Friday, November 21, 2008

The food i cannot help!

Yes that is spaghetti squash... I.Don't.Like.It. Okay I MIGHT if someone made it correctly but I didn't really like mine.
I made it per-directions, came out great, see above... then topped it with a olive oil, butter, garlic, tomato, seasoned mixture with fresh mozzarella cheese.... not a big fan... AT.ALL. Oh well at least I tried... let me know if you know of a way to make it tasty.

Crashed Potatoes

I got this from someones blog (whom??? not sure) who got this from Pioneer Woman... it was GREAT!
You get your baking potatoes and boil them until you can stick a fork in the side
Place them on a baking sheet covered in a very large amount of olive oil.
Now smash them, only until they look like a mistake, not until they are mashed.
brush on some olive oil
spinkle salt and pepper
top with a fresh seasoning, i had chives
bake for lets say 20ish minutes (check on them) at 400
So easy and good, Chris just LOVED these! I don't think he even put cheese on them!

Maple Ham

So I bought this cute little precooked Jenny O turkey ham the other day and decided "WOW this is too healthy"! lol! So what did i do? First I poked cloves all in it (zero cals) and then poured maple syrup and melted butter over top (zillions of cals!) and sprikled cinnamon on top. Baked for a while... not sure how long, until it looked done and made my house smell heavenly!
And then enjoyed it with a crash potato and salad! Yummmm

Apple Cranberry Cobbler

So it was a typical Sunday at home, went to church, now spending a lazy day on the couch with football... when I was thinking "Wow I've got all these wonderful ingredients around the house, what should i make???", and I came up with Apple Cranberry Cobbler! I adapted this recipe from the Rhubarb-Strawberry Cobbler recipe in my Good Housekeeping cook book.

First take about 4 Golden Delicious Apples and peal and core them.
Put them in a medium pot with about Half a bag of Cranberries (washed) and Half a cup of sugar.
Heat until tender and place in a medium/small casserole pan so it covers the bottom like so...

For the Dough:
Combine Half a cup of flour, 1/4 cup of sugar, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp nutmeg with a wisk.
Then cut in 4 tbsp of margarine or butter until mixture is crumbly. Stir in 2/3ish cup of milk until it forms a dough (give or take the amount of milk... I used too much so i had to add in more of the flour mixture, etc until it was correct)
Knead this and then roll out until about 1/2 inch thick.
I used a small flower shaped cookie cutter to make the shapes.
Lay them on top of the apple mixture...

I then took the time to make this EXTRA healthy and drizzle caramel and white chocolate on top! Bake for around 20mins (mine took slightly less time) and enjoy!

Be careful though... mine didn't last past the day I made it... for some reason mold started forming on it the next day (even though i sealed it and refrigerated it)... so enjoy it same day!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I was so excited to get a new way to organize my spices and free up some much needed cabinet space! Isn't it great! It is also great because when I'm cooking I look and grab, rather then search and search and then give up and buy another one when I had some left in the back! YEA!
Just look at my cute labels!

Caramel Cloud Bars

These tasty little treats are from Cooking Light and my husband LOVED them. If you're not a BIG sweet eater, you prefer cake to any other sweet, you'll LOVE these tasty little delights, and don't they just look perfect for the Holiday season? Can't you see them placed on a sparkley Snow Flake Plate? I'll have to work on getting on of those!
* Cooking spray
* 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 1/4 cup light margarine, melted
* 1/4 cup evaporated fat-free milk
* 4 large egg whites
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 2/3 cup premium white chocolate chips (such as Hershey's)
* 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
* 1/2 cup caramel sundae syrup (such as Hershey's) **I used Sugar Free**

Preheat oven to 350°.

Coat a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray; dust with 1 tablespoon flour.

Place the sugar, margarine, evaporated milk, and egg whites in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed for 1 minute. Lightly spoon 2 cups flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine 2 cups flour, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture, and beat with a mixer at low speed just until blended. Stir in the chips and macadamia nuts.

Spoon the batter into prepared pan. Microwave the syrup at high 45 seconds or until warm, and stir. Drizzle the caramel syrup diagonally across batter. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool.

This makes 24 bars and each bar is 4pts roughly.
This was our dinner on Monday night! Steak, marinated in a Jack Daniel's Mesquite sauce, Sweet Potato French Fries, and Salad.
The salad is rather "normal" where it's from a bag, has cheese and salad toppers on it.

Ahhh but the Steak and Sweet Potato fries were amazing! YUMMM

Just the right side! Thanks to Katie I knew what I wanted to eat with my Steak and how good it was too! You don't need anything to dip these tasty treats in, but Chris still loved dipping in Vinegar, he's all Maryland!

Sweet Potato Garlic Fries


5 large red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams)
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp kosher salt
5 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/8 c. flat leaf parsley, minced

-Preheat oven to 500 degrees and line 2 baking sheets.
-Wash and dry sweet potatoes (leaving skin on) and slice into 1/8 inch thick wedges.
-Place into large bowl and combine with olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper.
-Lay out sweet potato wedges on baking sheets, dividing evenly between them, and place in oven.
-Bake for 30 minutes, turning occasionally, or until edges begin to brown and wedges are tender.
-Remove from oven, sprinkle evenly with salt, garlic, parsley, and serve immediately.
Juicy and Delicious!
This was Chris's idea, while we were grocery shopping he came across a marinade bag of this Jack Daniel's sauce and it was amazing!

No Weightloss but New Spice set up!

So i didn't have a weightloss today, but at least I didn't gain weight right!?!? Anyway, I took time yesterday, on my day off (love government holidays!) to organize my kitchen more... I did this because the kitchen is a place of extreme disdain to me. I do not have enough cabinet space nor do i have enough counter space. Chris and I have solved this slightly by getting rid of our "eat-in" kitchen table, since we never used it anyways, and getting a kitchen cart with a butcher block top and cabinet doors! SWEET! Well i also despise my spice cabinet, since it's so cramped so I came up with the solution below! YEA! Isn't it pretty! I just love love love it! It was also VERY reasonably priced, i just need to order a few more for the teny tiny spices! YEA!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fruit Tarts!

This was incredible! It was so tasty and only 3, yes i say 3 weight watcher points each!!
Ready Made Graham Cracker Pie Crust (the 4oz ones, 6 in a pack)
4 individual cups of sugar free vanilla pudding (come 4 in a pack)
pint of strawberries
then a small container of: blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries (obviously you can use any berries you want, just have the same amount in total)
the a small jar of sugar-free apricot preserves.
Place around 2tbsp of pudding in the bottom of the pie/tart crust
top with berries (distributed evenly among the cups, i did a layer of strawberry slices then topped with the other berries)
Place preserves in a bowl and microwave until it is melted and liquid
Drizzle about a Tbsp over each tart!

Beef Stew! YUMM!

Doesn't this just look like comfort in a bowl??? Well it IS!!! What goes better with a chilly night, a fire crackling, and dogs cuddling? STEW! Even better, i made this on Election Tuesday so in case there were long lines at the polls I wouldn't have to worry about making dinner. Well, our lines were not even there, yea NO ONE was in front of me, but the stew was still GREAT!
2lbs lean beef cutlets (stew meat)
around 5-6 potatoes cubed
half a small cabbage chopped
Large container of low sodium beef broth
4 mini cans of veggie juice
bag of mixed veggies
1 medium onion chopped
garlic powder, pepper, and salt to taste.
throw it all in a crock pot and cook on low for 8ish hours. My cooked for 10 and was fine! Oh and one bowl (about 5c) is 6 Weight Watcher points!

i know i know... here's your updates:

So i don't have any AMAZING weight loss update but i do have a plan. Here it is:
My friend Tina and I joined a group at work that will have us working out Tuesdays and Thursdays for a bootcamp and weighing in on Tuesdays during a weight loss group meeting! (Accountability!) Then Tina and I are also going to walk/jog/etc with each other during lunches (as many as possible)... and i'll doing my 30-min shred at home and walk the dogs. We have to bring in a food list this week and what a list it will be for me! YIKES! Oh well, here's to honesty!

I carved this pumpkin on Thursday(10/30)... took FOREVER! But it was fun and worth it! Then i made Chris some Old Bay Spiced pumpkin seeds! YUM!

i LOVE handing out candy to the kids and make them little bags every year... Chris puts up with my need to please but he did think i looked cute so he insisted on a picture! lol, I love that guy!

Here is my Humble little house on Halloween! I thought it was very cute!

This is my neighbors house for Halloween, as you can see she put me to shame!

So on Saturday 11/1 some friends of ours were having a Halloween party... of course Chris and I couldn't go b/c of his out patient surgery he had the day before but low and behold he fell asleep on the couch and I was DYING for some entertainment! So i called up our friends Tuck and Martiena and said "I'm IN!" and I had an hour to get a costume together... well the girl throwing the party wanted all the girls to be a little slutty and, well, i just wasn't comfortable with that since I'm just beginning my weight loss journey again. So i got inspired and decided to go as Dead Sexy! OH YEA! It was a HUGE hit actually! I must apologize to Christina though for having to sacrifice her bridesmaid dress to this cause~

One of my favorites, Martiena and I

And Tuck and Martiena as Bond, James Bond and his girl Eglours Tata!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Biscuits and eggs!

Yes I am southern, and No I do not make biscuits... why you may ask??? Because my dad always did! Why should I when he makes perfectly heavenly ones???
So on Sunday morning I was up nice and early and decided to give it a go... now they weren't like my dad's but they were Very tasty!
For the biscuits i just used a basic recipe I found in my Betty Crocker cookbook.
For the Eggs, I sauteed onions and bell pepper in butter then added the following mixture:
some egg whites (from egg beaters) then a few regular eggs, cheese, milk, pepper, and pepperoni, chopped into small pieces. Cook until scrambled... and YUM!

Apple Pie!

I have been dying to blog this, my mom's apple pie! Now mine doesn't look terribly beautiful but it's sooo yummy!
8 c thinly sliced golden delicious apples
1 c sugar
1/3 c flour
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
dash of salt
mix all together

fill in a pie shell

1 c flour
1/2 c butter
3/4 c brown sugar
mix together to make a crumble topping and sprinkle over filling

Heat oven to 425
Wrap an aluminium foil tent over the pie and bake for around 40mins
Take off tent and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, until the top is golden brown!

Beer Sausage Pasta!

I got this recipe from Katie, who got it from Williams and Sonoma.... sooo good! Anything with beer in the title and you can sign my husband up too! I just decided to serve mine over penne pasta, and it was a GREAT decision!
here's the low down!
Ale-Braised Sausage and Peppers
adapted from Williams-Sonoma

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 lb. cooked sausages, such as kielbasa, sliced
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour, divided
1 1/2 c. ale (I used Sam Adam's Oktoberfest and it worked perfectly...i used this too)
1 1/2 c. low sodium chicken stock
3 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped (right so i didn't have any fresh so i used ground... tasted great)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

-In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil.
-Add the sausages and cook, stirring and turning often, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes.
-Transfer to a plate.
-Add the onion and bell pepper to the pot, reduce the heat to medium, and sauté until tender and golden, about 5 minutes.
-Add 2 Tbsp flour and cook, stirring, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes.
-Whisk in the ale until the mixture is smooth and bubbly.
-Add the thyme and broth, whisking to blend, and bring to a simmer.
-Return the sausages to the pot.
-Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the flavors are blended, about 15 minutes.
-Uncover and simmer until the sauce is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
-Season with salt and pepper.
-Remove the sausage, peppers, and onions and place on a serving platter.
-With the Dutch oven over medium high heat, whisk in 1 heaping Tbsp of flour, whisking constantly until thickened, about 1-2 minutes.
-Pour thickened sauce over sausages and serve immediately with mashed potatoes.
-Serves 4 to 6.

Pumpkin Cheesecake! Yumm

Oh yeah, this looks good and you know what it tasted good! But, are you ready for the best part? It's a weight watchers recipe and only 3pts a slice! YES!!!! AND Chris, my official taste tester, LOVED IT!
9 graham crackers, made into crumbs (i used a fat free verizon i found)
1 c low-fat cottage cheese
3/4 c part-skim ricotta cheese
3/4 c egg substitute
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
One 15-oz canned pumpkin puree

preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9"pie plate
Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs over the bottom of the pie plate
In a blender, combine the cottage cheese and ricotta, process until smooth, about 1 minute.
Transfer to large bowl, stir in the egg substitute, sugar, ginger, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt.
Reserve 1/4 c of the batter.
Add the pumpkin to the batter and sir until blended.
Scrape the batter into the pie plate, then drizzle the reserved batter in 3 concentric circles over the pumpkin batter. With a knife, lightly draw a line through the batter from the center toward the outer edge, about 2" from that line, lightly draw the knife through the batter from the outer edge toward the center. Repeat around pie.

Bake until knife inserted in the center comes out clean (45-50 minutes). Cool completely and then refrigerate.

It took at lot longer then 50mins for mine to cook for some reason... but it was worth the wait!

3 pts a slice! Makes 6 servings!


Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip cookies!
I Made them! and they were eddible... not only that but GOOD! YES! Okay so many of you don't know this but i have a problem with making homemade cookies. I am so bad at it that my husband, who loves me very much, as requested that I not make them, I'm serious! So I have joined a cookie exchange in December and realized that I better start practicing! So I got out my cookie cookbook I was given in college and told Chris that I was not to be distracted because I MUST concore this! AND I DID! I was nervous, and I saw the hesitation in Chris eyes as he went for the first bite, but you know they were great! I even gave some to the neighbors and one of the little girls told me that I was a great cook! I'm not lying! YES! So here's my cookie recipe and enjoy!

Ingredients (I doubled this so I would have enough cookies)
1 c all purpose flower
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 c butter
3/4 c firmly packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c crunchy peanut butter (I used creamy b/c it's all I had)
1 c Chocolate chips

Shift together the flour, baking soda and salt, set aside
With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
In another bowl, mix the egg and vanilla extract, then gradually beat into the butter mixture.
Stir in the peanut butter and blend throughly. Stir in the dry ingredients. Last but not least stir in the chocolate chips.
Chill for at least 30 minutes, until firm.
Preheat oven to 350
Spoon onto cookie sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes.
I found 11 1/2 minutes to be perfect (oh yes i tested different times to get it just right!)