Saturday, March 24, 2012

Oreo & Cream Cookies

Oreo & Cream Cookies
It seems lately that I always have a package of Oreo cookies hanging out in my cupboard. There are so many different creations you can make with them! I came across a 'cookies and cream' white chocolate bar on sale at the grocery store and thought they would make the perfect chocolate chips in an 'Oreo & Cream' cookie. Here is the recipe for the cookie dough adapted from Picky Palate!

1 cup softened butter or margarine
3/4 Cup packed light brown sugar
1 Cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla
3 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 - 1 1/2 Cups chopped cookies and cream white chocolate
1 1/2 Cups chopped up Oreo cookies or about a row and a half

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, combine in a stand mixer or hand mixer butter and sugars then add the eggs and vanilla until combined. In another bowl sift flour, salt, and baking soda then add to wet mixture. Stir in chocolate and Oreo pieces. 1 round tablespoon of dough onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes. 

Italian Primavera Tuna Bake

Italian Primavera Tuna Bake
Sometimes when it comes to making a great, quick, and inexpensive meal, you don't need 'buy' gourmet but you need to 'think' gourmet. Here is an inexpensive yet gourmet style meal that is full of all your daily nutritional needs that your whole family will enjoy! I picked up a can of GoldSeal 'Flaked Light Italian Pesto' tuna while getting my groceries the other day to try it out. Tuna has remained an inexpensive protein which is great and my kids love the flavoured tunas. I knew I wanted to make a tuna casserole out of it for a meal and then I came across the Knorr Primavera  sauce and knew then I had found a great match! 

Here is what you need for ingredients:

454 g box of penne (or other pasta noodles)
1 package of Knorr Primavera sauce prepared at directed on package
1 can of GoldSeal Flaked Light Tuna Italian Pesto 
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Chopped parsley
Italian bread crumbs 

Here is the recipe:

Boil up a box of 454 grams of penne noodles (or which ever noodles you prefer) as directed on the box. In a sauce pan, make the Primavera sauce as directed on the package. As the sauce is starting to thicken, add about 1/4 cup of light Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup of frozen peas, and the can of tuna to the sauce and combine. Drain noodles and return to the same pot and pour the sauce over the noodles. Transfer to a glass casserole dish and top off with some Italian bread crumbs, fresh chopped parsley, and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. 

This meal is full of flavour and is as gourmet as you can get with a can of tuna, a package of sauce, and a box of pasta noodles. This will feed a family of 4 as a main dish or will make 6 side dishes. In total, I spent $1.19 for the tuna, $1 for the pasta noodles, and $1.50 for the Primavera sauce. Not bad for such a gourmet meal! 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Homemade 'Hamburger Helper'

Homemade 'Hamburger Helper'
Taking a classic 'boxed' type dinner and making it more healthful by using less sodium and adding more fibre will make you wonder why you buy those boxed noodle packages. Yes, it does take a little more effort in the kitchen to make your own sauce, but isn't it better knowing what you are putting into your food? I think so. Here is my version of 'Hamburger Helper' that I want to share that will feed a family of 4:

You will need:
- a frying pan to fry up the hamburger, a small sauce pot for making the cheese sauce, and medium pot for boiling pasta
- 1 lb. of extra lean ground beef
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- 1 box of whole grain rotini pasta noodles
- 2 tablespoons margarine
- 1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch / or 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups of skim milk
- 2 cups shredded light (40% less fat) marble cheese
- 1/2 cup light Cheese Whiz
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- cracked pepper

Here's what to do:

Boil the pasta until it's done and rinsed as directed on the box. Use any kind of noodle you prefer.
Fry up the hamburger with the minced up clove of garlic. Drain the fat. Set aside.
To make the sauce, over low heat melt the margarine then add the corn starch and whisk. Once combined, add the milk and whisk until it has been incorporated then add in all the other ingredients until you have a nice cheese sauce. If you find it is too thick, just add more milk and whisk over low heat. I use this same sauce for my homemade mac and cheese as well!
Combine noodles, hamburger, and cheese sauce into the medium pot and serve!

Healthy version of 'Hamburger Helper' the whole family will love!

Breakfast Skillet

Breakfast Skillet
Here is a thrown together type of oven skillet that I created for my hubby and I for lunch one day. Of course, I do realize it says 'Breakfast Skillet' but we love eating breakfast foods for any meal of the day! It's one of those recipes that you can 'make it your own' by adding whatever ingredients you have in your fridge. For this skillet, I first cut up some potatoes and minced a garlic clove then tossed them into a frying pan with some olive oil as well as some seasonings (roasted garlic seasonings, onion powder, chili powder, thyme, and cracked pepper) and fried them up till they were done. In another frying pan, I had my bacon cooking. Again, you could use sausage or just make it vegetarian by adding chopped up peppers, mushrooms, and onions. Your kitchen will smell divine when all this is cooking.

Turn your oven on to 350 degrees. Next, put a few eggs in a bowl and whisk them up. Add all your cooked ingredients to your baking dish then pour the egg mixture over top and add some grated cheese. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the eggs are cooked.