Friday, July 29, 2011

Winn-Dixie Box Tops for Education & Give-Away

Even though its 90 degrees and summer is in full swing, back-to-school season is just around the corner. I know; you not ready to think about that just yet!  But here is something special that I know can help your classroom……This summer, Winn-Dixie is making it even easier to get a jumpstart on back-to-school savings for you and your school. At Winn-Dixie, earning extra Box Tops can be as simple as stocking up on just two of your favorite participating General Mills products.

At Winn-Dixie, it’s easy to save on great products that our kids love for breakfast or in their lunch boxes like select Big G Cereals, Yoplait Go-Gurt, Pillsbury Toaster Strudels, Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks and more.

Starting July 27th through August 2nd, earn 5 Bonus Box Tops for your local school when you buy any two participating General Mills Box Top items.

So as back-to-school season approaches, be sure to check your Winn-Dixie ad for details about additional bonus Box Top offers that start as early as August 3rd. To learn more about the Box Tops for Education Program and how you can help contribute to your school, visit
I'll be posting more about this as time goes on but just so everyone can take advantage of helping our schools; feel free to twitter this info, facebook, tumble or the old fashioned way...tell your friends in person!  The links are just below.......

But first I want to let you know that I'm giving away a $25 gift card to Winn-Dixie!  Until August 15th  all you have to do is leave a comment and tell me what General Mills products are your favorites for breakfast or school lunches.  How easy is that!  The more comments you leave the better your chance of winning!  If you twitter or post on facebook, comment on that will give you another chance to win!

"Disclosure: The Winn-Dixie gift card, information, and giveaway have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark."

Miss Piggy Scallops

Sometimes I just want to be decadent, forget about healthy eating, use butter and bacon and simply pig out!  The other night one of my let’s throw caution to the wind moods arrived with gusto! Dinner was already planned; lemon scallops served with saffron rice and a lovely mixed green salad.  Not bad really but certainly not a meal to satisfy my mood.  What to do, what to do?
Then it hit me; I had some really nice applewood smoked bacon in the fridge!  What would happen if I cooked the bacon then finely chopped it to use as a crust for the scallops?  Sounds good right?  OK, I decided to do just a crust for the scallop tops so the bacon didn’t overpower the delicate scallop flavor.  To get the crust to stick I dipped the scallops in flour, then beaten egg and last into the finely chopped bacon bits.
A bit of olive oil and butter went into a hot sauté pan and the scallops were placed crust side down into the pan.  Three minutes later I turned them over, cooked for just a minute and they were done to perfection with a beautiful little bacon crust.
Two tablespoons of white wine along with the juice from one lemon deglazed the pan and was poured over the scallops.  My craving for something decadent was satisfied!
Ingredients:   (Serves 4)
24 Scallops
1 Egg Beaten with 1 T. Water
¼ Cup Flour
4 Slices Apple Wood Smoked Bacon
2 T. Olive Oil
2 T. Butter
1 Lemon Juiced
2-3 T. White Wine
1.       In a large sauté pan, cook bacon until crispy, cool and chop finely. Drain fat from pan and wipe with paper towel.
2.       Dry scallops then dip one side in flour, then egg and then bacon. Repeat until all the scallops are coated on one side.
3.       Over medium high heat melt butter and olive oil together.
4.       Add the scallops bacon coated side down to the hot pan and sauté for 3 minutes.
5.       Using tongs gently turn scallops over and cook for one minute until done.
6.       Remove scallops  to serving platter.
7.       Pour lemon juice and white wine into pan and deglaze.
8.       Top scallops with lemon/wine mixture.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dinner in Minutes; Frittata

One of the easiest main dishes you can whip up for a family dinner is an Italian Frittata!  It is also one of the best ways to incorporate veggies into your kids’ diets.   Remember that when you sauté zucchini and onions to the point of being caramelized they are sweet and delicious.  So if your kids are of the mind-set that anything green tastes yucky, try sautéing to bring out the sugars; they probably will like the flavors a lot better this way.  Hey, if all else fails, do what I did with my kids…..tell them it’s just fresh chopped herbs  and  only the ones they like!
Anyway, back to the frittata!  Today I have used yellow zucchini, onions and spinach.  Another day I might use leftover sausage and potatoes or asparagus and cherry tomatoes.  The choices are really endless!
Ingredients:  (Serves 4)
4 large fresh eggs
2 yellow zucchini thinly sliced
1 medium onion thinly sliced
4 oz. fresh baby spinach (use the other 4 oz. for a spinach salad)
Salt and pepper to taste
3 T. olive oil

1.     Heat 1 T. olive oil in a large sauté pan
2.     Add the sliced onions and sauté on medium heat until just starting to color
3.     Add the sliced zucchini and continue cooking, turning the onions and zucchini so both sides brown

4.     While zucchini are browning beat the eggs, salt and pepper together until light and fluffy
5.     Add the remaining olive oil to pan and reduce heat to low
6.     Pour the egg mixture into pan and give the pan a shake to make sure the mixture is evenly distributed
7.     Cover and let cook for about ten minutes or until set.

8.     Place large serving platter on top of pan and then flip and slide back into pan for another minute or two to finish cooking.
9.     Slide frittata back onto serving platter and enjoy.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Morning Muffins

I usually end up making these muffins early Sunday mornings and we enjoy them for breakfast on into the week.  They are so easy you can throw them together any evening in preparation for hectic weekday mornings.  If you have mini muffin tins I would also suggest doing a batch that way to have on hand for afternoon or late night snacks. 
Our favorite fruit is apples but you can substitute anything your family prefers; blueberries, raisins, even dried cherries.
One alteration I have been using lately is to coat the muffin tin with non stick spray and after the muffins are baked I put them into the paper liners.  Truth be told, these muffins are a bit sticky and for little ones it can be difficult to peel the muffin papers off.
Ingredients: (for 12 full sized muffins)
1 ½ Cup Almond Meal
1 ½ Cup Rolled Oats; not instant
1 Cup Wheat Bran
½ Cup firmly packed Brown Sugar
½ Cup molasses
1 tsp Cinnamon
2 tsp Baking Soda
2 Eggs
¾ Cup Milk
2 Apples; peeled, cored and chopped
1.     Preheat oven to 400, coat muffin tin with non stick spray
2.     Combine dry ingredients well then mix in apples
3.     In a separate bowl beat the eggs, milk and molasses until well combined
4.     Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix just moistened
5.     Scoop  (I use an ice cream scoop) batter into muffin tins and bake 25 minutes.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

S'more Chocolate Cakes

I've had requests for the S'more Chocolate Cake that I made for the Real Women of Philadelphia and since it was a video demo, I thought I'd post the actual recipe here.  This is guaranteed to make your family and guests smile!

This dessert will certainly satisfy your chocolate sweet tooth with the moistest, creamiest chocolate cake ever, topped with the surprise of toasted marshmallows!  It is both a visual and taste delight to anyone who ever enjoyed roasting marshmallows by the camp fire or experienced the joy of biting into a warm some-more!  Your inner child will smile with delight from the first bite to the last morsel!

Prep time: 15 minutes     Bake Time: 25 minutes               Serves: 8
 1 ¾ Cups Self Rising Flour
¾ Cup Cocoa Powder
2 Cups Sugar,
2 Eggs,
½  Cup Whipping Cream,
4 Ounces Philadelphia Cream Cheese
2 Teaspoons Vanilla,
¾ Cup Boiling Water,
¼ Cup Espresso,
4 cups Mini Marshmallows
1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 8 five inch ramekins or coat with non stick spray.
2.      In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients.
3.      Add the eggs, whipping cream, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Espresso and vanilla.  Beat the batter for 2 minutes on medium high.
4.      Slowly add the boiling water and mix well.  Batter will be quite thin.
5.      Divide the batter between the 8 ramekins, they should be ¾ full.
6.      Bake for 25 minutes
7.      Top warm cakes with ½ cup mini Marshmallows each
8.      Place under broiler to brown and toast the marshmallows.  Watch them carefully…it only takes a moment to toast under a hot broiler!
9.      Serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Blueberry Bonanza: Parfait & Gratin

Packed with vitamin C, 25% of your daily need in every serving and only 80 calories per cup and virtually no fat…no wonder we all love blueberries! These little treasures are also filled with dietary fiber and are an excellent source of manganese, all the while claiming nearly the top in antioxidant activity per serving! No wonder we produce over 200 million pounds of blueberries every year in North America; we supply 90% of the world’s blueberries!
Choose blueberries that are firm and have a lively, uniform hue colored with a whitish bloom. Shake the container, noticing whether the berries have the tendency to move freely; if they do not, this may indicate that they are soft and damaged or moldy.
Don't wash berries until right before eating as washing will remove the bloom that protects the berries' skins from degradation. Store ripe blueberries in a covered container in the refrigerator where they will keep for up to 3 days. If kept out at room temperature for more than a day, the berries may spoil.
Some quirky fun facts:
The Ojibwa Indians dried blueberry flowers over hot coals and inhaled the fumes to treat "madness."  The Algonquians used a blueberry leaf tea for colic, labor in childbirth, and following miscarriages. And various Native American tribes often added blueberry leaves to their smoking mixes. Early American colonists made grey paint by boiling blueberries in milk.  Today, blueberries are known as the vision fruit in Japan.
One very important fact that I almost forgot to mention is they taste great!  I’m going to share two Blueberry Desserts.  One is uber-healthy and super easy the other does have butter but I have replaced cream cheese with non fat Greek yogurt to keep it as guilt free as possible!
Blueberry Parfait:
Ingredients for 4 parfaits:
2 cups (one 16 ounce container) non fat Greek yogurt
1 Cup Granola
1 pint fresh blueberries
4 tablespoons gourmet honey ( I use Savannah Bee Company Honey)
1.      Place a ½ cup of yogurt in a tall clear glass
2.      Top with a heaping spoonful of your granola
3.      Next comes the blueberries
4.      Repeat the three layers
5.      Top with the honey and serve

Blueberry Gratin      (Gratin au Myrtille)
The top of this oven baked Blueberry Gratin will be a mouth-watering golden brown. The almond powder/meal in combination with the non fat yogurt lends a texture and moistness that are truly unique!  One can also serve this dessert “A la Mode”; with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream for a truly decadent international delight!
Prep time 15 minutes               Bake time 25 min                  Serves 6-8
1 Pint Fresh Blueberries
4 Ounces Butter at room temperature
4 Ounces Greek Non Fat Yogurt
1 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup Almond Powder/ also call Almond Meal
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 eggs
1.       Preheat oven to 410 degrees
2.       Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy
3.       Add the eggs one at a time
4.       Add the yogurt and Vanilla, beat until smooth
5.       Add the Almond Powder/Meal and blend well
6.       Gently fold in the Blueberries
7.       Turn batter into a 9 inch baking dish
8.       Bake for 35-40 minutes.  Top will be golden brown and the gratin will be moist and yummy!
9.       Serve warm or room temperature

Monday, July 18, 2011

Greek Leek Quiche

Ok, quiche is French but I used non fat Greek yogurt as the quiche base rather than crème fresh or heavy cream; hence Greek Quiche.  You end up with a lighter and definitely healthier version of a traditional quiche.  Once you start using non fat Greek yogurt I don’t think you will ever go back.  The quiche choices are endless so use your family favorites, what is in season or even sneak some veggies in without the kids knowing.
I always have ready to use pie crusts in the fridge; I’m lazy and they save soooo much time and mess! For this meal I used one crust for the quiche and made a pantry dessert with the other; I’ll post the dessert tomorrow.
Preheat the oven to 375.  While the oven is heating make the quiche filling….
1 ready to bake pie crust
6 ounces non fat Greek Yogurt
3 eggs
2 large or 3 small leeks; white and light green part only
1 small sweet onion
1 Tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper
Pinch of fresh ground nutmeg
1/3 Cup non fat grated mozzarella
¼ Cup grated parmesan
1.       Slice lees in half lengthwise and thoroughly wash and then thinly slice
2.       Sauté leeks in olive oil for 5 minutes
3.       Finely chop onion and add to leeks, continue cooking for 10 minutes
4.       While leeks and onions are cooking combine eggs, yogurt salt, pepper, nutmeg and mozzarella
5.       Add leeks to egg mixture and mix well
6.       Fill unbaked pie crust with quiche mixture and top with grated parmesan
7.       Bake in center of oven for 35-40 minutes or until center is set
8.       Let rest for 10 minutes prior to serving

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pizzazz Pizza

Have you ever seen the mozzarella logs that are rolled with prosciutto in your local markets?  If you have, buy one and use it to make the best pizza you will ever have!  Big statement right? Well, yes, but my husband did declare this to be the best pizza I have ever made…just saying…so I thought I’d pass along the recipe so you can be a star too!

Pizza Dough; here is a link to making your own or buy it ready to bake in your local market:
1 Ripe Tomato
1 Mozzarella Roll with prosciutto
¼ cup Tomato Sauce  
½ cup Finely Chopped Sweet Onion
½ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
¼ Cup chopped Fresh Herbs: Oregano & Thyme
Roasted Garlic Olive Oil to Spray on top
½ Teaspoon Sea Salt
1.       Pre Heat oven to 485
2.       Place pizza dough on baking sheet and spread with tomato sauce.
3.       Spread on chopped onions
4.       Thinly slice mozzarella and lay on top of dough.
5.       Sprinkle chopped tomatoes between mozzarella slices.
6.       Top entire pizza with chopped herbs and sea salt.
7.       Spray with olive oil.
8.       Bake for 15 minutes.
9.       Slice, serve and enjoy!