Thursday, July 28, 2011

Blue Cheese Buffalo Chicken Burger

Makes - 4 Burgers

Calories: 350
Fat: 15.4g
Cholesterol: 116mg
Sodium:  1034.9 mg
Carbs:  24.8g
Fiber:  5.6g
Sugars:  3.7g
Protein:  31.5g


1 lb. all natural ground chicken breast (I used Purdue Fit and Easy)
1/4 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce (I  put that $@#& on everything!) LOL
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 Tbl. canola oil
4 Light Whole Wheat Buns (I used Healthy Life brand)
4 oz. Blue Cheese (I used Buttermilk Blue brand)
8 oz. Light Sour Cream (I'm a Daisy gal)
2 large celery stalks, chopped
1 cup lettuce, chopped
salt & pepper to taste (optional)


In a small bowl combine blue cheese, sour cream, celery and salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

In a medium sized bowl combine ground chicken, hot sauce, green onions and dash of pepper.  Form mixture into four equal sized patties.  Heat a non-stick skillet to med-high heat.  When the skillet is ready, place the oil in the skillet and cook the patties approximately 7-8 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reached 165 degrees.

When the burgers are cooked through; place on the bottom half of a bun, top with 1/4 of the blue cheese mixture, 1/4 cup of chopped lettuce, and the other half of the bun.  Enjoy!

*PLEASE NOTE* Nutrition Facts are approximate.  They are calculated using, therefore they may not be 100% accurate and will vary depending on the brand of certain items.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

OKRA anyone?

First, let me say that it's been soooooo long since I've blogged that I'm surprised I remembered my password.

BUT I did...and here I am!  Blogging about......OKRA!  Snotty ol' okra. ☺

So, the Google search was on when I knew we were getting 1 lb. of okra in our produce basket last week.  The only way I've ever ate okra was in a deep fried is good...but my first thought was how to TRY and make this somewhat healthy?  My second thought was, isn't this stuff really slimy on the inside?  So, I typed: How to not keep okra from being slimy AND healthy okra recipes.  Nothing.  Well, I shouldn't say nothing...I guess I did find some non-snotty tips and a few lame recipes, but nothing that really jumped out at me.  So, I did what most home cooks do and went to All Recipes (that is what we all do, right?) in search for some other ways to prepare it.  Looking for something NOT FRIED and NOT GUMBO.  Nothing personal against the Gumbo, but it's like 105 degrees in our neck of the woods and I eat enough soups, stews, chowders and gumbos during the winter months to kill a horse.  So NO Gumbo, please!

Unfortunately, my search there didn't come up with a whole lot either, but here are a few recipes that jumped out to me: 

GRILLED OKRA - Grilled?  Healthy? Yes! So, I tried it.  Again...100 degree weather and the grill are not friends either so I decided to broil them instead.  Easy! 3 ingredients:  Okra, butter (or oil), cajun seasoning.  The recipe called for entirely too much butter and enough seasoning to burn my tongue off so I just did my own thing.  Here is what I did:

I put 1/2 lb. of the okra in a plastic bag, drizzled 1T canola oil and sprinkled 1T Cajun seasoning in the bag.  Shake. Shake. Shake.  Placed on a baking sheet and broiled for about 5-7 minutes on each side.  The okra should have a nice black char on the outside of them.  After letting them cool, I tried them.  The verdict?  They were delicious!  The larger pods should have cooked just a little bit longer, because the bigger ones still had some sliminess on the insides of them, but overall I would for sure make these again.  Maybe next time I'll actually grill them and hope for just a little more char broiled crunch!!! pictures...I started eating them and before I knew it they were gone!


OKRA PATTIES - Yes, these are still basically fried, but not DEEP I thought I would give them a try.  After grilling the first 1/2 lb, I only had 1/2 lb left, so I just cut the recipe in half.  Here are a few other changes I made:  I only used 1/4 cup of oil for a shallow fry (the recipe called for 3 cups...GEEZ!!!), I also used buttermilk in place of the water, and added a sprinkle of garlic just seemed like the right thing to do.  Anyway....they were just....okay???  They were really missing that crunch factor I was hoping for.  The flavor was very good though.  The onion and the okra balanced each other nicely, but the texture was it's downfall.  It more like a cake, still moist on the inside and kind of had some of the slimy snot thing going on, but nothing too terrible.  Probably won't make these again....I'm thinking the next time I go the fried route I'm gonna try this recipe: OKRA FRITTERS

So far, I've got to favorite way to eat okra was RAW.  Good ol' non-snotty FRESH okra!  The most healthy version of all....who knew???  So, if it happens to be summer and you are having people over....don't forget the okra on your veggie tray.  In it's raw form there is no slime.  It has a great flavor, perfect crunch and great for dipping.  Hmmm...I wouldn't mind some right now to dip in my favorite dip of all time.....some Roasted Red Pepper Hummus.  Chow!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Gold Medal

I love pasta! Who doesn't? For my birthday which was February 6th my mom and dad got me a pasta maker...that I've never used!?!!??!?? I know...ridiculous! But last week on my day off I was feeling adventurous. And I also felt like if I'm really going to get back into cooking all the time the way to do it was to get back to the basics and challenge myself. So I got on youtube and found a how to video. And then spent the rest of my afternoon getting back to the basics of what we all love and tackling my cooking "gold medal" The result was homemade pasta and homemade sauce.

Typically my posts include recipes and how to's, but I thought the best thing to do would be to include the video I watched... Pasta How To Video Maybe one day eventually I will have mastered the art of homemade pasta and will then post a recipe of my own, but until then you're all getting a youtube video too. :)

And I'll also put up the pics I took!

It turned out amazingly delicious! And was a lot easier to make than I thought it would be. (Just time consuming.) So, if you don't own a pasta maker I suggest you go out and buy one! 

Lots of Love,

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Go To Appetizer

Yes, I realize I haven't posted in 100 years. It's because I haven't cooked anything in 100 years. My only excuse which is a dumb one is that I've been dieting like crazy and the food that is fun and delicious for me to make is not so healthy... But I need to get back to cooking and back to blogging cause it's what I love... On that note:

If you are anything like me you can't go to a party and not bring something. I always feel like it's my duty to at least bring a bottle of my favorite wine. But typically I like to bring an appetizer or dessert. So this is my go to appetizer that's so easy to make and that everyone always loves.

Mexican Pinwheels
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1 (8 oz.) container sour cream
1 (4 oz.) can black olives, chopped
1 (4 oz.) can green chilies, chopped
1/2 c. green onions, chopped
1 c. Cheddar or Colby cheese, shredded
Soft tortillas (for burritos or tacos)

Start by mixing all ingredients together. Minus the tortilla's of course. Mix, mix, and mix some more because you want all the good stuff to be really mixed together. (Side note: I know the recipe says 1 cup cheddar confession for you today is that I usually just use the whole bag! There can never be too much cheese!)

Once it's all mixed together spread the mixture on the tortilla's, roll them up, and put in fridge to sit at least a couple hours. I usually do overnight. When you are ready, just cut them into slices and serve. (Another Side Note: The best thing about these is that while cutting them up you get to eat all the end pieces because you can't serve them...they aren't pretty enough.)

I'm thinking in the next couple weeks I'm going to try some other variations of the pinwheel: smoked salmon and dill, roast beef and horseradish, turkey and ranch... So I'll be posting those too!

It's good to be back!!!
Much Love,

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

I've been on a cooking hiatus recently... I've been eating out way too much and if I've learned anything from my hiatus it's that I truly do love home cooked food more than I love anything from a restaurant. Especially anything from a chain restaurant. So I need to get back into my home cooking routine.

On that note, I ate tuna and grapes for dinner which means there isn't anything exciting to post because I'm pretty sure no one wants to see pics of my canned tuna. So in honor of the rainy day we had I'm going to post my favorite comfort food recipe...mashed potatoes! And the best thing about these mashed potatoes is that you can make them the day before you need to serve them. And the other best thing, I've never met anyone who hasn't loved them!

Before the recipe, one quick note... This is comfort food at it's finest which means it has a lot of not good for you stuff in it. So instead of feeling guilty, save these for a holiday or a rainy day and enjoy!!! I'm telling you, these creamy mashed potatoes are guaranteed to make your heart happy!


5 pounds Russet Or Yukon Gold Potatoes
¾ cups Butter
1 package (8 Oz.) Cream Cheese, Softened
½ cups (to 3/4 Cups) Half-and-Half
½ teaspoons (to 1 Teaspoon) Lawry's Seasoned Salt
½ teaspoons (to 1 Teaspoon) Black Pepper

Peel and cut the potatoes into pieces that are generally the same size. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. When they’re cooked through, the fork should easily slide into the potatoes with no resistance, and the potatoes should almost, but not totally, fall apart. 
Drain the potatoes in a large colander. When the potatoes have finished draining, place them back into the dry pot and put the pot on the stove. Mash the potatoes over low heat, allowing all the steam to escape, before adding in all the other ingredients. 
Turn off the stove and add 1 ½ sticks of butter, an 8-ounce package of cream cheese and about ½ cup of half-and-half. Mash, mash, and mash some more! Next, add about ½ teaspoon of Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and ½ a teaspoon of black pepper. (If you're feeling really crazy add in some cheese too! Like sharp cheddar, parmesan, etc. Cheese makes anything better!) 
Stir well and place in a medium-sized baking dish. Throw a few pats of butter over the top of the potatoes and place them in a 350-degree oven and heat until butter is melted and potatoes are warmed through. 
Note: When making this dish a day or two in advance, take it out of the fridge about 2 to 3 hours before serving time. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 20 to 30 minutes or until warmed through.

You're going to LOVE these!!! Try them out on your next family get together or just because you had a crabby day. 

Much Love,

Saturday, May 14, 2011

RECIPE REVIEW ~ Jalapeno Pop'ems ♥♥♥♥♥


Bacon-Apple-Jalapeno Pop'ems* 

Recipe courtesy of Aarti Sequeria from Food Network.

   ♥♥♥♥♥ - 5 of out 5 hearts for me!!!  

These were wonderful.

The only substitution I made was that I used Oscar Meyer Lower Sodium Turkey bacon and I did have to cook them for an additional 10 minutes to get the bacon a little more crisp.  These were absolutely delicious!!!  I will for sure be making these again!  The ingredients are simple, inexpensive and as a member of Weight Watchers® these are a great appetizer for my calorie budget.  I'm not gonna lie - I ate 10 of these suckers as my dinner tonight, and it was only 7 WW points!!!  What a bargain!


*Recipe below has been copied and pasted from Food


  • 1 (8-ounce) package light cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 large granny smith apple, cored and minced
  • 3 large scallions, roots sliced off, green and white parts minced finely
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 20 jalapenos
  • 20 strips thin-sliced bacon, chopped in half
  • Special equipment: 40 toothpicks


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment.

In a large bowl, stir and break down the cream cheese until smooth. Add the apples and scallions, plus as much salt and freshly ground black pepper as you like.

Don a pair of plastic gloves so you don't burn your fingers or your eyes like I did. Slice each jalapeno in half lengthwise, and then either slice out the membranes or use a measuring spoon to scoop them out. Discard the seeds.

Either using a teaspoon or a small icing spatula, fill each jalapeno half with the cream cheese mixture; fill until just over the rim of the jalapeno. Wrap each pepper with a bacon half and secure with a toothpick. Line up the pop 'ems on the prepared baking sheet and pop into the oven until bacon has browned on the bottom, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes (which will be as long as you can resist them). Enjoy with a cold beer! Aaah!


It's that time of year....berry time!!!  Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries...any type of berries...I love them all. ♥

Here are two recipes passed onto me by two of my fellow produce co-opers and friends,  Jill Smith and Erin Foster.  After you make these super easy and delicious berry recipes you just may not ever buy syrup or salad dressing again.  :)

JILL'S BERRY SYRUP  Makes 1 cup of syrup

6 oz. blackberries (or whatever berry you like)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar (or 1/4 cup agave nectar)

In a saucepan combine ingredients.  Smash blackberries with a fork and bring to a boil.  Reduce to medium heat and cook for about 8-10 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool for about 5 minutes.

I'm not a fan of the seeds in my syrup so I like to strain it.
Serve warm over pancakes!!!  Heavenly!!!

Makes approximately 4 cups (When I made it I cut the recipe in half, but I bet it would freeze just fine)

1 quart strawberries
1 3/4 cups white balsamic vinegar
2 T fresh garlic, minced
3 T sugar or sugar substitute (I used agave nectar)
2 T poppy seeds (optional)

Blend all ingredients in a blender (I use my Magic Bullet) and store in the refrigerator.  Serve over fresh baby spinach, with chopped apples, pecans and feta cheese.