Saturday, December 31, 2011

Cream Ham and Rice Soup

What do you do with your left over ham?

The hubby's work gives him a Smithfield ham every year and I decided that it was my wifely duties to cook it up this year! I've never cooked a ham, turkey, or anything of the sort. I had no need or want to, but I figured it being my 1st year of marriage, I thought it would be a good time to start.

So I cooked the ham the other day and made my mom's mashed potatoes to go with it, but we have  TON left over!


So, my search on Pintrest started to find what I could make with all this left over ham. I came across this recipe for soup!

Lately, it has been warm where we live, but when it eventually gets cold it'll be nice to take it out of the freezer on a cold day.

I doubled the original recipe, so if you want just a little, use the link.

You will need:
4 cups cooked rice (I used brown)
7 cups of chicken broth (I use low sodium and it tastes just fine)
2 green scallions chopped
2 generous cups of chopped ham
2 cups of shredded carrots
12 tbs butter
2/3 cup of flour
2 cups of half and half
Dash of salt and pepper

While you are cooking up your rice, go ahead and start chopping up your ham. Note: I cooked my rice in the microwave and it was a little messy. You might want to cook it on the stove. 

I love the smell of scallions, they are my newest favorite thing to cook with! But they do wilt fast, so don't buy them too far in advance. Chop 'em up!

While you are chopping up your delicious smelling scallions (green onion), start melting the butter in a big sauce pan. Then add your scallions. 

Add your carrots too. Let them simmer in the wonderful butter for a bit!

You'll need to add the flour next, but careful to stir it quickly and don't let it clump up.

Get your chicken broth ready. Add it slowly and let it come to a boil. Once it boils, let it simmer for about 2 minutes.

Once it's boiled for 2 minutes, add your ham.

Add the rice.

Lastly, add the 1/2 and 1/2, a pinch of pepper and salt.

I divided mine into containers to store in the freezer.

Be sure to try some before you put them away though. Yumm!

It was hubby approved too :) And that says a lot for my picky eater of a husband!


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Red Pepper Chicken with Noodles

The holiday's have added some squishiness to my body. As much as I've enjoyed eating all the goodies, I much rather be able to fit into my clothes! So it's back to the norm or my WW lunches!

This week I made Red Pepper Chicken with Noodles.

You will need:

3/4 pd boneless skinless chicken, chopped (or if you're like me, you just eyeball it and get a few pieces out of the freezer)
2 tsp olive oil
4 scallions (chopped)
1 cup roasted red pepper (chopped)
3/4 cup red kidney beans (rinsed)
2 cups cooked wide egg noodles
1/3 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese

I started off boiling my water for the noodles while I was getting everything else ready.

After that was ready, I chopped my scallions. And oh boy! Did they smell yummy!

Next, chop the red peppers! Next time, I think I'll keep them a little more chunky for flavor.

If you're house is anything mine, your children come bug you! 

Ok. I don't have real children yet, but I have feline children! 

Now, add your oil to a big pan and cut up your chicken into it. I use kitchen scissors, I love them!

Add some pepper! I love pepper, so I was generous. 

Then, add some salt. 

Turn on the stove and start frying up your chicken! About 5 mins or so after it gets warm. Be sure to stir it around a bit so the chicken doesn't get stuck together. 

Once your chicken is pretty well done, you'll start adding the stuff that's left over. Go ahead and throw in your kidney beans.

Red peppers.

Let it simmer for a few minutes and then throw in your cooked noodles.

Wa la!

This makes 4 servings, about 323 calories, 6 WW points (old school).

I put mine into containers, as always. Then I put the cheese on top.

I'd give it a 3.5 out 5. The kidney beans add a weird texture to me. But you may love kidney beans and you'll give it a 5?!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

1st Christmas!

This is the our first Christmas as The Wilson's.

B and I had Christmas together last year, but we weren't married. Last year was really the 1st year to break the ice with the family. My family lives 4ish hours away and they are use to me coming up for 2 weeks. Being a teacher, I get a good amount of time off during the holidays. Last year I went up the weekend before and decided to have Christmas with my love.

We kind of did this backwards. I guess I should have had Christmas with him this year instead.

This year we are heading up to my mom's for Christmas. Partly because we couldn't go up for Thanksgiving. All thanks to Gus, my car.

So, I get to make the 4 hour (I hope) drive tomorrow night. Dear Lord, please let I-95 not be stuffed with traffic tomorrow night!

The poor hubby has to work all day tomorrow and then get stuck in a car with me singing LOUD and proud :)

But it will be nice to have Christmas morning with my mom. I haven't had that in years. Gosh. I really can't remember the last time I woke up with my mom on Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all :)

Monday, December 19, 2011


Lately I've been spicing up our home a bit.

A week or so ago I sent off our first Christmas card. I was thinking about how I could hold onto the memory of our first card in an interesting way. The other week I made a wall collage off an idea from Pintrest.  Taking that idea and modifying it with cards, I came up with this idea!

I asked for a copy of our wedding announcement from my mother in-law and put that at the top! Since that was really the start of our family, I thought it was fitting :) Next is our Christmas card from this year!

Thinking about future cards (x-mas, birth announcements *I hope in the future*), I think I'll probably order different sized cards. There really isn't a 4x8 picture frame or at least I couldn't find any. I'll probably order 5x7 cards from now on. I got these frames from Walmart.

Hope you can take the idea and make it your own!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Snowflake Mix!

This is NOT a WW recipe. Sorry to disappoint.

My mother in-law is coming over for dinner tonight, and it's the first time I'm cooking for her.

So of course, I've been doing things since the moment I woke up to get ready! I want to make it a good dinner and visit. Who doesn't want to impress their mother in-law?

I seriously got lucky! She is great!

I'm making stuffed shells for dinner, but I needed something for them to munch on before dinner. Hence the snowflake mix!

I got the recipe from Pintrest, but I changed things a bit.

You'll need:
6 (ish) cups of square corn chex
1 (ish) cups of pretzels
1 (ish) cups of honey roasted peanuts
Bag of M&M's (I used Dark Chocolate because I like them better)
16 ounces of white baking chocolate (vanilla flavor)

Now, I'm saying "ish" for the top part because I used a little over what I was supposed to use. The original recipe called for the exact measurements, but I have more baking chocolate than they called for. So I just added a few more dashes of each.

1. Combine the corn chex, pretzels, and peanuts in a pretty large bowl.

2. Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. I put it in for 1 minute and stirred. Then, one more minute in the microwave did the trick.

3. Combine the white chocolate and the mix in the bowl. Make sure you get all the chocolatey goodness out of the bowl!

4. Spread it out on wax paper or a cookie sheet like I did. Sprinkle the M&M's on top! You'll have to wait an hour or so for it harden and break it apart.

4. Enjoy! And go to the gym the next day...because this will do damage! lol

Monday, December 12, 2011

Linguine Alfredo

I was down for the count this weekend. Not totally, I had a cold. So, I didn't cook Sunday. I did today. What's with my crappy, short sentences?

Moving on.

I have FANTASTIC news! Today, one of my coworkers asked me if I was losing weight!! I immediately said..."Yes! It's paying off!" I've lost about 5lbs...give or take on the day. I haven't been feeling great this past week because I haven't gone to the gym in a week or so. Feeling crappy/things to do has kept me this week. I'll be back to the grove on Wednesday.

Enough of the talk. Onto the cooking.

This weeks WW challenge was Linguine Alfredo.

I modified the recipe a bit because I didn't want all the different veggies they had. And...I didn't have as much parmesan cheese as I thought I had (such is my life).

You'll need:
Fresh Broccoli
1 tbs low fat margarine
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbs flour
1 cup fat free milk
1/2 cup nonfat cream cheese (I could only find it in the Philadelphia brand a Walmart and I ended up using more of this because I didn't have enough parmesan cheese)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
4 cups cooked linguine (almost the whole box and I used whole wheat)

Start off with chopping the fresh broccoli!

I have to confess....up until now I've been afraid of fresh garlic. I've avoided it through my first few years of cooking, but I am now embracing fresh garlic! Start chopping it up!

Mean while, start cooking the linguine!

In all seriousness, this was the first time I ever chopped up fresh garlic. Amazing! 

In another pot, start melting the margarine. Once it's melted, add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds (or until your whole house smells like garlic)!

Add the flour and whisk away until blended!

Go ahead and add the milk while you're at it! 

Now it's time for the best part....the cheese! And if you're like me and you thought you had more parmesan cheese....add some extra cream cheese. Or don't if you have it together and you have all the ingredients you need :)

When it's all stirred together and warm, you're read to put the linguine, alfredo sauce, and broccoli together! 

Seriously, it smells better than the alfredo from Maggiano's! I haven't tried it yet, but I can't wait! My husband even said it smelled yummy when he walked in the door. And he usually turns his nose up to my WW recipes. 

I make these for my lunches for work and I already divided them up, like this. 

The WW cookbook says it's 5 pts. per serving (old school) and about 276 calories. Makes 4 servings. 

Enjoy! I'm sure I will! 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I can't read directions...

The Holiday's put a glitch into my adventures the last few weeks....or maybe I should failure to read directions carefully delayed me posting on schedule!

Right before Thanksgiving (I think, I have a really bad memory), I attempted to make WW Mac 'n Cheese. This is where the 1st failure to read directions got in the way. I started with all the ingredients (or at least I thought).

I made the pasta, as directed. Boiling pasta is pretty easy, right? At least I didn't mess that up. 

All was going well, until I started to add the cheese and it was all in one big clump of cheese. I went back to the recipe and then say that one of the cheese had to be american cheese in order for them to melt properly. Ooops! When I was in the grocery store I decided not to get the american cheese because I couldn't find any that was shredded (note, it doesn't exists). Soon to find out, I wasted a batch of mac n' cheese because I can't read fine print directions. Lesson all the directions carefully! 

After I went back and added the american cheese, it was quite delicious. I recommend it! 

That was last weeks cooking adventures...onto this week!

After the fiasco of missing ingredients, I decided to bring my WW cookbook with me to avoid anymore disasters. Disaster was avoided, but mistakes were not! 

I decided to make Pumpkin Soup this week. I had all of the spices, so it wasn't too expensive. Salt, ground cinnamon, white pepper, nutmeg and ginger. 

Here was the rest that I needed: pumpkin, chicken broth, evaporated FF milk and I used butternut squash (not shown), but it was really supposed to be turnips (which was my mistake...but I didn't see turnips in the frozen isle anyway). 

It was pretty had to head up the butternut squash on the stove. I ended up getting it all over my kitchen because it apparently flings really easy! I don't recommend that lol 

Then I pretty much added all the other ingredients except the milk (the broth and pumpkin was already mixed in at this point). 

I slowly added in the milk and heated it up! 

Pretty easy! But! I have to wasn't to my liking in the taste department. 

If you are someone who doesn't like to break the rules...stop reading now! 

I added a few spoons full of sugar to sweeten it up a bit. I thought it was a little bitter without it and I don't think I could have eaten that for 4 days. 

Onto baking cookies! That aren't just can't make good cookies without butter! lol