Swim Team Kick Off Party

My little sister Sydney coaches the summer swim team in our neighborhood.  My brother, sister, and I all swam for the team summer after summer and just loved it.  It's crazy that she is one of the coaches this year.  The kids (especially the four and five year olds) just love her.  Rob and I went to one of her swim team kick off parties at the pool before a meet.  

Blueberry Pancake Bites

Since every day feels like Saturday to me this week, I needed something to make for brunch.  These blueberry pancakes are perfect--if you love blueberries!!  They looked awesome at the commissary this week so I knew they were perfect for pancakes.  The blueberry syrup in the batter mixed with hot, fresh blueberries...YUM!  They have so much flavor you can just eat them plain.  They only take a few minutes to make so they are super easy for a quick but yummy brunch.  I don't know why I just love that they are blue!

Blueberry Pancake Bites
1 Cup Smart and Healthy Bisquick
2/3 Cup Skim Milk
1/2 Cup Sugar Free Blueberry Syrup (Smucker's)
~72 Fresh Blueberries
Powdered Sugar
Pre-heat oven to 350.
Spray mini muffin pan lightly with cooking spray.
Mix bisquick, milk, and syrup together.
Spoon pancake batter evenly into each muffin cup.
Add three blueberries to each cup.
Bake for 14-15 minutes until golden brown.
Let cool in muffin tins for 5 minutes before removing.
Dust with powdered sugar.

WW Points +: 1 per pancake bite

Lemon Blueberry Whipped Dessert

When I think of summer desserts, I definitely think of fresh fruit and light, fluffy whips and custards.  This lemon blueberry whipped dessert is incredibly cool and creamy with fresh blueberries and tangy lemon flavor.  The buttery, vanilla crust makes it rich enjoy to satisfy even a strong sweet tooth.  It is perfect for dessert after grilled chicken or burgers.  It is really just perfect for anytime in the summer.

Lemon Blueberry Whipped Dessert
8 T Cool Whip
3 TSP Lemon Juice
1 Cup Fresh Blueberries
8 RF Nilla Wafer Cookies, crushed
3/4 T Butter, melted
In a small bowl, mix together crushed nilla wafers and melted butter to create crust.  Set off to side.
Fold 3 teaspoons of lemon juice into cool whip.
Fold majority of blueberries into lemon cool whip.
Spoon crust evenly in two small ramekins.  Press down with spoon to create crust. 
Add 4 tablespoons of lemon blueberry cool whip to each cup.
Freeze for at least 30 minutes.
Top with remaining blueberries and enjoy.

WW Points +: 3 for half recipe

Ranch Cheeseburger Sliders

When I was younger, my mom used to always use a glass to cut hamburger buns out of wonder bread if we didn't have any.  I used to think this was so horribly lame and embarrassing and just hate it.  Today I realized this idea is GENIUS for getting rid of excess bread (read: points) that come from all those buns on sliders.  So here I was...cutting around the glasses to make perfect skinny hamburger buns, rolling my eyes at that bratty child who thought she was too cool for diy burger buns ;)

Cutting the buns out is super easy.  Simply take a juice glass and trace along the edge with a knife on a roll up.  I could get six buns out of one roll up.  (I used the left over scraps of roll up to make baked tortilla chips...hey I don't like to waste points!)

Ranch Cheeseburger Sliders
1/2 lb Lean Ground Beef
1 TSP Ranch Dressing Mix
12 Slider Buns (made from 2 Roll Ups)
2 Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges, Garlic and Herb
Green and Red Peppers, thin slices
Onion, thin sliced
Using glass and two roll up, trace and cut out 12 slider sized buns.  Put off to side.
Mix ranch powder into ground beef.
Divide ground beef into six even pieces and form patties.
Put peppers and onion on grill to cook.
Grill burgers.
Add 1/3 cheese wedge to each burger.
Place on slider buns, top with peppers and onions.

WW Points + : 6 for three sliders

Ranch sliders served with grilled pineapple and beergarita.

Red Hot Cheesy Rice

Delicious rice side dish that goes perfectly with mexican food.  I made it with my cheesy shrimp nacho bites and it was a great match.  Don't let the name fool you...it actually isn't that spicy at all.

Red Hot Cheesy Rice
Adapted from: Lick That Spoon
1 Cup uncooked rice
1 TSP Oregano
1 Can Diced Tomatoes
3 Cups Water
1 TSP Salt
2 TSP Chili Powder
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
In a medium pot over medium high heat, mix together rice, oregano, tomatoes, water, salt, and chili powder.  
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Mix in parmesan cheese and stir until melted.

WW Points +: 3 for 1/2 cup

Graduation Party Weekend in Pittsburgh

This weekend we headed to Pittsburgh for my cousin Nolan's graduation party.  Graduation parties are HUGE in Pittsburgh (he invited over 200 people!) so we were very excited to be able to attend.  The party was so much fun and I think Rob and I celebrated a little too much...it's been two days and I am still moving a little slow.  So excited for him to head off to Penn State in the fall!
My mom made the centerpieces on the Cricut...didn't they turn out so cute?!
Me with my mom and sister
The weather was gorgeous all weekend.  Perfect for an outdoor party!
These "Sanibel sunburns" they made were dangerously good.  I don't remember how much of each but it had Captain Morgan, Coconut Malibu, Creme de Banana, and pineapple juice.  It made for a fun night of singing, dancing, and hanging by the pool until 3am.  Such a fun first official weekend of summer!
Rob and I before a few too many "sanibel sunburns"!

Gooey Chocolate Heath Bar Cookies

I swear I go to Wal-mart every day.  I am always missing an ingredient/out of paper towels/needing something!  Luckily it is literally two blocks down the street so it isn't a huge trip.  However it is embarrassing when the cashiers know you by name.

Today the Wal-mart trip was for mini chocolate chips because full sized chips would just not do.  Rob and I made a deal--one of us would go to wal-mart for the chocolate chips and the other would finish the dishes.  I think I lucked out because I got to go to wal-mart!  Anyhow, when I went down the baking aisle, I saw something even better and couldn't resist:  chocolate health bar chunks.  YUM!!!

And from this successful wal-mart trip came chocolate heath cookies!  They are as incredible as they sound.  Be prepared to eat at least four and potentially all forty!  I brought them over to my mom's so that I couldn't be tempted to eat the whole pan and she and my sister loved them.

Chocolate Heath Bar Cookies
1 Cup AP Flour
1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Cocoa, unsweetened
4 T Butter, softened
2 Egg Whites
1/4 TSP Baking Soda
1/8 TSP Salt
1/3 Cup Chocolate Heath Chunks

Pre-heat oven to 350 and cover baking sheets with tin foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.
Stir flour, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
Using electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar together at a medium speed until fluffy.
Slowly add sugar and beat well.
Slowly add cocoa and beat well.
Slowly add egg whites and beat well.
Slowly add flour mixture and beat well.
Stir in chocolate heath chunks by hand.
Scoop out teaspoon sized balls of dough and place on baking sheet at least an inch apart. (Should make around 40 balls of dough)
Bake for 9-10 minutes at 350.
Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

WW Points +: 1 per cookies, 3 for 2 cookies

Boneless Buffalo Wings

I claim to love wings but I'm pretty sure that any real wing connoisseur would call me a fake.

1.   I like my wings boneless.  I'm just not good at eat them on the bone-I get sauce all over my face.  And I just prefer white meat.
2.   I always order a frou-frou flavors like "sweet and sour" or "honey teriyaki"
3.   I like to drench them in ranch dressing.

Well I compromised on the flavor and went with traditional buffalo but couldn't give up on the boneless.  These wings are HOT but delicious.  I am kind of a baby for heat and almost had to drink milk with dinner but they are still really good.  I can't believe how much they tasted like normal buffalo wings without being fried.  If you are like me and don't like your wings too hot, taste them before you add the extra hot sauce.  If you are like my husband and like your wings "flavorful", enjoy!

Boneless Buffalo Wings
Adapted From: Skinny Taste
1 lb Chicken Breast, cut into 10 tenders
1/4 cup + 1 T Texas Pete Hot Sauce
1/8 Cup White Vinegar
1 T Oregano
2 T Paprika
1/2 T Garlic Powder
1/2 T Chili Powder
Salt and Pepper
FF Ranch Dressing

In a large bowl, combine 1 T texas pete, vinegar, oregano, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, salt and pepper.  
Mix in chicken until well coated and let marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to low Broil setting and cover baking sheet with tin foil.
Broil chicken for 10 minutes on each side.
Heat remaining texas pete in microwave for 30 seconds.
When chicken in cooked, remove from oven and using basting brush, add additional texas pete to desired taste.
Serve with ranch dressing.

WW Points +: 3 for 2 boneless wings + 1 T ranch

I served these with texas cheese fries and celery for a complete tailgate meal!


In honor of skinny happy hour, here is the recipe for delicious beergaritas!  It is so simple and can be varied depending on preference.  Perfect for a last minute get together this summer :)

1 Packet Crystal Light Margarita Mix
8 Cups Cold Water
6 Bud Light Lime
6 Shots Tequila (if desired)
2 Limes

In a pitcher, mix together water and margarita mix.  
Pour evenly in large glasses.  Make sure the glasses are no more than 3/4 full with margarita mix.
Add shot of tequila in each glass. 
Open beer and turn upside down and fully submerge in glass with margarita mix.  (The beer will stop pouring out and the glass will not overflow, don't worry!)
Garnish with salt and lime.

WW Points +: 3 per beergarita (without tequila)
7 per beergarita (with tequila)

Texas Cheese Fries

Cheese Fries and Boneless Buffalo Wings
Texas Cheese Fries
Adapted from: Skinny Taste
2 medium Yukon Gold Potatoes, skin on
2 TSP Olive Oil
1 TSP Paprika
1/4 TSP Chili Powder
1/4 TSP Onion Powder
1/4 TSP Garlic Powder
1/8 TSP Cumin
Salt and Pepper
1 Slice of Bacon, Cooked
2 T Green Onions, thinly sliced
1 T Sliced Jalapeño
1/3 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Pre-heat oven to 400.
Cover baking stone with tin foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.
Slice potatoes into thin wedges (depending how thick you like your fries)
Toss potatoes in a ziploc bag with olive oil, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper until fries are evenly coated.
Spread evenly across baking stone.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping fries occasionally.
Place fries in two oven safe bowls.  Top with cheese, onions, jalapeño, and bacon.
Bake in oven for additional 3 minutes until cheese is melted.

Sausage and Pepperoni Stromboli

Ever been curious to the difference between a calzone and a stromboli?  Rob and I debated this for a good ten minutes over dinner before turning to our trusted wikipedia.  I thought the difference was one had ricotta cheese and the other just had mozzarella.  Rob thought calzones had pizza sauce and strombolis did not.   Turns out we were both wrong.

Calzones are like pizzas folded in half and the edges are like pinched shut.  A stromboli is a long burrito like roll that is cut into slices.
I guess that makes this a stromboli.  My thought?  Whatever you want to call this, I think you will find it delicious.  I could have easily eaten the entire dish however three slices were satisfying!

Sausage and Pepperoni Stromboli
Adapted from: Emily Bites
1 tube refrigerated Pizza Crust Dough
1/4 cup Pizza Sauce
3 Mild Italian Chicken Sausages (removed from casing)
16 Turkey Pepperoni (cut into fourths)
1 T Parmesan Cheese
3/4 cup RF Shredded Mozzarella

Pre-heat oven to 375. 
Cover a pizza stone (or baking sheet) with tin foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.
Remove sausages from casing and brown.  Break up sausages while cooking.
Unroll pizza dough on tin foil and cover evenly with pizza sauce.
Add sausage, pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese.
Fold each side of dough over to meet in the middle.  Pinch dough together on top seam and edges to create a seal.
Using another piece of tin foil on top, flip stromboli so that the seam side is down on the baking dish.
Spray lightly with cooking spray and top with parmesan cheese.
Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Slice into 12 slices.

WW Points+ : 7 for two slices

Cheesy Shrimp Nacho Bites

I think the title explains it all.  Who could pass up cheesy shrimp nachos?!  They are the perfect mix of creamy and spicy.  Even better--these bites will only cost you a point a piece which means you can feel like you are eating A TON but not ruin your whole week.  We ate them as dinner with the red hot cheesy rice but they would also make a delicious appetizer or party snack.  Best part...they only take five minutes to prepare and five minutes to cook!!

Cheesy Shrimp Nacho Bites
Adapted from: Bar Foods
1/4 lb Cooked Shrimp, chopped
1/2 Cup LF Cheddar Cheese
3 T Light Mayonnaise
1 can (3 oz) Green Chiles, chopped
1/4 T Chili Powder
16 Baked Tostito Scoops
Chopped Fresh Cilantro
Pre-heat oven to 450.
Mix together shrimp, cheese, mayonnaise, green chiles, and chili powder.
Scoop evenly into tostito scoops and place on baking sheet.
Bake for 5 minutes.
Garnish with cilantro.

Nutella Cheesecakes

Disclaimer: Somehow I could not find my large piping head and only my tiny one so the presentation looks terrible (kind of like brains)!!  Don't judge a book by it's cover--these cheesecakes are DELICIOUS!!!

My dad is not a big dessert fan at all.  He is the only person I know who can consistently pass up brownies, cookies, and cakes.  However, he loves cheesecake.  I saw these nutella cheesecakes on pinterest and wanted to find a way to make them skinny so that we could all enjoy them. 

I made four with oreo crusts and two without (my dad didn't want crust).  My dad ate the two without crust and half of my mom's.  He could not get enough!  They are lighter in consistency than normal cheesecake however they are super rich!

Nutella Cheesecakes
Adapted from: My Baking Addiction
2 packages 100 calorie Oreo Thin Crisps, crushed into crumbs
2 T Butter, melted
4 oz Reduced Fat Cream Cheese
6 oz Plain Chobani Greek Yogurt
2/3 Cup Nutella
1 TSP Vanilla Extract
1 8oz tub Light Cool Whip
In a large bowl with an electric mixer,  mix together cream cheese, yogurt, nutella, and vanilla. 
Fold in cool whip until evenly blended with no streaks.
In a small bowl, mix oreo crumbs and melted butter. 
Spoon crust into the bottom of each dish.
Press firmly to create crust.
Pipe filling evenly into each of the cups.
Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.

WW Points +: 10 per serving (with crust)
8 per serving (without crust)
Makes 6 servings

The servings were very filling.  If you wanted to cut each in half and make 12 servings, it would also cut your points in half to make it less of a splurge.  But hey, we were celebrating so we ate the big ones!

Pepperoni Roll Up

Pepperoni Roll Up
1 Roll Up (from costco)
16 slices Turkey Pepperoni
1 Laughing Cow Queso Fresco and Chipotle Wedge
Pre-heat oven to broil.
Spread cheese wedge evenly over roll up.  Make sure to spread all the way to the edges.
Add pepperoni evenly.
Bake at broil for 3 minutes.

WW Points +: 6 for entire roll up

Note: When I made this the first time I used half the pepperoni and 2oz of buffalo chicken.  It was good but when I made it with just pepperoni the second time I think it was even better!!  Either way, these roll ups make a delicious lunch!

Pizza Dip

Pizza Dip
4 oz FF Cream Cheese
4 oz Pizza Sauce
1/4 packet Italian Dressing Mix (Good Season's)
1/2 cup skim Mozzarella Cheese
2 T Parmesan Cheese
16 Turkey Pepperoni
Peppers, Onions, any other pizza toppings desired
Pre-heat oven to 350.
Mix cream cheese and italian seasoning and spread in bottom of baking dish.
Mix mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.  Sprinkle half over cream cheese.
Add pizza sauce and toppings.
Top with remaining cheese.
Bake for 15-18 minutes.
Serve with cubes of italian bread.

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