Monday, May 24, 2010

Chocolate Eclair Dessert

Last night I needed to make a dessert, and only had an hour to make it (including going to the store). I had NO IDEA what to make, and didn't want to get something store bought. As I was on my way to the grocery store, I remembered I had a neat app on my phone for All This app has a recipe spinner. I put in dessert, chocolate, and 20 minutes or less. This is what I found. It took 10 minutes to make and was enjoyed by all at our 24 watch party. The only thing I didn't love was how soft the dessert was. It was in the fridge for 2 hours after I made it, but it was still a little gooey. Next time, I will use chocolate whipped frosting, instead of regular chocolate frosting. But, if you need a quick, cheap, and tasty dessert....look no further!
Chocolate Eclair Dessert
Original Recipe Yield 1 9x13-inch pan
2 individual packages graham crackers
2 (3 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
3 cups milk
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (16 ounce) package prepared chocolate frosting

Line the bottom of a 9x13-inch pan with graham crackers. In a large bowl, combine pudding mix and milk. Stir well. Stir in whipped topping to pudding mixture. Spread half of mixture over graham cracker layer. Top with another layer of graham crackers and the remaining pudding. Top all with a final layer of graham crackers and frost with chocolate frosting. Refrigerate until serving.
Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 401 | Total Fat: 13.7g | Cholesterol: 5mg
Recipe from All

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Baked Zucchini Sticks

I've been stuck on Taste of Home recipes for a few weeks now, and decided I needed to venture out. I did a little blog searching and came across this recipe on Gina's WW Blog. I only made the zucchini from this recipe, not the marinara sauce. We had pizza sauce in the fridge, and decided to use what we already had. As for the zucchini sticks, I followed the directions pretty much to a T. The change I made was using egg beaters instead of egg whites. After making them, I would recommend placing the bread crumbs in a shallow bowl to dip the zucchini instead of a bag. With the bag, I found that the bread crumbs became soggy and clumped together after the first half of the zucchini sticks. I made this change for the 2nd half of the batch and found it much easier and I was able to use all of the bread crumbs. I would also recommend eating them as soon as they come out of the oven. They became a little soft when they got cool. Overall, great recipe. I think next time, I will make these as discs.

Servings: 3 servings • Total Time: 25 minutes • Points: 1.33 ww points (sauce extra pts)
3 medium zucchini sliced into 3" x 1/2" sticks
1 large egg white
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs ( I used Panko bread crumbs)
2 tbsp grated Pecorino Romano cheese
cooking spray
1/4 tsp garlic powder
fresh pepper

1 Point Quick Marinara Sauce (1 cup)
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes (I like Tuttorosso)
1 small bay leaf
1 tsp oregano
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
salt and fresh pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425°.

Sauce: In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until golden, being careful not to burn. Add crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, basil and bay leaf. Stir and reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer about 20 minutes.

Sticks: In a small bowl, beat egg whites and season with salt and pepper. In a ziplock bag, place breadcrumbs, garlic powder and cheese and shake well. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray and set aside.

Dip zucchini sticks into eggs then into bread crumb and cheese mixture, a few at a time and shake to coat. Place the breaded zucchini in a single layer and spray more cooking spray on top. Bake at 425° for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with 1/2 cup marinara sauce for dipping (.5 pt)

Hungry Girl's Crazy Good Taco Meatloaf

If you haven't met Hungry Girl, you need to meet her! She's become a friend of mine (in the kitchen) over the past few years. I've tried a few of her recipes, and they never disappoint. She takes the meals we know and love and provides low fat and healthy recipe substitutions. I signed up for her daily emails and receive recipes to my inbox each morning. I enjoyed this meatloaf recipe, it was very filling and healthy! The only changes I made was adding green chili and increasing the corn to 1 cup. Enjoy!

Crazy Good Taco Meatloaf

1 pound raw extra-lean ground turkey
2 slices of fat-free cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded fat-free cheddar cheese
1/2 cup canned sweet corn kernels
1/4 cup chopped green bell peppers
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 packet of taco seasoning mix, dry


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Cook peppers and onions for three minutes over medium heat in a pan sprayed with non-stick spray

In a large bowl, combine onions and peppers with turkey, corn and seasoning mix. Spread half of the mixture evenly into the bottom of the loaf pan (about 9"x5") sprayed with nonstick spray.

Layer the two slices of fat-free cheese on top of the mixture (try to keep slices away from the pan's edges). Evenly top with the remaining meat mixture.

Pour the salsa over the top of the loaf. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes.

Top loaf with shredded cheese. Return loaf to the oven and cook for another 15 minutes.

Number of Servings: 6

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy

One of my favorite ingredient combinations is chocolate and peanut butter. Like most other recipes this month, I found this gem in a recent Taste of Home Magazine. I was so excited when I got the mail yesterday and realized I had a new Taste of Home waiting for me. I brought it in, got out my scissors and went to work. I had a meeting today that I wanted to make some treats for. This is one of the ones I picked. I have to say, they were much better than I expected and received rave reviews at work. Enjoy!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, cubed
1/3 cup 2% milk
2 sleeves butter-flavored crackers (about 80 crackers)
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

In a saucepan, combine the cracker crumbs, sugars, butter and milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 5 minutes longer.
Place a single layer of crackers in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. dish; top with half of crumb mixture. Repeat layers. Top with remaining crackers.
In a small saucepan, combine the butterscotch chips, chocolate chips and peanut butter. Cook and stir until smooth. Pour over crackers. Let stand until set. Yield: 15 servings.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

CD Covers

There have been many occasions lately, where I have given CD's to others. Whether they've been gifts or contained pictures from a fun weekend, I've been burning away. I got tired of buying cases for them to go in and I don't like the clear sleeves, so I decided to make my own case. After a few failed attempts, I finally was able to get the case I wanted, and I loved the way they turned out. If you'd like a template for the CD Cover, email me at I'd be happy to send you one.

paper cutter
1 piece of card-stock (12x12)
Stickers to decorate

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pineapple Baked Tilapia

One of my favorite gifts from my bridal shower was a book of recipes from all of my family and friends. I adapted this recipe from a recipe from my friend, Breana. Originally the recipe was for chicken, but I forgot to thaw some! So, I decided to make a few changes to the amounts and use it on tilapia. There was a little bit of clean up with this recipe because of the pineapple juices. Nothing too bad, and the taste of the fish is worth it. This is a perfect summer tilapia recipe, light and fresh!
2 tilapia fillets
8 oz. crushed pineapple
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 tbs. lemon juice
1 1/2 tbs. mustard (I used brown)
2 tsp. soy sauce
aluminum foil (2 square pieces)

1. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
2. Season tilapia with salt and pepper.
3. Place tilapia on one piece of aluminum foil. (one piece on each)
4. Coat tilapia with pineapple mixture.
5. Fold foil around tilapia.
6. Place foil on cookie sheet, ready to bake. (My juices leaked a little, so I recommend using a cookie sheet underneath)
7. Bake on 400 for 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes apart. ]
8. Unwrap foil and enjoy.
**I recommend serving it with jasmine rice and pouring remaining pineapple over rice. Delicious!

Wine Bottle Tags

A student of mine gave me a water bottle tag this year and I loved the idea. I decided to copy the design and use it for wine bottles. Who doesn't like a good bottle of wine for a gift? This is a way of putting a card on the bottle, with it looking cute at the same time. Below you will see the materials I used to make the tag.

1. Cut a piece of card-stock to 2 inches wide by 6 inches long.
2. Fold the card-stock at the 2 1/2 inch mark (from the top).
3. Cut a piece of scrapbook paper that is 2 1/2 inches long and 2 inches wide.
4. Glue scrapbook paper onto the top of the card-stock. The decorative scrapbook paper should be the same length as the card-stock up to the fold.
5. Using a 1 inch circular punch, punch a circle on top of the scrapbook and card-stock layer. You now have your tag.
6. Decorate your tag as you wish.
** In this example I used a polka-dot punch with layered orange paper. I also attached a flowed using a brad to the upper right corner. You can write a message on the tag, or stamp it with a special message.

I am looking forward to creating many more tags this summer for various special occasions.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Salsa Ranch Chicken Wraps

I've found so many great recipes in my recent Taste of Home magazine, it was totally worth the $3.99 I paid! I chose this recipe because it seemed simple and quick. They were easy to make, but came out a little messy. Next time, I would not use as much salsa to prevent the excess liquid. Also, instead of swiss cheese, I used shredded colby jack because it's what I had at home. My wraps turned more into quesadillas, but they were still delicious. Enjoy!

Salsa Ranch Chicken Wraps
4 ServingsPrep/Total Time: 25 min.
4 tablespoons salsa
4 tablespoons prepared ranch salad dressing
4 tomato basil tortillas (10 inches) (I used spinach)
2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each), grilled and cut into strips
12 slices cucumber
8 slices tomato
1/2 cup julienned green pepper
6 slices Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons butter, divided (I used cooking spray to cut calories)

Spread 1 tablespoon of salsa and 1 tablespoon of ranch dressing over each tortilla. Place the chicken, cucumber, tomato and green pepper down each center; top with 1-1/2 slices of cheese. Fold ends of each tortilla over filling.
In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Place two wraps folded side down in skillet. Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned and cheese is melted. Repeat with remaining wraps and butter. Yield: 4 servings.
Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 480 calories, 28 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 71 mg cholesterol, 536 mg sodium, 38 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 20 g protein.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Coconut Crunch Cookies

I love, love, LOVE coconut! When I came across this recipe, I couldn't wait to make it. Best thing was, I had all the ingredients in my kitchen. Thankfully Mother's Day was just around the corner and I was having a party in my classroom, which gave me a perfect opportunity to bake. I made these for the parents, but to my surprise, my students loved them. I thought this recipe was simple to make and the cookies made it to my top 10 list. I didn't make any changes to the recipe, but I did allow the cookies to cool for an hour in the fridge. In order to get a perfectly round cookie, I used a melon scoop. The cookies were a perfect pop in your mouth size. Enjoy!

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups flaked coconut
1 package (11-1/2 ounces) milk chocolate chips
1-1/2 cups finely chopped almonds

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and extracts. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in the coconut, chocolate chips and almonds.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for 1 minute before removing from pans to wire racks. Yield: about 4-1/2 dozen.

Nutrition Facts: 1 cookie equals 138 calories, 8 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 17 mg cholesterol, 94 mg sodium, 15 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 fat, 1 starch.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Thank You

I've been making cards for many years now. I love the feeling I get when I receive a card in the mail and love to give that feeling to others. Now that I have a craft room, my motivation to create has increased. I'm excited to share my handmade card ideas on my blog. I will just post pictures, but if you are interested in step by step directions, please email me. I'd be happy to send them to you! I hope these cards will get your creative juices flowing! Happy Card Making!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Trifle

I found a recipe in the new Taste of Home magazine that inspired me to create this recipe. The original recipe was a peanut butter brownie trifle. I thought that the "brownie" part of the trifle sounded a bit too rich and heavy for my liking. So, here is that original recipe merged into my own creation. My family enjoyed this for Mother's Day dessert. Enjoy!

Serves: 10-12
1 box of chocolate cake mix
1 pkg. (12 oz) Reese's peanut butter chips
1 bag (12 oz) Reese's Peanut Butter cups
4 cups of cold milk
2 pkgs. of instant vanilla pudding mix
2 tbs. creamy peanut butter
1 container (8 oz) Cool Whip

1. Prepare chocolate cake mix according to box directions. Add peanut butter chips to the cake batter. Bake according to directions on box. Cool and cut into 1 inch cubes.
2. Prepare pudding mix as directed on box in a large bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes, then mix in 2 tbs. peanut butter. Mix until peanut butter is blended into pudding. Then, take 1/2 of the cool whip (4 oz) and fold into pudding mixture. Set in fridge to cool.
3. Cut peanut butter cups into quarters. Set aside.
4. In a trifle bowl place 1/2 of the chocolate cake pieces into the bottom of the trifle bowl. Sprinkle 1/3 of the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups on top of the cake layer. Then, pour 1/2 of the pudding mixture on top of the cake/candy. Layer the remaining cake pieces onto the pudding mixture, followed by 1/3 of the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Pour the remaining pudding mixture onto the top of the 2nd cake layer. Spread the second 1/2 of the Cool Whip on top of the pudding mixture. Top with remaining pieces of the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Serve and ENJOY!

Rotini Pasta Bake

Happy Mother's Day! Derek and I were excited to have my family over to our new house for Mother's Day dinner. After spending a long time thinking about what to make, I finally decided on pasta. My brother and father are picky eaters, so it seemed to be the best choice for our Italian family. I used to make this meal all the time because it leaves a lot of leftovers (Derek's lunch for the week)!

45 oz. pasta sauce
15 oz. ricotta cheese
14 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 box of rotini pasta
1/4 cup. grated parmesan cheese
1 lb. ground turkey
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. parsley

1. Boil water and cook pasta.
2. While the pasta is cooking, cook the turkey meat. (preheat oven to 350)
3. After the turkey meat is cooked, pour 3/4 of the pasta sauce into a medium saucepan. Add the cooked turkey meat, along with the basil, oregano, and parsley seasoning and stir. Simmer on low for 10 minutes.
4. In a 9x13 glass baking dish, pour 1/2 of the rotini pasta. On top of that layer pour 1/2 of the meat sauce mixture.
5. In a small bowl, mix 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and the ricotta cheese. Spread this cheese mixture onto the top of the meat sauce.
6. For the next layer, pour the rest of the rotini pasta on top of the ricotta/mozzarella mixture. Top with the remaining meat sauce mixture.
7. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese and remaining mozzarella over the top of the final layer.
8. Bake (covered with aluminum foil) on 350 for 30 minutes.
9. Heat the leftover pasta sauce and place in a bowl. Allow guests to top their pasta with additional sauce if desired. ENJOY!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Quesadilla Chicken

I originally found this recipe in my new Taste of Home magazine. The recipe is for Chicken Kiev. I renamed this recipe after making some changes and my husband telling me that it tastes like a chicken quesadilla. Below you will find the original recipe. I've written the changes I made in italics.

6 ServingsPrep: 25 min. Cook: 15 min.

1 cup miniature cheese crackers, crushed (I used Cheez-Its)
1-1/2 teaspoons taco seasoning
5 tablespoons butter, softened, divided (Omitted/ Used Egg Beaters)
3 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons canned chopped green chilies (Used El Pinto Green Chili)
2 teaspoons dried minced onion (omitted)
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)

In a shallow bowl, combine cracker crumbs and taco seasoning; set aside. In another bowl, combine 3 tablespoons butter, cheese, chilies, onion and salt. Shape mixture into six balls.
Flatten chicken to 1/4-in. thickness. Place a butter ball in the center of each. Roll up and secure with toothpicks. In a shallow microwave-safe bowl, melt remaining butter. Dip chicken in butter, then coat evenly with cracker mixture.
Place seam side down in a greased shallow round 3-qt. microwave-safe dish. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 12-14 minutes or until chicken juices run clear and a meat thermometer reads 170°. Discard toothpicks.

CHANGES: I decided to omit the butter to lessen the fat content. I combined cheese, chili, and salt in a bowl and set aside. After chicken was flattened, I scooped some of the mixture into the center of the chicken. I then folded it over and secured it with toothpicks. Instead of dipping chicken in butter, I used Egg Beaters to coat the chicken before coating with cracker mixture. Instead of using the microwave, I baked the chicken for 35 minutes at 350.

Yield: 6 servings.
Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 183 calories, 14 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 46 mg cholesterol, 511 mg sodium, 7 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 8 g protein.

**I served taco seasoned red potatoes with a sour cream and chive dip with this chicken dish. Take 6 small red potatoes (cubed), one tablespoon of olive oil, and half a packet of taco seasoning. Put all ingredients in a large plastic bag and mix together. Place an even layer on a cookie sheet and bake along side the chicken.

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