Category Archives: Recipes

Cherry Oatmeal Dreams

(These are a sacred tradition in my family so act accordingly)

Preheat oven 350°

3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 cups quick rolled oats
1 cup (2 sticks) margarine or Crisco
1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs (beaten)
1 tbl maraschino cherry liquid
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup chopped cherries
1 cup chopped walnuts

Sift flour, baking soda and salt together, add oats and set aside. Cream together butter and sugar. Add cherry liquid and vanilla, blend. Add eggs and mix again. Stir in dry ingredients, cherry pieces and nuts.

Shape dough into ½ inch balls and roll in oats. Place ball onto ungreased cookie sheet and gently smush a cherry half on top, so it sinks in a bit. Bake 10-12 minutes in 350° oven.

Veggie Bars

2 cans crescent rolls
1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (dry packet)
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese softened
1 cup mayonnaise
¾ cup diced green pepper
¾ cup chopped broccoli
¾ cup grated carrots
¾ cup diced tomatoes
¾ cup chopped cauliflower
¾ cup chopped mushrooms
¾ cup grated cheddar cheese

Cover bottom of a jelly roll pan with rolled out crescent dough. Bake dough in a 350° oven for 10 minutes or until light brown. Cool. Beat cream cheese, mayo and dry dressing until smooth. Spread over crust. Mix vegetables and sprinkle over the top. Sprinkle cheese over vegetables. Refrigerate (preferably overnight) Cut into bars and serve. Don’t store in an airtight container as this will make the bars mushy.

White Chicken Chili

When the weather starts to cool off (Mid December here in Florida) I love to make this and invite over friends. Don’t forget a nice crusty loaf of bread to sop out the bottom of your bowl.

3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
4 poblano chiles, stemmed, seeded, chopped medium
2 jalapeno chilies (1 large, 1 small), ribs removed, seeded, minced (set the small one aside)
2 onions, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons ground cumin
8 cups chicken broth or stock
2 cans (15-oz each) cannellini (white kidney beans) or navy beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup fresh lime juice (3 limes)
¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
4 scallions, sliced thin

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Sear the chicken, skin side down, until browned, about 4 minutes. Flip the chicken and sear on the second side until browned, another 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and remove and discard the skin.

Add all of the chilies (except the small jalapeno), onions, garlic, cumin, oregano, and 1 teaspoon salt to the dutch oven. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer half of the chile mixture to a clean plate and set aside.

Stir in the broth, chicken, and beans. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is fully cooked, about 20 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a large plate. Continue to simmer the chili, uncovered, until it has thickened, 35 to 40 minutes.

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces, discarding the bones. Stir the shredded chicken, reserved chile mixture, lime juice, cilantro, scallions, and small jalapeno into the chili. If the chili is too thick, stir in water, if it is too thin, stir in corn meal one teaspoon at a time until desired thickness is achieved. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.


Cowboy Caviar – Awesome Vegan Appetizer

Super low-cal, vegan and tasty!

Calories: 18 per tablespoon Fat: 1g total, 0g saturated 0mg cholesterol
2g carbs 1g fiber 1g protein.

I always make a double batch for parties

1 can (15oz.) black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
¼ cup finely chopped sweet red pepper
¼ cup finely chopped green pepper
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons cooking oil (I use olive oil)
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 to 2 fresh jalepenos, seeded and chopped (optional)
¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
Dash salt

In a bowl combine all ingredients. Cover and chill for 2 hours or overnight.

Serve with crackers or tortilla chips. Makes 2 cups.

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Asian Lettuce Chicken Wraps

I hate long recipe intros. Quite simply this recipe is a delicious and diet friendly dish!
The recipe references oil (or broth). I always used vegetable oil until I saw a TV show where the chef used broth for a similar recipe instead. This being such a calorie conscious meal, I prefer using broth. Calorie count at the end.
Pro tip: Chop your veggies first!


1 bag Romaine lettuce
1 ½ Tablespoons hoisin sauce
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon water
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 teaspoons vegetable oil (or chicken broth, more on this later)
1 pound ground chicken
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped fine
5 scallions, chopped


  1. Remove sturdiest leaves from head of lettuce; reserve remaining lettuce for another use.
  2. Whisk hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and water together in a small bowl.
  3. In a separate small bowl combine garlic, ginger, and 1 teaspoon of oil (or broth).
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil (or broth) in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken, stirring to break up clumps, until cooked through and begins to brown, about 4 – 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to bowl.
  5. Add remaining tablespoon oil (or broth) to skillet. Add bell pepper, water chestnuts, and scallions and cook until peppers soften, about 3 minutes. Clear center of skillet, add garlic mixture, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  6. Add chicken and sauce and stir until thickened, about 30 seconds. Put mixture in a large bowl to allow it to cool so it doesn’t wilt lettuce. Spoon mixture into lettuce leaves and serve.

Great to make ahead of time and mingle rather than cook as guests arrive!

Someone asked about the calorie content of each wrap.

The whole batch using oil = 1389 calories.

  • Divided by 8 servings they are 173 calories apiece.
  • Divided by 10 servings they are 139 calories apiece.

The whole batch using broth instead: 1049 calories

  • Divided by 8 servings they are 131 calories apiece.
  • Divided by 10 servings they are 105 calories apiece.