Friday, December 10, 2010

Silk's Mint Chocolate Soy Milk

Are you looking for a taste of the holidays, but you don't want to drink away your calories? Well, look no further. For just 90 calories, you can have one serving of Silk's Mint Chocolate Soy Milk.This tastes like a cold peppermint hot chocolate from Starbucks. It's that yummy! Give it a try!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Holiday Cocktails

You don't have to drink your calories this Christmas season. Here are some fabulous drinks to help you keep your figure rather than putting on the pounds:

2 oz. Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka
1 oz. hazelnut liqueur
1/2 oz. crème de cacao
Splash of cream
2 chocolate cookie wafers, crushed

Rim a martini glass with chocolate cookie crumbs and set aside. Shake Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka, hazelnut liqueur, crème de cacao and cream over ice and pour into the glass. Dust top with more chocolate cookie crumbs.

The swap: Instead of using cookies, try crushed hazelnuts or low-fat graham crackers. You can also substitute 2% milk or half-and-half for the “splash of cream.”

The save: 108 calories and 7.5 grams of fat

2-1/2 oz. eggnog
1 oz. Van Gogh Vanilla Vodka
3/4 oz. amaretto

Combine ingredients in shaker and shake with ice. Strain into chilled martini glass. Dust with freshly grated nutmeg or cinnamon.

The swap: Instead of eggnog, use 1/4 cup of 2% milk combined with 2 Tbl. of bourbon with a dash of freshly grated nutmeg (or simply buy a low-fat eggnog!).

The save: 22 to 44 calories

1/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 orange
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
Cinnamon stick
750 ml red wine
1 oz. Cointreau
6 oz. sparkling water
4 oranges, thinly sliced, for garnish
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced, for garnish
1/2 lime, thinly sliced, for garnish
1/2 Pippin or Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced, for garnish
20 grapes, green and red, for garnish

Place sugar, water, orange and lemon juices, and cinnamon stick in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Pour red wine, Cointreau, and sparkling water into a punch bowl. Remove cinnamon stick from the syrup, then pour into punch bowl. Float fruit on top. Chill for at least an hour before serving.

The swap: Use agave nectar, which dissolves easily and is low on the glycemic index, and honey or a low-cal sugar alternative like Splenda to sweeten. (Or, you could just cut back on the amount of sugar!).

The save: 193 calories

Chocolate Peppermint Cookie

3/4 oz. Partida Blanco Tequila
1 oz. peppermint schnapps
3/4 oz. Godiva Liqueur
1-1/2 oz. cream
Chocolate syrup and candy canes for garnish

Rim martini glass with chocolate syrup and crushed candy canes. Shake ingredients in a shaker with ice and strain into glass.

The swap: Use 2% milk instead of cream, and unsweetened cocoa powder (or sugar-free chocolate syrup) instead of chocolate sauce.

The save: 152 calories and 15 grams of fat!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Easy Creole Shrimp


1 lb of large raw frozen shrimp, thawed
1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
1/4 cup Zesty Italian Dressing (Kraft or Wishbone will do)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp chopped parsley (optional)


1. First, pour the 1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning over the thawed shrimp.
2. Stir it around to coat.
3. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
4. Add the dressing and garlic.
5. Cook and stir for one minute.
6. Stir in the shrimp.
7. Cook and stir for 3-5 minutes. I would occasionally flip them over, too.You'll know they're almost ready when most of the liquid has evaporated and the shrimp is starting to brown.
8. Sprinkle the chopped, fresh parsley over the top of the shrimp.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pecan Squares

Recipe from: Martha Stewart


18 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup light-brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup light-brown sugar, firmly packed
6 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups (8 ounces) pecan halves
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1. Place rack in center of oven. Heat oven to 375 degrees. To make the crust: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add salt, and mix to combine. Add flour 1 cup at a time, on medium speed, mixing until fully incorporated after each addition. Continue mixing until the dough begins to come together in large clumps.
2. Press dough about 1/4-inch thick into a 9-by-13-by-1-inch baking pan. Prick the pastry with the tines of a fork. Chill until firm, about 20 minutes. Bake until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
Reduce oven to 325 degrees. To make the filling: Place butter, brown sugar, honey, granulated sugar, heavy cream, and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat; stir in nuts and vanilla.
3. Pour filling onto the cooled crust. Bake until filling bubbles, 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Run a paring knife around edges of the pan, and invert onto cooling rack, leaving the pastry on the rack. Invert rack with pastry onto a cutting board, leaving the pastry on the board, filling side up.
4. Use a sharp knife to cut into 1-by-3-inch bars. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.

*I forgot to take a picture of mine, but these were delicious. I think the honey adds a lot of flavors to the treat. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush an 8-inch square baking pan with butter; line pan with a piece of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides. Butter paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk butter and sugars until smooth. Whisk in egg and vanilla. Add flour and salt; mix just until moistened (do not overmix). Fold in 1/2 cup each chocolate chips and walnuts.
3. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips and walnuts.
4. Bake until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.
5. Set pan on a wire rack, and let cool completely. Using parchment overhang, lift cake from pan and transfer to a cutting board; cut into 16 squares.

Store blondies in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 2 days.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Caramel Apples

Recipe from: Cooking Light

Yield: 16 apples (serving size: 1 apple)


16 wooden sticks
16 small apples, chilled
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light-colored corn syrup
1/2 cup water
2 cups half-and-half
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt


1. Push wooden sticks into the top of chilled apples. Return apples to the refrigerator until caramel is ready for dipping.
2. Place sugar, corn syrup, and water in a large saucepan; boil, stirring until dissolved. Boil, without stirring, 9 minutes or until light golden.
3. Combine half-and-half, vanilla, and salt; slowly stir into pan. Boil until candy thermometer reaches 235° (45 minutes), stirring frequently.
4. Pour caramel into a bowl sitting in a hot water bath. Swirl apples in caramel, and place on baking sheet lined with wax paper.

Dirt Cake


1 1/4 pounds of Oreo cookies (1 package)
1/2 cup melted butter
12-oz. container of Cool Whip (I used Fat Free)
8-oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 packages vanilla instant pudding mix
4 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Gummy worms (optional)


1. Crush cookies in blender.
2. Using clean flower pot or bowl, put a layer of "dirt" (cookies) in the bottom. 3. Combine butter, whipped topping, cream cheese and powdered sugar and layer over "dirt".
4. Combine pudding, milk and vanilla; blend until thickened. Add a layer over first mixture.
5. Continue to alternate layers, reserving "dirt" for top layer.
6. You can decorate with Gunny worms.
7. Refrigerate.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Mocha Macadamia Chocolate Chunk Cookies


1/2 cup unsalted butter
6 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon boiling water
1 cup plus
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 ounces semisweet chocolate candy bars, chopped
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until softened. Add sugar and brown sugar and beat until well combined. Beat in egg, vanilla and salt.
3. Dissolve espresso powder in the boiling water, add to butter mixture and beat well.
4. In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Add to butter mixture and beat combined. Stir in chopped chocolate and nuts.
5. Drop by heaping teaspoons onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.
6. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on wire racks.

Makes about 36.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Bread

3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons salt
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1 (16 ounce) can pumpkin
2/3 cup water

1. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, cloves and salt into a medium bowl.

2. Combine the sugar and oil in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Beat in the eggs and pumpkin.

3. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the water, mixing well after each addition.
4. Spoon into 2 greased and floured 5x9-inch loaf pans.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the loaves test done.

6. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from the pans to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes two loaves.

If you need a sifter, splurge and buy the Williams-Sonoma Flour Sifter here. It was so easy and fast.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Zesty Spaghetti

1 can (6oz.) tomato paste
-fill 3 times with water
1 package McCormick Thick & Zesty Spaghetti Sauce mix
1 small onion
seasonings to taste (I used red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning and garlic powder)
1 lb. ground beef (I used 1 lb. ground sausage)
spaghetti noodles (or pasta of choice)

1. Brown ground beef (or sausage) and drain.
2. Add tomato paste, water, mix, onion and seasonings.
3. Let simmer.
4. Serve warm over your choice of pasta.

Sophisticated Punch

1 12oz. frozen orange juice
1 12 oz. frozen lemonade
1 large can of pineapple juice
-fill can with water
2 liter bottle of ginger ale
Raspberries or strawberries for show (optional)

Mix all ingredients together. Serve chilled.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Recipe from: Cooking Light

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) block fat-free cream cheese, softened
1/2 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
1 (13.5-ounce) package baked tortilla chips (about 16 cups)

Preheat oven to 350°.
Combine 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, sour cream, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, and next 6 ingredients (through spinach) in a large bowl; stir until well blended. Spoon mixture into a 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Serve with tortilla chips.

Raspberry Baked Brie

Recipe from: Pillsbury and A Day in the Life


1 can (8oz.) Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 round (8oz.) Brie cheese
1 tablespoon seedless raspberry jam
1/4 cup fresh raspberries (do not use frozen)
1 egg, beaten
Assorted crackers or sliced baguette French bread


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Unroll dough; separate crosswise into 2 sections. Press each section into 6-inch square, firmly press perforations to seal. Place cheese on center of 1 dough square; top with jam and raspberries.

2. Place square on top of cheese round. Press dough evenly around cheese, folding bottom edges over top edges; press to seal completely. Place on cookie sheet.

3. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet; place on serving plate. Cool 10 minutes. Serve warm with crackers. Store in refrigerator.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wasabi and Panko-Crusted Pork with Gingered Soy Sauce

2/3 cup Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
2 large boneless, center-cut loin pork chops (I bought butterfly chops)
1 tsp peanut oil - I used olive oil
Cooking spray
1/2 Tbsp ground ginger
1/3 cup fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp sake or dry sherry - I used sherry
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp wasabi paste
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
Rice made according to package directions - I used Uncle Ben's Jasmine rice with parsley sprinkled on top

1. In a shallow dish, place the egg white and lightly whisk. In another dish, add the breadcrumbs.

2. Dredge the pork in the egg white and then coat in breadcrumbs.

3. In a nonstick skillet, coated with cooking spray, heat the oil over medium heat.

4. Cook the pork chops about 4 minutes on each side, being careful not to burn. (The chops I bought were about an inch thick and took about 20-30 minutes to cook)

5. In a small bowl, whisk together chicken broth, soy, sherry, sugar and wasabi paste.

6. Remove the pork chops and set on a plate. Reduce heat down, and add ginger. Stir constantly until it starts to brown (this was only like 15 seconds for me), and then pour in the sauce. Stir around to loosen the browned bits in the pan.

7. Stir in the green onions...

8. Pour sauce over the pork chops and serve with rice.

***We loved this dish. It took a little longer than expected, but in the end, it was delicious. I'd definitely try it again, but buy thinner chops. We will be having this again.

Chopped Broccoli with Pine Nuts

Recipe from: Bob Harper

1 large stalk of organic broccoli (florets and stem cut into uniform pieces)
3 Tablespoons of pine nuts (toasted) - OMITTED
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 garlic cloves smashed and skinned - I used 1/2 tablespoon of minced garlic
1 large shallot sliced - OMITTED
1 Tablespoon of red pepper flakes (less if you don't like spicy)
1 Teaspoon of chopped and grated lemon zest
Salt and pepper

1. Heat a large pot with olive oil, add the pepper flakes, garlic, shallot, and season with salt and pepper. Once the garlic and shallot are "soft" add the portioned broccoli. Stir until evenly coated. 2. Add 1/2 a cup of water and put a lid on the pot. Cook the broccoli until the water evaporates about 6-8 minutes.
3. Once water is evaporated add the toasted pine nuts and lemon zest.
4. With an old school potato masher "mash" the broccoli.

**This was delicious and so easy to make. Not to mention healthy! I don't care for pine nuts and I didn't have a shallot; so, I omitted, but it still tasted great.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Stuffed Peppers

Recipe from: Cooking Light

1 (3 1/2-ounce) bag boil-in-bag long-grain rice
4 medium red bell peppers
3/4 pound ground sirloin
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
2 cups bottled tomato-and-basil pasta sauce (such as Classico), divided
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup dry red wine
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450°.

Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Set aside.

While rice cooks, cut tops off bell peppers; reserve tops. Discard seeds and membranes. Place peppers, cut sides down, in an 8-inch square baking dish; cover with plastic wrap. Microwave at high 2 minutes or until peppers are crisp-tender. Cool.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and the next 5 ingredients (beef through allspice); cook 4 minutes or until beef is lightly browned, stirring to crumble. Remove from heat. Add rice, 1/2 cup pasta sauce, and cheese to beef mixture, stirring to combine.

While beef cooks, combine 1 1/2 cups pasta sauce and wine in a small saucepan; bring to a boil.

Spoon about 3/4 cup beef mixture into each pepper. Place peppers in a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray; add wine mixture to pan. Cover with foil.

Bake at 450° for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake an additional 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve peppers with sauce. Garnish with pepper tops.

**I've made stuffed peppers before, but this was a great recipe. I loved the flavor of the peppers. Also, we had rice on the side instead of inside the pepper.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Easy Calzone

Recipe from: Simply Made...with Love

1 can of crescent rolls
pepperoni (or any pizza topping you want)
shredded mozzarella cheese
parmesan cheese
1 T. italian seasoning
pinch of garlic salt
olive oil (1 T)

1. Preheat oven to time directed on rolls can. Roll out 4 separate rectangles (2 triangular squares together).
2. Place pepperoni on top of the dough. Place cheese on top of the pepperoni (in the center).
3. Roll dough & pinch dough to seal the ends. Brush with olive oil & seasonings. 4. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until dough is brown.

**We loved these. They were so easy and so delicious. I made two chicken and two pepperoni.

Zucchini Patties

Recipe from: Haystacks & Champagne

3 medium zucchini
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 very small onion (or half a medium onion), diced
1-1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs (I used Panko)
½ cup Asiago cheese (or Parmesan/Romano)
4 eggs
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Olive oil

Wash and cut the end off of the zucchini--do not peel. Shred the zucchini using the large holes of a cheese grater. Squeeze the shredded zucchini inside of a clean towel until you’ve removed as much liquid as possible. Or, alternately, you can put the shredded zucchini on several paper towels, lay more paper towels on top and pat down gently (repeat a couple times).

Place shredded zucchini into a medium sized bowl. Add garlic, onion, breadcrumbs, cheese (shredded), eggs, salt and pepper. Stir with a fork until well mixed.

Heat olive oil (about ¼ inch deep in bottom of skillet) to a medium heat (I used a bit less and it turned out ok). When the oil is hot enough drop a glob of zucchini batter into the skillet and flatten it a bit.

After about two minutes, turn the cakes over ( they should be a nice shade of golden-brown) and cook on the other side until done (about 2-3 minutes).

Place on paper towels (to absorb any oil). Serve with the dipping sauce of your choice and enjoy!

Serves 6.

**These were phenomenal. We loved them! And they were so easy.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Italian Spinach



1 tbsp. minced garlic (or add more if you like)

1 can of fresh spinach

1 can of petite diced tomatoes

Parmesan cheese (OPTIONAL)


1. Warm EVOO and garlic in skillet. Do not burn the garlic.

2. Once garlic is browned, add spinach and tomatoes (be sure to drain both cans).

3. Heat all ingredients until warm (3-5 minutes) and serve.

It's really that easy and it's delicious!

Dump Cake

1 can (21 Oz.) Strawberry Pie Filling (or Cherry - your preference)
1 can (15 Oz.) Crushed Pineapple
1 box (about 18 Oz.) Yellow Or White Cake Mix (I used Yellow)
1 stick Margarine - or several spritzes of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter
Whipped Cream - Optional

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Dump pie filling and crushed pineapple into baking dish. Stir together.
3. Sprinkle cake mix over the top of the fruit.
4. Slice margarine and butter and distribute over the surface of the cake mix. (Or spray lots and lots of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter)
5. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Recipe adapted from: The Pioneer Woman

When I asked Fred if it was good, he said, "It's too good!" Pat on the back for moi!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Chicken Caprese

2 6- to 8-ounce chicken cutlets, pounded thin
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus some for drizzling
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (eyeball it)
1 vine-ripened tomato, cut into thick slices
1 ball fresh mozzarella, cut into thick slices
24 leaves fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper

1. Pre-heat an outdoor or indoor grill to medium-high heat
2. Season the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper. Drizzle with EVOO and balsamic, and place on grill. Cook for 2-3 minutes each side. There shouldn’t be any pink in center of breast. Take off the grill and place on 2 separate dinner plates.
3. Top with tomato and mozzarella slices, and garnish with basil, a drizzle of EVOO and salt and pepper.

*Recipe yields 2 servings

Chocolate Autumn Cupcakes

Devil's Food Cake Mix
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup butterscotch morsels
milk chocolate frosting

1. Make cupcakes according to ingredients on the box.
2. While cupcakes are baking, melt chocolate and butterscotch morsels.
3. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and draw an 8 inch square (just so you know how much area you need to cover).
4. Alternate spoonfuls of each over the square.
5. Then use the back of the spoon to swirl it together.
6. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until it's like firm bark. Set it out for about 10 minutes so it will soften some.
7. Use small cookie cutters to carefully press out cute little shapes!
8. Ice cupcakes.
9. Place the cut out chocolate/butterscotch pieces on top of the cupcake.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hot & Spicy Corn Dip

Recipe from Natasha at A Day in the Life

2 cups Frozen corn, thawed, well drained
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Neufchatel Cheese, softened (I substituted cream cheese)
1 cup Mexican Style Shredded Four Cheese
1 can Rotel
1/2 tsp. Chili Powder
1 box Wheat Thins/Triscuit Crackers

Preheat oven to 350°F
Mix all ingredients except chili powder and crackers until well blended
Spread into 9-inch pie plate
Sprinkle with chili powder
Bake for 20-25 min. or until golden brown and bubbly
Serve hot with the crackers

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Recipe from Natasha at A Day in the Life

1 pkg. (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup crumbled shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Ranch salad dressing
2 12.5 oz cans Swanson Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained
1/2 cup FRANK'S RedHot sauce (or any hot sauce)
Celery, chips, and/or crackers

Preheat oven to 350° F
Stir cream cheese in a pie plate with a fork or whisk until it's smooth
Stir in the dressing, pepper sauce, and cheese; stir in the chicken
Bake for 20 minutes or until the chicken mixture is hot and bubbling
Serve with vegetables and/or chips and crackers for dipping

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Baked Crab Rangoon

Recipe from Kendall at Keeping Up with the Joneses

1 can (6 oz) white crabmeat, drained
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2-3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1 Tbsp soy sauce
Garlic powder, to taste
Salt and pepper
Won ton wrappers
Sweet and sour sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease mini muffin tins (24 or 36)
2. Place wontons into muffin cups and bake for 5-7 minutes or until starting to brown.
3. Meanwhile, combine the crabmeat, cream cheese, 2 thinly sliced green onions, mayo, soy sauce, garlic powder, and salt and pepper.
4. Fill the pre-baked wontons with the crabmeat mixture.
5. Bake for 3-5 minutes or until warmed through.
6. Garnish with more green onions, if desired. Serve with sweet and sour sauce.

Total Time: 35-40 minutes
Serves: 24 or 36 appetizers

Triple Chocolate Fruit Pizza

Recipe from Kendall at Keeping Up with the Joneses

1 (18 oz) package of refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
2 (1 oz) squares of white chocolate (for baking) (Omitted)
2 tablespoons milk
1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup thawed, frozen whipped topping
12-16 strawberries, hulled, cut in half
1 can (11 oz) mandarin oranges, well drained
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels (Omitted)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shape cookie dough into a ball and place in center of baking stone. Roll dough to a 12 inch circle, about 1/4 inch thick. Bake 12-15 minutes or until edges are set. (Cookie will be soft. Do not overbake.) Remove from oven; coll 10 minutes. Carefully loosen cookie from baking stone using serrated bread knife; cool completely on baking stone.

2. Place white chocolate and milk in small micro-safe bowl. Microwave on high 1 minute; stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Microwave an additional 10-20 minutes seconds if necessary. Cool slightly. In classic batter bowl, combine cream cheese and powdered sugar; mix well. Gradually stir in white chocolate mixture; mix until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over cookie.

3. Arrange strawberries and mandarin oranges over cream cheese mixture. Place chocolate morsels and vegetable oil in small micro-safe bowl; microwave uncovered, on high 30 seconds or until chocolate is melted and smooth. Drizle over fruit. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Cut into wedges.

Total Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes (including cool time and refrig. time)
Serves: 16 slices

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Cajun Shrimp and Gouda Grits

Recipe from: Kendall at Keeping up with the Joneses


3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 heavy whipping cream
1 cup quick-cooking grits
4 oz smoked Gouda cheese
Ground white pepper (optional)
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 medium green bell pepper
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with green pepper, celery and onion
1 can (15 oz) tomato puree
1 1/4 lb large cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, remove the tails
1/2 cup snipped fresh parsley


1) Grits
Place broth and whipping cream in large, micro-safe dish and microwave, covered on high 3-5 minutes or until hot. Add grits, cover, and microwave on high 4-5 minutes or until thickened. Grate cheese into the grits and stir until cheese is melted. Add some ground white pepper, if you like. Set aside and cover to keep warm.

2) Shrimp
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat 1-3 minutes. Chop the green bell pepper. Add to the pan with the pressed garlic and Cajun seasoning. Cook 2-3 minutes or until bell pepper is tender. Add canned tomatoes, puree and shrimp, cook 1-2 minutes or until heated through. I tasted it and added some extra Tony C's seasoning to give it some more flavor.

3) Serve
Put grits on plates and top with shrimp mixture. Garnish with parsley and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Thai Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray's Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Ingredients (serves 4)
*1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
* 1/2 lb. of shrimp
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
* 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce (use less if you're not a fan of the hot stuff)
* 1/4 cup honey
* 2 iceberg lettuce heads, cut into quarters and leaves gently removed to make the lettuce cups
* 1/2 cup honey-roasted peanuts, chopped (OPTIONAL)
* Juice of 1 lime
* 1 handful basil, chopped (OPTIONAL)

Place a large skillet over medium-high heat with one turn of the pan of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon.
Add the shrimp and cook until almost done.
Add in the red pepper and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.
Add in the chili sauce and honey and simmer to reduce it and coat the chicken.
To serve, lay the lettuce leaves on a platter, then scoop some of the shrimp mixture onto each leaf.
Sprinkle with the chopped peanuts, lime juice and basil.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Baked Zucchini Sticks

Recipe from: Simply Made with Love
3 medium zucchini sliced into 3" x 1/2" sticks
1 large egg white (I used 1/4 cup of Egg Beaters)
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs (I used Italian Panko bread crumbs)
2 tbsp grated Pecorino Romano cheese (OMITTED)
cooking spray
1/4 tsp garlic powder
fresh pepper

1. In a small bowl, pour Egg Beaters and season with salt and pepper.
2. In a shallow bowl, place breadcrumbs, garlic powder and cheese and mix.
3. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
4. Dip zucchini sticks into eggs then into bread crumb and cheese mixture.
5. Place the breaded zucchini in a single layer and spray more cooking spray on top.
6. Bake at 425° for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

*These were so yummy and so easy to make.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Rosemary Ranch Chicken Marinade

Recipe from: West Sac Honey


1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup ranch dressing
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons salt (only used 1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon white sugar, or to taste (Omitted)
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

I marinated the chicken overnight and grilled the chicken the next day. It was phenomenal! The meat was tender and had a great flavor. We will definitely use this marinade again!

Quesadilla Chicken

Recipe from: Simply Made...with Love

1 cup miniature cheese crackers, crushed (I used Reduced Fat Cheez-Its)
1-1/2 teaspoons taco seasoning
5 tablespoons butter, softened, divided (Omitted/ Used Egg Beaters)
3 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons canned chopped green chilies (Used the Old El Paso brand)
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)

1. In a shallow bowl, combine cracker crumbs and taco seasoning; set aside.
2. In another bowl, combine 3 tablespoons butter, cheese, chilies, onion and salt. Shape mixture into six balls. (This was hard for me; so, I just used a palm-ful
3. Flatten chicken to 1/4-in. thickness.
4. Place filling in the center of each.
5. Roll up and secure with toothpicks.
6. In a shallow microwave-safe bowl, melt remaining butter.
7. Dip chicken in butter, then coat evenly with cracker mixture.
8. Place seam side down in a greased shallow round 3-qt. microwave-safe dish.
9. Bake on 350 for 40 minutes

**With this dish, I served taco seasoned red potatoes. You take 6 small red potatoes (cubed), one tablespoon of olive oil, and half a packet of taco seasoning. Put all ingredients in a large plastic bag and mix together. Place an even layer on a cookie sheet and bake along side the chicken. And I served a salad.

This recipe was awesome!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Chips

Recipe from my friend, Leslie
1 lb strawberries
8 oz raspberries
2 Golden Delicious apples
2 kiwis
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons fruit preserves

For the Chips:
white sugar
butter cooking spray

1. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
3. Coat one side of each flour tortilla with butter flavored cooking spray. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle wedges with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Spray again with cooking spray.
4. Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture.

*Leslie brought this over to my house for a cookout and it was absolutely delicious. I loved it! It's great for a summer treat!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Homemade Lasagna

1 pound lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
1 (14.5 oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups water
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon white sugar

12 ounces cottage cheese or Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg

9 lasagna noodles
1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook beef until brown. Drain. In another skillet over medium heat, cook onion until translucent. Combine beef and onion in a large saucepan with tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, water, oregano, garlic powder, salt, pepper and sugar. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 1 hour.
2. While sauce is simmering, blend cottage cheese, Parmesan and egg until smooth. Set aside.
3. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
5. Spread 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Cover sauce with 3 noodles. Cover noodles with one-third of remaining sauce. Top with half the mozzarella. Place another layer of noodles and one of sauce over the mozzarella; top that with the cottage cheese mixture. Top with remaining 3 noodles and remaining sauce.
6. Bake in preheated oven 30 minutes. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella on top and bake 15 minutes more, until golden and bubbly.

*I was impressed at how easy it was to make. It was delicious and my family enjoyed it! Too bad I forgot to take a picture!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Spicy Tilapia with Pineapple-Pepper Relish

Recipe from: Cooking Light

2 teaspoons canola oil
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (I used crushed red pepper)
4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh pineapple chunks (I used an 8 oz. can of Dole crushed pineapple)
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped plum tomato
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
4 lime wedges (one per piece of fish)

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Combine Cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle fish evenly with spice mixture. Add fish to pan, and cook for 2 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

Combine pineapple and next 5 ingredients (through jalapeño) in a large bowl, stirring gently. Serve pineapple mixture with fish. Garnish with lime wedges.

*I cooked this by placing one piece of tilapia on a piece of alumninum foil (one filet per piece of foil) and spooning some relish mixture over each piece of fish. I then folded the foil around the tilapia and baked it in the oven on 400 degrees for 20 minutes. It really allowed all of the flavors to cook together.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Triffle

Recipe from: Simply Made...with Love

Serves: 10-12
1 box of chocolate cake mix
1 pkg. (12 oz) Reese's peanut butter chips
1 bag (12 oz) Reese's Peanut Butter cups
4 cups of cold milk
2 pkgs. of instant vanilla pudding mix
2 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1 container (8 oz) Cool Whip

1. Prepare chocolate cake mix according to box directions. Add peanut butter chips to the cake batter. Bake according to directions on box. Cool and cut into 1 inch cubes.
2. Prepare pudding mix as directed on box in a large bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes, then mix in 2 tbsp. peanut butter. Mix until peanut butter is blended into pudding. Then, take 1/2 of the cool whip (4 oz) and fold into pudding mixture. Set in fridge to cool.
3. Cut peanut butter cups into quarters. Set aside.
4. In a trifle bowl place 1/2 of the chocolate cake pieces into the bottom of the trifle bowl. Sprinkle 1/3 of the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups on top of the cake layer. Then, pour 1/2 of the pudding mixture on top of the cake/candy. Layer the remaining cake pieces onto the pudding mixture, followed by 1/3 of the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Pour the remaining pudding mixture onto the top of the 2nd cake layer. Spread the second 1/2 of the Cool Whip on top of the pudding mixture. Top with remaining pieces of the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Serve and ENJOY!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake


1 box white cake mix
1 box (4-serving size) strawberry-flavored gelatin
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs

Dipped Strawberries
1 pint (2 cups) medium-large strawberries (18 to 20 strawberries)
1/2 cup white vanilla baking chips
1 teaspoon shortening or vegetable oil

Filling and Frosting
1 cup seedless strawberry jam
1 container milk chocolate frosting


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottoms and sides of two 9-inch round cake pans with shortening and lightly flour, or spray with baking spray with flour. In large bowl, mix cake mix and gelatin. Beat in water, oil and eggs with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally (batter will be lumpy). Pour into pans.
2. Bake as directed on box for 9-inch round cake pans. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile, gently rinse strawberries and dry on paper towels (must be completely dry). Line cookie sheet with waxed paper. In 1-quart saucepan, melt vanilla baking chips and shortening over low heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
4. Dip lower half of each strawberry into vanilla chip mixture; allow excess to drip back into saucepan. Place on waxed paper-lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate until coating is firm, about 30 minutes, or until serving time.
5. Split each cake horizontally into 2 layers. On serving plate, place top of 1 layer, cut side up; spread with 1/3 cup of the jam. Add bottom half of layer, cut side down; spread with 1/3 cup jam. Add top of second layer, cut side up; spread with remaining 1/3 cup jam. Add bottom of remaining layer. Frost side and top of cake with frosting. Arrange dipped strawberries around top of cake. Store in refrigerator.

Recipe can be found here.

Pineapple Baked Tilapia

Recipe by: Simply Made...with Love
2 tilapia fillets
8 oz. crushed pineapple
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 tbs. lemon juice
1 1/2 tbs. mustard (I used brown)
2 tsp. soy sauce
aluminum foil (2 square pieces)

1. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
2. Season tilapia with salt and pepper.
3. Place tilapia on one piece of aluminum foil. (one piece on each)
4. Coat tilapia with pineapple mixture.
5. Fold foil around tilapia.
6. Place foil on cookie sheet, ready to bake.
7. Bake on 400 for 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes apart. ]
8. Unwrap foil and enjoy.