So I picked myself up by my boot straps and went to my first WW meeting in three weeks.  My last weigh in was February 12.  I kinda flew by the seat of my pants while Tony was in the hospital, I didn’t exercise at all and there was definitely some emotional eating going on.  I was prepared to have gained back the 5.6 that I had already lost!

Imagine my surprise when I saw this:

only a gain of .6! woot!

I thought I was going to have to hand back my 5 pound sticker I have already earned – just made it!

So its cold again in Chicagoland, there was enough of a dusting of snow that I had to scrape my car.  I am really, really over this winter.   When I got home I decided I was going to make two things:  New York Style bagels and Broccoli Cheddar Soup.

NY Style Bagels

  • recipe makes 13 bagels – each bagel: 171 calories, 1.2 fat, 31.9 carbs, 1.3 fiber and 7.7 protein = 4 PointsPlus


  • 1 package yeaste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1.25 cups warm water
  • 16 ounces flour
  • 1.8 ounces vital wheat gluten (3 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder for water bath

In a 1 cup measuring cup, put 1/2 water and pour in the yeast and sugar.  Don’t stir, but let sit five minutes, then stir well.

In a large bowl mix the flour, wheat gluten and salt.  Make a well and add the water yeast mixture.  Add the remaining 3/4 cup warm water and mix until the flour is combined.

Put on your counter and add water/flour as necessary in order to keep kneading the dough for 10 minutes so it doesn’t stick to the counter – I maybe added a couple tablespoons of flour and occasionally ran my hands under the water to continue to knead.

Put 1/2 teaspoon oil in bowl – add the dough and make sure all the dough has been covered with the oil and let rise for 1 hour.  Now after an hour, my dough hardly rose at all.  The recipes I adapted this from said to punch down the dough and let rest – um, there was nothing to punch down!

I didn’t worry though.  I weighed the whole dough and it was 26 ounces, so I decided to make 2 ounce bagels – or a bakers dozen.

Divide the dough and put your finger in the middle to make the whole.  Preheat your oven to 425.  Bring a pot of water to boil, adding about 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 tablespoons baking soda to the water.  Once it comes to a boil, boil on each side for 1 minute.  Place on a cookie sheet that’s been sprayed with Pam.  I made 5 bagels with sesame seeds, and 6 bagels with cheddar cheese – the point value is 4 points for either one.

Bake for 20 minutes.  Let cool slightly.  Store in a ziploc bag up to 3 days, or freeze individually up to a month.

you will find this with the specialty flours, like rye and gluten free flours – I think this bag cost about $4, but you don’t use very much at a time

here’s how the dough looked after kneading for 10 minutes – its a pretty firm dough
waiting for the water bath – they do puff up both when boiled and then baked – they end up about the size of an English muffin
total perfection – slightly crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside – um, can you tell I like a lot of sesame seeds?

And these will be perfect for Sunday paper reading:

It was this purchase that dictated one of my soups this week:

I really love my store’s $1 discount rack!

I used some of the broccoli for my stir fry the other day.  The rest needed to be used up TODAY.  That’s one thing I’ve learned about the $1 rack – you really need to use it either the day you buy it or the day after.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

  • makes 12 cups (I like a big serving!)  6 servings of 2 cups each:  199 calories, 7.4 fat, 22.2 carbs, .3.4 fiber and 10 protein = 5 PointsPlus


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 cups broccoli, rough cut
  • 1 large potato, peeled and rough cut
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and rough cut
  • enough water to cover the vegetables
  • 3 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese
  • sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Heat a dutch oven over medium heat.  Add oil and garlic, and cook for about a minute, making sure not to burn the garlic.  Add the chopped veggies, and water to cover.  Reduce heat to simmer for 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.  Using a stick blender, puree the soup.

Combine the milk and flour to make a paste.  Add to the soup and cook for an additional 10 minutes.  Remove from heat, add cheddar cheese and stir until melted.  Season with salt and pepper.  I made this mild in the hopes that Tony might eat some, but had it just been for me, I would have added 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes. 😀

I have no idea how much water this is – maybe 8-10 cups?
I used to hate bouillon, but I am starting to like it again – considering I can get a jar for $1 at the Dollar General 😀

The perfect lunch on a cold, overcast chilly Chicago day. 😀  I hope its warmer where you are!