Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cream Cheese Lemon Bars

Ever in the mood for a tasty dessert that ISN'T chocolate?  I know, it hardly ever happens, but these lemon bars are the exact remedy of "I need something sweet and I don't want it to be chocolate" syndrome. 

Cream Cheese Lemon Bars


1 box of lemon cake mix (I got the "extra moist" kind)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
8 oz cream cheese
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup sugar


Combine cake mix, oil and 1 egg until crumbly.  Reserve 1 cup of the mixture and set aside.  Spread remainder of the crumbs in a 9x13 pan and pat down firmly to form a crust.  

Bake at 350º for about 10 minutes or until crust is lightly golden brown. 

In a bowl, mix remaining ingredients and whip until fluffy and white (that's important)

Spread over the crumb crust and crumble the reserved cup of crumbs over the tip.  Return to the oven and bake for another 25 minutes.

Cool before cutting. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

BBQ Chicken Pizza

I love flipping through cookbooks.  Everytime I get a new one I sit and pour over each page and Post-it all the recipes I want to try.  Usually, there ends up being about 50 Post-its sticking out of the top of the cookbook.  For Christmas my husband got me the recently published cookbook from one of the food blogs I follow faithfully, Our Family Favorites.  I'd seen this recipe on their website, but seeing it in the cookbook was the push I needed to give it a try.  I made a few tiny changes and it was so tasty and such a fun, different taste to your everday tomato based pizza sauce.  Yum! 

For some reason, when I made it, there was plenty of sauce left over.  I poured the extra in a container and popped it in the freezer.  I can't wait to eat this again next month!

BBQ Chicken Pizza

1 pizza crust (I just bought one from the grocery store)

1 Tablespoon minced garlic
olive oil
1 small can tomato paste
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 tomato, finely chopped
2 tsp basil
2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 Cup BBQ sauce

2-3 cups mixed cheddar and mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 chicken breasts, grilled in BBQ sauce, then cut into bite size pieces
handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup, red onion chopped


Roll pizza dough onto a pizza stone.  

Make the sauce:  In a medium saucepan, brown garlic in a little olive oil.  Add remaining sauce ingredients, except BBQ sauce and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and add BBQ sauce. 

Spread sauce evenly onto the pizza dough.  Top with cheese, chicken, onion and more cheese.  Bake at 400º for about 18 minutes.  

Remove from oven and top with grilled chicken pieces and fresh cilantro. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Meatballs with Greek Yogurt Sauce

You know how every once in a while you make something and it just "hits the spot" in such a way where you end up eating the same meal for at least 4 or 5 meals in a row? 

Well, enter Meatballs with Greek Yogurt Sauce! My goodness, it makes me want to sing.  (Don't worry, I won't).

Seriously, make these and eat them for 5 consecutive meals.

Meatballs with Cucumber Greek Yogurt Sauce


1 medium cucumber, peeled partially
1 small carton plain Greek Yogurt (5 or 6 oz)
2 Tbsp fresh mint, snipped
1 16 oz package frozen meatballs, thawed
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp crushed red peppers
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 package flatbread or naan


Preheat broiler.

Coarsely shred half the cucumber and combine with yogurt and mint.

In a small bowl combine the garlic powder, peppers and oregano and sprinkle on the thawed meatballs. Place on a baking sheet and cook in the broiler until heated through, turning occasionally. (8-10 minutes)

Slice the other half of the cucumber and set aside.

Warm flatbread in microwave.

Spread the sauce on the bottom of the flatbread or naan and place onion, cucumbers and meatballs over sauce.  Sprinkle with additional seasonings, if desired.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Sesame Chicken Stir Fry

It's a new year, so in honor of healthy New Year's Resolutions, this is a great way to kick of 2013!  I made this dish with broccoli and cauliflower, but it would be awesome with some red peppers and water chesnuts too.  


1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 lb broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
1/2 Tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
several cups cooked rice for serving


In a small bowl whisk together 1 cup broth, 6 Tablespoons soy sauce, 2 Tablespoons cornstarch and the sesame oil.  

In a large bowl, toss together the chicken with the remaining 2 Tablespoons soy sauce, 2 Tablespoons cornstarch and 1 Tablespoon oil. 

Heat remaining oil in a skillet over medium heat until the oil is hot.  Add the chicken mixture and brown the chicken until cooked through, flippling occasionally, about 5-7 minutes.  Transfer chicken to a plate and tent with foil.  Set aside. 

In the empty skillet add the broccoli and remaining 1/4 cup broth.  Cover the skillet and cook until the broccoli begins to soften and turn bright green.  Uncover the skillet and cook until the liquid evaporates, about a minute.  Add ginger and cook until fragrant.  Whisk the sauce to recombine and add to the skillet with chicken and the juices.  

Cook, stirring often, until the mixture is bubble and thickened.  

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over hot rice. 

*You can be creative and add whatever type of veggie suits your tastes!  

Source: Mels' Kitchen Cafe  Sesame Chicken Stir-Fry