I've never been a fan of enchilada casserole, most likely because I don't like corn tortillas, and most of the recipes I've seen are laden with fat, calories and excess bad carbs. I decided to give it a try again, but to create a healthier version with all my favorite spices (there's a lot!) and after a few tries, I came out with the most delicious casserole that has since become our family's favorite! This enchilada casserole is warming, flavorful and delicious, without all the fat and calories to weigh you down. Serve with light sour cream or non-fat Greek yogurt and a salad. I'm sure once you try this recipe, it will become one of your favorites too! If you are gluten free, it's easy to substitute with your favorite gluten free tortilla. Enjoy!
If you don't have the patience to flip french toast, then french toast muffins might be your answer! I don't usually have good luck in the morning with traditional french toast or pancakes, I am easily distracted and almost always burn one side! However, I can manage muffins very well! I make these french toast muffins quite often and they are so simple and delicious. I vary the bread, sometimes I want a grainier texture and choose a dense bread with seeds and nuts or a softer bread, like potato or oat (which the kids prefer!) These are great for breakfast, brunch or a snack. Make ahead: prepare mixture the night before, cover and place in refrigerator. In the morning, fill the muffin cups and bake as directed. Serve them right out of the oven with syrup or jam, YUM! Enjoy!
Rich and decadent...those are the two words that describe these mocha brownies! The photo to the left is a perfect example of "do what I say, and not what I do!" I didn't wait until the brownies were cooled and added the frosting....only to watch it melt down the sides. That's ok though, because this brownie was SO incredibly delicious...I enjoyed every bite! Coconut oil and apple sauce replace the butter in the entire recipe (hence the "healthier" title) but add a subtle taste that is out of this world! Placing the brownie pan in the freezer after baking speeds up the cooling process (if you're impatient like me!) Add the frosting to the completely cooled brownies and let it set up nicely in the fridge if you want neat squares, otherwise enjoy warm! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does!
Daring Cooks' January Challenge - Arancine
January’s Daring Cooks’ challenge was a ball! The lovely Manu from Manu’s Menu brought our taste buds to the streets of Sicily and taught us her family tradition of making arancine – filled and fried balls of risotto. Delizioso!
Arancini or arancine originate from Sicily in the 10th century. Traditionally, arancine is arborio rice shaped into a ball, filled with meat and tomato sauce, mozzarella, and peas, then coated with breadcrumbs and fried. Today, there are many variations of arancine with different fillings, even chocolate! According to Wikipedia, The name derives from the food's shape and color, which is reminiscent of an orange (the Italian word for orange is arancia, and arancina means "little orange").
This was a real challenge for me, as the process of filling the rice balls was quite cumbersome. I stuffed about 4 balls the proper way before I decided to just mix the rice with the turkey! The process went quite smoothly after that and I got all the balls in the oven very quickly. I decided to bake them, because I'm just not a fry kind of gal!
My family loved my recipe for arancine, we dipped them in spaghetti sauce...YUM! I will definitely make them again! Enjoy!
Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge!
I have started (and sometimes completed) many challenges in my life, most of which have been physical; 100 push-up challenge, various ab and core challenges, squat challenge, The 30 Day Shred (I only got through 2 arduous weeks and sustained 3 injuries!) but the challenge that I am most proud of is qualifying for the Boston Marathon, which I FINALLY did last spring! It's January now, and I should be increasing my mileage and getting prepared to run the the race I've always dreamed of in a few months, but I didn't get into the race...I was just too slow. That is a risk that many marathoners take when trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Just because you qualify, does not mean that you will actually get into the race. The BAA chooses the fastest qualifiers first, then if there are any spots left, the runner is very lucky to make it in. I was devastated even before I knew I didn't get in. 4,000 runners signed up on the first day, it didn't look promising. I signed up, then after a couple of very long weeks of waiting, I got the email I had been dreading. These past months have been difficult, I just can't seem to get past this Boston Marathon thing, I am sad that I'm not going, and there's nothing I can do about it.....well, except....make bread! Cooking and baking make me happy, very much like running. I have been baking A LOT. I was perusing recipes one day and came across a baking challenge. The Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge hosted by Nicole from Pinch My Salt. Although the challenge started in 2009, it is still offered to anyone who wishes to participate. The rules of this challenge are easy, just purchase Peter Reinhart's book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice - Mastering The Art Of Extraordinary Bread, then start with the first recipe and bake yourself through the entire book! No time restrictions, start any time and work at your own pace. Perfect! And I don't even have to do a push up! My dad gave me the book for Christmas and my husband gave me a Kitchen Aid mixer (usually I get running stuff!) I am looking forward to this challenge and hopefully I will have built some patience to help me through the final miles in my fall marathon!
The kids just went back to school this morning after a LONG winter break! I made this coffee cake late last night in preparation for a busy morning. Trying to peel tired kids from their beds on a cold and snowy morning is not easy! This cake softened the blow... just a bit! My kids said it didn't taste like coffee, so I went into a long explaination about coffee cake! I decided to call it a streusel cake, so that there's no misconseption!
I'm ok with giving my kids cake for breakfast, when there's healthy stuff hidden inside! Whole wheat flour, eggs, Greek yogurt, low fat cream cheese, apple sauce, flax seed, almonds and cinnamon make this cake delicious and healthy too! No one will EVER know it's healthier! Enjoy!
Please feel free to comment below if you visit this page, I will be happy to reciprocate! Also, if you are interested in joining in on a weekly cooking challenge...check that out HERE!
Vegetables A-Z Cooking Challenge!
A is for Asparagus! Let's hear it for asparagus! YAY! Lol! This dish was inspired by my cooking challenge! This weeks challenge is to cook a vegetable starting with the letter A! I chose asparagus because it pairs nicely with fish, and that's what I had on hand. Hake is a thicker fish, similar to mahi mahi (without the expense) and our family really likes it. It is easy to cook, and it turns out perfectly every time.
If you haven't ever tried this method of cooking, you should definitely give it a try. The prep time is minimal (3-5 minutes) and cook time is 20 minutes! The result is a perfectly cooked fish and tender, but not mushy vegetable. ENJOY!
Total time: 25 minutes
Shepherd's Pie (or Cottage Pie - used synonymously) originated in the late 1700's in Scotland, Ireland and Northern England as a way for frugal housewives to utilize leftover meat (mutton or beef) and a new emerging edible crop, called potatoes! The original recipe included celery, carrots, stock, peas, and meat for the filling and a potato topping.
I grew up in a small village southwest of London, and have fond memories of enjoying the smell and taste of Shepherd's pie made by my Granny and my Mom. I have carried on the tradition in my own family, but have altered the ingredients slightly. The taste is similar, very flavorful and comforting, but with a lot less fat and calories. Enjoy!
SAVE & PRINT RECIPE
Tags: Shepherd's Pie, Cottage Pie, Healthy, Lean, Turkey, Potatoes, Peas, Carrots, Herbs, Comfort Food, England, Scotland, Ireland.
The December Daring Bakers' Challenge had us all Cheering - the lovely and talented Bourbonnatirix of Bourbonnatrix Bakes was our hostess and challenged us to make fun, delicious and creative whoopie pies!
I don't know who was more excited when I found out what we were going to be making...me, my husband, the kids or the dog!! I spent a long time perusing recipes, but none of the flavors appealed to me. Then I got to thinking...almond poppy seed birthday cake with cream cheese frosting is everyone's favorite. I couldn't find a recipe specifically for this flavor of whoopie pie, so I created my own cookie recipe and used Martha Stewart's cream cheese frosting recipe. I am very pleased how these turned out, they were absolutely sinfully delicious! Enjoy!
I got a new Kitchen Aid mixer for Christmas! I couldn't wait to make something...anything with my new mixer! I found a dog biscuit recipe on Pinterest and doctored it up with flax and herbs. Just to be safe, I Googled "safe herbs for dogs" and made sure the other ingredients were safe too. These were a blast to make with my daughter's dog shaped cookie cutter she got from Santa! These cookies smelled great and, our black lab loves them! Enjoy!
Tags: Dog Treats, Dog Biscuits, Healthy dog, Herbs for dogs, Flax for dogs.