Friday, December 10, 2010

Cilantro Chicken Wontons with Kale

I am in LOVE with Trader Joe's Cilantro Chicken Wontons! They are delicious and healthy! Twice this week I stir-fried some in olive oil with chopped kale, added tomatoes and water and put a lid on to let them steam to perfection, then melted cheese on top! Delicious!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

80's Cake

 I made a chocolate cake with a fudge layer and buttercream frosting yesterday for a friend birthday. The party was an 80's/90's dance party and the cake was dressed to match! I used a slightly different cake doctor recipe than the last cake and it was DELICIOUS! Very moist and the chocolate chips were a great addition! For the fudge I used the Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk recipe and I made the Wilton buttercream recipe courtesy of my talented and beautiful sister.

Here are some photos and the recipes!

Ever-So-Moist Chocolate Cake
Serves: 16
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 28 to 32 minutes
Assembly time: 10 minutes

Solid vegetable shortening for greasing the pans
Flour for dusting the pans
1 package (18.25 ounces) devil's food cake mix with pudding
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease two 9-inch round cake pans with solid vegetable shortening, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pans aside.
2. Place the cake mix, sour cream, water, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed. The batter should look well combined. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place the pans in the oven side by side.
3. Bake the cakes until they spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 28 to 32 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Run a dinner knife around the edge of each layer and invert each onto a rack, then invert again onto another rack so that the cakes are right side up. Allow to cool completely, 30 minutes more.
* The Cake Mix Doctor says: If you are trying to cut calories and fat, substitute plain yogurt for the sour cream in the cake batter. But be forewarned that the sour cream produces a far moister cake than one with yogurt.


     3 cups (18 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
     1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Fat Free Sweetened Condensed Milk
     Dash salt
     1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
     LINE 8- or 9-inch pan with wax paper.
     MELT chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk and salt in heavy saucepan. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Spread evenly in prepared pan 
- I used my cake pan so it would fit right in between my cakes!

Wilton Buttercream courtesy of LC.

            1 cup crisco, 1 stick butter creamed together. 1 Tbsp vanilla. 
            Then 1 bag of confectioners sugar until incorporated. 
            Then 4-8 Tbsp of water depending on how thick you want it. I usually do around 6 for a regular cake. 
            Then whip for 10 minutes.
             (Can substitute vanilla for other flavors such as almond, raspberry, mint etc, or the water for other liquids such as coffee, espresso etc.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Angel Hair Pasta with Eggplant Tomato Sauce

Trying a new recipe from WW tonight! Makes 6 servings, so I will get to eat it ALL week!

1st step: Roasting red pepper and eggplant, always a good sign.

2nd Step: Make the sauce (with garlic and fresh tomato-another good sign)

3rd Step: Mix in pasta and Feta (wow).

Great recipe! Here it is (courtesy of


1 medium raw eggplant, baby-variety, sliced into 1/3- to 1/2-inch-thick rounds   
1 medium sweet red pepper(s), cut into 8 strips   

1 spray(s) olive oil cooking spray   

3/4 tsp table salt, divided   

1 medium garlic clove(s), minced   
2 large tomato(es), coarsely chopped   

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes   

1/8 tsp black pepper   

2 Tbsp basil, fresh, minced   
2 Tbsp chives, fresh, minced   
1/2 cup(s) fat-free chicken broth   

8 oz uncooked angel hair pasta, cooked according to package directions, drained   

4 oz reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled   


  • Preheat grill to medium.*
  • Place eggplant slices and pepper strips in a grill basket (or place vegetables on a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil with holes poked in it to allow smoke through). Off heat, coat vegetables with cooking spray; season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Place on grill and cook until lightly browned and tender, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Cut vegetables into bite-size pieces; set aside.
  • Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over low-medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and cook until slightly pulpy, about 1 minute more. Stir in vegetables, remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt, red pepper flakes, black pepper, basil, chives and broth; increase heat to medium-high. Cook until broth is slightly reduced and mixture has a sauce consistency, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add pasta and toss to coat. Stir in cheese just before serving. Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.


  • * You can roast the vegetables if you prefer. Preheat oven to 425ºF. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place vegetables on prepared baking sheet and coat with cooking spray; season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Roast, until lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.

    Let your garden dictate the vegetables for this recipe: sliced zucchini, yellow squash or red onion can be substituted for the eggplant.

Rise and Shiner!

One of the things I miss most about Burlington is the KKD Rise and Shiner! A fried egg, hash brown, and your choice of meat on a round roll! Usually we would get them at the end of a night out...but now I make them for Sunday brunch!

My version is lightened up but just as satisfying as the real deal! I used a Bagel Thin, frozen hashbrown patty, 2% cheese, morningstar farms "sausage" and an organic egg!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pumpkin Doughnuts

Last weekend I put down my drafting pen for a few hours and completed my first Daring Baker's Challenge! This month we all made doughnuts, any type was allowed but a few suggestions were given. Being completely obsessed with Pumpkin September through December, I chose to make the Pumpkin Doughnuts.

This was the first time I have ever made doughnuts, or fried anything for that matter! They were wonderful, I couldn't believe they looked like doughnuts, smelled like doughnuts, and tasted like doughnuts! After they cooled a little, I coated them in cinnamon sugar and filled them with pumpkin butter! Delicious!

The recipe can be found here:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Potato Soup

Used  bag of Bear Creek potato soup and spruced it up with chicken sausage, onions, red pepper flakes and kale! Tastes like Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana!


When I was younger I liked to completely veg out on the weekends, usually in front of the tv. Since we only got 12 channels I spent a lot of sunday mornings watching infomercials for things like the magic bullet, a little blender that chops and whips, of course I wanted one. Well, 14 years later my mom found one that was free and shipped it to me. Needless to say I have used it every day since she sent it!

My favorite way to use it is to take about 1/4 fat free milk and whip it to the consistency of the foam in a cappuccino and pour it over my morning coffee. It tastes so decadent and it is low in fat and calories. You can whip in all sorts of things too; pumpkin butter, cocoa and vanilla are my current favorite flavors. Yum.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Gina's Skinny Meatballs

Tonight we had a FANTASTIC dinner thanks to Gina of! I was craving spaghetti and meatballs, and her spinach infused, lightened up balls o meat were just the ticket! Having watched Food Inc last week we made them with certified organic beef from the pacific northwest and you could really taste the difference. We are trying really hard to sw
itch to as much local/organic meat and produce as we can, the amazing taste is great encouragement on this endeavor! is the recipe (directly copied from:

Skinny Italian Spinach MeatballsServings: 6 • Serving Size: 5 meatballs plus 4.5 oz sauce Points: 4 ww pts
Calories: 211.2 • Fat: 9.8 g Protein: 17.4 g Carb: 14.3 g Fiber: 4.2 g

  • 1 lb 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained of all liquid
  • 2 slices whole wheat Weight Watchers bread (or any half point bread)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese (or your favorite Parmesan Cheese)
  • salt and pepper
Tomato Sauce:
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves smashed garlic
  • 28 oz can Tuttorosso crushed tomatoes (my favorite)
  • 1/2 onion (don't chop)
  • salt and pepper
Wet bread with water then mash up with your hands. Add to large bowl and combine with chopped beef, chopped spinach, egg, garlic, parsley, grated cheese, salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients well until thoroughly combined. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, measure meat, then divide in two so that each meatball is 1/8th of a cup. Roll into little meatballs.

In a large pot, add olive oil and heat on medium. When hot add smashed garlic. When garlic is golden brown, add tomatoes, onion, salt and pepper and cover, reduce heat to low.

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, add 1 tbsp olive oil on low heat. When oil is hot add as many meatballs that will fit, cook on low, turning often so that all side get browned.

until the centers are cooked through. When finished, place on a dish lined with paper towels to blot any excess oil. Drop meatballs into sauce and continue cooking the remaining meatballs, repeating the process. When all meatballs are in the sauce, simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes. Discard onion and serve.

I used chopped onion- just added it after my garlic had warmed up a little and left it in. I really like bits of onion in my sauce! I was also feeling lazy so we had rustic meatballs with chopped garlic and big shavings of Parmesan! Yum. I served it with whole wheat pasta and baked zucchini with parmesan and garlic salt! Definitely a keeper! Tomorrow night we are having leftover meatballs in homemade subs and we were able to freeze 2 servings worth too!


If you live in Oregon (or the whole west coast really) you should get out your keys right now because you are going to want to get in the car and drive to Eugene or Portland after you see this! Last weekend we used a visiting friend as an excuse to get doughnuts at Voodoo...

The boys got a "Old Dirty Bastard" which has chocolate frosting, oreo crumbs and peanut butter drizzle and a "Maple Bacon Bar" which is basically your favorite greasy spoon breakfast in doughnut form. It sounds gross, but trust me it is goooood.

I got the namesake "Voodoo Doll Doughnut" - chocolate frosting, tons of raspberry filling and a pretzel rod to make all your hexes come true.

Amazing amazing doughnuts. Check it out at !

Friday, September 3, 2010

In the begining

I have been wanting to start a food blog for quite some time, tonight I finally found the motivation. I am joining the group The Daring Kitchen, as a "daring baker." This is all thanks to my new found appreciation for cake! I have a huge sweet tooth, but also find the balance between eating well and eating healthy. Having just lost 50 lbs on WW, this blog will showcase my healthy take on tasty meals and show off my oh-so-worth it splurges! Did I mention I am not a baker? Nope- a total newbie when it comes to baking, I'm not that fond of measuring, but I am very fond of sugar! Here goes nothing!