Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pampered Chef- Avacado Salsa Cups

I made this appetizer for my first Pampered Chef party.   Actually, I made Mr. make the recipe because I was too busy preparing for the party! Anyhow, they were so easy and my guests loved them.  One of my favorite Pampered Chef products is the Mini Muffin Pan.  I use mine all the time and always make one recipe at each party using it.  It's a top 5 in my kitchen.  From bite sized appetizers to desserts, you can't go wrong.  To order one, visit my site. Make sure to add this recipe to your fall football party list! 

Avocado Salsa Cups 

Tortilla Cups

6 (11-in./28-cm) flour tortillas
1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil

Avocado Filling

2 small plum tomatoes
2 small avocados
2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp (30 mL) lime juice
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) sour cream
Additional chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). For cups, using Pizza Cutter, trim tortillas to form six 6-in. (15-cm) squares. Cut each square into quarters for a total of twenty-four 3-in. (7.5-cm) squares. Make a 1-in. (2.5-cm) cut from each corner toward the center of each square. Brush both sides of each square with oil using Chef's Silicone Basting Brush. Press squares into bottom of Deluxe Mini-Muffin Pan using Mini-Tart Shaper. Bake 8-10 minutes or until crisp. Remove from oven.

For filling, core and seed tomatoes. Finely dice tomatoes and avocados using Utility Knife. Chop cilantro with Food Chopper. Combine tomatoes, avocados, cilantro, lime juice, garlic pressed with Garlic Press and salt in Classic Batter Bowl.

Fill cups with filling using Easy Adjustable Measuring Spoon. Spoon sour cream into resealable plastic bag; trim corner using Utility Knife to allow sour cream to flow through. Pipe sour cream over avocado mixture. Garnish with additional chopped cilantro, if desired.

Yield: 24 servings

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Carrot Cake Cupcakes (Light)

I found a recipe for carrot cake bars in the June issue of Fitness magazine.  I wanted treats to pass out on the first day of school and I had leftover carrots from my carrot, coconut & walnut bread.  So, I decided to try this "healthier" recipe and make them into cupcakes to share with my coworkers.  Below you will find the recipe from the magazine.  I followed all directions, except I used store bought frosting.  Loved the way these came out and will be making these again this fall. 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 7 egg whites slightly beaten (1 cup)
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 3 cups finely shredded carrot
Frosting Ingredients:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees & coat a 15 x 10 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Stir together dry ingredients.
  3. Spread batter into the prepared pan & bake until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean…about 25-30 minutes.
  4. Cool completely!
  5. Frosting: beat together powdered sugar & cream cheese until smooth & spread over cooled cake.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Burrito Casserole

I recently subscribed to Family Circle magazine through a great deal I found on Coupon Divas. I've received a few issues already and am very pleased with my purchase. This is one of the recipes I ripped out and placed in my binder. I pulled it out last week because I wanted to make something that would give Mr & I lots of leftovers for the week.  Mission accomplished with this recipe.  We both had lunch for 4 days with the leftovers.  I did make a few changes, which I noted below.  Enjoy! 

  • packages (8.8 ounces each) fully cooked brown rice (such as Uncle Ben's)
  • jar (15 1/2 ounces) salsa
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • can (15 ounces) refried beans
  • package (10 ounces) frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat taco-cheese blend
  • packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (I used 1 package)
  • tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • I added 2 cups of cubed cooked chicken
  • 3 TBS sour cream


1. In a large bowl, combine rice, salsa and oregano. In a second bowl, combine refried beans, chicken, corn, chile powder and cumin.

2. Coat a 12 x 8 x 2-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spread half of the rice mixture evenly in dish. Layer refried bean mixture and half the cheese over the rice. Scatter spinach over cheese. Top with remaining rice mixture and cheese.

3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days. I made mine in one night

4. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake, uncovered, for 35 minutes or until internal temperature registers 140 degrees F. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving and add a dab of sour cream to the top. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Carrot, Coconut & Walnut Bread

I made this bread a few weeks ago, hoping to have it for the week.  But, I brought it to work and it was gone in an hour. Enjoy!

1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup shredded coconut 
3/4 cup toasted walnuts
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt 
1 tsp vanilla 

Preheat the oven to 350.  Grease a 9 X 5 loaf pan. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl.  Add the coconut and walnuts to the mix.  In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, oil, vanilla and yogurt.  Stir in the shredded carrot to the egg mixture.  Fold the egg mixture into the dry mixture.  Spread the batter into a prepares loaf pan.  Bake for about 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 30 minutes in the pan, on a rack.  Then take out of pan to cool completely on the rack.  

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bacon Cheddar Corn Muffins

I've been all about making things to freeze ever since we received a small freezer for our garage.  I had ripped this recipe out a while ago from Cooking Light, knowing the MR would love these.  With school starting back up, I don't usually have time to eat breakfast.  I knew these would be easy to grab on my way out the door.  The muffins were pretty simple.  I didn't use a jalapeno because they were out at the store.  Next time, I'll definitely add one for a little spice.  I'll also add some salt and pepper to the mix as well.  They were a tad bland, but still good.  I would recommend heating them up in the microwave for a few seconds before eating.  Enjoy!


  • 4 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • center-cut bacon slices, cooked, drained, and crumbled
  • jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • large egg, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray


  • 1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  • 2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 7 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir in bacon and jalapeño; make a well in center of mixture. Combine buttermilk, oil, and egg in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
  • 3. Place 12 muffin-cup liners in muffin cups; coat with cooking spray. Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Coconut Macaroons

I love coconut.  I also love recipes with very few ingredients.  Which is exactly why I ripped this recipe out of my Taste of Home magazine about a year ago.  I was looking for a light cookie to make for a group of friends, at the last minute.  I had all these ingredients on hand and 30 minutes to spare. I'm so glad I went with this recipe.  They were chewy, simple and delicious.  Enjoy!

  • 9 Servings
  • Prep/Total Time: 25 min.


  • 2-1/2 cups flaked coconut
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • In a bowl, combine the coconut, flour and salt. Add milk and vanilla; mix well (batter will be stiff).
  • Drop by tablespoonfuls 1 in. apart onto a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks. Yield: 1-1/2 dozen.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe comes from Keeping Up with the Joneses. I've made tons of different recipes for Chocolate Chip Cookies over the years. They've all been pretty good, but I'm still looking for "the one". What attracted me to this recipe was the size of the cookie. I was looking for a bigger cookie to make and these were the perfect size. They were light, moist and oh so sweet. Two thumbs up in my book!

3/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour, plus 2 Tbsp
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 (12 oz) package of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Beat butter and sugars at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until blended.

Combine flour, soda, and salt in a small bowl; gradually add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in morsels. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper-covered cookie sheets. Note that the mixture is so moist and gooey that it can't be shaped into perfect balls, but it doesn't matter, just drop them with a spoon as best you can :)

Bake at 350° for 8 to 14 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. For me, these were perfect at 12 minutes!

Total Time: 40 minutes
Makes: 4-5 dozen, depending on size

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