Recipes

Easy to make recipes with the diet conscious in mind!

The ULTIMATE Low Fat Mac & Cheese

As much as I love to cook, there are a few times where I want something easy. And, that’s where the crock pot comes in. Honestly, its name should be “how to impress your guest when you really have no idea what you’re doing machine“. I guess that doesn’t roll off the tongue easily soo, we’ll stick with crock pot. Either way, today I’m sharing my favorite crock pot recipe, and… its low fat! ::drum roll::

Here’s the recipe for my Low Fat Mac & Cheese!

Disclaimer before we begin; I’m not saying this is a “healthy” mac and cheese; it’s just lower fat than normal recipes. Don’t Regina George me and eat this 3 times a day and wonder why you haven’t lost any weight. 

crockpot recipe

 

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 16 oz. whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 3 cups milk
  • 12 oz of evaporated milk (1 can)
  • 8 oz. low fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, cut into chunks
  • 3 cups low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup of panko bread crumbs

Instructions:

  1. Cook pasta in boiling water for about 6 minutes- you want it to be a little al dente. 
  2. While that’s cookie, cut the cream cheese and butter into little squares. 
  3. Place the cooked pasta, milk, cream cheese, butter and cheddar cheese into a crock pot. Stir and top with Parmesan cheese. Set heat to Low and cook for 2.5 hours. Stir occasionally. You’ll know it’s finished when it’s all melted together around the 2.5 hour mark.
  4. For an extra flair, because I’m extra AF, before serving the Mac n Cheese, top with parmesan cheese, panko bread crumbs a pinch of parsley, put it in the over under “Broil” until brown and then serve. It’s extra amazing that way. 

And, there it is! Hopefully you enjoy it as much as we do! 

cheesecake cookies

Easy to Make Cheesecake Cookies

With the holiday season here, it’s that time to do our best Santa Claus and stuff our bellies with some delicious treats. Over the last few years (a.k.a- since I received a KitchenAid Mixer) I’ve become the designated dessert person in my family. There’s something very satisfying about making things from scratch, and, even better, it’s really not as difficult as assumed. 

This recipe has become one of my go-tos when I know people will be coming over or I’m asked to bring something to a dinner. (although, the first time I made them I used Baking Soda instead of Baking Powder… they sucked but my friends were too polite to say anything) As long as you don’t make that mistake, it’s easy to make, doesn’t need a lot of steps, and it always impresses guests. These cheesecake cookies have become my all time favorite dessert! I’m also giving you my secret to making delicious, moist, cookies!

cheesecake cookies recipe

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1 1/4 cups finely crushed graham crackers (1 sleeve) (if you have a guac bowl, smash them in there)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

(Just a tip before you start:  if you own a kitchenaid, just do all of this “beating and mixing and bowls” in the kitchen aid bowl. Also, I’m separating this out as best I can so it’s easy to read for you)

To start, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

FIRST:  In a bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, flour and baking powder.

SECOND: In another bowl, beat together the butter with the brown sugar until it looks like it belongs together. Throw in the egg white, mix together again until it’s blended. 

THIRD: Add in the bowl from the first step to the second step and blend together until it’s nice and smooth.

FOURTH: In a separate bowl (lots of bowls), beat together the softened cream cheese with the granulated sugar, egg yolk, lemon zest and vanilla until well combined. This is your filling. If you have a pastry bag, place the filling into there to make it easier. Or, take a zipbloc bag, fill it with your frosting, seal the bag, and cut a tiny hole in the corner- it works just as well as a pastry bag! 

LAST: Take the graham cracker cookie dough, roll into balls and place in an oiled cupcake pan. Yes, a cupcake pan. This will give the cookies a little more depth and it allows them to stay moist. Fill the 12 slots evenly. Then, very scientifically, take your thumb & make an imprint into the middle of each cookie.  After that very scientific method, simply place the frosting in the imprint, bake for 15 minutes, let cool for 10 minutes, and enjoy. I top mine with sugar sprinkles for an added touch. 

Gin & Berries: The Perfect Summer Drink

Gin has a bad reputation.

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard “it tastes like Christmas tree” when I offer a gin drink to a customer. While gin is made from juniper berries, there’s a lot more to it. Including,  cumin seeds, coriander seeds, angelica root, orris root, citrus peels, cardamom pods, cassia bark, grains of paradise and cubeb berries. Yep, all that in one spirit! (so, if you’re tasting “christmas tree”, you’re probably drinking cheap gin… which is the same as saying all mexican food has refried beans when you’ve only eaten taco bell) 

Did you know that a proper martini is supposed to be made with gin? Yep, take that vodka drinkers.  The best part about gin, you ask? It’s a spirit made for making cocktails! That’s right! You don’t go into a bar asking for a shot of Hendricks- but, you can mix it with almost anything, and have a delicious, and dangerously unassuming cocktail!

So, in the spirit of trying new horizons, here is one of my favorite Gin Cocktail Recipes!

gin, cocktail, summer, drinks

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  1. A bottle of Gin (if you’re looking for something in between diesel oil and liquid gold, I’d suggest Tanqueray or Bombay)
  2. Berries, of your choice: the drink pictured was made with blackberries, but, raspberries work just as well!
  3. Lime
  4. Rasberry Lemonade Crystal Light
  5. Club soda, or seltzer.

HOW TO MAKE IT

  1. Muddle the berry of your choice on the bottom of the glass
  2. Pour 3-5 oz of gin into the glass (be generous… after all, it’s summer!)
  3. Pour club soda into glass
  4. Open the crystal light packet, and gently tap a little of the mix on top. Try not to over-do it
  5. take a spoon a stir it all around
  6. take your lime; slice one piece as a garnish, and squeeze some lime juice right on top
  7. Enjoy casually!

There ya go! The whole drink is less than 70 calories, and can be made with gluten free gin! A win win, ALL AROUND!

Cheers!