Posted in Dessert, Easy

Ice Box Cakes

I recently came across an ice box cake recipe and was very curious to try it as a delicious and light dessert.  I have heard of ice box cakes before but really had no idea how incredibly easy they are.  The recipe below is for toasted coconut but you can replace the coconut with ½ cup toasted almonds and substitute almond extract for the coconut extract and have a brand new recipe.

I love the idea of ice box cakes because they are so versatile and you can change flavors as you like.  Also, there is no baking and they can be made the day before which makes them easy for company.

Toasted Coconut-Graham Cracker Ice Box Cake

Serves 12

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 7 – 10 minutes

Refrigerator Time: 2 hours and overnight

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 110                        Fat: 2 grams

Toasted Coconut-Graham Cracker Ice Box Cake


½ cup sweetened shredded coconut

1/3 cup egg substitute

½ cup sugar

2 tablespoons corn starch

1 ½ cup skim milk

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon coconut extract

12 graham crackers

3 cup fat free whipped topping


  1. Heat oven on broil.  Place shredded coconut in a baking pan and place under broiler.  Stand at oven and toast coconut until lightly browned (takes about 2 – 5 minutes).   Remove coconut from oven and set aside to cool.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine egg substitute, sugar, cornstarch and milk.  Cook on low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to steam.  Once warmed, increase the heat slightly to medium low, stirring constantly, until mixture becomes thick and bubbly (about 5 minutes).  While constantly stirring, cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in toasted coconut, vanilla and coconut extracts.
  4. Spoon custard into a bowl and cover with plastic (pressing directly onto surface of custard to prevent skin from forming).  Refrigerate until cool (about 2 hours).
  5. Line the bottom of an 8-inch baking dish with 6 of the graham crackers (break into pieces to fill space).
  6. Fold in 1 cup of the whipped topping to the custard and then spoon half of the custard mixture on top of the graham crackers.  Repeat with remaining 6 graham crackers and then the rest of the custard mixture.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  7. Just before serving, spread the remaining whipped topping on top of the cake and serve cold.
Posted in Grilling, Main Courses, Pork, Poultry, Spices, Tips/Hints, Vegetables

Mixed Grill

This is such a great summer recipe and the best part is that you can get creative with it.  If you don’t like eating pork, simply substitute it with beef instead.  If you also don’t like some of the vegetable suggestions in the recipe, you can substitute others, some other suggestions might be escarole, eggplant,endive leaves or cauliflower .

The important thing is to have fun with it.


Mixed Grill

Serves 8

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Grill Time: 20 – 25 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 250                        Fat: 7 grams

Mixed Grill



1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon pepper


10 ounce package button mushrooms – cut in half

2 zucchini – cut into 1” pieces

2 red bell peppers – cut into large pieces

2 medium onions – quartered

2 large potatoes  – cut or sliced


1 pound boneless pork loin

1 pound boneless/skinless chicken breasts


  1. Heat an outdoor or indoor grill to 400o.
  2. Combine all spices in a small bowl.
  3. Season meats with half of the seasoning and set aside until ready to grill.
  4. Combine the zucchini and mushrooms in a bowl, coat with cooking spray and fold in half of the remaining seasoning.
  5. Combine peppers and onions in another bowl, coat with cooking spray and fold in the remaining seasoning.
  6. If you are using an outdoor grill, coat a vegetable basket with cooking spray and add the zucchini and mushrooms to the basket.  Use an additional vegetable basket for the onions and peppers.  If you only have 1 vegetable basket, you can grill the vegetables in batches.
  7. If the potatoes are large enough, add them directly on the grill (coating them with cooking spray first), if not, use a vegetable basket to grill them as well.
  8. Grill the vegetables and potatoes for 10 – 15 minutes until browned and softened.
  9. If you have a large grill, add the pork loin while the vegetables and potatoes are grilling.  Grill the pork for about 7 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches 165o.  Remove from the grill, cover and rest the pork until ready to carve.

10. Grill the chicken breasts for 5 – 7 minutes on each side.

11. Transfer the grilled vegetables to a large serving platter.  Carve the pork loin and transfer to the serving platter.  Remove the cooked chicken breasts from the grill and transfer to the serving platter.

12. Serve hot.

Posted in Appetizers, Vegetables

Cold – Beer and Cheese Dip

I was so busy getting it all together for a BBQ that I did not have a chance to take a picture of this but it was a nice compliment to the other menu items we were serving that day.


Cold – Beer & Cheese Dip

Serves 8

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Refrigeration Time: at least 2 hours

Estimated Values per Serving (dip only):

Calories: 72                           Fat: 4 grams


4 ounces low fat cream cheese – room temperature

4 ounces fat free cream cheese – room temperature

¼ cup fat free sour cream

1/3 cup stout beer

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

¼ cup low fat grated cheddar cheese

1 envelope ranch salad dressing

Carrot sticks, celery sticks and pretzels


  1. Beat together cream cheeses, sour cream, beer, Worcestershire sauce and salad dressing at medium speed.
  2. Fold in cheddar cheese.
  3. Refrigerate and serve with carrots, celery and pretzels.
Posted in Bake, Dessert

Mexican Style Ice Cream Sandwiches

A friend of mine was telling me how she really enjoyed these sweet tortilla crisps at her sister’s BBQ.  The originals are coated in butter then sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and baked.  I was thinking about how I could make these without the butter while also enhancing it a little and here is what I came up with.  I had my friend try these to make sure they passed the “delicious” test and she said they made the grade.  If you prefer, you can omit the ice cream and simply cut the tortillas, coat with cooking spray, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake too.


Mexican Style Ice Cream Sandwiches

Preheat oven 425o

Serves 10

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 200                        Fat: 5 grams

Mexican Style Ice Cream Sandwiches


10 medium flour soft tortillas

Cooking spray

1/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 ½ cups low fat ice cream


  1. Cut 2 circles in each tortilla (about the size of a large biscuit).
  2. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
  3. Coat one side of each tortilla with cooking spray and sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar on top.
  4. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
  5. Place the uncoated (non-sugared) side of each tortilla on the baking sheet and cook for 10 – 15 minutes until crisp.
  6. Remove tortilla crisps and cool on a wire rack.
  7. Scoop about ¼ cup ice cream onto one of the tortilla crisps then add another tortilla crisp so that the ice cream is “sandwiched” between two crisps.  Continue until you have 10 total ice cream sandwiches.
  8. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 1 hour before serving.
Posted in Appetizers, Vegetables

Eggplant Bruschetta

I served these on Sunday over the holiday weekend and they were such a hit, Dean went out and bought all the ingredients Monday morning so I could cook up another order for some family friends.  They are a little heavier on calories and fat than most recipes I cover but after having 2 (which is a serving size), you are full for a while.  You can even have these as a meal with a salad on the side and feel very satisfied.


Eggplant Bruschetta

Preheat oven 425o

Serves 12

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Bake Time: 30 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 360                        Fat: 10  grams

Eggplant Bruschetta


1 – 1 ½ loaves Italian bread – cut into 24 slices


1 eggplant – cut into 24 thin slices

3 cups seasoned bread crumbs

1 cup egg substitute

24 ounces (1 ½ pounds) low fat mozzarella cheese – thinly sliced

1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes seasoned with garlic, basil and oregano

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese


  1. Sweat eggplant slices by lightly coating with salt and placing paper towels on top to absorb the excess water.  Rinse salt off of the eggplant slices.
  2. While eggplant is sweating, coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray and add sliced Italian bread.  Toast for about 5 minutes on each side until lightly browned.
  3. Heat a large skillet on medium high heat and coat with cooking spray.  Dip eggplant slices in egg substitute then coat with bread crumbs.  Add to the skillet and cook for about 3 – 5 minutes on each side to brown the bread crumbs.
  4. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray and add browned eggplant slices.  Roast for 15 minutes until eggplant is cooked through.
  5. Top the toasted Italian bread with a slice of mozzarella, an eggplant slice, a little diced tomatoes and some grated parmesan.
  6. Bake for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and serve.