Monday, August 15, 2011

Chicken Club Pizza

My husband and I dined in on our anniversary this year, and this is what we made. We both loved it. My husband usually eats his vegetable grudgingly, but in his words, the tomato and lettuce on the top add a "nice crunch" and give it texture. I like this recipe, too, because I usually have everything on hand, except for maybe the bacon, so it's pretty easy to throw together. I made my own pizza crust instead of using store bought. If you use your own pizza dough, just make enough to cover an entire cookie sheet, or just use the topping ingredients to taste if you want to make a smaller pizza. The other thing I would suggest is that if you are going to have leftovers, leave the lettuce, tomato, and extra ranch off to be added onto the pizza as needed. That way the veggies don't wilt. This recipe came from a Kraft foods magazine.

Chicken Club Pizza

1 can (13.8 oz) refrigerated pizza crust (I made my own)
1/4 cup mayo (left this out)
1/2 cup Ranch Dressing, divided (I used probably close to 3/4 cup to 1 cup to make up for the mayo)
1-1/2 cups shredded cheese (I used cheddar)
1-1/2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (don't cook it too crispy since it will also bake in the oven a little)
1-1/2 cups finely shredded lettuce
1 tomato, finely chopped (I also seeded my tomato)

Heat oven to 400*F.

Unroll pizza dough on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray; press into 15x10-inch rectangle. Bake 10 minutes. (If using your own dough, I would just roll the dough out top it as you would a normal pizza and bake it until the crust is done and the cheese is melted and bubbling.)

Mix may and 1/3 cup dressing; spread onto crust. Top with half the cheese, chicken, remaining cheese, and bacon.

Bake 5 minutes, or until crust is deep golden brown and cheese is melted. Top with lettuce and tomatoes; drizzle with remaining dressing.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Blueberry Muffins

I made these muffins to use up some blueberries I had in the freezer, and I was surprised how fast my 3-year old gobbled these up. We will definitely be making these again as they make a good breakfast when paired with yogurt or milk. The recipe came from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.

Blueberry Muffins

1-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 c sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
3/4 c milk
1/4 c oil
3/4 blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 tsp lemon zest, optional (I left this out)

Streusel topping:
3 Tbl flour
3 Tbl brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbl cold butter
2 Tbl chopped nuts, optional (I left these out)

Grease twelve 2-1/2 inch muffin cups or line with paper bake cups; set aside.

In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.

In another bowl combine egg, milk, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy).

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.

Combine first three ingredients of streusel topping in a small bowl. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in nuts, if desired. Sprinkle over batter in muffin tins. Bake in a 400*F oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comesout clean. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rach for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups; serve warm.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Guiltless Alfredo sauce

My husband really likes Alfredo sauce, but it can be very heavy and loaded with fat. Which translates to a once in a long while type of dinner. I tried this version that utilizes low fat cream cheese for a lighter version, and it was delicious! Even the critics in our house who insist they hate cream cheese ate this up. Again, this recipe came from the Our Best Bites cookbook, and I'm telling you, those ladies really know what they are doing! Thanks Kate and Sara for another wonderful recipe!

Guiltless Alfredo Sauce

2 cups low-fat milk (I used 1%)

1/3 cup (3 oz.) low-fat cream cheese

2 Tbl flour

1 tsp kosher salt (I used regular salt)

1 Tbl butter

3 garlic cloves, minced (I used 1/2 tsp garlic powder, but I'll go down to 1/4 tsp next time)

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese***

In a blender, blend the milk, cream cheese, flour, and salt until smooth and set aside.

In a large, nonstick pan, melt butter on medium-high heat and add the garlic. Saute the garlic for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly to prevent the garlic from sticking and burning.

Add the milk mixture to the pan. Stir constantly for 3-4 minutes, or until it just comes to a simmer. Keep stirring and let it cook for a few minutes more or until the sauce thickens, about 6-7 minutes.

Once the sauce has started to thicken, remove from heat. Whisk the cheese into the sauce and immediately cover the pan.

Allow the sauce to stach for at least 10 minutes before using. It will continue to thicken upon standing.

Serve immediately. Refrigerate leftovers for upt to 5 days. The sauce will become very thick once refrigerated. To use it, reheat the sauce and add a little milk until the desired consistency is reached.
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