Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Simple & Delicious Dill Dip

Every family has their favorite dip for chips & veggies.  Ours has always been the cop-out variety (Hidden Valley Ranch mix with a pint of sour cream).  I was looking for something a little more unique when I brought veggies & dip to share with friends I work with last week.

Everyone loved this dip.  The subtle dill flavor left everyone asking "what's IN this?".  A touch of Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce gave it a little kick as well.  

And... (depending on what side of the "food additive fence" you sit on) MSG is an optional ingredient.  Personally, I don't have a problem with modest, occasional use - and unbeknownst to most of us - it's still hidden in a wide variety of foods (see this article for more information, and to decide where YOU stand on it)

Make this at least 3 hours before, and chill before serving.  Overnight is even better.  (And, yes - the photos are marginal - but the dip disappeared before I had a chance to do any better)

Simple & Delicious Dill Dip

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 to 1-1/2 tsp dill weed
1 tsp dried minced onion
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp seasoning salt (such as Lawry's)
1 tsp Accent seasoning (MSG - optional.  See note/link above)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 dash Tabasco sauce

Mix & chill.  Serve with crackers, veggies, etc...

Friday, February 21, 2014


Crostini is an Italian word meaning "little toasts".  I've seen them displayed in pricey delicatessens and cheese counters, but I've never tried them until now.  Delicious!  They are usually served with a topping of some kind, or as the base for a canapĂ©.  

You simply slice baguette bread VERY thin, place the slices on a baking sheet, brush with olive oil, and season with salt & pepper.  (Garlic salt or other herbs would be wonderful as well)

I sprinkled these little toasts with Himalayan pink sea salt, and then a little freshly ground pepper.  After baking at 350° for about 15-20 minutes - they turn a lovely shade of golden brown.  

Make sure you turn the crostini over once during baking, and it even helps to rotate your baking sheet halfway through.

We served these with cheese ball at Valentine's Day.  (Yes, I'm a little late posting!)  For a little "blush" on your heart shaped cheese ball - try coating it with smoked paprika.  Yum.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Protein Pancakes (aka - "Biggest Loser Pancakes")

Ask my family... do I EVER eat pancakes?  Never.  Kind of like never eating PB&J sandwiches.  We tried to calculate how many PB&J sandwiches I have made over the course of my life as a mother - couldn't do it.  The same goes for pancakes - I can't even estimate.  When you make so MANY of something, it's easy to develop a dislike for it.

I saw these on Pinterest a long time ago and for some reason, the idea of a protein-packed pancake appealed to me.  No white flour, no fat of any kind, no leavening, no salt, and fiber too.  Could it really be good?  If you're expecting a REAL, American-style pancake - you might be disappointed.  But if you're wanting a breakfast that stays with you for several hours that actually tastes good, this works.

Three pancakes add up to about 170 calories - the entire batch makes ten.  I decided I could splurge on a few teaspoons of butter, and a TBS of syrup.  That would add, say... 47 calories for the syrup, and about 70 for the butter.  So a little over 300 calories for breakfast.  Not bad.  Nice change from smoothies and protein shakes.  

The ingredients are healthy, and with the touch of cinnamon and vanilla - you really don't taste anything 'weird'.  You can use 'diet' syrup and lite butter - but then it really would be a diet pancake.  

Protein Pancakes (aka - "Biggest Loser Pancakes") 

6 egg whites (about 3/4 cup)
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup rolled oats (dry)
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a blender jar.  Blend until smooth.

Heat non-stick skillet over medium low heat.  Spray with non-stick cooking spray, or brush very lightly with butter.

Pour about 1/4 cup into preheated pan for each pancake.

Allow to cook until pancakes begin to look a little drier around the outer edges, and they begin to puff up.  Flip.  Cook until golden brown on other side.

Serve hot dusted with powdered sugar & fruit, or (for more a few more calories) with butter, syrup, etc...

Leftover pancake batter can be stored in airtight container in refrigerator until needed.