Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Easy Yummy Reduced Fat Alfredo Sauce

While I love Mexican food (I could eat queso dip for BL&D), I've always had a spot in my tummy for Alfredo Sauce. The bad side to it--it's enormous fat and calorie content! When B and I go to Olive Garden we order a side of it for our bread sticks and refer to it as our "lard boat." I never order the whole dish, it's just a gut bomb.

I came across this recipe and thought, "Hey, that looks like it'd be good." So I made a few modifications and came up with my version. It was divine!! Tons of flavor and yummy texture too. I love it with Dreamfield's Rotini.

Reduced Fat Alfredo Sauce
adapted from Our Best Bites

1/2 C skim milk
1/8 C reduced fat cream cheese
1/2 C fat free evaporated milk
1 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t dried basil
1/2 Tbsp butter
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 C Parmesan cheese

  1. Toss the milk, cream cheese, flour, pepper, basil and salt in a large cup and process with an immersion blender (or regular blender). Process until smooth and set aside.
  2. In a pan, melt butter on med heat and add garlic. Let the garlic saute for about 30 seconds, you don't want to burn it. It should be nice and bubbly.
  3. Then add milk mixture to the pan. Stir constantly for about 3 or 4 minutes or until it just comes to a simmer. Keep stirring and let it cook for a few minutes more. It should be much thicker now. When it's nice and thick (it's almost as thick as a normal Alfredo sauce) remove the pan from the heat. Add the cheese, stir it up. Let stand for at least 5 minutes before using. It will continue to thicken upon standing. Add additional garlic powder to your taste.
  4. Toss with your favorite cooked pasta and enjoy!
(I hate the flash on my food, I swear it's not cafeteria food)

I can't believe I wasn't being bad...until my second helping. Hey that's spinach salad on that plate so I consider that nutritious.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sunday Brunch and Couch Shopping

For those of you who have some non-sporty husbands, let me fill you in. When one marries a sports fanatic, they become a widow--a football widow all fall! Most weekends, I spend cleaning, working out and shopping since I can't pull him away from the TV. Sunday was a different story, I actually got to spend time with B! After church, we went for brunch at Le Peep. B didn't want to go there at first because he thought it "sounded fruity". He lost the battle.

I ordered a yummy Cinnamon Roll Latte. One of the best lattes I've ever consumed! (Because I'm an addict, drugs on the side please.)

For my meal, I ordered the pumpkin stuffed french toast. It was even better this morning for leftover breakfast!

Brian got the Cinnamonster (and other food but I didn't capture it)...he's giving his monster look too!
After brunch we went to the only furniture store in Nebraska-- Nebraska Furniture Mart. FYI, this place makes all other furniture places go out of business because it's so big. We've had our current couch for a hefty 3 years and it's complete crap, and looks like crap too. Brian, with his geriatric ways, wants a recliner. I simply hate the look of recliners--so old fashioned. I want leather since it seems to last forever. So we're looking at leather recliner couches.


...but in the color of the chair below.



which is your favorite?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fabulous Pie Crust and a Cutie Pie

I decided to be nice to my co-workers and make my favorite Autumn Apple Pie to spice up a fun fall Friday. I think baking for people really makes them happy and brightens up a dreary day like it's been here lately in the Midwest.
After misplacing (I don't lose, I misplace things ;-) my pie crust recipe, I came across this one and it's divine. It has vodka in it!! Now that's my kind of pie crust. Don't worry goody goodies, it cooks out and ads no flavor. It just ads moisture without aiding in gluten formation. It rolled out beautifully! Please try and let me know how you like it.
Foolproof Pie Dough by Cooks Illustrated
- makes one 9-inch double-crust pie -

2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons sugar (I added a smidgen more for sweetness)
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup cold vodka
1/4 cup cold water

1. Process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogeneous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.
2. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.

And now for the CUTIE PIE recipe:

Look at that sweet face!! This is the "Dukie stare down."

"Mommy, can I have a slice of pie please? I've been a good boy, I promise!!"

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fast Broccoli Cheese Soup

On cold dreary evenings like last night, I love to just stay in and cozy up with some yummy soup. I had a craving for broccoli cheese soup but I didn't have cream in the fridge so I concocted this recipe with what I had on hand. I don't know how low fat this is but I feel it can't be worse than the restaurant recipe. Plus I used real broccoli to boot! I love using real veggies not from a can. I also think the Velveeta adds a nice creamyness to the soup without the heavy cream.1/4 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 c chicken broth
1 c broccoli (I used frozen)
1 c skim milk
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
2 in. slices of Velveeta from the big brick
2/3 c reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tbsp reduced fat cream cheese


  1. Heat up olive oil over medium heat and cook onion and garlic until translucent. About 3 minutes.
  2. Toss in broccoli and cook together for another couple minutes.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients except the shredded cheese and cream cheese. Allow Velveeta to melt.
  4. Toss in shredded and cream cheeses. Stir until smooth.
  5. I have a stick or immersion blender I love to use for soups so I used it here. If you like big broccoli chunks in your soup, omit this step. I think I might have overdone it a bit though.

Spoon into a bowl and serve with yummy cheddar biscuits!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sicky Sick...

Today is my first day back to work. The Dr. told me I have a sinus infection and a head cold, I now have a headache! Sorry for the lack of posts.

While I've been out sick, I've been able to watch the whole season of VH1's My Antonio on VH1.com.

The show is pretty cheesy but there's good eye candy and trashy fake drama. Who doesn't love that?
I always remember what I watch when I was sick. As a kid it was Bewitched, in HS it was the Sugar Ray video Halo--I loved that song!
What is your favorite thing to do when you're sick?
In other news, does it bother anyone Forever 21 doesn't sell everything in the stores online and vice versa?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Skinny Jeans...Where Are You?

Help me!!! I so desperately want skinny jeans but can't find any that I truly like. I'm short so I'll definitely have to hem them (story of my life).

Do you have skinny jeans? What are your favorites? PLEASE HELP!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chicken Artichoke Marsala

If you follow me you've figured out by now my husband eats like a 5 yr old, I don't like to eat out much during the week, I'm always watching what I eat, I don't like boxed foods and I don't have a lot of time. With that information, I'm always looking for recipes that are nutritious, not too sugary, not artificial, easy and something both B and I can eat! Whew, no one wants to be me now :-(.

One weeknight I really wanted some sort of fancy meal (that's what I call it when I have to actually saute, and create, not just add sauce and mix. B already had a gourmet sandwich from the swanky joint down the street, Arby's, so it was just me for dinner when I found this recipe.

I follow Katie and love several dished I've tried, I just made a few changes since I don't like mushrooms.
Chicken Marsala
adapted from Good Things Catered and Americas Test Kitchen

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (5-6 oz ), fat trimmed
  • 1/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 c. chopped canned artichokes
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 3/4 c. Marsala wine
  • 1/2 packet of True Lemon (crystallized lemon) in 1 tbsp water, I was out of lemons.
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley leaves


  1. Pat the chicken breasts dry. Place flour in a shallow baking dish or pie plate.
  2. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper.
  3. Coat both sides of chicken with flour. Lift the breast from the tapered end and shake to remove excess flour and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  5. Place the floured chicken in a single layer in the skillet and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  6. Using tongs, turn the cutlets and cook on the second side until golden brown and the meat feels firm when pressed with a finger, about 5 min longer).
  7. Transfer chicken to a heated plate and cover.
  8. Return the skillet to low heat and add artichokes.
  9. Saute, stirring occasionally and scraping the pan bottom with a wooden spoon to loosen the browned bits, until the artichokes are lightly browned.
  10. Add the garlic and tomato paste, stirring constantly, until the tomato paste begins to brown, about 1 min.
  11. Off the heat, add the Marsala.-
  12. Return the pan to high heat and simmer vigorously, scraping browned bits from the pan bottom, until the sauce is slightly syrupy and reduced, about 5 min.
  13. Off the heat, add the lemon juice and accumulated juices from the chicken.
  14. Whisk in the butter until incorporated.
  15. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  16. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve immediately.

Note: I like to place the chicken back into the pan and simmer for 1 min, flipping once, before serving to coat chicken in sauce. I also tossed the ziti with it for few moments as well. It turned out very yummy.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cutie Patootie Duke!

Look how cute my little "Urban Puppy" is? OMG he's a doll.
This is my view of him through the mirror...too cute!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Busy Weekend...

Okay this is about a week late! I forgot to publish a few posts. Here is a pic of Duke and I after the Nebraska Humane Society's Walk for the Animals. He loves getting out and being an urban puppy!
Two Saturdays ago now, we went to the 300th consecutive sellout for Nebraska football. It was quite the event and my good friend Kristen and I had a great time tailgating while hubs and my bro in law searched for their own tickets (they didn't sit with us).

Kristen, Me and Kristina tailgating.

Kristen and I in the "sea of red".

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fantabulous Giveaway!

Has everyone gone to Fantabulously Frugal to see her latest giveaway? Too cute to pass up! I won one of her other giveaways and scored this beauty below.
Don't delay. Her giveaways are great!