Soooo, I have decided to join Weight Watchers and drop some unwanted pounds. My menus are going to change to accommodate my diet. I won’t be posting monthly menus until I have lost my target amount of pounds. I will from time to time post meals that I am cooking. Also starting in August, we will be empty nesters and the meals I cook will be smaller in portions to just accommodate the two of us.
On the meals I cook, I will start adding the WW points to each recipe. I know this summer I will be loading up on watermelon which is 0 points. :) I LOVE watermelon!!
So starting in June I will no longer be posting my monthly menus.
Oh my this turned out so good. The family loved it. Simmering the sauce can take some extra time but if that can be done ahead of time, this would be a quick dish to assemble on a busy weeknight.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
2 pounds store-bought frozen ravioli
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add oregano, basil and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, breaking up tomatoes with spoon, until sauce is thickened and reduced to about 5 1/2 cups, 20 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook ravioli in a large pot of boiling salted water just until they float to the top (pasta will continue to cook in oven). Drain pasta; return to pot.
Toss sauce with pasta. Pour pasta into a large gratin dish or 9-by-13-inch baking dish, and sprinkle with cheeses. Bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
This is a good easy recipe and a wonderful way to use up the rest of the Easter ham. It was cold and rainy here all last week so this soup really tasted good.
8 cups water
1 pound of dried split peas (about 2 1/4 cups)
2 pounds of smoked ham
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 1 cup)
2 medium stalks of celery, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
Heat water and peas to boiling in Dutch oven; boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 1 hour. Stir ham, onion, salt, and pepper into peas. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until peas are tender, about 1 hour. Skim fat if necessary. Remove ham; trim fat and bone from ham. Cut ham into 1/2 inch pieces (about 4 cups). Stir ham, carrots and celery into soup. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Serves 8
I made a good old fashioned Jello Poke Cake for St. Patrick’s Day. It was really good and easy.
1 package white cake mix (regular size)
2 packages (3 ounces each) lime gelatin
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water
1 cup cold milk
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.
Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour.
In a small bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water; stir in cold water and set aside.
With a meat fork or wooden skewer, poke holes about 2 in. apart into cooled cake.
Slowly pour gelatin over cake. Cover and refrigerate.
In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes (mixture will be thick). Fold in whipped topping.
Spread over cake. Decorate with sprinkles.
Cover and refrigerate until serving.
4 slices bacon, cut 1/2 inch thick crosswise
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped chipotle chilies in adobo
2 cans (28 ounces each) whole peeled tomatoes in juice
Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 large eggs
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Tortilla chips, for serving (optional)
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes; transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
Add garlic and chilies to rendered fat in skillet; cook, stirring, until garlic is just golden, 30 to 60 seconds. Add tomatoes and juice; simmer over medium heat, breaking up tomatoes with a spoon and stirring occasionally, until thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Reduce heat to low. One at a time, crack eggs into a small bowl or cup, and slide onto sauce in skillet, spacing so that all eggs will fit. Cover; cook very gently until egg whites are just opaque (yolks should still be soft), 6 to 9 minutes.
Spoon into four serving bowls; sprinkle with feta and bacon. Serve with tortilla chips, if desired.
8 Russett potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 to 1/2 cup whole milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 pounds beef sausage
1/2 cup diced onion
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon oregano
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 (.75 oz) packet dry brown gravy mix
1 cup water
Preheat oven to 350F. Place potatoes in a saucepan with just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cook potatoes until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain, then mash with 4 teaspoons of the butter and enough milk to reach a creamy consistency. Continue mashing until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook sausage until heated through, about 3-5 minutes. Remove sausage from skillet and set aside. Add remaining butter to skillet, and add onion, rosemary, oregano, garlic, and mushrooms. Stir until tender. Whisk together gravy mix and water as directed on packet, then add to skillet with onion and mushrooms. Simmer, stirring constantly, to form a thick gravy.
Pour half of the gravy mix into a medium sized casserole dish so that the bottom is coated. Place sausages in a layer over the gravy, then cover with remaining gravy. Top with mashed potatoes.
Bake bangers and mash uncovered in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until potatoes are evenly browned.
This dish is a family keeper. It is so quick and easy on busy weeknights. The ground beef isn’t even pre-cooked in this dish. It cooks right along with the casserole!
1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, sliced (if your family doesn’t like onions then leave it out)
2 medium potatoes, sliced (don’t peel them)
1 1/2 cups shredded Velveeta
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1/8 cup milk
1 1/2 cups French-fried onions
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pat ground beef into 8×8 pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. If using, slice onion on top of beef. Slice potatoes onto onion layer, salt and pepper. Layer with shredded Velveeta cheese. Mix soup and milk together and spread over the cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until potatoes are tender. Remove foil and top with french fried onions and brown for about 5 minutes.
I had a surplus of bananas and instead of letting them go to waste, I made Banana Nut Bread. It has got to be one of my all around favorites. I enjoy a slice of it in the morning along with my cup of tea. This recipe makes 1 loaf. If you want 2 loaves just double the recipe.
1 cup walnuts or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 ripe large bananas, mashed well (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place oven rack in middle position. Butter and flour the bottom and sides of a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Set aside.
Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Let cool and then chop coarsely.
In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nuts. Set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients (banana mixture) into the dry ingredients just until combined and the butter is thick and chunky. (The important thing is not to over mix the batter. You do not want it smooth. Over mixing the batter will yield tough, rubbery bread.) Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake until bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. This bread can be frozen.