About Me

My photo
Who am I? Wife. Mother of 2. "Newbie" to fitness. Personal Trainer-in-training. Lover of health. Fitness. Religion. Family. Gluten and refined sugar intolerant. Welcome to my journey. Learn with me.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

30-Minute Croissant Rolls

I posted a few days ago about wonderful 30-minute dinner rolls. I was asked to make them again for a family party and decided I wanted a little more presentation this time. So... we have croissant rolls! You make the rolls EXACTLY the same way with all the same ingredients, but when it comes time to shape the rolls you roll the dough out like you are making a pizza and use a pizza cutter to cut it in 12 pieces. Roll the pieces up, starting at the thick end and... TA-DA!

Aren't they beautiful?

P.S. Be careful about your cooking time when making rolls shaped this way. They brown quickly at the top of the croissant but you will want to make sure your insides aren't doughy. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chicken Tetracini

I will be honest - I am not a mushroom fan. You would think a recipe like this one would hold no appeal for me. But I thought I would be adventurous and try it out and I am very glad that I did! We loved this recipe and I was even eating the mushrooms! The picture and recipe are courtesy of Mindika Moments and can be found here. If you want the ORIGINAL recipe you will need to visit her site. The recipe listed below is my altered recipe.


1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 cup chicken broth
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 chicken breasts, cut into ½ inch pieces
*8 - 12 oz. cooked spaghetti, or pasta of choice (the picture is of mini-shell pasta)
2 C. mushrooms, sliced
1 C. grated cheddar cheese
3/4 C. Panko bread crumbs (I used plain with a bit of extra salt, pepper, and parmesan sprinkled on top)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large skilled heat 2 t. oil. Add the chicken, seasoned with salt and pepper. Cook until juices run clear.
3. Just before the chicken is done cooking, add the mushrooms and sauté until they release their juices.
4. Add ¼ C. butter and melt with chicken and mushrooms over low heat. Add the Flour and stir for 1 minute to form a roux.
5. Gradually add the milk and broth. Whisk until smooth.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until thickened.
7. Add the cheese, stir until melted.
8. Add the cooked pasta and stir until incorporated.
9. Pour everything into the 9x13 pan and top with bread crumbs.
10. Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
11. Serves 6 people.

*NOTE! The amount of noodles you use will really depend on your personal taste. The original recipe calls for just 2 cups which I didn't think was nearly enough. I cooked up an entire 16 oz. package of spaghetti noodles and it ended up being almost too much - although I do like my pasta with limited sauce. If you want LOTS of sauce, go with 8 oz. If you want a perfect amount of sauce, go with 12 oz.

30 Minute Rolls

There is nothing that I like better than a good dinner roll but who wants to spend the hours making them? Definitely not me! When I saw this recipe on REal Mom Kitchen I knew immediately it was a keeper. We LOVED these rolls and I had to force myself to stop eating them so there was still room for dinner. They were fluffy and tasty and even though the recipe calls for a large amount of yeast they don't taste strongly of yeast. I have included both of the recipes "Real Mom" listed on her website - one recipe for 3 dozen rolls and one recipe for 1 dozen rolls. The picture is also courtesy of this wonderful site and can be found here.

From Real Mom Kitchen

1 1/8 cups plus 2 tsp. warm water
1/3 cup oil
2 T yeast
1/4 cup sugar or honey
½ tsp. Salt
1 eggs
3 ½ cups flour

Mix 1st 4 ingredients and let rest for 15 minutes. Add salt and eggs – gradually add flour. Shape into dinner rolls, or use in your favorite recipe that calls for dough. After shaped, let rest for 10 minutes. For rolls, Bake 10 minutes @400 degrees ‘till golden brown.

3 ½ cup warm water
1 cup oil
6 T yeast
¾ cup sugar or honey
1 ½ tsp. Salt
3 eggs
10 ½ cups flour

Mix 1st 4 ingredients and let rest for 15 minutes. Add salt and eggs – gradually add flour. Shape into dinner rolls, or use in your favorite recipe that calls for dough. After shaped, let rest for 10 minutes. For rolls, Bake 10 minutes @400 degrees till golden brown.

*NOTE: The amount of flour called for in this recipe is not enough to make the dough non-sticky. That is okay! It SHOULD be a little sticky. Just spray your hands with some non-stick cooking spray to form the dough. If you add more flour so that the dough is no longer sticky your rolls will end up more crumbly than chewy.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lasagna Aflredo Roll Ups, Meatless

Okay, so if you know me your first reaction to this recipe is probably, "WHAT?! Shayla is making a meatless recipe!? What is that about!?" I know... I know... I am a carnivore through and through - I promise! But it is nice to change things up every once in a while so I threw in a couple of meatless recipes this month. These turned out pretty good. I think next time I will splurge a little bit and buy an alfredo sauce that I really like (or make my own from scratch) but they were still good and Jake really liked them. We were both very wary about how they would re-heat the next day but amazingly enough they were even better. The ricotta and spinach make them taste like ravioli rolls the next day and they were ten times better than the night before! The recipe listed below is my altered recipe. For the original recipe please visit this link here. The photo is also courtesy of Pamela D. at Allrecipes.com.

From Allrecipes.com

• 10 lasagna noodles
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, cooked according to microwave directions
• 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
• 1 pint part-skim ricotta cheese
• 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 egg
• 21 ounces Alfredo-style pasta sauce
• 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
• 2 tsp minced garlic
• 2 tsp Italian seasoning

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add lasagna and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Rinse in cold water and drain well.
2. Meanwhile, in a large sauce pan over medium heat add oil and cook green onions and garlic until tender, stirring frequently. Remove pan from heat and stir in cooked spinach, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt, Italian seasoning and egg.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
4. Place noodles in a single layer on a sheet of waxed paper. Evenly spread some of the cheese mixture on each noodle. Roll up each noodle from the short end, jelly-roll style.
5. In a 8x12 inch baking dish, spoon about 3/4 of the Alfredo sauce on the bottom and spread evenly. Arrange the rolled noodles, seam side down, in the dish. Top with mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce. Cover loosely with foil and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly and the cheese is melted. Serve.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

BBQ Chicken Salad with Creamy BBQ Cilantro Lime Dressing

When I told my husband that we were having salad for dinner tonight he kind of groaned and mumbled something about "rabbit food." I am pleased to say that this amazing dish from Mel's Kitchen Cafe was a hit! It had the most wonderful combination of flavors and textures. Yes... it is more work and a longer ingredient list; however, before you write this one off take a close look at the ingredient list - most of the things in the dressing are things that you probably already have on hand. The only things that I had to buy for this dish were buttermilk, cilantro, lettuce, onion, and the black beans. I had every single one of the spices on hand. Plus, the dressing recipe makes a TON of dressing so you are guaranteed to have more to store in the fridge for future salads. And let me tell you - that was my husband's idea! After the meal he said that the salad reminded him of Cafe Rio and was, "The best rabbit food I've ever tasted!" Lol! The recipe is courtesy of Mel's Kitchen Cafe and can be found here.

from melskitchencafe.com

*Serves 4-6

3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 cups BBQ sauce, storebought or homemade
½ head iceberg lettuce, cored and chopped
2 romaine hearts, chopped
1/2 red onion, diced
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, cubed small or shredded
4 ounces Monterey jack cheese, cubed small or shredded (We just used mozzarella)

Combine the cooked chicken and BBQ sauce in a medium bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.

In a large bowl, toss together the iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, red onion, cilantro, corn, black beans and cheese. Toss the mixed salad with about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the Creamy BBQ Cilantro Lime dressing, if desired. Otherwise, you can serve the dressing on the side. Place salad on plates and top with the prepared BBQ chicken and additional dressing.

from melskitchencafe.com

1 cup mayonnaise, light or regular
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 to 1/2 cup BBQ sauce

Combine all the ingredients together and whisk (or shake, if using a jar) vigorously to combine. You could also run this through a blender to make it even more smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Classic Repeat: Ham & Noodle Casserole - Now Even Easier!

So... there is nothing worse than getting to dinner time and gathering your ingredients together only to realize you are missing something that you thought you had... right? Well I went to make this classic recipe the other night only to find that I only had 6 lasagna noodles - not enough! So we decided to do Ham & Spaghetti pasta instead. It was just as delicious and a whole lot easier. Less hassle, less cooking time - I may have a very hard time going back to the original recipe! If you want to take a look at the original go here. The picture isn't the exact recipe but it looks the same. The photo is courtesy of Shutterstock and can be found here.


1 can Cream of Mushroom
1 c. sour cream
1 16 oz. pkg of spaghetti noodles
2 c. cheese (shredded)
2 c. cubed ham (16 oz.) (Deli ham works perfectly fine as well)
½ c. milk

Mix soup, sour cream, and milk. Cook spaghetti noodles according to package directions. Drain and return to pot. Add soup mixture, ham, and cheese to noodles. Mix thoroughly and heat gently just until the cheese has melted.

*I like to add some onion powder, salt, and pepper to my mix to give it more flavor.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Chicken Enchilada Pizzas

This is another easy and fantastic recipe that I found on The Sister's Cafe. This was the perfect blend of flavors and my entire family (my parents, brothers, and sister included) absolutely loved it. My dad said it was one of the best things I have ever made and I think Jake had 4 or 5 helpings! Don't pass this recipe by - it is definitely a keeper! I have listed the original recipe here but please take note of my changes at the bottom.

Submitted by Erin ~ The Sisters Cafe

4 flour tortillas (8-10 inches in diameter)
1 T. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 c. chopped cooked chicken breast
½ c. green salsa (salsa verde)
1 can (2 ¼ oz) sliced ripe olives, drained
1/3 c. sour cream
1 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 oz)
1 large tomato, chopped (optional)
Chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oven to 400°. Place tortillas on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake about 5 minutes or until crisp.

While tortillas are baking, heat oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook onion in oil, stirring frequently, until tender; remove from heat. Stir in chicken, salsa, and olives.

Spread sour cream on tortillas. Top with chicken mixture, chopped tomatoes if desired, and cheese. Bake 5 to 6 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro.

*My Changes: 1/2 cup salsa verde is NOT enough. We doubled the recipe and used an entire bottle (close to 1 3/4 cup.) Start with 1/2 cup and add more salsa as the consistency of chicken mixture fits your tastes.

The Monterey cheese is, I am sure, delicious - but not necessary. We used a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella and it turned out great.

We used 1 can of sliced olives for doubling the recipe. Once again, just watch carefully before dumping the ingredients in so you make sure you get the amount you want.

We did not sprinkle the top with chopped fresh cilantro but mixed it into the chicken mixture. This makes it much easier to eat and very delicious!