Ever Evolving Food Blog

Hello Everyone! I have had this blog for years now, and as my personal life has changed, so have my tastes and eating habits...for the better!! I am now a fully plant-based eater, so my newer recipes will reflect this lifestyle and way of eating.

All of my old recipes will remain on my food blog, of course, so there will be a mixture of the old and the new for everyone to look through and choose. You can always play around with any recipe out there and make it your own, whether it's plant-based or not. There are always other options!
Thanks SO much for following! Happy Eating!

What's Cooking With Melissa

Don't Forget to Vote! There is a poll on the right side of this page. What is your favorite whole grain to use when cooking?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie is a staple in my house, especially in the colder months.  It's such a great comfort food, and it doesn't have to be as full of fat and calories if you use reduced calorie/reduced fat ingredients.  I always like to cut down on those things whenever I can.  

Ingredients:
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
2 Tbs butter or margarine
2 (10 3/4 oz) cans condensed cream of chicken soup, reduced fat
1 cup frozen peas (thawed)
1 cup frozen carrots (thawed)
1 chicken boullion cube
3/4 cup sour cream, light
2 large (8 oz)  cans crescent rolls (refrigerated, reduced fat)

Directions:
Brown chicken in butter.
Stir in soup, veggies, and bouillon cube (crushed).
Cook until bubbling, stirring frequently for 5 minutes.
Add sour cream and cook for 2 min, stirring frequently.
Arrange cresent roll pieces around the sides of 2 pie dishes, so that they're draped over the sides.
Divide chicken mixture between the two pie dishes, fold the crescent roll pieces up over the pies, and bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bacon from the Oven

Want an easy, no mess, hands free way to cook your bacon all at once?  This method is, in my opinion, the best.  The bacon comes out perfectly crispy and straight, you don't get grease popping all over your stove, and to clean up, all you have to do is throw the foil away!








Directions:
Line a baking sheet with foil.
Line the bacon, side by side, along the tray.
Bake at 400 for 20-25 min.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Stuffing (Dressing)

Not my picture.  Misplaced my camera. =(

What would the holidays be without stuffing?  I know that in my family, the stuffing is one of the highlights of any holiday dinner.  There are so many different ways you can make stuffing your own, so tweak it all you want.  Any way you  make it, it'll be fabulous as long as you don't make it too dry.



Ingredients: 
10 cups Pepperidge Farms herb stuffing (substitute with dried bread crumbs)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp. salt
ground pepper
1 tsp. thyme 
1 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. parsley
1 Tbsp. minced garlic

1/4 cup margarine or butter (melted) (substitute with applesauce)
2 slightly beaten eggs (substitute with EggBeaters)
1+ cup chicken broth (substitute with water or veggie broth)

Directions
In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.  In a small bowl, mix all of the wet ingredients.  Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients.  Mix well with your hands or with a large wooden spoon.  Add a bit more chicken broth if the mixture is too dry.  Better to be too wet and bake out the moisture than too dry.
Spoon into a 3 quart casserole, cover with foil, and bake at 325 for 45-50 minutes.  Take the foil off in the last ten minutes to get the top a crispy, golden brown.  

Enjoy with your favorite meal, especially around the holidays! 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip-Bacon Cookies

This is the pic from the magazine. 
I have misplaced my camera.  =(
The newest thing last year was to add kosher salt to your chocolate chip cookies to get a salty-sweet effect.  This puts a WHOLE new spin on things.  Some people say that bacon makes everything better.  Well, I don't know about EVERYTHING, but these cookies are out of this world!!!!  At least try them so you can say you did.

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp baking poweder
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch of chili powder
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
5 strips bacon
4 Tbs. unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed, light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate

Directions
Combine the flour, baking soda, baking power, cinnamon, chil powder, and salt in a large bowl.
Cook the bacon in the oven in a foil-lined pan at 400 for 20 minutes or until crispy. Drain and crumble.
Beat butter and reserved bacon drippings in a large bowl at med-high speed until smooth.
Beat in the peanut butter for about 1 minute.
Beat in the sugars until creamy (about 4 min)
Add the egg and vanilla and beat until fluffy (about 2 min)
Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined.
Stir in all but 2 Tbps. of the chocolate and the bacon.
Form dough balls and put two inches apart on a prepared baking sheet.  Flatten with fingers a bit and add the reserved chocolate chips and bacon.
Back until golden (about 12-14 min)

Enjoy!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tex-Mex Casserole

This casserole reminds me of a Mexican version of lasagna.  It's just meat, beans, rice, and cheese layered with tortillas.  It's really easy to make, just like any other casserole, but this one is very flavorful.  It would be good to take to a drop-in or office party, too!


Ingredients
1 lb. ground beef
2/3 cup water
1/2 packet taco seasoning 
1 (15 oz.) can of chili with beans
1 packet of 90 second Spanish rice
4 oz. sour cream
2 packages of shredded Mexican cheese
4 large tortillas
a few crumbled tortilla chips

Directions
Brown the ground beef, strain, put back on heat and add water and taco seasoning, stirring well.  Heat 90 second rice in the microwave.  Mix ground beef, rice, and chili with beans in a bowl.  Mix in the sour cream and mix well with a spoon.  

Spray a 9x11 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Put two tortillas on the bottom, lining the pan.  Put in half the meat mixture and spread evenly on top of the tortillas.  Layer with a good amount of shredded cheese.  Put on two more tortillas and repeat.  Crumble on a few tortilla chips, cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Cut and serve with salsa or pico.  Enjoy!!! 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Breakfast Quesadilla

This poll winner was SO GOOD and it was healthy, too, which is always a nice bonus.  I have always loved quesadillas, and I love breakfast food, so this was perfect.  One of my favorite things about quesadillas is that each person can decide what they want in theirs to make it their own.  You can do a vegetarian version, as well!

Ingredients:  
Tortillas, 2 per quesadilla (whole wheat, high fiber, low carb)
Scrambled eggs or egg beaters
bell peppers, chopped
onion, chopped
shredded cheese (low-fat)
turkey sausage (crumbled, cooked, and drained)
mushrooms, sauteed
pico de gallo
sour cream, low-fat

Directions:
  • Lay out one tortilla on the counter
  • put a thin layer of egg, peppers, onion, cheese, mushrooms, and sausage
  • Put the other tortilla as a topper
  • Cook in the quesadilla press for 2-3 minutes
  • Remove and cut into triangles
  • Top with pico de gallo and sour cream

    Enjoy this healthy breakfast!  I loved it, and my family loved it.  They always get excited when they can decide what and how much to add, like with pizza or omlettes.   This is a great food to make if you have guests staying over, as well. 

    Saturday, November 12, 2011

    Cranberry Granola Bars with Marshmallows

    These yummy treats are perfect for lunches, parties, dessert, or a snack.  They are healthy, too!  They are like granola bars, but made like rice crispy treats.


    Ingredients: 
    3 Tbs. butter
    1 (10.5 oz.) bag of miniature marshmallows
    1 (15 oz) box of low-fat granola cluster cereal
    1 1/4 cup dried cranberries
    non-stick baking spray


    Directions
    • Melt butter in a large saucepan until completely melted
    • Add marshmallows and cook, stirring constantly until melted and smooth.
    • Remove from heat and add cereal and cranberries
    • Press mixture into a 13 x 9 inch pan and let stand 10-15 minutes
    • Cut into 24 pieces
    *TIP 1- When pressing the mixture into the pan, spray your hands with baking spray so they won't stick to the mixture.
    *TIP 2 - Switch it up and use dried blueberries, nuts, or chocolate chips for your next batch.  You can put many different things in the bars!