Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Convience

This week I realized how thankful I truly am for convenient healthy food. This is not something you'd think would come out of my mouth, since I'm usually complaining that there are no healthy drive-thru spots near me; that someday I'm going to open up my own restaurant and have curb-side pick up specifically catering to mom's with car loads of kids that are just eager to grab a delicious healthy meal who before only had the options of (1) drive thru some greasy-not even good burger joint (2) going against all that is true about starving kids right before nap time and convice herself that "this time they'll be good" as she tries to lug them out of the car just to grab her order or (3) the choice of starving to death until the kids go down and then indulging in something sweet instead of nutritious.

You know who you are.

Just the other night I was planning to make spaghetti and chicken for the family, while I would leave off the noodles and stick tight to my diet. When my husband arrived home from work, I was secretly hoping that he'd suggest going out to eat since I was exhausted and quiet frankly done with being in the house, but I quickly hopped up and started to begin dinner. On edge from being overly hungry 30 minutes prior I soon realized that the chicken I planned to fry up was bad. (another story - our refrigerator was acting funny this week - ugh) Hubby said he would stay with the kids so I could just run real quick to pick up some chicken from the store. I really think he just saw the crazy in my eyes and for the sake of the children - sent me packing!

When I arrived at the store I circled the parking lot three times, just to find a parking spot.
Have you had one of these days? No food, No Parking, No SMILES WHAT SO EVER!

I ran in the store, headed to the meat department and ...


No Chicken. None - Zip - Zilch. Really?

Ok - you may be sensing a bit of high school drama queen in today's post, but honestly, I probably could have been standing there in a turquoise puffy prom dress with a sparkly crown and it would have described my feelings perfectly.

I then asked the butcher, who to my surprise spoke to me like a medieval knight, informing my-lady that there was a box in the back and he would scurry off to go get it.

I'm not joking - MEDIEVAL

Anyways, I do have a point to this post - and a recipe, so stay with me. 

While waiting for the meat man I strolled through the health food aisle salivating over even the gluten free cookies or protein bars when I came across their soup. I love soup and one caught my eye in particular; the lentil soup. Lentils fall in to the legume category in my diet and I quite frankly have been avoiding it. I quickly checked the ingredients and found all vegetables, some balsamic vinegar and no added crud that takes all the nutrition out of it. YEAH!  I decided that it would be perfect for my way to late dinner and was so so convenient!


When I got home I fried up one of the chicken breast, heated up the soup and mixed them together. So delicious!

Convenient Recipe right? Is it actually a recipe? Or more of a suggestion? 

So go on - whip up some convenience


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Woo-Hoo Wednesday: Staying on track

Soon I will be getting back to incorporating some party and decorating tips in to my blog, but I'm not going to lie - I'm kind of on a new recipe kick and it's keeping me on track. I was in a bit of a rut at the end of 2011 just making our same ol always delicious recipes week after week. But now I've been pretty consistent with throwing together a new meal each day, so of course I have to share it with all of you.

Today I want to share with you my yummy breakfast omelet.


But before we get in to the recipe, did you know omelet was spelled that way? or is it omelette? To be completely honest, I always spelled it omlet (the way I say it), until today, when I did a bit of research on the omelet. hah! Anyways, that's just me being crazy, lets get back to the breakfast omelet. 

There are several variations of omelets, and really, each country has its own version, for example the Italian Frittata. What I love about omelets, and eggs in general, is the ability to make so many different and delicious dishes, all starting out with the same concept or ingredient.

Here's something crazy for you - in 1994, Japan used 160,000 eggs making the worlds largest omelet at the time, quickly being beaten (no pun intended) by Canada in 2002. Crazy right?

Alright lets get to the recipe.

Breakfast Omelet

2 egg whites
1 whole egg
1/2 cup chopped red onions
1/2 cup pinto beans
1/4 cup spinach (I used frozen spinach)
1/3 cup rotel (canned tomatoes with cilantro and lime)
Garlic, pepper, cumin to taste

In a small skillet, saute chopped onions with a bit of olive oil and seasonings. When onions become limp they are ready.

Spray a medium skillet with cooking spray. Crack eggs and stir with your spatula, making sure your one egg yolk has cracked and is mixed in with the egg whites. Turn heat to medium. While eggs are still wet, add additional ingredients; cooked onions, beans, spinach, rotel, to one half of the eggs in your pan. (Make sure you add your ingredients when the eggs are still wet. If you wait too long they will have nothing to "stick" too and end up flying everywhere when you try to remove your omelet from the pan)

Keep the omelet "open" until the eggs begin to dry out. You can even shake your pan a bit to see if there are any wet spots. Once the omelet is completely cooked, using your spatula, fold the egg half with no ingredients over the loaded side. Push down on your omelet using the back of your spatula, squishing the omelet closed.  Lift your  yummy, delicious, absolutely veggie filled breakfast omelet on to one of your favorite plates and sink your teeth into something that you'll never believe falls into the "healthy category". 



Tuesday, January 17, 2012

How To Tuesday: Make delicious Snicker Fudge

8 pounds.

8 pounds of flour?

8 pounds of sugar?

Nope! 8 pounds! 8 pounds of baby weight - GONE - See ya! Can you believe it? I am so happy with my new choices and ways of eating. Not only is it so yummy and delicious, but it gives me the energy I need to run around with the kiddos and be the best wife I can to my hubby. And the best part about it is....wait for it...I still get a "cheat day" once a week. Which is completely awesome for all of you, seeing as how I'm sure you've been dying for a dessert recipe. Well, have I got one for you. But before I start, I've just got to continue tooting my own horn and say that when I made this recipe over the weekend I didn't even sample it, didn't lick the spoon, didn't sneak a chocolate chip, nothing. I was a good little dieter and waited until Sunday to sample and oh my word was it delicious! I did though have my husband, brother and neighbor (all seasoned snicker lovers) be my taste testers on Saturday and they all approved! Yeah boys!

Here we go with my new recipe:

Open Faced Snicker Fudge


1 bag semi sweet chocolate chips (12 oz)
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
2/3 cups creamy peanut butter (separated)
6 Tablespoons butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 Jar Marshmallow Cream (7 oz)
1 cup salted peanuts (chopped)
1 bag caramel candies (14 oz)

Prepare a 9x13 inch dish by lining the bottom with aluminum foil. Next spray the aluminum foil with cooking spray and set aside.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt together chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and 1/3 cup peanut butter. Place in microwave for 1 minute, then stir. Continue to microwave for 45 seconds at a time, stirring after each until completely melted. Next, pour into the bottom of your prepared pan and spread smooth. Place in your refrigerator to cool and set.

While chocolate layer is cooling, heat butter in a sauce pan. Once melted add sugar, brown sugar and evaporated milk. Bring to a boil stirring consistently. Allow to boil for 5 minutes as you continue to stir. After 5 minutes are up, remove from heat and add marshmallow fluff, remaining 1/3 cup peanut butter and chopped peanuts.

Remove chocolate from refrigerator and pour marshmallow layer on top. You need to do this quickly so you don't heat the chocolate layer too much, causing it to melt. What I found to be helpful is if I lightly dampen my spatula with water, it helped smooth out the marshmallow layer on top of the chocolate. Once smooth, return to refrigerator.

Next, unwrap each caramel and place in microwave safe bowl. Add one tablespoon of water and then microwave like you did the chocolate. (1 minute, followed by 45 second zaps stirring after each). Once completely melted, remove fudge from fridge, pour caramel over top and return back to the fridge.


Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. After completely cooled, remove pan from refrigerator. Using the foil to lift the fudge, place it on a hard surface. Using a large knife, cut fudge into small pieces to enjoy. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thankful Thursday: My Skillet

I am so very thankful for the skillets I have, all varying in size. Think about it - what have you made in a skillet? Eggs? Bacon? Rice? Chicken? Dumplings? Pancakes? I could seriously go on and on and on about the pans that I own. Skillets date back way to the Romans, but one thing I found really interesting is that prior to cooking stoves there was a cast iron skillet called the "spider". It had a handle and three legs so it could stand over the coals of a fire. Neat Right? 


Well, if you read my post from yesterday, you would have saw that I'm on some what of a diet. Ya, you heard me - a diet! I have been using my skillet for pretty much every meal, unless its a salad, and the food has been delicious!

Today I made what I'm going to call the: EVERYTHING BUT THE TORTILLA
It was so yummy that I'm thinking I can even get my hubs to eat this too! But shh, don't tell him there is spinach in it.

Everything But The Tortilla
Ingredients: (this makes enough for 2 meals or 2 people)

1/3 cups frozen spinach
1 can Rotel - with Lime & Cilantro (Rotel can usually be found in your canned vegetable section)
2 green onions
1 chicken breast
Seasonings of choice
Olive Oil (for chicken)
1 can Refried Beans
1/2 can Pinto Beans

Cook chicken in your skillet with a bit of olive oil for about 15 minutes or until cooked throughout. Season with your favorite spices.

Once chicken is cooked, remove from skillet and chop into pieces. Next, add chopped green onions and frozen spinach to pan and saute until a bit browned.


Once browned, add Rotel, 1/2 can pinto beans and chopped chicken and heat until hot.


Prepare your bowl with a bed of refried beans and then cover with chicken salsa mixture. Enjoy and be satisfied.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Woo-Hoo Wednesday: Loosing The Baby Weight

Woo- Hoo It's Wednesday! I am so excited to announce that I am just one pound away from loosing my "pre-2nd-child" weight (about 25 more to "pre-1st-child" and hmmm.....a few more to "Wedding Day Weight"). How did I do it you ask? Well, like many I vowed to get out there and push that stroller  - you know, because it is good for the kiddos to get outside plus all of the benefits of loosing that baby weight would just shed off, right? 

Ya, well, like many of us out there who are not the "I've gotta exercise in order to function" type people, I was functioning just well on my couch with a bowl of ice cream each afternoon. The vow to exercise with the kids quickly dwindled after a few months, I got back into my old "pregnancy" routine and stayed at a consistent weight (over weight) for about 5 months or so. Which in my head was justifiable since I wasn't gaining weight.

But it brought me back to the feeling of being overwhelmed each time I tried to pick out an outfit and trying to hide the extra weight with belly bands and my pregnancy shirts. (and on my way to digging out the dreaded pregnancy jeans) 

Now I am by no means here to preach the word of nutrition or say that my recipes follow all the guidelines of other weight loss programs, but I'll tell ya one thing - It's working for me, so I think I'll stick to it! 

My amazing brother has been staying with us for a few weeks and well, he's always an inspiration to get "get out there and move it!" Let's just say we are pretty much polar opposites when it comes to fitness and here's just one (of many)  examples. When we were younger, when I was feeling under the weather, I'd scoop myself a mug of sherbert ice cream (or not gonna lie, sometimes the creamiest of vanilla's) and turn on a Disney Movie, sure to make me feel better. And every time, my brother would then come into the living room and proceed to do either pushups or crunches every time a song was sung during the movie. Have you ever seen a Disney Cartoon? It's practically ALL singing! Nut-Case! One fit, hard working, perfect bod "nut-case". At least thats what I told myself as I dove in for another  bite of chocolate chip, chocolate syrup milkshake -- oh wait, I mean "sherbert". 

Anyways, he's here now with us and has me on a high protein diet and we have eliminated dairy and sugars. I get to choose a protein, legume and vegetable for each of my meals and although I am craving a few of my old habits - like some ice cream at 2:00 pm when the kids are napping it really isn't that bad. Both of us agree that its a delicious lifestyle if you know how to cook! hah.

Then here's the kicker!  I get a "splurge day" once a week in order to trick my metabolism. Which brings me back to my original thought that I'm not here to preach the right way to loose weight, but I've got to say - loosing 5 lbs last week in just two days, and then 6 lbs this week in two days - I think I'll stick to it. (I do have to mention though that my splurge last week was 4 days while I was in California for my brother-in-laws wedding, so technically this week is the official start week!) 

Ok - now don't start hyper-ventilating.  I am by no means turning to a "Healthy Eating Blog". No way - Have you seen my Pinterest Account? I've got loads and loads of recipes that I want to test out and share with you. But we'll be sticking to those on "splurge day".

The recipe I want to share with you is one of my favorites so far. I'm not going to lay it out in a traditional format, so please follow along.



1 Chicken Breast
A bit of Olive Oil
Seasonings of choice (except salt)

I pan seared the chicken breast for about 15 minutes until cooked through. Just lightly glaze your pan with the olive oil. Coat your chicken with your favorite seasonings (personally I like them a bit on the spicy side). Then cover with a lid and cook till no longer pink on the inside

Pinto Beans:

1/4-1/2 can Pinto Beans

Heat until hot.

Onion Salsa:

1/2 white onion
1 can Rotel with Lime Juice and Cilantro (Rotel can usually be found in the tomato sauce and canned vegetable aisle)
A bit of Olive Oil

Saute onions in olive oil until caramelized.  Next add entire can of Rotel and cover with lid for about 10 minutes or until hot.

Once all ingredients are cooked and hot, chop your chicken and toss in a bowl. Mix together salsa, beans and chicken and satisfy those beautiful taste buds of yours! Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

How To Tuesday: Keep Bananas Fresh

Banana's are the "go-to" breakfast item for me to grab for my daughter every morning. Especially with a little 8 month old that needs my attention too, a cup of milk and a banana are the perfect things to get my 2 year old started in the morn. The problem I've run in to though here in Arizona is keeping our bananas...

Photobucket got it - FRESH! Its always so warm out here that I swear no matter how green I buy the bananas, they are always brown within a day or so.

I was searching around the internet and honestly I cannot remember where I read it - oh wait! Yes I do. It was in an email of all sorts of little household tips from baking soda uses to how to clean grit on your counter, plus a few food friendly tips. One of the tips said to separate the bananas once you got them home and they would stay fresher longer. Not really believing it, I tried it anyways and to my surprise I was no longer shoving 5 bananas down my throat in one day just to keep them fresh!  So Excited!

What I've been doing now is still buying the greenest bananas, then when they ripen to our liking I separate them and vwa-la - Fresh Bananas! 

Try it!