Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Just a Thought

This morning was gross and rainy/sleet/snow. My fake leather purse got wet. When I got in the elevator full of people, I leaned against the elevator wall, and my wet purse made the worst farting noise as it rubbed up against the wall. I had to explain it wasn't me....I don't think they believed me.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Brown Sugar Rum Poundcake...Um, Yum

Yesterday when I got off the train, a man, wearing sandals (I get it, it was a mild day, but still it's December, put on some sensible shoes) got off the train behind me. We apparently were going in the same direction because he proceeded to follow me at close range (not stalkerish, but still close enough) that didn't bother me, what did bother me was that he whistled the whole way down the street. I don't mind whistling, I don't see anything wrong with it, except that he was a really really bad whistler. He had no rhythm or cadence to his little tune...it ended up sounding more like shit...shit that followed me for blocks and blocks. I contemplated turning around and letting him know.."you suck at whistling", but I figured that would not be very nice of me, and then I would look like one of those crazy people that likes to spew hatred upon the world and yell at total strangers, and I'm really not so I didn't say anything. I didn't say about the completely inappropriate footwear or the really really bad whistling. But today for some reason, I'm still annoyed. Have issues much JB?

Well, if you have issues too and need to snuggle up with a nice glass of egg nog and a little rum cake this recipe is for you. My friend Brenna (not BreNda, Brenna) sent me this recipe after scouring her recipe files for days, and you know what, it was worth all her hard work. I made it on Sunday and have been having one small piece of it every night (and sometimes in the morning...first sign of a problem, drinking in the am?) and it gets better and better every day...each day the rum is a little stronger and the cake better because of it. If you want this recipe on your table at Christmas make it at least 4 days ahead of time. Its So Damn Good.

Brown Sugar-Rum Pound Cake - Courtesy of Brenna


1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups butter, softened and divided
1 (16 ounce) package light brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar, divided
4 eggs

2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup dark rum
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons light rum
2 tablespoons water
Sweetened whipped cream (optional)


1. GREASE and flour 2 (6-cup) Bundt pans or 2 (9- x 5-inch) loaf pans, and sprinkle evenly with pecans.

2. BEAT 11/4 cups butter at medium speed with an electric mixer about 2 minutes or until creamy. Gradually add brown sugar and 1/4 cup sugar, beating 5 to 7 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears.

3. COMBINE milk, dark rum, and vanilla.

4. COMBINE flour, baking powder, and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.

5. BAKE at 325 degrees F for 50 to 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes; remove from pans.

6. BRING remaining 1/2 cup sugar, remaining 1/4 cup butter, light rum, and 2 tablespoons water to a boil in a saucepan, and boil, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Drizzle over warm cakes, and cool completely on wire racks.

Rating = So Damn Good

Monday, December 08, 2008

Spaghetti Squash with Cranberries and Maple Syrup

There is a restaurant in the financial district called The Oceanaire Seafood Room that I pick every time I have a business lunch, precisely because they have Spaghetti Squash with Dried Cranberries and Maple Butter on the menu as an a la carte side dish. Now, because of the whole weight watchers thing I ask that they not put the maple butter on it, and it's still amazing. A few days before Thanksgiving, Boston.com ran an article about Boston Chef's Best Side Dishes, and the exact one from the Oceanaire was listed. This is the original recipe.

From Oceanaire Seafood Room in Boston, Courtesy of Dan Enos, chef

2 medium spaghetti squash (Cut in half and seeded)
3/4 cup dried cranberries

Maple Butter
1/4 pound unsalted butter (softened)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cold water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place spaghetti squash flat side down on cookie sheet; cook for 45 minutes. While squash is roasting, place butter in mixer and whip on medium speed; combine the salt and the water and slowly add to the butter; mix until well blended; add the maple syrup until well blended; reserve. When squash is done, place in refrigerator for 1 hour to cool; then, with a fork, pull the inside of the squash into a bowl (should look similar to spaghetti). Place a saute pan over medium heat; add the squash and cranberries, cook until warm; add the maple butter, heat until melted.

I recreated this by omitting the maple butter part and just adding a few tablespoons of light maple syrup to the spaghetti squash mixture after I added the cranberries. It was delicious and still low fat...if not fat free. Amazing and an awesome side dish all year round. I will definitely be making this for Thanksgiving next year, and the best part is its so super cheap to make, and it's so easy.

Also, thanks to everyone who posted and emailed rum cake recipes to me...look for the recipes to be highlighted in the upcoming days and weeks before Christmas.

Rating = So Damn Good

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies | WW 1 pt

Making your goal weight sucks a little because you feel in limbo, you get a few more points per day, and then you find yourself getting a little heavy handed with the Old Fashion Kentucky Egg Nog at Thanksgiving...and...wham...those extra points are gone because now...we'll you've put a few back on. Thank goodness I had a buffer and even though I put a few back on I was still under goal. How will I ever get through the holidays...me loves me some egg nog, and Bailey's, and Holiday inspired lattes. Oh crap. December is going to be done in fits and starts I can tell, especially because I've got a hankering for bourbon cake and I'll probably end up making that this weekend. And yes, I have a whole weekend at home...to cook and bake and do whatever the-f I want. Sweet. I've got best laid plans to try and make a few casseroles....we'll see how that goes, but I'm going to make that Bourbon cake...hopefully, we'll see.

Does anyone have any liquor laden holiday recipes that I can try...bourbon cake, rum cake, whatever... I just enjoy drinking and eating my alcohol at this time of year, and if you had my in-laws you wouldn't judge you would just give me the damn recipes.

For a nice chocolatey low fat treat, try some of these little babies. So Good.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies | WW 1 pt
1 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp table salt
1/4 cup(s) butter, softened
1/2 cup(s) dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup(s) sugar, granulated
1/3 cup(s) unsweetened cocoa
2 large egg white(s) (I used EnerG Egg Replacer)
1 spray(s) cooking spray
6 tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips, miniature

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
Beat butter and brown sugar with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy; gradually add granulated sugar, beating well. Add cocoa and egg whites, beating well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until blended. Stir in chocolate minichips.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 11⁄2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Cool on pans 2 minutes or until firm. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks. Yield: 40 cookies (serving size: 1 cookie).

Note: This does make exactly 40 cookies so try to make them all the same size to ensure you have the right amount and can account for all the points.

Rating = Damn Good