Monday, February 27, 2012

Berry Burrito

This sounds like a very strange combination, but it is so good!!!!

Truvia sweetener
1/3 cup frozen berries
1 light low fat cheese wedge (Laughing Cow)
1 small whole grain low carb tortilla
2 T sugar free syrup
1/2 egg yolk
4 egg whites
1 T protein powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Blend eggs, protein powder, cinnamon, and Truvia.  Create an egg pancake in pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Layer cheese, eggs, and berries into tortilla.  Fold in half and crisp on each side in frying pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Top with syrup.  

Taken from Live the Life week 2 Phase 4.  

Monday, February 20, 2012

Blueberry Shake

1 1/2 scoops protein powder
2 T oats
1/4 cup plain canned pumpkin
1/3 cup blueberries
6 ice cubes
1/2 cup water

Combine and blend all ingredients together to desired shake consistency.  Yummy!!!  Made it substituting frozen strawberries for the blueberries some mornings - awesome!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ginger Chocolate Chip Cookies


1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
12 oz chocolate chips

Mix, chill 1 hour.  Roll in powdered sugar.  Cook 8-12 minutes at 375 degrees.

This was shared by my sister-in-law a few years back.  Nice blend of flavors.  

Friday, February 17, 2012

Easy Cake-Mix Banana Bread and Variations

Easy Cake-Mix Banana Bread

Easy Cake Mix Banana Bread (Basic Recipe)
box Betty Crocker® cake mix (choose cake mix flavor from recipe variations below)
cup oil
mashed bananas
Additional ingredients as required for variations below
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Generously spray 2 (9x5-inch) loaf pans with cooking spray; lightly flour pans.
  2. Select your favorite banana bread recipe variation from those below.
  3. In large bowl, beat all ingredients above plus ingredients from selected variation below until well mixed. Divide batter evenly between pans.
  4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of loaves comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans on cooling racks. Remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely, 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Makes 2 loaves; 12 slices each
Make the Most of This Recipe With Tips From The Betty Crocker® Kitchens
Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Banana Bread:Chocolate cake mix
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Chocolate Chip-Banana Bread:Yellow cake mix
1 bag (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
Banana Split Bread:Cherry chip cake mix
1 jar (6 oz) maraschino cherries, each cut in half
1/2 cup chopped almonds
Serve slices of bread with a drizzle of hot fudge sauce and a dollop of whipped cream.
Banana-Butterscotch Bread:Butter pecan cake mix
1 bag (12 oz) butterscotch chips (2 cups)
Cinnamon-Sugar Banana Bread:White cake mix
2 tablespoons cinnamon-sugar
Before baking, sprinkle cinnamon-sugar over batter in each pan.
Strawberry-Banana Bread:Strawberry cake mix
1 cup frozen strawberries, thawed, drained and chopped
Spiced Banana-Cream Cheese Swirl Bread:Spice cake mix
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese mixed with 1 egg and 1/2 cup sugar
Spread one quarter of batter in each loaf pan. On top of batter in each pan, spread half of cream cheese mixture. Swirl remaining batter over cream cheese layer in each pan.
Hawaiian Banana Bread:White cake mix
1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
1 cup shredded coconut


Freeze overripe bananas until you have enough to make this luscious banana bread. Just pop them, peel and all, into the freezer. They can stay there for up to 3 months!
Grease and flour your pans before pouring the batter into them, and you'll have a lot less of a mess to clean up afterward. To grease them properly, your pans need to be sprayed with a good layer of cooking spray, then tossed with 1/4 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour until all sides of the pan are coated with flour. Gently tap out any excess flour. Your pans are now ready for the batter and baking!

I just made these to take to the hospital where my nephew is having a very serious surgery.  I guess I am a believer that good food makes everything better and easier to deal with!  I'll let you know if that, combined with lots of prayers is effective.  LOVE all the variations too!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Crunchy Cinnamon Cream Pie

2/3 cup low fat cottage cheese
2 T Greek yogurt
1/2 pear
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Stevia sweetener
10 small whole-wheat crackers (Low-fat Wheat Thins)

Combine all except crackers.  Dip crackers into mixture.  

Homemade Almond Joys


This is a really casual recipe, so use whatever amounts of ingredients you have.

3/4 cup dried flaked coconut (unsweetened, if you can find it. If not, use the regular shredded coconut. I used the regular shredded in the picture—that’s why it’s so white.)
3-4 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 bag of milk chocolate chips (Ghiardelli or Guittard brands)
1/4 cup toasted almonds

1. Mix the coconut with the condensed milk and the vanilla in the food processor (for best results), or by hand. It should be thick and sticky. Add more milk or coconut as necessary, to achieve Almond Joy center consistency.

2. Line a mini muffin tin with about ten to twelve paper liners. Melt about half of the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, in 30 second intervals, stirring well after each. Pour about a teaspoon of melted chocolate into the bottom of each liner. Shake the tray back and forth to distribute the chocolate. Put in about a teaspoon and a half of the coconut mixture into each, and top with an almond. Pour chocolate over the top of each. Shake the tray to distribute the chocolate evenly. Melt more chocolate as necessary. Refrigerate until chocolate is set.

I made 48 of these for Valentine's Day - super easy and oh, so yummy!  

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Chocolate Chip Lava Cookies

Chocolate Chip Lava Cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups (210 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 (10 oz) bag milk chocolate chips (I prefer Hersheys)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a standard size muffin tin with cooking spray. Place 1/2 cup chocolate chips in a Ziploc bag, and seal shut. Lay the Ziploc bag flat in the microwave, spreading out the chocolate chips in a single layer. Microwave for 30 seconds. Remove bag and flip, microwaving for an additional 10-15 seconds until all the chips are softened. Set aside to cool.

2. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat until well combined. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to the wet ingredients and beat on low speed until just combined. Add the remaining chocolate chips (1 cup) and stir to combine.

3. Using half the cookie dough, scoop 1.5-2 tbsp of dough, flatten it out a bit, and place in the bottom of the muffin tin. Repeat for a total of 10 cookies. Cut a small tip in the corner of the Ziploc bag, and gently squeeze a layer of chocolate over the cookie. Scoop and flatten the remaining dough and place on top of the chocolate layer. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, until the edges are just browned. As soon as they come out of the oven, run a knife around the edges to make for easy removing later. Cool completely before removing from the muffin tin, running a knife around the edge to help loosen.

These are good as mini muffins, too! Try baking at 350 for 9 mins. Enjoy!

Read More

NOTE:  These got rave reviews after I made them for a closing.  I think I would cook them a bit less time the next time I do them.  It is a unique, fun way to do "chocolate chip cookies".

Friday, February 10, 2012

Marshmallow Crunch Brownie Bars

For the Brownie Base:
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2/3 cup unsalted butter
1¼ cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Toppings:
1 bag (10½ ounces) miniature marshmallows
1½ cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup smooth peanut butter (don’t use natural peanut butter)
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1½ cups Rice Krispies cereal

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13-inch pan.

2. For the brownies: In a medium saucepan, melt the unsweetened chocolate, butter and ¾ cup of the semisweet chocolate chips over medium heat. Stir occasionally while melting. Set aside and cool for 5 minutes.

3. In a medium bowl sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl , whisk the eggs thoroughly. Add the sugar and vanilla and whisk until well blended. Stir the melted ingredients into the egg mixture, mixing well. Stir in the dry sifted ingredients and mix well. Fold in the remaining ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface with a spatula. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the corner of of the pan comes out with moist crumbs.

5. Remove the brownies from the oven and immediately sprinkle the marshmallows over them. Return the pan to the oven for 3 more minutes.

6. Meanwhile, place the milk chocolate chips, peanut butter, and tablespoon of butter in a medium saucepan. Melt over low heat, stirring constantly, until completely melted. Remove from heat, add the Rice Krispies and mix well. Allow to cool for 3 minutes.

7. Spread the mixture evenly over the marshmallow layer. Refrigerate until chilled before cutting


NOTE:  The gal at Sweet Escape recommended cutting the brownie recipe in half - which I did when I made mine.  Soooo yummy!  The recipe shown is NOT halved however, so you will need to do that if you choose to make it that way.  A very interesting combination of flavors and textures.  Will definitely be making these again soon!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Nutella Meringues


3 large egg whites, at room temperature
pinch of cream of tartar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup and 1 T granulated sugar
1/4 cup Nutella

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Make sure you have one oven rack in the bottom third of your oven and one in the upper third of your oven.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.  (I didn't have any and it worked just fine)

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Microwave Nutella in small bowl for 20 seconds until warmed through.  Set aside to cool while you make the meringue.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, place the egg whites.  Beat on medium-high speed until they are completely foamy.

Add the cream of tartar and the salt and continue whipping at medium-high speed until when you lift the whisk attachment, soft peaks form.  This should take several minutes.

Once you have reached the soft peak stage, increase the speed to high and begin adding the sugar a few spoonfuls at a time.

Once all the sugar is in, the meringue should be very thick (almost stiff) and when you life the whisk firm peaks should remain.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and drop in all the Nutella.  With a rubber spatula, gently fold the Nutella into the meringue three or four times.  You're aiming for a swirled effect to don't overmix.  This will also help avoid deflating the meringue.

Using two spoons, drop the meringue onto the parchment-lined baking sheets in large dollops.

Place in the oven for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, immediately lower the heat to 200 degrees and rotate the trays.  Bake for an additional hour.

After an hour, check the meringues.  If they are completely dried out than turn off the oven and leave meringues to cool in the oven for a few hours.  If the meringues still look a bit "wet", then continue baking another 20 minutes or so.  Either way, once fully baked, turn off the oven and leave the meringues to cool for a couple of hours.

When you remove the meringues from the oven they should be completely dry and cool and will sound hollow  when you tap the bottoms.

The meringues will keep in a cool airtight container for a week (if you haven't already eaten them all!).

Taken from Pinterest with slight adaptations.

NOTE:  I made these and when making them again will make them smaller as they crumble when you eat them.  So yummy, but I am thinking bite-size would be more practical than the big monsters I made.  They were super messy!  I pretty much feel like I can eat them almost guilt-free since they contain lots of protein - practically a health-food, right?!

Chicken Mexican Omelet

2 oz cooked chicken
1/4 cup cooked brown rice
1 slice cooked turkey bacon
2 T onion, chopped
2 T fresh parsley and cilantro
1 egg
3 egg whites
2 T salsa
1 cup spinach (chopped)

Saute chicken, brown rice, spinach, bacon, onion, parsley, and cilantro in fry pan sprayed with Pam.  Blend eggs and pour over the top.  Cook omelet style.  Top with salsa.  Soooooo good!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

No Bake Nutella Cheesecakes


For the Crust

12 Oreo Cookies, crushed into crumbs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup Nutella
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 (8 ounce) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed

For the Garnish

whipped topping, optional
chocolate shavings, optional
toasted, chopped hazelnuts, optional


1. In a medium bowl, stir together the Oreo cookie crumbs and melted butter. Evenly divide the crumbs between your individual serving dishes and press into the bottoms of the dishes to form a crust layer.
2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and Nutella until smooth. Add vanilla and mix to combine. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped topping until well blended and no streaks remain.
3. Evenly pipe or spoon the filling into individual serving dishes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
4. If desired, garnish with additional whipped topping, chocolate shavings, and/or toasted, chopped hazelnuts.
Made these last night for a friend that had a crummy day.  They were pretty and yummy!