Saturday, December 26, 2009

Pan Fried Onion Dip

I've had this twice, then I decided I had to have the recipe.  And thank goodness, with Food Network's help, I found it on their site.  And yep, when I made it, it was still just was scrumptious as ever!

2 large yellow onions
4 tbs unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temp.
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup good mayo

Cut the onions in half and then slice them into 1/8" thick half-rounds.  (You will have about 3 cups of onions.)  Heat the butter and oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add the onions, cayenne, salt, and pepper and saute for 10 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 more minutes until the onions are browned and caramelized.  Allow the onions to cool.
Place the cream cheese, sour cream and mayo in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until smooth.  Add the onions and mix well.  Taste for seasonings.  Serve at room temperature.

Makes about 2 cups

Me, true to my I-can't-follow-the-recipe-and-must-alter-it fashion made a few minor adjustments...
-The cream cheese was 1/3 less fat, and I ended up using the full 8 oz. block.
-Sour cream was fat free.
-Mayo was low fat.

1999 The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook of online here

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Peppermint Chocolate Cookies

Some time or a year ago, I came peppermint chips.  Not the swirly ones you can find at the grocery store, nice ones that you can find at Cost Plus.  So for some time now or a year, these chips/chunks have been in my freezer taking up room.  This is the year that I was going to use them.  And I did.  With chocolate.  Chocolate cookies from a recipe adapted from a Pillsbury cookbook.

Prep Time:  30 minutes; Yield:  24 cookies

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg white
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbs unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate peppermint chips
  1. Heat oven to 375F.  In a large bowl, combine brown sugar and butter; beat until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and egg white, blend well.
  2. Add flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt, mix well.  Stir in chocolate peppermint chips.  Drop dough by teaspoonfuls  inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake at 375F for 8 to 9 minutes or until set.  Do not overbake.  Cool 1 minute, remove from cookie sheets.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Kaluha Brie

Compliments of a co-worker.  Granted, I'm not a brie fan, but this recipe gets raves.  I do like the kaluha part though.

Toast pecans on the stove top – lightly browned
The ratio is really up to you – Kaluha and Brown sugar – start with a ¼ cup brown sugar to ½ cup kaluha – mix in a saucepan on the stove, gently heat.
Warm in the microwave either a wedge or wheel of Brie
Pour over top the Brie, the liquid mixture
Sprinkle with whole toasted pecans
Serve with water crackers

Monday, December 21, 2009

Skillet Enchilada

So good.  So easy.  Perfect meal when you're in a pinch or short on time. 
1 pound beef strips, stir-fry style
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained
1 can (28 oz) green enchilada sauce
1 cup frozen corn
5 cups corn tortilla chips
1 can (3.8 oz) black olive slices
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a large skillet on medium-high, brown beef.  Add beans, corn, and enchilada sauce; stir.  Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low.  Add chips; cover and simmer 10 minutes.  Top with olives and cheese.  Garnish with sour cream and salsa, if desired. 

Makes 4-6 servings.

Recipe from Save Mart grocery store

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pesto Pizza

And pizza #2 for you, Pesto Pizza.

Same instruction as the BBQ Chicken Pizza...

Get yourself a roll of that premade pizza dough. Spread it out on whatever pan it fits on. Follow the baking instructions on the package, if it says to prebake, then prebake.

Chop up some BBQed (or in my case, skillet cooked) chicken, red bell pepper, and artichoke hearts.  Mince some garlic.

Spread some pesto sauce all over the dough.

Sprinkle/Layer on the diced chicken, red bell pepper, garlic and artichoke hearts. Then put your cheese on top. Bake per instructions on dough package.

Again, the toppings are:

BBQ/Cooked chicken
Pesto Sauce
Red Bell Pepper
Minced Garlic
Cheese (Mozz works best)

This was, as was the other pizza, nothing short of delicious!  And super easy!

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Sometime ago, back in September I think, I made some pizzas.  And man were they good!  So I thought I'd share with you what I put on them.

First up is the BBQ Chicken Pizza

Get yourself a roll of that premade pizza dough.  Spread it out on whatever pan it fits on.  Follow the baking instructions on the package, if it says to prebake, then prebake.

Chop up some red onion, and BBQed (or in my case, skillet cooked) chicken.

Spread some BBQ sauce all over the dough.

Sprinkle/Layer on the diced chicken, red onion, and bacon bits (the real stuff).  Then put your cheese on top.  Bake per instructions on dough package.

Again, the toppings are:
BBQ/Cooked chicken
BBQ Sauce
Red Onion
Bacon crumbles
Cheese (Mozz works best with a little bit of cheddar)
and I had every intention of putting chopped up cilantro on after it baked, but forgot.  Oops.

This was nothing short of delicious!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Sweet Potato Bread

The turkey is unstuff, unlike the full bellies.  Leftovers are put away and eaten again the next day.  But what about those 6 cups of leftover mashed sweet potatoes?  Me, well, I could eat it all the time.  Until I was sick of it, then I couldn't.

So why not make use of the leftovers that seem to grow and not disappear.  Enter:  Sweet Potato Bread.
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup water
1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
1/2 cup chopped pecans (I opted no for the nuts)

  1. Combine sugar and oil; beat well.  Add eggs and beat.  Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Stir flour mixture into egg mixture alternately with water.  Stir in sweet potatoes and chopped nuts.
  2. Pour batter into greased 9x5" loaf pan (or 2 small loaf pans).  Bake at 350F (175C) for about one hour.
When doubling recipe, don't forget to double all the ingredients.  Oops, I missed doubling the eggs, and maybe possibly the water too.

For the real recipe and additional reviews, go here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Taco Soup

Low cal, low fat, and full 'o flavor!  Trust me, this will turn into your trusty, easy fall/winter vegetable soup.

1 can Staggs 99% fat free turkey ranchero chili
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can diced tomatoes
3 cans low sodium chicken broth
2 tbs taco seasoning
2 zucchinis, sliced
2 yellow squash, sliced
1 cup baby carrots
1 can diced green chilies
1 onion, chopped

Mix and simmer for about 30 minutes.

2 cups = 1 WW point

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Peanut Butter Chocolate Dessert

My mom made this sometime over the summer when she had guests over.  Let me tell you, peanut butter and chocolate is, like, the best combination ever!  And I could have eaten the whole entire pan.  But I didnt, just 3 pieces.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Dessert
Serves 12-16
Prep time: 20 min
Chill time: 3 hrs.

20 Oreo cookies (divided 16 and 4)
2 Tblsp softened butter

Crush 16 cookies; toss with the butter. (If you use a ziplock bag for crushing and mixing the clean up is a cinch.) Press into a 9X13 ungreased pan.

Filling 1:
1- 8 oz, softened cream cheese
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 c. powdered sugar
1- 16 oz. container of cool whip (divided)

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the cheese, sugar, and peanut butter. Fold in half of the cool whip. Spread over the crust.

Filling 2:
15 miniature Peanut Butter Cups, Chopped ( I 1/4 them)

Sprinkle over peanut butter filling.

Filling 3:
1 cup milk
1 pkg. (3.9 oz) instant choc. pudding mix.
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Cool Whip

In a bowl, mix together the milk, pudding mix, and powdered sugar on low speed for two min. Fold in the remaining cool whip. Spread over the other two fillings. Crush the remain 4 cookies and sprinkle over the dessert.

Cover and chill for 3 hr.

From 2008 Taste of Home Prize Winning Recipes

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Zucchini Bread

Mid-last week I decided that it was time to use some of the zucchini I picked out of my garden.  It wasn't dinner time, so no zucchini dish needed; but I had wanted to make zucchini bread.  Honestly, that's one of the reasons why I planted the little $.80 plant, to have zucchini to make bread.  So Colleen (my future sister-in-law) helped and we went to town! 

Well, not literally went to town.  I had everything we needed. 

I took a loaf to work and a loaf to my parent's house.  The loaf at work was gone by 10am.  I had to call my mom and tell her to make sure she saved some for Colleen to try.  So good!  I was even told that someday I'll make somebody very happy with my culinary skills.

I found the recipe at

Zucchini Bread
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy

3 whole eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tbs vanilla
2 cups loosely packed grated zucchini (do not peel)
2 cups flour
1 tbs cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cups chopped walnuts

  1. Beat eggs.  Add sugar, vegetable oil, and vanilla.  Beat mixture until thick and frothy.
  2. Stir in zucchini (do not peel it).  Sift and add the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Pour mixture into two floured loaf pans.  Bake at 350F for 1 hour.  Insert cake tester in center until it comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and place on rack until it completely cools.
*I used 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce.  Totally good, you can't tell there was a partial substitute.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms

Oh my goodness!  I can't believe I haven't shared this recipe yet!  Forgive me, I believe by not sharing I have sinned...

You start off with these ingredients:

regular mushrooms
pesto sauce
cream cheese (softened)
garlic (minced)
shredded parm
The this is what you do:
Preheat oven to 350F.  Gently clean the mushrooms.  Pop the stems out of the tops.

Mix the cream cheese and garlic together.  Use a spoon and put a little scoop into each mushroom to fill the hole where the stem was.

Then you put a little dollop of pesto onto of the cream cheese.
Sprinkle with the shredded parmesan.

Bake for oh, about 10-15 minutes to bake the little suckers.  Finish on broil to slightly brown the pesto and parm.

Warning:  The are HOT when the come out of the oven.  Give them a chance to cool, unlike I did, I just popped one in my mouth.  Oops!

Here's where I went wrong.  I didn't take a picture of the finished product.  Because I was at a party when I baked them.  And because I ate half of them.  So good.

Pesto Mushrooms
Cream Cheese, softened
Garlic, minced
Pesto Sauce
Shredded Parmesan Cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Gently clean mushrooms.  Pop the stems out of the tops.
  2. Mix cream cheese and garlic.  Scoop a little bit of the mixture into each mushroom top.
  3. Put a little dollop of pesto on the cream cheese.
  4. Sprinkle with parm
  5. Bake at 350F for 10-15 minutes.  Broil to finish.
  6. Let cool slightly!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Lil' Smokies... pictures added

Check out the recipe for Lil' Smokies.  I haven't made them in awhile, but finally did this weekend.  So I added pictures.

I'll just put it this way...  They came out of the oven and within 4 1/2 minutes the entire 9x13 pan was gone!  Luckily I checked at 4 1/4 minutes, so I got a baconless smokie.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Graham Cracker Cereal

Who here likes graham crackers, butter, and milk? Who has ever put those 3 ingredients together? Oh, ME!

Graham Cracker Cereal is a long standing family "recipe". I don't know who started it or when, but I love them.

Graham Crackers

1. Break graham crackers in half and put in bowl. Place a sliver of butter on top. Heat milk in microwave about 1 minute.
2. Pour warm milk on top of butter/graham crackers.
3. Enjoy!

Note to self: Low fat graham crackers do not work well with this. Stick to the full fat yummy crackers.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cookie Cake Pie: Attempt #2

I was not going to let this recipe win. I had to successfully make it! So, the next day it was time to make a second attempt of the "Cookie Cake Pie."

And I did it!
Ingredients:A single pie crust
A batch of cookie dough (homemade or store bought)
A batch of cake batter

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Line pie pan with pie crust. Place cookie dough on pie crust, spread evenly. Should end up being about an inch thick. (Note, you should also end up with some dough leftover.)
3. Make your cake batter. Pour batter onto cookie dough until pie crust is about 2/3 filled. (This is where I originally went wrong. I used all the batter.) You should end up with leftover batter. Be creative and use it like I did, cookie cupcakes.
4. Pop the monster in the oven, check it after 25 minutes. You're aiming for golden brown edges. Continue to bake at 5 minute increments until golden brown edges are achieved. (See the cookie cupcakes in there...?)
5. Pull it out and let it cool. Once cooled frost it. The original maker of this recipe said that her frosting was about 1" thick. EEK! I did not lay it on that thick.
It was a bit sloppy when I cut into it. But man was it good. Diabetes waiting to happen. Well worth it though!

Thank you CakeSpy for sharing this recipe.

Cookie Cake Pie: Attempt #1

I once saw a recipe for what is called the "Cookie Cake Pie." Does this not scream, MAKE ME!!!

So I did. With friends. And it failed.
That's what happens when you don't read the directions 100%.

To be honest, dispite it looking like cake vomit, it was quite tasty!
Had to throw it out quick before I ate a lot of raw doughs.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Boboli Pizza

This has got to be one of my absolute most favoritest pizzas ever. Mom found the recipe in a Cooking Light cookbook awhile back, and we've been making it ever since.
Boboli Pizza Crust
~2 tbs olive oil
~1/2 c shredded parm
fresh ground black pepper
sliced or minced garlic
tomato ( I used home grown)
basil (fresh from my garden)

Brush olive oil onto crust.

Layer in the following order:
black pepper
1/4 c parm
1/4 c parm
some extra black pepper
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melty. While baking, cut up basil into strips.
When pizza is done, pull out of oven and top with basil. Cut and serve. Oh so good.
You don't even know how good it is!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Cheater Vanilla Ice Cream

Tomorrow at Bible Study we're celebrating 2 birthday. Someone is going to bring a berry pie or cobbler, and I volunteered to make vanilla ice cream. My mom heard about this once from somewhere a few years ago. And in a pinch, it works great! So prepare yourself, cause it's really really hard.


Are you ready for this?

Adding Sweet and Condensed Milk is optional. I added about 1/2 a can slowly between 2 big creamers (so that would be 1/4 can for one creamer). But I have made it without S&C Milk and it's still perfectly delicious.

Because it's cheater ice cream, I'm using a cheater ice cream maker. No ice or rock salt required. Thanks mom for letting me borrow your machine.
Dump in make and let 'er rip. After about 20-30 minutes, pour into Tupperware and put in freezer.





Any questions?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Banana Bread

Where do dying bananas go?
To the freezer.

Then what do you do with them?
Make banana bread of course!
And to be honest, I've never made banana bread, so I was a little bit scared. But I forged ahead and made it anyways. Yummy!

1 1/4 c sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 c mashed ripe bananas (3 to 4 medium)
1/2 c buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 c chopped nuts, optional

  1. Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350F. Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches, or 1 loaf pan, 9x5x3 inches.
  2. Mix sugar and butter in large bowl. Stir in eggs until well blended. Add bananas, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt just until moistened. Stir in the nuts. Pour into pans.
  3. Bake 8" loaves about 1 hour, 9" loaf about 1 1/4 hours, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pans on wire rack. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.
1 slice: 70 calories, 2g fat, 10mg cholesterol, 100mg sodium, 12g carb (0 dietary fiber), 1g protein.

-I used 1/2 c egg substitute instead of 2 eggs. So that probably wiped out the cholesterol.
-I used 2 c all purpose flour and 1/2 c whole wheat flour. That should have added a little dietary fiber.
-Other recipes I saw called for milk. And since I didn't have any buttermilk that's what I used, regular 1% milk.

How do you like your banana bread?

Me, I like it with a little bit of cream cheese. So good!
I also like to pick at the corners.

Recipe from Betty Cocker's New Cookbook Eighth Edition (R) 1996

Friday, June 12, 2009


Tai Pei - from the frozen section of SafeWay. 2 1/2 servings for 4 points total. It's a deal! Pretty good! I'd get it again!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Jello Salad

You can't go wrong with a jello salad, right? Simple. Sweet. Good.
1 pint cottage cheese
1 tub thawed cool whip
1 box jello
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1 can crushed pineapple, drained
or any fruit (canned or fresh) of your choice

Mix together. Chill.
How simple was that?!?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Classic Macaroni Salad

What's a BBQ without a pasta or macaroni salad of some sort? A lame one, I know! But to try to "lighten" things up a little I went with a different recipe for a macaroni salad. It was pretty good, maybe a little dry, but good.
8 oz uncooked macaroni, elbow variety
1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste (for cooking pasta)
1/2 c reduced-calorie mayonnaise
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 c celery, chopped
1/3 c red onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp parsley, fresh, chopped
1/4 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, freshly ground, or to taste

  1. Cook macaroni in salted water according to package directions; drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together mayo, vinegar, mustard, and garlic powder; stir mixture into cooked macaroni. Fold in celery, onion and parsley; season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm or chilled. Yields about 2/3 cup per serving.
Servings: 8
WW points per serving: 3
Prep time: 12 min
Cooking time: 10 min

Weight Watcher's recipe

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Roasted Potato, Garlic, and Red Pepper Salad

I have a friend that is not a fan of creamy, white foods. Like mayo. Yuck! So I made it my personal mission to find a recipe for potato salad that is not mayo or sour cream based. And I found it! And I made it for my little Memorial BBQ. And it was good!

Cast of Characters...

6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
3 pounds small boiling potatoes (white, red, or fingerling)
2 red bell peppers
3 1/2 tablespoons EVOO
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup small fresh basil leaves
optional: olives, pine nuts, goat cheese, grilled chicken, tuna, or prosciutto

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Wrap garlic cloves together in foil. Halve potatoes and cut bell peppers into 1/2" pieces. In a large bowl toss potatoes, bell peppers, and 3 tablespoons oil with salt and pepper to taste. Arrange potatoes and bell peppers in one layer in 2 large shallow baking pans and roast in middle and lower thirds of oven (simultaneously, roast wrapped garlic on either rack), stirring occasionally and switching positions of pans halfway through roasting time, until potatoes are tender and golden brown, about 35 minutes.
  3. In a bowl immediately toss potatoes and peppers with 2 tablespoons vinegar and cool. Remove garlic from foil and squeeze pulp into a small bowl. With a fork mash garlic with remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil and tablespoon vinegar and toss together with potatoes and peppers, salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, add basil. Serve potato salad at room temperature.
July 1997

And I suck and once again did not get a picture of the finished product. But trust me, it was pretty. Pretty good!