Monday, December 20, 2010

Creamy Chicken Alfredo-Pesto Pizza

From: Rochelle

If you asked me what my favorite food was when I was younger, I would tell you pasta with Alfredo sauce. I LOVED it. If you ask me what one of my favorite foods now is, I would tell you Pesto. AH, I love it! Tonight my favorite flavors of a lifetime melded into this beautifully tasty pizza.  I give you Creamy Chicken Alfredo-Pesto Pizza.

Creamy Chicken Alfredo-Pesto Pizza

This is my favorite whole-wheat pizza dough recipe! Love it!

Rochelle's Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

1 1/2 C
All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 C
Whole-Wheat Flour
1 pkg
Active Dry Yeast
1/2 t
1 C
Warm Water
2 T
Cooking Oil

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 1/4 cups for the flour, the yeast, and salt; add warm water and oil. Beat with an electric mixture on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Busing a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead enoug
h remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6-8 minutes total). Cover, let rest for 10 minutes. Roll out into the size of your pizza pan lightly flour the whole crust. Fold into fourths and transfer to pizza pan; unfold. Let rise for 5 minutes in warm oven.

 Bake at 400 degrees for 5-6 minutes. Put toppings on, and bake for an additional 6-8 minutes. 


The sauce was just 1/2-3/4 of a jar of Roasted Garlic Ragu Alfredo Sauce mixed with 1-2 Tablespoons of fresh pesto. After you bake the pizza crust for a little bit, spread the sauce on. Then we added our toppings which were:
  • Cooked Chicken-chopped
  • Green Onions
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Sun Dried Tomatoes (optional)
  • Spinach or sliced tomatoes might also be good on this pizza.
Then, just cook the pizza for 6 minutes or so. If you want your cheese brown and bubbly, you can put it under the broiler. I also like putting the cheese on last because it "tacks" down all of the other toppings. 

This pizza was just delightful!  This pizza is fairly healthy because it has a whole-wheat pizza crust, uses chicken instead of pepperoni, and half of the cheese is low-fat cheese. Just add a yummy salad and you've got a meal in about 20 minutes. It also taste great cold! Yum! 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Carrot Souffle

From: Haley

I found this recipe over the summer and fell in love with it. I made it again today for a Christmas party that I'm going to and thought I'd take some pictures and share the goodness! It is wonderful as a side dish, a not-so-sweet dessert, or a midnight snack :)

Carrot Souffle

2 pounds carrots, chopped
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup white sugar
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add carrots and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile in a blender combine the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, vanilla, cinnamon and eggs. Blenderize for a minute or two until smooth.

Once carrots are cooked, drain them and gradually add the cooked carrots to
the mixture in the blender. Blenderize until you have added all the carrots and it is smooth.

Pour into a greased 9x13 inch pan and bake for 30 minutes.

This dish is best after it has cooled completely, and then can be reheated and served warm or cold.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies

From: Rochelle

A week or so ago I taught a "Healthy Holiday Cooking" class for my club fundraiser. I did lots of research and found lots of excellent recipes and tips to help cut calories during the holiday season. One of the recipes I found was for these whole wheat sugar cookies. I thought this might be a good one to share since people usually decorate sugar cookies over the holidays. I will tell you, you can taste the whole-wheat in these cookies, but I actually like it and plus with frosting on it, you can't tell anyways.

P.S. Austin gobbled these up in a day!

Healthy Frosting Tips: 
Pillsbury has just come out with sugar-free frosting. This might be a good option to decorate your cookies with.
Also, another good tip is to take all of the frosting out of the tub, and put it in a bowl. Then, using electric beaters, beat the frosting to incorporate more air into the frosting. I add just about 2-3 teaspoons of water as well.  Not only does this make your frosting last longer, but you are using & eating a little bit less frosting. They use this trick with ice cream. They incorporate more air into your ice cream to make it softer and fluffier.

Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies
2 C   Whole Wheat Flour
2 t      Baking Powder
1/2 t   Salt
1 C    Sugar
1/2 C  Unsalted Butter (I used 1/4 C Butter and 1/4 C White Bean Puree)
1        Egg (or 1/4 C Egg Substitute
1 t     Vanilla Extract
2 T    Milk

  1. In a medium bowl, sift or whisk together the flour with the baking powder and salt. 
  2. In another bowl, cream the sugar with the butter until a light lemon-yellow, about 4 minutes. Beat in the egg until incorporated. Stir in the vanilla and milk, then add the flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time and mix until blended. 
  3. Form dough into disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour, or until firm. 
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out until thin, about 1/8 inch. Cut into desired shapes, sprinkle with sugar and place on the prepared sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to wire racks to cool. 
Makes about 4 dozen 2-inch cookies.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

From: Haley

Rochelle and I must be thinking along the same lines here :) just this last week I made a healthy version of mac and cheese as well using a baked butternut squash. It's so delicious, you can't stop eating it! Bon appetite!

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

6 T. butter
6 T. whole wheat flour
6 C. fat free milk

Make a roux with the butter and flour and then gradually add the milk until you have a thick white sauce.

1 package fat free cream cheese
1/2 C. parmesan cheese
1 C. cooked ground beef (optional)
1 butternut squash, baked and pureed*

Mix in the cheeses until melted, then add the other ingredients. Serve over noodles!

* I cut my butternut squash lengthwise and placed on a cookie sheet and baked in the oven at 375 for about 1 1/2 hours. You just need to make sure it's really cooked through to get the nice smooth texture you want for this recipe.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thai Mac n' Cheese

From: Rochelle

I love Thai food. It is probably my favorite kind of food. I could eat it every day. Last night, dinner rolled around, and I thought, "I'm in the mood for Thai food." SO, I made this recipe up based on what we had available, and I think it turned out pretty darn good. I used whole-wheat pasta to add fiber and nutrients. The best part about this recipe is the pumpkin puree gives it the "cheesy" color with out all the calories and adds lots of nutrients! Your family will never know!

Thai Mac n'Cheese
2 C Whole-Wheat Pasta  (I used shells, but macaroni, spaghetti, or even served over rice would be good)
4-5 Turkey Bacon Strips
1/4 Onion-Chopped
1/2 Red Bell Pepper-Chopped
3-4 Garlic Cloves-minced
1 C  Pumpkin Puree (You can substitute this for any squash puree)
1 can  Coconut Milk
1/2 C Water
1/2-1 C Frozen Peas
1/2 C Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1-3 t Dried basil
Salt & Pepper to taste
Red Pepper Flakes (optional . . . unless you're feeding Austin, then it's a must :)

1. First get the pasta cooking while you are preparing everything else.

2. I used a pan with a 2-3 inch lip all the way around. Cook the turkey bacon until crispy. Turkey bacon doesn't really get crispy in the pan. I usually cook it until it start to brown a little and then flip, brown. Then take it out, place it on some paper towels, and let sit as I work on the rest of the meal. As the bacon sits, it becomes crunchier. Then chop or crumble. Set aside.

3. After taking the bacon out, in the same pan, saute onion and bell pepper. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Turn heat down, and add pumpkin puree, water, and coconut milk.  Add frozen peas, salt and pepper, and basil and bring to a boil. If you want to add red pepper flakes, add them now.

4. At the last minute, right before serving, add the bacon, cooked pasta, and cheese. Coat the pasta with the sauce, and enjoy!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cranberry Apple Cider

From: Rochelle

This is a GREAT holiday drink that is SO fragrant and yummy! It has the best taste, it just reminds you of the holidays! 

Cranberry Apple Cider
·         1 64 oz. bottle 100% apple juice
·         12 oz. bag fresh cranberries
·         Handful whole cloves
·         Couple cinnamon sticks
1. Pour the apple juice into the slow cooker.  Add the fresh cranberries, whole cloves and cinnamon sticks.
2. Set on high for 4 hours. Strain the cranberries, cloves and cinnamon sticks before serving.
3. The cranberries will pop and release their tart juices.  The sweetness of the apple juice will balance it out.  If you wish for a sweeter cider, then add a few Tablespoons of brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup  to sweeten it up!
4. Serve warm, straight of out the slow cooker.

Gingerbread Cake

From: Rochelle

Today for a Christmas work party we were in charge of bring a dessert. I wanted to make something that tasted like Christmas. I found this recipe in my William-Sonma New American Cooking Cookbook and decided that this was it! I tweaked it a little, the original called for pears, I left those out, but it turned out delicious! It defiantly needed some kind of cream-cheese frosting, yogurt dollop, or infused whip-cream, but it was good! Smelled even better!

Gingerbread Cake
1 1/2 C      All-Purpose Flour
3/4 C         Whole-Wheat Flour
1 1/2 t        Baking Soda
1 t              Ground Ginger
1 t              Ground Cinnamon
1/2 t           Salt
1/4 t           Ground Nutmeg
1 1/4 C       Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
3/4 C          Unsulfured Molasses
2                 Eggs
2 t              Freshly Grated Ginger
1 C            Buttermilk
2 C            Plain Yogurt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 dish with butter and coat with flour.

2. Sift together all-purpose flour, wheat flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer set on med. speed (I just used my Kitchen Aid), beat together 1/2 cup butter and 3/4 cup Brown Sugar, until light and fluffy. Gradually add Molasses. Add eggs, one at a time, then beat in the fresh ginger.

4. At low speed, alternate adding the spiced flour mixer with the butter milk to the sugar and egg mixture. Beat just until mixed. Pour into the prepared pan.

5. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Take out and let cool

6. For topping, mix together the yogurt and remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar. Cut the cake into squares and serve warm with a dollop of the yogurt or topping of your choice.

Friday, December 10, 2010

About Us

We are just three women who love to cook and needed an easy way to share recipes with each other. We decided, why don't we just share the love with everyone?! We hope you enjoy reading and trying out all of these recipes.

Pam is the mom. She loves cooking and can make just about anything from scratch! Everyone loves her homemade whole wheat bread the most. She also loves doing research and coming up with her own healthy versions of classic favorites.

Haley is the daughter. Between her college studies in piano performance and other demands on her time, Haley has the gift of creating quick, simple, and delicious meals. She also has her mother's knack of making recipes healthier.

Rochelle is the daughter and sister in-law, and wife of Austin (the son of Pam and brother of Haley).  She is currently studying Family & Consumer Science Education (Home Economics Education) and loves her cooking and nutrition classes the most! Although it was one of her hardest classes, she loved food science and learning all the chemistry behind why food works the way it does. She loves making foods with lots of flavor and trying foods she's never had before.

We hope you enjoy reading this blog as much as well love sharing it!
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