Pumpkin crepes

I had to figure out how to use that left over pumpkin from my pumpkin mousse and in exploring what I had in my cabinets and freezer I came up with the idea of pumpkin crepes.  I love crepes.  They are so light and delicious.  You can make them savory, you can make them sweet.  You can turn them into anything you want and these are particularly great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a nighttime snack.

3 large eggs
1 cup skim milk
3/4 cup corn starch 
4 tbsp flour
4 tbsp pumpkin puree
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
butter or cooking spray to coat pan

Low Fat Pumpkin Mousse

I'm usually a great advocate of natural ingredients.  I prefer all natural 2% type of food to fat free no sugar added synthetic ingredients.  However, when I was introduced to this recipe by a coworker and told that it was only 1 1/2 points on the weight watchers plan I had to try it.  I love pumpkin anything.  And I can always use another low fat satisfying dessert recipe in my repertoire.  This dessert is the perfect mixture of all natural creamy pumpkin puree and light airy whipped topping that when combined becomes a rich indulgent treat that you can eat as much as you want of and not feel guilty.

1 box instant sugar free fat free vanilla pudding
1 cup skim milk (if the fat content is not an issue for you you can use whole milk)
7.5 ounces (1/2 can) organic pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
4 oz free whipped topping
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice


Curried Tuna Noodle Casserole

This family recipe has been a favorite of mine for years.  Tuna Noodle Casserole night was always a night everyone made a point to be home for.  Between my older sisters obscene amount of high school extra curricular's and my little sisters art classes and my need to spend every high school moment out of school at the mall we all made sure we were home the night mom made this one.  The publication of this recipe is dedicated to my dear friend Marisa who couldn't get enough of this super easy, quick and simple meal.

3 cups of al dente cooked egg noodles
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cans tuna (packed in water and drained)
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds
1/3 cup raisins
1 tsp curry powder
1 large can French's French Fried Onions

1. Mix all ingredients (except for the fried onions) together in a large casserole dish

2. Stir in 1/2 can of fried onions
3. Microwave for 4 minutes on high
4. Remove casserole from microwave and stir
5. Top the casserole with the rest of the fried onions

6. Microwave for another 5 minutes on high
7. Let cool and serve (I always skip the cooling part because it's too irresistible to wait)


Even Eddie wants some!


Summer accessories

Let's face it.  Most 25 year olds are broke.  And that doesn't fare well for our closets or our credit cards.  The best way to vamp up your wardrobe for less money is by adding accessories and Forever 21 has definitely become my favorite stop for cheap closet ad ons.  I bought a fedora from there the other day for $6.80 and wore it out on Friday night.  I got more compliments on it in three hours than I do on most of my dresses in a year.  Its worth it trust me.

Allison and I enjoying some refreshing beers at Cantina Marina with my popular fedora on
Here are some other options for inexpensive summer ad ons to help amp up your style

summer accessories

Forever21 rubber shoes
$33 - forever21.com

Forever21 studded heels
$25 - forever21.com

Forever21 shoulder strap bag
$21 - forever21.com

Forever21 floral scarve
$9.80 - forever21.com

Forever21 hat
$8.80 - forever21.com

Forever21 sunglasses
$6.80 - forever21.com

Smore bites

I've been brainstorming fun treats for the upcoming 4th of July.  Sure everyone automatically thinks red, white and blue but I tried to go in a different direction and think about my favorite summer time treats.  I love camping when the weather is right and of course smores are a camping staple.  As tasty as plain old smores are they aren't something you can really make ahead of time and take with you.  So I came up with these smore bites that can be prepared ahead of time.

1 large bag of marshmallows
6 hershey's chocolate bars
6 graham crackers

1. Place the graham crackers in a plastic bag, crunch them up and pour into a bowl.

2. Melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave for 45 seconds.  Stir the chocolate to make sure there are no lumps.

3. Dip each marshmallow into the melted chocolate.

4. Sprinkle the chocolate covered marshmallow with the graham cracker crumbs.

5. Refrigerate the smore bites until the chocolate has hardened

6. Let people pick them up with their fingers or (as I plan to do)  Place the marshmallows on lollipop sticks (prior to dipping in chocolate).


Tilapia with Almonds

Its no secret that Tilapia is one of my favorite fish.  Its inexpensive (I can get it on sale at the grocery store for $3.99 a pound usually), flaky and light, and takes on pretty much any flavor you choose to immerse it in.  So it is a perfect fish to pair with almonds, lemon juice and a bit of butter for a delicious healthy dinner.

1 tilapia filet per person (approximately 1 pound for three people)
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup slivered or sliced almonds per three filets
1 tbsp butter per three filets
1/2 lemon

1. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a pan and heat over medium heat, pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

2.  Sprinkle tilapia filets with salt and pepper to taste.

3.  Place filets in pan and heat 3-5 minutes per side, until flesh turns white

4. After both sides have been cooked place a 1/3 tbsp of butter on top of each filet and sprinkle almonds over the top (divided evenly among all filets).  Then squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the fish.

5. Place the fish in the pan in the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes until almonds have browned.

I enjoyed my tilapia with wild rice that I cooked in chicken broth and some sauteed vegetables.


Personal Chicken Pot Pie

I had a left over pie crust from when I made my vegetable tart earlier in the week.  The box came with two.    So I thought "what can I make with a pie crust and what I have in my refrigerator?"  And then it came to me.  Chicken Pot Pie!  Perfect! I pulled some frozen veggies and chicken out of the freezer, grabbed a fresh carrot, and pulled some bullion out of the spice cabinet and voile!  A beautiful dinner was made.

2 cups Low sodium chicken broth
1 cubed skinless boneless chicken breast or 1 cup cubed dark meat (without skin)
3/4 cup frozen green peas
3/4 cup frozen pearl onions
1/2 cup frozen carrots or 1 fresh carrot (chopped in 1/4 inch thick slices or diced squares the same size as the pearl onions)
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup milk
1 9 inch pie crust
1 tbsp butter

1. In a large pan boil the chicken broth, set aside 1/2 cup in a smaller pan

2. After broth has come to boil add in chopped up chicken, peas, carrots, and onions.  Bring to boil cover and cook for 10 minutes

3. While the broth mixture is cooking bring smaller pan of broth to boil.  Once broth has begun to boil add in 1 tsp at a time of the flour.  Whisk while adding flour until all the flour has dissolved.  

4. Add the milk and whisk until mixed well

5. Add the flour/broth/milk mixture into the chicken and vegetable mixture and stir well

6. Ladle the mixture into two ramekins that are oven safe

7. Roll out the pie crust and slice diagonally

8. Place one piece of crust over each ramekin.  Press down over the sides of the ramekin and trim off excess crust dough with a knife.

9. Poke the top of the crust with a fork twice so heat can escape during cooking and the pie doesn't explode.

10.  Brush the top of the pot pie with melted butter.

11.  Bake for 10-15 minutes at 425 degrees until crust is golden brown



Vegetable tart

This dish that i've invented is such a great way to use up bits and pieces of vegetables that you have left in the fridge and its really pretty and appetizing.  I used onion, mushrooms, zucchini, tomato and artichoke hearts but you can use any vegetables you like.

3-4 types of vegetables, your choose, chopped
2 tsp Olive oil
Garlic powder
Black pepper
9 inch pie crust
1 egg

1. Saute your vegetables one by one to make sure they are almost fully cooked to your desired tenderness.
I put the onions in first since they take the longest to tenderize over low heat

Then the mushrooms

The zucchini went next

And lastly the artichoke hearts and chopped tomato since they just needed to be warmed.

2. Layer the vegetable onto a rolled out pie crust (pierce the pie crust in various places with a fork so the crust doesn't puff up).  Leave approximately 1 1/2 to 2 inches around the edges of the crust.

3. Once you have all of your vegetables layered on top of the pie crust fold up the edges a few inches at a time, until all the edges are rounded up over the vegetables

4. Brush the top of the tart with egg wash (made by whisking one egg with a tablespoon of water)

5. Bake the tart for 12-15 minutes or until the top is golden brown