Cheese stuffed Manicotti

Do you watch the Next Iron Chef at all? I think it’s awesome that this time it’s a Super Star battle. I also think that all these chefs could be the Next Iron Chef and they need to have an Iron Chef America 2. That way, everybody will be happy and we don’t have to see Bobby Flay battle it out all the time. It makes me wonder if he’s retiring from being an Iron Chef or which of the Iron Chef’s is retiring next? Morimoto possibly? We finally get to see all those judges on Chopped cook for once, too.

Manicotti, reminds me of the Italian version of enchiladas. The marinara sauce replaces the enchilada sauce, the manicotti shells replace the tortillas, and the cheese is used instead of beef/chicken. Although, I’m sure, either of those would be great in this too. What if I made a Mexican manicotti? *Mental note for next time.

One thing I learned when making manicotti is to use a piping bag to stuff the shells. That made it so much easier! I kind of followed this recipe but made it so that there were only 3 servings of manicotti. The husband is lactose intolerant so he got some spaghetti and just marinara sauce for his dinner. I didn’t use any spinach either, because I didn’t have any, but that would sure make it better and add some more fiber and protein.
Calories: 328 | Fat: 9g | Carbohydrate: 38.3g | Fiber: 3.9g | Protein: 23.8g

Servings: 7 (2 shells each)

Ingredients from Cooking Light

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1 (16-ounce) carton fat-free cottage cheese (I used ricotta)
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry  (left out, but would add more fiber and protein)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (8-ounce) package manicotti (14 shells)
1 (26-ounce) jar fat-free tomato-basil pasta sauce
Cooking spray
1 cup water

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375°.
Combine 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, cottage cheese, and the next 5 ingredients (through black pepper) in a medium bowl. Spoon about 3 tablespoons cheese mixture into each uncooked manicotti. Pour half of tomato-basil pasta sauce into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange stuffed shells in a single layer over sauce, and top with the remaining sauce. Pour 1 cup water into dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella evenly over sauce. Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 375° for 1 hour or until shells are tender. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Spiderweb Cupcakes

Have I mentioned how much I love Halloween before? It’s my favorite Holiday. I love it so much, I made my own grim reaper,

that I found on pinterest.

I made my own tombstones out of Styrofoam and used wooden dowels to keep them in the ground.

I took some old jeans that were no longer being worn, stuffed them with plastic bags and put a shoe on it.That’s fake blood, I found at the Halloween store.

We love to carve pumpkins the night before. Ben likes the easy face pumpkins, and I like to try and carve the hard ones.

f stop: 16

exposure:  3 seconds

I also like to to make sweet Halloween treats, like cupcakes stuffed with Reese’s Peanut Buttercups and decorated with a spiderweb on top. I couldn’t get the right black, and it turned out a dark grey color. They’re so easy to make you pipe some circles on top of the cupcake and use a tooth pick to create the spider web.

C’mon people, it’s Halloween indulge a bit! I also like it simple.

Ingredients

1 box of chocolate cake mix.

1 container of white frosting

black food coloring

12 reese’s peanut butter cups

tooth picks

Directions:

Fill the cupcake half way with batter. Add a Reese’s peanut butter cup in the middle and add the rest of the batter in the cupcake mold. Bake according to directions on the back of the box.

Frost the cupcakes first, with white frosting. Use the black food coloring and color the frosting black. Fill in a pastry bag with the tiniest tip open you can find. Pipe different sized circles on top of the cupcakes. Use your tooth picks to create the spider webs like the picture shows above.

Notes: If you’re watching you’re waste line, make the chocolate cake with a can of soda. Leave out the Reese’s peanut butter cup. For the frosting use fat free or light cool whip. :)

H A P P Y    H A L L O W E E N !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pumpkin-Cinnamon Streusel Buns

Pumpkin Cinnamon buns are great for breakfast on the weekend. I made the dough the night before and let it rise over night. They only take 20 minutes to bake in the oven, so you can prep the streusal and icing while you’re waiting for the oven to heat up.

Some of the cinnamon rolls were not all the same size. As most of you know, I suck at math, and they looked pretty funny in the pan after they cooked because the rolls were all not the same size. I was watching them make cinnamon rolls once on the Food Network and they said to cut the dough in half first, then cut the dough into fourths, and then  eights…. Well I did that and realized that the serving size was 12 and started cutting them even smaller but then that looked weird.. oh well… now I know for the next time I make these.

Calories: 219 | Fat: 6.2 | Protein: 3.8 | Carbohydrate: 36.9 | Fiber: 1.2

Servings: 12

Points Plus: 6

Ingredients from Cooking Light

Buns:
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Cooking spray
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces

Glaze:
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon hot water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

To prepare the buns, dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand for 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Add 2 cups flour, pumpkin, and next 5 ingredients (pumpkin through nutmeg); beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of the remaining 3/4 cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).
Place the dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, for 45 minutes or until doubled in size. (Press two fingers into the dough. If an indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.)
Combine 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Punch dough down; cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Roll the dough into a 12 x 10-inch rectangle on a floured surface. Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture. Roll up the rectangle tightly, starting with a long edge, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets; pinch seam and ends to seal. Cut roll into 12 (1-inch) slices. Place slices in a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 25 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Bake the rolls at 375° for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes in pan on a wire rack.
To prepare the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon water, and vanilla extract in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Drizzle glaze over buns. Serve warm.

Cherry Cheesecake

Every now and then, I’ll run across a recipe on the Weight Watcher website that I HAVE  to try. This recipe happened to be Jennifer Hudson approved. ;) You know it’s good, if Jennifer Hudson approves of it. It’s very rare finding a really good recipe on their daily recipe section. Half the time, I don’t even have the ingredients for those recipes to make.

I couldn’t believe how fast these little cheesecakes were done. It only took 15 minutes in the oven for them to bake. Regular cheesecake takes almost an hour! From now on, this is how I’m going to make my cheese cakes. If I want it to be a different flavor, I’ll just switch up the ingredients.

I made these cheesecakes  last night, and the recipe makes a total of twelve. There’s only 4 left and Ben hasn’t eaten any of them. Oops!  Good thing, he doesn’t like cheese cake.  I had to use oreos for the crust, because we didn’t have any graham crackers. The topping is my favorite part. I could eat a can of cherry pie filling by itself!

Calories 117 | Fat 4.23g | Carbohydrate 15.88g | Fiber 0.3g | Protein 3.6g
Servings: 12
Points Plus: 3
Weight Watcher Recipes

Ingredients from Weight Watchers

3/4 cup(s) graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp light butter, melted
2/3 cup(s) low fat cream cheese
6 Tbsp fat-free cream cheese
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 large egg white(s)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup(s) sugar
3/4 cup(s) light fruit pie filling, cherry

Instructions

Place 12 cupcake liners in a cupcake pan. Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter; mix well. Spoon 1 tablespoon of crumb mixture into bottom of each liner and press down gently; refrigerate until ready to use.

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat both types of cream cheese until fluffy. Add lemon juice, egg whites, vanilla extract and sugar; beat until smooth.

Spoon cream cheese mixture evenly into muffin liners; bake until set, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Top each cheesecake with 1 tablespoon cherry pie filling. Yields 1 cheesecake per serving.

 

 

If you like low point snacks like this give these a try!

Weight Watcher’s Marshmallow Bark 3 PP

marshmallow bark 010

Skinny Frozen Hot Chocolate 3 PP

frozen hot chocolate 008

Skinny Beef Enchiladas

I think my dogs were trying to tell me something tonight. I had gone to the grocery store and picked up a slice of cake, along with things I needed to get for these enchiladas. It’s the best, and the frosting is so good. The cover was on it pretty tightly and while I was cooking these enchiladas they ended up getting into the cake and eating it all. That probably saved me well over 500 calories right there. :) Hopefully, they don’t get sick later on.

Here is my version of beef enchiladas.  I hope you like it. I tried to think of more ways to get some fiber in there and make them a bit healthier so I grated a small zucchini and onion to add in the beef mixture. When I say grated, I mean finally pulverized. If you have a food processor use that and it’s so fast. :) You won’t even know the veggies are in there, if you do it that way. We both really loved these and actually think they’re better than the chicken enchiladas. Ground chicken enchiladas would probably be really good too.

Weight Watcher Recipes

Calories 318 | Fat 10.28g | Carbohydrate 23.58g  | Fiber 2.2g  | Protein 31.52g

Servings: 10

Points Plus: 8 (I know this doesn’t sound like much since you can only have 1, but try having a serving of refried beans with it to make it filling).

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds of lean ground beef
1/2 a small onion
1 small zucchini
1 cup of tomato sauce
2 cloves of garlic
2 cans of enchilada sauce (I used a bottle of Trader Joe’s enchilada sauce)
10 6 in flour tortillas
8 oz of low fat Mexican cheese blend
Cooking spray

Directions

Preheat oven to 375.

Brown ground beef in a pan until it’s no longer pink. Drain any extra fat. Add in
zucchini, onion, garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add in 1 cup of tomato sauce and 1 cup of
enchilada sauce.

Place about 1/2 cup of beef mix onto a flour tortilla and roll up like a burrito and lay seem
side down in a 9 X 13 baking dish. When all flour tortillas are done spray with cooking spray.
Cook enchiladas for 20 minutes. Take out of the oven, and pour on enchilada sauce and top with
cheese.

Crock Pot Caramel Apples

Crock pot caramel apples. The recipe may seem really easy to make, considering the fact that there’s only one ingredient that you have to melt in the crock pot. However, it’s kind of hard to dip the apples and make sure the apples get all evenly coated with caramel goodness. Also, the caramel tends to harden quickly so you have to work fast in order to get any toppings on the caramel. It takes about a good hour on high for it all to melt.

When I was dipping the apples one of the sticks ended up falling out so make sure the sticks are in the apple pretty well.  Use whatever topping you want to or no toppings at all. I think next time, I might try making my own caramel.

Oh yah, and since people really seem to like the Weight Watcher recipes, I’m going to try and start posting more. Maybe even try to come up with some of my own. I’ve been slacking on those recipes. Sorry!

Ingredients from A Year of Slow Cooking

Caramel candies
caramel w/ popsicle sticks
apples (one bag of caramel makes 4 large apples)
nuts/sprinkles
2 T water

The Directions.

Use a 1.5 quart or larger crockpot—I used a 4 quart.

Unwrap all of the caramel, and add them and 2 tablespoons of water to the crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 1 to 2 hours, checking every 20 minutes or so. The caramel is ready when it is shiny and can be stirred easily.

Put the popsicle sticks into the apples by the stems. Use a spoon to ladle the caramel over the apple, and swirl to completely cover the whole thing. Dip into chopped nuts or sprinkles if desired.

Let cool on parchment paper or Release foil.

Anybody out there???

I’m starting to become really annoyed with this blog lately, and yet I still continue to post recipes and pictures hoping that someone will respond one day. I continue to submit pictures to foodgawker and get annoyed when they don’t approve of a photo.

I know that you visit it, because my tracker is showing anywhere from 5o0 to 1500 hits per day. The most amount of time people spend on this site is 50 seconds and no one ever comments.Why is that, is it because I’m boring? Or is it because people are just too lazy these days to comment on anything?

Paula Deen’s Monster Mash

I said in a previous post that I’ve been in a Halloween food rut recently. There’s just nothing really cool I want to make for Halloween this year. I was watching Paula Deen on her show and her son Jamie was on there for a Halloween episode. That show should be called Paula Deen and Son’s, because every other episode, one of her two sons is on there. If it wasn’t for Paula, her sons wouldn’t be popular… just saying. I don’t have anything against that family. I love Paula Deen. She has great recipes… like this one.

Monster Mash is a bean dip made with cheese, rotel tomatoes, taco seasoning and of course beans. Beans are super filling to me and this could be eaten as a meal, which is what I did tonight. It was cheesy delicious and there’s still plenty of left over to have later on this week. For dessert, we had candy corn m & m’s.

I was at Wal-Mart and discovered that Oretega now has a less sodium taco seasoning and that made me really happy to see that! I wish other companies would get on with that too. Anyways.. I also got a bag of these Candy Corn M & M’s that I’ve seen people raving about on the Internet lately.They’re so delicious and way better than candy corns.

Ingredients from Paula Deen

Butter, for baking dish
2 (20.5-ounce) cans refried black beans
1 (10-ounce) can tomatoes and green chiles, drained
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
2 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese blend, plus 2 cups for topping
Tortilla chips, for serving

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degree F. Lightly butter a 2-quart baking dish.

In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake until hot and bubbly, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and top with the remaining cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted. Serve with tortilla chips.