Category Archives: Weight Watchers

SHF #33: Coconut Creme Caramel with Pineapple Concasse

The theme for this edition of Sugar High Friday is “Tropical Paradise”, and the first thing that popped into my head when hearing the theme was “pina colada”. Don’t ask me why – maybe I equate the tropics with sitting on a beach sipping on a pina colada? But, unfortunately, a drink is not a dessert, so pina coladas were right out the door.

What I decided on features the two main ingredients in a pina colada – pineapple and coconut. And the kicker? This very rich, very satisfying dessert is a Cooking Light recipe (read: guilt free in moderation). The pineapple concasse works well with it – slight acidity to offset the sweetness of the creme caramel. It would have been interesting to see what it would have been like with the suggested basil, but my husband nixed that idea very quickly (“basil? in a dessert? hell no.”).


Coconut Creme Caramel with Pineapple Concasse
recipe courtesy Cooking Light

1/3 c. sugar
3 tbsp. water
Cooking Spray
3 large eggs
1 large egg white
1 2/3 c. reduced-fat 2% milk
1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. cream of coconut
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
Pineapple concasse (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine 1/3 cup sugar and water in small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Continue cooking until golden (about 10 minutes). Immediately pour into 6 (6 ounce) ramekins or custard cups coated with cooking spray, tilting each ramekin quickly until caramelized sugar coats bottom of cup.

Places eggs and egg white in a medium bowl, and stir well with a whisk. Add milk and next 4 ingredients, stirring until well blended. Divide egg mixture evenly among prepared ramekins. Place ramekins in a 13×9 inch baking pan, and add hot water to pan to a depth of one inch. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean (ours took 60-65 minutes). Remove ramekins from pan. Cover and chill at least 4 hours.

Loosen edges of custard with a knife or rubber spatula. Place dessert plate, upside down, on top of each ramekin; invert onto plate. Serve with about 1/4 cup of pineapple concasse.

Pineapple Concasse

1 1/2 c. finely chopped pineapple
1 tbsp. thinly sliced fresh basil
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. fresh lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and chill at least 4 hours.

Nutrtion (totals include pineapple concasse): 239 cal (26% from fat), 6.9 g fat, 6.6 g pro, 38.5 g carb, 0.9 g fib, 5 WW points

Balsamic-Braised Short Ribs

In my quest to eat healthier, I’ve been trying to use more Cooking Light recipes – and at the same time, I’m trying to clear out my overfilled fridge, freezer, and pantry. So instead of making mashed potatoes with this (since we had no potatoes), I made spaetzle instead, and served it with some sauteed spinach.


Also, I thickened the gravy with a little bit of cornstarch, which doesn’t considerably change the nutritional breakdown. Be aware, the nutrition values given below reflect serving it with the mashed potatoes, not my version.

The taste was superb – sweet and meaty, similar to sauerbraten if I had to compare it to a known quantity. It paired well with the spaetzle, and would be equally good with orzo, potatoes, or pasta. It would even make a wonderful stew (since it makes so much gravy) if that’s more your style. This one is going into the keeper file, to replace my goulash recipe.

Balsamic-Braised Short Ribs with Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
courtesy Cooking Light

Short ribs are the meaty ends of the rib bones. Choose cuts from the chuck, which are the most flavorful, or from the rib, which are a bit leaner. Packages labeled “short ribs” in the supermarket are likely to come from the chuck. Start this recipe a day ahead. It will taste much better, and chilling the ribs in the cooking liquid will make the solidified fat easy to remove.


Cooking spray
4 pounds beef short ribs, trimmed
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 cups finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup minced garlic (about 12 cloves)
2 cups low-salt beef broth
1 cup dry red wine
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups chopped plum tomato (I used canned diced)


2 1/2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
3/4 cup warm 1% low-fat milk
2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 300°.To prepare ribs, heat a large Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Sprinkle ribs with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add half of ribs to pan; cook 8 minutes or until browned, turning occasionally. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining ribs; remove from pan.

Add onion to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Return ribs to pan. Add broth, wine, vinegar, sugar, and tomato; bring to a simmer.

Cover and bake at 300° for 1 1/2 hours or until tender. Cool slightly. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Skim fat from surface of broth mixture; discard fat. Cook over medium heat 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

To prepare mashed potatoes, place potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; cook 20 minutes or until very tender. Drain. Combine potatoes, milk, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Mash potato mixture with a potato masher. Serve with ribs and cooking liquid.

Yield: 7 servings (serving size: 3 ounces beef, about 3/4 cup mashed potatoes, and 1/3 cooking liquid)

CALORIES 463(26% from fat); FAT 13.4g (sat 5.6g,mono 5.7g,poly 0.7g); PROTEIN 27.2g; CHOLESTEROL 64mg; CALCIUM 100mg; SODIUM 649mg; FIBER 4.2g; IRON 4mg; CARBOHYDRATE 53.5g, 10 WW Points

Soup and Stromboli

Earlier this week, in the midst of the icy cold that has been keeping us Ohioans indoors, my husband and I decided to clean out the fridge and freezer. What this meant is that we thawed some stuff that needed to be used, and planned on using some stuff in the fridge that had a drop-dead date coming soon.

We decided on a variation of the “soup and sandwich” combo that is so appealing during cold weather, making Zuppa Toscana and Strombolis. Excuse the quality of the picture – I took it at my desk, which doesn’t have the best lighting.


Zuppa Toscana (like Olive Garden’s)
modified from Robbie’s Recipe Collection

1 lb linguica, crumbled
1/2 lb. smoked bacon, chopped
1 qt. water
2 (14.5 oz) cans chicken broth
1 lb. confetti potatoes, quartered
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups chopped escarole
1 c. heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet over medium high heat, brown sausage and bacon; drain, and set aside. Place water, broth, potatoes, garlic, and onion in a pot; simmer over medium heat until potatoes are tender. Add sausage and bacon to the pot; simmer for 10 minutes. Add escarole and cream, season with salt and pepper, and heat through.

Proscuitto and Gruyere Strombolis
courtesty Cooking Light

1 (11-oz) can refrigerated French bread dough
2 oz. thinly sliced proscuitto
1 cup trimmed arugula
1/2 c. (2 ounces) shredded Gruyere cheese
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley

Unroll dough onto a baking sheet; pat into a 14×11 inch rectangle (the kind I got didn’t unroll, so I precut the dough into quarters and rolled it out as thinly as I could with a rolling pin). Cut dough into quarters to form 4 (7 x 5.5 inch) rectangles. Top each rectangle with 1/2 oz. proscuitto, 1/4 c. arugula, 2 tbsp. cheese, and 1 tablespoon parsley. Beginning at the short side of each rectangle, roll up the dough, jelly roll fashion; pinch seam to seal (do not seal end of rolls). Arrange rolls 4 inches apart on a baking sheet. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes or until rolls are slightly browned. Serve warm.

Makes 4 servings. Each serving has: 275 cal, 8.5 g fat, 14 g pro, 24 mg chol, 158 mg calc, 754 mg sod, 1.5 g fiber, 2.3 mg iron, 34.4 g carb, 6 WW points.

Pork Piccata and Italian Green Beans

I was in the mood for Chicken Scaloppini, but not in the mood for the calories that come with Chicken Scaloppini (this recipe, for example, calls for a pound of butter and has 2,114 calories and 126 grams of fat per serving!). So I figured I would compromise and start with a Cooking Light recipe and add what I needed to in order to get the creamy mouth feel I was looking for. I then realized I didn’t have any boneless chicken in the house, so I ended up substituting pork loin. The pork picatta recipe at Cooking Light didn’t review well, so I ended up using the chicken recipe anyway.

Pork Piccata and Italian Green Beans

What this means to me is that even though this is technically a Cooking Light recipe, I changed it enough so it’s not exactly “healthy”, although much healthier than the alternative. It’s got the same vibe, at least. I served it with some doctored up Italian green beans, because otherwise hubby wouldn’t eat them (it’s been a struggle trying to get him to eat vegetables lately. This is a compromise, although I like them without all of the extra ingredients). The original Cooking Light recipe for the piccata is below, along with my substitutions in parenthesis. Bear in mind that the nutrition information is for the original recipe.

Chicken Piccata
courtesty Cooking Light

4 (4-ounce) skinned, boned chicken breast halves (I used pork loin)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons butter or stick margarine, divided (I used 2 tbsp total)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups dry white wine, divided
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (I used 1 tbsp)
2 tablespoons capers
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 cups hot cooked linguine (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta) (I used quinoa angel hair instead)
(Additionally, I used about 1/4 cup of heavy cream as well, which I added when I mixed in the butter and parsley)

Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; flatten to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Combine flour, salt, and pepper; dredge chicken in flour mixture. Heat 1 teaspoon butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Add 3/4 cup wine, juice, and capers to pan, scraping pan to loosen brown bits, and cook 2 minutes. Remove chicken from pan, and keep warm. Stir in 3/4 cup wine, and cook over high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 5 minutes). Stir in 1 teaspoon butter and parsley. Serve chicken over linguine. Drizzle with sauce.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half, 1 cup pasta, and 2 tablespoons sauce)

CALORIES 389 (13% from fat); FAT 5.5g (sat 1.1g,mono 2.2g,poly 1.4g); PROTEIN 34.3g; CHOLESTEROL 66mg; CALCIUM 43mg; SODIUM 590mg; FIBER 2.8g; IRON 4mg; CARBOHYDRATE 48.4g, 8 WW POINTS

Italian Green Beans
courtesy Recipes Today

16 ounces frozen green beans
1/4 cup Italian-style seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook green beans according to package directions; drain. Place beans in a medium serving bowl, and mix in breadcrumbs, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano and basil. Toss mixture until the beans are coated. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

I finished the dish with some bread (yes, it’s Pillsbury, sue me – I was in a hurry ::laughing::) for a nice well-rounded tasty meal in less than 30 minutes total.

Bavarian Sausage and Kraut Supper

Another day, another Cooking Light recipe. This one is an old standby, which we make when we don’t have a lot of time to cook, and it uses ingredients that we usually have on hand anyway.

Bavarian Sausage and Kraut Supper

Bavarian Sausage-and-Kraut Supper
courtesy Cooking Light

4 cups uncooked medium egg noodles (about 8 ounces)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup sliced onion
1 teaspoon caraway seeds 2 cups sliced peeled Granny Smith apple (about 3/4 pound)
1 1/2 cups refrigerated sauerkraut, drained
1 (12-ounce) package chicken apple sausage (such as Gerhard’s), cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup sherry

Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain and set the noodles aside.

While the noodles are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced onion and caraway seeds, and cook 4 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring constantly. Add apple, sauerkraut, and sausage, and cook 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth and sherry, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook 5 minutes. Serve over the noodles. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups noodles and 1 cup sausage-apple mixture)

CALORIES 445(29% from fat); FAT 14.5g (sat 3.4g,mono 6.9g,poly 3.3g); PROTEIN 20.1g; CHOLESTEROL 114mg; CALCIUM 31mg; SODIUM 1118mg; FIBER 9g; IRON 4.8mg; CARBOHYDRATE 59.9g, 9 WW POINTS

Balsamic Chicken, Israeli Couscous, and Spinach

Over the past few months, from time to time I’ve seen recipes, usually Mediterranean ones, that have Israeli couscous as an ingredient. Unfortunately, for the longest time, I couldn’t try out any of these recipes as I was having great trouble trying to find the ingredient locally. Israeli couscous, despite popular opinion, is not couscous at all, but actually a form of pasta – it reminds me of acini de pepe, only nuttier. There’s a great article here that goes into the origins of it. I found it locally at A Touch of Earth in the North Market for $4.25/lb.

And occasionally, I like to eat “light” – much more less than I should be, but after the heaviness of last week’s Thanksgiving dinner, I just wanted something simple for dinner – this week has been eating light week, with Cooking Light recipes as the staple for the past two nights, and also with tonight’s dinner as well. Since I had some chicken breast I needed to use up, I decided on a balsamic chicken recipe to prepare.

Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Balsamic Vinegar Pan Sauce, Israeli Couscous and Spinach

The chicken had great flavor, which could have been even more improved with a better quality balsamic vinegar – nonetheless, it was still quite excellent – I just didn’t feel comfortable using the “good” stuff ($40+ for a small bottle) for this recipe because of the quantity it calls for. So, if you decide to make it yourself, I recommend using the cheapest good vinegar to make it, something aged should do nicely. I prepared the couscous in a recipe that wouldn’t clash with the flavor of the sauce. The original recipe for the chicken calls for serving it over orzo (which I was out of), and the couscous was a good substitute. I rounded out the meal with some steamed spinach seasoned with just a little butter, kosher salt, and pepper.

Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Balsamic Vinegar Pan Sauce
courtesty Cooking Light

1/2 c. fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. honey
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
4 (5-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. finely chopped shallots
Chopped parsley (optional)

Combine broth, vinegar and honey. Melt butter and oil in a large nonstick skillet over low heat. While butter melts, sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place flour in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour; shake off excess flour.

Increase heat to medium-high; heat 2 minutes or until the butter turns golden brown. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm. Add shallots, and saute 30 seconds. Add the broth mixture, scraping to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil, and cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 3 minutes). Serve sauce over chicken. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired. Yields: 4 servings (serving size: 1 breast and 2 tbsp sauce).

Per serving: 269 cal (27% from fat), 8.1g fat (sat 2.7g, mono 2g, poly 2.5g), 34 g pro, 90 mg chol, 29 mg calc, 331 mg sod, 0.2 g fib, 1.7 mg iron, 13.1 g carb, 6 WW points

Israeli Couscous
recipe courtesy

1 small onion, chopped
2 tbsp. oil
1 c. Israeli couscous
2 c. hot chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion in the oil. Add the coucous and stir for a few minutes until lightly browned. Add the hot broth and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes or more until liquid is absorbed. Season to taste.

World Bread Day 2006

world bread day '06

October 16th is World Bread Day, and in its honor, Kochtopf is hosting an one-off event that challenges us to bake (or buy) a bread and blog about it. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not much of a bread baker. My experience baking yeast breads starts (and ends) with my breadmaker. I hate the strange shaped loaves (even though the bread tastes great), so I don’t use the bread maker quite as often as I should. So, with that in mind, I decided whatever recipe I made would not use the bread maker.

Onion and Fontina Beer Batter Bread

I finally decided on Onion and Fontina Beer Batter bread, a Cooking Light recipe I’ve been meaning to try for quite a while. Since I had some nice hearty pea soup, I figured that this would be the perfect complement to the meal. This may be a personal preference, but I tend to eat bread more with soups and stews more than anything else.

Onion and Fontina Beer Batter Bread

The amazing thing is, even though this isn’t a yeast bread, the beer in the recipe gives it a very yeasty vibe, and if I didn’t know any better, I would have thought it was yeast-based. And even more amazing, this is a light recipe that does not taste light in the least. I’ll proudly add this recipe to my “tried and true” book, and make it whenever I’m making soup or stew. It’s really that good. The ingredient list is simple enough that I usually have the items it requires on hand, save the fontina cheese – others who have made this recipe have substituted mozzarella or Italian four cheese mix and had spectacular results as well.

Onion and Fontina Beer Batter Bread
from Cooking Light January 2006 issue

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup diced onion
3 cups all-purpose flour (about 13 1/2 ounces)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (4 ounces) grated fontina cheese
1 (12-ounce) bottle beer (such as amber ale)
Cooking spray
1/4 cup butter, melted and divided

Preheat oven to 375°.

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 6 minutes or until tender. Cool to room temperature.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Add onion, cheese, and beer; stir just until moist.

Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; drizzle evenly with 2 tablespoons butter. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes; brush with remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Bake an additional 23 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Yield: 16 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

NUTRITION PER SERVING CALORIES 149(30% from fat); FAT 5g (sat 2.3g,mono 2.1g,poly 0.3g); PROTEIN 3.5g; CHOLESTEROL 12mg; CALCIUM 61mg; SODIUM 259mg; FIBER 0.8g; IRON 1.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 22.2g, 3 WW POINTS

Retro Recipe Challenge #3

The Retro Recipe Challenge #3 event, hosted by Laura Rebecca’s Kitchen, challenges us to find a recipe from any publication originally published within five years of your birth year. Since I was born in the seventies (1972, to be exact) it wasn’t too tough to find a recipe that qualified.

Quick 'n Chewy Crescent Bars

I chose Quick ‘n Chewy Crescent Bars, which was the Grand Prize winning recipe of the 1972 Pillsbury Bakeoff. They are very simple to make, and sickly sweet. 🙂 Actually, they’re not bad at all, quite good actually if you stick to the serving size they suggest – case in point, each square in the picture above is actually twice as big as they suggest they should be, so you’re looking at 4 servings up there. It sort of reminds me of the praline topping that I put on top of my yams at Thanksgiving, minus the booze of course.

And I also managed to discover sweetened condensed milk, an ingredient I’ve never worked with before, but now plan to in the future.

Quick ‘n Chewy Crescent Bars (Pillsbury)

1/2 cup Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose or Unbleached Flour
1 cup coconut
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1 (8-oz.) can Pillsbury® Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls
1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)

Heat oven to 400°F. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. In medium bowl, combine flour, coconut, brown sugar and pecans. With pastry blender or fork, cut in margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

Unroll dough into 2 long rectangles. Place in ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan; gently press dough to cover bottom of pan. Firmly press perforations to seal. Pour condensed milk evenly over dough to within 1/2 inch of edges. Sprinkle coconut mixture over condensed milk; press in lightly.

Bake at 400°F. for 12 to 15 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool 1 hour or until completely cooled. Cut into bars. Makes 48 servings.

Nutrtion per bar: 90 cal, 4 g fat, 12 g carb, 60 mg sod, 0 g fiber, 1 g pro, 2 WW points

Tag: RRC3

Food Porn: Hungarian Goulash and Caramelized Carrots

Dinner tonight was one of my favorite comfort foods: Hungarian goulash. This recipe is very similar to the one my great grandmother made for me many years ago, and it’s definitely one I’ll keep and pass along to other family members. I’ll need to remember to update this entry later with the recipes. (ETA: Here’s the recipe for the goulash)

I made it with broad egg noodles (haluski noodles) and caramelized carrots. I’m not much of a carrot person but this recipe is delicious – it kind of reminds me of carrot fries.

Finally feeling up to taking pictures of food again – I’ve been feeling lazy and not feeling like doing much of anything.

I’m doing pretty well sticking to Weight Watchers, I’m down 14 pounds in 2 weeks – not too bad, at least the scale is going in the right direction now.

Must do more cooking tonight before I go to sleep, I’m making some FF Cheesecake with Strawberries and maybe some Morning Glory muffins. More substantial stuff later, right now I’m feeling kind of burnt.

ETA: updating the old entry with the recipe for the carrots:

Sugar-Glazed Roasted Carrots
courtesy Cook’s Country magazine

Serves 4 to 6

If the carrots have very narrow tips, trim the thin ends; they scorch easily.

1 1/2

pounds medium carrots , peeled and cut into 2 by 1/2-inch pieces


tablespoons unsalted butter , melted


tablespoon dark brown sugar 


teaspoon table salt 


teaspoon ground black pepper 

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees. Heat rimmed baking sheet in oven for 10 minutes.

2. Toss carrots, melted butter, sugar, salt, and pepper in medium bowl until thoroughly combined. Remove pan from oven and place carrots in single layer on hot baking sheet. Roast until carrots are beginning to brown on bottom, about 15 minutes.

3. Remove pan from oven, toss carrots to redistribute, and continue to roast until tender and deep amber in color, about 3 minutes. Serve.

Food Porn: Berry Yogurt Parfait and English Muffin

This is my 7.5 point breakfast. Here’s the breakdown:
Weight Watchers English Muffin – 1 pt
8 oz. Dannon Lite ‘n Fit Vanilla Yogurt – 2.5 pts
1 cup strawberries – .5 points
1/8 cup blueberries – 0 points
1/8 c. granola – 1 point
1 tbsp. peanut butter – 2 points
1/2 tbsp. boysenberry jam – .5 points

Boring? Yes, but very good. I managed to find some really nice berries at the grocery store that didn’t set me back too much. Can’t wait until summer when berries are in season. What truly sets it apart is the peanut butter on the english muffin – fresh ground honey roasted peanut butter from Whole Foods is the best!

Tomorrow is going to be a challenge since I’m having company over for Cuban night. I’m going to pre-cook the ropa vieja and the black beans today, so there’s not as much work tomorrow, and maybe I can get some water aerobics in.