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Friday, December 30, 2011

Low-Point Lemon Crusted Cod

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We first tried this delicious cod entre when visiting my sister. With the great lemon mustard flavor and delicate crust, I couldn't wait to come home and make it again for my own family. A few tweaks in the ingredients here and there and this cod meal is just 3.5 points per serving! Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.


Low-Point Lemon Crusted Cod
Ingredients:
- 1 lb. Cod
- 1/2 Tbs lemon juice
- 1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise
- 1/2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp. grey poupon mustard
- 1 cup low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup crushed corn flakes
- "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" spray
- pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cod in a baking pan. Combine the lemon juice, mayonnaise, worcestershire sauce, and mustard. Brush mixture on the cod. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and then the crushed corn flakes. Spray the butter on top, season with a little pepper, and bake for 20 minutes (or until desired doneness). Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.
Total servings - 4
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 3.5


"Don't ask what the world needs. Find what makes you happy and go do it! Because what the world needs is people who have come alive!" - Howard Thurman

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Low-Point Holiday Brownies with Santa Hats

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Your family and friends will love all the effort you put into these adorable mini brownies with cute little santa hats! Just be sure not to mention it actually took very little effort to make. Leave them thinking it took you hours to create something so fun and festive!


I have a low-point brownie recipe that I was going to post; however, I compared the amount of points my brownie recipe has to how many points a boxed brownie mix has and it turned out the same, as long as you substitute the oil you use in a box mix with applesauce.


Low-Point Holiday Brownies with Santa Hats
Ingredients:
- Strawberries
- Betty Crocker whipped white icing
- 1 boxed brownie mix (any kind that has 120 calories, 2 grams of fat, and .5 grams of fiber per serving - unprepared. I used Betty Crocker Ultimate Fudge premium brownie mix with the extra Hershey fudge pouch inside. However, I did not use the Hershey fudge pouch. The recipe also called for 1/4 cup of oil. I substituted 1/4 cup of applesauce instead.
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Combine ingredients (water, applesauce, and egg).  Spray mini cupcake pans with Pam cooking spray and spoon brownie mixture into pans, filling 3/4 way full. Bake at 325 degrees for 12 minutes (or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of a brownie). Remove and cool. Cut strawberries stems off strawberries and also a little off the tip. Place strawberry, upside down, on top of each brownie and pipe icing around the bottom of the strawberry. Add a little drop of icing on the tip of the strawberry (hat) as well. If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.
Total servings - 40
Serving size - 1 brownie with santa hat
Points per serving - 2.5
*NOTE: The brownies had a rounded top after removed from the oven. After they cooled, I took a very thin layer off the top of the brownies so the strawberries could lay flat.


"Coffee makes it possible to get out of bed. Brownies make it worthwhile." - Anonymous

Monday, December 5, 2011

Low-Point Holiday Ham with Pineapple Riesling Sauce

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Enjoy a nice glass of Riesling white wine while you cook and what the heck, add it to your sauce too! :) This sweet and succulent Pineapple Riesling sauce pairs perfectly with your holiday ham. Enjoy this entre' during the holiday season or anytime throughout the new year! Bon Appetit!


Low-Point Holiday Ham with Pineapple Riesling Sauce
Ingredients:
- Boneless ham or Precooked ham slices (serving size is 4 oz.)
Sauce:
- 1/2 cup crushed pineapple
- 3/4 cup Riesling white wine
- 1 tsp. Splenda
- 1 Tbs brown sugar
- 1 Tbs honey
- 1 Tbs flour
In a saucepan, heat pineapple and Riesling over medium-high heat until boiling. Add splenda, brown sugar, and honey and mix thoroughly. Whisk flour into pan until sauce slightly thickens. Spoon over cooked or heated (if precooked) ham. If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.
Serving size - 4 oz. ham with 2 Tbs pineapple sauce
Points per serving - 4.5


"Sometimes it takes sadness to know happiness, noise to appreciate silence, and absence to value presence." - Anonymous

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Hospice Journal

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Today I had my second visit with my precious hospice patient. After our visits are over, I can't stop thinking about the time spent with this patient and my observations of all the Alzheimer patients sitting or walking nearby. Although I can't give specifics (names, location, etc.) of each visit due to privacy issues, I can and want to journal these thoughts and feelings after each visit while they're still fresh in my mind.

As I sat and listened to my patient tell me more stories about his life, his loves, and his interests, which were repeated countless times with a different story line or version each time he spoke, I also glanced around to take in what the other Alzheimer's patients were doing. I couldn't help but be in "awe" of an elderly husband sitting on the couch holding his wife, fixing her hair by pushing it gently away from her face while caressing her hand, patting it as if to tell her everything is going to be ok. I felt my heart swelling with love for them as they displayed their love for each other and I wondered how long this loving husband came to this place to visit his wife, just to hold her. What happened next almost made me giggle out loud as I realized they were both Alzheimer's patients when the aide came over and told the little old lady "she just can't do that to everyone" and  gently helped her to another chair across the room away from the older gentleman. Ok so they weren't husband and wife after all -- but I think they still needed each other's companionship and affection. From giggling to myself back to my heart sinking as I watched them look at each other from across the room and shake their heads at each other while lifting their arms and shrugging as if to say, "We have no idea why that lady separated us but we don't like it." Not having their story and not knowing if they were "Alzheimer Soul Mates" or just simply enjoyed attention from anyone, I decided the aides knew what they were doing and maybe the next time I visit, I will pick up where the story left off with these two adorable patients.

The only other observation from today's visit was a cute elderly woman, maybe  five feet tall, staring at me. I would be having a discussion with my patient and glance up to her looking at me from across the room. As I kept talking to my patient, this elderly woman got up and came over and sat by me on the couch. My back was to her as I was turned toward my patient who was sitting in a recliner beside me. But I felt her presence. I stopped talking for a minute so I could turn around to see what she was doing. She was still staring at me, smiling. I said, "hello." She responded "hello". I continued talking with my patient, but after a minute or two turned toward her again. I smiled and said, "hello". She smiled even bigger and said, "hello". This doesn't sound very interesting but let me assure you, it was. Seeing her face light up every time I turned around to say hello made me wonder if maybe she needed an "Alzheimer Soul Mate" as well. She slowly got up and moved on, knowing exactly where she was going in her safe environment... a recliner nearby.

These visits truly awaken me. It confirms how temporary life is, how love is truly ageless, and sometimes, as my patient will attest... it truly is all about the ice cream. You can throw the other food away! :)

Thank you Jesus for guiding my steps and giving me strength to work through my fears so I can witness the beauty of life. 

I think it's time for some ice cream.


Low-Point Steak with Red Wine Sauce

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Sometimes, you just gotta have a steak! We're one of those families who rarely eat red meat, but every once in awhile a steak just sounds wonderful! Here is an easy and scrumptious steak recipe with red wine sauce I hope you enjoy as much as we did.

Ingredients:

- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 4, 4 oz. Boneless Top Round Steaks
- 1 tsp. coriander
- 1 tsp. marjoram
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/3 cup sparkling cider
- 1/3 cup red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
- 1 Tbs flour
- 1 Tbs soy sauce

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Combine coriander, marjoram, onion powder, salt and pepper. Sprinkle on steaks, both sides. Add steaks to skillet and sear for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Remove steaks and let them rest while you add the cider, wine, flour, and soy sauce to the skillet. Whisk briskly for a few seconds (sauce should thicken quickly). Dip pieces of steak in sauce or drizzle a little bit on top and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.


"It's easy to get lost in endless speculation. So today, release the need to know why things happen as they do. Instead, ask for the insight to recognize what you're meant to learn." - Caroline Myss

Friday, November 25, 2011

Low-Point Wafer Treats

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Easy and decadent desserts your kids can help create! These two wafer treats are delicious and low-point; perfect little delights that will satisfy your sweet tooth.

Low-Point Caramel Wafers
Ingredients:
- Reduced-fat vanilla wafers
- Hershey Rolo Caramels
- Pecan halves
Heat oven to 200 degrees. Place vanilla wafers, flat side up, on cookie sheet. Place one rolo on each wafer and bake for about 3 minutes. Remove from oven and press a pecan half in the center of rolo. Let cool and enjoy!
Serving size - 1 wafer with rolo and pecan
Points per serving - 1.3

Low-Point Wafer Yogurt Freeze
Ingredients:
- Fat-free cool whip
- Yoplait light yogurt (any flavor)
- Reduced-fat vanilla wafers
Combine two tablespoons of cool whip with two tablespoons of yogurt. Place a vanilla wafer in the bottom of a cupcake holder. Spoon cool whip/yogurt mixture into cupcake holder. Place another wafer on top of cool whip/yogurt mixture (if desired) and freeze until just firm or completely frozen. Enjoy! If you'd like printer-friendly recipes of these two desserts, Click Here.
Serving size - 1 frozen treat
Points per serving - 1.8 (1.2 points without second wafer)

"Be thankful for what you have and you'll end up having more; if you concentrate on what you don't have, you'll never have enough." - Oprah Winfrey

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Learning to Live

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Precious! That's the only word I can think of in describing my first hospice patient. I don't know what led a person like me into volunteering for hospice. I have always had a fear about death and never liked to talk about it. Yet at the same time, I must have always had a fascination as well. There's no other reason why in high school I would choose to write about "Death and Dying" for my thesis. High school! What's wrong with me? Maybe it all started with my wonderful giving mother, who has worked in a nursing home for over 35 years and is still very giving of her time, talents, and herself to the residents. Or maybe it's because I loved my grandmother so much and enjoyed listening to her stories until she passed away at the very young age of 105! Something must have piqued my interest.

When my husband and I first moved to Virginia, we became foster parents to newborns; picking them up from the hospital and loving them immensely until they went home with their forever families. So how did I go from welcoming newborns into this world to now being there for others as they depart? 

After fostering, I found myself volunteering through our church to take communion to the homebound and visit the sick in the hospital. Thinking I was going to show up at the hospital and tell a patient I'll be praying for them as they undergo an "appendectomy" or some surgery that would leave them healthier and home within a week was a little naive on my part. Three of the four patients I visited were in the hospice unit, two of which probably didn't even know I was there; and since those visits, have all passed on. Made me realize I had a lot of growing to do... and I couldn't wait to get started.

After my training session ended to become a hospice volunteer, I couldn't wait for my first patient. I saw him today. An elderly man with Alzheimers. I was given some information on his background, his likes, bits about his life, etc. which I typed up to take with me so I could refer to the notes just in case I didn't know what to say. Then I accidentally left the notes at home. I was left just saying some prayers on the way there for guidance, wisdom, and courage.

We had the most wonderful visit and I loved hearing his stories over and over again because each time he told them, they were new and different. (I'm so glad I forgot to bring my notes.) Throughout the course of our visit I learned that I loved being "in the moment" with this Alzheimer's patient. The journey was wonderful and after I reassured him several times that he was not going to miss his "flight" he told me he better use the "facilities" before boarding. The nurse took him to the restroom and I sat, staring at a room full of Alzheimer's patients who were staring right back at me. I wanted so badly to walk around to each one and be with them on their journey... even for a short time. I'm sure that most of them had stories of their own, while others who could no longer speak sat quietly waiting for a new life. 

My patient came back from the restroom, all ready for his flight to Florida, as the nurse helped him into a soft high-back chair. He isn't going to be going anywhere, but he's probably been all over the world in his mind.

Although it's a little discomforting not knowing what's in store for this "new" hospice volunteer, I look forward to learning how to live a better life through these precious patients who are nearing the end of theirs.


"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." 
- Neale Donald Walsch

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mozzarella Skewers

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An appetizer that's easy and delicious! Perfect for a large gathering or a party of one. :) These wonderful well-seasoned skewers with fresh mozzarella, parsley, chives, and basil are a great snack, side-dish, or appetizer for any occasion!

Ingredients:

- 20 cherry bocconcini (mini fresh mozzarella balls)
- 1 1/2 Tbs olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. coarse salt (or to desired taste)
- 1/8 tsp. pepper
- 2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
- 1 Tbs chopped fresh chives
- 20 small cherry tomatoes
- 40 small basil leaves


Place mozzarella in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, pepper, parsley, and chives. Combine well (gently). Cut each cherry tomato in half. Place one half of the tomato on a toothpick, followed by a basil leaf, one mozzarella ball, another basil leaf, and the other half of the tomato. Repeat until all tomatoes and mozzarella balls are used. Serve immediately and enjoy or chill and eat within a day or two. If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.


"Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you." - Aldous Huxley

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Low-Point Steamed Mussels in White Wine Tomatoes

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A super-succulent meal in just 15 minutes? You betcha! These savory mussels with white wine tomatoes was a complete hit with my family. A very simple meal that will delight your palate without adding on the pounds!


Low-Point Steamed Mussels with White Wine Tomatoes
Ingredients:
- 1 lb. bag of cooked and frozen Mussels
- 1/2 onion, chopped small
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1, 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp. oregano
- 1/2 tsp. pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 tsp. rosemary
- 1 Tbs. butter
- Pam Cooking Spray
Place mussels in a microwavable safe bowl and microwave, covered, for 6 minutes. Meanwhile, spray Pam cooking spray in a large skillet and heat over medium/high heat. Saute' onions and garlic until onions are translucent (about 5 minutes). Add tomatoes, wine, and chicken broth. Heat through and add oregano, pepper, rosemary, and butter. After mussels are microwaved, add to tomato mixture, turn off heat, and let set over hot burner for 4 minutes. Serve and enjoy!! If you'd like a printer-friendly version, Click Here.
Total servings - 3
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 2.4
"An individual person is responsible for living his own life and for "finding himself". If he persists in shifting his responsibility to somebody else, he fails to find out the meaning of his own existence." - Thomas Merton

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Low-Point Creamy Cannoli Parfait

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Did you know by enjoying a regular cannoli pastry, you are consuming anywhere from 10 to 17 (or more) points? But they're soooo good! That's why I had to create something very similar for just a little over 5 points! Indulge in this sweet and creamy cannoli parfait after your low-point dinner. It's sure not to disappoint!

Low-Point Creamy Cannoli Parfait
Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup part skim Ricotta cheese
- 2 Tbs honey
- 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. all spice
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 2 Tbs chocolate chips
- 4 reduced-fat vanilla wafers
- 1 Tbs chocolate cool whip (or regular lite cool whip)
Combine all ingredients except wafers and cool whip. Break up two vanilla wafers and place in the bottom of two dessert/parfait cups. (If you don't have parfait cups, use small ramekins). Spoon mixture on top of wafers into each cup. Top with a tablespoon of cool whip and either place another wafer on top (as shown), crumble the wafer and sprinkle on top, or leave off wafer and add just a few more chocolate chips. Enjoy immediately or chill until ready to devour. :) If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.
Total servings - 2
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 5.8 (with vanilla wafer on top); 5.3 w/out wafer

"Meditating on an event that is going to happen, and visualizing it as you want it to turn out, has the power to mold it according to your thought." - Anonymous

Friday, November 4, 2011

Smoked Curry Chicken Strips

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All it takes is combining a little Panko, paprika, curry, sesame seeds, and seasoning; and suddenly you have an outstanding chicken entree'! You will be happy and amazed at how easy and wonderful this chicken recipe is to make.

Ingredients:

- 4, 4 oz. chicken tenderloins, boneless and skinless (or chicken breasts)
- 1/4 cup Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- 2 Tbs sesame seeds
- 1/4 tsp. curry powder
- 1/8 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp. Goya Adobo seasoning
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" spray (or olive oil)

Cut the chicken into strips. Combine Panko, sesame seeds, curry powder, paprika, and Adobo seasoning. Heat olive oil over medium/high heat in a large skillet. (Feel free to use a little Pam cooking spray with olive oil if you need a little extra oil.) Spray chicken with spray butter (or add a little olive oil to them) and roll in Panko mixture. Add chicken to skillet and cook, turning several times, until done (10 to 14 minutes). Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.


"You must be the change you hope to see in the world." - Ghandi

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Low-Point Healthy Chicken Salad

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After consuming more than our fair share of Halloween candy, it's time to regain focus on eating light and healthy (although I don't regret enjoying all that chocolate!) This light, easy, and delicious chicken salad is perfect for lunch or supper and at very few calories, you can still throw in a bite of chocolate or two for dessert. :)


Low-Point Healthy Chicken Salad
Ingredients:
- 1, 12.5 oz. can Swanson White Premium Chunk Chicken Breast
- 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
- 1/2 cup apples, chopped
- 1/4 cup celery, chopped
- 1 Tbs capers
- 1/4 cup fat-free mayonnaise
- 1 to 2 Tbs Light Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing
- 4 eggs, boiled, optional
In a small/medium bowl, combine all ingredients (except eggs). Place chicken mixture on a bed of lettuce and add a boiled egg, if desired. Very easy. Very appetizing. If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.
Total servings - 4 (1/2 cup servings)
Serving size - 1 (1/2 cup)
Points per serving - 2.3
Points per serving with 1 boiled egg - 4.3


"Be faithful in small things because it is in them where your strength lies." - Mother Teresa

Monday, October 31, 2011

Low-Point Candy Corn Cupcakes

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!
Enjoy these wonderfully moist cupcakes this Halloween season! If you don't have time to make them for Halloween, they're still an amazing dessert for Thanksgiving or anytime throughout the fall season! Enjoy!

Low-Point Candy Corn Cupcakes
Ingredients:
- 1 box of Betty Crocker white cake mix
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 egg whites
- Betty Crocker whipped butter cream icing
- yellow and red food coloring
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Pour cake mix into a bowl and add water, applesauce, and egg whites. Combine. (By replacing the oil, that the box mix calls for, with the applesauce, you're instantly removing 18 points from the cake mix! Woo Hoo! Divide batter into 3 separate bowls. Using the food coloring, add yellow to one bowl making a rather bright colored yellow batter (I used a lot of drops to acquire the color I wanted). In the 2nd bowl, use both red and yellow food coloring to create a bright orange color. Leave the 3rd bowl white. Spray cupcake pans with Pam cooking spray. Add a spoon of yellow batter to the bottom of the cupcake tins, then proceed with the orange, and lastly the white (creating the candy corn color). You have to kind of gauge or guess how much to put in. I was trying to add a little more orange to make a thicker middle color but I left myself not a lot of room for the white batter on top. Bake cupcakes for 18 to 20 minutes or until done (Insert a toothpick in the middle. If it comes out clean, they're done.) Let cool and spread 1 tablespoon of butter cream icing on top. Devour! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.
Total servings - 12
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 3

"It's not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we want to see what  our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can't tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it myself." - Joyce Maynard

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Popcorn Pork

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I'm listening. Quite a few people who are regulars to my blog stated that their favorite recipes are those with less than five ingredients. They aren't overly fond of cooking; but with these easy and delicious recipes, they can make something very quickly for their family and pretend it took a longer to prepare. So here you go... another recipe your family will think you slaved over. Just act real tired after you make this and maybe they'll clean the kitchen after supper. :)

Low-Point Parmesan Popcorn Pork

Ingredients:

- 5, 4 oz. boneless pork chops, cubed
- 10 Stacy's Pita Chips, Parmesan Garlic and Herb flavor, crushed
- 1 Tbs soy sauce
- 1/8 tsp. chili powder (or more if you want more of a kick)
- "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cube pork chops and place in a bowl. Add soy sauce to pork and mix until coated. Roll in crushed pita chips and place in a baking dish sprayed with a little cooking spray. Spray top of cubed pork chops with spray butter and place, uncovered, in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Enjoy!! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 6 equal portions
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 3.7

"What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Low-Point Pumpkin Donut Holes

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There's no trick to this treat! These pumpkin-flavor donut holes are perfect for any little goblin wanting a tasty treat. A "spooktacular" treat, just in time for Halloween!


Low-Point Pumpkin Donut Holes
Ingredients:
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup Splenda granulated sugar substitute
- 1 Tbs baking powder
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. allspice
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup 1% milk
- 1/4 cup Land O Lakes Light butter with canola
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 2 cups oil for frying
For Decorating:
- cinnamon sugar, to roll donuts in
- slivered almonds
- white icing
- green food coloring
In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet. Combine gently until soft dough is formed. Refrigerate for several hours. When ready to fry, roll the dough into little balls (feel free to coat hands often with flour since the dough can be quite sticky). Heat oil in a medium to large sauce pan. Drop balls into oil and fry, turning several times, for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and drop balls into cinnamon sugar mixture to coat. Set on wire rack to cool. Insert almond slivers in the top of the donut holes, creating the stem. Add green food coloring to white icing and holding the donut upside down, dip and swirl the tip of the almond sliver into icing. Plate and watch all the goblin and ghouls make them disappear! :) If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.
Total servings - 47 donut holes
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 2.6


"Eat, drink, and be scary." - Anonymous

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Low-Point Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Soup

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Creamy and delicious -- this savory soup will soon become one of your favorites. Perfect for these chilly fall days, this soup will fill you up without filling you out! Very low-point and healthy!

Low-Point Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Soup
Ingredients:
- 2 Tbs Land O Lakes Light Butter (with canola)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped; or 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 Tbs dried basil leaves
- 1/4 tsp. thyme
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2, 12 oz. jars roasted red peppers preserved in water, drained
- 1 large potato, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 Tbs Splenda granulated sugar substitute
- salt and pepper to taste
- Mascarpone cheese, optional
- store-bought croutons, optional
Heat butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots, garlic, basil, and thyme. Saute until onions are translucent (about 5 minutes). Add broth, red peppers, potatoes, wine, and sugar. Bring to a boil and decrease heat. Partially cover and simmer until the potatoes are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool soup slightly. Working in small batches, add soup to a blender and puree until all soup has been blended. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and add 1 tablespoon of mascarpone in the center of each bowl along with 6 (or less) croutons, if desired. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.
Total servings - 9 cups
Serving size - 1 cup
Points per serving - 1.4 for soup only; 2.1 for soup and 6 croutons; 3.8 for soup, croutons and mascarpone

"Nothing is too much trouble, if it turns out the way it should." - Julia Child

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Low-Point Eggplant Basil Spread

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Need something delicious for a get-together with family or friends? Make this easy eggplant basil spread and enjoy with some pita chips or tortilla chips for very few points!


Low-Point Eggplant and Basil Spread
Ingredients:
- 1 medium raw eggplant
- 1 cup fresh basil, packed
- 10 green olives
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1/2 to 1 tsp. coarse salt (to taste)
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut eggplant in half lengthwise. Place eggplant halves cut-side down on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Roast until eggplant is soft (about 30 minutes). Cool and then remove inside flesh with a knife or spoon, trying to remove most of the seeds. Place in a food processor with all other ingredients and blend until combined. Add more salt, if desired. If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.
Total servings - 10 Tbs (approximately)
Serving size - 3 Tbs
Points per serving - .4
1.5 points for all 10 Tbs!  Enjoy!


"If there's no way out, how did you get in?" - Anonymous 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Low-Point Italian Chicken

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This Italian Chicken recipe is superb, and the best thing is it only consists of THREE ingredients, including the chicken! Even if you don't like to cook, this easy recipe makes cooking fun, simple, and way worth it! :)

Low-Point Italian Chicken
Ingredients:
- 3, 4 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 10 Stacy's Chips, Italian Harvest flavor, crushed
- "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" spray
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray chicken breasts with spray butter. Coat chicken with crushed chips and place on baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, remove, and enjoy!!! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.
Total servings - 3
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 3.3

"It isn't the great big pleasures that count the most; it's making a great deal out of the little ones." - Jean Webster

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Low-Point Creamy Crescent Chicken Rolls

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With all the delicious ingredients that go into making these creamy crescent rolls, I knew they would be absolutely divine. What I didn't realize until the next day was that when pulled directly from the refrigerator and placed into your mouth, they're just as wonderful! So hot or cold...they go fast! At least they did at my house! :)

Low-Point Creamy Crescent Chicken Rolls

Ingredients:

- 1, 6 oz. chicken breast, boneless, skinless
- 4 oz., 1/3 less fat cream cheese
- 1/4 cup light sour cream
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 2 tsp. dried chives
- or any of your favorite seasonings
- 1, 8 oz. can reduced-fat crescent rolls
- 1 package chicken gravy mix (I used McCormick brand) - optional
- Pam cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray baking dish with Pam cooking spray and place chicken breast into dish. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (or until chicken is cooked through). Remove, let cool slightly and dice chicken. Lower heat in oven to 375 degrees. In a mixer or bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, salt, pepper, onion powder, and chives. Add chicken and combine well. Open crescent rolls and lay out each triangle. Add a small scoop or two of the chicken mixture onto the wide part of the triangle and roll crescent roll up with the mixture inside. Repeat with all 8 crescent rolls. Bake rolls for about 12 minutes. Remove from oven. Heat chicken gravy mix with 1 cup water until it begins to thicken. Drizzle gravy over crescent rolls if desired, and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

NOTE: You will have leftover creamy chicken mix. You can keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Total servings - 8
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 3
Points plus per serving - 3

"If you can't feed hundred people, then feed just one." - Mother Teresa

Friday, October 14, 2011

Spice Butterscotch Cake

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The perfect dessert... all with just five ingredients!!! A must try, especially if you're a fan of butterscotch and pecans! Eating only one piece is a "must try" too, or more just "good luck"! I hope you enjoy this magnificent cake as much as we did!

Ingredients:

- 1 spice cake mix
- 1 small box instant sugar-free fat-free butterscotch pudding
- 2 cups 1% milk
- 1/2 of an 11 oz. bag butterscotch morsels
- 3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make pudding as directed, whisking with 2 cups of milk until it begins to thicken. Stir in cake mix. Pour into a 9-inch by 13-inch pan, sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle butterscotch morsels and then pecans on top of cake before baking. Bake for about 25 minutes. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 15
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 5

"All the world is a birthday cake; so take a piece, but not too much." 
- George Harrison

Monday, October 10, 2011

Low-Point Pecan-Coated Orange Roughy

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A great-tasting fish with a savory dijon white-wine sauce makes this succulent pecan-coated orange roughy very enjoyable to eat. Try this recipe for yourself and let me know if you enjoy it just as much as we do.


Low-Point Pecan-Coated Orange Roughy
Ingredients:
- 5, 4 oz. Orange Roughy fillets
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup crushed pecans
- 2 tsp. butter
- 1 Tbs chopped shallots
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/4 tsp. dill weed
- 1/4 tsp. thyme
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 2 tsp. corn starch
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbs lemon juice
- cooking spray
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place the egg and pecans in separate shallow bowls. Dip fillets into egg, then coat with pecans. Place fillets in a 13-inch by 9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, sauté shallots in butter over medium-high heat until tender. Add wine. Bring to boil and cook for a few minutes until liquid is reduced by half. In a small bowl, combine dill weed, thyme, pepper, cornstarch, mustard, and lemon juice. Stir into wine mixture. Bring to boil and stir until it begins to thicken. Serve with orange roughy and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.
Total servings - 5
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 5


"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." 
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Low-Point Swiss Chicken Cutlets

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Boneless chicken breasts, flattened to about 1/4" thick, layered with swiss cheese, rolled, tied, and fried. Nothing to it! With a taste that is very pleasing to the palate, this easy-to-fix recipe will be at the top of your list!


Low-Point Swiss Chicken Cutlets
Ingredients:
- 4, 4 oz. skinless, boneless, chicken breasts
- 2 slices reduced-fat thin swiss cheese
- 2 Tbs flour
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbs butter
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/4 tsp. oregano
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Flatten (lightly pound) out chicken cutlet until they're about 1/4-inch thick. Cut each cheese slice in half. Place 1/2 cheese slice on top of each chicken cutlet. Starting with the short end, tightly roll up cutlets and tie securely with a string. Sprinkle pepper and salt on chicken and gently toss chicken rolls through flour that has been placed in a shallow bowl or on a plate. In a large nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add chicken, cook, turning frequently until golden, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add broth, wine, oregano, and garlic to skillet. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until chicken is cooked through and sauce is slightly thickened; about 10 to 12 minutes. Place on serving dish, remove strings, and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.
Total servings - 4
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 5


"Fix your eyes forward on what you can do, not back on what you cannot change." - Tom Clancy

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cherry Oatmeal Bars

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I've explained this before but apparently I wasn't listening so again, the rule is... if you eat the serving size, the dessert is fantastic and low-point/calories. If you almost eat the entire dessert, you're doomed. I will do better next time. Promise! Very delicious but needs to come with a warning: Addicting!

Ingredients:

- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup oats
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 cup butter, Land O Lakes Light with canola oil, softened
- 1 1/2 cups canned cherry pie filling

Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, and baking soda. Fold in butter until mixture is moist and crumbly. Press mixture into an 11-inch by 7-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray, reserving 1/2 cup of the mixture. Spread cherry pie filling on crumb mixture in baking dish. Sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture on top of the cherry pie filling and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes (or until golden brown). Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 8
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 4


"Before you act, listen. Before you react, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. 
Before you quit, try." - Ernest Hemingway

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Low-Point Bruschetta Chicken

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One of my favorite things to eat is bruschetta! I could eat it everyday! That's why I was so excited to try this wonderful bruschetta chicken recipe. I must say, it's really good. Anyone who is a fan of bruschetta ought to try this great tasting recipe!

Low-Point Bruschetta Chicken

Ingredients:

- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
- 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 of a 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 box Stove Top Stuffing (Chicken or Cornbread flavor)
- 1 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
- 2 tsp. dry Italian seasoning
- Fresh basil or parsley, chopped
- cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 2 1/2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Toss chicken with salt and pepper. Place chicken in a layer into the bottom of baking dish. In a medium to large bowl, mix tomatoes, water, garlic, and stuffing mix. Let set for a minute to soften. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top of chicken and then Italian seasoning. Evenly layer stuffing mixture on top of Italian seasoning. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh chopped basil and enjoy! If you'd like a printer- friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 5
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 5
Points Plus per serving - 6

"One of the very nicest things about life is we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating." 
- Luciano Pavarotti