Saturday, December 13, 2008

Nutella Truffles

It has been so long since I posted, I thought it was high time to post a really yummy recipe! Try this one on for size.

Nutella Truffles

1 c. Nuttela
1/4 c. butter, softened
1 c. crisp rice cereal, crushed
8 oz. powdered sugar

Combine all ingredients until well blended. Form into 3/4" balls. Chill

Melt in the microwave:

2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4c. shortening

Carefully dip each chilled ball into the melted chocolate. Place on waxed paper to harden. Refrigerate if necessary to keep them firm. Enjoy!

Monday, August 25, 2008

This Week's Adventure: Sweet Potatoes

Round One:

Sweet Potato French "Fries"

4 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into fry strips
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. paprika
1/4 c. olive oil
1 egg white

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Beat egg white in a small bowl until nice and frothy. Add spices and mix again. Mix sweet potato fries with the seasoned egg white in a ziplock bag and shake until the potatoes are completely coated. Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray and then evenly arrange the potatoes on the cookie sheet. Bake for 30-45 mins, turning every 15 minutes. Serve with ketchup or eat them plain. Yummy!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Banana Pancakes with Coconut Syrup

If you are like me, you're not a huge fan of banana flavored things. For instance... I think banana flavored "Runts" candy are one of the most disgusting flavors I can think of. However, banana bread, I usually enjoy. It has enough spices to compliment the banana flavor. So, this morning when my daughter is suddenly demanding "BANANA PANCAKES!" (which she has never had!), my first thought is "...yuck". Seeing as how I look forward to a delicious Saturday morning breakfast with my family, I decided to put my foot down, "Nope, no banana pancakes, if you want pancakes I will make the whole wheat pancake recipe".

However, after hearing my husband say that maybe he would just skip breakfast and listening to Katelyn's continued plea for banana pancakes, I gave in and started looking for a recipe. As usual, I headed to and searched for banana pancakes by the highest reviews. I found what looked to be a relatively simple recipe and headed to the kitchen. That is when I remembered the homemade coconut syrup that was still in the refrigerator from last Saturday's breakfast. Hmm, maybe banana pancakes with coconut syrup wouldn't be half bad.

I was wrong... they were AMAZING! Really, the word amazing in the case does not just mean that they were really good pancakes. No, amazing in this case means that I think I could open up a bed & breakfast and have people coming for miles just to eat pancakes. They were light and fluffy and the banana flavor was very mild. Paired with the delicious, coconut syrup they were nothing less than a tropical paradise of flavors.

Note: This was also a really fun recipe to make with kids. Katelyn had fun mashing the bananas. I love having her in the kitchen with me. As she was mashing she was yelling, "Look, I am like a mommy!" It was so cute. :)

Fluffy Banana Pancakes
makes 12 - 4" pancakes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed (mine bananas didn't have any brown spots yet)
Combine flour, white sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together egg, milk, vanilla, vegetable oil and bananas. Stir flour mixture into banana mixture; batter will be slightly lumpy.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Cook until pancakes are golden brown on both sides.

Coconut Syrup
from The Sister's Cafe

7-8 T. butter
¾ c. buttermilk
1 c. sugar
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp coconut extract

Place butter, buttermilk and sugar in a pot. Then turn stove on medium and stir until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and boil one minute. Remove from heat and add soda and flavoring. It will bubble up; just continue to stir and give it a few minutes for the 'fizz' to reduce before serving.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Black Bean and Chicken Enchiladas

(Note: This is not a picture of my recipe, I just wanted to get your taste buds excited!)

Chicken enchiladas are one of the most delicious Mexican foods that I can think of. My ideal enchilada is cooked in a creamy sauce rather than the usual red enchilada sauce, which I don't enjoy eating at all. Every time I get the chance to eat at On the Border, I order their "Enchiladas Suizas" which are cheesy chicken enchiladas with a creamy tomatillo sauce. They are unbelievably yummy. However... being on Weight Watchers has completely opened my eyes to the number of calories that are in all the foods that I love. So, I took on the challenge of creating an enchilada recipe that would be both delicious and easy on the waistline. These are creamy enchiladas with a little kick (which can be altered according to your tolerance).

Black Bean and Chicken Enchiladas
Serves 8

6 small chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
8 low carb tortillas (I like the Carb Balance ones)
1 small sweet onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn
1 can 98% fat free cream of chicken soup
1 can green chile enchilada sauce
1/4 cup fat free sour cream
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 t. garlic salt
1 t. onion poweder
a few shakes of Tabasco sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar
1 cup mozzerella cheese (you could use a mexican blend)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9"x13" baking dish with non-stick spray.

In a medium bowl, mix together cream of chicken soup, green chile enchilada sauce, sour cream, cumin, garlic salt, onion powder and tabasco. Pour about 1/2 cup of the sauce in the bottom of the prepared 9"x13" pan.

Saute onions and peppers in a pan over medium heat just until softened. In a large bowl, toss together chicken, black beans, corn, green peppers and onion. Stir in 1 cup of the sauce mixture into the chicken mixture.

Fill eight low carb tortillas evenly with the chicken mixture and place in the 9"x13" baking dish. Spread the remaining sauce evenly over the enchiladas. Sprinkle cheeses over the top. Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the edges are slightly golden and the cheese is melted. Serve with your favorite salsa and enjoy!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Whole Wheat Blender Waffles/Pancakes

Wheat Berries

I have made these twice already and they are delicious! In case you are wondering what "whole wheat berries" are... they are just wheat kernels that haven't been ground into flour yet. I don't know why they call them berries. :)

Whole Wheat Blender Waffles (or pancakes*)
Submitted by Erin from The Sister's Cafe

Makes 12 - 4" pancakes

1 c. plus 1 Tb whole wheat berries
1 c. milk
2 eggs
4 Tb oil
2 Tb sugar (or honey)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla - my addition

Blend wheat berries and milk on high for 4-5 minutes, until batter is smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend on low for a minute, or until incorporated. Cook on hot waffle iron. (Stir batter before pouring into waffle iron, because the heavier wheat particles will settle at the bottom.) Makes about 10 waffles.

*To make pancakes instead of waffles, use 1 c. wheat berries and 2 Tb oil.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Light Chocolate Chip Cookies?

Ummm.... no. I tried to "healthify" my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe (Award Winning Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies), but they just aren't the same. They are good, a little cake-like, but cookie-like enough to satisfy my never ending craving for these delicious little treats.

Before adjusting my recipe, I did a little research into how I could reduce the calories in my cookies. I thought about the old applesauce trick, but everything I read said that you can't replace the fat with applesauce in cookies, like you can in cakes and brownies, because it will throw off the fat to flour ratio and the cookies won't spread. Next I thought about margarine instead of butter... but, unless you use light margarine, it is just as fattening as butter. So, instead I just reduced the butter by 1/4. I also replaced one cup of white flour for whole wheat flour. Instead of regular instant pudding, I used sugar free/fat free instant pudding. As a general rule, I don't usually use sugar free stuff... who wants to eat chemicals that just taste like sugar? Lastly and sadly... I cut the chocolate chips down to 1 cup instead of 2 cups. After all that slimming and trimming, here is what I came up with:

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 3 dozen

1 cup wheat flour
1 1/4 cup white flour
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 sugar
1 package vanilla instant pudding
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour and baking soda, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown.

Cookie dough balls... I love my new cookie scooper! It's half the reason
I wanted to make cookies.

Perfectly baked at 11minutes.

Oooops... :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Cheesecake Pops

In April, a fabulous group known as the Daring Bakers took on a really fun challenge... making cheesecake pops! What you say? Cheesecake pops? Yes, they really are cheesecake on a stick and they are delicious! After looking at post after post on the Daring Baker's Blogroll of these yummy treats, I had to try my hand at them. Father's day seemed like the ideal time since my husband adores cheesecake.

I hope you enjoy the ride... Welcome to Adventures in Cheesecake Pops!

Mixing the batter.

The water bath... this wasn't as challenging as I thought it would be.

Slightly browned, but cooked perfectly in the middle. Cheesecake should reach and internal temperature of 160-165 degrees for the perfect, creamy consistency.

Scooping into the cheesecake was a little nerve wracking. My husband came into the kitchen around this time and asked what the heck I was doing to the cheesecake! I have to be honest, my cookie scoop idea didn't work out so hot. The cheesecake was too creamy. I took the advice of Jenny from the Picky Palate and used non-stick spray on my hands to make the cheesecake balls. I still had to wash my hands every few minutes or the cheesecake balls just stuck the cheesecake on my hands.

I started out making my cheesecake balls rather bite size but they gradually got larger as the process became more tedious.

Here are the finished cheesecake balls ready to get dipped in chocolate!

These are the topping I picked up at the store, but after a while I thought of a few more toppings: mini chocolate chips and crushed oreos. My favorite combination was the coconut and mini chocolate chips. Yummo!!

Dipping was the easy part... Just make sure your cheesecake pops are still frozen as you dip them. Mine started to get soft and fall apart in the chocolate. Doesn't it look delicious!!!

Dipping the cheesecake pops. I found that it is best to store them in the freezer and pull them about 20 minutes before you want to eat them. Otherwise they tend to just fall off of their sticks.

The Dads enjoying their cheesecake pops!

Cheesecake Pops

5 8-oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature
2 cups sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¼ cup heavy cream
Boiling water as needed
Thirty to forty 8-inch lollipop sticks

1 pound chocolate, finely chopped – you can use all one kind or half and half of dark, milk, or white (Alternately, you can use 1 pound of flavored coatings, also known as summer coating, confectionary coating or wafer chocolate – candy supply stores carry colors, as well as the three kinds of chocolate.)

2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
(Note: White chocolate is harder to use this way, but not impossible)
Assorted decorations such as chopped nuts, colored jimmies, crushed peppermints, mini chocolate chips, sanding sugars, dragees) - Optional

1. Position oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Set some water to boil.
In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt until smooth. If using a mixer, mix on low speed. Add the whole eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well (but still at low speed) after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and cream.

2. Grease a 10-inch cake pan (not a springform pan), and pour the batter into the cake pan. Place the pan in a larger roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with the boiling water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake until the cheesecake is firm and slightly golden on top, 35 to 45 minutes.

3. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and cool to room temperature. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold, at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

4. When the cheesecake is cold and very firm, scoop the cheesecake into 2-ounce balls and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Carefully insert a lollipop stick into each cheesecake ball. Freeze the cheesecake pops, uncovered, until very hard, at least 1 – 2 hours.

5. When the cheesecake pops are frozen and ready for dipping, prepare the chocolate. In the top of a double boiler, set over simmering water, or in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, heat half the chocolate and half the shortening, stirring often, until chocolate is melted and chocolate and shortening are combined. Stir until completely smooth. Do not heat the chocolate too much or your chocolate will lose it’s shine after it has dried. Save the rest of the chocolate and shortening for later dipping, or use another type of chocolate for variety. Alternately, you can microwave the same amount of chocolate coating pieces on high at 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth.

6. Quickly dip a frozen cheesecake pop in the melted chocolate, swirling quickly to coat it completely. Shake off any excess into the melted chocolate. If you like, you can now roll the pops quickly in optional decorations. You can also drizzle them with a contrasting color of melted chocolate (dark chocolate drizzled over milk chocolate or white chocolate over dark chocolate, etc.) Place the pop on a clean parchment paper-lined baking sheet to set. Repeat with remaining pops, melting more chocolate and shortening (or confectionary chocolate pieces) as needed. Refrigerate the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Three Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

This being my very first food blog post, I would have liked to make something really special. On the other hand, I have a two year old and a 6 week old... so I chose a recipe that sounded both quick and comforting (we had a huge thunderstorm last night). After doing a quick search, I settled on mac and cheese, Katelyn's (my 2 year old) absolute favorite food. My go to source for recipes before now has always been I came across "Chuck's Favorite Mac and Cheese". It looked easy and delicious. That's exactly how it turned out! It was the perfect comfort food. Combined with a big helping of steamed broccoli (which Katelyn actually eats!) it didn't seem to terrible unhealthy. For our family, half of this recipe was the perfect amount. If you are looking for a fast, slightly gourmet mac and cheese, this is the one. It was just cheesy enough for my taste and the crunchy breadcrumbs on top were a perfect combination with the creamy pasta. Since I don't know Chuck... I have renamed this to be Three Cheese Macaroni and Cheese.

Three Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

  • 1 (8 ounce) package elbow macaroni
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 (12 ounce) container small curd cottage cheese
  • 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Cook macaroni according to package directions and set aside. In a large bowl, stir together cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Fold in cooked macaroni. Spoon macaroni mixture into prepared baking dish. In a small bowl, melt the butter. Stir dry bread crumbs into melted butter and then sprinkle over the macaroni and cheese. Bake for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008