Category Archives: snacks

chocolate-dipped peppermint marshmallows

I don’t do Facebook.  There, I said it.

If it had come into existence earlier in my life, I probably would have embraced it.  Not sure how much different this is from Facebook posting, but I do include a nice little recipe.   And lately, you can see how often I even want/find the time to do that (sorry Mom!  I’ll try to post more often).

That being said, I do have a Facebook account for the sole purpose of staying connected with my super good friend Tammy.  Tammy and her family moved a year and a half ago to Paris (sounds like The Life, but she assures me that after a while, it just seems like Puyallup)  I signed up for an account just so I can view the photos of their life and adventures.  Jet-setting to Belgium, Italy and England for kids soccer games….yah, that seems like Puyallup 🙂  I don’t post, I just look at her pictures, so it’s a little like peeking into her Parisian window.

It was on her Facebook account that I saw this little treat from Baking Hot Christmas.  So cute and easy!  I think it would be a nice school Christmas party hand-out for classmates, packaged in clear bags with a cute ribbon and stapled to a packet of hot cocoa.  Enjoy!



Chocolate-Dipped Peppermint Marshmallows

  • mini candy canes
  • regular sized candy canes
  • large marshmallows (not Jumbo)
  • chocolate chips (any kind, I used dark chocolate)
  • shortening

Crush large candy canes into very small pieces.  If they are too large, they won’t stick to the chocolate.  Insert one mini candy cane into a marshmallow.  In a small bowl, combine about a half a bag of chocolate chips and spoon a teaspoon of shortening on top.  Microwave on 50% for increments of one minute, stirring each time, until melted.  Dip marshmallow into chocolate and wipe bottom across side of bowl (to prevent puddling when they cool).  Sprinkle candy cane chips/powder onto chocolate sides.  Place on Silpat lined baking sheet.  The chocolate will harden when cool.

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Posted by on November 15, 2013 in Beverage, desserts, snacks


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pumpkin cranberry bread

I am in my happy place when I walk into the grocery store and see the stacks of Ocean Spray cranberry bags in the produce section. I don’t understand why we can’t get frozen cranberries year-round!? Well this year, I will be shopping in my freezer until next November when the cranberries are back…I’ve already frozen a dozen bags 🙂

I will probably add more cranberries to the next batch I make.  I loved the tart bursts of flavor!


Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 can (15 ounces) LIBBY’S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup chopped, frozen cranberries (I use a cuisinart to chop the frozen berries.  You could always use whole or thaw and then chop)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Coat two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans with baking cooking spray.

Combine flours, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in large bowl. In a stand mixer, combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil and juice. Beat on low until blended. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Fold in cranberries. Divide into the two pans and smooth tops.

Bake for 60 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove from pans to cool completely.

Recipe makes two loaves.

Recipe slightly adapted from

Using the Weight Watcher Recipe Builder, my friend Kristina calculated that each slice (12 slices per loaf) has 6 Points Plus per slice.


Posted by on November 12, 2013 in baking, points plus, snacks, vegetarian


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gluten-free chocolate chip cookies

Hello everyone, Anna here with another fabulous guest post 🙂

The story behind these cookies begins with a babysitting job. Four o’clock in the afternoon, warm, sunny day. I took the 3 and 1-year-old I was watching into the backyard to play. When I went to go retrieve my phone from my purse inside I discovered, to my horror, that the backdoor was locked.

At this point I have to add that I admire all adults who manage to remain calm in panic situations to keep  children from freaking out. Maybe I’m over exaggerating, but this felt like a panic situation.

I have never been locked out before, let alone with two small children and no cellular device.

The good news is that I know the next door neighbors (they had previously referred me as a babysitter to their neighbors, whose house I was now locked out of). So, after checking all doors, I grabbed the kids and we marched over to their house where, thank goodness, they were home. After a little explaining, a lot of window checking, and a few phone calls, I finally got the garage door code and was able to get back inside. And right before the pizza man arrived, whew.

As a thank you, I wanted to bake some cookies, which would have to be both gluten-free and nut free (so our delicious gluten-free almond butter chocolate chip cookies weren’t going to cut it).


Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 1/8 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup gluten-free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.  Set aside.

In a standing mixer, combine butter and brown sugar well until light brown.  Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined.  Slowly add dry ingredients.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Using a tablespoon, drop 12 cookies onto cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.  Bake for 12-15 minutes.  Cool.

Recipe slightly adapted from

Using the Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder, each cookie has 7 Points Plus.


Posted by on August 2, 2013 in baking, desserts, snacks, vegetarian


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almond date bites

I will admit it:  I went a little overboard with the Fair food contests,  My first clue was the morning that I made four dozen pumpkin pecan scones in order to achieve four perfectly formed specimens.  As the 48 scones were cooling, my husband asked if he could take a few to work.  I believe my reply was “but I need four for the Fair!” (with a wild look in my eyes).  Marc couldn’t tell if I was serious or joking (for the record, I was serious).

I did let him take a few.

So I had every intention this week of refocusing my culinary efforts on delicious, savory dishes that didn’t include sticks of butter or cups of sugar. Or an entry form and a 9″ diameter paper plate for display.

Well, I came close.  Not quite savory, but a delicious whole food snack that the family will love.  And only 1 PointsPlus per bite!

Almond Date Bites

  • 1 cup pitted, dried Medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil or coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut, toasted
    Place dates, almonds, almond extract, pinch of salt, oil and cocoa powder into a food processor and pulse until well combined.
    Form into 24 balls and roll each in toasted coconut.  Refrigerate.
    Using the Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder, each bite has 1 PointsPlus.
    Recipe slightly adapted from

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Posted by on September 26, 2012 in points plus, snacks


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potato focaccia is one of the few websites that spurs me into immediate action.  Nordstrom happens to be the other one 🙂  I read this recipe Sunday morning, and 15 minutes later the dough was rising.  Our family loves potato pizza , so I thought this would be a nice treat for lunch.  I served it with a homemade vegetable soup (0 PointsPlus) to rave reviews.

I’m on a baking kick, since this Tuesday is the due date for the biscotti entry for the Puyallup Fair.  I am finalizing my recipe…hopefully it will be a winner!  Stay tuned.

Potato Focaccia

  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp (.25-oz) active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups water, warm (100-110F)
  • 3 – 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • approx 1 lb cooked potatoes, cooled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp herbs de Provence
  • 2 tsp coarse kosher salt or sea salt

Combine sugar, yeast and warm water and let stand 5 minutes, or until creamy.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 2 1/2 cups flour and salt.  Add liquid and combine.  Using a bread hook, knead for 3-4 minutes, adding up to an additional cup of flour, until a smooth ball forms.  Place dough in a bowl coating with olive oil or non-stick spray, cover with plastic wrap and let stand until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Line a jelly roll pan (12×18 pan) with parchment or spray with non-stick spray.  Pour dough onto pan and using your fingertips, press and spread dough into a rectangle approximately 10×16.  Brush with 2 Tbsp. olive oil and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. herbs de Provence.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Slice cooked potatoes 1/4 inch thick.  Arrange potatoes on top of dough, pressing down lightly.  Brush potatoes with 1 Tbsp. oil and sprinkle with remaining herbs and salt.  Let rise for 30 minutes.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden.  Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting.

Recipe from

Using the Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder:

12 servings = 5 PointsPlus each

16 servings = 3 PointsPlus each


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lite blue cheese dressing

This recipe comes straight from Gina at  If you’ve never checked out her website, it is a treasure-trove of WW Points and PointsPlus calculated recipes.

Lite Blue Cheese Dressing

  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 6 oz. 0% Plain Greek yogurt (I use Fage)
  • 1 Tbsp. light mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

In a small bowl, mash together blue cheese and Greek yogurt with a fork.  Whisk in remaining ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Makes 1 cup. calculates each 2 Tbsp. serving as having 1 PointsPlus!!


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french lentil dijon spread

My 11-year-old proclaimed that this spread was “the best thing you’ve made all month, Mom!”  He might be right.  I’ve made 2 batches this week.  It is great with veggies as a dip or on crackers as a spread.   I even put it in a sandwich with lettuce, tomato and cucumber.  Very low PointsPlus value and lots of flavor!

French Lentil Dijon Spread

  • 2 Tbsp. pecans
  • 1 cup cooked French lentils
  • 3 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. whole grain mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • water, if necessary
    Finely grind pecans in a food processor.  Add remaining ingredients (except water) and blend until smooth.  Use a little water to achieve your desired consistency.
    Makes 1 1/2 cups.
    Recipe from Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair.
    Using the Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder, the entire recipe has 8 PointsPlus.  Each 1/4 cup serving has 1 PointsPlus!

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