Tumblr has been good to me, but it is time to move on. Blogger is much much more user friendly & I’ve been told numerous times that people are having trouble leaving comments on my Tumblr.
Please update your readers & follow me on Blogger! :)
I had a serious crunchy food craving yesterday & decided to finally take a look through the Emily Bites main course cupcake recipes that everyone raves about. Her original Taco Cupcakes inspired my version. Mine is vegetarian because I didn’t feel like eating ground beef last night. Skipping the beef & loading them up with black beans saved 2 PP per Cupcake! I ate two right out of the oven & they were incredible. Thanks for the idea, Emily!
The secret ingredients that made these so delicious were Cheeze Whiz & Trader Joe’s corn salsa. I always have a jar of that salsa in my fridge & it really brightens up meals. It’s sweet with a slight kick to it & is perfect against spicy salsa. I suggest going out & getting a jar, but if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you just sub in sub frozen corn kernels.
Black Bean Taco “Cupcakes”
Servings: 4 ● Points Plus: 4
1) Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a cupcake tin with non-stick spray & press a wonton wrapper into 8 cupcake holes.
2) Saute the onion in a pan. When soft add the black beans & garlic. Toss until the black beans are warm. Add 1/4 cup water and the taco seasoning, toss & turn off the heat.
3) In the cupcake tin, layer the following on top of the wonton wrapper:
4) Bake at 375 degrees for 18 minutes. Let cool & remove cupcakes from tin. Top with your favorite taco toppings!
My dog is getting huge! What happened to my tiny puppy?!
Oh yes, these happened. I’m known for bringing the sweetest of desserts to family parties. So much so that my dad’s best friend (who has a sweet tooth like no other) said to my mom, “Jamie’s coming right? What dessert did she come up with?” I tend to make fairly complex & time consuming desserts. Instead of standing over my stove & hand dipping truffles, I opted for these this year & they were by far the easiest thing I have ever made.
I originally saw these on Pinterest, and then followed link to link until I found the original recipe on Girl Meets Life. I love stumbling on new blogs. I made them in a 9x13 baking pan, which made them a bit thin. Next time I’ll use an 8x8 brownie pan instead. I bet these would be amazing as cake pops also.
Cake Batter Blondies
1) Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl & then mix in the 1/4 cup sprinkles & 1/2 cup white chocolate chips.
2) Spray a baking pan with non-stick spray & spread the cake mix into it. Add more sprinkles on top for decoration. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. You want the center to still be a bit gooey when you take them out of the oven.
3) Let cool & cut into squares. Stare at how pretty they are.
I mentioned the blog What’s Cookin’ Chicago? the other day & hope you all checked it out. She has some great recipes! I saw these on there & knew I wanted to make them immediately & finally got to it last night. One pound of ground chicken made 12 sliders so I froze more than half of them to have for quick lunches & dinners. Total win in my book.
Mine look nothing like the original recipe, but they were good. Not mind blowing, but good enough to eat over & over & post about. I opted for fresh herbs since I had some leftover from Thanksgiving & think you should to. The fresh sage really pops in these & they have all the flavors of fall. I served them on wheat potato dough slider buns (2 PP each) with honey mustard. Yum!
Chicken, Cheddar, & Roasted Apple Sliders
Adapted from What’s Cookin’ Chicago?
Servings: 12 ● Points Plus: 3 (without bun)
1) Pre-heat oven to 400. Place apple quarters on a baking sheet, spray with non-stick olive oil spray & roast for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Once done, process in your food processor until chopped, or mash with a fork.
2) In a large bowl, combine the apples with all other ingredients. Press into 12 small patties.
3) Either: fry them in oil (will add points), or bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees, flipping halfway through. I pan-fried them with some non-stick spray to get the outsides crispy, then finished them in the oven for 10 minutes.
4) Serve on slider buns with your favorite toppings.
Frank does not eat soup of any kind, except loaded baked potato. After talking to my friend Erica last night, who was making potato soup at home, I decided that I should make this for him. He loved it! The only other person who loves potatoes as much as Frank is my sister, who’s going to my house to get leftovers this afternoon.
This soup is a lightened up version of the loaded baked potato soup you would get at Applebee’s or any other restaurant. It’s so filling & perfect for a cold day. My recipe is adapted from Cooking Light’s. I subbed chicken stock for some of the milk & really liked the result. Top it with some extra crispy bacon, low fat shredded cheese, and scallions!
Baked Potato Soup.
Servings: 8 ● Points Plus: 8 (does not include toppings)
1) Pre-heat oven to 400. Pierce potatoes all over with a fork, wrap in aluminum foil, and bake for one hour. Once cooked, immerse in cold water & peel. Mash 3 of them, and dice the 4th.
2) Melt the butter in a large soup pot & add the onions and garlic. Reduce heat to medium and saute until soft, about 5-8 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high & add the flour. Whisk together. Slowly whisk in the half & half, and the low fat milk. Whisk like crazy until the flour is incorporated & it begins to bubble. Let it bubble, then reduce heat to medium & add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat again.
3) Add all of the potatoes, salt, pepper, onion powder, and bacon. Turn off the heat & fold in the sour cream (it will separate if too hot). Place back over medium heat and add the cheese. Stir & simmer for 20 minutes.
4) Ladle into bowl & top with whatever toppings you like.
Adapted from Ina Garten
I adore cauliflower, and anything that’s baked until cheesy & bubbly, so it made perfect sense that I would make this. It was so comforting & loaded with crunchy bits of cauliflower. This would be a perfect side dish to any meal. It’s rich, but not too rich, and I’ve lightened it up from the original recipe. Ina used gruyere cheese, but I opted for fontina & also roasted the cauliflower first. You can skip roasting the cauliflower, but I find that it gives it a much deeper taste when you roast it. Try it both ways!
Roasted Cauliflower Gratin
Servings: 6 ● Points Plus: 6
1) Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the cauliflower into small florets. Spread out on a baking sheet & spray with non-stick spray. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and paprika. Roast 30 minutes, or until it begins to brown, tossing halfway through.
2) Once the cauliflower is roasted, melt the Smart Balance. Add the flour and whisk together until a blonde paste forms. Slowly add the warm milk & whisk like crazy. Keep whisking until it begins to boil. Let it boil until it begins to thicken. Turn off heat, add 3/4 cup of the fontina, the parmesan, and a dash more salt & pepper.
3) Layer the cauliflower in a casserole dish & pour the cheese mixture over the top. Toss together. Add the breadcrumbs & remaining fontina on top. Bake 25-30 minutes until bubbling & the breadcrumbs are brown. If you want, you can broil for 5 minutes to make the breadcrumbs extra crispy.
Adapted from What’s Cookin’ Chicago? (go check out this blog. It’s wonderful!)
This recipe exceeded all of my expectations. I may or may not have stared at it through my oven in awe of the cheesy crust that formed. I served this with cauliflower gratin & a side of honey mustard for dipping. You don’t really need the honey mustard, but I’m an addict.
Putting everything into your food processor is the trick here. You can simply crush up the crackers, but something about having the cheddar & crackers be the same consistency made the breading perfect. I also added some panko to the mix for added crunch. They got a huge “wow” from Frank. Enjoy!
Cheddar, Cracker, & Panko Chicken
Servings: 4 ● Points Plus: 6
1) Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees & spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.
2) Place the scallions, cheddar, garlic, salt, pepper, and crackers in your food processor. Pulse until everything is the same size, making sure not to make everything too small. It should have the consistency of panko.
3) Place the crumb mixture into a dish, add the panko, and combine.
4) Spray the thin chicken breasts with the Pam spray, coat each side in the crumb mixture, and place on baking sheet. You might have to press the crumb mixture into the chicken to get it to stick. Once all of the chicken is coated bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, flipping the chicken half way through.
*Note: The Points Plus values are for the chicken AFTER they are coated. I was left with almost half of the crumb mixture & deducted the points from there to figure out the total of each serving.
This is a recipe that my future mother-in-law gave me & it’s one of my favorite things to make. It comes together so quickly & tastes better than alla vodka I’ve ordered in Italian restaurants. It isn’t too creamy, and the pieces of prosciutto give it a ton of flavor. Serve it over your favorite pasta or just dip some bread sticks in it. I like it both ways.
This sauce also makes an amazing pizza sauce. Alla vodka pizza is where it’s at.
Alla Vodka Sauce
Servings: 6 ● Points Plus: 6
1) Melt the butter in a large sauce pan. When it begins to foam add the prosciutto & saute until it begins to get crispy. Add the vodka to deglaze the pan. Scrape up any bits, bring to a boil, and let the vodka reduce.
2) Add the marinara sauce. Whisk the 1 TB of cornstarch into half a jar of water & add to the sauce pan. Add the half & half. Simmer about 15-20 minutes.
3) Add the parmesan cheese, salt, & pepper. Stir & serve immediately over pasta.
*Note: The points plus are for the sauce only. Pasta & bread sticks will add points, but they’re worth it.
I secretly love that I go to bed before Frank because I get some quality girl time with this mush.