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!!