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Chicken Fajita Pasta | quick family meals

#shop #kraftrecipemakers

#shop Chicken Fajita Pasta #kraftrecipemakers

Chicken Fajita Pasta is a healthy and quick family meal made delicious using a Kraft Recipe Makers meal kit!  

After a long day of  juggling two kids, their activities, naps (or no naps), the big question is ‘what’s for dinner tonight?’  While we often have big ideas of recipes to try, what we really end up needing is a quick, easy meal.  We want something healthy too.  This Chicken Fajita Pasta is just that – healthy, easy and delicious!  It is made with fresh chicken, vegetables, cheese and a delicious sauce, which is actually my new secret weapon.  This little secret of mine is Kraft Recipe Makers!

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Candy Corn White Chocolate Pretzels

Candy Corn White Chocolate Pretzels #SundaySupper

Candy Corn White Chocolate Pretzels

Candy Corn White Chocolate Pretzels are a fun, easy, salty-sweet treat that is perfect for Halloween!

With Halloween only a few days away, I thought it would be fun to put a Halloween twist on one of my favorite holiday treats ~ Pretzel Kiss Candies.   These treats are perfect for holidays or special occasions.  They have that sweet-salty thing going on, which is wildly popular, and they can be decorated to coordinate with any occasion.

By using a candy corn instead of an M&M candy for the topping, Candy Corn White Chocolate Pretzels are a Halloween treat that is  adorable, festive and fun for all ages.  They are very quick to make, and so easy that the kids can easily get involved as well.  The result is an easy Halloween treat that is always a crowd favorite!

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Lighter Frosted Pumpkin Cake

Frosted Pumpkin Cake

Frosted Pumpkin Cake

Frosted Pumpkin Cake is a classic pumpkin sheet cake topped with cream cheese frosting.  Delicious and made on the lighter side!

In case you haven’t noticed by now, I love baking with pumpkin!  While it is always fun to get creative, there is something to be said about the classics.  This Frosted Pumpkin Cake is absolutely a classic.   The moist cake is filled with pumpkin and warm spices of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice ~ the epitome of Fall pumpkin baking.  Topped with a cream cheese frosting,  Frosted Pumpkin Cake is a favorite classic combination…and it is made on the lighter side!     …

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Vegan Lentil Marinara Pasta Sauce

Lentil Marinara Pasta Sauce #SundaySupper

Lentil Marinara Pasta Sauce - heatlhy, vegan, delicious from Alida's Kitchen

Lentil Marinara Pasta Sauce is a protein-packed, thick and hearty pasta sauce, made vegan using lentils in place of meat. {vegetarian, vegan without cheese, sauce is gluten free}

Lentil Marinara Pasta Sauce a thick and hearty, like a meat sauce, using lentils instead of meat.  I love using lentils as a meat substitute in recipes.  They are very meat-like in that they are high in protein, take on flavors in a sauce (or salad) and are very versatile.  Unlike meat, lentils are high in fiber and easy on the budget.  They do not require soaking or long cooking times, making lentils a wonderful choice for quick, easy and healthy meatless meals.

Lentil Marinara Pasta Sauce is very easy to make and takes roughly an hour to get a thick, hearty meatless pasta sauce.  The first step is sauteing the onions and garlic.  The next step is to add the lentils and broth to cook the lentils.  The last step is to add the tomatoes and the remaining ingredients to make the pasta sauce and let it simmer for about 40 minutes, letting the flavors come together.  The result is a healthy, protein-packed,  hearty meatless tomato pasta sauce made with lentils that is delicious, nutritious and suitable for a variety of dietary needs.  Lentil Marinara Pasta Sauce makes a generous amount of sauce, and leftovers reheat nicely….

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Pudding-Filled Cookie Cups from Alida's Kitchen

Pudding Cookie Cups

Pudding Cookie Cups

Pudding Cookie Cups are chocolate chip cookie dough baked in a mini muffin tin and topped with your favorite JELL-O pudding.  These fun treats are easy to make and can be decorated for any holiday or occasion.

With all the decorations, the costumes, the pumpkins and the spooky edibles, Halloween is by far my favorite holiday.  With Halloween only two weeks away, I wanted to share some fun treat ideas that are easy to make and great for kids.  These could be for a Halloween party or simply to treat all those neighbor kids paying your house a visit….

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English Muffin Grilled Cheese

English Muffin Grilled Cheese

English Muffin Grilled Cheese

English Muffin Grilled Cheese sandwich is a fun twist on a traditional childhood favorite…and a clever solution for my picky eater! 

Kids’ tastes in food are one of life’s great mysteries. Take cheese, for example. For the first three years of Adam’s life, cheese was one of his favorite foods.  He had cheese broiled on an English muffin for lunch almost every day.  These days, he has a ‘thing’ about cheese.  He says he doesn’t like cheese, but sometimes he wavers.  He still loves English muffins though.  So I decided to try an experiment….

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Chocolate Pumpkin Bundt Cake is a rich, moist chocolate cake made with pumpkin and a hint of spice. Pumpkin replaces much of the fat in the cake that is made on the lighter side!

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

Chocolate Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake is a rich, moist chocolate cake made with pumpkin and a hint of spice.  Pumpkin replaces much of the fat in the cake that is made on the lighter side!

Lately I have been enjoying making chocolate desserts a bit healthier using various fruits and vegetables.  The results have been fantastic, with each recipe far exceeding my expectations.   This Chocolate Pumpkin Cake is no exception!  This cake kind of reminds me of a chocolate covered pumpkin truffle, only in cake form…and a little healthier….

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Sweet and Spicy Roasted Pepitas

Sweet and Spicy Pepitas #SundaySupper

Sweet and Spicy Pepitas {roasted pumpkin seeds}

Sweet and Spicy Pepitas are roasted pumpkin seeds made into a crunchy snack that is a little sweet, a little spicy and a lot delicious!  {naturally nut-free, gluten-free and vegan}

With Fall upon us, I am in full pumpkin mode.  So far I have made pumpkin cakepiepastamuffins, and still have more pumpkin recipes I want to make this season.   Not only do I love pumpkin puree, I also adore pumpkin seeds and pepitas!  Pepitas are  the lovely little raw green seeds inside the pumpkin seed shell.  They are a great alternative to nuts, yet offer many of the same health benefits.  Like nuts, they are packed with protein, vitamins and antioxidants.  I find them in the bulk bin at the grocery store or sometimes near the bags of sunflower seeds….

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Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup #SundaySupper

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup is smooth, creamy and a little spicy!  This delicious and health soup is easy to make and pure comfort food.

Since today is officially the first day of Fall, the Sunday Supper theme for this week is “Fall Foods.”  I had several ideas for this one, but after making Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup, it was the obvious choice to celebrate the season.  A warm soup made with sweet potatoes, that is smooth and creamy, is perfect comfort food for when the temperatures start to get cooler.  A little spice from the chipotle chile adds just enough heat and depth to make it interesting.   Made as-is, this Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup is vegan and gluten free….

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Bring on Fall with this easy recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins!  They are light and moist, made with buttermilk, pumpkin and chocolate chips.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins | alidaskitchen.com

Fall is my favorite baking season.  I love all the fun apple recipes and pumpkin recipes, making old favorites and trying new recipes.  These Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins are a wonderful, easy recipe to kick off pumpkin season!  When I came up with this recipe, I wanted something simple, similar to my Banana Buttermilk Muffins.  These recipes use common pantry ingredients, so they’re easy to make any time….

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Chocolate Banana Whole Wheat Waffles

Chocolate Banana Whole Wheat Waffles

Chocolate Banana Whole Wheat Waffles

Chocolate Banana Whole Wheat Waffles are made with buttermilk, whole wheat flour and sweetened with mashed bananas.  They are a delicious and healthy way to enjoy chocolate for breakfast!

While usually a pancake house, we recently branched out into the world of waffles with Sunbutter Wafffles.  I was excited to find these Chocolate Banana Whole Wheat Waffles because the flavor is similar to my everyday oatmeal – cocoa powder and naturally sweetened with banana.   The chocolate and banana are subtle, yet together with the buttermilk, produce a wonderful breakfast treat.  These waffles are delicious and are a welcome addition to our breakfast rotation!…

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Baked Pumpkin Pasta

Baked Pumpkin Pasta #WeekdaySupper


Baked Pumpkin Pasta from Alida's Kitchen

Baked Pumpkin Pasta is a quick, healthy pasta dish made with pumpkin, zucchini and ricotta cheese.  This simple comfort food is perfect for a weeknight dinner.    

I’ve said it many times before, and I’ll say it again: Fall is my favorite time of year for cooking and baking.  Mainly because I love pumpkin recipes!  While I typically prefer to use pumpkin in baked goods, this Baked Pumpkin Pasta made for a delightful, easy and healthy weeknight dinner.  …

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S'mores Brownies | alidaskitchen.com

S’mores Brownies #SundaySupper

S'mores Brownies | alidaskitchen.com

What do you get when you cross a brownie with a s’more?  This easy recipe for S’mores Brownies!   

As Labor Day marks the unofficial end of Summer, I am looking forward to cooler temperatures, Halloween (!) and, of course, lots of pumpkin recipes.  While Fall baking is my absolute favorite, sometimes nothing hits the spot quite like a s’more.   I have made several s’more-inspired recipes, including muffins, blondies, Golden Graham’s bars, even a cool and creamy pie!  But these S’mores Brownies might be my favorite s’more-inspired treat.  The chocolate brownie base is the perfect vehicle for all of the yummy s’more toppings, plus they take only minutes to prepare….

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Chocolate Zucchini Bread | alidaskitchen.com

Chocolate Zucchini Bread | Bundt Cake

Chocolate Zucchini Bread is a moist, chocolaty bread made with zucchini and a delicious way to use up all of that zucchini taking over your garden! 

Chocolate Zucchini Bread | alidaskitchen.com

I love the entire season of summer produce, from the abundance of berries and herbs, to everything in between. However what I really look forward to is the end of summer produce.  Mainly…zucchini!   All summer long I compile zucchini recipes in anticipation of the great bounty of summer squash….

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Healthy Banana Mango Smoothie | alidaskitchen.com

Healthy Banana Mango Smoothie

 

Healthy Banana Mango Smoothie

This Healthy Banana Mango Smoothie is a thick, frosty, fruity smoothie with a protein boost from Greek yogurt.  I often add ground flaxseed for additional health benefits.   

Ever since I made my Diet Mixed Berry Smoothie recipe, I have been on a real smoothie kick.  While I have enjoyed coming up with several different recipes, I think this Healthy Banana Mango Smoothie recipe is my favorite.  When made with a perfectly frozen banana and chilled mango, this smoothie whips up to the consistency of soft serve ice cream….

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Biscoff Buttermilk Pancakes {Alida's Kitchen}

Biscoff Buttermilk Pancakes #BiscoffSpreadsLove

biscoff-buttermilk-pancakes-sqpm

Biscoff Buttermilk Pancakes are light and fluffy, whole wheat, buttermilk pancakes made using Biscoff Spread.  

I am excited to tell you about something that I recently discovered.  It’s made with all natural ingredients, is preservative-free, vegan, and nut free.  It’s Biscoff Spread, and it’s fabulous!  This sweet, creamy, decadent spread is perfect over toast, with apples slices, or simply grab a spoon and dig in!…

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Cocoa Crispy Sunbutter Bars {Alida's Kitchen}

Cocoa Crispy Sunbutter Bars #SundaySupper

Cocoa Crispy Sunbutter Bars {Alida's Kitchen} Cocoa Crispy Sunbutter Bars are easy, no-bake bars made nut-free with sunflower seed butter, and topped with a layer of semi-sweet chocolate. They are also gluten-free.  

With back-to-school just around the corner, we are starting to think about ideas for what to pack for school lunch.  Something nutritious, delicious and easy isn’t too much to ask, right?  A little variety might be nice too.  Fortunately, today I am joining the Sunday Supper Movement, and the theme is ‘lunch box.’  Several wonderful bloggers have come up with fantastic recipes and ideas to help solve the lunchbox dilemma.  These are recipes are helpful when packing your own lunch to bring to work!  You can find links to all of the wonderful recipes at the bottom of this post.  But first, let’s talk about these Cocoa Crispy Sunbutter Bars!    

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Cocoa Pebbles Dirt Pudding {alidaskitchen.com}

Cocoa Pebbles Dirt Pudding

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This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Post Pebbles but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #PebblesBTS  http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO 

walgreens-pebbles-collage

The other day Adam and I made a trip to Walgreens for some Post Pebbles Cereal, but if you follow Alida’s Kitchen on Instagram, you already know this.  I had several tasty recipe ideas swirling about, but also wanted to show Adam that you can take everyday items, such as cereal, and be creative.  While I do have an easy recipe to share with you, first I have to tell you about the fun project we made with our Pebbles Cereal!…

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Cheesy Broccoli Penne Pasta {Alida's Kitchen}

Cheesy Broccoli Penne Pasta



Cheesy  Broccoli Penne Pasta...made on the lighter side!  {Alida's Kitchen}

Cheesy Broccoli Penne Pasta dish is made on the lighter side with a light cheddar and Parmesan sauce and fresh broccoli.  A quick and healthy stove top meal, this is a great weeknight dinner! 

We love cheesy pasta dishes, and generally the more cheese the better, right?   In summer months we tend to gravitate to lighter meals, leaving our beloved cheesy baked pasta dishes by the wayside.  They can be a bit heavy, and while I love baked pasta, I don’t always love to turn on the oven when the temperatures rise.   That’s where this Cheesy Broccoli Penne Pasta dish is perfect.  It has a light cheddar and Parmesan cheese sauce ~ just enough to coat the pasta and broccoli.  And it’s all made on the stove top in under 30 minutes.  You can’t beat that!…

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healthy whole wheat banana buttermilk muffins

Banana Buttermilk Muffins

Banana Buttermilk Muffins are healthy muffin recipe that is not only delicious, but takes 10 minutes to prepare. These are sure to become a household favorite!

a healthy banana buttermilk muffin recipe

While I thought it was safe to assume that Pumpkin Banana Muffins are Adam’s favorite muffin, these Banana Buttermilk Muffins  may quickly take the top spot, if they haven’t already.  Within the first week of making the first batch, I had to make another…and another!  It seemed that Adam and Mike (and I too!) were devouring these faster than I could make them.  Fortunately, they are super quick and easy to make!  The hands on time takes about 10 minutes, and for some reason, these just seem easier to make than other muffins….

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Marble Cake with Fudge Frosting

Marble Cake with Fudge Frosting is the perfect party cake!  Enjoy a swirl of yellow cake and chocolate cake in every bite, topped with a fudgy chocolate frosting.  Delicious, a crowd favorite, and easy to make!

marble-cake-with-fudge-frosting-sqc

Recently, we celebrated Mike’s birthday, and as always I asked him to pick his birthday treat.  He usually just tells me to make whatever, but this year he got some advice from our resident 3 year old (who may be a bit opinionated these days).  After consulting a couple of his favorite cookbooks (really!) and a few of my printed recipes, Adam’s decision was made ~ Marble Cake with Fudge Frosting.  While Adam had never had marble cake before, and at the time was not a fan of chocolate, he was sure this was the perfect cake for his daddy.  He was absolutely right!

With yellow cake and chocolate cake in a pretty little swirl, we enjoyed the best of both worlds and the fudge frosting was the perfect icing on the cake (ha!)   And while it looks fancy, this cake is super simple to make.  The frosting was a bit stiff during the stirring process and goes on thick, yet is a thin layer on top of the tasty cake.  Decorate it as you wish, and here is the perfect party cake to celebrate any special occasion.

Marble Cake with Fudge Frosting - Alida's Kitchen

Marble Cake with Fudge Frosting
 
Marble Cake with Fudge Frosting is the perfect party cake! Enjoy a swirl of yellow cake and chocolate cake in every bite, topped with a fudgy chocolate frosting.
Yields: 16-20 servings
Ingredients
  • Cake:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar, divided
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk (I used skim)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Cooking spray
  • Frosting:
  • 1½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup milk (I used skim)
Instructions
  1. FOR THE CAKE: Preheat oven to 350* F. Spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, combine cocoa, ¼ cup granulated sugar and ¼ cup water.
  4. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer (hand or stand) set to medium-high, beat butter and remaining sugar until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low, and add eggs, milk and vanilla, beating until smooth. Add flour mixture, continue beating on low until combined.
  5. Pour 2 cups of the vanilla batter into the bowl with the cocoa mixture, and stir until smooth.
  6. Pour vanilla batter into the prepared baking pan. Spoon chocolate batter into six puddles on top of the vanilla batter. Drag a knife through the two batters, creating a swirly marble effect.
  7. Bake 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven to a wire rack to cool completely. Frost once cool.
  8. FOR THE FROSTING: Put chocolate chips in a glass or metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or use a double-boiler), until melted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add butter, powdered sugar and milk. Beat on high until frosting comes together. Add more milk or sugar as needed to achieve desired consistency. (If frosting is too stiff, add more milk; if it's too wet, add more powdered sugar)
  9. Spread over cooled cake and decorate as desired.

Source: Real Simple

Marble Cake with Fudge Frosting - Alida's Kitchen

Chocolate Banana Brownies

 Chocolate Banana Brownies are so rich and fudgy,  you would never guess they are low in fat (and can be made vegan)!
  Chocolate Banana Brownies | alidaskitchen.com
I’ve been on a bit of a brownie kick lately and found myself choosing between three different brownies recipes to share with you today.  These Chocolate Banana Brownies were at the top of the list.  A brownie that is so rich and fudgy, you would never guess it’s low in fat (and can be made vegan)?  Yes please!
  Chocolate Banana Brownies | alidaskitchen.com

The addition of bananas not only puts a tasty twist on these brownies, but it also helps reduce some of the added fat.  There are also no eggs in this recipe.  Changes from the original recipe include using whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose (either one works fine, I just wanted a whole wheat brownie) and using brown sugar instead of granulated, because I love the flavor brown sugar adds to baked goods.  Use your favorite non-dairy milk and non-dairy chocolate chips, and you have a delicious vegan dessert that everybody will love!

Chocolate Banana Brownies
 
Author:
Yields: 13x9-inch pan of brownies (see note for servings)
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup mashed overripe bananas (2-3, depending on size)
  • ¼ cup milk (use soy or almond for vegan)
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (use dairy-free for vegan)
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, brown sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir bananas, milk, oil, and vanilla until well-blended.
  4. Add banana mixture to flour mixture, gently stirring until just combined. Add chocolate chips, folding gently.
  5. Pour batter into prepared baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (Be careful not to over bake, otherwise the brownie may not be as fudgy). Move pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into squares to serve.
Notes
Note: 24 squares = 150 calores/brownie, 36 squares = 100 calories/brownie. These amounts are approximations based on the ingredients I used.

Source: About.com

Have more overripe bananas?  Here are some other healthy, easy recipes to try:

Pumpkin Banana Muffins

Banana Buttermilk Muffins

Healthy Banana Cookies

 

chocolate-banana-brownies-pin

sunflower seed butter buttermilk waffles

Sunbutter Waffles

Sunbutter Waffles are whole wheat, buttermilk waffles made with sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter (or other nut butter), making them a nut-free alternative.  While perfect just as-is, we also enjoy them topped with additional sunbutter, berries or maple syrup.

We have had a waffles iron for years, but for whatever reason it hasn’t been used much…well, until recently.  If you’re a regular reader, you know how much my Adam loves pancakes.  At least once per week, I make his favorite kind(s) of pancakes to load up the freezer and/or just to have on hand.  Sometimes I would end up making a double (or triple!) batch.  On my small little griddle, this exercise could take hours.  A labor of love I guess.  These days, with a newborn in the house, it’s a bit tricky to devote that much time to cooking or baking anything.  On a whim, I decided to try my hand at waffles.  Due to Adam’s peanut allergy, I opted to transform my beloved peanut butter waffles into sunbutter waffles.  I was pleased to discover cooking waffles is much quicker than flipping pancakes.  And Adam had 5 waffles for breakfast that day.   Operation waffle was a success!

 

For another recipe using sunbutter, try these Cocoa Crispy Sunbutter Bars.  They make a great snack!

Sunbutter Waffles
 
Yields: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1¾ cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 6 tablespoons sunflower seed butter
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. In a medium bowl, with a hand mixer, beat oil and sunflower seed butter until smooth. Add buttermilk, eggs and vanilla and stir until incorporated.
  3. Add buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until combined. Let mixture sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat waffle iron. Cook waffles according to the manufacturer directions for your waffle iron.
Notes
Note: Store leftovers in the refrigerator and toast to reheat. These also freeze well.

Adapted from Everyday Food

 

White Cupcakes with Truffle Filling and White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

White Cupcakes with Truffle Filling and White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting are a fun cupcake with a gooey truffle center. They are super easy to make too!

This past weekend marked a special second birthday ~ Alida’s Kitchen turned 2!  Of course a birthday is not a birthday without cake, right?  I’ve been looking for a white chocolate cake for a long time and actually have several recipes I want to try.  This particular recipe won me over with two little words “truffle filling.”

While the original recipe called this cake white chocolate, it strikes me as closer to a white cake with a little tang from the sour cream.  So my quest for a white chocolate cake continues, but these White Cupcakes with Truffle Filling are definitely tasty.  I used a combination of white chocolate and dark chocolate truffles for the center, and both were good.  The White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting deliciously rounds everything out, making these cupcakes worthy this special 2-year celebration!

White Cupcakes with Truffle Filling and White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
 
Ingredients
  • Ingredients
  • 1¾ cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 12 round white or dark chocolate truffles (such as Lindt)
  • Frosting:
  • 4 ounces white chocolate baking bar, chopped
  • 1 package (8 ounces) light cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk flour and baking powder.
  3. In a liquid measuring cup, combine milk and vanilla.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites on high until stiff peaks form.
  5. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add sour cream, and continue beating until smooth.
  6. On medium speed, alternate adding flour and milk to butter mixture, ending with flour, and beat until smooth.
  7. Stir in ⅓ of the egg whites. Fold in remaining egg whites until combined.
  8. Divide batter evenly among 12 muffin cups. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Remove cupcakes from oven and while hot, cut a ½ inch "X" into the tops of each cupcake. Insert the truffle and press until truffle is flush with the top of the cupcake. Truffle will melt into cupcake. Let cool completely before frosting.
  10. Make frosting: Place white chocolate in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute and stir. Continue in 30 second increments until melted. Let cool for 3 minutes.
  11. In a large bowl, combine melted chocolate, cream cheese, butter and vanilla and beat on medium speed until combined. Slowly add powdered sugar and continue beating until smooth.
  12. Frost cupcakes and decorate as desired.
Notes
Source: Pampered Chef

truffle filled white cupcakes with white chocolate cream cheese icing

 

Honey Roasted Chickpeas with Sea Salt {Garbanzo Beans}

Honey Roasted Chickpeas with Sea Salt are a healthy, sweet and salty snack that is easy to make.  They are high in fiber, protein-packed, gluten free, dairy free…and Adam can’t get enough of them (in other words, they’re toddler friendly too!)

Honey Roasted Chickpeas are made with only a few simple ingredients, and you most likely have everything you need already in your pantry.  In fact, all you really need is one ingredient, and that’s the chickpeas.  The additional ingredients are simply for flavoring, but roasted chickpeas are super crunchy and delicious straight from the oven.  In this case I made them honey roasted with sea salt, however I have other variations in the works that I am excited to share with you soon!

Honey Roasted Chickpeas with Sea Salt | alidaskitchen.com

 

Honey Roasted Chickpeas with Sea Salt
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 15 ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ tablespoon canola oil (or other neutral tasting oil)
  • sea salt, add to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Empty chickpeas into a colander. Rinse until no longer foamy and drain. Put chickpeas onto paper towels to pat dry. (Optional: remove skins from chickpeas. Not necessary, but I recommend it).
  3. Place chickpeas in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes, or until chickpeas are crunchy. (If they're soft, put them back in for 5 minutes until crunchy).
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk honey and oil. Add hot chickpeas and toss to coat. Pour chickpeas back on lined baking sheet and return to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until caramelized. Sprinkle with sea salt, as desired, and let cool. Store in an airtight container.
Notes
Slightly adapted from fitsugar.com

Honey Roasted Chickpeas with Sea Salt | alidaskitchen.com

Baked Cinnamon French Toast | alidaskitchen.com

Baked Cinnamon French Toast

Baked Cinnamon French Toast is a decadent yet simple breakfast (or breakfast for dinner, as we talked about yesterday).  Made with cinnamon swirl bread that is drenched and baked into a rich custard, Baked Cinnamon French Toast toast is beyond delicious.  It takes 10 minutes to prepare and then you can bake it right away since this is not an overnight French toast.  While it’s not an overnight variety, you certainly can make it ahead and store covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake


This Baked Cinnamon French Toast is not something that I would have every day, simply because I like to have my boring old breakfast of old fashioned oats with a banana every day.  But this French toast is definitely a wonderful treat worth enjoying for a special occasion…like perhaps for Mother’s Day this Sunday (hint hint Mike!)

Baked Cinnamon French Toast
 
Yields: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • Cooking spray
  • 12 slices cinnamon bread or cinnamon raisin bread
  • 2 cups half and half (fat free works fine)
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted (light better works fine)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13"x9" pan with cooking spray.
  2. In prepared pan, place six slices of bread and top with remaining 6 slices of bread.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together half and half, eggs, butter, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over bread, pressing bread down so some liquid is absorbed.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes until bread is golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

Source: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter

Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas made in a muffin tin

Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas

Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas are fun, little individual deep dish pizzas made in a muffin tin.  First you roll out little pizza dough circles and then gently put them in the muffin cups.  Then fill each dough round with your desired sauce and toppings and then top it with cheese.   I used premade dough (from Trader Joe’s), topped them with a marinara sauce, broccoli, red onion and mozzarella cheese, and they came together in less than 30 minutes.  These Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas are completely customizable with your favorite sauce and toppings.  Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas are a definite crowd-pleaser. Besides – there is always something fun about anything in miniature!


Today I am being featured over at Momma’s Meals where I’m being featured as part of Tammi’s Featured Fridays series!  Every Friday, Tammi gets to know her fellow bloggers and makes one of their recipes to share with her family and then with her readers.

I thought it would be fun to make something from Tammi’s site to share with you, and her Individual Deep Dish Pizzas were perfect!  Incidentally I had been looking at an Everyday Food recipe for little deep dish pizzas made in a muffin tin, so these Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas that I’m sharing with you is sort of a combination of the two recipes.

Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas
 
Yields: 12 pizzas
Ingredients
  • Cooking spray
  • All-purpose flour, for rolling
  • 1 pound pizza dough (homemade or store-bought) - in 12 pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup pizza sauce (I used a homemade marinara sauce)
  • Your favorite pizza toppings - about 1 to 2 tablespoons per pizza (I used chopped broccoli and red onion)
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray 12 standard muffin cups with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece of pizza dough into 6-inch circles. Place into prepared muffin cup, gently pressing dough into bottom and up the sides. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
  3. Put 1 tablespoon sauce in each dough cup. Top sauce with 1 to 2 tablespoons of pizza toppings and then top with cheese.
  4. Bake until dough is browned and crisp, approximately 12 minutes. Let cool for 2-5 minutes before removing from cups.

 

Sources:  Everyday Food,September, 2010 and Momma’s Meals

Baked Dorito-Crusted Chicken


Baked Dorito-Crusted Chicken came to me in a dream, which is funny because I’m typically not a flavored chip person (except for salt ‘n vinegar…yum!)  I dismissed it as a quirky pregnancy dream.  That is, until we had a bag of cheese tortilla chips (remember my Green Giant post?), which were just asking to be paired with chicken.

Baked Dorito-Crusted Chicken tastes like…wait for it….yep, you guessed it.  Doritos and chicken.  And it’s really good!  The chicken is moist and juicy.  The salty, cheesy chips give a nice seasoning to the chicken as well.  We were very happy to finally turn my crazy dream into a delicious reality!

baked dorito-crusted chicken

Baked Dorito-Crusted Chicken
 
Yields: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup crushed cheese tortilla chips (or any chip will work here)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk (I used skim)
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4 to 5 ounces each)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Put crushed chips in a shallow bowl.
  3. In a separate shallow bowl, whisk egg and milk until combined.
  4. Dip chicken breasts in milk mixture and then dip in chips, coating the chicken. Place on prepared baking sheet and lightly spray tops with cooking spray.
  5. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

 

homemade fig newtons

Oatmeal Fig Bars | Homemade Fig Newtons

oatmeal fig bars | homemade fig newtons
Oatmeal Fig Bars are a chewy, fig-filled bar made on the lighter side.  They taste pretty close to a Fig Newton, but homemade is always better, right?  When I was researching for a healthy fig bar recipe made with oatmeal, I was surprised to find there weren’t many (or rather any that were suitable).  So I decided to take the dough of a oatmeal date bar recipe and replace the date filling with a fig filling.  Because I wanted these to be healthier, I reduced the amount of sugar in the dough and eliminated added sugar from the filling.  In lieu of sugar, I added lemon juice and zest to the filling to brighten the flavor and also act as a thickener.  The result was just what I had in mind for a healthy fig bar, and they were also really simple to make.

When I was making these Oatmeal Fig Bars, I couldn’t help but think about my grandma and grandpa and chuckle.  I’ve talked many times about my grandma and what a wonderful baker she was.  While I’m sure my grandpa loved all of her (delicious!) baked goodies, he always had a stash of Fig Newtons in their pantry.  I really can’t blame him.  Not much beats a Fig Newton (except for these bars of course!.. but I digress).  I don’t think my grandma ever attempted to make a homemade variety of his beloved fig bars, but I’m sure they would have been similar to these…and my grandpa would have stashed these instead!

oatmeal fig bars | homemade fig newtons

Oatmeal Fig Bars | Homemade Fig Newtons
 
Yields: 16 bars
Ingredients
  • 1 cup chopped dried figs, stems removed (8 ounces)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1½ cups rolled oats (I used quick oats)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted (I used light butter)
  • 1 egg white
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. In a small sauce pan, put figs, water, lemon juice and zest, and bring to a boil. Simmer until mixture starts to thicken (about 3 minutes). Let cool for about 5 minutes.
  2. Put filling in food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together oats, flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  5. Add butter and egg white to oat mixture and stir until combined.
  6. Press half of the oat mixture into the prepared baking pan. [Note: I used waxed paper to press and spread the mixture into the pan]. Next, carefully spread with fig mixture. Last, drop pieces of remaining oat mixture over the fig mixture so it appears crumbly and then gently pat it down [Note: I used waxed paper for this step].
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack.

This marks the third installment of the Eating the Alphabet Challenge, hosted by Brenda of Meal Planning Magic.  This month we’re featuring healthy recipes using fruits, vegetables, grains or legumes that start with letters E or F.  This was a no-brainer for me.  I’ve been wanting to come up with a healthy Fig Bar recipe, so this was just the incentive I needed!

vegetarian spinach ravioli lasagna

Easy Ravioli Lasagna

Easy Ravioli Lasagna - takes 10 minutes to prepare using only 5 ingredients.  This is so good!
I am excited to share this recipe with you. Easy Ravioli Lasagna has become one of our favorite weeknight dinners!  It has the delicious flavor of lasagna yet is made with only 5 main ingredients and takes 10 minutes to prepare ~ perfect these days when I find myself juggling a newborn and a busy 3 year old at dinnertime.  This lasagna can also be made ahead (like before leaving for work or, in my case, before the kids wake up) so it’s ready to just pop in the oven at dinner.

Easy Baked Ravoli Lasagna

From the original recipe, I increased the sauce, added some red pepper flakes, and actually reduced the cheese (surprising for a cheese-lover like myself, but it was way too much and took away from the overall dish).  This Easy Ravioli Lasagna is made with spinach, but I think sautéed mushrooms and garlic would also be delicious.  We have made this several times, and it’s always a crowd-pleaser.  Speaking of crowds, this recipe can easily be doubled to fit a 13″x9″ lasagna pan and you’ll have enough to serve a crowd or have lots of leftovers for lunches.  It reheats beautifully!

Easy Ravioli Lasagna
 
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups pasta sauce (I use Muir Glen Tomato Basil)
  • 20-ounce package cheese ravioli (refrigerated or frozen)
  • 10 ounces frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 4 ounces (1 cup) shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Pour ½ cup pasta sauce over bottom of dish.
  3. Layer bottom of dish with half of the ravioli.
  4. Cover ravioli with ½ cup sauce and top with spinach and half of mozzarella (1/2 cup).
  5. Repeat with remaining ravioli, sauce and mozzarella. Sprinkle top with Parmesan and crushed red pepper flakes, if using.
  6. Cover dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until bubbling and starts to brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and then serve.

Slightly adapted from All You, March 2009

vegetarian spinach ravioli lasagna