Food: (Noun)

Food: (Noun) Any nourishing substance that is eaten, drunk, or otherwise taken into the body to sustain life, provide energy, promote growth, etc.

This weekend, I ate a lot of good food. Last night, I made a lot of that food myself!

I made all three recipes from my last post last night and, for the most part, my boyfriend and I were not disappointed! Please excuse the quality of the photos… they had to be taken with my iPhone since I have no way to upload photos from my camera.

I started with the Peanut Butter “Cheese Ball” since it had to go in the freezer for a couple hours.

Ingredients
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (not all-natural)
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup peanut butter chips
Graham cracker sticks, teddy grahams, and/or apple slices for dippingDirections:
1. Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar in large mixer bowl until blended.
2. Spoon onto a large piece of plastic wrap; bring up all four corners and twist tightly forming into a ball shape.
3. Freeze for 1 hour 30 minutes or until firm enough to keep its shape. Place peanut butter and chocolate chips in flat dish. Remove plastic wrap from ball and roll ball into morsels to completely cover, pressing morsels into the ball if necessary.
4. Place ball on serving dish; cover and freeze for 2 hours or until almost firm. (Can be made ahead. If frozen overnight, thaw at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.) Serve with graham cracker sticks, teddy grahams, or apple slices for dipping or spreading.

After being wrapped up and in the freezer for about two hours, I took it out, rolled it in peanut butter and chocolate chips (a lot of them have to be pushed into the ball to stick) and VOILA!

We ate a few bites of this with graham crackers and it was delicious! Highly recommend! This would be great to take to parties 🙂

Next, I made the Spinach Bites.

Ingredients
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 1 clove) — I had to use two cloves to get 1 teaspoon
2 10-ounces packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 8-ounce bag of herbed seasoned stuffing mix — I used Pepperidge Farm, which I highly recommend using!
6 large eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter.
3. Add onion and cook until the onions are translucent and soft, about 5 minutes or so.
4. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Remove the pan from the heat and let cool.
5.  In the meantime, remove excess water from thawed spinach by pressing it between paper towels. **You do not need to cook the spinach.
6.  In a large bowl, combine the stuffing mix, spinach, eggs, Parmesan, salt and pepper, and onion/garlic mixture.  Combine well.
7. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
8.  One at a time, using your hands, roll the mixture into individual 1-inch balls.  Place each one on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
9.  Bake the balls for about 15-20 minutes, or until very slightly browned.

I chopped the onion, minced the garlic and combined the breadcrumbs and eggs first. Next, I sauteed the butter, onions and garlic while the spinach was thawed and drained.

As the garlic and onion mixture cooled, I added the thawed and drained spinach to the breadcrumbs and egg mixture.

I added the cooled butter, onion and garlic mixture to the bowl, mixed it all together and made 1-inch balls, which I placed on parchment paper on my baking sheets.

They went in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes and made the apartment smell heavenly! After they turned a nice golden brown, they cooled and we had to keep ourselves from eating ALL of them!

My boyfriend mixed sour cream with half a packet of Hidden Valley Spicy Ranch dressing for dipping sauce and he ate all of his while dipping. I, on the other hand, think they are amazing on their own, but you can also use Ranch or marinara sauce for dipping!

Last, I made our entree for dinner, the Spinach and Ricotta Fritatta. I didn’t realize this recipe was so healthy when reading it, but it turned out to only be about 200 calories per serving. I used 1% milk instead of skim since I already had some, but I made the rest exactly by the recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 egg whites (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1/4 tsp each sea salt and ground black pepper
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup low-fat ricotta cheese

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg whites, egg and skim milk until frothy; set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a 10-inch nonstick frying pan on medium. Add garlic and onion and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until softened. Add spinach to pan, in batches if necessary, and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  4. Pour egg mixture into pan and drop ricotta by the tablespoonful over top. Cook for 3 minutes, until eggs begin to set on the bottom. Transfer pan to oven and bake for 8 minutes or until eggs are firm. Cut frittata into 4 wedges and serve immediately.

It turned out a little bland for my taste, but I do plan on making it again and adding a few more spices and possibly some cheddar cheese.

All in all, I didn’t screw anything up and it was all so easy! I’m also happy that I know how to add baby spinach to my omelets in the future!

Hope you all feel inspired to try a few new recipes this week 🙂

-CS

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