Saturday, July 25, 2009

Back to Reality

My chickies are back from camp and as promised I ate randomly all last week. The noteworthy recipe was "Coctel de Camarones" or Shrimp Cocktail. It is a delicious mexican shrimp soup - I think that it is one of those recipes who's mom always makes it a different way. My version comes via my roommate from my twenties - Sandra. I introduced her to my favorite single girl fare such as Tuna Helper (cheesy noodles only please) served up with a side of canned green peas and my own personal weird concoction of spaghetti sauce with meat served over mashed potatoes (it is the best cold the next day!). Alas, I think I got the better end of the recipe deals with her version of "coctel":

Sandra's Coctel de Camarones

1 lb. medium raw shrimp, peel and deveined
8 cups clam-tomato juice (Clamato 64 oz. container)
2 oz. small shrimp (either canned or "salad shrimp")
1 lb. imitation crab
1 medium red onion, sliced
3 medium tomatoes, cut into bit-zie wedge/dice
2 medium cucumbers, peeled and diced
2 medium avocados, diced
2 medium lemon, juiced
2 medium limes, juiced
2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce (the mexican brand Tapito is best)
garlic powder to taste
salt and pepper to taste
cilantro, chopped (optional but ohhhhhh so good)

Cook raw shrimp in boiling water until they are pink. Drain, reserving the water. In a large bowl combine cooked shrimp, clam-tomato juice, salad shrimp, crab, and vegetables. Add reserved water until the soup is desired consistency. Squeeze in the lemons and limes. Add garlic powder, salt, and pepper to your preference. This can either be served warm (but not hot) or chilled. Serve with tostada style chips.

I like it either warm or cold. This makes a large amount, so be prepared. I like mine a little on the thin side - adding quite a lot of the cooking water. I love the "broth" and don't skimp on the lemon and lime juices. If you were a little tentative about 2 tablespoons of hot sauce, start with 1 and taste, taste, taste until you like it!

And looking ahead to next week:

Monday - We have doctor appointments (eye) in town on Monday. I'm thinking I haven't had sushi in FOREVER (at least 3 weeks!), so I think that is the order of the day.

Tuesday - My Cooking Friend Lobs from Vegan Deliciousness has been aspiring me to try different meatless options. She has shared a recipe for "Snobby Joes" - sloppy joes made with lentils. The mini-chicks have been pretty receptive about lentil tacos, and they love sloppy joes so I thought I'd try the joes.

Wednesday - My mom used to make fried salmon patties or salmon loaf using canned salmon. I found this recipe over on the Weight Watchers board for a crockpot salmon casserole:

SALMON CHEESE CASSEROLE

1 (14-3/4 ounce) can pink salmon, drained, boned, and flaked
1 can Campbell's Healthy Request Cream of Celery Soup, or soup of your choice
1 cup (one 4-ounce can) sliced mushrooms, drained
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped celery
3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Sharp Cheddar cheese
6 slices reduced-calorie white bread, torn into small pieces
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes

Spray a slow cooker container with cooking spray. In container, combine salmon, celery soup, mushrooms, onion, and celery. Add Cheddar cheese, bread pieces, and parsley flakes. Mix well to combine. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours. Mix well before serving.

Yield: 6 (3/4 cup) servings

189 calories, 5g fat, 2g fiber, 18g protein, 18g carbohydrate, 493mg sodium, 244 mg calcium

Diabetic Exchanges:
3 meat, 1 vegetable, 1 starch/carbohydrate

Source: A Potful of Recipes, JoAnna Lund

Thursday - Weigh-in day! There is still a new Thai restaurant to try in town!

Friday - When I made the Mexican Lasagna from The Love of Cooking a few weeks ago, the chickies declared it a "do over". I'm out of refried beans in the freezer, so I'll start a big batch in the crockpot. I usually just cook up beans with onions and cook until mush-able. I use my groovy immersion blender and usually season with some salt and cumin - maybe a little butter to give it a nice consistency.

Saturday - Leftovers. :)

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Who Wants Cookies?!?!?

HoneyB's giving away cookies today!!!

Run, run, run! Who doesn't want cookies!?????!!!?!?

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Reviews

I thought I'd try something new..... I thought every so often I'd give you reviews of the new recipes I've tried with any changes I've made, maybe if I'm being good some WW points, please remember your mileage may vary. (Don't tell on me - it is suppose to make them very unhappy if you post points online!)

Kittencal's Marinara *****
This my current favorite spaghetti sauce. I know she says to use roma tomatoes, but I just used crushed. I usually double the batch and have enough for 2 dinners and lunches for my small family. The way I make it is 1 wwp for 1/2 cup.

Greek Shrimp ***1/2
This wasn't as great as I hoped. My tomatoes never cooked down, so I added a can of diced tomatoes with basil and garlic. It was too minty for our tastes, but since I didn't add the full amount of feta it might have cut that a bit.

Chicken Tikki Masala ****
This was very good - I substituted some things I had in the pantry. First off, my plain yogurt had mold. :( So, I used buttermilk, only 1/2 tsp. of cayenne, and marinated all day. They smelled delicious grilling up! For the sauce, I used a mexican tomato sauce instead of the jalapeno and fat free half-half. Next time I'll double the sauce and use 1 can of spicy sauce and 1 can of regular. The mini-chicks liked it, but it was a little too spicy.

Shrimp Scampi with Artichokes ****
This was pretty yummy. I added some Brummel and Brown light spread and about 1/4 of parmesan cheese and only 1 lb. of shrimp. I mixed the whole thing up with about 1 lb. of mini bow-ties and it only came to 5 wwp per cup! Nice and light.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

I Love July

Ahhhhhhhh... Hot summer days! My favorite things in the whole world. We are having a pretty simple week - hopefully filled with long evenings in the pool. :)

Monday - I need some beef! I'm going with my favorite easiest Slow Cooker Pot Roast. I use red wine for the water and thicken with corn starch at the end because I like thicker gravies. YUM!

Tuesday - As you might be able to tell from my blog, I love trying new recipes. I like making things I never have - sometimes I like it, sometimes not so much. Food blogs are just wonderful places to let my culinary imagination run amok! LOL Today we are going into uncharted territory.... Indian food. Chicken Tiki Masala from My Big Red Kitchen caught my eye last week.

Wednesday - Weigh-in is coming up...... that means shrimp. I found this on the Weight Watchers recipe board and thought it sounded interesting:

Shrimp Scampi with Artichokes

Serves: 4 servings, serving size: 2 cups
Nut: 285 cal., 10 fat, 5 fiber

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup)

1 1/4 pounds large shrimp (about 20), peeled and deveined
1 (11-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, or 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and quartered
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add garlic and shallots and cook, stirring until softened but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add shrimp, artichoke hearts, wine, and lemon juice and cook until the shrimp are cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.
Stir in the parsley, salt and pepper.
Divide among 4 plates, garnish with additional parsley, and serve.

Thursday - Weigh in day! I saw a new little Thai place opened up in the town we go for meetings........ I think we will give it a try. (pppsssttt.... Did I tell you, last week I went into what diet pros call "onederland". I have been there for a couple of years, and I'm really excited to keep going to get to places I haven't been for 15 years and then on to places I've NEVER been!).

Friday - Since the mini-chicks are going to be off at Camp Zanika next week, I thought I'd throw them a bone - maybe even literally and make the all-time fave of shake 'n bake pork chops. ;)

Saturday - I've admitted that I like Throwdown with Bobby Flay. I saw the chicken cacciatore show a long time ago and made Keith Young's Chicken Cacciatore and never have looked for another recipe. That doesn't happen very often with me! I think I'll use skinless thighs and lots less oil for frying.

Sunday - I'm taking the girls to camp. We have to be there by 2:00 pm - we'll leave, go have lunch and then I'll be all alone until next Saturday.

Don't hold your breathe for a meal plan! LOL I bet I eat Smart Ones and baked potatoes. :)

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Food Issues

I love food.... this blog can attest to that pretty well, I think! I love cooking, trying new recipes - I feel like I'm pretty culinarily adventurous. I'd like to think I tried most things at least once.

So, why then I'm a weirded out by normal, everyday food? My corn problem along with my soda flavor issues is well-documented.

But, I'm sad to say that might I will have to add yogurt to the list. I like yogurt. I LOVE Yoplait Light with all those yummy flavors. Dannon products - gag! Even Tillamook who's cheese, butter, sour cream, and ice cream I adore - doesn't float my yogurt boat. The worst offender: Weight Watchers. Gag, blech, gross. Even with the temptation of only 1 point isn't enough to make it taste good.

I'm weird. It's okay to laugh.

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Not Much Cooking Week

It's a busy week. (What else is new? LOL) I'm going to try to keep things simple and fill-in a few things that have been posted and never made. :0

Monday - I thought I'd be a good mom and pull on SS's favorite thing on the planet, spaghetti. I'm still lovin' Kittencal for AR's Marinara. Even though she loves meatballs too, I think we will keep it meatless this time to keep the points down.

Tuesday - I'm off to get my hair done! FINALLY! I had to cancel my June appointment because I was so crazed, and then my stylist was gone on vacation and this was her first available day. I see wayyyyyyyyy to much gray! LOL The chickies will be with their dad, so no dinner needs to be made.

Wednesday - I didn't get the Greek Shrimp made last week.

Thursday - Weigh-in! I finally made my 25 lb. lost last week. I'm hoping for more of the same this week.

Friday - My town's annual summertime celebration starts off Friday night with the BBQ in the park along with entertainment (usually a talent show, but honestly I haven't been paying attention if that is what is happening this year or not!). It will BBQ sandwiches, beans, and of course, the root beer! YUM!

Saturday - More festivities in the park. I know that I will require some tacos that the ladies from our local catholic church make. They are the best ever, if somewhat greasy - but they are a once a year treat! I think we'll try to pretend we are behaving with some Lemon and Garlic Grilled Chicken for dinner!

Sunday - When I ate at P.F. Chang's a few weeks back one of my friends couldn't believe I didn't have the lettuce wraps. I found this copycat recipe and knew I'd have to give it a shot. I'll make extra chicken on Saturday to use.

Kinda boring on the culinary exciting scale, but sometimes that is the way it goes. ;)

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