The first time I introduced my husband to guacamole, he was not a fan of it. At. All. I, on the other hand, am a self-proclaimed guacamoholic. It's very healthy, but I try hard not to overindulge because of the high calorie count. A few years back, we fell in love with these beautiful salads at a local Mexican restaurant that included a little side of guacamole. I don't know if it was because they used less lime than we were used to, but my husband was hooked... and so was my little sous chef! This recipe is my copycat version, and it's pretty darn close. It's delicious, creamy, and very easy to make. We like our guacamole smooth and creamy with a few chunks here and there, but if you prefer it chunky, just mash less.
June 27, 2014
Oh, how I love sweet cherries! They are in season for far too short a time, so I jump on them as soon as I see a good sale. As a little girl, I remember my Grandmommy putting them in the freezer, pits and all. Later on in the evening, we would take them out and enjoy them as a frozen treat. I've carried on that sweet "tradition" with my little sous chef, but I wanted to use them in something special now that she's out of school. I decided to make crumble bars, and they turned out fantastic! They are a perfect summer treat for breakfast or dessert!
A note on pitting cherries: Once cherries go on sale, I immediately put them in my freezer, without pitting them. Once I'm ready to use them, I run them under warm water in a colander for a minute or two in order to partially thaw them out. I then pit them using a pastry tip. When the cherries are partially frozen, they are easier to pit and the juices don't run everywhere.
May 21, 2014
Looking forward to your next vacation? These oat bars will send your taste buds straight to paradise! Sweet pineapple, flaked coconut, and freshly squeezed lime juice give them a delicious tropical flare. The pineapple filling in the center is made by cooking fresh pineapple in some sugar and lime juice. When the bars are baked, the the center sets up as delicious pineapple preserves. Better yet, I made these lower in fat by using nonfat Greek yogurt to replace half of the butter! These are great for breakfast or as a snack. Give them a try!
May 5, 2014
Give your taste buds a fun ride with these vegetarian stuffed mini sweet peppers! They are given a Mexican spin using cilantro, lime, black beans, rice, corn, tomatoes, onions, and even a little splash of tequila. The sweetness of the peppers are beautifully balanced by the spice from the jalapeno, cayenne, and crushed red pepper flakes. Happy Cinco de Mayo!
April 13, 2014
Just because we're spring cleaning our diets doesn't mean that we have to deprive ourselves of the things that we love! I had a few hours to myself between my little sous chef's dance recital and violin concert this weekend, so I decided to fool around with some ingredients and make healthy cookies that I can treat myself to throughout the week. I came up with these flourless and butterless cookies that include goodies like oats, shredded carrot, flaked coconut, wheat germ, and walnuts. They are delicious, delightfully chewy, and not overly sweet. When paired with the cream cheese glaze, they are just dreamy. These healthy, guilt-free cookies are so easy to make and can be ready for you to indulge in, in under 20 minutes! They would be a great option for breakfast on-the-go, too!
Note: These cookies will maintain the exact shape that you place them on the baking sheet, so use your fingers to form them into your desired shape.
April 6, 2014
We've been doing some spring cleaning of our diets recently, especially since I've gained my usual 5-pound winter weight. I'm very anxious to get back on the tennis courts and bike trail again! I had a beautiful package of mixed baby greens in the fridge and was in the mood for a light and refreshing salad. I decided to use up my remaining strawberries, toss in some feta, and add some toasted walnuts. But it needed something to bring it all together. I found about 3 tablespoons of peach preserves that I had to use up, so I decided to make a peach vinaigrette with poppy seeds. This dressing is seriously bangin!
April 2, 2014
This is a super healthy and refreshing smoothie that is low in calories and packed with vitamins and minerals. Oh, and it's pretty darn delicious, too! I didn't add any honey to my smoothie because my strawberries were sweet enough on their own, but you certainly can add it to sweeten it up more. Happy hump day!
March 10, 2014
We have been a hot mess of sickness in my home for these past few weeks, and my little sous chef was the last one to get it. Since all of our weekend plans were shot, I had a little extra time to play in the kitchen. I wanted to give my baby some relief from her symptoms, so I came up with these cold and flu popsicles. She thought they were delicious! I, however, loved them because of the cold and flu fighting ingredients that were used. Just one cup of strawberries provides you with 160 percent of your daily vitamin C needs. Kale is loaded with antioxidant vitamins and helps strengthen the immune system. Thyme is a natural expectorant, so it will help coughs to be more productive. Lemon is also rich in vitamin C and helps to boost your immune system. Honey soothes a sore throat and loosens congestion. Cayenne aids in loosening congestion and clearing your sinus passages. While studies have not proven whether or not cinnamon helps reduce inflammation and has antioxidant effects, it sure does make these popsicles taste good! As for the sugar, use your own judgment. If I was making these for myself, I would have eliminated it completely. However, strawberries aren't in season right now, so mine weren't very sweet to begin with. Finally, the popsicles themselves will help to prevent dehydration.
March 7, 2014
Well, we've made it through the first full week of March without any snow. Hallelujah! With Spring being less than 2 weeks away, Daylight Savings being this weekend (don't forget!), and today being Friday, I'm feeling very positive. I can't wait to see fresh, green grass in my yard, as opposed to the feet of ice that's currently smothering it. Come on, Spring!
For lunch today, I made this tasty tart. Fresh rosemary, smoked Gouda, and roasted broccoli on buttery, flaky puff pastry - that makes for a fan-flipping-tastic Friday! It's seriously delicious and also perfect for those observing lent. Happy Friday!
February 10, 2014
We've been hammered with snowstorm after snowstorm this winter and, once again, we found ourselves snowed in. I decided to make some comforting, warming macaroni and cheese for my family with a fun little twist. The ranch flavor deliciously shines in this dish, but it isn't overpowering. Definitely give this one a try!
January 7, 2014
Baby, it's cold outside! I don't know about where you live, but it was 0 degrees this morning in Pennsylvania! Even schools were calling off because of the cold. I decided to treat myself for braving the bitter cold weather today, so I made this warm chocolate cake... in a mug, in the microwave, in 5 minutes. Talk about instant gratification! It's rich, delicious, incredibly easy to make, and takes just 5 ingredients. Give it a try - you won't be disappointed!
November 3, 2013
It was a gorgeous, bright and chilly fall day and I happened to have the entire day to myself. What did I do with my free time? I spent the majority of it in the kitchen, of course! I had chili planned for dinner and I decided on these pumpkin-filled cinnamon rolls for dessert. I love these rolls and so do my family. My daughter dubbed them amazing and my husband called dibs on them for breakfast this week. They are soft, fluffy and the pumpkin filling pairs wonderfully with my favorite cream cheese glaze.
October 28, 2013
Take a bite out of these creepy-but-tasty witch finger treats for Halloween! They are an easy and fun activity to do with the kids. As one reader put it, "they look totally gross!" That's the point, people!
Note: You can substitute the shredded mozzarella with string cheese. Remember to shape your dough "fingers" thinner than you want them to turn out because the pizza dough will expand in the oven. If you would prefer to not use food coloring, you can simply leave it out and serve "Finger Pizza Rolls" instead.
September 30, 2013
Here is a healthy baked breakfast that not only looks elegant but is easy to do! You get two stuffed acorn rings per serving and each ring is only 133 calories!
Note: Take care that your acorn rings are sliced straight. They need to be able to lie completely flat on the baking sheet so egg doesn't seep through the bottom. If it does seep through, though, it's really not a big deal.
September 25, 2013
My lovely mother was raving over some carrot soup that she and my dad love, so I asked her to forward the recipe to me one day. I finally got around to trying it and I'm so glad that I did! It's rich, creamy, and perfect for a chilly autumn day. The fennel and cloves add a nice depth of flavor. Instead of sauteing the vegetables, I decided to roast them. I also added another clove of garlic, a little heavy cream and a hint of ginger. Other than that, I pretty much stuck to the ingredients. Bravo, mom!
September 20, 2013
My family got away for a much needed mini vacation recently and it was a perfect send-off to summer. When we finally arrived home, I came across some very ripe bananas in the fruit bowl. Because there's nothing better than baking on a chilly evening, my daughter and I decided to spend some of our free time whipping up some yummy banana bread together. My little sous chef and I have had this both for breakfast and a snack after she gets home from school each day this week - we absolutely love it!
Note: If you would like to make muffins, fill the muffin cups 2/3 full and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
September 4, 2013
My family went berry picking at Linvilla Orchards and I have a whole lot of berries to play with! I decided to make a triple berry crisp for desert tonight. I love this recipe because it is simple, delicious and I always have these ingredients on hand in my pantry.
August 27, 2013
Move over, onions... bell peppers are taking over! These fried pepper rings are so easy to make and they can be done in under 15 minutes. Try them - you won't be disappointed! Bet you can't just eat one! Of course, you can use any color bell pepper you prefer.
August 22, 2013
August 8, 2013
I've had an incredibly busy last couple of weeks and have had very little time for cooking let alone blogging. Finding myself in a break from the action, I decided to make some cereal bars for my daughter as a special treat. These are so good! My little sous chef absolutely loves them. After devouring
3 bars more than I care to admit, I'll have to be careful not to overindulge the next time but these are definitely going in my treat rotation list!