Thursday, February 28, 2013

Lemon Balsamic Pear and Tahini Pasta

No recipe for this dinner. I was in the mood to make a lemon balsamic dish and this is what I came up with.

1/2 onion chopped
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1 pear sliced
1 cup mixed green lettuce
2 tbsp Lemon Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 pound whole wheat pasta
2 tbsp tahini
juice from 1 lemon
pecans optional
Heat your olive oil in large saute pan. Put onion, pair and garlic in the oil for 5 minutes. Then add in your lemon balsamic vinegar and keep cooking until you start to see everything start to caramelize. Boil your pasta while the mixture is caramelizing. Add 1 tbsp tahini to your mixture and your mixed green lettuce. When pasta is done, strain and add to the saute pan. Add the lemon juice and rest of tahini. Depending on how nutty you want it, you can add more tahini to your pasta. Add pecans if you'd like.


Beet and Date Muffins with a Tahini Glaze

Came across this interesting recipe one night and thought to myself, how can that be good? BUT, I tried it last night and I have to say they are quite tasty! They are vegan and gluten free (the original recipe is, because I ran out of a few things and had to replace them.
The hardest part by far was shredding the beets. They were messy for sure!
Check out the recipe from Kitchen to Nirvana.
I did a couple things differently from the original recipe:
  • Didn't buy enough of each flour, so used a cup of each flour and 1/2 cup of white flour
  • Didn't have enough honey left, so only added in 1 cup of honey and 1/4 cup sugar
  • Didn't have non-dairy milk for the icing, so just used regular cow's milk
Hope you enjoy the recipe!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Upcoming Recipe Teaser

Mini Valentine's Day Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Filling/Topping

Mini Apple Oatmeal Bites

French Toast Cottage Cheese Smoothie

Monday, February 4, 2013

Easy Cannoli Cups

I really wanted to make cannolis for our Super Bowl party, but I couldn't figure out how to fry the dough into a circle, so I decided to make these pretty cute mini cannoli cups. They were quite a hit :)
For the crust:
Refrigerated store-bought pie crusts (2)
Sprinkle of sugar
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Flour for dusting

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle your pie crusts with sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Take a rolling pin and roll the sugar and cinnamon into the crust. Take your cookie cutter about 2 1/2 inches. Place in your mini cupcake pan. Keep rolling out until all dough is used. After placing into your pan, gently poke the bottom of the cups with a fork to avoid rising in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
For filling:
1 15oz. container of whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

In a hand mixer, mix all ingredients minus the chocolate chips for about 10-15 minutes until filling is soft and not grainy. Place in a zip lock or pastry bag and place in refrigerator. When pie crusts have been taken out of pan and cooled, fill them with your filling (cut a small opening from the end of your bag and pipe into cup), sprinkle your chocolates on top as well as some more powdered sugar. Make sure to keep refrigerated after filling.

Recipe adapted from Mini Canoli Cups from Lexbake

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tea Pot Cake Pops

I am surprised with how well these cake pops turned out. I was a little worried they wouldn't look how I was imagining, but I think they turned out great!

They are a vanilla cake with vanilla frosting and in the middle is a little surprise of edible chocolate chip cookie dough. I always love experimenting with flavors.

What these things dry
What is the stout you ask? It is a Good and Plenty stuck in the cake before dipped. The lid is a chocolate wafer straight from the bag. The handle is from a candy necklace I tried for DAYS to find.

In any case, hope you like my tea pop cake pops! These were actually made for a tea and brunch event last Sunday and I think they were a hit.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Easy and Healthy Lemon Garlic Pasta

After the day I had with making cake pops for the tea event (blog post coming soon), I really wanted something a little healthier. And maybe something lemony, because I have this weird lemon obsession.

1/2 pound of whole wheat angel hair pasta
2 tomatoes cute into pieces, or 1 cup of grape tomatoes halved
1 1/2 cups of broccoli
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 tbsp basil
2 lemons, squeeze and seeds taken out (if you want less lemon flavor, only use one lemon)
1 tbsp garlic powder, for extra garlic
pine nuts (optional)
Put your pot of water on the stove and wait for it to boil. While you're waiting for your water to boil, add your chopped broccoli into a saute pan with your olive oil on medium heat. Chop your garlic in bigger pieces (not minced) and add to the pan. Place lid over broccoli and let steam.

Add your pasta to your boiling water until pasta is al dente. Trasfer your pasta over to your pan with the broccoli and then add lemon juice, 1 tbsp olive oil and the rest of the seasonings. Then, add in your tomatoes and top with cheese.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Easy Lavender Tea Cake w/ Vanilla Chai Tea Glaze

I have had fantasies about making a lavender cake for weeks. The other night I got up enough courage to finally make one. But I was a little nervous, without a recipe and all, so I began with my Betty Crocker white cake mix as my canvas and went from there. That way, I wouldn't feel completely bad if it came out horribly. I have to say though, it was an interesting taste, but still very refreshing, like I was eating a cup of tea.

For the cake:
1 box of Betty Crocker White Cake Mix (including all ingredients on the box)
2 tbsp of ground lavender tea leaves (you can use a grinder to powder the leaves or use a pestle mortar to make the tea leaves finer.
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon
Mix all ingredients and place in oven for specific baking time on the box. Because I used a loaf pan, I baked mine for 40 minutes on 325 (which is lower than the box because I didn't want my cake to cave in in the middle).

For the glaze
2 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tbsp heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp vanilla chai tea

Whisk all ingredients together in small bowl to the consistency of your liking. Pour on top of your lavender cake.


Saturday, January 19, 2013

No-Bake Oatmeal and Almond Butter Bites

Tomorrow is my first day learning to snowboard. I am a bit nervous, but I'm glad I'll be going with a group of non-snowboarders just like myself so I won't feel so bad. In any case, I decided to make these oatmeal bites as a snack for the gang whether on the bunny hill, before we begin our long day of falling, or snacking on them on the way home.

1 cup old fashioned dry, uncooked oatmeal
2/3 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup almond butter
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp nutella

Mix all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Once all ingredients are mixed well, refrigerate for 30 minutes. Take out and shape into small balls.
Recipe adapted (and revised for my taste) from Gimme Some Oven who also made these on her trip to the slopes.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Balsamic Carmelized Pear & Onion Pizza

Holy moly is the only thing I can say to describe this pizza. Now, I just wish I had thought of the combo myself. I went to California Pizza Kitchen and ordered their Pear & Gorgonzola pizza, but I never like the Gorgonzola. So I decided to make my own, but better. And boy, I liked it A LOT.

If you're busy like me, you want simple on a work night so I bought store ready pizza dough :)

For the pizza
Pizza dough (whole grain- got mine from Whole Foods)
1 shallot sliced
1/2 onion (or more if you like onions) sliced
1 mushroom sliced
1 pear sliced
1 small log of Goat Cheese (about 1/3 cup) chopped into pieces
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (for pizza)
2 tbsp sugar
3 tsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 350. Put 1 tsp oil in your saute pan on med to high heat. Then saute your onions and shallot slices for 5 minutes. Add in your balsamic vinegar and continuing to cook for 10-20 minutes constantly stirring. Meanwhile, take out your dough and using a rolling pin to flatten into a pizza. Pinch the ends together like a pizza crust. Immediately put your pizza into the oven without any toppings and let the crust start cooking.

Then, add your pear and mushrooms into your onion mix along with sugar and garlic powder. Put your stove heat on low and wait until your pizza crust is almost cooked, almost golden brown.

Take out your crust and brush 2 tsp oil on your crust. Top with 3/4 of your Goat Cheese pieces, saving the rest for your salad. Put crust back in oven for 5-10 more minutes until the cheese is starting to melt. Take your crust out once more and then top you pizza with the balsamic mix.

Put back into the oven for 10-20 more minutes, watching constantly that the crust is completely cooked.

For salad topping
The rest of your Goat Cheese pieces
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Spring mix lettuce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp basil

Mix all ingredients in a bowl making sure the cheese is coating the salad. Put on top of pizza after you take it out of the oven.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Skinny Snowmen Cake Pops

I love these cake pops! Typically, I make cake pops by hand, start with the cake, mix in the frosting, let cool and then dip into chocolate. My sister got me a snowman cake pop pan and I gave it a shot.

1 box yellow cake mix
7 oz greek non fat plain yogurt
2 egg whites
1/4 cup sprinkles
Chocolate wafers for melting (I used white and red for the scarf)
White sprinkles
Edible pen (in black)
Orange sprinkles for the nose
Mini Oreos for the hat

Mix cake mix, yogurt, egg whites and sprinkles into mixing bowl. After you've mixed it, spoon your batter into your cake pop pan (the non hole side) to the top. Cover the other half of the cake pan and secure pans together. In a 350 degree oven, bake between 10-12 minutes or until your toothpick comes out of the vent hole in the cake pan clean. Take pan out of oven when ready and let sit 5-10 minutes before separating the two pans. Place the cake pops into the freezer to cool.
Meanwhile, melt your chocolate wafers as directed. Place the end of your stick into the chocolate first and push into your pop, no more than halfway through the body. Let dry and then dip your snowman, tapping your wrist so the excess chocolate comes off the pop. I then, sprinkles with some white pearl sprinkle dust and set aside to dry.
I took my edible pen and marked the eyes, mouth and buttons. Melting the red chocolate, I took a toothpick and painted on the scarf. I then took my Oreos and put chocolate on the bottom of that and let dry on top of the snowman's head. For the nose, I had large orange triangle sprinkles and just cut in half for the nose.


Recipe adapted from

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Strawverry Yogurt Pie

This recipe had my health-conscious sister licking the bottom of the pan.


For the crust
3/4 cups of crumbled graham cracker
1/4 cup melted butter

For the pie
1 pkg of Knox gelatin + 4 tbsp water
1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup sugar
1 lemon zest
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup of fresh or frozen strawberries
For the crust
Butter your springform pan. In a blender or food processor, mix graham crackers until fine. Then add melted butter. Press the crust to the bottom of the cake pan. Refrigerate while you're making filling.

For the filling
Combine gelatin and water in a small pot and set aside for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together yogurt, sugar, vanilla sugar and lemon zest. Remove the crust from refrigerator and arrange approximately 1/3 of your strawberries over the crust in one layer. Dissolve the gelatin over very low heat and pour it into the yogurt base. Mix to combine. Whip the heavy cream, fold it into the yogurt mixture and pour the filling over base. Cover the pan with cling film and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. When you are ready to serve, run a thin sharp knife around the sides of the cake and carefully remove the cake ring.

You can add your strawberry sauce to the top:
Combine 1 cup strawberries with 3 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp lemon juice in a saucepan over medium-high heat until Strawberries are soft and juices have thickened. Chill before adding to the top of your pie.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Cucumber Mint Yogurt Salad

I bought some fresh mint the other day and before it goes bad, I am trying to make as much as I can with it. Today, I have for you a mint yogurt dressing. It tasted very light and fresh and different than my normal balsamic salads (which I am passionately in love with anything balsamic might I add).
1 chopped up cucumber (you can leave the skin on if you want)
2 tbsp olive oil
8 tbsp non fat plain yogurt (less if you don't want it to be as creamy)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp lemon juice
4 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in bowl and add as much as you want to your lettuce, I used butter lettuce because let's face it, butter lettuce is the best there is! Save some for another salad and enjoy!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Healthier Sugar Donut Muffins

I found these sugar donut muffins last night and decided to try it this morning. But instead of following the directions completely, I tried to make it healthier. Instead of sugar and all purpose flour, I substituted those ingredients with Splenda and whole wheat flour.

For the muffin:
1/2 cup Splenda
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking power
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup low fat milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the sugar on top:
2 tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a muffin tin with cooking spray. In a large bowl, beat together Splenda and egg.

In a separate bowl, mix whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Mix into the egg mixture slowly and then pour in the remainder of the ingredients.
Pour batter into your muffin tin, filling each about 3/4 full.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, until your fork or toothpick comes out clean.

For the sugar on top:
Melt butter in a small teacup and pour remaining sugar into a small bowl or plate.

When muffins are done, lightly brush the top of each with some melted butter (or dip the top of the muffin into your cup of butter. Then sprinkle your granulated sugar on top so it sticks to your butter.
I personally think these muffins would have tasted better with regular sugar instead of Splenda, but they still tasted great. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Avocado Hummus

This may look like an ordinary sandwich, but no sir, it's not. It's Yummy! Soooo good I can eat it every afternoon.
Let's just begin with the fact that I LOVE hummus and I also happen to LOVE avocado.

1 can of garbanzo beans
1 avocado
1 tbsp garlic powder (vary if you like garlic)
2 tsp lemon juice
pinch of s and p
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Mix all ingredients in electric mixer or by hand. Add to your sandwich with an onion, lettuce, and tomato. Place extra hummus in a Tupperware and save for another day, but don't wait too long or the avocado may go bad.

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