Strawberry Pancakes

April 16, 2010 · 1 Comment

Both my husband and my son love pancakes. I was never much of a fan, but when you add in fruit, you can’t go wrong with me!

Of course we have had an abundance of strawberries this year, as evidence from The Strawberry Risotto, the Lowfat Strawberry Bread…so why not add some to pancakes?

These were unbelievably light and fresh, and they freeze beautifully. The recipe below makes a pretty big batch, but if you freeze them they reheat wonderfully in the microwave!

The cake flour makes them so tender and light, but they would still be great with all purpose flour, too!

Strawberry Pancakes

  • 2 c. cake flour
  • 1 c. diced strawberries
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. oil
  • 2 tsp baking powder

whisk togther milk, eggs, oil and sugar, add flour and baking powder, then fold in strawberries

drop onto sprayed griddle or frying pan 1/4 c. at a time, waiting for bubble to form, then turning them over to cook through

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Pierogies (Polish Dumplings)

April 15, 2010 · Leave a Comment

I believe it was my sister who first introduced me to pierogies when I was a child. My brother in law is Polish and loved them. It had probably been that long since I had had one, and the other day, a random pregnancy craving made me want some, so my sweet hubby ran to the store and found some, even though he had no idea what he was looking for.

He got hooked, too, and we ended up with more on our next visit to the store. I was trying to think of some things I could make ahead and freeze for the times that will be coming when I don’t feel like cooking as I expand, and suddenly it hit me – make my own!

Although these are a bit time consuming, they are well worth it! They taste amazing! I made a potato and onion filling, with feta and they were great!

I used a doughnut cutter (with the hole missing, of course) for the shape, and it made them a nice, somewhat smaller size.
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We had some for dinner that night, and 4-5 per person is plenty when you pair it with some other sides.

I will definitely be making these again and experimenting with different fillings. Give them a try - Mr. T’s wife aint got nothing on these!


adapted from allrecipes

for the dough:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 (8 ounce) container reduced fat sour cream
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

Beat together the eggs and sour cream until smooth. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder; stir into the sour cream mixture until dough comes together. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until firm and smooth.You will likely need to add additional flour – my dough was still sticky at this point.

Divide the dough in sections so it is easier to work with – its a bit tough, then roll out one half to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into 3 inch rounds using a biscuit cutter.

for the filling:

  • 2-3 medium potatoes, diced and boiled to soft
  • 3 oz feta cheese
  • 1/2-3/4 c. skim milk
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 4 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • salt pepper to taste
  • 1/2 c. red onions, diced fine and sauteed to translucent with a bit of oil
  • 2/3 tbsp light butter spread

combine and mash with a mixer until smooth, stirring in the onions at the end

when mixture is at room temperature, add a teaspoon to each dough round and fold over, pinching the ends closed. For additional security, you can press the edges with the tines of a fork

they can be frozen at this time

too cook: you can boil them or steam them until the dough is tender, or saute in a skillet with butter until the dough is lightly browned and crisp.

yield: 40-60 pierogies

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Recipe Makeover: Chocolate Cannolis

April 14, 2010 · 2 Comments

My friend emailed me a link to a dessert, and I definitely intrigued with it. Hubby loves cannolis, and to be able to make low fat and low calorie ones? Genius!

With some slight modifications (that only added 20 calories each to the little beauties), these came out fantastic! Hubby told me as he was munching on his third one that if he didn’t already love me that these would have sealed the deal.

The original recipe called for the use of regular sugar cones (which was the first thing that sold me on the recipe – who thought of this????), but I started thinking about the cannolis that are dipped in chocolate, and when I saw the Oreo cones had the same caloric values, I went for it.

These are rich and decadent, and so easy to put together. The original recipe was too thin in consistency for me, even after trying to chill the mixture, so I tweaked it and we loved them.

Made Again Chocolate Cannolis

adapted from Hungry Girl

  • 6 to 7 Oreo Cones
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 2/3 cup Cool Whip Free, thawed
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
  • 2 – 3  tbsp. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 1/2 packet of  sugar-free fat-free vanilla instant pudding mix (about 3 tbsp)
  • 1/4 c.  powdered sugar

Place all ingredients except the cones and chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on high until mixture is fully combined and fluffy. Fold in half of the chocolate chips.

Carefully transfer mixture to a large plastic bag, squeezing it down toward one bottom corner of the bag. Snip that corner off with scissors, so that you have a makeshift piping bag.

Gently squeeze the ricotta mixture into the cones, evenly distributing it among them.

Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips evenly on top of the filling in each cone.

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Low Fat Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Muffins

April 12, 2010 · Leave a Comment

Whew that is a long name for such a little treat, but these are great!

Before I get into these, I wanted to apologize for the lack of posts lately. We just recently found out that we’re expecting our second baby and I have been worn out! I will try to keep up with the recipes better, although I have been very uninspired to cook lately, to say the least! Thanks for understanding and putting up with my inconsistency for a bit longer!

Now, without further adieu….

Some times, you just need something a little sweet, but don’t necessarily want to blow a whole day of doing right by yourself. These little muffins are just the ticket!

You can make some substitutions of course, like all sugar instead of a sugar / Splenda blend, or all oil instead of a applesauce / oil blend, which naturally will add calories to these.

Lowfat Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Muffins

A Lobster And Fishsticks Creation

  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. canola oil
  • 1/2 c applesauce
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c Splenda
  • 1/2 c. cocoa
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 c. milk — I used 1% milk
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chips – I used milk chocolate

for the filling:

  • 1 brick reduced fat cream cheese
  • 3 tbsp PB2 (Powdered de-fatted PB) – you could also use reduced fat peanut butter
  • 3/4 c sugar – you can replace with Splenda
  • 1 egg

cream sugar, oil, applesauce, vanilla, egg and milk

add dry ingredients and chips until just moistened

fill muffin cups about 3/4 and press an indentation in the center with a spoon

mix cream cheese and all other ingredients until smooth and spoon into the centers of the muffins

bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until the tops are lightly browned and the centers are cooked through

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Mushroom Lasagna

April 3, 2010 · Leave a Comment

We bought a 10 pound box of mushrooms at the Farmer’s Market last weekend, and I have been trying to figure out how to incorporate them into our meals better.

From the thoughts sprung lasagna, and man, was it good!

So meaty, rich and cheesy, just yummy!

And, by using whole wheat lasagna noodles, light Alfredo sauce and reduced fat cheese, its  healthier than it tastes, for sure!

I am going to make a few of these and put them in the freezer before the mushrooms go bad, and while I still feel up to cooking, for the times that are coming when I don’t!

Mushroom Lasagna

  • 1 package of whole wheat, no boil lasagna noodles
  • 1 jar of Light Alfredo Sauce
  • 16-24 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced with stems removed
  • 1 16 oz container part skim ricotta
  • 1 7 oz package reduced fat Italian blend shredded cheese
  • 1-2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2-1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 eggs
  • salt pepper to taste
  • broth or water

mix eggs, ricotta, about 1/4 c. cheese, thyme, red pepper together and set aside

layer a layer of noodles at the bottom of a greased casserols dish

spread a layer of the ricotta mixture on top

add another layer of noodles, layer mushrooms on top, then a thin layer of Alfredo sauce

repeat layers another time, then add shredded cheese on top of the top layer

ladle a few ladles of broth over the assembled dish, until there is about 1/4 inch of liquid in the bottom of the dish – I boiled the mushroom stems and used that as my broth, but you could use chicken broth

cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, remove the foil and bake until the cheese is browned on top

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Hot Cross Buns

April 2, 2010 · Leave a Comment

Hot Cross Buns are one of my Dad’s favorite pastry, so when I got out on my own and started baking breads, I dove in to try to make him some, and have made them every Easter since.

I have used the same recipe year after year and decided to switch things up a bit this year.

I liked the texture, the moistness of these, but there was more dough, and I didn’t compensate for the spices or the fruit adequately, so that was a bit disappointing. I adjusted them in the recipe I am adding, so no fears of doing the same!

My mother never cared for the buns dad would pick up from the local bakery because she said they were too dry, but she’s always liked mine. I think she’ll like these even more.

Hot Cross Buns

  • 3/4 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 pkg active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups flour, plus additional flour
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1 c. dried fruit – I used raisins and blueberries, which I diced finer

add yeast to bowl and pour warm water over yeast and sprinkle sugar over the top. Wait until foamy, about 5-10 mins

add other ingredients and mix and begin to knead, adding flour as needed to knead to a smooth and elastic  ball (about 10 mins)

place in an oiled bowl, oil the dough top, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled (about 1 1/2 hours)

punch down dough, then

divide dough into 16 pieces, shaping them into buns

place in a greased cookie sheet , cover and allow to rise for another 60-90 minutes

brush the tops with an egg wash and bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes until golden

allow to cool and then mix confectioner’s sugar with enough water to make a thick paste constituency. Pipe onto buns in the shape of a cross.

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Slow Cooker Java Beef Roast

April 1, 2010 · 2 Comments

To me, there is nothing better than a roast in the slow cooker. I honestly prefer a pork roast, but we had a beef one in the freezer, so when I came across this recipe, I had to give it a try.

It did not disappoint. The meat was rich and full of flavor, and the coffee flavors were nowhere to be found. The only thing it did was lend its dark color and depth to the broth that made yummy gravy.

The vinegar made it nice and tangy, and reminiscent of a German dish to me.

If you have a roast available, I would say definitely give this one a try – I think you will enjoy it!

Slow Cooker Java Beef Roast

adapted from The English Kitchen

  • 8 – 16 oz beef roast
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 to 5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 8 -16  ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 6 ounces strong brewed coffee
  • 3 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • salt pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch

Place all of the chopped vegetables in the bottom of the slow cooker. Top with the roast.

Stir together the coffee,  vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour over all. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, or on high for 4 to 5 hours.

At the end of that time, remove the meat carefully from the slow cooker to a platter. Whisk the cream cheese cornstarch into the juices until smooth and amalgamated.

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Chicken Zucchini Casserole

March 28, 2010 · Leave a Comment

Sometimes, the best recipes come out of a whim. That would be what defined this one: a need for a quick meal without much thought. Turned out to be one of my better ideas!

So comforting, yet fresh and just different enough from the typical cream soup casseroles, this one combines a small list of ingredients that came together beautifully.

I can see this one working as a cold weather warmer, or a summer refresher, thanks to the fresh veggies. Totally a winner!

Chicken Zucchini Casserole

A Lobster and Fishsticks Creation

  • 2 c. herbed croutons – I used some that I had made from some Harvest Stuffing Bread
  • 3-4 green onions, chopped – both green white portions used
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced – skin on or off
  • 8-16 oz chicken breast tenders
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • water
  • 1/2 c. reduced fat shredded cheese – I used a Mexican blend

line the bottom of a sprayed 8X8 casserol dish with croutons

sprinkle with green onions

layer zucchini on top of the onions

layer chicken tenders on top of zucchini

pour soup over the entire dish, adding up to 1/2 can of water to make sure you get all of the soup out of the can

cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes

remove foil, sprinkle with cheese and bake 10-15 minutes longer, until cheese is melted and lightly browned

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Blueberry Yeast Waffles

March 26, 2010 · 1 Comment

Let me start off by saying that these were about the best waffles we ever had. Period.

I don’t make waffle often, but I have never found any to be as light and fluffy and yet, crispy as these guys were. Just perfect.

And, they were so easy to make! You mix your batter up the night before, leave it sit on the counter for a little while, stick it in the fridge and in the morning when you’re ready for it, you have a huge bowl full of batter!

The blueberries added a light, fresh flavor to them. To me, they didn’t even need syrup thanks to the sweet berries!

Trust me, give these a try, and you’ll never want to make another kind of waffle, ever again!

Blueberry Yeast Waffles

adapted from Fake Ginger

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 – 1 c. fresh blueberries
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons yeast

Heat the milk till it’s very hot. Place it in a large mixing bowl (you’ll need lots of room for expansion), and add the butter, honey, salt, and vanilla. Stir till the butter melts and the mixture has cooled to lukewarm. Add the eggs, flour, and yeast, stirring to combine – it’s okay if the mixture isn’t perfectly smooth.

Cover with plastic wrap, and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour; the mixture will begin to bubble. You can cook the waffles at this point, or refrigerate the batter overnight to cook waffles the next day. (Make SURE it’s in a bowl large enough for it to at least double in size!)
Preheat the waffle iron. Spray with non-stick vegetable oil spray, and pour 2/3 to 3/4 cup batter (or the amount recommended by the manufacturer) onto the center of the iron. Add blueberries on top of the batter. Close the lid and bake for the recommended amount of time, till the waffle is golden brown. Serve immediately, or keep warm in a 200F oven.

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Deluxe Spinach Salad with Dijon Vinegarette

March 23, 2010 · Leave a Comment

We loooove salads here. To me, sometimes, the simpler, the tastier. One of our favorites is spinach leaves, mushrooms and turkey bacon with a Dijon Vinegarette. Its sooo yummy. This past week, I decided to jazz it up a little and added a few extra layers of flavor….

This is a wonderful nutritious blend of proteins and all sorts of nutrients. The flavors blend well together. I even decided to splurge a little and use regular pork bacon, made in the microwave to get it extra crispy and less greasy.

The dressing is a little something I just threw together one evening and had to wrack my brain about what I put in it after the fact because we loved it so much I knew it would become a staple.

It goes so well with so many things, but especially this salad.  A little sweet, a little spicy, just perfect.

Deluxe Spinach Salad With Dijon Vinegarette

  • 2-4 c. spinach leaves
  • 1-2 c. mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 slices bacon, fried crisp, drained well and chopped
  • feta cheese
  • 1 hard boiled egg, quartered

assemble as you would any salad

for the dressing:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 heaping tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 – 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt pepper to taste

–if its too sweet, you can add a couple more shakes of vinegar – I usually use Malt vinegar for this

combine / whisk all ingredients together and pour over salad

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