Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I'm Back!!! Cinnamon Bun Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

So I have been out of commision a long time! I gave up baking for awhile as I seriously needed to cut back on all the sweets! However the baking bug has bitten me again in the form of my new favorite blog the Smitten Kitchen. Seriously check this blog out- its awesome. Deb is the greatest foodie- her witty stories along with her recipes make all her posts endearing and her amazing pictures make me want to bake pretty much everything on the site!
HOwever in this post I am finally posting a cake from the best cookbook of ALL TIME. This is the Magnolia Bakery cookbook. GO out and buy it right now because it is phenomenal. So far everything I have made from it is of course the very greatest thing of all time. For example the cake I am posting about right now: Apple Cake with Butterscotch Cream CHeese Frosting. Now I made my adaptations to this such as I added cinnamon and I used regular cream cheese frosting as I don't really like butterscotch. However my friend Erica and I were talking last night and thought it would be really yummy with Caramel Cream Cheese frosting.
I first made this cake for my younger brother's graduation- I was surprised he chose this cake but I am really happy that he did. I had never made a cake with fruit before and it was a really good choice. So on Sunday, when my friend Bryana came in and asked me to bake for her, I ran to Food Emporium in a down pour to get apples for this recipe!
It tastes like the most delicious cinnamon bun ever because it is rich and creamy and the apples and cinnamon are an amazing touch. When I made it on Sunday, I topped it with chopped Walnuts- such a good call- it added another taste and texture to the cake and looked nice too- especially considering we were ina hurry to eat it and the layers had not completely cooled- this resulted in the frosting slightly melting into the cake- it still tasted wonderful but it did not look so great hahaha.
So go make this cake! I know its bikini season- trust me I have some good healthy recipes a-coming to help this! But its always ok for a splurge and this is the perfect summer party cake!
Also check out Smitten Kitchen!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cookie Corner: Decadent Peanut Butter Cookies

So those of you who know me and know my baking have heard of or tasted my cookies! They are famous and much requested! When I was home a few weeks ago, I made a batch for my brother, but being in England, I did not have all the candy and things I usually put in my cookies, so I decided to go a more gourmet route! The result was delicious- these cookies had the perfect consistency and the perfect ratio of peanut butter and chocolate! This is a great recipe any time you want a more sophisticated cookie! If you are not a peanut butter fan, they are great as normal chocolate chip cookies as well!!
2 c cake flour
2 c Premium Dark Chocolate chunks (or a bar cut into chunks which is what I ended up doing)
1/2 c Earth Balance soy butter spread softened
4 tbsp Peanut Butter ( I use Skippy Natural)
1/2 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs ( I used 2 egg whites and 1 egg)

Combine eggs, sugars, and butter in a bowl- mixing until smooth. Then combine flour and baking soda cup by cup. Once this is smooth, beat in peanut butter and chocolate chunks.
Place balls of dough on baking sheet and bake for about 10 min at 350 F.

Let cool and serve!

Cookie Corner: Perfect Dark Chocolate Brownies with Chocolate Sauce and Berries

The perfect desert for me is a brownie. I love them- I especially love dark chocolate brownies because there really is nothing better to me than a good piece of dark chocolate- except for maybe 16 handles on top. For those of you who have never heard of 16 Handles- it is heaven in a Frozen Yogurt shop, and I pretty much live there! Regardless, I love brownies and last night had a craving for a warm mini brownie covered in chocolate sauce with fresh strawberries- so that is what I had for desert!
I got mini muffin pans from my mom and they are so much fun! I will be making a lot of mini cupcakes and such and my new favorite thing is making brownies in the tin! It is good because you have your individual brownie already made up for you and it saves some of the mess from the pan!

1 c 70% Valrhona Dark Chocolate or any good dark chocolate powder
1/2 cup Earth Balance Soy Butter Spread (you can use butter if you prefer)
1/2 cup sugar ( I used sugar/Splenda blend)
2 eggs- I used 4 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder

Melted 60% Cocoa Ghiradeli Chocolate Chips

1 c fresh strawberries cut up

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place muffin cups in pan or grease each cup (Pam now does a special baking spray). Melt stick of butter in microwave. Remove and stir in sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat in cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 15-20 minutes if in a mini pan- if in a regular muffin tin or brownie pan 20-30 minutes

While the brownies are cooling melt the chocolate chips, stirring to make smooth and cut up strawberries. Choose your desired piece of brownie, cover in the sauce and top with strawberries!

To make this dish less rich, add 1 tbsp fat free whipped topping or a bit of vanilla yogurt or ice cream! This desert is great when the brownies are a few days old as well!


Quickie Meals: Mmm Simple Stirfry

I Love stir fry! It is so easy to make, you can throw anything in and it is a cheap and quick meal- perfect for a college student on the go! Whenever I go home, my mom loves when I make my stir fries for her usually as a lunch treat! I tend to use shrimp because I absolutely love shrimp but last night I was in the mood for tofu so I threw some tofu in there instead! I love using a mix of fresh and frozen veggies. A lot of frozen mixes come in pre-mixed Asian stir fry mixes. I used the whole foods 365 one because it had no broccoli and lots of water chestnuts which I love! I also threw in some spinach because I am obsessed with spinach! I am that girl who drunk orders steamed spinach at Coffee Shop at 3 am. Spinach is great because it is low in calories but high in Iron! Many young women are iron deficient, especially in college so it is important to eat foods that contain it! I also usually throw in red peppers which next to spinach is my favorite vegetable! I can eat a whole pepper in one sitting, i just love the crunchy fresh taste! This dish is a great way to get at least 3 servings of vegetables in one go!

I used a store bought oyster sauce which is one of my favorite Thai sauces- but i mixed a little soy sauce in there as well because the sauce is very thick! Any sauce will do- sweet and sour as well as teriyaki are great in stir fry! If you are really handy in the kitchen you could make your own sauce, but using store bought saves time and money and it lasts longer! Also I used tofu but any protein works! If you are a meat lover a bit of chopped up steak works great in this, so does chicken, shrimp or just vegetables!

1/2 c asian stir fry mix
1/2 c chopped spinach
1/2 c chopped peppers
1/4 block tofu cut up into pieces
2 tbsp oyster sauce (or any sauce you prefer)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 garlic clove- chopped
1 tbsp sesame oil

Place frozen veggies in a microwave safe bowl and cover. Follow directions on bag for cook time.
While the veggies are steaming, brown tofu in sesame oil, once slightly brown, throw in garlic, peppers and spinach. Add 2 tbsp soy sauce here, and then once the other vegetables are ready, throw them in with the oyster sauce. Cook until everything is well coated and vegetables are soft. If needed add more soy sauce!
Serve over your choice of rice or noodles or just plain and enjoy!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Quickie Meals: Easy Eggplant Parm

I spent a year in Italy,and I love Italian food! The biggest difference between real Italian food and American Italian food is the breading on everything! Eggplant Parmesan is not breaded in Italy.. and this version is delicious and much healthier than the version we are used to! If you like breading, use Panko- which are Japanese bread crumbs and are still healthy! This is also really easy to make and seems much more complicated which earn you points when cooking for friends! It makes a few servings so you can refrigerate and save!
To make:
2 large eggplants
1 large can tomato sauce (or my tomato sauce recipe see Mini Pitta Pizzas)
1 large fresh ball of mozzarella (2% is best)
1/2 c freshly grated parmesan
3 tbsp olive oil

Cut Eggplant width wise into about 6-8 pieces per eggplant depending on the size. Cover slices with olive oil and then broil for 3-5 minutes- while they are broiling line the bottom pan of a baking dish with tomato sauce, saving have the can. Once eggplant are done layer the first eggplant slices, cover with both cheeses, and then top with the next 6-8 slices. Cover these with leftover cheese and tomato sauce! Bake on 350 for about 20 min!
Garnish with fresh parmesan and serve! This is delicious with pasta such as my Macadamia Nut Pesto. I made that last night for my family and they all loved the combination!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Quickie Meals: Mini Pitta Pizza

I am a junkie for pizza! Unfortunately I cannot eat it as much as I want but I am always looking for ways to make it healthy and delicious!! I made this recipe on a whim, combining my love for pittas and pizza! These pizzas are perfect for lunch or dinner as well as a perfect snack for a girl's night in or a party!! You can also make the sauce yourself if you want to be really gourmet!!
  • 400g tin of tomatoes
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • a little chopped onion
  • tomato puree
pizza sauce cooking
For the sauce, sauté 2 chopped cloves of garlic and a little chopped onion (2 or 3 tablespoons maybe) for a few minutes. Then add a tin of tomatoes and reduce it down to a paste sort of mixture – low heat for about 15 minutes – you don’t want it too watery or it will make the pizza base soggy.
1 pack mini pitas
Pizza sauce- sauce above or pizza sauce- Whole Foods makes a great sauce. I also love Rao's Arrabiata Pasta Sauce- this gives Pizza a great bite!!!
1 pack 2% low fat Mozzerella shredded cheese or fresh 2% mozzerella (this works if you like chunks of cheese rather then the shredded cheese!)
1 Sliced whole tomato (optional). You can also us 1 cup chopped Grape Tomatoes
1 c chopped spinach (fresh is best but if you want easier than frozen spinach is just as good)
How to:
Take mini pitas and spoon sauce on each. Layer spinach and cheese on top of pita and cover with tomatoes. Pop the pitas on a baking tray and cook at 350 for 10 min or until cheese is melted!
You can also add pepperoni or little bits of sausage if you like!!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Snack Time: Homemade Chips and Guacamole

Hello all!
I have not posted in a while due to those pesky things called exams! While in this state, I baked and cooked up a storm to procrastinate and use up all the supplies in my kitchen! This is actually a recipe I tried during recruitment and on many other occasions when a delicious treat of chips and guacamole is needed! This is a great party dish, study group snack, or any time snack! The guacamole can last up to two days in the fridge! Guacamole is a great dip because it is full of heart healthy avocado as well as veggies such as tomatoes and onions! The tortilla chips are healthier than store bought chips and contain less salt! Plus they are super easy to make, taking only about 15 minutes.

Tortilla chips:
Take one packet of tortillas- I used whole wheat tortillas but either corn or whole wheat are optional
Pam cooking spray
Salt 2 tbsp
Cut up tortilla chips in triangles. Line on baking tray- spray both sides with Pam and then sprinkle salt over all of the chips. Bake at 350 for about 10 min or until crisp and slightly browned

2 medium Hass avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeño (optional- I personally do not use them)
1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon finely chopped onion
Kosher salt
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons chopped cilantro

Coarsely mash avocados, garlic, and jalapeño with a wooden spoon until the avocados are creamy but still very chunky. Add the tomato, onion, and salt to taste, and stir together. Sprinkle with lime juice and cilantro, then stir and taste once more. Add more garlic, jalapeño, onion, salt, lime juice, or cilantro as desired. Serve with tortilla chips.

This is also great as part of a Mexican meal, and the guacamole is great on top of tacos, nachos, and fajitas!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Cookie Corner: Ooey Gooey Peanut Butter Brownies

So I realize after much teasing by my boyfriend that for a blog that says Skinny Girl, the majority of the food I post is sweets!!! As Corey says, at some point if I keep it up I will have to change the name!! However I am going to post one more sweet recipe and then go on to actual food for a bit! Switch it up and share with you guys some of my favorite easy meal recipes that you can easily make at home. in your dorm/ on a budget and quickly! But for right now these amazing brownies that I just found on My Recipe. com. This is my favorite recipe site- it has recipes from magazines like Cooking Light, Southern Living etc. It has a ton of quick and easy meals as well as delicious sweet recipes. Nothing I have ever made has been bad from this site! Today I was searching through it to find a good brownie recipe for my first Sorority E-Board meeting tonight! I might also replicate this when I actually move in to my new apartment to make fast friends with all the neighbors!! I am changing the recipe slightly by making my own brownie batter instead of using the devil food cake. But as using the mix might be easier I will still include it in this recipe!

Ooey Gooey Peanut Butter Brownies (from Cooking Light)
  • 3/4 cup fat-free sweetened condensed milk, divided
  • 1/4 cup butter or stick margarine, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 (18.25-ounce) package devil's food cake mix
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow creme (about 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter morsels


Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine 1/4 cup condensed milk, butter, and next 3 ingredients (butter through egg white) in a bowl (batter will be very stiff). Coat bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Press two-thirds of batter into prepared pan using floured hands; pat evenly (layer will be thin).

Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Combine 1/2 cup condensed milk and marshmallow creme in a bowl; stir in morsels. Spread marshmallow mixture evenly over brownie layer. Carefully drop remaining batter by spoonfuls over marshmallow mixture. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

Cookie Corner: Layer Red Velvet Cake

I love Red Velvet Cake. It is my weakness! Ever since my first cupcake at Magnolia Bakery I have been in love. I prefer Crumbs to Magnolia because their cupcakes were more moist but they are also a but more indulgent due to the size! However the best Red Velvet Cakes and cupcakes can be easily made at home!!! This week, on a baking binge, I made a layer red velvet cake- and it was a huge hit in the house! This cake is best with homemade cream cheese frosting!
Frosting Ingredients:
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 1/4 to 2 1/2cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cake Ingredients:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 (1-ounce) bottles red food coloring
Beat Cream cheese and butter, gradually adding sugar as mixture becomes smooth and then add vanilla

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

Stir together flour, cocoa, and baking soda. Add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beating at low speed just until blended, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in vanilla; stir in red food coloring. Use batter immediately, following baking directions for desired cake in 2 or 3 came pans depending on how many layers you want on 325 for 25 to 30 min!

Let cool frost each layer, gently and carefully place each layer on top of the other and frost the whole cake over!!

To make a Crumbs esque cupcake save crumbs from the cake pan or that might come off when you transfer from the oan and layer, and sprinkle on top of the cake!




Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Quickie Meals: MMMMMaryland Crab Cakes

I love crab cakes. I lived in Md for 3 years, and go to the beach in Delaware every summer, and the highlight of this trip is ALWAYS Mickeys Crab Shack! Best crabs ever! Soft shell crabs and Crab cakes are a Maryland/ Delaware specialty- and my mom perfected the Maryland crab cake and has passed the recipe on to me! I made it last weekend for my bf and he loved them! They go great with cole slaw- my mom's recipe which I made a few changes too and is so easy to make and is a great easy meal any time!
Maryland Crab cakes:
1 lb lump crab meat ( they sell it at whole foods)
1 tbsp light ranch dressing ( or mayo what ever you like better)
1/4 c pico de gallo ( adds a bit of spice)
1 tsp black pepper
Combine ingredients mix well. Broil for 20 min or until light brown on the outside!

Cole Slaw:
1 pack broccoli slaw
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 c canola oil
4 tbsp splenda (or to taste)
Mix all ingredients together and chill!

Enjoy together- its a great summer meal!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Cookie Corner: Midnight Chocolate Cookies

So I came home last night, at around 1 am- not drunk or tired but a little restless so I decided to raid my cabinets and bake with some of the contents. That and I had bought chucks of yummy Valrhona Chocolate that I was itching to try out! So i created these delicious and decadent chocolate cookies! They are similar to Nutella or Mudslide cookies, only instead of the delicious hazelnut chocolate dip, I used my favorite Peanut Butter and Co Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter. If you are a peanut butter addict like I am you will love this alternative to Nutella ( which is still amazing) on pretty much anything! The peanut butter along with chunks of high quality chocolate make for a gooey creamy center of this cookie! These are definetly not my healthiest recipe but hey- everyone deserves a splurge!

2 cups all purpose flour ( for cakier cookies add 1/2 cup of cake flour in place of 1/2 c all purpose flour)
1/2 c baking cocoa
1/2 c sugar
3/4 c brown sugar
3 egg whites
1/3 c soy butter spread
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tblsp Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter (you can substitute Nutella if you have it on it hand or just add more butter in place of peanut butter)
1 c chunks Valrhona or any high quality chocolate chunks/ chips
Cream together sugars, eggs, butter and vanilla, add cocoa powder. In a separate bowl mix flour and baking soad then pur cup by cup into cookie mixture. Mix until smooth and doughy and then add peanut butter and chips!
Spoon balls onto cookie dish and cook for 8- 10 minutes! Then enjoy with milk drink of your choice or top with ice cream/ fro yo!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Cookie Corner: Creamy Chocolate Pie Bars

When it gets warm its the perfect time for parties, and everyone loves the guest who brings a delicious desert that is easy, and cold enough to distract from the heat! That is why I was so excited when I found this recipe. Who doesn't love the combination of creamy chocolate pudding, a cheese cake like bottom and creamy whipped topping to finish it off? It is like a chocolate cream pie/ cheesecake baby, only without a lot of the fat and calories! I found this recipe as part of Cooking Light's Lighten Up section- which is great for those of you who want to find your favorite recipes with a few less calories and grams of fat! I have further altered the recipe and made it deliciously light and guilt-free for all those with a sweet tooth like me!
18 graham cracker squares (crushed into fine crumbs) (about 1 1/4 c.)
1/4 c. sugar
6 tbsp. melted soy butter spread
1/4 c finely crushed pecans
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces) Fage Greek yogurt 0%
1/2 cup (4 ounces) fat-free cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) carton frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping, thawed
3 cups 1% low-fat milk
2 (3.9-ounce) packages chocolate instant pudding mix
Unsweetened cocoa (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 325°.

2. To prepare crust, Mix crumbs, pecans, and sugar. Add butter and mix well. Spread into a pan and bake for 6-9 minutes

3. To prepare filling, place 1 cup sugar, yogurt and cream cheese in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy. Fold in half of whipped topping. Spread cream cheese mixture on cooled crust. Cover loosely; refrigerate 1 hour.

4. Combine milk and pudding mix in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or until pudding is set. Spread the pudding mixture over cream cheese layer. Spread remaining half of thawed whipped topping over pudding layer. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with cocoa, if desired. Cut into 15 pieces.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Its Pimms time!

I love warm weather! My favorite days in NYC are spent at Central Or Hudson River Park with a picnic lunch, Pimms and a good book or good friends (preferably friends if I am drinking Pimms- not really a fan of drinking alone!)
Pimms is a British liquor that reminds of summers at home in London at the pub sitting in the garden and drinking this yummy refreshing drink while relaxing from shopping, sunbathing, or work. You can get it at most liquor stores- and it is super easy to make!
Summer Pimms:
1 pitcher or drink cooler
4 oz Pimms
3 cups Sprite or fizzy lemonade if you are overseas
1 c cut strawberries
1 c oranges
1 c raspberries
1 lemon
Mix Pimms and Sprite and add ice. The add fruit to the top and enjoy! Garnish pitcher with lemon slices!

Cocktail Hour: Strawberry Margaritas

The sun is finally coming out. and picnics, roof parties and all the other joys of summer are just around the corner! Which is why I was so excited when I found this recipe for Strawberry margaritas! I'm a big margarita fan, especially paired with delicious Mexican dishes and friends! These margaritas are super easy to make and can be made in large quanities for get togethers!

3 1/2 cups strawberries
2 1/2 cups crushed ice
1/2 cup tequila
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons Cointreau (orange-flavored liqueur)
Lime wedges (optional)
Combine strawberries, ice, tequila, lime juice, sugar, and liqueur in a blender, and process until the mixture is smooth. Pour the margaritas into 4 large glasses. Garnish margaritas with a lime wedge, if desired. Serve immediately.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Skinny Mac

Macaroni and Cheese is the ulitmate comfort food. Its warm , carby, cheesy and reminds us of the good old days when Mom made us the heaven in the blue box.. Kraft Macaroni.. or for a real splurge Velveeta..... mmmm those were the days. Now a days we think about that cheesy wonderful meal as a kid only dish that will put our diet back days and be way to many carbs and fat grams to deal with. That is unless you are blessed with a model body and superhero metabolism. I have sought to transform Mac n Cheese to Skinny Mac- a dish you can enjoy without feeling the urge to run 10 miles, do 100 pushups/ situps or just get down on yourself for eating badly! So chin up Mac and Cheese lovers I got your back!
Skinny Mac:
1 1/4 cups uncooked whole wheat macaroni
2 cup 1% low fat milk
1 1/4 cups shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon butter
Cook pasta according to directions, boil and drain.
Heat butter in skillet and combine cheese and milk until cheese is melted. Put extra butter on macaroni, then pour mixture over macaroni. Mix until all the pasta is covered.

Cookie Corner: Candy Madness Peanut Butter Cookies

These are my famous cookies. They tend to be a little bit ridiculous! They are the perfect treat when you are craving peanut butter, chocolate and way more indulgence than usual! I created these by pretty much just adding lots of ingredients to see how it turned out.. and again and again these are a BIG hit!
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 c cake flour ( you can not add this and instead add another 1/2 c all purpose flour this just makes it cakier)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c butter ( I use soy butter spread)
2 eggs
4 tbsp peanut butter ( I LOVE skippy natural)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
2 c semi sweet choc chips ( I use Ghiradelli)
2 c mini chocolate chips
2 c peanut butter MnMs
2 cup crushed Reeses peanut butter cups

Combine sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla, mixing until smooth. The add by cup flour and baking soda. Mix until smooth dough forms and then add peanut butter. Mix well untill peanut butter has saturated all the dough. Add the next 4 ingredients.
Scoop balls of dough onto ungreased cookie sheet and cook at 350 for 10 minutes or until golden brown! Serve with your favorite milk and enjoy. Watch out because these will go FAST!

Cookie Corner: Oatmeal Bars

So I was bored yesterday and procrastinating when I decided to experiment with an old favourite- oatmeal raisin cookies! I made these into a bar that was delicously cakey and oatey at the same time!
The whole pan got eaten within a few hours yesterday and got rave reviews! Anytime you want a break from your basic oatmeal cookies try these!

1/2 cup soy butter spread
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 c all cake flour
3 c rolled oats
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs ( I used 3 egg whites)
1 tsp baking soda
1 c raisins
1 c cranberries
1 cup sliced almonds
Preheat to 375
Combine butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla stirring or beating until smooth with all bumps gone!
Combine flours, and baking soda, and then cup by cup add flour mixture to sugar mixture. Mix and then add oats. Once everything is well coated and a sticky batter has formed add cinnamon, raisins, cranberries and almonds!
Pour mixture into a greased baking dish and bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and no dough comes out!
Let cool then cut and enjoy!!

Wake up Sunshines!

Good Morning!!!
So I was just reading my favorite magazine of all time Women's Health ( some girls do Vogue I do Womens health) And I found great brunch and breakfast recipes! Breakfast is by far the most important meal of the day and it is important to get everything you can out of it!
My favorite easy peasy breakfast ( this is from me not WH) is a fruit cup and maybe a piece of toast with peanut butter.
This breakfast is easy all you need is various types of fruit cut up and put ina bowl and bread (whole wheat) and some peanut butter. I LOVE Skippy natural chunky! It has the great taste of skippy with out those bad hydrogenated oils ( these turn into transfats)

Not a huge breakfast fan? a simple fruit cup is easy, quick and small enough that you arent overloaded with food! Or if you are on the go whip up a quick smoothie to bring with you to class or work or sip before you go to the gym!
My favorite smoothie:
Super Breakfast Smoothie
1c Silk vanilla soy milk
1 c Fage 0% greek yogurt
1 cup strawberries
1 c banana
1 tbsp peanut butter
Add yogurt and soymilk firts then add all the other ingredients! This smoothi egives you fruit, dairy and protein and keeps you going all day long! To give it more of a punch you can add granola or oatmeal to it!

Ok now for WH's awesome recipe!
Apple and Sweet Potato Hash Browns
Who can resist those yummy potatoes at brunch? I sure cant and sometimes they are not too bad for you as long as they arent from McDonalds! But these hashbrowns are packed with fiber rich apples and sweet potatoes to ive you a sweet start to your day!
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large granny smith apple peeled and sliced into thin matchsticks
1/2 c thinly sliced onion
3 medium sweet potatoes cut into thin matchstiks
1 tsp cinnamon
in a large skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium heat, Add apple and onion and cook until soft, set aside in a bowl.
Add 1 tblspoon oil to skillet . Spread potatoes evenlyand press them down lighly with a spatula. Cook until golden brown on the bottom. Drizle with remaining oil and flip over. Cook for 5 more minutes!
Ass apple and onion moxture, and sprinkle with cinamon salt and pepper to taste!
Yum Yum YUm!!
Now for those of you who lov ethe sweeter things in breakfast like pancakes and french toast I can help you out! IT is easy to enjoy these in a healthy way! Substitute whole wheat flour in pancakes and waffles! Add berries for a sweeter taste or dark chocolate!
French toast is easy to make with whole wheat bread and egg whites instead of full eggs! This cuts fat and calories! Use soy butter spread to take away even more fat and use cinnamon for added flavor! Use pure maple sugar or agave nectar on top!!
I also love a toasted bagel with the middle scooped out- covered in soy butter, honey and cinnamon. Its a delicious taste on cinnamon sugar toast!!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cookie Corner: My Maryland Sugar Cookies

We all have a sweet craving once and awhile.. and its ok to give into that craving.. especially if the cookies are made a little healthier! I experimented with this recipe, substituting whole wheat flour instead of white.. but obviously you don't have to!
I made up this recipe on monday ninght after craving these amazing cookies I can only get in Maryland. These cookies are a shortbread cake cookie covered on to with chocolate fudge! I made my own recipe with great sucess and the result is a brownie like sugar cookie that is covred with a fudge like topping that is hard on top gooey in the middlle!
Chocolate topping:
2 bars Nestle Semi Sweet Baking Chocolate
1/4 cup 1% milk
1 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tbsp earth balance spread

Melt chocolate in microwave then combine all indredients in a sauce pan, stirring until smooth and mixed together


3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup unsifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar or 1/4 cup Splenda Sugar Blend for Baking
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Set a rack in the upper third of the oven; preheat to 350°F. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.
2. Whisk whole-wheat flour, cake flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
3. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, swirling the pan, until the butter turns a nutty brown, about 1 minute, and pour into a mixing bowl. Add sugar (or Splenda) and oil; beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Mix in egg and vanilla; and beat
Coat baking dish with oil/pam etc and layer cookie dough in pan. Bake cookies for about 10 minutes or until brown. Take them out of the oven and pour chocolate mixture on top!Let cool in fridge for about a hour or until chocolate has hardened!
Cut into pieces and enjoy!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Pasta, Pasta, Pasta!!!

Some nights, no matter how hard we try to avoid to many carbs, you just need a good pasta! I should know, I love pasta but avoided it for as long as I could! Now I realized that in moderation, Once or twice a week, pasta is a great staple, especially for college budgets as it stays good for a long time once you buy it, and if you make a big batch, it can last you and roommates if you are going to share for a week! A big plus, is that pasta is easy to make, and if you add a few extra ingredients can seem very gourmet- so you impress your friends, your boy, your family, or any one else!
Here are a few of my favorite pasta dishes!
Grandma Kays Beef a Roni
This is a favorite of my childhood, and one the best dishes my grandma makes!
1 lb macaroni ( white or wholewheat depending on your preferences- I choose whole wheat!)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can pureed tomatoes
1/4 cup chianti ( any kind)
1 tsp red chili pepper (you can actually add more if you like a spicier dish)
1 tbsp Italian herbs ( basil, cilantro etc you can buy herbs fresh or just get a mix)
1 lb lean ground beef ( can subsitute with ground turkey)
5 sweet italian sausages- squeezed out of casing (kinda gross i know but its yummy)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic

Put olive oil and garlic in a pan, cook until garlic browns just a bit, add meat and sausage and cook until brown. Reduce heat
Combine diced and pureed tomatoes, wine, and spices in a large sauce pan. Stir until just about to boil, then simmer. Once simmering add meat/sausage combination
Boil macaroni until al dente. Drain and add sauce to pasta. Sauce should just cover pasta. This is a dish where the sauce should not be too overpowering!
Serve onto plates and cover with freshly grated parmesan cheese!

Macadamia Ntu-Pesto Fettuccine
from Cooking Light
I am big sucker for pesto- I brought a food processor with me to college so I could make it!
I found this recipe on Cooking Light (which is my favorite sight and a great go to guide for any time you want to cook)
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

1 (9-ounce) package fresh fettuccine
3 cups fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup half-and-half
3 tablespoons roasted macadamia nuts
3 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.

While pasta cooks, place basil and remaining ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth. Combine basil mixture and pasta in a large bowl, tossing to coat.

Building on the Pesto theme- is this next recipe. I love to experiment with recipes and use a wide array of ingredients as you will see in these next few dishes! This is another one from cooking light- featuring sundried tomatoe pesto!


1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated fresh linguine

3/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves, drained

1/4 cup loosely packed basil leaves

2 tablespoons slivered almonds

2 tablespoons preshredded fresh Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain through a sieve over a bowl, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Return pasta to pan.

While pasta cooks, place tomatoes and next 6 ingredients (through black pepper) in a food processor; process until finely chopped.

Combine tomato mixture and the reserved 1 cup cooking liquid, stirring with a whisk. Add to pasta; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with feta.

These Italian dishes are great served with garlic bread! Garlic bread is so easy to make from scratch!

My Garlic Bread:

1 Baguette ( I use whole wheat)

4 tbsp earth balance spread

2 cloves finely diced garlic

Cut baguette into little 2 in portions, keeping the bottom uncut so it stays together. Melt butter spread and mix with garlic. Using a basting brush spread in between pieces and pour any excess over the baguette. Put in foil and cook on 350 for 20 min!




Yummy Baguette PIzza

Pizza is a favorite for everyone! But it ca be high in calories and fat if we eat to much, especially of the favored delivery pizzas! The other night, I had a terrible craving for pizza and not wanting to blow my good day of eating, opted for this simple alternative to the standard pizza!
The ingredients are easy, its an easy dish to make for multiple people and trust me its delicious!
Yummy Baguette Pizza:
1 whole wheat ( or white) french baguette
1 cup Pizza sauce (for a bite I used Rao's Arrabiata pasta sauce- it was wonderful!)
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (use part skim)
* 1/4 cup spinach, mushrooms or any other toppings you might want!

Pre-heat oven to 350
Cut Baguette in half, and then in fourths- removing the curved parts at the end! To make it crispier, remove the inside break, so there is just a light layer of breading before the crust. ( You can dip the scraps of bread in a delicious blend of olive oil and crushed pepper while you are cooking/ waiting)
Cover bread parts with sauce evenly and depending on how much sauce you want- I love saucy pizzas so I use more. Then cover with cheese and other toppings, put on a baking sheet and cookie for 15- 20 minutes until cheese is melted and the crust is at your desired crispiness!

I Can't Believe its... Mashed Potatoes!

So I love Mashed potatoes, when I was younger I used to make Hungry Jack Potatoes as a snack or lunch! And at Thanksgiving? Seconds, Thirds and Fourths of that creamy potatoe goodness!
Unfortunately mashed potatoes got a bad rep, and we cant eat as much as we want of traditionally prepared mashed potatoes if we want to fit into our skinny jeans!
Thankfully I found a way to enjoy them without the guilt!
"I Can't Believe its.. Mashed Potatoes!"
4 baking potatoes
3 tbsp Earth Balance or Smart Choice Spread
1 clove Garlic finely chopped
* Optional 1 8 oz container of Fage or other Greek Plain Non fat yogurt
* Optional 1/2 cup fat free or 1% milk

Chop up Potatoes leaving skin on, and boil them in a large pot for 30 min or until they are soft enough to mash should be a white creamy color with no slightly transluscent bits.
Drain potatoes and then add spread and garlic mashing the potatoes with a mixer or a big spoon.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
If you like creamier potatoes, add greek yogurt or fat free milk and voila the perfect guilt free dish!
To make them more interesting, especially if you are eating them without accompaniment, I adda little bit of pesto! Its delicous!
Enjoy! xo

Welcome Food lovers!

Hello all!
So I decided to start this blog because I LOVE food, and I LOVE to cook so I thought what better way to share my love of all of this than to do it on a blog!
I know that it can be hard to eat the foods you love without feeling guilty, or like you have to excercize 12 hours a day! I have felt the same way, and have come up with and found recipes to slim down fatty favorites and make you feel like you aren't dieting or watching your food while enjoying meals and feeling great!!
I hope you enjoy!!