Tag Archives: fast

Savory Corn Waffles with Spicy Maple Butter Sauce

The Event

Apparently, I work best with a deadline.  I always have great intentions to post every week, but life keeps getting in the way, and the next thing I know, weeks have flown by!  But a deadline can sometimes kick my butt into getting something done in a timely fashion.

Take this cool Cooking Improv Challenge, hosted by Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker, for instance.  What a great idea this is!  Each month, she provides a theme, and anyone who’d like to participate gets to go wild, making up whatever kind of recipe that makes their skirt fly up, as long as it fits the theme.  As soon as I heard about this, I knew I wanted to play along.

This month’s theme is Corn and Butter.  Perfect for a steamy July, don’t you think?  Delicious sweet corn has just started showing up lately, and we are loving it.  Corn is so versatile, too.  Did you know you can make ice cream out of corn?  Souffles?  All KINDS of fun things can be done with corn.

The Recipe

My first thought was to do a dessert, just because it’s less obvious.  However, it seems as though I’ve done nothing *but* desserts on the blog lately, so I decided instead to go for a delicious yet healthy savory dish.  I had a feeling this recipe was going to work out, as soon as I came up with it.  But WOW!  It came out so amazingly good the first time through that we were practically licking our plates.

My boyfriend, who is notoriously picky, was raving after the first bite.  Then closing his eyes with each bite to savor.  What more can a cook ask for, than a reaction like that?

Plus, these waffles are super quick and easy to make.  Just mix up the batter, put the first one in, and clean up the minimal mess while it’s baking.  By the time you are ready to serve, you can sit down to eat with everyone else, with no mess hanging over your head.  As an extra added bonus, waffles freeze great, so you can save any extras for a quick and easy dinner on another night.  Or maybe brunch on the weekend.

The Spicy Maple Butter sauce I made for this is yummy too, but we actually loved it best with just a fried or poached egg on top.  Cut up the egg and let the warm, runny yolk run down over the waffle….. it just doesn’t get any more satisfying than that.

So, thanks Kristen, for coming up with such a fun event.  I can’t wait to see what everyone else came up with for Corn and Butter!  (see the blog hop links at the bottom of this post for other posts).



The Stats

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Cooking Improv Blog Hop

Pantry Raid: Nachos

What do you do when you want something quick and easy, there’s not much in the house, and you don’t want to go out?

Pantry Raid!!

As a general rule, I am a proponent of fresh foods in favor of packaged and canned. But sometimes, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. I think even the snobbiest foodie sneaks into the closet for some Oreos or Doritos occasionally, even if they deny it.

Next time you feel the need, make these savory, salty, slightly spicy nachos using things you probably already have in your pantry, ready in about 15 minutes.


Quick Dessert Cake

On a recent week night, after eating dinner, we decided we wanted something sweet. Something that was really dessert, but didn’t take a long time to put together. We had a movie to watch and we wanted to get to it.

So, I jumped onto the Food Blog Search and typed in “quick dessert.” A whole bunch of things popped up, and a few items down, I found Millie’s Quick Dessert Cake. Not only did it, indeed, sound very quick, but it used canned pie filling – of which I have several I need to use up (how is it that I have several, I ask you? I never use them! Why did I buy them? I don’t understand). So, Quick Dessert Cake it was!

True to its description, this cake goes together very quickly – just a couple of minutes really. My boyfriend loved the cherry pie filling, and while I liked it, I would have liked it even better with fresh fruit, which is another suggested filling from the author. The only thing I did differently was to halve the recipe, as my pie filling can was a smaller one. It worked out perfectly for an 8″ square pan.

Next time you need a quick, easy dessert, give this one a try!


Nutritional Info calculated with BigOven Recipe Software

Calories: 270
Fat: 12g, Sat Fat: 7g
Fiber: 1g
Sugars: 17g
Protein: 3g

Easy Cioppino in the Slow Cooker

This is another awesome, fast and delicious slow cooker meal. Basically, you are just cooking the broth all day, then come home, throw in the fish for the last few minutes, then serve and eat.

A perfect meal for those crazy nights you know you won’t want to cook. Just prep everything the night before, then put the broth mixings in on your way off to work. When you get home, put the fish in and turn it up to high, put some crusty sourdough bread in the oven to warm up and 20-30 minutes later, you’re eating a hearty and satisfying meal.


Herbed Lamb Chops

I don’t know why we don’t eat lamb more often. It’s juicy and delicious, and little chops are quick and easy to make. But for whatever reason, I never seem to think of it until I see all the Easter lamb recipes on the Internet.

I’ve not yet made a leg of lamb, but I’ve done chops a couple of times. Don’t wait for a special occasion to make these – they grill (or broil) up in a snap. Pair with mashed potatoes as I did for an indulgent treat, or even just a simple salad or some steamed veggies for a super quick, easy and healthy weeknight meal.


Nutritional Info calculated with BigOven Recipe Software

Calories: 206
Fat: 8g, Sat Fat: 3g
Fiber: 0g
Sugars: 0g
Protein: 28g

Lamb Chops on FoodistaLamb Chops

Spicy Garlic Rosemary Shrimp & Pasta

Mother in Law's Tongue pastaIs this not the coolest pasta you have ever seen in your life? I found this (and a bunch of other fun colored and shaped pastas) at World Market the other day and could not resist them, but I think this one is the most unique. I love it! I even love the name – “Mother In Law’s Tongue” pasta.

I’ve been pondering how to serve this beautiful pasta. Most pasta sauces would cover up the lovely colors, and I didn’t want to go that direction. Then, while browsing through some tried and true recipes, I found just the perfect thing. Spicy Garlic Rosemary Shrimp!

This is one of those wonderful recipes that proves that healthy meals don’t have to be boring or skimpy or any of that. It’s quick, easy to make, very flavorful and low enough calorie that you can have a hearty portion. Even my anything-healthy-hating-boyfriend loves this recipe. It’s perfect for a weeknight meal because it’s so fast and easy, yet special enough to serve for company.

You could add some goodies to this dish if you want to add some veggies – try some chopped bell pepper or frozen peas for a quick, colorful addition. If you don’t want to use pasta, serve this over rice or bulgur, instead.

Unfortunately, after boiling the Mother In Law’s Tongue pasta, the colors faded somewhat and it separated into skinny strips (along the color lines). It still looked pretty but not as cool as it was when dry. Nonetheless, we enjoyed having such unique and colorful pasta with our shrimp. I wonder if all brands do this or just the one I got? Maybe I boiled it too hard? Have any of you used this kind of pasta before?


Nutritional Info calculated with BigOven Recipe Software

Calories: 266
Fat: 8g, Sat Fat: 1g
Fiber: 1g
Sugars: 0g
Protein: 26g

Shrimp on FoodistaShrimp
Rosemary on FoodistaRosemary

Strawberry Strudel

sliced strawberriesEverything that tastes good is fattening. That’s the rumor, anyway. And while sometimes it sure seems that way, fortunately there are a few goodies out there to prove it wrong.

Take strawberries, for instance. Beautiful, juicy, sweet and delicious. AND very low calorie (and they’re even quite filling). Strawberries are definitely an exception to the above rule. Strawberries are a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth without busting any buttons.

Phyllo dough is another staple for me. Crispy and golden brown, judicious use of phyllo dough can give you a yummy and satisfying crust for a lot less fat and calories than pretty much any other kind. I like to keep some in the freezer all the time.

So the other night I was wanting something sweet and tasty but not too indulgent. I had some thawed phyllo dough. There was a big container of strawberries that needed to be used. So I just threw this together and it was delish. Sweet strawberry filling in a crispy golden brown crust – what’s not to like? And hot out of the oven, it was fragrant and warming to boot.

And to top it off, it only took maybe 5 minutes to put it together. This could definitely be done with pretty much any kind of fruit or berry, I would think. This is why I keep that phyllo around!


Nutritional Info calculated with BigOven Recipe Software

Calories: 163
Fat: 1g, Sat Fat: 0g
Fiber: 2g
Sugars: 19g
Protein: 2g

Phyllo Dough on FoodistaPhyllo Dough
Strawberry on FoodistaStrawberry

Oven Fried Chicken Chimichangas

I have a confession to make. Some nights, I’m too tired to really cook. Some nights, I just don’t want to. I’m sorry! I WANT to be that person who makes everything from scratch every single night, I do! But sometimes, I’m just not. That pesky day job (and the second job, the kid, the pets, the man, the house, sometimes pure laziness….) just really gets in the way.

The problem is, on those nights, I still don’t really want to get fast food or order in, either. What’s a girl to do? Well, I try to keep a few basics on hand for nights like those.

One of the things I keep on hand are some frozen, mesquite grilled chicken breasts. They can be quickly defrosted in the microwave and used in an easy recipe or, on a really lazy night, just warmed up and slapped between some bread for a decent warm sandwich. I also like them for recipes that call for “cooked chicken,” which unfortunately, usually means “canned chicken.” While canned chicken is fine for some things, it is pretty bland, kind of mushy and all canned things tends to have too much sodium.

Thanks to Sam’s Club, these frozen chicken breasts take cooked chicken a step up. They are mesquite grilled, so have some decent flavor, are white meat, so pretty healthy and do not have loads of added sodium. And they are perfect for lazy nights.

This is one of our favorite quick, lazy-night recipes. It’s very easy, quick to throw together, hearty, filling, tasty and fairly healthy. If you wanted to take it to the next level, by all means, cook your chicken fresh, adding your own spices and flavorings to kick it up a notch. But on a lazy night, when you still want something delicious for dinner, this one is a winner.

Although I haven’t done it yet, these would be easy to customize – add beans, use beef or pork instead of chicken, use a salsa verde instead of the red salsa, etc.


Nutritional Info (not including garnishes) calculated with BigOven Recipe Software

Calories: 338
Fat: 15g, Sat Fat: 7g
Fiber: 2g
Sugars: 2g
Protein: 27g

Chicken Chimichangas on FoodistaChicken Chimichangas

Chewy Amaretti Cookies & Samoas Bars

amaretti cookiesSince I recently lost some weight, I often get asked, “How do you bake like that and still stay skinny?”

Well, I think I’m still pretty far from skinny. But the secret to not eating all the cookies or whatever is to spread it around! So, I bring goodies to the monthly staff meeting at work. That way, I eat a couple myself (just to test, of course) and give the rest away. Voila! Temptation averted.

As many of those who like to cook do, I have stacks and stacks of recipes I’d like to try. I expect that if I made 2 or 3 of them every day for the rest of my life, I’d still never get through them all. And the stacks grow every day.

Establishing this routine has given me a venue to try a couple or 3 new recipes every month. All of my coworkers know they are my guinea pigs and that I usually haven’t tried the recipes I bring, prior to that time. Occasionally, one is a complete failure. Some recipes are more popular than others. Interesting trends in eating habits are revealed. For instance, I always have more leftover cookies at the end of the day in January than any other time. Hmm, I can’t imagine why…

I have a lovely little spreadsheet to keep track of what recipes I’ve already done, but now that I have this little online spot just for me, I can share pictures and details of the recipes I try each month. Hence, Monthly Munchies is born! Care to play along?

Our staff meeting is usually held on the second Thursday of every month. So I’ll be posting that Thursday or the day after, each month, about the recipes that I make. If you’d like to do some Monthly Munchies, just send me the link to your posts and I’ll add ‘em in.

On to this month’s selections!


Nutritional Info calculated with BigOven Recipe Software

Calories: 12
Fat: 0g, Sat Fat: 0g
Fiber: 0g
Sugars: 2g
Protein: 0g


Nutritional Info calculated with BigOven Recipe Software

Calories: 171
Fat: 9g, Sat Fat: 7g
Fiber: 1g
Sugars: 11g
Protein: 2g

Amaretti on FoodistaAmaretti
Girl Scout Samoa Chew Bars on FoodistaGirl Scout Samoa Chew Bars