It took me only a matter of minutes to flip through Jessica’s new cookbook to immediately flag about 10 things right off the bat.  Her book is now available for order, or you still have time to enter my giveaway to win one – you have until Thursday at midnight to enter. 

I was having Jacob’s Dad and Grandpa over for a BBQ for Sunday dinner and thought I would make Jessica’s butternut squash queso while we sat outside in lovely 60 degree weather.  I loved the idea of the slightly sweet and spicy combo and of course, for me it’s all about the cheese.  

But I wasn’t sure how everyone else would like it – this dish screams me, but I figured what the hell?  If no one else liked it, it would mean more for me!  Well, everyone raved about it.  Hannah especially.  I did have to tweak Jessica’s recipe a tiny bit to make it a bit more Weight Watcher friendly.  Her original recipe called for 1.5 cups heavy cream (about 480 calories and 48 grams of fat) and nearly two pounds of cheese.  I am so not knocking her recipe at all, but the slight changes I made won’t take away the deliciousness of this dish.

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I took a short cut and bought already diced butternut squash – totally worth it!  And the smell of roasted butternut squash is amazing.  The former 10 year old picky eater just shouted “I can’t believe all the vegetables you eat now!”

Love having a food processor again – I went without one for nearly a year and I forgot how much I use it.

This makes a lot of queso and I think I put away about 1/2 a cup.  If (er, I mean WHEN) you buy this cookbook, you need to put this recipe at the top of your list.  For my version I am calling it 4 points per 1/3 cup.  It’s hard to quantify a “serving” of queso, but I feel comfortable with that number.

Bolthouse Farms sent me an assortment of their plant based milks, so this is what I used for this dish.  You could also sub in unsweetend almond milk in place of the half and half in Jessica’s recipe – or just use half and half if you want – it’s your choice!

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My day wasn’t as crazy busy as I thought as one of my bosses was out of the office yesterday so it was a busy, but not crazy day.  I did get busy right off the bat though and finally put my breakfast together around 9:45.  High fiber english muffin sammie with egg whites and spinach (I forgot the cheese at home!) with half an apple on the side.  Breakfast was 4 points.

And yet another reason to buy Jessica’s cookbook – this Korean beef bowl was delicious.  Slightly sweet but spicy and super easy to make for not only lunch, but for a quick weeknight dinner too.  This plate was 7 smart points.

I had chipotle bowls on my menu last night.  Star from A Daily Dose of Pepper has been perfecting this recipe for a long time – even making 75 mile round trip visits to the closest Chipotle from where she lives to taste it to make it right.  I marinated my chicken for 48 hours and it was super flavorful.  I only wished I had used whole chicken breasts, because the chicken I defrosted was one Hannah bought that was chopped up for like stir fry.  Even though I drained a lot of the marinade, when I cooked the chicken it had so much liquid, that it almost poached the chicken instead of getting the gorgeous color on her chicken.  I will definitely make this again. 

My plate of deliciousness – 11 points – 1 point for the chicken, 4 points for the butternut squash queso, 3 points for the avocado and 3 points for the chips. 

It was funny because Hannah and Jacob had a friend over for dinner, and guess where they went to bring home food for dinner?  Chipotle!  Um, I think my dinner was cheaper šŸ˜€

When I got to work yesterday I had a bottle of champagne from one of my bosses – so nice!  I’ll save that for a special occassion.  Or a random Monday night while watching The Voice. šŸ˜€

And I got another delivery yesterday – this time from my step-son Joe and his wife Lizz – thanks guys!  It’s all the nostalgic candy I would have eaten growing up in the early 70s.

Totally forgot about a lot of that candy – remember Razzles – starts like candy then it’s gum?!  And don’t even get me started on Chuckles – those are my favorite.  

And that cigarette bubblegum?  Totally pretended I smoked cigarettes when I had those at age 6.  The first “puff” was sugar and I remember thinking “wow, I am really smoking!”  I’ll have to have Hannah hide this from me and ration it out.

A few people asked when I was going to post the cheddar and cracked pepper scones – yet another recipe from Jessica that I made a bit more Weight Watcher friendly, and promise, it will be up tomorrow.  Perfect for Easter weekend!

Happy Wednesday – make it a great day!