I am on a roll with chicken...

Another suggestion from Emily227 that turned out great.

Source: Cooking Light, April 2003

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Artichoke, Lemon and Goat Cheese
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (6-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 (3-ounce) package herbed goat cheese, softened
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine first 6 ingredients; stir well.

Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Top each breast half with 2 tablespoons cheese mixture; roll up jelly-roll fashion. Tuck in sides; secure each roll with wooden picks.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan, and cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Wrap the handle of pan with foil, and bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until chicken is done.

1 serving (1/2 stuffed chicken breast) = 5 WW points

Cheese and Chicken... what could go wrong?

I needed a quick and easy chicken dinner so I posted for suggestions on thenest.com's What's Cooking board. Emily227 had a great recipe... cheesy chicken cups! These were simple, easy and tasted great. I will definitely make these again.

(they were so gooey good with cheese!)

Cheesy Chicken Cups
  • 1 can buttermilk biscuits (10 biscuits)
  • 1 cooked chicken breast cut into small pieces
  • 1 can Healthy Request cream of chicken soup
  • 2/3 C. fat free shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 t. dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 t. black pepper
Place each biscuit into a muffin pan. Press the biscuits into the holes (and up the sides) to form cups. In a bowl, combine chicken, soup, cheese, parsley, and pepper. Mix well. Spoon evenly into cups. Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes

Yields: 10 servings (Serving: 1 chicken cup) for 2 WW points each

Chicken fingers with a twist

I started to search on weightwatchers.com for a good dinner recipe. I had chicken and I had instant oatmeal. Who would have thought that these two ingredients could be in the same meal? After I was done my husband dubbed this the best weight watchers meal ever. He even requested it again for lunch a few days later.

Source: Weightwatchers.com

Chicken Fingers with Ranch Dip & Seasoned Fries
  • 3 sprays cooking spray
  • 1 pound uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 1/2 packet uncooked instant oatmeal, 1 oz each (about 1 cup total)
  • 2 tsp garlic herb seasoning, preferably salt-free
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 large potato(es), Russet, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick fries
  • 1 Tbsp Creole seasoning (I used curry since I couldn't find Creole seasoning)
  • 1/2 cup fat-free ranch salad dressing
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

Coat chicken strips with mustard. Combine oats, garlic herb seasoning, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Dip chicken strips in oat mixture and turn to coat; place chicken strips on prepared pan.

Arrange potatoes around chicken on pan; lightly coat both with cooking spray. Sprinkle potatoes with Creole seasoning (I used curry).

Bake, flipping once, until chicken is cooked through and both chicken and potatoes are tender and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve chicken and potatoes with dressing on the side. Yields about 3 ounces of chicken, 1/2 a potato and 2 tablespoons of dressing per serving.

6 WW Points, Serves 4

Pork Roast Love

I just gotta say... I love roast. Pork or beef. Doesn't even matter. So when I saw a Molasses Glazed Pork Roast on Food Network from Bobby Flay I knew I had to make it for dinner. I wish I would have prepared it exactly like he did because I opted not to make the Black Pepper Dumplings and think this would have given the meal a great kick. What I omitted is in italics and what I added is bolded. I served the pork with my cheesy smashed potatoes (4 WW points).

Source: Bobby Flay, Food Network

Molasses Glazed Pork Roast sans the Black Pepper Dumplings

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 (3 to 4 pound) pork loin roast, bone in
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Molasses Glaze, recipe follows
1 Spanish onion, finely diced
1 large carrot, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
6 cups chicken stock
4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 sprigs parsley
Black Pepper Dumplings, recipe follows (I omited)

Chopped parsley, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Season the pork with salt and pepper and sear on all sides until golden brown. Transfer the pot to the oven and roast until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 125 degrees F, about 1 hour. Brush the pork liberally with the Molasses Glaze and continue roasting until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F. Remove the roast to a platter, brush with more of the glaze and let rest 15 minutes.

Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan and place on top of the stove over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the wine, increase the heat to high, and cook until reduced by half. Add herbs and mix. Pour over pork and serve.

Add the stock and the herbs, and bring to a boil, cook until reduced by 1/3. Reduce the heat to low and let the broth simmer.
Drop the dumplings into the broth, cover, and simmer until they are puffed and cooked through, about 12 to 5 minutes.

Molasses Glaze:
1 1/2 cups molasses
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard

Combine ingredients in a small bowl.

Black Pepper Dumplings:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons very cold solid vegetable shortening
1/3 cup milk

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, black pepper, parsley, and thyme in a medium mixing bowl. Using your fingers, cut the shortening into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the milk, stirring just until the mixture is moistened. Gather the dough into a ball, knead it a few times, and cut into 12 equal pieces.

10 WW Points = not very WW friendly :(

WC Nov/Dec Recipe Exchange - Holiday Goodies

I was very excited to participate in this year's recipe exchange. I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to have someone choose what I make instead of me pouring over baking books for something good for the holidays.

I received a recipe for Carrot Cake and it was AMAZING! The cake was moist and not too sweet. All of my co-workers loved it. There wasn't one crumb left! And I got to use my bundt pan for the first time! I got a Williams Sonoma Anniversary bundt pan for our wedding and it worked wonderfully!

I did put the cake in my Weight Watchers recipe builder to see how many points it was and *gasp* 7 points per serving (one serving is 1/24th of the cake). I was able to tweak the recipe a little to get it down to 3 points with the same flavor.

Carrot Cake
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups canola oil
  • 1 cup walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl and set aside. In blender, blend 1 cup carrots/zucchini with an egg and a half cup oil. Repeat twice adding nuts and extra egg during last blending. Combine with dry ingredients, mixing well. Pour into greased 10 in. tube pan. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Cool and frost.

Frosting (I didn't make the frosting because I forgot to buy powdered sugar!)
  • ½ cup butter at room temperature
  • 1 (8oz) pkg. cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 (16oz) box powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Tips: I use the grater attachment on the food processor to grate the carrots and zucchini. Much easier! You can also make these as cupcakes, shortening the baking time accordingly.

Now for the Weight Watchers version:
  • 1 cup Egg Beaters Egg Beaters
  • 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp table salt
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 cup carrot(s), shredded
  • 1 cup zucchini, shredded
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

Follow the same instructions as below. I didn't calculate the points for the frosting and would omit it if making it again for myself. If I made it again for the office I'd drizzle it lightly over the top.

Yay Mexican!

After browsing a few blogs I found one loaded with WW-friendly recipes that I was just dying to try. This was my second attempt at making something from One Tiny Pink Kitchen's blog and it was a hit! So tasty! I am bringing them in to work with me tomorrow for a co-workers birthday. I think they'd be great topped with cheese, shredded lettuce and salsa as appetizers but I can't have too much cheese :)

Source: WW magazine December 2007 via One Tiny Pink Kitchen

Yummy Empanadas

30 wonton wrappers
1 egg, beaten
1/2 lb extra lean hamburger
1/8 cup low fat cheddar cheese
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp taco seasoning
1/2 small onion, diced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with PAM. Brown hamburger and onions, drain. Add tomato paste and taco seasoning; then add cheese. Lay out wontons and fill with about 1 tbsp of filling per wonton. Wet the edges of the wonton with the egg and fold. Repeat! Bake about 8 minutes. (You will want to flip them over 1/2 way through so both sides are crispy. I forgot to do this)

3 empanadas = 2 WW points

Chicken Pot Pie

When you ask Joseph what his favorite lunchtime meal is it would probably be one of three things... hot dogs, mac and cheese (out of a box.. yuck!) and Marie Callendar's chicken pot pie. They amount of calories in one frozen pie made my jaw drop so after watching Tyler's Ultimate on the food network I decided to try and make a chicken pot pie myself. I followed Tyler's recipe for the filling but made the whole chicken in a crock pot (see my crock pot chicken/stock post) and used the chicken and stock in Tyler's recipe.

The end product turned out OK but it wasn't what I was expecting. The "sauce" wasn't thick enough for Joseph and it wasn't flavorful enough for me so I might try mrspresley's recipe next time.

Source: Tyler's Ultimate

Chicken Pot Pie

1 cup shredded chicken
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 stick (4 tbsp) unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 carrots, cut in 1/2-inch circles
1 bag frozen peas & pearl onions, see note
Leaves from 4 fresh parsley sprigs
2 frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
1 tbsp eggbeaters mixed with 1 tsp water
2 tbsp shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano

Melt the butter in a large sauce pot and then whisk in the flour to form a paste. This is a roux, which will act as a thickener. Now, gradually pour in 4 cups of the chicken broth, whisking the entire time to prevent lumps. Whisk and simmer for 10 minutes to cook out the starchy taste of the flour and thicken the broth; it should look like cream of chicken soup. Season with salt and pepper. Fold in the shredded chicken, carrots, peas & pearl onions, and parsley. Stir to combine and turn off the heat.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lay the thawed puff pastry sheets on a lightly floured, cool surface. Invert individual crocks on the pastry sheet and, using a sharp knife, cut circles around the outside of the bowls, slightly larger than the bowl itself. Fill the crocks 3/4 of the way with the chicken mixture, making sure each serving has a nice amount of chicken, vegetables, and broth. Carefully cap each crock with a pastry circle, pressing the dough around the rim to form a seal. Lightly beat the eggbeaters with 1 tsp of water to make an egg wash and brush some on the pastry. Sprinkle the pastry with the Parmigiano. Set the crocks on a cookie sheet and transfer to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, until puffed and golden.

Notes: If using fresh pearl onions, blanch for 2 minutes in salted boiling water; then pinch the skins off -- if using frozen, run under cool water for 2 minutes to thaw.

If using fresh peas, blanch for 2 minutes in salted boiling water--if using frozen, run under cool water for 2 minutes to thaw.

6 servings (I froze four of the six servings for next time)

4 WW points per serving

Happy Housewarming Peabody!

A blogger I stumbled upon from the WC board just moved into a beautiful, new house and has decided to have a virtual housewarming party. She's been gracious enough to invite everyone.

I thought that these mini meatloaf muffins would be great for a party since they are appetizer size and I love meatloaf (who doesn't?). They're easy, cheap and as I found out recently... can be Weight Watcher friendly! So all of Peabody's Weight Watcher friends can enjoy a nice appetizer.

I used a recipe from the blog of a fellow nestie from the WC board, tbrp2005. I followed the instructions/ingredients exactly (including the tomato sauce she omitted). They were great!! I hope everyone likes them :)

3 WW points per serving (two muffins=1 serving)

Source: One Tiny Pink Kitchen

Chicken... and so much more!

I finally got over my fear of whole chickens today. I even made homemade chicken stock from it! I used my crock-pot to cook a whole chicken and make stock for meals later on this week. I definitely plan on using the left overs to make this recipe for Tyler's Ultimate Chicken Pot Pie and this recipe for Elly's Chicken Tortilla Soup. But for tonight we just ate the wings and thighs right off of the chicken and I paired it with my red-skinned mashed potatoes with a bit of fontina, butter, and salt and pepper mixed in and some carrots. It was great! I cannot wait to try the other recipes.

Source: Tyler's Ultimate
(I only used the part to make chicken stock and modified it by using the crock pot)

Chicken Broth
  • 1 chicken, 3-3.5 pounds
  • 8 cups cold water
  • 3 carrots, cut into 2" pieces
  • 2 celery sticks, cut into 2" pieces
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 tbsp crushed bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp rosemary
  • 2 tbs chopped garlic (I have some garlic in a jar)
Clean out and remove all gizzards and neck from chicken. Rinse and pat inside and outside dry. Place in crock pot and cover with water. Add vegetables and herbs. Cook on low for 6 hours.

Remove chicken from pot and let cool (I removed the thighs and wings for dinner). Shred chicken off of bones and set aside for other meals. Once shredded chicken has cooked bag and refrigerate.

Remove veggies from pot and discard. Strain chicken broth with cheesecloth to catch any left over garlic or dried herbs. Place in containers and freeze or refrigerate until you need to use them.

I plated the chicken thigh and wing and removed the skin from the thigh. I steamed some carrots and topped them with 1/2 tsp butter. I also boiled some red potatoes, mashed them and mixed them with fontina, butter, salt and pepper. YUM! A great dinner.

Chicken - 3 WW points
Mashed Potatoes - 4 WW points
Carrots w/ butter - 2 WW points

Lasagna Lovin'

I was having a pasta craving and had some left over ground turkey so I searched the Weight Watchers website for a good pasta recipe and stumbled upon the Chicken and Spinach Lasagna. I decided to sub ground turkey for ground chicken and halved the original recipe but it turned out great. I even got my husband to eat spinach! That's a first.

Source: WeightWatchers.com

Turkey and Spinach Lasagna
  • 3/4 cup Kraft Low-Moisture, Part-Skim Finely Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, or similar product, divided
  • 1 items egg white(s), lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 10 oz chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 sprays cooking spray
  • 1/2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 26 oz Contadina Marinara Sauce, or other low-fat marinara sauce
  • 1/2 pound Jennie-O Turkey Store Extra lean ground breast
  • 6 items dry lasagna noodles
  • 1/3 cup onion(s), chopped
  • 15 oz part-skim ricotta cheese
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a large, deep lasagna pan with cooking spray. Measure 2 cups of marinara sauce; set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir until almost tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add chicken; cook until no longer pink, stirring frequently, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add remaining marinara sauce to skillet and stir until well combined; set aside.
Mix together ricotta cheese, egg whites, garlic powder and Italian seasoning in a large bowl until well combined.

To assemble lasagna, place 2 cups of reserved marinara sauce on bottom of dish. Layer with 3 noodles, 1/3 of ricotta mixture, 1/3 of spinach, 1/3 of mozzarella cheese and 1/3 of chicken-sauce mixture; repeat layers again ending with chicken-sauce mixture. (Make sure to spread ingredients to edge of noodles.)

Cover baking dish with aluminum foil. Bake lasagna for 20 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and bake until cheese is melted and edges are bubbly, about 20 minutes more. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before slicing into 6 pieces.

6 WW points

Curry Chops

I am trying to plan out my meals better for the week so I came across a few meals on WeightWatchers.com that I wanted to try. This is one of them. It's a bit too spicy for me and Joseph but it was pretty tasty. The bones on the chops made them stay juicier and they weren't dried out (I have a problem with dried out chops)...

Source: Weight Watchers

Curry-Rubbed Pork Chops
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 Bone-In Pork Chops
Mix all spices together and press on both sides of pork chops. Put chops on a plate and cover in saran wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour to 24 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Preheat pan on medium heat and spray with nonstick spray. Cook chops for three minutes on each side and than place in a dish and bake in oven for 25 minutes or until done.

4 WW points

Sweet & Spicy Chicken

With my Weight Watchers quest I have stumbled upon many a new recipe. Here's my first attempt at a low point meal. I saw a recipe on the Food Network for pork and decided to use the same glaze on chicken. It turned out pretty good but Joseph wished that the flavor went all the way into the chicken breast. I might butterfly the breast and schmear the middle with the glaze before baking it.

Source: My head and help from Robin Miller

Sweet & Spicy Chicken
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp spicy mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 chicken breast, skinless
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix molasses, soy sauce, mustard and garlic powder. Coat chicken once before baking and once while baking. Bake for about thirty minutes or until done.

5 WW points

I served the chicken with sweet potato fries.

  • 1 sweet potato
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

Cut sweet potato into 1" wedges. Drizzle olive oil over wedges and sprinkle salt and pepper. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until a bit crispy on the outside.

1 WW point

Turkey Time!

With the very little leftover turkey we have I decided to make a WW friendly meal. I decided to join Weight Watchers after some friendly prodding from my best friend. She "needed" a partner to join her in her weight loss over the next two months before she moves overseas. I am so excited. And this meal was exactly what I needed to get me on track. So good and filling!

Source: Weight Watchers (modified)

Potato and Turkey Saute
  • 3 potato(es), red, scrubbed and diced
  • 1 carrot sliced into chunks (coins)
  • 3/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • cooked turkey, shredded into long strips (left over from t-day)
  • 1/2 medium onion, cut into large pieces (like what you'd use for kabobs)
  • 2 tsp rosemary, chopped
Roast potatoes, onions and carrots with 1/4 teaspoons of garlic salt and rosemary and drizzled with 2 tsp EVOO until just tender, about 40 minutes at 400 degrees. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in a nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add potatoes, onions and carrots to skillet. Add turkey and cook, stirring gently, until browned and very tender.

6 WW pts

Sorry... didn't get a picture of this one. I was too hungry :)

Sweet Pork

After reading about this dish for quite some time on thenest.com I knew I needed to make it. Simple and easy! Joseph thought that it was a bit too done so I think I might cook it for about an hour and put it in a pan with the BBQ sauce to give it more, as Joseph says, "texture".

*** updated on 8/3/11 with additional ingredients/instructions and a new picture ***

Searing the pork before placing it in the slow cooker not only locked in the moisture but also created a wonderful texture to the meat after it was done cooking. By cooking the meat on low for only 5 hours instead of 7 it was not as dried out as the first time we tried this recipe. Now this is on our regular monthly rotation and serves as a great dinner for the summer months when we don't want to touch the oven :)

Source: Our Sweet Life blog

Slow Cooker Root Beer BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 lbs pork roast
  • 1 12 oz can of your favorite root beer
  • 1/2 bottle BBQ sauce
 Preheat a large pan on medium low heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Salt and pepper the pork. Sear pork in a pan on all sides (about 5 minutes each side).

Put pork roast in slow cooker and add can of root beer on top. Cook on low for 5-7 hours. Shred pork and add in BBQ sauce. Mix and serve on buns. Enjoy!

How simple is that?

Yeasty Yum

After reading a post from flymansWife I was inspired to make some soft pretzels. I also plan on making a few other things from her blog but started with these today. DH is watching football all day and I thought this would make a great snack. They were actually pretty easy and allowed me to do laundry and pick up the house between the rising and baking. Enjoy!

Source: flymansWife

Soft Pretzels
  • 1 c warm water (110 degrees)
  • 1 package (or 2 1/4 tsp) dry active yeast
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 c flour
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 c water
  • 4 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp kosher salt (I used sea salt)

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let stand for 10 minutes to bloom. Add the water/yeast along with the melted butter, brown sugar, salt and 2 3/4 cups of the flour to your heavy-duty mixer and knead dough for about 8 minutes, adding the last 1/4 cup of flour if necessary. You can also do this by hand. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky, but very uniform and smooth. Place dough in a large oiled bowl, and let rise for 1 hour, until doubled.

Punch down, and divide the dough into 18 equal shapes and form them into small balls. Cover with plastic wrap and let them rest for 15 minutes. Roll them into 10-12″ lengths. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow the pretzels to rise for 1/2 hour. Pull lengths longer to approximately 18″ & shape into pretzel shape. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

In a medium pot, bring the baking soda and water to a boil. Add the pretzels one at a time to the boiling water for 1 minute. Press down into the boiling water with a spatula. Remove and place on a cooling rack. When cooled, transfer to a parchment lined sheet pan. Brush with egg wash, sprinkle generously with kosher salt and bake for 10-12 minutes, until dark brown.

Candace’s Note: To ensure the dough is thoroughly kneaded, take a small piece and roll it into a ball. With your thumbs, stretch the dough until either it tears or becomes transparent in the center, also known as a window. If you cannot stretch the dough to form a window, knead a little longer.

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

I was at the market at the beginning of the week thinking about what I could make for dinner Monday night. Nothing came to mind until I stopped by the seafood window. They had some tilapia on sale. I've never made tilapia and was surprised because it's sooo cheap. I just fried them up and served them with white rice. Next time I think I'll use them for fish tacos.

Source: My head :)

Fried Tilapia Fillets
  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper

Put oil in pan (I used olive oil) and set to medium heat. Take egg and place in a shallow baking dish (like a pie pan). Scramble the egg a bit to break up the yolk and mix in salt and pepper to taste. Put the breadcrumbs in another baking dish. Take tilapia fillet and coat with eggs than transfer to breadcrumbs and coat. Place in pan and fry on each side for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with white rice.

Baking up a Storm

I finally had a chance to make my first blondie as inspired by bakingblonde. Joseph wanted some dessert after our carbed-out dinner so I thought... hmm, more carbs! I used the basic recipe and added in some chocolate chips. YUM! Can't wait to try it out with other add-ins.

Source: bakingblonde

Basic Blondies
  • 7 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chip cookies

Preheat oven to 350.
Butter an 8 x 8 baking dish.
In a large microwave safe mixing bowl melt the butter. Allow to cool for 5 mintues. Mix the brown sugar with the melted butter and beat until smooth. Beat in egg and then vanilla. Add salt, stir in flour. Mix in any additions (like chocolate chips).

Pour into prepared pan and use a greased spatula to evenly spread mixture in pan and level the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until set in the middle. Cool on rack before cutting.

6 WW points

Easy Dinner...

When making the pie I had my inspiration for dinner. On the back of the evaporated milk label there was a recipe for Spicy Jack and Cheddar Mac with Broccoli so I made it but with what I had on hand. It was a good mac & cheese recipe. One I might use every once in a while.

Cheddar and Mozzarella Mac & Broccoli
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) dry elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups chopped frozen or fresh broccoli
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded mozzarella (the recipe uses Jack)
  • 1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup (1.5 oz.) shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs (I used Italian bread crumbs)
Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly butter 2 1/2-quart casserole dish.

Cook macaroni in large saucepan according to package directions, adding broccoli to boiling pasta water for last 3 minutes of cooking time; drain.

Combine cooked pasta, broccoli, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, evaporated milk, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and black pepper in large bowl. Pour into prepared casserole dish. Combine remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs; sprinkle over macaroni mixture. Cover tightly with foil.

Bake for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake for an additional 10 minutes until lightly browned.

Source: www.verybestbaking.com

Pumpkin Goodness

I attempted my first pumpkin pie today! It was a test run for Thanksgiving and I will be bringing it in to work for testing on Monday. I'll update the blog with reviews...

The Classic Libby Pumpkin Pie (found on the can of pumpkin)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
  • 1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
  • Whipped cream on top (optional)
Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

Pour into pie shell.

Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.

Pasta Perfection... almost!

I found a good recipe on cooks.com for a three cheese pasta sauce. I used some parts of one recipe and some parts of another. I enjoyed it but the presentation was not the prettiest. Because of the cheeses I used the sauce wasn't as smooth as I wanted it. It was half melted cheese/half liquid. But the taste made up for it. Here's the recipe:

Three Cheese Pasta
  • 1/4 cup fontina, shredded (use frozen fontina for easier shredding)
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan, shredded
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup white wine (I used pinot grigio)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • pasta (I used linguine)

After the pasta water starts boiling put in pasta. In a separate pot on medium heat pour in the milk. Add fontina and mozzarella. Stir continuously so the cheeses don't burn. Add a pinch of pepper and salt to taste.

Optional: a pinch of nutmeg (I didn't have any).

When cheese is fully melted add a 1/4 cup of white wine. Put pasta in a skillet and cover with cheese sauce. Top with half of the Parmesan and toss it all together. Top with other half of Parmesan.

Serves two. I served with Texas Toast and salad.

Source: cooks.com

Quick Fix

I had pollo asada and rice... I mixed them together for a pretty fast and easy meal. It was pretty good. I served it with salad topped with a sour cream salsa, shredded cheddar and tortilla strips.

Source: My head :)

Arroz con Pollo
  • 1/2 pound pollo asada, diced and pre-marinaded
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Put stove on medium heat and add olive oil. Once hot put pollo asada in pan and cook until done. Mix with rice and serve with sides.

My new toy...

For our wedding we got a T-Fal waffle/sandwich maker. I use it all the time for waffles and LOVE it but I never used it for sandwiches. I bought havarti and turkey at the deli the other day so when I came home from visiting my grandma at the hospital today I knew exactly what I wanted for lunch. I got out the directions and started going. The end result was so good. It tasted exactly like a hot pocket.


I was up for some french toast this morning so I got out the ingredients and went to work. I put a bit of pumpkin pie spice in the mix and boy were they good!

Source: The Joy of Cooking

Cinnamon Swirl French Toast

  • 2/3 cup whole milk, cream or half and half
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I added this in)
  • bread of your choice (I used cinnamon swirl bread)
Mix all ingredients together and soak bread on both sides. Heat skillet on medium and melt two tablespoons of butter in skillet. Put bread on skillet (fit as many on but don't crowd too much). Cook until golden and flip to cook other side. Top with your favorite toppings... butter, syrup, fruit, etc.

** Modified WW Version **
  • 2 Tbsp 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 large egg(s)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 slice Wheat bread
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
Same prep instructions as above

8 WW points

Fine Filet

While shopping at the grocery store the other day I saw that there was fresh cut filet mignon out in the butcher's case so I grabbed two pieces (yum!) and as soon as I got home I headed over to the WC board on theNest.com to post asking for good suggestions. Boy did I get them! To see the link to the post click here. I decided to go with a suggestion from mrs.jsmtih.

Source: mrs.jsmtih

Filet Mignon
  • 2 cuts of filet mignon
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup merlot
  • 2 tbsp cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
Mashed Potatoes
  • 4 small red potatoes
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

I butterflied the filets and salt and peppered them. I placed the stove on medium and put some butter in a pan to melt it a bit. Once the butter was melted I put the steaks in the pan and cooked each side for five minutes. I than placed the steaks in a dish and put them in the oven (350 degrees). I deglazed the pan with some merlot and water and added a little cream. After the sauce was ready I plated the mashed potatoes I made (red potatoes, garlic, cream, butter, salt & pepper) and put the steaks on top of the mashed potatoes. I drizzled the sauce over the steaks and served with a nice spinach salad. YUM again!

Fishy Fun

I was in the mood for something different so I went to the market and bought some fresh salmon. I searched a few recipes online and just took ingredients from some of them and didn't include ingredients I didn't have. This is what I ended up with:

Herb Crusted Salmon
  • 2 salmon filets
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp dill
  • 1 tsp basil
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix dry herbs together. Drizzle oil over salmon and turn salmon over a few times to fully coat both sides with oil. Salt and pepper salmon. Shake herb mixture over salmon. Place in oven and bake 15-30 minutes depending on thickness of salmon. Salmon will be flaky and opaque when done.

Source: My head :)

Meat Mania

I am a meatloaf lover. You can take just about anything left over in the fridge and throw it in meat loaf. This recipe is one of my favorites. Red potatoes, carrots, and 100% lean beef! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. And left overs are even more tasty! I served it with creamy mashed potatoes. No need for a veggie... they were in the loaf.

I didn't really measure anything so these aren't accurate.

Source: My head :)

Danielle's Meat Loaf

  • 1 pack ground beef
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 red potato, shredded
  • 3/4 c catchup (put 1/4 aside for glaze)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup italian bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1/4 c catchup
  • 1/8 c brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all loaf ingredients together and place in loaf pan. Round the loaf into a mound and place in oven for about an hour. Meat will shrink a bit and pull away from the sides when done. Mix glaze ingredients together and put aside. After an hour, pull meatloaf out of the oven and drain fat from sides. Once drained, cover loaf with catchup mixture and put back in oven for 10 minutes. Once done, cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!

Home on the Range

I had chicken and I had hamburger ... left the decision to Joseph. He chose the chicken and requested ranch chicken (his favorite). So I made it for him... with a twist. Delish!

Source: Box of Ranch Dressing Mix

Ranch Chicken

  • 2 chicken breasts (up to four)
  • 1 packet of ranch
  • 1/2 cup of italian bread crumbs (recipe calls for plain bread crumbs)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Put the packet of ranch and bread crumbs in a bag and mix up before placing the chicken in the bag. Once mixed, place all chicken breasts in the bag and shake it up to make sure that the mixture coats the chicken well. Take the chicken out of the bag and place in a dish. Put in the oven and cook for 40 minutes or until done.

Strawberries and Cream

Joseph surprised me last night by making some yummy Rice Krispy treats. Instead of using regular Rice Krispy's he used the ones with strawberries in them. Definitely made them better! Maybe next time I'll try putting some pumpkin pie spice in them. I also found a great website for different recipies... I never thought about how versatile this simple treat was.

Source: Box of Rice Krispies

Strawberry Rice Krispy Treats

6 cups Rice Krispies with Strawberries
1 package large marshmallows -or- 4 cups mini marshmallows
3 tbsp butter

Melt margarine in large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.

Add Rice Krispies cereal. Stir until well coated.

Using buttered spatula or waxed paper, press mixture evenly into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cut into 2-inch squares when cool. Best if served the same day.

Pot Roast Love

I needed a hearty meal today. Something easy to put together but full of flavor. I purchased a roast on Friday and knew that it would be perfect.

So I got some red potatos and an onion cut up on Saturday night and put some carrots and broccoli aside to steam. Sunday morning I took the bag of onions and layered 3/4 of them on the bottom of the crock pot.

I than seasoned the potatos with seasoned salt, garlic salt and red curry (yum!) and layered them on top of the onions. I trimmed the fat off of the meat and salted and peppered it and than put it on top of the potatos. I put the rest of the onions on top of the meat, set the dial to high and took a nap.

Four hours later my house smelled wonderful and dinner was ready. I steamed the veggies and fixed the plates up. The food was sooo good I didn't even have time to take a picture of the perfection. I had to take a picture of the left overs! My husband even commented on the fact that it was waaay better than my last roast. I think it was the curry ;)

Cinnamon Maple Goodness

So I was lazy and didn't want to make my scones from scratch so I bought a mix at Harry and Davids. I was going to a 5K walk for Breast Cancer with some girlfriends (fellow nesties) and thought I would make the scones for breakfast. They were fast, simple, easy and delicious. I used a muffin pan to shape the scones and baked them for about a minute under the cook time so that they would be a bit moist in the middle and they were great. We got some coffee and enjoyed the yummy scones as we walked off the calories!

Veggie Creations

I had to find a good recipe to make for the girls for "Woman's Club" and it needed to be vegetarian. So I started searching for good recipies in Joy of Cooking and Betty Crocker but nothing jumped out of me. So I was flipping the channels and stumbled upon the Food Network. Giada was on so I decided for stay tuned for a bit and see what she was up to. I was so glad I stayed. She was making this delicious looking garlic and citrus chicken but the next recipe was what I was interested in. A spinach and goat cheese pasta. It was definitely the right dish. All of the girls LOVED it and wanted to take the left overs with them.

Source: Food Network

Penne with Spinach Sauce
  • 1 pound whole wheat or multi grain penne
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 ounce reduced fat cream cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the penne and cook until it is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes.

Mince the garlic in a food processor. Add the goat cheese, cream cheese, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and half of the spinach leaves. Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Set the cheese and spinach mixture aside.

Meanwhile, place the remaining spinach leaves in a large bowl.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Spoon the pasta atop the spinach leaves in the bowl. Scrape the cheese and spinach mixture over the pasta mixture and toss to coat, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta, to taste, with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the Parmesan over and serve.

Give me some spice!

I was searching for a good dessert to make for work and stumbled upon this from Good Eats 'n Sweet Treats. This hit the right spot! YUM!

Source: MarthaStewart.com

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Honey Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice (or 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/8 teaspoon each allspice and cloves)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • One (15-ounce) can solid-pack pumpkin puree
  • Honey Frosting (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin-pie spice. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, butter, and pumpkin puree until combined. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture, and mix gently until smooth.

Turn batter into prepared pan, and smooth top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool cake 10 minutes in pan, then turn out of pan, and cool completely, right side up, on a rack.

Spread top of cooled cake with Honey Frosting. Cut cake into squares to serve.

Honey Frosting

(Makes 2 cups)

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) regular or reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup honey
In a medium bowl, whisk all ingredients until smooth.

Pass the Dessert!

I had to make some baked goodies for a church function so I decided to give it a bit of holiday flair. Instead of using those disposable tins, I went to Michael's and bought these dishes for only $1! I wanted to make a few different breads but decided to make a few mini Chocolate Chocolate Chip cakes. I saved one for myself (of course!) and ate it warm. It was AMAZING! Definitely melt in the mouth good.

Source: AllRecipies.com

Lisa's Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package chocolate cake mix
  • 1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a Bundt pan. Combine cake mix, pudding mix, oil, eggs, water, sour cream, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour. Allow to cool.

Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops {Dinner}

I was craving pork chops but had no idea how I wanted to prepare them. I posted on TheNest.com and the girls helped me right away with many different recipies. The one that stood out? Giada's Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops. Easy to make and I had all of the ingredients on hand. How would I rate them? Delicious! I only left them in the pan until gently browned and than popped them in the oven for 20 minutes since I bought 1" chops. But they turned out great!

Source: Food Network

Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup dried Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan
  • 4 (1/2 to 3/4-inch thick) center-cut pork loin chops (each about 10 to 12 ounces)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
Whisk the eggs in a pie plate to blend. Place the bread crumbs in another pie plate. Place the cheese in a third pie plate. Sprinkle the pork chops generously with salt and pepper. Coat the chops completely with the cheese, patting to adhere. Dip the chops into the eggs, then coat completely with the bread crumbs, patting to adhere. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a very large skillet over medium heat. Add pork chops, in batches if necessary, and cook until golden brown and the center reaches 150 degrees, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer the chops to plates and serve with lemon wedge.


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