Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Easy and Cheesy

Shea came down on Saturday and did a final upgrade on the old mac. So I decided to make some lunch for us and I thought I would try out this recipe. It's nice to have meat eaters around who'll help me eat what I cook! I've never made lasagna in my life, but this was very easy! Uses jarred pasta sauce and dry noodles...and it was tasty too. I found the original on allrecipe, but changed some ingredients around a bit to my taste...So, I guess this one I really can call "my" recipe!

And no you don't have to cook the noodles. Evidently being sealed under the aluminum foil and under all that sauce helps them to cook. Mine turned out really wavy and lumpy(didn't affect the taste at all).

1 pound lean ground beef
1 (32 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
16 ounces cottage cheese
16 ounces ricotta cheese
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
uncooked lasagna noodles

In a large skillet over medium heat brown the ground beef & sausage. Drain the grease. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.

Mix together the cottage and ricotta cheeses, 2 cups of the mozzarella cheese, eggs, half of the grated Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt and ground black pepper.

To assemble, layer in a 9X13" pan:
about 1 cup of meat sauce on the bottom of the pan then layer:
cheese mixture
(do this twice)

The amount you'll layer will end on your taste, but the bottom layer of meat sauce will take a little more than the rest. I ended up with WAY more cheese mixture left over than was necessary, so you might want to really pile on the cheese
you like it cheesy! Top with noodles, remaining sauce mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Cover with aluminum foil. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F(175 degrees C) oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve it with crusty garlic bread.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

WW Update

I "officially" started back to WW on May 5th. Meetings, weigh-ins, and all. I had done the WW program on my own since Jan., but once we stopped our Biggest Loser competition at work, I kinda slacked off and gained back 7 of the 20 pounds I had lost. Before that number started to go any higher, I thought I should just go back, pay the 12 bucks a week and do the program.

The first week I lost 5.4 pounds, which is the most I've ever lost in a week on WW. I was pretty happy about it.

The second week was the weekend I ate like a pig for three days and ended up gaining two or three pounds in two days and had to spend the rest of the week trying to work that off. I did, but there was no loss when I weighed in last Thursday.

Today, at weigh in I had lost another 4.6 pounds! Woo Hoo! Something silly that I like about going to the meetings is that everyone applauds you and they give you a gold star for 5, 10, etc. Silly, but it works for me. Anyway, I tried to stick to the program more carefully this week and only used about 10 of my "bonus weekly points". I also did "Walk away the Pounds" six days this week week.

So that brings my total loss since 5/3 to 10 pounds! And if I add that to what I had lost since January that's a total of 23 pounds. So I'm feeling pretty good. Hopefully I will be able to post at least a 2 pound loss this time next week!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Easy Oven Baked BBQ Chicken

My folks came down for lunch today and we had this delicious barbecue chicken(and a few sides). I was very pleased with the ease in making it and the tastiness of the finished product!  For dessert: Purity half and half lowfat/sugar free ice cream in chocolate dipped cones. Good Stuff!

Easy Oven Baked Barbecue Chicken
I only had three pieces of chicken on hand and this made more than enough sauce, so I'm guessing this amount of sauce would work for up to six breast fillets.
1/2 cup spicy barbecue sauce (I used Corky's Smoking Hot)
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup ketchup
onion to taste (I didn't have an onion and don't like onion, so I just used a couple shakes of onion flakes)

Preheat oven to 400ยบ

Place 4-6 chicken breasts in a shallow baking dish(line w/foil for easier clean up).

Combine barbecue sauce, honey, ketchup and onion and pour over chicken. Cover with foil and bake for 30min. Uncover and return to oven for an additional 30-45min. or until done.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Cookbook in the Works...So Send in Those Recipes!

I am putting together a cookbook! I've sent out emails and will be sending out letters to beg for recipes from you. I'll beg again now. Puuuhlease send me fun, easy, and delicious recipes to add to my cookbook...currently titled "Kellie Cooks!"

I found an online site called heritagecookbooks.com that will print as few as four cookbooks for around only 15 bucks a pop! I thought this would be just what I needed to kick my cooking back into gear and I really and truly want recipes, photos and food related stories from my family and friends to fill up the cookbook! If you are one of those friends and family who are reading this blog nonsense for the first time, you might want to read my first blog entry "...here we go" to get an idea of what in the world I'm doing here.

Now, get busy sending me those recipes! :)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Peanut Butter Goo Bars

Although I'm not much of a cook, I usually do pretty good when it comes to baking and making goodies. That's why I was sooooo mad at myself when I went to make these WONDERFUL bars to send to Jackie & Scott. I made them once before and they turned out incredibly, if not dangerously, delicious. This time, the middle of the bars were a gooey mess! Apparantly I did not cook them long enough and I didn't even think to check the inside for done-ness! I followed the recipe to a "T" and did everything that I did the first time around. But I do tend to get impatient and try to hurry things up, so undercooking was most likely my problem.

I am posting the recipe because I KNOW these things are yummy...just double check to make sure the cakey-brownish part is DONE before you proceed with the icing. I did manage to salvage the outer edges, so was not a total loss.

On the WW front...I was bad this weekend. Bad. It was Shea's birthday and Mother's Day and yet I'm the one who partied (w/food) like it was 1999! Gained two pounds! ack!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
1c. butter or margarine, softened
1c. sugar
1c. brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2/3 c. creamy PB
1tsp. vanilla
2c. flour
2c. rolled oats
1 bag milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugars until smooth and creamy. Blend in eggs, PB, and vainilla. Add flour slowly, beating well after each addition. Add oatmeal. Mix well, mixture will be thick.

Back in lightly greased 13x9" pan for 20-25min. (or in my case, until done). Don't leave too long or bars become hard as they cool.

Remove from oven and sprinkle w/one bag milk chocolate chips. When chips have melted, spread evenly over cake. Let cake stand for about 20min. and spread frosting over cake.

1c. creamy peanut butter
1c. powdered sugar
little milk (about 10 tsp)

Mix sugar and PB togher then add mil a spoonful at a time. Frosting should be thick but spread-able. Gently spread over warm cake, covering chocolate.

**Spreading the frosting is a little tricky. Sandra(this is her recipe) says to lay the frosting down the middle of the cake and spread outward w/two spoons. I layed little blobs of frosting down and tried to spread those out. Hers are much prettier than mine, but when done correctly, these things are incredible if you like chocolate/peanut butter combos.

Friday, May 11, 2007

We Had a Field Day

Spent the entire day at the city park. It was field day and due to the construction going on at school, we had to have field day somewhere else. Mrs. Holley, Mrs. Morgan and I spent the day doing an Art project. We laid out newsprint and let the kids do a Jackson Pollack/splatter painting kinda thing. They loved it and we had a good time. Wish I'd have taken some pictures! Anyhow now that I'm home I am SOOOOO tired! Cara and I had been at the park since 7a.m. this morning. Thankfully we had beautiful weather all day(although now it is getting dark, cloudy and thundering). Sometimes I get down on my job and then we have a day like today when we spend the whole day playing and I realize that I have it pretty good!

I started back on Weight Watchers. Last night was the first week weigh in and I am tickled to say that I lost 5.4 pounds in the midst of Teacher Appreciation Week and all the home-cooked food and goodies that go with it. Go Me! I believe WW works, you just have to do it. I have somewhere between 35-40 pounds that I'd like to lose and I don't think I can do it without doing the WW program. I've sent this website to all my Biggest Loser buddies at work, but I'll share it here too. http://www.hungry-girl.com LOTS of new low points foods and lots of look alike but low points recipes are listed. There's an oreo pie recipe on there that I'm itching to try.

Lock In at school tonight. I think I better go take a nap or I ain't gonna make it!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Chicken Noodle Casserole

I tried a new recipe today...Yay for Personal Days! It's called Zesty Chicken-Noodle Casserole. And well I gotta be honest, my end product was not Zesty. BUT that is my fault. I didn't have all the recommended ingredients on hand and I tried to half the recipe and the combination of those two things, just didn't work out. It wasn't bad, just not "zesty". I didn't have the chilies or any onions(or onion powder to sub with). I tried using a dash of hot sauce(a dash isn't enough) and some Lawry's in their place. I also had a slight problem with the...is called a rue? or a roux? sounds like "roo". I scorched it a little and I think that was because of my trying to half it. I'm guessing the end product is supposed to be much creamier than what mine turned out. Also, I used whole wheat pasta rather than regular to shave off points, but I think next time I might try it with regular noodles. The recommended serving size is 4 (which would be a large portion) with it being 9points per serving. I will be trying this again when I have everything I need. I'm going to post the recipe on this one because I think if done correctly, it is probably a tasty and healthy dish.

Zesty Chicken-Noodle Casserole

6 oz. wide noodles
1 tbs olive oil

4 tsp all purpose flour

2c fat free milk

1 tbs grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups cooked chicken breast

1 red onion, chopped

2 tbs chopped canned green chilies

1 tbs dijon mustard

4 tsp. seasoned dry bread crumbs

1. cook the noodles according to package; drain. Preheat oven to 375degrees; spray a 2quart casserole with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In medium nonstick saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil. Sprinkle w/the flour, cook, whisking constantly for 2min. Whisk in milk and cheese; cook, whisking constantly until thickened(2-3min.). Remove from heat. Stir in noodles, chicken, onion, chilies, and mustard. Transfer to casserole; sprinkle w/bread crumbs. Bake until brown and bubbling, 20-25min.

duh dun duh dun duh dun duh dun duh dun....BATMAN!

Is this cool or what? It's just called Batman w/ Cape and is one of those PEZ I have been wishing for forever! Now I have one in my possession...SWEET! It came out in the mid 70's and is not an easy (or cheap) to find PEZ. Mark bought this for me when he went to the big 4H flea market last weekend! Thanks Mark! Love You!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Where the magic happens...

No, not Disney World. TA DA...my kitchen! Thanks to Shea for upgrading the Mac...the old girl is running fine now AND with my lightning fast DSL I can finally post pictures! I do so love my new lightning fast DSL! Thanks Shea for hooking me up!Tomorrow I am taking a PERSONAL DAY! WooHoo. I think I'll try and tackle chicken yet again. I'll let you know how it turns out!