Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
I don't think I know a single person who doesn't love Pizza. Thin crust, thick crust, plain cheese, tons of toppings, no cheese. It has something for everybody... in our house Pizza now means homemade crust, sauce, and tons of veggies. Now some of you busy working type, might not have the time on an average Tuesday to want to tackle making your homemade pizza dough. But on a weekend I encourage you to try it 1 time. Because it will put Pizza Hut and Domino's to shame. I don't care if domino's did just redo their recipes... Mine still conquers it, with less calories and grease!!!
Monday, April 12, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Sheperd's Pie Recipe (WW- 7 pts a serving)
- 1 pound lean ground beef (90 percent lean or higher)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped (about 3 cups)
- 3 medium carrots, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 pound white mushrooms, sliced
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup low-sodium beef broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold or creamery potatoes
- 1 small head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into florets
- 2/3 cup 1 percent lowfat milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
In a large nonstick skillet cook the meat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate. Drain any fat remaining in the skillet.
Heat the oil in the skillet over a medium heat. Add the on
ions and carrots and cook, covered, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Raise the heat to moderately-high. Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are soft and their liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes longer. Return the meat to the pan. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the broth, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper and bring to a simmer being sure to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the peas. Pour the mixture into a 12-cup shallow baking dish (about 11 by 9 inches).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Scrub the potatoes and cut into 2-inch pieces. Arrange the potatoes in a steamer basket, and steam for 10 minutes. Add the cauliflower to the basket and cook until the potatoes and cauliflower are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 15 minutes longer. Mash the vegetables with a potato masher until smooth. Heat the milk, butter, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper and stir into the potato mixture.
Spread the potato mixture on top of the meat and bake until heated through, about 25 minutes.
Calories 340; Total Fat 9 g; (Sat Fat 4 g, Mono Fat 3.5 g, Poly Fat 1 g) ; Protein 24 g; Carb 42 g; Fiber 7 g; Cholesterol 50 mg; Sodium 540 mg
Authentic Cajun Gumbo Recipe (WW-2 pts a cup)
Cajun Gumbo Recipe
- Roux (See Recipe Below)
- 2 lbs raw shrimp, peeled, deveined
- 2-3 lbs Crayfish tails, peeled
- 2-3 lbs Andouille sausage, browned
- 2 lbs lump crab meat, picked over for shells and cartilages
- 2 tbs. Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning Blend
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 2 green Bell Peppers, diced
- 3 celery ribs, finely diced
- 4-6 cloves finely minced garlic
- 8 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced (optional)
- 1 cup tomato puree (optional)
- 4 quarts stock (Shrimp, Chicken, Crab etc...) See below for Shrimp Stock Recipe
- 2 Tbs fresh chopped Thyme leaves
- 1/3 cup green onion tops
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley leaves
- 1 Tbs chopped, fresh basil leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tbs file powder (if you are not using okra)
- 1 Tbs Worcestershire
- Hot sauce, to taste
- 1/4 Tsp cayenne
- Heat the roux in a medium sized heavy stockpot over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions, celery and bell pepper. Stir mixture until onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and tomato puree, if you wish. Slowly pour in stock, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Add the browned sausage, bay leaves, Worcestershire, salt and pepper.
- Bring gumbo to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer until gumbo is slightly reduced. about 1 hour. Gumbo should cook long enough for any roux flavor to mellow, cooking on low heat for 1-3 hours will allow spices to combine and will give the gumbo a rich, aromatic flavor.
- In a small bowl ,season the shrimp, crab meat and crayfish tails with Tony Chachere's seasoning. Add the green onion tops, thyme leaves, parsley and basil leaves. Add to stockpot, cook until shrimp are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. File does not reheat well, if you plan to reheat the gumbo, it is important not to add file to the stockpot. Instead, pass file at the table for guests to thicken to their liking. Remove bay leaves before serving.
Serve in soup bowls over steamed rice.
How to Make Shrimp Stock
Make your stock the night before you plan on serving the gumbo. This will give the flavors time to set and will cut your cooking time in half for the following day. Ingredients:
- 4 quarts of shrimp shells (what you would get for shelling 2 lbs shrimp)
- 8 quarts cold water
- 2 Tbs. oil
Sachet d'epices (listed below):
- 8 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
- 1/2 tsp dried tarragon leaves
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 1/2 tsp, black peppercorns
- 1 cup parsley, finely chopped, stems and all
The above ingredients are folded into a 4" square of cheesecloth and tied into a sack
Rinse the shells under cold water, sweat the shells briefly in the oil. Add shells to cold water in a large stockpot. Add parsley and sachet and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Strain the stock thoroughly in a strainer layered with cheesecloth. Cool the stock completely in an ice water bath and store in refrigerator for use the following day.
How to Make Roux for Gumbo
Roux is going to be the base of your soup. Determining what type of roux to make will depend on which ingredients you will be adding to the soup. Don't be intimidated by the amount of time it takes to make the Roux, this is the single most important step in making Gumbo and it cannot be skipped. The end result will be well worth the amount of effort it takes to get this soup started.
Place a heavy,Dutch oven, (or iron skillet with deep sides) over medium heat and heat the oil until just smoking. Whisk in flour, a little at a time and cook, whisking constantly, until roux becomes smooth and thick. Continue to cook, constantly stirring with a wooden spoon and reaching all over bottom of pan, until roux darkens to desired color. Be careful not to produce specs of black. The roux must remain an even color throughout process. If specs appear you must start over.
- For a Light Brown Roux, cook the mixture, over medium heat for 1 1/2 hours, or until the color of peanut butter. Remove about 1 cup of the light colored roux, cool completely, and set aside for seafood gumbo.
- For a Medium Brown Roux, cook the mixture, over medium heat for an additional 30 minutes, or until the color of a copper penny when ready. Remove about 1 3/4 cups of the medium colored roux, cool completely, and set aside for a delicious start to File or Okra gumbo.
- For a Dark Brown Roux, cook the mixture an additional 35 to 45 minutes. The color should resemble dark chocolate when ready. Remove all of the remaining dark roux from the pan and cool completely. Set aside for Chicken and Sausage Gumbo.
Since walking back into the Weight watcher center and rejoining. I've had a couple great leaders that I must give props to, Susie was my first one back, and I miss her weekly pep talks and since she had to leave, I have Vicki. Who is just as bubbly, Will loves and has to give bye hugs after every meeting. So May 2008, I rejoined Weight Watchers, knowing that I was starting over... and now April 2010, I'm 72 lbs lighter. Now pick your jaws up off the ground. I know it's a lot of weight, and I've had a great support system in my Weight watchers meetings, online forums- where I met some amazing girls, and my husband. Without Michael being so supportive, and eating what I make I don't think this journey would have been nearly as "liveable". The first photo is on our honeymoon in June 2004, the second is us before Valentines 2010.
And of course Kids. Ok right now it's only one kid- Will and he is just about the best kid in the world. Now I know everyone says their kid is the greatest, and I'm not going to lie. Will can be a handful. Especially on his bad days, but deep down I know it's just him being a 2 year old and it will get better. So for now I focus on him being a great kid and not the bad stuff. Which made me think how much a 2 year old is like labor.... It's hard, and sometimes lasts longer than I think it should, but at the end you still end up with the little person. Of course as I sit here he is talking into a empty kleenex box, and trying to give our great dane (Tilly) kisses.
So here we sit, beginning this digital journey into our life. With some of the recipes that I love, stories of Will and our family, and hopefully a few laughs. Because kids are funny and not all my recipes are going to be good. But I promise not to encourage you to try the gross ones.