Monday, October 29, 2012

Healthy Chocolate Cookie Dough (by Chocolate Covered Katie)

 1/4 cup cashews
2/3 cup pitted dates (no extra sugar added)
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
1 tblsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

Grind it all up in your food processor or vitamix until it forms into a ball of dough.  Eat it as is by the spoonful or smear it onto crackers or bread. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tanya's Gyro Soup

2 lbs. of pork/chicken, cut into strips
3 tblsp. olive oil
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3-4 bell peppers (I prefer using different colored ones for better presentation), chopped
2 large onions, chopped
6 cups of water
8 tblsp. chili sauce
1 8 oz. pkg. shredded mozzarella cheese
5-6 tblsp. paprika
2 tsp. marjoram
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. thyme
1 tblsp. pepper
1 tblsp. salt
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. garlic salt
2 tsp. oregano
2 pkg. onion soup mix

In a pan, saute 1 tblsp. of olive oil with meat, garlic cloves, and all the seasonings except the salt and pepper. When the meat is cooked all the way, add the whipping cream to it and set aside.

In a big pot, add the rest of the olive oil, chopped onions and chopped bell peppers. Add salt and pepper to it and saute on medium heat until onions and bell peppers are almost done. Add the 6 cups of water and the onion soup mix packages. Let boil for about 5-10 minutes before adding the chili sauce. Add the chicken and whipping cream mixture to the soup. At the end, add 1/2 the package of mozzarella cheese and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with some kind of bread (French bread of baguette bread) and salad and the rest of the mozzarella cheese.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Apple Cobbler

I have never been a fan of pie crust, so I combined my mother in-laws apple crumb pie recipe (without the pie crust) with an apple cobbler recipe and the outcome was delicious!!!!!!

6 Gala apples, peeled, cored and cut into small bite-sized pieces
2 tblsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar

Combine the above ingredients and place them in a pie pan.  Then combine the topping ingredients and pour them on top of the filling and bake in oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until bubbly and brown.

3/4 cup flour
6 tblsp. butter (not melted, mixed in with flour and sugar by using a pastry blender)
1/2 cup sugar

This recipe was fast to prepare and tastes best with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream!  Enjoy!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Quinoa and Black Beans

I just made this dish last night and it was delicious!  I ate the leftovers for lunch today and added fresh avocados and it was even better.  I imagine you could also add some queso fresco for those of you who are cheese lovers! 
recipe image
Rated: rating
Submitted By: 3LIONCUBS
Photo By: Dianne
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 35 Minutes
Ready In: 50 Minutes
Servings: 10
"Whether you're trying quinoa for the first time or just trying a new recipe for quinoa, this mixture of quinoa, black beans, corn, and spices will make this dish a new favorite."
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed
and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
2. Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes,
3. Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro.

Olive Garden's Pumpkin Cheesecake

I don't know about you, but I LOVE Olive Garden's seasonal pumpkin cheesecake.  I never seem to get enough of it, so I found a recipe to make my life cheaper and so that I can eat it at my own convenience!  Hope you enjoy it.

  • Author:
  • Recipe Type: Dessert
  • Prep time:35 minutes
  • Cook time:1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Serves: 10
Olive Garden Pumpkin Cheesecake

Rating - To add your rating simply click on the stars

Rating: 3.5/5 (4 votes cast)
You don't have to wait for the fall for this creamy pumpkin cheesecake to be served. You can make this one any time of year now.


  • Yield: 10 - 12 slices.
  • Crust

  • Use an 8-inch spring-form pan
  • 1 and 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup ginger snap cookies
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons melted butter
  • Cheesecake Filling

  • 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese
  • 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
  • 2/3 cups light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Sour Cream Layer

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg **freshly ground if available
  • Whipped Cream

  • 2 pints heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Additional toppings:
  • Caramel sauce
  • gingersnap crumbs


Crust preparation

In a medium sized bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, ginger snap crumbs, sugar, and butter; mix well. Press crust into a spring form pan. Press the crust about halfway up the side of the spring form pan. Refrigerate crust while you continue to prepare the cheesecake.

Filling preparation

Allow extra time for mixing up this filling. Remove the pure pumpkin puree from the can and place in a couple of large paper towels. Wrap the pumpkin puree with the paper towels; this will soak up the excess water in the pumpkin puree. Continue to remove excess water from the pumpkin puree for about 60 minutes before making cheesecake mixture. Bring the remaining ingredients for the filling to room temperature while the pumpkin puree is being drained. With a mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth; add eggs one at a time and then combine all ingredients for the filling in a mixer. Blend until very smooth. For best results, allow all ingredients to reach room temperature before mixing the filling. Remove crust from refrigerator, and pour in filling.
Bake cheesecake at 350 for 30 minutes and then reduce temperature to 325 degrees for an additional 30 minutes. When you remove the cheesecake, it should be slightly jiggly in the center.The cheesecake will set up nicely as it cools.

Sour Cream Layer

When you remove the cheesecake from the oven, set aside and prepare the seasoned cream cheese layer. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, sugar, and spices. Blend well. Spread seasoned sour cream mixture over the baked cheesecake evenly. Place the cheesecake back into the 325 degree oven for about 8 minutes, until the sour cream layer is set.

Whipped Cream

Allow the cheesecake to cool. When the cheesecake is completely cool, you can add the whipped cream. In a medium sized bowl, combine heavy whipping cream, vanilla, and sugar; mix well with a blender or a stand mixer. Whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks. Remove ring from the spring-form pan and either pipe the whipped cream over the pumpkin cheesecake or spread with a knife.
When you are ready to serve the Olive Garden Pumpkin Cheesecake, cut each slice, drizzle the top of the cheesecake with caramel sauce, and then sprinkle over ginger snap crumbs before serving.
Additional notes about cheesecake making:
I personally do not use a water bath. I do have a clay baking stone in my oven, and my cheesecakes come out very well. You may wish to use a water bath when you prepare your cheesecake.
Also, I would really urge you to let your ingredients reach room temperature before blending together the filling. This really makes a difference in getting a nice, smooth filling.
Update - I know some people felt like there were nuts in the crust, so I wrote to the Olive Garden and here was their response. †If you will note, they state there are no peanuts or nuts in their recipes. So I am going to assume this meant no nuts in the crust of this cheesecake as well.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Personal Portobello Pizzas

I got this recipe from Parents magazine. Supposedly, mushrooms have lots of vitamin D and potassium. I'm sure they are much healthier than pizza crust. I'm not going to say it tastes like pizza crust. It's definitely different but we all really liked it.

4 large portobello mushroom caps, stems removed
2 Tbs olive oil
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp dried Italian seasoning (or just sprinkle some stuff on them)
1/2 c shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (I doubled the cheese)

1. Preheat over to 400. Line a 15x10x1 in baking pan with foil; brush lightly with olive oil. Place mushroom caps stem side down in prepared pan. Brush caps with remaining oil. Bake for about 10 min.
2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl stir together tomato sauce, garlic, and seasonings. Drain off liquid from mushrooms. Turn mushrooms stem side up. Spoon sauce into mushroom caps. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake for 10 minutes.

My grandmother has made these with meat and spinach added too.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Doughnuts (from Deceptively Delicious Cookbook)

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup sweet potato puree
1/2 cup milk or lowfat buttermilk
1 large egg white
1 tblsp.trans-fat-free soft tub margarine spread, melted (I use butter)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour, or whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a doughnut mold or 12 mini-muffin tin with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, pumpkin and sweet potato purees, milk, egg white, margarine,
and vanilla. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spice, and mix until completely incorporated.
Pour the batter into a gallon-sized plastic bag and cut the bottom tip off of one side of the bag. Squeeze
the batter through, into the doughnut mold. Bake until the tops are lightly browned and a toothpick comes
out clean when inserted, 20-25 minutes. Turn the doughnuts out onto a rack to cool. When cool, dust
with confectioner's sugar.

Store in an airtight container at room temp. for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.

*** These are low in sugar and have veggies in it, so a healthy snack for your kids! If they in fact look like doughnuts your kids will be fooled;)