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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Layered Bean Dip

I made this for a Book Club recently, and everyone asked for the recipe.  It's something I got out of an old Cooking Light magazine.  It is SO good you'll be shocked it's light!  You can make this 24 hours before and leave it in the fridge until you are ready to bake it, so it makes for an easy addition to a menu when you are entertaining.

Layered Bean Dip

Serve with pita chips or baked tortilla chip. I double this for a large crowd and serve it in a 9X13 pan. This is a light version of a regular bean dip.

Yield: about 2 1/2 cups dip (serving size: 1/4 cup)


1 (16-ounce) can fat-free refried beans

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1 cup bottled salsa

1 cup (4 ounces) pre-shredded reduced-fat Mexican blend or cheddar cheese

Chopped cilantro (optional)


Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine beans; spread in an 8-inch square baking dish. Spread sour cream over beans; top with salsa and cheese. Cover; bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 minutes or until bubbly. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

Note: To make pita chips, cut 5 (6-inch) onion-flavored or regular pitas into 8 wedges each. Arrange on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat tops of wedges with cooking spray, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake at 375º for 8 minutes or until lightly browned.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies - oh yeah!

We made the BEST cookies this week!  I do not say that likely.  I am not a huge cookie person.  And by that I mean I'm picky.  A cookie pretty much has to knock my socks off to make me eat the extra calories.  I'd take a cupcake over a cookie most any day.  This one however knocked my socks and my stocking hat off.  :D  These cookies are so great because whether you are 4 years old or 80 they have that kind of comfort food yummy-ness to them, without wrecking your diet.  Even better, they are sugar free, and gluten free folks. 

So what are you waiting for? 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
(Gluten and sugar free!)

¾ cup sugar substitute (I used Splenda)

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup creamy Trans fat-free peanut butter (it says creamy, I prefer chunky)

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ cup sugar-free jam, any flavor (I used Blackberry)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix sugar substitute, egg, and vanilla together with an electric mixture on low for 3 minutes. Add peanut butter and baking soda. Mix on medium until dough comes together, about 30 seconds.

Form dough into 24 (2-teaspoon) balls and place on the baking sheet 1 inch apart. Gently press your thumb into the center of each to make an indentation. Fill each indentation with ½ teaspoon jam.

Bake until lightly browned on the bottom, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cookies cool briefly on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 24 (2 per serving)

Per serving: 140 calories, 11g fat, 2.5 grams sat fat, 6 g protein, 7 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 210 g sodium

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Disney on Ice Family 4-Pack Tickets GIVEAWAY

I am so excited for the opportunity to give away tickets to Disney on Ice here in Denver CO!
I remember going to Disney on Ice when I was little, and just having my jaw dropped, eyes wide, the whole time. I was dazzled, and it is still such a vibrant memory to me. I am so excited to take my kids this year, and to get to watch their eyes get wide, and have them experience the same thing.

Disney On Ice is going to present "Let’s Celebrate!" this December. It’s one colossal party on ice, with all your favorite Disney friends! Enjoy a winter wonderland with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, a Halloween haunt with the Disney Villains, a Very Merry Unbirthday Party, a Royal Ball with the Disney Princesses and more in a magical medley of holidays, celebrations and festivals from around the globe.

SOOO.... here's the scoop :)

I currently have 2 ticket offers if you are interested in immediately purchasing your tickets:

Ticket offer #1: Purchase a 4-pack of tickets for only $44 for weekday performances. Enter the code FFA4 at: or call 1-866-461-6556 (Weekday = Thurs 7pm, & Fri 11am performances. Minimum purchase of 4 tickets required for 4-pack; additional tickets above 4 can be purchased at $11 each)

Ticket offer #2: Receive $4 off weekend tickets. You also enter the code FFA4 at: or call 1-866-461-6556

A few things about the show this year if you are interested in purchasing immediately:
  • This is the first time ever this all-new Disney Celebration has come to Denver
  • This show is playing PEPSI CENTER only (not Denver Coliseum like usual)
  • OPENING NIGHT PRICE is only $14 – (!!)

The performance schedule is:
Thursday, Dec. 9 – 7PM
Friday, Dec. 10 – 11AM & 7PM
Saturday, Dec. 11 – 11AM, 3PM & 7PM
Sunday, Dec. 12 – 1PM & (5PM SPANISH PERFORMANCE)

The ticket prices are:
$75 (Front Row)
$42 (VIP)
*Service charges and handling fees may apply

Tickets are on sale through TicketHorse at, by calling 1.866.461.6556 and at the Pepsi Center Box Office.


** You do not need a blog or website to enter this giveaway. You only need a VALID email address, and to live in the Denver Metro Area **

Buy It: Can’t Wait?! You can buy Disney on Ice tickets now using the great link I have provided for you above.

Win It: One lucky winner will receive a family 4-pack of tickets for the Thursday, December 9th, 2010 show at 7:00 PM at the Pepsi Center in Denver CO.

To Enter: With the holidays approaching, it's a wonderful time of year to reflect on all the blessings we have in life. Write a comment below and tell us what you’re thankful for for a chance to WIN tickets to Disney On Ice presents Let’s Celebrate!

Leave me a comment below and please leave a valid email address that I can contact you at if you are the winner!

You can enter for a family member or friend, but the person on the ticket MUST be present at the show. Tickets can be picked up at the Will-Call window with a valid photo ID before the start of the show on Thursday, December 9th 2010 7:00 PM.

Additional Entries

Post: Post a Blog/Facebook about this giveaway (please leave me a link ) in your comment.

Follow: Follow this blog (leave a comment below letting me know you did this)

Twitter: Follow me on twitter and tweet about this giveaway (once per day)

You will have until 11/30 to enter this contest. The winner will be announced using on 12/1 .

Please remember to leave 1 comment per entry or they will not be counted separately.

(All additional entries are optional and worth 1 additional entry each)

Winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize or a new winner will be selected.
Get your entries in, and be sure to spread the word!

** I was given review item free of charge for review on my blog. No cash compensation was received. All ideas and opinions in this review are my own, unless otherwise stated. Information about the company may be paraphrased or quoted.**

I would like to say a special thank you to Feld Entertainment for this opportunity.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Portobello Burgers

Even though the time of year to grill on the back porch is over (at least for us :) I still like a good vegetarian burger once in awhile. We had these the other night and they were fabulous! The kids loved them too, and I got a table of thumbs up :). I ate mine with no bun, and some chipotle rance sauce drizzled on top. I can't wait to have them again.

Portobello Burgers
Meaty mushrooms — combined with protein-packed textured vegetable protein (TVP), provolone cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes — make these vegetarian burgers hearty and super flavorful. TVP is a favorite vegetarian source of nonanimal protein and can be found at health food stores. If you have extra time, form the burgers ahead and refrigerate for 30 minutes for easier handling.

6 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Start to finish: 25 minutes

1 cup textured vegetable protein (TVP)
4 ounces provolone cheese, shredded (1 cup)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 medium portobello mushrooms, stemmed and chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small zucchini, coarsely grated
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil), drained and chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine TVP, cheese, egg, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a mixing bowl; stir to mix well.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add mushrooms, onion, and zucchini; sauté, stirring often, until vegetables are softened and liquid is evaporated, 8 minutes. Stir in tomatoes. Add vegetable mixture to egg mixture; stir to mix well. Cover and let stand 5 minutes.

Shape vegetable mixture into 6 (3-inch) patties. Heat remaining oil in a clean skillet over medium heat. Cook patties, turning once with a wide spatula, until lightly browned, 3 minutes per side.

Recipe from The South Beach Diet® Quick & Easy Cookbook.
For information on the book, click here.
Nutritional Information:230 calories16 total fat (5 g sat)11 g carbohydrate14 g protein4 g fiber190 mg sodium

Friday, November 5, 2010

Got leftover candy? Bake it! Part 2

I came across another recipe, and this one more flexible for using up all that halloween candy.

Candy Bar Squares

3/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 egg
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
4 cups candy bars, chopped (for example Snickers, Milky Way)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, combine butter or margarine and peanut butter. Add brown sugar and baking soda; mix well. Stir in oats and flour. In a seperate bowl, reserve 1 3/4 cup crumb mixture; set aside. Stir egg into remaining crumb mixture; press firmly in bottom of 15x10x1 inch pan. Bake 15 minutes. Spread sweetened condensed milk over baked crust. Stir together reserved crumb mixture and candy bar pieces; sprinkle evenly over top. Bake 25 minutes or until golden. Cool. Cut into bars. Store covered at room temperature.