In the midst of moving and packing and renovating while trying to keep life as close to normal a possible, I caved and tried out sheet-pan dinners. And I am IN LOVE! Read More
For years, Hubby and I have tried to eat a primarily from-scratch diet with lots of fresh veggies and fruits. Over the last year or so, we have tried to cut back on sugar a bit too.
It’s not that we never have an all out sugary dessert–we do, though we have tried to cut back on portions. But, we have also looked for other, healthier options to satisfy my sweet tooth.
I have never been a ricotta cheese fan, but a few of my favorite traditional desserts (mmm, cannoli) are ricotta based, so when I heard about this one, I decided to give it a go.
This is super-simple, and can be made with any fresh or frozen fruit. I like to use whole milk ricotta, but part skim works, too. (With the full-fat ricotta and frozen cherries, this is approximately 170 calories, with 24 g carbs, 19 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 7 g fat (5 g saturated), and 6 g protein.)
Cinnamon Ricotta Cherries
- 1/2 cup Frozen Cherries
- 1/4 cup Ricotta Cheese
- 1 tsp. Honey
- Dash Cinnamon
- Slightly defrost the cherries, either by placing in the microwave for 30 seconds or allowing to sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix cherries with a dash of cinnamon.
- Top with Ricotta.
- Drizzle with honey. If desired, sprinkle with more cinnamon.
I use a 2 Tbsp. cookie scoop to serve the ricotta–2 scoops equal 1/4 cup. This is also great with fresh strawberries or mixed berries, fresh or frozen blueberries, or (hubby’s favorite), fresh pineapple. A little treat without a ton of added sugar. 🙂
Do you have a favorite quick sweet treat that is a little on the healthier side? A go-to shortcut dessert? Let us know in the comments.
It’s been a while since I posted here and things have really changed in the last few months. Shortly after my last post, Hubby was offered a great new job–an opportunity that was just too good to pass up.
Of course, it did require us to relocate for the second time in three years. Read More
As much as I love to cook, there is one meal hubby and I have never quite gotten the hang of–breakfast. For years, we skipped breakfast more often than we ate it, but in recent years we try hard to start our day with a decent breakfast.
I found myself with a touch of a sweet tooth after work last week, and editing my culinary cozy mystery was not helping the issue. When my main character whipped up a batch of biscotti, it seemed like the perfect time to try a new recipe.
This makes a lot of biscotti, but they freeze up very nicely. Just take them out for a half hour or so before you want to eat them. Home-baked treat whenever you want them. 🙂
Chocolate Chip Pecan Biscotti
|2 Cups||All Purpose Flour|
|1 tsp.||Ground Cinnamon|
|1 tsp.||Baking Powder|
|4 Tbsp.||Cold Butter, cut in chunks|
|1 Cup||Good-quality Dark Chocolate Chips or Coarsely Chopped Dark Chocolate|
|1 Cup||Chopped Pecans|
|1 tsp.||Vanilla Extract|
|1/2 tsp.||Almond Extract|
|Course Sugar (Optional)|
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix the Flour, Sugar, Cinnamon, Baking Powder, and Salt. Add butter and cut in with a pastry blender or 2 butter knives until incorporated and crumbly.
- Add eggs, and stir until incorporated. Stir in remaining ingredients, then knead in bowl until fully combined.
- Place dough on a floured surface. Knead a few more times, then divide in half. Shape each half into a log about 2 inches wide and 1 inch tall.
- Place on baking sheet, and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Let cool for 10 minutes, then slice each log into 1/2 inch slices, cut on a diagonal. Lay each slice on its side on the baking sheet. They can be close, but not touching the other cookies. Bake an additional 15-20 minutes until golden brown and firm.
- Cool completely on cooling racks. The biscotti will continue to harden as they cool.
- Enjoy! 🙂
Off to work–with a tasty treat in my lunch bag. Hope you have a wonderful day! ❤️
Hubby and I have felt a little under the weather lately, thanks to a brutal allergy season. Nothing serious–just the usually stuffy head, sore throat, watery-eyed fun that comes with walking out the front door in the morning. 😉
I started out thinking I would make a standard hearty chicken noodle soup, but until I got all the veggies and chicken in, there was no room for noodles!
This was super-easy to throw together–I just roasted a bunch of vegetables, browned the chicken, added the roasted veggies and a bit of wine, cooked a few minutes, and added the stock. Just before serving, I added a splash of cream and a bit of fresh-grated parmesan cheese. Easy-peasy!
Easy Chicken and Vegetable Chowder
|1 lb||Creamer Potatoes, cleaned and quartered|
|3 Cups||Mushrooms, Cleaned and sliced|
|2||Leeks, halved and thinly sliced|
|2 Tbsp.||Olive Oil, divided|
|1.5 lbs.||Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast, cut into 1-inch chunks|
|1.5 tsp.||Montreal Steak Seasoning|
|1 bag||Frozen Mixed Vegetables (12-16 oz)|
|1 cup||Dry White Wine|
|1 box||Chicken Stock (4 cups)|
|1/4 Cup||Half and Half|
|1/2 Cup||Shredded Parmesan Cheese|
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Prepare Potatoes, Mushrooms, Leeks, and Onion and add to a baking sheet. Add salt and pepper (to taste) and 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil. Mix with your hands and spread the vegetables on the baking tray evenly. Roast until tender and lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, season the chicken with the Montreal Steak Seasoning (or other seasoning blend of your choice). Let sit 10 minutes.
- Add the remaining Olive Oil to a Dutch Oven over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Add the frozen vegetables and cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the roasted vegetables to the Dutch Oven. Add the wine and stir. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes, stirring.
- Add the chicken stock. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover the pot and cook 20 minutes.
- Stir in the Parmesan and Half and Half. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve and enjoy!
I used salted chicken stock (I prefer Kitchen Basics brand), and the Montreal Steak Seasoning has a lot of salt, so I went light on the salt on the veggies and didn’t add any more salt to the chicken or mixed vegetables. I did add extra pepper. Hubby thought it was perfect, though I did salt it a bit at the table.
Do you ever get a soup craving in summer? Have a go-to dish when you are feeling blah? Please share! 🙂
Hubby and I have been focused on eating a bit healthier lately, along with adding in a lot more exercise. We both have more energy, and are feeling happier overall–which makes it so much easier to stick to our healthier lifestyle.
I am a salad girl, so making sure to get a side salad in with dinner every day–with homemade dressing, of course–was easy. Not sautéing my veggies in boatloads of oil and/or butter should have been harder, but I have learned that grilling or roasting them gives just as much flavor with less added fat.
|2 lbs.||Fresh Asparagus|
|2 Tbsp.||Olive Oil|
|Kosher or Sea Salt|
- Preheat grill on high or oven to 425.
- Clean the asparagus and snap the ends off each stalk. (Hold the top and bottom and bend until it snaps. This will break off the woody part at the bottom of each stalk.)
- Place in a large bowl, and toss with Olive Oil, Salt, and Pepper until well coated.
- Lay asparagus side-by-side on the grill across the grates, so it doesn’t fall through. Drop heat to medium and close cover.
- Grill for 3-4 minutes, until charred. Flip, and grill an additional 3-4 minutes.
- Alternatively, lay asparagus on a baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes, flipping once.
- Serve and enjoy!
Simple, healthy, and super-tasty, this has been a family favorite for years! I hope you enjoy it, too!
Are you excited for grilling season? Do you have a favorite trick for eating more vegetables? Any great healthy recipes you can’t live without? Please share!
The temperatures are cooling off here in NC as we head into fall. Our ten-day forecast doesn’t have a single day over eighty degrees–a big change from the sweltering heat of summer.
The refreshing change in weather and the lovely apples and fall vegetables at the Farmers’ Market have me thinking of one of my favorite meals for a chilly day (or even a hot summer day): a rich, creamy Tomato Bisque. 🙂
I used to use a lot of fresh ingredients in this, but I have tweaked it over the years so I can make it almost completely out of my pantry. I keep a storage baggie of Mirepoix in my freezer, and add any extra chopped onion, celery, or carrots from other recipes. This way, I always have some mirepoix in the freezer (though the ratio of carrots to onions to celery is sometimes off) and I don’t have to chop anything for a quick meal like this.
Just a note: I have subbed in pureed tomatoes or a can of tomato sauce for the crushed tomatoes, and it still turns out great!
Easy Tomato Bisque
|1/2 Cup||Mirepoix (Fresh or Frozen)|
|1-2 Tablespoons||Olive Oil|
|1/2 Tablespoon||Dried Basil|
|1 Can (14-15 oz.)||Crushed Tomatoes|
|1 Can (14-15 oz.)||Diced Tomatoes|
|1 Cup||Chicken Stock|
|1/4 Cup||Cream or Half & Half|
|1/4 Cup||Shredded Parmesan Cheese|
Optional (for Tomato Orzo Soup)
|1 cup||Chicken Stock|
|1/2 Cup||Uncooked Orzo or White Rice|
- Sauté Mirepoix (chopped Carrots, Onions, and Celery) in Olive Oil over Medium Heat until vegetables start to tenderize (about five minutes).
- Stir in Basil and cook an additional 30 seconds, stirring.
- Add tomatoes and stock. (If using Pasta or Rice, add all of the stock.) Bump temperature to medium-high, and bring to a slow boil.
- Add Pasta or Rice (if using).
- Drop the temp and simmer for 10-15 minutes (if using pasta or rice, simmer until it is cooked through).
- Remove from the heat. Add cheese and cream, and stir until combined.
This soup is great topped with an extra drizzle of cream or with some croutons.
I tend to add the rice or pasta for dinner, but leave them out for lunch. I almost always double the recipe, then freeze half in individual portions for a quick weekday lunch. Perfect with some crusty bread or a fresh salad! 🙂
What is your favorite soup? Do you have any cooking shortcuts to help cut tome on your favorite recipes? Any pantry-only recipe favorites? Please share! ❤