Jan 26, 2011


Beef Stew is a hearty Winter dish that pretty much everyone likes. And if you are a busy mom (who isn't?) or a working mom with a crock pot, this recipe is a God send. You will need: Beef chunk stew meat (I used 2 lb), a bag of carrots, frozen whole potatoes, and a half of an onion. The veggies can vary, if you want celery you can add that as well. Some store have bags of frozen stew veggies too, to make it a little easier.
Not a lot of pics of this one, since it is just a crock pot deal. But here are the steps:
1. Sprinkle meat with flour (to lightly coat) and some salt and pepper.
2. Place a little bit of oil in a pan and very lightly brown the meat on the outside.
3. Place meat in the bottom of the crock pot.
4. Peel and cut of 4 raw carrots, cut 1/2 of an onion into large slices.
5. Place small whole potatoes in the pot on top of the meat, then carrots, then onions.
6. Take two teaspoons of Beef bouillon or 2 cubes or two small cans of beef stock and poor it over the meat and veggies.
7. Add a cup of water and a McCormick Beef Stew Seasoning packet.
8. Mix and cover with lid.
Allow this to cook for 5 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low. When done the meat will be very tender and the veggies will be Al dente'.
I serve over egg noodles and put Parmesan on top. With some nice crusty bread, this is a perfect Winter meal! Enjoy!

Healthy Low-Fat Pumpkin Muffins

This is a super L/F, healthy and quick version of Pumpkin Muffins. They are 2 points on the Weight Watchers system and they are great for kids who don't eat veggies, because there is an entire can of pumpkin in them! You can add in nuts or choc chips if desired, but keep in mind that that would change your WW points value. Enjoy

First you will need a box of Spice Cake Mix (any brand will do)

Then you need one small can of pure Pumpkin

Mix the Pumpkin and the cake mix together with one cup of water. (DO NOT add other ingredients listed on the cake box) the oil from the pumpkin takes the place of the oil you would use in the cake.

Next, you will spray your muffin tins with non-stick spray or use paper muffin cups. I use a 1/4 measuring cup anytime I make muffins or cupcakes for nice full size muffins. Then, bake according to directions on the box. Keep in mind that ovens vary in temp. I just stick a knife in mine, when it comes out clean, they are done! Super yummy and th kids will love them too!

Jan 1, 2011

New Years Morning Cinnamon Buns

(1/4 ounce) active dry yeast (I use
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 large egg
3 3/4 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter , softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts , optional
4 ounces cream cheese , softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of the sugar over the warm water in a large mixing bowl; let stand until foamy on top,about  5 to 7 minutes.

 In a small bowl, microwave the milk and butter until warm, 40 to 50 seconds (105° to 115°). Add the milk and butter mixture, the remaining sugar, and the egg to the mixing bowl. Add the flour, about 1 cup at a time (adding the last 1/4 cup flour if necessary), and salt and mix (5 minutes if using a dough hook, 10 minutes if kneading by hand) until firm but soft.

 The dough should gently spring back when poked. Do not over knead. Place the dough in a buttered bowl; cover with plastic wrap and let rise 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts until fluffy. On a lightly floured surface, press or roll the dough into a rectangle, about 17"x14". Spread the filling evenly to all edges, leaving a 1/2-inch border along one of the long edges of the dough.

Roll up the filling-covered dough, starting with the side opposite the edge with the border. When almost finished rolling, slightly dampen the uncovered edge with water; crimp firmly to seal. (Roll will stretch to 22"x3".) Using a serrated knife, cut crosswise into 12 thick slices.

 Line a large jellyroll pan with parchment paper. Transfer the buns to the pan, spacing evenly. Cover lightly with a towel and let stand 30 to 45 minutes, until buns are slightly puffed (not doubled).
After the buns have had a chance to rise again - Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden.

In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Remove buns from the oven and allow to cool just 5 minutes, then frost.

Your finished product should look a little something like this:

*** This recipe was tested from a recipe that was posted on Oprah's website, follow this link to see the original! ***

No Bake 7 Layer Mexican Dip

1 can of refried beans (I use Old El Paso Fat Free Refried Beans)
1 Tbsp taco seasoning mix
1 cup light sour cream
1 cup salsa
1 cup shredded taco cheese (I use Sargento® Fancy Shredded 4 Cheese Mexican Cheese )
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup Black Beans (drained)
2 Tbsp chopped black olives

(I am not giving step by step pictures on this recipe, because it's just so easy to make, be creative and make it your own!)

Mix the refried beans and taco seasoning together well, then spread into your favorite serving dish (ideal to use a 9 inch pie dish).

Layer the remaining ingredients in any order you want on top of the bean mixture. When youare finished, cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refridgerate for several hours or until well chilled.

Serve with quality tortilla chips - we prefer Blue Tortilla Chips (such as Garden of Eatin).

Your finished product should like something like this: