Saturday, March 31, 2012

Cajun Buttermilk Chicken w/ Mashed Potatoes & White Peppered Gravy...

Dinner Tonight: Cajun Buttermilk Chicken w/ Mashed Potatoes & White Peppered Gravy and Green Beans

Well as they say on the Food Network "Winner, winner chicken dinner". There's a whole lot going on with this Chicken Breast! I marinated my Chicken For 4 hours in a Buttermilk, Egg Beater, Cajun Seasoning, and Frank's Red Hot Sauce. I mixed all the ingredients together in a Hefty Zip Lock Bag and added the Chicken making sure it well coated and let it marinate in the fridg. I removed the Chicken from the bag while shaking off the excess mixture. Then I dredged the marinated breast in a mixture of flour, sea salt and coarse black pepper. I pan fried my Chicken in Extra Virgin Olive Oil making sure it done through out. While my Chicken was frying I Sauteed my Baby Bella Mushrooms, fried the Turkey Bacon, and toasted my Bread. To assemble this piece of work take the toast and top it with the Chicken Breast then top the Chicken with a slice of Sargento Ultra Thin Swiss Cheese, Turkey Bacon, and the Sauteed Mushrooms. Everything blends to make one delicious Chicken Breast! I left the recipe at the bottom of the post.

For sides, like you need any with that chicken breast, I had Idahoan Mashed Potatoes that I topped with Pioneer White Peppered Gravy. The gravy was a last second idea, it was leftover from breakfast this morning. I also had some leftover Green Beans. I've been on a Green Bean binge lately. Seems that I can eat them with every meal! Everything together makes a fantastic Chicken Dinner! For a dessert/snack later a 100 Calorie Mini Bag of Jolly Time Pop Corn and sit back and enjoy the Final Four tonight, Go Buckeyes!

Cajun Buttermilk Chicken


*Recipe is for 4 servings

4 6-ounce boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts
3⁄4 cup Buttermilk
2 eggs, or Egg Beaters equivalent
1 tablespoon Cajun spice mix
5 Dashes of Frank's Hot Sauce, or to taste
Sea Salt and Pepper, to taste
Flour, amount depending on size and amount of the Chicken
4 slices Sargento Ultra Thin Swiss Cheese
4 Slices Turkey Bacon
Baby Bella Mushrooms
4 Slices Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread

*Mix together the buttermilk, eggs, hot sauce and spices until blended.

*Clean and trim chicken breasts. Place into marinade.

*Marinate for 4 hours.

*Dredge the marinated breast in a mixture of flour, salt and black pepper.

*You can bake, pan fry, or deep fry the chicken.

*As Chicken is frying toast the bread, sautee the mushrooms fry the Turkey Bacon

*Top the toast with the Chicken, Swiss Cheese, Bacon, and Mushrooms. Eat!

EARTH HOUR 8.30pm - SATURDAY 31st march 2012

Earth Hour 2012
Dare the World to Save the Planet

We only have one planet.  You can help protect it. Participate in the world’s largest single campaign for the planet: Earth Hour. It starts by turning off your lights for an hour at 8:30 pm on March 31, 2012 in a collective display of commitment to a better future for the planet.  Think what can be achieved when we all come together for a common cause.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Bison Burger and Leftovers

Dinner Tonight: Bison Burger and Leftovers

It was a Simple, healthy, and tasty dinner tonight. I had a Bison Ground Sirloin Burger that I seasoned with McCormick Steakhouse Seasoning and fried in Extra Virgin Olive Oil for about 7 minutes, flipping over once. I topped it with Sauteed Baby Bella Mushrooms. I seasoned those with Sea Salt, Ground Black Pepper, Ground Smoked Cumin, and Parsly. I also topped it with a slice of Smoked Gouda and served on a Healthy Life Whole Grain Bun.

For sides it was leftover Creamy Parmesan Risotto from the other night along with Green Beans. For a dessert/snack later Chip'ins along with Kroger Brand Organic Black Bean and Corn Salsa.

Cheese of the Week - Babybel


This cheese is the French version of the Dutch Edam cheese. It features a distinctive, red wax coating.

Country: France
Milk: cow milk
Texture: soft

Babybel is a brand of cheese sold internationally. The Bel Group introduced Babybel in 1952 and in 1977 Mini Babybel was launched in France. In 1979, Mini Babybel was launched in the U.S. under the Laughing Cow umbrella brand. As of 2011, Mini Babybel is eaten in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia. As of March 2011, 75% of all Mini Babybel cheese is eaten outside of France.

The brand is marketed as a natural, convenient snack. Flavors distributed in the U.S. are created in Leitchfield, Kentucky, and at times in France.

Mini Babybel is known for its unique packaging which consists of a netted bag in which each piece is encased in wax . Numerous flavors of Mini Babybel are offered across the world. The original Mini Babybel, an Edam variety, is encased in red wax. Other varieties offered in Europe are available such as Mini Babybel Light (diet version of the Edam variety) in white wax with a light blue label, Emmental in yellow wax, Gouda in yellow wax with an orange wrapper, Goat in green wax and Cheddar in purple wax. The original is also available in Kosher and Halal variety in the UK, which come in nets of 5 with each cheese wheel weighing 22 grams - slightly more than the original varieties. Tesco and Sainsbury's are the first major UK supermarkets to sell Kosher/Halal Mini Babybel ranges.

There are currently nine flavors offered in the US: Original, Sharp Original, Light, Bonbel, Cheddar, White Cheddar, Emmental Art, Swiss, and Gouda.

My favorite way to eat Babybel is with your favorite cracker and a few Apple slices.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Baked Shrimp w/ Tofu Mac & Cheese

Today's Menu: Baked Shrimp w/ Tofu Mac & Cheese and Whole Grain Bread

Shrimp with Mac & Cheese a great combo. Shrimp with Mac & Cheese under 400 calories a fantastic combo! I used Gorton's Homestyle Shrimp. They come in breaded seasoning and baked at 425 degrees for 18 minutes. These are the best tasting boxed and frozen Shrimp I think I've ever had. Delicious and good size Shrimp.

Now for the Mac & Cheese, this is where it gets good! I used TOFU SHIRATAKI (Yam Noodle with Tofu) MACARONI SHAPE which is only 20 calories and 3 carbs! I added a half a serving of Velveeta 2% Cheese, 1 slice Sargento Ultra Thin Swiss Cheese, and 1/4 teaspoon Kraft Shredded Parmesan Cheese. Seasoned with Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper. Mix it all together and microwave on high for 1 minute and 40 seconds. After the first minute stop it to stir and continue with 40 seconds, this time can vary according to your microwave. This came was the first time I tried this and it came out delicious! I'm starting to really like using Tofu as noodle substitute. Huge difference in calories and carbs between the two also. A thank you to Hungry Girl for the ideal. I left the recipe and the link to the Housefoods Tofu at the end of the post. I also had Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. For dessert later something new a Yoplait Chocolate Banana Smoothie. i seen these on Biggest Loser and they looked so good I had to try it out and glad I did! Easy to make and a nice thick and tasty Smoothie. Only 130 calories and 18 carbs! I'll leave the write up and nutrition on the post below.

Cheesy Tofu Shirataki Mac

1 bag House Foods Tofu Shirataki Macaroni Shaped Noodle Substitute
1/2 Serving Velveeta 2% Cheese
1 slice Sargento Ultra Thin Swiss Cheese
1 tsp.Kraft Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Dash each Parsley, Sea Salt and Black Pepper, or more to taste

Use a strainer to rinse and drain noodles well. Pat dry. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave noodles for 1 minute.

*Drain excess liquid. Dry thoroughly with paper towels.

*Add cheese wedge and cheese slice, breaking both into pieces as you add them. Microwave for 1 minute. Stop and stir, mixing well, and continue microwaving for an additional 40 seconds.

*Add remaining ingredients and stir very well.


Yoplait Chocolate Banana Smoothie

 Tried a new dessert tonight, Yoplait Chocolate Banana Smoothie. I seen these on Biggest Loser and they looked so good I had to try it out and glad I did! Easy to make and a nice thick and tasty Smoothie. Only 130 calories and 18 carbs! I'll leave the write up and nutrition on the  below.

Just add milk and blend for a delicious smoothie in minutes.
Yoplait® Frozen Smoothies are the perfect way to enjoy a refreshing, fruit smoothie any time of day. All you do is add milk and blend. They’re rich in nutrition with real fruit, live and active cultures, and calcium. Enjoy our five great tasting varieties.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 smoothie (8oz)

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 10
Calories 130

% Daily Values*
Total Fat 1g     2%
      Saturated Fat 0g     0%
      Trans Fat 0g    
Cholesterol -    
Sodium 30mg     1%
Total Carbohydrate 18g     6%
      Dietary Fiber 2g     8%
      Sugars 11g    
Protein 3g    

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Baked Salmon w/ Creamy Parmesan Risotto, Green Beans, and...

Today's Menu: Baked Salmon w/ Creamy Parmesan Risotto, Green Beans, and Whole Grain Bread

A beautiful day outside around here today and had a filling and healthy dinner tonight. I baked Salmon fillets that I seasoned with McCormick Grinder Sea Salt, McCormick Grinder Black Peppercorn, and Parsley. Baked them at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes. I topped them with a dab of Kraft Chipotle Mayo. For sides tonight we had Lundberg Low Fat Creamy Parmesan Risotto. Easy to make and only 140 calories and 27 carbs. I also had Green Beans and Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. For dessert later a serving of Breyer's Carb Smart Vanilla Ice Cream topped with Del Monte No Sugar Added Sliced Peaches.

One of America's Favorites - the HamBurger

A hamburger (also called a hamburger sandwich, burger or hamburg) is a sandwich consisting of a cooked patty of ground meat (usually beef, but occasionally pork or a combination of meats) usually placed inside a sliced bread roll. Hamburgers are often served with lettuce, bacon, tomato, onion, pickles, cheese and condiments such as mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup and relish.

The term "burger", can also be applied to the meat patty on its own, especially in the UK where the term "patty" is rarely used. The term may be prefixed with the type of meat as in "beef burger".

The term hamburger originally derives from Hamburg, Germany's second largest city, from where many people emigrated to the United States. In High German, Burg means fortified settlement or fortified refuge; and is a widespread component of place names. Hamburger can be a descriptive noun in German, referring to someone from Hamburg (compare London -> Londoner) or an adjective describing something from Hamburg. Similarly, frankfurter and wiener, names for other meat-based foods, are also used in Germany and Austria as descriptive nouns for people and as adjectives for things from the cities of Frankfurt and Wien (Vienna), respectively. The term "burger" is associated with many different types of sandwiches similar to a (ground beef) hamburger, using different meats, such as a buffalo burger, venison, kangaroo, turkey, elk, salmon burger or veggie burger.

The first printed American menu which listed hamburger was claimed to be an 1826 menu from Delmonico's in New York. However,the printer of the original menu was not in business in 1834.

Between 1871-1884, “Hamburg Beefsteak” was on the “Breakfast and Supper Menu” of the Clipper Restaurant at 311/313 Pacific Street in San Fernando. It cost 10 cents—the same price as mutton chops, pig’s feet in batter, and stewed veal. It was not, however, on the dinner menu, only “Pig’s Head” “Calf Tongue” and “Stewed Kidneys” were listed.

Hamburger Steak, Plain and Hamburger Steak with Onions, was served at the Tyrolean Alps Restaurant at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair.

According to the Library of Congress, Louis' Lunch, in New Haven, Connecticut, is the original American Hamburger, being served since 1895.

Texas historian Frank X. Tolbert attributes the American version of the Glasse cookbook to Fletcher Davis of Athens, Texas. Davis is believed to have sold hamburgers at his café at 115 Tyler Street in Athens, Texas in the late 1880s, then brought them to the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. An article about Louis' Lunch in The New York Times on January 12, 1974 stated that the McDonald's hamburger chain claims the inventor was an unknown food vendor at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. Tolbert's research documented that this vendor was in fact Fletcher Davis. Dairy Queen spokesman Bob Phillips made a similar claim for Dairy Queen in a commercial filmed in Athens in the 1980s calling the town the birthplace of the hamburger.

Residents of Hamburg, New York, which was named after Hamburg, Germany, attribute the hamburger to Ohioans Frank and Charles Menches. According to legend, the Menches brothers were vendors at the 1885 Erie County Fair (then called the Buffalo Fair) when they ran out of sausage for sandwiches and used beef instead. They named the result after the location of the fair. However, Frank Menches's obituary in The New York Times states instead that these events took place at the 1892 Summit County Fair in Akron, Ohio.

The Seymour Community Historical Society of Seymour, Wisconsin, credits Charlie Nagreen, now known as "Hamburger Charlie", with the invention of the hamburger. Nagreen was fifteen when he reportedly made sandwiches out of meatballs that he was selling at the 1885 Seymour Fair (now the Outagamie County Fair), so that customers could eat while walking. The Historical Society explains that Nagreen named the hamburger after the Hamburg steak with which local German immigrants were familiar.

The Library of Congress credits Louis Lassen of Louis' Lunch, a small lunch wagon in New Haven, Connecticut, for selling the first hamburger and steak sandwich in the U.S. in 1895. New York magazine states that, "The dish actually had no name until some rowdy sailors from Hamburg named the meat on a bun after themselves years later", noting also that this claim is subject to dispute.

There is good evidence that the first hamburger served on a bun was made by Oscar Weber Bilby of Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1891.

"In April of 1995, the Dallas Morning News reported Oklahoma author says Tulsa beats out Texas as the birthplace of delicacy. Michael Wallis, author of "Route 66, The Mother Road", was quoted by the newspaper to say he had discovered Tulsa's place in culinary history. The discovery was made while researching the state’s tastiest hamburgers. What better place to start than the restaurant that has been voted Tulsa's best burger more often than any other restaurant since 1933…Weber’s Root Beer Stand. Mr. Wallis’ research revealed that Oscar Weber Bilby was the first person to serve a real hamburger. On July 4, 1891, ground beef was served on his wife’s homemade buns. The Fourth of July party took place on his farm, just west of present day Tulsa. Until then, ground beef had been served in Athens, Texas on simple slices of bread, known presently and then as a "patty melt". According to the Tulsa-based author, the bun is essential. Therefore, in 1995, Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating cited Athens, Texas' feat of ground beef between two slices of bread to be a minor accomplishment. The Governor's April 1995 Proclamation also cites the first true hamburger on the bun, as meticulous research shows, was created and consumed in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1891. The Governor's Proclamation on April 13, 1995 cites Tulsa as "The Real Birthplace of the Hamburger."

The hamburger bun was invented in 1916 by a fry cook named Walter Anderson, who co-founded White Castle in 1921.

  *  1921 — White Castle, Wichita, Kansas. Due to widely prevalent anti-German sentiment in the U.S. during World War I, an alternative name for hamburgers was Salisbury steak. Following the war, hamburgers became unpopular until the White Castle restaurant chain marketed and sold large numbers of small 2.5-inch square hamburgers, known as sliders. They started to punch five holes in each patty, which help them cook evenly and eliminates the need to flip the burger. White Castle began in 1995 selling frozen hamburgers in convenience stores and vending machines.[29]
  * 1940 — McDonald's restaurant, San Bernardino, California, opened by Richard and Maurice McDonald. Their introduction of the "Speedee Service System" in 1948 established the principles of the modern fast-food restaurant. The McDonald brothers began franchising in 1953. In 1961, Ray Kroc (the supplier of their multi-mixer milkshake machines) purchased the company from the brothers for $2.7 million and a 1.9% royalty.

Hamburgers are usually a feature of fast food restaurants. The hamburgers served in major fast food establishments are usually mass-produced in factories and frozen for delivery to the site. These hamburgers are thin and of uniform thickness, differing from the traditional American hamburger prepared in homes and conventional restaurants, which is thicker and prepared by hand from ground beef. Generally most American hamburgers are round, but some fast-food chains, such as Wendy's, sell square-cut hamburgers. Hamburgers in fast food restaurants are usually grilled on a flat-top, but some firms, such as Burger King use a gas flame grilling process. At conventional American restaurants, hamburgers may be ordered "rare" (occasionally requiring the signing of a waiver), but normally are served medium-well or well-done for food safety reasons. Fast food restaurants do not usually offer this option.

The McDonald's fast-food chain sells the Big Mac, one of the world's top selling hamburgers. Other major fast-food chains, including Burger King (also known as Hungry Jack's in Australia), A&W, Culver's, Whataburger, Carl's Jr./Hardee's chain, Wendy's (known for their square patties), Jack in the Box, Cook Out, Harvey's, Shake Shack, In-N-Out Burger, Five Guys, Fatburger, Vera's, Burgerville, Back Yard Burgers, Lick's Homeburger, Roy Rogers, Smashburger and Sonic also rely heavily on hamburger sales. Fuddruckers and Red Robin are hamburger chains that specialize in mid-tier "restaurant-style" variety of hamburgers.

Some North American establishments offer a unique take on the hamburger beyond what is offered in fast food restaurants, using upscale ingredients such as sirloin or other steak along with a variety of different cheeses, toppings, and sauces. Some examples would be the Bobby's Burger Palace chain founded by well-known chef and Food Network star Bobby Flay.

Hamburgers are often served as a fast dinner, picnic or party food, and are usually cooked outdoors on barbecue grills.

Raw hamburger may contain harmful bacteria that can produce food-borne illness such as Escherichia coli O157:H7, due to the occasional initial improper preparation of the meat, so caution is needed during handling and cooking. Because of the potential for food-borne illness, the USDA recommends hamburgers be cooked to an internal temperature of 170 °F (80 °C). If cooked to this temperature, they are considered well-done.

A high-quality hamburger patty is made entirely of ground (minced) beef and seasonings; this may be described as an "all-beef hamburger" or "all-beef patties" to distinguish them from inexpensive hamburgers made with added flour, textured vegetable protein, ammonia treated defatted beef trimmings what the company Beef Products Inc, calls “lean finely textured beef”, Advanced meat recovery (see below: Health-related controversies) or other filler to decrease their cost. In the 1930s ground liver was sometimes added to the patties. Some cooks prepare their patties with binders, such as eggs or breadcrumbs. Seasonings may be included with the hamburger patty including salt and pepper, and others such as parsley, onions, soy sauce, Thousand Island dressing, onion soup mix, or Worcestershire sauce. Many name brand seasoned salt products are also used.

Burgers can also be made with patties made from ingredients other than beef. For example, a turkey burger uses ground turkey meat, a chicken burger uses ground chicken meat. A buffalo burger uses ground meat from a bison, and an ostrich burger is made from ground seasoned ostrich meat. A deer burger uses ground venison from deer.

Rehydrated textured vegetable protein, TVP, has a more than 50 year safe-track record of inexpensively extending ground beef for hamburgers, without reducing its nutritional value.

A veggie burger, garden burger, or tofu burger uses a meat analogue, a meat substitute such as tofu, TVP, seitan (wheat gluten), quorn, beans, grains or an assortment of vegetables, ground up and mashed into patties.

In 2011, a Japanese scientist named Mitsuyuki created a synthetic burger made from human feces. The "burger" consisted of synthesized protein with soya and steak sauce for taste preservation. Mitsuyuki claimed the taste was similar to beef, and explained that the makeup of the burger was 63 percent protein, 25 percent carbohydrates, three percent lipids and nine percent minerals.

In the United States and Canada, burgers may be classified as two main types: fast food hamburgers and individually prepared burgers made in homes and restaurants. The latter are traditionally prepared "with everything", which includes lettuce, tomato, onion, and often sliced pickles (or pickle relish). Coleslaw and french fries usually accompany the burger. Cheese (usually processed cheese slices but often Cheddar, Swiss, pepper jack, or blue), either melted on the meat patty or crumbled on top, is generally an option.

Condiments might be added to a hamburger or may be offered separately on the side including mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, salad dressings and barbecue sauce.

Other toppings include bacon, avocado or guacamole, sliced sautéed mushrooms, cheese sauce and/or chili (usually without beans), fried egg, scrambled egg, feta cheese, blue cheese, salsa, pineapple, jalapenos and other kinds of chile peppers, anchovies, slices of ham or bologna, pastrami or teriyaki-seasoned beef, tartar sauce, french fries, onion rings or potato chips.

Standard toppings on hamburgers may depend upon location, particularly at restaurants that are not national or regional franchises. A "Texas burger" uses mustard as the only sauce, and comes with or without vegetables, jalapeno slices, and cheese. In the Upper Midwest, particularly Wisconsin, burgers are often made with a buttered bun, butter as one of the ingredients of the patty or with a pat of butter on top of the burger patty. This is called a "butter burger". In the Carolinas, for instance, a Carolina-style hamburger "with everything" may be served with cheese, chili, onions, mustard, and coleslaw. National chain Wendy's sells a "Carolina Classic" burger with these toppings in these areas. In Hawaii hamburgers are often topped with teriyaki sauce, derived from the Japanese-American culture, and locally grown pineapple. Waffle House claims on its menus and website to offer 70,778,880 different ways of serving a hamburger. In portions of the Midwest and East coast, a hamburger served with lettuce, tomato, and onion is called a "California burger". This usage is sufficiently widespread to appear on the menus of Dairy Queen. In the Western U.S., a "California" burger often means a cheeseburger, with guacamole and bacon added. Pastrami burgers may be served in Salt Lake City, Utah.

*A hamburger with two patties is called a "double decker" or simply a "double", a hamburger with three patties is called a "triple". Doubles and triples are often combined with cheese and sometimes with bacon, yielding a "double cheeseburger" or a "triple bacon cheeseburger", or alternatively, a "bacon double or triple cheeseburger".

*A hamburger smothered in red or green chile is called a slopper.

*A patty melt consists of a patty, sautéed onions and cheese between two slices of rye bread. The sandwich is then buttered and fried.

*A slider is a very small square hamburger patty sprinkled with diced onions and served on an equally small bun. According to the earliest citations, the name originated aboard U.S. Navy ships, due of the way greasy burgers slid across the galley grill while the ship pitched and rolled. Other versions claim the term "slider" originated from the hamburgers served by flight line galleys at military airfields, which were so greasy they slid right through you; or because their small size allows them to "slide" right down your throat in one or two bites.

*In Alberta, Canada a "kubie burger" is a hamburger made with a pressed Ukrainian sausage (kubasa).

*In Minnesota, a "Juicy Lucy", or "Jucy Lucy", is a hamburger having cheese inside the meat patty rather than on top. A piece of cheese is surrounded by raw meat and cooked until it melts, resulting in a molten core of cheese within the patty. This scalding hot cheese tends to gush out at the first bite, so servers frequently warn patrons to let the sandwich cool for a few minutes before consumption.

*A low carb burger is a hamburger where the bun is omitted and large pieces of lettuce are used in its place, with mayonnaise and/or mustard being the sauces primarily used.

The McDonald's Big Mac

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ground Pork Pesto Burger w/ Baked Crinkle Fries

Today's Menu: Ground Pork Pesto Burger w/  Baked Crinkle Fries

I love these Ground Pork Burgers the taste is fantastic, the pesto mixed in with the Pork is a perfect match! I had made up several of these and froze them. So after thawing I fried the Burger in Extra Virgin Olive Oil about 4 minutes per side. It came out moist and juicy bursting with flavor. I topped it with Sauteed Mushrooms, reduced Kraft Mayo, a teaspoon of Basil Pesto Sauce, and a slice of Smoked Gouda Cheese and served it on a Healthy Life Whole Grain Bun. I left the recipe at the end of the post.  As a side I had Baked Ore Ida Crinkle Fries. I also had a bottle of the new Snapple Drink, Half and Half Iced Tea & Lemonade Diet Snapple. Plus it’s only 10 calories and 0 carbs! For dessert later a slice of Pillsbury Nut Quick Bread.

Ground Pork Burgers
(Makes 4 Burgers)

1 LB. Ground Pork (I used a 93/7 Blend)
1/4 Cup Basil Pesto (You can add more or less to taste)
1/4 cup Italian Style Bread Crumbs
Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper, to taste
4 Slices of Smoked Gouda Cheese, Optional
Lettuce, sliced Tomato optional


* In a mixing bowl add your bread crumbs, pesto, and ground pork. Mix together and form into 4 Burgers
* Spray a large skillet and heat on medium heat and add 1/2 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* Fry the Burgers to your liking, I fried these for about 4 minutes per side.
* Serve on a Bun of your choice (I used Healthy Life Whole Grain Buns). Add Reduced or Lite Mayo and Slice of Smoked Gouda Cheese.

Bob Evans Turkey Sausage Links

Bob Evans Turkey Sausage Links

Came across the Bob Evans Turkey Sausage Links last week at Meijer and I really like them. They come 10 to a box and Fully Cooked so their a breeze to prepare. Warm by microwave (1 minute) or in a skillet (8 minutes). They taste fantastic! I prefer warming them in a skillet. Plus their only 70 calories and 0 carbs per serving (2 Sausage Links). I had them this morning with a Healthy Life Whole Grain English Muffin. I'll be stocking up on these.

Nutrition Facts

    Serving Size 2 Links
    Servings Per Container 5

    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 70Calories from Fat 35
    % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 3.5g5%
    Saturated Fat 1g5%
    Trans Fat 0g
    Cholesterol 30mg10%
    Sodium 340mg14%
    Total Carbohydrate 0g0%
    Dietary Fiber 0g0%
    Sugars 0g
    Protein 9g


Turkey, Water, Sea Salt, Contains 2% Or Less Of The Following: Cane Sugar, Natural Flavoring, Spices, Formed In A Collagen Casing.

American Diabetes Association Alert Day®

American Diabetes Association Alert Day® is a one-day "wake-up call” asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Held on the fourth Tuesday of every March, the next Alert Day will be held on March 27, 2012.

For every Diabetes Risk Test taken, Boar’s Head® - manufacturer of premium delicatessen products - will donate $5 to the American Diabetes Association starting March 27 through April 27, 2012, up to $50,000.

The Diabetes Risk Test asks users to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risk factors for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Preventative tips are provided for everyone who takes the test, including encouraging those at high risk to talk with their health care provider.

Although Alert Day is a one-day event, the Diabetes Risk Test is available year-round.

What is Diabetes Alert Day?

American Diabetes Association Alert Day, which is held every fourth Tuesday in March, is a one-day "wake-up call" asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Why is Alert Day important?

Diabetes is a serious disease that strikes nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States, and a quarter of them – 7 million – do not even know they have it. An additional 79 million, or one in three American adults, have prediabetes, which puts them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Unfortunately, diagnosis often comes 7 to 10 years after the onset of the disease, after disabling and even deadly complications have had time to develop. Therefore, early diagnosis is critical to succesful treatment and delaying or preventing some of its complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and death.
Who should participate in Alert Day?

Everyone should be aware of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes. People who are overweight, under active (living a sedentary lifestyle) and over the age of 45 should consider themselves at a higher risk for the disease. African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and people who have a family history of the disease also are at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes.

Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can often be prevented or delayed by losing just 7% of body weight (such as 15 pounds if you weigh 200) through regular physical activity (30 minutes a day, five days a week) and healthy eating. By understanding your risk, you can take the necessary steps to help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Bison Sirloin Steak, Eggs, and Hash Browns - Oh My!

Today's Menu: Bison Sirloin Steak, Eggs, and Hash Browns

It just felt like the thing to do for dinner tonight, Breakfast! And what a Breakfast, or dinner, it was. I had a Bison Sirloin Steak that I seasoned with McCormick Grinder Steakhouse Seasoning and pan fried in Extra Virgin Olive Oil about 4 minutes per side. I also had a side of J B's Fat Boy Chipotle Barbecue Sauce to kick it up a bit. I love this sauce it gives you some nice heat but it doesn't over power or take away from your food's flavor.

Along with the Steak I had Simply Potatoes Hash Browns that I seasoned with Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper. I topped them with some freshly grated Smoked Dutch Gouda Cheese, which in my opinion goes well with anything! I also had an Egg that was seasoned with the Sea Salt and Pepper, served Sunny Side Up. To top everything off I had 2 slices of toasted Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread topped with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter and a glass of Tropicana Heavy Pulp Orange Juice. For dessert later a slice of Pillsbury Nut Quick Bread topped with a scoop of Breyer's Carb Smart Vanilla Ice Cream. I had previously made the Quick Bread in a mini loaf pan and had it in the freezer. The Breyer's Carb Smart Ice Cream is only 90 calories and 13 carbs per serving!   

Cheese of the Week - Baby Swiss

Baby Swiss

Its appearance and texture is ivory to pale yellow. It is a creamy cheese with small holes and it melts well when shredded. Baby Swiss has a buttery, slightly nutty and sweet flavor. It goes well with sweet fruits and berries croissants and muffins, white and red wine, juices and even ice-cold milk.

Country: American cheese    

Milk: cow milk

Texture: semi-soft

Baby Swiss is an American cheese closely related to traditional Swiss cheese, the generic name for the family of holey cheeses popular all around the world. What sets Baby Swiss apart from its close relative is its mild taste and smooth, creamy texture. It has smaller "eyes" (the holes in Swiss cheese).

Baby Swiss cheese originated in the mid 1960s outside of Charm, Ohio, and was invented by cheese connoisseur Alfred Guggisberg, an alumnus of the Swiss Federal “Molkereishulle” (cheese maker’s institute). The name Baby Swiss was coined by Alfred’s wife, Margaret Guggisberg, who thought that in comparison to the larger wheels of traditional Swiss cheese, when placed side by side, the new cheese looked like a baby.

Swiss cheeses are formed and flavored through the breaking down of lactic acid by bacteria, which generate carbon dioxide bubbles in the cheese as it ages. One of the key differences when it comes to making Baby Swiss, as opposed to traditional Swiss, is that it is aged only for a matter of weeks, whereas old-fashioned Swiss is typically aged for months, time varying depending on the desired sharpness of the cheese.

Baby Swiss is most commonly enjoyed in the United States, but can also be found in Europe and Australia. Most common uses include snacking, slicing for sandwiches, and melting for fondue. Locals of the area where Baby Swiss originated also commonly pair it with Trail Bologna, another local staple.

Grilled Mushroom and Baby Swiss


1 tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
14 cup     Baby Spinach (optional)
14 cup fresh Mushrooms (sliced)
Sea Salt
Black Pepper   
2 slices Bread, Whole Grain
1 tbsp softened Butter, i Can't Believe It's Not Butter
2 slices Baby Swiss Cheese

1 Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook and stir mushrooms and spinach until mushrooms are tender and spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper; set aside.
2 Spread one side of each bread slice with butter. Place one bread slice, buttered side down, into the skillet. Top with the Swiss cheese, then spread the mushroom mixture on top of the cheese. Cover with the second slice of bread, buttered side up. Cook until the sandwich is golden brown on both sides, turning once. Cut in half and serve hot.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Crock Pot Baby Back Ribs w/ Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Asparagus, and...

Dinner Tonight: Crock Pot BBQ Baby Back Ribs w/ Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Asparagus, and Whole Grain Bread

What better for a Sunday Dinner than "No Knife Needed" Crock Pot Baby Back Ribs! I had purchased some Pork Loin Back Ribs at Meijer earlier this week and was looking forward  to having them today. I seasoned the Ribs with JB’s Fat Boy Premium Rub and then brushed a half a bottle of JB’s Fat Boy Haugwaush Bar B Cue Sauce. I cooked the ribs for 8 hours on low in the crock pot. After 5 hours I applied the other half of Haugwaush to the Ribs.  The ribs came out perfect! Tender fall off the bone delicious. No knife needed as the bones could be removed by just pulling on them.

For sides we had some Bob Evan's Mashed Potatoes, fresh Roasted Asparagus, and Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. Love those Bob Evan's Mashed Potatoes, their hard to beat for convince and taste. I roasted the Asparagus at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes. I seasoned them with Sea Salt, Ground Black Pepper, and topped them with Kraft Shredded Parmesan Cheese. I also had Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. For dessert/snack later a 100 Calorie Mini Bag of Jolly Time Pop Corn.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

BBQ Chicken Pizza Night

Dinner Tonight: BBQ Chicken Pizza!

It was BBQ Chicken Pizza for dinner tonight! This is one delicious Pizza. The Chicken, Gouda Cheese, 2% Mozzarella Cheese, Pita Bread and J B‘s Fat Boy Sticky Stuff Sauce makes an incredible Pizza and then add in the Mushrooms, Pineapple Bits, and Black Olives, Too good! A note about the Gouda Cheese, I love this cheese! It melts perfectly. If you like ooey, gooey cheese you have to try this one. For the Chicken I used a Kroger Rotissiarie Chicken. I pulled all the meat and shredded it. I seasoned it with Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper. I also used Wheat Pita Breads from Meijer Bakery.Easy to fix and done in minutes from the oven. A lot healthier than frozen or Delivery Pizza also. I left the recipe below.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Makes 2 Pizzas

1 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Rotissiaire Chicken or 2 baked Boneless Chicken Breasts
1 Cup Barbecue Sauce (recommended: J B’s Fat Boy Sticky Stuff BBQ Sauce)
2 Wheat or Whole Wheat Pita Bread
4 Medium Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced thin
2 tablespoons of Pineapple Bits, I used Dole pineapple Bits
1 Can Sliced Black Olives, 1 Tablespoon on each Pizza
1 Cup Shredded Gouda, I used Murray’s Dutch Gouda
1/2 Cup Shredded 2% Mozzarella


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Remove the skin and pull and shred all the meat from the Rotissiaire  Chicken and store in a bowl or plastic container. After pulling all the meat add 1/2 cup of the BBQ Sauce and mix until the Chicken is coated.

Build the Pizza. Brush Pita Bread with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add remaining 1/2 cup BBQ Sauce and brush it on the Pita Breads. Add layer of the shredded Chicken, Black Olives, Sliced Mushrooms, Pineapple Bits, Shredded 2% Mozzarella and Shredded Gouda Cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees until Cheese is melted and pizza is warmed. Enjoy!

It was a PBJ Lunch Today

I love Peanut Butter! My favorite is Jif Smooth Reduced Fat Peanut Butter. I love eating it by the spoonful, spreading it on Apples or Celery, or my favorite a PBJ Sandwich. In this case the "J" stands for Jam. I used Jif Smooth Reduced Fat Peanut Butter and then topped it with Smucker's Sugar free Blackberry Jam. If you've never tried any of the Smucker's Sugarless Jams and Jellies your missing out! I put everything on a couple of Toasted Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread slices. I had a couple of slices of a Gala Apple on the side.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fish Sandwich w/ Baked Seasoned Crinkle Fries

Dinner Tonight: Fish Sandwich w/ Baked Seasoned Crinkle Fries

A little Fish and Chips on the menu tonight! I had a Fish Sandwich  and used Trident PubHouse Battered Cod. I always buy a couple of boxes of this when I'm at Jungle Jim's Market, it's the only place I've come across that sells it here locally. They have all different types and breading of Fish fillets. I like the Battered Cod because it's a little lower in calories and carbs. All taste delicious. I baked the Cod at 425 degrees for 16 minutes, turning once. I left a write up on Trident at the end of the post. I topped the Cod with Lettuce and Heinz Premium Tartar Sauce. Then served on a Healthy Life Whole grain Bun. For a side I had baked Ore Ida Seasoned Crinkle Fries. For dessert later I'm going with all fruit later tonight, Mini Banana and some White Seedless Grapes.

Trident PubHouse Battered Cod

Trident Seafoods is a vertically integrated harvester, processor and marketer of seafood from Alaska, the Pacific Northwest and around the world.

Founded in 1973, we are a privately held, American owned corporation operating offshore processors and shore-side plants throughout Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.

We are proud to offer you our finest seafood products, “From the Source to the Plate®.”

Hot Dog Roller and Toaster

Well I broke down and purchased a Hot Dog Roller and Toaster! Another one of those "Set it and forget it" kitchen gadgets, which I love. I tried it out for lunch and it works great! It has a timer you set depending on how done you want your dogs and a bun warmer to heat those buns up! I left the product description below, I purchased through Amazon.

Hot Dog Roller and Toaster
by HLA

Cook grilled-to-perfection ball park quality hot dogs at home - complete with a golden toasted bun! Ever wonder why hot dogs always taste the best at ball games, carnivals and fairs? It's the way they're cooked! Bite into a hot dog prepared with this quality hot dog oven and toaster and you'll be in hot dog heaven. The stainless steel motorized rollers grill hot dogs evenly all the way around for absolute perfection. Pop the buns in the toaster oven below and they're warm and toasted for that one-of-a-kind taste. Great for heating other breads & snacks too. Features 210 total watts of power, auto thermostat, timer, aluminum tray to cook veggies and more, aluminum grease tray that removes for easy cleaning, see through oven door and compact design that's just 12-1/2 x 7 x 7-1/2.

Almond Cheesecake Bars

Came across this on several sites and they looked and sounded too good and they are Diabetes Friendly! Only 120 calories and 8 carbs. I left the link to one of the web sites where it's listed.

Almond Cheesecake Bars

1/4 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
1 1/4 cups graham cracker or vanilla wafer crumbs
1/3 cup light butter, melted
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds, finely ground

12 ounces reduced fat cream cheese
1/2 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
2 large eggs
1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup toasted, sliced almonds

    Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Spray an 8x8 pan with non-stick cooking spray.
    Mix crust ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Mix well. Press into prepared pan. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until firm.
    Mix cream cheese and SPLENDA® Granulated Sweetener together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl, and mixing well after each addition. Add sour cream and extracts; mix well. Pour over prepared crust.
    Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 47 minutes, or until firm.
    Top with toasted almonds.

Makes 20 bars.
Preparation Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 14 Minutes

Nutrition Info Per Serving (1 bar): Calories 120 | Calories from Fat 70 | Fat 8g (sat 3.5g) | Cholesterol 35mg | Sodium 105mg | Carbohydrates 8g | Fiber 0g | Sugars 4g | Protein 4g

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Turkey Pastrami & Colby Long Horn Cheese Wrap w/ Cream of Tomato Soup

Dinner Tonight: Turkey Pastrami & Colby Long Horn Cheese Wrap w/ Cream of Tomato Soup

It was Sandwich and Soup night!  I had a Turkey Pastrami & Colby Longhorn Cheese Wrap and Cream of Tomato Soup. I used the Hungry Girl Whole Wheat w/ Flax Foldit Flatbread. Love these Wraps, they taste great and are only 90 calories and 15 carbs. I made the wrap with Boar's Head Turkey Pastrami. I topped it with Colby Long Horn Cheese, Kraft Low Fat Mayo, and French’s Yellow Mustard.

For the soup I used Amy’s  Organic Light in Sodium – Cream of Tomato Soup, which is one of the tastiest Tomato Soup I have ever had from a can. Not only great tasting but it’s only 110 calories and 19 carbs! For dessert later a Jello Sugar Free Chocolate Pudding topped with Cool Whip Free.

Amy’s Organic Light in Sodium – Cream of Tomato Soup

Responding to customer requests, our chefs have created a line of Light in Sodium soups with all the flavor and goodness of our regular soups, but containing 50% less sodium. Contains 340 mg of sodium compared to 690 mg in Amy’s regular cream of tomato soup. No GMOs – No bioengineered ingredients. All dairy ingredients are made with pasteurized, rBST hormone free milk. USDA organic. Certified organic by QAI. Ready serve. Gluten free. This Cream of Tomato Soup is made from organic sun-ripened tomatoes slowly simmered to bring out their natural sweetness. Amy’s dad says it’s the best reduced sodium tomato soup he’s ever eaten. We’re sure that you’ll agree.

Contains 340mg of sodium compared to 690mg in Amy’s regular Cream of Tomato soup.

Ingredients : 0g Trans Fat/No Added MSG/No Preservatives Organic tomato puree, filtered water, organic cream, organic evaporated cane juice, organic onions, sea salt, organic black pepper. Contains milk.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1 cup
Servings Per Container: ~ 2
Serving Weight: 1 cup
Product UPC: 0-42272-00581-9
Calories: 110     Calories from Fat: 25
Total Fat: 2.5g
Saturated Fat: 1.5g
Trans Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 10mg
Sodium: 340mg
Carbohydrates: 19g
Fiber: 3g
Sugars: 13g
Protein: 3g
Organic: 10%
Vitamin A: 20% • Vitamin C: 15%
Calcium: 4% • Iron: 10%

One of America's Favorite - The Hot dog

Grilled hot dogs
A hot dog is a sausage served in a sliced bun. It is very often garnished with mustard, ketchup, onions, mayonnaise, relish, and/or sauerkraut.

Claims about hot dog invention are difficult to assess, as stories assert the creation of the sausage, the placing of the sausage (or another kind of sausage) on bread or a bun as finger food, the popularization of the existing dish, or the application of the name "hot dog" to a sausage and bun combination most commonly used with ketchup or mustard and sometimes relish.

The word frankfurter comes from Frankfurt, Germany, where pork sausages served in a bun similar to hot dogs originated. These sausages, Frankfurter Würstchen, were known since the 13th century and given to the people on the event of imperial coronations, starting with the coronation of Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor as King. Wiener refers to Vienna, Austria, whose German name is "Wien", home to a sausage made of a mixture of pork and beef (cf. Hamburger, whose name also derives from a German-speaking city). Johann Georg Lahner, a 18th/19th century butcher from the Franconian city of Coburg, is said to have brought the Frankfurter Würstchen to Vienna, where he added beef to the mixture and simply called it Frankfurter. Nowadays, in German speaking countries, except Austria, hot dog sausages are called Wiener or Wiener Würstchen (Würstchen means "little sausage"), in differentiation to the original pork only mixture from Frankfurt. In Swiss German, it is called Wienerli, while in Austria the terms Frankfurter or Frankfurter Würstel are used.

Around 1870, on Coney Island, German immigrant Charles Feltman began selling sausages in rolls.

Others have supposedly invented the hot dog. The idea of a hot dog on a bun is ascribed to the wife of a German named Antonoine Feuchtwanger, who sold hot dogs on the streets of St. Louis, Missouri, United States, in 1880, because his customers kept taking the white gloves handed to them for eating without burning their hands. Anton Ludwig Feuchtwanger, a Bavarian sausage seller, is said to have served sausages in rolls at the World's Fair–either the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago or the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St Louis–again allegedly because the white gloves he gave to customers so that they could eat his hot sausages in comfort began to disappear as souvenirs.

The association between hot dogs and baseball began as early as 1893 with Chris von der Ahe, a German immigrant who owned not only the St. Louis Browns, but also an amusement park.

Another claim of inventing the hot dog is told by Harry M. Stevens, an American sports concessionaire whose vendors sold German sausages and rolls to spectators at the old New York Polo Grounds during the winter. He called them "Dachshund sandwiches", but a New York Post cartoonist "couldn't spell dachshund, so when he drew the cartoon, he called them hot dogs."

In 1916, a German American employee of Feltman's named Nathan Handwerker was encouraged by celebrity clients Eddie Cantor and Jimmy Durante to go into business in competition with his former employer. Handwerker undercut Feltman's by charging five cents for a hot dog when his former employer was charging ten.

At an earlier time in food regulation the hot dog suspect, Handwerker made sure that men wearing surgeon's smocks were seen eating at Nathan's Famous to reassure potential customers.

The term "dog" has been used as a synonym for sausage since 1884 and accusations that sausage makers used dog meat date to at least 1845. In the early 20th century, consumption of dog meat in Germany was common. The suspicion that sausages contained dog meat was "occasionally justified".

According to a myth, the use of the complete phrase "hot dog" in reference to sausage was coined by the newspaper cartoonist Thomas Aloysius "TAD" Dorgan around 1900 in a cartoon recording the sale of hot dogs during a New York Giants baseball game at the Polo Grounds. However, TAD's earliest usage of "hot dog" was not in reference to a baseball game at the Polo Grounds, but to a bicycle race at Madison Square Garden, in The New York Evening Journal December 12, 1906, by which time the term "hot dog" in reference to sausage was already in use. In addition, no copy of the apocryphal cartoon has ever been found.

The earliest known usage of "hot dog" in clear reference to sausage, found by Fred R. Shapiro, appeared in the December 31, 1892 issue of the Paterson (NJ) Daily Press. The story concerned a local traveling vendor, Thomas Francis Xavier Morris, also known as "Hot Dog Morris".

    Somehow or other a frankfurter and a roll seem to go right to the spot where the void is felt the most. The small boy has got on such familiar terms with this sort of lunch that he now refers to it as "hot dog." "Hey, Mister, give me a hot dog quick," was the startling order that a rosy-cheeked gamin hurled at the man as a Press reporter stood close by last night. The "hot dog" was quickly inserted in a gash in a roll, a dash of mustard also splashed on to the "dog" with a piece of flat whittled stick, and the order was fulfilled.
    —Paterson Daily Press, Dec. 31, 1892, pg. 5

Other early uses of "hot dog" in reference to sausage appeared in the New Brunswick (NJ) Daily Times (May 20, 1893), the New York World (May 26, 1893), and the Knoxville (TN) Journal (Sep. 28, 1893).

Common hot dog ingredients include:

    Meat trimmings and fat
    Flavorings, such as salt, garlic, and paprika
    Preservatives (cure) - typically sodium erythorbate and sodium nitrite

Pork and beef are the traditional meats used in hot dogs. Less expensive hot dogs are often made from chicken or turkey, using low cost mechanically separated poultry. Hot dogs often have high sodium, fat and nitrite content, ingredients linked to health problems. Changes in meat technology and dietary preferences have led manufacturers to use turkey, chicken, vegetarian meat substitutes, and to lower the salt content.

If a manufacturer produces two types of hot dogs, "wieners" tend to contain pork and are blander, while "franks" tend to be all beef and more strongly seasoned.

Hot dogs are prepared commercially by mixing the ingredients (meats, spices, binders and fillers) in vats where rapidly moving blades grind and mix the ingredients in the same operation. This mixture is forced through tubes into casings for cooking. Most hot dogs sold in the US are "skinless" as opposed to more expensive "natural casing" hot dogs.

As with most sausages, hot dogs must be in a casing to be cooked. Traditional casing is made from the small intestines of sheep. The products are known as "natural casing" hot dogs or frankfurters. These hot dogs have firmer texture and a "snap" that releases juices and flavor when the product is bitten.

Kosher casings are expensive in commercial quantities in the US, so kosher hot dogs are usually skinless or made with reconstituted collagen casings.

"Skinless" hot dogs must use a casing in the cooking process when the product is manufactured, but the casing is usually a long tube of thin cellulose that is removed between cooking and packaging. This process was invented in Chicago in 1925 by Erwin O. Freund, founder of Visking which would later become Viskase Companies.

The first skinless hot dog casings were produced by Freund's new company under the name "Nojax", short for "no jackets" and sold to local Chicago sausage makers.

Skinless hot dogs vary in the texture of the product surface but have a softer "bite" than natural casing hot dogs. Skinless hot dogs are more uniform in shape and size than natural casing hot dogs and less expensive.

Hot dogs are prepared and eaten in a variety of ways. The wieners may be boiled, grilled, fried, steamed, broiled, baked, or microwaved. The cooked wiener may be served on a bun (usually topped with condiments), or it may be used as an ingredient in another dish.

In the US, "hot dog" may refer to just the sausage or to the combination of a sausage in a bun. There have been many nicknames for hot dogs that have popped up over the years. A hot dog can often be seen under the names of frankfurter, frank, red hot, wiener, weenie, durger, coney, or just "dog".

Common hot dog condiments include ketchup, mustard, chile con carne, pickle relish, sauerkraut, onion, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and chili peppers, or just plain.

The US-based National Sausage and Hot Dog Council in 2005 found mustard to be the most popular condiment, with 32 percent of respondents preferring it; 23 percent of Americans said they preferred ketchup, chili con carne came in third at 17 percent, followed by relish at 9 percent and onions at 7 percent. Southerners showed the strongest preference for chili, while Midwesterners showed the greatest affinity for ketchup." Condiments vary across the country. All-beef Chicago-style hot dogs are topped with mustard, fresh tomatoes, onions, sport peppers, bright green relish, dill pickles, and celery salt, but they exclude ketchup.

Many variations are named after regions other than the one in which they are popular. Italian hot dogs popular in New Jersey include peppers, onions, and potatoes. Meaty Michigan hot dogs are popular in upstate New York (as are white hots), while beefy Coney Island hot dogs are popular in Michigan. In New York City, conventional hot dogs are available on Coney Island, as are bagel dogs. Hot wieners, or weenies, are a staple in Rhode Island. Texas hot dogs are spicy variants found in upstate New York and Pennsylvania (and as "all the way dogs" in New Jersey), but not Texas.

Some baseball parks have signature hot dogs, such as Fenway Franks at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts and Dodger Dogs at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. The Fenway signature is that the hot dog is boiled and grilled Fenway-style, and then served on a New England-style bun, covered with ketchup and relish. Often during Red Sox games, vendors traverse the stadium selling the hot dogs plain, giving customers the choice of adding the condiments.

A Detroit Coney Island hot dog with chili, onion and mustard.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Baked Salmon w/ Loaded Baked Potato Casserole, Shellie Beans, and...

Dinner Tonight: Baked Salmon w/ Loaded Baked Potato Casserole, Shellie Beans, and Whole Grain Bread

Ahhh, Lifes getting back to normal around here. Mom's out of the Hospital and Dad is feeling better, time to cook! I baked Salmon fillets that I seasoned with Parsley, McCormick Grinder Sea Salt and Black Peppercorn. Baked on 400 degrees for about 12 minutes. The Salmon came from Meijer Sea Food. I really like Meijer, always fresh and very good prices. The fillets as you can tell by the pictures were very good size, plenty for leftovers.

For sides I had Idahoan Loaded Potato Casserole. I added some Crumbled Turkey Bacon to it also. Along with the potatoes I had a can of Libby's Shellie Beans and Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. For dessert later a Skinny Cow Low Calorie Fudge Pop.

Cheese of the Week - Asiago


Asiago is made in the region of Vicenza and Trento. It is a traditional, farmhouse and creamery, unpasteurized, hard cheese. Originally made of ewe's milk, now is made entirely of cow's milk. There are two types of Asiago: first one (mistakenly taken for Pressato) is a lightly pressed cheese made from whole milk matured for 20-30 days. Another one (Asiago d'Allevo) is the mature cheese made with skimmed milk. Long and slow maturation process creates fruity, slightly sharp cheese with a compact, granular interior full of small holes. Matured over 2 years, becomes intensely flavored. Can be grated and used as a condiment.

Country: Italy
Milk: cow milk
Texture: hard
Recommended Wine: Bardolino

Asiago s an Italian cow's milk cheese that can assume different textures, according to its aging, from smooth for the fresh Asiago (Asiago Pressato) to a crumbly texture for the aged cheese (Asiago d'allevo) of which the flavor is reminiscent of Parmesan. The aged cheese is often grated in salads, soups, pastas, and sauces while the fresh Asiago is sliced to prepare panini or sandwiches; it can also be melted on a variety of dishes.

As Asiago has a protected designation of origin (Denominazione di Origine Protetta or DOP, see below), the only "official" Asiago is produced in the alpine area of the town of Asiago, province of Vicenza, in the Veneto region. Asiago cheese is one of the most typical products of the Veneto region. It was, and still is, the most popular and widely used cheese in the DOP area where it is produced. The production area is strictly defined: it starts from the meadows of the Po Valley and finishes in the Alpine pastures between the Asiago Plateau and the Trentino's highlands. The officially designated area where the milk is collected and Asiago DOP cheese is produced, extends to four provinces in the north-east of Italy: the entire area of Vicenza and Trento and part of the provinces of Padua and Treviso. Asiago cheese which is produced and matured in dairies located more than 600 metres above sea level, using milk from farms also more than 600 meters above sea level, is entitled to the additional label “Product of the Mountains". Many imitations of Asiago, however, are produced elsewhere using different techniques and cultures that produce a cheese of a similar aspect but with a totally different taste.

The origin of Asiago cheese is very ancient like the history of the zone where it was born, which was colonized from the beginning of the Middle Ages. Conventionally its birth is dated around the year one thousand; in fact there are rare testimonies coming from the Asiago highland related to the preceding centuries.

During the tenth to fifteenth centuries in this region, known for its good grass, sheep raising was the predominant agricultural activity, the purpose of which was the production of savory cheese (at the beginning called “Pegorin”), and the wool production, destined for the textile works of the near valley (Valdagno, Schio, Piovene Rocchette..).

The sheep started to be replaced by cattle around 1500 as a consequence of the breeding’s modernization (especially thanks to the passage from the exploitation of the pasture to the care of the cut lawns); bovine milk replaced completely that of sheep in this region's cheeses, only in the 19th century.

During this period, the traditional cheese technique, today still preserved in the farms of the Plateau, is improved and thanks to the modern technology it also spread in the small and mid-sized dairies outspread in the territory of Asiago. The Asiago cheese production remains predominant in the Asiago Plateau until the nineteenth century; afterwards the production was also adopted in the neighboring lowland zone and in the near farms of Trentino.

One of the greatest causes of the production’s diffusion was the war events that caused a huge depopulation of the zone. Asiago was on the border with the Austrian Empire and was an area of contention and great battles both during Napoleon's Italian campaign and during the First and Second World Wars.

The Consorzio Tutela Formaggio Asiago, which is based in Vicenza, was set up in 1979 to control the quality of Asiago cheese, to make sure the designations, markings and seals are used correctly and to raise awareness of the cheese in Italy and abroad. It represents more than forty cheese makers and cheese aging facilities, or affineurs.

Pressed Asiago

This type is produced by using fresh whole milk. The first step is heating milk at 35 °C; then specific enzymes and rennet are added as liquid solution and the milk starts to coagulate; so the batter is knead partially cooked: the curd obtained is broken into many little parts (of the size of a nut); after this operation the paste is baked again at approximately 45 ° C . Later this the mixture is put into shapes with perforated walls; afterwards there is a first dry salting and then any mold is squeezed with a press, usually hydraulic, for about four hours. Then the rounds are wrapped laterally with plastic bands (which put the brand Asiago around the entire form) and are placed in a room called "Frescura" for about 2 or 3 days to dry. At this point the bandages are removed to allow one last curing by a bath in brine for a period of two days. Then the forms are allowed to rest in a dry environment for a period ranging from 20 to 40 days. The finished cheese has a cylindrical shape with a diameter of 30-40 cm and height about 15 cm. The average weight of a shape is 11-15 kg. The crust is thin and elastic; dough inside is soft, buttery, white or slightly yellowish. The sweet and delicate taste reminds of cream and fresh milk. Excellent as table cheese, but also for culinary uses. The origins of this type of Asiago date back to the past century, following the tastes-changing of modern consumers. It’s a cheese that has achieved fame and a considerable amount of production which continues to grow.

Asiago d'Allevo

This type is produced by using a mixture of whole milk and skimmed milk. First the raw milk is heated at about 35 degrees and rennet and enzymes are added as a liquid solution to make it coagulate. The batter obtained is then kneaded and partially cooked: the curd is broken into many small parts (of the size of a grain of rice). At this stage there are two other firings: to 40 and 47 degrees. The paste is removed from the heat, stirred with a huge whisk and then the curd is extracted and placed in moulds lined with cheesecloths for forming. It is divided up and left to rest for a couple of hours on a draining table and then the cheese is turned several times. The pre-salting stage then takes place where the last whey is removed and the DOP logo is impressed onto the side. This process takes a couple of days (at least 48 hours) and during this time the wheels are turned several times. The cheese is then salted in one of two ways: by spreading salt over the surface of the cheese or by soaking it in brine. The last step is the aging process which lasts at least 60 days and must take place within the area of origin in warehouses where the storage temperature and relative humidity are meticulously controlled (optimal values are 10-15°C and 80-85%).

According to the duration of the aging the Asiago d'Allevo is divided :

    Asiago Mezzano (middle Asiago): 3 to 8 months aging; compact paste, straw-colored and sweetish taste.
    Asiago Vecchio (old Asiago): 9 to 18 months aging; hard paste, straw colored and bitter taste.
    Asiago Stravecchio (very-old Asiago): more than 18 months of aging; very hard and grainy paste, amber-colored with a bitter and spicy taste.

Squash with Asiago Cheese

Squash with Asiago Cheese

2 tsp Margarine, 80% fat, unsalted
2 medium garlic cloves , minced
1 medium zucchini , cut into 3-inch strips
1 Squash, summer, fresh, medium, FDA , cut into 3-inch spears
2 tbsp low sodium vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup chopped walnuts , toasted
1/3 cup Cheese, asiago, fresh, shredded
4 Strips of Crumbled Turkey Bacon, Optional

1 In a large nonstick skillet, melt the margarine over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently (for 1 minute), or until soft.
2 Add the zucchini, yellow squash, broth, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and simmer for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the zucchini and squash are tender. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle with the walnuts, cheese, and crumbled Turkey Bacon.

Nutrition Facts
Makes 4 servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories     127.7
Total Carbs     5.6 g
Dietary Fiber     2.2 g
Sugars     2.2 g
Total Fat     10 g
Saturated Fat     2.5 g
Unsaturated Fat     7.5 g
Potassium     259 mg
Protein     4.2 g
Sodium     99.5 mg

Chicken Vera Cruz

 This one passed along to me from a fellow blogger Kim. Sounds like a winner!

Chicken Vera Cruz

MAKES: 6 servings
YIELD: 1 chicken thigh, 3/4 cup vegetable mixture, and about 2 tablespoons topping per serving
Chicken Vera Cruz

    1 medium onion, cut into wedges
    1 pound yellow-skin potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
    6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1 1/4 pounds total)
    2 14 1/2 ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
    1 fresh jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and sliced*
    2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    1 tablespoon chopped garlic
    1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
    1 recipe Parsley-Olive Topping

1. Place onion in a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Top with potatoes and chicken thighs. Drain juices from one can of tomatoes and discard the juice. In a bowl stir together the drained and undrained tomatoes, the jalapeno pepper, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cinnamon, and cloves. Pour over all in cooker.

2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10 hours. Sprinkle Parsley-Olive Topping over individual servings.

Parsley-Olive Topping

    1/2 cup snipped fresh parsley
    1/4 cup chopped pimiento-stuffed green olives

1. In a small bowl stir together the snipped parsley and chopped olives. Makes about 3/4 cup.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

    Servings Per Recipe: 6
    Calories: 228
    Protein(gm): 22
    Carbohydrate(gm): 25
    Fat, total(gm): 5
    Cholesterol(mg): 78
    Saturated fat(gm): 1
    Monosaturated fat(gm): 2
    Polyunsaturated fat(gm): 1
    Dietary Fiber, total(gm): 5
    Sugar, total(gm): 9

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sorry not much time to post today

Sorry not much time to post today I had to take my Mom to the Emergency Room last night/early morning and was there till after 3:00 am. Then home to take care of my Dad who's also having some health concerns. Just put together a Turkey Pastrami and Colby Longhorn Cheese Sandwich real quick for dinner. Till tomorrow all!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Not So Sloppy Turkey Joes w/ Crinkle Fries

Tonight: Not So Sloppy Turkey Joe's w/ Crinkle Fries

It had been a while since we had any Sloppy Joe's and that sounded just right for dinner tonight! So it was Not So Sloppy Turkey Joe's for tonight. I used Hormel Not So Sloppy Joe Sauce again. I love this Sloppy Joe Sauce it's Thick and Hearty with great flavor. Easier to use than Sloppy Joe Mix also. No adding water and extra simmering time. I used Jennie – O Extra Lean Ground Turkey which is only 120 calories and 0 carbs! I fried the Turkey in Extra Virgin Olive Oil and seasoned it with Ground Smoked Cumin, Ground Thyme, Parsley, Sea Salt, and Ground Pepper. With the sauce already seasoned I still like to get the healthy herbs and spices in when I can. When the Turkey was done I drained the skillet of fat and oil and added the jar of Sauce, stirring until mixed and warmed. Easy to fix and delicious. I served the Turkey Joe on a Healthy Life Whole Grain Bun.

 I had Ore Ida Baked Crinkle Fries as a side along with some Antipasto I purchased from Jungle Jim's Market earlier in the day. For dessert later a 50 calorie 10 carb Skinny Cow Fudge Pops.

Not So Sloppy Turkey Joe's

Ground Smoked Cumin, Sea Salt, Pepper to taste
1 lb. Lean Ground Turkey
1 Jar of Not So Sloppy Joe's Sauce
Crumbled Bleu Cheese for topping
Healthy Life Whole Grain Sandwich Buns


Brown Turkey in large skillet on medium-high heat, seasoning to taste. Drain fat.
Add and stir Not So Sloppy Joe Sauce stir until well mixed and heated.
Serve on buns top Turkey Joe's with Crumbled Bleu Cheese.

Nut of the Week - Walnuts

Walnut seed shell inside its green husk
A walnut is an edible seed of any tree of the genus Juglans, especially the Persian walnut, Juglans regia. Broken nutmeats of the eastern black walnut, from the tree Juglans nigra, are also commercially available in small quantities, as are foods prepared with butternut nutmeats.

Walnut seeds are high density source of nutrients, particularly proteins and essential fatty acids. Walnut seeds, like other tree nuts, must be processed and stored properly. Poor storage makes walnut seeds susceptible to insect and fungal mold infestations; the latter produces aflatoxin - a potent carcinogen. Mold infested walnut seed batch should not be screened then consumed; the entire batch should be discarded.

Walnuts are rounded, single-seeded stone fruits of the walnut tree. The walnut fruit is enclosed in a green, leathery, fleshy husk. This husk is inedible. After harvest, the removal of the husk reveals the wrinkly walnut shell, which is in two halves. This shell is hard and encloses the kernel, which is also made up of two halves separated by a partition. The seed kernels - commonly available as shelled walnuts - are enclosed in a brown seed coat which contains antioxidants. The antioxidants protect the oil-rich seed from atmospheric oxygen so preventing rancidity.

There are two major varieties of walnuts grown for its seeds — the English walnut and the Black walnut. The English Walnut originated in Persia, and the Black walnut is native to the United States. The Black walnut is of high flavor, but due to its hard shell and poor hulling characteristics it is not grown commercially for nut production. The commercially produced walnut varieties are nearly all hybrids of the English walnut.

Walnuts, like all seeds, are living organs in which respiration processes dominate. Once harvested, the seeds continually consume oxygen and release carbon dioxide. The storage life of seeds depends, in part, on the rate of this respiration.

The ideal temperature for longest possible storage of walnut seeds is in the -3 to 0 oC and low humidity - for industrial and home storage. However, such refrigeration technologies are unavailable in developing countries where walnuts are produced in large quantities; there, walnut seeds are best stored below 25 oC and low humidity. Temperatures above 30 oC, and humidities above 70 percent can lead to rapid and high spoilage losses. Above 75 percent humidity threshold, fungal molds that release dangerous aflatoxin can form.

Freshly harvested raw walnut seeds with water content between 2 to 8 percent offer the best color, flavor and nutrient density.

Walnuts are one of the several high nutrient density foods. 100 grams of walnuts contain 15.2 gram protein, 65.2 gram fat, and 6.7 gram dietary fiber. The protein in walnuts provides many essential amino acids.

While English walnut is the predominant commercially distributed nut because of the ease of its processing, its nutrient density and profile is significantly different than black walnut.

Unlike most nuts that are high in monounsaturated fatty acids, walnuts are composed largely of polyunsaturated fatty acids (47.2 grams), particularly alpha-linolenic acid (18:3n - 3; 9.1 gram) and linoleic acid (18:2n - 6; 38.1 gram). The beneficial effects of this unique fatty acid profile has been a subject of many studies and discussions. Banel and Hu conclude that while walnut-enhanced diets are promising in short term studies, longer term studies are needed to ascertain better insights.

Raw walnuts contain glyceryl triacylates of the n-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is not as effective in humans as long-chain n-3 fatty acids, and (mostly insoluble) antioxidants. Roasting reduces antioxidant quality. In 2010, a report published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition said that walnuts and walnut oil improve reaction to stress.

A study has suggested that consumption of walnuts increases fat oxidation and reduces carbohydrate oxidation without affecting total consumption, suggesting that walnut consumption may improve the use of body fat in overweight adults. Walnuts have been shown to decrease the endothelial dysfunction associated with a high-fat meal. Aged rats fed diets containing 2% to 6% walnuts showed reversal of age-associated motor and cognitive function, but a 9% walnut diet impaired performance, suggesting a J curve.

On October 11, 2006, ScienceDaily published a report which stated "New research shows that consuming a handful of raw walnuts along with meals high in saturated fat appears to limit the ability of the harmful fat to damage arteries," and attributed the result to a 2006 article in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The lead researcher, Emilio Ros, MD, PhD, was quoted as saying "People would get the wrong message if they think that they can continue eating unhealthy fats provided they add walnuts to their meals." Funding for the study was provided by the California Walnut Commission, an industry marketing agency.

Scientists are not yet certain whether walnuts act as a cancer chemopreventive agent, an effect which may be a result of the fruit's high phenolic content, antioxidant activity, and potent in vitro antiproliferative activity.

Compared to certain other nuts, such as almonds, peanuts and hazelnuts, walnuts (especially in their raw form) contain the highest total level of antioxidants, including both free antioxidants and antioxidants bound to fiber.

Diabetic Friendly Rhubarb Walnut Muffins

Diabetic Friendly Rhubarb Walnut Muffins


    1/2 c whole wheat flour
    2 tbsp Splenda Sugar Blend for baking
    1tbsp. baking powder
    1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
    1c finely chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb
    1/4 c chopped walnuts
    1/2 c fluid skim (nonfat) milk
    1/4 c egg substitute
    2 tbsp canola oil

Preheat Oven to 350 F.
Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon. Add rhubarb and nuts. In another bowl, combine milk, egg, and oil. Pour milk mixture into rhubarb and dry ingredients mixture. Mix just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups or an oiled/sprayed muffin tin. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes
Tip: Fill empty muffin tins with water in order for muffins to cook evenly.

Number of Servings: 8

Nutritional Info

    Servings Per Recipe: 8
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories: 94.4

    Total Fat: 6.1 g
    Cholesterol: 0.4 mg
    Sodium: 205.9 mg
    Total Carbs: 8.5 g
    Dietary Fiber: 1.5 g
    Protein: 3.0 g

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Bison Sirloin Steak & Sauteed Mushrooms w/ Smashed Golden Potatoes, Roasted Asparagus,

Dinner Tonight: Bison Sirloin Steak & Sauteed Mushrooms w/ Smashed Golden Potatoes, Roasted Asparagus, and Harvest Grain Bread.

While shopping at Kroger this morning I ran across some beautiful looking Bison Sirloin Steaks. So it was from Kroger's to the table! I seasoned the Sirloin with McCormick Grinder Steakhouse Seasoning. I pan fried it in Extra Virgin Olive Oil about 4 minutes per side, Medium Rare. As usual it comes out mouth watering and tender! I topped it with my favorite Steak topping Baby Bella Sauteed Mushrooms.

For sides I had Smashed Golden Potatoes with Crumbled Turkey Bacon, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, and a bit of Fresh Grated Smoked Goda Cheese. I quartered the Potatoes and seasoned them with Sea Salt, Ground Black Pepper, Parsley, and a 1/2 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, then boiled them. I also had fresh Asparagus that I roasted at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes. I seasoned them with Sea Salt, Ground Black Pepper, and topped them with Kraft Shredded Parmesan Cheese. I left the recipe for this at the end of the post. We also had Kroger Bakery Harvest Grain Loaf Bread. If you've never tried this give it a try when you get a chance. Always fresh and delicious! For dessert later a Jello Sugar Free Chocolate Pudding topped with Cool Whip Free.

Roasted Asparagus


    2 bunches medium asparagus
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    Freshly ground black pepper
    Grated or shaved Parmesan, optional


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Trim the woody ends from the asparagus, usually about 1 1/2 inches. Lightly peel the remaining stalks (not always necessary, but more of a personal preference). Spread the spears in a single layer on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with the salt and pepper, and roll to coat thoroughly.

Roast the asparagus until lightly browned and tender, about 8 to 10 minutes, giving the pan a good shake about halfway through to turn the asparagus. Arrange the roasted asparagus on a serving platter and top with some Parmesan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Tilapia Sandwich w/ Baked Seasoned Crinkle Fries

Dinner Tonight: Tilapia Sandwich w/ Baked Crinkle Fries

If you want a flat out delicious Fish recipe look no further! I made the recipe with Tilapia but it would go great with Mahi Mahi, Sea Bass, or about any Fish. It made one of the most delicious Fish Sandwiches I ever had. I seen this recipe earlier this morning from the Neely's on the Food Network and it looked too good not have asap! So I laid out two Tilapia Fillets and I was set. I preheated the oven to 450 degrees F. Then placed a heavy-duty baking pan sprayed with nonstick spray in the oven to heat.

First you dredge the fillets in a Melted Butter, Dijon Mustard, and Chopped Dill. Then you combine some Panko Bread Crumbs, Cayenne and some Sea Salt and Pepper and dredge the fillets through this making sure the fillets are completely coated. Place on the hot sheet trays in the oven and bake until cooked through and lightly golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Assemble the sandwich by slathering the Bread with Tartar Sauce, topping with the breaded fish fillet and adding you toppings. I left my version of the recipe below with a web link to the original one on the Food Network. As a side I had Baked Ore Ida Seasoned Crinkle Fries. For a dessert/snack later a serving of Ruffle's Reduced Potato Chips and Simply Kraft Sour Cream Ranch Dip.

Tilapia Sandwich


    Nonstick spray
    2 tablespoons melted butter (I Can't Believe It's Not Butter)
    2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
    1 cup panko breadcrumbs
    1 to 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
    Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
    Two 6-ounce tilapia fillets
    Two Healthy Life Whole Grain Buns or Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread
    Iceberg lettuce, Sliced Tomatoes (Optional)
    Heinz Premium Tarter Sauce


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place a heavy-duty baking pan sprayed with nonstick spray in the oven to heat.

Mix together the melted butter, Dijon and dill in a pie plate. In another pie plate, combine the panko, cayenne and some salt and pepper. Dredge the fish through the melted butter mixture and then through the panko. Place on the hot sheet trays in the oven and bake until cooked through and lightly golden, 12 to 15 minutes.

Assemble the sandwich by slathering the toasted split roll with Tartar Sauce, topping with the breaded fish fillet and adding the tomato slices and shredded lettuce.

* Recipe was based on a recipe fron The Neely's on the Food Network *

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fall Off the Bone Herb & Spice Crock Pot Chicken w/ Carrots and Golden Potatoes

Today's Menu: Fall Off the Bone Herb & Spice Crock Pot Roasted Chicken w/ Baby Carrots and Golden Potatoes

This is the second time I've the made the Fall Off the Bone Herb & Spice Crock Pot Chicken w/ Carrots and Golden Potatoes. Cooking a whole Chicken in the crock pot is super easy. First unwrap the Chicken, remove the bag of innards from the cavity and give the chicken a quick rinse. After I cleaned and rinsed the Chicken I rubbed the Chicken with the Butter over the outside and on the inside of the cavity. I then seasoned the Chicken with Sea Salt, White Pepper, Parsley, and Smoked Ground Cumin. I then took the fresh Herbs (Rosemary, Sage, Thyme) and rubbed it in on the outside of the Chicken and then took 2 sprigs of the Rosemary, 2 sprigs of the Sage, and 4 sprigs of the Thyme and inserted it into the Chicken cavity.

Before putting the Chicken in the crock pot I layered the Baby Carrots evenly across bottom of the crock pot. I then scrubbed the Potatoes and quartered them with peel on, spreading them around the edges, leaving room for the chicken to sit in the middle. Then set the crock pot on high and roast for 6 - 8 hours. This can vary depending on your crock pot and size of the Chicken.

I use Crock Pot Liners all the time and in this case it really came in handy. The Chicken was so tender I couldn't remove it from the crock pot without it falling apart so by using the liner I was able to lift the entire Chicken and Veggies out and on to the platter. The Chicken came out "Falling Off the Bone" delicious! Same with the Carrots and Potatoes. Both were bursting with flavor and just as tender as the Chicken! For dessert later a slice of Pillsbury Nut Quick Bread topped with a scoop of Breyer's Carb Smart Vanilla Ice Cream.

Fall Off the Bone Herb & Spice Crock Pot Roasted Chicken


 1 (2 to 3 pound) Whole Chicken
1 bag Baby Carrots
6-8 Small Potatoes
Sea Salt and White Pepper to taste
1 Table spoon Smoked Cumin
Fresh Rosemary, Sage, Thyme to taste
1 cup Swanson Low Sodium Chicken Stock or Broth
I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, 1 1/2 Table spoons


Layer baby carrots evenly across bottom of the crock pot.

Scrub potatoes and quarter them with peel on, spreading them around the edges, leaving room for the chicken to sit in the middle. If necessary, rearrange carrots/potatoes to ensure crock pot lid will seal. Then add the cup of Chicken Stock over top.

Rinse chicken and pat dry; empty cavity if necessary. Rub the Chicken with Butter outside and in the cavity and then season with spices. Then add the fresh Herbs rubbing them over the entire outside of the Chicken and then breaking off sprigs of the fresh Herbs and putting them in the cavity.

Cook on low all day, for 8-10 hours, depending on crock pot settings and size of the Chicken.