Posted in Appetizers, Vegetables

Cherry tomatoes stuffed with Bacon-Avocado Spread

I will be going camping for a few days so this will be the last post until I return.  I have served these twice so far and they have been a big hit both times.


Cherry tomatoes stuffed with Bacon-Avocado Spread

Cherry Tomaotes Stuffed with Avacado-Bacon

Serves 8

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 100                        Fat: 6 grams                          Points: 2


6 slices turkey bacon

4 ounces fat free cream cheese – softened

1 avocado

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons maple syrup

24 cherry tomatoes


  1. Sauté bacon on high heat until crispy and browned.  Remove from pan and cool to room temperature.
  2. Crumble bacon and add to cream cheese. 
  3. Cut avocado around the pit then open.  Remove avocado pit, scoop out the inside and add to the cream cheese and bacon mixture.  Discard avocado pit and outside skin.
  4. Add vinegar and maple syrup to the mixture spread and beat on high speed until all ingredients are well combined.
  5. Cut tops of cherry tomatoes and scoop out the inside.   Discard the inside of the tomatoes. 
  6. Scoop bacon-avocado spread into a pastry bag (do not add a tip for the end of the bag).  Squeeze a little of the spread into each cherry tomato.
  7. Refrigerate for 1 – 3 hours and serve cold.
Posted in Main Courses, Poultry, Rub, Slow Cook

Pulled BBQ Chicken

I made this for my son’s birthday party last night and did not get the chance to take a picture because we were so busy getting ready.  I also did not write the exact measurements down when I was preparing hot sauce but remember the ingredients.  You may want to add a little more of this or that as you make the sauce per your own individual taste and heat level.

Happy BBQ’ing!

Pulled BBQ Chicken

Serves 10

Oven or Crock Pot

Preheat oven 300o

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 3 – 4 hours

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 300                        Fat: 6 grams                          Points: 6


4 pounds chicken breast on the bone

1 pound chicken thighs on the bone

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons sweet paprika

1 teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons chili powder

BBQ Sauce Ingredients:

2 cloves garlic – minced

2 cups ketchup

1 jar (12-ounces) chili sauce

¼ cup water

2 tablespoons brown sugar

¼ cup molasses

½ teaspoon liquid smoke

2 teaspoons onion powder

3 – 4 dashes hot sauce

½ teaspoon powdered mustard


  1. Remove skins from chicken pieces and arrange in a baking pan.  Combine brown sugar, paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper and chili powder and whisk until combined.  Rub on chicken pieces.
  2. Cover baking pan with aluminum foil and cook for 3 – 4 hours.  Chicken will be ready when you can easily remove the meat from the bone with a fork.
  3. When the chicken is done, remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.
  4. While chicken is cooling, heat a sauce pot on medium heat, spray with cooking spray and add garlic.
  5. Cook garlic for 1 -2 minutes until slightly browned but not crisp.  Add ketchup, chili sauce, water, brown sugar, liquid smoke, onion powder, hot sauce and mustard.  Cook until heated and bubbly.
  6. Add hot sauce or other spices for taste.
  7. When chicken has cooled, shred meat off the bone by holding the chicken with a fork in one hand and scraping the meat off the chicken with a fork in the other hand.  Add chicken meat to a large serving bowl, stir in hot BBQ sauce and serve.

NOTE: If you cook the pulled chicken in advance you can re-heat in the microwave, or keep it hot in a sterno or place in a slow cooker set on “warm”.

Posted in Dessert, Fruits

Strawberry Cups with Vanilla Fluff Topping

Strawberry Cups with Vanilla Fluff Topping

Strawberry Cups With Vanilla Topping

Serves 10

 Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 110                        Fat: trace                                Points: 1


2 pounds strawberries – cut up

2/3 cup sugar

2/3 cup water

2 tablespoons brandy

2 tablespoons cornstarch

Vanilla Fluff Topping Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup water

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

2 egg whites at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

10 4-ounce dessert cups


  1. Make strawberry filling: Measure 1 cup of the strawberries and combine with brandy and water.  Puree in food processor.  Pour into a measuring cup and add enough water to equal 1 ½ cup liquid.
  2. Pour strawberry mixture into a saucepot, add sugar and cornstarch and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly, until bubbly and thickened.  Cook an additional 2 minutes while stirring.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes (do not stir).
  4. Pour strawberry sauce on top of the remaining strawberries and gently toss together. 
  5. Place in the refrigerator to cool.
  6. Make vanilla fluff topping: Combine sugar, water and cream of tartar in a saucepot.  Cook on medium heat until bubbly and the sugar dissolves.
  7. In a mixer, combine egg whites and vanilla and beat on high speed.  Slowly pour sugar mixture while beating the egg whites.  Beat for about 5 – 7 minutes until stiff peaks form.
  8. Assembly: Spoon strawberry filling into each cup to about ¾ full (leaving room for the topping).
  9. Spoon filing into a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip.  Squeeze vanilla fluff topping on top of each strawberry cup.

10. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Posted in Dessert

Mocha Cups

Mocha Cups

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Refrigeration time: about 2 hours

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 160                        Fat: 5 grams                          Points: 4


½ cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup skim milk

½ cup fat free half and half

1 cup egg substitute

2 tablespoons butter spread

2 tablespoons rum

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ cup heavy cream

½ cup strong coffee

1 tablespoon coffee liquor

15 Italian vanilla biscuit cookies or crisp lady fingers

1/3 cup ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips – chopped


  1. In a large saucepot, whisk together cornstarch and sugar. 
  2. Stir in milk and egg substitute and cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbling (about 10 minutes).  Remove from heat and stir in butter, vanilla and rum.
  3. Pour custard into a bowl and place plastic wrap directly on surface to prevent skin from forming.
  4. Refrigerate for about 2 hours until cold.
  5. Beat heavy cream until whipped an fold into custard.
  6. To assemble: pour a little of the coffee/liquor mixture into the bottom of each cup.  Cut 10 biscuits so that it fits into the cup then top with custard.
  7. Cut 5 biscuits in half.  Sprinkle tops of each cup with chocolate, add ½ of a biscuit and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Posted in Dessert

Smore’s Mini Cups

Smore’s Mini Cups

Smore's Mini Cups

Serves 10

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Refrigeration time: about 2 hours

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 160                        Fat: 2 grams                          Points: 3


¾ cup sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons corn starch

2 2/3 cup skim milk

1 cup egg substitute

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup graham cracker crumbs – separate ¼ cup

1 cup marshmallow fluff

½ cup mini marshmallows

¼ cup mini chocolate chips

10- 4 ounce dessert cups


  1. In a large saucepot, whisk together sugar, cocoa powder and cornstarch until combined.  Stir in skim milk and egg substitute.
  2. Heat mixture on medium low heat, stirring constantly, until bubbly and thickened (about 10 minutes).  Cook another 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla extract and pour into a bowl.
  4. Cover the surface with clear plastic wrap and refrigerate until cooled (about 1 hour).
  5. Evenly divide the ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs into the bottom of each cup.
  6. In a microwave safe bowl, heat marshmallow fluff for 30 seconds until softened and spoon a little fluff into each dessert cup.
  7. Top marshmallow fluff with cooled chocolate pudding then sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup graham cracker crumbs on top.
  8. Decorate with mini marshmallows and chips.  Refrigerate for about 1 hour and serve cold.
Posted in Dessert, Fruits, Sauces

Mini dessert week…

I love the mini desserts that you can get at some restaurants so I purchased 20-4 ounce dessert cups and will be experimenting this week.  Here is the first dessert idea:

Strawberry Cups with Lime Sauce

Strawberry Mini cups with Lime Sauce

Serves 10

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Refrigeration: 1 – 5 hours (or overnight)

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 200                        Fat: 2 grams                          Points: 4

Strawberry Ingredients:

¾ cup pineapple juice

¼ cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 packet sugar free strawberry flavored gelatin

2 pounds strawberries – sliced

1/3 cup vanilla wafers – crushed

10 – 4 ounce dessert cups

Whipped cream or whipped topping (optional)


  1. Combine pineapple juice, sugar and cornstarch in a small pot and set over medium heat.  Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture become bubbly and thick.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in gelatin until dissolved and spoon into a large bowl.
  3. Add strawberries and gently toss.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for 1 – 4 hours or until set.

Lime Sauce Ingredients:

1 cup egg substitute

½ cup sugar

Zest of 1 lime

½ cup lime juice


  1. Whisk together all ingredients.
  2. Set over a pot of simmering water.
  3. Stirring constantly, cook for about 7 – 10 minutes until thickened.
  4. Remove from heat, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool.

Assembly Directions:

  1. Separate cookie crumbs amongst into the bottom of the dessert cups.
  2. Spoon a generous amount of strawberry filling into each cup.
  3. Spoon a little of the lime sauce on top then top with whipped topping (if using).
  4. Serve cold.

NOTE: The desserts may be assembled a day in advance, covered with plastic wrap with the whipped topping added right before serving.

Posted in Poultry

Ranch Seasoned Chicken

Ranch Seasoned Chicken Breasts

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Marinate: 1 – 4 hours

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 250                        Fat: 1 gram                            Points: 5


1 ½ – 2 pounds boneless/skinless chicken breasts

2 1-ounce packets of ranch dressing mix – separated

1 cup flour

¾ cup egg substitute

1 – 2 teaspoons hot sauce (depending on taste)

¼ cup honey


  1. Rinse and dry chicken with paper towels.  Place chicken into a bowl and pour 1 packet of ranch dressing on top.  Toss chicken breasts with dressing mix, cover and refrigerate for 1 – 4 hours.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together flour and 1 packet of dressing mix.  In another bowl, whisk together egg substitute, hot sauce and honey.
  3. Heat a large non-stick skillet on medium high heat and spray with cooking spray.  Dip chicken breasts into the egg mixture and then dredge into the flour mixture, shaking off any excess four mixture.
  4. Add chicken to skillet and cook for 8 – 10 minutes on each side until browned and cooked through.
  5. Serve hot.
Posted in Pasta dish

Pasta with Basil and Capers

Passa with Basil and Capers

Serves 4

Prep Time:

Cook Time:

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 110                        Fat: 6 grams                          Points: 2


½ box (8 ounces) penne pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil

*¼ cup vinegar from olive jar

1 clove garlic – minced

1 tablespoon capers – minced

1 tablespoon fresh basil – minced

2 tablespoons parmesan cheese


  1. Boil pasta according to package directions and drain when cooked.  Add pasta to a large serving bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, garlic and capers.  Pour dressing on top of pasta and stir.  Add basil and parmesan cheese and toss lightly.
  3. Serve immediately.

*Look for olives that are pickled in vinegar.  If you do not have a jar of pickled olives, you can substitute your favorite flavored vinegar instead.

Posted in Bake, Breakfast

Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

Serves 12

Prep time: 10 minutes

Bake time: 20 minutes

Preheat oven 350o

Estimated Values per Serving

Calories: 155                        Fat: 2 grams                          Points: 3


2 cups flour

2/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 lemon – zested and juiced

1 cup fat free sour cream

½ cup egg substitute

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 tablespoons skim milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup blueberries


  1. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper-liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together lemon juice, zest, sour cream, egg substitute, canola oil, milk and extract. 
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry and beat on medium speed until well combined.
  5. Fold in blueberries.
  6. Spoon batter into paper-lined muffin cups.  Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until slightly browned.
  7. Cool at least 5 minutes and serve.
Posted in Roasted, Salads, Side Dishes

Warm Roasted Potato and Caramelized Onion Salad with Goat Cheese Dressing

Warm Potato and Caramilized Onion Salad

Serves 10

Preheat oven 450o

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving

Calories: 210                        Fat: 4  grams                         Points: 3


4 pounds potatoes – cut into 1-inch pieces

1 teaspoon salt

1 ½ pounds sweet onions – cut into 1/4 –inch thick slices

  1. Line a large baking pan with foil then generously spray with cooking spray.  Add potatoes in a single layer and sprinkle with salt.
  2. Roast potatoes for about 40 minutes until tender and browned, stirring occasionally.  Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
  3. Heat a large skillet on medium low heat, spray with cooking spray and add onions.  Cover and slow cook for about 20 – 25 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are soft and caramel colored.
  4. In a large serving bowl, combine potatoes and onions.  Prepare goat cheese dressing (recipe below).

Goat Cheese Dressing Ingredients:

¾ cup fat free sour cream

5 ounces crumbled goat cheese

2 teaspoons prepared horseradish

1 tablespoon low fat real bacon bits


  1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.
  2. Add pepper to taste.
  3. Pour on potatoes salad and gently toss.