chocolate chocolate chip cookies

**all things in moderation**
especially these cookies!

chocolate chocolate chip cookies
recipe source all recipes

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

preheat oven to 350 degrees

in a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs & vanilla until light & fluffy.  combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir into the butter mixture until well blended.  mix in the chocolate chips and walnuts. drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto un-greased cookie sheets (i used parchment paper because the dough was really sticky).

bake for 8-10 minutes (my oven was 12 minutes) until just set.  cool slightly on cookie sheets.  transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

makes 36 cookies.

chicken, mushroom & wild rice casserole

chicken, mushroom & wild rice casserole
recipe source eating well

2 cups water
1/2 cup wild rice
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 leeks, chopped & rinsed
1 1/2 lbs mushrooms, sliced
1 cup dry sherry (see note)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups low fat milk
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 cups frozen french cut green beans

combine water and rice in a small heavy saucepan; bring to a boil. cover, reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cool until tender, 35-40 minutes.  drain.

meanwhile, place chicken in a large skillet or saucepan.  add lightly salted water to cover and bring to a boil.  cover, reduce heat and simmer gently until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 10 to 15 minutes.  transfer to a clean cutting board and let cool.

heat oil in a dutch oven or large high-sided skillet over medium heat.  add leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until just starting to brown, 4 to 5 minutes.  

add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, 5 to 7 minutes.

sprinkle the vegetables with flour and stir to coat. add mil; bring to a simmer and cook for 1 minute, stirring.  stir in parmesan, sour cream, parsley, salt and pepper.  remove from heat.

preheat oven to 350 degrees.  coat a 9x13" baking dish with cooking spray. 

cut the chicken into bite-size pieces.  spread the rice in an even layer in the prepared baking dish.  top with chicken, then green beans.  pour the sauce over the top and spread evenly.  

bake the casserole until it is bubbling and the almonds are golden brown, about 30 minutes.  let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Note: Sherry is a type of fortified wine originally from southern Spain. “Cooking sherry” sold in many supermarkets can be high in sodium. Instead, get dry sherry that’s sold with other fortified wines at your wine or liquor store.

 serves 6

Nutrition Facts
chicken, wild rice and mushroom casserole
Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat11.1g
      Saturated Fat3.6g
      Trans Fat0g
      Dietary Fiber3g
Vitamin A 22%Vitamin C 18%
Calcium    17%Iron 10%


barbecue pulled chicken ~ slow cooker

definitely something i'll make again.  maybe with 1/2 the chipotle powder because it was a little spicy for the kids but otherwise, super tasty and nutritious (less the white bun ~ it was a treat. we'll call it dessert).

barbecue pulled chicken ~ slow cooker
recipe adapted from eating well
1 8 oz can salt free tomato sauce
1 4 oz can chopped green chiles
3 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sweet or smoked paprika (i used sweet)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce (i used reduced sodium)
2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp ground chipotle chile (i'd say this could be eliminated without sacrificing the overall taste if spicy isn't your thing)
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs without skin and trimmed of fat (i used breasts)
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped

if you have time to brown your chicken breasts before putting everything in the cooker, do so.  it will add a nice depth of flavor to the entire dish.

i threw in two extra pieces seasoned with lemon pepper for my lunch.  ignore them.

stir tomato sauce, chiles, vinegar, honey, paprika, tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, mustard, ground chipotle and salt in the pot of your slow cooker until smooth.  add chicken, onion and garlic; stir to combine.

cook on low for 6 hours.  shred the chicken and then let it sit in the sauce for another 10 minutes or so.

serves 6

Nutrition Facts
barbecue pulled chicken
Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat2.8g
      Saturated Fat0g
      Trans Fat0g
      Dietary Fiber2g
Vitamin A 18%Vitamin C 20%
Calcium    1%Iron 4%


word of wisdom living, part II

have you been following the weekly health changes on word of wisdom living?  i have.  simple, easy changes that have a significant impact on your overall health.  so far, skip has shared seven healthy living tips, one for every week:

  1. if you consume soda or other sugared drinks, limit yourself to one (12 oz) serving per week.
  2. never buy deep, fat-fried foods.
  3. cereal products must be made of whole grains and have more grams of natural fiber than grams sugar.
  4. get a little midday sunshine most days of the week, weather permitting.
  5. get at least 30 minutes of exercise, most days of the week.  it's best if you sweat.
  6. drink lots of water, make it your main drink.
  7. calculate the weekly pounds of vegetables needed for five daily servings in your household and write it down.
if you haven't subscribed to their blog, i think you should.  do you use a reader to keep track of your favorite sites?  you should.  i use google reader.  be like me.  use a reader.



chicken divan "lightened up"

we like ourselves a chicken and broccoli casserole it's just that the traditional versions are loaded with condensed cream soups and mayo? i don't really want to know.  

i was excited to come across this recipe.  we tried it out a couple of weeks ago.  it was good enough to make again. it's definitely lacking that heaviness you get from the cream soups and such but, the swiss cheese added a nice taste which helped it to feel a little less "lightened up."  

chicken divan
recipe source skinny taste
  • 1 1/2 lbs broccoli (3 large heads) chopped
  • 24 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp shallots, minced (onions would work too)
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup fat free, low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup fat free milk
  • 2 oz dry sherry (white wine would work)
  • 6 oz shredded reduced-fat swiss
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs (i couldn't find whole wheat so i used white)
  • cooking spray
bring a large pot of water to a boil.  add the broccoli and blanch 3 minutes. rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. drain well and set aside.

preheat oven to 350 degrees.  grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

season the chicken with salt and pepper. using a grill pan, saute chicken over medium heat on both sides until browned and just about cooked through (about 5 minutes on each side). remove from heat and transfer chicken to a cutting board.  when cooled, slice chicken into bite sized pieces.

heat a medium skillet over medium heat.  add the butter and oil until melted and then add garlic and shallots.  sprinkle the flour and whisk until smooth. stir in broth, milk and sherry and bring to a boil. remove from heat and stir in half of the swiss cheese.  season to taste with salt and pepper.

arrange the broccoli in a casserole dish and pour half of the sauce over the broccoli.  arrange the chicken on top and cover with remaining sauce.  sprinkle the remaining swiss cheese, grated parmesan and top with breadcrumbs.  spray a little oil on top.

bake 30 minutes, serve hot.

skinny tastes nutrition facts:
Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1/6th • Old Points: 7 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 335.7 • Fat: 12.3 g • Protein: 34.5 g • Carb: 19.8 g • Fiber: 4.1 g  

indian butter chicken

this was one of the tougher recipes i've followed.  it was good, just time consuming. all i'm saying is, give yourself enough time.  i found it was really helpful to have everything out and ready before i started cooking.  i don't usually do this but i'm learning it's the key to avoid over-cooking things when there are several steps to the recipe.

the last few times i've posted recipes i've wanted to comment on the fact that a lot of them have had higher sodium content than would typically be recommended for consumption during one meal.  most of the time, i don't worry about it because i run so much and therefore, sweat, a lot.  the last time i had blood work done, my sodium was "on the low end."  in fact, she told me to consume more salt so, i don't fret over the higher numbers.  however, in case you are concerned, be sure to search out ingredients that have lower sodium (the canned tomato paste can be salt free and the chicken stock too.  organic chicken typically has less sodium than conventional chicken).  food for thought.

also, the last time i posted a few recipes my aunt commented that i make it look easy.  i laughed out loud at this so i thought it would be nice for you all to see how messy it can get.  

for example, this recipe requires the tomato mixture be pureed.  i was not thinking when i dumped everything in and turned my processor on.  overflow!

that was fun to clean up.  let me tell you.  and yes, i always have some child acting as an assistant to the chef by putting their little hands where they don't belong and making the mess worse than necessary.  i try to make an effort not to shoo them away though.  i want them to appreciate enjoy the process.

once i pureed the tomato mixture all over the kitchen, i was supposed to put it back in the pot.  so i did.  along with all of the pieces belonging to the processor.


all in all, after an hour or so of swearing, the meal turned out decent.  especially if you're a fan of curry which my husband is not.  no matter how many times i try to sneak it in, he always says something tastes weird.  it's the curry dear.  damn.  i love curry.

indian butter chicken
recipe source good life eats
  • 1 onion (1/2 lb.), peeled & chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 fresh jalapeno, seeded & chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive or canola oil
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth (i used low sodium)
  • 1/2 cup half & half or heavy cream (i used 1/2 & 1/2)
  • 1/4 tsp crushed bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4" chunks
  • 1/2 tsp coarse-ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
  • 2 cups basmati rice, uncooked (i used brown basmati)
  • lime wedges
  • fresh cilantro, chopped
cook rice  -- my method; 1 1/2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice.  i usually cook two cups of rice (3 cups of water) and add 2 crushed garlic cloves, a little onion powder and 1 tbsp olive oil.  brown basmati takes longer than white basmati.  either way, bring everything to a boil over medium-high heat and continue to boil, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated into the rice as pictured below:

at this point, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes (white rice) or 45-50 minutes (brown rice).

as far as the rest:

in a large saute pan, combine onion, ginger, chili & oil.  stir often over medium-high heat until onion is lightly browned, about 5 minutes.  stir in garlic, garam masala, chili powder, cardamom, and coriander.  saute for an additional 2 minutes.

scrape mixture into a blender or food processor; add tomato paste and chicken broth.  whirl until very smooth.  pour mixture back into pan, add half and half or cream and crushed bay leaves, and bring to a gentle boil over high heat (mixture is inclined to spatter - yep!)

reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until reduced to 3 cups, about 5-7 minutes. pour sauce into a bowl.  rinse and dry pan.

pat the chicken dry.  mix chicken with salt and pepper. set pan over high heat; add 1 tbsp butter (i used 1 tbsp olive oil at this point rather than butter) and the chicken.  stir until chicken is no longer pink on the surface, 2 to 3 minutes. 

add the sauce and simmer over medium heat, stirring often, until chicken is no longer pink in the center (cut to test), 3 to 4 minutes. cut remaining 3 tbsp butter into chunks and stir into sauce until melted.

spoon chicken and sauce onto rice.  squeeze lime juice over portions and garnish with cilantro.

serves ~ 6
nutrition facts less rice

Nutrition Facts
indian butter chicken
Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat14g
      Saturated Fat6.7g
      Trans Fat0g
      Dietary Fiber2.9g
Vitamin A 15%Vitamin C 16%
Calcium    3%Iron 2%

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