My beautiful Aunt Karen celebrated her 50th birthday not too long ago, and my cousin orchestrated a surprise party for her. 

You can't have a party without awesome hors d'oeuvres, and I wanted something that looked fancy, tasted delicious and would be healthy. 

Enter: delicious Cucmber Cups with Salmon Whip. 

These Salmon Cups do come with a bit of prep, and an afternoon in the kitchen with my dear cousin getting the fruit kabobs, pita chips and spinach artichoke dip prepared made it easy. 

I will definitely make these again for a special occasion!

You will need:
2 large English cucumbers
1/2 c. low-fat cottage cheese
1 Tbsp nonfat milk
4 scallions, white parts only, chopped
4 oz. thin-sliced smoked salmon
1/4 c. whipped cream chees
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
White pepper
chopped fresh chives

1. In a food processor, add cottage cheese & milk until smooth. 
2. Add scallions, salmon, cream cheese, lemon juice & pinch of white pepper. Process until smooth & creamy. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. 
3. While mixture is chilling, slice cucumber into 3/4-inch rounds. Get rid of the ends. 
4. Use the small end of a melon baller to scoop out the flesh of each cucumber round to form your cups. 
5. Fill cucumber cups with 2 tsp. of the salmon whip. Arrange diced chives to garnish. 

Refrigerate until ready to serve, up to an hour. 
Be prepared to give out this recipe! It's sure to impress. 

Sometimes you need something a little out-of-the ordinary. Monday night was one of those nights. I needed comfort food. Really delicious comfort food. One of my favorite comfort food meals is none other than grilled cheese and tomato soup. But plain just wouldn't do. I needed a little extra pizazz!  Enter herbs, avocado, tomato, garlic, chicken and "fancy" cheese (okay, fancier than American).
Literally everything in this recipe can be substituted for something that you like better.

You will need:
2 slices Oat Nut Brownberry bread
3 slices of your favorite cheese (I used Colby and Muenster, pre-sliced because I was lazy that night)
A few tomato slices, deseeded.
1/4 Avocado, sliced thin
6 slices Oscar Meyer Deli BBQ seasoned chicken
Salt & Pepper

Campbell's Tomato Soup
Garlic Powder
Basil, Oregano, Thyme, Pepper
Optional: Milk instead of water for soup

1. Start your soup (read directions on can) in a small saucepan on Med-Low heat.
2. Add desired amount of seasoning: garlic, basil, oregano, thyme, etc.
3. Butter one side of "bottom" piece of bread. Place it butter-side-down in a small omelet pan (don't start heat yet).
4. Build your sammich:
         2 pieces of cheese, tomatoes, avocado, a little S&P, chicken slices and one more piece of cheese.
5. Butter another piece of bread and place on sandwich butter-side-up.
6. Stir soup! (And continue with stirs in between checking your sandwich)
7. Grill sandwich on Medium heat. Be patient, you don't want this beauty to burn!
8. Carefully flip to check for browning. I had to use TWO spatulas so it wouldn't fall apart. Be careful!
9. Once cheese is melty and bread is browned, cut in half and make it look even more fancy by stacking it.
10. Pour yourself a cup of your fancy tomato soup. (It's fancy because you put seasoning in it.)
11. Voila! Beautiful AND delicious fancy grilled cheese & tomato soup.

Consider yourself comforted. And fancy.