Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New Blog

A few months ago I paused blogging for no other reason than I needed to check in with myself and decide where I was/am going. Well, the universe made it perfectly clear for me as I was recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). If you know anything about MS than you know that there is no cure, that it is a slow progressive disease but in all my research I have found that I don't have to give up. In fact, giving up is just not in me, so in light of that I have created a new healthy cooking blog. It will focus on Grain Free, Diary Free, and Legume Free recipes. Only time will tell where this disease will take me, but something it cannot do is take away my love of cooking.

The funny part? I have always wanted to be a super healthy girl. Something about a grocery cart full of healthy foods empowers me.

I would love for you to check it out...

Recipe Redo

I look forward to seeing you on my new journey and for those who just can't come along I truly appreciate your dedication to Sweet Tea and Porch Swings.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Creamy Italian Noodles

Baby Cakes has been chomping at the bit to grill this season. In the past I have been the chief executive grill master but at the very end of summer last year my husband grilled an amazing steak and I am thinking that the praise he received has created a grilling monster. I can certainly handle that, I get off pretty easy if you ask me. All I have to do is come up with a side dish and we are golden.

This post is one of those side dishes…



Creamy Italian Noodles
recipe from Becoming Betty

16 ounces farfalle pasta
1/2 cup butter
½ cup heavy whipping cream
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 packet italian dressing mix

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pot.

Add the butter to the hot drained pasta and stir until melted. Stir in the cream and parmesan and mix until combined; stir in the seasoning mix and also stir to combine.

Serve warm or cold.



I have to say that this was a wonderfully delicious recipe. Seriously! I cannot think of a single thing to do to make it any better.

It went perfectly with some ribs and a salad but I could see it served at any BBQ or even a tea party, baby shower or bridal shower. Everyone will rave over this pasta I promise you.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Big “Dill” Chicken Breast

Talk about a flavorful and delicious weeknight chicken recipe. If you’re anything like me your always on the lookout for quick and simple chicken dishes. I had seen recipes featuring mayo as a topping lately and decided to jump on that band wagon too, after all it is Low Amylose safe. Wink.

All these years I have been getting baked whitefish at Luby’s Cafeteria and every time I eat it I think “golly, what is this amazing topping?” Well guess what you guys, this beats that amazing topping hands down. I will be using this topping on baked fish very soon.

I plan on making this again and again in different variations, maybe without dill, maybe with chives, minced garlic, perhaps some capers, etc. The options are endless.



Big “Dill” Chicken Breast

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon dried dill

Stir the cheese, mayo and seasonings together in a small bowl. Spread the mixture over the chicken breasts and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until done.



By the time I took this out of the oven my mouth was watering and my stomach was growling. I was so ready to try this and boy am I ever glad that I did. Amazing!

To serve along side it I made a weekly favorite in our house Oven Roasted Asparagus.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Low Country Cookie

Oh Paula Deen, Paula Deen, why do you showcase such wonderfully delicious recipes? I know Paula says that she only eats that way a few times out of the year. After all, she only films so many episodes a year but…

Alright, I went crazy over these little sweet morsels of cookie. I ate 8 of them in a day, now that might not sound too bad, what’s 8 cookies right? But these tiny babies pack a dizzying 182 calories each! Yes, each! You’ll understand the exclamation points a little more once you see the tiny size of the cookies.


I would still recommend them though. Everyone who tried one raved about them and had I known the caloric load I would not have eaten so many myself but, heck, one or just two would be just right for a dessert.

Low Country Cookie
recipe slightly adapted from PaulaDeen.com

1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 egg
1 cup sugar
12 tablespoon (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 16-ounce box graham crackers
1 cup or 3 (1/2-ounce) cans shredded coconut
1 splash vanilla extract

Topping:

2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
3 tablespoons heavy cream

Line a 13 x 9-inch pan with whole graham crackers.

Melt butter in saucepan and add sugar. Beat egg and cream together; add to butter mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add nuts, coconut, 1 cup graham cracker crumbs, and vanilla; stir to combine. Pour over the bottom layer of crackers in the pan.

Cover with another layer of whole graham crackers. Prepare topping.

Topping:

Beat all ingredients together and spread over top layer of crackers.

Chill until ready to serve and cut into as many servings as you would like. I did 48 servings.


Now I found that if you leave them on a counter in a warm kitchen they melt slightly which some people seemed to prefer.

I loved them. I’m not going to lie. Like I said above I ate 8 of them throughout the day. A staggering 1,456 calories is my total damage. I am not proud of myself. But even with that information I would make them again and make a point to not take any home or have more than two at whatever social gathering I take them to.

Each cookie (1/48) equals 182 calories.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Baconed Brussels Sprouts

I came across this recipe while reading a book I just got in the mail, Reshaping it All by Candace Cameron Bure, and for anyone who struggles regarding weight loss or getting healthier I would highly recommend reading it. She did a wonderful job of giving strong inspirations throughout the entire book but mostly she quotes a lot of scripture that just hammers home what she is trying to teach. I love it, I’m still reading it but so far I really have been enjoying it. I’ve gone back and re-read some chapters and highlighted good sections. Anyhow, enough about that, this recipe is completely yum. We really liked it. I used this as the main dish and am completely satisfied by it. Even Baby Cakes loved it, and he’s not much for veggies, sure he eats them but he would always rather have something else.

I did remake this recipe per say. I shrunk it a bit, basically halved the recipe and then omitted some of the bacon as well.


Baconed Brussels Sprouts
recipe lightly adapted from Reshaping it All by Candace Cameron Bure, pg. 62

10 thick slices bacon, large diced
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
seasoning blend, your choice, to taste

In a large, deep skillet, cook the bacon over moderately high heat until browned, about 8 minutes; using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Pat off excess fat.

Add the onion and garlic to the skillet; reduce the heat to moderate and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the softened vegetables from the pan and set aside.

Add the Brussels sprouts in batches and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown on the outside. Add the reserved bacon and vegetables to the Brussels sprouts in the pan along with salt and pepper to taste.

Cover the skillet with a lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until sprouts are just tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

Now this skillet, as a main dish, made 4 servings at 336 calories each. At that amount you can still afford some side items as well.

We loved it! The carmelized sprouts and crispy bacon. Seriously yummy.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Greek Garbanzo Salad

If you’ve followed me for a length of time you will notice that I have spurts of healthy cooking, be it Weight Watchers, Cook This Not That, etc., but I always seem to go back to my norm of cookery, the unhealthy southern fare I grew up eating, heavy on the butter and cream. My only saving grace is I’ve only fried maybe 2 things in the last few years, eggs and salmon patties. What you can’t see are the meals my husband and I eat the rest of the time. He doesn’t need to watch his intake and count calories and I do, or did before now. I’ll spare you the nitty gritty but some factors in our private lives have made it imperative that I follow a certain diet plan, a Low Amylose Diet to be exact. So due to this for the time being the majority of post for the next say 6 months will be following this plan. Now that I’ve shared that let’s get started on the first recipe, shall we?

I needed a side dish that I could eat without guilt and that would fit the outdoor picnic occasion, so I made this salad based off of some ideas I had seen online of garbanzo bean salad, although I couldn’t tell you where or when.

This dish is the one to eat if you are seriously craving pasta. I loved it! So much so that I ate half of of dish, every single glorious flavorful bite.


Greek Garbanzo Salad

Dressing:

3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons of crushed oregano
1 teaspoon of salt
pinch of pepper

Put all ingredients into a mason jar, screw on the cap and shake until combined. Chill overnight or a minimum of 3 hours.

Salad:

16 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
½ cucumber, peeled and small diced
roma tomatoes, small dice
10 kalamata olives, sliced
¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons dressing, recipe above

Add all the salad ingredients except the feta cheese into a bowl and toss to combine. Chill for 2 plus hours. Just before serving stir in the feta cheese.


Makes 4 servings at 174 calories each or 6 servings at 116 calories each.

If you’re not following the Low Amylose Diet you could always add ½ a purple onion thinly sliced to the salad as well which will up the calorie count a bit.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pioneer Women’s Aunt Trish’s Salad

Who doesn’t know the Pioneer Women? She’s had a blog longer than I have and now she has a cooking show on Food Network. I love her style of cooking; she makes good old home cooked food and this simple tossed salad is no exception.

I first saw this recipe on Food Network a few weeks ago and then during my blogging break I made it and took it to Mother’s Day at my Momma and Daddies house, it got rave reviews from both sisters in law and one of my baby brothers, not to mention I loved it. Well, with reviews like that regarding salad it’s a keeping in my opinion. So I am making it again tonight to go with some steaks that Baby Cakes is grilling for supper.

Just a heads up, the dressing has to sit and marry over a 24 hour period at a minimum. I can’t stand it when I go to make something the day of and realize I didn’t read the entire directions and didn’t give myself enough time. Lesson learned? Always read cooking instructions in advance but, just in case you’re anything like I used to be there’s your heads up.


Pioneer Women’s Aunt Trish’s Salad Dressing
recipe from Pioneer Women

¾ cups canola oil
juice of 1 lemon
4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
dash salt, to taste
dash black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoons sugar
dash of paprika
garlic clove, minced

Place all ingredients into a jar. Shake it up and store in the fridge at least 24 hours before serving.

Serve on a green salad with halved cherry tomatoes and a thinly sliced red onion.

Also works well on pasta salad.

It’s summer time, time to start trying out some new salad recipes.

Now to get a calorie count I just divided the entire salad, with lettuce, tomatoes, and onions, already tossed with the dressing into 8 servings making it 225 calories each serving.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Smothered Cabbage with Sausage

First and foremost, I’m back y’all! I had a lovely break, although I continued cooking to restock my posts, but even still it was a lovely little break from blogging. Now I can’t promise I won’t be having a few more of these throughout the summer due to real vacations and some other personal things, in fact, I am 100% sure I will be taking a couple more blogger breaks before this summer is over, just so you know. Grin.

It’s no secret I love sausage, although I know it’s not something I should be eating regularly, and cabbage? Forgetaboutit! In the Baby Cakes household we eat cabbage regularly and proudly. So when I came across this recipe on my reader I was all for it and wouldn’t you know it, I had everything on hand to make this delicious meal.




Smothered Cabbage with Sausage
recipe slightly adapted from thesouthernladycooks.com

1/2 stick butter
1 small head of cabbage, chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 lb. pork link sausage, sliced into coins
1 teaspoon olive oil
15 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat; brown the sausage coins. Transfer to a paper towel lined dish and set aside.

Melt the butter in the same skillet; add the onion and green pepper and cook for about 5 minutes or until just softened. Stir in the cabbage and cook about 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients, including the browned sausage; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes.


Makes 4 servings.



Golly Gee this was good! Like seriously gonna want thirds good. Then again, anything cooked in butter is. I would, and will, totally be making this again, and again, and again in the very near future. Baby Cakes raved throughout his entire two helpings about how great it was.


1 serving has 336 calories.


Don’t you just love cabbage? It is so low in calories and yet is so filling. You would never guess that the entire bowl full of goodness has so few calories.    


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