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Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

I’ve had this recipe saved for a long time now…  I think I filed it away last football season, thinking it would make a fun sports-night dinner.   I finally dusted it off a few weeks ago and decided to make it because we were having a “clean out the freezer” week.   I had some frozen chicken breasts and knew I wanted to use them in a crock pot dinner – the easiest way possible.

This recipe is turned out great, my husband loved it and we had leftovers for a few days.  I chose to leave out the butter and I bought butter-free wing sauce.  Make sure to look at the label because the sauces with butter will add a lot of unnecessary fat.  This is a much lighter way to get your fill of buffalo wings and it could not be any easier!  I served the chicken on whole wheat buns with a side of salad and celery sticks.

Click here for the recipe.

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Fruit Pizza

A few weekends ago I traveled home for my mom’s birthday.   Her gift was a new grill so needless to say, we planned a nice cookout for her birthday dinner.  I’m usually the cake baker among my family and friends but I’ve become a little tired of cakes and the mess, prep work, and clean up involved.   I decided to make something new and fun, it’s not your traditional birthday cake but this dessert was perfect for our cookout.

The crust is like a combination between shortbread and sugar cookies, with a fruit dip on top and then decorated by the fruit of your choice.  My sister and I decorated the top and I was pretty impressed by how everything turned out…..both beautiful and delicious.

I looked at many recipes on allrecipes.com and came up with my own adaptation.  If you want to make your own crust, try the crust for this recipe, it’s pretty easy.  If you are pressed for time you can simply use store bought sugar cookie dough like this recipe. For the topping I mixed 8 oz of softened cream cheese with 1 small jar of marshmallow fluff, added 1 tsp. vanilla and spread it on the cooled crust.  I bought fruit that looked the best and after chilling the crust for about 1 hour, I decorated the pizza.  Both of these recipes include a glaze which adds a shiny, professional finish to the pizza.  I chose to leave that part out because it didn’t seem necessary.  The pizza was a huge hit, my husband is already asking me to make it again!

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Fig & Ginger Truffles

I saw Ellie Krieger make these truffles on TV a month or so ago and I knew I’d be making them soon enough.  I thought the combination of figs and dark chocolate sounded amazing.

They look impressive but are actually very simple to make.

You simply combine figs, crystallized ginger, cinnamon, and honey.   Roll them into little balls, like these:

If you aren’t a fan of ginger you may not like these — I go back and forth on my opinion of ginger but in these, I actually did like it.  You chill the truffles for about 30 minutes or so and then dip them in melted dark chocolate (make sure you get a high quality chocolate).

I had some white chocolate chips leftover in the pantry so I melted a few to drizzle on the top…just make them extra pretty!

Mmmm!  Dried fruit and dark chocolate, a delicious and healthy treat!  Click here for the full recipe.

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Sweet Potato Hummus

Ask anyone who knows us, my husband and I eat a lot of hummus…. maybe 2 or 3 times most weeks, enough that we consider hummus its own food group.  We buy it at the store, stop for it at our favorite restaurant, and we make it at home.  I haven’t found a recipe that I’m really happy with, I’ve found some good ones, but I’m still always on the look out for more.

In my search for the perfect hummus recipe I ran across this recipe for Sweet Potato Hummus and had to make it right away!  I already had all of the ingredients on hand so I whipped up a batch for dinner.

The recipe is the same as a typical hummus recipe but with the addition of sweet potato.   This hummus is sweeter than traditional hummus and the sweet potato flavor is subtle.  It’s not the perfect hummus recipe that I had my heart set on but it’s something new and unique and, overall, pretty delicious.

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Pickled Eggs & Beets


I made my first batch of pickled eggs & beets of the year for Easter weekend! I know these aren’t for everyone, I didn’t even like them until a few years ago!!  They remind me of all things spring, summer, and family….this recipe has been in my family for years.


They are slightly sweet and best served cold.  Perfect for picnics, holidays and light afternoon snacking.  If I’m eating them alone I like to pair them with saltine crackers.

Ingredients

12 hard-boiled eggs, shelled

2 cans sliced beets

1 c. liquid reserved from beets

1 c. vinegar

1/2 c. brown sugar

2 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces

8 whole cloves
Drain liquid from beets and set beets aside. Add Sugar, vinegar, cinnamon and cloves. Boil mixture together for 10 minutes. Place eggs and beets in glass container. Pour in liquid.

Let stand in refrigerator for 1-2 days before eating (the longer, the better!) Also, when you have eaten all of the eggs you can place more in the leftover liquid and wait a few more days for another batch!

Note: this deep purple color was captured after 4 whole days of pickling! Mmm!

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Baked Chicken Parmesan

I apologize for the lack of blogging these last couple of weeks, the warm weather has been keeping me out of the kitchen!

Here is a great light version of a classic Italian recipe.  The chicken stays moist and is full of flavor, I promise you won’t miss all of the extra calories and fat.

Ingredients

– 4 (4oz) chicken breast halves

– 1/2 c. seasoned breadcrumbs

– 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

– 1/2 c. part-skim mozzarella cheese

– 3/4 c. marinara

– cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425°. Spray a large baking sheet lightly with spray.
Combine breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese in a bowl.  Dip the chicken in breadcrumb mixture.  Place on baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken. Lightly spray a little more cooking oil on top and bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken.  Turn chicken over, bake another 5 minutes. Remove from oven, spoon sauce over chicken and top with shredded cheese. Bake 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted. (Total baking time should be 20-25 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken) Let chicken rest for 5 minutes.

Serve with a big salad or pasta for a complete meal.

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Lentil Soup

I loved making this easy lentil soup.  It’s completely healthy, hearty, and delicious!  Even better is the fact that it made a huge batch so I froze half for later.

The only substitution I made from the original recipe was replacing 4 cups of water with 4 cups of beef broth.

Next time I am going to double the amount of vegetables and reduce the amount of lentils (for my own preferences)… either way, this recipe is worth keeping!


Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups dry lentils
  • 8 cups water ( I used 4 cups beef broth and 4 cups water)
  • 1/2 cup spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (I used balsamic vinegar)
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil; cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in lentils, and add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts. Stir in vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper, and more vinegar if desired.

You can find the original recipe on allrecipes.com by clicking, here.

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