Category Archives: raves

cauliflower and cheese soup

Yesterday my 5th grader’s teacher sent home a sample of our son’s writing for us to read. As Alex read it aloud my jaw hit the floor.  I’ve always dreamed of becoming an author, but I think someone else in the family has more of a gift than I do:

(He was given a picture of a shipwreck and 10 minutes to write an expository paragraph);

As I walk barefoot on the beach, I discover the rusty bow of a modern ship.  When I go closer for further          inspection, I find it corroded by the pounding of the tides, with a few shattered remains of the stern, splayed across the beach from when the water receded.  I decide to go get some swimwear on so I can go inside the ship.  Fishing nets are strewn across the ground, with rusty crab traps littering the bow.  The pungent smell of dead sea animals floods my nose, and I decide to head into the Captain’s room.  There I find the name of the ship, The S.S. Skipper, along with some personal belongings.  There was something strange about this ship, and with that feeling still haunting me, I left it without seeing the blood splattered in the captain’s room.

I still can’t believe a 10-year-old wrote this.  I loved “swimwear” and the use of “pungent”.  Are there writing summer camps?  We must harness this power for good, not evil!

p.s. After he read it out loud, he looked at me and asked “Mom, is this blog-worthy?”.  Yes, indeed Sweetie, it is.

And so is this cauliflower and cheese soup!

Cauliflower and Cheese Soup

  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced small
  • 1 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 1/2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper
  • cayenne pepper for garnish

In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat.  Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes.  Add cauliflower and cook until just beginning to brown, about 5 more minutes.  Add broth and water, bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 15-20 minutes.  Using an immersion blender, process until smooth (or use blender, making sure to vent steam to prevent splashes and burns).

Add cheese to soup and stir until melted.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Garnish with a sprinkle of cayenne.  Makes 10 cups (6 servings of 1 1/3 cups each).

Recipe from Everyday Foods.

Using the Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder, each serving has 6 PointsPlus.


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Kim’s Magic Pop

I’d like you to meet my new favorite addiction:  Kim’s Magic Pop.  I stumbled across their new kiosk in the middle of the deli section in my local Fred Meyer’s.  Apparently they make them on site with their special grain pop machines, but I have yet to see it in action.

The website describes Magic Pop as “a freshly popped grain snack that is a wholesome blend of wheat, brown rice and corn”.  They are crisp and airy and have only 15 calories per “pop”.  You can eat 3 pops for 1 Weight Watcher PointsPlus value.  They are a good size (think corn tortilla) and come in a variety of flavors.  My favorites are the plain and cinnamon.  I ate the plain today with my homemade hummus and it was delicious and very filling.  They also make smaller Deli Pop which looks like a traditional rice cake, but is made with barley, wheat, and brown rice.  You can eat 6 for 1 WW PointsPlus value.  They sell Chocolate Dipped or Drizzled Deli Pops (1 Pop=1 WW PointsPlus, 2=3 WW PointsPlus) and they are yummy!

Either my obsession will die down or I will need to invest in the company!


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balsamic glazed salmon

My mom gave me a jar of Black Garlic in my stocking.  She said it was a new hip and happening food item and she thought I would enjoy trying it.  Well, I just used it for the first time in this recipe and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.

Black Garlic’s website describes it as “a simple food with a wonderfully complex flavor. Black garlic is sweet meets savory, a perfect mix of molasses-like richness and tangy garlic undertones. It has a tender, almost jelly-like texture with a melt-in-your-mouth consistency similar to a soft, dried fruit.  Black garlic is all-natural. There are no additives and no preservatives. Ever. In fact, there’s only one ingredient—garlic. It’s aged for a month in a special fermentation process under high heat, where it develops its darker color, softer texture and sweeter taste. Amazing what a month can do.”

oh, sooooo amazing.

I served the salmon with my smashed roasted potatoes and green beans which I roasted in the oven (I sprayed them with a Misto filled with olive oil, sprinkled on salt and added 2 sliced black garlic cloves).  I’ve made this salmon recipe many times without the black garlic and it is fantastic.

Balsamic Glazed Salmon

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • one clove black garlic, diced
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 salmon fillets (6 oz. each)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp. butter

Whisk together vinegar, juice, honey, black garlic, and red pepper flakes.  Add rosemary sprig.

Heat oil in a cast iron skillet until smoking.  Season salmon with salt and pepper and cook until browned and all but center is opaque.  Transfer to plate and cover with foil.

Decrease heat to medium and add glaze.  Cook until thick and syrupy.  Remove rosemary and whisk in butter.  Pour over salmon.  Serves 4.

Using the Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder, each serving has 8 PointsPlus.

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Posted by on January 23, 2012 in points plus, raves, seafood, vegetarian


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sukhi’s cilantro lemon chutney dip with garlic

I can’t stop eating this dip!!  I saw it at Metropolitan Market in Tacoma and thought it would be a nice addition to my fresh veggie tray on Thanksgiving.  Sukhi’s calls this dip “a zesty blend of cilantro, lemon, garlic and peanuts”.  I think I could eat it with a spoon!  My favorite veggie to dip is cucumber with celery, jicama, carrots and my finger as close runner’s up.  And with only 10 calories per serving (160 calories are in the entire container) I ate it with abandon.  I’ve kept a baggie with cut up vegetables in the refrigerator and have had it for a snack every day since,  Sukhi’s website only lists Whole Foods as carrying their products, even though I did find it at Metropolitan Market.  If you are ever near one, stop in and pick this up!

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Posted by on December 1, 2011 in raves


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and the blue ribbon goes to…


(Click above for the recipe)


Posted by on September 11, 2011 in baking, raves


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I think I’ve died and gone to heaven.

First, a confession.  I LOVE peanut butter.  Love, love, love it.  So when I joined Weight Watchers and realized that 2 Tbsp were 5 pts+, I all but curtailed my consumption of it.  The exception being for a occassional 1 Tbsp on whole wheat toast with a thinly sliced apple on top for a snack.  I’m drooling just thinking about it.

So imagine my surprise when recently I came across a reference to something called PB2 in one of the many food blogs I read.  I’d never heard of PB2, yet people were raving about it, saying it was a great way to get a lower point peanut butter fix.  So I had to find out more!

PB2 is dried peanut butter.  It has 45 calories for 2 Tbsp and has only 1 WWpts+!  You can mix it with water to turn it into a traditional peanut butter texture, or you can add it to recipes in the powder form for great peanut butter taste without the guilt!  And the great thing is that there are only three ingredient:  peanuts, sugar and salt.  No artificial flavors, sweeteners or preservatives.

You can buy it online at  It also comes in a chocolate peanut butter flavor!  I bought 4 jars of PB2 and I’ve already used up two and a half.  I am loving this product.  Look for some tasty recipes coming soon!

p.s. now my PB2 toast and apple snack is only 2 WWpts+!!!  I think I’ll go make it now 🙂


Posted by on August 3, 2011 in points plus, raves, snacks, vegetarian


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balsamic vinegar

A good quality balsamic is a must have!  We love this one from O&Co. and I order it on-line.  I use it by itself as a salad dressing…no need for oil.  My daughter loves it on top of fresh, sliced strawberries.

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Posted by on June 16, 2011 in raves