Saturday, November 19, 2011

Artichoke Dip with Fresh Herbs

I love warm Spinach & Artichoke dip but unfortunately even a little spinach will trigger a nasty migraine.  So I rarely get to eat the dip I love.  Then I found this recipe.  It tastes just like Spinach & Artichoke dip but without the spinach.  You can make this with dried herbs but why?  Food tastes so much better using the fresh stuff.  Trust me, once you try it, you'll never go back to the dried bottled stuff.

Artichoke Dip with Fresh Herbs

  • 1c light sour cream
  • 1/2c light mayo or salad dressing
  • 1/2c grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4c chopped fresh parsley
  • 2T chopped fresh or 1/2t dried thyme leaves
  • 2 medium green onions, slices (2T)
  • 1 can (14oz) artichoke hearts in water, drained, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2c diced seeded plum (Roma)  tomatoes

  • French bread slices or crackers for dipping

Heat oven to 350'.  In a medium bowl, mix all dip ingredients except tomatoes.  Spread in an ungreased 9" glass pie plate or shallow 1qt casserole.

Bake 18-24 mins or until hot.  Top with tomatoes and additional chopped fresh parsley.  Serve warm with dippers.  Cover and refrigerate any remaining dip.

***Can be made the night before***

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Creme Brulee French Toast

My husband loves having breakfast for dinner so that's when we had this but I think it would also be perfect for breakfast Christmas morning.  When I planned this meal, I figured that my family can eat about 9 slices of french toast so since this recipe used less than 5 slices of bread I would need to double this recipe.  Boy was I wrong.  It's such a filling meal that we didn't even finish the 1st casserole dish.  My kids loved this but of course had to have syrup on it.  However, it definitely doesn't need syrup.  The layer of sugar on the bottom is a perfect substitute for syrup.

Lightened Up Creme Brulee French Toast

Servings: 6    Serving Size: 1/6th   
Old Points: 7pts   Points +: 9pts
Calories: 310.9   Fat: 5.6g   Carb: 59.9g
Fiber: 0.2g   Protein: 13.1g

  • 1c unpacked brown sugar
  • 1/4c water
  • cooking spray
  • 10oz Challah bread, sliced 1" thick (I couldn't find Challah bread so I used a potato loaf.  Really, I think most breads would work fine).
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1c egg substitute
  • 1 1/2c 1% Milk
  • 1 1/2t vanilla extract
  • 1t Meyers rum (optional) (I didn't use the rum but it'd give it a nice "Banana's Foster" flavor) 
  • 1/4t salt
  • 1t powdered sugar
  • 1t cinnamon, divided
In a small heavy saucepan, melt brown sugar and water over moderate-low heat, stirring until smooth and melted, about 1 minute, then pour into a 13x9" baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Arrange bread slices into one layer in the baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit.

 I have no idea why this photo is rotated.  Sorry

In a large bowl whisk together eggs, egg substitute, milk vanilla, rum, 1/2t cinnamon, and salt until combined well & pour evenly over bread. 

Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350' and bring bread to room temperature.

Bake uncovered, in the middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 40 to 50 minutes.  (If you get any large bubbles, you'll want to pop them so that they cook inside).

Top with cinnamon and powdered sugar.  

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Autumn Penne Pasta with Sauteed Brussels Sprouts

So I grew up hearing that Brussels Sprouts were horrible.  So many stories about how kids hide them in their napkins are bound to make a kid think that Brussels Sprouts are next to poison.  So when I came across this recipe I was very hesitant to try it but since I'd never tried a Brussels Sprout before, I thought I needed to try it at least once.  Turns out, they're just a teeny cabbage & they're really good in this dish.

Autumn Penne Pasta with Sauteed Brussels Sprouts

Servings:  8   Serving Size: 1 3/4c   
Old Points: 6pts   Points+: 8pts   
Calories: 326.1Fat: 6.9g   Protein: 15.7g   Carb:54.8g   
Fiber: 8.8g   Sugar: 5.4g   Sodium: 343.6mg (without salt)

  • 1 sweet or hot sausage link, casing removed, crumbled
  • 3/4lb 93% lean ground turkey
  • 4t olive oil, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 10oz Brussels sprouts,weight after outer leaves & stems removed
  • 1 small onion, diced small
  • 1 carrot, peeled @ diced small
  • 28oz crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • pinch crushed red pepper
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1lb high fiber, low carb or whole wheat penne pasta

In a large, wide skillet, add sausage and turkey over medium-high heat, breaking up the sausage and the turkey as it cooks, into small pieces.  When completely cooked through; set aside in a bowl.

With a sharp knife, cut the brussels sprouts into thin shreds.

To the skillet, add 2t oil over medium heat.  When hot, add the garlic and cook until golden (do not burn).  Add shredded brussels sprouts, salt & pepper and saute until tender crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes; set aside in another bowl.

To the same skillet, add remaining 2t oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion, carrot & celery, stirring well to coat with oil.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables turn golden brown, about 10 to12 minutes.

Add crushed tomatoes, sausage and turkey, bay leaf crushed red pepper, salt and fresh pepper to taste.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 30-40 minutes, or until sauce thickens.

Meanwhile, while the sauce is simmering, put a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.  Add the pasta to the water 10 minutes before the sauce is done and cook the pasta al dente.

Drain and add the pasta to the skillet and toss with the sauce.

Add cooked brussels sprouts, toss and place in a large pasta bowl.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pumpkin Rolls

I love the taste of pumpkin during the holiday season.  The smell of spices always reminds me of my childhood, watching mom make pumpkin pies or tasty plates of baked goods for the neighbors.  Pumpkin rolls are a really easy dessert to make that looks like it took all day.  It also makes the house smell so good.

Pumpkin Rolls

For the pumpkin roll:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1c sugar
  • 1t lemon juice
  • 2/3c canned pumpkin
  • 3/4c flour
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1/2t salt
  • 2t cinnamon
  • nuts (optional)

Beat eggs until frothy.  Add sugar, lemon juice and pumpkin.  Mix well and add flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  

Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper & then spray with cooking spray.   Pour mixture onto the cookie sheet.  Sprinkle nuts on the top, if desired.  Bake at 350' for 15 minutes.  

Sprinkle a dish towel with powdered sugar and lay on top of the warm pumpkin roll cake.  Flip the pumpkin roll over, out of the pan, and peel off the waxed paper.  Roll the towel and cake up in a spiral while warm (like rolling cinnamon roll dough).  Allow the cake to cool.  

Unroll carefully, frost, and roll back up without the towel.  Slice up and serve.

For the pumpkin roll frosting:

  • 1c powdered sugar
  • 2t vanilla
  • 8oz cream cheese
  • 4t margarine
Soften the cream cheese and margarine.  Mix together.  Add the powdered sugar and vanilla.  Mix until smooth.

Recipe from Deborah Sanford

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Restaurant Style Salsa

I LOVE the salsa that they serve at restaurants.  You know the kind, NOT CHUNKY.  I wish that I could find it at the grocery store but all I've been able to find was chunky.  So now I've found a recipe that is so easy to make & it's extremely good & the best part is ...  It's not chunky!

Restaurant Style Salsa

  • 1 can whole tomatoes (I think it's a 28oz can.  Its the next size up from the 14oz can).
  • 2 14oz cans Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies (1 original & 1 mild flavored)
  • 1/4c onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed & chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped.  Use the whole thing, seeds pulp & all
  • 1/4t sugar
  • 1/4t salt
  • 1/4t cumin
  • juice of 1 small lime or 1/2 of a large lime
  • 1/2c to 1c cilantro.  This'll add a lot of flavor so I like to use a lot

Put all ingredients into a food processor & pulse until you get your desired consistency.  Don't just let the processor run or you'll turn your salsa into soup.

Allow it to refrigerate for at least a couple hours so that the flavors can marry.

Dish it up & enjoy