Wednesday, June 17, 2009

We interrupt this program.... bring you a recipe from Weight Watchers! I purchased the "Pure Comfort" cookbook from Weight Watchers about a year or so ago and it has some awesome recipes. All comfort foods -- 150 of them, actually. The best thing about this cookbook is that it tells you what a serving size is and how many points it is. From Curried Popcorn to Ham and Bell Pepper Calzones (I know - YUM!) to Warm Chocolate Pudding Cake....these recipes are so easy and delicious! I know your mouth is watering right now, so I won't hold you in contempt any longer. The recipe for today is

Warm Chocolate Pudding Cake

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup + 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup low-fat (1%) milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 2/3 cups boiling water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick spray.

Combine the flour, granulated sugar, 1/3 cup cocoa powder, baking powder, coffee powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Stir just until blended. Spoon the batter evenly into the pan.

Combine the brown sugar and the additional 1/4 cup cocoa powder in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the batter. Gently pour the boiling water in a zigzag fashion over the top; do not stir. Bake until the top of the pudding is set, about 35 minutes. Cool on a rack at least 30 minutes. Cut into 9 squares and serve warm or at room temperature.

Points: 3 points for one square (when cut into 9 squares).

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Perfect Snack for a Shower

If you are looking for a recipe to take to a shower, whether it be a bridal shower, baby shower, or even just a party, this is the easiest snack to your slow cooker!

Sweet and Saucy Meatballs

1 bag frozen meatballs
1 small jar grape jelly
1 bottle of your favorite barbeque sauce

Empty meatballs in to slow cooker. Pour jelly and barbeque sauce over meatballs. Cook on Low for 3 or 4 hours.

Now that is the easy way to do it. What would make it even easier is to melt the grape jelly and barbeque sauce together in a saucepan (or in the microwave) and then pour it over the meatballs. This would make the sauce very smooth.

If you wanted to put a little more effort into this snack, you could make your own meatballs. Actually, I prefer homemade over the store-bought meatballs for the simple fact that you can make them with lean ground beef and put your own ingredients in them. Here is a recipe I use:


1 lb. lean ground beef
1 small onion, minced (or 1 T. dehydrated onion flakes)
1 egg
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 T. mustard
1 tsp. worcestershire sauce

Mix all ingredients together (using your hands to mix works really well). Roll into bite-sized balls. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour, or until meatballs are cooked through and brown. Or, you can brown/cook them in a skillet on the stove (faster method).

*This is also the recipe I use for making meatloaf. Just form the mixture into a "loaf" instead of rolling it into balls.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

It's Fiesta Time!

Here is a Crockpot recipe I posted a while back from my friend Benita. Check it out here!!
Hope you all have a great week!! :)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Pot Roast with/without Potatoes and Carrots

I know I am not "branching out" much with these first two slow cooker recipes, but some new and exotic recipes are coming, I promise! We are just starting with the basics for now.

Pot Roast with/without Potatoes and Carrots

1 chuck roast (about 3 or 4 lbs. is good)
4 or 5 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
4 medium sized carrots (sliced) or 1 small bag baby carrots
1 small onion, sliced or chopped or 1 tsp. dehydrated onion flakes
1 teaspoon minced garlic (or 1 tsp. garlic powder)
Worcestershire sauce
Seasoned salt
Enough water to cover the roast

Turn slow cooker on Low. Brown chuck roast in a skillet until there is a good brown color on all sides. Place in slow cooker. Top with a few shakes of worcestershire sauce, garlic, seasoned salt, and onions (or onion flakes). Cover with water and cook on Low for about 8-10 hours or until tender (falling apart).

Now, if you want to add the potatoes and carrots (I usually just make the roast by itself), you can add them at the beginning when you add the roast, or about halfway through. I don't usually put the veggies in just because they either turn out too mushy or not done enough.

I like to pair the roast with mashed potatoes, green beans, and "Almost Spoon Bread". Here is the recipe for the bread:

"Almost Spoon Bread"

1 box Jiffy cornmeal mix
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup sour cream
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9x9 baking dish or spray with cooking spray. Mix all ingredients together. Pour into baking dish and bake for 30 minutes or until bread is lightly golden on top (and cooked through in the center).

Hope you have enjoyed these recipes! A few more posts of "the basics" and then we will get into some amazing, and a little shocking, slow cooker recipes!

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Crockpot (aka Slow Cooker)

I LOVE my Crockpot! If you do not own a Crockpot, you do not know what you are missing! There is absolutely nothing easier than fixing a meal in the slow cooker and having it ready by the time you get home from work...except running through the drive-thru at McDonald's or KFC or some other fast food joint, that is. But why would you want to take home a greasy bag of fries and a smashed burger when you can have: Pot Roast with potatoes and carrots, Santa Fe Soup (sort of like taco soup), Barbecued Ribs, and even dessert (such as hot fudge cake)?

Over the next few weeks, I am going to be posting some slow cooker recipes for you to enjoy...and I am dedicating them to my sweet friend Ann Claire who is about to become a new bride! Ann Claire is going to be cooking a lot for her new husband and wants something that is easy and that she can put in the slow cooker (since she and hubs will both be students and will be very busy!). Soooo..let's get "slow cooking"!!

One of my favorite things to make in the crockpot is barbecued ribs (and one of the easiest!). Here is what you need:

Barbecued Ribs
1 package boneless ribs (pork or beef)
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
1 cup Coke or Pepsi

Place ribs in slow cooker. Pour entire bottle of BBQ sauce over top of ribs, followed by cola (or, you can mix the BBQ sauce and cola together and pour the mixture over). Cook on Low for 5-6 hours, or until they are tender and cooked through.

These ribs are so yummy! You can pair them with mashed potatoes and mac-n-cheese for a very satisfying meal. :)

More slow-cooker dishes to come! Stay tuned!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Kickin' it into gear...

Okay, today I "officially" start Weight Watchers again -- on my own, that is. I simply cannot afford to pay $40 a month to go to a meeting just to have someone weigh me and tell me that I have gained 2.4 pounds. So, I am trusting in the Lord to help me with this journey.

I have already gotten rid of almost all of the sweets in the house (except those cheesecake bites I just posted about which are 1 point each, I think) and the only "sweet" thing we are going to have from now on are 100 calorie packs. These are actually not that bad, if you are looking for a little snack. Plus, there are TONS of 100 calorie foods out there in the snack world, including these and these. My favorites, though, are the 100 calorie candy bars made by Hershey. They make chocolate covered pretzels, York peppermint patty sticks, and the best one so far....

These taste like those Reese sticks that you find in the candy aisle at your grocery store, but only 100 calories! And actually, most 100 calorie products are only about 2 points on WW. So...I can indulge for only a couple of points. Hey, it's hard enough trying to lose weight...don't take my sweets away too!!

Anyway, I hope you will pray for me and with me as I begin this weight journey. I don't think it will be too hard since I lost 50 lbs. before I became pregnant. But, you never know (especially now that I have a little one and a lot of "baby fat" as they call it). My husband is going to do this with me, and my sister, so be praying for them as well. Thank you! :)