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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Caprese Appetizer Bites

This appetizer takes your classic tomatoes and mozzarella to a new level. They are fun to eat and look super fancy too!

Grape/cherry tomatoes
mozzarella cheese - I bought pre-made balls of mozzarella but you can cube a block as well
basil leaves
olive oil
balsamic vinegar

Thread grape tomatoes, fresh basil leaves and mozzarella onto wooden skewers. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

*recipe courtesy of Taste of Home magazine

Caramel Apple & Brie Skewers

I made these for two totally different events; a baby shower and a 30th birthday party. They were a hit at both. Everyone raved about them and they were devoured!   You can pre-cut your and apples and toss them with a little lemon juice to keep from browning, which is a great time saving tip when entertaining.  Then just assemble and serve. 

2 medium apples, cubed (I used a red & a green to make them extra pretty)
1 pkg (6oz) Brie cheese, cubed
1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping (more or less to taste)
2 Tbsp. dried cranberries
1/2 cup macadamia nuts (optional, I didn't use)

On each of six small wooden skewers, alternately thread apple and cheese cubes. Place on a serving tray. Drizzle with caramel topping; sprinkle with cranberries and nuts if using them. 

*recipe courtesy of Taste of Home magazine

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

This pot pie was fantastic. The best part is the recipe makes two so you can eat one and freeze one!

2 cups diced peeled potatoes
1-3/4 cups sliced carrots
2/3 cup chopped onion
1 cup butter, cubed
1 cup all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour)
1-3/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon pepper
3 cups chicken broth
1-1/2 cups milk
4 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
Pastry for two double-crust pies (9 inches)

Place potatoes and carrots in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and set aside.
In a large skillet, saute onion in butter until tender. Stir in the flour, salt, thyme and pepper until blended. Gradually stir in broth and milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add the chicken, peas, corn, potatoes and carrots; remove from the heat.
Line two 9-in. pie plates with bottom pastry; trim pastry even with edge. Fill pastry shells with chicken mixture. Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pies. Cut slits or decorative cutouts in pastry. Place over filling; trim, seal and flute edges.
Bake one potpie at 425° for 35-40 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting. Cover and freeze remaining potpie for up to 3 months.

To use frozen pot pie: Shield frozen pie crust edges with foil; place on a baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°; bake 70-80 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown.

*recipe courtesty of

Sweet & Sour Chicken

This dish was wonderful! It really captures the flavors of traditional sweet & sour chicken but done the healthy way. My kids couldn't get enough of it! I served it with a cucumber tomato salad, which went well with the flavors. (one chicken breast with sauce is only 205 calories!)

4-6 thin sliced chicken breasts
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
3 TBS apricot preserves
1 1/2 TBS low sodium soy sauce
2 TBS fresh lime juice
2 tsp Thai Chili Paste

Heat grill to medium high. Sprinkle chicken with the salt & pepper. Grill chicken until done.

Meanwhile, add chicken broth, apricot preserves, and soy sauce in a pan and bring to a boil. Stir well. Cook 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in the fresh lime juice and the Thai chili paste. Spoon over chicken. Remaining sauce can be used for dipping. Enjoy!

*recipe courtesy of Cooking Light Magazine

Monday, August 15, 2011

Taco Casserole

This was SO delicious. The entire family ate it with no complaints. I was worried that it would need to be served with brown rice or something but it was great on it's on, with a side of veggies.


1 lb ground skinless chicken breast (I used 1lb of turkey ground)
1/2 c onions, chopped
1/2 c bell peppers, chopped
1 clove garlic
1 pkg taco seasoning mix
1 jar of salsa
16oz fat-free sour cream
16oz fat-free cottage cheese
low-fat tortilla chips, whole or broken up
1 c low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded

Possible things to add: 1 can of black beans
                                   1 cup of corn


Heat oven to 400. Spray cooking spray on bottom of a 9x13 dish (or 2 8x8 dishes if you want to freeze 1); set aside. In a skillet, cook chicken, onion, peppers, and garlic clove until tender. Add seasoning mix and salsa; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine sour cream and cottage cheese; set aside. Place solid layer of broken chips in the bottom of casserole dish. Add meat mixture to cover the chips, then cover the meat with sour cream mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and more crushed chips. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until cheese has melted.

Makes 8 (1 Cup Servings)

Nutritional Info Per Serving:
287 Calories; 4g Fat; 25g Protein; 34g Carbohydrate; 43mg Cholesterol; 2g Fiber;
Points Plus+ 7

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Grilled Cheese & Tomato Flatbread

This can be an appetizer or a main dish. It looks fancy so it's great for entertaining and it's pretty easy to make.

1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese, softened (I used low fat and that worked just fine)
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
2 TBS minced fresh parsley, divided (I used dried parsley)
1 TBS minced chives
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme (I used dried thyme)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tube (13.8oz) refrigerated pizza crust
3 TBS olive oil
3 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced (I used 2 red tomatoes and one yellow to make it bright.)

1. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, 1 TBS parsley, chives, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper until blended in a large bowl.

2. Unroll pizza crust and cut in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each portion into a 12x6 inch rectangle. Brush each side with olive oil.

3. Grill uncovered over medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Remove from grill.

4. Spread grilled sides with cheese mixture. Sprinkle remaining parmesan cheese and top with tomatoes. Return to the grill. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes or until crust is slightly browned and cheese is melted, rotating halfway through cooking to ensure an even crust. Remove from grill and sprinkle with remaining parsley. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

*recipe courtesy of Cooking Light Magazine

Pepperoni Pizza Casserole

Great dinner for the whole family. It comes together really quickly and the recipe makes enough that you can freeze half (adding the cheese before cooking). You can also cut the recipe in half if you don't want to freeze it.

1 package (16oz) whole wheat egg noodles
1 lb ground turkey (or beef)
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 can (8oz) diced tomatoes & green chilies
2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
4 oz sliced turkey pepperoni (or regular if you prefer)
Optional: 1 can mushrooms pieces

1. Cook noodles according to package directions, drain well.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook ground turkey and chopped onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the spaghetti sauce and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Stir in noodles.

3. Transfer to a greased 13x9 baking dish. Sprinkle with the cheeses and pepperoni.

4. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until heated through and the cheeses are melted. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

*recipe courtesy of Taste of Home Magazine

Monday, August 1, 2011

Zucchini Crab Cakes - Baked

These crab cakes are absolutely amazing!  They are nice and light, without a ton of filler. The zucchini picks up the crab flavor stretching the meat to make more cakes. It's baked and not fried so it's a much healthier version than most. You can also freeze them to use later!


1 large zucchini, grated (2 cups)

2 tablespoons mayonnaise or plain yogurt

OLD BAY® Seasoning to taste

2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 cup seasoned whole wheat plain dry bread crumbs

1/2 pound backfin crabmeat (I used closer to a lb)

1 tablespoon EVOO


1. Squeeze dry zucchini in a large clean kitchen towel. Mix mayonnaise, OLD BAY, and mustard  in large bowl until well blended. Add zucchini, bread crumbs and crabmeat; mix well. Shape into 8 patties, about 1/3 cup each.

2. Preheat oven to 425. Place crab cakes into a well oiled dish and bake until golden brown. Flip and bake other side until brown. Serve Hot!

OLD BAY® Zucchini Pancakes: Prepare as directed, omitting crabmeat and decreasing OLD BAY to 2 teaspoons.

*courtesy of Old