Tag Archives: slow cooker

Skinny Pizza Dip

Who doesn’t like pizza?  Really though.  I’ve never met a person that doesn’t like pizza. If you don’t, I don’t think we can be friends anymore.

Mr. FSL despises anything that is classified as a “dip”.  He thinks all dip is gross.  Especially if there’s any sour cream or cream cheese involved.  He actually makes this odd mock barf noise when those particular ingredients are mentioned out loud.  Not kidding.

I made three different hot dips in my new triple crockpot buffet thing-a-ma-bobber.  I made low fat  turkey taco dip (recipe here) and a full fat bacon and cheese dip (I’ll post that next week 😉 ).  I didn’t tell him what was in the pizza dip and he took it upon himself to test it.  He said verbatim “Woah! You need to make this again!  It’s awesome”.

I’ve eaten pizza dips before.  They are dangerously addicting.  I’m always the girl at the party with sauce around her lips when this stuff is around. Embarrassing.

I got my saucy little paws on the recipe so I can hoover it down without an audience to gross out make it for parties.  I doctored it up to make it lighter so I can eat twice as much.  I switched out the full fat version for low fat.  I don’t choose the non-fat version when it comes to dairy because it tastes weird to me and it tends to have a watery consistency.  Ew.

Here’s how I made it…

2 packages of low fat cream cheese (if you’re like my husband, insert weird belchy noise here)

2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning

2 cups

2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 (16oz) jar of pizza sauce

1/2 cup diced green bell pepper, olives, onion, olives, (whatever “topping” you like on your pizza)

1 Baguette sliced for dipping


In a bowl, combine the cream cheese and the Italian seasoning.

Spread in the bottom of the crockpot.

Next, sprinkle 1/2 of the shredded mozzarella and 1/2 of the grated cheese over the cream cheese mixture.

Pour the jar of pizza sauce on top.

Sprinkle the remaining cheeses and any “toppings” on top.

Put the crockpot on high for about an hour, then switch to low heat for 3 hours to serve.

I’m a bad blogger.  I forgot to snap a finished photo.  You’re just going to have to take my fatkid word on this one.  It was demolished in like an hour flat.  All of it.  My husband said it tasted like a cross between bagel bites and pizza rolls.  I though it tasted more like Elio’s Pizza.  Either way, it is something you need to make.


Go ahead.

I’ll wait 😀

What’s your fave party dip?

Looking Back…What A Rockin’ Year!

Today is my last day of school!!! Actually, it’s a half day 🙂  I am uber psyched!  Every time I reach the end of something, I reflect.  I reflect to see what I’ve learned, what I could do better next time, and how I’ve grown as a person from the experience.

As I look back,  it was a great year for me.  I have so much to be thankful for.

Here’s my last year in review…

June 2010: I had my bridal shower, bachelorette party, and found out our offer was accepted on our first house! Click here & here to see what our house looked like before we bought it.

July 2010: I went from Mindy Mac to Mindy P!  I married my best friend July 30th. See pics of that here. We paid a honeymoon visit to Negril, Jamaica.

August 2010: I turned 28, moved into my in law’s house and gained 8 pounds because my mother-in-law is an amazing cook!!  Click here for her crockpot chicken & potatoes recipe.

September 2010:  We finally closed on our house!!!

October 2011:  We moved in!!! Mr.FSL turned 32.  His vineyard birthday party is where we snapped this picture…

November 2010: November 1st was the inaugural post (about jalapeno infused tequila no less, lol! See my first post here).  I got my wisdom teeth pulled. We hosted our first family holiday at casa FSL!  I made my first Thanksgiving turkey!! (Hear about that mess new experience here)

December 2010: Our first married Christmas in our new home!  Instead of a housewarming party, we had a “Bad Christmas Sweater Party” and made a shot-ski!  Hear all about that crazy time here.

January 2011: The snowiest winter on record for CT! Actually, there was so much snow, our roof that extended over our beck deck (which extends the entire length of the house) collapsed!  Hear about that craziness here. Here’s a shot of my husband and his dad & our borrowed snow blower on the back deck.  That lovely metal piece in the background used to be our roof 😦

February 2011:  We took a much needed vacation to Salt Lake City, Utah!  We went skiing on some of the most beautiful terrain & ate at the oldest saloon in the state! Get the scoop on that trip here, here, and here.

March 2011: We threw our first rager!  About 100 people came to our house for a surprise party.  We had the pizza truck & a comedian, great time.  I got the DIY itch & painted a chalkboard wall in our kitchen & decorated it for the occasion. I drew Yankee Stadium & a pic of the b-day boy on it…

April 2011: My chicken tortilla soup recipe was featured by Oxygen Magazine!!  I was sooo excited, it’s my fitness bible (get the recipe for that here)! My husband & I did a photo shoot in a haunted opera house (see those pics & the insane video here)  My craigslist desk makeover was “Freshly Pressed” and is still the most popular post on Finding Silver Linings to date.  I was stoked and amazed that I was also a  “Pop Pressed” featured blogger!  Crazy!!!

Are you kidding?! I was so excited!

May 2011:  My mom & I had the best Mother’s Day ever!  We hit up Manhattan for a spa day, made it on TV, and ate at one of the best restaurants in the country!! (Hear all about it here).  I started my vegetable garden!

June 2011:  Here we are! Finally feeling settled at our house.  Getting the hang of keeping up after laundry, cooking, cleaning, wife-ing, ya know, that whole thing.  All in all, what a wonderful year!  I can’t wait to see what summer vacation brings!  You all know I have a list of stuff to do!!

Sorry for the uber wordy post.  I guess I am feeling a bit nostalgic. Looking back does that to me.

Thanks for sticking around 🙂  I love you guys!!!



Almost Famous

Okay, not quite.

So, I was poking around on my favorite fitness magazine’s website (Oxygen Magazine).   And saw my face smiling back at me! 

I sometimes get random advertisement emails from the magazine, so when I saw an email from them back in December, I didn’t flinch.  I actually skipped over about 2 or 3 of them (what?! I admit it!  You know you’ve done it).  One day, I was scanning through my inbox and saw another email from Oxygen and I noticed the subject line read : Clean Chicken Tortilla Soup”.  Since that’s a recipe that I shared with my friends on the magazine’s forum that was well received, I opened the email.

They chose to use my recipe for their online recipe feature for the month!  I was so excited!  This magazine is like my health bible!  The message stated that they were on a deadline and I needed to send them a photo of myself by 5 that evening!  UGH!  I only had wedding pictures that I liked of myself on my computer.  Apparently I only take pictures when I’m smiling with my eyes closed or if I’m fooling around and pretending to pick my nose (I never said I was mature). 

I raced home from work that day (in the rain) and most definitely skipped a day of washing my hair.  I went in my bathroom where the lighting is bright.  By the time I got home from work, it was 4:45.  I had 15 minutes to send a decent picture.  Um,  yeah, lipstick wasn’t fixing this hot mess.  I’ll keep it real, it’s a bad pic.  Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

Check out my 15 minutes of almost fame by clicking here.

The recipe is posted on that page along with the mugshot of yours truly.

I also have the recipe right here on FSL .


Do you know how to capture a screen image or screengrab?  I can’t do it to save my life!  Help a sistah out.

Tell me about your 15 minutes of fame (or if you’re like moi, you’re 15 minutes of ALMOST fame!).  Link up!  I wanna see.

Have a faboosh day lovely readers!



Chicken & Veggie Soup

It’s SPRING, and it’s the time of year that I tighten up my eating habits & crack down in the gym.  Bikini season is right around the corner 😉 .

I was thumbing through Muscle & Fitness Hers Magazine, and I found a recipe for chicken soup.   Of course I tweaked it a bit.  It was a rainy, chilly, dreary day.  Perfect for soup!  I don’t know about you guys, but when the weather is yucky, I don’t feel like cooking.  I decided that morning that it was going to be a crockpot night.  I love coming home to find dinner all made! 

Here’s what I did:

First, I put a package of organic boneless, skinless chicken brest in the pot.

I added an entire 32 ounce carton of organic, low-sodium, fat-free chicken stock.  I always use the low-sodium so I can control the amount of salt in the soup.  The regular kind is soooo salty!

Next, I chopped up a head of celery.  The recipe called for 1 cup, but I ended up adding the rest after I measured it out, because I like celery.

I tossed in about a cup of baby carrots. Next, I cut up 2 zucchinis in half first, then into bite-size pieces.

1 teaspoon of minced garlic.  I use jarred minced garlic.  It’s a time saver and my fingers don’t stink all day.

I bought a package of pre-sliced mushrooms because I’m lazy like that 😉

2 Bay leaves

I would have added an onion if I had one, but I didn’t.  The recipe called for rice,  I cubed one potato instead.

Add 1T parsley and salt & pepper to taste.

I felt like it was missing something, so I dumped a bag of spinach in.

I am a mess in the kitchen!  I stuffed the spinach in and put the lid on the slow cooker. I put in on low and set the timer for 8 hours.

When I got home from work, I removed the chicken and shredded it with two forks.

I threw the chicken back in, and gave it a stir for a few minutes.

This soup is really hearty and super filling.  It’s pretty low-carb and low-fat.

I topped mine with a tablespoon of grated cheese.

I know I say it all the time, but I love my crockpot.

Crock Pot Italian Chicken & Potatoes

My mother in law is a fantastic cook.  Her food is a reflection of her personality.  Uncomplicated, honest, and undeniably Italian.  She introduced me to this meal.  From the first time I tried it, I was in love. 

It’s no secret that I love my crock pot (you can see some of my easiest crock pot recipes here and here).

Well, this is another weekly staple.  How can you go wrong with chicken & potatoes? 

Here we go. 

Cut up a package of boneless/skinless chicken breast.  Put it into the crock pot.

Peel, then cut potatoes into chunks.   Be sure to use “baking potatoes”  or plain Idaho potatoes.  They are softer and will soak up the liquid.  They will be really flavorful. Throw them in too.

I’m going to be honest here.  This recipe is good with regular old white potatoes, but it’s best using 1/2 white potatoes and 1/2 sweet potatoes.  I didn’t have any on hand, so I used what I had, but if you’re gonna plan this one out, do yourself the favor and spring for the sweet potatoes. 

In a bowl, empty one packet of Good Seasons Italian.

Add in  

* 1/3 c balsamic vinegar

* 4 T water

* 1/4 c olive oil

* 1/4 c canola oil

Mix it up, then pour it over the chicken & potatoes.  Stir to coat everything.  Plop on the lid & cook on low for 8 hours.

This is my favorite leftover food.  The potatoes keep getting softer, and the flavors work their magic.

Chicken Tortilla Soup!!

Everytime my girlfriends and I would make a trip to the mall, there was no question we were stopping at California Pizza Kitchen. Their pizza was meh, just okay, but their chicken tortilla soup was ridiculous! The only complaint was that it always repeated on us (gross). That soup tradition stopped because of the nasty reaction we’d have. Well, about a month ago, we all went out for dinner to a favorite restaurant (the same that makes my favorite margaritas!) I checked out the specials, and the appetizer was chicken tortilla soup! Since then, I’ve been on a mission to make my own. This is what I came up with (it’s my husband’s favorite):

Mindy’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

• 1.5 lbs chicken
• 1 (15 ounce) can whole flavored stewed tomatoes
• 1 (10 ounce) can salsa
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 4 ounces jarred jalapeno & some juice
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 cups water
• 1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
• 1 pkg low sodium taco seasoning or chili seasoning
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 can corn
• 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
• 1/2c flour
• 1 can chick peas
• Chopped avocado
• 4T butter
• Tortilla chips to serve with


Put whole chicken breasts into the (surprise) crockpot.
Pour all other ingredients in (except the tortilla chips).
Stir it up!
Cook on low for at least 8 hours.
An hour before serving, remove chicken breasts, shred with 2 forks, dump it back in, stir, and continue cooking for the last hour. Serve with the chips.

If you like your soup more watery, omit the flour. I like mine more thick. If you don’t like spicy food, just buy mild chili mix and mild salsa. The best part (besides being healthy, and tasting great) this soup never repeated on me -ew!

So Stew Me

We all know I’m obsessed I love my crockpot. It’s no secret. Yesterday was no exception. The weather was cool but sunny, I had things to do, and honestly didn’t feel like cooking dinner. I did, however, feel like eating some kind of comfort food. I was in the holiday spirit, so something hot & hearty was what I was craving. Beef stew sounded nice.

I dug up one of these puppies:

I chopped up some veggies I scrounged up from the fridge.
1/2 a bag of baby carrots
1 bunch of celery
2 red potatoes
1 sweet potato
1 onion
1 zucchini

1 3/4c water
2lbs cubes stew meat
1 packet McCormick slow cooker stew mix

Tossed them all into the crock for 4 hours on high.

It looked a bit watery when I checked it out, so I added a bit of flour to thicken it up.

We gobbled it up for dinner, and the lovely dish made an appearance at work with me for lunch! Quick prep, easy, awesomeness. It’s not the most attractive looking meal, but it sure does taste nice!
stew lunch