Wednesday, November 30, 2011

WeightWatcher Points - Baking & Desserts

More Than Your First Cookbook

Baking and Desserts

My calculations for WeightWatcher Points

Remember that you can take a smaller portion and reduce your points used.

Basic Bran Muffin - 4 pts.

Creamed Scones - 5 pts.

Dilly Bread - 2 pts.

Homemade Buns - 5 pts.

Matt's Oatmeal Bread - 2 pts.

White Bread - 3 pts.

Cherry Delight - 9 pts.

Cinnamon Cake - 10 pts.

Connie's Peach Dessert - 9 pts.

Crazy Chocolate Cake - 10 pts.

Frosting for Cake - See Below

Chocolate Frosting - 49 pts.
Caramel Frosting - 42 pts.  (These are for the total amount of frosting - divide by number of pieces to get frosting points per piece)

Rhubarb Dessert - 10 pts.

Rhubarb Pudding - 8 pts.

Time-Saving Doughnut Holes - 2 pts.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Getting into the Holiday Season

Thanksgiving is over and the end of the year holidays are closing in on everyone.  Gift buying & wrapping, holiday parties and making holiday treats as well as planning the holiday meals will all make December a very busy month.  It is best to take a moment and make lists, mark calendars and start the planning before it becomes overwhelming to you.  Don't get so busy that you forget the meaning of the season or not enjoy all that makes this a truly wonderful time of the year.

I'm starting today with the cookie making as our four children are spread out and care packages will need to be sent early.  On Friday, I will have one of my favorite holiday cookies for the recipe.  I hope you will enjoy them.

Slow-cooker Buffet
In getting ready for the season, there are a few items that I thought should be brought to your attention.  As I'm looking at ads, catalogs and shopping the hot item this season is slow-cooker buffets.  I've seen them from 2 to 5 crocks and in various sizes.  I'm sure you can find the one that is just right for your needs at one of my favorite shopping places, Kohl'sFood Network or QVC.  I believe I have a couple of photos of them.

Electric Roaster
The other item you should look at is an Electric Roaster.  If you don't have one, you need to get one.  It freed up my oven for all the other dishes as the turkey cooked to perfection in it.  They are not only great for the holidays that we have in November and December but for those big family get-together events in the summer.  Look in to one and see if it might not be a good idea for your family.

Since we didn't do the WeightWatcher points the last couple of weeks, I'm putting the last two in this week.  Wednesday will be for the points in the Baking & Desserts chapter.  Then on Thursday, we will finish it up with the Odds & Ends chapter of the cookbook.  Thank you for being patient with me as we got them all out to you.

Barry Rd. Hy-Vee in KC
I now have cookbooks at the Hy-Vee just off of Barry Road in Kansas City, Missouri.  Here is a photo of them in their book area.  If you are near there, please check them out.  Thanks.

I wish all of you a "Happy, Holy and Merry Holiday Season" and a great year to come.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Turkey Soup.

Turkey (Carcass) Soup
(little over a gallon of soup)


Turkey Carcass (see note)
Water, enough to cover carcass
1 Bay Leaf
2 Carrots, small dice
2 Celery Stalks, small dice
1 Yellow Onion (small), small dice
1 tsp. Dry Rosemary
1 tsp. Dry Thyme
½ tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Black Pepper
2 cups Turkey meat, bite size
6 oz. Egg Noodles (half of a 12 oz. pkg.)
¼ cup Parsley
Chicken Base (if needed for more flavor)


In a 6 to 8 quart Dutch oven or stock pot, place the turkey carcass, bay leaf and cover with water.  Heat this over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking for 45 to 60 minutes.  At this point remove the turkey carcass and any other pieces to a large bowl to cool.  While the carcass is cooling, add the carrots, celery and onion to the pot and return to a boil.  Continue this for 30 minutes and start picking all the meat away from the turkey carcass when it is cool enough to handle.  If you don’t have 2 cups of turkey and stuffing from the carcass, add enough turkey from what you removed earlier to make the 2 cups needed.  After the vegetables have cooked their 30 minutes, add the seasonings, turkey meat and noodles.  Continue to cook until noodles are tender and done.  You may need to add more water during this cooking process to bring the mixture up to around one gallon total.  Now add the parsley and check seasoning to see if an adjustment is needed.  If so, add the needed seasoning and chicken base to give you the desired flavor you want.

Note:               You will want to take as much turkey off the carcass as possible
                           and then break the carcass into natural smaller pieces.  Please
                           don’t put any large pieces of turkey skin in the pot.  If you
                           stuffed the turkey, don’t worry about getting all the stuffing out
                           from between bones and such.  The remaining dressing will just
                           help flavor the soup.

Note:               Because you have boiled the carcass, the soup will gel on you
                           when it is refrigerated.  It will liquefy upon reheating.

Note:               You can make this soup a vegetable one instead of a noodle one
                           by increasing the amount and size of the vegetables used and not
                           using the noodles.  Other vegetables can be used so you meet
                           your flavor profile.

Ideas for Future Efforts

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey Tetrazzini

Turkey Tetrazzini
(8-12 servings)


1 large Yellow Onion, medium dice
1 large Green Pepper, medium dice
8 tbsp. Butter, divided
½ tbsp. Pressed Garlic
1 lb. Sliced Mushrooms
6 tbsp. All Purpose Flour
2 cups Chicken Broth
½ cup Dry White Wine
1 ½ cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1 pkg. (12 oz.) Egg Noodles, cooked al dente
3 cups Leftover Turkey, bite-size
1 tbsp. Dry Parsley
1 ½ tsp. Salt
¾ tsp. Black Pepper
½ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs


In a 4 to 5 quart sauté pan, place 6 tbsp. of butter, the diced onions and green peppers over medium-high heat for 5 to 10 minutes.  Add and cook the garlic for a couple of minutes before adding the sliced mushrooms.  Continue to cook this mixture for another 5 to 10 minutes remembering to stir often.  Slowly add the flour stirring constantly for about 2 minutes.  While still stirring, slowly add the chicken broth and cook another 2 minutes.  Then add the wine as you continue to stir.  Mixture should be thickening.  To this add the cream and continue heating to a boil while stirring.  Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking until mixture has thickened enough to coat a spoon.  Take a 9x13 baking dish and use 1 tbsp. to coat.  Now add the cooked noodles through Parmesan cheese to the hot mixture and combine before pouring into the baking dish.  In a small sauce pan, melt the last tbsp. of butter; add the cup of bread crumbs and mix.  Top the casserole with the bread crumbs and place in a pre-heated 375 degree oven uncovered for 30 to 35 minutes or until hot, bubbly and nicely browned.  Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Note:               If you are not into mushrooms, try adding some vegetable of
                           your liking.  Frozen mixed vegetables would be an easy 
                           substitute for the mushrooms.  Just cook them about 2 minutes
                           less than the package recommends before you add them to the

Ideas for Future Efforts

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Favorite Turkey Sandwich

My Favorite Turkey Sandwich
(1 serving)


2 slices Potato Bread
¼ cup Cranberry Sauce
½ cup Leftover Stuffing
4 oz. Sliced Leftover Turkey
Lettuce (optional)


Lay down your two slices of bread and spread the cranberry sauce over each slice.  Then top one slice with the leftover stuffing, followed by the leftover turkey.  Top this with lettuce, if using, finish sandwich by placing second slice of bread on top.  It is an easy sandwich to make but has all the flavor of your original “Thanksgiving” feast.  Enjoy.

Note:               Some people like to put cheese on their sandwich.  Change it
                           anyway you like to make it your favorite sandwich, but this
                           is mine.

Ideas for Future Efforts

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New Events & Activities

It's Thanksgiving week and I'm sure everyone is going crazy getting ready.  Take a deep breath and just take it one item at a time.  You'll get done and be able to enjoy all the commotion (family & friends).

I've been busy and now have my cookbook in a few more locations.  It is available at 3 Hy-Vee stores now (Maryville, MO; St. Joseph, MO; and Kansas City, MO-just off Barry Rd.), the Bearcat Bookstore on the campus of Northwest Missouri State University and at the Nodaway News Leader office in Maryville, MO.

There will be some more locations coming and book signings too.  I'm in Sioux City, IA on Friday (Dec. 2) and Saturday (Dec. 3) for signings at 2 Hy-Vee stores.  Then I'm in Kansas City (just off Barry Rd.) at another Hy-Vee on Saturday, December 10th.  The last one that is set as of now is January 7th in St. Joseph, MO at Hazel's Gourmet Coffee & Tea Co.  More about these as they get closer.

I did my second TV cooking segment yesterday for KQ2 in St. Joseph, MO.  I made the Spicy Creamed Corn from this blog.  It was a big hit and the link to watch it is below.  They do the segment in two pieces with commercials in between.  The link only has the first part but it gives you an idea of how easy a recipe it is to make. Here is the link KQ2

I will be doing 3 recipes this week for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  They will all have to do with leftover turkey; My Favorite Turkey Sandwich, Turkey Carcass Soup and Turkey Tetrazzini.  Enjoy and "Happy Thanksgiving" from "Cabana Boy Cooks."

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie
(8 servings)


1 – 15 oz. can Pumpkin
1 – 14 oz. can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 – large Fresh Eggs
1 – tsp. Ground Cinnamon
½ – tsp. Ground Nutmeg
½ - tsp. Salt
1 – 9 inch unbaked Pie Crust (see note)


Whisk all the ingredients (except pie shell) together in a mixing bowl.  Pour the mixture into the pie shell placed on a cookie pan.  Put this in a pre-heated 425 degree oven to bake for 15 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for an additional 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted 1 inch from crust comes out clean.  The pie can be baked the day before and refrigerated.  Have either whipped cream or cool whip (thawed) on hand when pie is served.

Note:               You can find frozen pie crust in a disposable pan in the freezer
section.  You can also use the refrigerated dough, but then
                        you will need a pie pan.  In either case, be sure to let the pie
                       dough come to room temperature before filling and baking.

Ideas for Future Efforts

Mandarin Orange Pudding

Mandarin Orange Pudding
(8-12 servings)


2 - reg. size pkg. Vanilla Tapioca Pudding
1 - 3 oz. pkg. Orange Jell-O
3 - cups Water (use juice from oranges first, then add water to make 3 cups)
2 - 11 oz. cans Mandarin Oranges, drained
1 - 8 oz. tub Cool Whip, thawed


Combine water/juice mixture with the tapioca pudding and jell-o in a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat.  Bring the mixture to a boil and continue for one minute stirring often.  Remove pan from the heat and let sit to cool.  Cool mixture for about 45 minutes at room temperature.  Next, add the oranges to the pan and stir in.  Now fold in the cool whip until all the white is gone.  Pour the completed mixture into an appropriate serving dish, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Note:               This recipe can be made two days ahead of the dinner.  It
goes well with this type of meal.

Ideas for Future Efforts

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole
(8-12 servings)


4 cans Cut Green Beans, drained
2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 cup Milk
¼ tsp. Black Pepper
2 2/3 cups French Fried Onions


In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients (only half of the fried onions).  Pour the mixture into a 9x13 baking dish and place uncovered in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until the casserole is hot and bubbly.  Then top the dish with remaining fried onions and bake an additional 5 minutes.

Note:               If turkey is still in the oven at a lower temp, it is alright to start
                          the casserole then.  Just turn up the temperature to 350
                          degrees when the turkey is removed.  The casserole will
                          finish while the turkey is resting before you carve it.

Ideas for Future Efforts

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes
(8-12 servings)


3 lb. Red or Yukon Gold Potatoes
8 Tbsp. Butter
1 Cup Milk
2 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Black Pepper


Wash and remove any bad spots from the potatoes.  It is your choice to peel or not peel the potatoes.  Cut each potato into 4 to 8 pieces depending on the size of each.  Place in a large pot and cover with cold water to at least an inch above the potatoes and heat over medium-high heat to a boil.  Cook at a boil for about 20 to 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when you stick them with a fork.  Drain off the water and leave in the pot.  Heat the butter and milk together in the microwave until butter has melted and milk is warm.  This keeps the potatoes from cooling down as you mash them.  Use the microwave in 15 to 20 second blocks on the butter and milk.  Once this is done, add to the potatoes and mashed to your desired consistency with a hand mixer, blending stick or manual potato masher.  Remember to add the salt and pepper as you mashed the potatoes.  When done taste the potatoes and adjust the seasoning if needed and serve.

Ideas for Future Efforts


Turkey Stuffing

Turkey Stuffing
(8-12 servings)


1 cup Butter
1 ½ cup Celery, diced
1 cup Yellow Onion, diced
½ cup Dry Parsley
1 tsp. Ground Sage
1 tsp. Poultry Seasoning
1 tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Black Pepper
14 cups Cubed Bread (see note)
2 cups Stock, Broth or Water


In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, add butter, celery, onion, parsley, sage, salt and pepper.  Cook mixture until onions are soft.  In a large bowl, combine bread with butter mixture and then liquid.  Mix until well combined.  You may have to add more liquid to get consistency you desire.  Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.  Let mixture cool to room temperature before putting into the turkey's 2 cavities.  Don’t pack too tight.  Mixture can be made day before and refrigerated.  If you do this, remove an hour before filling the turkey.

Note:               Use the bread of your choice but cube it up the day before
                        you will be making the stuffing.  Spread it out in a cookie
                        pan or two and let it set out to dry.  It helps make the
                        stuffing better.

Note:               If putting in turkey, make sure stuffing reaches an internal
temperature of 170 degrees before serving.  If you don’t
                        put in the turkey, place the stuffing in a buttered casserole
                        dish and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 45 to
                        60 minutes.

Note:               You can jazz up the stuffing by cooking the giblets in 4 cups
                        of water until done.  Dice up giblets and add to stuffing
                        and use the water they were cooked in for the liquid to
                        add to the stuffing.

Note:               You can also add other ingredients like cooked sausage of
                        your choice, fresh cranberries, mushrooms or nuts to name
                        a few.  Take the basic stuffing and make it your signature
                        dish for the holiday season.

Ideas for Future Efforts


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving with or without stuffing.

We are going to look at cooking a turkey, both stuffed and unstuffed, for an inexperienced cook.  If this is your first "Thanksgiving" meal or even second or third, I'm going to try to help make it a little less daunting of a task.  In the blogs for today, Thursday and Friday I will give you a menu, recipes and help walk you through it.

I'm going to make some assumptions.  You are having 8 or fewer guests over for the special dinner and you are doing it all by yourself.  Remember that you could have guests contribute to the dinner by bringing a specific dish that you want for the menu.  If not, let's start with the turkey.  I'm not putting the turkey in a recipe format like I normally do.  The other recipes will be in the usual format that I use.

You will want to buy a 12 lb. frozen turkey.  This will give you plenty of turkey for the meal plus leftovers for future meals.  I would buy the turkey on Saturday or Sunday before Thanksgiving because it will need to thaw.  It will take 3 to 5 days for the turkey to thaw in your refrigerator.  You don't want to thaw it in cold water so get it thawing early.  It's all about planning.

To thaw the turkey, leave it in it's wrapper and place in a pan (9x13 pan should work) to catch any juices as it thaws.  Place the pan on the bottom shelf in your refrigerator and leave it until Thanksgiving Day.

Now as part of our planning, when will we serve dinner?  We need to know this so we can figure out the time we need to start prepping our food.  I will use 1:00 PM as our dinner time and use that throughout all the recipes.

On Thanksgiving morning, we will start working with the turkey at 8:00 AM (5 hours before we want to eat).  We want to remove the turkey from the refrigerator and move it to the sink area.  First clean your sink with soap, water and rinse well, then place the turkey in the sink and remove the plastic cover on the turkey.  Be careful because usually, on the wrapper, there are instructions for cleaning, cooking temp and cooking times.  They may come in handy for reference.

Once the wrapper is off, remove the neck and anything else in the main body cavity of the turkey.  To do this simply place the turkey in front of you with the legs towards you.  Grab one leg and push down on it to release it from the clamp.  Repeat with the other leg.  Do not remove the clamp because when you are ready to put the turkey in the oven, both legs need to be back in clamp.  Next, remove the giblets (usually in paper bag) that are found in the neck cavity of the turkey under all that loose skin.  It you don't have both items (neck & giblets) keep looking.  I know several people that have left the giblets in the turkey while cooking only to find them as they carve the turkey.  It won't kill you but it will embarrass you in front of others.  If giblets are left in, discard them if they have not reached an internal temp of 175 degrees.  If they have then enjoy the giblets if you like them.

Once everything has been removed, rinse the turkey under cold water inside and out.  Drain the turkey as best you can and then pat it dry with paper towels.  Set the turkey on its back, and one wing at a time, tuck them in.  To do this consider the wing has 3 sections with the out section called 1.  Take the wing and stretch  it out, bring section 1 over to section 3 and hook it under section 3.  This should tighten up the wing to the body of the turkey.  Repeat with the other wing.  Now place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan with the breast side up.

Remote Oven Thermometer
If you are going to bake the turkey unstuffed, pour a little olive oil in your hands and rub it all over the outside of the turkey.  After washing your hands, sprinkle salt and pepper all over the inside and outside of the turkey and place back on the rack.  Bake in a pre-heated 325 degree oven uncovered until the outside is nicely browned.  Then place foil loosely over the turkey to keep it from getting too dark.  A 12 lb. turkey should take about 3 to 3 1/2 hours.  You should use an oven thermometer into the thickest part of the breast (not touching bone) for a reading of 165 degrees.  I use my remote oven thermometer with a probe and set the alarm for 165 degrees.  Remember you can get one at my favorite shopping places Kohl'sFood Network and QVC.  Remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes with the foil still tented on it.  The internal temperature will rise as it rests to 170 to 175 degrees.

Now if you want to stuff your turkey, follow everything already mentioned and add the following.

You want to make your stuffing (recipe tomorrow) early so that it has time to cool down before it goes in the turkey.  We don't want anyone getting sick.  You could make it the day before and pull it from the refrigerator up to an hour before stuffing the bird.

The rule of thumb on the amount of stuffing is around 3/4 cup of stuffing to each lb. of the turkey.  So our 12 lb. turkey should get about 9 cups of stuffing.  Remember that there are 2 locations to stuff.  Fill the body cavity first and re-do the legs.  Then fill the neck cavity with all that loose skin.  I would use tooth-pics or small skewer to keep the skin in place.  You don't want to pack it in there too tight because it will take longer to reach the internal temperature it needs to be safe.  The internal temperature of the stuffing should be 170 to 175 degrees.  The turkey will take longer to cook because of being stuffed.  A stuffed 12 lb. turkey will add 30 to 60 minutes to the total.  So you will be looking at 3 1/2 to 4 hours total.  I would also temp the stuffing in the body cavity to 170 degrees before removing it from the oven.  Put the probe into the middle of the stuffing.  It is just a little added safety.

If you are using a smaller or larger turkey, adjust accordingly.  Most turkeys that you can buy have detailed cooking information right on the wrapper.  Just follow them if in doubt.  Another option to the whole turkey is to use a bone-in turkey breast.  It is a little easier to handle, gives you the same great flavor and the bones can be used for carcass soup the same as a whole turkey.

The recipes to follow on Thursday and Friday include: Stuffing or dressing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, orange pudding and pumpkin pie.  So have a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Events: Past and Future ones

It's been a very busy week.  I was nervous last Monday (7th) as I did my first cooking segment on KQ2's "Hometown this Morning" show.  They liked it well enough to schedule me for some more shows.  I'll be appearing on the "Hometown this Morning" show the first and third Mondays of the Month.

That means this coming Monday (21st) is my next show.  That will be followed by December 5th and 19th.  I'll remind you of other shows as they draw near.  I will tell you that ALL upcoming events are listed on my website, Barry Beacom, under the "Events" tab.

I also had two book signings this past Friday and Saturday.  I sampled out some food and signed some books.  The best part was being able to have some conversations with people that like to cook and/or want to cook.  Have to say I'm having fun and trying to spread the news that cooking is fun and not that difficult.

There are three more book signings set and a fourth one that needs a date confirmed.  The first two signings are in Sioux City, Iowa.  The Hy-Vee store on Hamilton Blvd. on Friday, December 2nd from 4:00 to 7:00 PM is first.  Then the next day (3rd) I'll be at the Hy-Vee on Sergeant Rd. by the mall from 3:00 to 6:00 PM. Please stop by if you are in the Sioux City area that weekend.

The third book signing is on January 7th in St. Joseph, Missouri at Hazel's Gourmet Coffee & Tea Co..  It will be from 1:00 to 3:00 PM.  Be sure to stop in and try the food I will be sampling that day and one of their drinks too.

The rest of this week will be about a "Thanksgiving Dinner" to help someone facing their first time of preparing  one for family and/or friends.  I hope it will help as we just do some basic holiday cooking.  Enjoy!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pumpkin Mini Muffins

Pumpkins are nutrient powerhouses!  Pumpkins are packed with antioxidants like beta carotene, zeaxanthin and lutein that can help prevent eye diseases, improve immune function and reduce the risk for chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.  Pumpkins have a lot of common nutrients too, like iron, zinc and fiber.  Iron is needed by red blood cells.  Zinc deficiency may be related to osteoporosis of the hip and spine in older men. And fiber is important for bowel health.  Nutritional wise - a half cup of pumpkin has only 50 calories and three grams of fiber.  Enjoy the muffins!

Pumpkin Mini Muffins
(48 mini muffins)


1 box (18.25 oz.) Spice Cake Mix
1 can (15 oz.) Pumpkin


You can use a mixer, spoon or spatula to combine the two ingredients.  Mix until well incorporated and then pour into a greased mini muffin pan.  Fill each muffin spot about two-thirds full.  Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Ideas for Future Efforts

Friday, November 11, 2011

Three Beans & a Pepper

Beans/Legumes are naturally low in fat, are free of saturated fat and trans-fat and are a cholesterol-free source of protein.  Beans contain about 15 grams of protein and 30 grams of fiber per cup.  Enjoy the recipe.

Three Beans & a Pepper
(16 - ½ cup servings)


1 can (16 oz.) Butter Beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (16 oz.) Navy Beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (28 oz.) Baked Beans w/Onions
½ each Large Green Pepper, chopped
½ cup Ketchup
½ cup Brown Sugar


Combine all the ingredients together in a Slow-cooker on low for 8 hours.

Note:               This dish can also be done in an oven.  Bake covered in a pre
                           -heated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or is hot and bubbly.

Note:               You can change out the different kinds of beans with other
                           varieties to meet your personal taste.

Ideas for Future Efforts

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What is Mindful Eating

When Barry asked me to be a guest on his blog, I was honored - that and the fact that Barry was one of my favorite bosses!  I knew that a dream of Barry's was to write a cookbook.  I wasn't sure what kind of cookbook it was going to be, but it didn't matter, I wanted one.  So during his retirement party, I asked if I could be one of the first to get a signed copy.  Of course, he obliged!  Rewind to last year when Barry asked me to work on the nutritionals for his book; I didn't hesitate in saying yes.  Barry sat down with me to go over the recipes and I could tell he was very proud of this cookbook - and he should be!

While reviewing the recipes and working on the nutritionals, I found myself saying, "Oh no, Barry!  Not the heavy whipping cream!" and "Oh my goodness, these portions are huge!"  I knew just by looking at the ingredients and serving sizes that some of the recipes would have more calories and fat than I wanted to advertise.  The dietitian in me kept wondering if Barry could've used less cream and more skim milk.  Granted, food tastes real good with flavor, but did he really need to use all that butter and oil?  I gathered my composure and reminded myself to use my own advice - the best advice a dietitian could ever give - and that is...Eat when you are hungry.  Stop when you are satisfied.  If you practice this way of eating, you will find that you will never be on a diet and you can enjoy foods that contain heavy whipping cream!

(Barry insert here) My wife refers to me as the male "Paula Deen" because I like to use butter, heavy whipping cream and such in my cooking.  I do and always have said what Julie and other dietitians have told me - You can eat anything but do it in moderation and you won't have a problem.  Self-control is the problem and that's why I like Julie's "Mindful Eating."

I am not a fan of diets.  They don't work! If the diet plan you are considering isn't something you can do for the rest of your life, don't bother trying it even for one day.  There is no magical diet or exercise combinations.   The real solution lies within.  How, you ask?  This concept is not easy because we must first listen to our bodies.  Ask yourself:  Am I hungry for food or am I hungry for something else?  Then , listen and trust your body.  Remember that hunger is a physical feeling.  It is not the same thing as appetite, carvings or the desire to eat.  If you are truly hungry, try to make the best possible choice you can that will satisfy your body and your soul.  If you are not hungry, ask yourself what triggered the urge and find what it is you really need.

Try practicing mindfulness while you eat.  Mindfulness is a way of thinking, doing and living.  The practice of mindfulness has been around for thousands of years.  Mindfulness is a technique in which a person becomes intentionally aware of their thoughts and actions in the present moment, non-judgmentally.  Research suggests that those who practice mindfulness enjoy physical and emotional well-being including improved self esteem, better management of depression and reduced blood pressure.

One area of mindfulness focuses on eating.  It is not a diet.  It is not a fad.  Basically, mindful eating is eating to live, not living to eat.  It is eating intuitively.  It is the simple practice of paying attention.  When you practice mindful eating, you listen to your body, eat when you are hungry and stop when you are satisfied.

The key to mindful eating is to be in the present with mind and body.  Eat an orange for it's flavor, smell or texture; not because you are sad, angry or fearful about the past, present or future.

Think about how children eat - they eat enough to satisfy their hunger and then they are ready for play.  if you eat like a child, you will find that you may start eating smaller meals more often throughout the day.  Studies have found when a person eats like this, body metabolism increases; blood sugar levels stabilize; and one finds a healthy weight for their body.

Being conscious of what is happening in your life on all levels - tasting, seeing, hearing, feeling - is the first step to being mindful.  The challenge is yours - nurture yourself...starting with one mindful meal a day.  Then ask are you going to fuel your body, mind and spirit?

I have included two websites to help you learn more about mindful eating.  I use both of these references in nutrition counseling.

Julie has shared two recipes this week.  Three Beans & a Pepper will post tomorrow (Friday) and Pumpkin Mini Muffins on Saturday.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

WeightWatcher Points - Sides

More Than Your First Cookbook
Sides Chapter
My calculations for WeightWatcher Points

American Fried Potatoes - 5 pts.

Baked Beans (Vegetarian) - 5 pts.

Baked Beans with Bacon - 9 pts.

Baked Potato - 6 pts.

Barb's Cole Slaw - 3 pts.

Cheesy Escalloped Corn - 6 pts.

Connie's Hash Brown Casserole - 14 pts.

Cornbread Salad - 6 pts.

Decadent Mashed Potatoes - 8 pts.

Fresh Corn on the Cob - 2 pts.

Garlic Bleu Cheese Mashed Potatoes - 5 pts.

Homemade Onion Rings - 11 pts.

Kevin's Orzo and Eggplant - 3 pts.

Potato and Onion Packets - 8 pts.

Regular Mashed Potatoes - 4 pts.

Roasted Asparagus - 2 pts.

Rosie's Potato Salad - 8 pts.

Sweet and Creamy Corn - 4 pts.

Twice Baked Potato - 13 pts.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Our Guest Blogger is Dietitian, Julie Livengood

Our Guest Blogger is Dietitian, Julie Livengood.  This is our first dietitian to be a guest blogger.  Julie is a registered and licensed dietitian in the state of Missouri.  She is a graduate of Northwest Missouri State University.  Julie has experience in several areas of nutrition including public health, community health, food service and clinical.  Our guest dietitian is dedicated to nutritional health and healing.  Julie does a great job counseling people about their eating habits and helping them move forward.  Providing an empowering environment is Julie's priority; one that erases the concept of dieting and encompasses nourishment and mindfulness as part of a healthy lifestyle.

I know Julie very well as she worked with me before my retirement from the food industry.  She also worked with me on the cookbook, my and now the blog by providing the nutritional information for the recipes in the cookbook.  Julie also seems to have questions for me about butter and heavy whipping cream in my recipes, I'm not really sure why.

A few fun facts on Julie are below.

1.  Julie claims to have NEVER eaten a Big Mac in her life.  Her husband would like to dispute that but has no real evidence, so she is sticking to her claim.

2.  Unlike my wife and daughter, Julie does not collect shoes.  Her shopping obsession is swim suits and in particular- bikinis.

3.  Even though she is a dietitian and thin, her favorite food is a Casey's Pizza.  Two of our sons think Casey's has the best pizza too.  I guess Claudia and I will have to break down and buy one to see.  Any comments from those reading the blog would be appreciated.  Thanks.

4.  Julie and her husband, Dana, own and operate "Outlaw Fireworks" selling fun items for the 4th of July.  That's where most of her vacation time goes but they have a good time.  I don't know about others, but Claudia and I love watching fireworks shows.  The St. Joe Mustangs Baseball Team in St. Joseph, Missouri has the best fireworks show in the area.  They do it after every Saturday night home game.

My Etiquette Dinner went great and I've been told I did good on the The Hometown Morning Show too.  I haven't seen it yet.

This week has WeightWatcher Points for sides from the cookbook, Julie's blog on Thursday and a recipe on Friday and Saturday.  Have a great week.

Friday, November 4, 2011

PA AMB TOMAQUET (bread with tomato)

(Bread with Tomato)
(4 slices)


4 slices Shepherd’s Bread (see note)
2 Large Ripe Tomatoes
2 cloves Fresh Garlic, peeled
as needed Good Olive Oil (EVOO)
as needed Sea Salt


Toast the bread slices, as you want the bread to be stiff and rough.  Take a clove of garlic and rub it forcefully on the bread (half a clove per slice).  The bread will act as a grater or cheese shredder to the garlic.  The same holds true for the tomato.  Next slice the tomato in half across the equator, leaving a north and south half of the tomato.  Now take a tomato half and forcefully rub the cut side all over the bread until it is basically dissolved into the bread.  It should look like tomato paste or puree.  Repeat the process with each slice of bread.  When all the bread is done with the garlic and tomato, drizzle with a little olive oil on each slice.  Sprinkle the bread with a little salt and serve.

Note:               You need strong sturdy bread for this recipe.  Any good artisan’s
                           bread should work.

Note:               This works well with either red or yellow tomatoes.  Use both
                           colors of tomato if multiplying the recipe for a larger group.

Note:               This is an example of typical tapas recipe from Spain.  The word
                           Tapas is used to describe a cuisine of appetizers and snacks in
                           Spain that may be served cold or warm.  It is typical bar food
                           found in Spain and has spread to other countries.  In Central
                           American countries these appetizers and snacks are referred to
                           as Bocas.

Ideas for Future Efforts

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Nephew, Colin Beacom, Studying in Spain

My nephew, Colin, is doing a full school year of the Study Abroad Program in Spain.  He is in Barcelona and lives 5 minutes from the beach.  He has told me the food and wine in Spain are great.  That his experience so far has been wonderful and his Spanish is improving too.  He is doing a blog about his experiences in Spain at Beacom Travels.

In fact, Colin has sent me 6 Spanish recipes and one of them will be the recipe of the week tomorrow.  The recipes are in Spanglish, part Spanish and part English.  So my interpretation is what you will get tomorrow as my Spanish is very limited.  My wife and I tried it just the other day and loved it.

Spain is known for Tapas which is really snack food found mainly in the bars and nightclubs throughout the country.  These are usually easy simple foods and the one tomorrow falls into the category.  The country is well known for its cuisine and contribution to the culinary world.  If you have an opportunity to try Spanish cuisine, please don't pass it up.  Enjoy Spain's wonderful foods.

Now I need to get on my soapbox and talk a little more about the Study Abroad Program at colleges and universities throughout our great country.  Our youngest of 4 children went on the program twice.  He did a London program the first time in a spring semester.  He truly enjoyed the experience and will even admit how much it help him to grow personally.  Because of his going on this learning adventure, Claudia and I were able to take advantage of it and visit him at the end of his stay.  We were able to experience London and Dublin on our visit.

He must have enjoyed it because for the fall semester of his senior year, he did it again and went to the Netherlands.  Through both of these programs, he was able to see and experience much Europe.

His significant other, Stephanie, also experienced the London program and changed careers because of it.  She is now a Study Abroad Coordinator at a university in the northwest and enjoying helping others have a great experience.

I believe that everyone should be exposed to as much as possible in their life.  My personal opinion is that every college/university student, if possible, should do one semester abroad in a Study Abroad Program at their school.  We now live in a global world and everything that anyone does effects the whole world in some way.  Besides, life is too short not to take every advantage of seeing all we can of this great world we have been given.

This belief probably comes from the fact that I spent 3 months in Mexico shortly after college with 2 of my brothers and my first wife.  We saw much of Mexico as we traveled throughout it and believe it was one of the great experiences of all 4 of our lives.

Tomorrow's recipe is PA AMB TOMAQUET (bread with tomato).  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

WeightWatcher Points - Entrees

More Than Your First Cookbook
Entrees Chapter
My calculations for WeightWatcher Points

Baked Chicken Breast - 3 pts.

BBQ Pork Back Ribs - 16 pts.

Beef Burgundy - 12 pts.

Beef Enchiladas - 10 pts.

Brian's Chicken Saute - 8 pts.

Chicken Enchiladas - 8 pts.

Chicken Fried Chicken - 15 pts.

Chicken Fried Steak - 12 pts.

Chicken Parmesan - 10 pts.

Chicken Stir Fry - 7 pts.

Chicken Tortilla Casserole - 13 pts.

Country Ham Casserole - 13 pts.

Crunchy Baked Chicken Breast - 6 pts.

Fried Chicken Strips - 14 pts.

Hamburger Goulash - 8 pts.

Hamburger Stroganoff - 11 pts.

Italian Baked Chicken - 8 pts.

Italian Meatloaf - 9 pts.

Jambalaya - 13 pts.

Kate's Peanut Butter Meatloaf - 11 pts.

Lasagna - 13 pts.

Mac and Cheese - 10 pts.

Mexican Shepherd's Pie - 15 pts.

Oven Smoked Brisket - 8 pts.

Pasta and Shrimp - 11 pts.

Pork Chop Casserole - 9 pts.

Pot Roast with Beef Gravy - 10 pts.

Spanish Rice Entree (My Way) - 12 pts.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Up coming Book Signings & Television Events

First Book Signing Event
The cookbook was released last Tuesday (25th) and I had my first book signing on Friday (28th).  It went very well as I signed around 21 cookbooks and had some great conversations with a number of shoppers.  I sampled a recipe from the cookbook, Nadine's Corn & Black Bean Salsa.  I kept it mild for the masses and everyone really enjoyed it.  Here's a photo of the set up I had at the Hy-Vee store in Maryville, Missouri.  I was a little nervous before we got started but that passed and a good time by all followed.

I have several more up coming Book Signings & Television Events coming in the next few weeks.  It starts this week with an Etiquette Dinner on Thursday (3rd) evening on the campus of Northwest Missouri State University.  I'm speaking to an "Honor Society" on basic dinner etiquette.  The usual dos and don'ts that bring unwanted attention to you at the table.  I've have spoke to this group several times on this subject.  I do believe they like my presentation on etiquette because they keep asking me back.  That makes me feel good.

The scary event for me will be on Monday, November 7th at 6:30 AM.  I will be appearing on KQ2 television's Hometown This Morning Show.  I will be doing a food segment and this will be my first time doing something like this on TV.  Wish me luck and if you see it, please give me some feedback.  Thank you.

On that Friday (11th) I'll be doing a book signing on the campus of Northwest Missouri State University by the Bookstore in the Jones Student Union.  That book signing will run from 11:00 to 1:00 PM.

Just a quick tidbit about that Friday.  It is 11-11-11 that day and that makes it Corduroy Appreciation Day.  They celebrate the elevens because they think it looks like corduroy.  However, the big event that day is my wife's birthday and no she is not 11 on 11-11-11.  But we will be wearing corduroy that day while we enjoy her birthday.

Then on Saturday (12th) I'm back in St Joseph, MO from 9:00 to 11:00 AM for a book signing at the Hy-Vee Store on the Belt Hwy.

There will be more events coming and besides getting listed here, I'll have them on my website too at  So occasionally check out the website.  Thanks.

This week on the blog, we'll have WeightWatcher points for entrees Wednesday.  On Thursday I'll talk a little about my nephew, Colin.  He is spending the school year in Spain and has sent me several recipes he has come across in his journey.  One of those recipes will appear on Friday.  Have a great week.