Sunday, March 20, 2011

Apple Pie Wontons

I love sweets but I also love reinventing some of my favorite sweets into healthier versions of the original.  I found this recipe on the Weight Watchers website and decided to give it a try.  They are way healthier than apple pie but still super yummy. 

Apple Pie Wontons

source:  Weight Watchers


2 serving(s) butter-flavour cooking spray, divided    
2 medium apple(s), McIntosh, peeled, cored and diced 
1 Tbsp packed light brown sugar    
1 tsp fresh lemon juice    
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon    
24 item(s) wonton wrapper(s), half of a 12 oz package    
1 1/2 Tbsp powdered sugar    

Peel, core and dice the apples.

Put the apples in a mixing bowl and add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice

Lay out 24 wonton wrappers on a cutting board.  Put a teaspoon of the apple mixture in the middle of each wonton wrapper.

Moisten edges of wrapper with wet fingers, fold over one corner to make a triangle and press sides together to seal. 

Transfer wontons to a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Coat the surface of the wontons with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or until wontons are golden brown.  Top with powdered sugar and enjoy!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pizza Bites

This recipe is a perfect snack that we had for dinner last night.  I had been wanting to make this recipe for quite some time and was also craving pizza for dinner, so decided to make these pizza bites and have them for dinner.  They are definitely much better suited as an appetizer than a main course but they were still delicious. 

Pizza Bites

source Annie's Eats


pizza dough for one pizza (i buy mine already made at the grocery store)

4 oz. mozzarella cheese, cubed (24 pieces)
Sliced pepperoni

Grated parmesan cheese

Italtian seasonings

Olive oil

First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease a 9 inch pie plate. 

Divide the pizza dough into 24 equal pieces

Cube the mozzarella cheese into 24 pieces as well

Take a piece of dough and wrap it around one cube of cheese and one slice of pepperoni

Place each pizza bite seam side down in the prepared pie plate

Lightly brush the pizza bites with olive oil

Sprinkle on some Italian seasoning blend and grated parmasean cheese 

Bake for 20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown

Serve warm with marinara sauce for dipping. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bacon Roasted Chicken

One day, a few years ago, I bought a whole chicken simply because it was such a good deal at the grocery store I couldn't pass it up.  I had never cooked a whole chicken before (especially when Costco sells them already cooked for like 5 dollars), so I went to the Internet to find a recipe for roasting my own chicken. 

When I saw this recipe I figured it had to be good... I mean what food wrapped in bacon isn't good??  I wasn't wrong. This chicken comes out so moist and delicious!!  Now I rarely ever buy a Costco chicken when I can make one at home that tastes so good. 

Oh and my husband, Jay, was the photographer for this recipe... he had a little fun taking the pictures...

Bacon Roasted Chicken
source:  All Recipes


1 whole chicken

about 8 slices of bacon

carrots - to stuff in the cavity of the chicken


kitchen twine


salt and pepper


1 can of beef stock

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Wash the chicken and remove that bag full of nasty bits that my mom uses to make the most amazing gravy and that creeps me out so much that I don't even want to touch it.   

Fill the inside of the chicken with carrots.  You don't eat these, they don't really even cook, I think they just help the chicken stay moist.  

Tie the legs together and put the chicken in a roasting pan

Rub a pad of butter all over the chicken

Generously salt and pepper the chicken.  Then begin laying the bacon strips over the top of the chicken.  Use toothpicks to secure the bacon strips on each end.

I guess Jay got a bit bored during this step... when I uploaded the pictures, this is what I found....

Sprinkle some paprika over the bacon.

Then pour the beef stock (yes you have to use beef stock... I tried it once with chicken stock and the end result was not as good) around the chicken.

(Action sequence courtesy of Jay)

Put the bird in the oven for 15 minutes at 450 degrees

Take the bird out of the oven and baste it in the beef stock.  Turn the oven down to 350 and roast the chicken for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a thermometer reads 180 degrees when inserted in the thickest part of the thigh.  While the chicken cooks, baste every 15 minutes. 

Remove the bacon and roast the chicken for 15 minutes more to crisp/brown the skin. 

Ohh so good... we served this with steamed green beans and homemade sweet potato fries. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Cheddar Biscuits

Jay (my husband) is not a seafood lover, in fact he won't go near seafood with a ten foot pole.  However, one day we ended up at a Red Lobster (I think we might have had a gift card) and he discovered the glouriousness of Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Biscuits.  Their biscuits really are a wonderful thing.  They are not, however, a wonderful thing for your waistline. 

I found this recipe that I think comes pretty darn close to the Red Lobster biscuits without all the fat and calories.  In fact these biscuits have about half the fat and calories of the ones at Red Lobster. 

Cheddar Biscuits

source: Gina's Skinny Recipes


2 tablespoons of butter - melted

2 cloves of garlic - minced

2 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley

2 cups of Heart Smart Bisquick

3.5 ounces of shredded cheedar cheese (I used Cabot 75% reduced fat)

2/3 cup skim milk

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Melt the butter in a small pan or pot, add 1 tablespoon of the garlic and cook on low heat about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add the parsley.

In a large bowl, combine bisquick, cheese, and the rest of the garlic. Add the milk and mix  (be careful not to over mix). Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes. Brush biscuits with melted butter. Bake for 5 more minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Barbecue Pork Chops

I am always looking for ways to change up things that I already make.  Usually when I make pork chops we grill them. Jay is the grill master but he was not going to be home during prep time last night so I had to find a new way to cook my chops. 

I googled baked pork chops and stumbled upon this recipe that intrigued me.  Easy BBQ Baked Pork Chops

The recipe has you put one inch of water in a pan, add onions and the chops, and then cover it all with water.  That is definitely a cooking technique that I have never tried before so I decided to give it a go. 

I didn't know what to expect, so I was very surprised at how well the chops came out.  They were very flavorful and yummy.

Easy BBQ Baked Pork Chops

adapted from


9 x 13 pan

cookie sheet for broiling

tin foil

4 boneless pork chops

1 large onion - chopped

1 bottle of beer

salt and pepper

bottle of barbecue sauce

Pre-heat the oven to 450.  Add about an inch of water to the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.  Then line the bottom of the pan with chopped onions (save some to put on top of pork chops).  Salt and pepper the chops and add them on top of the onions.  Put the remaining onions on top of the chops.  Then add the bottle of beer and more water until liquid level just covers the chops. 

Here is a picture so you can see the level of the liquid

Cover the pan with foil and bake for about 1 hour until chops are done. 

Remove chops from pan and put on foil lined cookie sheet.  Pour barbecue sauce over the top of each chop and broil so that the sauce gets slightly caramelized and bubbly.  (Note - I put some of the onions on the pan to see if they would caramelize in the broiler but they weren't in long enough and didn't do anything so we didn't eat the onions)

I served these chops along side some roasted broccoli and Cheddar Biscuits (oh my were they delish!!  -  recipe coming soon!!!)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Vegetable Marinara over Spaghetti

One of my favorite things to eat is pasta.  My senior year in high school, I went to the same restaurant every week and ordered the same Pink Pasta dish every time.  I could not get enough of it.  When my husband and I were dating in college, the first thing I cooked for him was spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread.  He raved about the meal, so every time I cooked for him, I made spaghetti.  (by the way, now he tells me, "I don't really like pasta" ) 

So after having a bacterial infection that kicked my butt for three days, where my diet consisted of bread and french fries (really nutritious, I know, but I was sick and it was all I wanted to eat...)  the first real meal I wanted to have was ... PASTA of course! 

Now when I make pasta, I always try to add lots of veggies to my pasta dishes to make them healthier.  I make this dish a lot and the ingredients are always different depending on the vegetables I have in my fridge.  Some of my favorite veggies to use are zucchini, mushrooms, peas, onions, tomatoes, or spinach.

Vegetable Marinara over Whole Wheat Spaghetti

Serves two


One medium-large zucchini -  washed and chopped

Half of a large onion - chopped

1 scant teaspoon of minced garlic

Olive Oil

Handful or two of baby spinach

Half a jar of marinara sauce

2 servings of whole wheat spaghetti - cooked

Heat some olive oil over medium high heat.  Add onions and garlic and cook until onions begin to turn translucent.   

Then add the zucchini and continue to cook until all the veggies are tender.

Next add the spinach and cook until it is wilted

Finally add half a jar of marinara sauce (or as much as you like - depending on how saucy you want it) and cook until heated through

Pour over cooked whole wheat spaghetti and enjoy. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Homemade Slurpee

I have a mild addiction to...

Slurpees!!!, especially the crystal light varieties.  I just love the icy, sweet, and slightly bubbly mixture. 

 What I do not love however is that it is not at all natural and  I am sure it is filled with ingredients I cannot pronounce...

So I decided to make my own Slurpee after surfing the web and stumbling across a recipe for Mixed Berry Fizz on the Weight Watchers website. 

Homemade Berry Slurpee 

source - Weight Watchers - Mixed Berry Fizz


1/2 cup mixed berries - fresh or frozen

1/2 cup ice

1/2 cup seltzer - plus more to reach desired thinness

3/4 tablespoon sugar

Put all ingredients in the blend and puree until smooth.  Add more seltzer to reach desired consistency.

The was delicious and best of all I know that all the ingredients in this Slurpee are healthy and it's all natural!