Monday, January 30, 2012

Crispy-Baked Buffalo Chicken Bites

I love a little snack that "disguises" its healthy side.  These are the best little bites - even better than fried versions!  I based this on a Weight Watchers recipe - I swear, you'd never know it's healthy!   You can also easily change this spicy snack to a smokey-sweet one by substituting the hot sauce for barbecue sauce.  Happy snacking - best dishes and yummy dreams!


Crispy-Baked Buffalo Chicken Bites

Printable recipe

Serves 3-4 hungry "snackers" 

1 package of chicken breast tenderloins, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
1/2 c. crushed corn flakes or Chex
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt 
1/2 tsp. pepper
olive oil cooking spray

1/2 c. hot sauce
2 egg whites

Sauce to pour on top:
Melt "I Can't Believe it's Not Butter Light" with desired amount of hot sauce.  
Add chopped scallions and pour over the baked chicken.

1.  Set the cut tenderloins aside and spray a pan with nonstick spray.
2.  Mix the bread crumbs, cereal, and spices together in a small bowl.
3.  In a separate bowl, mix together the hot sauce and egg whites.
4.  Dip the chicken into the egg white mixture, then place the chicken into the breading mixture.  
5.  Place the chicken pieces on the baking pan, spray the tops of the pieces with olive oil cooking spray.
6.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.  Broil on high for the last minute to brown the tops.
7.  Optional:  Prepare the sauce mentioned above to pour on top of the baked chicken.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Fab Friday Finds

What an exciting week!  I reached 100 followers on both Facebook and GFC, and reached 10,000 views on my blog.  I know this isn't really a huge thing, but I'm super-excited!  I still find it hard to believe that people read my recipes.  I love sharing them!  Thanks so much for reading - it truly means the world to me!
On to the recipes for Friday's Favorite Finds!  I found some really yummy things on Pinterest that I can't wait to make - check them out!


Source:  Kristen McElwee on Pinterest via Little Mommy, Big Appetite

I'm totally into anything mini, for portion control, and for my little 18-month foodie "side kick."   She will adore these little deep dish pizza "puffs" - so will I!

Source:  "Just Us..." via Pinterest by Little Mommy, Big Appetite

Another mini - little taco cups!  Love.

Source:  Mel's Kitchen Cafe via Pinterest by Little Mommy, Big Appetite

I'd never thought to pan-toast the whole burrito before serving... genius!

Source:  Real Mom Kitchen via Pinterest by Little Mommy, Big Appetite

This one needs no explaining... who doesn't love bread with garlic and parm?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Easy Red Enchilada Sauce

You all know I love a lil' Mexican food!   Enchiladas are one of my fave, but the canned sauce just doesn't cut it.  So, I tried several recipes that I found online until I tasted the best one... tweaked it a little (cause you know I have trouble following the "rules")... and I'm sharing it with you!  It's so easy and yummy - it's a keeper in our house!
Wishing you best dishes and yummy dreams!


Easy Red Enchilada Sauce
Adapted from: SweetsLady on

Printable recipe

Makes enough sauce for 15 enchiladas

2 Tbsp. canola oil
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 c. chili powder
4 c. chicken broth
1 c. tomato sauce
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. oregano
3 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1.  Heat the oil and cornstarch in a sauce pan on medium.  Stir until combined and mixture is smooth (paste-like).
2.  Add chili powder and stir.  Let the mixture bubble for a minute.
3.  Slowly add chicken broth and stir.
4.  Add the tomato sauce, salt, cumin, oregano, sugar, cayenne, and cinnamon.  
5.  Simmer the sauce on low until it thickens.
6.  Pour over enchiladas and enjoy!

When making enchiladas, I combine sauteed chicken, onions, jalapeno and tomato with Adobo, wrap the mixture in a corn tortilla with a small amount of enchilada sauce mixed in.  Then, I pour the sauce on top of the enchiladas.  Top with lots of cheddar and pepper jack cheese, of course!  Yummm!

Thanks for reading, loves xo

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Philly Cheesesteak "Calzone"

You could put anything in this calzone dough, and I would eat it.  It's sooo yummy.  And I'm a bread girl, so I'm quite picky.  It's the best best calzone dough I've ever had.  It's not too thick, doesn't get soggy, it's soft and crispy at the same time.... I could go on forever....  like I said, I'm a bread girl.
I first used the dough to make an Italian sausage and peppers calzone - yumm.  So, I thought I'd switch it up a bit and do a homemade Philly cheesesteak calzone.  They were an absolute hit - so yummy and tender - a perfect cheesesteak!  Special thanks to my best foodie friend, Becky, who did some brainstorming with me on this delish treat!
 Here is the super-delicious end result:

Wishing you best dishes and yummy dreams!


Philly Cheesesteak Calzone
Dough recipe courtesy of:  Bouffe e Bambini

Makes 4 large "calzones"

Dough Ingredients:
2 1/4 c. bread flour
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. instant yeast
1/8 c. olive oil
1 c. ice cold water
1/2 tbsp. sugar

Preparing the dough:
Prepare the dough the night before:
1.  Mix flour, salt, and yeast together in a bowl.
2.  Add the olive oil, water, and sugar and mix until it forms a sticky ball.
3.  Knead the dough for 5-7 minutes adding flour, or water if needed.
4.  Place the ball of dough on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray and cover the dough with plastic wrap.  Place in the refrigerator!

Filling Ingredients:
2 ribeye steaks
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
olive oil
salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes
provolone slices

Making the "calzones":
1.  Saute the peppers and onions in a pan with olive oil.
2.  Slice the ribeye steak in very thin strips and add it to the pan with the peppers and onions just before they are finished sauteing, but DO NOT cook the strips all the way, or they will over-cook in the oven.  Add dashes of garlic powder, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (season to taste).  
3.  Set the filling aside, and flour a surface to work with the dough.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
4.  Divide the dough into four equal parts.  Roll one part out with a rolling pin, place the filling inside and top with a slice of provolone cheese (you can choose to cut the dough as the picture shows to "braid" the calzone, or just cover the filling and cut vent holes into the top of the calzone).

5.  Repeat for the remaining balls of dough and then place the calzones on a greased baking sheet.
6.  Brush the tops of the calzones with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown. 
7.  You may choose to serve it with a provolone sauce like this... but, it really needs no sauce at all!
The calzone is shown on a small "side dish" plate, and was much prettier before I forgot the cheese and had to open it back up :(  
If you enjoyed this recipe, I'd love for you to "like" my Facebook page, pin my pictures, subscribe to my RSS feed, or follow me on GFC!  Thanks a million!  xoxo

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Favorite Finds

I stumbled across this linky party (Friday Favorite Finds) and I LOVE it!  I find so many great recipes from other awesome bloggers and I am so excited to share them with you all!  I made all of these recipes this week and am totally, completely in love with them!  Check them out!
Wishing you best dishes and yummy dreams!


By:  Natalie's Killer Cuisine
Source: via Little Mommy, Big Appetite

Soooo freaking good.  We love zucchini, so I knew I'd love it.  But, I was also able to convert two non-veggie lovers who thought there was no way they'd even try it.  They're that good. 

By:  Bouffe e Bambini
Source: via Little Mommy, Big Appetite

I've tried several, and usually they are too bready, or get really soggy on the inside.  This was the BEST.  Mine wasn't as thin as the picture. You will love it if you try it.

Grapefruit Margarita
By:  Confections of a Foodie Bride
Source:  via Little Mommy, Big Appetite

While I'm not usually a fan of grapefruit, I've discovered there's nothing better than a grapefruit cocktail, who knew?  I love it because it balances out the sweet with a little sour... love. 

These recipes are keepers!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Improv Cooking Challenge: Baked Fish with a Parmesan Sour Cream Sauce

When I saw the ingredients for the January Improv Challenge, lemons and sour cream, I immediately thought:  fish!  My husband caught a small, two-foot rockfish (striped bass) in the last week of the open season - it was the perfect size to feed four.  I did this pretty little piece of fish justice with this amazing recipe that I found on  I can't wait to make this again - you can use any mild, white, flaky fish.  I served it with roasted brussel sprouts and these yummy and beautiful stacked potatoes.  Enjoy!  Wishing you best dishes and yummy dreams!

Baked Rockfish with a Parmesan Sour Cream Sauce
Recipe adapted from Lizzie on

skim milk
lemon juice
1 lb. fish, patted dry after soaking, cut into four portions
1/2 c. sliced mushrooms
1/2 sweet onion, sliced
 2 tbsp. olive oil
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
dash of salt and pepper
1/2 c. light sour cream (room temperature)
1/4 c. (or more) shredded parmesan, plus 2 tbsp. 
2 tbsp. dry bread crumbs
chopped, fresh parsley
lemon wedges

1.  Soak the thawed fish in a bowl of skim milk and 1-2 tbsp. of lemon juice for an hour.  Set the oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Pat the fish dry, portion it (the size of a deck of cards) and place it in a baking dish sprayed with nonstick spray.
3.  Saute mushroom and onion in olive oil in a nonstick pan.  When tender, place on top of the fish in the baking dish.

4.  Top with 1-2 tbsp. of shredded parmesan and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

5.  Mix the sour cream and the remaining parmesan together in a small dish. Spread over the fish, mushrooms, and onions with a spatula.  

6.  Sprinkle the bread crumbs in top of the sour cream.
7.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, or until the fish is flaky.
8.  Top with fresh parsley and squeeze the lemon over the fish.  

If you enjoyed this recipe, I'd love for you to "like" my Facebook page, follow me on GFC, or pin my pictures!  Thanks a million! xo

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Healthy Cinnamon Crunch Topping

Who doesn't like a lil sugar on top?  I always love a little crunch, too.. on just about anything!  My mom and I got a good laugh when we realized that this recipe was from a 1978 cookbook.  As much as things change, some things are really great when they stay the same.
This recipe is such a yummy little treat to add to ice cream, frozen yogurt, a yogurt parfait, in place of granola... and it's healthy.  Really.  It has wheat germ and flax seed all wrapped up in a sweet, crunchy goodness.  This is so easy to make and store, and a great way to sneak a little "healthy" on top of a not-so-healthy treat.  I think that if you put it on ice cream, it can definitely qualify as "diet" ice cream, right?
Wishing you best dishes and yummy dreams!


Healthy Cinnamon Crunch
adapted from:  Quaker Oats Wholegrain Cookbook, "Cinnamon Add-a-Crunch Topping"

1 1/4 c. oats (instant or regular)
1/3 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 c. I Can't Believe it's Not Butter Light (or regular butter)
1/3 c. wheat germ
1/3 c. flax seed
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1-2 tbsp. chopped nuts (I used pecans)

1.  In a small bowl, mix oats, sugar, wheat germ, flax seed, cinnamon, and nuts.

2.  Place the butter spread in a pan on medium heat.  
3.  Melt the butter, then add the ingredients from the bowl. 
4.  Cook on the stovetop for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture appears golden-brown.
5.  Spread the mixture on a lined cookie sheet to cool.
6.  Store in a glass jar, in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

If you enjoyed this recipe, I'd love for you to "like" my Facebook page, pin my pictures, or follow me on GFC!  Thanks a million!  xoxo

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Skinny Chicken Salad with Apple and Avocado... and NO Mayo!

This recipe is my pride and joy.  In reality, it's not a huge deal.  But, chicken salad sandwiches are my thing.  I am very picky though, I'm not a mayo girl.  You know I love to lighten-up a recipe.  So, this is one I've wanted to share for awhile.  This is the perfect light chicken salad, we make it when we have leftover grilled chicken breasts, or extra rotisserie chicken.  I love to make it and save it for lunch during the week - it's a perfect light bite to brighten up your dull lunches!
Wishing you best dishes and yummy dreams!


Little Mommy's Skinny Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Printable recipe

Makes 4 sandwiches

2 c. of seasoned, cooked and diced chicken 
1/4 c. fat free yogurt
1 tbsp. fat free sour cream
1 tbsp. spicy brown mustard
2 tsp. honey
1 tsp. hot sauce
1/4 tsp. of black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/3 c. diced apple
1/4 c. diced avocado
1/4 c. sliced grapes
1/4 c. diced celery
1 diced green onion
1-2 tbsp. chopped pecans
whole wheat rolls

1.  In a small bowl, mix the yogurt, sour cream, brown mustard, honey, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and onion powder.  

2.  In another bowl, mix the chicken, apples, avocado, grapes, celery, green onion, and pecans.

3.  Add the yogurt mixture to the bowl with the chicken, fruits, and veggies.  Mix well and chill before serving. 

Thanks for reading, loves! xo