Saturday, January 30, 2010

For your information....

Hello all!  How many of you are cereal eaters?  We're big fans of cereal in my household.  Well, General Mills through MyBlogSpark passed on some exciting news to me that I want to share with my readers.  There will also be a $1.00 off coupon for one of four General Mills cereals at the end of this post.   

"Recently, General Mills announced a commitment to further reduce sugar in cereals advertised to kids under 12 to single digit grams of sugar per serving. The company has already been reducing sugar in cereals while increasing key nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D, and providing whole grain."

I think that is great news.  Even though I limit the sugar cereals I buy for my family, anytime a product is made "healthier", such as reducing sugar, it helps me make better food choices for my family. 

"Did you know that ready-to-eat cereal eaters consume less fat, less cholesterol and more fiber than non-cereal eaters? Cereals also deliver important vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients, making cereal a top source of key nutrients in children’s diets."

Other cereal benefits: (statement by General Mills through MyBlogSpark) 

Ready-to-eat cereals, including presweetened cereals, account for only 5% of sugar in children’s diets.

Ready-to-eat cereal is the No. 1 source of whole grains in a child’s diet today.

More frequent cereal eaters tend to have healthier body weights and lower Body Mass Index measures.

Studies also demonstrate the benefits of eating breakfast. A 1998 study showed that children who eat breakfast tend to perform better at school. Compared to children who skip breakfast, children who eat breakfast score higher on tests, are less likely to miss class or be tardy, have fewer reported discipline problems, and make fewer trips to the office.

Disclosure:  MyBlogSpark and General Mills provided me with the information stated above, the online coupon link as well as VIP coupons for 4 free boxes of General Mills cereal.

Mom's Cooking Club Lesson:  Click HERE to read about General Mills efforts in reducing sugar in many of their cereal brands especially those marketed for children.  See charts below for a detailed look at the lowered and current sugar levels in General Mills cereals.  I hope you found this information interesting and helpful. 



Monday, January 25, 2010

No Fuss (Easy) Chicken Noodle Soup

This is my kind of soup....quick, easy, delicious and good for you.  When I saw this chicken soup in the recent (Jan/Feb) edition of Cooking Light magazine, I knew it would be a great weeknight meal.  It uses the convenience of rotisserie chicken that I bought at my grocery store.  I increased the recipe 1.5 times because I wanted leftovers and enough broth.  So I used 3 cups water and 48 oz. of chicken broth.  I then increased the other ingredients a little bit.  I also heated the water and broth in the saucepan instead of the microwave.  I used rotini pasta but you could use wide egg noodles, fusilli or orzo. 

This was a wonderful soup and it was enjoyed by all.


Mom's Cooking Club Lesson:  Pair this soup with some Skillet Rosemary Rolls for a satisfying meal.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Winner of Old El Paso "Tackle the Taste" Giftpack!

Congratulations to Patsy from Family, Friends and Food!  Comment #7 was chosen from 

Patsy said:

  "Great giveaway! I use the green chili's in a tortilla roll-up mixed in with cream cheese, ranch dip mix and pimientos & black olives... never any left by half time!"

Send me your contact information Patsy and MyBlogSpark will send you your "Tackle the Taste" Giftpack.

Thank you to everyone that left comments.  Check back later this week for another recipe that I'll be sharing. 

Mom's Cooking Club Lesson:  Don't forget you can get a .55 cent off coupon for a can of Old El Paso Green Chilies by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Fun Giveaway - Old El Paso "Tackle the Taste" Gift Pack

I'm having another giveaway!  Thanks to Old El Paso and MyBlogSpark for providing this football themed gift pack to one of my readers.  I was also lucky to receive one of these giftpacks and I can't wait to use it for the Superbowl on February 7th, 2010.

Included in your Old El Paso "Tackle the Taste" Gift Pack are:

 Two free cans of Old El Paso Green Chiles, a football-shaped ceramic serving platter, two sets of football-themed plates and cocktail napkins as well as a themed table runner.

See below to fnd out how to qualify for this gift pack.

I have used Old El Paso green chilies for many years.  I use it in chili, dips, nachos and many other dishes.  I used a can to make this Bean and Beef Enchilada Casserole.  This recipe came from a Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook called Every Meal Easy.  It was a very good, hearty casserole.  The green chiles add that wonderful Mexican flavor to the enchiladas.  In addition, the green chiles are also so convenient and easy to use.  This casserole has layers of corn tortillas, seasoned beef and beans, a sour cream mixture, enchilada sauce and cheese.  (Yummy!) 


Old El Paso Green Chiles, which come in 4.5 and 7 oz cans, are a simple way to liven up your go-to favorites. Fat-free and with only 10 calories per serving, Green Chiles are not spicy, but will add a unique flavor to your dishes that the whole crowd will love!

For a chance to win the Old El Paso "Tackle the Taste" Gift Pack, please leave a comment telling me what your favorite recipe is using a can of diced green chiles or tell me what you're planning on serving for Superbowl Sunday.

The deadline to leave a comment is this Saturday, January 23rd at 12 midnight Central Time.  I will announce a winner on Sunday, January 24th.  Winner will be chosen through  Giveaway open to residents from U.S. and Canada only.  Please leave your email address in your comment if you don't have an email contact on your blog or if you don't have a blog.

Disclosure:  Thanks again to Old El Paso which through MyBlogSpark has provided the information, coupon, Green Chiles, prize pack to me and an additional prize pack to one of my readers.

Mom's Cooking Club Lesson:  If you want to keep the Bean and Beef Enchilada Casserole on the lighter side, then use lean or extra-lean ground beef, light sour cream and reduced fat cheese.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Skillet Rosemary Rolls

Before I talk about these amazing and fun rolls to make, I want to briefly comment on the Haiti earthquake tragedy.  I have seen so many blogs doing wonderful things to raise money for the relief effort.  Such as: bloggers pledging money per comment and then giving the money to different charities.  It's heartbreaking to watch the tv coverage.  I personally live on a very tight budget but I feel that every little bit helps.  My grocery store, Publix, is providing a way for customers to help and donate to the American Red Cross.  You can add to your grocery bill and on your receipt it says Haiti Relief Fund.  I just round up my bill.  It's not much but multiply this by many, many donations and it can make a difference.  In just the first 4 days of this effort, Publix has donated 2.3 million to the American Red Cross.  So, no matter how big or small, we can all help during this natural disaster.

Now, about these rolls.  They are easy and soooooo good!  The recipe comes from Pioneer Woman's blog.  You use frozen dinner rolls (I use Bridgford Parker House rolls), some butter ( I use unsalted), rosemary and sea salt all baked in a cast iron skillet.  I can fit 8 rolls in my skillet.  This means 2 rolls each for my family of four.  Thank goodness this is all my skillet can fit because these rolls are so addicting we could all eat many more than 2 each! 


Mom's Cooking Club Lesson:  These frozen dinner rolls need to thaw and rise which takes several hours.  I'll take them out in the morning, place in my oiled cast iron skillet, cover with a towel and they will be ready for the oven at dinnertime.     

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Spicy Sausage Chili - January's Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club

It's a new year and another get together of the Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club.  This idea started last July when 5 bloggers (3 from the U.S. and 2 from Canada) meet virtually once a month to share a themed meal all from Cooking Light recipes.  January's theme is perfect for this time of year: Soups and Stews.

There is nothing more satisfying than a hot bowl of soup or a hearty stew.  Especially, in the winter time.  Even in Northwest Florida, where I live, we have had freezing temperatures for a couple of weeks straight.  The whole State of Florida has been colder than normal.  So, no matter where you live, here is a great meal to help you feel a little warmer. 

This chili uses hot italian turkey sausage.  This is such a wonderful lower fat substitution for pork sausage.  My entire family loved, loved, loved this chili.  It was such a quick weekday meal to put together.  It was very flavorful and had a nice spiciness to it but not too spicy.  As my family's a keeper!

Side Note:  I did make some minor changes to this recipe.  The recipe calls for 2 cans of stewed tomatoes.  I used one 14.5 oz. can of Petite Diced tomatoes and one 14.5 can of Fire Roasted Diced tomatoes.  I pureed the one can of Fire Roasted tomatoes.  I did this because that is what I had in my pantry and my husband and daughters would prefer it with less chunky tomatoes.  I was really happy with these changes and the results.

 The other 4 ladies also made some wonderful dishes.  Check out each recipe on their blogs for more details on what they "brought" to our Virtual Supper Club. 

Val from More Than Burnt Toast - Spicy Chicken Stew
Helene from La Cuisine d'Helene - Spicy Tomato and White Bean Soup
Shelby from The Loves and Lives of Grumpy's Honeybunch - Shrimp and Butternut Squash in Coconut Milk Broth
Jamie from Mom's Cooking Club - Spicy Sausage Chili
Aggie from Aggie's Kitchen - could not join us this month

Along with my chili, I made this cornbread in my cast iron skillet.  This is my "go-to" cornbread because it's only 5 ingredients, super quick to make and it's very good.  This is a recipe from Southern Living.

Click here for the Super Moist Cornbread recipe on


Stayed tuned next month when the Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club presents Healthy Italian.  And check out the Virtual Supper Club on Cooking Light's Blog, Test Kitchen Secrets.

Mom's Cooking Club Lesson:  I used Jennie-O's Hot Turkey Italian Sausage for this chili.  Click on the link for detailed nutrition information.  Also, don't forget to remove the sausage from the casing before browning the meat.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Salmon with Sweet and Spicy Rub

Here's a great healthy meal to start the year off right.  I first heard of this salmon recipe when my sister-in-law, Aggie posted it on her blog, Aggie's Kitchen last April.  This is one of my favorite ways to make salmon.  The rub is a combination of sweet and slightly smokey.  Even though the rub uses a tablespoon of chili powder, it's not on the spicy side.  The salmon always comes out so moist and flavorful when I make it this way.  You can have it skinned and rub the spice mixture on both sides or leave the skin on and just put the rub on the flesh side.  I usually grill (actually my husband does) a big piece of salmon, about 1 1/2 lbs, and then cut it into serving sizes once it's cooked.  You could also broil or pan saute the fish.  Team this up with some rice, sweet potatoes, side of veggies or a salad for one heart healthy meal.

Salmon with Sweet and Spicy Rub
Recipe from Ellie Krieger, Food Network


Cooking spray
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, skin and any pin bones removed
1 tablespoon olive oil


Coat your grill or a grill pan with cooking spray and preheat over medium heat. While the grill is heating, combine the brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Brush each salmon fillet with 1/2 teaspoon of the oil, then rub each fillet with about 1/2 tablespoon of the spice mixture. Grill the salmon, flesh side down, until charred, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the salmon and cook another 5 to 6 minutes for medium doneness. For well done fish, cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to a platter and serve immediately.



Mom's Cooking Club Lesson:  per the Nutritional listing of this salmon on, it is full of Protein, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12 and Potassium, just to name a few.  

I am not one to make New Year Resolutions but I do like the fresh start of a new year and to make goals for the upcoming year.  I have many goals this year.  Some of my blog goals are to update my blog template for a new look.  I also want to share more healthy meals like this one and more easy weeknight meals.  Of course I will still showcase my baked treats because I really like to bake.  It's all in moderation, right?  I also want to challenge myself more.  For example, I want to conquer my fear of yeast.  Yes, I want to make bread!  I want to work with ingredients I've never had or cooked with before like: butternut squash, fennel, risotto and eggplant.  I want to learn how to make pie crust.  Yes, I want to make pies!  I will continue to share my adventures in the kitchen with you and bring you more simple and down home recipes.  Thanks again for sharing time with me, my blog and my recipes in 2009.          

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Kraft Foods Basket Winner!!!

I received many great comments from my Kraft Foods Basket Giveaway post.  People seemed to like the Kraft YouTube instructional videos and the fact that Kraft has a Facebook Fan page.  Also, there is a Kraft Twitter handle and some follow that as well.   

I used to pick the Kraft Foods Basket winner.  Out of eligible comments, #50 was picked.  Congratulations to Kathy from Three on Food who said:

"I don't do facebook or twitter, but I really loved the youtube video.  There's just something about watching and seeing food upclose - it really made me want to make the chocolate/orange cake!!!  Yumm...I've never tried that combination yet - now I think I just might!!!"

Please send me your contact information Kathy and Kraft Foods will send you the basket full of goodies directly to your home. 

Thank you Kraft Foods for providing this basket giveaway to myself and one of my readers.  I got mine and I love it.  I know Kathy will love it as well.


Mom's Cooking Club Lesson:  I'll be back soon with some 2010 goals and more recipes to share. 

Friday, January 1, 2010

Hot Chicken Dip

Happy New Year 2010!  It's been a busy holiday and I'm still traveling visiting family.  Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday with their family and friends.  I wanted to share this dip recipe that came from my nephew Ryan.  If you are looking for a different dip recipe that is perfect for those sports gatherings (like a Superbowl party), then you need to give this one a try.  I also wanted to remind everyone that my Kraft Foods Gift Basket Giveaway ends today at 11:00pm Central Time.  Click here to still enter.  I will randomly pick a winner on Sunday, January 3rd, 2010.

Hot Chicken Dip
Recipe shared by my nephew, Ryan Adams (original source unknown)

(Printable recipe) 


1 pound of Deli Chicken Tenders from your grocery store at the Deli counter (or pound of boiled chicken or cooked bagged chicken tenders or chicken breasts from the frozen section) 

Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)

8 ounce package of cream cheese - softened

1/2 cup of ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing

shredded sharp cheddar cheese - 1/2 cup or a little more as desired


Chop chicken in small bite size pieces.  Mix the chicken with Frank's hot sauce just so the chicken pieces are orange in color.  Add softened cream cheese and mix.
  Add in dressing and mix.  Taste and add more hot sauce if needed.
  Put in
baking dish and top with shredded cheese (around 1/2 cup or so).  Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.  Serve with pita chips, bagel chips, tortilla chips or even eaten on its own.


We ate the hot chicken dip with pita chips.


Mom's Cooking Club Lesson:  To soften cream cheese easily and quickly, place cream cheese in microwavable bowl and microwave for 10-15 seconds or until soft.  Microwave for 10 second intervals if needed.

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