Wednesday, November 19, 2008

November 16 to 22, 2008

Week of November 16 to 22, 2008
B E L I E V E !

"Do or do not—there is no try." –Yoda

FOLLOW UP ON LAST WEEK: What lessons did YOU learn from the gridiron last week? There really are lots of similarities—come and share your “fumbles” and “blocks and tackles” with us this week!

THIS WEEK: Ahhh…the challenges of the Thanksgiving table and of all of the upcoming special occasions, parties, and get togethers. You CAN be successful, despite plates of cookies, bowls of stuffing, and pie plates of pumpkin pie—come learn how this week!

COOKIE RECIPE EXCHANGE: I’m hoping to have a Cookie Recipe exchange at Gateway Center in the next few weeks. You will bring copies of ONE cookie recipe (and samples of that cookie) to the exchange. Then, when you leave, you will have a variety of low point cookies that you have tasted and sampled. Email me ASAP if you want to participate. Send a note to Thanks!

DONATE BLOOD, SAVE A LIFE: Kids, this is SERIOUS!! I only have one person registered, and I need your cooperation! On Saturday, December 6, a Blood Drive will be held at the WW Gateway Center from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. The Center is located in Gateway Square and is in the same shopping center as Outback Steakhouse and Carraba’s Restaurant. Registration is requested—please email me at to sign up. This is NOT just for WW members—spouses, friends, kids (must be at least 18 years old), neighbors, co-workers are ALL welcome to participate! If you are concerned about having to cut back on gift giving this year, then consider making a donation of something that may help to save a life. I hope to see a LOT of you there!!


10% award: Joie and Christina from Delta Dental
Goal weight: Joie from Delta Dental
Lifetime: Tina from Delta Dental

If I missed your celebration, email me IMMEDIATELY, and I will include it in next week’s newsletter. Be sure to tell me what meeting you attend!

GREG'S JOKE FOR THE WEEK: Why was the turkey the drummer in the band? Because he had the drumsticks…

RECIPES OF THE WEEK: check back later…I’ll be adding some more to this collection!

5 Can Soup
makes 10 servings at 1 pt each (you will find this posted in MANY places as 2 pts for the whole recipe—that is incorrect. I ran this through the Recipe Builder on WW e-Tools, and it is 1 pt per serving, and 10 pts for the whole pot!)

1 14.5 oz can of cut whole new potatoes, drained and cubed
1 14.5 oz can sliced carrots, drained
1 14.5 oz can zucchini with Italian style tomato sauce
1 14.5 oz can cut diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
1 14 oz can fat free chicken or beef broth

Combine all ingredients, add salt/pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer.

Green Beans with Bacon and Vinaigrette
makes 8 servings (3/4 C each) at 1 pt each

2 lbs green beans
2 bacon slices
¼ C minced onion or shallots
3 Tbs coarsely chopped almonds
2 Tbs brown sugar
¼ C white balsamic vinegar*

Cook beans in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water; drain well and set aside. Cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon; crumble and set aside. Add shallots to the bacon fat in skillet; sauté 1 minute. Add almonds; sauté 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat; let cool slightly. Add sugar and vinegar to skillet; stir until sugar dissolves. Stir in crumbled bacon. Pour vinaigrette over beans, tossing gently to coat.
*NOTE: I prefer to use red wine balsamic vinegar—yummy!

Pumpkin Cake
makes 24 servings at 4 pts each

4 eggs
½ C unsweetened applesauce
1 ½ C sugar
1 15-oz can pumpkin
2 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp nutmeg
½ C raisins

Cream cheese frosting:

8 oz fat free cream cheese, softened
2 Tbs butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
4 C powdered sugar

In a large mixing bowl, beat together eggs, applesauce, sugar, and pumpkin. In a separate bowl, sift together remaining ingredients, except raisins. Gradually beat flour mixture into pumpkin mixture. Stir in raisins. Pour batter into a 13 x 9 x 2 baking pan coated with nonstick spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until the center springs back when lightly touched. Cool. To make frosting, place softened cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl. Cream with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar, mixing until of spreading consistency. Spread evenly on cooled cake. Chill and serve.

Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan Cheese
(I’m not sure when this recipe is from, but it’s not an original)
makes 6 servings at 1 pt each

6 cups cauliflower, florets, fresh (about 1 head), or frozen and thawed
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 450ºF. In a large bowl, combine cauliflower, oil, salt and pepper; toss to combine. Transfer cauliflower to a large baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Roast until cauliflower is golden brown, tossing occasionally, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven, place in serving bowl and sprinkle with cheese; toss to mix. Yields about 3/4 cup per serving.

Pumpkin Pie with Graham Cracker Crust
makes 8 servings at 3 pts each (from website)

3 oz reduced-fat cinnamon graham crackers, about 5 1/2 sheets
1 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 large egg white(s)
1 large egg(s)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp table salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, or less to taste
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk
4 Tbsp lite whipped topping

Position rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place graham crackers and light brown sugar in a food processor and process into crumbs (or smash into crumbs in a sealed plastic food bag with a rolling pin). Spoon crumbs into a small bowl; add melted butter and combine with fingers into a coarse meal. Distribute crumbs evenly on bottom and up sides of an ungreased 9-inch pie plate. Chill for 30 minutes before baking. Bake until crust starts to turn golden, about 8 to 10 minutes; remove from oven and let cool.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, using an electric mixer, whip egg whites until frothy; fold in egg, dark brown sugar, salt, pumpkin pie spice and evaporated milk. Beat pumpkin custard until smooth and pour into pie shell. Bake until a knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 to 55 minutes. Slice into 8 pieces, top each piece with 1/2 tablespoon of whipped topping and serve warm or at room temperature. Yields 1 slice per serving

Cranberry Orange Salad
makes 15 servings at 4 pts each

1 15 oz can mandarin oranges
2 pkgs (.3 oz each) sugar free cranberry gelatin
1 ½ C boiling water
1 can (16 oz) whole berry cranberry sauce
1 carton (8 oz frozen reduced fat whipped topping thawed
1 ½ C crushed salt free pretzels
6 Tbs butter, melted
sugar substitute equivalent to 5 Tbs sugar, divided
1 pkg (8 oz) fat free cream cheese

Drain oranges and reserve juice in a 2 cup measuring cup; set oranges and juice aside. In a large bowl, dissolve the gelatin in boiling water. Stir in cranberry sauce until melted. Add enough cold water to the reserved juice to measure 1 ½ C; add to gelatin mixture. Stir in the oranges. Chill until partially set. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the pretzels, butter, and 2 Tbs sugar substitute. Press into an unreased 13 x 9 x 2 pan; chill. In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and remaining sugar substitute until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spread over crust. Spoon gelatin mixture over cream cheese layer. Chill for at least 3 hours or until set.

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Rolls
makes 18 rolls at 2 pts each

1 ½ C self rising flour
1 ½ C whole wheat flour
1/3 C sugar
1 pkg (1/4 oz) quick rise yeast
1 C 1% buttermilk
¼ C canola oil

In a large mixing bowl, combine the self rising flour, ¾ C of the whole wheat flour, sugar, and yeast. In a small saucepan, heat the buttermilk and oil to 120 to 130 degrees (mixture will look curdled). Add to dry ingredients; beat just until smooth. Stir in remaining whole wheat flour. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cover and rest for 10 minutes. Roll dough to ½ inch thickness; cut with a floured 2 ½ inch biscuit cutter. Place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 35 to 40 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Gingered Butternut Squash
makes 6 servings at 2 pfs each

2 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
2 Tbs butter
1 Tbs maple syrup
2 Tbs candied ginger
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 Tbs half and half cream

Place squash in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12 to 16 minutes or until ender. Drain. In a large bowl, beat squash with butter and syrup. Beat in the ginger, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Gradually add cream until blended. Transfer to a serving bowl; serve immediately.

Slow Cooker Stuffing
makes 12 servings at 3 pts each

1 C chopped onion
1 C chopped celery
¼ C butter
6 C cubed white bread
6 C cubed whole wheat bread
1 tsp salt
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp sage
½ tsp pepper
1 can (14 ½ oz) reduced sodium chicken broth
½ C egg substitute

In a small nonstick skillet over medium heath, cook onion and celery in butter until tender, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, mix the bread cubes, salt, poultry seasoning, sage, and pepper. Stir in the onion mixture. Combine the broth and egg substitute; add to the bread mixture and toss to coat. Transfer to a 3-qt slow cooker coated with nonstick cooking spray. Cover and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours or until heated through.

Caramel Pecan Chocolate Cake
makes 24 servings at 7 pts each

1 pkg (14 oz) caramels
1 can (14 oz) fat free sweetened condensed milk
1/3 C butter
4 squares (1 oz each) unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/3 C canola oil
1 ½ C water
1/3 C unsweetened applesauce
2 egg whites
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 ½ C flour
1 1/3 C sugar
1/3 C sugar blend for baking
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
¾ C chopped pecans, tasted
1 tsp confectioners' sugar

In a small heavy saucepan, heat the caramels, milk, and butter over low heat until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth, stirring frequently; set aside and keep warm. In a large mixing bowl, combine chocolate and oil. Beat in the water, applesauce, egg whites, egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, sugar, sugar blend, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to chocolate mixture until blended. Pour half of batter into a 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 14 to 18 minutes or until center is set. Spread caramel mixture evenly over cake; top with remaining batter. Sprinkle with pecans. Bake 18 to 23 minutes longer or until toothpick inserted near the center of the top layer comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

Pumpkin Mousse
5 servings, 2 pts each

In a medium bowl with an electric beater on medium speed, beat:

1 16 oz can pumpkin
1 6-serving package of sugar free, fat free instant vanilla pudding
¼ C 1% milk
1 tsp cinnamon

Fold in:
2 C fat free whipped topping, thawed

Spoon into individual bowls. Cover and chill.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Yesterday, I read that you can use a strand of spaghetti to light a candle, especially if the wick of the candle is deep down inside the candle jar. That’s very creative, don’t you think? But…it’s not the spaghetti that lights the candle, is it? You need the basic lighting tool—FIRE—in order for the spaghetti strand to do its job. Have you been trying to “light the candle” of your weight loss journey with a simple spaghetti strand? You keep holding it to the wick, turning it to the right and left, lowering it, raising it, and trying over and over again, but with no success. What’s missing, kids? The FIRE!! The fire of our weight loss success is motivation, and motivation comes from a goal. Do you keep trying to lose weight but for no special reason except “I want to lose weight?” People, listen to me!!!!! If you want to light the candle, you need to spend time thinking about WHY you want to lose weight. What changes will it mean for your life? Do you want to fit back into the closet full of clothes that are too tight to wear right now? Do you want, once again, to look like you do in the picture that sits on your desk? Do you want your next trip to the doctor to be one of anticipation of positive feedback and test results instead of one of dread? Do you want to have energy to give to your kids at night? Do you want to not feel like the heaviest person in the room? Do you want to get out of bed each morning without aching knees? Do you want to greet each day with “Bring it on!” instead of “I can’t wait ‘til it’s over?” You can achieve these goals, but you have to make them your own. The goal has to make you feel emotional about losing weight—the goal will help you say “no, thank you” because just thinking about accomplishing it helps you make the tough decisions. If your goal is to lose weight, it’s just not good enough. What do you want to have HAPPEN as a result of losing weight? If you spend some time thinking about that and eventually answering that question, you will find the fire you need to use the proverbial spaghetti strand. You’ll never look at spaghetti the same way again, will you?

Be a Tigger, and keep on bouncing!!

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