Thursday, January 27, 2011

Broccoli Cheese and Potato Soup

Broccoli Cheese and Potato Soup

Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1-1/4 cups • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 7 pts

Calories: 281.6 • Fat: 8.0 g • Carb: 33.0 g • Fiber: 5.0 g • Protein: 20.4 g

1 small onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp butter

2 tbsp flour

2 1/2 cups fat free chicken broth (or vegetable broth)

1 cup fat free milk

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced small

salt and fresh pepper

4 cups (about 2 heads) broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces

1-1/2 cups 2% shredded sharp cheddar

2 slices 2% American cheese

1 tbsp parmesan cheese

Chop onion, carrot, celery, garlic in a chopper or mini food processor.

In a large soup pot, melt butter. Add chopped vegetables and sauté on low heat until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add flour, salt and pepper to the pot and stir until smooth.

Add chicken broth, milk and potatoes and set heat to high until it comes to a boil, then cover and cook on low until potatoes are soft, about 10-15 minutes.

Add broccoli florets, parmesan cheese, and stir well. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Cook uncovered until broccoli is cooked, about 5 minutes. Add cheddar and American cheese, stir well and remove from heat.

Using an immersion blender, ( I put mine in a regular blender) quickly blend part of the soup for a quick second or two. If you don't have an immersion blender, remove about 1-2 cups of potatoes and broccoli, place it in your chopper, then add it back to the soup. This helps thicken it a bit.

Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce

 I got this recipe from Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes blog , all of her recipes are fabulous and most of them I share are from her website!

Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce

Servings: 6 • Size: 8.75 oz sauce • Time: 1 hour • Points: 4.6 ww points

1 large spaghetti squash

Salt and pepper

Meat sauce recipe:

1 lb 95% lean beef

1 tsp butter

1 tsp olive oil

(4 oz) 1/2 onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 celery stalk, finely chopped

1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes (I prefer Tuttorosso)

1/4 cup white wine

1 bay leaf

Salt and fresh pepper

Preheat oven to 400º. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and membrane. Season with salt and bake 1 hour on a baking sheet, cut side up.
 I usually add water to the bottom of the pan. I find that this makes the squash softer.

In a large deep sauté pan, melt butter and add oil. Add onions, celery and carrots and sauté on medium-low for about 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add meat and season with salt. Brown meat and break down into smaller pieces with your spoon. When meat is cooked through, add tomatoes and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Add wine and cook until it reduces a bit, then add bay leaf and cover, reducing heat to low. Simmer at least an hour, stirring occasionally.

When spaghetti squash is cooked, let it cool for about 10 minutes. When cool, use a fork to remove flesh, which will come out in spaghetti looking strands. Keep covered and set aside keeping warm until sauce is ready. Serve topped with meat sauce and cheese.

Me being crafty=Happy ME!

I haven't done that much crafting lately. Been super busy working again, and keeping up with the welcomed chaos the kids bring to my life. However, I did manage to squeak in a few things that I would love to share:

When my sister came to visit, it was literally in the single digits, temperature wise. We, my sister and I, decided her cute little puppy, Chevy, need a "keep me warm" outfit. It is kind of big on her in this picture, but my sister says it fits perfectly now! Isn't she just adorable?
Next, Ady has been bugging me for an owl stuffed animal. Yes, I admit that I am cheap, when it comes to buying stuffed animals. I hate them. But I couldn't resist making her one. It cost me $Free.99 as I used stuff I had on hand, thanks to a good friend!
(Don't feel bad for Hayden, I made him a penguin pillow, i just haven't taken a picture of it yet.)

Ben and I have ventured back to Weight Watchers. Looks as though I gained all but 1 lousy pound back from what I had originally lost. (We now are losing now though!)
I made a little note book cover so I could keep all my WW stuff together and have a place to take notes while I am at my meetings! It's working out quite well!

I have also been itching for a few projects. My friend, Tressa, had a broken console t.v. sitting in her basement, and I basically begged her to give it to me. She probably thought I was CRAZY. Anyhow, I transformed this bad boy, and man am I PROUD!
P.S.:Thank you Tressa for taking out the old TV parts, it made my job 100% easier!
My brother in law and Sister, helped me cut it in half, and Ben helped me put the shelf in.
I painted it and then antiqued it with stain. In total, this project cost me no more than $10.
Next, Tiffany brought up a bright pink table that she no longer had room for. I can't say no when it comes to free furniture, so this is what I did.
I don't have a before picture, but just imagine it bright PINK!


Where has January gone?

We started off the month of January right, with first my Sister Dana and her Husband Bill, along with their awesome kids coming to visit! Had a great time, but managed to take no pictures what so ever of the good times together... CRAP.

Right after they left, we had Tiffany and Darek come and visit! This is officially the 1st picture of the new year, taken at 12:01 a.m. Note my crazy kids, it's way past their normal bedtime!Next came Ben's big #28. Man are we getting OLD;). Tiffany, Darek, and Caylee once again made their way to our house to help us celebrate. We had a small celebration, with my sister, and another friend, but had a great time. Ben insisted on having a birthday cookie and a Birthday Cake. I couldn't' say no!The kids chillin on the couch. (Kingston, Caylee, Ady, and Hayden!)The kids managed to get quite dirty. A much needed bath was headed their way.

What happens when you fill a jetted tub with bubbles?

They multiply and multiply and multiply.

First came happiness...Next came craziness:Finally we reached CHAOS: and bath time was over. (Ady fell into the bubbles. It did not make for one happy chick.)