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It's Not Just Popcorn!

Chocolate Coconut Martini

This is not your usual chocolate martini. I saw it on Hungry Girl’s new television show on The Cooking Channel. We haven’t made it yet but plan to very soon. The only change I made to this was using regular Reddi-wip instead of fat-free Reddi-wip. This is a low-calorie martini as well. Using the Diet Hot Cocoa mix which has only 25 calories saves many calories. We use the Diet Swiss Miss Cocoa package. The sugar-free or no sugar added ones have more calories. I don’t understand it but as long as it tastes good who cares! Check out the original recipe on Hungry Girl’s TV show page.


INGREDIENTS:

1 packet Swiss Miss Diet hot cocoa mix

2 ounces hot water

2 ounces cold water

2 ounces sugar-free coconut syrup

2 shots (3 ounces) vodka

2 tablespoons whipped cream (Reddi-Wip)

unsweetened coconut shavings, for garnish

chocolate shavings, for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large glass add dissolve the hot cocoa mix with the hot water. Add the cold water and stir.

2. Add coconut syrup, vodka and whipped cream. Stir well.

3. Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well!

4. Pour into chilled martini glasses. Top with coconut and chocolate shavings.

2 Comments »

Networking

Hi everyone! Today’s post is a little different. No recipes today, sorry. I am actually writing this at my current job and don’t have access to my blog or personal email or anything.

As most of you may or may not know I just went back to work a month ago after being without a job for 18 months. And as some of you may or may not know I previously worked from home for close to 6 wonderful years. It was and will always be my dream job. I was an independent contractor for a marketing company and did data entry and other various things all from the comfort of my home. I worked in my shorts, t-shirts, barefoot. I worked my own hours as along as I had my work completed by deadline. It was never a problem and I just loved it. I am very organized and had my routine. I took vacations when I wanted, never had to call in sick, never had to commute…It was awesome! But alas, our country’s economy had other plans for the company I did work for and the business had to close.

Did I mention I LOVED working from home? I was so organized when it came to the job it was scary. I had a routine and system and it worked for me and my family. I could get all the housework and errands done during the week so our weekends were free. My cats also loved having me around all day! Yes they were spoiled a bit. But alas I am now working outside the home, commute by car 45 minutes, and I had to buy a whole new clothing wardrobe! So while I am very grateful to have a job to pay a few bills I am far from happy. This position pays a mere fraction of what I earned before and needless to say the bills are still piling up. So I am aggressively looking for a different position which will hopefully be more suitable to my work style. Remember I LOVED my last job.

So what today’s post really is all about is me ‘networking’ with my friends in the blogging world and anyone who reads my blogs. I am hoping that someone out there may know someone, or know a company, or someone who knows someone, etc that may fit into what I am looking for. I am excellent in data entry and very fast. I work extremely well unsupervised and I have a super work ethic.  I also worked for a friend helping them to ‘build’ a website. They built websites for a living and had a kitchen/bath hardware site that they were creating and needed all the items to buy input into the system. I did that as well and loved it. Give me a computer and let me do the work from home and I’m a very happy camper.

So basically what I am doing is asking or begging really, if anyone knows of a job, or company or person who hires people for computer work, data entry etc. Any information is extremely welcome. I bought an iMac (16 months ago) right after I stopped working. It was perfect timing, my PC died about a month or so after my job ended! So now I am a Mac. Love my iMac. Once I start working at home again my blogging will increase as well. I used to post almost every day but now I barely have time to breathe when I get home at 7pm from work. I miss blogging every day!! I can’t even access personal email from work let alone my blog. So please help me get back to my happy blogging place!

And before I make this anymore long-winded I want to make sure that I don’t seem ungrateful for my current job, considering how long it took me to find it. 2 interviews in 18 months was not fun. But I am aware this job is not for me. So thank you everyone for listening to me babble and beg. I hope to be blogging more than I do now very soon! I am getting all my recipes ready! Thank you again everyone!

4 Comments »

Faux-Fried Mozzarella Sticks

I just found this recipe while going through my emails and thought it was a perfect addition to a holiday weekend.  A quick, easy snack that isn’t loaded with fat and calories. Who doesn’t love mozzarella sticks? I always say you can fry anything and it will taste good. But this recipe bakes the sticks and it still seems like it is fried. I think it’s because the panko bread crumbs make everything much crisper and tastier! Love panko bread crumbs in our house! (Yes, we should marry them!) To go to the original link click on Chef Meg’s “Fried” Cheese Sticks.

I always have the part-skim mozzarella sticks in the house. They are a great quick snack and it won’t kill your appetite or diet. I will make up a batch soon and add my own picture to the page. But for now I thank Chef Meg at SparkPeople for the photo I have added here. Also if you have Italian flavored panko bread crumbs you can use them instead of the plain and herb seasoning. Saves a step.

INGREDIENTS:

4 light string cheese sticks

1 tablespoon flour

1 cup panko bread crumbs(Japanese bread crumbs)

½ cup egg substitute (or 2 egg whites)

1½ tablespoons Chef Meg’s Italian Herb Seasoning Blend

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 375º F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the flour onto a small plate.

2. Cut the cheese sticks in half. Roll each cheese stick in the flour.

3. Place breadcrumbs and Italian herb blend in a small container with a lid or zipper-top bag; set aside. Pour egg substitute into a shallow dish. Using one hand, roll the floured cheese sticks in the egg mixture. One at a time, using your other (dry) hand, transfer the cheese sticks to the bread crumb mixture and shake to coat. Using the dry hand, remove from the crumb mixture and place on the baking pan. Continue until all cheese sticks are breaded. Spritz each cheese stick with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and melted.

If desired, dunk these cheese sticks in low-sodium tomato sauce (calories not included).

Makes 4 two-stick servings.

8 Comments »

Red Quinoa w/Broccoli & Feta Cheese

Well I’m now in my third week of the new job. Still exhausted from standing for 8 hours a day, in shoes! The blogs won’t be done every day as before but I am working on it.

I had some red quinoa in the pantry and since we haven’t had it in a while I came up with a quick side dish. I had just bought some fresh broccoli so I incorporated it into the mix. This was a pretty simple recipe and it came out great. We have enough for leftovers! I served it with roasted chicken breasts and it was delicious. We prefer to eat it hot/warm but it can also be eaten cold. It’s your choice.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup red quinoa, rinsed

2 cups water or chicken broth

2 cups chopped broccoli florets

3-4 cloves garlic, chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

1-2 tablespoons roasted garlic butter (see recipe)

½ cup fat-free crumbled feta cheese

salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a small saucepan add the rinsed quinoa and water/broth. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered for about 20-25 minutes. Or until all the liquid is absorbed.

2. Meanwhile  in a medium saucepan add the olive oil and garlic and sauté until golden brown. Add the chopped broccoli and sauté for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and chop finely on a cutting board.

3. Add broccoli and roasted garlic butter to cooked quinoa and mix well, till butter is melted in. Add the feta cheese and mix well. Serve!

5 Comments »

Mexican Shrimp

This recipe I originally got from my former Weight Watchers leader many years ago. She was always giving us such wonderful easy recipes. Once I get back to Weight Watchers (when I save up some up some money from the new job) I will be sure to get more! I think the original recipe she gave us was good for one person so I am doubling the ingredients to make it enough for two people. I have made it before and it is delicious. Of course I do not have a photo but once I make it again I will add it to the post. So without any further rambling I will get to the recipe. I find I tend to ramble more these days now that I’m back to working and much more tired than before. Not sure if it’s a good thing or not. See, I’m doing it again.


INGREDIENTS:

½ cup brown rice, cooked

2 cups tomato sauce

2 cups diced tomato

4 tablespoons salsa (your choice)

1 chili powder (add more or less depending on how spicy you like it)

4 tablespoons chopped green olives

1 cup corn (canned is fine)

8 ounces shrimp, cleaned

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat the tomato sauce, chopped tomato, salsa, chili powder, olives, and corn in a large saucepan.

2. Add the shrimp and cook until pink.

3. Add the rice and heat through.

Serve hot!

3 Comments »

Vanilla Flavoring

This is a very simple and wonderful little recipe. I found it on SparkRecipes and as soon as I have a free moment I am planning on making my own. I love that it’s homemade and I’m sure it will taste awesome! I’m doing simple recipes this week as I’m still very tired from work. I am hoping everyone will bear with me during this transition. I am not forgetting my loyal readers!

Photo is for illustrative purposes only!

 

 

INGREDIENTS
2 vanilla beans
8 ounces vodka

DIRECTIONS
Split the vanilla beans in half lengthwise. Scrape the seeds from the bean using a knife, and place both the seeds and the beans in a glass jar with a lid. Warm the vodka to 100-120 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour the warmed vodka over the beans and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, seal the jar. Store at room temperature for one week, shaking the jar every other day. Strain the mixture, then store in a sealed container. Flavoring will keep for a year, but chances are you’ll use it up before then.

2 Comments »

Roasted Garlic Mayo & Butter

So I am in week two of being back to work. I’m still trying to get organized so today’s blog will be brief. I’ve been on a garlic roasting binge lately and I am using it in everything. I have now made roasted garlic butter and roasted garlic mayonnaise.Both delicious and not so strong because the roasting mellow the flavor. Yes they both look similar but they are very different and very tasty!

Roasted Garlic Butter

INGREDIENTS:

1 head of roasted garlic

1 cup softened butter/butter substitute

DIRECTIONS:

Put ingredients into food processor and blend until smooth.

Roasted Garlic Mayo

INGREDIENTS:

1 head of roasted garlic

1 cup light mayonnaise (or regular)

DIRECTIONS:

Put ingredients into food processor and blend until smooth.

1 Comment »

Cobb Salad Dip

Well seems like my attempts at getting the blog done earlier with the new job isn’t working out. Today anyway. I thought I did it and then realized that was the day before! My brain is still adjusting to all of this.

I think pretty much everyone likes a good Cobb Salad. But with Super Bowl coming up I wanted something different to add this year. Salad is too healthy for Super Bowl snacking so this is the next best thing. Cobb Salad as a dip! Minus the lettuce of course. You can serve it with celery stick if you want but it will go best with  crackers or pita chips! Yum…. I will be making this myself for the first time this weekend so I will swap out the picture for my own when I do.


INGREDIENTS:

1 cup light sour cream

1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 2 ounces)

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 medium avocado, finely chopped about 1 1/3 cups, cut just before serving

¼ cup thinly sliced scallions

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley

4 pieces bacon, well-browned and crumbled

DIRECTIONS:

Step 1: This can be done up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated in a covered container. Stir briefly and finish with step 2.

Place sour cream, blue cheese, lemon juice, salt and Worcestershire in a medium nonreactive bowl and stir until well combined.

Step 2: Fold in avocado, scallions, and parsley, transfer to a shallow serving dish and top with bacon. Serve with celery sticks or assorted crackers, chips, etc.

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Bloody Mary Breakfast Bake

Well being back at work after 18 months is beyond exhausting. The main thing is I am now in an office job! Haven’t had an office job for 7 years! I LOVED my last job, I worked from home on my schedule. It was wonderful. But alas, our economy had other ideas. Either way I am now in my first week back and I’m so tired every night I barely have time to read emails. I am going to do my best to get the blog done without fail though. I’m sure once I get back in a routine I will be fine. But till then please bear with me! Thanks.

Ok, this recipe I found in a Rachael Ray magazine but it’s also a recipe from CorningWare. I have not made this yet but it looks pretty easy and I plan to do this next time I have brunch or company stay over on the weekend. I love a good Bloody Mary so this sounded intriguing. No there is no vodka in it but that doesn’t mean you can’t make an actual Bloody Mary to go with it!  It’s an easy recipe so give it a try. I will swap out the photo once I make it myself! The recipe says to use a 1.5 quart square casserole but you can use a longer one also.

Photo is for illustrative purposes only

INGREDIENTS:

8 slices soft light white sandwich bread, crusts removed

3 cups shredded pepper jack cheese

9 large eggs (or egg substitute 2¼ cups)

2 cups low-milk or fat-free half-and-half

½ teaspoon celery salt

1 jar salsa (16 ounces), your choice

DIRECTIONS:

1. Grease a 1.5 quart square casserole dish. Arrange 2½ slices of bread in the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle 1/3 cup shredded cheese on top and cover with another 2½ slices of bread.

2. Layer on another 1/3 cup shredded cheese and top with the final 3 pieces of bread.

3. In a medium bowl, beat eggs, milk and celery salt. Pour over the bread layer; let stand.

4. Bake in a 375º oven for 40-45 minutes, then cover with salsa, sprinkle with remaining pepper jack cheese and bake for 5 minutes more.

5. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 12

3 Comments »

Crabmeat Bisque

Normally when see “bisque” on a menu I automatically think of all the fat and calories in it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s usually delicious but I can’t take all those calories. This recipe is a lighter version and it’s very easy to make. A great soup for a cold wintry night after a long day of work. Serve it with a nice crusty loaf of bread and it can be a meal in itself. I use fat-free products in this but feel free to use the regular versions. For a variation you can substitute shrimp or lobster meat for the crabmeat also.

(Again I don’t have a picture of the soup when I made it but I will post one as soon as I make it again)

For illustrative purposes only!!

INGREDIENTS:

1 can (10¾ ounces) condensed fat-free cream of chicken soup

1 can (6 ounces) crabmeat, rinsed and drained

1 soup can of skim milk, light cream, or fat-free half-and-half

1 tablespoon dry sherry

chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a 2-quart saucepan, stir together the soup, crabmeat and milk. Heat through.

2. Add the sherry and heat until hot, but do NOT boil. Garnish with chopped parsley.

**VARIATIONS: Substitute 1 can (4½ ounces) deveined shrimp, rinsed and drained, for the crabmeat. Or 6 ounces cooked lobster meat for the crabmeat.

Makes about 3½ cups or 2 moderate servings.

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