Sunday, April 17, 2011

Creamy Tomato Soup with Corn, Chicken and Bacon

I found this recipe on one of my favorite websites:  You must look it over!  She does amazing this with cookies and whatnot.  I am blaming her for no looking so cute in my shorts from last summer =)  I found this recipe and thought it was a nice healthy recipe and a nice change to the same ol' tomato soup.  On Sunday afternoons, we love to have grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup so I wanted to change things up a bit.  This isn't her exact recipe since I had to change some stuff since my kids don't do spicy.

1/4 cup white onion
4 cloves garlic
Two 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes (I used one regular and one Italian)
2/4 can Corn
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup buttermilk ( or 1/2 c. milk + 2 tbs vinegar)
1 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast (I used a rotisserie chicken and shred it)
1 cup cooked crumbled bacon (optional or you can use turkey bacon to cut a lot of fat)
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
Bread bowls if desired

1. Place onion, garlic and tomatoes into a food processor or blender. Pulse until smooth. Transfer to a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add corn, stirring to combine then add salt, and pepper, stirring again to combine. Stir in buttermilk, Parmesan, chicken broth, chicken and bacon pieces until combined. Reduce heat to low until ready to serve. Serve inside hollowed out bread bowls if desired.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Chocolate Buttermilk Waffles

I've had this awesome buttermilk waffle recipe for awhile but I decided I wanted to change it up a bit.  I will list the original's definitely a keeper!  I love breakfast foods.  I especially love how filling they are (don't love how many calories they have =(  )  This buttermilk waffle recipe makes nice, light and fluffy waffles =)

Buttermilk Waffles
1 1/2 c. buttermilk or 1 1/4 c. milk + 3tbsp white vinegar- combine, and set aside for 5-10 minutes (make sure and mix)
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp. sugar
 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs, separated
4 tbsp. butter, melted,cooled
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine dry ingredients.  Mix in buttermilk and egg yolks.  Stir in vanilla and butter.  in separate bowl, whip egg whites until soft peaks form.  Fold into the batter.  Cook in waffle maker and enjoy!

If you don't want to take the time time to whip up the egg whites, it turns out just fine add the whole egg.  They aren't as light, but still just as good.  That's what I end up doing a lot of the time because I don't have enough time.  Also, if you let the batter sit for about 10 minutes, the soda and buttermilk have time to react and more air bubbles form resulting in  a lighter batter/waffle.

Now onto the chocolate ones =)  I kinda started throwing things together so hopefully I can remember what i did =)

Use the original recipe.  Add 3/4 c. cocoa,  1/2 c. sugar, 1/2-3/4 c more milk or buttermilk, and 1 extra tsp vanilla.  Combine.  It comes out a bit thicker so you can add more milk if needed.  Depending on how sweet and how chocolaty you like yours, you can play with the cocoa and sugar a bit more, add more, add less.  If you have any hot fudge or chocolate syrup, that would be great on these, along with a little whip cream and syrup.  Or even some strawberry jam/syrup.  Or if you are a true chocoholic, add some chocolate chips. Hope you like it!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Creamy Chicken Taquitos

I got the original recipe from  You should check it out, there are TONS of yummy things there!  I didn't have the same ingredients on hand so I change it a bit.  What I love about this is that they aren't fried, but baked.

4 oz cream cheese (can use fat-free if you'd prefer)
1/4 C salsa
1T fresh lime juice
1 t chili powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/4 t granulated garlic, or garlic powder
3 T chopped cilantro
2 C shredded cooked chicken (cook in broth)
1 C mozzarella cheese
1 4 oz. can diced green chilies

corn tortillas or flour tortillas
non-stick cooking spray
Preheat oven to 425.  Mix everything but tortillas together in a bowl. Work with a few tortillas at a time and heat in the microwave until they are soft enough to roll without cracking. It helps to place them between damp paper towels. Usually 20-30 seconds will do it. If you find yours are cracking when you roll them or are coming unrolled right away, just try heating them longer and try the paper towel thing.  Place about 2-3 tbs. of the mix on each tortilla and roll up as tight as you can.  Place seam side down on a baking sheet.  Spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Sprinkle with salt.

  Bake in oven for about 15 minutes, or until ends get brown.  Enjoy!
Serve with our cream, salsa, or ranch.

I made both corn and flour tortillas and we actually preferred the flour ones better.  They were crispier.  This is definitely a recipe I will be making lots more.  The great thing is that it makes a lot and the extras can be frozen to enjoy later.  I'm not sure of the calorie count with this, but it isn't much.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pork Barbacoa aka Cafe Rio pork

Barbacoa Pork Taco Salad

Pork Barbacoa

4 lb Pork Roast
8 oz Salsa
3 cans Coke (DON’T use diet soda)
2 Cups Brown Sugar
20 oz. Enchilada Sauce
1 can Diced Green Chiles

In a large Ziploc bag, pour 1 1/2 cans of coke and 1/2 c. brown sugar and put in roast.  Let marinade overnight or for a few hours.  Pour all into a slow cooker.  Combine remaining ingredients and pour into slow cooker.  Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.  Remove pork and cut into 5 sections.  Continue cooking on high for 2 more hours.  Take pork out (again) and shred.  Let cook for 1 more hour.
(I didn't make the black beans but here is a recipe if you like them)
Black Beans:
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves
1 tsp Cumin
1 cans Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Tomato Paste
1 Cup Water
½ tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Fresh Cilantro

Combine all ingredients and cook in a saucepan until beans are soft.

Lime Cilantro Rice:
4 Cups Water
2 chicken Boulion Cubes
¼ Cup Lime Juice
4 tsp minced Garlic or 1 tsp Dried Minced Garlic
1/3 Cup fresh Cilantro
1 can Diced Green Chillies
¾ tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Butter
½ Onion, chopped (optional)
4 Cups Instant Rice
Put water, bouillon, butter and rice in a pan.  Cook until rice is soft.  In a food processor, combine cilantro, chilies, lime juice,salt, and garlic.  When rice is done, add cilantro mix and let simmer for a few minutes.  Enjoy!

Tomatillo Ranch Dressing:

1 dry Ranch Dressing Packet
1 Cup Buttermilk
1 Cup Mayonnaise or Sour Cream
3 Tomatillos
½ Cup fresh Cilantro
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 Tbsp Lime Juice
Red Cayenne pepper to taste (if you don't like it spicy, it tastes great without the pepper)
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth.

Crunchy Tortilla Strips
1 pkg. corn tortillas
Oil or Shortening for frying
Put the oil in a pan and heat.  Make sure there's about 1 inch oil.  Cut the tortillas into strips.  When oil is heated (place a few drops of water in it and if it sizzles, it's hot enough) put strips in oil.  Let cook until golden and crispy.  Let drain on paper towels before serving.  Sprinkle with salt.
These are also good to do as homemade tortilla chips .  Cut into whatever size or shape you want, and cook.  Serve with salsa and viola!  Homemade chips!!

Serve with leafy lettuce (not iceberg) and you an either shred your tortilla or, if you have big tortillas, make a bowl out if it.  Layer rice, beans (if you like) lettuce, dressing, pork, and crunchy strips.  Enjoy!
This may not be the exact recipe or taste exactly like Cafe Rio, but it helps to curb the craving.  Not to mention, it costs the same to make this as it would for 2 people to eat there, and this will serve at least 5.  And the leftover pork would be awesome on sandwhiches!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Slow Cooker Pork Chops

If you are anything like me, you run out of ways to cook certain dishes.  I get sick of chicken and beef (which are primarily what we eat because it's cheapest) so every once in awhile I do pork chops.  I'm not as "skilled" with chops so I struggled to make them come out not dry.  Then I foun this recipe that I made for dinner tonight.  They were so tender and juicy and full of flavor!!  This will be a favorite for sure!


2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried cilantro
4  boneless pork chops
salt and pepper to taste


1.In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, chicken broth, garlic, paprika, garlic powder, poultry seasoning and basil. Pour into the slow cooker. Cut small slits in each pork chop with the tip of a knife, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place pork chops into the slow cooker, cover, and cook on High for 4 hours. Baste periodically with the sauce.
My chops were thin so they took about 3 hours on high.

I made some cheesy mashed potatoes and homemade french bread.  Yum!!  I think the calori content for the chops is around 250.  Not too shabby.  If you pair them with a salad and some veggies, you can have a great meal for less than 500 calories.

(sorry, no picutres, we ate it before I thought to take one)

The BEST Wheat Bread Recipe!

There is nothing better than homemade bread!  For some reason, most of my bread, while delicious, isn't usually ideal for sandwhiches.  I came across this recipe and it is perfect!  The bread is dense, but not heavy, and great for sandwhiches.  This is my new go to recipe! If it wasn't for the Sara Lee's bread outlet around the corner from me, where I can get bread for $0.50 a loaf, I would be using this to make all my bread.  When I do make it, I usually halve the recipe and do 2 smaller loaves.


3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1/3 cup honey
5 cups bread flour

3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon salt
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted


1.In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey. Add 5 cups white bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.

2.Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky - just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.

3.Punch down, and divide into 3 loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.

4.Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely.

A few changes

Up until now I have just tried to post "healthy" stuff.  I've had some friends that are always asking for my recipes so I think I am going to start posting a variety of recipes, some might not be so healthy (the desserts =) ) But I figure almost any home cooked meal is better then fast-food, takeout, frozen meals, and restaurants.  I will still try to make them as healthy as I can, or suggest ways to do it if you'd like even if I didn't.  I hope you enjoy the new changes.  Please spread the word.

Baked Garlic Parmesean Chicken

I made this the other day and my kids were asking to eat leftovers for the rest of the week from it.  My poor hubby didn't get to try any because the kids wolfed it all down.

2 tbsp. oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 c. bread crumbs ( I had the heels of my bread loaves that I had been drying for a few days that I put into the food processor)
2/3 c. grated Parmesan ( used the Parmesan topping)
1 tsp. cilantro
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp Italian seasonings
2 tsp minced onions or 1 tsp onion powder
4-6 chicken breast halves, depending on size of you chicken. (I used 4 because my chicken was pretty big)

preheat oven to 350.  Lightly grease a 9x13 dish.  Combine oil and garlic.  In separate dish, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan, cilantro, pepper, seasonings, onion.  dip the chicken in the oil mix and then roll in bread crumbs.  Place chicken in dish and cook for about 30-40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

This was super delicious!!!  It was tender and juicy!  I paired it with some homemade mashed potatoes.  This will definitely be something I will be making often.  I'm not sure the points value but the calories of the chicken for this is around 240 calories.