Dill Potatoes

Thursday, January 28, 2010


2 small bags Red potatoes
1 stick of butter
1 package Fresh dill - chopped
1 package Fresh Baby Chives - chopped
Bring potatoes to a boil and cook until tender when poked with a fork.  Drain water completely and mash potatoes just enough to break up the potatoes.  Do not fully mash them.  Add all other ingredients and toss together.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Makes a great side dish.
Bon Appetite!!!

Fig Sauce

Friday, January 22, 2010

(this I definitely measure)
This can be used over any meat but I personally like it best over a Pork Loin seasoned with Rosemary, olive oil and pepper

2 1/2 cups Port
1 ¼ Low Sodium Chicken Broth
8 dried black Mission figs, coarsely chopped
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary (DO NOT use dried for this)
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon of honey
¼ teaspoon salt (I choose to leave this out but some people like it)
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a medium size, heavy saucepan, combine the port, chicken broth, figs, rosemary, cinnamon and honey. Boil over medium-high heat until reduced by half, about 30 min. Discard the rosemary sprigs and cinnamon sticks (some of the rosemary leaves will remain the port mix. Transfer the port mix to a blender and puree until smooth. Blend in salt and pepper. (the sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before using------I don’t do it in advance)

Chocolate Amaretti Cake

Monday, January 18, 2010


  • Butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray (I use EVOO instead)
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 cup baby amaretti cookies (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel (rough rule is to use one large Navel Orange)
  • 4 large eggs
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder and/or powdered sugar, for sifting
  • sliced strawberries, as many or as little as you would like (I've even added fresh caramelized grilled Nectarines)
  • 1 cup of Extra Bold fresh brewed coffee.....


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9-inch springform pan  with the nonstick spray/EVOO. Set aside. Microwave the chocolate until melted and smooth, stirring every 20-30 seconds, for about 1-2 minutes.
Combine the almonds and cookies in processor. Pulse until the almonds and cookies are finely ground. Transfer the nut mixture to a medium bowl. Add the butter and sugar to the processor and blend until creamy and smooth. Add the grated orange peel and pulse briefly, until incorporated. Add the eggs 1 at a time. Blend until the eggs are incorporated. Clean the sides of the mixing bowl and blend again. Add the nut mixture and melted chocolate. Pulse until blended. Clean the sides of the bowl. Blend again.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the center puffs and a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes.
Transfer the cake to a platter. Sift the cocoa powder and/or powdered over.

I like to decorate with sliced strawberries in the center after the powder is sifted.  You can even serve it with sliced strawberries or caramalized nectarines on the side.  Make sure to enjoy it with a hot cup of freshly brewed coffee :)

French Onion Soup

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I found this recipe on the food network from Tyler Florence.  I tweeked it to make it healthier and it is so flavorful, it's a family favorite!!  I must admit, I usually add more onions and wine, even better!! 

You will need oven safe soup bowls for this recipe.


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (I substitute with 2 TBSP of EVOO)
  • 4  LG onions, sliced
  • 2 TBSP Chopped or minced Garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup red wine, about 1/2 bottle
  • 3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose whole wheat flour (I cut it to 1 heaping , I like it better)
  • 2-3 boxes of Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 baguette, sliced
  • 1/2 pound grated Gruyere (I buy it pre-sliced for each serving...if no Gruyere is available Provolone, Swiss or Muenster are great substitutes)


Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Dust the onions with the flour and give them a stir. Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn't burn, and cook for 10 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Now add the beef broth, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
When you're ready to eat, preheat the broiler.
Ladle the soup in bowls and add 1-2 slices of the baguette to each bowl.  Cover entire top of soup bowls with cheese, it is best to have it hang over the sides.
 Put the bowls into the oven to melt the cheese until slightly browned.

Semi-Homemade Dirty Rice...

Monday, January 11, 2010

.....with a little help from Zatarain's.  Some days I just don't have the time or the energy to do things from scratch, so I dish out my flavor into an easy made meal.


1/2 red onion chopped
1/2 cup chopped sweet mini peppers
1/2 can of kidney beans
1TBSP garlic (powder or fresh)
1 lb of Lean Ground Turkey
5 lg leaves of Basil coarsely chopped
1 tsp Allspice
Zatarain's Family Size New Orleans Style Dirty Rice

In a large pot, sautee onions in 1TBSP of EVOO, add in garlic and allspice.  Sautee till onions are somewhat translucent.  Add Turkey, cook thoroughly then add peppers.  Follow directions on back of Zatarain's box, add the kidney beans right before last step on box.  Add Fresh basil and stir through, then DISH IT OUT!

Serve as main course and add a green salad with your favorite dressing.
Bon Appetite!!


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2 eggs or 4 egg whites
1TBSP of fresh chopped Basil
2 coarsely chopped Mushrooms
1 slice of red onion chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
1tsp garlic powder
2TBSP fresh salsa
One hand full of fat free Feta

Heat pan to a medium heat and add EVOO.
Crack and whisk eggs, adding Salt and Pepper.  Place eggs in pan.  Once egg is cooked almost completely add all other ingredients (except salsa) to one half of the egg circle.  Fold over empty half of omelet and cook for about 1-2more minutes.  Flip omelet if necessary.  Add Salsa to the top and eat while it is hot

Spruce it up even more with fresh slices of avocado on top and fresh fruit on the side.  Good energy booster for the day.
Bon Appetite!!


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Level of difficulty: Medium
Est. Prep Time: 30-60 minutes depending on cookware....the better the cookware the longer it takes
Cook time: 1 Hour+
Serves: 6-8
TIPS:  Use Low-fat Cheeses when you can find them, tastes just as good but better for you.  If you have leftover Cheese Stuffing put it in the freezer for the next time, it keeps very well.


4 cups of cubed Butternut Squash (Costco usually has it)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil  (I will usually call it EVOO to make it easier)
1/2 red onion finely chopped
1-2 cups baby sweet peppers(yellow, orange and red) (Costco)
1 bag of chopped spinach (buy frozen if you don't want to wilt it yourself)
3TBSP chopped garlic
Fresh Basil, chopped lightly (I love it so I use as much as I can)
1 cup of shredded Mozzarella
1 cup shredded Parmesan
1 small container of low fat Ricotta
1/2 package of 1/3 less fat Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1/2 container of soft tofu
Manicotti Shells (1pkg)
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce or 2 jars of your favorite Spaghetti Sauce...I always spruce up the jarred if I don't have the time for homemade:) see below for recipe specifics and added ingredients
1/4 Cup Pine nuts
Mrs. Dash Table Blend
Garlic Powder
Dried Oregano

For the Manicotti Stuffing:

Put a deep cooking pan or pot on low to medium heat (Le Creuset or a Tephlon/Circulon cooks the best)
Once pan is warmed add 2TBSP EVOO, then add the 4Cups Butternut Squash.  Stir occassionally until tender all the way through, try to keep the browning to a minimum.  Once cooked through set aside in a separate dish or in the food processor until ready to blend it.

In same pan/pot add 2TBSP chopped garlic and pine nuts.  Toast to a light brown.  Set aside.

Puree Butternut squash until smooth, do not add any liquid.

In a separate bowl or mixer add all the cheeses, tofu (liquid drained), garlic and pine nuts, fresh Basil, Butternut Squash and spinach (liquid drained).  Mix thoroughly, preferably in a Mixer or with a hand mixer...the spoon just doesn't cut it.  Once Cheese mix is well blended add as much or as little of the dry seasonings as you like, it is really to taste.  Add a little, blend the mix and taste.....and so on.  When you like it, it's perfect for you!!

Now...Stuff the Manicotti Shells with the Cheese Mix.  Using a spoon to stuff and push down works best.  The first time will be a bit messy but once you get the hang of it, it goes pretty swiftly.  My kids love to help with this since they get to lick their fingers in the end...YUM!!  Set the stuffed Manicotti Shells on a plate or in an oven safe dish.

For the Sauce:

I normally make my sauce from scratch, but it just becomes very time consuming....so I do a little adding to my favorite jar sauce....so here is my Spruced up Store Bought Sauce recipe...

In same pan used for the Butternut Squash, preheat on low-med heat... add 1-2TBSP of EVOO, red onion, sweet bell pepper medley, 1TBSP chopped garlic, salt and pepper to taste.  Sautee until tender.  Add store bought sauce (see my favorite brand below) and bring to a light bubble....turn heat off.  If you like a watery sauce, just add as much or as little as you prefer to the sauce.

1 Jar Classico brand Four Cheese Spaghetti sauce
1 Jar Classico brand of either (depending on my mood that day) the Mushroom and Olive Sauce, Roasted Garlic, Tomato Basil or Marinara


Put a few spoonfulls of sauce in the bottom of an oven safe deep dish.  Line up all the stuffed Manacotti in the dish, don't tightly place them as the sauce will need to fall in between them.  Poor over the sauce to completely cover the shells.  Bake ate 375 degress for 1hour or until shells are cooked tender and sauce is bubbling.  Check shells after 45minutes then after ever 10-15minutes until done.  Add a little parmesan cheese on top before serving.
Serve with a green salad
Bon Appetite!!!

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