Friday, April 30, 2010

Coupons: End of the Month Plus A New One!

Tonight is the last night! Be sure to print any coupons that you need. And be sure to check out the new Old El Paso coupon on You can use it for the sale at Publix this week. It will expire 30 days from printing.

New coupon to mention:

$.60/2 Old El Paso Products
(use zip 63366)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Curry Chicken Salad

I knew that I would have a lot of leftover chicken from the Curry Chicken Tuesday night. What better way to use it than chicken salad. And what better than Curry Chicken to make Curry Chicken Salad! I'm kind of hooked on that curry flavor now after having it in the chicken Tuesday night and the Chicken Cranberry Couscous I made a couple of weeks ago. Clay really likes it too! I whipped this salad up last night and brought it for lunch on a ciabatta roll today. I love the sweetness of the grapes. It really balances out the spice of the curry. I almost wish I had put some chopped nuts in it. Some pecans or walnuts maybe. Oh well, there's always next time! I held back on some of the curry powder in the recipe since my chicken was cooked in a curry sauce. When I shredded the chicken, I stirred some of the curry "gravy" in it before making the chicken salad. Yummy! This would be great between two slices of bread or in the pita pockets that are B1G1 this week at Publix. If you're watching your carbs, chicken salad is great served in lettuce cups! Endless possibilities. I still can't get Clay to eat it though.

2 medium oranges or 1 11-oz. can mandarin oranges, drained
3 cups cubed cooked chicken
2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1/3 cup light mayonnaise
1/3 cup plain yogurt (I used Greek-style)
2 teaspoons soy sauce (I used a little less)
1 teaspoon curry powder

If using fresh oranges, peel and slice; halve or quarter each slice. In a large mixing bowl combine oranges, chicken, grapes and celery.

For dressing, in a small bowl stir together mayonnaise, yogurt, soy sauce and curry powder. Pour dressing over chicken mixture; toss lightly to coat. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours.


(adapted from Better Homes & Gardens)

Coupons: Print Now!

It's the end of the month and that means start printing your coupons! The coupons on the main printable sites reset at the beginning of each month. Some new coupons become available and some of the older ones are available with a reset print limit. I cannot believe this month is already over!

Some of my favorites to print if you haven't already:

$1/1 Roman Meal Bread

$1.50/2 Classico Pasta Sauce

$1/1 Digiorno Deep Dish Pizza

$1/1 Del Monte Fruit Chillers

$1/1 Danino Yogurt 6-pk

$.55/1 Hormel Natural Choice Lunch Meat

$1/1 New York Style Deli Snack (Bagel Chips)

$.75/1 Swanson's 26 oz. Stock

$.55/1 Sara Lee Delightful Bread or Buns

$1/1 Quaker True Delights Instant Oatmeal

$.50/1 Newman's Own Product

$1/1 Fisher Product (nuts and snack mix)

$1/1 YoPlus Yogurt (My favorite!)

$1/1 Barbers Chicken

And don't forget about the Publix coupons still available on Cooking With Kraft!

Betty Crocker Magazine: Mother's Day Gift Idea

I love looking at the Betty Crocker website and finding recipes. I've posted several on the blog already. Betty Crocker recipes are classic and timeless. I know most of us probably have a cookbook or two on the shelf in the kitchen!

Some of the recipes I've posted:

Cream Cheese Pancakes

Maple Pecan Chicken

Feta Cheese Chicken Breasts

Cranberry Apple Nut Bread

I got an e-mail letting me know about an awesome deal on the magazine that you could share with your Mom or another foodie! Right now you can get TWO 1-year subscriptions for the Betty Crocker magazine for $14.95. That's less than $7.50 per subscription for one whole year (6 issues). This would be a great Mother's Day gift. Don't forget that very special day coming up May 9th!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tuna Melts

Tuna can be a very inexpensive way to add protein into your diet. Canned tuna is fairly cheap and when paired with a sale and coupons its a great bargain. My husband takes tuna for lunch during the week, but I don't usually eat it. This week Publix had the large Albacore packets on sale, so I wanted to try to incorporate them into an easy dinner. I came across this recipe in my Everyday Food magazine and knew it was going to be delicious! Its Emeril's recipe, after all! I ran my grocery store errands after work today, so it was a late night coming home. These came together in less than 15 minutes. Perfect for those busy weeknights. I used the capers in my half (my husband didn't want them), but I left the onion our of the entire batch. Raw onion is not my thing. Use what's pleasing to your family. I have never eaten capers before, but I've wanted to try them. I almost equate it to olives. To me, the olives on a pizza just enhance the flavor of everything. I love the salty bite. Same for the capers. They are soft, so they just blend in with the tuna, but they give you a nice salty bite. I got a small jar of them at Walmart for $1.50. So, its nothing to break the bank. But, you could certainly omit them all together. This is a quick, easy dinner you definitely want to try!

4 5-oz. cans tuna in water, drained (I used 2 6.4-oz. packets)
1/3 cup mayonnaise, plus more for spreading (use for the consistency you want)
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
4 teaspoons capers, rinsed and drained (don't forget to rinse...I did!)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled between your fingers (I didn't have this)
4 slices crusty bread (I used split ciabatta bread rolls)
8-12 thin slices of tomato (I used 3 per melt)
4 slices provolone (I used mozzarella)

Heat broiler. In a medium bowl, combine tuna, mayonnaise, onion, capers, lemon juice, salt, pepper and oregano and stir until thoroughly combined.

Arrange bread on a baking sheet and spread a little mayonnaise on each slice (I used halved ciabatta bread). Divide tuna salad evenly among slices, then top each with 2 slices tomato and 1 slice cheese. Broil until cheese is golden brown and bubbling, 3-4 minutes.


(adapted from Everyday Food)

Coupons: Print Now!

Here is another daily round-up of some worthy coupons to print. I will update this post throughout the day if I come across any more!

$.75/1 Mission Tortillas (Great for the B1G1 this week at Publix!)
Click on the Kroger logo then click on the coupons tab to get to the coupon)

$1.50/2 Classico Pasta Sauces (use zip 90210) 2 per computer- these will go FAST!

$1/2 Classico Pasta Sauces (these are B1G1 this week at Winn Dixie!)

$1/1 Kraft 100 Calorie Cheese Bites HERE and HERE

$1/1 Land O Frost Lunch Meat (the 1 lb. packages go on sale for $3 or less)

$1/1 Wholly Guacamole or Salsa (PDF that doesn't expire until 6/30/10)

$1/1 Eagle Mills Flour (made with Ultragrain Whole Wheat)

Looking for organic product coupons? Collin at Hip2Save has found an awesome site with tons of coupons. Earth Fare is a supermarket, but some of these coupons are manufacturer coupons and can be used at our grocery stores. Organic and natural products tend to be a little pricey, so having coupons will help so much! Pair it with a sale and you've doubled your savings!

Earth Fare coupons HERE

My favorites:

$.50/1 Terra Chips

$1/1 Seventh Generation Cleaning Product

$1/1 Cascadian Farms Granola Bars

$1/1 Cascadian Farms Frozen Fruit

$1/2 Tribe Hummus

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Curry Chicken

This chicken really brings back memories! I've briefly told this story in a previous post, but I'm going to tell it again tonight. When my husband and I first started dating, I was working as a part-time teller at Regions Bank in Mobile. The head teller, Mary Jo, would make this chicken dish and bring it for us to eat on special occasions. We all loved it! I was very new to cooking then. I knew that food was the quickest way to a man's heart, so I decided to cook dinner for Clay. I was still living with my parents, so I put together the dinner at their house. It was taking forever for the chicken to get done! I kept checking it and checking it. Everything else was ready, and I still had to transport it to Clay's house. My Mom finally asked what was taking so long, and I said, "well, the chicken isn't turning brown". Little did I know that chicken doesn't brown when baked in the oven! That chicken was SO dry! Thank goodness its drenched in a delicious sauce, because it was still edible! I haven't made this chicken since. I called Mary Jo several weeks ago and asked her for the recipe. She was very happy to share it with us. The chicken was delicious tonight! And this time, I knew not to cook it too long. I used a whole chicken, although next time I may just stick with the breasts. I know the whole chicken is cheaper, but to me the breasts are just easier. Worth the extra money in my opinion. If you do use the breasts, cut the cooking time down to around 35-45 minutes. You don't want them drying out. I also shredded the leftovers to make Curry Chicken Salad Thursday. I served this tonight with rice and leftover peas. I apologize the picture isn't the best. I couldn't get it to photograph well and Emme was demanding my attention!

1 whole chicken, cut up (or 4-6 breasts)
1 can Cream of Chicken soup (I used 98% fat free)
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup mayonnaise (I used light)
1 teaspoon curry powder

Cut chicken into pieces. Lay in the bottom of a 13 X 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. In a bowl mix soup, celery, mayo and curry powder. Spread over chicken pieces. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until chicken is no longer pink. Serve with the sauce.


(adapted from Mary Jo Brierly- Thanks!)

Taste of Home Cookbooks $5

I receive the Taste of Home magazines in the mail. I have gotten quite a few great recipes from them! Right now, they are currently offering many of their hardback cookbooks for $5. The books are regularly priced around $24.95. That is an awesome price! You can also use the code 1131 to get shipping for only $1! Some of the better titles go fast, so be sure to order sooner rather than later. These would be great to put in the gift closet or for Mother's Day coming up!

Coupons: Print Now!

I thought about including some of the coupon links that I come across to print and save. Sometimes hot coupons come around, and you just need to hold onto them and wait for a sale. But, you've got to be careful. Most of the coupons you print will expire 30 days after printing. The flipside is that if you wait to print, it may not be available any longer. High value coupons are this way. Here's some coupons I ran across today that ran through my printer:

B1G1 Buy Classico Red Sauce get Classico White Sauce Free (use zip 90210) GONE

$1.50/2 Classico Pasta Sauces (use zip 90210) This will go FAST! PRINT NOW!

$1/2 Classico Pasta Sauces (these are B1G1 this week at Winn Dixie!)

$2/1 Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce (use zip 30303)

$2/1 Heinz 57 Sauce (use zip 30303)

$1/1 Digiorno Deep Dish Pizza (use zip 30303)

$.70/1 Pillsbury Crescent Roll (one per computer)

$1/1 Roman Meal Bread (use zip 90210)

$1.50/1 Keebler Wheatables or Nut Crisps

$1/1 Smuckers Uncrustables (go on sale at Walmart for $2)

B1G1 Lay's Kettle Cooked Chips (become a Fan on Facebook)

$.55/1 Land O'Frost 1 lb. lunch meat (use zip 90210)

$.55/1 Sara Lee Delightful Bread (use zip 90210)

$1/1 Quaker True Delights Instant Oatmeal (use zip 90210)

Menu 4/28

I really enjoyed getting this week's Menu together! I don't know if the Sneak Peek was really inspiring, or if I just am ready to be back! This week looks really good at Publix. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are FINALLY on sale again for $1.99 lb. This past week several grocery stores had great deals on chicken. Winn Dixie had good prices on chicken drumsticks and whole chickens, and Bruno's/Food World had the boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $1.98 lb. When chicken breasts go that low I really stock up. I trim each breast of the excess fat and put each one in an individual zippy bag. I then put all of the "zippied" chicken breasts into a large freezer bag. I pull out what I need and thaw in the sink in cold water. I use the boneless, skinless breasts in all of my recipes that call for chicken. Tonight, when I make the Curry Chicken, it will be the first time I have attempted cutting up a whole chicken so wish me luck! The Chicken Tacos were inspired by some tacos that I had this weekend at LuLu's in Gulf Shores. They were fish tacos on the menu, but I substituted chicken instead. I'm not huge on fish, so I didn't want to be disappointed. Chicken is a safe bet for me! When I get that recipe written up I'll break down the ingredients further.

For the
Publix Sneak Peek check out Michelle's match-ups at I Heart Publix.

Curry Chicken- Tues 4/27
Tuna Melts- Wed 4/28
Curry Chicken Salad- Thurs 4/29 (with leftover chicken)
Chicken Tacos- Fri 4/30
Snowball Cookies- Sat 5/1
BBQ Rub Ribs and Corn Bread Bites- Sat 5/1
Raisin Bran Muffins- Sun 5/2
Greek Chicken Pitas- Sun 5/2 (didn't get around to making this one!)
Moo-Shu Chicken- Mon 5/3

I will post the recipe and pictures after I make them on the designated day. To make it easier to cook with me, I decided to include a recipe ingredient break-down to make your shopping a bit easier. I haven't come up with the recipe for the Chicken Tacos yet, so when I do, I will leave a more detailed ingredient list. For now, what's listed is pretty close!

Curry Chicken (Tuesday)
1 whole chicken (on sale thru 4/27 at Winn Dixie)
Cream of Chicken or Celery
2-3 stalks celery
curry powder

Tuna Melts (Wednesday)
20 oz. tuna in water *(big pouch on sale)
red onion (I'm leaving this out)
capers (undecided on this one)
lemon juice
crusty bread * (will need 4 slices)
tomato slices * (about 8)
cheese *

Curry Chicken Salad (Thursday)
2 oranges or 11-oz. can mandarin oranges (on sale thru 4/27 or 4/28)
3 cup cooked chicken (I'm using leftover Curry Chicken)
grapes *
yogurt *
soy sauce
curry powder (may omit because my chicken will be seasoned)

Chicken Tacos (Friday)
small flour tortillas *
chicken breasts*
black beans
cabbage *
cheese *
sour cream *
chipotle chilis in adobo
yogurt? *
taco seasoning
salsa *
avocado *

Snowball Cookies (Saturday)
olive oil
quick-cooking oats
Pillsbury White Cake *
powdered sugar

BBQ Ribs, Iceburg Slaw, Corn Bread Bites (Saturday)
baby back ribs *
Stubb's Rub
BBQ sauce

iceburg lettuce
yogurt *

all purpose flour
baking powder
shredded cheddar *
sour cream *
green onions
cream-style corn (on sale thru 4/27-4/28)
hot sauce

Raisin Bran Muffins (Sunday)
Raisin Bran Cereal
vegetable oil
brown sugar
granulated sugar
2 eggs
baking soda
**I've been wanting to make this for a few weeks, so that's why its on the Menu :)

Greek Chicken Pitas (Sunday)
chicken breasts *
pita bread *
feta cheese

Moo-Shu Chicken (Monday)
sesame oil ? (I may use veg oil)
cabbage * (or coleslaw mix)
green onion
hoisin sauce (good to have on-hand)
soy sauce
flour tortillas *
3 cups cooked shredded chicken *

Glad to be back guys! I hope you enjoy this week. I'm looking forward to trying these new recipes.

Tonight...Curry Chicken...and a funny story to go along with it :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

...And, I'm back!

I took a little time off last week to be with my daughter while she was recovering from RSV. I kept her home from school last week to make sure she was good and healthy before she returned! It was so wonderful to stay at home with her and spend that quality time together. It was not so wonderful, however, to have her glued to my hip 24/7. She had LOTS of Mommy time and didn't want anybody BUT Mommy! I've already checked on her at school today and she is doing just fine without me. My oldest stayed home with me a few days last week too, so she was less than thrilled about getting back into the groove this morning. Its a hard Monday in the Ammons' house!

Getting back into the groove for me also means getting back to posting recipes! I have enjoyed my laid back schedule, but I also miss the structure my "regular" life gives me. Michelle at IHeartPublix has already posted the Sneak Peek! I am starting to work on the Menu. I will have it posted by tomorrow. I hope you all are still here with me!

Menu coming soon!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

An Unexpected Absence

Were you looking forward to the Creamy Peanut Butter Dip? Or the Blueberry Baked French Toast? I was too! Things didn't quite go as planned this weekend, so I have included the links below to those recipes.

My youngest daughter, Emme, who is seven months old, got sick last week. She came home from school Wednesday with a fever. We took her to the doctor that afternoon and they prescribed antibiotics for a double ear infection. She was not doing any better by Friday, actually worse, so I took her back to the doctor. Friday morning they said it was pneumonia and they gave her a shot of antibiotics. That afternoon I had one of those maternal instincts that something still wasn't right with her. We were at the Emergency Room by 5:00. Her test for RSV came back positive and they admitted her to keep a watch on her oxygen levels. She stayed on oxygen the first night but was able to breathe well on her own without it by Saturday morning. Her fever finally started to come down also. I am very happy to say that she is doing MUCH better! I am not very happy to say that we are still at the hospital. I am currently in the "WiFi lounge" typing this! She still is having a hard time keeping down the formula because of the mucus in her chest. We are diluting it with pedialyte and it seems to be helping. As soon as she eats better, we will be going home. I am hoping it will be tomorrow morning.

I was a little bummed with the timing because I was looking forward to a beach weekend with The Bargain Buggy and Eastern Shore Mom. Nothing like trading a weekend at a condo for a weekend at the hospital! I am just so glad that we came to the hospital when we did and things did not get any worse. I knew my baby was sick! But, boy, let me tell you...I sure do miss my cooking! I need to get down in that cafeteria and teach those folks a thing or two :) Good thing I've got lots of trail mix in my stockpile. Its been great for snacking!

I will get back into a schedule as soon as I can. I will stay home with her for a couple of days when we get out of here and then my mother-in-law is keeping her. I don't want her going back to school this week. She needs to be at full strength!

Please keep us in your prayers for a speedy recovery. Emme is such a joyful baby. It was so hard to see her so sick! In the meantime, let me leave you with links to the recipes I was planning to make this week.

Until we meet again...

Creamy Peanut Butter Dip

Blueberry Baked French Toast

Pork Tenderloin with Orange Marmalade

Oatmeal Crusted Tilapia

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Maple Pecan Chicken with Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Yum Yum Yum! This really hit the spot tonight. I love pecan crusted chicken tenders and I love maple syrup. I found this recipe and knew it was a match made in heaven for me! This was super easy. When I make my other pecan chicken tenders, it is a labor of love. These were much simpler and just as good. The maple syrup really played well with the mashed sweet potatoes. I even added maple syrup to the potatoes. That could certainly be omitted. After all, sweet potatoes are supposed to be healthy. So go easy on the butter and use Splenda instead of sugar. You can't go wrong. Also, instead of boiling the potatoes, if you have the time roast the potatoes in the oven before mashing them. Roasting them in the oven brings out the natural sweetness of the potato, and you will need less butter and sugar to make them taste really good. All of these ingredients are staples in my house, so this will be put on the Menu again. Clay really enjoyed it. I have an idea my stepson, Christian, would love this one too!

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used 6 tenders)
1/4 cup maple syrup, or maple flavored syrup (buy the real thing at Sam's)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (I use light)
1/2 cup plain panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped in large cubes
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 teaspoon sugar (I used a tad more)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional for potatoes)
splash of milk

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray. If using chicken breasts, put breasts in a large zippy bag and pound slightly with a meat mallet (using the smooth side) until they're about 1/2" thick. I used the tenders so I skipped this step. Either way, season the chicken with salt and pepper.

In a shallow dish, whisk together maple syrup and mayonnaise. In another shallow dish, mix together panko and pecans (I had JUST enough to cover 6 tenders). Dip chicken into syrup mixture, then into panko. Place on prepared baking sheet. Top chicken with cooking spray.

Bake 15-20 minutes, turning once, until cooked through.

While chicken is baking, place potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and boil for 10-15 minutes until fork tender. Drain and return to pan away from the heat. Add butter, sugar, cinnamon and maple syrup to the potatoes. Mash with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Season with a dash of salt.


(chicken adapted from Betty Crocker)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Menu 4/14

I'm getting a late start on the Menu this week. My brain just won't think. I was having a hard time this week for some reason! I am going out of town this weekend with some girlfriends, but I will be posting some recipes. One that I'm really excited about is the Creamy Peanut Butter Dip! And the Blueberry Baked French Toast is going to be pretty awesome. There are some great deals this week at Publix. Be sure to check out the match-ups at IHeartPublix. I'm going to get my shopping list together and probably go Thursday. I left Thursday open because I was trying to find a Pad Thai recipe that was slightly pantry-friendly. No crazy ingredients in this house! I've got packing and cooking to do for the trip, so I may get that done Thursday evening. I don't think my husband would mind eating cereal! Here's what I was thinking for this week...

Maple Pecan Chicken with Mashed Sweet Potatoes- Wed 4/14
Raisin Bran Muffins- Thurs 4/15
Creamy Peanut Butter Dip- Sat 4/17
Classic Pasta Salad- Sat 4/17 (old recipe for trip)
The Best Blueberry Muffins- Sat 4/17 (old recipe for trip)
Blueberry Baked French Toast- Sun 4/18
Oatmeal Crusted Tilapia- Mon 4/19
Pork Tenderloin with Onion Marmalade- Tues 4/20

**I was not able to complete this week's Menu. See Post Here.

Here is the ingredient break-down. The (*) represents a sale item at Publix. I have also included a link to some printable coupons! Be sure to check out IHeartPublix for all coupon match-ups or CouponsMakeCents for a coupon database resource!

And don't forget to take your $5/$25 coupon if you're shopping Publix. This coupon is great because it covers your tax for the trip! There is a one available on RedPlum. Try using zip code 95677 if you don't see it and change your radius to 50 miles.

Maple Pecan Chicken with Mashed Sweet Potatoes:

boneless skinless chicken breasts* (I'm using tenders)
maple syrup (or maple flavored syrup)
panko bread crumbs
sweet potatoes
butter (rebate here: Smart Balance B1G1 this week)
cinnamon (Publix coupon)

Raisin Bran Muffins:

Raisin Bran Cereal (1/2 of a box) *
vegetable oil * (or applesauce)
brown sugar
granulated sugar
eggs (2)
baking soda
buttermilk (2 cups)

**I saw this on Joy the Baker this morning and thought I would squeeze it in! So, that means no Pad Thai Thursday :) This batter can sit in the fridge for up to a week, so you can have fresh muffins all week long!

Creamy Peanut Butter Dip:

vanilla yogurt * (coupon)
peanut butter * (coupon)
Cool Whip

Baked Blueberry French Toast:

2 bags Stacy's pita chips (simply naked) *
heavy cream
blueberries (optional)
all purpose flour
brown sugar
cinnamon (Publix coupon)
butter (rebate here: Smart Balance B1G1 this week)

Oatmeal Crusted Tilapia:

regular flavored instant oatmeal * (coupon)
panko bread crumbs
tilapia fillets *
olive oil
? Still missing this recipe, so I may have to wing-it!

Pork Tenderloin with Onion Marmalade:

pork tenderloin *
olive oil
salt and pepper
butter (rebate here: Smart Balance B1G1 this week)
sweet onions (2) *
ground cumin (Publix coupon)
orange (1) *

I am also making two older recipes to take to the beach with us. I thought I would link them in case you missed them the first time:

Classic Pasta Salad:

rotini pasta * (coupon)
carrots *
red and green peppers
olives (coupon)
cheese * (coupon)
Italian dressing
chicken breasts *

The Best Blueberry Muffins:

sour cream (coupon)
all purpose flour
baking powder
baking soda (coupon)
blueberries (fresh or frozen)
cranberries (optional)

Really looking forward to getting away this weekend! I hope you all like the Menu this week. My husband is mad he is going to miss out on the French Toast and Peanut Butter Dip!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Chicken Cranberry Couscous

I had this on the Menu several weeks ago. I never got around to making it. I put it on the Menu again this week because Publix had Craisins and couscous on sale. This was a little out of our comfort zone. I have never made couscous before, and I haven't cooked using curry powder in years. Here's a funny story: I didn't really start cooking until my husband and I started dating about 8 years ago. The first time I cooked dinner for him I made Curry Chicken. You put the chicken in a baking dish and cooked it in the oven. Me, being the novice cook that I was, totally cooked the chicken to death. I was waiting for the chicken to brown. I didn't realize that when you bake chicken it doesn't turn brown! I haven't cooked with curry powder since. This was a good recipe to bring it back! My husband even really liked it. I thought I was going to have to warm up leftover Spaghetti and Meatballs, but he really enjoyed this. Thank goodness my cooking skills have improved since then :) This is a great new way to try chicken. The couscous is great for a weeknight meal because its ready in 5 minutes (couscous is tiny grains of pasta). The whole thing came together in under 20 minutes. It was really great!

1 10-oz. box couscous (use chicken broth instead of water)
2 tablespoons flour
1-1/2 teaspoons curry powder
salt and pepper
3/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced or thinly sliced
2 ribs celery, sliced or diced, plus chopped leaves for garnish
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped (I added more for garnish)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup evaporated milk

Prepare the couscous according to package directions. For more flavor, use chicken broth instead of water. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the flour, curry powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the chicken and toss to coat.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until browned and just cooked through, 5-8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

Add the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil to the skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sliced celery and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the cranberries and 1/2 cup chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the evaporated milk and chicken along with any juices; season with salt and pepper. Serve over the couscous and top with the celery leaves and extra cranberries.


(adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine)

Zucchini-Oat Bread

I love baking bread. Not "real" bread with yeast, but easy flavorful quick breads. Mix it up in a bowl, pour it in a pan, and voila. You've got bread! I had zucchini on-hand this week, so I wanted to give this recipe a try. It had lots of good-for-you-things in it: zucchini, applesauce, walnuts and raisins. I'm going to have to limit myself to one piece per day! This bread is so moist and delicious. I the crunch of the walnuts. Yummy Yummy Yummy!

1-1/2 cups sugar
2-1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats (I used quick cooking, but would be best with regular)
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs
1 cup applesauce
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini, unpeeled
1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (I used walnuts)
3/4 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9X5X3-inch loaf pan with cooking spray; set aside. Combine 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon; set aside.

Combine the flour, oats, baking powder, salt, baking soda and remaining cinnamon; set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat eggs with electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes or until foamy. Add remaining sugar, the applesauce, butter, and vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture, beating on low speed just until combined. Stir in zucchini, nuts and raisins. Spoon into prepared pan. Sprinkle with sugar-cinnamon mixture.

Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on rack. Wrap and store several hours before slicing. Makes 16 slices. (This makes a BIG loaf of bread. I would almost rather divide it into 2 smaller loaves).


(adapted from Better Homes & Gardens)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Crispy Apricot Pork Chops with Roasted Potatoes

Yay! Something besides chicken! Publix had a pretty good price this week on the center cut pork chops. I've made an apricot chicken before (surprise, surprise) so this recipe looked yummy. The potatoes and pork cook together in the oven (though not in the same pan) so its easy to multitask while its cooking. The Stubb's rub is the secret ingredient for the potatoes. They are still good without it, but I love the way they taste with it. I bought mine at Bruno's a while back. I'm sure other places carry it. I used to have a hard time finding it. Now that I have the apricot jam I have to come up with other recipes to use it!

Crispy Apricot Pork Chops:

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 slices multi grain sandwich bread
4 bone-in pork loin chops (8 oz each, 3/4" thick)
course salt and ground pepper
4 teaspoons apricot jam (I used low sugar)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Set aside.

Tear bread into large pieces; place in food processor. Pulse until large crumbs form (I used my blender). Drizzle with oil, pulse once or twice, just until crumbs are moistened (you should have about 1-1/2 cups crumbs).

Season pork chops generously with salt and pepper; spread one side of each chop with 1 teaspoon jam. Dividing evenly, sprinkle breadcrumbs over jam, and pat them on gently.

Transfer pork, coated side up, to prepared baking sheet. Bake until crust is golden and pork is opaque throughout (meat should register 150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer), 14-16 minutes. Serve immediately (don't put too much jam like I did, it soaks up some of the breadcrumbs and doesn't allow them to get crunchy).

Roasted Potatoes:

(this is more of a method, than a recipe!)

red potatoes
olive oil
salt and pepper
Stubb's rub

Preheat oven to 425-450 degrees (depending if you have something else to go in the oven with it). The hotter the oven, the quicker the taters will cook. Cube potatoes in 1/2-inch bites. Put on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil (you want enough to coat them, but they don't need to be swimming). Season liberally with salt, pepper and Stubb's rub. (Stubb's rub is a BBQ rub seasoning that I have found at Bruno's. It by no means is necessary for the potatoes to be good!) Toss the potatoes in the oil and seasoning. Spread in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 30-45 minutes (depending on the temperature) tossing halfway through baking. They are ready when fork-tender and slightly brown and crispy on the outside.

**If you have time to spare for the potatoes, they are really good when cubed a little bit bigger, then put in a 35o degree oven for about 45 minutes. This lower temperature helps them soften to a creamy texture. Then crank the oven up to about 450 and get the outside good and crispy for about another 20 minutes. This makes the perfect potato- creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside!


(Pork Chops adapted from Everyday Food)

A Great Way To Give Back

I received an e-mail from a friend of mine today about her bank location taking donations for the Saving Grace Home for Women. The Saving Grace Home for Women is a non-profit Christian alcohol and drug recovery program for women located in Robertsdale, Alabama. This is a cause that is near and dear to my heart. So many people are saved from the disease of alcoholism and drug addiction through programs like this.

Currently, the RBC Bank branch in Fairhope, Alabama is accepting donations for this organization. Some of the items needed include toilet paper, light bulbs, household cleaning supplies, gardening supplies, office supplies, and non-perishable foods and baking goods. I know that I have tons of toiletry items that I have gotten for little of nothing or for free that I will be donating. I will also be going through my pantry to collect items as well. If you have things to donate you can drop them off at the RBC Bank branch located in downtown Fairhope. They will be accepting donations through May 7th. In this tough economy, this is a wonderful way to help others and give back.

Please contact Leah at RBC Bank in Fairhope if you would like more info: 251-928-3806

Thanks Leah for sharing this with us!

Taco Pasta Toss

I made this right before Easter, but forgot to post it! I love taco salads, as you know, and this is a lot like one. Only this one is served with noodles instead of chips. My husband wasn't sure if he was going to like it. He loved it! Put this one in the dinner rotation!

1 box penne noodles (preferably whole wheat)
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 packet taco seasoning (I only had fajita seasoning)
1/4 cup tomato paste
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
2 cups shredded cheese
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and shopped
1/4 head iceberg lettuce or chopped romaine lettuce

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and return to pot.

While the pasta is cooking, heat a skillet and brown the beef over medium heat. Cook until no longer pink. Drain off excess fat. Add three-quarters of the onion, garlic and taco seasoning. Cook until the onion of softened, about 6-7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute, then stir in the chicken broth.

Add the meat sauce to the pasta and toss. Spoon into a serving dish, top with the cheese and tent with foil to melt the cheese, about 1 minute. Top with the remaining onion, the tomatoes and lettuce. Add sour cream and olives like I did!

The only thing I regret is forgetting to put away the leftovers. I woke up to the pot still sitting on the stove! I was SO mad! UGH


(adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Zucchini, Sausage and Feta Casserole

After last night's flop of a salad (it was good last night, not for lunch today) I was very excited when this turned out as great as it did! The feta cheese was great. My husband ate it too...he didn't know it had feta cheese in it :) It wasn't his favorite, but he picked out the zucchini and ate some. That's progress, right?!? I bought the chicken sausage from Sam's. I buy the big pack and freeze them in two's or three's. The sausage is fully cooked, so I just sliced it in half-moons and browned in the skillet. By changing the flavors of sausage, you could really change up the dish. To be honest, I don't remember what kind mine was. It had a slightly sweet background to it. I pulled it out of the freezer tonight and thawed it in the sink in cold water. This is a refreshing change on the noodle casserole dish! I've got some already packed for lunch tomorrow. Oh, and're getting a container too!

2-1/2 cups uncooked ziti (I used whole wheat rotini)
8 ounces chicken sausage (I used 4 links)
5 cups zucchini, thinly sliced (I used 4 medium)
2 cups vertically sliced onion (didn't have this)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (2 ounces) feta cheese (I used the whole 4-oz. container)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (you could use 1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cook pasta in boiling water according to package directions. Drain and return to pot.

Slice sausage in half-moons. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add sausage to pan; cook until browned. Remove from pan. Wipe out skillet.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in pan. Add zucchini, garlic, onion, salt and pepper. Cook 10 minutes or until veggies are tender and zucchini begins to brown, stirring occasionally.

Combine broth and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add broth mixture to pan with the veggies; cook 1 minute. Combine zucchini mixture, pasta, sausage and feta cheese in a large bowl or the pasta pot; toss well. Spoon pasta mixture into an 11 X 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until bubbly and light browned.


(adapted from Cooking Light)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Garden Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Zucchini and yellow squash are probably some of my favorite vegetables. And some that I don't eat enough of! So, when I find them on sale, I try to use them so they don't go to waste just sitting in my fridge. I have been holding on to this recipe for a LONG time! I can remember clipping it from the Cooking Light magazine way back when. I knew it looked like a great lunch salad recipe. This would be perfect served with some grilled fish or chicken. Really light. Perfect for bathing suit season! I left out the onions and herbs because 1) I don't like raw onions and 2) I didn't want to spend the extra money on the herbs for this. I figured it would taste just fine without it. If you grow your own, you're way better than me. I kill anything green in my house. I actually have had a plant for over one year now in my kitchen. And I'm proud to say it is alive and well. Maybe I'll get the herb garden one day. But for now, I kept this salad herb-less. This salad holds well, so it is a great salad to bring to a cookout or pack in a lunch. I think some pretty halved grape tomatoes would probably be good in this too. And the color would be great! All-in-all this was a great salad. It could have used a little more flavor...probably from the herbs :)


3 tablespoons fresh orange juice (can get from 1 orange)
1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (can get from 1 lime)
2-1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper


1-1/2 cups zucchini, julienned (I used 2 medium)
1-1/2 cups yellow squash, julienned (I used 3)
1 cup fresh corn kernels (I used canned, but fresh would be best)
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion (I omitted this)
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped

To prepare vinaigrette, combine the first 7 ingredients, stirring with a whisk.

To prepare salad, combine zucchini and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add vinaigrette; toss well. Cover and chill.

*To julienne the squash cut into 1/4-inch slices, then into "sticks". Cut the sticks into 1-inch pieces.

**UPDATE: I packed this for lunch today and was less than thrilled. It tasted better fresh and crunchy last night when I made it. The veggies lost too much of their moisture overnight and watered down the dressing. I also should have used fresh corn. Read some of the reviews from the original link below.


(adpated from Cooking Light)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

FREE Online Recipe Organizer

I am constantly finding recipes on line. I print some of them, and some of them I bookmark for future reference. But I needed a way to keep them all in one place and keep them organized. I found this online service that does just that. And its FREE! You can collect recipes from any website and store them in this online recipe box. Springpad is a free personal organizer to keep web pages in one place: recipes, notes, restaurants, books, movies, music and more! This is perfect to store my online recipes. I've already signed up and started uploading the pages from my bookmarks.

Try this out. When you find a recipe cut and paste the address into the recipe organizer page. There is also a "Spring It" Bookmark you can add. When you find a recipe and are on the actual page you can click on "Spring It" in your bookmarks and it saves it for you! You can add your own notes and even mark it as "I want to try this recipe" or "I've tried this recipe". How awesome is that! I will definitely be using this now. I just wish I had found it sooner.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hot Dog Pizza-Dillas

This is one for the kiddos. I'm sure you can tell by the name that this one is a Rachael Ray creation. She has a "for the kids" section in her magazine that has easy kid-friendly recipes. This is one of them. I had the ingredients on hand, so I haven't had to shop Publix yet this week. The hot dogs and cheese are on sale though. This was quick and easy. If you could make two at a time, you could make it that much faster. I think the leftovers would be great for lunch the next day. You could totally eat it pizza!

4 beef hot dogs
4 10-inch flour tortillas
1/2 cup spaghetti sauce (or salsa)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Using a small knife cut the hot dogs in half lengthwise, then into 1/2-inch pieces. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil if you don't have a non-stick pan, then add the hot doogs and cook until browned all over, 2-4 minutes. Drain the hog dog slices on paper towel-lined plates. Wipe out skillet.

Spray the skillet with Pam. Add 1 tortilla. Cook for 1 minute, then flip over with tongs and turn the heat to medium-low. Place a big spoonful of spaghetti sauce (or salsa) on half of the tortilla. Spread it around with the back of a spoon. Top the sauce with 1/4 of the cheese (a big handful of each kind). Top the cheese with 1/4 of the hot dog slices. Fold over the tortilla to form a half-moon shape. Press down on the folded tortilla with a spatula to flatten the pizza-dilla and make it stick together.

Cook the pizza-dilla, flipping it carefully once more with a spatula, for 1 minute per side (I probably did mine more like 2-3 minutes per side to get it slightly crispy). Cut into 4 wedges and serve. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

**I also think this would work on a panini press. Mine will fit two of these at a time so that will speed things up a little instead of having to cook them all separate.


(adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine)

Menu 4/5

I hope everybody had a wonderful Easter! I had a great time with my family, and the food was FANTASTIC! If you had a chance to make some of the recipes I hope they were as good for you as they were for me. That Oat Topped Sweet Potato Crisp was awesome. Thanks for the recipe Dawn! This week's sale at Publix runs a little longer because of the Easter holiday. I've come up with some recipes this week that are a little bit healthier and use a lot of fresh produce. I have to be in a bathing suit in two no more cream cheese!

Hot Dog Pizza-Dillas- Mon 4/5
Zucchini, Sausage & Feta Casserole- Tues 4/6
Garden Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette- Wed 4/7
Chicken Zucchini Alfredo (Low Fat)- Thurs 4/8 (didn't make this!)
Crispy Apricot Pork Chops with Roasted Potatoes- Fri 4/9
Zucchini Oat Bread- Sat 4/10
Cranberry Chicken Couscous- Sun 4/11
Bean, Corn & Tortilla Salad- Mon 4/12 (didn't make this!)

I am also going to do the ingredient breakdown a little bit different. I am going to separate the ingredients out by recipe so that you can shop accordingly. I will still post the recipes after I make them. If you are dying to try a recipe before I post it, PLEASE feel free to e-mail me at fairhopefoodie (at) gmail (dot) com and I will be happy to send it to you! The ingredients with the (*) next to them indicate a sale item at Publix.

Hot Dot Pizza-Dillas:

4 beef hot dogs *
4 10-inch flour tortillas
1/4 cup salsa *
1/4 cup ketchup
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese *
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese *

Zucchini, Sausage & Feta Casserole:

2-1/2 cups short-tube pasta (elbows or ziti)
8 oz chicken sausage
5 cups zucchini (about 1-1/2 lbs) *
1 onion
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella *

Garden Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette:

3 tablespoons fresh orange juice *
1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
1-1/2 cups zucchini *
1-1/2 cups yellow squash *
1 cup corn kernels *
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley *
1 tablespoon basil *

Chicken Zucchini Alfredo:

2 garlic cloves
2 zucchini *
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
12 oz. fettuccine (or similar pasta)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup low fat milk
1/2 cup evaporated non-fat milk
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh parsley *

Crispy Apricot Pork Chops and Roasted Potatoes:

2 slices multi-grain sandwich bread
4 pork loin chops, about 1-inch thick *
salt and pepper
4 teaspoons apricot jam
red potatoes
olive oil *

Zucchini Oat Bread:

1-1/2 cups sugar
ground cinnamon
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup oats
baking powder
baking soda
3 eggs
1 cup applesauce *
1/4 cup butter
2 cups zucchini *
1 cup walnuts or pecans
3/4 cup raisins

Chicken Cranberry Couscous:

1 10-oz. box couscous *
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
curry powder
3/4 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 small onion
2 ribs celery
1/4 cup cranberries (I'm using craisins) *
1/3 cup evaporated milk

Bean, Corn and Tortilla Salad:

1 can pinto beans (I'm using black beans)
2 cups corn kernels (frozen, fresh or canned) *
1/4 cup salsa *
1 cup scallions
1 avocado
3 plum tomatoes
salt and pepper
1 bag romaine hearts *
3 cups tortilla chips
3/4 cup shredded cheese *

I hope this helps everybody! Tonight the recipe is for the kiddos- Hot Dog Pizza-Dillas...

Friday, April 2, 2010

French Toast Mini Loaves

I saw Paula Deen make this casserole on the Food Network several years ago. It looked awesome. We made it that year for our Christmas morning breakfast at my parents house. I've made it several times since then and adapted the recipe some. I found that when I made it as written with the sliced bread the casserole was too soggy. It had all of the components of bread pudding (which I love) so I decided to make it as such. I cubed the bread instead of slicing it and I formed mini loaves in my "mini loaf pan". The results were outstanding. Another reason I love this recipe is because its made the night before and kept in the fridge. Just make the topping in the morning and bake. I love serving it with sliced strawberries and maple syrup. Heaven in my mouth! This is definitely one you are going to want to make. I think this is one of my signature dishes!

1 loaf french bread, cubed in 1-inch pieces (6-8 cups of bread)
8 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
dash of salt
maple syrup

Praline Topping:

1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Cube bread into 1-inch pieces (I use a whole Italian loaf from the bakery). Allow to sit for a few hours on the counter to stale. The drier the bread, the better it will soak up the egg mixture. spray the mini loaf pans with cooking spray (I use 2 pans making 16 total loaves). Evenly distribute the cubed bread among the cups. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread cubes, making sure all are covered evenly with the egg mixture. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the Praline Topping: Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well (I use my fingers). Crumble the praline topping evenly over the bread and bake for 30-35 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. If you make this into a bigger casserole just adjust your baking time. Serve with maple syrup and strawberries.


(adapted from Paula Deen)