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Vegetable Barley Soup

vegetable-barley-soupIt was so cold and cloudy yesterday that all I could think about was a big bowl of tasty hot soup so I went searching through some recipes in a Taste of Home magazine I had purchased a couple of years ago. This is the one I chose because it contained a lot of healthy vegetables, required no meat and was so simple and easy to make in my slow cooker.

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1-1/2 cups fresh baby carrots, halved
1-1/2 cups frozen cut green beans
1-1/2 cups frozen corn
3 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups water
2 cans(14-1/2 ounces each) vegetable broth
1 cup medium pearl barley
1 bay leaf
1-3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Italian diced tomatoes, undrained

1. In a 5-quart slow cooker, combine the first 8 ingredients. Stir in the water, broth, barley, bay leaf and seasonings. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours or until barley and vegetables are tender.

2. Stir in the tomatoes; cover and cook on high for 10 to 20 minutes or until heated through. Discard the bay leaf before serving. Makes 12 servings.

Emily

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Tuna Noodle Casserole

tuna-noodle-casseroleFlaky bites of tuna, tender pasta and vegetables in a rich creamy Alfredo sauce. Yum!

2 cups uncooked fusilli pasta
1 (16 ounce) jar Alfredo pasta sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
2 (5 ounces each) solid white albacore tuna in water, drained
1 (9 ounce) box frozen sugar snap peas, thawed, drained
1 (4.5 ounce) jar whole mushrooms, drained
1/2 cup dry plain bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Cook the pasta according to the package directions using minimum cooking time: drain. In a large bowl, combine the Alfredo sauce, chicken broth, Italian seasoning, lemon peel, tuna, peas, mushrooms and pasta; spoon into the baking dish.

3. In a small bowl, blend the bread crumbs and melted butter; sprinkle over the pasta mixture.

4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly and the topping is golden brown. Makes 6 servings.

Emily

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Slow Cooker Chicken & Vegetables

Chicken and VegetablesThis recipe turned out great! The chicken and vegetables were very tender and had a wonderful flavor and it was so easy-to-make! I definitely will be making this often!

1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 medium green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 (13 ounce) can artichoke hearts
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup red cooking wine
4 tablespoons soy sauce

1. Place onion, green bell pepper and artichoke hearts in bottom of slow cooker.
2. Place chicken strips on top of vegetables; sprinkle with the salt, pepper, garlic powder and thyme.
3. Stir together the cooking wine and soy sauce, pour over the chicken strips.
4. Cover the slow cooker and cook on Low for 5 to 6 hours or until the chicken and vegetables are tender. Makes 6 servings.

Emily

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Twice-Baked Potatoes

Twice-Baked Potatoes DSCN2078A delicious alternative to the usual baked potato!

4 large baking potatoes, scrubbed
1 garlic bulb
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Paprika

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Pierce the potatoes several times with a fork; place on a baking sheet. Wrap the garlic bulb in aluminum foil and place alongside the potatoes. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the garlic is softened and browned. Allow the garlic and potatoes to cool for 15 minutes or until comfortable to handle.

2. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Leaving the skins intact, scoop the pulp into a large bowl. Slice the garlic bulb in half; squeeze out the pulp and add it to the potato pulp. Add the chicken broth, sour cream and pepper, stirring and mashing with a fork until the desired texture. Spoon the mixture into the potato skins; sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and paprika.

3. Place potatoes back on the baking sheet; bake 15 minutes or until the potatoes are heated through and lightly browned. Makes 8 servings.

Emily

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Brownie Dessert

Brownie DessertA delectable make-ahead brownie dessert that is sure to please family and friends alike!

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped walnuts

FILLING:
2 packages (one 8 ounces, one 3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 cups whipped topping

TOPPING:
2 cups cold milk
1 package (3.9 ounces) instant chocolate pudding mix
Whipped topping and chopped walnuts

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla.
2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder; add to the creamed mixture just until moistened. Stir in the nuts,
3. Transfer to a greased 13×9-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
4. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Fold in whipped topping; spread over brownies.
5. In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft set; spread over filling. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until serving. Cut into squares; garnish with whipped topping and nuts. Makes 12 to 15 servings.

Recipe and photo are from Taste of Home magazine.

Emily

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Cranberry-Blueberry Muffins

Cranberry-Blueberry MuffinsYour taste buds will never believe these flavor-filled muffins from Weight Watcher’s “Simply the Best” cookbook are low-fat and low-calorie!

2-1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cold reduced-calorie margarine, diced
3/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1/3 cup thawed frozen orange juice concentrate
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
24 dried apricot halves, chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray eighteen 2-3/4″ nonstick muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper liners.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the margarine until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, orange juice concentrate and eggs. Stir into the flour mixture until just combined (do not over-mix). Gently stir in the blueberries, cranberries and apricots.

4. Spoon the batter into the cups, filling each about 2/3rds full. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack 10 minutes. Remove from the cups and cool completely on the rack. Makes 18 servings.

Per Serving: 144 Calories, 3 g Total Fat, 0 g Saturated Fat, 24 mg Cholesterol, 211 mg Sodium, 28 g Total Carbohydrate, 3 g Dietary Fiber, 4 g Protein, 63 mg Calcium

Serving Provides: 1 Bread, 1 Fruit/Vegetable, 1 Fat

Points Per Serving: 3

Emily

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Herb Roasted Chicken & Vegetables

Herb Roasted Chicken & VegetablesYou will love how simple and easy this delicious chicken dinner from Campbell’s is. Try it for dinner tonight and enjoy all the compliments you will receive!

1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves, crushed, divided
4 medium potatoes, cut into quarters
2 cups fresh or frozen baby carrots
4 bone-in chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon paprika

1. Stir the soup, water, 1 teaspoon of the oregano, potatoes and carrots in a shallow roasting pan.
2. Top with the chicken. Sprinkle with the remaining oregano and paprika.
3. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 50 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Stir the vegetable mixture before serving. Makes: 4 servings.

Emily

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