Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Frozen Peanut Butter Cups

Happy Halloween everyone! It's a glorious day in the Northeast, perfect weather for the kids to go trick-or-treating. I don't know about you, but to keep myself from gorging on all the Halloween candy, I usually buy candy that I won't eat to hand out to trick-or-treaters (yes, there is actually something that I don't like, and that's coconut, anything with coconut). Unfortunately, there are bowls and bowls of candy strategically placed around my office (it seems like a bowl of candy is at every turn, and it miraculously fills itself every night, or so it seems). My willpower is waning, but at least it's only for one more day (and then every co-worker who has leftover candy brings it into the office for the next week—ugh!).

Here is a recipe that might take away the candy craving. They are really easy to make and they really do taste like peanut butter cups!

Frozen Peanut Butter Cups
Makes 10

1 container (8 oz) Cool Whip Free Whipped Topping
10 tsp lite chocolate syrup
1 1/2 Tablespoons peanut butter (I use Skippy Natural Reduced Sugar and Sodium)

Combine cool whip and peanut butter in a medium bowl using a whisk. (Do not over mix.) Divide mixture between 10 foil muffin liners. Top each with a teaspoon of chocolate syrup. Freeze overnight.

(For those of you counting points, they are 1 WW pt. each.)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ode to Candy Corn

Oh, candy corn, how I long for you,
As soon as your sweet stripes come into view,
I find myself sampling one or even two.
Although I can never stop at one,
Walking past that teeming bowl I’m done,
Then I admit my weakness, and you have won.

OK, not my best poem, but you have to admit, those little candy kernels taste like pure sugar (no seriously, they are). It’s all I can do to keep to a single portion size (22 candy corn equals 2 WW point, and they're fat-free).

Today, October 30th, is National Candy Corn Day, and according to the National Confectioners Association, candy corn has been around for more than 100 years. And they seem to be on the shelves earlier and earlier in the season. I think it was early September or even August when I saw the first bags on the shelves at the local CVS.

This fall season you can add candy corn to any sweet recipe. Top your favorite cupcakes with a handful of candy corn, roll just-dipped caramel apples in candy corn or add this sweet candy to your favorite popcorn snack mix.

Candy corn has always been a favorite of mine. There are many versions these days, such as the “Thanksgiving blend” which has the brown ends instead of the yellow (which my friend Karen likes the best), but to me, it just tastes like candy corn that has fake chocolate added. Give me my candy corn pure, don’t mess with the perfection of sugar, corn syrup and other ingredients that I can’t even spell! I’m sure when I get around to having kids, candy corn will still be on the shelves (although, I hope it’s not the same bags that are around today, but then again, they do last a long time).

Monday, October 29, 2007

Skillet Barbecue Chicken

When you look at the ingredients you are going to say, "How can a dish cooked with diet coke and ketchup taste good?" Well, it does, and you wouldn't believe how many recipes, both savory and sweet, can be made using diet soda. This dish really does taste like a real pulled chicken recipe. And it's so easy. All you need to do is make some brown rice (or white rice, if you prefer) and you're done. I make it on Sundays and then eat it during the week. If you're looking to add a vegetable to this dish, I have added some frozen roasted corn from Trader Joe's on occasion during the last 10 minutes of the cooking time. Hope you all enjoy!

Barbecue Chicken
Serves 4

1 cup Heinz Tomato Ketchup
1 can (12 ounces) Diet Coke
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

In a small bowl, combine ketchup, diet coke, Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder. Mix well. Place chicken breasts in a skillet. Pour sauce over chicken. Cover skillet and simmer over low heat for 40 minutes.

Remove chicken from skillet to a cutting board. Using 2 forks, shred chicken. Return chicken to skillet and heat over medium heat, uncovered, until sauce has reduced and thickened, about 20 minutes. Makes four 3/4 cup servings (if you're following WW, each serving of chicken is 4 pt pls).

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pudding

I love this time of year! Halloween is just a few days away, and I just carved my first pumpkin. It was so much fun. And since I have pumpkin on the brain, I wanted to share my favorite pumpkin pudding, which has the flavor of cheesecake, thanks to cheesecake-flavored pudding mix. If you want, you can make this pudding and pour into a graham cracker crust for a chilled pumpkin pie. Either in a crust or alone, this pumpkin pudding tastes like pumpkin cheesecake! Delicious and so easy.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pudding
Serves 6-8 (when serving 8, each portion is 1 point, if you're counting WW)

15 oz canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 package Jell-O Fat-Free Sugar-Free Instant Cheesecake pudding mix
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
8 oz Cool Whip Free Whipped Topping, thawed

Place pumpkin, pudding mix and pumpkin-pie spice in a large bowl. Mix well. Add whipped topping to bowl. Use a wire whisk to combine. Chill about 1 hour before serving.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

One Point Apple Crisp

I was really in the mood for apple crisp, and being on Weight Watchers, I wanted to create something I can enjoy and not feel guilty about. This recipe serves 1, but you can make as many as you need to serve (I would rather cook these per serving so I won't be tempted to eat an entire apple crisp!). Enjoy!!!

Apple Crisp
Serves: 1

1 tsp apple-pie spice
1 medium apple, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 Tbsp rolled oats
1/2 tsp McNeil Nutritionals Splenda brown sugar blend

Preheat oven to 350F. Place apple slices in a bowl. Add apple-pie spice; toss to combine. Place apple slices in a ramekin. Combine oats and brown sugar blend. Sprinkle on top of apple slices in ramekin. Spray with imitation butter spray, if desired. Bake until filling is bubbly and topping is lightly browned, 15-20 minutes. Let cool slightly before eating; filling is very hot.

Welcome to my blog!

Hi everyone! I want to share my favorite recipes with you. I have been cooking since I am 14 (my mom wasn't the best cook; more on that later). I love to cook for friends and family and I usually try to come up with something new. I've also been on Weight Watchers© since April 2007 and I've figured how to lower some of my favorite recipes into low point options. That's my favorite thing to do, I love to have my cake and eat it too!

I will post a new recipe just about every day, either my own or one from another source I've found, just to share with you. I'll also provide some helpful tips for each recipe and sometimes I might even impart on some kitchen wisdom to make cooking and baking even easier and tons of fun!