Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Crock Pot Italian Turkey Meatballs

Skinnytime.com has some great recipes for those who watch what they put into themselves.  They are even Weight Watcher recipes! Take a look at this healthy meal.

Crock pots are so convenient, plug them in and go to work... come home and dinner's ready! I've always wondered if I can make meatballs start to finish in my crock pot without having to bake them first. Well now I know the answer, yes you can!

I'm starting to experiment with some of my favorite recipes to see how they translate into the crock pot and I plan on posting the ones I have success with. For the stove top version of this recipe, see Skinny Italian Turkey Meatballs.

One thing I should mention, it's best to carefully form the meatballs with gentle hands, if you pack them tight they will get tough while cooking. If you prefer to bake them in the oven first, bake them for 15 minutes at 350°. Then add to the crock pot for 2 - 3 hours on low. If you want more sauce, add another can of crushed tomatoes.

The one step I wouldn't skip is browning the garlic in oil first, this is a must for best results. And of course, you all know I swear by Tuttorosso crushed tomatoes (green label.)

Crock Pot Italian Turkey Meatballs
Adapted from my stove top Skinny Italian Turkey Meatball recipe.
Servings: 6 • Size: 4 meatballs with sauce • Old Points: 5 pt • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 200.4 • Fat: 8.1 g • Carbs: 12.6 • Fiber: 0.6 • Protein: 17.3 g • Sugar: 4.4
Sodium: 427.5 mg


  • 20 oz (1.3 lb) ground turkey breast 93% lean
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup Reggiano Parmigiano cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp kosher salt + fresh pepper
For the sauce:
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes (I like Tuttorosso)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil or parsley


In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, parsley, garlic and cheese. Using clean hands, mix all the ingredients and form small meatballs, about 1/8th cup each.

In a small saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until golden, being careful not to burn. 

Pour crushed tomatoes into the crock pot with bay leaf. Add garlic and oil.

Drop meatballs into the sauce, cover and set crock pot to low, 4 to 6 hours. When meatballs are ready, adjust salt and pepper to taste and add fresh chopped basil or parsley.
Serve with ricotta, over pasta or enjoy with French bread.

Makes about 24 meatballs, 2 tbsp each.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Anthology Fabrics - Free Quilt Pattern

 Look what Berrima Patchwork Website has brought to the web today!

One of the quilts that were on display at the Houston Quilt Market that really caught my eye was by Anthology Fabrics. 

Anthology Fabrics

I have just been onto their website and have found that it is a free pattern, looks like there is a lot involved in the pattern but what an amazing quilt you would have at the end of it. The free pattern can be seen at http://www.anthologyfabrics.com/anthology_pdf/Florigia%20Pattern.pdf
Check out their free patterns as there are some stunners in their collection.http://www.anthologyfabrics.com/

Friday, November 18, 2011

Christmas Blocks!!!

Intro Priced ~ uHOOPit
"Christmas Blocks"
Pieced in the hoop w/stitching done on top!
Illustrated instructions included. You get 10 designs, along with
2 setting triangles in your choice of 5 sizes for 4", 5", 6", 7" or 8" hoop sizes.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Seven Flavor Pound Cake

I know today is suppose to bring you another great crafting article, but I just had to share this amazing recipe!  This is a long time family favorite.  This is great as an alternative to the fruit cake this year!  Straight from Watkins!

Seven Flavor Pound Cake

3 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Margarine or Butter
1/4 Cup Shortening
5 Eggs
3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
Pinch of Salt
1 teas. Watkins Baking Powder
1 Cup Milk
1 teas. Watkins Vanilla Extract
1 teas. Watkins Lemon Extract
1 teas. Watkins Rum Extract
1 teas. Watkins Coconut Extract
1 teas. Watkins Almond Extract
1 teas. Watkins Pineapple Extract
1 teas. Watkins Butter Extract
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Water
1 teas. Watkins Vanilla Extract
1 teas. Watkins Lemon Extract
1 teas. Watkins Rum Extract
1 teas. Watkins Coconut Extract
1 teas. Watkins Almond Extract
1 teas. Watkins Pineapple Extract
1 teas. Watkins Butter Extract
Cream sugar, margarine and shortening until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, set aside. Sift flour, salt and baking powder. Add flour mixture alternately with milk and flavorings to sugar mixture. Pour into greased and floured tube or Bundt pan. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour. Leave cake in pan to cool.
To prepare glaze: heat sugar and water using low heat until sugar is dissolved; add Flavorings. While cake is cooling, drizzle glaze over cake. When completely cool, remove from pan and let stand glazed side up so that the glaze penetrates. (NOTE: The glaze provides a very potent addition to an already flavorful cake. You may wish to cut down the amount of flavor used in the glaze.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Skinny Chocolate Pudding!!

What a wonderful little recipe I found at Slender Kitchen! Skinny Chocolate Pudding!!  Here it is!

     I love chocolate pudding. Plain and simple chocolate pudding. It has to be thick, it has to be chocolatey, and ideally I can also freeze it into pudding pops. For months I have been seeing tofu chocolate pudding recipes popping up and honestly have been a little scared to try one. But after trying some vegan tofu chocolate pudding at a local restaurant, I decided to bite the bullet and try to make my own at home. I based mine loosely on lots of different recipes and ended up with a delicious, rich skinny chocolate pudding. And you would never guess that tofu is the silky smooth base. Also this is a recipe where splurging for high quality chocolate makes a difference. You could also easily pour this over a pie crust and create a chocolate pie.

Weight Watchers Chocolate Pudding
Points: 3 weight watchers pointsplus
Servings: 8
Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Nutritional Information: 103.1 calories, 4.9 g of fat, 10.4 g of carbohydrates, .5 g of fiber, 4.9 g of protein
12 oz package lite silken tofu
3/4 cup chocolate
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup warm skim milk
1 packet Stevia
1. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave until melted. You might want to warm it in 30 second increments to make sure they don’t burn.
2. Add all of the ingredients to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
3. Pour into a container and let cool in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Quilting Blogs

WOW!  I wish I could spend all day perusing these wonderful blogs.  Enjoy going through these blogs where you will find tutorials, free patterns, and inspiration galore!

To see MANY more:

Friday, November 11, 2011

Larkspur Lane Designs: Guess what I've got?!

Larkspur Lane Designs: Guess what I've got?!

Speed Piecing Quilts Part 3

Speed Piecing Quarter Triangles

  Another common piece used in quilt block construction is the quarter triangle. A quarter triangle is formed by a square cut in half twice on the diagonal. Many blocks use quarter triangles joined together to form right triangles in their construction. The steps to speed piece quarter triangles is very similar to those of speed piecing right triangles with the following exceptions: 
  • The initial strips must be cut the finished square size plus 1 1/4" for seam allowances instead of 7/8". For a square composed of quarter triangles to have a finished size of 4", the initial strips must be cut 4" finished size + 1 1/4" seam allowances = 5 1/4" wide.Instead of drawing on your fabric, you can also use Easy Piecing Triangle Templates
  •   After cutting the sewn strips apart on the marked lines, each unit must be cut in half again from the corner, to the middle of the longest side. 
  •   Each marked square will result in four pieced quarter triangle units. 
There are many different way to speed piece quilt blocks than those described here. The quilter interested in speed piecing techniques should check one of the many books on this technique currently available.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Speed Piecing Quilts Part 2

Speed Piecing Right Triangles

  Right triangles, also alled half triangles, are composed of a square cut in half on the diagonal. Many quilt block patterns call for two right triangles to be joined together to form a square. 

Steps for Right Triangle Piecing

  1. First calculate the finished size of the pieced square. To the measurement, add 7/8" for seam allowances. For example, 4" finished sized + 7/8" = 4 7/8" width of strip to cut.
  2. Cut one fabric strip this width from each fabrics.
  3.  Square one end of each fabric strip being sure to remove the fabric selvedge. Now, on the back of the lighter fabric strip, draw a line the same distance as the width of the strip from the squared strip end. In the example this would be 4 7/8". This should create a perfect square. Continue drawing lines the distance apart down the the fabric strip until the required number of squares has been drawn. Note: Each square will result in TWO pieced squares so if the pattern calls for four right triangles in each color to be pieced together, the quilter must draw two squares on the fabric strip. 
  4.   Next, draw a line dividing each square in half on the diagonal. Draw the dividing line so that they are in opposite directions on each square.Instead of drawing on your fabric, you can also use Easy Piecing Triangle Templates
  5.   Carefully place the lighter colored strip on top of the darker colored strip with the right sides of the fabic together and the edges in alignment. Sew 1/4" away from each of the diagonal lines. 
  6.   Cut the strip apart on each of the marked lines. In the example, this will result in four squares composed of two right triangles measuring 4 1/2". Press the seam allowance to one side. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Speed Piecing Quilts Part 1

Speed piecing is a technique in which larger pieces of fabric are first sewn together then cut to the size required for quilt block. By using this technique, and rotary cutting, the quilter can piece blocks more quickly and with greater accuracy.

Speed Piecing Squares and Rectangles

The easiest speed piecing involves involves piecing blocks or block sections composed of squares or rectangles. The general procedure is to calculate the finished width of a square and add 1/2" for seam allowances. Strips of fabric of this width are cut and are sewn together using a 1/4" seam allowance and the seam is pressed to one side. The edge of this pieced strip is squared, then the strip is cut into pieces that are the same width as the original strips. These pieces are now rearranged as indicated by the block pattern and are sewn together using a 1/4" seam allowance.

Four Square Speed Piecing Example

This example demonstrates the piecing of a 4", finished size, four square block section. 
  1.  Calculate the width of the strips to cut. 2" finished square size + 1/2" seam allowance = 2 1/2" cut strip. Cut one strip of this width from each of the fabrics. 
  2.   Sew these two strips together using a 1/4" seam allowance and press the seam allowance to one side. The strips should be 4 1/2" wide. 
  3.   Square the end of the sewn strip being sure to remove the selvedge from the fabrics. Now, cut the strip into pieces 2 1/2" by 4 1/2". 
  4.   Take two of the cut pieces and turn one of the pieces over so the different fabrics are opposite each other. Sew the pieces together using a 1/4" seam allowance and press the seam to one side. The finished block should measure 4 1/2". 
To create blocks or block sections containing rectangles, calculate the finished length of the rectangle plus 1/2" for seam allowances and cut the pieced strip into pieces of the measurement. More than one strip can be joined initially to create other block patterns such as Nine Patch. The quilter should analyze the block pattern being pieced to see if the technique is appropriate and, if so, how to implement it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fennel, Dried Fig and Thyme Stuffing WW Recipes

Image of Fennel, Dried Fig and Thyme Stuffing
PointsPlus® Value:    4
Servings:  8
Preparation Time:  20 min
Cooking Time:  55 min
Level of Difficulty:  Easy


8 oz Italian bread, cut into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups)   
2 Tbsp light butter   
2 small onion(s), chopped   
1 medium fennel bulb(s), chopped   
1 Tbsp fennel seed   
1/3 cup(s) orange juice   
3 oz dried fig(s), chopped or sliced (about 1/2 cup)   
2 1/2 Tbsp thyme, fresh, chopped   
1/2 tsp kosher salt   
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground   
1 cup(s) fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth   
2 spray(s) cooking spray   
1/4 cup(s) parsley, fresh, chopped   


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spread bread cubes on a large rimmed baking sheet; bake, stirring twice, until very lightly toasted, about 15 to 18 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions, fresh fennel and fennel seeds; cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add orange juice and figs; bring to a boil over medium heat, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat; stir in thyme, salt and pepper. Add toasted bread cubes to skillet and drizzle with broth; toss until evenly moistened.
  • Coat a 2- to 2 1/2-quart baking dish with cooking spray; spoon stuffing into prepared dish. Bake, uncovered, until top is lightly toasted and stuffing is hot throughout, about 30 to 35 minutes (cover top with foil if top starts to burn). Remove from oven and sprinkle with parsley. Yields about 2/3 cup per serving.


Swapping raisins for the figs could affect the recipe’s PointsPlus value

Monday, November 7, 2011

Feeling Stitchy?

Feeling Stitchy is written by a diverse group of craft bloggers who contribute weekly, monthly, or from time to time.  Come take a look at all the wonderful things they are doing over there!