Shelley’s Kitchen
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Baked Acorn Squash with Cranberry Horseradish Sauce


It’s time to start talkin’ turkey!! And allll other food that surrounds the holiday feasts!

I love to cook and eat, well let me rephrase that, I love to cook and eat good food. Not that allll food I make turns out “good”. And since I have been on a healthy life style change I am constantly looking for yummy food that is good for you soooo this year I am going to try out all new (I know that is kinda scary) recipes for the holidays and I will be posting them as I make them and let you know how they turn out.

So how do we feel about acorn squash? Acorn Squash was one of those “new” foods that I was introduced to this year. I have found a few recipes but I tried this one out and it was so easy and quite tasty. I do love Stonewall Kitchen products, I’m sure they have a bit more sugar in them then is necessary but I wanted to give this a try and boy am I glad I did! This will be divine with turkey!

Baked Acorn Squash with Cranberry Horseradish Sauce

• 1 acorn squash, cut in half with seeds removed
• 1/2 cup Stonewall Kitchen Cranberry Horseradish Sauce
• 2 Tsp. butter
• Salt and pepper to taste

Follow along Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.


2. Cut the acorn squash in half and carefully scoop out the seeds. So easy just like little pumpkins.


3. Place squash halves in a baking dish, filled with 1/2″ of water. Cover squash with foil. *helpful hint slice the point on one of the halves off so it sits flat in your pan.

4. Bake for 1 hour or until fork tender.

5. Scoop the pulp into a bowl, mash with the Cranberry Horseradish Sauce and butter. Add salt and pepper to taste.

6. Put the filling back into the squash shells and serve.


Doesn’t that look yummy and it’s good for you too!

The Best Sweet Corn Sauce

After my wonderful stay in August at Miami’s Canyon Ranch I thought it would be great to share some of the tasty and inspirational recipes that I have tried from their cookbooks which I had to bring home with me.

I love food that has a wonderful taste! Food that when you put your fork in your mouth you say, “yeah, that’s what I’m talking about!” And this sauce was just that good! The chefs at Canyon Ranch serve it on top of a Buttermilk-Battered Chicken Breast.

chicken and corn sauce

I paired it up with Ellie’s Panzanella. This is another salad which I love love love, there is nothing as good as our fresh little tomatoes, which we have about 100 in our little outdoor farmville. This dish usually has chicken sausage in it but I did not add it as we were using it as a side dish for the Buttermilk-Battered Chicken.

Recipe: Buttermilk-Battered Chicken Breast with Sweet Corn Sauce
Makes 4 Servings
260 calories
23 gm. carbohydrate
7 gm. fat
73 mg. cholesterol
30 gm. protein
496 mg. sodium
2 gm. fiber


4 skinless chicken breast halves, boned with all visible fat removed
¼ cup buttermilk
Pinch of black pepper

For the Corn Sauce

½ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1T minced fresh garlic
¼ cup diced onion
1¼ tsp olive oil
1 tsp minced jalapeno
2T minced red bell pepper
1½ cups Chicken Stock
1T honey
½ tsp fresh chopped thyme
2 tsp fresh lemon juice

For the Batter:

¾ c all purpose flour
1¼ tsp paprika
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp celery seed
½ tsp dry mustard
1 tsp olive oil

Preparation Instructions:

1. Pound chicken breast with a meat mallet until it is ½-inch thick.

2. Combine the chicken, buttermilk and black pepper in a shallow glass baking dish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

3. In a medium saute pan, saute corn, garlic and onions in olive oil over medium heat until onions begin to turn translucent. Add the jalapeno and red bell pepper and cook for 30 more seconds. Add chicken stock and reduce liquid by half. Season with hone, salt, pepper, thyme, and lemon juice. Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree quickly.

4. In a medium bowl, combine flour, paprika, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, celery seed and dry mustard. Dredge each marinated chicken breast in the season flour until all sides are coated generously.

5. Heat olive oil in a large saute pans and add chicken. Over medium heat, cook chicken for 3-5 minutes on each side until golden.

6. Serve with ¼ cup sweet corn sauce.

I will put up the panzanella recipe at a later date. So hold tight…

*recipe courtesy of Canyon Ranch

Try this I promise you will love it! Yum!

Baked Penne with four cheeses


4 cheese pastaWho doesn’t love comfort food sometimes? I have yearned and missed homemade macaroni and cheese, which I will attempt to “lighten” up soon but in the mean time we loved Ellie’s four-cheese baked penne.

1 1/2 cup small curd low-fat cottage cheese
1 cup spark-skim ricotta cheese
1 1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
3 T chopped fresh parsley
1 pound whole-wheat penne
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 15 ounce can no salt added tomato sauce
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 c shredded parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Combine the cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, 1/2 c of the mozzarella, and parsley and stir.

Cook the pasta in a large post of boiling water until it is tender and drain.

Heat the oil in the same pot over medium heat.

Add the onions and cook, for about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and stir,

Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, rosemary, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.

Add the past to the pot and turn off the heat.

Stir in the cheese mixture.

Spray a 9 x 13″ glass baking dish with cooking spray

Transfer the pasta mixture to the dish and spread out.

Add the remaining 3/4 mozarella and parmesan to the top.

Bake until heated all of the way through and the cheese is melted about 45 minutes.

*Notes from my kitchen

I used to be a “Prego” fiend, i couldn’t have pasta without my sweet Prego, but move over Prego this recipe is so fresh and delicious and it can be made larger for for a crowd.

Does your family love Italiano? Give it a try and let me know how they love it!

Blueberry Brunch


blueberry almond bread puddingOur Anniversary was this past week and I though I would make a little something special for breakfast this weekend so I gathered up an idea from my friend Ellie and made a blueberry-almond french toast bread pudding.

OK, so maybe it isn’t quite as decadent as other bread pudding I have made in the past but it has a wonderful flavor to it and the top is crispy and crunchy! Another wonderfully flavorful recipe and everyone will wake up and run to the kitchen when they get a whiff!

1 whole-wheat baguette (about 18″ long, 8 ounces in weight) cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups low fat milk
8 large eggs
8 large egg whites
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/3 cup sliced almonds
2 T dark brown sugar

Spray a 9 x 13″ baking pan with cooking spray

Arrange the bread in a single layer

In a bowl, whisk together, milk, eggs, egg whites, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon.

Pour the egg mixture over the bread in the pan, make sure it is spread evenly and the bread is moist all over.

Toss the blueberries evenly on top.

Sprinkle with almonds and brown sugar.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Uncover and bake for 60 minutes, serve hot.

Notes from my kitchen:

My kids love fresh homemade whip cream so to make it a little more decadent and special whip up a batch and put a dollop on top of each piece!

Now tell me that your kids won’t gobble this up! It’s Divine! 5 stars!!

Delicious Chicken Paella with Sausage and Olives


I know I have been lacking a little bit on getting some of my delicious recipes up that were inspired by Ellie Krieger and Friends… but I have made so many new and wonderful things and photographed them like a crazy person while doing it over the past few months I have a lot to get out over the summer so I hope you enjoy! Let me know if you make any of these and how you like them and what you did to change them up a bit…

This wonderful recipe will make your home smell like a gourmet restaurant! From Ellie Krieger’s “So Easy” cookbook, I give you Chicken Paella with Sausage and Olives…

1 T plus 2 tsp olive oil
3 oz chorizo sausage with casing removed, sliced into 1/4″ rounds
1 lb skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1″ pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 10 oz package frozen peas
1 cup uncooked white rice
1 large ripe tomato, chopped
1/4 cup sliced green Spanish pimento-stuffed olives
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground turmeric
small pinch of saffron threads


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat 1 T of oil in large heavy skillet over medium-high heat (use a skillet that has a lid to cover)

Add the chorizo and cook, stir occasionally until browned, about 3 minutes.

Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned about 5 minutes.

Transfer the chicken and chorizo to a plate.

Heat the remaining 2 tsp of oil in the skillet,

Add the onion, and cook stirring until softened about 3-5 minutes

Add the garlic and continue to cook for a minute more.

Return the chicken and chorizo to the skillet

Add the chicken broth, peas, rice, tomato, olives, salt, pepper, turmeric, and saffron.


cooking chicken paellaBring to a boil, cover, and transfer to the over.

Cook until the rice appears to be tender and the liquid is absorbed about 30 minutes.

Notes from my kitchen:

Saffron is one of the hardest spices and most expensive spices to find. I went on a saffron hunt when all I could find was saffron flavored rice in my local supermarket. I checked out Whole Foods and Balducci’s and couldn’t find it there either and finally I found the cutest most expensive little bottle at William Sonoma but I must say the fresh is much much better then the saffron rice in the little yellow package!

I had never eateb chorizo sausage until I made this recipe, it is a hot and tangy sausage.

This dish is delicious! It gives a really nice plate presentation too~ Very impressive for company. If you happen to have any left overs it tastes even better the next day! I give this one 5 stars!

Let me know if you give it a try!

Yummy Chicken-Mushroom Quesadillas


chicken mushroom quesadillaLast weekend as I was scrounging around the refrigerator to decide what to make that would be good for lunch i stumbled upon some left over chicken from the night before and thought hmmm I remember seeing what looked like a tasty recipe from my friend “Ellie” for a chicken quesadilla. So I pulled out all of the ingredients and within hmmm I’d say 30-45 minutes we had our very tasty chicken-mushroom quesadillas! So easy… follow along and let me know what you think!

Makes 4 Servings
1 Tb canola oil
1 large onion
8 ounces white mushrooms, coarsely chopped (about 3 cups)
3 garlic cloves minced
2 cups cooked diced skinless boneless chicken breast
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
2 c baby spinach leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
4 10″ whole-wheat four tortillas
1 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
1/2 c salsa
1/4 c reduced fat sour cream

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the onions and mushrooms, stirring occasionally for 5-7 mins.
Add the garlic and good for 1 more minute.
Add the chicken, cumin, chili powder, and oregano and stir until all the spices are incorporated.
Stir in the spinach, salt and pepper and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.
Lay the tortillas on a flat surface.
sprinkle half of the tortilla with 2Tb of shredded cheese.
Spoon 1/4 of the chicken mixture on top of the cheese on each tortilla
then top each with 2 mor TBs of cheese.
Fold the tortillas over into half moons, pressing down lightly to seal them closed.
Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and preheat over medium heat.
Place 2 quesadillas in the pan and cook, turning once until lightly browned and the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes per side.
Repeat with the remaining quesadillas.
Slice each quesadilla in half.
Serve with salsa and sour cream.

Notes from Shelley’s Kitchen:
This was one of those recipes that “everyone” in our home loved! My husband didn’t even question if it was “good for you food!” It is crunch, cheesy, and soooo yummmy! We didn’t use the salsa this time but I’m sure in the summer we will. This will be a definate staple in our home from now on!

It’s Fresh Flavor Friday


pasta and turkey meatballsI love to cook! Therefore during my “wellness makeover” I will be sharing recipes with you that I think are delicious and that your whole family will love on Fresh… Flavor… Friday!. Good nutritious food, not “diet” food rather food that will appeal to you and your families taste as well as nutritious value. My family loves “Italiano” so I turned to the Food Network and was curious to try Ellie Krieger’s Turkey and Meatballs with whole wheat spaghetti.

I’m happy to report this was wonderful and not one person said anything about it tasting like “diet food.” It was fresh and filling. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Join my “wellness makeover” facebook fanpage for more delicious recipes!

Ellie Krieger’s Turkey Meatballs with quick and spicy tomato sauce and Whole Wheat Spaghetti
Yields: 6 servings



• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 3 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1 (28-ounce) can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, liquid included
• 1 teaspoon finely minced canned chipotle en adobo and sauce, or more to taste
• 2 teaspoons chopped oregano leaves
• 1 sprig fresh rosemary
• Salt
• 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves


• Cooking spray
• 1 pound ground turkey meat
• 1 slice fresh whole-wheat bread , crusts removed, pulsed into crumbs
• 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
• 1/2 cup finely grated carrot
• 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
• 2 large cloves garlic, minced
• 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
• 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1 box (16 ounces) whole-wheat spaghetti


Fill a large stockpot with water and bring to a boil for pasta.

Make Sauce:

In a 4-quart saucepan heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté the onions until translucent, about 3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add tomato paste, tomatoes, chipotles, oregano, rosemary, and salt. Bring all the ingredients to a low boil, reduce heat and cook for approximately 15 minutes, until liquid has evaporated slightly. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. While sauce is cooking, make meatballs.


Preheat the broiler. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine the turkey with all other ingredients in a large work bowl. Form into 2 1/2 -inch balls and place on a baking sheet. Broil for 10 minutes, or until browned and almost entirely cooked through.

Meanwhile, remove rosemary sprig from sauce and add fresh basil. Add the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and cook additional 10 minutes, or until sauce has slightly thickened and meatballs have absorbed some of the sauce. While the meatballs are cooking, cook the whole-wheat spaghetti according to package directions.
Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the sauce and meatballs, toss and heat through over medium heat. Divide evenly among 4 pasta bowls and garnish with parsley and 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan.

Yield: 6 servings (1 serving equals about 1 1/3 cups pasta and sauce, plus 2 meatballs