Foodie Blog Roll 2

Friday, April 29, 2011

Blog Update

Hey guys, just wanted to give you a little update. I will be "out of the office" so to speak, for a while. Due to the recent tornadoes in Alabama, our house is under construction, which means no cooking for a while. We are staying with some friends for the time being and are so thankful for everyone's help!


At the time of the storm, Chris, Tucker and I were in the basement and we are totally fine. I cannot say the same, however, for the cars or the house. We are both in high spirits though because even though that was a big storm, we serve an even BIGGER God! I am so thankful that I do not have to worry about what tomorrow may hold because I am believing that God will provide and take care of us. I cannot thank our friends and family enough for their support and prayers; we are truly blessed!

Please be praying for the other families in our area who are trying to pick up the pieces. Others were much less fortunate than us.

"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4: 6-7  ~New Living Translation

Monday, April 25, 2011

Nutty White Chocolate Cups

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter yesterday! We sure did. We went to an amazing church service, then Chris and I got to spend the day relaxing and spending some sweet time together. Did I mention that he's the best?! Well, he is!

While our yummy scalloped potato gratin was baking away, I had time to melt some white chocolate, assemble these little treats and pop them in the fridge. After lunch, voila! Little cups of deliciousness! I tried these with two kinds of nuts, party peanuts and of course, macadamia nuts (a classic combination). These reminded me of white chocolate Reece's peanut butter cups, only with a CRUNCH!

Nutty White Chocolate Cups

These are so simple and nearly impossible to mess up. Also, the combination possibilities are endless! Different types of nuts, different chocolates, just go crazy!



Nutty White Chocolate Cups 
6 oz white chocolate baking squares, roughly chopped
Handful of salted macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
Handful of salted, party peanuts
12 Mini cupcake wrappers (or the big ones....if you dare!)

Line cupcake pan with liners. Melt the white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds. Stir and heat for 15 seconds, stir, heat for 15 more seconds. The chocolate should be fully melted by now, but if not, continue to melt in 15 second increments. Do not let chocolate burn. 
Fill the liners with a little bit of chocolate; enough to completely cover the bottom.

Add the nuts.

Pour remaining chocolate over the nuts. 

Put pan in the fridge until chocolate is completely hard. Here are the salted macadamia white chocolate cups!
 Wait! Who took a bite out of that one? ;)

These would make a fun little treat to give someone. Wrap them up in a cute little baggie and put a ribbon around it. The sweet and creamy white chocolate with the salty and crunchy nuts cannot be beat!
What combination would you try?

click to print recipe

Friday, April 22, 2011

Creamy Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip

Need another healthy snack idea? This sweet, creamy dip with a crunchy apple- it hits 3 of the 4 snack-cravers for me. (Sweet, Savory, Crunchy, and Smooth)

Creamy Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip

Creamy Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip
6 oz or 3/4 C plain, non-fat Greek yogurt {I like Chobani}
2 T natural creamy peanut butter
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp honey or 1 sweetener packet

In a small bowl, combine the yogurt and honey/sweetener together. Mix in the cinnamon and peanut butter and mix until completely combined. Sprinkle top with cinnamon and serve with sliced apple or other fruit. 

This recipe is also great for breakfast. At 25 grams of protein, I am starting my day with about 1/2 of my protein requirements out of the way. Awesome!

What else do you like to do with peanut butter?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

I surprised hubby last night with these cute little lemon poppy seed cookies!

Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

Last week in New York, he got a piece of lemon poppy seed pound cake (yum!) and it was at that point that expressed his LOVE for lemon poppy seed muffins and such. :) I really like it when he expresses 'love' for something because it gives me a chance to surprise him later....enter BEST WIFE IN THE WORLD! haha I'm kidding- kind of.

I thought with Easter just around the corner, I would give you something sweet for the grown up's to eat while the kids are egg hunting!

They kind of look like eggs on these little twigs. These are so deliciously lemony and lightly sweet, go ahead and have one before dinner - you won't spoil your appetite! :) I halved Martha Stewart's recipe since there are only two of us, then adapted it. This made 18 small cookies.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies
1 Lemon, juice and zest
1 stick of butter, unsalted, divided in half
1 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 C sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten, then halved
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 T poppy seeds, plus more for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In small sauce pot, bring lemon juice to a simmer, then add 1/2 of the butter. Stir until melted, then remove from heat. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, mix the sugar and remaining 1/2 stick of butter together. Crack egg into a small bowl and lightly beat; add 1/2 to sugar mix. Mix in lemon butter. Stir everything to combine, until pale yellow. Mix in the vanilla and most of the lemon zest (reserve a little for the tops of the cookies). Mix in the flour mixture and poppy seeds. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
Roll dough into 18 balls and place on baking sheet. Top with remaining lemon zest and poppy seeds. Bake for 9-10 minutes, or until the bottoms are just browned. Cool on wire rack and store in airtight container. 
This dough was really sticky for some reason, but it did rain ALL day yesterday, so that may have had something to do with it. Regardless, make sure you refrigerate it before trying to put it on the baking sheet. 


What's your favorite Easter dessert?

Rachael Ray and Cookin' Cowgirl!

Don't get too excited....it's just the wax Rachael. I know, sorry to disappoint you!


Last week, Chris and I were in New York for a little vacation. We went to Madam Tussauds Wax Museum and had a great time walking around, taking pictures with all the wax celebrities. Because Johnny Depp's figure was under construction (grrrr), my favorite figure was Rachael!
I brought along my Cookin' Cowgirl apron that my awesome mother-in-law had made for me, so I was all set for my photo shoot! I know, I know, I'm sure Simon Cowell would call me "self indulgent," but I just couldn't help myself!
We had the BEST time in New York, not to mention some delicious food! I look forward to recreating some of the dishes that we had on our trip. Vacation is always fun, but it's great to be home. :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lemon and Herb Chicken Skewers with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

This is a great summery meal that is quick and easy to make. Serve it with your favorite veggie or salad and you have a fast, light meal that will leave you feeling great!

Lemon and Herb Chicken Skewers with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce


Lemon and Herb Chicken Skewers
1 lb chicken breast
3 lemons
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T olive oil
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Wooden skewers

Soak wooden skewers in water while preparing food. Cut the chicken breasts into 3 strips each. In a small bowl, use the juice from a whole lemon, add garlic, oil, oregano, rosemary, salt and pepper and stir to create marinade. Pour into a large, zip-lock bag and add chicken; let marinade for 15-20 minutes. Slice remaining lemons into wedges for skewers. Put chicken on skewers and one lemon on the end of each skewer.
Grill chicken for a few minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Serve with cucumber yogurt sauce. If desired, squeeze additional lemon juice over chicken.

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
1 C non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1/3 C cucumber, grated
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
Grated cucumber for topping

In a small bowl, add the yogurt, salt and garlic; stir. Gently fold in cucumber. Top with remaining cucumber.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Eat a Rainbow: Fresh Fruit Salad

I went to a cook out at a buddies house over the weekend which gave me the perfect excuse to do my second post of my Eat a Rainbow project. I wanted to do something sweet and pretty, so what was better to use than fresh fruit? I was like a kid in a candy store when I went to buy all the fruit because for some reason, I always seem to buy the same stuff. Not this time! I even got more than one fruit for some of the colors.

Fresh Fruit Salad


To make my rainbow I used:
Red: Strawberries, Apples
Orange: Papaya, Peaches
Yellow: Pineapple
Green: Kiwi, Grapes
Blue: Blueberries
Purple: Blackberries
Extras: Orange juice, Lime Juice, Mint

There wasn't much to do but cut all the fruit. I'm not exactly sure of all the measurements, but I have a pretty good idea. 

Fresh Fruit Salad
2 pints strawberries, quartered
2 red apples, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 large papaya, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 peaches, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 pineapple, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 kiwis, sliced
1/2 lb green grapes
1 pint blueberries
1 1/2 pints blackberries
Juice and zest from 1 orange
Juice and zest from 2 limes
Mint leaves to garnish

Wash and cut all fruit. Gently mix together. Top with juice and zest; gently stir to combine. Top with mint. Refrigerate until use. (The juice from the orange and lime were used so the fruit did not brown).

I actually split this up into 2 medium-large bowls.


I froze the leftovers and I'm really excited to try some new smoothies-especially a tropical one! :) Yum!

What's your favorite fresh fruit?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Turkey Sausage and Rice Stuffed Portabellas

Little stuffed mushrooms are the perfect party appetizer. They are so delicious and easy. I saw these huge portabella mushrooms at the store and thought, "Why not make a larger version of those tasty snacks?" And I did. These made a week night dinner feel special and the nice thing is that I had almost all the ingredients in kitchen already.

Turkey Sausage and Rice Stuffed Portabellas

Turkey Sausage and Rice Stuffed Portabellas
1/2 lb hot ground turkey sausage, (or mild)
1 red onion
1 T fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 C fat free feta crumbles
1/4 C Parmesan cheese, + 1 T for topping
1 package Uncle Ben's 90 second brown rice (or leftover cooked brown rice)
4 large portabella mushrooms
1 C Prego, or sauce of choice

Preheat oven to 400degrees and line a baking sheet with foil. Remove stems and gills from mushrooms with out breaking. If mushrooms are dirty, wipe off with a wet paper towel or rag; do not submerge in water.
Heat large skillet on medium-high heat and cook sausage until cooked through; transfer to large bowl. In the same skillet, cook onion and garlic. Transfer to bowl with sausage. Add cooked rice, feta and 1/4 C Parmesan and basil to bowl and stir to combine. 
Fill mushrooms and place on baking sheet. Top with remaining Parmesan. 

Bake 10-12 minutes, or until mix is hot and cheese is melted. Meanwhile, heat sauce in microwave or on stove top until hot. To plate, pour 1/4 C prego on plate, and top with a mushroom. 

The great thing about this meal is that you can take several left over things from the fridge to make your "stuffing," get some beautiful mushrooms, and make an impressive meal for little effort. What would you use?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Healthy Chicken Salad

I love having leftover chicken because it means I get to make chicken salad and have lunch made up for a few days. This not your average chicken salad. It is full of protein and low in fat and I certainly don't feel guilty about eating a full cup of it!

Healthy Chicken Salad


Healthy Chicken Salad
3 C cooked chicken breast
1 C non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 C celery, chopped (about 2 stocks)
1 C purple grapes, quartered
Fresh lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
3/4 C walnuts, chopped

Put chicken in a food processor, or blender or just chop it up until desired texture is reached. Put chicken in a bowl along with yogurt and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Gently fold in grapes, celery and walnuts. Serve cold.
Do you ever try to make the "perfect bite?"

For this recipe I used leftover grilled chicken. You don't have to wait until you have leftovers though. A lot of grocery stores have rotisserie chicken already cooked that you can buy, or you could just bake a few pieces for this recipe. While I was making this classic style of chicken salad my wheels started turning. I'm thinking a Greek style might be nice next time. :)


What's your favorite ingredient(s) for chicken salad?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Turkey Sausage and Baby Bella Oat Crust Quiche

Say that 5 times fast! :)
This was my first time making quiche. My sister, Jenny, gave me an adorable tart/pie pan for Christmas and I was a little intimidated to try making a homemade crust. I was tempted to get a frozen pie crust for my first quiche, but then I found this amazing oat crust recipe that I had to try. I made it for dinner one night last week and it was simply delicious! The crust was so earthy and easy to make, I'm so glad I didn't take a short cut!

Turkey Sausage and Baby Bella Oat Crust Quiche
Oat Crust 
3/4 C rolled oats
1/2 C whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 T butter, cut into small pieces
4 T 1% milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9 inch pie pan or art with cook spray. Put oats, flour and salt in the food processor and pulse 3 times to combine. Add the butter and pulse 12 times until you get a pebbly, course texture. (It seems tedious, but the directions work like a charm!) Add milk and pulse 3-5 more times to combine. Form the mixture into a ball and place between 2 sheets or waxed paper. Roll out into a circle about 10-11 inches in diameter. Remove the top piece of waxed paper and transfer the crust to the pie dish. Press crust gently into the dish. Bake for 9 minutes, then let cool. Lower heat to 350 degrees! (That's important).
 Look at that great texture!

For the quiche filling, I basically chose everything that Chris and I like, cooked it, and filled the crust. There are SO many ways to alter it, but here's what I did.

Turkey Sausage and Baby Bella Quiche:
3/4 lb hot turkey sausage links, removed from casings
1 large onion, chopped
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
5 oz bag fresh baby spinach
4 eggs
2 egg whites
1/2 C milk (I used 1%)
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2/3 C Gruyere cheese, grated

Adjust oven to 350 degrees. Cook sausage in non-stick skillet and break into small pieces. Cook until done and drain in a bowl lined with paper towels. In the same skillet, cook onions and mushrooms about 4 to 5 minutes or until they begin to get tender. Add the spinach and nutmeg and cook until the spinach starts to wilt, about 1-2 minutes. Add mix to the sausage. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk, salt and pepper.
Pour the sausage mixture into the crust, then pour in egg mixture. Top with shredded cheese.

 Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.

Let cool for 10 minutes until cutting into it (yeah, good luck with that!)

Paired with a simple salad, this was the best "breakfast for dinner!"

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Eat a Rainbow: Dried Fruit and Nut Mix

This is my first "recipe" for my Eat a Rainbow project and I am already having fun! I got a ton of amazing dried fruit and nuts and put together my rainbow.

Dried Fruit and Nut Mix
 

To make my rainbow I used: 
Red: Cranberries, Strawberries
Orange: Apricots
Yellow: Pineapple, Bananas
Green: Pistachios
Blue: Blueberries
Purple: Prunes, Dates
Extras: Pecans, Almonds

I chopped up the fruit that was bigger and measured everything out. 

Then I threw everything in a big bowl and mixed it up.
 

There are so many great combinations of fruit and nuts that you could put together, but here is what I did. 


Dried Fruit and Nut Mix
1/2 C dried cranberries
1/2 C dried strawberries
1/2 C dried blueberries
1/2 C dried pineapple pieces
1/2 C banana chips
1/2 C prunes, quartered
1/2 C apricots quartered
1/2 C dates
1 C pistacios, shelled, salted
1 C pecans, roasted and salted w/ sea salt
1 C almonds, roasted and salted w/ sea salt

3 of the 8 types of fruit in this mix are no sugar added. I hope to find more like that soon. As for the nuts, unsalted is obviously better for you, but I like a little salty with all the fruit. Doesn't that look amazing?

This would be a great gift idea! Just scoop some into cute little baggies, tie a ribbon around the top, and that's it! If you are a big snacker, like ME, it's not a bad idea to scoop some into a little individual bag so you don't over do it! 
From here, you could make this into a trail mix by adding shredded coconut, candy pieces or even cereal. Turning this into delicious granola bars would be simple too-in fact, I might have to try that. Or you could do what I did this morning and add a scoop to your oatmeal. Yum! 

This would also be a fun project to do with kids and a great way to get them interested in healthy foods. :)
Happy snacking!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...