16 Cheesy Chicken Noodles

This one’s easy-peasy. And talk about your comfort food! It’s noodles. And chicken. And cheese. And some creamy stuff. What more could you want?

And, no, you don’t have to count the noodles.  Since I didn’t have to count past 10, I just kept my shoes on.

Preheat your oven to 350.

Here’s what you need:

2 cups of cooked chicken: I bought tenders, put them in a pan, sprinkled some salt and pepper on them, baked them, then chopped them up.

2 cups of cooked macaroni

2 cans of cream of mushroom soup: fat free if you’re counting calories. And I am.

2 cups milk: fat free if you’re counting calories. And I am.

8 oz. of cheddar cheese, cut into cubes.

Now, hear me carefully: Dump it all in a bowl. Stir it up. Pour it into a greased, 9×13 pan. Cover it with aluminum foil and bake it for 45 minutes. Take the foil  off and bake it another 15 minutes or so, until it gets to the consistency you’re looking for.


Oh, and the 16?

2 cups cooked chicken
2 cans cream of mushroom
2 cups cooked noodles
2 cups milk
8 oz. cheese

Equals 16! Yay, me!

Here’s the printable: 16 Cheesy Chicken Noodles

Over and out,


Note: I do not do WW new PointsPlus. I have no idea how it works. My Points’ values are the old version.


Tortilla Casserole: All the Ole! Less of the Lard

So, you get stuck at home for a day because you have a Sick Diva. Let’s just say.

You realize the following:

1. You’ve known it was coming for awhile. It’s been building. The sore throat, the stuffy nose, the cough. It’s always the same progression.

2. You’ve been in denial.

3.  You’re lucky to have made it to mid-February without her getting sick so far this winter.

4. You need something to do to keep yourself from going crazy. You could do laundry, but you still have a few pair of clean underwear, so it’s not necessary. You could clean the house, but the cleaning fumes might upset Sick Diva’s sickness. Yeah, that’s it. You could do doctoral work, but nothing’s due for two more days. It’s not nearly time for that. You work better under pressure.

5. Remembering you’re back on the wagon, you decide to cook yourself silly, so you’ll have appropriate food in the house. Away with the Cheez Doodles and the Oreos! On to the good stuff.

6. You start with two pans of muffins in chocolate and carrot cake. That takes up an hour or so.

7. You look around and wonder what else you can make. You find the ingredients for fudge in the pantry/fridge. You make that. There goes another 30 minutes.

8. You tap your teeth with your newly attached, plastic fingernails. They’re not really plastic, sort of, but you wouldn’t expose them to open flame.  They’re cute but not fire retardant.  “Oh!” you say to yourself. “I can make that yummy Tortilla Casserole that I love but the Diva doesn’t because she doesn’t feel like eating today anyway!” (She doesn’t like it because it’s sprinkled with fresh cilantro, and she’s just sure that’s something good for her because it’s green. She wants no part of that nonsense.)

And off you go…

You gather up the ingredients: taco seasoning, six corn tortillas, a can of kidney beans, a can of diced tomatoes, a can of chopped green chiles (yet another offense to the Diva), a cup of fat free sour cream, a pound of extra lean ground beef, 3 oz. or so of cheddar cheese (you can use the already-grated stuff…this is what I had), and some fresh cilantro.

You also get a big skillet, a 9×13 pan, and some butter-flavored CFC spray because, if you’re going to ruin the ozone, it might as well taste good.

First, you preheat the oven to 350. Then, you brown the ground beef.

You’ve got the supporting actors (beans, tomatoes, chiles, and taco seasoning) ready on the side because you’re that prepared. You drain the beef, return it to the skillet, add the supporting actors…

…stir ’em up, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for five minutes or so.

While that’s happening, you get the pan ready.  You’re sure to coat it in plenty of butter-flavored CFC’s so your stuff won’t stick. Then, you cut the tortillas in half.

And put six halves in the pan, overlapping as necessary. You’re about to build a lasagna-type thing.

While the meat stuff is still simmering, you also chop the cilantro…

…and grate the cheese.

While you’re grating the cheese, you may or may not skin the end of one of your plastic fingernails, and you may or may not get bummed. The bumming may or may not be temporary, as you realize that this gives you an excuse to visit the nice people at the nail shop for a touch-up. You perk up.

After five minutes of simmering, the meat stuff looks like this:

You take it off the heat and spread half of it over the tortilla halves.

Then, you cover that with the sour cream.

More tortilla halves.

More meat stuff.

Now bake. 25 minutes. When it comes out of the oven, sprinkle the cheese on top…

…and cover with aluminum foil. You’re very careful because you know  the pan’s hot, and you may or may not have previously burned yourself putting aluminum foil on a hot pan.  You let the cheese get melty good for a few minutes. Then, you remove the foil and sprinkle the cilantro on top.

You cut the thing into six, equal portions because each one has about 300 calories, or 6 WW Points. You could serve it alongside a portion of fat free refried beans with cheese sprinkled on top, or you could eat it just like this.

Gotta go! I’ve got a, uh, Sick Diva to tend.

Here’s the printable: Tortilla Casserole



Brownie Minis: Buy a Hundred Boxes!

Here’s something I’m lovin’ these days:

Chocolate two days in a row?

Addicted much?

I’ll admit that I probably should have stuck with my Diet Dr. Pepper addiction. It has no calories.  However, I understand that chocolate has health benefits that Diet Dr. Pepper just doesn’t have.

I “understand” that because I like it better.

End of discussion.

The other day, I was waiting for a four-hour cheer practice to end browsing my local Wal-Mart when I spotted this:

“Hmmm…” said I. Interesting.

I reached in, pulled one box off the shelf, and turned it to the side. This is what I saw:

You  mean I can have two of those suckers for just 150 calories?  That’s only 3 WW Points! That’s in my Points budget! SOLD!

And I threw a box in the buggy.  Just one because you never know about these things.

When I got it home, there was even more good news, besides the fact that the 150-calorie bit was right on the front of the box…not my most observant moment.

Everything you need, save a little water and Pam, is inside the box!  Just mix the, um, mix up with a few tablespoons of water, drop some into the INCLUDED pans, and bake.

That’s it!

And taste?

Warm, fudgy, chocolately, brownie goodness.

Going back to buy a thousand boxes,


P.S. Pillsbury was kind enough to post a “modification” on the back of the box whereby you press a small Reese’s peanut butter cup into the warm brownie bites as they come out of the oven.  Then, when they’re cooled you frost them with chocolate icing.  I’d like to thank the Dough Boy for attempting to sabotage my journey.

In closing, I’d like to say this, “It won’t work, Fatso!”

That is all.

Oh, Fudge! No, Really…Fudge.

I mentioned last week that I’ve recently begun a new, and very long, journey.

Some days, as I travel far and wide on my quest, this is what gets me through:

Is it as healthy as an orange?


Does it have the fiber of Raisin Bran?

No, again.

Would it be sold at the Whole Foods store?

No, and we don’t have but one within a hundred miles of here anyway. They’ll never know.

Does it keep me from poking my own eye out sometimes?

YES, YES, and, again I say, YES!

I can’t remember where I got this super-easy-to-make, no-candy-thermometer-involved, chocolate fudge recipe, but here’s what I can tell you:

Each delectable, little piece has only about 100 calories (2 WW Points, to the lay person). For 100 calories, I can feed my chocolate craving and trick my body into thinking I’m doing something naughty, all the while losing weight.

Sometimes I eat more than one.

At a time.

Ain’t no shame in my game.

I’ve attached a recipe card here so, you, too, can go  another week without poking out one (or both) of your precious eyes.

It ain’t worth it.

Click, print, and cook: Easy-Peasy Chocolate Marshmallow Fudge

Over and out,


Ritzy Chicken

This is one my family absolutely LOVES.  And, you know me…it’s easy. Like Sunday morning.

And it’s Ritzy. So serve it to your fancy guests.  Reminds me of a story.

When I was a kid, I spent the summers with Mammaw and Pappaw on their pseudo-farm in Mississippi. Every night, Mammaw would make dinner: good, country food, and put the sweet tea on the table.  The sweet tea, freshly made by Mammaw herself was stored in used, but washed, milk jugs.  Every night, without fail, before we started to eat, Pappaw would look as us kids, and say something like this:

“There’s those [sic] milk jugs again. I swear, if President Kennedy came to dinner, your Mammaw would put those milk jugs on the table.”

I didn’t have the heart to tell him we were in the midst of the Reagan era and that Kennedy had been assassinated many years before.

I’m not sure it even mattered.

Here’s what you need:

Basically, we’re talking some chicken. Here I went with the breasts, but you could use what you want.  You just need the equivalent of 4, thick breasts.
1 cup of fat free sour cream
2 cans of fat free cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup of fat free chicken broth
2 sleeves of Ritz crackers
1/2 cup butter or margarine

This recipe makes 9 servings, and each serving has 6 WW Points.

Cook the chicken using your method of choice. I baked mine:

400 degrees for 25 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, mix the sour cream, cream of chicken, and chicken broth.

I threw in some frozen peas and corn I had in my freezer, though that’s not officially part of the recipe. You could throw in any frozen veggies. This is just one way I sneak them to my birds. (Insert evil laugh here…).

In a 9×13 casserole dish sprayed with Pam, throw the chopped chicken in and top it with the soup/veggie mixture.

Now, comes the part where you deal with your frustrations:

Put the crackers in a baggie and pound away until they are crumbs.

Or let your Diva to it.

Hey, Divas have frustrations, too! Not enough high-heel shoes available in hot pink, chipping nail polish, you know, the important stuff.

Then, put the crumbs into a bowl and pour the melted butter over them. Stir with a fork to coat all crackers in the buttery goodness.

Layer the crumbs on top of the soup/veggie mixture.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until it’s warmed all the way through.

See the bubbles?   Bubbles are goooooooooooooood.

Now, plate it and stand back and wait for it to disappear.

Goes great with Mammaw’s Good Green Beans!

Printable recipe card: click, print, cut and go.

Ritzy Chicken

Crock-Pot Chili

As promised, here’s the super-easy, super-tasty Crock-Pot Chili.  And, at only 2 WW points per 1-cup serving, you can eat the whole pot and not feel a bit bad about it.

Till afterwards when the beans catch up with you.

Here’s what you need:

Crock-Pot (Natch! As you may have guessed, I LOVE my Crock-Pot! In fact, I’d call myself a Crock-Pot master. But then I’d remember that I’m not a  dude and call myself the Crock-Pot mistress.  But then that doesn’t sound right, either, does it? Focus!)
1 lb. ground beef (97% lean)
1 15 oz. can pinto beans
1 15oz. can diced tomatoes
1 pkg. chili seasoning (any of them will work)

Now spray the Crock with Pam.

Then layer.

First the raw ground beef:

That’s right. Don’t even bother to brown it.  This is lazy woman’s work. I love it!

Next the beans. Open can; dump them in.

Then the tomatoes. More opening and dumping.  Still loving it.

Then the chili seasoning.

Now, put the top on, turn that booger on low, and walk away. Go get your nails/hair/skin done, so you can give back. Take a nap. Do laundry (not!). Or whatever.  Leave it for about 8ish hours.

When you come back, it’ll look like this (warning, this is not the final product):

All you have to do at this point is take a wooden spoon, break up the cooked beef, stir it up and serve.

Big Daddy likes it with hot dogs and crackers, but it goes great with Southern Cornbread, as well.

Oh, and if people are coming over, I make a double batch. Just put twice the ingredients in the Crock Pot side-by-side and cook the same way.  Works, too, if I want to have some to put in the fridge for Big Daddy’s lunch, etc.

Now, here’s a new feature:

A Printable Recipe Card

Crock-Pot Chili

Click, print, cut, file.

Let me know if it’s helpful.

AinW out.

Deep Dish Pizza Casserole: The Versatility Alone Will Amaze You!

Here’s where we’re going:

The cheese alone is enough to make me as happy as a pig in slop.  Just wait till you see what’s under there!

Now, normally at this point, I’ll give you a picture of the items you’ll need to complete said recipe. However, as I often do, tonight I went on a cleaning binge.  This time the objective was to delete currently unnecessary pics (mainly of food) from my digital camera.  I took it a little too far, too fast and deleted the pic of the necessary items for this recipe, so here they are, in text format.

1 lb. ground beef (If you want to count WW points, get the 7% fat stuff. If not, get the cheap stuff. We all know it tastes better anyway.)
1-15oz. can of tomato sauce (I like the meatloaf or pizza flavored ones. They also have the garlic and herb ones.  Pick what you like.)
1 refrigerated pizza crust (These are over there by the canned biscuits in the grocery store.)
2 cups shredded mozzerella
9×13 pan
Pam for the pan
skillet for the meat

If you simply must have a picture, email me and I’ll try to draw you one.

Not really.

Start by preheating the oven to 425  degrees.

Spray the 9×13 pan with Pam and roll out the crust to cover the bottom. An option is to push it up the sides with your fingers, but that’s too much trouble for me.

Now, brown the ground beef in the skillet.

Then, drain it.  I even like to rinse it.

Just look at all that nastiness that could have been in  my stomach.

Okay, so I know I eat at McDonald’s, which is much worse, but I don’t have to see it!


Now, return the meat to the pan and stir in the tomato sauce.

Or, in my case, let NG1 do it for you while you wipe the tomato sauce off of your camera.

Pour the meat/sauce mixture over the pizza crust.

Then bake for 12 minutes.

While that’s baking, eat a Cake Cookie (I can neither confirm nor deny whether I did.  Just offering suggestions.) and watch your two international students duke it out about whatever the topic of the day is. You don’t have two international students, you say?  Well, come on over. There’s a show every night at my house. The argumentation through translation of three, different languages (Korean, German, English), see who can process the words fast enough should be an Olympic event. It’s way better than curling, though the Norwiegans did have cool pants this year.


When you take it out, spread the cheese evenly on top.

Now, I know I told y’all only 2 cups of cheese, but that’s not enough for me.  Don’t sweat it, just count the points if you’re into that sort of thing.

Bake for 5 more minutes.

It’ll look like this. Resist the urge to dive in. It’s HOT!

You’re feelin’ it now, arent’ you?

Now, here’s the best part:  this huge pan makes only 6 servings. And each serving has only 6 points!  OMGoodness!  It’s a volume thing.

Or, if you’re not into volume, cut it into 12 servings at 3 points each.

Oh, and it’s better the next day, in my opinion.

My birds like it with Caesar salad (I buy the bagged kind ‘cuz, well, it makes my life easier.)

Now for variations:

  • When you are browning the meat, throw in onions, peppers, veggies galore!
  • Put lots of the fungus in there. I can’t because Big Daddy won’t eat anything that grows in a turd, but you can.  Mushrooms rock!
  • Use chicken instead of beef.
  • Mix the beef with taco seasoning and salsa and top with Pepper Jack cheese for a Mexican version.

The list goes on and on. Use your imagination and comment me back to let me know how you tweaked it to feed your family what they like.

Printable recipe card: click, print, cut and go.

Deep Dish Pizza Casserole