Sunday, January 30, 2011

It's My Birthday...


And I'll doing the gift-giving if I want to!  :)

I don't have much to say today.  It's been a day...it's been a month!  I'm usually pretty fond of January, but this year?  Not so much.  I'm hoping that February proves to be the start of a better rest of the year. 

What am I giving away?  A $35 gift certificate to Amazon.com.  I thought about giving away a cookbook, or some fun kitchen gadgets.  But how do I know which ones you want or need?  Well, maybe you don't want anything kitchen related at all!  Although I can't imagine...

And how did I come up with the $35 amount?  Would you believe me if I said it's just a random number I came up with?  No??  Okay, fine.  It's my 35th birthday today.  There.  Happy?  :)

How do you enter?  Just leave a comment on this post.  Talk about anything you want to.  Maybe what you'd buy if you won.  Just as long as it's not a mean comment, I'm good with it. 

I'll choose a winner with a random number generator around noon (central time) on Friday, February 4th.  As long as you have a valid email address that I can't send the electronic gift card to, you're eligible.  Giveaway now closed!!

And just in case you were wondering, this giveaway isn't sponsored by anyone except me.  Well, I guess technically it's sponsored by my husband.  ;) 

Enjoy!  :)

Image Credit: Birthday Cake by Will Clayton

Friday, January 28, 2011

Tortilla Casserole - Lightened Up



I shed tears for you guys over this recipe.  Literally.  That was one strong onion!  :)  Normally I can tolerate chopping onions, but seriously, the one I used here had tears rolling down my face. 

This is a slightly lightened-up version of a tortilla casserole that my mom makes.  She's made it for a few years, and when a friend asked for the recipe, she said "it's not really a recipe, more of a list of ingredients".  I've seen her list of ingredients...there are instructions under it.  Um, doesn't that make it a recipe?  Anyway...

I tried passing this off as Mexican lasagna to the Munchkin.  He wasn't really buying it, although he did try a few bites.  I really liked this, and so did D.  The leftovers heated up quite well the next day for lunch.  I hope you give it a try!  To make it lighter, I subbed in reduced fat cheese and used ground turkey instead of ground beef.  That's it!  The original recipe wasn't all that bad to begin with.  I mean, I did make a few other changes, because that's what I do.  :)


You can adjust the heat level in this recipe by adjusting the type of picante sauce you use, and you can also add some dried red pepper flakes and/or some cayenne pepper as well.  A diced up jalapeno or two would also make a nice addition.  I didn't have any on hand, but I think it would be good served up with some guacamole.

And just in case you were wondering, I still have concrete floors.  The new flooring is scheduled to be installed on February 7th.  Please cross your fingers that it actually happens then.  I'm ready for things to return to as "normal" as they were! 


Tortilla Casserole

1 lb ground turkey breast
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
1 (8 oz) jar picante sauce
1 (16 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
9 corn tortillas (the 6" ones)
2 cups shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350'F.  Coat a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Cook the ground turkey and onion, over medium heat in a large skillet until the turkey is no longer pink, stirring to break up the large pieces of meat.  Add the garlic and bell pepper and cook 2-3 minutes longer, or until peppers begin to soften.  Stir in the tomatoes & green chilies, picante sauce, pinto beans, and corn.  Cook and stir just until heated through.  Remove from heat.

Place three of the corn tortillas in the bottom of the prepared baking dish (you may have to tear one or more of the tortillas in half to get them to fit).  Top with one third of the meat mixture, and then sprinkle with one third of the cheese.  Repeat the layers two more times (tortillas, meat, cheese, tortillas, meat, cheese). 

Bake, uncovered, in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving. 

Yield:  8 servings

WW PointsPlus Value:  7 points per serving (note, I used the "extra thin" corn tortillas (brand - Mission) and 2% cheese; other changes may affect the points value). 

Enjoy!  :)




Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Italian Crockpot Chicken


It's January 12th, and this is my first post of the year.  Crazy, huh?  Well, things have definitely been chaotic around here.  It all started on New Year's Eve when we were without power for over 4 hours.  Then, that night the baby started running a fever.  New Year's Day our internet was out most of the day.  On Sunday, the chaos rested. 

Then, the afternoon of January 3rd, a Monday of course, the flood came.  And it came in the form of a washing machine that overflowed for 30 minutes.  Now, you wouldn't think it could do that much damage in that short amount of time, right?  Wrong.  Luckily I was still home and caught it.  But I caught it on my way out the door to start picking up kids!  My first calls were to their schools to say "hey, water everywhere, I'm going to be late!"  Then I had a bit of a breakdown.  Imagine me, with my shoes off and pant legs rolled up, wading through water in my own kitchen and laundry room, standing in the middle of the floor sobbing.  Yep, not a pretty sight!

Next, I called the water removal company.  Thank goodness they could send someone quickly!  Up next was the insurance agent.  Yeah...that might be a good idea to call them.  Then my mom:  "Help!!"  When the water removal guys came is when I realized how extensive the damage actually was.  It not only got the laundry room, kitchen and dining room, but it had also gotten about 75% of the office wet, plus the hall and part of a bedroom!  And what really floored me (no pun intended) was that they had to completely remove all of the flooring in the kitchen and dining room.  All of it.  Crazy. 


Now, we wait.  Things have been upside down at my house for over a week.  They initially had 13 ginormous fans and 4 big dehumidifiers here.  They finally took them away last Friday.  It was like living in a wind tunnel.  They are actually here today to replace the carpet padding and put the carpet back down.  I'm so ready, because we've had to play musical chairs with the kids' sleeping arrangements and it has not been a good thing.  We're still waiting on the insurance company to tell us what the final report is on the damages, etc.  I have to tell you, I'm not really diggin' the concrete floor in the kitchen and dining, but I'll deal with it for now. 

Oh, the problem with the washing machine?  It needed a new intake valve, or something like that.  It's fixed now.  And it better stay fixed!!

You probably came here for a recipe, didn't you?  Yeah, yeah.  I tried a new recipe yesterday and it turned out really well.  The Munchkin even asked to take leftovers to school for his lunch today, and that is a high complement indeed!

The other thing you might want to know - D has started Weight Watchers.  Don't worry, I'll still be posting plenty of butter-laden recipes, but I'm also going to share the lighter fare that works for us!  I'll post the points values with those recipes as well.  Disclaimer:  the points values that I post will be calculated using the Weight Watchers online tools to the best of my ability.  If you notice a discrepancy, please (kindly!) let me know and we'll get it figured out!  :)

Italian Crockpot Chicken

Servings:  6
Weight Watchers PointsPlus value per serving: 6

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
4 medium carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces (about 6 oz)
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped (about 5 oz)
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces (about 6 oz)
3 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 Tbsp Italian herb mix
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients in a medium to large slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.  Serve as desired (see notes). 

Katy's notes:

Okay, here's where the fun begins.  I had originally planned to serve this with Ronzoni Smart Taste penne.  (sorry for the brand plug, but I really like it).  But, I had also purchased some refrigerated three cheese tortellini and decided to go with that instead.  The brand I had turned out to be 6 points for a 1 cup serving, making the entire bowl 12 points.  I topped each bowl off with 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, which added an additional 1 point per serving.  This recipe has a lot of uses.  I could also see adding a couple cans of rinsed & drained cannellini beans instead of pasta. 

Enjoy!  :)