3/31/11

In the Weeds (Spicy Bean Burrito Filling)

I often wonder how people take such pretty pictures of their food / kitchen while they are cooking.  I, personally, just try my best to not die while trying to get dinner fixed. 

That might be a little dramatic. 

But it does get a little hairy from time to time.  I often feel rushed and slightly crazy and usually leave at least one major ingredient out. 

One of my favorite things to holler to Brandon while I'm cooking is "BRANDON!  I'M IN THE WEEDS!!"  Apparently this is something that people say in restaurant kitchens.  Brandon, having worked in restaurants most of his life, often tells me that I am, in fact, not in the weeds. 

Sure did look like that Wednesday night.  Here's a picture of when it was really going down. 


For those of you looking for something to do, play a little "I spy" with this picture.  Try to find the candy jar, the splenda bowl, the KD (abstract) flower picture, the peach daiquiri, the tongs, and the small cup like thing that allows you to pour the water into the iron....

A perfect mix of chaos, wood paneling, and cumin...the kitchen was really the place to be last night.

What was causing all of this mess?  Well, just a little spicy bean burrito filling.  Was it good?  I think so.  And the boyfriend exclaimed that it was good enough to be served in the lot at a Panic show.  Heck yeah.  

Spicy Bean Burrito Filling
adapted from Annie's Eats 

2 tsp canola oil
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tsp chipotle in adobe sauce, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp pepper
dash of cayenne pepper
1/3 cup of water
1 (15 oz can) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz can) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
6 tbl salsa

Heat oil in a large skillet, add chipotle peppers, cumin, chili powder, pepper, garlic, cayenne pepper.  Saute for about 30 seconds or until fragrant. 

Add both cans of beans and the water, bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and let cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in salsa.

Divide into six equal servings.

Serving size 1/6 of beans
Points plus 3

Serve however you like.....I had mine in a whole wheat tortilla (3 pp), 1 tbl reduced fat cheese (1 pp), 1 tbl reduced fat sour cream (1 pp), and tomatoes.  It would also be great with some lettuce and green onions but I didn't have that. 

Happy Thursday! 
  

3/30/11

Ballin'

Yes, I've discussed cantaloupe and melon ballers before.  Last June, to be specific.  But that was then.  This is now. 


Now....fruit is FREE! 

BAM!

Loving the points plus program right now.  And will be loving it even more as more fruit shows up in the markets and the stores.  And still loving my melon baller. 

3/29/11

Trivia + 90s Music

Tonight was my first experience with trivia night at Webster's in Greenwood.  Yes, I know that I'm about 8 weeks late to this but whatevs.  

While I was proud of knowing the question about Bojangle's Chicken & Biscuits and Gold Medal Flour, I was the most pleased about our emcee Thomas' music selection. 

Glad I got out and experienced one of the hip things poppin' in my town, glad I got to hang out with a fun group of peeps (MSKS included), glad I rediscovered my love of The Wallflowers...   

 

Greek Chicken Salad

Who doesn't love a chicken salad?  With a little bit of work up front, you've got a quick meal for the rest of the week.  Loves it.  And it goes without saying that since this is Greek Chicken salad, it's even more of an awesome situation.  

Loves it.  

It was such a lovely little treat to have at work Monday.  Especially since I was working in Charleston (MS, not SC just in case you were wondering) and while they have a cute post office, the (healthy) lunch choices leave a lot to be desired.  

 
Greek Chicken Salad
adapted from Annie's Eats

1 1/2 cup cooked chicken, chopped
1/2 cup cucumber, peeled and seeded and diced
3/4 cup tomato
1/3 cup red onion
1 cup tzatziki sauce
4 tortillas (I used whole wheat for 3 points plus each)
4 tbl reduced fat feta cheese

Combine chicken, cucumber, tomato, red onion, and tzatziki sauce.  Allow to sit in the fridge for a spell. 

Divide into four equal servings. 

Serve in a tortilla topped with 1 tbl of feta. 

Serving size 1/4 of recipe, 1 tbl of feta, and 1 tortilla
Points plus 8

3/28/11

Adventures with Tzatziki Sauce

I've been on huge Greek food kick lately.  Well let me restate that.  I've been on a huge wanting to eat Greek food all the time kick lately.  Being that Greenwood isn't exactly overflowing with Mediterranean options, I've spent a lot of time dreaming about it and planning out my next trip to Jackson around getting my fix. 

This cuisine is one I never thought I'd try out at home.  I had it on the same level with cooking a whole turkey...it's something that should be left for the experts.  However, on Sunday I released these fears and decided to dive into the unknown abyss and give tzatziki sauce the old collage try.  

The first challenge in this was trying to figure out how to spell tzatziki.  It's a really hard word to spell.  After I conquered the spelling it was time to figure out how to drain the yogurt without a cheese cloth and a sieve.  I opted for a coffee filter and a collapsible colander which I don't really think had the same effect.  Live moves on.  

The rest of the recipe went off without a hitch.  Doesn't have the exact same taste as the tzatziki sauce you might find at Kiefer's but quite good.  And since I didn't think it would photograph well on it's on, let's just take a look at this picture and think about how awesome it would be to be kickin' it there this week....

     find it here

Skinny Tzatziki Sauce
adapted from Slender Kitchen

16 oz fat free Greek yogurt, drained
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 tbl dill, chopped
juice of one lemon
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped small
salt and pepper, to taste 

Drain the yogurt.  Information on how to do this could be found here.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the yogurt, combine.  Let it sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to combine.  

Serving size 1/3 cup (makes about 6)
Points plus 1

Stay tuned to see what scrumptious dishes this sauce makes it's way to this week.  I know, I've got you on the edge of your seat.

P.S.  I choose Essie's "Trophy Wife" as the nail color for the ball.  I felt a little loud, but I think it was worth it.  Thanks for your suggestions!  

    

3/25/11

A Few on Friday

Mornin!  I'm up in my biscuit, blogging and and drinking coffee.  Nice morning so far.  I'm only OK with being up before I have to be because I zonked out at, oh, 9 pm on my couch so I'm plenty rested.

I'm back from the social work conference, a good time was had by all.  A good time was had by me, especially, as I finally got the jean shorts I've been wanting for so long.  Why have I been obsessed with getting jean shorts?  Well because Chick rocked them last summer and looked oh so cute with a simple pocket t and a flip flop.  She was going to pick me up a pair just like hers when she went to the beach but she had an unfortunate lost wallet incident so that didn't work out.  Mine are from the Gap.  And they have pleats.  And are slightly bubbly.  

  find it here

Yes, they are a bit short.  But i figure that it's OK.  I plan to wear them to every outdoor festival that I attend this summer.  

Prior to scoring the jean shorts, or jorts as we'll refer to them from now on, I was on the hunt for some nail polish.  This turned out to be way harder than I thought it would be.  The JA Cotton Ball is Saturday night and I was wanting to do something flashy on my nails.  I'm going to need your help with this.  And I'm going to need your opinion by mid day tomorrow so I can hunt down the polish and get them painted.  Thanks.  

To help you help me, here's a picture of my dress.  A blurry, kind of oddly colored picture of my dress. 

Thanks to Chickey for lending this dress. 

I feel like the "hope" hanger is fitting.  I "hope" that the spanx that I plan to wear help me to not look like a stuffed sausage.  It is quite fitted.  

In an effort to look less like a stuffed sausage I have ordered Jeff Galloway's book on how to get started running.  I love instructions.  And the book cost me a killer 25 cents.  

Find it here

Yes, I know that I've tried this before and it didn't work out.  But just because something didn't work the first time you tried doesn't mean it wont work the second time you try.  Or seventh.  We'll see.

In closing, this post card was waiting on me when I got home last night.  It's a post card from my best bud Clare from when she and her boyfriend traveled to Argentina.  This is strange only because she got home from Argentina in October i think it was?  Wondering if she sent this from Argentina and it's just now getting here OR if she found it when she was packing for her mini move home and decided to send it from Denver. 


Don't forget to make your polish suggestions. And I can't get the spell check to work so I hope it wasn't to bad.... 

Have a happy Friday! 

3/23/11

Just in case....

Just in case any of you rockin' seamstresses were on the fence about whether or not to try out the William and Winnie pattern from the Children's Corner....here's proof that you should do it. 


Or maybe this is just proof that my niece is freaking adorable.  Here she is, rocking her new dress before school this morning. 

By the way...my favorite technology?  Picture messaging.  And scheduled blog posting.   

Dance it off

One way I can always tell it's been a busy week?  The scale creeps up on Wednesday.  Nice.  I can surely tell I've been working in Charleston this week, eating out for lunch and drinking coke heavys. 

Shame on me. 

The good thing about working in Charleston is plenty of time on the drive (ok it's not that much further than I drive on a normal day but it feels like FOREVER) to rock out to some tunes.  Here's my favorite one I heard yesterday....


Maybe it'll come on again today and I can dance this extra pound off. 

3/22/11

Thanks PW (Sour Cream Noodle Bake)

What's the best way to combat a busy week?  PW's Sour Cream Noodle Bake.  For reals.  

I don't spend a whole lot of time wishing that I was other people.  However, every time I read the Pioneer Woman's blog I do get slightly ate up with the wants as she has the best camera, makes the best looking food, and has the best writing.  I, obviously, do not have the best writing as I choose to bring my point home by using the word "best" three times.  And I have run-ons like it's my job.  

Moving on.  PW's Sour Cream Noodle Bake was the bomb and was not to bad on the points!  Give it a try.  

And yes I'm fully aware of the fact that I can't seem to stop making noodley casseroles.  If making noodley casseroles is wrong, then I don't want to be right.    


Sour Cream Noodle Bake
adapted from Pioneer Woman

8 oz whole wheat "egg style" noodles (I use Ronzoni)
1 lb lean ground beef (95% lean)
15 oz can tomato sauce
salt and pepper
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 1/4 cup small curd reduced fat cottage cheese
1/2 cups sliced green onions
1 cup 2% shredded cheddar

Preheat the oven to 350.  

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain and set aside. 

Brown the ground beef.  Season with salt and pepper and add tomato sauce.  Allow to simmer while working on the other stuff.  

In a small bowl combine the sour cream and cottage cheese.  Season well with pepper.  

Add the sour cream mixture to the noodles, stir well.  Add green onions, stir again.  

Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.  Add noodles, top with ground beef.  Put the cheese on top of all that.  

Bake for about 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Divide into six equal slices.  

Serving size 1 slice
Points plus 9   

3/21/11

Cool People Sew

I cooked supper last night.  True story.  Unfortunately, it was wretched.  So I'm not posting it. 

But what I am posting is this picture of some rompers.  They were a success among failures.  Maybe that's a little dramatic.  They are cute, though. 


For all of you sewing enthusiests out there, they were made from The Children's Corner William and Winnie pattern.  It's worth mentioning that I could not have completed these patterns without the help of Jama's tutorial on her blog Cool People Sew.  In a moment of complete desperation I emailed her asking for some extra help.  She responded and was way helpful!  Three cheers for nice people...

HIP HIP HOORAY!
HIP HIP HOORAY!
HIP HIP HOORAY!

Mosey on over there and check out her sewing blog.  And her family blog.  

I've got a whooly bear crazy week coming up so probably won't be cooking to much.  Or maybe I will.  Or maybe I already have.  Trying to keep everybody guessing.      

3/18/11

A Few on Friday

Happy Day Friends!

I love my XM radio.  It meets all of my music needs, giving me indie rock when I need to be cool; country when I need to sing; rap music when I need shake what my mama gave me; 90s alternative when I need to go back.  Back I went this morning as I jammed out to a Rage Against the Machine tune.  Not sure which one it was; as you may or may not know the screen is out on my radio which means I can't see what is playing.  This reminded me of my huge collage crush on Zach de la Rocha.

find it here

I seriously (not really) considered leaving my life and joining him as gun runner in South America.  Luckily I didn't, as the piercing of my eye brow freshman year of collage was traumatic enough for my family.  Did you hear that?  Both of my parents just gave an exasperated "I can't believe you just brought that up" sigh.  Loves ya'll! 

Everyone has their stages....

I'm not going to share a RATM song as sometimes they can get a little strong with the language and I'm trying to keep this thing at least PG 13 so I'll share the song I heard next...

 

One of my favorite food blogs, Deep South Dish, wrote a post recently about meatless options for Friday during Lent.  While I eat meat on all Friday's, I figured I'd share for the sake of my Catholic buddies out there.  Click here to see the post.  I want to try  Giada's Pasta with Peas and Carrots.  And I think I will. 

Next week, I will be traveling to Jackson to attend the annual MS NASW Conference.  It's always a treat, and will be even MORE of a treat this year as Ginny and I will be staying at the King Edward.  Go fancy hotel! 

find it here...and I think this is pre-renovation

Quite a step up from the first hotel we stayed in the first year we went to the conference together....I can't even talk about it.  I just shuddered with the memories. 

But this year...this year we are staying in style.  The beds are comfy, the bar is lovely, the breakfast is a-mazing.  It will get us all geared up the run the PACE Auction and get our conference on.  Any other fun downtown Jackson suggestions? 

I'm going to a fancy ball next Saturday and am wearing a sassy one-shouldie number.  Shouldie means shoulder, just in case you were wondering.  I'm wanting to do a sweeping updo for said ball but am having a hard time finding something that would be attainable for my sad little hay-like hair.  

     Beautiful but I bet it requires some volume and / or natural waves. Find it here.

What's a flat haired girl today?  I need my fairy hair stylist to come rescue....

Hope you have a happy weekend....I'll be sewing and mowing and planting and visiting and probably drinking a little wine.  Thanks for reading!

3/17/11

My Current 3 O'clock

This snack needs to quit being so awesome.


5 Saltine crackers
1 round of baby bell cheese, sliced into 5 equal rounds
pickles

points plus 4

P.S. I think that the baby bell light is only one point but my grocery didn't have that last time I went.

Flirting and Lost and Found (Asian Rice)

So this morning I decided to change the level on my Zumba workout wii thingy to "expert." I assumed that it wouldn't be to much different than what I had been doing, maybe just a little quicker and little more intense of a workout. 

Oh how wrong I was. 

Not only did I feel like I was involved in some sort of Latin Street Dance Off, but it seemed as though the guy leading the workout was hitting on me...


This is the recipe that I couldn't make last week because I'd lost the recipe. Little did I know, however, that said recipe was sitting on my coffee table under a stack of magazines.

This is kind of the story of my life.

Just like how last weekend, while cleaning out my fabric stash, I discovered no less than five yards of white fabric suitable for lining.  I'm always like "ugghhhhh, I've got to buy lining."  Turns out, no I don't have to buy lining.  Like ever again.

Anywho.  Here is the recipe.  It was good but would be even better if I could freakin' figure out how to cook rice.  Maybe you'll have better luck!  
 

Asian Rice
from WW Magazine

1 tsp peanut oil
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 tsp garlic
1 egg, beaten
1 tbl chopped cilantro
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 cup cooked brown rice

Heat oil in a medium skillet, add cherry tomatoes and garlic.  Cook for 1 minute.  Add egg, cilantro, soy sauce and scramble.  Stir in the rice

Makes 1 (1 1/2 cup) serving
Points plus 6

Happy St. Patricks Day!

3/16/11

What's In the Fridge Wrap

This is a recipe I lifted from the great WW blog Green Lite Bites.  You can tell that the author of this blog is really good and just coming up with great meals based on what is in the fridge. 

I, on the other hand, do not list this as one of my strengths. 

What I am good at is making up dances in my kitchen to this song as I cook dinner....


Moving on.

This wrap was easy and tasty and made me quite happy.  Fix it up however you fancy...great low point meal!


What's In the Fridge Wrap
adapted from Green Lite Bites

1 low carb tortilla
1/2 cup spiniach leaves
1 round of baby bell cheese, chopped up (I used original, but use light to make the whole thing 1 less point)
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
6 slices of deli turkey, chopped

Spray a skillet with cooking spray, add onions and bell peppers and cook until soft.  Remove from heat and set aside. 

Place tortilla in the skillet, put cheese and spiniach on one side.  Allow cheese to melt and spiniach to cook for a few minutes.  Add turkey, onions, and peppers and fold tortilla over. 

Flip the wrap, making sure that the whole thing is heated through. 

Makes 1 serving
Points plus 5

3/15/11

Tacos + Pasta = Goodness (Creamy Taco Pasta)

What do you get when you mix the taste of tacos and the comfort of pasta?  Goodness.  But that's in the title so you already knew that.

I bet your kids would love this....

Creamy Taco Pasta
adapted from Annie's Eats 

8 oz whole wheat rotini
1 1/4 lb lean ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
4 tbl taco seasoning (reduced sodium)
14 oz canned diced tomato
3 oz reduced fat cream cheese
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
salt and pepper, to taste 

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water, and set aside.

Spray a large skillet with cooking spray, add turkey meat and cook.  When turkey is almost done, add the onion and continue cooking.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant.  Add taco seasoning and tomatoes and cook for about five minutes.  Stir in cream cheese, sour cream, cooked pasta, and reserved pasta water.  Allow to cook for 3 - 5 minutes to reduce the sauce a bit.  Season with salt and pepper. 

Serving size 1/6 of recipe
Points plus 9

I be this would be good with a little shredded cheese served on top...just be sure to adjust the points. 

I bet you are wondering where the picture of this is?  Well the only one that I took was very blurry and I couldn't seem to get the one from the original site to load over here. 

So instead of a picture of the pasta, here's a picture of the baby girl playing in a puddle.  Enjoy!

3/14/11

Ooommmmmmmm (Zen Sandwich)

There's a lovely little place in Cleveland called Crave.  It's one of my favorite little lunch places.  Probably because you can leave with one of these....

Just try and walk past that dreamy goodness

Yes, that's a peanut butter and chocolate cupcake.  Aside from the massive in your face cupcakes, Crave also offers several healthy and tasty options.  One of my new favorites is called the Zen.  It's flavorful, filling, and festive.  Sometimes I can't let an opportunity of alliteration to pass me by.  

This one was pretty easy to replicate and proved to be quite a lovely supper.  Try it and see.    


Zen Sandwich
adapted from Crave Restaurant

1 whole wheat pita
2 tbl store bought hummus
3 mushrooms, sliced
1/4 of an onion, chopped
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, drained of oil and chopped
1 tbl reduced fat feta 
lettuce or spinach, about a handful 

Stick the pita bread in a 400 degree oven and warm it up for a minute.  Meanwhile, cook the onions and mushrooms in a small skillet coated with cooking spray until they are soft.  

Take the pita bread, spread the hummus on top.  Then layer as follows:  onions and mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, feta, lettuce.  

Serving size entire recipe
Points plus 6  

3/12/11

Beautiful Day for a Burrito (Another Breakfast Burrito)

Let's let the boys from U2 open this one for us....

Tell it, Bono

Greetings on this beautiful and blessed Saturday morning!  I've been looking around for my motivation and just might have found it again somewhere between a few great WW websites and a breakfast burrito. Breakfast burrito....you never let me down.  If you could only make me clean my house.


Another Breakfast Burrito

1 low carb tortilla
1 egg
1 egg white
1/4 cup salsa
2 tbl reduced fat shredded cheddar
cooking spray

Spray a small skillet with cooking spray.  Add egg and egg white, scramble until done.  Remove from heat, add in salsa and cheese.  Allow cheese to melt.  

Place mixture in tortilla.  Roll up and chow down. 

Sering size 1 burrito
Points plus 6 

3/11/11

A Few On Friday

Let me just state for the record that I'm REAL glad it's Friday.  And it's been a beautiful Friday at that so awesome

Let me also state for the record that I'm having extremely major motivation issues this week related to meal planning, cooking, and exercising.  I'm having one of those "over it" weeks and can't seem to make myself do what I know I need to do.  Encouragement and motivation would be appreciated.  Please and thank you. 

And now....a Few on Friday.  A little late, no less. 

Anyone do Pinterest?  Darby from Fly Through Our Window (I love that I write that like I actually know her) did a post about it recently and I haven't been able to get enough of it.  It's a place to keep organized, and Lord knows I love an organized space.  My favorite part of it is having a place on the world wide web to keep track or recipes.  This has replaced my (ratty) manila folder with "recipes to try" etched on the side.  Two points for me being green. 

Click here for my pintrest page and go on and request an invite for one yourself.  And take a look at one of my most favorite things that I've "pinned" as of yet. Makes me laugh out loud....  


"My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, and they're like it's better than yours, damn right it's better than yours, I could teach you, but i'd have to charge." 

I got some new perfume. This is actually quite exciting.  Really, it is.  I have had the same three bottles of perfume for so long they have definitely turned, leaving me smelling of some mix between 409 and grapefruit every time I put it on.  I opted to go for a roll on scent this time, settling on Burberry Brit Sheer.  It is divine.  In fact, I think I'll put some more on right now.....

...Ok I'm back. 

Jumping back to Pintrest for just a minute...while I was cruising around the site last night, I discovered the food blog Annie Eats.  Good stuff...check it out. Hopefully it's going to help me get back to cookin'.    

This weekend starts the SEC Tournament.  Me, I'll be grindin' for my state.  Who are you cheering for? 

Hail Dear Old State!  Find it here.

Speaking of collage...university folk (like my Chickey) are gearing up for spring break next week.  But I'm not.  And I'm bitter.  So we're not going to talk about it.  Except to say that I hope she remembers to look for me some jean shorts, or Jorts it you'd rather, from the outlet mall.  Get it Chickey!

Daylight savings time is this weekend.  Thank you, Lord.  That extra bit of day light is good for my soul.  

I recently got a new sewing pattern and have waisted 4+ yards of fabric trying to figure it out.  I need a sewing fairy.  Grrrrrrr.  

If you're in the Greenwood area on Sunday, come on out to Turnrow Books starting at three to enjoy some cold beverages and some good tunes provided by a trio of talented musicians.  Weather should be lovely.  Cloudy.  But lovely.  Happiest of weekends dudes....I'll be back next week with recipes.  

  Sleigh Bells Rill Rill

   

3/10/11

Guilt and Noodles

Soooooooo. As you may or may not
have guessed, this has not been one of my best and most brightest weeks in weight watchin'.  I've decided that I'm going to stop feeling guilty about it in.........


3

2

1

Now.

Whew! Glad that's done.  If there's anything that you are feeling guilty about at this time I give you full permission to let go of it.

You're welcome.

So here's another quick and easy meal from the fine folks at Archer Farms.  Yes, its pretty much just ramen noodles.....but its ramen noodles with some sass.
You can have the whole bowl for 7 points plus.

3/9/11

A Fat Sandwich on Fat Tuesday

I had full intentions last night of making a nice little super from the latest WW magazine.  Unfortunately, I've lost the magazine and although I have all of the ingredients for it, I could not for the life of me remember what I was supposed to do with them. 

So I decided to make a very large sandwich.  Because sometimes a girl just needs a very large sandwich. 


You, too, can make this very large sandwich by taking one whole wheat hogie (6 pp), 6 slices of deli turkey (1 pp), 1 slice of reduced fat pepper jack cheese (1pp) and putting it open face in a 375 degree oven for a few minutes.  Just don't walk away for to long or else it will burn.  Remove it and top it with lettuce, pickles, and mustard for a total of 8 points plus. 

This is not rocket science, but it tasted good. 

Hopefully soon I'll be able to find the magazine and make my intended recipe.  And hopefully soon I'll start cooking more than once a week. 

Holler. 

3/8/11

Rock It, Child

Holy moly this girl is talented. Makes me want to dust off my key board. 

And stare at it.  But not play it.  Because I quit piano lessons after two years even though my Mom told me I would regret it.     

Slidin' Into Spring (Sun Dried Tomato and Feta Turkey Sliders)

There's something about a slider that makes me happy.  Such a tidy little burger. 

Last summer, the burger award went to the Southwestern Turkey Burgers.  I feel like this year, the glory will go to the sun dried tomato and feta turkey sliders.  Such a mouth full.  And so delicious.  For reals. 

You might look at this one strangely.  Brandon sure did.  Five sliders later, he decided that he was a fan. 


This recipe will just be for the actual burgers.  The bread I used could probably be tweeked.  I was in a rush at the store and didn't do a whole lot of label comparing.  The bread was good (cobble stone wheat hogies cut into three pieces) but it was six points for a loaf.  Probably could've done something for less points. 

Enough about bread.  Here're (is that a word?) the sliders!

Sun Dried Tomato and Feta Turkey Sliders
adapted from Pickey Palate

1 tbl olive oil
1 lb extra lean ground turkey
1/2 cup of crumbled reduced fat feta cheese
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained well and chopped
1/2 cup fresh spinach, chopped
salt and pepper

Combine turkey, feta, sun dried tomatoes, spinach, salt, and pepper.  Divide the mixture into twelve equal patties.  

Heat olive oil in a large pan.  It might need a little extra cooking spray to keep it from sticking to the pan.  That might be gross, or unsafe, but it's just how I rolled.  

Anyway.  Add the patties to the pan, cook them for about 5 minutes on each side or until the are done.  

Serving size 1 patty (makes 12)
Points plus 2

So I took one wheat hogie (worth six points plus), cut it into three equal pieces, and had three little sliders.  

It's worth mentioning that the blog that I got this recipe from suggests that you pair these sliders with a sun dried tomato mayonnaise.  I refrained from this but it sure does look good.  

It's also worth mentioning that "tomato" is a hard word for me to spell.  I always want to put an "e" on the end.  

That is all.    

3/7/11

Eating Our Way Through Jackson

Pardon me while I enter into the realm of Restaurant Critic. 

As alluded to in the previous post, I spent some time in Jackson over the weekend.  Brandon and I made the journey from Greenwood to watch his cool-as-can-be cousin Sam play in the high school All Star Basketball game.  Aside from the father sitting a few rows in front of us that thought his son was the next LaBron James and everyone else on the court was stupid, it was a great time.  I can't stand an aggressive sport parent.  This is probably because I don't have an athletic bone in my body and don't understand the importance of competition. 

Moving on. 

Aside from cheering Sam on, we engaged in one of my favorite things to do when traveling....eating at as many restaurants as we could in the short amount of time that we were there.  Let me tell you about them...

First up was Babalu for lunch on Saturday.  Raising the roof for this one....huge fan.  The atmosphere was great, the Babaritas were delightful, and if you order the guacamole... they make it at your table. 


We enjoyed shrimp tacos and braised short rib enchiladas for our meal.  The portions are small, more like a tapas, so it's perfect for those trying to watch their figure.  Everything was super light tasting and flavorful and if I hadn't have eaten the equivalent for four whole avocados I probably wouldn't have felt so sluggish afterward.  Ok, it wasn't four, but I had A LOT of guacamole. 

Fast forward to dinner and we found ourselves at the Cherokee. I'm told this is an old school Jackson place, Brandon gave me the history of it before we went.  I know for certain, however, that their pizza tastes just like the pizza that you used to get from Roller World in Greenville.  When I discovered this, I proclaimed to the table "This is the happiest day of my life." And it kind of was.  I loved Roller World pizza.  

The Cherokee is not at all WW friendly.  But i would consider them generally friendly because they give you large squirt bottles of ranch AND comeback sauce.  

We wrapped up the eating aspect of our trip with a little Greek place on Sunday.  The original plan was to go to Julep for one of their fabulous fried chicken sandwiches.  Sadly, the line was much too long and we went on about our way.  After hanging his head in sadness for a minute, Brandon perked up when he remembered a Greek restaurant right across the street.  We made our way to Wraps,  also known as my new happy place.  It's one of those not a lot of fuss restaurants....small, kind of cramped, strange signs on the wall.  The food, however, is just plain good.  I got the TJ wrap (chicken, tzatziki sauce, feta, tomatoes, other things that I can't remember) and Brandon got the pork tenderloin gyro.  Both were a treat.  Didn't have the beer drinkin', hang out with your friends, pita mozz type vibe that Kieffers has, but it was still great regardless. You should go and bring me something back. 

Needless to say the weekends feast(s) led to a long zumba workout Sunday afternoon and a Wii active workout this morning.  The Wii active workout this morning led to me come to work with wet hair.  

Such is life sometimes....    

Fun with Gnocchi

A while back, Chef Nick at Giardinas did a few specials involving Gnocchi.  There appeared to be lots of butter, garlic, and Parmesan cheese involved.  

It was heavenly.  

I've been thinking about gnocchi ever since and wondering what I could do with it that would be tasty, easy, and not involve so much butter. 

I was also hoping to not have to make the gnocchi, as it appears to be somewhat involved.  Thank goodness for Target and their Archer Farms Line.  

As I was wondering around Target this weekend looking for rice noodles (not sure why I thought that Target would have those), the heavens opened and light shown down upon the pre made gnocchi.  

Heck yeah!  I picked up a bottled of light jarred pasta sauce and was on my merry way.  

  
While it wasn't the same dish that I'd had at Giardinas, all glistening with butter and home made goodness, the result was quite tasty.  And pretty filling.  I'm looking forward to playing around with other recipes in the coming week. 

Gnocchi and Red Sauce for One

1 cup gnocchi
1/2 cup jarred light pasta sauce
1 tbl Parmesan cheese

Cook gnocchi according to directions.  Drain when finished coking.  Meanwhile, heat the sauce. 

Combine all ingredients in a pretty pasta bowl.  Enjoy

Serving size - entire recipe
Points Plus 8

3/4/11

A Few On Friday

I'm watching them landscape the new construction across the way from my office window.  This is making for a very fine Friday!

Additionally, I'm still on a high from not one but two awesome things that I did last night.  

I ate BBQ Nachos from Hey Joe's in Cleveland

 
And I went to go see a performance of The Second City at the Bologna Performing Arts Center.  Good stuff, good stuff.  I think I snorted at one point. I am fascinated with improve and asked Brandon (seriously) if thought I would be good at it.  Survey says....yes.

So the jeans that I've talked about more than I've ever talked about jeans in my life came in this week.  I love them.  They make me very happy.  You should get some. 

Chick (my sister) wants a clutch that is sassy, yet neutral.  I like this one. 


This one might be more me than her. But maybe not, she likes hardware.  Regardless, find it here

Right as I posted that picture she said "Make it affordable" so let's keep looking....

She wants a Tori Burch but that doesn't really fit in with our "affordable" theme.  In time, Chickey. 

 
find it here

Maybe Piperlime will be more realistic....
Hey cute bag.  Find it here.

And yes, I know that is more of an over the shoulder than a clutch but you could just stuff the strap in the bag right?

Any thoughts on Chickey's perfect clutch?

Speaking of Chickey, guess what me and my mom and my sisters are doing in August?

Going to see Kieth Urban.  Oh yeah, you read right. 

find it here

Keith Urban is not my favorite artists at present, and as my mom informed me earlier I'm going to have to start downloading some stuff because "everyone sings along at his concerts, Laura Merrill."  Keith Urban is my mom's favorite singer and I'm so excited that we get to do this together.  I'm going to need to come up with the perfect country music concert outfit.  Suggestions are appreciated.  I will buy cut offs if needed. 

And now...let's listen to a song. Not a Kieth Urban song but one by Built to Spill.    



Happy weekend! 

3/3/11

Pasta with Broccoli for One (And Me Trying to Act Like I've Been to Busy to Cook)

It's been one of those busy bee weeks.  Busy bee but fun. For example...I got to eat dinner with my mom and Chick last night.  Good stuff.  The waiter appeared to be impressed with how much we could eat and kept saying things like "are y'all full yet?" and "don't eat to much I want y'all to save room for your entree."  Thanks for your insight, dude.
    
 

Cuteness. 

You know what else is cuteness?  Broccoli.  Mainly because it will hang out in your fridge for a week in a half and not go bad.  That's how long I've been trying to cook this meal.  Told you I've been a busy bee.  If only I knew exactly what I'd been doing.  Oh well.  

This meal is based on something I saw on Gina's Skinny Recipes, just changed it up a little to meet me needs, wants, and wishes.  
  



Pasta with Broccoli for One

2 oz high fiber, whole wheat pasta
1 cup broccoli, chopped up
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1/2 tbl olive oil
2 tbl grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine broccoli, garlic, and olive oil in a small dish.  Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, stirring half way through.  Check up on it to make sure it's not burning. 

Meanwhile, boil your pasta.  Drain, reserving about 1/4 cup of the pasta water. 

In a big pretty pasta bowl, combine the pasta, the broccoli, and however much pasta water you need just to give it a little moisture.  Sprinkle with cheese. 

Serving size - entire recipe
Points plus 9