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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Polka Dot Fudge Cookies

My sister Layla made these up and she's getting a patent on the title :) After a quick search I discovered the basic version of this recipe is already all over the internet, but her's are still better ;-)

These are gooey and fudgy and soft and crumbly and JUST SO GOOD. They only take 10 minutes of prep time before they're baking in the oven, and I'm willing to bet 99% of people already have these ingredients in their kitchens. I love when I read a recipe and realize I can make it on the spot because I have everything needed and a bit of time to spare, and this is one of them!

The add-in possibilities are ENDLESS with these: chocolate chips, m&ms (these look SO cool), shredded coconut, nuts, toffee bits, chewy caramels...

Depending on the size (and how much batter you eat) these measurements should make about 36 cookies.

-1 box chocolate cake mix
-2 eggs
-1/3 cup of vegetable oil
-1 cup mix-in (white chocolate chips, etc...)
To make
-Heat oven to 350 degrees.
-Mix cake mix, eggs and oil for 2 minutes until well blended.
-Stir in mix-in
-Shape into rounded teaspoons and place on baking sheet. Bake for about 7 minutes. This is for soft and chewy cookies. Bake an additional minute or two if you want them crispy. Cool for a couple minutes.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Zucchini Dip

This is a spin-off of hummus, for those who are bothered by beans, or for those who just want to try something new. I learned this from my mother-in-law, who is a very creative and talented cook :) I make this as a low carb alternative to hummus, or just when I have a lot of extra zucchini lying around. We eat this with pita chips, pita bread, or any assorted variety of veggies. This dip makes a great sandwich or base layer for a veggie wrap.

-4 large zucchini or squash, washed and cut into cubes
-1 cup fat free yogurt
-1/3 cup tahini paste (you can use 1/2 cup for a thicker dip, but start with 1/3)
-1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (this can be replaced with 1 squeezed lemon, but it won't taste as good :) )
-optional: 1 clove garlic
-salt to taste

optional garnish
-pomegranate seeds
-fresh chopped parsley
-sliced tomatoes
-drizzled olive oil
-black sesame seeds

To Make
-Heat pot filled halfway with water and some salt. When water boils, drop in cubed zucchini and cook until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and place zucchini in a medium sized bowl.
-Mash zucchini until it is broken up and smooth. Sometimes I leave it a little chunky for a firmer texture.
-Add yogurt, salt, tahini, optional garlic and pomegranate molasses to the bowl and mash together until well mixed. Garnish with optional toppings and serve.
-Enjoy :)

This holds up pretty well in the fridge, can be kept for about a week.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Grilled Vegetable and Couscous Salad

I sort of overdid it with the vegetables at my local farmer's market, and now I'm looking for creative ways to use them!
I've had a salad in the past that combined roasted veggies with couscous and I liked it a lot. After searching the internet for a good recipe, I didn't find one I was crazy about, so I basically made this up.

This looks very pretty because of the various colors. Feel free to play around with the veggie mixture, add or omit whatever you want. Other good additions would be artichoke hearts, corn, grilled onions or roasted garlic.

This salad has a bit of a Moroccan feel to it because of the couscous and coriander, but I'm not claiming any authenticity!

This can be served warm or cold. Serves about 4 adults.

-2 cups arugula leaves (fresh spinach or baby spring mix also work)
-1 cup cooked couscous
-3 baby Japanese eggplants, thinly sliced
-1 medium sized yellow squash, thinly sliced
-1 medium sized zucchini, thinly sliced
-1 cup sliced mushrooms
-1 sliced red bell pepper (optional)
-1 cup baby tomatoes
-1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

-1 finely diced shallot
-zest and juice of 2 lemons
-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
-1/3 cup olive oil
-1 teaspoon coriander
-1 teaspoon paprika
-salt and pepper to taste

-Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and roast in an oven or on a grill. I used my GeorgeForeman grill.
-Layer the arugula, couscous and vegetables on a serving dish. Top with feta cheese.
-Drizzle the dressing over the salad, toss ingredients together and serve!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sesame Chicken Flat Bread Pizza



-8 flat breads

-4 tablespoons sesame seeds

-1/2 pound chicken breast cut into small cubes

-1 tablespoon olive oil

-3 cloves garlic, finely diced

-3/4 cup teriyaki sauce or dressing

-1/2 red onion OR 3 green onions, julienned

-1 cup carrots cut into matchsticks

-1 red bell pepper, julienned

- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

-1/2 cup chopped cilantro

-salt to taste

To make


-Preheat oven to 425 degree Fahrenheit. Place the flat bread on baking sheet, brush 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle sesame seeds. Bake for 10 minutes.

-Cook chicken pieces in 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce and garlic until cooked through.

-When the flat bread comes out of the oven, spread the remaining 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce on all the pieces.

-Layer chicken, onions, red bell pepper and carrot sticks on the flat bread. Season lightly with salt and sprinkle with cheese.

-Toast in the oven for an additional 10 minutes. Turn oven to broil and lower baking pan to lowest rack. Broil for 5 minutes or so.

-Remove from oven and sprinkle chopped cilantro. Slice and serve!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Pie

Want to make a 5 minute dessert? Well, 6 minutes if you count licking the bowl clean...

No stove! No oven! No microwave!

I came up with this recently when I was having guests over and needed a super fast but super yummy dessert to round off a great meal...I had these ingredients on hand, and it turned out delicious!



-1 ready oreo crust

-1 8 ounce package cream cheese

-1 cookies and cream pudding mix

- 1 3/4 cups milk



-blend cream cheese with an electric mixer until it is soft and fluffy

-stir in milk and mix until the cream cheese has blended with milk and there are no lumps

-stir in pudding mix and blend for 2 minutes

-pour mixture into the oreo crust

-refrigerate for about 30 minutes and ENJOY!

**note: you may have some extra filling that you can just refrigerate and top with fruit and granola for a parfait**

Monday, August 3, 2009

Arugula and Roasted Beet Salad

This is my new favorite salad. All thanks goes to Giada for this one! A testament to the goodness of this recipe is that I only altered one thing, which is rare for me ;-) Its funny that I'm so obsessed with this dish because I'm not a huge fan of beets. Something about their soft texture and sweetness never appealed to me, but after reading the ingredients for this salad and roasting the beets, I love them!

The presentation of this salad is beautiful because it is so colorful with the green arugula, purple beets, white feta and green avocado! Everyone who's tried this recipe has really loved it, so I REALLY recommend this one :)
-7 ounce package of arugula (I've also made this with mixed baby greens)
-1/3 cup cranberries
-1/3 cup diced walnuts
-1 large beet, peeled, boiled, and sliced (I'm sure you can use canned, but I haven't tried it)
-1/2 cup feta cheese, I used a Mediterranean seasoned type(Giada uses goat cheese, but I can't stand goat, so I use feta)
-1 sliced avocado (Giada uses only 1/2 of one)

-1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
-1/3 cup olive oil
-1 tablespoon honey
-Salt and pepper to taste
-3 tablespoons shallots (about 1 medium sized shallot). If this is hard for you to locate, red onions are a good substitute

To make
-Mix 1-2 tablespoons of dressing with beets. Spread onto a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. I've used my toaster oven for this to avoid preheating the oven, and it worked great.
-In a serving bowl, mix the arugula with cranberries and walnuts. Toss with dressing.
-Layer the beets on top of the arugula, then layer the cheese and avocados.
-Serve and savor every bite as you enjoy this scrumptious salad!