Monday, December 12, 2011

Blueberries in the Snow

It's starting to look a lot like Christmas (and snow!) so try making some delicious Blueberries in the Snow!

~Blueberries in the Snow

For Crust:
9 graham crackers
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling:
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

For the Base:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Grease the bottom of a 9 by 9-inch baking pan with butter.  Then place parchment paper over the top, pressing down at the corners.  In a food processor, process the graham crackers until you have the consistency of breadcrumbs.  Add the melted butter and pulse a couple of times to fully incorporate.  Pour into the lined baking pan and firmly pat down with the bottom of a glass.  Bake for about 12 minutes, or until set.

For the filling:
Add cream cheese, vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar to the food processor and pulse until well combined.  It should have a smooth consistency.  Pour onto the cooked graham cracker base and then sprinkle with blueberries.  They will sink slightly but should be half exposed.

Completely refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Baked Pumpkin Donut Holes

Nothing says Fall like the classic combination of pumpkin and cinnamon.  This got me thinking that I needed to try out a new pumpkin recipe, so I made Baked Pumpkin Donut Holes (twice!)

For Donuts:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned plain pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup skim milk

For Coating:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 stick of unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

Preheat oven 350°F. Spray each cup in a 24-cup mini muffin tin with baking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In a separate, large bowl whisk together applesauce, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and milk until smooth. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. (I used a 2-tablespoon scoop will ensure uniform size.) (I also put some batter in a piping bag and made mini-donuts.  Bake at 350°F for 12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While the muffins bake, mix powdered sugar and cinnamon OR melt butter in one bowl and combine granulated sugar and cinnamon in another bowl. 

Remove muffins from oven and cool for 2 minutes. Sift powdered sugar over the donut holes or dip each hole in melted butter, then roll in cinnamon sugar to coat.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Baked Chicken Egg Rolls

~Baked Chicken Egg Rolls

3 Chicken breasts, grilled and chopped
1 package Wonton Wrappers
2 tsp ginger, minced
1/2 cup shredded carrots
2 cups shredded cabbage
2 T teriyaki sauce
2 T soy sauce
No-stick cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Stir-fry the chicken, ginger, cabbage, carrots, teriyaki sauce, and soy sauce in no-stick cooking spray. Cook mixture for 2 minutes. Allow to cool. Fill egg roll wraps with mixture and seal the edges with water. Place rolls on a baking sheet coated with non-stick cooking spray. Lightly spray the tops with the cooking spray and bake until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.  Serve with more soy sauce or hoisin sauce.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Homemade Butterfingers

What are you going to do with all that left over candy corn from Halloween last week?  Not sure?  Why not make some homemade butterfingers!  It is so easy and so delicious!

Candy Corn Butterfingers

1 lb. candy corn
16oz jar peanut butter
16oz pkg. chocolate chips

Melt candy corn in microwave on high 1 minute. Stir and continue cooking in 15-second intervals until melted, stirring after each interval. Stir in peanut butter. Spread mixture in an 8x8 pan lined with parchment. Cool completely. Cut into squares. Dip in melted chocolate candy coating. Lay on waxed paper to set.

I think that next time I will let the candy mixture cool to room temperature and pour chocolate over it.  After allowing it to sit, I would cut it into squares!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Cookies

Have you ever had a hankering for your favorite rolled breakfast item, then look at the clock and realize that that its late afternoon?  Do you feel a little weird popping out a can of cinnamon rolls at 5 O'clock?  Well do I have a solution for you!  Cinnamon Roll Cookies that will fulfill your craving (or that you can eat for breakfast)!

~Cinnamon Roll Cookies

3/4 cups butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk, save the white for the filling
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

for the filling:
1 egg white from last step
1 tablespoon water
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup granulated sugar

for the icing:
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Cream the butter and sugar. Add egg yolk and vanilla. Add the flour and salt and mix until dough comes together. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until you are ready to roll it out. For the filling, whisk together the egg white and water. Set aside. In another small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

Take out the dough and place on a sheet of parchment paper. Place another piece on top and roll out into a 9X12 inch rectangle. Take off the parchment paper on top and brush on the egg white wash. Spread the cinnamon sugar mixture over the dough. Carefully roll the dough length wise into a log. Make sure you press the edges together. Roll back into the plastic wrap and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes. 

Cut into 1/2 inch circles. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 15-17 minutes.

For the icing, mix the ingredients until creamy and smooth. Drizzle over the cookies.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Slow-Cooker Pizza Dip

This is certainly a far cry from health food, but an indulgence like this every now and then is delicious!  Quick, easy, and yummy.  What more could you ask for?

~Slow-Cooker Pizza Dip

1 8 oz. block of cream cheese (softened)
2 cups of marinara sauce
1/2 cup fat-free mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 pound ground beef
1 package of pepperoni
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
Tortilla chips, pita chips, veggies, etc.

Brown the ground beef and drain off any liquid.
Beat the cream cheese, marinara (Careful!  It splatters!), salt, pepper, and oregano.
Combine the ground beef, cream cheese mixture, mozzarella and parmesan cheese.  
Layer the mixture and the pepperoni.  Continue layering until all pepperoni is gone.
Cover and cook on low for 2 hours or on high for 30 minutes (this is what I did and it worked perfectly!)
Serve with tortilla chips, pita chips, or veggies!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Skinny Mini Chicken Pot Pies

~Skinny Mini Chicken Pot Pies

1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 cup fat-free chicken broth
1 cups diced potatoes, peeled
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
1 cup green peas
1 (10 ounce) can reduced-fat cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chopped cooked chicken breasts
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 pre-made reduced-fat refrigerated pie crusts

With a circular cookie cutter, cut out crusts and place into greased muffin tins.  Bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute onions until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add broth, potatoes, carrots and peas.  Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer for 15 minutes, partially covered.
Remove from heat.
Combine condensed soup and flour in a small bowl.
Add this mixture, chicken, parsley, and pepper to the vegetables and stir well.
Scoop into pre-cooked pie crusts.
Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes and serve!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Protein-Packed Apple Sandwich

I personally hate eating breakfast and then an hour later hearing my stomach start grumbling for lunch.  With this in mind, I created the Protein-Packed Apple Sandwich.  This recipe is a great way to start the day and make sure you aren't starving by 11 AM.

~Protein-Packed Apple Sandwich
1 Apple, cold
1.5 T Peanut Butter (or another nut butter)
1 tsp. dark chocolate chips
2 tsp. golden raisins
Peanuts (optional)

Core the apple and slice the apple into several horizontal slices.  Take two of the slices and spread with peanut butter.  Drop the chocolate chips and raisins on top of the peanut butter.  Squish the two slices together and eat up!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Poppin' Peppers

    ~Delicious Stuffed Peppers
    2 large sweet peppers 
    3/4 lb ground turkey, lean 
    1 jar pimentos
    1/2 cup water 
    1/3 cup long grain brown rice (uncooked) 
    1 tbsp worcestershire sauce 
    1/2 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
    salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375*F.
Cut the tops off peppers and remove seeds.
Immerse peppers in boiling water for 3 minutes and drain on a paper towel.
Meanwhile in a large skillet, cook pimentos and turkey until browned. Drain off any excess fat.
Stir in water, rice, Worcestershire sauce, salt ant pepper.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer 15 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir in 1/4 cup of cheese.
Fill peppers with turkey mixture and place in baking dish. Arrange extra turkey mixture around peppers.
Bake 15 minutes.
Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of cheese and let stand until cheese is melted.

Number of Servings: 4

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Watermelon Popsicles

Since the official end of summer is quickly approaching (though it will most likely be in the 90's here until the end of October) I decided to make a batch of watermelon popsicles to celebrate!  There is nothing quite as refreshing as watermelon popsicles!

  • Watermelon Popsicles
  • 2 1/2 cups seeded diced watermelon
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in blender; puree until smooth.  Pour puree into Popsicle molds, dividing equally. Freeze overnight.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Chickpea Poppers

Chickpea Poppers

    1 Can (about 2 cups) chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) - Drained 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil 1 Tablespoon of Coarse/Sea Salt

Preheat your oven to 425*.  Pour your chickpeas into a plastic bag.
Add oil, seal bag and shake it up.  Add seasoning mixtures and shake bag until evenly covered.
Line baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Spread chickpeas out in a single layer.
Cook for 45 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Cake Full of Blooms

My favorite flower is a Hydrangea.  I love the fact that the pH of the soil affects the color (white, pink, green, blue, and purple) of the petals, leaving you with tie-dyed arrangements.  Most of all, these flowers are just gorgeous.  These beauties and roses are what inspired Mom's birthday cake a few months ago.  Well, that and the fact that I was determined to make an icing rose.  Here are great tutorials on how to make both flowers:

  • Roses:
  • Hydrangeas:
It is best for the icing to be a thick consistency and cooled before starting to make the flowers, or else you will have a melting bouquet on your cake or cupcake.  That is what started happening with my roses, but they still turned out alright for my first try!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Battle of the Cornbreads

One night we were going to have cornbread for dinner.  Then we discovered that we were out of Jiffy cornbread... so I found a recipe.  Upon mixing it up, Mom looked at it and said that it was way too watery. So she found a recipe of her own to try.  Thus began the battle of the cornbreads...

My cornbread recipe:

1 cup white cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 cups lowfat buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Whisk together all ingredients.  Pour into a pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. 

Mom's cornbread recipe:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray or lightly grease a 9 inch round cake pan.
In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir in egg, milk and vegetable oil until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Both turned out well, but each was a very different style.  Mine was very moist and super dense.  Almost like the dressing (or as some people call it, stuffing) we make every Thanksgiving.  Mom's was much more traditional.  It was thicker and lighter.  It was moist, but drier than mine.  You can't go wrong with either of these recipes, but as for me, I think I'll just stick with my Jiffy!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Very Berry Parfait

Yogurt is a sweet, filling, and chock-full of calcium way to start your day!

3/4 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup granola
Berries such as: blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, or raspberries

Spoon half of the yogurt into a glass or a bowl.  Add half of the granola and half of the berries.  Top with yogurt, granola, and berries!  Eat up for a filling, nutritious, and fun breakfast or snack!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Chocolate Covered Bananas Remix

Chocolate and bananas are a match-made-in-Heaven.  This combination is a little different than your basic chocolate covered bananas that you are guaranteed to love!

1 cup milk
1 T chocolate syrup
1/2 large banana
Sprinkles (optional)

Chop bananas into bite-sized pieces and place on a piece of parchment paper and freeze for 15 minutes.
While the bananas are freezing, whisk the chocolate syrup into cold milk.
Use the bananas as a substitute for ice to keep your chocolate milk cold!  Top with sprinkles and drink up!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Baby Banana Splits

This is the best way to eat a banana split in my opinion.  And there are not any bad ways to eat a banana split...

Baby Banana Splits
2 bananas, peeled
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 T shortening
1/4 cup sprinkles
1 jar Maraschino cherries
1 can whipped cream

Horizontally slice the bananas into thirds.
In a double broiler, melt the chocolate chips and the shortening, stirring often.
Dip the bananas each 1/2 way into the chocolate.
Dunk the chocolate end into the sprinkles.
Place the bananas onto a piece of parchment paper, and place them into the freezer for 15 minutes.
Remove the bananas from the freezer and top with a squirt of whipped cream and a cherry.
Serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Great Garden Vegetables

The results of one day in the garden.  It gets picked every Saturday morning.  This is just part of this week's harvest... Crazy!

Purple-hulled Crowder Peas

A peck of peppers

A ton of tomatoes

Two conjoined cantaloupes!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Peach-y Keen Ice Cream

~Peach Ice Cream
1 1/2-2 cups fresh pureed peaches (about 4-6 peaches)
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring (extract)

In food processor/blender, puree peaches (peeling the peaches is optional).
Blend peach puree and all ingredients until very smooth.
Chill ice cream mix until cold, about 1-2 hours.
Pour mix into your ice cream machine and process according to manufacturer's directions.
It may be necessary to continue the"chill/beat" cycle for 15-30 minutes after the first cycle stops.
Note: Since fresh Peach Ice Cream is very soft, it maybe necessary to put it in your ice cream maker for an additional 45 minutes (or place in a bowl in freezer) if you prefer a firmer ice cream.

Monday, July 25, 2011

BLT Sushi

4 leaves of Romaine Lettuce
4 slices of cooked bacon
1 large tomato cut into strips
2 cups of cooked rice
Ranch dressing (optional)

Chop bacon.  On each flattened piece of lettuce, evenly scoop 1/2 cup of the cooked rice.  Sprinkle 1/4 of the bacon on top of the rice.  Place tomato strips down the entire length of the lettuce.  Tightly roll the lettuce width wise.  Cut into sushi-sized pieces and secure each piece with a toothpick.  Optional: Drizzle with ranch dressing.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cinnamon Granola

Whether you eat it as a cereal, a part of your parfait, or by the handful, this granola is a delicious way to fill you up in the morning!

3 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup slivered almonds
2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup apple juice
3 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 300°
Combine the oats, almonds, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Set aside.
Next, combine the apple juice, honey, brown sugar, and canola oil in a small saucepan, and cook until the honey is dissolved. Add the vanilla and salt to the mixture.
Drizzle the apple juice mixture over the oats, and mix just until moistened.
Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Spread the oat mixture evenly on the large baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes. Stir well, and then bake an additional 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and stir in raisins. Cool completely, and then store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Fruit Kabobs

A wonderful, cooling summer snack, side, or dessert comes in the form of a kabob.  Fruit on a stick isn't the most creative recipe, but when the fruit is this good, you don't need to be creative!

Chilled Fruit, such as:

Cube or melon-ball the fruit.  Once all your fruit is cut, begin to skewer the fruit, alternating selection types.  Chill the fruit skewers.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Aloha Grilled Chicken Sandwich

I love a grilled chicken sandwich in the summer.  Top it off with pineapple and bell peppers and you have a culinary masterpiece!

For each sandwich you will need:
A grilled chicken breast (seasoned with season salt)
A pineapple ring
Diced roasted red pepper
A whole wheat bun
Pineapple sauce

Coat a grill pan with cooking spray. Grill the pineapple rings for 1 minute on each side.  Cut the pepper in half vertically and de-seed it.  Place the pepper skin side down on the grill pan until it is turning a dark color.  Remove any charred skin and shop the pepper.  Take the juice from the can of pineapple rings and combine in a sauce pan with salt (to taste), pepper (to taste), a dash of cumin, a teaspoon of cornstarch, and paprika (to taste).
Assemble your burgers and drizzle the pineapple sauce over the chicken!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Made-in-Your-Mouth Chocolate Milk

What's better than chocolate milk in a carton?  Homemade chocolate milk.  What's better than homemade chocolate milk?  Made-in-Your-Mouth Chocolate Milk, of course!  What is Made-in-Your-Mouth chocolate milk you ask?  Well, read on to find out...

Made-in-Your-Mouth Chocolate Milk
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/8 cup sprinkles (decorators sugar, multi-colored, etc.)
1 cup milk

In a double broiler, melt the chocolate chips, stirring constantly.  Dip the rim of a glass in the melted chocolate.  Dunk the chocolate-coated rim in the sprinkles.  Place the glass in the freezer for 10 minutes until set.  Pour the milk into the icy glass.  As you sip, your milk will be magically transformed into a classic chocolate treat!