Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Whooooopie...Under 200 Calorie Breakfast Sandwiches

What can I say, I'm a joiner - if there is a bandwagon to hop on - COUNT...ME...IN!  Riding the bandwagon recently has meant two things: I am the proud owner of whoopie pie pan AND its time for a January diet.  I will admit that I haven't made whoopie pies in it, but it was awfully handy to make uniform sized egg patties for breakfast sandwiches. 

If I don't plan ahead, my morning will end with a pastry or 4 in my mouth, so I make these sandwiches in bulk, wrap them in saran, put them in a freezer bag and then microwave them all week when I am ready for breakfast. 

If you're a fan of the Sausage McMuffin - this is for you!  I have made it over
to only be 187 calories! 

What you'll need for 6 Muffins:
  • Light English Muffins
  • Fat Free Sharp Cheddar Slices
  • Turkey Sausage Patties
  • 12 Tablespoons of Egg Beaters (2T per whoopie pie pan cavity)

Place 2T of Egg Beaters in each of 6 whoopie pie pan cavities.  If you don't have a whoopie pie pan, use a jumbo muffin tin or 6 ramekins and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. 

After your eggs are complete, its time to assemble the sandwiches.  Open each English Muffin and place a slice of cheese on the bottom half of the muffin, place the sausage patty on top of the cheese and then the egg on top of the sausage.  Put the top half of the muffin on top and wrap in saran and freeze. 

To reheat, remove saran and wrap in a paper towel.  Microwave for 45 seconds on 50%, then flip the sandwich over and microwave 45 more seconds on 50%. 

Hope you enjoy your easy breakfast!


Thirty on Thursday: Tissue Paper Plate

Have you ever found something you know you love but you have no idea what you're going to do with it?  Well I saw this tissue paper and while I had no idea what I was going to do with it, I had to have it.  Fast forward a couple of days, I needed some Valentine appetizer plates. (Ok, maybe need is a strong word - but c'mon who doesn't need cute plates?!?)  Well if you want a cheap, easy, and fast way to make some custom plates - you've come to the right place.

What you'll need:
  • Clear glass plate - the one I chose is $1.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Tissue paper of your choosing (fabric works well too)
  • Matte Mod Podge
  • Foam brush
  • Plastic plate or vinyl tablecloth to protect your work surface
  • Scissors

Place your plate upside down on your protective surface - I used a paper plate, but use whatever you have handy, and put the tissue paper over it, smoothing it out and then running your hand along the edge to score the paper where you should cut.

Cut out your tissue paper just inside the ridge from where you scored the paper with your hand so that it is a little smaller than your plate - that way there is no paper hanging over the edges. 

Take the foam brush and dip it into your Mod Podge and paint a thin layer on the back of the plate, place the tissue paper print side down so that when you flip it back over you can see the print through the top of the glass plate.

Smooth out the wrinkles starting in the middle and smoothing out to the corners.  Paint another thin layer of Mod Podge over the back side of the paper to seal it and let it sit to dry.

let dry for 20 minutes and you'll have this!

Seriously easy and super fast!!  Take thirty minutes this Thursday and make yourself a fun (and cheap) plate!  You NEED it!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Monday was my girlfriend's birthday. To celebrate, she decided to gather all of her friends at her favorite sushi restaurant for dinner that night. None of us knew each other. The only common denominator was her. Everyone got along fabulously over a delicious sushi dinner.

As it turned out, one of the guests was a Pastry Chef. I didn't really get a chance to talk to him because he was sitting on the same side of the table I was on and his girlfriend was sitting between us. However, at one point, I overheard him talking about Celebrity Chefs being more celebrity than chef and this is where I found my way in to the conversation... I gave him a "review" of a cookbook I'd recently purchased.

Last week, I had purchased some new cookbooks. Among my purchases were The Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, Everyday Pasta by Giada and Guy Fieri Food Cookin' It Livin' It Lovin' It. Of course, Barefoot Contessa and Giada were a major score! They are in my top favorites for Celebrity Chefs. As you know, I ♥ Ina Garten! But, the Guy Fieri cookbook was a total waste of money, in my opinion. If I had to give it a rating out of 5 stars, I would only give it 1. And here is why...

(Side Note: I was shocked at how many good reviews the book has received... Just sayin'!)

To me, a cookbook should be passionate. It should not only highlight the chef's recipes and their love for the food but, inspire you to want to cook their recipes. It should give you tips, tricks and techniques to make cooking their recipes easier. If you ever pick up a cookbook by The Barefoot Contessa, she will not only show you tips and tricks, she will also have certain things like What NOT to serve at a dinner party or The top 5 items you should have in your pantry.  To me that is super helpful!

Not Guy Fieri. The first part of the book where a chef would generally open up and talk about what they love and how they feel about cooking and entertaining, Guy Fieri had numerous chapters about his rise to stardom. There were multiple pages written by himself, his family, friends and business associates saying what a great guy he is. He was not speaking from the heart of a person that wants to share his love for food and teach others how to cook his favorite recipes, he was speaking like a man that was boasting about his claim to fame and all the "things" that came with it.

Unlike The Barefoot Contessa giving you the Top 5 things you should have in your pantry to help you cook her recipes, Guy gave you a 3 page list of what HE has in HIS pantry. Instead of the most commonly used appliances best used for his recipes, he gave you a complete inventory of HIS appliances in HIS kitchen. It gave me a headache! Then came the recipes...

Recipes, in my opinion, should have ingredients that are, for the most part, commonly found in the grocery store. Ingredients you've actually heard of! And, the ingredients you purchase shouldn't empty your bank account. Not only did I not know what some of the ingredients were but, every recipe had way too many ingredients! The entire recipe would be 3 pages long and the first page was ingredients only! That's insane! Also, everything in his book was very Southern California cooking. So not my style at all.

So, as you can see, I was very disappointed. This guy is more of a celebrity than a chef. I love watching him on Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off but that's it. He's a great personality, a lot of fun. But to say that I want to cook his food? Ummm, no! It reminds me of a clip I heard in the news a while back about how Martha Stewart commented that "Rachael Ray is not a cook, she's an entertainer" (see link here). At the time, I thought it sounded snobbish and harsh... not anymore. Now, I know exactly what she meant. Not that I was ever a HUGE Rachael Ray fan before but she and Guy are definitely more celebrities than chefs. And I guess that's why they're hosting a show together about others doing the cooking and not themselves.

Here's a piece of advice... If you want to cook any of Guy Fieri's food, don't buy his cookbook, go to his page on the Food Network website and browse there for some of his recipes. You'll save yourself $20 on Amazon and still get what you want.

Until next time...

~Tina, The Other Egg

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chicken + Peanut Butter = Delish!

Update - If you liked this yummy curry soup, come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by KitchenAid, Red Star Yeast and Le Creuset for a whole stockpot full of great recipes!!

I have been craving the spicy food lately, even with the really warm winter we have been having, there is nothing better than a warm bowl of spicy soup on a winter day!  I went looking for a curry recipe that used the ingredients that I had in the cupboard already and I found this super easy one on

Easy Peanut Butter Curry

Every time I read peanut butter and chicken together, in the same soup, I'm a little weirded out.  I mean you wouldn't have a chicken and peanut butter sandwich, right?  But this Peanut Butter Curry was super easy and fantastic!  For the original recipe, visit the link above, here is my adapted version that is a little spicier and includes more vegetables

  • 3/4 C smooth peanut butter

  • 2 C low-sodium chicken broth

  • 3 T madras curry paste

  • 1 can (13 2/3-ounce) unsweetened light coconut milk

  • 1 can (14 1/2-ounce) fire-roasted diced tomatoes (I used Muir Glen)

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • 1 pkg (8 ounce) sliced mushrooms

  • 1/2 C shredded carrots

  • Coat a pan with non stick spray and cook the chicken breasts, set chicken breasts aside and shred the chicken using two forks.  Using the same pan saute the mushrooms and carrots over medium heat until the carrots are soft. 

    In a large saucepan, whisk broth and curry paste. Heat over medium heat to boiling.  Whisk in coconut milk and peanut butter, and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes, chicken, mushrooms, carrots and cook until heated through. Sprinkle with peanuts and serve with lime wedges, if desired.


    Sunday, January 15, 2012

    Red, White, and Green Lasagna

    Sunday night is the night I go through the fridge making sure to throw away any expired salad dressings, make sure I'm not growing any science projects in the produce drawer, and check any meat that I hadn't had a chance to cook yet and see if I need to throw it in the freezer (I HATE wasting groceries when there are still hungry people - when they solve world hunger I will begin to waste with abandon...but until then) and as I was going through my weekly inventory, I had some marinara and pesto that I needed to use up, and some turkey sausage that was only a few days from expiring, so this multi-colored lasagna was born.

    Red, White, and Green Lasagna

    For the red layer:
    1 - 15 oz Marinara (I used Buitoni - but any marinara would do)
    8 - Oven Ready Lasagna Noodles

    For the white layer:
    2 - 15 oz Tubs of Fat Free Ricotta Cheese
    1/2 C Egg Beaters (or you can use 2 large eggs)
    2t Italian Seasoning
    1/2 C Shredded Parmesan Cheese
    1 3/4 C Shredded Italian 3 Cheese 2% Milk Blend (You could also use regular Italian Blend)

    For the green layer:
    1 - 7oz Reduced Fat Pesto (I used Buitoni - but any pesto would do)
    1 - 10oz Pkg Archer Farms Spinach Garlic Turkey Sausage, Sliced
    1 - 8oz Pkg Sliced Mushrooms
    Dash of salt
    non-stick cooking spray

    1/4 C Shredded Parmesan Cheese
    1 C Shredded Italian 3 Cheese 2% Milk Blend

    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

    First assemble the green layer by spraying a skillet with non-stick spray and sprinkle with a dash of salt, putting the skillet on medium heat, add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes and then add the sliced sausage and cook until the mushrooms and sausage slices are browned.  Once browned, remove from heat and stir in the pesto, and set aside.

    Next assemble the white layer by mixing together the cheeses, egg, and italian seasoning in a medium bowl and set aside.

    Now you're ready to put the lasagna together, in a 9x13 baking dish put half of the marinara on the bottom of the pan, then place 4 of the lasagna noodles on top.  Then spread half of the white layer mixture on top of the noodles, followed by half of the green layer then 4 lasagna noodles.  Then to finish it off spread out the remaining half of the marinara on top of the noodles, then the remaining half of the white layer mixture and the last half of the green layer mixture layered on top. 

    Bake in a 375 degree oven for 60 minutes, sprinkle the topping cheeses on top and put back into the oven for 10 minutes.

    Reasons I like this lasagna:
    • Its easy to use light ingredients and you can't taste the difference
    • The only cooking involved was to brown the sausage and mushrooms
    • This lasagna has 8-10 servings, which means that I will cook once and have multiple meals already made
    • Lasagnas freeze beautifully - you can assemble it and freeze before or after baking
    • It was easy enough that I was able to watch the Golden Globes pre-show red carpet while assembling it
    I hope everyone had a great weekend!


    Thursday, January 12, 2012

    So You Think You Can Cook?

    Tonight, I was driving home (stomach growling), thinking about what I was going to make for dinner. Usually, my quick and easy go-to dinner in the winter is a little angel hair pasta with butter and grated cheese. There's nothing like easy, cheesy pasta to make all the insanity of your day melt away!

    However, after chatting with Meg today, I decided to change it up a little. We were talking about how since the start of the blog, we find ourselves cooking more and wanting to try new things. To stop making the same things over and over because we're too afraid (or lazy?) to go outside of our comfort zone. So, I ran with that thought.

    To add a little pizazz to my "lazy-man's dinner", I heated a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, added a teaspoon of garlic, a teaspoon of basil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Once the noodles were finished cooking and drained, I tossed it in the mixture. Added some grated cheese and... VOILA! It was so much tastier than my usual noodles and cheese. It was EGG-CELLENT!

    (Please note that I was also watching Celebrity Cook-Off Rachael Ray vs. Guy Fieri. I don't know if it was the spirit of the show or my lack of 'experience' but I may as well have been a contestant. I'm jumping around the kitchen trying to make sure the garlic doesn't burn or that the noodles don't set too long. After all was cooked and eaten, I looked back and saw stuff laying everywhere. It was just so pathetic. If a camera was in the kitchen, you would've seen a crazed-hungry, jumping bean making a total mess... Just sayin'.)

    Now, I know this is nothing special BUT, I tried something different. Moved outside my comfort zone... on a week night at that! This is not the kind of thing I usually do. So, Bravo, Tina! Bravo!

    Until next time...

    ~Tina, the other egg

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    Lasagna - Turned Up A Notch!

    Almost every night, for at least half an hour, I'm in my kitchen watching my favorite cooking shows. The Barefoot Contessa, Cooking For Real with Sunny Anderson, Guy's Big Bite, Giada at Home (I know, I know, I have issues. I'm a Celebrity Chef Groupie *sigh*)... I sit there watching in awe, not only of their yummy-looking dishes but at how much fun they're having. The ease in which they create their dishes. Like it's the easiest thing to do... and they're there to show us how. But it just doesn't seem that way when I try to recreate the receipes. It seems like it's taking forever AND I make a massive mess of my kitchen.

    Then I have an epiphany: These people take hours making their dishes and then are edited to fit in a 30 minute segment AAAAAND don't have to clean up after themselves! UGH! Of course, they don't show you THAT on the show! Because I'm pretty sure if I had a "staff" to clean up after me, cooking would be so much easier and I would look just like them!

    For Christmas, my friend's mother gave me The Barefoot Contessa Family-Style Cookbook. I was so excited! I couldn't wait to try out a recipe. And finally did, this past Sunday. I was really craving comfort food so I decided to start out easy and try the Lasagna with Turkey Sausage. Now, I've been baking the same, super yummy lasagna for years. But, like Ina says "we're going to turn it up a notch!"...

    ...And so we did.

    First off, Ina says the lasagna takes 20 minutes to prepare. You know what I say? She lied. It took me a good hour to prep the whole lasagna. For crying out loud, it's a 3 step process! Noodles, meat sauce and cheesy mix! 20 minutes?? I. Don't. Think. So. Plus, my kitchen was a disaster area! It looked like a tornado had just finished blowing through!

    Second, I did make some changes to the ingredients to, let's say, fit more to my style. See my remarks in red below...
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 cup chopped yellow onion - 1 onion
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced (2 teaspoons minced garlic, from a jar)
    • 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed (1 Jimmy Dean Pork Sausage Roll)
    • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in tomato puree (crushed tomatoes IN puree? No, just crushed tomatoes!)
    • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided (1/4 cup dried parsley)
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (1/2 cup dried basil leaves)
    • Kosher salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 pound lasagna noodles (8 lasagna noodles)
    • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
    • 3 to 4 ounces creamy goat cheese, crumbled
    • 1 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
    • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
    • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
    The fact of the matter is, I only have a chance to cook on the weekends. To constantly buy fresh herbs, when I already have the dried ones in my cupboard (and refrigerator), for two people to eat, seems ludicrous. I almost never use fresh herbs and my meals are just as tasty. Also, I don't care for turkey... Unless it's a big, fat bird in the middle of my table at Thanksgiving dinner.

    So, let me say this... I ♥ Ina Garten! I LOVE her recipes and will continue to recreate them. This lasagna was definitely a step up from the lasagna I'd been making. I think the thinly-sliced mozzarella was better than the shredded mozzarella I used to use. To me, it gave it a "thicker" taste. And the goat cheese? Why had I never thought to put that in my old recipe? I mean seriously, it gave it fabulous texture and taste! Much creamier with a little tang. I'll never go back! This is now MY recipe for lasagna going forward!

    And how great was it that my new Temp-tations Old-World Oven-to-Table Set came just in time? AWESOME!


    Every Lazy Lady's Dream - Candy Bar Cookies

    Happy New Year!!  For those of you that have resolutions that include losing weight or eating less sugar, you'll want to go get back on the treadmill and just ignore this. 

    Ok, now that I have just "my people" here, Crisco's chosen ones, lets talk cookies - sometimes a girl just needs a plate full of cookies that look impressive and taste fantastic, but you don't have the time or energy to start on a recipe that begins with "Sift the first 12 dry ingredients together" then this is the cookie for you.  This isn't a recipe, this is simple assembly. 

    Candy Bar Cookies

    What You'll Need
    Premade Sugar Cookie Dough
    Snickers Mini Size Candy Bars

    Using your cookie scoop, scoop out the desired number of cookies so that you have uniform amounts of cookie dough. 

    Flatten the scoops into little round circles.

    Put a snickers mini in the middle of the dough, and seal the candy bar inside.

    Place on a cookie sheet and bake as directed, taking the cookies out a minute before suggested so they don't burn on the bottoms as you let them cool while they are on the pan instead of a rack because they are pretty delicate and fall apart when moved since their middles are all melted chocolate and nougat.

    If you are feeling particularly motivated you can decorate the tops of the cookies (Nothing says lazy lady like posting a pic of the Christmas tree cookies in January, now does it?!?)  To decorate the tops, I put a few green Wilton candy melts and a few red Wilton candy melts into freezer bags, put them in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stopping between to knead the melting candy until it was the right consistency to squirt out of a snipped off freezer bag corner and just freehanded the trees.  I think they would also be cute with white snowflakes on top for winter, red hearts piped on for Valentines, shamrocks for St Patrick's Day and so on.  (Where did I get the idea to pipe on decorations using a freezer bag with the corner snipped off?  Well Tina of course, she's brilliant if you haven't noticed!) 

    So, don't stop here with just the sugar cookie and snickers bars, come up with your own combos, such as peanut butter cookie dough with Reese's minis inside - there is no end to the flavor combinations and these cookies are so easy you will find yourself making them over and over and the best part, people ALWAYS compliment how yummy these cookies are!  Enjoy!



    Tuesday, January 3, 2012

    Meat & Potatoes, Please!!!

    My belly is so full! I cooked the tastiest roast and lets just say... I gorged! Yeah, I have a way of doing things like that. Over-indulging is my middle name!

    Last week I told my husband to pick up some "dinner meats" from the grocery store. What I got was a 2 lb eye of round roast. Now, since I'm fairly new to cooking (and loving every minute of it), I don't really know much about cuts of meat. Only that I like to eat them. I guess I should do some research. Anyway, in the end I did realize that it's a tougher cut but it didn't really matter... because it was TASTY!!!

    Look at it, isn't it beautiful?!!

    We'll call this Herb-Rubbed Eye of Round Roast with Red Potatoes and Onions :)
    • 1 - 2 lb eye of round roast (or any other roasting meat)
    • 2 1/2 tsps kosher salt
    • 2 1/2 tsps paprika
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
    • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 4 red potatoes, quartered
    • 1 yellow onion, quartered

    In a small bowl, mix all of the spices and olive oil. Let sit for 10 minutes.

    Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

    Next you can prepare one of two ways... 1) Place in 13x9 baking dish, add potatoes and onions to surround the roast then pour spice mixture all over meat, then rub it in to make sure the whole cut is completely covered. Or - my personal favorite - 2) Prepare the same as number one BUT do so in an oven bag. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE Reynold's Oven Bags! Not only do they not make your bakeware super messy but they also allow you to do whatever you want instead of standing at the oven constantly basting. That would drive me insane! I highly recommend Preparation #2.

    Roast for about 1 1/4 hours for a nice medium rare center. Remove from oven and cover with a little aluminum foil and let set for 15 minutes before slicing. (By the way, I don't slice... I leave that job to my husband!)

    So, if you're a meat and potatoes kind of person, then I highly recommend! The herb rub made both the meat and potatoes super flavorful!

    Site Design by Designer Blogs