Pistachio-Chai Muffins

Here is something that you might find odd. I’ve never really been able to make tea before. It either comes out too strong or not right. I’ve never tried Chai before either. Chai is a very interesting combination of flavors. It’s a spice blend of Cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon. When these muffins were baking in the oven, I could definitely smell the cinnamon. The house smelled really good.

These muffins are only 5 points plus a piece and the best part about these muffins are, that they still have butter! There is also a recipe for Tuscan Lemon muffins, Bacon Cheddar Corn muffins, and Chocolate muffins that I want to try as well. I’ll be having a muffin party at our house. :) Can’t forget the the mimosas. :)

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Calories: 192 | Fat: 6.2g | Carbohydrate: 30.5g | Fiber: 0.9g | Protein: 3.9g
Points Plus: 5
Servings: 12

Ingredients from Cooking Light
|
7 9/10 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 3/4 cups)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 chai blend tea bags, opened
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
1/3 cup shelled dry-roasted pistachios, chopped
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon water

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Cut open tea bags; add tea to flour mixture, stirring well. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine buttermilk, butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and egg in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

3. Place 12 muffin-cup liners in muffin cups; coat liners with cooking spray. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle nuts evenly over batter. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack.

4. Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, powdered sugar, and 1 tablespoon water, stirring until smooth. Drizzle evenly over muffins.

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Banana Bread (Weight Watchers Recipe)

Cranberry-Banana Bread (adapted from Weight Watchers)
# of Servings: 12, 5 points + per slice.
1 spray(s) cooking spray
1 cup(s) all-purpose flour
2/3 cup(s) whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp table salt
3/4 cup(s) sugar
3 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup(s) fat-free egg substitute
3 medium banana(s), ripe, peeled and mashed (about 1 ¼ cups)
1/2 cup(s) cranberries, fresh, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9- x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine both flours, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat sugar and oil with an electric mixer at medium speed until sugar begins to dissolve, about 2 minutes.

Beat in egg substitute; beat in mashed bananas. Scrape down sides of bowl and remove beaters; stir in flour mixture and cranberries with a rubber spatula, making sure you scrape down sides of bowl to moisten everything.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan; smooth top. Bake until browned (a toothpick inserted into center of bread should come out with a few moist crumbs), about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Place pan on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes; then turn loaf out of pan to continue cooling on rack. Slice loaf into twelve 3/4-inch-thick pieces.

Once completely cooled, the loaf can be stored at room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap. Yields 1 slice per serving.

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Hurray for Day Light Savings! I actually took this picture after 5:00 pm today and was so happy that light was still coming through our 3 seasons porch. Sure beats taking everything downstairs.

Now, since it’s lighter out and the temperatures are getting warmer, my dog Jerry Lee likes to sit outside in the snow chewing on his bone for hours. He doesn’t mind the  temps outside, since he has such a thick coat of fur on right now.  He’s getting a hair cut sometime next month. :)

I really liked this banana bread recipe. It called for fresh cranberries, but I left those out. It’s a low fat recipe, and I kind of do miss the butter and eggs in the normal banana bread recipe that we use. At least it’s healthier. We have a a huge bag of frozen bananas in our deep freeze downstairs. Gotta start using those up!

Thank you to everybody who’s been joining my facebook fan page, I now have 71 fans. (Woohoo!) Let’s make it 100!!!

Edamame Hummus

Calories: 105.7  | Fat: 6.7 g | Protein: 32.4 g | Carb: 5.9 g | Fiber: 3.0 g | 5 points +

Ingredients (adapted from skinnytaste.com)

1 1/2 cups edamame (green soy beans) cooked and shelled
2 tbsp tahini paste (sesame seed paste)
1/4 cup water plus more if needed
1 tsp lemon zest
juice of one lemon
1 clove garlic, crushed
Kosher salt to taste
pepper
2 tsp olive oil
black and white sesame seeds as a garnish (optional)

In a food processor, blend soy beans, tahini, water, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, salt, pepper and 1 tsp olive oil until smooth. Add more water if needed until consistency is smooth. Place in a bowl and top with remainder oil and sesame seeds. Serve with your favorite vegetables.

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I don’t like edamame hummus. It has a weird texture compared to regular hummus. It’s edible though, so I’ll eat it. :) The crackers I even made myself, and those were made out of chick peas too. There’s a recipe for them in the March issue of Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food. I think I’m a little bit crazy for making my own crackers.  That’s something, that I probably won’t do again. It’s not like the process was difficult, but crackers are one of those foods that I’d rather just buy in the store and not make myself. Homemade pita chips are better than these crackers!

I am so glad tomorrow is Friday, this has been an uber long week! Can’t wait to take my usual Friday nap whenever that will happen. We’ve got a busy afternoon of trying cake samples and meeting with the guy who is going to be designing our invitations. There’s even a couple of Weight Watcher recipes, that I want to try. A crab dip, banana cranberry bread, and baked ziti with turkey sausage!

Chocolate Ricotta Mousse

Weight Watcher Recipes

Calories:166 |  Fat:7g | Protein:11g | Carb:18g | Fiber:1g | 5 points +

2 cups part-skim ricotta
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt

In a food processor (or blender should work) blend ricotta and cocoa powder until completely smooth. Transfer to a large bowl.

Place egg whites, sugar, salt in a medium heatproof mixing bowl (metal) and place bowl on top of a pot of simmering water.

Cook and whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is warm, about 3 minutes.

Remove bowl from heat and beat with an electric mixer on high, until stiff peaks form (about 5 minutes).

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold egg white mixture into the bowl with ricotta until well combined.

Divide into 6 6 oz ramekins or small bowls and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

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Do not be tempted to eat this mousse mixture right away. It will taste ok, but not that great. Be patient and wait the whole three hours because it will get really creamy and thick. I wish I would have had some cool whhhip to dollip on top of this mousse. You have to say Cool Whip like Stewy does on the Family Guy. I love that episode. :)

I have also decided to start putting nutrition info on my posts, since people like that right?

Ham and Spinach Quiche

Cooking Light

1  (15-oz.) package refrigerated pie crusts
1  egg white, lightly beaten
6  bacon slices          (left out)
1/2  cup  chopped onion       ( 1/2 cup chopped onion)
1  cup  sliced fresh mushrooms   (1/2 cup of spinach)
1 1/2  cups  half-and-half    ( 1 cup of 1 % Milk)
1  cup  chopped cooked ham
6  eggs, lightly beaten          ( 3 large eggs, 3 egg whites)
1/2  teaspoon  seasoning salt
1/2  teaspoon  black pepper
2  cups  (8 oz.) shredded Swiss cheese    (1 cup of mozzarella cheese part-skim)
2  tablespoons  all-purpose flour

*Changes I made are in parenthesis.

Preparation
1. Fit 1 piecrust into a 9-inch deep-dish pieplate according to package directions; trim dough around edges of pieplate.

2. Place remaining piecrust on a lightly floured surface; cut desired shapes with a decorative 1-inch cookie cutter. Brush edge of piecrust in pieplate with beaten egg white; gently press dough shapes onto edge of piecrust. Pierce bottom and sides with a fork.

3. Line piecrust with parchment paper or aluminum foil; fill piecrust with pie weights or dried beans.

4. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Remove weights and parchment paper; bake 5 more minutes, and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.

5. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 2 tsp. drippings in pan. Crumble bacon, and set aside.

6. Sauté chopped onion and mushrooms in hot drippings 3 to 4 minutes or until tender.

7. Stir together bacon, onion mixture, half-and-half, and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine cheese and flour; add to bacon mixture, stirring until blended. Pour mixture into crust.

8. Bake at 350° for 45 to 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. (Shield edges with aluminum foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary.) Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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I made this recipe today, to get rid of some leftover ham from Easter. Guess what?! We STILL have ham leftover. I am getting very sick of it fast too. A quiche, can help you with that. I changed things up again in this recipe to make it lighter. The bacon was left out. I used 3 whole eggs, and 3 egg whites, 1 cup of part skim mozarrella cheese, and I just realized I left out the milk. WOOPS! I was planning on using 1% milk and totally forgot it,  in this recipe. Maybe that is why it wasn’t very filling?  There was also some spinach added in to give it some more fiber per serving. In the end with the milk added if you so choose to, this Ham and Spinach Quiche recipe ended up being 232 calories, 12.2 grams of fat and 1.4 grams of fiber. There is a total of 6 servings in this recipe.

I will be lightening up a lot of recipes now. Ben and I went and took pictures outside this afternoon because I wanted something to do and a victim to practice with. I’ve been really thinking about getting into the photography business lately because, I think I’d like that more than building websites. There is a room in our new house that will be great for building a studio with. In one of the pictures that Ben took of me,  I noticed I was getting a little double chin look. Eek! We have our engagement pictures coming up in October and I don’t want that. So, I’m going to try and be VERY, VERY good here and not bake any sweets or anything bad for you. I went to Sam’s Club this morning and bought this huge bag of Craisins to munch on instead of chips. Thomas Bagel Thins are awesome too. Check them out. I heard they can be found at Wal-Mart too. It is nice to see a bagel that is very low and calories and still tastes good.