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Category Archives: Quick Bites
Looking for the perfect brunch dish? This Artichoke and Spinach Strata from Cooking Light is satisfying, savory, and (best of all) easy to make ahead! Despite the suspect “green stuff,” both of my kids gobbled this up.
Artichoke and Spinach Strata
- 10 oz package frozen spinach
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 9 oz artichoke hearts, drained
- 8 oz whole wheat sourdough bread, crusts removed and cubed (about 5 cups)
- 4 oz reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
- Cooking spray
- 1 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (about ¼ cup)
- 1¾ cups 1% low-fat milk
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Dash of ground nutmeg
- 4 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Cook spinach in microwave according to package directions; cool slightly. Place spinach in a clean kitchen towel. Squeeze dry.
- Combine spinach and next 4 ingredients (through Monterey Jack cheese) in a large bowl; toss. Arrange bread mixture in a broiler-safe 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top.
- Combine milk, Dijon, pepper, nutmeg, and eggs in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Pour egg mixture evenly over bread mixture. Bake at 375° for 38 minutes or until set. Turn broiler to high (do not remove pan from oven). Broil 4 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
I know that lemon desserts tend to be more popular in the spring and summer, but I promise you that this Lemon and White Chocolate Mousse is so yummy, you’ll want to indulge year round. This recipe makes around 8-10 individual servings, depending on the size of your glasses or bowls.
Lemon and White Chocolate Mousse
- 1 box lemon pie filling (I used Dr. Oetker's but you could also use jarred lemon curd such as Dickinson's)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 3 oz. package cream cheese, softened
- 3 oz. white chocolate, melted and cooled
- Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc. for serving
- Prepare the lemon filling according to the directions on the box. Once cooled slightly, pour evenly into 8-10 glasses or small bowls. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- In a bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Gradually add sugar, beating until stiff peaks form; set aside.
- In another bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add chocolate and beat until smooth. Fold in whipped cream.
- Top each of the lemon-filled glasses or bowls with an equal amount of the mousse. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Garnish with fresh berries before serving.
We love our Brussels Sprouts in this house—even my four year old will ask for seconds and thirds. Usually, I roast them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper until they are soft on the inside and perfectly crisp on the outside. So when I saw this Cooking Light recipe for Brussels Sprout salad, I was intrigued by how they’d taste raw, since I’ve only ever had them cooked. Since Brussels are in the cabbage family, it’s no surprise that the texture of the salad reminded me of a crisp, fresh coleslaw. The flavor of the dressing, the creaminess of the cheese, and the crunch from the Brussels Sprouts and pecans … it was a perfect combination.
Pecan and Blue Cheese Brussels Sprout Salad
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ pound Brussels sprouts, very thinly sliced
- ¼ cup chopped toasted pecans
- 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
- Combine first 7 ingredients in a small bowl. Place Brussels sprouts and pecans in a large bowl; toss to combine. Add vinaigrette; toss to coat. Sprinkle with blue cheese.
It’s not that often that something you pin on Pinterest actually turns out as delicious as you thought it might be. This Chicken Sausage and Brussels Sprout Pesto Pasta from Gimme Some Oven is one of my favorite Pinterest success stories. It was crazy delicious!! I usually have pesto in the freezer from one of the large batches that I make, so this was quick and easy enough to do after work one night.
Chicken Sausage and Brussels Sprout Pesto Pasta
- 1 lb fresh brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and any yellowed/browned outer leaves removed, then sliced in half
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- ½ tsp. Kosher salt
- ½ tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
- 1 lb (16 oz.) orecchiette (or any pasta)
- 4 chicken sausage links, sliced into ¼" thick coins
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup pesto
- Parmesan cheese, for serving
- Toasted pine nuts, for serving
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix together brussels sprouts, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper. Gently stir until well-combined.
- Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then spread the brussels sprouts on it evenly. Roast for about 20-30 minutes, stirring once partway through, or until they are crispy on the outside and cooked on the inside. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until nearly-browned, about 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic, and continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the sausage is browned.
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water (reserving ¼ cup pasta water), and then toss together the pasta, pesto, cooked sausage and garlic, and brussels sprouts. Add in some of the reserved pasta water if needed for extra moisture.
- Serve warm, and sprinkle with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese and pine nuts.
Since it’s the holidays and we all tend to make diet exceptions this time of year, I thought it would be a good time to post this deliciously decadent recipe. So you’re probably wondering, what is Tartiflette? It is a French dish of potatoes, bacon, and creamy cheese. Now before you start picturing this as a glorified hash brown casserole, let me clarify. This recipe calls for white wine, Reblochon cheese (which is similar to Brie), and freshly diced bacon—this is not your mom’s hash brown casserole (unless, of course, your mom is fabulous).
- 2.5 lbs potatoes, peeled
- ½ slab bacon, diced small
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- ¾ cup dry white wine
- 1 lb Reblochon (or Brie) cheese, sliced
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Place the potatoes in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are easily pierced with the knife. Remove from the heat, drain, and let sit until they are cool enough to handle. Cut the potatoes into small dice and set aside.
- In the sauté pan, cook the bacon over high heat until browned. Drain, leaving 1 tbsp of fat in the skillet and add the onion. Cook over moderately high heat for about 5 minutes until golden brown then add the bacon and wine and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the potatoes and season with salt and pepper.
- Remove the potato mixture from the heat and place half of it in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Spread half the cheese slices atop the potato mixture. Cover this with the other half of the potato mixture. Top with the remainder of the cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling. Serve hot.
Recipe from Anthony Bourdain
This one is for all of my garlic lovers out there. You have to love garlic—and I mean really, really love garlic—for this dish. Slathered and slow roasted in butter, 40 cloves of garlic and fresh herbs, this chicken is one of the most flavorful I have ever made.
Forty clove chicken is a traditional French dish, but it’s not intimidating or stuffy … it’s simple, rustic cooking that will blow your dinner guests away.
Forty Clove Chicken
Original recipe from Martha Stewart
- 40 cloves of garlic, about 3-4 heads
- 1 whole chicken, 3-4 lbs
- 2 tbsp butter, room temperature
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place garlic in a medium bowl; cover with another same-size bowl, creating a dome. Hold bowls together tightly, and shake vigorously until skins are loosened, about 30 seconds. Remove and discard skins; set garlic aside.
- Place chicken in a large roasting pan. Rub all over with 1 tablespoon butter; season with salt and pepper. Spread garlic and remaining tablespoon butter around the chicken. Add sprigs of thyme.
- Roast, basting occasionally with juices and stirring garlic, until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of a thigh (avoiding bone) registers 165 degrees, about 45 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a platter, and let rest 10 minutes. Carve chicken, and serve with garlic and pan juices.
Long time, no blog! To say that life has been hectic lately would be an understatement. And with all the competition for my time these days, my little ladies won out over blogging. But I’m back with the perfect fall cupcake recipe- Apple Spice Cupcakes! I’ll be making these again in a few weeks when Lila turns one (how is it possible that my little bug is turning one?!), they were that good.
Apple Spice Cupcakes
- 1 box spice cake mix
- Eggs and water called for on box (omit any vegetable oil in the directions)
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup shredded fresh apple (I used Gala apples)
- 16 oz cream cheese, softened
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup butter, softened
- Caramel ice cream topping
- Preheat oven to 350° and line 24 cupcake cups with silicone or paper liners.
- In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, water, and applesauce. Gently fold in the shredded apple.
- Fill liners ¾ of the way with cake batter and bake for 19-23 minutes.
- While the cupcakes are baking, cream together the cream cheese and butter for the frosting. Add the vanilla and slowly stir in the confectioners’ sugar. Place in the refrigerator until you’re ready to frost the cupcakes.
- Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting and sprinkling with cinnamon and drizzling with caramel.
Rotisserie chicken is a busy mom’s best friend. I can usually get at least three meals out of each whole chicken. And with the hardest part of the meal out of the way, I can get dinner on the table pretty quickly. I usually go for something simple, like pesto pasta with chicken, spring mix salad, or chicken sandwiches. So these Greek Chicken Wraps from Cooking Light are a nice way to mix things up. I usually have most of these ingredients on hand at home, so this is a great recipe for me to pull out of my back pocket when I’m looking for something different.
Greek Chicken Wraps
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 3 tbsp pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp crumbled feta cheese
- 1½ tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ⅛ tsp ground red pepper
- 4 oz shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast (about 1 cup)
- 2 small cucumbers, chopped
- 6 tbsp plain hummus
- 6 (8-inch) whole-wheat flour tortillas
- Place tomatoes, olives, feta, juice, oregano, oil, pepper, chicken, and cucumber in a large bowl; toss to combine.
- Spread 1 tablespoon hummus over 1 side of each tortilla. Top each tortilla with about ½ cup chicken mixture. Roll up wraps; cut in half.
One of my favorite things (cilantro) + one of my hub’s favorite things (sriracha) … this recipe had our names all over it! I’m not usually adventurous when it comes to burgers—I tend to gravitate to the usual toppings—but I couldn’t resist this Cooking Light recipe for Cilantro Burgers with Sriracha Mayo. Don’t usually go for spicy foods? No worries. These are light on heat and heavy on deliciousness.
I made just one change to the original recipe—I went for ground turkey over the ground sirloin, and I don’t feel like the recipe lost anything by going for the non-red meat option.
Cilantro Burgers with Sriracha Mayo
1 pound ground turkey
3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 hamburger buns
3 tbsp light mayonnaise
1 tbsp Sriracha
1/3 cup cilantro sprigs
1. Combine ground turkey, chopped cilantro, salt, and pepper in a bowl; mix just until combined. Divide turkey mixture into 4 equal portions, gently shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty (about 3 1/2 inches in diameter).
2. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add patties to pan; grill 4 minutes. Carefully turn patties; grill 4 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Remove patties from pan. Add buns, cut sides down, to pan; grill 1 minute or until toasted.
3. Combine mayonnaise and Sriracha in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Spread 1 tablespoon mayonnaise mixture on bottom half of each bun; top each with 1 patty. Divide cilantro sprigs evenly among servings; top with top halves of buns.
There’s something about summertime that makes me crave lemon desserts. As I type, I have lemon and white chocolate mousse setting in the refrigerator, lemon crinkle cookies on my to-bake list, and at least a few batches of homemade lemon bars under my belt. It helps that my husband and 3 year old daughter love lemon as much as I do. And thank goodness for that or I would probably be a good 15 lbs heavier by now!
My daughter, Olivia, is always asking me to make cupcakes. When she last asked, I was in one of my lemon moods, so I decided to try out lemon cupcakes. I love the combination of lemon and blueberry, and I thought a tangy but sweet cream cheese frosting would be the perfect complement. I took these to daycare for her to share with her friends—there wasn’t a single one left when I picked her up.
Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes
1 box yellow cake mix
Water, vegetable oil, and eggs called for on box
2 tbsp lemon zest
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup blueberries, plus extra for garnish if desired
Cream Cheese Frosting
16 oz cream cheese, softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup butter, softened
1. Preheat oven to 350° and line 24 cupcake cups with silicone or paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the cake batter following the directions on the box. Stir in lemon zest and lemon juice. Gently fold in blueberries.
3. Fill liners ¾ of the way with cake batter and bake for 19-23 minutes.
4. While the cupcakes are baking, cream together the cream cheese and butter for the frosting. Add the vanilla and slowly stir in the confectioners’ sugar. Place in the refrigerator until you’re ready to frost the cupcakes.
5. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting and garnishing with a blueberry.