Thursday, December 1, 2011

Skinny Artichoke Dip

I think that Skinny Taste is one of my go-to blogs, especially for an appetizer.  I'm looking to cut out calories wherever I can, and she does just that without sacrificing flavor or appearance.

This is another dish that I prepared for Thanksgiving, but it's definitely not fall-specific.  I doubled it for our crowd and it was perfect.  This would be great during a football game or holiday dinner party.  I polished off the leftovers for lunch!

Skinny Artichoke Dip
from Skinnytaste

  • 13.75 oz artichoke hearts packed in water, drained
  • 2 tbsp chopped shallots
  • 1/4 cup fat free Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp whole wheat bread crumbs
  • olive oil spray
Preheat oven to 400°.

In a small food processor, coarsely chop the artichoke hearts with the shallots.

Combine artichokes, yogurt, mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, mozzarella, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Place in an oven-proof dish and top with breadcrumbs. Lightly spray the crumbs with olive oil then bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes, until hot and cheese is melted. Serve right away.

Can be made one day in advance without the breadcrumbs and stored in the refrigerator before baking. Add breadcrumbs before baking. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cranberry Pomegranate Holiday Sangria

As soon as I saw this vibrant sangria on Pinterest, I pinned it right to my Thanksgiving board where I stashed a bunch of recipes I planned to use this year.  Normally I'd wait until next year to post something Thanksgiving-related, but I think this would fit in quite nicely on your December holiday menu as well.

When I went to the liquor store to get the wine for this, I picked up an "Apple Cider" wine.  It tasted a bit too sweet for me on its own, but in this sangria it was perfect.  There was not a drop left by the end of the meal!

Cranberry Pomegranate Holiday Sangria
from Deep South Dish

  • 1 (750 ml) bottle of red zinfandel
  • 4 cups of cranberry juice
  • 2 cups of POM Wonderful pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup of orange juice
  • 3/4 cup of simple syrup
  • 1 apple, unpeeled, cored, quartered & sliced thin
  • 1 orange, halved and sliced thin
  • 1 lemon, halved and sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup of fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup of pomegranate seeds
  • San Pellegrino sparkling water
Combine all of the ingredients in an extra large storage container, taste and adjust flavors to your liking. Chill at least 4 hours or overnight. Stir before serving and transfer to pitchers or pour by the glass. Use a pair of tongs to extract some of the fruit for each glass, add ice to each glass, and fill glasses, leaving about an inch of free space at the top. Top each glass off with a splash of Pellegrino and lightly stir.

Note from the source: The color for this sangria comes primarily from the juices, so you can use either red or white. Use any good wine that you prefer. I used a red zinfandel, but other good choices include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Rioja, Shiraz, or Beaujolais.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce

Hey, blogging world!  I have been way too absent lately and I'm hoping to change that soon.  Work is crazy, my kids are busy, and we're entering "the holidays" which, as awesome as they are, makes my to-do list grow exponentially.  I keep saying I just need to find my groove, but... well, I'm still waiting...

This is a recipe that I made for the first time last Thanksgiving and I've been waiting since then to post it.  I've always just done cranberry sauce from a can, and you have to admit that it's pretty good.  However, I've always wanted to try a fresh version, so I was happy to see that The Pioneer Woman posted a recipe that looked unique, easy, and delicious.

This was just sweet enough without being overpowering.  I loved the healthy addition of pomegranate sauce, and I especially loved the fact that I could make it in the morning and let it chill all day.  Any recipe that can be done in advance scores some serious bonus points from me!

We host a crowd of 20+, so I doubled the recipe below.  You can bet that it will be back on my table this year!

Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce
from The Pioneer Woman

  • 1 bag (about 12 To 16 Oz) Fresh Cranberries
  • 16 ounces, fluid Pomegranate Juice
  • 3/4 cups Sugar, More Or Less To Taste
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Mixture will thicken as it cooks, and will thicken more as it cools.
Cool in a jar or bowl in the fridge. Serve with Thanksgiving turkey.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Asian Chicken Pizza

I've really been enjoying making pizza for my family every Friday night. I might even be ready to *gasp* try making my own dough!

When deciding on take-out, my husband usually chooses pizza while I tend to gravitate towards Chinese. This collaboration, however, satisfies us both. Oh, the deliciousness; another keeper from Stephanie Cooks!

Asian Chicken Pizza
  • Pizza dough
  • 5 ounces of chicken, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (less or more depending on how hot you want it)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. honey
  • 3/4 cup rice wine vinegar OR apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. sliced green onion
Preheat the oven to 450.

Combine the red pepper flakes, garlic, soy sauce, honey, and vinegar. Stir well, set aside.

In a small skillet cook the chicken. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Pour the sauce mixture into the pan. Heat over medium heat until it thickens and becomes syrup like, about 10 minutes. Add the chicken, toss well.

Form the dough. Top with a drizzle of olive oil, rubbing to coat the dough.

Top with the chicken/glaze mixture. Make sure it's evenly coating the dough.

Top with the cheese and sprinkle with sesame seeds if using.

Bake 10-12 minutes. Top with green onion. Serve hot.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Crunch Bar Pie

This is crazy overdue! I participated in a recipe exchange months ago... I made the recipe right away but didn't get around to blogging it... and then totally forgot. Picture me hanging my head in shame.

Now picture me with a big dorky grin on my face, because that's pretty much what I looked like when I made this awesome pie. I took some shortcuts and made some changes (this was originally based on Andes mints) but the results were unbelievable. There's still plenty of summertime left, and this would be perfect for a barbecue.

Crunch Bar Pie
adapted from Laurie's Kitchen
  • 1 prepared chocolate pie crust
  • 2 cups whipping cream, divided
  • 10oz mini Nestle Crunch bars
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
Over low heat, use a double boiler to bring 1/4 cup cream to a simmer. Turn off the heat.

Add about half of the Crunch bars (reserve a couple of tablespoons for garnish) and stir until melted and smooth.

Leave a tablespoon or two aside and spread the sauce along the bottom of the pie crust and place in freezer.

Over low heat, use a double boiler to melt the marshmallows in milk, stirring constantly. Add the other half of the Crunch bars (remember to keep aside the garnish!) and stir until melted and smooth. Refrigerate until COLD.

Once the marshmallow mixture is cold, beat 1 1/4 cups whipping cream until stiff; fold into the cold marshmallow mixture.

Spoon into pie crust and drizzle with reserved chocolate sauce (you may need to reheat it in the microwave to soften).

Refrigerate until chilled.

Before serving, whip remaining 1/2 cup cream and sugar; pipe or spoon over filling. Sprinkle with reserved chopped Crunch bars.

Friday, July 1, 2011

"Chicken" Bacon Ranch Pizza

It's Pizza Friday! This is another awesome pizza from Stephanie Cooks. There should be chicken in here too, but yours truly forgot to defrost the chicken in time. The accidental omission didn't matter, however; the pizza did just fine without it (though I can't wait to try it again with the chicken). We ate this outside on the patio and my husband repeatedly requested that I make two of these next time.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza
from Stephanie Cooks; originally from Annie's Eats
  • 1 batch of pizza dough
  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup ranch salad dressing
  • 4 ounces grilled chicken, diced small
  • 3 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and diced small
  • 1 tomato, seeded and diced small
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 450.

Prepare your pizza dough, leaving a thicker edge around the side for the crust. Prepare it on either parchment paper or on a pizza peel topped with corn meal. Drizzle olive oil lightly over the crust and rub it all over the dough, over the edges as well. Bake for 7 minutes.

Top with the ranch salad dressing, spreading evenly over the crust.

Next, arrange your chicken, bacon, and tomato evenly over the dressing.

Top with the cheddar cheese. The sprinkle the mozzarella evenly over top.

Transfer the pizza to the stone. Bake 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden.

Top with the green onions as soon as you pull it from the oven. Serve hot.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Roasted Asian Veggies

I'm really not a huge side-dish-during-the-week kinda person. If my main dish doesn't already have a veggie in it, I'll throw a frozen bag into the microwave and call my meal balanced.

Now that I'm on summer break, however, I'm trying to be better about serving fresh vegetables and this one from weelicious is just perfection. It takes barely any effort, and as long as you have the time it takes to roast in the oven, you're good to go.

I would never ever have thought to infuse broccoli and cauliflower with Asian flowers, but I'm glad somebody did. This was awesome, and my kids inhaled it. I combined the leftovers with some couscous and grilled chicken for a perfect lunch.

Roasted Asian Veggies
from Weelicious
  • 2 Cups Broccoli Florets
  • 2 Cups Cauliflower Florets
  • 2 Tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Seeds

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Place florets on a greased baking sheet, top with soy sauce and sesame oil, and toss to coat evenly.

Bake for 30 minutes until golden, then sprinkle with sesame seeds.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer Cookout Veggie Burger

I'm for sure no vegetarian (I could never live without chicken or turkey!) but I try to eat vegetarian several times a week. In the past, though, "eating vegetarian" meant pasta. Delicious, yes, but not exactly protein-packed or very healthy.

So you can imagine, of course, that I was happy to come across Leslie Sarna's Veggie Burger. I've always been intrigued by this concept; a burger? Made without MEAT?! Really? But why not, right?

These were SO easy to make, and I was able to throw some into the freezer for quick lunches and dinners. I gave my husband and kids their burgers on a regular bun, but I put mine on a deli flat and then put it on the panini press. Perfection.

Summer Cookout Veggie Burgers

from Leslie Sarna
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup rolled oats (non-instant Oatmeal)
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs (I like to use Panko also called Japanese bread crumbs if you can find them)
  • 1 tsp. (or more) chili powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • about 3 tbsp. chopped chives
  • 1 egg
  • olive oil
  • 1 small red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 4 oz. mushrooms, finely diced
  • 6 sun dried tomatoes, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced

In a medium frying pan, heat some olive oil. Add the chopped onion, garlic, bell peppers and a pinch of Salt. Let cook 2 minutes on a lower heat. Add mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes; let cook another couple minutes. Let cool when cooked. While the veggies are cooling, in a large bowl combine the Beans, Oats, Bread Crumbs and all the spices and chives. Toss a little and add the egg. Using your hands to mix the mixture until it's slightly sticky and about 3/4 of the beans are smashed. Add in the veggies. Continue to work with your hands. If the mix feels a little dry, add water by the teaspoon until right. If it's too wet, add bread crumbs : ) Form 8 burger patties. Refrigerate for about an hour. (you can also place these pouches in a ziploc bag and freeze for up to a couple of weeks) To cook, unwrap the burgers from the plastic and cook in a heated skillet with cooking spray or olive oil in the bottom. Cook about 3-4 minutes on each side.

PS these should always be cooked on a skillet or frying pan. Unfortunately, they can fall apart if cooked on the bbq.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pioneer Woman's Perfect Pancakes

I've mentioned many times that my husband is the pancake expert in our house. I can never ever get them to come out right and usually end up frustrated, but when he requested pancakes for his Father's Day breakfast, I knew I had to suck it up and do it.

So I did.

I added some chocolate chips and food coloring, and I really think the cake flour made a huge difference. As usual, the Pioneer Woman didn't disappoint, and we happily enjoyed some special pancakes!

(Sidenote: my youngest is currently obsessed with Eric Carle's Pancakes, Pancakes! and kept yelling his toddler version of "Let's make a pancake!" and laughing hysterically at himself.)

Perfect Pancakes
from The Pioneer Woman
  • 3 cups Plus 2 Tablespoons Cake Flour
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons Baking Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 2 whole Large Eggs
  • 3 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • Extra Butter
  • Maple Or Pancake Syrup

Mix together dry ingredients in large bowl.

Mix together milk, eggs, and vanilla in a separate bowl.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring very gently until just combined.

Melt butter and add it to the batter, stirring gently to combine.

Cook on a greased skillet over medium-low heat until golden brown. Serve with an obscene amount of butter and warm syrup.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Tomato Alfredo Pizza

I mentioned a few days ago that I've been making pizza every Friday. As I prepare my menu for the week, I go directly to Stephanie Cooks. Here, my friend Stephanie has an incredible pizza variety and I have bookmarked nearly all of them. Do yourself a huge favor and go check out her pizza collection.

This honestly tasted like a gourmet pizza. My husband and I inhaled the whole thing and, I must confess, I would have eaten more had there been any.

(Disregard the photo - I snapped some pics but then ended up baking it again for another minute or two and forgot to take new pictures.)

Tomato Alfredo Pizza
from Stephanie Cooks
  • Pizza crust
  • 1/2 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 tbsp. flour
  • 3/4 cup skim milk (or cream if you don't want to take the light approach)
  • 1/4 cup pecorino romano cheese
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce (I used sliced tomatoes instead)
Preheat the oven to 450. Stretch out the pizza dough on your stone or pan and bake for 7 minutes.

In a small saucepan melt the butter. Add the flour, stirring until it forms a paste.

Pour in the milk, stirring constantly.

Bring to a low boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Once the sauce is somewhat thick, add the romano cheese, stirring well.

Cover the pizza crust with the alfredo sauce and add sliced tomatoes if using.

Top with the mozzarella cheese. Drizzle the tomato sauce over the cheese.

Bake 10-12 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the crust is crisp.
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