Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Nothing New

I haven't had much to say over the past month. Not too much going on right now. Plus I couldn't type easily because of wrist tendinitis surgery. I feel like I share a ton on Facebook anyway, so I don't feel like I have much to say when I think about blogging. Many funny and interesting thoughts in my head. None when my fingers rest on the keys though.

No home improvement going on right now. The summer weekends have been pretty busy with Mike helping his Dad clean things out of the family farmhouse in a big downsizing effort. I love my father-in-law to no end, so I'm fine living in the house as-is. Family is #1 always. We'll get there. Mike reminds me of that when I forget my patience and start to whimper about wanting to be in the master bedroom or the unfinished kitchen window paint. Oh - plus we bought a car! Yaaay! Forgot about our new navy love. BTW - Mike LOVES driving now. He never drove in the Ford Focus. No mystery to solve there as to why. I'm enjoying being a passenger now though. I can finally stop paying attention and switch the radio stations over and over in an effort to find something other than Adele's 'Rolling in the Deep.' (Hi T!)


We did get five free gallons of paint from Pittsburgh Paints. I filled out a survey that they sent me and they SO generously sent me a coupon good for five free gallons of paint as well as a $5 check. WIN! I don't even need to mention my love for free things, do I? I had to breathe in a paper bag when I got those puppies in the mail. I got one gallon for my sister since she is renovating her house right now. The remaining colors and assignments include:

Guest room/possible future nursery: Two gallons of Toasted Almond (Boring perhaps, but neutral and soothing)



Guest bathroom off of family room: Baked Bean (We love us some rust colored paints, don't we?)


Man cave room in basement: Cathedral Glass (Such a cool color. Mike - though colorblind - has great color taste IMO)

You like?

I also changed my mind about our master bedroom bedding. I thought I was in love with the bedding that we got months ago, but turns out I kinda wasn't. It felt a bit too regal - what with the velvet detailing on the pillowcases and edging on the comforter. Here is the new love of my life in the bedding department:


Pottery Barn's Bella in Red

It matches the Cider painted walls perfectly. Thank jeebus, because I know at least 10 people that would skin my hide if I changed the wall color.

That's about it in terms of progress at the Petruska homestead. Hopefully before Fall, or 2012, or my 45th birthday, we'll be nestled in our bed in the Cider bedroom. We'll get there, right?

Monday, June 20, 2011

House To Dos

 (Cool image of the house taken by my talented Uncle Tim)

We're been in the house for a little bit over a year now and have gotten a lot done, but there just aren't enough weekends in the year or enough bennys in our account to have done it all as of this date. We're working on it though - every.single.weekend. The list as it stands now:

Exterior
1. Call to get gutters cleaned out 
2. Fix driveway (fix cracks or replace)
3. Fix front entryway concrete
4. Replace stairs leading to kitchen
5. Re-paint base of house (below brick)
6. Get deck bolted in securely - Dream: Extend deck to back of house
7. Replace stupid stairs leading to back yard from driveway
8. Mulch all areas of front and back yards
9. Replace wall in back yard
10. Replace firepit area with paving stones and portable firepit structure

Family Room
1. Replace carpet
2. Replace horizontal blinds
3. Replace curtains

Living Room
1. Get rid of or store Mike's old dining room set

Downstairs bathroom
1. Re-paint
2. Fix shower
3. Replace vanity

Dining Room
1. Re-upholster chairs

Kitchen:
1. Repair paint around window
2. Install blinds
3. Replace oven
4. Replace microwave

Basement
1. Figure out how to solve dryer vent issue

Master Bedroom
1. Replace carpet
2. Figure out cables and fix
3. Install ceiling fan after figuring out how to go through attic  (aka Hire handyman)
4. Replace closet doors
5. Purchase new furniture

Gray guest bedroom
1. Need: Bedside table, dresser, curtains

Striped guest room
1. Re-paint
2. Replace carpet

Attic
1. Install roof vents to cool interior

I'll re-post this and cross things off as they happen.  Hopefully soon!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Delicious, little treat

I don't bake, but these have two ingredients so I figured even I couldn't mess them up. At 2.5 Weight Watchers PointsPlus each, they're a GREAT new find. They taste like angel food cake blueberry muffins. Will be SO good with a little bit of lowfat milk or Lactaid in my case. Oh and the recipe calls for light blueberry filling, but I didn't see any at the store. I adjusted the PointsPlus value considering that I used regular filling.

 Ingredients:
1) Angel food cake mix (15 box)
2) Blueberry pie filling (22 oz can)

Easy peasy instructions:
1) Preheat oven to 350
2) Combine cake mix and pie filling in a bowl
3) Pour mixture into ungreased 9 x 13 baking dish
4) Bake for 30 minutes
5) Cool and cut into 24 pieces

These little treats are sticky, but who cares?!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Lately...

Reading


Listening to


Wearing
(In Everlasting Rum)

Watching


Wishing for

In the menu queue

Monday, June 6, 2011

Grilled Flank Steak w/ Tomatoes and Onions

I feel like I use FB as my blog, so there's nothing ever to share here but recipes. This one was SO good and lent itself to leftovers the next day. Perfect for summer.


Doesn't look so good, but it was deeeelish! We used white onion because the red onions at Giant Eagle looked old and scary. Here's the link for the recipe:

http://www.skinnytaste.com/2011/05/grilled-flank-steak-with-tomatoes-red.html

Wow, that's lazy. I didn't even list out the ingredients and instructions here. Sorry, but that's about all I can do on this sleepy Monday morning.

Here are the important nutritional details:
Servings: 6-8* • Serving Size: 3 oz steak, 1/2 cup salad • WW Points+: 4 pt
Calories: 167.5 • Fat: 8.3 g • Protein: 18 g • Carb: 4.7 g • Fiber: 1 g • Sugar: .5 g

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Spicy Shrimp Fried Rice

This is another winning recipe from Gina's Skinny Recipes (www.skinnytaste.com). That girl is good! The only issue I have with the recipe is that it was sorta, well... wrong. The ingredients didn't match the cooking instructions. The ingredient list doesn't include paprika, chili powder, and some other spices; however, those spices are included in the instructions without the measurements. So I kiiinda overdid it with those ones and Mike and I almost burned our tongues out of our mouths. Note to self: A little bit o' chili powder and red pepper flakes go a loooong way. Luckily I Googled 'How to cool down spicy food' and found a secret weapon that I added and made the rice edible.

Clearly I need to take a class in food photography

WW Points Plus: 8 per serving (1/4 of the recipe)

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups brown rice cooked
  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined (peeled weight is .75 lb)
  • 2 egg whites, scrambled
  • 1 whole egg, scrambled
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 5 scallions, chopped, whites and greens separated
  • oil spray
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil with cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
  • 4 tsp soy sauce (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp Asian fish sauce - I didn't have this, so I just omitted it. Bet it would be even better with.
  • salt and fresh pepper
Gina's Instructions:
In a bowl, season shrimp with cayenne pepper, chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper and garlic powder. (<-- Huh? Those aren't in the list. I'd say use 1/2 tsp of each.)

Scramble eggs with a drop of water and season with salt and pepper. In a hot wok, spray a little oil and cook the eggs. When cooked, remove from pan and set aside.

Let the wok get really hot. Add sesame oil and saute onions, scallion whites, garlic and hot pepper flakes for about 1-2 minutes. Add shrimp and saute until no longer translucent. Add rice and cooked egg along with soy sauce and fish sauce, mixing well for about 2 minutes. Add greens of the scallions and serve.

Can I just say that I love having green onions growing in my yard? Have I said this already? lovelovelove.

Oh! Almost forgot... The secret ingredient for cooling down superspicy food after it's already cooked:
Worked like a charm and you couldn't taste the honey. Genius! You're welcome. :)   Or did you know that already?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Quick Chicken & Black Bean Burritos

Got this out of my Just 5: 125 Recipes with 5 Ingredients WW cookbook. It's a good one. Although you have to add some extra ingredients to make it really good. So, it's a Just 5 + 2 ingredients recipe.

Not the most flattering picture, but you get the idea. It was sooo good. Trust!

Per serving (1 burrito): 8 WW PointsPlus

Ingredients:
3/4 lb skinless chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces
1 15.5 oz can of no salt added black beans - rinsed and drained
4 7-inch flour tortillas
8 tbsp fat free salsa
4 tbsp shredded low fat Mexican cheese blend
+  A few dashes of your fave hot sauce
+ Cilantro (Added after I took the pic)

EDIT: I also added some onions in with the chicken and black beans.  High recommended.

Instructions:
1) Spray non-stick skillet with PAM & set over medium-high heat
2) Add chicken and cook until browned (about 6 minutes)
3) Add beans and cook, stirring occasionally (about 2 minutes)
4) Warm tortillas according to package directions
5) Place tortilla on flat surface and spoon 1/4 of the chicken mixture down center, top w/ 2 tbsp of salsa, 1 tbsp of shredded cheese, a couple of dashes of yummy hot sauce, and a few shredded pieces of cilantro
6) Fold sides of tortilla over filling and roll up.

It was super easy. Great for weeknight meals. And with a Corona Light.

Monday, May 9, 2011

House update

Latest purchase: Master bedroom ceiling fan. The Stratford II. 
http://www.hunterfan.com/Products/Ceiling-Fans/The-Stratford-Five-Minute-Fan-28686/   Let's hope it is indeed a Five Minute Fan.


We're not in the room yet. We want to be, but we've had some expenses come up that sucked up the new carpet monies. So, Molly is learning patience. And making peace with the fact that Mike is not in fact a secret millionaire.

WW Honey-Glazed Salmon

So, I'm trying to eat foods that bring my high cholesterol number down. I have never been a fan of salmon, but figured I'd try it again since it is a great weapon against high LDL numbers. This dish was definitely yummy, but needed some sort of additional flavor kick. Not sure what that would be. The old standby... hot sauce? Or spicy mustard?

Excuse the brokenness of the fish. I was trying to see if it was flaky and done, but it was fighting me.


9 Points Plus per serving. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 fillet)

Instructions:
  • Preheat broiler.
  • Combine first 7 ingredients, and stir well with a whisk.
  • Place fillets on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Brush with honey mixture; cook 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, basting frequently with honey mixture. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 fillet).
Ingredients:

2 tbsp honey   
1 tbsp fresh orange juice

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper

4   6 oz salon filets (I actually did my maf wrong at the store and got two 6 oz filets and cooked those up. Oops. It was a lotta fish.)

1 spray PAM

P.S. I served it with green beans tossed with sesame oil and a little bit of coarse salt. Yum!









Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Foiled Fish

I have read about an easy way to cook fish that involves wrapping it in foil. How easy is that? Wrap it up, toss it in the oven, take it out, done. So, I tried it last night and it is just as easy as I thought. And of course fish is healthy as can be, so score there as well!

I forgot to take a picture, but it looked exactly like the picture from the recipe I followed... minus the yummy looking buttery noodles. I served it with rice pilaf and broccoli.




 Ingredients that I used:
Tilapia fillets
Mrs. Dash seasoning
Tomatoes, sliced
Green onions, sliced - Got these from my front yard! They're growing everywhere.
Garlic, minced
Lemon juice
Olive oil
(NOTE: I would add more flavor next time. Not sure how. Probably basil since it was in the original recipe. Recommendations welcome!)

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 450
Foil squares to wrap the fish and veggies
Rub a bit of olive oil on the foil so the fish won’t stick.
Place a tilapia fillet in the middle of the foil. 
Shake some Mrs. Dash seasoning on the fish. 
Layer tomatoes, green onions and garlic on top. 
Shake a bit of lemon juice over it all. 
Wrap the foil around the fish loosely to make a packet. 
Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. 

WW Points: Depends on the size of the fish filet. I estimated 5 points plus for 5 oz fish + oil.

Source: http://eatathomecooks.com/2009/06/tilapia-with-veggies-baked-in-foil-packets.html

Monday, April 4, 2011

House update

If you're on FB, you saw the kitchen updates (yay!). Figured I'd put the master bedroom update here for some social medium variety. We FINALLY finished painting the walls with Cider. It is definitely a strong color, but it also feels very cozy and cabin-like. I'm excited to accessorize it with furniture, shelving, etc.

Here's a sneak peek:


We will be replacing the carpet, closet doors and the ceiling fan/light. As a reminder, this is our bedding (although we didn't buy all of those fancy pillows). It's not what I'd usually go for, but the fabric is SO awesome and the colors felt warm to me, so we went for it.

SO outside of my comfort zone, but I'm confident it will work. Any ideas for accessories are welcome!

We're considering this bedroom set:


We can't wait until all of the rooms are done being fixed up. Then we can just spend all summer gardening and cutting grass. Having a house is work, y'all!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Chowdah

If you can't have a bowl of cream-heavy clam chowder because you're watching the waistline, this is a yummy alternative. But Gina of Gina's Skinny Recipes needs to realize that raw potato cubes do not cook in 10 minutes.That's just crazy talk.


Servings: 5 Serving Size: 16 oz Calories: 305 Points: 6.5 pts

Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 large white onion, chopped fine
  • 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 cups 2% milk
  • 2 (10 oz) cans clams, drained, juice reserved
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper
  • 1 cup frozen corn
Instructions:
In a large pot, melt butter.  
Add onions, and heat on low heat until onions are translucent.
Add flour and stir.  
Add milk, clam juice, potatoes, bay leaf, thyme and salt & pepper to taste.  
Cook on low until potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes.  (Um, yeah...no. I had to cook on medium for 25 minutes before the potatoes were soft... and Mike still commented on how the potatoes could be softer. Not sure...maybe I bought the hardest potatoes in the universe.) 
Remove half of the soup and put in blender. Return to pot.  
Add clams, corn and adjust salt if needed and cook another 5 minutes.  
Serve and garnish with fresh parsley.

I served it up with a couple of pieces of garlic Texas toast. Oooohwee... you gonna like it!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Attempt at Thai Fried Rice

Gina's Skinny Recipes site (http://www.skinnytaste.com/) makes me drool when I go through it looking for recipes. I love her site because she lists WW PointsPlus for each recipe and includes pictures. Her thai friend rice recipe was no exception to the drool rule. Look at that!


But... I didn't have the necessary ingredients and subbing things in didn't really work. Add the fact that I didn't cook the jasmine rice right (How DO you get rice to be dry and not sticky??) and you get something that turns out suspiciously like the chicken fried rice I made about a month ago. Oh well. I'm willing to try again if I can get my hands on some fish sauce and thai chili peppers and also learn how to make the rice not be so (hate this word) moist.

Here's the recipe anyway as I 'interpreted' it. (Click this link http://www.skinnytaste.com/2008/09/thai-fried-rice-575-pts.html  for the actual recipe that should be followed):

(Yeah, not exactly the same look as Gina's, huh? Why is it so pale?)

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1/4th Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 320.8 • Fat: 7.0 g Carb: 43.9 g Fiber: 2.5 g Protein: 20.2 g

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz chicken breast, cut in small cubes
  • 3 cups jasmine rice, cooked
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 3 egg whites, scrambled
  • 1 whole egg, scrambled
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 tsp vegetable oil
  • 4 tsp soy sauce (or more to taste)
  • 2 tsp fish stir fry sauce (found at the seafood counter where Old Bay is found)
  • Dash of lemon juice (I read that this plus soy sauce mimics fish sauce taste)
  • salt and pepper
Instructions:
Prepare rice ahead of time according to package instructions. Gina says that it's best if it's made slightly on the dry side, but not sure how to make that happen.

Heat a wok on a high flame. Meanwhile, season chicken with salt and pepper. When the wok is very hot, add 2 tsp oil. When the oil gets hot, add the chicken and cook on high a few minutes, tossing so that its browns all over. (Oops, didn't brown it) Remove chicken from wok and set aside, add the eggs and salt and cook a minute or two until done. Set aside.

Add the remaining oil to the wok and add the onion, scallions and garlic. Saute 1 minute, add tomatoes and stir in all the rice. Add soy sauce, lemon juice and fish stir fry sauce and stir to mix all the ingredients. Keep stirring a few minutes, then add egg and chicken back to the wok. Adjust soy sauce if needed and stir well another 30 seconds.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Quick house progress update

We're working on painting some rooms. Here are some pics.

Master: Valspar Cider

Before:
After (so far):



The color is off since we used semi-gloss and it is too shiny. We got a new gallon in satin finish and plan to finish up the painting this weekend. Unless Mike is finishing sanding the drywall patches (from where we took down the chair rail) and painting today while he honors US Presidents (pfft) and has the day off, but it's raining so I doubt it will be done. But we're so close!

Kitchen: Valspar Dolphin Cove

One wall down, three more to go. We love the color. It's a nice, soft gray that works with the purple, gray and blue countertops. I am just so glad that I found a color that worked that wasn't purple. Purple walls just aren't our scene.

Before:
After (again, so far):

Sunday, February 20, 2011

WW Beef & Ricotta Lasagna

10 points per square for this one. The square sizes are substantial, so that seems fair. It was good, but two things would be great, but not possible since it's a WW recipe: 1) The reduced-fat mozzarella tasted reduced-fat-y to both Mike and I, and 2) there wasn't enough sauce. I would also have added fresh basil. But, it was tasty despite those small issues.
 
The recipe came from my new WW cookbook - Just 5 (125 Recipes with 5 Ingredients)

Ingredients:
1.5 lb lean ground beef
4 c no-salt added marinara sauce
1 box (8 oz) no-boil lasagna noodles
2.5 c fat-free ricotta cheese
1 1/4 c shredded reduced fat mozzarella cheese

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Spray 9x13 pan with PAM
Spray non-stick skillet with PAM and put over medium heat
Brown ground beef. Drain fat.

Spread 1c marinara on bottom of baking pan
Layers in order: 4 lasagna noodles, 1/2 of the meat, 1 1/4 c ricotta, 1 c sauce, 4 noodles, rest of beef, rest of ricotta, 1 c sauce, 4 noodles, remaining sauce, mozzarella cheese.
Spread sheet of foil with PAM, cover pan, and bake for 30 minutes
After 30 minutes, uncover and cook an additional 15 minutes
Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes & cut into 8 squares

Friday, February 11, 2011

Master confusion

Mike and I have a MAJOR case of confusion in regards to choosing the paint color for our Master bedroom. We're *this* close to making a decision, but I'd love to get opinions from you. I know I've already asked most of you about this and I know that those people are groaning LOUD right now, but you love me so deal with it. :)

Send me a comment with your choice. 

Here's our new bedding:





Choice #1: Cider by Valspar - Picture of it painted on a section of the wall (along with a big ray of sunshine over in the left side of the pic). We LOOOVE it, but is it too dark? The room isn't huge, but it gets lots of natural light.






Choice #2 -Bamboo Reed by Valspar - Safe choice. We painted a sample, but I forgot to take a pic. It looks pretty similar to the online sample below.

Both colors can be found within the bedding somewhere. Oh, and we aren't into doing one accent wall and three colors on the other walls.

Thanks!

Mexican Style Pork

Mid-week crockpot meals are so very wonderful. Especially when you are tired and miserable because it is colder than it has any right to be outside.

Weight Watchers Mexican Style Pork
7 points per serving 

Ingredients:
1 lb pork roast
1 20oz jar of salsa (I used Chi Chis Medium. Bring back Chi Chis!!)
1 4.5oz can of green chiles
1 15oz can of black beans (drained)
1c shredded Mexican cheese blend 

Instructions:
Combine pork, salsa and chilies in the crock pot. Cover and cook on low for about 6 to 8 hour or until pork is soft and tender. (I recommend 7 hours on low and 1 hour on high)
Take out pork and shred with two forks. Place back in crockpot.
Stir in beans and cook again for about 5 minutes or until hot.
Finally drizzle some cheese over it.

I served it over 1/2c white rice.

Oh, and the recipe said to cut pork in cubes before cooking, but as I hate cubed meat (blech), I chose to cook it whole and then shred it. That method worked perfectly.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Treats for us dieting folk

We who must shed lbs want treats too, right? I love rice krispy treats. But what a pain to make if you don't have wax paper. I tried to smoosh them down in the pan with a cereal bag, but that MacGyver method failed. I just ended up with a cereal bag side covered with little krispies that I had to pick off and eat.

These are only 2 PointsPlus! Can't beat that.

Recipe and stats from www.skinnytaste.com:
Servings: 16 • Serving Size: 1 piece   Points+: 2 pts
Calories: 84.4 Fat: 0.7 g Protein: 0.8 g Carb: 18.9 g Fiber: 0.0 g  

Ingredients:
PAM spray
6c Rice Krispies
4c mini marshmallows
2 tsp light butter spread

Instructions:
Spray a 9x12-inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.  

Heat a large saucepan on low heat. Melt butter spread being sure to coat the bottom of the pot to prevent sticking. Add marshmallows and melt on low flame. Stir until completely melted, then remove from heat.

Add Rice Krispies to the melted marshmallows, and stir until completely combined (this is the hardest part, do this quick before the marshmallows cool). Press into the buttered pan with wax paper (NOT a cereal bag) and cut them into 16 pieces.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

Shredded chicken is my fave. I have a thing against cubed meats (blech), so shredded does it for me. This isn't a WW recipe. I bought it before I joined WW. I tried to figure out the PointsPlus value... I believe it is 10 points for one hoagie bun + chicken meat.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken (6 servings)
Amount Per Serving  Calories: 578 | Total Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 54mg 


Ingredients:

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 bottle (17.5 fl oz) of Frank's Buffalo Sauce
1/2 (1 oz) package dry Ranch dressing mix
2 tbsp butter
Hoagie buns

Directions: 

Place the chicken breasts into a slow cooker, and pour in 3/4 of the wing sauce and the ranch dressing mix. Cover, and cook on Low for 6 to 7 hours. 

                                                                            (Before)


Once the chicken has cooked, add the butter, and shred the meat finely with two forks. Pile the meat onto the hoagie rolls, and splash with the remaining buffalo wing sauce to serve. 

                            (All that was left after we dug in. I have to remember to take pics before we eat.)

 Oh, and your house will smell like heaven.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Slow Cooker Chili

I made chili for a get together with some fab friends the other night. I wasn't sure how it would turn out since it seemed like a slightly boring recipe, but it was good! It isn't a Weight Watchers recipe, but it doesn't seem to be too bad for you since I used lean ground beef and beans are 'superfoods' according to WW. My friend Dori's cornbread, however, was probably tres fattening, but MAN was it good. (Go Dori, it's your birthday!)

The picture isn't the best since I forgot to take a pic of the warm chili before we ate it all up. ;p  This chili is straight from the fridge. Picture hot smoking tendrils wafting up from it.

Ingredients:
2 lbs lean ground beef
2 cans kidney beans (I used 1 light and 1 dark)
1 8oz can tomato sauce
2 minced garlic cloves
2 medium onions, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Dash of cinnamon (and in my case cinnamon sugar since that's all I had in the ol' pantry)
Shredded cheese (Whatever kind you like. I used a Mexican blend.)

Instructions:
Brown and drain ground beef.
Add beef and all other ingredients (except cheese) to slow cooker.
Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
Serve with cheese sprinkled on top.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

WW Baked Ziti

(7 points per serving)

I know I'm focusing a lot of entries on food and recipes, but it helps me stay focused on my weight loss goal. Eye on the prize 'n 'at!

This was really good, but I don't know where they got their cooking time of 20-30 minutes. It was barely warm and the cheese was not brown and bubbly by then. I nuked it to get it piping hot, but next time I make it, it will stay in the oven for 30 additional minutes.

Ingredients:
PAM cooking spray
1 lb rigatoni
3/4 lb part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
4 c marinara sauce
1/2 lb shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 c basil, cut into ribbons

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat bottom and sides of a lasagna pan with cooking spray.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions; rinse with cool water and drain.
  • While pasta is cooking, in a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, red pepper flakes, 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and 1/3 cup marinara sauce.
  • To assemble ziti, spoon 1 cup sauce on bottom of prepared pan; top with half of pasta in an even layer. Evenly spread pasta with ricotta mixture; cover with 1.5 c sauce. Top with remaining pasta and spoon remaining sauce over top; sprinkle with mozzarella and remaining tablespoon Parmesan. Bake until cheese melts and is browned, about 20 to 30 minutes. Allow ziti to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing into 12 pieces. Yields 1 piece per serving.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

WW Chicken Fried Rice

Three for three. This recipe is soooo good. And there is more than enough for leftovers. I cooked it in a wok because making stir fry in a skillet seemed odd.


Weight Watchers Chicken Fried Rice - 4 PointsPlus per serving (1 cup)


Ingredients for 6 servings:
PAM cooking spray
12 oz boneless chicken breast cut into 1/2 inch pieces (It says 'cubes', but I hate cubed meat)
4 egg whites (I kept one yolk in there for flavor. Oops.)
1/2 c scallions, chopped (green and white parts)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 c carrots, diced (I suggest not accidentally buying baby carrots like I did. Dicing baby carrots is tough, so I sort of peeled them and used the little peel pieces.)
2 c brown rice (I didn't use brown since Mike doesn't love it, so I calculated my points using white rice)
1/2 c frozen peas, thawed
3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
+ I added a couple of squirts of Sriracha sauce for heat
+ I added mushrooms since Mike loves 'em

Instructions:

  • Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set pan over medium-high heat. Add egg whites and cook, until scrambled, stirring frequently, about 3 to 5 minutes; remove from pan and set aside.
  • Offheat, recoat skillet with cooking spray and place back over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces until thoroughly cooked. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Add scallions and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add chicken and carrots; sauté until chicken is golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes.Add chicken back into pan.
  • Stir in reserved cooked egg whites, cooked brown rice, peas and soy sauce; cook until heated through, stirring once or twice, about 1 minute. Yields about 1 cup per serving.
So, I followed the recipe loosely, but I had enough Points left for the day to play with it a little bit to make it taste the way we wanted. Yum!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Quick Spaghetti Bolognese

Another Weight Watchers recipe. Deelish!


Quick Spaghetti Bolognese - 11 points per serving

Ingredients:
Pam cooking spray
1 lb lean ground beef
28oz can diced tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp fresh basil
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt & pepper (dash of each)

Instructions:
Spray a large non-stick frying pan with PAM and place over medium heat.

Add ground beef to pan and cook for 5 minutes or until browned, breaking up clumps with a wooden spoon.

Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion is soft.


Stir in tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Add oregano and basil and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend and sauce to thicken. Spoon sauce over hot spaghetti and serve.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Yummy Pizza!

Tried a Weight Watchers recipe last night. Have to admit that I tweaked it though. I used a Boboli thin wheat pre-made pizza crust. So, I'm not sure of the Points value other than to say that it's probably below 6 per slice. And I added more cheese (oops),  but I AM sure that it was GOOOOOOOD. So good that I kept on saying to Mike while we were eating it, "So good, right?!"  Yeah, he got tired of that. But it was!


Here's the recipe the way that I did it:

 Weight Watchers Pizza Margherita- Molly Style

Ingredients
3 roma tomatoes, sliced thin
1 c FF Mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp freshly chopped basil
2 tbsp dried oregano
Pinch of hot pepper flakes
1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 Boboli, thin wheat crust

Directions
1) Preheat oven to 450
2) Top pizza crust with tomatoes, basil, hot pepper flakes, oregano, and cheese
3) Now sprinkle with olive oil and add a dash of black pepper to the top of it all
4) Bake on pizza stone about 10-12 mins or until cheese is melted

Easy peasy. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Random tip of the day

Used dryer sheets polish chrome (i.e. sink faucets.)

True story!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy 2011!

First order of bidness this year: Shed 2 stones (as the Brits say). It needs to be done. Weapon of choice: Weight Watchers.


I'm going to go to meetings. I shall don the sticky name tag and draw Thanksgiving dinner on a paper plate. It didn't work the first time I tried, but the new system that they've come up with seems do-able. Plus... it needs.to.be.done. My clothes have quit. My back is peeved. So, despite being COMPLETELY annoyed by newly-svelte Jennifer Hudson belting out "It's a NEW DAWN! It's a NEW DAY!" every 25 seconds on the TV, I'm in.

Additional weapons to be utilized: Fancy new elliptical, Wii Fit, awesome cooking blogs (i.e. http://www.skinnytaste.com/)

Wish me luck! And willpower! And about 99% more energy than I have right now.