Wednesday, May 30, 2012

S'mores Oatmeal



I have been sucked into yet another predictable season of 'The Bachelorette"...I know it's wrong, but I just don't wanna be right!

I know every season is the same. There's the smooth talker whose too good to be true, and the weirdo who comes on with a weird prop or persona and the guy with the heart-wrenching story...it always ends the same with two strangers professing their undying love for each other and spout out empty promises about it lasting forever...when really I think only one season out of the 700 has lasted...and who knows how happy they are?

I know these things. I know it is cheesy and the dates are too out-of-this-world to be even somewhat realistic but man I love some cheese.

I can't help but get excited to sit down on the couch with some sinful dessert and a cup of tea and my coziest sweats and dive in.

I guess we'll call it a guilty pleasure.


We all know I have plenty of those. Ahem, shoes, chocolate, cheesecake, trashy tv, chocolate, my iPhone, chocolate, girly books...just to name a few.

I guess this oatmeal is a little bit guilty too. Just a TAD. Or more than a tad. Whatev, have some while you watch "The Bachelorette"...you get my approval.


S'mores Oatmeal
Dame Good

Ingredients:

1/2 cup oats
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup mini marshmallows
1 graham cracker sheet (2 squares), broken into pieces
1 packet of splenda

Directions:

In a microwave-safe bowl combine oats, vanilla, water, milk and splenda. Microwave on high for 1 1/2-2 minutes, or until thickened.

Stir in the chocolate chips, marshmallows and graham cracker pieces. (Don't let it sit too long or the graham crackers will get soggy. Uncool) Enjoy!




Monday, May 28, 2012

Rosemary Hummus


I would first like to take a moment to thank the men and women who have/are/will serve/ing/ed in the military. Happy Memorial Day!

I love days like Memorial Day...family and friends, cookouts, beer, the pool...it's great. It's even better when it is all done remembering those who have sacrificed their time and their lives to serve in this country.

I couldn't imagine.

For another type of holiday, Christmas to be exact, I attended a little cocktail party and someone brought rosemary hummus.

I had never had it.

It's pretty darn good.



I didn't think to ask where they had gotten it because I just assumed that I skimmed over it each time at the grocery store...my attention span is not all that impressive.

I'm the type of person who goes to the grocery store, with a list mind you (I love lists), and as soon as the cashier grabs my first item for checkout I remember something I forgot...then when I am putting my groceries away at home I remember that other thing I forgot. It always happens.

Well this rosemary hummus that had been on my mind all holiday season is literally nowhere to be found.

I searched for a recipe I could make that does not have tahini because that stuff ain't cheap. Poor college student+ain't cheap= ain't happenin'

I found this one and only recipe and proceeded with caution. It isn't exact, it's not quite the same but I don't hate it. Its good enough!




Rosemary Hummus
Adapted from Allrecipes.com

Ingredients:

2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 (15.5 ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Strip rosemary leaves from stems, discard stems, and place leaves in the bowl of a food processor. Add garlic and pulse until finely chopped. Pour in the garbanzo beans; process until evenly blended.

With food processor running, slowly pour in the olive oil, scraping sides of the bowl as necessary. Pour in balsamic vinegar and process until evenly blended. Taste, and add more vinegar, 1 tablespoon at a time, as desired. Pour in the water and process to make a spreadable consistency. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill before serving.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Snickerdoodle Blondies


I laid by the pool this weekend. With fun people and a drink in hand...

I needed that.

I think I've been whining for months about wanting to escape to Mexico, or somewhere where the water is clear and the sand is white. I fantasize about getting away with that man of mine and having no worries for a few days.

Well, sitting by the pool is the closest thing I can get for now and I shall take it!
It was a reminder that I have been hibernating for weeks though. Someone offered me their sunblock and I politely obliged stating "I don't really burn unless I'm in the sun for a couple days in a row". I looked real dumb when my shoulders were bright red after sitting in the sun for 45 minutes.

I'll take that sunblock, thanks.

Whoops. Someone needs to stop hiding from the sun.
I think it was December when I bought those Hershey's Cinnamon Chips. I have spent the last few months just staring at them wondering what the heck I should do with them. Why did I buy them? 

Well, these blondies have been floating around the blog world for a while now and have been on my list. That man of mine loves cinnamony/snickerdoodley-like desserts so I thought I'd give em a try and add the cinnamon chips.

He loved 'em...what-d-ya know?




Snickerdoodle Blondies
Adapted from Food.com

Ingredients:

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup cinnamon chips
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and/or line a 9×13 inch pan. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and set aside.

In large bowl, beat together butter and brown sugar for 3-5 minutes. Add in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, and beat until smooth.

Stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Add cinnamon chips and stir just until combined. Spread evenly in prepared pan (it helps to use a greased spatula). Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon, in a little bowl. Evenly sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the batter.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until surface springs back when gently pressed. Cool before cutting. Makes 20-24 bars.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pesto Chicken Pasta



I have this thing with pesto.

I kind of love it.

Ok, not kind of...I am absolutely in love with it.



How have I gone through 24 years of life without having had pesto pizza? Blasphemy, I tell you. I had pizza this year with pesto instead of pizza sauce for the first time ever...de-lish.

Now, anytime I go to a pizza place, pesto pizza is the first thing I look for. Try it.

You won't be disappointed.

Anyway, I have a pathetic excuse for a food processor so I have yet to make my own pesto...I know, cover your eyes. BUT, the store bought stuff isn't half bad. In fact, its quite convenient to toss into pasta with some sun-dried tomatoes and Parmesan cheese for a quick dinner.

Exhibit A.






Pesto Chicken Pasta
Adapted from Allrecipes.com

Ingredients:

1 (16 ounce) package whole grain pasta
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon oil from sun-dried tomatoes, or olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes to taste
1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and cut into strips
3/4 cup pesto sauce
1/4 cup reduced-fat Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion until tender, about 5 minutes. Then stir in chicken. Season with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Cook until chicken is golden, and cooked through. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute or so.

In a large bowl, combine pasta, chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, and Parmesan cheese. Toss to coat evenly.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Birthday Oreo Pudding "Cake"


Woe is me.



I meant to post this recipe way back when I was freaking out about the introduction of Birthday Cake Oreos...Perhaps the excitement caused me to go temporarily insane.

If there are still boxes of those Birthday Cake Oreos to be found, or you still have a box waiting in your pantry (btw you must be crazy) then pay attention!



I love Oreo desserts. Love them. When those Oreos came out I knew I had to come up with something. Since they taste kind of like cake batter I went that route...naturally.

Anyway, who doesn't love Oreo/dirt pudding?

Exactly. Well this version has cream cheese, cake batter and sprinkles.

You're welcome.



No, seriously. When I made this I could not get it in my mouth fast enough. I'm typically a slow eater but this little dessert made me abandon all reason and manners. I grabbed the biggest spoon I could find and went to town with a "pudding-eating-grin" on my face.

I really want some now. Why did I have to eat all my oreos?!

(BTW you can obviously still make this with regular Oreos, the bday ones just bump it up a notch)




Birthday Oreo Pudding "Cake"
Dame Good

Ingredients:

1 (10.5 ounce) package birthday cake oreos (or regular if you cant find them)
1/4 cup  light butter
1 (16 ounce) container fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 (8 ounce) packages neaufchatel cream cheese
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 cups skim milk
1 (3.5 ounce) package fat-free sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
1/4 cup yellow cake mix (dry)
1/2 cup sprinkles

Directions:

Crush cookies into bite size pieces. Reserve 3/4 cup for top. Melt butter and mix with rest of cookies. Press into 8x8 (or 9x9) pan. Put in freezer for 5 minutes.

Blend 1/2 of the whipped topping, all of the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar. Spread over crust and place cake back in freezer.

Prepare instant pudding with the milk according to package directions. Add cake mix and 1/4 cup sprinkles to the pudding. Spread the pudding over top of cake. Spread the remaining whipped topping on top of the pudding then sprinkle with the remaining cookie and sprinkles. Keep cake refrigerated.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

White Bean Chicken Enchiladas


Cinco De Mayo was last week. Sadly, I am guilty of taking advantage of any type of holiday to drink festive drinks and overeat festive food.

Mexican food is my favorite so you know I threw on a party hat.

One thing about Mexican, particularly when you go to a restaurant, is that it is rarely "light" and I like to eat "light" so I can eat a lot...because I rarely know when to stop.

Well maybe I know...but I am rarely willing to stop.


There's nothing like an endless supply of restaurant chips and salsa and margaritas the size of your head to make being healthy and thin seem obsolete and irrational.

Lucky for me, I can always turn to a Skinnytaste recipe and know it will not only taste good and unhealthy. But its healthy...booyah!

Ps. I have had to respell "restaurant" more times than I should be willing to admit during this post. I can't ever seem to get that word right...grrr....


White Bean Chicken Enchiladas
From Skinnytaste.com

Ingredients:

For the Chicken and White Bean Filling:
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup minced white onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles
15.5 oz can Navy beans (or Cannellini beans)
8 oz cooked shredded chicken breast
1/3 can water
1 chicken bullion
1 tsp cumin

For the Green Chile Enchilada Sauce:
1 tsp butter
1/2 cup chopped white onion
2 tbsp flour
1 cup fat free chicken broth
7 oz can chopped green chile
2 jalapeƱos, chopped
salt
1/2 cup light sour cream
3/4 cup reduced fat Mexican cheese
8 medium low carb tortillas
chopped fresh cilantro and scallions

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°.

For the Filling:
In a medium pan, heat olive oil on low. Add onions, garlic and saute until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add green chiles, beans, water, bullion, and cumin. Mix well and cover. Simmer on low 15 minutes. Remove cover, add chicken and cook an additional 5 minutes, or until it thickens and liquid boils down. Set aside.

Green Chile Enchilada Sauce:
In a large nonstick pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and starts to turn translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add flour and stir well. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth. Whisk until the sauce becomes smooth. Cook over medium heat until the sauce boils and thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Add green chiles, jalepeƱos, and salt to tatse. Cook another minute then remove from the heat. Stir in the sour cream.

Spread about 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9x13" baking dish. Fill each tortilla with 1/3 cup of the chicken/white bean filling. Roll the tortillas and place seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Continue filling remainder of the tortillas.

Pour the enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas. Top with cheese. Cover with aluminum and bake 20-30 minutes, until the enchiladas are hot and the cheese is melted. Remove from oven and top with fresh cilantro or scallions.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins


In high school I worked at Tim Horton's.

In high school I also had an insanely fast metabolism. I would eat donuts like it was my job...not sure it was an official part of my job but I sure acted like it.

I could pop donut hols in my mouth fresh out of the oven one after the other without the worry of being in danger of suffering severe punishment to my hips.

Now, not so much.



I don't buy donuts now. Why? Because it would be ugly. But I crave them.

I usually slow down a touch when I pass them at the grocery store...let myself drool a little bit then whine to myself about how I miss the days of being able to scarf down a meal from taco bell, followed by a coke and finished off with some chocolate cake without suffering any repercussions whatsoever.

Getting old is dumb.

I have stumbled across many options and recipes that soften the metabolism blow a bit. Sure, I can't have a deliciously greasy and sugary donut now without it immediately following an intense pang of guilt and a tear or two or two hundred. But...BUT, I can opt to make these muffins that are as close as I can get to feeling content about it.

These muffins remind me of those sugared donut holes. (donut, doughnut? I'll never know). Are they the perfect recreation or substitute? Well, no (these are baked, not fried like those crack-laced baked breakfast treats we all know and love)...but they're good for those days when you know you don't deserve a treat because you have skipped the gym for 3 weeks days straight but you WANT a treat.

Have at it.




Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins
Adapted from Sweetpeaskitchen.com

Ingredients:

1 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup skim milk

For the Coating:
1/2 cup melted light butter or spread
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with muffin liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.
In small bowl whisk together oil, sugar, egg and milk.

Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups. Bake until muffin tops are a pale golden and springy to the touch, 22 to 24 minutes, rotating halfway through baking time.

While the muffins are baking, combine sugar and cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl. Place melted butter in a small bowl. Once baked, shake muffins out immediately and while hot, dip in melted butter, then roll in sugar and cinnamon

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna


I've been making up crazy recipes lately.

I'm kinda liking it.


I made this buffalo chicken lasagna and loved it...s'mores oatmeal, fluffernutter oatmeal, reuben quesedillas, turkey sausage panakes...I must have gotten some kind of creative bug.



Buffalo chicken anything seems to be huge right now. I'm loving it because I have always been a huge fan of buffalo chicken. I can't open a bag of buffalo chicken pretzel crips without devouring the whole bag. Whoops.

I don't know about this though. A buffalo chicken milkshake?! I like weird things but this may be a little too weird. Has anyone tried it? You are a brave soul if you have.



Buffalo Chicken Lasagna
Dame Good

Ingredients:

9 whole-wheat lasagna noodles (about 3/4 pound)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 lbs chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups buffalo sauce (get the mildest version)
2 cups fat-free ranch, or blue cheese dressing
1/2 cup fat-free greek yogurt
1 (15-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
8 ounces reduced-fat crumbled blue cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups celery, chopped fine
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup reduced-fat grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 cup scallions, chopped

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cook the noodles al dente according to the directions on the package. Drain them well and spread them out onto aluminum foil or waxed paper to prevent them from sticking.

In a separate bowl, combine the buffalo sauce, ranch and greek yogurt. Mix well.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add garlic. Season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the buffalo and ranch sauce and simmer for 2 minutes. Add shredded chicken.

In a medium bowl combine the ricotta cheese, blue cheese crumbles, egg, the rest of the salt and pepper.

Spread 1 cup of buffalo ranch sauce on the bottom of a 9 by 12-inch baking dish. Layer 3 noodles on top of the sauce and spread half of the ricotta mixture. Spread half a cup of buffalo ranch chicken on that. Repeat a second layer again with 3 noodles, the other half of ricotta and half a cup of sauce. Layer the final 3 noodles on top of that. Spread the remaining 1/2 cups of sauce over the lasagna rolls. Top with the cheeses, cover loosely with foil, and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes more.

Top with scallions.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Carrot Cake Oatmeal



I wish I could claim this as my idea.

Carrot cake oatmeal is kinda genius no?


My boss actually gave me the idea. She told me how she came across a recipe for carrot cake oatmeal online somewhere and I decided to come up with my own.

Because I'm stubborn dangerous like that.

I actually never liked the idea of carrot cake until I tried one of the carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting at the bakery...um...yum! As a kid, I thought the idea was gross. Carrots in a cake? No thank you!

Now, I take that back. Please put carrots in my cake. Anyone?




Carrot Cake Oatmeal
Dame Good

Ingredients:

1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup skim milk
1-2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup carrots, shredded
2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons shredded coconut
1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt
1 packet of splenda (optional, if you would like more sweetness)

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 1/2-2 minutes or until thickened. Enjoy!
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