Sunday, May 31, 2009

Vacation

I can't help but think of our annual family beach vacation when it starts feeling like summer. It's something I really look forward to all year and we've been doing it since I was 13 so I have lots of pictures and memories. I decided to make a collage so I scanned and uploaded a bunch of photos to photoshop.com, made the color blue pop (for the ocean of course) and then printed them all out. I was pleased with the results and love having so many memories in one visible place.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day! - Mini Fruit Tarts

The frosting from a jello cake (a mixture of vanilla pudding and whipped cream) my mom makes is really light and delicious. So I got the idea to use it as an easy and tasty tart filling. And in honor of Memorial Day, this flag arrangement is perfect. It would of course work for the 4th of July too!

35 mini baked tart shells (I only used 24 for the flag arrangement)
1 cup skim milk (for the pudding)
1/2 of 1 small box instant vanilla pudding, made according to package directions
1 cup real whipped cream
(or can use cool whip but the calories total will be different)
Fresh blueberries, raspberries, strawberries
Flaked sweetened coconut
Sugar
Simple Syrup

Directions:
Combine the prepared pudding and whipped cream. You can make this part ahead of time and refrigerate overnight or use immediately.

Fill each tart shell with about 1 tablespoon of the pudding mixture no more than an hour or two before serving.

About 45 min. before serving, hull and slice the strawberries in half and toss with some sugar. Set aside.

Make the simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar heated over low heat until the sugar has dissolved). Cool. Soak the blueberries and raspberries in the simple syrup (keeping the blueberries and raspberries separate).

A few minutes before serving drain the berries and top your tarts with the berries and coconut as desired.

Calories per tart (not including the crust as the calories for that will vary depending on the type you use): about 25

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mini Barbecue Burgers

I don't think there are any better burgers around than my Dad's on the grill and I don't think you can replicate the flavor anywhere but on a grill. But sometimes an outdoor grill is not convenient so I wanted to come up with a way to add flavor and this was the result. The only problem is they are pretty crumbly, but as long you keep them mini and if you're careful with them, they mostly stay together. And they tasted sooo good so I wanted to share them with you. Plus, they're actually as good leftover after being frozen as they are fresh (which I have never found to be the case with a traditional hamburger).

6 dinner rolls (split in half)
1/2 lb. ground chuck
2 tbsp. finely chopped yellow onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c. barbecue sauce (I used the balsamic barbecue sauce from this recipe)
2 tablespoons reduced fat mexican cheese blend
Black pepper (to taste)
Salt (to taste - opt.)
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
4 slices reduced fat provolone cheese (each slice split into 3 dinner roll size pieces)
2 cherry tomatoes (sliced into 6 slices)
1/4 to 1/2 cup arugula

Heat a non stick frying pan or indoor grill over medium to medium-high heat.

Combine the ground chuck, onion, garlic, 1/4 cup barbecue sauce ,and Mexican cheese. Form into 6 equal sized hamburger patties. Fry on each side until cooked through.

While the burgers are frying, spray another frying pan with cooking spray, add the sliced mushrooms and saute until tender (you can use butter or olive oil but I didn't want the extra calories).

Spread each half of each roll with 1 teaspoon of the remaining barbecue sauce and then top each half with 1 piece of provolone.

When the hamburgers are done layer them on top of the provolone on the bottom roll of each sandwich. Then split the sauteed mushrooms between the 6 burgers and layer a tomato slice and a bit of arugula on top of the mushrooms. Top with the remaining rolls and enjoy.

Calories per burger: If the rolls used are 100 calories each, about 270.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

My mom is my best friend and a really great mother. I made her this card this year and thought it was really cute. I came up with a poem (which I've replaced with dashes here) and noticed it looked like a dress so I added the head and arms and legs. And please note that my mother is not short and chunky like the woman above. It is only meant to represent her generally. She is actually short but also thin and beautiful :)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Recipe Index

(see below for picture credits)

Though this is a blog about all of my creativity, not just recipes I've created, I've been coming up with a lot lately so I thought I'd start an index. You can click on the category title to pull up all of the recipes in that category or on the individual recipe to just see that one. I'll put a link to this under the Categories section on the right side of the page and update it as I create new recipes.

Appetizers
BBQ Chicken Appetizer Pizza with Shallots and Jarlsberg Cheese
Blue Cheese Meatballs
Cauliflower Fritters
Mini Sausage Calzones
Ham, Bacon and Mushroom Quesadillas

Condiments

Coconut Dipping Sauce

Desserts

Mini Fruit Tarts
Coconut Cream Parfaits

Main Dishes

Blue Cheese Meatballs
Breakfast Potatoes with Perfect Sunny-Side Up Eggs
Fried Potatoes with Turkey Kielbasa
Ham, Bacon and Mushroom Quesadillas
Mini Sausage Calzones
Potato Chili Casserole

Red, White & Blue Nachos
Sausage, Feta & Corn Nachos

Pastas

Chicken and Broccoli Pasta
Chicken and Cashew Pasta
Gemelli with Sausage and Tomatoes
Mushroom Lasagna

Pizzas

Bacon & Tomato Pizza with Alfredo Sauce
Barbecue Chicken Appetizer Pizza with Shallots and Jarlsberg Cheese
Balsamic Barbecue Chicken Pizza
Cheeseburger Pizza - kinda
Chicken and Bacon Pizza
Buff alo Chickpea and Tahini Pizza
"Greek" Pizza
Honey Mustard Chicken Pizza
Mushroom-Swiss Burger Pizza
Pesto Pizza
Potato and Mushroom Pizza
Veggie Pizza

Sandwiches

Chicken and Bacon Wraps
Fried Green Tomato BLT
Mini Barbecue Burgers
Mini Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches
Mini Chicken Salad Club Sandwiches

Roasted Vegetable and Bacon Sandwich

Side Dishes

Cauliflower and Cheese Casserole
Cauliflower Fritters
Cheesy Fingerling Potatoes
Fried Potatoes with Mushrooms
Vegetable Strata

Disclaimer: I list calories with each recipe I post but please note that they are my estimations (but pretty close) and my totals will not include vegetables in the recipe unless they are high calorie veggies such as corn. This is because vegetables are often very low in calories and the benefits outweigh any calorie concerns (in my opinion).

(The picture above is one a talented photographer friend of mine took of some grilled vegetables my mom and I did for a wedding we catered a few years ago. It just says "yummy food" to me. To see her website click here. And please note that this is a scanned version of her picture because I did not have the original file).