Sunday, February 28, 2010

Potato Leek Soup

Who doesn't love potatoes? I know I do, and potato leek soup is one of my favorites. The best part is, it's so creamy and rich without the addition of cream. Blending the soup with an emulsion blender gives it it's creamy texture.

Potato Leek Soup
Makes 8 one-cup servings

1 tablespoon Olivio spread or butter
1 medium leek, sliced and rinsed
5 cups water
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cube chicken bouillon
1/8 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1/8 tsp dried thyme leaves, crushed
1 tsp garlic powder
black pepper

In a large saucepan, heat the Olivio over low heat until melted. Add the sliced leek until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the water, potatoes, chicken bouillon, rosemary, thyme and garlic powder. Heat over low heat for 3 hours. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Blend with an emulsion blender (or as an alternative, you can place the cooled soup in a blender) and blend until smooth. Return to low heat and heat through, adding salt and black pepper to taste.

(Each serving is 2 pt pls.)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Roasted Vegetable Baked Ziti

I've been roasting vegetables a lot lately. They taste so good roasted and add big flavor to any dish, so I decided to try it with baked ziti. It was delicious. I used low-fat cheeses to keep the point value down, but if you're not on WW, go ahead and use the full-fat versions. The smokey flavor of the roasted vegetables added such great flavor to the ziti, it'll become your favorite too.

Roasted Vegetable Baked Ziti
Serves 4 or 6

8 ounces Ronzoni Smart Pasta penne (or other brand pasta)
2 small eggplants, diced
2 medium zucchini, diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 can Hunt's Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
1/2 cup spaghetti sauce
1/3 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Spray a medium baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Add the diced eggplant, diced zucchini, cherry tomatoes and garlic. Coat with nonstick cooking spray. Roast vegetables until softened and charred around the edges, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven.

Reduce oven to 350F. Add fire-roasted tomatoes and spaghetti sauce to roasted vegetable mixture in pan. Mix well. Place cooked pasta to prepared dish. Add the roasted vegetable mixture to pasta and mix to combine. Dot the ricotta cheese onto pasta mixture, folding to combine. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Cover dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown, about 10 minutes longer.

(For 6 servings, each is 4 pts. If serving 4, it's 7 pts. each)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Cupcake Decorating!

I was too excited to take a cupcake decorating class last week. It was at the Sono Bakery & Cafe in South Norwalk, CT. We were hoping that the class was going to be taught by John Barricelli, who worked for Ms. Martha Stewart and can be seen on Everyday Food, but he wasn't there. One of the bakers, Dana, was there to teach us and she was great! I wish there were more classes to take like this one. It was great to be behind the scenes in the massive kitchen and create these works of art. Just wanted to share them with you!

I'm keeping this one in the freezer, I was so proud of this one. You just used the petal tip with the curved top, and pulled the bag straight up.

This was a sunflower, using the leaf tip. The center is mini malt balls that they had for decorating.

This is one I came up with on my own. I used one of the star tips and the leaf tip.