Monday, November 28, 2011

Pumpkin Pecan Bites

Pumpkin Pecan Bites
From the Kitchen of Julie Palka

(Yield: about 6 dozen)

1 Package (18- 1/4 ounces) Spice Cake mix
1 Can (15 ounces) Solid-pack pumpkin
3 Eggs
½ Cup canola oil
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
36 Pecans cut into halves (you can usually break them in your hands too!)

Cream cheese frosting:
½ cup butter, softened
4 ounces of cream cheese, softened
*(I soften both by leaving them on the counter for a bit, it is a much better consistency than microwaving them!)*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3- ¾ cups confectioners’ sugar
2 to 3 Tablespoons milk
(sprinkle ground cinnamon on top of frosted cupcakes!)

Step 1: In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pumpkin, eggs, oil, cinnamon, baking soda and cloves; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. ( I just stir it by hand with a wooden spoon)

Step 2: Fill paper-lined miniature muffin cups two-thirds full. Press a pecan piece into each one. Bake at 350 Degrees for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely (I just pull them out right away because I’m impatient!)

Step 3: In a small bowl, cream the butter, cream cheese and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar and mix well. Add enough milk to achieve spreading consistency. Frost cupcakes. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

*Note- This recipe can be prepared in 2 dozen regular size muffin cups. Bake for 22-26 minutes. (I use a whole pecan for the big ones so they have more crunch!) ENJOY!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pumpkin Flans!

Pumpkin Flans!
Tastes like a rich, custardy version of pumpkin pie

If you have leftover pumpkin, try making a pumpkin smoothie with yogurt, milk, a few sweet spices like cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, and a drizzle of sweetener.

Makes 8 flans

3 large eggs, preferably omega-3-enriched
1 1/4 cups unsweetened pumpkin puree
1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups 1% milk, heated until very hot
Ground nutmeg, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350°F with an oven rack in the center position. Coat eight 6-ounce custard cups with canola cooking oil spray and set them in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs slightly with a small whisk. Add the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, canola oil, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt and beat until blended thoroughly. Mix in the hot milk until blended. There will be 4 cups of liquid. Pour 1/2 cup of the flan mixture into each of the custard cups.

Bring about 3 cups of water to a light simmer on top of the stove (you can use a teakettle for this). Place the baking pan on the pulled-out oven rack and carefully pour the hot water into the baking pan until it comes up to the level of the custard inside the cups.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until just set around the edges but still a little loose in the center; the center will jiggle a little when shaken.

Carefully remove the pan from the oven. Remove the cups from the water bath with tongs and place on a wire rack to cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours, until chilled.

Serve cold, garnished with ground nutmeg.

Per flan: 175 calories, 5 g total fat (1.5 g saturated), 110 mg cholesterol, 220 mg sodium, 24 g total carbohydrates (18 g sugars) , 2 g fiber,6 g protein

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Peanut Butter Brownie Bites (a Pinterest Success)

Here is the link

to a blog that had amazing Peanut Butter Brownie Bites!

I made them a couple of weeks ago with my bestie and then I made them again yesterday!

They are tasty! I recommend making them in mini muffin tins over the regular muffin tins (have tried them both ways).

Crusty Pizza Dough (Make with Kitchen Aid Mixer)

Crusty Pizza Dough
From the Kitchen of Angela Ryberg

1 package dry yeast.
1 cup warm water
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil ( your preference)
2 1/2 - 3 1/2 cups all - purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornmeal ( optional)

Dissolve yeast in warm water in warm mixing bowl. Add salt , olive oil, and 2 1/2 cups flour. Mix about 1 minute

Continue mixing , add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix about 1 1/2 min., or until dough starts to clean sides of bowl. Knead about 2 minutes longer.

Cover and let dough rise in a warm place. About 1 hour. Then punch down.

Brush 14" pizza pan with oil and sprinkle cornmeal. Press dough across bottom pan forming a collar around edge to hold toppings. Add toppings as desired. Bake at 450 for 15-20 min.
Yield : 4 servings (1/4 pizza per serving.)

Per serving: about 373 cal, 11 g protein, 74 g carbs, 0 fat, 0 mg chol. , 271 mg sodium.


Pizza for a crowd.

Double the recipe.

"Pizza Joes"

"Pizza Joes"....
From The Kitchen of Diana Gartner

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
a sprinkling of onion powder to taste (or chopped up fresh onion if you like onion...we just don't really eat it in our house but i like to season with it a little)
14oz jar pizza sauce (or make your own...I do it both ways)
3oz sliced pepperoni, chopped
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
6 hamburger buns
mozzarella cheese

1. In a large nonstick skillet, cook the beef, onion/onion powder and pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Drain if necessary. Stir in the pizza sauce, pepperoni, and herbs. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes or so.
2. Spoon beef mixture onto each bun; sprinkle with cheese; replace bun top.

And I always serve it with a side of homemade fries to complete the effect!

Veggie Shepherd’s Pie with Split Peas

Veggie Shepherd’s Pie with Split Peas
From Kiwi Magazine (picture too)

Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes


Preheat the oven to 400°. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate with olive oil. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Add the diced potatoes to the boiling water and cook until fork-tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
While the potatoes cook, add the olive oil and the onion to a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and mushrooms and cook another 5 minutes, until the carrots begin to soften and the mushrooms have cooked down. Add the split peas, garlic, and thyme and cook 2 minutes more, then add the vegetable broth. Allow the mixture to simmer while you make the mashed potatoes.
Drain the potatoes and place them back in the pot. Add the butter and use a fork or potato masher to mash the potatoes. Slowly pour in the milk while you continue to mash, using a little bit more or less to reach the consistency you like. Add the salt and pepper, taste, and add more seasoning if necessary.
Transfer the vegetable mixture to the pie plate (there should be some broth still left in the skillet; pour that on top). Smooth with a spatula, then spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the top.
Place the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until the mashed potatoes are just beginning to brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 6

Per serving: calories 312, fat 9 g, protein 9 g, carbohydrates 50 g, dietary fiber 9 g

Friday, November 11, 2011

Slimmer Slaw & Pork Medallions

Slimmer Slaw & Pork Medallions
The Black Team's winning recipe

This tasty, satisfying pork dish that comes in at only 210 calories per serving.

For the pork:
1 pound trimmed pork tenderloin
Olive oil spray (propellant free)
Garlic powder, to taste
Sea salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

For the dressing:
1/4 cup + 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2-1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
4 teaspoons nonfat Greek yogurt (the contestants used Fage)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

For the slaw:
2 cups shredded green cabbage
2 cups shredded red cabbage
2 cups bite-size red bell pepper strips (about 2 small peppers)
1-1/2 cups bite-size yellow bell pepper strips (about 1 medium pepper)
1/2 cup snap peas, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/2 cup seeded, chopped cucumber
1 cup grape tomatoes (about 20 tomatoes), halved

Preheat a grill to high heat.

Lightly mist the tenderloin with the olive oil spray and season it with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

Grill the tenderloin for 3 to 5 minutes on the 3 faces until it is just barely pink in the center (or a thermometer inserted in the center reads 160°F). Remove it to a cutting board or platter and tent it with foil. Let stand for 5 minutes. Then slice it into 1/2"-thick pieces.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk the vinegar, sesame oil, and yogurt until well combined. Whisk in the salt and season with pepper.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, toss the cabbages, peppers, peas, cucumber, and tomatoes with the dressing. Divide the slaw among 4 dinner plates, mounding it to one side of the plate.

If using, in a small microwave-safe bowl, mix the cranberry sauce and ginger. Microwave on medium power for 30 seconds, or until the sauce is slightly melted and warm.

Fan one-quarter of the pork slices next to the slaw on the empty portion of each plate. Spoon 1 tablespoon sauce on the side of each, if desired.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 210 calories, 27 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates (7 g sugar), 6 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 74 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 368 mg sodium

Friday, November 4, 2011

Grilled Turkey Burgers Supreme

Grilled Turkey Burgers Supreme

Burger satisfaction without tons of calories

In this week's food challenge, we learned that several Biggest Loser contestants used to chow down on double cheeseburgers, consuming thousands of calories in one sitting. Trainer Dolvett Quince showed them a much healthier burger alternative:

1 package extra lean seasoned turkey burger patties
4 slices reduced fat muenster, provolone, or cheddar cheese (optional )
4 whole wheat hamburger buns, split and toasted, or grilled, if desired
4 red or romaine lettuce leaves
4 thin slices red onion
4 slices tomato

Prepare grill. Coat patties with cooking spray. Grill the burgers as specified on the package. Always cook to well-done, 165°F as measured by a meat thermometer.

Place cheese over patties during last minute of cooking, if desired. Split buns. On bun bottoms, add lettuce leaves, grilled patties, red onion, and tomato slices; add bun top. Serve with desired condiments.

Always cook to an internal temperature of 165°

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving without cheese: Calories 280, Total fat 7 g, Sat fat 1.5 g, Cholesterol 65 mg, Sodium 450 mg, Total carbs 27 g, Fiber 5 g, Sugars 6 g, Protein 29 g.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Loaded Baked Potato Soup
From the Kitchen of Tiffani Hampton

6 large baking potatoes, peeled, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped and sautéed
1 quart chicken broth (I used water and chicken bouillon cubes since I
didn't have stock on hand)
3 cloves garlic, minced (or pressed)
1/4 cup butter
2 1/2 teaspoons salt (I used slightly less)
1 teaspoon pepper (I used more)
1 cup cream or half-and-half cream
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (I used more to help thicken)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 cup sour cream (I only used about 1/2 cup)
8 slices bacon, fried & crumbled (I used more)
cheese, for sprinkling
I added Cayenne pepper to taste
I also added Cornstarch for thickening

Fry the bacon in a pan. Set bacon aside and save a small amount of the
bacon drippings to sauté the onions in.

Combine first seven ingredients in a large crockpot; cover and cook on
HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours (potato should be tender).

Mash mixture until potatoes are coarsely chopped and soupy is slightly
thickened. Stir in cream, cheese, sour cream, and chives. (i also
added some of the crumbled bacon). Add cornstarch to thicken if you
want (place some cornstarch in a bowl and then add some of the soup to
the bowl, mix, add more soup, mix...once cornstarch is nicely
dissolved, add to the crock pot and stir).

sprinkle with bacon and more cheese when served.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup
Created by Amy Day

1 shallot, sliced thin
1/4 yellow onion, diced
1 butternut squash
4 medium sweet potatoes (not yams), peeled
2 apples, peeled and diced
1 can of pumpkin puree
8 dashes of curry powder
4 dashes of cinnamon
fresh grated nutmeg (about 20 swipes)
fresh grated ginger root (about 1.5 tbsp)
salt and pepper
about 8 cups of homemade chicken stock (I had a lot of sage and thyme in the stock that I used)

1. Early in the day: Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise (I did this by cutting off a slice from each end, standing it up on the fat end, and going straight through from top to bottom). Scrape out all the seeds. You don't need to peel the squash. Bake along with the sweet potatoes at 350 for about 2 hours, or until everything is starting to get soft (but not mushy - a little firm is OK).

2. When the squash and potatoes are done: Put a drizzle of olive oil at the bottom of a large pan. Add the shallots and onion and cook on low heat until they get soft. Add the apple and the ginger.

3. After they've baked and cooled enough to handle, cube up the sweet potatoes and add them to the pot. Scrape the squash out of its peel and throw that into the pot, in chunks. Add the pumpkin. Add the curry powder, salt, pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon.

4. Add a few inches of chicken stock to the bottom of the pan and turn up the heat to medium-low, so that you're basically simmering everything you've got in there. Leave it cooking this way, covered and on a very low simmer, for a few hours, stirring occasionally, until everything becomes very soft.

5. Use a big whisk (or hand mixer or food processor) to puree everything the pot. It should be soft enough that a whisk does the job. Continue adding chicken stock until it's the consistency that you want it to be, not too thick or too thin. Add more salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg or curry powder depending on your taste.

***the recipe I sent you a few weeks back (for squash soup) is actually made so much more easily in the slow cooker! I did it that way over the weekend. Instead of roasting the potatoes and squash, you just peel everything on the ingredient list, dump every ingredient into the slow cooker, and mash it up at the end of the day! So easy and every bit as tasty - and even lower calorie because you can skip the oil you'd have used for roasting and for starting the onions and shallot.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Hannah's Turkey-Stuffed Peppers

Hannah's Turkey-Stuffed Peppers
From the
The Season 11 finalist takes the new contestants into the kitchen!

On this week's episode, we watched Season 11 runner-up Hannah Curlee give the Black Team a good dose of inspiration and a cooking lesson on how to make one of her favorite healthy dishes. Here's the recipe.

1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1.25 pound extra-lean ground turkey
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ cup low-sodium tomato sauce
1 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro or parsley
3 large red bell peppers
¼ cup reduced-fat shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet with olive oil cooking spray. Heat over medium heat. Add onion and garlic to the pan. Sauté about 2 minutes, or until softened. Add ground turkey to the pan. Season to taste with salt and add garlic powder and ground cumin.

Cook turkey, breaking into chunks, 10 to 12 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink and juices run clear. Add tomato sauce and ½ cup of the broth. Reduce heat and simmer over low heat about 5 minutes. Add cilantro.

Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds and stem. Place bell pepper halves in baking dish and spoon about 1/3 cup of the turkey mixture into each. Pour the remaining broth into the dish. Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes. Sprinkle peppers with cheese before serving.

Yield: 6 servings

Per serving: 140 calories, 20 fat calories, 2.5 g total fat, 0.5 g sat fat, 35 mg cholesterol, 150 mg sodium, 10 g total carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 5 g sugars

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Below is a recipe from my friend Oriana Montani. She created it

Here is what she did to make Pumpkin Turkey Chili:

Saute yellow and yellow pepper and onion with two cloves of garlic.
Add ground turkey and brown
Add can of pumpkin puree, can of Kidney, can of corn, and can of diced tomatos.
Add half cup of chicken broth
I put a little dark beer in (like 1/4 cup) but you don't need it

Spices--I used chili powder, smoked chipotle chili powder, cumin, corriander, cinnamon, salt and pepper (to taste).

I would say I used a lot of the two chili powders and then probably a teaspoon on the others. I just added the spices to taste, but this should be a good base for you.

Good luck! This was one of my favorite meals that I have made. Hope you have the same experience.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Morning Glory Muffins

Morning Glory Muffins
From the Kitchen of Margot Bass

2 1/2 cups sugar
4 cups flour
4 teaspoons cinnamon
4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
(sift together)
1 cup of raisins
1 cup shredded coconut
4 cups shredded carrots
2 cups diced or shredded apples
1 cup pecans (optional)
6 eggs
(add to dry ingredients)
2 cups vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
(add to mixture)

Bake @ 375 for 20 minutes
Makes 36 muffins
These are amazing! So filling with all the yumminess inside :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Green Gobble-'Ems Garlic Bread Chunks

Green Gobble-'Ems Garlic Bread Chunks (Seriously the best garlic bread I've ever had)
From the Kitchen of Julia Jezowski
Courtesy Of: Rachael Ray, Ghoulish Grub

4 cups spinach leaves, stemmed
4 cloves garlic, cracked from skins
1 stick softened butter
Salt and pepper
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 loaf good quality Italian bread

Preheat broiler or set oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the spinach in a food processor with garlic, butter, salt and pepper and cheese and process, scraping the mixture down if necessary.

Halve bread lengthwise and slather it with spinach butter. Broil or bake to crisp, 3 minutes under broiler, 6 to 7 minutes in hot oven.

Cut into large cubes and serve with pasta.

Oatmeal Coconut Cookies

Oatmeal Coconut Cookies
From the Kitchen of Margot Bass

2 cups butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
(cream together)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
(add to the creamed mixture)
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 cups oats
2 cups coconut flakes
(mix & add to the creamy egg mixture)

I use my kitchen aide & it really makes the motor groan :) Don't get nervous it's dry dough...
You can easily 1/2 the recipe and that makes things easier on your arm or mixer.
Place a teaspoon mounds on a baking sheet @ 350 for 8-10 minutes.
as soon as they come out of the oven smash one Hershey bar square in the center of each cookie!
Enjoy at least one while the cookie's hot and the chocolate's gooey!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Vegetarian Curry Stew

Vegetarian Curry Stew

Serve this fragrant and robust stew over steaming brown rice or whole grains for a hearty meal. You can also experiment with different beans or try substituting lentils or tofu.

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups finely chopped red onions
2 tablespoons finely chopped, peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup diced fire-roasted tomatoes or chopped, seeded, peeled fresh tomatoes, or tomato sauce
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups fat-free, low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 (12-ounce) sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes (about 2 cups)
1 cup cooked black beans (see note)
1 cup cooked chickpeas (see note)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, without stems
Fresh lime wedges

In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until tender but not brown. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for about 1 minute or until fragrant. Do not brown the garlic.

Add the tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the coriander, cumin, cardamom, and cinnamon and cook for about 1 minute, or until very fragrant. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the sweet potato and simmer for about 4 minutes. Add the beans and chickpeas and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot, sprinkled with cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.

Note: For chicken curry, add 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2" cubes, in place of the beans and chickpeas.

Yield: 8 (1-cup) servings

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Baked Ziti

Baked Ziti
From the kitchen of Diana Brewster

One pound of Ziti noodles (cook for 10 mins)

Ricotta Cheese Mixture:

16oz Ricotta Cheese

1 egg

Half jar of sauce or if your sauce is homemade about 1 ½ cups

Garlic Powder ½ Teaspoon

Italian Seasoning 1 Teaspoon

½ Cup of Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Cup of Grated Mozzarella Cheese

½ teaspoon Salt

Mix Everything together, it should be very moist

Add to the cooked pasta and stir. Add more Mozzarella Cheese if needed up to 1 cup more.

Layer 9x13 pan with sauce and then pour pasta mixture in. Top with sauce, mozzarella cheese and a sprinkling of Parmesan Cheese.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes
Note: ( you can double this recipe very easily, and if you like meat just add to the Ricotta Mixture)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Cobbler

Pumpkin Pie Cobbler
From the Kitchen of Rebecca McGuigan

One 21 oz. can pumpkin filling
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup butter, melted

Stir pumpkin pie filling and pie spice. Pour into 13 by 9 " baking dish. Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over pie filling. Sprinkle walnuts(optional) over the cake mix. Drizzle melted butter over the cobbler. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes. Add vanilla icecream. Enjoy!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

BBQ Ribs

BBQ Ribs
From the kitchen of Stephanie (modified version of my Mother-in-Law's...Hilda...recipe)
**Sorry for the lack of pictures, I forgot to take them while I was making these. Next time I make them I will take pictures and add them in.


To Parboil:
Babyback Pork Ribs (I bought the two half rack pack from Costco and cut each rack in half and made just one of the halves...about 8-9 ribs...for my family of three meat eaters)
1 1/2 Bottles of Beer (one you, or in my case, your husband would drink...we used Fat Tire)
1 large yellow onion (quartered)
Garlic (4-5 minced cloves)

To make rub:
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Pepper (fresh cracked is best)
Ground Yellow Mustard
Cayenne Pepper

Favorite BBQ Sauce (We like Randy Jone's All Natural BBQ Sauce)


Parboil Ribs:
1. Place ribs in a deep dish skillet (with lid) that is big enough for all of the ribs
2. Add Onion and Garlic
3. Add one bottle of beer, then fill that empty bottle of beer with water and pour that in as well. If you still need more liquid to have about 90% of the ribs covered, than add 1/2 to a whole bottle of beer along with equal parts water. Cook on Medium to High heat
4. Bring to a boil...turn down heat to medium to low heat (so it's simmering).
5. Add lid and parboil for about an hour (a little more or a little less is fine, you just don't want the meat falling off of the bones when you go to grill.

Dry Rub:

1. Once ribs are done parboiling, pull them out and place on plate to cool. (you can use the beer/water/onion/garlic mix the next day in a crockpot recipe if you want to get more bang for your buck)
2. While ribs are cooling make rub. In a bowl combine equal parts: garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, paprika, and yellow mustard (I just used the palm of my hand to measure, so about 1.5 TBSP of each). Then add a little bit of salt and pepper (I did about 1/2 of a palm each, so about 2 tsp). Finally add even less cayenne pepper (I did about 1/4 of a palm, so about 1 tsp). Mix seasonings all together (I did this rub in this size quantity b/c I have three other rib racks in the freezer and I wanted enough for those ones too).
3. Rub generous amounts of rub on both sides of the the rest of the rub in an air tight container for future use.

Grilling these bad boys:

1. If possibly, place on top rack (bone side down first) of a preheated grill.
2. Close the lid for about 5-7 minutes to let the rub really soak in.
3. Then, I used a basting brush and put BBQ sauce on the meaty part of the ribs (and let cook for another 5-7 minutes or so with the lid closed)...remember these ribs are already cooked through b/c of parboiling them, so you are just grilling to add flavor and make sure you grill isn't too hot (we kept ours on Med to Low heat)
4. Flip the ribs and baste the bone side with BBQ sauce as well...close lid and let cook for another 5-7 minutes
5. At this point, we took our ribs off b/c we were happy with how they looked and with the texture we'd created...crispy, but not too crispy...feel free to leave them on as long as needed to get them to a "doneness" you are happy with.


Friday, September 30, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
from Better Homes and Garden (It's their Cheesecake Supreme Recipe with some tweaks)

Here is the recipe I followed:


               1 1/2
cups finely crushed graham crackers
               1 TBSP Sugar
teaspoon ground cinnamon
cup butter, melted
8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
cup sugar
tablespoons all-purpose flour
teaspoon vanilla
 slightly beaten eggs
cup milk
In a medium mixing bowl stir together crushed graham crackers, sugar, and cinnamon. Stir in butter. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and about 2 inches up sides of an 8- or 9-inch spring form pan; set aside.
Soften cream cheese. In a large mixing bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, flour, vanilla, and lemon peel (if using); beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Add eggs all at once, beating on low speed just until combined (do not overbeat). Stir in milk.
Pour filling into crust-lined pan. If desired, top with reserved crumbs. Place on a shallow baking pan. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 45 to 50 minutes for 8-inch pan, 35 to 40 minutes for 9-inch pan, or until center appears nearly set when shaken gently.
Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Using a sharp, thin bladed knife to loosen the crust from the sides of the pan; cool for 30 minutes more. Remove the sides of the pan; cool cheesecake completely. Cover and chill at least 4 hours before serving. Top cheesecake with sour cream and spoon on seedless red raspberry preserves; swirl with a spoon, if desired. Makes 12 to 16 servings.

Click Here for the Recipe

I did not use their "optional" options and I just added half a bag of mini chocolate chips to the top (my friend Diana's idea) and then I topped it with fresh sliced organic strawberries!

Meat loaf Sloppy Joes

Meat loaf Sloppy Joes

Budget Supper
Meat loaf Sloppy Joes are a great way to save money and still eat amazing food

Leftovers make for delicious, inexpensive, and easy sandwiches to take to work or school the next day.

Olive oil spray
2/3 cup old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup + 1/4 cup + 1/4 cup canned sloppy joe sauce
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 pound 96% lean ground beef
1/3 cup minced green bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1 clove fresh garlic, minced

Preheat the oven 350°F. Lightly mist a 9" x 5" x 3" nonstick loaf pan (a slightly smaller one is okay) with the olive oil spray.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oats, 1/3 cup + 1/4 cup of the sloppy joe sauce, and the egg whites. Let the mixture stand for 3 minutes, or until the oats begin to soften. Add the beef, bell pepper, onion, and garlic. With a fork or clean hands, mix the ingredients until well combined.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and spread so that the top is flat. Spread the remaining 1/4 cup sloppy joe sauce evenly over the top. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the meat is no longer pink in the center. Let sit for 10 minutes. Cut into 8 slices and serve.

Yield: 4 servings

Per Serving: Calories 229.8, Total Fat 5.4 g, Saturated Fat 1.4 g, Cholesterol 61.8 mg, Sodium 343.5 mg, Total Carbs 15.8 g, Dietary Fiber 1 g, Sugars 3.8 g, Protein 27.5 g

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How to Make Pumpkin Puree

How to Make Pumpkin Puree

by Williams-Sonoma

Pumpkin puree is a key ingredient in fall pies, but it can also be used in breads, custards, ice creams, soups and a host of other dishes. If you’d rather skip the canned stuff, here’s how you can make it at home:

Roast the pumpkin
Place a small whole pumpkin on a baking sheet and roast it in a preheated 350°F oven until it can be easily pierced with a knife, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. For a shorter roasting time, slice the pumpkin in half and roast it, cut side down, in 1 inch of water in a baking dish until tender, about 45 minutes.

Scoop & puree
Let the pumpkin cool, then cut it in half crosswise (if not already done) and scoop out and discard the seeds. Scoop out the flesh with a large spoon and puree the flesh in a blender or food processor or with a food mill.

Now that you have the base ready, try these recipes featuring pumpkin puree. Substitute homemade puree for canned when applicable.

Turkey Lentil Chili with Torta Rolls

Turkey Lentil Chili with Torta Rolls
From the Kitchen of Denise Pugh


1 pound lean ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
6 cups (48 oz.) reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 cups lentils, rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, un-drained
2 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon pepper


In a Dutch oven, cook turkey and onions over medium heat until no longer pink and onions are soft. Add the remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45-60 minutes or until lentils are tender.

Instead of all lentils I sometimes use a mix of rice, lentils and split-pea. You can also add or subtract the chili powder to your liking.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Susan's Homemade Croutons

Susan's Homemade Croutons
From the Kitchen of Susan Reid

3-4T olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
6 (1 inch) slices French bread, cubed

Combine all ingredients in large zip loc bag; seal and shake well. Spread cubes on a 15X10 jellyroll pan; bake at 425 for 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Doc's Chili

Doc's Chili

Short on prep time, long on flavor and freezer friendly!

A simmering pot of Doc's Chili was found on the ranch stove every week during Season 2. The invention of contestant Dr. Jeff Levine, this crowd-pleasing dish is short on preparation time and long on flavor.

3 cups chopped yellow onions
1 pound lean ground turkey or lean turkey sausage
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground mustard
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans or 1 can (15 ounces), rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans or 1 can (15 ounces), rinsed and drained
3 cups diced tomatoes or 1 can (28 ounces) roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup fat-free chicken broth
1/2 cup black olives
1/2 cup chopped scallions or chopped fresh cilantro

Coat a large saucepan or Dutch oven with a few sprays of cooking spray. Add onions and sauté over medium-high heat until soft and just starting to brown. Add ground turkey and cook over medium high heat, breaking up meat with a spoon, for 6 minutes, or until cooked through. Add chili powder, oregano, cumin, mustard, garlic, beans, tomatoes, and broth. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Garnish with olives and green onions or cilantro and serve immediately.

Yield: 2 1/4 quarts; 12 (1-cup) servings

Per Serving: 161.9 calories, 5.1 g total fat, 1.1 g saturated fat, 20.9 mg cholesterol, 505.5 mg sodium, 19.4 g total carbohydrates, 6.1 g dietary fiber, 1.7 g sugars, 11 g protein

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Chicken Caesar Salad

My Chicken Caesar Salad
From the kitchen of Stephanie

Organic Romain Lettuce
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese
Texas Toast Caesar Croutons (I choose these because there is no High Fructose Corn Syrup or you can also make homemade ones)
Newman's Extra Virgin Olive Oil Caesar Dressing
Organic Chicken Breasts (2)


1. Marinate the chicken in Salad Dressing (in an oven proof dish) for 1-2 hours
2. Cook Chicken at 375 for 35 minutes covered (in the same dish you marinated the chicken in), 5 minutes uncovered
3. While Chicken is cooking, wash and chop lettuce (I like to put paper towels in the bottom of my bowl and them put the lettuce on top to catch any extra water that drips off. Place bowl of lettuce in fridge.
4. Once the Chicken is done, I take it out and let it sit for about 5 minutes before chopping.
5. While waiting for the Chicken to cool, I shred the Parmesan onto the lettuce and add Fresh Cracked Pepper to taste
6. Then add the diced, warm chicken and croutons
7. Finish with adding dressing and toss...serve immediately

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup

Here's a quick, healthy black bean soup full of fiber and protein

If you don't have an immersion blender, just bring the mixture to a simmer for a minute then transfer to a traditional blender or food processor and puree.

2 (15-ounce) cans 50% less-sodium black beans, drained
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
2 cups water
3/4 cup minced celery
3/4 cup minced onion
2 teaspoons finely chopped seeded jalapeno chile pepper (wear plastic gloves when handling)
1 teaspoon freshly minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Ground black pepper, to taste
Red-pepper flakes, to taste

Combine three-fourths of the black beans, one-half of the tomatoes, and the water in a large nonstick saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. With an immersion blender, puree until mostly smooth. (Note: When using an immersion blender, make sure not to scratch the bottom of your nonstick pan.)

Add the remaining black beans and tomatoes, along with the celery, onion, chile pepper, garlic, and cumin. Season with black pepper and red-pepper flakes. Cover the pan, leaving the lid slightly ajar for steam to escape, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes longer, or until the vegetables are tender. Divide the soup evenly among 6 soup bowls and serve.

6 servings; serving = 1 cup

Per serving: Calories 124.7, Total Fat 0.1 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 414.3 mg, Potassium 81.3 mg, Total Carbohydrate 24.8 g, Dietary Fiber 1.2 g, Sugars 2 g, Protein 6.4 g

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Warm Pasta Salad

I love summer for so many reasons, one of them being that I love all of the fresh veggies. I have been making a lot of pasta dishes lately and throwing in whatever veggies I have on hand in the dish.

I also love pasta salad and so tonight I thought I'd try to make a warm pasta salad as a main course. Read the following to find out what I did:

Tonight, I have zucchini, asparagus, sweet onion, green onion, carrots, mushrooms, sweet yellow and red peppers, broccoli, and tomato (I know, it's technically a fruit). All of these are fresh and all of them are organic. While waiting for my pasta water to boil, I chopped these veggies up and set in them in a bowl for later.

I then added 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1/2 of a sweet onion (diced), and about 1-2 TBSP of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to my wok and sauteed until translucent. I then added all of the fresh cut veggies and sauteed until tender/crisp. While cooking the veggies, I added salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste, along with a pinch of cayenne pepper to give it just a little kick.

While the veggies were cooking, I added the pasta to the boiling water and cooked according the package.

When the pasta and veggies were done, I combined them and added, goat cheese (I told you I have been a little obsessed with it lately), just a little Italian dressing, and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

I mixed all together in the wok over low heat, so that the goat cheese would have a chance to get nice and melted. I then topped it all off with parm again!

Serve immediately....hoping the left overs are just as good cold as warm! :)


2 cloves minced garlic
1-2 tbsp EVOO
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
a pinch of Cayenne Pepper
Whatever veggies you have on hand (here is what I used):
Sweet Onion
Green Onions (the whole thing)
Red and Yellow Bell Peppers
Whole Wheat Penne Pasta
Goat Cheese (I like a lot...about 1/2 to 3/4 of a tub)
Freshly Grated Parmesan
Italian Dressing (I prefer Newman's Own Organic Tuscan Italian)

1. Cook Pasta according to directions
2. Dice/chop veggies and saute with EVOO, garlic, and seasonings
3. Mix pasta and veggies together in sautee pan, over low heat, and add goat cheese and Italian Dressing.
4. Heat until Goat Cheese is soft.
5. Top with Parm and serve

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Breakfast for Dinner

A new tradition that we've started in our family is having breakfast for dinner once a week.

This started because Madison LOVES breakfast and she doesn't always love what we eat for dinner. Madison is a great eater, but she definitely has some favorites, so I try to accommodate them when I can. Thus, breakfast for dinner.

Tonight we are going to have pancakes, scrambled eggs with goat cheese, and apple smoked bacon.

For the pancakes I just use Trader Joe's Pancake mix (I cut the recipe in half when we have other items served with it)

For the Eggs, I use equal whole eggs to egg whites. So, tonight I will use 4 eggs and 4 egg whites and about three tablespoons of milk. I whisk them all together and scramble them in a frying pan. When they are just about done, I will add about three tablespoons of goat cheese to the eggs and finish cooking while the goat cheese melts through.

For the Bacon I also use a favorite from Trader Joes, Apple Smoked Bacon (containing no nitrites or nitrates)!

Adding breakfast once week has also saved us money. I typically have most of these items on hand already, so it's one less meal a week that I have to buy ingredients for!

Take a break! Enjoy breakfast for dinner one night this week! If you do, share what you had...I think next week we'll have crepes!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies
From the Kitchen of Kelly Hunt

• 1 cup unsalted butter
• 1 ½ cup crunchy peanut butter
• 1 cup white sugar
• 1 cup packed brown sugar
• 2 eggs
• 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Cream together butter, peanut butter, vanilla and sugars. Beat in eggs.
2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir into batter. Put batter in refrigerator for 1 hour.
3. Form dough into balls, roll in sugar, gently fork top to create cookie shape.
4. Roll into 1 inch balls and put on baking sheets. Flatten each ball with a fork, making a criss-cross pattern. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for about 9-10 minutes or until cookies begin to brown. Do not over-bake.
5. You can put a Hershey’s Kiss in the middle once baked if you wish.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fall is Coming

I love Fall!

Fall has such fun recipes!

I was given a sneak preview of Fall in our recent trip to Tennessee. During one of the rainy days there, we had a most delicious lunch that I had to share with you.

My friend Renee prepared the "Roasted Red Pepper" Soup from Trader Joes...she heated it on the stove and then added some of her own seasonings to fancy it up (garlic, salt, and pepper) Then just after pouring each bowl of soup she topped it with Goat Cheese...genius!

True Confession: I am obsessed with Goat Cheese right now!

Anyway, so she topped each bowl of soup with Goat Cheese....which translated equalled the equivalent of food heaven. I will definitely be doing this A LOT this fall with all different sorts of soups (pumpkin and butternut squash soup comes to mind).

We also had yummy grilled cheese sandwiches (another favorite in our house).

An aside: I have never liked tomatoes, but just recently (about a month ago) I started adding them to things and I've since decided I really like them cooked...not such a fan of them cold (in salads and such), but I do like them warm.

Okay, back to the grilled cheese sandwiches. Renee used Sour Dough (our bread of choice as well for a grilled cheese) and then proceeded to spread pesto (a favorite of mine on pizza and paninis) and filled the sandwiches with munster cheese (another favorite) and thinly sliced tomatoes...who'd have thought! I've had grilled cheese with tomato soup, but never tomatoes in grilled cheese. I LOVED it!

Well, last night we were feeling a little under the weather so we made soup and grilled cheese. I mimicked the grilled cheese, but also added some black forest ham. So fun!

Then tonight, I was in the mood for it again (I mean I had the fresh tomatoes, so why not). Tonight I made it a little differently. I did pesto, munster, tomatoes and sliced mushrooms! Oh my goodness, I loved it...wish I had also added some spinach!

I can't wait for Fall to truly arrive here in Southern California because soups and stews are calling my name, along with A LOT of Fall baking!

If you have any Fall recipes that you'd like to share, I would LOVE to post them and to also try them!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Creamy Cucumber Salad

Creamy Cucumber Salad
A lighter version for summer's bounty

Typically, this classic salad is made by dressing the cucumbers with full-fat sour cream or heavy cream. We lighten the salad by using reduced-fat sour cream and mixing it with yogurt.

1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/3 cup fat-free plain yogurt
1½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
1½ teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 large cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 medium Vidalia or other sweet onion, thinly sliced
In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, yogurt, vinegar, sugar, salt (if using) and pepper.

In a medium bowl, combine the cucumbers and onions. Add the dressing and toss to coat well.

Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes to blend all the flavors.

Yield: 8 Servings

Calories: 44
Fat: 1 g
Carbohydrates: 7 g
Protein: 1 g

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Quinoa and Goat Cheese stuffed Bell Peppers (Remake)

Quinoa and Goat Cheese stuffed Bell Peppers
A recreation by Stephanie of Haley's Recipe

Prep Time: 20 Min Cook Time: 40 Min

1 cup Chicken Broth
1/2 cup uncooked Quinoa
2-3 green bell peppers, hollowed and seeded
1/4 lb of Ground Turkey
1 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 of a small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 zucchini, finely chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
1 teaspoons dried basil
1 Pkt Italian Dressing seasoning (I used Simply Organic)
1 tsp minced garlic (1-2 cloves of garlic)
1 teaspoons salt
1 pinches ground black pepper
1 tomato, seeded and diced
1 cup crumbled goat cheese

This recipe will yield enough for three stuffed peppers, but I made two stuffed peppers and kept some of the filling in a separate ramekin for my daughter who is not a fan of green bell peppers.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.

Prepare Quinoa as directed on packaging. Remove from heat, and set aside. (I made mine in my rice cooker...takes about 35 minutes. Also, I use chicken broth instead of water when cooking the gives it a lot more flavor).

Place the peppers cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Roast 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until tender and skin starts to brown. (mine were done at about 22 minutes)

While the peppers are roasting:

Cook Ground Turkey and onions with 1/2 of the Italian Seasoning Pkt. Set aside when cooked through.

In another skillet, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onions, carrots, yellow peppers, zucchini, basil, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper in oil for 5 to 7 minutes (until carrots are tender). Stir in the diced tomato, and cook for 5 minutes. Spoon in the ground turkey, stir until heated through.

Remove from heat, mix in the quinoa and the goat cheese, and spoon the mixture into the pepper halves. (I poured all of the ingredients into a glass bowl (ground turkey, veggies, quinoa, and goat cheese before stirring).

I had left over of the mixture, so I just put it in a ramekin to heat it through and I ate it for lunch the next day!

Return to the oven for 5-7 minutes. Serve immediately.

**Next time I would probably dice up celery and add it as well! To be honest and veggies would probably be great in this recipe...maybe I'll try asparagus too!

Hope you enjoy!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Greek Salad

Greek Salad

A delicious way to eat your veggies!

Extremely light and lemony, this is one of Chef Devin Alexander's all-time favorite recipes for eating lots of veggies.

3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
4 pitted kalamata olives, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
4-5 tablespoons lemon juice, preferably fresh-squeezed, divided
½ medium cucumber, seeded and chopped
½ medium red or orange bell pepper, chopped
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
1/3 cup finely-chopped red onion
1 ounce (heaping 1/4 cup) crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese, divided
1 small (4 ounce) grilled chicken breast, sliced (optional)

In a serving bowl, combine the parsley, olives, and garlic. Whisk in 4 tablespoons of lemon juice. Add the cucumber, bell pepper, tomato, onion and 3 tablespoons of the cheese. Toss to coat the ingredients with the dressing. Taste and add 1 tablespoon more lemon juice, if desired. Scatter the chicken over the salad, if desired. Top with the remaining cheese.

Makes 1 entrée salad if served with chicken or 2 side salads without.

1 serving (1/2 recipe without chicken) has: 106 calories, 5 g protein, 15 g carbohydrates, 4 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, trace polyunsaturated fat, 2 g monounsaturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 315 mg sodium

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cheese Enchiladas

Cheese Enchiladas
From the kitchen of Mary and Stephanie

12 corn tortillas
Green Onions (chopped)
Enchilada Sauce (I prefer Trader Joes or Rosarita)
About two cups of cheddar cheese (shredded)

Pre-heat the oven to 350

Dip each tortilla in the sauce, sprinkle in a little cheese and roll and place in 9x13 baking dish (not greased). Repeat until all 12 are rolled. Sprinkle left over cheese on top along with chives. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 20 min and then take foil off and bake 5-10 more minutes to desired "doneness!" I serve them with sour cream and guacamole!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Quinoa and Goat Cheese stuffed Bell Peppers

Quinoa and Goat Cheese stuffed Bell Peppers
From the Kitchen of Haley

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 20 Min Cook Time: 40 Min

2 cups water
1 cup uncooked Quinoa
4 green bell peppers, halved and seeded
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons salt
2 pinches ground black pepper
2 tomato, diced
1 cup crumbled goat cheese

This recipe's Ingredients were scaled to yield a new amount. The directions below still refer to the original recipe yield of 2 servings.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
Prepare Quinoa as directed on packaging. Remove from heat, and set aside.
Place the peppers cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Roast 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until tender and skin starts to brown.
While the peppers are roasting, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onions, basil, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper in oil for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the diced tomato, and cook for 5 minutes. Spoon in the cooked rice, and stir until heated through. Remove from heat, mix in the goat cheese, and spoon the mixture into the pepper halves.
Return to the oven for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Southern Fried!

Southern Fried!

A regional favorite with a dash of garlic

To achieve an even crisper, oven "fried" crust, cook the chicken on the bottom rack of your oven.

• 4 small bone-in chicken breasts (approximately 7 to 8 ounces each), trimmed of skin and visible fat (see note)
• 1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
• Olive oil spray (propellant free)
• 2 teaspoons all-natural salt-free garlic herb seasoning or your favorite all-natural salt-free seasoning
• 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste, if desired
• 1 cup all-natural whole wheat panko-style bread crumbs

Add the chicken breasts and buttermilk to a large resealable plastic bag or container. Rotate the breasts so they are completely coated, then seal the bag or container. Marinate them in the refrigerator at least 6 hours or overnight, rotating them once or twice.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Lightly mist a medium nonstick baking sheet with spray.

In a small bowl, mix the seasoning and salt.

Add the panko to a medium shallow bowl.

Remove 1 chicken breast from the buttermilk. Let any excess buttermilk drip off it, then sprinkle the entire breast (both sides) evenly with about one-quarter of the seasoning mixture. Dip the chicken in the panko, rotating it to cover completely. Place the breaded chicken breast face down (ribs up) on the prepared pan. Repeat with the remaining breasts, arranging them on the baking sheet so they do not touch.

Lightly mist the chicken with spray. Bake for 10 minutes, then gently flip the breasts, being careful not to remove any breading. Lightly mist them again with spray and continue to bake for 12 to 15 minutes longer, or until the breading is crispy and the chicken is no longer pink inside. Sprinkle with additional salt, if desired. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days to eat cold.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 176 calories, 25 g protein, 14 g carbohydrates (1 g sugar), 2 g fat, trace saturated fat, 55 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 393 mg sodium

Friday, July 8, 2011

Ratatouille with Spicy Sausage

Ratatouille with Spicy Sausage

A traditional dish with a rich and satisfying flavor

Ratatouille is a classic Provencal dish consisting of slowly simmered eggplant, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, and fresh herbs.

2 (4-ounce) links spicy Italian turkey sausage
3 zucchini (yellow or green), cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 medium white or red onion, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rings
1 eggplant (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 red, yellow, or green bell peppers, roasted, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch squares
1 (14.5-ounce) cans no-salt-added fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Salt and ground black pepper (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, for garnish

Remove the sausage meat from the casings. Cook in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until there is no more pink. Drain well, crumble, and set aside.

Prepare a grill and heat to medium-high heat (when the fire is ready you can hold your hand 5 inches above rack for no longer than 3 to 4 seconds). Insert a toothpick horizontally through each onion slice going through all the rings to the center to hold the slices intact. Lightly coat the onion, zucchini, and eggplant with olive oil cooking spray. Grill the vegetables on the grill rack, turning once, until done, about 4 minutes total. (Onions may take longer.)

When cool enough to handle, cut the grilled vegetables into 1/2-inch dice and transfer to a bowl. Add the roasted pepper, tomatoes, lemon zest, basil, and thyme. Stir in the sausage. Season with salt and black pepper, if desired. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the parsley.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 170 calories, 6 g total fat (1.5 g saturated), 35 mg cholesterol, 389 mg sodium, 21 g total carbohydrates (11 g sugars), 8 g fiber, 12 g protein

Apricot Brie Cups

Apricot Brie Cups
From the Kitchen of Kristi Cox

You buy the Athens Phyllo Dough Shells (mini) (I have only found them at Super Walmart They sell out really fast around the holidays).

Then I go to Trader Joe's and get
-Apricot Preserves
-Brie (or gorgonzola is tasty too)
-Sliced Almonds

Put the brie at the bottom of each phyllo shell and then fill with the apricot preserves. Top each one with one sliced almond (It makes it look extra special). I just bake them for a little bit until they bubble (I can't remember if there are heating instructions on the phyllo shell box but if there is, then just follow that)


Strawberry Cake

My sweet friend Courtney made the most delicious Strawberry Cake and posted how she did it on her AMAZING website A Diamond in the Stuff


Click here to view the recipe, pictures included!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Avocado Crab Dip

Avocado Crab Dip
From the kitchen of Melissa St. Clair

2 whole Avocados, seeded and peeled
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon chopped onion
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 package 8 ounce cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound crab meat, drained of any juice
1 pound baguette


Slice baguette. Lay slices out on a cookie sheet and toast in a 350 degree oven. Cool. In a blender or food processor, combine avocado with the lemon juice. Pulse a couple times. Add the onion and Worcestershire. Pulse until combined, but keep a little bit lumpy, do not puree. Add cream cheese, sour cream, and salt. Pulse a couple of times. Stir in the crab meat. Chill dip until needed. Keep in mind that the avocado will discolor within a few hours, so make no more than a couple of hours before serving!

Serve with toasted baguette.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Glazed Lemon Cookies

Glazed Lemon Cookies

From the Kitchen of Kristin Sumption

Cookie Ingredients:
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar (although I think I would have been happier with 1/2 cup)
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (I used 3/4 teaspoon, I also have a love for vanilla :))
1/4 teaspoon salt (leave this out if you use salted butter)
2 cups flour

Glaze Ingredients
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (I went crazy here and used two lemons worth of zest, I think it was about 2-3 teaspoons)

Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg yolks, vanilla and salt, beat until combined. Slowly add the flour and mix until just incorporated.

Divide the dough in half and shape into 1 1/4 inch diameter logs. Wrap in wax paper and pop them in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes

Heat oven to 350 degrees, slice the logs less then 1/2inch thick and bake on parchment paper lined cookie sheets for 13-16 minutes. Let cool completely.

In a small bowl whisk together the glaze ingredients until it forms a thick yet pourable glaze. Dip the top of each cooled cookie and let set, about 15 minutes.

Red, White, and Blue Stars

Red, White, and Blue Stars



5 cups cake flour (not self-rising), plus more for surface
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
4 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream, plus more for brushing
3/4 cup raspberry jam
3/4 cup blueberry jam
2 tablespoons sanding sugar


Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Cream butter and granulated sugar, with a mixer on medium speed, until pale and fluffy. Beat in yolks and vanilla until well combined. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with cream and beating well after each addition. Shape dough into 4 disks, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (or up to 3 days).

On floured parchment, roll 1 disk of dough into a 1/8-inch-thick rectangle. Repeat with remaining disks. Stack sheets of dough and parchment, and refrigerate for 1 hour or freeze for 30 minutes.

Spread raspberry jam on 1 sheet of dough, blueberry jam on another. Top each with a plain sheet of dough. Refrigerate for 1 hour or freeze for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut out cookies using a 2 1/2-inch star-shaped cutter, and space 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Brush with cream, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or freeze for 15 minutes.

Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden, 16 to 20 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks, and let cool completely. If desired, bake dough scraps.

Red, White, and Blue Parfaits

Red, White, and Blue Parfaits



4 1/2 pounds fresh red currants, stemmed
3 cups sugar
3 envelopes unflavored gelatin (about 6 3/4 teaspoons)
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin (about 4 1/2 teaspoons)
3 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 pounds fresh blueberries
2 ounces fresh currants, on the stem


Make the currant gelatin: Put currants and sugar in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until currants are very soft, about 10 minutes.

Put 1/3 cup cold water into a small bowl; sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften 5 minutes. Add to currant mixture; stir until gelatin has dissolved, about 5 minutes.

Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl set in an ice-water bath, gently pressing out liquid with a spoon; discard solids. Remove from water bath, and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cool but not set. Pour 3 to 4 tablespoons currant gelatin into each of twelve 8- to 10-ounce glasses; set remaining currant gelatin aside. Refrigerate glasses until gelatin is completely set, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the panna cotta: Put 1/3 cup cold water into a small bowl; sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften 5 minutes.

Put milk, cream, and sugar into a medium saucepan; bring almost to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Add gelatin mixture, and stir until gelatin has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl set in an ice-water bath. Remove from water bath; let stand, stirring occasionally, until cool but not set.

Spoon 3 to 4 tablespoons panna cotta over currant gelatin in each glass; set remaining panna cotta aside. Refrigerate glasses until panna cotta is set, about 1 hour. Repeat with another layer of currant gelatin and panna cotta. If either mixture becomes too firm, set over a pot of simmering water until softened.

To serve, top each parfait with blueberries and currants, dividing evenly.

Blueberry Tart

Blueberry Tart


flour for the work surface
1 8-ounce sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
2 cups blueberries

Heat oven to 375° F. On a lightly floured surface, unfold the sheet of pastry and roll it into a 10-by-12-inch rectangle. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Using the tip of a knife, score a 1-inch border around the pastry without cutting all the way through. Brush the border with the egg and sprinkle with the granulated sugar. Bake until golden and puffed, 18 to 22 minutes.
Using the tip of a knife, rescore the border of the cooked pastry without cutting all the way through. Gently press down on the center of the pastry sheet to flatten it. Let cool to room temperature, 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the cream, lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of the confectioners’ sugar and beat until smooth. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly within the borders of the pastry.
Arrange the blueberries in a single layer over the filling and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of confectioners’ sugar.

Berry Shortcakes

Berry Shortcakes

2 pounds berries (such as raspberries, blueberries, or sliced strawberries)
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
8 biscuits, store-bought or made from a mix

In a large bowl, toss the berries and 1/3 cup of the sugar. Let sit for at least 15 minutes (and up to 4 hours, refrigerated).
In a medium bowl, beat the cream and the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar until soft peaks form.
Split the biscuits in half. Spoon the berries and whipped cream on the bottom halves and sandwich with the tops.

Healthy Greek Salad

Healthy Greek Salad
A favorite dish that cuts the sodium

If you're grilling chicken this weekend, here's the perfect salad for it. This recipe uses plenty of fresh lemon juice to create a dressing that bursts with flavor!

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly minced garlic, or more to taste
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup 3/4" cubes cucumber
1 cup 1" cubes red bell pepper
1 cup 1" cubes Roma tomato
6 kalamata olives, cut in half lengthwise
1 ounce all-natural light feta cheese, cut into 1/8" cubes
4 ounces grilled chicken, cut into slices
1/2 teaspoon dried mint leaves

In a small resealable plastic container, shake together the lemon juice, garlic, and oil to make the dressing.

In a large bowl, toss the cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, olives, cheese, and the dressing. Transfer the salad to a large serving plate. Top it with the chicken and then the mint, crushing the leaves slightly with your fingers as you sprinkle it over the salad. Serve immediately.

Makes 1 serving

Per serving: 346 calories, 35 g protein, 26 g carbohydrates (13 g sugar), 12 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 71 mg cholesterol, 6 g fiber, 863 mg sodium

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Grilled Corn Pasta Salad

Grilled Corn Pasta Salad
By: Taste of Home

8 Servings Prep: 20 min. + soaking Grill: 25 min. + cooling

4 large ears sweet corn in husks
1-1/2 cups uncooked penne pasta
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1 can (2-1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Carefully peel back corn husks to within 1 in. of bottom; remove silk. Rewrap corn in husks and secure with kitchen string. Place in a stockpot; cover with cold water. Soak for 20 minutes; drain.
Grill corn, covered, over medium heat for 25-30 minutes or until tender, turning often.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water. When corn is cool enough to handle, remove kernels from cobs and place in a large bowl. Add the pasta, tomatoes, zucchini and olives.
In a small bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients. Pour over salad and toss gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutritional Analysis:
One serving (1 cup) equals 164 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 382 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 5 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: