Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mom's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

These were my FAVORITE cookies when I was a kid.  When my mom would make a batch for gifts she would take some melted white or milk chocolate and drizzle it on the top of them.  They're amazing.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies:

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) margarine, softened
2 tablespoons heat-stable sugar substitute equal to 3 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup egg substitute or 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup frozen unsweetened apple juice concentrate (thawed)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1/3 cup chocolate chips


Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.

In large bowl, beat margarine and sweetener or sugar until creamy. Add egg substitute; beat well. Add applesauce, apple juice concentrate and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, and salt; mix well. Add oats and chocolate chips; mix well.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets.

Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until firm to the touch and light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

When I was in college I worked at a small vegetarian cafe in town.  One of my favorite items was the sun-dried tomato pesto.  We served it as a sandwich topped with tons of veggies.

I love to spread it on bread, add some cheese, and toast it.  It has a hearty texture and would also work well with pasta or on some chicken as a topping.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto:
(Book Lover’s CafĂ©)

12 sun-dried tomatoes
½ cup olive oil
½ lemon, juiced
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp salt
½ cup blanched almonds, walnuts, or pine nuts.
Re-hydrate sun-dried tomatoes in hot water. Let stand for 15 minutes, drain. (Unless packed in oil)

Mix everything in a food processor.

It's awesome!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pan Seared Salmon

I'm in a wedding this coming May for one of my best friends (SQUEE!!!) and I'm using it as motivation to drop some more weight.  I've had a love-hate relationship with food for my whole life and while I love all foods I tend to love them too much.  I've had a lot of luck in the past with Weight Watchers so I'm giving it another shot.  Mr. T is doing it with me.

Tonight I decided to take advantage of the Sockeye Salmon that's on sale.  I didn't check the points out for the actual salmon before I went to the store.  The fillet I got came out to about 6 points.  This could be done with tilapia which is only 2 points per 3-ounce fillet.

Baked Salmon:(10 Weight Watchers Points)

1 salmon fillet
1 tablespoon butter (or margarine)
2 tablespoons plain breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Old Bay
salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 350. Mix the butter, breadcrumbs, garlic powder, salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese, and Old Bay together and spread on top of the salmon.

Spray a sheet pan with non-stick spray.  Place fish, crumb side up on the sheet and bake for 10-20 minutes or until the top is crispy.  Check mid way through and adjust time as needed.

Sorry for the bad picture.  I originally thought I'd just pan sear it but I think baking will turn out better, and less messy.  :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Liz's Spinach Thing

My good friend Liz sent me this.  I love spinach and i'm always looking for a new way to try it.  I can't wait to try it out!

Liz's Spinach Thing:
bag/box of frozen spinach
red wine vinegar
margarine or olive oil for the pan
sour cream

Heat some margarine or olive oil in a pan. Just enough to cover the bottom.  Add frozen spinach and heat until it's warm.  Add a splash of red wine vinegar (a little goes a long way) and continue cooking to reduce it down.  After the red wine vinegar is gone, turn the heat down and scoop some sour cream and mix it up (you want it to be about the consistency of mashed potatoes)

Thank you Liz!!  I can't wait to make it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Blueberry Spritzer

My sister made this drink for our 4th of July party this year.  It was really pretty good.

Blueberry Spritzer:
(My sister, Sara)

Blueberry juice
Lemon-Lime Soda
Seltzer Water

In a glass filled with ice pour enough blueberry juice to fill the glass up half way.

This was a really refreshing drink and did taste like syrup, the way soda can sometimes.  You could even add champagne if you wanted to make it an "adult beverage".

Friday, July 16, 2010

Saute Broccoli

When I made shrimp the other night I made a side of broccoli.  I love broccoli but I didn't feel like pulling the colander out of the cabinet.  I decided to saute it in a skillet, which I've never done before.  It turned out really good!

Just take the broccoli, add some olive oil to the pan and saute until it's hot all the way through.  I added some Old Bay, Salt, pepper, and some of the left over butter that I made the shrimp with.   I covered it with a lid and let it steam a bit until it was finished.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Jackie's "Special Sauce"

I was making crab cakes for supper the other night and wanted something to dip them in.  We also need to go to the grocery store so the options were few and far between.  I found mayo, ketchup, and Old Bay and went at it.

"Special Sauce":

1 teaspoon Old Bay
1/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup mayonnaise

Mix everything together.  Pour on top of food.

It was better than I thought it would be.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

BBQ Shrimp- Part 2

Remember when I shared my new love affair for New Orleans BBQ Shrimp?  I was determined to make it but I didn't know when.  Well, tonight was the night! 

Publix had shrimp on sale so I decided that it was better time than any to try it out.  I am so glad I did.  It's my new favorite shrimp recipe.   I used a recipe that came out of Screen Doors and Sweet Tea, which is one of my favorite cookbooks.  I tweaked it a little bit and it really is fantastic.

New Orleans BBQ Shrimp:
(adapted from: Screen Doors and Sweet Tea)

1 cup unsalted butter
½ cup olive oil
¼ Worcestershire Sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon blackening spice (I use Old Bay)
½ teaspoon Old Bay
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 lemon, thinly sliced
3 pounds of shrimp with the shell and tails on. (21-25 count)


Preheat oven to 400*.

In a large ovenproof skillet over low heat. Melt the butter with the olive oil.

Add the Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt, old bay(s), black pepper, thyme, rosemary, oregano, and lemon slices.

Add the shrimp and stir to coat well with the sauce.

Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the shrimp is pink. Stir occasionally.

Spoon the shrimp and sauce into bowl and serve with sliced French bread.

If I was smart i'd keep all of the shrimp shells and make a seafood stock out of them.  I can't wait to make this again.  It was amazing.

Spicy Sausage Dip

I love dips.  I think they are always a good thing to have a party.  You can buy one type of chip and have multiple dips to go with them.  Talk about easy!

I'm not the biggest fan of sausage but Mr. T loves it.  The rest of my family loves it too so I pulled this out of my Grandma's recipe box and updated it a little bit.

Spicy Sausage & Cheese Dip:

1 (16 oz.) package spicy sausage
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
½ red onion, diced small
1 jalapeno, diced small
Hot sauce, to taste


In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the crumbled sausage until browned. Drain. Reduce the heat and add the tomatoes, onions, jalapeno, cream cheese, and hot sauce. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is warmed through.  Add shredded cheeses and continue to stir until the ingredients are well blended. Serve warm.

**The original dip is just sausage, tomatoes with chilies, cream cheese, and hot sauce.**

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Banana Pudding

I'm from the South.  Banana Pudding is a big thing.  It's one of the dishes that I remember making with my Grandma.  She would leave my sister and I in charge of laying out the vanilla wafers.  To this day it's one of my favorite desserts, there have been days that I just got banana pudding for lunch.

Grandma's Banana Pudding:

3 cups cold milk
1 container of cool-whip
2 pkg. (4-serving size each) vanilla instant pudding
1 box vanilla wafers
3-4 medium bananas, sliced


Pour milk into large bowl. Add dry pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk until well blended. Let it sit for 5 minutes.  Fold in the container of cool-whip.

Layer the bottom and sides of your serving bowl with the wafers and top with layers of banana slices and pudding. Repeat until your serving bowl is full.

Refrigerate for 3 hours.

I don't usually add cool-whip to banana pudding but I was trying to stretch this recipe a little bit.  I had NO leftovers!!  I love banana pudding so much, plus it's an easy thing to make and it can be done the day before.

Monday, July 12, 2010


I'll admit it, i'm picky when it comes to coleslaw.  I hate sour slaw.  I love the slaw at Sonny's but that's about it.  I really wanted to try a coleslaw for our 4th of July cookout.  I found this one and it looked like it could be a winner.

Sweet and Creamy Coleslaw:
(Pioneer Woman- Tasty Kitchen)

1 cup Half-and-half
6 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
½ cups Sugar
2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
2 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 whole Medium Sized Head Of Cabbage, Grated
2-3 whole Carrots, Grated


In a lidded jar, shake together the half and half, vinegar, sugar, mayo, garlic, pepper, and salt until well blended.

Place grated cabbage and carrots in a large bowl, pour on dressing, toss together.

Chill at least an hour in the fridge before serving so flavors can blend.

Again, I forgot to take a final picture.  (I'm not doing well am I?!)  This was a really good slaw.  I made it the night before and let it sit all night.  I want to try to make the dressing a little thicker (more mayo?) next time but other than that the dressing was great.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

French Onion Soup Dip

This weekend Mr. T and I were talking and trying to figure out how to make french onion soup into a cheesy dip to serve with chips or bread.

I'm thinking that it could be something along the lines of a little beef stock, french onion soup mix, cream cheese, and swiss cheese.  I'll have to play around with it.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Confetti Corn Salad

Before Mr. T and I got married we had a bridal shower (I guess I should say I had a bridal shower, I think he went out with some friends and got wings).  One of the gifts I got was a cook book from my cousin Kristi.  She got it from the Junior League of Pensacola.  It's full of amazing recipes and invitation ideas for about a dozen different party themes.  I recommend it to anyone looking to add to their cookbook collection.

Spanish Confetti Corn Toss:
(adapted from: Invitation Only:Artful Entertaining Southern Style)

2 (16-ounce) cans whole kernel corn, drained
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
½ cup chopped purple onion
1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro
¼ cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin

Combine the corn, beans, tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, and cilantro in a large bowl and mix gently. Combine the vegetable oil, lime juice, chili powder, and cumin in a small bowl and mix well. Add to the vegetable mixture and mix gently. Chill, covered, for 3 hours or longer. Garnish with fresh cilantro sprigs and tortilla chips.

In the summer I think it would be nice to use fresh corn.  It just depends on what time of year it is and what you have available where you live.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bacon-Ranch Potato Salad

Confession: I'm not the biggest fan of cold potato salad.  I think i'm the only person in the south that feels that way.  I'm learning to love it.  My family on the other hand loves it.  I decided to compromise.  I'd make a potato salad for them and add bacon and ranch for me.

Bacon- Ranch Potato Salad:


2 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed
1 (12 ounce) package sliced bacon
1 ½ cups sour cream
½ cup + 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 bunch green onions, chopped
¼ red onion, minced
1 pinch Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons ranch salad dressing


Place the potatoes into a large pot and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until tender enough to pierce with a fork. Drain, cool enough to handle, and cut into cubes.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until browned and crisp. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Reserve bacon grease.

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, green onions, red onion, Italian seasoning and ranch dressing. Crumble the bacon into the bowl and pour half of the reserved bacon grease over all.  Stir gently until everything is evenly distributed.

Refrigerate over night for the best flavor.

For reals... this is amazing.  I love it and I have spread the bacon-ranch potato salad love to my friends and family.   :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Spinach Artichoke Dip

I love spinach dip.  In my quest to find the perfect spinach dip I have uncovered this one.  I'd like to thank Mungee's Ma for it.  It was a big hit at our 4th of July picnic this year.

Spinach Dip:(Mungee and Me)

1 package of cream cheese (8 oz.)
1 package of Amish Country Havarti Cheese.
1 package of Green Giant frozen creamed spinach.
1 can of artichoke hearts (drained and chopped).
Dash of garlic powder

In a microwave safe dish, combine cream cheese and Havarti cheese. Microwave about 2 minutes until cheeses melt and you can stir them together.

Defrost spinach in microwave and then add to cheese mixture along with chopped artichokes and a dash of garlic powder.

Microwave all ingredients together for about 3-4 minutes or until desired warmth.

I served it with corn chips because we had a lot of dips and I didn't want to buy a gazillion different types of chips.  I also forgot to take a picture of the finished product.  It was really good and i'm planning on making this again and again.  Thanks Mungee!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Trail Mix

My mom makes giant batches of trail mix throughout the year.  She would make it when I was in grade school and pack a little bag of it in our lunches.  I always loved it and when Mr. T and I were home this weekend I snagged a bag of it to bring home.

Mom's Trail Mix:

1 jar roasted peanuts
1 can of cashews
1 bag pecan halves
1 cup roasted sunflower seeds
1 cup m&ms
1 cup reese's pieces
1-2 cups dried pineapple
1/2 cup craisins

Pour the nuts onto a baking sheet and roast them in the oven for 5-10 minutes.

Mix everything together and keep it in an air tight container.

You can use anything you want in it.  Sometimes i'll add banana or apple chips.  Honey roasted peanuts are great too.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July Everyone!!

Friday, July 2, 2010


I love veggies.  My favorite supper to make is chicken or fish, yellow rice, and sauteed peppers, onions, and mushrooms.  I know it's not fancy but it's easy and good.

Sauteed Mushrooms, Peppers, and Onions:

1 bell pepper
1vidalia onion (or other sweet onion)
1 container of mushrooms.  I usually use baby bellas but use whatever you like or have available.
1 clove of garlic

Slice your peppers and onions into strips.  Mince your garlic clove.

Take your mushrooms.  Wipe them clean with a paper towel.  Cut each one in half.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.  Add one tablespoon of butter (or margarine) to the pan as well.  Let them heat up.

I usually add the peppers to the pan first and let them cook for about a minute.  Then I add everything else.

Stir everything so it all heats evenly.  Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!!  This really goes with everything and adds something fresh to a meal.  Plus, I just love peppers, onions, and mushrooms.