Party Smart! – WW weekly 6/26-7/2/2016

Party Smart!

Enjoy the food, have a drink, kick up your heels – on plan

WeightWatchers weekly 6/26-7/2/2016

What does it mean to part to party smart? As your summer weekends (and weeknights) fill up with social events, the idea of tracking and maintaining healthy routines can seem overwhelming. But you can strike a livable balance between sticking to your plan and overdoing it. In fact, the more consistent your eating patterns over the course of the week, the more likely you are to succeed at keeping weight off in the long run. Lifestyle tricks can go a long way – like eating a little something before you leave the house, wearing fitted clothes, and carrying a bottle of water or seltzer at parties ( so you are less likely to mindlessly pick at the food). Keyword: Planning.

How does it help? Planning can help you make wiser decisions – like when to use Weekly SmartPoints value (at your foodie friend’s cookout, say) and when to stick to low smart points  foods and focus on socializing instead. Select daily activity beforehand and you won’t feel as stressed or derailed by weekend of back to back parties. Plus, you can schedule events that revolve around activity, such as a group hike, a beach volleyball tournament, or family relay races.

SOCIAL KEY CODES

D: Drinks. Want to enjoy one – or two? Figure out what you’ll drink, and what trade offs can accommodate it, such as using your weekly smart points. (check out weight watchers.com)

A: Activity. Give yourself a pat on the back for any social occasion that also involves physical activity. It’s a win-win. If an event isn’t activity centric add movement by walking around helping the host pr playing with the kids, if possible.

F: Food. Reserving your Weekly Smart Points for an event helps you plan meals for the rest of the week. At the party, wait until all the food is served before choosing. Then  you won’t fill up on one dish, only to see a favorite is coming out next.

S: Social. With some friends and family, you can have a blast just talking and laughing in an empty room, When you aim social, the food and drink are mostly for fuel. Stake out a spot away from the buffet, and hold court with good conversation.

WHAT TO DO: SET YOUR PARTY PRIORITIES.

Jot down the fun stuff you’ve lined up for this month, then use the key code to mark what you’re most looking forward to at each event: delicious cocktails, a catch-up with old work pals, and so on. Planning helps you manage food and drink, depending on your “party priorities.”

Everything about Pierogi

My boyfriends parents are from Poland but he was born here and they have been visiting for the past two weeks. (a lot of eye rolling at his mother)

Polish pierogi dough recipe (original)

Ingredients in this recipe:

  • 3 cups of wheat flour (all-purpose)
  • half a teaspoon of salt
  • 0.75 cup of boiling water
  • 0.25 cup of cold water
  • half a teaspoon of oil

takes 30-40 min — makes about 30 pierogi

Recipe:

  1. Pour 3 cups of wheat flour into the bowl. Pour the flour through a sieve to separate any lumps and in order to aerate the flour. Thanks to the latter, your pierogi dough will be softer and more delicate in flavor. Then add half a teaspoon of salt.
  2. Pour 0.75 of cup of boiling water into the bowl, while vigorously stirring the mixture with a fork or wooden spoon. At this stage, it is normal that lumps of flour will form and surface – crumble them down with the fork. Cover the bowl with a cotton cloth and set aside for about 5 minutes.
  3. After 5 min, add a quarter of a cup of cold water, give it a stir, and crumble down the lumps (if any). Once again cover the pierogi dough with a cotton cloth, but this time set is aside for 15 minutes.
  4. After 15 min, add half a teaspoon of vegetable oil (canola, sunflower or olive oil). Roll up your sleeves – it’s time for some work. Knead the pierogi dough until it becomes a smooth and uniform mass. In general, it takes 5 to 10 minutes, and at this stage a pair of men’s hands may be quite useful. When finished, the pierogi dough should be homogeneous, stretchy and a bit adhesive.
  5. Now, the dough is ready to prepare pierogi. Roll out the dough on a pastry board (or simply on a table) until you reach the thickness of about one-tenth of an inch (2-3 millimeters). However, before you start rolling it out, you should flour the pastry board. Thanks to that the pierogi dough won’t adhere or tear. However, remember that one side of the dough should remain clean. You want it to cling on to itself while folding pierogi.
  6. Cut circles out of the pierogi dough by using a cup. Place the filling in the middle of every circle and fold it to form pierogi.
  7. Collect scraps of pierogi dough, knead again, roll out and repeat steps 5-7.

Pierogi with meat filling recipe

Ingredients in this recipe:

  • 0.5 kg of beef
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 parsley
  • 1 leek
  • half of a celery
  • 1 onion
  • butter or oil for frying
  • 1 roll
  • parsley leaves
  • two eggs
  • salt & pepper
  • pierogi dough
  • crackling or fried onion

takes about 1.5 hours

Recipe:

  1. Wash 0.5 kg of beef without the bone. Put in salted water. Cook, until the meat softens.
  2. Prepare wloszczyzna vegetables: peel and cut into small stripes three carrots, one parsley, one leek and half a celery. Throw this vegetables into stock with meat and leave gently cooking on half an hour. I usually don’t buy raw vegetables in such situations. I prefer buying in a grocery those already cut up frozen vegetables.
  3. While the meat is being cooked with vegetables peel onion and cut it into cubes.
  4. Fry onion on the frying pan with the addition of butter, until it lightly browns itself.
  5. Take the meat out of stock and tear into smaller pieces.
  6. Put one roll into the bowl and fill with stock. Wait a while, as far as the roll will become soaked. Then take it out of the bowl, drain and add to the meat.
  7. Add also fried onion and precisely mix everything.
  8. Grind the blend of onion, meat and roll in a meat mincer.
  9. Chop parsley leaves up and add to stuffing.
  10. Break two raw eggs into a meat mixture.
  11. Add salt and grinded black pepper. Mix. Season to taste.
  12. If your stuffing is too dry add some stock.
  13. Now arrange this stuffing with teaspoon on pierogi dough circles and carefully glue the dough, forming pierogi.
  14. Cook pierogi on salted water. After floating to the surface cook until become soft. Then sift out.
  15. We pan-fry the cooked pierogi. Use butter or sunflower oil. Fry pierogi from both sides – from time to time turning from side to side. Fry pierogi, until become firmly browned from both sides.
  16. Lay pierogi on plates. To make the dish more tasty sprinkle pierogi with crackling prepared in the meantime, or use onion fried to gold. Many people like to eat meat filled pierogi with ketchup, mustard or other nice sauces. You can try it, but it is worthwhile knowing that such a way of eating isn’t truly traditional.

 

recipes from http://www.tastingpoland.com

 

Sausage and pepper pasta

So i recently moved into my boyfriend’s house and his mother left her crockpot that we got her for us because she said we’d use it more than her.  Yesterday I put together our first meal out of it since I moved in.

Ingredients

  • 12 links of sweet and/or spicy italian sausage
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced
  • 3 bell peppers, sliced
  •  1 – 2 jars  of tomato sauce
  • 1 box of pasta

Direction

  1. slice onions and peppers. place into crock pot with half of jar of sauce
  2. brown the outside of the sausage either in a skillet or on the grill.
  3. slice the sausage and put it in the crockpot
  4. add rest of sauce and stir
  5. cook on high for 3.5 hours or on low for 6 hours
  6. when there is less than 30 minutes left boil any type of pasta
  7. when all is done, pour sausage and peppers over pasta and stir

cooking = love + experiments

Crock Pot Parsnip Soup from Staphanie Solla

1) dice approximately 1cup each of carrots, celery, parsnips, and onion. Also dice approximately 4 cups of potatoes. Add to pot along with enough stock of your choosing to cover everything, 1 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of pepper and.5-1 tablespoon of dill.

2) bring to boil and simmer about 20 minutes till tender. Remove from heat and purée.

3) return to stove add milk to the count of 5 and return to a simmer for 5 minutes.

4) add cubes of cheddar cheese before serving to taste.

5) leftovers can be frozen.

Crock Pot Sweet Potato and Quinoa Turkey Chili  From Linda Solla

Ingredients
  • 1lb ground turkey
  • 1 large shallot or 1 small onion,
  • chopped 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth (plus extra for reheating)
  • 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 15oz can baked beans
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 large sweet potato (about 1lb,) peeled and chopped small
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • Toppings for after cooking: shredded Monterey Jack cheese, chopped avocado, tortilla chips, green onions
Directions
1. Add ground turkey and shallot to a large skillet over medium­high heat. Season liberally with salt and pepper then cook until no longer pink, breaking turkey up as it cooks. Add garlic then cook for 30 more seconds then add to a 6 quart crock pot. Add remaining ingredients, except toppings, into crock pot then cook on high for 3 hours, or low for 5-­6 hours, or until sweet potatoes are tender. Serve with toppings. May need to add more chicken broth when reheating
Chocolate Cookie Dough From Jessica Aprea

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar (or dark brown)
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons (53g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) milk
  • 1 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Make the chocolate dough: Cream the butter and sugars together with a hand or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom as needed. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined, scraping down the sides as needed. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly mix it into the wet ingredients. The dough will be very thick. With a spoon or rubber spatula, mix in the milk and then fold in the chocolate chips.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line cookie sheet with silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Measure 2 Tablespoons of cookie dough. Roll into a ball.  The chocolate cookie dough will get onto your hands, so wash/wipe them after you roll each cookie.
  3. Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes, not exceeding 13 minutes. The cookies will look very soft, puffy, and almost undone. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet and they will continue to “bake” and set up. Sometimes I press a few more chocolate chips into the top of the cookies when they are still warm, for looks. As the cookies cool, they will firm up.

SLOW COOKER CRACK CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lbs boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 (8 oz) blocks cream cheese
  • 2 (1 oz) packets dry Ranch seasoning
  • 8 oz bacon, cooked crisply and crumbled

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a slow cooker combine place chicken, cream cheese, and Ranch seasoning.
  2. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours, until chicken shreds easily.
  3. Once chicken shreds stir with a large fork or spoon, so the chicken shreds and all the ingredients combine.
  4. Add in crumbled bacon and stir to incorporate.
  5. Serve warm.

Finger sandwiches

As you all may know my friend is getting married in September. I am listing some finger sandwich idea recipes up that I may or may not use for her bridal shower in July. At the bottom are the websites where i got these recipes from.

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

Variety is key with tea sandwiches, and for a vegetarian option, make the ultimate classic tea sandwich: cucumber. A good cucumber tea sandwich will be light and fresh, but still flavorful – like these from Great Party Recipes which makes about forty sandwiches.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced very thinly
  • salt
  • ¾ cup soft butter
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  • 20 pieces thin-sliced bread
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • pepper to taste

Directions: Lightly salt the cucumber slices and place them in a colander to drain for 1 to 2 hours. Combine the butter and garlic and apply to one side of each slice of bread. In a small bowl, stir together the lemon juice, olive oil, and pepper. Add the cucumber slices, coating them well. Arrange the cucumber on ten of the bread slices, top with the other ten slices, remove the crusts, and quarter. Serve immediately.

 

Santa Fe Wraps

But maybe you feel like reinventing the tea-sandwich-wheel — and with Paula Deen’s recipe for Santa Fe wraps, that is exactly what you should do. Cut into pinwheels, there are between twelve and fifteen servings in this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 (4½-ounce) can chopped green chiles
  • 1 (4¼-ounce) can chopped olives
  • 1 cup (4-ounce) shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 2 tablespoons salsa, plus salsa for dipping, optional
  • ½ cup green onion tops, sliced
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 2 packages flour tortillas

Directions: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until creamy. Then add sour cream, green chiles, olives, pepper jack cheese, salsa, and onion tops. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer. Stir in spinach. Spread mixture evenly over the surface of each tortilla. Roll up tortillas tightly and cut each tortilla crosswise into six slices. Skewer each wrap with a wooden toothpick. Serve immediately or chill. Serve with salsa for dipping, if desired.

 

 Strawberry Shortcake Skewers

You’ll need wooden skewers to complete this easy, light dessert idea from Blissful Baking. The measurements below make around twelve to fifteen large skewers, and there are countless variations of this simple skewered dish. One alternative would be to use pound cake instead of angel food cake, cut into cubes as well.

Ingredients:

  • pre-made angel food cake bundt
  • milk, white, or dark chocolate (melting discs, almond bark or chocolate chips, morsels, etc.)
  • strawberries (one package)

Directions: Slice angel food cake into cubes and set aside. Hull strawberries and slice in half. Skewer the cake and push it to the bottom of the skewer. Follow with a strawberry half and continue until you fill the skewer. (about three of each per skewer) Place skewers on a sheet of waxed paper.

Melt chocolate, and pour it into a pastry bag, or plastic bag. (If using a plastic bag, cut off one corner once chocolate is inside.) Drizzle chocolate over each skewer. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

Smoky “Pimiento” Cheese Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 1 (3-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded smoked Cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded smoked Gouda cheese
  • 1/2 (8.5-oz.) jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
  • 14 bread slices (sourdough and dark wheat)

Preparation

  1. Stir together cream cheese and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl until blended. Stir in shredded cheeses and sun-dried tomatoes until combined.
  2.  Spread cheese mixture on half of bread slices (about 1/3 cup on each); top with remaining bread slices.

Goat Cheese-Pecan Finger Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces goat cheese, softened
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 14 bread slices, divided
  • 1/3 cup red pepper jelly

Preparation

Stir together goat cheese, cream cheese, pecans, and parsley. Spread on 7 bread slices. Spread 7 more bread slices with red pepper jelly; top with cheese-covered bread slices. Remove crusts; cut into desired shapes.

 

7 Simple, Elegant Recipes Ideal for Baby and Bridal Showers

http://www.myrecipes.com/how-to/5-to-try/finger-sandwich-recipes

Salmon Dishes

Salmon is one of the fish that I love eating all year round but mainly during the summer. Here are some Salmon dishes that I want to try making. If anyone has tried any of the ones I post let me know how it is and feel free to make suggestions. Yes I did put the weight watchers values on there because as you all know how I enjoy being a part of the weight watchers community.

 

Baked Salmon Puttanesca

serves 4 – prep time 15 – cook time 23 – 7 points

This spicy Italian sauce is a tasty combination of tomatoes, olives, anchovies, capers, garlic and red pepper flakes. It’s delicious with richly-flavored fish such as salmon.

Ingredients

  • 1Tbsp olive oil – 4 smart points
  • 1 medium uncooked shallot(s), finely chopped – 0 points
  • 2 clove(s )garlic clove(s), minced -0 points
  • 1⁄2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes – 0 points
  • 1 Tbsp anchovy paste (or 3 fillets, mashed with a fork) – 1 point
  • 28 oz canned diced tomatoes, drained – 0 points
  • 1 Tbsp canned tomato paste – 1 point
  • 10 medium olive(s), Kalamata variety, pitted, roughly chopped – 1 point
  • 2 Tbsp capers, rinsed and drained – 0 points
  • 16 oz uncooked skinless salmon fillet(s) – 19 points

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.Heat oil in large, oven-safe nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallot, garlic and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring a few times, until vegetables soften, 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add anchovy paste and cook, stirring, until it melts into pan, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and tomato paste; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Stir in olives and capers; remove from heat.
  3. Nestle salmon fillets into sauce; spoon some sauce over salmon. Cover skillet; bake until fish is just opaque in center, about 10-12 minutes.
  4. Serving size: 4 oz salmon, 1/2 cup sauce

Chili-Rubbed Salmon with Mango-Peach Salsa

5 points / Prep Time:20 min / Cook Time:10 min / Serves:4

A fresh mango-peach salsa pairs beautifully with rich and flavorful grilled salmon. Serve this summery dish over salad for an easy weeknight supper.

Ingredients

  • 1 large peach(es), ripe, diced – 0 points
  • 3⁄4 cup(s) mango(es), ripe, diced – 0 points
  • 1⁄4 cup(s) uncooked red onion(s) -0 points
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro, fresh, minced – 0 points
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper(s), seeded, minced (don’t touch seeds with bare hands) – 0 pts
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice – 0 points
  • 1⁄2 tsp honey – 1 points
  • 1⁄2 tsp olive oil, extra virgin – 1points
  • 1 pinch kosher salt – 0 points
  • 1 tsp chili powder, ancho variety – 0 points
  • 1 tsp ground cumin – 0 points
  • 1⁄2 tsp dried oregano – 0 points
  • 3⁄4 tsp kosher salt – 0 points
  • 1 pound(s) uncooked skinless salmon fillet(s), boneless, cut into 4 fillets – 19 points
  • 2 spray(s)cooking spray – 0 points

Instructions

  1. To make salsa, in a medium bowl, combine peach, mango, onion, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, honey, oil and a pinch salt; chill until ready to serve (salsa may be made up to 3 days prior to use and stored, covered, in refrigerator).
  2. In a small bowl, combine chili powder, cumin, oregano and 3/4 teaspoon salt; rub over both sides of salmon.
  3. Coat a grill or grill pan with cooking spray; heat to medium-high heat. Grill salmon until cooked to desired degree of doneness, flipping once, about for 4-5 minutes per side. Serve salmon with salsa spooned over top.
  4. Yields 1 salmon fillet and about 1/3 cup salsa per serving.

Recipes that I Enjoy

Grilled Cheddar Cheese Sandwiches with Pickles

serving size:4 Weight watchers Points: 5

A quick-and-easy cream cheese spread elevates your basic grilled cheese to something special.

Ingredients

  • 1⁄4cup(s)low fat cream cheese
  • 3 Tbsp uncooked shallot(s), minced
  • 4 tsp mustard grainy
  • 1Tbsp unsweetened dill pickle(s) or bread and butter pickles, minced
  • 8 slice(s)reduced-calorie bread
  • 3⁄4 cup(s) low fat shredded cheddar cheese sharp variety
  • 2 spray(s) cooking spray

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, shallot, mustard and pickles; spread about 1 tablespoon cream cheese mixture on one side of each piece of bread. Top 4 slices of bread with 3 tablespoons cheese each; cover with remaining bread slices, cream cheese-side down.
  2. Off heat, coat a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat; cook sandwiches, 2flipping once, until lightly toasted and cheese melts, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Yields 1 sandwich per serving.

Pan-Fried Flounder

serving size:4 Weight watchers Points: 4

This crispy-coated fish fillet is better than fast-food. Serve with homemade fries for a real treat.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound(s)uncooked flounder fillet(s)
  • 1Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 large egg white(s)
  • 1⁄4 cup(s) yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, finely minced or 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp table salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground or to taste
  • 2 spray(s) olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium lemon(s), cut into 4 wedges

Instructions

  1. Rinse fish; pat dry. Place fish on a plate and spread both sides of fish with mustard; dip into egg white and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, Parmesan cheese, thyme, salt and pepper; dust fish with cornmeal-mixture, making sure to cover both sides.
  3. Coat a large oven-proof skillet with cooking spray and set over medium to medium-high heat; heat oil until shimmering. Add fish to skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on one side; flip fish and cook until done on other side, about 2 to 3 minutes more.*
  4. Serve fish with lemon wedges. Yields about 3 ounces of fish per serving.

Quinoa salad with corn and peppers

serving size: 6 Weight watchers Points: 4

This grain side dish is packed with citrusy flavors and fresh summer vegetables like juicy, sweet corn.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup(s)uncooked quinoa
  • 1 medium yellow corn on the cob, kernels removed
  • 1⁄2 medium sweet red pepper(s), diced
  • 1⁄2 medium yellow pepper(s), diced
  • 1 1⁄2 Tbsp orange zest
  • 1⁄3cup(s)unsweetened orange juice, freshly squeezed (or less to taste)
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1⁄4 tsp table salt or to taste
  • 1⁄8 tsp black pepper or to taste
  • 2 Tbsp chopped almonds, toasted

Instructions

  1. Boil 2 cups of water over medium-high heat. Add quinoa and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes; cool to room temperature.
  2. Stir corn, peppers, lemon juice, orange zest and juice, oil, salt and pepper into quinoa. Transfer to a serving bowl; sprinkle with almonds and serve. Yields about 3/4 cup per serving.

Pesto, Ricotta, and Tomato Tortilla Pizza

serving size: 4  Weight watchers Points: 9

These individual pizzas take just minutes to prepare thanks to easy whole wheat tortillas and store-bought reduced-fat pesto.

Ingredients

  • cup(s) fresh tomato(es)chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat pesto sauce
  • 4 medium whole wheat tortillas
  • 2 sprays cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F. Coat two baking sheets with cooking spray.
  2. Arrange tortillas on prepared baking sheets; spread each with 2 tablespoons pesto. Top each with small dollops of ricotta cheese (2 tablespoons total per tortilla); sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons mozzarella. Bake until bottoms of tortillas are crisp and cheese is melted, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. To serve, sprinkle each pizza with 1/4 cup tomato. Cut each pizza into 4 wedges. Yields 4 wedges per serving.

Community – Weight Watchers

Community

What special strength has helped you lose?

“I kept tracking during a four month laps; when I rejoined, I hadn’t gained weight!” – Janet from Pickerington, OK.

“I created an inspirational list in my Success Handbook from A to Z: each word represents why I’m on my journey or how I can succeed.” – Betty Sue  from Tomball, TX.

“I tweak my daily habits based on what I learn at each week’s meeting.” – Lisa from New York.

Thoughts From a Leader

Andrea: “Being creative in the kitchen. Experimenting with food, tastes, textures, and spices helps keep my Plan fresh and my taste buds happy!”

What helps your recover after a slip?

“I tell myself that a gain doesn’t define me. It’s a just a bump in the road to my goal.” – Jenna from Santa Rosa, CA.

“I keep tracking, even if i’ll go over my points plus allowance. Mindfulness has changed my eating habits!” -Lizz from Takoma Park, MD

“I re-read my weekly issues. It lifts me up and reminds me why I began this journey.” Sandi from Cleveland, OH.

Thoughts from a Leader

Debbie: “I remind myself of my ‘why’ when I fell back into my ‘old’ ways. That  helps me quickly return to my healthy lifestyle – and to my weight goals, too.”

What’s your (non-weight) goal?

“My first goal was to fit in a roller coaster seat again. Done! My new goal: be a healthier me.” – Jessica from Cleveland, GA.

“To get more adventurous with my activity. Next up: Skydiving!” – Allison from New York, NY

“When I’m unhappy I overeat. So I am working on increasing my happiness.” – Don from Centuria, WI.

Thoughts from a Leader

Chrissy: “It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers. Setting a non-weight goal shifts our focus off the scale and make out journey happier.”

90% of weight watchers members want to set their own weight goals.

What’s your favorite weight-loss triumph?

“I found the confidence and stamina to volunteer at a maximum security juvenile prison.” -Linda from Springfield, IL.

“I finally fit back into this vest – and in the pocket I found movie ticket from 1993!” – Alicia from Gladstone, OR.

“When I was locked out of my house, I got through the dog door and saved myself the embarrassment of yelling for help.” – Cinda from Peoria, AZ.

Thoughts from a Leader

Janine: “Any time you’ve had success, stop and reflect on the choices that got me there. When we reflect, we’re learning skills for the long term.”

How is your home Plan-friendly?

“We write the PointsPlus values the packaged foods so we don’t have to look it up each time.” -George and Becky from Alpine, OR.

“I have dumbbells, a jump rope, medicine ball, resistance bands, and a stability ball so I can catch 15 minutes of exercise  at home.” – Sharon from Jericho, NY

“The fruit is out on the counter; the family’s favorite snacks are in the pantry.” – Adrienne from Peoria, AZ.

Thoughts from a Leader.

Elizabeth: “Using the food scale at home supports truth in portions. I always say, ‘Your eyes and mouth  don’t know what a portion is, but the food scale does.'”

How do you avoid mindless eating?

“When I’m not hungry but feel like eating, I head outside and ride my horse. I breathe the fresh air and stop thinking about food!” – Christies from Oceanside, CA.

“I share a healthy entree with my husband at restaurants. I don’t eat more than I want (and there are no tempting leftovers).” – Stephanie from Coupevdlle, WA.

Thoughts from a Leader

Dana: “I now look at Thanksgiving leftovers in a new light  . . . . . I ask myself, ‘Is that pie worthy of me?’ if the answer is no, into the trash it goes!”

How Do You Make Time For Yourself?

“I schedule exercise, and work my errands and meals around that time.” -Elizabeth from Irvine, TX

“By being social, I work out with friends, which I enjoy a lot more than sitting and looking at a screen by myself.” – Cheryl from Reno, NV

“I spend 12 minutes each night planning my next day and how, what, where, and when I will eat.” – Marcus from Bellevue, WA

Thoughts from a Leader

Keli: “I’m worth an hour a day! I take 15 minute in the morning to plan my day, 15 minutes in the evening to reflect, and 30 minutes of activity where it fits.”

2% THAT’S ALL 30 MINUTES TAKE OUT OF A 24 HOUR DAY, 

(NOT VERY MUCH, AFTER ALL!)

WHAT DO YOU SEE IN THE MIRROR?

“I love looking at all this sexiness! People say I have a glow about me now.” – Shaundeal from Euless, TX

“A smiling face. What isn’t visible is how great I feel inside and out!” – Amy from Greeley, CO

“My strong legs! I appreciate hoe they carried me through my first 10k!”   – Christine from Atlanta, GA

THOUGHTS FROM A LEADER

Debbie: “It’s not easy to see a difference in your body; even after I lost weight I still ‘felt fat.’ It took awhile for my self image to get on board with how I’d changed.”

76% THAT’S HOW MUCH MORE WEIGHT PEOPLE LOST WHEN THEY IMPROVE THEIR BODY IMAGE.

HOW ARE YOU AWESOME?

“I started a WW Facebook group, so I’m accountable not only to myself but to other members.” – Sandra from Axtell, TX

“My attitude has changed. Now I focus on good food and healthy choices rather than defeat and self loathing.” – Amy from Oshkosh, WI

“I pre-track my indulgences, like a piece of cake I bought and put it in the fridge for later. (Then I forgot to eat it!)” – Marc from Wilton Manor, FL.

THOUGHTS FROM A LEADER

Abby: “I celebrate my small successes everyday (like remembering my water bottle). When I do that, it leads to more good choices, and they add up!”

“OUR GREATNESS LIES NOT SO MUCH IN BEING ABLE TO REMAKE THE WORLD AS IN BEING ABLE TO REMAKE OURSELVES.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

 HOW DO YOU STAY CONNECTED TO YOUR PLAN?

“I punched holes in my weeklys and put them in binders so i can read them in the doctor’s office instead of old magazines.” – Sister Erin from Springfield, IL

“My Weight Watchers ‘team” – other members support me when my plan feels tough or I need an extra boost.” – Tess from Vista, CA.

“Every day I wear a necklace with a charm that says ‘Believe.’ I touch it, read it, and use it as an anchor.” – Katie from Enfield, CT.

THOUGHTS FROM A LEADER

CHRIS: “During the busy holiday season, I try to schedule at least 15 minutes into my day for a brisk walk. It’s only 1% of my day and I can do that!”

The Blue Bistro – Elin Hilderbrand

So I just finished the book The Blue Bistro. I absolutely loved it except the end chapter which made me want more to read. But each character was unique and seemed like they could match the personalities of some of my actual friends.  Elin Hildebrand is one of my favorite authors and this was the third books of hers that i have read in its entirety and it’s my favorite so far.

http://donttalkjustread.blogspot.com/2006/10/blue-bistro-by-elin-hilderbrand.html

Friendsgiving part 2

Apple-Pear Crisp

Ingredients:

  •  1 spray(s) cooking spray
  • 1 pound(s) fresh apple(s), Granny Smith, cored, cut into 1-inch-thick slices
  • 1 pound(s) pear(s), Bosc and/or Bartlett, cored, cut into 1-inch-thick slices
  •  2 tsp fresh lemon juice   
  • 4 Tbsp dark brown sugar, unpacked

Topping  Ingredients

  •   1 large egg(s)   
  •  6 Tbsp dark brown sugar, unpacked   
  •  1/4 tsp table salt   
  •  1 tsp ground cinnamon   
  •  1 cup(s) uncooked rolled oats   
  •  6 Tbsp light butter, melted   

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375ºF. Coat a 9- X 9-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Place apple and pear slices in a medium bowl. Toss with lemon juice and sugar; set aside.
  • To make topping, in another medium bowl, beat egg. Add sugar, salt and cinnamon; mix to combine. Add oats; mix well.
  • Spoon fruit into prepared baking dish and evenly sprinkle oat mixture on top; drizzle with melted butter. Bake until fruit starts to bubble and topping starts to brown, about 45 to 50 minutes. Allow crisp to cool for a minimum of 2 hours.* Cut into 9 pieces and serve. Yields 1 piece per serving.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 12 whole fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully break off stems. Chop stems extremely fine, discarding tough end of stems.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and chopped mushroom stems to the skillet. Fry until any moisture has disappeared, taking care not to burn garlic. Set aside to cool.
  3. When garlic and mushroom mixture is no longer hot, stir in cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Mixture should be very thick. Using a little spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of stuffing. Arrange the mushroom caps on prepared cookie sheet.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the mushrooms are piping hot and liquid starts to form under caps.

Acorn Squash

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Turn acorn squash upside down onto a cookie sheet. Bake in a 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven until it begins to soften, approximately 30 to 45 minutes.
  3. Remove squash from the oven and turn onto a plate so that the flesh is facing upwards. Place butter and brown sugar into the squash, and place remaining squash over the other piece. Place squash in a baking dish (so the squash won’t slide around too much) while baking.
  4. Place squash in the 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven and bake another 30 minutes.

Pineapple Stuffing

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 5 slices white bread. cubed

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch baking pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream margarine and sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add the pineapple and bread cubes.
  3. Bake in a 350 degree oven for one hour. Let sit a few minutes to firm up before serving