Refried Bean Soup for One and Steak Diane

Thanks for all your comments yesterday about Tony making me dinner.  And yes, that does mean he’s feeling better.  He’ll feel even better when he’s not plugged into a wall anymore though!  The home health care nurse came by Monday to change his sponge, and his wound looks “pink” which is a good sign.

Even after I told Tony that each slice of his delicious jalapeno corn bread came in at six points, he said “will you eat any more of it?”  Hells yes!  I just need to make it work in my meal plan.

So yesterday I made a 1/2 cup egg white (2) omlet with spinach (0) with a slice of corn bread (6) and a cup of fresh fruit (0).  A lovely 8 WW point breakfast.  Tony said the recipe suggested reheating it in the microwave for a few seconds and it tasted as if it had just come out of the oven.  So fricken good!

While Tony is more than willing to make dinners so I can get to the gym, I plan on saving those days when I know the weather is not going to cooperate.  Yesterday, while cold (23), it wasn’t windy.  So I had a nice 45 minute walk at a pretty fast pace – I kept skipping the slow songs on Pandora to keep the momentum going.  I’ve found that I feel better when I run every other day – it gives my legs a chance to rest in between.

The only thing I hate about the end of February?  Dirty snow – when I am really done with winter and want it to be spring and 50 degrees so I can put up my gazebo again and watch baseball. 😀  Most of the snow is already melted and I think we have rain in the forecast, so it shouldn’t be around too much longer.

I have a bad habit.  I open cans of stuff, only use a little bit, then put them with the lids still in tact.  I just hate to waste food.  But then invariably I’ll be looking trying to find something and realize I have:

  • 1/3 of a container of chicken broth
  • 1/2 a can of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 a can of chipotle peppers in adobo
  • 1/4 can of canned black beans
  • 1/2 can fat free refried beans

The light bulb went off as I stared at these half used cans of food.

Refried Bean Soup – Makes One Generous 2 1/2 cup serving for 7 points

  • 1 cup chicken broth (0)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (0)
  • 1/2 cup fat free refried beans (2)
  • 1/3 cup canned black beans (2)
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle peppers
  • 2 ounces of shredded chicken leftover (2)
  • 1/2 ounce of cheddar cheese on top (1)

I just mixed everything but the chicken and black beans with my stick blender.  Dumped that into my container, then added the black beans and chicken and then heated it up at work and topped with the cheddar cheese.  Spicy, slightly thick from the refried beans and delicious.  Anytime I can get 2 1/2 cups of soup for 7 points I am in. 😀

I had steak on the menu, and wanted to do something a bit different – a quick Tastespotting search brought me to Kevin’s site – should have known he’d have a great recipe for Steak Diane.  I did make a few adjustments – because even though I halved the amount of Dijon mustard, it was a bit too much for Tony, so I added more beef broth.

Steak Diane Sauce (makes 3, 1/3 cup servings for 3 points each)

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup fat free half and half
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershie sauce

I melted the butter over medium high heat and added my 4 ounce steaks.  I seared for exactly 2 minutes per side – Tony and I like our meat on the rarer side.  Kevin left his steak in, I removed it to rest.  In the same pan I added the garlic and sauted for about 20 seconds.  I added in the mushrooms and 1/4 cup of the broth and sauteed the mushrooms for about 2 minutes.  I added the brandy, and sadly since I have an electric stove, couldn’t ignite it as Kevin’s directions stated.  Next I added the mustard, fat free half and half, the rest of the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce and the juices that collected on the plate from the removed steaks.  I added the steaks back in and reheated the steaks for about 30 seconds while stirring the sauce.

I served my steak (4 points) over 3/4 cup mashed potatoes (3) and 1/3 of the mushroom sauce (3), with 1 cup of green beans (0).  A delicious 10 point dinner.

I love these little cups I got at Sam’s Club – I got 10 for $5 in the restaurant supply aisle – each cup holds 1/4 cup – it was nice to have everything ready when I needed it.

Alright I have to get going and get in the shower – make it a great day!


Heaven on Seven Jalapeno Corn Bread

My SIL and I hit up the Entenmann’s outlet on Sunday.  I wasn’t going to buy anything, but they had these Arnold Pocket Thins – in Italian herb – each half of a pocket is only 2 WW points.

I decided to make an egg white/egg beaters scramble and stuff it into the pita half.  Um, I must have been really hungry because there was no way my scramble was going to fit into the pita!  Egg whites (1), egg beaters (2), 1 tablespoon bacon bits (1), 1/2 ounce cheddar cheese (1), pita (2), red pepper and zucchini and apple on the side (0).  Breakfast comes in at 7 points.

I tested my blood sugar right before heading out for a run.  It was 220 – right where I want it to be before working out.  I checked – said it was 33 but felt like 21.  It was sunny, so I decided to go for it.  I only was able to walk for 15 minutes – the wind was so strong!  When I got back I checked again, no wonder – there were 25-33 mph winds!  I texted Tony and said “I had to abort the run due to wind!”

He texted back, “why don’t you go to the gym after work, I can cook dinner.”   I quickly texted him back and told him I would take him up on that offer.  Then he texted back “what am I making?”  Now you all know I do the weekly meal plan – not sure if Tony listens to me when I throw out ideas of meals like I do.   I also don’t have the most organized kitchen.  At some moments I will have all the lids on the pots in order – other times, I just shove them in the cupboard and slam the door shut before everything falls on the ground.  I also almost never put anything back in the same place.  So if Tony was going to need the rice maker, it could literally be in one of ten places.

I texted “I have red beans and rice with smoked sausage – the sausage is on the left hand bottom side of the fridge, the rice mix is above the coffee maker.  I also have pasta with sauce and Italian sausage – the sausage is in the meat drawer and the canned tomatoes are in the pantry.  I also have steak and potatoes – the potatoes are on the bottom left hand side of the floor of the pantry.”

He texted me back “I’ve made my decision, now back off.” 😀

I ended up having leftover beef stew, this time over chopped baby spinach – I had a very generous one and 1/3 cups – so I am calling lunch 8 points.

So after work I went straight to the gym.  I just changed back into my clothes before leaving the office.  I knew I wanted to run a 5k – um, let’s just say my gym is busy at 5:45 at night!  I grabbed the last treadmill!  I walked for 5 minutes to warm up, reset the treadmill and started out at 5.5 mph.  Every mile I bumped up the mileage, so my last mile was at 5.8 mph and my last .4 miles was at 6.0.

My facebook friends already know this is a PR for me – so close to being 33:__!  My goal is still to do it under 30 minutes.  I know I’ll get there eventually. 😀

So I came home and as soon as I walked in the door it smelled like heaven.  I walked into the kitchen, and there was homemade cornbread!

Corn bread and I go way back.  I have probably told Tony this story 100 times every time I see corn bread on t.v.  Back when I was a poor single momma I worked in Chicago.  My office was on LaSalle.  There was a restaurant called Heaven on Seven on Wabash, which was a good 25 minute walk to get to.  The first time I went was with my boss at the time.  The restaurant is in a funky office building.  You get off on the seventh floor and there is this cajun restaurant with 100’s of bottles of hot sauce on the walls and tables – I knew I was home. 😀  But what got me that very first time was their jalapeno corn bread.

It was a giant square of heaven – slightly sweet, hint of bacon, spicy because of the jalapenos and so tender.  I believe it cost about $2.50 for a square of that goodness, even back then.   So at least twice a week I would walk 25 minutes, get my square of deliciousness and eat it on the 25 minute walk back to my office.  They since opened other locations – one on Michigan Avenue and now in a Chicago suburb in Naperville.

As luck would have it – Tony and I were watching Pioneer Woman and she made corn bread.  Before I even said anything Tony says “I know, you got corn bread from Heaven on Seven!”  On a side note – I love Pioneer Woman’s website.  Her t.v. show?  Not so much.  Is it me or does she not have much of a personality on screen?  I keep wanting to watch her show, but not sure how much time I’ll invest in it.

I digress.  Tony found a recipe for Heaven on Seven corn bread, and when I mentioned red beans and rice and sausage, it turned out to be the perfect fit.

Heaven on Seven Corn Bread (makes 1, 9 inch pie plate – which I cut into 12 pieces – for 6 WW points each

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons ground corn flour (Tony just used corn meal)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (which Tony left out because he added cheese and pancetta)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/3 cup milk (Tony used buttermilk)
  • 5 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese
  • 1 4 ounce can diced jalapeno peppers
  • 2 ounces chopped pancetta for the top

Since Tony didn’t have corn flour as the recipe stated, he mixed everything together except the pancetta, and let it soak for a couple hours before putting it in a 9 inch cake pan.  He topped it with the chopped pancetta and baked it for 40 minutes at 350.

He cooked the red beans and rice and sausage together in the rice maker.  I think he runs it through two cycles to get it all done so it was basically ready to plate when I got home.

I figured out the points after I ate.  The rice and beans were (4), the 3 ounces of smoked sausage was (7) and my slice of heaven cornbread was (6).  So while I had a 17 point dinner, it was delicious – that’s what my flex points are for, right?!

Thank you Tony for putting dinner together – it was delicious.  And for breakfast I am going to have an egg white spinach omelet (2) with my slice of heaven (6) for a nice 8 point breakfast.  Nothing like staring out the day with jalapenos!

Make it a great day!


BSI – Potato Winner!

Thanks for everyone who participated in the resurrected BSI!  Last week’s secret ingredient was potato.   Here are the participants, in no particular order:

Brianne made Parmesan Balsamic Caramelized Onion Smashed Potatoes:

Veronica made Warm Chorizo & New Potato Salad

Sarah made Truffle Parmesan Mashed Potatoes:

Renee made Lightened Up Twice Baked Potatoes:

Jane made Broccoli and Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes:

Andrea made Leek Potato Soup with Cilantro and Blue Cheese:

Sara made Quesadillas with Potato and Mustard Greens:

Maggie made a Spinach and Potato Frittata:

Lori made Sweet Potato Muffin Biscuits:

Laura made Cheesy Broccoli and Potato Soup:

Suzi made Baked Potato Soup:

Lisa made Party Potatoes:  (no picture, so I used google images!)  Made with potato buds!

Farihah mnade Bengali – Styled Mashed Potatoes:

Joy made Blue Potato Microwave Chips:

Debbi made Southwestern Potato Hash:

And the winner of two jars of salsa is:


I love chorizo and I love that its put on a bed of mixed greens – the husband loves a runny egg too! 😀

You know Tony is feeling better when he asks if he can make ME breakfast!  I never say no to that.  He made me a potato, red pepper and pancetta frittata with some toast on the side.  He spiced it up with some chili oil – this was delicious!  Thanks honey – no one makes eggs as good as you!  My guess is this plate is about 10 points (I ate 3/4 of it).

My SIL Jody came over to be my shopping partner in crime.  Here are Tony and Jody – Jody is holding the wound vac!

Our first stop was Williams-Sonoma.  Usually when I have a gift card I end up buying lots of little things to feel like I got more bang for my buck.  Not this time!  I only bought three things and my total came to $85!

First up:  a REALLY REALLY ($30) nice muffin tin.

Even without any Pam, they muffins came out perfectly:

Then I found these on the discount rack – aren’t they cute?  Mini cast iron enameled pots.  Check out the original price!  I am thinking of making individual casseroles with these – maybe even make mini breakfast quiches in them?

Lastly, I got these wire skewers – a set of four for $20.  No matter how long I soak wooden skewers, they always seem to burn. 😦

Then we went to Moe’s Southwest Grill for lunch:

I got the chicken rice bowl – I did the nutritional calculator on their website – it said 13 points for the whole thing.  I ate about 2/3 of this and with some chips, I am calling lunch 10 points.

Okay, I am going to wrap this post up – its so long!  I ended up making this beef stew again for dinner last night – just as good as the first time around.  When I reached into my bag of potatoes, these were the first three that I pulled out:

I don’t even want to tell you what Tony said after seeing these! 😀

BSI THIS WEEK:  BEEF!  It’s what’s for dinner. 

I Grill in Winter so it Smells Like Summer

I had such a lazy day yesterday.  I stayed in my pajamas until 3:30 in the afternoon!  Usually I am up by 7 – gone to Weight Watchers, go to the store and am back home by 9:30.  I didn’t even wake up until 10:20! 😀

But it felt good to just lay around and watch t.v. with Tony.  Usually I feel guilty if I don’t use my time wisely, but not yesterday, so that was nice. 😀

I ended up making Tony and I breakfast at the time most people eat lunch.  I made us corned beef hash with English muffins.  My plate came in at 11 points.

By the time I finally went to the store and got back, it was nearing 5:00.  I bought a whole chicken to grill.  I wasn’t sure the grill would even light, but the two middle burners turned on (the others were frozen!) so I just went with that.

I learned long ago to butterfly my whole chicken.  I cannot tell you how many times we thought a chicken was done, only to cut it open and have the center be nearly raw.  This way it not only cooks evenly, but faster too – this took about an hour on the grill at a temp of 375.

My plate:  the wing (my favorite!) 5 ounces of breast meat, buffalo sauce and a 5 ounce baked potato.

I am looking forward to today!  My SIL and I are going out – Goodwill, Moe’s for lunch and then Williams Sonoma – I have a $100 gift card to Williams Sonoma that’s burning a whole in my pocket.  Hope I get some good deals!

Don’t forget – today is the last day to submit recipes for BSI potato!  Just leave the links in the comments section – or email me at   The winner gets two jars of my baja fresh salsa! 😀

Happy Sunday!

New Look . . . No Weigh In

I realized something this week.  I am sure I’ve done it forever, but never really noticed it.  Turns out when I clear the table to clean the kitchen, if there are any leftovers, I take a few more bites.  The other night when I made chicken marsala pasta, I must have reached in the pan and eaten 4 – 5 more bites.  WTF?

I am sure I set my alarm, but I don’t remember turning it off.  I knew subconsciously that I didn’t want to WI this week, so I am going to refocus this week.  My plan is before I even bring the food to the table, if there are any leftovers, just to put them in containers and get them out of the way. 😀

I didn’t have time to talk about it yesterday, but I had such a fun time with Hannah and her friends out to lunch on Thursday.  It’s weird because I’ve known these girls since they were in 4th grade.  One now lives in California and is going to school.  The other one?  She has a son already.

Part of me thinks “wow, she’s a Mom at 20!”  It’s so young.  But she reminds me a lot of myself.  I was only 23 when I had Hannah, and for me, Hannah made me way more responsible than I ever would have been if I hadn’t had her at that age.  I worked in a bar, stayed out too late, etc.  This Momma lives on her own, goes to school and works – and while I know it will be tough because she’s doing it on her own, I know she’s going to be a great Mom – I could tell already just in the short time we visited.

But here’s the funny thing – I was so nervous holding her baby!  I can’t even remember the last time I held a baby.  I wasn’t sure at 4 months could he sit up, how to hold him – I am so out of practice!  And did you know they have baby apps for iPhones?   There was one app that had a teddy bear on it, and every time the baby just touched the screen the teddy bear would giggle like it was being tickled – that got him all excited! 😀  So thanks ladies for a wonderful lunch – and thank you to Hannah for paying. 😀

So I changed the blog look – what do you think?  On the right hand side I have categories of my recipes, which I hope to update in the next few weeks.  Um, can you tell I like soup?!

While I am not Catholic, Tony is.  And while he probably hasn’t been inside a Catholic church since his first marriage, he does celebrate Lent.  He’s vowed to give up green leafy vegetables – ha!  So I made him tuna fish for lunch and asked what he wanted for dinner – fish sticks!

So I decided to make fish stick tacos.  The 4 pieces of fish come in at 7 points, my tortillas were 3 points, and I had a schmear of sour cream, broccoli slaw and hot Ortega taco sauce – so this plate comes in at a delicious 11 points.

I also have my simple recipe for corned beef hash.

  • 2 ounces of deli corned beef, diced
  • 3 ounces canned potatoes, diced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup baby spinach, chopped

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add the corned beef and potato and cook for 5-10 minutes, until the potatoes start to brown.  Add egg and scramble.  Remove from heat and toss in the baby spinach.  I just seasoned with black pepper and a few splashes of Tabasco – 7 points!

I have my normal Saturday chores – laundry, cleaning and going to the grocery store.  We don’t have any plans this weekend.  I plan on hitting up the gym today and tomorrow – I missed a couple workouts during the week last week.

Enjoy your Saturday!