Fresh Basil Pesto

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With the heat index hitting OZ at 110 degrees I am actually felling very relaxed and comfortable as I sit outside on the patio enjoying some good company. I think to be comfortable in 110 degree weather you need to be with good company or else lets face it, it would be pretty darn miserable outside!! Lol! 🙂 Have you ever noticed how good company can help you forget how miserably hot it is? Or have you ever had a bad meal that you didn’t realize was bad because you were having so much fun with the person you are with? To me its a good reminder to always be someone elses good company 😉

The silky voices of Ambrosia are seeping in the air as they sing You’re the Only Woman. This song would make any girl feel special! Take notes!! I’m sipping on a glass of Joel Gott Cabernet getting read to enjoy an Opus as I look out at my garden amazed at how my basil has taken off! Just like my zucchini, I have way to much. What am I going to do with it?? PESTO!!!

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I know pesto can be fattening buuut, it’s made with a heart healthy olive oil and in moderation, it’s sooooo good for you. That’s another reason it’s good to pay attention to your diet, so you can enjoy a serving of fresh pasta with pesto on occasion 😉 so jump in your car to hit the store and I will tell you..

What You Will Need:

2 Cups fresh Basil (Basil is so easy to grow I encourage you to grow some in a small pot)

1 Shallot, rough chop

6 Cloves Fresh Garlic, rough chop

1 Cup Raw Pine Nuts (You can use walnuts if you prefer)

1/2 Cup Olive Oil (Save 1 tsp to rub on your face, Seriously! That’s all I use for skin care and its cheaper than any lotion in the store.)

I know, get on with it EDEN

1 tsp Salt

Time to put on a song that make you feel chill and

Prep your Mis en Place Love 😉

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With your shallots, and garlic, do a rough chop to help out your worn out blender.

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Toss the shallots, garlic, basil, pine nuts, and salt into your blender.

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Start to blend slowly and add in the olive oil.

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Look at you getting so fancy making your own sauce!! I find it very satisfying 🙂

So since you normally eat waistline friendly, add in some fresh made pasta.

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There is a huge difference between fresh pasta and store-bought pasta. If you can I encourage you to do so.

Makes 4 Servings (without pasta)

188 cals, 20.3 G fat (HEALTHY) 1.5 G carb, .6 G fiber, 1.5 G pro, .4 G sugar

Extra: Instead of using pasta, be kinder to your tummy and use fresh zucchini noodles. Simply use a shredder to creat the noodle effect. If you go to my tip page you will see the tool I’m talking about.

EXTRA EXTRA! You will need to brush your teeth after eating this meal lol! But hey that’s healthy too! 😉

Cheers to another Waistline Friendly Meal!!

KISSES!

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Baked Eggplant Stack

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“I’m not going to cry, I’m not going to cry.” Ok, I’m crying! Why oh why did I choose to listen to Lady Antebellum I Need You Now??? This song is so beautiful, it makes my heart cry. I just want to drop what I’m doing, jump in my car, and race towards my loved one. I love the part where she sings “And I wonder if I ever cross your mind??? For me it happens all the time. I’d rather hurt than feel nothing at all….” Oh man This song goes perfect with my small glass of Hibiki Japanese whiskey. So now that we are all thinking of someone we need right now, I would like to tell you about the dish that was inspired by a loved one so, here is…

What You Will Need:

1 Eggplant, sliced

1 Beefsteak Tomato, sliced

1/2 Cup Ricotta Cheese, divided

2 Cups Arugula

2 Eggs, whisked

1/2 Cup Italian Style Panko Bread Crumbs

2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar, divided

Salt and Pepper to taste

Got everything?? Good, now…

Prep Your Mis en Place 🙂

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Pre heat your oven to 425

Get out two separate bowls and in one of them add in the eggs and beat.(Go ahead and hit the eggs with a little pepper.)

The second, add in the bread crumbs.

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Slice your eggplant and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, then begin to dip each slice of eggplant. First, in the eggs then in the bread crumbs.

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Place on a cookie sheet , and bake for 10 minutes.

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Take them out of the oven, flip and continue to bake for 10 more minutes.

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Slice up those red beauties.

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Once the eggplant is done begin to layer. Eggplant, ricotta, tomato.

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Continue to stack until you create a leaning tower 😉

Top off with some arugula, and a drizzle of balsamic.

Makes 2 Servings, one for you and the one you need:

220.5 cals, 3.3 g fat, 39.2 G carb, 3.2 G fiber, 7.3 G pro, 5.9 G sugar

Extra: You can always use goat cheese or mozzarella cheese instead of ricotta cheese to add more punch. Don’t forget to play the song I was telling you about as you share your meal 😉

Cheers to Another Waistline Friendly Meal!

KISSES

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Sweet Potato with Cumin Spiced Chili

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Where I live in the land of OZ, it has been cold and rainy. All I want to do is fill my belly up with warm comfort food while still celebrating the seasonal ingredients. Cherries are in season and I was trying to find a way to incorporate those lovely creatures into a tummy warming dish and I think I have. I am so Pleased! 🙂 I think you will be too!

I love this song….”Was it the simple things that made me so crazy about you?… Was it your joy or your passion? It’s not all up to me… I love you and I need you so I’m….. Sending you forget me nots…” Patrice Rushen singing Forget Me Nots is hot!! 2 Min and 55 seconds into the song is when I really drop down! I love listening to music while I cook. I think it’s the only time that I ever feel like everything is right. I’m not good at expressing emotion so I only hope that how I feel comes out to you through my food. Oh add in a glass of this…..

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and I’m really good 😉 So dance with me a little and I will tell you..

What You Will Need:

4 Sweet Potatoes, scrubbed and baked

2 Pks of 99% lean Ground White Turkey Breast

1 28 Ounce can of Crushed Tomatoes

1 Yellow Onion, diced

3 Cloves of Garlic, minced

2 Cups Cherries, pitted and cut in half

1 1/2 Cups Green Olives, sliced

1/4 Cup Capers

1/2 Cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped

1/4 Cup Sherry

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 Tbsp Ground Cumin

1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon

Salt to taste (not to much, the olives and capers will act as your salt.)

Turn up your music, take a deep breath, and let everything goNow Prep your Mis en Place.

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First thing, pre heat your oven to 400. Scrub your potatoes, punch a few holes in them with a fork and bake them for 1 hour.

In a pot on the stove set to medium high heat, add in the olive oil, garlic, onion, cumin, and cinnamon.

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Stir well and allow the onions to start to sweat. The smell is fantastic! I love the smell of toasted cumin I want to put some behind my ear lol.

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Once the onions begin to soften (about 5 minutes) add in the ground turkey and begin to crumble and cook through.

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Next add in your crushed tomatoes and stir.

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Set the temp to medium and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes.

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Add in those beautiful cherries, green olives, and sherry. Get up and close to your pot and inhale!! Ahhh yes…

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Cook for 5 more minutes then add in your fresh cilantro and set to simmer for 10 minutes.

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Add in a few more cherries at this point if you like and your capers.

Mix well.

Your potatoes should be done so remove those babies from the oven, cut in half and top with your chili.

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Makes 4 servings with extra chili for freezing:

354.2 cals, 2.5 G fat, 50.2 G carb, 8.3 G fiber, 32.7 G pro, 20.1 G sugar

Extra: Look at that fiber and protein content! I know the sugar is higher than normal, but it comes from wonderful nutritious food! This dish is so colorful and each ingredient and color does something wonderful to your body!

Cheers to another Waistline Friendly Meal!!

KISSES!

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Goat Cheese with Red Peppers and Pesto

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I am back from my long trip, and I am really looking forward to telling you all about it! I have missed you so much so I’m posting a quick recipe for you to try while you wait for my next posting 🙂 This little snack is so nice for the spring and summer. The coolness of the bell pepper and cucumber is pallet refreshing!

Right now my hips are shaking to the beat as I listen to Hips Don’t Lie by Shakira. This song makes me want to hop in a plane and head to Puerto Rico or Cuba! So how about having a Mojito with me…

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As I tell you….

What You Will Need:

1 ounce Soft Goat Cheese

1/4 Red Bell Pepper, sliced thin

1/4 Baby Cucumber, sliced thin

1 Tbsp Basil Pesto (Homemade if you can)

1 Serving of any kind of Cracker you like (I like to use a very thin cracker so it doesn’t take away from the flavor of the goat cheese and pesto)

Now that you have your music and drink with you… Prep your Mis en Place 🙂

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Did You slice the bell pepper and cucumber?? Yes? Then you are done!! So easy hu?

Assemble: Cracker, cucumber, goat cheese, pesto, and bell pepper.

Now all you need is company to share it with so make more.

Serving: 9 Crackers

209.1 Cals, 11.5 G fat, 9 G carb, 1.3 G fiber 6.9 G pro, 3.7 G sugar

Cheers to Another Waistline Friendly Meal!

KISSES 🙂

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Shallot Marinara Sauce

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Oh My Goooooodnesss!!  The flavor in this marinara is outstanding! I need to warn you ahead of time, you will need to keep your toothbrush handy after eating this sauce but hey, we need to be brushing after we eat right?? I’m all about good health 🙂 I’m telling you, this sauce is so good that I smiled the whole time I was eating it. I believe the way you feel when you are cooking shows up in your food. I certainly was having a great time listening to Caruso sung by Andrea Bocelli while I was sipping on my Decoy Chardonnay (A very beautiful affordable wine). You should have seen me.. Maybe someday I will release the videos of me cooking 😉 that could be fun!

Now so you can put a smile on your face I will tell you…

What You Will Need:

2 28 ounce cans Peeled tomatoes (If you can use your own jarred tomatoes)

1 Cup Fresh Shallots, minced (I told you, you would need a toothbrush)

6 Cloves of Fresh Garlic, minced

1/2 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves, sliced into ribbons

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 Tbsp Dried Oregano

1 Tsp salt

1 Tsp Black Pepper

1 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper

Hopefully your mouth is watering by now so wipe your lip and Prep your Mis en Place 🙂 Love IT!

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Start by mincing your shallots, and garlic.

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Somethings are defiantly worth crying for……….

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In a large pot on the stove set to medium high heat, add in the olive oil, shallots, and garlic.

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Stir frequently until the shallot begins to soften, about 6 minutes.

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Doesn’t it smell GOOD!?

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After the shallots have soften, add in the tomatoes.

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Then add in the salt, black pepper, red pepper, and oregano.

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Begin to crush the tomatoes with a wooden spoon and set the temperature to medium low heat.

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Wow! Look at that yummy nutrition! Cover and allow your sauce to simmer for 30 minutes , then add in your fresh basil and simmer for another 15 minutes.

AMAZING is what your company will say when they taste your homemade marinara sauce. Yes, they will ask you if it’s homemade 🙂

Makes 10 1/2 Cup servings:

51 cals, 1.3 G fat, 13 G carb, 2 G fiber, 1 G pro, 7 G sugar

EXTRA** A quick yummy dish to pair your marinara would be sausage and peppers.

In a medium pot on the stove, bring some salted water to boil for your noodles.

Buy some assorted colors of bell peppers along with spicy Italian sausage.

In a large pan on the stove set to medium high heat, begin to carmalize your peppers.

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Like this..

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YUMMY!!! Next grill your sausage.

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Cook your pasta according to directions and drain.

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Wallah! You now have a meal that is so simple but tastes soooo complex!

Cheers to another Waistline Friendly Meal!

KISSES

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Mediterranean Shrimp with Fennel

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As I sit here listening to Trouble Me by 10,000 Maniacs I need to raise my glass of La Croix sparkling coconut water to this dish! It’s another easy, healthy, delicious meal with minimal ingredients.

I am so pleased🙂

I still get amazed at how easy it really is to eat healthy, why do we try to complicate things that are simple? I do understand that education and inspiration are key and that is why I am thankful for some of the amazing blogs I follow (I will provide a list) there are some wonderful people out there that are doing research on the subject of good health and are putting it out there for us to learn from. The most important thing I learned is that you just need to try, try, try again. Success is made out of failures, and I can tell you this dish is not one of them 😉

So to help you make this meal, I will tell you,

What You Will Need:

2 Fennel Bulbs, sliced thin

1 15 ounce can of Fire Roasted Tomatoes (or you can go the extra Mile and roast them yourself)

1 1/2 Tbsp Dried Oregano

1 Lb of Peeled Raw Shrimp

4 Tbsp Capers

1/4 Cup Fat Free Feta, crumbled

Ground Black Pepper and Sea Salt to taste

Now  my favorite part, prep your Mis en Place

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On the stove with a large pan set to medium heat, add in the sliced fennel and cook until they begin to soften. I do not use any oil to cook my veggies, I just cook them slow and allow them to sweat. You can use olive oil if you wish for them to cook faster plus, it is Mediterranean.

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Next, add in the tomatoes.

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And the oregano. Mix well and allow to simmer until the fennel is soft. I still like a little bite to my veggies so you may want to test along the way (which you should always do).

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After you peel your shrimp, add it to the fennel and cook for about 4 minutes. Shrimp does not take long to cook so what you are looking for is a light pink color.

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Once your shrimp is done cooking, plate then sprinkle with capers, feta, sea salt, and pepper.

I told you it was easy!!!

Makes 4 Servings:

138.3 cals, 1.8 G fat, 7.9 G carbs, 3.1 G fiber, 20.8 G pro, .1 G sugar

Extra: This dish works well with grilled chicken, or a pan seared Sea Bass.

Cheers to another Waistline Friendly Meal!

KISSES

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Pan seared Chicken with Braised Leeks and Thyme

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I’m baaack! 🙂 and even better I was able to come up with some delicious dishes with minimal ingredients! Let’s face it, its BEAUTIFUL outside and as much as I LOVE cooking, I want to play outside. Hmmmm, maybe I need to start cooking outdoors. Take My Breath Away by Berlin is playing and its making me daydream about someone I love. Look around you next time you hear this song play, I promise every lady in there will light up. I’m sipping on a glass of Champagne in total peace at this moment. I love how some of my favorite things in life go  so well together. Music, wine, food.. add in a cigar and good company and I wont need anything else in my life.

I hope this recipe pleases you so I will tell you

What You Will Need:

4 Large Leeks, cut length wise white and light green parts only

4 Chicken Breast

8 Cloves of Garlic, cut in half

8 Sprigs of Lemon Thyme (I love being able to pull ingredients from my garden)

1/2 Cup Heavy Cream

2 Cups Chicken Stock (homemade if you can)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Now that you have what you need, prep your Mis en Place 😉

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Pre heat your oven to 425 degrees. In a glass baking dish, line up the leeks and tuck in the garlic, and thyme in between them.

Pour the chicken stock over them and place in the oven for 40 minutes.

You are braising can you believe it?

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While the leeks have been braising for 30 minutes, heat up a large pan on the stove and add the chicken breast sprinkled with salt and pepper to sear them.

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Like This.

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It’s about 3 minutes on each side, they will not be fully cooked we are just trying to ensure that we seal in all the juices.

Once you are done, set the chicken aside until the leeks have braised for 40 minutes.

Turn the heat off the stove but don’t get rid of the pan or anything left in the pan like the brown crunchy stuff.

After the leeks braised for 40 minutes, take them out of the oven.

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Add the chicken breast to the top of the leeks.

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In the same pan you seared your chicken in, add in the heavy cream, salt and pepper,  stir on low heat for 2 minutes.

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Pour your cream sauce (yes you made a cream sauce) to the top of the chicken.

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Place the dish back in the oven for another 20 minutes.

You are done!

Makes 4 servings:

214 cal, 4.5 G fat, 14.5 G carb, 2 G fiber, 29.5 G pro, 4 G sugar.

It still amazes me every time how when you Eat From Eden you get so much food packed full of good nutrition at a lower calorie content. It’s unbelievable how much food you get to eat everyday when you Eat From Eden.

Cheers to another Waistline Friendly meal!!

KISSES 😉

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Artichoke Hearts with Spinach and Mint

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I still get so tickled when I can make a crowd pleasing snack that takes no time what-so-ever but tastes like it Does!! 😉 Plus anytime I can make something yummy for your tummy using 4 ingredients or less it’s a bonus!!! Once again, the key to cooking with less ingredients is to balance them well together. You need to slowly add the ingredients together tasting all the way because once it’s in there you can not take it out, it’s always easier to add in then to subtract.

I’m sitting out back by the fire thinking of future recipes to make as I sip on HANDS DOWN the best Chardonnay ever!!! Cakebread 🙂

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It is such a beautiful evening and I’m listening to My Heart Skips A Beat by The Cover Girls and this song takes me to “back in the day” when I was in cheerleading lol oh my, the hair styles alone are funny enough to reminisce about. The song goes something like this “My heart skips a beat.. every time we meet.. I don’t know what to do I’M SO IN LOVE WITH YOU….) It nice to have someone in your life that you feel that way about.

Okay my fire is dying down and I need a refill so I will tell you..

What You Will Need:

2 Cups Artichoke Hearts

2 Cups Fresh Spinach Leaves

1 Lemon, juiced

1/4 Cup Fresh Mint Leaves (Yes I said Mint 😉 )

Sea Salt to taste

Any crackers you would like

Now that your glass is refiled prep your Mis en Place!

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In a blender, add in the artichoke hearts, spinach, mint, lemon juice, and sea salt.

Blend until smooth….

What did I tell you?! That was so super easy!!

Serves 5:

58 cals, .7 G fat, 12.6 G carb, 8 G fiber, 3.3 G pro, 2.2 G sugar

Look at all that yummy fiber you’re getting!

Cheers to another Waistline Friendly Meal!

KISSES

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AppleWood Smoked Bacon with Honeycrisp and Parmigiano Reggiano

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YUMMY!! Is what your unexpected guest will say when they pop one of these delicious bites into their mouths and smile 🙂  We have all been there before when lovely company comes over unannounced and like any good host or hostess, you will want to offer up something to eat. Actually I think its expected of me now lol. It’s always good to have a few ingredients on hand that you can make quick Hors d’ oeuvres out of, and who doesn’t have apple, bacon, or cheese on hand? If you don’t, go get some. Oh and while you are at the store pick up one of these while you are there…

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Oh yes!! I’m listening to the song Smile like you mean it by The Killers as I sip on Blue and this song makes me want to jump out of my chair! Whenever this song plays It instantly takes me into dreamland mode thinking of fun days in the past as well as thinking of fun days to come…. Oops company is here so I better tell you…

What You Will Need:

2 Large Honeycrisp Apples, cored and sliced

1 Lb of Apple wood smoked Bacon, cooked (Please buy your bacon from the butcher! It not only tastes way better, its cheaper!)

8 Oz of Parmigiano Reggiano, Sliced

Crackers of any kind

Now That you have your drink and ingredients..

Prep your Mis en Place 😉

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In a large pan on the stove set to medium heat, cook the bacon until its nice and crisp. Dont cook the bacon at a higher temperature because you will burn it. Set the bacon aside once its done cooking. IMG_7942

While the bacon is cooking, slice up your apples and cheese.

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Bam your done! You now have a company pleasing snack for all to enjoy!!

Assemble cracker, apple, bacon, cheese.

Makes 8 Servings:

308 Cals, 19.1 G fat, 20.7 G carb, 4 G fiber,14.4 G pro, 8 G sugar

**Extra: I know the fat content is higher than I normal use in any one dish, but some fat is actually very good for you. Lets face it, if you can’t indulge a little with non processed foods why bother?

Cheers to Another Waistline Friendly Meal!

KISSES

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California Artichoke Hearts with Roasted Heirlooms

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As the weather continues to get nicer, I find myself wanting to be outside more. So my time in the kitchen is a bit limited. Dont get me wrong I love love love cooking but I also enjoy walks or runs at the nature park, rescuing turtles from the side of the road, and picnicking at the lake. So, I have been trying to come up with meal ideas that use minimal ingredients. I enjoy cooking elaborate meals, there is something about creating that perfect balance between multiple ingredients that excites me! But when the weather is nice I’m out!

The key to cooking with less ingredients is to coach out the individual flavors and marry them together. 😉

Take My breath away! Caruso sung by Andrea Bocelli is playing as I sip On My Johnny Walker Blue. It makes me either want to cry, or to daydream about driving to the lake with the top down as the warm sun touches my face….  I suppose there is a third option, I can smile and allow my emotion to come out in my food.

What You Will Need:

2 Fresh Artichokes, tops of the head cut off. (Thank you Florida for my artichokes!)

2 Lemons, sliced

1 Bunch of Fresh Asparagus, sliced into 1 inch pieces

3 Cups Fresh Baby Heirloom Tomatoes

3 Cloves of Garlic, sliced thin

4 Eggs, Poached

1 Tbsp olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

If  you are not to emotional from listening to this song, prep your Mis en Place 🙂

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In a large pot on the stove, bring water to a boil then add the artichokes, and lemon slices to the water. If you like, you can add salt to the artichokes bath. Allow them to boil for 15-20 minutes.

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Next pre heat your oven to 400. In a glass bowl add the tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well then place them on a baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes or until the tomatoes skin starts to peel and brown.

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Once the artichokes are done with their bath, peel all the outer leaves away from the heart of the artichoke.

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With a small knife or spoon, scrape out the “hair” then slice the heart.

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Once the tomatoes are done roasting you can easily peel the skin off the tomatoes off or you can leave it on.

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In a pan on the stove, add in the asparagus, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. At this time start poaching your eggs.

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Last but not least, add in the roasted tomatoes and sliced artichoke hearts. Sprinkle with salt and pepper continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Divide into 4 bowls and top each with a poached egg.

Makes 4 Servings:

201 cals, 8.9 G fat, 19.8 G carb, 10.8 G fiber, 11.6 G pro, 6.9 G sugar

Without the egg:

127 cals, 3.9 G fat, 19.8 G carb, 10.8 G fiber, 5.3 G pro, 6.9 G sugar.

I Die! This is sooooo delicious as well as nutritious!

Cheers to Another Waistline Friendly Meal!!!

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