Bunny Bark

Easter is already here next weekend. I thought this bunny bark looked super cute when I saw it on pinterest. It’s not only super cute but super good. I like the fact that it’s sweet, but when you bite into the pretzel you get the saltiness. You can do so many different variations of this. You could use the Spring Time oreos for more color, jelly beans, or m&m’s. I used double stuffed oreos, pretzels, and malted milk eggs. This bark screams Easter to me and I think it’s really something different than taking a cupcake and putting some jelly beans on them. Not like there’s anything wrong with that. Have fun making this bark and playing around with all the different kinds of Easter candy there is out there!

Recipe from Your Home Based Mom

Ingredients

14 whole Oreos, broken up.
1 1/2 C pretzels, broken into pieces. I used the small stick pretzels
1 lb. white chocolate, almond bark or melts found in the bulk food section
1 C candy corn or M & M’s
Colored sprinkles

Instructions

Cover a large cookie sheet with wax paper.
Spread broken cookies, pretzels and about 3/4 C of the candy corn or M & M’s onto the waxed paper.
Place white chocolate in a container and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Stir and then microwave for another 30 seconds until melted and smooth. White chocolate melts faster and burns easier than chocolate.
Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cookie mixture, spreading with spatula if needed to coat evenly.
Sprinkle remaining candy corn and colored sprinkles over the chocolate while it is still wet. Do not let it harden.
Place cookie tray into refrigerator until set and firm. Remove and gently break bark into small pieces.
Store in air tight container.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

I read the Hunger Games this weekend. I wanted to see what all the hype was about now that the movie is out. I was kind of confused why the Capitol made the children go out and fight to death, and I found it interesting the different types of food they ate in the future and how hard it was to find the food. I won’t go on and say anything else so I don’t spoil it for someone who hasn’t read the book yet.

Since they ate a lot of bread  in the movies, I decided to make some of my own this weekend. I made some cinnamon raisin bread. This recipe was very hard to follow because it was so long. I like shorter recipe instructions but I decided to give this a shot, because it looked so good in the picture. It took quite awhile to make because I had to sit there and wait for the bread to rise, then roll it out, and make the sugar mixture… and then roll it out again into  a rope to make the little pretty braided detail at the top… It still tasted very good after all that hard work though. Mine didn’t rise as high as I thought it would. Probably because I was too impatient. ;) It’s good toasted in the oven with a little butter.

 

Ingredients from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

Dough
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 3/4 cups (20 2/3 oz) bread flour
3/4 cup (2 3/4 oz) nonfat dry milk powder
1/3 cup (2 1/3 oz) sugar
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 1/2 cups (12 oz) warm water (about 110 F)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz) raisins

Filling
1 cup (4 oz) confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten with pinch of salt (for egg wash)

To make the dough: Cut the butter into 32 small cubes. Add to a small bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of the flour then set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, whisk the remaining flour, milk powder, sugar, and yeast together. Add the water and egg, then use the dough hook to mix on medium-low speed until the dough comes together in a sticky mass. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let the dough stand for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil.

Remove the plastic from the bowl and add the salt. Mix on medium-low until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 7-15 minutes. It will just barely clear the sides of the bowl (it’s stickier than most dough I’ve made, so don’t be concerned if that’s the case – don’t add more flour). With the mixer still running, add the butter – a few pieces at a time – and continue kneading until the butter is completely incorporated and the dough is smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes longer. Again, it might be wet and sticky, don’t add flour. Add the raisins and mix just until incorporated. Spray a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray and transfer the dough to that bowl. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dough over itself by gently lifting from the bottom and folding the edge of the dough toward the middle. Turn the bowl 90 degrees (1/4 turn) and repeat. Do this 6 more times, for a total of 8 folds. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and transfer to the middle rack of your oven. Pour about 3 cups of the boiling water into a loaf or cake pan and place in the bottom of your oven. Close oven and let the dough rise for 45 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the oven. Use the rubber spatula to gently press down on the dough to deflate. Again make 8 folds repeating the process used above. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and return to the oven. Let rise until doubled in volume, about 45 more minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling by whisking together the confectioners’ sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract and salt. Spray two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it in half. Working with one half, press it into a 6 x 11-inch rectangle. With a short side facing you, fold the sides in over one another (like a business letter) to form a rough 3 x 11-inch rectangle. Starting on the short side, roll the dough up and away from you into a ball. Adding more flour to the work surface as necessary, roll the ball into a 7 x 18-inch rectangle (my dough was fairly elastic and kept shrinking back, but keep working it and it’ll eventually relax). Using a spray bottle, lightly spray the dough with water. Sprinkle half of filling mixture evenly over dough, leaving about a 1/4-inch border on the sides (the long sides) and 3/4-inch border on top and bottom (the short sides). Spray the filling lightly with water. With a short side facing you, roll the dough away from you into a tight cylinder. Pinch the seam of the loaf closed, as well as the ends. Dust the loaf lightly with flour and let rest for 10 minutes. Repeat with the second piece of dough.

Working with 1 loaf at a time, cut the loaf in half lengthwise using a sharp knife. Rotate the halves so the cut sides face up. Stretch each piece lengthwise until it is about 14 inches long. Pinch the ends of the two pieces together then cross the piece on the left over the one on the right. Keeping the cut sides up, repeat until the pieces are tightly twisted. Pinch the ends together then transfer to one of the prepared loaf pans, cut sides up. Press any exposed raisins gently down into the dough. Repeat this process to form a second loaf.

Cover the loaves loosely with plastic wrap and move them to the oven. Let rise for 45 minutes, then remove from the oven along with the pan of water on the bottom of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 F. Let the loaves rise at room temperature for another 45 minutes, or until almost doubled in size (they should rise about 1 inch over the top of the pan).

Brush the loaves with the egg wash. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the crust is brown, then reduce the oven to 325 F, tent the loaves with aluminum foil, and continue baking until the loaves register 200 F on an instant read thermometer (about 15-25 minutes longer, though I had to go even a little longer on the loaf I baked in a glass Pyrex pan).

Remove the pans to a wire rack and let the loaves cool for 5 minutes, then turn them out and let them cool completely (about 2 hours) before slicing. Store the bread at room temperature well wrapped for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.

3 Point Enchilada Fail!

You know how Weight Watchers has those commercials where they mention the 2 point Enchiladas? I’m not sure whether or not it’s 3 points or 2. Anyways… I thought that was too good to be true. I searched and searched for a recipe online and couldn’t find one.  I also thought the only way to have that done was to use some kind of vegetable as the tortilla. Then,  I came across this tortilla that was only 50 calories and 7 grams of fiber. It’s a Smart & Delicious tortilla and it’s good otherwise. It’s not good when it gets soaked in Enchilada sauce, then it becomes soggy. Yuck. It wasn’t very good. Anyways, I tried. I really did. Maybe someone out there might like soggy tortillas. ;) It’s good for making tacos or quesadillas however.I’m not going to give up though .;)

Also I wondered what greek yogurt would taste like as a filling since it’s used in place of sour cream sometimes. Bobby Dean always uses it too it seems. Anyways.. I just decided to post it because not all recipes work out the way you want them too.

Here’s the recipe if you decide to go ahead and give it a try.

Ingredients

3/4 cup of greek yogurt
1/2 cup of 2% Mexican cheese or reduced fat Mexican cheese
2 tablespoons of salsa
1 teaspoon of taco seasoning
6 servings of Low Carb High fiber tortillas such as Smart & Delicious
3/4 cup of Enchilada sauce

Extra toppings
Cheese
Pico de gallo

In a bowl mix the yogurt, cheese, salsa, and taco seasoning. Place about two tablespoons of the mixture into a tortilla and roll it up.
You don’t have to fold in the edges at all. Spray some cooking spray on top and the enchilada sauce over the tortillas.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Top with extra cheese (more points or pico de gallo.

 

 

 

Breakfast Cookie

I’m learning how to knit. A co-worker is teaching me how to do it and it’s not as hard as I thought it would be. She gave me this recipe for a ginormous  breakfast cookie. If you add in extra things to it like a 1 tablespoon of raisins, chocolate chips, or m & m’s it’s 6 points. Without that stuff it’s only 5. I think a mashed banana or some cinnamon would be good with this too. All the ingredients together reminded me of one of those oatmeal packets but in the shape of cookie. Which, in my opinion makes it even better. ;)

Servings: 1

Points Plus: 6

Ingredients

3/4 ounces of quick cooking oats
2 packets of truiva or other sweetner
1 tablespoon of peanut butter
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons of milk powder
2 tablespoons hot water

Extra Ingredients:

1 tablespoon of raisins or chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl combine all the ingredients and place on a sprayed cookie sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!

Alton Brown’s Meatloaf

Ben and I are fans of Alton Brown and just recently, Ben bought his cookbook online. We’ve been wanting to try the meatloaf recipe, but didn’t want to spend oodles of money on ground chuck and sirloin. I subbed extra lean ground turkey for this recipe and loved the taste. The meatloaf however was over cooked. I don’t know what my problem is with cooking meat to the right temperature? We had a thermomoter too and I was pulling it out to check what the temp was after 30 minutes. Not even close. I even googled to see what the temperature of the meat should be when the turkey was cooked through. One website said 165. Think that’s a little bit too high. Alton’s recipe said 155.

The great thing about this recipe is, that it’s only 3 points per slice using extra lean turkey. I sliced it into 10 equal servings. You could have 2 slices for only 6 points too or make a turkey meatloaf sandwich.

Chop your veggies.

Process the bread croutons and spices together until they look like this.

Next, process the vegetables after you’ve taken out the bread crumbs.

Mix everything together in a bowl. It’s ok to use your hands.

Shape your meat loaf into a loaf form so that it looks like the picture above. Use a bread pan to help you.

We had meatloaf and french fries.

Servings: 10 (That’s per loaf. This recipe makes 2, and I halved the recipe. )

Points Plus: 3 (per slice, cut into 10 equal portions)

 

Ingredients

6 ounces garlic-flavored croutons
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and broken
3 whole cloves garlic
1/2 red bell pepper
18 ounces ground chuck
18 ounces ground sirloin (I used extra lean ground turkey)
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg

For the glaze:

1/2 cup catsup
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Dash hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon honey

Directions

Heat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a food processor bowl, combine croutons, black pepper, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and thyme. Pulse until the mixture is of a fine texture. Place this mixture into a large bowl. Combine the onion, carrot, garlic, and red pepper in the food processor bowl. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped, but not pureed. Combine the vegetable mixture, ground sirloin, and ground chuck with the bread crumb mixture. Season the meat mixture with the kosher salt. Add the egg and combine thoroughly, but avoid squeezing the meat.

Pack this mixture into a 10-inch loaf pan to mold the shape of the meatloaf. Onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, turn the meatloaf out of the pan onto the center of the tray. Insert a temperature probe at a 45 degree angle into the top of the meatloaf. Avoid touching the bottom of the tray with the probe. Set the probe for 155 degrees.

Combine the catsup, cumin, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce and honey. Brush the glaze onto the meatloaf after it has been cooking for about 10 minutes.

Healthier Shamrock Shake

I like how thick and creamy the shamrock shake at Mcdonald’s is. I think it’d be kind of complicated to make it at home since Mcdonald’s uses soft serve ice cream that comes right out of their machine. Usually when we buy it in the stores it’s hard so , that is the main reason why I think it’d be difficult to make it that way. Store bought works just as good though. I think if you really wanted to you could go to an ice cream store  that sells just ice cream and ask for some soft serve. Or, if you have an ice cream machine at home you could make it yourself. Gotta to try that one time. ;)

Here’s my recipe for a shamrock shake that’s healthier. I added a scoop of protein powder to it this time and thought that made it a lot creamier. Very good. All you need is a blender to make this too. Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

Ingredients

Servings: 2

Points Plus: 6

2 cups of fat free vanilla yogurt
1 1/2 cups of 1% milk
4 drops of green food coloring
1/4 tsp of mint extract
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
Extra toppings
Cool Whip Light
Green sprinkles
etc…

Directions

In a blender add all the four ingredients. Puree until smooth. Pour into two glasses and enjoy.

 

 

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

 

In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, I made you a red velvet whoopie pie. I know what you’re thinking…. shouldn’t it be green? Well… a whoopie pie really isn’t Irish now is it? ;)  Ha, just kidding.

I managed to make a whoopie pie for only 5 points a pie. I tried making it lighter but I couldn’t think of what else to change.  Some muffins are around 5 points a piece  so I thought this was ok. If you really want to, you could have a whoopie pie in place of your muffin for breakfast. It wouldn’t be a very healthy breakfast but oh well, right? ;) I also think I found a new favorite frosting. I used some marshmallow fluff in place of all the butter that goes into frosting and it turned out pretty good.

Servings: 22
Points Plus: 5 (1 whoopie pie)

Ingredients

1 box of Red Velvet Cake Mix (18.25oz)
3 eggs
1/8 cup of canola oil
3/4 cup of water

Frosting:
2 cups of powdered sugar
4 tablespoons of light butter
1 cup of marshmallow creme/fluff
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

In a bowl combine the cake mix, 3 eggs, 1/8 cup of oil, and 3/4 cup of water. Stir until well combine. Drop the batter in tablespoons
onto a cookie sheet tray. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, while the whoopie pies are cooking… Mix together in another bowl 2 cups of powdered sugar, 4 tablespoons of light butter,
1 cup of marshmallow fluff, and 1 tsp of vanilla extract.

I used a piping bag to frost the whoopie pies. Makes 22 servings.

Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas

 

At the store last weekend, I bought 2 rotisserie chickens. They were on sale 2 for $10. There’s so many different chicken dishes using rotisserie chicken that you can make and this is one of them. I’ve also made buffalo chicken wraps, using the same method that I made the chicken fajita rollups with. I love Frank’s hot sauce, but the stuff gives me major heart burn and I only will eat it every once and while. If you love buffalo chicken anything then give this a try. Add in some pineapples with it. I know that sounds crazy, but there’s this pita that I like getting at the Pita Pit called the Loco and they put pineapple in it with buffalo chicken. OMG, that is so sooooooo good!

Last night, I had made a buffalo chicken wrap and I was wearing a white shirt. Guess what happened? I spilled on my white shirt which was fairly new by the way. That is the main reason I refuse to wear white, because I know I’ll spill on it. There’s these cute pair of white jeans, that I want to get but I probably won’t for that reason. ;)

Servings: 1

Points Plus 6

Instructions:

1 high fiber low carb tortilla
1/4 cup of diced cooked chicken
2 1 oz slices of reduced fat swiss cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons of buffalo wings sauce such as frank’s
Cooking Spray

Directions:

Spray a non-stick pan with cooking spray.

In a bowl mix together chopped cooked chicken and sauce. Place the tortilla in the middle of the skillet and layer the chicken and the two slices of cheese on top of the chicken. Fold the tortilla over the chicken and cheese. Cook until Tortilla is golden brown on one side and flip and cook the other side until done.