Monday, July 27, 2009

Sunday's are Chocolate

I'm back. Just like Arnold. Where do I begin. Who would of thought that this 50 year old woman could ride her bike through Germany. Oh the places you can go and see on a bike. I will never rent a car in Europe again. We are trying to get back on track going wasn't so bad but coming back has been tough. Each day I long for marzipan cake and a bratwurst's. Not the mention the Fourth of July in Germany fireworks and all. Or my Bavarian Birthday party. Meeting the in-laws and our adorable little Grandson. The welcome home of 400 soldiers from Iraq. I have been dealing with some major computer problems.

In honor of my Fathers Birthday I tried making the great tasting Baumkuchen Layered Cake it is a little time consuming but well worth the effort. Here is our first favorite from Germany. Stay tune for more to come. This fun cake has layers and layers cooked under the broiler. What a way to heat up the house on a day with 100 degree temps outside it was well worth every moment.
Baumkuchen Layered Cake

Parchment paper
For the cake mixture
12 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan
whites of 4 medium eggs
1 cup of soft margarine or butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 pinch of salt
2 medium eggs
yolks of 4 medium eggs
4 tablespoon rum
1 1/2 cup plain all purpose flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
3 level teaspoons baking powder

For chocolate coating
7 oz plain chocolate
4 teaspoons cooking oil

Preheat the oven grill. Grease the rectangular tin and line the bottom with baking parchment.

To make the cake mixture, beat the egg whites until stiff. Stir the softened margarine or butter with a hand mixer with whisk until it becomes smooth and homogenous. Gradually add the sugar, vanilla and salt, and stir until the mixture thickens. Add 1 egg at a time, whisking each one for about 1/2 minutes at the highest setting. Then stir in the yolks and the rum.

Mix together the flour, cornstarch and baking powder, sift and stir into the butter and egg mixture in two stages with the mixer set at the medium setting. Then carefully fold in the beaten egg whites using a flexible spatula or wooden spoon.

Using a brush, spread a heaped tablespoon of cake mixture on the bottom of the greased tin. Put the tin on a shelf in the oven ( the distance between the grill and the layer of cake mixture at the bottom of the tin should be 8 in. Grill for about 2 minutes under the preheated grill until golden brown.

Take the tin out of the oven and spread another layer (1-2 tablespoons of cake mixture) on top of the already baked layer. Put the tin under the grill again and continue in this way until all the cake mixture is used up. This means that the shelf on which the tin is placed will have to move downward to maintain a distance of 8 inches between the grill and the layer of cake mixture.

Carefully loosen the cake from the tin with a knife, remove from the tin and put on a rack. Remove the baking parchment and leave to cool.

To make the chocolate coating, finely shop the chocolate and melt with the oil in a double boiler over low heat, stirring continuously. Then coat the cooled-down cake with the melted chocolate mixture.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday's Are Chocolate

Soooo long farwell auf Wiedersehen good bye. Like Arnold would say I'll be back. This is going to be my last post for a few days. But don't stay away to long. I will be posting as we travel. Looking forward to many yummy food experiences through Germany.

I made this easy yummy dessert for the Big Daddy's in my life. Thanks to my Father who is the best ever. While I was single I just called him Mr Helper. Everyday I was calling Mr Helper with a problem. Then Big Daddy Mike he is the best husband ever just can't get enough of that Mike. Oh and I can't forget those military son and son -in-law who served our country and left their little boys at home with Mum. Happy Father's Day to you also. Hugs to all the men in my life.

Chocolate Peppermint Freeze

11/2 cups cold milk
1 package (3.9 oz)instant chocolate pudding mix
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes; let stand 2 minutes or until soft-set. Stir in chocolate chips. In a small mixing bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add peppermint extract; beat until soft peaks form. Fold into pudding.

Transfer to an ungreased 8-in. square dish. Cover and freeze for 2 hours or until firm. Remove from the freezer 15 minutes before cutting.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday Night Specials

Short cuts. A few days ago I got my hair cut. I had to stop the stylist and remind her that I was not in the military and I didn't need a high and tight. It was a good thing I have some longer layers to fill in where she took off way to much. When we meet the in-laws I sure hope they understand I don't always where my hair this short. Once I put my bicycling helmet on, you won't see a bit of my hair that's a scary thought. I will post some pictures next week. Like I was always told the only difference between a good hair cut and a bad hair cut is two weeks.

Back to short cuts. A few months ago my friend Kristy led me to these great potatoes. I am not very quick when it comes to peeling potatoes. Simply Potatoes are perfect all peeled and ready to go. They offer many different varieties. Mr Mike whipped up this great turkey hash using the Southwest style hash browns. They really have a zip. If you can't handle the zip the plain version is perfect also. Most super markets carry Simply Potatoes they can be found by the eggs, never frozen. Simply Potatoes are always in a green bag. What a mouth watering quick and tasty dinner, lunch or breakfast.

Mr Mike's Turkey Hash

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup lean turkey breast cubed
1/2 red onion cut in thin strips
1 (20 oz) Bag of Simply Potatoes Southwest Style Hash browns
Salt and pepper

Heat oil in large skillet add potatoes cook thoroughly until lightly browned. Add onion and turkey cook until onion is transparent in color about five minutes. Serve immediately.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Dinner and a Movie Friday

I can not take credit for the picture I borrowed it from my daughters blog. While we were playing Grandma and Grandpa we took our little buddy to see Up. This is exactly how we had him positioned between the two of us. I can honestly say I have not seen very many animated movies, I can count them on my fingers. Up is a Disney Pixar film and it was very enjoyable from start to finish. It is about an elderly old couple who has saved all of their lives to travel. When suddenly the woman passes away. The county tries to make the gentleman sell his house and he wont. All of his life he has sold balloons so he hooks his house up with balloons, and takes off not knowing he has a young boy as a stow away knocking at his front door. Typical Disney with the bad guys but a happy ending. I can honestly say I loved it. Our little buddy was perfect until the last 20 minutes darn those 30 minutes of previews.

We are trying to use up everything in the fridge. Still had a few very ripe bananas. I made these fun and healthy miniature muffins. Don't let their miniature size fool you. Loaded with flavor and crunch and high on the fiber. Perfect little low cal treat.Banana Bran Muffins

Cooking spray
3 tablespoons canola oil or olive oil
1/4 cup dark honey
2 large egg whites
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup wheat bran
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
2 tablespoon stone-ground cornmeal
2 tablespoons freshly ground flaxseed
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts toasted
1 teaspoon grated orange or lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly coast 16 miniature muffin cups with cooking spray.

In a bowl, whisk together the oil, honey, egg whites, bananas, and vanilla. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine the bran, flours, cornmeal, flaxseed, baking soda, and salt. Stir to mix well. Add the banana mixture and stir just to combine. Place about 2 tablespoons batter in each muffin cup. Bake until the muffins are puffed, golden, and firm to the touch 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Stary at Home Thursday

Each week I search for a way to get our omega three's into our diet. I have seen this recipe several times and but never taken the time to give it a try. This would be perfect for a book club or a special formal dinner. Quick and easy any one could produce this wonderful dish. The salmon was cooked perfect and the cheese adds so much flavor. We both agreed that the next day was even better. The flavors had married and it only to four minutes to warm in the microwave. Let everyone think you slaved for hours. I found this recipe in the Feb & Mar Taste of Home magazine.
Spinach Salmon Bundles

2 tubes (8 oz. each) refrigerated crescent rolls
4 salmon fillets
1/4 steak seasoning
1/3 cup garlic-herb cheese spread
1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

Unroll crescent dough and separate into four rectangles; seal perforations. Place a salmon fillet in the center of each rectangle; sprinkle with steak seasoning. Spoon cheese spread over each; top with spinach. Fold dough over filling and pinch edges to seal

Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 20- 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve bundles immediately.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Low Cal Wednesday

Ever since I was a teenager I have had a craving for chocolate for breakfast. I can remember in high school my Dad would wake me up and he would say your breakfast is ready. What that meant was he had poured a glass of milk and mixed in the Carnation Chocolate Instant Breakfast. I still love the chocolate in the morning about three times a week I have it. Last week as I was opening the package I found a smoothie recipe. I added a few extra ingredients. Perfect just the way I like it, low in calories and tons of chocolate flavor.

Milk Chocolate- Banana Strawberry Smoothie

1 packet Rich Milk Chocolate Carnation Instant Breakfast
3/4 cup fat free milk
1/4 cup non fat plain yogurt
1 small frozen banana, sliced
2 large strawberries
1/2 cup ice cubes

Place milk, banana, strawberries, yogurt and Carnation Instant Breakfast powder and ice in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Veggie Tuesday

For lunch one day a few weeks ago Mr. Mike whipped up theses Teriyaki bowls. He always seems to find just the right spices. He found a little bowl of left over pineapple juice mixed with a little cornstarch to thicken. After he was finished he asked what the surprised ingredient was. I guessed it right a way sweet potato. The veggies were perfect with just a little crunch. What a colorful and happening lunch.
Mike's Teriyaki Bowls

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup Kikkoman's Teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup of broccoli
1 cup of cauliflower
1 sweet potato
1 cup asparagus cut into 2 in pieces
1 cup carrots diced and whole

Cook sweet potato in microwave bag for two minutes. In small mixing bowl mix cornstarch, pineapple juice, and Teriyaki sauce let set while cooking vegetables. Heat oil in large skillet or wok add garlic, and red pepper flakes. Thinly slice and peel sweet potato. Add all of the vegetable to oil and cook for ten minutes on medium heat. Cover mixture with sauce and cook an additional five minutes. Garnish with sesame seeds.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Gourmet Monday

Rain Rain go away come again another day. Did we move to Seattle and no one told me. Complain complain. It appears that every time we head to the pool it's closed because of lightening. Crossing my fingers that today is a nice and hot day here in Utah with no rain. The shrubs and grass are getting so long they can't get them cut, because they are always so wet.

While I stayed out of the rain. I was able to make this great fettuccine. Turkey has all of the sudden become a regular staple in our kitchen. Creamy and flavorful don't forget the roasted red pepper they added so much flavor. The broccoli adds just the perfect color and crunch. The turkey was soft and tender.
Roasted Red Pepper Turkey Fettuccine

12 ounces uncooked fettuccine
3/4 cup skim milk
4 ounces fat-free cream cheese, cubed
1/2 cup reduced-fat garlic-herb cheese spread
2 cup cubed cooked turkey breast
10 ounces of broccoli
1/2 cup chopped roasted sweet red peppers
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cook fettuccine according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in large skillet, combine the milk, cream cheese and cheese spread. Cook and stir over medium heat until cheeses are melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in the turkey, broccoli, roasted pepper, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and pepper; heat through.

Drain fettuccine and place in a serving bowl. Top with turkey mixture; toss gently to coat Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday's are Chocolate

When I follow a recipe I usually try to follow everything. Here is my exception to the rule. As I started to make this cake I realised that something was wrong. The cake calls for 3/4 lb of butter I must of quickly glanced and thought it called for 3/4 cup of butter. We had already been to Albertson's, Sam's Club and Costco today and I was not making another trip out in the rain. Fortunately I had enough butter, but when it came to the eggs someone had borrowed a few" yea me". The recipe calls for four eggs and I used the three I had. Other than that the recipe called for raspberry jam and I used strawberry. Where they used almonds I used coconut. I found this recipe in the April & May Taste of Home magazine. The cake was moist and really chewy. If I make this again, I will use a spring form pan instead of a regular cake pan. It came out of the pan fine the top edge was not as pretty as I would of liked it to be. The jam mixed with the chocolate and coconut was a yummy surprise in the middle.

Chewy Chocolate Raspberry Cake

3 cups sugar
3/4 lb. melted butter
4 eggs (I used 3)
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup Nestle cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup raspberry jam(I used Strawberry)
1 cup Nestle Toll House mini morsels
3/4 cup sliced almonds(I used coconut)

Preheat your over to 300F.

Mix the sugar and butter in a mixing bowl on low. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add the extracts. Sift together dry ingredients, and add to the batter, mixing until smooth. Pour into greased and papered 9- in cake pan, reserving about 1/3 of the batter. Carefully smooth out a thin layer of the raspberry jam. Top with Chocolate chips and half the sliced almonds. Carefully cover with the remaining batter. Sprinkle the top of the cake with the remaining sliced almonds. ( I put the coconut on when the cake was just out of the oven.) Bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday Night Specials

Before Cooking

I know it appears like I am always making chicken with apricots. I do not plan it that way, it seems that a lot of recipes have chicken with apricots. I would guess other people must really like the combined flavors together. This is for sure on the list to make again. The chicken was so moist and tender with flavor bursting in each bite. Parchment packets make nice serving of juicy chicken topped with antioxidant-rich fruit. The packets can be assembled a few hours ahead of time and baked just before dinner. Aluminum foil can be used in place of the parchment paper, but I think it may stick and it would cook to fast and take away the moistness of the chicken. If sprayed with cooking spray first you might be ok. My imagination is working on lots of different versions of this fun dish. Perfect for a camp out, or a BBQ.
After cooking

Baked Chicken with Apricot Compote

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 red onions, peeled,halved vertically, and thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup fat- free, no-salt-added chicken broth
4 apricots, pitted and quatered, or 1/2 cup dried apricots, slivered
2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, plus sprigs for garnish
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, about 4 oz each
1/2 teaspoon steak seasoning
2 tablespoons, chopped walnut or almonds, toasted

In a saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, coriander, ginger, and cumin. Cook until the onion are softened and just starting to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the broth and apricots, bring to a simmer, and cook until the apricots are soft and the juices are reduced, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the chopped cilantro over the apricots and set the mixture aside to cool.

Preheat the over to 375 F. Cut out four 12- inch squares of parchment paper. Fold a square in half to create a crease, than open it up. Place a chicken breast on one side of the crease. Repeat with the remaining breast and squares of paper. Sprinkle each with the steak seasoning. Top each chicken breast with on-fourth of the apricot compote. Sprinkle each with one-fourth of the nuts.

Fold the paper squares in half over the chicken breasts, and then tightly fold in the edges, crimping around all sides to seal the packets completely. Place the packets on a baking sheet.

Bake until the parchment packets are lightly browned and puffy, about 20 minutes. Transfer the packets to a warmed individual plates. To serve, slit each packet with an X and fold back the paper. Garnish with the cilantro and sprigs and serve immediately.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Dinne and a Movie Friday

This week we were able to see My Life in Ruins. I want to go on Nia Vardalos's diet she looks like a new person since My Big Fat Greek Wedding. She carries the movie alone with a lot of funny and misbehaving charterers. Georgia as they call her in the movie has lost her job in Greece and taken on a job as a tour guide through Greece. The scenery is beautiful I think that is why Mike wanted to go see this since we are going to Greece in a couple of weeks. Richard Dreyfuss is one of the tourist on the bus I wish I could remember all of the one liners he used. Cute flick I would recommend this one just fun and uplifting with a few adult jokes.

When I would go to girls camp I remember making this dessert in a dutch oven. This time I just made it in the oven quick and easy even a two year old will enjoy. Four ingredients and a warm oven to heat up the house, because it has rained all week. Almost like a cake and almost like a cookie I can't decide which best describes. Some might even refer to as a cobbler. Quick and easy and no dishes to wash.
Peach Dump Cake

1 yellow cake mix
1 can (29 ounces) sliced peaches with juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 stick of butter or margarine grated

Preheat over to 350F degrees.

Grease a 9x13-inch pan. Spread half of cake mix evenly in bottom of pan. Pour can of sliced peaches and juice evenly over the cake mix. Cover the peaches with the rest of the cake mix, spread evenly the brown sugar over the cake mix mixture. Then grate the butter or margarine over the top of the cake.

Bake 50 minutes, or until golden brown.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Stay at Home Thursday

After having months of free time doing what I like to do read, ride my bike, exercising and cooking. It looks like it is coming to a halt soon. No I will still be posting daily, sorry you can't get rid of me that easy. We have finally finalized all our plans to take a much needed vacation. Going from a two year old to a six month old I guess that might be a vacation. In making sure we are using up everything in the fridge. This post is another Mike creation he is becoming more health concerned every day. If my cute daughter is reading this while she is on vacation. You owe me big time. I will introduce you to my daughter next week before I leave. She will be updating my blog while we are traveling.Mike's Black Bean Turkey Chili

2 cans black beans drained
2 can red kidney beans drained
1 red onion
1 large tomato
1 cup cubed turkey breast
1/4 cup raspberry chipotle
sour cream (optional)

In a large nonstick frying pan combine onion and tomato cook until tender. Add beans and chipotle sauce bring to boil, add turkey until warmed through.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Low Cal Wednesday

Here is a quick colorful and cool dinner or lunch any day of the week. In about 10 minutes you can make these great gourmet looking sandwiches and still keep the house cool. I found the richest looking bun I could find. I am sure you could even make your own. The raspberry chipotle added just the right kick of flavor and sweetness. I will continue to make these sandwich again and again. This recipe serves four. At 395 Calories. Grilled Avocado and Tomato Sandwiches with Raspberry Chipotle Mayo

4 onion rolls
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large tomato, sliced
2 avocados, halved, pitted and peeled
1/2 medium red onion cut into slices 1/2 thick
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon raspberry chipotle
4 slices provolone or Parmesan cheese

Preheat grill to medium heat. Slice bread section in half lengthwise. Brush cut sides with oil. Grill bread, cut side down, 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly toasted.

Brush tomato slices, avocado halves, and onion slices with oil; season with salt and pepper to taste. Place onion on grill; grill 8 to 10 minutes or until softened. Grill tomato slices and avocado halves 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, in small bowl combine mayonnaise and raspberry chipotle. Set aside.

Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on each cut side of bread. Slice the avocado and place slices on bottom halves of bread. Top with slices of onion tomato and cheese. Cover with top halves of bread and serve.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Veggie Tuesday

A couple of weeks ago Mr Mike bought this butternut squash, but he was clueless as to how to cook it. It was very quick and easy. An extra set of hands would help a lot with cutting the squash. This is a very sweet and tasty dish which won't heat up the house. Sorry about the picture I forget two year olds are ready to eat when you put them in the high chair. I don't know how Jon, Kate and Nadya handle all those kids. Maybe they struggle just like I am struggling. Here is in inexpensive dish even a two year old will enjoy.Netts Butternut Squash

1 butternut squash
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup butter

Cut squash in half long way. Scrape out all of the seeds. Cover each half with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for five minutes. Remove from microwave and scrape out the squash from the shell. Put in microwaveable bowl and add honey and cinnamon blend together with squash and cook for five more minutes. Just before serving slice butter over top of squash.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Gourmet Monday

I was the first to turn up my nose to wheat. In this recipe I used for a first time bulgur wheat. Bulgur wheat is a staple in the Middle East bulgur comes from whole wheat kernels that have been partially steamed, dried, and then cracked. It is commonly used in salads, soups and fillings. The nutty flavor adds to any dish. This is a great recipe the chicken was so tender and juicy the spinach was just perfect soft but not really cooked long. This is another recipe from the Nutrition Action Healthletter. The recipe serves 6. Tons of protein and fiber. You will not be disappointed and the children will learn to eat something new.
Chicken Peperonata

11/2 cup bulgur
6 oz spinach
11/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, sliced
2 sweet bell peppers, sliced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 lb. plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt

In a medium pot, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Stir in the bulgur. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Turn off the burner and let the bulgur sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in the spinach.

While the bulgur is cooking, put the chicken in a plastic bag and pound with a meat mallet or the back of a frying pan to an even 1/2" thickness. In a deep skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Saute the chicken, turning once, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, and vinegar. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.

Return the chicken to the pan and heat through. Season with pepper and up to 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Serve with the bulgur and spinach.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sunday's Are Chocolate

Waiting for the doorbell to ring at any moment. Our grandson is coming to stay all week alone. Since he lives out of state we don't get to visit as often as we would like. Friday when we were out at the pool one of our neighbors thought he was our little boy. When our hair is all wet it looks the same color. At fifty I don't think it would be wise to be having a baby. I made these cookies for him hopefully I can ration them off all week. They were so chocolaty just like I ordered. I found this recipe on Marie from Two Peas and Their Pod blog. If you have not visited her blog check it out. Thanks for sharing Maria. I made one change to the recipe, I used white chocolate chips instead of peanut butter. In the picture above I dunked in a little milk, just the way I like any cookie. I must say when I make this recipe again. I will take a moment and smooth the dough a little before baking. Maria's look like they came from a factory. If you have a last minute request for a treat this recipe is quick and easy start to finish 20 minutes.,Chocolate Cookies with White Chocolate Chips

1 cup all- purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter
7 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup plain yogurt ( I used fat free)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup of white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F; line 2 baking sheets with baking paper, lightly coated with cooking spray. I just used parchment and Pam. Maria used Silpats! Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Sift together flour, soda, and salt; set aside.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat; stir in cocoa powder and sugars(mixture will resemble coarse sand). Add yogurt and vanilla, stirring to combine. Add flour mixture, stirring until moist. Stir in white chocolate chips. Drop by level tablespoons 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 10 minutes or until almost set. Cool on pans 2 to 3 minutes or until firm. Remove cookies from pan; cool on wire racks.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Saturday Night Specials

For several years I have had a hard time digesting turkey. Gradually we have been adding it back into our diet because it is so lean. So far so good with the tummy. This is such a flavorful dish, with lean seasoned turkey wrapped in a warm pita bread. Tahini paste is used in a variety of dishes. Tahini-based sauces are common in Arab and Israeli restaurants as a side dish or as a garnish, usually including lemon juice, salt and garlic, and thinned with water. The Tahini added a different flavor to the turkey. I left out the tofu and it was just perfect.
Turkey Pita Sandwiches

1/4 cup silken tofu
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 lb ground turkey
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Four 6 inch pita bread
2 1/2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1 tomato cut into bite size pieces

In a blender, combine the tofu, mustard, tahini, and lemon juice and blend until smooth. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and set aside.

In another bowl, combine the olive oil, turkey, cilantro, mint, garlic, and pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper. Heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add the turkey mixture and saute, stirring often to break up any clumps of meat, until the turkey is lightly browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.

Warm the pita in a toaster or in the oven on a low setting. Spread a heaping tablespoon of sauce on top of each pita. Divide the lettuce and tomatoes among the pita pockets. Stuff each with the turkey mixture. Serve immediately.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Dinner And A Movie Friday

I can't say I was dragged kicking and screaming but it was close. I have never been a Terminator fan in the least. But the choices have been so slim lately to find a good movie to see so, I went along with the crowd. Christian Bale plays John Conner all grown up. He attempts to organize a human resistance force to prove man over machines. Maybe we should let the machines run us they might do a better job. Sorry I didn't mean to say that. I will say the action was none stop and the sets were very realistic. If it were up to me I would sit this one out. It is rated PG. I am looking forward to taking my little grandson to see UP this week.

I made this fun banana cake this week. The picture looks like a leaning tower but it really didn't lean at all. The texture in the cake was moist and flavorful. The added rum flavoring and the lime juice, added a little kick to all the sweetness of the cream and bananas. I set a few hours aside. Whenever I make a cake like this, I do part at night and finish in the morning.
Banana Layer Cake with Caramel Cream

21/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
21/2 cups sugar, divided
6 large eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 small ripe bananas, peeled , cut into 1/4- inch cubes

Banana-Caramel Cream
11/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 small ripe banana, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3 3/4 cup chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
41/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice, divided
41/2 teaspoon dark rum, divided

For Cake: Preheat oven to 350 F Butter and flour two 9-inch diameter cake pans with 11/2-inch -high sides. Sift flour, baking powder, and sea salt into medium bowl . Beat butter and 1 cup sugar in large bowl until well blended. Add 2 eggs; beat until blended. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 4 additions alternately with buttermilk in 3 additions. Beat remaining 4 eggs and remaining 11/2 cups sugar in medium bowl until mixture is thick and pale in color, about 4 minutes. Fold egg mixture into batter. Fold in bananas, Divided batter between prepared pan (about 31/2 cups for each).
Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool 15 minutes. Invert cake onto racks; cool completely.

Banana-Caramel Cream

Combine brown sugar, banana, and 3 tablespoons butter in processor; blend until smooth. Add 11/2 cup whipping cream; blend. Transfer to heavy medium saucepan. Whisk over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture boils. Attach candy thermometer to inside of pan; cook without stirring or swirling pan until temperature register 218 F about 10 minutes. Pour caramel into bowl. Cool to room temperature, whisking occasionally.

Whisk remaining 21/4 cups whipping cream in large bowl until cream mounds softly. Gradually fold in cool caramel mixture. Chill until cream is firm enough to spread about 3 hours.

Cut each cake horizontally into 2 layers. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on platter. Drizzle 11/2 teaspoon lime juice and 11/2 teaspoons rum or rum flavoring over. Spread 11/4 cup banana cream over. Top with second cake layer. Drizzle 11/2 teaspoon lime juice and 11/2 teaspoon rum over. Spread 11/2 cups cream over. Repeat with third cake layer, lime juice, rum, cream. Top with fourth cake layer, cut side down; spread remaining cream over top.

Scatter salted macadamia nuts over top of cake. Cover and refrigerate.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Stay At Home Thursday

Pesto is like a condiment it can be used in so many different ways. A few weeks ago I shared this pesto. It had such winning reviews and we enjoyed the taste that I made this fun salad with the leftovers. This helped to get the salmon in our diet for the week. Next time you have a little leftover pesto put it to good use. I can't wait to make this pesto again and again.

1 salmon fillet
5 spears of asparagus
1 potato baked or boiled cut into 1 inch cubes
1 red bell pepper ( I used the jar red peppers)
3 or 4 radishes

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 stalk celery heart, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Make a sauce by pureeing the mayonnaise, mustard, apple, celery heart, lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in food processor. Top the salmon with the sauce. Serve over a bed of spinach and romaine lettuce.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Low Cal Wednesday

These meatballs are baked, not fried. Savory and fragrant with herbs and garlic. Quick and easy to make and low in calories. I debated over using a bottled sauce and just decided on a few tomatoes and an red onion with a little more garlic. The more I try ground turkey the more I like it. I guess something is working in this way of living. Since going to the Doctor a few weeks ago I found out that my cholesterol has gone down 25 points and my weight has gone down 25 also since the first of the year. Lets just hope I can keep it up while we go to Germany. This recipe serves 6 at 148 calories for the meatballs. Quick and easy you can have dinner on the table in minutes. I found this recipe in the American Medical Association Healthy Heart Cookbook.
Garlic Meatballs

1 pound 99-percent fat-free ground turkey breast or chicken breast
1/2 cup fresh whole-grain bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup plain soy milk
1 egg white
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 400F

In a bowl, combine the turkey, bread crumbs, Parmesan, soy milk, egg white, garlic, olive oil, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Shape the turkey mixture into 24 meatballs about 1 inch in diameter, using about 2 tablespoons per meatball.

Arrange the meatballs on a nonstick baking sheet so they are not touching and bake, turning once halfway through for even browning, until cooked through, 10-12 minutes.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Veggie Tuesday

Have you ever taken a ride on the tunnel of love. Here we go when I made the first cut into this tomato it looks like the tunnel of love. All the flavors popping out with the Parmesan cheese, Italian bread crumbs and garlic, what is a girl to do but find a sweetheart to kiss. I can't wait to make these tomatoes again and again. Tomatoes are rich in the antioxidant lycopene, which is most readily absorbed by the body when cooked. Fifteen minutes to dinner time I am sure they would be great to give a try on the BBQ and not heat up the house like I did. You will not be disappointed with this recipe they come out so perfect, even company would think you slaved all day.
Tunnel of Love Tomatoes

8 firm but ripe plum tomatoes
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs I used Italian seasoned
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preheat the over to 425F. Lightly coat pan with cooking spray.

Remove a thin slice from the bottom of each tomato so it will stand upright. Slice the tops from the tomatoes and discard. Scoop out about 1 tablespoon of pulp from each tomato and place the pulp in a bowl. Arrange the tomatoes up right in the prepared baking dish.

Add the bread crumbs, Parmesan, garlic, parsley, basil, olive oil, pepper, and salt to the bowl with the tomato pulp and stir to combine. The mixture should look like wet sand. If it is too wet, add a few bread crumbs. If it is too dry, add a few drops of water. Gently mound a heaping tablespoon of topping into the cavity of love on each tomato.

Bake until the tomatoes are tender and the topping is lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Gourmet Monday

Yes it's the mushy banana's that make great banana nut bread. I have made a lot of banana nut bread but never quite like this recipe. Cinnamon crumble on top what a change. I was having such a hard time reading the recipe, we had just finished watching Seven Pounds and my eyes were so puffy couldn't see the recipe. Skeptical Mike was helping waiting to go on our 11PM bike ride. The crumb topping after cooked almost presents a coffee flavor. The bread was extra moist. The next time I make this recipe I will add nuts to the bread and the top. I found this recipe in Bon Appetit Magazine September 2008.

Cinnamon Crumble Topping Banana Bread

11/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 to 3 medium)
2 large eggs
1/2 vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water
21/2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour 9x5x3 - inch metal baking pan. Whisk 11/2 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Whisk next 5 ingredients in large bowl until smooth. Add dry ingredients; stir to blend. Transfer batter to pan. Mix 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and brown sugar; sprinkle over batter.
Bake bread until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool bread in pan 30 minutes. Turn pan on it side; slide out bread, being careful not to dislodge topping. Turn bread right side up and cool completely.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday's Are Chocolate

Every Monday morning four of my neighbors get together and play bridge, I was asking each one what they served when they host the bridge club. Trying to find some fresh ideas. The response was," we just serve ice water". I was a little surprised by that response so they will be a little surprised when I show up with this perfect Chocolate Cake tomorrow. We just took a small slice to share what a moist and chocolaty cake. I debated over icing and just slice fresh strawberries and some blueberries on the side, with a teaspoon of raw sugar on top. Perfect. I found this recipe on the inside of a Bakers select bittersweet chocolate box.

Chocolate Indulgence Cake

1 package (6 squares) Baker select Bittersweet Baking Chocolate
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks butter
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 flour

Preheat oven to 350F Microwave chocolate butter in large microwaveable bowl on high 2 minutes or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted; cool to room temperature.
Beat eggs and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until thickened. Add chocolate mixture; stir with wire whisk until well blended Add flour; stir until well blended. Pour into greased and floured 9-inch round cake pan. Bake 30 minutes or until center is set Cool 5 minutes, remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Cut into 12 wedges to serve.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday Night Specials

When my daughter was young she would come home and beg for meat loaf. Never being much of a meat loaf fan, I would talk her into something else. Can't really recall what it was, the mess or the fact that we would have leftovers for weeks. Not today, left over meat loaf is a thing from the past. I decided to make this meat loaves in individual tart tins instead to just change it up a little. You are saying looks just like a hamburger, not the case at all with loads of flavor and it is so lean and juicy. I am beginning to think it is the pan that I am afraid of. Get the BBQ ready no need to heat up the house. The man was so excited low in carbs and calories and high in protein. This recipe makes four mini loaves and each one is 241 in calories. I found this recipe in an old 2006 Light and Tasty Magazine.

I am sorry I am sorry yesterday we were having a lot of computer issues and when I gave a shout to the . I put the link in incorrectly. Go by today she always has fun and appealing to the taste buds goodies.

Grilled Meat Loaves

1 egg white
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 slice rye bread, crumbled
1/4 cup grated carrot
11/2 teaspoon dried minced onion
1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 pound lean ground beef
2 tablespoons ketchup
41/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon prepared mustard

In a large bowl, combine the egg white, milk and horseradish. Stir in the bread, carrot, onion, parsley, salt and pepper. Crumble beef over the mixture and mix well. Shape into four small loaves.
Grill loaves, covered, over medium-hot heat or broil 4-6 in. from the heat for 8 minutes. Turn; cook 8 minutes longer. Combine the sauce ingredients; spoon over loaves. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160.

Friday, May 29, 2009


If you are a Chai lover you will love these cute little Chai mini loaves. They are so moist while cutting a loaf in half the icing just ran down the middle. I forgot to take the picture before I gave away the goodies. If you are not much of a chocolate fan this is the recipe for you. I found this recipe in the Taste of Home Magazine.
Chocolate Chai Mini Loaves

2 squares semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
11/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons chai tea latte mix
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 tablespoon chai tea latte mix
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 to 5 teaspoons milk

In a microwave, melt chocolate with the water; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla, then chocolate mixture.
Combine the flour, latte mix, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream.
Transfer to three greased 5-3/4in x 3-in. x 2-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
For frosting, combine the confectioner sugar, butter, latte mix, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency.
Loves to create left me an award. I don't feel I am dissevering you need to check out her blog she is also an empty Nestor who loves to cook and bake yummy dishes for her large and growing

I am with pleasure passing the Super Duper Chef Award along to Norah at Norah is always making these incredible dishes you will not be disappointed by her blog check it out and return often.

Debbie from Mocha me is a former New Yorker who love to cook and bake also the incredible items she makes are mouth watering to all. Be sure to check her out and go back often.

Thanks again to thechangeabletable for this great award I will wear it proudly.

Dinner And A Movie Friday

I can honestly say I haven't ever watched a Star Trek episode on TV or been to a Star Trek Movie. Last week while on Fandango looking for a movie I watched the trailer for Star Trek and asked hubby if he wanted to go check it out, took a little twisting of the arm and we were off. As you know if you read my blog about all we do, is exercise and eat at home and go to lots of movies. The only problem was where was my winter coat. This movie was so entertaining about all I knew of Star Trek was beam me up Scotty. The characters took on the roles so well. Chris Pine play James Kirk he is not bad on the eyes. Zachary Quinto played Spock little rival between the two. Leonard Nimoy was back to play himself Spock Prime. I like the way they tied the show to modern earthly times. A couple of the gentlemen have these incredible accents so easily impressed here. From start to finish I was totally entertained in a beam me up Scotty way. If the family is wishing too see this go along it was very entertaining.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Stay At Home Thursday

Here is a quick and easy chicken dinner. I am not a big fan of dried fruit I prefer the fresh fruit. But I love dried apricots and apples thanks to my dad he has been making for years. Mom and Dad always have of big jar of dried apples on the counter in the kitchen. You could also serve it over rice Mike liked the quinoa so well last time he requested it again. It was perfect the little nutty taste form the quinoa mixed with the fruit flavor. The Chinese five spice powder just takes it over the top. Be sure and come back tomorrow one of my fellow bloggers left me an award I will post about it tomorrow.
Apricot and Quinoa Chicken

11/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup apricot preserves or jam
1/3 cup dried apricots, cut into thirds
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 teaspoon reduced- sodium soy sauce

In a small saucepan, bring broth and quinoa to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa is cooked.
Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine cornstarch and water until smooth; set aside. In large nonstick skillet or wok coasted with nonstick cooking spray, stir-fry chicken in hot oil for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in the jam, apricots, five-spice powder and soy sauce. Bring to a boil
Stir cornstarch mixture and stir into chicken mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve over quinoa.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Low Cal Wednesday

I have not been a fan of ginger snaps or gingerbread at all but I saw this low cal recipe and I happen to have all the ingredients on hand. Maybe my mind has changed or I liked it because it was not served with all the holiday fuss. This cake was so tender and moist I am a little skeptical when I use whole wheat flour as to dry it out, but it was perfect. This morning I noticed that some else must of liked it two pieces were already gone. The blueberries take this over the top fresh and full of flavor. Our little neighbors will like this one. It is not nice to refer to the neighbors as little the average age is 81. We love them all and it is so much fun too take them treats they become so excited. If you don't need to worry about your calories a big scoop of vanilla ice cream would be perfect on top. The recipe serves 12 at 163 calories a slice.

Blueberry Gingerbread

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2/3 cup low-fat plain soy milk
1/2 cup dark honey
1/3 cup molasses
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried or fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
In a bowl, stir together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Set aside.
In another bowl, whisk together the soy milk, honey molasses, and oil. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid mixture. Add the blueberries to the well and stir just to combine.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Cut into 12 pieces and serve warm.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Veggie Tuesday

This recipe just reminded me of a time when, I had a car full of kids and one happened to roll down the window and ask this big Lincoln (Pardon me sir do you have any Grey Poupon?) It is hard to discipline a child when you are laughing so hard. Mr Mike was doing the cooking this last week and he made these great vegetables. I was so surprised when he set the plate down in front of me then he pulled out the Grey Poupon. Who would of thought it would add such a perfect flavor. Oh that Mike he has done it again. What a pleasant feast and low in cal to beat.
Red Potatoes and Asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 red onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
4 red potatoes thinly sliced with skin on
1 bunch of asparagus cut into 2 inch strips
Grey Poupon Mustard or Dijon mustard

Heat olive oil in skillet add onion and garlic and cook until onion is softened. Add red skinned potatoes cook for about eight minutes until tender with a fork. Add asparagus and parsley cook for five minutes until tender. Drizzle Grey Poupon on top.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Gourmet Monday

Thank You Thank You to all of the Service men and woman who keep us safe on this beautiful Memorial Day. Here is a delightful and fun chicken dinner you can do on the BBQ or just in a skillet. It is quick and easy with tons of flavor. Sorry I am a little late posting I took a play day.

Busy Day Lemon Chicken Dinner

juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons of lemon pepper
3 clove of garlic minced
1/4 cup salad spread or mayo
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

In a medium bowl mix lemon juice, lemon pepper, garlic and mayo. Pat dry chicken breast; dip chicken breast in mayo mixture and let sit for half hour. Place on hot grill and cook on each side for 10 minutes. Brushing leftover mayo mixture on chicken as it cooks. Remove from pan and squeeze lemon juice on top.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday's Are Chocolate

I feel like we are the only people still in town. All of our families are out of town for the long weekend. We stayed home planning our European vacation ( hopefully not like the Griswalds but it is starting to sound like it). I made this fun peanut butter fudge cake. I also broke the healthy diet I have been on. As I was taking the cake out of the pan I had to sneak a bite but that was not all I continued to eat the first piece of cake. But I can give a perfect description of all the flavors. The cake was so moist and fluffy you can tell that by the picture. The frosting reminded me of a Reese's peanut butter cup I think, it has been so long since I had one. Perfect marriage between the two flavors. Fudge and peanut butter who can resist.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

1 package chocolate cake
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 can chocolate frosting

Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using a greased 13 in x 9 in x 2 in in. baking pan. In a small mixing bowl, combine peanut butter and oil until smooth; spread over warm cake. Cool completely on wire rack
Place frosting in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 25-30 seconds or until pourable. Carefully pour and spread over peanut butter layer. Let stand until set.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Saturday Night Specials

I hope everyone is having a nice three day weekend. Early in the week I made this fun grilled shrimp salad. The ingredients for this salad even the grilled shrimp can be prepared in advance. Just keep everything chilled and assemble right before serving. If you don't like or have papaya, cantaloupe can be a great substitute for the papaya. The dressing adds a little zip to the flavor. This salad is for sure a keeper. I found this recipe in the Healthy Heart cookbook put out by the American Medical Association.

Grilled Shrimp Salad

Olive oil cooking spray
5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced green onion
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 lb large shrimp peeled and deveined, tails intact
4 cups shredded spinach
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 small papaya, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Prepare a fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill or oven broiler. Away from the heat source, lightly coat the grill rack or broiler pan with olive oil cooking spray. Position the grill rack or broiler pan 4-6 inches from the heat source.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, green onion, red pepper flakes, 1/8 teaspoon of the salt, and the white pepper. Set the dressing aside.
Arrange the shrimp on the grill rack or broiler pan. Season with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Grill or broil until opaque, about 11/2 minutes on each side. Cover and keep warm.
In a large bowl, combine the spinach, cucumber, papaya, tomatoes, bell pepper, basil, and cilantro. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Divide the salad among chilled individual plates. Divide the shrimp among the salads, arranging them around the edges. Serve immediately.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Dinner And A Movie Friday

Opening day everyone has been waiting for the much anticipated, Angels & Demons that is what we thought last Friday when we went to see it. I am sure if you have read the book you will enjoy it more. We had not read the book but we still enjoyed it I was so surprised to see the corruption and destruction in the Catholic Church. The story is based in the Vatican where they are trying to appoint a new Pope after the Pope died suddenly. Tom Hanks plays the lead he is back to try and help with all the signs of history. Ewan Mc Gregor plays the fallen Pope's adopted son. The story and scenery were great. I have a problem when shows begin to drag, a little dragging in a few areas just trying to make it over two hours. Everyone who had read the movie really enjoyed the movie.

A couple of years ago I found this salad while I was looking for something fun to serve at my daughter's baby shower. It was a hit and has continued to be a big hit. Prior to the shower I made the salad and took it to work it was devoured in minutes. Then I figured it was good enough to serve at the shower. Plan on everyone asking for the recipe it is real easy can be made in moments. I prefer to let it sit for hours or even over night so the flavors can marry. Tastes almost like one of those fancy caramel apples. It is so rich that I always use lite cool whip. Perfect for a Memorial Day picnic as long as you can keep it cold. You can even serve it as dessert. It could even be made at the park. You will get lots of laughs and giggles over this one.

Snickers Salad

3 large snickers bars
3 granny smith apples
1 large lite cool whip

Cut up the candy bars into bite size pieces.( I found using the kitchen shears was the quickest and your hands don't get messy). Core the apple and cut up into bite size pieces. Mix together with cool whip. Chill and serve.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Stay At Home Thursday

Who could think you can make a meal so perfect in twenty minutes. I have had this recipe for years but never given it a try. We really like Mexican food but along with that comes a lot of calories and loads of carbs. Here is a fun recipe low in calories and spicy and tender. Fajitas are my favorite I don't care what kind fish, chicken, steak, and shrimp even all together. This recipe combines all the flavors and my favorite noodle spaghetti. The man commented it looked like something that a nice restaurant would serve. I think it would be perfect over a bed of spinach next time.

Fajita Spaghetti

8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
1 tablespoon hot pepper oil
1 small onion, sliced
1 small sweet red pepper, julienned
1 small sweet yellow pepper, julienned
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chillies
1/2 cup water
1 envelope fajita seasoning mix

Cook the spaghetti according to package directions.
In a large skillet saute chicken in oil for 8 -10 minutes or until juices run clear; saute the onion and peppers with chicken until tender. Add the water and fajita seasoning mix heat through.
Drain spaghetti; top with chicken mixture.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Low Cal Wednesday

Oh what a beautiful Morning I just looked outside and it rained last night everything is starting to look green. Last week I made this great black bean and pork stew. It was so quick and easy. Usually making stew takes at least an hour .Start to finish 30 minutes.The added spices brought out the entire flavor in the beans. I have never been a black bean fan but my mind has been changed. In this tangy stew, black beans and lean pork tenderloin are simmered with tomatoes, garlic and you can’t forget the molasses. You can not beat this one for flavor. The calories are 245 for one cup serving. This recipe serves six. This is another great recipe from that Healthy Heart Cookbook.

Hearty Pork Stew

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 yellow onion chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oreganp

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1 large tomato, chopped

1 tablespoon dark molasses

1 cup fat-free, no salt-added chicken broth

1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed of visible fat and cut into 1-inch cubes

3 cup canned black beans (about 2 can, each 15 oz), rinsed and drained

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, cumin, and allspice and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato and molasses and simmer until the flavors are blended, about 3 minutes. Carefully add the broth and bring to a boil.

Add the pork and black beans and simmer until the pork is just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper, garnish with cilantro, and serve immediately.