Monday, January 28, 2013

Make-Over Monday ....Oh What A Craving!!!

All week I have been craving Spinach and Artichoke dip. And... still in the spirit of trying to lose some more weight I decide that I could have my "Cake and eat it too" so to speak... I took my favorite Spinach & Artichoke Dip recipe and with a little help from Kraft, I re-worked it to make it low-cal... IT WAS AWESOME!
So I am sending you, with love, our new and approved...

Awesome Spinach & Artichoke Dip ~ Made Over
1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained, finely chopped
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained
3/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
3/4 cup Light Mayonnaise
1/2 cup Shredded Reduced Fat Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

This recipe can be served cold or hot...

For warm dip, PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Mix all ingredients until well blended.
SPOON into 9-inch pie plate or quiche dish.
BAKE 20 min. or until heated through. Serve with Your Favorite Reduced Fat Crackers and assorted cut-up fresh vegetables.

Makeover Savings

Keep the creamy, cheesy flavor of this popular dip by combining Parmesan and mozzarella cheese in place of 2 cups of mozzarella cheese, and using 3/4 cup KRAFT Mayo Light Mayonnaise. These simple tweaks will save 50 calories and 5.5 grams of fat per serving compared to the traditional recipe

For even a more Low-Cal Variation - Awesome Spinach and Mushroom Dip
Substitute 1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms instead the artichoke hearts.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

"Tuesday's with Dorie"... French Apple Tart

Loved this recipe, I made the apple saucy stuff in the morning while I was getting my day started and then I assembled it and baked it for dessert later in the same afternoon.  Even though this recipe is very time consuming, it was easy and very tasty. I would make this one again.

I love the layered look to this dessert, which seems to be very common among the apple tart style dishes. This recipe is very similar to another dessert we baked back in January 2010. So I got to wondering about the history of this layered dessert and this is what I discovered...

        The story begins in the late 1800’s in a small town in the Loire valley, Franch. Where two sisters, both unmarried, ran a small hotel. Caroline Tatin, the youngest, was sought out by many of her friends for her confidential advice on affairs of the heart. The older sister, St├ęphanie Tatin, took care of all the cooking and she could be found at any time of day working at the stove with her big copper pots and kettles. She became known for her specialty, "tarte aux pommes", the traditional French apple pie, which she served crunchy and caramelized, with warm melted sugar and butter.
The story goes, that one day when she was preparing lunch in a bit of a hurry, by mistake she put the apples and sugar in the pan without putting the crust in first. In a rush she threw the crust on top, baked it a bit too long, then turned it out on a plate, upside down, not bothering to let it cool as she usually did. Voila! the delicious tarte tatin was born. But the story doesn't end there... Maxim's, the famous Paris restaurant, got wind of the popularity of the tart, and engaged a chef to pose as a gardener for the sisters at their hotel and was assigned to steal the recipe. It has been on their menu ever since."

You can check out other great TWD recipes at "Tuesday's with Dorie". Come join the group and bake with us! 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips



         Cream the butter and sugars together until creamy. Blend in the peanut butter, vanilla and eggs. Mix together the dry ingredients - flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the sugar mixture. Mix in Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chips.

        Preheat oven to 350°F. Shape dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until light brown, 9 to 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for a minute; transfer to rack to cool completely.
        For chewier cookies, bake at 300°F for 15 minutes. Also dough can be chilled and reserved for later use. We bake half and roll half of the dough and freeze it. It makes a quick and yummy Family Home Evening Treat.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Winter Party Salad --- TTC #3

Fill large serving bowl half full of  Spring Mix Salad mix and add 1 head Romain lettuce chopped.
1 can pink grapefruit (well drained),
1-2 cups red onion, carrots, cucumber and celery (sliced)
1/8 cup sunflower seeds or pine nuts, 
1/4 cup raisins
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 handful of rice noddles
*homemade balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below)

To assemble the salad,  I place everything in a large bowl, put on the lid and shake to coat all lettuce with the dressing. Then serve on plate or in a salad bowl.
Ingredients for homemade balsamic vinaigrette
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp  Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1-2 Tbsp white wine or water
  • 2 Tbsp honey mustard
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  1. Place all ingredients into a small jar. Anything with a lid works well.
  2. Shake to mix thoroughly. Stores in fridge for 1-2 week

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

P.F. Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps!

These are so good... A great version of P.F. Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps! The recipe is from Todd Wilbur and Top Secret Recipes


    • 3 tablespoons oil
    • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts ( I used pork)
    • 1 cup water chestnuts
    • 2/3 cup mushrooms
    • 3 tablespoons chopped onions
    • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
    • 4 -5 leaves iceberg lettuce

    Special Sauce

    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons ketchup
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
    • 1 tablespoon hot mustard
    • 2 teaspoons water
    • 1 -2 teaspoon garlic and red chile paste

    Stir Fry Sauce

    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar


  1. Make the special sauce by dissolving the sugar in water in a small bowl.
  2. Add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice and sesame oil
  1. Mix well and refrigerate this sauce until you're ready to serve.
  2. Combine the hot water with the hot mustard and set this aside as well.
  3. Eventually add your desired measurement of mustard and garlic chili sauce to the special sauce mixture to pour over the wraps.
  4. Bring oil to high heat in a wok or large frying pan.
  5. Saute chicken breasts for 4 to 5 minutes per side or done.
  6. Remove chicken from the pan and cool.
  7. Keep oil in the pan, keep hot.
  8. As chicken cools mince water chestnuts and mushrooms to about the size of small peas.
  9. Prepare the stir fry sauce by mixing the soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar together in a small bowl.
  10. When chicken is cool, mince it as the mushrooms and water chestnuts are.
  11. With the pan still on high heat, add another Tbsp of vegetable oil.
  12. Add chicken, garlic, onions, water chestnuts and mushrooms to the pan.
  13. Add the stir fry sauce to the pan and saute the mixture for a couple minutes then serve it in the lettuce"cups".
  14. Top with"Special Sauce".

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cucumber Club Lettuce Wrap --- TTC #2

I am trying very hard to lose some more weight and I see wraps listed on lots of diet plans. I am not fond of a large grouping of cold ingredients rolled up in a cold dry tortilla. Then I came acrossed  these one day at Kraft and thought I would give them a try....They are very Tasty!

Cucumber Club Lettuce Wrap 

(Prep Time:5 min * Total Time:5 min * Makes:1 serving, 2 wraps)

 2 pieces leaf lettuce
Cucumber Ranch Lettuce Wrap2 slices  smoked ham

1/4 cup chopped cucumber
1/4 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 tsp. KRAFT Light Ranch Reduced Fat Dressing

TOP lettuce leaves evenly with ham, cucumber and tomato.
Drizzle with dressing. 
ROLL up burrito style. 
SERVE immediately or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

*Side Note: My son made his with crispy chicken tenders instead of the ham and they were very tasty, just higher in calorie count.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

"Tuesday's with Dorie"... Pizza with Onion Confit


 I definitely will be making this again. We had a lot of Confit left over and I added it (cold) to my crispy chicken wrap the next day, it was really good too!

You can check out other great TWD recipes at "Tuesday's with Dorie". Come join the group and bake with us! 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Carrots... TTC #1

Before the 17th century, almost all carrots cultivated were purple. The modern day orange carrot wasn’t cultivated until Dutch growers in the late 16th century took mutant strains of the purple carrot, including yellow and white carrots and gradually developed them into the sweet, plump, orange variety we have today.

Before this, pretty much all carrots were purple with mutated versions occasionally popping up including the yellow and white carrots. These however were rarely cultivated and lacked the purple pigment anthocyanin, which gave carrots back then their distinctive purple color.

It is thought that the modern day orange carrot was developed by crossing the mutated yellow and white rooted carrots as well as varieties of wild carrots, which are quite distinct from cultivated carrots.

Some think that the reason the orange carrot became so popular in the Netherlands was in tribute to the emblem of the House of Orange and the struggle for Dutch independence. This could be, but it also might just be that the orange carrots that the Dutch developed were sweeter tasting and more fleshy than their purple counterparts, thus providing more food per plant and being better taste.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

        I am so excited to be jumping into a new year here at the pantry... I have always kind of considered 13 to be a lucky number for me. This year we decided we were going to have some fun with exploring recipes from 13 different avenues. This could be from cook books, friends, TV, internet or many other fun new resources that we will share with you as we go along.
       We will be continuing with our "Tuesday's with Dorie" group and the cookbook we are using this year is "Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan." So, please, check back often to check out all the fun we are having... Please feel free to join in cook and create right along with us. Post comments, good or bad, we don't care! Let us know how we are doing... :)