Thursday, September 29, 2016

Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Dip

This party-ready chicken wing  dish  will not disappoint, especially if you make and serve the blue cheese dip on the side. It's a winner   at my man's poker night .  Enjoy 
 Serves 10
4         ounces crumbled blue cheese
3/4     cup mayonnaise
1/4     cup sour cream
1         tablespoon red wine vinegar
1         tablespoon lemon juice
1/4     teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper
1/4      cup ketchup
1/4     cup hot sauce (such as Frank's RedHot)
1/3     cup red wine vinegar
1         tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1         tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1         teaspoon onion powder
1         teaspoon garlic powder
1         tablespoon sugar
4         tablespoons unsalted butter
3         pounds chicken wings, tips removed, wings separated at joints

1.   Make dip: In a bowl, combine blue cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, lemon juice and garlic powder, stirring well. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill for 2 hours.

2.   Make wings: Preheat oven to 450ºF. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place a large cooling rack on top of sheet and mist with cooking spray.

3.   In a small pan, combine ketchup, hot sauce, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, sugar and butter. Cook over low heat, stirring, until well combined and smooth. Pour into a bowl and let cool.

4.   Pour 1/4 cup of sauce into a small bowl; cover and set aside. In a large bowl, toss wings with 1/2 cup sauce until coated. Place wings on rack. Roast for 10 minutes, then brush with more sauce. Roast 10 minutes longer; brush with more sauce. Turn wings over, brush with sauce and roast 10 minutes. Brush with more sauce and roast for a final 10 minutes.

5.   Remove wings to a large bowl and toss with reserved sauce. Serve with blue cheese dip on the side.
Heart healthy

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Chicken Enchilada Pie ---Mexican style

Prep :25 minutes         Total :1 hour  10 minutes           Servings  6
This main-dish chicken enchilada pie certainly stacks up—and it's ready in a flash, especially if you assemble it with make-Ahead shredded chicken breast.

1        package (11 oumce) Old El Paso flour tortillas for burritos (8 tortillas; 8 inch) 
2        cups cubed cooked chicken 
1/2     cup uncooked instant rice
2        cups shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese (8 oz)
1        can (15 ounce) Progresso™ black beans, drained, rinsed
1        can (19 ounce) Old El Paso™ hot enchilada sauce 
1        cup frozen white shoepeg corn (from 9-ounce box), thawed, drained
1        cup Old El Paso  Thick 'n Chunky salsa 
2        tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
Reduced-fat sour cream, if desired
Chopped green onions, if desired

1.   Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch round (2-quart) glass baking dish or casserole with cooking spray. Cut 5 of the tortillas in half. Cut remaining tortillas into 2 1/2-inch­wide strips.
2.   In large bowl, mix chicken, rice, 1 cup of the cheese, the beans and 1 cup of the enchilada sauce.
3.   Layer 4 tortilla halves in bottom of baking dish. Top with 1/4 cup enchilada sauce and half of the chicken mixture. Top with 2 tortilla halves; fill in empty spaces with 3 tortilla strips. Spoon corn over tortillas. Spread salsa over corn. Layer with 2 tortilla halves and 3 strips. Top with remaining half of chicken mixture. Continue layering with remaining 2 tortilla halves and strips, enchilada sauce, cheese and 2 tablespoons green onions.
4.    Bake uncovered 35 to 45 minutes or until mixture is thoroughly heated and cheese is melted. Cool 5 minutes. Top with sour cream and chopped green onions.
Use two 10-oz cans of mild enchilada sauce instead of the 19-ounce can of hot enchilada sauce for less flavor kick. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Heart healthy

Monday, September 26, 2016

Crescent-Topped Cheeseburger Casserole

20 minutes     prep time    50 minutes total time     6   servings

1          pound  lean (at least 80%) ground beef 
1/4      cup chopped onion 
1/4      cup chopped dill pickles
1/2      cup water
1/2      cup ketchup 
1         tablespoon yellow mustard
1/8      teaspoon pepper
1-1/2   cups shredded American cheese (6 oz)
1        can (8 ounce) Pillsbury  refrigerated Crescent Dough Sheet 
1        egg, beaten 
1        tablespoon sesame seed

1 .  Heat oven to 375°F. In 10-inch nonstick skillet, cook beef and onion over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in pickles, water, ketchup, mustard and pepper.
2 .  Spoon beef mixture into 11x7-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese.
3 .  Unroll dough; press into 12x8-inch rectangle. Cut into 6 squares; place on top of cheese. Brush with egg; sprinkle with sesame seed.
4 .  Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until deep golden brown
Heart healthy

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Maxy sez : Beat Your Sugar Addiction to Manage Diabetes

By Wyatt Myers | Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH
Are unbearable starch and sugar cravings hampering your efforts at type 2 diabetes management? Try these strategies to beat your sweet tooth.

When you have diabetes, you know that one of the most important components of a type 2 diabetes management plan is eating a healthy diet. Granted, this is important for everyone, but with diabetes you have more on the line, day in and day out.

For many people with and without diabetes, sugar cravings stand in the way of health goals. Beating a sugar addiction may be the first step you need to take to achieve success.

“Studies have shown that people who eat a lot of sugar tend to crave more of it — it actually changes the brain chemistry to make us desire more,” says Amber Taylor, MD, director of the Diabetes Center at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore. “Most people who change their diets to avoid starch and sugar have a hard time for the first few weeks.”

Easier said than done, though, right? To beat sugar addiction and overcome sugar cravings, there are a number of strategies that can help you make healthier food choices and steer your glucose levels and overall health in the right direction. Here’s how.

Breaking Off Your Love Affair With Sugar
The first good decision you can make, says Ann Fittante, RD, a certified diabetes educator with the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, is to eat smaller meals and snacks at regular intervals throughout the day. “Spacing out meals and snacks throughout the day can satisfy physiological hunger, which can decrease cravings and bingeing on unhealthy foods,” she says.

What you choose to eat during those meals and snacks also makes a big difference in fighting off those sugar cravings. Fittante recommends consuming healthy fats, proteins, whole grains, beans, and other high-fiber carbohydrates, including fruits and vegetables and avoiding unhealthy refined carbohydrates. “Adding a good source of protein or a healthy fat with carbohydrates can decrease hunger and increase satiety — fruit and nuts or cheese and crackers,” she suggests.

In essence, these food choices leave you more satisfied for longer and better able to win the tug of war between diabetes and sugar. “Healthier, whole-food choices, over time, will help quench sugar and starch cravings as your blood sugar and insulin levels stabilize,” says Samantha Heller, RD, the clinical nutrition coordinator at the Cancer Care Center at Griffin Hospital in Derby, Conn. “Healthy carbohydrates like whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes help keep blood sugars from jumping on the roller coaster of highs and lows that refined carbs do. White flour, sodas, sweets, junk, and fast foods wreak havoc with blood sugar, insulin, weight, and energy levels.”

Sweat Out Your Sugar Addiction
Another way to make type 2 diabetes management easier and fight off sugar cravings is to focus on exercise. And it doesn’t have to be full-on, hard-core workouts, either. A recent study published in the journal Appetite found that, among regular chocolate eaters, those who went on a brisk, 15-minute walk before they were offered chocolate ate about half as much as those who simply rested for 15 minutes before indulging.

“Exercise is one of the key elements to staying healthy with diabetes, no matter what type you have,” says Sarah Yandall, RD, CDE, a dietitian and diabetes educator with the Detroit Medical Center's Children's Hospital of Michigan. “It helps your body to use insulin more efficiently, helps lower blood glucose levels, and helps to keep your heart healthy. Exercise also helps you to maintain a healthy weight, which helps with insulin resistance.”

Eating right and getting regular exercise — a winning combination for diabetes and overall good health.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Ginger-Peach Shortbread Cobbler

Makes 6 to 8 servings          Total time: 1 Hour, 10 Minutes

1                cup butter, softened
1/2             cup loosely packed light brown sugar
1/8             teaspoon kosher salt
2-1/4         cups plus 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, divided
1               (1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled
3/4            cup turbinado sugar, divided
7 to 9        medium-size peaches (such as 'Elberta'), halved
2               tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1               large egg white, lightly beaten
2               teaspoons granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Beat first 3 ingredients and 2 1/4 cups flour at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer just until combined. Place dough on a lightly floured surface; roll to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut about 14 rounds with a 2 1/2-inch fluted round cutter. Place rounds in a single layer on a baking sheet; cover and chill until ready to use.

2. Pulse ginger and 1/4 cup turbinado sugar in a food processor 5 to 6 times or until well combined. Stir together ginger mixture and remaining 1/2 cup turbinado sugar in a large bowl. Add lemon juice, peaches, and remaining 3 Tbsp. flour; toss to coat. Place peach halves, slightly overlapping, in a greased (with butter) 10-inch cast-iron skillet, and pour any remaining juice over peaches.

3. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and nestle shortbread dough rounds among peaches. Brush rounds with egg white, and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake 17 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Heart healthy

Monday, September 19, 2016

Can't-Believe-It's-Vegan Chili

This dish is sure to make it into your regular rotation: completely satisfying chili that cooks in a fraction of the time it takes to make traditional meat chili. This recipe makes plenty; freeze leftovers for up to three months. Vegan sausage varies widely in taste and texture; we liked the meatiness and mild heat of the Field Roast brand, Mexican Chipotle flavor.
Serves 10 (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)        Total time: 35 Minutes

2         tablespoons olive oil
1        cup chopped onion
1        cup chopped red bell pepper
1        tablespoon chopped garlic
1       (12.95-ounce) package vegan sausage, chopped (such as Field Roast Mexican Chipotle)
2        cups chopped tomato
1/2    cup white wine
2       teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1       teaspoon salt
1       teaspoon dried ground sage
1       teaspoon crushed red pepper
6       cups Vedge-Style Vegetable Stock or unsalted vegetable stock
3       (15-ounce) cans unsalted  cannellini beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
2       (15-ounce) cans unsalted kidney beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
2      cups chopped kale
2      tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and next 3 ingredients (through sausage); sauté 4 minutes. Add tomato and next 5 ingredients (through red pepper). Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced by half (about 1 minute). Stir in stock. Combine 2 cans cannellini beans and 1 can kidney beans in a medium bowl; mash with a potato masher. Add bean mixture and remaining beans to pan. Bring to a simmer; cook 5 minutes. Add kale; cover and simmer 5 minutes. Sprinkle with oregano.
Heart healthy

Friday, September 16, 2016

'The othe white meat; Pork Medallions with Roasted Nectarines

Lean pork tenderloin cooks quickly when sliced across the grain into neat rounds. Match the inherent sweetness of the meat with juicy late-summer nectarines, which caramelize in the heat of the pan. This dish would also be delicious with peaches ,apples or pears.
Serves  4

1        pork tenderloin, (about 1-1/2  pounds), cut crosswise into 4 to 6 medallions
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1       tablespoon olive oil
1       cup (8  ounces) hard apple cider
1      fresh sprig rosemary
2      teaspoons  whole-grain mustard
2      nectarines or peaches, halved, pitted and cut into wedges,  halved lengthwise
1     tablespoon  unsalted butter

Preheat an oven to 400°F 

1 .   Season the pork with salt and pepper. In an ovenproof fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the pork medallions and cook, turning once, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

2 .  Add the cider, rosemary and mustard to the pan, bring to a boil and stir to scrape up any browned bits on the pan bottom. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes. Return the pork to the pan, place in the oven and cook for about  8 minutes   . 
3 .  Remove from the oven, turn the pork and add the sliced nectarines. Return to the oven and cook until the pork is tender and registers 145°F  about 10 minutes.

4 .  Transfer the pork and nectarines to a platter. Place the pan over medium heat and whisk in the butter to make a sauce. Spoon the sauce over the pork and nectarines and serve immediately. 
Heart hearthy

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Chicken Salad

 Prep : 30 minutes      Total time : 30 minutes      Serves :  4

4        cups shredded deli rotisserie chicken (from 2-lb chicken)
2        cups small fresh broccoli florets 
1        red bell pepper, chopped 
2        tablespoons grated onion 
1        clove garlic, finely chopped
3/4     cup mayonnaise
1        tablespoon honey
1        tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4    cup coarsely chopped fresh dill weed
1/2    teaspoon salt
1/2    teaspoon pepper
4        large radicchio leaves

1 .  In large bowl, mix chicken, broccoli, bell pepper, onion and garlic.
2 .   In small bowl, mix mayonnaise, honey and mustard. Add dressing to chicken mixture; mix well. Sprinkle with dill, salt and pepper; stir until incorporated.
3 .   To serve, spoon salad onto radicchio leaves.
Heart healthy

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Copycat Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

  Make  12 doughnuts    prep : 12 hours     cook time: 5 minutes     total time: 13 hours
These doughnuts are light, airy and covered in a barely-there glaze, reminiscent of the famous Krispy Kreme doughnuts! 

2¼       teaspoons instant yeast
¾        cup warm water
⅓        cup  granulated sugar
½        teaspoon salt
¼        cup  unsalted butter, at room temperature
1         egg
1         egg yolk
1         teaspoon vanilla extract
3         cups  all-purpose flour
3         cups  vegetable shortening, for frying

2        cups  powdered sugar
¼       cup  water
1½     teaspoons vanilla extract

1 . Combine the yeast and water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Let stand for 10 minutes.

2. Add the sugar, salt, butter, egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract and 2½ cups of the flour. Knead on low speed until a dough begins to form. If the dough is quite sticky, add more flour a tablespoon at a time until a soft, tacky dough forms. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl, but not the bottom.

3. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free spot for 2 hours.

4. Gently press to deflate the dough, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight.

5. On a floured work surface, roll the dough out to a ½-inch thickness. Using a doughnut cutter (if you don't have one, use one larger and one smaller round cutters) dipped in flour, cut out the doughnuts and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. (You can roll any leftover dough scraps into balls for more doughnut holes.) Cover with a clean dish towel and allow to rest for 1 hour.

6. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels and place a wire cooling rack on top.

7. When ready to fry, heat the vegetable shortening in a large cast iron skillet (or other wide, heavy-bottomed skillet or pot) to a maintained temperature of 360 to 370 degrees. Gently lower the doughnuts into the oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pan (I cooked in three batches). Cook until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Carefully remove the doughnuts from the oil and place on the cooling rack. Repeat until all of the doughnuts have been fried.

8. Make the Glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, water and vanilla extract until smooth. Working one at a time, dip each doughnut into the glaze, flip to coat the other side, and return to the cooling rack. Allow the glaze to set for about 15 minutes, then serve.
TIP : I make 4 batches  at a time ... 48 doughnuts ... 48 holes  large fanily .

TIP :  By reheating leftover doughnuts for 8 seconds in the microwave is perfect
Heart healthy
Thanx Michelle 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Lemon Surprise

Lemon self-saucing pudding, also known as lemon surprise pudding, is easy to whip up and can be ready in an hour. Make one
simple mixture and as it cooks it separates into a light sponge on top .  My girls  love making this , soooooo  easy .
PREP 15 Minutes      COOK 35 Minutes 

1         cup self raising flour
salt     (a pinch)
1⁄2      cup caster sugar (or regular  sugar)
1         teaspoon lemon rind (grated)
2         tablespoons butter (melted and mix in milk and vanilla)
1⁄2      teaspoon vanilla extract (or essence)
1⁄2      cup milk (I used  2%)

1⁄3       cup sugar (could possibly cut this by half)
1         teaspoon lemon rind (grated)
1         cup water (boiling)
1⁄2      cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)

Preheat oven to 180°C.
1 .  Grease a 4 to 6 cup casserole dish (deep sides).
Batter Base - sift flour and a pinch of salt together and then add sugar and grated lemon rind, mixing well together.
2 .  Stir in melted butter , vanilla and milk mix and stir until all flour mix is incorporated.
3 .  Pour into prepared casserole dish.
Sauce :
4 .  Sprinkle the mixture with the sugar and lemon rind.
Combine the boiling water and lemon juice and carefully spoon some of over the batter and sugar topping, until fully covered and then pour the rest of the mix over the back of the spoon.
5 .  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving (very important to allow the sauce to thicken or otherwise will have runny liquid).
Serve with cream and or icecream.

Heart healthy

Maxy sez :How to Handle High Blood Sugar

By Joy Pape, FNP-C, CDEQ: I test my blood sugar regularly, but my result is often higher than my target range.  What should I do when my test result is too high?

A: When your blood sugar is too high, before making a decision on what to do, it’s important to first understand why it may be high. There are many reasons your blood sugar may be higher than your target range. In my experience, a lot of people think it’s related to what they ate. This may be true — but it’s usually not all about food. Managing diabetes is really a balancing act. A balance of what you eat, how active you are, the medications you take, what time of day it is, and, most important, how your body responds. After all, everyone is different. And the American Diabetes Association recommends treatment should be individualized, which means your diabetes care plan should be tailored to you.

Back to the question, “What should I do?”

Take some time to think and answer the following questions.

What did I eat last?
When did I eat last?
Have I been active?
What medicine am I taking?
Did I take my medicine?
What time of the day is it?
What did I eat last?

Certain types of foods raise your blood sugar more than others. For example, foods high in carbohydrates raise your blood sugar more than protein-rich or higher fat foods. What did you last eat before you tested your blood sugar? If the food was high in carbohydrates, lowering your carbohydrate intake could be helpful.

When did I eat last?

If you check your blood sugar one to two hours after you eat, you might find it’s higher than if you check your blood sugar four hours after you eat. You should have different goals for your blood sugar before and after you eat.

If it’s early in the morning, and you haven’t eaten since the night before, don’t be surprised if your blood sugar is higher than it was when you went to bed. Hormones are at work at night and in the early morning that can raise your blood sugar. If this is the case for you, it may mean you need to talk with your diabetes care team about treatment options, such as a change in your eating, medicine, and/or activity plan.

Have I been active?

Being active can lower your blood sugar. If you haven’t been very active, your blood sugar can be higher. Get active. Find something you like to do and will do to be more active. You may very well see your number go down. If you’re taking medicine that can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) talk with your diabetes care team about how to best prevent low blood sugars during or after activity.

What medicine am I taking?

Not all people who have diabetes take medication to help lower blood sugar. If you aren’t taking medicine, you may need to. If you are, it may be that you need more, either a higher dose of the medicine you take or perhaps another type of medicine. Do not make changes in medicine without first discussing with your diabetes care team.

Did I take my medicine?

If you have been prescribed medicine and your blood sugar is high, you may not have taken your medicine. This can happen for many reasons. Do you forget to take your medicine? If this happens often, perhaps you need to change the time you take your medicine to a time you can and do remember to take them. If you have a smartphone, you can set the alarm to remind yourself. Is it difficult to afford your medicine? If so, you may need a different kind of medicine you can afford or learn more about a program that may be available to help you pay for your medicine. Discuss these issues with your diabetes care team before making changes.

What is the time of day?

It may be that your blood sugar is high all the time or perhaps just at a certain time of the day. If it’s high all of the time, you most likely need an overall tune up — changes in your food, activity, and medicine plan. If just at a certain time of the day, you may just need to work on making adjustments for that time of day, such as your early morning blood sugars, which may include making changes to your medicine. If it’s after a certain meal of the day, perhaps just decreasing the amount of food you eat at that meal can help.

If you’ve been experiencing high blood sugar, your homework should include taking notes, either handwritten or electronically, on your blood sugar levels and how your food, exercise, and medicine may have affected your results. With your information in hand, have the conversation with your diabetes care team so that together you can come up with a blood sugar management plan just for YOU.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Chili-Corn Chip Pie

This  dish is a healthy version of  Fritos Chili Pie. Often served  at  picnics ,family gathering   or  sports events , great made with left over chili the next day .It's a crowd  pleaser .
 Serves 4              Total time: 40 Minutes

Cooking spray
1     pound ground sirloin
1-1/4     cups chopped onion
6     garlic cloves, minced
1/2     teaspoon ground cumin
1/2     teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8     teaspoon kosher salt
1     tablespoon no-salt-added tomato paste
1     cup fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth
1/3     cup water
1     (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
4     ounces lightly salted corn chips (such as Fritos)
1/3     cup (1 1/2 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4     cup fat-free sour cream
1/2     cup diagonally sliced green onion tops

1.   Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add beef to pan; sauté 5 minutes, stirring to crumble. Remove beef; drain. Wipe pan clean with paper towels. Add onion to pan; sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in beef, cumin, pepper, and salt.

2.   Stir in tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add broth, 1/3 cup water, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 15 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

3.   Place 1 ounce chips in each of 4 bowls, and top each serving with about 2/3 cup beef mixture, 2 tablespoons cheese, and 1 tablespoon sour cream. Sprinkle each serving with 2 tablespoons green onions.
Heart healthy

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie

                                      Chocolate chip Cookie
                                  Peanut Butter Cookie
2            sticks unsalted butter, softened
1           cup packed light brown sugar
1/2        cup granulated sugar
2           large eggs
2           cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1           teaspoon baking soda
1/2        teaspoon salt
1-1/2    teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-1/2    cups bittersweet chocolate chips
3/4       cup white chocolate chips
1/2       cup chopped macadamia nuts
1/2      cup chopped toasted walnuts
Confectioners' sugar, for garnish (optional)
Sweetened cocoa, for garnish  (optional)
Sweetened whipped cream, accompaniment (optional)

1 .  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 14-inch, light colored, round pizza pan with parchment paper (oven proof skillet) and grease the parchment paper.

2 .  In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars. Add the eggs, beating well after the addition of each.

3 .   In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix with a whisk. Add to the butter mixture, mixing to incorporate, and add the vanilla extract. Fold in the dark and white chips and the nuts. Spread across the bottom of the prepared pan and bake until the edges are golden and the cookie is set but the center is still slightly soft, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

4 .  To serve, sift confectioners' sugar and sweetened cocoa over the top, and cut into wedges. Serve sweetened whipped cream on the side.
Big cookies are  easy to make , a little  imagination  and  a sweet tooth .
You can use your  favorite  cookie recipe  a  8-inch iron skillet (my favorite) or an 8-inch cake pan or  make one on a large cookie sheet . 
If you are in a hurry  , you can use cookie dough  /  refrigerater cookie dough / cookie mix  .
Make your favorite  cookie  ... add nuts  / raisins/ chocolate chips . 
My favorite is peanut butter  and  googy chocolate chips.
Remember  to roll the cookies thin for  a crisp cookie , the thicker the cookie the  softer it will be . 
Let  your  imagination run wild . 
Have fun ...Watch for  the  food burglars  .

Southwest Chicken Casserole

 Healthy  and hearty, this Southwest Chicken Casserole is one of our favorite dinners! The combination of toothy quinoa, juicy chicken, spicy red sauce, and gooey cheese is irresistible! The best part? It can be on the table is just 45 minutes.

1       cup quinoa
3       tablespoons olive oil
½      teaspoon crushed chipotle chili flakes (add a little more if you like heat)
1-½    tablespoons chili powder
1-½    teaspoons dried oregano
2        teaspoons cumin
2        teaspoons garlic powder
¾       teaspoon salt
¼       teaspoon black pepper
2       red bell peppers, seeded and thinly slice, 
1       medium red onion, peeled and thinly sliced,  
1       28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (1)
1       cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
¼      cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1       store bought cooked rotisserie chicken, shredded, 
1-½    cups pepper jack cheese, shredded
Chopped cilantro and red onion, for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F). Lightly grease a 2 quart baking dish and set aside.
1 .  In a large saucepan add 2 cups water and cook the quinoa according to package instructions. Once fully cooked, transfer it to a large bowl and set aside.

2 .  Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the crushed chipotle chili flakes, chili powder, dried oregano, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Add the red peppers and red onion, stir to combine, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and black beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

3.  Into the large bowl holding the quinoa, add the pepper mixture, cilantro, shredded chicken, and half of the cheese. Stir well to combine.

4 .  Spread the quinoa mixture into the prepared baking dish and evenly top with the remaining cheese. Place the pan into the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is golden, bubbly, and melted.

5 . Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro and red onion, if desired.
Heart healthy

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Toasted pecan butter cookies

Just about the easiest cookies I ever made and everyone liked them. They are delicate, buttery cookies, which get their crunchy texture from toasted pecans and a sugar coating and practically melt in your mouth.

  • 3/4 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus more for coating
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a baking sheet, toast pecans until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Let cool completely; finely chop.
  2. With an electric mixer, cream butter and 1/3 cup sugar until light, about 1 minute. Beat in vanilla, salt, and flour, scraping down sides of bowl, just until dough comes together. Fold in pecans.
  3. Separate dough into 12 pieces; squeeze dough to shape into balls. Roll in sugar. Place, 3 inches apart, on a baking sheet. Gently flatten with the bottom of a glass (reshape sides if necessary). Sprinkle with sugar ( optional )         
  4. Bake until golden brown, rotating sheet halfway through, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with more sugar.
  5. Cool cookies on a wire rack and munch a bunch                                           

Monday, September 5, 2016

Cheeseburger Crescent Casserole

Prep time :10 minutes       Total time :40 minutes     5    ingredients  Makes : 8    servings

1             pound ground beef, cooked, drained
1/2         cup ketchup 
1/4         cup dill pickle relish
1-1/2      cups shredded American cheese (6 ounces)
1            can (8 ounce) Pillsbury  refrigerated crescent dinner rolls 

1 . Heat oven to 375°F. In 10-inch skillet, mix beef and ketchup. Heat over medium-high heat until hot, stirring occasionally. Stir in relish and 1 cup of the cheese. Spoon into ungreased 9- or 10-inch pie plate.

2 .  Separate dough into 8 triangles; roll up 1 inch on shortest side of each dough triangle. Place dough on top of meat mixture in spoke pattern with points towards center. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

3 .  Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.

TIP : I use a glass pie plate.
Heart healthy

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Vegetable and Rice Casserole

This ancient dish traces its roots to India's Kayastha community, who developed it as a unique variation of biryani. In tahiree, rice and other elements cook together, while biryani rice is cooked separately and then layered with meat and vegetables.

1/4       cup canola oil
2          teaspoons cumin seeds
1/2       teaspoon whole peppercorns
1/2       teaspoon cracked peppercorns
1/2       teaspoon coriander seeds
9          cardamom pods
6          whole cloves
3         bay leaves
3         dried red chiles de arbol
1         large onion, halved and thinly sliced
2         teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1-1/4   pounds cauliflower florets (about 1/2 large head)
2        large red potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1       (12-ounce) sweet potato, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1       teaspoon ground turmeric
2       cups basmati rice (found in supermarket Asian aisle or use  long grain white rice)
1       cup frozen petite green peas
4       cups water
1       teaspoon roasted ground cumin
1/2    teaspoon garam masala

1. Combine first 9 ingredients in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; cook, stirring frequently, about 2-1/2 minutes or until cumin browns. Add onion and 1 teaspoon salt; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in cauliflower, potatoes, and turmeric; reduce heat to medium, and cook 1 minute. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Stir in peas and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Stir in ground cumin, garam masala, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt; cover and cook 20 minutes. Turn off heat; let stand 5 minutes. Fluff and serve immediately.
Heart healthy

Maxy sez : 7 Unusual Signs of Type 2 Diabetes

By Amy Gorin  Reviewed by Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE

Strange Symptoms That May Signal Diabetes
When you have type 2 diabetes, it’s important to be diagnosed as early as possible, since untreated symptoms can lead to dangerous — and sometimes irreversible — damage to the eyes, nerves, and kidneys. Common symptoms include fatigue, lethargy, confusion, nausea, and increased urination, says David Bradley, MD, assistant professor of endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus. But those aren’t the only signs that may signal type 2 diabetes — there are several more unusual symptoms that many people don’t commonly associate with the disease. It’s important to be aware of them, especially if you have a family history of diabetes: If one or both parents has type 2, then you have an increased chance of developing the disease yourself.

So that you know what to be on the lookout for, we consulted the experts, who told us about seven unusual symptoms of diabetes. If you experience one or more of them, consult your doctor as soon as possible.
Blurry Vision
If you’re having trouble reading street signs, your glasses may not be the problem. Although later-stage diabetes can cause permanent eye damage, blurry vision that arises in the early stages of the disease may be reversible. “A person with diabetes may experience blurred vision because of fluid level fluctuations that cause the eye to swell,” says Erika Villanueva, MD, an endocrinologist and clinical instructor of Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. High blood-sugar levels cause fluid levels in some tissues to drop, including the lenses of your eyes.
Your Skin Looks and Feels Weird

When blood-sugar levels are heightened, the kidneys eliminate excess sugar through the urine, which results in increased urination and loss of fluid. “The subsequent dehydration causes increased thirst, and may cause itchy skin,” says Dr. Villanueva. You might also notice darkening in the body’s folds and creases (such as the armpits, groin, and neck). These velvety patches are caused by insulin resistance. Extra insulin circulating in the body may trigger skin cells to rapidly reproduce, and the new cells have more melanin (or pigment), resulting in a patch of skin that's darker than the skin surrounding it.
A Wound That Won’t Heal

A slow-to-heal cut or bug bite can be a red flag for diabetes. Hyperglycemia (aka high blood sugar) decreases the amount of oxygen that can be delivered to wounds through the bloodstream, slowing the healing process and lowering the immune system. “I had a client who was diagnosed with diabetes after she had a mosquito bite that turned into a sore that wouldn't heal,” says Rachael Hartley, RD, CDE, a dietitian in private practice in Columbia, South Carolina. This effect on immunity may also lead to more frequent colds and illness.
Frequent Yeast Infections or Jock Itch

Yeast thrives on glucose, and blood levels of glucose are consistently elevated in a person with diabetes, notes Villanueva. This is why women with diabetes are prone to chronic yeast infections, and men are more likely to develop jock itch. Yeast can grow in other areas, too — creating itchy rashes in skin folds, such as under the breasts, and between fingers and toes.

Problems in the Bedroom

Diabetes can cause a decrease in sexual function in both men and women. Men may experience erectile dysfunction, while women may have vaginal dryness and problems with arousal. This is because high blood-sugar levels can damage blood vessels and nerves that you need to work properly for sexual response, explains Hope Scott Paul, MS, a Certified Diabetes Educator in Murrysville, Pennsylvania. Nerves control the body’s response to sexual stimuli, signaling an increase in blood flow to the genitals; damage to these areas contributes to sexual dysfunction.
Restless Sleep

Diabetes doesn’t only lead to dangerous spikes in blood sugar, but can cause dips — known as hypoglycemia — as well. Nighttime hypoglycemia may cause nighttime sweats, as well as vivid dreams. “I’ve heard these described as horrible nightmares,” says Paul. If hypoglycemia is suspected, it’s important to test blood-sugar levels and follow the 15/15 rule if numbers are low: Experts recommend having a 15-gram serving of carbohydrates, such as 4 ounces of fruit juice or 2 tablespoons of raisins, then waiting 15 minutes before retesting numbers. Those with diabetes may need to consult a doctor immediately, as dangerously low blood-sugar levels can lead to serious complications, and can even be life threatening if not addressed properly.

And if you're a frequent napper, the habit could be increasing your risk for developing diabetes. 2015 research published in Diabetologia found that regularly taking a nap an hour or longer raises risk of type 2 diabetes by 46 percent.
You’re Losing Weight

This may sound like good news, but if you’ve recently dropped a significant amount of weight without trying — or perhaps even while eating more than usual — it may be a sign of diabetes. “Insulin resistance causes sugar to stay stuck in the bloodstream rather than being moved into cells for energy storage,” says Hartley. “With diabetes, your body also loses sugar through urination. Because sugar is a source of energy, or calories, this can lead to weight loss.”

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Strawberry Biscuits

The addition of heavy cream will guarantee moist biscuits every time. Brush warm biscuits with melted salted butter, and serve with Basil-Honey Butter
Serves 12            Total time: 45 Minutes

1/2         cup (4 oz.) salted butter, frozen
2-1/2     cups (10 oz.) self-rising flour
1/4        cup granulated sugar
1/4        teaspoon baking powder
1           cup chilled heavy whipping  cream
1           cup chopped fresh strawberries
2           tablespoons salted butter, melted
Basil-Honey Butter

1. Preheat oven to 475°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Grate the frozen butter using large holes of a box grater. Toss together grated butter, flour, sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl. Chill 10 minutes.

2. Make a well in the center of the butter mixture. Add the heavy cream, and stir 10 times. Add the strawberries, and stir 5 times. (Dough will be loose and flaky.)

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and gently knead 3 to 4 times. Lightly sprinkle flour over top of dough. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches). Starting at 1 short end, fold dough in half so short ends meet. Repeat rolling and folding procedure 4 more times.

4. Roll the dough to 1-inch thickness. Cut dough with a floured 2 1/2-inch round cutter, and place on prepared baking sheet, rerolling dough scraps and flouring as needed.

5. Bake in preheated oven until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Brush warm biscuits with melted salted butter, and serve with Basil-Honey Butter.
Heart healthy