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