Who invented S’More’s anyway?
Graham cracker + marshmallow + chocolate + campfire (or candle fire) + tree stick = a favorite summer time treat around the world. But seriously, who thought of this?
Well whoever it was, kudos to you! This trio of ingredients isn’t exclusive of the summer – it can be eaten year round. And as these truffles will prove, can be eaten without the fire or the stick!
*yields 12-14 Truffles
1/2 block (4 oz) reduced fat cream cheese
1 cup of fluffenutter
1 package of graham crackers
(there are three packages in a box)
1/2 lb. of milk or dark chocolate squares
(you could use chocolate chips as well)
1) In a food processor, pulse the cream cheese, fluff and graham crackers until it becomes a dough-like consistency. You will have to stop a couple of times in between to scrape the dough from the sides so that all the ingredients will mix together. It gets a bit ‘sticky’ as you can imagine!
2) Once the dough has formed, remove from the food processor, place in a small bowl, cover with foil or seran wrap and chill for at least 1/2 hour (I chilled overnight, but 1/2 hour should do it). This will help to roll the dough into balls.
3) After the dough has chilled, take a tablespoon and roll tablespoon sized balls of dough between the palms of your hands until rounded. Place on a sheet with wax paper.
4) Melt your chocolate in a double boiler (or in a microwave) and dip each rolled ball into the chocolate and place back on the wax paper to dry.
5) Sprinkle tops with crushed graham crackers if you like.
6) STUFF IT!
Soft and chewy s’mores, without the sticky fingers and bug spray! I used dark chocolate, and I think next time I would definitely use Milk – I just think with a s’more it tastes more ‘natural’, but it’s really your preference.
So for those of you that enjoy a hot, fresh-off-the-campfire s’more while telling ghost stories, you’ll love these. And for those of you ‘non-campers’ out there who enjoy s’mores from the comfort of their air conditioned living room, you will REALLY love these! No bug bites!
Anyone whose been reading this litte blog for a while can probably sense that I have a slight obsession with all things Buffalo Chicken – there were the egg rolls – there were the stuffed peppers – I’ve even thought about incorporating it into dessert (Buffalo Chicken Ice Cream anyone? eh – nah, scratch that idea).
I haven’t always been a Buffalo Chicken lover, but my tastebuds have really come to love a little zing from that orangey glow on a chicken wing or pizza with hot sauce. So I’ve tried to bring it home to our kitchen and experiment with it as much as possible. The nice thing with Buffalo Chicken too, is that you can add it’s flavoring to food while still keeping the dish healthy.
So when thinking of what was going to be on the menu for my brown bag lunch this week, I thought “Hmm, chicken salad is a great summer sandwich option” – my co-worker Paula who is my lunch time bud always makes her own and I always think to myself that I should do the same. Making your own can be nice because you can regulate the amount of mayo that goes in it – I personally only like just a smidgen of it. While the chicken was cooking though and I was watching Sunday’s episode of Jersey Housewives for the third time in two days, I thought “BUFFALO Chicken Salad would be amazing!”. So with a dash of this, and a smidge of that, here you have it ladies and gents, Buffalo Chicken Salad. It’s def a keeper 🙂
Buffalo Chicken Salad
yields about 6 – 1/2 cup servings
3 cups of cooked chicken
( I used 2 large split chicken breasts and used the meat from those – I’d say it was about 3/4 of a lb – 1lb total – but you could just use boneless skinless breasts as well)
3 stalks of celery, diced
1 bunch of scallions minced
5 tbsp. light mayonnaise
1 tbsp. Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
(just the dry mix – you don’t have to make the dressing)
4 tbsp. of Frank’s Hot Sauce
(or more if you like it spicier)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1) Dice up the cooked chicken into your desired size and place in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
2) In a small mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, HVR dressing mix, Frank’s and salt and pepper until fully combined. Feel free to add Frank’s as you feel necessary.
3) Add the celery and chopped scallions to the cubed chicken and then toss the chicken/celery/scallion mixture with the dressing. Let chill for at least 1/2 hour or overnight.
You can serve this on a nice bulkie roll or even just on plain pieces of lettuce if you want to save some extra calories. Oh is it yum – and fairly healthy as well. (1/2 cup serving is just about 3 WW points).
Who said you couldn’t spice up your life and your lunch?
Would you find ‘Lemonade-gria’ in Webster’s Dictionary? Mmm, probably not. But making up words is fun! And so is making up cocktails – this Lemonade-gria is a perfect combination of the refreshing taste of Lemonade and Sangria – and it’s light and low on calories, at only 5 WW points per serving!
*yields six glasses
1 bottle sauvignon blanc
2 shots of vodka
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
(about 2-3 large lemons)
1/4 cup Rasberry infused simple syrup
1 cup water
(I used lemon flavored)
1 small container of rasberries
1-2 lemons sliced for garnish
Ingredients for Rasberry Infused Simple Syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup stevia
(6 individual packets)
1 small container of fresh rasberries
1) To make simple syrup: Combine the 1/4 cup of water, 1/4 cup of stevia and rasberries in a small sauce pan. Mash the rasberries with the bottom of a wooden spoon to infuse the juice of the rasberries, and simmer with other ingredients for about 3-5 mintues. Strain fruit from syrup and let cool.
2) To make Lemonade’gria- In a large pitcher, combine the sauvignon blanc, vodka, lemon juice, water and simple syrup and mix together. Add the rasberries and lemon slices and chill for 4-6 hours or overnight. (the longer the better!)
3) Pour 1 cup of the mixture in a glass with ice and top the rest off with seltzer water. Garnish with lemon.
Cheers to healthy cocktails and made up words!
There’s a real disconnect in our house regarding dessert – I live for it – Dave can live without it. Has it sent us to marriage counseling? Not yet – yet being the operative word. I don’t know about any of you out there, but I’m kind of a follower when it comes to dessert, because after you’ve finished a huge meal, dessert really can be excessive. But even if it’s just a little bite of chocolate, or scoop of ice cream, it just makes the meal complete! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to Dave “Let’s go get ice cream” (LET’S go get it) and we get to the ice cream shop, wait in line, and we get to the counter and Dave says “Oh I don’t want anything, but you get what you want!” and I don’t know why this makes me angry, maybe because Dave just doesn’t have it in his genetic code that being done with dinner means what’s for dessert? Or that I feel like a fattyboomblatty being the one in the party of two that gets a double scoop of mint chip in a chocolate dipped waffle cone. But, nevertheless, dessert is like the 6th food group for me.
My friend/former roommate Leslie introduced this to me the first week she moved into our apartment. She’s gorgeous – tall – thin – beautiful skin – nicest person you’ll probably ever meet in your life, and she has some amazing healthy eating tricks up her sleeve. I rememeber coming home one night, and the smell of brownies was wafting through our apartment, and I thought YES! BROWNIES! Then Leslie told me that not only are they brownies, they’re healthy brownies. And I said “Get out of town”. So I ate one. Man, was it good. I couldn’t see how a brownie that tasted so good could be healthy. And then she told me that she made them with two ingredients: a box of brownie mix and a can or pureed black beans. And after I lifted my jaw off the ground, I shoved another brownie in my mouth, because hey! They’re healthy! Why not!
So, in my attempt to get back on the band wagon after NC Calorie Fest 2012 (as Buddy coined it), here are these delicious and nutritious Brownie Bites made with Black Beans.
*yields 36 brownie bites or 24 regular sized brownies
1 Box of your favorite brownie mix
1 can of black beans
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2) Rinse the black beans and then return them to the can, filling it up with fresh water.
3) Dump the water and black beans into a food processor and pulse until fully pureed.
4) In a large mixing bowl, combine brownie mix and pureed black beans/water until mixed (will appear a bit lumpy).
5) Spray a 13×9 baking dish, or mini-muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. Fill the baking dish with the brownie batter, or if you’re using a mini-muffin pan, fill each slot with 1/2 tbsp. of brownie batter.
6) Bake for about 10 minutes (in mini-muffin tin) or designated baking time on back of the brownie box for 13×9. Let cool for about 10 minutes in the pan, as they will be a bit dense and hard to remove when hot.
Ohhhh my these are tasty – they’re low fat, full of fiber and protein, you get your chocolate fix, and they’re so cute! Thank-you Leslie for turning me on to this amazingly awesome little “secret” recipe. And my hips thank you too 🙂
Hey folks! Been a few days, I know. Charlotte was a blast – we ate, we drank, we boated – and now that my ankles have de-swelled from all the beer, Chick fil’a, barbecue and mexican food, I think it’s time for some healthier alternatives for a bit. The south is definitely a GREAT place to visit (as long as you’ve got a nice pair of drawstring pants with you!).
It’s now summer, fo’ real, so summer grilling can fully commence! I’ll admit that I rarely make Kabobs, and honestly I don’t know why – they’re easy – they’re pretty – you can do so many different things with them – it’s one compact little meal on a stick! How can you beat that?
I’ve really been loving lime juice lately for a lot of things (not just margaritas) and this marinade for the chicken in the kabobs was delicious and practically calorie free! It had a little tang, but the brown sugar cut it just a bit. Delish.
Lime Grilled Chicken Kabobs
1 lb 98% fat free chicken boneless breasts, cut into 1″ pieces
juice of 8 limes
4 small – medium garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. light brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
10 (approximately) bamboo sticks, soaked in water for about 1/2 hour
Veggies of your choice, cut into 1″ pieces
(I used a zuccini, yellow squash and red pepper)
1) Cut chicken breast into 1″ pieces – set aside.
2) Whisk together lime juice, minced garlic, chili powder, cumin, brown sugar and salt and pepper. This will yield about 1/2 cup of marinade. Separate into 1/4 cup for the veggies and 1/4 cup for the chicken.
3) In a large ziplock bag or bowl, pour the marinade over the chicken pieces and let marinade for at least 1/2 hour, up to overnight (the longer the better – this was a post-work recipe so naturally we didn’t have as much time to marinade as I would have liked). Then do the same with the veggies.
4) Soak your bamboo sticks in water for at least 1/2 hour, so they don’t burn on the grill.
5) Assemble the kabobs alternating chicken/veggie/chicken until all kabobs are made.
6) Cook on grill over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, alternating sides every few minutes. Serve with a yummy starch like rice or potatoes!
I have to admit, I cheated and used our stove-top grill pan as we have a charcoal grill and sometimes it seems to take foreverrrrr to light – as mentioned in a previous post, I get pretty hangry (Hungry + Angry) if I have to wait too long for dinner, but they were equally as delish on the stove top grill!
So gentlemen (and ladies) start your engines (and your grills!)
On several occasions these past few months, I have feared that an apocalypse is nearing the city of Boston, because MAN has the weather been GORGE! This winter was beyond strange – I think we had a full week of 80 degree weather in March and after last year’s weekly 8-12 inches of snow, even the lightest of flurries didn’t last more than a few hours this year. We’ve had some rain recently, but personally, I enjoy a rainy day or two – justifying extreme couching and Bravo t.v. watching is a lot easier when the weather is ick. And, the ‘greenness’ of everything is beyond beautiful!
For some reason nice weather makes me think of salads – perhaps because the veggies and fruit are so fresh and pretty, I want to use them as much as possible – or because nice weather means that it won’t be long before I have to unlock the safe and blow the 1 inch layer of dust off of my bathing suit.
So the other night for dinner, it was a delicious chicken breast made by Dave, with fresh Rosemary and Tyme from our ‘porch garden’ (Dave is OBSESSED with this Boos Block Mincer thing we got and is finding any excuse to use it) and this yummy Tomato, Cucumber and Feta salad I put together! I’ve recently really come to like Feta, and the fat free version of it is a nice option if you’re looking to add a little flavor to something. Would I stick a spoon in there and eat it like peanut butter? Ehhh maybe not so much, but, it can really accent some dishes nicely. Of course you can use the regular version too if you like!
Tomato, Cucumber and Feta Salad
2 cartons of grape tomatoes
(I used one Red and Yellow)
1 english cucumber
8-10 basil leaves chopped
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. fat-free italian dressing
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup fat-free feta cheese
1) Slice the grape tomatoes in half and place in a large mixing bowl. Then peel the english cucumber, cutting it lengthwise down the middle and then slicing the two halves. Add to the tomatoes. Then add the feta cheese and toss lightly.
2) In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, italian dressing, minced garlic and salt and pepper.
3) Lightly toss the tomato/cucumber/feta mixture in the balsamic dressing mixture until combined.
4) Sprinkle the chopped basil over the top, or mix in the salad – whatever your preference.
Delicious – healthy – you could even have seconds! And still fit into that teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini 🙂