Sunday, December 28, 2008

Chocolate-Candy Cane Cupcakes

Everybody loves desserts -- especially this kid. And what better time to enjoy them than over the holidays? Winter desserts are typically awesome. Full of chocolate and calories, none of the fancy schmancy reduced-fat "need-to-lose-weight" desserts. Nope, these are the actual thing. See, in winter, you can just throw a loose sweater on an nobody will notice those extra couple pounds. No bikinis allowed this season. :)

These cupcakes definitely embody the holiday season. (Okay, well, the peppermint candy canes definitely help out.) I'm really turning into a fan of including sour cream in my chocolate cake mixes. I think it really adds to/holds in the moisture.

Chocolate-Candy Cane Cupcakes
From: Kraft Foods

5 squares Semi-Sweet Chocolate, divided
1 pkg. (2-layer size) chocolate cake mix
1 pkg. (3.9 oz.) Chocolate Instant Pudding
4 eggs
1 cup Sour Cream
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup water
6 small candy canes, crushed, divided
1 tub (8 oz. ) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed

Heat oven to 350°F. Chop 4 chocolate squares; set aside. Beat cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, sour cream, oil and water with mixer on low speed until moistened. Beat on medium speed 2 min. Stir in chopped chocolate and 2 Tbsp. candy. Spoon into 30 paper-lined 2-1/2-inch muffin cups.

Bake 20 to 23 min. or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool completely.

Frost cupcakes with Cool Whip. Melt remaining chocolate; drizzle over cupcakes. Top with remaining candy.

Makes: 30 cupcakes

These were fairly easy to make, as most dishes have been from Kraft. And not only are they tasty, you can take out a little frustration smashing the candy canes.

The one thing I wasn't a huge fan of, was that I had to refrigerate the cupcakes after they were made (due to the cool whip topping), which kind of made them hard and dried out. (I wasn't sure, can you leave those out?)

But overall, we rated these:

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 188Calories from fat 105
% Daily Value
Total Fat 11.7g18%
Saturated Fat 4.1g21%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 34mg11%
Sodium 214mg9%
Total Carbs 20.6g7%
Dietary Fiber 0.8g3%
Sugars 12.7g
Protein 2.5g
Vitamin A 3%Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 5%Iron 6%

Friday, December 26, 2008

Ramano's Macaroni Grille Vodka Rustica

As I have mentioned before, I love Google Reader. However, I have the unfortunate habit of starring recipes and then completely forgetting about them. Such as this fabulous recipe from Simply Tasty I starred back in August, and didn't get around to making until November.

And all that time, I was definitely missing out. This dish is definitely rich and very tasty. I recommend having a nice loaf of bread with some dipping oil to break up the heaviness of the dish a bit.

Ramano's Macaroni Grille Vodka Rustica

3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp minced garlic
3 tbsp marsala wine
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup cold milk
1/4 cup vodka
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp chicken bullion
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh minced thyme (used dry)
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper

1lb penne pasta cooked
12 medium shrimp (omitted)
2 skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup Prosciutto, about 2 oz thick-sliced, chopped

3 tbsp grated Parmesan Cheese
1.5 tsp Paprika

GARNISH (omitted)
12 sliced pimientos
4 sprigs of rosemary

Preheat bbq grill to high.

Prepare gratinata sauce by melting 3 tbsp of butter over medium/low heat. Add garlic and sweat it for about 5 minutes. Be sure the garlic doesn't brown. Add the marsala wine and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients for the sauce and whisk until smooth. Bring mixture to a simmer and keep it there for 10 minutes or until it's thick. Cover sauce and remove from heat.

Cook past following directions on the package (7-9 minutes in boiling water). You want the pasta tender, but not mush (al dente). Strain pasta and set it aside when it's done.

Pound the thick end of your chicken breast a bit with a kitchen mallet to make them a uniform thickness. Rub chicken with olive oil, then sprinkle on a bit of salt and pepper. Spear the shrimp on skewers (6 per skewer should work fine), then rub them with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.Grill chicken for 5 to 6 minutes per side. Grill shrimp for 2 minutes per side. When chicken is done, slice each breast into strips.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Build each dish in a large shallow baking dish. Or you can use a 9 inch glass or ceramic pie plate. Load 3 cups of pasta into each baking dish. Add one quarter of the chicken, 3 shrimp, and 2 tbsp of prosciutto onto each serving. Spoon 3/4 of a cup of gratinata sauce on each serving and toss to coat. Combine 3 tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese with 1 1/2 tsp paprika, then sprinkle about 1 tbsp of this mixture over the top of each serving. Bake the dishes for 10-12 minutes, or until tops begin to brown. Arrange 3 pimentos on the top of each serving, then jab a sprig of rosemary into the center and serve.

Alterative cooking method: After straining the pasta, placed it in a 9x13 glass pan sprayed with Pam. Mix in the chicken and bacon, then stir in the sauce until the pasta is coated. Bake the dish for about 5 min, stir, and sprinkle on the topping. Bake it for another 5 or so minutes.

Serves: 8

Well, as Stacey did, I cut out a couple things, such as the shrimp and the garnish. I also cheated with the chicken, and just sauted cubed chicken over medium-high heat instead of grilling it. (I'm all about saving some time, okay?) I also took her cooking suggestion (the alternative method) and baked it in a 9x13 pan instead of three separate dishes.

Adam for sure fell in love with this dish and instantly rated it:

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 591Calories from fat 227
% Daily Value
Total Fat 25.2g39%
Saturated Fat 13.6g68%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 371mg124%
Sodium 851mg35%
Total Carbs 35.6g12%
Sugars 1.1g
Protein 48.5g
Vitamin A 24%Vitamin C 7%
Calcium 27%Iron 36%

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cheesy Tomato Chicken Skillet

Every once in a while I have a craving for comfort food. However, it's usually a rare and short lived occasion. No, I don't crave Denny's or IHOP, or Waffle House. I'm pretty sure my husband is going to disown me at some point over this.

I saw this recipe a while back on Julie's Foodie, and it just sounded so creamy and delicious that I had to try it. This is my idea of comfort food -- rich and creamy, and just melt in your mouth. Not that over-fried greasiness business.

Cheesy Tomato Chicken Skillet
Pillsbury Best of 2007

2 cups of pasta (I used radiatore, isn't it cute?)
3/4 lbs chicken, cut into pieces
1 can cream of chicken soup (I used the Healthy Request)
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes (I used a can of diced)
1 1/2 cup of milk
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 cup shredded mozzarella

Cook the pasta as directed

Heat 10 in skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken & cook thoroughly. Reduce heat to medium; stir in soup, tomatoes, milk & basil.

Stir in cooked pasta. Cook about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until bubbly & heated through. Sprinkle with cheese. Reduce heat, cover & let stand about 5 minutes.

I am sure this recipe has an ungodly amount of calories and cholesterol (and a ton of anything else bad) because it is just that good. (And anything good has to have those requirements, right?)

We've already made this a couple times... this is definitely a comfort food I can crave.

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 450Calories from fat 113
% Daily Value
Total Fat 12.5g19%
Saturated Fat 6.3g31%
Cholesterol 101mg34%
Sodium 531mg22%
Total Carbs 40.0g13%
Dietary Fiber 2.5g10%
Sugars 8.3g
Protein 42.9g
Vitamin A 23%Vitamin C 13%
Calcium 34%Iron 15%

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Banana Sour Cream Pancakes

Ever since last February (yes, that long ago), I have been craving banana pancakes topped with peanut butter. Peanut butter goes so well with so many different things: chocolate, apples, bananas, english muffins... you get the idea. I heart peanut butter. As a kid I used to eat it straight out of the jar. Yeah, I was that kid.

Well, as usual, Adam and I were watching Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and Guy happened to be featuring a breakfast/brunch place up in Pittsburgh which specialized in pancakes. Lo and behold, the craving for those pancakes came back. I remembered I had seen a recipe for these and luckily, I had all the ingredients. Guess what we had for breakfast the next morning?

Banana Sour Cream Pancakes
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Family Style

1 ½ Cups all-purpose flour
3T sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
½ C sour cream (I used light)
¾ C plus
1T milk (I used skim)
2 Extra-large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp grated lemon zest
Unsalted butter
2 ripe bananas, diced, plus extra for serving
Chocolate chips

In medium bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk together sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla and lemon zest. Add wet ingredients to the dry ones, mixing until combined.

Melt 1T butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat until it bubbles. Ladle batter into pan. Distribute a rounded T of bananas on each pancake. Cook 2-3 minutes until bubbles appear and the underside is browned. Flip and cook another minute until browned. Wipe pan, add more butter and continue cooking. Serve with sliced bananas, butter and maple syrup.

Tip: keep pancakes warm in preheated 200-degree oven for up to 15 minutes

Makes: 12 pancakes

I was so excited to try these... after all, I had waited a very long time to give in to my craving. Annnnd, I was a little disappointed. The batter was super thick, and we definitely had to up the cooking temp from med-low (it was taking forever).

I added in the chocolate chips, because, well, I figured why not? Bananas and chocolate go good together; chocolate and peanut butter go good together, and bananas and peanut butter are awesome too.

I'm not sure if we just ladled these on the griddle too thick or what happened exactly, but they were just okay. Good, but I think I'm still searching for THE recipe.

Nutrition Facts - Per Pancake
Amount per serving
Calories 229Calories from fat 93
% Daily Value
Total Fat 10.4g16%
Saturated Fat 6.5g32%
Cholesterol 47mg16%
Sodium 346mg14%
Total Carbs 29.7g10%
Dietary Fiber 1.4g6%
Sugars 13.9g
Protein 4.7g
Vitamin A 5%Vitamin C 3%
Calcium 10%Iron 7%

Friday, December 5, 2008

White Chocolate-Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

Okay, now does seeing this recipe appear on my blog really surprise anybody? Not me! :)

I saw this recipe in the holiday edition of Kraft Foods, and of course, I had to make it. It just looked so scrumptious. But I couldn't just have it sitting around staring at me... I knew I'd eat it all. So I convinced Adam to have a couple people over to watch a Pens game. (Same day we made those fabulous chicken nuggets.) I like having good excuses to make fattening food. And these definitely did not disappoint.

White Chocolate-Raspberry Cheesecake Bars
Kraft Foods

12 OREO Cookies, finely crushed
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
3 squares BAKER'S White Chocolate, divided
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 cup red raspberry preserves

HEAT oven to 350ºF. Mix cookie crumbs and butter; press onto bottom of 8- or 9-inch square pan. Melt 2 chocolate squares as directed on package.

BEAT cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with mixer until blended. Add melted chocolate; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crust.

BAKE 25 to 28 min. or until center is almost set. Cool 5 min.; spread with preserves. Melt remaining chocolate square; drizzle over cheesecake. Cool cheesecake completely. Refrigerate 4 hours.

Serves: 9

And the best part (besides them being awesome)? They're pretty easy to make too. Everybody really liked them, and I even made them again for Thanksgiving (merely to supplement the Pumpkin Pie, not replace, don't worry).
We all rated these:

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 395Calories from fat 240
% Daily Value
Total Fat 26.7g41%
Saturated Fat 15.3g77%
Trans Fat 0.7g
Cholesterol 106mg35%
Sodium 257mg11%
Total Carbs 33.9g11%
Dietary Fiber 0.5g2%
Sugars 26.2g
Protein 6.4g
Vitamin A 16%Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 7%Iron 8%

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Chick-Fil-A Chicken Nuggets

Mmmm I love Chick-Fil-A Nuggets. They are definitely one of my favorite guilty pleasures... right behind a Chick-Fil-A Cookies 'n' Cream Milkshake. There's something about their juiciness and crispy flavorful outsides that make them oh-so yummy. In fact, I never order anything else whenever we go there. And heaven-forbid that I order nuggets at any other fast food place. I mean really, why go there when there's no way they can compare?

A couple of months ago, I was sent the 2002 Insider's Recipes Master Edition and it had CHICK-FIL-A NUGGETS. I was so excited. The only thing truly barring my way from jumping on these was the whole deep frying thing. I am so not a fan of hot oil spatter. It really hurts. So when we did finally make these bad boys I had the hubby do the frying. ;)

Chick-Fil-A Chicken Nuggets
Insider's Recipes Master Edition, 2002

2 Cups Chicken Breast (Boneless, Skinless, Cubed)
1 Cup Flour
1−1/2 Cups Cracker Meal
1/4 teaspoon Paprika
2 Cups Water
2 Chicken Bouillon Cubes
2−1/4 teaspoons McCormick Season−all

Place cool water in bowl, add 1/4 teaspoon season−all and dissolve bouillon cubes in mixture. Place cubed chicken in water, mix, cover and place in refrigerator for 12 hours or next day. When ready to cook nuggets, mix flour, cracker meal, 2 teaspoons season−all and paprika in bowl. Heat oil for deep frying. Drain chicken. Coat nuggets in flour, cracker mixture and fry until golden. Chicken will be flavorful and juicy.

We made these when we had a couple people over to watch a hockey game. Of course we didn't think to read the recipe the night before, so we only marinated these for about 4 hours. But it still made a huge difference in how juicy these were. (We made them the following night without marinating at all and they were pretty dry.) I can't imagine how awesome they would be if they had been soaking for the full 12 hrs.

While they weren't 100% Chick-Fil-A nuggets (we couldn't master the dark crispy tails), they were still super delicious. And they worked out pretty good for the protein at a group dinner as nuggets make great finger food. We would for sure make these again.

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 659Calories from fat 305
% Daily Value
Total Fat 33.9g52%
Saturated Fat 6.1g31%
Trans Fat 0.1g
Cholesterol 62mg21%
Sodium 849mg35%
Total Carbs 59.8g20%
Dietary Fiber 0.9g4%
Sugars 3.9g
Protein 27.3g
Vitamin A 2%Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 9%Iron 27%

Friday, November 28, 2008

Tater-Topped Casserole

Happy Belated Thanksgiving! Or at least to those who have already celebrated. Adam and I definitely fit in the category of having not celebrated turkey day yet. My brother-in-law and I both have the unfortunate habit of working in the healthcare field -- he had to work yesterday, and I have to work today (and then we'll drive down to their house).

It definitely did not feel like Thanksgiving yesterday. I mean, there was no turkey (though we did have some Turkey Stick, which is awesome), no mashed potatoes, no rolls, nothing. Okay, I shouldn't say nothing. Adam and I did have some beef tenderloin, but that is for another post.

Today's recipe looked so scrumptious in the Kraft Foods magazine. I hadn't had tater tots in years, even though I love their crunchy outsides and soft squishy innards. So I had some high hopes for this recipe. And well, it fell just a little bit short.

Tater-Topped Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup milk
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 lb. (1/2 of 32-oz. pkg.) frozen bite-size seasoned potato nuggets

HEAT oven to 375ºF. Brown meat with onions in large skillet, stirring occasionally; drain. Spoon into 2-qt. casserole dish.

MIX soup and milk; pour over meat mixture. Top with layers of vegetables, cheese and potatoes.

BAKE 45 min. or until potatoes are golden brown and casserole is heated through.

Serves: 6

It was a pretty simple meal to put together, but through that simplicity, it really lacked a lot of flavor. This dish definitely warranted a healthy dose of pepper mixed in, or maybe some other kinds of seasonings. As is, it definitely fits into the "comfort foods" category. Maybe with some help on the seasonings, it could move up in my ratings.

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 433Calories from fat 186
% Daily Value
Total Fat 20.7g32%
Saturated Fat 8.0g40%
Cholesterol 88mg29%
Sodium 873mg36%
Total Carbs 30.2g10%
Dietary Fiber 3.4g14%
Sugars 3.0g
Protein 31.4g
Vitamin A 30%Vitamin C 11%
Calcium 18%Iron 22%

Monday, November 24, 2008

One-Dish Chicken and Kielbasa Rice

So I'm going to be upfront about this whole "one-dish" thing -- it's really not. It's more of a two-dish recipe. (A medium saucepan and a large skillet if you don't believe me.) Which was really kind of disappointing, as I was looking forward to the one dish, as Adam likes to complain that I try and use every dish we own. I'm such a sucker for less work... or maybe I'm just lazy. ;)

The one-dish aspect wasn't the only reason I chose this recipe. I've never used kielbasa before, and honestly, I was kind of disappointed. I was hoping for something a little more spicy. I guess I was thinking it was more like sausage. Well, I must say, now I know.

One-Dish Chicken and Kielbasa Rice
From: Cooking Light, December 2006

2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
8 ounces turkey kielbasa, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups long-grain parboiled rice (such as Uncle Ben's)
2 teaspoons olive oil
8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup prechopped onion
1 cup prechopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup frozen green peas
1/4 cup sliced pitted stuffed manzanilla (or green) olives (I omitted)
1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Stir in rice. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand for 5 minutes.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add chicken pieces; cook 2 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add onion and bell pepper; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in peas, sliced olives, and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add rice mixture; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly.

Serves: 4

Adam and I were fairly disappointed in this dish. It went together and cooked up pretty quick and easy (it was in the superfast section), but it just didn't have much flavor. It kind of just tasted like rice, peppers, peas, and kielbasa, how much of each depended on what was in your bite. Nothing really tied it together and blended the flavors.

We probably wouldn't make this dish again:

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 536Calories from fat 87
% Daily Value
Total Fat 9.7g15%
Saturated Fat 2.3g11%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 47mg16%
Sodium 872mg36%
Total Carbs 82.4g27%
Dietary Fiber 3.1g13%
Sugars 4.4g
Protein 29.5g
Vitamin A 17%Vitamin C 66%
Calcium 4%Iron 29%

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mini Pumpkin Pies

Of course, I couldn't let such a thing as a "dating anniversary" (do those even exist after you're married?) go by without making a dessert. Or at least use it as an excuse to make a dessert. I had been craving pumpkin pie, the entire end of October. I knew Thanksgiving was coming up in about a month, and nothing says "fall" and "comfort food" like pumpkin pie.

Well, I wanted to switch it up just a little bit and not make the one big pie, instead, I used my small little cake pans to make 4 little guys. Honestly, I didn't mess with the recipe... I've always been a Libby's pumpkin pie kid, and I still love it. Why mess with a good thing?

Mini Pumpkin Pies

4 (1-cup vol each) 4-inch diameter mini-pie shells
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk

PREHEAT oven to 425° F.

MIX sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs lightly in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

POUR into shells.

BAKE for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350° F.; bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. (Do not freeze as this may cause filling to separate from the crust.)

NOTE: May use refrigerated or homemade single pie crust to make 4 mini-pie shells. Lay rim of mini-pie pan on rolled out dough. Cut circle 1/2-inch larger than mini-pie to allow for dough to form fluted edge.

Makes: 4 pies

I actually am more a fan of the regular sized pie. While these do happen to be little and cute, I really do enjoy the crust on the bottom of the pan, and this size just cuts down on it. Kind of a bummer.

But still, it is pumpkin pie and still overall delicious.

Nutrition Facts - Per Pie
Amount per serving
Calories 465Calories from fat 160
% Daily Value
Total Fat 17.8g27%
Saturated Fat 7.2g36%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 133mg44%
Sodium 554mg23%
Total Carbs 67.2g22%
Dietary Fiber 3.9g15%
Sugars 50.5g
Protein 12.1g
Vitamin A 338%Vitamin C 11%
Calcium 29%Iron 16%

Pork with Ancho Chile Rub and Raspberry Glaze

Back on the 4th, I decided to make an extra special dinner for Adam and I. After all, we had just cross the 4 year mark for being together. :)

As you can tell by most of my posts, we eat a lot of chicken. A lot. I figured it was time to switch things up a little bit and try making some pork instead. I'm usually not a fan of pork chops. It usually brings up memories of pork soaking in some form of gravy in the crockpot all day. Not my favorite.

So pan-frying the pork rather than slow-cooking it was a definite improvement for me. However, I was a bit wary, and I knew it was super easy to dry pork out when cooking it.

Pork with Ancho Chile Rub and Raspberry Glaze
From: Cooking Light, August 2007

2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
4 (6-ounce) bone-in center-cut pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
Cooking spray
1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
2 tablespoons seedless raspberry preserves

Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well. Rub spice mixture evenly over pork. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork to pan, and cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from pan, and keep warm.

Add broth to pan, and cook for 30 seconds, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Increase heat to medium-high. Add preserves to pan; cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring constantly with a whisk. Brush pork with glaze.

Serves: 4

This recipe was listed in the quick and easy section on, and it was definitely was that. For my first time making pork chops, they turned out halfway decent and not overly dry. I just wish I would have reduced the raspberry glaze a little more to give it a stronger flavor.

I would say this recipe was:

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 394Calories from fat 257
% Daily Value
Total Fat 28.5g44%
Saturated Fat 10.6g53%
Trans Fat 0.1g
Cholesterol 98mg33%
Sodium 411mg17%
Total Carbs 7.2g2%
Protein 25.7g
Vitamin A 8%Vitamin C 3%
Calcium 4%Iron 7%

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ham, Spinach, and Sun-Dried Tomato Calzones

Everybody loves quick and easy meals, especially when they are super tasty. This recipe definitely fits the bill.

I was getting a little tired of chicken -- it does seem like we have it quite an awful lot. I happened to be looking through the quick and easy section on Cooking Light's website, hoping to find some quick recipes for those days I just didn't feel like cooking, and I ran across these calzones. They seemed easy enough to throw together, and there wasn't a lot of prep involved (perfect).

Ham, Spinach, and Sun-Dried Tomato Calzones

1 cup part-skim ricotta
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
3 ounces lean ham, chopped
6 oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves, drained and chopped
1 (13.8-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450°.

Combine first 9 ingredients.

Divide dough evenly into 5 pieces; pat each dough piece into a 5-inch circle. Spoon about 1/2 cup spinach mixture onto half of each circle, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Fold dough over filling until edges almost meet. Bring bottom edge over top edge; crimp edges of dough with fingers to form a rim. Place calzones on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 14 minutes or until browned.

Serves: 5

True to its classification, these were super easy and super quick to throw together. And yes, they were definitely tasty.
I used the Pillsbury Pizza Dough (it was the only stuff I could really find), and I'm not sure I'd use it again. I think homemade dough would make these really awesome. Anybody have any good recipes?

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 555Calories from fat 304
% Daily Value
Total Fat 33.8g52%
Saturated Fat 11.6g58%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 37mg12%
Sodium 834mg35%
Total Carbs 41.8g14%
Dietary Fiber 4.9g20%
Sugars 2.6g
Protein 22.0g
Vitamin A 125%Vitamin C 42%
Calcium 39%Iron 24%


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