Tuesday, May 31, 2011


From Alton Brown
By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

4 ounces egg whites, room temperature
Pinch kosher salt
6 ounces sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp corn starch

Whipped Cream
Cut up Fruit

Start by heating your oven to 250 degress,  You will want a large sheet pan that is lined with parchment paper, or a silicone linear.

In the stand mixer bowl put in your egg whites and a pinch of salt.  Using the whisk attachment on high, wisk until stiff peaks, 4 to 5 minutes.

Reduce the speed to medium and add the sugar over 2 minutes.

Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Increase the speed to high and whisk until the mixture is smooth and glossy and stiff peaks for, 6 to 7 minutes.

Decrease speed to low, and add the vanilla, vinegar and cornstarch.  Mix just to combine.

Gently spoon the meringue onto the lined pan, and spread to make about a 9 inch circle forming a slight well in the center. 

Place the meringue into the oven and bake for 45 minutes.  Turn off the heat and leave it in the oven for 3 more hours.  Open the oven door and cool completely before removing from the oven, approximately 30 minutes.

Just before serving top the meringue with whipped cream, and sliced berries or fruit of your choice.  Serve immediately. 


Friday, May 27, 2011

Chicken Skewers

Chicken Skewers with Cool Avocado Sauce
By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup lime juice
1 Tbls balsamic vinegar
2 tsp minced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1/2 tsp salt

1 avocado
1-2 Tbls sour cream
1 Tbls minced cilantro
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 tsp lime zest
1/4 tsp salt

Pound chicken to about 1/4 in thick, and cute into 1 inch strips.  Combine the lime juice, vinegar, chipotle and salt in a ziploc bag.  Add chicken, and squish it around to coat.  Marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

To make the sauce halve the avocado and remove the pit.  Using a fork mash the avocado.  Stir in the sour cream and cilantro.  Once well combined add the zest, salt, and squeeze in the juice from half a lime.   Refrigerate until serving.

Thread the chicken onto skewers.  If you are using wooden skewers, make sure they are soaked first.  This prevents them from burning, and from splinters getting into your meat.  Discard the marinade.  Grill covered over medium heat for 4-6 minutes on each side until no longer pink.

Serve with the sauce.  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Caramel Layer Bars

Caramel Layer Bars
14 oz caramels
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 box German Chocolate Cake Mix
¾ cup melted butter
1/3 cup evaporated milk
6 oz chocolate chips

Melt caramel and 2/3 cup evaporated milk – cool slightly.  Combine Cake mix, ¾ cup butter, and 1/3 cup milk.  Mix well.  Put half of mixture into a 13x9 pan.  Bake at 350 for 6 minutes.  

Sprinkle 6 oz of chocolate chips. Spread caramel mixture of the chocolate chips. Crumble the remaining dough over the caramel.  Bake for 25 more minutes.

Allow to cool before slicing.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins

Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins
By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup minced rhubarb
1/2 cup sliced strawberries

3 Tbls brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Combine egg, milk, oil, vanilla, and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Add flour, sugar, baking powder.  Mix.  Fold in the strawberry and rhubarb.  Fill greased or lined muffin tins.  Sprinkle the topping over each muffin.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 16 minutes.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

2 Avocados
3 Tbls onion, chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
½ tsp chili powder
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Lime juice (optional)

Halve the avocados, and remove the pits.  Using a fork mash the avocado.  Add all the tomato, onion, and all of the seasonings.  Mix together.  Adjust seasonings for taste.  

Serve with tortilla chips.  Enjoy!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Crispy Baked Wontons

Crispy Baked Wontons

½ lb ground pork
½ lb pound ground turkey
1 small onion chopped
1 can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
¼ cup egg substitute
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
1 pkg wonton wrappers

In a large skillet cook the pork, turkey, and onion until the meat is cooked through.  Drain.  In a large bowl mix together the meat, water chestnuts, soy sauce, egg substitute and ginger. 

Lay one wrapper down at an angle.  Put in about 2 tsp of filling. Fold over the 2 sides.  Starting at the bottom roll up to seal.   

Place all the wontons on a lined baking sheet.  Spray them with cooking spray and bake at 400 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes.  

Serve with Sweet and Sour Sauce for dipping. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

1 large can whole tomatoes
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp onion powder
1 - 2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 jalapeno, minced

Put everything into the food processor.  Process until smooth.  Done!

Serve with tortilla chips.  Enjoy!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie
By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup crisco shortening
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 bag chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugar together.  Add in the eggs and vanilla.  Mix in the flour and baking soda and salt.  Stir in chocolate chips. Take a ball of cookie dough and place it on a cookie sheet.  Top with an Oreo.  Then take another ball of dough and place that on stop of the Oreo.  Then squish the dough all around the Oreo.

Bake at 350 for about 14 minutes.   Enjoy!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Zucchini Fritters

Zucchini Fritters
Adapted from Taste of Home Healthy Cooking
By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup egg substitute
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 Tbls Taco seasoning
1/4 tsp garlic salt
2 small zucchini

1/4 cup sour cream (fat free)
1/4 cup salsa
1/4 ranch dressing (low fat)

In a bowl combine the buttermilk and egg substitute.  In another bowl combine breadcrumbs, panko, cheese, taco seasoning, and garlic salt.

Slice zucchini into 1/4 inch thick slices.

Dip zucchini into buttermilk, and then into breadcrumbs.  Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Spray the zucchini with cooking spray as well.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, turning half way.

For the sauce combine everything in a small bowl, and mix it together.

Serve the fritters with the sauce for a great appetizer or a side dish with dinner. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Herb Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Herb Grilled Pork Tenderloin
By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

1/2 cup chicken stock
3 Tbls Lemon juice
3 Tbls reduced-sodium soy sauce
3 Tbls honey
1 Tbls Canola Oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 1/2 tsp minced fresh sage (1 1/2 tsp dried sage)
1 Tbls minced fresh thyme (1 tsp dried thyme)
1 Bay leaf
1 Pork tenderloin (approx 1 pound)

Combine everything but the meat together.  Mix well.  Pour 3/4 cup of the marinade into a ziploc bag, add the pork.  Squish around so all the pork is covered.  Marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours.  Cover and save the remaining marinade to baste the meat while grilling.

Coat the grill rack with cooking spray.  Grill pork, covered, over a med-hot temperature for 25-40 minutes.  Baste the meat occasionally with the reserved marinade.  The pork is done when a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.  Remove from grill, and let stand for a couple minutes before you slice.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Naan Bread

Naan Bread
Adapted from Allrecipes
By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup white sugar
3 Tbls milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp salt
4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 cup butter

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.  Let it stand for 10 minutes, until it becomes frothy.  Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt and the flour.  Start with 4 cups of flour, and work up if you need to to make a soft dough.  Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, until smooth.  Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour, until it has doubled in size.

Punch down the dough.  Pinch of small handfuls of dough and roll into the size of a golf ball.  Place on a tray, cover and rise for another 30 minutes.

Once they have risen, roll the dough into a thin circle.  In a separate pan melt the butter and garlic together.  Preheat the grill.  You can use the outdoor grill, or a grill pan to cook these.  Lightly oil the grill, and place the dough on.  Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, until it starts to get puffy, and little bubbles form.

Brush the uncooked side with the garlic butter, and turn over.  Brush the other side with butter, and cook for another 2 minutes.  Remove from grill, and finish cooking the rest of the bread.    Enjoy!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dessert Wontons

Dessert Wontons
By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

Wonton Wrappers
Strawberries, diced

Chocolate Chips
Hot Fudge
Whip Cream

Lay out 1 wonton wrapper on the counter at an angle.  Fill with chocolate chips, and diced strawberries.  Moisten the edges of the wrapper with water.  Fold over, to form a triangle.

Put them on a tray and put them in the fridge for 15 minutes to harden.  Spray a pan with non-stick spray, over Med heat.  Cook for about 3 minutes per side, until lightly browned.  Drizzle with hot fudge, and a squirt of whip cream!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Summer Slaw

Summer Slaw
By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbls sugar
2 Tbls Canola Oil
1 bag coleslaw mix
1 tsp salt

Mix the vinegar and the sugar together. Whisk in the oil. Add the coleslaw mix, salt, and a little pepper. Toss to combine. Let sit for about 20 minutes, for the flavors to combine before you serve.  Enjoy!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Molten Lava Cakes

Molten Lava Cakes
Adapted from Paula Deen
By Erin from Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

8 (1 ounce) squares semi-sweet chocolate
10 Tbls butter
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt the chocolate and butter together.  Add the flour and sugar.  Stir in the eggs, yolks, and vanilla until smooth.  Divide the batter among 6 (6 ounce) prepared custard cups. 

Bake in a 425 degree oven for exactly 14 minutes.  Sprinkle on some powdered sugar, top with whip cream and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Margarita Cake

Margarita Cake
Adapted from Betty Crocker
By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup margarita mix
About 20 graham crackers (1 sleeve of them)
6 Tbls butter, melted
1 cup heavy cream
3 Tbls powdered sugar
1 Tbls margarita mix

Turn the graham crackers into crumbs. Mix in the melted butter, and press into a 9 inch cake pan.

Cream together the butter and sugar.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.  Combine the flour and baking powder, and add to the creamed mixture.  Mix well.  Finally, stir in the margarita mix until the batter is smooth.  Pour into the pan.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, in a 350 degree oven.  When a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean, the cake is done.

While the cake cools, prepare the topping.  Start by putting your mixing bowl, and whip attachment in the fridge to get cold.  Once ready, about 15 minutes later, pour in 1 cup of heavy cream.  Mix until it starts to thicken.  Then add in the sugar and margarita mix until you get to stiff peaks.

Spread cream over cooled cake.  Top with some lime zest, and sliced lime!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pokey Sticks

Pokey Sticks
Inspired by Gumby's Pizza

By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

2 1/2 cups flour
1 Tbls Rapid Rise Yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 cup Hot water (115 degrees)
1 Tbls Canola oil

2 Tbls Parmesan Cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 cup margarine, melted
1 cup Mozeralla Cheese

Mix together the dry ingredients for the dough.  Combine the water and oil, and mix into the dough.  Mix until it forms a ball.  Turn onto floured surface and knead for about 2-3 minutes.  Just until it is no longer sticky.  Put into a bowl sprayed with non-stick spray and let rise for 20-25 minutes.

While the dough is rising mix together the cheese, and seasonings in a small bowl.  Melt the margarine, and mix in the seasonings.

Spread the dough out onto a prepared baking sheet into about a 12 in circle.  Spread the margarine mixture around the entire surface, and top cheese.  Bake at 450 degrees, for 12-14 minutes.  Cut and Enjoy!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Chicken Tostada Bites

Chicken Tostada Bites
By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

Chicken Tostada Bites

Tortilla Chips
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 jar salsa
1/2 of lime, juiced

For the Pico De Gallo
1 large tomato, diced
1 small green chili, diced
1 Tbls chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tbls red onion, diced

For the Guacamole
2 large avocados
5 Tbls red onion, diced
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
Salt and Pepper to taste
Juice from 1/2 of lime

Put chicken in a 13x9 baking dish.  Pour a jar of salsa (whatever flavor or heat level you like) over the chicken.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until it is cooked through.  Once it is cooked through, using 2 forks shred the chicken.  Squeeze lime juice over the chicken.  Toss back in with the salsa. Cover with foil so it stays warm. 

While the chicken is cooking get the pico de gallo and the guacamole ready.

Pico de Gallo - combine tomato, chili, cilantro and onion in small bowl.  Season with salt.  I squeezed a little lime juice on it as well.  Set aside

Guacamole - Halve the avocados, remove the pits, and scoop out the flesh onto a plate.  Using a fork, mash the avocados.  Mix in the onion and seasonings.  Squeeze in the lime juice.  Taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly

To serve stop each chip with a scoop of guacamole, and spoonful of chicken, and then a little pico de gallo.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Oven Baked Churros
Recipe Forgiving Martha
By Erin at Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

1 package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
1/4 sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat Oven to 450 degrees.  Unfold the thawed Puff Pastry.  Cut into about 1 inch strips.  Put strips onto a lined or lightly greased baking sheet.  Brush the tops with melted butter.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  

Mix the cinnamon and sugar together on a plate or tray.  Once the pastry comes out of the oven, brush them again with melted butter.  Then roll them in the sugar to coat.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Chicken Burrito Pizza

Chicken Burrito Pizza
Adapted from Shape Magazine
By Erin from Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

Pizza Dough

1/2 cup bread flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
6 Tbls cold water

Combine the dry ingredients.  Create a well in the middle and add the water.  Using your hands to gently combine the dough until it comes together (this can take a couple minutes, it is kind of dry).  You can either then knead the dough for 10 minutes or until firm and smooth, or you can put it in your electric mixer.  Use the paddle attachment, set on the lowest speed for about 10 minutes.  Cover with a dish towel, let it rest for 5 minutes.

Roll the dough out to form a 11 inch circle.  Place it on a metal pizza pan with small holes in it.  Let rest again for 45 minutes before you add the toppings. 

Chicken Burrito Pizza

For the Pizza
Salsa (2 Tbls - 1/4 cup)
Pizza Crust
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 chicken breast, grilled and diced
4 Tbls black beans (I didn't use these)
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

For the Pico De Gallo
1 large tomato, diced
1 small green chili, diced
1 Tbls chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tbls red onion, diced

For the Guacamole
1 large avocado
3 Tbls red onion, diced
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika

Salt and Pepper to taste
Juice from 1/2 of lime

While the dough is resting work on the pico de gallo and the guacamole.

Pico de Gallo - combine tomato, chili, cilantro and onion in small bowl.  Season with salt.  Squeeze on lime juice if desired.  Set aside. 

Guacamole - Halve an avocado, remove the pit, and scoop out the flesh onto a plate.  Using a fork, mash the avocado.  Mix in the onion and seasonings.  Squeeze in the lime juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Spread salsa over the prepared dough.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Top with the chicken, black beans and onions.  Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the edges of the crust are golden brown.

Slice pizza and top slice with a spoonful of guacamole and pico de gallo.  Enjoy!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Char Siu Pork Roast

Char Siu Pork Roast
From Cooking Light
By Erin from Dinners, Dishes and Desserts 

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce 
3 tablespoons ketchup 
3 tablespoons honey 
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic 
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger 
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil 
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder 
1 pounds Pork Tenderloin
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

Combine first 8 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Place in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add pork to bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator at least 2 hours, turning occasionally.

Place pork and marinade in an electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.

Remove pork from slow cooker using a slotted spoon; place on a cutting board or work surface. Cover with aluminum foil; keep warm.

Add broth to sauce in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes or until sauce thickens. Shred pork with 2 forks; serve with sauce.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Shrimp Cakes with Corn and Avocado Salsa

Shrimp Cakes with Corn and Avocado Salsa
Adapted from Cooking Light
by Erin from Dinners, Dishes and Desserts


1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 garlic clove
1/4 thinly sliced green onions
3 Tbls reduced-fat mayo
1 Tbls lime juice
1 1/2 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 avocado, diced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
3 Tbls red onion, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, chopped
1 Tbls lime juice
1/4 salt

To make the cakes, put the shrimp in the food processor.  Pulse 10 times until it is finely chopped.  Transfer the shrimp to a medium size bowl.  I like to grate the garlic in, so it gets all through the shrimp.  Then add in the onions, mayo, lime juice, hot sauce, sugar, salt and egg.  Mix well.  Stir in the cilantro and 1/4 cup of panko.

Divide the shrimp mixture into 10 equal portions.  Shape into about 1/2 in thick patty.  Dredge both sides into the remaining panko.  The shrimp mixture is really sticky, so don't worry that you did anything wrong.  Chill for at least one hour. 

To prepare salsa, combine the corn and remaining ingredients; stir gently.  Serve immediately with shrimp cakes.

Heat pan over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with olive oil.  Cook about 4 minutes a side until they are browned.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake Pancakes

Strawberry Shortcake Pancakes
By Erin from Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
          Adapted from Hungry Girl

1/3 cup flour (all-purpose or whole wheat)
2 Tbls Oats
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 packet of Splenda (or 1 tsp sugar)
Dash of salt
1 egg (1/4 egg substitute)
3 Tbls milk + splash of vanilla (or 1 Tbls vanilla soy milk + 2 Tbls water)
2 Tbls Strawberry Jelly
1/2 cup Strawberries
1/4 cup Cool Whip

To make the batter, combine flour, oats, baking powder, sweetener and salt in a bowl.  Add the egg and milk, mix well. In a small bowl warm the strawberry jelly for 20 seconds in the microwave.  You really just want it to be soft, so you can mix it in with the batter.  Stir the jelly and the batter together until it is thoroughly integrated.  Set aside.

Wash and slice the strawberries. In a small bowl stir together the whip cream and the strawberries.  Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Spray with nonstick spray.  Cook pancakes for 2-3 minutes on the first side, and 1-2 minutes on the second side.  You can let the pancakes cool slightly if you don't want the whip cream to melt.  I couldn't wait though :)   Spoon the whip cream evenly over one pancake and top with the second pancake.  You can top with addition whip cream or drizzle with syrup if desired.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Easter Candy Brownies

Easter Candy Brownies
Idea from In Katrina's Kitchen

4 envelopes unsweetened chocolate
2/3 cup canola oil
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup candy - anything goes!!!

Start by mixing the chocolate and the oil together.  Mix in the eggs and sugar.  Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt until just combined.

Pick out whatever candy you want to use, and cut them in half so the go all throughout the batter.  After everything is cut up, dump the candy into your batter, and fold it in.  Pour the batter into a prepared pan.

Bake in a 350 oven for 25-30 minutes.

1/2 stick butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbls cocoa powder
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk

Just mix everything together to the consistency that you want.  You can play around with the sugar and milk measurements to get more of a glaze or frosting.   Spread over cooled brownies!

Sunday, May 1, 2011


By Erin of Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

1 pound ground beef (I use 93% lean, because of calories,  but more fat = more flavor)
1 Tbls Worchestershire Sauce
1/4 of a small onion
Salt & Pepper

Mix everything together in a bowl.  I like to use a hand-held grater to grate the onion in.  Once everything is mixed together, form into patties.  You want to be careful not to over mix the meat.  Form the patties with a well in the middle, so they don't balloon up into balls on the grill.

Put on a hot grill, for about 10-12 minutes, depending on how done you like them, flipping 1/2 way.  To toast buns, put them on top rack or on the side of the grill for the last few minutes of grilling.  

Serve on a toasted bun with your favorite toppings.