Newlyweds navigating their way through married life – and the kitchen

Monthly Archives: August 2012

Skinny Kale & Feta Dip with Homemade Pita Chips

My gals pals and I had our Fantasy Football draft the other night.

Three years ago, we thought “heck, wouldn’t it be fun to make our own Fantasy Football team and pick all of our players based on 1) cuteness  2) level of hot body’ness?”  Well, let’s just say that this strategy didn’t get us too far in terms of winning anything.  But, it was a great excuse to sit by the T.V. every Sunday hooting and hollering alongside the men – although we were hooting and hollering at tight camera shots of bums and other body parts vs. touchdowns and field goals.

Last year, it got a little more competitive – my friend Erin took over the roll of commissioner.  By day, Erin is this cute little CPA who works for the IRS – on Sunday’s during football season though, she’s a crazed, football-jersey-wearing maniac that screams at the television and sits with her legs open staring intently at the television holding her breath to see what the next play brings (ok, maybe I’m exaggerating at the sitting w/ her legs wide open part – everything else is 100% true!).  With Erin as commissioner, we started to take things a little more seriously, and really started to care about more than how long Tom Brady’s hair had gotten or if the camera’s shot to our favorite celebs in the stands during games.  We actually like, paid attention – and made changes in our roster every week – and like, kind of knew what was going on!

Skinny Kale & Feta Dip with Homemade Pita Chips

And this year’s draft was a nail biter, probs the most stressful hour and a half that I’ve had in a while.  While we may be ladies Monday through Saturday, on Sundays, the claws will be out.  But we need sustenance to keep ourselves going during hours and hours of football watching.

Delicious food goes hand in hand with football season – chilli – wings – dips of all kinds – which is what we have today! I’m a huge Spinach dip lover, so this is a Skinny version of a great Sunday Funday snack, made with Kale and Feta Cheese (you could easily use spinach too, I just wanted to shake things up a bit) and homemade pita chips! I am OBSESSED with the Josephs© line of sandwich wraps.  They have pita bread, wraps and lavash that are all only 2 WW points each!  And, they made amazing home made pita chips!

Kale & Feta Dip with Homemade Pita Chips

INGREDIENTS
*yields about 1 cup of dip and 16 pita chips – serving size is 1/4 cup of dip and 4 pita chips

For Kale & Feta Dip:

4 cups chopped kale

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 cup fat-free cream cheese

1/2 cup fat-free sour cream

1/4 cup fat-free feta cheese

juice of 1/2 lemon

2 tbsp. grated parmesean cheese

salt and pepper to taste

For Pita Chips:

Non-stick cooking spray

2 whole Josephs Pita Breads
(the large size, not the smaller sandwich size ones)

Salt and Pepper

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) In a medium sauce pan, sautee minced garlic and chopped kale over medium heat until it shrinks to about 1/2 it’s original size.

3) Place cooked kale in a large mixing bowl and add cream cheese, sour cream, feta and lemon juice and mix until combined.  Add salt and pepper as needed.

4) Place in an oven-safe baking dish and sprinkle grated parmesean cheese on the top.  Cook for about 10 minues, or until bubbly.

5) Slice the pita breads into 8 triangles (16 total).  Spray with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake in oven about 5 minutes on each side, until chips reach desired level of crunchiness.

TOUCHDOWN! A delicious dip, that can be served hot or cold, that is only 3.5 WW points per serving.  So if you were so preoccupied with the action and ate the whole thing by mistake, it wouldn’t be so bad!

Have a great Labor Day weekend everyone 🙂

Skinny Kale & Feta Dip with Homemade Pita Chips

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Skinny "Ice Cream" Sammies

It seems like ice cream sandwiches have been around since the dawn of time – other frozen novelties have come and gone from the shelves of your local grocery store, but the simple combination if vanilla ice cream perfectly sandwiched between two soft and chewy chocolate cookies has been a crowd pleaser for generations.

I like ice cream – I actually love it.  And biting into an ice cream sandwich might be one of the best tastes of summer – especially when the soft cookie gets stuck to the roof of your mouth – love that.

So how can you fake out your taste buds and save yourself a few cellulite dimples?

See below 🙂

Skinny “Ice Cream” Sandwiches

INGREDIENTS
*yields 4 sammies

4 full Chocolate Graham Cracker sheets

8 tbsp. Fat-Free Cool Whip

Rainbow Nonpareils

1) Line a cookie sheet with wax paper.

2) Snap each full graham cracker sheet in half and lay out on the wax paper.

3)  Place 2 tbsp. of fat-free cool whip on one of the 2 graham crackers and then top with the other.

4)  Sprinkle with rainbow nonpareils (or any ‘decoration’ of your choice – nuts, chocolate chips, the options are endless!)

5)  Place in the freezer for about an hour in order for cool whip to freeze.

Once frozen, the cool whip takes on a soft, chewy texture that takes you to your Ice Cream happy place, without all the guilt.  And for only 2 WW points per sammie, well, you could even have two 🙂

Skinny "Ice Cream" Sammies


Summer Bruschetta

It’s the last week of summer (I know – sniff, sniff).  That means there is one week left to:

1) Strut around in your bikini (or one-piece with conservative coverup) while the weather is still nice

2) Capitalize on the freshest produce of the year!

And these next recipes will be nothing but bikini friendly.  In only a couple short weeks, it’ll be time to stuff ourselves in sweaters and shovel in the chilli w/ cheese, sour cream and fritos while watching Sunday football.  HOWEVER, until then, let’s keep it on the skinny, shall we?

This Summer Bruschetta is SOO freaking delish, a take-off on that delightful Tomato, Cucumber & Feta Salad.  I think I’ve made it about 7596943 times this summer.  It’s easy – it’s healthy – and there’s no better way to showcase one of summer’s star veggie-fruits than with bruschetta.

Summer Bruschetta

INGREDIENTS

1 large package of heirloom tomatoes, chopped or pulsed a few times in the food processor (about 2 cups)
(I like to use the different colored ones, but all red would do too)

1 tbsp. lite italian dressing

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup fat-free feta cheese

8-10 large basil leaves, chopped

1) Chop tomatoes into small pieces or pulse in the food processor a few times until they reach your desired size.  Place in a mixing bowl and set aside.

2) In a small mixing bowl, whisk together italian dressing, balsamic vinegar and minced garlic.  Pour mixture over the chopped tomatoes and fold with a spatula.

3) Add fat-free feta cheese and chopped basil and fold into tomato/dressing mixture.

4)  Let the mix sit for at least 1/2 hour.  I personally like letting it sit at room temperature (cold tomatoes = yucka) but you could also chill it in the refridgerator.

5) Serve on sliced french bread or crackers!

You can adjust this recipe as you see fit, adding more/less basil & feta cheese, but the ENTIRE bowl of bruschetta (minus the bread/crackers) is only 3 WW points – 3.  Whole thing.  Chilli can wait!

Summer Bruschetta


Buffalo Chicken Tacos

It’s been way too long since Buffalo Chicken has showed it’s mug here.  So happy Buffalo Chicken Monday to all!

While most of the Buffalo Chicken recipes on this Blog have been pre-meditated, this one was purely by accident.  Yesterday morning, while still half asleep, I reached my hand in the freezer, did an “eenie, meenie, miney, moe” and pulled out what you could call the ‘pandora’s box’ of the freezer – ground chicken.  For some reason, I continue to buy this at the store, and then when faced with doing something with it, always seem to be left scratching my head.  Last time I was faced with this was back in April, when Southwest Chicken Burgers were born.  And last night, almost 4 months later, a new ground chicken master piece was born, and Buffalo Chicken Tacos was it’s name!  You could use rotissere chicken or shredded chicken breast for this as well.

Buffalo Chicken Tacos

INGREDIENTS

1 lb. ground chicken
(I used the 93/7 mix)

2 stalks of celery, diced small

1 carrot, shredded

1/2 onion, diced small

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup Frank’s Hot Sauce

1/4 cup Ranch dressing (or blue cheese, depending on your preference)
(I used a light version, but you could use full fat or fat free too)

2 tbsp. crumbled blue cheese

6 (or so) corn tortillas

1) Cook celery, carrot, onion and garlic over medium heat in a non-stick skillet until translucent (about 5 minutes)

2) Add ground chicken to vegetables and sautee until cooked through.

3) Take the Frank’s and ranch dressing and whisk together in a small dish, then pour the mixture over the vegetable/chicken mix.  Add blue cheese and stir until melted.

4) Let simmer over low heat for 5-10 minutes, until some of the sauce has absorbed.

5) Cook corn tortillas over direct flame until char marks appear, then flip and repeat on the other side.

6) Top with minced celery and carrot and sprinkle some blue cheese and ranch or blue cheese dressing.

Buffalo Chicken Tacos


Beergaritas

What a week (and a couple days) – lots of beer, lots of great new recipes to add to the list.  Let’s check out what the beer scoop was:

Roasted Garlic Beer Bread

Roasted Garlic Beer Bread

Beer-Brined Pork Tenderloin with Beer-Mustard Sauce

Beer-Brined Pork Tenderloin with Beer-Mustard Sauce

Spice Rubbed Beer Can Chicken

Beer Can Chicken

Honey-Beer Pizza Dough

Honey-Beer Pizza Dough

And what better way to end beer week than with a cocktail made with beer?  I’m pretty sure there is no better way.  This is a play on those delicious Blueberry Beergaritas that we made a few months ago – oh boy were they good.    But this Beergarita is straight and to the point – no frills – no fruits – just tequila and beer working together in perfect harmony, with a few other friends along to help 🙂

Beergaritas

Beergaritas, plain and simple

INGREDIENTS
(yields 4 drinks)

3/4 cup (4 shots) of your favorite tequila
(da-da-da-da-DA-da-DA-da)

3/4 cup skinny limeade
(recipe below)

3/4 cup orange juice

2 – 12oz. bottles of light beer
(preferably a Corona style)

INGREDIENTS FOR LIMEADE

1/2 cup splenda (or truvia)

1.5 cups water

1 cup fresh lime juice

1)  To make limeade: in a large saucepan, combine water and splenda until splenda is dissolved (won’t take long).  Remove from heat and let cool before adding the lime juice in.  You can freeze it for ‘frozen’ beergaritas – I personally like mine on the rocks 🙂

2) Combine tequila, limeade, OJ and a couple ice cubes in a cocktail shaker and shake a couple times until they’re completely mixed.  Pour into a pitcher and then add the beer before serving.  You can always adjust the beer taste as you see fit.

 Hope you guys enjoyed beer week – and that you enjoy your weekend even more!

Beergaritas


Honey-Beer Pizza Dough

Some days when I’m at work, I sit at my desk and stare off into the distance (or the wall of my cube) and picture myself as a professional/full-time food blogger:  in this fantasy, I am home in my ‘imaginary’ kitchen, and the sun is shining on my brand new stainless steel appliances and granite countertops.  I am ready to try a new recipe, and I have all of my ingredients perfectly laid out on the island, each measured out in their own little bowls.  I take my time mixing and mashing and whisking, and retire to the living room to watch Barefoot Contessa while it’s cooking (because ya know, it’s ‘research’).   And then it’s ready! It looks like a picture from Bon Appetit, and tastes even better!  And the best part is that I have all the time in the world to photograph this masterpiece during the time of day when the natural light is the best and I can style my little head off for hours, because heck, it’s my job to do so.  What a life!

And then I hear – “Kate – Kate – how are those TPS reports comin’ along?”

Dammit.

In reality though (I don’t really work with TPS reports sillies), after rushing home from work to let Hairy out, I usually am still am missing about 5 of the ingredients that I need for the night’s recipe, and as summer is dwindling down, so is the amount of daylight, and it’s a race against the clock to try to get anything done in time to photograph it in ideal lighting.

What’s this tangent all about? Along with many delicious recipes that I have felt are worth sharing, tonight’s was one that lost the ‘natural light’ race, and instead of being shot in a beautiful beam of sun filtered through the window, it was shot in the soft glow of an IKEA lamp (ew).

But, this Honey-Beer Pizza Dough was too good not to share.  Adapted from Girl Versus Dough’s recipe (and by adapted, I mean adding a splash of honey) it was a flavorful base for your favorite pizza pie!

Honey-Beer Pizza Dough
*Adapted from Girl Versus Dough

INGREDIENTS
(the original recipe was 2x this amt, yielding 2 crusts – the below measurements will yield 1 crust – sorry folks, couldn’t bring myself to tackle Market Basket on a Tuesday night)

2 cups all-purpose bread  flour

1 & 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp olive oil

3/4 cup room-temperature beer
(the stronger the flavor, the better – I used Old Leg Humper Porter – yes, that is real)

1/2 tbsp. honey

1) Place all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fixed with a paddle attachment and mixed until just combined. Replace paddle attachment with dough hook and knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 7 minutes (or knead by hand on a lightly floured countertop for about 10 minutes). Form dough into a ball, place in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

2) Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Remove risen dough from bowl and punch down. Shape dough into a 10-12 inch round or 8-by-12 inch rectangle. Place onto pizza stone or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. For thin crust, bake pizza immediately. For medium to thick crust, let dough rest for about 30 minutes.

3) Add your toppings and bake for about 10 minutes (or until cheese has reached desired level of meltedness).

So at about 10 p.m. when this bad boy wrapped up, I sampled a sliver and the dough was so good. The porter added a ton of flavor I think I would even add more honey next time.  I was timid with it because I didn’t want it to be too sweet, but it could definitely use more.  I personally like that little hint of sweetness.

Tomorrow’s daydream: Martha comes over for lunch – and we talk recipes – and maybe some stories from the clink.

Honey-Beer Pizza Dough


Beer Can Chicken

Before tonight, I questioned the sanity of the person who came up with the idea of shoving a can of beer into the rear-end of a dead chicken and calling it dinner.  But, my mind has been changed.

6 months of marriage was achieved on Saturday! So Dave and I decied to try this new restaurant in the neighborhood that opened up called M3.  M3’s predecessor, Al Fresco, seemed like it was in business forever, one of those small italian eateries that never had a packed house or a line out the door, but their longevity in the area implied they were doing something right.  Well – I guess they weren’t, because one day as I was jogging by, expecting a waft of roasted garlic and simmering meatballs as I passed by, Al Fresco was gone.  And the next time I ran by, M3 was there, and it was PACKED! I tried to figure out what type of place this was, as the name isn’t very telling.  I saw a lot of intriguing things 1) Chalkboard tables – perfect for 5 (and 30) year old patrons 2) Beer in cans 3) The dessert menu – FRIED fluffenutter! What????? Apon further investigation, I discovered that it was a Southern Joint, toteing all of pre-diabetic Paula Deens faves – Fried Chicken, Fried Green Tomatoes, Fried Cheese curds (are you picking up on a theme?) and my dinner for the evening, Beer Can Hen.  And after blushing when the waitress placed the violated cooked hen on the table, I was able to dig in (only after the hostess came over and helped me remove the can from it’s rear – she must have seen that this was unchartered territory for me).   My only disappointment was Harriet the Hen didn’t have quite as much meat on her bones as I would have liked.  But, it was a great excuse to try it the next night for dinner! And strangely enough, my mom bought Dave a special “Beer Can Chicken” grill pan for his birthday, so it seemed as though it was written in the stars.

Beer Can Chicken

Spice Rubbed Beer Can Chicken
*A K&D Original recipe

INGREDIENTS

1 – 3-4 lb. Chicken Roaster

1 – 12oz. can of beer (your choice – we used a summer lager)

Olive Oil

SPICE RUB INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp. chilli powder

1 tbsp. cumin

1 tbsp. seasoned salt

1 tbsp. garlic salt

1 tbsp. onion powder

1 tbsp. brown sugar

1/2 tbsp. red pepper flakes

few shakes of salt and pepper

1) Remove giblets from the inside of the chicken. Rinse and pat the chicken dry.

2) Prepare your grill for indirect heat – we basically lit two piles of charcoal on either side of the grill, leaving a space in the center of the grate for the chicken that wouldn’t be directly over the heat (this is a really good video tutorial). But,  if you’re using a gas grill, turn on all burners until grill reaches 350 degrees, then turn off the burners on one side.  If cooking in an oven, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a shallow roasting pan with tin foil to catch any drips.

3) Get rid of half of the can of beer (how you choose to do this is completely up to you – I suggest drinking it :)). If using a special BCC pan, place can in the compartment reserved for it.  If not, place can upright into the chicken, making sure it’s fitted within the cavity of the chicken.

4)  Coat the outside of the chicken with olive oil and then coat it in the spice rub.

5) After your briquettes have become ‘ashy’ looking, you can place your chicken onto the grate.  Roast for 1.5 – 2 hours, rotating about halfway through cooking time, until an instant read thermometer reads 180 degrees.

6)  Take chicken off of the grill and let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

I’m gonna go ahead and say that this may have been the best tasting chicken I’ve ever had in my life – swear.  The moistness was unreal, and the slow roasting really let the flavors of the beer and the spices seep into the meat.  And the great thing about the pan was that you could just toss your potatoes and veggies right onto the grill with the chicken.  Even if you didn’t have Beer Can Chicken specific pan, you could probably do the same with another vegetable roasting basket for the grill (place the chicken with the beer can in the center of the roasting basket and place the sides around it).

So if you’re looking for the most tender and flavorful chicken you’ve ever had in your life, and you don’t mind sticking an aluminum can in the butt of a chicken, well then you’ve got yourself a doozie of a recipe here!

Beer Can Chicken



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