Thursday, January 31, 2013

Foodie Penpals #3

It is, once again, the last day of the month so it is reveal day for Foodie Penpals.
This month my penpal was Donna Peterson.
She sent me sooooo many amazing things!
As you can see in the photo she had a "snack" theme going on.
There was some sprinkles for decorating, spicy tomatoes to make a dip, chocolate caramel hearts, herbal tea, water flavor, Crunch bars, sesame pretzel sticks, Special K crisps, cookies, edible decorating paper (how cool is that?) and some delicious homemade pretzel mix,
So much stuff!
If you are interested in becoming a Foodie Penpal then visit The Lean Green Bean to find out how.
This is my 3rd exchange and it is always so much fun!
I got to send to Kyla McGillis over at Kitchen Of Ky.
So, if you would like to be getting a cool package like this every month, simply visit The Lean Green Bean to find out how! (You don't even need to have a blog to participate!!)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Strawberry Grunt (Single Serving)

Yes, I'm doing the single serving thing again.
They are my new love.
I love making miniature versions of dishes. Not only because they look cute, but it saves me from eating the entire pan.
This dish, called a "grunt" is similar to a cobbler, betty, or a buckle. I think (but don't quote me on this) the main difference is the other dishes are made in the oven and a grunt is made on the stove top.
Perfect for summer when you don't want to turn on the heat.
Or...for Valentine's Day when you want something red for dessert...
Or...for Monday afternoons after a hard day at work.
Technically this could be a breakfast if you wanted it to has fruit...just sayin'
Anyway...I looked it up using Myfitnesspal and the entire dish is 382 calories, 62 carbs, 12 fat, and 6 protein. Not exactly "light"'s soooo delicious....
I had a salad with tuna for dinner so I could eat the entire thing for dessert and not go over my calories for the day.
It was totally worth it.
Strawberry Grunt (Single Serving)
1 cup frozen strawberry, chopped
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp flax
2 Tbsp water
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar
pinch salt
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp brown sugar
In a small saucepan over medium heat, mash strawberries, brown sugar, flax, and water together. Bring to a boil, stirring often, turn down heat to medium/low and let simmer for 5 minutes.
In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Using a fork, blend in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in milk until just combined, mixture should be very sticky.
Drop into boiling fruit, trying to drop evenly over surface of fruit.
Cover with lid, turn heat down to low simmer, and let cook for 12 minutes.
After 12 minutes, uncover, sprinkle with 1/2 tsp of brown sugar, and let cook 1 more minute.
Serve hot.
You can make this with pretty much any fruit. I used frozen strawberries but I would imagine it would work with fresh fruit too.
I can't wait to try blueberries!
A couple of thing:
** If your fruit seems to be thickening too fast simply add another spoonful of water.
** The flax is optional, I just like to throw it in there to up the fiber count.
** This is blow-your-mind addicting with some whipped cream on top.
** From start to finish this took 20 minutes.
Visit The Rustic Pig and Adorned From Above and Hungry Little Girl for some great links!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Whole Wheat Bread Bowls and Vegetarian Chili

I was trying to think of something a little different for a bake sale for Kenzie's school club this past weekend. Something other than the usual cookies and candies and loaves and scones and pies and all of that deliciousness.
Don't get me wrong, I still made some cookies and candies but I wanted something a little out of the ordinary.
In the past we had good success with our Apple with Caramel Cream Cheese Dip at bake sales so I was thinking "something in a jar" would be good again.
I came up with chili and bread bowls....seeing as how it is winter and very chilly and it is January so everyone is on board the healthy eating wagon.
So...something different,
something comforting and warm,
something healthy.
Whole wheat bread and vegetarian chili fit all of those criteria.
Whole Wheat Bread Bowls
2 cups hot water
2 Tbsp active dry yeast
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups flour (all purpose)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp ground flax
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 Tbsp sunflower seeds
1 egg, slightly beaten
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add hot water (110-115 degrees), yeast, honey, and olive oil. Stir together with a spoon. Let sit for 5 - 10 minutes, until foamy.
In a separate bowl, measure out flours, salt, flax, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds.
Add in flour gradually with the mixer on low speed. Knead with the dough hook on low to medium speed, for about 5 - 7 minutes.
Remove dough from bowl (it will be sticky) and place on well floured surface. Knead a few times by hand, sprinkling with flour if necessary, until it is elastic and no longer super sticky.
Oil a large bowl with olive oil and place your dough in the bowl, turning to coat.
Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until doubled.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a cookie tray with parchment paper. Set aside.
After dough has risen, punch dough down and form into 4 equal sized balls. Place on baking sheet.
Cover and let rise another 30 minutes.
After they have risen again, brush with the beaten egg and score a small "X" on the top of each dough ball.
Bake for 40 - 45 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove from heat, let cool completely, then using a serrated knife, cut out a round top of each loaf, scoop out some of the bread filling to make a little hollow, fill with chili and enjoy!
Now for the vegetarian chili to fill the bowl!
Vegetarian Chili
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced (remove seeds for less heat!)
1 medium zucchini, diced
2 cups canned corn
2 cups mushrooms, chopped
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 Tbsp dried parsley
salt & pepper
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz) can white beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup water
In a large pot, heat oil over medium/high heat. Add onion, red pepper, garlic, jalapeno and cook and stir for about 3 minutes.
Add in zucchini, corn, mushrooms. Cook and stir until vegetables are soft and release their liquid, about 5 - 10 minutes.
Add in chili powder, cumin, cayenne, parsley, and salt & pepper. Stir.
Add in the tomatoes and stir well.
Add in the beans, tomato sauce and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium/low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.
Serve in bread bowls.....OR.....this is also great over brown rice!
I thought this looked really cute packaged up for the bake sale. FYI - the chili made 4 X 1 cup jars, 4 X 2 cup jars, and I had enough left over for lunch for our mom and dad and me.
The jar in the bread bowl is a 1 cup jar.
They sold out...which is always a good thing :)
This would also make a nice gift for a neighbour under the weather.
Or...for a homesick student away at school who needs some comfort food.
Be sure to visit Jam Hands and The Chicken Chick and A Humble Bumble and Blissful and Domestic for some great links!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Cornflake, Peanut Butter, Butterscotch Pizzas

As you may be able to deduce from the above photo, I was having a bit of a sweet craving.
I have been doing very well with my healthy eating and figured a bit of a sweet treat couldn't hurt. Especially since I could donate most of it to Kenzie's bake sale and only eat a little bit.
Turns out having a bake sale to bake for saved me.
This was so tasty. Left to my own devices I probably would have devoured the whole recipe.
Cornflakes, peanut butter, butterscotch, chocolate, and nuts.......what's not to love?
Cornflake, Peanut Butter, Butterscotch Pizzas
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup light corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup peanut butter
6 cups cornflakes
Pizza "Sauce"
1 cup butter
2 cups icing sugar
2 cups butterscotch chips
M&M peanuts
chopped pecans
mini chocolate chips
chocolate ice cream topping
Combine brown sugar and corn syrup in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and peanut butter.
Fold in cornflakes until evenly coated.
Drop into 4 equal blobs on a cookie sheet covered with plastic wrap. Press the blobs into flattened circles about 6 - 7 inches across. (It helps to coat your hands with cooking spray or butter to prevent sticking!)
Let set for about 15 minutes to solidify.
To make "sauce" - Cream butter until soft and fluffy. Melt butterscotch chips in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each 30 seconds, until smooth.
Beat melted chips and icing sugar into the butter until smooth.
Scoop about 1/4 cup of the "sauce" onto each pizza and spread evenly to within 1/2 inch of the edges. (You will have leftover "sauce" - I used it to frost some chocolate cupcakes I had)
Before the butterscotch frosting sets, sprinkle with toppings and drizzle with a little chocolate ice cream topping.
You can serve now or chill for a few minutes to help everything set. These are fine at room temp too.
Some other topping ideas would be: nuts, marshmallows, smarties, sprinkles, chopped chocolate bars, etc..
The crust is crispy/chewy and the butterscotch frosting "sauce" is amazing.
Be prepared to head into sugar coma territory.
I made these into pizzas for the bake sale because I thought they would look cute (they are cute!) but you could also make this and press it into a 9 X 13 pan.
It definitely helped with my sweet cravings.
I know...I know... I should try harder to eat "healthier" sweets.
I do.
Nothing wrong with a little indulgence now and then.
Especially with this get everything in one go.
Oh, and a side note, with your leftover butterscotch frosting "sauce", if you store it in the fridge for a while you will have to warm it up a bit before you use it. I microwaved it for a few seconds but you could also place it over a bowl of simmering water and let it warm up that way. Simply stir until smooth and spreadable.
Stop by My Turn (for us) and Memories By The Mile for some fabulous links!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dreamy "Mac & Cheese" Spaghetti Squash (Single Serving)

Okay. Let me start off by saying I know this is kind-of similar to the Cheesy Tomato and Spaghetti Squash Bake I just posted about a few days ago. The thing's not the same.
This one is so creamy and cheesy and mind-blowingly delicious.
Don't get me wrong.....the Cheesy Tomato and Spaghetti Squash Bake was tasty and I will totally be making it again BUT... this one....
There are no words.
It's like discovering chocolate and peanut butter for the first time.
I'm not even kidding.
And then, to make things even crazier.... the entire recipe of this deliciousness is only 220 calories.
Oh my goodness!
Oh my goodness!
Oh my goodness!
It's true.
I swear on my taste buds it truly is THAT awesome.
The only thing missing from this is peas. I love peas in my macaroni and cheese. I did not have any on hand but next time (and there WILL be a next time) I'm totally putting peas in this too.
Dreamy "Mac & Cheese" Spaghetti Squash (Single Serving)
1/2 Tbsp flour
salt & pepper
1/4 cup milk (1%)
1/4 cup Tex Mex blend shredded cheese
1 1/2 cups spaghetti squash, cooked
1 slice green pepper, finely diced
1 green onion, finely diced
1 Tbsp frozen peas
1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a small casserole dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, over medium heat, whisk together flour and salt & pepper. Slowly whisk in milk until smooth. Cook and stir until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in Tex-Mex cheese until melted and smooth.
In a bowl, stir the cheese sauce into the cooked spaghetti squash until well combined. Spread in prepared casserole dish.
Sprinkle with the green pepper, onion, peas,  and Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and squash is heated through.
Remove from heat and enjoy the entire dish for 220 calories, 9 fat, 20 carbs, and 17 protein.
I understand that I am hyping this up and that usually just sets people up for disappointment.
BUT... I just cannot hide my excitement for this dish.
Without it actually being macaroni and cheese it is almost like macaroni and cheese. I know you are not going to fool anyone into thinking it's pasta but, if you are trying to do the whole "eat healthier" thing, you will be able to satisfy those pasta cravings.
Well, it worked for me anyway!
UPDATE: Loooooook, peas! So much better with peas. :)
Be sure to stop by The Mandatory Mooch and My Turn (for us) for tons of fabulous links!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cookie Monster Cake

I'm stealing the blog from Jo today.
I just had to share my Cookie Monster cake. He turned out too cute not to share.
He was really simple too.
You can make him whatever flavor you like - I would go with our Vanderwolf's Family Secret Chocolate Cake so he is all dense and chocolatey and delicious AS WELL AS adorable.
I mean, check out this photo of how the drool inducing this cake is on the inside...
Drooling yet?
Okay, now that I have convinced you to make Cookie Monster chocolate... he is really super simple to put together.
Cookie Monster Cake
1 oval shaped chocolate cake, baked and cooled
1 can frosting, tinted blue
1 tube black frosting
2 large marshmallows
3 - 4 chocolate chip cookies
Spread a thin layer of blue frosting evenly over the cake.
Then, using a toothpick, trace out where you would like the mouth to be. Using the piping tip that is used to make fur/grass, pipe the remaining blue frosting over the top and sides of cake to cover his face - be sure to leave the marked out mouth area without blue frosting.
After you have finished the blue, use the black tube of icing and fill in the mouth area.  
Place the marshmallows at the top of the cake for Cookie's eyes and dab 2 black circles of icing for pupils.
Now you can break up the chocolate chip cookies and place them in his mouth and all over the platter.
It's that easy.
Isn't he adorable?
Okay, I will let Jo go back to her recipes now...for a little while.....

Monday, January 21, 2013

Curried Cauliflower, Carrot, & Turkey Burgers

Sometimes you just need a burger. A bacony cheesy beefy burger. If today is one of those days then you should check out our Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped BBQ Burgers With Caramelized Onion Bacon Jam.
If you are trying to eat a little lighter and are looking for something equally as delicious but perhaps a touch more healthy, then you should definitely try this recipe.
It has tons of flavor, great texture, and is super-de-duper filling with or without a bun. PLUS - it is uber healthy with its veggies and lean turkey ingredients.
According to Myfitnesspal - per burger - it is 200 calories, 10 fat, 6 carbs, and 26 protein.
Not too shabby.
Not too shabby at all!
Curried Cauliflower, Carrot, & Turkey Burgers
1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 small onion, diced fine
2 cups cauliflower, raw, shredded
1 cup carrot, raw, shredded
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp curry powder (divided)
2 lbs ground turkey
salt & pepper
1 Tbsp dried parsley
2 Tbsp oats
1 egg
Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large pan, heat sesame oil. Add onions and cook and stir until they start to caramelise. Add cauliflower and carrots and water. Cook, covered, for about 10 - 15 minutes, until vegetables soften.
Remove cover, add 1/2 of the curry powder and continue to cook and stir another 2 - 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool a bit.
In a mixing bowl, combine ground turkey, remaining curry powder, salt & pepper, parsley, oats, and egg.
Mix in cooled cauliflower mixture until well combined. Form into 8 equal sized patties and place on prepared cookie tray.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Turn on your broiler. Remove turkey from oven, flip patties over, and put back in oven - move rack up one level to be closer to the burner.
Broil for 3 - 4 minutes, until top is browned. (You don't have to do this step, I just like to do it to: A - make sure the turkey is thoroughly cooked, and B - I think it looks prettier.)
Now you can serve it on a bun with all the fixins or wrapped in some lovely, crunchy lettuce with all the fixins.
I usually go with a bun but I didn't have any on hand so gave the letuce wrap a try. It was really good. Definitely a good alternative. It was a little trickier to eat but I still managed.
Only 200 calories for one of these bad boys. The recipe makes 8 so you can eat some and freeze some, if you like. They freeze very well.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Cheesy Tomato and Spaghetti Squash Bake

I am doing a happy dance right now.
I know you can't see me and will just have to take my word for it...but it's really happening's spectacular.
I should really be on stage.
Maybe not.
The reason for my happy dance is that I made this delicious, cheesy, tomatoey, squashy, side dish that tastes amazingly decadent yet is only 100 calories per serving.
Anytime I can eat delectable food plus have it be healthy and good for me is a time to celebrate.
Cheesy Tomato and Spaghetti Squash Bake
4 cups cooked spaghetti squash
2 medium tomatoes
sea salt
garlic powder
onion powder
1 cup shredded cheese (Kraft mixed mozza-cheddar light)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray a 9 X 9 baking dish with cooking spray.
Spread a heaping cup of squash on the bottom of the pan.
Top with half of the tomatoes, sliced medium thin.
Sprinkle with spices. Top with 1/2 cup of the shredded mixed cheese.

Layer another heaping cup of squash on top of the cheese. The remaining tomato slices, a little more spices, and remaining 1/2 cup of shredded mixed cheese.
Top with remaining squash.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven, let sit for 2 minutes before slicing. This makes 6 servings.
Do you want the good news or bad news?
Let's go with the good news first.
The nutritional values, per serving, are (according to Myfitnesspal):
104 calories, 5 fat, 9 carbs, 6 protein.
And, now the bad news.
Wait....there is no bad news...
Only good things will come of making this dish. Unless, of course, you have allergies to any of the ingredients. Then...bummer....that is bad news...
Be sure to visit Let This Mind Be In You and The Chicken Chick and Hungry Little Girl for some great links!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Angel Food Jello Dessert (Guest Post at The Mandatory Mooch)

Sue and I were lucky enough to be asked to guest host at The Mandatory Mooch today.
If you haven't had a chance to visit Nichi's blog then you really should! She has some fabulous ideas to share!
We wanted to share this very pretty and tasty dessert with her readers.
Please pop over and visit OUR GUEST BLOG AT THE MANDATORY MOOCH to get the recipe and step by step instructions.
This dessert is perfect for after a heavy meal!
It is fairly simply too.
Visit Nichi at The Mandatory Mooch for the recipe and instructions and please leave a note telling us what you thought of the recipe!
Thanks again.
Be sure to stop by Ms. enPlace and Jam Hands and The Rustic Pig for some great links!