Diet Jello Whipped Cream

Thursday, July 30, 2009

My blog is making me fat! I am always thinking about food... What am I making for dinner? What new recipes did my blog friends post? What produce is in season? What dessert sounds good? Ahhh!!!

I have put on a solid 10 pounds this summer, yikes! School starts in just a couple weeks and I am afraid my teacher clothes will be tight. I need to lose around 60 pounds in the next two weeks! Oh alright, I will settle for losing the 10 summer pounds I put on, hows that?
My rules:

  • Breakfast- a piece of fruit and a handful of Crunchy Corn Bran cereal (my absolute favorite cereal)
  • Lunch- Soup or salad
  • Dinner- Lean meats and vegetables
  • Baked goods must CEASE NOW. I will only bake to give away!
  • Increase exercise
So, you will notice some healthier recipes coming up... I will still be posting yummy recipes too, just not eating a second helping of them!
My sister-in-law Cheryl has always been skinny but is a perpetual dieter (it makes sense... constant dieting=skinny... but people like me never seem to catch on). Cheryl has talked about this diet Jello Whipped Cream dessert throughout the years but I never thought to try it. What was I thinking?!! This dessert is SO good and it really satisfies that sweet tooth urge! At around 20 calories for a 1/2 cup it is practically guilt free as well!
1 (3.9 ounce) package of sugar-free Jello gelatin or pudding (pick your favorite flavor)
1 (8 ounce) tub of the lowest calorie Whipped Cream or Cool Whip you can find

Empty the jello powder directly into the tub of whipped cream and stir well. Put the whipped cream tub back in the fridge for a few hours or overnight to allow the jello crystals to be absorbed.
Note- If you use Jello gelatin the dessert will be foam like. If you use Jello pudding the dessert will be mousse like. This picture really shows the difference in texture between the gelatin and pudding, see how the brown chocolate pudding looks thicker? I had a difficult time taking a picture because someone kept getting in the way...

Blue Cheese Dressing

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This dressing is amazing! It's especially good served over a wedge of Iceberg lettuce with tomatoes, it tastes just like Lone Star's Signature Lettuce Wedge Salad! This recipe is definitely a make again keeper!
So, we've had our cat for 4 weeks now. She has been such a great addition to our family, she is so sweet and easy to take care of. We ironically saw a mouse the same week we got our cat. The mouse has reappeared a couple times since then and our cat is scared of the mouse! So my only complaint about our cat is that I wish she would have the guts to go catch it, I want that mouse out of my house!

1/4 cup mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip, it has to be mayonnaise)
1/4 cup buttermilk (I use lowfat)
1/4 cup sour cream (I use light)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup-1/2 cup Blue Cheese crumbles

Whisk everything but the Blue Cheese crumbles together in a bowl. When everything is well combined stir in the Blue Cheese crumbles. Store covered in the refrigerator.

Chicken Wellington Wreath

Sunday, July 26, 2009

It's been forever since I've posted, I know! As a teacher I am always going back to school and working on my certification; I had an enormously important test on Saturday that I spent the week studying for. I won't get my results for four weeks but I am pretty sure I passed it, woohoo! So I am back to cooking, at least for now... school starts soon and I don't even want to talk about the havoc the first couple weeks of school will wreck on our dinners.. McDonalds.. Taco Bell.. whatever is in the fridge that isn't growing mold. Let's not go there quite yet! This wreath looks impressive but is actually very simple. You can fill it with whatever you want, I just thought Chicken Wellington sounded yummy!

2 (8 oz.) packages of Crescent Rolls
2 cups torn chunks of cooked chicken
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup diced onions
4 ounces chopped mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, pressed
Salt and Pepper
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 egg beaten

First make the filling by melting the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions, mushrooms, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Saute until onions are translucent and the mushroom liquid has evaporated. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream cheese, chicken, and Dijon mustard. Now for the wreath! Open one can of the crescent rolls. With wide end of triangles toward the center, arrange 8 triangles in a circle. Corners of the wide ends will touch, it should look like a sun. Now open the other roll and match wide end of the remaining 8 triangles to the wide end of each outer triangle. Press seams together with fingers. Points of inside the circle should overlap in the center. Grab the filling and scoop the mixture onto dough over seams of crescent rolls forming a ring. Fold over crescent dough alternating outside and inside points, tucking ends under. Now you've got a nice ring or wreath shape. Brush it with beaten egg. This helps give it that glossy golden color and extra crispness to the crust. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes. See how beautiful that egg made the crust. Now it's time to dig in!

Crawfish Etouffee

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Jame and Jen Dish posted this Crawfish Etouffee recipe and I thought it looked amazing! I hadn't ever had crawfish or etoufee before, and I've only eaten Creole food once or twice in my life. So, the flavors of this recipe were totally out of my comfort zone. Everyone only ate a couple bites and came to the same conclusion... interesting, but not for us. This was the only new recipe I made this week, so we were disappointed. I've just been enjoying my summer and cooking our favorites. We've also been eating Morningstar Farms BBQ Riblets Sandwiches, which are meatless veggie patties. They are delicious, addicting, and good for you (they taste just like McDonald's McRibs)!

1 pound of fresh or frozen, peeled and cooked crawfish tails. (You can get them frozen at Walmart)
1/4 cup of flour
1/4 cup of butter
1 large onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
1 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped bell peppers
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of butter
3/4 cup of water
1/2 cup of sliced green onions
1/4 cup of snipped fresh parsley
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of ground red pepper (cayenne)
1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
Hot cooked rice

In a saucepan stir together the flour and 1/4 cup of butter until smooth. Cook over medium-high heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and cook and stir for another 5-8 minutes or until roux has turned a brownish red. Add onion, celery, sweet pepper and garlic to sauce pan and cook for another 5 minutes.
Now add 1 tablespoon of butter, stir until melted. Stir in water, green onions, parsley, salt, pepper and the ground red pepper (cayenne). Bring to a boil. Add crawfish. Return to boil, reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered for another 10-12 minutes or until heated through. Serve with hot cooked rice. Garnish with parley if desired.

Sauteed Mushrooms

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I am a huge mushroom fan! I love mushrooms any way they are served but they are especially good when sauteed! I eat these all by themselves and they are yum-o-licious!
I saw a trailer for the new movie Julie & Julia and got so excited! You have to watch this trailer! I could swear this was a movie about me, I am Julie Powell! I was once lost and found myself through my cooking! You see, I went from being a child living with my parents to being married and having my own child. There wasn't time for any self exploration or hobbies. So, as you can imagine... as my boys grew older and needed me less and less I became more and more lost. I had no idea what to do in my newly acquired free time. I decided that I needed a hobby, everyone needs a hobby! I've always enjoyed cooking so it seemed natural that I start a cooking blog. I didn't start my cooking blog because I wanted people to read it, I started it for me and my family. As I post recipes I imagine my boys one day making them for their own families! It's like my own personal cooking scrapbook, I love it!

1 pound large white mushrooms, cut into quarters
2/3 cup butter
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Melt butter in pan over medium heat. Add garlic, mushrooms and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to coat mushrooms. Saute until mushrooms turn brown and start to caramelize, stirring occasionally. Takes approximately 10-15 minutes. Drain excess butter and serve immediately.

Beefy Bean Burritos

Saturday, July 11, 2009

For the past 3 weeks I have made these, we store the leftover burritos in the fridge and within a couple days they're gone! Everyone loves these burritos and it is rare that I find a dinner everyone gets excited about and fights over the leftovers! I modify Heidi's Brown Bag Burritos recipe to make these, they really do taste like Taco Bell's Beef and Bean Combo Burritos! I think everyone should make these, total cost is around $6 and they take 15 minutes to make... perfect for the working mom!

1 pound ground beef (I get the leanest I can find)
1 can refried beans
1 can enchilada sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder (a dash)
1 bag (2 cups) shredded colby/jack cheese
10 large flour tortillas

Brown and drain meat. Add all ingredients, but tortillas. Stir the mixture and heat to a simmer/boil. Put about 1/2 cup of the mixture in each flour tortilla, fold the tortillas into burritos, and serve. Store the extra burritos in a Ziploc in the refrigerator. To reheat the cold burritos microwave them for 30 seconds, flip, 30 seconds. They are just as good reheated as they are fresh!

Piña Colada

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I love Piña Coladas! This was our drink of choice for the 4th of July and I will be serving it tonight for our Big Brother kick-off party! We are obsessed with the reality TV show Big Brother on CBS! I don't know if it's really that interesting of a show or if it's because there aren't any other TV shows on during the summer but every July we get excited and tune in to watch what happens. A new season starts tonight, then new episodes will be on every Sunday (7:00 central), Tuesday (8:00 central), and Thursday (7:00 central).

1/8 cup silver/white rum (or 1/8 cup pineapple juice for virgin Piña Colada)
1/3 cup Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 cup ice

Put all ingredients in a blender and mix!
The Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut can be hard to find, but it's usually kept with the drink mixers. Here's what it looks like. Abby fell asleep in my shoe while we were playing cards at the kitchen table. She follows us everywhere, isn't she cute!

Szechuan Shrimp

Monday, July 6, 2009

This was an easy recipe that Andrew made all by himself! We really enjoy shrimp, but this was a little too spicy for my taste. At dinner Abbott said "Mom, I think you are an edgetarian". I thought he was trying to say "vegetarian" so I asked him what it meant. He said "you know when you are just at the edge of the cliff before you go over". Ha! I guess he really was trying to call me an "edgetarian". I have no idea what he was implying?! Maybe it's because I've been stressed today so that's his way of telling me I am about to go off the deep end, lol!

12 ounces large shrimp, tails removed
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup green onions, sliced (we omitted this)
4 garlic cloves, minced

In a small bowl mix together water, ketchup, soy sauce, cornstarch, honey, crushed red pepper flakes and ginger. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add green onions and garlic. Stir fry for 30 seconds. Add shrimp and toss to coat with oil. Pour in sauce. Heat while sitting until sauce is thick and bubbly.

Cookie Dough Pie

Thursday, July 2, 2009

When I saw this recipe on the Big Red Kitchen blog I knew I had to try it! It's just an interesting concept, frozen Chips Ahoy cookies?! Well, this was the easiest dessert I've ever made, it only takes a couple minutes to put together and it really does taste like cookie dough! My first grade niece was able to make this pie all by herself! I think it would be fun to try different cookies like Nutter Butter or Oreo. My sister-in-law tried an Oreo version, she said it was yummy but difficult to cut.

15.25 ounce package Chips Ahoy Cookies- original kind
8 ounces Cool Whip
1-2 cups milk

Quickly dip cookies in milk, shake off excess liquid, and layer in 9 inch pie plate, breaking cookies to fill any gaps. Once the first layer is complete, top with a thin layer of Cool Whip. Repeat twice more making last layer of Cool Whip a bit thicker. Garnish with chocolate syrup if desired. Place in freezer 2-3 hours before serving and serve frozen. Note- You must dip quickly or your pie will be soggy. Make sure to shake off excess milk as well so that you do not have a puddle of milk in your pie. The final product will be like a soft cookie dough-like consistency. Oh, I almost forgot! We made an addition to our family on Monday... we finally gave in and let Abbott adopt a cat. Abbott named her "Abby" but also calls her "Abby Cat", I think he named her that because it resembles his name. If I would have known cats were this easy I would have adopted one years ago! She fits perfectly in our family, red hair and all!