BWD: Applesauce Spice Bars

YUM!  These were fantastic!  I could probably eat the entire pan in one sitting, they were that good.  These are basically similar to a spice cake with apples, and are very moist.  The glaze was also delicious and really complemented the flavor of the cake.  I would absolutely make these again, especially since they were so easy to make!  A big thanks to Chaya over at Chaya’s Comfy Cooking for picking such a great fall recipe.  If you want to give these a try (and you know you do!), head on over to Chaya’s blog for the recipe, or better yet, go out and buy yourself Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours where you’ll find this great recipe on pages 116-117 along with many other yummy desserts. 

To see how the other bakers enjoyed this, check out the blogroll over on the BWD site.  I am very excited about our December 6th recipe for Apple-Brown Sugar Cheesecake, which is on pages 238-239.  I got to choose this one and will be making it for Thanksgiving dinner with the in-laws.  Can’t wait!!

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CEiMB Rewind: Confetti Chili

I am not a fan of most vegetables, so in order to force myself to eat them, I have to hide them in my meals as if I were a little kid.  Ellie Kreiger comes through again!  This chili was a great way to do that, and was absolutely delicious.  Even the toddler ate a good sized bowl!  This has a nice smoky flavor from the chipotle chilis and adobo sauce, and the only vegetable I could taste was the corn (which I love).  So you get all of the nutritional benefits of the vegetables without having to taste them…just the way I like it!  I still like my homemade chili recipe better, but I will definitely be adding in some red peppers, carrots, and corn next time I make it. 

Confetti Chili
From Ellie Kreiger’s The Food You Crave, page 187

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced (1 cup)
1 medium carrot, diced (1/2 cup – I used 7 baby carrots, diced)
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 pound lean or extra-lean (90% or higher) ground beef
1 (28-ounce) can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes, with their juices
2 cups water
1 canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce, seeded and minced, plus 2 tsp of the sauce
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, prefereably low-sodium, drained and rinsed
1 (15.5-ounce) can kideny beans, prefereably low-sodium, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernals (I used one 14.5 ounce can of no-salt-added corn, drained)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onion, bell pepper, and carrot, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes.  Add the cumin and coriander and cook, stirring. for 1 minute.  Add the ground beef; raise the heat to high and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until the meat is no longer pink.  Stir in the tomatoes, water, chipolte and adobo sauce, and oregano and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, partially covered, stirring from time to time, for 30 minutes. 

Stir in the beans and continue cooking, partially covered, 20 minutes longer, until the chili is nicely thickened.  Stir in the corn and cook until heated through.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Chicken Tamale Casserole

We are big fans of Mexican food here, so when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it.  As I expected, this was fantastic, and so easy to make!  It was a huge hit here, and the leftovers were even better.  This will definitely be a frequent guest on our weekly menu.

Chicken Tamale Casserole
From Cooking Light

1  cup  (4 ounces) preshredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese, divided
1/3  cup  fat-free milk
1/4  cup  egg substitute
1  teaspoon  ground cumin
1/8  teaspoon  ground red pepper
1  (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn
1  (8.5-ounce) box corn muffin mix (such as Martha White)
1  (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
Cooking spray
1  (10-ounce) can red enchilada sauce (such as Old El Paso)
2  cups  shredded cooked chicken breast
1/2  cup  fat-free sour cream

Preheat oven to 400°.

Combine 1/4 cup cheese and next 7 ingredients (through chiles) in a large bowl, stirring just until moist. Pour mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until set. Pierce entire surface liberally with a fork; pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with chicken; sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces; top each serving with 1 tablespoon sour cream.

CEiMB Rewind: Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo

This is another recipe the CEiMB group made prior to my joining, and was also one I really wanted to try after buying Ellie Krieger’s cookbook, The Food You Crave.  As usual with Ellie’s recipes, this one did not disappoint.  The only thing I didn’t care for was the amount of onions and the celery, so next time I will cut the onion in half and omit the celery.  Other than that, this was a great dinner for a chilly, rainy day.  It comes together easily and I’m happy to have another soup recipe to add to my repoitre.

Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo

4 tsp olive oil
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into small chunks
Pinch of salt, plus more to taste
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 stalks celery, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium carrot, diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup orzo, preferably whole-wheat
2 large eggs
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat 2 tsp of the oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat.  Season the chicken with the salt, add it to the pot, and cook, stirring, a few times, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Transfer the chicken to a dish and set aside.

Add the remaining 2 tsp oil to the pot.  Add the onion, celery, carrot, and thyme and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.  Add 5 cups of the broth and bring to a boil.  Add the orzo and let simmer until tender, about 8 minutes.  Turn the heat down to low to keep the soup hot but not boiling. 

Warm the remaining 1 cup broth in a small saucepan until it is hot but not boiling.  In a medium bowl, beat the eggs.  Gradually whisk the lemon juice into the eggs.  Then gradually add the hot broth to the egg-lemon mixture, whisking all the while.  Add the mixture to the soup, stirring well until the soup is thickened.  Do not let the soup come to a boil.  Add the cooked chicken to the soup.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Source:  From page 86 of Ellie Krieger’s cookbook, The Food You Crave

CEiMB: Pasta Salad with Walnuts and Feta Cheese

Do you know what I love most about the various cooking/baking groups I’ve joined?  I’m frequently pushed out of my comfort zone and try things I would have passed over otherwise.  This pasta salad is no exception.  I really debated skipping this one, particularly since we just got back from vacation late last night, and I haven’t even had time to unpack yet.  As usual, I am very glad I decided to make this!  All three of us ate multiple helpings, it was that good.  I doubled the dressing per reviews on Food Network’s website, and I used Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta rather than the whole wheat as we aren’t partial to whole wheat pasta.  I also used a tomato and basil feta cheese, which was delicious!  I will definitely make this again, and again, and again, and you should too!

Thank you to Kayte of Grandma’s Kitchen Table for picking such a great dish!  You can find the recipe on her blog, on Food Network’s website, or on page 137 of Ellie Kreiger’s The Food You Crave.  Check out the CEiMB blogroll to see how everyone else enjoyed this.

CEiMB Rewind: Chicken Cacciatore

This week’s CEiMB recipe was for Mushroom, Onion, and Basil Pizza and was chosen by Joanne of Apple Crumbles.  Because we are leaving for vacation tomorrow, I did not have time to make this, but based on the posts I’ve seen so far, it will hit our menu very, very soon!  Head on over to Joanne’s blog to get this recipe, and check out the CEiMB blogroll to see how everyone else enjoyed this pizza. 

I decided to post a rewind recipe this week since we tried Ellie’s Chicken Cacciatore recipe last week.  I missed out on so many great recipes that were chosen prior to my joining this group, and I’m hoping to go back and try several of them.  I am so glad I tried this one…it was fantastic!  The toddler, who has been refusing to eat all that much lately, ate a ton of peppers and onions, and over half of a chicken breast!  We will definitely be making this one again.

Chicken Cacciatore

4 skinless chicken breast halves on the bone, about 2 pounds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 pound white mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes in juice,  juice reserved
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes or more to taste

Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a saute pan over moderately-high heat. Brown the chicken on both sides, about 8 minutes. Remove the chicken.

Reduce the heat to moderate. Add the onion and pepper, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to brown. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half. Add the tomatoes and juice, oregano, red pepper flakes and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and simmer the mixture covered for 10 minutes.

Return the chicken breasts to the pan and simmer, covered, until the chicken is just done, about 20 minutes longer.

Source:  From page 204 of The Food You Crave by Ellie Kreiger