Orange Creamsicle Fudge

I had said last week that I was doing my best to cut back on my sugar intake again.  Well I’m still doing that, but not everyone in the house has to be!  I did try it to make sure that it was good enough to have others eat it!!  And let me say that this brought back some childhood memory of eating the Orange Push Ups!!

I had the day off this past Friday to get the new iPhone 5.  I woke up at 4:30am to go sit outside in the rain with the other techy geeks!  I got the phone, I love the phone, but I’m running on a lack of sleep.  This afternoon at about 2pm I was seriously ready to fall asleep.  Since there are kids here, nap time for Nana was not an option.

I had the ingredients for this actually sitting on my counter for quite a few days.  So I thought if I had a bit of sugar in me, maybe it’ll wake me up!  I let Caleb eat some of white chocolate on the spoon and the other little one wanted a taste.  She let out a little silly giggle and wanted more, more, more!  So needless to say the fudge was a hit before it even hit the fridge to harden up for an hour!!

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz (1.5 sticks) butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 package (12 oz) white chocolate chips
  • 1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow cream (or fluff)
  • 1 tablespoon orange extract
  • orange (or a combination of red and yellow) food coloring

Preparation:

1. Prepare a 13×9 pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, cream, and butter over medium heat. Continually stir the mixture until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Brush down the sides with a wet pastry brush.

3. Bring the mixture to a boil, and once it starts boiling, insert a candy thermometer. Cook the candy until it reaches 240 degrees F on the thermometer, which should take about 4-5 minutes.

4. After the candy reaches 240F, remove the pan from the heat and immediately stir in the marshmallow cream and white chocolate chips. Stir until the white chocolate has melted and the fudge is completely smooth.

5. Working quickly, pour about a third of the white fudge into a bowl and set aside. To the remaining fudge, add the orange extract and orange food coloring, stirring until it is a smooth, even color. It is important to perform these steps quickly, because the fudge will start to set if you take too long, and the end result will not be smooth.

6. Pour the orange fudge into the prepared pan and spread it into an even layer. Drop the white fudge over the top by the spoonful, then drag a table knife or toothpick through the fudge to create orange-white swirls. You can spray your hands with nonstick cooking spray and gently press them into the top to smooth out the swirls, if desired.

7. Allow the fudge to set at room temperature for 2 hours, or in the refrigerator for 1 hour. To cut, pull the fudge out of the pan using the foil as handles. Use a large sharp knife to cut the fudge into small 1-inch squares. Store Orange Creamsicle Fudge in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, and bring it to room temperature to serve.

The orange extract added an awesome flavor to this.  Instead of using the food coloring, I found some food gel.  It had the orange color I needed and didn’t have to count the yellow and red drops!  Much easier.

These may not have given me the sugar rush I needed to wake myself up but it was sure good to eat.  I loved that orange flavor.  It really does taste like a creamsicle.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Source:

About.com

Crunchy Honey Soy Pork Chops

My friend Heidi from work gave me another great dinner idea last week.  Usually when I make pork, I’ll coat it with some egg and panko bread crumbs and it’s the thicker cut, I bake it in the oven.  But when she showed me what she made I had to try this one as well.  This was really good.  I try not to “fry” foods anymore so I did use the healthier oil that has the Omega 3 in it.  And the different spices added to the flour really adds great flavor.

I’m not a huge fan of white rice.  To me it’s sort of a waste of carbs/calories.  So I made some sweet potatoes on the side and sprinkled a bit of brown sugar over the top.  The pork chops were quick and easy to make.  After putting in the pan, it only took a few minutes on each side for the pork to cook and get crisp.

Even with our busy sport schedule this was easy enough to get on our dinner table and out the door to be on time.

  • FOR THE DREDGE:
  • 1-½ cup Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Season All Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Onion Powder
  • ½ teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • ¼ teaspoons Poultry Seasoning
  • ½ teaspoons Paprika
  • ¼ teaspoons Black Pepper
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 4 whole Pork Chops
  • FOR THE SAUCE:
  • 1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • ½ cups Soy Sauce
  • ½ cups Water
  • ½ cups Honey
  • 2 Tablespoons Hoisin Sauce
  • ½ whole Lime, Juiced
  • Chopped Green Onions, Optional Garnish

Preparation Instructions

Start by combining the flour, Season All seasoned salt, onion powder, garlic powder, poultry seasoning, paprika and black pepper in a shallow bowl. In another bowl crack the eggs and stir with a fork. Pour the eggs into a shallow plate. Set up an assembly line with the pork chops, eggs, then flour. Dredge each pork chop in the flour, then egg then back to the flour. Set on a plate.

Into a large skillet, add the oil and butter. Preheat the skillet on medium high heat. Once the butter has melted add the pork chops. Fry on each side for about 4 minutes or until they are no longer pink in the middle. Remove from the pan and place on a large plate.

To the pan, add the garlic. There will be leftover oil and butter, so just leave it in the pan. Let the garlic cook for about 2 minutes on medium heat. Add the soy sauce, water, honey, hoisin sauce and juice of the lime. Bring this to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens.

Using a set of tongs, take each pork chop and flip it in the sauce to cover it. Place the pork chop on a bed of rice and garnish with green onions.

We only have a couple more busy weeknights at our house until things slow down.  I miss being able to make full, hearty meals for us.  Fall is here and there are great things to be made.

Have a great week.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Source:

Tasty Kitchen

Marian’s Pumpkin Bars

My mom makes THE best pumpkin bars.  Every time our family gets together, it’s Craig’s hope that she will make them.  His birthday was earlier this month and my mom came over to go to Brooklyn’s soccer game.  Craig was at work and when he walked in the door my mom handed him a plate of bars.  The look on his face…1. I’m not sharing these and 2. he was so happy that she made them for him.  She handed him a gift bag.  He opened and it there was a gift card for Home Depot.  He thought he was done and said thanks to my mom.   She looked at him and told him that there was something more in the bag.  Craig pulled out a piece of paper with a cute ribbon wrapped around it.  It was my mom’s recipe for his favorite pumpkin bars.

I think my mom got this recipe years ago from someone in our family.  But Craig made these last night and even though I was trying to give suggestions along the way, he pretty much did this the way my mom’s recipe called for.

I tasted the pumpkin batter before it went in the oven and it was pretty good.  I know there was some tension on Craig to make these as well as my mom did!!

In the pan goes into the oven.  We even debated on how long it should bake for.  Why?  Well because my mom failed to put this on her recipe!  So once we got it (ok I had to leave it to him) baked through, out it came!

Next was the best part…the frosting,  Reading the directions, Craig followed them as my mom had it down.  No more, no less.  When it was mixed to his liking, he asked me to taste it.  Well duh, who doesn’t love butter mixed with cream cheese and 4 cups of powder sugar!!  Tasted good, but I told him it was a bit too thin.  I told him I would add more powder sugar so that it would thicken up a bit.

When he started to frost the cake it was a bit too warm.  I told him that he needed to wait, but I think my directions were starting to work his nerves.  He stepped away from the pan with just a bit of frosting on it.  As I came in to get water (duh check on the pan!!).  It had melted a bit.  He did wait until it cooled off completely then used just a portion of the frosting.  He asked me what to do with the rest of it.  Well hello, use it all.  My mom does, why wouldn’t he!

I still think the frosting needed a bit more powder sugar added to it so it would thicken up a bit, but since the recipe didn’t call for it, it wasn’t added.

My mom just so happened to call me today and I mentioned the frosting to her.  She laughed and asked why he didn’t just add more.  Laughed even harder when I told her that her recipe didn’t say to do so, so he didn’t listen to me!!!  That had us both laughing!

I did ask mom’s permission to give this out.  She said she didn’t care so here it is.

Use a 9×13 jelly roll pan, greased and floured (we used a plain pan)

4 eggs

1 can pumpkin

2 cups sugar

1 cup butter

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

(Optional 2 cups walnuts)

Beat eggs, butter and sugar.  Add pumpkin and stir.  Put dry ingredients together and mix with pumpkin batter.

(Optional add nuts)

Put into greased & floured pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Frosting:  Beat until soft.

8oz Cream Cheese

3/4 stick butter

1 tbs milk

1 tbs vailla

4 cups powder sugar.

Well  I can tell you that this pan of pumpkin bars will not last through the rest of this week.  And I can tell you that this will be made many, many times.

Thanks mom!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Source:

My mom!! 😉

Chicken Burgers

I go on my healthy kick of trying to eat low fat low sugar “diet” to saying I’ll just have it all in moderation to just eating what I want.  And by that I mean 6-7 freezies each night that I’m sure are packed with tons of sugar!!!   And I know that my body can sure tell when I’ve eaten something that I shouldn’t be eating.  Having my once a week Zantigo’s has slowed down a bit, but that was pretty much all I had that wasn’t the greatest for me.  I use low fat foods, I try to look at labels when buying food, but sometimes that candy bar is too good to pass up.  Or the new M&Ms that are out for Halloween…who can pass those up?

Well it’s time to get myself back on track.  I did a search for low fat/low sugar dinners and came up with this chicken burger.  I know chicken burgers can be “boring” or even a bit on the dry side.  But this recipe added some egg whites and bread crumbs to keep it moist.  I changed up a few things on the recipe to our family’s liking, but this is pretty good and great flavor.  I topped it with some low fat cheese, and pickles.  I also used an Everything Thin Bagel so it cut down a bit too for me.

Since we have soccer and football tonight I got this made during my 15 minute afternoon break. So that tells you how hard it was to get prepared and made!  No excuses.

Ingredients

16 ounces extra lean ground chicken breast
1 egg white
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 chopped white onion
1/4 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons low-sodium BBQ sauce (try Chef Meg’s Sweet and Spicy Barbecue Sauce*) (I used whatever BBQ sauce on hand)
2 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt
2 cups arugula, chopped – left this off because the kids won’t like it – too spicy!
4 whole-wheat sandwich thins or buns – I used the Everything Thin Bagel.
Place the ground chicken, egg white, breadcrumbs, parsley,  onions, and spices in a mixing bowl. Gently knead to combine. Form into four burgers.

Preheat a nonstick skillet or cast iron pan. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Grill burgers 12-14 minutes, turning halfway through cooking, or until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine yogurt with the barbecue sauce. Place a burger on a sandwich thin, add your favorite toppings that are low in fat!!

I got some kidney beans and a can of corn and mixed those together for us to eat as a side.  Loaded with fiber!  The kids may prefer a bag of chips to the bean mix, but they do like it!!!

Enjoy!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Source:

Sparkle

Garlic Chicken & Spinach Pasta

The recipe that I found was for Rosemary and Chicken but I’m not a huge fan of that particular herb so I traded places with tons of fresh minced garlic instead!  Who doesn’t love the taste and smell of garlic?!!  I do.  Plus it’s good for you at the same time.  I try to add garlic to all of our home cooked meals.

As I’ve said many times, we have been super busy the month of September with sports and things so finding quick and easy meals is the top priority for me.  This was all of the above.  I didn’t think it would have as much flavor as it did.  But I added at least 6-7 cloves of garlic to this!!

Here’s what you need

1 box (16 oz) cavatappi pasta

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 sprigs fresh rosemary

2 to 3 cups chopped cooked chicken

3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves

6-7 fresh cloves of garlic minced

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

  • 1 Cook and drain pasta as directed on package.
  • 2 Meanwhile, in large skillet or Dutch oven, heat oil and garlic over low heat at least 15 minutes. Add chicken to skillet; cook over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes until warm.
  • 3 Add cooked pasta and spinach; toss. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until spinach begins to wilt. Season with salt and pepper.

Power packed flavor with this pasta bowl.  I have been adding spinach to a few of our meals and haven’t gotten a complaint yet!!  Yay for the healthy green stuff!

Look no further for this simple dish.

Have a great week!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 😉

Source:

Betty Crocker

BBQ Crescent Roll-Ups

 Do you ever have those days where you’re gotten up before the sun comes up (on a weekend???), been to a football game and had soccer practice by 1pm and still have kids that  are glued to your side?  What can we do Nana?  Well, we went for a walk.  That’s what we did.  It’s an 80 degree day here in MN and that won’t last much longer.

Caleb asked to where his roller blades (what was I thinking when I agreed??) and Brooklyn wanted to walk Coco.  Off we go.  We’ve got Radio Disney blaring from my iPhone and the wind blowing in our face keeping us cool.  What more could we want?

Well, let me tell you.  Not even 3 blocks from home Caleb started complaining that his back hurt.  He wanted to stop.  No.  We had more than a mile and a half to go on our walk.  I kid you not, that boy started telling me every dang two feet how bad his back hurt.  All I could say was: “Sorry bud, keep going!”  At the mile marker he was crying because now his feet hurt and he needed to sit.  “Sorry bud, keep going.”  After the next block the boy began to cry harder (this is why I take my walks during my work day…alone…so I can dislike them in peace – and I certainly don’t mean to sound rude about my grand babies – but they worked me today).  Finally I stopped and had him take off his blades and walk the rest of the way home in his socks.

By this time I’ve got one mad at me walking really far in front of me, and the other one crying because his feet and back hurt (which is why he hasn’t gotten to wear these things on a walk before)!

Anyways.  So we’re home.  I’m hot, the house is hotter.  I turn on the air and think what am I going to make for these kids?   I think….think….Oh, I remember seeing these BBQ Crescent Roll-Ups on Pillsbury site.  I just so happen to have a package of the Lloyd’s BBQ Beef in the fridge.  I turned on the oven, got my crescent rolls out and started putting these together.

Brooklyn came in the kitchen to ask for help.  Normally I welcome the kids in the kitchen.  But remember?  I’m hot and now crabby from the walk that was supposed to be enjoyable.  She looks at what I’m making and said:  “What is that?   Ick, that looks gross!”  As to which I thought, shux, you’ll be eating this for dinner!

So… I used:

2 packages of crescent rolls (I used fat free)

1 container of Lloyds BBQ shredded beef

shredded cheddar cheese – some got mozzarella cheese

Olive Oil cooking spray

1.  Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a baking sheet (I lined mine with aluminum foil) with Olive Oil Cooking spray.

2.  Unroll the crescent rolls and place a spoonful of the meat on the long edge of the roll and sprinkle with the cheese.

3. Roll the crescent roll up and spray each one with the spray.

4.  Cooking in the oven until each roll is light brown.

You’ll never guess what Brooklyn said after eating this!!  “Wow, this is pretty good!”  Yep, the kids know how to push the buttons!

Quick, easy, not bad at all.  Now it’s 7pm and I’ve told the kids to go outside and play.  The house is quiet.  For at least the next 15 minutes.

(Do you remember being a kid – for those of you that grew up in the 70s and 80s – playing outside all day until dinner?  No cell phones, no way for mom to text you to find out where you were.  You just went out and played.  Because there wasn’t 500 channels on tv – nor did we have flat screen tvs to watch in different rooms throughout the house in case someone was using the other one –  or 5 different types of video games.  Memories are what those days are!!!)

Have a great week.  Even though today has been a button pushing day for Nana, never go a day without cherishing those that you love.  Time goes by way too fast.  Gone are the 70s.  We’re in 2012 where iPhones and Macbooks rule the world (yep, I had to go there)!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 🙂

Tortellini Soup

With fall weather come soup!  Yay for soup.

I made this soup for myself a week or so ago and planned on having it for lunch for the week.  I made the soup during the day and left it sitting on the stove when I took one of the kids to their practice.  I had mentioned to Craig that we were having the Cinnamon Waffles for dinner that night, so he SHOULD have known that the soup wasn’t dinner.  However, when I came home from sports, opened the pot of soup to put it in containers for myself, it was near empty except for the carrots sitting on the bottom.  Yep, he ate it all but the carrots!  I had nothing to eat for lunch.   I assumed that the soup would be overlooked because of the green and orange things floating in the liquid!  Nope!

So I made this for diner tonight.  A not so hot day, a not so cold day.  A day of church and Brooklyn’s first soccer game.  Got home and put this together in just a matter of a half an hour!!!

Ingredients

  •  cups vegetable broth
  •  cups water
  •  1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  •  9 ounce package cheese-filled spinach tortellini
  •  large carrots, peeled and sliced into thin coins
  •  6 ounce bag baby spinach
  •  Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Make It

1. In a large pot, bring broth, water and Italian seasoning to a boil. Add the tortellini and simmer for 3 minutes. Add carrots and simmer for an additional 4 minutes. Stir in the spinach and simmer for 2 more minutes or until vegetables are tender and the spinach is wilted.

2. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe: 4; Amount Per Serving: Calories: 215, Protein(gm): 9, Carbohydrate(gm): 37, Fat, total(gm): 4, Cholesterol(mg): 15, Saturated fat(gm): 3, Dietary Fiber, total(gm): 6, Sodium(mg): 1006, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

I threw some frozen bicsuits in the oven to dip in the soup.  Great dinner!  AND I have leftovers for lunch!!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Source:

Parents