Oreo Truffles

I’m not quite sure where I first came across this recipe but I forgot to blog about it last time I made them. I made these Oreo Truffles for our Girl’s Night last week. I tried to make them slightly not so bad by using reduced fat Oreos and fat free cream cheese. Either way, they are delicious and obnoxiously rich. Yum.

Oreo Truffles

1 package of Oreo Cookies (minus eight)

1 8-oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1 bag of Ghirardelli white chocolate chips
1/2 tsp. vegetable oil.

Place all of the Oreos (minus eight) in a food processor and blend until nothing but crumbs remain.  Depending on the size of your food processor, you may have to do this in batches.  Pour crumbs into a large mixing bowl.  Add cream cheese and mix with your hands until completely combined.  Using your hands, roll mixture into ping-pong (or smaller) sized balls.  Put on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour (the longer the better).

Melt 1 bag of chocolate with one 1/2 tsp. of oil in a large sauce pan over medium-low heat.  Once chocolate is melted remove from heat.  Roll 1 ball in chocolate, covering completely and return to wax paper.  Repeat with 1/3 of your chocolate balls.  Start process over with another bag of chocolate and repeat with second 1/3 of balls.  Finish with final bag of chocolate and remaining 1/3 of balls.  Using a tablespoon, flick/stripe remaining chocolate over tops of balls to decorate (mixing and matching the different colors for contrast).  Return coated balls to refrigerator for another 15-30 minutes to set.

Store in an air-tight container, and refrigerate when not serving.

Greek Pasta Salad

This really shouldn’t even be called a recipe. I threw this together for Girl’s Night and it went over pretty well. I love all the flavors used in Greek cooking so I tried to pull them all together in this pasta salad.

Greek Pasta Salad

1 lb of small shaped pasta (I used rainbow Rotini)

1 bottle of Fat Free Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 container of reduced fat Feta cheese

1/2 Cup chopped Kalamata Olives

handful of grape tomatoes, quartered

1/2 of a cucumber, seeded & diced

1 bag of baby spinach, chopped

handful of banana peppers, chopped

1 can of chickpeas, drained & rinsed

juice of 1/2 a lemon

Cook and drain pasta while you chop vegetables

In a large bowl, combine cooled drained pasta, vegetables, lemon juice, cheese, and dressing

Let sit for at least an hour for the flavors to come together.

Kalamata Olive Hummus

I love, love hummus. And I think even more so, I love Kalamata olives. This recipe from Confections of a Foodie Bride was pure and simple and heavenly. You’re mouth will thank you. Enough said.

Kalamata Olive Hummus

3 Tbsp lemon juice (from two lemons)
1/4 cup water
6 Tbsp Tahini
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 15-oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2-2/3 cup kalamata olives, pits removed
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 teaspoon course salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Dash of cayenne

Combine the lemon juice and water in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the Tahini and olive oil together until smooth.

Process the chickpeas, olives, garlic, salt, cumin, and cayenne in a food processor until almost fully ground. Scrape down the bowl. With the food processor running, stream in the lemon and water and process for one minute. Scrape down the bowl again. Turn the food processor on and stream in the Tahini and oil mixture and process until smooth, about another minute.

Transfer the hummus to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for an hour to let flavors blend. Eat with fresh pita, cucumber, crackers, red bell pepper...

Fandango Salad from Panera

The other day I was driving back from Whole Foods and saw that there was a Panera Bread being built in the shopping center. I am a big fan of Panera and hadn’t seen one since we moved from Minnesota. I remembered my favorite salad from there and had to make it. I didn’t see this listed on their online menu anymore but back in the day, this was my favorite thing to get at Panera. I hope you like it.

Fandango Salad from Panera

1 pkg of mixed field greens

1 small bag of walnuts

1 pkg of Gorgonzola (or Blue cheese)

1 small can of Mandarin oranges, drained

Fat Free Raspberry Vinaigrette

Combine above ingredients and toss. This will make 2 large salads

Chicken & Artichokes with Angel Hair

Every so often, my sweet husband will decide to cook for me. This recipe took him out of his comfort zone, for sure. He’s never cooked with artichoke hearts before and really isn’t a huge fan of capers. When we sat down to eat this, it was wonderful. Cancy even said he liked the taste of the artichokes and capers together with the chicken. We had a winner with this one.

Chicken & Artichokes with Angel Hair

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

8 thin chicken cutlets (about 1 1/2 pounds total)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts packed in water, rinsed, drained, and quartered

2 tablespoons rinsed and drained capers

2 tablespoons butter

8 ounces angel-hair pasta

1/2 cup parsley leaves

Set a large pot of salted water to boil. Place flour in a shallow dish, and season with salt and pepper. Dredge cutlets, shaking off excess. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Cook chicken in batches, adding remaining oil as needed, until light golden, 1 to 3 minutes per side; transfer to a dish.

Add broth to skillet, and bring to a boil; cook until reduced by half. Add artichokes, capers, and the chicken with any juices. Gently swirl to combine, and bring just to a boil. Remove skillet from heat. Swirl in butter, and cover to keep warm.

Add pasta to boiling water. Cook until al dente; drain. Serve chicken and sauce over pasta, topped with parsley.

Chile-Beef Stuffed Zucchini

I found this recipe in the May issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray. We loved this recipe!!! What an easy way to get your veggies in and so easy too. The recipe below is 1/2 of the original since it was just the two of us. You can follow the link for the original. You have to try this one out!!

Chile-Beef Stuffed Zucchini

2 Zucchini (halved lengthwise & seeded)

1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 pound ground beef

1 tsp cumin

salt & pepper

1 tomato, seeded & chopped

1/2 Cup jarred pickled jalapenos

1 bag of Mexican style shredded cheese.

Preheat the oven to 450°. Arrange the zucchini cut side up in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Add 1/2 cup water to the dish, cover with foil and bake until the zucchini begins to soften, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the beef and cumin and cook, breaking the meat up, until just browned, about 4 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Stir in the tomatoes and pickled jalapeƱos

Uncover the baking dish, pour off the water and season the zucchini with salt. Fill with the beef mixture and sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake, uncovered, until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.

Easy Pleasing Meatloaf

Every so often I get a Kraft food & family magazine in the mail. I’m not a huge fan of what Sandra Lee would call “Semi-Home-made”, however this recipe came in handy for a quick man pleasing meatloaf.

I made just a few adjustments. Since it’s just the two of us, I just used 1 pound of ground turkey instead of 2 pounds of ground beef. I also only used 1 egg. Adjust the barbecue sauce to get the right texture in your mix. I hope you like it!!

Easy Pleasing Meatloaf

2 lb. lean ground beef

1 pkg.  (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken

1 cup water

2   eggs, beaten

1/2 cup KRAFT Original Barbecue Sauce, divided

Heat oven to 375.

Place meat, stuffing mix, water, eggs, and 1/4 Cup barbecue sauce in a bowl.

Mix just until blended

Shape into a loaf on a 9*13 baking dish

Top with remaining barbecue sauce. Bake for 1 hour or until done.

Pioneer Woman’s Mac & Cheese

Oh Pioneer Woman... You have yet to steer me wrong. When I saw this recipe for her Mac & Cheese pop up last week, I knew I had to try it. All I can say is Yum! This turned out great. We opted to bake ours just to give it a little different texture and I’m glad we did. This was such an old school, delicious version of Mac & Cheese. I “heart” Pioneer Woman.

Pioneer Woman’s Mac & Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

4 cups dried macaroni
1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 4 tablespoons) butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 heaping teaspoons dry mustard (more if desired)
1 egg, beaten
1 pound cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt (more to taste)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
*Optional spices: cayenne pepper, paprika, thyme

Cook macaroni until very firm. Macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain.
In a small bowl, beat egg.
In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn.
Pour in milk, add mustard, and whisk until smooth. Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low.
Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together till smooth.
Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth.
Add in cheese and stir to melt.
Add salts and pepper. Taste sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed! DO NOT UNDERSALT.
Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine.

Serve immediately (very creamy) or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top

Pasta with Meat Sauce (The Greek Way)

I found this in my Google Reader one day and starred it so that when the craving for lamb struck again, I’d have a great plan for it. This was a very flavorful meal that both Cancy & I really liked. It looks like a lot of ingredients, but it all comes together super easy. I think you’ll like it.

Pasta with Meat Sauce (The Greek Way)

1/4 cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon red chili flakes

2 bay leaves

1 pound ground lamb

1 onion, chopped

1 teaspoon oregano

1 28 oz. can tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup red wine, or more if the sauce gets a little thick

2 red bell peppers, roasted, skinned and chopped

1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

1/2 cup feta cheese

1/4 cup parsley, chopped

Saute garlic, chilies and bay leaves in olive oil for 2 minutes. Add lamb and onion and cook until onion is translucent and meat is slightly browned. Add tomatoes, oregano and wine and simmer for 20 minutes. Add peppers and olives and simmer another 20 minutes. Add parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Serve over pasta and garnish with pine nuts, crumbled feta cheese and additional chopped parsley. Add crusty garlic bread because you won't want to leave a single drop of the sauce on your plate.

Chicken & Stuffing Casserole

I found this little retro dish at Telly’s Tasty Tidbits. This is great for those weeknights when you don’t really have the motivation for a big involved meal. This comes together super quick and then you just let everything finish off in the over and you have a super fast & easy dinner.

Chicken & Stuffing Casserole

4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness (I also cubed)

1 can Cream of Celery or Chicken Soup (I use celery)

8 oz. Sour Cream

1 package Stove-Top Chicken and Herb stuffing, cooked per instructions on the box)

(I add 1/2 shredded cheddar cheese)

Preheat oven to 350 and spray baking dish with non-stick cooking spray

Place chicken in bottom of prepared dish

In a bowl mix soup and sour cream and top on chicken (add cheese if using)

Top with prepared Stuffing mixture

(Top with a little extra cheese if you'd like!)

Bake in 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until chicken is done and casserole is bubbling and golden!

Paula Deen’s Taco Soup

I love Paula Deen. So last week when I was trying to come up with an easy Sunday meal, I found this crock-pot recipe from Paula Deen. This is also a nice way to help clean out some of the cans in your pantry.  We made this using only 1 lb of ground turkey but other than that, we stuck to the recipe. It was an easy way to have a nice warming dinner and it made tons of leftovers which keep pretty well.

**I'm submitting this recipe to Joelen's Foodie Film's blog event. She has  fabulous website that I would recommend any of you to check out. Joelen's Culinary Adventures is one of my favorite blogs to get inspiration from. And she's always running some cool blog event. This is the first one I've ever participated in though. :)

foodie films

Paula Deen's Taco Soup

2 pounds ground beef

2 cups diced onions

2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans pinto beans

1 (15 1/2-ounce) can pink kidney beans

1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can tomatoes with chiles

2 (4 1/2-ounce) cans diced green chiles

1 (4.6-ounce) can black olives, drained and sliced, optional

1/2 cup green olives, sliced, optional

1 (1 1/4-ounce) package taco seasoning mix

1 (1-ounce) package ranch salad dressing mix

Corn chips, for serving

Sour cream, for garnish

Grated cheese, for garnish

Chopped green onions, for garnish

Pickled jalapenos, for garnish

Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet; drain the excess fat, then transfer the browned beef and onions to a large slow cooker or a stockpot. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, green chiles, black olives, green olives, taco seasoning, and ranch dressing mix, and cook in a slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours or simmer over low heat for about 1 hour in a pot on the stove. To serve, place a few corn chips in each bowl and ladle soup over them. Top with sour cream, cheese, green onions and jalapenos.

Lamb Skewers with Tahini Yogurt Sauce

I love Whole Foods.

I love lamb.

If Whole Foods lists a recipe using ground lamb, it’s got to be good, right? This was delicious. We topped it with Feta Cheese & chopped red onion. It was such a fresh tasting, light dinner. Give it a shot...

Lamb Skewers with Tahini Yogurt Sauce

8 bamboo skewers
1 pound ground lamb
8 ounces Greek style yogurt, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onions
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
2 teaspoons Mediterranean seasoning
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons tahini
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Pita or lavash flat bread

Soak bamboo skewers in water at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, put lamb, 1/2 cup of the yogurt, cilantro, onions, mint, and seasoning into a medium bowl. Combine gently but thoroughly, then divide into 8 balls. Shape each ball into a long sausage shape and slide skewers through the center, lengthwise. Flatten slightly and refrigerate for up to several hours until ready to grill.

Prepare grill. Brush lamb with oil and cook over hot coals about 10 minutes, turning to brown all sides. While skewers are grilling, mix together the remaining yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. Thin with water to make a smooth slightly thick sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Serve skewers with grilled pita or flat bread, drizzled with sauce.