Monday, Monday (Mozzarellal Salad)

How cute is this fabric? Very bright, very day of the dead. Very perfect for my friend Ginny's baby girl Elliott. Ginny is not only a friend but also one of my co-workers at North Sunflower. We run many an errand to Cleveland together; more often times than not said errands involve a trip to the fabric store. Since her first time into the fabric store, she's had one eye on this fabric. I was very happy when she picked herself up a yard and asked me to make a pair of ruffled bottom bloomers. Happily, I did.
However, there was a ton of fabric left.
After studying the bubble romper pattern and trying to force my brain to think in a math - minded fashion I decided to try to make a top. Make a top I did and I am pleased with how it turned out. Now, there's a possibility that it's going to be a little on the cropped side. But Ginny is excited and I've got a new pattern up my sleeve. Good stuff, huh?
Aside from getting some heavy sewing done, I made not one but two trips to the Greenwood farmers market. I should be embarrassed over how many blueberries I ate this weekend, but I'm not. A bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios with some fresh blueberries on top? Take me home, country roads. I also scored a sack full of Beaver Dam tomatoes and sweet corn. And yes, I charmed the young guy selling the corn into giving me an extra ear. Having a sack full of tomatoes prompted me to want to make tomato themed dishes all weekend. I attempted a WW friendly tomato pie on Saturday - it was good but will need some tweaking before it is shared.
Sunday night, I was in the mood for something refreshing and simple. Enter a Fresh Mozzarella Salad. It was tasty. Enjoy!

Mozzarella Salad

1 oz fresh mozzarella *
1 thick slice of fresh tomato
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbl chopped fresh basil

Layer the ingredients: mozzarella, tomato, olive oil, vinegar, basil. Serve immediately.

Serving size 1 salad
WW points 3

* I purchased an 8 oz ball of fresh mozzarella. I cut it into 8 equal parts, or my best shot at equal parts, to get the correct amount. Not the easiest stuff to cut. But really, nothing is easy for me to cut because my knives are HORRID.


Weekend Wrap-up (The Mounds)

Hey, party people. How was your weekend? Mine was lovely, thanks. We in Greenwood kicked off the weekend with a birthday dinner party honoring a good friend Kristen. The party was thrown at Brandon's house and we staged a little Italian Style Bistro type thang. Mary Neff worked her magic on all of the decorating - I've never seen such twinkle! Good stuff, fun stuff. Food not to shabby either. Apps were "The Mounds", a dish I've been eyeing for quite some time now over on the blog Spoonful. It wasn't WW, nor was it the most unhealthy dish I'd ever eaten at a party.
Easy to put together, lots of flexibility...thanks for sharing SB!
Here's how I did it. I diced up the following: black olives, green olives, artichokes, red onion, fresh tomatoes. I piled all that up on a plate, shredded some fresh parm in the corner. I then drizzled with a little olive oil and balsamic, topped it off with some Tony's. I had planned to also have turkey ronis and capers but I completely forgot to add them to the plate. Anywho. Serve it with crackers or bread - prepare to do some heavy grazing.
The rest of the meal involved a salad, fresh bread from the Mockingbird Bakery, lasagna, and Lemon Freeze. It also involved laughing really hard with a bunch of really fun gals. Yay, birthdays!
More soon, I'm having picture uploading / alignment issues.



No recipes to speak of today. I had a repeat meal last night. It was chicken delight and it was Brandon's request. Bless his heart. It doesn't really matter if he likes something or not - usually we're never having it again. That's just how I roll - just too many recipes out there to try. But chicken delight is delightful, and the boy is good to me, so there you go.

Instead of sharing recipes, I figured I would share about some of the things that are making me want to raise the roof today.

1. Dollar General brand magic erasers. I am easily distracted by strange tasks. While waiting on chicken delight to cook last night, I spent most of the 45 minutes on my hands and knees, scrubbing my kitchen floor with these bad boys. Whoa. Gross yet amazing, all at the same time. While I love my little rental house, I have always wondered about the kitchen floors. Pink tile, stained in some spots, I feel like there's a story there. I've always moved past thinking about it pretty quickly, as I don't spend much time rolling around the kitchen floor. Something shifted yesterday and I developed the overwhelming urge to have the cleanest floors on Azalea. Welcome to my life, DG fake magic eraser. I'm glad we found each other.

2. Awkward Family Photos. Mary Straton reintroduced me to this site yesterday with an email reminder. Thanks girl. I almost flipped backwards in my chair at work laughing. Big 'ole belly laugh, nothing better.

3. Head Shots. I'm about to take single shots of myself, wearing a pink v-neck t, to send into casting for The Help, in hopes that I'm picked to be an extra in the junior league scenes. I mean hello, I was president of sub-deb in high school. Doesn't that make me just right for the part? I'll remember everyone when I am launched into super-stardom.

4. Sweet Corn. I swear, it's like a desert. No butter, no salt, no pepper, no nothin'. Just an ear of corn, adorable corn holders, and pure joy. Welcome, summer in the delta.

5. Big Girl Blanket. Baby Girl A is about to move up to a big girl class - complete with cots. She's going to need a bigger blanket. Begin hunt for overwhelmingly adorable fabric. And begin petition to get my own cot at work.

6. Happy Hour. Traditional Thursday night happy hour at the Alluvian resumes tonight. We had to skip last week due to being completely worn out - first time in almost two years (aside from being out of town). I bet we were missed.

That's all from the elevator today. Will be back soon - with more food.


Millions of Peaches, Peaches for Free (Raspberry Peach Cobbler & Black Bean Lasagna)

Let's start with desert, shall we? Yesterday, Brandon's dad gave him a bag full of peaches. I mean, bag FULL of peaches. He stopped by the farmers market and they were giving out bags of peaches to all of the dads. Cute, huh? Well - Brandon was giddy with the idea of a bag full of peaches and begged and begged me to make a peach cobbler. I quickly reminded him that I was on WW. Then I eyed the peaches and decided to give the WW website a look-see. Glad I did. Move over Joy the Baker, there's a new cobbler in town.

The fact that this is WW blows my mind. The hardest part, however, is only eating the serving size suggested. Maybe I had more than my share, maybe I didn't. I'll never tell.

Raspberry-Peach Cobbler
from WW Online

6 medium peaches, halved, pitted and thinly sliced
3 tbl powdered sugar
1 cup raspberries
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3 1/2 tbl sugar, divided
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbs butter, cold
1/3 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss peaches and powdered sugar together until powdered sugar dissolves. Place peach slices in an 8 inch square baking dish, place raspberries on top.

Combine flour, 3 tbl of sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture and work in with a fork (or pastry cutter or whisk) until flour looks like course crumbles. Add sour cream and vanilla, mix with a fork until dough comes together. Place clumps of crumb mixture over fruit, sprinkle with remaining 1/2 tbl of sugar.

Bake until top is golden brown and fruit is bubbling.

Serving size 1/2 cup
WW points 3

Now, the main course. Rarely, as a member of the WW clan, do I even think about cooking anything with Paula Deen any way related to it. Dream about it, yes, but don't think about cooking it. This is a recipe that my mom found and sent to me. After a few minor tweeks, it became something that anyone looking to eat a little bit lighter could get behind. Also a great way to get veggies. It might seem like high points for not a lot of food. However, the black beans make it very filling and I served it with a side of steamed broccoli to make myself feel like I got more bang for my buck.

Black Bean Lasagna
adapted from Paula Deen

1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained and rinsed
2 (10 oz) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
1/2 tsp ground cumin
8 small corn tortillas
1 cup WW Mexican style cheese

Preheat oven to 375 and spray a 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray. Combine black beans, corn, tomatoes. In another bowl, combine sour cream, ricotta, and cumin.

Place 2 tortillas in the loaf pan. Spread about 1/3 cup of sour cream mixture over tortillas. Top with 1/2 cup of vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of WW cheese.

Repeat process three times.

Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

Serving size 1/5 of dish
WW points 7

Last night was a good night in the kitchen. Rock on.


Happy Summer! (Summer Side Dishes)

image here

Welcome summer! At least now we can say that it's 105 and summer instead of 105 and spring. Summer = fresh veggies, and that's a plus. Not from my yard (I have a problem with creatures stealing my harvest) but from Greenwood's Old Time Farmer's Market. I spent some time playing there yesterday and had a large time picking and choosing what would star alongside my pork tenderloin for supper. I ended up with squash and fresh corn and the results were delightful.

It was a very simple supper last night. Here's how it breaks down:
Lazy Pork Tenderloin (Hormel already marinated - Lemon Garlic - don't judge)
Serving size 4 oz
WW points 3
Squash and Grape Tomatoes
3 cups summer squash, sliced
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 tbl olive oil
Jane's Krazy salt
Heat oil in large pan over medium heat. Add squash, tomatoes, and season with salt. Cook until desired texture is reached (I like mine super soft)
Serving size about 1 cup
WW points 1
Indianola Sweet Corn
Serving size 1 ear
WW points 1
Go play at your local farmer's market! I'm going back today and getting something green.


Simple Shrimp (Sauteed Shrimp and Spinach)

I love shrimp. It's simple. Don't have to do a whole lot to it, easy to cook, pretty good for you. I was very excited when I stumbled upon this recipe on the blog Noble Pig. This blog is one of my favorite food blogs. The writer is not afraid to use sour cream or try a recipe on t he back of the mayonnaise jar. I like that quality. However, it's not often that you find something low cal / low fat on that blog so I don't try a whole lot of the recipes.

This recipe, however, was different. So light, so simple. Well, simple if you are able to find peeled and deviened shrimp. I couldn't and spent about 45 minutes trying to devien 1 lb of shrimp. Completely worth the backache i developed. I only made a few changes. Reduced the amount of oil and substituted spinach for arugula. I wanted to use arugula but, alas, the Greenwood grocery stores did not have it. And there was a picture of said lovely shrimp meal on this post but I just accidentally deleted it and don't feel like reloading it. Shucks.

Sauteed Shrimp and Spinach
adapted from Noble Pig

1 tbl olive oil
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deviened
6 oz spinach
salt and pepper
juice of one lemon

Heat olive oil in a large pan of medium high heat. Add grape tomatoes, cook for about two minutes or until they start to blister. Add garlic, cook until fragrant. Add shrimp, cook until opaque. Add spinach, season with salt and pepper. Cook until spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice. Serve immediately.

Serving size 1/4 of recipe
WW points 3

Of course I deleted the picture of the main dish while the picture of the cantaloupe and pineapple remained. Fresh fruit makes the heat a little more tolerable. And a melon baller makes cutting a cantaloupe way more tolerable.

Snack idea - 1/4 a canteloupe and 1 cup of pineapple for 2 WW points.


Hot Day, Cool Dip (Black Eyed Pea Dip)

A hot lazy day calls for a quick and easy dip. This made an appearance at my dip themed birthday party and was, so far as I could tell, the only one that could be translated into WW. However, if we could figure out how to make that onion souffle dip work I would be a happy, happy girl. Anywho. My friend Kat brought it and it is very light tasting and SO GOOD, something I imagine will stay in my fridge throughout the summer. It made for a good sidekick to my 4 point sandwich (thin bun, turkey, cheese, pickles, mustard, 3 turkey ronis). Oh, how I love Saturdays.

Kat's Black Eyed Pea Dip

1 can black eyed peas (drained)
1 can shoe peg corn (drained)
1 can Rotel with cilantro and lime (drained)
1 small bottle (8 oz) Zesty Light Italian dressing
a few dashes of garlic salt

Combine all ingredients. Chill. Enjoy.

Serving size 1/2 cup
WW points 1

Nothing else to report, just a picture of some pretty fabric.


Busy Week (Yummy Salad)

What a week. For real. All fun stuff, though. Monday night: sewing all night to finish up baby gifts I made for my pal Lindsey to give to her expectant friends; Tuesday night: amazing dip birthday party thrown by great friends at Mary Neff's house; Wednesday night: bachelorette party at Lusco's for a friend here in Greenwood. Again...what a week. I was happy to give up my 10:00 bedtime for all of these adventures but was for sure paying for it today. The combination of all of the festivities (OK - maybe a night of sewing can not be labeled as a "festivity") led to me being sluggish, full feeling, and in need of a meal that would make me feel better about myself. I've been thinking about this salad all day. Well, when I wasn't' thinking about laying on the couch I was thinking about this salad. It's amazing how much my tastes have changed and how my body will tell me exactly what it needs. Yes - I thoroughly enjoyed the onion ring appetizer at Lusco's last night but, dang, I felt bad today. So, yes. A salad was a must.

Have I mentioned that we are dealing with a heat index of 105 here? Salads don't require an oven - which is amazing. Just in case anyone has a taste for a salad - here's what I did. It was yummy and satisfying. No strict measurements. I plugged in the veggies to my
WW online program and found that I can have 20 cups of lettuce for 1 point. I figured it would be OK to wing it.

green leaf lettuce
dill pickle chips
1/2 fresh tomato, chopped
1/4 red bell pepper, sliced
3 artichoke hearts, chopped
white onion, sliced
1/8 cup part skim mozzarella cheese
2 tbl
Girard's spinach salad dressing

WW points guesstimation 4

I am a big fan of the Girard's salad dressing. It's got a hint of sweet but is not so heavy that it drowns out the rest of the flavors. Salad dressing can be tough and can turn your healthy salad into something along the lines of a Big Mac real quick. It's no creamy feta or homemade ranch - but it's tasty in it's own way.

After the salad I planned to spend the my evening washing clothes, cleaning the house, organizing sewing patterns, watching TV and crashing at 8:45. I started all of these tasks but was sidetracked by sewin'. Meet the
baby bubble romper. I've had this pattern for several months, had the fabric, too. I was always intimidated by it, probably because it required the use of snap tape. I know, this is getting nerdy.

Posted by Picasa
Proud to say, I finished it. It's not exactly the most appropriate fabric for spring time, but it's cute none the less. It's being lovingly shipped to Baby Girl A in the morning. There is a possibility that it will swallow her but hey - we've got lots of summer left.

To bad the laundry never got finished.

Today Show Tells It Like It Is

I am a huge fan of the Today Show. One of my favorite things is when they do some serious investigative reporting. Well. Just watched a video where the investigation hit a little close to home. This video on MSN describes a study that found some frozen diet meals (Smart Ones, Lean Cuisines, Healthy Choices) contain more fat and calories than are listed on the packaging. What? Hmmm.

Unfortunately, I am a girl that relies pretty heavily on the frozen meal for lunch. I'll go a bit of time and be great about making fresh lunches...but then life gets busy and I slide back into the old habit. I have a million excuses...they're cheap. I work 30 minutes from home. There is no guessing on the points value.

This video really made me think. It's not just about the inaccurate nutritional information...it's a quality of food issue. I've set out to come up with filling, real, cheap lunch options....things that will keep me away from the box. And yes, there's a Lean Cuisine French Bread Pizza in the freezer right now with my name on it; this will be a work in progress!

What do you eat for lunch?


D-lightful (Darby's Chicken Delight)

Raise your hand if you love things that are baked and smothered in cheese. Mine is up, way up. I would probably eat a tire iron if you put enough cheese on it. Last night's supper was a recipe that I found on Fly Through Our Window. I just changed a few things up to make it more WW friendly. She has great pictures and step by step instructions on how to make it, even though it's not that complicated. It was really good - non WW approved as Brandon requested that we eat it once a week from now on.

Darby's Chicken Delight
adapted from Fly Through Our Window

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (trimmed of fat)
Jane's Krazy (with a K) mixed up salt
about a half handful of each: sliced zucchini, sliced squash, sliced onion
1/3 cup light spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup part skim mozzarella
1 tbl Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken breast on a large piece of foil. Season with the krazy salt. Place zucchini, squash, onion atop chicken breast. Follow with sauce and both cheeses. Make a packet out of foil. Make sure it's folded up nice and tight but not to close to the chicken. Foil will pull your cheese off and that's not cool. Bake for 35 - 45 minutes (I went 45).

Serving size 1 chicken breast with topping
WW points 5

The picture of this doesn't do it justice - it really was a pretty dish. You know what else is pretty? Birthday Flowers!! See them there? In the mint julep? Thanks, Win!


A Birthday Dinner and a Blog (Garlic Green Beans)

Yesterday was Brandon's dad's birthday, an event which i felt called for a pot roast. Pot roast has been posted here before so I won't revisit that. There was,however, a new kid on the block - Garlic Green Beans. I don't have pictures of the beans so everyone will just have to use their imagination. What I also don't have pictures of is what we looked like when we ate. I spent most of the afternoon yesterday sewin' and I knew I would go right back into it after dinner. For this reason, i did not clean off my table. In hindsight, this is kind of tacky. To invite people over to dinner then tell them "Sorry guys - no where to sit. Have fun balancing that massive plate of roast on your knee." The guests were gracious and everyone ended up being OK with stepping on top of the coffee table if they needed to get back to the kitchen. And now....the beans!

Garlic Green Beans
adapted from the Weight Watchers Five Ingredient Fifteen Minute Cookbook

1 10 oz bag trimmed green beans
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 tbl light butter
2 cloves garlic, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Prepare green beans according to bag directions (I steamed mine in the microwave.) Meanwhile, Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add tomatoes and garlic, cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes. Add cooked green beans and salt and pepper, stir for about a minute or until everything is cooked through. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Serving size 3/4 cup
WW points 0

I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome my Ghi (pronounced with a hard G, rhymes with tea) Leah to the blog world. Join her as she cooks (with REAL butter) and makes her lovely little house into a home. Welcome, Ghi! Glad you took the plunge!

Happy Monday!


Visitors (Basil Chicken Wrap)

I love my family. Mom, sisters, and niece came to Greenwood Saturday for a pre-birthday celebration. Before lunch, Baby Girl A and Jen came to the house. It was A's first time there since she has been really getting around and I must say that she appeared to have a large time. My house is FAR from baby proofed, hence the fact that she played with a smoke detector and practiced pulling up on a table with pretty sharp edges. All was well though and she spent a lot of time practicing her "excited face". Love her.

It was then off to the Delta Bistro for lunch. I would not describe what I ate to be anything near a WW friendly meal, especially when I ordered lemon pie. But it's my birthday week and we are a family that eats sweets so it's cool.

Great day. Didn't want it to end! Except when we went and walked around downtown in the 100 degree heat. I wanted that to end, but only because i was so freaking hot. The above pictures were taken post walk - we were going to get one with all of us but were just to hot and cranky to ask someone to take it of us. Oh, well.

Hot days call for cool lunches. Here's one I tried today from the WW magazine. Now - it could use a little extra something, I'm just not sure what. I'm weird about chicken so next time I'm either going to use the thin sliced chicken lunch meat OR I'll get a rotisserie chicken and remove the skin. Either way, it's quick and very fresh tasting.

Basil Chicken Wrap

1 whole wheat tortilla

1/2 tbl reduced fat mayo

1/2 cup torn green leaf lettuce

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

2/3 cup cook sliced chicken breast

1/3 cup chopped tomato

Layer all ingredients atop tortilla. Wrap up. Enjoy!

Serving size 1 wrap

WW points 4


Old School (PB & J)

How about this? I wore this proud badge last night at Brandon's class reunion and I just can't stop looking at it and giggling. Wasn't he a fox?

In keeping with the old school theme - here's what I am having for breakfast this morning.

1 thin bun
3/4 tbl extra crunchy peanut butter
a (small) dollop of blueberry jelly

WW points 3

I love peanut butter. I think if a magic genie popped out of a lamp and offered me three wishes, one of them would be that peanut butter was zero points. Is that selfish?


Snack Attack (Cream Cheese with Pepper Jelly)

I love a snack. My day is neatly sectioned up into snack times - my 3 o'clock Wasa cracker with Laughing Cow cheese has become somewhat of a tradition. And a Fiber One 90 calorie bar? That's my mid-morning snack.

How happy I was when my co - worker Susan introduced me to a new snack idea. It's kind of fancy, reminds me of a party. It also doesn't photograph well, which I blame on it being fancy, almost aloof. I might have mentioned this in the past but I enjoy a snack that is somewhat involved - especially if I'm snacking at home. I feel more satisfied when I can sit down with a plate and take a minute to enjoy it.

Here's how it goes: 1 oz WW cream cheese, 1/2 tbl pepper jelly, 5 whole wheat saltines. This little jewel comes out to be 2 points total and quite satisfying. A word on the WW cream cheese...I'm sure it's pretty much the same as reduced fat cream cheese. However, the block is sectioned off into nice and tidy 1 point serving sizes so there is never any question about how much you can have. It's also tasty, which is always a good thing.

Three cheers for Friday.


A Skiddish Griller (Savory Burgers)

Yes, it's true. I'm a very skiddish griller. My dislike for handling raw meat is no secret, nor is my dislike for the crippling summer heat. Also - I nervously poke at things when they are on the grill and have absolutely no idea how to tell when they are done. And don't even get me started on lighting a grill. All of these things paired together lead to most of my food being prepared indoors. It's not that I don't like food that has been grilled - i do. I am also a huge fan of a group of people coming together to grill. I just don't want to have to do it. Meet this little jewel. It allows me to cook simple summer staples, like burgers, without having to do most of the things that make me stressed.

After Monday night's dinner debacle I was really needing to get back into the cooking game. Burgers seemed like a good idea - pretty hard to mess up, tasty, an overall winner. The fact that I didn't break a sweat while grilling made it even better. I sauteed some spinach to go with these little darlings. Unfortunately, I forgot how much spinach wilts down and only had about a tablespoon. Sad, because it was quite good.

Overall, the taste of this meal was fantastic. However, if this meal was being judged on looks - it might not fare to well. The burgers shrunk, I stink at cutting tomatoes, and the thin buns i used for the bread made the whole thing look kind of crazy. We've already discussed the poor little dollop of spinach. Does that matter? No. What matters is that I was full and happy. Hope you enjoy!

Savory Burgers
adapted from weightwatchers.com
1 lb lean ground beef (7% fat)
2 tbl onions, minced
3/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
chili powder - a few shakes
Combine all ingredients. Divide into four equal parts, shape in to patties. Cook in whatever way you fancy.
Serving size 1 patty
WW points 4
Dress this one up however you want, be sure to factor in the points. I really enjoyed this with a slice of reduced fat cheese (1 point), tomatoes, onions, and a thin bun (1 point).


Sometimes you're the windshield...

....sometimes you're the bug. Mary Chapin Carpenter was right, friends. Not everything you try will have good results. Enter: tonight's supper. I had such high hopes. It had all of the ingredients to make a great meal. Cheese, rice, onions, turkey sausage. Delightful. Or not.
One of the downfalls to meal planning is if you go buy a ton of stuff at the grocery store...you have to use it. You should also make sure that you have enough of said purchased ingredients to actually make your meal. I had a feeling it wasn't going to work. I planned on making it last week but something came up. Then I planned on making it last night and we were invited to dinner - which was honestly way more enticing than slaving in the kitchen. Anyway - it was bad. I didn't even finish cooking it. First of all, I accidentally used quick cooking rice instead of long grain, old school rice. That wasn't all that shocking considering that I have successfully cooked rice maybe once in my life. Second - the baking dish was waaaay to crowded. There is no way it was going to cook without going all over the oven. Third, aka the nail in the coffin, was when I pulled out my turkey sausage and realized it was a week out from being expired and more than a little funky looking. At this point - I turned the stove off and left the house. And ate pizza for supper. Eeek. Not cool but whatever. I'll dust Jillian off in the morning and work it off.
I'm sure the blog world is sitting on the edge of their respective seats to know what I almost had for dinner. Here it is. If you try it - let me know how it was. I'm sure it would have been lovely. I will do better this week....i've been been slackin' on my cooking and I can definitely tell a difference. On with the recipe hunt.

But before that...here are a few random things I'm excited about.

1. Zippers and button holes. Yawn inducing to some, pure excitement to me. The adorable fabric store in Cleveland, Ella Rose, is offering a fantastic lineup of quick summer classes. I'm excited to master the art of zippers and button holes. I've made button holes before but they kind of look like they were made by a two year old. As far as zippers go, I was totally ready to leave my sewing class by the time they got around to that lesson. I informed my teacher that I could just teach myself how to install a zipper with the help of a youtube video and was on my way. Not quite. Hence the lesson.

2. World Cup Soccer. Huh? Yeah - really. It's mine and Brandon's first World Cup together and who knew they guy was so into soccer. I think it's more that he is just into sports in general but either way - the excitement is contagious. Here is a commercial that makes me happy. I do love the emotional side of a world wide sporting event. I get very attached to the Olympics every year. I felt the same way about the commercial that played a few years back that had LaDainian Tomlinson and Troy Polamalu as kids. Am i really discussing sports on the WW blog? Yes. Yes I am. Because I had a food failure.

3. A summer full of class reunions. Brandon's CTA reunion this weekend, my WS reunion in August. Where does the time go? I must get to work on a mix CD full of Matchbox 20 and Goo Goo Dolls.

I'm off to hunt for recipes. Something new and exciting. Something that I will WANT to cook instead of continuously push back to the next night. Wish me luck...


Pass the Peppers, Please (Zat Peppers)

Let's talk about peppers. Such a versatile veggie. Great in a quesadilla, wrap, salad, all that jazz. Also great to stuff full of yumminess. This is actually a recipe that Win and I put our noggins together and came up with. I am proud of it - which is a good thing because there are no less than 14 stuffed peppers in my freezer right now. Yes, 14. It makes a lot - I'm not quite sure how to reduce the recipe. I will post the recipe exactly as I did it but if you take this venture on, keep the following in mind. Don't hesitate to season the ground turkey with Tony's, or maybe something similar. Also - stuffed peppers I've made in the past have had a sauce of sorts in the mixture, this one does not so it was a tad bit on the dry side. Any suggestions on this would be appreciated...hit me on the email!

Now, isn't that a pretty pile of peppers? I think so. Pretty enough to eat.

Zat Peppers
8 bell peppers (any color - bigger the better)
1 box Zatarain's Jambalaya (original)
1 can rotel, drained,
1 lb extra lean ground turkey
16 tbl weight watchers cheese

Slice each pepper in half - top to bottom. Remove seeds and white parts (as best you can, I get bored with this part). Place pepper halves in a large pot of boiling water, boil for 10 minutes. Transfer immediately into a large bowl filled with ice water. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, prepare rice according to package directions, omitting the oil. After rice begins to cook, cook turkey in a large pan sprayed with cooking spray. Add some salt and pepper, other seasonings if you like. When turkey is done, add rotel (drained). Once the rice is done, toss that in with the turkey and give it all a good mix up.

Pre-heat oven to 350. Lay peppers out and prepare to stuff. It's a wise idea at this point in the game to put a layer of paper towels under the peppers - and maybe a wiser idea to have the broom ready to sweep up the mess you are about to make. Place a heaping 1/3 cup of the rice/turkey mixture into each pepper. Get it in there good, just go ahead and use your (clean) hands. Top each pepper with 1 tbl of WW cheese. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until mixture is heated through and cheese is melted.

Serving size 1 stuffed pepper
WW points 2

Since this recipe makes enough peppers to feed half of Leflore County, I am freezing a majority of mine. I did some research on the web and feel like it's going to work. Before topping with cheese, i wrapped peppers individually in foil and placed them in a freezer bag. When ready, I'll thaw them out, then top with cheese, then bake. If this doesn't work - I'll be oh so sad.

I was very excited to plug everything in and find that this pepper was only 2 points. One of the thing that helps me to feel satisfied after a meal is getting to have more than a half a bite. Some food tastes amazing but i am left wanting more. This is what causes me to loiter around a pan with a spoon saying "I'm just going to have one more little bite - it's fine" I've probably consumed a million points of only "just one more bites." Yes - satisfaction is key in my book. Since this was only 2 points I had two for supper last night - and felt satisfied. Heck, could've had three.

Happy weekend! I'm heading to the Blues Festival. I wonder how many points are in a chicken-on-a-stick? Hmmmm.


Time Flies (Mediterranean Tuna Antipasto Salad)

Where have you gone, 2010? June? That one snuck up on me. I am pretty cool with June. We're buds. It is, after all, my birthday month.
June is also H-O-T. For real. Like don't turn the stove on hot. Tonight's supper was perfect for that. It's like a tuna salad - but not really. It's a lightened up, Mediterranean tuna salad. It's Tuna salad's hip, European cousin. Mmmm. Very light, very crunchy. A winner in my book. Get to choppin!

Mediterranean Tuna Antipasto Salad
adapted from delish.com

16 oz chickpeas, drained and rinsed
10 oz (2 small cans) water packed chunk light tuna, drained and flaked
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
4 tsp capers, rinsed
1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tbl fresh lemon juice
1 tbl extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients, mix well. Refrigerate.

Serving size 1 cup
WW points 3

Hopefully, you're finding ways to keep cool in doors. Me - I've been teaching myself the art of buttonhole making...watch out!

Heavy Heart

O merciful Father, who has taught us in thy holy Word that
thou dost not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men:
Look with pity upon the sorrows of thy servant for whom
our prayers are offered. Remember them, O Lord, in mercy,
nourish their soul with patience, comfort them with a sense of
thy goodness, lift up thy countenance upon them, and give
them peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer, pg 831

My heart is heavy this morning after hearing sad news. Life is precious. Cherish each moment, live each day, give hugs, tell people you love them, let yourself have dessert.