Category Archives: Recipes

Little Piece of my Heart: Chocolate Mousse Pie

Beyond Wonderful Decadent Chocolate Mousse Pie







When I was a kid, Oreos were my favorite cookies in the whole world. Today, they are the dark crunchy crust of my decadent chocolate mousse pie. It’s a bit more sophisticated but just as memorable. This deep, rich chocolate dessert is my Valentine to you. Continue reading

Indian Butter Chicken

Over the past few years Indian food has become a favorite of mine. We make it at our house once every two weeks at least. There is a local restaurant that  I could go to every day and not get tired of it. We have only gone for dinner, but for lunch they have a buffet. I am dying to go to the buffet, so I can try more things! Even my super picky 7 year old has become a fan. When talking about what we should have for Christmas dinner, he suggested Indian food. We didn’t, we had ham, but that just shows you how much he likes it.

One of our favorite dishes is Indian Butter Chicken. I usually use a spice packet, so the work is minimal. But I have really been wanting to try it from scratch. I found a recipe that didn’t have any unique ingredients, that I couldn’t find in my regular grocery store. And I was really surprised how easy this actually was. I measured all the spices before I started cook, so there wasn’t any running around the kitchen. It was ready in about 30 minutes, and it was an easy 30 minutes.

I served it over rice, and with a side of homemade Naan bread. It was delicious. The sauce was rich, and had so much flavor. The naan was perfect for soaking up all of the extra sauce. It wasn’t spicy, but you could up the cayenne, and it would add a little heat. As much as my 7 year old likes the flavors of Indian food, he doesn’t like the heat. No surprise this was better than the spice mix I normally use. Given how easy it was, and that most of the ingredients are pantry staples in my house, I know I will be making this again soon!

I am always posting new recipes over at my site, Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts. I hope you will stop by, I love hearing from new readers!

Indian Butter Chicken

1 tablespoon peanut oil, divided
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 inch ginger, grated
3 cloves garlic, grated
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
2/3 cup skim milk
1/3 cup heavy cream (or half-and-half)
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

In a small bowl put the butter, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, 1 teaspoon garam masala, chili powder, cumin and bay leaf. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium high heat.  Saute onion until soft. Add bowl of butter and spices. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add yogurt, milk, and heavy cream. Stir until well combined. Reduce heat to low, simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium high heat. Cook chicken for about 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Reduce heat, mix in 1 teaspoon garam masala and cayenne. Add about 1/4 cup of the sauce (from the saucepan), and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, and the chicken is cooked through. Add the chicken to the saucepan. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve over rice and/or with Naan bread.

Source: Adapted from AllRecipes

Whole Grain Rosemary Fudge Brownies

Simple, moist, and delicious!


Oooooooo, rosemary!!

Fragrant, delicious, and oh so versatile.

Now, I love just about ALL fresh herbs, so it’s super hard to pick a favorite. But, if I had to, it would probably have to be rosemary. After all, not only is it exquisitely yummy, but its aroma alone can get my mouth watering every, single time.

We’ve tried — and loved — rosemary in so many different ways:  with garlic, lemon, potatoes, Kalamatas…you name it. The possibilities are truly endless.

And then, of course, there’s rosemary and chocolate.

We first fell in love with this unique flavor combination with our Dark Chocolate and Rosemary Lava Cake, and we’ve been dying to try it again ever since. Thus, these brownies were born.  And, trust me, they did not disappoint.  In fact, we’re ready to try cookies next!

Fellow dark chocolate aficionados, prepare to fall head over heels for these delectably moist, luscious bites of rich chocolaty goodness.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy rosemary?  Be sure to let us know in the comments.



Whole Grain Rosemary Fudge Brownies

(Yields 20 brownies)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the first four ingredients in a large bowl.  Stir in the flour and rosemary until well combined.

Lightly grease a 7 x 11 baking dish (we used virgin coconut oil).  Spread the batter evenly into the dish.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until the edges are firm, and the center is almost set.

Cool to room temperature, cut into squares, and serve!


Creamy Veggie Stuffed Shells


Can you say Craziness?!

That was December -all of it. Full of fun, laughter, inspiration and craziness.

Andy and I took a little getaway to Puerto Rico and had so much fun in the sun, in the jungle and strolling down the cobblestone streets of Viejo San Juan. We came back to a complete whirlwind – my birthday, a new puppy, a trip to Minnesota, hosting Christmas Eve and traveling for Christmas.

Needless to say, by the last week of December I had no groceries except those vegetables sturdy enough to survive the month. Sometimes an empty fridge is a perfect inspiration for a new dish. I pulled out my favorite staple (Laughing Cow cheese!) along with zucchini, carrots and onions and Voila! This Creamy Veggie Stuffed Shells Casserole was born. It was so good I ate it three different times.

Give it a try my friends!

Hugs for a new year,


pulsing the veggies

Here’s What You Do:

Stuffing the shells
Stuffing the shells

Here’s What You Need:

Jumbo shells (about 1/2 box =15)
1 large zucchini, chopped roughly

1 large carrot, chopped roughly

1/2 a large sweet onion, chopped roughly
1 teaspoon  garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon Penzey’s Mural of Flavor*
1/4 teaspoon pepper

4 wedges Laughing Cow Light Swiss
Extra virgin olive oil
Good quality marinara (Tomato basil)
Italian Blend Shredded Cheese

Here’s What You Do:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Cook shells according to package directions, al dente, and set aside. Drizzle a pan with evoo and heat over medium high. Meanwhile quickly pulse the carrot, zucchini and onion in a food processor. (Or chop very finely). Add to the pan along with the seasonings and heat for 3-4 minutes or until the veggies start to soften. Stir in the Laughing Cow wedges to coat. Spray a pyrex baking pan with organic non-stick spray and carefully stuff the shells. Pour the marinara gently over the top to coat (about 3/4 of the jar). Sprinkle lightly with the cheese. Bake covered for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes more. If you like it more golden brown, feel free to broil 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and a dash of Parmesan. Yum!

*I love this salt free seasoning with a unique, light flavor, but in a pinch you can substitute Italian Blend seasoning. shells3

Kid Tip: I admit, this was not one my boys were excited to try – something different after all! But, once my four year old tried it, he really liked it. I cut it into pieces for him and added a good dollop of Parmesan, of course!

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Valentine Boston Creme Pie

Everybody has a favorite dessert. Most folks have a sweet heart. Valentine’s Day is coming up quickly. Being the logical person that I am, I took those three facts into consideration when I made this Boston Crème Pie recipe recently.

Remember that romance means something different to everybody. So approach your romantic dinner and dessert from the perspective of your sweetheart. Consider the question: “What would they love?” in the planning of your evening.

If your sweetheart is a morning person, maybe breakfast served with flair would be romantic. If they are allergic to chocolate, then you’ll want to choose sweet treats that appeal to their preferences. Romance doesn’t have to be expensive, either. Light a candle, place a tablecloth on the kitchen table, use the good dishes, put some soft music on and wear an outfit that becomes you. Romance will follow.


Boston Crème Pie


1 package Yellow Cake Mix prepared according to package
1 box French Vanilla Instant Pudding prepared according to package
1 can Chocolate Frosting

Gather your ingredients.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare cake according to package directions. Bake in two 9-inch round pans. Set frosting container on stovetop to warm while cake bakes. Cool cakes after removing from oven. Prepare pudding according to package directions. Place one cake on plate. Using long knife or piece of thread, slice cake in half horizontally. Layer pudding and cake halves. Frost top of cake with chocolate icing. Allow icing to drip down the sides of cake. Chill in refrigerator 1 hour.

Prepare your cake according to package directions.

Approximate Nutritional Information: Servings Per Recipe: 8 servings, Amount Per Serving: Calories: 481, Total Fat: 15g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 595mg, Total Carbs: 84g, Dietary Fiber: 1g, Protein: 4g

Make It a Meal: Serve this dessert with a romantic dinner for your sweet heart on Valentine’s Day, their birthday, your anniversary or any other special day. Serve with your favorite strong coffee or sweet red wine.

To make this dessert extra special, I used some super heart shaped pans. I have a 5-inch heart shaped pan and a whole bunch of cupcake size pans that make up individual serving sized cakes.

Trim round cake into heart shape. Slice cakes in half.

Instead of your regular 8-inch round pans, you can use an 8-inch heart pan. My mom has a set of these and we’ve sure gotten our money’s worth in use over the years. If you can’t get your hands on heart shaped pans, you can cut a heart shape out of your round cakes. That’s what I did for this cake. I didn’t plan far enough ahead to borrow mom’s pans!

Simply take a piece of paper and draw a heart on it, or print one from a website. Lay the paper on top of a single layer of cake, and cut around the pattern. For best results, wait until the cake is completely cooled.


Spread pudding over cake layers.

Variations: Place sliced strawberries or cherries inside with the cream layer. Add a few drops of red food coloring to your vanilla pudding to turn the cream pink. Use a strawberry or cherry cake mix instead of yellow cake. Instead of chocolate icing, use vanilla or strawberry frosting.

Frost and decorate your cakes with candies or fruit.

Remember that romance means something different to everybody. You’ll want to put a little thought into planning your romantic meal. My husband was thrilled that I picked his favorite dessert and made it special for him! Just wait ’til Valentine’s Day, honey!