Mother’s Butterscotch Pudding

When I was a child in the 1930s-1940s, my mother always served a light dessert with supper.  It might be as simple as a can of fruit cocktail, carefully portioned into four dishes so that each person got a piece of a cherry or a package of My-T-Fine pudding cooked with diluted canned milk (my favorite was chocolate which had the tiniest bits of nuts in it).  Sometimes she made a steamed chocolate pudding which my father loved and I ate only because of the nutmeg hard sauce on top of it.  Many times, she whipped up her own delicious pudding such as her Butterscotch Pudding.  Mother never considered herself a good cook but her puddings were perfect – sweet, smooth and comforting.  I especially liked butterscotch which she also made into a pie sometimes on Sundays, with a thin one-egg meringue.  This cooked pudding is so much better than the packaged kind and easily reaches smooth perfection  if the cook is willing and able to stand at the stove and whisk until the pudding is done.


  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1 cup hot milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 Tblsp. butter

In a medium saucepan, place the egg, brown sugar, cornstarch and salt.  Whisk together until smooth.  Gradually add one cup of cold milk, whisking to blend.  Add one cup of hot milk, blending well.  Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until mixture begins to bubble.  Continue to whisk for 2 more minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and butter.

Pour into serving dishes and cover until ready to serve.  I like this pudding best at room temperature but it’s also delicious chilled and leftovers should be refrigerated.

Yield:  4 servings

I’ve posted previously about Mother’s pudding – her banana pudding….

and her rice pudding….

….all of them nice desserts for family supper.

Tuna Melt and Butterscotch Kahlua Mousse

covered bridge

My youngest daughter is a busy stay-at-home mom who always finds time to get together with me on Fridays for lunch.  I try to make meals that are tasty, quick and easy, and reduced in fat and calories.  Here is the meal we had this week.

Friday was a beautiful fall day in southwestern Ohio and even a low-calorie, low fat meal looked pretty and tasted good.  I made an old standby of tuna salad on sturdy homemade bread, topped with tomato and fontina cheese and heated under the broiler.  Fast, easy and delicious.


  • Two 5-oz. cans of white albacore tuna, packed in water, drained)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper
  • 1-1/2 Tblsp. finely chopped onion
  • 1 Tblsp. (or more) snipped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup low-fat mayo (Hellman’s Olive Oil Mayonnaise)
  • 3/4 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • Sprinkling of salt and grating of pepper to taste
  • 6 homemade rolls, split, or 6 slices of sturdy bread
  • 2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 6 thin slices of fontina cheese


In a medium bowl, mix together the drained tuna, bell pepper, onion and cilantro.  In a separate small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and red wine vinegar.  Add the mayonnaise mixture to the tuna and vegetables, add salt and pepper, and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, preheat broiler.  Place split rolls or slices of bread on a large baking sheet.  Spoon the tuna mixture onto each roll/bread piece.  Top with a slice of tomato and a thin slice of fontina cheese.  Place under broiler until tuna is heated through and cheese is melted.  Serve immediately.

Yield:  6 servings


Based on 6 servings, nutrition per DietPower software is:  233 calories, 8.25 g fat, 26.5 mg cholesterol, 235 mg sodium, 165 mg potassium, 2.63 g carbohydrate, .447 g dietary fiber, 11 g protein.

Weight Watchers:  5 points per serving 

Dessert had started out to be Chocolate Kahlua Mousse, but I found I had only butterscotch instant pudding on hand.  The butterscotch and kahlua made a good combination and a nice finish to the meal.


  • One 4 oz. box of sugar/fat-free butterscotch instant pudding
  • 1-1/4 cups 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup kahlua
  • 1-1/2 cups Cool Whip Lite topping, thawed

In  a medium bowl, whisk together the pudding mix, milk and kahlua for 2 minutes.  Fold in the Cool Whip topping.  Spoon into 6 dessert dishes, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Yield:  6 servings


Based on 6 servings, nutrition per DietPower software is:  160 calories, 3.67 g fat, 3.69 mg cholesterol, 239 mg sodium, 82 mg potassium, 23.6 g carbohydrate, 1.66 g protein

Weight Watchers:  4 Points/Plus per serving

A Chicken Dish and a Butterscotch Dessert


My youngest daughter is a busy stay-at-home mom who always finds time to get together with me on Fridays for lunch.  I try to make meals that are tasty, quick and easy, and reduced in fat and calories.  Here is the meal we had this week.

I brought out an old favorite today- Chicken with Spinach and Noodles. This was adapted from a recipe I found in 1998 on Weight Watchers Light & Tasty software.  It’s a very flavorful dish yet light on calories and fat.


  • 3/4 cup dry egg noodles
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups julienned spinach leaves
  • 2 Tblsp. Balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 6 oz. skinless chicken breast, cooked & cut into cubes
  • 1-1/2 oz. part-skim  mozzarella cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 2 Tblsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling, salted water for 9-11 minutes until tender.  Drain and keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet, heat oil; add garlic to skillet and cook stirring frequently for 1-2 minutes.  Stir in bell pepper and cook until pepper pieces are tender.  Stir in tomatoes, spinach, vinegar, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes.  Cook until spinach is wilted and mixture is heated through.


Add cooked chicken and noodles; toss to mix well.  Add pieces of mozzarella, stirring until cheese is melted.

Spoon 1/4 of mixture onto each serving plate.  Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.  Serve immediately.


Makes 4 servings 

Based on 4 servings, nutrition count per serving (DietPower software):  184 calories, 6.41 g fat, 48.9 mg cholesterol, 107 mg sodium, 699 mg potassium, 13.5 g carbohydrate, 3.52 g dietary fiber, 19.3 g protein

Weight Watchers:  3 points per serving

In my recipe binder there’s a note:  “First made on 3/29/1998.  Excellent.  Would be good with asparagus instead of spinach.”

For dessert, I tried using what I had on hand to make a chilled Butterscotch Pecan Dessert and we both enjoyed it very much.


  • One oz. box of sugar/fat free instant butterscotch pudding mix
  • 1 cup light ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup non-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 cup Cool Whip Lite dessert topping, thawed
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 6 toasted pecan halves

In medium bowl, mix together the pudding mix, ricotta and yogurt.


Fold in the Cool Whip and 1/4 cup of chopped pecans.

Divide mixture between 6 dessert dishes.  Place one pecan half on top of each serving.

Chill until ready to serve.


Yield:  6 servings

Based on 6 servings, nutrition per serving (DietPower software):  136 calories, 6.99 g fat, 10.8 mg cholesterol, 213 mg sodium, 23.2 mg potassium, 11.1 g carbohydrate, 0.449 g dietary fiber, 3.79 g protein

Weight Watchers:  3 points per serving