Where Cooking is Fun
We want cooking to be as fun for you as it is for us.

Friday, March 6, 2015

BAKED Crispy French Fries

I love, love, love, LOVE (did I mention LOVE??!) French Fries...its one of the 
things I miss most about trying to eat healthy. BUT THIS is a GREAT substitute for the "real" mccoy! They still have the same YUMMY taste, just not all the added grease. THEY are fabulous!! I didn't turn mine 1/2 way through the cooking process like you are supposed to, which is why mine didn't crisp up as much as they should have...SO DON'T forget to turn them 1/2 way through...!

BAKED Crispy French Fries
3 LARGE russet potatoes
2 T. olive oil
1/2 t. season salt

Wash potatoes, peel IF you don't like the skins...I like them so I leave them on. Cut potatoes into thin, french fries size, slices. Place potatoes into a large bowl, over with COLD water. Let sit for 30 minutes (or more). Drain and rinse potatoes. Lay out on a paper towel. Blot potatoes so there is no leftover water. PREHEAT OVEN to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Mix oil and seasoning in a small bowl. Place DRY potatoes in a large bowl. Pour oil mixture on top and stir and toss, coating all potato slices. Spread potato slices evenly onto prepared baking sheet. Don't overlap fries (I did...not good!) Bake for 15 minutes, turn fries over. Remove from oven, turn up oven temperature to 450 degrees. Return potatoes to oven, bake for another 15-20 minutes or until fries are done (mine actually took another 30 minutes BUT I think it was because some of them were overlapping). Serve with your favorite entree. IF you have more potatoes then will fill the pan, you can bake them OR put them in a ziplock bag and cook another day. 

Julie~  

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Healthy Applesauce Bran Muffins

Muffins are an easy breakfast. I serve them with fruit or cereal or just by themselves....I like to make enough that I can freeze some for "another" morning. These Applesauce Bran Muffins don't lack any flavor, even though they are lacking the "oil" that most recipes call for. I love that they are still moist and delicious!!

Healthy Applesauce Bran Muffins
1 1/2 c. wheat bran ( I put 2 c. wheat bran cereal in my food processor and used the "flour" from it)
1 c. flour
1 c. milk
1/3 c. applesauce
1 egg
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
2/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 t. vanilla

Mix all ingredient in a bowl. Prepare muffin tin by spraying each muffin cup with cooking spray. Drop batter by spoonful into muffin cups. Bake at 375 degrees for 13-17 minutes. WATCH them closely, you don't want them to cook too long, just until the tops bounce back. Eat up!!

Julie~

Monday, March 2, 2015

Gingerbread Pancakes

This picture doesn't do these SCRUMPTIOUS Gingerbread Pancakes justice...BECAUSE they are amazing (....and this picture isn't). They are packed full of those gingerbread  flavors that we all love and adore....AND THE SYRUP, THE SYRUUUUUUPPPP....its the icing on the cake. It is the PERFECT syrup for these delicious pancakes.....and I mean PERFECT! Mmmmmm!!!

Gingerbread Pancakes
1 1/2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1 1/4 t. pumpkin pie spice
1 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 egg
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
2 T. oil
2 T. molasses
1 T. sugar
1 t. vanilla

Combine ingredient in a mixing bowl. Stir OR using an electric mixer, mix until well combined. LET BATTER REST for 10 minutes. Spray griddle or skillet with cooking spray. Heat to Medium high OR 375 degrees. When pan is hot, pour pancakes with a 1/4 c. measuring cup. Let each pancake cook until the bubbles that form, begin to pop, turn and let the other side cook another 2-3 minutes or until done. Continue processes until all pancakes are cooked. Top with Cream Cheese Syrup (recipe below) and a dollop of whipped topping, a shake of cinnamon and pecans, if desired. 

Cream Cheese Syrup

2 cubes REAL butter
8 oz. Cream cheese
3 c. powdered sugar
2 t. vanilla

IN a microwave safe dish, heat butter and cream cheese until melted. Whisk together until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Serve on top of pancakes.

Julie~

Friday, February 27, 2015

THE SKINNY Brownie

The one thing that is always missed most when we are trying to "EAT HEALTHY" are all
of those tempting foods that we love, but shouldn't eat. This fabulous SKINNY BROWNIE recipe is the perfect sweet treat WITHOUT ANY oil or fat. Its NOT lacking ANY flavor at all, in fact
many who have tried them compare them to the store bought bakery brownies that we all love. 
I would give this brownie a HUGE four **** (stars!) They freeze well also...that is IF 
there are any left over in the pan! Happy EATING!!

THE SKINNY Brownie

1 DARK chocolate brownie mix (DO NOT follow ingredient on back)
1/2 c. water 
1/4 c. Fat Free GREEK Yogurt
2 egg whites

14-18 DARK CHOCOLATE chips

Mix all ingredient EXCEPT chocolate chips,  until combined. Place in a 9x13 baking pan sprayed with cooking spray. Cook according to package instructions (I think I cooked mine for 28 minutes, but each brand is slightly different, so check for cooking times). Remove from oven 5 minutes BEFORE its done. Sprinkle 14-18 DARK chocolate chips over brownies. Return to oven. Cook remaining time. When you take the brownies out, gently spread the slightly melted/softened chocolate chips across brownies. THIS gives them the taste of frosting...if you want to eliminate this part, you could. Let brownies cool completely. Cut and serve. 

Julie~ 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Light Stuffed Red Peppers

I've never EVER been a fan of stuffed peppers...in fact if you asked me what one of my 
LEAST FAVORITE foods was, "Stuffed Peppers" would make the TOP 5 on my list. I saw this recipe and made a few changes to make it more "appealing" to my families likes and WALAA, it was a HUGE HIT! The peppers added the perfect hint of "peppery" taste, but wasn't overwhelming and the small amount of cheese made it "cheesy enough" that you didn't feel as though you were missing out on the ooey gooey-ness of heaven's manna, "CHEESE"! They were amazing!!

  
Skinny Stuffed Red Peppers
2 large RED peppers, cut in half and seeded
1/2 lb extra lean ground beef
1 T. taco seasoning
2 c. cooked brown rice (I used white....because no one likes brown. YOU do what your family loves)
1-2 c. colby jack cheese, grated (depends on the amount you want on top of your pepper)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown burger in a skillet. Sprinkle taco seasoning + 1 T water on meat when its almost cooked. Set aside. Cut peppers in half lengthwise, removed stem and seeds. Repeat until all 4 halves are cleaned out. Boil 1 quart of water. When water is boiling, place 2 peppers in the boiling water. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove and place on paper towel to absorb water. Repeat with the other 2 pepper halves. This process softens the skins of the pepper so they don't take so long to cook....don't skip it. Place peppers in an 8x8 baking pan. Mix rice and burger mixture together. With an ice cream or cookie scoop, fill peppers with mixture. Top with shredded cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Top with chopped avocado if desired. Serve hot.  

Julie~

Monday, February 23, 2015

Skinny Breakfast Bars

I mentioned a while back we were trying some "healthy eating" this year. We've tried a few things that are not really "blog worthy". It has to be GRAND to make the blog...ha ha ha! These Skinny Breakfast Bars happen to be one of our favorites! They are packed full of healthy stuff and yet almost taste like a "warm" granola bar. The texture is soft, and the taste is rich and chewy. We will make them again for sure. 


Skinny Breakfast Bars


3 ripe bananas
1/3 c. applesauce
2 c. old fashioned oats (1 c. blend up a little bit in your blender so its sort of like flour)
1/4 c. milk 
1/2 c. craisins
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. slivered or chopped almonds

 In a medium mixing bowl, mash bananas. Add all the other ingredient. Stir until combined. Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Spray 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray. Spread mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool slightly. EAT and enjoy! 


Julie~

Friday, February 20, 2015

Zebra Stripped Oreo Truffles

OH how these would be PERFECT Easter, or just ANY day (my theory is: anything can be eaten at any given time, day or night, sunshine, rain or snow AND THERE IS no need to wait for a holiday)...they are SO easy to make
and taste like a million bucks! I completely adore them and would eat WAY MORE than I 
should...THEY are the "bomb" when it comes to truffles in my book!

White Oreo Truffles
1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
2 pkg. OREO cookies (regular, NOT mega or double stuffed), crushed (like crumbs)
   *I used my food processor and it worked PERFECT.
2 pkg. WHITE Almond Bark

Soften cream cheese. Mix crushed cookies and cream cheese together until well combined. Shape dough into walnut size balls (or smaller if you want). Place on a baking sheet and FREEZE for 30-40 minutes. Melt almond bark according to package directions. Using a fork, poke semi frozen oreo balls into melted almond bark. Tap sides of bowl to get the excess chocolate off of the oreo ball. Plce on wax paper that has been placed on a baking sheet. Continue until all oreo balls are dipped. Drizzle with melted "chocolate" if desired. Refrigerated for 1 hour or until firm......THEN EAT!!!

**IF you have any leftover, keep them refrigerated.

Julie~

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Over Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

We have been doing the "Get Healthy" think at my house...some days are better than others BUT
we keep trying. This Over Stuffed Sweet Potato was a HUGE hit. It replace the "regular potato". Its got a rich creamy flavor that doesn't need butter and its perfect topped with all the "right stuff". 
I'll take sweet potatoes over regular ol' russets any day!!

Over Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
*I am not going to give "amounts" because it all depends on how many you are serving
**I am also just going to give you "ideas" that you can top your Sweet Potato with. I will put a * by what we put on ours. 

Sweet Potatoes

Bake sweet potatoes *with OR without foil at 425 degrees for 45-60 minutes...depending on size of potato. Remove from the oven and top with your favorite HEALTHY toppings....

Diced tomatoes
diced avocado
mushrooms*
black beans*
corn*
salsa*
Plain Greek Yogurt*
grated carrots
sunflower seeds
pumpkin seeds
super lean ground burger*
parmesan cheese
roasted broccoli

Use your imagination and get creative with your sweet potato! Enjoy a healthy dish tonight!

Julie~

Monday, February 16, 2015

Fruity Breakfast Cake

When my children were young, I used to make breakfast cake at least once a week...
now that we only have 1 left at home we make it MAYBE once every 6 months....BUT when I do make it, I always wonder why I don't make it more frequently. The family loves it, it can be eaten for a few days as leftovers and its quick....seems like a WIN/ WIN to me!! THIS Fruity Breakfast Cake is delicious. Its got the "sweet" that sometimes makes the world a better place in the morning, but its also moist and great served with a bowl of hot cereal, or cold cereal if you prefer, or a great side to a scrambled egg....OR just it it as is with a glass of milk...its great no matter how you eat it!

Fruity Breakfast Cake
2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. buttermilk
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
2 eggs
1 can blueberry pie filling
1/2 c. chopped pecans for the topping

Place dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir with a fork until combined. Add butter and stir until crumbly (seriously, I just used my hands). Remove 1/2 of the crumb mixture and set aside. Add pecans to the crumb mixture that you are setting aside. 

Add milk and eggs to crumb mixture THAT YOU ARE NOT setting aside. Stir until combined. There may be some lumps...thats okay. Spray cooking spray in a 9x13" pan. Pour batter into cooking pan. With a spoon, dollop blueberry pie filling over cake, spread carefully. Sprinkle reserved crumb/nut mixture over pie filling. Bake at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Serve. 

Julie~ 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken

I am in love with crockpot cooking...it is the EASE of MY LIFE!...the idea of throwing it all 
in the crock pot in the morning and then forgetting about it until its dinner time is pure joy to me! This teriyaki chicken is rich with fabulous flavor. Its great over rice or warmed up as leftovers and thrown on a bun for a tasty sandwich. Its good in just about anything...and it EASY!

Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breast, Frozen
1 bottle of Yoshida Teriyaki Sauce (found by the barbeque sauce and Ketchup)

Place FROZEN (if thawed shorten cooking time by 2 1/2 hours) chicken in crock pot. Cover with entire bottle of Yoshida sauce. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Stir periodically to keep from sticking. Serve over rice or as is. 

Julie~