May 31, 2012

Shrimp Fra Diavolo with Spinach

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Last month when I was browsing Margaret's blog for recipes to make for the Secret Recipe Club I realized that she not only loves her tea and scones but she love her shrimp and pasta!  My kind of girl :)  When I saw that she had made this Shrimp Fra Diavolo with Spinach for the Cooking Ellie group I knew then and there I would be making that dish..

I have been in a blogging slump again.  Mostly because believe it or not, we just aren't eating anything new that I want to post about.  We have been following the guidlines for Grumpy's diabetic diet pretty faithfully which has cut a lot of high carb and baked goods out of our life.  Instead we are having protien smoothies and lots of fresh fruit and veggies throughout the day and for dinner usually a quick and easy throw together meal and several of them ones that I have posted here throughout the years such as the Red & White Cauliflower Bake which Grumpy devours like crazy and I think its funny because its a tofu dish!  Because we are both pasta lovers it is hard to not make at least a couple meals a week with pasta so I decided to make them as healthy as I possibly could and I have been using the Dreamfields pasta.
This dish was full of flavor and I will definitely keep it on my list of shrimp/pasta dishes to make.  I love that its healthy and delicious!

I am submitting this post to Presto Pasta Nights being hosted this week by Stash of Simple Kitchen Seasons.  You still have time to submit if you want to join in.  Just visit the PPN website for the submission guidelines.  Make sure to visit his website tomorrow for the round up of yummy pasta dishes made this last week for this event!

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Shrimp Fra Diavolo
slightly adapted from Ellie Krieger

  • 1/2 lb Pasta of your choice 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1/2 medium onion onion, diced 
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste1-15 oz can diced tomatoes 
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth 
  • 1 teaspoon oregano 
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper 
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined 
  • 3 cups baby spinach
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook until al dente and according to the directions on the package.

While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook, stirrng, for 1 additional minute.  Add the tomatoes, broth, tomato paste, the oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.  Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, 8 to 10 minutes.  Add the shrimp and spinach and cook, stirring, until the shrimp is just cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat.  Add the drained cooked pasta to the sauce and toss until well combined.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 servings

May 29, 2012

Berried Cheesecake Cups

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I haven't made a dessert in quite some time now.  Grumpy has been doing fairly well sticking to the The Low-Carb diet he needs to stick to and I've been following suit.  It hasn't been all that hard and I really haven't been craving sweets....much.

I came across some cheesecake cups in a Woman's World Magazine, but they called for a crust and they were no-bake.  I really love cheesecake but I don't care for the crust and I would rather have mine baked.  But I took that idea and decided to make it a better cheesecake (in my opinion) and bake mini cheesecake cups.  I didn't want a lot around the house so I made a small batch of 6 cups.  These fit the bill, killed my craving for a baked cheesecake, and didn't kill Grumpy's low carb diet!

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Berried Cheesecake Cups
Mini Baked cheesecakes that form a cup after cooled - perfect for a fruit filling!
  • 1/3 less fat cream cheese 8 ounces (1 package)
  • 1/4 cup Splenda
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup non fat yogurt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place cupcake wrappers in a Circulon 12-Cup Muffin Pan filling 6 muffin cups.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, using a hand mixer on medium speed, mix cream cheese and sugars until creamy.  Add egg and almond extract and mix well.  Blend in yogurt until mixture is smooth.

Divide mixture among the cupcake liners.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool.  Once cooled place in refrigerator to continue setting at least 3 hours.

To serve, remove wrappers and top with fruit. Notes:  it is very important to let these cheesecakes set for at least 3 hours in the fridge.  It would be best to let them set overnight.  
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6

Nutrition information:
1 cup = 1 serving
Calories 109
Fat 5.3 grams
Carbohydrates 11.3 grams
Sodium 126.4 mg
Fiber 0 grams
Protien 4 grams

Other Cheesecake recipes on the web that I like:
Lemon Cheesecake Squares - The Foodie Affair
Chocolate Chip Cheesecake - Renees Kitchen Adventures
White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake - Our Life Tastes Good
Cherry Cheesecake Brownies - Flavor Mosiac

May 22, 2012

Baked Ziti - Cook This! Not That!

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Grumpy was very skeptical when I made this dish.  He's the kind of guy that if there is any "watery-ness" to his pasta sauce, then he wants nothing to do with it.  So, needless to say, for the most part, the only sauce he will eat and not complain about is Prego.  He doesn't care for homemade sauce in any way because he swears its watery.  I don't know what he's talking about by the way - I don't think my sauce is watery!  When we went grocery shopping (and normally he does NOT go with me) he told me to get a good spaghetti sauce for the baked ziti.  Well, he was none too happy when I told him I was making the sauce and not buying pre-made.  His words were - it better not be watery!  For the record, I used Hunts tomato sauce (not the spaghetti sauce) and it was not watery.

This turned out delicious and so flavorful!  Grumpy?  He even went back for seconds and as he got up to get his seconds, he said, make sure you tell your "blog people" (don't you just love it?  ha ha) that I went back for seconds.  Sounds to me like it passed the "Grumpy test", what do you think?


This is my submission Presto Pasta Nights for this week.  Rachel (a fellow NY'er and local to me!) of The Crispy Cook is hosting this week.  (BTW, we are so close we should really have a meet up Rachel!)  Make sure to check out her blog on Friday for the round up!

So for the calorie comparison facts:  This recipe was compared to Olive Garden's Five Cheese Ziti al Forno which comes in at a whopping 1050 calories, 48 grams of fat, and 2,370 mg of sodium!  By following the Cook This! Not That! recipe, you come out with 410 calories, 12 grams of fat, and 600 mg of sodium.  So, not only is the nutritional counts better for you but its quick and easy to make and Grumpy loved it.  This one's a definite keeper!

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Cook This! Baked Ziti
a recipe compared to Olive Garden's Five Cheese Ziti al Forno in Cook This! Not That! Cookbook
  • 10 oz ziti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • pre-cooked chicken or turkey sausage 2 links
  • medium onion, diced 1
  • garlic, minced 2 cloves
  • red pepper flakes 1 tsp
  • (1 can) tomato puree 28 ounces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh basil leaves 1 cup
  • cubed mozzarella 3/4 cup
  • parmesan for grating
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until a minute shy of being done.  In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add sausage and cook for about 2 minutes or until lightly browned.  Add the onion, garlic, and pepper flakes and cook until the onion is soft and translucent.  Stir in tomato puree, plus a good pinch of salt and pepper.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.Drain the pasta.  Add to the skillet and toss with the sauce.  Remove from the heat and stir in the basil and mozzarella.  Place in a 12x9 baking dish and sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese and cover with foil  Bake 15 minutes then remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes, until the top is crusty and browned.  Garnish with basil leaves.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 servings

May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day 2012

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Happy Mother's Day!
Legacy of my mother and the women in our lives.

I am thinking of 3 special women in my life - my Mom, Aunt Ann & Aunt Marlene.  My mom for being my mom and my Aunt's for being someone I can also turn to when I need someone to talk to.  I'm very blessed and so lucky to have so many special people in my life.

Happy mother's day also to these special female cousins on my mom's side who I grew up with and spent many a days together playing as kids.   The tradition goes on as they have their own daughters - and some who have had children of their own!  (btw I am the ONLY one of these girls who did not have a daughter of my own!)

Michelle Whitton Stott
Amanda Whitton Abrantes
Pamela Whitton Leonard
Andrea Jefferson Clementz
Nichole Whitton Morse

I also want to remember my Great Aunt Helga Clark, she wasn't a mom but she sure treated us all like her children at some point in our lives!  

And lastly, but not least, to remember my Grandma Mae Iris Whitton.  The woman who gave to and taught me to love unconditionally.  

May 07, 2012

Maple Oatmeal Bread

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Today is Secret Recipe Club reveal day.  This month it came upon me very fast and before I knew it we were upon the weekend before reveal day and it hit me I hadn't done anything yet.  Story of my life.  I'm either too early or cutting it close.  There is a lot going on right now so it wasn't hard for it to happen to me I guess.

This month I was paired with Margaret of Tea and Scones.  Margaret is another long time blogger who I met through participating in other events like Tuesdays with Dorie, My Kitchen, My World, and Presto Pasta Nights!  We have a lot in common other than the fact that she lives in the south and I am from the north!  She loves shrimp and pasta and has several combinations of it on her blog - and I can promise I'll be back and making them!
However, because we couldn't be home over the weekend I fretted about what I was going to make.  I finally decided on the Maple Oatmeal Bread.  Kind of ironic because after the fact I was looking over her blog again some this morning and realized that she blogged the Italian bread I have on my blog!  lol  Definitely was not intentional.  My reasons for going with the bread were because we needed bread in the house and I figured homemade bread made with whole grains would be much healthier for Grumpy and me than a processed store bought loaf.  The only thing I did different was I used white whole wheat flour.  This is a delicious recipe and it is low in fat as well!  Grumpy will be taking his sandwiches made with this bread all week and will be better off for it!
I had a great time reading through Margaret's blog - her blog may be titled Tea and Scones (because of her love of both!) but she definitely  has a lot of variety to share with us all and I'm sure there is something for everyone there!

Maple Oatmeal Bread

Whole grain bread sweetened slightly with maple syrup

2 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup rolled oats
1 package dry yeast
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon oil
3 cups white whole wheat flour
2 cups flour
Measure the water into a 4 cup measure and bring the water to a boil in the microwave (about 3 minutes on high).  Add oats and give a stir.  Set aside to cool about one hour.  Mix the yeast, syrup, salt, and oil into the oats. Mix in 3 cups of the flour. Cover the bowl and let rise for an hour.Add more flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough is the correct consistency. Knead for 10 minutes. Cut the dough into two pieces, then shape it into loaves and place in greased loaf pans.

Cover and let rise another 45 minutes or put loaves in refrigerator and let rise during the day while your busy elsewhere like I did :)
When ready to bake, preheat oven at 350 degrees.  Spray tops of loaves lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with some whole oats.

Bake at for 40 - 50 minutes.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 loaves

May 03, 2012

Pineapple Cookies with Orange Glaze

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Before I get to the cookies I need to announce the winner of my Price Chopper product giveaway!  The comments were printed out and Grumpy drew one of the comments out of a bowl for me.  The winner is....

susies1955Apr 27, 2012 03:15 AM
I've bought their pancake mixes before and they are good.
Your donuts look great. I absolutely LOVE bacon and maple. :)
Congrats Susie! I'll be contacting you soon!

One thing Nanny was well known for was the cookies she would have in her cupboard; and if her cupboard happened to be bare, you could almost bet there were cookies in the freezer.  You couldn't go to Nanny's & house without finding a treat of some kind.
Nanny's recipe had a lot of sugar and oil in it and while I absolutely love her recipe, I decided to create these with less fat and less sugar so they wouldn't be such a sin for Grumpy to eat.  I totally cut the sweetener in half and on top of that, when I did so, I used half regular sugar and half Splenda.  I then cut the amount of oil and egg in half.   I went with a light orange glaze to get that orange-pineapple flavor that is so irresistable.   They are soft and flavorful - especially with the fresh orange juice and zest in the glaze.  They went excellent with a cup of hot green tea.

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Pineapple Cookies with Orange Glaze
My Nanny's Pineapple Cookie recipe redone
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup Splenda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple (do not drain)
  • 3 to 3-1/2 cups flour
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 medium medium orange, juiced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix together sugars, oil, eggs, and vanilla until well blended.Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.Stir in flour and pineapple alternately, starting with flour and ending with flour.Scoop by tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Bake 7-9 minutes.  Cool on cookie rack.Mix confectioner's sugar and orange juice.  Dip tops of cookies into glaze and set back on cookie sheet to dry.  Notes:  These cookies get moister as time goes by - if these last more than a couple of days the tops of the cookies will get very moist and almost wet-like.  Therefore, these are best eaten within the first few days.

You can freeze un-glazed cookies to keep them longer and remove from the freezer and glaze prior to eating.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 3-1/2 dozen

Rudy Rut-ton....another Wordless Wednesday

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