Caesar Salad Bites

Well my plan was to blog about my champagne Jello shots, just in time for new years! But….I forgot to take pictures! I was too busy preparing other foods and festivities for my party. So I’m going with another tasty, simple appetizer sure to wow any guest! Caesar Salad Bites! It takes a little time, however they’re easy and worth the extra minutes. But you can make them ahead of time; so all you have to do the day of, is mix the salad and place into the parm bowls right before you guests arrive! So cheers to a new year, many more delicious, healthy recipes, and you!

 -Tammy

Health tips:  diabetes friendly, low carb

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Three Easy 3-Ingredient New Year’s Eve Appetizers

Are you looking for some super easy and quick, yet fancy-looking apps, for your new year’s eve bash? Look no further, here are three delicious recipes with only three ingredients total each! You’ll be able to ring in the new year with your family and friends stress-free!

 -Mel

Health tips: cheat meal

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Creamy Mashed Potatoes with Smoked White Cheddar and Chives, and Mushroom Gravy

Mashed potatoes have to be one of my favorite comfort foods of the holiday, heck year round actually! They are just so luscious, creamy, and oh so satisfying. A recent trip to the Tillamook Cheese Factory in Oregon inspired me to make this recipe. We were in heaven! I brought home various cheeses including a Smoked Sharp White Cheddar that had been aged for 18 months. This past Thanksgiving I tried it in my mashed potatoes and the flavors went through the roof! I just had to order more for Christmas dinner! I serve it with a rich mushroom gravy with thyme and shallots, and it’s a winning combination!

 -Mel

Health tips: cheat meal

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Fried Brussel Sprouts with Honey Sriracha Crema and Bacon

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is just a few days away… I can’t wait for all the goodies to devour! This side dish was inspired by a visit I had to BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse a couple months ago with some great friends as we “held court”(Our weekly meet up to catch up on the week and vent!). Brussel sprouts often get a bad wrap, but if they are so good for you! And, if you season and mix them up with just the right ingredients such as bacon, mayo and Sriracha, you can’t go wrong. You deserve a little indulgence if you eat your greens…Try this super easy and delicious recipe for your Christmas dinner!

 -Mel

Health tips: Diabetes-friendly, anti-inflammatory, low carb

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Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

If you are looking for an easy side dish for Christmas (or any other night of the year), then make my macaroni and cheese casserole. This is one of the very first dishes I created on my own. You do not have to make a sauce first; you just mix everything in a bowl, throw it in a casserole dish, bake it, and you’re done! It’s an oldie, but goodie. And it’s definitely a cheat meal. Double the recipe If you are cooking for a crowd. It’s the holidays, so enjoy!

 -Tammy

Health tips:  cheat meal

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Parmesan Crusted Roast Beef and Brie Panini

Leftovers…What to do with them? I know! Make a Panini! A delectable, full-of-flavor Panini! There are times when I have things leftover in my refrigerator that I need to use up. This was one of those times. But by all means, if you do not have these ingredients hanging around in your fridge, go out and get them and make my roast beef and brie Panini. Enjoy, it’s a cheat meal!

 -Tammy

Health tips:  cheat meal

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Bruschetta For a Crowd

Tomatoes, garlic and basil, oh my! These three things go together like a good three-piece suit. Throw in a few extra ingredients, and you have yourself a delicious topping to add onto a cute little piece of toasted bread (which toasted bread itself is actually called bruschetta).

I work at an elementary school…yup, I’m a teacher! We were celebrating birthdays for the month of December. I needed something I could feed a ton of people with. I decided to create a “build-your-own bruschetta bar”. Basically, I put out a pile of little sliced pieces of toasted baguette (bruschetta), and tons of toppings (classic tomato bruschetta topping, roasted garlic, 3 different kinds of goat cheeses, jams, pesto, herbs, and honey). Super simple, but super fun! Heck, you can even have your guests bring a topping if you’d like. If you are entertaining for the holidays, this is an easy, yet elegant way to feed your friends and family. Add a few bottles of wine/champagne, and you have yourselves a sweet holiday party! Cheers!

 -Tammy

Health tips:  kidney-friendly, diabetes-friendly, vegetarian

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Double Dose of Desserts: Panettone Bread Pudding w/ Amaretto Sauce and Red Velvet Cupcakes

The holidays are such a special time of year, family, friends, parties, that magical spirit and the food!!! Let’s think back on how hard we’ve all worked this past year and reward ourselves with some luscious treats. Oh don’t get me wrong, I’ll be coming back with some healthy eats after we indulge for the holidays, but yes, since it’s the holidays, here’s a little cheat, times two!

I have to credit my Auntie Nina for introducing me to this amazing bread pudding. The family looks forward to it at every holiday party! It’s based off Giada’s Panettone Bread Pudding, but instead of the traditional Italian fruit-filled bread, we use chocolate! I made a few adjustments based off the reviews and also doubled the Amaretto Sauce because it’s better to have extra! (Tip: I recommend drying the bread the day before, so plan ahead!)

The Red Velvet recipe is one that I found online on http://www.carrottopmom.com. It’s based off the Sprinkles recipe. It’s absolutely delicious and so moist. I made a tiny adjustment to the sugar in the cream cheese frosting, but other than that, it’s perfect!

-Mel

Health tips: Cheat recipes!

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Sweet and Savory Baked BBQ Chicken

If you enjoy sweet and savory flavors, then this is the recipe for you. It reminds me of the flavors of a bbq sauce; sweet, smoky and full of flavor.

I’ve been spending a lot of money on food this holiday season (which I love), but I needed an inexpensive meal to make. And since chicken was on sale this week, I picked some up. Thighs and drum sticks on sale for .89 a pound! Can’t beat that! This recipe is cheap and cheerful, super simple to make, and smells super delicious while it’s cookin’ up in the oven! I added some smoked paprika to this dish, but the next time I make, I’m going to cook the chicken in my smoker. I only wish I would have thought of this one myself! Enjoy!

Thank you Mrs. Happy Homemaker for the inspiration! 

-Tammy

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Chicken Marsala with Mushrooms and Prosciutto

I love how diverse chicken can be…it’s a blank slate for so many amazing flavors and is a healthy, lean meat. One of my favorite Italian dishes is Chicken Marsala! The flavor is kicked up in this recipe with the addition of Prosciutto and fresh tarragon. Try it this week!

-Mel

Health tips: Low fat, low carb, heart healthy, diabetic friendly, anti-inflammatory

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