Monthly Archives: October 2012

Candy Corn Fruit Skewers

Fresh pineapple, mandarin oranges and mini marshmallows are skewered to resemble the fun fall treat, Candy Corn, perfect for fall and Halloween parties!

Candy Corn Fruit Skewers

In this simple, yet super fun recipe fresh pineapple, mandarin oranges and mini marshmallows are skewered to resemble the fun fall treat, Candy Corn!

Candy Corn Fruit Skewers

Serve them with a delicious fruit dip at a Halloween party or fall get-together!

pineapple, mandaran oranges, marshmallows, fruit dip, fruit skewers, candy corn, halloween, fall, vanilla yogurt, honey

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 pineapple (cubed)
  • 1 can (11 oz) mandarin oranges
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tbsp honey

Skewer the pineapple, oranges and marshmallows.  Mix the yogurt and honey together in a small bowl for dipping.

Candy Corn Fruit Skewers

A healthy alternative to all the candy and cookies that the fall holidays bring!

Candy Corn Fruit Skewers

5 from 1 vote
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Candy Corn Fruit Skewers

Fresh pineapple, mandarin oranges and mini marshmallows are skewered to resemble the fun fall treat, Candy Corn, perfect for fall and Halloween parties!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 24 skewers
Calories 32 kcal
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 pineapple cubed
  • 11 oz can mandarin oranges
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tbsp honey

Instructions

  1. Skewer the pineapple, oranges and marshmallows.
  2. Mix the yogurt and honey together in a small bowl for dipping.

Pumpkin Mudslide

The Pumpkin Mudslide is a fun seasonal twist on a traditional Mudslide combining pumpkin pie vodka and coffee liquor in a delicious fall cocktail!

Pumpkin Mudslide

Trick or Treat with a Delicious Drink! Happy Halloween!

Pumpkin Slide

This Pumpkin Mudslide is a fun seasonal twist on a traditional mudslide!

Pumpkin Mudslide Ingredients

Ingredients (makes 2 cocktails)

  • 2 shots coffee liqueur
  • 2 shots irish cream liqueur
  • ½ cup milk
  • dash cinnamon
  • ¼ cup pumpkin
  • 4 shots pumpkin pie vodka

Add all ingredients to shaker with ice and shake well.  Strain into a glass and top with whipped cream.

Pumpkin Pie Mudslide

Add sprinkles for a little extra fun!  (And who doesn’t like a little extra fun in their life??)

Pumpkin Mudslide

Rim the glass with sprinkles for even MORE fun!

Pumpkin Mudslide

Hope everyone has a Spook-tacular day!

5 from 1 vote
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Pumpkin Mudslide

The Pumpkin Mudslide is a fun seasonal twist on a traditional Mudslide combining pumpkin pie vodka and coffee liquor in a delicious fall cocktail!

Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 cocktails
Calories 530 kcal
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

  • 3 oz coffee liqueur
  • 3 oz irish cream liqueur
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 dash ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • 6 oz pumpkin pie vodka

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to shaker with ice and shake well.
  2. Strain into a glass and top with whipped cream.

Lemon Rosemary Basil Chicken

chicken, lemon, rosemary, basil, pasta, olive oil, herbs, recipe, food, dinner

This chicken recipe is so easy, yet so delicious!  A 15-minute marinade of lemon and herbs packs this grilled chicken dish with tons of flavor and is ready start-to-finish in 30 minutes!

chicken, lemon, rosemary, basil, pasta, olive oil, herbs, recipe, food, dinner
Prep & Marinade Time:  15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon (zested and juiced)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp steak seasoning
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary (chopped)
  • 2 lbs chicken

Begin by zesting one large lemon, then slicing the lemon open and squeezing the juice into a medium bowl. Next, add the olive oil and crushed garlic to the zest and juice.

Next, add the steak seasoning, basil and rosemary.  Combine well.

chicken, lemon, rosemary, basil, pasta, olive oil, herbs, recipe, food, dinnerAdd chicken to the marinade and coat well.

chicken, lemon, rosemary, basil, pasta, olive oil, herbs, recipe, food, dinnerPlace in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, remove and place on a pre-heated grill over medium heat.

chicken, lemon, rosemary, basil, pasta, olive oil, herbs, recipe, food, dinner, grillingGrill for 7-8 minutes, then flip. Grill for an additional 7-8 minutes, remove and place on top of pasta tossed in olive oil, garlic and tomatoes.

chicken, lemon, rosemary, basil, pasta, olive oil, herbs, recipe, food, dinnerThis is a perfect, easy weeknight dinner!

chicken, lemon, rosemary, basil, pasta, olive oil, herbs, recipe, food, dinnerThis chicken is also delicious sliced and placed on top of my Crisp Apple Salad!

chicken, lemon, rosemary, basil, pasta, olive oil, herbs, recipe, food, dinner, salad

Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies

Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies are a perfectly scrumptious treat for fall days and Halloween parties! They’re also easy to make in under 30 minutes!

Pumpkin Kiss Cookies

I spent a decent amount of last week scouring San Diego in search of these mythical “Hershey’s Pumpkin Spice Kisses”!

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Low and behold, they do exist!  I eventually found them at Target and turned them into these delicious chocolate pumpkin cookies for my annual Pumpkin Carving Party on Friday night!

They were a huge hit and I highly recommend you make them immediately! 🙂

Chocolate Pumpkin Kiss Cookie Ingredients

Ingredients (makes 2 dozen cookies)

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup butter (melted)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 24 Hershey’s Pumpkin Spice Kisses

Combine the flour, salt, baking soda and cocoa in a small mixing bowl.

Next, combine the butter, sugars, vanilla and egg in a large mixing bowl, then add the cocoa flour mixture.

Chocolate Cookie Batter

Mix until combined well.

Chocolate Cookie Dough

Roll into balls and place on a baking stone.

Chocolate Cookies

Bake at 325°F for 12 minutes.

Baked Chocolate Cookies

Top with the Kisses while warm to let the pumpkin goodness melt into the chocolate cookies!

Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies

These are now tied for “best cookie ever” with my Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Pumpkin Chocolate Cookies

The perfect fall cookie for pumpkin lovers everywhere!

Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies

 

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5 from 1 vote
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Chocolate Pumpkin Kiss Cookies

Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies are a perfectly scrumptious treat for fall days and Halloween parties! They're also easy to make in under 30 minutes!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 150 kcal
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 24 Hershey's Pumpkin Spice Kisses

Instructions

  1. Combine the flour, salt, baking soda and cocoa in a small mixing bowl.
  2. Combine the butter, sugars, vanilla and egg in a large mixing bowl, then add the cocoa flour mixture.

  3. Mix until combined well.
  4. Roll into balls and place on a baking stone.
  5. Bake at 325°F for 12 minutes.

  6. Top with the Kisses while warm to let the pumpkin goodness melt into the chocolate cookies!

Arizona Taco Festival, ¡Olé!’

El Hefe, Scottsdale, Arizona, Taco Festival, Zebra, Whitney Bond, Amy Black

The highlight of my weekend in Phoenix was most definitely the Third Annual Arizona Taco Festival. I love nothing more than the combination of tacos, margaritas, outdoor daytime festivals… and the occasional fake mustache!

Whitney Bond, fake mustaches, girls with fake mustaches, El Hefe Tent, Arizona Taco Festival

The event brought together the delicious taco makings of more than 40 local restaurants, bars and food trucks in and around Phoenix. Along with tacos came music, tequila tastings and sombreros a plenty!

Amy Black, Arizona Taco Festival, Sombreros, girl in sombrero, mexican clothing

This sombrero was won by a very nice man in a pepper eating contest, we found him after the contest and stole his hat… just kidding!  We just borrowed it for a pic!  The lovely lady modeling the hat is my friend Amy Black.

We started the day with Duck Mole Tacos topped with Guacamole and Jalapeños from El Hefe.

duck mole tacos, shredded duck tacos, margaritas, el hefe, arizona taco festival, scottsdale

You know that old saying, “save the best for last”, well I think we reversed it because this was my favorite taco of the day!

Although the next taco came in at a close second, it was the lobster taco from Chelsea’s Kitchen.

lobster tacos, chelsea's kitchen, scottsdale, phoenix, arizona taco festival, food, tacosBig chunks of lobster with avocado, tomato salsa and shredded lettuce = yum!

I’m not going to lie.  We didn’t have one taco throughout the day that I didn’t love!

Next, was the shredded beef taco from El Santo topped with fresh tomato salsa, arugula and cheese.

fresh tomato salsa, arugula, shredded beef, beef taco, El Santo, Scottsdale, Arizona Taco FestivalThe flavor of the beef was incredible!

Lastly was the chicken taco at La Hacienda.

chicken taco, la hacienda, arizona taco festival, avocado cream, salsa, tacos

La Hacienda was all-the-buzz at the festival, with everyone insisting we try their chicken tacos.  The tacos were topped with salsa verde, crema and cheese. They definitely lived up to their buzz, La Hacienda brought home “Reserve Grand Champion” in the taco competition for the third year in a row!

Before departing the delicious festival we did what we do best and found a photo booth!

Amy Black, Whitney Bond, Photo Booth, Arizona Taco Festival, Sombreros, Girls in Sombreros, Girls in Photobooth

This event is now on the calendar as an annual must attend!  See you next year Phoenix!

 

Single Sunday: Buffalo Salmon Burger Salad

Romaine lettuce, tomato, red onion, buffalo sauce, franks red hot buffalo sauce, blue cheese, blue cheese dressing, salmon burger, recipe, ingredients

On the One Year Anniversary of the blog I made the announcement that I would be adding “Chopped Challenge Thursdays” and “Single Sundays” to the site.

While “Chopped Challenge Thursdays” have been going strong, “Single Sundays” have yet to make an appearance on the blog.  I blame this on the fact that I cook like an Italian grandma (meals for 6 or more people!) and I’ve been busy, busy, busy!

But never fear, Single Sundays are here!

This week I whipped up a dish that was quick, delicious and easily prepared for one!

Romaine lettuce, tomato, red onion, buffalo sauce, franks red hot buffalo sauce, blue cheese, blue cheese dressing, salmon burger, recipe, ingredients

Prep Time: 4 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 1 salmon burger
  • 2 tbsp buffalo sauce
  • 1 cup romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 sliced red onion
  • 1/2 tomato (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp blue cheese dressing

Place the salmon burger in a small skillet over medium heat and cook for 3-4 minutes.

buffalo sauce, franks red hot buffalo sauce, salmon burger, recipe, ingredients, food, salmonFlip the burger and brush with half of the buffalo sauce.

buffalo sauce, franks red hot buffalo sauce, salmon burger, recipe, ingredients, food, salmonCook for 3-4 minutes then flip again and brush with the remaining buffalo sauce.

Remove from the heat and prepare the salad by combining the lettuce, tomatoes and onion.

Romaine lettuce, tomato, red onion, buffalo sauce, franks red hot buffalo sauce, blue cheese, blue cheese dressing, salmon burger, recipe, saladToss with the blue cheese dressing then place the salad mixture on a plate.

Romaine lettuce, tomato, red onion, buffalo sauce, franks red hot buffalo sauce, blue cheese, blue cheese dressing, salmon burger, recipe, ingredientsTop with the salmon burger and dig in!

Romaine lettuce, tomato, red onion, buffalo sauce, franks red hot buffalo sauce, blue cheese, blue cheese dressing, salmon burger, recipe, ingredientsThis makes for the perfect lunch or dinner for one filled with Omega 3 “happy” fatty acids from the salmon!

Romaine lettuce, tomato, red onion, buffalo sauce, franks red hot buffalo sauce, blue cheese, blue cheese dressing, salmon burger, recipe, ingredients

Salmon burgers can be found fresh or frozen in most major grocery stores.

Apple Cider Champagne Cocktail

Rich apple cider is paired with sparkling champagne, vodka, maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg to make a festive fall apple cider champagne cocktail!

Rich apple cider is paired with sparkling champagne, vodka, maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg to make a festive fall apple cider champagne cocktail!

This Apple Cider Champagne Cocktail could also be called a “Fall-mosa”, as it’s basically an Apple Cider Mimosa! It’s filled with the delicious flavors of fall like maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg!

Read the full post here!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Martini

Pumpkin Spice Latte Martini

If you’re like me, one of your favorite parts of Fall is all the pumpkin goodness that starts popping up around this time of year, including the ever-so-popular Pumpkin Spice Latte.

In this martini I combine Pumpkin Pie Vodka with Coffee Liquor for a martini that is sure to give you that boost you love from a latte with a little kick from the vodka!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Martini Ingredients

Ingredients (makes 1 martini)

  • 2 shots pumpkin pie vodka
  • 2 shots coffee liqueur
  • dash ground ginger
  • dash cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake well.

Strain into a martini glass rimmed with crushed graham crackers and serve with cinnamon stick to garnish.

Fall Pumpkin Spice Latte Cocktail

This is the perfect after-dinner drink for a cool fall night or sipping cocktail at a Halloween party!

Pumpkin Coffee Martini

White Chocolate Raspberry Phyllo Rolls

White Chocolate Raspberry Phyllo Rolls

Last week I took a night off from cooking dinner and was treated to a delicious meal at my friend Crystals house. Of course I couldn’t show up empty-handed so I offered to bring dessert!

I had phyllo dough in my fridge and white chocolate chips in my pantry so I decided to bring them together with tart raspberries.

White chocolate and raspberry are a perfect combination in this delicious dessert pastry.  Flakey phyllo dough encompasses the tasty pair for sweet perfection.

Raspberry White Chocolate Fillo Roll Ingredients

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (makes 10 phyllo rolls)

  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 10 sheets phyllo dough
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips

Start by combining the raspberries, cornstarch, lemon juice and sugar in a small bowl.

Sweet Raspberries

Lay out the phyllo dough and spray the top sheet with cooking spray.

How to oil phyllo dough

Start from the top and fold the phyllo dough in half.

Phyllo Dough

Next, place the raspberries 1 inch from the edge.

Sweet Red Raspberries in Phyllo Dough

Place the white chocolate chips on top.

White Chocolate Raspberry Phyllo Rolls

Next, fold in the sides of the phyllo dough.

How to roll phyllo dough

Then roll the dough into a cylinder shape and spray the top with cooking spray. Repeat the above steps 9 times.

Phyllo Rolls

Place the phyllo rolls in a 400° oven for 10-12 minutes.

Baked Raspberry Chocolate Fillo Rolls

Remove from the baking stone and serve.

White Chocolate Raspberry Dessert Rolls

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

White Chocolate Chip Raspberry Fillo Rolls

These are a quick and simple dessert with minimal ingredients that are perfect for taking to parties or serving as a weeknight after-dinner dessert!

White Chocolate Raspberry Phyllo Rolls

Now it’s time to dig in!

Dessert Phyllo Rolls

 

Meme’s Graham Cracker Cookie Sandwiches

graham crackers, powdered sugar, icing, frosting, cocoa, chocolate, cookie sandwich, recipe

My grandma Meme was always smiling, always baking and always had tons of love to give!

grandma, meme, christmas, home, oklahoma, family

I dedicated my 100th post on the blog to Meme by baking her Pink Lemonade Pie. Now I dedicate my 200th post to her!

I loved helping Meme in the kitchen growing up. She taught me lots about baking, including taste testing, you know, for quality control purposes! 😉

cookies, baking, grandma, granddaughter, oklahoma, kitchen

I was lucky enough to grow up in a time, place and family that had Meme’s and Papa’s instead of nannies and babysitters. Whenever Mom was working my brother and I would go spend the afternoons after school with my Meme. We were her only two grandchildren and she loved spoiling us.  She would always say we weren’t spoiled, we were “well-loved” and  I couldn’t agree more!

We were spoiled with loving gestures, such as making two pies so that my brother and I could each have our favorite. Or making pink and chocolate graham cracker cookie sandwiches because I wanted pink and my brother wanted chocolate! And these cookie sandwiches are what I am sharing with you all today.

While it may be one of the simplest recipes I post on the blog, it is also one that is filled with the most memories!

graham crackers, cocoa, milk, powdered sugar, red food coloring, recipe, ingredients, cookiesTotal Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients (makes 26 cookie sandwiches)

  • 9 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp cocoa
  • 2-3 drops red food coloring
  • 1 box graham crackers

Start by combining the powdered sugar and milk until no lumps exist. Separate the icing into three bowls.  In one bowl add the cocoa and in another add the food coloring.

icing, flavors, colors, chocolate, pink, white, powdered sugar, food coloring, cocoa, milkNext, spread the icing on one half of a graham cracker.

icing, powdered sugar, milk, graham crackers, cookies, sandwiches, frosting, ingredients

Then sandwich another graham cracker on top.

icing, powdered sugar, milk, graham crackers, cookies, sandwiches, frosting, ingredientsRepeat until all cookie sandwiches are made. Set to the side and allow the icing to harden so it doesn’t ooze out when you bite in…. or dig in and just let that icing ooze!

icing, powdered sugar, milk, graham crackers, cookies, sandwiches, frosting, ingredients

Chocolate for my brother.

chocolate, icing, powdered sugar, milk, graham crackers, cookies, sandwiches, frosting, ingredients, dessert, recipe

Put them all together and you have a neapolitan stack of cookie sandwiches!

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These brought back so many great childhood memories!

chocolate, icing, powdered sugar, milk, graham crackers, cookies, sandwiches, frosting, ingredients, dessert, recipeAnd tasted just like I remembered!

chocolate, icing, powdered sugar, milk, graham crackers, cookies, sandwiches, frosting, ingredients, dessert, recipe

 

Homemade Baked Sweet Potato Tots

These baked sweet potato tots are packed with vitamins A and C, filled with fiber and fat free, they’re a healthy, fun twist on traditional tater tots!

Homemade Sweet Potato Tots

What do you serve with a super healthy Sweet Potato Quinoa Burger that will compliment the burger without ruining its health benefits?  Homemade, gluten-free, baked sweet potato tots, of course!

A large serving of tater tots at a fast food chain packs:

  • 580 calories
  • 31 grams fat
  • 1450 mg sodium
  • No fiber
  • No vitamins

An equivalent serving of these delicious Sweet Potato Tots has:

  • 212 calories
  • ZERO grams fat
  • 434 mg sodium
  • 6 grams fiber
  • 689% vitamin a
  • 47% vitamin c

Simply said, this is one starchy side dish you can feel good about eating!

Sweet Potato Tater Tot Ingredients

Baked Sweet Potato Tots Ingredients

  • 1 lb sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Baked Sweet Potato Tots Instructions

Begin by boiling a large pot of water. Add the whole potatoes to the water with skins on. Boil for 20 minutes. Remove from the water and allow to cool.

Once cool enough to handle, shred the potatoes using a box grater.

*As you begin shredding the potatoes the skins will peel off. Snack on them while you prepare the tots or simply discard them.

Grated Sweet Potatoes

Add the grated sweet potatoes to a large bowl with the flour and salt. Combine well.

Sweet Potato Tater Tot Mixture

Now we get to my favorite part, putting the tots together. Actually my favorite part is eating them, but this part ranks up there simply because I lovingly named this process the “roll and squish”.

Roll…

How to make Sweet Potato Tater Tots

… and squish!

Sweet Potato Tots

And this is how you get perfectly shaped tater tots!

Place them on a baking sheet and into a 375°F oven.

Baked Sweet Potato Tots

Bake for 30 minutes or until crisp on the outside.

Homemade Sweet Potato Tater Tots

Now it’s time to dig in!

Sweet Potato Tater Tots

sweet potatoes, kosher salt, brown rice flour, ingredients, recipe, tater tots, homemade, baked, sweet potato tots
5 from 1 vote
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Homemade Baked Sweet Potato Tots

These baked sweet potato tots are packed with vitamins A and C, filled with fiber and fat free, they're a healthy, fun twist on traditional tater tots!
Course Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 24 tots
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

  • 1 lb sweet potatoes skins on
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.

  2. Add the potatoes to the water and boil for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from the water and allow to cool.
  4. Once cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes.
  5. Shred the peeled potatoes with a box grater.
  6. Add the grated sweet potatoes to a large bowl with the flour and salt. Combine well.
  7. Roll and squish the potatoes into tot shapes.
  8. Place them on a baking sheet and into a 375°F oven for 30 minutes.

White Chocolate Wedding Cake Martini

white chocolate, wedding cake, vodka, liqueur, liquor, cocktails, martini, chocolate syrup, drink

I hosted the dessert course of a Progressive Dinner last weekend and each house had their own signature cocktail.  What says signature Whitney and dessert cocktail more than a White Chocolate Wedding Cake Martini.  Check out my latest video on how to make your own!

 

Here’s a little shot of the drink in action at the party!

wedding cake, white chocolate, martini, dessert, cocktail, vodka, liquor, liqueur

Salud!

Spaghetti Squash with White Cheese Sauce

white cheese sauce, spaghetti squash, recipe, healthy, alternative to mac and cheese, basil, food, fall, easy

I asked and you responded, “what generally unhealthy dish would you like to see transformed into something healthy and delicious?”

The response was unanimous, Mac and Cheese.  So today I bring you the first ever “Transformation Tuesday”  where I turn a generally unhealthy dish into something healthy and yummy. Today I transformed Traditional Mac and Cheese into Spaghetti Squash with White Cheese Sauce.

The result was a delicious, gluten-free, vegetarian dish that packs way less calories, fat, carbs and sodium than any macaroni and cheese dish you will eat at a restaurant!

The Cheesecake Factory Macaroni and Cheese SIDE DISH packs 51 grams of fat, 1309 calories, 768 milligrams of sodium and 92 grams of carbs, and that’s just the side dish to the main course!!

My dinner portion of Spaghetti Squash with White Cheese Sauce comes in at 275 calories, 12 grams of fat, 335 milligrams of sodium and 10 grams of carbs for a 1 cup serving. Even if you double the serving size to 2 cups, you will still save 759 calories and 27 grams of fat!

Just to make the picture even more clear, if you are counting Weight Watcher points, one side of macaroni and cheese at The Cheesecake Factory counts for 25 points, while my dish weighs in at only 4 points!

squash, parmesan cheese, goat cheese, mozzarella cheese, soy milk, basil, garlic, olive oil, ricotta

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup part-skim mozzarella (shredded)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (shaved)
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup soy milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (to garnish)

Start by cutting the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and brush with the olive oil then sprinkle with the salt and pepper.  Place cut side down on a baking sheet and roast in the oven at 400°F for 45 minutes.

Spaghetti, Squash, Roasting, Oven, Food, Recipes, Cheesy Spaghetti Squash

Remove from the oven and watch this how-to video on what to do next!

 

Once all of the spaghetti squash has been added to the sauce, separate into four bowls and top with the fresh basil to serve.

white cheese sauce, spaghetti squash, recipe, healthy, alternative to mac and cheese, basil, food, fall, easy

Bacon, Stilton Apricot Cheese Stuffed Honey Glazed Pork Chops

Honey Glazed Pork Chops, recipe, food, honey glaze, pork chops, stuffed pork chops, stilton apricot cheese, bacon, dates

At my girls wine and cheese party a couple of weeks back I stumbled upon my new favorite cheese, Stilton Apricot.  I drizzled little bites of this amazing cheese with honey and paired it with chopped dates for the perfect bite!

After that night, I knew I had to do something with this amazing combination of ingredients. The simple thing to do would be to fill the dates with the cheese, wrap them in bacon and drizzle them with honey, very similar to the Bacon Wrapped Dates I prepare on a regular basis.  But that was too easy.

I knew I wanted to incorporate bacon into the ingredient list and what goes better with pork than… more pork.  That was when I decided to glaze pork chops with honey, then stuff them with the delicious mixture of Stilton Apricot cheese, chopped dates and bacon.

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The result was a completely amazing lunch for me and my friend Ruby!

honey, pork chops, bacon, stilton apricot cheese, dates, balsamic vinegar, mustard powder, ingredients, food, recipes

Ingredients

  • 2 pork chops
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates
  • 4 slices bacon (fried until crisp and chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Stilton apricot cheese

Start by glazing the pork chops. The video below will guide you with step by step instructions.

After 15 minutes in the oven, remove, flip the pork chops and baste with the rest of the honey glaze.

Honey Glazed Pork Chops, recipe, food, honey glaze, pork chops, cast iron skillet, how to

While the pork chops are in the oven, prepare the stuffing mixture in a small bowl by combining the dates, bacon and cheese. I also drizzled an additional tsp of honey into the mix to help bind the ingredients and for a little extra honey flavor!

chopped dates, stilton cheese, stilton apricot, apricots, bacon, pork chop stuffing, recipe, food

Once the pork chops have been basted with the honey glaze on both sides and cooked for 15 minutes each remove them from the oven and place on a cutting a board.

Honey Glazed Pork Chops, recipe, food, honey glaze, pork chops, cast iron skillet, cutting board

Allow to cool enough to handle or use a pair of tongs to hold the pork chop in place while slicing through the center to stuff. Slice the pork chop through the middle while keeping the edges in tact..

Stuffed Pork Chops, how to, Honey Glazed Pork Chops, recipe, food, honey glaze, pork chops, cast iron skilletStuff with the bacon, cheese mixture.

stuffed pork chops, Honey Glazed Pork Chops, recipe, food, honey glaze, pork chops, dates, bacon, stilton cheesePlace the pork chops back into the cast iron skillet and into the oven for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is slightly melted.

Honey Glazed Pork Chops, recipe, food, honey glaze, pork chops, cast iron skillet, stilton apricot cheese, stuffed pork chops, bacon, datesRemove the pork chops from the skillet. Heat the honey glaze in the bottom of the skillet on the stove top over high heat to reduce.

Honey Glazed Pork Chops, recipe, food, honey glaze, pork chops, cast iron skillet, honey, balsamic vinegar, reduction, glazeOnce the glaze comes to a boil and reduces by half, brush the mixture on top of the pork chops and serve.

Honey Glazed Pork Chops, recipe, food, honey glaze, pork chops, stuffed pork chops, stilton apricot cheese, bacon, datesThere was extra cheese and bacon mixture leftover, so I put a little on top, there can never be too much cheese and bacon!

Honey Glazed Pork Chops, recipe, food, honey glaze, pork chops, stuffed pork chops, stilton apricot cheese, bacon, dates, balcony, lemonade, presentationThese were the most juicy and flavorful pork chops I’ve ever eaten and made for a perfect lunch paired with sautéed kale and fresh lemonade!

Honey Glazed Pork Chops, recipe, food, honey glaze, pork chops, stuffed pork chops, stilton apricot cheese, bacon, dates, balcony, lemonade, presentation

 

Roasted Asian Vegetables

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As a side for my Teriyaki Pineapple Short Ribs I decided to roast a combination of beets, bell peppers, onions and carrots in a sweet Asian sauce, similar to that of the sauce in which I pressure cooked the short ribs.

The result was a delicious side dish that would go perfectly with any Asian dish.

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Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 red onion (chopped)
  • 1 green bell pepper (de-seeded and chopped)
  • 1 8 oz package steamed and peeled baby beets (chopped)
  • 2 carrots (peeled and chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (sliced)
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup cooking sake
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Start by chopping all of the vegetables and garlic, then placing them on a rimmed baking sheet.

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Next, whisk together the sesame oil, soy sauce, sake, ginger and honey in a small bowl.

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Pour the mixture evenly over the vegetables, then top with sesame seeds.

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Place in the oven at 400° for 20 minutes, tossing half way through cooking. Remove from the oven and place into a serving bowl.

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I topped mine with chopped green options for a little extra color and flavor.  Totally optional!

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Serve on the side of your favorite Asian dish!

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Pineapple Teriyaki Short Ribs

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One goal I have on the blog is to continually diversify the recipes I create with interesting ingredients, unique cooking techniques and experimentation with different cuisines. This week I incorporated a rarely used cooking technique into my dish, pressure cooking.

Up until this week, the soul purpose of my shiny silver pressure cooker was to simply cook chicken. That chicken would then be shredded and placed into a dish that would more-than-likely get smothered in delicious buffalo sauce for one of my favorite dips or pastas.

The game has now changed. Cooking in the pressure cooker is a quick and easy way to get flavorful, melt-in-your-mouth short ribs.

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Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 lb beef short ribs
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 cups onions (chopped)
  • 4 garlic cloves (sliced)
  • 1 cup cooking sake
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks

Start by heating the sesame oil in the bottom of the pressure cooker over medium heat. While the oil is heating rub the short ribs with the salt, pepper and ginger.

Once the oil is heated, add the short ribs to the pan and sear lightly, 1-2 minutes on each side.

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short ribs, beef, teriyaki, pineapple, pressure cooker, dinner, food, recipe, soy sauce, ginger, onions, garlic, honeyPour the cooking sake on top.  Allow to simmer 3-4 minutes, then add the beef broth, soy sauce, honey, brown sugar and pineapple chunks.

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Add the lid to the pressure cooker and turn the heat to high.  Once it pressures up, turn the heat to low and cook for an additional 15 minutes.

Remove the cooker from the heat and allow to pressure down before removing the lid. Once the lid is off, pour 1 cup of the sauce from the pressure cooker into a skillet over high heat. Allow the sauce to reduce to a glaze.

Remove the short ribs from the pressure cooker and brush with the glaze.  Strain the pineapples and onions out of the sauce and place on top.

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I served mine over a bed of cilantro lime rice.

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This could easily be served on its own, but being the over-achieving over-indulging girl I am, I also made a side of Roasted Asian Vegetables.

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This made for a lovely little Sunday night sunset meal on the balcony!

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