Sunday, December 27, 2009

Winner, Winner, Mac & Cheese Dinner!

Sorry I’m a day late with the results of the GIVEAWAY!  I was going to post this yesterday when we got home from California, but Diesel and I were tired, so we decided to take a nap, while Jeremy went to work…and yea…that was the end of that.

So, I had a total of 19 entries.  According to, the lucky winner is…


#11 Michele P., who will be using this apron and measuring spoons to make tamales and cookies!  Yum, yum!  Congratulations Michele…I’ll be sending you an email today.  Thanks for all who entered my GIVEAWAY.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to have more in the future.  Now, on to today’s recipe!

This is an easy and delicious recipe for macaroni and cheese from Cooking Light.  It’s a lighter version of mac and cheese, due to the reduced fat cheese and the skim milk in the recipe, but you’d never know that it was “light,” because it’s creamy, cheesy and bacony!  The only change I made was I added 4 slices of bacon, instead of 2 because come on…seriously…only 2 pieces of bacon in 6 servings?!  That’s NOT enough, if you ask me!  Pair this Bacon Mac with a side salad and you’ve got a delicious, healthy and easy meal. 





Hot, out of the oven.


Mmmm, cheesy!

Bacon Mac, by Cooking Light


  • 3 1/4  teaspoons  salt, divided
  • 12  ounces  strozzapreti or penne pasta
  • 4  teaspoons  all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2  cups  skim milk, divided
  • 2  cups  finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/4  cup  sliced green onions
  • 1  teaspoon  hot sauce
  • 1/4  teaspoon  pepper
  • 2  slices center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • Cooking spray


  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Bring 6 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Add pasta; cook 8 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  3. Combine flour and 1/2 cup milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add 1 cup milk; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; let stand 4 minutes or until it cools to 155°. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, onions, hot sauce, pepper, and bacon; stir. Add pasta; toss. Spoon into a 2-quart broiler-safe dish coated with cooking spray; top with 1/2 cup cheese. Broil 7 minutes.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Chicken Tortilla Casserole & Giveaway

That’s right…a GIVEAWAY!  I’m so excited, but before I get to that, I have a recipe to share…be sure to keep reading after the recipe though, ok?
So, I’m on the email list for Eat Better America and I love their recipes.  They take some recipes for delicious, comfort food and “healthify” them to make them a little more figure friendly!  About a month ago, my parents, grandma and auntie came up to visit and I thought this casserole would be a great option for dinner.  As I suspected, it did not disappoint!
This casserole comes together very quickly and before you know it, you can pop it into the oven.  The only modifications that I made was I substituted a can of Rotel Diced Tomatoes with Chilies, for the large tomato and I added a few extra tortillas to the top, for some crunch.  This dish is creamy, flavorful and cheesy!  You’d never know it was “healthified.”  I highly recommend this delicious meal.
Hot, out of the oven!
“Healthified” Chicken Tortilla Casserole
  • 1 can (10 3/4 oz) 98% fat free condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles
  • 1 container (8 oz) fat-free sour cream
  • 1/2 cup fat-free (skim) milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 8 yellow corn tortillas (6 or 7 inch), torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 large tomato, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese or Mexican cheese blend (6 oz)
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In large bowl, mix soup, chiles, sour cream, milk, chili powder and cumin until blended.
  3. Stir in chicken, tortillas and bell pepper. Stir in tomato and 1 cup of the cheese. Spoon and spread mixture in baking dish.
  4. Cover with foil. Bake 40 minutes.
  5. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake uncovered 5 to 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and mixture is bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes.
Alright…now let’s talk about my GIVEAWAY!!  Are you by chance looking for some new cookware?  Maybe some Rachel Ray cookware, for example?  Well, if you are, you should definitely check out because the super-cool people there contacted me about hosting a GIVEAWAY!  I’m stoked since this is my first GIVEAWAY that I’ve been contacted about.  Does this mean that I’ve “made it” in the blog world??  “Oh, you like me!  You really like me!”  Anyways, back on track…what am I giving away? 
This lovely apron and these magnetic measuring spoons:
 Flower Pot Women's Bib Style Apron Progressive International Magnetic Spoons - GT-3470
Cute, huh?!  I’ll be randomly selecting one lucky reader to win these two items.  You can enter up to 2 times by Saturday, December 26th at 11am AZ (PST) time and here’s how you enter:
1. Leave a comment telling me what you’d cook/bake while wearing this apron and using these spoons (if you don’t have a blog profile, be sure to include your email address, so that I have a way to contact you).
2. Tweet the following: “@saraboff from Sara’s Sweets is having a giveaway and I want to win!,” then, leave a comment telling me you’ve done so.
That’s it!  Good luck!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

More Pumpkin

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last post!  Time has just flown by.  I remember posting and saying, “Alright, in a few days I’ll post my other 2 recipes,” and yet, here I am about 2 weeks later, finally doing it!  Oh well, it’s Christmas time and I’ve been busy.

Moving on though…the following recipes are more wonderful ways to use pumpkin.  The first recipe is a delicious Pumpkin Dip!  Not only is this dip very easy to make, but it’s also pumpkin-y, maple-y and sugary.  What a great combo!  In making this I used full fat cream cheese and sugar free maple syrup because that’s what I had on hand at the time.  Also, I ate mine with sliced apples and gingersnap cookies.  Mmmmm!


Pumpkin Dip by Cooking Light


  • 3/4  cup  (6 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 1/2  cup  canned pumpkin
  • 2  teaspoons  maple syrup
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 24  apple slices


  1. Place first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended.
  2. Add syrup and cinnamon, and beat until smooth.
  3. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Serve with apple.

Up next are some wonderful Pumpkin Muffins with streusel topping.  When I bought canned pumpkin for the pie that I made (see previous post), I accidentally bought “pumpkin pie mix!”  I buy pumpkin all the time and couldn’t believe that I did that…and to top it all off, I opened it and almost put it into the pie before realizing it.  Wow, maybe I was having a very early “senior moment.”  Anyway, inside the label on the can, I found this easy and yummy pumpkin muffin recipe! 

The muffins are flavorful (because the pie mix already has spices in it) and moist, but it’s the streusel topping that makes them.  I was planning to add nuts to the streusel topping, but forgot…however, I do think the addition would be wonderful.  As for my usual modifications, the recipe calls for “baking mix,” but all I had was pancake mix and it seemed to work fine, and I didn’t add the raisins.  So, if you’re looking for a quick and tasty pumpkin muffin, you should definitely give these a try.





Just out of the oven.



Crumble Top Pumpkin Muffins


  • 4 cups all-purpose baking mix
  • 1 cup raisins, (optional)
  • 2/3 cup quick or old-fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 can (30 oz.) LIBBY'S® Easy Pumpkin Pie Mix
  • 2 large eggs
  • Streusel topping (recipe follows)


  1. PREHEAT oven to 400° F. Paper-line or grease 24 muffin cups.
  2. COMBINE baking mix, raisins, oats, sugar and cinnamon in large bowl. Combine pumpkin pie mix and eggs in medium bowl; mix well. Stir into oat mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 3/4 full. Sprinkle with Streusel Topping.
  3. BAKE for 14 to 16 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pans to wire rack; cool slightly. Serve warm.
    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon in small bowl. Cut in 2 tablespoons butter with pastry blender or two knives until mixture is crumbly.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pumpkin Galore

In looking at the pictures on my camera, I’ve realized that I’ve made a good amount of pumpkin treats within the last month.  Mmmm, pumpkin!  So, I’m going to combine them into this post and one more to follow in a few days.  Here we go with the first 2 recipes…  Enjoy!

#1 Pumpkin Snickerdoodles by The Recipe Girl

Make these cookies now!  They are absolutely amazing.  The Recipe Girl is amazing.  Check out her blog!  When I saw this recipe, I knew I HAD to try them, plus I wanted to bake some cookies for a friend.  I ate 5 of them while baking them and 5 the next day…thank goodness I gave a bunch away because I probably would have eaten them all.  This cookie is soft and a perfect mix of pumpkin and snickerdoodle.  MMMMM!




One of the many that made it into my mouth.


Yum, yum, yum!

#2 Pumpkin-Ginger Pie with Golden Marshmallow Topping by Pillsbury

We had a Thanksgiving pot luck at my work last week.  I, of course, signed up to bring dessert!  Specifically, pumpkin pie.  I have a Pillsbury calendar near my desk at home and I’ve been staring at this recipe for all of November, just waiting to make it.  Now was my chance. 

This is a delicious pumpkin pie!  There is a layer of crunch streusel in-between the crust and the pumpkin filling, so it’s a nice surprise when you cut the pie, as well as when you taste it.  Also, there is fresh grated ginger in the filling.  I love ginger.  Pumpkin and ginger should get married.  They are wonderful together.  Lastly, it’s topped with yummy marshmallows that get golden and melty.  Yum!  If you’re a fan of pumpkin pie, I highly recommend trying out this recipe.



Struesel layer.


Just out of the oven.


About to get toasted.  I don’t have a picture of the marshmallow toasted because I did it right before I went to work and was already running late!



  • 1 Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crust (from 15-oz box), softened as directed on box


  • 1/2 cup crushed gingersnap cookies (9 cookies)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened


  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh gingerroot
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten


  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows


  1. Heat oven to 425°F. Place cookie sheet on middle oven rack. Unroll pie crust in 9-inch glass pie plate as directed on box for One-Crust Filled Pie. In small bowl, mix streusel ingredients. Sprinkle streusel in crust-lined pie plate.
  2. In large bowl, mix filling ingredients. Pour into pie crust on top of streusel. Place pie plate on cookie sheet in oven. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake 35 to 45 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 3 hours.
  3. Just before serving, set oven control to broil. Spread marshmallows evenly over top of pie, completely covering filling. Broil pie with top about 5 inches from heat about 30 seconds, watching carefully, until marshmallows are lightly browned. Marshmallows will brown quickly. Cover and refrigerate any remaining pie.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Do not use cookie sheet. In step 2, for second bake time, cover edge of crust with strips of foil to prevent excess browning, and bake 35 to 40 minutes. Remove foil before step 3.