Friday, December 3, 2010

Candied Sweet Potato Casserole

This amazing recipe comes to you from America's Test Kitchen.  It's the perfect Thanksgiving side dish.


Sweet Potatoes
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cut into 1-inch chunks
5 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1.5 teaspoons table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup water

Pecan Topping
1 cup pecan halves
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg white , lightly beaten
Pinch ground cumin


1.  Pre-heat oven to 450F.
1.  Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
2.  Add the sweet potatoes, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and water; bring to a simmer.
3.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring often, until the sweet potatoes are tender (a paring knife can be slipped into and out of the center of the potatoes with very little resistance), 45 to 60 minutes.
4.  When the sweet potatoes are tender, remove the lid and bring the sauce to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat. Continue to simmer until the sauce has reduced to a glaze, 7 to 10 minutes.
5.  Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the topping together in a medium bowl; set aside.
6.  Pour the potato mixture into two 8x8 baking dishes or one 9x13 (it may overfill a 9x13). 
7.  Spread the topping over the potatoes.
8.  Bake until the pecans are toasted and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

This dish can be made ahead of time.  After step 7 cover dish tightly with foil and refridgerate until needed.  The bake at 400F with foil for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and bake another 20 minutes or until pecans are toasted and crisp.

Serves approx 12-16

Warm Spinach and Artichoke Dip

I compiled this recipe by taking the best of a few other recipes I've found.  This goes great served in the center of a bread bowl.  The recipe can be found here, just cut the recipe in 1/2 and only make one large bowl:


8oz reduced fat cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup light mayo
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1/2 package frozen chopped spinach thawed and squeezed of all water
1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese (I like Sargento Artisan Blend)


1.  Mix together all ingredients in large microwave safe bowl.
2.  Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes until heated through, stirring 2-3 times.
3.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sweet Italian Sausage Stuffing

Stuffing is my favorite Thanksgiving dish and now I think I've finally perfected my favorite Thanksgiving stuffing recipe.


1 stick butter
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1lb or 4 links of sweet italian sausage (casings removed)
1 package Pepperidge farm sage and onion stuffing cubes (12oz)
2-3 cups fat free, reduced sodium chicken broth


1.  In large skillet, melt butter over medium high heat.
2.  Saute celery and onions until soft.
3.  Add in sausage and cook throughly (like you would ground beef)
4.  Add in stuffing and mix thoroughly.
5.  Add in chicken broth until you get the moistness you desire (about 2 cups).
6.  Cook until evenly heated through.

This recipe can be made ahead of time and either stuffed in the bird or put in a 9x13 glass baking dish.  To reheat stuffing on the day of dinner,  bake at 400 covered with foil for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes until heated through and golden brown on top.

Makes at least 12 servings.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Overnight Stuffed French Toast

If you're looking for the perfect holiday breakfast, then this is it.  It's so easy and incredibly delicious.  You don't even need to top with syrup if you don't wan to.


1 loaf of Cinnabon Cinnamon bread
10oz reduced fat cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
2tsp vanilla extract
1 container Egg Beaters (7 servings)
1/2 cup of milk


1.  Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
2.  Grease a 9x13 glass baking dish and place 6 slices of bread on the bottom.
3.  Cover the bread with the cream cheese mixture.
4.  Top with the remaining 6 slices of bread (it should look like you have 6 sandwiches in the dish).
5.  Whisk together the egg beaters and milk and pour over the entire dish.
6.  Refridgerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
7.  Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes until center is set and top is golden brown.

Makes 8 servings at approx 300 calories per serving.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Asian Meatball Skillet

Keeping all the ingredients on hand makes this dish a simple and easy weeknight supper.  Dinner is on the table in 15 minutes and it's nutritious too.

1/2 bag of frozen meatballs or 24 homemade meatballs (thawed)
1 package oriental flavor ramen noodles crushed
1 steamer bag of sugar snap pea pods
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/3 cup asian sesame vinaigrette (Wish Bone makes a great light version)
1 cup water

1.  In a non-stick skillet, bring water to a boil.
2.  Meanwhile cook pea pods according to directions.
3.  Once the water is boiling add the ramen with seasoning packet, dressing, meatballs and carrots.
4.  Simmer for about 5-10 minutes until meatballs are heated through.
5.  Mix in the pea pods and serve.

Makes 4 servings

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats

Now you can have the delicious flavors of pumpkin pie for breakfast and it's even good for you too!!

1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
4oz canned pumpkin (not pie filling just plain pumpkin)
1/4 cup skim milk
1Tbsp brown sugar
1tsp cinnamon
1/4tsp nutmeg

1.  Mix all the ingredients together.
2.  Chill overnight.
3.  Warm in the microwave for about 45 seconds and enjoy!!!

Makes 1 serving.
Publish Post

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pumpkin Cookies with Browned Butter Frosting

I made these yummy fall cookies today for my daughter to take for her 4K birthday snack on Monday.  They are incredibly delicious and very easy.  I love the frosting.


3/4 cup unsalted butter softened
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2tsp vanilla
1-15oz can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
2 1/2 cups flour
1tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

3 cups powdered sugar
1tsp vanilla
3Tbsp milk
1/3 cup unsalted butter (Do not use margarine or spread.  It will burn.)


1.  Pre-heat oven to 375.
2.  Beat butter, both sugars, and vanilla until well mixed.
3.  Beat in pumpkin and eggs.
4.  On low speed, beat in flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg until well blended.
5.  Using a 1Tbsp cookie scoop, drop onto a well greased cookie sheet.
6.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until bottom is lightly brown and cookie is set.
7.  Cool completely for at least 45 minutes to 1 hour.

8.  In a medium mixing bowl, add powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk.
9.  Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat until it's a medium brown color.  Stir constantly to avoid burning.
10. Pour butter on top of powdered sugar mixture and beat on low speed for 1 minute until well mixed.
11.  Add either more powdered sugar or milk if needed depending on desired consistency.
12.  Frost the cooled cookies and let set (frosting will be more like a glaze and will harden when cooled)

Makes approximately 60 cookies

Monday, October 4, 2010

Meatball Stroganoff

Now that you know how to make your own meatballs, you can enjoy this delicious meatball stroganoff


24 meatballs (recipe can be found here: )
1 pkg pre-sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 can 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup
2 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1/4 cup skim milk
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pkg egg noodles (or 4 cups cooked)

1.  Prepare the egg noodles according to package directions and drain after cooking.
2.  While the egg noodles are cooking, add 1Tbsp olive oil to non-stick/cast iron skillet over medium high heat and saute the mushrooms until cooked through.
3.  Add the soup, cream cheese, sour cream and milk to the mushrooms and mix until well combined then bring to a simmer.
4.  Add the meatballs and some freshly ground black pepper.
5.  Simmer until meatballs are heated through.
6.  Serve over egg noodles.

Makes 4 servings (6 meatballs + sauce and 1 cup cooked egg noodles per serving)

Marvelous Homemade Meatballs

Recently I had put meatball stroganoff on the menu for dinner and I usually use frozen meatballs for that.  I've since discovered that the price has increased on those and I am not paying $8 a bag for meatballs when I can make my own better and less expensive.  So I found a recipe and made my own. 


1lb 93/7 lean ground turkey (or beef)
1 packaged Jimmy Dean reduced fat pork sausage
2 slices of bread
1/4 cup skim milk
2 egg yolks
3 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
1/2 cup chopped onion
2-3 garlic cloves minced
1 Tbsp kosher salt


1. Pre-heat oven to 300F
2. Tear the bread into pieces and place in a small bowl with the milk.  Set aside.
3. Saute the onion in 1Tbsp olive oil until tender.  Add the garlic for the last minute of cooking.  Set aside.
4.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the turkey, pork, bread mixture, onions, egg yolks, 1Tbsp kosher salt, and some freshly ground black pepper.
5.  Using a 1 Tbsp cookie scoop, scoop out the meatballs onto parchment paper.
6.  Heat a non-stick skillet or cast iron skillet on medium high heat.  Add 1tbsp olive oil and sautee the meatballs until brown on all sides.  May need to do in 2-3 batches using 1Tbsp olive oil for each batch.
7.  After the meatballs have been browned, place on a cookie sheet and put in the oven for 5-8 minutes until fully cooked through.

Makes approx 46-48 meatballs

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Taco Bake

The perfect comfort food.


1 pkg Kraft Deluxe 2% macaroni and cheese
3/4 cup fat free sour cream
1lb lean ground turkey or beef (93/7)
1 pkg taco seasoning mix or make your own
1 cup (4oz) shredded cheddar cheese.


1. Pre-heat oven to 400F.
2. Prepare macaroni and cheese according to box directions.
3. Mix in sour cream when done.
4.  Meanwhile brown the turkey and add taco seasoning mix with about 1/2 cup water for moisture.
5.  Spray a 8x8 glass baking dish with cooking spray.
6.  Spread 1/2 the macaroni and cheese in the bottom of the dish.
7.  Top with all of the taco turkey mixture.
8.  Top with the remaining macaroni and cheese.
9.  Sprinkle the shredded cheddar on top.
10.  Bake for 20 minutes until cheese is brown and the casserole is nice and bubbly.

Makes 6 servings

Monday, September 20, 2010

Deep Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

Most of you following me know that I usually only post recipes here that are delicious and satisfying, yet nutritious and lower calorie.  However I came across this recipe for my parents 40th Anniversary and it's just too delicious to share.  So I'm adding a new category to my recipes called Decadent (aka High Calorie) and this definitely falls under that.


1 sleeve chocolate graham crackers
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

2 3/4 bar Ghiradelli 70% cacao dark chocolate
4 (8oz) packaged 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 large eggs

3/4 cup whipping cream
1 1/4 bar Giradelli 70% cacao dark chocolate
1 Tbsp sugar

*In total you will need 4 - 4oz bars of Ghiradelli dark chocolate.  A different brand may be substituted, but I can't guarantee the same awesomeness you will experience with this.


1.  Preheat oven to 350°F. 
2.  Butter 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 3-inch-high sides. 
3.  Blend cookies in processor until finely ground; blend in sugar. 
4.  Add melted butter and process until well blended. 
5.  Press crumbs evenly onto bottom (not sides) of prepared pan. 
6.  Bake just until set, about 5 minutes. Cool while preparing filling. Maintain oven temperature.

1.  Stir chopped chocolate in metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water; cool chocolate until lukewarm but still pourable. 
2.  Blend cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa powder in processor until smooth. 
3.  Blend in eggs 1 at a time. 
4.  Mix in lukewarm chocolate. 
5.  Pour filling over crust; smooth top. 
6.  Bake until center is just set and just appears dry, about 1 hour (mine took about 1 hour 15 min). 
7.  Cool 5 minutes. Run knife around sides of cake to loosen. Chill overnight.

1.  Stir cream, 6 ounces chocolate, and sugar in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until smooth. 
2.  Cool slightly. 
3.  Pour over center of cheesecake, spreading to within 1/2 inch of edge and filling any cracks. 
4.  Chill until topping is set, about 1 hour. 
5.  Release pan sides. Transfer cheesecake to platter. Top with chocolate curls. Let stand 2 hours at room temperature before serving.

 Makes 12 servings.  If you want the calorie count let me know, but I recommend pure ignorant bliss when devouring this recipe.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mexican Beef and Bean Stew

Monday nights are busy for us, so I've been looking for new recipes for the crock pot.  This stew was so easy and very yummy.  Goes great with corn bread as a side.


1-1.5 pounds lean beef stew meat cut into 1" pieces
1 can Campbell's beef consomme
1 cup salsa
1 can pinto beans drained and rinsed
1 can corn or 2 cups frozen corn
1/2 - 1 cup diced onion
1/4 tsp mince garlic
2 Tbsp chili powder
1Tbsp cumin


1. Combine all ingredients in the crock pot.
2. Cook on low for 8-9 hours and serve.

Makes approximately 7 - 1 cup servings.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Chicken Crescent Potstickers

If you're looking for a little something different, but still in the mood for Chinese, then these will hit the spot.  Loved them!


1 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 Tbsp shredded carrots
3 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp Sweet Baby Ray's (or another BBQ sauce)
1/2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 can of crescent rolls or seamless crescent sheet
1 egg beaten
1 Tbsp sesame seeds


1. Pre-heat oven to 375.
2.  Mix together the first 7 ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
3.  On a greased surface, unroll crescent rolls, but do not separate.  Pinch together perforations and roll into a 12x8 inch rectangle.  Using a knife, cut crescent rolls into 8 squares.
4.  Fill each square with about 2 Tbsp of chicken mixture.
5.  Bring edges of square up and twist together to form a bundle.  Place on a greased cookie sheet.
6.  Brush each bundle with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
7.  Bake 14-18 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 8 servings, 1 bundle per serving

Monday, September 6, 2010

Jill's Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Looking for the perfect salad dressing that is full of flavor but not full of empty calories???  Look no further.  I've got it right here.  This is even better that the one that's in that one valley nobody can seem to find and there are no artificial anythings in it.


1/3 cup Hellman's light mayo (I like Hellman's because there is no HFCS)
2/3 cup lowfat buttermilk
1Tbsp dried parsley flakes
3/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp dried thyme leaves


1.  Combine all ingredients and refrigerate overnight for the fullest flavor.

Makes 8 servings, 2 Tbsp each.  Only 36cals per serving.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I made these tonight and they were so delicious and pretty good for you too.  By substituting unsweetened applesauce for the oil and by using non-fat vanilla yogurt, I made these muffins nutritious and delicious.  A great way to start the school or work day and get your chocolate fix in too.

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup non fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (approx 2-3 bananas)
  • 1 cup Hershey's Special Dark Choc Chips or (semisweet chocolate chips)

1.  Pre-heat oven to 350.
2.  Mix together the dry ingredients in one bowl (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda)
3.  Mix together the wet ingredients in another bowl (egg, applesauce, yogurt, vanilla)
4.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with an electric mixer until blended.
5.  Mix in the bananas.
6.  Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
7.  Spray muffin tins with cooking spray and fill 2/3 full with batter (just shy of 1/4 cup).
8.  Bake for 18-22 minutes until toothpick in center comes out clean.
9.  Cool in pan for about 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Makes about 20 standard size muffins at approx. 125 calories each.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Greek Garlic and Herb Stuffed Chicken

This was a very easy and flavorful dish.  I served it with my cauliflower mashed potatoes and it was a big hit.

6 small boneless/skinless chicken breasts (or 4 large)
4 wedges Laughing Cow lite garlic and herb cheese spread
1/4 cup feta crumbles
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp sliced black olives


1.  Mix together the cheese, oregano, garlic and black olives.
2.  Cut a small pocket in one side of each chicken breast being careful not to cut all the way through, leaving 3 sides in tact.
3.  Stuff the chicken with equal parts of the cheese mixture in step 1.
4.  Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.
5. In a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat cook the chicken for 6-8 minutes per side until chicken is cooked through.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Perfect Pizza Crust

I used this recipe to make the best homemade pizza I've ever tasted.  A nice healthy whole wheat crust that's easy to make and tastes delicious can be hard to find.  From the start of the dough to a finished oven baked pizza, it was only an hour and a half.  Plus now I have more dough in the freezer for next time.

1 pkg dry yeast or 2tsp from a jar
1 cup of warm milk (about 110-115F)
1 t sugar
1 t salt
2 T olive oil divided
2.5 cup flour (I used 2 cups bread flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat)


1.  Mix the milk, sugar, salt, yeast and 1Tbsp of oil in a small bowl and let set until foamy.
2.  Add to the flour in a stand mixer with a dough hook.
3.  Mix on low until just pulled together (dough should be slightly sticky).
4.  Mix (knead) on medium for 6-8 minutes.
5.  Coat the dough in the remaining oil and let stand covered in a warm place free of drafts until doubled in size.
6.  Punch down and divide the dough in 1/2.
7.  Spread one 1/2 on a 13inch pizza pan.  It may take some working to spread it out and make it stick.  Start from the middle and work your way out.
8. Load with your favorite toppings and bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.
9.  Wrap the other 1/2 in plastic wrap and freeze until ready to use or make a second pizza.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Tuscan Frittata

Sorry no picture for this one.  My frittata technique needs some work.  LOL!  But that doesn't affect the taste.  This is amazing.  This recipe is for one frittata

2 eggs
1 egg white
2 cups baby spinach
1tsp minced garlic
1tsp dried basil
salt and pepper
sliced tomato

1. Wilt the tomato with garlic in 1tsp EVOO over medium high heat in a non stick or cast iron skillet.
2. Beat the eggs and egg white pour on top of spinach.
3. Sprinkle basil, salt and pepper on top and cook until set.
4. Flip and finish cooking (this is the hard part. Mine ended up scrambled)
5. Top with tomato and enjoy.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Grilled Pull Apart Pesto, Tomato, and Mozzarella Sandwiches

We made this while camping this weekend and it was just amazing. So full of flavor and so very easy to make. The nice thing about this recipe is that you can stuff the sandwiches full of whatever ingredients you want. This way everyone gets exactly what they want.


1  round or oval shaped loaf of italain or sourdough bread
1/2 jar pesto
3-4 medium tomatoes sliced
16oz or 2 balls of fresh mozzarella

1.  Pre-heat gas grill or charcoal coals for medium heat.
2.  Slice the bread into 12-14 slices making sure not to cut all the way through to the bottom.
3.  Spread pesto between every other slice to create 6-7 sandwiches.
4.  Stuff the pesto pockets with tomato and mozzzarella.
5.  Spray a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray.  Make sure the foil is large enough to enclose the whole loaf of breaqd.
6.  Wrap the bread in foil loosely and place on the grill.  If using charcoal, it would be best to used indirect heat by putting an aluminum foil tray in the bottom of the grill and spreading the coals around the outside.
7.  Grill the bread 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is warm and crispy on the outside.
8.  Slice or pull apart individual sandwiches and enjoy.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Homemade Sandwich Bread

We've started trying to make our own bread and this recipe came out the winner. It's so soft and yummy and extremely easy.

1 envelope active dry yeast or 1Tbsp from a jar
1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
2 Tbsp honey or 2Tbsp sugar (I haven't tried it with the honey yet)
1.5 Tbsp unsalted butter (melted)
1/2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
3 cups all-purpose flour (for whole wheat, use 2 cups all purpose and 1 cup whole wheat)

1. In bowl of electric mixer, sprinkle yeast over warm water.

2. Add honey/sugar, butter, salt and mix until yeast is dissolved.

3. Let stand for about 5 minutes until foamy.

4. Add flour and mix on low using a dough hook until pulled together. You may need to add either a little extra water or a little extra flour depending on consistency. It should be slightly sticky, yet pull away from the bowl when mixed.

5. Turn mixer med and let go for about 6-8 minutes (the dough hook does the kneading for you).

6. Coat a large bowl with melted butter or cooking spray and let dough rise until doubled in a warm place free of drafts.

**Hint about getting a faster rise.  Before you even start turn your oven on to warm or about 100F.  When you get to step 6.  Turn the oven off and put the bowl of dough in the oven to rise.  This cuts down on time by quite a bit.

7. Punch down dough and knead until smooth. Then shape into a log with the seam underneath.

8. Place in a well greased bread pan and let rise until 1-1.5 inches over the top of the pan.  (If you place it on top of the stove while the oven pre-heats it will go faster and should only take about 45 minutes)

9. Pre-heat oven to 400.

10. Bake for 20 minutes until internal temperature is 190-200 degrees and loaf sounds hollow when you knock on the bottom after removing from the pan.

11. When done, immediately turn out onto a cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.

Makes 1 loaf 20-25oz.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ranch Chicken Salad Squares

This recipe was fantastic. It was so delicious that my 4 year old ate more than I did. She ate 1 1/3 squares for dinner last night. I was amazed. These are so easy, espeically if you have leftover chicken and don't know what to do with it. I got the idea from this recipe:  I think the Caesar squares would be good too, but I was in the mood for ranch.

1.5-2 cups cooked chicken breast either shredded or diced
3 slices cooked bacon crumbled
1/4 cup light ranch salad dressing
1/4 cup light mayo
1 can crescent roll sheets
3oz shredded mozzarella cheese


1. Pre-heat oven to 375.
2. Combine all ingredients except crescent roll sheet in large mixing bowl.
3. Unroll crescent sheet and cut into 4 rectangles.
4. Take 1 rectangle and press out into a square and add 1/2 cup of chicken mixture to the center.
5. Roll up sides to make a pocket and place on a greased cookie sheet.
6. Repeat steps 4-5 with the remaining crescent rectangles.
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until light golden brown.

Makes 4 servings.

Optional add ins: celery, broccoli, or anything else you would add in to chicken salad

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Fabulous Caramel Fruit Dip

I just made this for the 4th of July weekend and it really truly was fabulous. I could have eaten the whole bowl and it makes a ton.


8oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese (softened)
3/4 cup light brown sugar (packed)
1 cup fat free sour cream
1 cup skim milk
1 small box french vanilla instant pudding
2tsp vanilla
2tsp lemon juice


1. Cream together cream cheese and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and beat well.
3. Chill and serve with your favorite fruit salad or fruit tray.

Makes about 3 cups of dip or 24 servings of 2 Tbsp each.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Southwest Mini Crescent Burritos

These little burritos are so easy to make and very tasty. You can cut them in 1/2 and serve as an appetizer or eat 2 full ones to make a meal. The first time I made them I only used 1/2 a box of spinach and I was one burrito short of a 12 pack. It could have used the whole box so that's what I recommend. Also, it's a loose 1/4 cup of filling, not a packed one. Enjoy!!!

1 box (9 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain
1 cup shredded cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup canned black beans, drained, rinsed
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese (4 oz)
1 package (1 oz) taco seasoning mix (or make your own)
2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent roll sheets

1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, mix spinach, chicken, beans, corn, cheese and taco seasoning mix; set aside.

2. Unroll 1 can of crescent dough. Press or roll into 13x9-inch rectangle. Cut rectangle in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise into thirds to make 6 squares.

3. Spoon about 1/4 cup spinach mixture onto center of each square. Bring up one side of dough over filling and roll up, folding in sides as you roll. Pinch seam to seal. On ungreased cookie sheet, place rolls seam sides down and 2 inches apart.

4. Repeat with second can of dough and remaining spinach mixture.

5. Bake 14 to 18 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool 10 minutes. Serve warm with sour cream and salsa.

Makes 12 servings for a meal or 24 appetizers

Monday, June 14, 2010

Layered Southwestern Chicken Salad

This was a fabulous salad and so very easy to make. A warning about the dressing though. Do not taste the dressing alone. You won't like it. It's very limey sour and you won't want to put it on your salad. However, it is fabulous once it's tossed with the salad and blended with the other flavors in this dish.

Cilantro Lime Dressing:
1/3 chopped fresh cilantro or 2 Tbsp dried
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp pepper

1. Blend all ingredients in a food processor until creamy. Refrigerate until ready to use.

1 package baby spinach leaves
1 container cherry tomatoes
1 can black beans
1 cup frozen corn (thawed)
1 red bell pepper diced
1 cup shredded cheddar or mexican cheese blend
2 servings tortilla chips crushed

2 lbs chicken breast
2 packets taco seasoning

1. Cut chicken into bite size pieces and place in plastic bag.
2. Add taco seasoning and shake to mix well.
3. Cook in skillet over medium high heat until chicken is cooked through.
4. While the chicken is cooking, layer the salad ingredients in a large glass bowl in the order listed.
5. Top with chicken and dressing and toss to mix very well.

Makes 8-10 servings

**If you won't be consuming the entire salad all at once, let each person toss their own salad with dressing. The remainder of the salad will keep better if it's undressed.

**For use as a side dish, leave off the chicken.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Best Ever Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I just made these tonight for the first time and they came out perfect. No extra flour needed, no other tweaking needed, they were simply perfect. These also work well with M&M's and butterscotch chips.

3/4 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 Tblsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 teas. baking soda
1/2 teas. salt
2 cups milk chocolate chips (or one 12oz bag)

1. Pre-heat oven to 375F.
2. Cream together first 6 ingredients until nice and fluffy.
3. In a separate bowl, stir together the next 3 ingredients (don't sift).
4. Add 1/2 the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until fully blended.
5. Repeat step 4 with the other 1/2 of the flour mixture.
6. Mix in the chocolate chips by hand.
7. Using a 1 Tbsp cookie scoop, drop onto a greased cookie sheet.
8. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Grilled Bruschetta

This is my favorite dish of summer, especially when we start getting fresh tomatoes from the garden.

1 loaf french or sourdough bread
1-2 tomatoes sliced
finely grated mozzarella cheese or sliced mozzarella cheese.
fresh or dried basil
olive oil

1. Slice the bread in 1" thick slices. You should get about 12 slices from one loaf.
2. Thinly slice the tomatoes so you have enough to place 1 slice per piece of bread.
3. Brush one side of each slice of bread with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
4. Flip the bread over and top with 1 slice of tomato and a sprinkle of basil.

**Note, if using fresh basil, place one full leaf under the tomato. This is my favorite way to make it.

5. Place the bread oil side down on the grill away from the coals.
6. Top with cheese (if using sliced mozz, you can place the cheese on top before putting on the grill).
7. Grill for 3-4 minutes until the bottom is toasted and the cheese is melted.

Makes about 12 servings.

**Servings can be adjusted depending on the amount of bread, tomatoes and cheese on hand. I always make sure to have 2 pieces per person available because it's just too good to only have 1.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Overnight Oats

I got this recipe from a wonderful girl on the weight watchers message boards (codename Glittergirl).

This is a very easy and very filling breakfast. With 9g of protein you can't go wrong. And when warmed up it tastes just like apple pie and who doesn't enjoy eating apple pie for breakfast??

1/2 cup old fashioned oats (NOT instant)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup fat free vanilla yogurt

1. Mix together and place in fridge overnight.
2. Eat cold or warm in microwave for 45 seconds - 1 minute.

**For other variations you can sub frozen berries for the applesauce and leave out the spices. Or skip the applesauce and add a little bit of maple syrup and brown sugar. The options are endless.


Friday, May 7, 2010

Paprika Chicken with Sour Cream Gravy

I modified this from a Campbell's recipe I found. The original recipe was over 500 calories for one serving because they wanted you to coat the chicken in flour and fry it in butter. This recipe doesn't need that at all and I managed to cut it down to 170 calories per serving. So flavorful too.

6 small chicken breasts (about 24 ounces total)
1 can 98% fat free cream of chicken soup
8 ounces fat free sour cream
seasoning salt
ground pepper

1. Sprinkle each side of the chicken with sesoning salt, pepper, and paprika.
2. Heat a non stick skillet over medium high heat and spray liberally with cooking spray.
3. Cook then chicken for about 6-8 minutes or until brown on each side.
4. Meanwhile mix together the soup and sour cream.
5. When chicken is brown, pour the soup mixture on top, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until chicken is done.

Delicious served with long grain and wild rice or my cauliflower mashed potato recipe which can be found here:

Makes 6 servings.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Snicker Apple Salad

This is my low fat version of this yummy favorite dessert. It's a great salad to bring along for all those yummy cookouts coming up this summer. I like to mix up the apples I use. I usually use granny smith and red delicious.

6 medium apples of any kind cut into bite size pieces.
1 pack of full size snickers bars (6pack) or Milky Way if someone can't have nuts.
1 container fat free cool whip
1 package instant sugar free vanilla pudding
1 cup skim milk

1. Mix milk and pudding together and place in fridge.
2. Cut up the apples and snickers (milky way) into bit size pieces and combine in a large bowl.
3. Mix pudding with container of cool whip and pour on top of apples.
4. Mix until thoroughly combined.
5. Chill for a few hours before serving.

Makes about 16, 1/2 cup servings.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Individual Pizza Meatloaves

These were extremely yummy and delicious. The girls just gobbled them up.

1lb 93/7 lean ground beef or turkey
1lb mild pork sausage
1.5 cups Pepperidge farm herb season stuffing
3/4 cups pizza sauce
2 eggs beaten
4 sticks of string cheese cut in half

1. Pre-heat oven to 400F
2. Mix together all ingredients minus the sting cheese.
3. Form into 8 mini loaves with 1/2 a piece of string cheese in the center of each.
4. Place in a greased 9x13 baking dish. Brush with extra pizza sauce if needed.
5. Bake for 30-35 minutes until meat is cooked through.

Makes 8 servings

Beef Stroganoff

This is one of my signature dishes. Such great comfort food.

1 lb beef stew meat cut into bite size pieces
1 package sliced baby bella mushrooms
ground black pepper
garlic powder
onion powder
2 oz reduced fat cream cheese
1/4 cup fat free sour cream
1/8-1/4 cup skim milk
1 can 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup
Splash of cooking sherry
8oz uncooked egg noodles

1. Cook egg noodles as directed on package.
2. Brown stew meat and mushrooms in a large skillet. Sprinkle with black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder (however much looks good). Be careful not to overcook the meat or it gets chewey. I like mine still pink in the center.
3. When meat and mushrooms are brown add cream cheese, sour cream, milk, soup, and a splash of cooking sherry. Stir together and simmer on low until the noodles are finished cooking. About 10 minutes.
4. Drain noodles and place in large bowl. Pour beef mixture on top and serve.

Makes 4 servings

Friday, April 16, 2010

Chicken Parmesan Bundles

These are a lot like the taco dip stuffed chicken I posted awhile ago. You can find that recipe here: . However I made these last night and decided to stuff them a little bit differently and it worked very very well and was much easier than trying to pound the chicken thin and roll it up.

4 oz. reduced fat Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained (press as much water out as you can)
1 cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese or reduced fat cojack
6 Tbsp. Shredded Parmesan Cheese, divided
6 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1-1/2 lb.)
1 egg
10 RITZ Crackers, crushed (about 1/2 cup) or 1/2 cup Cornflake Crumbs

HEAT oven to 375ºF.

SLICE a pocket in the thickest side of each chicken breast being careful not to slice all the way through.

MIX cream cheese, spinach, 1 cup shredded cheese and 3 Tbsp. Parmesan until well blended.

STUFF each chicken breast with equal amounts of the cheese/spinach mixture.

BEAT egg in shallow dish. Crush crackers and place in separate dish. Dip chicken in egg, then roll in crumb mixture. Place, seam-sides down, in 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese on top.

BAKE 30 min. or until chicken is done (165ºF).

Makes 6 servings.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bruschetta Pork Chops

4 boneless pork chops -- about 1 pound
1 pkt. SHAKE 'N BAKE Original Pork Seasoned Coating Mix
1 large tomato, chopped
1/4 cup Greek Vinaigrette or Fat Free Italian Dressing
1/2 cup Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese

HEAT grill to 425ºF. Coat chops with coating mix as directed on package.

GRILL 10 min. or until chops are done (160ºF). Meanwhile, combine tomatoes and dressing.

TOP chops with tomato mixture and cheese. Grill 5 min. or until cheese is melted.

Makes 4 servings

Honey Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin

1 pork tenderloin (1-1.5 lb.)
1/4 cup Fat Free Catalina Dressing
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves
2 Tbsp. honey

HEAT oven to 425ºF.

dressing and honey and brush meat until coated. Set aside the rest.

MIX dry ingredients; rub onto meat. Place in pan.

25 min. or until meat is done (160ºF), brushing with dressing mixture every 10 minutes or so.

REMOVE meat from oven; cover with foil. Let stand 5 min. before slicing.

*Can also marinate pork in the dressing/honey mixture in the fridge overnight and then rub with spice before baking.

**Also very delicious on the grill.

Makes approximately 4 servings.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Creamy Potato Salad

This is one of the best home made potato salad recipes I've come across. There is some debate in our household between my husband and I on what it needs. I say it needs diced dill pickles, he says it needs diced onions. I'll list both in the recipe and let you decide for yourself. And yes it is very good without either onions or pickles.

3 lbs red potatoes peeled
4 stalks celery diced
1/2 cup light mayo
1/2 cup light miracle whip
1 Tbsp yellow mustard
1 Tbsp white vinegar
8 hard boiled eggs
salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup diced onion (optional)
1/2 cup diced dill pickles (optional)

Place potatoes in 3-quart saucepan; add enough water to cover potatoes. Cover and heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Cook covered 25 to 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender; drain. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Cut potatoes into cubes.

Mix mayo, miracle whip, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in large glass or plastic bowl.

Add potatoes, celery and onion; toss. Stir in eggs. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours to blend flavors and chill. Store covered in refrigerator.

Makes about 15-20 1/2 cup servings. Great for a large gathering.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Chicken Mushroom Supreme

This is a great dish served over egg noddles, or just by itself with stuffing on the side.

8oz sliced mushrooms (portabello or white button work just fine)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
4 oz. reduced fat Cream Cheese, cubed
1 tsp. dried tarragon

COOK and stir mushrooms in 1 Tbsp. melted butter in large skillet on medium heat 2 to 3 min. or until lightly browned. Spoon to one side of skillet.

ADD remaining oil and chicken to other side of skillet; cook chicken 5 to 6 min. on each side or until done (165°F). Transfer chicken to platter; cover to keep warm.

POUR broth and wine into skillet with mushrooms; stir and cook 3 min. Add cream cheese; cook 2 to 3 min. or until cream cheese is melted and sauce is slightly thickened, stirring constantly with whisk. Stir in tarragon. Pour over chicken.

Crab Topped Tilapia

Don't be scared by all the ingredients, this is actually a very easy and delicious recipe to make. The flavors were just amazing.

4 tilapia fillets (5 ounces each) -- thawed if frozen
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup finely chopped celery
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2-1/2 teaspoons butter, melted, divided
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup fat-free milk
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 pouch (6 ounces) premium crabmeat, drained
4 tablespoons seasoned bread crumbs, divided


Sprinkle tilapia with pepper and salt. Place in a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray; set aside.

In a small nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook the celery, onion and garlic in 2 teaspoons butter until tender. Stir in flour and thyme until blended.

Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce.

Remove from the heat; stir in mayonnaise until blended. Stir in crab and 3 tablespoons bread crumbs.

Spoon onto fillets. Toss remaining bread crumbs and butter; sprinkle over crab mixture.

Cover and bake at 350° for 18 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Yield: 4 servings.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Philly Cheese and Ground Beef Casserole

Such a great recipe. I think the biscuits are really what makes this dish.

lb 93/7 lean ground beef
1package (8 oz) sliced mushrooms
1teaspoon salt
1/2teaspoon pepper
8slices (1 oz each) provolone cheese
2tablespoons butter or margarine
large onions, halved and thinly sliced into wedges
medium red bell peppers, cut into strips
2cloves garlic, finely chopped
1can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury® Grands!® Homestyle original biscuits

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 11x7-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

In 12-inch skillet, cook beef, mushrooms, salt and pepper over medium-high heat 7 to 9 minutes, stirring frequently, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain. Place in baking dish. Arrange cheese over beef mixture, overlapping slices if needed.

Meanwhile in a separate skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions and bell peppers. Cook over medium-high heat 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until peppers are crisp-tender. Stir in garlic; cook 1 to 2 minutes longer. Spoon over cheese in baking dish.

Separate dough into 8 biscuits. On lightly floured surface, pat biscuits into 5-inch circles. Arrange biscuits over vegetable mixture.

Bake 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown on top.

Makes 8 servings

Lemon-Strawberry Mousse Squares

I made this dessert for Easter this year and it was a huge hit. Very simple and easy also.

48 NILLA Wafers, divided
3/4 cup boiling water
1 pkg. (3 oz.) Sugar Free JELL-O Lemon Flavor Gelatin
1 cup ice cubes
1 pkg. (8 oz.) 1/3 less fat Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 tub (8 oz.) Fat Free COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
1/3 cup strawberry preserves
1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries sprinkled with 2tsp sugar

STAND 16 wafers around edge of plastic wrap-lined 8-inch square pan. Add boiling water to gelatin mix; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Stir in ice until melted.

BEAT next 3 ingredients in large bowl with mixer until blended. Gradually beat in gelatin. Whisk in 2 cups COOL WHIP.

POUR half the gelatin mixture into prepared pan; cover with 16 wafers. Microwave preserves on HIGH 15 sec. or until melted; brush onto wafers. Top with remaining gelatin mixture and wafers.

REFRIGERATE 4 hours or until firm. Invert dessert onto plate; top with remaining COOL WHIP and fruit.

Makes 16 Servings

Seafood Enchiladas

I was looking for new recipes for lent and came across this dish. These are phenomenal. I love them so much and they are actually easier than they look to make.

Original Recipe:

2tablespoons butter or margarine
1medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
2cloves garlic, finely chopped
3tablespoons Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1 3/4cups chicken broth (from 32-oz carton)
1container (8 oz) fat free sour cream
2cups reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese blend (8 oz)
1can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles, undrained
cans (6 oz each) crabmeat, drained, rinsed
1package (8 oz) frozen cooked peeled shrimp, thawed
1package flour tortillas for burritos (8 tortillas)

Heat oven to 350°F. In 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Cook onion and garlic in butter 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened. Stir in flour until all flour is blended with butter. Stir in broth and sour cream until smooth. Heat to boiling; cook about 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese until melted. Stir in chiles.

In medium bowl, mix 1 cup of cheese sauce, the crabmeat and shrimp. In 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish, spoon 1 cup of the cheese sauce over bottom. Spoon about 1/2 cup seafood mixture onto each tortilla. Roll up tortillas; place seam sides down on sauce in dish. Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas.

Cover and bake for 30-35 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Makes 8 servings.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Beef Sandwiches

This has quickly become one of my most favorite recipes and it's so incredibly easy.

2-3lb chuck roast
1 onion sliced into rings
3/4 cup balsamic and red wine vinaigrette dressing (I prefer the Eat Smart Brand)
italian seasoning

1. Spray the inside of the crock pot with cooking spray.
2. Layer the rings of onion on the bottom.
3. Coast the roast with salt, pepper, and italian seasoning and place on top of onions.
4. Add the balsamic dressing.
5. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
6. Shred and serve on buns.