Saturday, February 27, 2010

Whole Wheat Focaccia Bread

Let me just say, if I had to eat one thing for the rest of my life, I truly believe that it would be bread. Maybe it's because I'm Portuguese, maybe it just because I love carbs. Unfortunately carbs don't seem to love us back. White flour is evil. So why not try to have the bread, without having the guilt of white flour.

This recipe was so good that my family eat half in one night. This Focaccia bread is similar to pizza, only major difference is that focaccia bread tends to be thicker than pizza. I truly think this bread is a wonderful, and quick alternative to garlic bread. Lots of herbs and lots of flavor! I will for sure continue to make this recipe, and I hope you do to.

Inspired by Peter Reinhart's "Whole Grain Breads" cookbook.

Recipe Yield 1 focaccia


2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
4-6 large cloves of garlic minced (if you have a garlic press this would be great)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese


In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, yeast, and black pepper. Mix in the vegetable oil and water. (This is best done in a stand mixer with the dough hook.)

When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic.

Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil.

Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Punch dough down; place on greased baking sheet. Pat into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Brush top with olive oil.

Sprinkle with salt,garlic powder, oregano, basil,Parmesan, minced garlic, and cheese

Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Friday, February 26, 2010

40 Clove Garlic Chicken

I have to admit, I never heard of 40 clove garlic chicken until I joined a food website/broad where other women who enjoy cooking post recipes, and questions. Because of this broad, I have found myself thinking more outside the box. I have also tired to make things that I would never have thought I would be capable of creating. So for that, my family and I thank you.

This recipe is so easy and requires little to no work on your part. All you have to do is the prep work, which should take no more than 10 minutes from start to finish, and then your crock-pot will do the rest. This is the perfect dish for long days in the office, or on days that you are out running around all day. Being able to come home to a hearty meal is always a plus.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Happy cooking!

FYI....I highly recommend that you brine your chicken to insure that it stay moist. It is not necessary, however I have found that a chicken that has been brine is always so much better.


2 tablespoons butter
40 cloves garlic peeled about 4 head
3 1/2 lb chicken pieces (I like to use chicken breasts)
2 onions chopped
4 stalks of celery diced
1 teaspoon of dried basil leaves
2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
1/4 freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 Cup dry white vermouth or white wine


Place chicken into bottom of slow cooker. (chicken can be added frozen)

In a skillet melt butter over medium-low heat.

Add garlic and cook, until soften and turn a golden color then transfer garlic to slow cooker

Add onions and celery to pan and cook stirring until softened.

Add basil, salt, peppercorns and nutmeg and cook, stirring for 1 minute

Add vermouth and bring to a boil.

Pour over Chicken.

For the most important step...once everything is the slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or 3-4 hours on high, until juices run clear when pierced with a fork.

This dish I like to serve with white rice, a veggie such as broccoli or corn, and some fresh bread, which I like to spread with the garlic cloves from the chicken. So yummy, I'm ready for leftovers. LOL!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bacalhau A Bras (Portuguese Scrambled Eggs w/ Salt Cod and Fries)

As a child we never had meat on Wednesdays and Fridays during Lent. This was the tradition in my Grandparents house, and when my parents house, and now mine.

Being that we had fish twice a week during Lent, Bacalhau was always on our weekly menu. I know what your thinking, six weeks with salted cod on your boring, but you are so wrong. Did you know that there are over 1000 different recipes for this type of fish? Talk about a versatile ingredient.

Besides Bacalhau a gomes de sa, (salted cod casserole)which it also in my blog, this is by far my favorite recipe. My mother would make this once in a while, and I wished I had written her recipe down. Now that she lives overseas, it would have come in handy when I wanted to make this dish. Being that she isn't here, I had to try to concoct something for myself. With the help of the internet I was able to come with the next best thing to my mother's recipe. I hope you all enjoy this recipe.

Recipe Adapted from David Leite,

Recipe yields 4 to 6 servings. (FYI I think the recipe below only yields 4 servings, so it you are making this for more than 4 people, I would double the recipe.)

1 pound dried salt cod (soaked for 24-36 hour before using)
7 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips
1 large onion, diced
1 bay leaf
8 large eggs (I use 6, I think 8 is a little much)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided


The most important thing that you will have to do is soak the fish. Place it in a bowl and add enough cold water to cover. Soak for 24-36 hours changing the water several times.

2. The next day, drain the fish and transfer to a large stockpot.

Cover with water, bring to a boil (you do not need to add any salt) Let simmer until the fish flakes easily, about 15 minutes once the water starts to boil.

Drain and cool. Flake the fish, discarding any bones.

Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy, large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. (If you like you could also fry the potatoes veggie oil in a deep fryer if your in a time crunch...which is what I did tonight, just keep in mind your adding more fat and calories by doing this.)

Add the potatoes in batches and saute until crisp and golden, this will take about 7 minutes per batch.

Transfer the potatoes to paper towels to drain.

Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the same skillet and add onion and bay leaf and saute until golden, about 15 minutes.

Once onions are cooked discard the bay leaf.

Reduce the heat to low. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the onion slices in the skillet. Add the fish and potatoes.

Whisk the eggs, the 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl to blend.

Add the egg mixture and 3 tablespoons of the parsley to the fish mixture in the skillet.

Cook over medium heat until the eggs begin to set, stirring occasionally so that your food doesn't stick, but also so your potatoes do don't turn into mush. This will take about another 3 minutes.

Transfer to a platter or serve right out of skillet.

Garnish with the remaining parsley and serve hot!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Grilled Pork-Chops with Weight Watchers Mushroom Sauce

I sometimes wonder if anyone else ever gets sick and tired of having the same thing over, and over again. I know, I sure do. When it comes to dinners I try to change things up as much as possible, especially when it comes to pork.

My husband is not a picky eater, however he also isn't a big fan of pork. He states that it tends, to be dry and tough, and in some cases, he is right. Which brings me to my point of how glad I am to have come across this recipe for mushroom sauce. It adds that extra something, and is a great alternative to the usual red sauce.

One of the great things about this sauce is that it's weight watchers recipe. It is packed with flavor, and is so easy to make. I hope that if you try it, that you all enjoy it as much as we did. Happy Cooking!

Mushroom sauce adapted from the Weight Watchers Cookbook

Makes 4 servings:


1.5 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 shallot finely diced
2 garlic clove
4 cups of thinly sliced mushrooms (to save time you can buy the mushrooms already sliced)
1/8 teaspoon of black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of salt (or more to adjust to taste)
2 tablespoons brandy (I didn't have brandy so I used some Portuguese Port wine)
1 1/2 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup fat-free milk (you might need to add a little extra milk while cooking to thin out the sauce)
2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream (A must have it makes the sauce creamy and makes the sauce taste really good.)


2 bone-in Pork-chops (doesn't need to have bone, and be center cut)
half box of your favorite Whole Wheat pasta
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon of black pepper
1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of olive oil


In a stockpot bring water to a boil, and cook pasta as directed by package.

Season pork-chops with salt,pepper, and garlic powder.

Pour olive oil onto a hot grill pan, and place pork-chop to sear the meat. Once the meat is seared reduce the heat and let cook (about 5-6 minutes on each side depending on thickness of the pork.)

While pork is cooking, melt butter for sauce in a large skillet.

Saute the shallot until soft, it will take about 2 minutes.

Add garlic and cook for another minute.

Stir in mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Stir frequently until mushrooms are tender. (This will take another 5-6 minutes.)

Increase the heat to high, and cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated.

Add brandy (or Port) and cook another minute.

Stir in flour, and stir constantly until smooth.

Stir in milk, reduce the heat and simmer stirring constantly until thickened. (this will take about 7 minutes)

Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream.

Serve over your favorite pasta or protein!

Serving size for sauce is 1/2 cup....79 cal, 2g fat, 1g sat fat, 7mg chol, 187mg sodium, 11g carbs, 1g fiber
weight watchers points 2 for sauce only

Monday, February 22, 2010

Cheddar, Bacon, and Onion Mashed Potatoes

I needed a side to go along with my weight watchers pepper steak, and mashed potatoes was the first thing that came to mind. Being that I was making a low calories main dish, I wanted to try to find a side (preferably mashed potatoes) that would also fall into that same category.

I was pleasantly surprised when I found this recipe. The fact that they were so devilish good, but yet so heavenly low in calories makes my mouth water. My husband and I loved this recipe. It was the perfect side for the pepper steak.

This recipe has made it's way into my regular rotation.

Recipe adapted from the "Pillsbury Family Pleasing Recipes" cookbook


2 slices of turkey bacon
4 medium russet potatoes peeled and cut into quarters (I like to use unpeeled red potatoes)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon of pepper (to taste I tend to use a little more than that)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (original recipe calls for 1/8teaspoon but I don't think it gives enough garlic taste)
1/2 cup of milk heated (I use 2% to save calories and fat)
2 tablespoon chopped green onions
1/2 shredded cheddar cheese (I used fat-free)


Cook bacon until crisp, then crumble bacon and set aside.

Place potatoes in medium saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium low and boil gently for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes break apart easily, when pierced with fork.

Drain potatoes well.

Mash potatoes until no lumps remain.

Add salt, pepper and milk, continue mashing until potatoes are smooth.

Spoon potatoes into a medium bowl, and top with green onions, cheese and crumbled bacon.

Nutrition Information per serving (This is based on regular milk and regular cheese... if you are like myself and make the adjustments then the nutrition information regarding fat and calories will be less.)

serving size 3/4 cup Calories 180 Calories from fat 60, Sat Fat 4g, carbs 22g, Fiber 1g, Protein 7g Sugars 3g

Weight Watchers Easy Pepper Steak

So ever since the New Year, I have been on a mission to find recipes that are not only healthier, but also tasty. I came across a Weight Watchers cookbook, and I saw a few recipes that I would like to try. Based on the amount of calories, I thought it was worth trying. Besides, if dinner was a complete failure, we could have done cereal.

I bet, your wondering how it was. Well ladies, it was the best weight watchers meal I have ever made!!! It will surely be a dish that I will continue to make for year to come. I hope you all enjoy it as much as we did.

Adapted form the "Weight Watchers Complete Cookbook"

1 1/4 Cups Reduced-sodium beef broth (original recipe called for 1 3/4 cup, but I think it's too much)
2 Tablespoons Reduced Sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Teaspoons canola oil (omitted and used cooking spray worked perfectly)
1 Pound Flank steak, trimmed and thinly sliced against the grain (I ended up using New York Strips but will try flank steak next time)
4 Assorted color bell peppers cut into thin strips (I used all red)
6 Scallions, cut into 2 inch lengths (I was out of scallions so I added a thin sliced onion)
1 Serrano pepper diced with seeds (I kick the added kick this can be omitted)
3 Garlic cloves minced
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper


Stir together 1 1/4 broth, soy sauce, and cornstarch in a small bowl until smooth

Heat the oil (or spray with cooking spray) a nonstick wok over high heat.

Add steak, salt and pepper and stir-fry until browned about 4 minutes, then transfer to bowl, and set aside. (I like to season the steak with salt and pepper 15 minutes before stir frying the meat.)

Add the bell peppers to the wok and stir-fry until tender for about 3 minutes.

Add the scallions and garlic and stir-fry for additional 1 minute.

Add mixture of broth, soy sauce, and cornstarch and cook,covered for another 3 minutes.

Return beef to work, and stir-fry until sauce thickens and bubbles.

Serving size is 1 1/4 cup 183 cal, 5g Fat, 1g Sat Fat, 9g Carb, 2g Fiber, 25g Protein, Weight Watcher POINTS 4

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Jonathan Spring and summer of 2009

So I just wanted to update with a new picture of Jonathan when I came across a picture of his birthday cake last May. It would have been perfect if the cake wasn't deflating on the left side.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Yummy Giant Croissants

So I decided that I would start a new tag in my blog for meals/snacks that were 200 calories or less. I was so surprised to find a recipe for big flaky croissants that were under 200 calories and actually thought about not making them. How can something so big only be 199 calories. I was pleasantly surprised by this recipe. They are so good, your taste buds wouldn't miss the extra fat. If you ask me, this paired with a nice big cup of coffee in the morning, is by far the best way to start the day.

This recipe is very good but it does take a long time... about 8hrs in total. Totally worth the time and work it takes to make them.

I know they aren't the prettiest croissants, but they don't look that bad for a first timer. LOL!

Recipe is from All recipes link below.


1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup warm milk (I use 2%milk)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (you can also use applesauce in place of the oil)
2/3 cup unsalted butter, chilled
1 egg
1 tablespoon water


Combine yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Allow to stand until creamy and frothy.

Pour flour into a mixing bowl.

Dissolve 2 teaspoons sugar and salt in warm milk and then Blend into flour along with yeast and oil.

Mix well; knead until smooth. Cover, and let rise until over triple in volume.

Deflate gently, and let rise again until doubled.

Deflate again and chill for 20 minutes.

Massage butter until pliable, but not soft and oily.

Pat dough into a 14 x 8 inch rectangle.

Smear butter over top two thirds, leaving 1/4 inch margin all around.

Fold unbuttered third over middle third, and buttered top third down over that.

Turn 90 degrees, so that folds are to left and right. Roll out to a 14 x 6 inch rectangle.

Fold in three again. Sprinkle lightly with flour, and put dough in a plastic bag.

Refrigerate 2 hours.

Unwrap, sprinkle with flour, and deflate gently. Roll to a 14 x 6 inch rectangle, and fold again.

Turn 90 degrees, and repeat. Wrap, and chill 2 hours.

To shape, roll dough out to a 20 x 5 inch rectangle.

Cut in half crosswise, and chill half while shaping the other half.

Roll out to a 15 x 5 inch rectangle.

Cut into three 5 x 5 inch squares. Cut each square in half diagonally.

Roll each triangle lightly to elongate the point, and make it 7 inches long.

Grab the other 2 points, and stretch them out slightly as you roll it up. Place on a baking sheet, curving slightly.

Let shaped croissants rise until puffy and light.

In a small bowl, beat together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Glaze croissants with egg wash.

Bake in a preheated 475 degrees oven for 12 to 15 minutes.

One Croissant is one serving. Calories: 195, Total Fat: 13.4g, Cholesterol 46mg

Italian Seasoned Fries

Whoever said eating healthy required one to give up tasty fries never tried this recipe. What I like about this recipe is, it's healthier than the ones you get at your local burger place, and the also taste better. It not always necessarily what you make, but how you make it, that adds the calories and extra pounds that we are always hoping to avoid.

With this recipe flavor is number one and the sky is the limit on the different flavor variations. Something else to keep in mind is, if you want to cut back on starches, you can always exchange baking potatoes with sweet potatoes. The end result will still be the same yummy goodness.

Recipe adapted from "The most decadent diet ever" cookbook


2 medium baking potatoes (about 8oz each) peeled and cut into sticks about 1/2in thick
2 slices of turkey bacon (diced)
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
3 teaspoons grated reduced-fat Parmesan
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
salt to taste
cooking spray


Preheat oven to 450

Line baking sheet with parchment paper and to avoid and chance of potatoes sticking to sheet spray with cooking spray.

Toss the potato sticks with olive oil, Parmesan, parsley, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt.

Place them in a single layer not touching,on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes, after 15 minute flip them and bake additional 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender on the inside and have some signs of browning.

To ensure a crispy fry, turn oven onto broiler for another 2 minutes, until fries develop a crisp golden color.

Remove for oven and serve immediately.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Salted Cod Casserole (Bacalhau a Gomes De Sa)

Growing up this was a staple dish in our home. My mother would make this throughout the year, but more so during Lent. I believe the reason she made it so often was because it was easy, and of course because we loved it.

Being that I was brought up on mainly ALL Portuguese dishes,I feel that when I started cooking I tried to avoid making the "traditional" Portuguese meals and branch out into different cuisines. Now that a few years have passed, I find myself wanting to return to my "roots" and cook more Portuguese dishes.

I told myself that I would try to blog at least one Portuguese dish a week. Unfortunately I have slacked on that, but I do plan on being better. So to get myself started I decided that I would blog about this dish. I hope that you enjoy this dish as much and my family and I have. If you do try this dish, I would love to get some feedback. Happy cooking!

Recipe source...My Mother!


Yields 4-6 serving... I have tripled this recipe before to serve to a large crowd and it came out amazing!

2 lbs. salt cod
1 cup olive oil (Use good quality olive oil, if possible try using Portuguese oil)
4 medium sized red onions (You can use any kind of onion)
2-3 cloves of garlic, finely-chopped
6 medium-sized potatoes peeled
20 pitted black olives (I omit this because both my husband and I hate the passed I have served then on the side for guests)
6 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
2 Tbs. parsley, finely chopped


You will need to soak the salt cod, in water for 16 - 24 hours, changing the water 3 or 4 times. During this time you will need to keep the cod refrigerated.

After you have soaked your cod for 24 hours, drain and rinse the cod.

Place Salted Cod in a pan and fill with water to cover the fish by 1 inch.

Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes until the fish flakes easily.

Drain cod and flake the fish coarsely. make sure that you remove any and all skin and also remove all bones. Once this is done set cod aside.

In the same pot boil the potatoes until easily pierced with a fork

Once cooked drain, and let cool.

Slice into 1/4-inch slices or cubes. Set aside.

In a frying-pan, heat a 1/2 cup of olive oil over medium high heat.

Add the sliced onion and sautée for about 6 or 7 minutes until the onions are translucent and slightly brown.

Stir in the garlic and remove from the heat.

To assemble Casserole pour about 3 tablespoons of olive oil on the bottom of casserole dish to help casserole from sticking.

Then begin by laying half the potatoes in the bottom of a casserole.

Cover them with half the cod and then half the onion and half the eggs.

Repeat above steps with the rest of ingredients, and then drizzle the rest of the olive oil over the top.

Bake for about 20 minutes in a 350ºF until the top begins to lightly browned.

Garnish with olives and sprinkle with parsley.

Serve from the casserole dish with a cruet of olive oil on the side.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Baked Flounder Fillets

About a week ago, my husband and I went to the Mohegan Sun Casino for a few hours. We walked around and ended up having dinner at one of the many restaurants. For the life of me, I can't seem to remember the name of the place, What I do remember is that the meal I had was so good. Therefore, I made it my mission to try to replicate it at home.

The other day, I went to the fish market and they had beautiful flounder fillets, so I thought they would be perfect for this dish. Now that I think about it, this recipe would have been so much better if the fillets were thicker. Next time I make this recipe, I will surely buy thicker fillets. Aside from the fish being thin... I think that the end product was wonderful.

1-1.5 of thick flounder or scrod fillets (or any white fish will work well)
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
about 1/3 cup diced tomatoes (drained of fluids)
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs


Preheat your oven to 375

Rinse fillets and pat dry.

Place one fillet in a mini casserole dish and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice let sit for 10-15 minutes. (Repeat this step with the second fillet.)

Top fillets with a thin layer of diced tomatoes, and then top with Breadcrumbs.

Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes (depending on thickness of fillets.)

Serve with a side of risotto, and your favorite green veggie.

Turkey Bacon and Egg White Wrap

The Most important meal of the day is Breakfast. I don't know about anyone else, but I hate eating the same thing day in and day out. I like to change things up a little. My goal is to try to eat healthier and try to drop a few much needed pounds.

I decided that skipping breakfast was out. On days I skipped breakfast I found myself an hour after I got into work,looking for the tray of cookies, or the box of doughnuts that the drug reps would bring. (Then I wonder why I'm unable to loss the extra pounds...) Anyway, I made a commitment to myself that I would try to make a healthier version of breakfast sandwiches. I still get the yummy goodness, but I save myself the extra fat and calories.


Vegetable cooking spray
1 Tablespoon diced onion
1 Slice turkey bacon, chopped into small pieces
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/4 C of egg whites (allwhites)or 2 egg whites
Black pepper to taste
one 1/4 inch-think tomato slice chopped
A sprinkle of fat-free cheddar cheese
1 whole wheat 100 calorie wrap


Heat skillet over medium heat.

Coat the skillet with cooking spray, Add the onion and bacon and cook for 2 minutes.

Add red pepper, and cook another 2 minutes.

Add the egg whites and cook for 2 more minutes. Season with pepper.

Place the egg mixture and tomato on the wrap, sprinkle with cheese then roll.

Serving information... Calories 159, Protein 12g, Carbs 27g, Fiber 4g, Fat 3g, Sat Fat 1g Cholesterol 8mg

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Coconut Custard Pie

I know I said that I wasn't going to bake for a few months, but my husband was begging for a coconut pie. If you haven't already noticed I gave in. It worked out because I still had some leftover coconut that I wanted to use up, so everyone was happy in the end.

I will say that I'm not a fan of pie, but out of all the pies that I have tried this one I actually like. I hope you all try this recipe because not only is it good, but it is also really easy to make.

Yield: 8 servings


3/4 cup sugar
2 Teaspoons self-rising flour (I have have used AP flour before and had same results)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 stick butter or margarine, melted
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (Like always used real vanilla)
1 cup milk (To save on calories I use 2% milk)
1 cup sugar-free grated coconut
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell (you can find this in the freezer section at the store)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a bowl, blend together the sugar, flour and nutmeg.

Add the butter, eggs, vanilla and milk. Mix well.

Stir in the coconut.

Pour into the pie shell.

Bake for 30 minutes or until firm.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Carne Adovada

I would have never thought of making this dish on my own. I had a 3lb pork shoulder in my freezer that I wanted to use up, and both my husband and I weren't in the mood for pulled pork again so soon. I then, turned to the ladies on the nest and BridgetMc posted this recipe which appeared to be something completely different from anything I had ever made. Needless to say...I was so excited to try something new.

Not only is this recipe easy and tasty, but its also lite and not fatty. My husband and I enjoyed this so much that I can't wait to make it again.

FYI....This is a spicy recipe so if you have stomach issues, or do not like spicy foods, then this recipe is not for you.

Thanks Bridget!

Recipe from BridgetMc blog link below

16-18 dried red chili pods
hot water
3 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons salt (adjust salt to taste, I had to add more)
1 tablespoon dried oregano (I omitted this because I didn't have any in the house)
4 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed of thick layer of fat and sliced ½-inch thick

Remove stems and seeds from the chile pods (I left the seeds, because we like spicy foods.)

Place the chile in a large bowl add enough hot water to cover them.

Soak for 1 hour. Strain, reserving the soaking liquid.

Place the chiles, garlic, and salt in a blender and add enough soaking liquid to just cover.

Blend until the skins disappear and the mixture is smooth, 2-3 minutes.

Pour the sauce over meat, cover tightly, and marinate in the refrigerator for 24-28 hours. (I ended up marinating the meat for over 36 hours and it gave the pork a wonderful flavor.)

Directions for baking in oven... heat the oven to 350ºF.

Place the meat and chile sauce marinade in a baking pan and cover tightly with foil.

Bake the carne adovada until the meat is falling apart tender, about 4 hours.

Directions and the way I made it...crock-pot carne adovada cook on low heat for 7-9 hours.

When the meat is done, shred it or cut it into 1-inch pieces. Serve with your favorite Mexican sides. I served this with yellow rice and guacamole. Yummy!

Weight Watchers Guacamole

I admit it... I hate Guacamole I would much rather have salsa on my plate. The only reason that I make it is because my husband loves it and likes to have some whenever I make Mexican food.

So on my quest of getting both my Husband and myself back to your "ideal weight" I decided that I would trying making him some homemade Guacamole. I hate buying processed foods or anything that has additives. I really try to avoid buying anything that could be made at home. My husband told me that this is the best guacamole he has ever had, therefore anytime I made Mexican food, I will always use this recipe to go with it. I hope you all enjoy!

Recipe from the Weight Watchers Cookbook.

Makes 6 servings:


1 Large ripe avocado
2 Plum tomatoes chopped
2 Scallions (white and lite green part only) finely chopped
1 Small jalapeno pepper, minced (remove seeds if you would like it to be mild, if you are looking for it to be a little more spicy leave seeds in.)
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice (this will help aid the guacamole from turning brown)
A pinch of salt


Cut the avocado in half and discard the pit

Scrape the avocado pulp into a small bowl and mash with fork.

Add tomatoes, scallions, jalapeno, lime juice, and salt.

Mx just enough to combine everything together.

Serve at once.

Serving size is 1/4 cup...54 cal, 4g fat, 1g sat fat, 0mg of chol, 196mg sodium, 4g carbs, 3g fiber, WEIGHT WATCHER POINTS 1

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Caribbean Chicken Wings

Almost 4 years ago my husband and I went to Jamaica where we both became addicted to anything that was made with jerked seasoning and jerked sauce. We liked it so much that we actually went to the local store and bought a few jars Jamaican BBQ sauce to bring back home with us. Needless to say we ran out of the sauce a long time ago, and this recipe is the closest I have found to the real thing.

Something that is important to keep in mind is that this is a spicy recipe, and if your not big on spicy foods then maybe this might not be for you. If you do like spicy foods then I highly recommend trying it.

What could be better that chicken wings? Chicken wings that are tasty and juicy all while being baked and not fried.

Another important note about this recipe is that it yields a large batch of chicken so its great if your having a get together. Another note is if you can I would let the wings marinate over night for best results!


1 habanero, seeded and chopped (I leave in the seeds because we like the added heat)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
4 garlic cloves, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup orange juice
7 pounds chicken wings


In a food processor, blend together all the ingredients but the chicken until smooth.

Reserve 1 cup of marinade.

Place chicken wings into a large resealable plastic bag and pour remaining marinade over them. Seal and marinate in the refrigerator 4 to 6 hours. (I ended up marinating the chicken over night.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line 2 sheet trays with parchment or foil.

Remove chicken from bag and place on the baking sheets. Bake 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan bring reserved marinade to a boil.

Reduce by 1/3 until it thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.

After 20 minutes, remove chicken from oven.

Brush chicken with the glaze.

Raise the heat to 400 degrees F and cook chicken until cooked through, another 20 minutes.

Place wings on platter and if you like serve with blue cheese dressing.

Weight Watchers Potato Pancakes

I love food! But more than anything I love the fact that I am able to eat yummy foods and not feel guilty eating them. Making the smallest adjustments to certain recipes helps at the end of the year.

This passed week I decided that after the Superbowl, I really need to get my butt back in shape if I want to get pregnant again. I have 6 months to try dropping 20lbs. It is going to be easy... I think not, but at least if I stick to eating healthier and exercise more, I know that it can be done. Weight watchers is going to help me achieve my goal. (Wish me luck ladies)

Adapted from the weight watchers cookbook


1 3/4 pounds baking potatoes peeled and shredded
2 eggs whites
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 scallions, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped parsley (optional)
4 teaspoons vegetable oil (I used cooking spray)
1 tablespoon of fat-free sour cream (optional)

Soak potatoes in cold water 30 minutes

Drain and blot dry. Preheat the oven to 375

In a medium bowl, combine potatoes, egg whites, flour, scallions, and salt.

Form into 12 pancakes trying to flatten then so that they cook evenly.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1/3 of the oil.

Cook the pancakes 4 at a time until golden brown (about 2 minutes on each side)

Transfer to a baking sheet and then bake at until crisp and cooked through about 5-7 minutes.

For best results serve hot with a side of sour cream. Yummy!

Serving Size: 2 pancakes 3oz • Calories: 137 • Points: 2.5

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Weight Watchers Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Yum coffee cake...whats yummier than having coffee cake brimming with blueberries and topped with an orange-flavored crumble? I honestly don't think it gets much better than that!

This recipe is really good, however I did need to make some adjustments due to the fact that the batter was too thick when I combined everything. Once I made the adjustments this coffee cake was amazing. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I have.


1 Large egg + 1 extra egg white
2 Tablespoons canola oil
3/4 Cup granulated sugar
1/2 Cup reduced-fat sour cream (I use fat free)
1/2 Cup low-fat buttermilk (I use fat free)
2 1/3 Cups of all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon five-spice powder or cinnamon (I use cinnamon)
1 1/2 Cup fresh blueberries (frozen blueberries are OK.)
1/4 Cup packed brown sugar
1 Teaspoon grated orange zest
2 Tablespoon butter


Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 7x11 inch baking dish with non stick spray

In a bowl combine the egg, egg white, oil, and sugar. Whisk until pale yellow.

Then whisk in sour cream and buttermilk.

In another bowl mix 2 cups flour, baking powder, and cinnamon.

Mix in egg mixture with the dry ingredients until well combined.

Pour batter into the baking dish, then scatter blueberries on top.

In a Small bowl combine brown sugar orange zest, butter and remaining 1/3 cup flour.

Mix with back of fork until crumbly then sprinkle over batter.

Bake until tester inserted into the center of cake comes out clean.

Baking time will take about 45 minutes.

Serving 1/12 of cake 225 cal, 6g fat, 2g sat fat, 27mg chol, 145mg sodium, 40g carb, 1g fiber, WEIGHT WATCHER POINTS 5 PER SERVING

Friday, February 5, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls

So much for not baking any sweets for the next few months. Being home and it being cold outside, I can't help but want to bake something warm and yummy.

I have had this recipe printed out for over 1 month now and being that I have some down time today why not bake some cinnamon rolls. This recipe is so easy and worth the time it takes to make them. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Recipe adopted from Laura Jeffries food network


2 packages yeast,
1/2 cup hot water
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup butter (I cut this to 1/3 cup unsalted butter)
3/4 cup milk (warmed)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 cups flour

Dough topping:

1/2 cup butter (I cut this back to only 1/4 cup of soften unsalted butter)
1 1/4 cups brown sugar (I use 1 cup)
1/4 cup granular sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

Frosting: (I cut this in half because I was only going to drizzle it over the tops of the rolls and not coat them)

1 pound powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons milk


Dissolve 2 packages of yeast in 1/2 cup of hot water (test on wrist to make sure water is not too hot) and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Let sit.

Melt the 1/4 cup of butter and combine with 3/4 cups of warm milk (can be warmed on stove or in microwave, test on wrist to make sure milk is not too hot).

Using an electric mixer with a dough hook or a food processor with dough blade, mix dissolved yeast and butter/milk mixture on low.

Slowly add 1/2 cup of sugar, then 1 egg. Add salt and 2 cups of flour on low, blend until smooth. Slowly add 1/2 cup at a time, the other 2 to 2 1/2 cups of flour.

Put dough onto floured counter top. Knead dough until it doesn't stick to your hands.

Place in a greased bowl. Cover with damp cloth and let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until it doubles in size.

Remove from bowl and place on a floured counter. Roll out in a 12 by 24-inch (approximately) rectangle, not too thin.

Spread 1/4 cup butter over dough, sprinkle with 1 cup of brown sugar (evenly), sprinkle with 1/4 cup of granular sugar (evenly), and sprinkle 2 tablespoons (or as much as you desire) of cinnamon (evenly).

Roll dough into a log. Cut into thumb-width slices or 1 1/2-inch widths.

Place in round cake pan or foil pan. Put back in oven to rise to desired height. Remove from oven after they have risen.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Only bake on one rack, center of oven

Set timer for 15 minutes, then watch for desired brown-ness.

Remove from oven - let cool.

FROSTING: Combine 1 pound of powdered sugar, 2 to 3 tablespoons of milk (this may vary, add or subtract to your desired consistency),

Stir with spoon until very smooth and drizzles easily.

Drizzle onto completely cooled cinnamon rolls. Let frosting harden. Serve.

Weight Watchers Cream of Broccoli Soup

Being that my husband was having his wisdom teeth pulled and wasn't going to he able to eat/chew for a few days I wanted to make something that he could just swallow besides giving him ice cream and milkshakes all weekend.

Not only is this recipe delicious and packed with nutrients, it can also be ready in less than an hour. The fat free milk does help thin the soup, yet it adds a little extra creaminess goodness.

Yields 4 servings (I like double this recipe so I have extra soup for the week.)


1 1/2 Tablespoons of canola oil
1 onion chopped (this can be a rough chop because it will be going into the blender)
1 small carrot peeled and rough chopped
1/2 stock of celery chopped
3/4 teaspoon on thyme (I leave this out because my husband isn't a fan of it)
1 lb broccoli florets
3 cups of fat free low sodium chicken broth (I make my own)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup fat-free milk (I use 2 percent)
3/4 teaspoon of salt (you might need to add a little more)
1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper

In a large sauce over medium heat, heat oil and add onion carrots and celery and thyme.

stir for about 5 minutes until veggies begin to soften.

Add chicken broth and increase heat to high. Once the broth begins to boil add broccoli.

bring to a boil and then turn heat to medium low cover and simmer until the broccoli is tender about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and add lemon juice let cool for 10 minutes.

Transfer to a blender in batches and puree.

Return the soup to the saucepan over medium heat.

Add milk, salt and pepper, cook stirring occasionally, until hot for another 4-5 minutes.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Weight Watchers Cinnamon, Vanilla Buttermilk Pancakes

One of Jonathan's favorite breakfast items is pancakes. Every morning Jonathan gets two pancakes, a glass of milk and about an hour later he has a banana. He has always been a good eater but I have noticed that in the morning he prefers pancakes over waffles and toast. Therefore, I give him what I know he likes. Some times I like to change it up and add blueberries into the batter, and he loves that as well.

What I like about this recipe is that it allows me to make a week's worth of pancakes and all I have to do it stick them in the microwave for 20 seconds and they come out tasting fresh as if they came off the griddle. The key to these light and fluffy pancakes is whipping the egg whites before folding them into the batter.

This recipe was adapted from Weight Watchers.

Yields 6 servings:


1 1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
3/4 Teaspoon baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon salt
3 Eggs, separated
1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon (I think that adding the cinnamon adds some yummy flavor)
1 Teaspoon of vanilla (Please use the good stuff it make a differeance)
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 3/4 Cups low-fat Buttermilk (I use fat free)
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter


In large bowl combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

In another bowl whisk egg yolks, vanilla, and sugar until well combined. Stir in buttermilk and butter.

Take mixture and stir into flour mixture until everything is well combined.

Beat egg whites until you get stiff peaks.

Now gently fold the egg whites into the mixture.

Coat a nonstick griddle with cooking spray heat over medium heat.

Spoon 1/4 cup of batter onto hot griddle.

Cook until the tops are covered with bubbles about 3-4 minutes

Turn pancakes over and cook until edges are lightly golden, about 2 minutes longer.

Serving size is 3 pancakes 204 Cal, 5g Fat, 2g sat fat, 114mg sodium, 30g carbs, 1g fiber, 9g protein WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS 4

Chicken Caramelized Onion, and Pesto Quesadillas

Who doesn't like Chicken with Caramelized Onion Quesadillas? When I was pregnant my husband and I would go to Fridays a few times a month so I could get some chicken quesadillas. The sad thing is they took off the original chicken quesadillas and replaced it with something else. I was very disappointed to say the least.

So for the longest I've been looked for a recipe that was similar to what I use to order and sadly enough I didn't have much success so I decided that to put my efforts into trying something else.

I came up with this on a whim. I had left over chicken breast and pesto sauce in the frig and I wanted to use it up before it went bad. Needless to say I was actually pleased with the outcome. The best thing is that in a matter of 15 minutes you can be eating a quick and healthy meal.


1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cooked chopped skinless, boneless chicken breast
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
4 (10-inch) whole wheat tortillas (I ran out of WW so I used tomato basil wraps)
1/2 cup skim shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup salsa
1/4 cup fat free sour cream
1/3 cup of pesto sauce (I have the recipe for this in my blogged tagged sauces)


Heat the oil in a large skillet over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they begin to brown, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

Add chicken, oregano, salt, pepper and pesto until everything is combined and warm.

Lay 1 tortilla on a flat work surface and sprinkle with 1/4 cup shredded cheese.

Spoon 1/2 chicken and vegetable mixture on top of cheese, then sprinkle with a little more cheese.

Top with another flour tortilla.

Heat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray over medium heat.

Carefully place 1 quesadilla in pan and cook 3 minutes. Using a large spatula, gently flip quesadilla and cook an additional 3 minutes until lightly browned and cheese is melted.

Repeat with second quesadilla. Slice each quesadilla into quarters.

Place 2 quarters on a plate with 1 tablespoon sour cream and 2 tablespoons salsa.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Caramelized Onions and Spinach Risotto

So this is my second time making Risotto and this recipe was even better than that first. NOT to say that the first recipe wasn't good... if you ask my husband and son they would say they liked both recipes. I'm just partial to caramelized onions.

Last night I was planning on making baked Mac and Cheese to go with Pork-Chops I had taken out, but to be honest I wasn't in the mood for Mac and Cheese, nor was I in the mood to wash a million dishes. This recipe only took the pot where I cooked the risotto and the sauce pan to heat the chicken broth. Which saved me a lot of clean up time.

Thanks to Mary Ellen for sharing this recipe with me. Link to her amazing food blog below.


1 large onion sliced thin (I like red onions but can be made with any kind)
3 cloves raw garlic minced
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter (2 tbsp for the risotto and 2 for the onions)
1/4 cup dry white wine
5 cups low sodium chicken broth, warmed (I use homemade broth, but you can use canned)
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup fresh chopped spinach (I use less ONLY 1/2 cup because I don't care for it and my husband can't have too much because of his gout)
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (I ended up using about 1/4 C Parmesan because I ran out of... but it still came out creamy.)
Salt and pepper to taste


Caramelize the onions with butter in a pan over medium heat.

Stir until golden brown, and then add your minced garlic, be careful not to ot to burn the onions.

Add the rice; stir for 1-2 minutes.

Add the white wine and stir until it is absorbed.

Add the chicken broth 1 ladle-full at a time, letting it fully absorb before adding more.

When your final ladle of broth is halfway absorbed, add the cheese and the two tablespoons of butter one tablespoon at a time.

Season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

The final result is you have a yummy Risotto that will go well with just about anything. I think Risotto is slowly becoming one of my favorite sides.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Chocolate Candy Covered Pretzel Rods

Pretzel and chocolate, what more can you ask for? Being that I still had some left over holiday candies, I wanted to use it up before they went bad. So what could I do with left over candy cane and snowflake candies you ask... well why not pair them with some chocolate covered pretzels.

This is the easiest thing in the world to make (or should I say... put together.) Thanks Maria....AKA CHEF MOMMY for the idea... here is the link to her food blog....


1 12-ounce package milk chocolate chips
24 large pretzel rods
Assorted sprinkles and candies

Place the milk chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl

Microwave on high for 1 minute.

Remove and stir with a rubber spatula. The should all be melted if not continue to microwave for 15 more seconds and stir after each 15 seconds.

Now dip one pretzel rod at a time into chocolate

Let the excess chocolate drip off.

Hold the rod over a piece of wax paper and shake sprinkles and candies all over.

Place the pretzel on another cookie sheet to dry.

Let chocolate set about 12 hours.

Make yourself and nice tall glass of hot chocolate and enjoy!

Weight Watchers Pesto sauce

When I was pregnant I just had to have Penne pasta in a creamy pesto sauce topped with grilled chicken. I will admit that there was a time when I had a hard time trying new recipes and pesto was one of them. I always wanted to try something new, however I was always fearful that it would be so awful that I would never want to eat it again.

Once a week (for lunch) I would always order penne pasta with grilled chicken and pesto sauce. I had it so much that the restaurant owner would just ask me if I would be having my usual. LOL! I no longer work at the same place so next time I become pregnant I will have no choice but to make it myself. It's so nice to know that I can still have pesto sauce and not feel bad about it later since I am using a weight watchers recipe.

Makes 6 servings:


2 Cups of fresh basil
3 Tablespoons pine nuts
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Garlic cloves crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons of water
1/2 Cup + 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


In a food processor combine the basil, pine nuts, oil, garlic, salt, and water.

Puree, and then add cheese and puree additional 30 seconds.

You have use this to make chicken pesto pannis, or my favorite use mix it in with some whole wheat pasta and grilled chicken.

Serving size 3 large tablespoons... 88 cal, 7g fat, 2g sat fat, 6mg chol, 253mg sodium, 2g carbs, 1g fiber WEIGHT WATCHER POINTS 2