Super Easy 15 Minute Summer Cole Slaw

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I’m cooking ribs and coleslaw for the 4th of July at my house today since I’m heading to the lake tomorrow. I wanted to make a really easy, but delicious, light coleslaw. I had a great idea that made my life oh so simple. Recently, I bought some new spices from Penzeys, (when I went to get a present for someone else-you know how that goes). I tried the “Country French Vinaigrette” dry spice mix which works great in this 15 Minute Summer Coleslaw. This recipe was a huge hit with everyone, including the kids.

Note: In Birmingham, Alabama, the Penzeys is located in Homewood.

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Incredible Pasta Salad: Vegetarian Pasta Salad

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My kids love pasta salad, and always request it. This week my daughter, Leigh, and I threw this together. It was so delicious, fresh, healthy and gone in about 10 minutes. The photo got rave reviews on twitter and facebook when I posted it. Everyone was begging for the recipe. Here it is just in time for summer. It’s a cool and light idea when it’s so warm outside. Feel free to add cooked or grilled chicken if you like.

For the Sun-Dried tomatoes, I love “California Sun Dry Tomatoes” that come already julienne- cut.

Rich and Creamy: Lightened-Up S’mores Milkshakes

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Last week, I mentioned I was in a s’mores whirlwind creating s’mores recipes for various projects. I created this recipe for S’mores Milkshakes in my guest blog post on a really fun website “Makes and Takes“. It’s as yummy as it looks and so easy. This version on my site is the “lightened up” version.

I’m shooting 4 television shows this week so my life is beyond nuts. But, look for my upcoming television show on NBC 13 “Daytime Alabama” featuring fun s’more’s recipes coming soon. Date to come…

Summer Dessert Comfort Food: Peach-Blueberry Crisp

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I’ve been searching for a great crisp recipe using fresh peaches and blueberries that I bought yesterday from the farmer’s market. My sister just recently purchased Emeril’s book “20-40-60 Fresh Food Fast”, and showed me his recipe. I adapted his recipe just slightly reducing some of the butter and using whole wheat flour. It came out great! Enjoy the peak of delicious summertime fruit with this comforting dessert.

Oh My: S’More’s Pie

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I have been on a S’mores kick lately as you will see in the coming days. I came up with this recipe by accident. I was trying to get rid of some ingredients from another s’mores recipe project I was working on for “Makes and Takes”, a great website for craft ideas, kid’s craft ideas, food and fun, and I ended up with this. When I put the photograph up on twitter and facebook, everyone went nuts. So here it is. It’s not a “light” recipe, but here are some ways to lighten it up and make it a tiny bit healthier. Use a store-bought reduced-fat graham cracker crust.  Use dark chocolate morsels instead of semisweet. Otherwise, take small bites and enjoy. Trust me, adults as well as kids will love it! As for the other s’more recipe, I created for Makes and Takes, it’s coming soon.

Lightened-Up Southern Favorite: Light Yellow Squash Casserole

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Summer is here, and I went to Pepper Place Farmer’s Market yesterday. I bought some wonderful produce including some beautiful yellow squash. Last night I created a Light Yellow Squash Casserole recipe which is a winner. All of my 3 kids ate it (honestly), and even asked for more (no joke). It’s super easy to prepare. The most difficult part is slicing the squash and onion (I also grated my own cheese). This recipe makes a wonderful side dish for summertime, and I love the mixture of crushed reduced-fat crackers (low-fat Ritz) and panko breadcrumbs on top.

Fresh Taste of Summer: Cantaloupe-Coconut Smoothie

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My last television segment on NBC 13 “Daytime Alabama” was such a hit, and the food topic was smoothies. Smoothies are wonderful to prepare for dessert, afternoon snack or breakfast for kids and adults. This is the best time of year to make them when fruits are so vibrant. Cantaloupe-Coconut Smoothie combines some of my favorites: cantaloupe, coconut and pineapple. My kids are huge smoothie fans, and every time I turn around the blender is out on the counter. I can’t wash it fast enough. Enjoy this recipe just in time for ripe cantaloupes. To choose a ripe cantaloupe, it should smell sweet, have an even coloring and be heavy for its size. If you tap on it, it will sound hollow if it’s ripe.

Weekend Appetizer: Fresh Herb and Tomato Crostini

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Since it’s Memorial Day next week, I thought I would feature a really simple appetizer that looks and tastes like summer. You can’t go wrong using fresh garlic, basil, parsley and tomatoes. These Fresh Herb and Tomato Crostini start off your dinner or party right and are versatile to accompany any menu.

Weeknight Favorite Main-Dish: Lemon Chicken over Pasta

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I made this Lemon Chicken over Pasta for a healthy project I’ve been working on. My assistant, Alatia, loved it. She said the most difficult part of this simple recipe was squeezing the lemons. I love to use chicken cutlets, which are thinner than boneless chicken breasts, because they take less time to cook (which is great for anyone with limited time). The chicken turns out so flavorful. Be sure to use the extra marinade to pour over the noodles. This is a great weeknight recipe idea that even younger kids will love.

Easy, Healthy Appetizer or Main-dish Recipe: Pork Lettuce Wraps

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This recipe was featured on NBC 13 Daytime Alabama for I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter this week. My kids love lettuce wraps so this is perfect to serve at my house and only 3.5 grams of fat. It’s also very economical, only $6.93 for the recipe or $1.73 per serving. Feel free to substitute steak, chicken or shrimp for the pork in this recipe.