Dessert Delight

Dessert Delight

Bacon Brown Sugar Brussels Sprouts

Excellent with either frozen or fresh Brussels sprouts, this fancy fixin only takes five ingredients to prepare.

4 bacon slices
1 (14 ox) can chicken broth
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved

  1. Cook bacon in a dutch oven over medium heat 10 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon, and drain on a paper towel reserving drippings in dutch oven.
  2. Add broth, brown sugar, and salt to drippings in dutch oven and bring to a boil.
  3. Stir in Brussels sprouts. Cover and cook 6 to 8 minutes or until tender. Transfer Brussels sprouts to a serving bowl using a slotted spoon, and sprinkle with bacon. Serve immediately.
Tip: if you are looking to switch things up, 4 oz chopped pancetta would be a fantastic substitute for the bacon.

Crunchy Banana Colada Bread

This recipe if from Susan Adamas of Naperville, IL who won the bake off contest in 2004.

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted or regular butter, softened
2 eggs
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (2 medium)
1 container (6 oz) pina colada fat free yogart
1 1/2 cups Pillsbury Best all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 banana nut crunchy granola bars (2 pouches from 8 .9 oz box) coarsely crushed
1/4 cup flaked coconut

  1. Heat oven to 350. Generously greased 9x5 inch loaf pan with shortening, or spray with cooking spray.  In large bowl, beat sugar and butter with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.  Beat in eggs, bananas and yogurt.
  2. Add flour, baking soda, and salt' beat well.  Stir in 1/2 cup of crushed granola bars. Pour batter into pan.
  3. In small bowl, mix remaining 1/4 cup crushed granola bars and the coconut.  Sprinkle evenly over batter in pan; press in lightly.
  4. Bake 60 to 70 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, covering with foil during last 15 minute to baking to prevent excessive browning.  Cool in pan on cooling rack. 15 minutes. remove from pan to cooling rack.  Cool completely about 2 hours. Wrap tightly and store in refrigerator.

Banana Nut Bread

1 3/4 cups sifted whole wheat flour
2/3 cup raw sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 eggs, well beaten
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup safflower oil (or apple sauce)
1 cup mashed bananas
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Sift dry ingredients together, combine eggs, milk oil and bananas.

Add dry ingredients and beat well.  Stir in nuts and vanilla. Pour into a 9x5x3 inch greased and lightly floured loaf pan.   Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until done. Makes 1 loaf.

Citrus scented Rice with Fresh Basil

Serving this dish with orange and lemon slices lets you use every bit of the orange and lemon needed for the zest.

2 cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp orange zest
2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
1tsp lemon zest
1 cup uncooked basmati rice
3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
Garnishes: orange and lemon slices, orange zest, lemon zest

  1. Stir together chicken broth, butter, orange zest, fresh orange juice and lemon zest in a large saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. stir in basmati rice; cover; reduce heat to low, and cook 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Stir in basil. Garnish, if desired.
Note: If you don't have fresh basil on hand, try using 1/2 tsp dried basil and achieve the full flavor of this dish; just add it to the broth in the first step.

Roasted Carrots

Though this four indredient side dish is already simplicity at its best, you can also use bagged baby carrots for even quicker assembly.
3 lbs small carrots with tops
1 Tbls. olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

  1. Preheat over to 450 degrees. Peel carrots, if desired, trim tops to 1 inch.
  2. Toss carrots with oil, salt and pepper.  Place on a 15 x 10 inch jelly roll pan.
  3. Bake at 450 for 20 minutes, stirring once. Reduce heat to 325 and bake, stirring occasionally, 15 more minutes or until carrots are browned and tender.
Note: if you have thick carrots, cut them lengthwise so that they cook evenly.

Spanish Chicken and Dumplings

Try a new twist on traditional chicken and dumplings with the addition of paprika and chorizo sausage.

6 cups low sodium fat free chicken broth
1/2 tsp. saffron threads
4 oz chorizo sausage or smoked sausage diagonally sliced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (8 oz) package baby portobello (crimini) mushrooms, quartered
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1 1/2 cups all purpose baking mix
13 cup milk
2 cups shredded rotisserie's chicken

  1. Bring broth and saffron to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat.
  2. Cook sausage in a large dutch oven over medium heat.  Stirring occasionally, 6 minutes or until browned. Remove sausage, reserving drippings in skillet. Drain sausage on paper towels.
  3. Saute onion and mushrooms in hot drippings 6 minutes or until onion is tender.  Add broth mixture, thyme, and paprika simmer 5 minutes.
  4. Stir together baking mix and milk in a medium bowl with a fork just until dry ingredients are moistened. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead 4 to 5 times. Roll dough to 1/8 thickness; cut into (1 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch) strips.
  5. Bring broth mixture to a rolling boil. Drop dumplings, 1 at a time, into boiling broth mixture. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in sausage and chicken; bring to a boil, and cook just until thoroughly heated.  Let stand 5 minutes or until sauce slightly thickens.
Note: we tested with Bisquick Original Pancake and Baking Mix.

Bistro Grilled Chicken Pizza

The rectangular shape, grilled crust, and fun toppings like feta, fresh basil, and chicken make this pizza taste like something you would order at a restaurant but better.

1 (13.8 ox) can refrigerated pizza crust dough
1 tsp olive oil
3/4 cup pizza sauce
4 plum tomatoes, sliced 2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken
1 (14 oz.) package tomato and basil feta cheese
1 cup (4 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp. small fresh basil leaves

Preheat grill to 300 degree to 350 heat.  Unroll dough and place on a lightly greased 1xx12 inch sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil.   Starting at center, pressout dough with hands to form a 13x9 inch rectangle. Brush dough evenly with olive oil.

Invert dough onto grill cooking grate; peel off foil. Grill covered with grill lid. 2 to 3 minutes or until botton mof dough is golden brown. Turn dough over and grill covered with grill lid. 1 to 2 minutes or until bottom is set. Carefully remove crust from grill to an aluminum foil lined baking sheet.

Microwave pizza sauce in a small glass bowl at high 30 seconds or until warm, stirring once.  Spread sauce evenly over crust; top with tomatoes and chicken. Sprinkle evenly with cheeses.  Retun pizza to cooking grate (pizza should slide easily) Grill, covered with grill lid, 3 to 5 minutes or until crust is done and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with basil leaves.

Tips: you can also use a pizza stone instead of a grill.

Fettuccine with Chicken and Creamy Herb Sauce

This recipe is from Southern Living Rotisserie Chicken Cookbook. 101- Hearty  Recipes with Store bought Rotisserie Chicken.

6 oz uncooked fettuccine
1 3/4 cups milk
1 (1-oz) envelope garlic herb soup mix
1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
1/2 cup sugar snap peas
1/4 cup (1 oz) shredded Parmesan cheese
1 Tbls chopped fresh (or dry) parsley
Freshly ground pepper

1. Cook fettuccine according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together milk and soup mix in a 2 quart saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add chicken and peas; reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until chicken is well heated. Toss with fettuccine; sprinkle with Parmesan, parsley and freshly ground pepper.

Tip: By using garlic herb soup mix, you are adding lots of flavor in just one step, saving you time and money.

Best Ever Chicken Noodle Soup

2 onions, chopped

2 cubes beef bouillon, crumbled

1 packet chicken noodle soup mix

5 black peppercorns
1 pinch dried parsley


  1. Place chicken in a large pot and cover with water. Place celery leaves in pot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and place in a bowl until cool enough to handle.
  2. Meanwhile, strain the cooking liquid, discard the celery tops and place the cooking liquid in a large pot. Place celery, carrots, onion, bouillon, soup mix and chicken broth in the pot and let simmer. Season with thyme, poultry seasoning, basil, peppercorns, bay leaves and parsley.
  3. Remove the skin from the chicken and cut up meat into bite-size pieces. Return meat to pot. Cook until vegetables are tender and flavors are well blended, up to 90 minutes.
  4. Stir pasta into pot and cook 10 to 15 minutes more, until noodles are al dente. Serve hot.
Freshly Ground vs. Pre-Ground Pepper