Sunday, April 25, 2010

Taste of Home Oatmeal Dinner Rolls

Ok, this isn't exactly the type of recipe I would normally use in this blog, but, hey, oatmeal counts as a healthy 'good for you' ingredient, right?  When I was asked to make some rolls to take to a funeral luncheon the other day, I thought it would be a great opportunity to share one of my all time favorite recipes- Here is the online Taste of Home recipe for  Oatmeal Dinner Rolls
     Hubby and I first tasted these at a potluck dinner party while we were living in Germany a few years ago.  It was love at first bite!  I had been making another roll recipe for years- in fact, had even become fairly well known for my rolls.  But, these oatmeal rolls just blew both of us away.  They are SOOO good!  I begged the recipe from my good friend Liz and these rolls are now my personal choice over my old standby 'Cloud Light Crescent Rolls'.  (The crescents are the rolls on my header.  I will post that recipe next time I make them.) Of course, the family still insists I make the crescent rolls  for holiday dinners- they are emphatic about them being TRADITION! (Can you hear the fiddle and Tevye singing??)  :)
       Anyway, here is the recipe Liz gave me- the proportions are a little larger than the online recipe:

Oatmeal Dinner Rolls


  • 2 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cup quick-cooking oats [do not substitute 'Old Fashioned Oats', it doesn't work. Bet you can guess how come I know that!  LOL]
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 5 1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour


  • In a saucepan, bring water to a boil; add oats, sugar, salt and butter. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Remove from the heat; cool to lukewarm.(110 degrees)
  • In a bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add the oat mixture and 2 cups of flour; beat until smooth. Continue adding enough of remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Punch dough down; allow to rest for 10 minutes. Shape into 20 balls. Place in two greased 9-in. round baking pans. [I usually put them in a 9x13 baking pan] Cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour.
  • Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to wire racks. 
  •  Yield: 20 rolls

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sausage Seasoning

Do you love the flavor of sausage but not all that fat?  Have I got a secret for you!  I found this Sausage Seasoning recipe a zillion years ago in a cookbook that is now out of print. Her original recipe made an entire cup but, I don't use it fast enough to make that much, so I cut it down by a third.  I most often use it to flavor ground beef or turkey but have also used it in unflavored TVP (Texturized Vegetable Protein) with good success.  Its just a nice little seasoning mix to have tucked away in your spice drawer. I generally use it to taste but about 1 tsp per pound of ground meat would be a good starting point.

Sausage Seasoning
adapted from The Gluten Book by Le Arta Moulton

1 Tbsp Rosemary, ground 
4  heaping Tbsp Sage, ground 
2 heaping Tbsp Salt
1 heaping Tbsp Marjoram-
(mathematically it comes out to 1 T + 1/3 tsp.. 'heaping' works for me)
1 heaping Tbsp Basil                         "
1 heaping Tbsp Cayenne                   "
1 heaping Tbsp Garlic Salt                "
For a more spicy flavor add a
shake or two of dried red pepper chillies, powdered.

Combine all ingredients.
Yield approx 1/3 cup.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fast and Low Cal- Does it Get any Better?

I've been wanting to try this recipe for awhile now.  It appeals to me because it has just a few ingredients that I usually have on hand and doesn't require a lot of pre-planning like most marinades.  (I love meals I can throw together quickly because I'm really not the organized type.)  And, I get to use fresh herbs from my garden!  I love that!  Sure do hope this turns out to be a keeper.  :)

Quick and Low-Cal Grilled Bistro Chicken Recipe #152742

25 min | 5 min prep
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise [I used 1/4 c mayonnaise and 1/4 c water]
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves [I used 1 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped]
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves [I used 1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme]
  • 1/2 teaspoon  garlic salt
  • 1/2 lemon, juice of
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/4 lb.)[I used thighs]
  1. Stir together all the herbs, mayo, and lemon juice. Brush on the chicken.
  2. Light your grill about 20 minutes before grilling the chicken. Allow the chicken to soak up the first brushing.
  3. Place on the grill and cook until done, continuing to brush the mixture on the chicken until done.
© 2009 Recipezaar. All Rights Reserved.

Verdict: Bill and I both really enjoyed this chicken.  It had a very subtle, almost delicate, flavor of lemon and herbs and was very moist.  I think maybe next time I might use more of the fresh herbs to heighten the flavor a little bit.  And, just for fun, I'll probably add a little lemon zest. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Time for Comida ! (or the way to Hubby's heart!)

For dinner tonight we're trying a Black Bean Chicken Casserole from Taste of Home.  Normally, I'm not a huge Mexican food fan (can you say GRINGO?!) but Bill loves it and black beans are my favorite legume.  So..I decided I would trust the recipe reviews, take a chance, and do a little 'walkin' on the wild side' with this recipe.. LOL  Actually, since the only spicy ingredient is 1/2 cup of salsa, I think I'm probably pretty safe. This one goes together fast and, I have to say, it sure does smell good in our kitchen right now. With a nice tossed salad on the side and little bit of sour cream garnish.. should be quite tasty.
Verdict:  YUM-MO as Rachel would say.  I loved it!  Bill liked it too.. once he had doctored it up with a bit more heat, that is.  :)  He added some jalapeno rings on top for a little extra garnish.  But, the flavors really were a delightful blend. This one is definitely going on our 'make often' list.   

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spinach Swiss Quiche

Its Sunday again and that means something simple around our house.  I'm going to try another Taste of Home recipe which I am going to try to adapt to make it more 'Zone-ful'   Basically, I'm just going to make it without the crust and serve it with some whole wheat bread.  We have several crust-less quiche recipes that we enjoy so hopefully this will be added to the repertoire.  In honor of it being a SWISS quiche I thought I would post a pix of the Swiss Alps Bill took at Scout Camp while we were in Germany.  (Yes, those lucky boys got to go to Switzerland for their summer camp!)  Ok.. everybody in the mood to yodel?  Here is my adaptation- click on the title for a link to the original:

Spinach Swiss Quiche 


  • 1/2 cup chopped ham
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup fat-free cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt, pepper and paprika
  • handful sliced almonds
  •  sour cream


        * In a small skillet, cook the ham, onion and red pepper until vegetables are tender; drain. Stir in spinach.
         * Spray pie pan with Pam. Put ham and spinach mixture in pie pan.
  • In a small bowl, combine the eggs, cottage cheese, Swiss cheese and seasonings; pour over spinach mixture.Sprinkle with almonds.
  • Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.
  • Serve with sour cream. Yield: 6 servings.

Verdict- This turned out to be about a 4 star.  Bill really liked it but I thought it was a bit bland.  I think next time I make it I will add a dash of cayenne pepper or hot sauce to give it a little kick.  Might also add a little basil.. But, it is a great basic recipe. You could throw lots of different veggies in it for variation.. mushroom, broccoli, peas etc.  Maybe change up the cheese as well. 

    Friday at Home

    I love Taste of Home but their recipes seldom fit into my Zone Diet menu.  This one is probably a stretch too but I was in the mood for a casserole and this seemed fairly close.  I also had some ham I needed to use up.  Same for the Cream of Mushroom soup- I was going to make my own (see the link) but, then, I realized I had one lone can in the pantry that was fast approaching too old.  So I used that instead.  But, NEXT time I am definitely going to try making my own.  I also typically don't use reduced fat products because we've found we usually don't like the taste of those products (or their prices!).  It seems like most 'reduced fat' items just throw in a bunch of sugar and chemicals to try to make it taste ok with the fat removed and who needs that??  Just give me the real thing and I'll take my chances!  Right.  Off my soapbox now.  Here's the recipe with my comments:

     Taste of Home Company Casserole 


    • 1 package (6 ounces) long grain and wild rice mix
    • 4 cups frozen broccoli florets, thawed and drained (I used fresh broccoli that I cut in small pieces then zapped in the microwave for 2 minutes.)
    • 1-1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast (I used thighs)
    • 1 cup cubed fully cooked lean ham
    • 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese (regular cheddar)
    • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
    • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) reduced-fat reduced-sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted (substitute 'make your own' condensed cream of mushroom soup)
    • 2/3 cup reduced-fat plain yogurt
    • 1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise (regular mayonnaise)
    • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
    • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
    • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


    • Prepare rice according to package directions, omitting the butter. In a 13-in. x 9-in baking dish coated with cooking spray, layer the rice, broccoli, chicken, ham, cheddar cheese and mushrooms.
    • In a small bowl, combine the soup, yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard and curry powder. Spread evenly over top of casserole; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
    • Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 6 servings.

      Verdict:  Well, Bill and I both gave it an 'o.k.' but nothing to write home about.  Frankly, it was more time and work than it was worth.  I'm not quite sure what the problem was- maybe the yogurt?  I suspect the person who submitted this recipe just substituted plain yogurt for sour cream (which would probably be delicious) but the tang-iness of the yogurt seemed to overwhelm the other flavors.  Anyway, you win some, you lose some.  This will not be on my 'make again' list.


      Thursday, April 15, 2010

      Blue Ribbon Chocolate Chip Cookies

      Ok, this doesn't exactly fit into the healthy, maintenance diet type recipe I've been posting on this blog, but, I had to make some cookies to take to a funeral luncheon today so..I decided I would share.   Just consider this a little 'food torture' moment.  LOL  (No, I didn't cheat and eat any)  These Blue Ribbon Chocolate Chip Cookies are my very favorite of all chocolate chip cookie recipes I have tried.  I love the oatmeal in them.. makes me feel like they are the tiniest bit healthy I guess.  They are also part of my cooking heritage.  Aunt Ethel, my father's only sibling, shared this recipe with me when we visited them in 1975.  She was a fantastic cook, just like her mom, my Grandma Ellis.  I have been making these since Kelli was a baby so they've been in the family for awhile now.  

      Blue Ribbon Chocolate Chip Cookies
      1 cup sugar
      1 cup brown sugar
      1 cup shortening (I use butter)
      2 eggs
      2 cups flour
      1 tsp baking powder
      1 tsp baking soda
      1/2 tsp salt
      1 tsp vanilla
      12 ounces chocolate chips
      2 cups oatmeal

      -Cream together sugars and shortening.  Beat in eggs.
      -Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and vanilla.  Mix well.
      -Stir in chocolate chips and oatmeal.
      -Drop by rounded teaspoons on ungreased baking sheet.
      -Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
      -Cool on wire racks and enjoy with a big glass of cold milk or some ice cream.

      Sunday, April 11, 2010

      Goin' Greek!

           Today we re-visited an old favorite- Greek Turkey Burgers.  The Tomato Feta relish is really what makes this dish.  The burgers by themselves are pretty bland- but together, its a dynamite combo!   

      Greek Turkey Burgers
      1 egg, slightly beaten
      1 pound ground turkey
      1/3 c. whole wheat bread crumbs (toast, cool & crumble)
      1 Tbs buttermilk or sour milk
      2 tsps Italian seasoning
      1 tsp garlic powder
      1/2 tsp salt
      1 medium tomato diced
      1/2 cucumber diced
      1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled
      salt and pepper to taste

      1) In mixing bowl combine the egg, turkey, crumbs, buttermilk, Italian seasoning and garlic powder.  With clean hands, mush together and form into 4 patties. Salt and pepper to taste.
      2) In another smaller bowl, combine tomato, cucumber and feta.  Mix and refrigerate.
      3) Preheat outside grill or oven broiler.
      4) Grill turkey patties- about 5 minutes on each side.  Turkey should be cooked through and not pink.  Serve with tomato feta relish on top.

      Friday, April 9, 2010

      Gotta Love Fridays!

      Its so fun to actually have a day home and time to try out some new recipes.  I've had these on my  'gotta try' list for awhile now.  I love the combination of lime and garlic on chicken so this one seemed like a natural to me.  The only substitution I'm making is fructose for the sugar.  (just cause I'm not supposed to have sugar yet on my maintenance diet)  Normally, I don't think I would worry about that little bit of sugar in a marinade.  I am also cutting the recipe in half for the two of us.
            The cauliflower and cabbage recipe just sounded like a fun one to try. Sides are something I've never been too creative with so I've really been searching for some interesting sounding veggie recipes.  There are a couple more that I've just found that will be coming soon.  Anyway, I picked this particular one since I have just lately discovered that I like cabbage and, of course, cauliflower is always a favorite. It sounds like this one is not something you can just throw together in a hurry, but, that's the beauty of a FRIDAY at home! (YEA!!)
           Oh, shoot!  It helps if you READ the recipe before you jump in.  I just blithely mixed up all the ingredients in the recipe, added the chicken and put it in the fridge.  THEN realized that only the lime juice and garlic should be in the marinade.  The rest of the ingredients are to be rubbed onto the chicken before you grill it.  Hmmm.. well, this should be interesting.  Yeah, I'm thinkin' this could either be really good or really bad.  In that case, this recipe will go on the 'try again' list. Sheesh. Hate it when I do stuff like this!  Crossing my fingers here.

      Craig's Lime-Grilled Chicken

      1 chicken, 3-1/2 lb, cut in half, skin removed
      3 cups fresh lime juice
      6 cloves garlic, chopped
      2 T sugar
      2 T salt
      1 tsp cayenne pepper
      2 tsp ground cumin
      1 tsp paprika
      Put the chicken, the lime juice and the garlic in a plastic bag and seal it. Place in a bowl in the refrigerator and marinate for 4 - 6 hours, turning the bag over every hour or two. Drain the chicken and pat dry.

      Mix the sugar, salt, cayenne, cumin and paprika and rub the mixture over the chicken.
      Grill chicken 25 - 30 minutes on a medium-hot charcoal fire, with some hardwood chunks added for smoke, with the grill lid closed. Turn once. Chicken should have an internal temperature of 160ยบ when served.
      [I accidentally combined ALL the ingredients as a marinade and it turned out fantastic!  I may try the rub another time though just to see if it really is better.]

      Pureed Cauliflower and Cabbage with Green Onions and Parmesan

      (Makes 4-6 side dish servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

      1/2 large head green cabbage, core cut out and cabbage chopped
      1 1/2 T olive oil
      salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
      1/2 large head cauliflower, core cut out and cauliflower chopped
      1/2 cup finely sliced green onions (scallions)
      2 cups chicken stock (or more as needed to cover the vegetables in the pot)
      1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (plus more to sprinkle on top for serving if desired) [next time I will leave out]
      I added a handful slivered almonds for crunch

      Heat olive oil in large heavy pot, add chopped cabbage, season with salt and fresh ground black pepper, and saute cabbage over medium-low heat until it's cooked through and starting to brown, about 15 minutes. Stir it every once in a while so it doesn't get overly brown in some parts. Add sliced green onions and cook about 5 minutes more, until onions are softened.

      Add chopped cauliflower, pour over enough chicken stock to cover the vegetables, and simmer until the cauliflower is very soft, probably close to 30 minutes at a low simmer.

      Mash the ingredients together with a potato masher. You can keep the coarse texture this produces if you prefer, or use an immersion blender or food processor to puree into a finer texture. (Be careful with the hot liquid if you use a food processor.)

      Turn heat back on under the mashed or pureed vegetable mixture in the pan and cook an additional 5-10 minutes on medium heat, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Then stir in the finely grated Parmesan cheese, 2 T at a time so the cheese is well-combined in the mixture. Serve hot, with additional Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top if desired.  Sprinkle with almonds for crunch.

      These were both winners!  Bill and I loved them.  There is only one thing we would change- although we both loved the Cabbage Cauliflower Puree. we thought the Parmesan cheese didn't quite work.  Next time we will leave that out.  But, it was a really terrific dish- even though it is totally made up of favorable vegetables, it was a wonderful fill in for a starch. I didn't miss having potatoes.  Very satisfying!

      Wednesday, April 7, 2010

      Hmmm... Just How Flexible IS This Recipe?

      Well, tonight I started out to make one of my favorite recipes- Crustless Quiche Lorraine.  However, as I got into it, I realized I was going to have to make so many substitutions that I'm not sure it will even resemble the original recipe!  LOL  I think I will go ahead and post the original, because it really is a good one.  I'll put my substitutions in parentheses. Crossing my fingers it will turn out tasty as well! (It should be worth a chuckle anyway.) 
      Crustless Quiche Lorraine
      8 slices turkey bacon, cooked and chopped  [1 cup diced ham]
      1 cup Swiss cheese- grated [1/2 cup Swiss & 1/2 cup cheddar]
      1 medium onion, diced & sauted till translucent in 1 Tbsp olive oil.
      2 Tbsp flour
      4 eggs
      1 cup milk [1 cup plain yogurt]
      3/4 tsp salt [Natures Season Seasoning Blend- I didn't want to add salt- figured the ham would be salty enough]
      1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (don't leave out!)
      handful of sliced almonds- slivered work too.

      -Preheat oven to 350 degrees
      -Lightly grease 9 inch pie plate.  In medium size bowl toss bacon, cheese, onion and flour together.  Spread in pie plate.
      -Mix eggs, milk, salt & pepper together.  Pour over bacon/cheese in pie plate.  Sprinkle almonds on top.
      -Bake uncovered 35-40 minutes or until knife inserted in middle comes out clean.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes before slicing.
       Hey!  It turned out great! I really liked the tangy zip the yogurt added. The only change that I would suggest would be to saute the onions before baking.  They ended up a little too crunchy for me.  YUM

      Thursday, April 1, 2010

      Tuesday Morning..

      Kalyn's Kitchen is one of my all time favorite food blogs.  It is always my 'go to' place when I'm stuck for dinner ideas.  She is a South Beach Diet gal so most of her recipes are Zone friendly, not to mention that they're just plain delicious.  Today we're going back to the grill and I'm trying one of the recipes listed as a 'favorite' on her blog.  I just mixed up the marinade for  'Rosemary Mustard Chicken', plunked in 8 chicken thighs and put it in the fridge to marinate.  And, oh, wow!  Can I just say that if this tastes as good as it smells, we're lovin' life!   
           I didn't change a thing and can hardly wait to taste it tonight. Be sure and go surfing on Kalyn's  Kitchen blog- it is well worth the trip!
      It was every bit as good as anticipated.  The Dijon mustard gave it just the right zip.  It is even better the next day.  Definitely a keeper!