Sunday, December 20, 2015

Bacon and Brussels Sprout Salad

Andy's sister has made this for me a couple times and I finally got the recipe. Whenever I make it, I eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

You will need a mandolin. Don't even try thinly slicing the sprouts yourself. They have to be shaved. I found this one for $10 on Amazon. The next day I saw it at Target for $20.

Recipe from HERE.

Bacon and Brussels Sprout Salad
Serves: 8-10
For the dressing:
  • juice of one lemon
  • juice of one orange
  • 2-3 tablespoons apple cider (not vinegar, just regular apple cider! for sweetness!)
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste
For the salad:
  • 4 dozen brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled or chopped
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (Asiago or Gruyere are also good)
  1. Combine the lemon juice, orange juice, apple cider, and shallots in a small bowl. Add the olive oil in a steady stream and whisk for a minute or two, until it becomes creamy-looking.
  2. Slice the brussels sprouts with a mandoline, taking care of your fingers! and slicing them as thin as possible. This works best when you hold the stem, slice from the top, and stop with a little bit left at the bottom, discarding the remaining bottom stem part since it's not very leafy anyway. The thinner the shreds, the better the salad! Toss the shreds and loosen them with your fingers to they separate and fluff a little bit.
  3. Pulse the almonds in a food processor until finely chopped.
  4. Toss the brussels sprouts, almonds, bacon, cheese, and dressing together. Serve immediately or within a few hours of tossing.

Slow Cooker Jalapeno Popper White Bean Chili

This will be a regular in our house. It's a slight variation from Kelli's white chili, which I love.
It doesn't necessarily have to be a slow cooker recipe, either. If you have a rotisserie chicken, use canned beans, and saute the veggies for a little bit, it could be a 30 minute meal.

Slow Cooker Jalapeno Popper White Bean Chili
Yield: Serves 6-8

Recipe HERE. See her notes for some additional directions.
  • 1 cup chopped yellow or white onion
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 1/2 cup red or yellow bell pepper, small diced
  • 1 pound chicken breasts, trimmed of fat (about 2 chicken breasts)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth  (I kept this the same, but was worried it would be too much liquid since I didn't use dry beans. It ended up being perfect for me, though).
  • 12 ounces dry white beans, rinsed and picked through to remove any stones or bad beans (I just used 2 cans of white beans, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 ounces light cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels (i used 1 can, drained)
  • 6-8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled or chopped
  1. Add all the ingredients except the cream cheese, corn and bacon to a 5-quart slow cooker. Cook on low for 7-9 hours (I did 4-6 hoursish since my beans were already cooked).
  2. Remove the chicken and chop into pieces or shred into bite-sized pieces. See the note above about thickening part of the soup. Make your decision. Then return the chicken to the slow cooker.
  3. Stir in the cubed cream cheese and the corn. Cover the slow cooker to let the cream cheese soften and the corn heat through, about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Stir to combine. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with the crumbled bacon.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Old Fashioned Butter Mints

This is a fun easy candy to make with kids when you're not ready to make dipped chocolates like Kim or toffee like mom. 

1/4 cup butter
1/8 t salt
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 t peppermint extract (I wanted more peppermint flavor, so I will add more in the future)
3 1/4 cup powdered sugar
food coloring if you want

Directions: Whip butter in mixer for a minute. Add sweetened condensed milk and peppermint. Mix til combined. 

Add powdered sugar

If dough seems wet, add a little more sugar until dough combines and balls up in your mixer. 

Roll out snakes and cut into little bites. Store in airtight container in fridge. 

Unless you are making these to give away to friends, don't double the recipe. I did and it is too much. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wing Night

buy the big bag of popcorn chicken from Costco.

Sauce 1: Sweet and Spicy
1/3 cup Franks Hot Sauce
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 T water
heat on the stove until saucy

Sauce 2: Garlic Parmesean
1 cube of butter
sauté 1ish clove of minced garlic (or garlic powder)
add 1/2 cup of parmesean
heat on the stove until saucy

Sauce 3: Ranch Dressing

serve with carrot and celery sticks

Friday, December 4, 2015

lasagna soup

I really liked this one.  Jeff wished it was thicker.  Next time I might chop up some spinach and zucchini to add.  Flavor was yummy thanks to the sausage.  1 recipe didn't leave enough for leftovers, so I will 1.5 it next time.

From Skinny Taste

cooking spray
14 oz sweet Italian chicken sausage, casing removed (I just used sweet italian pork sausage)
1/2 onion, chopped
2 crushed cloves garlic
4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, divided
3 cups low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth*
2 1/2 cups water
2 cups quick marinara sauce (I used the one I always get at costco...can't remember the name right now.)
2 bay leaves
fresh cracked black pepper
6 oz broken lasagna noodles, whole wheat or gluten free*

For topping:
6 tbsp part skim shredded mozzarella cheese*
1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh basil chiffonade

Heat a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, spray with oil and add the sausage; cook until browned, breaking it up as it cooks with a wooden spoon about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the chopped onion and crushed garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add the parsley, broth, water, marinara sauce, bay leaves and fresh black pepper and bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes.

In a medium bowl combine the ricotta, parmesan, and 2 tbsp parsley and mix.

Add the broken pasta and cook uncovered according to package directions. Divide between 6 bowls and top each with 2 tbsp ricotta cheese mixture, mozzarella, fresh cracked pepper and fresh basil on top. Makes about 8 cups.