Sunday, April 29, 2012

Spring Asparagus Frittata For Breakfast Ideas Mondays

Nothing says spring like asparagus, so this weekend I made an asparagus frittata to post for Breakfast Ideas Mondays by Yummy Inspirations.  If you need breakfast ideas, this is a great site to visit!  For the frittata, I used half whole eggs and half egg whites to cut the fat a bit and you really couldn't tell that it wasn't made with all whole eggs.  It does have some olive oil to saute some of the vegetables in, but you could probably steam them.  And, I did use regular fat cheese, and you could use low fat if you want to cut the fat even more.  This is really very quick and easy, and you could even cut up the vegetables the night before to make it even faster.  And, it would make a great breakfast for dinner or brunch dish.  We had it with biscuits and cantaloupe, but it would be tasty with any number of breakfast bread and fruit or even alone.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Oreo Brownies

If you have been looking online for brownies over the past few months, you have probably seen some version of these.  I did try to figure out where this started and I think it might have been with The Londoner and this recipe, though I did see it first here at What's Gaby Cooking.  Basically, it is a layer of cookie dough followed by a layer of Oreo cookies topped with a layer of brownie. This is my version using the Ghirardelli chocolate chip cookie recipe as a base and using Robert's Absolute Best Brownies by David Lebovitz, which really are the best brownies I have ever eaten.  I always wonder if these over the top type desserts are really as good as they sound like they will be - at least until I try them.  Sometimes they are and sometimes they are not.  But, these are really delicious.  They are truly decadent and sure to get some attention wherever you take them... if you don't keep them all for yourself.

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Homemade Lower Fat Granola for Breakfast Ideas Mondays

I love granola but it is usually filled with fat.  This granola doesn't have any fat other than what is naturally found in the nuts and oat and a little cooking spray to keep it from sticking.  Next time, I'm going to try it without the cooking spray because it didn't stick at all, and I have a feeling that it won't even without the spray.  It is great for breakfast or for a snack.  And, best of all it is better than store bought and much better for you.  And, it probably takes less time to make than it would to go buy it.  If you are really wanting to cut calories and not just fat, you can also reduce the amounts of nuts and dried fruit since both are very calorie dense.

I show it here for breakfast in a yogurt parfait made with homemade yogurt. This perfect timing as Yummy Inspirations has just started hosting Breakfast Ideas Mondays.  This is going to have to go on Sunday night, but I hope you will enjoy it Monday morning with all the other posts there this week.

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Veggie Quesadillas for Earth Day

I wanted to do something primarily using vegetables for earth day, so I decided on these quesadillas. I made them one night just for myself with just ingredients I had on hand, but loved them so much that I added a few more ingredients and made them again the next night for me and my husband.

On a different note, the difficult thing about blogging is that you have to do it ahead of time.  I am scheduling this to post on Earth Day, but clearly I had to have done them before or you wouldn't be able to wake up to this post.  And really, if you are posting anything more complicated than this, it should be done even further ahead so that anyone who wants to make it has plenty of time to plan ahead.  So, that brings me to a question, what am I actually doing/eating on Earth Day?  Well, I have not completely decided, but I do know that I will have homemade yogurt waiting in the oven when I get up, and that I plan to make this new granola recipe to have with it.  The granola recipe has no added fat.  Obviously, there is some fat in the nuts and even a small amount in the fruit, oats, etc., but there is no added oil or butter.  Anyway, if it is good, I will post about it later in the week.  So, what are you doing/eating for Earth Day?

Veggie Quesadillas
Serves 2

4 corn tortillas (You could use flour, but I like corn so much better.)
1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and mashed
8 oz. mushroom, sliced (I used baby bellas.)
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
4.5 oz. baby spinach (This is half a bag of the baby spinach I buy at the local grocery store.)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used a combination of Cheddar and Monterey Jack.)
1 Tbsps. vegetable oil, divided

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium.   Add the mushrooms and bell pepper and saute until tender.  Add the garlic and spinach and cook until spinach is very wilted and tender.  Sprinkle a little of the cheese on two of the tortillas.  Spread the same two tortillas with the mashed avocado.  Layer the cooked vegetable mixture on top of the avocado.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese and top the the other two tortillas.  Wipe the original skillet with a clean cloth and then heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan.  Carefully add the first quesadilla to the pan.  Cook on one side until the tortilla is just starting to crisp and turn golden.  Use a large spatula to help you flip the quesadilla and cook on the other side until cheese is melted and the other tortilla is just beginning to crisp and turn golden.  Carefully remove to a plate using the spatula and repeat for the other quesadilla.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Vanilla Ice Cream

I'm on spring break this week, and I thought a great way to celebrate would be with ice cream! Not only is it tasty, but it definitely makes you think of summer, which is just around the corner.  If you are looking for a super rich, super creamy, vanilla ice cream recipe, then this is it.  It is a recipe I barely adapted from this one by David Lebovitz.  Its richness comes from plenty of heavy cream and the egg yolks that also give it the nice yellow color. I think it was even better the second day after it had time to freeze a bit harder.  I will say that this ice cream tastes quite different from the homemade ice cream I grew up with.  It doesn't have that old fashioned homemade taste.  They are both delicious, but they are different.  But, it doesn't taste like it came from and ice cream shop either. Instead, this is the ice cream you might find on the menu of a gourmet restaurant.  I would still like to find a recipe that tasted like the one I grew up with, but back then we put raw eggs in it, and I don't think I'm going to be able to capture the same flavor without them, and these days I definitely wouldn't serve raw eggs to guests.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Honey Glazed Salmon

First, let me say I love salmon in almost any form.  In fact, it is one of my easy go-to meals often just brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper and baked.  So, I was looking for something a little more interesting - but not so interesting that it took a lot of time when I came across this recipe by Kimberley Eggleston at  I used olive oil instead of canola oil and decided to sprinkle some fresh basil on top to give it a bit of color.  After the basil cooked, it was not nearly as attractive, but was surprisingly good in ways I had not considered.  It became crisp and crunchy, which was good in and of itself, but if you got a bite that had a little honey on it, the taste was incredible!  I served it with spinach sauteed in olive oil and jasmine rice.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Trying to Drink More Water - Orange Ginger Water

So, I'm trying to be more healthy... well, except for the baking thing, but anyway, I really, really, need to drink more water.  The problem is that I don't really like water that much, so this is attempt to remedy the problem.  I few years ago I went to a day spa where they served all of these different waters with fruit, herbs, etc. floating in them, which made them most tasty without the addition of sugar or artificial flavor, so I am trying a few different combinations of my own, and will share with you the ones I like.  This is an orange-ginger water.  I added the rosemary just for garnish, but when I drank the water in the glass after the pictures, it gave it a nice flavor, so you might want to add rosemary too.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Strawberry Skillet Bread

This is a quick bread that is almost like a big biscuit cooked in an iron skillet.  It has enough butter and sugar and fruit that you won't need butter and jam to go with it.  It is delicious for breakfast or with tea or as we had it most recently for breakfast-for-dinner.  It really should serve six, but my husband and son are both pretty big eaters, so the three of us ate a little over half of it.  The recipe calls for two to four tablespoons of sugar because it is really up to you how sweet you want it to be.  The first one or two tablespoons is for the strawberries and will depend not only on how sweet you want them to be, but also on how sweet they are to begin with.  The second one to two tablespoons is to sprinkle on top, so if you want it sweet go with two and if you want it a little less sweet go with one.  It really is wonderful.  My fifteen year old son even said, "This was a really good idea."  Hope you enjoy!

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cherry Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

I made these on Monday night.  I had already planned to bake that night but after the Easter candy the day before AND the leftover Easter candy brought to the after school meeting that day, I considered just not doing it.  I had several recipes that I was considering, but I just didn't think I could handle any more chocolate or icing - too similar to cream filling in Easter candy.  So, I decided to go ahead and bake, but make my recipe a bit more wholesome.  You know a little less sugar, at least one whole grain, some fruit, nuts... Ok, so there is still white flour in these a quite a bit of sugar and butter, but there are oats, cherries, and pecans, so they are at least better than what I had planned on, and they definitely tricked my palate into accepting dessert.  They are super easy and really good.  I got the base recipe from Annie's Eats who got it from Deborah's Culinary Confections.  My recipe is pretty close to the original.  And, it has the added bonus of being more palatable for those who are not raisin fans.

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Clementine Scented Carrot Cupcakes - and they are lower fat too...

Ok, notice I said lower fat, not low-fat.  But, the cupcakes themselves are low-fat.  The icing, well, it is lower fat than your typical recipe, but it is still where the majority of fat and calories are in this cupcake.  And, even with just a tablespoon of oil, the cake is super moist.  I love the clementine flavor.  I left a few unfrosted to snack on without all the calories, and the clementine is what leaves me wanting more.  If you don't have clementines, oranges would work too, but it won't be quite the same.  And, if you seriously want low-fat, you could go with just a smear of frosting instead of piping it high like I did, and they are really good without frosting at all.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Shrimp Pasta with Lemon Cream Sauce

Shrimp and pasta always make for a quick and delicious meal, but I enjoyed this more than most.  It is great for weeknights when you don't have the time or energy for an involved recipe but still want something really good.  When I came up with the recipe, I knew I wanted shrimp and pasta and started looking at recipes online, but none of them seemed to be exactly what I was looking for so I threw together my favorite elements of three or four of them, and it worked wonderfully.

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From Calculu∫ to Cupcake∫: April 2012

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