Monthly Archives: September 2011

Birthday Cake Martini

My Friday cocktail this week, Birthday Cake Martini, is especially made in honor of my dear cousin, Meredith, whose 20-something birthday is today.  I don’t like traditional martinis as I don’t like olives but I don’t mind a sweet martini like this one once in a while.  Flavored vodkas are now all the rage and you can get them in pretty much any flavor you want (including whipped cream and cotton candy).  This martini includes cake-flavored vodka, chocolate liqueur, half and half, and a little bit of dry vanilla cake mix.  Shake the ingredients with ice, pour into a martini glass and top with whipped cream and sprinkles if you choose.  Happy Birthday, Meredith!  This one’s for you!

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Fat-free half & half

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Pinnacle Vodka Website

Spinach, Apple, and Walnut Salad

If you’ve been paying attention, this week I’ve eaten peanut butter blondies, cheesy enchiladas and pizza.  Um, wasn’t I supposed to be watching my weight?  Maybe, just maybe, it’s time for a salad?  I certainly think so!  This time of year brings out my love affair for apples, particularly McIntosh, so I decided to grab a couple and make Spinach, Apple, and Walnut Salad.  This salad mixes together baby spinach (I used spring mixed greens), chopped apples, toasted walnuts, and goat cheese (I used feta) and is flavored with a light lemon-honey vinaigrette.  The apples are tart yet sweet, the toasted walnuts add a little crunch, and the feta provides a slight tang.  This is one filling and tasty salad that isn’t boring and won’t leave you feeling hungry afterward.

The ingredients:

Chop the apples and mix with lemon juice to prevent browning.

In a bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper.

Mix the greens and apples in a separate bowl.  Drizzle with vinaigrette.

Toast the walnuts in a small pan over medium heat.

Add the toasted walnuts and feta to the salad.  That’s it!

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Spring mixed greens
  • Reduced-fat feta cheese

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Real Simple Magazine

Pizza Supreme

We’ve all done it.  Gotten home from work and craved pizza so we picked up the phone and called the nearby pizza joint.  Afterall, when that craving hits, it’s either that or one of those dreaded, dull cardboard-ish disks known as the frozen pizza, right?  Wrong!  You can make pizza at home in the same amount of time (or less!) than it takes for a pizza to be delivered.  Last night I made Pizza Supreme – refrigerated pizza dough, topped with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, red and orange peppers, mushrooms and turkey sausage.  Cutting of the veggies: 5 minutes.  Browning of the sausage:  3 minutes.  Cooking of the veggies: 5 minutes.  Assembly of the pizza: 2 minutes.  Bake time:  8 minutes (according to the recipe, it should take 15 but my thin crust was toasty brown after 8).  Total time until pizza was in my mouth: 23 minutes!  And it tasted…wait for it…supreme!  Making your own pizza allows you to control the oil, the sauce, and the cheese and it’s a great use for whatever veggies (or meat) that might be lurking around in the fridge.  And another benefit?  You won’t be left with a bellyache!  I mean, unless you eat the whole thing.  Which…is easy to do.

Question:  What are your favorite pizza toppings?

The ingredients:

Brown the turkey sausage in olive oil.

Add peppers, mushrooms, onion, garlic and red pepper flakes.

While the veggies cook, roll out pizza dough on a baking sheet and top with pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese. 

Then add the veggie-sausage mixture.

Bake at 500° until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.  Slice and enjoy!

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Shallot instead of onion

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

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