Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Milk conversion chart

I found this on line when I needed whole milk and only had skim and half and half. Ridiculously handy, I would say!!! 
Add the following to 1 cup of skim milk to approximate 1 cup of
1.5t heavy cream= 1% milk
1T heavy cream= 2% milk
2T heavy cream= whole milk
5T 1t heavy cream= half-&-half
9T heavy cream= light cream
1T light cream= 1% milk
1T 2t light cream= 2% milk
3T light cream= whole milk
5 oz light cream= half-&-half
2T half & half= 1% milk
3T half & half= 2% milk
4T half & half= whole milk

Friday, October 25, 2013

Death by Chocolate Cheesecake

My sister-in-law introduced me to this cheesecake. It is super, super rich so make at your own risk! I used dark chocolate cocoa powder, but I don't know that it would change the flavor that much.
Decadent Chocolate Cheesecake
Decadent Chocolate Cheesecake
Yield: Serves 8-10
Note: This cheesecake needs to be chilled overnight so plan ahead! The good news is this cheesecake can be made all the way through the topping, covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days before serving. It is preferable to let the cheesecake stand at room temperature 1-2 hours before serving.

  • 9-ounce package of chocolate cookies (such as chocolate wafers, graham crackers or teddy grahams)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 10 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (use the best quality you can afford – I love the Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chips and I’m not ashamed to admit I buy them in bulk, often, at Sam’s Club)
  • 4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Chocolate curls for garnish (I use this method)
  1. For crust: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan with 3-inch-high sides (or use a 10-inch springform pan with 2-inch sides). Process the chocolate cookies in a food processor (or the old-fashioned way with a bag and a rolling pin) until they are finely ground. Transfer them to a small bowl and mix in the sugar. Add the melted butter and mix until well combined. Press the crumbs evenly onto the bottom only of the prepared pan. Bake just until set, about 5 minutes. Cool while preparing filling. Keep the oven heated at 350 degrees.
  2. For filling: Melt the 10 ounces of chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler until melted and smooth. Cool the chocolate until lukewarm but ensure that it is still warm enough to be pourable. In a large bowl (or with a stand mixer), blend cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa powder until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time. Mix in lukewarm chocolate. Pour the cheesecake filling over the crust; smooth the top. Bake until the center is just set and just appears dry, about 1 hour. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run knife around sides of cake to loosen. Let the cheesecake cool to room temperature. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
  3. For topping: One hour before serving (or up to 3 days ahead of time), stir cream, 6 ounces chocolate, and sugar in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until smooth. Cool slightly. Pour over the center of the cheesecake, spreading to within 1/2 inch of edge and filling any cracks. Chill until the topping is set, about 1 hour.
  4. When ready to serve, release the springform pan sides. Transfer the cheesecake to a platter. Top with chocolate curls. It is preferable to let the cheesecake stand at room temperature for 1-2 hours before serving.
Original source:

Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash & Quinoa

I found this on Pinterest and made it for the first time a few weeks ago. It was so good I've already made it again! It's got all the elements for comfort food, but is low in calories so you don't have to feel guilty eating it. I am not an olive fan, so I left those out, but here is the original recipe.

Serves 6
  • 1 1/2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded & chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 can (14 oz) petite diced tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 3/4 cup pitted and quartered kalamata olives
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  1. Steam the butternut squash until barely tender, about 10 minutes. Remove half of the squash pieces and set aside.
  2. Steam the remaining squash until very tender, an additional 4 to 6 minutes. Mash this squash with the back of a fork. Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the chicken broth to a simmer.
  4. Add chicken thighs, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer the chicken thighs to a plate and allow to cool. Pour broth into a medium-sized bowl.
  6. Return the saucepan to the stovetop and lower heat to medium. Add olive oil.
  7. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is starting to turn brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
  8. Add the salt, minced garlic and oregano. Cook, stirring, for 1 additional minute.
  9. To the saucepan, add tomatoes, butternut squash pieces, mashed butternut squash. Stir to combine.
  10. Stir in reserved chicken broth and quinoa. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa turns translucent, about 15 minutes.
  11. Shred the chicken with your fingers or a fork.
  12. Stir the chicken, olives and pepper into the stew and simmer, uncovered, to heat, about 5 minutes.
  13. Stir in parsley and serve.
Original source:

Calories 329 / Total Fat 14.1g / Saturated Fat 1.0 / Cholesterol 15.2mg / Sodium 1209mg / Total Carbohydrates 32.8g / Fiber 5.4g / Sugars 3.0g / Protein 19.4g / WW (Old Points) 7 / WW (Points+) 9

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Broccoli Bites w/ dipping sauce

This is a new way to eat broccoli and I love it. Don't skip the's the best part! 
*From the Unconventional Kitchen. 


1 lb broccoli, chopped in small bit- sized pieces
1 c. cheddar cheese, shredded (I used mozzarella)
1/2 c. parmesan cheese, shredded 
3 eggs
1 c. almond flour
1 t. oregano
salt & pepper to taste   

Preheat oven to 375F. Mix all ingredients except for the broccoli in a medium sized bowl.

Next toss in the broccoli. It helps to use your hands to roll the pieces of broccoli in the mixture into little bite sized balls. Place balls on lightly greased parchment paper.

Put them in the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes, or until brown. Serve with the tasty Maple-Dijon Dipping Sauce.

6 T sour cream
2 T pure maple syrup
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T fresh lemon juice
salt to taste



Simply whisk all the ingredients together and you have yourself an awesome sauce. Kids love dipping so that is what makes this sauce extra fun. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Chicken Spaghetti


This is a kid favorite. I remember eating it often at my aunts house. I loved it then and now that I have the recipe from her, my kids gobble it up as well. It makes a lot. You could easily split it or it is one of those good left over meals.

1 Cube Butter
8 Tablespoons Flour
4 Cubes or 4 Teaspoons of Chicken Bouillon- Dissolved in 2 Cups of Water
2 Cups of Milk
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
5-6 Chicken Breasts-cooked and shredded

Melt the butter in a pot, whisk in flour. Add boullion water and milk. Cook until thick, like alfredo consistency. Finish be adding garlic powder and chicken. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over spaghetti. 3/4-1 box is about how much you need for that much sauce.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Kale & Craisin Salad with Feta

Don't discount this because of the name. Kale is awful tasting, trust me, I've tried to talk myself into eating it raw because it is CRAZY good for you. If it is not hidden in something is pure torture to eat(I think so anyways) That is what is so great about this recipe. It is raw kale that actually tastes good. My sister in law made it and I went back for seconds.....then thirds.......then finally just grabbed the big bowl when everyone else was finished and cleaned it out.

1 bunch kale
3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt or sea salt
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1/2 cup dried cranberries/craisins
3/4 cup small-diced apple
1/3 cup toasted sunflower seeds(I don't think these were in the one I had, so it or leave it)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup crumbled Feta cheese
Wash the kale and pat it dry. Slice off the stiff stems below the leaves and continue slicing the stem away from the leaf until you have cut a thin v-shape into the kale leaf and removed the tough stem all the way up. Stack the kale leaves two or three at a time, roll them up, and slice the leaves into thin ribbons.
Place the kale ribbons in a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and massage it into the kale with your hands for two minutes. You’ll notice the kale start to turn a darker green and the texture of the kale will begin to soften a bit.
Toss in the red onions, craisins, apples, and sunflower seeds. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar and sugar. Pour over the salad and toss. Sprinkle feta cheese over the top and serve. The salad can be refrigerated for up to a day before serving (if doing this, I would suggest refrigerating the salted kale separately from the other ingredients and tossing the salad together an hour or two before serving).

Monday, March 4, 2013

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

ALL of my kids ate this without one complaint which pretty much means it's a winner...

2 whole large cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 10 3/4 oz cans of condensed tomato soup
1/4 c sundried tomatoes, chopped or 2 Tbsp of Sun Dried Tomato Paste (this is what I used but I only used about 4 tsp)
2 c half and half (I just used 1 c whipping cream mixed with 1 c water)
2 c chicken stock
1 tsp onion powder or dried onions
1 Tbsp Italian Seasonig
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 9 oz pkg cheese filled tortellini (I used dried tortellini and just boiled it according to pkg directions before I
added it. I think the refrigerated kind would taste better though.)
1/2 c shreded parmesan cheese, for garnish


Saute garlic with oil in large soup pot over medium heat until golden brown. Watch closely. Add all other ingredients except cheese and tortellini. Bring to a simmer. Once simmering, drop tortellini into soup. (If using refrigerated tortellini follow package directions until fully cooked.) If using dry tortellini, cook fully, drain, then add to soup. Serve with cheese sprinkled on top.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Black Bean Soup

I also have a cupboard full of beans, but only because I have recently come to appreciate them. I used to hate beans, but now I love them. I found this recipe in a magazine and like it for several reasons (cheap, low cal, tasty).

1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
3 ribs celery, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chili powder (less if you don't want a kick)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 15-oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper
6 tablespoons low-fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1. Warm oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, bell pepper, carrots and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 12 minutes. Add chili powder and cumin. Sauté for about 3 minutes.

2. Stir in broth and beans, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove 2 cups of soup and puree in a blender. Stir pureed soup back into pot and cook 5 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Spoon soup into bowls, top with yogurt and cilantro and serve.

The less healthy version uses sour cream instead of yogurt, which I usually substitute just because it's what I have on hand and I don't think a dollop of sour cream every so often is going to kill ya.

Other bean favorites:
  • This is a pretty good chili recipe:
  • I second the cowboy caviar from Nichole.
  • We often eat beans as a side with Mexican meals.
  • I like adding beans to salads. (Cafe Rio pork salad, perhaps?)

Beans-- Just for you Becky

Besides Chili, my favorite recipe with beans is Cowboy Caviar
1 can black beans (rinsed)
1/2 can corn
1/2 jalapeno pepper
A couple green onions
2 or 3 tomatoes
1 ripe avocado
Juice from one lime
Cumin to taste
Eat it with tortilla chips

I love white Chili too

My mom loves Mango-quinoa salad

We always put beans in our quesadillas or fajitas

And just incase you need some more ideas