Archive for the ‘Appetizers’ Category

Yummy Turkey and Vegetable Chili


So this recipe is easy, flexible and so easy to make it your own!  All I did was:

1. Chop up some onions, zucchini, peppers, carrots (my fav!) and celery

2. Heat some olive oil in a large pot

3. Throw in those veggies until they start to get tender

4. Toss in some ground turkey (as much or as little as you like) (we like it fairly meaty so I add a lot)

5. Season meat with salt and pepper (and taco seasoning and/or other spices if you’d like)

6. Continue until meat is cooked through

7. Add canned diced tomatoes (I usually add two cans and another can of diced tomatoes with green chilies)

8. Let it simmer for awhile

9. Add beans if you’d like!  They’re a nice touch for a little bit more fiber!

10.  Simmer until you’re ready to chow down!

11. Add a dollup of low fat sour cream, a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and some avocados on top for a delicious treat!



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So this is something that I invented the other day!  I was in the mood for cheese, but I wanted something more substantial than my usual cheddar string cheese and handful of almonds.  I wanted something crunchy and more snack-y…. ya know?


So I went to the fridge and grabbed an apple, some Asiago cheese and that fantastic bread that I talked about here…

Apple, Asiago, and Amazing-Bread

Just stack the apple, with the asiago on top of that fab-bread!

And stick in the toaster for a few minutes!  It’s sweet, salty, crunchy, cheesy and yummy!

Spinkle a little pepper on top

You have a marvelous little lunch for yourself!




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Is this speaking to you?

How bout now?

I'm speaaakkking to you!

This cooking light.com recipe for Spicy Sausage Pizza is killer!!  Sooo good and pretty darn easy!  It’s the perfect feels-like-take-out dinner for a Friday night and it definitely has WAY less calories!

Let’s get started!

You’ll need:

  • 1 pound refrigerated fresh pizza dough
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 ounces hot turkey Italian sausage
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup diced red or green bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup lower-sodium marinara sauce (such as McCutcheon’s)
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1. Preheat oven to 450° and place dough in a bowl coated with cooking spray; let dough stand, covered, for 15 minutes.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; coat pan with cooking spray. Remove casings from sausage. Add sausage to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring to crumble. Add onion and mushrooms; sauté 4 minutes. Add bell pepper; sauté 2 minutes.   (Note: I added the mushrooms last so that they wouldn’t get too soggy… just my opinion but I don’t like my mushrooms mushy)

Add the sausage, followed by onions, peppers and then mushrooms


3. Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal; roll dough into a 12-inch circle on prepared baking sheet. Spread sauce over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Top with sausage mixture. Sprinkle cheeses over sausage mixture. Bake at 450° on bottom oven rack for 17 minutes or until crust is golden.  (Note: I used Pillsbury Pizza Crust in a tube and it tastes great however, I think a whole wheat dough from a local pizza shop or Trader Joe’s would work better!  The Pillsbury crust tends to me a little wetter than regular dough and I think the latter would hold the toppings better.)


Add the toppings

Add the cheese

Then serve and enjoy!

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So the other night, I was having delayed dinner thoughts- i.e. 5:30pm came and went and I still hadn’t even thought about dinner!  “Yikes!” was the first thought that came to mind and then… I remembered that I bought a pack of chicken the day before and it was just sitting in the fridge waiting for me to clean the heck out of it!  So I find this Grilled Chicken recipe on Cooking Light.com and go wild!  It only took a few minutes to prep and I was able to job-hunt online for a little while longer before I had to start cooking it.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon whole-grain Dijon mustard, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Rosemary sprigs (optional)

Soooooo… I started out making the coating for the chicken:

1. Combine 1 teaspoon mustard, oil, and next 3 ingredients in a small bowl; brush evenly over chicken. Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 6 minutes on each side or until done.

Mix the olive oil, rosemary, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl

Brush onto the chicken (I don't have a brush so I just poured and smoothed onto said chicken)

2. While chicken grills, combine 1 tablespoon mustard, mayonnaise, and 1 tablespoon water in a bowl. Serve mustard cream with grilled chicken. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, if desired.

Spread the mustard cream onto the chicken


I served with a side of spinach and it was great!

You could even make this an appetizer by cutting the chicken into strips and use the mustard cream for a dipping sauce!


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Hey guys!  I’m back!  I’ve been out of commission for a few days because life just got busy!  We had some visitors from out of town and took them to all the tourist spots in SoCal!  I say that and almost sound like a local, but the truth is…….. I am starting to think I will never be local to Southern California.  There’s too much to see, so much ground to cover, way too many good places to go out to eat, sooo many different places to hike and bike and it’s just an overwhelming feeling!  I don’t think that I would fully know my surroundings even if I was here for years!

So we were invited to a Beer Tasting and Spicy Foods party on Saturday and I have to say that not only was it a FANTASTIC idea, we had such a blast and it satisfied my almost daily need to burn my taste buds off with spicy flavs.  So I made two dips but one in particular had GREAT reviews!

You start with all this:

Spicy bliss in the making

And basically mix it all together!

With a little love…..

It becomes this:

(the spinach-dippy-looking-one in the bottom of the photo)

OMG I want it..

(excuse the iPhone pic… I was totally slacking on my photo-documenting this time around)

Here’s the recipe from Yummly.com:

16 ozs cream cheese (softened)
12 cup mayonnaise
4 12 ozs green chile (chopped, drained)
1 cup freshly grated parmesan (cheese)
12 ozs artichoke hearts (marinated, drained and chopped)
14 cup jalapeno pepper (canned chopped, drained)
10 ozs spinach (frozen chopped, thawed and drained)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. Mix together the cream cheese and mayonnaise in a bowl until smooth.  Stir in the green chiles, Parmesan cheese, artichokes, peppers and spinach.  Spoon the mixture into a baking dish.
3. Bake in preheated oven until slightly browned for about 30 minutes.
Note: I added a fresh jalapeno AS WELL as the canned jalapenos!  I LOVE spicy- and if you do too, I think it’s a good choice.  If you only like a little bit of spice, then I would stick to the recipe as is.
ENJOY!  and post your thoughts below!

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So I’ll send another pretty fabulous dip idea your way since me and the hubby spent part of our afternoon preparing our dips for tomorrow night’s NYE party.  This one is a WINNER if you like blue cheese…even if you don’t like blue cheese, you should give this guy a try!

I found this on a little blog called The Noble Pig.  It’s one of my favorite recipe-blogs!


Blue Cheese Dip with Carmelized Onions  (Adopted from Cuisine at Home)

2 cups yellow onion, chopped

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Pinch of sugar

Pinch of salt

1 Tablespoon Port

4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (about 2/3 cup)

6 ounces plain lowfat or nonfat yogurt

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Juice of 1/2 lemon

2 Tablespoons scallions, chopped

Salt and cayenne to taste

Carmelize the onions in olive oil with sugar and salt in heavy skillet over medium low-heat.  Stir occasionally to prevent scorching, but do not stir too often.  The will brown better if left alone.  After 5 minutes of cooking, cover the pan (the lid keeps moisture inside so the onions won’t burn easily).  Cook until brown and very soft, 20-25 minutes.  Stir in the port, scraping up any brown residue left on the bottom of the pan; cool onions slightly.

Blend cheese, yogurt, mayonnaise, Worcestershire and lemon juice in a bowl.

Add cooled onions, scallions, salt and cayenne to taste; stir to blend.  Cover and chill at least two hours but 24 hours is preferred.  The dip really changes flavor over that time.  Serve with potato chips.

Now, while potato chips sounded like a lovely idea, I used soft pretzel nuggets from Philly Soft Pretzel Factory last NYE when I made this.  It was AMAZING!  This year, I am in a little bit of a pickle…I live in California and there are no places to get REAL soft pretzels so I bought some Super Pretzels and I’m hoping they do the trick!  If not, we might just need to whip out a bag of potato chips!


Update: I really wasn’t feeling the potato chip idea SO I decided to go with these:

Viola! Pretzle thins!

Excellent choice, if I say so myself!  Especially the Everything Pretzel thins!


And it was a huge hit!

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This dip has been my go-to dip of choice for awhile now.  Why you ask?  Well, it’s generally a crowd pleaser, it doesn’t require 300 different ingredients, a monkey on a unicycle could make it,  and it’s usually things that you have in your refrigerator and/or pantry.  My mom made it for a party a few years back and we haven’t stopped making it since!

Let’s get to it!  Here’s what you’ll need:

Mexican Corn Dip Ingredients

3- 11 ounce cans of Mexican Corn (drained)

12 ounces of Mexican Blend Cheese- shredded (3 cups)

1 cup of mayo (I use light mayo)

1 cup of sour cream (I use light sour cream)

1- 4 ounce can of diced green chiles (drained)

2-4 ounces of diced jalapenos (drained) – this depends on how spicy you want it.  Raw jalapenos work great too!

2-3 green onions (chopped)

1 dash of tabasco (I never usually put this in)

Pepper and salt to taste

1 teaspoon of sugar

Mix it all together

And, here’s the hard part:

Chill for 24 hours!

Serve with Tostito’s Scoops or something similar and you have yourselves a killer dip!

We'll need more dip...

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