Baked-not-Fried Pickles {and a few other snack ideas}

Don’t cha just love fried food? Don’t cha just hate that it’s so bad for you?! I’m always looking for healthier alternatives to my favorite “bad” foods. That’s why when I saw this recipe for baked “fried” pickles in Prevention RD’s cookbook, I knew I had to give them a try.

The bad news is that I ate almost all of them by myself. The good news is they were not too bad for me, so it’s okay ūüôā I think I shared a few with my girls. My 5 y/o wasn’t interested in a breaded, hot pickle…he thought I was nuts! He didn’t appreciate me messing with his beloved dill pickles.

Oven-Fried Pickles from Prevention RD

20 oz jar Claussen Kosher dill burger slice pickles (about 16 slices) *I used the regular dill pickles slices by Mt. Olive
2 eggs
1/3 cup flour
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp garlic powder *I reduced this to about 1/2 tsp
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • Preheat oven to 450 F.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and flour together.¬†
  • Add¬†Worcestershire, hot sauce, garlic powder,¬†Cajun¬†seasoning, and pepper to egg mixture. Blend well.
  • In a shallow dish or plate, add panko crumbs.¬†
  • Dip each pickle slice into the egg mixture, than coat with the panko bread crumbs until both sides are well coated.
  • Place coated pickles on a sprayed baking sheet. Bake for a few minutes on each side (2-3) or until lightly browned on each side.¬†
Serve warm with choice of dressing for dipping. We used ranch! These would make a great addition to your New Year’s Eve party tray, along with these….
What are your plans for New Year’s Eve? {Insert song burst here *what are you doingggg, New Year’s. ¬†New Year’s Eveeeee*} I’ll be fixing a few appies and try to stay awake to watch the ball drop. My kids might invite a couple of friends over and that’s about as exciting as I am planning on things getting around here. I’m getting so old.

Pizza Puffs & Cookbook Review + GIVEAWAY!

One of my favorite food bloggers is Nicole of Prevention RD. I’ve been reading her blog for years now, and she has inspired me to try many new things…like tofu! Yes, my family wasn’t thrilled with that, but I discovered tofu isn’t so bad ūüôā We share the desire to take our favorite foods and lighten them up, and that healthy eating can be delicious! I was very excited for her when she announced she was writing a cookbook, and I was even more excited when I was contacted by the publisher to review the book! Not only that, they are offering a free copy to one of you!!

You know when you start looking over a cookbook, and immediately start bookmarking pages that it’s a good one. One of the first recipes in the book is for Pizza Puffs, and I knew they had to be made immediately. My kids and I love all things pizza!

Pizza Puffs from Prevention RD’s Everyday Healthy Cooking Cookbook

3/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 cup fat free milk
1 egg, lightly beaten (I used Egg Beaters since I was out of eggs)
4 oz. (1 cup) part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
34 slices turkey pepperoni, quartered (I used about 20)
1/2 cup pizza sauce (homemade or store-bought; I used this easy version)
2 tablespoons fresh basil, thinly sliced
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375ňöF. Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and oregano; whisk in milk and egg. Stir in mozzarella and pepperoni; let stand 10 minutes.
Stir batter, and divide among mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20-25 minutes.
Warm pizza sauce, then stir in 1 tablespoon basil. Sprinkle puffs with remaining 1 tablespoon basil. (I omitted) Serve puffs with pizza sauce for dipping. (if desired, my kids didn’t want sauce.)
Yield:
24 pizza puffs
Nutrition Information (per pizza puff):
38 calories; 1.4 g fat; 14 mg cholesterol; 123 mg sodium; 3.5 g carbohydrate; 0.1 g fiber; 3.0 g protein (stats per book)
*using the above stats, I calculated these as 1 Weight Watchers Point Plus (per puff)!
These made a great portable meal for the kids the other evening when we they had an insane schedule and had to actually eat dinner between volleyball games. I preferred them at room temp, so they will be great to pack for lunches at school, to have as appetizers, you name it! (When hot they are puffy and airy with melty cheese; when cooled they are more dense like actual pizza bites – they are good both ways!)
The cookbook is like Nicole’s blog, it has a wide variety of recipes with amazing pictures of each dish. The next on my list to make is the Greek Orzo and the Chocolate Dutch Baby. I’ve also already made Oven Fried Pickles from the book! It’s also the perfect time of year to try the Lightened-Apple Crisp, and the Carrot Cake Pancakes with Cream Cheese Glaze looks absolutely amazing!
So who’s interested in Prevention RD’s Everyday Healthy Cooking Cookbook with 100 Light and Delicious Recipes?! Just enter via the rafflecopter form!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure – As stated in the post, I was given a copy of the cookbook for review. All opinions are my own.

Hot Ham Dips on Homemade Slider Buns

I hope everyone has fared well from Hurricane/Tropical Storm/Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy. It looks like she did quite a bit of damage in some areas. ¬†We had lots of wind and rain. And rain….and rain. ¬†I thought we were about out of the woods, when I noticed how much standing water we had in our yard. ¬†And then one of the toilets wouldn’t flush. Then we discovered standing water in our detached garage. ¬†To make a long story short, our septic system was starting to back up. ¬†So, I packed up the kids and dog, and headed inland to the parentals. ¬†No way was I going to stay in a house with non-functioning toilets and 3 kids. So anyway, I’m posting from my parents. Who just got internet service back…what did we do prior to the internet?! ¬†So, now that everyone’s mind is in the sewer….let’s re-direct shall we?!
Seriously, go to your happy place, b/c these sandwiches deserve your full not-influenced-by-sewage-talk attention!  They were delicious!
This is yet another recipe by Plain Chicken. I love her recipes b/c they are so easy, and kid-friendly.  French dip sandwiches are a favorite of mine, so I was intrigued by the use of ham instead.  Let me tell ya, it is a great variation!

Hot Ham Dips

slightly adapted from Plain Chicken
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 tsp garlic powder
6 pretzel slider buns or 4 ciabatta rolls, split *I used homemade buns, recipe below

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 pound thinly sliced ham
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) beef consomm√© or beef broth *I used a packet of Charlie’s Pride Au Jus mix
1/2 tsp garlic powder *I omitted

In a small bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Add 1 tsp garlic powder.
Place rolls on a baking sheet; brush cut sides with garlic butter.

Sprinkle with cheese. Broil 3-4 in. from the heat for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

In a large saucepan, combine broth consommé and 1/2 tsp garlic powder mix Au Jus according to package directions (you just add water!); bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low.

Place ham into beef consommé and garlic Au Jus. Heat ham for 30-60 seconds, until slightly warm.  Using tongs, place ham on rolls. Serve sandwiches with remaining broth for dipping.

And check out my cute little buns! (In my dreams. haha)
These also come together pretty quickly, and are SO good.
Speedy Slider Buns 
*adapted from here
  1. 2 Tablespoons Active Dry Yeast
  2. 1 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons Warm Water
  3. 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
  4. 1/4 Cup Sugar
  5. 1 Egg *or egg replacer; I used Ener-G
  6. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  7. 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 Cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Stir in the oil and sugar, and let the mixture stand for 5 minutes.
  • Add the¬†egg replacer, salt, and 3 1/2 cups of flour. ¬†Combine until it forms a soft dough. Add the additional 1/4 cup of flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands (if you need a little more, that is okay too). Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes or so.
  • Divide the dough into 16 pieces, shape each into a small, thick disc (about the size of a biscuit – a regular not a Grands!) and place them on silicone mat¬†lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart.¬†¬†
  • Preheat oven to 425¬ļF. Lightly cover the balls of dough and let them rest for about 10 minutes (or longer if you wish).
  • Pop them in the oven and bake for about 8-10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Cool on a wire rack.

Verdict? As I said, these are DELISH! Everyone loved them. Mr. Three, of course, had his without ham, and garlic butter. ¬†So, yes, he had a plain roll, with plain rolled up ham on the side. Don’t ask. These are definitely a keeper, and will be made again soon. ¬†They made a great dinner, but would also be great for parties!

 

Speaking of parties, I’m linking up with these!¬†¬†Naptime Creations,¬†Mandy’s Recipe Box,¬†It’s a Blog Party,¬†Weiner Tales,¬†33 Shades of Green,¬†Blessed with Grace,¬†Simply Sugar and Gluten Free,¬†Our Delightful Home, Adorned from Above, Lady Behind the Curtain, Tessa the Domestic Diva, Ginger Snap Crafts, The Newlyweds

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