Monday, April 21, 2014

Low Carb Low Cal Waffles

I was pretty excited by how these turned out. The batter was thinner than I was hoping but the end product was better than I had expected. I made these in a silicone waffle pan that bakes in the oven but I am certain these would work in a regular waffle maker or even in a skillet as pancakes. 
This makes 6 waffles, each 67 calories, 6 carbs, 3 fat, and 5 protein.
I make 3 waffles one serving so - 200 calories, 19 carbs, 8 fat, and 15 protein per serving. 
Add on 2 chopped strawberries and a tablespoon of maple syrup and you have breakfast for 250 calories, 29 carbs, 8 fat, and 15 protein. 
That works for me, thank you very much. 
Oh, by the way, these are also gluten free if you are worried about gluten!

Low Carb Low Cal Waffles

1/2 cup 0 fat Greek yogurt, plain
2 eggs
3 Tbsp 1% milk
2 pkgs Sugar Twin Stevia 
2 Tbsp ground flax 
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350. Spray silicone waffle pan with cooking spray, set aside.
In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, eggs, and milk until smooth. 
In a smaller mixing bowl, stir together Stevia, flax, cornstarch, cinnamon, and baking powder.  

Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until smooth.

Pour evenly into prepared pan. 

Bake at 350 for 10 - 15 minutes, until tops are browned and waffles have risen.

Carefully invert waffles onto cookie sheet.

Place back in oven and turn on broiler. Broiler until tops are well browned and appear dry. About 5 minutes - keep an eye on them.

Serve hot with your favorite toppings. 
Only 67 calories per waffle... how awesome is that? I ate 3 and then froze 3. I reheated the frozen ones in the toaster oven (from frozen) and they turned out just perfect. 
These are great for breakfast or brunch or for when you want breakfast for dinner. They are also awesome little snacks for any time of day!

Looking for more links to fun and fabulous recipes and crafts? Check out these great sites - Jam Hands, Feeding Big, Memories By The Mile, Anyonita Nibbles

Baked Mexican Layered Dip

Sometimes the most delicious foods are just not terribly pretty.
Take this dip, for example. 
Not pretty at all...but so so so good. 
I brought it to our Easter dinner as an appetizer and it disappeared in about 10 minutes. The kids absolutely loved it. Sue and I have made the "regular" Mexican layered dip in the past and we both agreed this version is way better. Baking it in the oven just puts it over the top. 
Just be careful when you go to serve it. It is crazy hot when you take it out of the oven and will burn the heck out of your tongue if you dive into it. 
Not that it happened to me. 
Okay. It happened to me. 
I may have been a little too eager to try it. Lesson learned. Let it sit for a bit to save yourself some grief. 

Baked Mexican Layered Dip

Bottom Layer
1 can (14 oz) refried black beans
1/2 cup salsa

2nd Layer
1 cup prepared guacamole

3rd Layer
1 (8oz) brick cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tsp taco seasoning

4th Layer
3/4 cup salsa

5th Layer

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray a 9 inch, deep dish pie plate with cooking spray, set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together the black beans and salsa.

Spread evenly in prepared pie pan.
Next - spread the guacamole over the beans in the pie plate.
In another bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Add in the sour cream and taco seasoning and beat until smooth.
Spread over the guacamole. **HINT - it helps to drop the mixture by spoonfuls over the dish and then gently spread them together. (see photo below)

Top the cream cheese mixture with the salsa. Spread evenly.
Finally - top with the shredded Tex-mex cheese. 
Here is the layers in one photos -- 

Bake in 350 oven for approx 30 minutes - until cheese is melty and dip is bubbling. 
Remove from oven and serve hot with Tostitos "Scoops" tortilla chips or regular tortilla chips. *Note - it is extremely hot when it comes out of the oven - be careful*

You can make this as spicy as you like. I used mild salsa but you could easily use medium or hot, you could add some cayenne pepper to the taco seasoning or a dash of hot sauce, you could use a different blend of cheese - ie: Kraft Habanero shredded cheese
Also, the amounts are forgiving too: For the salsa layer I just used up what I had left (3/4 cup) but you could use 1/2 cup or a full cup if you wanted to.  And for the amount of cheese, we like things cheesy so we used a good 2 handfuls of the Tex-Mex but you could cut back if you wanted to. 
Another note - I cooked this for 20 minutes, to where the cheese was just melting, took it out of the oven, wrapped it in a towel to keep it warm, then drove to my sisters house (15 minutes) and popped it in her oven for another 10 minutes or so to finish cooking it. 
You could just as easily prepare this ahead of time and keep it refrigerated until ready to cook it. Just remember to bring it out of the fridge while your oven is preheating to warm it up a bit. 

Be sure to stop by these blogs and check out all the great links! - Horrific Knits, The Mandatory Mooch, The Chicken Chick, Ms. enPlace, Hungry Happenings.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Crunchy Chewy Peanut Butter Bars

Sue here. I decided I had better share my recipe for these tasty crunchy, chewy, peanut butter treats seeing as how Jo keeps forgetting too. 
These are a fun Easter treat as you can shape them into eggs and decorate them however you like. BUT, these are also great for any time of the year. Instead of shaping them you can just press them into a pan and cut into squares.
You can also shape these into balls and dip them in chocolate...

They are pretty versatile. 
And delicious. 
Plus, FYI, they sell really well at bake sales. 
From start to finish in about 15 minutes. 

Crunchy Chewy Peanut Butter Bars

1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter
2 cups Cornflakes cereal
2 cups Rice Krispie Cereal
1/2 cup salted peanuts, chopped

In a large, heavy saucepan, combine brown sugar, corn syrup, and peanut butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until melted and smooth.
Remove from heat and stir in both cereals and peanuts.
Stir to combine.
Let mixture cool for a minute or two - until cool enough to handle with bare hands. Spray your hands with cooking spray - or coat with a bit of butter to prevent sticking. 
Scoop out enough mixture to shape into whatever shape you like. IE: 3D eggs....

FYI - you need to work fairly quickly as these harden pretty fast as they cool off. 
You can also press into a pan and cut out using cookie cutters....
Decorate as desired...

If you are going to dip the bars in chocolate then you will want to let them cool completely and firm up before dipping. We just drizzled ours with some melted, colored melting wafers. 

You will want to make sure you have someone to share these with before making them or you will most likely devour the whole batch.
Not even kidding here people. They really are that addicting. 

BE sure to visit these sites for some great links - Table For Seven

Easter 2014

Sue and I didn't go as crazy this year as we usually do for Easter. 
We still wanted to share our Easter inspired recipes and photos from our Easter dinner. (For more Easter treats check out our Easter 2013 round up HERE).  
Let's get started with our appetizers from dinner this year:
Above is our adorable and tasty cheese ball chicks. This is the same cheese ball recipe we used last year to make our carrot cheese ball. 

1 (8oz) brick of cream cheese, softened, 1 can of flaked ham, splash of Worcestershire, about 1/4 cup finely diced onions. Mix altogether until well combined. Roll in finely shredded cheese and shape into whichever shape you would like. You may need to chill it for a bit to firm it up to be able to shape it. If you like it extra cheesy then you can also add about 1/2 cup of the finely shredded cheese into the ham/cream cheese mixture before you roll it in the shredded cheese. 
We added olive pieces for the eyes and carrot pieces for the beaks and feet.

Another chick treat. Sue made deviled eggs and simply added some olive pieces for eyes and cheddar cheese bits for beaks. Easy and adorable! (To make her deviled eggs she simply mixed the yolks with a bit of mayo, very finely diced onion, and a pinch of dry mustard)

And I made this Baked Mexican Layered Dip to round out the appies. (Click HERE for that recipe) It was gobbled up so fast I didn't think I would be able to get a photo of it! 
Now, on to the main course:

Sue's kitchen counter served as our buffet. 
We had homemade coleslaw and broccoli salad to start and so many delicious hot dishes. 

Above - Fresh, homemade Hot Cross Buns. (Recipe HERE)

Above - Sue's homemade baked beans. (I will see if I can get her to part with her recipe!)

Above - peas and carrots. 

Above - Sue's twice baked potato casserole. (Again, I will see if I can get her recipe out of her!)

Above - the amazingly tender ham, baked beans, and potato casserole.
This year we had a non-traditional Easter. We went the BBQ route....

Above - Spicy BBQ chicken wings. 

The best BBQ chicken thighs ever. So good! 
And, Sue and nephew, Jordan, had a mini rib cook off. They each made their own special recipe and we had to have a family vote to see who won.

Above - Jordan made an amazing ginger garlic version.

Above - Sue went with a sticky BBQ Asian version. 
In the end Sue won by 1 vote. They were both so amazing it was hard to choose. Be sure to check back for the link to their recipes. I will try and round those up soon. 

Just a bit of meat at this party...
But... not to worry. We didn't forget about desserts - 

The beginning of the dessert buffet. See below for the closeups!

Above - cousin Carol brought some yummy cake balls. The light ones were my favorite, they were orange cranberry!

Above - Sister, Orra, brought some mini cherry cheesecakes. So good!

I made a huge Carrot Cake Trifle. Check back soon for the recipe! It is my new favorite. :)

Sue made our mom's favorite Easter treat - Crunchy Chewy Peanut Butter Eggs. I forgot to do a blog about them last year but I definitely will do it this year!! (Click HERE for recipe)

And our M&M White Chocolate Cheesecake Cookies were such a hit at the bake sale we had to have them again! (Recipe HERE

I am definitely going to get the recipe for this fruity punch from our friend, Lucille. She made this for our dinner and it was amazing! I couldn't stop drinking it. Check back for the recipe! 

Another favorite drink of the night was from Orra. I had never tried chocolate red wine before. I honestly thought it sounded awful...but... turns out it is sooooo good! It reminded me of Bailey's Irish Cream. 
Definitely adding that to my wine list!

There is the bright and cheerful dinner table for this year. I loved all those bright colors!
Sue did a bang up job of decorating!

There is some of the family at the table. I liked the "Home" in the window in the background. 
For some reason this is one of my favorite shots of the night. 
We hope everyone has a wonderful, happy Easter.
If you have any questions or comments, we would love to hear from you!

We shared at these fun linky parties - Hungry Happenings, April's Homemaking, The Comforts Of Home

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Grilled Cheese Bacon Roll Ups

Apparently April is grilled cheese month. 
Every month should be grilled cheese month.
Grilled cheese is the bomb. 
Anyway... we all know the way to make pretty much anything better is to add bacon to it. 
So....this happened. 
We decided to keep the bacon on the outside to show it off instead of hiding it away inside the sandwich. Also, we decided to do roll ups instead of the usual sandwich because we were having them with some homemade tomato soup (Our recipe HERE) and rolls make the perfect dipping vessel. 
It's true.

Grilled Cheese Bacon Roll Ups

whole grain bread
garlic butter (or butter)
bacon (cooked but not crispy)

Preheat broiler on oven. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
Cut crusts off the bread. Using a rolling pin, roll out the slice of bread so it is thinner.  Spread with a little of the garlic butter. Place a slice of the cheese on the bread. 

Roll up the bread, gently, jelly roll style. 
Wrap a piece of the pre-cooked bacon around the bread and secure with toothpicks. Place on prepared cookie sheet.

Repeat until you have the amount you want. 
Place on bottom rack of oven. Broil until tops start to brown - about 3 - 4 minutes. Carefully flip rolls over. Return to bottom rack of oven and continue to broil until cheese is melty and bread is toasted - another 3 minutes or so. 

Remove toothpicks and serve hot. (Be careful, the cheese is very hot!)
From start to finish this takes about 10 - 15 minutes. 
It is no more difficult to make than a regular grilled cheese. I was a little worried because some of my bread split when I rolled it (see above photo). Don't panic if this happens! The bacon holds it together, the cheese melts and also holds it together. 
New favorite way to make grilled cheese.