Valentine’s Day Dinner

We went all out for our Valentines meal this year. Very French and totally on plan. We had boeuf bourguignon, mixed green salad, a slice of bread and chocolate souffles with raspberries for dessert. It was all very simple and very rewarding.
I got Carver a cookbook, well I got us a cookbook. It’s the newest WW book and it is devoted to 3-5 ingredient recipes. They are clean, satisfying tastes. My plan is to cook our way through the whole book- 125 recipes in say 3 months? Considering how much we cook I don’t foresee a problem. We have made 2 items from the book so far- a seafood dish and a side salad, both delicious.

I was drawn to this cookbook for a few reasons.
1. Easy recipes – more likely that Carver will join the cooking party
2. Classic flavors: these are not what you would describe as ‘healthy food’ but the recipes are undoubtedly good for you
3. Can you imagine how easy grocery shopping will be when each recipe calls for a max of 5 ingredients?! Yah I’m excited too 🙂

One of the commercials for Valentine’s day this year, was all about ‘I love us’ vs ‘I love you’ … I like that, it really struck a chord with me. Granted it’s still trying to get you to buy things like all the other ads, but I like the sentiment.
And I think the idea of I love us works for more than just couples.
Also exciting out in bean town: spring training has begun (thank goodness) and the forecast this week has ZERO below freezing temperatures!
All good things!
Look for recipes later today and remember- I love us 🙂

Valentine’s Day Dinner: Boeuf Bourguignon, Baby Greens with Gorgonzola and Almonds


Boeuf Bourguignon: Toss 2lb bottom round roast (trimmed and cut into 3/4″ pieces) and 1/4c flour in a medium bowl until evenly coated. Heat 1T olive oil in large pan over medium-high heat. Add beef, in batches and cook turning occasionally, until browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker. Add 15oz low-sodium beef broth, 1c Merlot, 16oz boiling onions (halved), 10oz mushrooms (quartered), 1/4lb fingerling potatoes (chopped), 2T tomato paste, 4 garlic cloves (chopped), 1T chopped fresh thyme, 1 bay leaf, 1/2t salt, 1/4t black pepper and 1lb carrots (thickly sliced); bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Transfer to slow cooker; book on high for 2 hours. Beef and vegetables should be fork tender. Serve sprinkled with 2T fresh parsley (chopped). Serves 8. Points Plus: 9

Baby Greens with Gorgonzola and Almonds: Combine 2T fat-free raspberry vinaigrette, 1/2 shallot (thinly sliced) in a medium bowl. Add 4c mixed greens and toss to coat. Add 2T gorgonzola cheese (crumbled) and 1T slivered almonds. Serves 2. Points Plus: 2

And for the finale…. Chocolate Souffles

Preheat the oven to 350. Coat 2 60z ramekins with cooking spray. In a small saucepan, whisk together 1T unsweetened cocoa, 1T flour and 2T granulated sugar; set over medium heat. Add 3T low-fat chocolate milk and 1t cinnamon; cook until smooth, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk 1 egg white until soft peaks form. Slowly add 1T granulated sugar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Fold cooled chocolate mixture into egg whites, a little at a time, until no white streaks appear. Pour batter into prepared ramekins. Bake until set and tops look slightly dry, about 16 minutes. Do NOT open the oven during this time. Dust with powdered sugar and fresh raspberries; serve warm. Points Plus: 3


recipes for the day

The lovely illness which has taken hold of my body is putting up an admirable fight… But I’ve had enough thanks. Didn’t do much today in the way of homework/studying. I did however, get a handful of normal Saturday activities done today so I don’t feel as guilty taking a day from school work. For the mussels, I made a half batch and it was AMAZING… Truly delicious. The cookies are also really yummy- the sandwich cookies smell like a warm bowl of cinnamon oatmeal; the chocolate cookies taste like a glazed chocolate donut. Needless to say I will be going to bed full and happy. I will freeze half (or a little more than) of both the cookie batches and defrost a few as we need them for lunches or desserts. I find freezing them ASAP helps keep me out of trouble, though I have been known to eat frozen cookies and cookie dough…. Tomorrow I will be making a loaf of bread, a batch of Greek lemon-rice-chicken soup and doing lots of homework oh and… definitely going for a run because the temperature will be over 30, FINALLY.

Sandwich Cookies

Preheat oven to 350. Toast 1/2c rolled oats on cookie sheet for 10 minutes, rotating and stirring halfway through cooking. Transfer to a medium bowl with 1 1/3c whole wheat flour and 1/2t salt. In a large bowl, beat 6T butter, 6T applesauce and 1/2c light brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add 1/2t vanilla extract, beat to combine. Add oat mixture to butter and mix thoroughly. Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 325. On a lightly floured surface roll dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out cookies with a 1-2″ cookie cutter. Place 1/2 inch apart on baking sheet. Bake until golden, 12-15 minutes, rotate sheets halfway through cooking time. Let cool 5 minutes. Once completely cool make a sandwich with 2 cookies and 1/2t filling (either Nutella or jam). Makes 30 sandwich cookies, 1 sandwich/serving.

Cakey Chocolate Cookies

Sift together 2c + 2T whole wheat flour, 3/4c cocoa powder, 1t baking soda and 1/2t salt. In a large bowl cream 10T butter, 10T applesauce and 2c sugar until light and fluffy. Add 1/2c egg beaters and 2t vanilla extract. Gradually add dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Form into a disc and wrap in plastic, refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350. Shape dough into 1″ balls, roll in sugar. Place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake 10-12 minutes, rotating halfway through. Makes about 40 cookies.

Mussels in Spicy Garlic Broth

Spray a large skillet with non-stick spray and set over medium heat. Add 1 red onion, chopped and 4 garlic cloves, minced. Cook, stirring occasionally about 3 minutes. Add15oz can diced tomatoes, 1/2t red pepper flakes, 1/4t salt and 1/4c water, bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer about 5 minutes. Add 4lb mussels, scrubbed and debearded to skillet and stir gently. Cover and cook until mussels open, about 5 minutes– stirring gently a couple of times during cooking. Discard any mussels that don’t open. Serve with 1/2c whole wheat linguine per person (Points Plus: 2). Serves 4. Points Plus: 3