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 … Continue reading
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Points Plus: 6
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
1 tablespoon of raisins or chocolate chips
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!
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)
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
For the glaze:
1/2 cup catsup
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Dash hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon honey
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.
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!
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
Cool Whip Light
In a blender add all the four ingredients. Puree until smooth. Pour into two glasses and enjoy.
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.
Points Plus: 5 (1 whoopie pie)
1 box of Red Velvet Cake Mix (18.25oz)
1/8 cup of canola oil
3/4 cup of water
2 cups of powdered sugar
4 tablespoons of light butter
1 cup of marshmallow creme/fluff
1 tsp vanilla extract
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.
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 … Continue reading
This soup was so easy to make. Just dump all the ingredients into a large pot and cook the noodles until they’re done. The chicken is already cooked so you don’t have to mess with that. You get 4 points for one cup and it’s very filling. Ben had 2 cups for 6 points and he said that he felt very satisfied. This one was on the Weight Watcher website last week. You won’t have to buy store bought Chicken Noodle soup in the can anymore after making this one.
Points Plus: 4
Ingredients from Weight Watcher’s Website
2 tsp salted butter
1 large uncooked onion(s), finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp table salt, divided
64 oz reduced-sodium chicken broth
4 oz uncooked pasta, small shape such as ditalini (about 1 cup)
10 oz frozen mixed vegetables, such as peas, carrots, corn and green beans
15 oz canned tomatoes, petite cut, rinsed and drained
6 oz cooked skinless, boneless chicken breast(s), chopped
1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup(s) chives, fresh, chopped (optional)
Melt butter in a large stockpot over medium-low heat. Add onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring often, until onion is soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
Add broth and increase heat to high; bring to a boil. Stir in pasta, frozen vegetables and tomatoes; cook until pasta is done, about 7 minutes.
Stir in chicken, cheese, lemon juice, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, pepper and chives; cook 1 more minute to heat through. Yields about 1 1/2 cups soup per serving.
There’s another pie contest at work, and I’m thinking about entering this one. How could you not win, with this? Graham cracker crust, chocolate filling, and melted marshmallows on top? That screams first place to me. The recipe doesn’t even have to be your own either. The last time there was a pie contest, I won first place. I got a trophy for it too. It was pretty fun.
This recipe isn’t point friendly by the way. Ben figured it out and it’s 18 points a slice. But… don’t worry I’m going to be making a lighter version of this. Just you wait. In the mean time, you can drool over the picture. I really like how pretty this pie is with the toasted marshmallows on top.
Recipe from Pixelated Crumb
Graham Cracker Crust
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 16 whole graham cracker rectangles)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup milk
10 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
Pinch of salt
2 eggs, whisked
1 bag of large marshmallows (you’ll only need about half of the bag)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C).
In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter until evenly coated. Press mixture into a 9 inch pie plate (I used a shallow pie plate and didn’t need all of the crumb mixture). Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until fragrant. Keep the oven running.
In a medium saucepan, whisk together cream and milk. Warm over medium-low heat. Add in chocolate and stir until chocolate has melted and is smooth. Slowly add the whisked eggs and mix until smooth.
Pour the chocolate filling into baked pie crust. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until chocolate filling is set and does not move when pie is lightly shaken. Remove from oven.
Using kitchen shears, cut marshmallows in half. Place halves in concentric circles over the top of the pie until it’s covered.
Set oven to broil. Place pie under the broiler and lightly toast the marshmallows. This can take anywhere from 1-5 minutes, so watch those marshmallows very closely!
Chill the pie in the refrigerator to set for at least 2-3 hours.
To serve, spray a knife with non-stick cooking spray and cut the cold pie into slices. While the pie can be eaten cold, it’s really best when slightly warmed. Heat the pie slices in a microwave for 8-12 seconds before serving for the best results. Drizzle with chocolate sauce, if desired.
Number of servings: 8-10
I think I found my new favorite lunch! The pico de gallo and lettuce you can have already in your fridge. You can buy one of those rotisserie chickens and have that already diced up to. Once it’s lunch time, lay out your flour tortilla, add the cheese, chicken, and some seasoning, and before you’ll know it you’ll have a tasty wrap for lunch. I’ve been in a lunch rut lately as one of my previous posts stated, but now I think I won’t be any more. This is so delicious and I love to dip it in some low fat ranch.
This is my version of the Chicken Fajita Rollups at Applebee’s, my favorite thing to get there. They serve it with some fries and chipotle dipping sauce on the side. My Mom and I ate lunch there awhile ago and she had a Cheeseburger Quesadilla. Might have to try making that one myself too.
I think I’m going to start taking a screen capture of the Nutrition info that I find and posting the label on my blog instead in image format. What do you all think of it this way instead of just typing it all out?
Had to re-calculate points since WW wasn’t matching up with my Nutrition info.
1 wrap = 9 points
1/3 cup of chopped shredded lettuce
2 oz reduced fat cheddar cheese (1/3 cup)
2 oz cooked boneless skinless chicken breast (1/3 cup
1 low carb, high fiber tortilla – such as Smart and Delicious
Pico de Gallo
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 small onion
1/2 green bell pepper
1 bunch of cilantro
1. Combine all the veggies in a food processor and pulse until chunky. I only pulsed mine about 4 times. You don’t want it to end up looking like salsa.
2. Combine cooked chicken, cheese and fajita seasoning. Layer onto a tortilla and cook in microwave until cheese is melted. I used about a 1/3 cup of cheddar cheese, 2 ounces of cooked chicken and a dash of fajita seasoning.
3. Spread some lettuce about 1/3 cup onto your tortilla and some pico de gallo. Roll up the tortilla into a wrap. Enjoy!
Chocolate and Mint are probably one of my favorite flavor combos. These cookies sure deliver on that too. Perfect for Saint Patrick’s Day coming up. I found this recipe at Six Sister’s Fun stuff. The name of the blog almost reminds me of a shop that I go to in the Summer time. There are some really good recipes on that website and just about everything looks good looks.
I am probably bad for not trying to make these cookies lighter. Sorry for that, but sometimes I just feel like making the real thing. I kind of want to go through some of the really fattening recipes on this website and try to make them lighter.
Grasshoper Mint Cookies from Six Sisters Stuff
1 Devil’s Food Cake Mix (I like the ones with pudding in the mix the best)
1/2 cup oil
Mix cake mix, oil, and eggs together (do not follow the directions on the back of the cake mix- disregard them completely). Drop spoonfuls of dough onto baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-9 minutes (don’t cook any longer than that! You don’t want them to be overdone!). Let cookies cool completely.
1/2 c. butter, softened
2 Tablespoons milk
2 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
Green food coloring (optional- I added about 8 drops to get the colors of green that I had)
Mix together all the ingredients (add more or less powdered sugar until you get the consistency you like). Spread on top of each cooled cookie.
2 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 c. butter
Melt chocolate chips and butter together in a double boiler OR in a microwave (I usually microwave for 30-second intervals, then stir and repeat until the chips are fully melted). Spread melted chocolate on each cookie- I have found that it works best to use the back of a spoon to spread the chocolate around.