Reese’s Puffs Muffins!

Who knew the words Reese’s Puffs, Muffins and Healthy could be combined into one sentence and it not just be a jumbled up string of words?!  This creation is certainly something that I found to be absolutely mouth watering and a must buy in the very near future (once I start using up some of my baking mixes, etc.).
Around the middle of last year, Betty Crocker came out with a few muffin mixes geared to resemble classic cereals that are out in the market.  One of them was Reese’s Puffs – the other two are Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Cocoa Puffs.  The moment I laid eyes on the Reese’s Puffs muffin mix I immediately had to purchase it.  I will say I had a tough time at first finding these because my local super market did not carry them – I found them eventually at Target and another higher priced grocery store in my area.
Now I am a complete sucker for anything adjoined to the Reese’s brand.  I LOVE Reese cups, pieces, Reese bar mixes, etc.  That peanut butter, chocolate mixture is just a gold mine for me.
For these I made them per the box direction – adding the mixture to a mixing bowl – although instead of using the eggs and oil the mixture called for I simply replaced all that with soda water. 1 ½ cups of soda water to be exact.  I then divided the mixture out evenly into 12 cupcake tins (sprayed with Pam) and topped evenly with the “streusel” topping.
They baked up perfectly and were so delicious.  The cake had a definitive chocolate/peanut butter taste and they were just so yummy!  Not overly spongey as some “healthier alternative” cakes can get.
Points Plus wise it wasn’t bad at all – 3 Points Plus for a muffin.  Quite a delicious and unique snack!

Have you tried any of the Betty Crocker cereal brand muffins?

Kellogg’s Special K – Blondie Brownie Bites

I picked up a box of these new Kellogg’s Special K Brownie Bites in the Blondie flavor.  These are also available in a fudge flavor but since I LOVE white chocolate I had to pick up this box instead.
The Blondie Brownie Bites are individually packaged and are 100 calories for each pack.  The brownie bites are little small square pieces.  But I have to say … sadly, this was a complete miss for me.  The consistency of the “brownies” was more of a raw cookie dough texture.  It didn’t taste like a brownie; it tasted more like … well, cookie dough.  The brownie pieces were really soft which made me feel like I was eating raw cookie dough.  I wasn’t a fan to say the least and haven’t touched these since I purchased them.  My boyfriend likes cookie dough and found them to be okay, so I awarded him with the remaining packages.  If he’ll eat them, I’m not sure, but time will tell.
Point Plus wise, these were 3 points plus … but for me, not worth it.

Have you tried the new Kellogg’s Brownie Bites?

Quick & Simple Dinner: General Tso Chicken

This was an on the fly type of dinner.  I  had some chicken that I defrosted (without an idea as to what exactly I was going to do with it), but my boyfriends and I’s dinner plans altered because we were asked if we’d like to go out to dinner with my BF’s mom.  The next day I decided I needed to think something up – peaked through the cabinet and decided I was going to use a seasoning packet I had picked up at the store and stashed away.
I got this Simply Asia Steamer General Tso’s Chicken pack.  I was a little concerned when I purchased this because it’s a steamer bag and it states to stick everything with seasoning in the microwave, in this plastic bag that’s in the package.  I decided I wasn’t comfortable steaming anything – especially since I had raw chicken on my hands, so I went ahead and improvised.
I added a teaspoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of sesame oil to a skillet then added in my cut up chicken and cooked through.  When done I threw in a can of baby corns and a can of sliced water chestnuts.  I then took the packet of seasoning and mixed it with the recommended amount of water and soy sauce.  The package called for like ¼ cup of sugar or something like that, so I added in a tablespoon.  I mixed that liquid mixture up and poured it over my chicken and vegetables in the pan and heated through.  The sauce thickened and I served it with white rice and steamed veggies on the side.
I will say it was VERY spicy.  My boyfriend didn’t enjoy it (his taste buds are really changing and spices are bothering him now) which left me with a whole bunch of this stuff to eat.  My sister-in-law and brother came over the next day and we shared the leftovers.
Have you ever made general tso’s chicken at home?
Image is mine do not take or use. Thank you.

His & Her’s – Popeye’s for Dinner

A Popeye’s opened in the area so my boyfriend and I decided to grab dinner from there last week.
I had Popeye’s when I went to Florida about 5 years ago and thought at the time it was alright – rather salty, but then again I am very sensitive to salt (because I don’t use a whole lot of it – if any).  Before I even mentioned going there I checked out their website and saw they had a new Louisiana Leaux line which offers a healthier, baked variety of chicken so I decided I’d try that out.
For myself – I ordered the Naked Tenders Combo.  The meal came with 3 naked tenders, a side of green beans, a French baguette roll and a drink.  I will say the green beans were the most REPULSIVE thing.  They smelled horrible; I took one teeny little bite and threw them right into the garbage.  I’m not sure if that’s how they always are, or if it was a really bad batch, but yeck!  The naked tenders were pretty decent – Cajun seasoned and the roll was good – so I made a little sandwich out of it.  Weight Watchers PointsPlus wise the chicken (according to the WW stats) was 3 Points Plus. The green beans would have been 1 but I threw them out and the baguette I guestimated to be 5 Points Plus.
My boyfriend ordered the5-piece Mild Chicken Tenders combo meal which came with a side of his choice , a biscuit and a fountain drink.  He ordered the coleslaw (which I have to say was pretty decent, worth the points WW wise if you’re a coleslaw fan).  He said the chicken was alright but he’d probably rather nuggets for less batter.
Overall the food was decent.  I would go back if I was in the mood for a low-point protein based meal … but I wouldn’t run right back.  When I do I’ll probably try the Naked Po Boy (9 PPV’s) and see what that’s cracked up to be!
Have you ever eaten at Popeye’s? If so, what’s your favorite thing to order?

Kellogg’s Honey Barbecue Cracker Crisps

Since I am a Weight Watchers member, Kellogg’s Special K Cracker Crisps have been a staple in my pantry since they were released over a year ago.   You generally get 27 crisps in a serving (which is a pretty large amount) and the line used to consist of just 3 flavors (sea salt, sour cream & onion and cheddar).  Kellogg’s stepped up their game and introduced two new flavors to their line – one being the Honey Barbecue (the other is Sea Salt & Vinegar – which I have not spotted yet).
If you’re into healthier chip alternatives and you’re familiar with PopChips – these are very similar.  They’re not as “spicy” as the Pop Chips variety (I don’t think they’re spicy but everyone has different taste buds w/ barbecue flavoring), but they are definitely tasty.  Since these have honey in them, they’re a tad sweeter – but not as sweet as I’ve tasted in some other honey barbecue potato chip flavors.
Weight Watcher Points Plus stat wise – these are 3 Points Plus for 27 crackers.  Quite a generous portion for such small amount of points!
Have you tried the Kellogg’s Special K Cracker Crisps?

Homemade Baked French Fries

I sometimes forget how easy it is to make French fries at home that are healthier for you.  So many times we think of French fries and instantly relate that to deep fried.  Well, there’s a way to make French fries at home, by baking them, and eliminating a whole lot of the fat.
I was inspired to make these by the Weight Watchers weekly I received at my meeting.  They were for cheese fries but since my boyfriend doesn’t like cheese, I decided to simplify it and just make salt and pepper seasoned fries.  I took 2 pounds of white washed potatoes, rinsed them under the water and then cut them up into French fry sized pieces.  I then layered them onto a Pam sprayed baking tray and tossed with a spritz of olive oil, sea salt and pepper.  I then baked them in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, flipping and spritzing with more Pam then baking another 20 minutes.
The fries came out really good.  They were softer, but mildly crunchy on the outside.  If you wanted a crispier fry you could toss them with olive oil.
I made 5 servings, which came out to be 4 points plus values per serving.  Delicious with a side of ketchup.
Have you ever made homemade French fries at home?

Dinner: Slow Cooker Italian Herb Chicken

I decided I wanted to make something in the Crock pot for dinner because it just simplifies things for me – especially since I travel for work.  It’s not a terribly long commute, but in traffic it can get entirely annoying and put a huge damper on my dinner plans.  So to deter that annoyance and being ahead of the game with pre-planning my meals I rely on my Crock pot.  A crock pot has truly been a time saver (life saver?) for me for many years.  If you’re not aware you’d be surprised the things you can make in your Crock pot – from breakfast items to dessert with everything in between.
I had picked up a McCormick seasoning pack in Italian Herb Chicken and it had been sitting in my pantry cabinet waiting to be used.  I was trying to figure out dinner and spotted the packet, realized I had everything needed to make it and onto the dinner menu it went.  Originally the packet called for mushrooms but my boyfriend isn’t a big mushroom fan so I substituted for onion and peppers.
To make this all I needed was 2 pounds of chicken, two cans diced tomato, one can tomato paste, the McCormick seasoning pack and the vegetables of my choice (peppers and onions).  I actually also added minced garlic to the crock pot because I put garlic in almost everything!
After setting my crock pot and “forgetting it” I found the end product was very much a chicken cacciatore.  It was delicious and I did serve this over white rice.
Weight Watcher Point Plus wise I measured out my chicken (3 ounces) and gave it 3 points plus for the chicken with some veggies.  My rice (1 cup) was an additional 5 points plus values.  8 Points plus was not bad for a delicious, homemade and simple dinner.
Apologies for not having the plated version photographed – I took a picture but my camera was evidentially hungry.
Do you have a Crockpot you use to help simplify cooking?

Honeybell Tangelo’s from Florida!

<!–[if !mso]>st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } <![endif]–>

I ordered 4 trays of Honeybell Tangelos from a Ridge Island Grove in Florida back in November.  Honeybells are only available for sale in January because that’s when they are at their peak of freshness.  I cannot stress how much these oranges are seriously the BEST orange I have had in my LIFE! They’re a cross between an orange and tangerine. Typically they’re seedless but once in a while you do find a seed or two in an orange.
The skin is a little tougher than regular oranges and they are a little loose around the orange as the skin is with tangerines.  The oranges are SUPER juicy and quite delicious.  The only downside is I bought so much (I paid like $60 for the bushel) figuring it was the cheapest option that now I have SO many oranges lying around.  I was going to sell a tray to my aunt (because last time I bought 2 trays people kept taking them from me) and this year no one wants any. Pfft!!  I may try to make some fresh squeezed orange juice out of some of these.  Nommers!
Have you ever tried Honeybell Tangelos?

BBQ Pulled Chicken Pizzas!

I made my boyfriend and I BBQ Pulled Chicken Pizzas for dinner the other day because I was feeling inspired and I really wanted something different to eat that was new and somewhat exciting.  I had picked the items up, unrelated to one another and decided to whip them together.  I was quite pleased with how it turned out because I have purchased the Jack Daniels Pulled Chicken in the past to pair with salads – but my boyfriend wasn’t too keen on it because it’s a sweeter BBQ sauce and not a tangy one.  If you’re wondering why there is a pizza with cheese on it and one without – my boyfriend isn’t necessarily a self proclaimed fan of cheese (as I am) so his pizza was made simply sans cheese.
To create these I used the original multi-grain flavored Flat Out bread, 5.3 ounces of Jack Daniels Pulled Chicken and on mine 1/3 cup shredded fat free mozzarella.  I baked them off in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes (really until the cheese was melted and the chicken was heated through).  I enjoyed mine with a side salad … yummers!
Weight Watchers PointsPlus Value wise – this was 8 PointsPlus for the whole pizza (including cheese), 7 PointsPlus without it.
Have you ever made a healthier pizza alternative at home?

Weight Watchers Grill & Skillet Pan Haul

I popped into Big Lots the other day to look for car cleaning supplies and ended up stumbling about a Weight Watchers Grill and Skillet Pan set for $24.99.  I was quite surprised to find such a set at Big Lots, but after checking out some of the pans they had for individual sale I decided to grab the set.  I figured with the Weight Watchers name on the pans, they’d be pretty decent quality.
The set came with a 12 inch griller pan and a 10 inch skillet.  Both pans are non-stick and relatively lightweight.  Within the box was a booklet of recipes.  Big Lots was selling the 10 inch skillet for $15, so I technically got the griller for $10.  I can say I am looking forward to making panini’s and possibly even stove-top pizza in the griller!
Have you ever purchased a Weight Watchers brand cookware?