Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fruit Pizza

To be honest, I'm more of a decadent chocolate, peanut butter, or cinnamon-y dessert type of girl.  Don't get me wrong... I love fruit.  But I'd just prefer chocolate.  What girl wouldn't?

However, there are some fruity desserts that come along that are just unbelievable... my Best Lemon Bars, my mom's apple crisp, or my Blackberry-Peach Crisp, or this amazing fruit pizza!!  I have made this recipe a few times and every time, no fail, I cannot stop eating it! It is so addicting. And amazingly delicious.  My hubby and I made this with two of our married friends.  It's really fun to cut up the fruit and decorate it all cute! And you can use whatever fruit you like. These fruits (kiwis, strawberries and mandarin oranges are my favorites) but you could do blueberries, raspberries, peaches etc.  Basically... we finished the whole thing that night.  I ate a whole stinkin' one-fourth of this baby.  I mean... whoops....  So, just so you know, it's addicting.  You might eat the whole thing.

Just warning ya!

Fruit Pizza

1 roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 package (8 oz) reduced-fat cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
fruit of your choice- sliced strawberries. mandarin orange segments, cut-up kiwis, peach slices, blueberries, raspberries- whatever you like!
1/2 cup apple jelly (optional- I left it out)

Heat oven to 350.  Grease 12-inch pizza pan (you could also use a 9x13 pan) with cooking spray.  In pan, break up cookie dough and press evenly in bottom of pan to create the crust.
Bake 16 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool completely, about 30 minutes. (It's so hard to wait!)  In small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Spread mixture over cooled crust. Arrange fruit over cream cheese.  Stir jelly until smooth; spoon or brush over fruit. (Optional) Refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour.* Cut into wedges or squares. Store in refrigerator.

 *We didn't wait an hour to eat it... we were too anxious! But it is good chilled, too.  And you should definitely store in the fridge.  That is, if you have any leftovers!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Healthified Chocolate-Almond Pudding Cake

 This recipe has 40% less fat, 75% less saturated fat, and 27% fewer calories than the original version!  And let me tell ya... you can't really even tell!  I've decided I really like the website! They have some really awesome, healthy recipes of all categories and every recipe I've made so far has been awesome.

If you need to get your chocolate fix without consuming a whole day's worth of calories, then you should try this cake out :)  Eating it with some reduced fat vanilla ice cream and hot fudge sauce isn't a bad idea either... :)

 Healthified Chocolate-Almond Pudding Cake
Prep Time:20 min
Start to Finish:1 hr 30 min
makes: 9 servings
1cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/2cup granulated sugar
1/4cup chopped almonds, toasted*
1/4cup unsweetened baking cocoa
2teaspoons baking powder
1/4teaspoon salt
1/2cup fat-free (skim) milk
2tablespoons canola oil
2teaspoons vanilla
1/4teaspoon almond extract
3/4cup packed brown sugar
1/4cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1 3/4cups water

Vanilla reduced-fat ice cream, if desired

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 8-inch square (2-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In medium bowl, mix flour, granulated sugar, almonds, 1/4 cup cocoa, the baking powder and salt. Stir in milk, oil, vanilla and almond extract until blended. Spread batter in pan.

In 1-quart saucepan, mix brown sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa with wire whisk. Stir in water; heat just to boiling, stirring occasionally. Pour over batter.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until center is set. Cool 30 minutes before serving.

To serve, spoon warm cake into individual dessert bowls; spoon pudding from baking dish over cake. Serve with ice cream.
*To toast almonds, heat oven to 350°F. Spread almonds in ungreased shallow pan. Bake 6 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until light brown.

Nutrition:  200 calories, 6g fat!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Banana Pecan Oatmeal Pancakes

These pancakes are a great staple breakfast to have in your home- low-fat, full of whole grain oats, high in fiber, and delicious!

I altered the recipe a little bit by mashing the banana instead of dicing it, and I did not serve banana slices on top.  I bet it would be awesome though.  YUM!

Recipe For Banana Almond Oatmeal Pancakes
Modified from an old family recipe

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup quick or rolled oats
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey
1 to 1 1/2 cups vanilla soy milk (or skim milk) (depending on whether you like thin or thick pancakes)
1 banana, diced or mashed
Cooking spray for pan
1/4 cup almonds or pecans
1 banana, sliced
  1. In a bowl, mix the flour, oats, baking powder, salt, egg, cinnamon, and honey. Stir in the soy milk to the desired consistency. I like my pancakes to be neither too thin nor too thick, so I added 1 1/4 cups of soy milk. Stir in the bananas.
  2. Place a skillet on medium heat (I use a square-shaped griddle). After spraying the pan, pour batter into 4-inch diameter circles (using about 1/4 cup of batter).
  3. While the pancakes are cooking, hand chop the almonds on a cutting board with a sharp knife.
  4. Once the pancakes begin to bubble, flip them and cook for another minute or so on the other side until golden brown.
  5. Serve three pancakes with sliced bananas and chopped almonds. They're delicious like this, or for a sweeter breakfast, pour on two tablespoons of real maple syrup.
Makes 12 pancakes (four servings).

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Spinach Lasagna Rolls

As much as I hesitate to admit it, I sometimes stay away from foods that have the word spinach in the title.  I don't necessarily hate the leafy green, but in order for me to eat it, it's gotta be surrounded by lots of other delicious ingredients! 

That being said... in NO way do I find this main dish even slightly unlike-able.  For one, it's a fabulous way to use up leftover lasagna noodles.  It's also incredibly cute- little rolls of lasagna filled with creamy, savory yummy goodness! Most importantly- these are delicious! I was so excited to eat the leftovers over the next few days!

I found this recipe linked to a recipe for a homemade sauce to use instead of store-bought.  I hesitated, but I ended up making the homemade and loved it!! I really think it was what made this meal so delicious~ yum!

Spinach Lasagna Rolls
 from Skinny Taste

Servings: 9 Serving Size: 1 roll Old Points: 4 pts Points+: 6 ww pts
Calories: 224.9 • Fat: 5.1 g Fiber: 3.4 g Protein: 13.0 g Carbs: 31.5

  • 9 lasagna noodles, cooked
  • 10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and completely drained
  • 15 oz fat free ricotta cheese (I like Polly-o)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 32 oz tomato sauce
  • 9 tbsp (about 3 oz) part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Ladle about 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish.

Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles are dry. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over noodle. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.

Ladle sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and top each one with 1 tbsp mozzarella cheese. Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts. Makes 9 rolls.

To serve, ladle a little sauce on the plate and top with lasagna roll.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Strawberry Yogurt Cream Pie

This, my friends, is the easiest pie you will ever make.  Ever! Isn't it so great?

I apologize, I haven't even told you how to make it yet.  So how are you to believe me?  Well let me put it this way.  There are 3 ingredients. And it takes 5 minutes to prepare. Done.  Easiest pie ever.

Even better than that?  There's only about 120 calories per piece, so what's not to love?

1 homemade or store-bought graham cracker crust
1 container Lite Cool Whip
2-3 (6 oz) Yogurts  (strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, key lime….)
Thaw cool whip in microwave for about 30 seconds. Next you will combine the the cool whip and yogurt in a medium bowl. Then place the mixture into the pie crust and spread out evenly. After this you will place in the freezer for about 4-6 hours before serving. You can leave it in overnight, just make sure to leave it out about an hour before serving to let it soften up a bit. That’s it! Easy peasy!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Giant Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Although I will always love trying new recipes (especially cookie recipes), I will always be loyal to my number one cookie- CHOCOLATE CHIP.  Can I get a holla?

Haha I'm sorry.  That was immature.  And chocolate chip cookies are SO not immature.  They are national celebrities, a world-renowned genius.  And I must say: they handle the fame pretty well.  Always consistently delicious- I don't think I've tried a chocolate chip cookie that I didn't like- whether it was made with Splenda or it was even donning nuts in it... they are all fantastic and they simply scream "childhood comfort food."  In fact, I can distinctly chronicle my life's timeline around my memories of baking chocolate chip cookies at home.  Every Sunday, freshly baked homemade cookies were almost always to be found adorning our stovetop, counters, tupperware and tummies.

 These cookies are chocolate chip cookies taken to the extreme.  You're gonna need a muffin top pan.  I mean I GUESS you could try baking these on normal cookie sheets but I'm tellin ya... these are best when you fill those muffin top wells with heaps of dough and out comes a gorgeous, chewy, gooey and very moist and chocolatey cookie.  Mmm!!
Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies
from My Baking Addiction

2 sticks cold and cubed unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon table or fine sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 cups good quality semisweet chocolate chips or chunks

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
1. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle, cream together butter and sugars until well blended and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mix in vanilla and beat until well incorporated.
2. Add flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and mix until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips/chunks and nuts.
3. Transfer dough to clean work surface and gently mix dough by hand to ensure even distribution of ingredients.
4. Weigh out the dough into 4 ounce portions and gently roll into a ball. (I got ten 4 ounce cookies out of this dough).
4. Place each on sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake in the preheated oven 15-20 minutes depending on how gooey and rawish you like the interior, until very lightly browned, taking care not to overbake. I baked mine for 16 minutes, which seemed to be perfect in my oven.
5. Let cool on rack and store what you don’t immediately eat in an airtight container.
-These are best eaten on the day they are made (ESPECIALLY warm out of the oven – like most chocolate chip cookies).
-To freshen them after a few days (if they last that long), give them a quick nuke in the microwave for 5-10 seconds.
- I did not attempt to make these smaller than 4 ounces. I am sure they will be equally as amazing, you’ll just have to play with the baking time.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Southwest Pasta Salad

Okay FINALLY I'm posting again! Ha it seems like I'll do really great at posting for a week or so, posting every day, and then all of a sudden I get super busy and don't post for a long time.  I really want to break this habit, I do... but I am just so stinkin busy all of the time! I barely have time to cook/bake the things I put on here!

However,  I did make this  fabulous pasta salad a few weeks ago... and it was SO good!! We brought it to a potluck dinner and it got many compliments.  My husband rated this as a "keeper."

Southwest Pasta Salad
Recipe by Our Best Bites

1/2 lb bowtie pasta
1 14oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 roma tomatoes, diced or about 3/4 C or halved cherry tomatoes
1 large red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, diced
1/2 C sliced green onions
1/2 C frozen fresh corn
zest from 2 limes
optional: 8 oz diced cooked chicken
1/2 C Queso Fresco or Cotija Cheese (or you could sub grated jack, cheddar or pepperjack)

6 Tbs fresh lime juice (about 3 juicy limes)
1/4 C white wine or rice vinegar
4-5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
2 tsp sugar (add a touch more if your limes are extra sour/bitter)
3/4 C canola oil
1/2 C roughly chopped cilantro

Boil pasta in salted water until cooked.  While it’s cooking, prepare dressing.
First zest your limes and place the zest in a large salad bowl.
Place the lime juice, vinegar, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and sugar in a blender.  (Basically everything except the cilantro and oil)  Process until smooth.  With the motor running slowly, add the oil in a steady stream until incorporated.  Add the cilantro and pulse so it gets broken up, but some pieces still remain in tact.
When pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse immediately with cold water to cool.  Place the pasta in the large salad bowl with the lime zest.  Add black beans, tomatoes, diced pepper, green onions, corn (no need to thaw the corn),  and chicken if desired.  Toss with dressing.  Taste, and add additional salt and pepper to taste.  For best results, chill for 1 hour before serving.  Right before serving, sprinkle cheese on top.  Serve with extra lime wedges if desired.

Makes about 4-6 dinner sized servings or 10-12 side servings

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