From The Kitchen Of Rachelle Underwood

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sinful Snack Mix

I have made this extremely addictive yummy snack mix for parties, and girly get-togethers. This recipe gets devoured, and I always think I'm making too much. I love that it has graham crackers, and coconut. The combination of flavors is awesome...but just to warn is not the healthiest snack to have around. But, sometimes the most TDF recipes are the most decadent...hence the use of BUTTER! So the next time you want to make a sweet treat for a party or just for you and your family, try this one will DIE!

Sinful Snack Mix

7 c. Golden Grahams
7 c. Rice Chex
1 c. shredded coconut
1 c. light Karo Syrup
1 c. sugar
1 c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chopped, toasted almonds (I used dry roasted, no salt almonds)

Melt syrup, sugar and butter in a medium sauce pan. Bring to boil, and boil for 4 1/2 minutes. Take off heat, add vanilla. Pour over cereal, coconut, and nuts, stir to coat evenly. Lay mixture out on foil to let cool. Note: the consistency of mine always turns out like soft caramel, if you like it crispier, cook a few more minutes.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Brown Sugar Chewies (Pizookie)

I have not been posting any new recipes lately, due to the fact that I have some pounds to shed before summertime. I miss trying new decedent recipes out, so to find a happy medium, I will reserve one day out of the week to try something new, and post about it if it turns out good. I have been eating boring things like chicken, salad, and broccoli, and let's face it, there isn't really a TDF factor in any of those foods. But, every once in a while, if I have been good at watching my calories, I will whip up something to award myself for doing well. So, I made these Brown Sugar Chewies, (that I had seen Paula Dean make on TV) it is kind of like a blonde brownie, except more carmelly, and dense. (It is not cakey which I completely dislike in brownies) I like the fact that the recipe only uses 1/4 c. of butter, and that it didn't make gobs and gobs of was the perfect treat for a sweet tooth craving. Putting the brown sugar into the melted warm butter starts breaking down the brown sugar into a carmel base (YUM). It is best if you let them cool completely, as they are pretty gooey, the flavor is amazing! It was like eating a carmelly cookie. (P.S. - I know carmelly is not really a word...but it best describes what I want to say!) My sister Lana made these, and put vanilla ice cream on top of the slightly warm squares, and it was like The Pizookie from BJ's. Oh the possibilities! I'm going to do white chocolate and macadamia nut when I make these again.
Brown Sugar Chewies (Pizookie)

1/4 c. butter
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c. choc. chips, PB chips, or butterscotch chips (optional), freeze before adding to mixture

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Spray 8 inch-square pan with cooking spray. In a saucepan, melt butter. Turn off the heat, and add brown sugar and stir until it is well incorporated. Stir in 1/2 the egg, and then add the rest of the egg, mixing well. Add vanilla and stir. Add flour, salt and baking powder, and stir well. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes or until done. When cool, dust the top with powdered sugar. Cut into squares, and serve with vanilla ice cream on top if you want a Pizookie!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Creamy Orzo Chicken with Vegetables

I found this recipe online the other day, and I liked it because it was a one pot balanced meal. I also like the fact that I could use the 1/3 less fat nuefatchel cream cheese and not heavy cream, and I'm sure you could use fat free cream cheese, as the sauce is VERY rich. You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand for this recipe. I will type up the original recipe which calls for peppers and mushrooms. I had mushrooms and broccoli that were on their last leg, so I threw those in there. I also diced up a Roma tomato for some color. This meal was VERY good, the family loved it!

Creamy Orzo Chicken with Vegetables

1 tbs, olive oil
2 average-sized chicken breasts (about 1 to 1 ½ pounds), cut into chunks
2 red bell peppers, cut into ½-inch pieces
8 ounces white button mushrooms, quartered
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 pound orzo pasta
8 ounces cream cheese, softened (can use 1/3 less fat cream cheese)
1 cup reserved pasta water (I used about 2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley (optional)
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (from 1/2 a lemon)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook according to package directions until tender. When the orzo is ready, reserve 1 cup or more of the pasta water (ladling it into a small bowl is my method) and then drain the orzo and set aside.
While the orzo cooks, in a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the hot oil and brown on all sides. When nicely browned (but not all the way cooked through), add the peppers, mushrooms and thyme. Stir and let cook for about 5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the mushrooms and peppers have softened and browned and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
In the skillet over medium heat, add the softened cream cheese (if you forgot to let the cream cheese soften at room temperature, no worries! Pop it in the microwave for one minute on 40% power) in bite sized chunks and stir so that the cream cheese melts and coats the chicken and vegetables. Add the reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer. Add ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir. Add the orzo, Parmesan, lemon juice and fresh parsley. Stir to combine and heat through. Garnish with additional Parmesan and parsley.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Beans in the Crock-pot

This recipe is kind of lame, because it's not really a recipe, just a helpful tip. But, my sister Lana said she didn't think about doing beans this way, and she tasted mine, and liked them alot. So if not for anyone, this ones for you Lana.
You can use any type of bean, I like pinto, but black beans are also yummy too, but I've heard they cause more this a lie? Anyways, cooking your beans this method, allows you to control the salt, texture, and is actually WAY cheaper than buying them at the store. Even on sale, Rosarita beans costs 1$ a can. I think to make a pound of these beans, makes the quantity of 3 cans of beans, and the cost is 50 cents or less! You can leave the beans whole, or mash them to make a smooth consistancy. I usually just do this recipe 1 pound at a time, so I don't have an abundance of beans for days on end.
Beans in the Crock-pot

1 pound of beans
garlic powder

Rinse beans in a colander, make sure to remove anything that is not a bean. Place rinsed beans into crock-pot, and fill water about 3 inches above where the beans are. Put 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp of garlic powder into the crock-pot. Place lid on the crock-pot, and turn to high for 5-7 hours. Stir the beans halfway during cooking time.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sweet Poppy Seed Dressing

I made this dressing for Easter dinner to go on a salad that we were having. This dressing compliments fruit in a salad. Use apples, grapes, strawberries, oranges, or any other tart fruit in your salad. The dressing is also good in a salad garnished with roasted or candied nuts. The recipe makes enough for 3 very large salads, so you will have leftovers. I think that the dressing will probably keep for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator, since it does not have anything in it that will go bad in it.

Sweet Poppy Seed Dressing

1/3 c. apple cider vinegar
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. oil
2 tsp grated onion w/ juices
1 tsp poppy seeds
1 1/4 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients together, and use on your favorite salad.