Archive for August, 2009

We were ripped off on Saturday in regards to weather.  It was pretty much a wash out. A little windy and threatening to rain when Shane and I went for a run. We cut it short to a 5 + mile trek.  

Sunday wasn’t bad at all. It did sprinkle here and there but the sun tried to shine.  The three of us went on a long walk.  Shane and I were out a bit earlier than Ted and so we ran 1 1/2 miles around MVCC track while we waited for “Pokey”.  Total was  5.5 miles and that’s not too bad for a nice Sunday walk around the Golf course. 

After chores were said and done (more saying than doing 😛 ), inside and out, I spent some quality time working on my favorite kitchen creations.  My parents requested some Rustic Raisin Bread (no fennel just nuts and raisins) so I set out to make that for them.  There was the CNYEats Chicken Wing Dip to offer for the afternoon tasty treat. 

Then… I had an idea.  Here it is with some background history:

Last Friday, I came home from work.  Ted was looking like the cat who just ate the canary  😈 . 

Aw! Guilty as charged

Aw! Guilty as charged

 I said “what have you done?”.  He said, “I just had the greatest pizza“.  “Where’s my piece?” I said.   There wasn’t any. It was a chicken and bacon pizza and I wouldn’t have eaten it any way.  But Ted said it was “soooo good“.  That meant I had a challenge.  It must be re-created at home.

Chicken Bacon Pizza


Homemade pizza dough using a bread maker:

For 1 thick 12″ crust

  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 TBS dry milk
  • 2 1/4 cup Bread flour
  • 1 tsp Active Dry Yeast

Mix on “Dough” setting in bread maker.  When done, preheat oven to 375 F.  Place the dough on a lightly floured 12″ pizza pan,


form a 12″ shell with the edges slightly rounded and thicker than the middle. Rub some olive oil all over the crust and bake for 10 minutes.



Pizza Filling

  • 1 cup Ranch Dressing: separated into 1/2 cups
  • 1 cup diced chicken pieces * I cooked the chicken and used 1/2 of it from the Taste of Utica recipe. Link HERE.
  • 12 – 15 slices of cooked bacon
  • 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 F. Add 1/2 cup of the Ranch dressing to the pizza shell which you pre baked for 10 minutes. 


Add the chicken. Crumble the bacon and add on top of the chicken. 


 Drizzle with the other 1/2 cup of dressing.  Add the Monterey cheese and then the Parmesan cheese. 


Bake for 20 minutes or until crust is golden around the edges.


If you eat chicken, you’ll love this pizza.  If you don’t eat meat, try a Vegetarian chicken substitute such as Quorn.  Maybe beans would work really well on this pizza?  For the bacon, Morning Star Farms offers a soy bacon substitute.  Either way, according to my trusty chicken fans, this pizza is very flavorful, the chicken is tender, the bacon adds a smokey finish, it’s filling and perfect for a change from traditional red-sauce pizza.


Monday Morning Workout:

It was chest day.  I hit the sack early last night…well, it’s usually early but about half an hour EARLIER than normal. “Merlin” wasn’t on and Ted and Teddy were watching a movie I had seen before. Can’t stand watching repeats!  So I went to bed. Before I knew it, the alarm was going off. Guess I needed the extra  zzzzz’s.  

  • 3.25 mile run on the Tread mill
  • 40 minutes of chest and triceps 15 – 20 reps each of the 4 sets for chest and 12 -1 5 reps of the 4 sets for tri’s.
  • Shane and I went jogging for 3.6 miles. It was cool but pleasant in the morning darkness.

Hope you had a great Monday.  Tomorrow is Sweet and Simple Bakes day. “Slammin’ Jammin’ Doughnut Muffins”. 

 By the way, what’ s your favorite pizza?


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This week A Taste of Utica Cookbook  offers a delicious dip that is so easy to cook up, you won’t hesitate to put this on the menu for afternoon munching.


You can make this one of two ways. The first method is how I made the dip and is offered by Jo Giacovelli.  The second method, just as easy and it sounds just as tasty, is offered by Rainie Piccione.

Chicken Wing Dip – Method 1 *Note: Because I don’t eat meat, I divided the ingredients in 1/2 and instead of chicken, I used Dark Red Pinto Beans (1 15oz can) just so I could taste. Oh my!  WOW! Too good. I shouldn’t have done that because it was (as R.R would say)  “DELISH!”.  See below for the REAL chicken version reviews.


  • (2) 8 oz cream cheese (I used Neufchatel cheese)
  • 1 cup Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing * I used Lite Chunky Blue
  • 6 to 8 oz (depending on your heat preference) Red Hot Sauce*I used just under 2/3 cup because Ted is not a real “hot” fan.  It was still very spicy.
  • 2 cups cooked, diced chicken*I cooked my own chicken and offer the “how to” below
  • 1 cup diced celery (optional)
  • 8 oz Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

*If cooking your own chicken, this is how I did it:   Using 1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (you won’t use it all for the dip- maybe about 1/2 of it), preheat oven to broil.  Pound the chicken between 2 sheets of wax paper to about 3/4 ” thick. Slice into 1″ strips.  Toss the chicken strips with 1 1/2 TBS olive oil + salt and pepper + 1/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (1/3 cup breadcrumbs with 1 TBS Italian seasoning added + 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese).  Place in foil lined baking dish and broil for 4 minutes one side. Turn over and broil 4  minutes second side.  Let cool and cut into diced chicken pieces.

Continuing with the dip:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Melt the cream cheese over medium heat – or microwave but be careful.  I put one pkg in the microwave at a time for half a minute on high.  Stir.  Add the chunky dressing and hot sauce.  Add the diced chicken and the celery.  Pour into a 13 x 9 pan.  Sprinkle the Monterey Jack Cheese on top and bake for 25 minutes. Serve with Scoop Tortillas.  I also toasted regular flour tortillas until crisp and cut them into triangles for larger dipping “chips”.


Chicken Wing Dip – Method 2

Mix the chicken pieces with the hot sauce and let marinate for one hour. Smear an oven proof dish with softened cream cheese.  Add the chicken with the hot sauce.  Top with chunky blue cheese dressing and the celery.  Top with CHEDDAR cheese (note: not Monterey) and bake 20 – 30 minutes.

Now I didn’t taste this dip with the chicken because I don’t eat meat, but the reviews were in from certified chicken eaters:  “This is GREAT! ”  “Oh wow! You have to make this again!  ”   Guess you can’t get any better than that. 

The Vegetarian Red Bean Version

The Vegetarian Red Bean Version

Next week… want to know how to make your own stuffed grape leaves?  Come on back next Sunday and learn along with me.  It might be fun or we get violent…who knows.  If you have any tips, please pass them along before I delve into this mysterious world of stuffed grape leaves.

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Another recipe tucked deep in the files of Apple Crumbles, Strawberry Bars

DSC_0826I can’t remember ever trying this recipe, but since Teddy scarfed all the black bean brownies from yesterday (not only because he liked them, but he thought it might be fun to create a “gas-ly” surprise for his house mates  🙂   ), I needed to get something in the house in case of a sweet tooth emergency. 

It was strawberry season in New York back in June (amazing the summer has zipped along so quickly).  Ted and I picked so many of the fresh, sweet berry that I still have a couple of bags in the freezer.  The following recipe was a great way to use some of those frozen fruits. *The top may be somewhat soft. It is best to keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp orange peel
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries
  • 1 TBS honey
  • 1/3 cup blanched, sliced almonds.

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Combine the butter (you might want to melt it in the microwave for 50 seconds) and the powdered sugar.  Add the flour and just mix until blended. Press into a 13 x 9 pan sprayed with non-stick baking spray.  Bake for 20 minutes.

Beat the eggs, granulated sugar, lemon, orange, ginger for 1 minute. Add the flour and the baking powder and beat another couple of minutes. 

In the food processor, puree the strawberries with the honey and almonds.   Spread this mixture over the top of the slightly cooled crust.  Top with the egg mixture. Bake for 50 -60 minutes until set in the middle.  Cool completely and sprinkle with powdered sugar when ready to serve.  Another great way to serve these would be to warm slightly and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Oh – I am drooling now!



Next up, CNYEats: A Taste of Utica Chicken Wing Dip.  Is it almost football season or what?!

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Not the greatest of mornings.  It was windy and cool.  It had been raining all night and the sky still looked threatening.  Shane and I reluctantly got up and out for a 5 + mile run. We just made it home before the rain started. 

There was no golf for Ted today so he had coffee and breakfast with the “boys”.  I went shopping, he picked up dog hair from the weight room.  I picked up dog hair from the hallway.  Shane put more dog hair all over the house. Who won the battle? Guess!     “Woof”.


We went on a Mediterranean cruise a few years ago.  It was gorgeous.  In rummaging through some draws yesterday, I came across a little tour book we picked up during the trip.  “Walk and Eat Nice:  For walkers who also love food. Walks and excursions in the Nice countryside….” 

Tonights main dish comes from that book. Of course changes were made but it’s the idea that counts. 

Petits Farcis” = Stuffed Vegetables  To Serve 3 -4


  • 2 cups Marinara Sauce
  • 1 large Eggplant
  • 1 large Red Pepper
  • 1 large Zucchini
  • 4 large green onions, chopped
  • 1 lb Sausage meat – if you have meat eaters
  • and/ or 1 lb Vegetarian Italian Style sausage
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 TBS dried parsley or 1/3 cup fresh parsley -chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs (optional) – seasoned with 1/2 TBS Italian seasoning, salt and pepper
  • olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Cut Eggplant in half lengthwise.  Slice a “flat” on the bottom so it won’t rock side-to side. 


Do the same for the zucchini and the red pepper.  Using a knife and spoon, remove inside meat of the eggplant and the zucchini, leaving about 1/4 inch around the sides.  Put the meats into a glass/Pyrex dish.


Line a baking dish with foil and spoon just enough marinara to lightly cover the bottom of the foil lined pan.  Place the prepared eggplant, zucchini, red pepper in the baking dish on top of the marinara.  Spoon about another TBS of sauce into each vegetable.

To the vegetable “meats” add the garlic and onion. Microwave on high 2 minutes to soften.  Mash using an immersion blender or fork. Add the egg and the cheese and combine.  Salt and pepper if needed.

Cook the “real” meat sausage in a saute pan until brown all over.  No need to pre cook the vegetarian “sausage”, simply chop. DSC_0814

Add the meat or the “meatless” to the mixture of vegetable “meats” and egg then spoon into the vegetable halves sitting in the baking dish.  Spoon a little more marinara over each vegetable. Add the seasoned breadcrumbs.  DSC_0818


Cover loosely and bake 40 minutes. Uncover and cook 15 minutes more. Let sit 5 -10 minutes before serving.



Dessert:   A Delicate Healthy Brownie.  Can you believe that ?  A HEALTHY brownie?   Read on and see why. *Adapted from 101 cookbooks.


  • 3 oz Unsweetened Chocolate
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) Promise “healthy heart” Spread
  • (1) 15 oz can Black Beans – drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBS Espresso granules (or instant coffee granules)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup Sugar in the Raw (about individual 32 packets)


Preheat oven to 325 F.  Spray a 9 x 9 square pan with baking non-stick spray. 

Melt the chocolate with the Promise in the microwave for 1 minute.  Stir to blend and melt the chocolate all the way.


Put the beans, walnuts, vanilla in the food processor and mix until no chunks remain. 


Add the coffee, salt, eggs, sugar and blend about 1 more minute.  Add the chocolate – promise mixture and blend another minute.  Pour into the baking dish


and let bake for 40 -45 minutes – a knife should come clean when inserted in the middle.  Enjoy a couple or more! 


The brownie is light in texture, sweet to the taste and well worth the small amount of effort it takes to make these delicious, fiber filled, protein rich, treats.

Have a good rest of the weekend!

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Did you check out my crab and lime button  recipe from the other night?  It was very good, but there was an incident while making the buttons.  Upon removing them from the oven, I somehow (you WILL wonder “how the….”) burned my neck on the edge of the baking sheet.  Why did I have the pan up so high? Who knows. My life is very painful. I’ve said it before.  I went to work today with what looked like a hicky in the middle of my neck.  Ted did give me a look with raised brow.

The Burn

The Burn

It didn’t upset this morning’s workout though.  A good 30 minutes on the ET.  40 minutes of back and triceps. Shane and I jogged for 44 minutes around the Utica Streets and into the golf course. We enjoyed a nice cool morning, 53 degrees.
Movie Review:
“Duplicity” with Julia Roberts and Clive Owen.  DSC_0787
A good “cat and mouse” movie. It was a bit confusing at first but ended with a neat little twist.  Julia Roberts and Clive Owen make a great on screen match.
Tonight’s quick eats.
Portobella Pizzas
Tonight I used organic portobella mushrooms and made “Portobella Pizzas”.  This is a really neat dish if you want low carb and/or gluten free because there is no bread nor grain.  It’s simple.  Now in saying that, I did use Morning Star Meatless products which contain wheat and wheat gluten.  However, if you eat meat, then go Gluten Free!
Here is what you do…Preheat oven to 400 F.
Clean your mushrooms by carefully scraping the gills.

Clean your mushrooms by carefully scraping the gills.


Add some pasta or marinara sauce to each mushroom

Add some pasta or marinara sauce to each mushroom

Add your cooked meat or cooked soy product to the mushroom

Add your cooked meat or cooked soy product to the mushroom


Along with soy bacon, I added Edamame to my mushroom

Along with soy bacon, I added Edamame to my mushroom



Add a slab of mozzarella and top with grated Parmesan cheese

Add a slab of mozzarella and top with grated Parmesan cheese



Bake at 400 for 14 minutes. Turn to broil and broil for the last 2 minutes.

Bake at 400 for 14 minutes. Turn to broil and broil for the last 2 minutes.




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This weeks CEimB recipe was chosen by Cathy of  The Tortefeasor.  On page 54-55 of The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger, you will find this delightful dish.  It’s a skewered, grilled recipe that you can use as an appetizer, snack, or use it as a dinner as we did.   


There were a few glitches:  1. Forgot to pound Ted’s chicken.  2.  Was going to use “Quorn” as my meat substitute but it was “unskewerable” so I did a last minute switcheroo to tofu.  That meant it didn’t marinate. 


Tofu with Quorn underneath in the "raw"

The recipe can be found HERE if you don’t have the book.

I bought 1 1/2 lbs of Boneless chicken tenders to save time.  The recipe called for breast halves and cut to 1″ strips.  My boneless tenders were a bit larger than 1″ and needed extra grill time. 

The Quorn was too small and broke apart when trying to skewer.  Since it had been in the marinade all afternoon, I decided it could be grilled and used at some other time.  The Tofu was put directly on the grill to cook and the Quorn on the foil.

The tofu had to be sliced in thick slabs so it could be skewered and grilled just a little longer than the chicken. Personal preference.  After Ted brought it in from the grill he declared..”I do believe this is my Personal Best in cooking Tofu!”.

Tofu Sate' with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Tofu Sate' with Spicy Peanut Sauce


The Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce was made the night before. Easy to make. 1-2-3, in the fridge, you’re done and can be stored for up to 3 days.  It was spicy. It WAS good!  It was a necessary addition to this dish.


Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce

This recipe would be a great appetizer for Football Sunday get togethers or to grill at tail gate parties.   Go Cowboys!

Chicken Sate' in Spicy Peanut Sauce

Chicken Sate' in Spicy Peanut Sauce


Great pick, Cathy!  The Tortefeasor scores!

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Apart from the neighbors dogs barking, non-stop, from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm, it was a peaceful evening.  I remember the dog trainer saying the dog will get tired of barking and eventually stop.  Did she really mean 4 or 5 hours later?!

One of us was up early this morning to complete a pretty good leg workout after a 30 minute treadmill run.  Shane and I went for a 3.8 mile walk.  We did do one sprint when we encountered a skunk slowly crossing the road. 


Cars were approaching from both directions and I did NOT want to be present should the worst scenario take place.  It so happened that the fear of such an encounter over took the driver of the van.  That person stopped in the middle of  Culver Ave. waiting until the other car passed so his/her vehicle could VERY CAREFULLY AND SLOWLY (so as not to startle the little stinker) drive around the black and white beast. 

When Shane and I were at a safe distance past, I turned to see the odiferous little varmint safely approaching the curb. 

Now for something more pleasant smelling…

I’ve been scanning the pages of that fancy, smancy book again.  This time, my eyes landed on page 106 of  “Cooking with America’s Championship Team: ACF”.  The recipe on that page is “Torte of Lump Crab Salad with Lime Snaps and Gazpacho Dressing”.  The Chef is Edward G. Leonard, CMC. 

My recipe is quite different from the one in the book, but credit where credit is due for the inspirational idea for our dinner tonight.


Crab with Lime Buttons

Lime Buttons:

  • 1 TBS Greek Style Yogurt
  • Lime zest from 1/2 of a fresh lime
  • 2 TBS sugar
  • 4 TBS flour
  • drop of vanilla extract
  • 1 TBS cold water

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Combine all the ingredient s in a bowl and blend until smooth.  Using a Silpat sheet to line a cookie sheet, drop by teaspoons about 2″ apart. *I would flatten these down next time to make more wafer like.


Bake about 10 – 15 minutes.  Remove and cool on the pan.


Crab:  Based upon my recipe for Chesapeake Crab Cakes

  • 1 lb crab meat
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup diced green pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs (I used panko)
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1 TBS parmesan cheese
  • 1 TBS dijon mustard
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • 1 TBS dried tarragon
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 TBS olive oil

Drain crab meat if it isn’t fresh.  Combine crab, onion, pepper and 1/4 cup of bread crumbs in bowl. 

Beat yogurt, parmesan cheese, mustard, egg, tarragon, pepper, salt together.  Combine this mixture with the crab meat. 


 Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400, coat a baking pan with oil and spoon about 3 TBS per crab cake onto pan. Do not press. 


Bake 20 minutes. Cook to golden. 



Enjoy. Serves 4 – 6

CEimB Thursday tomorrow!  Tune in!

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