Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Change of address...

Well after over 6 months here at blogger we've decided to make the move over to Wordpress. I hope you like the new layout and find the blog easier to navigate! I think the search tool will be especially helpful. See you over there!


Sunday, November 4, 2007

Lettuce Wraps

Well we were finally able to get together all the right ingredients together to make this recipe properly. Last time I tried to make it I couldn't find ground turkey or water chestnuts (Super Target is somewhat lacking as far as groceries go, but it's so close and so convenient!) Tyler made this for us, I tend to shy away from all asian-inspired recipes. He makes all the stir frys for us, and come to think of it, all the fajitas too...couldn't really tell you why, that's just how we do it! I enjoyed this recipe, but it wasn't really rave worthy. Despite lots of cornstarch we just couldn't really get the liquid to thicken, so they were very messy and juicy lettuce wraps! We served them with rice to try to soak up some of the liquid. I think this is a good base recipe that could be tweaked to be made even better, I just don't really know how since I'm not very experienced with these kinds of dishes!

Ground Turkey Lettuce Wraps (from sparkpeople.com)


Ground Turkey, 4 patty (4 oz, raw) (yield after cook (remove)
Cabbage, fresh, 1 cup, chopped (remove)
Onions, raw, .5 cup, chopped (remove)
Carrots, raw, .5 cup, chopped (remove)
Waterchestnuts (water chestnuts), 0.5 cup slices (remove)
*Canola Oil, 1 1tsp (remove)
*Kikkoman Lite Soy Sauce, 4 tbsp (remove)
Teriyaki Sauce, 100 grams (remove)
Green Peppers (bell peppers), .5 cup, strips (remove)
Chicken Broth, .5 cup (8 fl oz) (remove)

Brown the ground turkey in 1tsp oil. Add onion, carrot, and pepper. Add sauces and chicken broth. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Add cabbage and water chestnuts, reseason if needed with more soy. The longer it simmers, the more flavor it will have.
Add 1T cornstarch slurry (with 1T water) if you'd like to thicken the sauce.
Serve with lettuce or rice.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Another new cookie recipe

The urge to bake struck me on Sunday afternoon but I didn't have any entire bag of anything sweet. I had partial bags of chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, coconut, and macadamia nuts. I remembered a yummy looking cookie recipe that called for coconut and with a bit of searching I found the original recipe I was looking for. Wow these cookies were delicious. One of my new favorites. I ate a few and took some to work and sent the rest to work with Tyler. That's a first, he's always resistant to take food to work, I think it's because he's shy and is worried the cookies will attract attention. I think he probably dropped the bag of cookies in the break room and ran, but there were none left at the end of the day so I presume they were a hit!

Coconut Nut Chipsters (original recipe from BakingBlonde's blog)

1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 egg
1 2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup White Chocolate Chips
1 1/3 cup Coconut (lightly toasting is optional)
1 cup macadamia nut pieces (or other fave nut)

Preheat oven to 375.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugars and vanilla until light and creamy. Beat in egg. Slowly add flour mixture and mix just until combined. Gently fold in chips, coconut and nuts by hand just until combined.

Refrigerate dough for about 30 minutes to keep cookies from spreading. Form dough into balls using medium scoop and place on parchment lined baking sheets. Flatten dough balls with a fork.

Bake for 8-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on sheets for 2 minutes and transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

It doesn't get much easier...

Tacos. Why do we never make tacos? Why am I always trying to make complicated meals?! On the way home from church today I realized I was craving tacos, and since we spent the last of our October dining out budget at chick-fil-a the other night (mmmm I love you forever chick-fil-a) it was make tacos myself or let my craving go unfulfilled. Tyler actually made the tacos, while I watched 40 First Dates for the millionth time (oh how I love that movie!) Tacos are truly a 30 minute meal (if that).

Taco Seasoning I (from allrecipes.com)


  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  1. In a small bowl, mix together chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container.

We cooked 1lb of ground beef, then drained the fat. Added 1/2 cup water with the taco seasoning and half a can of black beans. Let it simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes. Served with cheese, lettuce, and spicy guacamole. (FYI to KC area girls, the wholly guacamole can be found in the produce section and is on sale at HyVee this week, 1.87 each, and I used a coupon I clipped a couple of weeks ago for $1 off). On soft taco shells (heated the tortillas on the stove top for about 2 minutes each.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Blue Cheese Please

I love a good burger. My latest favorite burger place is Ted's Montana Grill, I'm especially fond of their blue cheese burger. Tyler always gets a salad there, weird, but he claims it's an amazing salad. We decided to recreate these burgers at home, it was quite simple and very tasty! To make this WW core friendly, use fat free blue cheese (or reduced fat and count the points, I think fat free cheese is terrible) and serve w/o a bun (obviously I did not follow my own advice!) And obviously count the points for the beer ;) Blue Moon is my favorite!

Blue Cheese Burgers (original recipe from allrecipes.com)


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1-1/2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons minced fresh chives
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 4 French rolls or hamburger buns


  1. In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, blue cheese, chives, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, salt, and mustard. Cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  2. Preheat grill for high heat. Gently form the burger mixture into 4 patties.
  3. Oil the grill grate. Grill patties 5 minutes per side, or until well done. Serve on rolls.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

cranberry hooty-whats?

You can't hide from it, Christmas will be here sooner than you think. I love the Christmas season, the baking, the buying, the family, the giving. It's all great. I plan on giving cookies and other baked goods to friends and co-workers this holiday season. I haven't figured out exactly what I'll make yet but I'm trying out some new recipes. One idea I really like is the "cookie in the jar" mixes you can put together. I already knew that they looked great, but I wanted to make sure they actually tasted good before handing them out to everyone I know! I'm glad I gave them a try because there were some things that needed tweaking. Also, Tyler loved them and I think these will replace the other cranberry white-chocolate cookie recipe I have used in the past.

Cranberry Hootycreeks (from allrecipes.com)


  • 1 cup + 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


  1. Layer the ingredients in a 1 quart or 1 liter jar, in the order listed.
  2. Attach a tag with the following instructions: Cranberry Hootycreeks
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper.
    2. In a medium bowl, beat together 1/2 cup softened butter, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of vanilla until fluffy (Thanks to the advice of an allrecipes.com reviewer, I found out it takes 5-7 minutes in the electric mixer to get the butter, eggs, and vanilla to become fluffy). Add the entire jar of ingredients, and mix together by hand until well blended (If dough is dry and crumbly, sprinkle with a bit of water so it sticks together better, I also refrigerated the dough about 30 minutes before baking). Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets.
    3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges start to brown. Cool on baking sheets, or remove to cool on wire racks.
Makes about 2 dozen cookies (depending on how much dough you eat!)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Falafel Fun

Sorry for the serious lack of posting again. Tyler has been doing most of the cooking for us and we've been eating some tried and true meals, nothing new until last night. This recipe is from the "best of" Cooking Light magazine from last month. We love falafel but haven't really figured out a place where we could get the good stuff here in Kansas City. Next time I make this I'll experiment with other kinds of beans. I think black beans or garbanzo beans would be equally good. This was also a very fast meal to whip up, which is always nice on a busy day!

I don't count this as a Core recipe (but it could be if you used FF cheese, no chips, and ate it without a pita). On the Flex system it is 6 pts per serving, and the recipe makes 4 servings. If you are thinking about joining Weight Watchers I really encourage you do to it before the holiday season is in full swing, WW is a great program for learning portion control and having some accountability during the tough holiday season! I've lost about 7lbs in the last 3 weeks, so I am clearly a fan! I'm already down a pant size!

Southwestern Falafel with Avocado Spread (from Cooking Light)


1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese (I used pepperjack)
1/4 cup finely crushed baked tortilla chips (about 3/4 ounce)
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large egg white
1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil

1/4 cup mashed peeled avocado
2 tablespoons finely chopped plum tomato
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 (6-inch) pitas, each cut in half crosswise


To prepare patties, place pinto beans in a medium bowl; partially mash with a fork. Add Monterey Jack cheese and next 5 ingredients (through egg white); stir until well combined. Form into 4 (1/2-inch-thick) oval patties.

Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties; cook 3 minutes on each side or until patties are browned and thoroughly heated.

To prepare spread, while patties cook, combine the avocado, plum tomato, red onion, sour cream, lime juice, and salt. Place 1 patty in each pita half. Spread about 2 tablespoons avocado spread over patty in each pita half.