Monday, July 15, 2013

Snappy Green Rice

My mom took an old Houston Junior League Cookbook recipe for this "Snappy Green Rice" and made it healthier.  I took it and made it even a bit more healthier.  We served this rice with a large salad, grilled chicken, and mango-avocado salsa.  I little bit goes a long way.  I did the WW points for this recipe, assuming 16 servings, and came up with a Points Plus value of just 3 points.


Recipe Notes
I used light sour cream and regular shredded cheddar (but reduced the portion by 3/4).  I bet you could use fat free sour cream and low fat shredded cheddar to further "healthify" this recipe, but I am not sure how the low fat cheddar would melt.  I used cheddar cheese, but I bet you could use monterey jack cheese successfully here too.

  • 2 c. uncooked white rice, prepared according to package directions
  • 1 c. parsley, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, finely diced
  • 4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 oz. diced canned green chiles
  • 1 c. reduced fat sour cream
  • Salt & pepper to taste

1.  Prepare rice according to package directions. 
2.  In a large bowl, combine all remaining ingredients and stir in rice when cooked through.
3.  Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
4.  Add rice mixture to a 2 qt. casserole dish sprayed with Pam.  Bake at 275 degrees for one hour.
5.  Serve hot with chicken or steak.

Soft Sugar Cookies with Sprinkles

I found these cookies on Pinterest and thought they looked interesting.  I made some for my three-year-olds this past weekend, thinking they would love the sprinkles.  Unfortunately, they wouldn't go near them (I have no idea why?!).  Instead I ate several of them and brought the rest up to the office today.  I thought they were fabulous. 


Recipe Notes
These cookies will not look brown when it's time for them to come out of the oven.  They will be cooked through and will stay soft even after cooling!  Adapted from The Novice Chef blog.

  • 1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. sprinkles
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or foil and set aside.
2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.
3.  In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla extract.  Add flour mixture and mix until completely combined. 
4.  Stir in sprinkles.  I would recommend doing this step by hand.
5.  Roll 1 tbsp. of dough into a ball for each cookie and place on prepared baking sheet.  Leave ~1 inch between cookies to allow for minor spreading.
6.  Bake for 8-10 minutes or until center is set.  As mentioned above, the cookies will not look brown when they are done.
7.  Remove from oven and let cookies rest of baking sheet for five minutes.  Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.
8.  Serve or store in an airtight container for up to five days.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cotija & Corn Tacos with Mango & Lime

This Martha Stewart Living recipe is fast, vegetarian, and no cook. What could be better during the long, hot summer?! These were totally refreshing and even my meat-loving husband has enjoyed these twice since the thermostat started rising without complaining once.


Recipe Notes
If you can't find cotija cheese, which is a mild Mexican cheese, you can substitute good-quality feta.


  • Fresh corn kernels (from 4 ears of corn)
  • 3 oz. cotija or mild feta cheese, crumbled (about 2/3 cup)
  • 2 tsp. finely-grated lime zest
  • 2-1/2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 c. chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 c. thinly-sliced scallions (green onions)
  • Coarse salt
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2 ripe mangos, peeled and sliced into long, thin strips
  • Lime wedges for serving

1. Combine corn, cheese, lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, cayenne pepper, cilantro, and scallion in a bowl. Mix well to combine.

2.  Warm tortillas over a gas burner until slightly blistered and charred.  Fill with mango slices and corn filling and garnish with limes.