Mexican Cowboy Corn Dip


  • 8- ounce package low-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can of Rotel tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 small can of corn, drained
Drain corn completely. Drain a little more than half of the Rotel and mix in with the cream cheese and corn. This will thin out the cream cheese a tad. Microwave, stir and eat!

I prefer Frito’s Scoops with my dip but Tortilla’s work too!! Calories play out like this:

10 calories per each scoop of dip
16 calories per each Frito Scoop Chip
9 calories per each Light Tortilla Corn Chip
6 calories per each Fat-Free Tortilla Chip

You can also add cooked ground sausage and 8 ounces of shredded sharp cheddar to kick up the dip a notch. Of course, it will also kick up the calories.

Severed Witches Finger Cookies

Witches Finger Cookies

A friend of mine posted a picture  of severed witches finger cookies on Facebook. It prompted me to try own version with my grandkids. With Halloween just a few days away, this is a perfect recipe for the occasion. The fingers are shaped with shortbread cookie dough and the fingernail is an almond sliver.

Shortbread Cookie DoughINGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Almond slivers
  • Red gel food coloring
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder

Chill cookie dough for one hourHOW TO

If you own a Mixmaster of Kitchen Aid mixer, you will want to use it. You can mix the dough by hand, but it will take generous effort.

Mix together butter, sugar, egg and extracts. Add the flour in 1/2 cup increments, add the salt. Mix together well. This is a shortbread dough, so it will firm and mold easily.

Remove dough from bowl and form into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Shaping the witches fingers

Now comes the fun part, shaping the fingers. The grand kids, ages 5 and 7, had a blast rolling out the dough and inserting the fingernail.

Keep your shapes the size of actual adult fingers to make them more realistic. I helped the kids shaped the knuckle areas and used a kitchen knife to make three slashes in each knuckle.

Making Witches Finger Cookies

Firmly press the almond sliver into the tip of each finger. Randomly dust cocoa powder over the dough and fingernail area. The cocoa powder is optional but I like the look it lent to the final cookie.

Place cookies on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. You can apply the red coloring gel before or after baking; I applied before. Squirt a very small amount under the nail bed and push down on the almond so that the red gel oozes out.

Bake cookies at 325 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Immediately remove from the cookie sheet and set on a cooling rack.This recipe makes around 60 fingers. Baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks. The cookie dough can be refrigerated for up to one week.



Work with the dough in small batches. Cut the dough in quarter and work with 1/4 at a time. Keep the remaining dough covered in the fridge. You want the dough should cold when you work with it so that the fingers hold their shape when baking.


Don’t use sugar cookie dough because your baked cookies will come out looking like this:

IMG_6709Trust me on this one. A shortbread cookie dough is best because it is unleavened and will hold its shape.

Unfortunately, shortbread cookies are somewhat dry tasting which is why I served them with a red jam dipping sauce. You could sprinkle the fingers with white sugar before baking to help sweeten the taste. I noted  a few online posts that premade sugar cookie dough (the kind in a tube) works if you add in one cup of white flour. I haven’t tried it.

I’m not even going to give a guesstimate on the calories per cookie. Come’ on…flour, powdered sugar, butter…they are definitely not low fat; but, sometimes you just have to toss calories to the wind.

Creamy Butternut-Applesauce-Cheese Soup

Creamy Butternut-Applesauce-Cheese Soup

Nothing screams FALL more than squash and apples. The squash is falling off the vines and apples are dropping from the trees. In Michigan, we’ve had an overabundance this year and everyone is looking for ways to use up the excess. This recipe is a perfect fit.

This soup is ideal for soup sliders at tail-gating parties or when hosting sporting events. Keep it warm in a crock pot and serve up in small Dixie cups that you ‘slurp’ down like a Jell-O-shot.


  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 5 T butter or margarine
  • 1 large potato, peeled and diced
  • 3 small apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh butternut squash, peeled and cubed (Costco offers a tub that is user-ready)
  • 2 T white flour
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (I used fresh, homemade applesauce. Jar applesauce will also work.)
  • 32 ounces chicken broth, low sodium (I use the broth in a box)
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • Chopped chives for garnish (optional)
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese (1 cup sharp and 1 cup mild)
  • 2 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced and diced

Creamy Butternut-Applesauce-Cheese Soup
How To

Melt 4 T butter in a large pot. Add onion, apples, potato and diced squash. Cook over medium-low heat for 8 minutes. Add seasonings, flour and applesauce. Stir until thickened.


Creamy Butternut-Applesauce-Cheese SoupAdd the broth and milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Continue to cook until the squash, apples and potatoes are soft (about 15 minutes).

While the soup is simmering, heat 1 T butter in a skillet. Over medium-high heat, cook the diced prosciutto until crisp (like bacon). Remove from  heat and set aside.

Creamy Butternut-Applesauce-Cheese Soup

Add the cheese to the soup mixture and heat until the cheese is thoroughly incorporated. Remove the soup from stovetop.



Using a stick blender, mix the soup mixture until it is smooth and creamy. Taste to determine if any additional seasoning is needed.



Garnish the soup with crispy prosciutto and chopped chives.

This recipe makes eight 1-cup servings. Calories are in the neighborhood of 265 calories per serving.





Easy Black Beans & Rice Enchiladas


There are a few family members that are not fond of meat dishes. Whenever asked to bring a dish to family functions, I try to pick a dish that will fit the bill for both meat and meatless foodies.

These bean and rice enchiladas are always a hit. Best served hot out of the oven, but can be reheated in the microwave in short increments until heated through.


  • Zatarain’s boxed red beans and rice (family size)
  • Cheddar or white cheese, 2 1/2 to cups
  • 1 can prepared enchilada sauce
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup finely chopped lettuce
  • 1 cup chunky salsa
  • 9-inch flour tortillas, 12 count


Prepare Zatarain’s red beans and rice according to package directions. Set aside.

Spread a thin layer of the red beans and rice in the bottom of an 9 x 12 baking dish. Fill each flour tortilla with approximately 1/2 cup of red beans and rice and 1 tablespoon of chunky salsa. Sprinkle with cheese and roll into tortilla shape.


Once all enchiladas are rolled, sprinkle the tops with cheese, diced onion, tomatoes and drizzle with enchilada. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 27 minutes.



Remove from oven and allow to cool. With a spatula, cut each enchilada in half. You will have 24 servings which pair well with a taco or two.


OK. Let’s talk calories. Each 1/2 section of the enchilada is in the neighborhood of 190 calories fully loaded. You can dump plenty of calories by foregoing the melted cheese and using low fat sour cream instead (about 52 calories).


Easy Tomato, Red Onion, Cucumber, Feta Salad


Last weekend friends visited for the weekend. We did some boating and then a backyard cook-out on the deck. My friend, Janelle, brought this salad YUM-YUM salad which was ideal for a hot, steamy summer day. Very refreshing.

Thanks, Janelle, for sharing the recipe.


1 ½ Large Seedless English Cucumber (Sliced and then cut in half)
Approx. 6 cups chopped tomatoes (large chopped, about the size of a grape tomato).  I used Campari and Roma, but you could really use any kind you would like.  (It equated out to 4 Roma’s and 16 Campari).
1 4oz container of Light Feta Cheese
3 Tablespoons of your favorite Balsamic Salad Dressing (I used Maple Grove Fat Free)
1 5.3oz – 6oz Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt (I used Okios)
2 ½ Tablespoons of Italian Seasoning or you can substitute with 1/2 cup coarsely chopped basil
1 teaspoon of minced garlic (I was lazy and used the ‘roasted garlic’ in the jar pre-minced)
1 teaspoon of ground pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
½ Red Onion Sliced (marinated in 2 tablespoons of lemon juice for 2 hours or over night)

Here are some tips on making this salad:

If making the day before, you don’t want it to get soggy, so this is how I prepped it:

Chopped all the Cucumber and Onion the night before, and ‘marinate’ the onion. Mix  the ‘dressing’ the night before (yogurt, dressing, garlic, Italian seasoning) and stored in an air tight container.The morning of, chop tomatoes and add cucumbers, salt and pepper and put it into a serving bowl.

When time to eat, add the feta, onions, and dressing to the cucumber and tomato mixture and wawlaa! Add sea salt and ground pepper on the top once it is all mixed together.

Sidebar from Blimpy Girl: I had leftover salad the next day for lunch. I used a slotted spoon to scoop out the salad. It was delish!!

Crabby Crescent Appetizers

While my computer techs were upgrading software, I took advantage of the down time and prepared an appetizer for some guests my husband was hosting from work. As usual, I did a scavenger hunt of the pantry and fridge. The two cans of crab meat caught my eye. Many of my Blimpy Girl recipes are about the challenge of creating something from nothing while keeping caloric intake to a minimum. There are times of HURRAH along with many OOPSIES. This was a HURRAH with minimal prep time.

How many this serves will depend on how you plate it. Recipe easily makes 16 crescent balls with left-over filling (enough for at least 4 Crabby Patties).

As a first course, plate as shown in the above picture. If serving as an appetizer, display on a platter, drizzle with sauce and call it a finger food.

I prefer to serve this dish hot from the oven, but it does hold up to serving at room temperature. Letting the dish cool a minute or two before serving will bring out the full flavor of the crab. Don’t ask me why, it just does.

Prep time is around 15 minutes; bake time is 13-14 minutes. You can prepare ahead, cover and store in fridge, to pop in the oven just before guests arrive.

Here’s what you need to whip up a batch of these Crabby Crescent appetizers.

  • Two 6-ounce cans crab meat, drained (save and freeze the juice for a future dish)
  • 2/3 cup unseasoned bread crumbs (finely grated type)
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley (if you have parsley, use 1/2 tablespoon)
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • (2) wedges of Laughing Cow Swiss cheese wedges (consider this a wet ingredient)
  • 3 tablespoons fat-free liquid egg substitute
  • 1 tablespoon fat-free mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fat-free cream cheese
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijonnaise mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons each: finely shredded carrots, finely diced zucchini, finely chopped onion, finely chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon reserved claim juice from the cans of drained clam meat
  • 1 can Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

Add all the dry ingredients into a medium size mixing bowl. In a smaller mixing bowl, blend the wet ingredients until nice smooth.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredient bowl and fold until you have a paste.

Form the paste into small balls. You will need 16 balls and should have enough paste left-over for 8 small crabby patties. Open the can of crescent rolls and separate. Cut each triangle in half. You need 16 crescent triangles.

Gently fold the crescent triangle around the Crabby ball. Roll in you hand to seal all the edges. Place the balls on a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking oil. Form small Crabby Patties with the leftover paste.

Bake in 375 F degree oven for 13-14 minutes. You want  a light brown crust on the crescent dough.

Now for the sauce (the yummy part):

  • 2 heaping tablespoons of low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (more or less to your liking)

Whip the sauce until smooth and then spoon drizzle over base of plates and the rolls/patties.

Let’s talk calories. The mini Crabby Patty is in the neighborhood of (you’re not going to believe this!!) 20 calories each. The drizzled sauce adds 5 calories.

Each crescent covered crab balls is 75 calories. The dish pictured above with sauce (two rolls, one crab patty) is 175 calories.

You can forego the crescent wrapped balls and opt for three mini crab patties (with the awewome sauce) for a whooping 75 calories. LOVE< LOVE< LOVE!! This dish received the Wine Guy’s seal of approval. He had two helpings at dinner last night.




Edamame: A Snack with a Nutritional Punch

Edamame Soybeans

The holidays are over and it’s time to get back on track with the Blimpy Girl eating plan. No more snacking, cheating or avoiding the scale. The day of reckoning has arrived and, quite honestly, it’s not good news. I have eight pounds to lose.

I’ve been searching for snacks high in protein, low in cholesterol and filled with a nutritional punch. Edamame beans have been a long-time favorite of mine. I usually keep a big (frozen) bag of the pods on hand for snacking. With the holidays, I’ve been a slacker and opting for more favorably snacks like BBQ chips and Cheez-its. 

 Roasted Edamame BeansEdamame beans are great raw, but you can doctor them up to be more interesting and flavorful. Here is one of my favorites ways to turn these soybeans into a delicious snack.

If possible, purchase shelled edamame beans. You can generally find a 12 ounce package in the frozen section at a specialty food market.


  • 12 ounce frozen shelled edamame beans
  • Non-stick cooking spray (I use olive oil flavor)
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt (coarse sea salt is best) and freshly ground pepper to taste

 How To

Kick up the oven to 400 degrees while thawing the edamame. The beans won’t take long to thaw if you place in cold water and drain in a colander. Just be sure to ‘pat dry’ the beans before baking. Tip: Defrosting beans the day before and letting them air dry for several hours will help beans stay crispy when baking. Removing extra moisture is key in producing crispy beans.

Generously spray a cookie sheet (9 x 13″) with non-stick cooking spray. Evenly distribute the edamame beans onto the pan. Give another generous spray of non-stick oil to the beans and toss gently. If calories are of no concern, use olive oil instead of non-stick cooking spray.

Sprinkle the beans with the cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Bake in oven for 15 minutes, until crispy.

 The Details

A 12-ounce bag of shelled beans yields five (140 calorie) servings. You reap generous amounts of protein, essential fatty acids and fiber with each portion.

If are unable to find shelled edamame beans, purchase the pod beans and shell them yourself.

Cinnamon Roasted Almonds

Cinnamon Roasted Almonds

I love the smell of cinnamon at the holidays, come on, who doesn’t? This week, the wine guy brought home a plentiful amount of raw almonds. A California winery sent him a 50 pound box for servicing and managing their brands. He shared the wealth with co-workers and brought home a few pounds for us to have at the house for Christmas.

Cinnamon and sugar seemed a perfect union for the almonds. And that’s what I doing on this snowy Saturday morning. I’m roasting almonds in the oven. I plan to gift most of them because Blimpy Girl doesn’t need the taunt of a temptation everytime I pass the nut dish.

Coat the raw almonds in egg white

This is such an easy recipe and takes about 15 minutes to prepare and 1 hour to roast.

I purchased Mason jars at Hobby Lobby to package the roasted goodies. I’ll dress the jars with some creative touches and gift tags and post a picture later this week.



  • 4 cups whole almonds
  • 1/2 cup white sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg white mixed with 1 teaspoon cold water

Kick up the oven to 250 degrees F. While it’s warming up, beat the egg white and water in a good size bowl. You want the egg to be frothy, but not stiff. Add the almonds to the egg mixture and toss until they are completely coated.

Dump the sugar mixture in the bowl and mix until the nuts are covered with the sugar. Lightly spray a cookie sheet with non-stick oil and spread the almonds onto the pan. You want a single layer of nuts.

Pop into the oven and roast for 1 hour, turning the almonds at mid-point. Once the almonds cool, store in an airtight container.

I told you this easy! What I won’t tell is how many calories you consume when shoveling a handful in your mouth. **wink**

Thanksgiving Turkey Tossed Salad

Meatless Thanksgiving Turkey Salad

I was asked to bring a salad to Thanksgiving dinner this year. I just couldn’t bring myself to toss mixed greens, tomatoes and other salad toppings into a bowl. It was time to change things up a bit. Here was my salad at today’s Thanksgiving table.

You have to admit it beat a traditional tossed salad hands down. It’s a salad bar in one dish and could be used as the table centerpiece should you be so inclined. I dressed the rim of a shallow bowl with red leaf lettuce. Chopped mixed greens, including baby spinach, filled the center of the bowl. I then began layering the veggies. I started at the outside edge of the bowl and worked my way to the center.

Here’s what I used:

  • Baby carrots
  • Sliced celery
  • Fresh green beans (blanched). I purchased a microwavable bag of green beans. They were perfect. I cut them in half after they steamed in the microwave.
  • Baby asparagus (slightly sauteed). Unfortunately, the asparagus I purchased was bad, so I didn’t get to use it.
  • Sliced red, yellow, green pepper rings, cut in halves
  • Sliced mushroom caps
  • Grape size tomatoes
  • Yellow squash cut in half
  • Sliced black olive and two black peppercorns for the turkey eyes
  • Small triangular piece of yellow cheese for the turkey beak
  • Reserve one red pepper slice for the wattle and two pieces of celery stems for the feet

You can serve with various salad dressings on the side as well as with a side of ranch for dipping. When you’re ready to serve, use tongs so guests can pick and choose the items they want to put in their salad bowls/plates.

TIP: You can also use shredded cheddar cheese as one of the layers (or any other cheese for that matter). You can put your personal touch on this salad with a variety of other veggies, like broccoli and cauliflower florets.

Roasted Veggies on Baquette Slices

Roasted Vegetables on a Baguette

I opened the freezer and spotted a package of baquette slices ready to strut their stuff. They were like a wardrobe piece in your closet that cries out, “Use me, use me, dress me up.” And, so I did. I tend to seek out the failing fruit, veggies and pantry items when making a dish. With my busy life, I unintentionally ignore food items until they are near death.

As usual, I was in starvation mode and wanted something quick & easy to keep my growling hunger under wraps and prevent me from launching into hunger attack mode.

Brush olive oil onto the baquette slices


  • French baguette, sliced into serving sizes
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 Yellow or red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves, roughly chop 1 cup and reserve the remaining leaves
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Parmesan Reggiano or crumbled feta cheese
  • 3/4 cup diced tomato

How To

Place all the chopped/diced ingredients into a oven dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Bake at 350 degrees until ingredients are cooked through (about 8-10 minutes). Remove from oven and set aside.

Brush baguette slices with olive oil and place on a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Evenly distribute the veggie mixture Saute the veggies on low heat until cooked through.onto the top of each bread slice. Sprinkle bread slices with your choice of cheese.

Bake in oven for 10 minutes at 350 degree F. While this bakes, arrange reserved spinach leaves on a serving platter and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Arrange the baguette slices on top of the spinach leaves. Ten servings.

One serving is in the neighborhood of 150 calories. I could make a meal with two baguette slices and the bed of spinach/balsamic leaves.