Monday, December 13, 2010

Vegetable Ribbon Pasta

Confession: I posted this on my personal cooking blog forever ago. Life with two kids = I have a hard time cooking and then taking a picture. Or cooking anything worth blogging about. So here's something to get us through the break between posts :)

Vegetable Ribbon Pasta (adapted from Great Taste, Low Fat)
2 small zucchini
2 small yellow summer squash
2 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow or sweet onion, sliced thin
1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips (i just did two green bell peppers)
1/2 pound baby portabello mushrooms
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup bottled Italian dressing
1/2 cup chicken broth (reduced-sodium is a good idea)
8 oz fettuccine
2 oz Neufchatel cheese (reduced fat cream cheese), cut into small pieces
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp black pepper
salt to taste

Place the chicken breasts and Italian dressing in a plastic ziploc bag and put in refrigerator for about two hours to marinate. When ready to start cooking, saute mushrooms in a large, deep skillet in 1 tbsp olive oil until softened and browned. Set aside. Remove the chicken breasts from the bag and slice into 1/2 inch thick strips. Cook in the same skillet until done through. Set aside. With a vegetable peeler, cut the zucchini and yellow squash lengthwise into ribbons. Set aside. In the skillet, heat the oil until hot but not smoking over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is softened, about 5-8 minutes. Stir in peppers and broth and cook until peppers are softened, about 6 minutes more. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta until just tender (al dente). Drain well. Add the zucchini and yellow squash to the skillet and cook until the squash are tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cream cheese, milk, Parmesan, and black pepper and cook until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes longer. Add the pasta and toss to coat. Serve hot.

Enjoy! It's delicious.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Holiday Chex Mix

Those of you who know me know that there's nothing I love more than Christmastime. Maybe that's a bit of an overstatement, but seriously. I. love. Christmas. And I also know there are people out there who don't want to think about or see anything Christmas related until after Thanksgiving, and I can respect that. That's why I decided to do this recipe as a pre-holiday post, because although it represents holidays in my mind, it isn't necessarily a holiday recipe. But it's an all time favorite of my family thanks to my Nana. And I hope to keep it going for many generations. ok, here it is:

  • 5 cups chex cereal
  • 3 cups pretzels
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 3 Tbsp butter melted
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp onion salt
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1. Combine the cereal, pretzels, and nuts into a 9x13 inch baking pan. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, mix the remaining ingredients and pour over cereal mixture, making sure to evenly coat the mix. Use a spoon to mix ingredients well with the "sauce." Bake at 250 degrees for 45 minutes, pausing every 15 mins to stir the mixture.

(The recipe actually calls for 7 cups chex cereal, 1 cup pretzels and 1 cup peanuts. I prefer more pretzels in mine, so as long as you have 9 cups total mix, feel free to change the proportions up as desired!)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Secret to Baking Powder biscuits...

and the secret is... BAKING POWDER! Ok, so your saying to yourself that is not quite a secret. Well, I beg to differ.

Commercial, double acting baking powder loses its effectiveness with age. And how fast do you really use a can of baking powder? So mine is always old and less effective. So to save your pocketbook and make your biscuits extra light and fluffy, mix your own baking powder before you use it!

DIY Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. cornstarch
= 1 tsp. baking powder

You can also make it in larger batches (although still small enough you will use it quickly).
**Hint: cornstarch soaks up moisture so the mixture will store well. You can leave it out if you are mixing it up to use immediately.**

I used it in my last batch and even with whole wheat flour they were light and fluffy!

Baking Powder Biscuits
2 C. flour (I like to use at least 1/2 whole wheat)
1 Tbp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 C. shortening
3/4 C. milk

Mix dry ingredients. Use a pastry cutter, fork, or your fingers to "cut" the shortening into the dry mix. Add the milk and mix until wet. Knead the dougha few times and roll out on a floured surface until 1/2" thick. Cut with a biscuit cutter or something else to make them nice and round. Bake on 450 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until browning.

Baking Powder Drop Biscuits
Use the same steps as above but increase the milk to 1 C. and drop by spoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet. Cook the same.

Next time I will give you something extra yummy to eat them with!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Stuffed Chicken Breasts

I definitely improvised this recipe tonight; I was wanting to cook something, and I couldn't find a stuffed chicken breast recipe that I liked. This seems like a very flexible recipe, and you could add just about anything to it :) The measurements I have listed are all guesses, because I didn't actually measure anything, so adjust according to taste!

Oven to 400

2 Chicken breasts, thawed
3 Tablespoons of cream cheese, softened
1 Tablespoon of Pesto (or more, to taste) OR if you do not have pesto, add some parmesan cheese, dried basil, olive oil, and garlic to a food processor with the cream cheese and blend
1 egg white
1 teaspoon of water
Bread crumbs
2 teaspoons of olive oil

Combine the cream cheese and pesto (I used a food processor, but I am sure mixing by hand would work just find). Slice the chicken breasts almost touching the other side of the breast so you have a nice opening. Stuff the cream cheese mix into the chicken breast, and press it firmly to close it. Combine the egg white and water in a bowl. Holding the chicken breast closed, dip it in the egg white mixture, and then dip it in the bread crumbs. Put the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Put the chicken breasts in the skillet until golden brown on one side (about two minutes) and then put them into a casserole dish for baking, brown side up. Bake for 20-25 minutes (until the pink is gone!)


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Thai Style Peanut Butter Noodles

Please excuse the messy bowl. I was in a hurry to eat these...

I love peanut butter. Have I mentioned that before? I LOVE PEANUT BUTTER. Thankfully, my boys do as well. It was the only source of protein I could get down my son for the longest time. We’ve had more than our fair share of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the past year, that is for sure. But sometimes, I think peanut butter gets stuck in the “sweets” category. I know it’s stuck there for my husband. He is not a fan of this dish. Like, not at all. Won’t touch it. Ever again. But the little bug and me? Oh, we can devour this stuff. I love peanut butter used in savory applications. It goes SO WELL with Thai flavors. And put it on noodles, my other favorite type of food? Mm. Mm-mm.

This is pretty much what I do for this dish. I have a hard time paying attention to quantity when I play with a recipe. I usually end up adjusting things a couple of times before I’m satisfied, so you may need to play around with this one until it tastes good to you. Just remember – go easy on the sugar! This is supposed to be mostly savory.

Thai Style Peanut Butter Noodles

Adapted from Ellie Krieger’s The Food You Crave

½ cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky)

½ cup chicken broth

3+ tbsp low sodium soy sauce (depending on your taste buds)

3 tbsp lime juice

2 tsp brown sugar

1 clove minced garlic (or ¼ tsp garlic powder)

1 tbsp minced fresh ginger (or ¼ - ½ tsp ground ginger)

2 tbsp chili sauce (see note below)

1 ½ tbsp toasted sesame oil

1 scallion, chopped

Combine all ingredients into a small bowl (I usually do a cereal bowl, honestly). Mix well. If the peanut butter is not mixing with the other ingredients, microwave on high for 15-20 seconds, then stir vigorously. Serve over cooked whole wheat pasta – I like angel hair, myself.

*This is super quick and easy, and you probably have most of this stuff already. The toasted sesame oil is great for Asian dishes, so if you don’t have it already, go get some! Totally worth it. And the toasted has such a nice flavor. It’s hard to find just straight up sesame oil that doesn’t have canola oil mixed in with it, so just go ahead and buy the toasted sesame oil. Be careful, though – it does not have a high smoke point like vegetable or canola oil, so NEVER try to stir fry or cook with it over anything higher than low heat. Trust me. Also, the chili sauce might not be something you have. The brand I buy is cheapest at Whole Foods; it’s called “Roland Ginger Chili Sauce” and it has a yellowish label with skinny green lizardy dragons on it. Good stuff, again with pretty much any Asian dish.

Just to make it worth your while to go out and buy the toasted sesame oil, I’ll post a couple more recipes that use it soon J

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Hashbrown Casserole

This is probably one of my most frequent go-to recipes. I loooove this recipe cause I will pretty much devour the entire casserole in just a few days. I end up eating it breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or just as a quick snack. Yumm! And, it's one of those dishes that actually tastes a little better (in my opinion) as a leftover, cause it thickens up a little once it's had a chance to sit in the fridge for a bit.

  • 2 cans condensed cream of chicken (or cream of mushroom) soup- sometimes I'll even do one of each
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 oz) sour cream
  • 4 Tbsp butter (divided in half, and softened) - you will use 2 Tbsp here and 2 Tbsp there
  • 1 (2lb) package frozen shredded hashbrowns, thawed
  • 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups corn flakes cereal
  • black pepper
  • garlic salt
  • onion powder
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch casserole dish.
  • In a large bowl mix the soup, sour cream, 2 Tbsp butter, and hashbrowns. Sprinkle a pinch of black pepper, garlic salt, and onion powder to the mixture.
  • Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Pour the mixture into the dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, as well as enough corn flakes to thinly cover the top. Then pour 2 Tbsp melted butter over the cornflakes.
  • Bake for 45mins-1 hour until cheese is melted and bubbly. I have made this many many times, and sometimes it takes even longer than an hour to cook, but I have found that it's very hard to ruin this dish. Unless you forget about it for 2 hours, I'm pretty sure you can't over cook this. It may still be a little soupy when you remove it from the oven, but like I said, as it cools (either sitting out on the counter or in the fridge), it will thicken up.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chantrelle Mushroom Tacos

Ahh, Oregon mushroom season. I do love you so! Mushrooms are so versitile and nutritious, how can you go wrong?

-high in vitamins and fiber
-dried, ground mushrooms can add flavor to sauces and make good rubs
-they are so tasty!

Currently, chantrelle mushrooms are out in force. We have been eating them in everything. **We pick them wild ourselves but I never recommend that unless you are POSITIVE they are edible. Some will make you very sick or very dead.

Chantrelle mushrooms are very meaty like portabellos. So you can substitute other meaty mushrooms in this recipe.

Chantrelle Tacos

1 Tbsp. vegetable or olive oil
1 poblano chili, seeded and thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced
3 C diced Chantrelle mushrooms
1 package taco seasoning
Taco sized tortillas (corn or flour)
Favorite taco topping

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add poblano, onion, and mushrooms. Saute 5 minutes. Add taco seasoning to taste.

Add the mushroom mixtue to heated tortillas and top with your favorite taco toppings!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Oreo Truffles

This recipe is ridiculously easy, and extremely delicious. These are great for parties because they are easy to make and taste great. I have received many compliments on these, and they're so simple to make!


1- 8oz. block of cream cheese (allow to soften)
1 package of Oreo cookies
Your preference of chocolate, melted. (I typically use White chocolate, and I found that both Baking chocolate squares and chocolate chips work equally well for this recipe).

Mix the cream cheese and cookies together (crumble and smash up the cookies) until you have kind of a mess of oreo cookies mixed with cream cheese. This is not the cleanest recipe, and I always find myself messy, because I prefer to mix the cookies and cream cheese by hand.

Once you have thoroughly mixed the cookies and cream cheese together, roll into balls about teaspoon sized. Dip the ball into the melted chocolate. Allow to cool (I usually refrigerate them for about 3 hours) before serving.


Monday, September 27, 2010

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 lb)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth (approx 2 cans)
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 1/3 cups BBQ sauce (I used Bull's Eye-Hickory Smoked)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • hot pepper sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 sandwich buns
  • shredded cheese (optional)
  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place in a deep pot (I used a stockpot) with the onion, garlic, and just enough chicken broth to cover. Add the BBQ sauce, vinegar and a few drops of hot sauce and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer unit the chicken is cooked through (approx. 15-20 mins).
  3. Remove chicken from the sauce and shred with two forks. While you're working on this, bring the sauce back to a boil, and boil uncovered, until reduced by half (approx 15 mins).
  4. Season with pepper, and add the shredded chicken back into the pot and heat through.
  5. Spoon the mixture onto some sandwich buns and enjoy. May also add some shredded cheese, if you choose.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I wanted to make dinner tonight for myself and Greg (my sweet boyfriend!). He has raved about his mama's meatloaf to me in the past, and since I've never made meatloaf before I wanted to give it a shot. I got this recipe from my sister, who I believe got it from her dear friend who is an amazing cook. It was a huge hit at the dinner table tonight :) I served it with twice-baked potatoes (which I also just posted). I would imagine you could sneak a few more veggies into this dish. Just decrease the portions of each, and finely dice them.

Servings: 4
Cook time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 18 saltine crackers, crushed
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar (divided into [2] 1/4c. portions)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the beef, crackers, bell pepper, onion, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and 1/4 cup of brown sugar into a large bowl and mix well. (You gotta get down and dirty with this one and use your hands, but WASH THEM FIRST, please! I'm a nurse, what can I say...)
2. Place into a greased baking dish forming the mixture into a loaf shape. (I used an 8x8 dish, and formed a square). Bake for 1 hour.
3. Remove from oven and drain off the grease, being careful not to dump the loaf out of the dish!
4. Stir the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar and ketchup together and pour on top. Bake for an additional 15 mins. If you have a meat thermometer, you want to make sure the thickest portion of the loaf reaches at least 150 degrees.
5. Remove from oven again, and let stand for approx 10-15 mins. Serve and enjoy!

Twice-Baked Potatoes

Servings: 4
  • 4 baking potatoes
  • 6 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 cup milk (or as needed)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 egg yolks (beaten)
  • shredded cheese and bacon bits to top
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake potatoes for 1 hour or until soft, and allow to cool. Or, the super fast and easy way... cook them in the microwave in four minute intervals, flipping over after each one. Tonight, I halved the recipe, and it took 12 mins total to cook my potatoes for this first round.
2. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise, gently scoop out the cooked portion and place in a mixing bowl. Try to keep the skins intact and set them aside. Add the butter, salt, pepper and sour cream to the potato mixture. Mash well, and add enough milk to make a fairly stiff mixture. Add the beaten egg yolks and mix well.
3. Place potato skins on a baking sheet and spoon potato mixture into the skins. You probably won't use all the skins. For instance, I cooked 2 potatoes, which gave me 4 skins, but after adding the mixture back into the skins I only used 3, cause I liked them to be pretty full.
4. Sprinkle some shredded cheese on top and bake for approx. 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and serve with bacon bits on top :)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Adorable Magnets

These magnets are easy to make, and you can personalize them in so many ways. Here's what you'll need:
  • clear glass gems {flower section at Hobby Lobby}
  • cute scrapbook paper
  • adhesive magnet strip or pre-made magnets
  • ceramic glue (if you use non-adhesive magnets)
  • Mod Podge
  • Q-tip
  • scissors

TIPS: Get paper with bright vibrant colors with a good amount of contrast. Pastels don't show through as well. Black and white patterns work best, but regardless of the colors, the contrast is key. Also, try to get the larger gems. You can find the small gems at any craft store, but I know Hobby Lobby carries the larger ones. (Approx. an inch in diameter) Lastly, whether you buy a strip of magnetic tape or pre-made round magnets, note the strength of the magnetic force. It is measured on a scale of 1-10. Initially I bought a strip that said it was 3 on the scale, and it held the weight of a single sheet of paper but not much else. So then I bought pre-made round magnets that were a 6 strength, and they are strong and work great!


1. Decide where you want to place your gem on the scrapbook paper, and trace around the edges.

2. Cut the paper along the inside of your trace marks to insure paper doesn't stick out around the edges.

3. Apply the Mod Podge to the backside of the glass gem.

4. Place on the paper. Don't worry that you can see the white Mod Podge--it will dry clear.

See, in just a few minutes it is clear.

5. Now, if you bought a roll of magnet strip, cut it down to fit the back of your gems. Remove the white adhesive paper and stick to the g
ems. If you bought pre-made magnets, you'll have to glue them on with some industrial strength glue (I recommend E-6000).

That's it! Super cute and super easy. And there are so many possibilities in the design. I see some really cute holiday magnets in my future!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Buttercream Frosting

Great for topping cakes, cupcakes, cookies...whatever your sweet tooth desires.

  • 3 3/4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine in a large bowl, with mixer at low speed, confectioners sugar, butter, milk and vanilla.
Beat at medium speed 1-2 minutes until creamy. If desired, add more milk until frosting is spreading consistency.
Makes enough to frost 9x13 inch cake or 24 cupcakes.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Free or Cheap Sewing Patterns & Fabric Ideas

Photo credit: cohdra from

Sewing can be extremely rewarding when you want to make that perfect fit or save some money. But buying everything at the fabric store is not always cheaper than just buying it already made. So here are some ideas on finding fabrics and links to some free patterns.

Fabric and Notions
* Search the Thriftstore. They frequently have remnant fabrics and notions.
*Think outside the box. Need to make a sample dress out of cheap fabric before you cut up the expensive fabric? Try a $2 sheet. Use old shirts to make new smaller ones for your children. People frequently refer to this as upcycling. Be creative!
*Try Craigslist, Freecycle, or yard sales.

Sewing Patterns or Tutorials
There are lots of free patterns online, this is certainly not an exhaustive list. So if you are looking for something specific, try searching around a little. I may add to the list as I find some new sites that I like.

Free or cheap PDF sewing patterns. Some free tutorials and lots of sewing advice.

This is a personal blog but she is really talented at patterns and gives plenty of picture tutorials. If you don't want to draft up patterns from tutorials, she also sells the patterns as PDF on Etsy very reasonably.

Amy Butler

She has some really great pattern for sale but these free ones are nice too. Many quilt patterns but there are some other good ones.

Sew News

The sewing magazines online patterns and projects. Wide range of projects and techniques.

Sewing Mamas

Lots of tutorials split into their various categories.


This is a webside for all crafty people to get together. I have included some clothing tutorials lists but they may have more sewing tutorials on the forum for other topics. You can search and enjoy to your hearts content!

Craftster clothing in general tutorials -this also includes accessories, embelishments, undergarments

Craftster kid's clothing tutorials

Craftster reconstructed clothing tutorials

Craftster free clothing pattern list -they have their own list of free patterns you can peruse.

Well that should get you started. Now find a great project and get moving!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lactose Free Ranch Dressing

I find milk is a hard thing to give up. Whether you have a lactose-intolerance or are giving it up for other reasons, it is hard to stay away. So many foods and recipes call for dairy.

But cry no more over missing ranch dressing because here is the recipe- lactose-free!

1 C. mayonaise (you can use a soy product if you want to go vegan)
1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
7 1/2. tsp. soy milk
1/2 tsp. chives
1/2 tsp. parsley
1/2 tsp. dill
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

-Mix the lemon juice and soy milk and set aside for 10 min. The easiest way to mix the lemon juice and soy milk is to put 1 1/2 tsp. of lemon juice in a measuring cup and fill to 1/2 C. with the soy milk.
-Whisk together your ingredients and refrigerate.

Now you can adjust thickness and spice to your own taste. My husband prefers it a little thicker and with more dill. So experiment away and enjoy your new lactose freedom!
*Hint: The hubby says it is easiest to slowly add the milk last so you can adjust how think the dressing is.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Buffalo Dip

This is a great, simple recipe for a Superbowl Party, or just entertaining some guests (especially if you know they like something spicy). It tastes just like eating hot wings, without the mess. I unfortunately rarely measure, but this is a very close estimate of how I would usually make it.

2 cooked chicken breasts, cubed (or, a 10 oz. can of chicken, but I prefer to cook it)
1 - 8 oz. package of cream cheese
3/4 cup of ranch dressing (or more to taste)
1/2 cup of Frank's Buffalo Sauce (or more to taste)

Cook all of the ingredients together over the stove until all melted. Serve warm, with celery sticks, crackers, or tortilla chips.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Homemade Playdough

This cute little man loves himself some playdough. The little Bug and I frequently make this stuff into "dino eggs" and "baby dinos," in addition to the normal balls and snakes. He is one happy camper if his playdough is involved.

Playdough is relatively simple to make. I know that a lot of people do a pretty basic salt dough for playdough, like the one found here. However, I found a recipe through one of my all time favorite crafty blogs that I just LOVED. I made this stuff over 3 weeks ago, and it's still soft and pliable. Amazing! I KNOW!!!

You can find the recipe and detailed instructions here. Oh, and the craft blog I love? It's called Homemade by Jill. She hasn't blogged as much since the birth of her 2nd baby, but it's only been about a month. She's got her hands pretty full.

Have fun with the playdough!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Honey & Milk Balls

Hmmm... Doesn't that look like a tasty tower? These little snack balls are made from 4 simple ingredients and please everyone from my toddler to my husband. My daughter got excited just seeing the picture.

1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1/2 C. honey (I find that local honey is the tastiest)
1 C. oats
1 C. non-fat powdered milk (I use powdered soy milk to make these lactose-free)

Throw it all in a bowl. These are the messy ingredients before mixing.

Mix well. Roll into bite-sized balls. Refrigerate for best results. These do NOT need cooked. Just eat and enjoy!

*Hint: This is hard to mix with a spoon so you might as well get down and dirty!
*Hint #2: This is a good toddler snack but it is not recommended to feed honey to children under 1 year old. Then of course you have to beware of peanut allergy.

Monday, August 2, 2010

No-bake Banana Pudding

I know everyone always agrees that oven baked banana pudding is better than no-bake versions. I have made both, and let me tell you, if you stick with this no-bake recipe, you'll never go through the hassle of a double boiler with a baked version again. This recipe is easy, and if you're like me, the benefit of making a pretty presentation with your banana pudding will seal the deal. (Yes, I bought a trifle dish for this very purpose!)

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese (room temp)
1(14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (5 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix
3 cups cold milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (8 oz.) container frozen whipped topping (thawed)
1 lemon (juiced)

3-4 bananas (sliced)
1/2 box vanilla wafers

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in condensed milk, pudding mix, cold milk, and vanilla extract until smooth. Fold in 1/2 the whipped topping. (Mixture will be thin at this point). Line the bottom of a 9x13 inch dish (or dish of your choice) with vanilla wafers. Dip banana slices into lemon juice (to prevent browning), and arrange slices evenly over wafers. Spread with a layer of pudding. Repeat layering, making sure to end with a pudding layer on top. Top with remaining whipped topping. Chill in fridge for a few hours until thickened.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hot Spinach Dip

Here's a recipe for a lower fat version of everyone's favorite spinach dip. Great on breads, crackers, tortilla chips, or veggies. I like to spread it on bread and add chicken and roasted red peppers and eat it as a sandwich. Yum!

Hot Spinach Dip
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and well drained
1 medium zucchini, grated
1/2 green bell pepper, diced fine
8 oz reduced fat cream cheese
2 tbsp plain nonfat yogurt
2 tbsp lowfat mayo
1/2-2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grated pepperjack cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients well. Spray an 8x8 baking pan with cooking spray. Spread the mixture into the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until heated through. Enjoy!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Fish is Delish

I love fish. I love bread. I love slaw. I really love tartar sauce. Put them all together and what have you got?

Fish Po-Boys with Red Cabbage Slaw

I really would have liked this sandwich better with an oil and vinegar slaw instead of a sour cream based slaw. That's how I'll make it next time. You could also skip the slaw and just saute up some bell peppers, onions, and garlic to top the fish.

I got the original recipe from a Martha Stewart cookbook, but I'm going to post the recipe as I think it should be.

Oh, and I'm really sorry, but I rarely write down the actual quantity of seasonings I use. I rarely measure. So you'll just have to guess. Cooking is all about playing with your food :)

Fish Po-Boys with Red Cabbage Slaw
For the Slaw:
1/4 to 1/3 cup sour cream
3 tbsp lime juice
salt and pepper
approx 10 ounces red cabbage, very thinly shredded
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced

In a large bowl, combine the sour cream, lime juice, and salt and pepper. Toss in cabbage, scallions, and jalapeno. Chill for about an hour before serving.

For the fish:
1 pound firm white fish (I used tilapia)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
seasoned salt and pepper
chili powder
garlic powder
1 egg
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup cornmeal
4-5 tbsp canola oil (enough to create a thin coating on the bottom of your skillet)

Cut fish into 1 inch strips, pat dry. Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat until slightly sizzling. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt and pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, and paprika. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and buttermilk. In a second small bowl, add cornmeal. First, dip fish in flour bowl. Next, dip into egg mixture. Last, dip in cornmeal, then add to skillet. Cook one side 5 minutes or so, then flip and cook other side (I tend to overcook fish due to plain old paranoia, so you may need to play with the time. Martha says 7 minutes total for both sides. I say that's bunk). Place on paper towels when done to soak up extra oil.

For the tartar sauce:
1/2 cup mayo
several dashes hot sauce (we're big fans of Chalula brand over here)
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (or about 1/2 tsp dried)
2 tbsp mustard
2 tbsp chopped pickles (sweet or dill are good here)

Combine and chill at least 30 minutes before serving.

To serve:
4 sourdough sandwich rolls

Slice sandwich rolls in half lengthwise. Slather each side with tartar sauce. Put your portion of fish on the bottom half. Top with slaw (or sauteed peppers and onions). Smush together. Devour. Serves 3-4, depending on how hungry you are.