Raspberry and Blueberry Almond Mini-Muffins

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We love making muffins at my house, and this recipe is completely simple. With only 109 calories and 3.5 grams of fat per serving, you won’t feel guilty eating these muffins. The combination of rapspberry and almond go so well together, but for those of you who prefer blueberries, feel free to substitute blueberry preserves.

Easy Low-Fat Appetizer: Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

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This is one of my all-time favorite dips, and it’s low in fat and so high in flavor! I have made this numerous times for parties and showers, but I brought it up to the baseball field for my son’s 5:30 game, and everyone went nuts over it. I like to use rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes that are already chopped. These are less fat since they’re not packed in oil, and they can be found in the produce section of your local grocery store. This recipe is so quick, light, simple and delicious. What else can you ask for?

Easy and Delicious White Chili

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My friend and loyal fan, Dawn, asked me a while back for a recipe for White Chili. I promised her I would work on one, and this recipe came out great. It’s simple to prepare-just requiring some chopping, vegetables and grating cheese, and that’s the only work involved. Feel free to use already-shredded cheese if your short on time, and I used a rotisserie chicken to speed up the process. This chili has just the right consistency and spice. Even my 8-year-old was asking for seconds.


White Bean Chili

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 35 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

1 medium onion, diced

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, undrained

2 cloves garlic, minced

11/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

2 (15-ounce) cans Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed

31/2 cups low-salt, fat-free chicken broth

2 cups chopped cooked chicken (I used rotisserie chicken)

1 cup freshly grated Monterey Jack cheese

1 cup freshly grated Colby cheese

Toppings: crushed corn chips, light sour cream, chopped green onions, olives, chopped tomatoes, oyster crackers, bacon

Preparation

1. Cook onion in hot oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring until tender. Add green chiles and next 4 ingredients; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add beans and chicken broth. Bring to a boil; reduce
heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Add chicken, 1/2 cup of Monterey Jack and 1/2 cup Colby cheese; simmer 10 minutes more. Ladle chili into individual bowls. Top each serving evenly with cheese and desired toppings.

Healthy Organic Trail Mix

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When I am on the go (which is all of the time), I like a quick healthy snack. This trail mix is perfect because it has the combination of a sweet and salty crunch made with some of my favorite ingredients. Today, I am taping 4 different cooking segments for a new local NBC show, “Daytime Alabama”. I can’t begin to explain what it’s like to prepare for 4 different cooking shows (I thought 1 show was difficult). Don’t get me wrong, it’s really fun. I would like to give thanks to my friend Alacia who helped me prepare for these television segments. 

 

Organic Trail Mix

Prep: 5 minutes

Yield:  6 cups

Ingredients

21/2 cups Oatmeal Squares

2 cups granola

1 cup peanut-butter filled pretzels

2 (10-ounce) package Harvest blend trail mix (I used Back to Nature)

1 (5.2-ounce) dried strawberries

1 (5.2-ounce) dried blueberries

1 (8.3-ounce) yogurt covered raisins

Preparation

1. Combine all ingredients in a airtight container and store at room temperature.

Fans of Ingredients, Inc.

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Who would have thought it? https://www.ingredientsinc.net has a fan club on facebook! I really appreciate it, and I am amazed that in just a few weeks over 420 people have joined from all over the U.S, Australia and the Phillipines! I have been receiving so many phone calls and emails from friends and new friends about my blog.


It’s really funny. I started the blog because I had so many recipes in my files that I developed over the past 10 years, and I thought, why not share them with others? I’m also in the kitchen all of the time cooking for 3 kids, and I thought I could help others in a hurry get healthy food on the table fast. And, I hoped working on the blog would increase my photography skills, prop styling skills, food styling and writing skills. I just never imagined that I would have such a great response and that I would, or could, have created 9 television tapes in 2 months because of it. I have to admit…it’s hard work and very time-consuming. Ask any of my family members….I hope I can continue to create great content and to get the great response that you have given me.


Thanks again to the “fans”, and if you’re on facebook, I hope you will take a moment to join the club on facebook and subscribe to receive daily e-mails in the upper right hand side on my blog.  Please continue to pass the blog along to your friends and family members. Best, Alison

Valentine Treat: Four Ingredient Chocolate-Dipped Caramels

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With just 4 ingredients and about 20 minutes, you can prepare these homemade candies for your favorite Valentine. These are so easy and fabulous! Be sure to butter the pans good to prevent sticking and use wax paper after the candy has been dipped in chocolate. They disappeared in a matter of minutes at my house so I hope you will love them too! Also, thanks to http://www.tipnut.com for recommending my Valentine ideas.

 

Chocolate-Dipped Caramels

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 10 minutes

Yield: 24 candies

Ingredients

1 (14-ounce) package caramels, unwrapped

2 tablespoons skim milk

2 cups chopped pecans

1 cup semisweet chocolate

Preparation

1. Combine caramels and milk in a heavy saucepan; cook mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Stir in pecans, and drip by tablespoonfuls onto buttered baking sheets. Let stand until firm.

2. Microwave chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 minute or until melted, stirring once.

3. Dip caramel candies into melted chocolate, allowing excess to drip; place on wax paper. let stand until firm.

Valentine’s Day White Chocolate Lovers: White Chocolate Dried Cherry Pistachio Bark

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This three ingredient recipe was one I made for Christmas, but since there are so many white chocolate fans, I thought I would feature it again for Valentine’s Day. It’s so easy, quick and delicious. It also can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. I used Nestle semisweet morsels, and it worked great! Happy Valentine’s Day! Enjoy!

 

Dried Cherry and Pistachio Bark

Feel free to double or triple this recipe.

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 1 minute

Yield: 11/2 pound

Ingredients

1 (12-ounce) package white chocolate morsels or any white chocolate

1 cup pistachio nuts, shells removed and toasted

1 cup dried cherries or cranberries

Preparation

1. Place white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, covered with wax paper on HIGH 1 to 2 minutes or until melted, stirring once. Add pistachios and cherries, stirring well. Spread on large baking sheet covered with parchment paper.

2. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Break bark into pieces. Store in a tightly sealed container in refrigerator up to 1 month. Pack in decorative boxes or tins lined with wax tissue paper or colored cellophane for gift giving.

Valentine’s Dessert: Easy Molten Lava Cakes

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Chocolate lava cakes are one of my favorite desserts, and I worked hard to develop a simple way to prepare them. With just a few ingredients and not much effort, these come out fabulous and are perfect for Valentine’s Day! I made them for television yesterday on WBRC Fox 6 in Birmingham, Alabama, and they were an instant hit. To prepare for television, I made over 20, which was fun for my kids and my son’s friend, Sergei, to watch and taste. See the link below for the television video.

 

http://www.myfoxal.com/myfox/pages/InsideFox/Detail?contentId=8348712&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=VSTY&pageId=5.2.1

 

Easy Chocolate Lava Cakes

Dark chocolate may be substituted for semisweet in this recipe. These can be made at least a day ahead least one day ahead. Pour the mixture Pour the mixture into ramekins, cover and refrigerate. Be sure to bring to room temperature 30 minutes before baking. I also had a couple of baked and prepared ones left over, and I left them in the ramekins and reheated them in the microwave for 15 seconds, and they worked great!

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

4 ounces semisweet baking chocolate or 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate morsels (I used Ghirardelli for both)

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup confectioners sugar

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 425F. Lightly grease 4 (8-ounce) ramekins (custard cups or souffle dishes). Place on a baking sheet.

2. Microwave chocolate and butter in a large microwaveable bowl on High 30 seconds or until butter is melted. Whisk until chocolate is completely melted. Whisk in vanilla and confectioners sugar until well blended. Whisk in eggs and yolk. Stir in flour and pour batter evenly into prepared custard cups.

2. Bake 13 minutes or until sides are firm but centers are soft. Let stand 10 minutes. Carefully loosen edges with a knife. Invert cakes onto serving plates and sift powdered sugar over the top. Serve immediately.

Light and Delicious Spiced Nuts for Super Bowl Sunday

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I had so much fun on “Talk of the Town” yesterday in Nashville. I thank my Nashville friends, Lisa and Rob, News Channel 5 and all of the Nashville subscribers and facebook fans for tuning in to watch me. One of the recipes I shared was this Spiced Nuts mix which I posted before Thanksgiving. It was very popular and is perfect for Super Bowl Sunday. It’s a lower-fat nut recipe and is ideal for a Super Bowl Party, holidays, or you can enjoy them as a snack or also tossed in a salad. Feel free to use any type of nuts that you want. These are worth every bite, and there’s no oil or butter in the recipe.

 

Spiced Almonds and Pecans 

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 25 minutes

Yield: 41/2 cups

Ingredients

2 (6-ounce) packages pecan halves

1  (6 ounce) can whole natural almonds

1/3  cup  packed brown sugar

11/2  teaspoons  ground cinnamon

1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin

2  large egg whites, lightly beaten

Cooking spray

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 325°.

2. Combine pecans, almonds and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in egg whites. Spread mixture evenly onto a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325° for 10 minutes. Stir mixture; bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp. Transfer foil to a wire rack; cool almond mixture. Break almond mixture into small pieces.

Note: Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to one week.

Christmas and Hanukkah Homemade Gifts-Chocolate-Covered Popcorn

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Since the White Chocolate Popcorn recipe was so popular, I thought I would try it with a mixture of milk chocolate and semisweet. It turned out even better than I thought. “Fabulous”, said some of my friends. Everyone will love receiving this food gift, but make plenty because once you start eating it, you won’t be able to stop.

 

Chocolate Popcorn

Feel free to double this recipe.

Prep: 5 minutes

Yield: 6 cups

Ingredients

1 /2 (12-ounce) package milk chocoolate morsels (I used Nestle Milk Chocolate Morsels)

1/2 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels (I used Nestle Milk Chocolate Morsels)

6 cups popcorn (popped without salt or fat)

Preparation

1. Place chocolate morsels in a microwave-safe bowl on HIGH 1 to 2 minutes or until melted, stirring once. Combine chocolate and popcorn in a large mixing bowl, tossing gently.  Spread mixture on a large baking sheet covered with parchment paper; refrigerate until chocolate gets hard. Store in an airtight container.