Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mmmmmmmmm pie!

So I had to try this.  It was pretty good.  It would have helped if my bananas weren't so mushy.  I also think some cinnamon in the crust mix wouldn't hurt anyone.

Banana Cream Pie
Adapted from Weight Watchers Cookbook

  •  24 low-fat honey graham crackers, made into crumbs (6 full sheets)
  •  2 tablespoons butter ( I think this would work best melted.  I did not and it took a while to mix in)
  •  2 teaspoons water
  •  3 large bananas  (thinly sliced on the diagonal)
  •   2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1 whole lime)
  •   1 packet (2 oz) unflavored gelatin
  •   1/2 cup cold water
  •   1/3 cup sugar
  •   1 1/2 cups plain, fat-free yogurt
  •   1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  •   grated lime zest (from used lime, optional)
  1.   Preheat the oven to 350 degrees; spray a 9-inch pie plate with nonstick spray.
  2.  In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter and water with a fork.
  3.  Press into the bottom  of the pie plate. Bake until firm, 5-10 minutes; cool.
  4. In another medium bowl, toss the bananas with the lime juice ( I did this loosely with a spatula to avoid breaking the bananas); reserve 1 cup. Arrange the remaining bananas over the crust. (It is best to place them one by one)
  5. In a small saucepan, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water; let stand 2 minutes. Add the sugar; cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils and the gelatin and sugar dissolve, 2-3 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat; whisk in the yogurt and vanilla.Pour into the pie plate. 
  7. Arrange the reserved bananas over the pie (again, it is best to do this one by one); sprinkle with lime zest.
  8. Refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, until chilled, 2-3 hours.

Monday, June 21, 2010

I take for granted how nice it is to cook for 2

My cousin's husband has basically been living with us Monday-Friday for the last 3 weeks while he works on our patio.  Having perfected cooking for just us two, it threw a wrench in my operation to now cook for 3 every night. Well, he went home this weekend so it was just us for dinner last night.  I'm doing Weight Watchers and Frank is just on a quest to eat healthy, so I have been cooking as healthy as I can.  I made this recipe up last night:

Shrimp Kabobs

  • 1 bag of medium sized shrimp (approx. 28 shrimp)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into quarters 
  • 1 large green bell pepper, cut into quarters 
  • 1 whole lemon
  • 1 whole lime
  • 1 packet of sazon
1.  Soak your skewers, for a few hours prior to cooking, in a bowl full of water
2.  Assemble skewers.  Alternate green pepper, shrimp, red pepper, shrimp, green pepper, etc.  You should have 4 shrimp and 5 peppers.
3. Squeeze lemon and lime over skewers.  Sprinkle with sazon.
4.  Grill for approx 4 minutes on each side.

Disassemble skewers, remove tails and serve over a bed of brown rice.

3 skewers over 2/3 cup of brown rice = 5.5 points

Friday, June 18, 2010

Italian Sausage & Pepper Pasta

I am on my 3rd week of Weight Watchers and I have to say I am really enjoying it.  I was doing the South Beach Diet for a couple of months and hit a plateau.  I needed more flexibility with my menu now that summer is here and social engagements make it hard to say no to so many glorious food and drinks.  Frank is on a quest to get healthy so he has agreed to eat all of the same meals with me for dinner.  Last night, I made my first WW recipe.
Italian Sausage & Pepper Pasta
Adapted from Weight Watchers Website

- 1 pound raw Italian sausage, casings removed  
- 2 tsp olive oil, extra-virgin  
- 2 medium yellow pepper(s), cut into 2-inch long thin strips  (I only used one and it definitely needed 2)
- 1/2 cup(s) red wine  
- 1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic  
- 28 oz canned diced tomatoes
- 8 oz tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or less to taste  
- 1/4 tsp table salt  
- 1 package of whole wheat or multi grain fuscilli
- 1 package of rigatoni (frank does not like WW or MG pastas)

1. Boil water for pasta in a large pot
2.  Meanwhile, in a skillet, brown sausage while breaking apart with a spoon.  Remove from skillet and put aside
3.  In the same skillet, add olive oil and peppers.  Cook until tender
4.  Add in garlic & wine.  Cook for a couple minutes until it is nearly evaporated.
5.  Add in diced tomatoes, crushed red pepper, salt and browned sausage.  Stir and then add in tomato paste until well mixed.
6.  Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover & simmer for about 10 minutes.
7.  Cook pasta to al dente, drain and rinse with cold water.  Return to pot.
8. Pour sauce over pasta and mix until well blended.

This makes about 4 servings for each type of pasta.  1 serving = 5 points.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Stuffed French Toast

Apparently I just like to stuff things, haha!  I made up this recipe for our weekend getaway and it was pretty good!  I never really make breakfast because the only day we eat it together is on Sundays and we usually go out, but I wanted to try something different for this trip.
  • 2 slices of italian bread (use a bit thicker loaf, not a baguette or anything)
  • 6 tbs cream cheese (I did not measure)
  • 2-4 strawberries, sliced
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbs vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (I didn't measure, I just add to flavor)
Mix together eggs, vanilla & cinnamon.

Cut a pouch in the side middle of the Italian bread.  Coat both side with cream cheese and insert fruit.  I did one with strawberries only and the other with bananas only.  Close together as tightly as it will allow.

Dip into egg mixture & fry until golden brown.

Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burgers

Apparently, I am on a stuffed burger kick. I tried these little babies when we were on our little anniversary getaway during Memorial Day weekend. Unfortunately, their grill was broken so I just pan fried them.  I served my husband's on onion buns and my own on a whole wheat bun.  We had some corn on the cob (boiled in a mixture of water, beer & sugar) on the side. Yummy!

  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1/4 finely chopped onion (optional)
  • 2-3 tbp of seasoned salt
  • 2 tbs beer
  • 4-6 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1 cup of sharp shredded cheddar cheese
Fry bacon until it crisp.  Pat grease off with paper towels, set aside and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, mix onion, ground beef, beer and seasoned salt together.  Form into 6-10 small patties (the number of patties will depend on how large you want the burgers to be).  In half of the patties, take a spoon and make an indent.  Set aside.

Crumble cooked bacon into bits, mix with cheese.  Scoop mixure onto indented patties, adding as much filling as you can.  Top with remaining patties and press edges to seal the burger.

Refrigerate for an hour. Pan fry, grill or broil.

Naughty Cupcakes!

I don’t know how I always end up making the baked good for parties, but I do =) Good thing I love to bake! 

One of our very close friends celebrated his 30th birthday this past weekend and I had the idea to create boobie cupcakes!  I did 24 white boobies and 24 chocolate boobies!

These were nothing special but they went over very well as everyone got a kick out what they were shaped like!

Chocolate Love Cupcakes:

  • 1 box butter recipe fudge cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 stick of softened butter
  • ¾ cup of water

Blend together until clumps are gone. Pour into cupcake liners, bake for 27 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clear

  • 2 tbs softened butter
  • 3 tbs softened cream cheese
  • ¼ cup of milk or cream
  • ½ bag of powdered sugar (I don’t measure, I just add it slowly until I reach the desired consistency)
  • 1 cube of melted baker’s chocolate
  • Handful of milk chocolate chips

Mix butter, cream cheese and chocolate together.  Slowly add in powdered sugar and milk until you reach desired flavor and/or consistency.

Allow cupcakes to cool completely (I like to let them sit overnight).  Ice cupcakes generously.  Using an 8” pipin bag & 2” cone tip make a small dot of icing in the middle of the cupcake.  In the middle of that dot, add a chocolate chip.  

White Bobbie Cupcakes:

  • 1 box butter recipe yellow cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 stick of softened butter
  • ¾ cup of water

Blend together until clumps are gone. Pour into cupcake liners, bake for 27 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clear

  • 2 tbs softened butter
  • 3 tbs softened cream cheese
  • ½ bag of powdered sugar (I don’t measure, I just add it slowly until I reach the desired consistency)
  • 2 tsp of vanilla
  • Handful of marshmallows

Mix butter, cream cheese and vanilla together.  Slowly add in powdered sugar until you reach desired flavor and/or consistency.

Allow cupcakes to cool completely (I like to let them sit overnight).  Allow frosting to sit in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.  Ice cupcakes generously.  Using an 8” piping bag & 2” cone tip make a small dot of icing in the middle of the cupcake.  In the middle of that dot, add a marshmallow. 

Optional: Refrigerate overnight and then insert a toothpick halfway in the side of the cupcake and then insert the second half into the other end of the toothpick to hold them together like a pair of boobies.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Goin' Southern!

Last week was our anniversary and I had big plans to try and make crab stuffed shells. However, with the pending patio project and our mini getaway not far behind it, I had a TON of grocery shopping to do. I just did not feel like making another stop to Supreme Lobster to pick up crab legs. So I decided that I would make almost everything in my crock pots to make it easier on me. I was running errands from 6 a.m. that day and wanted something that could cook if I decided to nap and not be ruined.

So, I went as southern as this Midwest gal can go and made ribs, baked mac n cheese & corn pudding.
I really wanted to put the mac n cheese in my second crock pot (a Christmas gift from my mom that I had no used yet) but when I went to open it and wash it for us, it was cracked right down the middle. Bummer. So I had to make the mac n cheese in the oven instead.

What I thought was going to be a quick prep in the kitchen had me (what I felt like) in the kitchen cooking all day. [This was due to company coming in and out all day too though]

Slow Cooker Ribs 

1 slab pork baby back ribs
2 cups ketchup
1 cup chili sauce (recipe below)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
4 tbs. vinegar
Dash of hot sauce

Chili sauce -
1 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbs vinegar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp pepper
1. Mix together until all clumps are out.

1. Wash ribs, cut down center and remove back fat off ribs.
2. Season with salt & pepper. Put in baking dish and bake at 400 for 15 minutes on each side.
3. Remove from oven, drain fat.
4. Mix all sauce ingredients until lumps are out. Pour into crock pot. Place ribs on top and turn to coat.
5. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until tender.

*I did 6 hours and they fell right off the bone.
* I also had a lot of leftover sauce so this recipe would have worked better with les sauce or another slab of ribs.

Baked Mac n Cheese
1 pound elbow macroni
3 tbs butter
3 tbs flour
3 cups of milk (whole milk or 2% is best – I did 2 cups of whole milk & I cup skim as it is what I had)
1 large egg
12-14 oz of sharp cheddar shredded cheese
salt & pepper (to taste)

3 tbs butter
1/2 cup Italian style breadcrumbs

1. Cook pasta to al dente
2. While pasta is cooking, in a pot melt butter. Whisk in flour for a good 3-4 minutes, until lumps are gone. Stir in milk & pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Whisk in egg for 1-2 minutes and then stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Fold cheese mix into macaroni in pasta pot. Pour into casserole dish
5. In a sauce pan, melt butter for topping and toss breadcrumbs to coat.
6. Pour remaining cheese over casserole and cover with topping.
7. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until topping has turned golden brown.

Corn Pudding