Thursday, June 30, 2011

Yogurt Parfaits

Mmmm parfaits. You could make me a beet and turnip parfait and I would still probably love it. Something about layers makes them delicious.

So the other morning, for a quick weekend breakfast, I indulged in this one! Greek yogurt, blueberries, and granola. I used Chobani non-fat vanila yogurt with Kellog's reduced fat granola and fresh blueberries, but you could mix it up any which way, with frozen fruit, plain yogurt, or maybe some honey if you're feeling wild.

Nom nom. Too delicious to take an in-focus photo.
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Friday, June 17, 2011

Chicken Sausage & Caramelized Onion Flatbread

Mmm pizza. I did a post on homemade pizza this winter, but this one is different enough to warrant its own day in the sun.

I got my inspiration for this at none other than Bertucci's (chain Italian restaurant if you're not familiar). I had a delicious brick oven pizza there featuring a lemon cream sauce, caramelized onions, and prosciutto.

Of course, I made modifications. Start with some onions. (And preheat your oven to 400 to prep.)

Sautee the onions in some olive oil and a pinch of brown sugar. Stir them occasionally to keep from burning.

While you're waiting for the onions to caramelize, do a couple things. First: cut up some chicken sausage (I went with this over prosciutto because I had it handy).

Next, make your "cream" sauce. For a lighter option, I made mine with Greek yogurt. I mixed two tablespoons of plain fat-free yogurt with about a teaspoon of lemon juice and spices: salt, black pepper, garlic powder, dried basil, and Paula Deen's "pepper mix" (everyone has that in their spice cabinet, right?). Mix, taste, re-season, repeat. I inevitably add more garlic powder.

Once the onions are soft, throw your chicken sausage in with them. This isn't essential (assuming your sausage is already cooked), but it's nice to brown it and get the onion flavor really incorporated.

Assemble your flat bread. I used Trader Joe's whole wheat pita here, although I've used their naan before too for a thicker crust. Spoon the yogurt sauce on and then top with sausage, onions, and a couple tablespoons of freshly grated parmesan.

Into the oven. I cooked the flatbread for 6 minutes at 400 and then put it under the broiler for about a minute and a half. Golden perfection.

Looks done, right? But not without my favorite ingredient: arugula.

Slice your pizza and top with arugula to get some greens in. And add a Magic Hat Wacko to get some beer in.
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Monday, June 13, 2011

Kiss Cookies

Mmm chocolate on chocolate. If you're a cocoa fan like myself, you'll love these. And they're super simple to whip together.

I used this recipe from the Curvy Carrot, and the only modification I made was adding about a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice to the dough to bring out the cocoa flavor.

Here's the star of the show: the Hershey's kiss. In dark, milk, and hug variety. I actually hate white chocolate, but I thought the hugs would look cute. Plus, I made these for my coworkers and I assumed (correctly) that some of them would like white chocolate.

And of course, my favorite, sprinkles. Lots of em.

Once the dough was made, I let it chill in the freezer for a few minutes to make it more workable and then rolled into tablespoon sized balls. I rolled each ball in sprinkles...

... and then pushed my thumb in them to make an indentation. They baked at 375 degrees for 8 minutes.

While they were in the oven, I unwrapped my kisses. As soon as the cookies came out, on went a kiss (or hug)!

These were yummy. The cocoa gives them a nice dark flavor, and they stayed soft throughout the next day (the cookies weren't around after that, so I can't vouch for their long-term softness).

One hint: don't try to make these on a 95 degree day before you've put in your AC units. My dough (and chocolate kisses) were getting constantly gooey, making rotations in the fridge necessary.
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Monday, June 6, 2011

Kitchen Sink Salad

I used to not like salads as an entree. They seemed so boring. I needed more. But I finally figured out I just wasn't putting enough good stuff in them. So now my philosophy is to dump as many things I love on top of some greens. Behold:

The Kitchen Sink Salad. Everything good. And completely customizable.

Start with some greens. I've been having a chronic arugula craving lately, but it doesn't really stock that many nutrients on its own, so I used half baby spinach as well.

Next I chopped some fruits and veggies. The grapes and blueberries add a little sweetness without being overpowering. Tomatoes are a must for me in any salad, and these little grape ones are so cute. And, of course, avocado adds some creamy deliciousness. (Meanwhile, I was roasting some chopped yellow squash in the toaster oven on 400 degrees to soften it.)

Since this is dinner, we need some bulk. My favorites: a soft-boiled egg and baby potatoes. These creamer potatoes add an amazing texture to the salad. And I realize some people might get grossed out by the soft-boiled egg, but the runny yolk mixing with everything else is like heaven to me.

Annnd everything assembled. Spinach, arugula, blueberries, tomatoes, avocado, summer squash, grapes, egg, and potatoes. And topped with my homemade dressing: olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, brown mustard, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried basil. Measured in whatever proportions come to mind when I make it.

Not pictured: the kitchen sink.
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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fruit Pizza

I know, it's been like two weeks since my last post. I'm busy! I'm sure my 3 readers will understand.

We had a Memorial Day/Birthday Party barbecue this weekend for my friend Shar and in place of birthday cake, I made my summer favorite: fruit pizza.

I LOVE pizza (so does Shar). But don't worry, this isn't some weird twist on Canadian bacon and pineapple (gross). It's straight up dessert.

Crust: sugar cookie
Sauce: whipped cream/cream cheese concoction
Toppings: what else? Fruit!

So simple and amazingly delicious. Trust me. You wouldn't imagine these simple ingredients could taste so good together.

Fruit Pizza

Sugar cookie dough (I cheated - using a 16.5 oz Pillsbury roll is super easy!)
8 oz reduced fat cream cheese
8 oz lite Cool Whip
Sliced fruit (I use bananas, strawberries, kiwi, and blueberries to get the full rainbow)
Lemon, lime, or orange juice

Roll the sugar cookie dough onto a 12" circular pan. Preheat the oven and bake for 12 minutes or until set and browning on the bottom.

Cool cooked crust in fridge or freezer for about an hour.

Combine softened cream cheese and Cool Whip (using an electric mixer will do a better job getting all the cream cheese chunks blended).

Spread cream cheese "sauce" on cooled crust.

Place sliced fruit on the sauce. Take your time and make it pretty if making this for a crowd. Throw it in a huge heap in the middle if you plan on devouring this alone. (No judgement here.)

To keep the bananas from browning: after you slice your bananas (or any other fruit that is prone to brown), toss them in a bowl with citrus juice (I used lemon to add some tang). Let the banana sit in the juice for a few minutes before placing them on the pizza. Spritz a little extra fruit juice on the finished pie just to be sure.

You can't have just one slice. Trust me. That's why you should try to use the reduced fat cream cheese and whipped cream. Trust me.
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