Monday, August 18, 2008

Marinated Grilled Shrimp

Sorry, bad picture. I am a bit shrimp obsessed right now, and my mom made these for my birthday dinner. The recipe seems a bit weird, but they were VERY good. I got this recipe from

3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (fresh is important!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and de-veined (26-30 per pound worked well)

In a large bowl, stir together the garlic, olive oil, tomato sauce, and red wine vinegar. Season with basil, salt, and cayenne pepper. Add shrimp to the bowl, and stir until evenly coated. Cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour, stirring once or twice.
Preheat grill for medium heat. Thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head. Discard marinade.
Lightly oil grill grate. Cook shrimp on preheated grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until opaque.

All Bran Muffins

I got done making the banana chocolate chip cookies, and decided to test this recipe that I found on the Munch n' Crunch blog. I was very skeptical because I don't really like low-fat muffins, but I thought that they turned out yummy. They are a bit chewy, as low-fat muffins often are, but the flavor was great. My kids each ate a whole one! The best thing was...the nutritional information shows that they are about 1 1/2 Weight Watcher's points ! (on the old plan) If you like bran muffins, definitely try these! Next time, I'm going to add some small pieces of chopped up apple and a bit more cinnamon just for fun.

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (I used Whole Wheat Pastry Flour)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 TBS baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups of All Bran Cereal (boxed, ready to eat)
1 1/4 cups skim milk
2 egg whites
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl combine All Bran cereal and milk. Let it stand about 2 min or until cereal softens. Add egg whites and applesauce. Beat well. Add flour mixture stirring only until combined. Divide evenly into 12 2 1/2 inch muffin pan cups coated with cooing spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 min or until golden brown. Serve warm. Makes 12 muffins
Nutrition info: 124 calories, 1 gram of fat, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein. (1 ½ WW points per muffin)
**This is a great recipe to double and freeze. These muffins are great quick breakfast to pull from the freezer and heat up in the microwave.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are one of my favorite cookies. They're not the prettiest cookies, but they taste so good. They are a cake-like cookie. This is a great way to use up over-ripe bananas without having to make bread.

Add to blender, and blend until smooth:
2/3 C Ripe Banana (2-3 small bananas)
1 tsp. vanilla
Add Evaporated milk (most of the time I just use regular milk) until to you have a total of one cup banana mixture (about ¼ C evaporated milk)

Sift together:
2 ¼ C Flour
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt

Cream together 2/3 C soft shortening, 2/3 C sugar, and 2 eggs. Gradually add, alternating, the banana mixture and the flour mixture. Mix until well blended. Fold in 1 pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips, and ½ c nuts (optional). Spoon onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Waldorf Coleslaw

We had this the other night with sloppy joes, and it was such an easy dinner. This is a nice twist on the traditional coleslaw. It is best if you let it sit for an hour or more before serving it to let the flavors develop. This recipe is from I figured that it has 1 point per serving for those of you doing Weight Watchers! I didn't tell anyone that this is a light recipe, and everyone eating dinner loved it!

3 cups shredded cabbage
3 cups diced Granny Smith apple
6 tablespoons raisins
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons plain fat-free yogurt
2 tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Combine yogurt and remaining ingredients, stirring well with a whisk. Pour over cabbage mixture; toss well. Cover and chill 2 hours. Yield: 10 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup)

CALORIES 69(23% from fat); FAT 1.8g (sat 0.2g,mono 0.2g,poly 1.1g); PROTEIN 1.3g; CHOLESTEROL 1mg; CALCIUM 27mg; SODIUM 91mg; FIBER 1.9g; IRON 0.5mg; CARBOHYDRATE 14.1g

Playgroup Granola Bars

We've really been enjoying these granola bars. My little girl begs for them all day long. I was surprised at how good they turned out, and how they really do taste like granola bars! I am going to try some variations next time just for fun. I got this recipe on, and one of the reviewers said that they like their granola bars chewy, so she only cooks them for 18 minutes and they stay chewy instead of getting crunchy. I baked mine for 20 minutes, just until they were barely browning around the edges. They are chewy and just how we like them! I listed some variations that I made to the recipe below.

Playgroup Granola Bars

2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar (I only used ½ C)
1/2 cup wheat germ
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I used 1 tsp)
1 cup all-purpose flour (I used 1/2 C Whole Wheat Pastry Flour)
3/4 cup raisins (optional, next time I'll try dried blueberries)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, raisins and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well using your hands. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm.
UPDATE: Okay, I made these again. This time I used all Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (you can find this at natural food stores, like the "Good Earth". It has the same nutrients and fiber as any other Whole Wheat Flour, but it's ground very fine and is great for this type of thing.) and dried blueberries. Holy Cow...I might be in trouble. They are SO good.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Banana-Filled Graham Cracker Pancakes

Can I just say.... A-M-A-Z-I-N-G? I clipped this recipe out of a William's Sonoma Catalog. We had it for breakfast this morning and it might be my new favorite breakfast. You make these in a "filled-pancake" pan, or some of you may know it as an abelskiver pan (NO idea if I spelled that correctly). Either way, it's a pan that you put on a burner and it has 7 little wells to put batter into. I would dare say that these are almost worth purchasing a pan. (They sell them at William's Sonoma!) If you live close to me and want to borrow my pan, let me know. I'm doing a bad job at remembering to take a picture of the actual food, so for now, here's just a picture of the pan.

4 oz graham crackers, broken into pieces (this is 7 whole graham crackers, or enough crumbs to fill a 1 cup measuring cup)
3/4 C all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
5 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs, separated
1 3/4 C buttermilk
6 Tbs. (3/4 of a stick) of butter, melted
2 bananas, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 cup heavy cream
maple syrup for serving

Put graham crackers in blender; blend on high until powdery. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, 3 Tbs. sugar, and salt; pulse to combine. In large bowl, whisk egg yolks and buttermilk. Whisk in flour mixture; batter will be lumpy.
Using electric mixer, beat egg whites on high speed until stiff (but not dry) peaks form, 1-2 min. Gently stir whites into batter in 2 additions.

Put 1/2 tsp. butter into each well of filled-pancake pan. Heat over medium heat (I kept it on medium-low to avoid burning them, and my pan is cast-iron). Pour 2 tsp. batter into each well. Place 3 banana pieces in center of each pancake; top with 1 tsp. batter. Cook 3-5 minutes. Using 2 skewers flip pancakes over; cook about 3 minutes more. (You know that they are ready to flip when you move it around with the skewer, and the whole pancake moves...if part of it sticks, they're not ready to turn yet.) Transfer pancakes to plate. Repeat with remaining batter.

In measuring cup, combine cream and 2 Tbs. sugar. Whip until firm. (I just served them with spray whip cream from a can because it was easier.) Serve pancakes warm with whipped cream and maple syrup. Makes about 35 pancakes.