Saturday, April 30, 2011

Friday Night Dessert Night #7: Soft Gingersnap Cookies with White Chocolate Chips

     Earlier this week Abby and I made these cookies to take with us on vacation. They are so soft and delicious! They reminded me of Christmas (a nice surprise in the middle of spring). 

Soft Gingersnap Cookies with White Chocolate Chips 
recipe adapted from For the Love of Cooking 


1/2 cup butter, softened 
1/2 cup white sugar 
1/4 cup molasses 
1 tbsp canola oil 
1/2 tsp vanilla 
3/4 tsp cinnamon 
3/4 tsp ground cloves 
1/2 tsp ground ginger 
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg 
1 egg 
1 3/4 cup whole-wheat all-purpose flour 
1 1/8 tsp baking soda 
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup white chocolate chips 


1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
2. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Add molasses, oil, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg. Beat until combined. Add the egg and beat until combined. 
3. Add the baking soda and salt to the flour and mix well. Slowly add this to the wet mixture until well combined.  Add white chocolate chips and mix well. 
4. Scoop the dough into balls and place two inches apart on baking sheets. 
5. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with a little sugar, and wait a few minutes to remove them from sheets and place on cooling racks. 
6. Eat with a cold glass of milk or a hot cup of coffee! 

This recipe is linked to: 

Friday, April 29, 2011

Pepperoni Pizza Quick Bread

     This was a huge hit with the whole family! This recipe is so quick and easy. We were supposed to go out of town and had a quick change of plans which meant we would be home for dinner last night. I needed to make something that I already had all the ingredients for, and this was it! The original recipe can be found at Picky Palate.

Pepperoni Pizza Quick Bread 


1 cup whole-wheat flour 
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper 
2 eggs
2 tbsp olive oil 
3/4 cup reduced-fat buttermilk 
1 1/2 cups low-fat mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Hormel Turkey Pepperoni (cut into halves)
spaghetti sauce
italian seasoning 


1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. 
2.  In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper. 
3. Using an electric mixer, slowly add eggs, oil, and buttermilk.
4. Stir in cheeses and pepperonis. 
5. In a prepared loaf pan, pour in half of the dough. 
6. Using a spoon, put a thin layer of spaghetti sauce on top of the dough. 
7. Place the second half of the dough on top of the sauce, sprinkle italian seasonings, and some parmesan on top. 
8. Bake for 45-55 minutes (I only baked mine for 35 and it was perfect). Let stand in pan for 30 minutes before removing. 
9. Slice and serve with left over spaghetti sauce for dipping.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Macaroni and Cheese (for Holidays only ;))

     Here is the Macaroni and Cheese recipe from Easter. Once you read through the ingredients you will see why this is a Holiday treat and not a macaroni I can eat very often (more than a pound and a half of cheese is in this thing!). It is delicious!!!
     I got the recipe from a great recipe book called Macaroni and Cheese: 25 Recipes, from Simple to Sublime by Joan Shwartz .

Baked Four-Cheese Pasta


1 box (1 pound) penne 
2 cups (1/2 pound) sharp cheddar 
2 cups (1/2 pound) grated Asiago cheese
2 cups (1/2 pound) grated Fontina cheese 
4 cups whole milk 
1 cup heavy cream 
6 Tbsp flour 
1/2 tsp salt
8 Tbsp butter, plus some for pan
2 Tbsp melted butter 
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper 
1 cup bread crumbs 
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese


1. Preheat oven to 350 and butter a 9 by 13 baking dish. 
2. Cook the pasta about 10-12 minutes (al dente). Drain pasta and rinse with cold water, set aside. 
3. Meanwhile, bring the milk to boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat. 
4. In another medium saucepan, melt 8 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and add flour, whisking constantly. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Slowly add the hot milk, still whisking constantly. Add the salt and cayenne. Simmer, stirring constantly for about 8-10 minutes. 
5. Remove from heat and add 1 cup each of cheddar, asiago, and fontina. Whisk until the cheeses are melted. Combine the pasta and the cheese mixture. 
6. Pour pasta and cheese mixture into baking dish. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese (1 cup each of cheddar, asiago and fontina) on top. 
7. In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Pour the heavy cream over the top of the pasta then sprinkle the bread crumb mixture evenly over the top.
8. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until bubbly. 

*You can make this recipe ahead of time too. I made it in the morning, popped it in the fridge, and baked it in the evening. Once cold, I needed to bake it for about 45 minutes to an hour. 

This post is linked to: 

Monday, April 25, 2011


     This was my first year hosting Easter dinner for my husband's family. We had already eaten the brunch type foods commonly eaten during Easter celebrations at my mom and dad's house earlier that morning so we wanted something a little different for dinner. Here is what we ate:

Cheeseburgers with... 

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

I will be making this for holidays from now on, but only for holidays! It was so good, but so not on a diet plan! I will post the recipe some time soon.

Spinach salad with strawberries and toasted almonds covered in Lemon Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

Oreo Bundt Cake

Again,  not a low-cal cake at all but so delicious! I will post this recipe soon too!

Easter Egg Hunt Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Treats

I followed the recipe above almost exact, except I had Reese's Puffs cereal so I used that instead of Peanut Butter Captain Crunch.

I ate so much I nearly burst! We had a fun day with family and really good food! 

And the best Easter present Abby got (and Lucy will use in the future too)...

A Tupperware Kids Baking Set!!! 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Corn Dog Muffins

     Abby loves corn dogs even more than regular hot dogs! I found this really easy, healthier version corn dog recipe at This original recipe makes 24 muffins, but I always cut it in half! Abby usually only eats one and two is enough to fill me up. I don't know how healthy these muffins actually are, but I do know they are better than the deep fried ones you can buy at fast food places!

Corn Dog Muffins


1 box corn muffin mix (I use Jiffy.)
1 egg 
3/4 cup milk 
1 Tbsp brown sugar 
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
4 hot dogs (I use chicken dogs.)


1. Preheat oven to 400. 
2. Cut up hot dogs (either slice them into circles or dice them). 
3. Mix together the corn muffin mix, egg, milk, and brown sugar. Batter will be slightly lumpy.

4. Add cheese and hot dogs. Stir until mixed well.

5. Pour 1/4 cup mix into greased (use non-stick spray) muffins cups. Makes 12 muffins.

6. Serve with some oven-baked fries and eat up! 

This post will be linked at:
Sundae Scoop Link Party
Make a Food-e-Friend
Delicious Dishes
Tuesday Night Supper Club
This Week's Cravings
Muffin Mondays

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Night Dessert Night #6: Orange Sherbet

     This recipe was so much fun to make! Abby got to squeeze the juice out of 5 oranges. She was ecstatic! We made the sherbet on Wednesday and had to wait until today to eat it, an agonizing lesson in patience for a three-year old but she made it!

Orange Sherbet 


2 cups orange juice from about 5 oranges (pick heavy oranges) 
1/4 sugar 
1 cup whole milk 


1. Squeeze 2 cups of orange juice from the oranges.

2. Add the sugar to the juice and stir until dissolved.

3. Pour juice through a strainer to get all the pulp out.

4. Refrigerate juice for about 3 hours.

5. Add milk and stir until mixed well. 
6. Pour into ice cream maker and turn it on for 20 minutes.

7. Remove from maker and put the sherbet in a freezer container. Let freeze for 3 hours or up to 3 days.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Not Best Ever, But Really Good Lasagna (Freezer Meal)

     I love the Pioneer Woman's Best Ever Lasagna recipe. It is to die for! However, I was not blessed with a metabolism that can handle that amount of cheese without gaining 20 pounds.
     So, I have found an alternative lasagna that is actually pretty good (not to die for, but really good!). I found the original recipe here. I used this as a guideline, but left out a few things (either forgot to buy it or tried something cheaper/simpler).
     Instead of using a 9 by 13 inch pan, I used two square pans, ate one the night I made it and froze one. We ate the frozen one tonight and I think it was better than the first go around!

Not Best Ever, But Really Good Lasagna


1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes 
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced 
salt and pepper to taste 
1 (16 oz.) container fat-free cottage cheese  
1 (15 oz.) container part-skim ricotta cheese 
1 1/2 cups 2% mozzarella cheese
1 (10 oz.) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg 
1 lb. ground turkey (I used plain but you could use italian style) 
9 sheets no-boil lasagna noodles/regular lasagna noodles


1. Preheat oven to 350. In a saucepan, heat tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper. If you are using regular lasagna noodles, boil them according to package directions at this time.
2. Meanwhile, puree the cottage cheese until smooth. Add the ricotta, spinach, 1/4 cup basil, nutmeg, and salt and pepper until just combined.  
3. Cook the turkey until brown. 
4. Assemble the lasagna. Use non-stick cooking spray to coat a 9 by 13 pan. Spread 1/2 cup of tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan. Place 3 noodles on top, half the ricotta mixture, half the meat, and 1/2 cup mozzarella. Repeat. Top with 3 noodles and remaining sauce.
*If you want to freeze half, use two 9 by 9 inch pans. Divide lasagna stuff evenly between both pans. Bake one and allow the other to cool completely, cover tightly with foil, and put in the freezer. 
5. Bake covered for 1 hour (if cooking from frozen, bake for 1 hour 30 minutes). 
6. Remove cover and sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese on top. Bake for another 10 minutes. 
7. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. 

This time I used the no-boil noodles and I was not impressed. The lasagna was good but the noodles were a little thin. Next time I will use the regular noodles (possibly even whole grain). I will let you know how that turns out!

This post linked to:
Delicious Dishes
Tuesday Night Supper Club

Monday, April 18, 2011

Resurrection Rolls

     Today I made Resurrection Rolls with my fourth grade class. Unfortunately, I have no cute pictures as I was too busy trying to teach and then bake 40 rolls! I thought I would share the recipe and also the lesson that goes along with it. We are going to try this at our house on Easter morning!

Resurrection Rolls 

1 package crescent rolls 
8 marshmallows 
2 Tbsp melted butter 
1 tsp cinnamon 
 1/4 sugar 

*I multiplied this times 5 for my fourth graders! 


1. Start with the marshmallow (Jesus). 
2. Dip in butter (oil). 
3. Roll it in cinnamon and sugar (spices). 
4. Wrap the mallow with the crescent roll (linens). Make sure it is tightly sealed! You don't want marshmallow oozing out! 
5. Put in the oven (the tomb) and bake according to the crescent roll package.
6. Talk about how Jesus was in the tomb for 3 days. 
7. Take out the rolls and allow to cool. Meanwhile, explain that when the women went to the tomb on Easter morning, the only thing left in the tomb was the linens.
8. Open the crescent rolls (the linens) and the mallow is gone just like Jesus! 


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Light Strawberry Cream Cheese Muffins

     Last week strawberries were on sale at the store, buy one pound, get one free. So when I saw this recipe, I thought this was the perfect time to try it! I found the recipe on A Whisk and a Prayer. These muffins are delicious! An added bonus: These tasty muffins are no more than 142 calories each!

Light Strawberry Cream Cheese Muffins
(Recipe from A Whisk and a Prayer


2/3 cups fat-free cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cup sugar 
1 1/2 tsp vanilla 
2 egg whites 
1 egg 
2 cups flour 
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup reduced-fat buttermilk (I used 1% milk only because I forgot to buy buttermilk and it came out fine) 
2 cups fresh cut strawberries


1. Preheat oven to 350. 
2. Beat (with a mixer) cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. 
3. Add egg whites, egg and vanilla and mix thoroughly. 
4. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. 
5. Slowly add dry ingredients and milk/buttermilk to butter and cream cheese mixture. 
6. Fold in strawberries. 
7. Pour into 24 prepared muffin cups (use liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray). 
8. Bake for about 25 minutes, remove from pans, allow to cool on racks.

This recipe is linked to:
Muffin Mondays
So Sweet Sundays
Make a Food-e-Friend
Melt in your Mouth Mondays
This Week's Cravings
Iron Chef Challenge

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

     Holy cow, these are AMAZING! I found this recipe here at Our Best Bites and thought it sounded really good. I left out a few things and exchanged a few things to make my family happy!

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos


1/3 cup low-fat cream cheese
1/4 cup mild green salsa
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice 
1/2 tsp. cumin 
1 tsp. garlic powder 
2 cups cooked chicken* 
1 cup grated monterey jack cheese 

*For the cooked chicken, I put 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the crock-pot with 1 cup water and 1 taco seasoning packet. Cook on low for 8 hours, shred and keep warm. 


1. Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil. 
2. Heat cream cheese in the microwave for 30 seconds until really soft. Add salsa, lime juice, cumin, and garlic powder. Stir and then add chicken and cheese. Stir until combined. 
3. Heat a few tortillas in the microwave at a time for about 20 seconds. Place 2 Tablespoons of the mixture on the lower third of the tortilla. Roll it up as tight as possible without cracking the tortilla. 
4. Place them on the baking sheet, not touching. 
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Serve with some homemade guacamole.
Abby enjoyed smashing up the avocado!

Gotta have a taste test!

Add some multigrain chips and salsa, a green salad and voila...perfect meal!

This post will be linked at:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Night Dessert Night #5: Low-Cal Spring Cupcakes

     Okay, so these cupcakes are not the best cupcakes I have ever eaten but they are a nice alternative to a high calorie treat. Not only are these cupcakes super cute, they are low-calorie too! I found the original recipe in a cookbook called Hungry Girl 200 under 200. The frosting I used is also a low-cal recipe I adapted from the book.  If you're not interested in the low-cal version, use any cupcake and frosting you like!

Ladybug Spring Cupcakes 

Low-cal Chocolate Cupcakes 

2 cups chocolate cake mix (I used Devil's Food) 
1 packet hot cocoa mix 
1 1/4 cups water 
1 Tbsp sugar 
1/2 cup fat-free egg substitute 


2  sugar-free vanilla pudding cups
3 Tbsp fat-free cream cheese
powdered sugar
food coloring


crushed Oreo cookies 


1. In a glass, mix cocoa with 1/4 cup hot water and let cocoa dissolve. Add 1 cup cold water and stir.
2. In a bowl, mix together cake mix, hot cocoa mixture, sugar and egg substitute.
3. Pour into prepared muffin tins.
4. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes (keep a close eye, original recipe said 15 minutes).
5. Allow to cool completely. Meanwhile, mix together cream cheese, pudding and some powdered sugar (I only used this to thicken the frosting). Separate frosting into three bowls and dye blue, green and some kind of black or gray color. Slice strawberries into circles. Crush up some Oreos.
6. Spread some blue frosting on the cupcake (covering the top completely). Add some "dirt." Then add the grass, ladybug, and last, the ladybug spots!

*I realize I could have just done a ladybug in a blue sky but Abby insisted on the dirt and grass! :)

This post is linked to:
Delicious Dishes
Sweet Tooth Friday
Feasting in Fellowship Fridays

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Orange Chicken On-The-Go

     So this week has been pretty busy and sometimes cooking something with a lot of ingredients or even from scratch at all is overwhelming. This is something I always keep in the freezer as backup. It only takes about 18 minutes to cook the chicken.

Trader Joe's Orange Chicken 
Trader Joe's Microwavable Brown Rice 

If you bake the Chicken, instead of frying it in oil, it actually is not bad for you at all. It has a ton of flavor with a lot less calories than the take-out version.  
Add some steamed carrots and green beans and you have a full meal! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Turkey Burgers and Zucchini Fries

     In an effort to avoid eating a lot of red meat, I have started making turkey burgers instead of regular burgers. Not only are we avoiding red meat, but making your own fresh patties is so much better than frozen burgers!


1.25 pounds ground turkey 
1/3 cup cheese (I have used monterey jack, cheddar and pepper jack...all delish!)
1 Tblsp. ketchup
1 tsp. minced garlic (or a couple teaspoons garlic powder)
5 whole wheat buns 


1. Mix together the meat, cheese, garlic and ketchup. 
2. Divide into 5 sections. 
3. With damp hands, roll each section into a ball then press into a patty. 
4. Cook on the grill until no longer pink in the middle. 
5. Serve on whole wheat buns with lettuce and tomato. 

     As a side dish, make some Baked Zucchini Fries/Circles. I found the recipe here at Two Peas and Their Pod. Instead of making them into fries, I cut them into circles. This way I was able to slice them thinner and make them more crunchy! Serve with some light ranch dip. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Whole Grain Soft Pretzel Wrapped Hot Dogs

     The mall has some pretty tasty and enticing snack and meal options. But let's face it, they are pretty much no good for you. While I can't say this recipe is good for you, I can say it is better than the mall option. And did I mention that Abby's favorite thing in the whole world is hot dogs? So needless to say, this meal was quite the pleaser.

Whole Grain Pretzel Wrapped Hot Dogs
Original recipe from


1 Tbsp. yeast (1 packet)
1 1/2 c. warm water 
1 Tbsp. honey or brown sugar 
1 tsp. salt 
3 1/2 c. whole wheat flour 
1/2 c. wheat germ 
Chicken /Turkey Hot Dogs


1 egg + a little water mixed in


Dissolve yeast in water with honey. When bubbly, stir in salt and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Add wheat germ and remaining flour. Knead about 5 minutes. Let rise until double in size, about 1 hour. 

Divide into 8 parts. Roll into ropes. Wrap hot dogs with ropes (Abby's favorite part!). Transfer to a greased baking sheet, brush on glaze and pop in the oven. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. 

Let them cool for about 15 minutes. The Dog gets really hot!

I only made a few Dogs so I used the leftovers to make pretzels. Sprinkle with salt!

This post is linked to:
Monday Make a Food-"e"-Friend at The Saturday Evening Pot
Tuesday Night Supper Club  at Fudge Ripple

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday Night Dessert Night #4: Healthified Chocolate-Drizzled Graham Cookies

     We usually don't bake until I get home from work on Fridays, but today Lucy took an extra long morning nap so Abby and I had some extra time to spend making (and tasting) a new cookie!
     This is my fourth Friday Night Dessert Night but my first attempt at a dessert with fewer calories and I have to admit, it is pretty tasty. These cookies would be great with a cup of coffee or a sippy cup full of milk ;).   I found the recipe at  An added bonus - This site offers all the nutritional information at the bottom of each recipe.
Healthified Chocolate-Drizzled Graham Cookies


1/2 cup of butter, softened 
1/4 packed brown sugar 
1 tsp. baking powder 
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt 
1/4 tsp. cinnamon 
2 eggs, lightly beaten 
1/4 cup honey 
1/2 tsp. vanilla 
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
1 cup whole-wheat flour 
1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces (1/2 cup for in the cookies, 1/2 cup for the drizzle)
1/2 tsp shortening 


1. Preheat oven at 375. In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter for about 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Beat until fluffy. 

2. Beat in eggs, honey, and vanilla until mixed in. Gradually, beat in both all-purpose and wheat flours. Using a spoon, mix in chocolate chips.

3. Roll into 1-inch balls (I used a small cookie scoop and they came out perfect!). With a small spoon, slightly flatten the tops of the cookies. Bake for 9 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. 

4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat 1/2 chocolate chips and 1/2 tsp. shortening, stirring continually. 
Let cool (only a little) and transfer to a Ziploc baggie. Cut a small hole in one corner of the baggie and drizzle chocolate on the cookies.

5. Taste test!

While we were drizzling and tasting, Lucy was happily hanging out.