Saturday, February 28, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Style Meatball Stromboli

Wow! I used three major ingredients in this stromboli and it was unbelievably flavorful! (I thought cheese would only add calories and the flavor would get lost so I didn’t use any…and I didn’t miss it.

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For the dough recipe and basic technique, see my previous post here. The only difference is that this time I placed all the ingredients along one side of the rolled out rectangular shaped pizza dough and then folded the top half of the dough over it. foodblog 029

Cut 4 air holes on the top before baking. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with dried herbs. Bake at 500 degrees for 12 minutes.

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I ate 1/4 of the stromboli which totaled 385 calories (225 dough, 40 pizza sauce, and 120 meatballs).

Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Dough: Nutrition Facts, per ball


We’re off to do a little shopping, wine tasting, pizza eating and UK basketball watching!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Black Bean Brownies

This weeks Blogger Secret Ingredient (BSI) is black beans! I immediately knew that I would scrounge about this recipe and finally get to give it a try. These are fudgy, chewy, and dense. I couldn't taste the beans at all! The bean puree replaced some of the oil and egg for moisture and added, of course, so great protein and fiber!

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Though they required a couple bowls and the food processor to prepare (I love one bowl recipes), once I had my ingredients out on the counter, I had these in the oven within about 10 minutes!

  • 7 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup unsalted light butter
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup light agave nectar or honey
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick vegetable cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper, pushing it into corners and up sides of pan; overhang will help in removal of baked brownies. Spray paper with nonstick cooking spray.

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2. In medium heatproof bowl melt chocolate and butter in microwave for approx 1-2 minutes, until mixture is smooth. Whisk in cocoa and apple sauce until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. Place the beans, the vanilla extract, and about 1/2 cup of the melted chocolate mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Blend about 2 minutes, or until smooth. The batter should be thick and the beans smooth. Set aside.

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4. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, honey, and salt until combined, about 15 seconds. Add the bean mixture to the chocolate mixture. Stir until blended well. Add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture. Mix well; then stir in flour until just combined.

5. Pour mixture into prepared pan, spread into corners, and level surface with rubber spatula; bake until slightly puffed, 35 to 40 minutes.

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6. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, and then remove brownies from pan. Cut into 24 pieces and serve. (Do not cut brownies until ready to serve; brownies can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated up to 5 days.)

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Makes 24 brownies


Banana Whipped Sweet Potato Casserole

2 small bananas (or 1 large), smashed (secret ingredient!)
4 1/2 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
1/4 cup light butter, melted
1/3 cup 1% milk
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten

1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup light butter
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.

In a large bowl, mix together smashed bananas, mashed sweet potatoes, 1/2 cup butter, milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs. Spread sweet potato mixture into the prepared baking dish.

In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar and flour. Cut in 1/3 cup butter until mixture is crumbly, then stir in pecans. Sprinkle pecan mixture over the sweet potatoes.

Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Kath Eat's (aka KERF) T-shirt GIveaway

I’ve browsed Kath’s KERF Store many times (who hasn’t, right? :). Well, I recently found myself with some extra Valentine’s Day cash and thought the KERF Store would be the perfect thing to splurge on. I decided to purchase the jersey t-shirt, size L in pink! Unfortunately it didn’t fit…but thanks to the super friendly people at Café Press that could be good news for you!
From Café Press, “I want you to be 100% satisfied with everything you purchase at I am ordering you a replacement right away at no additional charge. There is no need for a return! I don't want you to incur any additional shipping charges. Please keep the original as our way of saying thanks for shopping at” How cool was that of them? I was totally impressed by this great company!

Now I have a great fitting t-shirt and one to share with another KERF fan!

There are two ways to win the KERF t-shirt! Deadline: Tuesday, March 3 at 12 PM EST

1. Earn one chance if you leave a comment on this post. (If you don't have a blog, please leave your email address so I can contact you if you win!)

2. Earn a second chance if you link back to my contest on your blog and leave a second comment with the link that let’s me know you’ve done so.

Good luck!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

CEiMB: Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes, Capers and Orzo

This week we were hosted by Cookies with Boys!  I love making this Ellie Krieger shrimp recipe, see here and here, but last evening I was in the mood to change it up!  Now that you’ve given Ellie’s a try, I hope you’ll enjoy this twist as well!

This dish was FULL of comfort: hearty pasta, creamy sauce, crisp bacon, salty capers and sweet shrimp and tomatoes!

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2 slices bacon
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
I lb orzo
8 oz reduced fat cream cheese
1 box frozen spinach, thawed
1 15 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled, deveined
3 tablespoons capers
4 teaspoons minced fresh oregano

Preheat oven to 400. Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Cook pasta 7-8 minutes.

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Meanwhile, pat shrimp dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper, set aside.

Cook bacon, until browned and crisp.  Remove from pan, cool, and break into bite sized pieces.  Wipe the pan clean and warm the spinach, garlic, tomatoes, oregano, capers, and cream cheese in the same pan, about 3-4 minutes.  Add the shrimp, cover for 2-3 minutes.  Stir in the cooked orzo, stirring until the orzo is coated with the sauce mixture.

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4. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, in an oven-proof skillet or a10x10 casserole dish.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mardi Gras: King Cake

Just thought I would share a great King Cake recipe that I tried out a couple years ago. It took a little time and love to make, but it was super easy! I used the recipe shown on the Martha Stewart Show, below.


Makes 2 King Cakes

1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for bowl and baking sheet
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 (1/4-ounce) package active-dry yeast
1/3 cup warm (110 degrees) water
5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup milk
Sanding sugar, for garnish

In a small saucepan, combine evaporated milk, butter, and 1/3 cup granulated sugar over medium heat until incorporated; remove from heat. Let cool slightly, and stir in vanilla; set aside.

Stir 1 tablespoon granulated sugar into warm water. Add yeast, and set aside until mixture begins to bubble, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, butter a large bowl; set aside.

Combine flour and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together eggs and milk mixture on medium speed; add yeast mixture. Mix until combined. Gradually add flour, beating until fully incorporated.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead until smooth. Place in prepared bowl, turning several times to coat. Let rise, covered with wax paper and a clean damp towel, in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Once dough has doubled, punch down with your fist, and knead a few times in the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface; and divide evenly into six pieces. Roll each piece into a log, about 24 inches long. Braid 3 logs together; shape each braid into an oval, pressing the ends together to seal. Transfer to two buttered baking sheets; cover with wax paper, and let sit in a warm place until dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once dough has doubled in size, discard wax paper, and bake until just golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar with remaining 1/4 cup milk to form a smooth, thick glaze. Add more sugar or milk, if necessary, for desired consistency. Working quickly, coat cakes with glaze, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Phyllo Wrapped Burritos

Yesterday, after making the apple cranberry turnovers I noticed my phyllo dough was on it’s last leg (I’d already refrozen it a couple of times).  So this is my way to use it up!  They were fun and great tasting – yet hearty enough to eat with a fork and knife.

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6 sheets phyllo dough, cut in thirds
2 cups leftover red beans and sausage mixture
4 tbs Smart Balance butter, divided

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Melt 2 tbs butter and brush on each phyllo square.  Use 3 - 1/3 sheets of phyllo dough per serving.  Evenly divide cooled mixture onto phyllo sheets, wrap like a pillow or burrito and bake at 350 degrees until phyllo dough is golden brown, about 20 minutes.

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I did the same thing with our leftover mashed potatoes, sort of like a basic healthy Indian samosas!  One could spice up the mashed potatoes with curry, add peas and carrots and be on their way to a baked veggie samosa!  They potato was my favorite and I’ll have to try it with Indian spice next.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Menu Plan Monday


Monday: Phyllo Wrapped Burritos and leftover White Bean and Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Fat Tuesday: Work Celebration at Mellow Mushroom

Ash Wednesday: CEiMB: Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes, Capers and Orzo (I love this recipe, but this time I'm changing it up!)

Thursday: Black Bean Burger's (the last of them) and vegetables

Friday: Dinner out at Serena's and BSI: Black Bean Brownies

Saturday: Buffalo Chicken Stromboli

Sunday: Creamy Acorn Squash Penne and Pounti (Auvergne-Style Meat Loaf)

Apple Cranberry Phyllo Turnovers

Crunchy, flaky, sweet, and a duo of tart apples and cranberries!  My turnover satisfied my sweet tooth quite nicely!

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  • 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 6 sheets phyllo dough, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 ladyfinger cookies, crushed, divided
  • Cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large nonstick pan cook the apples, cranberries, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg over medium heat stirring occasionally until the fruit is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, until the juices in the pan thicken. Set aside to cool.

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Lay a sheet of phyllo onto a large cutting board and brush the dough with oil. Top with a second sheet and brush with oil. Sprinkle half the crushed cookies on top. Add another sheet of phyllo and brush with oil. Cut the phyllo into 4 long pieces. Put a small mound of the apple mixture about 1-inch from the bottom of 1 section and fold the phyllo over the mixture into a triangle-shaped pocket. Continue to fold to maintain the triangle shape so a turnover is formed. Repeat with the other 3 sections. Repeat the whole process again with 3 more sheets of phyllo so that you wind up with 8 turnovers. Be sure to reserve a little oil to brush the top of each turnover.

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Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, place the turnovers on the sheet, brush the tops with the remaining oil and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until nicely browned. Serve warm.

Recipe from Ellie Krieger

The pups also got a special treat tonight…Andy made the “Doggie Treat Mix” we had in our pantry for them.

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White Bean and Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes

For lunch, in celebration of Mardi Gras, we had Slow Cooker Creole Andouille Sausage and Red Beans with Rice. This time I added frozen okra, garlic bratwursts, and chipotle and cayenne pepper to the mix!

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I made a 2 parts basmati brown rice and 1 part wheat berry mix to stir into the red beans and sausage.

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Written by sneaky Andy: “The added dead bugs Andy found in the yard were an excellent addition. I never realized that mole bugs had the savory taste of roast pork. Not ever washing my pots and pans also gives it a “homey taste.” Delish!”

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I was served these the other night at the Samuel DuBois Cooke Society Dinner at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club. From what I could tell, it was basically mashed potatoes and white beans together. I thought cream cheese would work nicely as a third player. Here’s my take on it…we loved them!!

  • 6 cups quartered potatoes, with or without skins, (about 2 lbs)
  • 1 can great northern beans
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 (8 ounce) package reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Place potatoes and enough water to cover in 3-quart saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook 20 to 25 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Meanwhile, place sauté over medium heat and warm beans through. Add garlic and thyme.

Place the cream cheese, beans, milk, salt and pepper in the pot with the potatoes, mix until light and fluffy. Serve immediately.

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Andy will be having “shepherd pie” style leftovers of the Creole red beans topped with these creamy mashed potatoes!

Finally, we purchased a new Pale Ale from one of my favorite breweries Bell’s Brewery. This is a great winter beer! “A blond ale, with a distinctive spicy, floral aroma and taste.”

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Karen’s French Beef from KERF

Serves: 6
• 1 lb ground beef (93% fat)
• 1 white onion, finely chopped
• 1 large bell pepper, finely chopped
• 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
• 1 tbsp dried oregano
• 1/2 tsp kosher salt
• 1 tsp red pepper flakes
• 12 oz whole wheat penne pasta
• 8 oz light cream cheese
• 1/2 cup package shredded sharp cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350*.
  2. Brown beef and drain grease. Sweat onion and pepper in beef pan. When they are cooked, return beef to pan. Add tomato sauce, oregano, salt and red pepper flakes and simmer on low for 30 minutes.

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  1. Meanwhile, cook pasta and drain.
  2. Put cream cheese into hot pasta pot and allow to soften with hot pasta.

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3. Pour pasta mixture into 8×8 casserole dish.

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4. Top with beef mixture and then cheddar cheese.

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5. Bake until bubbly, about 30 minutes at 350*.

Recipe adapted from Kath Eats

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Yorkshire Pudding

We served these on the side….all I have to say is WOW! I ate 8 of these minis straight from the oven. 1 plain, 5 with cherry jelly, 2 with smart balance, and 1 with both! I totally could’ve eaten these alone for supper. I vow to make these little guys more!

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  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups milk, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing

    Whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl beat together the eggs, milk and butter. Make a well in the flour and whisk in the wet ingredients gradually until fully combined and smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the batter to rest for 1 hour at room temperature.

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease 3 mini nonstick muffin tins. Place the tins in the oven to heat up for at least 10 minutes. Give the batter a quick stir and pour it into each muffin cup filling halfway leaving room for them to rise. foodblog 015

    Place in the oven and do not open for 30 minutes. They should rise after 25-30 minutes and be golden all over. Remove from oven.foodblog 016 foodblog 023

    Recipe from Danny Boome

  • Buckwheat Banana Pancakes

    Now that I've had these, I don't know how I've lived this long without adding bananas to my pancakes!  The bananas added a creaminess and carmel taste to each bite!

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    Serves 4

  • 3/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup low fat plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 3/4 cup 1% milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated clementine, orange or lemon zest
  • 2 ripe bananas, diced, plus extra for serving
  • Smart Balance butter, optional
  • Agave nectar or Pure maple syrup
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, soda and salt. Whisk together the yogurt, milk, eggs, vanilla, and zest. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, mixing only until combined.

    Spray cooking oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Ladle the pancake batter into the pan. Distribute a rounded tablespoon of bananas on each pancake. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until bubbles appear on top and the underside is nicely browned. Flip the pancakes and then cook for another minute, until browned. Continue cooking pancakes until all the batter is used. Serve with sliced bananas, butter, and agave nectar or maple syrup.

    Adapted from Barefoot Contessa's recipe and Ellie Krieger's recipe

    Friday, February 20, 2009

    Winners Announced!

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    What a FUN contest!!

    The two lucky winners of the Country Bob's giveaway are:

    Jackie! "mmm bbq sauce! I love it!!"

    Sara! "This sauce looks great, I would love to try it!"

    Thanks to everyone who commented and helped spread the word! To get your own bottle of sauce check out Country Bob's website!