I'm very excited about this post because, well, these recipes are flipping delicious!

What I have for you today are two appetizer (appeteaser) recipes that are fancy enough for a new years party and easy enough for a night in with a few friends!

The first: Prosciutto Wrapped Manchego Stuffed Medjool Dates

I first had these at 9th Door in Denver, a spanish tapas bar that I went to with this charity case friend/person I know, Kameron (justkiddingloveyoukammyyyy). They're super easy to recreate because there isn't any special trick here. You can count the ingredients with three fingers.  Manchego is a creamy, bitter, hard cheese that melts very well. It is the perfect compliment to sugary dates and salty prosciutto. These are great straight out of the oven, but great at room temp as well.

The second: Goat Cheese, Pistachio, and Raspberry on Endive

I love the color of these! I first had goat cheese and endive together during apertivo at a bar in Turin, Italy. Aperitivo, if you have never heard of it, is like italian happy hour, but one million bajillion times better. At the place I went you just had to buy a drink and they had this huge spread of small bites to snack on. But they weren't just like chicken wings and bar nuts, they had fancy ass shit like goat cheese and endive with raspberries! It was amazing. I think I'd like to die from aperitivo overdose one day.

So, without further ado, I bring you said recipes.

Prosciutto Wrapped Manchego Stuffed Medjool Dates 
Makes 15, 2 WWP+ each, 1 WW P+ for two if you go meat free or don't like prosciutto :)


  • 15 medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 oz manchego cheese, cut into tiny, date size pieces for 15 dates
  • 4 oz prosciutto
  • Toothpicks for serving
  • Preheat oven to 400 F
  • Remove rind from manchego cheese if necessary

  •  Pit dates by slitting one side and popping out the pit and any remaining stem

  •  Stuff in cheese and squeeze back together

  •  Wrap a small thin slice of prosciutto around the date. 

  • The prosciutto should wrap around the date 2-3 times

  • Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes
  • Remove from oven, turn each date, and bake for another 5 minutes
  • Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes so cheese can reset, pierce with toothpicks, and serve in a bowl

  •  MMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmm

Those little suckers are delicious. And a really good trick to have up your sleeve. They're not cheap and they're not healthy, but they are awesome. So save them for something or someone very special. Like NYE! Or feed them to your guinea pig (read: boyfriend) if you're just making them for blog material.

Moving on to something healthier!

Goat Cheese, Pistachio, and Raspberry on Endive
Makes 24 Pieces, 1 WWP+ / 2 pieces

  • 24 Endive Leaves
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 4 oz greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup roasted, unsalted pistachios, processed or finely chopped
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries
  • Ziploc freezer bag or piping bag
  • In a bowl, fold goat cheese and greek yogurt together
  • Season with rosemary and lemon zest

  •  Line a cup with a plastic bag with top folded over. This will make filling the bag or piping bag a lotttt easier!

  •  Spoon in the goat cheese mixture

  •  Squeeze mixture to one end, squeeze out the air, seal the bag, and snip the corner about 1/4"

  •  Place pistachio crumbs in a shallow bowl

  •  Prep endive by cutting off base and selecting the best leaves. If your endive is a little sad and wilty, shock it in an ice bath to wake it up and blot dry with a towel.

  •  Pipe filling into endive as so

  •  Dust with pistachio crumbs

  •  Pop on 2-3 raspberries

  •  Try not to eat them all before you serve them to your peeps

This recipe is super light and refreshing! I'm not sure how I lived before I had greek yogurt, since it is the ingredient of the gods. It really lightens up this recipe, not only calorically, but tastefully. Pistachios have a naturally sweet flavor that contrasts perfectly with the bitter endive and sharp goat cheese. The greek yogurt adds a particular tang and lightness to the whole mix. The raspberries not only look awesome, but add a juicy, fruity punch of flavor.  These are a tad bit of work, but they don't require an oven or stove, so they are easy in that way. Definitely worth the elbow grease!

Well that's it for 2011, peeps.

It's been a crazy, crazy year. One that I will look back on like this: holy shit, did that really happen? I mean, within 365 days, all that shit happened? 

I've been through a whole lot of changes this year, closed some chapters, started some new ventures, and made a lot of memories. I started this little bloggity blog, which though small and kinda embarrassing, I appreciate that you are reading it. Both of you. Hi Mom and Sister. 

Anywho, here's to hoping that 2012 is maybe not as eventful, but just as memorable! Happy New Year!


Vegetarian Breakfast Hash Brown Muffins

Breakfast is my very favorite meal of the day. I never miss it! This christmas, in addition to Brother Bjorn's delicious rice pudding, I threw together some somewhat healthy Vegetarian Hash Brown Muffins. Basically, they are everything you like about breakfast within one muffin tin. Built in portion control!

Vegetarian Hash Brown Muffins
Makes 12 at 3 WW P+ each


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 c. frozen hash brown style potatoes
  • 1 cup frozen spinach
  • 4 links Morningstar farms veggie sausage links, crumbled <---tastes like real sausage, but is actually TVP!
  • 2 cups egg substitute (read: no cholesterol)
  • 1/2 c. bisquick or other baking mix of your choice
  • Dash of cayenne, salt, pepper to season
  • 1 cup shredded light cheese of your choice


  • Preheat oven to 375 F
  • Generously spray 12 muffin tin with cooking spray
  • Distribute potatoes across all muffins

  •  Then spinach

  • Stick in oven for 10 minutes to heat spinach and potatoes
  • Remove from oven and compress spinach and potatoes
  • Season with S & P
  • Replace in oven for 10 more minutes to lightly brown

  • Distribute crumbled sausage evenly
  • In a bowl, combine egg sub, baking mix, cayenne, and salt and p to taste

  • Pour egg mixture in tins to about 1/4" below the edge
  • Sprinkle with cheese

  •  Bake for 20 minutes

These aren't going to pop out of the tins perfectly - you will need to scoop them out. That does not detract from their yumminess. A bit messy, yes. You could try to use muffin papers if you're super scared of scrubbing a pan.

These also make great breakfast burrito fillers. Just wrap 2 inside a tortilla, add salsa, and you're set!



Wine Butter

If a=awesome and b=awesome, then a+b= really really awesome. At least that was my reasoning with the wine butter that is patiently waiting to be consumed in my fridge.

This recipe comes from one of my favorite blogs, How Sweet It Is. Though she used the butter with bleu cheese biscuits (YUM), I plan on using this butter as a compliment to christmas dinner, spread on toast, cooked with veggies, maybe even with eggs one day! This is definitely a special version of butter that packs a crazy punch of flavor and is perfect for special occasions.

Wine Butter

  • 1 bottle pinot noir or your favorite red varietal
  • 2 sticks salted butter, softened
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • In a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium heat, reduce entire bottle of wine to less than 1/2 cup
    • This will take about 30 minutes
  • Let wine reduction cool to room temp
  • Whip softened butter with a fork, drizzle in cooled wine mixture
    • This is where it gets tricky. I had to nuke my butter for 10 seconds to get it liquified before the wine would mix. Then place in fridge, set a timer, and whip the mixture every five minutes until you're happy. You're basically emulsifying oil and vinegar here, so have some patience. It works best to use my microwave method then let it set back up in the fridge. Not all of the wine will absorb in to the butter, but that gives the finished product a nice marbled look, so don't worry!
  • Season with pepper
    • Line a mold with plastic wrap - I used the lid of a butter tray, but you could mold the butter into anything you'd like
    • Press in butter and fridge for several hours before unwrapping to serve

    full bottle


    going ....



    Wine Butter would make a nice take along for any dinner parties or a homemade gift to any foodie friends.

    Last night I enjoyed this wine butter mixed with panko and parmesan, stuffed into crimini mushrooms. Shout out to the cutie who put that magical meal together! 

    Eat responsibly!


    Vegan Taco/Burrito Filling

    This blog has been super sugary recently and we need to balance this business out, ASAP.

    Let's make a complete 180 from all the desserts, sweets, breakfast foods, and candy and go directly to vegan mexican food. K?

    Have I ever mentioned how much I love Trader Joe's?

    Well, I do. And here are two of the greatest packaged foods in the whole store: steamed lentils and soy chorizo. HELLOOO! Soy Chorizo?!?!

    First off, normal chorizo is heavily spiced, super fatty pork sausage. Don't get me wrong, it is delish, but it doesn't have much nutritional merit. So if I can sub the fatty porky version with a soy, cholesterol free version and trick my taste buds, I'm in.

    Cut that with high protein, high fiber, tasty lentils and you have a protein packed, delicious and nutritious mixture.

    Step 1: Get your butt to TJ's.

    Step 2:
    Saute a diced yellow onion in a bit of EVOO, add crumbled package of soy chorizo (12 oz) and cook 4-5 minutes, then stir in 2 cups of cooked lentils and heat through.

    Step 3:

    For realsies, couldn't be easier.


    • Tacos
    • Burritos
    • Breakfast burritos
    • Breakfast tacos
      • in other words, this is great with eggs and potatoes!
    • Tamale filling
    • Taco salad topping
    • Mexican casseroles
    • Enchiladas
    • Nachos
    • Just for snacking
    • Sloppy Jose's
    I think I've made my point.


    Fudge It

    This couldn't get any easier.

    And you only need a microwave.

    2 WWP+ if you cut fudge into 6x6
    1 WWP+ if you cut fudge into 7x7

    Base Recipe:
    • 1 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
    • 2 cups bittersweet chocolate (i.e. chips, chunks, chopped, etc)
    • 1 14 oz. can nonfat sweetened condensed milk
    Step 1:
    • Melt in microwave in 40 second increments, stirring until smooth
    • Be careful not to burn the chocolate! Yuck
    Step 2:
    • When smooth, add in 1 tsp of vanilla extract and any of these wonderful flavors:
      • 1 1/2 cup walnuts, almonds, pistachios, or macadamias (classic!)
      • 1/2 c. crushed candy canes or peppermints and 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
      • 1 1/2 cup shredded coconut, 1/2 tsp rum extract (tropical!)
      • 1 cup mini marshmallows, 1 cup chopped pecans (rocky road!)
      • 1 cup mini marshmallows, 1 cup broken up graham crackers (smores!)
      • 1 1/2 cup chopped nut brittle or toffee
      • 3/4 c. dried cranberries and 3/4 c. cashews (trail mix!)
      • 1 cup peanut butter, swirled in
      • 1 cup marshmallow fluff, swirled in
      • 1 cup candied orange, chopped
      • 1 1/2 cup oreos, chopped
      • 1 1/2 c. butterfinger, chopped (or any favorite candy bar)
      • 1 1/2 c. M&M's (preferably holiday colors!)
      • 3/4 c. dried cherries, 3/4 c. mini marshmallows
      • 1 cup chocolate covered espresso beans and 1/2 tsp coffee extract
    Step 3:
    • Line the bottom and sides of a shallow pan with generous amounts of plastic wrap
    • Pour in fudge mixture, and smooth flat (about 1" thick)
    • Refrigerate for 4 hours
    • Pop the fudge sheet out of the pan using that handy dandy plastic wrap lining (ps. that pan is clean since you lined it with all that plastic wrap ... you're welcome!)
    • Cut into bite size pieces of your preference! 
    • Wrap in plastic wrap if you plan on keeping it for several days
    I think I got my point across regarding the endless flavor possibilities. In any case, if you think it would taste good, you're probably right!


    Getcha getcha lips wet, cause it's time to have Pep

    Salt 'n' Pepa reference helllooooooooo!!!

    Lyrical genius. I know.

    Anyway, let's talk about PEPpermint ice cream. It's good. It's minty, it's holiday-y, it's yummy. And tis the season. I attempted what I thought was a decently healthy recipe, but it's actually more caloric than I wished. I think the recipe could be modified with less peppermint candy, nonfat milk, and less of the sweetened condensed milk for a less sweet, lighter result in the future. However this recipe was awesome and if you don't have any qualms about sugar overdose, then go for it!

    Peppermint Ice Cream
    4 WW P+  per 1/4 c. 


    • 2 1/2 cups 2% milk, divided
    • 2 large egg yolks
    • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp peppermint extract
    • 1 drop red food coloring
    • 1 14 oz can fat free sweetened condensed milk
    • 25 peppermint candies, crushed, or 2/3 c. crushed peppermint candies
    • In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, combine yolks and 1 1/4 c milk
    • Heat over medium, stirring frequently - do not let the mixture boil!
    • After about 15 minutes, the sauce will thicken and will coat the back of a spoon (see below)
    • Remove from heat and let cool
    • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together remaining milk, vanilla and pep extracts, food coloring, and sweetened condensed milk
    • Add cooled egg mixture
    • Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until cold
    • Mix in about half of the peppermint candies (if you mix them all in right now, they will lose their pink stripes and not look as pretty)
    • Add to ice cream machine and follow directions according to manufacturer (about 20 minutes, or until ice creamy)
    • In last five minutes of churning, add remaining candies
    • Remove from ice cream machine, fridge for a few hours until hard
    • Great with chocolate syrup or shaved dark chocolate 
    A note on crushing the peppermint candies: 
    Save yourself a crap ton of trouble and go directly to the food processor for this one. No matter how much anger you have, crushing the candy in a ziploc bag with a heavy pan or rolling pin is never going to work as well as the food processor. And you will make way too much noise, the ziploc bag will break, and you will get frustrated. Trust me!

    To test if your sauce is ready, do this trick:
    1. Stir the sauce to coat the back of the spoon
    2. Hold the spoon horizontally
    3. Swipe your finger horizontally across the back of the spoon
    4. If the sauce stays put and doesn't run down to cover the swipe, you know you it is ready

    Does that last pic look like lumpy butt cheeks to anyone else but me? 

    This recipe is a wonderfully refreshing alternative to heavy pies and cookies and I can't wait to make it again for the family on christmas eve! That's right, family - get excited!


    Pumpkin French Toast

    This recipe for french toast incorporates the healthy goodness of pure pumpkin and the indulgent flavors of french toast. Though I am typically not one to eat a breakfast of bready fried goodies, this recipe is an exception.

    Pumpkin French Toast
    5 WW P+/2 slices
    Serves 2

    • 1/2 c. pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix, just pumpkin)
    • 1/4 c. egg whites (I buy in the carton)
    • 1/4 c. milk of choice - i.e. cow's, almond, soy, whatnot
    • 1/2 tsp each cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract
    • 4 slices sourdough bread (or whatever flavor bread you like with pumpkin - but something sturdy is best - no soft whole wheat bread here or you will be very disappointed)
    • 1 tbsp butter or earth balance
    • Mix up pumpkin, eggs, milk, and spices - will be thick!
    • Bathe bread in mixture, giving it some time to really soak in
    • Melt butter in frying pan over medium high heat
    • Fry french toast until golden on each side
    • Serve with a nuts, a drizzle of agave or maple syrup, or a pumpkin topping (1 tbsp light whipped cream cheese, 1 tbsp nonfat plain greek yogurt, 2 tbsp pumpkin, agave to taste)

    All the flavors of the holiday season with far less guilt than typical french toast. Pure pumpkin is an excellent source of fiber. If you use the egg whites, nonfat milk, and go light on the butter, this recipe really is an excellent alternative to traditional french toast that is laden with eggs, full fat milk or cream, and butter. It also curbs a pumpkin pie craving! 

    And now I have 3/4 of a can of pumpkin that I need something to do with ....