10/31/11

Crock Pot Asian Pork with Mushrooms

Sometimes fresh ginger tastes a little like soap.  Not sure why...maybe it's because I don't chop it up small enough.  Actually, you are supposed to grate it.  But when I made this meal...I just didn't have it in me to grate.  It would've grated on my nerves.  Hee hee hee.  
Soap or no soap, this Asian inspired crock pot meal was delightful.  The flavor is big and something tells me that it's going to rock as a leftover.  And hopefully it will.  It's sitting in the fridge at work as we speak. 
 

Crock Pot Asian Pork with Mushrooms
adapted from Skinny Taste

2 lb lean pork sirloin roast
salt and pepper
cooking spray
1 cup low sodium fat free chicken broth
1/2 cup of low sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar
3 tbl sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp of Chinese five spice
1 1/2 tsp of garlic
1 tbl fresh ginger, grated or chopped up super small
8 oz sliced mushrooms

Spray a small pan with cooking spray.  Season the pork with salt and pepper, cook it on each side for about seven minutes. 

Combine the chicken broth, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, Chinese five spice, garlic and ginger in a crock pot.  Add the pork when it is done cooking. 

Cook on low for 8 hours.  Thirty minutes before it's done cooking, shred the pork with two forks and add the mushrooms. 

Serving size 1 cup (makes about six)
Points plus 6

I had this last night with egg noodles and will be having it today for lunch with some wheat bread.  I wanted it with rice noodles but alas....I couldn't find any!  Shocker. 

Hope everyone has a great week!  I'm battling a sore throat....send me wishes of good health. 


10/30/11

My Weekend in Pictures

I've been constantly overwhelmed throughout mine and Brandon's engagement at how blessed and lucky we are.  Our friends and families have worked so hard to make this such a special time and I am so grateful.  Seriously.  This stuff is fun.    

I traveled home to Greenville this weekend to do all kinds of weddin' stuff, including attend my Hometown Brunch.  That's what we called it all weekend...the Hometown Brunch.  Just because that sounds festive. 

Speaking of festive...here's Mary Kenway.  Being freaking adorable.  She likes to kick her legs and roll over and play with camera straps.    


And here's Alex.  Susu (my mom) got ahold of her and put her hair in velcro rollers.  Because every 2 year old needs volume.  And a pair of knee high boots.  Those belong to her mom, she had a grand time stomping around in them.  She's hydrating for the Hometown Brunch in this shot....


Here's me and Pegs at the Hometown Brunch, in front of the coffee bar.  A coffee bar.  I can't even handle it...


Greenwood friends!  So glad they made the trek over.


Me and Chickey.  Blow my hair back.  



And here's me and the future mister.  My evil stepmother (she knows I call her that) was taking my single shots for our wedding announcement.  I wanted a few good ones of me and B as well...this is us looking longingly into each others eyes. 

Sorry, I'm not sorry. 


So thankful for such a fun weekend!  

10/27/11

Shake Up Your Thursday Afternoon

Most of my work days are pretty similar.  Groups in the morning, charting in the afternoon.

The group part is fun, the charting part....eh not so much.  Just gets a little redundant. 

I'm thankful for my earbuds and the pandora app and for Gnarls Barkley tunes that shake up my day. 



Links on Thursday

Hi!  Just stopping in to give you two ideas.  Or two links is a more accurate statement.  First of all...here's my supper from Monday night.  It was tacos, sans the taco shell.  They were delicious, crunchy, cool, and messy.  Pack 'ya napkins...you're gonna need them.  Find the recipe here


This next delight I wanted to share is not one from my kitchen, but from my buddy Win's kitchen.  Who doesn't love a Halloween themed cupcake?  

 
They were awesome.  The perfect desert (dessert?) after Sunday night's boudin.  Find the recipe here

Happy Thursday to you! 

10/26/11

Burritos and Gandhi

Hey!  I'm just sitting here eating a burrito, waiting for a 1 o'clock client. 

And trying to make this my mantra....

find it here

Confession:  I had to look up what it means to "be congruent."

I'll be back lata' with taco lettuce wraps. 

10/25/11

Boudin

I love boudin.  Love it, love it, love it.  Maybe don't love the way it looks, but sure do love the way it tastes.  

And I love that in the state of Louisiana it is as plentiful as our beloved Chicken on a Stick in Mississippi.  A few months ago, while traveling back from a wedding in Louisiana, I got myself a few links for a snack.  

Looking back, that weekend was kind of a fat kid weekend.   


So this is some boudin that Win brought back to me and Brandon on a recent trip to Baton Rouge.  We enjoyed it for supper on Sunday night, along with a Michelob Ultra and a Saints game.  

The way I figured it, it was 10 pp for 1 link.  Add 6 wheat saltines (2 pp) and I had myself a really sassy supper.  

What is your favorite on the road snack?    

10/24/11

Lauren's Black Eyed Pea Soup

I love it when friends do weight watchers.  Not because I think my friends NEED to do weight watchers, no it's not that at all.  I love it purely for selfish reasons....when others do the WW then they can figure out yummy recipes and tricks and secrets and pass them on to me.  And then I can pass them on to you.  See....everyone wins!   

 

This recipe originated from my good friend, Lauren.  She's no stranger to a kitchen and I'm very glad she threw this one together and sent it my way. This was the perfect soup for a lazy, rainy Sunday afternoon and I am looking forward to working through the leftovers this week.  
Lauren's Blackeyed Pea Soup
from Lauren of Surviving the Hills

2 small onions, chopped
4 tsp of olive oil
10 oz turkey ham, cubed
2 cans rotel tomatoes
4 cups cooked blackeyed peas (*or canned, if you destroy your black eyed peas trying to cook them like I may or may not have done)
8 cups of fat free chicken stock
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbl of Tony's, more or less to taste

Heat oil in a large (HUGE) pot, cook onions until soft.  Add the ham and cook for a bit.  Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and let it cook for a little while.

Serving size 1 1/2 cups (makes about 12)
Points plus 3

Thanks, Lauren.  For your recipe sharing AND for your general awesomeness....     

10/21/11

A Few on Friday

Happy beautiful Friday!!  I'm so very glad it's here.  I mean I've had a good week and all but I do love me a Friday. 

Any plans for the weekend?  I'm venturing to Jackson to do some shopping, hang with the cutest nieces in all of the land, and hopefully eat a Kiefers.  That's my lunch vote.  And I think it's a good vote because not only is it delish but I feel like 2 year olds can be as rowdy as they like. 29 year olds can also be as rowdy as they like...and sometimes I get rowdy over a gyro, so that's a good thing.

Moving on.

Looking forward to going on a run/walk when I get off work.  I usually exercise in the morning but decided to give myself a morning off today.  I just got this book in the mail and I'm quite intimidated. 


I have worked through Jeff Galloways Introduction to Running book and was quite pleased with it.  It gives a very specific schedule (love a schedule) and tells you exactly how many seconds to walk and how many seconds to run and on what days to do what. This new book is more of a how many miles to run to get you ready for the half marathon.  You get to pick out your own walk / run ration.  And this terrifies me.  I have to figure out my magic mile and this somehow involves a school track and some drill of some sort. It's even been explained to me by an experienced runner and I still don't get it. 

I'm a little slow to figure out the big picture at times.  I think my problem with this is because it keeps talking about laps around a track and i don't have a track to make laps around.  Perhaps this video will help.  And perhaps I need to just start running and see what happens. 


OK so we've covered Greek food, running, what else?

So Brandon and I went to the Viking Store yesterday to register and approached it with the attitude of go big or go home.  So go big we did.  So much cool stuff.  Like a BBQ wok, an herb keeper, and a pitcher that looks like a tervis tumbler with water in the "walls" so when  you freeze it it turns into ice and keeps your bev chilly.  Still with me?  Good.  Raising the roof to the viking store.  Never been?  Head on to Greenwood one day and check it out!   

That's all from the Elevator this week.  Be well, dear friends! 

10/20/11

26

Don't you just love it when another person is able to put something into words that you just aren't able to?  I do.  Happy was I when my friend Katie shared this page on her facebook.  I'm sharing it here with you today.  This is an open letter from the Episcopal Bishop of MS, Duncan Gray.  It's copied and pasted directly from the Mississippians for Healthy Families website. 

You will not hear me talking about politics to much on this blog. Somethings, I believe, are too important to go undiscussed.   

However you vote...always make sure you are fully informed!  Before posting this I spent sometime looking around the Yes on 26 website and my opinion on the initiative remains the same.  "Such is the complexity of human moral decision-making in a fallen world."

Here's the letter:

My dear friends,

My deep reservations about abortion and the death penalty grow out of my abiding belief in the sanctity of human life and the arbitrary nature of these actions. I am not, however, a pacifist in regards to war. I do believe that some very serious moral decisions are not simply choices between good and evil, but rather in the case of two evils, choices between the lesser of two evils. Such is the complexity of human moral decision-making in a fallen world.

I appreciate the intentions of those who have supported Proposition 26, what has been called the Personhood Amendment. I share their passion for the sanctity of human life. However, I am gravely concerned about the unintended consequences of this legislation. The moral nightmares of doctors no longer able to give preference to saving the life of the mother in such cases as an ectopic pregnancy and the uncertain impact on in-vitro fertilization are real. Thus, the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Medical Association has announced that it cannot support this legislation.

The legal nightmares arising from this legislation are also very real. The word “person” is used over 9,400 times in the Mississippi Annotated Code and the implications for mass confusion and decades of legal challenges over every use of the term are staggering.

For their own reasons, Roman Catholic bishops in several states, including Mississippi, have said they could not support this particular legislation.

While I recognize the complexities of such moral decisions and the need for each of us to make our own informed and prayerful choices, you need to know that I share the aforementioned concerns about the unintended consequences of this legislation. Thus, I cannot support Proposition 26 on the November 8th ballot in Mississippi.
Please feel free to share this letter with whomever you wish.

Faithfully,
The Rt. Rev. Duncan M. Gray III

Trashy Thursday (Cheeseburger Mac Attack)

I think I've really out done myself on the trashy meals. 

I know, I know.  You're probably thinking "Really? You've found something trashier than tater tot casserole and biscuit pizza?"

Why yes.  Yes I have.  And it is called Hungry Girl's Cheeseburger Mac Attack. 

Hang on kids, this one's a doozey.


Cheeseburger Mac Attack
adapted from Hungry Girl

1 1/4 cup of dried small pasta (elbow mac, small penne, whatevs)
16 oz lean ground turkey
1 tsp garlic
1/2 onion, chopped
2 tbl of ketchup
24 oz frozen cauliflower with light cheese sauce (like Green Giant)
2 scallions, chopped
3 wedges of light creamy laughing cow wedges

Cook pasta according to the package directions, drain and set aside. 

Spray a soup pot with cooking spray.  Add the onion, garlic and turkey meat.  Cook until done, drain if needed.  Once fully cooked, add the ketchup. 

While the meat is cooking, cook the cauliflower.  Mine cooked in the microwave for about 11 minutes. 

Stir in the pasta, the cauliflower, the scallions, and the laughing cow cheese into the turkey meat mixture.  Heat until cheese is melted.  Season with salt and pepper if needed.

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

So trashiness aside...this was pretty good!  The cauliflower was a great way to get veggies, the laughing cow gave it a lovely, creamy goodness.  This one's a keeper!

10/19/11

Sausage and Cheese Plate

Anyone who knows me knows that I love a sausage and cheese plate.  Like a lot and with all of my heart. 

Surprisingly enough, I don't think I've ever taken the time to calculate the points on this.  Why?  I don't know.  Maybe because some things are just better left alone.  Maybe some things should just be eaten without worrying about serving sizes or points or any of that jazz.  

Or maybe it's because it sure would be annoying to figure out the portion sizes.  

My sausage and cheese plate happens like this...

Get a package of smoked turkey sausage, slice it up, and brown it in a skillet.  Transfer it to a large and sassy platter and sprinkle it with Rendezvous seasoning.  Or with Tony's.  I recently did Tony's because I couldn't find my Rendezvous. 

Then toss some pickles on the platter, along with some slices of cheese. This particular platter featured a reduced fat cheddar and a reduced fat pepper jack.

How do you sausage and cheese plate it? 

   

10/18/11

What To Do When You Forget Your Lunch?

Just go to Wendy's. 


Large chili : 7 points plus
Side salad: 0 points plus
Creamy Lite Ranch dressing:  1 point plus

You're welcome. 

Not Creepy Chicken (Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms)

This is one of the highest rated recipes on the WW website.  It is, really.  And I'd agree.  It was good!  Probably would've been a little bit better had I not overcooked the heck out of it.  

But seriously. Overcooking it is the only way that I can eat it, considering my creepy chicken issues.  

But luckily, this chicken was not creepy.  It was delightful.   


Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms
adapted from WW Online

2 tsp vegetable oil
3 tbl of balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp of garlic
2 tsp of Dijon mustard
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, 4 oz pieces
4 large mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup of canned chicken broth
1/4 tsp dried thyme, crumbled

Combine 2 tbl of vinegar, the garlic, and Dijon mustard and combine well.  Add the chicken and coat. 

Heat 1 tsp of oil in a large skillet, add the chicken and cook until done, about 3 minutes on each side. 

Remove the chicken once it's cooked and keep warm. 

Heat the remaining tsp of oil in the skillet.  Add the mushrooms and cook for about a minute.  Add the other tbl of balsamic vinegar, the chicken broth, and the thyme.  Cook for about 2 minutes.  Top the chicken with the mushrooms.

Serving size 1 piece of chicken with mushrooms
Points plus 3

10/17/11

Sensational Sausage

Let's talk about supper last Wednesday night.  Usually when I cook, I'm cooking for me and the Brandon.  However, this particular night, he was in Cleveland being a college kid.  

Left with only my palate to please, I set out to the store in search of ingredients for a sausage and cheese plate.  Apparently, there was a run on smoked turkey sausage because there was NONE.  

BUMMED. 

Luckily, the heavens departed and the light shown down on this package...

find it here 

I was intrigued.  I grabbed them, a box of splenda packets, and some bananas and made my way to the checkout. 

**Sidebar.  What's the strangest combination of products you've ever purchased at a wal mart? Think about it, it will probably make you laugh! 

I was delighted.  They were a little on the salty side, but overall a hit.  One sausage is 3 points plus.  I just sprayed a skillet with cooking spray and flipped the sausage around a few times until it was heated through. 

AND they are gluten free.

And my sausage and cheese plate?  Don't you worry...I got it.  Stay tuned....

Have a great week!! 

10/14/11

A Few on Friday

Well hey ya'll!  Happy Friday.  Hope you've had a good week.  Me, myself, I kinda ran out of steam yesterday afternoon BUT am trucking along today. 

Guess what I did yesterday.  Mastered mail merge.  This might not be a big deal to you, but it was kind of a big deal to me.  Proud moment, that mastering of the mail merge.  If you need this new skill of mine...you let me know.  But the glory is not all mine.  Oh no.  My friend Mary Annette and I figured it out by watching a YouTube video.  And making lots of mistakes.  Loooooots of mistakes. 

I also made a mistake of not wearing a light jacket to work today.  But I'm not fretting...I'm planning a fire pit for tonight so this chilliness will work out just fine.  And I'm hoping that this will work just fine as well...

find it here

Fingers crossed that my herbs dry out on the kitchen counter today.  Well.  They probably wont. But I can hope.  I'm also hoping that I can find some pine cones. 

Maybe this herbal fire starter isn't the best idea.  At least I get the paper.  Well.  I don't get the paper.  The people that lived in this house before me got the paper so I'm just living off of them. 

So I just got lost in YouTube for a minute.  It went new Fooloose trailer ------> old Footloose music video -------->

Stop, hammer time. 

What I wouldn't give for a place to go dancing in Greenwood.  Am I going to have to open a Club?  Probably.  

Why have I talked about the You Tube so much today?  And mail merging?  Oh, geeze.

Nerd Alert Nerd Alert.

A scary thing...I have ALL of the ingredients at home to make these:

  find it here

Maybe if my fire pit fails I can distract people with cake batter brownies.  Which is exactly what you need to eat the day before you go get your wedding dress fitted, right?  No? Hmmm. 

Oh well.  Life is short and funfetti is good...

Have a great weekend!



10/13/11

A Funny Monday (Meatloaf)

Monday was one of those funny nights.  One of those nights that lots of my beloved plans were thrown out the window.  

It all started with our premarital counseling session.  This was followed by an impromptu drive in the country with a big beer coupled with a honeymoon planning discussion.  The big beer pretty much catapulted my point counting out the window for that day.  

Once home, an impromptu football gathering occurred that involved french onion dip, Paula Deen's Chicken and Wild Rice casserole, and the meat loaf that I'd already planned on making. 

I was going to have the meatloaf with green beans, but french onion dip works, too.

But life is short, and dip is good so I embraced this funny Monday. 


Meatloaf
adapted from Food.com

1/2 of an onion, diced small
1/2 of a red bell pepper, diced small
1 zucchini, diced small
3 cloves of garlic, diced small
1 tsp salt
a few dashes of pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
cooking spray
1 lb lean ground beef (95/5)
1 egg
1 8 oz can of tomato sauce with basil and oregano (divided)

Preheat oven to 375.

Spray a large skillet with cooking spray, cook the onion, zucchini, pepper, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, and basil for about 10 minutes.  Cool to room temperature...stick it in the fridge to hurry that along if you'd like. 

Mix beef, egg, and half of tomato sauce in a large bowl.  Add the vegetables to the bowl. 

Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray, place the meat mixture in the pan.  Cook the meatloaf for an hour.  

Divide into six equal slices. 

Serving size 1 slice
Points plus 4 

10/12/11

BackYard Burgers

Warning:  this is very much a Weight Watchery post.  If that doesn't interest you, come on back tomorrow for a riveting discussion on meatloaf.  If that does interest you, then carry on...

I love me some Backyard Burger.  It's a tasty treat, one that I enjoy enjoying from time to time.  In fact, I was thinking about enjoying it this evening. 

I don't feel like going to the grocery store, but want to make sure that whatever I eat fits into the 12 points plus I have remaining for the rest of the day.  I did HORRIBLE on points this past week and it showed up on the scale this morning.  But no worries, today is a new day. 

But that doesn't mean I'm not hungry for something good.

OK so back to BYB.  I decided that it was an option for pick up and proceeded to print out their nutritional information. 

Have you ever looked at it?  Don't.  Don't do it if you love BYB.  In fact, stop reading this post because I'm about to make you very upset.


Yes, I nerded out with my highlighter.  So what? 

I had a taste for the blackened chicken sandwich, but it's 15 pp.  So, no. 

I moved on to just the plain grilled chicken...it's 9 pp but oh so boring. 

So then I just got curious about the new hot dog that everyone is raving about...but it was 13 pp so that was the end of that. 

Then I saw "102" listed under the carbohydrates and just had to know more...the culprit was the chicken tender meal and it came in at a whopping 34 points.  I get 29 in a day if that tells you anything.

Up next was the veggie burger...10 pp.  The Morningstar Farms one are only 4 pp, so talk to the hand BYB.

How about a salad?  A blackened chicken salad was only 9 pp but that doesn't leave much room for a festive dressing.

The most reasonable?  A serving of chili for 4 pp.  I'll probably be doing that one a lot come winter.  

But I've got to give it to BYB.  They scrait up say on their website that "ignorance is bliss" and they would rather you focus on how tasty their food is and not the nutritional information. Way to keep it real, guys. 

So while this is all very informative, I still have no idea what to have for dinner.  What do you suggest, oh vast world wide web? Leave a comment and help me not go hungry!

Black Bean and Feta Dip

Dips. 

I feel like it's a requirement for all Southern Girls to have at least 8 dips in her arsenal.  It's probably also necessary to have a cake plate...but I'm just not there yet. 

OK back to dips. 

My dips are usually:  corn dip, festive bean spread, Monterrey jack salsa, and _____.  That's all I got.  Well, that's all that comes to mind. So obviously, I'm a girl that needs more dips. 

And this is humorous, considering that I am a person that loves nothing more than a dip. 

Enter my sister, Jennifer.  More specifically, enter Jennifer and her friend Shannon.  You've heard about both of them before...Jennifer because she's family and awesome and Shannon because I once tried to credit my mom for one of her recipes

So here's the chance for me to right my wrongs. 

Shannon...thanks for expanding my dip repertoire!

stop being jealous of my counter tops

Black Bean and Feta Dip
from Shannon

1/2 cup of sugar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup of vegetable oil
3 15-oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
3 15-oz cans of shoe peg corn, drained and rinsed
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 8 oz block of feta, crumbled

Whisk the sugar, vinegar, and vegetable oil together.  Add the rest of the ingredients, combine well.  Chill. 

Serve with Frito's. 



10/11/11

Breakfast Quesadilla

I guess you've probably noticed by now that I love a Mexican themed breakfast...

I do.  I can't deny it.  For starters, it's usually easy to put together.  For seconds, its just so festive to start your morning off with a kick.  Wouldn't you agree?

This one was delish.  I had it Saturday morning while gearing up for the big King Biscuit. Knowing it was going to be a big day, I knew I needed a breakfast with some substance. 


Breakfast Quesadilla
inspired by Eat Live Run

1 low carb tortilla
1 egg, scrambled
handful of spinach
1 morning star farm sausage patty, cooked and crumbled
1 tbl of part skim mozzarella cheese

Spray a medium skillet with spray butter.  Layer the eggs, spinach, sausage, and cheese on one side of the tortilla.  Fold over. 

Cook on each side until warmed through and cheese is melted. 

Serving size entire recipe
Points plus 6

10/10/11

Cheeseburgers and Tater Tots

I have migraines.  They aren't cute or fun.  They also leave me feeling very strange.  And very hungry.  I could eat the house after a migraine.  In fact, I had one on Thursday and wanted more than anything to eat the house.  Or at least a cheese burger. 

But I refrained.  I ate my leftover white bean turkey chili (which just keeps getting better, by the way) and went on about my business. 

But a cheeseburger.  I just couldn't shake the thought.  So I made a plan.  A plan for burgers and tots.  Yes.  

I know a burger is just a burger, but mine usually fail pretty hard core.  I'm bad at cooking them, terrified of food borne illnesses...it's usually kind of a pickle of a situation.  

Luckily for me, Friday night's burgers worked out.  The "recipe" came from the food network, I thought the flavors were great.  And the tots?  I had 15 of them for 6 points plus...and it was awesome. 



Cheeseburgers
adapted from Food Network

1 lb lean ground beef
1 tbl Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder

Combine all ingredients.  Divide into four equal patties.  Cook however you desire...I did it in the skillet because I'm not much of a griller. 

Serving size 1 patty
Points plus 4

Dress this up however you fancy.  I did a whole wheat bun (2), a slice of reduced fat cheese (1), and assorted veggies (0) for a 7 point burger. 

YUM. 

Happy Monday friends!

10/9/11

King Biscuit 2011 in Pictures

Another King Biscuit has come and gone.  I enjoyed the heck out of myself, as did everyone else.  
 

Including this guy.  Here he is at "camp," happy as can be.


Win and Brandon, setting up tents.  Win is tall, her tent was not.  This turned out to be a slight pickle...


Here's the 2nd Annual "be polite" picture. 

My camping sidekicks. 


Here we are at the balcony of the Mexican restaurant in Helena.  This is where we found air conditioner, margaritas, football, and a birds eye view of the festival.  It was good stuff.


Sunrise over the Mighty Mississippi is also good stuff. 

You should come next year!  Really, you should. It's fun.  Relaxing while still being festive.  There are campfires and s'mores and cold beer and music.  I'm not sure how things get better than that.  


Happy Sunday!  Hope it's a good one...

Peace.   

10/7/11

A Few on Friday

Hey there!  Back again with the Few on Friday ramblings.  I skipped last week because I was out of my routine. 

I also got out of my routine this morning. I was wide awake waaaay to early.  Got dressed to go walking then decided that I wasn't really in the mood for that.  So I pinned minkey blankets and watched the Jackson news and researched recipes.  Now I kind of feel like I'm a different person living a different life.  Don't know what's coming next....

I would imagine that this is kind of what it feels like to sky dive.

So, pinning minky blankets is quite therapeutic.  You place one pin, then the next, then the next, and so on until it's done.  You can't do anything else while you're pinning and you can't rush it.  It quiets the mind.  And my mind needs quieting 99% of the time. 

Can't wait to make some blankets using the new Amy Butler fabric...





Love them, love them, love them.

And love that this weekend is the weekend of the King Biscuit.  Brandon and I went last year and apparently we will be going "every year for the rest of our lives." But I'm ok with it.  It's good stuff, that King Biscuit.  And I'm glad I went back and read that post from last year...forgot that we needed to gator proof the tent.  Shhhhh, don't tell Win.  She might back out.  And that would be bad. She's in charge of bringing the trash! 

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend...wherever  you're going!  

 
Mountain Goats ... Going to Georgia

10/6/11

Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff

I would like to knock egg noodles to the moon for being so high in points.  Seriously.  I get that annoyed by it. 

I love them.  Love them almost as much as I love trashy food.  Considering that last night's meal was cooking in the crock pot and consisted of "cubed stew meat", golden mushroom condensed soup, cream cheese, and egg noodles; I'm pretty sure that I had all of my bases covered.  

Now...show it in a bowl, on the floor, next to a creepy vent and this is really a full-out-trash-bag situation.  

You're welcome. 
 

Now I thought this was great.  The Brandon, on the other hand, ate about 1/3 of his and proclaimed he wasn't hungry. 

Liar, liar, pants on fire.

Oh well.  It was pretty high in points for a WW meal but I really did enjoy it.  It was one of those comforting meals that I wanted to curl up and watch family movies with.  Worth the high points and the slight tummy rumble I went to bed with. 

Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff
adapted from The Crock Star

1 lb cubed stew meat
1 can of condensed golden mushroom soup
1 large onion, diced
3 tbl Worcestershire
1/2 cup water
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese
1 tsp of garlic
salt to taste
a few dashes of paprika

Combine all ingredients except for the meat and the cream cheese.  Add the meat, stir well.  Cook on low for 8 hours.  About ten minutes before serving, add the cream cheese. 

Serving size 1/2 cup (makes 6)
Points plus 10

Serving with egg noodles, rice, whatevs.  Just be sure to adjust the points! 

10/5/11

Roosters, Quick Meals, and Wednesdays.

Hi there!  Happy Wednesday!  Hope it's been a good week in your neck of the woods so far.  Just stopping by to share with you not one, but TWO cheep, tasty, and quick meal ideas.  I'm pretty sure I've discussed these before but who doesn't love a good refresher?  


First up, it's California Pizza Kitchen's BBQ Chicken Pizza.  You can have 1/3 of this little dear for 7 points plus.  Not to shabby if you ask me!  I picked this up from the Wal Mart for around five dollars.  What up, great deal?!? 

So here's one of my old tried and true favorites.  Again, one I'm pretty sure I've discussed before.  Cajun food purist, look away.  You're not going to like this.  Hell, everyone might want to look away.  My pots are pitiful.  


Hang on now kids, this one is really complicated.  Take one box of Zatarains original jambalaya and 2 cups of chopped cooked chicken breast and prepare it according to the directions on the box (omitting the oil).  Makes five 1 cup servings, each serving is 6 points plus.  I used a rotisserie chicken, which made the whole meal cost around $6.50.  Raising the roof. 

I'd also like to draw your attention to my new measuring cups.  I was down to only the 1/3 of a cup measuring cup after I moved, somehow the rest of them got lost.  I'm assuming they vaporized or something because who in the world looses measuring cups.  Anyway.  I decided that I'd had enough of eating only 1/3 of a cup of everything and decided to purchase some new ones.  Not only were these maroon ones with the roosters the coolest, they were also the cheapest.  Everyone wins, including the roosters.  

Especially the roosters.

Don't forget about Art Alfresco tomorrow night!!  


10/4/11

White Bean Turkey Chili

I love a crisp morning.  Crisp mornings let me know that fall is legit here and that soup will be warming my bones later on in the day.  

Granted, the weather warmed up nicely around here yesterday.  However, this didn't stop me from changing into a fleece lounge suit upon arriving home.  I love my fleece lounge suit.  

I also love this massive new soup pot that I test drove last night.  Brandon's mom gave it to me and it's quite awesome.  Really holds some heat and appears to cook evenly.  Plus...it looks cool.  

Onto the soup...
 

And here's Mary Neff, with her happy (happpy) face for soup.  I was glad to have some girlfriends over last night; of course for their company but also because the soup makes 14 servings.  Yes.  14 servings. 3 lbs of ground turkey, lots of canalinni beans, it's kind of a beast. 

But a good beast. 


White Bean Turkey Chili
adapted from Gina's Skinny Taste

cooking spray
2 small onions, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped 
2 tsp chili powder
1 bay leaf
1/2 tbl cumin
1/2 tbl oregano
2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 tbl lean ground turkey
4 16 oz cans of cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups fat free chicken broth
1/2 cup of fat free sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large pot over medium heat.  Spray with cooking spray.  Add the onions and garlic, cook until soft.  

Add the turkey and cook until done.  Add the chili powder, bay leaf, cumin, oregano, red pepper flakes.  Cook for about 10 minutes.  

Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes.  Add the sour cream, cook for another five minutes. 

Serving size 1 cup (makes 14 servings)
Points plus 6

A few notes on this.  I noticed last night that this didn't exactly have the flavor I was looking for.  Turns out, I misread "tbl" for "tsp" on the oregano and cumin...so mystery solved!  Also, if you use extra lean ground turkey (99% lean) you can drop the points per serving down to 5.  I couldn't find extra lean, so i just went for lean. 

10/3/11

Spoon...Anything You Want

I'm completely and totally obsessed with the Amanda Knox verdict right now. 

I had to pull myself away before I had a fit.  I'm usually not really affected by things like this but for some reason this one really has me worked up.  

So instead of continuously hitting the refresh button, I've decided to use two positive coping skills (music and blogging) as a distraction.  

Enjoy.  

 

I Think Four Is Enough (Philly Steak Sloppy Joes)

Those were the words uttered by the Brandon as he fixed is FOURTH sandwich of the evening.  What can I say...he's a growing boy. 

I just had one.  And some Easy Mac.  What up, easy mac.  They were three for 3$ at the Walgreen's and I just couldn't let a deal like that slip me by.  It was five points for a container of it; well worth it as far as I'm concerned. 

So what is this magical sandwich that made the future Mister want to eat not one, but four of them?  Why it's the Philly Steak Sloppy Joe.  With a cheese sauce.  Yeah, ya heard.  It was pretty good. 



I'm going to give you this recipe in two different sections.  So look alive...

Philly Steak Sloppy Joes
adapted from A Taste of Home Cooking

1 tsp of olive oil
1 lb of lean ground beef (95%)
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 tbl of steak sauce
1 cup of beef broth
salt and pepper to taste

Brown the meat in the olive oil.  Once it's cooked, add the onion and bell pepper and let it cook for about three minutes.  Add the steak sauce and beef broth and let it all party together for about 3 minutes.  

Serving size 1/3 cup (makes 12 servings)
Points Plus 2

Serve on a wheat bun (mine were 2 points) topped with 1 tbl of the cheese sauce (recipe below.)

Cheese Sauce
adapted from A Taste of Home Cooking

1 tbl of butter
1 tbl of flour
1 cup of 2% milk
6 slices of reduced fat Sargento provolone cheese, chopped up

Melt the butter in a sauce pan.  Stir in the flour and cook for about a minute.  Whisk in the milk, bring to a bubble and let it thicken, for about two minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the cheese.  

Serving size 1 tbl (makes about 16 servings)
Points plus 1