Sunday, December 16, 2012

Simple Cream Cheese Danish

 I know, I apologize for the terrible quality of the picture.
Seems I am without a good camera yet again. 
I broke  this one. Something about it being in my purse, not in a case, and possibly getting hit on something that caused the lens to not open and shut correctly. 
Grr. 

Well, I still bake on...Onward!
This recipe has been on my pinterest board for about forever
Hubby loves him some cream cheese danishes. So, when I seen an "easy" and "simple" recipe version, snatched it up, I did. 
 
The Simple Cream Cheese Danish recipe, courtesy of Food Lush blog, requires a very few amount of ingredients that you probably already have on hand. The recipe uses Crescent Dough as its base with an easy prep cream cheese filling (optional to add jam, if you like). Click HERE for the link. 

So, how was it?
It was easy. 
It was simple. 
But my brain was confused. 
?!?!?
I took a bite and thought firstly, "Oooh, yum, cream cheese-y goodness..." Then, my munching was side-tracked, "Errrr, is that a biscuit I'm eating with my desert?"

Yah. The crescent part of the danish was too "dinner-y" for me. (Not a real word, I know, but you get the idea). Got me thinking I should be eating some pork chops or chicken or something. The Danishes were still tasty, but I didn't think the crescent and the cream cheese filling where a good pairing.

Like I said, I did love how easy these were. If I make these again, but I would not use crescent dough. Or any tips to "sweeten up" a pre-made crescent dough?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sweet Potato Casserole


Oh, the Sweet Potato. 
I personally prefer it rather than the White Potato (well, generally, but you almost can't beat a salty skinned russet potato from a steakhouse. Can I get a HOO-RAH?)
I am also a bit of a purest when it comes to sweet potatoes. 
When I bake them at home, I only add minimal toppings (like just cinnamon). 
Well, we had a Thanksgiving lunch at work, so, since I LOVE sweet potatoes, I made a Sweet Potato Casserole. 

I found a recipe on www.myrecipes.com and tweeked it a bit. 
I roughly followed it to get my desired result. :)
This recipe is not one of those, half a stick of butter, a whole bag of marshmallows, kind of like dessert sweet potato casseroles---
Sorry, they aren't my preference. 
This is more like a "Wow, I really like the actual Sweet Potato in Sweet Potato Casserole" recipe. 
Yes, there is "stuff" added in, but the Sweet Potato really shines

Here's the original recipe---->HERE

Here's my recipe:

  • 2 3/4 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (ADDED, to offset the Black Pepper) 
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray
Topping: 
  • 1/2 cup mini-marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1/3 cup chopped Walnuts
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar 

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Pierce potatoes several times with a fork; place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool slightly; peel and mash in a large bowl.
3. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
4. Stir hmilk and the next 9 ingredients (through egg) into sweet potatoes. Spoon mixture into a 9x13 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle the topping; Bake at 350 degrees for  20 minutes

Delicious and a bit *healthier* option than other Sweet Potato Casserole for your Turkey Day Dinner.

*Note*
Next time, I will either cut down on the black peppers or leave it out. I could taste it a tiny bit and wasn't stoked. It's up to you.

Yum!



Friday, November 16, 2012

Salted Caramel Sugar Cookies


If you are a fan of Salty & Sweet combos, this recipe is for you.
Guess what? I actually didn't find this recipe with my usual "surfin' the net."
I found this recipe (well, perhaps it found me...*sigh*) at the Tea & Spice Exchange in our town.
I had "popped in" the store for some Poppy Seeds and a nice browse. 
While I was browsing, the husband of the husband-wife owner duo asked, "Would you like a sugar cookie?" 
Me, trying to be good and having had a workout that morning, politely replied, "Oh, no, thank you." 
Then he said the words... 
"It's a Salted Caramel Sugar Cookie."
Um, yeah, I changed my mind in .10 seconds.
As soon as the cookie hit my tastebuds....YuMmY!!!
I just had to have the recipe.
And he said, "Are you ready? Just go to the store, buy sugar cookie dough and roll it in our Salted Caramel Sugar."
What???
It's that easy. 
Yes, it is that easy. 
Seriously.


The sugar is a nice chunky sugar, more specifically a Turbinado Sugar (Which is basically a natural brown sugar-click the link to read more if you feel interested.)

Here's the link if you feel you must buy some yummy-tummy Salted Caramel Sugar. 
Yeah, I think you must....CLICK HERE FOR THE YUM!

Plus, while you are there check out all the other amazing sugars, teas, spices, rubs, and salts.
Pretty amazing I have this place in my town. 
I'm a tiny bit in love.

Side Note: 
Now, I will say, I made my own sugar cookies, using Allrecipes.com ----> Easy Sugar Cookies , simply because I already had all the stuff to make sugar cookies. (However, these cookies were a bit too crispy for my sugar cookie preference and didn't brown like I liked - But you may like a crispier sugar cookie, so, have at it.) Next time, I will either 1) Buy the sugar cookie dough or 2) Use a softer cookie dough recipe. 


P.S. There a lot of links in this post, be sure and check them out!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Easy Ground Beef Gyros


Yum. Yum.
With certainty, this Easy Ground Beef Gyros will appear on our dinner table again.

These were great and soooo easy!
Me and the hubby LOVE us some good gyros.
While these are not authentic greek-made gyros, I couldn't believe how tasty these are!
I mean, they are home-made and ground beef only, but, man, don't let that fool you.
Really, these are that good and easy, especially if you are a fan of gyros like us. :)

I literally swung by the grocery store on the way home from work, arrived home, and had dinner made in 30 minutes-from start to finish.
Not to mention, all ingredients required in this recipe are easy to find.

I really recommend making this-I know I will again!

I did use my own Tzazkiki sauce recipe, just 'cause I already know how we like it our house.

GYRO MEAT
Bake Gyro Meat
1 lb lean ground beef
4 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
8 small pita pocket bread, cut in half, warmed (4-inch diameter)

SEASONING 1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon pepper

SAUCE (mine, not the recipe's)

1 (6oz) Plain Greek Yogurt
Our Chosen Pita Bread

1/3 cup cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1/8 tsp lemon pepper
1/4 tsp dried dill
Salt and pepper, to taste
Enough Milk/Water to thin out to desired consistency


Directions:
1) In small bowl, combine Yogurt Sauce ingredients, mixing well. Cover and refrigerate.
2) Heat oven to 350ºF.
3) In medium bowl, combine ground beef and seasoning ingredients, mixing lightly but thoroughly.
4) Divide beef mixture into 16 equal portions and shape into patties 2 inches in diameter.
5) Place patties on rack in broiler pan.
6) Bake in oven 10 minutes or until no longer pink OR GRILL over medium heat.
7) To serve, place equal amounts of beef and tomato in each pita half; top with yogurt sauce.
P.S. You can serve with Feta Cheese, too, if desired. 

Here's the link for the original recipe---> http://www.food.com/recipe/easy-ground-beef-gyros-142823

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Red Velvet Cheesecake {Bars}

 Um...YUM!!!
Yeah, Red Velvet Cheesecake!!!
This was *Delish.*
This is probably my favorite cheesecake recipe I have made thus far. 
I got it in my head, you know my crazy ideas, to make a Red Velvet Cheesecake
Not a regular cake, but a Cheesecake.  
Don't get me wrong, I do Looooove cake, but this was not the time (oh, yes, that may come later). 
I scowered the internet and found a Taste of Home recipe. 
Mmmm. Taste of Home. One of my trusted recipe sites.
I pinned it for later. 
Well, later was today!

What a Great Day, huh?

This was a *bit* of a challenge. 
First problem?
I did not have a springform pan. 
"Eh, I'll wing it," I said. 
I prepared a round cake pan to bake this baby in, but as soon as I started making the filling...there was *no way* the filling was going to fit!
Plan B: I baked it in a 9x13 dish. 
(I dunno have the heck it was suppose to fit in a 9" springform pan, but, hey, it must, according to the recipe. )
As a result, my Red Velvet Cheesecake became Red Velvet Cheesecake Bars.
Delicious? 
Yes! 
But pretty? 
Errr...I'm going with a "no."

It's okay, I'll take taste of beauty (with food) any day. 
And tasty, this definitely was.

I may make this for the HoLiDaYs!
The Red Cheesecake, and maybe tint the frosting on top Green?

Go Check it Out!!!!------>Red Velvet Cheesecake Recipe
 



Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"Fantastic Taco Casserole"





 
"Fantastic Taco Casserole" per, of course, www.food.com. 
Here's 'da link, dude---->HERE 

I really liked this recipe, like a lot.
But, then again, I really like taco groud beef and refried beans. Then, add salsa, cheese, AND corn chips. 
*Heaven*

Yeah, this is a "make again" recipe.
Very Fast and Easy.
Very Delicious. 

Even though this has corn chips as a bottom layer, one could also layer chips on top for more crunch or use extra corn chips and treat this like dip. 
I like my CrUnCh!


 
 Check out the Layers:
Layer #1: Corn Chips
Layer #2: Refried Beans (Fat Free), Mexican Cheese, and Salsa-combined
Layer #3: Taco Ground Beef
Layer #4: More Cheese!!!




 Served with a side of Mini Cornbread Cakes...Don't ask for the recipe 'cause I didn't measure. Just said, "Eh, that looks about right."




YUM!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

7Up Biscuits


Yup. 
7Up Biscuits

Found 'em on Pinterest, which lead me to Monster Mama's Blog (which is sweeet).
Unfortunately, my 7Up biscuits aren't as pretty as hers.
Wow, that sounds a bit "whine-y", huh?
But it's true!!!

Now that's out my system (for now). 
Go check them out on Monster Mama's Blog HERE.

Bread-lovin' hubby liked the 7Up Biscuits.
He said, as he plowed through the casserole, "I just want to get back to that bread" and "These are the kind of biscuits I grew up on." 
Hubby was pleased.
These were easy. 
And, the more I ate, they can be a bit addicting. 
The texture is great. 
This is a basic biscuit dough, so, next time, I might feel a little "froggy" and add some spices or cheese.
Oh, my.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Creamy Broccoli Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

 

Mmmm. 
Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole. 

When out to lunch with a friends a couple of months ago, the "Special" at 2 different restaurants on 2 different dining occasions (relatively close in dates) was Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole. 
It's catching, obviously. 

One recipe was a Cheesy Broccoli Poppy Seed Casserole while the other was a Traditional Creamy Casserole. 

What did I do? 
I kind of combined them...
Creamy Broccoli Poppy Seed Casserole.

I generally followed a recipe from www.fo1.2od.com as my start. 
Then "tweeked" it. 
I can't help it. 

Nothing like a nice hot casserole after a day's work at the office


Ingredients:
  • 3 cups cooked chicken breasts, shredded
  • 1 (10.5 oz) can of cream of chicken (I used low sodium)
  •  1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1 Tbs poppy seeds
  • 1 steam-able bag of frozen broccoli
  • Ritz Crackers, finely crumbled
  • 2 Tbs light butter
  • 1/3 cup of Chicken Stock or Milk (er....just "eyeball it")
 Directions:
  1. Preaheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Microwave Broccoli for about 3 minutes (Not all the way cooked through). Set aside.
  3. Combine Chicken, cream of chicken, sour cream, poppy seeds, broccoli, and chicken stock/milk. Stir until mixed well. 
  4. Use non-stick spray in a casserole dish. Add chicken mixture. 
  5. Top with crumbled Buttery crackers 
  6. Drop little pats of butter on top of crumbs
  7. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. 
  8. Serve and Yum!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Lentil Chili


 I have been wanting to try a new chili recipe for a little bit. My current "go-to" chili recipe is pretty basic. So, I wanted to try something new.
I can't remember how  I exactly found this recipe, but I do know I was surfing the 'net and found another winner on www.food.com. Click HERE for the recipe link.  
To be honest, I wondered how this Lentil Chili would turn out.
I like Lentils, but have struggled to find the *perfect* way to cook them.
Plus, would Lentil actually resemble "real" chili?

I really liked this!
Plus, it is 100% good for you.
Have you checked out the nutrition of lentils???
Amazing.
They have tons of protein and fiber, no fat, and are very filling.
Like, I don't even miss meat when I eat this. 


And, YES, I actually followed the recipe.
I just added more of all the spices for our personal preferences. :)

Ingredients:
1 lb dry lentils
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups water
1 (16 ounce) can tomatoes (I used 1 14.5 oz can of Fire-Roasted Tomatoes + extra water)
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup cold water
Cooking in My Dutch Oven

Directions:   
Boil water.
Add salt and lentils.
Cover and cook over low heat 30 minutes. 
Do not drain.
Add tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, oregano, onion, celery, garlic and cold water.
Cover and continue to cook over low heat for an additional 30 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Turn off heat, taste for seasoning.
I add about 1 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
Top with shredded cheese, chopped onion and a dollop of sour cream or whatever you usually put on your favorite chili!
 
YUM!
I will make this again. 
Definitely.
Yup, Definitely. 
 
 

Disclaimer: If you are not use to eating lentils, go a bit "easy"...they have A LOT of of fiber. (But are delicious!)


Monday, October 22, 2012

Crockpot Honey Parmesan Pork Roast



Hey-Oh!
Got another Pinterest Recipe for ya!
I've been meaning to make this recipe for, oh, 2 months.
But with all the moving, starting new jobs, going to Florida, and AND forgetting to grab ALL the correct ingredients (darn soy sauce), it just took a while. 
Ok. 
Fine. 
A long while.  
*Hmph*

I actually pinned this forever ago and my workout buddy had seen my pin and made it before me. 
So, I had a little insight as to whether this one was a "good 'n" (See: country slang  for "Good One").
She had made it for her and her hubby and said, "'Tis Yum!" (Well, not in those words exactly and possibly with or without a British accent....) 
Har. Har.
She did  say it was good, though!!!

I finally whipped this "sucker" up!
Popped it the the "crocker" (aka "crockpot).
And, bippity, boppity, boo. 
DINNER!

How is it? 
Pretty good! 
Hubby and I approve!
Still not as good as BBQ Pork or Pepper & Sea Salt Pork Tenderloin, but, trust me, this one is tasty. 
Here's the link for the recipe @ Six Sisters' Stuff blog.



I used a Pork Sirloin Roast and scaled the ingredients to better accommodate my less than 2 lb roast.
I served with Chicken Vermicelli Rice & Steamed Broccoli. Oh, yeah, and some Little Penguin Shiraz wine, too. (I am not making it up, there really is a wine brand known as "The Little Penguin" and we may or may not have purchased more than one bottle just because it's called "The Little Penguin". Click the link...See?)
Yum!



***Recap of A.M.Workout: Treadmill Interval Workout (25 min) & Weights-Legs, baby! (25 min)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Italian Turkey Supreme on Sun-Dried Focaccia

Ooooh! Aahhhh! Yummmm!
This is one of the better meals I've made in a while!
Delicious!

And you know where it all started?
Fresh Market
*sigh*
One of the perks of moving to a bigger town.
Yes, this recipe all began there and the rest blossomed from my brain.

I was browsing Fresh Market when I spotted some yummy Focaccia Bread.
Now, I had to decide which flavor???
Like a weirdo, I was trying to casually and inconspicuously smell the bread, you know, to get an idea of the taste.
(Does anybody else do this, but me?)
I decided on Sun-Dried Tomato Focaccia.

I bough the bread and didn't know what to do with it.
You see, I had originally decided on a Sourdough Turkey & Swiss Panini in my weekly recipes.
This clearly would not go with that plan. 
Time to re-think. re-approach. re-do.

I bought boneless sliced turkey breast still  not 100% of the type of Turkey Panini I would make.
I thought and thought more.

Ah-hah!
I just decided on what I thought would be good.
No Pinterest.
No blogs.
No www.food.com.
Just my noggin'.

***

Here's what I did. 
1) Soak 3/4 pound of boneless skinless and sliced turkey breast in the following:
Shortcut Buttermilk (i.e. Milk + Vinegar) and Italian Seasoning. 
2) Cover and refrigerate overnight.
3) The Next day, Cook Bacon. Set aside to let cool. 
4) Remove Turkey Breasts from marinade. 
5) Sear and in a  hot skillet until cooked through. Set aside and let rest for at least 5 minutes
6) Slice Focaccia Loaf into 2 pieces (top and bottom) if necessary
7) Start assembling sandwiches with the following:
Italian Turkey  
Crumbled Bacon
Fresh Spinach
Jar of Roasted Red Peppers
Parmesan Cheese
Garlic Powder
8) Cook on a pre-heated Panini Press or George Foreman Indoor Grill for about 5 minutes or until the cheese starts to bubble and the bread gets "toasty".
9) Cut into smaller sandwiches and Serve!

YUM!
  
***

As a recap, here's the ingredients you'll need:
3/4 lb boneless, skinless, sliced turkey breast (Fresh turkey section at your local grocery store)
Buttermilk or Shortcut Buttermilk
Italian Seasoning
4 pieces of cooked, crumbled bacon
1/2 cup fresh spinach
1/3 jar of roasted red pepper
1/2 - 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan
1 loaf of Sun-Dried Tomato Focaccia (or another flavor, if desired)



Thursday, October 18, 2012

An Oldie, but a Goodie


Hello Dollies
7-Layer Bars
Magic Bars

However, you may know this yumminess, I just want you to know. 
You. Are. Honored.
To have partaken of this greatness.

Oh?
You haven't  tried this?
You are one those they say dwell in the dark?

Well, I say to you, Come. 
Come to the light. 
Let the yum light free you and see what is.
Partake of the 7-Layer Magic Bar.
May you live in the light from now to ever more.



Here's the recipe, in case you want to see the light.
Careful, I recommend some shades.

The Layers:
1) 1/2 cup butter, melted
2) 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, finely crushed
3) 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
4) 1 1/3 cups shredded coconut
5) 1 1/2 cups semisweet chips
6) 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
7) 1 cup chopped nuts (I used Walnuts)

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2) Combine melted butter and graham crackers well
3) Press firmly in the bottom of a greased 9x13 dish
4) Evenly Pour sweetened condensed milk over butter/crumb mixture
5) Next, add shredded coconut, then both types of chocolate chips, and, finally, the nuts
6) Bake for 20-25 minutes,  or until lightly browned
7) Let cool COMPLETELY 
8) Cut and Serve (p.s. they cut better if they are really cold).

Bright out now, isn't it?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Weight Watcher's Summer Corn, Bacon, & Potato Chowder

So, now pics of this one, BUT Lots of Color!
Okay, really.
If you go to this handy little link here, you'll find a very appetizing photo. :)

Like the title says, this "test" recipe is a Summer Corn, Bacon, & Potato Chowder
Being a Weight Watcher's recipe, it is also healthy. 

This truly was a "test" recipe for us. Hubby is very pretty picky about his soups. 
As in, he likes his soup very filling, like a stew, or very cheesy.(Broccoli Cheese soup, Cheesy Potato Soup, you get the picture).
Those 2 combos don't always equal healthy.
Although, he will now eat Chili (not really a soup) and Ham & White Beans (again, not really a soup). Kind of a moot point....

Well, what was the result, you ask? 
Hubby liked it pretty okay. 
Like, yes, make it again, but he's not going to beg me. 
Let me remind you... 
Hubby. Is. Picky.
So, if he liked it okay AND it is healthy, it's got to be pretty darn good. 
I'm just saying. 

My opinion?
I found the Summer Corn, Bacon, & Potato Chowder to be flavorful and filling enough to leave you satisfied, but not heavy enough to make you feel miserable.
'Tis Tasty.

It was relatively simple to put together, too. 
Plus, I "subbed" 2% milk for skim, Russet Potatoes for Yukon Gold (But, Yukon would have been better, I'm sure because I *heart* Yukon Golds), and Center Cut Bacon for the Canadian Bacon (Hey, don't judge, it's what I had in da' fridge). 

This Chowder would be great for a cold day or anytime.
Plus, it's an easy dinner. 

We served ours with Sourdough Bread for dipping.
Yum!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pumpkin Muffins



Oh. My. Goodness.
Yummy Fall Explosion in My Mouth!
Delicious.
Moist.
Light.
Easy.
AND...
A Weight Watcher Recipe???

I know.
I can't believe how good these are, too. 
I am definitely putting this recipe "in my back pocket" as a regular/go-to recipe.
Got to Try. 
Yeah, they are that good.


Pumpkin Muffins:
Makes 18-19 muffins

Ingredients
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 3 shakes of cinnamon, 1 shake of allspice, 1/2 shake of nutmeg 
(OR just add pumpkin pie spice)
  • 1 (15 oz) Can of Pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup of water
  • optional: butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, nuts, cranberries, etc.

Directions
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2) Mix ingredients together
3) Spray Non stick spray into metal muffin tins ( I think, if you used paper liners, they might stick, but not sure)
4) Pour batter into muffin tins
5) Bake for 20-25 minutes

*** I added half a bag of butterscotch chips to mine...oh. my. goodness. Like fall explosion of yummy-ness in your mouth!
W/O butterscotch chips: About 100 calories each
W/ butterschotch chips: About 135-140 calories each


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Simple Roasted Zucchini & Red Pepper

Simple Roasted Zucchini  & Red Pepper



So. Easy.
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2) Chop Zucchini & Red Pepper
3) Drizzle with Olive Oil and season with desired seasoning*
4) Roast until browned. 
5) Enjoy!

*My "go-to" fav seasonings: Garlic, Dill, Salt & Pepper

Can it get any healthier OR easier?

Delicious!


Served with Lightlife Black Bean Burgers and Lipton chicken-flavored noodles.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sprouted Spelt Pancakes


I stopped at a local health-food store, Der Dutch Merchant, this weekend.
I mean, I lived in my town for 5 years and had yet to stop by.
I've been meaning to, wanting to, etc, but it just never happened, or, I just never made it happen. 

Well, I didn't know what I'd been missing!
- All kinds of grains (millet, barley, quinoa, & more)
- FRESHLY ground 100% peanut and almond butter (EEK?!?!??!)
- Organic Bison, beef, & chicken
- Various flours, teas, spices, & more

I paced myself on my first trip, knowing that I would be back for more, and bought...
- Bison Patties
- Fresh Dill Weed
- 1 teabag of De-Stress Lavender Tea (to try)
- Sample bag of Chocolate-Covered Dried Cherries (honestly, the BEST I've ever had).
- Cherry Cola sweetened with Stevia
- Sprouted Spelt Flour <---Click for more Info

I was informed that Sprouted (the key is the "sprouted" part, not the spelt part...you can find other flous that our sprouted) flour digests like a vegetable, rather than as a grain, making it easier for one to digest. Also, more nutrients can be found in Sprouted flour. Also, that I should be able to substitute the sprouted spelt flour one-to-one for white flour.
I am all for finding alternatives to simple, refined carbs, so, I thought I'd give this a try.

I have been wanting Pancakes for a (very long) minute, but it is not something I eat b/c they are usually just simple carbs (i.e. sugar) topped with syrup (i.e. more sugar) which doesn't keep me full which results in a transformed "Hangry" Jennifer.
Hangry Jennifer = Ms. Hyde

I used a recipe from www.food.com as the base of my recipe, but changed it to be even healthier.

Serves 4
1 3/4 cups spelt flour
2 Tbs Splenda
1 Tbs Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Flax Egg (1 Tbs flax seed + 3 Tbs Water, combined and set aside until thickened)
1 1/2 cups Unsweetened Almond Milk
3 Tbs Unsweetened Applesauce

Directions:
1) In a large bowl, stir together flour, splenda, baking powder, and salt. In another small bowl, mix with a fork the flax egg, milk, and applesauce. Add wet mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir until just moistened (still lumpy). 
2) Heat a skillet on medium heat and grease the pan with non-stick spray. Add the desired amount of pancake batter and wait for the bubbles to arise. When the bubbles cover the whole surface of the pancake and the opposite side is golden brown, flip the cake and cook the other side till it's done.



The result?
These kept me full. I topped with sugar-free syrup and strawvberries. 

BUT these were a bit gummy in the middle, but I think I just needed to have my skillet hotter/at a higher temperature.  I'll fix that little "bump" next go-around.

Overall - Very good! Finally had me some pancakes!



Sunday, August 12, 2012

On-The-Go Egg Muffins

Want breakfast that is fast
What about one with lots of protein?
Oh, and what about a breakfast that is easy and delicious?

I mean, what more could you want?
This very healthy recipe is of my own and resulted from a dessert. 
Go figure.
I was making Tiramisu for a co-workers birthday and had 6 egg whites left over ('cause the Tiramisu called for 6 yolks. and yes! It was very delicious!).
I was not  about to let protein-packed egg whites go to waste!
Here's what I did...


Makes 6 Egg Muffins

6 Egg Whites
3-4 slices of Center-Cut Bacon, cooked and diced
1 Laughing Cow Cheese Wedge (I used Swiss)
Seasonings, to taste
Non-stick Spray

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2) Whisk together 6 egg whites, 2 Tbs water or milk, diced bacon, and laughing cow cheese wedge. Add in seasoning...mine where Dill Weed, Garlic Powder, Salt, & Pepper.
3) Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray.
4) Bake for 20-ish (sorry, didn't monitor the bake time closely) or until eggs are set.
5) Remove from oven and let cool. Store in fridge up to 2 days.

(You may be able to freeze, but I haven't tried.)

My favorite way to enjoy these is stuffed in St. Joseph's Pita Bread (found in the bakery section at Walmart and they are low-carb) with  another laughing-cow cheese wedge and Frank's Red hot sauce.

Oh, yum!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Vegan Oat Bars

 With all the cake and cookies I have been making, I guess I should share a healthy recipe with you all, courtsey of FoodLoveEat
Vegan Oat Bars (Sugar and Oil free)
Seriously, there is not an unhealthy ingredient to be found. 
All-nat-u-relle, baby.
How are they?
Good, I mean, relatively speaking. 
(relative to, let's say, a 5,000 dessert - ha!)
I'd make these again, yep.
Healthy, make-ahead, and tasty. 
Way better for you then store-bought with a crazy number of ingredients you can't pronounce. 
These ingredients are all "pronounceable."
To make them last longer, I stored mine in the freezer and re-heated when time to dine!

On they're own, they are a little "one-note" to me, but smear some peanut butter on these babies....GREAT!
I enjoyed mine most with Peanut Butter, Tart Apples, & Cinnamon. 
Oh yum!

Ingredients: 
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups of mashed overripe bananas
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
Directions:
-Pre-heat the oven at 350 F.
-Combine mashed banana ground flax seeds, water and salt in a big bowl, stir well. 
Add the oats and mix everything. Fold it into a greased  shallow baking tray, spread and press well with your fingers.
-Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Let it cool for 10 minutes.
-Cut them into desired shape,  flip it upside down on a cookie sheet. Put it back into the oven and bake it for another 15 minutes. 
-Turn the pieces over and bake for another 5 minutes for both the sides to be nice and brown.
-Let it cool completely and store it in an air tight container for up to a week.
The Bars before they went into the Oven.




Sunday, July 22, 2012

Baked Pasta with Ground Turkey and Spinach




I scored me a great deal on ground turkey last week at the grocery -  1.2 lbs of Lean Turkey (97%, I think) for  $2.50. 
Sweet!
Makes the meal that much better!

We enjoyed this very healthy and delicious meal. 
Plus, this recipe makes 8 servings, which is A LOT for 2 people. So, I followed the recipe and split the dish into 2 8x8 casserole dishes-baking one tonight and freezing the other for a later date. 
Great 2 in 1 dinner (for us, at least).
Really, though, 1 8x8 dish (the first "half" of the recipe) was dinner tonight AND lunch tomorrow. 
Yippee-ki-yay, little doggie!

This recipe is great because:
1) Healthy
2) Feeds a lot of people
3) Tastes Yummy
4) A Crowd-pleaser (no "weird" food for all the haters)
5) Can be a great Make-Ahead meal (Great for those busy nights.)

Come on and give it a shot! 

Baked Pasta with Ground Turkey and Spinach
Ingredients:
 1 (16 oz) box of whole wheat pasta (any shape, but I used Barilla Plus elbow-shaped)
1 lb of ground turkey (Mine was 1.2 lbs)
1 small onion
Garlic/Garlic powder, to taste ( I used about 2-3 tsp)
Italian Seasoning, to taste (I used about 1 1/2 - 2 Tbs)
Salt & Pepper
2 eggs
2 cups Spaghetti Sauce
1 (14.5 oz) of Diced Tomatoes (I used the Garlic flavor)
1 (14.5 oz) Tomato sauce
9 oz of fresh Spinach
12-16 oz of lowfat Cottage Cheese
2 cups Italian shredded cheese blend
Grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400F. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside in a large bowl. Combine cottage cheese and eggs; set aside.

In a large skillet, saute onion and garlic over medium heat. Add turkey; cook until browned. Add pasta sauce, diced tomatoes, oregano and basil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Combine the noodles, cottage cheese mixture, turkey mixture, mozzarella cheese, and Parmesan with a wooden spoon. Pour into a 9x13 (or 8x8) baking dish. Bake at 400F for 35 minutes. Makes 8 servings.



Saturday, July 21, 2012

Strawberry Cake


Me making this cake was a product of the German Chocolate Cake I made last month.
As we ate the German Chocolate Cake at work, I mentioned that I made the cake for my boss because I had overheard her say German Chocolate Cake was her favorite and that I remember all things "food". Another co-worker then says to me, "Well, since you remember all things food, my favorite cake it strawberry." Duly noted. And....
TA-DA!
A strawberry cake was made.

To be completely honest, I didn't get to taste this cake. *sad face*
I had to leave work early that day and there was zero cake left the next day. That just let's you know how great everyone thought it was. Per those that enjoyed the cake (i.e. not me), this was a very yummy dense and moist strawberry cake. Several people told me it 'twas delish and it was a "keeper."
Guess I'll file this in my cake recipes folder.

I mostly followed the recipe...my changes are listed below:

Cake:
1 bx white cake mix
1 small bx strawberry gelatine (I used sugar-free)
1 cup oil (I used 1/2 cup melted butter and 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce)
4 eggs
1 cup mashed strawberries, sweetened and NOT drained (I forgot to sweeten mine w/ sugar)

Frosting:
1 stk butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar, measured THEN sifted
1/2 cup mashed strawberries, drained
2 Tbs cream cheese (I added this, this was not part of the original recipe)

1) CAKE: Mix all cake ingredients together and pour into a 9x11 inch pan. (You can layer in 2 smaller pans if you'd prefer - Which I did make into 2 round pans.) Do not fill to the top of the pan, or batter will bake up too tall. 
2) Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.  
3) FROSTING: Mix together frosting ingredients. (It's very important that strawberries are drained.) If too thick keep adding strawberries until it is the right consistency.  

Monday, July 16, 2012

Accidently Mexican Casserole



This is what happens when you just start throwing ingredients together...
Ha.
Hey, now, this dish was tasty.
Just a bit unexpected.

Well, let's be clear, I did intend to make Mexican (duh), I just didn't expect it to be quite so saucy.
I came home from the gym (cycling class) and was huuungry. 
I had only partially thawed some chicken. 
I had about 8 corn tortillas hanging out in the fridge from my Taquitos a couple of weeks ago. 
Plus, some green salsa, frozen peppers and onions, and corn on the cob. 
Mix it all together and what do you have?
A Mexican Casserole. 

My intention was to make a casserole bake (i.e. less liquid).
But, due to my rush of NOT thawing out the frozen onions and peppers, the dish was a bit watery. 
What to do, what to do....
Hmmmm...Cornstarch.
Yup, cornstarch will do it. 
Solution resolved. 


So, this accident was a "fly by the seat of my pants" recipe, but we liked it. 
Hard not to like Mexican, though. 
True 'nuf.


If you want to take a stab at the recipe:
Serves 3 to 4

Ingredients:
1 1/4 lb chicken breast
2 ears corn, cut off the cob
1 small bag of frozen onions and peppers (i.e. Kroger brand)
 1 Tbs of cream cheese,diced into chunks
3/4 cup green salsa
Spices to taste (yeah, you know I "eyeballed" it. My apologies and guesstimates): 
Salt and pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic 
1 Tbs cornstarch + 1/4 cup cold water
4 corn tortillas

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2) Combine corn, onions and peppers, cream cheese, and half of spices. Mix together and place in a baking dish.
3) Place chicken on top of veggies. Sprinkle with remaining half of spices. Pour green salsa over chicken. 
4) Bake for about 40-45 minutes (IF using semi frozen chicken and veggies) adding cornstarch/water mixtures about 35 minutes into bake time. 
5) Meanwhile, spray cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Place corn tortillas on baking sheet. Spray the tortillas with non-stick spray. Season with salt. Bake until golden brown. Use as a "dipper" for the casserole. 
6) Enjoy!

***Important: Cornstarch needs COLD water to mix properly, but it needs BOILING liquid to thicken a sauce...think COLD going in, but BUBBLING baking.