Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bye-bye Patricia Cornwell.....

You are no longer on my favorite authors list. I haven't read any of your books in the last few years, but finally picked up "The Last Precinct" that I picked up for a buck at the library. Your characters sound dumb with all the stupid f-bombs they're dropping, and the stinky S words. I can understand in a place or two, but these characters are just dumb. What happened to your fun mystery novels? I don't remember Scarpetta being that foul mouthed or Marino sounding SO stupid. Did they lose intelligence in the last few years or what? How can they ever solve a crime now being so dumb? Seriously, the quad at the high school has less swearing than your used to be smart characters. Jeffery Archer, Kate Pepper, and even James Patterson, rise above that. Not that I'm totally perfect and never let a naughty word slip, but there was no reason for all of that. I dropped the book after I read the prologue and half of the first chapter. Too bad, you were one of my favorites. I'll miss Dr. Scarpetta and Marino. :( I think I hear James Patterson calling my name again.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Revamped Fresh Spinach & Bacon Quiche

Revamped: Fresh Spinach and Bacon Quiche (EASY!)

2 9" deep pie crusts
1 large sweet or yellow onion chopped
1 pkg. sliced cremini mushrooms
1 package of 50% less fat real bacon pieces
olive oil
Salt & Pepper
1 large bag of spinach, large stem pieces removed
1 1/2 cups grated Swiss cheese(or reduced fat cheese)
8 large eggs(or 2 cups of Egg Beaters)
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. ground thyme
1/8 tsp. ground sage
1/4 tsp. paprika
1 13 oz. can evaporated skim milk

Preheat oven to 375'. Sautee onions, mushrooms, and bacon in just enough olive oil to coat pan with lid on tight at a low temperature. Be careful not to let onions burn. Remove lid to let mushroom liquid cook off.

When onions are translucent add spinach and salt and pepper to taste and mix.

Top with lid, until spinach wilts down but stays bright green. Remove from heat.

Divide mixture and spread into bottom of two pie crusts.

Top spinach mixture in pie crusts with divided cheese.

In blender add eggs and spices and blend until mixed well. Add can of evaporated milk and blend well. Divide and pour mixture over spinach and cheese mixture in pie crusts.

Place pies on cookie sheet with lip to prevent burning the bottom of pie and protect bottom of oven from spillage. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until cheese is golden brown on top and eggs are set. Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting into.

This actually IS one of my kids favorites. Serve with grapes or fruit salad.

You can also bake this without the crust.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer Pasta Salad

1/4 cup light olive oil
1/8 cup lemon juice
1/8 cup white balsamic vinegar(or your fave)
3-4 Tbl. Honey Mustard(or your fave)
3 Tbl. Gourmet Garden Basil
1/2 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. each sea salt & ground black pepper
Combine with wire whisk and set aside.

1 Box Rotini Noodles cooked, rinsed, and cooled
1 lb. salami cut up into small triangles/wedges
1 each green & red pepper, diced
1 bunch of green onions, green part sliced
1/4 cup small capers, rinsed
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese(NOT the green Kraft stuff)

Combine all ingredients and dressing and serve!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Chocolate Eclair Cake

This is my "healthified" version of a popular recipe but I promise you it tastes naughty.

1 8oz. package fat-free cream cheese
1 tub fat free Cool-Whip(or store brand)
3 small packages sugar-free, fat-free Vanilla Jello Pudding mix
5 cups skim/fat-free milk

1 box Reduced Fat Graham Crackers

1 tub milk chocolate frosting

I use my KitchenAid to combine the first 4 ingredients until well blended. Set aside. Spray a 9x13 inch rectangle baking pan with non-stick spray and lay entire bottom of pan with a single layer of graham crackers. You'll need to break some to fit right. Spread half of the vanilla mixture over graham cracker layer and repeat with another layer of grahams and remaining mixture. Layer with one more layer of graham crackers. In microwave, melt frosting in container for 30 seconds at 50% power. It should just be easier to spread but not runny. Spread softened frosting over the top of crackers. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours to overnight.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Did someone say pesto? If I could have one food to take with me to a deserted island, it would be pesto. I thought my last born must have been switched at birth because she won't touch the stuff, turns out, she just won't eat store bought pesto. Trust me, I've made her try them all. I wanted to make some homemade to go on top of salmon(my favorite way to cook fish) and so I came up with this. Less oily too.

1 bunch of basil washed, stems removed, and spun through salad spinner.
1 generous tsp. crushed garlic(from a jar is fine)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pinenuts
a few pinches of salt & pepper
1 packet of "True Lemon"
Olive Oil

In a food processor, pulse basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, pinenuts, salt & pepper, and True Lemon until finely chopped. Turn processor on continuous and drizzle olive oil down shoot until it becomes more pasty, I use approx. 1/8-1/4 cup. Add water to thin down too until desired consistency. Stores in refrigerator for several days.

I added about a Tbl. of this to Hungry Girl's Fettucine Girlfredo instead of the parmesan her recipe calls for. Oh, this is my FAVORITE Mommy Favorite and Figure Friendly lunch. Add 2 tsp. of reduced fat bacon bits, and it's pure heaven.

Monday, August 3, 2009

HGTV's Next Design Star...

Anyone see the resemblance? Dan Vickery on HGTV's "Design Star" on the left, and on the right is Craig Olejnik from "The Listener", two of our favorites. Last night we were all impressed again with Dan's white room on DS, he has our entire family's vote. We can't get passed that he looks SO much like Craig Olejnik. So, if he doesn't win, maybe we can see him on "The Listener" as Toby's twin brother.

What did we do before HGTV and The Food Network? Seriously, we love watching these channels! Melissa won, who we'd all been predicting and wishing for all along. I can't wait to see her show next week, we're so excited!