Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Date Night--March 27, 2013

Okay, I'm a little embarrassed.  I knew that I had made the Korean Style Flank Steak before, I just didn't remember that it was the last date night I posted.  Whoops!  We really liked it and I'm making it again. (See the post 3/14/13 for the recipe.)  This time I marinated it from last night--the flavor should be very intense.

So we've covered the Main Course.

Once again (sorry), we're having shrimp cocktail for our appetizer.  It' so tasty!

As for beverages,   I'm having a 0 pt fizzy lemon/limeade thingy for the cocktail portion of the evening.  I'll make my love a gin gimlet.  He'll be happy.

Side dishes--well the beef gets served with a salad and I think I'll make some broccoli, too.  I have potato innards that I'll mash for Josh.  He'll be happy and I'll get space back in my fridge and a gain another container.

The best part of the evening's meal will be dessert.

Chocolate Chip Cannoli Cups
Source: inspired by Gimme Some Oven

15 Frozen Mini Phyllo Shells (I used Athens brand)
2 oz Marscapone cheese (I used BelGioso brand)
2/3 cup fat free Ricotta cheese
3 T powdered sugar
¼ t vanilla
A pinch of cinnamon (a little goes a long way!)
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips, divided

1.    Place phyllo shells* on the counter to thaw for at least 10-15 minutes.
2.    In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the marscapone, ricotta, powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon and stir together until thoroughly mixed. Reserve a small pile of the chocolate chips for topping and stir the remainder into the cheese mixture.
3.    Spoon the filling evenly between all the phyllo shells. Sprinkle reserved chocolate chips over the tops and serve. *I recommend you only defrost/fill as many as you plan to eat at once so that the shells stay crispy.

Yields 15 cups. WW P+: 2 per cup (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on
Nutrition Information per cup from 63 calories, 7 g carbs, 3 g fat, 2 g protein, 0 g fiber

Don't they just look so cute and tasty?!  I've been waiting to make these for a week now.

Having just said that, I gots to go.  I've got potatoes to mash, cocktail sauce to make, and canonoli cups to assemble.

happy cooking!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Date Night--March 13, 2013

It's Wednesday.  That's always a happy day in this house.  And right now, it smells of sugar and spice.  Not just because I'm "a little girl"  (thanks to WW and exercise, getting "littler" by the day--down 15.5 lbs!!), but because I've already made dessert--Cinnamon Buns.

That seems like a good place to begin...


Recipe Renovation: Cinnamon Buns

Cinnamon Buns
Weight Watchers Recipe
4 Stars
Ratings (11) Rate it
4PointsPlus Value
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 30 min
Other time: 0 min
Serves: 12
These cinnamon buns take some time to make, but most of that time is in the rising, and the result is spectacular.



  • Stir together milk, vegetable oil, sugar and salt in a small saucepan. Heat to lukewarm. Pour yeast over 2 tablespoons lukewarm water and let sit 5 minutes. Stir into milk mixture.
  • Transfer warm milk to a large mixing bowl and beat in half the flour by hand or with an electric mixer. Mix in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Let rest 10 minutes; knead well on a floured board or with an electric mixer and dough hook; let rest 10 minutes.
  • Spray a large, clean bowl with cooking spray, add dough, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Lightly coat a 9-inch round baking pan with cooking spray. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and roll into a 12 x 10-inch rectangle. Spray with cooking spray.
  • Stir together brown sugar, corn syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange zest; brush over dough. Sprinkle with raisins. Roll up tightly, like a jelly roll. Cut into 12 pieces.
  • Place buns cut-side up in baking pan. Cover with plastic and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake buns until firm and nicely browned on top, 30 minutes. Cool completely before inverting onto a serving plate.
 Adjustments I made--I only had light corn syrup and not as much as the recipe called for;  I topped it off with Molasses.  I had way too much dough so I made 6 more without craisins as Josh doesn't think that fruit or nuts belong in a cinnamon bun.  Please school him when you see him.

Main Course

Korean-Style Grilled Flank Steak

Korean Style Grilled Flank Steak
Weight Watchers Recipe
4 Stars
Ratings (38) Rate it
4PointsPlus Value
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 18 min
Other time: 0 min
Serves: 6
Lean, flavorful flank steak does not have to be a grilling-season-only dinner. Indoor grill pans simulate the taste of outdoor cooking with no added fat.



  • Put flank steak into a shallow glass or ceramic dish.
  • To make marinade, combine garlic through to sesame oil in a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Pour half the marinade over flank steak, turn over to coat both sides, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. Refrigerate remaining marinade as well.
  • Prepare coals for grill.
  • Grill flank steak for 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Set on a cutting board to rest while you finish salad.
  • Put remaining marinade into a small saucepan and add 3 tablespoons water. Bring to a simmer over very low heat and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, toss watercress, scallions and carrot with warm marinade.
  • Slice flank steak into thin strips. Pour any juice from meat over salad and toss it in. Serve flank slices alongside salad. 
No real changes to this recipe...I did use the entire marinade recipe as a marinade for the beef.  Then I made more--it just smelled soooo good.  Oh, and I thought it would go nicely over the broccoli that I'm going to roast and the barley/brown rice that we'll be having also.  If you're keeping track the rice is 4 points and the broccoli is 0.


Shrimp cocktail.  No real recipe here.  It tracks at 2 points.


I'm wavering here.  If I have a cocktail before dinner, it will be a Martini (with a twist).  If I want wine with dinner (4 pts for 5 oz) then I will have an after dinner nip (4 pts for 1.5 oz) or I could have a Brandy Alexander with dessert.  I just don't know.  What do you think?

So that brings this week's installment to a close.

happy cooking

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Date Night--March 5, 2013

It's Italian!

Cheese sticks.  That's right...those ooey gooey breaded cheese sticks. has a yummy recipe.  (2 pts)

Skinny Baked Mozzarella Sticks
Servings: 12 • Serving Size: 2 pieces • Old Points: 1 pts • Points+: 2 pts*
Calories: 86.8* • Fat: 4.8 g • Protein: 7.4 g • Carb: 3.5 g • Fiber: 0.2 g • Sugar: 0.2
Sodium: 168.6
  • 12 sticks part-skim, reduced sodium mozzarella string cheese (Sargento)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 5 tbsp Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 5 tbsp panko crumbs
  • 2 tsp parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • olive oil cooking spray (I used my misto)

Directions:Cut cheese in half to give you 24 pieces. Place cheese in the freezer until cheese is frozen.
In small bowl, whisk the egg. Place the flour on another small dish. In separate bowl, combine bread crumbs, panko, parmesan cheese and dried parsley. Dip the frozen sticks in flour, shaking off excess, then into the egg, then coat with the crumbs. Repeat this process with the remaining cheese placing them on a tray with wax paper. Place cheese back into the freezer until ready to bake (this is a must or they will melt before the crumbs get golden).When ready to bake preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with oil.
Place frozen cheese sticks on baking sheet. Spray the tops of the mozzarella sticks with a little more oil and bake in the bottom third of your oven until crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and bake an additional 4 - 5 minutes watching them closely so they don't melt.Makes 24 pieces.
* There will be extra crumbs and flour after breading, I've deducted them from the nutritional info.

 I've made these before and didn't freeze them long enough.  I learned my lesson.  I'll be making these early in the day and baking them just before Josh gets home.

 This tracks at 7 points.  I will also serve a spinach/argula salad.  The dressing will be 1 point. I actually have some of my homemade tomato sauce on hand.  That is probably what I'll use instead of the diced tomatoes (or maybe in addition to).

Penne with Peppers and Sausage

Image of pasta with sausage and peppers
Weight Watchers Recipe
4.5 Stars
Ratings (560) Rate it
7PointsPlus Value
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 20 min
Other time: 0 min
Serves: 6
This recipe is full of tasty stuff: spicy sausage, sauteed vegetables and Parmesan cheese. Use the sausage mixture as a sandwich, omelet or baked potato filling.



    • Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set pan over medium-high heat. Add green pepper, garlic, onion and mushrooms; cook, stirring frequently, until almost tender, about 7 to 8 minutes.
    • Remove turkey from casings; add turkey to skillet and brown until no longer pink, stirring occasionally, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks, about 6 minutes. Add oregano, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes; stir in tomatoes. Simmer until heated through and to allow flavors to blend, about 5 minutes.
    • Spoon penne into a deep serving bowl; top with sausage mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.


    This is something I know I will love and it will be great to have the leftovers around.  Josh will probably opt for ice cream.  That's fine by me...more later in the week.  :-)

    Cinnamon Apple Crisps

    Cinnamon Apple Crisps
    Weight Watchers Recipe
    4.5 Stars
    Ratings (64) Rate it
    1PointsPlus Value
    Prep time: 15 min
    Cook time: 120 min
    Other time: 0 min
    Serves: 4
    Put these tasty treats in a bag and go. Easy fruit on the run!



    • Preheat oven to 200°F.
    • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (not wax paper). Place apple slices in a single layer on paper; sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
    • Bake until lightly browned, about 2 hours. Cool on wire rack and serve.
    I've been nursing a sore throat, so I think I may have a Bloody Mary.  There's something about the bloody mary mix (or in my case...Spicy V8, worcesteshire, lemon juice and  few dashes for tobasco) that just soothes the scratchiness of my throat.  Plus, that drink points out at around 5 points (compared to 10 for other cocktails).    Josh may want a gimlet.  I'll ask him.
    So those are my dinner plans for tonight.  How 'bout you?
    happy cooking