February 22, 2015

Sweet and Salty Popcorn Ball Bites #SundaySupper

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Sweet & Salty Popcorn Ball Bites, the perfect mix of crunch, sweet, salt in a little bite!

These Sweet and Salty Popcorn Ball Bites are the easiest popcorn ball you will ever make, and that is a promise! The caramel is nice and chewy and the salty peanuts, toffee bits, and white chocolate in the recipe put this one at the top of all its competitors in the popcorn ball world. Its really hard to mess this one up and I know because I'm the biggest candy messer-upper of all time!

This week, the Sunday Supper family is celebrating the Oscars with food that will put you in a party mood.  Well, when it comes to movies, who doesn't think popcorn? I decided I would make something special with my popcorn, something that always been a favorite of mine since my young days of trick or treating when our neighbor would give us homemade popcorn balls for our treat. This made popcorn balls a special occasion food for me because we never had them any other time when I was growing up.

This week our #SundaySupper event is being hosted by Katie of Ruffles & Truffles

These were so easy. You don't need a candy thermometer, you will just slowly boil the syrup on the stove for 5 minutes, stirring while boiling so it doesn't burn.  I think the secret ingredient is the karo syrup and sweetened condensed milk.  The latter being the ingredient that made it super successful. You need to let this mixture cool a little bit after pouring over the popcorn because it needs to cool down enough to not melt the white chocolate chips your adding to the mix. I found that after cooling, the chips still melted some, but that wasn't a big deal. They still turned out so yummy I had a hard time leaving them alone!

Be sure to check out the other party foods that the #SundaySupper family is bringing to you this week at the end of this post!

Sweet and Salty Popcorn Ball Bites

a Cooking Light recipe - slightly adapted
Published 02/22/2015
Sweet and Salty Popcorn Ball Bites
Sweet, salty, chewy, crunchy all filling your senses with these perfect little bites!

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 5 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 10 cups air popped popcorn
  • 1/2 cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Place popcorn in a large bowl. Set aside until syrup is ready.
  2. Combine butter, sugar and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, add condensed milk and continue to boil for 5 minutes. Stir constantly to prevent scorching. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  3. Pour butter mixture over popcorn and stir gently to coat completely. Set mixture aside to cool about 5 minutes. Toss in peanuts and white chocolate chips.
  4. Scoop out about 1/4 cup measure of popcorn mixture and shape into balls. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with fleur de sel. Store in airtight container at room temperature.
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 25 mins.
Total time: 25 mins.


Nominees for Best Supporting Appetizers:
Nominees for Best Course in a Leading Role:
Nominees for Best Supporting Sips:
Nominees for Best Delectable Desserts:
Nominees for Best Dressed Table:

February 15, 2015

Cherry-Blueberry Trifle for #SundaySupper

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Cherry-Blueberry Trifle - a heart Healthy Dessert for your family that you can even eat for breakfast!
I love it when I make a recipe that tastes great and is healthy for you too.  This Cherry-Blueberry Trifle fits the bill for both of those aspects! The creamy vanilla flavored yogurt with just the right amount of sweetness combined with the fruit and crunchy nuts and just a couple little ladyfingers fill that craving for a dessert without killing that diet!

This week the folks over at #SundaySupper are presenting you with Heart Healthy Recipes in honor of American Heart Month.  Thank you to Ethel of eating in instead and Lori of Foxes Love Lemons for hosting this week.
Please note the information below is what research I have done on the health benefits of the ingredients I used and my interpretation of these benefits.  All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own and are the reason I choose to include these foods in my diet.
Blueberries happen to be my favorite fruit and you really couldn't choose a better one for your health either as far as I am concerned!   They are rich in antioxidants, a good source of fiber and vitamin C as well as good for your memory.  Lord knows I can use all the help I can get with my memory!

Cherries are right up there with blueberries on my likeness factor! As a little girl I was always happy if there was cherry pie around.  Cherries are linked to lowering risk factors to heart disease and are also related to reducing inflammation, cholesterol, and belly fat!
I absolutely love Greek yogurt and am happy to know that it is one of the best healthy foods I am eating.  It is an excellent source of calcium and protein.  Two of the nutrients I track daily! 

Nuts can be tricky, but eaten in moderation they are great for your health.  The fats you get from nuts are unsaturated fats which is the better for you fat and may lower cholesterol.

It is my opinion that this trifle is not just for dessert.  Hey, Grumpy and I ate this for breakfast!  I love the thick creamy yogurt combined with the fruits and ladyfingers.  It is probably a good thing this only made two because I probably would have overindulged and ate more than one for breakfast that day.  
It has been my goal since the beginning of the year to track my nutrition, to drop some pounds, to exercise more and to be healthier.  Knowing that I can have a treat like this gives me that feeling of satisfaction and I'm not craving the bad for you treats!  I'm doing great, starting to rehab my knee and able to add a little bit of exercise to my routine at this point in time.  Hopefully within the next few weeks I can be back to a normal exercise schedule.  It really helps that I am eating healthy even though I am not able to exercise much at this point in time.  I have still lost some weight and have been keeping my nutrition plan on point while doing so!  

What do you do to treat your heart and health better?  Are you following a nutrition plan?  (sounds so much better than diet, don't you agree?) Be sure to check out the other Heart Healthy recipes linked up below from the #SundaySupper Family!

Cherry-Blueberry Trifle

Published 02/15/2015
Cherry-Blueberry Trifle
You can use fresh, frozen, or canned cherries for this recipe. Fresh or frozen blueberries work also. I used Canned Dark Morello cherries I found at Trader Joe's. If you don't want to sweeten with splenda, feel free to use a sweetener of your choice. Nutrition counts will be different depending on what you use.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup non-fat greek yogurt
  • 4 teaspoons splenda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 3/4 cup cherries
  • 6 lady fingers, cut into thirds
  • 1/2 tablespoon splenda brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chopped roasted pecans

Instructions

  1. Toss blueberries and cherries with the 1/2 tablespoon splenda brown sugar. Set aside.
  2. Mix yogurt, 4 teaspoons splenda, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until well combined.
  3. Place approximately 1/4 cup fruit in bottom of trifle bowl. Top fruit with approximately 2 tablespoons yogurt mixture. Layer with lady fingers.
  4. Repeat layers topping with the last bit of yogurt.  Cover and refrigerate up to 12 hours.
  5. Prior to serving, sprinkle each parfait with 1 teaspoon pecan pieces.
Yield: 2 mini trifles
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 15 mins.
Refrigeration time: 12 hrs. 00 mins.
Total time: 12 hrs. 15 mins.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 288
  • Fat: 4
  • Totalcarbs: 48
  • Dietaryfiber: 2
  • Protein: 14
  • WW Points Plus: 7
  • Nutrition facts calculated using MyFitnessPal.com

Tags: cherries, blueberries, pecans, yogurt, greek yogurt, dessert, snack, trifle #SundaySupper, heart healthy, healthy eating, WW Points Plus

Better for you breakfasts:
Jump start your health with these appetizers and snacks:
Soups that'll win your heart:
Veggies, Sides, & Salads your heart will thank you for:
Healthy is the center of attention in these main courses:
Staying healthy doesn't mean giving up desserts!
We heart wine.
Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

February 10, 2015

Chocolate Dipped Homemade Peanut Butter Cookies

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Sometimes I get this craving for a good old fashioned Homemade Peanut Butter Cookie and today I have dipped them in chocolate for you! Ok, well I made them for me too.  I love a chewy center, crispy around the edge cookie and dipping it in chocolate took these over the top.  After all, chocolate and peanut butter naturally go together! These would be great as a special Valentine gift for the one you love. 
Chocolate Dipped Homemade Peanut Butter Cookies - say I love you with peanut butter and chocolate!
This time my peanut butter and chocolate craving wasn't going to be satisfied with one of those candy bars. You know what I mean! I needed something homemade that gave me that good comforting feeling and nostalgia. I always think of my Nanny when I have a homemade cookie and remember the cookie box she kept in her cupboard and in the one she kept as a back up stash in her freezer!
Chocolate Dipped Homemade Peanut Butter Cookies - say I love you with peanut butter and chocolate!
Someday, hopefully I will have grandchildren who will visit me and I can share my love of baking cookies with them and they will remember me for having cookies stashed away just for them too :) For now I'll settle with my own children visiting and having treats for them in the meantime.  

Do you have special memories attached to food that you always think about when you have a certain recipe?

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup Crisco
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • Dark Chocolate Candy Wafers for dipping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl mix flour, soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using a hand mixer, mix Crisco, peanut butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until creamy. Mix in vanilla.
  4. With a mixing spoon, stir in flour mixture.
  5. Set in refrigerator approximately 1 hour. Portion cookies using small cookie scoop. Roll dough into balls, then roll in granulated sugar. Place sugar coated dough balls on cookie sheet about 1" apart. Press with tines of a fork to make crisscross design.
  6. Bake 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 1-2 minutes before moving cookies to cooling rack.
  7. When cookies have cooled, melt dipping chocolate per package instructions. Dip a portion of the cookie in the chocolate and place cookie on cookie sheet lined with wax paper to cool. Immediately sprinkle with sprinkles if desired.
Yield: 2 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 01 hrs. 20 mins.
Cook time: 00 hrs. 10 mins.
Total time: 1 hrs. 30 mins.
Tags: chocolate, Cookies, heart, Love, peanut butter, Valentine,

February 09, 2015

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf Muffins

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These Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf Muffins are low in fat and calories, high in lean protein (venison), and super tasty! An easy recipe to add to your dinner rotation and the leftovers are great for sandwiches the next day (provided you have any)!
Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf Muffins - 7 WW Points plus! High in protien, low carb, low fat, and super tasty!
This recipe makes 9 meatloaf muffins.  I use ground venison so the nutrition facts are for venison, however, if you prefer to use beef or turkey that would work with this recipe however the nutrition facts would change. We always have a good supply of venison in our freezer, thanks to Grumpy and his awesome hunting skills!  

Venison is usually my first choice for a red meat and I choose it over beef any day!  That's saying a lot considering when I was a little girl I did not like the ground venison that my mom would use in recipes.  My dad was a hunter too and I remember many Thanksgivings where dad, my uncle and all the boys (my brothers and cousins) would go out hunting on Thanksgiving mornings. I found out once I married Grumpy that the reason I like his venison is because he has his mixed with a ratio of pork, adding another layer of flavor and a little added fat to all that lean venison meat! Because my mom did not eat pork, my dad did not have it added to his ground venison.
Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf Muffins - 7 WW Points plus! High in protien, low carb, low fat, and super tasty!
Grumpy loved this recipe.  He even commented that he liked it better than my regular meatloaf recipe in my loaf pan!  However, he did not admit this until he came out to the kitchen, picked one of the meatloaf muffins up, looked at me and said "these were terrible," then shoved a big bite into his mouth and continued with bad manners to talk with his mouth full stating "never make these again!" Ha ha! Gotta love his way of telling me he loves something.
Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf Muffins - 7 WW Points plus! High in protien, low carb, low fat, and super tasty!
These Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf Muffins will be making it in our regular meal rotation plan.  I love the fact that they are so high in protein per serving (37 grams!).  Definitely give these a try, even if you don't use venison, I'm sure you will love them too!

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf Muffins

Shelby Law Ruttan
Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf Muffins
If you do not like game meat or have access to it, feel free to substitute lean ground beef or turkey. Nutrition counts will vary with substitution.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound ground venison
  • 2 pickle slices, diced
  • 2 tablespoons pickle juice
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped fine
  • 2 slices light bread (90 calories for 2 slices)
  • 1 egg, large
  • 3/4 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 slices pre-cooked thick cut bacon (such as Oscar Meyer), cut into 18 pieces

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Prep muffin tin by spraying 9 cups with cooking spray.
  2. Mix together ground meat, pickle slices, pickle juice, onion, bread, egg and cheese until well combined.
  3. Fill muffin cup with approximately 1/2 cup of meatloaf mixture and press down to pack well.
  4. Place 1 teaspoon ketchup atop of each meatloaf muffin and top with each muffin with 2 pieces of bacon.
  5. Bake 30-40 minutes or until internal temperature of meat is 160 degrees.
Yield: 3 servings
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 20 mins.
Cook time: 00 hrs. 40 mins.
Total time: 60 mins.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 172
  • Fat: 10
  • Totalcarbs: 14
  • Dietaryfiber: 2
  • Protein: 37
  • WW Points Plus:  7

February 04, 2015

Pimento Cheese Tea Sandwiches

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This month the Virtual Supper Club is taking a trip to the Oscars. I chose to represent one of my favorite movies of all time, The Help. While I would have loved to made,eaten, and shared with you an amazing recipe for Fried Chicken or a Chocolate Pie, alas, I had to go with something that would not kill my diet. These Pimento Cheese Tea Sandwiches were just the right bite and a southern favorite for sure!
Pimento Cheese Tea Sandwiches
My Aunt Ann and I went to watch "The Help" when the movie was out in theaters.  We never laughed nor cried so much at one movie so much. It was a perfect afternoon movie date with my Aunt and the movie really was heart touching to me. When Minny brought that Chocolate Pie to Miss Hilly and watched her eat it and then promptly told her what to eat, I about died laughing! If you haven't seen this movie, then I highly recommend you watch it!
Pimento Cheese Tea Sandwiches
The rest of the Virtual Supper Club members are bringing you some really delicious treats relating to their favorite movies also! Be sure to check them all out!

Jerry of A Life, Lived chose the movie "Into the Woods" with our soup course of North Woods Bean Soup.

Sarah of All Our Fingers in the Pie brought us Pigonau Fermier aux Epices Douces based on the French cuisine of the movie "The One Hundred Foot Journey." 

Sandi of The Whistlestop Cafe Cooking with a side dish of Fontal Polenta with Sautéed Mushrooms. honoring "Eat, Pray, Love."

Val of More than Burnt Toast chose the movie "The Queen" and brought to our table our dessert of Cranberry-Orange Trifle and beverage of Pimm's Cup.

Pimento Cheese Tea Sandwiches

adapted from Cooking Light
Published 02/04/2015
Pimento Cheese Tea Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon bottled diced pimentos, drained
  • 1/2 tablespoon grated peeled shallots
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces 75% reduced fat cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 ounce freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 slices light whole wheat bread

Instructions

  1. Mix pimentos thru parmesan cheese together until well combined. Spread 3 tablespoon on 1 slice of bread, cover with 2nd slice. Repeat with other two slices.
  2. Cut crusts from sandwiches then cut sandwiches into triangles.
Yield: 2 sandwiches
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 10 mins.
Total time: 10 mins.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 245
  • Fat: 12
  • Totalcarbs: 19
  • Protein: 19
  • Dietaryfiber: 5
  • WW Points Plus: 7

Tags: cheese, pimento, sandwiches, tea sandwiches, virtual supper club, lunches, snacks
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