Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pumpkin Pancakes

So, I needed to use up the left over pumpkin in my fridge and there wasn't enough for pumpkin bread (don't worry that one will make it on here!) and pancakes always sound good, so for dinner we ate big stacks of yummy pumpkin pancakes! I got the recipe off of one of my favorite food blogs, Taste the Joy, and it is a hit! I altered it a bit, but these cakes are spicy, fluffy, and oh so good!


2 eggs

1 1/4 fat free buttermilk

4 tablespoons applesauce

3 tablespoons canned pumpkin

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1. Preheat skillet over medium heat and coat with nonstick spray. Combine eggs, milk, applesauce, pumpkin, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Use an electric mixer to blend ingredients.

2. Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Add dry to wet and blend with mixer on medium speed until smooth. Pour onto hot skillet and cook until batter stops bubbling and edges start to brown. Flip and finish cooking. Pare these pancakes with eggs, turkey sausage and a berry smoothie and I'd say you have yourself a delish breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

* To keep pancakes warm put the in an oven safe dish and place in a 200 degree oven covered with a towel.

* If you have leftovers (we always do) put the in the freezer in a zip lock bag. When you want to make a quick breakfast for your hubby or kids pop them into the toaster and there you have it! Warm pancakes ready to eat.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Chocolate Lover's Dream Cake

I know that a lot of my desserts have something to do with chocolate but that is only because I LOVE it so much! I am not gonna lie to you, this cake is one of the best desserts I have ever tasted!!! I am not joking, I don't joke about chocolate!! I altered the recipe a bit to cut fat out and it is rich, dense, and 100% delicious!!

1 chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup fat free chocolate milk
1/3 cup applesauce
4 egg whites
1 16oz. container fat free sour cream
1 box (4 serving size) chocolate fudge instant pudding mix (fat free-sugar free)
1 bag chocolate chips
Glaze: 3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 tablespoon tub butter
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons water

1. Heat oven to 350. Generously spray 12-cup fluted cake pan with non-stick spray. In a large bowl mix cake mix, chocolate milk, applesauce, egg whites, sour cream, and dry pudding mix with spoon until well blended. Batter will be very thick. Stir in one bag chocolate chips. Spoon into pan.
2. Bake 40-50 minutes until top springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Place on cooling rack, plate, or cake stand and cool completely, about 2 hours.
3. In 1 quart saucepan heat glaze ingredients over low heat, stirring frequently, until chocolate chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Drizzle over cake. Store loosely covered at room temperature.
Oh mercy, this innocent piece of cake has no idea that I am about to gobble it up! Yummy!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Honey Glazed Chicken Stir-fry

This is a great way to have a yummy Chinese meal! It seriously only took me 20 minutes to make! The honey gives this dish a nice sweet flavor and in no time flat you will have a healthy meal that everyone will love!

12 oz. chicken breast
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons orange juice
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 cups cut up veggies : broccoli, peppers, onions, mushrooms,
carrots, snap peas..... anything you like!
2 cups cooked rice

1. Cut up chicken into bite-size strips. Set aside. For sauce mix honey, soy sauce, vinegar, oj, and cornstarch. Set aside.

2. Drizzle a little bit of oil into a skillet or wok. Heat over med-high heat. Add veggies to pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes until crisp-tender. Remove veggies and add chicken. Cook for 4-5 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Push chicken to side of pan and add the sauce to center of pan. Stir until thick and bubbly.

3. Return cooked veggies to pan and cook and stir until warm. Serve over rice and there you have it!

* You can buy minute brown rice, which is soooo good for you. With this yummy sauce you can't even tell!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Baked Wagon Wheel Pasta

I love making yummy comfort food that is healthy. Especially meals where you don't have to feel guilty about after dinner is over. So, here is a great dinner that is sure to hit the spot! I got this one out of my trusty Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and with them you just can't go wrong! The best part is you probably have everything you need in your kitchen so you can make this any night! Enjoy!


2 1/3 cups dried wagon wheel pasta

1 lb. ground turkey or turkey Italian sausage

( I used a little of each, what I had in the freezer)

3/4 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 26-ounce jar pasta sauce

3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

fresh basil and oregano

1. Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and set aside.
2. In a large skillet cook meat, onion, and garlic until meat is brown, remove from skillet.
3. In a large bowl stir together pasta sauce, 1/2 cup cheese, and the pepper. Add the cooked pasta and meat mixture. Gently stir to combine. Spoon mixture into a 2 quart casserole dish.
4. Bake, covered, in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese and cook for 5 more minutes until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with fresh cut basil and oregano.
5. Serve with garlic bread and broccoli and you have a healthy meal!

* You could also bake this in little single serving ramekins for fun! Cook for 15-20 minutes and then add cheese.
* Add mushrooms and sliced zucchini for a little more flavor too!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pumkin Spice Cake

I know it is not exactly pumpkin cooking season, but I love all things pumpkin! I make pumpkin food year round. This recipe is from my mother-in-law (a great cook herself) and it is so good! Perfect for feeding lots of mouths because it makes a ton!


4 eggs or 5 egg whites

2 cups sugar

1 cup oil or 1 cup applesauce

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups pumpkin

8 oz. cream cheese (fat free), softened

1 cube soft butter

2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoons vanilla

1. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Mix eggs and sugar together. Add in your oil/applesauce flour, soda, cinnamon, salt, and pumpkin. Pour into cookie sheet.

2. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

3. For frosting mix softened cream cheese and butter together. Add in powdered sugar carefully. Add vanilla in last. For stiffer frosting, add more powdered sugar.

4. Frost cake when completely cooled. Cut into bars and keep extras in fridge!

* For a healthier option you can make more of a glaze to go on top of your cake. Just cream together 4 oz. cream cheese, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add milk to consistency that you like.

* be on the look out for pumpkin come soon!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sloppy Sloppy Joe's

Ok, another quick fast dinner that any hubby or kiddie will love! You add a can of soup that gives the BEST flavor and is healthy too!! Definitely a go-to meal around here! Try it, you will love it!

(sorry, there are always toys in the background :)
1 lb. ground turkey or lean ground beef
1 can (10.75 oz) chicken gumbo soup, condensed
1/2 cup ketchup
1/8 cup mustard ( regular or spicy brown is best)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (8oz.) can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
hamburger buns or rolls (for homemade click here)
1. Brown meat and cook onions together. Drain and add remaining ingredients, except buns :) Let simmer 15-20 minutes until nice and thick.
2. Serve over buns with a green veggie! See, super easy!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Chili-lime butter

Tis the season for delicious sweet corn on the cob!! We love corn and I am excited to eat lots of it! Here is a GREAT new butter to try! It is sooooo good you will love it.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
(I used my Brummel and brown tub butter)
1 teaspoon fresh lime zest
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch black pepper

1. Combine butter, zest, lime juice, chili powder, salt and pepper in a mini chopper. ( I just used my blender, I don't have a mini chopper) Pulse or mix until well blended, then transfer to a ramekin or bowl.
2. Keep at room temperature until serving. Spread on fresh corn!! Refrigerate any for up to a week.

There are three methods, I always use the microwave and it works great, but any of these will do!
Stovetop: Bring a big pot of water to boil. Remove husks from 4-6 ears of corn. Add to boiling water, cover and turn off heat. Let corn sit in water for 10 minutes. Remove with tongs to platter.
Microwave: Remove husks from corn. Place on a damp paper towel and cover with another damp paper towel. Cook for a minute a corn. 3 corn= 3 minutes.... I usually do 6 at the most at one time. That's it!
Grill: Heat grill to medium heat. Remove husks from corn. Place one ear of corn on a sheet of foil and spread with butter. Wrap tightly in foil and repeat with remaining ears. Place foil wrapped corn on grill and cook 15 to 20 minutes. Turning every so often. Carefully remove from grill and unwrap foil.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bite-size Apple Pie

I was trying to be creative and think of some fun treats to put in Rex's lunch when I came up with these babies. He LOVES apple pie, so I thought I will make muffin size pies, perfect for lunches and much easier than caring around a slice of pie. These are just as good with a scoop of vanilla and caramel drizzled on top!

2 pie crusts (your favorite store bought or homemade..*see recipe below)
4 granny smith apples, diced and chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1. Roll your crust out and using a large cup or small bowl cut out 18 circles. ( This recipe makes 9 mini pies)
2. Place 9 little crusts into a muffin tin that holds 12 muffin cups.
3. Combine the apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Let the apples soften a bit and then fill your crusts full! As the pies cook, the apples will shrink so stuff them!
3. Make little holes or slits in your remaining 9 crusts. ( I used a washed and dried pen cap :) Carefully, put the tops on your pies and pinch with fingers to seal crust. Brush with egg whites or milk to have a shiny coat.
4. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. Longer if you like your crust a bit more golden brown. Let cool then dig in!!

Double crust recipe:
1.Combine 2 1/4 cups flour and 3/4 teaspoon salt in bowl. Cut in 2/3 cup shortening until pieces are pea-size.
2. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water over part of flour mixture. Gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to side of bowl. Repeat using 1 tablespoon of water at a time until all the flour mixture is moistened. About 8-10 tablespoons of water. Divide in half; form each into a ball.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough from center to edges forming a circle. Punch out your circles now.
* You can make these mini pies into any kind you want! Pumpkin, cherry, pecan, berry...any kind you like! Have fun with them!

Monday, July 6, 2009

4th of July Poke Cake

Happy 4th! This is a great cake to make for any occasion, you can mix and match colors of jello and toppings to fit any day. It is light, low fat and delicious on a hot day because it stays in the fridge until it is time to dig in! Enjoy!


1 white cake mix

egg whites, applesauce, and water (as called for on box)

1 small box of jello (4 servings size)

1 tub fat free cool whip


1. Make cake according to box. Cook and let cool completely. Poke holes throughout cake with a fork or skewer.

2. Mix jello packet and 1 cup boiling water together. Once combined, add 1/2 cup cold water. Stir. Pour jello mixture over cake letting it seep into holes.

3. Frost with cool whip and decorate with sprinkles, fruit, crushed graham crackers, candy, or leave plain. Anyway you serve this cake it will be gone in no time!! Keep in fridge until time to eat! Enjoy!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Stacked spicy burrito

Ok, it's not to spicy, just prefect Mexican spicy. I made this up as a spin on a dish my mom used to make for us growing up. It is a healthy, warm, one dish meal that is so good and even meat free! You will never know because it is so hearty!


3 flour tortillas

red taco sauce or enchilada sauce

1 can corn

1 can fat free refried beans

1 packet Mexican rice ( you can use Spanish rice too, I get the LIPTON brand Mexican rice packet, it is ready in 7 minutes and the flavors are great!)

grated cheese, any kind

chopped tomato, lettuce, olives, and sour cream

1. Cook your rice. While rice is cooking, put some red sauce in the bottom of a round 2 quart casserole dish. If you don't have a round dish you can use any size just layer to fit your dish. Next place a tortilla down. Next, spread a layer of beans, corn, and top with rice. Next is the cheese and some more red sauce.

2. Repeat the layer again, tortilla, beans, corn, rice, cheese, and red sauce. Finish the dish with one more tortilla and sprinkle with cheese. Depending on how big your dish is you can do another layer, but I only fit 2 layers. Place in a 400 degree oven until the cheese is melted and dish is heated through, about 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile chop your tomatoes, lettuce, and olives. When dish is done cooking let sit about 5 minutes before cutting. Cut out wedges and top with all your fixings! Serve with homemade baked chips, salsa, and guacamole and you have a meal!

* You can easily add ground turkey, beef, of shredded chicken as a layer in this dish.

* Add lots of lettuce and tomato on top for your veggies, like a salad on top!

* Baked chips: cut flour tortillas into wedges and place on a foil lined cookie sheet. Brush lemon juice on each wedge and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 450 for about 10 minutes but keep your eye on them!! You can flip them half way through, but I like mine soft on one side! These are soo good and a healthy alternative to store bought chips.