Tag Archives: Brownies

Springtime Market Potato Salad and a Quick Weekend Recap

Pretty PoppiesI’m a little behind on posting, but I’m going to do my best to get you caught up on what I’ve been up to this weekend, a few of my favorite eats, and a recipe that I’m really excited about. Here goes…

The photo of the gorgeous poppies at the top of the post, and the photo of the beautiful arrangement below were both taken at the farmer’s market yesterday. The market was really hopping! I can’t resist taking photos of the beautiful flowers, but I didn’t actually bring any home with me… this time.

Beautiful!This is what I did buy:

My HaulNow, I recognize the fact that the tomatoes are out of season, but I was in the mood for some so I picked them up anyway. They are only so so. The other purchases from yesterday, the radishes, green onions, asparagus, pink lady apples (out of winter storage, I believe…), the lettuce and the Greek yogurt holding up the tomatoes, are all pretty awesome!! There is also a basil plant and a bell pepper plant in the midst of the veggies. Time for more balcony gardening! Just look at these pretty radishes:

Radiant RadishesI was never a fan of radishes as a kid because I thought they were too “hot.” Now, I really like them!

I decided to slice up the rest of my Blue Ridge Dairy smoked mozzarella from the market a couple of weeks ago, along with one of my tomatoes and some fresh basil in order to make myself a quick caprese salad for lunch. There’s a little balsamic vinegar and sea salt on top too. After seeing all of the fresh things at the market, I wanted a fresh lunch.

CapreseI followed up my salad with an interesting and delightfully crunchy sandwich:

Crunch!Tribe chipotle hummus and sliced radishes on an Arnold’s sandwich thin made for a surprisingly yummy combination!!

After lunch, I sliced up my Derby Day brownies, and fixed them on a plate with a little mint sprig from the pot of mint on my balcony. Then, I headed over to my friends’ house to watch the horsies. :-)

Derby Day Brownies!When I go to my friends’ house, I get to hang out with my favorite puppy dog in the whole world, Inga. Isn’t that face adorable!?

What a Pretty Girl!

I was discussing the fact that I probably shouldn’t have another brownie with Inga, since, as I told her, I had already had one after lunch. This is what she had to say about that:

IngabadingaI stick my tongue out at the idea of no more brownies too. She’s so wise! I really just couldn’t resist posting this picture of her with her tongue sticking out because I thought it was so darn cute!! I hope she won’t be embarrassed. :-) While we were discussing brownies, her mom was making mint juleps.

Muddlin'

The smell of the mint was AMAZING! My friends have a ton of it growing in their back yard, and Inga’s dad was out harvesting some when I came in the door. It doesn’t get any more fresh than that! I didn’t take a photo of my finished drink because I was too busy sipping! :-) I did get this action shot of my friend adding the bourbon with the simple syrup sitting in the background.

Juleppy

The juleps were yummy, and what an exciting race! I always love checking out the interesting hats and other fashion choices in the crowd too. What fun! After the race was over, the boys went out to fire up the grill and Inga’s mom made this pretty salad.
Big Bowl of FreshnessI’m so jealous of their outdoor grill, since outdoor grills aren’t allowed in my apartment building. This burger was SO yummy! Just look at the melted cheese!! There’s a little piece of grilled chicken hiding in the background too, because it looked so good that, of course, I needed a sample.

Din DinThis dinner was perfect for a Saturday night hanging out on the porch with friends. YUM and YUM!! I had so much fun last night!! Thanks again to my friends for having me over. :-)

Today, I did a bit more cooking with my farmer’s market purchases and also with a few things out of the fridge. I’m trying to empty out all of my produce before I leave for Alaska next Monday, and I decided that I needed to make another little batch of Cabbage Nests with some cabbage that was in the fridge. I wanted a fried egg today, for some reason, and I decided I might like it on top of a Cabbage Nest. This may seem like an odd plate, with the tomatoes and goat cheese alongside the egg and the cabbage, but it was actually pretty good! Yay for using up things in the fridge!! Get ready to see a lot of that this week…

Return of the Cabbage NestThe other thing I made today rates much higher than “pretty good.” I’d say that this is freakin’ awesome!!! I made this salad using some of the things I bought at the market yesterday, and a dressing mixture that I came up with last year when I was making a more basic potato salad. I love this recipe, and I love how versatile and low fat the dressing mixture is. You could use it on all sorts of things. Without further adieu…

Springtime Market Potato Salad

 

Springtime Market Potato Salad

Ingredients:

The Veggies:

Nonstick Cooking Spray

1 1/2 pounds of fingerling potatoes, complete with the skin

3/4 pound of fresh asparagus (or more if you prefer), cut into 1 1/2″ pieces

1 cup green onions, chopped

1/3 cup roasted red peppers, chopped

Salt and Black Pepper to taste

The Dressing:

1/3 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt

2 Tbsp. light mayonnaise

3 Tbsp. rice wine or other light vinegar

1 Tbsp. coarse dijon mustard 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray a baking sheet well with nonstick cooking spray. Spread the potatoes in a single layer on half of the sheet, and spread the asparagus in a single layer on the other half of the sheet. Spray the asparagus and the potatoes with cooking spray and give them a little sprinkle of salt (about 1/4 tsp). Place in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, place the asparagus in a large bowl, and return the potatoes to the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes, making sure that the largest potatoes are tender. Allow the potatoes and asparagus to cool.

When the veggies have cooled, slice the potato into bite sized chunks and add it to the bowl with the asparagus. Add the green onions and roasted peppers.

To make the dressing, combine all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix well with a whisk.

Add the dressing to the veggies, stir very gently, and add salt and black pepper to taste. 

This makes about 6 servings, and the recipe calculator I used says that each serving is cal: 113, fat: 1.5, fiber: 2.6. Of course, you would want to plug it into your own calculator, but that should at least give you a rough idea. That’s not bad for potato salad, and the Greek yogurt really makes it creamy without adding a lot of fat and calories. It also adds a bit of protein. Woo hoo!

I used some fingerling potatoes I had in the drawer, but you could always chop up a couple of regular potatoes and roast them to use in this salad:

Fingerling PotatoesI cut the potatoes into pretty big chunks, and I love the combo of the potatoes and the roasted asparagus!

Asparagus and PotatoesThe onions and peppers really give it a blast of color!

VeggieliciousIf you’ve never bought the coarse dijon mustard, I have to recommend it! I like it mixed with vinegar as a dressing for green salads, and I love the texture of the mustard seeds when I use it in a dressing like this one.

DressingFor dinner, I brought everything together and had a cabbage nest topped with a chicken mushroom asiago sausage and accompanied by a big pile of my springtime market potato salad. Sausage, potato salad and cabbage just “go together” to me, and this was reminiscent of a cookout. It was rainy outside, but I was having my own little indoor picnic!

Dinner!Now, I’ve finished my gym time for the evening, and had a bit of chocolate. It’s time to get to bed and get ready for Monday. I’m expecting a busy week as I try to wrap things up in tidy packages so that they will be manageable during the week that I’m away. Wish me luck! I hope you have a great week! Ciao for now. :-)

19 Comments

Filed under Asparagus, cooking, diet, Farmer's Market, Food, Greek Yogurt, Recipes, Salad, Uncategorized, Vegetarian Recipes, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story

Derby Day Brownies and Last Chance for the Giveaway!

Hi, and happy Friday!! I’ve had a certain little recipe in mind all afternoon, and I couldn’t wait to come home and play in my kitchen. I’ll tell you about it in a bit. Here’s a little sneak preview…

Mmm....

It was so terrible when I had to lick the bowl! My life is so hard. :-)

I started the day off with a little bit of chocolate too, but nothing like what’s in my mixer bowl. I made a smoothie with a packet of chocolate weight watchers smoothie mix, a cup of almond milk, 1/4 cup of canned mandarin oranges, and a bit of ice. I’m so happy with the magic bullet. Making a quick smoothie really couldn’t be easier! Just like yesterday, I also had a toasted banana wheat bran scone topped with PB2 and pomegranate jelly and a cup of un-pictured coconut coffee. 

BrekkieI got busy this morning, and, when I finally got back to my desk, it was time for serious lunch. Let me tell you what you are looking at here. This, my friends, is what I like to call “Potato Island Chili.” Giving it a clever name made it more entertaining. I might be a bit like a toddler sometimes. The big thing hiding under all of the melted cheese is the other half of the potato I microbaked a couple of nights ago. It’s floating in the rest of the Trader Joe’s turkey chili from the can I opened up last night. A little island of potato goodness in a sea of spice really did the trick and soothed the hunger beast in a hurry. 

Potato Island ChiliAfter that, I had my very favorite lowfat yogurt, Wallaby Dulce De Leche (seriously love it!!) with some fiber one and a little Cadbury Crunchie. This little collection made me so happy! 

Dessert!Eventually, I made it around to my pink lady and PB snack. I didn’t have time for it this morning. :-( It was good, as it always is. 

The UsualSometime after that, I decided to play with my food, and I created a quick little highlighter snack garden. The centers are little vanilla wafer/pb/prune nibblies. If you aren’t someone who plays with your food, you should give it a try!! I had fun plucking the centers out of the flowers and chomping away.

SnackgardenI mentioned yesterday that there were no more instant oatmeal packets in my desk drawer stash. How would I feed my new afternoon oatmeal habit? There was nearly a crisis (ok, not really, just indulge my oatmeal related dramatic flair…), but I found a packet of instant cream of wheat in the pantry this morning and tossed it in my lunch bag. I fixed up a little container with brown sugar, vanilla almonds and a few dried cherries and tossed that in the bag too since the cream of wheat was the plain variety. I should have dried cherries more often. They really made this bowl pop!

Afternoon Cereal SnackWhen I got home, I wanted to eat my last turkey burger, but I didn’t want it in burger form so I put it on top of a big pile of spinach with some goat cheese, mandarin oranges and a few pumpkin seeds. I then drizzled it with a bit of balsamic vinegar. The cilantro in the burgers went well with the little bit of citrus, and the goat cheese made it all a little bit creamy. With the warmer weather, you should expect to see lots of salads like this one. It’s my summertime go to meal for sure!

Serious SaladAfter that, I couldn’t decide what I wanted. I think I often have my eats all planned out, but I’m trying to figure out what I’m really in the mood for before I start nibbling. I figure that is a good way to make more satisfying choices. It turned out that I was really in the mood for some Peanut Butter Puffins and Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips. I love letting the chips melt in my mouth. :-)

Chockie PB FixLater, I realized that I hadn’t had my evening ice cream. I’m out of LaLoo’s vanilla snowflake, so I had a So Delicious neapolitan mini-sandwich. These are so good!! The strawberry end of the sandwich is my favorite, so I always start with the chocolate and save the pink stuff for last.

Mini-LoveThe other thing I had this evening was a Derby Day Brownie, still warm from the oven!!

Derby Day BrownieThe Kentucky Derby is tomorrow, and I’ll be going to hang out with some friends (and my favorite puppy dog) for mint juleps, horses and… brownies! Inspired by the julep, I wanted to make a brownie that included both mint and bourbon. I made a few tweaks to this recipe for Junior Mint Brownies from Cooking Light. Since I just tweaked it a little (including the title), I thought I’d just provide the link. 

In case you didn’t notice, there was a box of Junior Mints in the freezer jungle. I like mine frozen!! I used most of the box, so that’s one more thing out of the jungle. Woo hoo! These are some of the best brownies I’ve ever made, and I’ve made plenty of brownies! Seriously, this won’t be the last time I make these! Here are my little changes:

1. As usual, I substituted 1/4 cup of sturdier flour (tonight I used whole wheat flour) for 1/4 cup of all purpose flour. That means I used 1/4 cup of ww flour and 3/4 cups of all purpose flour.

2. I subbed 1/4 cup egg beaters for the eggs.

3. I added 2 teaspoons of bourbon to the egg/cocoa/sugar mixture. If I hadn’t seen myself put the bourbon in, I wouldn’t really know it was there. Honestly, there might be a subtle bourbon flavor, but I wouldn’t bother to add it if I made these again. 

Just look at this:

How Could This Be Bad?Holy moly! The batter was so thick, it reminded me of fudge. 

Before the BakeYou should be able to tell how thick the batter was based on the fact that the brownies retained the little lumps and bumps on the surface after baking.

After the BakeThese are fudgy, minty and they exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds. Cooking Light rarely steers me wrong!! Plus, my calorie calculator says that 1/16 of the pan (with my tweaks) is 117 calories. Not bad. Not bad at all!! I can’t wait to take these over to share with my friends tomorrow, and to share a few more with myself. :-)

Now that I’m sufficiently “chocolated” for the evening, I need to do a few things around the apartment and then get to bed. I’ll be getting up in the morning to go to the farmer’s market, and I’m hoping to go for a run outside too if the weather is good. I’m trying to get out of the gym as much as possible and into the fresh air!

Do you watch the Derby? Do you wear a funny hat or drink a mint julep while you are cheering for your favorite horse? I have a big blue hat that just might need to make an appearance. We’ll see.

Remember, you only have two more hours to enter my giveaway! I’m planning to choose a winner (and hopefully post the results… ) tomorrow.Whatever you do this weekend, I hope you have a good one! Ciao for now bloggies, and try these brownies. Seriously!

14 Comments

Filed under Baking, Bananas, Chocolate, cooking, Cooking Light, diet, Food, Recipes, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story