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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pretzel Jello

This sounds like kind of a "hillbilly" dessert, but it is one of my absolute favorites.  It is sweet, salty, cold and refreshing.  The perfect dessert for adults and kids, for picnics and summer BBQ's.  It's a bit tedious to make, but is worth it!!

Serves 10 - 12

Ingredients & Method:

2 1/2 Cups finely crushed pretzels (I used a food processor)
3 Tbs sugar*
1 Stick margarine, melted

Combine the above.  Press firmly into a 9x13" pan.  Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.  Cool.  Spread below mixture on cooled pretzel base.  REFRIGERATE 4 HOURS.

8 oz softened cream cheese*
1 Large container Cool Whip*
1 Cup sugar*

Mix together:

1 (.60 ounce) pkg strawberry jello* (use instructions on box)
2 (12oz) packages frozen strawberries, thawed

Let partially sit in refrigerator.  Spoon this on top of the cream cheese layer, and chill until firm.  (Be sure to pour the mixture on the cream cheese layer at the right time.  If it's too runny, it will seep through and the pretzels will become soggy.  Needs to be thick, but not quite in jello form).

*** I used all sugar free Cool Whip, sugar free jello, substituted sugar with Splenda, and used lowfat cream cheese.  It tasted the exact same!!!!!!***

Monday, May 24, 2010

Buccatini Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes and Tri-Colored Bell Peppers

I haven't made this dish in a while because I'm trying to avoid pasta (it's summertime = bikini time!).  My mom actually came up with this recipe, and it's been a family favorite for quite some time.  The buccatini absorbs the delicous flavors and the sundried tomatoes and peppers are a perfect addition.

Serves 2


1/4 Cup olive oil
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 Tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 Cup sundried tomatoes
1/2 Yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 Red bell pepper, "
1/2 Orange bell pepper, "
1/2 Package Buccatini pasta
Fresh grated parmesan cheese


Saute garlic in olive oil over low-med heat for about 10 minutes.  Add crushed red pepper flakes, bell peppers and sundried tomatoes.  Let simmer together on low heat for about 30 minutes, or until peppers are soft.  Cook pasta, rinse, and toss in olive oil mixture.  Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pan Seared Ahi Tuna with Cilantro Lime Sauce

I have always been a fan of seared rare ahi tuna steaks, alongside wasabi and soy sauce.  My good friend Jessica (Jess) told me about an even better dipping sauce.  Her husband is a boat captain, and I trust her opinion and believe that they probably know the best ways to eat fresh fish!  So I tried it out last night, and needless to say, I'm posting it this morning before my first cup of coffee.  It is so delicious I had to share immediately!!!


4 fresh ahi tuna filets (at least 1" thick)
Olive oil (1/4 Cup and 2 Tbsp)
S & P
1/2 Cup black sesame seeds
1 Bunch fresh cilantro
Juice of 4 limes
1 Garlic clove
1 Tsp fresh grated and peeled ginger
1/4 Cup soy sauce
1 Tsp sugar
1 Jalepeno, seeded and cleaned


Drizzle with olive oil, S & P and coat each side with black sesame seeds.  Heat skillet to high, set in tuna filets once the pan gets hot.  Cook on each side about 3 - 4 mins, just until the edges are a whitish color, but the inside is still rare.  Remove from stove.  Slice all tuna steaks into thin slices, and chill in the refrigerator at least 30 mins.

Using a food processor, add cilantro (stems cut off), peeled ginger, peeled garlic clove, and seeded and cleaned jalepeno pepper.  Chop.  Combine in a bowl these ingredients along with lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, olive oil, and S & P.

Serve tuna cold with the dipping sauce. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Best BBQ Chicken

I LOVE this BBQ sauce.  It is yet another recipe that comes from my wonderful mom.  She would make it when I was in school and I would literally spoon it into my mouth while it was simmering on the stove.  I always make extra and freeze it for a last minute dinner!  This has a very light, tart flavor.


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or 8 chicken thighs, with skin)
S & P (for chicken)
3 large yellow onions, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp white vinegar
1 Tbsp worchestire sauce
1/4 Cup fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Cup ketchup
1/2 Tsp salt
1/4 Tsp paprika
1 Tsp pepper
1 Tsp yellow mustard


Sprinkle some S & P on chicken, and heat grill.  Saute onions in oil until soft.  Add all remaining ingredients in above order.  (Alter some ingredients to taste).  Simmer at least 1 hour.  Place chicken on grill and baste with BBQ sauce.  Pour additional sauce over chicken when served.

Monday, May 17, 2010

My mom found this stuff at Costco and served it with sliced hearts of palm.  It is so delicious.  I have bought it and used it for a veggie dip, sandwich spread, and pita dip.  It is low in carbs, low in sugar, low in fat, and high in protein.  OUTSTANDING spread to keep in your fridge!  Adam and I are obsessed!!!

Hannah brand Tzatziki Yogurt Dip

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bizarre Couscous

This is really a side dish, but it is soooo unbelieveably good that I decided to post it on the main page where entrees go.  I pulled this recipe from the Sun-Sentinel in 2006.  This pairs nicely with fish, or seafood.  You could probably toss in cooked shrimp and make it an entree; I just haven't tried that yet.

Bizarre Couscous Ingredients:

1 (6.3oz) box dry Israeli couscous (giant pasta pearls.  don't get the small couscous)
1/3 C small-diced red onions
1/3 C small-diced red bell peppers
1/3 C small-diced yellow bell pepps
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp chopped chives (or green onions)
1/2 C chopped pecans
1/2 C dried cranberries
1/2 C fresh orange juice
Salt & Pepper, to taste
3/4 C Citrus Vinaigrette (recipe below)

Citrus Vinaigrette Ingredients:

1/2 C fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tsp light brown sugar
1 Small garlic clove, crushed
2 Tbsp rice or white wine vinegar
S & P, to taste
1/4 Tsp dry mustard
2 Tbsp soybean oil (I think I used EVOO instead)


Cook the couscous according to package directions.  Rinse well in a strainer under cool water.  Cool completely.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all Bizarre Couscous ingredients (except the vinaigrette).  Add the couscous and mix well. 
Add all vinaigrette ingredients and whisk until blended.  Stir into coucous mixture, cover and refrigerate 3 hours for flavors to blend.  Toss well before serving.