Foodie Blog Roll 2

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Berry and Greek Yogurt Parfait with Homemade Granola

I am a huge cereal fan, HUGE! Just ask anyone who knows me. Every once in a while though, I feel like something else for breakfast. I had some left over homemade granola bars  and some berries that I needed to use up, so I got some yogurt and made a parfait. Parfait in French means "perfect," and that's just what it was!

Berry and Greek Yogurt Parfait with Homemade Granola

1 6oz cup of non-fat plain Greek Yogurt (I like Chobani)
1/3 C Homemade Granola
1 C fresh berries (I used blueberries, black berries and strawberries)

Start by washing fruit and cutting strawberries into smaller pieces. Layer some yogurt, then granola, then fruit in a glass, and repeat. Ta-da! Wasn't that easy?

You can really see the granola layer from this side.
I didn't think the yogurt needed to be sweetened up because I got some fruit in every bite, but you could always put a squeeze of honey or some sweetener in the yogurt before you layer it if you like. I just really like this particular brad of Greek yogurt because the serving has 18 grams of protein and only 7 grams of sugar. That's a lot better than some "fruit" yogurts!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bucket List

Hi readers. Today I started my "bucket list" of things that I want to make. I saw this on another blog and thought it was a wonderful idea. My mind is constantly flooded with yummy ideas and by the time I find a pen, I forget what I wanted to make. I thought this would be a great way to keep track of things I want to try. Here's where you come in:
Post an idea or a recipe that you want me to try and I will do my best to get it done in a timely manner. Fun! I will add new things to the list and cross off accomplished tasks, all the while blogging your suggestions. So give me a challenge; bring it on!


Have a great day! ~ Cookin' Cowgirl!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Lemon and Thyme Pork Tenderloin with Sautéed Apples

A few weeks ago, when my sweet in-laws were here, I wanted to do a special meal for them one night. I did a pork tenderloin with a lemon and fresh thyme rub and did some sautéed apples for the side. I love the combination of pork and apples! This is actually a pretty easy recipe. While the pork is in oven, you can get started on the apples and get done with both at the same time.

Lemon and Thyme Pork Tenderloin with Sautéed Apples

Lemon and Thyme Pork Tenderloin
1 fresh pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat*
2 T olive oil
1 T lemon zest
2 T fresh thyme, chopped
1 T grill seasoning

Sautéed Apples
5 gala apples, cored and sliced
1 T flour
Pinch of salt
2 T sugar
2 T fresh lemon juice


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Rub olive oil on pork. Rub the lemon zest, thyme and grill seasoning on the pork and place on baking sheet.

Roast for 40-45 minutes or until the juices run clear. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

Heat large skillet and melt butter. Sauté apples for about 13-15 minutes until very tender. Add flour and salt and combine. Add the sugar and lemon juice and gently stir. Pour over or next to pork. 

 This is an affordable way to entertain and make a nice meal at the same time.

*If you are wondering why the meat is divided into 4 pieces, it actually came like that and I didn't know it. I bought "one pork tenderloin" and thought it was just one piece, then to my surprise, it was in 4 sections when I opened the package. It wasn't a big deal and I just laid it all next to each other, but I had never seen that! :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Almond and Peanut Butter Granola Bars

These crunchy, slightly sweet granola bars are the perfect thing for an on-the-go breakfast or a quick snack. They are nutritious and packed with protein and good fats. I adapted this recipe from How Sweet Eats and it is a great base recipe. I will definitely make theses again and probably jazz them up a little next time. Happy eating!

Almond and Peanut Butter Granola Bars


4 C rolled oats
2 T ground flax seed (flax meal)
1/2 C raw almonds, chopped*
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C honey
3/4 C natural, creamy peanut butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9X13 dish with non-stick spray. In a large bowl, combine oats, flax meal, almonds, cinnamon and salt. Add honey and stir until it is will incorporated. Melt peanut butter and add to oat mixture; thoroughly combine. Press mixture in an even layer into sprayed dish and bake for 20-25 minutes until tops are golden brown. Let cool completely before cutting so they do not fall apart.

* I wanted big pieces of almonds in my granola bars so instead of just rough chopping them, I cut them each length wise and them cut those pieces in half. It took a minute, but I'm gland I did it.

These are not overly sweet and would be great with a handful of chocolate chips or fruit in them also. Give it a try!

click to print recipe

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hazelnut and Sweet Potato Hash

Sweet potatoes have become a staple in my kitchen-I love them! I don't remember where I found the original recipe for this but I have made this several times. This time I made it a bit "spicier" by adding cinnamon and nutmeg along with the ground cloves. Also, I usually use pecans in this but had hazelnuts on hand and really liked i this way too.

Hazelnut and Sweet Potato Hash

3 medium sweet potatoes
1 red onion, sliced into strips
1/2 C hazelnuts, chopped
1 T walnut oil
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Wash sweet potatoes and cut into 1/2  inch cubes.

Place in microwavable bowl and microwave for 4-5 minutes. After they have softened, heat oil in a large pan and add potatoes. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the sides start to brown, then add the rest of the ingredients. Cook for 5-6 more minutes until onions are soft and potatoes have browned. Serve.

This is the perfect salty-sweet-nutty side; one of my favorites!

Friday, February 11, 2011

White Chocolate Cranberry Coconut Bars

These are my absolute favorite dessert....well these and carrot cake. These actually hold a special place in my heart. Two summers ago when I broke my jaw and had it wired shut, the only thing I wanted to watch on TV was the Food Network (I know, why did I torture myself like that?!) This was before I started cooking and the REASON I started cooking. I was watching Paula Deen and she made these Five Layer Bars and they were the most scrumptious thing I had ever seen. I wrote down the recipe and said "This is the first thing I am going to make when I eat stuff like this again!" And it was. So began my love for cooking and my LOVE for these dessert bars. While I do love her original recipe, I prefer them this way with the white chocolate and cranberries. Also, macadamia nuts and white chocolate together can't be beat!

White Chocolate Cranberry Coconut Bars

1 1/2 C gram cracker crumbs
1/2 C (1 stick) butter, melted
1 C white chocolate chips
1 C dried cranberries
1/2 C salted macadamia nuts, chopped
1 C shredded coconut
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a food processor, grind the gram crackers into crumbs.* In a bowl, combine crumbs and melted butter and stir to combine. Press crumb mixture into bottom of a sprayed 9X13 dish. Sprinkle in white chocolate chips, nuts, cranberries, and coconut and top with sweetened condensed milk.
YUM!!
Bake for 25 minutes and remove from oven.

Allow to cool and cut into bars. Ahhh, perfection!

So call these what you will, magic bars, five layer bars, hello dollies, they are all to die for! :)

*This last time I made them, I used store bought gram cracker crumbs because I thought it would save me from having to make them myself. They still tasted great but they seemed to not stay together as well. I will make my own crumbs from now on.
**If you want to see a good version of what the crust should look like, check out these Nutella Hazelnut Magic Bars

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Guacamole

This is a very basic guacamole recipe and it is simple to make. I made this for the in-laws on Super Bowl Sunday to go along with hubby's yummy chili.

Guacamole
2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
2 T red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 grape tomatoes, seeds removed, chopped
1 T fresh lime juice
1-2 T spicy guacamole powder mix
2 T chopped cilantro
Salt to taste

In a medium bowl, mash avocado. Add onion, garlic, tomatoes, lime juice, powder mix and cilantro and stir gently until combined. If desired, add salt. Transfer to serving bowl.


I normally add the cilantro, but my store was out of it this time.

I love the beautiful colors of the tomatoes and red onion! So delicious!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Pockets

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I have been trying to be better at using up ALL of my leftovers in the fridge lately and wasting less. I made a butter cream frosting not too long ago and had 4 oz (1/2 of a box) of cream cheese left in the fridge. I also had 1 chicken breast since our pack had an odd number in it the last time. I pretty much always have cheese on hand and I always have ranch and hot sauce in the fridge. The only thing I needed was a some crescent roll dough and voila! My favorite dip was turned into a fun meal.
If you are familiar with making buffalo chicken dip, this is 1/2 of a regular recipe, and it makes 8 pockets, but you could always double it for a crowd.

Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Pockets

1 Large chicken breast, cooked (or 1 10oz can chicken, drained)
4 oz cream cheese (I used fat free)
1/4 C ranch (I used fat free)
3 T Louisiana hot sauce (or whatever you have)
1/2 -1 C shredded cheddar cheese
1 can crescent roll dough (I used reduced fat)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shred the chicken breast and put it in a medium bowl. Add all other ingredients to chicken and mix well until everything is combined. Roll out the crescent dough on a clean surface and use rolling pin to flatten out the serrated edges. Cut into 8 squares and start filling the squared with the chicken dip. Fold dough over and crimp edges of dough with a fork so filling does not escape. Once all pockets are filled, place them on a silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cook for 13-15 minutes or until tops are golden brown. 
These are so warm and cheesy when they come out of the oven, it was hard to wait long enough for them to cool down before digging into them! 

These would be a great snack for the super bowl game this weekend! Give 'em a try!
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