Tag Archives: cream cheese

Wish You

Spaghetti with Skinny Green Onion Sauce


Welcome to a BONUS Secret Recipe Club posting – this time from Group C!  The best part of posting with a different group is being able to explore blogs I wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to as I’m not the best at checking when other groups post.  I was sent to Adina’s Where is My Spoon which is full of family friendly recipes.  Since I only had a few hours to find a recipe I got straight to work to find a recipe that was already vegetarian as I knew I wouldn’t have the time to adjust it.  Luckily a recent green onion series led me to a deliciously fantastic pasta – Spaghetti with Skinny Green Onion Sauce!  I had to make a few adjustments as my store did not have any decent looking tomatoes but they did have some great looking mushrooms – so I subbed in a can of diced tomatoes.  I also omitted the vegetable stock as I forgot to pick it up (oops).

Wish You

Serves: Serves 5-6


1 lb spaghetti

2 green or red bell peppers, diced

1 bunch green onions, diced

1 cup wild mushrooms, diced

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp Gourmet Garden Italian herbs

1 tbsp Gourmet Garden Chunky Garlic

1 cup low-fat milk (2%)

4 tbsp low-fat cream cheese

1 cup reserved pasta water or vegetable stock

3 tbsp tomato paste

1 can diced tomatoes, Italian style

salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the bell pepper along with the green onions and mushrooms and saute for 5-7minutes. Add the Italian herbs and the garlic and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile prepare the pasta per the box. Before draining, reserve 1 cup of the water. Set aside the pasta.
  3. In a small bowl mix together the pasta water, cream cheese, tomato paste, and milk. Stir into the green pepper mixture along with the diced tomatoes. Bring to a bowl, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes before adding the pasta.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper then Serve and Enjoy!

This sauce was fantastic!  It was creamy, tomatoey, and quick – which is key these days.   As a bonus, it can easily become gluten free by switching out the pasta.  To make things even quicker, I used some Gourmet Garden herb pastes that I had left from Fresh Tasty Valentine.  I put this together after working my first post-baby convention and running on fumes.  A few other recipes that I flagged for later are her broccoli cauliflower meatballs and her lentil quinoa carrot salad which sounds perfect for summertime.

Nearly Forgot

Spinach and Mushroom Stroganoff

In the weeks leading up to little one’s arrival, I tried to prep as much as possible in regards to food so that even if I was functioning on two hours there would still be something edible.  With that, about a month before D-day my mom and sister came up from VA for a day of (in my opinion) fun prepping two dozen freezer meals.  While a few of them were some old favorites (stuffed shells, enchiladas, and lasagna) that would just need to be popped in the oven, the rest were variations of recipes I had been collecting and tweaking in order to make them freezer AND slow cooker ready.  I read soooo many articles about freezer meals, taking notes on what freezes super well (presoaked bagged beans, tomatoes, peppers, etc) and what does not (coconut milk, sour cream, cream cheese) and special items where the other ingredients determined if it would freeze well (tofu is awesome solo or just with veggies but no sauces).  Once I had identified what meals I wanted to try I then set out to make the ultimate shopping list while keeping to a very tight under $10 per meal with each meal making 4-6 servings.

Some of these meals, everything is in the bag and it just goes straight in.  With others there are things to add day of (extra stock, coconut milk, etc) or a side dish that needs to be prepped.  Like today’s dish, Spinach and Mushroom Stroganoff.  This was one of the first dishes on my list and is a variation of my standard stroganoff just with more “green stuff”.

Nearly Forgot

Serves 4-5


10oz baby portobello mushrooms; quartered

12oz white mushrooms; quartered

1 small yellow onion; diced

2 cloves of garlic; minced

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1.5 teaspoons paprika

4 cups frozen spinach

8oz plain creek yogurt (dairy or almond)

8oz cream cheese (dairy, almond, or tofu)


  1. Place all ingredients in gallon sized freezer bag except for the sour cream and cream cheese. Freeze for up to 3 months (standard freezer) or up to 5 months (deep freezer).
  2. Turn slow cooker to low and add all ingredients in the bag. Cook for 6 hrs then add sour cream and cream cheese turn to high and cook for a final hour. Optional: cook on high for 2.5hrs then add sour cream and cream and cook on high for a final 30 minutes.
  3. Serve over egg noodles or yellow rice and Enjoy!


For this dish I do not recommend using coconut milk based dairy alternatives as they add a bit too much sweet to the dish. I have not tried cashew based alternatives so not sure how they would fare.


One of the biggest tips I can give is if you are having people helping you make sure the ingredients are set up in a way that flows.  This is something I did not do and it resulted in lots of extra work until I put my Lean Sigma hat on (yes, I’m a dork) and figured out how to eliminate a good chunk of the transportation/motion waste that was happening.    To get the meals out of the freezer bag, place in bag in hot water for 5 minutes then use a knife to cut a slit along the side of the bag, then open the top and peel back from the corner (if using a zipper bag cut the side the zipper is one when closed).

I Need Your Love

Mini Ginger Cheesecakes


Welcome to the last post of TripleSBites – oh what a week this has been!  From Brussel Sprouts to Caribbean Rice and Beans to VooDoo Fries, so many incredible recipes thanks to so many incredible products from our sponsors.   With that another HUGE thank you to the incredible sponsors from this event, it has been a pleasure working with all your amazing products.

For my final post I knew it needed to be something BIG and something sweet!  When it comes to dishes that say I love you to my valentine, there is only one sweet treat that can come close to Creme Brulee: Cheesecake!  In place of the standard wedding cake, we had a three tiered Dulce de Leche Cheesecake which is why I knew making my own version was the perfect way to end the challenge.  This cheesecake is a twist on the standard and not just in the size department with a bit of ginger to spice things up!

Mini Cheesecakes

Serves 8


2 8oz containers of cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp ginger, shredded

1 cup Greek yogurt

1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

2 tbsp melted butter


  1. Cream together the sugar and cream cheese for 10 minutes, then add the eggs one at a time before adding the vanilla, ginger, and Greek yogurt.
  2. Continue creaming together for 5 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 325
  4. Mix together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter then press in to the bottom of a cupcake tin or other small tin, then go half way up the sides. Spoon in the cheesecake mixture and fill to the top.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn oven off and allow cheesecake to cool in the oven for 10 minutes before removing. Place cheesecakes in fridge, uncovered, and allow to cool for at least 3hrs.
  6. Top with fresh fruit and enjoy!

The cute little containers came from Ikea, an awesome find in their “last chance” section!  The best part is that they can unfold for those who want to enjoy their treat outside of the wrapping.  I topped these mini-treats with fresh berries that I heated up a bit in order to create a bit of a sauce.  No need for sugar!

This has been such a fun week, I’m so beyond thankful that I was able to participate in this!  These recipes have been sexy, saucy, and spicy – and filled with love.  Thanks to everyone who has stopped by, and for anyone that hasn’t signed up for the giveaway go and do it NOW!!!!

Back to the Corner

Mexican Corn Dip

Corn Salsa

It’s the first Monday of the month which means that once again it’s time for the Secret Recipe Club!!!!  I was so excited to see that I had been partnered up with Jessie – aka The Vanderbilt Wife.  After all, how can you not like a blog that sponsors so many amazing charities!  For the longest time I was planning to make her delicious peach cake, which would have been perfect for my pit fruit entry but I couldn’t move past a certain dish with “magically delicious” in the title.  I’m a sucker for a good dip, as evident from past secret recipe club posts, and since I was hosting a day of board gaming I just couldn’t pass up her Corn Dip.  The only change I made was to up the spice level since everyone attending enjoys things on the hotter side.

Back to the Corner

Serves: Makes 3 cups


3 ears of corn

1 green pepper, diced (optional)

1 can Rotel

8 oz cream cheese (tofutti or dairy)

1 garlic clove

1/4 tsp cayenne powder (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Cut the corn off the cob and then mix in with the remaining ingredients in a large casserole dish.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes, then stir, allow to sit for 5 minutes and Enjoy!

Yes – this recipe is magically delicious and magically quick to put together!  While most of it was killed the day of serving there was just enough left to serve on top of some chilaquiles the next evening.  The corn dip added the perfect crunch along with a bit of heat which was perfect.  I also took advantage of some local “early corn” at the market, instead of the canned corn – and while it’s a pain to cut the kernels off I’m a sucker for local produce.   I also tossed in a green pepper for color and extra crunch, which worked perfectly with the corn and tomatoes.  I served this dip hot and cold, and both ways was a hit!

Speaking of local produce I’ve now harvested three cherry tomatoes, with another 40+ on the horizon, and one jalapeno.  At last check there were 10 (!!!) fairy eggplants growing and fingers crossed will be able to pick some this week!  The cold snap we had the other day also brought some life back to my arugula so maybe that’ll give up another harvest?  So far so good – just have to hope the weather continues to cooperate.   Thanks again for stopping by for another awesome SRC!

The Power

Cheesy Toast


I totally blame Becca over at Amuse Your Bouche for today’s post – when I saw her cheesy toast variation the other week I got a total craving.   I don’t remember the first time I had cheesy toast but I’m going to guess it was a case of my mom not having enough bread for grilled cheese sandwich and going with an open-faced variation.  Also should note as this point that I’m a HUGE fan of open-face sandwiches so thanks mom 🙂  This extends as far as stripping my burgers which is why I tend to load up my cheesy toast with all sorts of goodies.  I want the bread to just barely be hanging on so in part it does become a balancing act of figuring out how many toppings a piece can handle. I also used two different spreads (or smears) as I couldn’t decide which one would work best, one being vegan and one being not so vegan.  That is of course assuming that vegan bread is being used, something I can assume since I made my own peasant bread using dairy-free stick “butter”.

Cheesy Toast

Serves: Serves 4, as a side


1 cup kale, chopped

1 tsp olive oil

1/4 tsp pepper

4 slices bread (assuming 1 per person)

2 tbsp tofutti cream cheese (or dairy cream cheese)

1/2 tbsp chives

2 tbsp yogurt spread

2 roma tomatoes, sliced

4 pieces Daiya slices, provolone variety (or dairy variety)


  1. Place the kale in a small bowl and massage in the olive oil over 5 minutes, toss in the pepper and set aside.
  2. In another small bowl, blend together the cream cheese and the chives until well mixed. Set aside and allow to continue softening.
  3. Preheat oven to Broil - Low
  4. Spread the cream cheese chive mixture over half of the bread pieces and then layer on the tomatoes and the massaged kale. Top with a slice of cheese.
  5. Repeat the process with the yogurt spread on the other two pieces. Then place all the slices on a cookie sheet.
  6. Broil for 5-7 minutes, or until cheese has melted and has started to bubble. Allow to cool on the sheet for another 5 minutes then Serve and Enjoy!

The more I use Daiya, the more I’m starting to enjoy it in the melted form.  The texture still drives me crazy when it’s raw but that all goes away once it melts.  I’m also hoping to find some more varieties of cashew cheese as there are occasions where I can’t melt the cheese but would still like to have some, such as cold salads.  I’m also sending this open faced cheese sandwich over to 52weeksofcooking for their historic foods challenge since this Depression Era treat has become a comfort classic over the past (almost) 100 years.   Also cool to note that the original version was open-faced and it wasn’t until the 60s that the top piece was added.  Important to note that the cheese on toast is historically different than an open faced cheese sandwich, something that has been around since the 15th century – the toasting makes all the difference!

In gardening news, I have a good dozen green cherry tomatoes growing and today my first little pepper joined the party.  I’ve also got lots of purple flowers on my fairy eggplant but so far no lil eggplants, fingers crossed that will change.  I’ve never done a container garden before so I’m looking forward to seeing how it does in comparison to my awesome box garden.  I’m also hoping that the guy who bought my place appreciates the awesome box garden and is using it.