Sunday, February 13, 2011

Spinach Panini

I've kind of become obsessed with the Sonoma Diet. Not obsessed to the point where I am actually participating in the Sonoma Diet, more just to the point where I check out cookbooks with Sonoma Diet recipes and drool on them. Because, how can you not love a cookbook that strives to have olive oil, feta cheese, purple onions and spinach in every recipe. Those are some of my most favorite things.

Anyway, turns out I had most of the ingredients for one of the recipes tonight so I made it, and it was a thousand million times better tasting than I even thought it would be.

I've been wondering lately why I am not a professional recipe blogger, and I've nailed it down to three reasons. 1 - I never take pictures of the food I make and if I do - - it ain't pretty 2- I am not consistent, at all. And finally 3- I simply pilfer recipes off of other recipe blogs, I do not invent recipes, or even get them from cookbooks. Just directly copy other recipe blogs therefore making a recipe blog created by me completely unnecessary.

Anyway, that being said, I did pilfer the image. Photo credit to this completely random website.
My Spinach panini sandwich didn't really look that much like that (but the picture in the recipe book did). But I do get points because this recipe did come from a cookbook and not another recipe blog, so I'm taking drastic strides to becoming a money making recipe blogger. Baby steps.

This was delicious and took approximately two minutes to make.

Spinach Panini
From: The Sonoma Diet Cookbook

Nonstick olive oil cooking spray
4 6-inch whole wheat hoagie rolls, split; 8 slices whole wheat bread; or 2 whole wheat pita bread rounds, halved crosswise and split horizontally.( I opted for the wheat bread option)
4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves (one product I strongly recommend buying at Costco)
8 thin tomato slices (1 medium tomato)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 Tablespoons shredded fresh basil leaves (I wish I could keep a basil plant alive)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

* Lightly coat an unheated panini griddle, covered indoor electric grill, or large nonstick skillet with cooking spray.
* Place your carb of choice on a work surface, divide half of the spinach leaves among said carb of choice. Top with spinach and tomato, sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and pepper. Add red onion slices and basil. Top with feta and remaining spinach. Top with other piece of bread or pita or whatever carb you chose.
* Preheat griddle and put the sandwiches on. Grill 2-3 minutes until bread is toasted.

Eat. Feel happy and healthy. Try to not remember that you ate a whole chocolate chip cookie pie by yourself the day before.

PS Happy 8 year anniversary to me tomorrow. We made it through the seven year wanderlust. Barely. Whew.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

Recipe and Photo from:

It's a cookie! It's a pie! It's COOKIE PIE!

And I don't think I have ever had a dessert that was so well received and yet so easy to make. Slap a scoop of vanilla ice cream on this baby and you are golden!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie
Recipe from Nestle

1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust, homemade or store-bought.
2 large eggs
1/2 C flour
1/2 C white granulated sugar
1/2 C packed brown sugar
3/4 C real butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
1 C chocolate chips (semi-sweet or dark works best, you might find milk too sweet)
1 C chopped pecans (you are welcome to make it without nuts)

Vanilla ice cream, or sweetened whipped cream for serving (a must! I prefer ice cream)
optional: chocolate sauce (honestly, doesn't really need chocolate sauce, but it looks pretty!)

Preheat oven to 325° F.

Beat eggs in large mixer bowl on high speed until foamy. Beat in flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat in butter. Stir in morsels and nuts. Spoon into pie shell.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack or serve slightly warmed. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

PS I am considering going sugar free for a month starting on February 15th (Valentines Day is also my anniversary there's no way I am going sugar free starting today). So, um, wish me well because I will miss things like this....but I am determined to go to a tropical island sometime in the next year and I want to be able to not have love handles when I do. gotta do what you gotta do.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Potato Soup

No way is this healthy, but it is SO yummy!

Cook and thicken:

1 1/2 sticks butter

6 TBSP flour

2 cups half and half

Then add the following and cook on med heat until cheese melts and soup is hot:

4 cups water

4 chicken bouillon cubes

8 oz Velveeta cheese

6 medium potatoes, cooked and cubed

Serve with toppings like sr. cream, green onion, bacon, shredded carrots, salt and pepper.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Crockpot Italian Beef

This is Mike's new favorite dinner.

Mix in crockpot:
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
1 large clove of garlic, smashed
1 c water

Place on mixture 3 pound roast.

Cook on high all day, or until meat is tender. Turn it over a couple of times during the day. Shred the meat and let it simmer in the juice for a while. Serve on buns, italian bread, or hard rolls.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Spinach and Swiss Salad

Another great salad recipe, because I care!

One of the girls in my new defunct dinner swap group brought this one, one of the best salads ever!

1 large head iceberg or romaine lettuce, torn
1 (10oz) bag fresh spinach, torn
1/2 red onion, chopped
3/4 cup sliced mushrooms, optional
3/4 cup grated swiss cheese
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled, NOT OPTIONAL : )
1 cup cottage cheese, drain off liquid in small colander

1 C sugar
1 t salt
2/3 C Apple Cider Vinegar
2 C vegetable oil
1 Tbs poppy seeds

Try not to think about how much sugar and oil is in the dressing, I promise you will be happier :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Delish Coconut Bars

We had these at Book Club the other night and they were so delish. I couldn't stop eating them. Luckily I can blame my gluttony on my pregnant belly :)

Gooey Coconut Bars

1 box French Vanilla cake mix (I just used white cake mix)
2 eggs
1 stick butter or margarine, melted

8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 box (1 lb) powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups coconut

Heat oven to 375. Spray a 13x9 pan.
Mix first three ingredients and press into bottom and 1 inch up sides of pan.
Mix next 6 ingredients and pour over crust.
Bake for 40-45 min, or until golden brown on top.
Cool completely, then cut into small squares.

From Rachel