31 July 2010


So..not the cleverest title, but whatever. 
The first time L and I went to dinner, he took me here.  Beyond. Amazing.  His mom and step dad are best friends with the head chef/owner and his wife, and it is like we are royalty when we go there.  It is a rare occasion--not just on our cholesterol/fat levels, but our checking account--but SO worth it when we go. 
Why this background?  Well, I have been taking Prednisone for the past three days, and still have three more days to go.  I don't feel myself, my knee still effing hurts, and, sick as it sounds, I want to get back outside and walk/jog.  I feel loopy in the head, jittery, I am sleeping like crap--I took Benadryl last night to get a full 6 hours unlike the previous night of 3.  Basically, I don't feel like myself. At all.  I have already eaten 16.5 points (leaving me with 15.5), and it is only 2:41 PM, but I am hungry, and crave non-stop eating.

So I made focaccia.

I revisited my autographed (AWESOME) Paley's Place Cookbook, and made the dough.  I've made this once before, and it is amazing, and once I know how many slices I can get, I will know the point value more accurately.  As of now, the whole thing will be at least 24 points.  And, as crappy as I feel right now, knowing this will help.  Immensely.

I can't post the recipe.  I'm sorry.  I'd rather have you go out and get this AWESOME cookbook--seriously.  The goat-cheese walla-walla onion tart is TO DIE FOR.  Definitely not on plan, but amazing.  The recipies aren't pretentious nor are they only for the "foodie."  This is one of the huge reasons I am such Paleys' supporters.  Vitaly and Kimberly Paley are amazing people who love food, and love to share that passion with others.    The cookbook is an awesome read--beyond recipes, and basically, my favorite cookbook--even if I am not skilled (or confident) enough to make all the dishes included.

P.S.  He's been on Oprah, Martha Stewart, and is pretty much famous.  AND L's parent's hang out with them all the time.  It is pretty cool.  (Yeah, I am in awe of famous people (chefs) and any entourage.)

30 July 2010

Falling off the Bus...Getting hit by said bus, and waiting for any other motor vehicle to run me over. Yes, it is that bad. But worth it.

Step 1: Visit a local, family-run awesome chocolate company that doesn't do tours.  BUT--L's parent's won the Make-A-Wish auction for an exclusive tour opportunity, and brought R, D, L, and me along with them.  
Step 2:  Meet Julian Rose, the Master Chocolatier.  Who allows you into his test kitchen, and gives you an amazing, personal, informative, and unique tour. 

Step 3: Get to sample test chocolates in development. Pure chocolate (all from one part of the world) with amazing insides--like orange pieces and Grand Marnier. 
 Step 4: See the artisans at their work stations, doing EVERYTHING BY HAND.

Step 5: See more work done by hand.  Yes, she is painting on individual whiskers and eyes on chocolate cats.  BY. HAND. Feel an even bigger appreciation for the finished product. 
Step 6: See the results of the work. Trays upon trays upon trays.  Keeping in mind all those trays were done BY. HAND.
Step 7: See more work being done by hand.  Appreciate even more the amazingness of this experience. 

Step 8: See the "reject" pile.  Eat a sample--the best damn caramel ever.  Moan. 

Step 9: Learn about the process of chocolate making from Master Chocolatier Rose.  Whose birthday is on Monday.  Who has been working with chocolate for 20 years.  Who is an amazing teacher, and awesome to listen to. 

Step 10: Sample tray.  As we learned, we sampled.  Did we even use those plates? Heck no!!!

A closeup of some of the artistry.

Awesomeness.  This is a lemon fish with peanuts as the fins...AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS.

Did I mention that we also got a chocolate bar, and two boxes of truffles (8 total truffle awesomeness)?

Even though this experience was NOT Weight Watchers friendly (I don't think there could be a bigger understatement--maybe if I went on a bacon-tasting tour...), this was one of the coolest things I have ever done in my life.

I just put 30 points in my points tracker, but I think that might have been generous.  Even though I held back, and didn't eat nearly as much as I normally would have, I still sampled: a bite of a champagne truffle, at least 10 mini- chocolates in production, a caramel, two bites of a dark chocolate truffle, an entire yellow fish, and a bite of a yellow fish, and a bite of a pink fish.

And, I have a gutache right now.

On the bright side, I did make myself swim this morning--40 laps in 27 minutes!

Anything to look on the brighter side of this train wreck!!!!

Check out Moonstruck's site here:  Support them!!!!

29 July 2010

Entertaining...with 2 recipies

Ok. I  LOVE having people over. I love trying new recipies and preparing the house, and baking--even the cleaning up is fun.  
This is a problem for someone who loves to eat as much as I do--so today I tried two new recipes, for my friends who came over for a non-bookclub bookclub hangout time.  Our regular bookclub took July off, and we aren't meeting until August, but this was a way we could all see each other and hang out.  
I am proud of myself that I didn't eat the cookies that friends brought to share. I did have the mini tacos from Trader Joes, and far too much of this Sangria, but overall, I am very proud of myself--and when I wanted a snack, I air-popped some popcorn (4 Tablespoons of kernels in a brown paper lunch bag, in the microwave for 2 minutes), sprayed it with Pam w/olive oil, and added some ranch powder on top.  My friends totally chowed that too!! :)  

It was an awesome afternoon hanging out with amazing, professional, intelligent women. AND, not totally unhealthy.   YAY!

Party-In-A-Pitcher Sangria

1 bottle red wine
The wine ($5 from Winco--probably NOT the greatest wine ever, but whatev)
1 can Sprite Zero (or 1 1/2 cups of any diet lemon-lime soda)
1 cup Diet Ocean Spray Cranberry Pomegranate (or another flavor of Diet Ocean Spray) (I used the generic light cranberry raspberry--less calories and less sugar AND less $!)
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 small orange, peeled and chopped
Half a Fuji apple, chopped  (I used a nectarine instead)
Half a slightly under-ripe banana, peeled and chopped  (Did not use--added about 8 grapes and 8 w/stem fresh bing cherries)
½ cup pineapple chunks (if canned, packed in juice) (I used a full can, juice and all--no sugar added juice)

*I will say that one could 1/2 the fruit amount and still have PLENTY of fruit. A good amount of delicious fruit went to waste--there was almost TOO much for the one bottle of wine. 

Place fruit in a large container that will not stain easily (like a glass pitcher or a high-quality plastic one). Cover fruit with wine and cranberry drink, and give mixture a good stir.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 10 hours. (It's TOTALLY worth it. Quit whining.)

Once ready to serve, add soda and give it a good stir. Pour and be sure to get a nice amount of fruit in each glass. Enjoy!

P.S. If you like your sangria with less alcohol per glass, add more of the cranberry drink until it tastes juuuuuust right.
The day before (made at about 3PM) (no soda added yet)

This sangria is CHOCK-FULL of fruit and deliciousness. Just don't underestimate the alcoholic intensity of fruit chunks that have been chilling in there for a while -- they're POTENT, people!
Serving--with the Diet 7Up added

Nutritional notes:
PER SERVING (1 generous cup): 125 calories, 0g fat, 5mg sodium, 13g carbs, 1.5g fiber, 7g sugars, 0.5g protein -- POINTS® value 2*

**Please note that with my additions, the point value increased to 3 pts/serving**

This was UNBELIEVABLY good.  It did not last long, and it wasn't too sweet, nor too strong.   I added the soda as I poured individual glasses.  The fruit, while strong, wasn't bitter or inedible--actually the fruit was awesome!

Bloomin' Onion (HG style)
For Onion:
1 jumbo sweet onion, not peeled
1 cup Fiber One bran cereal (original), ground to a breadcrumb-like consistency in a blender or food processor
½ cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Original Egg Beaters)  (I used 1 egg white only)
¼ teaspoon seasoned salt (like the one by Lawry's)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder (I used more)
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
For Sauce:
3 tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise (Ok, I thought I had this, but I didn't.  Therefore, I only let myself have one bit of the sauce.
2 teaspoons ketchup
⅛ teaspoon seasoned salt
dash chili powder
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine ground cereal with the seasoned salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Mix well and set aside.

Out of the oven
Cut the top half-inch of the onion off (from the pointy side, not the flat one). Leaving the root (bottom) intact, carefully peel the outside layer off.

Next, starting from the top, carefully cut the onion down and across the middle, stopping about a half-inch from the root. Repeat to make a criss-cross, cutting the onion down the middle again and stopping a half-inch from the bottom. You should now have 4 sections still attached at the bottom. Cut each of those sections down the middle (from the top), again stopping before you get to the root.

Place the onion, cut side up, in a large bowl, and cover completely with ice water. Allow to sit for 5 - 10 minutes, or until "petals" open up. (You can use your hands to gently help pry them open once they've been soaking for several minutes.) Remove the onion, and dry both the onion and the bowl.

Once both are dry, place the onion back in the bowl, with the petals up. Pour the egg substitute evenly over it, making sure to get in between all the petals (use your hands to separate them). Swirl egg substitute around so the bottom and sides of the onion get coated. Then flip the onion over to drain excess egg substitute. The entire surface of the onion should be covered lightly with egg substitute. Transfer onion to a separate, dry bowl. (You'll likely have about half the egg substitute left in the first bowl.)

Slowly sprinkle ground cereal mixture evenly over the onion, making sure to thoroughly coat each petal -- again, use your hands to separate them -- flipping the onion upside-down once you're almost done coating, so that the entire surface gets coated in crumbs. (If needed, spread a little more egg substitute on any dry spots to get the crumbs to stick.) Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray, and place the onion in it with the petals facing up.

Place dish in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes (until outside is crispy and inside is soft). Meanwhile, combine sauce ingredients. When onion is done, allow it to cool slightly. If you like, carefully cut out the center of the onion (so petals are easy to remove). Serve with sauce and enjoy!

Here are some tips for you:   (VERY helpful)

1. Give the onion plenty of time to open up while soaking in the water. The more it opens, the easier it'll be to fully coat all the "petals" with the breading.
2. Thoroughly dry the onion after soaking. If you don't, the excess water can prevent the egg substitute from sticking, which will prevent the Fiber One "crumbs" from sticking.
3. Here's a neat trick. Try using a basting brush (like the kind that comes with some grill tool kits) to coat the onion in egg substitute. The back of a spoon works as well. Just make sure all sides of all the petals are coated with the egg substitute -- otherwise the crumbs won't stick.
4. While applying the F1 crumbs, use your hands to separate the petals. The goal is to expose as much surface area as possible. Using a spoon to separate them is also helpful during this step. Just sprinkle the crumbs lightly over each and every petal while separating them.
5. Sometimes, while "faux-frying" at the HG HQ, if something isn't fully coated with crumbs, we'll dunk the partially coated item back into egg substitute (or in this case, pour more egg sub over the top), and repeat the coating process. Great little tip! And while we're on that subject, don't be afraid to dole out more egg substitute and crumbs than is called for -- you won't use it all, so it won't affect the nutritionals, but it'll make the whole coating process a bit easier.
6. Since ovens vary, you may need to bake your Bloomin' Blossom a little longer than the 40 minutes called for in the recipe. Continue to bake it until the outside is crispy and the inside is soft.
Nutritional notes:

Serving Size: half of recipe (including half of the sauce)
Calories: 192
Fat: 1.75g
Sodium: 700mg
Carbs: 54g
Fiber: 17g
Sugars: 13g
Protein: 7g

POINTS® value 3* 

This was really tasty.  I didn't rush through the process (BIG surprise--I have NO patience!), which really made a big difference.  There were only a few bites left too!!

Thanks to Hungry Girl for these recipes!

28 July 2010

Planning Ahead

Unlimited veggies cut in advance! YUM!
It's slowly coming back to me now...how important it is to plan my meals, my day (of eating), my week--and how much time is involved.

1/2 c fresh strawberries & 1 c fresh blueberries--DELICIOUS!
When I was really successful last time on the program, I was purchasing food for the week based on the WW boards, suggestions, and recipe ideas, and making food for the week--carefully portioning out EVERYTHING in advance.  If I didn't, I would resort back to eating entire containers of ranch dip with my vegetables or whole bags of chips or at a really BAD moment--entire loaves of bread.  With everything portioned out in advance, I know how much I can have at a time.

If I portion out the 15 baked Sour Cream and Cheddar Ruffles in little individual baggies--even the thought of having more than one at a time makes me cringe. 

I have also fallen in love with the 100 calorie packs for a treat--Oreo Cakester 100 calorie packs and the Sweet and Salty Chex mix are my two current favorites. (I also write the point value of the packs on the box as a reminder as to how much I am going to eat--do I really want to burn those points at that moment?!?!)
Sour Cream and Onion Pirate's Booty--1 of 4 servings from the bag (which I can easily eat in one sitting) = 3 points per serving!!

This initial start is intensive and tedious, at least right now--I know, I know, only one week in and a lifetime to go! 
Could I easily have a GIANT bowl of this stuff? Yep.  Or, I could just as easily open up the box and munch mindlessly--and endlessly.
The solution!  One serving = 1 1/4 c = 1 pt!

Definitely could eat the whole box!
One serving--17 crackers =

27 July 2010

Raspberry Zinger Cake

Have I mentioned that I LOVE to bake?? This is PHENOMENAL!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!! It was really hard to eat only one piece!!!

1 box white cake mix, Betty Crocker Super Moist preferred
10 ounces Diet Sprite, or Diet Cream Soda (I used A&W Diet Cream Soda)
2 egg whites
2 box sf ff raspberry Jell-O, 4-serving size (I used a giant box with a little box)
1 ½ cups hot water (boiling as per the directions)
8 ounces Cool Whip Free
¼ cup coconut flakes

Combine dry cake mix, diet soda, and egg whites; mix well. Bake according to package directions in a 9x13 pan. (I watched it carefully--it was done about 5 minutes early--be careful with the cooking time!) Cool slightly.

Pierce cake with large fork at 1/2-inch intervals. (I used a skewer to poke holes--I wish that I would have poked more though--or had wider/deeper holes --but the overall result was AWESOME nonetheless!)

STIR boiling water into Jell-O until completely dissolved. Carefully pour gelatin evenly over cake. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

When cake has set, frost with Cool Whip and sprinkle coconut over top.

Nutritional notes:
16 pieces
4 pts/piece

Per Serving: 178 Cal; 2 g Protein; 3 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 1 g Mono Fat; 1 g Poly Fat; 98 g
Carb; 0 g Fiber; 3 g Sugar; 26 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 229 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol.

YUMYUMYUMYUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Raspberry, moist cake, deliciousness!! I'm not sure how the real Zingers taste (I wasn't a big coconut fan until I got older and grew out of snack cake eating), but this cake ROCKS!

Random Gym Irritations...

So, I know that I am the heaviest person in this class at my gym--it is a brutal 55+min. constant lifting weights/cardio workout. It isn't easy, and if I hadn't been an athlete or semi-knowledgeable about lifting weights it would be extremely frustrating and I'd probably have given up already.

This is my fourth week. I go to the same class with the same instructor (thank goodness for summer break since there are no evening classes), and the instructor has yet to introduce herself to me personally. Now, I don't totally care--I'd rather disappear in the back corner with my weights and stepper since I am fat and sweaty and weak, but it is insulting that EVERY single class I have been to (6 with this instructor) she has personally gone up to at least ONE person in class and introduced herself.

Today, the normal crazy lady who sets up her "station" as well as the instructor's wasn't there. So with about 4 minutes to the start of class, I thought I could set it up for her so we could start on time, and well, I like to treat people the way I want to be treated so it was just a decent thing to do (since all the other skinny soccer moms/retired people were having social time with each other).

She thanked me, but still never asked me for my name.

Because of my competitive athlete mentality, I go to that class and always try to do my best. I pay attention to my form and do the movements correctly. I try to use the heaviest weight I can, and only stop when I have to. Sometimes I don't know if my form is correct, but she doesn't correct or help me (even if I know I am confused), but I have seen her helping others.

I wanted to sign up for personal training sessions with her because she is just the right combination of supportive and MEAN/PUSHY in class, but I am not sure I can give her my money when she has no interest in my name.

I actually dread going to the gym on a consistent basis because of the crowd of skinny pretty people who gather at the front desk and make me feel stupid for handing them my card to check in and disturbing the pretty people's fun.

And that is my rant for the day. I am going to try to add to my recipe collection on my awesome new program (MacGourmet), gather courage to call about a phone interview, and lay in the sun and read.

265.9 today

26 July 2010

Fiber One Crunchy Fudge Cookies

Yes, you read the title correctly. And really, I am just as surprised that these ARE DELICIOUS and SATISFYING!!!

I have a MAJOR sweet tooth. Of course, I love food in general, and I love to bake--both of which are bad news on the front of the losing the 100lbs. that I want to. So when I saw this recipe on the WW boards, I knew I had to try it.
I am so glad I did! L even liked them!

1 box fudge Brownie Mix (I used Betty Crocker)
2 cups Fiber One Cereal
⅓ c. water
1 egg
1 tablespoon veg. oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon (I didn't measure this--I LOVE cinnamon)
2 Tbsp. mini chocolate chips.

Heat oven to 350. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix all ingredients with spoon (this will be your activity points for the day!!) (This person isn't kidding about the effort needed to stir the mix--IT WAS HARD!!!!! I mixed all the wet ingredients and mixed all the dry, then added the wet to the dry.)
Drop dough by rounded tablespoons on cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 min. until set. Cool 2 minutes and move cookies to cooling rack. Cool completely for about 30 minutes.
(Really important to NOT USE PARCHMENT PAPER. I did, and they stuck. L said I should wait until they were 100% cooled before prying them off--and that helped immensely.)

36 cookies (yes, you read this right, and it actually does make 36 cookies--if one measures the "rounded tablespoon" out cookie by cookie)
2 points each (*Note, the boards that I got this recipe from said 1 point, but I used the WW recipe builder and it said 2 points...I will stick with the higher value...which makes me grumpy! If someone uses the nutritional value provided below, it works out to 1 point! FRUSTRATING!!!!)

Can store tightly wrapped for up two months in freezer.

Nutritional notes:
Nutritional info for 1 cookie:
Calories: 70
Total Fat: 1g
Dietary Fiber: 2 g
Protein: 0 g
Cholesterol: 5 mg
Total Carbs: 13 g

These are chewy, chocolaty, and YUMMY!!!!!!

Spinach, Caramelized Onion, and Tomato Quiche

Holy cluster-eff... DANG. This was a MESS. It turned out tasty, but still stressful for me!! L bought this pizza dough that wasn't in a tube, and since I could tell at that point of the grocery shopping experience he was FED UP, I didn't mention that it might not be the right kind. Little did I know that I would have to use it right away. He reminded me of this yesterday, and I was like, uh, I just made an egg-y type dish. And he doesn't eat eggs, so all the individual portions have to be eaten by me. ARGH.

2 teaspoons olive oil, extra-virgin
3 medium onion(s), chopped (I didn't have 3 onions. I had 1/2 of an onion.)
2 medium garlic clove(s), minced (I used 4--I love garlic!)
1 teaspoon sugar (left this completely out!)
10 ounces chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (really needed to squeeze it more than I did.)
10 ounces pizza dough, refrigerated (almost too much)
¾ cup(s) fat-free evaporated milk (did I have evaporated milk? Nope. I used 1/4 c nearly spoiled whole milk, and 1/2 c skim milk)
2 large egg(s), lightly beaten
¼ cup(s) light sour cream
1 large egg white(s), lightly beaten
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg (left this completely out!)
⅛ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
½ cup(s) shredded reduced-fat Monterrey Jack cheese
12 med cherry tomatoes, halved (I didn't have cherry tomatoes, so I sliced up two Roma tomatoes)
(*My special additions--one full package of sliced white mushrooms cooked with the spinach and onions and green onions (only the green part, added at the tomato step.)

•Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl in the oil, then add the onions, garlic, and sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly golden, about 8 minutes. Add the spinach and cook 2 minutes longer; remove from the heat and let cool 10 minutes.
•Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with nonstick spray.
•Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and shape it into a 4-inch circle. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rest 10 minutes. Roll the dough into an 11-inch circle; fit the dough into the pie plate, and flute the edges.
•Combine the milk, eggs, sour cream, egg white, salt, nutmeg, and pepper in a medium bowl. Sprinkle the cheese over the bottom of the pie crust. Top evenly with the spinach mixture, then pour in the egg mixture. Arrange the tomato halves, cut-side up, on top of the quiche, in a circular pattern. Place on a baking sheet and bake until quiche is just set, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before cutting. Serve immediately or at room temperature. Yields 1/6 of quiche per serving.

~6 points per slice if one follows the recipe (without my additions--I still need to figure that out.)

Lessons I learned:
Read the recipe, and then re-read it. Make sure ALL needed ingredients are present.
Be careful--mushrooms make it watery--I don't mind it, but if you are expecting a more firm dish, don't add the mushrooms.
Tastes good. I am full after one slice (nice sized slices). No, the crust isn't buttery flaky delicious---but also, that kind of crust probably would add at least 14 points. I enjoyed eating this, and I feel like I got a good portion of veggies in this.

Corn Tomato Salad

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 ¼ lbs. tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
1 bunch scallions, finely chopped, keeping white parts and greens separate
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cups corn kernels (from about 8 ears)

I added these:

*1 C Black beans
(*Suggested adding)

Whisk together oil, vinegar, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss tomatoes with dressing.

While tomatoes marinate, cook white parts of scallions in butter with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 4 minutes.

Add corn and sauté until just tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool.
Stir together corn, tomatoes, and scallion greens.

Note: Corn can be cooked 1 day ahead and chilled. Bring to room temperature before using.

**I didn't have enough corn, so I completely 1/2'd the entire recipe. Good thing--it makes a large amount!! I measured about 4 cups in total--each cup is worth 4 points--so less in a portion=less points. One could also not cook either the white onions or corn and leave out the butter which would also decrease points.
This is really refreshing and I really enjoy the flavors!
Be sure to serve it COLD though! I don't think it would have been as good without the cilantro, nor as hearty without the beans. They are excellent additions!!

25 July 2010

Hash Browns, Egg, and Cheese Casserole

I didn't put a full 1/3 c cheese on top--and this is a picture of a refrigerated portion--but YUM YUM YUM!!

6 slice(s) uncooked turkey bacon, sliced crosswise into 1⁄4-inch strips (I cooked the turkey bacon first (Oscar Mayer), and then cut it--I wish I would have done it the opposite)
3 cup(s) frozen hash brown potatoes, 12 ounces
4 medium scallion(s), sliced
3 large egg(s)
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup(s) 1% low-fat cottage cheese, small-curd
2/3 cup(s) low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp poultry seasoning, or ground sage
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground


• Place the oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat oven to 375ºF. Spray a 1 1⁄2-quart shallow baking dish with nonstick spray.
• Spray a nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until nearly crisp, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes. Add the potatoes and scallions; continue cooking and stirring until tender, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
• Beat together the eggs and egg whites in a large bowl until blended. Beat in the cottage cheese, 1/3 cup of the cheddar cheese, the Parmesan cheese, flour, poultry seasoning or sage, baking powder, salt, and pepper until combined. Stir in the cooled potato mixture and spread evenly into the baking dish. Bake until golden and set in the center, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1/3 cup cheddar cheese. Let stand until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes, and serve hot or warm.

Normally, I am not a casserole fan, but this turned out AWESOME. It is filling and I have several containers of leftovers!!

Parmesan Turkey Meatloaf

Not the BEST picture, and AFTER the fact (and two slices gone), but at least one can see what it looks like!

1 T olive oil
1 onion chopped
1 1/4 lbs of ground skinless turkey
4 slices of whole wheat bread made into crumbs
1/2 C fat-free milk
1 egg white, slightly beaten (I accidentally used a full egg)
3 T ketchup
2 T grated Parmesan
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t dried basil
1/4 t dried thyme
1/4 t fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Spray an 8x5" loaf pan with nonstick spray.

In a small skillet, heat olive oil and sweat the onion 4 or 5 mins.

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients with the onions and blend well. Shape into loaf, place into pan, and bake till brown 50-60 mins. Let stand 10 mins before serving.

I got 7 slices from my loaf pan. 4 points per slice. Filling, and MUCH juicier than the last times I've made it!

21 July 2010

It's TIME!

I tried Weight Watchers several years ago, and when I was sticking with it, going to meetings, and focused, it was very successful.

Life got in the way, and another 40 pounds have been accumulated since then.

Which is depressing to say the least.

I started the Couch-2-5K (C25K) program 3 weeks ago, and L and I joined 24-Hour Fitness in March. I am serious this time to get back into shape and not hate myself anymore.

I joined the online Weight Watchers program today, and I am nervous. I have already started to note that all the "good" eating I thought I was doing, really was detrimental to my ultimate goal.

I know why I haven't been losing weight since starting working out. My portions are out of control, and I eat ALL. THE. TIME.

So, I am going to make a change. It will be hard, and I will probably mess up. BUT, I need to do this. This comes at a point in my life where I have no job, it is summer vacation, and I am at the precipice of internally needing something MAJOR to change and improve--which, if I feel better about myself, I know things WILL be better.

I love to write, I love blogging--I love reading blogs. The Weight Watchers online community message boards are super helpful, but this I need to do to keep me on track on a deeper level.

I also love to cook and bake, so I will post recipes and photos that I am attempting.

Thanks for stopping by--any support or advice would be really appreciated!!