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Green Chile Pork Posole

Good morning friends!

Sorry, it’s been too long since I posted a recipe, but I’ve been getting back into the school routine!  Lately,  I’ve been reaching for my tried and true friend, the crock pot.  So many times in the last month it’s been a real dinner saver! Last nights Green Chile Pork Posole was so yummy and quick and what a wonderful greeting to come home to after a late afternoon soccer game.  What is a “posole” you ask?  It’s simply a Mexican-style soup, traditionally made with pork and hominy.   It does have a little “kick” to it…but the condiments I used to top it can mellow it out a bit.  Give this one a try, I think you’ll really like it.

Green Chile Pork Posole

Ingredients

1 15 ou can of hominy (corn that has had the hull and germ removed, found in canned veggie aisle)

1 16 ou jar of salsa verde

2-3 cups of chicken broth

2 4 ou cans of diced green chilies

1 cup chopped onion

1 TBL cumin

4 cloves of minced garlic

1 tsp oregano

1/4 tsp red pepper

1-2 pounds of pork tenderloin, diced into bite size pieces

Toppings

chopped avocado, low-fat cheese, fat-free plain greek yogurt, crumbled tortilla chips

Instructions

1. Add all ingredients, except the toppings, to your crock pot and stir. Cook on low all day. (6-8 hours)

2. That’s it! It’s really that simple :)

3. Serve with the yummy toppings. Try the plain, fat-free greek yogurt in place of sour cream. It’s tastes the same and is better for you!

Enjoy your dinner :)

od & Fresh 050

 

* Recipe adapted from Good & Fresh Magazine

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Lemon Blueberry Loaf

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Good morning fellow foodies :)

This Lemon Blueberry Loaf has become a favorite in my household. So summery with a tart lemon flavor and bursting with fresh blueberries, a perfect summer combination! It involves a couple extra steps with the glazing, but it’s a well worth it treat! No pointsplus calculations here girls ;)

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup of Fage 0%  greek yogurt

1 cup white sugar

3 large eggs

2 tsp of fresh lemon zest (if you don’t have a  zester, buy one! It really does make a difference)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup canola oil

1 1/2 cups of blueberries

Lemon Syrup ingreds

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup white sugar

Lemon Glaze ingreds

1 cup of powdered sugar

2 TBL fresh lemon juice

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a large loaf pan.

2. Sift your dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt.

3. In another bowl,  combine the wet ingredients: yogurt, 1 cup of sugar, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, then fold in the oil. Finally, gently fold in the blueberries.

4. Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes until cooked in the middle.

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5. Make the lemon syrup by combining 1/3 lemon juice and 1/3 cup white sugar in a pan. Heat until dissolved and mixture is clear. Set aside and let cool.

6. Allow loaf to cool in pan for 10-15 minutes. Remove from pan and put on a rack with a pan underneath to catch the drips!  Slowly pour the syrup over the loaf and allow to soak in. Cool Completely..overnight if serving the next morning.

7. The final step is the glaze! The glaze is simply powdered sugar and lemon juice combine until there are no lumps. Drizzle over your loaf. Allow to set.

8. Slice and enjoy :)

*Recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa

 

 

Easy Crock Pot Turkey Breast

The hazy, lazy days of summer are here! Okay, so not very lazy but at least a bit more laid back and relaxed. I have been pulling out the crock pot this week because due to swim lessons, camps and all the flurry of activity all of a sudden its 6 o’clock and everyone is starving. So I’ve been slow cooking some meats so that they are ready to go when everyone is clamoring for something to eat.

Today, I am doing a turkey breast in the crock pot, a small 7 pound boneless breast. I simply tossed some carrots in the bottom along with some sliced shallots (from the weekly  CSA share) and rubbed the meat with a dried mushroom and onion soup mix, added a bit of water or white wine in the pot and set on low for 8 hours.

Looking forward to some turkey tonight and sandwiches tomorrow.

Hope you enjoy your summer day :)

National Donut Day

Happy Donut Day! I have to say I LOVE a good donut and I have ever since I was a child. My first donut memories involved Mister Donut in my hometown of good ole Peoria, Illinois! My mom would surprise my brother and I by having donuts waiting for us in the morning if she happened to be out the night before. I loved the box of assorted, especially the peanut, double chocolate frosted and vanilla iced cake. The Mister Donut in Peoria used to create these donut figures. Think like a gingerbread man, but made out of dough. They were decorated with frosting and sprinkled to look like they had clothes on. They were huge, sweet, and delectable and I miss them.
Now that I have my own munchkins, who have become donut lovers, we often check out the local donut shops when visiting or vacationing in a new town to sample the local favorites. Last summer, we discovered Spunky Dunkers nearby in Palatine, IL, really just 20 minutes away and we’ve discovered St. Louis is quite the donut mecca too. It’s fun to check out what each town has to offer!
Hope you got to enjoy a favorite donut today!
Happy Donut Day :)

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Quick and Easy Asparagus Soup

Quick and Easy Asparagus Soup

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Happy Memorial Day weekend my friends!

A “Quick and Easy Asparagus Soup” recipe to use up the abundance of asparagus from my CSA this week. This recipe is pretty basic, but could be jazzed up with sautéed mushrooms, bits of ham or bacon or some Parmesan crisps.

Ingredients

2 pounds of asparagus, chopped into bite-size pieces

1 TBL light canola oil spread

1 sweet yellow onion, diced

3 cloves of fresh garlic, minced

1/2 cup of dry white wine

3 cups of fat-free chicken broth

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp Better Than Bouillon chicken base (a great product for jazzing up soup recipes)

1/4 cup low-fat cream cheese

Instructions

1. In a medium-sized soup pot, melt the canola spread and add the onion and garlic. Saute until onion is tender about 5 minutes. Stirring occasionally.

2. Add white wine and cook until mostly evaporated.

3. Add chopped asparagus and the chicken broth. Season with salt (and pepper if you’re a fan) and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and cook for about 20 minutes or until asparagus is tender.

4. Add cream cheese.

5. Using an immersion blender, puree until desired thickness. I tend to like mine not completely liquefied. You can also wait until the soup is cooled a bit and process in your regular blender.

6. Enjoy! A generous 1 cup serving is 4 WW PointsPlus

Happy Spring cooking :)

* Recipe adapted from http://www.skinnychef.com

“Mom, are you eating weeds?!”

“Mom, are you eating weeds?!”

Good morning friends! Yes, I am eating dandelion greens this morning! I am a proud member of my local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Farm, called Sandhill Family Farms.  Each week from spring through fall I get a weekly basket of fresh, locally grown beautiful veggies!  I try to make a game out of trying to figure out how to use everything each week so my waste is minimal.  Each week I get a nice variety of items, some familiar some not.  Last week, we received dandelion greens, a member of the chicory family.  As many of you know, I have a love of sauteing greens,  like spinach, chard, etc and serving over my favorite farm fresh eggs. So, today I put another spin on that and sautéed my dandelion greens.

It is actually pretty basic. Here’s what I did:

1/4 tsp bacon grease

1 tsp ham squares

bunch of dandelion greens

fresh chopped chives

I put the bacon grease in my non-stick pan and saute the ham bits, add the greens and saute until slightly wilted.  I can hear the gasps through the computer!  Yes, bacon grease bad for you, BUT its a very small amount and on the rare occasions that we do have bacon, I keep a small container under my sink to collect the grease. My kids think it’s totally gross, but this habit goes back long ago from my childhood when my babysitter, Irene, used to save the bacon grease to make homemade Chex Mix, which I still do today too!   Put the greens on your plate and use the pan to cook your eggs to your liking.  I prefer either sunny-side up or over-easy so you get that nice runny yolk to dip your toast into.  Top with the fresh chives.   Again, I urge you to try farm fresh eggs if you have the chance to, they are absolutely superior in taste.

I served my eggs and greens with my favorite Angelic Bakehouse Sprouted Bread.  My favorite bread is low-cal, packed with whole grains, protein and is only 1 Weight Watchers PointsPlus per slice!!!!  Give it a try, you’ll be happy you did!

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Bon Appetit and I’m ready for the next challenge…we received some baby turnips this week!

Kyle’s Chocolate Chip Caramel Brownies

Kyle’s Chocolate Chip Caramel Brownies

028Good morning friends,

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by the Boston Marathon tragedy yesterday. I am very relieved that everyone I knew there is safe. My deepest sympathies to everyone involved; victims, participants, first responders and family members. May God grant us all peace.

I thought it a good time to think about the positive and count my many blessings. Once of them is my son, Kyle. He is thirteen and loves to cook and bake, which of course warms my heart and I am so thankful that we share this love of baking. I think he will make some woman very happy someday with his skills in the kitchen :)

On Sunday, Kyle came to me and said he wanted to take on a baking project… he wanted to make something that neither one of has made before. I said, “great, go for it!” He decided to look through Pinterest and the boards I have created because often times I sit with him and point out things that I’d like to try some day.  Being the chocolate lover he is I had an idea the direction he was going :) I reminded him to check his ingredients to make sure we had everything on hand, nothing more frustrating than beginning a recipe only to find out that you’re missing an ingredient or two.  I stood by for consultation, but he didn’t really need that much :)

He chose a chocolate caramel brownie recipe, and yes, he made the brownies from scratch which is something that I rarely do!

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Kyle’s Chocolate Chip Caramel Brownies

Ingredients

For the brownies:

2 sticks of unsalted butter

1 12 ounce package of dark chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups of white sugar

4 eggs

1 TBL vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup dark chocolate chips

For the caramel filling

1 package of Kraft caramel bits (tiny little balls found in baking aisle which I love for convenience!)

1/4 cup of vanilla-flavored coffee creamer (because who really has heavy cream on hand all the time?!)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper. Spray pan and on top of parchment with cooking spray.

3. Slowly melt 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a glass bowl at 50% power in 1 minute intervals until chocolate is smooth and melted.  Stir between each interval so as to not overcook.

4. Wisk in sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour and salt until combined.

5. Spread half of brownie batter in pan and bake for 15-18 minutes.

6. Cool brownies

7. Combine caramels and creamer in another glass bowl and microwave at a reduced power level, until melted, do in 30-45 second intervals, stirring in between.

8. Spread the caramel mixture over the cooled brownies

9. Using 2 spoons, place remaining brownie dough in piles over caramel mixture.

10. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top.

11. Bake for an additional 20 minutes or until set and slightly pulling away from the sides of pan.

12. Cool on a rack and then, cool in refrigerate for a couple hours until fully set and firm.

13. Lift the entire slab from the pan with the parchment paper (this step is when the parchment paper comes in very handy!)

14. Peel back parchment and slice into squares

15. Enjoy your magical creation :)

Recipe adapted from http://www.sixsistersstuff.com

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