Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Its that time of year again....Jesus Promise Time

So. This year I have decided to give up Hot Chocolate. This may not seem like a big thing, but it is, becuse everyday at 2:00 I have a sugar free hot chocolate with a weight watchers cookie, and then before I go to bed I have another one with whipped cream. So I'm giving up something that I enjoy twice a day. This is made even more difficult by the fact that work has just stocked the supply of hot cocoa...bastards.

CB gave up what he always gives up. Dessert. So don't come here for dessert for the next 6 weeks cuz there ain't gonna be any. What there will be is bread/muffins/scones etc because CB made it abundantly clear that those, although tasty and sweet are in no way desserts.

So, the other day I made a variation of my Nana's Date Nut Bread. Where hers was made with eggs and shortening, I made mine without eggs and with applesauce as a substitute for the shortening. Sweet God in Heaven it was so damn was so good we ate the whole loaf before taking a picture. I'm sorry...its was gone in like a day and a half. That kind of good.

Here is the recipe. Remember it's vegan so it won't rise like your typical quick bread. If you maybe use baking powder it would, but I didn't. I will however make this recipe again soon and use baking powder to see if I can get a rise out of it...ha, get it, rise out of..oh forget it.

Here's the recipe
Vegan Date Nut Bread
adapted from my Nana.

3/4 C chopped walnuts
1 C chopped dates (not dried)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 applesauce (Nana used shortening)
3/4 C boiling water
2 EnerG Egg Replacer (Nana just used two eggs)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 C sugar
1 1/2 C flour

Combine nuts, dates, b. soda and salt in bowl. Add applesauce (or shortening) and water., let stand 15 minutes. Stir to blend.

Beat eggs slightly, add vanilla, stir in sugar and flour. Add to date mixture.

Pour into greased loaf pan and bake at 350 for one hour.

Rating = So Damn Good (so good you didn't even get a pic - that damn good)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup | WW 0pts

I take the commuter rail to work, via north station. There is a bar in the commuter area so that should your train be late or for whatever reason you need a drink before you go home you can grab one there. When CB and I take the same train home together we meet at the entrance to the bar, same spot every time. Yesterday as I was waiting at the entrance I noticed that there was a woman on a bar stool who was either severely inebriated or doing a really good job of acting like she was. She was slurring her words a little...using her outside voice instead of her indoor know the tell tale signs. But, she pulled out a new one. A new sign to tell whether or not someone has had a bit too much to drink. She put her coat on, and as she was leaving...she stopped to say bye to a few friends she had made during the time her arse was warming the bar stool. It was at this point that one of the men she was talking to asked her what was wrong with her coat...I turned to look. The woman had put her coat on upside down. The coat had a hood, the hood draping across her bottom - possibly to serve as a toilet should she not make it to the potty as she stumbled home. She began to laugh, took off her coat and said to the men at the bar..."I'll see you again, I'm here all the time."

I bet you are crazy drunk upside down coat lady. I bet you are.

As my husband says...Good Times

Ok. Now, for zero points and no fat this soup is fanfuckingtastic. Yeah - I used the F word if you don't like it go tell it to the lady with her ass in her hood.

Slow Cooker Soup
Weight Watchers |0 pts

10 oz spinach
2 medium carrots chopped
2 medium celery ribbed chopped
1 large onion chopped
1 medium garlic clove minced
4 C vegetable broth
28 oz canned diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 tbs dried basil
1tbs dried oregano
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Place all ingredients in slow cooker, cover and cook on high for 5 hours.

Remove bay leaves, stir and serve.

Rating = So Damn Good

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Red Cabbage and Onions Braised in Red Wine and Balsamic Vinegar

Well, here's three words I never thought I'd utter. I Love Cabbage.

Along with my goal of making something out of a cookbook every week, I also had it in the back of my mind that I should be more experimental with my food, you know, make things that seem difficult or try an ingredient I've never tried before. Last week I made brussel sprouts...I ate the whole batch before I could photograph them. I'd never made them before - and when I tell you that eating a pound and a half of brussel sprouts will give you gas cramps like someone has just ham fisted you in the gut, I'm not exaggerating. It was awful; more so for CB who had to live with my rump trumpet for days than me, but still - I think moderation would be the word the next time I make brussel sprouts; and then maybe I won't eat them so fast that I don't have time to take a lovely photograph of them to share with you.

So, while in the grocery store the other day I spotted this lovely red cabbage - not knowing what the hell I was going to do with it. All the recipes I looked up seemed to use it in conjunction with then I thought - oh cook it with other things that you love. Onions, check; red wine, check; balsamic vinegar, check - and away we go.

I first sliced the onions thin and put them in a saute pan coated with nonstick spray (I'm still weight watchering it here so no butter or olive oil in the pan for me, but feel free to start with whatever lubricant you like). I added the onions to the pan and sauteed them with a little sea salt and fresh cracked pepper until they were soft and translucent.

I then added the shredded cabbage to the pan, threw in about 1/4 to 1/2 cup red wine and a few splashes of balsamic vinegar (I'm currently using a truffled balsamic which just rocks, but use whatever you have) a little more salt and pepper - then just let it do it's thing in the pan (over med high heat) until the cabbage was nice and soft and all the liquid had been absorbed.

I served it hot (and today I ate it cold on the top of my salad at lunch) and it was fantastic both ways. CB even commented more than once that it was "really good".

And - it's lovely color would be a great addition to your Valentine's Day spread if you you're into that crappy hallmark holiday.

Rating = So Damn Good (and I assume it's 0 WW pts)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

ATK Low Fat Banana Bread | ww 5pts

My cookbook offering this week is this light version of Banana Bread from the America's Test Kitchen Best Light recipes. The point value is the same whether you add the walnuts or leave them out, so go ahead and throw them in there for the healthy fat that they bring to the bread, not to mention the crunch.

This weekend I went to the movies and saw Taken; which I thought was really good. It wasn't Slumdog Millionaire or anything, but I love action movies and this was action packed including two chase scenes...(awesome). The best part was Liam Neeson's character in the movie, he was the unassuming yet super kick-ass, one liner throwing stunt dude.

My favorite line in the movie came when he Liam confronted his ex-wife's new husband and said.

"This is not the time for dick measuring."

Which has cracked me up for days...I keep saying it. CB loves it considering I say it even though I don't have my own dick.

Maybe I should have said it to the nasty knitter on the train on Monday. I think it would have been a stretch though - too out of context. But, the time will come when I will be able to say it in the perfect place at the perfect time...

The bread...I think I cooked it a few minutes too long. It was good, but a little dry, I don't' assume there was fault with the recipe, I think I should have just taken it out of the oven a few minutes earlier. It didn't' stop us from eating the whole thing, so it must not have been that bad.

ATK Light Banana Bread | WW 5pts
Recipe Coming

Monday, February 09, 2009

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies | ww 1pt

I got in an argument with a woman on the train this morning. I got on the commuter rail at 7:15. It was packed. Really packed. There was a group of four women sitting in two facing seats, the women were knitting. I couldn't move past the door of the train, it was just too busy, as it was, I had to lean on the door. I had my work bag with me; it's not an obscene size, but it fits my wallet, a couple magazines, my t-pass - it wouldn't fit a pair of shoes. Apparently while she was knitting - overly flailing her arms as she knit and purled her meaty elbow would hit my bag. The train was so busy I didn't notice, until she told me that my bag was hitting her arm.

Her: "You're bag is hitting my arm."
Me: "Are you upset about this ma'am"
Her: "Yes"
Me: "Well, I think you need to realize that this is a commuter rail, not a knitting club, and if you're girth weren't so zaftig you wouldn't be taking up room in the aisle with your fat elbow."

That shut her up, and made her put away her knitting too.

The lady beside me: "She is such a bitch!"
Me: "Yes, yes she is."

Ahh... the joys of public transportation. Always something.

Did you come here for recipes: Silly rabbit. You know in order to get to the recipe, you have to first read the rant.

Ok. These little pieces of heaven are amazing. Tiny, but packing a huge sweet chocolate satisfying treat. One serving is two cookies, and two is enough.

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies | WW 1 pt
Makes 24 Servings (2 cookies per serving)

2 tbsp butter
2 tsp canola oil
1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1 large egg white
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

In a medium bowl, cream together butter, oil and sugar. Add vanilla, salt and egg white; mix thoroughly to combine.

In a small bowl, mix together flour and baking soda; stir into batter. Add chocolate chips to batter; stir to distribute evenly throughout.

Drop rounded half-teaspoons of dough onto one or two large nonstick baking sheets, leaving a small amount of space between each cookie. Bake cookies until golden around edges, about 4 to 6 minutes; cool on a wire rack. Yields 2 cookies per serving.

Rating = So God Damn Good