TGI Friday’s Potato Skins-A Quick Simple Appetizer

Filed Under (Appetizers, Quick Meals, Review, Snacks) by Lisa on 09-03-2009

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A few months ago I was at Costco browsing in the frozen food section. I found some potato skins by TGI Fridays that seemed appealing so I bought them. They have been sitting in the freezer ever since.

Today I decided to give them a try.The box directions said to bake them in the oven for 11-12 minutes. I was impressed with the quick baking time.

The potato skins are stuffed with cheddar and bacon. I had a few hot out of the oven. They were slightly crispy on the outside and nice and soft in the middle.

I had them with some mild salsa. However even with salsa they seemed like they were missing a “zing” to them. Maybe I just thought they would be more flavorful then they were. Maybe if I had eaten them with a medium salsa that would have given me the “zing” that I was hoping for.

Nutrition wise the potato skins have 70 calories in each potato skin or 210 calories in three skins. They also have the following (in three skins): 12 g fat, 25 mg cholesterol (ouch), 15% sodium 360 mg, and 10% calcium ( I thought this was a very good thing for me).

Overall I did enjoy the potato skins, however since they were missing a “zing” in flavor that I was hoping for I’m not sure if I would buy them again.

Poppy Seed Squares

Filed Under (Baking, Squares) by Lisa on 11-02-2009

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A must try for poppy seed lovers

This afternoon I went book shopping. I picked up a couple books at Value Village. One of them is Company’s Coming 150 Delicious Squares, by Jean Pare. I decided to give one of them a try this evening. I made poppy seed squares (recipe on page 150). I morphed the recipe hugely.

The original recipe seems to be missing one key ingredient. Milk. It says to add 2 tbsp to the poppy seed mixture. However the other liquid ingredient (eggs, margarine, honey, and vanilla extract) do not combine to make enough liquid to create a nice, thick blended dough. I added ¼-½ cup milk on top of the 2 tbsp in the poppy seed mixture. Here is my version of poppy seed squares.

Poppy Seed Squares

½-¾ cup poppy seeds

Skim milk 2 tbsp

Skim milk ¼-½ cup

2 cups all purpose flour

1-1 ¼ cups white sugar

1 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ cup olive oil margarine (melted)

¼ cup honey

2 large eggs (beaten)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp rum extract

½-1 cup medium unsweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Measure poppy seeds, place in a bowl. Add 2 tbsp milk, stir and set aside.

In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well. Add the margarine, vanilla extract, rum extract, eggs (preheated), and ¼-½ cup skim milk. Stir until smooth. Add the poppy seed mixture and continue to stir. If the dough is too dry (you can’t combine all the flour) add more milk. The dough should be thick and blended well. Now place in a prepared 9X13 inch pan. The dough should look like the photo below.

Bake in your preheated oven for 20-30 minutes (or until golden and a tooth pick comes out clean). Enjoy.

This square was a hit with everyone in the house. It is a nice and light snack.

Souffer’s Bistro Crustini Review

Filed Under (Quick Meals, Review, Snacks) by Lisa on 06-01-2009

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Awhile ago I bought a Souffer’s  Bistro Crustini package for my boyfriend. In the end it ended up in my freezer instead of his. It is not something I normally would have bought, but knowing he likes them that it what made me buy it.

Yesterday I decided to give it a try, so I had it for lunch. Here are my thoughts on it.

The Bistro Crustini type was Philly-Style Steak and Cheese. The box describes this Crustini as: layers of tender steak and mozzarella cheese in a flakey crust.

Before cooking the Crustini you place it in the crusting envelope/pouch provided.

The Crustini is a frozen food. The instructions say to microwave it for 2 minutes. I cooked it in the microwave for 1 min 55 seconds, and that seemed too long. It was way to hot to eat right away.

One thing that I liked about the Crustini, is that it did not get soggy in the microwave. The crusting pouch works really well.

Taste wise the Souffer’s Philly-Style Steak and cheese Crustini is very yummy. The meat and cheese melt in to a succulent melody of flavor. The flakey crust is also perfect.

As far as a meal goes, the Crustini probably won’t fill you up. However it is a good, quick snack to have.

In each Bistro Crustini box there are 2 individually wrapped Crustini. The average price for a box is about $3.90, so that works out to $1.95 per package. It is a decent price (not super cheap or super expensive) for a snack.

Nutrition wise the Bistro Crustini doesn’t score too well. In each Crustini there are 310 calories! This tasty snack is also high in sodium (670 mg 28% of your daily intake) and fat (14g 22% of your daily intake). The Crustini is a decent source of calcium (15% of your daily intake) and iron (15% of your daily intake).

The Bistro Crustini; Philly-Style Steak and Cheese is a tasty snack. It might not be the best option if your on a low fat diet or low calorie diet. It is decently priced, and a quick and easy snack idea.

I enjoyed eating the Crustini, but probably won’t buy it again (unless my boyfriend really wants it for himself) since it doesn’t score high on the health scale.

Pear Pecan Muffins

Filed Under (Muffins) by Lisa on 27-11-2008

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In our deep freeze we have an abundance of pears. This is because we have two fairly large sized pear trees in the yard. The past fall was a particularly good year for our trees so, we ended up with a huge amount of pears. We have about 30 frozen zip lock bags full in the freezer.

Tonight I decided to experiment with making some pear muffins. This is the recipe I came up with (I think it’s fairly low fat and sugar). The muffins are moist (but not super moist), and have a lovely texture. The pecans make them extra flavorful. Enjoy

Pear Pecan Muffins

Makes 12 medium sized (large) muffins

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour

½ cup brown sugar (not packed)

2 tsp baking powder

A few shakes of salt

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp ginger

¼ tsp nutmeg

1 cup skim milk (with 2 tsp white vinegar)

2 large eggs

2 tbsp olive oil

About 1 ½ cups chopped pealed and cored pears

2 tsp vanilla extract

¼-½ cup pecan pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl place the flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg. Mix well. Add the pecan pieces and stir. In a blender, add the brown sugar, pears, skim milk (that is mixed with the vinegar) eggs, olive oil, and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth.

Now add the blender mixture to the dry mixture in the bowl. Mix until smooth. Spoon into prepared muffin tins. Bake for 30-40 minutes (until golden and a toothpick comes out clean).

Herb Dip

Filed Under (Dips) by Lisa on 18-10-2008

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Yesterday I was in the mood for cooking. One of the things I made was a dip. I wanted to make a new kind of dip, so I made my own. It was very yummy. A little bit zesty and very flavorful! I served it with a collection of favorite vegetables. Enjoy.

Herb Dip

½ cup no fat sour cream

1/3 cup plain no fat yogurt

1 tbsp light mayonnaise

½ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese

Fresh minced chives (about 1-2 tbsp)

1 green onion minced

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp garlic powder

1 tbsp dried parsley flakes

Desired amount of pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Serve immediately or at a later time with your favorite vegetables or breads.

Below is an image of the dip.

Food for a Day

Filed Under (Random) by Lisa on 13-10-2008

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A few days ago, I decided to keep track of everything I ate for a full day. I decided that since a picture is worth a thousand words, I would take photos of all foods consumed for one day. I did this because something I think I lose track of just how much stuff I eat in a day (in particular how much junk food I eat in a day). So here it is, my food for one day.


a slightly sour grapefruit

A mixed bowl of cereal with skim milk

Many glasses of water through out the day



chocolate covered biscuit for dessert


banana (between lunch and dinner snack)


Spaghetti, meatballs and garlic bread
Pear Pie

Doing this exercise of photographing my food, really made me think twice about how much or many snacks/desserts I was eating (I think it prevented me from eating at least one or two more desserts)…