I have been married to a wonderful Christian man since 1976. The Lord has blessed us with two daughters and two sons. I consider each day the Lord gives me on the earth yet another chance to serve Him.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Somoa Cake

Oh my, is this cake delicious.   It takes a lot of time, but well worth the effort.   Next time you are looking for a dessert to impress, give this a try.   If you don't want to take the time to make your own caramel sauce, buy some 'dulce de leche.  You will see a several repeats of ingredients, because you are making two different flavors of cake.  Now if you want to make it even easier, buy two different flavors, but only use half of each.

(serves 16)

*1/2 cup butter, softened
*1 cup brown sugar
*2 large eggs
*1/2 cup whole milk
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*3/4 cup all-purpose flour
*3/4 teaspoon baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*1/4 teaspoon salt

*1/4 cup vegetable oil
*1 cup granulated sugar
*1 large egg
*1/2 cup whole milk
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*1 cup all purpose flour
*3/4 cup cocoa powder
*3/4 teaspoon baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*1/2 cup boiling water

*1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
*1/2 cup powdered sugar
*2 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract
*1 cup butter, softened
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 cup cocoanut
*1 1/2 cups cocoanut

*3/4 cup milk chocolate chips, melted

~Grease & flour a 9x13 inch baking dish.
~Submerge the entire unopened can of sweetened condensed milk into a crockpot filled with water (about 3 inches above the can)
~Turn crock pot on low and cook on low for 10-11 hours or on high for 7-8 hours.
~Remove from crockpot and allow to cool completely.
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~In a large bowl beat, 1/2 cup butter & brown sugar on high until fluffy.
~Add in 2 eggs, one at a time.
~Mix in 1/2 cup milk & 1 teaspoon vanilla.
~Add 3/4 cup flour, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda & 1/4 teaspoon salt.
~Mix until well combined.
~In another large bowl, beat 1/4 cup vegetable oil & granulated sugar, on high until fluffy.
~Add in 1 egg.
~Mix in 1/2 cup milk & 1 teaspoon vanilla.
~Add 1 cup flour, cocoa powder, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder & 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.
~Mix until well combined.
~Add boiling water, mix well.
~Pour brown sugar batter in prepared pan.
~Pour chocolate batter over brown sugar batter.
~Take a table knife and run it through the cake batters 3 or 4 times (this will marbleize it).
~Bake about 50-60 minutes, or until skewer comes out clean when inserted into the cake.
~Cool cake completely.
~Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
~Spread cocoanut over a large cookie sheet.
~Bake for 5-10 minutes, stirring every few minutes (careful not to let it burn).
~Remove from oven and let cool.
~In a large mixing bowl, caramel (cooled sweetened condensed milk), 1 cup butter, powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons vanilla & 1/2 teaspoon salt for 3-4 minutes.
~Mix in 1 cup toasted cocoanut.
~Chill for 1 hour.
~Frost cake with frosting, and sprinkle remaining toasted cocoanut over frosting.
~Melt chocolate chips in a microwave.
~Place melted chocolate chips into a pastry bag with a small tip (#2 or 3).  You could also use a plastic bag, with a small slit in the corner.
~Drizzle chocolate over cocoanut.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Chicken Veggie Wrap

I love veggie wraps, but sometimes I like a little chicken in it.   This is very filling.  I like to use the very tasty whole wheat-high fiber-italian herb-flatbread (name bran I use is flat-out).   This wrap is about 300 calories.   If you want to make it less calories drop the chicken and go totally veggie.

(serves 4)

*4 high fiber-whole wheat-flatbread (90 calories)
*1/2 cup low-fat plain greek yogurt
*1/2 cup cucumber, grated
*1 garlic clove, minced
*1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
*1 tablespoon fat-free sour cream
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
*1 medium zucchini, sliced
*1 medium yellow squash, sliced
*1 medium yellow onion, sliced
*1 medium carrot, sliced
*12 ounces chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
*1 teaspoon italian seasoning
*1/2 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese

~In a small bowl, mix yogurt, cucumber, garlic, dill weed, mayonnaise, 1/4 teaspoon salt & 1/8 teaspoon pepper together.
~Cover & refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
~Season chicken breast with italian seasoning and remaining salt & pepper.
~Spray a large skillet with a cooking spray.
~Add carrots to skillet, cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until carrots are semi-soft.
~Add remaining veggies, cook until desired tenderness.
~Grill chicken on an indoor grill or medium skillet, until done (I do this while the veggies are cooking).
~Once veggies & chicken are done, remove from stove & mix together.
~Mix cucumber sauce into chicken veggie mixture.
~Sprinkle 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese to each flatbread.
~Divide chicken veggie mix over cheese.
~Roll flatbread up and serve.

~Add mushrooms, broccoli or any veggie that you would like.
~Substitute chicken with turkey.
~Substitute reduced cheddar cheese with pepper jack cheese.
~Omit chicken.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Roasted chicken sausage & fixins

Tasty, healthy, quick, easy dinner to make.  Anyone can make this dinner.  If you can cut up veggies, turn on an oven, and sprinkle a few seasonings, then you can make this dinner.  This is around 280 calories per serving.

(serves 4)

*1 pound chicken sausage
*3 large russet potatoes
*1 large onion, peeled, quartered, & layers separated
*2 red bell peppers, seeds removed & chopped into bite size pieces
*2 teaspoons olive oil
*1 teaspoon kosher salt
*1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
*1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
*1 teaspoon italian seasoning
*1/2 - 1 teaspoon, crushed rosemary

~Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
~Spay a large cookie sheet with cooking spray.
~Cut potatoes into 1" pieces.
~Combine all of the ingredients except for the sausage together in a large bowl.
~Pour mixture onto cookie sheet.
~Bake for 15 minutes.
~Stir mixture occasionally.
~Cut sausage into bite size pieces.
~Add to potato vegetable mixture.
~Bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Parmesan Orange Cod

Yummy, yummy in your tummy.   I really got tired of the same old broiled fish and decided to play around with some flavors tonight.   I was amazed at how good this turned out.   I also love  the calorie count, 195.


*1 pound cod
*1 naval orange
*1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
*1/8 cup dijon mustard
*1/4 cup fat-free greek yogurt
*1 clove garlic, minced
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/8 teaspoon black pepper
*1/4 teaspoon paprika
*1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped very small
*1/8 cup green bell pepper, chopped very small
*1/8 cup onions, chopped very small

~Preheat oven to broil.
~Cook on highest rack (or about 6-8 inches from top heat source).
~Place the cod into a oven proof pan.
~Squeeze juice from orange over the cod.
~Spread red pepper & onions over the cod.
~Broil the cod for 7-9 minutes.
~Combine the parmesan cheese, garlic, dijon mustard, greek yogurt, salt, pepper & paprika in a small bowl.
~Remove the fish from the oven and spread the cheese-yogurt mixture over the fish.
~Return to oven and broil until the topping is a light brown, about 3-4 minutes.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Turkey-Vegetable Meat Loaf

I love meatloaf.   This meatloaf is very good, even though it's made with ground turkey.   Give it a try, you won't be disappointed.   This is around 200 per serving.''

(serves 8)

*1/3 cup ketchup
*1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
*1 pound ground turkey breast
*1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (I make my own)
*1/4 cup skim milk
*1/4 cup reduced-fat swiss cheese
*1/4 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese
*2 slices turkey bacon
*4 slices low-calorie whole wheat bread
*1 large egg white
*2 teaspoons olive oil
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*1/2 red pepper, chopped
*1/2 green pepper, chopped
*1 cup mushrooms, chopped
*1 medium onion, chopped
*1 small zucchini, shredded
*1 teaspoon salt

~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Lightly grease a loaf pan with cooking spray or olive oil.
~In a small bowl, mix ketchup & mustard together and set aside.
~Break whole wheat bread into small pieces and place into a large bowl.
~Add milk to bread, and let sit for 5 minutes.
~Cut up turkey bacon into small pieces.
~Add ground turkey, breadcrumbs, cheese, turkey bacon & egg white into the milk mixture.
~Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
~Add red pepper, green pepper, mushrooms, onions, garlic & salt.
~Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are tender (about 6-8 minutes).
~Stir in grated zucchini, and cook for about 4 more minutes.
~Remove from heat and let the veggies cool for about 8-10 minutes.
~Mix the cooked veggies into the meatloaf mixture.
~Mix in about 2/3 of the ketchup mixture into the meatloaf.
~Shape into the loaf pan.
~Spread remaining 1/3 ketchup mixture over the top of the meatloaf.
~Bake for 35-40 minutes or until fully cooked (160 degrees).
~Let stand for 8-10 minutes before slicing.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

I love stuffed casserole, but it's not the lowest calorie thing to eat.   Now you would think with the word cabbage in it, that it would be zero calories.   Here is one that I think is very good and it's only  225 calories per serving.

(serves 6)

*1 cup brown rice
*2 cups water
*1 pound lean ground beef
*1 large onion, chopped small
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*1/2 green bell pepper, chopped small (optional)
*1/2 red bell pepper, chopped small (optional)
*1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
*1 teaspoon paprika
*1 1/2 teaspoons italian seasoning
*1 pint stewed tomatoes
*1 (15.oz) can tomato sauce
*1/4 cup water
*1 teaspoon olive oil
*1 head cabbage, coarsely chopped

*1 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper

*2 cups reduced fat mozzarella cheese

~Add rice & 2 cups water to a saucepan and bring to a boil.
~Reduced heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes.
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan with a cooking spray.
~In a large skillet, cook ground beef, onions, green pepper & red pepper, garlic & onions until ground beef is no longer pink.
~Add dried thyme, paprika & italian seasoning.
~Cook for 1-2 minutes.
~Add stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, & 1/4 cup water.
~Simmer 15-20 minutes, or until sauce is starting to thicken up.
~Cut cabbage in half & cut out the core (I do this while the tomato sauce is thickening up).
~Remove any brown or wilted outer leaves.
~Chop cabbage into around 1 inch pieces.
~Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil into a large skillet.
~Add cabbage and cook over medium heat, until the cabbage is wilted, but not fully cooked (turn cabbage occasionally).
~Add salt & pepper to cabbage.
~Stir in cooked rice to tomato mixture.
~Layer half of the cabbage mixture into prepared 9x13 inch pan.
~Pour half of the meat mixture over the cabbage.
~Repeat with remaining cabbage & meat mixture.
~Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 40 minutes.
~Remove foil & sprinkle cheese over casserole.
~Bake for 20 minutes.

`substitute ground beef for ground chicken or turkey.
`substitute mozzarella cheese for reduced-fat cheddar cheese.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

healthy swedish meatballs

I do like homemade swedish meatballs, but I don't like how fattening they are.    This recipe has cut way down on that and is pretty good.  350 calories.  This may seem like a lot of calories for a healthy meal, but it's for an entire meal.   I find it very filling.

(makes  30 meatballs)

*1 onion, minced
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*1 celery stalk, minced
*1 pound lean ground beef
*2 egg whites
*1/4 cup italian breadcrumbs
*1 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
*1/2 teaspoon allspice
*2 cups reduced sodium beef stock
*2 ounces fat-free cream cheese
*8 ounces no-yolk egg noodles, cooked (optional)

~In a large bowl, mix onions, garlic, celery, ground beef, egg whites, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, parsley & allspice.
~Form meatballs measuring 1/8 cup each.
~Add beef stock into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
~Reduce heat to medium and carefully drop meatballs into the hot broth.
~Cook for 25 minutes, covered.
~Cook noodles while meatballs are cooking.
~Remove meatballs from stock and set them aside, keeping them warm.
~Strain stock through a sieve into a blender.
~Add cream cheese and mix until smooth.
~Return stock mixture to saucepan and simmer for a few minutes to thicken sauce.
~Put warm meatballs over noodles.
~Ladle sauce over meatballs.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pork Chops with Caramelized Onion-Apple-Mushroom Sauce

I really enjoy pork chops.  I'm always looking for new ways to cook it.   This was pretty good.  I like to have some homemade (or unsweetened) applesauce, steamed green beans & a small bake potato to go with this.

(serves 2)

*2 butterfly pork chops
*1 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
*2 medium onions, sliced
*1 teaspoon butter
*1 (8 ounce) container sliced mushrooms
*1 large apple, peeled, & chopped
*2 tablespoons apple cider

~Sprinkle pork chop with salt, pepper & garlic powder (I like to brine & rinse my pork chop, but not necessary).
~Spray an indoor grill or  medium skillet with cooking spray.
~Cook pork chops over medium heat for about 7 minutes on each side, or until no longer pink inside.
~In a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat.
~Add sliced onions.
~Cook, stirring often.
~Add mushrooms & apples to onions, once the onions start to turn a golden brown (about 15 minutes).
~Once mushrooms & apples are tender, add apple juice, stirring until mixed in well.
~Remove from skillet and serve over the grilled pork chop.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Cookies & Cream Ice Cream

This ice cream seems to be a hit by many people.  As always, homemade is so much better than store bought.

(1 1/2 quarts)

*2 1/2 cups heavy cream
*8 egg yolks
*1 cup white sugar
*2 1/2 cups whole milk
*3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
*1/8 teaspoon salt
*20-25 oreo cookies, crushed

~Heat the heavy cream until it starts to simmer (not boiling), stirring often.
~In a small bowl, whisk egg yolk & sugar until well blended and slightly thickened.
~Very slowly drizzle about 1 cup of hot cream mixture to the eggs, while continuously whisking.
~Add the warmed egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk sugar mixture.
~Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom as you stir.
~Cook & stir until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon (about 5-7 minutes).
~Remove from heat.
~Stir in milk, vanilla & salt.
~Pour mixture into a stainless steal bowl, and place into an ice bath until cooled.
~Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
~Churn in ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
~Once ice cream is ready, fold in the oreo cookies.
~Place into an airtight container in the freezer for 6-8 hours, depending on how firm you like your ice cream.

Helpful Hint:
`Place plastic wrap directly over ice cream before covering and placing in freezer.  This will help to prevent freezer burn.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chipotle Orange Chicken & Brown Rice

I love the mixture of the sweet & spicy in this recipe.  My husband doesn't like things very spicy, so if you want it more spicy add more of the chipotle chiles in adobo sauce.  I do believe that this is around 280 calories

(serves 4)

*1/2 teaspoon chili powder
*1/4 teaspoon sea salt
*4 (4 oz) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
*1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
*2 tablespoons maple syrup
*1 tablespoon hot sauce
*1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
*1 teaspoon orange zest
*1 cup brown rice
*2 cups water
*1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
*1/4 teaspoon sea salt
*1/4 teaspoon black pepper
*1 1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
*4 green onions, sliced
*1 small tomato, chopped
*1/2 red pepper, chopped
*2 garlic cloves, minced

~Add rice, water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, garlic, green onion, red pepper, tomato, cumin & cilantro into a medium sauce pan.
~Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 40 minutes.
~In a small bowl, combine chili powder, cumin & salt.
~Pound chicken breast to about 1/4 inch thickness.
~Heat in a large skillet over medium heat, (spray pan with cooking  spray first).
~Season both sides of chicken with chili powder mixture.
~Cook chicken about 3 minutes each side, or until chicken is no longer pink in the center.
~Remove chicken from skillet & set aside.
~Add orange juice & maple syrup to skillet.
~Cook for 1 minute as you scrape drippings from chicken off the bottom of the pan, stirring constantly (sauce will thicken up).
~Remove from heat,
~Stir in hot sauce, liquid smoke & orange zest.
~Add chicken back to pan.
~Return to heat and cook for one minute.
~Divide rice between four plates.
~Add chicken & sauce over each plate of rice.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Ice Cream Pie

Wow!   That's what I have to say about this recipe.   It is rich, creamy and oh so good.   I don't want even want to know the calorie count on this.  Best thing is, it's so versatile.  Put whatever you favorite ice cream flavors are.  If you don't like the oreo crust, go with graham cracker or a vanilla sandwich cookie crust.  You can also replace the pecans with peanuts and the ganache with caramel sauce.   So many ways to change this up.
I also like it with chocolate ice cream/oreo cookie ice cream with peanuts & butterfingers bars.

(serves 8)

*24 oreo cookies
*1/4 cup butter, melted
*1 quart chocolate Ice Cream (I make my own)
*1 quart coffee Ice cream (I make my own)
*1/4 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped
*1/2 cup heavy cream
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*1 cup pecans, chopped
*1 heath bar (toffee bar), broke into tiny pieces

~In a food processor, add the Oreo cookies and blend until the texture is that of course meal.
~Add melted butter and process until mixed well.
~Place to ground crumb mixture into a 9 inch pie pan & press into the bottom and up the sides evenly all around.
~Place chocolate into a medium bowl.
~Heat the heavy cream in small saucepan over medium heat, to a light boil.
~Pour hot cream over chopped chocolate.
~Whisk until smooth.
~Stir in vanilla extract
~Set chocolate ganache aside to cool.
~Set chocolate ice cream out for about 10-15 minutes to soften.
~When ice cream is soft enough spread it in the oreo pie crust (if you are making your ice cream, I do this step as soon as it comes out of the ice cream maker).
~Freeze for a couple hours or until ice cream is firm.
~Spread a layer of the chocolate ganache over frozen chocolate ice cream.
~Sprinkle pecans over ganache.
~Return to freezer and freeze until firm.
~Set coffee ice cream out for about 10-15 minutes to soften.
~When ice cream is soft enough spread it over the chocolate ganache/heath bar layer.
~Sprinkle heath bar crumbles over the coffee ice cream
~Freeze until firm 30-60 minutes.

Healthy Egg Mcmuffin

I do like to have an egg mcmuffin but I really don't like all the calories that goes with it (about 216 calories).   This is a nice alternative.  I also like to add a piece of canadian bacon or turkey sausage on it.

(serves 2)

*2 eggs
*1 teaspoon white vinegar
*1 wholewheat sandwich thin, split
*1/2 cup spinach
*2 slices tomato
*1/2 cup sharp-cheddar, reduced fat cheese
*salt & pepper to taste
*mustard (optional)

~Pre-heat oven or toaster oven to broil.
~Bring a skillet of water to a boil.
~Add vinegar to water.
~Carefully add eggs to water.
~Allow to cook in low-boiling water for 3-5 minutes (depending on how well you like your eggs cooked).
~While egg is cooking, lightly toast sandwich thins.
~In a small skillet, lightly sauté tomatoes for 2-3 minutes.
~Once bread is toasted, put toast in a oven-safe skillet or pan.
~Sprinkle cheese over toast.
~Put under broiler for 30-50 seconds, or until cheese has just started to melt.
~Remove from oven, top with spinach leaves, tomato slice & egg.
~Sprinkle with salt & pepper.
~Add mustard to top, if desired.

`Add a 2 oz slice of canadian bacon to each muffin between the tomato & egg.  (calorie count will go up to about 230)
`Use both slices of sandwich thins for each sandwich (calorie count will go up to about 265 calories).
`Add turkey sausage to each (375 calories)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tilapia Taco's with Cucumber Sauce

I love fish tacos and keep looking for new and healthy ways to cook them.   I love the freshness of this cucumber sauce.  I think this is about 280 calories for each taco.  You could eat two with no problem for that few of calories.

(makes 8)

*1 tablespoon olive oil
*1 pounds tilapia fillets
*1 teaspoon ground coriander
*1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
*1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
*2 green onions, sliced
*6 small radishes, sliced
*1 garlic clove, minced
*1 cucumber, sliced & cut in half
*1/2 lime, juiced
*zest from half of lime
*1-2 teaspoons dried cilantro
*1/8 cup reduced-fat sour cream
*1/8 cup plain greek low-fat yogurt
*8 low-carb wholewheat tortillas
*1/4 teaspoon dill weed
*1/8 teaspoon black pepper
*1/4 teaspoon sea salt

~In a medium bowl, toss the radishes, green onions, garlic, cucumber, lime juice, greek yogurt, sour cream, lime zest, cilantro, salt & pepper.
~Store in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
~Heat stovetop grill (or outdoor grill) to high.
~Sprinkle salt, pepper & coriander over fish.
~Oil grill, and cook 2-4 minutes on each side, break apart.
~Divide the fish between the tortillas, and top with the cucumber sauce.

*I like to squeeze a little lime juice to the taco once it's put together.

Strawberry Push-Ups

What a refreshing light dessert.   I do believe this would be zero points. They are about 28 calories each.  It is very simple to make and you could put whatever fruit into it you choose.

(makes 8)

*1 (8 ounce) container fat-free cool whip, thawed
*1 pint fresh strawberries.

~Chopped or puree strawberries.
~Mix strawberries into the cool whip.
~Pour into containers (I use cake-push ups, that I bought at our local cake decorating store).
~Freeze for 5-6 hours.

`substitute fat-free cool whip with regular cool whip (90 calories)
`substitute fat-free cool whip with homemade whip cream.  This is really, really good this way.  (105 calories)
`My Favorite substitute strawberries with raspberries.