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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Mashed Potato topped Meatloaf Cupcakes

 I'm not a huge fan of meatloaf but these babies were really yummy.  You could really taste the A1 sauce and I think that just gave them really good flavor along with the Stoved Top Stuffing.  Top them with cream cheese mashed potatoes and beef gravy and you have a very delicious meal!

Mashed Potato topped Meatloaf Cupcakes
from Kraft Recipes

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1 lb. very lean ground beef
1 pkg. 6oz Stove Top Stuffing
1 cup water
2 T. A1 sauce
6 oz. low fat cream cheese, softened and cubed
1 T. minced garlic cloves
3 cups hot mashed potatoes
1/4 cup fresh parsley, optional
1 jar (12 oz) beef gravy, warmed

Heat oven to 375

Mix meat, stuffing, water and steak sauce together and press into 12 muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake for 20 to 25 min. or until done.

Add cream cheese and garlic to potatoes; stir until cream cheese is melted. Stir in parsley. Scoop over meatloaves. Serve with gravy. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Open Face Lasagna Sandwiches

I was going to make meatballs and it just sounded like too much work so I decided to make Italian sloppy Joes.  After I cooked the meat and poured the spaghetti sauce in I thought putting provolone cheese sounded good on it and then I thought why not add cottage cheese while I was at it.  There you have it, Open Face Lasagna Sandwiches.  Oh my were these yummy!

Open Face Lasagna Sandwiches
a Lacey Creation

6 servings, 13 WW points per serving

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1 lb. very lean ground beef
1 jar of spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 cups fat free cottage cheese
6 French Bread rolls
12 slices of provolone, I used Sargento's thin sliced

Pre-heat oven to 350

In a skillet brown the ground beef.  Drain.  Place back in pan and add the spaghetti sauce and heat through.  On a baking sheet place the 6 French bread rolls opened up.  Spread 1/2 cup of the meat mixture on each roll.  Spread 1/4 cup of cottage cheese on top of the meat mixture.  Place two slices of the provolone on each roll.  Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is nice and melty.  The bread gets nice and crusty.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lazy Woman's Banana Cake

I think we all know how much I love banana's.  I really wanted banana cake one night but was feeling lazy so I just whipped up a white cake and threw in some mashed banana's.  It turned out really good and it's very moist.  I added some canned buttercream frosting and it was finished.

Lazy Woman's Banana Cake
a Lacey Creation

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1 box of white cake mix
1 1/4 cup of water
1/3 cup oil
3 egg whites
4 mashed ripe banana's

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

In a bowl mix together the cake mix, water, oil, egg whites, and mashed banana's.  Spray a 9X13 pan with cooking spray and pour in the cake mixture.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Once cool frost with icing of choice.  I like the canned buttercream frosting but cream cheese frosting is great too.

French Bread Pizzas

 It's nice making pizza at home because I can put whatever I want on it and I don't have to spend a fortune.  And I like the veggies and Will likes the meat so this way we get what we want.  French bread pizza is so easy.  You don't have to hassle with making your own crust.

French Bread Pizza's
a Lacey Creation

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1 loaf of wide French Loaf Bread
1 cup of pizza sauce
cut up veggies (green peppers, onion, tomatoes, mushrooms)
4 cups of mozzarella

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Cut the French Loaf in half length wise.  Spread a 1/2 cup of sauce on each half.  On one half put veggies of choice.  On the other half put pepperoni.  Or do both halves the way you want them.  Top each half with 2 cups of cheese.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is nice and melted.


Blueberry Banana Bread with Walnuts

 This bread is so yummy!  Banana bread is great and then you add blueberries, genius.  I will be making this bread a lot.

Blueberry Banana Bread w/walnuts
adapted from Mom on Timeout

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4 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

 Pre-heat oven to 325

In a bowl cream together the butter and sugar.  I use my Kitchen Aide mixer.  Add the bananas, egg, and vanilla.  Mix in the flour and baking soda slowly until incorporated. With a spatula mix in the blueberries.

You can make 1 large loaf of bread or 4 small loaves of bread.  Spray your pan/pans with cooking spray and pour the mixture in.

For one loaf bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  For the mini loaves bake for 30-40 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.  Enjoy!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Banana Cake made Light

Have I mentioned my love of banana's lately?  I haven't.  Shame on me.  I <3 banana's!  I found this recipe on my Taste of Home app.  Have I mentioned my love of my iPhone?  Love it!  I made this cake several months ago but I have some banana's on my counter just begging to be made into this cake or maybe bread.  I haven't decided yet.

Banana Cake made Light
from Taste of Home

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3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
dash salt

For Frosting:
1 package reduced fat cream cheese
1/3 cup butter, softened
3 cups confectioner's sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until crumbly, about 2 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in the bananas, applesauce and vanilla.  Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into butter mixture just until blended.

Transfer to a 9x13 baking pan coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on a wire rack.

For frosting, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy.  Add confectioner's sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.  Frost bars.  Refrigerate leftovers.

Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal

I love McDonald's Blueberry Banana Oatmeal. It is really yummy and you can get it all day long.  But as you know eating out can get expensive so I figured I could make this at home.  I found a recipe for baked banana oatmeal which I love baked oatmeal so I gave it a whirl.  I thought it was okay.  I like the peach blueberry baked oatmeal I make better so next time I might use that recipe and add banana's.  I was trying to eat healthy so I made up fruit bowls.  Fresh fruit is yummy and having it cut up and ready to grab out of the fridge is handy.

Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal
adapted from Kath Eats Real Food

4 jumbo muffins, 9WW points per muffin

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2 cups rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 mashed banana
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 banana, sliced

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

In a bowl combine the dry ingredients.  In a bigger bowl combine the wet ingredients.  Mix together the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients.  Mix in the blueberries and walnuts.  Evenly distribute in a jumbo muffin tin.  Top with sliced bananas.

Bake for about 30 minutes.

I heart Owls

 I never used to be a huge fan of owls but I was a convert last year after going to New Orleans.  I saw quite a few pieces of owl jewelry there and fell in love with a necklace.  I just had to have it and so I bought it.  Now I have quite the owl jewelry and hair accessory collection.  The office I have now at work has a wall decal tree that I inherited.  But it's plain and I think it needs sprucing up.  After doing some research on owl wall decals I saw some patterns like what is below and I thought I can make that.  So that is what I did.  I used decorative card stock that you use for scrapbooking.  I will hang it on the wall with the sticky tacky stuff that is safe for walls.  I can't use nails or tacks or tape at work.  I found some flowers on Ebay that I think I might buy to add to the tree. 

Birthday Baklava

 For birthday's at the library I like to make a special treat for the birthday girl or boy and get them a card for the staff to sign.  For Helen's birthday I had over heard her talking about liking baklava and I figured, "I could do that."  I have a lot of confidence in myself, ha ha.  I do have to pat myself on the back because for never having made baklava before this turned out very well.  Baklava tastes really good too.  I have never had it before.  It's like eating crispy pecan pie.  Quite yummy.

Baklava seems very intimidating to make but I didn't think it was that bad.  If you are a beginning baker then you might not want to tackle baklava for your first project but sooner or later you should give it a try.  I used Pioneer Woman's recipe and I'm just going to leave you with her link.  The only thing I did differently was butter the phyllo sheets in the pan.  It was easier for me.  Enjoy!

Friday, August 3, 2012


I've been baking again.  Cooking healthy, not so much, but baking yes, yes, yes.  For my last book discussion I wanted to make an almond crumble cherry pie but didn't get around to it the night before.  So the day of I improvised and made tarts.  I have made streusel topping several times but I liked the idea of this one since it was different.  It called to use marzipan which is a mixture of almond paste, egg whites, and sugar.  I couldn't find marzipan so I just used almond paste and the crumble turned out fine.  The tarts turned out great.  They are so simple to make.  Since I have to keep my co-workers fed and happy I had to make the tarts again since not all of them got it the first time.  The second time around I wanted to make a strawberry tart as well.  I used a short cut and went with the pre-made glaze but I think it turned out fine.  Next time I'm going to make homemade.  My spoiled staff at CN got a taste as well.  Like I said I have to keep them fed.

Almond Crumble Cherry Tart
from Betty Crocker

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  • 1 box refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
  • 8 oz Almond paste
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cans (21 oz each) cherry pie filling
  •  1/2 teaspoon almond extract 
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

In a bowl place the almond paste and butter.  Cut together with a pastry blender or fork until well blended.  Add the oats and flour until crumbly.  You may need to add more flour until you get the right consistency. 

On a baking sheet unroll one of the pie crusts and place it on one side of the pan.  Open one can of the cherry pie filling and mix in 1/4 teaspoon almond extract.  Pour the cherry filling onto the middle of the crust.  Sprinkle half of the crumble mixture over the filling and fold up the crust around the filling to seal it in.  Repeat with the remaining ingredients.  You can fit two tarts on a large baking sheet.

Bake for 30 minutes or until crust is cooked through.


Strawberry Tart
A Lacey Creation

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  • 1 box refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
  • 2 pints fresh strawberries
  • 2 containers strawberry glaze
  • 1 8oz light cream cheese
  • 1 8oz light cool whip
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Slice strawberries in half.  Place them in a bowl and mix with glaze.  On a baking sheet unroll a pie crust.  Arrange strawberries cut side down all around the middle.  Spoon some more glaze over the strawberries.  Fold the crust over the filling to seal it in.  Repeat with the remaining ingredients.  You can fit two tarts on a large baking sheet.

Bake for 30 minutes or until crust is cooked through.

In a bowl mix together the cream cheese and powdered sugar until well blended.  Add the cool whip.  Once the tarts are cool garnish with the cream cheese mixture.

Friday, July 13, 2012

I'm Back with Strawberry Shortcake Cake

I swear I haven't fallen off the face of the planet I just took a break.  For awhile I wasn't feeling very good but now I'm feeling so much better.  Once they figured out some of my health issues I felt like a brand new girl!  Which is a good thing.

I wanted to share some of the amazing, wonderful things going on in my life.  First off I went to Anaheim, California for a library conference.  It was such an amazing experience.  My friend Jessica and her mom Joy got to meet me there.  We had a great time getting to go to Disney Land and California Adventure.  At my conference I got to meet so many wonderful authors like Jodi Picoult and her daughter Samantha Van Leer.  Chris Colfer from Glee was there.  I love him.  I just got so inspired by all the programs I went to and the other librarians I talked to.

Jessica and I with the Goofy Statue at Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel

Me with Stich (He was very mischievous)

I also became a new mommy to Sadie Deville.  I forgot what it is like to have a kitten.  She is so loving and playful.  My hands and arms are all scratched up but its worth it.  My other babies are slowly starting to like her.  Her and Sage are bonding.  I found them today in the laundry basket together.  Of course they were on top of my clean clothes, but that's what I get for leaving them out.

Sadie says Hi

Today I got a promotion at work.  I am now the Hobart Township Manager.  I am really going to miss working with Carol on a day to day basis but life changes and you have to change with it.  She is off to Central and they are lucky to get her.  I am very happy to stay at Hobart.

A Vision in Red

On to the food.  This Strawberry Shortcake Cake is so good.  It would be great to take to a summer party, just don't leave it outside.  It does better keeping it in a cooler environment.  Everyone who eats this will be really impressed and will think you slaved away over it in reality it's super simple.

Strawberry Shortcake Cake
as found on The Country Cook

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1 box white cake mix prepared according to the directions on the box in a 9x13 pan, cooled
1 (8 oz.) package reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 (8 oz.) container Cool Whip
1 (13.5 oz.) container strawberry glaze
3 cups fresh strawberries cut into bite size pieces

In a mixing bowl mix together the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth.  Mix in Cool Whip.  Spread over the cooled cake.  In another bowl mix together the strawberries and glaze.  Spread it over the Cool Whip mixture.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Librarian

I have been in Arizona this past week having a great time on vacation. I'm sad that my time here is almost up. I celebrated my 30th birthday yesterday in style. Jessica and her mom got me roses and donuts to start the day with. Then they took me shopping and we had our nails done. Later that evening we had a small party with ice cream cake. They made turning 30 without mom really special. I didn't miss her so much. Tomorrow we are going to the Renaissance Fair. That should be fun other than it supposed to be 90 some degrees.

Now on to The Librarian. Jessica and her family are from Indiana and they love Lincoln's Carry Out. Jessica's favorite sandwich is The Steel Worker. I don't know the story behind it. The sandwich is roast beef, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and mayo on rye bread but she gets it on Vienna bread. Jessica had been craving a Steel Worker so I set out to recreate it. The only problem is around here is that they don't have a very big selection of Vienna or French bread so I choose round hard rolls but they were still soft. For the beef I got Charlies Pride from the deli sliced thin and American cheese from the deli. They turned out really good. Jessica said that when she got a bite of the beef with the cheese and the mayo it tasted a lot like The Steel Worker. It wasn't exactly the same but pretty darn close. I don't know why it's named The Steel Worker but Jessica renamed my creation The Librarian since I'm a Librarian.

The Librarian
inspired by The Steel Worker

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6 hard rolls, Vienna bread, or French rolls
1 pd. Charlies Pride deli meat sliced thin
12 slices American cheese, I used Prima Della
tomato slices
onion slices

Spray a skillet with cooking spray. Place a few slices of meat on the skillet and heat for 2 to 3 minutes on one side and flip over and heat on the other side for 2 to 3 minutes. While the meat is heating slice your bread open and spread mayo on each side. Place a cheese slice on one half and place one slice of heated meat on top of it. In the pan if the slices are long fold them over and stack three or four slices on top of each other and place a cheese slice on top. Let sit until cheese gets melty. Place on top of the waiting sandwich. Repeat with the rest of the sandwiches. Depending on how big your skillet is you could probably do 2 sandwiches at a time. Garnish each sandwich with lettuce, tomato, and onion if desired.

Chocolate Crescents

One night Will wanted ice cream. We didn't have any and neither of us wanted to get out and get any. I knew I had crescent rolls in the fridge and chocolate chips so I made chocolate crescents for him and cherry pies for me. Chocolate crescents are very tasty and satisfied Will's sweet tooth. These a very easy to make.

Chocolate Crescents

a Lacey creation

8 crescents, 4 WW points per crescent

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1 tube reduced fat crescent rolls
8 T milk chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Unroll the tube of crescent rolls. If your rolls unroll okay you should have 8 triangles. When I made these I was having difficulties and mine were not unrolling very well. That is why I didn't end up with crescent shapes. I separated the dough as best as I could and ended up smooshing each piece of dough into a round, filling it with 1 T of chocolate chips, and closed up the round so the chocolate chips were completely enclosed. If you don't have those type of problems and your triangles come out okay you can place 1 T of chocolate chips on each triangle and than roll each triangle up starting at the wide side working towards the point making sure to keep the chocolate chips in. Place the crescent rolls unto a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Enjoy all the chocolaty goodness.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Mini Cinnamon Rolls made Light

I love cinnamon, but not cinnamon candy. But cinnamon rolls are right up my alley and these were delicious. What's even better is these are low in points, but that doesn't mean I can eat the whole pan. :)

Mini Cinnamon Rolls
a Lacey creation

24 mini rolls, 3 WW points with cream cheese frosting, 2 WW points without

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2 tubes reduced fat crescent roll
1/2 cup brown sugar, divided
2 T Cinnamon, divided
2 T Light Butter

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

On a lightly floured surface unroll one of the tubes of crescent rolls. It would be easier to use the seamless crescent rolls which is low in fat but I can never find it in Walmart so I work with what I have. Piece together the eight rolls and pinch them together so it is one flat rectangle. Spread 1 T of the light butter over the rectangle. In a bowl mix together 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 1 T Cinnamon. Sprinkle over the butter and spread to the edges. Roll the crescent up starting at the long side into a tight tube. Spray a pie plate with cooking spray. Cut the tube into 12 pieces and place them into the pie plate close together. Repeat instructions with the other tube of crescent rolls. You will have 24 cinnamon rolls when finished.

Bake for 15-20 or until lightly browned.

To make the frosting:

4 oz Fat Free cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 T powdered sugar
1 tsp milk

Mix all together. Add more milk if the consistency is too thick.

Cake Batter Cheesecakes made Light

For my book discussion last week I made these and mini cinnamon rolls. I wanted to make them less fattening so I tweaked the recipe a little bit. I think they turned out pretty good.

Cake Batter Cheesecakes
adapted from Cassie Craves

24 servings, 3 WW points with Oreo crusts
2 WW points without Oreo crusts

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24 Reduced Fat Oreos, optional
16 ounces Fat Free cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup Fat Free sour cream
2/3 cup Sugar Free yellow cake mix
2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Prepare cupcake pans with paper liners. Place a whole Oreo in each cupcake liner if you are using the Oreos. In a bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese for 3 minutes on medium speed until smooth. Add in the sugar and mix for 2 more minutes. Add in the vanilla and mix. Slowly pour in the lightly beaten eggs on medium low speed and mix to combine. Add in the sour cream and mix on medium low speed. Be careful not to over mix the cheesecake batter. Sift the cake mix over the bowl with the cheesecake batter to remove any lumps. Stir in 2 tablespoons sprinkles. Fold in gently.

Using a cookie dough scooper or a 1/4 measuring cup, place cheesecake batter on top of each Oreo, if using. Bake the cheesecakes at 275 degrees for 30 minutes. Once they’re done baking, chill them in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sausage Egg Breakfast Cups

I saw this recipe for Crescent Sausage Egg and Cheese Bake on Cassie Craves and I knew I wanted to try it. It is super simple so that was just an added bonus. It has eggs, sausage, cream cheese, and crescents, whats not to love about it. The original recipes calls for making into a casserole which I intended on doing but I didn't have enough crescent rolls so I improvised and made muffins. These turned out awesome and were really good. I will be making these again and trying different variations like ham or bacon.

Sausage Egg Breakfast Cups
adapted from Cassie Craves

8 servings, 4 WW points per serving

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1 roll reduced fat crescent rolls
1 cup Egg Beaters
1 cup Jimmy Dean Turkey Sausage Crumbles
4 0z fat free cream cheese
2/3 cup Weight Watchers Mexican shredded cheese

Pre-heat oven to 350

Unroll the crescent roll tube. In a muffin pan place a crescent in each well. You will have eight. With your fingers stretch the dough up the sides of the well and so that you have some dough hanging out. Set the pan aside. Heat a skillet and spray with cooking spray. Cook the Egg Beaters until scrambled. Once done add the cream cheese and melt. Add the sausage crumbles and stir well with the eggs and cream cheese. Add the shredded cheese and melt. Take off heat. Place heaping tablespoon full of the sausage mixture into each crescent. Once all of the sausage mixture is divided between the eight crescent rolls then close each muffin up. Take the dough that was over lapping on top and seal up over the sausage mixture. Place pan in oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until crescents are cooked through. Enjoy.

Weekly Weigh In: Week Twelve

This week I lost 1.3 making my total 9.8. I'm almost back to the 10 I lost a few weeks ago. Slow and steady wins the race. That will be my mantra. Next week when I weigh I will be in Arizona seeing those two people and the rest of their clan. But that little guy isn't so little anymore. He's walking and talking and from what I'm told being a typical little boy. That picture was from December 2010 when he was almost 3 months old. That's my sweet little Noah who I guess at times isn't always very sweet. I need to make sure I take lots of pictures. He's growing up so fast. I can't wait to them.

This was end of September early October 2011 right after his first birthday. His first trip to Indiana. He's grown so much even from then.

Cheesy Chicken and Rice

I really should look into a photography class. I just point and shoot and hope for the best. As you can see this is an ooey gooey cheesy ricey yummy dinner that really didn't pose well for the camera. This meal was great just the way it was but I thought it would have been fabulous with the addition of bacon or for a Mexican flair some cilantro and salsa. You really could add what you wanted to this and it would taste great. I found this recipe on Cassie Craves. She is quickly becoming one of my favorite sites. I have a few other recipes to share that I snagged from her. I'm sure I will snag several more. The best part is you cook this in your crock pot. Easy week night meal.

Cheesy Chicken and Rice
adapted from Cassie Craves

6, 1 cup servings, 9 WW points per serving

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2 to 3 boneless chicken breasts
2 to 3 tablespoons light butter
1 medium onion, diced
1, 10.5 oz can 98% fat free cream of chicken soup
1 cup fat free sour cream
2/3 cup Weight Watchers shredded Mexican cheese or reduced fat shredded cheese
1, 15 0z can whole kernel corn, drained
1, 8 oz box Zatarain's Yellow Rice Mix, cooked according to the package directions

Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of the slow cooker. Top each breast with a tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle with onion. In a bowl mix together the cream of chicken soup and sour cream. Pour over the chicken. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or high 3 to 4 hours. A few minutes before serving stir in cooked rice, corn, and cheese. Stir to combine. Serve hot.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Weekly Weigh In: Week Eleven

Losing weight really is all in your head. You have to be mentally ready to make a lifestyle change or you won't succeed. I got back on track this week and lost 1.5 so my total is 8.5. Yeah! 1.5 away from being back to 10. The library started a Wellness program. It isn't about losing weight it's just about getting healthy and being well. I think it is a fun idea and a fun way to keep me on track. It started yesterday and will go until August. After the 5 months the top three staff members that participated that have the most points will win prizes with one prize being a day off with pay. There are several ways you can earn points, and one of them is by making healthy foods to share with your co-workers. I can do that. So bring on the wellness.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

When I saw these on Life as a Lofthouse's blog I knew I wanted to try them. I love pancakes, and I love cinnamon rolls. The idea of combining them sounded great and I knew I wanted to try and make them WW friendly. Let me tell you these ended up being a labor of love. But after taking that first bite oh so worth it. They tasted so yummy. Now I know not what to do so next time everything will go smoother.

To make these less fattening I decided to use light stick butter for the cinnamon filling. I have cinnamon sugar already made up for when I make cinnamon toast so I didn't use the brown sugar that the recipe called for. What ended up happening was that when I melted the butter it never set up like it was supposed to and you can't make the swirl with runny butter. It just goes all over the pan and makes a mess. But I'm not a quitter and I was determined to make these pancakes so I added more cold butter to the liquid mixture and smooshed it together and then drained off what didn't incorporate. That made the cinnamon mixture thick enough to keep the swirl on the pancake. Next time I will only melt the butter slightly, just enough to mix in the cinnamon sugar. I didn't make the cream cheese glaze because by the time I got these pancakes made I was starving but next time I think I might because I'm sure the glaze would put these over the top.

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
adapted from Life as a Lofthouse

14 pancakes, 4 WW points per serving

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For the Cinnamon Filling (You want to make this first so it sets up while you make the pancake batter):

1 stick light butter, melted for no more than 20 seconds
6 tsp. cinnamon sugar
6 tsp. sugar
1 or 2 T cinnamon depending on how cinnamony you want it

Mix the butter and the cinnamon and sugar together. Place in a zip lock bag. Snip a small hole in one of the corners. Set aside.

For the Pancakes:

I used Heart Smart Bisquick mix, you can make your favorite pancake batter it will just change the point value.

2 cups Bisquick mix
1 1/4 cups fat free milk
1 egg

Mix all of the above ingredients together.

Heat a skillet and spray with cooking spray. Pour a 1/4 cup of batter onto the skillet. I can fit two pancakes on my skillet. Take the butter mix and make a swirl on each pancake. Let the pancake cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip carefully and cook on the other side. Repeat with remaining batter. You should be able to make 14 pancakes total.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Chicken Bacon Ranch Foil Packets

I had planned on making this meal on Wednesday but it got pushed to Thursday. Wednesday just ended up being a really weird day. I normally work late on Wednesdays but it was that time of year again where all of us LCPL employees had to get together at the unGodly hour of 8am for a staff meeting. So I rolled out of bed around 7:20ish, thankfully the meeting was at the Lake Station library only 5 minutes away. The meeting was for an hour. I came home crawled back in bed for about an hour or so and had to be at the doctor at 11:15. I got some not so great news at the doctor's office but since this is a food blog I won't mention it. I'm trying not to worry about this news because nothing is confirmed yet. I have to go to a specialist and maybe have a test done. After the doctor's visit I went to lunch with my Aunt Faye which I do every Wednesday. I look forward to my Wednesday lunches with Aunt Faye. We aren't phone people so this way we get to see and talk to each other regularly. I got home around 2 and then I took another nap until 4:30 when I had to get up and get ready to be at work by 5. Once again I'm grateful that I live only 5/10 minutes from work. I just didn't give myself time to get this meal ready for Will to put in the oven that day. He had leftover soup to eat so he didn't go hungry. I ended up making this the next day.

This was really yummy and so easy to put together. I made a few substitutions and everything turned out great. I made only enough for two. The recipe called for fresh broccoli, I used frozen. It called for cooked bacon, I used raw. I added the cheese and ranch towards the end of the cooking process. Everything cooked up fine and like I said it tasted great. I think the cheese and ranch really put this over the top. I will be making this again.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Foil Packets
from Cassie Craves

2 servings, 12 WW points per serving

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2 chicken breasts, thawed
2 slices turkey bacon
1 cup chicken flavored stuffing
1/2 cup water
2 cups broccoli florets, frozen
2/3 cup low fat cheese (I used WW Mexican Shredded Cheese)
2 T low fat Ranch dressing

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees

Rip out two big pieces of foil and lay flat on the counter. Top each piece of foil with a chicken breast. Take one slice of bacon and cut it up into pieces and sprinkle it onto a piece of chicken. Repeat with the other slice of bacon. In a bowl mix together the stuffing and water. Place 1/2 cup of the stuffing onto one of the chicken breasts. Place the remaining stuffing onto the other chicken breast. Place 1 cup of the broccoli florets onto one of the foil packets. Place the remaining broccoli onto the other foil packets. Take one foil packet and bring up the sides to seal. Repeat with the remaining foil packet. Place both on a cookie sheet and cook for 30 minutes. Take out of the oven. Carefully open the packets and sprinkle each with 1/3 cup cheese and drizzle with 1 tablespoon ranch dressing. Reseal packets and place back in oven for 10 minutes. Once done enjoy the cheesy goodness!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Italian Sausage Cheese Tortellini Soup

I wanted a bowl of soup with Italian sausage and cheese tortellini so I essentially made Zuppa Toscana and substituted the potatoes for cheese tortellini. This turned out really good. Cheese tortellini and Italian sausage go really good together.

Italian Sausage Cheese Tortellini Soup

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14, 1 cup servings 5 WW points per servings

1 lb. Perdue Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage Links
1 1/2 ts. red pepper flakes
1 large onion, diced
2 Tb. real bacon bits or turkey bacon
2 ts. minced garlic
10 cups water
5 chicken bouillon cubes, low sodium
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups whole wheat cheese tortellini
1/4 bunch kale, chopped

Take each sausage link and remove the casing. Discard casings and place the loose sausage, onions, garlic, and bacon bits into a skillet. Cook the sausage mixture, breaking up the sausage as it cooks, until the sausage is cooked through. Drain the meat mixture.

Place in a dutch oven. Add the 10 cups water and 5 chicken bouillon cubes. Bring to gentle boil. Add the wheat cheese tortellini and cook for 7 minutes. In the last 3 minutes of cooking the tortellini add the kale and heavy cream. Serve with garlic bread sticks.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Weekly Weigh In: Week Ten and a Meal Plan

It's amazing how much damage two days of eating crappy can do to a person. In two days I gained 2.9 pounds. On Saturday when I weighed myself I was staying the same. I should have stayed strong and stuck to eating healthy but I was having an emotional day and I had Mcdonald's and pizza. Sunday didn't fair much better. I got back into the swing of things on Monday but the damage had been done. It is hard to pick yourself back up from beating yourself down. I felt like utter crap on Monday morning. I had terrible heartburn and my stomach hurt really bad. I really shouldn't do this to myself. It isn't worth it. Now instead of having lost 10 pounds, I have only lost 7. In the past three weeks I have jerked myself around. In the beginning I had thought about not posting my weight loss journey on here but I needed to hold myself accountable and it isn't always smooth sailing. To help me this week I have created a meal plan.

Monday/Tuesday: Turkey Italian Sausage Cheese Tortellini Soup (Recipe to Come)
Wednesday: Chicken Broccoli Bacon Ranch Foil Packets (Recipe to Come)
Thursday: Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken and Rice (Recipe to Come)
Friday: Unstuffed Bell Peppers (Recipe to Come)
Saturday: Eat Out
Sunday: Crescent Sausage Egg and Cheese Bake (Recipe to Come)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Weekly Weigh In: Week Nine

Week Nine I lost .1. Not great but at least it wasn't a gain. I have to admit I'm struggling a little bit. I just haven't felt well lately, which isn't anything new with me. I have had everyday headaches since last April. The medicine worked for a few months but has stopped working since last November. My doctor even upped my dosage. I started going to a Chiropractor and that has helped but it isn't a cure. I just wish they could find the cause. Thankfully I don't have an aneurysm or tumors which is great but a headache every day isn't normal. It gets frustrating to wake up ever day and not feel good or to wake up and my head hurts so bad I can't go to work. Something needs to give. I haven't been cooking very much lately which doesn't help with my weight loss. I need to hang in there and not give up.

Some yummy items that I think will help are:

Better N Peanut Butter: I always seem to crave peanut butter when I'm trying to lose weight and peanut butter is high in points. Better N Peanut Butter is only 1 point per Tablespoon and it is really yummy. A little sweeter then regular peanut butter but it spreads really well which is a plus.

VitaTop Muffins: I found some at Strack and Van Til. You can order then online. These aren't cheap but so far I have tried the Banana Nut Muffins and Deep Chocolate and I really like the Deep Chocolate. The Banana Nut are good but I'm leaning toward liking the Deep Chocolate more. I think I might order some online.

Food Warning:

Whipped Peanut Butter Spread: This stuff was down right nasty. I bought it because it was 0 calories, 0 fat, 0 sugar and everything else. I thought I would give it a go. It was bad.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Miss You Cupcakes

The staff around Hobart library is a-changing. We had a retirement, a promotion, and two new additions. For the retirement I made we will miss you cupcakes. She told me I could make what I wanted. That's always fun for me. To make it easy I made vanilla cupcakes and spruced them up, Oreo and Cherry. I'm excited because I think I finally found my butter cream recipe.

For the Oreo cupcakes I was able to use up some crushed Oreo pie crust I had. The cherry cupcakes didn't turn out quite like I wanted them too but they tasted yummy.

For the cupcakes:

Prepare a box of vanilla cake mix according to the package directions.

Cherry Cupcakes
a Lacey creation

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From the cupcake batter above bake 12 cupcakes according to the package directions.

Buttercream Icing
from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

This recipe only frosts 12 cupcakes decoratively, 24 normally.

2 sticks butter, softened
2 T milk
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
2 T corn syrup

In a bowl of a stand mixer place the butter, milk, and vanilla. Mix on low speed until it just starts to come together, for about a minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Increase to medium low speed and beat for about another minute. At this point it should almost be combined with a little liquid still at the bottom. Increase mixer speed to medium high and beat for another minute. When you butter looks whipped you are ready to add your powdered sugar. Add the 4 cups of powdered sugar and beat on low until the sugar is barely incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bow, and increase the speed slowly to medium. Beat for a bout a minute. At this point you want to check the consistency. If the frosting is to thick you want to add a tablespoon or two of corn syrup. Beat for 30 seconds. Thick frosting works good for decorating but not frosting. Once the frosting is at the consistency you want to beat it on medium high for a minute to make the frosting nice and fluffy.

To make it cherry I added a 1/4 cup of cherry pie filling. I think I should have added the filling to the butter first. When it added it last it made the butter separate. It tasted good but it wasn't as pretty as I thought it would be.

Oreo Cupcakes
a Lacey creation

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Using the rest of the cupcake batter add 1/4 cup of crushed Oreos. bake 12 cupcakes according to the package directions.

Oreo Frosting

This recipe only frosts 12 cupcakes decoratively, 24 normally.

2 sticks butter, softened
2 T milk
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
2 T corn syrup

In a bowl of a stand mixer place the butter, milk, and vanilla. Mix on low speed until it just starts to come together, for about a minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Increase to medium low speed and beat for about another minute. At this point it should almost be combined with a little liquid still at the bottom. Increase mixer speed to medium high and beat for another minute. When you butter looks whipped you are ready to add your powdered sugar. Add the 4 cups of powdered sugar and beat on low until the sugar is barely incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bow, and increase the speed slowly to medium. Beat for a bout a minute. At this point you want to check the consistency. If the frosting is to thick you want to add a tablespoon or two of corn syrup. Beat for 30 seconds. Thick frosting works good for decorating but not frosting. Once the frosting is at the consistency you want to beat it on medium high for a minute to make the frosting nice and fluffy.

Add 1/2 cup of crushed Oreo's to the frosting. I used a piping bag with a star tip to frost the cupcakes. Even though the Oreo's were crushed finely they were getting stuck in the tip. I may need a bigger star tip. Top off each cupcake with a mini Oreo.

Chicken Alfredo Egg Rolls

I am having way to much with egg roll wrappers. I decided to throw together a delicious chicken Alfredo filling and put in an egg roll wrapper. I'm not a huge fan of jarred Alfredo sauce but when we were at Sam's Club the day before Super Bowl they had samples and I was able to try Bertolli's and it isn't so bad. Pair it with Tyson's cooked diced chicken and other yummy stuff and you have yourself a 30 minute meal.

Chicken Alfredo Egg Rolls
a Lacey creation

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10 egg rolls, 5 WW points per egg rolls

10 egg rolls
1 jar of Bertolli Alfredo sauce
2/3 cup mozzarella
2 T Parmesan
2 bags Tyson diced chicken

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

In a bowl mix together the Alfredo sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan, and chicken. Take an egg roll and spread 1/4 cup of the mixture on it. Roll up the egg roll and place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the rolls. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Weekly Weigh In: Week Eight

This week wasn't a great weight in for me. I gained .8. I have nothing to blame but myself. I had pizza twice last week and Don Pablo's plus ice cream. I knew when I went to Don Pablo's I would gain but I really wanted it, so I went with my want. With this weight gain I could give up but I'm not going to. This is a slight set back but I will get it off next week.

Oatmeal Cookies with Coffee Icing

This month at the library we discussed The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen. Ms. Allen wove a tale of mystery, romance, and magic. I enjoyed it but the ladies thought it was better suited for a younger crowd. That is probably why I liked it. I'm the youngest in the crowd. In the book there were coffee infused treats and these oatmeal cookies were one of them. I found the recipe on the authors website and she got it from Salad in a Jar.

These cookies are great. They are soft, slightly crisp around the edges, and a little chewy. They have great flavor. I'm not a huge fan of oatmeal cookies and I loved them.

Oatmeal Cookies with Coffee Icing
adapted from Salad in a Jar

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1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups old fashioned oats
(the original recipe says to use quick cooking oats but I didn't have any on hand and I think that the old fashioned oats worked out fine)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Whip butter until smooth and creamy. Add sugar and continue beating until well mixed. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Whisk together flour, cinnamon and baking soda. Add to butter mixture. Stir in oats. Drop onto cookie sheet by teaspoonfuls. I used my silicone baking mat on my cookie sheet and my medium sized cookie scoop. They spread a good bit so leave plenty of room. The original recipe says to cook for 6-8 minutes but mine took 10-12.

Coffee Flavored Powdered Sugar Glaze
Mix 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons black coffee (or milk if you prefer) and mix until smooth. You may need to add more liquid to make glaze spreadable.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Pizza Egg Rolls

I, Lacey Klemm, am a Pinterest addict. It has been one day since I have pinned. I love that site and I probably shouldn't have taken that first step to becoming a member because I really am obsessed. One of the yummy pins I saw was a pizza cone. I only ever see those when I'm at fairs or the Taste of Chicago. I got to thinking, how could I make a WW friendly pizza cone. I immediately thought of using wonton wrappers, but they are so small. I didn't want to have to make 50 pizza cones. :) So the next best thing was egg roll wrappers. I just couldn't think of how to keep the cone shape. Trying to make a cone shape with a thin egg roll wrapper is hard. The picture to the left was my one and only attempt. After the first one I just decided to make pizza egg rolls. They reminded me of pizza pockets. I think these are awesome and at 3 points apiece I'm in pizza heaven.

Pizza Egg Rolls
A Lacey Creation

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8 servings, 3 WW points per serving

8 egg roll wrappers
1/2 cup pizza sauce (I really like Mids)
8 Weight Watcher string cheeses
chopped green pepper, onion, mushrooms
pepperoni or sausage (count points accordingly)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread about a tablespoon of pizza sauce on an egg roll wrapper. Place a whole string cheese down the middle of the wrapper, or you can cut up the cheese and spread it over the wrapper. Place about a 1/4 cup of the veggies on top and roll up the wrapper like an egg roll. Place it on a baking sheet and repeat with the other wrappers. Spray the rolls with cooking spray and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melted. Enjoy!

Fake Shakes

I love Dashing Dish food website. The author Katie just knows what us foodies that are trying to lose weight and stay healthy are craving. She had me with these I Can't Believe It's Not Milkshakes. I have a terrible sweet tooth. I always have. Ice cream is one of my top favorite sweet treats. I think that these fake shakes are really good and the secret ingredient is cottage cheese. No, your eyes are not deceiving you. You read that right, cottage cheese. It makes these shakes nice and thick and you can't taste the cottage cheese, I promise. If you really don't like cottage cheese you can use yogurt. Katie has some awesome shake recipes but you can really put anything you want in them. One of the ingredients is protein powder but I have omitted the protein powder and still enjoyed the shakes.

The top picture is Frozen Hot Chocolate and the picture below has blueberries, strawberries, and chocolate syrup.

Both were very yummy. I have made just regular chocolate shakes, coffee mocha shakes, Oreo cookie shakes and I have many other combinations running in my head. You get that whole big glass for around 7 points or less depending on what you put in it. I'm in love.

Fake Shakes
adapted from Dashing Dish

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Point values depend on what you put in it

1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese
1 scoop (120 or less calories) protein powder any flavor
1 tray ice
1/2 cup water or coffee
add ins of choice (fruit, diet hot chocolate, sugar free syrups, crushed cookies)

Add cottage cheese, protein powder, ice, water/coffee, and add ins into the blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy.