Sunday, January 27, 2008

HG's Better-for-you Red Velvet Cupcakes

Y'all know how I love Red Velvet Cake, and that I am very particular about it! But I found this recipe on Hungry Girl, and I haven’t made it yet, but it will be interesting to compare with my Grandma's Red Velvet Cake recipe!

These cupcakes are so moist, so delicious, so RED, and so completely guilt-free, that writing extra words to introduce this recipe would be a complete and total waste of everyone’s time. So here ya go… HG’s Red Velvet Insanity Cupcakes!

For Frosting
6 tbsp. Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme
6 tbsp. Cool Whip Free, thawed
1/4 cup fat-free cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp. Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)

For Cupcakes
1 cup Pillsbury Moist Supreme Reduced Sugar Cake Mix, Devil’s Food**
1 cup Pillsbury Moist Supreme Reduced Sugar Cake Mix, Classic Yellow**
Two 25-calorie diet hot cocoa mix packets
1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters)
1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
1/2 oz. red food coloring
1 tsp. Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
1/8 tsp. salt

Directions:Place half of your chocolate chips (2 tbsp.) and the contents of both cocoa packets in a tall glass. Add 12 ounces of boiling water, and stir until chips and cocoa mix have dissolved. Place glass in the freezer until mixture is cold (about 30 minutes).

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix together marshmallow creme, cream cheese, and 1 tbsp. Splenda until smooth. Fold in Cool Whip. Place bowl in the fridge to chill until cupcakes are ready to be frosted. Once the cocoa in the freezer has chilled, give it a stir, and pour it into a large mixing bowl. Add the cake mixes, egg substitute, remaining chocolate chips, red food coloring, 1 tsp. Splenda, and salt. Using a whisk or fork, mix batter for about 2 minutes (until smooth and blended). Batter will be thin, but don’t worry, your cupcakes will puff up once baked!

Line a 12-cup muffin pan with baking cups, and spray lightly with nonstick spray (or simply spray the pan with nonstick spray). Evenly spoon batter into the pan. Place pan in the oven, and bake for 15 - 20 minutes. Cupcakes will look shiny when done. Once cupcakes have cooled completely, evenly spread the frosting over them. Enjoy!

Serving Size: 1 frosted cupcake
Calories: 134
Fat: 3g
Sodium: 266mg
Carbs: 25g
Fiber: 0.75g
Sugars: 11g
Protein: 3g
POINTS® value 3*

Friday, January 18, 2008

Ginger Cookies

Ginger Cookies (with Pumpkin)
Created by Jessica Seinfeld
Makes 24 cookies
These festive cookies are perfect for the holidays…and any time of the year!

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup trans fat-free margarine spread, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg*
1/2 cup pureed pumpkin (solid pack pumpkin in a can), room temperature
1/3 cup of molasses
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, spices, salt and baking soda. In a large mixing bowl, beat the margarine spread, sugar, egg and pumpkin until smooth and fluffy. Add the molasses. Slowly, add the dry ingredients to form a smooth, soft dough. Prepare the topping by mixing the cinnamon and sugar together into a small bowl. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. With a teaspoon or your fingers, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar topping over each cookie before baking. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. For crispier cookies, bake a little longer. Cool on wire racks.

* For chewier cookies, add an additional egg.

Turkey (or Chicken) Pot Pie

Pam at Random Thoughts is hosting Random Recipes. Today's theme, in honor of several January birthdays (including my hubby's next week), is birthday food. When I asked Hubby what his definition of "birthday food" is, he replied "comfort food." So what says comfort food more than Turkey Pot Pie? This is from Jessica Seinfeld, author of Deceptively Delicious.

Turkey (or Chicken) Pot Pie (with Sweet Potato)
Created by Jessica Seinfeld
Makes one large casserole or 8 individual 1-cup servings
Sweet potato makes a creamy, thick sauce that adds tons of vitamin A. This is also a great way to use up leftover poultry!

2 Tbsp. trans fat-free, soft tub margarine
2 Tbsp. flour
2 cups reduced sodium, fat-free or low-fat chicken or turkey broth
2 1/2 cups cooked turkey or chicken, cubed
1 cup sweet potato puree

2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup non-fat, skim milk
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. wheat germ or flax meal
3 Tbsp. trans fat-free, soft tub margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 400°. Melt margarine in a medium-size saucepan. Add flour and cook over medium heat, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until a thick paste forms and the mixture become golden but not brown. Add chicken broth and heat until mixture just begins to boil. Reduce heat; add turkey, sweet potato puree. Pour into a 2-quart casserole dish or divide among 8 1-cup ramekins. For topping, in a large bowl, combine all ingredients until a soft batter forms. If using individual ramekins, spread batter on top of each ramekin. Place ramekins onto a cookie sheet and bake until dough is golden brown, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. For the casserole, spread batter to cover. Bake until dough is golden brown, approximately 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Friday, January 11, 2008

HG's Miracle Mashies


PER SERVING (1/5th of recipe, about 2/3 cup): 82 calories, 1g fat, 168mg sodium, 16g carbs, 3g fiber, 2g sugars, 3g protein -- POINTS® value 1*

Mixing cauliflower and potato is a GREAT way to get true mashed potato taste and texture, with a healthier, lower calorie spin. Woohoo!

1 large (about 13-oz.) potato
3 cups cauliflower florets
3 tbsp. fat-free half & half
1 tbsp. light whipped butter or light buttery spread
1/4 tsp. salt pepper and additional salt, to taste
Optional: 1/2 tsp. crushed garlic

Directions: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, peel and cube the potato. Once water is boiling, add peeled potato cubes and cauliflower. Wait for the water to return to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium. Cook for 15 - 20 minutes (until potatoes and cauliflower are very tender). Remove the pot from heat and strain out all of the water. Transfer contents to a large bowl, and add half & half, butter/buttery spread, salt, and (if you like) crushed garlic. Mash it all together with a potato masher, until completely blended. Season to taste with pepper and additional salt. Enjoy! MAKES 5 SERVINGS

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

WFMW - Backwards Edition

I'm posting this question here, on my recipe blog, to keep recipe related posts in one place.

O wise Internetz, I am in need of some slow cooker help! The last two times that I cooked something with potatoes in it, the potatoes were not cooked through. I love using my slow cooker, and I love the convenience of it. I don't like the idea of cooking on the stove then throwing everything in. Too many pots and pans!! So the thought of cooking the potatoes then putting them in the slow cooker makes me tremble. Any solutions?

Also, if you have any good slow cooker recipes to share, please leave a link in the comments. Also let me know if it's okay to republish your recipe here (giving you the linky love, of course!). I like to keep my recipes in one place so I don't have to tax my mommy brain with remembering where to find your awesome recipes.

For more burning blogger questions, visit Shannon.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Peppermint Cocoa

8 servings

3 peppermint stick candy (4 1/2")
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup non-dairy powdered coffee creamer
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
whipped cream

Crush peppermint in a food processor till fine powder.
Add in sugar, creamer and cocoa.
Pulse till mixed.
Add 3 Tbs. mix to 3/4 cup boiling water for each serving.
If you like, top with whipped cream.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Baked Potato Soup

Pam at Random Thoughts has asked us to post our Random Recipes for our favorite soup or stew. (Great timing considering how cold it is right now, even in South Carolina!) I haven't made this soup, but my mother-in-law has, and it's great! (BTW, I'm looking for a good slow cooker potato soup recipe. Anyone?)

Baked Potato Soup
5-7 servings
2 quarts
1¾ hours 20 min prep

4 large potatoes
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup flour
6-8 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
12 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled & divided
6 green onions, chopped and divided
4 garlic cloves
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream

Bake potatoes at 400 degrees for an hour.
Cut in half lengthwise, scoop out and reserve pulp.
Melt butter in saucepan over low heat; add flour, stirring until smooth.
Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Gradually add milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick and bubbly.
Stir in potato, salt, pepper, 1/2 bacon, 2T onion, garlic and 1 c cheese.
Cook until thoroughly heated (do not boil).
Stir in sour cream and heat.
Serve with remaining bacon, onion and cheese.