Saturday, May 24, 2008

Strawberry Pizza

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 2 minutes
Bake: about 10 minutes
Yield: 24 cookies

1 package ready-to-bake sugar cookies
1/4 cup strawberry jelly
12 Tbs light strawberry cream cheese
6 large strawberries, chopped

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake cookies as directed and let cool for at least 10 minutes.

2. While cookies are baking, heat jelly in a small pot over low heat until liquefied, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.

3. Spread each cookie with 1/2 Tbs cream cheese, and top with chopped strawberries. Brush melted jelly on top. (Garnish with a mint sprig, if you'd like.)

Per serving: 144 calories, 7 g fat (3 g saturated), 155 mg sodium, 13 mg cholesterol

(As seen in Parenting magazine, September 2007)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Chicken Salad with Pistachios

Today's Random Recipe calls for picnic food to get us ready for the Memorial Day weekend. This is my mother in law's chicken salad recipe, and we usually have this at most of our summer get-togethers.

Most of the time we grill out at their house, so refrigeration isn't an issue. If you're taking this to a picnic, make sure that you have adequate space in your cooler. Or you could make sandwiches ahead to save on space.

Chicken Salad with Pistachios

8 ounces light sour cream
1 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
4 cups already roasted and sliced chicken (we use rotisserie chicken)
1 bunch scallions (enough for 1 cup chopped)
2 ribs celery (for about 1 cup chopped)
1 cup already shelled pistachios, unsalted
1/3 cup sweet pickle relish, well drained
1/2 tsp black pepper, more or less to taste
salt to taste

In a 2 quart or larger bowl, mix together the sour cream and mayonnaise. Chop the chicken into chunks, if necessary, and add to the mayonnaise mixture. Stir until the meat is well coated.

Rinse the scallions and slice them, using all of the whites and enough of the tender green tops to make 1 cup. Sprinkle them over the chicken as you chop. Cut the celery into bite-sized pieces and add them to the salad. Add the nuts, sweet pickle relish and black pepper. Stir to mix well. Add salt and additional black pepper to taste, if necessary.

Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Four Foods on Friday - White

This week's theme for FFOF is "white." This requires a bit more creativity, I think! Thanks to Val at Fun, Crafts, and Recipes for hosting this fun meme!

#1. What’s your favorite white beverage? If you don’t have one, what’s your favorite beverage with something white in it? ~ I've mentioned this drink before, Pink Chocolate. It's white hot chocolate with raspberry flavoring. The white chocolate is a smoother, less bitter, drink than regular hot chocolate. (I get it at my local espresso kiosk, but I'm sure you could special order it at your favorite place!)

#2. What’s your favorite white gravy, sauce, condiment, dressing or topping? ~ I am not very fond of most condiments, but I do love to have mozzarella cheese as a topping on a lot of foods that I eat!

#3. What’s your favorite white item from the refrigerated section? ~ Dannon Fit 'n Lively Vanilla Yogurt - with my homemade granola and some dried cranberries - YUM!

#4. Share a recipe for something white. ~ I LOVE white pizza! It was a favorite treat when I was growing up. Not many places made this, and I'm so glad to have a recipe for it.

White and Green Pizza

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 2 minutes
Bake: 10 minutes
Yeild: 4 servings

5 oz fresh (or frozen, defrosted) baby spinach
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbs water
1 cup part-skim ricotta
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 mini-pizza crusts (such as Boboli) (5 oz each)
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella
2 Tbs grated parmesan
1 Tbs olive oil

1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Meanwhile, put spinach in a microwave-safe casserole dish. Season to taste, and sprinkle with water. Cover with plastic wrap, and pierce to vent. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Drain well.

2. Mix ricotta and garlic powder in a small bowl. Place the pizza crusts on an ungreased baking sheet, and spread half the ricotta mixture on each one. Top each pizza with cooked spinach, mozarella, and parmesan. Drizzle with olive oil.

3. Bake for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Cool slightly and cut each pizza in half to serve.

Per serving: 352 calories, 13 g fat (4 g saturated), 637 mg sodium, 24 mg cholesterol
(as seen in Parenting magazine, September 2007)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Four Foods on Friday - Chocolate

Four Foods on Friday is hosted by Val at Fun, Crafts, and Recipes. This week's theme for FFoF is “chocolate”. Mmmm. I LOVE chocolate!

#1. What’s your favorite beverage containing chocolate or chocolate flavoring? ~ Pink Chocolate, it's a white hot chocolate with raspberry flavored syrup. Yumm-eee.

#2. What’s your favorite chocolate bar? OR Share a pic of your favorite candy, chocolate or otherwise. ~ I love any dark chocolate candy bar. One of my current faves is Snickers Dark Chocolate.

#3. What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten that had chocolate in it? ~ Chocolate covered jalepeno. Not a favorite of mine, but it was definitely interesting!

#4. Share a recipe using chocolate.

Yum Yum Brownie Muffins, from Hungry Girl

(1 Muffin, or 3 minis - 181 calories, 3.5g fat, 37g carbs, 2g, fiber, 2g protein - 4 WW points)
This super-simple 2-ingredient recipe is a Weight Watchers Fave! This is seriously good too! (You can do this with any cake mix too.)

1 box devil’s food cake mix
1 can solid pack pumpkin (15 oz.)

Directions:Mix the two ingredients together. Don't add anything else that may be mentioned on the box, such as eggs, oil, or water. The mixture will be very thick and you will be tempted to add in other things to make the batter smoother. DO NOT DO THIS AS IT WILL RUIN EVERYTHING! Place batter into muffin tins (or mini muffin tins) lined with paper, or sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes 12 regular or 36 mini muffins

Friday, May 9, 2008

My Favorite Pasta Salad

The theme for Random Recipes today is "lunch." This was tough for me, because my lunch is usually a grilled cheese sandwich or left-overs. But as the weather warms, my thoughts turn to summer foods, and this is one of my favorite summertime meals. You can do all the prep in the morning and have this for lunch or supper, or both! This recipe makes a lot!

If you need a great low-fat panini recipe, click here for a turkey reuben.

Also, go check out Random Thoughts today for more great Random Recipes!

My Favorite Pasta Salad

8 ounces wagon wheel macaroni or tri-colored corkscrew macaroni or desired pasta
1 medium sweet red pepper, cut into thin strips
1 medium yellow squash, halved, sliced lengthwise (and/or zucchini)
10 ounces frozen peas, thawed or 1 1/2 cups fresh peas, cooked and cooled
6 ounces black olive, pitted, drained (we're not olive fans, so we usually leave these out)
4 ounces smoked cheddar cheese, cubed
1 cup unblanched whole almonds, toasted
1/2 cup green onion, sliced
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, snipped or oregano or basil or dill
8 ounces Italian salad dressing

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. Rinse with cool water and drain thoroughly.
3. Cool pasta to room temperature. In a large mixing bowl combine pasta, sweet red pepper, yellow squash or zucchini, peas, olives, cheese, almonds, green onions and herb.
4. Add dressing to pasta mixture. Toss gently to mix.
5. Cover and chill for 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Four Foods on Friday

This is my first time participating in Four Foods on Friday, hosted by Fun, Crafts, and Recipes. This week's theme is chicken.

#1. How do you make chicken salad? ~ I take the easy route. I use canned chicken, drained and shredded. Maybe add diced celery or onion if I have it. I also like dried cranberries in my chicken salad, but Hubby says that fruit and meat don't belong together in the same dish. For the dressing, I use equal parts mayo and ranch dressing. Season with salt and pepper.

#2. Fast food chicken. What fast food restaurant makes the best chicken? I love Chik-Fil-A chicken. I usually get either the Chik-Fil-A sandwich or their chicken strips.

#3. What’s your favorite way to eat chicken? I think stir fried is my favorite way to eat chicken. We eat a lot of chicken, so that's a hard one to say for sure.

#4. Share a recipe using chicken or take a picture of a chicken dish.

Grand Strand Chicken Bog
(Found in the Vertical File of Chapin Library, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina)

Chicken Bog is a traditional low country dish. It always makes an appearance at church suppers and other gatherings of large groups. Every one has a different version, but this is the way I like it.

2 1/2 lb. chicken pieces
1 c. chopped onion
1 1/2 lb. smoked sausage
1 tsp. black pepper
2 c. long grain rice

Boil chicken and onions in 4 c. water until tender. Debone chicken. Slice sausage in 1/2" pieces, add sausage, pepper and rice to chicken. Simmer until all broth is absorbed and rice is cooked. Serves 8.