Recipe: Banana Cream Smoothie

Banana Cream Pie Smoothie Recipe

Banana Cream Smoothie

1   cup  vanilla low-fat yogurt
1   cup  sliced ripe banana (about 1 large)
1/2   cup
1%   low-fat milk
2   tablespoons whole wheat graham cracker crumbs (about 1/2 cookie sheet)
1   tablespoon nonfat dry milk
1/2   teaspoon vanilla extract
3   ice cubes (about 1/4 cup)
Graham cracker crumbs


Arrange banana slices in a single layer on a baking sheet, and freeze until firm (about 1 hour).

Place frozen banana and remaining ingredients in a blender.
Process until smooth. Sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs. Serve immediately.

Credit:  Maureen Callahan, Cooking Light


Slow Cooker Recipe: Pesto Lasagna with Spinach and Mushrooms

Pesto Lasagna with Spinach and Mushrooms
4   cups    torn spinach

  • 2      cups   sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2   cup    commercial pesto
  • 3/4   cup       (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4   cup        (3 ounces) shredded provolone cheese
  • 1                     (15-ounce) carton fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 1                      large egg, lightly beaten
     Cooking spray
  • 3/4   cup   (3 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1      (25.5-ounce) bottle fat-free tomato-basil pasta sauce
  • 1       (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1      (8-ounce) package precooked lasagna noodles (12 noodles)Directions
    • Arrange the spinach in a vegetable steamer; steam, covered, 3 minutes or until spinach wilts.
      Drain, squeeze dry, and coarsely chop. Combine spinach, mushrooms, and pesto in a medium bowl, stirring to combine; set aside.
    • Combine mozzarella, provolone, ricotta, and beaten egg in a medium bowl, stirring well to combine.
      Stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan, and set aside. Combine the pasta sauce and the tomato sauce in a medium bowl.
    • Spread 1 cup pasta sauce mixture in the bottom of a 6-quart oval electric slow cooker coated with cooking spray.
      Arrange 3 noodles over pasta sauce mixture; top with 1 cup cheese mixture and 1 cup spinach mixture.
      Repeat the layers, ending with spinach mixture. Arrange 3 noodles over spinach mixture; top with remaining 1 cup cheese mixture and 1 cup pasta sauce mixture. Place remaining 3 noodles over sauce mixture; spread remaining sauce mixture over noodles. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan. Cover with lid; cook on LOW 5 hours or until done.
      Tips:  No-boil lasagna noodles are perfect for this recipe, as they absorb all the juices that accumulate in the crockpot. Use 2 (10-ounce) packages of frozen chopped spinach in place of fresh, if you prefer. Also, any mushroom will work.

      Credit:  Copyright © 2014 Time Inc. Lifestyle Group. All Rights Reserved

Recipe: Squash-Rice Casserole


Squash-Rice Casserole

  • 1   cup  chopped onion
    8   cups  sliced zucchini(about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2   cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2   cups cooked rice
  • 1   cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1   cup fat-free sour cream
  • 1/4   cup  (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4   cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1   teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4   teaspoon black pepper
  • 2   large eggs, lightly beaten
    Cooking spray


  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Combine first 3 ingredients in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Drain; partially mash with a potato masher.
  • Combine zucchini mixture, rice, cheddar cheese, sour cream, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and eggs in a bowl; stir gently. Spoon mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
  • Preheat broiler. Broil 1 minute or until lightly browned.
    Tip: You may like to add fresh garlic, fresh parsley and finely chopped mushrooms.
    Easy to prepare and rich in flavor, the casserole pairs fabulously with roasted chicken, ham, or pork chops.Credit: Recipe from Cooking Light
    OCTOBER 2002. Photograph from Randy Mayor; Melanie J. Clarke. Copyright © 2014 Time Inc. Lifestyle Group. All Rights Reserved.

Kitchen Tip: Freezing Tomatoes

Tomatoes oneTomatoes twoTomatoes fiveTomatoes three
Hello Yall,

Last week I found myself with five dozen fresh Roma Tomatoes. Taco night was upon us but well this is a lot of tomatoes.
So I looked up how to freeze whole fresh tomatoes. Took the resource advice and form my own path to accomplish this task.
Being in the kitchen is still foreign to me still. At 57 years old I am truly learning the ins and outs of everything kitchen related.
I worked a long and happy career in marketing but in 2011 I turned into a homemaker.
Working with clients I was successful at in the kitchen I am far from seasoned.
Freezing tomatoes:
1.  Wash each tomato individually and cut off any stems, or rough ends.
2.  Pat dry any excess water left on the tomatoes.
3.  Depending on the amount of tomatoes take a pint freezer bag. I am fond of the double zip lock type.
4.  Place the tomatoes side by side in the freezer bag. Make sure that they are not crowded on top of each other.
I read to lay them spread out on a cookie baking sheet freeze them that way first them put them in the freezer bags.
5.   I placed the tomatoes in the bag and laid the bag flat in my freezer tray.
We have the medium sized chest freezer.
6. Mark with a freezer marker the date you freeze your tomatoes. They can remain frozen for up to 8 months.
I suggest a 6 month freeze is enough.

Frozen tomatoes do lose some of their flavor but can be used nicely in stews, soups, stir fries, and lots of recipes.
If you have any tips on freezing tomatoes you would like to share, please leave a comment.

Happy Eating,

Credit: Photographs used in this post and the content are property of this blog owner, Kathy Bradshaw!

Recipe: Cheesy Brown Rice Gratin with Zucchini and Eggplant

Cheesy Brown Rice Gratin with Zucchini and Eggplant


3/4   cup  uncooked long-grain brown rice

1   pound  eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes

1   pound  zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces

3/4   teaspoon  salt, divided

2   tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Cooking spray

1   cup chopped onion

3   garlic cloves, minced

4   ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated and divided (1 cup)

1/4   cup  half-and-half

1/4   teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper

2   large eggs, lightly beaten

2   ounces French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes

1/2   cup chopped walnuts

2   tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

The walnuts in this gratin offer a crunchy contrast to the roasted eggplant, zucchini and cheesy rice mixture, while the splash of half-and-half adds creamy richness. The brown rice mixture can be made ahead and refrigerated. When ready to prepare, bring to room temperature, spoon into the baking dish, and proceed as directed at the end of step 5.


1. Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.

2. Preheat oven to 400°.

3. Combine eggplant, zucchini, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a bowl; toss to combine. Place eggplant mixture evenly on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Place vegetables in a large bowl.

4. Reduce oven temperature to 375°.

5. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add onion and garlic; cook for 12 minutes or until tender. Add onion mixture to eggplant mixture. Add cooked rice, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3/4 cup cheese, and the next 3 ingredients (through eggs), and stir well to combine. Spoon rice mixture into an 11 x 7–inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover with foil, and bake at 375° for 15 minutes.

6. Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1 cup. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add breadcrumbs, and cook for 3 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently. Remove pan from heat; stir in remaining 1/4 cup cheese, walnuts, and parsley.

7. Remove foil from rice mixture. Top evenly with breadcrumb mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender and topping is browned.

Credit: Recipe is property of Sidney Fry, MS, RD, Cooking Light
MARCH 2012

Recipe: Gluten-Free S’More Bars

Gluten-Free S'More Bars

Gluten-Free S’More

Yield: Serves 24 (serving size: 1 bar)
Total:                               3 Hours, 35 Minutes

5   gluten-free graham cracker sheets, broken

3.38   ounces  gluten-free flour (about 3/4 cup)

1/2   cup  packed brown sugar

1/4   cup  chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1    large egg

6   tablespoons heavy whipping cream

2    (4-ounce) bars semisweet chocolate, chopped

2   cups miniature marshmallows


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. 2. Line an 8-inch square metal baking pan with aluminum foil, allowing foil to extend over edge of pan.
  3. 3. Place graham crackers in a food processor; process until finely ground. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add flour and sugar to crumbs; pulse until combined. Add butter; pulse 15 times or until blended. Add egg; process until moist. Press crumb mixture into bottom of prepared pan.
  4. 4. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  5. 5. Cook cream in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil). Remove from heat. Add chocolate, stirring until smooth. Fold in marshmallows. Spread chocolate mixture over cooled crust. Cover and chill 2 hours and 30 minutes or until firm. Holding edges of foil, lift mixture from pan, and carefully peel off foil. Place on a cutting board. Cut into bars.
  6. Kids Can Help: My kids love pressing the crumb mixture into the pan, and then melting the chocolate and stirring in the marshmallows

credit  Amanda Haas, Cooking Light Real Family Food, Oxmoor House
2012  Copyright © 2014 Time Inc. Lifestyle Group. All Rights Reserved.

Recipe: Snickers Cheesecake

Snickers Cheesecake Recipe

Snickers Cheesecake


2/3   cup  chocolate graham cracker crumbs (about 5 cookie sheets)
Cooking spray

2   cups  fat-free cottage cheese

1   (8-ounce) tub light cream cheese

3/4   cup packed brown sugar

1/2   cup  granulated sugar

1/2   cup  fat-free sour cream

1/4   cup  all-purpose flour

2   teaspoons  vanilla extract

2    large eggs

2   large egg whites

1/4   cup  fat-free caramel sundae syrup, divided

2  (2.07-ounce) chocolate-coated caramel-peanut nougat bars (such as Snickers), chopped and divided


  1. Preheat oven to 300°.
  2. Sprinkle crumbs into bottom and halfway up sides of a 9-inch spring form pan coated with cooking spray.
  3. Combine cheeses in a food processor; process 2 minutes or until smooth. Add brown sugar and next 6 ingredients (brown sugar through egg whites); process just until blended. Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons syrup; sprinkle with half of chopped candy bar. Pour remaining batter into pan; drizzle with 2 tablespoons syrup. Bake at 300° for 50 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining chopped candy bar; bake 10 minutes or until almost set. Turn oven off; let cheesecake stand for 1 hour in oven with door closed. Remove cheesecake from oven; cool to room temperature.
    Cover and chill at least 8 hours.Credit: Photograph credit HOWARD L. PUCKETT. Recipe is property of Jim Thorton, Cooking Light
    OCTOBER 1998.