Nov 282012
 

I guess it’s no big secret that I’ve lost some weight over the last 10 months.  People ask me what I’m doing.  The answer is pretty simple.  I’m eating less and exercising more.  A huge component of eating less has been using Weight Watchers Online.  They have a pretty amazing program now called “Points Plus”, which basically assigns a point value to every food you eat and every exercise you do.  One of the great things about their program is the fact almost all fruits and vegetables have a point value of zero.  Yes, ZERO!

Last week their website announced changes to their program are coming.  I read the little teaser about it, but didn’t think too much on it.  What I’m doing works for me.  However, I was reading in a forum today about this new Weight Watchers 360 program so I thought I’d look into it a little more.

First of all, the US website has only a teaser video with no real information.  If you want to watch his video you can see it here:  http://www.weightwatchers.com/util/art/index_art.aspx?tabnum=1&art_id=217581

After not getting a whole lot of info from the video I turned to Google and found a few blogs that touched on the subject.  But it wasn’t until I went to the Weight Watchers Canada site that I found anything useful.  Below is the graphic from their site.

Weight Watchers 360 - Canadian

From the Weight Watchers Canada Site, regarding the launch of their newest program, Weight Watchers 360

 

From the graphic above, the gist of the new program is this:

  • Eat real food.
  • Don’t buy the foods that tempt you.
  • Make wise food choices.
  • Get moving.

I’m interested to see how they incorporate this into the Weight Watchers Online program.  It sounds like a good plan, but I’m curious to know if the six steps above are really new concepts to the WW community.  At any rate, I look forward to seeing the changes made and seeing how they play out for their online customers.

What do you think about their new program?

Disclaimer: My thoughts.  My words.  My limited research. :-)

Nov 212012
 

Frosted Cranberries

I have been asked for this recipe so many times that I’ve lost count. So, without further ado, here it is.

Frosted Cranberries - Perfect Holiday Treat

Frosted Cranberries – Perfect Holiday Treat

Frosted Cranberries

1 Cup Water
1/2 Cup sugar
1 bag FRESH cranberries
2 cups confectioners sugar (or more)

1) Combine water and sugar in a saucepan and heat until all the sugar has melted. Remove from burner and cool completely. (This can be done by putting your saucepan in the freezer for five minutes or so.)

2. Wash and pat dry fresh cranberries. Pull out any that are soft and squishy and discard those.

3. Now you will need one or two dinner plates (last time I made these I needed a fresh one halfway through) and one or two clean, dry cookie sheets. Assemble your line. Cranberries, sugar water, dinner plate and cookie sheet all in a row.

4. On your dinner plate, sprinkle about 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar. (You will do this repeatedly throughout the process.)

5. Place a handful of cranberries in the sugar water. Scoop out the handful of cranberries with one hand (this is your wet hand) and drop them gently in the confectioners sugar. With your dry hand (which will get really gross!), gently roll the wet cranberries in the confectioners sugar, coating them completely. With your DRY hand, scoop them up and put them on a cookie sheet. Repeat this process until all cranberries are frosted.

6. These are better made the day before you plan to serve them. Also, the longer they sit out on the cookies sheets without being covered, the better they are.

These are super easy to make, and I’ve never actually sat down and typed out the recipe until just now. One year when Dan and I traveled to Minnesota for the holidays his mother was making these. I followed her lead and helped out that year. We’ve had them in Minnesota every Thanksgiving since! Dan and I brought the “recipe” home to Orlando and have been making them for holidays, parties and even gifts for years. The “recipe” has been given out at countless events. I hope you find them as easy to make and as good to eat as our family does! :-)

Nov 132012
 

I am so happy that the weather in Florida has finally figured out that it’s November!  Why?  Because I have a not-so-secret love of casseroles.  Just ask my husband!  He’s been known to walk in the house in the middle of July and find me making anything from Chicken Pot Pie to Mexican Lasagna.  I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m crazy for heating up the whole house when it’s 95 degrees outside, but sometimes a person just needs a good casserole.  And folks, let me tell you, the one below is a good casserole!

 Marsala - Close Up

Chicken Marsala Casserole

(adapted from Rachael Ray’s Marsala Chicken-and-Mushroom Casserole)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 10 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • two cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup marsala wine
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup long-grain rice, uncooked
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped roasted chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons grated asiago cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees .
  2. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and  mushrooms and cook, until softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle the flour on top and stir in for 1 minute.
  4. Add the marsala and cream and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the chicken broth and parsley.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. In a greased 8.5-inch by 11-inch dish, spread the rice evenly across the bottom; top with the chicken.
  7. Pour the marsala mushroom mixture to cover the chicken and rice.
  8. Cover dish with foil and bake until bubbly, approximately 35 minutes.
  9. Remove foil, sprinkle with asiago cheese and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  10. Serves six.  (7 Points Plus, per serving)

You want to make this for your family.  Trust me.  They will devour it, just like mine did!  And if you’re watching what you’re eating like me, you will appreciate the fact that it’s only 7 Points Plus per serving!  I love making a recipe that calls for  fresh ingredients, and is still manageable on Weight Watchers.  I hope you enjoy it, too!