Sunday, June 30, 2013

Epic Broccoli Salad

2 crowns of broccoli, cut into small florets
Bacon, diced and cooked crispy
sunflower seeds

3/4 c. mayo
1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. vinegar

Combine the broccoli florets, raisins, and bacon in a large bowl.

Whisk together all the dressing ingredients. If the dressing is too sweet, add a bit more vinegar.

 Drizzle all the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Add the sunflower seeds to the top.

Add however many raisins, bacon pieces, and sunflower seeds you want. Go by what tastes good to you!

Recipe courtesy of Erica Hayworth

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Blueberry Muffins

3 c. flour
Before baking
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 c. caster sugar (also called baker's sugar)
2 1/2 c. blueberries
1 c. butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 1/4 c. milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Grease a large and mini muffin tins. Set aside.

Place the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and blueberries in a large bowl. Stir gently to mix and coat the blueberries.
Mini Muffins

In a separate bowl, combine the melted butter, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Mix briefly.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir gently until just combined.

Scoop into the muffin tins; you can fill them almost all the way to the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. I baked the mini muffins for 20 minutes, and the larger muffins for 25.

Makes 1 dozen muffins and 2 dozen mini muffins.
Blueberry Muffins

A large muffin is 5 Weight Watcher points, a mini muffin is 2 1/2 points.

Here is a link to the original recipe:

White Mocha Cupcakes

1/2 c. coffee, strongly brewed
1 1/2 tsp. espresso powder
1 1/3 c. flour
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. butter, room temperature
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1 egg, at room temperature
chocolate covered espresso beans, optional
coffee straws, cut in half, optional

White Chocolate Frosting:
6 oz. white chocolate, chopped or grated (not vanilla chips!)
1 c. heavy whipping cream

Frosted cupcakes
To make the cupcakes: Mix the espresso powder into the brewed coffee until dissolved; set aside to cool to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard-size muffin tin with paper liners.

Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, beat the butter and both sugars together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined.

In a measuring cup, combine the milk, brewed coffee mixture and vanilla. Slowly add in the flour mixture, alternating with the coffee mixture, ending with the flour mixture.

Cupcakes with straws and beans
Divide the batter evenly between the 12 liners. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting cupcakes.

To make the frosting: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the white chocolate and 1/2 cup of the cream. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool for 30 minutes or until thickened, stirring once or twice. 

In a small bowl, beat the remaining 1/2 cup of cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the white chocolate mixture. 

White Mocha Cupcake

Pipe or spread onto the top of the completely cooled cupcakes. Top each frosted cupcake with a chocolate covered espresso bean, if you so desire. Enjoy. 

Makes 12-14 cupcakes. 

Here's a link to the original cupcake recipe:

You can find the white chocolate recipe elsewhere on my blog:

Saturday, June 22, 2013

BBQ Casserole with Cauliflower Crust

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 c. chicken, shredded
1 onion, diced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. BBQ sauce
1 egg
1/2 c. mozzarella, shredded
1 Tbsp. Parmesan
Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, to taste
3/4 c. mozzarella, shredded
1 Tbsp. Parmesan

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Boil the cauliflower florets in water for 15 minutes.

While the cauliflower is boiling, cook your chicken and onion in the oil. When they are fully cooked, pour in the BBQ sauce, and turn heat to low.

Drain the cauliflower when it is done cooking. Using a ricer, rice the cauliflower into a large bowl. When you first start ricing, hold the ricer over the sink because lots of water will come out, and you don't want your crust to be too watery. If you don't have a ricer, you could use an electric hand mixer. After draining it, put the cauliflower in a bowl with about 1 Tbsp. cornstarch; beat for a few minutes until it's all broken up into tiny pieces.

Mix in the egg, 1/2 c. mozzarella, parmesan, and spices into the riced cauliflower.  Flatten out into a greased baking dish.

Bake the crust for 15 minutes.

When the crust is ready, take it out, then layer the BBQ chicken and onion mix over the top. Cover with the mozzarella and parmesan. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

As a casserole instead of pizza

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted:

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Rosemary Thyme Potato Soup

2 large baker potatoes, diced, about 4 cups
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. crushed thyme
1/4 tsp. ground rosemary (if you don't have ground, just make sure you grind it a little before putting it in)
1/2 tsp. chives
dash or two of coriander
3 1/2 - 4 c. chicken stock
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 c. half and half (I used non-fat)

Soup cooking
Add the potatoes, garlic, spices, and chicken stock in a crock pot. Stir to combine, then cover with lid. Set on High for 3-4 hours, or Low for 8-10 hours.

After the allotted time, when the potatoes are soft, scoop out about half of the broth into a large bowl, and set aside. Mash the potatoes in the crock pot.

In the bowl with the broth, whisk in the flour until smooth. Then whisk in the half and half. Pour all of this back into the crock pot, over the potatoes. Stir to combine. Cook for 1 more hour on Low, stirring once or twice.

Next time I might add some crumbled bacon to each serving. 

Here is a link to the original recipe:

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Peanut Butter Jelly Cake

Baked cake
Vanilla Cake
2 1/2 c. cake flour, plus more for flouring pans
2 c. sugar
3/4 c. vegetable oil
1 stick butter, softened
2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs, room temperature
1 c. whole milk
Butter, for greasing 2 cake pans
Raspberry jam (or whatever flavor you like)

Peanut Butter Frosting
Baked cake, top trimmed
1 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. butter
2 c. powdered sugar
4-ish Tbsp. cream
2 tsp. vanilla

Buttercream Frosting
1/4 c. butter
1/4 tsp. vanilla
4 Tbsp. milk
Powdered sugar 

To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 F.

Piping peanut butter frosting
Put the flour, sugar, oil, butter, baking powder, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl. Mix with a hand mixer on slow just until the ingredients are blended together, then raise the speed to low-medium and continue to mix until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.

With the mixer running, add 1 egg at a time, adding the next one after the previous one has been absorbed into the mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl periodically. After all the eggs are added, continue to mix for an additional minute to ensure the eggs have been thoroughly mixed in.

Peanut butter frosting layer
With the mixer still running, add the milk, 1/2 a cup at a time, stopping the mixer to scrape the sides and bottom between the two additions. Continue to mix for another minute or until the mixture appears smooth.

Grease two 9 inch cake pans with butter, and flour them.

Piping the jam layer
Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans. Bake until the cake begins to pull from the sides of the pan and is springy to the touch, 25-30 minutes.

Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes. The cakes should be at room temperature before you remove them from the pan. Put a piece of parchment paper on a

Jam layer
cookie sheet or counter. Turn the pans over and turn the cakes out onto the parchment. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to decorate. If your cakes have become domed during baking, trim the tops to make them flat.

To make the peanut butter frosting: Mix all the ingredients together until nice and creamy.

Second layer added

To make the buttercream frosting: Mix the butter, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of milk together. Add 1/2 a cup powdered sugar. Mix together. Add more powdered sugar, a quarter cup at a time until you reach the thickness you want. If your frosting gets too thick, add another tablespoon of milk, but no more than 4 tablespoons total. Continue to balance sugar and milk until you're happy with the consistency.

Starting to frost the cake
To assemble the cake: Lay down one cake layer on a flat surface. Using a piping bag, pipe the
peanut butter frosting over the top of the cake. Make an edge around the perimeter to keep the jam from flowing over when you pipe it in.

Using a different piping bag, pipe the raspberry jam over the peanut butter frosting.

Top the jam with the second cake layer.

Frosted cake with peanut butter frosting design
Frost the whole cake with the buttercream frosting, using a piping bag if you want. Make sure the cake keeps cool until you serve it, or it will start melting.

Cake recipe courtesy of Buddy Valastro
Peanut Butter Frosting recipe courtesy of Robyn Fox

Soba Noodles with Vegetables and Sesame Dressing

6 oz. soba noodles
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 c. broccoli, cut into florets
1 small onion, chopped
3-4 mushrooms, chopped
2 boiled eggs, chopped
Garlic powder, coriander, black pepper, powdered ginger, to taste
3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. baker’s sugar
Sesame seeds
Sriracha, optional

Cook noodles according to package directions, drain. Rinse and drain again.

While the noodles are cooking, steam the vegetables for 3 minutes.

Transfer the noodles to a serving bowl. Add the steamed vegetables and the eggs.

Whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, oil, and sugar in a small bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over noodle mixture, and toss until coasted evenly. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Drizzle with Sriracha (if you like your food spicy).

Adapted from Weight Watchers Turn Up the Flavor cookbook

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Oreo Cream Cheese Cookies

2 c. + 2 Tbsp. flour
Cookies in the oven
1/2 tsp. baking soda
10 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
2 heaping Tbsp. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1 egg, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla
18 Oreo cookies, crushed (I used reduced fat)

Mix the flour and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.

Cream the butter, cream cheese, and sugars together with an electric mixer.

Cooling Cookies
Add the egg and vanilla; mix well.

Gradually add in the flour mixture and stir until a dough forms. Fold in the crushed Oreos.

Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

After an hour, preheat the oven to 325 F.

Scoop 2 tablespoons of dough for each cookie. Roll it into balls. Place dough balls onto an ungreased baking sheet. Make sure the balls of dough are tall. Do not flatten them.

Snack time!
Bake for 8-15 minutes or until edges are slightly browned, but still puffy in the middle. So delicious. You don't even want to know the Weight Watchers points for these. Just enjoy them.

Makes about 25 cookies.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: