Thursday, September 30, 2010

Three Cheese Artichoke Dip

I recently helped plan a friend's wedding recetpion. Several people have asked about the Artichoke Dip. If you like artichokes you'll want this recipe. Thanks Paula Deen, for another great one.

1 (8 oz) block of Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 green onions, sliced thin
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
dash of hot sauce
dash of worchestersire sauce
dash of salt and pepper

In a medium size bowl, using a hand mixer blend cream cheese until nice and smooth, add mayo and mix until smooth. Add remaining ingredients; mix thoroughly. Transfer to a shallow dish and bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees. The top should be a golden brown and bubbling. Serve with assorted chips, breads or fresh veggies.

note: Because I was serving a large crowd I mixed everything the night before. I placed it in Tupperware and stored it in the fridge over night. I then transferred the dip to a crock pot the day of the wedding. Cook on low4-6 hours, mix often so it won't burn around the edges.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pumpkin Cookies

This recipe is one I love because of two reasons...
1) Pumpkin... YUMMMM
2) They are low-fat and delicious and super simple

Ok, so that is more than two reasons, but you get the idea. My mom went to Weight Watchers years ago and this is a recipe she got from WW. I believe it is 1 ww point per cookie. Don't take my word for it, but you get the point if you know anything about ww.

1 Spice Cake mix

1 - 15 oz can pure pumpkin

chocolate chips (or nuts if you like)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix just these 3 ingredients together. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Makes about 40 cookies.

Cookie Cups

I wanted to make a special afternoon snack for Enoch's first day of school. I had seen this idea and thought it sounded fun.

I sweetened the cream with a little honey and topped the cookie bowls with fresh strawberries.

These would be so great as a make your own cookie bar.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Mango Cilantro Salsa

Mango Cilantro Salsa

1 ripe mango, peeled and ½-inch diced
¼ cup chopped scallion, green part only
¼ cup diced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon finely diced fresh jalapeno
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

Lightly toss all ingredients in bowl. Chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Mango Cilantro Salsa goes nicely with grilled meat, chicken or salmon.

Helpful Hint: Don't like cutting Mango?? Sam's Club and Costco sell delicious sliced Mango!! Look for it in the refrigerated section!

(Pictured above: Salmon stake, rub with olive oil and salt a pepper. Bake for 25-30 min. at 350 degrees. serve with romaine and spinach salad with cucumber, sliced red cabbage, and radishes. Top with delicious Mango Salsa. If you need more dressing i suggest: Newman's Own Light Lime Vinaigrette.)

Recipe by: Amanda

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mountain Pumpkin Pancakes

This morning my kids wanted their favorite breakfast. Being the cool Mom that I am, I agreed. Then I came up with the great idea to throw in some pumpkin. Yeah we finally found some at the store yesterday. I bought 12 cans! I asked the kids if they wanted pumpkin in their pancakes and they both yelled, "Yeah!"

It's not much different then our regular favorite, but this is what I came up with.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. While the oven is warming up place a stick of butter in a 9 x 13 dish and place in oven. Then put ingredients below in your kitchen aid and mix until bubbly. A few minutes should do the trick.

6 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour
dash of salt
1 cup milk

When the oven is ready and the butter is melted; pour the pumpkin mixture into the dish. Bake for 20 minutes. Cut into serving sizes and serve with syrup. Enoch loved these so much he wanted more and more. In fact he almost missed the bus to school because he wanted to finish every last bite. Ada loved it so much she wouldn't even leave the table to say goodbye to Enoch and the Bus. (THAT my friends, is saying something!) Dang it's a good thing the bus picks Enoch up at the end of our drive. We would have been in big trouble.

Lesson Learned: Plan for more eating time when you make this new favorite. It was like eating dessert for breakfast.

*UPDATE on 9/30/10 -I made these again this morning, but altered the recipe a little

1/2 cup brown sugar
9 eggs
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin pumpkin

everything else is the same
It didn't "mountain up" as much as the other recipe. Also, it had more of a softer almost pumpkin pie-ish texture.

The kids LOVED IT!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Sauce (to pour over wraps):

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup warm water

2 T soy sauce

2 T ketchup

1 T lemon juice

1/8 tsp sesame oil

1 T dijon mustard

2 cloves finely minced garlic

Chicken stir-fry:

2 T olive oil

2 T sesame oil

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts finely chopped

1 8 oz can water chestnuts minced

1 8 oz can bamboo shoots minced

1/2 cup mushrooms minced

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

3 green onions thinly chopped

Stir fry sauce:

2 T soy sauce

2 T brown sugar

1/2 tsp rice wine vinegar


Begin by making the pouring sauce. Mix all ingredients well and set aside for serving.

Prep stir fry sauce by mixing ingredients in small bowl and set aside.

Using a food processor (or blender) finely chop water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, and mushrooms, put in bowl with green onions and garlic set aside. (also, chop chicken real fine, set aside)

Combine oils and heat over high heat until it glistens, (about 1 minute.) Add chicken and saute until cooked through, then remove from pan. Take same pan and turn to medium high heat. Add another T of olive oil, wait one minute, and then add bowl of garlic, onions, water chestnuts, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots. Stir fry a few minutes and then add chicken and stir fry sauce.

Serve with lettuce leaves.

Optional toppings: (highly recommend, amazing flavor!)

Jasmine rice, Shredded carrots, Thinly sliced red cabbage, and only a few sprigs of Cilantro. And this dressing (below) is also refreshing (along, with the other one or by it's self!

Annie's Naturals Asian Sesame, (found in the organic Dressing section)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Asian Lettuce Cups

So I made these last night, and to save time I just bought the pre-cooked chicken that you get at grocery stores and chopped it up, and it was AMAZING! I thought that it was sooo good and super healthy! Now I didn't make the dipping sauce cause I didn't think that it needed it but I listed it below just in case you would like it.

1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
1 1/4 pounds ground turkey *( or leftover chicken)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions ( I like green onions, so I tend to use a cup)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 Tablepoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon sesame seed oil
1 teaspoon of chili powder
1 head butter or romaine lettuce

1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and turkey to pan; cook 7 minutes or until turkey is done, stirring frequently. Drain turkey mixture; place in a large bowl. Add green onions and next 6 ingredients; toss well. Spoon 1/3 cup turkey mixture into each cabbage leaf.

*Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add all ingredients and cook about 5-7 mins. just to re-heat. Mix well. Spoon 1/3 cup turkey mixture into each lettuce leaf.

Dipping/Drizzling Sauce
6 T soy sauce
2 T rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp honey
sliced green onions for garnish


Monday, September 6, 2010

Please Excuse the Dust

I'm in the process of giving our blog a new look. Changes should be complete soon.
Thanks for understanding.


Zebra Cake demo **ButterCream Filling** Icing Recipe

Make this darling cake for the Zebra lover in your family! Inside cake comes from a box but when you add colors and flavors it makes it fun and tasty... delicious homemade icing and fondant make up the Zebra stripes... it will blow you away that something like this can easily come out of YOUR kitchen!
Click HERE for directions on how to make the colorful inside of the cake!


Butter Cream Filling

(half the recipe if you are JUST using this for the middle of your cake)

1 pound bag powdered sugar
1/2 c. milk
1/8 - 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 sticks butter, cut up into 1/2 inch slices
1/2 c. shortening.

Wisk powdered sugar, salt, vanilla and milk on low speed till smooth.

Add butter, one slice at a time until incorporated.

Add shortening, and whip at highest speed, until volume increases by at least 50%. This is delicious because it's not too sweet.

Wilton Butter Cream Icing (stiff consistency)

1 c. solid white shortening
1 tsp. vanilla, almond, or butter flavoring (or Double the recipe and add 1 tsp. each for strong flavor... add 1/2 tsp. for mild flavor!)
2 Tbs. water
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 Tbs. Meringue powder
pinch of salt

Cream shortening, flavors and water. Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed till mixed.

Recipe interchangeable for different uses:

Med consistency- Add 1 more Tbs. water
Thin consistency- Add 2 more Tbs. water

Spread over cake and let it 'crust' for 10 minutes... then using parchment paper and a fondant smother tool smooth out the edges...

THIRD: Watch these videos on Zebra Decorating:

Part ONE:

Part TWO:

Click HERE for fondant recipe (you'll want to make this the day before you make the cake!)

Click HERE for Fondant YouTube video (this is surprisingly very easy!)
and yes, we made this cake for our DOGS birthday! We love our Pepper!!
Happy Decorating!

Grilled Pizza

BBQ Pizza is a FUN way to entertain, esp with little kids... they love preparing the dough and adding the toppings... and it's funny because it's personal... everyone adds their favorite toppings!
Fast Pizza Dough

1 1/2 c. very warm water
1 pk. dry active yeast
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. olive oil
1 1/2 T. salt
3 - 4 c. Flour

Mix water, yeast, sugar in bowl till dissolved. Let sit 5 minutes, it will start to 'poof'. Stir in Olive oil and salt. slowly add flour 1/2 cup at a time, till it's sticky. then add 1/4 cup at a time till it looks kneed-able. Stop mixing, drizzle olive oil over and let it sit for 10 minutes. Turn out of bowl, on to a floured surface and cut into small pieces. If you are entertaining... let everyone kneed, flatten their own dough.

Take to BBQ, cook on med high heat for 2 minutes on each side... A little longer if you like your dough to be thick.)

Then take inside and dress with favorite toppings... bring back to the BBQ and place on top rack and close the cover to the BBQ to cook mini pizzas... (about 5 minutes)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Cilantro-Lime Chicken Salad

Cilantro-Lime Chicken Salad

Chicken Marinade:

5-6 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast
garlic clove minced
½ bunch cilantro chopped fine
¼ C olive oil
juice of 2 limes
pinch of coarse pepper

Place garlic, cilantro, lime juice and salt & pepper in food processor. Pulse on high and slowly add olive oil to form an emulsion. Transfer cilantro mixture to bowl (or Ziploc) and add chicken. Let marinate for 3 hours. Cook chicken on grill or frying pan until done. Allow to cool.


¼ C balsamic vinegar
¾ C olive oil
garlic clove minced

1 T dijon mustard
juice of 1 orange plus zest
salt and pepper to taste

Place balsamic vinegar, garlic, dijon mustard, orange juice with zest and salt & pepper in food processor. Pulse on high and slowly add olive oil to form an emulsion.

Fresh Salsa:

peaches peeled and sliced
2 cucumbers seeded and diced small
½ red onion diced small
jalepeño minced

½ red pepper diced small
2 T red wine vinegar
2 T honey
3 T cilantro chopped
1 squeeze of lime juice

Place all ingredients in bowl and toss together.

Mixed Greens:

3 heads butter lettuce 1 lb. bag fresh spinach

Wash greens and chop butter lettuce. Mix together in large bowl with dressing.

Cut chicken in strips and place on top of mixed greens on each plate. Divide salsa between salads and serve.

Extra toppings Optional: Grape Tomatoes, Carrots

Thursday, September 2, 2010

French Peasant Bread

Everyone raves about this bread when they eat it hot out of the oven!!

1 package dry yeast
2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups flour
oil (for pan)
corn meal
melted butter

Place yeast, water, sugar, and salt in warm bowl and stir until dissolved. Add flour and stir until blended. Do not kneed. Cover and let rise one hour or until doubled in size. Flour hands, remove dough from the bowl and place in 2 rounds on an oiled cookie sheet sprinkle with corn meal. let rise an additional hour. brush the top with melted butter and bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. reduce oven temp to 375 and cook and additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and brush again with butter. Serve warm.

Macaroni and Cheese

So, this is one of those recipes you make once-every-two-years...send-half-of-it-out-the-door... and I-just-ran-a-marathon-and-I'm-eating-this-as-my-dinner... dish. When you see the ingredients you'll know why... BUT it's SOOOO GOOD!

Macaroni and Cheese
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis


butter, for greasing dish
12 ounce wide egg noodles
2 c. heavy cream
2 1/2 c. whole milk
2 tsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt, plus more for pasta water
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 c. (packed) grated Fontina (one wedge should do it, look in specialty cheese case at grocery store!)
3/4 c. (packed) finely grated parmesan
3/4 c. (packed) grated mozzarella4 ounces cooked ham, diced, optional
2 tbs. finely chopped fresh italian parsley leaves


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
butter a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Drain well but do not rinse.

Whisk the cream, milk, flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper in large bowl to blend. Stir in 1 cup Fontina, 1/2 Parmesan, 1/2 cup mozzarella, ham, if using, and parsley. Add the noodles and toss to coat. Transfer the noodle mixture to the prepared baking dish. Toss the remaining 1 cup Fontina, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and 1/4 cup mozzarella in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over the noodle mixture. Bake until the sauce bubbles and the cheese melts and begins to brown on top, about 20 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Honey Wheat French Bread

This is another tweak to Michelle's French Bread Recipe. My first tweak is  here. I don't actually use agave or sugar anymor...