February 27, 2009

Blueberry Crumb Cake

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If you haven't noticed, I haven't been baking much lately. A lot has been going on that has kept me out of the kitchen. However, in what I have had for free time, I have been looking through my CL Annual Recipes cookbook for 1999. Which is where my Longevity Noodles came from (yum - I will be making them again).


This morning since I was up early again, I decided to go ahead an make the Blueberry Crumb Cake recipe I had tabbed and had been thinking about making the last few days. The house smells wonderful this morning and my co-workers are going to be nicely surprised on this Friday morning. :o)



Blueberry Crumb Cake

Cooking Light Annual Recipes, 1999, page 30

Cooking Spray
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup stick butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk
1 cup blueberries
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.

Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Line bottom with wax paper, and coat wax paper with cooking spray.

Beat 2/3 cup sugar and 1/4 cup butter at medium speed of a mixer until blended (about 5 minutes). Add vanilla and egg; beat well. Lightly spoon 1-1/3 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Comgine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in blueberries.

Pour into prepared pan. Combine 3 tablespoons sugar and remaining ingredients in a bowl; stir until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle sugar mixture over batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

8 servings
Calories: 264
Fat: 8.2 grams
Fiber 1.5 grams
WW Points: 6

February 25, 2009

Longevity Noodles

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I seem to go in "kicks". Sometimes its muffins. Sometimes its brownies. This time it's noodles. I've made three noodle dishes in the last 3 weeks. Maybe I've had my fill after tonight. Maybe.

I'm really glad I made this recipe. It was full of flavor and even Grumpy liked it! I was a little afraid I was going to hear "you just made shrimp on Saturday...." but instead I heard, "I saw the spaghetti noodles and I got excited, I thought you were making spaghetti." lol. Sigh. I can never win.


Longevity Noodles
Cooking Light Annual Recipes, 1999, page 118

1 tablespoon dry white wine or water
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon white pepper (I didn't have white so I used black...don't think it made a difference)
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
20 medium shrimp, peeld and deveined (about 1/2 pound)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups sliced fresh shiitake mushroom caps
1 cup diagonally sliced carrot
4 cups hot cooked whole wheat spaghetti (I used regular)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (can you believe the only "white" vinegar I had was rice wine? I used that - didn't seem to make it taste funny!)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 tablespoons minced green onions

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; add shrimp. Seal bag, and marinate shrimp in refrigerator 15 minutes.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp mixture, and saute 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and carrot; stir-fry 2 minutes. Stir in pasta, vinegar, and salt; cook 2 minutes o until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with minced onion. Yield: 4 servings (serving size 1-1/2 cups)

Calories: 333
Fat: 10.5
Fiber: 6.4
WW Points: 7

February 21, 2009

Company's coming.....

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What was I going to do? Dinner had been all figured out. Of course, it went through the Grumpy routine of "what do you want," "do you think they will like it," "what do you think of this?" Yeah, yeah, yeah. I wanted to do ribs. Grumpy wanted me to make Walnut Shrimp. So, I compromised! I made both! he he.

I was still in a funk though because I needed to do dessert. Yes, I needed to do it! I had just told you all I was all caked out and I guess that was the truth because I couldn't find a single cake recipe that impressed me enough to want to make it. I have all kinds of frozen blueberries, but Grumpy didn't want a blueberry pie. (I know what is wrong with him!). Then I remembered. I had bought some Rice Krispies and I had just seen my friend Laura's post on these yummy looking and sounding Crispy Peanut Butter bars. So, early this morning I decided these would be our dessert. Yummm. :o) Thanks Laura! I guess I should say thanks Deb too since that is where Laura got the recipe!



Peanut Butter Crispy Bars
For the recipe I followed - check out Laura's post. I basically did exactly what she did except I did not use milk chocolate chips with the peanut butter layer. I don't usually have milk chocolate in the house because I'm a dark chocolate fan. Instead, I used semi-sweet chips with the peanut butter mixture and dark chocolate chips for the top layer.


A word of warning: If you make these, get them out of your house fast. They are so delicious that you find yourself sneaking back out to the kitchen and quietly slicing a little piece off in hopes that nobody will notice when you actually pull the dessert of later.....

February 20, 2009

Where's the beef?

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For the first time in I can't tell you how long (if ever!) I gave Grumpy a suggestion for dinner the day before and he actually said yes...the first time! Hm, what was it I did right? Well, I'm thinking it is because it was a beef dish.

Looking through the Weight Watcher's Take-out Tonight cookbook I see a lot of things I would like to try. I happened to have all the ingredients at the house for this dish, so after getting the go ahead from Grumpy, I made sure to be ready! This is a really flavorful dish. The best part? It's filling AND it's only 6 points per serving (1 cup!)

Beef Lo Mein
WW Take-out Tonight, pg 52

1/2 lb fresh lo mein noodles or spaghetti
3/4 cup low-sodium beef broth
1/4 cup sake or rice wine (an online search said you could substitute dry sherry for the sake - which I did)
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1-1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon Asian (dark) sesame oil
1 Tablespoon canola oil
3/4 lb beef top round, trimmed of all visibile fat, cut into thin strips
1/2 lb white mushrooms, sliced
3 scallions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced

Cook the noodles or spaghettin according to package directions; drain and set aside. Combine the broth, sake or rice wine, soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar, and sesame oil in a small bowl. set aside. (NOTE: Do not confuse rice wine with rice wine vinegar. It is not the same).

Heat a nonstick wok or large deep skillet over medium-high heat until a drop of water sizzles. Swirl in 2 teaspoons of the canola oil, then add the beef. Stir-fry until just cooked through, 3-4 minutes; transfer to a plate. Swirl in the remaining 1 teaspoon canola oil, then add the mushrooms, scallions, and garlic. Stir-fry until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the broth mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils and thickens, about 2 minutes Stir in the beef and noodles. Cook, tossing frequently, until heated through, about 1 minute

Per serving: 1 cup = 1 serving, 290 calories, 6g fat, 442 mg sodium, 2g fiber
WW Points: 6

February 19, 2009

When life gets you down, these brownies WILL help

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I want to dedicate today's post to Marie Coe - who was a very loving and compassionate woman. Marie passed away this week. I will remember her in my heart just as fondly as I remember my nanny. The one thing that will forever be in my mind is her beautiful smile and caring heart.

Marie would donate her time and food to Caring for Marriage and Especially for you - which were ministries that I was also involved in. She and Pastor Coe lived and ministered in our area back in the mid 80's. I will never forget the Saturday night parties they would hold at their home and the feeling of belonging that Pastor and Marie gave all who came into their lives.
My thoughts and condolences go to Pastor Coe, Loren, Donice and their families.

Sometimes the only thing that will make a soul feel better is chocolate. Things happen in life at times that makes you feel like there is nothing you can do because you have hit rock bottom. Fortunately, when you are feeling so despondent, there are others around you who love you and refuse to let you hit that rock bottom so hard that you can't turn back. Sometimes those others have chocolate ;o)

I have heard some people say that certain people can "make you" or "break you". I say the only person who can do either of those things is yourself. I believe strength comes with age, with age comes wisdom. As I have gotten older I have become a very strong person. I think back about how I didn't used to be and realize I have come a really long way. That doesn't mean that I don't have my moments of weakness. There are people out there who would love to break someone who is high on life and happy with themselves. Instead of hating those people though, I pity them. I pity them because they have no idea what it really means to be happy.

Things that make me happy? The number one thing is my kids. I'm so darn proud of them I could just burst. They are young, so they are still working on their lives. They still have a lot to learn, but the one thing they do have going for them is they both have their mom and their dad to support them in times of despair AND in happiness. Like many parents, my kids are my life. I will do anything it takes to be there for them no matter what they may need!

I will do the simplest things to make my children happy..... like making these brownies! Its my feeling that nothing shows love like home baked goodness. (Oh no, do I now sound like Carla on Top Chef?) lol. However, I believe my children have learned the lesson of how to show their mom the love too.

Chris came to the house the other night and while he was here he helped me make the brownies by chopping the peanut butter cups for me. I have been having problems with my right shoulder/neck/arm and as a result of this, I am not able to do things around the house as I have been able to in the past. Chris also was such a good boy and helped me clean the flour that spilled on the floor (because of my dropsies of course) and didn't show any impatience with me for being so clumsy. He certainly loves his mom and I am so lucky.

I made these brownies because last week when Chris was having a hard time he told me he wanted brownies. These brownies are the best of all brownies and I knew these were just what he needed. Mind you, are definitely not low in fat or calories, but when you are in need of comfort....calories don't count.

Best Ever Brownies Peanut Butter Style
adapted from Brookes Bombshell Brownies on allrecipes.com


  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped mini peanut butter cups
  • 1/2 cup mini Reeses pieces


Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.

Combine the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each, until thoroughly blended.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until blended. Stir in the chopped peanut butter cups. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with mini Reeses pieces

Bake in preheated oven until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove, and cool pan on wire rack before cutting. (it only took 35 minutes for my brownies)

Prep time:  10 minutes
Cook time:  40 minutes
Total time:  50 minutes
Serves:  36

February 18, 2009

Sesame Peanut Noodles

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I dug my Take out Tonight cookbook from Weight Watchers the other night and started searching for something I could make that wouldn't be killing my diet! I love peanut butter and have never had this type of dish but have always wanted to try it.

Chris came to our place for the night last night and he tried this out too....and loved it! It was really good and I will definitely make it again. It doesn't hurt that it is a healthy recipe!

Sesame Peanut Noodles
WW Take out Tonight

6 oz. dry spaghetti noodles
1/3 cup reduced fat peanut butter
1/2 cup water
3 Tablespoons ketchup
3 Tablespoons Hoisin Sauce
2 Tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
2 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 scallions (thinly sliced)

Note: I added some cooked unbreaded chicken breast tenders to this dish to add some protein. If your counting points, please allow for what chicken you add to the dish.

Cook pasta according to directions. Let cool 10 minutes.

Mix peanut butter thru sesame oil together in saucepan and heat until just warmed and well combined. Pour over noodles and sprinkle with scallions.

1/3 cup equals one serving
WW Points: 4

February 17, 2009

Devils food white out! TWD

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Yeah, I'm kinda caked out. No, we didn't have cake one day after another. I did make this cake a couple of weeks ago and shared it with my son and his wife. Grumpy really liked this cake and my son Justin who isn't a big chocolate eater liked it also. I believe the word from Kristina was that she liked her chocolate cake to be "more chocolate." I think this would have been more chocolatey if I had put the chocolate chips in the cake, but I skipped that step.


This cake kind of reminded me of the Mayonnaise cake my nanny would make me for my birthday. I still think I like the Mayonnaise cake better, but the frosting is basically the same thing. I'm a little notstalgic at writing this because yesterday was the anniversary of my nanny's death. I miss her so much and always will. She was one person I could count on to be there for me and love me no matter what - even if I was wrong. Nobody can replace her in my heart but I can only hope that she lives on in me and that my kids will remember me as I remember her.

This weeks TWD choice comes from Stephanie of Confessions of a City Eater chose Devils Food White Out Cake, pages 247-249 of Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From my home to yours. You can view the recipe by clicking here.

To see the results of the other TWD bakers you can check out our blogroll!

February 15, 2009

Yes, Grumpy came through....

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Raspberry cream in white chocolate - February flavor of the month at St. Lawrence Chocolate!

But so did HoneyB! A few people remembered my last year valentine....and had asked if Grumpy came through this year. Last year I found my valentine present in his lunch box when I went to clean it out that evening. This year, Grumpy "knew" that the internet world had seen and heard about what he had done and this year he told me the pressure was on, that he couldn't disappoint his "fans". he he. You would think he thought he was a celebrity or something! ;o)

I really didn't expect another gift like I received last year. Grumpy and I recently had gotten ourselves some things we had wanted and honestly, I wouldn't have been upset if he hadn't come home with anything. I have Grumpy, I have my family, I have my kitties, a warm home, a good job - for the both of us.....what more could I ask for? I'm happy and that is what is most important! (shhh, but don't tell Grumpy I said that!)

What's that? Oh, you want me to get on with what he did?! ;o)


I have been making something by hand for one of my Pay it Forward recipients. I have been doing this every evening and Grumpy knew it. On Friday night I didn't open my craft box for the first night all week! lol. It never crossed my mind when Grumpy asked me if I was still working on my "craft" what he may have done!

Saturday morning I woke up early (as usual) and about an hour after I was awake I decided to open my craft box and there inside sat a jewelry box! Grumpy had bought me a black diamond necklace! Of course, he wasn't awake to see me find my gift, but I let him know about it as soon as he came down stairs! So for all Grumpy's "fans", he came through for me!


Just so you all know Grumpy didn't get left out....His birthday is just the week before Valentine's Day, so this year I bought him an extra special gift! Grumpy only has a desktop computer, but not anymore! Grumpy received a laptop as a combination gift (birthday/valentine) but I also brought him home a box of chocolates from St. Lawrence Chocolates :o)


The cake above was Grumpy's birthday cake. We only had it yesterday as I wanted to make it when his Step-mom could be here to enjoy it also. She had requested a carrot cake back at her birthday, but the time and opportunity to make it hadn't ever come along until this weekend.

I looked and looked at carrot cake recipes. I didn't like the 1 to 1-1/2 cups of oil that almost every recipe I looked at called for. I also didn't want to strain applesauce (as some of the Cooking Light recipes called for you to do) and I didn't want to use crushed pineapple. I finally went with the carrot cake recipe in my Dorie Greenspan, Baking: From my home to yours cookbook. The TWD group had already made this cake in the past before I was a member, so I wasn't going to be making something that we hadn't already made!




Bill’s Big Carrot Cake
Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan (pgs 253-255)
Yields 10 servings (let me tell you these are HUGE servings!)

For the cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened) (I did not use this)
½ cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden) (I did not use this)
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil (I used 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce)
4 large eggs

For the frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese)
1 stick ( 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pound or 3 and ¾ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted (I just kind of guestimated the sugar - poured it in a little at a time from the bag)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or ½ teaspoon lemon extract (I went with refridgerated lemon juice, that was all I had!)
½ cup shredded coconut (optional) (I did not use this)
Finely chopped toasted walnuts and/or toasted shredded coconut (optional) (I went with the nuts)

Getting ready:
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter three 9-x-2-inch round cake pans, flour the insides, and tap out the excess. Put the two pans on one baking sheet and one on another.

To make the cake:
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut, and raisins.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together on a medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one by one and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Gently mix the chunky ingredients.

Divide the batter among the baking pans. Bake for 40-50 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until a thin knife inserted into the centers comes out clean. The cakes will have just started to come away from the sides of the pans.

Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and unmold them. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up. The cakes can be wrapped airtight and kept at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.

To make the frosting:

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy.

Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth. Beat in the lemon juice.

Frost and decorate as desired!



February 12, 2009

And the winners were chosen.....

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BY GRUMPY! This afternoon I told Grumpy I needed to do a random pick of winners for the Yo-Plus giveaway. He wanted to pick, so this is what I did. I numbered each entry (any comments left after 4 pm EST on Friday were not included). I asked Grumpy to choose 3 numbers between 1 & 50. He chose the following numbers:

#1
Barbara Bakes said...The granola looks yummy and I'll have to give the yogurt a try.

#37
Anonymous
said...Love granola and yogurt!
My tip is to cut out all sugary drinks. I don't drink soda at all any more. If I want something fizzy, I have a seltzer. Also, I have really cut back on my consumption of bottled juice. I try to eat fresh fruit instead. If I do drink fruit juice, I cut it in 1/2 or 1/3 with water.
imryan23

and #44
Katy said...
Your granola looks fab!


He had these reasons for each number choice:
#1 was on the ball and really wanted to win, so they deserved to win
#37 was chosen because that is how old he is
#44 was chosen because he likes double d's and D is the 4th letter of the alphabet therefore #44 (and in his words he's a pig)

I almost didn't want to type that last reason in. It makes me really go red in the face! I guess I have to say...he's a guy....what can we expect? (rolling my eyes here!)

Congrats to the winners and I think you are going to be VERY PLEASED with your prize!
************************************************************************************A couple days ago I received an email from my friend Laura of The Spiced Life and a SU message from my friends at Hugging the Coast....they both were the bearers of some exciting news for me! Amanda of My Finds Online had listed my blog as one of the top 25 blogs for 2009! Thank you so much for noticing me Amanda and for the honor of being listed as a top blog!


One of our grad students has been pestering me for a while now to bring muffins into the office. This started back when I was on my brownie kick and I had to tell him, I just wasn't in the mood for muffins! He smartly told me I needed to get in the mood for muffins! Hmm, what is it with these kids? ;-)

I had been eying a recipe from the recent Healthy Cooking magazine for a pumpkin muffin that called for cinnamon chips and finally, yesterday morning I decided I had enough time to throw them together before I went into the office. Its funny, word gets out fast when I have brought food into the office! One of the professors came in and said she was there to get a muffin before they were gone (she saw one of the other profs walk by her office with a muffin! lol).

These muffins are moist and yummy with the cinnamon and chocolate chips. I had never made my own oat flour before, but with the gift of my food processor from my wonderful daughter in law, I actually was able to make my own oat flour with whole oats when I saw the recipe called for it! I'm really pleased with how these turned out and I love the cinnamon chips!


Double-Chip Pumpkin Cinnamon Muffins
Healthy Cooking, March 2009

1 can (15 oz) solid-pack pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup canola oil
2 eggs
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup oat flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup cinnamon baking chips (I used mini cinnamon chips)
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Topping: (I skipped this part entirely because I was in a hurry and totally missed it in the recipe! It certainly did not take away from the muffin by skipping it.)
1/4 cup sugar
3 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a large bowl, beat the first seven ingredients until well blended. Comgine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg; gradually beat into pumpkin mixture until blended. Stir in chips.

Coat muffin cups with cooking spray or use foil liners (I used paper liners); fill 2/3 full with batter. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over batter.

Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

This recipe yields 24 regular sized muffins.

Nutrition facts: 1 muffin equals
174 calories
6 grams fat
164 mg sodium
2 grams fiber
WW Points: 4

February 11, 2009

I have the granola...now for the yogurt (a giveaway!)

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Make sure you read to the end for the giveaway!

I have been wanting to make some homemade granola for a few days now. I love to eat it on my yogurt for breakfast! I had made Foster's Homemade Granola before and while it was good, I wanted to find a different recipe this time.

I happened to come across the blog My Adventures in Food on Sunday afternoon and while browsing through her posts I came across a granola recipe she found on Food Network (ala Alton Brown). I didn't have coconut, but figured I would just have to make the recipe without it this time as I was not going to the store 13 miles away just for one ingredient. I did some improvising and what I did is below. You can see kokomama's version on her site!

Granola
Improvised from My Adventures in Food and Food Network

3 cups whole oats
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. brown sugar (I only had dark brown)
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup (I use light amber)
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1 cup whole sea salted cashews
1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup kettle roasted peanuts
1-1/2 cups raisins (I used dried assorted fruit - strawberries, cranberries, prunes, raisins, etc)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar. In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto a rimmed baking sheet. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.

Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add raisins (in my case, the mixed dried fruit) and mix until evenly distributed.

*************************************************************************************

What better to go with the granola than this yogurt! Recently I was offered the opportunity to try Yoplait's newest flavor of Yo-Plus lowfat yogurt. Yogurt with granola is my favorite breakfast so when I was offered this opportunity, I jumped right up and said yes! Yo-Plus is a creamy, fruit-flavored yogurt with live and active probiotic cultures that help regulate your digestive health year-round. Yo-Plus also is a good source of fiber, calcium and vitamins A & D. If you are interested in trying this now, you can click here for a coupon for $1.50 off a 4 pack. You can also visit their website at www.Yo-Plus.com for tips on how to maintain a balanced life and additional information!

I along with my sponsor will be giving away three (3) Yo-Plus gift bags! With the bag you will receive a water bottle, a coupon for a free 4-pack of Yo-Plus yogurt, and a nutrition notebook! To enter the giveaway just leave a comment and share your personal tips on how to stay healthy and maintain a nutritional diet this year! You can earn another entry if you tweet about this post on twitter or if you post a link to this post on Facebook. Just come back here and leave another comment to let me know you have done this! Good luck!

P.S. You will LOVE this gift bag - it is a large, insulated bag with a zipper top that is perfect for carrying cold items home in from the grocery! Winners will be chosen by 1:00 PM on Friday, February 13, 2009. Giveaway is limited to those in the US only.




February 10, 2009

A light and hearty tuna casserole

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I opted out of this week's TWD - with a birthday in the picture, I went with cake instead of the Floating Islands. To see this week's recipe, check out Shari of Whisk: a food blog and to view the results of the TWD members you can check out our blogroll!

Grumpy loves Tuna Casserole. I don't. That is why in the almost 9 years we have been together I have never, ever made it for him. When he had a craving for tuna casserole, I would buy the Tuna Helper and make it just for him and I would eat something else.

On our way to the chocolate tasting - which was an hours drive, I had Grumpy help me decide our meals for the week so I didn't have the problem of not knowing what I was going to make for dinner when I got home from work. I had my Healthy Cooking Magazines in tow and looked through them, made suggestions, showed him the photos and we came up with a plan for Monday - Saturday! Woo Hoo!

I saw this recipe for Light-But-Hearty Tuna Casserole and thought, why not? It is something Grumpy loves so maybe I should make it and give it a try myself.

This recipe was a little different to me from what I had seen of Tuna Casseroles as it did not call for green peas. Instead, it called for 1/2 cup of roasted red pepper. It also called for plain bread crumbs mixed with spices but since I didn't have plain bread crumbs, I used panko bread crumbs.

Do I now love Tuna Casserole? No, I don't love it, but I can't say I hate it anymore either! I ate all that I took and Grumpy? Well, he ate the rest of the casserole that same evening. So I would say he loved it! ;o)



Light-But-Hearty Tuna Casserole
Healthy Cooking Jan/Feb 2009

3 cups uncooked yolk free noodles
1 can reduced fat reduced sodium cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1/2 cup fat free milk
2 Tbsp. reduced fat mayonnaise
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1 can (6 oz) solid white tuna, drained
1 jar (6 oz) sliced mushrooms, drained
1/4 cup chopped roasted sweet red pepper

Topping:
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp pepper

Cook noodles according to package directions. In a large bowl, combine the soup, milk, mayonnaise and mustard. Stir in the tuna, mushrooms and red pepper. Drain noodles; add to soup mixture and stir until blended. Transfer to 8-in. square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over casserole, Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly.

Nutrition facts: 1-1/2 cups equals 322 calories, 9 grams fat, 843 mg sodium, 39 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 18 grams protein.

February 09, 2009

Whipped cream, pineapple, cherries and.....rice?

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The colors of the season for February are the colors of valentine. Anything red/white/pink colored reminds me that it is the time for love! Growing up I loved anything cherry. Cherry ice cream, cherry pie (which was my very favorite!), cherry cough syrup...Yeah, I know, but hey, I was a kid!


I remember at Camp Cherokee we would be treated with big huge long banana splits. I can't remember how we got them, but I know it was a special treat for something we did - maybe it was keeping our cabin cleanest or something....but I just remember big, long, banana splits...with cherries on top.


I am thinking Glorified got it's name because of its doctoring up it got with sugar, whipped cream, pineapple and cherries....because rice on its own is so boring! In any case, this is a dish I always loved to eat when I was little and still love to eat as an adult!

Glorified Rice

1 cup cooked white rice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1- 13.5 oz can crushed pineapple
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
2 Tablespoons drained chopped maraschino cherries
6 whole maraschino cherries for garnish

Mix rice, sugar, pineapple, and vanilla. Stir in marshmallows and cherries. Fold in whipped cream. Top with extra maraschino cherries to decorate.

C
hill for 4 hours.

Spoon the rice mixture into 6 dessert dishes and place a cherry on top of each.

February 08, 2009

Happy Birthday Bub

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Today is Bub's birthday. Bub probably doesn't even know I have this blog. Grumpy probably doesn't run around telling his buddies his wife takes pictures of food and talks about not only the food but him on the internet. ha ha. BUT I want to wish Bub a happy birthday anyway.


I sent these bars with Grumpy to give to Bub on Friday. See, Grumpy and Bub not only have birthday's close together, they also work together everyday. I love Bub because he keeps Grumpy happy at work! ;o) I am also told how he loves sweets and how he loves candy....therefore, I made him something sweet and something with candy to give him on his birthday!


Grumpy tells me how Bub eye's his lunch box. I told him when he opened his lunch box on Friday that Bub was to get those cookies! Word is that he was very happy to get them!
:o)


M&M Cookie Bars
From Culinary in the Dessert

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter, melted (I let it go on the stove until it started to turn a little brown and nutty)
2 1/4 cups brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups M&M's

Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly spray a 10 X 15" jelly roll pan with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In another large bowl, combine the melted butter and brown sugar, stirring until evenly distributed. Allow to cool slightly. Add the eggs,
one at a time, beating very well after each one. Mix in vanilla extract. Stir in the flour mixture and when combined add in the M&M's. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 24-26 minutes, until they are shiny and golden brown on top. Try not to overbake these or they will be dry. A cake tester will most likely not come out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely before cutting.

February 07, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

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Today is Grumpy's birthday and I treated him real well. He's getting a laptop for his birthday, a ham dinner, and a carrot cake.

Grumpy asked for Buffalo Chicken Pizza for our Friday night pizza! I believe it was just last week that I was informed that I could no longer cook chicken! hehe. This is how it went:

Grumpy: You know, Nice & Easy makes this buffalo chicken pizza that is really good. Sometimes on my way home from work I will grab a piece to hold me over til dinner (he travels good distances sometimes for his job). You could make that for dinner one night.


HoneyB: Your kidding me! You don't like buffalo chicken pizza. I've made it before and you turned your nose up at it.

Grumpy: I don't remember that.



Yup. Grumpy is becoming an old man. Lately I've been telling him his forgetfulness is because he's getting old. hehe - you should have seen his face when I told him he was awful close to 40 now. (mind you, I will be 46 this year so I have EVERY right to tease him....) What's good for the goose is good for the gander eh? If you remember.....he does call me OLD Buzzard or Buzzy.......not really HoneyB! ;o)


Buffalo Chicken Pizza
HoneyB's way

Chicken:
2 chicken breasts sauteed with some pam, salt and pepper
Red hot sauce (2-4 tablespoons depending on heat preference)
1-2 tablespoons melted butter (depending on how much red hot sauce you use)

Dice chicken and put in small mixing bowl. Pour red hot sauce and melted butter over top. Stir to combine. Set aside.

Crust:
Approximately 2-1/2 cups flour
1/2 tablespoon yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup very warm (not hot) tap water

In bowl of kitchen aid stir together 1 cup of flour with remaining ingredients, scraping down sides to incorporate all ingredients. Add 2nd cup of flour and continue to scrape down sides as needed. Turn to a higher speed to "knead" the dough and gradually add enough of the remaining flour until the dough ball is no longer "sticky". (I didn't quite use another 1/2 cup). Let dough sit in warm, draft free place until double in size.

Assembly:
Punch dough to release air. Sprinkle pizza stone with corn meal and press dough out onto circle. Pre-bake crust for approximately 7 minutes. Remove from oven and top as follows:

Toppings in order listed:
Ken's Chunky Blue Cheese dressing (or your choice of dressing - this is our favorite!)
3/4 buffalo chicken mixture spread evenly over top of dressing
Mozzarella cheese (I use part skim and probably sprinkle about 1-1/2 cups over top- too much cheese and it will run over your crust and off the stone!)
Remainder of buffalo chicken mixture sprinkled over top

Bake at 450 on pizza stone in bottom of oven until crust start's to brown. Move to middle rack and continue to cook until browned nicely all over (crust and topping)

Remove from oven and sprinkle with blue cheese crumbles if desired then cool for about 10 minutes before cutting. (to prevent cheese and sauce from running all over stone and you!)

Serve with a side of blue cheese dressing and celery sticks. (If you don't like blue cheese dressing, you can easily substitute Ranch dressing)
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