Sunday, November 29, 2009

Okay, I Lied, No Brownies Today… Chocolate Cookies Instead!

Forgive me? Of course you do. Who doesn’t like cookies.

I have three recipes I want to try, a trifecta of chocolaty goodness: brownies made with All Bran, brownies made with pumpkin, and today's crunchy chocolaty fiberific cookies:  Fiber One Crunchy Fudge Cookies.  The recipe references name brand products but I just used whatever was on-hand, and I substituted a couple things. Here’s my version of the cookies:

1 box brownie mix
2 C Fiber One (I used All Bran)
2 T mini semisweet chocolate chips
1/8 t ground cinnamon
1/3 C water
1 T vegetable oil (I used unsweetened applesauce)
2 t vanilla
1 egg

Heat oven to 350 and spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Mix all ingredients at once in a large bowl using a spoon. (The dough is very stiff.)

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, cool slightly before removing from cookie sheet to rack to cool completely.

I got 35 cookies from the recipe.  Next time I'll try using egg whites instead of a whole egg, to reduce the point value a little.  But these are fabulous!  Chocolaty and crunchy, and the fiber cereal seems more like little bits of coconut than bran.  A winner for sure! 

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Well I made it through two Thanksgivings and am still alive.  Actually they were very fun, possibly the two of the best Thanksgivings I can remember.  Thursday we had friends in town with their two toddlers; the toddlers wore out our dogs!  They were so cute.  And then Friday we went to BF's mother's house for a big family dinner.  Lots of fun, both days.  I tried to remember my weight loss goals but don't know how successful I was.  I did not log my food after mid-morning Thursday.  However, Thurday I made cookies after dinner and sent half with our friends when  they left, and took half to BF's mom's house.  I managed to decline bringing home leftover desserts from Friday's dinner, and that was hard!  She made a pumpkin version of gooey butter cake which was fabulous, as was her homemade apple pie and pecan-cranberry pie.  Yes, I tasted all of them but did not have full-size pieces.  Ok, I could have done better, but each day is a new day, no need to beat myself up, just learn from it and move on.  Today I'm back on the wagon with logging food intake.  I didn't log dinner until after I ate and discovered I went over my daily points by one.  Oopsy.

I was so proud this morning when BF asked for Chinese for dinner and instead of getting out the menu for carryout, he asked where the dumpling filling was in the freezer.  He is used to the homemade now!  I made steamed pork dumplings which is a tried-and-true recipe for me, I make it every couple weeks.  A pound of ground pork makes so much dumpling filling that one batch is enough for 4 dinners; I use a quarter of the dumpling mix and freeze the rest for assembling next time we have it. 

Here is the steamed pork dumpling recipe I use: and for the dipping sauce I tried several recipes and ended up making my own: 1 part each rice vinegar, soy sauce and mirin, which is a sweet cooking wine.  Add a quarter teaspoon chili paste per serving.  Good stuff!

I tried two new recipes tonight, too: baked crab rangoon and hungry girl's moo shu chicken  I looked up several crab rangoon recipes and most included scallions, soy sauce in the filling, and/or mayonnaise.  I could not comprehend including those so just used low fat cream cheese and imitation crab.  And I left out the scallions because BF is not a fan.  My bad.  Even he said they were clearly missing something.  Probably scallions, mayonnaise or soy sauce :)  But they were adorable!  I made them in muffin cups, most of them I moistened the edges of the wonton wrappers and closed them, and I left a few open like little cups.  They were so cute when they were done!

I probably won't try that particular moo shu recipe again.  It was not bad at all, and it was easy, but it was not what I was looking for.

After we finished dinner and BF fell asleep on the couch with a full tummy, I started this blog entry and realized I forgot to take pictures!  I promise next time I make something fun, I will take some pictures.  Especially if I'm telling you how adorable it is. 

Wednesday was my 2nd weigh-in for Weight Watchers and I lost 2.6 lbs!  For a total of 8.6 lbs in two weeks, woo hoo!  Of course after Thanksgiving, not feeling so confident about a loss this coming Wednesday but that will help me stay on track the next few days.

Enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving weekend!  Tomorrow I will try a low-fat brownie recipe using a brownie mix and high-fiber cereal, and I will post pictures!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Brownie Withdrawal!

Yesterday I was suffering from brownie withdrawal, so combed the internet for low-point brownie recipes. I found one posted by a member on the Weight-Watchers Online website and decided to give it a try. I would link back to their post but I don't know if that is allowed on the WW website.

Here is the recipe:

1/4 cup Egg Beaters
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup Splenda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp light butter
1/2 cup whole wheat flour

Melt the butter, then mix in the rest of the ingredients. Spread in an 8x8 pan sprayed with Pam and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

And here are my tweaks: I used 2 egg whites instead of the Egg Beaters, and used 24 packets of Splenda instead of the baking measure-for-measure stuff. I have heard the fillers in that can taste odd so I thought I'd see the difference without the packets. I replaced the light butter with Promise Fat Free spread, and folded 2 T of semisweet chocolate chips into the batter before putting it in the pan.

Ok, I think Splenda is great, don't get me wrong, but I could still taste the difference. I think next time I will try using half Splenda and half regular sugar, or honey or Agave Nectar. I don't know the reason for using Kosher salt, it didn't really dissolve throughout the batter so next time I'll use regular table salt. And these make a cake-like brownie; next time I might try leaving out the baking soda and see what that does. BUT they are very, very low in points and clearly they are edible because I have only half a pan left. They do hit that chocolate craving with a big cocoa-flavored hammer, without being full of fat or refined sugar or using up a whole meal's worth of points.

I will definitely make these again. Maybe by then I will have bought batteries for my camera and can post pictures of the culinary experiment.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Week One of Weight Watchers!

Last week I had a goal of going to the gym three times. I didn’t do it. BUT I joined weight watchers a week ago, on Wednesday. The first couple days were tough, I was STARVING and trust me, I was one big whiny baby. And I kept counting points and journaling my food. Monday was a lunch out at work, for a birthday. I had enchilada soup and my beloved french fries, and counted the points for them. Even with that fatty lunch out, I stayed within my points all week long! I drank a liter of water every day and worked on getting all my fruits, veggies, dairy and grains in. I didn’t make it, but keeping that in mind kept me eating healthier. I have discovered fat free sour cream and weight watchers string cheese are my friends.

Yesterday when I got to work I realized I had on a different pair of jeans than I thought. I stuck my hand in the pocket for something and was expecting the short pocket that my newest (largest) jeans had, but it was a regular pocket. I went to the bathroom and checked because I could not believe it; the jeans I realized I had on should have been tighter and I should have been having to tug them up all day because they were tight and have some stretch material, so they keep inching down. I could not believe that after just a few days I was already seeing a change in how my clothes fit. And was it my imagination or was my face losing some of that recent extra extra roundness?

Today was Day 7 of the first week on Weight Watchers. You weigh in every week for your official weight and (drum roll please) I lost 5.6 lbs in my first week!!! WHOO HOO! It was NOT my imagination! Maybe it was water weight, I don’t know, but I am happy happy happy and motivated motivated motivated! I canNOT wait until next week.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

starting AGAIN

I went way off the radar for several months. I have not lost a pound. Probably because I was only making half-hearted efforts with food choices and not exercising. I've made a deal with myself that when I go to the gym 4 times in a week, I can buy a new pair of shoes for the gym. Hopefully I will reach that goal and get that prize in the next 7 days! There is a discount store north of Kansas City that usually has a good selection of name brand athletic shoes for $25 or $35. Tangent: Last time I was there they had an adorable pair of brown Mia wedges in 9 1/2 and usually that's what I wear but they were too big, I was stepping out of them. I almost cried! They were really cute.

So I would like to lose 20 lbs by Thanksgiving. But it's only a couple weeks away so I will aim for 10 lbs and see what happens. It's possible... I have been sedentary and gluttonous and enjoyed it thoroughly but anyhoo, if I hit the weightloss efforts pretty hard I can count on 6 to 7 lbs of water weight coming off in the 1st week, and then if I keep it up maybe I can lose a few more lbs fairly quickly with the whole "just starting out" momentum. We shall see. Oh, and I want to join Weight Watchers again after payday. I know a woman who is a Lifetime Member and she has inspired me to achieve the same goal. Wish me luck!