American cheese, low-fat.
4 whole wheat hamburger buns

Cut onion into slices. In large bowl combine turkey, soy sauce, garlic powder, and pepper; shape into 4 patties. Evenly brush onion with olive oil. Grill or broil burgers and onions until burgers are to desired done-ness and onions are tender. Top burgers with cheese and cook until cheese is melted. Top with onions and enjoy!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mesquite Chicken and Veggie Pouches

Now this just doesn't seem like diet food at all! This meal was so easy to do, I really love "pouch" meals where i can throw it all together and forget about it. Isn't that a quote from some infomercial? :P There's tons of flavor in this dish and the colors are vibrant and appetizing. What else? The entire meal, including the carrots is only 420 calories and you feel FULL. Most dieters don't know what "full" is, hehe. I hope you try it! It's not spicy for those who may be afraid of it. I think pepperoni on my pizza is too spicy LOL so this is a-OK for me. :) I even included the carrot recipe for you.

Mesquite Chicken and Veggie Pouches

1/4 cup Lawry's Marinade with Lime Juice
1lb. chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
1 onion, yellow
1 bell pepper, red
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon of cilantro, fresh
2 cups of rice, cooked (I use brown as it's better for you, but feel free to use whatever you'd like!)

Pre-heat oven to 425°. Cut chicken into 1/2" cubes. Chop onion and pepper (I threw mine into the food processor for little bits, but you can keep them 1/4"in. to 1/2"in. if you so desire). In large bowl toss chicken with marinade, beans, red pepper, and onion. on four 12 x 18" of heavy-duty aluminum foil, evenly divide mixture. Wrap foil loosely around chicken and seal the edges with a double fold. On baking sheet, arrange pouches seam side up. Bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Serve over hot rice.

Maple-Dijon Baby Carrots

1 bag of baby carrots (approx. 1lb.)
1 tablespoon of butter
1 1/2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons of syrup, maple

In medium saucepan, add carrots and enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil over high-heat. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook for 6 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. In the same saucepan toss carrots with remaining ingredients.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Turkey Burgers with a Basil-Red Pepper Mayo

Oh my, this picture just makes my stomach growl because homemade turkey burgers are probably the best thing I discovered for the boy and I's dinners. I've always loved turkey burgers, but these were better than your average frozen patty. I mean c'mon they're thick and juicy and all these flavors packed inside just makes my mouth water. We used to just slap cheese and onions on em' but then I found this mayo recipe and whoa momma, my mouth had a party at first bite :) People go "ew" when I say Turkey and Burger together, but please please try them!

Turkey Burgers with a Basil-Red Pepper Mayo
2 tablespoons light mayo (I use light miracle whip.)
2 tablespoons basil, fresh, chopped
2 tablespoons of soy sauce, low sodium
2 tablespoons of green onions, chopped
1 oz. red peppers, flame roasted (Come in little jars at your local super market, though I used the sweet roasted peppers :P)
1lb. ground turkey
4 whole wheat turkey buns
4 pieces of tomato, optional (Mine pictured doesn't, but the boy's did.)
4 slices of yellow onion
4 slices of romaine lettuce (I didn't have any but though I'd throw it in there!)

In medium bowl combine ground turkey, green onions, and soy sauce. Divide and shape into 4 patties.
Chop roasted peppers. In small bowl combine peppers, mayo, and basil. Grill or broil burgers until desired done-ness. Spread mayo mix over top half of buns. Top burger with onion (try them grilled or broiled for more flavor!), tomato, and lettuce.

Chimmichurri Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Salad

I have a confession to make, I am addicted to Slim Fast's recipes they offer for free through their site. There really is such a variety to choose from? Don't like chicken? Fine, try grilled halibut or Caribbean jerk steak. Even if you're not into dieting, it's a great site for dinner options and healthy options together as one :) This entire meal pictured (including the potatoes) is only 430 calories per serving, wow! I didn't include the potato recipe but can if enough people show interest in it?

Chimmichurri Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Salad

1/2 cup of Italian dressing
1/4 cup white onion
1/4 cup parsley, fresh, chopped
1 garlic clove
4 chicken breasts, boneless
3 bell peppers, any color
2 small zucchinis
1 bag of salad mix, (I used the Spring Mix as recommended by the recipe, but use what you wish!)

Cut peppers into quarters and zucchinis lengthwise.

To make chimmichurri dressing: in food processor or blender combine Italian dressing, onion, parsley, and garlic. Makes about 2/3 cup. Coat chicken and veggies with dressing and grill veggies and chicken until the chicken fully cooked and veggies are tender (I broiled mine since we don't have a grill...YET!)

Arrange lettuce on serving platter or individual plates and top with chicken and drizzle with remaining dressing and serve.

Crisp Greens and Warm Ginger Chicken Salad

sorry for the poor picture quality, bad lighting at our old place.
Mmm nothing is better than a salad piled high with food! I snagged this recipe from Slim Fast and gave it my own twist since I didn't have some of the ingredients on hand. This is great for a lunch or to accompany with something starchy like homemade bread sticks (recipes anyone?) or some dill bread. My stomach is growling now!

Crisp Greens & Warm Ginger Chicken Salad
1/4 cup of light mayo (I use light miracle whip, use whatever you prefer)
2 teaspoons of vinegar, red wine (white works too)
2 teaspoons soy sauce, low sodium
2 teaspoons of honey
1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
4 large oranges (ex: California navel)
12 cups of spring greens (Dole makes this mix)
4 chicken breasts, boneless
8 oz. snow pea pods, fresh or frozen, optional. (I use the frozen steamers, they keep longer)

Place your chicken under the broiler for fastest results but you can also bake or grill. I seasoned the breasts lightly with salt and pepper first.

Peel and section two of the oranges, set aside. Slice remaining oranges in half and squeeze juice into a small bowl. Combine mayo, ginger, honey, soy sauce, vinegar, and reserved juice.
In large bowl toss greens with dressing, serve and top with snow peas, chicken, and orange slices. Add a hard boiled egg if you so fancy, yummy! This recipe is good for 4 servings.

Pesto Rubbed Chicken (Homemade Pesto Sauce)

So the recipe is called "pesto RUBBED chicken," but there was so much pesto I basically just evened out the portions and piled it on top. My pesto is homemade too baby! It's really amazing stuff and although it's green it's excellent! I say this because I myself am not fond of green veggies much (I do force myself to eat them though). Try it if you haven't or come on over for dinner and I'll make it for you! *wink* ;)

Pesto Rubbed Chicken (Homemade Pesto Sauce)

for the chicken:

2 tablespoons of olive oil.
4 chicken breasts, boneless.

for the pesto sauce:

3 cloves of garlic (yes, the fresh stuff! no minced jar garlic!)
2 cups fresh basil
3 tablespoons of pinenuts
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, grated

It's easiest to make this in a food processer (Wal-Mart has a mini one for like $15) It's not the exact one I use, maybe they don't show the off-brand ones on their website but they do have the mini ones! Or you could use a blender if you want to save your cash for a night out on the town! :) Peel and chop your garlic. Place garlic, pinenuts, basil, and parmesan cheese into food processor. Place about 1/4 cup of your oil into the processor and let it do its job. After a couple of seconds you'll probably have to scrape down the sides and such, at this time go ahead and place the rest of your oil in and let it spin again for a few more seconds until completely blended. *NOTE: Sometimes I like to just use 1/4 cup of oil since sometimes 1/2 cup will seem to much. Just use your best judgement.

You can grill, broil, or bake the chicken at this point. I chose to broil my chicken so I used a baking sheet (you can use a broiling pan too) and placed the chicken breasts on, scooping even amounts of Pesto to cover the entire chicken. I have to say I didn't really keep tabs on how long it took to cook thoroughly, but broiling is the fastest method in my opinion. So I would say 8-10 minutes maximum if you choose to broil. Just keep an eye on it! :)

If you're in a rush to get dinner on the table Knorr brand makes a Pesto Sauce Mix that you can blend with olive oil for a quick sauce. You should be able to find it at any local super market.

Jamaican Pork with Creamy Lime Salsa

I picked up this recipe by signing up at Slim Fast as it has tons of new and exciting recipes that you can pick and choose from and they're all about roughly 500 calories per dinner serving. Most recipes make 4 servings so that's great for couples like James and I because I can cook one night and take a break for the next by just eating leftovers. I'm not sure how much I loved the lime salsa, it could be the fact that it's made with mostly mayo that throws me off, or it was just too much for one small piece of chop. I think if I do make this again I'll use less of the mayo and maybe add a little bit more lime juice to it as I didn't get the full punch of that flavor either. Needless to say, the actual chop was amazing! I suppose you could use a tenderloin or something instead, but I figured chops were easy enough. :)

Jamaican Pork with Creamy Lime Salsa

1/2 cup light mayo (or whatever your preference is)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 cup onion, red, chopped
1 garlic clove
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound pork chops, boneless (or bone in if you prefer)
1 tablespoon Caribbean jerk seasoning (made by McCormick if you need help locating it in the spice aisle)

Chop the garlic. For Creamy Lime Salsa, in medium bowl, combine mayo, lime juice, onion, garlic, and pepper; set aside. Evenly season chops with jerk seasoning. Grill or broil chops until done. To serve, arrange chops on serving platter, then evenly garnish with Creamy Lime Salsa. Serve with remaining salsa.

Smothered Chops.

I found this recipe over at Amada's delicious blog, Fake Ginger. It seemed simple enough to make so I placed it on the grocery list and set out to create this delicious food, haha. I must have my mothers curse with homemade gravy as it took me forever to create the ever so slightly thickened sauce that was to "smother" these chops! maybe i needed more flour, or to let it boil longer, I'm not sure. Although it wasn't a thick gravy like my mouth constantly waters for, it was delicious. I would definitely make this again as it's just such a comforting food to me. Reminds me a lot of home with my momma in the kitchen. Next time though, I won't forget the applesauce!

Smothered Chops.
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 pork chops, boneless (or bone in if you prefer.)
1/4 cup olive oil1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup milk (i used fat-free, but feel free to use whatever you'd like)

Put the flour in a shallow platter and add the onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels to remove any moisture and then dredge them in the seasoned flour; shaking off the excess.

Heat a large saute pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat and coat with the oil. When the oil is nice and hot, lay the pork chops in the pan in a single layer and fry for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove the pork chops from the pan and add a little sprinkle of seasoned flour to the pan drippings. Mix the flour into the fat to dissolve and then pour in the chicken broth in. Let the liquid cook down for 5 minutes to reduce and thicken slightly. Stir in the milk to make a creamy gravy and return the pork chops to the pan, covering them with the sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes until the pork is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper before serving.