Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Eggless Pancakes - 2 points

1. I have to work overtime every day this week.
2. A disk slipped in my back (teaching children to read is dangerous business).
3. My computer has completely crashed, so I have to share the laptop with Stone - the grad student husband.

These are the reasons why, even though it is a few days, I have not get had time to get to my resolution round up. It will come, I promise. After all, these things shall pass.

Here is another pancake recipe. Simon wanted pancakes and I was all out of eggs. Luckily, I found a recipe from and was able to adapt it for my needs. I was quite pleased with how they turned out. I served them with homemade berry syrup.

Eggless Pancakes
1 cup flour
1 tsp Splenda or other non-calorie sweetener
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup soy milk, light regular
1 vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp water

1. Sift dry ingredients int a medium bowl. Add wet ingredients; whisk until combined.
2. Let the mixture rest while you heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. 
3. Cook pancakes, 1/4 cup batter each, flipping when bubbles form and edges are dry.
4. Yields 8, 2 point servings

Enjoy!  I read many books over the break and have so many to share with you. I loved Atonement by Ian McEwan. This was my second attempt at reading it. The first part is painfully dull, and I could not overcome it during my first reading. I am glad that I plowed through it this time, because the second half of the book is truly stunning. The descriptions of the French and English experience during the early years of World War II were riveting. I was also intrigued by the brave work of wartime nurses. Well worth reading, in my humble opinion.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dark Chocolate No Bake Cookies - 2 points, Menu, Baking Votes Needed!

This is a twist on my husband's favorite cookie - the chocolate no-bake cookie. I adapted this from Health magazine because I needed a cookie recipe that my students could make at school. That means - no oven, ready in less than 20 minutes, and acceptable for a diabetic. This recipe fit all three requirements and got all - around approval from a group of adolescents who will freely complain if they do not like what you feed them! Stone even says that these are just as good as the classic, less healthy version, (which is high praise indeed).

Dark Chocolate No Bake Cookies
4 tbsp creamy peanut butter
4 tbsp soy milk, original flavor, light
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats

1. Place peanut butter, milk, and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high 45 seconds; stir. Continue to heat at 15 second intervals, stirring each time, until chips are completely melted.
2. Stir oats into bowl. Mix until coated.
3. Drop by spoon fulls onto waxed paper. Refrigerate 10 minutes before serving.
4. Yields 16, 2 point servings


crock pot black beans

apple cinnamon muffins (for work event)

salmon burgers

crock pot chicken

night out

Sunday School Picnic
grilled Italian chicken
mojito cupcakes

Baking question: My church is having a baking competition. I know I won't win, but I would love to partake and help raise money for the church mission trip to an Oklahoma reservation this summer. What should I make? Right now the votes are between Strawberry Brownie Bonbons (Stone, fab friend Lisa, and super co-teacher Carr) and Dulche de Leche Bars (that one is just me). What do you think?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

More Spring Break Pics

Playing mini-golf...
Taking a is exhausting;)
Such a pretty, if steep place to play.

We needed some treats after golf, of course. Cinnamon, sugar funnel cake...
and Rockie Road ice-cream...

We found a great local grocery store...

They had a cool collection of sodas, including grape Nehi...
And some crazy big cookies.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring Break in Helen, Georgia, Part One

I am having a lovely vacation with my family in Helen, Georgia! I thought I would go ahead and upload some of my photos. Looking forward to catching up on the blogosphere when we return home.

Sonic on the way...
Sonic has four hot dogs on special right now, and we decided to try a couple. This is the New York dog. It has my favorite hot dog toppings- kraut, onions, and mustard.
This the Chicago style dog, minus the relish. It was also quite tasty.

View of the Chatahoochee from our balcony...

Hofbrauhaus in Helen...

Hofbrauhaus ended up being our favorite German restaurant in Helen. They serve a fantastic spinach salad with a garlic, dill dressing that is worth every, single calorie. 

Haufbrauhaus also has a spaetzle with cheese sauce that brings spaetzle to a whole new level.

German potato salad- the only potato salad I want on my plate!
Relaxing in the room...

Taking Simon to the City Park...

And at the resort...
My first prime rib...

Babyland General Hospital...

Chestatee Wildlife Preserve...

 Some sweet treats...

Cookies and cream fudge.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mixed Berry Syrup - 2 Points

My last post before I am away on holiday! (I am told there is Internet access where we are staying - Stone needs it to upload homework assignments.)

I was fresh out of homemade maple syrup the other day when Simon asked for - of course - pancakes. So, I grabbed a bag of mixed berries out of the freezer and whipped up a batch of mixed berry syrup! Simon was very pleased with the results, although he did look rather startling covered in bright red syrup. 

Mixed Berry Syrup
2 cups mixed berries (I used raspberry, blackberry and blueberry)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup sugar

1. Stir ingredients together in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat; lower heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
2. Place a sieve over a bowl. Pour the syrup, in small batches, into the sieve and use a spoon to gently press until all of the juice is released into the bowl.
3. Discard seeds and skin from the sieve. Transfer the syrup from the bowl to a serving dish.
4. Yields 5, 2 point servings.

The recipe for the eggless pancakes will come later:) I am linking to Frugal Friday, since making your own syrup is a great money saver.

Just a reminder that you will not be hearing from me tomorrow. I hope that you will take some time to consider helping the people of Japan. I read today that some of the major credit card companies are allowing card holders to contribute bonus points as cash to the Red Cross.

I also got a reminder from my favorite recording artist, Amy Grant, reading "Just a reminder from Team Amy -- today the devastation in Japan continues to unfold in epic numbers. Please play a part in the recovery by considering texting REDCROSS to 90999. A $10.00 donation will be charged to your cell phone bill."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spiced Coffee - 0 Points

Stone has been under the weather for over a week. He is suffering so much from allergies that the doctor gave him steroid shot. I thought that a bit of spiced coffee might help clear out his head and make him feel better. Despite the fact that I am not ailing, I did have a couple of cups myself and thoroughly enjoyed them.

Spiced Coffee
1 level scoop coffee grounds
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp cloves
1 tsp dried orange peel
pinch cayenne pepper

1. Fill coffee maker with water for 10 cups. Place spices in coffee filter and turn on machine.
2. Yields 10, 0 point servings

I had been on hold for what seemed like a thousand years for the last Steig Laarson book, The Girl Who Played with Fire. I have had mixed feelings about this series. Many people recommended the books to me, but not one of them warned me about the graphic scenes of sexual abuse and torture. If I had been warned, the books might have been less gut wrenching. At least, I would have been better prepared. This was my favorite of the series; I loved the courtroom drama, learning about the Swedish legal system, and delving into the minds of newspaper editors. I wish Mr. Laarson had lived long enough to know how much he is loved by readers worldwide and to share more of his talent with us.

You will not be hearing from me this Friday. Thanks to an FYI from the fabulous Rebecca, I will be participating in this amazing event. Please click this link to learn more.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Slow Cooked Beef with Beer - 5 points

I put this in the crock pot for Stone the day I had my root canal done. He insisted on saving some for me to try because it was, "One of the best things you've ever made!" I don't know how I feel about one of the best things I have ever made being three ingredients and ridiculously easy. Oh, well! It is a deeply satisfying dish.

Slow Cooked Beef with Beer
2 lb lean steak
1 light beer
1 pkt onion soup mix

1. Place lean steak in crock pot. In a bowl, mix beer and soup mix. Pour beer mixture over steak.
2. Cook on low for 6 hrs.
3. Break up with spoon before serving over rice or pasta.
4. Yields 8, 5 point servings

I thought that I asked Stone - through my Vicodin haze - to take a picture of this dish. He didn't. So, here is a picture of the empty bottle of the beer I used.

I am looking for new books for my students. The girls have requested romance, so I have been looking through my collection for quality books involving love. I just read Those Summer Girls I Never Met by Richard Peck. Reading it was quite nostalgic; it is set in the 1980's, during the time of stone washed jeans and the USSR. It didn't make the cut for my class because there is not enough real romance, but it was fun to read it and remember all the fun I had taking "The Geography of the Soviet Union" in middle school!

I am linking this recipe to a great collection of dishes at Full Plate Thursday.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Roasted Spaghetti Squash Seeds - 2 points

I made this yummy treat when I cooked spaghetti squash for Valentine's Day. I have never braved seed roasting before and was almost afraid to try a bite when they came out of the oven. I should have had no fear! They are a lovely, nutty treat - great to add crunch to a salad or wrap. I also loved the feeling I got from using almost every part of my squash; I felt like Laura Ingalls Wilder!

Roasted Spaghetti Squash Seeds
seeds from 1 spaghetti squash
salt to taste

1. Wash and dry seeds. Place on a cookie sheet. Spray very lightly using a kitchen spritzer full of olive oil.
2. Roast at 250F for 30-45 minutes. Salt to taste.
3. 2 points per two tablespoons

I have two spaghetti squash in the oven as I type; spaghetti squash kugel is on the menu for this week. It is one of my favorite healthy dishes!

I am linking to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday. Lots of yummy treats to be found there!

I am also linking to Real Food Deals, since this is definitly a way to stretch your dollar (or pound or rand or Kwacha) by making the most of your purchase.

Finally, I am linking to Real Food Wednesdays, since this is a very natural treat:)

Perch with Marjoram Sauce - 4 points

I am a cheater, but I am an honest one. If you do not understand - here is what I mean. I don't follow the rules, but I can admit that I don't follow the rules. Here is my story about attempting to be a good, rule abiding blogger and failing miserably (interspersed with random pictures to keep you from getting bored.

First picture break, Tennessee sunset:
I was looking over Dom's fabulous, amazing, wonderful blog today and thinking, "I should like to try that challenge he has going on." The challenge was to count through your cookbooks until you reach number 18. Open the book at random and prepare whatever dish is on that page.

Problem...I have already gone grocery shopping for the next week. I do not want to go spend more money this close to vacation. Solution...I shall try the challenge anyway. If the fates decide to give me a recipe for which I have the ingredients, so be it. If not, I will just sit this one out.

I count to eighteen on the shelf and come to a book I thought I had rid myself of. It is a horrid book in which the recipes have long lists of hard to find and seasonal ingredients followed by directions like "twist your arm around the back of your head and peel a lemon without breaking  the rind". I meant to give it to the used book store but must have forgotten. Fine. Whatever. I open the book - a page full of directions. I open the book again - a page full of tips for cutting artichokes. Again, a page with menu for French New Year (I do not think France has its own New Year, further lowering my opinion of this book. )

Second picture break, Tennessee lake:

Cheat #1- I skip to book two. This is a very slim cookbook given to me by Beck's teacher. The title is Go Red for Women and it is published by the American Cancer Society. I open the book and see the recipe "Chicken in Tarragon Sauce". Eureka! I had tarragon on my shopping list, so that is a go. I have all of the other ingredients save one.

Cheat #2 - "Dom, you understand that I don't have chicken, right?" I ask him telepathically. "You do not mind if I use the perch that was 1/2 price today?" Of course, I decide that he completely supports this decision and go ahead with my preparations. Things are going swimmingly until I get to the fruit bowl and reach for the lemon. It is moldy. "Frickenjibbit!" I think.

Cheat #3 There is lemon in the recipe and there is pepper in the recipe, so if I use lemon pepper, that is not really cheating, right? I know it is cheating. I am starting to feel very guilty about my continual rule breaking. Still, I go on. I add the lemon pepper, the onions, the celery, and then the tarragon. No. No I do not. I reach for the tarragon and find that I have rosemary. You know, the spice that sits right next to the tarragon. The spice I grabbed in my haste to get out of the store and to my chicken fajita lunch. I consider crying or cursing or giving up. But the voice in my head says, "It is a stretch, but you are doing your best. Go ahead."

Third picture break, Tennessee waterfall:

Cheat #4 I add marjoram. It looks quite nice, really. Everything is going to be fine. I remove the fish from the pan, and try a bit of the sauce. It lacks something. It is time to add the flour. If I add white flour, the sauce shall continue to lack. If I add seasoned flour, it will have a better flavor. The  voice in my head, now sounding a bit miffed, says, "You've already shot to the whole recipe to hell. Who cares at this point?"

Cheat #5 I used seasoned flour. The rest of the recipe went by the book. Really, it did.

Dear Dom, I am sorry for mucking up this challenge and hope that you will accept my submission despite my flagrant cheating and long winded story. If not, I shall fully understand as I am a self confessed rule breaker and cannot expect people to put up with my foolishness.

Last picture break, a Civil War bullet hole in the Carter House, Franklin, Tennessee.
Here is the recipe, as I made it.

Perch with Marjoram Sauce
1 lb perch fillets
10.5 oz fat free chicken broth
1/2 cup sliced onion
1 medium rib celery, sliced
1 tsp lemon pepper
1 medium bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
salt to taste
1 tbsp seasoned flour
5 oz fat free evaporated milk
2 tbsp fresh parsley
1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Brown the perch for 1 minute on each side; transfer to a plate.
2. Place broth, onion, celery, lemon pepper, bay leaf, and salt in pan. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat to low and add perch. Simmer, covered for 2-3 minutes, until perch is cooked through.
4. Remove perch and vegetables to a plate. Remove all broth, leaving 2 tbsp, to a bowl. Add flour to pan with a whisk.
5.Whisk in broth from bowl along with milk. Cook over medium heat 6-9 minutes, until bubbly. Stir in parsley.
6. Add fish and vegetables and warm for 1-2 minutes, until fish and vegetables have reheated.
7. Yields 3, 4 point servings


Now time for menu plan Monday. We are going to be with Stone's parents on Friday. I cannot very well ask them to be meatless on Friday. So

Cheat #6 We are going meatless every day but Friday. I think that is a reasonable solution.

perch with marjoram sauce



spaghetti squash kugel
salmon burgers


Stone's parents

Helen, GA

If you are making your own menu, here are some recipes suggestions.





night out!


Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Vegetarian Chorizo with Eggs - 4 Points

I was thrilled to find vegetarian chorizo on sale at Kroger! It meant that I could make a lower point version of one of my favorite recipes: eggs with keilbasa.  I couldn't wait for breakfast, so I made this for dinner (hence the steamed broccoli that is sharing the plate). Any time of day, it is a delicious, protein packed dish.

Vegetarian Chorizo with Eggs
1 package vegetarian chorizo, casing removed
1 large onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced (I used yellow)
9 egg whites
1/2 cup light, original soy milk
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray or kitchen spritzer. Add chorizo, onions, and pepper to skillet. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender.
2. Beat egg whites, milk, salt, and pepper until combined.
3. Pour egg mixture into skillet. As mixture beings to set at bottom and side, gently lift cooked portions with spatula so that thin, uncooked portions can flow to the bottom.
4. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, until eggs are cooked through.
5. Yields 4, 4 point servings

I was very honored to receive a Stylish Blogger award from the author of Yummy Chunklet.

I am supposed to tell you seven things about myself. I have decided to tell you, instead, seven things I want to do on vacation next week.

1. Sleep - early to bed and late to rise
2. Read - lots of good books:)
3. Eat - delicious German food and pastries
4. Swim - in the pool and lounge in the hot tub
5. Hike - to work off all of the pastries
6. Drink lots of coffee and hot chocolate 
7. Take pictures

I am also supposed to pass on the award. I tried to compile a list, but I have so many amazing followers and visitors that I was unable to narrow it down. I definitely want to return the favor of recognition, however. So, I am going to suggest that you look at my Ash Wednesday post where I listed some great meatless recipes or my Valentine's Day post where I listed some sweet treats.

I took up a challenge to link to a different "Party" each day this week. I am not sure I will make it, but I am too competitive to turn down a challenge. Today I am linking to Sunday Mornings.

As I anxiously anticipate my upcoming vacation, here is a snapshot from another vacation to Lakeview in East Tennessee.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Fat Tuesday Angels - 3 points


I am joining Sweets for Saturday this week with my treats from Fat Tuesday! This year for, I decided to make some pink Rice Krispie treats dipped in white chocolate. After Christmas, I picked up bags of pink and green marshamallows on sale. It took me some time to separate out all of the pink ones, but I think it was worth it. 

Rice Krispie Angels
1/4 cup butter
5 cups marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispie cereal
3 blocks white chocolate bark 
1. Place marshamallows and butter in a large bowl. Microwave at 30 second intervals (stirring each time) until melted. 
2. Add Rice Krispies to bowl. Stir until completely coated.
3. Spread cereal mixture into a greased 9x11 pan. Cover and refridgerate for at least 1 hour. 
4. Remove pan from fridge. Use a cookie cutter to cut out angel shapes.
5. Place bark in a shallow dish and microwave and 30 second intervals until completely melted (stir each time, being careful not to overcook). 
6. Dip or spread one side of each angel with white chocolate bark. 
7. Yields 10, 3 point servings

I hope you have had a lovely Pink Saturday. If you are in the part of the world moving our clocks forward, I hope you get plenty of sleep. I am generally disgruntled about the hour of sleep I lose in spring, but I heard a radio DJ pontificating on her happiness at this event - it means warmer weather and spring break are on the way. I am trying to share her positive outlook. We will see how I do in the the morning!

My Pink Saturday plug goes out to Mary at One Perfect Bite! She has never posted anything that failed to make me hungry. 

Garlic Mushrooms in Creamy Sauce - 2 points, Belated Music Friday

I found mushrooms on sale and felt that a creamy, peppery sauce was called for.

Garlic Mushrooms in Creamy Sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
salt to taste
black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/8 cup white wine
1/4 cup low fat sour cream

1. Heat a medium pan over medium heat; spray with non-stick cooking spray or kitchen spritzer.
2. Saute garlic in pan for 1 min. Add mushrooms, continue cooking for 5 minutes.
3. Add spices and wine. Reduce heat to simmer; cook 5 minutes or until mushrooms are done.
4. Stir in sour cream; rewarm.
5. Yields 4, 2 point servings

I served this over rice. The delicious, cheesy bread on the side was a store bought treat.

I finished the book A Framework for Understanding Poverty by Ruby Payne. It was an excellent book exploring the cultural differences between those in poverty, the middle class, and the wealthy. While I think it would be useful to anyone, it is especially outstanding for teachers. I feel that I understand my students much better than I did before.

I didn't get my Friday Music for you last night because I was out late at one of those girly parties where one eats snacks and buys things. So, even though it is Saturday, here is the song my Zen DJ has chosen for your Friday Music. We haven't had any English music for a few weeks, so the DJ must have decided to get back to Britain. This is one of my favorites (obviously, or it wouldn't be on my Zen) "Viva la Vida" by Coldplay.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Oven Fried Fish - 4 Points

I hope you are enjoying your Friday. Here is a simple, meatless Friday dish.

Oven Fried Fish
1 lb tilapia fillets
1/4 cup regular soy milk
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 tsp salt

1. Pour milk into a shallow dish; mix in salt. Pour crumbs into a separate, shallow dish.
2. Dip fish first into the milk, then into the crumbs to coat. Place fillets on a baking stone or non stick baking sheet.
3. Spray fish using a kitchen spritzer (half a spray). Turn the fish and spray again (half a spray again).
4. Bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.
5. Yields 4, 4 point servings

I read in the January/February issue of Health that a kitchen spritzer delivers about 1 tsp of olive oil with a full spray. Therefore, I added that point into the recipe. I was happy to see the magazine list a kitchen spritzer as one of their favorite weight loss tools; it certainly is one of mine! Someday, I really should sell Pampered Chef- I give them so many free plugs!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ash Wednesday - Creamy Tuna A La King - 4 points

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, which means that my family will be attending church services to get ashes placed on our foreheads as preparation for the forty days of Lent. When I decided to join a liturgical church, I knew nothing about Lent. Now, it is my favorite season.

Ash Wednesday is a meatless day, as are all of the Fridays in the Lenten season. I have been watching the blogosphere for some delicious meatless recipes. Here is a list of the ones that particularly caught my eye and tempted my taste buds.


Here is one of my own making, a version from a Betty Crocker cookbook. I am a fan of fresh tuna. If you have never had a fresh, tuna steak, you must treat yourself to one. You cannot beat the meaty, thick, bite that you get from a tuna fillet.

Creamy Tuna A La King
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup seasoned flour
1 1/2 cups light, seasoned soy milk
1 cube vegetable bouillon
1 1/4 cups water
12 oz tuna steak
16 oz fresh mushrooms, stemmed and quartered

1. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray or kitchen spritzer. Add tuna steaks to skillet; cook 3-5 minutes per side, until cooked through. Remove from heat; cube.
2. Wipe skillet, reheat, and spray with non-stick cooking spray or kitchen spritzer. Add pepper and onion, stir frying until peppers are tender crisp.
3. Stir in flour. Cook until flour has fully coated the vegetables and the mushrooms begin to shrink.
4. Stir in milk, vegetable bouillon, and water. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir one minute. Stir in tuna and reheat.
5. Yields 4, 4 point servings

I think that it is interesting that fish is considered a vegetarian dish. Do fish not live? But, for the purposes of the church and the world in general, fish is apparently a vegetable. Interestingly, according to the Catholic church, beavers and puffins are also considered fish and are okay to eat on Fridays. Alas, I am a Methodist, so I guess I won't be making beaver stew anytime soon.