Monday, April 29, 2013

Make-Do Eggs Benedict

This is NOT Eggs Benedict - just fashioned after that. This is my quick and easy attempt at something different for breakfast.  It was good and under 300 calories so probably much healthier than Eggs Benedict too :-)  It could be fewer calories if I used the reduced fat hamburger bun and cheese but I used what I had.

Hamburger bun - 1/2 per serving
Honey Ham - 1 or 2 slices
Egg - 1 per serving
Provolone cheese - 1 slice per serving

Toast the hamburger buns under the broiler until golden brown.  I like to toast the outside of the bun, then turn it over and toast the cut side.  Love the crunch!
Poach egg by heating water to a slow boil - just litte bubbles, not a rolling boil.  Break egg into a small bowl and gently pour the egg into the water. Cook for 3 minutes. 
Meanwhile, place the ham slices on the toasted bun and place back under the broiler to warm the ham.
When egg is cooked, remove from water with a slotted spoon - be sure to drain well.  I tap the bottom of the spoon on a paper towel to absorb the water.  Place the egg on the ham slice and top with the slice of provolone.
Place under the broiler again until the cheese is bubbly and browned. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Simple Baked Apples

Simple Baked Apples
I modified the recipe in the Betty Crocker cookbook to make these.  They were easy and tasted pretty good.
Brown sugar
Cinnamon and sugar mixture (I have this on hand in a shaker)
Dried cranberries (optional)
Juice of a lemon

I cut the apples in half and used a melon baller to remove  the core and removed the stem and opposite end with a paring knife. Mix the lemon juice and water in a shallow bowl and dip each apple half in the solution, being sure that all the cut edges of the apple are rinsed with the lemon water. Place the apple halves cut side up in a baking dish.

 In the center of each apple half, place approximately 1 teaspoon of brown sugar.  The apples are still wet from the lemon water so the sugar will start dissolving - that is okay.

 Top each with some margarine - about 1/2 tsp I guess, I just ran my knife across the soft spread like I was buttering toast.

 Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture. You could also use a little nutmeg if you want.  That would taste like apple pie.

 I added a few dried cranberries to a few of them.  My daughter does not care for cranberries and wasn't sure my husband would eat them (found out later cranberries were okay - just not raisins!)  You could also add a few walnuts or pecans if you like.  The next time I make these I will try to remember to put the cranberries (and nuts if desired) in the apple first. 
Pour about 1/4 inch of water in the bottom of the pan. 
Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes until the apples are soft. 

 And here they are. The lemon juice keeps the apples from turning brown.  Mine took about 45 minutes but the apples were cold when I started - straight from the refrigerator. 
You can spoon some of the water in the bottom of the pan over the apples during the cooking but my pan was packed and could not easily get to the water in the bottom.  It was okay without doing that.

I served them by placing an apple half in a dessert bowl and spooning a little of the water/juices in the bottom of the pan over top, then a dollop of non-dairy topping.  You could also drizzle some of the juices over the topping. 

Onion Soup

 Onion Soup

3 large onions, sliced and separated into rings
1 stick margarine
beef broth - 4 to 6 cups
1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
3 Tbsp flour
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
Bread - a slice of French bread but I did not have that on hand and had some hamburger buns we needed to eat or freeze. 
Provolone cheese

Place the onion slices in the crockpot and top with the stick of margarine cut into slices.  Cook on HIGH for 30 -45 minutes. The onions will start to soften and may brown a little.
Mix the flour, worcestershire, pepper, sugar and thyme in a bowl.  It will be a thick glob - so add a little of the beef broth until smooth.

Pour that over the onions and follow with enough of the broth to cover the onions.   I used about 6 cups of beef broth for mine.  Add the bay leaf.  Allow to cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or LOW for 6-8 hours.  Add more broth if needed as it cooks. 

When soup is almost finished, broil the bread until brown and toasty on both sides.  Top with a slice of provolone cheese and broil until cheesy is melted and browned. 
Remove the bay leaf from the soup.
Ladle soup into a bowl and float the cheesy bread on top.  You can also put the soup in individual ovenproof bowls and place the slice of toasted bread on top.  Lay the slice of cheese on the bread and place the bowl under the broiler for a minute or two until the cheese is bubbly.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Buttery Dinner Rolls

Buttery Dinner Rolls

1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine or butter
2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 cups all purpose flour
2 1/4 tsp bread machine yeast

Place ingredients in the bread machine in the order listed.  Make a well in the flour to put in the yeast.
Select dough setting and start.  Check after 5 minutes or so to make sure it has incorporated all the flour.  If not, drizzle in a little water.
When cycle has completed, remove dough and place on a floured surface.  I use a baking sheet with raised edges.  That keeps the flour from spreading and makes cleanup easier.
Divide dough into 24 equal pieces by cutting in half and then cutting those halves in half (4) and again cutting those in half (8).  Take each of the 8 pieces and cut into 3, making 24 total.  The more uniform the pieces are the more uniform your rolls will be.  Uniform rolls bake more evenly.
Spray a 9 x 13 cake pan with cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 375.
Shape each piece into a ball.  I take the piece and roll the edges to the back and tuck them in.  You do not want to roll them around in your hand a lot as that will make them tough. Place in the prepared pan with the tucked seam side down. 
Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set in a warm place for at least 15 minutes or until the rolls have doubled in size. 
Bake in the 375 oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Milk Steamers

Fat Free Milk Steamer

skim milk
flavored syrup (I use sugar free when I can get it)
sweetener or sugar

Pour milk into a coffee mug.  Heat in the microwave for about 2 minutes until hot. It may get a little white foam on the top.
Add 1 tsp of the syrup and a pack of the sweetener or equivalent sugar.
Stir well and taste.  Add more syrup if  desired. 
I use about 1 1/2 tsp to 2 tsp.

My favorite is Raspberry

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Italian Cheese Log

This is probably the easiest cheese log you can make - except for just putting the cream cheese on a plate and pouring something over it like jalapeno jelly.   Those are good but this one is a favorite - and someone always asks for the recipe.  You really don't need a recipe - it is that easy!  I just wanted to 'document' it.

Italian Cheese Log
8 ounce brick of cream cheese (regular or low fat)
1 package of dry Italian dressing mix - Fiesta Italian is good too

That's it!

Spread the dressing mix out on a piece of waxed paper or aluminum foil.  Doesn't have to be spread evenly - just spread it out a little.

Take the block of cheese and press it into the mix - covering all sides completely. 

Keep pressing and flipping - pressing and flipping....

Place on a serving dish and surround with crackers.   I like Triscuits with it but any cracker will do. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Balsamic vinaigrette

Balsamic vinaigrette

1/2 c balsamic vinegar
3/8 c sugar
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tsp water

Mix well

Mango bean salad

Mango bean salad

2 mangoes, peeled and diced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsedp
1 cup diced green onions
1/2 cup finely diced celery
2 tsps dried cilantro or 1/4 cup fresh
1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette

Mix all together and refrigerate at least one hour. Stir well before serving.