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14 Jun

If you’re looking for a new, flavor-packed marinade for grilled chicken, give this fragrant Indian marinade a try! Made with curry powder, turmeric, coriander, garlic, lemon, and cilantro, it infuses grilled chicken skewers with lots of rich, warm, complex flavor. Add a cool, refreshing cucumber raita (yogurt sauce) to round out the meal (250 calories or 3 WW points)!

In the spring and summertime, I’m outside almost every night, grilling chicken with lemon herb marinade, Asian soy ginger marinade, Caribbean marinade, or making Mediterranean grilled shrimp…even steak tips. And now I’m adding a new marinade recipe to the list—a flavorful and fragrant Indian marinade for chicken. I like to turn them into grilled chicken skewers, but the marinade works well for any type of chicken or cooking method.

The Indian marinade is straightforward: whisk together curry powder, ground turmeric, ground coriander, garlic, lemon juice, fresh cilantro, salt, pepper, and olive oil. The lemon works to tenderize the meat, while the garlic, herbs, and spices infuse the chicken with warm, earthy, complex flavor. Curry powder, after all, is typically a blend of coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, chili peppers, and sometimes ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and more. The combination of all of these fragrant spices creates a richness and depth of flavor that you just couldn’t get with one or two spices alone.

Combine the marinade with chicken breast tenderloins (or whole chicken breasts that you cut into thin strips) and let them marinate for at least an hour and up to 24 hours. You can thread the chicken on metal or wooden skewers—or skip them altogether if you don’t have any skewers— and grill until the chicken is cooked through and has a crisp, golden brown char from the grill. Remember that if you plan to use wooden skewers, they need to be soaked in water for 30 minutes before using.

As a cool, creamy complement to the flavorful Indian marinade, I like to make an easy cucumber raita—an Indian yogurt sauce—to serve alongside them. The mix of plain whole-milk yogurt, finely chopped cucumber, cilantro, garlic, salt, and a pinch of cayenne, adds the perfect amount of tang and freshness to our Indian chicken skewers.

Enjoy!

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Grilled Chicken Skewers with Indian Marinade and Cucumber Raita

  • Author: Andie Mitchell
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Poultry
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: Indian

Scale

Ingredients

For the cucumber raita:
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1/3 of a medium cucumber, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
1 garlic clove, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
Pinch salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper

For the grilled chicken skewers:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons curry powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon salt
Pinch fresh ground black pepper
1 ¼ pounds chicken breast tenderloins

Instructions

In a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, cilantro, garlic, curry powder, turmeric, coriander, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken, press as much air out of the bag as you can, and seal it. Turn the bag in your hands, massaging the marinade into the chicken and making sure that all of the pieces are covered. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours. **If you plan to use wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes before using.

Make the raita. Blot the chopped cucumber with paper towels to remove excess moisture, then place the cucumber in a small bowl. Add the yogurt, cilantro, garlic, salt, and pepper. Optional: add a pinch of cayenne for a touch of heat. Stir, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Preheat your gas grill with all burners on high and close the lid. When the grill is hot (after about 15 minutes), turn the 2 burners closest to the front to low, keeping the back burner on high. Remove the chicken from the bag and thread the tenderloins on the skewers (dividing the chicken evenly among the skewers). Arrange the skewers on the grates over the low heat burners. Cover and cook until the underside of the chicken is just beginning to develop light grill marks, about 6 minutes. Flip the chicken, cover, and continue to cook until the chicken is firm to touch, about 6 minutes longer. To get a nice char on the chicken, now move the chicken to the part of the grill over high flames and cook uncovered until each side has solid grill marks, 5 to 6 minutes, flipping halfway. The chicken should be completely firm to the touch and register 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer the skewers to a plate, tent with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes before serving alongside the cucumber raita.

Notes

Nutrition for 1 serving grilled chicken with cucumber raita (1/4 of the chicken and yogurt sauce): 3 WW Freestyle points

Nutrition for 1 serving of chicken *without* cucumber raita: 1 WW Freestyle point //
215 calories, 7g fat, 1g sat fat, 103mg cholesterol, 356mg sodium, 2g carbs, 0g fiber, 32g protein

Nutrition

  • Calories: 250
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Sodium: 384mg
  • Fat: 9g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 4g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 34g
  • Cholesterol: 110mg

Keywords: Indian marinade, grilled chicken, curry chicken

Credit: Source link

07 Jun


Juicy grilled chicken with fresh spicy-savory-sweet Caribbean flavor (230 calories or 2 WW points)

This Caribbean marinade is rich, complex, and yet refreshing—a spicy-savory-sweet flavor reminiscent of jerk seasoning, with very little hassle and no hard-to-find ingredients. It’s a delicious departure from the old standby chicken marinades—lemon herb and Asian, for two, with the earthy warmth of allspice, savory thyme and garlic, sweet brown sugar, gentle heat from jalapeño, and bright, tart lime. I love the layering of each flavor and the way even a quick soak in the marinade can transform your grilled chicken from good to great.

caribbean-marinated grilled chicken recipe

The easiest way to prepare the Caribbean marinade is in a food processor, but if you don’t have one, it’s possible to make it by very, very finely mincing your ingredients (the scallions, garlic, and jalapeño) and whisking them together in a bowl. Let your chicken marinate in the mixture (which is thick, almost like a paste) for at least an hour and up to 1 day to maximize flavor.

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Grilled Chicken with Caribbean Marinade

This Caribbean marinade is rich, complex, and yet refreshing—a spicy-savory-sweet flavor reminiscent of jerk seasoning, with very little hassle and no hard-to-find ingredients.

  • Author: Andie Mitchell
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: Poultry
  • Method: Grilling

Ingredients

2 scallions
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon dried thyme
¾ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed and seeds removed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 lime, cut into wedges (for serving)

Instructions

In a food processor, puree the scallions, garlic, allspice, thyme, salt, brown sugar, jalapeño, oil, and lime juice until smooth, scraping down the sides halfway. Place the chicken in a gallon-sized plastic bag. Pour the mixture over the chicken and seal the bag, pressing as much air out as you can. Turn the bag a few times to move the marinade around, coating the chicken. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours, flipping the bag halfway through to make sure the chicken marinates evenly.

Preheat your gas grill with all burners on high and close the lid. When the grill is hot (after about 15 minutes), turn the 2 burners closest to the front to low, keeping the back burner on high. Remove the chicken from the bag and arrange on the grates over the low heat burners. Cover and cook until the underside of the chicken is just beginning to develop light grill marks, 6 to 9 minutes. Flip the chicken, cover, and continue to cook until the chicken is firm to touch, 6 to 9 minutes longer. To get a nice char on the chicken, now move the chicken to the part of the grill over high flames and cook uncovered until each side has solid grill marks, 5 to 6 minutes, flipping halfway. The chicken should be completely firm to the touch and register 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer the chicken to a plate, tent with foil, and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

1 serving (1/6 of recipe): 2 WW Freestyle points

Nutrition

  • Calories: 230
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Sodium: 86mg
  • Fat: 6g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 8g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 34g
  • Cholesterol: 109mg

Keywords: grilled chicken, marinated chicken, caribbean marinade, marinade recipe





Credit: Source link

07 Jun


The key to perfectly grilled steak tips is a good soy-based marinade like this one, made with soy sauce, brown sugar, and garlic (260 calories or 7 WW points).

Memorial Day is just a week away and summer’s right behind it, so what we need now is a surefire steak marinade for all the grilling we’re about to do. These juicy grilled steak tips are marinated in a garlicky, soy marinade made of soy sauce, brown sugar, scallion, garlic, red pepper flakes, sesame oil, and olive oil. Soy sauce is always a magic ingredient in marinades, and especially steak marinades, since it tenderizes and brings out the flavor of the beef. The brown sugar balances the soy and caramelizes on the grill, while the sesame oil adds depth.

Steak tips are more of a Massachusetts thing, but you can use flank steak or even skirt steak in this recipe with great results!

Enjoy!

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Grilled Steak Tips with Soy Marinade

The key to perfectly grilled steak tips is a good soy-based marinade like this one, made with soy sauce, brown sugar, and garlic (260 calories or 7 WW points).

  • Author: Andie Mitchell
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Grilling

Ingredients

¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 scallion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds sirloin steak tips, trimmed (each about 1-inch-thickness)

Instructions

In a small bowl, whisk the soy sauce, brown sugar, scallion, garlic, red pepper flakes, sesame oil, and olive oil. Pour into a gallon-sized sealable plastic bag, add the steak tips, and seal the bag, pressing as much air out as you can. Turn the bag a few times to move the marinade around, coating the steak. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours, flipping the bag halfway through to make sure the steak marinates evenly.

Preheat your gas grill with all burners on high and close the lid (15 minutes). When the grill is hot, lower all of the burners to medium-high. Remove the steak tips from the bag, discard the marinade, and arrange on the grill. Cover and cook until the undersides of the tips have deep grill marks, 8-10 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side until browned and the steak registers 130 degrees on instant-read thermometer (for medium doneness), about 8 more minutes. The steak should be slightly less done than you want (since it will continue to cook off of the grill). Transfer to a plate, tent with foil, and let the steak rest for 5 minutes before slicing very thin on the bias. Serve.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 260
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Sodium: 534mg
  • Fat: 13g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 4g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 32g
  • Cholesterol: 93mg

Keywords: steak tips, grilled steak tips, steak marinades





Credit: Source link

06 Jun

This post is sponsored by Millesima USA.

This Mediterranean grilled shrimp and vegetables is the quintessential summer meal (390 calories or 4 WW points). It’s fresh and flavorful, with sunny lemon-herb shrimp, garlicky marinated chickpeas, and an array of tender grilled veggies. And what better wine to pair it with than the (un)official wine of summer: rosé!

The Mediterranean marinade is clean, bright, and refreshing—a mix of lemon zest and juice, olive oil, garlic, dried oregano, and fresh parsley. And to streamline the recipe, I use that marinade for the shrimp *and* the chickpeas. As for the veggies, rather than marinating them, which can make them soggy, I simply toss them with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper before grilling. They come off of the grill perfectly tender-crisp with a nice smoky char. My favorite mix consists of zucchini, summer squash, red onion, bell pepper, and asparagus, but feel free to use whichever seasonal veggies you like! I serve the shrimp, chickpeas, and grilled veggies on a platter topped with plenty of chopped fresh herbs (parsley is my go-to, but fresh mint or basil would fit right in), a drizzle of good balsamic vinegar, and crumbled feta cheese.

The Perfect Wine to Pair with Grilled Seafood: Rosé

I love rosé and am quick to choose it at a party or restaurant, but I don’t know too much about choosing a bottle of rosé myself, which is why buying wine online at Millesima USA is so helpful. Millesima is a leading retailer of fine and rare wines, with an amazing selection of the highest quality wines, including the most sought-after French, Italian, and New World brands. The site makes it really easy to sort wines by color, country, region, varietal, rating, and price—they even have a “Great Values” filter with wines that have a 90+ point rating from Wine Spectator or Wine Advocate under $25, under $50, and under $100. Millesima is unique in that it also offers the opportunity to buy wine futures (en primeur) and has a very extensive selection of large format bottles.

After browsing a number of wines, I decided on two roses (Caves d’Esclans Whispering Angel 2018 and Chateau Gassier Esprit Gassier 2017) and the super highly rated Foxglove 2016 Chardonnay—all for under $25 a bottle. Any of the three wines I chose would pair well with this grilled shrimp dish, but fruity, refreshing rosé complements all of the clean Mediterranean flavors beautifully. The Esprit Gassier 2017 from Château Gassier is the prettiest shade of peach, with a round, juicy, citrusy finish. It’s the perfect pairing for any grilled seafood so I expect I’ll be buying it all summer long.

Enjoy!

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Mediterranean Grilled Shrimp and Vegetables

The quintessential summer dinner recipe! It’s fresh and flavorful, with sunny lemon-herb marinated shrimp, garlicky marinated chickpeas, and tender grilled veggies. Pair it with the (un)official wine of summer: rosé!

  • Author: Andie Mitchell
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Seafood
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Ingredients

For the shrimp and chickpeas:
Zest and juice of 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon zest and 3 tablespoons juice)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley, plus more for serving
½ teaspoon salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ pounds raw extra large (jumbo) shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails kept on)
1 15-ounce can chickpeas

For the vegetables:
1 large red onion, peeled and cut into 1/8ths
1 bell pepper (red or yellow), stem and seeds removed, cut into thick strips
1 medium zucchini, ends removed, cut in half lengthwise and then chopped into 1/2-inch thick crescents
1 summer squash, ends removed, cut in half lengthwise and then chopped into 1/2-inch thick crescents
8 asparagus spears, tough ends trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

In a medium bowl, whisk the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, parsley, salt, and pepper. While whisking constantly, add the olive oil. Pour ⅔ of the mixture into a large resealable plastic bag, add the shrimp, press out as much air as you can and seal the bag. Turn the bag a few times to coat the shrimp. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. To the remaining ⅓ of the olive oil mixture, add the chickpeas. Stir to coat them, cover the bowl, and refrigerate until you’re ready to eat.

Heat your gas grill, covered, with all burners set to medium-high.

Place the vegetables on large rimmed baking sheet and brush the vegetables (or toss them) with the olive oil. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Arrange all of the vegetables on the grill crosswise and grill, covered, turning the vegetables twice, until they’re just tender with dark grill marks, 10 to 12 minutes. Return the veggies to the large baking sheet until you’ve finished cooking.

Remove the shrimp from the marinade, discard the rest of the liquid, and place them on the grill. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side, turning halfway, until they’re pink and opaque throughout. Transfer the shrimp to a large platter with the veggies. Serve alongside the marinated chickpeas with crumbled feta, a sprinkling of fresh herbs, and a drizzle of good balsamic vinegar if desired.

Notes

1 serving (1/4 of full recipe): 4 WW Freestyle points

Serve with crumbled feta cheese and the (un)official wine of summer: rosé!

Nutrition

  • Calories: 390
  • Sugar: 7g
  • Sodium: 1569mg
  • Fat: 18g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 29g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Protein: 30g
  • Cholesterol: 248mg

Keywords: grilled shrimp, shrimp marinade, grilled vegetables, shrimp recipes

Credit: Source link

06 Jun

A Tuscan bread salad made with toasted sourdough bread, fresh veggies, roasted red peppers, white beans, and fragrant herbs in a bright, lemony dressing (190 calories or 4 WW points).

This post is sponsored by Grain Foods Foundation.

This vegetarian panzanella salad is a showstopper in so many ways—it’s seasonal, beautiful, and full of flavor and texture, with ripe tomatoes, sweet roasted red peppers, peppery arugula, fresh parsley and basil, and cubes of toasted sourdough bread. Adding canned white beans boosts the protein and staying power, but you could seamlessly swap them for chopped rotisserie chicken if you aren’t vegetarian. As for the vinaigrette, it’s simple: lemon, garlic, salt, and olive oil.

To soften the bite of the fresh garlic in the vinaigrette, you’ll mince it as finely as you can, combine it with the salt and fresh lemon juice, and then let that mixture sit while you toast the bread and prepare the veggies. You’ll whisk in the olive oil just before pouring it onto the panzanella salad.

Sourdough Panzanella with Roasted Red Peppers and White Beans

Now, bread is the base of any panzanella salad. It’s what elevates it from light side salad to substantial main course. But if you’re hesitant to include bread in your salads—or your life—I get it. I’m prone to black-and-white thinking, too, especially when it comes to food and health, and especially these days, when carbs aren’t viewed in the most favorable light. From my own experience though, which now includes a number of periods in which I cut out carbs completely, the feeling of restriction only led me to obsessively think about the food I was missing…and eventually binge on them at one point or another. It’s my own cautionary tale of going carb-free. If you can relate, then maybe we should consider that finding a way to fit all of our favorite foods into our lives and diets is sometimes the most beneficial thing we can do for our mental and physical health. #YesToBread

Sourdough Panzanella with Roasted Red Peppers and White Beans

Now, why sourdough? Two reasons, actually. First, the flavor. Sourdough has an unmistakable (and irresistible) yeasty tang to it, so it complements all of the refreshing Mediterranean flavors here. Second, since sourdough has a thick, chewy crust and a somewhat sturdy structure, it can hold up to the moisture of the other ingredients. Yes, it will soften and absorb more of the dressing over time, but it won’t turn to mush like a more delicate white bread would.

Sourdough Panzanella with Roasted Red Peppers and White Beans

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Sourdough Panzanella Salad with Roasted Red Peppers and White Beans

A Tuscan bread salad made with toasted sourdough bread, fresh veggies, roasted red peppers, white beans, and fragrant herbs in a bright, lemony dressing.

  • Author: Andie Mitchell
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: Salads

Ingredients

4 cups cubed sourdough bread
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove, very finely minced
1 large ripe tomato, cored and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
4 jarred roasted red peppers (packed in water), chopped
½ English cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 cup canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (any small white bean)
2 cups arugula
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, garlic, and ⅛ teaspoon (a pinch) salt. Let the mixture stand while you toast the bread.

On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the bread cubes with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, spread them out, and bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before adding to the salad.

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, roasted peppers, cucumber, beans, arugula, basil, and parsley. Add toasted bread cubes to the bowl with vegetables. Whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons oil into the lemon-garlic mixture and add it to the salad. Toss and season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Notes

1 serving (1/6 of recipe): 4 WW Freestyle points

Nutrition

  • Calories: 190
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Sodium: 362mg
  • Fat: 9g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 24g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: panzanella salad, bread salad, panzanella recipe

Credit: Source link

06 Jun

These almond raspberry cheesecake bars have only 190 calories or 8 WW points per bar, and yet they’re rich, creamy, and memorable, with a hint of almond extract and a sweet, tart raspberry jam swirl.

The base, made from a mix of almond flour and all purpose flour, is like a buttery, crumbly cross between shortbread and chewy sugar cookie, and the cheesecake layer, made with low-fat cream cheese, is silky-smooth, scented with almond extract, and swirled with sweet raspberry jam.

low fat cheesecake bar recipe

To make lighter raspberry cheesecake bars with great flavor and fewer calories, I do two things. First, I use low-fat cream cheese (do not use fat-free), which is slightly tangier than full-fat but that tang actually works very well here, balancing the buttery base and the sweet raspberry jam. Second, I simply make thinner bars—almost a 50/50 split of filling and crust—and with all the rich, creamy flavor, you won’t even notice.

low fat cheesecake bar recipe

To make sure that your cheesecake bar crust is firm and sturdy, take your time mixing the flours with the melted butter, stirring and mashing the mixture until all of the flour is coated and it resembles damp sand or a thick paste. Use your fingers to press the mixture firmly into the bottom of your pan, packing it into an even, cohesive layer.

Enjoy!

low fat cheesecake bar recipe

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Lighter Almond Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

These almond raspberry cheesecake bars have only 190 calories or 8 WW points per bar, and yet they’re rich, creamy, and memorable, with a hint of almond extract and a sweet, tart raspberry jam swirl.

  • Author: Andie Mitchell
  • Yield: 12 bars
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking

Ingredients

Crust:
¾ cup almond flour
½ cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake Layer:
1 (8-ounce) block ⅓-less-fat cream cheese, softened
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 large egg
½ teaspoon almond extract
3 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil and spray the bottom and sides with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk the almond flour, all purpose flour, and sugar. Stir in the melted butter, mixing well to create a thick paste. Press the mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of your lined pan. Bake for 14 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese. Add the sugar and lemon zest and mix until combined. Add the egg and almond extract and beat until smooth. Pour over the hot crust, pushing the batter to the sides of the pan and smoothing the top. In a small bowl, stir the raspberry jam to soften and loosen it. Drop spoonfuls of jam over the cream cheese layer and use a toothpick or butter knife to gently swirl the jam (be careful not to hit the crust. Bake until the center of the cheesecake is set but has a slight jiggle to it, about 20 minutes. Let the bars cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes then refrigerate until thoroughly chilled before cutting and serving.

Notes

1 bar: 8 WW Freestyle points

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 bar
  • Calories: 190
  • Sugar: 15g
  • Sodium: 78mg
  • Fat: 11g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 21g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Cholesterol: 36mg

Keywords: raspberry cheesecake bars, cheesecake bars, lighter cheesecake

Credit: Source link

06 Jun

On Thursday I drove up to Vermont to go on a Stonyfield farm tour with a group of fellow food bloggers. The last time I was in Vermont was SEVENTEEN years ago, when I was considering going to UVM. Time flies. On this visit, I stayed at the super charming Green Mountain Inn in Stowe, spent time with the families who own and run nearby organic dairy farms, ate delicious farm-to-table meals at Edson Hill, Woodbelly Pizza, and Michael’s on the Hill, and got the chance to connect with old and new friends (who sort of feel like my online coworkers). I’ll share more of the experience soon 🙂

While I was away, Daniel held down the fort back home. He even ordered a few hundred balls on Amazon to make James a ball pit, effectively securing #DadoftheYear.

READ

Surviving the Death of My Son After the Death of My Faith
Heart-wrenching and so beautifully written. I could cry just thinking of this piece.

“I suspect that these people rushed to save me because, deep down, somewhere unacknowledged, they too knew the truth. We all know that there is something desperately sad that we have to protect one another from. Our stomachs know it, our spines know it. Our humanity doesn’t want to let us believe that this is all there is, that a child can just disappear. And that is why these strangers cared so much about a stranger like me.

What I had not anticipated about the cost of losing my faith was that it would no longer be possible to deceive myself. I could no longer make a pact with any higher being. No hours of service could convince a God that I deserved to have this child again. Whatever I had done to deserve him once, I was not worthy of him twice.”

The Many (Surprising) Health Benefits of…Meth
Yes, I’m just as shocked as you are. Worth a read.

LISTEN

The Shrink Next Door
I had about 8 hours of driving to do over the past few days so you can imagine how many podcasts I plowed through…including this one: The Shrink Next Door.

From Wondery, the company behind Dirty John and Dr. Death, and Bloomberg, “The Shrink Next Door” is a story about power, control and turning to the wrong person for help for three decades. Journalist Joe Nocera’s neighbor in the Hamptons was a therapist named Ike, who counted celebrities and Manhattan elites as his patients. He’d host star-studded parties at his eccentric vacation house. But one summer, Joe discovered that Ike was gone and everything he’d thought he’d known about his neighbor — and the house next door — was wrong.

WATCH

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction: Kanye West
Kanye West is a strange mystery to me, and his behavior over the past few years has left pretty much all of us wondering about his mental health. This interview is uncharacteristically candid for him. He opens up about his family, bipolar disorder, and the backlash he’s faced over supporting Trump.

Credit: Source link

06 Jun

(By Daniel)

He was a sweet and agreeable boy from the moment he entered the world. He didn’t cry when they gave him an IV an hour after he was born. He was happy to let anyone hold him. He didn’t mind diaper changes. He tolerated any amount of noise or light. Like most newborns he only seemed to care about two things: he wanted to be well fed and he wanted to be held while he slept.

So we held him—and we were happy to do it. There is no better feeling than your newborn snuggling up against you, peacefully snoozing away. After some time, we would set him down and he would usually stay asleep for anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. But we were prepared for this. I splurged and bought a Snoo smart sleeper for 800 dollars. We planned to swaddle him, hook him safely into the snoo, and let the magic robot rock him gently as he slept through the night. But James had other plans. He disliked the Snoo. We kept trying to get him used to it and sometimes he would take to it. But mostly he just wanted to be held.

When we set him down in Snoo, he would wake. When we set him down in the crib, he would wake. But when we set him down in the Leachco Podster, gifted to us at our baby shower, he stayed asleep. It was a blessing. Eventually, our reliance on it would pose problems, but it was a lifesaver at the beginning. In the early days we would put it in between us in the bed. I would generally stay up on my laptop in the bed while he and Andie slept because he was still waking frequently to eat. Andie would get up early and takeover before dawn. Since he was almost always supervised and couldn’t roll over, we were ok with letting him sleep in the podster from a safety perspective.

We eventually moved him into the nursery after several months. We kept trying to reintroduce the Snoo, and it worked occasionally, but never as well as the Podster. Our nighttime routine was difficult but manageable. We would bathe him, swaddle him, feed him, read him a story, and then rock him to sleep. Once he was asleep for awhile, I would gently put him down in the Podster which sat inside his crib. I just am not the type of person who can sleep, wake, and go back to sleep easily. So I still stayed up for the night shift and watched him on the monitor. He was waking three times a night to eat, between 7pm and 5am, up until about 4.5 months, when he went down to two night feedings. After his feedings, he would generally go back down pretty easily.

It wasn’t the best situation. Me staying up all night and sleeping until noon was not ideal. We were nervous about him becoming too used to sleeping in the pod. We were still swaddling because he refused to sleep unswaddled. But he could turn over, so I had to watch him the whole time he was sleeping. It was working…until it wasn’t. At seven months old, he started to wake more and more frequently—crying and only going back to sleep if I held him and rocked him. Then he started to try to turn over in the pod, which was worrying, so we decided we needed to transition him out of the swaddle and out of the pod and into the crib.

At first, I tried a bunch of things in an attempt to make the transition less jarring. I bought a crib wedge to give him some elevation, like he was used to. I bought several different types of swaddles and wearable blankets that would allow us to take out one arm at a time. I continued to rock him and sat in his room all night to comfort him if he started to get upset. But none of it was working. He was sleeping worse, waking more, and becoming more and more irritable.

We discussed the situation with his pediatrician and she recommended sleep training, specifically Ferberizing. It was the same recommendation that Andie’s OBGYN gave her when they discussed how James was sleeping. We looked into this type of sleep training, where you let your baby cry and try to self-soothe for a set number of minutes and at specific intervals, and after talking it over we just weren’t entirely comfortable doing it. But at some point the situation had become untenable. He wasn’t sleeping. I was sitting in his room and rocking him all night long.

We still weren’t comfortable committing to a cry-it-out method, so I looked into other sleep training methods. I didn’t have a solid plan but on one particularly bad night I decided I had to try something. I took the swaddle off of him, fed him another bottle, and rocked him until he was drowsy. I kissed him, said goodnight, then I set him on his back in the crib and left the room. I just wanted to see how he would react and then formulate a plan from there.

He stayed quietly on his back for a few minutes—eyes wide, seeming a bit confused about what was going on. Then he started crying. I told myself I’d wait three minutes to give him a chance to self-soothe. Andie joined me in the hallway outside his door and agreed to my experiment. He kept crying for three minutes and I went in and gave him his pacifier and rubbed his head and then left the room again. He cried again and this time I said I’d give him five minutes. He kept crying but a few times de-escalated and seemed to almost calm himself down before starting up again. I went back in after five minutes and told him I loved him and it was time to sleep and left again. At this point Andie was bawling. I told her I’d give it another five minutes and then I’d rock him to sleep. After 4 more minutes of crying, it just didn’t seem like he was going to be able to do it. Andie and I both realized that sleep training wasn’t really for us. It was unbearable. We moved toward his door, my hand on the doorknob, when suddenly the crying stopped. On the monitor we watched as James rolled over on his stomach and went to sleep. That night he only woke up once to eat, and went right back down to sleep after.

The next night I did the same bed time routine and put him down in the crib and left the room. He cried for about 15 seconds before going to sleep. He never cried for more than 30 seconds to a minute after that point. Now he usually goes right to sleep when I put him down without crying at all. He sleeps from 7 to 3, I feed and change him, then he goes back down until around 6. It’s rare to hear any crying from him at all during the night.

So technically we did use a cry-it-out method of sleep training even though when Andie talks about it she always says we did “light” sleep training. But honestly, we just got very lucky that James adapted so quickly. I’m not confident enough to say sleep training is good or bad, right or wrong. Personally, I wasn’t comfortable doing it at all before he was over six months. And I’m not sure I would have been able to stick with it. Andie had already told me on night one that James could just sleep in our bed forever, so it’s safe to say she wouldn’t have wanted to stick with it either. But I do think it’s a viable option for older babies who are having trouble sleeping. It can be upsetting, but healthy sleep is really important for parents and babies. I think it worked for us because he was ready. He wanted to sleep on his stomach and his previous set up wasn’t allowing him to do that so once he figured out that he had the freedom to sleep in his preferred position (knees tucked in with his butt in the air and his face pressed against the mattress) he was able to sleep soundly.

Figuring out nighttime sleep was great progress for us. Now if only we could set him down for his naps. During the day, we either hold him and rock him or drive him around in the car while playing “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” on repeat. I’m sure he’ll let us know when he’s ready. Hopefully it’s before college.

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