Popcorn and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Yes, you read it right, Popcorn and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. This recipe was inspired by my love of mixing popcorn and snow caps at the movies. Ever since I can remember, that is what I always ate, until the stopped selling snow caps. But I did not let that stop me; I would buy my pack at CVS and then sneak them into the theater ; ).

However, I am sure you are wondering why I would think to make this into ice cream. Well here is my story… in 2008 my husband and I went to San Francisco for my birthday and on the plane ride home, I sat next to a man that was telling me about his experience at French Laundry. After raving about the restaurant, he told us about the most original dessert he had eaten, popcorn ice cream. That stayed with me for quite some time until I created this recipe.

I not only have a passion for cooking the classics and make them my own, but I also love creating things that are out of the box, and this is one of those recipes.

Place a bag of “movie theater butter” popcorn in the microwave and follow the instructions. Pour the milk, cream, and sugar in a medium-size pot on medium-low heat until the sugar melts and then remove from the heat. Add all the popcorn to the milk mixture and let stand for 15 minutes. This will infuse the milk with the flavor of the popcorn.

Remove the popcorn with a skimmer and discard in the garbage (unless that looks appetizing to you – lol – have at it). Allow the milk mixture to cool completely in the refrigerator for another 45 minutes to an hour.

Once the cream has cooled, pour the mixture into the ice cream maker as it is running. I have the Cuisinart and it works well! If you have questions, leave me a comment and I will respond.

So with this ice cream maker, it takes about 30 minutes to double up in size and get thicker. Once it looks like it may start coming out of the machine is when you turn it off. With the machine off, pour the chocolate chips and then mix with a large spoon. At this point, the ice cream is soft enough to mix.

Once you have all the chips you want in there, then you want to transfer to a freezer safe container and place in the freezer. For best results, leave in the freezer overnight.

Be sure to make enough to share. Here at my house, this batch went in 2 days. ENJOY!

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Cinnamon Apple Chips

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These apple chips are a great way to crave your snacking craving. I started making these because I love apples and I love chips…so why not eat apple chips? I am always trying to make snacks that are healthy but delicious. This is just that snack.

These snacks have 2 ingredients and that’s it. You can make them ahead of time and store them in a sealed container to take to work or school.

The trick to making this great snack is patience. To get the apples to the perfect crunch, you need to cook them slow and low. I good idea is to bake as many as possible at the same time, without overlapping the apples.

You also want to make sure the apples are sliced thin, so using a mandolin is the perfect tool for this recipe. One apple can make you about 20 chips. You can also experiment with the type of apples and see if it changes the flavor or texture.

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Spinach and Cheddar, Crustless Quiche

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Quiches have always been a crowd pleaser and I love to experiment with the flavors. They are also extremely easy to put together so you can make a few different flavors to ensure that all taste buds are accounted for.

By definition a quiche is a baked flan or tart with a savory filling thickened with eggs. As long as you get the right mixture, you too can create your own flavors. Try some out and share with me your recipes.

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MUST HAVE PRODUCTS
These products are staples in my kitchen. The pie pans are great for always and now for the holidays they will come in handy. The spatulas are amazing and this I use for anything and everything, check them out.
9 inch Pie Pans
Silicone Spatula Spoons 

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Apple Fennel Cole Slaw Salad

Apple Fennel Salad
Apple Fennel Salad

I have never really made anything with fennel but I was reading through a few recipes and the flavor profile and it sounded very interesting. I am a fan of making all sorts of sides and feel that a salad is usually a very welcoming side for many dishes. Cole slaw is a very refreshing salad and usually has some sort of sweetness in the recipe.  That is where the apple comes into this recipe.

This recipe is quite tasty and I am looking forward to experimenting with it and possibly adding a few additional ingredients to play around with the flavor. This recipe was the first run and it was very good, but I want to make it a little tastier.

If any of you do make the recipe, please give me some feedback and also some ideas on possible additions or changes to the recipe would be very appreciated.

Ideas: I would like to add some actual celery to slaw as well as I enjoy that flavor. Cucumbers are also delicious and may be a great addition to the salad as they are light in flavor but would blend well. Thinly sliced radishes would add a nice tang.

 

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Clementine Chicken Salad

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Chicken salad is that one dish that most restaurants will have on the menu since there are so many ways that you can make it. I was experimenting and happened to have clementines in my fruit bowl and thought that it would be a great addition to my chicken salad. As the seasonal fruits and vegetables change, it’s fun to incorporate the different flavors into dishes that you usually make to give it new flavor profiles. I am sure that I will be making several different flavored chicken salads on my blog in the very near future.

Also with chicken salad, you can serve it as a salad and place it on top of some mixed greens with typical salad toppings (tomatoes, cucumbers, etc) and a light lemon vinaigrette; or you can serve it on some whole wheat Texas style toast with some home made potato chips (I will make these and blog the recipe at a different time) or you can serve with some tomato slices or a separate side salad.  You can even serve it as an appetizer with some crackers and veggies. No matter how you serve it, it is delicious and quite healthy for you.


INGREDIENTS – Serves 4-6
Per Serving (1 cup)  Calories 316 Fat 10g  Carbs 13g Protein 34g 

  • 3 cups cooked chicken (white and dark meat)
  • 1 cup celery (thinly sliced)
  • 1/3 cup scallions (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup pecans (chopped)
  • 1 clementine (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (about 1/2 a juicy lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey (I like orange blossom)
  • 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon pepper

HOW TO MAKE IT…

  1. Chop chicken into bite size pieces and throw into a large bowl
  2. Add to the bowl celery, scallions, raisins, pecans and clementine and mix all together
  3. Add lemon juice, Dijon mustard, honey, Greek yogurt, salt and pepper and mix very well so that the entire salad is covered
  4. Add the flat leaf parsley at the end and toss all together

Ideas: You can replace the clementines with apples or you can add cranberries instead of raisins or walnuts instead of pecans.  You can also remove the dark meat and only make it with white meat if you prefer.

The Perfect Snack

perfect snackSo this is not the best picture, but I can promise you that it tastes delicious! It is so simple and filling that you can’t go wrong. You can also make this the night before and the tomatoes will marinade in the oil. I will give you some ideas also, in case you do not like tomatoes and/or feta cheese.I am having 2 snacks a day, one 3 hours after breakfast and the other 3 hours after lunch. I am also trying to have one savory and the other sweet so I can get a little of both. However, you can play around with the snacks to make sure that your daily nutritional count doesn’t go over. I am trying to do under 1500 calories, 60g fat and 100g of carbs per day. I am hoping to loose between 1-2 pounds per day with a total of 20 pounds in total.This is my second day only (Tuesday, July 10, 2018) so at the end of this week I will let you all know how much weight I lost. Please also feel free to ask me for suggestions to make sure you get to eat what you like and still stay under your target. I also want to add, that I am trying to exercise 3 times a day with 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of strength.

INGREDIENTS – SERVES 1 PERSON
Calories 221  Fat 20.3g  Carbs 7.2g

  • 1 cup of tomato (diced)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons feta cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry oregano
  • pinch of salt/pepper

HOW TO MAKE IT…

  1. Add the oregano to the oil, along with the pinch of salt and pepper and let sit for a bit
  2. Place the tomato and the feta in a bowl and then pour the oil all over and stir well
  3. Add a little more salt and pepper if you like

Ideas:

  • Change the Tomato for Cucumber (Calories 201.8/Fat 20.1g/Carbs 3.1g)
  • Cut the olive oil in half and add the difference with lemon (Calories 163.5/Fat 13.3g/Carbs 7.9g)

Delicious & Healthy Egg Muffins

Tasty Egg Muffins
Tasty Egg Muffins

My daughters 16th birthday party is slowly approaching and every time you realize you have to get into a dress you say to yourself, I have to loose those 10 pounds. Well… the party is on April 6th and I wanted to have a recipe that would be easy to make, tasty to eat and would be a go-to for snacks and in-between meals. This is it! I made a large batch and everyone in the house is eating them, even my son’s girlfriend that doesn’t like eggs. This is a great recipe to make with the kids for Easter also as you can change the ingredients to what appeals to them – see my additional ideas below.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can add whatever you want in it, as long as it tastes good with eggs (LOL). You can also change up the base of the muffins if you do not like the potato and don’t want carbs in your diet. However, I do have to say, there is a mis-conception that when you diet you need to remove all carbs from your life. Well that is just not true. According to studies, eating carbs are important when you are trying to change your eating habits. You want to make sure that you eat well and that you do not ingest an over abundance of carbs, but you do not want to eliminate them all together.

Here are a few things that carbs will do for you according to (http://www.health.com/weight-loss/8-reasons-why-carbs-help-you-lose-weight):

  • Eating carbs makes you thin for life
  • Carbs fill you up
  • Carbs curve your hunger
  • Carbs control your blood sugars and diabetes
  • Carbs speed up your metabolism
  • Carbs blast belly fat
  • Carbs keep you satisfied
  • Carbs make you feel good

The reason I say this is because I would hate for you to miss out on some of the recipes that I am sending to you because of any carb that may be part of the ingredients; but do not worry, this recipe is low carb, but not carb free.
Remember everything in moderation! 

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INGREDIENTS – MAKES 24 LARGE MUFFINS

  • Russet potato – 2, cleaned, peeled and shredded (you can also use a bag of frozen hash browns that has been completely defrosted)
  • Eggs – 16 extra large
  • Vidalia onion – 1 cup, small dice
  • Red Pepper – 1 cup, small dice
  • Baby portabella mushrooms – 1 cup, sliced thin
  • Parmesan Cheese – shredded, ½ cup
  • Feta Cheese – ½ cup
  • Kosher salt – 1 tablespoon
  • Pepper – ½ tablespoon
  • Onion powder – ½ tablespoon
  • Garlic Powder – ½ tablespoon
  • Italian Parsley – ¼ cup, chopped (if you don’t have you can use dry parsley, but use ½)
  • Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Cooking spray

HOW TO MAKE IT…

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Prepare 2 muffin pans (12 muffins each) and spray with some cooking spray
  3. Place an even amount of the potato on the bottom, about 1 large table spoon and then press down
  4. Cook the potatoes for about 12 minutes in the oven while you prepare the rest of the dish
  5. In a large skillet on medium high heat, add 1/3 of the oil and cook the mushrooms until they are somewhat browned (about 2-3 minutes) and ten remove from the pan
  6. In the same skillet add again 1/3 of the oil and cook the onions until translucent (about 2-3 minutes) and then remove from the pan
  7. In a large bowl or mixing cup add the eggs and beat them well
  8. Repeat the same thing with the red peppers (cook for about 3-4 minutes) and then remove from the pan
  9. Add the salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and parsley and mix again well
  10. Remove the muffins that are lined with the potato from the oven and then layer as you would like with all the ingredients, use all the ingredients first and leave the egg mixture to the end… here are some ideas
    1. Red pepper with onion and parmesan cheese
    2. Onion and mushrooms with feta cheese
    3. Onion, red pepper and mushroom with parmesan cheese
    4. Onion and feta cheese
    5. Just cheese
  11. Once you have filled all the muffins with the different ingredients, fill with the egg mixture each muffin; you want to make sure not to fill to the top
  12. Bake for about 13-14 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean
  13. Let them cool a bit and then remove from the muffin pan and display
  14. Leave left overs in the fridge to eat anytime – ENJOY!

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Additional Ideas:

  • Try them with bacon, ham or sausage and cheddar cheese
  • Spinach, tomatoes, black olives and feta cheese
  • Tomato, basil and mozzarella
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Display them for all to eat – Great for Easter Brunch!

 

Homemade Seasoned Popcorn

Homemade seasoned popcorn

What’s not to love about popcorn? It’s that perfect snack that you can eat at any time and anywhere. It’s also light on calories and you can eat a lot of it and maybe even get full. There are so many types of popcorn on the market these days and you can actually buy different flavors for the microwave. But what’s the fun in that? I usually like to eat at home and I try to make as many meals from scratch as I can so why not my popcorn. I am not going to pretend it is as easy as the microwave kind, but I really like knowing exactly what is in my food. You also do not need special equipment for popcorn, just a pan and a lid…whatever you do, do not forget the lid.

Side note: Funny story…when my son was 3 years old, I decided to make popcorn for the first time on the stove top and I forgot the lid. OMG there was popcorn everywhere! You would think it would be easy to add the lid after the first pop, but oh man, when those suckers start jumping out of the pan, it’s like a full on assault. My son had the est time with that saying it was raining popcorn, but I did not have fun cleaning the kitchen. So please don’t forget the lid LOL

I have since become much better at making popcorn and this is a sure favorite in my home. I try to make enough to last at least the day because it goes quick.

Ingredients – Makes 12-16 cups of cooked popcorn

  • Popcorn kernels – 1/2 to 1 cup
  • Canola oil – 3-4 tablespoons
  • Butter – 6 tablespoons
  • Seasoning Mixture
    • Seasoned salt – 1 teaspoon
    • Cayenne pepper – 1/2 teaspoon
    • Onion powder – 1/2 teaspoon
    • Garlic powder – 1/2 teaspoon
    • Cinnamon – 1/4 teaspoon
    • Dry oregano – 1/2 teaspoon
    • Celery salt – 1/2 teaspoon

How to make it…

  1. In a large pot on medium high heat add the oil and 3 kernels to start and swirl the pot around the heat continuously until they pop
  2. Add the rest of the kernels and cover with the lid
  3. Continue to swirl the pot around the heat until all the popcorn has popped
  4. Remove from the heat and place in an extra large bowl
  5. melt the butter and add half of the seasoning mix to it and stir well
  6. Pour all the butter over the popcorn and mix with your hands well
  7. Pour the rest of the seasoning over the popcorn and mix again

Toasted Coconut

Coconut is an ingredient that is delicious on savory or sweet dishes and toasted it’s even better. You will usually find sweetened coconut at the grocery, and it’s even yummier when toasted due to the sugar, but I usually have the organic unsweetened and natural coconut flakes. To toast the coconut you need nothing but a nonstick pan on medium heat. Add the coconut and move continuous with a spatula so it does not burn. I always have some handy so that I can top on almost anything.

Tips: Add to pancakes, waffles, yogurts, salads, fish, rice…