Category Archives: Dairy

Apple Cranberry Baked Brie

I have to admit that I cannot take credit for this recipe. I recently became a Pampered Chef Consultant and did a cooking demo of this recipe for my first two shows. It was so good that I had to share it!

I love brie and always feel it makes an impressive and delicious appetizer. The cheese is pretty to look at and I love the combination of flavors and textures. When it melts it is rich, gooey decadence and easy to slather on crackers or bread. There was not one bit left after everyone tried it and got rave reviews!

I started selling Pampered Chef products because I have loved them for over 20 years. I personally know that their kitchen gadgets, cookware, knives and serving pieces make a difference in my prep time and cooking. The items are so practical and smart (hello, garlic press!) and it is my hope to share them with others. I was not sure if I would share the Pampered Chef items on this blog as I started it out many years ago as a way to share my recipes and still want it to be about the food. I then thought that if I can help my readers by suggesting products that I love and use everyday it may help them too, and no one has to buy a thing if they are not interested. So, after much back and forth, I decided that I will list the Pampered Chef tools I used to create each recipe and if there is anyone interested in any of them please let me know ūüôā

Prep Time:  10 minutes

Cook Time:  15 minutes

Yield: 5 ‚Äď 8 servings

¬Ĺ cup chopped apples

¬ľ cup of sliced almonds (optional)

¬Ĺ cup dried cranberries, i.e. Crasins

¬ľ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon butter

pinch of salt

1 round brie (8 oz.)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Add the apples, cranberries, almonds, brown sugar and a pinch of salt to a bowl.  Melt the butter in the microwave in a glass or silicone bowl for about 20 seconds.  Add the melted butter to the apple mixture and stir so that all the ingredients are coated in the butter and well combined. 

Cut brie in half through the center of the circle so that there is an equal top and bottom (the shape of a hamburger bun).

Place the bottom half of the brie rind side down on a baking sheet or platter that can go into the oven.  Scoop half of the apple mixture onto the brie.  Add the second piece of brie to the top with the rind facing up and add the rest of the apple mixture. 

Cook for 15 minutes until cheese is very soft.  Serve with crackers, crostini or sliced French bread. 

Suggested Pampered Chef Tools:

  • Close and Cut with Chef knife
  • Flexible cutting mat
  • Santuko knife or utility knife
  • Glass mixing bowl set
  • Entertaining Platter
  • Apple wedger
  • Measuring spoon set
  • Measuring cup set
  • Spreader


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Filed under Appetizer, Dairy

Greek Crustless Quiche

Quiche is one of my favorite recipes.  It is incredibly versatile and easy to make.  Just change up the cheese and the veggies and IMG_0584you can have a new creation at any time.  My version is loaded with vegetables and low-fat cottage cheese and only three eggs and one egg white in the entire recipe.  Taking the crust off the quiche is another trick to cut down calories and fat.  The base is so delicious and flavorful that you will not miss the crust at all.  Traditional quiche recipes use a full fat crust, a dozen eggs and heavy cream.  My recipe is a lot more health conscious so there is no need to feel guilty eating this any day of the week.

The kosher link up for this month is a dairy dish in honor of Shavuot (see below!)  This is a Jewish holiday where it is customary to not eat meat.  Unlike other Jewish holidays filled with chicken soup and brisket, this holiday is known for blintzes, cheese cake and other dairy delights.  This quiche is perfect for Shavuot, and truly any other time of the year.

I often make this on a Sunday and then cut it up into six individual servings.  I wrap each piece in plastic wrap and then put them in a freezer bag in the freezer.  Just defrost a piece in the microwave for a healthy breakfast any day of the week.  It can also be served with a side salad, whole grain toast or veggie sausage for a great breakfast, lunch, brunch or dinner.


Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 – 55 minutes

Yields: 6 – 8 servings



Nonstick cooking spray

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 small zucchini, diced

1 box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted

¬Ĺ pint grape tomatoes

3 large eggs and 2 egg whites

8 ounces of crumbled low fat feta cheese

8 ounces of part skim mozzarella cheese

12 ounces low fat cottage cheese

Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Sauté the onion and zucchini over medium heat until softened in the olive oil, about 5 minutes. Season the vegetables with a pinch of kosher salt and ground pepper.  Let cool.


Defrost the spinach and squeeze out all excess water.  It is important that all the water is taken out of the spinach otherwise the quiche will not be right consistency.

In a large bowl combine the tomatoes, eggs, egg whites, cottage cheese and cheese. Add the onion, zucchini and spinach and mix well.  Season with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper

Coat a 7 x 11 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Add the mixture to the dish and make sure it is in a smooth layer going to all edges of the pan.



Bake at 375 degrees for 45-55 minutes. The top should be golden and firm.  Let stand at least 10 minutes before serving in order for the quiche to set.



Filed under Breakfast, Dairy

Easy Baked Ziti

Today is the end of Passover 2014. For those of you who are not aware, Jewish people are not supposed to eat anything that is IMG_0541leavened (called chametz) during Passover.  No bread, no pizza, no bagels, no pasta Рno fun!  It is a nice holiday and I can appreciate the traditions, but anything that takes me away from my favorite foods for eight days is tough.  The kosher link up for this month is chametzfest Рthe celebration of getting to eat chametz again (see below!)  Since I have been a young child my tradition is to eat Italian food once Passover has ended.  Pizza and/or pasta is always on the menu.  For that reason I decided to share one of my favorite pasta recipes Рbaked ziti.

This recipe is great in that it is quick, easy and feeds a ton of people!  It can be easily doubled to feed two tons of people.  Using a jarred sauce saves time, although you can always make your own.  I use part-skim ricotta and mozzarella cheeses to make the dish a little bit lighter.  Since the ricotta is seasoned so beautifully you never miss the full fat version.  I use a foil backing pan so clean up is a cinch.  It is good enough to serve for company and a nice treat for a family dinner.  Leftovers are delicious the next day or day after.  You can also make this the day before you plan to serve it, put it in the refrigerator and then bake before eating.

Whenever I make this I get a lot of compliments and requests for the recipe.¬† Serve the ziti with a salad and some garlic bread and you have a great Italian meal – one that is good enough to celebrate the end of Passover ūüôā


Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 45 Minutes

Yield: 6 ‚Äď 10 servings


1 (16 ounce) box of ziti

1 (26 ounce) jar of your favorite marinara sauce, or you can make your own

1 (16 ounce) bag of shredded mozzarella cheese (I use part skim)

¬ľ cup Parmesan cheese

1 (15 ounce) container of ricotta cheese (to make it lighter you can use part skim)

¬Ĺ teaspoon garlic powder

¬Ĺ teaspoon dried basil

¬Ĺ teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly cracked black pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook the pasta in a pot of heavily salted boiling water according to the package directions, or to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking combine ricotta cheese with garlic powder, dried basil, oregano, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix well.


Drain pasta into a colander. In a deep baking dish or foil pan place a thin layer of sauce at the bottom of the dish. Create a layer of pasta using approximately a third of the ziti. Spread half of the ricotta mixture over the pasta then add one third of the mozzarella cheese. Add a thin layer of the sauce. Repeat one more time.


For final layer add one third of the pasta, a layer of sauce and one third of the mozzarella and all of the Parmesan cheese to the top.


Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. The cheese should be completely melted and bubbling on top



Filed under Dairy, Pasta

Stewed Apples A La Mode Drizzled with Buckwheat Honey

This month the kosher link up ingredient is honey (see below).¬† So, I am presenting a recipe that features not one, but two types of honey – run of the mill clover honey (or use whatever your favorite is)and buckwheat honey.¬† To be perfectly honest, when I learned of this month’s¬†ingredient¬†I was not surprised as Rosh Hashanah is around the corner, the holiday of apples¬†and honey.¬† However I was not that excited in that I am not a huge fan of honey and do not use it in many of my recipes.¬† There is one exception – buckwheat honey.¬† I love this dark and rich honey that actually tastes nothing like the honey most people buy at the store.¬† It is not available in all supermarkets so you may have to get it from a health food store (I buy mine at Whole Foods) or order it online.¬† It is worth it!¬† It actually looks like chocolate syrup and is decadent and rich.¬† I knew right away I would have to come up with a recipe that featured¬†buckwheat honey¬†and this¬†creation was born.

A nice thing about this dish is that it is pretty easy to make.¬† The hardest part is peeling the apples, and truthfully if you can’t be bothered just skip this step and leave the peels on.¬† I sweeten the apple mixture with clover honey which is readily available at any grocery store and inexpensive.¬† I like to use honey as opposed to sugar when possible as it has antioxidants and can add some body to what you are making.¬† The recipe is a relatively healthy dessert as its base is fruit and there is no butter,¬†margarine or oil in it.¬† So feel free to eat a lot of it!

Although I make the recipe with apples it can be made with any type of fruit.  I bet it would be great with peaches, pears or plums.  I am serving it with vanilla ice cream but it can be served with frozen yogurt, tofuti ice cream or without to make it a non-dairy pareve dessert.  It is very easy to double or triple the recipe to make it for a crowd.  By the way, your house will smell amazing when you make it.  I think it is the perfect fall recipe!

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time:  15 minutes

Yield: 2 –¬†4 servings

4 large apples (I like Gala because they are not too sweet with a bit of tartness and are firm)

Juice of ¬Ĺ a¬†large lemon

2 tablespoons clover honey

¬ľ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¬ľ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

¬ľ cup raisins (I like golden raisins, but you can use regular)

¬ĺ cup of water

Pinch of salt

Pint of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt

¬ľ cup buckwheat honey

Peel and core the apples.  Place into a medium sized pot and immediately pour over the juice of the lemon to prevent browning.

Drizzle with the clover honey and sprinkle with the cinnamon and a pinch of salt (trust me on the salt).  Add the raisins and walnuts.  Pour the water over the mixture and heat over a medium temperature.

Once the liquid comes to a boil lower the heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for another ten minutes.

Allow the apples to cool slightly.  Place apples into a bowl, pour over the juice, raisins and walnuts.  Top with ice cream or frozen yogurt and drizzle with buckwheat honey.


Filed under Dairy, Desserts, Pareve, Vegetarian

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am admittedly not a great baker. I love to cook.¬† Bake, not so much.¬† In cooking you can be creative and do not need to follow a recipe to turn out a great dish.¬† I cook mostly by instinct and feel and even if I make a recipe a hundred times I can always take liberty with it whenever I feel like it.¬† You can’t really do that with baking.¬† If you want your recipe to turn out well you better follow it pretty closely.¬† That means measuring and weighing and all the things I don’t pay attention to while cooking.¬† I always say that cooking is an art and baking is a science.

Because of this you will not find very many baking recipes on my blog.  Except for this one.  I love these cookies!  I have been making them for years and they are a hit with kids and adults.  I have always liked oatmeal cookies, but have never been crazy about the raisins in them.  I adore chocolate chip cookies.  So, I came up with the idea to combine the two.

One thing that is unique about these cookies is that I sneak in some whole grains and try to make them a little bit more healthful.¬† Don’t get me wrong, the recipe does start with a stick of butter and sugar.¬† BUT, it has oatmeal and whole wheat pastry flour as its base as well.¬† If anyone has a suggestion to cut out some of the butter and sugar and still taste as good I would love to hear it! ¬†Whole wheat pastry flour is readily available in most supermarkets and can almost always be found at Whole Foods.¬† If you cannot find it you can use half a cup of regular flour and half a cup of whole wheat flour for similar results.¬† I have experimented in making these cookies with white flour, regular whole wheat flour and the whole wheat pastry flour is always the best.¬† Trust me, you would never know that there is whole wheat anything in them. The cookies also have walnuts in them which are rich in omega-3’s and very good for you.¬† It makes me feel less guilty eating the cookies if I know they are made with a whole grains and nuts.¬† Most importantly, they taste sooooo good.

Another nice thing about this recipe is that you do not need fancy equipment to make the cookies.¬† Just two bowls, a spatula and some elbow grease.¬† If anyone is looking for a last minute recipe for Valentine’s Day you should try these out!

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 8 – 10 Minutes

Yield: 25 -35 cookies

1 cup quick cooking rolled oats

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

¬Ĺ teaspoon baking soda

¬Ĺ teaspoon baking power

¬ľ teaspoon salt

1 stick of unsalted butter, softened

¬Ĺ cup packed light brown sugar

¬Ĺ cup white sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

¬Ĺ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

¬Ĺ cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl combine oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Mix with a whisk until all dry ingredients are well combined.

In another large bowl cream together the softened butter and sugars.  Add egg and mix until completely combined.   Stir in vanilla.  Fold dry ingredients into the butter and sugar mixture in three batches.  Then add the chocolate chips and walnuts.  Stir until just combined.  Do not over mix.

Place rounded teaspoons of the cookie dough onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, until tops are slightly golden.  Allow cookies to cool before serving.


Filed under Dairy, Desserts

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

With the Super Bowl around the corner I thought I would share a great party recipe.  Even people who do not watch one game all season watch the Super Bowl.  That explains the multi-million dollar commercial slots.  For me it is a great reason to get together with friends, enjoy good food and watch the game plus said commercials. Even if your team looses this recipe is a winner every year.  Go Giants!

Who does not like spinach and artichoke dip?¬† With tender artichokes surrounded by a hot, bubbly and creamy spinach mixture, what is not to love?¬† Whenever I am at a restaurant and I see spinach and artichoke dip on the menu I HAVE to order it.¬† My recipe is an attempt at re-creating the dip that I love, but making it a bit more health conscious. That way I don’t feel guilty making it for my family and friends all the time.¬† It’s made with spinach and artichokes which are good for you, right?

I am not going to say this is a fat free recipe, but I did reduce some calories and fat.  My version is made with low fat dairy products as opposed to full fat cheese, cream and mayonnaise which are the typical bases for the recipe.  The best part is that there is absolutely no sacrifice to the flavor.  I have made this many times for lots of different people and no one has ever been able to tell that this is made with reduced fat products.  It is always a huge crowd pleaser and is great for game day or any other day!

You can make the dip a day ahead, keep it refrigerated and bake it before you want to serve it.  It can be served with tortilla chips, pita chips, baguette slices or crudites for an even healthier alternative.

Prep Time:  10 minutes

Cook Time:  30-35 minutes

Yields:  6-8 servings

1 box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted

1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts packed in water (not oil)

8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened

1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese

8 ounces low fat sour cream

2 tablespoons reduced fat mayonnaise (not fat free)

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

1-2 cloves garlic, pressed or very finely chopped (depending on how garlicky you like things)

Freshly ground black pepper

Cooking spray

Bring your cream cheese to room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Drain artichokes and rinse.  Finely chop and let dry.  Defrost spinach and squeeze all excess liquid from the spinach.

Mix cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, cheeses and garlic in a large bowl.  Add artichoke hearts, spinach, cracked pepper and stir until well combined.

Spray either a square 8 inch baking dish, or 9 inch round glass baking dish with cooking spray.  Pour mixture into dish and bake until mixture is hot and bubbly, about 30-35 minutes.


Filed under Dairy, Dip