Monday, November 18, 2013

Some recipes are worth it!

Sometimes a recipe seems like a lot of work so I break it down into smaller segments throughout the day.  Good thing is, I have that luxury!  Although at first glance this recipe appeared to be one of those types of endeavors, it ended up being relatively simple to prepare and extremely quick to cook.

As I continue my challenge through "Cuisine At Home" magazine with yet another delightful and tasty meal, let me say that all of the pictures I post are mine.  I'm appalled by some blogs that steal photos, especially if they have to scan them from a magazine, and claim they created the dish on a whim with what they had in their pantry.  The pictures and recipes from "Cuisine At Home" are not available online so if I see one and the person doesn't give credit where credit is due I'm immediately turned off by ALL of their recipes!  Although the challenge recipes I'm posting come from the magazine (slight changes due to my pantry) I'm cooking them and taking my own pictures!

Thank you for listening!!  I'm all done ranting so on to the decadent recipe I cooked up last week!

Crab & Goat Cheese Ravioli with Spicy Snow Peas
(makes 4 servings)

8 oz goat cheese, softened
3 tbsp chopped fresh chives
1/2 tsp salt & pepper
2 cans (6.5 oz) lump crab meat
1 pkg Nasoya won ton wraps
4 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tsp fresh lemon juice
Lemon zest
12 oz fresh snow peas, trimmed & string removed
1 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup water

~  Combine goat cheese, chives, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Stir in crabmeat with a fork, keeping lumps as large as possible.
~  If trimming or shaping won ton do so prior to filling to ensure sealing.  As shown in the picture, a round scalloped edged cookie cutter was used.
~  Lay out 16 won tons; scoop 2 tsp. crabmeat mixture into centers.  Brush top won ton with water and place wet side down over filling, pressing edges to seal.  Repeat with remaining won ton wrappers.
~  Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add oil and ravioli in small batches; cook until brown on one side, 2-3 minutes.  Flip ravioli and cook an additional 2 minutes; remove to paper-towel lined plate.  Continue until all ravioli have been cooked.
~  Return ravioli to skillet and add 4 tbsp water; cover and steam until soft, 1-2 minutes.
~  For the sauce, saute garlic in butter in a small skillet, 1 minute.  Stir in cream, increase heat to high and boil until cream is reduced to 1 cup, about 5 minutes.  Stir in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
~  Heat a skillet over medium high heat.  Add olive oil, snow peas and pepper flakes, cook 1-2 minutes.  Stir in water and cook until peas are tender and water evaporates, about 3 minutes more.  Season peas with salt.
~  Spoon 2 tbsp sauce onto plate; arrange 4 ravioli on sauce.  Layer several snow peas on ravioli; add 2-3 more ravioli, more peas and one more ravioli on top.  Spoon sauce lightly over all and serve.

This dish is very "gourmet" yet has such simple ingredients.  I questioned the preparation and presentation of the peas but wow, wow, wow!  They are a perfect pairing!  There's sweet crab meat, tart lemon sauce and a spicy crunch with the peas that will keep you taking bite after bite until you realize you have to get up and get more!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Everybody loves Taco Pie!

I'll never work through my 3 years of "Cuisine At Home" but I'm sure going to give it a valiant effort!  I had a full menu already planned and shopped for so I had to use up those items before moving on to the challenge.  Now, the next week is all planned and shopped for and is nothing but those recipes so hopefully my blog will once again be flowing!  On another note, I'm so lucky to have a husband, family and friends that go along with all my whims - they will truly understand the topsy turvy nature of my blog!

This Taco Pie is a little different than any taco pie I've tried or made.  But then it comes from the magazine "Cuisine At Home" so I expected it to be wonderfully different (even with some minor modifications).  It definitely did not let me down!  The magazine describes it like this and it hits the nail on the head:

"Tender like a tamale but filled with all the best parts of a taco, this pie will be a hit."

Taco Pie
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups masa harina
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp each garlic powder & ground cumin
1/4 tsp each dried oregano & ground coriander
2 tbsp olive oil
1 can refried beans
1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
1/4 cup onion, grated
1 lb ground beef, lean
1 large chipotle chile in adobo, minced
1 tbsp adobo sauce
2 tsp chili powder
1 avocado, pitted and peeled
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 cups lettuce, shredded
1 cup cheese, grated
2 cups corn chips, broken in pieces
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup sour cream

~ Preheat oven to 350F
~ For the crust, cook water, masa harina and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking constantly until very thick, about 6 minutes.  (Seriously THICK and seriously 6 minutes).  Spread dough onto parchment paper to speed cooling.  Once cool enough to handle, press dough into an oiled 8" cast-iron skillet with greased hands; bake until firm, 30-45 minutes.
~  For the first layer, cook garlic powder, cumin, oregano and coriander in 1 tbsp oil in a skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add beans; cook until heated through.  Spread mixture into bottom of cooked crust.
~ For second layer, saute onion in 1 tbsp oil over high heat for 1 minute.  Add ground beef; saute until cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Drain all but 2 tbsp drippings, reduce heat to medium, stir in chipotle, adobo, and chili powder; season with salt and pepper.  Spread mixture over beans and transfer to oven to keep pie warm while preparing avocado mixture.
~  Puree avocado, cream cheese, cilantro, lime juice, garlic and mayonnaise in a food processor until smooth; season with salt and pepper.  Remove pie from oven and spread over beef mixture.
~  Garnish with remaining ingredients, slice and serve!

This will serve about 6 people depending on appetites!  Might only serve four if you've got some good eaters because trust me, they will eat this!  

The adobo gives this pie a wonderful smokey flavor and the chili powder gives it just a tiny tiny bit of heat.  Definitely add more adobo or chili powder if you like heat!  Now, remember the magazine quote I added in the beginning of the post?  The part about the tamale?  That's very important to remember because this is definitely not your traditional pie!  If you want a crunchy crust use pie crust - this is a soft, warm, tender crust that screams tamale while the top side is a wonderful laid back taco!


Friday, November 8, 2013

Personal Challenge

For the past 3 years I have subscribed to the cooking magazine "Cuisine at home".  I've enjoyed cooking many meals and desserts from the beautiful, ad free pages with every single one of them being over-the-top amazing. Unfortunately, over the past year or two, it's become much easier to find recipes on the internet through Pinterest, as well as some of my favorite blogs, and I've forgotten my stacking-up gems.  

As I've cooked through the pages I've often thought I'd like to challenge myself to cook every single recipe.  To try new things, experiment with all the new and challenging foods they tempt me with and to learn the new techniques presented in each issue.  The magazines are quite pricey so if you'd rather come over to my blog for free, here's your chance to sample some true cuisine...  right in your own home!

Butternut Squash & Sausage Cannelloni
    with Sage Bechamel Sauce

8 flat, no-boil, dry lasagna sheets 
6 oz Isernio's Italian Sausage
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 cups diced butternut squash
1/4 cup diced red onion
3 tsp fresh minced garlic
1/3 cup chicken broth
2 tsp sugar
4-5 cups fresh baby spinach
1 1/2 cup Fontina cheese, shredded
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
3 cups milk
1 tsp each ground sage and sage leaves
Pinch of nutmeg 

~  Cover a baking sheet with foil and coat with nonstick spray.  Blanch the sheets of lasagna in a pot of boiling salted water until pliable, 2-3 minutes.  Arrange sheets in a single layer on prepared baking sheets.
~  Brown sausage in half the oil over medium-high heat until no longer pink; transfer to a paper-towel lined plate.  Saute squash and onion in remaining olive oil in the same pan until onions soften, 2-3 minutes.  Add garlic; cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
~  Add broth and sugar; cover and steam until squash softens and liquid evaporates, 3-5 minutes.  Stir in spinach until wilted, about 2 minutes.  Add sausage and season with salt and pepper, cool briefly.
~  Combine 3/4 cup fontina, ricotta and 1/2 cup Parmesan in a bowl; stir in squash-sausage mixture.
~  Preheat oven to 425 F with rack 6 inches from element.  Coat a baking dish with nonstick spray.
~  For the sauce, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat; whisk in flour and cook 1 minute.  Gradually whisk in milk, add sage, and increase heat to medium-high.  Bring sauce to a simmer, stirring constantly, and cook until thickened, 3-5 minutes.  Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg (taste please).
~  Coat bottom of baking dish with about a third of the sauce.
~  Fill and roll sheets with 1/2 cup filling (place filling on one end of pasta sheet and start rolling to other end); arrange in baking dish, seam sides down.
~  Top cannelloni with remaining sauce and remaining cheeses; cover loosely with foil poked with several holes.
~  Bake cannelloni 20 minutes; uncover and broil on high until golden and bubbly, about 3 minutes.
~  Serves 3-4

As with all recipes from "Cuisine At Home", this is full of flavor and texture! The recipes usually aren't simple and the ingredient lists are generally quite lengthy but in the end, every single step and ingredient is well worth it!  (I did make some minor modifications from the original recipe but left the bulk of it intact.)

Stay tuned for more "Cuisine At Home" cooking as I attempt my long awaited personal challenge!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Snack Time

Bigger IS better!

When it comes to snacks and dieting of course!!  I find myself once again bored with the snacks (and lunches) I create while dieting - or "Changing my lifestyle" as WW puts it!  The fresh fruit is great and pea pods nice and crispy but sometimes I just want something to sink my teeth into that doesn't cost half my daily points.

I came across this idea the other day while perusing the internet and although I'm not a fan of the baked egg roll wrappers I figured I'd give it a try.  So many recipes want you to bake these papery wrappers and that's exactly what they come out like...  baked paper!  Maybe I was really hungry this time but these were really quite tasty!

Ham & Swiss Rolls
1 cup lean ham, minced
1/2 cup 2% Swiss cheese
1 green onion, minced
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
8 egg roll wrappers
1 tsp honey
2 tbsp half & half, fat free

Preheat oven to 400F.  Mix ham, cheese and green onion to combine.  Place an egg roll wrapper diagonally on work surface and spread 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard in the center.  Put two tablespoons of ham mixture on the mustard.  Fold the bottom of the wrapper over the filling and gently but firmly pull slightly towards you.  Fold the left and right sides in and roll to the tip, creating a nice firm roll.  Place on sprayed baking sheet and continue with remaining wrappers.  Lightly spray rolls with cooking spray.  Bake for 8 minutes, turn rolls over, bake for an additional 8 minutes until lightly browned.  Mix together remaining tablespoon of mustard, honey and half & half for dipping.

Eaten hot or room temperature, these little rolls do the trick!  At a mere 2 pts each they can be a quick snack or a nice filling lunch.  I'm going to experiment with some different cheeses and maybe a spinach leaf or two but other than that, I think I'll keep it simple and enjoy the flavors just like they are!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Taste Buds & Texture


I've never liked meatloaf...  never!  To me it's dry, bland and mundane no matter what sauce you add or how many eggs, bacon and Velveeta slices are put in or on it!  Even though hubby loves it, kids devour it and diners and cafes serve it for lunch and dinner, I only make it once or twice a year to spoil the family!

Not anymore!  I finally found a recipe that is called meatloaf but is so much more.  It's not only got taste, it's got texture and lots of it!

Meatloaf Cupcakes
1 egg
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, part skim
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
9 oz frozen spinach (box)
2 tbsp pine nuts
1 1/2 lb ground beef, 96%
Brown gravy mix

Mashed Potatoes
3 small potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 1/2 lb cauliflower florets
1/3 cup buttermilk, 1%
3 tbsp cream cheese, fat free

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Mix first 8 ingredients in a large bowl until thoroughly mixed.  Add ground beef and mix lightly with a large fork until just combined, do not over mix or your meatloaf may end up dry.  Use aluminum muffin cups for the best results and fill them using a large ice cream scoop.  Bake approximately 30 minutes until no longer pink.  While meatloaf is baking, boil potatoes and cauliflower until soft; drain well. Transfer potatoes and cauliflower to a food processor or electric mixer bowl, add buttermilk and cream cheese.  Process/mix until smooth and creamy.  Prepare gravy mix according to package directions.  Pipe/spoon potato mixture onto tops of meatloaf muffins to resemble frosting and sprinkle with pine nuts.  Drizzle prepared gravy over the top.  Makes 12 cupcakes, 2 per serving, 10 points+ per serving.

After making these a second time, I have resolved that I will never again make ordinary meatloaf!  The taste and texture of these beautiful cupcakes is like nothing I've eaten before.  Try them and
I'm sure you'll agree!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Lunch Time!

Sometimes with WW, I get really bored at lunch time.  There are only so many soups and salads before I start wandering, looking for something a little different and a little more traditional.  One of my favorite sandwiches is a good, creamy egg salad.  Without all that mayo though (and I mean the good full fat kind) it's just not the same!  

This "egg salad" sandwich is so different from what I grew up with that it takes on a whole new taste and texture and yet satisfies my craving for the real thing. 

Try it and see what you think!

Egg Salad Sandwich
1 English Muffin
1 Egg (hard boiled)
2 slices of tomato (or one big one)
Handful of alfalfa sprouts
2 tbsp mayonnaise or ranch dressing (fat free) 
Salt/pepper to taste

Slice the hard boiled egg into nice thick slices. Spread 1 tbsp of mayo on each half of the English muffin.  Place sliced egg on bottom half of muffin and sprinkle lightly with salt/pepper.  Add tomatoes and alfalfa sprouts and place muffin on top.

The crunch of the alfalfa sprouts and the creaminess of the egg yolk really compliment each other making this a very satisfying lunch for only 5 pts.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Keep It Simple!

Another non-recipe recipe for you!  This one's the simplest appetizer you'll ever make unless you consider putting some chips and store bought dip out on the table an appetizer!  This is pretty close though...

Spicy Egg Shooters (12)
6 Eggs
Pickled Jalapeno Slices
Red Bell Pepper

Place the eggs in cold water and bring to a boil.  Continue boiling the eggs for as long as you normally do!  There are so many "perfect" methods out there I hesitate to say anything specific so if you're like me, just boil them until you think they're done!  Slice the bell pepper (raw or roasted) into small strips about 1/4" x 1".  If you are using raw pepper, saute it for a couple minutes in a tsp or so of olive oil to soften it.  Once the eggs have cooled enough to handle, peel them and cut them in half.  Put a tiny dab of mayonnaise on each egg half (maybe 1/4 tsp), a slice of pickled jalapeno and a strip of bell pepper.  Place in the refrigerator if not serving right away.

That's it!  So simple!  No mixing, smoothing, seasoning or guessing!  Once you eat one of these you may never go back to regular deviled eggs again.  The kick of the jalapeno and the sweetness of the pepper combined with the creamy mayonnaise and rich egg yolk will make your taste buds sing!

Oh, by the way, these are perfect for 4th of July!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Breakfast Doughnuts

Time to think about MY blog a little differently!  I cook so many wonderful things without a recipe and yet they don't make it to my blog or my cookbook because I think others can't replicate them without measurements and exact directions.  I've decided that if people can see pictures on Pinterest and replicate them from that, they can have ingredients and directions and go from there if they happen to visit me here!  That being said, here's the first with no exact measurements!

Barry's working nights again, giving me the great opportunity to expand my breakfast repertoire!  This creation was probably one of the best!  With canned biscuits left over from the camping trip, I let my imagination soar and this is what I came up with!

Breakfast Doughnuts
  1 can grand biscuits
  Crumbled bacon
  Scrambled Eggs
  Shredded cheese

Use two biscuits for one doughnut.  Put them between wax paper and roll them out into flat circles.  Use a small round cookie cutter or something else small and round to cut a hole in the center of each flat circle.  Now, on one of the rounds, place a little bit of cheese, bacon and scrambled egg.  Like this:

Now comes the challenging part!  Put the empty round on the filled round and press all the seams together really good.  Pinching lightly, patting and turning all work pretty good!  The outside is easy, the inside circle a little tricky but make sure you get it sealed up really good or the cheese will ooze out!  Fry this doughy creature in a pan of oil heated to medium heat.  Turn it frequently so it cooks evenly and doesn't burn on any side.

Now whip up a maple glaze with some powdered sugar, maple syrup and milk.  Just a little of each, you don't need too much.  Make it nice and thick so it doesn't all slide off your hot doughnut!  And here's what you end up with:

The inside will stay hot for quite awhile so be careful with that first bite!  And the outside stays crunchy even after it was reheated!  Surprise!  These are fun and delicious so enjoy - even without an exact recipe!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


What's something every family has nearly once a month?
  Give up?

Pizza Night!

This night usually involves lots of gooey cheese, rich sauce, movies, soda pop, paper plates and arguing (depending on the size of the family) over what toppings get to adorn the luscious pie!  Don't you just get a craving for all that?  Well, maybe not the arguing...  but the taste of the pizza...  the tomatoey goodness of the sauce...  tasty toppings mingling together on your tongue...  melted cheese on your chin!

It's time to enjoy it once again with a zillion less calories and fat grams!

Pizza Chicken (1 serving)
1 5 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tbsp pizza sauce (home made or jarred)
4 slices turkey pepperoni
1 mushroom, sliced thin
1 ring sliced bell pepper
2 tbsp mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400F.  Flatten the chicken breast to 1/2" thickness.  Season chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder and place on a foil lined baking sheet.  Spread the sauce evenly over the seasoned chicken then layer with pepperoni, mushrooms and bell peppers.  Bake chicken for 15 min then top with cheese and bake for an additional 5 min.

This is only the beginning!  The possibilities are as endless as the local pizzeria menu options and of course your imagination. Not to mention it cooks up just as fast as one of those pizzas you bring home and cook yourself!  Oh, by the way, did I mention these can be cooked on the grill?

This one serving, made just like this is only 5 points!  It's a rather large "piece" of pizza and will definitely fill you up but why not have 2 "slices" and put that craving to rest for a little while!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Layers of Flavors

As I typed the title my mind wandered - why isn't it spelled "Layers of Flavers" or "Layors of Flavors"?  They rhyme perfectly but are spelled differently!  Ahhh...  back on track here!

As I peruse, wander and seek out new recipes to convert to our "lifestyle" way of eating (aka Weight Watchers) I find some recipes that make my mouth water and I just HAVE to find a way to make them within the allowances.  This was one of them!

Roasted Pear & Gorgonzola Chicken Sandwiches (serves 4)
2 pears, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 oz Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
2 giant hamburger buns
1 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 400F.  Spray parchment lined baking sheet and place pears in a single layer on pan.  Bake until light golden and turning soft, approximately 20 min.  Turn each pear slice and bake an additional 15 min.  While pears are roasting, spray a small skillet and caramelize onions on medium heat until nice golden brown.  Brush buns very lightly with butter and place on a griddle pan or skillet.  Remove and set aside once they are nice and golden brown.  Pound chicken breasts to 1/2", season with salt and pepper.  Spray a large oven-proof skillet and sear breasts for 3 minutes on each side.  Remove from heat immediately to avoid over cooking.  Place 2-3 pear slices on each breast then sprinkle with cheese crumbles.  Add caramelized onions.  Place in the oven for 2-3 minutes to allow cheese to melt.  Place chicken breast atop toasted bun.

The crispy buttery bun, tender juicy chicken, tangy Gorgonzola, sweet pears and rich onions provide layer after layer of flavor!  Than you take another bite because you weren't sure what you just tasted and bam, it hits you again!

You may be asking "Why the bun"?  It's because the original recipe I saw was for a turkey burger and I felt it still needed the sandwich feel.  Whether it needs it or not, I will always make it with just because it adds a whole different layer!  Enjoy this open faced sandwich for a low 9 WW pts+ each and include a large helping of roasted asparagus done at the same time as the pears!

Off I go to find that motivation that I lost...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sense of Independence

The twins turned 18 which is said to be when children become adults.  Although that is yet to be seen, I'm taking that idea and running with it!  I now have a new found independence in my kitchen.  To heck with these little adults, from now on I'm going to cook what I want!  And I want seafood!

Shellfish Stew (serves 6)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth, fat free
1 cup red wine
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
18 littleneck clams
18 medium shrimp, tails on
6 large sea scallops
2 cooked Dungeness crab, legs and flesh

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot or skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion, fennel and scallops.  Cook, stirring the vegetables until they begin to soften, and turning the scallops, searing on each side.  Remove the scallops and set aside.  Add garlic, oregano, thyme and red pepper flakes.  Cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes, broth, wine and salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered for 30 minutes.  Add the clams, cover and cook until they open, about 5 minutes.  Add the shrimp, partially cover, and cook until just cooked through.  Add the crab legs, crab meat and scallops and continue to cook until thoroughly heated.  Discard any unopened clams before serving.

Have plenty of napkins available and of course a few crab crackers for those claws!  

This was a fully satisfying meal other than the desire for some nice hearty crusty bread to sop up the amazing sauce!  Since we're doing so well we kept this at the 8 WW points+ that it is and just imagined ourselves dipping the bread!

So get ready family (including you new adults), the sky's the limit and we'll be sampling some new and exciting things!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Surprises at the dinner table!

Kids...  aren't they precious!

Mine aren't really what you would call picky eaters since they have to put up with me and all my fancies in the kitchen but they do tend to push a lot of the more colorful things off to the side.  I encourage them (basically force them) to try everything just in case it tastes different than the last time and they usually indulge me.  Last night was no different!  They took one look at the red pepper and said "We only eat the inside, right"?  I informed them to try a bite with both the inside AND a piece of the pepper and guess what?


All three of them agreed it was pretty darn good!  The sweet pepper really added to the spices and flavors of the filling.  Now you try...

Sante Fe Stuffed Peppers (6 servings)

3 large red bell peppers
1 lb ground beef, 95% lean
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 (11 oz) can Steam Crisp Mexi-Corn
6 (or more) pickled Jalapeno sliced, chopped
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp cilantro, dried
2 tsp cumin
1/2 cup chicken broth, fat free
1 cup colby jack cheese, 2%, shredded

Preheat oven to 350F.  Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove all the seeds and membrane.  The stem may be left on or removed.  Place in a deep roasting pan and set aside.  In a large skillet, begin browning the ground beef.  When partially cooked, add the onion, green bell pepper and garlic and continue to cook until ground beef is no longer pink.  Add the black beans, corn, jalapenos, tomatoes and spices.  Lower heat and simmer 15-20 minutes until flavors have combined and any juices have evaporated.  Divide the cooked mixture evenly into the prepared red bell peppers.  Pour the chicken broth into the bottom of the roasting pan and cover with foil.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Remove the foil and divide the cheese evenly on top of each pepper.  Return to the oven for 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted.  Serve piping hot!

I will definitely add these to my favorites and next time I might even spice them up a bit more!  This recipe will serve 6 people with average appetites and is only 7 WW points plus.  I'm thinking maybe some rice in there the next time to make them just a tad bit more filling and to provide those ever-loving carbs!

So what's the next surprise for the kids?  How about some seafood, that's always fun!

Monday, January 7, 2013

And Then It Hits You!

In my head:  "What's for dinner?"
Action taken:  Photograzing...  Foodgawker...  Tastespotting...
In my head:  "What's for dinner?"
Action taken:  Cookbooks, recipe collections, freezer peek-a-boo
In my head:  "What's for dinner?"

And then it hits me!!!

Sausage, Kale & Potato Casserole
5 medium potatoes, sliced thin
3 tbsp butter, unsalted
5 links Isernio Chicken Italian Sausage
1 bunch curly leafed kale, pulled off stems
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400F.  Spray a 9x13 baking dish generously and set aside.  Wash the potatoes (do not skin them) and slice thinly.  Arrange the slices in a single layer in the bottom of the baking dish.  Drop a few thin pats of butter across the top of the potatoes and bake for about 30 minutes.  While the potatoes are baking, brown the sausage (make sure you use a big skillet).  Pull the kale off the stems and tear into medium sized pieces.  Wash and dry as much as possible.  Remove the sausage from the pan to a bowl and set it aside.  Saute the kale in the same pan in the sausage drippings until wilted to about half its original size.  Remove the baking dish from the oven and layer the kale, sausage and cheddar cheese on top of the potatoes.  Return the casserole to the oven, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

This recipe will serve about 6 people if you limit them to one serving each!  Trust me, that's a tough thing to do!  I usually make up two pans just in case and that way we get plenty of leftovers.  At six servings, it's only 8 pts per serving - pretty darn good when you consider your entire meal is in front of you!

I specified the Isernio's sausage because it is the absolute best sausage I have found flavor wise.  Adding the healthy chicken bonus on top of that and it's the only Italian sausage I ever buy.  If you use another sausage the flavors may change slightly but I don't think it will affect it too much.

I'm off to buy some Kale!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sometimes You Just Have To EAT!

In the beginning, when you first start "dieting" or "eating healthy" or whatever else you call it, do you have the same issue as me?  I never feel like I get to lift my fork to my mouth enough times!  By the end of the first week, I'm ready to eat, I mean really eat!  I want to keep putting food in my mouth until my tummy says stop, not only until my teeny tiny portion runs out.

That feeling led me to the discovery of this amazing salad!  Boy oh boy did it do the trick!  I was able to lift my fork as many times as I could and when I was done, I was really done eating.  Completely satisfied all the way to my toes!

Salsa Verde Chicken & Shrimp Salad
1 tbsp cilantro, dried
1 cup sour cream, fat free
3 tbsp Salsa Verde
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
13 oz raw chicken breast, diced
8 oz raw shrimp, small
2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
6 cups Italian Lettuce mix
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (11 oz) can Green Giant Steam Crisp corn, drained

Mix the first six ingredients until well blended.  Set aside while preparing the salad in order for the flavors to blend.  Season chicken and shrimp generously with Old Bay.  Spray a medium skillet with cooking spray and cook chicken and shrimp on medium high heat until chicken is no longer pink.  Drain any liquid.  In a large bowl, combine lettuce, tomatoes, black beans and corn.  Add cooked chicken and shrimp and mix well.  Pour dressing into salad mixture and toss to completely cover every morsel!

Each serving of 2 cups is only 7 points plus on WW and will completely fill you up!  This recipe will serve at least 6 people, more if they are small eaters.

I have finally found a "diet" recipe that I can literally eat until I'm ready to stop!  Oh, by the way, I don't consider slurping soup "eating".  I want to chew, chomp, taste and savor when I get in this mood!  Now it's on to the next discovery until the urge hits again!