About Me

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I am a stay at home mother of two young children and love making healthy meals for my family! I love fitness, playing tennis, cooking and traveling. Most of all I love spending time with my family!!! I hope you enjoy making these recipes for your family as well!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pumpkin Crumble Bars

I still have canned pumpkin from the holidays...or did! I really love pumpkin...pumpkin pancakes, scones, cakes, bread pudding, and anything else pumpkin. I came across a recipe for a pumpkin crumb bar that sounded perfect! I really don't remember how I came across the website Cooking with Sugar, but I sure am glad that I found it!! Not like I need baked goods sitting around but its nice to have now and then. I also noticed that the recipe called for boxed cake mix and condensed milk...which I had! The kids helped (that's why its on a blue plate) and LOVED it!! I hope you do too!! 

*I just copied the recipe from her website so I can't take any credit...other than introducing it to you :-)

For base:
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) Box Betty Crocker Supermoist Yellow Cake Mix
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg
For filling:
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
For topping:
  • 1 cup of dry cake mix
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, walnuts or both
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 pan.
Remove 1 cup of cake mix from the cake mix box and set aside in a small bowl for the topping. Then in a large bowl combine the remaining cake mix with 1 egg and a 1/2 cup melted butter. Mix well, and pat into bottom of pan. Set aside
In the same bowl used for the base, mix together the pumpkin, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar and cinnamon. Combine well and pour over base mix in pan.
With a fork, combine your reserved cup of cake mix with the nuts and softened butter. Crumble over pumpkin mix.
Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes until golden brown.  Let cool for at least 20-30 minutes then cut in squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

Mediterranean Flatbread

I love to try new types of food and recipes! I was shopping at Publix one day and came across one of the Apron simple meals for Mediterranean Flatbread...it sounded just up my alley! I changed it up just a little bit by adding feta cheese and adding the sun dried tomatoes. It was delicious!!

1 pound pork tenderloin, sliced into 1/2 in slices
1 roasted red pepper (in the jar)
1 T sun dried tomato in oil
1 shallot or 1/2 cup onion
2/3 cup cilantro
1/4 cup canola oil
2 T paprika
11/2 teaspoons cumin
1 T minced garlic
1 T tomato paste
1 T water
pinch red pepper
2 flatbread
Feta cheese

Fat free key lime yogurt
1 T fresh lime juice

Place red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, 2/3 cup cilantro, 1/4 cup oil, paprika, cumin, garlic, tomato paste, water, and crushed red pepper into blender; blend until smooth.
Preheat large sauté pan on medium-high 2–3 minutes. Season pork with salt and pepper then place in pan with 1 tablespoon oil; cook and stir 3–4 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.
Reduce heat to low and add sauce; cook 1–2 minutes or until warmed. 

Toast flatbread in toaster. Top each flatbread with pork mixture and feta cheese. Stir juice into yogurt; spoon lightly over top of pork. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup cilantro. Cut into wedges or quarters and serve.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bang Bang Shrimp

All I can say is "WOW"...these are delicious!!! At one point while I was eating I thought to myself..."I'm pretty full but I need more Bang Bang Shrimp" :-) I love shrimp. I love any shellfish really. I'm not sure where I found the original recipe but I sort of changed it a little and made it my own...served it with coconut rice and steamed edemame. I love coconut rice...I hate coconut...I'm weird. Apparently Bonefish Grille has Bang Bang Shrimp as an appetizer...the recipe that I found was basing theirs off of that, so I guess I am too.

Oh and don't be scared that the sauce starts with mayo...I think I used a total of 2 tablespoons for the entire recipe.


1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup mayonaise
3 T sweet chili sauce (you can sort of add as much or as little as you'd like)
1 t sugar
2 t rice vinegar
Sriacha hot sauce (I dipped my shrimp in this mixed with more sweet chili sauce)

Heat 1/4 cup canola oil in skillet. In a large ziplock bag, combine breadcrumbs and cornstarch (I added a little salt, pepper and garlic powder as well). Toss shrimp into bag and toss to coat. Once oil is hot, cook shrimp until done...about 4-5 min. While shrimp cook, mix mayonaise, sweet chili sauce, sugar, and vinegar in a large mixing bowl. TASTE...adjust to your liking** Once shrimp are cooked, put them in bowl with sauce and mix. Serve over coconut rice and edemame.

** My husband can't eat spicy food so I have to adjust my recipes. I like things with a little spice. Feel free to add Sriacha to the sweet chili sauce mixture before tossing in shrimp. I made a dipping sauce with sweet chili sauce and Sriacha to dip my shrimp in...delish!!!

Coconut Rice: I use Jasmine rice...follow directions on box/bag. Substitute coconut milk for about 3/4  of what the recipe calls for water (ie. the recipe called for 1.5 cups of water...I did 1 cup coconut milk and 1/2 cup water) and you will have coconut rice! Add a teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of salt to the milk/water.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cranberry Pork Roast

Wow this was such an easy dinner...and tasty!! I'm not sure why I love the pork and cranberry combo so much...maybe its the sweetness of the cranberries married with the salty pork (I season it before it goes into the crock pot)...its just good!! I saw a recipe on one of my favorite websites, Recipe Girl, and thought that I would add a few ingredients to my liking. I also love serving corn bread or corn cakes with this meal. I've made a pork tenderloin and served it with a cranberry/pineapple relish before so that's why I added a few ingredients...smoked paprika and pineapple. DELISH!!! And better yet, for about 3-4 ounces of pork its only 250 calories...add some steamed broccoli and a corn cake and you have a nice hearty dinner for under 500 calories!

Pork Roast (you could use thick pork chops, pork tenderloin, pork roast, etc...you shred it in the end)
2 cans whole berry cranberry sauce (low sugar if you can find it)
1 can crushed pineapple (I used a large one because I had a big pork roast)
1 T brown sugar
1 T yellow mustard
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional...I wanted a little smoky/sweet flavor...you can leave it out)

There are two ways you can begin this...you can either just throw everything into the crock pot and set OR you can sear the pork roast in 2 T oil to get a nice golden crust before putting it into the crock pot. I typically do sear it because I have time and it adds a little more flavor. Make sure you season roast with salt and pepper. Either way...in seperate bowl mix 2 cans of cranberries, pineapple, brown sugar, mustard, and paprika. Pour over pork and set it on low for 7-8 hrs (Or high for 5). Remove roast carefully to a serving dish (it might start to fall apart)...shred pork and pour sauce from the crock pot over pork. Make sure you get all of the yummy cranberries and pineapple!! I served it with steamed broccoli and corn cakes (recipe on the Jiffy Corn Muffin box). ENJOY!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

"Good"a Chicken

I have a funny story about Gouda cheese. My husband and I got married in 2007 and went to Jamaica for our honeymoon. We stayed at two different places just to change it up a bit. The second place we stayed was Sandals Ocho Rios. We had an incredible first half of our week relaxing, sight seeing, shopping, and eating/drinking good! We arrived at Sandals and had a frozen drink while we waited for our room. Well it never fails that The Hub has something mess him up on every vacation. This time it must have been the ice in our frozen drink...he couldn't eat ANYTHING for the rest of the week...except Gouda cheese and Jack Daniels! So whenever I think of Gouda cheese...that's where I go.

Anyway, we both love smoked Gouda...I saw a recipe on Recipe Girl that was called Gouda stuffed chicken with apples...BINGO!! Sounded great to me...I just added a little different seasoning to mine. Chicken is one of those meats that you really need to flavor up or else its just boring and flavorless. If you can stuff it with something and make a light sauce to go on top, that really does the trick. Since I also watch my calories (a little bit...I just don't over do it) I thought that this would be pretty healthy. Like I've said before everything in moderation so just a little bit of cheese won't hurt.

The easiest way to stuff chicken is to just cut a pocket into the side of the chicken breast, but not to go all the way through. I sliced a small piece of cheese (maybe an inch and a half), stuffed into the pocket, dusted the chicken with seasoned flour, seared it in a little olive oil and stuck it into the oven while I made the sauce. Voila...dinner served!

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 pieces of gouda cheese
1 cup flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder
2 apples, Golden Delicious or Granny Smith, cored and thinly sliced
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup apple juice/cider
1 clove garlic, minced
few dashes of cinnamon
1 T honey (or you could use pure maple syrup or agave nectar)

Preheat oven to 300. Heat 2 T olive oil in medium saucepan. Rinse and pat dry chicken breast. Cut a pocket into the side of chicken. Stuff with cheese. In separate plate, season flour with seasonings and toss chicken in to cover. Cook chicken until browned on both sides, approximately 5 min per side. Put chicken on a baking sheet and place in oven.

While chicken is in oven, discard oil from saucepan and pour broth, juice/cider, and garlic. Turn to high heat and bring to a boil. Let boil about 10 min or until thick *I typically add a slurry to thicken more (1 T cornstarch and 3 T water, combine in separate bowl and add to sauce...will thicken instantly). Add apples, cinnamon, and honey and cook for 5 minutes. TASTE! Adjust seasoning...you may need some salt or pepper, more honey, more cinnamon, or even a splash of cider vinegar...make to your liking.

Remove chicken from oven and serve with apples and sauce. ENJOY!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Southwestern Chicken Bowl

This is such an easy recipe to make...and healthy...and in my case cheap!! Most weeks I will make shredded chicken and chicken stock...its so much tastier than the canned stuff. Typically Sunday or Monday I will throw some chicken (this time it was 2 skin on bone in chicken breasts $2.50!), water, 1 celery stalk, 1 carrot, 1 onion, some garlic and salt and pepper into a pot and let it cook for 3 hours. Voila...shredded chicken and chicken stock! You could do this in a crock pot as well. It's always nice to have cooked chicken on hand for the week. There's so many recipes that you could throw together. In my case, I did a chicken bowl. It was great and served 4+! You have all of your food groups in one bowl...veggies, lean protein, a little dairy, and whole grains ** I added Tabasco to mine in my serving bowl since the Hub can't have spicy food...feel free to add cayene pepper and Tabasco


Shredded cooked chicken from 2 chicken breast (maybe 2-3 cups)
1 can corn, rinsed and drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can Rotel, drained
1 teaspoon Cumin
6 oz cream cheese
Brown Rice (I used Uncle Bens 10 min)
Garnish: Avocado, Tomato, salsa, sour cream, cheese, cilantro, lime...

In medium saucepan combine chicken, corn, black beans, cream cheese, cumin, salt and pepper and cook over low to medium heat until warm and cream cheese has melted. TASTE...adjust seasoning. Meanwhile, use the chicken stock that you made and follow directions on package to make brown rice...this adds so much flavor to the rice.

Serve chicken mixture over rice and top with your favorite garnish...I did avocado, cheese, and Tabasco. You can use whatever you'd like!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Chocolate "Coke" Cake

YUM!!! I absolutley love to bake but I don't very often...partially because of the calories. I am one of the everything in moderation type of people so I think you need to indulge every now and then. I saw this recipe on Pinterest but thought that it called for too much sugar. I looked around and found a few different recipes and did my own thing. I used less than the recipe called for and it turned out fantastic.

This is a great dessert to take to a potluck, holiday dinner, or just a summer grill out!!!

1 cup butter
1/3 cup cocoa
1 cup cola soft drink
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk (if you don't have buttermilk use 1/2 cup regular milk and 1.5 teaspoon white vinegar and let sit for 5 min)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/3 cup cola soft drink
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. In sauce pot combine butter, cocoa and coke and heat until just boiling. In mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Combine chocolate/coke mixutre into flour mixture. Mix in eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Pour into greased 13x9 baking dish and cook for 30 min (or until toothpick comes out clean)

While cake is baking, combine butter, cocoa, and coke in sauce pot. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in vanilla and powder sugar. Pour over warm cake and let sit for 15 minutes.

*Picture from www.mayflaum.com

Friday, February 3, 2012

Baked Eggplant Sticks

These were a hit!! I never thought that my husband or my children would eat eggplant but I had to try. It was a success. I've mentioned Skinny Taste before as a great vehicle for finding delicious and healthy recipes (she even tracks WW points and these are only 1 point!!!!!). I get very bored of the same veggies...broccoli, salad, carrots, and asparagus...that's why I had to try something new. Eggplant parmesan is quite tasty as an entree but as a side item?! These were quick to make and fun to eat so I'll definately make these again.

1 eggplant
1 egg white
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs (I added in a little panko as well)
2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil (or olive oil spray)
1 cup marinara sauce

Preheat the oven to 450°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with oil.

Cut ends off the eggplant. Slice eggplant in half length wise, then into 1/4 inch thick slices. Lay each slice on the cutting board and cut into 1/4 inch strips. Be sure to cut all the strips the same size so they cook evenly.

Place strips into a bowl with salt, pepper, and olive oil. In separtate dish mix egg white with 1 T water. In 3rd dish mix breadcrumbs and cheese. Dip strips into egg mixture then into breadcrumb mixture. Place onto baking sheet evenly spaced. Spray with olive oil.

Bake for 10 minutes...flip and bake for 7 more minutes. I shaved some fresh Romano cheese on top for a little extra flavor.

Serve hot with the marinara dipping sauce.

Coconut Curry Fish

I actually really enjoy the classic coconut and curry combination! I always heard people saying that "it stinks...smells like curry" so I didn't give it a try until my aunt made something with curry...and I liked it! Its definately its own taste and you may need to have a very mild curry at first but I feel like its light and refreshing!

As you know I read tons of cooking magazines, cookbooks, websites, and blogs to find recipes that my family will enjoy that are easy to make and affordable. There is a website called The Tasty Kitchen where home chefs are able to upload their favorite recipes to share with others and store for themselves. I love it...you can find so many wonderful passed down recipes and so many different cultures.

That's where I came across this recipe for the coconut curry fish. It is a one dish dinner that takes practically no time to put together and bake...you even bake it in the marinade...EASY!!! The recipe called for toasted coconut to go on top but i'm sort of not a toasted coconut fan so I left it off. Anyway, PLEASE try this and I know you'll love it!!


1 whole lime, zest and juice
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 can coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound white fish (cod, haddock, tilapia)
Garnish: Cilantro, Toasted Coconut, Lime

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium baking dish mix first 9 ingredients. Add fish and let marinade for 30-45 min. Cook the fish in the marinade for 15 min or until fish flakes easily. Serve with garnish. ENJOY!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ricotta/Spinach Stuffed Chicken and Cauliflower Fritters

I love spinach! Whether its sauteed, raw in a salad, casserole, or stuffed into chicken...I love it! I like chicken but you have to jazz it up so much for it to have flavor. I've seen spinach stuffed chicken many times before and probably have cooked it before, but didn't blog about it. The recipe is simple and delicious!

Regarding the cauliflower fritters...sounds strange...but oddly enough quite tasty! I can't stand plain cauliflower...I like roasted but thats about it. I was browsing recipes on Skinny Taste and came across this recipe. I thought it sounded pretty good and was healthy. It could take place of the starch (that I always feel like I need to complete my dinner) as well as the vegetable. It uses whole wheat flour which adds a nuttier flavor to the fritter. Anyways, kids liked it and the Hub said it needed a dipping sauce but was good. I'm thinking that you could make a tzatziki sauce for the dip and it would compliment it nicely. Anyway...here's the recipe and I hope you and your family enjoys!!

Ricotto/Spinach stuffed chicken
3 large chicken breasts
1 pkg (10oz) frozen chopped spinach
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
3 T Dijon mustard
1 T Grapseed or Olive oil
Seasoning (whatever you'd like...I used salt, pepper, Tastefully Simple spinach mix)

Preheat oven to 450. Rinse and pat dry chicken breasts. Defrost spinach and squeeze out all excess moisture. In a medium bowl mix softened cream cheese, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, and seasonings. Cut a pouch into the side of the chicken breast but make sure you don't go all the way through. Stuff the ricotta mixture until its overflowing. Place in greased baking dish or baking sheet. Put 1 T of mustard on each piece of chicken and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes or until done (I think I did 25 minutes to be safe).

Cauliflower Fritters
1 head of cauliflower, steamed and mashed
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour (i didn't use quite a full cup)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup parsley
1/4 cup hot water
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil (I used grapeseed oil)

In bowl mix all ingredients except oil. It will be a thick consistacy. Heat oil in non stick pan and use an ice cream scoop for equal portions. Once oil is hot put scoops of 'dough' and flatten slightly. Let cook for 2 min and flip. Once golden brown, remove to paper towel. I sprinkled a little salt and pepper while still hot for added flavor.