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Skinny Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Skinny Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins - a lightened up (but you would never know it) banana muffin with chocolate chips. They freeze well, so you can always have them on hand for quick breakfasts.

Skinny Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins – a lightened up (but you would never know it) banana muffin with chocolate chips. They freeze well, so you can always have them on hand for quick breakfasts.

Skinny Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins - a lightened up (but you would never know it) banana muffin with chocolate chips. They freeze well, so you can always have them on hand for quick breakfasts.

Spring is officially here!  Is the weather spring like where you are?  We had a really mild winter, aside from a few weeks, that I really can’t complain.  Most of January was in the 50’s.  When the weather did decide to return to close to normal, it was hard to deal with!  Snow, in February, how dare you!  Amazing how we get so used to, and spoiled by a good thing, we only complain and see the negative when things return to normal.  Well, now that April is only 2 days awhile, hopefully things will stay nice from now on!

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Cheesy Skillet Gnocchi

Cheesy Gnocchi Skillet is a one pan, quick and easy dinner. A healthified version of pure comfort food.

Cheesy Gnocchi Skillet is a one pan, quick and easy dinner.  A healthified version of pure comfort food.

Cheesy Gnocchi Skillet is a one pan, quick and easy dinner.  A healthified version of pure comfort food.

Looks like the holidays are over and it is back to work.  My son doesn’t actually have school today, but for the rest of the world, it is back into routine, schedules, work, and school.  I am so ready to be back.  I loved being home with my family for the last two weeks, but the lack of structure gets to me.  Over the last few days my husband and I, cleaned out closets in our house.  We have so much stuff it is incredible.  So much work to go through everything (I am talking days), but it feels so good to get rid of stuff and de-clutter.  Now to see how long we can keep it that way!

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Multigrain Pilaf with Sunflower Seeds

Multigrain Pilaf with Sunflower Seeds is a great side to have for the holidays! Doesn't take up any oven space!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The International Housewares Association for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Multigrain Pilaf with Sunflower Seeds is a great side dish for your holiday table.  High fiber grains with leeks and sunflower seeds makes a great alternative to stuffing.

  Multigrain Pilaf with Sunflower Seeds is a great side to have for the holidays!  Doesn't take up any oven space!

I can not believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  This weekend we had my son’s Lego Robotics competition.  They did great.  It was so fun to see all of their hard work pay off.  For 4th graders, who have never done this before, they came a really long way over the last two months.  It will be fun to see what happens next year.  So now that life is calming down a little bit, it is time to start thinking about the holidays.  Planning a menu, getting the decorations together, and making sure the day will be great.

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Walnut Chocolate Chip Protein Bars

Walnut Chocolate Chip Protein Bars 5  Imperial-1

Walnut Chocolate Chip Protein Bars; great for snacks, breakfast, or even lunch box treats!

I hope that everyone had an great weekend.  We spent the weekend with some wonderful friends.  My husband’s college roommate and his wife was in town.  We hadn’t seen them in over 3 years, so it was great to spend 2 full days with them.  We ate way too much food, but it was worth it.  Today they leave, and another friend shows up for a visit.  It is a jam packed week!  This afternoon we also get to go meet the teacher day at school.  I can’t believe I am going to have a 4th grader tomorrow.  Time is just going by way too fast!

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Chicken Caesar Salad

Chicken Caesar Salad - great summer dinner

Chicken Caesar Salad - lightened up by using yogurt in the dressing

I think that once summer comes, even the most meat eating man out there, is ok with a salad every once in awhile. Especially if it means they get to fire up the grill to cook the meat for the salad.  For my husband, the only reason he will eat a salad is because of the dressing.  If it were socially acceptable, he would probably just drink the salad dressing, or maybe he would use a spoon :)  But seeing as how that is frowned upon, he will suffer through some lettuce in order to get the dressing.  His favorite dressing ever…..Caesar.  Followed closely by Thousand Island.

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Pan Charred Asparagus with Toasted Walnuts

Pan Charred Asparagus with Toasted Walnuts | Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts

Pan Charred Asparagus with Lemon and Walnuts | Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts

I hope that everyone had a great Easter yesterday.  We had a good time with family, hunting for eggs, and enjoying some great food.  We went to our neighborhood egg hunt, and my 8 year old had lots of fun.  He got to hang out with a couple of his friends, and score more candy.  I tried to avoid putting tons of candy in his Easter basket this year, so he made up for it at the Easter egg hunt.  Now to get my butt in gear with birthday planning, because my 8 year old turns 9 on Friday.

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Steak Pizzaiola Open Face Sandwiches

Steak Pizzaiola 3

Steak Pizzaiola Sandwich

I managed to catch my son’s cold.  Usually I am the one in the family who can fight off a cold, or get a mild version of it.  Not this time!  My 8 year old was sick for a day and a half.  I am on day 3, and still lacking energy.  Thankfully my husband has helped out with dinner the last couple nights, so I could just relax.  I am ready to start feeling better and have more energy though, because I have some baking and dinner ideas I want to try!

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Chicken Enchilada Chili


Happy New Year!  It is 2012 and I am another year older.  I was very happy that the 1st fell on a Sunday this year.  Usually my birthday is spent with the guys in my life glued to the TV watching college bowl game, after college bowl game.  Instead, this year we got to go up into the mountains and enjoy a nice hike.  It was a beautiful day up there!

After more than a week of eating cookies, and candy, and way too much food I am ready to cut back!  I am looking forward to healthy meals and vegetables.  This chili is a perfect low calorie dinner.  It is hearty, and comforting, but still light and delicious.  I found a version of this years ago in a Betty Crocker flier, but have adapted it to make it healthier.  It comes together in minutes, which means you can have chili on Wednesday!

Come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by KitchenAid, Red Star Yeast and Le Creuset

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Pumpkin Pie Cups with Eat Yourself Skinny


The movers finally delivered our stuff!!  I spent the ENTIRE day unpacking, and it really doesn’t look like I did very much.  We did manage to clear out the garage so we can park both cars in there, that is huge!  My Kitchen Aid is unpacked and all set up :)  Everything else is still a complete mess.  I think it will take at least a week to get everything set up.

Since I have yet to cook much in the last week, today I bring you Kelly from Eat Yourself Skinny.  Kelly has a great site offering tasty healthy recipes.  Plus gorgeous pictures! Make sure you go visit her and tell her I said Hi!

Hello there lovely readers of Dinners, Dishes and Desserts!  I’m Kelly from Eat Yourself Skinny and I’m super excited to be guest posting today!  I absolutely adore Erin {as I’m sure you all do as well!} so when she asked me to share a recipe on her blog while she was moving this week, I was completely thrilled!
There is just something about Fall that makes me LOVE this season more than any other.  Maybe it’s the cute scarves and boots we get to get all bundled up in or the pretty foliage that starts to poke its way out once the summer heat has faded away, but either way my favorite part about Fall would have to be the abundance of pumpkin recipes!  Whether I’m starting my morning off with a pumpkin spiced latte from Starbucks or enjoying a delicious pumpkin muffin for breakfast, this Fall favorite can add flare to any old recipe.  So of course I just had to do something fun and festive for Erin!
I chose to make delicious Pumpkin Pie Cups which are perfect healthy alternatives to your typical slice of indulgent pumpkin pie.  Best part is you can have one whole bowl for only 172 calories and ZERO grams of fat!
Yes I said zero.
Doesn’t get much better than that and I promise you they taste delicious.  I loved the slight crunch the cornflakes added to this dish and the combination of pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg was amazing!  Make these for guests at your next dinner party or throw this together when you want to indulge in something sweet without having the unnecessary calories.  It’s so quick and easy!
Note to self however, when taking pictures…make sure to strategically place the spoons so you can’t see yourself AND your camera in them.  FAIL.  Oh well!  Hope you enjoy these treats as much as I did!
Pumpkin Pie Cups
Servings: 4
Serving Size: 1 dish
Calories: 172
Fat: 0 g
Carbs: 37 g 
Fiber: 1 g
Protein: 6 g
Old Points: 3.2 pts
Points+: 4 pts
Here are your ingredients:
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home cookbook
1/4 cup coarsely crushed cornflakes
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp packed brown sugar, divided
1 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
1/4 tsp. + 1/8 tsp. ground ginger, divided
3/4 cup fat-free milk
3/4 cup solid-pack pumpkin
2 Tbsp corn syrup
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/3 cup cholesterol-free egg substitute
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  For topping, combine cornflakes, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and 1/8 tsp. ginger in a small bowl.  Mix well and set aside.
For filling, heat milk in small saucepan over medium heat.  Do not boil.  Combine pumpkin, remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, corn syrup, cornstarch, remaining 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ginger and nutmeg in large bowl.
Stir hot milk into pumpkin mixture.  Add egg substitute andwhisk until smooth.  Pour into four 6 oz. oven proof custard cups or ramekins.  Sprinkle evenly with topping.  Place cups in a baking pan and carefully add hot water to about 3/4-inch depth.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Enjoy!
Thanks again for inviting me to guest post Erin!  If you’d like to see more skinny recipes or just want to stop over and say hi, check out my blog any time!


Creamy Avocado Pasta


I think I found a new favorite pasta recipe!  I saw this mentioned somewhere, and was intrigued.  I had to think about it for awhile though, I was a little nervous.  I mean, I LOVE avocado’s, but the idea of that as my pasta sauce made me a little nervous.  What would it taste like?  Would I like it?  Would my husband actually eat it?  Well, it was amazing, and I can’t wait to make it again!  It was so easy too!  You have to boil noodles, but aside from that, no cooking required!  And to top it off, it is healthy!!!  Use a fortified pasta, and you have protein, fiber, and everything all in one tasty meal!

Creamy Avocado Pasta
Adapted from Oh She Glows
Printable Recipe

1 large Avocado, pitted
1 lime, juiced + zest to garnish
2 cloves, minced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup Fresh Basil
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 servings/6 oz of your choice of pasta
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cook your pasta according to the package directions.

 To make the sauce place the garlic cloves, lime juice, and olive oil into a food processor. Process until smooth. Add in the avocado, basil, and salt. Process until smooth and creamy.

Pour sauce over pasta and toss until fully combined. Garnish with lime zest and black pepper. Enjoy!
Note: Because of the avocado this does not reheat well.