Thursday, November 24, 2011

Triple Chocolate Cake

Here is another recipe I tried for Thanksgiving. It is awesome. Although there are several steps, this cake is not that difficult to make and is definitely worth the effort!

serves 16 ( 8 points+)


  • 1 c. boiling water
  • ½ c. + 1 T. unsweetened cocoa, divided
  • 2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1-¾ c. sugar
  • 6 T. butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 egg whites
  • ½ c. fat-free sour cream
  • 2 c. cake flour
  • 1-½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt


  • ⅓ c. skim milk
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 4 oz. milk chocolate chips
  • ¾ c. Cool Whip Free


  • ½ c. powdered sugar
  • ¼ c. unsweetened cocoa
  • 3 T. skim milk
  • 2 tsp. butter
  • ⅛ tsp. espresso granules
  • dash of salt
  • 1 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Coat two 9" round cake pans with nonstick spray. Line the bottom of each pan with wax paper, coat wax paper with spray and sprinkle with 1 T. cocoa.

For cake, combine 1 c. boiling water, ½ c. cocoa and 2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate. Stir until combined. Cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, place sugar, butter and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat until crumbly. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add sour cream and beat for 2 minutes.
Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add to butter mixture alternately with chocolate mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Divide evenly into pans and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes before removing cakes to cool completely. Remove wax paper.

For filling, combine ⅓ c. milk and then next three ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, Cook until thick, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in milk chocolate chips until smooth. Pour into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until cooled. Fold in Cool Whip.

For glaze, combine powdered sugar and remaining ingredients in a saucepan over low heat. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. 

Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread filling over cake leaving a ¼" border. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread glaze over the top of the cake.

adapted from Cooking Light

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Dessert

I thought I would try this recipe as a twist on traditional pumpkin pie. It is quite awesome!

serves 24 ( 5 points + )


  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • ½ c. butter, melted
  • 1 egg


  • 1 can ( 30 oz) pumpkin pie mix ( not solid pack pumpkin)
  • 5 oz. fat-free evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs


  • ¼ c. flour
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 1 T. cinnamon
  • ⅔ c. reserved crust mixture

In a large bowl, beat cake mix, butter and egg. Set aside ⅔ c. for topping. Press remaining mixture in the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan coated with nonstick spray.

For filling, whisk together pumpkin pie mix, milk and eggs until blended. Pour over crust.

For topping, combine ⅔ c. reserved crust mixture, flour, sugar and cinnamon, using your hands to mix until crumbly. Sprinkle over filling.

Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes or until top is golden brown and center is set. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve with Cool Whip if desired.

adapted from Taste of Home

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

This easy meal cooks in about 30 minutes and is full of flavor.

serves 4 ( 9 points + )

  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 6 oz. reduced fat smoked sausage, sliced
  • ½ c. chopped onion
  • ½ c. chopped celery
  • ½ c. chopped green pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 c. uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 1 c. water
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper ( or to taste)
  • salt to taste
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 can ( 14 oz)  fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 can ( 14 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 c. shredded boneless, skinless chicken breast ( you can use rotisserie chicken)

Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery and peppers. Cook until tender. Add sausage and garlic. Cook 2 minutes. Add rice and next 5 ingredients ( through broth). Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Add tomatoes and chicken and cook until heated through.

adapted from Cooking Light

Candied Walnut, Apple and Gruyere Salad

Perfect for fall, perfect for the holidays!

serves 8 ( 5 points + )

  • ⅓ c. sugar
  • ⅓ c. chopped walnuts, toasted
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • 2 T. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1-½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 med-large apple, thinly sliced
  • 2 oz. Gruyere cheese, cubed small
  • 12 c. mixed greens

For candied walnuts, place sugar in a small, heavy saucepan over med-high heat. Cook until sugar dissolves, stirring gently as needed to dissolve sugar evenly. Once the sugar starts to melt, do NOT stir. Let sugar melt completely until golden. Do not over-cook. Remove from heat and quickly stir in the walnuts.
Place walnuts on a baking sheet lined with wax paper, separating as much as possible. Sprinkle with sea salt. Cool completely and break into pieces.

For dressing, whisk together balsamic, olive oil, Dijon, honey, salt and pepper.

Place greens in a large bowl. Add chopped apples and Gruyere cheese. Sprinkle with walnuts, drizzle with dressing and toss to coat.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Nutella Sandwich Cookies

Have you ever tried Nutella? Do you love it? I do~ so when  I saw this recipe for Nutella Sandwich Cookies from the "Radically Simple" cookbook by Rozanne Gold, I knew I had to try them.
With only four ingredients, you cannot get a much simpler recipe. These would be cute on a Christmas cookie platter.

Makes 18 ( 4 points + )

  • 13 oz. jar of Nutella, divided
  • 2 T. butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1-¼ c. self-rising flour

Preheat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray.

Beat ¾ c. Nutella, butter and egg until combined. Gradually add flour and mix until wet. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until combined. Roll dough into 18 equal sized balls. Place on baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes or until firm. Cool for 10 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut each cookie in half horizontally. Spread bottom half with about 1 tsp. Nutella. Replace tops, pressing lightly.

Beef Daube Provencal

This stew can be made in a Dutch oven or slow cooker. If making in the slow cooker, follow directions through step 2 and than transfer ingredients to slow cooker and cook on high for 5 hours.

serves 6 ( about ¾ c. stew and ½ c. noodles = 9 points + )

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 4-5 tsp. crushed garlic ( I buy crushed garlic in a jar)
  • 2 lb. boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2" cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 c. red wine
  • 2 c. chopped carrot
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • ½ c. fat-free beef broth
  • ½ tsp. dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 ( 14 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 c. cooked egg noodles

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven. Add garlic and saute. Add beef and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Add wine to the pan and bring to a boil, scraping to loosen browned bits. Add remaining ingredients through bay leaf.

3. Cover and bake for 2-½ hours or until beef is tender. Discard bay leaf, Serve over egg noodles.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Frozen Orange Tortes with Cranberry Compote

I was intrigued by a recipe from Cooking Light and wanted to make it, but did not have all of the ingredients or all of the time called for, so I improvised and came up with this recipe. It was quite good. I think it would be great for a holiday party, perhaps Thanksgiving or Christmas!

serves 8 ( 7 points + )


  • 2 T. sugar
  • 2 T. baking cocoa
  • 16 Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers
  • 2 T. butter, melted


  • 4 c. Edy's double churned vanilla ice-cream ( or another brand that has 50% less fat)
  • 1 T. grated orange rind
  • ¼ c. fresh orange juice


  • 1 c. fresh cranberries
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 2 T. water
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 2 T. orange juice
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray 8 ramekins with nonstick spray.
Combine wafers, sugar, cocoa and butter in a food processor and process until combined. Spoon evenly into ramekins and press onto the bottom of each dish. Place ramekins on a jelly-roll pan and bake 8 minutes. Cool completely.

Meanwhile, soften ice-cream. Stir in orange rind and orange juice. Spoon evenly onto crust. Freeze for several hours or until firm.

About an hour before serving ( or earlier if you like), combine the cranberries, sugar, water, and lemon juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in orange juice. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Using a butter knife, loosen edges of tortes. Unmold and place on plates. Top with compote.

Korean Meatballs

These meatballs were made using boneless, skinless chicken breasts. They were processed in a food processor. They tasted great and saved money since I did not have to buy ground chicken. I served this with fried rice. My family did have a Korean bbq sauce with these as well.

serves 4 ( 5 meatballs = 5 points + )

  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 2 T. canola oil
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 3 T. low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a jelly-roll pan with nonstick spray.

Combine brown sugar, oil and garlic in a food processor until mixed well. Add remaining ingredients and process until finely ground.

With moistened hands, form chicken mixture into 20 meatballs. Heat a large cast iron skillet coated with cooking spray. Saute meatballs for 4 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Place meatballs on jelly-roll pan and bake for 5 minutes or until done.

from Cooking Light

Monday, November 7, 2011

Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

I consider anything frosted as being upgraded. This recipe is really a muffin recipe, but since I frosted it, I consider it upgraded to a cupcake!

serves 12 ( 7 points + )

  • 1-⅓ c. all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ c. white whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ⅔ c. sugar
  • 2 medium bananas, mashed
  • ¼ c. canola oil
  • ¼ c. egg beaters
  • ⅓ c. miniature chocolate chips


  • ¼ c. creamy peanut butter
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 2 T. skim milk

Combine first 5 ingredients ( through salt) and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar, bananas, oil and egg beaters. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
Spoon evenly into paper lined muffin cups. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

For frosting, beat peanut butter and powdered sugar. Add milk as needed to make spreading consistency. Frost cupcakes.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cranberry-Apricot Pork Tenderloin

This is a nice dish for fall, served with mashed potatoes and green beans.

serves 8 ( 5 points + )

  • 2 ( 1 lb.) pork tenderloins
  • 1 c. jellied cranberry sauce
  • ½ c. dried apricots, sliced
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 2 tsp orange zest

Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Brown pork on all sides. Place pork in a crock pot.
Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over pork. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Slice and serve with sauce.


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