Flat Belly Diet ~ Mexican Grilled Corn on the Cobb

From the Flat Belly Diet Family Cookbook ~ p 223

4 Servings / 199 Calories / MUFA: Canola Oil Mayonnaise

This is a GREAT alternative to butter and salt!  I served this for a Memorial Day dinner, so YUMMY! Perfect for summer BBQs.


4 ears of corn (Pick up some fresh corn at a Farmers Market or produce stand, LOTS of extra flavor!)
1/4 cup canola oil mayonnaise (I used Best Foods Light)
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
4 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high.  Remove the outermost husks ans silks, but leave the tender inner husks on the corn.  Soak the ears in cold water for 15 minutes. (For a pretty presentation, I used one of the peeled husks to tie a knot around the inner husks once I had removed the silks.  EASY. Took a few extra seconds each.)
  2. Combine the mayo, lime juice, and chili powder in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Grill the ears of corn over direct heat for 10 minutes, turning to prevent charring.  Move to indirect heat and grill for 1 minutes longer, or until a kernel pops easily when pressed.  If the corn appears dry, it’s overcooked. (You can also wrap each husk in foil, or use a piece of foil on the grill to prevent burning.)
  4. Peel back the husks and spread 1 teaspoon the reserved mayo mixture over each cob.  Dust with 1 teaspoon of cheese and serve hot.

warm new potato and spring mix salad

I found this recipe back in college.  Super simple.  The recipe actually calls for watercress, but I prefer more of a salad and have always used a spring mix or arugula.  Great to serve along side meat dishes as it gives you a carb and salad all in one!  And I like to serve it year round.

warm potato and spring mix salad
from “What to Have for Dinner


12 small red potatoes, scrubbed
3 Tbls olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp sherry vinegar
1 bunch watercress, tough stems removed (I substitute spring mix, arugula, Boston bibb – anything green and leafy works!)


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Arrange potatoes in a roating pan and add 1 Tbls olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Roll potatoes to coat.
  2. Roast until potatoes are tender, about 40 minutes.  Remove from oven and let stand until cool enough to handle.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, remaining 2 Tbls olive oil, and remaining 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in a medium bowl; set aside.
  4. Break each warm potato in half and place in a serving bowl.  Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Add watercress (or whatever you’ve chosen), lemon zest, toss and serve immediately.

pepper jack, corn, and roasted red pepper risotto

LOVE this recipe!!  It makes an awesome side dish and can also be served as a full meal (for my hubby I would need to add some meat to it for a complete meal…).  It is super impressive to guests, tastes yummy and gets better as a leftover!  Most definitely a FAVORITE.  Unfortunately, I have had the recipe so long (I cut it out of a magazine in college) that and I don’t have a clue who to credit it to…so sorry!  The page kind of looks like “Southern Living“…

Serves 4, 1 cup servings (but trust me, you’ll want more than 1 cup!)


1 3/4 cups water
2 – 14 1/2 ounce cans vegetable or chicken broth
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup uncooked Arborio or other short grain rice
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander (optional)
4 garlic cloves, minced (I use frozen ones from Trader Joes)
1 cup thinly sliced green onions
3/4 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese
1/2 tsp hot sauce
2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn
3/4 cup chopped bottled roasted red bell peppers


  1. Combine water and broth in a medium saucepan, bring to a simmer (do not boil).  Keep broth mixture warm over low heat.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add rice, cumin, coriander (if desired), and garlic, saute 1 minute.  Stir in 1/2 cup broth mixture, cook 2 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed, stir constantly.  Add remaining broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of liquid is absorbed before adding the next (about 20 minutes total).
  3. Stir in the onions, cheese, hot sauce, corn, and bell peppers, cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated.


The Pioneer Woman’s Mac & Cheese (Heaven!)

The Pioneer Woman’s Mac & Cheese (Heaven!)

PW Mac & Cheese

I made this the week before Thanksgiving so that there would be something all the visiting kids could munch on.  Um hello, it lasted a day. Even the youngest 9 month olds were going crazy for it.   I think next time I’ll separate into 2 dishes to freeze one and have it for a second dinner….of course, that’s assuming we don’t decide to devour the rest of the week.

Servings: 6


4 cups Dried Macaroni
¼ cups (1/2 Stick Or 4 Tablespoons) Butter
¼ cups All-purpose Flour
2-½ cups Whole Milk
2 teaspoons (heaping) Dry Mustard, More If Desired
1 whole Egg Beaten
1 pound Cheddar Cheese, Grated
½ teaspoons Salt, More To Taste
½ teaspoons Seasoned Salt, More To Taste
½ teaspoons Ground Black Pepper
Optional Spices: Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Thyme


Cook macaroni until very firm. Macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain.

In a small bowl, beat egg.

In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn.

Pour in milk, add mustard, and whisk until smooth. Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low.

Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together till smooth.

Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth.

Add in cheese and stir to melt.

Add salts and pepper. Taste sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed! DO NOT UNDERSALT.

Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine.
Serve immediately (very creamy) or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.

over the river and through the woods…

…to Grandmother’s house we go!

It’s that time of year – turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes with brown sugar, LEFTOVERS…ohhhhhh the goodness of Thanksgiving!!!  And to finish off the meal, PIES!  My mom is AWESOME at baking the most delicious pies EVER!  We were soooo fortunate growing up (so sorry Addie and Hay, I do not have this same pie baking gene…).  But there are times that even Grandma is pulling her hair out busy.  So our back up is The Julian Pie Company.  GREAT pies!!  And they ship!  But don’t wait too long as they fill up for Thanksgiving.

Julian Pie Company “Order early for Thanksgiving: Pies and shipping is limited for the holiday season.  Two-day shipping dates include: 11/9, 10 &11, 11/16,17 & 18 and 11/23.  Overnight shipping may be used for any of these dates plus 11/24 to insure arrival for Thanksgiving.  We suggest ordering early and request freezing instructions so your pies are available when you need them.”

We waited too long last year and were out of luck – so sad :-(

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I highly recommend the Dutch Apple.  It has a sweet, crunchy crumb topping that is to die for.  We add a scoop (or 2 or 3) of vanilla ice cream (or Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch) and then drizzle warm caramel sauce over top – Heaven!  The Pecan Pie is pretty darn yum too.  They unfortunately can’t ship the pumpkin, but if you live in the area and can drive to Julian – you could place your order, drive out with the babies napping in the car, and then *pretty please* ask the bakery to bring your order to your car.  Look at you multitasking!  Kids sleeping, you can return phone calls AND you pick up your Thanksgiving pies!  BRILLIANT!

Here’s a few more Thanksgiving tips for you…

Such a cute place mat that you can personalize for your Littles!  I used to love stuff like this as a kid and couldn’t wait for it to come out year after year!  Can’t wait to order for Addie & Hay.

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Then of course, just to make things that much more adorable, you could do a cookie for each Little that’s coming to dinner – with my husbands family we have A LOT of *Little Turkey* Littles, and some Big Littles too!!  I love the cookies from Lori’s Place.  She’s a favorite Etsy shop for me.  Be sure to check out all her creative cookies.

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One year one of those Big Littles (not to mention the rest of the Bigs!!) were quite upset when my Genius Mom Sister-in-law (who is a FABULOUS cook, let alone mom!) decided not to make her customary Broccoli Casserole and Sweet Potatoes Casserole (they are REALLY good)….can we say ANARCHY!!!  I assure you, they were back again last year, and will be there this year too.  You know there are just certain things you don’t mess with.  My parents have always tried to branch out for Christmas Breakfast too, to try something “different”, WHY!!!??  The usual spread will do just fine thank you.  Small updates are OK.  I.e. the waffles can be replaced with my Brother-in-law’s Blueberry pancakes – THAT’S OK.

Check out these Yummy Recipes.  My sister-in-law says she has been making them for 20 years and has no idea where the original recipes came from.  We’ll just thank the food Gods for such yummy dishes and hope the word makes it back to them.

Broccoli Casserole and Sweet Potato Casserole

Happy day before Friday!  Don’t forget to enter to win the Sarah + Abraham gift card.

YUMMY Broccoli Casserole & Sweet Potato Casserole

OK – I had to add these recipes EXACTLY as they came to me.  You have to know my Genius Mom Sister-in-Law, puts moms to shame.  She is always put together, cooks like nobody’s business,  is always smiling, always offering a glass of wine, always helping out, always calm, SUPER laid back, a very fun mom, but definitely appreciates good food!  When you ask her kids (5 and 3) what their favorite pizza is, you’ll likely hear “arugula and mushroom”, and their favorite veggie?  Pepper of some form.  What would you like on your hot dog?….from the 5 year old, “Good mayo please, but I need to wash my hands first, all good chefs do.”  HOW SHE DOES IT, I don’t know!!

Read on and enjoy.  You have to love the part that they cook for the same time at the same temperature.  BONUS!!

Thanks for sharing Genius SIL!

Hey Shanna,

Here are the recipes you asked for. I have been making these for literally over 20 years (boring…and not exactly gourmet, but everyone loves them and asks for them over and over). Anyway what I am getting at is that I didn’t come up with them and don’t remember where they came from…so don’t know whom the credit goes too, but, they are yummy…and I have added a few of my own tips!

Broccoli Casserole:

1 Large Bag Frozen Broccoli (I use florets only)
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup (I try to get the healthy one with no MSG)
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese (use decent cheese)
1 Cup Mayonnaise (use good Mayo – no low fat crap)
1/4 Cup Yellow Onion (finely chopped)
2 Eggs (lightly beaten)

Mix it all together and spread in casserole dish. Cover with topping.


A couple of rolls of Ritz Crackers crumbled and mixed with about 1/2 cup melted butter (I only use un-salted butter).

Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Tip: If I am taking this dish somewhere, I mix all ingredients except broccoli and topping. Then just before I leave the house I add the “frozen broccoli” (this helps keep it cold…since there are eggs and mayo). Then I sprinkle the topping on just before baking so it doesn’t get soggy.

Sweet Potato Casserole:

3 Cups Cooked Mashed Sweet Potatoes/Yams (I put them through a ricer so the don’t get too gluey)
1/2 to 1 Cup of Sugar (based on how sweet you want it)
2 Eggs (lightly beaten)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/3 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Butter (I only use un-salted)

Mix it all together and spread in casserole dish. Cover with topping.


1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup Flour
1/3 Cup Butter (room temperature)
1 Cup Chopped Pecans

Mix it all together.

Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Note: These two recipes bake at the same temperature and for same time. Helpful for saving oven time when when entertaining.