Thursday, March 7, 2013

Super Easy Apple Cobbler

Eating homemade apple cobbler sounded amazing. Making apple cobbler from scratch sounded like a pain. I did some quick research and found a super easy recipe to satisfy my craving. It involves a can of pie filling, a cake mix, and some butter; that's it! This cobbler literally melts in your mouth; so good and so buttery!


1-20 oz. can of apple pie filling
1/2 box [or one whole 9 oz. box] of caramel cake mix [I used Duncan Hines]
3/4 stick of butter [about 6 tablespoons], cut into 25 pieces


Preheat the oven to 375* and coat a 9x9 pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the pie filling in the bottom of the pan. Evenly cover the pie filling with the dry cake mix. Place the butter squares over the cake mix, 5 rows of butter squares with 5 butter squares in each row. Cook for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown.

It would be a sin if you didn't top this with some vanilla ice cream. Just sayin' :)

Not a fan of apples? You can customize this however you like... cherry, berry, or peach pie filling with white, yellow, or strawberry cake mix. The possibilities are endless!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

White Chili

We had White Chili for dinner last week and it was pretty amazing. I must confess that with the exception of vegetarian versions, I’ve only ever cooked traditional chili. Needless to say, I was a little sceptical about what this chili would taste like. Everyone loved it and I even went back for seconds. This recipe is certainly a keeper!

Adapted from Pioneer Woman


1 whole fryer chicken, cut up [or 3 cups cooked chicken]
1 whole medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 whole cans green chilies, chopped
1 pound dried great northern beans, rinsed
8 cups chicken broth
1-1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
White pepper, to taste
1 cup reduced-fat milk
2 tablespoons Cornmeal
Grated monterey jack cheese [or your favorite cheese], to taste


Cover chicken and cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until done. Remove meat from bones. Set aside.

In a dutch oven over medium-high heat, saute onions and garlic for 2 minutes. Add chopped green chilies, then rinsed beans. Pour chicken broth into the pan. Add sliced jalapenos. Season with salt, pepper, and cumin. Place lid on pot and reduce heat to low.

Cook for 2 hours or until beans are done. Halfway through the cooking process, add 3 cups of cooked chicken.

When beans are tender, mix milk with cornmeal and pour into the chili. Cook for an additional ten minutes to thicken. Check seasoning and adjust, adding cayenne pepper and paprika if desired.

Add some cheese to the pot and stir to melt.

Optional: Garnish with cilantro, sour cream, extra cheese---even pico de gallo and guacamole, if you have some on hand. Roll up warm corn tortillas and serve on the side of the bowl.

Monday, March 4, 2013

White Chocolate Blondies

I made these blondies last week for cheat day and Oh. My. Gosh. They were amazing. Incredible. So yummy. I may or may not have eaten about 1/4 of them...You should probably rush out and buy the ingredients today, if you don't have them on hand already. They are that good.

I planned on making the White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Blondies from Six Sisters' Stuff, as white chocolate macadamia nut cookies are my absolute favorite. But, when I was down the baking aisle, I couldn't bring myself to pay $6 for 1 cup of macadamia nuts. Long story short, these bars became White Chocolate Blondies and that's just fine with me, especially since I don't really care for the macadamia nut part! If you're not a fan of white chocolate, you can easily substitute it for dark, semi-sweet, or milk chocolate. You could even use peanut butter or butterscotch chips. Oh, and if you're not a cheap-o like me, feel free to add the macadamia nuts!


2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups white chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 325*.

Place the brown sugar and butter in a mixing bowl and cream together on medium speed until smooth. [I used my Kitchen Aid stand mixer and it took no time at all; you can do this by hand, but it might take a bit longer.]

While the machine is running, add the eggs and vanilla. Mix well.

Add the flour and baking powder to the mixture, with the speed adjusted to low. Once you have a well-mixed dough, fold in the chocolate chips with a spoon, until well blended.

Grease [nonstick spray works great] and flour a 13x9 pan. Pour the batter into the pan. Use a knife or spoon to evenly spread out the batter as best as you can.

Cook for 25-30 minutes, or until set yet still moist... you don't want to over-bake this! Let the pan cool on a cooling rack and try not to eat them all in one sitting!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Skinny Baked Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese

I hope you all are enjoying your weekend. We've got a lot going on today, as it's my dad's 55th birthday! Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Today, I’m going to share a lighter version of Baked Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese.  It’s just as good as the full fat and full calorie versions out there, but it doesn’t have all that extra guilt.

This recipe was adapted from Six Sisters’ Stuff.


12 oz. whole wheat/whole grain elbow pasta
2 tablespoons margarine or light butter
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
2 cups skim milk
1 cup fat-free/low-sodium chicken broth
8 oz. (2 cups) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar
Salt and pepper to taste
12 oz. broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)
1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Nonstick cooking spray


Boil a large pot of salted water and cook the pasta and broccoli together, according to the directions on the pasta package. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 350*.

In a large heavy skillet, melt the butter. Add the onion, cooking on low heat for about 2 minutes. Add the flour and cook for another minute, until well combined. Add the milk and broth, whisking to combine. Increase the temperature to medium-high. Allow the mixture to come to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the sauce becomes smooth and thick.

Once the sauce thickens, remove the skillet from the heat. Add the cheddar cheese and stir well, until the cheese is melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the cooked macaroni and broccoli and mix well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and top with the grated Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.

Bake for 15 minutes covered with foil and an additional 10 minutes without the foil. If you want to brown the breadcrumbs, broil the dish for a few minutes until golden.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes

There's something special about breakfast on the weekends. I love stepping out of my normal bowl of bran cereal or oatmeal and eating something that truly satisfies me.

This is where Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes come in. They are so filling and they're actually good for you! They're a [healthier] variation of my recipe for The World's Best Pancakes. I've omitted the sugar, but if you use ripe bananas you will not miss it; I promise! Give this recipe a try this weekend!


1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup skim milk
1/2 cup of sliced bananas (about half a medium banana)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg
2 tablespoons of oil (vegetable, canola, etc.)
1/2 teaspoon salt


In a small mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg. Add the flour, milk, baking powder, nutmeg, oil, and salt, and mix until well combined. Fold in the bananas.

In a heated skillet, pan, or griddle, portion out batter [about 3 tablespoons for each pancake] and cook. Once the pancake starts to bubble up and is dry around the edges, flip it to cook the other side.

Serve with fresh banana slices and top with your favorite syrup [I used Cary's Sugar Free Pancake Syrup]!

My Presto Griddle makes cooking pancakes so easy. There's
no need to grease/spray it and pancakes cook perfectly at 325*.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Homemade [Baked] Sweet Potato Fries

I love sweet potato fries and I've been buying them in the freezer section of my grocery store quite often over the past few years. It wasn't until recently that I caught a glimpse of the ingredient list under the nutritional information label. I don't know why I was under the impression that the only ingredient would be sweet potatoes, but I was so wrong!
Here's the ingredient list for Ore-Ida's Sweet Potato Fries:
Hmmm...... That's a lot more than just sweet potatoes!
Until last month, I never knew how easy it was to make your own sweet potato fries. You can cut them however you like and you can even get fancy with a crinkle cutter or a crinkle cut knife. They are so delicious and best of all, it's good for you; so many nutrients! No packaged crap here!
1 large sweet potato (peeled or with skin, thinly sliced)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, more if desired
*Salt and pepper, if desired.
Preheat oven to 375*. In a small mixing bowl, toss sweet potato slices with olive oil and cinnamon, coating evenly. Place slices on a cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Remove cookie sheet from the oven and rotate sweet potato slices. Return to the oven and cook for another 10-15 minutes.