Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sensual Strawberries!

Yesterday I picked up 3 quarts of strawberries for just  $2.00 a quart.  It's the end of strawberry season here, so this was my last HOORAH to salute the sensuous strawberry!  We are doing it up in style for dinner tonight, well at least some of the family is doing it in style.  Not me....I'm trying to drop a few pounds so these ruby red beauties will just pop into my mouth, and have them in my fresh greens salad with grilled chicken, in the hopes that I can stay on target{!} this isn't going to be easy!
Now here is a quick & easy "Hazzard In The Kitchen" style Strawberries & Creme Stuffed French Toast
1 Pkg. Refrigerated Crescent Rolls
1 8 oz. container Philadelphia Cooking Creme OR an 8 oz. pkg Original Philadelphia Cream Cheese - room temperature 
1 quart fresh strawberries, cleaned and sliced
Six hours later - "well I did it"!!!  The will power stayed strong -  YEA for me.  I had just one little bite of the Strawberries & Creme "Dreams", then stuck with my healthy dinner which I pOsted on the blog for you to see. It really was delicious, I 'm smitten with the cross flavors of balsamic dressing and sweet strawberries plus the grilled flavors of basil chicken..delicious
Now here is a quick & easy "Hazzard In The Kitchen" style recipe
: Strawberries & Creme Stuffed French Toast
1 Pkg. Refrigerated Crescent Rolls
1 8 oz. container Philadelphia Cooking Creme OR an 8 oz. pkg Original Philadelphia Cream Cheese - room temperature 
1 quart fresh strawberries hulled, rinsed and sliced
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
6 Tblsp butter
Prep & Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8
1. Follow directions on Crescent roll package and bake.  Remove rolls from oven when golden, let cool.
2. Pour the Cooking Creme into  a medium sized bowl and stir in the sugar.  If you are using Original Philly Cream Cheese - place in mixer add in 2 tablespoons of milk, blend til smooth and add in the sugar.
3. In a separate bowl using a whisk blend the eggs and 1/2 cup milk together. {p.s.- I like to add just a drop of vanilla extract to the mix!} 
4. Add butter to frying pan, melt over medium heat until bubbly.  In the meantime slice your Crescent rolls lengthwise 3/4's of the way through, leaving the roll "hinged".  Dip each roll into egg mixture - fry a minute or so on either side of the roll until golden.
5. Remove rolls from frying pan, slather inside {flat side] of each roll with Creme mixture, then fill with strawberries, top off with a dusting of powdered sugar, stand on the hinged side of the bread & DIG IN.  You will be thanking me for this recipe - it's just awesome~ Yumm!
 Cathy

Friday, March 18, 2011

Suga'h Free- Sweetie Potato Mango Creme Pots-suga'h-suga'h-suga'h free!!

             Sweetie Potato Mango Creme Pots  *Sugar Free*


Prep Time:  20 minutes
Bake Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 30 individual Tarts

Pre Heat Oven: 450

Ingredients

2 fresh Sweet Potatoes  - {steamed the easy way!-see *Note below}to equal 1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
1 Pillsbury Pie Crust {- in refrigerated section of grocery store, red box*}
1/2 cup  fresh cubed pineapple
1/2 cup fresh cubed mango
1/2 cup fresh pineapple juice {gathered from the pineapple itself, not canned or concentrate}
                                                                                     2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
                                                                                     1 tsp butter - room temperature
                                                                                     1 tsp rum flavoring
                                                                                     1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
                                                                                     1/4 cup roasted almonds - minced
                                                                                     * dusting of cocoa  powder
                                                                                     * dusting of flour

STEP ONE: Preparing the Sweet Potatoes THE QUICK EASY WAY - retaining all moisture and vitamins! *This is sooo flippin' easy and cuts your cooking time of potatoes down to 8 minutes. AND YES- you can make these ahead of time and refrigerate! Clean and rinse the whole sweet potatoes. We are going to wrap each sweet potato in a wet paper towel {dampened} covering each potato securely. Now take each potato that's wrapped in the damp paper towel and re-wrap again tightly in clear plastic wrap. Re-wrap a third time- yep... again in clear plastic wrap.-tightly. You should now have each potato wrapped tightly in 3 wraps1 Place potatoes in microwave for 4 minutes. When 4 minutes is up, turn the potatoes to other side on top and heat again in microwave another 4 minutes. Check tender-ness with a toothpick insert, checking for softness.. Remove carefully from microwave with tongs, they are very hot! Cut plastic wrap and towel off of sweet potato - slice potato in half scooping out flesh and place flesh into measuring cup, padding the mixture into the cup in order to attain a solid packed cup of sweet potato. Now place the cup of sweet potatoes into a mixing bowl and mash with a fork.  Set aside.

STEP TWO: Allow your pie crust to rest at room temperature about 20 minutes before using.  Prepare both sides of the pie crust with a dusting of flour [that makes the crust  release from the pan easily}. With a two inch round biscuit cutter or cookie cutter begin cutting out circles of the pie crust, this should render about 30 mini pie crust circles.  Place each pie crust circle into a mini- muffin-tin pan, gently pressing the center of each doug circle into the muffin pan with your thum for a nice fit.  Bake in oven 10 minutes or until edges of crust are lightly golden in color.  Remove from oven take crusts out of pan and cool on rack.
Place unsweeted coconut on a baking pan, pop in the oven {same temp-450} for one minute.. til golden.  Be sure to "constantly watch" the coconut in the oven, it browns very quickly, you don't want it to become charcoal. Remove from oven and let cool.

STEP THREE: While crust is baking, place the cubed mango and pineapple into a chopper or food processor, pulse until the fruit is puree'd.  Pour the puree' into a mixing bowl, add in the mashed sweet potatoes, softened butter and pineapple juice.  Blend on medium speed til smooth. Next add in the heavy cream and mix on high speed for 2 minutes, until light in texture.  Blend in the rum flavoring, then set aside mixture. 
Place a sprinkling of each: minced almonds & shredded coconut into the bottom of each pie crust tart. Place sweet potato mixture into a piping bag using a large star tip. Pipe mixture into each  pie crust tart, making your sweet potato mixture swirl  an inch or so above each rim of pie crust. Top off each Creme Pot with another sprinkle of almonds and toasted coconut, and a dusting {using a sifter] of cocoa powder.  Emjoythese guilt free "poppers" room temperature of chilled.
NOTE: "Hint"- for special effects or fancy dessert, place 3 into a martini glass per servingand garnish glass with a mint leaf and thin slice of mango with the peel stil on. *If any leftoversa - refrigerate in a air tight container.

What's sweet, sassy, healthy, orange and delicious?

Sweet potaoes thats what!
A sweet potato is a gorgeous root vegetable and a complex carbohydrate. A great source of vitamins A, E and B6. It's high in fiber and good portions of potassium and  iron. This little baby is a healthy Super Food a Total Power House Of Health & Sweet Taste! 
Wait.... Sweet Potatoes are low in calories, low in Glycemic Load, and have zero fat, it is also rich in health boosting antioxidants, fiber, and essential minerals. Did ya know... sweet potatoes contain more than twice the amount of beta-carotene than most fruits and vegetables. PLUS just  two-thirds cup of sweet potatoes provides 100 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of vitamin E, and one sweet potato offers 65 percent of the RDA for vitamin C. The beta carotene and vitamins C and E in sweet potatoes work as antioxidants to neutralize free radicals that damage cells. These antioxidants slow the aging process, boost immunity, and reduce the risk of developing cataracts, heart disease, prostate cancer, and breast cancer.  JUST IMAGINE HOW FABULOUS it is to start your kids out early age.. with fists full of sweet potatoes.  With sweet potatoes in their reular diet...don't be to surpried if they become your next Worlds Greatest At athlete or Corporate Powerhouse. 
Here is a great idea for Sweet N Healthy Sweet Potatoes your entire family will love.



.

Sweet Potato Oat/Cran Whoopie Pies


Sweet Potato Oat-Cran Whoopie Pies ~ healthy & yummy!
When your kids come flyin' through the door after school ravenously hungry - hand them each a Sweet Potato Oat/Cran Whoopie Pie! Not only are they soft, yummy and delicious, these Whoopies bring the hunger-sweet crave to a screeching halt. Loaded with Vitamin A, plus fiber yet offer homemade comforting flavors and textures with a creamy center of goodness. These Whoopie Pies are best when chilled. I wrap each one in clear wrap and stack them in the refrig for easy kid access. You can also just stack them in a plastic air-tight container and keep them in the refrig.


Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Baking Time: 12-14 Minutes
Makes: 12 Whoopie Pies

Pre-Heat Oven: 425

Ingredients For Whoopie Pie Portion:
2 to 3 fresh Sweet Potatoes {steamed the easy way!-see step one below} or whatever equals to 1 cup of the sweet potato pulp, then mashed
1 cup flour
1/2 cup Quick Oats {Oatmeal}
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 Tbsp. butter at room temperature
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 Tbsp. applesauce
2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/8 tsp mace spice
*parchment paper and cooking oil spray

Ingredients For Whoopie Pie Filling:
1- 8 oz. package, 1/3 fat Cream Cheese - softened
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
3 Tbsp low fat peach flavored yogurt
1 Tbsp applesauce

STEP ONE: Preparing the Sweet Potatoes THE QUICK - EASY WAY - retaining all moisture and vitamins! *This is sooo flippin' easy and cuts your cooking time of potatoes down to 8 minutes. AND YES- you can make these ahead of time and refrigerate! Clean and rinse the whole sweet potatoes. We are going to wrap each sweet potato in a wet paper towel {dampened} covering each potato securely. Now take each potato that's wrapped in the damp paper towel and re-wrap again tightly in clear plastic wrap. Re-wrap a third time- yep... again in clear plastic wrap.-tightly. You should now have each potato wrapped tightly in 3 wraps!  Place potatoes in microwave for 4 minutes. When 4 minutes is up, turn the potatoes to otherside on top and heat again in microwave another 4 minutes. Check tenderness with a toothpick insert.  Remove carefully from microwave with tongs, they are very hot! Using scissors, cut plastic wrap and towel off of sweet potato - slice potato in half scooping out flesh and place flesh into measuring cup, padding the mixture into the cup in order to attain a solid packed cup of sweet potato. Now place the cup of sweet potatoes into a mixing bowl and mash with a fork, then set aside.


Begin by making the Whoopie Pie filling first, this will allow time for the filling to "set" while we are baking the pies.
STEP TWO:
 Place cream cheese in a large bowl and blend with a mixer til creamy, add in the applesauce blend for 30 seconds. Then add in the confectioners sugar blend a minute or until smooth, then add in the yogurt and blend again 30 seconds. Place filling in small bowl and refrigerate.

Place parchment paper on inside area of two baking sheets then spray top side of parchment with cooking oil spray. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl blend together flour,salt, baking powder, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, mace and oats. Mix together well with a wooden spoon. Now add into the dry mixture the mashed sweet potatoes, melted butter, milk, egg, dried cranberries and 3 tbsp. applesauce. Mix all ingredients together just long enough - forl dry ingredients to become moistened. Do not over mix. Place a heaping teaspoon of batter onto prepared cookie sheet, then with the back of a spoon smooth each scoop of batter into a 2 1/2 inch circle {this process helps eliminate a really high center mound when baking your Whoopie Pies. Place in oven and bake til edges are slightly golden, about 12-14 minutes. Place each Whoopie onto a cooling rack.

STEP THREE: Once completely cool then remove Filling from refrigerator. Flipping the Whoopie so flat side is up place a full teaspoon of filling onto the Whoopie, spread almost to the edge of the Whoopie. Now take a second Whoopie, flat side down place onto the filling side you just created. This creates the Whoopie sandwich. Store Whoopie Pies in air tight container in refrigerator, or wrap each Whoopie individually in clear plastic wrap and store in refrig. YOUR GONNA LOVE THIS HAPPY HEALTHY SWEET TATER TREAT!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Luck Of The Irish

HAPPY ST. Patty's Day... And Top Of The Day To Ya~!
Long before I was a "Hazzard" I was a McNeal.  We celebrate this day in a BIG way!  Here s a sample of what I'm bringing to our Gathering tonight.  My main man is bringing a fresh batch of his home brewed Stout!  It s going to be a wonderful evening.  Weather is gorgeous.  

My Killarney Cabbage Wraps look astounding, filled with corned beef, swiss cheese stone ground mustard and they are floating in a  gorgeous rich Stout broth!
OHHH- the Baileys Irish Cream Cheesecake will knock your socks off! Did I mention dark chocolate ripples thru this bad boy! Yumm.
Have a wonderful day~
Cathy

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thai Tuna Taco

Hey Guys!
Here are some pix of our "Gilligan's Island weekend" enjoying this gorgeous Florida weather {bragging rights..}.  Yep that's me "Mary Ann with my honey Gilligan", he's the tall eye candy with the black ballcap on.  We are with our good friends Mark & Debbie {aka- Skipper & Ginger}.  Can I tell you what a great day it is when we hope on the boat, go 2 minutes down the waterway on the Sebastian River.  We pirate a uninhabited Island, anchor about knee high from the shore line bring in chairs, little tables, drinks and snacks...and that's the way we spend the day.  AWESOME.. it is paradise.  We are so lucky.


 Thai Tuna Taco

Prep Time: 15 Minutes from start to table

Makes: 6-8 Tacos
1 12 oz. can  Chunk Light Tuna - packed in water - drained
1 Pkg  Low Carb Soft Taco Wraps
1 10 oz. bag Angel Hair Cole-Slaw Cabbage
1 fresh Mango - diced
1 cup Red Onion - rough chopped
1 cucumber-peeled cut into matchstick size
1/2 Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes more for added spice
1/2 cup Dry Roasted Peanuts Chopped
1/4 cup Lite Mayo and a pinch of sugar
1 Tblsp Vinegar {I prefer Rice Vinegar, you can use apple or plain vinegar too}
1/2 Cup of Ken's Steak House - Asian Sesame with Ginger & Soy Lite Salad Dressing


Optional: { Kick it up a bit with an extra Tblsp each of chopped garlic and fresh ginger.]
1.You will need 2 mixing bowls. In 1st bowl blend the Mayo, pinch of sugar and vinegar together. Then add in the bag of Cole Slaw Cabbage- mix and sprinkle red pepper flakes on top. Set aside. In 2nd bowl add drained tuna {"breaking it up with your hands},chopped red onion, {the extra ginger and garlic if you have it}, and 1/2 cup of the salad dressing.
Mix well.
2. In the center of each taco wrap place a line of the slaw mixture, op top of it a line of the tuna mixture, then a handful of mango topped with chopped peanuts. Wa- La! A super meal!
After a great weekend it's back to the grind stone. I'm always whipping up some quick dinner ideas for FAST FOOD HAZZARD STYLE MEALS.  Here's one of our favorites,a really quick easy healthy dinner idea.  Personally, I fall back on this kind of recipe pretty often!  Especially late office nights, or just nights I want to go really healthy and easy.  Ya see -"really healthy"often happens for me  after a sinful foodie day and I just need to reign it in a bit, or possibly a few days of my jeans  feeling a little less comfortable then usual.  Seriously, I do keep it healthy most of the time just because it makes you feel better, look better and  should keep you walking on this earth  just a little longer!  Now, it's not to say I won't be hitting the freezer looking for ice cream later in the evening...LOL
P.S. Do notice the "optional desert" I've posted of gorgeous juicy peaches, raspberries and blackberries, they were just out of this world!! BUT funny thing, the chocolate ganache cupcakes and mini creme filled puffs flew off the counter top at our party...and the fresh fruit just sat there waiting and waiting and waiting to disappear! GO FIGURE.
Have a great week everyone!