avocado flatbread

Hey friends! How are you?
” I made this recipe originally for a Culinary.net post, but thought I would share it again as the abundance of zucchini is still upon us!
Also, I hate to admit that I have been making a lot of repeats lately as I am in the craziness of my fall Spanish classes getting underway for Futura.
I hope you enjoy this fun way to use your zucchinis and stay tuned for more soon!

Have a beautiful sunny day!


Here’s What You Need: (Serves 1 to 2, but easy to double with two flatbreads and double the ingredients!)1 flat bread (I like Target’s Archer Farms Garlic Naan)
1/2 avocado
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 small ripe tomato, diced
Dash each of: chipotle, Mexican oregano, paprika Sea salt + Pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of green onions, diced

Here’s What You Do:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Drizzle oil in pan and heat over medium high (about 1 teaspoon). Season zucchini with sea salt and pepper and add to the hot pan for two minutes. Flip for two minutes more and then add tomatoes for 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the flat bread in the oven for 4 to 5 minutes, or until warmed through.

Smash the avocado and spread onto the flat bread using a wide knife. Squeeze half the lime over the top and the pour the zucchini mixture over the top.

Season with a dash of chipotle, Mexican oregano, paprika and another lime wedge. Sprinkle the onions over the top. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Kid Tip:
Okay, so my kids probably wouldn’t like something piled high with zucchini, so I would serve the bread warm with the avocados for dipping and save their zucchini to go on the side where I would serve them with toothpicks to make them fun finger foods!

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Do you like your co-workers?
I bet you don’t like them as much as I adore mine.
I pretty much hit the jack pot when it comes to employees-These women are smart, dedicated, and motivated.
They challenge and impress me everyday.
They have become my dear friends.
I am so wholly grateful for each and everyone of them.

Me and the girls!

Me and the girls!

 So when we gathered at Northern Bay for a staff retreat it was natural and fun and productive-Like all my encounters with these wonderful girls.
I am excited to embark on my 12th year of owning Futura and the 12th year of being surrounded by great people …
I am a blessed and lucky girl…
Hope blessings are finding you today too!

Ps: I made this salsa for an appetizer at our staff retreat and it was a huge hit 😉

Here’s What you Need: (Makes about 24 ounces but you may want to double it and freeze it. It goes fast!)
2 cups whole tomatoes in basil* puree
1 tsp course sea salt
¼ tsp of black pepper
juice of ½ limed to 1 whole
½ sweet onion
1 chipotle (frozen is fine)
3 small garlic cloves
½ cup of loosely packed cilantro
1-2 tsps of agave*
*=Secret ingredients!

Here’s What You Do:
Pulse in the food processor. Add some crispy thin restaurant style chips and you are ready for some yum!

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Hello my friends!
I am adoring the summer–How about you?
Sun, water, parties…It’s the best.
But, holy cow the parties are giving me love handles! I cannot resist chips and dip and brats to save my life.
So, I came up with this Smokey Salmon Dip as a healthier party treat that I spread onto whole grain crackers.
dip7 The smoky flavor tastes just like bacon.
What are you up to this weekend?!
I for one am by MYSELF for the rest of the day. The boys, Andy and the dog are gone.
It’s glorious having the windows open, a view of the lake, my favorite music in Spanish blaring, and a big mess in the kitchen with no one to notice. Woo woo!


Here’s what You Need:
1 8oz low fat cream cheese
Greek yogurt-plain, ff (1 small container*)
2 TBS of fresh dill
1-2 TBS of your favorite summery seasoning (I like Sunny in Paris from Penzey’s)
1/2 tsp of sea salt
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1 cup of chopped smoked salmon** (In the refrigerated seafood section–Flavored ones add a lot of depth)

Here’s What You Do:
Blend it all the in the food processor. Yep, it’s that easy!

Kid Tip:
None needed-simply don’t tell them what’s in the dip. They will eat it 😉

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*If you want this more like a spread and less like a dip, add less yogurt.
**Confession! I actually used smoked trout. I just figured it would be more difficult to come by.


Oh la la!

These are GOOD. I love anything Buffalo and I think if my kids weren’t eating these I would have added more Frank’s Red Hot, but this ratio was perfect as it was– sweet with a tang an not too spicy for the kiddos.
You know what was hot?
The Murder Mystery that we went to see a couple of weeks ago for my mom’s birthday put on by the Murder Mystery Company.
murder mystery general

You sit at big round tables (kind of like at a wedding) and the whole thing takes place in front of you–and sometimes right at your table! We were lucky to be sitting with one of the suspects-Lemme Tinkle ;).

Lemme Tinkle (Picture from Wisconsin Mommy)

Lemme Tinkle (Picture from Wisconsin Mommy)

There was a 50’s prom theme where the guy announcing the prom king and queen keels over and kicks the bucket. We had to decide as a table (based on interviewing the “suspects” and clues they gave) who had the motive and the opportunity for murder.

Having fun at the "Prom"!

Having fun at the “Prom”!

 We laughed-hard.
The actors were funny.
The story linewas  entertaining.

Oh no! Someone just dropped dead before our eyes!

Oh no! Someone just dropped dead before our eyes!

And it was something different than just the usual dinner and a movie.
We had a great and memorable time.
The food was mediocre, but aren’t all buffets?

And obviously I didn't shy away from the fried chicken! ;)

And obviously I didn’t shy away from the fried chicken! ;)

YOU too can go to the murder mystery too!
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Comment below on why you want to win TWO tickets in your city!
Good luck!


Here’s What You Need: (Meal for two or appetizers for 4)
1lb small wings (I prefer Smart Chicken)
3 TBS honey
3 TBS Frank’s Red Hot
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1-2 tsp worcestire sauce
Extra virgin olive oil

Here’s What You Do:
Mix the wings with olive oil and salt and pepper and marinate for 30 minutes or up to overnight . Preheat the oven to 400. Remove the wings and add toss them with all the other ingredients and add them to a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Bake the wings for  20 minutes.  Take out and stir them to make sure they are coated well in the sauce. Lower the oven to 350 and bake for 15-20 minutes more or until cooked through. Finger lickin’good-seriously!

Kid Tip:
My five year old was literally fighting off his dad to eat as many of these as possible. Next time I will for sure double the recipe!
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left over fajitas7Hello my friends!

How was your weekend? Namely how was your Cinco de Mayo?!
I was feeling a little under the weather on Friday so I headed for the doctor, only to be told I had
bronchitis + a sinus infection.
But, I still did manage to hike in the woods under the bright spring sunshine with my dad, Andy, and the boys. (Don’t forget our crazy dogs too!)

My boys with Grandpa Bill!

My boys with Grandpa Bill!

We went out for Mexican with another couple friend and all of our kids. (A little margarita helped me not be embarassed at my 3 year old’s shenanigans!)
…and we had my good friend of 26 years (!) and her family over last night for my Skinny Baked Fajitas.
All in all, it was a good weekend, with a little r+r, a few laughs, and quality time with my family.
left over fajitas3

I hope yours was good too. I just made this kick ass really good Fajita Pizza with the fajitas leftovers….

Here’s What You Need:
1 flatbread or pizza crust (prepared)
1-2 Laughing Cow Queso Fresco and Chipotle wedges*
Left over  rice (optional)  -I used black beans and rice, but Spanish or Mexican rice works too
Left over fajitas*
Cheddar, shredded
left over fajitas4

Here’s What You Do:
Preheat the oven to 400. Spread the Laughing Cow over the bottom of the pizza or naan. Sprinkle some of your left over rice on top followed by the left over fajitas. (Don’t get carried away adding too many veggies so it doesn’t get soggy!) Add a very tiny dash of cheese and then bake for 8-10 minutes. Add a few sprinkles of cilantro for a great fresh flavor. Disfruta! *You can try this with refried beans too!

left over fajitas6

Kid Tip:
Cut the veggies and peppers into really small pieces and add the cheese on their side to “hide” most of them! 😉

Want left overs for breakfast? Try this Fajita Frittata!

left over tacos4

Taco leftovers?!
You can also make a great quesadilla with leftover taco fixings.(Take a small tortilla and add your left over beans followed by the veggies and meat. Add a tiny handful of baby spinach cut into strips and then a dash of cheese. Top with another tortilla and then make like a traditional quesadilla or to save on fat, simply make it in the Panini maker for about 4 minutes.)

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DIPGOOD2I cannot tell a lie.
Not sure if it is the old Catholic guilt in me or what, but I am pretty sure I am one of the most honest people you have ever met.
So, I cannot sit here and act like I am all excited about the superbowl. In fact, I don’t even know who is playing in it.
I am not a huge fan of football, though my family sure did have a good time at the Wisconsin game and coordinating in red!
badger game
When I was a cheerleader (surprise, surprise) I often cheered for offense instead of defense.  (Fake blonde of me, I know)
But, I do love any excuse to eat chips and dip.
So here you go…Skinny and Spicy Ranch Dip for game day!

Here’s What You Need:
6oz Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt
4 Laughing Cow Wedges (Queso Fresco and Chipotle)
1/4 cup of salsa
2 tsps of ranch seasoning (I used Penzey’s Buttermilk Ranch)

Here’s What You Do:
Blend it all in the food processor and enjoy it with blue tortilla chips or carrots and celery. Easy. Peasy. (And the whole dip is 6 grams of fat!)

Kid Tip:
If this is too spicy for your kids process all the ingredients except the salsa and spoon some out for them before continuing on with the salsa.

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Pomegranate guacamole

“It’s like the North Pole in here!,”  My little guy exclaimed when he saw my office piled high with gifts. I buy for so many people, so my office is strewn with wrapping paper, bows, and tags. It is pure chaos, but love it. I still can’t believe the “big day” is right around ther corner–The season always goes by way too fast for me. Therefore, I am embracing all things Christmas- Christmas songs on the radio, refills on eggnog, and and I came up with this Roasted Poblano and Pomegranate Guacamole as a festive appetizer. Hope you enjoy it–CHEERS!

Here’s What You Need:
2 ripe avocados
2-3 TBS cilantro, chopped
1 poblano, de-seeded and cut in half
Juice of 1 lime
3 TBS of pomegranate seeds

1/4 salt (plus more to taste)

What You Do:
Preheat oven to 450. Roast the poblano for about ten minutes, turning once. Smash the avocado and stir in the pomegranates, cilantro, and salt. Squeeze in the lime juice. Dice the poblano and start adding it to taste. (I used 3/4 of it.) (If you prefer spice, I recommend substituting jalapeno for the poblano.)

Kid Tip:

The poblano is really mild so this is great for kids. And who doesn’t love chips and dip?!

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I don’t know about you, but I love small plate dining.

They don’t need to be Spanish tapas

just lots of little bites of different flavors shared by friends.

Sharing leads to commentary, “Do you like it?” “Which one do you prefer?” “This reminds me of…”

How fun is that?

So when we had Grandpa Bill over for his birthday I thought of what else? Appetizers!

I made my flat bread using the Italian Dinner Starter, my homemade hummus, and invented these Apricot Glazed Chicken Wings the day of. They turned out great and I love that they literally cooked themselves.



Here’s What You Need:
1.5lbs small chicken wings*
1/4 cup of all natural apricot preserves
1/4 low sodium soy sauce
1tsp of siracha
1 TBS of agave
1 TBS mirin (Asian sweet wine vinegar found near the soy sauce!)

Here’s What You Do:
Set the slow cooker to high and add in all the ingredients. Cook for 2 hours and then turn to low for 30 minutes. Take out the wings and pour the remaining sauce into a little sauce pan and heat to high and boil until the sauce thickens nicely. Pour over the wings and serve.

*Don’t have time for the slow cooker? Bake the chicken with the sauce over the top at 400 for 20 minutes. Toss and then bake for 15 minutes more. Disclaimer: I made the original recipe at night and didn’t take a picture. So, the above photos were a remake of this recipe that I did using larger chicken wings. I do prefer the small ones.

Kid Tip:
Check out this picture of my four year old eating the wings? No kid tip needed! 😉

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Last Friday I had the opportunity to do a mini-segment on Fox’s Real Milwaukee Show. I featured skinny appetizers because tis the season, right?!
So much fun-Makes me jealous of the Giadas and Rachael Ray’s of the world who cook on t.v. for a living!
If you didn’t catch it, here it is.
Want the full recipe for the shrimp? Check it out!

Here’s What You Need:
150z organic garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
3 small garlic cloves
Juice of 1.5 small lemons
1/2 tsp each pepper & salt
1/4 cup roasted red peppers, drained
3 TBS juice from red pepper jar
1 TBS tahini
1/4 cup + 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil

Here’s What You Do:
Put everything but evoo into the food processor and start blending. Stream in the olive oil gradually. Add any extras based on taste! Serve with carrots, broccoli florets,and whole wheat pretzels. { Add extra roasted red peppers and pinenuts on the top if desired.}

To make the Layered Med Dip:
Layer hummus, reduced fat feta, Penzey’s Greek Seasoning, kalamata olives, diced tomatoes, a handfull of baby spinach cut into strips and an optional drizzle of evoo. Enjoy!

Kid Tip:
Believe it or not my four year old was eating broccoli by the handfuls because of this recipe. Completely making it again 😉

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I love this appetizer!

It tastes good
looks impressive
is ridiculously easy

is not as fattening as your average scampi.

My favorite thing about this appetizer?

It means no water-logged grocery store shrimp at the party-yippee!

Serve the shrimp over crushed ice on a platter along with slivered lemon slices and cocktail sauce or if you are serving it at home you can serve it warm.
{Look for cocktail sauce with no high fructose corn syrup please!}

Going to a holiday party?
Bring this…Your friends will thank ya!

Holiday Cheers!


Here’s What You Need: Small party*
1 lb of large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail on*
2 TBS of extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp of butter
1/2 tsp of sea salt
1/4 tsp of black pepper
1/2 tsp of Italian Seasoning (I like Penzey’s)
1 TBS of white wine
3 cloves of garlic, diced roughly

Here’s What You Do:
Preheat the oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the shrimp out. Add seasoning and the remaining ingredients and toss well to coat. Bake for 10-12 minutes or  until golden but not overcooked.

If you are going to a larger party get 2lbs of shrimp and double the rest of the ingredients. I suggest buying the shrimp that is peeled and deveined with the tail on so it is a quicker recipe!

Kid Tip:
Dipping sauce! Kids love anything that includes using their fingers for dipping 😉

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