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1.31.2011

3 Cheese Lasagna Rolls & a $50 VISA GIFTCARD GIVEAWAY!


       Hi guys!! I am SO EXCITED to be doing my very first GIVEAWAY!  Yaaaaaaayyyyyyy : )
This is your chance to WIN a $50 dollar VISA Giftcard from yours truly! I have been having so much fun blogging about the greatest thing in the world.... FOOD!  It is my ultimate passion to cook and bake and experiment in my kitchen! I love hearing all of your feedback and sweet comments. Thank you to all who let me know what you think... and to all of my Followers and Facebook friends! I really do appreciate all of your love and support!  Here is how you enter the giveaway:

                                                    **THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED**

                  Leave me a comment on this post, telling me how you found my blog!
Did you find me on Facebook?  Or on Tasty Kitchen?  Did you google a recipe and my blog pulled up? Are you one of my friends?  Any answer is fine... just let me know how you heard about my blog! Thats it!! : )
       The giveaway will close on Thursday February 3rd at Midnight (Pacific Time), so no more entries after that. ( Please be sure to leave an email address or someway to contact you, if you do not have a blog or google account.)
I will announce the winner Friday February 4th sometime around 8 or 9 p.m. or whenever my kiddos are fast asleep in their beds! GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE! Please ONE ENTRY (COMMENT) per person!


3 CHEESE LASAGNA ROLLS
Recipe By: Holly Lofthouse
  • 9 Lasagna noodles
  • 2 large Chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
  • 1 jar (16oz) Alfredo sauce
  • 1 jar (26oz) Spaghetti sauce
  • 2 T grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 3 oz Chive & Onion Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzerella Cheese
  • 1/4 tsp dried Basil
Directions:    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Start by boiling your lasagna noodles in a large pot. Cook according to package directions. Drain and then place lasagna noodles on a foil lined cookie sheet.
In a large bowl add your cooked, shredded chicken, garlic powder, parmesan cheese and cream cheese. Mix. Pour in alfredo sauce and mix all together well.
Pour one cup of the spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 2.5 quart baking dish. Spread chicken alfredo mixture onto one lasagna noodle about 2/3 of the way up. Roll noodle up. Place in dish. Repeat with all remaining noodles. Once all rolled and in dish, cover with remaining spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle with shredded mozzerella cheese and basil.  Bake, uncovered for 25-30, or until Hot & Bubbly! 











                                                  

1.29.2011

My first BLOG AWARD!

                                                                                  
     My sweet friends over at Carolina Heart Strings have awarded me with the 'Stylish Blogger Award'! I am so excited to be accepting my first blog award : ) After only blogging for 4 short months, I am so honored they would choose my blog to award : )  Thank you ladies so much!  In order for me to accept this award there are 4 duties I must perform:

  1. Make a post and link back to the blog that awarded me
  2. Share 7 things about myself
  3. Award my favorite bloggers
  4. Contact the bloggers I want to pass this award on to

7 Things about myself.....

  • I have 6 sisters and 1 brother
  • After high school I moved to Arizona and lived there for 5 years
  • I have worked in the medical field for almost 10 years
  • I worked at Wal-Mart Distribution center for a short time, and met my husband while working there
  • I was a vegetarian for almost a full year when I was 24 yrs old
  • I am not afraid to speak my mind
  • I am addicted to Diet Pepsi  : /

These are some of my favorite bloggers I am so happy to pass this award on to:

Kaitlin over at Kaitlin in the Kitchen   ( Kaitlins blog is one of the very first food blogs I started looking at. I love her! She is so sweet and has such an amazing food blog! I think her and I would be great friends if she didnt live so far away!)

Mandy over at Mandys Recipe Box   ( I met Mandy through Tasty Kitchen. I feel like we have so much in common and her taste in food is exactly like mine..  She is another gal I know I would hang out with if we lived closer! )

Kim over at Quit Eating Out   ( I dont even remember how I came across Kims blog, but it is great! She has so many delicious recipes on there. She also hosts 'Saturday Swap' and 'Link Partys' which I think is such a great way to find out about other food blogs!)

Sally over at My Homemade Life   ( I just love Sally!! She is so funny and whitty and has the best recipes! I also met Sally over at Tasty Kitchen. She has such a great blog, please check it out! )

Steph over at Plain Chicken   ( I just love Stephs blog! Her blog is anything, but Plain! She has many many delicious recipes and cute posts about her life! )


   I just want to say THANK YOU again to Carolina Heart Strings for this blog award! You ladies are so sweet!!

1.27.2011

Baked Chicken Fingers


         I was going to wait and post these next week but they turned out so awesomely delicious that I had to tonight! Here are some healthy Chicken Fingers for your kiddos..who am I kidding.. AND you adults too! These would be perfect for Super Bowl Sunday with the rest of the goodies you have planned, and you wont have to feel guilty for eating them!
        I really am trying to cook a lot healthier. I have my good days and bad days, like the rest of the world. I am such a lover for junk food it really is pathetic. I'm trying to train myself to eat better, but it's hard. I was actually a vegetarian for almost a full year, but gave in a year into it, and started eating meat again.
        I've went through health craze phases.. and definitely some junk food phases (like I've been in lately). I can tell such a huge difference in how I feel when I eat better, healthier foods compared to junk and fatty foods. Its amazing. On my journey to eating better I still want to somehow feel like I'm still getting some of the naughty foods I love, so I'm trying to come up with ones that are comforting and tasty while still low calorie and good for you. I love chicken fingers so I researched a few recipes and then decided to create my own. The end result was super delish! 



BAKED CHICKEN FINGERS
Recipe by: Holly Lofthouse

  • 2 lbs uncooked, chicken breast strips
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Directions:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.  In a small bowl beat eggs.  In a medium bowl mix together bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, ranch seasoning, salt and pepper. Mix together well. Pour the olive oil over the bread crumb mixture and mix with a fork until combined.
     With each chicken strip, dip in egg bowl first. Then dip into bread mix bowl. Shake off excess. Place strip onto cookie sheet and repeat with all remaining chicken. Bake for 20 minutes.  Enjoy : )





















   
        



1.26.2011

Ultra-Healthy Mexican Chili

                          
             Here it is! One of many healthy recipes to come! I know I promised this a few weeks ago, but better late than never, right? : )   This chili is very very healthy and really delicious. There are a lot of nutrients and vitamins going on inside. It is packed full of delicious vegetables. Zucchini (one of my faves), bell peppers, onions and tomatoes!
            You can really change it up too by using all of your own favorite ingredients. Use lean ground beef if you dont like ground turkey. Use any kind of beans you like. I used pinto but I think black beans would be really good as well. Also use whatever kinds of spices your taste buds love.
           I also made some lowfat cornbread to go with. I grabbed only one piece for myself (cause I really am trying to be a good girl) and broke it up on top of mine! It was delish!


ULTRA-HEALTHY MEXICAN CHILI
Adapted from  Bethenny Frankel 


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 lb ground turkey (97% lean)
  • 1 can (14 oz) pinto beans, drained
  • 1 (28 oz) can tomatoe puree
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • salt & pepper, to taste
Garnishes: (optional)
light sour cream
reduced fat cheese
cornbread

Directions:   Spray a small skillet with non-stick cooking spray, and saute onion and bell peppers until soft.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook the ground turkey, on medium-high heat until cooked thoroughly. Add the sauteed onions & bell peppers. Pour in cans of tomatoe puree and pinto beans. Mix well.
Sprinkle in all of the spices and garlic. Mix together well. Let simmer on medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Add in chopped zucchini. Stir and let cook another 10 minutes. Serve  : )



















1.23.2011

Candy Bar Cupcakes with Quick and Delicious Buttercream Frosting











 I LOVE cupcakes! But, who doesnt? I also love candy bars and thought how cool and delish would it be to throw some mini candy bars in a cupcake batter!
        I also have been on the hunt for a bakery like frosting and I think I created it along with these cupcakes! Whenever I taste a cake or cupcake from a local bakery I just cant seem to figure out how they do it.  What gives the frosting that texture and delicious flavor? There are a lot of great recipes out there, and everytime I tried them I'm always a little disappointed. Some of them are with flour (which I feel is weird in a frosting) Some of them call for shortening (YUCK!), and some of them tell you to beat it 'til the sun dont shine.. and me being all about easy and fast, I dont have time for that!
       This frosting is SO EASY and super delicious! I think the whipping cream is what makes this frosting a winner! This is now the one I will always make! Give it a try and let me know what you think!  
       The cupcakes turned out really good as well. I actually tried a bunch of different kinds of candy bars. Twix, Rolos, Snickers and Milky Way. They were all great. I was sad that they do sink down to the bottom, but who cares! With the last bite of your cupcake, you get an extra surprise with a big bite of candy car! Thumbs up for me!

   
CANDY BAR CUPCAKES (makes 36 cupcakes)
Recipe By: Holly Lofthouse
  • 1 box (18oz) cake mix 
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • small box instant pudding (I used chocolate w/ Devils Food cake mix & vanilla w/ Vanilla cake mix)
  • 24 mini candy bars of your choice (Snickers, Milky Way, Rolos)
Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line mufftin tins with cupcake liners.
Mix the cake mix, eggs, oil, milk, sour cream and pudding mix together with a hand mixer. Beat on low for 30 seconds and then on medium for about 2 minutes. (Batter will be very thick)
With an ice cream scoop, fill liners about 1/3 of the way full of cake batter. Top with one candy bar. Cover candy bar with 2 tablespoons of batter so its completely covering candy bar. Repeat with all.
Place in oven and bake for 18-20 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.


QUICK & DELICIOUS BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
Recipe By: HollyL
  • 3 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 2 sticks of Butter (1 cup), room temperature  (make sure to use REAL butter)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of Whipping Cream
  •  FOR CHOCOLATE FROSTING- Add in 1/4 cup of cocoa
Directions:
Mix powdered sugar and butter in a large bowl with a spatula until well combined. With a hand mixer, mix in Vanilla and Whipping cream. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes until well combined.
(For chocolate version,  add in cocoa when mixing the powdered sugar and butter together)









       

1.19.2011

Ham & Turkey Panini Melt


                I love Paninis! They are so versatile, you can literally make so many different kinds. This one I made was one that reminded me of the panini I had in the hospital after I gave birth to Kallen. You always hear of 'hospital food' as being disgusting, but my dining experience here in the St.George Hospital was delicious!
           It was about six hours after I had delivered Kallen and I was starving!! The nurse kept telling me to order something from the menu, but I was so hesitant. Finally, I decided to. I read the menu and came across a 'Ham and Turkey' panini. I thought it sounded good, so I ordered it.
          When she brought it to me I was surprised to see how good it looked, and sure enough it tasted AMAZING! I kept telling Kale, 'This is the best sandwich I've ever had!' 
          Fast forward to Christmas, Kale surprised me with a Panini Grill for one of my gifts. The very first thing I thought was that I was gonna try and make that sandwich I had eaten in the hospital, and now here is it's debut! It is divine! (and ridiculously easy)



HAM & TURKEY PANINI MELT
Recipe by: Holly Lofthouse

Makes 4 Paninis

8 slices Artisan bread or White Bread (good quality, like homemade or fresh from the bakery)
1/2 lb deli Honey Ham
1/2 lb deli Turkey
8 slices of white American cheese
Dijon Mustard
Butter


Preheat your panini grill on high heat as you prepare your sandwiches. (If you dont have a panini grill you can easily do this in a large skillet)

With one slice of bread top with desired amount of turkey. Top turkey with two slices of cheese. Top cheese with desired amount of Ham.  With second piece of bread, spread Dijon mustard and place bread mustard side down onto ham.  Butter both sides of bread and then place on grill. Lightly press lid of panini grill onto bread and let cook for 2-3 minutes or until cheese has melted : )










1.18.2011

Orange Julius



      ORANGE JULIUS.... Mmmmmm! This is one of my favorite drinks to make. When Kale and I first got married I used to make these for us with our Sunday breakfasts  : )  
 
This delicious drink is so good and really easy to make.
Here's how I do it:



ORANGE JULIUS

makes 4 (8oz) servings

8 oz frozen Orange Juice concentrate
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 ice cubes


Combine all ingredients except ice into a blender. Blend for 1 minute.
Add 3-4 ice cubes at a time and continue to blend until all crushed and thoroughly mixed. Pour into glasses and gulp away : )















1.17.2011

Grilled Italian Chicken


   Hi guys! Hope everyone had a great weekend! Mine ended up being pretty fun.. a little crazy at one point, but still fun! 
This is an awesome and super easy recipe for some delicious chicken! This is literally as easy as it gets. Two ingredients is all you need to make this. A good ol' bottle of your favorite Italian dressing and some chicken breasts! You can grill this on your barbecue (like we did tonight) or your George Foreman grill, and it can also be baked as well. This is one of my most favorite ways to make chicken. No stress or thought at all goes into making this! That's what I needed tonight after my weekend.. a super easy, yet yummy dinner!



ITALIAN CHICKEN


1 (16 oz) bottle of Italian dressing
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts



Pour the whole bottle of dressing in a large freezer ziplock baggie. Rinse chicken with water and cut away any fat. Place chicken in the bag filled with dressing. Seal shut and let marinade overnight or for atleast 3 hours in your refridgerator. Take chicken out of bag. Discard the dressing.
 Grill chicken for 7 minutes on each side, or Bake in oven on 375 degrees for 30 minutes! : )












1.11.2011

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars


 I think my little 3 year old Emma would live off Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches if I let her. She calls them "Belly Jellys". She'll say, "Mom, Can I have a Belly Jelly for dinner?"  It seems like that is all she ever wants to eat lately! It drives me nuts, and worries me sometimes. When she was a baby and toddler I thought I had trained her pretty well in eating healthy foods. She LOVED broccoli, carrots, apples. A lot of good healthy foods, but now it's either PB & J or Macaroni and Cheese, and if I dont give her either she just wont eat!

 Of course, my lil Emma ate these up in no time! They are so perfect for kids! I think they would be a cute idea to do for a kids birthday party! They are pretty rich, so you can cut them up into pretty small squares and still be satisfied! Here's how you make them: 




Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars
Recipe by: Ina Garten


2 sticks, unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra large eggs
2 cups creamy peanut butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups of jam ( I used strawberry)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 glass baking dish with cooking spray.
With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
Turn speed to low and add vanilla, eggs and peanut butter. Mix until well combined.
In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. With the mixer still on low speed, slowly add in the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture. Mix until all combined.
Spread 2/3 of the dough evenly into the greased baking dish.
Spread the Jam evenly over the dough. With the remaining dough, drop globs of it evenly over the jam. Dont worry if it doesnt cover it completely, it will spread as it bakes.  Bake for 40-45 or until golden brown. Let cool atleast 30 minutes before cutting into squares!



























1.10.2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu Lasagna



 This is Chicken Cordon Bleu LASAGNA... Yes, I said Lasagna! I found this recipe in another Pillsbury magazine I had saved. It is the classic Cordon Bleu dish turned into a lasagna! This is LUSCIOUS people! It has 5 different kinds of cheeses going on, so if your lookin for a low cal meal ( like I should be doing ) then this is not the one! But if you don't care and are not sticking to your diet in any way shape or form, like me, then by all means, make this!  



CHICKEN CORDON BLEU LASAGNA
Recipe By: Pillsbury

2 eggs
1 container (15 oz) Ricotta cheese
1 cup Cottage cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped, fresh Parsley
2 cups diced, cooked Ham
2 cups diced, cooked Chicken
1/4 teaspoon Garlic powder
1 jar (16 oz) creamy garlic Alfredo sauce
6 uncooked (oven ready) Lasagna noodles
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh Parsley


Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl beat eggs. Stir in ricotta, cottage and parmesan cheeses and 1/4 cup parsley, set aside.

In another medium bowl, mix together chicken, ham, garlic powder and Alfredo sauce. In an ungreased 9x13 glass baking dish, spread about 1/2 cup of chicken mixture.

Top chicken mixture with 3 uncooked noodles, half of the cheese mixture, half the remaining chicken mixture and half each of the mozzarella and Swiss cheeses. Repeat layer starting with noodles again and ending with Swiss cheese. Cover tightly with foil.

Bake for 1 hour. Let stand 10-15 minutes, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of parsley before slicing and serving!




























1.06.2011

Bajio Chicken Chile Salad


It's amazing how many 'copycat' Mexi-grill recipes that are out there in the food blogging world! I've tried a few of them and have thought they were awesome, but this Bajio Chicken one is HANDS DOWN the best one I've tried so far! It tastes exactly like the one from Bajio's. Exactly!!
I'm a big fan of Bajio's, but Im also a big fan of Cafe Rio and Durangos. Sometimes I get in a certain 'mexi-grill' mood and just crave one in particular. When I was pregnant with Kallen I craved Bajios all the time! I love it, I like the flavor a lot!
I tried to copy the whole salad that they serve there when I made this chicken tonight. I served it with the delicious 'TortillaLand' Tortillas that you have to heat up on the stove (YUM), and topped it with chopped romaine lettuce, corn, the delicious chicken and the crunchy tortilla strips! It was amazing : )



BAJIO CHICKEN CHILE SALAD
Recipe from: Real Mom Kitchen

4 large boneless, skinless Chicken breasts
1/2 cup Salsa
1/2 cup Brown sugar
1 tablespoon Cumin
1 (4 oz) can diced Green chilies
6 ounces of Sprite ( 1/2 a can)


Throw all of the ingredients in a crockpot. Heat on low for 5-6 hours. Shred chicken and let simmer for another hour! Easy peasy : )

To make the Bajio Salad:  Heat a tortilla on a skillet. Place cooked tortilla in a bowl. Add chopped fresh lettuce, corn and cheese and then add chicken on top! Serve with tortilla strips, cilantro and dressing of your choice.