The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and I feel like winter was so long and tortuous, yet how is it already springtime??  It’s amazing how time flies!  This March has been crazy busy for me with lots of travel, studying and trying to keep myself balanced and it makes me so excited to think that lake weekends are not too far off.  The nicer weather and finally being able to be outside has be craving light recipes that won’t weigh me down.  These Lemon Rosemary Cookies are not only delicious, light and fluffy, but they have only 60 calories per cookie!!!!

Lemon Rosemary Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Thanks to the incorporation of vanilla extract along with the fresh lemon juice, these Lemon Rosemary Cookies are too tart and the rosemary adds just a hint of herby-ness which makes them extra special and unique.

Lemon Rosemary Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

The cookies melt in your mouth because of the cornstarch that is incorporated into the dry ingredients and that also helps them stay soft for several days.  I flattened the cookie dough by using the bottom of a small glass dipped in sugar and I just love the shimmer that the sugar gives to the cookies.

Lemon Rosemary Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

These Lemon Rosemary Cookies are the perfect addition to any bridal or baby shower, Easter brunch or barbecue that you go to this spring.

Lemon Rosemary Cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 28 cookies

1 cookies

60 calories

2g; carbs 11g

These slightly tart and herby cookies are light as air and as soft as clouds and the perfect cookie to celebrate springtime

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar (+1/4 cup for coating cookies)
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (or spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray).
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter, oil and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add egg white, vanilla, lemon juice and rosemary and mix.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.
  5. Place remaining 1/4 cup sugar into a small, shallow bowl.
  6. Scoop heaping teaspoons of dough and form into balls. Place balls onto cookie sheet.
  7. Dip the bottom of a small glass into the cookie dough to make it sticky, then dip the glass into the sugar and flatten one of the cookies. Repeat with remaining cookies, dipping the glass into the sugar for each cookie.
  8. Bake 8-10 minutes or until centers feel set.
  9. Cool completely.
  10. Recipe adapted from Eating Well

Lemon Rosemary Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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Well, it’s official, as of yesterday, Minnesota has had it’s first snow storm.  Welcome winter, I guess.  It’s really fine with me if I’m going to be stranded inside as long as I have warm, comfort food to keep me feeling cozy and satisfied.  Growing up, I don’t have a single memory of my mom using a crock pot and therefore, I don’t have a whole bunch of slow cooker recipes in my repertoire.  But I have been trying to change that lately because it gives me so much more freedom when I get home from work if dinner is already done, smelling wonderful and just waiting for me to serve up.

Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Chili {satisfymysweettooth.com}

This Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Chili made in the crock pot really blew me away.  I couldn’t believe how wonderfully tender and easy to shred the chicken was and the flavor of onions, garlic, green peppers with chili powder and cumin after the chili had been simmering away all day is really something special.

Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Chili {satisfymysweettooth.com}

The intensity of flavor that ingredients acquire after cooking on low heat for a long time is so much greater than if you were to just throw this soup together on the stovetop for example.  This Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Chili could be modified to include any of your favorite ingredients.  Corn and green chiles are top on my list of what I might add next time, although I loved this soup so much, I might not want to change it.  The chili powder and jalapeño give the soup just a subtle low burn of heat and the fresh lime juice added at the end together with the cilantro garnished on top of the chili is just perfection.

Easy Chicken Chili (Crock pot)

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and ribs removed, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups chicken broth (I use low-sodium broth)
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 lime
  • lime, cilantro, avocado, sour cream, cheese for garnish

Instructions

  1. Place chicken into crock pot. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Place onion, green pepper, garlic, jalapeño, and tomatoes into crock pot.
  3. Add chicken broth, chili powder and cumin.
  4. Turn crock pot on low heat and cook for 7 1/2 hours.
  5. Add black beans and juice of half of the lime and cook for another 1/2 hour.
  6. Serve with garnishes.

Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Chili {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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I just don’t know how it can possibly be the end of July!  I feel like I just can’t fit enough s’mores, lake time, patio happy hours and barbecues in before the snow will be flying again!!  Lucky for you and me, I have The Best S’mores Bars to fit in some quality summer flavors before he heat is gone.

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Every night that we are at the lake cabin, even if I make a different dessert, at some point after dinner we always end up around the fire toasting marshmallows to golden brown perfection and slapping them on top of a graham cracker with chocolate to make a s’more.  And every time I eat one, I just can’t get over how perfect that roasted sugar is with the creamy chocolate and minimally sweet graham cracker.  I have never met a form of a s’more that I didn’t like.  There are very selective times when I tell you that something is “the best” I have ever had, and these, sweet teeth, just might be the best s’mores dessert I have ever had!

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Don’t get me wrong, the S’mores Ice Cream Cake that I shared earlier with you this summer was pretty spectacular, but the texture contrast and flavors of these S’mores Bars are pretty hard to beat.

S'mores Ice Cream Cake {satisfymysweettooth.com}

I began these bars with a traditional graham cracker crust that I lightened up by using less butter and sugar than most graham cracker crusts.  I love the flavor of graham crackers and don’t feel like they need to be overly sweetened to be enjoyable so I wanted to cut out the extra sugar where I could and there was no downfall to this modification.  The fudgey chocolatey filling that tops the graham cracker crust in The Best S’mores Bars is obviously my favorite layer, because I am a chocolate nut but it is just so perfectly contrasted in texture with the crunchy crust.  Since one of my goals for this recipe was for these bars to be something quick and easy to put together, I simply topped that thick, gooey chocolate layer with Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits.  Everyone loves the look of these tiny bits and it just adds to the fun of this perfect summer recipe.

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

The Best S’mores Bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 22 minutes

Yield: 25 bars

Crunchy graham cracker crust topped with a thick fudge layer and mini marshmallows makes for The Best S'mores Bars

Ingredients

    Graham cracker crust
  • 8 whole graham cracker sheets, crushed into crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • Chocolate fudge filling and topping
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (I used fat-free)
  • 1 cup Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 9X9-inch square baking pan with foil allowing the foil to overhang the edges of the pan. Spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Graham cracker crust:
  4. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix to combine.
  5. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 12 minutes.
  6. Chocolate fudge filling and topping
  7. Combine chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30-second increments until chocolate is melted and smooth.
  8. Stir together and pour over graham cracker crust.
  9. Immediately, while the chocolate is not yet set, top with Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Bits
  10. *Chocolate filling recipe adapted from Cookies and Cups (http://cookiesandcups.com)

combine all ingredients for crust in a small bowl and mix to combine

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}
press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan and bake

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}
for the chocolate filling, combine chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in a medium microwave-safe bowl

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

microwave for 30-second increments until chocolate is melted and smooth, stir, then pour over crust

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

immediately, while the chocolate is not yet set, top with Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Bits

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

The Best S'mores Bars {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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It is amazing to me how much of my time is spent looking at recipes and yet each week, I am puzzled by what to make for dinner.  I know that I am not alone in this struggle.  I have my staples that seem to make a weekly appearance but I love when I am pleasantly surprised by a new recipe and both my husband and I like it well enough that I know that it will be a repeat.  I expected these Black Bean Burgers to be ok, but they sort of blew my mind.

Black Bean Burgers {satisfymysweettooth.com}

These Black Bean Burgers are packed with flavorful ingredients like garlic, cilantro, lime and onion just to name a few.  The combination of fresh herbs and ingredients with the dry spices creates such a great depth of flavor.  I ate my Black Bean Burger open-faced and topped it with homemade guacamole and my favorite hot sauce.

Black Bean Burgers {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Besides their incredible flavor, the second best thing about these Black Bean Burgers is how quick they are to make.  Bake up some potato wedges and broccoli on a separate baking sheet while you bake the burgers, and you can have a healthy dinner on the table in 30 minutes.

Black Bean Burgers {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Black Bean Burgers

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 burgers

Bursting with flavor and perfectly spiced, Black Bean Burgers will become a regular staple in your weekly mean plan

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • dash of worcestershire sauce
  • juice of one lime
  • 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 whole wheat buns and other toppings (such as guacamole, hot sauce) for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray the paper with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Place black beans into a strainer and rinse well under running water drain.
  4. Place beans into a medium bowl and mash lightly (the beans do not all need to be completely mashed).
  5. Add remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix to combine.
  6. Divide into 4 servings and form into patties with your hands. Place burgers onto prepared baking sheets.
  7. Bake 15 minutes, flipping once halfway through baking.
  8. Serve on buns with desired toppings.

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I made soup twice last week.  I am fairly certain that I could eat soup every day.  I love how it warms me up and keeps me feeling full and satisfied for hours.  I made a brothy farro vegetable soup (farro is my new grain of choice by the way) early in the week that was so healthy and delicious.  Then later in the week I made an also healthy and simplified version of one of my favorite soups, Simple Potato Leek Soup (only 5 ingredients).  As I was making this Simple Potato Leek Soup, I realized that I was utilizing some of my favorite kitchen tips for making things healthier and easier to manage in the kitchen and I decided to share them with you in this post.

I love lists.  Do you love lists?  I hope so because here we go with my list of 3 kitchen tips for you:

  • Sauté vegetables in stock rather than butter or oil.

IMG_2627

IMG_2629

When I am sautéing vegetables for soups or a side dish, rather than dousing them with oil or drowning them in butter, I simply open a can of stock (I use low sodium chicken stock but you could also use vegetable stock without either option affecting the flavor too significantly) and pour about 1/8 cup at a time into the pan with the vegetables.  I don’t measure, I simply make sure there is a little bit of liquid in the bottom of the pan so that the vegetables don’t burn.  I watch it and pour a bit more when the liquid has evaporated/steamed off.  I find that this technique results in soft, tender vegetables without any added fat.  I want to save my oil and butter for when I need it to add flavor.  I will usually sprinkle some fresh ground pepper into the veggies, but don’t add extra salt because the broth does that for me.  Once my vegetables are cooked, I can continue with them as I wish whether that be turning them into fajitas or adding other things to make them part of a soup.

  • Clean your potatoes with a manicure/pedicure nail brush (an unused one silly).

IMG_2628

This one does not need much explanation.  I was cleaning out my bathroom and had a never-been-opened pedicure kit with a nail brush and I was about to discard the whole kit when I realized how convenient that brush would make cleaning potatoes.  I scrub my potatoes with the brush while running them under cold water to remove excess dirt.  Simple idea, but it helps me be more efficient and effective.

  • Clean your leeks quickly, but effectively.

Oh leeks, how I love you.  I used to fear and avoid cooking with leeks because they seemed like a pain to deal with because of all of that dirt hiding between their layers.  Here are the simple steps that I now use to avoid sand in my dinner:

How to clean and prepare leeks {satisfymysweettooth.com}

cut the root ends and the dark green parts off each leek

How to clean and prepare leeks {satisfymysweettooth.com}

cut the remaining leek in half lengthwise

How to clean and prepare leeks {satisfymysweettooth.com}

run the leek under water while fanning out the layers to remove dirt; flip leek over and repeat from the opposite end

How to clean and prepare leeks {satisfymysweettooth.com}

cut into thin strips (and sauté in chicken stock-see first tip of this post)

How to clean and prepare leeks {satisfymysweettooth.com}

How to clean and prepare leeks {satisfymysweettooth.com}I hope that you find these simple kitchen tips helpful when you make this Simple Potato Leek Soup!  You would never guess that this soup is only 140 calories per serving based on how rich and creamy it is!  Add additional salt and pepper to your taste.

What is your favorite, most helpful kitchen tip?

Simple Potato Leek Soup (only 5 ingredients) {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Simple Potato Leek Soup (only 5 ingredients), plus 3 helpful kitchen tips

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Rich, creamy and flavorful soup that is light and healthy and simple to make

Ingredients

  • 3 large leeks, white and light green parts only (about 3 cups sliced leeks)
  • 5 medium yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans low sodium chicken stock
  • 1-2 tsp celery salt
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream, plus more for serving
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat a medium/large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add 1/8 cup chicken stock.
  3. Cut root end and dark green parts off of leeks. Cut in half lengthwise. Run under water while fanning out layers to clean and remove dirt.
  4. Slice into strips, sprinkle with regular salt and pepper and add to pot and cook until softened 5-10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, clean potatoes and dice into 1-inch pieces. Add to pot with remaining chicken stock and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover pot and cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes.
  6. Puree soup using immersion blender or regular blender. Add 1-2 tsp celery salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Stir in sour cream.
  8. Serve with additional sour cream.

Notes

Per serving: Calories: 140 Fat: 1g Carbohydrates: 29g

Simple Potato Leek Soup (only 5 ingredients) {satisfymysweettooth.com} Simple Potato Leek Soup (only 5 ingredients) {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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