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.