The Wiivers


End the Madness!
January 29, 2008, 4:44 pm
Filed under: Random Thoughts

Okay, this is not a food related post.  I just have to get this off my chest. 

Racquetball

Sunday John and I were playing raquetball.  Sounds normal right?  I bent over to pick up the ball and felt something go wrong in my back.  (Yes, I’m an 85 year-old lady already. 🙂 )  So, we went home and I could barely move. John went and got me a heating pad and I layed on it all evening.  I didn’t even go to work on Monday because I could barely move.  Today, I went to work, but everyone kept insisting that I go to the doctor.  Since I could still barely move, I decided to take their advice.  I called the local Orthopedic doctors, but they couldn’t get me in until Friday.  I was in so much pain, I thought I needed to be seen sooner.  So, I went to the local Walk-In Clinic, this is where the madness begins.

Sick Face

I know dealing with sick kids is hard work as they are normally tired and cranky.  I am not a mom, so I don’t know what I would do in this situation, I just pray that I would not be like these people.

So, I get to the clinic and they inform me there is a 2-hour wait.  Shoot, I was hoping I would hit a lull and it wouldn’t be too long, oh well.  I sat down and filled out the paperwork.  A couple of minutes later I finished and turned my paperwork back in.  I glanced around the room for a magazine, something to occupy the 2 hours.  I found an interesting looking magazine that had some gorgeous Valentines cupcakes on the cover.  The cover also boasted that they could be made in 20 minutes! Woo hoo, that’s my kind of recipe.  So, I grabbed the magazine and sat down.  I was a couple of pages in the magazine when a little tot (I later learned he will be 1 year old next Friday) comes tottering over and grabbed my leg.  I looked up and gave the mom a half smile.  Okay, I’m sorry, but I don’t want a kid I don’t know and who is obviously sick hanging all over me. I don’t want the germs!  Besides, who lets their kids hang all over strangers, I don’t care how old the kid is.  Over the almost two hours I was there, this kid made the rounds hanging on most all of the people in the waiting room.   I got through the magazine and guess what I NEVER saw, the cupcake recipe.  Who tears out pages of a magazine at a doctor’s office!  Seriously…

Sick Face

Keep your kids with you!  There was a kid who tottered all around the waiting room.  The mom followed about 5-6 steps behind talking very very loudly to the kid.  Please, use your inside voice when you are talking to your kids.  There is no reason why I need to hear you talking to you kids when I am on the complete other side of the waiting room.  This same parent kept telling her child no while he was trying to eat cheerios from the ground, presumably left by another child.  So, this mother takes some snacks out of the diaper bag and rattles the bag and says “Here boy, come over here” like you would call an animal.  So, the child proceeds to go to his mother and eats his treats happily, until he drops a couple on the ground.  Does the mother take them from him? NO!  She lets him it the treats that fell on the dirty, gross carpet.  Ew!

My last annoying point of the day could have happened anywhere.  This mother had 3 of her children with her.  Their names you ask? Kayleigh, Bayleigh, and Jayleigh!  Seriously, who does that!  (I am only guessing the spellings of the kids names, but this is Oklahoma, so I’m guessing the spellings are correct.)  This mother goes back with 2 of the kids.  (The grandpa and father are waiting with the 3 child.)  The last girl has her named called, so she goes to the nurse.  The dad and grandpa both just sit there and let a child (about 2.5 feet tall, I’m really bad with ages, maybe 6, 7?) go back by herself!

Sick Face

Oh yes, in case you are wondering, I’m going to be okay.  I have a lumbar strain.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled blogging. 🙂



Breakfast Bake
January 29, 2008, 3:44 pm
Filed under: Breakfast, Entrees, Healthy Foods

Yesterday when I was planning supper, I didn’t really know what I was in the mood for.  I got a “new” crockpot recipe book from my mom a couple weeks ago so I looked through it.  There was a yummy recipe for potato and broccoli soup, but I knew I needed a meat for John.  So, I went to All Recipes and used the handy Ingredient Search function.  I put in broccoli, ham, and potatoes. Up came, Mouth Watering Medley.  It’s a breakfast type dish though, so I made a quick call to John to make sure a breakfast meal was okay for tonight.  He said okay, so I was excited!

I used the recipe above for a guideline, but I made mine a little more Weight Watchers friendly. 🙂

Breakfast Bake

(I know, not the best picture, but trust me, this is delish!!)

Breakfast Bake

12 serving, 5 WW points per serving

Ingredients

4 large potatoes

1 large bag of broccoli

1 cup cheddar cheese

3 cups eggbeaters

1 cup low fat, cooked ham cubes

1 cup turkey sausage, cooked and crumbled

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.

2. Peel, wash, and cube potatoes. Then brown in a nonstick skillet. Pour into bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.

3. Warm broccoli in skillet, then layer over potatoes.

4. Warm ham and sausage and layer them in the pan.

5. Mix together cheese and eggs. Then pour over mixture.

6. Bake in oven until eggs are set.  (It took mine about 30-40 minutes.)



Daring Bakers #2 – Lemon Meringue Pie
January 28, 2008, 7:53 am
Filed under: Daring Bakers, Dessert

Daring Bakers Logo 

I was so excited when I heard this month’s challenge was Lemon Meringue Pie (LMP).  LMP is one of  my favorite pies, hands down.  I hurried out the day after I found out about the challenge to find a cute tartlette pan.  Since I’m on Weight Watchers and trying to cut down on desserts I thought if I could make tartlettes then I could freeze them and eat them slowly over time instead of having to eat them all at once.  I found the perfect tartpan on my search.  It was in my favorite shape also – a heart.  This is also the same pan I used to for my Turtle Cheesecakes

Since these wonderful LMP’s are also heart shaped, I would also like to enter them in Zorra’s “A Heart for you Valentine” contest.  Click the link for more information and to view all the current entries.  There are some really good ones.

LMP

The beloved LMP’s!

Let me start this part by saying, I had no problems at all with this recipe; however, many of the other Daring Bakers did have minor/major problems with the lemon curd not setting and having very weepy meringue.   If you choose to use this recipe, I highly suggest you visit the other Daring Bakers blogs to find a couple of people who had some problems and see how they fixed the problems in case you come across some problems also.

This LMP recipe was so yummy.  It is not the LMP that I am used too.  My family’s LMP makes you crinkle up your face with every bite.  It is oh so delicious, but very tangy to say the least.  This LMP has a much more subtle lemon taste.  John, the person who told me the entire time while baking the LMP’s that he does not like LMP and won’t eat any, has eaten his fair share of them.  The crust recipe is so yummy too.  Again, not what I’m used to as far as pie crust goes.  This was more like a shortbread taste to me.  So delicious.  John has even asked me to make cookies with the dough… maybe I’ll try that soon.

Edited to Add: Many people keep asking me about my meringue.  I’m not a huge meringue fan, so I didn’t try my hardest at making it.  I know, shame on me.  I think I under-whipped it, so it completely deflated in the oven.  You can kinda see a miniscule layer in the photo. lol

I didn’t have any real problems of difficulties with this recipe and once again I forgot to take pictures during the process, so this will be short.  For the recipe, click on more and the end of this post.

Continue reading



Chicken!
January 25, 2008, 11:52 am
Filed under: Cheap to Make, Entrees, Healthy Foods

On whim while shopping a couple weeks ago, John and I decided to buy a whole chicken.  Chicken is so yummy and so healthy so surely it won’t be too hard, I have cooked a whole turkey before after all….  So, into our cart it went.  When we got home, we just put in the freezer to cook on another day.

 This week I was feeling semi-brave.  I’m going to cook the chicken I told myself.  Monday evening, I took the chicken out and put it in the fridge to cook on Tuesday. 

Tuesday when I got home from work, I pulled the chicken out, only to find it was still rock hard.  Who knew it took this long to thaw out, so back into the fridge it goes. 

Wednesday night I get home and pull the chicken out, yay!  It’s not frozen anymore.  But I start calculating how long it’s going to take to cook, it won’t be done until 8:30, yikes!  That’s way to late for dinner at our house.  So back into the fridge it goes. 

Thursday on my lunch break I had a revelation: crockpot chicken!  If I put it in now, it’ll be ready when I get home, sweet.  Recipe, recipe, hmm, I don’t have one.  I quickly jumped online to see what I can find.  Hmm, nothing.  Oh well, surely I can make up a recipe right?

So, I washed the chicken and pulled out the “innards” (do you know they aren’t in a nice little bag like a turkey, gross!!).  Then I put it in my crockpot.  Sprinkle both sides with some Tuscany Blen seasoning I found in my cabinet.  It’s a nice blend of sundried tomatoes and basil.  Pour a little water in the bottom.  Set the timer for 4 hours on high and off to work I went.

At 5:00 I came home.  While I was getting out of my car in the garage, I could smell the chicken, so good smelly!  (That is probably my favorite thing about a crockpot.)

Whole Chicken

 Yum!  I was very excited for dinner once I saw the chicken.  While preparing this meal, I thought this would either be really good or really bad.  I knew at this moment it was going to be really good.  So, I put the lid back on the crockpot and waited for John to get home.  This chicken was way to hot and difficult for me to cut apart.  Besides, isn’t that the boys job anyway?  😉

John with the chicken

John was a very good sport and enthusiatically helped me with the chicken.  It was so tender it just fell off the bone.  I saved all the broth in the crockpot and will freeze it for another meal.

 Chicken Dinner

I was proud of this picture, so I showed it to John last.  He’s so funny, he said “Well, one thing’s for sure, your photography skills are greatly improving.” hee hee.

We also made whole wheat pasta with some light alfredo sauce for a side dish.



Omelets WW Style
January 24, 2008, 2:22 pm
Filed under: Breakfast, Entrees, Healthy Foods

Okay, so the thing I don’t like the most about WW is all of my favorite breakfast foods are off limits if I want to eat something other than carrots for the rest of the day. 🙂  Breakfast foods are my favorite of all foods.  I was so excited when I discovered Eggbeaters!  1/4 of a cup (approximately 1 egg) is only about 1 point!  So last night, I really wanted some yummy french toast or biscuits and gravy, but I settled for an omelet.

 Omelet

I used 1/2 cup of eggbeaters, 2 oz of really lean ham cubes, and about 1 tablespoon of fat free cheddar cheese. Yum yum!

So if anybody has any yummy WW recipes for breakfast foods, please leave me a comment with it. 

I miss my breakfasts!



WW Cornflake Chicken
January 23, 2008, 8:25 am
Filed under: Entrees, Healthy Foods

John and I love Cornflake Chicken.  But since you dip each piece of chicken into melted butter, it really isn’t very WW friendly.  I was so excited when I found a very similar recipe at That’s My Home.  She has a recipe for Southern-Style Oven Fried Chicken, that’s just a healthy version of Cornflake Chicken.

WW Cornflake Chicken

1/2 t. all-purpose flour
1/4 t. table salt
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
3 oz. buttermilk
3/4 C. corn flakes crumbs
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, four 4 oz pieces

Preheat oven to 365 F. Lightly coat an 8 X 8 X 2-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Combine flour, salt and cayenne pepper together in a medium-size bowl. Place buttermilk and corn flakes crumbs in 2 separate shallow bowls.

Roll chicken breast halves in flour mixture and evenly coat each side. Next dip chicken into buttermilk and then corn flakes crumbs.

Place coated chicken breasts in prepared baking dish. Bake until chicken is tender and no longer pink, about 20 minutes (there is no need to flip the chicken during baking).

Weight Watchers: 1 breast per serving – 4 POINTS per serving

The Cayenne Pepper has quite a bit of bite to it, I think we’ll leave it out completely next time.



Turtle Cheesecakes!
January 22, 2008, 9:49 am
Filed under: Dessert, Healthy Foods

I have been craving turtle cheesecakes for about 2 weeks now.  I looked at the nutritional information and was floored by how many calories it was, even using low-fat/fat-free items.  So, I knew it would be in my best interest to not make the oh-so-yummy turtle cheesecake.  So, I thought about it for a few more days and finally last night, I’d had enough!  I decided to make up my own recipe for this yummy dessert. 

Last night while looking through some of my fellow Daring Baker’s blogs, I found a new contest:  A Heart for your Valentine

“On February 14th we celebrate Valentine’s Day, a holiday honoring love and lovers.

In the spirit of the holiday, I suggest to romance the special person in our life not only with a love note but also with a homemade “edible heart”. So I would like to invite you to treat your Valentine with something sweet or savory but always heart-shaped or heart-decorated. Give your fantasy full scope and surprise your beloved one with a special heart! Of course we would like to see what kind of heart you give away, so please blog about it from now until February 15.”

If you know me, you know I love to make “cute” desserts, so I knew instantly this contest was right up my alley.  (I have a few more ideas for this contest too, so stay tuned throughout the month.)  May I now present to you MY Turtle Cheesecakes.

Turtle Cheesecakes

Nina’s Turtle Cheesecakes, somewhat WW friendly 😀

This recipe made 12 little hearts.

Crust

12 reduced fat Oreos

Small dab of margarine

6 caramels

 

Combine in food processor until crumbly.  Divide evenly into 12 portions in smoosh in the bottom of your pan.  Melt 6 caramels (be careful not to catch these on fire, hee hee) and pour a small dab on the top of each crust.  (I didn’t bake them at this point, but I think you should bake them at 350º for about 15 minutes.)

 

Cheesecake

1 package fat-free cream cheese

¼ cup eggbeaters

1 cup Splenda

 

Combine all in mixer until mixture is smooth and creamy.  Pour equal amounts into each cheesecake.  Bake at 350º for about 15-20 minutes. Let cool.

 

Toppings

2 tbs chopped pecans

14 caramels

2 tbs mini chocolate chips

 

Melt caramels in microwave.  Spoon equal amounts onto each cheesecake.  While the caramel is still warm top with pecans and chocolate chips.  Gently press on pecans and chocolate chips to make sure they are “stuck”.  Let cool completely, then pop out of pan.

Each heart is only 4 WW points.