Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Terra Chip Salad

Another really delicious salad.  My Mom made this and brought it to my daughter's 4th birthday party and it was a HUGE hit.  Delicious sweet/tangy dressing with the crisp greens and veggies and the delicious nuts and crispy terra chips.  You can't go wrong, a must try!


1/3 C. oil
1/3 C. red wine vinegar
1/4 C. sugar
3 T. ketchup
2 T. grated onion
1 head romaine lettuce
1 C. spinach leaves
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed
1 (6 oz.) package of slivered almonds
1 (4 oz.) jar of pine nuts
1 (6 oz.) package of Terra chips, divided


Combine oil, vinegar, sugar, ketchup, and onion in a cruet or jar. Cover tightly and shake vigorously; set aside. Tear and combine lettuce, spinach, bell peppers, and avocado in a large bowl. Sprinkle with almonds and pine nuts. To serve, add dressing, tossing to coat. Crumble 3/4 package chips and sprinkle on top. Arrange chips around edge of bowl as a garnish.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Candied Walnuts

These are the easiest to make and OMG they are delish!!!. The trick to getting a shiny hard candy coating on the nuts is time and patience. You need to stand over the nuts and sugar and stir and stir until the sugar melts and turns amber. Everything must be melted and smooth. This was my first attempt at making these and they came out amazing. I used them in the strawberry mango salad that was posted a few days ago.


2 cups of walnuts
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon butter
pinch of salt


Place walnuts in a dry non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Toast walnuts (when you can smell them, they are done). Add sugar and lower heat to medium. Stir nuts and sugar constantly. When sugar begins to melt, add the butter and salt. Continue to stir as the sugar melts. Sugar must be completely melted and free from granules. When the sugar turns an amber color and coats the nuts, remove from the heat and transfer to a greased foil lined pan and spread out into a single layer (A silpat works best to prevent nuts from sticking). Allow to cool completely. Store in an air tight container.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Stawberry Mango Salad

1/2 C. sugar
3/4 C. vegetable oil
1/3 C. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. salt
8 C. mesclun or gourmet mixed salad greens
1 C. sweetened dried cranberries
1 C. strawberries, quartered
1 large mango, peeled, pitted and cubed
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 C. candied walnuts

Combine sugar, oil, vinegar, and salt in a cruet or jar.  Cover tightly and shake vigorously.  Combine greens, cranberries, strawberries, mango, and onion in a large bowl, tossing well.  To serve, toss with enough dressing to coat.  Sprinkle with candied walnuts.

Linked to Salad Roundup at Seaside Simplicity

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cous Cous Salad with Confetti Vegetables and Currants

A very light salad which would be good for lunch or brunch.  It can be made a day ahead and served cold or room temperature so it's a perfect side dish for a BBQ.


1 box of plain cous cous (whole wheat if you can find it)
1 cup of chopped tri colored sweet peppers (red, orange and yellow)
3 scallions chopped
1/2 cup of chopped shredded carrots
1/2 cup of currants

1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons of lemon zest (zest of 2 lemons)
1 teaspoon of djon mustard
2 teaspoons of honey
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

Cook cous cous according to package directions and set aside in a large bowl.  Whisk together lemon juice, zest, mustard, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Add chopped vegetables and currants to cooked cous cous and toss to combine.  Pour dressing over cous cous and vegetables and toss with a large spoon until evenly coated.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.  Serve cold or room temperature (I prefer room temperature).

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Oat Bran Meatloaf

Another way to get oat bran in your diet and it's DELICIOUS!  This meatloaf still has tons of flavor with the added addition of oat bran which give its a little bit of a nutty flavor.  Much healthier than using breadcrumbs.  Even the baby loved it!


1 lb meatloaf mix (or ground turkey)
2 eggs
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup of ketchup (no sugar, organic)
2 tablespoons minced onion
1/2 tablespoon seasoned salt
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup of oat bran


Mix all ingredients until combined and shape into a loaf. Bake for 1 hr at 350 degrees until brown on top and bottom.  Let stand for 10-15 minutes before slicing.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Chicken & Spinach Meatballs Arrabbiata

I have been trying to eat less carbs and fat. These meatballs are virtually carb free. But the little bit of carbohydrate is in the form of oat bran which is a very healthy grain and is said to help in weight loss. I love spicy marinara sauce so I was happy to find a jarred Arrabbiata sauce in the grocery store that was very low in sugar (only 3 grams per serving). The key is to use a lot of spices to add flavor. I went heavy on the garlic powder. The meatballs are really delicious and the look pretty with the bright green spinach laced throughout. You can substitute, beef or turkey ground meat for the chicken


1 jar of arribbiata sauce (I used Bella Familiga)
1 lb. ground chicken (you can use beef or turkey too)
1/3 cup of organic oat bran
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
2 teaspoons of minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained


Simmer sauce over medium heat. Mix the rest of the ingredients together. Roll into balls and drop into simmering sauce. Cook in sauce for approximately 30 minutes.

*note....The meatball mixture will be very soft. Roll carefully and drop into sauce trying not to touch the other meatballs. If you can't fit them all in at once, wait about 10 minutes for the meatballs to firm up and then you will be able to move them around to make room for more meatballs to drop in.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Award Winning Blueberry Cheesecake

 This recipe is from my mother. It has won awards. My sister Susan entered it in her Girl Scout bake-off contest and it won first place!! Hey an award is an award. Although it was actually a cherry cheesecake, not blueberry. My son Jack loves blueberry topping so, we switched it up. But you still get a very rich and creamy cheesecake. The recipe is very interesting since you bake it for a short time at a high heat and then let it sit in the turned off oven for an hour an a half to set up Of course you can make your own graham cracker crust and put it in a spring form pan but I didn't want to be bothered with all of that. I instead opted for a  prepared graham cracker pie crust since it's faster and easier.


1 lb. Philadelphia cream cheese (2 8 oz blocks)
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sour cream
1 prepared graham cracker pie crust
1 can of blueberry Comstock pie filling (original recipe made with Cherry)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees (yes, 425). In a mixer blend all ingredients. Pour into crust. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and open oven door slightly. Let bake for an additional 1 1/2 hours. Cover top with Comstock pie filling of your choice. Refrigerate overnight (don't skip the refrigerating step.  It needs to fully chill to be set).

Linked to Sweets for Saturday
Linked to A Themed Bakers Sunday

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Chicken with Artichokes and Capers

This is Martha Stewart Everyday Food recipe. I have tweaked it a bit. It is one of those chicken dishes that I can get everyone in my family to eat..even my picky eater. I serve it with whole wheat angel hair pasta but I think it would be equally good with couscous or rice.


course salt and ground pepper
1/4 cup all purpose flour
8 thin chicken cutlets (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
2 T olive oil
1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
1 can (14 0z.) artichoke hearts packed in water, rinsed, drained and quartered
2 T rinsed and drained capers
1-2 T fresh lemon juice
2 T butter or margarine
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves chopped


Place flour in a shallow dish, and season with salt and pepper. Dredge cutlets in flour mixture, shaking off excess. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken in batches, adding remaining oil as needed, until light golden, 1 to 3 minutes per side; transfer to a dish.

Add broth to skillet, and bring to a boil; cook until reduced by half. Add lemon juice and swirl in butter or margarine until melted. Add artichokes, capers and the chicken with any juices. Gently heat through. Top with chopped parsley. Serve hot with pasta, cous cous, or rice.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Oven Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower

I love to oven roast almost any vegetable but broccoli and cauliflower are my favorite.  When they are roasted in the oven they get a little nutty flavor to them and get a crunchy texture which is delicious.


1 head of broccoli (cut into florets)
1 head of cauliflower (cut into florets)
2-3 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Jane's Krazy Mixed up Salt (or Kosher salt or Sea salt)
Fresh cracked black pepper


Place broccoli and cauliflower florets on a cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle generously with Jane's Krazy Mixed up Salt and Fresh cracked pepper.  Toss with hands to coat vegetables.  Place in 400 degree oven and roast for 45 min - 1 hr going into oven periodically to toss broccoli and cauliflower around with a spatula or wooden spoon.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Oreo Cookie Trifle

I have been having a lot of fun making trifles lately. I made up this recipe because I didn't see anything that I liked online. Everything had cream cheese and powdered sugar in it (those ingredients will be good when I make a cheesecake trifle!!). My niece Ariel asked me to make an oreo cookie trifle for her birthday in June. I decided to try it out for my nephew Ben's birthday celebration this past week. Everyone liked it a lot. I might try it next time with chocolate cake and two layers of the vanilla pudding/oreo mixture. I guess it depends on what kind of chocolate to vanilla ratio you like in a dessert.


3 sleeves of Oreo cookies, hand crushed (reserve four whole cookies for garnish)
4 vanilla pudding cups
8 chocolate pudding cups
1 16 oz tub of cool whip
1 vanilla cake, cut into cubes


Empty all vanilla pudding cups into a bowl and add 1 sleeve of crushed oreo cookies into pudding mix well and set aside. In the bottom of the trifle bowl make a thin layer of crushed oreo's. Then put down a layer of vanilla cake cubes. Then a layer half of the chocolate pudding (4 pudding cups). Next a layer of crushed oreo cookies and a layer of cool whip. Next layer the vanilla/oreo pudding mixture. Next another layer of yellow cake, layer of chocolate pudding and remaining cool whip on top. Sprinkle remaining crushed oreos on top of cool whip and place four whole oreos in a decorative pattern. Chill for a few hours or overnight.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Chocolate Chip Crackle Cookies


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Linked to Sweets for Saturday