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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mixed Field Greens with Berries, Creamy Balsamic and Candied Pecans

I was at a Christmas Party a few weeks ago with tons of great food and someone made a salad like this and it stole my heart! I just had to recreate it. You must try it, really you must. And it would be a perfect addition to a Holiday dinner since the colors are so fabulous. It is super simple and you will feel like a star with this one!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cranberry Jello

This recipe is a holiday favorite in my family. My aunt makes it at Thanksgiving every year and it is my favorite thing at the Thanksgiving table! It is full of fresh, delicious ingredients that I love! I made it again this week and CAN"T STOP eating it!!! I tried to skinny it up just a bit, by reducing the amount of sugar and nuts by a small amount to reduce the number of calories/points per serving but it is full of super healthy fruits so I didn't want to mess with it too much~

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mozzarella Stuffed Turkey Burgers with a Balsamic Glaze and Bruschetta Topping

These babies take OMG to a whole new level!!! SO yummy and so healthy, could it be, well yes it can!My husband thought these were the best turkey burger he ever ate, he was just mad I didn't buy buns for everyone. In my defense, they seemed so hearty, they need a bun. My son who is 5 ate two, he thought the cheese dripping out of the side was the best part. I served them with rosted red poatoes and my my green bean salad.

This recipe has three parts, the bruschetta, the glaze and the burgers but don't be scared, take it step by step and you will be so glad you made these!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

My birthday was last month, my sister-in-law gave me two subscriptions to Rachel Ray's Magazine and to Cooking Light. It has been fun combing through them and checking out some new recipes. I adapted this recipe from a Chicken Jambalaya recipe in the Rachel Ray Magazine. From start to finish this was done in 30 minutes which made it a perfect weeknight dinner, it was so easy and turned out great!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Crispy Peanut Butter Cups

I know this is shocking to most people who follow me, I NEVER post desserts, it's not that I don't eat sweets, I do, I promise but I try really hard not to make them for two reasons. First, I have no self control with sweets, if they are in my house, I eat them. I only buy sweets for my kids and husbands that I don't care about. And second, I don't like to cut corners/calories on sweets, I feel like it's really easy to make lower fat/calorie swaps in cooking but baking is more of a science and I don't want to mess it up!
I saw these on Pinterest and they looked so amazing I had to try them, at 9pm, I had to try them and OMG they are like a homemade Reese's Cup which is my favorite candy!
These are so easy to make it only takes about 10-12 minutes. This recipe can be doubled or tripled if you have a larger muffin tin, my mini muffin tin only makes 12 so I just made a few.

1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
2 T unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup powder sugar
1 t vanilla
3/4 cup Rice Krispies

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a mini muffin tin with non-stick spray. Sprinkle about 12-15 chocolate chips in each muffin cup and place in the oven for 3-5 minutes, careful not to burn them. Once they come out set aside.

In your mixer, cream the butter and peanut butter until smooth, about 2 minutes. Then add the powder sugar and the vanilla, mix until combined. Finally add the Rice Krispies and stir to combine.

Add about 1 T of the peanut butter mixture to the tops of the melted chocolate chips. Spray the back of a spoon with non-stick spray and press the peanut butter mixture down on top. Place in the fridge for about an hour. Store covered and in the fridge.

Weight Watcher Friends: These have 2.5 points each. They are small but really rich, enjoy!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Spinach, Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Rolls

A few weeks ago for my birthday we went to downtown Atlanta so see a comedy show, I wanted to eat at The Vortex, a famous place for great burgers in Altanta because even though I was born and raised here in Atlanta, I had never eaten at The Vortex. I had posted on Facebook that day to get suggestions from friends about what I should order, so many of my friends were shocked that I had never been to The Vortex! The real reason I had never been is because a burger isn't the food item that sends me to the moon, however a dinner with fresh spinach, cheese and sun dried tomatoes does! These chicken rolls have all the ingredients that make my heart sing. These were so yummy, I highly recommend that you try them!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Merry Christmas from The Reese Family

Merry Christmas! Here is my Christmas card for this year, isn't it fabulous??? I love it. For the past two years I have had Maren Reese (she is not related to me I just found her on She is so awesome to work with, so if you haven't ordered your cards yet, check out her blog! It is so easy, you just pick your design, email her your picture and she send you a proof within hours. It is only $15 for her to design  yours and she will send you the file and you can either print them yourself or she can print them and send them to you (that's what I did). Anyway I love to support a small business espically when it's another mom.
So go to and pick out one of Maren's designs! I promise this will be the cuteset Christmas card you ever send :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Balsamic Potato Salad

This is a wonderful merry of flavors, it's fresh, refreshing and tangy. We all chowed down on this one at my house. I served it with chicken but it would be such a great side dish to a grilled steak! This recipe can be tweaked to make it your own, if you don't like asparagus then use green beans instead, or use both.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Green Bean Casserole

When it comes to Thanksgiving, I love to indulge! It is one day that is entirely devoted to a great meal so on Thanksgiving I enjoy it! We are having Thanksgiving at our family farm, we all bring something, my mom and I will wake up early to make the cornbread dressing/stuffing together like we do every year. This year I have perfected my green bean casserole. I made a test batch of this yesterday and it was practically gone in about 30 minutes. It was a huge hit! My goal was to make it taste great without using any canned soups....

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Italian Meatball Bake

Not sure if I love Italian food or Mexican food more...guess it depends on the day, well today it's all about the Italian food. After having some issues with my stomach I decided to try to eat gluten free to see if it made a difference in how I feel. Make no mistake I am still eating carbs, rice & potatoes just not wheat. This was my attempt to make a low fat, gluten free meatball Italian dinner! And I have to say, it was great!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Rice, Black-eyed Peas and Swiss Chard

Last summer at our family farm my cousin, Rusty, who by the way is an amazing cook! A low fat cook? No way but a totally amazing cook for sure! He has a huge vegetable farm up in Dahlonega and had brought some fresh Swiss chard and made a delicious dish that was similar to this. Today just happens to be his birthday, happy birthday Cuz! I brought the idea home and tweaked it just right to make still delicious but also really healthy. This could honestly be a meal in itself!

Hamburger Soup

This is a family favorite at my house. My mother-in-law used to make this for my husband when he was a kid. When I first met my Jeremy in college we used to go back to visit his family in Augusta, his mom would cook up a storm and she was an amazing southern cook! She doesn't cook much these days but she used to do wonders in the kitchen. I remember the first time Jeremy told me his mom was making us hamburger soup I thought, yuck that doesn't sound good to me. I had eaten vegetable beef soup but not with hamburger meat, that just did not seem appetizing, but it was great! Of course I have adapted it over the years to make it healthier but when I need something quick to make I can always throw together a pot of this crowd pleaser for my crew!

One special note about this soup, you can NOT mess it up, if you don't like some of the veggies I used, then use different ones, you can add a bit more or less of whatever veggies you like, make this one your own! Also this recipe calls for frozen veggies, I do not use canned vegetables (other than tomatoes), I rarely use frozen veggies in recipes I just like fresh best but for this one frozen are great, plus you don't have to worry about additives or preservatives that are in canned vegetables.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Baked Acorn Squash

This is something my mom has always made it is so simple yet so delicious. I love squash, all of them but this is especially yummy! Some people like to add Cinnamon, and sugar to their squash but I love the natural sweetness of this squash and when you add a little butter and salt it has a great balance of sweet and savory. I had it in my vegetable bowl on my table for about 4 days before I made it and my kids kept asking about that 'green pumpkin.'  They couldn't wait for me to cut into to it and cook it!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Elle!!

Yesterday my girl turned 4, and all day long she kept asking, "am I 4 yet?" She can't believe that she really made it to 4! Ha!

Top four reasons this girl makes my heart sing....

1. Elle is the most appreciating child, always telling me she loves the most random things!

2. Elle is so funny, particular about things and just plain funny, keeping us all laughing!

3. Elle is very helpful, she loves helping me cook, garden, she is always trying to help!

4. Elle is very loving, she would lay in my lap all day and snuggle with me!

We had the best time together planning her best-princess-party-ever, actually it was the only princess party she has ever had. Other than her first birthday party, it was actually the only real birthday party she has ever had and it was perfect according to her :) We spent the week decorating and making fun things for the party. My friend Catey came and helped me decorate, thanks Catey for your help and great ideas!  

Yesterday when she woke up Grant and I decorated her bedroom door. 
Then Grant and I hid her presents, which he thought was super fun, she had a blast finding them all!
 I think she liked finding the presents better than opening them!

Then after lunch the party started...
 As the little princesses arrived they had to follow Rapunzel's hair to find the party...
Which started at the front porch...
Through the house...
Down the stairs into the basement...

To our princess party room!
The little princesses had fun doing all kinds of princess things.
Making necklaces....
Having their nails painted, thanks Aunt Meg for all your help...
Faces painted, decorating cookies and playing princess games!
They were super cute!
Then we had cake, a Tangled Tower that was a tower of love from me, who was determined to not spend $50 on a cake from Publix, mine was cuter than theirs anyway :)
And Elle loved it which is all that really matters to me!
The cake was really yummy too, I made a giant cookie and baked it for the crust, once it cooled, I filled it with cookie dough ice cream, then it had cream cheese icing, yum!
These princesses had a blast! This is Elle with Olivia, her cousin and true BFF. It was a really fun day!
Happy Birthday Elle, We love you!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Potato Soup

I think the only part of cold weather I like is making cozy, hearty, warm soups! This is my twist on a hugely fattening soup. It is really delicious! I made this last week, we took our kids to a Trunk or Treat in the back of the neighborhood and it was so cold outside all I wanted to do was come home and eat some of this!

6 medium potatoes, peeled, cubed
2 T butter
1 large onion
1 carrot, diced small
1 stalk celery, diced small
2 cartons chicken stock
2/3 cup half & half
2 t salt
fresh cracked pepper to taste
Toppings : grated cheese, bacon crumbles, spring onion, fresh parsley
Saute onion, carrots, celery in the butter for about 3-4 minutes until the onions begin to soften, add the potatoes and stir for a minute or two, be careful the potatoes don't stick, keep it moving, I added a few splashes of chicken stock to keep mine from sticking but if you don't mind added fat butter would be best. Add the stock stirring to combine. Bring to a boil then reduce to medium low for 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through.
Diced potatoes
Diced Veggies
This is a picture of the potatoes and veggies during the saute with a splash of chicken stock.

 Then you add the rest of your stock.

Once the boil is done you slowly stir in your cream, or half and half. At this point the color of the soup is not  creamy looking, if you aren't concerned with the calorie/fat content of the soup I would add another 1/2 cup of cream. However if you are trying to keep this lower in fat and cholesterol then try this trick I use. I take my stick blender and run it through the soup for about 30 seconds a couple of times. You have to be careful, you can quickly turn this into 'mashed potato soup' (I did that once!) If you don't have a stick blender then take about 2-3 cups of the soup out of the pot, blend in your traditional blender and then add it back in the pot. At this point you need to add your salt and pepper and then taste it to see if you need more.

Now you are ready to serve and top with whatever makes you happy, cheese, bacon, scallions.

Weight Watcher Friends: This soup has 4 points per 1.5 cup serving. If you add toppings other than the scallions then you need to adjust your points.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Favorite Go-To-Sandwich

I love this sandwich, the base of it is always the same but I love to change it up with whatever I have that's fresh. I make this all the time in the summer but made it the other day and thought, I usually put main dishes on my blog, but sometimes a simple sandwich is just what the doctor ordered!

1 Bagel Thin (I love everything bagels)
1 T light chive and onion cream cheese
3-4 slices lean deli meat (I used black forest ham)
1 slice cheese (I used Havarti)
5-7 fresh spinach leaves
3 slices fresh tomato
4-6 slices of cucumber, sliced thin

Simply spread the cream cheese on each of the insides of the bagel. Then layer the sandwich, deli meat, cheese, spinach, cucumber and tomato.

It is a super simple sandwich that is absolutely delicious! It is so versatile, you can use veggie cream cheese or just plain, use ham, turkey or roast beef, change up the cheese and make it your own. Just put the things on that you love and it will be great!

Weight Watcher Friends: This sandwich may vary depending on your ingredients but this one here has 7 points. This sandwich with an apple makes an awesome lunch!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Mummy Dogs

In honor of Halloween I had to post this one for fun. It is nothing new or innovative on my part but it sure was a winner with the kids! On Sunday as I was flipping though the paper, something caught Elle's eye and she BEGGED me to make was a Kraft ad!
My husband was out of town this week so I made these for my kids and I ate fresh beets with goat cheese, it worked out perfectly.

1 can of crescent rolls
6-8 slices of American Cheese
1 package of hot dogs
1/2 t of mustard (for the faces)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (whatever it says on your can of crescent rolls). Wrap the hot dogs with cheese, then crescent rolls (broken into strips) so they look like mummies. Spray a foil lined pan and bake them for about 15 minutes. It was so easy, and my kids were so happy!

My best kitchen helper loved making them!
And our best test taster loved eating them!
Watch out below, these are some scary faces!

Weight Watcher Friends: You are on your own on these with point calculation, I didn't even try to figure points here because these are not on my list of foods that I enjoy :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mediterranean Chicken

If I can create my own pasta dish or pizza it will include most of the ingredients of this recipe. The other night I made a quick pasta salad as a side dish to something we were having, it had pasta, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions and black olives tossed with feta and some Italian dressing. While my husband was eating it he said "this would really be good with some artichoke hearts or some hearts of palm in it", I almost choked! You see, that sounds amazing to me, but I couldn't believe he was saying that! When I first met my Jeremy he was happy to eat a burger and fries or a steak and mashed potatoes everyday. He has probably added about 100 foods to his dining repertoire since we met 12 years ago. And if you ever told me he would ask for artichoke hearts or heart of palm I would have said you were crazy!

After that request I had to get busy, I came up with last week and it was so yummy, so healthy and it was eaten all gone by everyone in my house!

1 pound of thin sliced chicken breast
1 small red onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
20 grape tomatoes, halved
1 can large black olives, pitted, whole
1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
2 T fresh parsley
2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
1 T olive oil
1/4 cup feta cheese
2 T butter, cut in 8 cubes
Salt and Fresh cracked pepper
Several shakes of Garlic & Onion seasoning

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray baking dish with non-stick spray. Clean chicken and lay evenly at the bottom of your baking dish and season with salt, pepper, garlic and onion seasoning. You could use any type of dry Greek seasoning that you may have. Just shake it on, don't be scared!

Place baking dish in the oven for about 20 minutes. While that is baking, mix your vegetables together in a mixing bowl, tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, olives, garlic, artichoke hearts and fresh parsley. Gently toss them with the olive oil and more salt and pepper to taste, don't over do it here with the salt and pepper since you already seasoned your chicken. Set your veggies aside until your chicken is cooked. Then pull the chicken out of the oven.
Add your veggies on top and then put back in the oven for about 15 minutes.

If you want to serve this on top of pasta, now is the time to cook your pasta to al dente! I served it to my family over penne pasta. Once the chicken and vegetables are done you can remove from the oven and dish out onto the cooked pasta. At this point you add your butter randomly on top and very gently stir, the tomatoes are delicate at this point and if you want them to hold their shape you can't jostle them too much. Top with the feta and serve right away!
Weight Watcher Friends: This is so yummy! You will love this one! I did not eat mine over pasta I took my serving 1 chicken breast and 1.5 cups of the vegetables and put it on my plate before I added the butter and I put my own feta on mine 1 T. This way I kept it to 6 points for the meal. It was delicious!