Sunday, April 16, 2017

Decorative Kitchen Towels

Income tax season is coming to an end (finally) and today I spent some time crafting.  My work schedule has been brutal the past few weeks so crafting hasn't been on my mind much.

After seeing some decorated kitchen towels online, I did some simple files in Make The Cut software and cut them from heat transfer vinyl.  The kitchen towels are flour sack type purchased from WalMart.  I preshrunk them before applying the designs.

I gave the women at the office the one with a rolling pin design.  We're all exhausted and trying to make it through the next few days so it's appropriate.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Making Cards, Again!

This is the first card I've made since November.  The holidays turned into tax season and I've been going pretty much non-stop since then.  It's extremely unusual for me to go three months without cutting paper, stamping and making a card or two.

This card was inspired by one seen on a SU demonstrator's blog post from 2013.  The border punch is from Martha Stewart. 

I like the clean lines and simple layout.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Almost "Alfredo" Spaghetti Squash -- 4 Smart Points

*****Edited to add:  I photographed this before I topped each with the bacon bits*****


Makes 2 servings-- 4 Smart Points each

1 spaghetti squash

4 wedges Laughing Cow creamy light Swiss cheese

2 T. half and half cream

2 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese

2 T. real bacon bits

Cut the squash in half, scoop out seeds, place cut side down in a shallow baking dish.  Add ½ cup of water to the dish.  Bake, uncovered, in a 400° oven until tender—about 35-40 minutes.

When squash is done, use a fork to remove the “spaghetti”.  Mix with the cheese wedges and cream until cheese is melted and creamy.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Scoop the squash mixture back into the empty shells.  Top each half with 1 tsp. of Parmesan cheese and 1 T. bacon bits.

 Smart Points

Laughing Cow Swiss cheese           4

2 T. Half and Half cream                2

2 tsp. grated Parmesan                  1

2 T. bacon bits                               1

This is my version of a recipe shared by Michelle Reiber on a Weight Watcher Facebook page.  I used regular half and half, Kraft grated Parmesan, since that's what I had on hand, and Hormel real bacon bits.

Be careful when you're cutting the squash in half!  The squash is really hard.  I used my large chef's knife and nested the squash in a kitchen towel to keep it steady. 

I scooped the center out into a mesh colander that I'd lined with paper towels.  This absorbs the excess water.  The cheese wedges and half and half were warmed in the microwave before I added the squash to the mixture.

It's been a really long time since I'd baked a spaghetti squash.  As I remember, I tried to substitute it for pasta with spaghetti sauce on it and I did not like it that way.  The combination of cheeses and cream makes this version taste almost like Alfredo sauce.  Fettuccine Alfredo is my favorite dish to order, and it's probably the most fat laden, high calorie item on the menu.  Now I can satisfy myself with this instead.  I could eat the entire squash and still use fewer Smart Points than just a few bites of traditional Alfredo sauce.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Southern Fried Cornbread -- 6 Smart Points

With having just two people to cook for, I rarely bake cornbread.  Instead, I mix it up and fry it up like a pancake.  It takes a lot less time and there's no need to heat up the oven. 

Tonight I measured all the ingredients so I could calculate the Smart Points per serving for the Weight Watchers plan.

4 servings: 1 cake each
6 Smart Points per cake

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 egg
1 T. oil
1/2 cup skim milk
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Mix thoroughly.  I spooned the batter into a non-stick skillet and made 4 generous corn cakes about 3 1/2 inches in diameter.    Brown on one side, then turn and cook until done. 

I used Shawnee Mills yellow cornmeal and all purpose flour to calculate the points. 

1 cup cornmeal       12
1/4 cup flour             3
1 egg                         2   
1 T. oil                      4
1/2 cup skim milk     1.5

Total 22.5 points so I rounded the count up to 6 per cake     

Monday, January 2, 2017

Grilled Chili-Lime Chicken Tenders - 5 Smart Points


2 tsp. ground cumin  ***    
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. light brown sugar  (I used Truvia brown sugar)   ***
1 lb. chicken tenders
3 T. fresh lime juice
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 (15.5 oz.) can refried beans

Stir together first 3 ingredients.  Lightly spray chicken tenders with cooking spray and coat with spice mixture.  Cook chicken in preheated skillet until done, 3-4 minutes on each side.
Stir together lime juice and cilantro.  Place tomatoes in a separate bowl and toss with 1 ½ T. of the lime and cilantro mixture.
Microwave the refried beans until hot.  Stir in 1 T. of the lime-cilantro mixture.
Toss the grilled chicken with the remainder of the lime-cilantro mixture.

***This has too much cumin for my taste and I will omit the sugar next time I prepare it.***

I had never thought of adding lime juice and cilantro to refried beans but found the lime juice adds a real brightness to the flavor.  The tomatoes are really good tossed with the juice and cilantro.

Recipe is from Weight Watchers 15 Minute Recipes

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sirloin Stir Fry With Tuscan Vegetables

We live in beef country and I enjoy pasta just about any way you can prepare it.  A couple of months ago I re-joined Weight Watchers so I've been experimenting with recipes to find things that fit into my daily points allowance and that DH will enjoy.

I had planned to grill steaks for dinner this evening but decided to do something a little different.  This turned out really well and DH said it was good so it's going into my recipe file! Start to finish, it takes about 15 minutes to prepare.

Stir Fry Sirloin With Tuscan Vegetables     
2 servings -- 12 Smart Points (as prepared)
***you can easily lower the points by using less meat or no oil to stir fry****

12 oz. sirloin, cut into thin strips
Garlic powder, salt and pepper
1 T. vegetable oil
1 package PictSweet Farms Italian Vegetables

Dust sirloin strips with garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste.
Cook vegetables in microwave following package instructions for 4 minutes.
Remove from microwave and set aside while stir frying the sirloin strips in oil. 
Add vegetable mixture to meat and cook until meat is done and vegetables are tender.
Sirloin            12 Smart Points
Oil                    4 Smart Points
Vegetables       7 Smart Points

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Crock Pot Pulled Pork

My neighbor cooked this recently and shared the recipe.  It is absolutely the most tender, falling apart pulled pork I've ever prepared.  Don't worry about the hot sauce, it gives the meat a little flavor but no heat whatsoever.

Crock Pot Pulled Pork
Makes: 8 servings
Cook Time: 5h
Top of Form
Bottom of Form
  • 4 lbs. boneless pork loin roast,fat trimmed
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can beef broth
  • 1/3 cup FRENCH'S® Classic Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/3 cup FRANK'S RedHot® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
PLACE pork in bottom of slow cooker.
COMBINE broth, Worcestershire and RedHot Sauce. Pour over meat. Cover and cook on HIGH setting for 5 hours (or 10 hours on LOW), until meat is fork tender.
TRANSFER meat to cutting board. Discard liquid. Coarsely chop roast. Stir meat into Zesty BBQ Sauce. Heat through. Serve on large rolls with deli coleslaw, if desired.