Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Tonights baked good was an inspiration from a few knotties...

It's a mixture of Mexico & Scotland - Just like me! So without further adieux, I give you the Funky Town cookie!'re next...

Cookie Layer:
1 3/4 C. all-purpose flour
1/4 C. sugar
3/4 C. unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch slices

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
7 tbsp butter
1/2 C. light brown sugar

6 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 oz. milk chocolate, finely chopped
3 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped

Adjust rack to lower third of oven; preheat oven to 350° F.

To make the cookie layer: Put the flour and sugar in a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Work with your hands until the mixture forms a dough. Press into a 9x13 inch baking pan, prick the bottom with the tines of a fork and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until firm to the touch and pale golden.

Let cool in the pan.

To make the filling: Combine the milk, butter and sugar in a 1 1/2-quart saucepan. Heat over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally, then reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring frequently, for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the mixture begins to come away from the sides of the pan, has thickened slightly, and is straw-colored. Pour over the shortbread base. Set aside to cool for at least 2 hours or overnight. (I only let mine cool about 1 hour because I got impatient.)

To make the topping: Melt each type of chocolate separately in a microwave or in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of water. Spoon lines of plain milk chocolate over the set caramel filling. Add spoonfuls of white chocolate. Use a skewer to form a marbled effect on the topping.

Cut into squares or rectangles with a thin-bladed, sharp paring knife.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Cream Cheese Chicken Roll

A favorite of Adam and a quick and easy recipe for anyone. This is a good recipe if you are making a side dish that takes a little more prep & cook time, because you don't have much to do once the chicken hits the pan.

I paired this dish with a Italian Mac & Cheese Bake (email me if you want that recipe).

3 large skinless boneless chicken breasts (about 1.5 pounds)
6 ounces garlic & herb cream cheese spread
12 slices bacon

Pound the chicken until thin. Spread each chicken breast with cram cheese and roll up, jelly-roll style. Wrap 4 bacon slices around each roll and secure with toothpicks*.

In a pre heated medium-high skillet, cook turning occasionally, about 35 minutes.

*You have to be very careful with this recipe because the first time I did a "jelly-roll" style recipe the toothpicks kept me from cooking the chicken completely. Cooking string/twine would probably work better, but I didn't have any at the house.

This was an another inspiration of a RRR. (Rachael Ray Recipe)

Man! do I love Rachael Ray!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Tex-Mex Pizza

When the weather is cold, nothing will warm you up like the spice of chipotle. I made mine low fat by using 2% reduced fat cheese, fat free sour cream, & 97% lean ground beef.

This recipe is an adapataion of a Rachael Ray Meal.

1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
¾ cup corn meal
¼ cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup skim milk
1 cup frozen corn kernels Extra-virgin olive oil or, vegetable oil, for drizzling

2 tablespoons extra-virgin or vegetable oil,
2 turns of the pan
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chipotle powder
2 1/2 cups (10-ounce sack from dairy aisle) shredded Cheddar or jack cheese
½ can (7 ounces) enchilada sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix together first 9 ingredients. Spray a 12 inch skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Choose a pan with oven safe handle or, double-wrap handle with foil to protect it in the oven. Place pan in oven and bake 12 to 15 minutes in center of the oven until light golden in color.

Brown the meat over medium high heat in a second skillet in extra or vegetable oil, 2 turns of the pan. Add onions and spices and cook meat 5 minutes more.

Remove cornbread from oven and top with meat, cheese, and enchilada sauce. Add pan back to oven and cook 5 minutes more to melt cheese. Garnish with sour cream, hot sauce and/or cilantro, optional.

Friday, February 17, 2006

White Chocolate-Lemon Biscotti

Today’s recipe is from a friend/co-worker that is not only skilled in Electrical Engineering and System Engineering – she can cook! And boy, does she do it well. Like everyone, I get the random email telling me someone brought in donuts or cookies; rarely do I feel the need to go to their desk, but when this girl brings in a treat you better believe that I do my best to be first in line!

Many thanks to Mariah for giving me this low-fat coffee treat. It’s ridiculous how good these biscotti are…

¾ cup sugar
2 tsp grated lemon rind
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp lemon extract
2 large eggs
1 2/3 cup flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ cup (6oz) premium white chocolate, chopped
Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Place first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine four, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to sugar mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in chocolate.

Turn dough out onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Shape dough into 2 (12 inch long) rolls; pat to 2 ½ width.

Bake at 300 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove rolls from baking sheet; cool 10 minutes on a wire rack.

Cut rolls diagonally into 21 slices. Place cut sides down, on a baking sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Turn cookies over; bake an additional 10 minutes (cookies will be slightly soft in center but will harden as soon as they cool). Remove from baking sheet; cool completely on wire rack.

Serving Size (1 biscotti)
Calories: 55
Fat 1.7

Monday, February 13, 2006

Love day = Love cake

Adam and I don't celebrate Valentines day, but I still love all things pink. This year, I couldn't resist making my love this tasty strawberry cake to celebrate the holiday.

And what did Mr. Adam have to say about the cake? "Sweet Jesus! This is Good!"

Happy Valentines - Enjoy!

1 package french vanilla cake mix (I use Pilsbury with the extra pudding)
1 package strawberry gelatin (3 oz)
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
3/4 c. milk
3/4 c. vegetable oil
4 large eggs
Strawberry Cream Cheese frosting (see recipe below)
24 strawberry slices, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 2 9-inch round baking pans.

Place the cake mix, gelatin, strawberries, milk, oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend on low speed for about 30 seconds. Stop machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the mixer speed to 2 minutes. Divide the batter into the prepared baking pans.

Bake the cakes until they are lightly golden and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 25-30 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool. Remove the cakes from the pan and let them cool COMPLETELY on wire racks before frosting.

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
4 table spoons butter, room temperature
3-3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup mashed and drained strawberries*.

Place the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speen until combined. Stop machine and add 3 cups of powdered sugar and the drained strawberries. Blend the frosting on low until the sugar is incorporated. Increase the mixer speed to medium and blend the frosting until fluffy, 30-45 seconds longer, adding extra sugar in needed.

*make sure you drain the strawberries other wise the frosting will be too runny.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Salisbury Steak with Mashed Sweet Potatoes

This homestyle Sunday meal is not only delish it is also good for you.

Salisbury Steak
1 pound ground round (I used 96% lean beef)
2/3 c. chopped onion
1/3 c. uncooked instant brown rice
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg white
Cooking Spray
1 1/4 c. presliced fresh mushrooms
2 cans beef broth
2 tbls Worcestershire sauce
2 tbls water
1 1/2 tbls cornstarch

Combine first 6 ingredients in a bowl; stir well. Divide into 4 equal portions, shaping into a 1/2-inch thick patty.

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat until hot. Add patties, and cook 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from skillet; set aside, and keep warm.

Recoat skillet with cooking spray. Add mushrooms; saute over medium-high heat 3 minutes. Add broth and Worcestershire sauce; cook 10 minutes. Return patties to skillet. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Remove patties from skillet; set aside and keep warm.

Combine water and cornstarch; stirl well. Stir the cornstarch mixture into broth mixture in skillet; bring to boil, and cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly. Spoon gravy over patties.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes
3 or 4 Sweet Potatoes ( I bought the ones in the saran wrap - ready for microwave)
2 tbls butter
Marshmellow Fluff (optional)

Microwave the Sweet Potatoes for 8-10 minutes until soft. Add potatoes & butter in a medium bowl and combine with fork. Add 1 tbls of fluff to each serving.

I served this meal with some steamed green beans & carrots.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Black-bottom Cupcakes

by David Lebovitz
from The Great Book of Chocolate

The smooth texture of sweetened cream cheese, the comforting familiarity of a chocolate cupcake, the ability to fit in the palm of your hand – what’s not to like? It’s a mix of modern & traditional. The dark chocolate pieces in the top of the cupcake (I used Ghirardelli’s 60% Cocoa bar) make this cake deliciously moist. They remind me of the large muffins you can pick up at any Starbucks counter.

For the filling
8 ounces cream cheese, regular or reduced fat, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

For the cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup unflavored vegetable oil
1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Beat together the cream cheese, granulated sugar, and egg until smooth. Stir in the chopped chocolate pieces. Set aside.

1. Adjust the rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F (175°C). Butter a 12-cup muffin tin, or line the tin with paper muffin cups.

2. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.

3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients, stirring until just smooth. Stir any longer and you will over mix the batter and end up with less-than-tender cupcakes.

4. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Spoon a few tablespoons of the filling into the center of each cupcake, dividing the filling evenly. This will fill the cups almost completely, which is fine.
5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden brown and the cupcakes feel springy when gently pressed. These moist treats will keep well unrefrigerated for 2 to 3 days if stored in an airtight container.