Monday, April 23, 2012

Italian Parmesan Chicken Tenderloins-Fresh Take 1!

Well, Kraft has done it again! Introduced me to a new love along with my Philadelphia Cooking Cremes. Now I’m hooked on the Kraft Fresh Take Cheese Breadcrumb mixes. I had some leftover chicken tenderloins in the fridge and figured I’d so something with them for dinner, and while on my lunch break I was in the dairy aisle and saw the Fresh Takes on sale, so I picked up the Italian Parmesan one and figured I’d try it out. Went home, prepped it (7 minutes maybe) and threw in the oven for 12 minutes, had some leftover mashed potatoes, added some chives and garlic powder and in 15 minutes I had a full fledged meal. Ant loved the Italian parmesan coating. It browns a bit in the oven so the parmesan gets the crispity crunchity we all love! Great for those weeknight dinners at home! Checkout their website for other great recipes that coincide with the Fresh Takes 
Directions (very easy to follow and printed right on the bag)
  • Heat oven to 375
  • Spray baking sheet with cooking spray
  • Open bag; pull apart center seal and mix contents
  • Moisten meat with water
  • Place in bag, 1 at a time
  • Lightly press crumb mix onto both sides of meat to partially cover and sprinkle remaining mix over meat (Discard any unused bread crumb mix)
  • Bake on center over rack until cooked thoroughly *Do not cover or turn meat during baking
Other Fresh Take Flavors:
Southwest Three Cheese Chicken
Italian Parmesan
Chili Lime & Panko
Rosemary & Roasted Garlic
Cheddar Jack & Bacon
Savory Four Cheese


Friday, April 20, 2012

Baked Shrimp Scampi on a Meatless Monday

I joined Weight Watchers mid-February this year and decided to join in on Meatless Mondays in an effort to eat healthy and mindfully.  This also helps to eat more vegetables and overall make better choices. For my birthday, one of my girlfriends bought me Giada’s new cookbook that came out in March, “Weeknights with Giada” and while reading her first couple pages, I found out, that she too, had embraced “Meatless Monday” movement which was fantastic news to me as I am a big fan of hers!

Preparing guiltless vegetable and meatless meals is a task in itself, and I’m not going to sugar coat it, it got kind of difficult after my first 3 weeks, but I’m staying strong and really pushes me to think of new dishes to experiment with that I don’t typically eat. I’ve done caprese panini’s, breakfast for dinner, salads, etc…and then a light bulb went off in my head last Monday and was like, ‘duh’ I can eat fish/seafood too! So with that I decided to try a baked shrimp scampi that I had stumbled upon through Pinterest and had 90% of the ingredients. So, I stopped at Whole Foods on my way home from work and picked up a pound of fresh shrimp, squash (for my veggie side) and a side of brown rice for my hubs

Be sure the shrimp lies in one layer. This is incredibly easy and fast using few ingredients. Feel free to double the recipe using a larger pan.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


  • ·         1/3 cup melted butter, plus 1 Tablespoon for greasing baking dish
  • ·         5 cloves garlic minced
  • ·         1 pound jumbo or colossal shrimp, peeled, cleaned, and deveined
  • ·         1 cup fresh dense bread crumbs ( I used Cento brand)
  • ·         1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • ·         Juice of 1 lemon
  • ·         1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (not the canned type, use fresh)
  • ·         Salt, optional
  • ·         Chopped fresh parsley for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Select a casserole dish capable of holding the shrimp in one close layer and grease with 1 tablespoon of butter. 
  2. Melt the remaining butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic and gently saute until garlic softens, but does not brown. Do not overcook the garlic or it will become bitter. Set aside to cool. 
  3. Place half of the bread crumbs in an even layer in the bottom of the casserole. Sprinkle with some oregano.
  4. Place shrimp in the casserole in a single layer . Squeeze lemon juice over shrimp, then top with remaining bread crumbs. 
  5. Drizzle cooled garlic butter evenly over the top. Sprinkle with the optional salt and all of the Parmesan cheese. 
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until top is golden brown. Keep an eye on them and set a timer so they dont burn or get too dried out. If the top is not golden after 25 minutes (oven temperatures vary), place under the broiler for a couple of minutes, but watch carefully. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley to serve. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

No-mixer-needed for Best Chocolate Chip Cookies of all time

St. Patrick’s Day was of course last month, and so I’m a bit delayed on this post from that holiday of the best chocolate chip cookie that my friend Kelly had brought to my attention that weekend (she stumbled across this recipe online and we came to notice if originated from the Food Network Kitchens as well). She had asked me to come over to help bake and munch on some goodies given it was a Friday night. I asked if she needed my Kitchen Aid Mixer, and she said “nope, you don’t need it for this recipe!” I’m sure you just had the same thought as me, “no way, how?” Well it’s true and these stay chewy 4-5 days after you make them. The original recipe calls for unsalted butter and then use salt, but we just used a stick of salted butter and they were so good! Enjoy!

1 stick butter (salted)
¾ cup packed brown sugar
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
12 oz. bag semi sweet morsels
2 ¼ cup flour
¾ tsp baking soda
**you'll see in my photos some green mint M&M's (we added a few of these for some green color in lieu of St. Patrick's Day) 
·         Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter in a microwave safe container. While the butter cools, combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.
·         Combine butter with remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Be careful not to overmix the wet ingredients! They should be just combined.
·         Stir the chocolate chips into your wet ingredients.
·         Dump dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon. Do not overmix! Again, ingredients should be  just blended. We’ve found that over mixing leads to flat cookies, and when done right, these cookies are dense and fluffy. 
·         Using a cookie scoop, spoon, or your hands, make 1.5-inch balls of dough, and drop them on the cookie sheet.
·         Cook for 10-12 minutes. After removing from oven, allow to cool for 1-2 minutes, and then move to a cooling rack.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Asian Chicken and Orzo Salad

I'm approaching my 9th week on Weight Watchers and down a total of 15lbs! I'm super excited and feel great. I've been trying to prepare healthier dishes during the week and that's hard especially working a full time job, taking care of a puppy, and squeezing in the gym! My husband has also been working out and lifting weights, which results in him being hungry often, so my goal is to cook something that provides plenty of leftovers and something that he can grab out of the fridge and feel fulfilled with proteins and vegetables. 

We all know I love Paula Deen and I came across her  Asian Chicken and Orzo Salad recipe (don't worry, there's no butter in this!) and made some modifications; I used red onion and chopped tomatoes instead of the water chestnuts, snap peas, and almonds that are in her original recipe... My husband ate this up for 3 days straight and can eat cold or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Total Time: 30 min
Prep: 10 min
Cook :20 min
Yield: 12 servings
Level: Easy

  • 1 (16-ounce) package orzo, cooked and drained
  • 3 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 2 Vine ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce

  1. Cook orzo following package directions
  2. In a large bowl, combine orzo, chicken, green onion, red onion, tomatoes, and red bell pepper. 
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, soy sauce, and hoisin sauce. 
  4. Pour over orzo mixture, tossing gently to coat. 
  5. Cover and chill until ready to serve.