Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kimber's Korner: Double-Berry Ice Pops

I looooove sweet treats! When my mommy was looking through her cooking magazine (EveryDay with Rachael Ray) the other day, I was so excited to see pages full of fruity frozen treats! I told her we just had to make some and share with you guys here at Kimber's Korner. As usual, we put our little "Cookin' Lean" spin on the recipe and came up with something special. Here we are whippin' up a batch of Double-Berry Ice Pops!

Makes 4


1 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup FAT FREE Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
1/4 cup water


Tovolo 80-4579 Green Groovy Ice Pop Molds, Set of 6Place fruit, yogurt, honey and water in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Pour equally into popsicle molds. Place in freezer for at least 5 hours. Enjoy!

**Note: When they are ready, allow to thaw for a couple minutes before removing from the mold. Otherwise, you might end up losing a stick like we did. : (


These were super yummy! Mommy said that are really good for me because they don't contain any added sugar or artificial coloring like most frozen pops from the store. She also said the yogurt has this stuff called protein, which is great for building muscles and making me a strong little girl. Now that is what I call "COOL"!

Thanks for stoppin' by Kimber's Korner! Try making these at home. If you test out any other flavors, come back and tell us all about it!

Recipe inspired by the "Cool!" article found in the June/July 2011 issue of EveryDay with Rachael Ray Magazine.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Livin' Lean Topic Tuesday: Sweet Chic

I know I am not alone by saying that fashion and food are at the top of my "Things I Love" list. My weekly trips to the LOFT where I find a great deal are just as exciting to me as testing out a new recipe (and having it work out). I am a woman that loves her food and loves her clothes.

One thing I have learned about my wardrobe is that simple items like a black dress or a scoop tee can go a long way with accessories. Take the same dress and wear it three different ways just by changing up the shoes, adding the always wonderful jean jacket or using the power of fashion jewelry. It is amazing how one can stretch her clothing potential by starting with basic fashion staples and adding flare with accessories. With time and money restraints, it is the only way to get the most out of what's in my closet. Well guess what?!!? Author and confectioner Rachael Schifter Thebault has applied this same concept to desserts!

In her new book Sweet Chic: Stylish Treats to Dress Up Any Occasion, author Rachel Schifter Thebault developed a time-saving baking philosophy that is simple and comparable to the advice of many fashion experts: Use a few staples as the foundation for your wardrobe and change “accessories” to dress it up or down.  A former investment banker turned owner and head confectioner of the chic Manhattan bakery Tribeca Treats,  Thebault caters to the trendsetting host--celebrities from Cameron Diaz to Paris Hilton to Zac Posen.

If desserts were on the runway what would they be?

*The little black dress: a luscious devil’s food cake -- easily dressed up or down.

*The crisp oxford shirt: cut-out vanilla cookies -- clean and classic.

*The statement necklace: a bold and memorable banana cake -sure to elicit oohs & ahhs.

Combining a confectioner's expertise with fashion sense, she shares a scrumptious cache of popular dessert recipes that can be accessorized to fit any occasion.

What's more, transforming a basic dessert into a masterpiece brimming with personality and flair can be easy, quick, and fun. In the same way you'd plan an outfit, Sweet Chic pieces together a Devil's Food Cake -- the little black dress of delights -- with such irresistible accessories as Caramel Buttercream (think knee-high boots) for ultimate decadence, turns Vanilla Cookies (the crisp oxford shirt) into Strawberry “Shortcakes” ideal for casual or dressy occasions, and blends brownies (the cashmere sweater of confectionery) with a swirl of mint for a showstopping number.

Gorgeous and appetizing color photos throughout reveal how a change of icing here and a substitute topping there can take a simple dessert from Sunday brunch to a date-night treat. Mix and match more than seventy recipes for cookies, cakes, and confections, including Peanut Butter and Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies, Brownie Sundae Parfait, Mini S'mores Cupcakes, Wasabi-Black Sesame Truffles, and so much more.

This is the perfect little book for anyone who loves fashion or sweets. Even if you aren't an expert, Rachael will sure help you to bake and talk fashion like one. Just the look of this book alone is a fashion statement; one that would add a great pop to your kitchen!

To learn more about Thebault and Sweet Chic: Stylish Treats to Dress Up Any Occasion, please visit . Be sure to keep up with her on TWITTER and FACEBOOK too!

Have a sweet Tuesday!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cooking Light with Rachael Ray: Feta-Watermelon Quinoa

This recipe makeover comes right outta the pages of EveryDay with Rachael Ray Magazine (June/July 2011 issue). The original recipe is a Feta-Watermelon Tabbouleh side. However, I didn't have any bulgur wheat on hand. So, with a little improvisation, I subbed the healthy and delicious quinoa for the bulgur wheat and PRESTO!... I had a healthy and light side dish that didn't require another run to the grocery store.

Serves 6

  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces fresh peeled watermelon, chopped into 1/2" cubes
  • 4 ounces REDUCED-FAT crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 medium cucumber, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh dill,chopped

Cook quinoa according to package directions. Place the cooked quinoa in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, combine vinegar and lemon juice. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk in the 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil. Toss the dressing with the quinoa in the large bowl.

Add the watermelon, feta, cucumber, red onion and dill. Toss to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper....if needed. But just remember to go easy on the salt! (wink-wink).


Just look at it! It's beautiful! The colors are gorgeous and flavors just scream summertime. It is the perfect light side for those summer cookouts. A MUST-TRY!

This was already a pretty healthy side, so to lighten it up a little more, I only changed a few things. First, I reduced the amount of olive oil by 3 tablespoons. I also cut down on the amount of feta and switched to a reduced-fat variety. Quinoa was just a change of convenience. Either way, you are going to get tons of nutrition with the bulgur wheat or quinoa.

The nutritional breakdown...

NUTRITION FACTS (per serving):

BEFORE: 342.8 calories;  22.83g fat;  27.79g carbohydrate;  7.96g protein;  4.55g fiber

AFTER: 234.67 calories;  12.49g fat;  26.3g carbohydrate;  6.71g protein;  2.55g fiber

SAVES: 108.13 calories;  10.34g fat;  1.49g carbohydrate

From a nutritional standpoint, if you have the option of bulgur wheat or quinoa, go with the bulgur. Although they are close in calories, protein and carbohydrates; using bulgur will cut the overall fat content of this recipe by 9.2 grams of fat. Bulgur wheat also has more fiber. And as we discussed on Tuesday...WE LOVE FIBER. Using bulgur will increase the overall recipe fiber content by 10 grams! So to put it simply, use bulgur if you have it. However, if you or someone in your family is GLUTEN FREE, go with the quinoa.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Livin' Lean Topic Tuesday: Why I Think It's Great When "Cookin' Lean" Makeovers Increase Fiber...& A Giveaway Winner!

Run Like a Girl: How Strong Women Make Happy LivesFirst, I would like to announce the winner of her very own copy of RUN LIKE A GIRL: HOW STRONG WOMEN MAKE HAPPY LIVES. Miss Jessica from Kitchen Belleicious is the winner! Jessica now has a great summer read to enjoy. Thanks to all who entered! And if you haven't been by to see what Jessica has cookin', please do! She also has a great site for kids; Belleicious Kids. Great stuff!

Now...why do I think it is so great when my recipe makeovers increase the fiber content? Here's why!

  • Fiber has been shown to reduce the risk of developing various conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, diverticular disease, and constipation.
  • Fiber is a carbohydrate that the body cannot digest; found in all fruits, vegetables, grains & legumes.
  • Studies are showing that whole grain versions of fiber are most likely leading the health benefits of fiber consumption.
I overheard some ladies talking about whole grain bread and white bread. They said they like the taste of white better and there really wasn't a significant difference in calories. This may be true, but what there ladies are forgetting about it FIBER! It's not just about calories and fat. We need to remember to fill our bodies with fruits, veggies and whole grains. Since recently realizing the full importance of watching fiber intake, I now include it in the nutrition facts for each recipe I do. When the fiber content goes up, I am one happy cook! Here are some ways to guarantee an increase in fiber in your cookin':

  • Substitute whole grain versions of bread, pasta and rice.
  • Use fresh vegetables for snacking instead of chips and crackers.
  • Use fruit and vegetable purees in place of butter or oil.
  • Use legumes instead of meat in dishes like soups, chilis or burritos.
  • Use whole grain cereals for cookies or breading dishes like chicken tenders.
Hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday!

I am really excited about this summer and having the opportunity to be busy in the kitchen. My Mom is visiting this week and we have great things planned: Paula's Buttery Crab Pot Pies, Paula's Hummingbird Cake, Rach's Creamy Freeze Pops (Kimber's Korner) and last but not least...Giada's Coffee-Glazed Italian Donuts.

We better get cookin'!

And congrats, JESSICA! Email me your shipping address to and I will get your book right out to you!! You're gonna love it!

**Information for this post on fiber was taken from the Harvard School of Public Health. Fiber: Start Roughing It!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Rockin' The Bump

Some women love being pregnant. Others can't wait for it to end. I was one that LOVED being pregnant. I never felt more healthy or beautiful than I did when I was pregnant with Kimberlyn. I couldn't wait for that little baby bump to start showin'.  I embraced every part of  "Rockin' the Bump"!

Shell over at Things I Can't Say had this fun idea for mommies to show off those bumps by posting pics of their "Rockin' Bumps" and linkin' them up. I couldn't resist! Going through all the baby bump pics has been so great. I love seein' women embracing pregnancy; proud of what their body has blessed them to do and just "Rockin' The Bump!" They look gorgeous!

Here are some pics of me "Rockin' The Bump" with the most important person in my life, Kimberlyn. I had no idea that once that bump became a baby, my life would never be the same. I am one lucky lady. I love, love, LOVE my life being Kimber's mommy.

The Kimber Bump.
Typical me, not sure what to do with 2 piece of bread. That was me before Cookin' Lean started!

Lovin' those Cheez-Its!

Belly vs. The Bump!

Getting Kimber's baby suite ready!!

While going through these pictures, I stumbled upon this video. Apparently there was something about being pregnant made me feel like an awesome dancer. This was too rediculous not to share. I was pregnant with Kimber when Paula Abdul came out with her single "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow". I think I wanted to audition for the music video. Check it out!

Want to join in on the fun? Visit Shell and get the details. Hurry! The link up ends on Monday night (6/20). That's tonight!

Have a great Monday! And if you are expecting...Rock That Bump!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Cooking Light with Rachael Ray: Coconut Chicken Cutlets

The hubby and I would love to eat shrimp...but we can't. His throat closes up and I get violently ill. What a pair, right? Yeah, not good. But every time I see coconut fried shrimp I want some! It just looks soooo good! And the smell off those things. Seriously, it isn't fair. So when I saw Rachael Ray's recipe for Coconut Chicken Cutlets, I had found what I was looking for! This recipe was going to allow me to enjoy the flavors I was craving from coconut shrimp. I know it isn't shrimp. And it isn't fried. But it is as close as I can get while staying healthy and keepin' my hubby alive. Here is my take on Rachael's Coconut Chicken Cutlets.

Serves 4

  • 1 pound chicken cutlets, slightly pounded
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup WHOLE WHEAT flour
  • 1/2 cup EGG BEATERS
  • 1 cup SPECIAL K cereal, crushed
  • 1 cup grated UNSWEETENED coconut
  • 3/4 cup SUGAR FREE Apricot preserves
  • 1 jalapeno; seeded and sliced into rings
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons FAT FREE/LOW-SODIUM chicken broth
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, cut into chunks
  • 2 scallions; whites and greens sliced
  • FAT FREE olive oil cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425˚F. 

Arrange 3 shallow dishes( I like to use glass pie pans): Place about a cup of WHOLE WHEAT flour on first plate to dredge the chicken. Add EGG BEATERS with a splash of water in second dish. Combine the crushed SPECIAL K cereal and coconut in the third dish.

Season chicken with salt and pepper, then coat them in flour, then EGG BEATERS, then SPECIAL K-coconut mixture. Place on a prepared baking sheet that has been sprayed with FAT FREE olive oil cooking spray. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the outside is slightly browned.

In a small skillet over medium-high heat, stir together SUGAR FREE apricot preserves, jalapeƱo slices, rice wine vinegar, pineapple chunks and chicken stock. Reduce until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in scallions.

To serve, arrange chicken on a platter and pour sauce over the top.


I absolutely loved this dish! It was everything I hoped it would be and more! Since hubby and I can't eat shrimp (darn those allergies), we aren't able to enjoy coconut fried shrimp. It always looks so tempting on menus and in food magazines, but clearly the side effects of consumption are not worth the few minutes of taste-bud bliss. Now I don't have to look at my mom's plate of coconut friend shrimp in pure envy at the beach in a couple of weeks. We now have a great alternative that can handle those cravings and stop this feeling of "missing out"!

Not only did this recipe make a great dish over some mixed baby greens, but it would also work well as an appetizer or kid-friendly dish. Instead of using cutlets, use the boneless/skinless chicken tenders. The sauce would then be used for dipping instead of pouring over the top. And there you have it! A tropical-inspired treat you and the kids can eat with your hands! Fun! I can see myself making a batch of these this summer as an appetizer...served along with perhaps Giada's Aloha LA Cocktail or Rach's Grapefruit Margarita! Yep...that's gonna happen.

And how does this dish stand up nutritionally?

NUTRITION FACTS (per serving):

BEFORE: 674 calories;  25.44g fat;  49.73g carbohydrate;  62.82g protein;  2.3g fiber

AFTER: 312 calories;  6.48g fat;  38.53g carbohydrate;  33.41g protein;  3.95g fiber

SAVES: 362 calories;  18.96g fat;  11.23g carbohydrate ADDS: 1.65g fiber

To sum it up, this is a great summer dish (or appetizer) to make. It's light, fruity and full of flavor. I really think you will love it! Try it on shrimp and fish too!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Livin' Lean Topic Tuesday: Do You Run Like A Girl?...and a GIVEAWAY!

Run Like a Girl: How Strong Women Make Happy LivesA couple weeks ago, I shared with you a little about my most recent read, Run Like A Girl: How Strong Women Make Happy Lives, written by Mina Samuels. It's a book about how the confidence women gain through participating in sports has the power to transform their lives in significant ways. I'm a HUGE believer in this! I credit running and athletics to my own confidence. Even on a daily basis, taking a run can clear my mind and remind me of the strength that lives within me. There is a strong woman in all of us; a woman that is often unleashed when sports come into play.

I am just turning the first pages on this book and ready to dive in. After just the first paragraph I am pumped up and ready to read. Here is a little snip taken from Chapter 1: Do You Run Like a Girl?:

" What is running like a girl, anyway? It's getting out there. Challenging ourselves. Finding new possibility within. Finding strength in our own accomplishments. It's accessing out ageless girl spirit, where the enthusiastic "let's go" of youth meets the "I can" of experience.
Sounds great! Sign me up.
So why don't we all run like girls, all the time?"

I'm interested to find what the answer to this is. Aren't you?

If you would like to experience what Run Like A Girl is all about...just enter this GIVEAWAY!!

I have one copy for one lucky lady who wants to be inspired and reminded on the important role athletics plays in the lives of young girls and women alike.


Leave a comment sharing why you would like to read Run Like A Girl.
  1. Share this giveaway on TWITTER.
  2. Follow Cookin' Lean on TWITTER, FACEBOOK or GFC.
GIVEAWAY DETAILS:  Open to all US residents. All entries will be accepted until Monday, June 20, 2011 at 11:59 pm ET. The winner will be announced on next Tuesday's Livin' Lean Topic Tuesday post, June 21, 2011.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Cooking Light with Giada De Laurentiis: Fried Oysters

Each Thanksgiving, my Mother-in-Law makes THE BEST fried oysters I have ever had. She uses a TON of butter and fries those floury-breaded oysters in a iron skillet. The flavor is amazing! Another thing that I assume is amazing is the nutritional facts on those things. I don't even want to know the exact amount of fat and calories that are in each fried little oyster. It may ruin it for me next year. So let's just stick with "A LOT" for now. To make this seafood specialty a little more figure friendly, I took some guidance from Giada DeLaurentiis and her recipe for Fried Clams and Oysters. Take a peek!

Serves  4

  • 1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons olive oil, for frying (1/2 tablespoon per batch )
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 2 cups FAT FREE buttermilk
  • 2 cups Italian-style breadcrumbs
  • 1 pound, small, shucked oysters, about 18 to 20  
  • 1 lemon, cut in 1/2  
  • Sea salt  
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara warmed  
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

Spray a large skillet with EVOO cooking spray. Add 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil to skillet and warm over medium heat. 

While skillet is warming, put the buttermilk and the bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Working in batches, dip oysters in buttermilk to coat completely. Allow the excess buttermilk to drip back in to the bowl. Dredge oysters in the bread crumbs. Place the oysters on a baking sheet, and continue.

When the skillet is hot, place the prepared oysters in the skillet and fry; about 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove and place on paper towels.

Before beginning each new batch, spray skillet lightly and add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.

Immediately sprinkle the fried oysters with freshly squeezed lemon and a tiny bit of sea salt.

Serve with a bowl of warmed spicy marinara for dipping.

I was really happy with these. Even "Picky-Eatin' Hubby", who NEVER eats fried oysters, tried some. To his surprise, he like first. He said they "didn't even taste like oysters" while he was eating them. However, seconds after finishing, he said "he could taste a little of the oyster. Yuck!" We almost had 'em. I don't think this counts as a complete fail. At least he can't say he completely hates oysters. He did enjoy them for a minute! I saw it. Witness.
This is another one of those hard ones to figure the before nutritional facts on. Giada's recipe doesn't say exactly how much olive oil to use; just "enough to fill a large frying pan 3 inches deep. Not sure how much that is. Nor do I know how to calculate nutritional facts when you don't necessarily use all the ingredients called for. Tricky.
For the "before", I just searched for a similar dish to compare to.
Here are the nutritional facts found on a serving of fried oysters from
Serving Size: 6 battered and fried oysters
Calories: 368
Fat (g): 17.9
Carb (g): 39.9
Protein (g): 12.5
Fiber (g): less than 1
And for "Cookin' Lean Fried Oysters", I was able to get a better handle on the amount of oil, bread crumbs and buttermilk used. Much easier when you measure out the oil per batch instead of throwing the oysters into a big skillet "3-inches deep" full of oil. Probably tastes great! Just not fun when calculating calories. Or watching them, for that matter.
Serving Size: 5 oysters & 1/4 cup Emeril's Home Style Marinara
Calories:  261.25
Fat (g):   11.5
Carbs (g):  25.87
Protein (g): 13.52
Fiber (g):  3

SAVES: 106.75 calories;  6.4g fat & 14.03g carbs  
ADDS: 1g protein & 3g fiber

Try these out sometime this summer. They go great with a cold light beer! A nice appetizer before a summer grill-out. Enjoy!

* Original recipe by Giada De Laurentiis: Fried Clams and Oysters,

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Livin' Lean Topic Tuesday: What Would Your Calorie Free Food Be?

Riding into work this morning, two teachers and I got on the topic of great food. Imagine that! We started talking about the fabulous bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches with hot sauce from Greenwood Grocery and moved right on to the BBQ brisket, ribs and sandwiches at Jordan Springs Market. Let's not forget the Red Velvet ice cream my husband found on Sunday or the Pack's frozen custard stands we sometimes find impossible to drive by without stopping in for a blackberry shake. Thank goodness someone called one of us and ended that conversation. The cravings were gettin' a little out of control.

Now you have probably noticed that aside from unbelievable flavor, these foods have something else in common...fat and calories. Because I don't believe in total restriction for any food, I do treat myself to these things occasionally. How else would I know how awesome they are? They are high in taste but low on the nutritional spectrum, so I don't eat them as much...or I try not to. But what if they were good for us? 

Let's have a little fun here.

What if, in a perfect world, these sinful treats were fat and calorie free?

If you could take one of your favorite indulgent foods and make it calorie and fat free...what would it be?

What is the ONE food you would love to eat without worrying about how many "points" or minutes on the treadmill it was going to cost you?

Mine? Probably the beer battered, deep-fried chicken fingers from Brewbaker's Restaurant in Winchester, VA. I can't remember the last time I had those things. Somehow my willpower manages to take over. I'll tell you what though, if this were Food Network's The Best Thing I Ever Ate...FRIED, those chicken fingers would be my "Best Thing".

So...what's your calorie free food wish? Let's hear 'em!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lean Libation: Mudslide Milkshake

Just because I stick to a select 5 Food Network cooks on this blog doesn't mean they are my only favorites. I love watching ALL those shows and personalities. Another fantastic lady at the top of my "Food Network Favs List" is Claire Robinson from 5 Ingredient Fix. I love her because of how she makes so many great things with just 5 ingredients. That's genius! My Dad loves her for her raspy voice...but that's another topic. So, when looking for a Mudslide recipe to make "lean", I was really happy to find Claire's Mudslide Milkshake recipe pop up under my search. Simple, easy and oh-so delicious. You can't change too much when it comes to the alcohol needed for this recipe, but the "ice cream" ingredient gave me just the edge I needed to make this re-do a success. Check out my waistline-friendly version of Claire's decedent, delicious dessert-drink. Drink up! It's not Friday yet, but we're close enough!

Serves 2-3

  • 1/3 cup Bailey's Irish Cream
  • 1/4 cup Three Olives Chocolate Vodka (or your favorite brand)
  • 1/4 cup 1% or FAT FREE milk
  • 2 WEIGHT WATCHERS Giant Latte ice cream bars; broken up and removed from stick
  • 1 small banana (6-7"); frozen and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons natural cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon shaved dark chocolate

Put the first 6 ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Pour into 2 or 3 glasses and garnish with dark chocolate shavings. Serve immediately!


You may have already seen this, but the recipe is no longer a "5 ingredient fix". The recipe now has 7 ingredients. But who cares?!? It's delicious!

We loved how they turned out! My Dad was such a fan that he requested them the next night too! It's hard to believe it is a "lean libation", but it really is...thanks to Weight Watchers. Their Giant Latte bars allowed me to save tons of fat and calories that would normally be coming from real coffee ice cream. The calories are still high for a drink, but this is more like a milkshake.So you can either consider it your dessert as a special treat OR split it among three people instead of two. You choose. Here are the facts!...

NUTRITION FACTS (per Mudslide/recipe made into 2 servings):

BEFORE: 822 calories;  43.61g fat;  67.57g carbohydrate;  11.61g protein;  3.1g fiber
AFTER: 355.5 calories;  8.6g fat; 45.64g carbohydrate;   5.74g protein;  7.25g fiber

SAVES: 466.5 calories;  35.01g fat;  21.93g carbohydrate 
 ADDS: 4.15g fiber

Want to see more "Cookin' Lean" makeovers for 5 Ingredient Fix recipes? Have another Lean Libation request? Please let me know! I love tackling the recipes that YOU love to see LEAN! Bring on the requests!


Related Posts with Thumbnails