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Friday, November 22, 2013

Low-Point Spice Muffin Trio

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Why I'm the only one in this house who likes spice cake is beyond me, but since that is the case, I had to get creative because it's this time of the year I love spice cake and different recipes using spice cake mix. By turning this mix into three different recipes, this spice muffin trio has something for everyone; chocolate, cranberries, pumpkin, and pecans.... you pick and enjoy!!!

Low-Point Spice Muffin Trio

Ingredients:

- 1 Spice cake mix
- 1 cup water
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1/4 cup pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 2 Tbs dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, water, eggs, and applesauce. After combined, equally divide batter into 3 separate bowls. In the first bowl, add pumpkin, cranberries, and combine. In the 2nd bowl, add chocolate chips and combine. In the 3rd bowl, add pecans and combine. Spray a muffin tin with Pam baking spray. Add filling from each bowl to the muffin tin. Each bowl will make 6 muffins. Bake muffins for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Drizzle with a little icing if desired. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 18
Serving size - 1
Total points per serving-Cranberry/Pumpkin- 2.5, Chocolate chip - 3, Pecan - 3
Total points plus per serving-Cranberry/Pumpkin-3, Chocolate chip- 4, Pecan - 4

"Be thankful for every moment." - Anonymous

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Turkey Cookies!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

I just happened to come across an adorable picture on Pinterest of something very similar to these and just had to give it a try. How delightfully easy this is! Perfect little dessert your children will love helping you make for Thanksgiving.  

I didn't calculate points because this is store bought cookie dough. Had I had more time, I would have made my own dough recipe that I am sure would have been fewer points; however... IT'S THANKSGIVING... the one time where it's ok to indulge! :)

With cookie dough, icing, candy corn, and mini M&Ms, this simple and sweet recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser at Thanksgiving! Enjoy! 

Blessings to you and yours at Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Spider Eggs

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There's no trick to this yummy treat!!

Turn your favorite deviled-egg recipe into a Halloween hit by adding black olives to create spider eggs! A bit creepy yes, but still very delicious! Have some Halloween fun this year by creating these for your family. 

* Not intended for Halloween goodie bags for trick-or-treaters. ha!

Don't have a favorite deviled egg recipe? You're in luck. Just click on the link below for an easy recipe right here on Points in My Life!



"What do skeletons say before they start to eat? -- Bone Appétit"


HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Low-Point Chicken with Strawberry Avocado Pico de Gallo

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Pico de Gallo, pronounced peek-o-day-GY-o, also called salsa fresca, is a fresh, uncooked condiment made with tomatoes, onion, chilis or jalapeños. You can also vary the recipe using other fresh ingredients. It is a refreshing combination of sweetness, tanginess, with just enough spice to keep you coming back for more. Perfect with chicken, tacos, tortilla chips, or just by the spoonfuls!

Low-Point Chicken with Strawberry Avocado Pico de Gallo

Ingredients:

- 4, 4 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 1, small avocado, halved, seeded, peeled, and diced
- 1 cup diced strawberries
- 1/3 cup diced mango
- 1/2 Tbs diced jalapeños
- 1 1/2 Tbs diced onion
- 1 Tbs honey
- juice from 1/2 a lime
- 2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro (or chopped celery leaves)
- salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season chicken with a little salt and pepper and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until cooked through. While the chicken is baking, in a medium bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients. Remove chicken from oven and add two tablespoons of pico de gallo on top of each serving. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this easy recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 4
Serving size - 1, 4 oz. chicken with 2 Tbs Pico de Gallo
Points per serving - 4
Points plus per serving - 5

"Life is short. Do stuff that matters." - Anonymous







Monday, September 30, 2013

Low-Point Quinoa Meatballs

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These savory meatballs are made with ground turkey. Ground turkey can often times become dry while baking, but with the added quinoa and homemade meat sauce, they're very moist, flavorful, and high in protein. 

Low-Point Quinoa Meatballs

Ingredients:

- 1 lb. lean ground turkey
- 1/4 cup quinoa
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. oregano
- 1 garlic gloved, diced
- 1 egg

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place quinoa and 3/4 cup water into a small saucepan and heat to boiling. Reduce heat, cover, and let cook for about 12 minutes (until the liquid is absorbed), stirring frequently.

In a large bowl, mix ground turkey, salt, pepper, paprika, oregano, garlic and egg. Add in quinoa and combine thoroughly. Roll turkey into balls and line a baking dish with meatballs. Top meatballs with meat sauce and place in oven. Cook for 30 minutes. Remove and enjoy with your favorite side dishes.

BBQ Meat Sauce

- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1/4 tsp. onion powder
- 1 Tbs worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 Tbs teriyaki sauce
- 1 Tbs splenda
- 1/2 cup ketchup

Combine all ingredients and pour evenly onto meatballs before baking.

If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 15
Serving size - 1 meatball
Points per serving - 1
Points plus per serving - 1.5


"You are loved more than you will ever know, by someone who died to know you." - Romans 5:8


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Low-Point Apple Butter Pork Chops

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Pork and apples go very well together, so why not pork and apple butter? Apple butter gives the pork a sweet apple taste as well as adds moisture to your pork chops! Not a cook? With just a few ingredients, anyone can create this amazing meal in minutes!

Low-Point Apple Butter Pork Chops

Ingredients:

- 4, 4 oz. lean, thin pork chops
- 1/4 cup apple butter
- salt and pepper
- dash of Creole seasoning (optional) if you want to add a little spice or "kick" to the pork chops

Preheat the grill to 350 degrees. Add a pinch of Creole seasoning to the apple butter (I used a little less than 1/8 tsp.) and mix. Apply one tablespoon of apple butter mixture to each of the four pork chops, both sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place on grill. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Remove and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 4
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 3
Points plus per serving - 4

“Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.” 
- Allen Saunders

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My Hospice Journal - The Blessings of One Tomato

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On Tuesday's I go visit my sweet hospice patient. He's only the fourth hospice patient I've had so far, but the first one who does not have any kind of debilitating illness that causes him not to be able to communicate, coherently anyway. He is very lucid and talks endlessly about his life's journey, his wife (who he lost quite a few years ago) and always before I leave, brings up his garden. He isn't able to tend to it much these days, but his family helps him out. Every week before I leave he tells me to go check to see if there's a ripened tomato for me to take home. I gladly oblige, since I am a big tomato lover and all my tomatoes have been involuntarily given to all the squirrels in our neighborhood!!!

Yesterday's visit was, again, sweet and wonderful. I could tell he was a bit more tired than usual but it didn't stop him from telling me more about his life, and even throwing in a joke or two. After lying on the couch for awhile I watched as he was safely transferred to his favorite chair. The process of moving him just a couple of feet took about five minutes and visibly wore him out completely. After he was all situated in his chair, he looked up at me as if to subtly say, "I'm tired and this is starting to kinda suck."

This afternoon I got a message that my sweet hospice patient passed away. Reconnected with his wife, disconnected from any and all medical equipment, and happily tending to the biggest garden he's ever seen... I couldn't help but smile through my tears. 

I cherish the blessings I've been given to share in these patients' lives, if only for a very short time. I have loved each and every one of my hospice patients and have asked them to say a prayer for all of us as we continue our life's journey here on earth.

As for tomorrow, I plan to cherish this last tomato, slice by slice, thinking of my friend and looking forward to the next patient to bless my life.

R.I.P. sweet man. I will miss you.




Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Low-Point Caramel Pecan Brownies

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A sweet tooth tonight led me to wanting some of those chocolate turtle candies. Since I did not have any of those around, I decided the next best thing was to make "turtle brownies". Fat-free caramel and only a few tablespoons of pecans filled these brownies with a whole lot of "yum" without a lot of calories. So get a cup of coffee, serve yourself a brownie, and enjoy. :)

Low-Point Caramel Pecan Brownies

Ingredients:

- 1 box of Betty Crocker low-fat brownie mix
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbs vegetable oil
- 2 Tbs fat-free Smucker's caramel syrup
- 2 Tbs chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine brownie mix, egg, and oil. Pour into an 11-inch by 7-inch baking dish (or 9-inch by 9-inch). Drizzle caramel on top and sprinkle with pecans. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool and enjoy by drizzling one more teaspoon of caramel on top of each serving. If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 15
Points per serving - 4
Points plus per serving - 5

"Keep calm and eat a brownie." - Anonymous 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Low-Point Cashew Chicken Salad

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What happens when you take several delicious ingredients, combine them together, and create a wonderful recipe that is savory and delightful? You end up eating more than just one serving; but that's just FINE with this low-point appetizing chicken salad!

Low-Point Cashew Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

- 3, 4 oz. boneless chicken breasts
- pinch salt and pepper
- 1/2 tsp. dry Italian seasoning
- 2 Tbs light Zesty Italian dressing
- 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
- 1 Tbs light sour cream
- 2 Tbs sweet relish
- 1/4 tsp. dill seed
- 2 Tbs cashews, chopped fine

Preheat grill or oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle salt and pepper and Italian seasoning over chicken. Drizzle Zesty Italian dressing over chicken, place in a baking dish or on the grill and cook for 15 or 20 minutes (until chicken is cooked through). Remove from heat and let cool for several minutes. Cut up chicken into small pieces and place in a medium bowl. Add mayonnaise, sour cream, relish, dill seed, cashews, and combine. Spoon chicken salad on top of a bed of lettuce salad and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

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

"Follow your own inner compass." - Anonymous

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Low-Point Honey-Grilled Shrimp with Creamy Cole Slaw

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Confession... I don't like shrimp. Actually, any kind of shellfish for that matter, but I know many people who do, including my husband. However, the tasty marinade and honey butter, used for basting, changed my mind and even I enjoyed this succulent shrimp entrée. Add a side of cool, homemade, creamy cole slaw and you have yourself a magnificent meal!

Low-Point Honey Grilled Shrimp with Creamy Cole Slaw

Ingredients:

- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbs dry white wine
- 1/2 Tbs dry Italian seasoning
- 16 oz. cooked, deveined, peeled medium shrimp
- 2 Tbs honey
- 1/4 cup melted. (I used "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter")

In a large bowl, mix together garlic powder, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, wine, and Italian seasoning. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Let marinate for 30 min. to one hour.

Preheat grill for high heat. Thread shrimp onto skewers. Discard marinade. In a small bowl, stir together honey and melted butter. Set aside for basting.

Lightly oil grill grate. Grill shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes per side. Baste occasionally with the honey-butter sauce while grilling. Remove from grill and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 6
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 3
Points plus per serving - 3.5


Low-Point Creamy Cole Slaw

Ingredients:

- 1 medium head green cabbage, finely shredded
- 1/2 cup carrots, finely shredded
- 3/4 cup light mayonnaise
- 2 Tbs light sour cream
- 1 Tbs Splenda
- 2 Tbs white vinegar
- 1 Tbs dry mustard
- 1/2 tsp. celery seed
- salt and pepper for taste

Combine the shredded cabbage and carrots in a large bowl. Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, Splenda, vinegar, mustard, celery seed, salt and pepper in a medium bowl, and then add the cabbage mixture. Mix well to combine and taste for seasoning. Enjoy! 

Total servings - 7 cups
Serving size - 1 cup
Points per serving - 1.4
Points plus per serving - 1


"Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans." 
- John Lennon

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Low-Point Smoked Salmon Patties with Dill Mustard Lemon Sauce

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Memories from childhood. That's what I was thinking of as I was making these salmon patties. My mother used to make them quite often when us five kids were little. And why not? They're great, easy to make, and very healthy! Make some memories of your own by trying out this simple recipe for your own children.

Ingredients:

- 10 oz. wild caught skinless salmon, chopped into small pieces 
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbs minced onions
- 1 Tbs worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. dried oregano 
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika

Dill Mustard Lemon Sauce:

- 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
- 1 Tbs mustard
- 1/2 tsp. dill seed
- 1 tsp. pickle relish
- 1 Tbs lemon juice

In a large bowl, combine first seven ingredients. Preheat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat sprayed with Pam cooking spray with olive oil. In a separate medium-sized bowl, mix bread crumbs and paprika. Form small patties with the salmon mixture and place each patty, one at a time, into the bread crumbs to coat. Place patty in hot skillet and press it together to hold its shape. Repeat until you have four small patties. Cook patties in skillet 3 to 4 minutes on each side. While patties are cooking, mix all the ingredients for the lemon sauce together. 



Remove patties from skillet and serve with side dish or over a bed of lettuce. Use one tablespoon of lemon sauce for each patty and enjoy!  If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.



Total servings - 4 patties
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 3
Points plus per serving - 3.5


"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." 
- E. E. Cummings

Monday, August 12, 2013

Low-Point Tomato Basil Pasta Soup

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My favorite kinds of recipes are the ones that list the ingredients with these simple directions: "Throw it all in!" That's how easy this perfectly-seasoned pasta soup is to make!

Low-Point Tomato Basil Pasta Soup

Ingredients:

- 6 oz. pasta (I used 100% whole grain spaghetti), broken into smaller pieces
- 1, 15 oz. can diced tomatoes with liquid
- 1/2 of a large sweet onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, diced
- 2 tsp. dried oregano leaves
- 3 large basil leaves, chopped (or 1 Tbs dried basil leaves)
- 5 cups vegetable broth (low sodium)
- 2 cups water
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. creole seasoning or red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt 
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)

Place all in large stock pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to low simmer, keep covered, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste if desired and garnish with parmesan cheese. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here

Total servings - 7 cups
Serving size - 1 cup
Points per serving - 2.5
Points plus per serving - 3 

"Often the eyes articulate what the mouth doesn't." - Anonymous

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Low-Point Peach and Plum Crostata

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Make the most of the fresh summer fruit with this easy dessert! This peach and plum crostata (form of a pie) is refreshing and perfect for a nice summer treat. 



Low-Point Peach and Plum Crostata

Ingredients:

- 2 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
- 3 small ripe plums, pitted and thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup Splenda plus 1 Tbs 
- Zest of a lemon, finely grated
- 2 Tbs flour
- pinch of salt
- 4 Tbs cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry sheet, thawed
- 1 egg

In a bowl, toss fruit and 1 Tbs Splenda. Let stand for 15 to 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or spray sheet with Pam baking spray.



Make topping: In a bowl, combine together 1/4 cup Splenda and lemon zest. Stir in flour and salt. Rub in butter using fingertips until mixture is crumbly. Toss in pecans. Note: Using the Splenda instead of sugar, the mixture may be slightly softer instead of crumbly. On a well-floured surface, roll out puff pastry to a rough 14-inch round (however mine turned out more oval). Strain fruit mixture and spoon evenly onto pastry, leaving about a 2-inch border. Sprinkle topping over filling and fold over edges of pastry. Whisk egg with 1/4 tsp. cold water and lightly brush edges of pastry with egg wash. Bake for about 13 minutes until pastry begins to brown. Reduce heat to 400 degrees, cover with aluminum foil and bake another 15 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version, Click Here.


Total servings - 6
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 5
Points plus per serving - 4.5


"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Bernard M. Baruch


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Low-Point Apple-Cranberry Salmon Salad

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This savory salmon salad has the perfect mixture of barbecue and citrus with a little added tarragon to make this meal worth making over and over again!

Low-Point Apple-Cranberry Salmon Salad

Ingredients:

- 3 Tbs barbecue sauce (I used Jack Daniels Original No. 7 Recipe bbq sauce)
- 4, 4 oz. wild caught salmon fillets
- 2 Tbs lemon juice
- 1 Tbs honey
- pinch of sea salt
- pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Gala apple
- 1 Granny Smith apple
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 to 2 Tbs fresh tarragon, chopped

In a shallow glass baking dish, combine the bbq sauce and salmon. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper. Peel apples, core, and chop. Add apples to lemon-honey mixture and toss. Add cranberries and tarragon. Preheat broiler or grill. Grill or broil salmon fillets until fish is opaque in the center and flakes off with a fork, but don't overcook. Break apart salmon into bite size pieces and toss with apple-cranberry salad. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 4 
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 5.3
Points plus per serving - 6.7

"We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us." -  Joseph Campbell

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Gluten-Free Conversion Chart

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Found this conversion chart for any of my followers with gluten allergies. Hope it's helpful.




Thursday, July 11, 2013

Fruit Grill

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Just a fun grill to cool off your hot summer festivities! 


Using a few blueberries for the charcoal and wooden skewers for the grill grate, place your favorite fruit kabobs on the grill and share with family and friends! Great for cookouts, parties, or any fun summer get-together.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Low-Point Eggplant Mozzarella

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Move over eggplant parmesan; there's a new cheese in town and it's taking over! This healthy and savory recipe only takes minutes to make but is an absolute restaurant-quality dish!

Low-Point Eggplant Mozzarella

Ingredients: (for one serving)

- 1 Tbs olive oil (if you need additional oil, use Pam cooking spray with olive oil)
- Thinly sliced eggplant, enough for one steak roll (approximately 4 slices)
- 2 oz. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- Thinly sliced tomatoes
- salt and pepper (or your favorite seasoning to taste)
- 1, Italian steak rolls (I used Maier's brand)
- 1 to 2 Tbs Pizza sauce (any brand/flavor)
- fresh basil, chopped

Heat olive oil over high heat in a skillet. Place sliced eggplant in skillet and season with salt and pepper. Turn down heat to medium-high and saute' eggplant on both sides for just a few minutes. Remove skillet from heat. Place sliced tomato and sliced mozzarella on eggplant and cover, so the mozzarella will melt. Open steak roll and toast. Cut each half of the roll in half again (each roll equaling 4 servings). Place an eggplant/tomato/mozzarella on top of each toasted roll, spoon 1 to 2 Tbs pizza sauce over the top, and add fresh basil. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 4 (one whole steak roll)
Serving size - 1
Points per servings - 2
Points plus per serving - 2.5


"It's ok to dwell on dreams, but don't forget to live." - Anonymous 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Low-Point Shot-Glass Veggies

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The perfect healthy little appetizer for your next get-together, party, or picnic!

Low-Point Shot-Glass Veggies

Ingredients:

- celery sticks, 2 to 3-inches long
- cherry tomatoes
- carrot sticks, 2 to 3-inches long
- olives 
- any other veggies you love! 

Arrange veggies in shot glass after the dip has been placed in the bottom.

Dip Option #1: 

Dill Dip

- 3 Tbs light sour cream
- 3 Tbs light mayonnaise
- 1 tsp. dill seed
- 1 tsp. beau monde


Mix together and add 1 tsp. to the bottom of each shot glass. NOTE: In the picture I added 1 tsp. of basil pesto first and then 1 tsp. of the dill dip. If you leave out the pesto, I would add 2 tsp. of just the dill dip.

"The greatest wealth is health!" - Anonymous 


Monday, April 29, 2013

Low-Point Loaded Baked Potato

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This amazingly gratifying baked potato is loaded with just the right ingredients that will satisfy your appetite and delight your palate!

Low-Point Loaded Baked Potato

Ingredients:

- 1 large baked potato
- 1/4 cup light sour cream
- 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
- 1 tsp. beau monde
- 1 tsp. dill seed
- 1 slice of bacon, cooked
- 1/4 cup reduced-fat Mexican Style Shredded Cheese, optional
- chives

Slice the potato almost all the way through about every 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Place potato in a microwave-safe dish or bowl and cover. Microwave for 5 minutes, rotate (if you don't have a self-rotating table in microwave) and cook 3 to 4 minutes longer, until a fork easily pierces it. Cook bacon until crisp and set aside. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, beau monde, and dill seed. Spoon 2 Tbs of the sour cream mixture throughout the baked potato slices. (Save remaining mixture for another potato. Also delicious with King's Hawaiian bread rolls.) Break bacon into bits and sprinkle in between each slice as well as adding some on top. Melt shredded cheese in a microwave-safe bowl for 10 seconds or until melted, and drizzle on top (optional). Garnish with chives. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe Click Here.

Total servings - 1
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 8.5 (w/out the melted cheese, the points are 6.5)
Points plus per serving - 8.05 (w/out the melted cheese, the points are 6.5)

"A very small degree of hope is sufficient to cause the birth of love." 
- Stendhal

Monday, April 22, 2013

Low-Point Chocolate Chip Starbuck's Brownies

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Who needs a cup of coffee with dessert when you can just bake it right in! :)

These amazing "caffeinated" brownies will give you the energy to kick-start your day... so go ahead, have one for breakfast!

Low-Point Chocolate Chip Starbuck's Brownies

Ingredients:

- 1 box Betty Crocker Low-Fat Fudge Brownie Mix
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 egg
- 4 oz. no-sugar natural applesauce
- 2 Via Starbuck's instant coffee packets, divided
- 1/2 cup Betty Crocker Whipped Milk Chocolate Frosting
- chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk chocolate)
- Pam baking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine brownie mix, water, egg, one of the instant coffee packets, and applesauce in a large bowl. Pour batter into a 13-inch by 9-inch baking dish sprayed with Pam cooking spray. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Let cool. In a small bowl, combine frosting with half of the other Via Starbuck's instant coffee packet. Frost the brownies and add 3 chocolate chips to each piece. If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 24
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 3
Points plus per serving - 3.3


"The art of living lies in the fine mingling of letting go and holding on." 
- Havelock Ellis

Low-Point Brownie Popsicles

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A fun and creative way to enjoy one of my favorite desserts! Easy to make and fun to present. Hang on to this recipe because these cute little brownie popsicles will be the highlight of any party or get-together you host!

Low-Point Brownie Popsicles

Ingredients:

- 1 box of Betty Crocker Low-Fat Fudge Brownie Mix
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 egg
- 2 oz. no-sugar applesauce
- 1 cup Nestle Premier White Morsels
- Candy sprinkles
- 15 popsicle sticks
- Pam Baking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine brownie mix, water, egg, and applesauce. Pour batter into an 11-inch by 7-inch baking dish sprayed with Pam baking spray. Bake for 35 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle). Let cool. Insert popsicle sticks into the brownies. In a small microwaveable bowl, melt white morsels for 1 minute. Stir. Continue microwaving for 10-seconds at a time until morsels completely melt. Dip brownie into the icing (or if brownie starts to come off the stick, use a knife to help spread the icing onto the brownie). Sprinkle with candy sprinkles and enjoy! Note: The brownie stays on the popsicle stick a lot better if refrigerated and cooled completely. If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 15
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 5.3
Points plus per serving - 6.7

"Let us always meet each other with a smile; for the smile is the beginning of love." - Mother Teresa


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Low-Point Chicken Cutlets with Tarragon-Mushroom Sauce

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Bursting with flavor, this magnificent entrée will have you going back for more (and you can go back for more if you have enough remaining points for the day)! :)

Low-Point Chicken Cutlets with Tarragon-Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients:

- 2 cups chicken-broth
- 1 carrot, sliced thin
- 1/4 cup onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 4, 6 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 Tbs flour, divided
- 1 Tbs olive oil, divided
- 1 Tbs Land O Lakes Light Butter with Canola Oil, divided
- 1 cup quartered mushrooms
- 1 Tbs fresh tarragon

Place the first 5 ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 6 minutes or until reduced to about 1 1/4 cups. Remove bay leaf with a spoon and discard. Remove sauce pan from heat and set aside.

Cut chicken breasts in half horizontally to form 8 cutlets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place 3 Tbs flour in a shallow bowl and dredge chicken in flour. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 Tbs olive oil and 1 1/2 tsp. butter to pan; swirl until butter melts. Add 4 cutlets to pan, cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from pan and keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining 1/2 Tbs olive oil and 1 1/2 tsp. butter, and 4 cutlets.

Return skillet to medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add stock mixture, bring to boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Slowly sprinkle in remaining 1 Tbs of flour while whisking until mixture thickens. (If you feel it's too thick, you can add 1 to 2 Tbs. water). Add tarragon to mixture and spoon sauce over chicken 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
Points plus per serving - 5.7

"If it is important to you, you will find a way." - Anonymous

Saturday, March 30, 2013

An Easter Blessing

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Happy Easter to all of my followers!

A prayer for you, as you celebrate Easter with family and friends. Feel free to print out and read before your Easter meal.

"Dear Lord, we thank you for bringing us your Son, our savior Jesus Christ. As we celebrate His resurrection with our loved ones, we ask that you bless those who cannot be with us.

We are thankful for being able to share this meal with our family and friends, and ask that you bless this food we are about to eat.

Jesus is the light of the world and we pray that He continues to guide us, letting His light shine through us so others may come to know Him through our actions and in our words.

Thank you Jesus for giving us a very special gift... the gift of one another. Help us not to take for granted the love of those around us, the time shared among us, and the food you set before us. Amen."  

-  Laura Yagelski

Click Here for a printer-friendly version of this prayer.
                 

Monday, March 25, 2013

My Hospice Journal - "Pleasantly Confused"

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"Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely, and the unwanted according to the graces we have received; and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work." - Mother Teresa


For selfish reasons, I am never instantly happy to hear when one of my hospice patients passes away. My mind starts thinking about our visits, how I am going to miss seeing them, talking to them, feeding them, etc. 

This last hospice patient was a lovely elderly lady who was feisty, kind, and "pleasantly" confused. That term, pleasantly confused, was the description I received from the hospice organization I volunteer for when they sent me the details on this precious lady before I ever went to visit with her.  From now on, I am referring to all my Alzheimer's patients as "pleasantly confused". Love it! I only had the chance to visit with her three or four times but I know I will never forget her.

Having Alzheimer's, she often talked to herself and held conversations with people not present. Sometimes I was glad they weren't present because it was obvious in a few of her conversations, she was upset with them. Most have already passed before her, but that didn't stop her from instructing me to go into the other room and tell someone to "shake a leg" since she was ready to go and needed to get home before dark. 

Most of the time she was in pain, but with Alzheimer's, she forgot she was in pain until she felt the pain again. This doesn't make much sense to us who aren't so confused (until now) but it eases the caregiver's mind, knowing a patient in pain often times forgets the pain when their mind/thoughts are back in the garden, taking a walk, or visiting unseen loved ones.

Her favorite thing to do when I was there was to hold her "baby." This was a battery-operated stuffed animal that when activated, will repeat everything you say. To her, this wonderful little buddy offered just the right conversation by repeating everything she had just said. She could remember the last sentence or two she spoke, so when repeated back to her, it was a nice two-way conversation that held her attention and made her giggle. She was only confused during the times the stuffed animal was silent, not realizing it was only because she had not said anything for it to repeat. What a precious memory I have of her holding it close to her face waiting for it to talk to her and after about three minutes of silence she would bring it up to her nose and say "Boo!" to wake it up. When "boo" was repeated back to her, her soft laughter was something I only wish I could have captured on film. I will have to lock that away in my memory and smile every time I think of it.

I cherish the short amount of time I get to spend with these patients. It's a small reminder to me that time waits for no-one. We all have one life to live and the ability to care for those nearing the end of theirs. It's an honor and a privilege and one I will continue to do until I am "pleasantly confused."

R.I.P. my sweet hospice patient. †

Low-Point Ginger Glazed Mahi Mahi

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Seared to perfection and sealed with a great-tasting honey ginger glaze, this Mahi Mahi recipe is full of flavor and very low point!!

Low-Point Ginger Glazed Mahi Mahi

Ingredients:

- 2, 5 oz. Mahi Mahi fillets 
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbs honey
- 1 tsp. ginger
- 2 tsp. Mirin (Sweetened Saki) or soy sauce
- 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- salt to taste

Spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Place over medium-high heat and add garlic. Saute' for a few minutes. In a small bowl combine honey, ginger, Mirin, and balsamic vinegar. Coat fish with honey mixture and place in skillet. Pour the rest of the mixture on top. Sear fish for about three minutes on each side, sprinkle with salt, and enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

Total servings - 2
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 3.7
Points plus per serving - 3.8

"People may not always tell you how they feel, but they'll always show you. Pay attention." - Anonymous

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Oatmeal Casserole

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Start your morning out with a wholesome and healthy oatmeal casserole! The amazing combination of fresh fruit, oats, pecans, and chocolate chips fills you up and jump starts your day!


Ingredients:

- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup fresh raspberries (any berries will work)
- 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
- 2 cups 1% milk
- 1 egg
- 3 Tbs butter, melted (I used Imperial)
- 1 Tbs vanilla extract
- 1 ripe banana, cut into slices


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously spray a 10 1/2-inch by 7-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, pecans and half of the fresh berries. (Save the other 1/2 cup of fresh fruit for the top of the casserole). In another bowl, whisk together milk, egg, butter, and vanilla.

Add the oat mixture to the baking dish. Arrange the remaining 1/2 cup of fresh fruit on top and add the banana slices. Pour the milk mixture over everything, gently shaking the baking dish to help the milk mixture go throughout the oats.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is a nice golden brown and the milk mixture has set. For an extra tasty top, sprinkle with a tablespoon of extra brown sugar. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.


Total servings - 6
Serving size - 1
Points per serving - 8.5
Points plus per serving - 9.5


"Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can." 
- Arthur Ashe

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Low-Point Lenten Meals

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Friday's during Lent I used to struggle to find delicious (meatless) meals for my family; so over these past few years, I started creating numerous appetizers, entrees, and desserts that don't contain meat, are healthy and low-calorie. Below is a list of some of our favorite recipes we have enjoyed not only during Lent, but all year round. Just click on the links below which will take you directly to the easy recipe you will be able to make in a snap! :) 

Appetizers and Entrees:

- Tabbouleh Salad

- Ginger Glazed Mahi Mahi

- Loaded Baked Potato

- Shot-Glass Veggies

- Eggplant Mozzarella

- Apple Cranberry Salmon Salad

- Tomato Basil Pasta Soup

- Smoked Salmon Patties with Dill Mustard Lemon Sauce

- Honey-Grilled Shrimp with Creamy Cole Slaw

- Sweet Potato and Chickpea Cakes with Avocado Salsa

- Seasoned Scallops with Quinoa


- Tomato and Avocado Stack Salad

- Watermelon Caprese Salad

- Baked Swai with Homemade Pesto

- Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups

- Veggie Potato Bites

- Tomato Zucchini Soup

- Flounder Florentine


- Lobster Risotto


- Flounder Mediterranean


- Squash and Cheese Fritta

- Zucchini Tomato Bake


- Spinach Artichoke Cups


- Butter Poached Haddock


- Barramundi with Pepper Corn Relish


- Walnut and Blue Cheese Grape Bites


- Swordfish with Fresh Tomato Tapenade


- Mozzarella Skewers


- Steamed Mussels in White Wine Tomatoes


- Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Soup


- Pan-fried Swai Sliders


- Mini Quiche (minus the bacon)


Desserts:

- Banana Oatmeal Cookies

- Chocolate Chip Starbuck Brownies

- Caramel Pecan Brownies

- Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies

- Chocolate Almond Cups

- Chocolate Strawberry Shish Kabobs

- Cream Cheese Sundaes

- Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes


- Spice Butterscotch Cake


- Mt. Dew Cake


- Coffee Cake


- Oreo Brownies


- Cherry Oatmeal Bars


- Reese's Cookies with Chocolate Drizzle


- Mini Turtle Brownies


- Cheesecake-Filled Strawberries


- Angel Food Fruit Cake


- Incredible One-Minute Cake


- Cupcakes with Tequila Lime Icing


- Seven Minute Vanilla Ice Cream


- Mini Double Chocolate Brownies