Tales from a 20-Something's Kitchen.

One girl's mission to take on Pinterest. And win. And eat some great food in the process.

Archive for the month “July, 2015”

Reduced Calorie, Reduced Fat, Spinach and Artichoke Dip


So, I’ve recently made Spinach and Artichoke dip (pretty successfully I might add)


But this one promises to be healthy-ish, so why not? The trick to this is basically reduced fat cream cheese, low fat milk, greek yogurt, and less cheese.

Confession. I already had a whole block of regular cream cheese in the fridge. Why go out and buy more? So, this recipe may not be as reduced as it should be. I already drink low fat milk so that was easy. The less cheese broke my heart a little bit but I honestly didn’t miss it too much in the final product.

But the greek yogurt. That was an adventure. The recipe specifically calls for 2%. But literally every single 2% yogurt at the grocery store was flavored. And I really didn’t want my spin dip to taste like toasted coconut. I was about to give up and use 0%, but then I saw one of those yocrunch type ones? So I used that yogurt and ate the “choco balls” separately haha.

Also, both grocery stores I went to have never even heard of frozen artichoke hearts, so I just went with the canned ones. Worked just as well I think.

Which is actually what this recipe is. With the ingredients, this is a healthier version of the traditional appetizer, but I honestly think it tasted just as good. Chalk this one up as a win.




Strawberry Shortcake Cookies


So a little bit ago, I made Strawberry Cheesecake Cookies (https://jeleff2014.wordpress.com/2015/05/08/strawberry-cheesecake-cookies/)

And they turned out pretty good. I think I almost like this recipe better. They’re very similar, and actually have almost the exact same texture, but I liked the flavors a little more in this recipe. It’s also a pretty simple recipe. It calls for a pastry cutter at one point and says to cut butter into the flour mixture. Honestly, I had no idea what that last sentence meant. It also said you could use your hands. So I did that.

But these were definitely a hit. I had some people over the other night and the entire plate was gone by the end of it!



Crispy Chicken and Pasta with Creamy Italian Sauce


Guys, I made like a real dinner. I breaded and cooked the chicken, made the pasta, and made the sauce from scratch.


But this was a journey. It starts in the grocery store. This is a recipe that was made to utilize Philadelphia’s line of cooking cremes. So, I’m standing in the aisle, staring. Finding no cooking creme. So, I pull out my phone and start Googling. Turns out Philadelphia stopped making those. But, they have a handy guide on their Tumblr about how to make a substitute. Not kidding.



Although, side note, if a product is so popular you have to post on how to make a substitute, then why stop making it? I was actually in the aisle and a guy comes up to me-turns out he was looking for the exact same thing!

Anyway, I get home, make the substitute cooking creme, and then I finally start on the recipe. Everything is going great, and then I go to tenderize the chicken. I swear to god we had a meat mallet. But I couldn’t find it anywhere, so I decided to use my fist. (I know what you’re thinking-I put it in a ziploc bag first ew.)

Let me tell you. If you are ever frustrated about things, punching some chicken works wonders.

Anywho. So next comes the coating part. Which, in making chicken before, has never gone well. It’s gone ok, it happens, but it’s never been great. This time was damn near perfect. I shocked myself.

So the best cooking method for the chicken I found was uncovered at 7 for 5 minutes, flipping them, and then covered at 5 for 5 minutes. Parts of it were a little blackened, but the chicken was for sure cooked the whole way through.

But I think the true winner of this recipe is the pasta sauce. Holy shit. Like this could have been just a recipe for the sauce and I would have been totally satisfied. It’s really simple too. The only bit of trouble I had was that my saucepan wasn’t big enough. You’re supposed to make it in the same pan you cooked the chicken in, and I could only cook two at a time soooo.

So I had to dump the noodles back in the colander. (Did I mention I was cooking pasta at the same time as all of this? I mean it’s not that hard, but still, multi-tasking.) Then I dumped the sauce that I started to make in the saucepan into the huge pot that the noodles were in….It was a process.

Anyway, this recipe left a mountain of dishes, but it was totally worth it.



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