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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sweet, Salty Frito Candy

This stuff is so great---Ultimate PMS snack!!! Thanks to Cookie Madness... I made a few adjustments that you can see in the recipe below.
2 and 1/4 C pretzels
1 and 1/4 C fritos
15 small peanut butter cups
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 C brown sugar
2 C milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 and line pan with non stick foil. Break up pretzels and fritos (I did this in large ziploc) and pour into pan. Unwrap pb cups and cut them into fourths. Dump them on top, scattered.

Place butter in saucepan and melt. Stir in brown sugar and bring to full boil. Boil 1 minute, stirring once or twice. Pour over Frito mixture and bake 8 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over hot candy, return to oven 1 minute. Spread chocolate over candy evenly. Cool at room temp until ready for fridge. Cool in fridge completely and break into pieces.

Friday, January 25, 2008

What-a- Melon Jello Gummy Bear Shots

OK, I am going to a girls night tomorrow and I wanted to bring a fun drink. Have not had jello shots in ages!!! So I thought that would be fun.

1 pkg (3oz) of Melon Fusion Jello
1 C boiling water
3/4 C Cold Vodka
1/2 C Cold Watermelon Pucker
Gummy Bears
3 oz paper cups (bathroom cups)

Pour boiling water over jello powder in glass pourable bowl. Stir to dissolve. Add vodka and pucker and stir. Pour into 3oz paper cups (only filling about an inch high). Drop a gummy bear or two into each one. Refrigerate for 4 hours. YUM!

Pasta Eggplant Bake

1 Eggplant, sliced into 1x2 inch slices (fairly thin)
Basting Oil (from Wegmans), or EVOO with garlic
salt to taste
2 C Whole Wheat Pasta
Prepared tomato sauce (I used Paesana Vodka Sauce from Costco) 5 slices low fat mozzerella cheese, sliced

Preheat oven to 450 F. Slice Eggplant and put in baking dish and toss with oil. Bake 15 minutes at 400 and then raise temp to 450 and bake another 10 to 15 minutes until soft. Stirring throughout cooking. While eggplant is cooking boil 2 C Pasta of your choice (we used whole wheat rotini). Cook pasta until done and drain. Mix with enough tomato sauce (or vodka sauce--highly recommended) to coat. Mix in eggplant. Layer sliced cheese over top until covered. Cover dish and bake 25 minutes at 400 degrees F. It is so yummy and pretty healthy.

Monday, January 7, 2008

yes these are my balls--PMS Peanut Butter Balls

Peanut Butter Balls that is! hahahah! I am PMSing in the worst way, and was craving peanut butter and something crunchy. I put this together because it was all of the things I was craving (besides the butter, which I just know goes in peanut butter balls). They were so good. here is my recipe, which I am mostly posting because I will never remember what I put in them.

PMS Peanut Butter Balls
1 C extra crunchy Jif
1/3 C shredded coconut
6 T butter (approx)
1 and 1/3 C powdered sugar (Confectioners sugar)
1 C graham cracker crumbs
Vanilla extract---just kept adding until it was the right consistency---maybe a tsp or so

Melt butter and then mix in KA mixer with peanut butter, coconut, sugar and graham cracker crumbs. Add vanilla and mix again (could add anything else you might be craving...chocolate chips, toffee bits, potato chips?!). Shape into balls and put in fridge (after you eat lots of the batter). Then eat up!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Not Yo Mama's Cheesy Broccoli Casserole

So I bought the world's biggest bag of frozen broccoli at Costco last week and have been eating it steamed all week, I wanted something different, but any casserole similar to the classic green bean casserole makes me want to barf. So I made up my own. It is kind of like Macaroni and cheese minus the macaroni and add broccoli.

Not Yo Mama's Cheesy Broccoli Casserole
approximately 5 cups of frozen broccoli florets
1 T Butter
1 heaping T flour
1 1/4 C skim milk
1 oz velveeta, cubed
2 oz low fat mexican cheese blend, shredded (plus another 1/2 cup for sprinkling on top
4 oz Sharp cheddar, shredded
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Boil broccoli in salted water for about 8 minutes (10 if you like it softer). Drain, pat dry and set aside (you can do this while you are making the sauce, just make sure you pat dry a little because in mine I did not and in some spots there was some water.) Melt butter over med heat, then add flour and whisk, allow roux to cook until golden and no longer smelling like flour. Add milk slowly, whisking the entire time. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until it coats the back of a spoon. Take off the heat and add cheeses while whisking. Whisk until melted and smooth. Taste and add salt. Put broccoli (cooked) in casserole dish and pour cheese sauce over it and mix. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 C low fat cheese over top. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes covered and 5 minutes uncovered. Yummy! ***I'll post pictures when I find my camera cord.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Black Bean and cheese Quesadillas--healthy

These were really great! Yield 2

2 South Beach whole wheat wraps (tortillas)
low fat mexican shredded cheese (I use Sargento)--as much as you want (I used about 1/2 cup)
guac (I used this great premade kind--wholly guacamole, because no ripe avocados at the store)
low fat sour cream

Make the Black Beans Ole and spread them on the 1/2 of the wraps and top with some cheese. Fold in half and spray with a little olive oil. Grill them in a pan over med until browned on each side. Cut in half and serve with a Tbsp of Guac and tsp of sour cream. We ate it with steamed garlic broccoli.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

my trip to Italy and Spain

we just returned from our official honeymoon...7 days in Rome and 3 in is a little diary of our trip with some pictures...we stayed at the Hilton Cavalieri in Rome, and hotel Abba in Madrid.

Friday 12/21/07
We arrived tonight and just walked the city all night until we were ready to drop from tiredness. We walked to Vatican City and had paninis (I was not impressed with Italian Paninis--too dry)

Saturday 12/22/07
Today we took advantage of the amazing breakfast buffet at the hotel. We went to many churches today: Church of St Peter's in Chains, San Carlo a la cuatro fountone, Santa Maria of angels, Maria Majore. We walked the Pallentine Hill, went to the Colluseum and the Roman Forum, the Pantheon (another church) as well as the Compodoglio Museum. Yes we did all that by lunch and walked we stoped over by the Pantheon (my fave area) and had lunch at La Scaletta---I had a fabulous salad with baby arugula, basil, tomatoes, fresh mozz and olives and red wine, steve had a pizza with ham and mushrooms and a giant beer. All cafes have giant heaters and everyone eats outside all year round even though it was cold! FUN!

We then went to the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps and went to dinner at Ecco Bombo Restaurant where I had an amazing Lasagna with meat sauce and bechamel, bruchetta and more wine

Sunday 12/23/07
Today we went to the Catacombs Calisca (ancient underground tombs)
Saw the Aurelian Walls (ancient walls to Rome), Pyramid of Cestius, St. Paul's Outside the Walls (Church), we went to lunch by the train station and it was the only bad lunch we have had---the pizza tasted frozen and reheated and the salad was gross, but the beer and wine were yum! We then went to a crypt underneath the Santa Maria della Concezione where there are the remains of 4,000 monks of the Capuchin order and they are arranged all over the walls and as "art" We skipped dinner and had a siesta and then had too many drinks at the hotel bar (with some snacks)...we went for a walk too and steve stepped in dootie!

to the left are is the crypt of the Capuchin monks.

Monday 12/24/07
I was a little hungover for the that a sin???? ( : Had a big breakfast at the hotel and then We went to the St. Peter's Basilica, the crypt of the popes, Cupola Domo (the Dome), Vatican Museum, Sistene Chapel, St. Ignazio, Il Gesu (church), no lunch, we had Gelato by the Pantheon (Pistachio). Dinner was at Caffe Martini--next to the Colusseum (that was our veiw), we had salad Caprese, Grilled veggies, Gnocchi Quatro Formaggi, and homemade Ravioli Bolignese sauce...and a $30 1/2 bottle of wine (oops---always look at the prices) Forum and Colusseum at night.

excuse the awful pics, the light was terrible in the restaurant.

Tuesday 12/25/07 Christmas Day--Buon Natale
Slept in and then went to brunch at hotel. We went to many churches: Piazza Di Pupolo, Sangiovanni Di Lanteran, Santa Maria Maggiore. Then the Baths of Trajan (ruins of baths---huge!!), Circus Maximus, Temple of Vesta and Temple of Portunus. We had lunch at a tourist trap (we were so hungry), the panini was not bad and the wine was good. We then climbed the steps of Tiber Island, had more Gelato by the Pantheon and then later went to dinner at Piazza Barbarini. The restaurant was Ristorante Conti Di Galluccio. We had a great Chianti, Porcini Mushroom Barolo Risotto, Grilled Chicken with Potatoes and Asparagus. Then we walked 4 miles to the vatican to look at the lines for Midnight Mass---I was wearing 3 inch heels!!!

Wednesday 12/26/07
Breakfast at the hotel, then we took the Eurostar (high speed train) into Firenze (Florence), we visited many churches including the well known Duomo and climbed a tall belltower there, unfortunately since the day after christmas is a holiday too (St Stephano Day) all the leather markets were closed ) : So were all the stores such as Fendi, Gucci, etc. We had an AMAZING lunch at this little restaraunt called Borgola la Croce, we had salad with Bresole, Pecorini, Arugula, mushrooms and lemon vinaigrette, and a Calzone with ham and mozzerella. I oopsed and ordered a 1/2 liter of wine and it came in a pitcher---we were a little tipsy when we left. we went to the Duomo again, then the Uffitzi museum, saw The David--which is mammoth, we had dinner at the only place we found that was open...but it was good. Steve had spagetti with tomato sauce and I had penne with a meat cream sauce. Then back to Roma

Thursday 12/27/07
this was a travel day to Madrid---where I was finally reunited with my luggage (which was lost by Alitalia for SEVEN DAYS!!!! and we went to a welcome reception for the Passports Travel Convention and then took a nap and woke up and had yummy sandwiches at the hotel bar.

Friday 12/28/07
had a great breakfast at the hotel...churros, tortilla espanola, cafe con leche, and toast and fruit, then went on a tour of Madrid. We had a yummy smoothie at Cafe & Te and then went to the Prado Museum. We then joined another tour for a "Tapas Crawl" we had a crazy british guide and our crawl lasted 4 hours!!!!!! So fun! we had so many tapas and lots of sangria. My favorite tapas are Tortilla Espanola, Patatas Bravas, Chorizo and fried Calamari.

Saturday 12/29/07 our last day so we just decided to relax...slept in and then missed breakfast, went to Puerta de Sol (area where there is a lot of shopping and cafes) we had Paella de Pollo and Sangria at this wonderful place there called Chiky. Then we bought these crazy wigs as part of a Spanish Christmas Tradition to wear to the Farewell dinner that night. We ate so much food---there were seven different tapas, then dinner, then dessert!!! And a Mariachi Band that was so much fun.

Sunday 12/30/07 one last breakfast before we left and then we went was good to be home!