Pumpkin Waffles National Maple Syrup Day

This past weekend, my daughter, Leigh, wanted to make something a little bit different for breakfast. She found this recipe for Pumpkin Waffles (which I tweaked slightly) from Cooking Light. This is a great recipe for Christmas morning, and it is also idea for today which is National Maple Syrup Day! Enjoy and happy Tuesday!

Oreo Cupcakes

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone! This is my last dessert for a while, but I wanted to share this recipe for Oreo Cupcakes which has been lightened up. The cupcake part of the recipe comes from Cooking Light magazine. In their recipe, they sprinkled the cupcakes with powdered sugar, and they are great. I love extra chocolate flavor so I slathered mine with chocolate frosting and of course, an Oreo. If you don’t have time to make your own frosting, you can substitute the store-bought icing. The total calories per serving for the cupcake is 150 calories, 5 grams of fat and 24 carbohydrates. Enjoy and have a fun and wonderful Valentines!

Lightened-Up Seafood Gumbo

Happy New Year to everyone! We spent the past few days down at the beach, and yesterday we watched a lot of football and enjoyed this Seafood Gumbo recipe adapted from Cooking Light. With only 254 calories and 2 grams of fat, this hearty soup will fit into your New Years resolution plan to eat healthy and get lean. It’s so flavorful and comforting this time of year. Just serve with a salad and some crusty bread, and that is all you need. I hope everyone had a great holiday season, and I look forward to a fantastic 2011 on Ingredients, Inc.

Seafood Gumbo

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

2 cups chopped onion

1 cup  chopped green bell pepper

1/2  cup chopped celery

2  garlic cloves, minced

11/2 cups sliced okra

1 cup chopped tomato

2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano

1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

4  (8-ounce) bottles clam juice

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 pound skinned scamp or other firm white fish fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces

11/4  pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2  teaspoon hot sauce

4 1/2  cups hot cooked long-grain rice

Directions

1. Place flour in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet; cook over medium heat 20 minutes or until browned, stirring constantly with a whisk. (If flour browns too fast, remove it from heat, and stir until it cools down.) Remove from heat; set aside.

2. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic; sauté 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add okra, tomato and oregano; cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 11/2 cups chicken broth, Cajun  Seasoning, clam juice, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil. Gradually add browned flour, stirring with a whisk. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add scamp; cook 5 minutes. Add shrimp; cook 10 minutes or until seafood is done. Stir in hot sauce. Serve gumbo over rice.

Note: One (8-ounce) container select oysters, undrained, may be added.

Last Minute Holiday Gifts: Dark Chocolate Chip-Peanut Butter Cookies

Wow, cookies are in abundance this time of year, and instead of racking my brain trying to create something new to give as holiday gifts, I decided to go back to a tried and true favorite. Dark Chocolate Chip-Peanut Butter Cookies are so incredibly fabulous. This recipe is adapted from a “Cooking Light” recipe that I have made many times. What I love about it is that it is lightened up a bit since it has no butter. Instead, it uses Canola oil, water and egg whites. These cookies come out soft and moist with just a hint of peanut butter. Feel free to substitute semisweet chocolate chips or even mini chocolate chips if you like. These are great to give as gifts to neighbors and teachers as well as to leave out for Santa on Christmas eve.

Late Summer Salad: Vegetable Salad with Beets and Goat Cheese

Even though it’s the end of summer, I think it’s the perfect time to make fresh salads filled with your favorite produce. This Vegetable Salad is so colorful and flavorful from fresh roasted beets, corn, potatoes, tomatoes and lettuces topped with goat cheese and pecans. It makes a great main-course vegetarian salad because it is so hearty. This recipe is adapted from a recent recipe in Cooking Light for a Corn and Basil Salad. I added and deleted various ingredients, and this version turned out even better than it looks. My friend, Nancy, served it the other night along with beef tenderloin, and her friends raved about it. You can also add chicken or shrimp if you want to add extra protein. Also, feel free to prepare the beets, potatoes, corn and salad dressing ahead of time so all you have to do is assemble the ingredients.