Lemon Bars

When I say these are the BEST lemon bars.. I am dead serious. To be honest, I am not really a lemon person. I love lemons in my tea but as far as lemon flavored items go.. I am not a fan. That being said, I CRAVE THESE LEMON BARS. You eat one and then another and then you look down and the dish is empty. I first was introduced to this recipe in high school and it’s been a staple ever since. I made lemon bars for my book club and all my friends loved them. Don’t hesitate making these. They are inexpensive and so good.

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 2 sticks of softened butter

Filling:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 3 lemons to make 1/4 cup of fresh juice
  • 4 TBS of all purpose flour
  • 1 TBS of lemon zest from the peel
  • Confectioners sugar to dust on top when finished

Directions:

Crust first

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

2. Soften the butter in the microwave for 30 seconds

3. Combine butter, 2 cups of flour and 1/2 cup of powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix well until the dough is formed.

4. Place the dough in a greased 9×13 baking dish. Even pat it out into one layer.

Bake for 18-20 min.

Filling:

While the dough is baking make the filling.

1. Combine 4 eggs into the mixer and mix on low for 5-7 seconds.

2. Add the sugar, 4 TBS of flour, 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 1 TBS of lemon zest and mix well.

3. Once the crust is done baking– remove it from the oven.

4. Pour the mixed filling over the crust.

5. Place in the oven for 20 minutes.

6. Remove from oven and top with sifted powdered sugar. While the bars cool they will set.

Pop them in the fridge if you need to speed it up. Slice into bars and serve!

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One Dish Cammack Smothered Chicken

I have been in a comfort food frenzy since Thanksgiving. My family has had so things taking place this month that there has been no time to cook something that requires a lot of effort. I feel like everyone has those  days/nights when you don’t feel like throwing together a good dinner but yet you are craving something yummy. My sister just moved to Little Rock this past weekend with her husband and their 2 MO old little Bryce. I am going to miss just calling her to go out to lunch or get a mani-pedi and chat and even just hanging out on the weekends. We have never ever lived but 7 miles apart my entire life so this will be quite the adjustment =(. With moving and having a little one you can only imagine that cooking is the last thing on your mind. Morgan asked me if I had any recipes that I thought she could throw together quickly while Bryce was napping so that they could have their first real family dinner in their new home. After thinking about some of my favorite chicken combinations this recipe came into mind. I added and took out a few things to make it lighter and increase the flavor. After trying this chicken… I was hooked. They moved to Cammack Village so I thought it was only proper to name it “Cammack Chicken.” It satisfies that craving for a rich and creamy chicken breast and the sauce that covers this chicken you could eat with a spoon.. and it makes your rice taste 100000X better. Give it a try for an easy dinner for a big family or freeze and eat the leftovers like me!

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Ingredients

2-3lbs of Chicken Breasts

1 Cup of light sour cream

1 Can of Campbell’s fat free cream of mushroom soup

1 Can of Campbell’s fat free cream of chicken soup

1/2 Tbs of onion powder

1/2 Tbs of Garlic Powder

1 Tbs of worcestershire 1 to 1/2 Tbs of chives (depends on if you like chives)

1/4 cup of water

Salt and Pepper

Paprika

(This recipe called for jarred mushrooms drained, I took it out but thats just me— Also substituting a package of onion soup mix instead of onion powder would be SO good)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Place chicken in a greased baking dish and salt and pepper lightly.

Combine all ingredients except the paprika in a bowl and mix well.

Cover the chicken with the creamy mixture and make sure to coat all the chicken evenly.

Sprinkle paprika over the chicken and sauce mixture to your liking.

Pop in the oven for 1hr or until the chicken is fully cooked.

I served my chicken over brown rice (the boil in bag 10 minute kind) and baked asparagus (350 degrees for 20-25 min or 450 degrees for 15)  With my asparagus I always coat them with olive oil spray, salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder.

Nutrition: Serves 8

Calories: 190 Fat: 7.6g Cholesterol: 75.6g Carbs: 3g Sodium: 171.2

Chicken Parmesan and Zoodles

I have been craving Italian for quite some time now. When I go out to eat and I see the words “Chicken Parm” on the menu.. I am always tempted. Chicken Parmesan is one of my favorite Italian dishes. I decided to lighten it up and it was delicious. Zoodles are somewhat intimidating, but trust me they are easy. I got my zoodler at Walgreens (infomercial kind) and it is self explanatory from there. Next time you are at the store pick one up and you will use it wayyyy more than you expect to.

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Ingredients

-4 chicken breasts

– 1/4 cup of grated parmesan

1 TSP paprika

1 TSP Garlic Powder

1 TSP Black Pepper

1 TSP Parsley

2 TBS Italian Breadcrumbs

Your favorite marinara (I prefer Walmarts new organic brand “Parmesan Romano”

Combine all dry ingredients on a plate and roll each chicken breast in the mix and place of a greased baking sheet.

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Cook chicken breasts in the oven at 450 for 25 min. I like to spray olive oil cooking spray on my chicken breasts before placing them in the oven to ensure they get that faux fried taste and crunch.

 

Garlic Parmesan Baked Broccoli

2 Heads of Broccoli

3 cloves of garlic

1 Tsp of onion powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Graded parmesan

Cut the head of broccoli into florets and toss with dry ingredients and garlic. (HOLD THE PARMESAN TILL THE END OF BAKING)

Bake Broccoli on 450 for 15 minutes. With about 3 minutes left of cooking take out broccoli and coat with grated parmesan. (This ensures the cheese will not burn).

 

Zoodles

2-3 Zucchini

Zoodler

Use a zoodler to spiral the zucchini into noodles. Place all noodles in a microwave save bowl and cover for 3 min until soft. Take scissors and cut noodles.

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Serve Chicken Parmesan and zoodles covered with marinara and add your side of broccoli to complete the meal!

Nutrition for Chicken Parmesan

178 Calories Per Breast

Flank steak with Lemon, Eggplant and Israeli couscous

This recipe is by a company called Blue Apron. Depending on where you live they ship fresh ingredients to your door step for you to cook following their directions. However if you live in Northwest Arkansas blue apron does not ship there. I tried this recipe and loved it and I had to put it on my blog because anyone can go to the store and get these ingredients to create an amazing dinner.

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Ingredients
2 flank steaks
3/4 cup of scallions
2 cloves of garlic
1 small eggplant
1 bunch of mint
1 bunch of parsley
3 TBS dried currants
3 TBS sliced almonds
1 tsp of crushed black pepper
1/2 a lemon

1. Prepare ingredients
Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Remove the steaks from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Cut off and discard the roots of the scallions; thinly slice the scallions, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Peel and mince the garlic. Medium dice the eggplant. Pick the mint and parsley leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Finely chop the parsley. Place the currants in a bowl of hot water (to rehydrate them). Using the bottom of a heavy pot, crush the grains of paradise. Finely chop the preserved lemon.

2. Cook the couscous
One the water is boiling, add the couscous. Cook 9-11 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water return to pot and set aside.

3. toast almonds
While the couscous cooks, heat a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one) on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced almonds and toast, stirring frequently, 1 to 3 minutes, or until browned and fragrant. Transfer to a small bowl. Wipe out the pan.

4. Cook steak
While the couscous continues to cook, season both sides of the steaks with salt and pepper firmly pressing the seasonings into the steaks. In the same pan used to toast the nuts, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned steaks and cook 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare, or until they reach your desired degree of doneness. Transfer to a plate, leaving any drippings (or fond) in the pan.

5. Cook vegetables
Heat the pan of reserved fond on medium-high until hot. Add the eggplant and season with salt and pepper. (If the pan seems too dry, add an additional 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil.) Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until browned. Add the garlic and white bottoms of the scallions; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened. Add the cooked vegetables to the pot of cooked couscous.

6. Finish and plate your dish
Add the preserved lemon, toasted almonds, parsley, currants (draining before adding) and mint leaves (roughly chopping before adding) to the couscous-vegetable mixture.

Add steak to plate and half the couscous mixture.

Serves 2
525 calorie per serving

Peanut Butter Fudge Cookies

I have been craving peanut butter lately and I could not make up my mind as to what exactly I wanted. Dessert is the best part of any meal regardless the time of day. I decided that I would throw together a fudge like cookie that’s low in calories but satisfying to a major sweet tooth. These cookies are a cross between a brownie and a cookie if that even makes sense!
Try them and you will be hooked. Experiment with things you like for example the next time I make these instead of peanut butter chocolate chips I will use heath bar.

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3 cups of Powdered Sugar
4 egg whites
3/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbs vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup of peanut butter chocolate filled chips

-Preheat oven to 350
-Line 2 baking sheets with foil or parchment paper.
-combine powdered sugar, cocoa and salt mix well
-add egg whites and vanilla extract mix until batter is moistened (this takes a second so don’t give up)
– fold in chocolate chips
-Spoon mixture 2 inches apart on both baking sheets
-make 30-32 cookies

Nutrition- 64 calories each 🙂 Ahh love

Honey Balsamic Chicken Tenders with Carrot Fries

 

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I began my summer intersession on Monday of this week and I go to school from 1-5 M-F for two weeks. I needed a quick easy yet healthy dinner and stumbled upon this gem of a recipe. I have been wanting to eat “clean” for a while now and I am slowly incorporating it into my daily cooking. I LOVE sweet potato fries and making these carrot fries tasted just like them and they actually cooked better for me than sweet potatoes.

Carrot Fries

-1LB of carrots halved and then halved again cut into sticks

-1 TBS of Olive oil (toss the carrots in the oil)

Coat with salt and pepper

Bake 450 degrees for 15-20 min flipping half way through!

Enjoy =]

Ingredients ( Recipe and direction credit to Budgetbytes.com)
  • 2 medium (1.5 lbs) chicken breasts $2.99
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar $0.80
  • 1 clove garlic $0.08
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (divided) $0.24
  • to taste salt & pepper $0.05
  • 1 Tbsp butter $0.10
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar $0.40
  • 3 Tbsp honey $0.33
Instructions
  1. Slice the chicken breasts on a diagonal into six strips each. Place the strips in a quart sized zip top bag along with ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar, one clove of garlic (minced), 1 Tbsp of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix the ingredients in the bag and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  2. When you’re ready to cook, heat the second tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, cook the strips until browned on both sides (about 2-3 minutes each side). You may have to do two batches. Place the cooked chicken on a clean plate.
  3. Turn the heat down on the skillet to medium-low and add the butter and last 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to the skillet. Use a spoon to stir the mixture and dissolve the sticky bits off of the bottom of the skillet. Once the mixture has dissolved together, add the honey, increase the heat, and allow the sauce to simmer until thickened (about five minutes).
  4. Once the sauce has thickened, season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the chicken back to the skillet and toss to coat in the warm balsamic sauce. Serve immediately.

Dinner made easy- Ranch Chicken and Sweet Potato Fries

This ranch chicken is one of my weekly dinners. It is so easy to make and the clean up takes two seconds because you used a zip lock for the majority of the prep. The theme of this post is the use of “bags” which would be zip locks that make cleaning up super fast. Along with the fabulous ranch chicken I served my ever so decadent sweet potato fries.

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Ranch Chicken (215 calories per serving)

-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

-1 ranch dressing packet

-1/2 cup of light sour cream

-1 cup of corn flakes– Here is where you can really substitute what you have on hand ex: potato chips or bread crumbs even ritz crackers.

-Dash of salt and pepper and if you love garlic and spice than a dash of garlic powder and cayenne. (When I say dash I mean literally like 1/4 tsp if that)

Directions: Cover the breasts in sour cream and combine all dry ingredients together in a gallon zip lock. Make sure you crush up the corn flakes so that they will evenly cover each breast. Place one chicken breast in at a time and shake the chicken breast and place on a lined and sprayed cooking sheet.

Repeat for all breasts

Bake 450 for 25 minutes

SWEET POTATO FRIES– My all time favorite

2 Medium-large sweet potatoes

1/4 tsp of: Cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and a dash of cinnamon

1TBS olive oil

2 zip lock bags

Directions:

(Peel and cut your sweet potatoes into fries) For more info watch this video)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPqH_aUs-AI

Combine all seasoning in one of the zip-lock bags

Place 1TBS of olive oil in the other zip-lock

First put the cut and peeled sweet potato fries into the olive oil and shake the bag to thoroughly coat the fries

Transfer the coated fries into the bag of seasoning and shake thoroughly again, once evenly coated place the fries on a lined and sprayed baking sheet and put in the oven.

Bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 min (Make sure you keep an eye on your fries and FLIP them half way through)