Meredith's Blog

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Mama D’s Amazing Italian Beef September 29, 2010

Filed under: Main Dishes,Recipes — Meredith @ 1:05 am

So my girl Sarah shared this family recipe with me!  Her mom Diane (Mama D to me) is an amazing cook!  Their Italian beef is SO easy and SO yummy!!!

1 london broil

1 can beef broth

1 can beer

1 package of dry Italian dressing

1 jar of banana peppers (Sarah does half hot half mild….I do all hot….depends on how spicy you like it:))

In a roasting pan, place the beef and sprinkle with the dry seasoning. 

Add beer and broth (pour on the sides so you don’t wash off the seasoning)

Put peppers on top

Bake at 300 for 3-4 hours. 

The meat will fall apart.  Sarah and her family serve it on buttered rolls….I love to serve it on a roll and dip it in the drippings. 

The leftovers are amazing in salads, quesidillas….anything you can imagine!  So yummy!!!!!!


My little cheerleader!

Filed under: Kids — Meredith @ 12:59 am

If you know me, you know I am the least coordinated person in the world.  In fact in the past 2 days, I tripped and broke the $200 lens on our SLR camera, shattered a glass, and exploded (glass and all) a bottle of prosecco.  So of course Grace has decided she is going to be a cheerleader.  I am praying that she has Chris’s coordination (he is WAY better than me:)).  We took her to see the Tucker High School cheerleaders at camp this summer and since then she has been begging to go to a real football game to see Ms. Gibson and HER cheerleaders!  She really thinks they are her BFF!!!!  So we took her to the game this weekend.  She had a fabulous time and since the tigers were winning 45-0 she spent  some time “performing” with the girls! 

Amelia had a fabulous time too….climbing the stadium with us chasing after her:) 


The easiest dinner ever! September 23, 2010

Filed under: Main Dishes,Recipes — Meredith @ 1:57 am

As usual, Gina’s website never lets me down!  I made this recipe last week….it was so amazing.  Even better…it only took like 5 minutes to cook!  I served the shrimp with black beans and rice….fantastic!!!!


Cilantro Lime Shrimp

Cilantro and lime make this simple shrimp dish outstanding. Serve this over rice or with a salad. Shrimp is one of my favorite skinny foods to cook with. It’s packed with protein, low in calories, and cooks in minutes which is great when you need a quick delicious meal.

Cilantro Lime Shrimp
Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 6 oz • Points: 4 pts
Calories: 197.3 • Fat: 4.1g • Protein: 35.9 g • Carb: 2.4 g • Fiber: 0.1 g

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • salt and pepper

Heat a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Add oil to the pan, when hot add shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. When the shrimp is cooked on one side, about 2 minutes, turn over and add garlic. Sauté another minute or two until shrimp is cooked, careful not to overcook. Remove from heat. Squeeze lime all over shrimp and toss with cilantro. Serve hot.


Like Chinese takeout but better! September 15, 2010

Filed under: Main Dishes,Recipes — Meredith @ 12:12 am

I saw this recipe on Rachael Ray’s show on Monday and I had to try it!  It is so good!  If you like Hot and Spicy soup you will love this!  I used whole wheat pasta and boneless, skinless breasts instead of thighs.  So yummy!!!!


    1 pound egg tagliatelle, for wide noodles or whole wheat spaghetti, for a heartier soup 6 pieces boneless, skinless chicken thighs Salt and black pepper

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander, half a palmful
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil, divided
  • A couple of handfuls of button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 inch ginger root, grated
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar, eyeball it
  • 1/4 Tamari or low-sodium Tamari, eyeball it
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 small bunch scallions, thinly sliced on an angle
  • A couple of handfuls crispy bean sprouts
  • Coriander leaves, for garnish
  • Lime wedges, for garnish
  • Sriracha or other hot sauce, to pass at table


Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta. Once boiling, add some salt and the pasta. Cook to al dente.

Meanwhile, trim chicken and season with salt, pepper and coriander. Heat about 1 tablespoon of oil, a turn of the pan, in a large, deep skillet or wok over high heat. Add chicken and cook 4 minutes on each side. Remove to a cutting board and reserve.

Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan, a turn of the skillet, and stir-fry mushrooms a few minutes to soften and brown. Stir in ginger and garlic, toss a minute or two more then add vinegar. Stir, add Tamari and stock, and bring to a boil.

Thinly slice the chicken on an angle into strips. Add chicken to soup. Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl and stir into broth. Let thicken a minute more. Add scallions and bean sprouts to soup and turn off heat.

Twist a bundle of noodles up around tongs or a serving fork and pile into individual bowls. Ladle soup over the noodles and garnish with cilantro and lime juice. Pass hot sauce at the table.


The 1st Day of School September 9, 2010

Filed under: Kids — Meredith @ 6:11 pm

Yesterday was the 1st day of school for Grace and Amelia.  They were both so excited!  Grace was up early and could not wait to get dressed and out of the house.  After eating breakfast and posing for a million pictures, we were finally on our way!  Grace was so excited to see her teachers and friends she ran into her classroom without saying goodbye!  Amelia cried for a minute when we left, but her teacher said she had a great day.  Amelia even cried when they put her in the car at carpool because she didn’t want to leave school. 

I enjoyed my morning without the girls (even spent some time at the pool:)), but it was strange to have such a quiet morning….being without them will take some time to adjust to!

Here are some pictures of the morning:


I love the fall! September 5, 2010

Filed under: Kids — Meredith @ 12:30 am

Last week while I was working out at 5:45 am, I began to notice that the mornings were getting cooler.  During the day when I would run errands I wasn’t sweating profusely just walking from my car to the store.  The cooler weather means that fall is here and fall means football!  As much as I love the lazy days of summer, I LOVE football season!  I love the UGA games the best, but I also love getting up in the morning and turning on ESPN….watching gameday, games ALL day and night, watching gameday final, and the waiting for the new ranking to come out to see where UGA stands. 

I also LOVE that my girls love these things too (so far:)).  Grace and Amelia spent the day in their cheerleader outfits calling the dogs (Amelia only barked) and singing Glory, Glory.  Today was a fabulous day with my family….I am so thankful for the little things!  


More recipes! September 1, 2010

Filed under: Recipes — Meredith @ 12:46 am

While we were at the beach my sister cooked several recipes from Gina’s website.  Since I have been back, I have been on a mission to try all of her recipes!  Here are the latest recipes….amazing as always!

 Petite Turkey Meatloaves


I got the cutest Petite Loaf Pan for Christmas and thought individual mini meatloaves would be a perfect recipe to break it in. These low fat meatloaves are kid friendly and they cook quicker than making one big loaf. I actually prefer turkey meatloaf to beef, it’s always moist and has great flavor. I replaced breadcrumbs with cholesterol lowering oatmeal for added nutrition. Serve this with Skinny Garlic Mashed Potatoes and a fresh veggie for a complete dinner.

Petite Turkey Meatloaves
Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 4 mini loaves Serving Size: 1 loaf • Time: 45 minutes • Points: 4.5 ww points
Calories: 207.3 • Fat: 4.6 g • Carbs: 14.3 g • Fiber: 1.2 g

  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1.3 lb 99% lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup ketchup + 2 tbsp
  • 2 tsp worcesterchire sauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • salt

Preheat the oven to 350°. Saute olive oil and onion on low until translucent.
In a medium bowl mix turkey, onion, breadcrumbs, egg, ketchup, salt and marjoram. Divide into four equal loafs and place each loaf into a non stick mini loaf pan or shape into small loafs on an un-greased nonstick baking pan.

In a small cup mix remaining 2 tbsp ketchup with wosterchire sauce and brush onto each loaf to give it a nice glaze.

Bake uncovered for about 40 minutes at 350°. After baking let it sit for 5 minutes serving.


I have gotten many requests to make a low point mac and cheese recipe. Here’s a baked macaroni and cheese recipe that even got my skeptical daughter’s approval.

I lightened this by reducing the butter, I replaced cream with skim milk and chicken broth, and I added some fresh baby spinach. I liked Sargento 2% cheddar cheese because after trying several cheddars, this was the one I felt tasted best and melted beautifully. I also use Ronzoni Smart Taste which is less points than regular pasta, with the same great taste. Whole wheat or low carb pasta would work with the same points too.

If you want to make this a quick stove top mac and cheese, you can serve it without the breadcrumbs and grated cheese. Points remain the same. Next time I make this I’ll play around with using other vegetables like mushrooms or broccoli, and possibly try it with a variety of reduced fat cheeses.

Lighter Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1 cup • Points: 6 ww pts
Calories: 296.67 • Fat: 9.7 g • Protein: 15.8 g • Carb: 34.5 g • Fiber: 5.3 g 

  • 12 oz high fiber elbows like Ronzoni Smart Taste
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp light butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 cup fat free chicken broth
  • 8 oz Sargento 2% reduced fat mild cheddar
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1/8 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup seasoned whole wheat bread crumbs
  • Pam butter flavored spray

Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Spray a baking dish with buttered flavor Pam. Preheat oven to 375°.

In a large, heavy skillet, melt butter. Add flour and cook over low heat stirring with a whisk. Add onion and cook another 2 minutes. Add milk and chicken broth and continue whisking for 2-3 minutes, until smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, add cheese and mix well until cheese is melted. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, add cooked macaroni and baby spinach. Pour into baking dish. Top with grated cheese and breadcrumbs. Spray a little more buttered flavor Pam on top.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, then broil for a few minutes to get the breadcrumbs

Chicken Ropa Vieja
Servings: 4 • Size: 1 cup • Calories: 197 • Points: 4 ww points

  • 3 chicken breast halves
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 tomato, quartered
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • reserved broth
  • 1 tsp cumin, or more to taste (I like a lot)
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place chicken, onion, tomato, carrot, and 2 cloves of garlic into crock pot. Add water to cover, and set to high for 4 hours until the chicken is tender. If cooking on the stove, cook on medium-low, and simmer until the chicken is tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Place the chicken into a bowl and shred it into strips using a fork; set aside. Reserve the liquid.

In a large deep skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions, green peppers, and red peppers. Cook about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in chicken, tomato sauce, white wine, and about 3/4 cup of the reserved broth to create a nice sauce. Season with cumin, garlic powder salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer on low for about 10 minutes more adding more broth and seasoning if needed.


A touch of lime and a little cilantro makes this a perfect companion for grilled chicken or steak. Serve this as a side dish or also delicious served as a dip with nachos. My girlfriend made this recently at a party and I couldn’t stop eating it. I knew I had to make it here. The cucumbers give this a wonderful fresh summer flavor. If you like this, you may also like my Southwestern Salad made with corn. 

Black Bean, Avocado, Cucumber and Tomato Salad
Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 10 • Serving Size: 1/2 cup • Points: 2 ww pts
Calories: 126.9 • Fat: 5.7 g • Protein: 5.0 g • Carb: 16.0 g • Fiber: 6.7 g  

  • 1 seedless cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 2 hass avocados, diced
  • 15.5 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbsp red onion, minced
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, minced
  • 2 limes, juice of
  • salt and fresh pepper

Combine all the ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Makes 5 cups.


I love the beach!!!

Filed under: Kids — Meredith @ 12:29 am

We spent the last week at Seagrove beach with my parents and sisters.  We had a fabulous time,  although vacation with children is not quite the same as it was before:)  I think my family might need months to recover from the girls and my sisters might not ever want their own children, but all in all it was great to be with family and watch my girls enjoy new experiences!!!

We are looking forward to going again in October and hoping Amelia will enjoy the sand more!