Thursday, January 29, 2009

Layered Mexican Bean Dip

So, we call this 7-Layer Dip at our house, and I was surprised to find how low-cal and good for you this is! Two points for a serving!? Woo-hoo! Here's a Weight Watchers version. Combine it with some baked chips and get your snack on, just in time for the Superbowl! Enjoy.

Layered Mexican Bean Dip
16 oz fat-free canned refried beans
3 medium avocado, Hass, finely mashed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup(s) fat-free sour cream
2 tablespoons fajita seasoning mix
1/2 cup(s) Weight Watchers Reduced Fat Shredded Mexican-Style Cheese
1 small tomato(es), chopped
2 medium scallion(s) (aka green onions), sliced
10 medium olive(s), black, sliced or chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro, fresh, chopped
Spread beans evenly over bottom of a 9- X 13-inch glass baking dish or a medium-size glass bowl.
In a small bowl, combine avocado, salt and lemon juice. Spread avocado mixture over beans; top with sour cream.
Sprinkle fajita seasoning over sour cream layer. Next, layer remaining ingredients on top in order listed.
Serve immediately or chill until ready to use. Yields about 1/4 cup of dip per serving. Makes 16 servings.
This dip is also great topped with diced bell peppers and shredded lettuce. Add jalapeno slices for extra heat. Only 2 points per serving.

Weight Watchers Quickbites, January 26 2009, picture credit

Monday, January 26, 2009

Low-Fat Quesadillas

Just in time for the Superbowl.... this simple recipe lets you make low cal quesadillas that could be easily mistaken for the fat-filled real thing. Found this recipe at Hungry Girl's website. These go from 12 points per serving to just 3! SCORE!
Low-Fat Quesadillas

1 La Tortilla Factory Low Carb, Low Fat Whole Wheat Tortilla (small size)
1/4 cup shredded fat free cheddar cheese (or ff mozzarella, ff American, ff jack)
2 oz. chicken breast, grilled and sliced
1 tablespoon green onion, diced 1 tablespoon salsa
1 teaspoon light sour cream

Directions: In a pan lightly spritzed with nonstick cooking spray, set down your tortilla. Spread the cheese, chicken and green onion evenly on top. Let set (cheese will just be beginning to melt), then fold over. Cook on medium heat for a minute or so, flipping quesadilla halfway in between. Slide your quesadilla onto a plate and serve with the salsa and sour cream. Enjoy!

Picture credit: HG's Cheesy-Good Chicken Quesadillas, Hungry Girl site

Favorite Potato Bread

There's nothing like a loaf of fresh-baked bread on a cold day. This is one of our favorites.

1 1/2 cups water
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine (softened)
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups bread flour
4 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup instant potato flakes
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1- Measure and add liquid ingredients to the bread pan.
2- Measure and add dry ingredients (except yeast) to the bread pan.
3- Use your finger to form a well (hole) in the flour where you will pour the yeast. Yeast must NEVER come into contact with a liquid when you are adding ingredients. Measure the yeast and carefully pour it into the well.
4- Snap the baking pan into the breadmaker and close the lid.
5- Select the Basic setting.
6- Select the desired crust color. (We like it Light)
7- Press the Start button.

Makes a 2 lb loaf.

Oster 2 lb. Expressbake Breadmaker User Manual & Bread Recipes, p. 39

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Easy Café Rio

Café Rio Pork

3-4 lb pork butt
1 cup salsa
1 cup brown sugar

Place the pork butt in the crock pot. In a seperate bowl, mix the salsa with the brown sugar, then add on top of the pork. Cook all day in the crock pot (on Low setting) then shred the meat when it's done.

Use as a taco meat or with cilantro lime dressing, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes.

Café Rio Cilantro Lime Dressing

1 1/3 cups sour cream
3/4 cup mayo
1 bunch of cilantro (chopped)
1 pkg ranch dressing mix (dry)
4 tbsp salsa verde (green salsa)
2 cloves of garlic
1/8 tsp. Tabasco sauce
juice of one lime (I like to add lime zest, too)

Mix together in a blender and serve on top of Café Rio pork.

Want to make it low-fat? Use light sour cream and light mayonnaise!

Recipe from Peggy Steward. Thanks for this one!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Low-Fat Potato Pancakes aka Reibeküchen

From the time I was a little girl, I remember Dad making Reibeküchen for us kids. I loved to eat it then with strawberry jam on top. My tastes have grown up a little, and now I love it served with applesauce and maybe a little light sour cream on the side. Talk about comfort food! Another one of my memories is of Dad and John and I enjoying Reibeküchen right from a stand in front of the Cologne Cathedral on a chilly spring morning. Schmeckt gut!

This recipe tastes good, too. Give it a try!

Low-fat Potato Pancakes
(3 points for 3 pancakes)

1 1/4 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and shredded
2 egg whites
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 scallions, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons vegetable oil

1. Soak the potatoes in cold water 30 minutes; drain and blot dry. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the potatoes, egg whites, flour, scallions, and salt. Form into 12 pancakes.
3. In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, heat one-third of the oil. Cook the pancakes, 4 at a time, until just golden, about 2 minutes on each side; transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat twice more with the remaining oil and pancakes, making a total of 12 pancakes. Bake until crisp and cooked through, 5-7 minutes.

* You can prepare the pancake mixture up to an hour ahead and keep it in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it...

Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook, p. 362

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Chris prefers this Southern version of brownies. Take just one bite and you’ll know why!

Note: We had to take a close-up shot of these because by the time I got my camera out, over half the pan was gone. Oh yeah, they’re that good.


2 cups brown sugar
2/3 cup butter or margarine
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
A handful of Semisweet chocolate chips (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
2. Grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside.
3. In a medium saucepan heat brown sugar and butter over medium heat just until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Cool slightly.
4. Stir in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking powder and baking soda.
5. Spread the batter in the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
6. Bake at 350 degrees oven 25-30 minutes (at UT elevation, mine was ready at 25 minutes) or until done.
7. Cool slightly on a wire rack. Cut into bars while warm.

Adapted slightly from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, p. 186
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Monday, January 19, 2009

Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup shortening
1/3 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
12 oz. package chocolate chips (we love the milk chocolate chips at our house)
3/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Mix shortening, butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla thoroughly. Add flour, baking soda and salt. Mix together well and add nuts and chocolate chips. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons on an ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 degrees (F) for 8-10 minutes or until delicately brown. Cool slightly before removing from baking sheet. Makes 8 dozen cookies.

NOTE: to make bar cookies, spread cookie dough into greased 15 x 10 x 1 inch pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool and cut into squares.

Bright Impressions Busy Family Cookbook, p.100

Bon Appetit!

Welcome to What's Cooking, Good-Looking! This is a little space in cyberspace that's going to be an on-line recipe box for my good-looking family members. I have some VERY talented cooks in my family. Bring on the delicious!