Tuesday, December 2, 2008

how to get through December: a partial list.

One of my goals for this month is to find low-point alternatives for some of my favourite holiday indulgences. The thing is, for me, it's not always about the food itself (though sometimes it is), it's often just about the act of 'treating myself'. So I'm looking for ways to do that without going on a crazy calorie binge.

Here are some thoughts I have right now:

Port: I do love a bottle of port around the holidays, but this year instead of buying the big ass, cheap ass bottle, I'm going to buy a smaller, more expensive bottle. I'll get a BETTER treat, and not have as much of it around to tempt me. (Since I'm the only one who drinks the stuff.)

Egg Nog: Truthfully, I don't even think I like eggnog that much. I just drink it because it seems like a festive thing to do. So I'm just going to skip it. However, I've found that Second Cup sells an eggnog-flavoured coffee that hits the spot if I do get a craving, and it's zero points, since it's just coffee (it's not mixed with any real eggnog or anything, it's just a flavour variety, like their 'Irish Cream' or what-have-you).

Cake for breakfast: I don't know, there's just something about having a thick piece of cake first thing in the morning, with a hot cup of coffee and plenty of time to lounge around in your pajamas. I've found a few recipes for low-fat spice cakes, that use a spice cake mix and canned pumpkin. Normally I'm against the act of adding pumpkin to everything, but I think it would work nicely in a spice cake. I'm also hoping I can cut it up and freeze it, or bake it in mini-loaf pans and freeze a couple of those, as I think it will be bad to have a whole cake sitting around.

Cheesecake: Not sure about this one, but I'm thinking I can make mini (muffin tin) cheesecakes for S and I, using some fashion of cream cheese and FF cool whip? With just a tablespoon or so of graham crumbs, and maybe some fresh raspberries, pineapple or pomegrante? (Or, gads, all three!) I think that'll satisy my craving. I also made some tasty desserts once with ricotta cheese, blueberries and phyllo pastry, and with a bit of tweaking, I could probably make that work too.

Christmas dinner: this should actually be pretty easy. It's just going to be S and I, so I won't bother with a turkey. I might roast a small chicken, and I'll make mashed potatoes, and my mom's potato-based stuffing, and some kind of veggie, and that'll be it. The gravy I've always made is low-fat anyway, so that should be okay, and we won't bother with bread or any other extras. I might do the mini cheesecakes for dessert.

Mulled wine: Not sure if I'll bother doing this this year. I do love it but it makes a lot. I might do a hot toddy with a cinnamon stick, a clove, and sliced apples if I get in the mood, or maybe just a hot apple cider with a shot of brandy. Much better than making the whole pot of mulled wine. I'm also going to re-evaluate my mulled wine recipe and see if there's a way I could make just a single mug.

Hot Chocolate: Actually, this isn't something I need to find a substitution for, it's just something I found that makes a nice treat. The light hot chocolate isn't too bad, and when I need an extra 'something' I throw on a small scoop of Cool Whip. Yum. It feels totally decadent, even though it's 1.5 pts at most.