Saturday, January 26, 2008

Pineapple Angel Food Cake

This is an old Weight Watchers recipe that has only 2 ingredients. I served it with some Light Cool Whip.


1 box Pillsbury Angel Food cake mix
1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple in its own juice
Mix cake mix with pineapple (do not drain). Mix with a mixer until smooth. Pour into a 9 x 13 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Can also make cupcakes.

Healthy Pot Luck

At the beginning of the year we began a wellness initiative at work. Each facility is doing their own thing with a wellness coordinator to help us along. We are lucky to have our wellness coordinator be a young lady who has lost 30 pounds recently. She puts out a wellness newsletter each week. We started bringing healthy snacks and fruit in order to stay away from the vending machine. Also, when our schedules allow we have been doing a 7 minute workout in the mornings and afternoons. It doesn't sound like much but it really is quite a focused muscle on muscle toning DVD we do. Once a month we are going to have a pot luck of healthy foods and sit at lunch time and discuss different options of staying healthy. This week was our first pot luck and brought this salad. I also brought a recipe for a pineapple angel food cake that is an old Weight Watchers recipe.


There are many, many recipes for this salad with variations being sunflower seeds, raisins, green onions, bacon, and even cheese. In an effort to make it healthy, this is my version.

2 heads broccoli cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 of a small purple onion sliced thinly
1 cup thawed frozen green peas
1/2 cup sliced almonds
3/4 to 1 cup Craisins

1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup Ken's Steakhouse Light Raspberry/Walnut Vinaigrette

Mix broccoli with peas and onions. Blend dressing together. Pour over and mix. Add Craisins and almonds.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Chili Weather Finally

I don't know why I think it needs to be cold to make chili, it just seems to go better with cold weather. We finally had some cold, rainy weather today so I took advantage and made chili. Everyone makes their chili different ways and serve it with different things too. Wick Fowler won the cook-off in the renowned chili cook-off in Terlingua, Texas back in the 60's. His chili mix comes in 'False Alarm', 1-alarm, 2-alarm, and even 3-alarm, getting hotter and hotter which each version. I think his seasoning mix makes the best chili by far.

1 pound ground meat
1/2 onion chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 package Wick Fowler's Texas-Style 1-Alarm Chili Seasoning Mix
1 can Ro-Tel original tomatoes and diced chilies
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 small can tomato sauce
1 can water
1 can pinto beans (optional)

Place meat in a dutch oven and add salt and pepper to taste. Cook meat with onion until crumbly and no longer pink. Drain off fat. Add fire-roasted tomatoes and smash with a potato masher to get tomatoes crushed. Add Ro-Tel tomatoes and chilies and mash until crushed. Add chili seasoning packet. Simmer on low for about an hour. Serve with rice or cornbread or Frito's or flour tortillas. Can add cheese or sour cream to your liking.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What is a MeMe?

I've seen MeMe's on blogs before and thought them very interesting. I thought they stood for 'Me Me -- I'll talk about Me here'. So I looked up the definition and came across this:

Meme (pron. meem): A contagious information pattern that replicates by parasitically infecting human minds and altering their behavior, causing them to propagate the pattern. (Term coined by Dawkins, by analogy with "gene".) Individual slogans, catch-phrases, melodies, icons, inventions, and fashions are typical memes. An idea or information pattern is not a meme until it causes someone to replicate it, to repeat it to someone else. All transmitted knowledge is memetic.

While I don't think I like the word parasitically infecting, it's a fun thing to do. I was tagged by Carla at Chocolate Moosey. I don't live the biggest life, so it might be a bit boring, but here is my MeMe.

What were you doing 10 years ago?
Ten years ago my son was away at college at the University of Texas at Austin and I was trying to figure out what to do with my spare time. I took a distance learning course in Medical Transcription. It certainly kept me busy and turned into a nice little job at home.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
Just a little over a year ago I decided to go back to my job that I 'retired' from for a few years. I had taken a little 'side journey' in life out to California. When I got back to Texas I found that I missed my 'family' and they welcomed me back.

Five snacks you enjoy?
Fruit, nuts, cereal, yogurt, popcorn.

Five songs that you know all the lyrics to?
We have laws in my area that prohibit me from singing!

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire.
I would make sure everyone who is close to me was out of debt. I'd buy a house in a climate that is COOL and away from hurricanes. I'd take all my close friends and family on a cruise. I'd make sure my grandson had a college education paid for. I'd stock the local food pantry with lots and lots of goodies.

Five bad habits
1. Too much artificial sweetener. I think I am going to glow in the dark someday from too many diet sodas and 'pink and blue' stuff.
2. Forgetting to have my cell phone where I can hear it ring.
3. Not recycling enough.
4. Eating too many carbs.
5. Not taking my hanging clothes from the laundry room to the closet.

Five things you like doing
1. Baking
2. Travel
3. Reading
4. Computer time.
5. Watching television.

Five things you would never wear again
1. Polyester (do they even make the stuff anymore?)
2. I guess the blue eye shadow and blue mascara are definitely things of the past.
3. Artificial nails -- too hard to maintain and get in the way of typing.
4. Anything lime green.
5. Long, dangly earrings.

Five favorite toys
1. Computer
2. DVD
3. Digital camera
4. My new Honda
5. My new oven

Now I am tagging Emiline

Sunday, January 13, 2008

New York Style Cheesecake with Strawberry Topping

It's birthday week at work, we have 3 of them to celebrate. This is my offering. I like this style of cheesecake because it is not quite as creamy but dense. Even though I know all the tricks of a water bath, cooling it slowly, not mixing the eggs too much, this cheesecake always cracks on me, so I have to cover it up with a topping.

1-3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 stick melted butter
(I added some finely chopped pecans)

Mix together and press into a 9 inch springform pan that has been buttered. Set aside.

4 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened at room temperature, beat until creamy
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar, add slowly while mixing cream cheese
Add 1 tablespoon vanilla
Add 4 eggs one at a time while still mixing
Add 1 cup sour cream
Add 1/2 cup milk and while mixing that in add 4 tablespoons flour one at a time.

Pour into crust. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes and then reduce oven to 370 (do not open door). Bake for one hour. Remove and cool to room temperature. Add 1 can pie filling or fruit of your choice. Refrigerate overnight.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Crisp Oatmeal Cookies

Yesterday was New Employee Orientation at work. The new employees come around for a facility tour. On their stop by our office we had some goodies for them. A good opportunity to bake some cookies. The left over cookies were eaten by our staff after some 'encouragement'. This basic recipe was enhanced by some more cleaning out the pantry with some left over mini-chocolate chips. I also only had the quick cooking oatmeal instead of old-fashioned rolled oats. I think the rolled oats makes the cookies a bit more crisp, but I think they didn't suffer much and were all gone at the end of the day.

1 cup butter softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 cups rolled oats (again, I used quick cooking oatmeal and the cookies were not quite as crisp)
3/4 cup coconut
1/2 cup mini-chocolate chips (optional)
1 cup chopped toasted pecans (optional)

Cream butter, egg, and vanilla. Mix together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and add. Add coconut, nuts, and chocolate chips. Roll or drop onto baking sheet and flatten with your fingertips. Bake at 375 degrees for 9 minutes.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Quick Cheddar Bread

I've always been yeast challenged when baking bread. I even took a bread baking class once but it wasn't 'hands-on' enough for me to really learn. I am going to challenge myself this year to try some yeast breads, but in the mean time here is a recipe that I've had in my files to try that doesn't require yeast. It calls for baking in a 9 inch loaf pan, but I think it might be better to try a smaller one so it's not so 'short'. In either case, it has a nice consistency.


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 finely diced green onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1-1/4 cups milk
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9" loaf pan. In a large bowl, mix the flour with the baking powder and salt. Using two knives or a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Stir in the cheese, onion, garlic, and parsley; mix well. Combine the milk and egg; pour into the flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. Turn into the prepared pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the loaf shrinks slightly away from the sides of the pan. Let cool 10 minutes before removing from the pan.