Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Product Placement Wednesday - Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip

As you know, I am a sucker for new products at Trader Joe's. Some are winners, some not so much. Especially when it comes to their "Reduced Guilt" products. Some taste "reduced flavor" others are amazing. This week's product falls into the amazing area!

Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip

First question you may ask yourself - With kale and Greek yogurt, in the title what is this going to taste like? Well, remove those words and you have your answer - Spinach Dip. A very delicious and full fat tasting spinach dip. I enjoyed my container with veggies, whole grain crackers, baked blue corn tortilla chips and even as a spread on a sandwich. Speaking of the sandwich, it was whole wheat lavosh, turkey, butter lettuce, and the dip as a spread. Fantastic!

Honestly I cannot say enough good things about this dip. It was so fantastic and at 30 calories for 2 tablespoons it really is "reduced guilt"! The only reason it wasn't guilt free is because I liked it so much I probably ate too much of it!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Online Recipes Tested - Jalapeno Popper Dip

Now that I have discovered the crack that is Pinterest, I have found some fun new recipes that require trying. Of course I will ultimately pin about 1000% more recipes than I can ever hope to make but the ones that I do make will receive a write up here. Since the Super Bowl was last weekend, it only seems appropriate to start with my contribution to that gluttonous evening.

(Note: The above link goes to the site and original recipe. The recipe below includes my alterations.)

2 8oz packages cream cheese (reduced fat), room temperature
1 cup light mayonnaise
1 cup light Mexican cheese blend, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
1 4oz can green chilies, diced
1 4oz can diced jalapenos or 4 fresh jalapenos, seeded & finely diced (I used four large fresh jalapenos and this had good heat but wasn't too hot. Add more it pump up the heat.)

1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
1/4 cup light butter, melted

1. Mix the dip ingredients together and spread into a greased pie pan or 2 quart baking dish (I used cooking spray to grease the dish).

2. Mix topping ingredients until even consistency is reached.

3. Cover dip with topping being sure to cover evenly.

4. Bake dip in a 375 degree pre-heated oven for approximately 20 minutes. Dip is done when top is brown and dip is bubbling. (Note: I was cooking this in an older oven with other items and it took much longer than 20 minutes to cook. I recommend checking it at 20 minutes and go with your instincts from there. Also, the center of my batch was not quite as bubbly as the exteriors so be sure to check that area before removing from the oven.)

5. Serve with crackers, baguette or chips. I used a baked blue corn chip from Trader Joe's and it was fantastic.

So my overall review of this dish was that it was fantastic! Can you tell that I couldn't wait to try it - didn't even get the photo off first! It was really easy to make though cutting up the jalapenos did stretch out the prep time. I would still use the fresh over the canned or jarred for that fresh popper flavor. This dip was a huge hit and I don't think that lightening the calories up took anything away from the flavor. I highly recommend this dip for any party but particularly anything sports related.

Have you tried this recipe? Please let me know what you think!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Product Placement Wednesday - L'Occitane Shea Butter One Minute Hand Scrub

Winter weather = dry skin. Right now we are in the heart of winter (not that you would know it in many parts of the US) and I am sure like many of you my skin has been taking a beating. Now I also live in a drier climate than many of you but even multiple daily applications of hand lotion is not doing the trick. I have used a variety of scrubs in the past including the ghetto version my college roomate whipped together with our cooking oil and refined white sugar. Not gonna lie - it did still work. Since I gather that most of you are past that stage in life (and probably do not want to use your imported olive oil and organic brown sugar as a beauty product), I bring you your new favorite hand scrub.

L'Occitane Shea Butter One Minute Hand Scrub

If you are not familiar with L'Occitane, they are a company out of France that uses natural ingredients and takes pride in their sustainability practices. Most importantly their products are amazing and smell like heaven. The Shea Butter One Minute Hand Scrub uses organic sugar to exfoliate your hands while shea and grapesee oils soften - all in one minute! Did I tell you that your hands will smell incredible?! They suggest following this treatment with their Shea Butter Hand Cream however any lotion will soak in beautifully once your hands are smooth like a baby's behind. And of course it is also good for feet!

Do you have a favorite winter hand treatment?