Posts Tagged ‘Craving Ellie’

NOTE:   If interested in Day 3 in DC and our trip to NE, MD, continue to the post following this one…or click HERE.   If here for CEimB…read on friends

This weeks CEimB recipe is Oven Baked Onion Rings.  Thinking of Ted, who doesn’t like onion rings, I used 3 vegetables for this dish:  Green and Orange Bell Peppers, Vidalia Onion (as called for in the recipe), and Zucchini.  The zucchini of course, was not cut into rings but “sticks”.  The recipe was chosen by Mary Ann of Meet Me In The Kitchen.  Check out her blog for the complete details.  She always puts up a great post!

Ellie Krieger Author of  “The Food You Crave” (the book we use for most recipes) is a new hero in this house. Two recipes in a row – total winners!  Ted EVEN SAID HE LIKE THE ONIONS!  Can you believe it?! 


We had 5 taste testers for this recipe.  Ted, Dad, Mum, Teddy, and myself.  All of us…thumbs up!  Terrific… but then, who really doesn’t like potato chips?  – fried or baked?!  This is how popular this dish was…










Here are my ingredients with changes from original recipe in RED.

  • Silpat mat for most of the veggies used to bake them in the oven (I used a foil lined sheet for some extra veggies sprayed with non-stick and they stuck. It was a good thing I used the Silpat).
  • DSC_00594 cups baked potato chips (used 5 1/2 cups due to extra veg.)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper.
  •  1 cup low-fat buttermilk (not sure if this was a substitution or not, I used powdered buttermilk, added water to reconstitute.


  • 1/2 cup plus 2 TBS flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 green pepper, sliced in 1/2″ rings
  • 1 orange pepper, sliced in 1/2″ rings
  • 1 Vidalia onion, sliced in 1/2″ rings
  • 1 zucchini, sliced in 1/4″ sticks

I prepared the recipe as directed except of course for the buttermilk powder. I reconstituted 1 1/4 cups of it. 

As the potato chips began to clump up from getting wet due to the dipping from the buttermilk to the chips, it became impossible for them to stick to the veggie. I then took the remaining veggies which were in a bag with the flour, poured the remaining buttermilk on top, poured in the clumping chips and tossed around.  I then put this batch on the foiled lined sheet which was sprayed with non-stick.  You could tell by this move I was getting pretty fed up with the whole dipping thing. This batch stuck to the pan.

The results of this recipe:


1. It was SO good. Everyone loved their veggie rings. No detailed comments, just …”these are really good”. 

2.  The veggies cooked on the Silpat sheets were perfect. They did not stick and browned evently.

3.  The veggies cooked on foil sprayed with non-stick (as directed in the recipe) stuck to the pan. But…they were still really good.

The 1/2 tsp of cayenne was just right for this recipe. Not too hot, just a hint of heat. 

With everything else I had on for this day (I made this recipe on Saturday the 18th), it went smoothly and quickly and we paired it with creamed spinach (my version), vegetarian sausages and regular sweet italian sausages for the meat eaters. 

Great pick Mary Ann! 

NOTE:  Dear CEimBers…We are vacationing this week in DC and Chesapeake Bay so I most likely won’t get to see your wonderful pictures and detailed posts until I return.  Take care and hope you all enjoyed these veggie rings as much as we did.


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How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? About 700 lbs.  Now.. who came up with that answer any way? If it was the Bureau of Statistics they really need to find something better to do with their time.

It’s CEimB night and on the menu is “Warm Spinach and Artichoke Dip”, page 70 of The Food You Crave, by Ellie Krieger. 

My sister made it for the super bowl and offered the following comments:

I made it for Sunday as a little extra for the superbowl…. It was quite tasty.  Not as creamy cheesy as we have had out but I think it was a little more healthy.  I used the artichokes that come in a jar and preserved with oil which I rinsed.  I think it would be better with the frozen artichokes if you can find them.  Stef ended up with a lot of left-overs to take home which she was very happy about.

Thanks Sue for cooking along!

Since Ted and I just got back from vacation, I tried this recipe with what was on hand in cupboard and fridge. Here’s how it went:

The ingredients

The ingredients

  • 1 TBS EVOO (recipe called for canola)
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 2 strips soy bacon (not called for in recipe)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped (recipe called for 3)
  • 6 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained (recipe called for frozen and rinsed, patted dry)*
  • 10 oz pkg frozen spinach (I didn’t thaw mine in time…see below).
  • 5 oz plain, fat free yogurt( recipe called for 1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream and 2 TBS mayonnaise)
  • 1 egg + 1 TBS EVOO (to replace mayo)
  • 4 oz Fat Free Cream Cheese (recipe called for Neufchatel)
  • 1/2 cup Fat Free Mozzarella, shredded (recipe called for part skim)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper (recipe said “pepper“)
  • Did not use cooking spray on baking dish.
  • 2 TBS Parmesan cheese (not in recipe)

First change was to add the soy bacon.  I added that to the sauteed onion when I added the garlic. I then reduced the heat and added my frozen spinach. The water evaporated out with the heat. This took about 5 minutes. Removed to cool.

I processed the rest of the ingredients however did not rinse* the artichoke hearts because I thought the little bit of marinade left on would add some interesting flavor.  I added the spinach/onion mix to the processor and just gave it a pulse or two. It was a little more chunky than smooth.

Poured into a baking dish and topped with about 2 TBS Parmesan cheese. Refrigerated until ready to bake tonight.  I baked it at 375 for 20 minutes, increased the oven temp. to 400 to finish it for the last 10 minutes. It needed more time since it had been refrigerated.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Since this is a side, and we’ve been eating like pigs in the Florida Keys for the better part of the week, I wanted to couple it with a little bit of natural goodness. So…. I added crudites for dipping: carrots, celery, bell pepper.  I steamed some broccoli and beans (I would have had them cold with the other veg., but Ted likes them hot). 

For Ted, I reheated a left over piece of rosemary chicken, put it on a bed of spinach and chopped plum tomato drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper.  I toasted a low carb tortilla for additional dipping.  Drizzled a little of the dip on his chicken.

Ted's Plate

Ted's Plate

For Jo …that would be   ME!  🙂 … I did the same as Ted except that I had smoked salmon instead of chicken.


Both of us really enjoyed the flavors in this dip. Another great recipe!

Jo's plate
Jo’s plate

The dip paired very well with the smoked salmon. I was thinking of English tea sandwiches which sometimes feature smoked salmon and cream cheese. This was so much better! 

Have a great night!

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