Archive for December, 2010

Sausage and Cheese Strata

I plan on making this for Christmas morning brunch.  You put it together the night before, refrigerate overnight, and pop it in the oven the next morning.  Who wants to be cooking Christmas morning?  NOT ME!  I plan on playing all day with my kids!

2 cups fat free milk

2 large eggs

2 egg whites

2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cayenne

1 (8oz) loaf whole wheat French bread, cubed (about 4 cups)

1 (7oz) pkg frozen fully cooked turkey sausage links, thawed and sliced

1/2 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese

Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with nonstick spray.

Whisk together the milk, eggs, eggs whites, parsley, mustard, salt and cayenne in a large bowl.  Stir in the bread and sausage.  Let stand, stirring occasionally, until the bread is moistened, about 10 minutes.  Transfer to the baking dish and spread evenly.  Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400.  Remove the strata from the refrigerator; uncover and let stand 10 minutes.

Sprinkle the strata with the cheese and bake until golden and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Yields 8 servings of 3/4 cup each for 4 pts or 5pts+

Pump up the veggies in this casserole by stirring in 2 (10oz) frozen packages chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry, with the bread and sausage in step 2.


I have been a baking machine this holiday season!  I’ve been trying out all kinds of new cookie recipes.  There have been a few standouts and this is one of them.  They remind me of date balls (which I love).  They are moist, chewy, and delicious.

1 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature *

2 cups packed light brown sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature*

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

3 cups chopped pecans

1 cup raisins, preferably golden

1 cup finely chopped pitted dates

Preheat oven to 300.  Coat the bottom and sides of a large (17×2 inch) baking sheet with cooking spray, then line with parchment paper.  (I just used my stoneware without any spray or paper and it didn’t stick at all)

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.

Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium high speed.  Add eggs one at a time and beat until creamy.  Add vanilla and beat until combined.

Add half the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until well combined.  Add cinnamon and nutmeg; stir until blended into the mixture completely.  Add pecans, raisins, and dates to the rest of the flour mixture.  (coating the dried fruit and nuts helps distribute them in the mix).  Stir the flour coated fruit and nuts into the batter.  Do not overstir.  Evenly spread the batter into the prepared baking pan with a spatula.

Bake for 45 minutes.  Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the sides.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 45 minutes.  Cut into 48 squares.

Each bar is 3 pts.  I couldn’t calculate the pts +.

*to soften butter, place in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds on 30% power.

*to bring an egg to room temperature, set it on the counter for 15 minutes or submerge in a bowl of lukewarm water for 5 minutes.

8 cups sliced zucchini (about 2 1/2 pounds)

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup fat free chicken broth

2 cups cooked rice

1 cup fat free sour cream

1 cup shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese

1/4 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese, divided

1/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine first 3 ingredients in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until tender.  Drain; partially mash with a potato masher.  Combine zucchini mixture, rice, sour cream, Cheddar cheese, 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and eggs in a bowl; stir gently.  Spoon zucchini mixture into a 13×9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Preheat broiler.

Broil 1 minute or until lightly browned.

Yields 8 servings of 1 cup each for 4 pts or 5pts+

I love baked beans.  They bring back great childhood memories of family cookouts in SC.  These were really really good.

1 Tbsp butter

1 1/4 cups chopped onion

3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup ketchup

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp barbecue smoke seasoning (such as Hickory Liquid Smoke)

2 tsp prepared mustard

1 (16oz) can red beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15.8oz) can great northern beans, rinsed and drained

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium high heat.  Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic; saute 4 minutes.  Stir in ketchup and remaining ingredients; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Yields 8 servings of 1/2 cup each for 3 pts or 5pts+

Cream of Chicken Wild rice soup

This is my new favorite chicken soup!  It was super easy, creamy, warm, and comforting.

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, shredded

1 celery rib, chopped

1/4 cup light butter

1/2 cup flour

8 cups fat free chicken broth

3 cups cooked wild rice

1 pound chicken breast, cooked and cubed

S & P to taste

1 cup fat free evaporated milk

In a large pot, saute carrot, onion and celery in butter until tender.  Stir in flour.  Gradually add broth.  Stir in the rice, chicken, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened.  Stir in evaporated milk.  Cook an additional 3-5 minutes.

Makes 10 servings of 1 cup each for 4 pts

Sweet Potato Pie

WOW!  I just took this out of the oven and had a slice.  WOW!  Its wonderful!

2 sweet potatoes

2 Tbsp light butter, softened

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup lowfat milk

2 eggs

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

1 (9 inch) pie crust

Bake sweet potatoes at 350 for one hour.  When cooled, peel the potatoes and put flesh in a bowl and mix with a mixer for about one minute to remove fibers.

Add butter, and mix well.  Mix in sugar, milk, eggs, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla.  Beat on medium speed until smooth.  Pour filling into an unbaked pie crust.

Bake at 350 for 55 to 60 minutes.

Makes 8 servings for 5 ww pts or 7 points +

I made this with our leftover turkey from Thanksgiving.  It was so good it made me want to have leftover turkey every week!  I will use this recipe a lot.

5 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes (I didn’t peel them)

1 Tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil

2 large onions, sliced

1 (8oz) pkg fresh white mushrooms, sliced

2 cups cubed cooked skinless turkey breast

1 (12 oz) can fat free evaporated milk

1/2 cup chicken broth

2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 375.  Spray a 9×13 dish with nonstick spray.

2. Place the potatoes and enough water to cover in a large saucepan; bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are almost tender, about 10 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, heat an extra-large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Swirl in 1 Tbsp of the oil, then add the onions and mushrooms.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes.  Stir in the potatoes, turkey, milk, broth, parsley, and salt.  Spoon the mixture into the baking dish.

4.  Combine the bread crumbs with the remaining 1 tsp oil in a small bowl.  Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the casserole.  Bake, uncovered, until the topping is browned and the filling is hot and bubbly, about 45 minutes.

Makes 12 servings of 3/4 cup each, 3 points or 4 points +

I got this from Kraft foods.  It was very delish!

1 pkg (8 squares) Baker’s semi sweet chocolate

3/4 cup canned sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup peanuts, chopped

1 pkg (6 squares) Baker’s white chocolate

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Microwave semi-sweet chocolate and milk in microwaveable bowl on high 2 minutes or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 1 minute.  Stir until chocolate is completely melted.  Stir in nuts.  Spread onto bottom of foil lined 8 inch square pan.

Microwave white chocolate in separate microwaveable bowl on high 1 1/2 minutes or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 1 minutes.  Stir until chocolate is completely melted.  Add peanut butter; stir until melted.  Spread over semi-sweet chocolate layer.

Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm.  Cut into 25 squares.  Each serving is 3 ww points