Sunday, October 19, 2008

Oven Onion Rings

Ohmygoodness. The hubby is a big fan of all things fried. I don't fry stuff. Ever. So when I stumbled across a low-cal baked onion ring recipe from Food Network, I thought it must be too good to be true. Not so, my friend. These little badboys came out crisp, spicy, and oh so tasty. It was so refreshing to finally be able to eat a freaking onion ring without battling a quarter-inch layer of grease in your mouth- yuck! I served them with jalapeno ranch for dipping.

I modified the original recipe somewhat- this is my version. I used more spices and I didn't spray the battered rings with cooking oil before baking them. (It simply wasn't necessary.)


Something to grease the pan- cooking spray, oil, or butter
4 cups dry bread crumbs
Seasonings to taste- I used Konriko Cajun seasoning, seasoned salt, cayenne, pepper, and garlic powder
1 cup lowfat buttermilk (I just used plain 2% milk and it turned out fine)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 large onions, peeled


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Grease a cookie sheet and set aside. Combine breadcrumbs and seasonings in a shallow bowl. In another bowl, combine buttermilk (or milk), 2 tablespoons of flour, salt and pepper and set aside. Slice onions into 1/2-inch circles and separate into rings, keeping only large, whole rings (reserve rest of onions for other uses). You should come out with about 12 to 14 rings.

Place the remaining flour in a sealable plastic bag, then add onions, and shake to coat. Dip onions 1 at a time into the buttermilk mixture, then dip into seasoned breadcrumbs and place on baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until coating is crisp.

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cream Cheese Squares

I cooked this heavily modified version of Cream Cheese Squares from Allrecipes last night. It is absolutely delicious- especially considering the simplicity of the recipe. (I mean come on, refrigerated crescent roll dough?!) Hubby LOVED it. Also, considering that the original recipe had just over 200 calories per serving, this version is easy on the waist line. (I used 1/2 the cream cheese, less than 1/3 the sugar, and 1/8 the butter called for in the original recipe.)

2 (8 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent roll dough
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp white sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch pan.

2. Press one can of the crescent rolls into the bottom of the prepared pan. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of sugar, vanilla, and egg until smooth and creamy. Spread over the crescent layer. Unroll the second can of crescent rolls and lay them on top of the cream cheese layer. Do not press down. Brush the melted butter over the top layer. Sprinkle the 1 tbsp of sugar over the top.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is crisp and golden.

Helpful hints: They now make crescent roll dough without seams to use in recipes like this. I think it's called recipe creations or something. That's what I used.

To vary it up a little, I spread a thin bit of strawberry jam on the bottom layer of crescent dough on part of the dessert to see what it would turn out like. It was my favorite section. I spread another section with a bit of melted down choco chips. That was hubby's favorite section.
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Friday, October 17, 2008

Candied Carrots

I have made the Candied Carrots recipe from Allrecipes a couple of times now. Both DH and I are big fans of it. It's sweet but not overpowering.

1 pound carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons butter, diced
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 pinch salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
Dash of cayenne

1. Place carrots in a pot of salted water. Bring water to a boil, reduce heat to a high simmer and cook about 20 to 30 minutes. Do not cook the carrots to a mushy stage!

2. Drain the carrots, reduce the heat to its lowest possible setting and return the carrots to the pan. Stir in butter, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, until sugar is bubbly. Serve hot!

Addendum: The sauce is a little thin- I think next time I'm going to try to add a thickener and see how that works out.
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Baked Basil Chicken

This dish is about as simple as it gets. The taste is wonderful- the peppery basil flavor seeps into the chicken. Num.

2 split bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
16-20 fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Stuff 8-10 basil leaves under the skin of each chicken breast. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Take off foil and bake, uncovered, for 30 more minutes, or until done.
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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Salmon Cakes

I based this salmon cake recipe off the one on the back of Chicken of the Sea pink salmon pouch. It's super tasty- it tastes a lot like crabcakes- and was quick and easy. I served mine w/ lemon & herb tartar sauce.

Salmon Cakes

1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
1/4 cup mayo
1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/4 tsp dill weed
dash garlic powder
Tabasco to taste
1 med egg, beaten
1 6 oz pouch boneless, skinless salmon
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup oil
Additional breadcrumbs for rolling

1. Combine green onions, mayo, and seasoning in medium bowl.
2. Add egg, salmon, and breadcrumbs.
3. Form mixture into 4 balls. Roll in breadcrumbs and flatten into cakes about 1/2 inch thick.
4. Place platter with cakes in freezer for 5-10 minutes. (This helps keep the cakes from falling apart in the skillet.)
5. Heat oil over medium heat. When oil is hot, place cakes in skillet. Fry 3-4 minuets on each side or until golden brown.

Disclaimer: I have a VERY crappy gas stove that burns everything. It took about 1.5 min per side to get mine golden brown. (Well actually, I'm glad I did this in two batches because the first batch got "golden" black after 2 minutes on one side.)
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