9/29/11

River Rats for Art Alfresco

Guess what I am?

What.

A River Rat.

Huh?

Yeah, that's what I thought the first time someone called me that.  Apparently that's what people from Greenwood call people from Greenville. 

Rude. 

Yeah, kind off.  But we Greenvillians had / have some pretty strong opinions about surrounding Delta towns.  We're like second cousins.  Pretty much the same people, but each think that our part of the family is the best.  That analogy makes sense in my head...but I can't make it make sense in type.  

Anyway.  

Since I'm a resident of one and a child of the other, I'm all for loving both towns and for celebrating the goodness that each one holds.  Like Greenville has Gino's, the Blues Bar, and my parents; Greenwood has the Alluvian Courtyard, the Christmas Parade, and Art Alfresco.  

Art Alfresco...what's that?  

Well, glad you asked!!  Art Alfresco is an evening of goodness presented by Main Street Greenwood.  Downtown businesses stay open late, serve up dips (and maybe some wine!), and feature work by artists from the surrounding areas.  There's music and merriment, it's always a treat. You can come, shop, visit, and dance if you want. 

My plan is to go, check out the artists, pick out a piece I can't afford, and then start saving my pennies up in an old coffee can. 

Hope to see you out and about in Greenwood!!  And check out the new street lamps on Howard Street while you are there...pretty cool!

Art Alfresco - Downtown Greenwood, MS
October 6, 2011
5 - 8 pm  

find it here

Accidental Enchiladas

Isn't it cool how things work out? 

Like how when you plan to make your future mister chimichangas for supper because he has a big test the next day, but then it turns out that his test isn't that day it's later in the week, but it doesn't matter because you got your chimichangas to full to close them, but still it's ok because you just turn them into enchiladas?  Yeah, like when things work out like that. 

These chimichangas turned enchiladas were a wonderful mistake...very glad I goofed! And I could  have just removed some of the filling and added more tortillas...but then I would have had 17 deep fried chimies.  And no one needs 17 deep fried anything in their house.  

Here they are when they were still going to be a chimichanga...a little full, huh? 


And here they are once they had made the grand transformation into enchiladas.



I'm pretty sure that this is how it went down. Gotta admit that things got a little hairy at one point so the points, measurements, etc might not be completely perfect. 

Accidental Enchiladas

1.5 lb of chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 1/2 cup of chicken broth
1/2 cup of uncooked long grain rice
1/2 cup of enchilada sauce
1 large onion, chopped
1 can of fat free refried beans
2 cups of reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese (divided)
8 low carb tortillas
25 olives, sliced
2 cups of salsa

Preheat oven to 350. 

Combine the chicken broth, the rice, the enchilada sauce, the onion in a large skillet heated over medium high heat . Cook for about 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.  Stir in chicken. 

Heat the refried beans until the easily stir.  Heat the tortillas in the microwave according to package directions.

Prepare enchiladas by dividing the following evenly among the tortillas:  beans, chicken mixture, olives, 1 1/2 cup of cheese.  Roll enchiladas up and place them in a prepared baking dish.  Actually, it's more of a squish them in than a place them...

Pour the salsa on top of the enchiladas and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. 

Bake, covered, for 20 minutes.  Uncover, bake for another 5 minutes. 

Serving size 1 enchilada (makes 8 servings)
Points plus 10

Good luck to Brandon today!! 

9/28/11

Another Sunday Sandwich

This is yet another sassy Sunday sandwich.  I know it's Wednesday, but that's how were're doing things today. 

It's easy, inexpensive, low in points...done and done and done. Pair this with a BBQ potato straw and a few pickled okras and call it a day.     


Here's how it goes down. This is more of an idea than a recipe, take it and run!

1 low carb tortilla
2 slices of sun dried tomatoe deli turkey
1 slice of reduced fat provalone cheese
10 turkey peperoni
spinach leaves 

Wrap it all up, stick it in the oven to get it nice and melted.  Enjoy!

Serving size 1
Points plus 5

9/27/11

Trude's Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Have you seen Elf?  Love that movie.  If you haven't seen it, you should run out and rent it right now. If you have seen it, then you're probably familiar with the part of the movie when Buddy the Elf serves his new family spaghetti with maple syrup. 

I felt a little like Buddy the Elf as I measured out the cup of maple syrup for these little muffins. Or maybe I felt like Buddy the Elf because I was wearing stripped tights and a pointy hat.  What?  No, I wasn't.  Jokes. 

But the delightfulness of these muffins is no joke...whip you up a batch!  I got the recipe from my friend Trude, thanks Trude!   

 
Trude's Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
 
2 cups of whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup of applesauce
4 very ripe medium bananas, mashed
1/4 cup of water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.
 
Combine the first 8 ingredients.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Divide the batter evenly among the tins.  
 
Bake for about 30 minutes or until they are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 
 
Serving size 1 muffin
Points plus 6 
 

9/26/11

Pita Pizza

This was my first shot at improving my food photography.  It, um, didn't go well.  But that's OK. I'm not going to give up.  

And the cool thing is that regardless of it's picture, the pita pizza was pretty rockin'.  Now, it's not the pita pizza that you get at Vince's, but it holds its own.  Quite well in fact.   

 

Pita Pizza

1 whole wheat pita (check points, 3 or less)
2 tbl pizza sauce
10 slices of turkey pepperoni
1/4 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese
assorted veggies, sliced up

Layer the sauce, pepperoni, cheese, and veggies.  Warm everything up in the oven, cut into four slices. 

Makes one serving
Points plus 6

Have a great Monday!!  

9/25/11

Traditions

I love a tradition. 

It's for this reason that my heart glowed a little bit this morning in church when I saw this.  


This is a tradition that I wasn't familiar with until a few weeks ago when, during premarital counseling, the priest shared that he would be putting this in the bulletin soon.  He said that it's done to allow others the chance to object to the marriage (which I hope doesn't happen, obviously) but also to encourage members of the church to start praying for the soon to be married couple (which I hope does happen.) 

Very cool.  

It's gettin' close!!  And it's gettin' fun! 

9/23/11

A Few on Friday

Happy Fall, Ya'll! 

Sorry.  I couldn't resist.  "Fall" and "ya'll" are just way to easy.    

But a happy time it is.  I'm with the majority on this one...bring on cooler weather, fire pits, boots, snuggies, and scarves.  All of these make me a happy, happy girl.  

You know what else makes me a happy, happy girl? Dips.  Mary Neff asked me to bring a dip to a party in a few weeks.  I was afraid I'd hit my dip wall as I really couldn't think of what I could bring.  Well, again, PTL for Pinterest as it got my thinking and googling and led me to this treasure trove of dippies. 

Made me say yippie. 

Yes, I'm on my own nerves today with this rhyming. But I just can't stop.  

I've honed in on a few and am looking forward to giving them a try.

You know what else I want to try?  Working on my food pictures.  I'm picking up a foam board from the wal mart today and will be rummaging through my fabric stash for some festive prints.  To bad i struggle to find good natural light AND the days are getting shorter.  But I shall prevail.  

 
Sorry, that song always makes me feel like prevailing and uprising and taking down the man.  But I'm just trying to get good at taking food pics so all of that probably isn't needed...

What is needed is some new makeup in my life.  Good thing I've got a weddin' coming up and have a justification.  I'm hoping to journey to a city sometime in the future and check out the Bobbi Brown Tortoise Shell Collection.


I adore this look.  I want it all.  Mom, are these my colors?  Hope they are.  You can learn more about it, or buy some for me yourself here.

OK I've got to back to fall for just a second.  Check this out...

Find it here

Who's with me??  It's a Bourbon pumpkin milkshake.  Be still, my heart! How Sweet It Is, you never cease to amaze me. 
 
Speaking of amazement, hope your weekend is full of it!  Enjoy it!

9/22/11

Rebellion and Creamy Tortellini Soup

It's so hard to hold out on soups.  I know that it's still 89 degrees here but seriously.  I am ready.  It's like Christmas.  I don't wait well. 

What's cool is that I'm grown and if I want to make soups in 89 degree weather, then I can.  Bam. 

What do you rebel against?  No white pants after labor day?  Drinking a caffienated beverage after 5pm?  Not returning your cart to the cart slot at the Wal Mart? 

You rebel. 

So back to soups.  This one is a good pre-fall soup...it didn't turn out as creamy as I thought it would and wasn't too heavy.  The taste was good when salt and pepper was added.  And seriously...it's got cheese tortellini in it.  I could probably float cheese tortellini in water and eat it up. 

OK that was kind of gross.  Sorry.

So find the original recipe for the soup here.  I bet that it would be much creamier with the full fat evaporated milk so you just make that choice for yourself. 


Creamy Tortellini Soup

1 1.8 oz envelope of white sauce mix
4 cups of milk
1 14 oz can of vegetable broth
1 medium onion, chopped
1 heaping tsp of minced garlic
1/2 tsp of dried basil
1/4 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of dried oregano
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
8 oz package of cheese tortellini (mine was the refrigerated kind, but you can use dried)
1 12 oz can of fat free evaporated milk
6 cups of fresh spinach leaves

Place the sauce mix in the crock pot.  Slowly add water, stirring to make sure the sauce is dissolved. Stir in broth, onion, garlic, basil, salt, oregano, and cayenne pepper.

Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 2 1/2 - 3 hours.

Stir in dried tortellini, recover and cook until tortellini is done. (My refrigerated took about 20 minutes, dried would probably take around 45 on high setting).

Stir in evaporated milk and fresh spinach.  Serve with salt, pepper, and Parmesan (adjust points) if desired

Serving size 1 cup (makes 8 servings)
Points plus 5

9/21/11

Snack Time (Cheese Quesadilla)

It's 1:15 and I'm already thinking about an afternoon snack. Ugh....I hate it when that happens.  Like, I mean I just threw my lunch plate away and I'm already thinking about a snack. This does not look good for me.

Do you ever have these days?  Days like these call for a well thought out snack. 

Here's a quick snack that's perfect for after work / school / bar / whatevs. 


And please, excuse my chipped plates.  Or don't.  It's up to you.  

Cheese Quesadilla

1 low carb tortilla
1/4 cup of reduced fat Mexican cheese
salsa

Spray a small pan with cooking spray.  Place the cheese on one side of the tortilla. Fold 'er over.  Cook until melted. 

Serve with salsa.

Serving size the whole things
Points plus 4

Giveaway Winner!

For starters...is it giveaway or is it give away? 

Who knows.  Not I, said the fly.  

For seconds...thank you so much for entering the giveaway!  I had a nice chuckle reading your responses and can say with confidence that I have trouble with the same ones that you shared.

We're in this crazy, hard to spell world together people.  Let's make it count. 

Huh? 

Oh. 

Sorry.  Got deep for a second. 

Any who...since I know that you're anxiously waiting, the winner of the give away is...........

(make a drum roll on your desk)








(seriously, I'm not kidding)







(you're still not doing it)











(FINE.)

Shaunta!! 

She struggles with spelling "embarrass" which, let's be honest, is a tough one. Congrats, girl!  Glad you entered and thanks so much for reading!  Please shoot me an email at lauramerrill.alexander@gmail.com with your full name and mailing address and I'll get you signed up with the magazine.  Also, let me know if you would prefer Weight Watchers or Real Simple Magazine!

Thanks for reading, ya'll!

9/20/11

Skinny Pot Roast

Ok so I'm assuming that everyone knows what a pot roast looks like?  Right?  Good.  I got home late last night and didn't get around to snapping a picture. 

So now that we've got that covered, let's talk about a few things you might not be familiar with. 

Like spiced pumpkin coffee for the keurig.  Yeeeeeeyahh.  It's a zero point delight in my life.  It's the little things...

You also might not know about this website...Skinny Crock Pot.  As if I needed another excuse to nerd out about my crock pot.  It was at this jewel of a site where I found today's recipe...a skinny pot roast.  

Skinny Pot Roast
adapted from Skinny Crock Pot

1 1/2 lb eye of round
2 tbl corn starch
2 cups reduced fat beef broth
10 cloves of garlic
1 lb red potatoes, diced
1 medium onion, sliced
1 tbl balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp black pepper

Place the beef broth in a crock pot.  Whisk in the cornstarch. Add in the rest of the ingredients.  Toss everything around to make sure that everything is good and tossed up. 

Cook on low for 8 - 10 hours.

Serving size 1 cup (makes about 8 servings)
Points plus 9

**Serving size and number of servings are approximate on this one...roast is always tough to figure out when you're trying to measure it.

And just so that we can have a picture....


Be still, my heart.  You can make them for me by following this recipe.  But you could just give me one and then you have to take them away because my self control when it comes to oreos hangs out at around a zero. 

9/19/11

Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Scramble

These dudes are awesome.


Seriously.  But you might know that.  Maybe you already know all about their awesomness. 

But if you don't, pick yourself up a box.  I often have two for breakfast (patties, not boxes) with some fruit for 4 points plus.  They are quick, tasty, and keep me full all morning.  

I should probably buy stock in Morningstar Farms.  I love their products that much.

Aside for being a quick breakfast on their own, they are also great in things.  Like on a breakfast sandwich perhaps.  Or maybe in an egg scramble...

Sausage Egg and Cheese Scramble

1 egg
1 egg white
1 Morningstar Farms sausage patty (cooked and crumbled up)
1 tbl of reduced fat Mexican style shredded cheese. 

Crack the eggs in a bowl, season with salt and pepper.  Add to a well sprayed pan.  Add the sausage and the cheese.  Scramble away...

Makes one serving
Points plus 5

Don't forget about the give away!

9/16/11

A Few on Friday

Happy day guys!

Hope it's been a good week.  Me, I'm one tired cookie and am looking very forward to the weekend. 

I'm glad some folks are going for the giveaway!  I'm even more glad that people are telling all of their dark and dirty spelling secrets.

I guess becoming a better speller is all the rage right now...









I am guilty of most of these, including the rest of the ones on this site, on a daily hourly minutely basis. Oh, how I love a snarky reference. And I shall start writing aporkchop on this blog. 

How bout them apples?

That reminds me of my mom.  She likes to say "how bout them apples?" kind of sassy like.  She also likes to pick out sassy dresses for my rehearsal dinner.  Both of these are good things.

You know what else is a good thing?  An occasion where 80s dress up is required.  Now, I'm missing Lindsey's light up dance floor birthday blow out this weekend.  This is in no way cool, but the weekend will be made a little brighter with 80s dress up gear.  How you ask?  Well the GLYP is sponsoring a water station at the 300 Oaks Race tomorrow morning and I'll be  helping out.  There are two requirements.  1) You be there at 7am and 2) You dress in 1980s workout gear.  Guess which one I'm the most excited about....

I just signed on this afternoon.  This is unfortunate as I would've had a much better outfit had there been time to hunt.  I did stop at Wal Mart after work for leggings and a large sweatshirt...kind of felt like shopping for a dress up pep rally in high school.  

How fun were those?  

F-U-N. 

Anywho.  This is who I'll be channelling...minus the speed addiction, of course.  

 

I'm sorry, but that episode is amazing.

And so are you, dear friends!  Have a great weekend! 

9/15/11

I'm OK with Wednesday Night Casseroles (Cheesy Enchilada Casserole)

Apparently Wednesday night is enchiladas in casserole form night at mi casa.  I am completely OK with this.  Others appear to be OK with this as well. 

I am also ok with the weather getting back to cool, MSU playing on TV tonight, the fact that this trusty old Ann Taylor striped black sweater has made it one more season, and that my work lets me drink unlimited cups of coffee. 


Cheesy Enchilada Casserole

1 lb lean ground beef (96/4)
1 large onion, chopped
2 1/2 cups of salsa
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup fat free Italian dressing
2 tbl reduced sodium taco seasoning
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 small can or corn, drained
1/2 cup of fat free sour cream
2 cups shredded reduced fat Mexican cheese blend
6 flour tortillas
1 cup shredded lettuce
1 medium tomato, chopped

In a large skillet, brown the meat and the onions.  Once it's cooked, add the salsa, beans, dressing, sour cream, taco seasoning, and cumin. 

Put a layer of the meat mixture on the bottom of a large glass baking dish.  Top with some cheese and two tortillas.  Repeat, ending with a generous sprinkling of cheese on top. 

Bake for 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. 

Divide into six equal slices.

Serving size 1 slice
Points plus 10

*I completely spaced and forgot to add the lettuce and tomatoes.  I bet that would have been a great crunch though.  Oh well. 

**I hope you don't completely space and forget to enter the giveaway for the Weight Watcher magazine subscription!! Go visit this post quick fast and in a hurry...



9/14/11

A GIVEAWAY! A GIVEAWAY!!!!

Hi.

How about a giveaway? 

I figure that the Pioneer Woman is always doing them, so I might as well too.  Because we are on the same level...me and the Pioneer Woman. My cooking show and romance novel should be coming out any day now.  Wait for it.  Waaaaaait for it....

So what to give away?  I've thought about a few things.  Thought I might do some wine glasses after the exciting discovery of good boxed wine (more on that soon).  Then I thought I'd get you something nice from the Missoni Line for Target...but we all know how that turned out yesterday

So what?  

Well this is what. 

How have you felt about the recent recipes?  Lots of them have been from the Weight Watchers magazine.  Love that magazine with all that I am.  And you would, too.  If you had it. 

You should get it! 

OR

You should enter this giveaway, win it, and I'll send you a one year subscription!  What, what?  That's right.  Here's how it breaks down...

Leave a comment on this post saying what word you always misspell.  Or if you're someone who doesn't misspell anything, you can leave a comment saying what your favorite thing is that I misspell.  Or you could just say "hello." Whatever is fine with me. 

You can also become a follower and tell five friends about the 'ole Elevator.  That wont get you any extra points, but it would just be cool.  Wouldn't you love it if I got a sponsorship and could stay at home all day with my crock pot and my lap top?

The giveaway will run for one week and will end on Wednesday, September the 21st at 8 am.  This will be the morning after my first hair coloring experience since going red freshman year of collage (college), just FYI. I will announce the winner and then you can email me your mailing address and I'll get you all set up, cool?

So why should you want this magazine?  Because it's not just about weight watchers.  Yes, it's a lot about "points" and success stories related to people that count points, but it also has quick and healthy meals, exercise information, and health tips.  They also talk about dressing your body and gaining self confidence.  It's a good thing.  

However, if you don't like the WW Magazine, the alternate prize is the Real Simple Magazine.  I also love that one with all that I am.  If you don't want either one of those then head on over to the Pioneer Women...she's giving away an iPad.    

An Almost Fail (Smoky Beef Goulash)

I am pretty amazed that this meal turned out to be edible. 

Really.  It was one of those.  Couldn't find half the ingredients, burned some stuff, wasn't quite sure if my red, creepy dutch oven could go in the oven. 

You know the kind of meal. 

Luckily though, God heard my prayers and not only was it edible...but it was pretty good to boot!  It's another one from the WW Magazine, lovely and fallish and makes me want to put a sweater on.  I would, of course, have to take said sweater off as it seems to have crept back up to hot around here. 

Smoky Beef Goulash
from WW Magazine

1.5 lb trimmed boneless top round steak
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp canola oil (divided)
2 sliced leeks, light green and white parts only  (i used onions, couldn't find a leek)
2 red bell peppers, chopped
3 tbl flour
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbl smoky paprika (I just used plain paprika)
2 tsp crushed caraway seeds (I didn't have crushed, used whole ones)
1 14 1/2 oz can low sodium beef broth
1 14 1/2 oz can fired roasted diced tomatoe
6 tbl fat free sour cream (for topping)

Cut the steak into 1 inch chunks and sprinkle with salt.  Heat 2 tsp of canola oil in a large dutch oven.  Cook the steak in batches until browned on all sides, about three minutes per batch.  Transfer beef to a bowl. 

Heat another 2 tsp of oil, add the leeks and bell pepers.  Cook until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add the flour, garlic, paprika, caraway seeds and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add the beef broth, scrapping up the browned bits from the bottom and the sides.  Stir in the beef with juices and the diced tomatoes. 

Place the top on the pot, cook for about 1 hour, 15 minutes or until beef is fork tender. 

Serve with 1 tbl of sour cream

Serving size 1 cup + 1 tbl sour cream (serves 6)
Points plus7

9/13/11

Fall Vegetable Panini

I am not wasting any time getting started on the fall recipes.  Why should you wait?  You shouldn't.  Let's just leave it at that. 

This sandwich was found in this month's WW magazine.  Which is a good issue, just so  you know.  It's full of veggies and the fresh basil gives it a fresh taste.  Give it a try!

 

There's an element of adventure in this dish.  If you don't have a panini press (or you, um, are to lazy to get your press out) then you get to figure out a way to get everything smooshed down. 

 
I opted for a salt and pepper shaker and a pasta bowl.  It worked well.  I mean it was touch and go for a bit...but it overall went well. 
 
Fall Vegetable Panini
from WW Magazine
 
1 small eggplant, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 squash, thinly sliced
4 3 oz ciabatta rolls (remove most of the soft part) 
1 tbl olive oil
1 tbl white balsamic vinegar
1 minced garlic clove
1/4 tsp salt
2 thinly sliced tomatoes
1/2 cup of fresh basil
1/2 cup shredded low fat swiss cheese (but I used part skim mozzarella...it was good)
 
Spray a large skillet with cooking spray.  Add one thinly sliced eggplant to the skillet, grill on both sides until soft and brown.  Repeat for the squash and the zucchini.  Set aside.
 
Mix the olive oil, the vinegar, the garlic clove, and the salt.  Spread this mixture on each side of the bread.  Layer eggplant, zucchini, and squash on one side of the bread.  Top with tomato slices, cheese, and basil.  Cover with the other piece of bread.
 
Place sandwiches in the pan.  Place something on top of the sandwiches to press them down; grill until bread is well marked and cheese is melted. 
 
Serving size 1 sandwich (makes four)
Points plus 7
 
 

9/12/11

The Mondays, a Birthday, and Shrimp Enchilada Casserole

Oh Monday. 

Oh Monday. 

That's all I got. 

Well.  That and a recipe for Shrimp Enchilada Casserole.

OK, well.  That, a recipe for Shrimp Enchilada Casserole and a big 'ole birthday shout for one of my best friends, Emily. 

Happy Birthday to you!  Love you more than Shrimp Enchilada Casserole!  Which is a lot...because this stuff is GOOD.

 
Shrimp Enchilada Casserole
adapted from Laaloosh
 
1 lb of medium shrimp, cooked and devained and tails removed
12 corn tortillas
2 4 oz cans chopped green chilies (do not drain)
1 cup of red onion, diced
2 cups canned green enchilada sauce
1 cup of fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cup of zucchini, diced
1 15 oz can of back beans
1 cup shredded reduced fat cheese (Mexican style)
 
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
 
Spray a baking dish with cooking spray, spread 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce in the bottom of it, place 6 corn tortillas on top of the sauce. Spread the can of black beans on top of the tortillas.
 
Combine the shrimp, chilies, 1/2 cup of sauce, zucchinis, tomatoes, and onions in a large bowl.  Microwave about 2 1/2 minutes. Place the shrimp mixture on top of the beans.  Top with 6 corn tortillas and the rest of the enchilada sauce.  Cover and cook for about 20 minutes. 
 
Uncover and top the casserole with the cheese.  Bake for another five minutes.  Let stand, divide into six equal pieces.
 
Serving size 1 piece
Points plus 7

Goin' Steady

Four years ago today, this curly headed hottie asked me to go steady. 


I'm glad I said yes.

awwwwwwwwwwwww.   

9/9/11

A Few on Friday

Hey ya'll!  Happy Friday!  It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood...and this commercial is still hi-larious.


That kill me every time. 

Speaking of things that kill, I want to make this so bad I could die.  Not really. That's a little extreme, to say I want to make something so bad I could die.  I just like for things to flow. 

 find it on Pinterest

What up, creamy tortellini soup? Looks like goodness in a bowl to me.  Mary Neff and I were discussing what soups would be made to kick off soup season...this one is mine for sure.  What's yours?  These things are important to think about, you know. 

It's also important to have a good yoga mat.  Why, you ask?  Well. I'm a week into doing Pilates Anytime and I have quite the sore rear.  TMI? Sorry. 

But seriously, all those curls and roll ups have left me quite sore and thinking about a better mat. 

Maybe a thick one like this one from Amazon.  Yoga mat fairy...you there?  It worked with the skinny cords that time, maybe it will work with the yoga mat.

But speaking of Anytime Pilates...that's some good stuff. Lindsay told me about it...I've done 4 classes and am quite pleased.  There's all different types of classes, lengths of classes, and levels of classes.  The instructors are pretty good, they give good cues and I've found that I don't even have to really look at my computer when I'm doing the exercises.  I did a 12 minute ab workout this morning, it was quick yet felt effective.  A few I'm looking forward to trying: the Booty Barre classes and the Rhythm Pilates classes

There I go, talking about backsides again.  I'm being tacky today.  

Of course, these classes aren't near as good as being in an actual studio class.  I say studio class  like I'm an old Pilates pro, but you get my drift.  The Alluvian Spa has wonderful classes and even better instructors...I still plan to do drop in classes when I can.  But in a pinch...this Pilates Anytime jazz seems cool.

Let me know if you try it, have tried it, plan to try it...would love to know the instructors / classes you have enjoyed!  And thanks Lindsay for the suggestion!

Anyone else feel like sewing.  Ok, yeah, I figured it was just me.  I think it's something about the cooler weather.  I'm working on some baby blankets this fall and probably wont have time for much else.  However...I spied this tutorial this morning and would love to try a baby quilt.  For one of the 65 of my friends that are currently with child. 


I think I shall try it.  Go here for the link to the tutorial. And feel free to cut me out some fabric squares in the shape of a CD case and send them my way.  Just if you feel froggy. Awesome. 

   


   

9/8/11

Terriyaki and Apricot Glazed Pork Chops and Why Crock Pots Rock

Have you noticed that it's the year of the crock pot?  You know that I have.  I'm very aware to everything crock pot.  I love me a crock pot.  But that's not surprise to you regular readers of the Elevator. 

What's not to love about this wondrous kitchen helper?  I don't know about you, but I work hard for my money.  Having supper ready when I get home is just about as cool as it gets.  Seriously.  Judge if me you think that it's uncool to think that supper ready in a crock pot is as cool as it gets.  

Sorry, I'm not sorry.
    

This one comes from the site that's been crockin' since before it was cool to crock...Crock P 365.  Enjoy!

Terriyaki and Apricot Glazed Pork Chops
from Crock Pot 365

4 lean, boneless pork chops
2/3 cup of sugar free apricot preserves
1/8 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup soy sauce (Instead of brown sugar and soy, you can do 1/4 cup of terriyaki sauce.  But I didn't have that so I did it this way!)
1 tsp dried ginger
2 tbl Dijon mustard

Place the pork chops in a crock pot.  Combine the rest of the ingredients, place them over the pork chops.  Cook on low for about 6 hours or high for about three hours.

Serving size 1 pork chop
Points plus 6

**If you use four regular old pork chops, then it's 8 points plus.  Holler.

9/7/11

Pizza Stuffed Potatoes

Hey ya'll!  Good Wednesday to you all.  We in the delta are experiencing some nice, cool, sun-looks-like-fall mornings and I couldn't be happier. 

I'm also happy to share another game day recipe for you. Unfortunately in the hustle and bustle and eating of french onion dip, I didn't do this one as well as I would have liked.  However, I feel it's a keeper.  Brandon ate 3/4 of the plate so I figured they weren't horrible.  And they look nice.

Pizza Stuffed Potatoes
adapted from Adulting

4 medium potatoes
1 cup part skim mozzarella cheese
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup red onions, chopped
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
17 turkey pepperonis
1/2 cup of pizza sauce

Poke holes in the potatoes with a fork.  Bake them in a 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes.  Remove them from the oven and let them cool. 

After they've cooled, cut them in half and scrape the flesh out of the potatoes.  Move the flesh to a bowl and add to it the bell peppers, the onions, and a 1/2 cup of the cheese.  Combine. 

Scoop this mixture back into the potato skins and top them with the rest of the cheese and the pizza sauce.

Bake for another 15 minutes.  Makes 8 potato skins.

Serving size 1 potato skin
Points plus 4

9/6/11

Game Day Joy and Lightened Up Seven Layer Dip

So did you feel it this Saturday? The almost instant lift in every ones mood?  Brandon walked around saying "I'm just so glad it's here, just so glad it's here."

I can only hope that the joy he feels on the opening day of collage football with be matched by the joy he feels on our wedding day.  We'll see, he loves his collage football. 

I also love collage football. Yes, for the games and camaraderie and school spirit and such.  But my favorite thing about collage football?  The coming together and eating of dips.  Heck yeah.  

Dips can be a weight watchers night mare.  They aren't portion controlled, the chips can be a disaster...it's tough out there, guys. 

Enter the WW website to save the day!  And not just save the day, but save it with seven layer dip.  Holler! 

This one was enjoyed by both weight watchers and non weight watchers alike.  Me being the lone weight watcher, and everyone else being non weight watchers. 

Side note:  The only way that making the WW dips actually works is if you only eat the WW dips, and not the french onion dip. Thank you.   


Weight Watchers Seven Layer Mexican Dip

1 cup fat free sour cream
2 tbl reduced sodium taco seasoning
1 heaping cup of fat free bean dip
3/4 cup of guacamole
1/4 cup of low fat shredded cheddar cheese
4 green onions, chopped
1 small tomato (Forgot this, but you shouldn't)
6 black olives, sliced

Combine the sour cream and the taco seasoning.  Set aside.

Layer the dip as follows: bean dip, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, green onions, tomatoes, black olives. 

Serving size 1/4 cup (makes about 12)
Points plus 2

Serve with veggies or baked chips.  I thought the celery gave a nice crunch, but you do whatever...

A Poem for the Birthday Ghi

My best ghi has a voicemail that's not yet set up,
So I'm taking it the the blog to give her a "S'UP!?"

It's a special day for L-Dog, you see.
She's turning the big, exciting, perhaps scary thir-tee!

No, not scary for this L-Dog.
She's such a bad-a that she would scare a hog.

Scare a hog? Maybe not.  That might be too much.
But she's a really good speller, reader, writer and such.

But that's not all, she's one I adore.
Time spent with her is never a bore.

She loves pure barre and sushi and 'tinis, that's right;
And sometimes experiments with lipstick that is bright.

That's not true, was just trying to rhyme. 
I guess I'm just saying that at 30 she will shine.

I love you, L-Dog, more than you know. 
I'm grateful for your friendship, that is fo sho.

I hope your day is better than all of the rest.
And you get to do things that you love the best!

Happy Birthday, ghi!  Set your voicemail up!