3/30/12

A Few on Friday

Hey there, friend!  Happy Friday!  Hope you're doing well today.  


I'm doing well.  Pretty psyched about the weekend.    


I'm on the hunt.  For a wedding picture album.  Did you know that it's slim (and tacky) pickins out there?  It is. But I have hope.  


This is pretty:


find it here 

But is that bow to big?  It'd probably get smooshed on the shelves.  Any suggestions?  Not regarding smooshed bows, but regarding photo albums.  Bright orange Shutterfly envelopes are not the appropriate spot to store my most favorite pictures ever in life.  

Speaking of life.....it is short.  It is for this reason that I've decided to spend more time with my "sweets" pinterest board

find it here

I mean why not?  I think this peanut butter trifle thing is going to happen soon.  Brandon and I got a trifle dish for a wedding gift and I can't think of a better reason to use it.  

I think this means I wont be able to lay off the running anytime soon.  

Speaking of running...thanks to everyone that helped me meet my goal of raising $300 for St. Jude!  

Fundraising progress

$300
107%
$320.00
April 29, 2012 

It means so much that you helped and to show my appreciation I will wave a flag with your names on it while running the half marathon.  Or maybe I'll just give you a big hug next time I see you...

If anyone else wants to donate, there's still plenty of time.  Visit this site to learn more! 

And check out this video for a little Friday yoga, invite the kids.  Thanks, Ginny, for letting me know that there are amazing things like this out there...


Happy Friday!! 







3/29/12

Just Another Sandwich

The week started with a sandwich, let's end it with a sandwich.  In fact, let's end it with almost the same sandwich that happened on Monday.  I love the concept of full circle.  I also love the concept of awesome.  This sandwich....it was awesome.  You'll love it. I did.  And Brandon did.  He proclaimed it the best sandwich ever.  

And what's not to love?  Cheesy, crispy, tasty, the bomb.  Perfect for a relaxing lunch. I want one every day.  I just might start transporting my panini press to Ruleville.  Because that wouldn't be a pain. 

All of this talk of sandwiches I just have to ask.  What's your favorite way to do this lunch time classic?  


Turkey, Bacon, Ranch and Cheese Panini


3 3/4 oz of wheat french bread (I sliced up a loaf and tore the soft part out before I weighed it)
1 oz of deli turkey
1/2 oz of pepper jack cheese
2 slices of cooked turkey bacon
1 1/2 tsp of ranch dressing


Layer all ingredients, grill until it reaches desired done-ness.  


Makes one serving
Points plus 12 

3/28/12

Hotter Than Hades

Running is all the rage right now.  


Some people saying it's a trend and will go the way of yoga and knitting, but I disagree.  


I like this new trend.  I like driving down the road in Greenwood and seeing people moving and shaking and getting all in shape.  


Exercise is a good thing.  Exercise has whip-ass benefits not only for physical health but for emotional health as well.  It makes me feel powerful.  And it's free.  And it's good for promoting mindfulness as you can only be successful if you take things one step at a time. Literally, one step at a time.  I love that!


Yes, I believe the delta is getting in shape.  One person, one step at a time.  We've got the Viking Half Marathon, 300 Oaks, Bikes Blues and Bayous, the Cotton Classic 10 K, and now the Hotter than Hades Tribbet Half Marathon.  


Wait what was that last one?  Yes.  A half marathon in Tribbet.  That same road that we Delta folks have driven about a thousand times.  Can I tell you how many Saturday's were spent out there?  Love it.  Very full circle.  


If you're interested in learning more....click here



Chicken Thighs

Geeze Louise what's with all the thigh talk around here this week?  Maybe it's because I've been running in shorts and I'm more aware of my big, pretty thighs.  

Today it's not about my thighs, today it's about a chicken's thighs.  I know.  It's kind of a gross concept.  Raw chicken. I'm trying to deal with it with some exposure therapy.  You know, handling it more so I'll get over my fear of chicken. 

Kind of like how you might make an agoraphobic go to Wal Mart on the 3rd of the month.  

So chicken thighs.  Brandon asked if I'd cook some.  Or rather, Brandon pleaded that I cook some while he was gnawing on some overdone chicken breasts one night.  

So I did.  I compromised.  Isn't that what I'm supposed to do?  I used his choice of protein with my choice of marinaid. 

And it was pretty awesome.  And rediculously easy.  Try it out and see! Do not fear the chicken thighs.  They are tender and delicious.  


Here there are marinating.  



And here they are all plated.  Not great lighting but just trust me.  You should make these, stat.  And serve them with some Glory Seasoned green beans.  And maybe a piece of wheat toast.  

 

Chicken Thighs
adapted from Witty in the City

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup of dijon mustard
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1 tbl of rice wine vinegar 

Preheat oven to 450. 

Place the chicken thighs in a baking dish.  Season them with salt and pepper.  Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the chicken thighs.  Flip them around and make sure that they're all covered in the marinade.  Let it hang out for a little while or however long you spend taking dinner to a friend that just had a baby.  Which was about an hour or so.  


Cook for about an hour, pausing halfway through to baste the chicken with the marinade.  


Serving size 2 pieces of chicken 
Points plus 7

3/27/12

Fire Crackers


Yes.  

Those are my thighs.  Down there.  In that picture.  

Or if you're talking to my co-worker Clemmie, those are my big, pretty thighs.  Thanks, Clem.  

Would you like big, pretty thighs?  You can be well on your way to getting them if you whip yourself up a batch of these fire crackers then eat them the whole way from Greenwood to Jackson.  

Wait, what?  

I'm not saying I did that, I'm just saying that you could do it if you wanted bigger thighs. No judgement here.  

 

While it's not very point friendly, this is a pretty cool snack to have on hand.  Like for a march madness party or Easter dinner or something worthy of a celebration.   

Fire Crackers
adapted from Food.Com

8 oz of mini saltines
8 oz of cheezits
2 tbl of red pepper flakes (beware, that shiz has a bite to it)
1 package of ranch dressing mix
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
1 cup of canola oil

Pour the crackers into a large zip lock bag.  Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and stir them well. Pour the mixture atop the crackers.  Seal it up tight and toss the bag around to mix.  Let it hang out for about an hour, tossing it around about every fifteen minutes to make sure it's good and mixed up.  

Once the crackers are dry, transfer them to a fresh zip lock bag or some other form of air tight container.  

Invite all of your friends over and enjoy the magic of the Fire Cracker. Or eat them all by yourself.  Again, no judgement here.  

3/26/12

All You Really Need Is a Sandwich

Sometimes, all you need is a sandwich.  Or rather, sometimes all I need is a sandwich.  I'll just speak for myself.  Don't want to be putting words in your mouth.  

So yeah.  A few weeks ago we had sandwich night at Chateau de McCaleb.  It was pretty sweet.  Not like awwww sweet but more like gnarly sweet.  

You missed me while I was on blog spring break, didn't you?  

 

So this sandwich could be any sandwich.  That's the glory of the sandwich, the creative possibilities are endless.  Here's how this one went down....

2 1/2 oz ciabatta bread, cut into two slices
2 slices of turkey bacon cooked crispy
1 oz grated pepper jack cheese
1 2/4 oz cooked chicken breast, chopped
1 tsp ranch dressing 
fresh spinach 

Preheat panini press if you're using one. 

On one piece of bread, layer the chicken, the bacon, the cheese, and the spinach.  On the other piece of bread, spread out the ranch dressing.  

Put the ranch piece atop all of the other stuff.  Cook on the panini press (or in a skillet with something smooshing it down) until it has reached the level of meltiness and crispiness that you want.  

Makes one serving
Points plus 12

3/23/12

A Few on Friday!

Hey hey hey!  I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!  From blogger spring break 2012 that is.  Did you miss me?  I missed you, that's for sure.  

And I also changed the header up there at the top.  What do you think?  I'm afraid that it makes this look like a grief recovery website.  And that's not really the look that I'm going for.  But for realz...let me know what you think.  

And I'll let you know what I think about this:



What's that you ask? Why it's only the finest BBQ in all of the land.  Now, I know those can be fighting words.  People get real buck about their BBQ.  But srsly.  This stuff was legit.  

I'm in Natchez right now at a social work convention and treated myself to this meal the first night I was here.  Worth every bite, it was, and I almost cried when it was all gone.  And let's all take just a second to chuckle about the fact that I ate this manly meal all by myself.  I even lingered to finish my cold beer because everyone else's food smelled so dang good. If you're ever in Natchez, put the Pig Out Inn on your list.  You will not be sorry.  


Natchez is such a quaint little town.  With quaint little sunsets.  




As quaint as it is, I'm sure ready to be back home.  And I won a petunia as a door prize so I'm ready to get that home and watered as it is looking a little peeked.  


Can't have a peeked petunia on my porch.  


Happy weekend!  

3/16/12

A Few on Friday

For starters, why don't you head on over to this website and make a small donation to St. Jude?   Awesome, thanks.  You're the bomb.  I'll buy you a coke next time I see you.  


So happy Friday!  It's a beautiful day outside, and I've got a cup of awesome ice in the freezer just waiting for an afternoon coke heavy.  Life is good, ya'll.  Life is real good.  


Heading down to Jackson-town tomorrow for the St. Patty's Parade.  Pretty jazzed about this!  And hoping to find a minute before I go to put together some sort of puffy-painting top to wear with my green polka dotted skirt.  When in Rome, ya know? While I'm there, I'm hoping to do a little spring shopping.  I'm not sure what I wore this time last year because there isn't really anything in my closet.  The Brandon would disagree.  But really, it's kind of bare. Lot's of v-neck pocket t's and a couple blazers. You can only do so much with that.


While I'm in the big city, I'm hoping to try on some of these:


find it here

I don't really think that tangerine is going to be my color but I sure would love a colored skinny for summer. I feel as though it would enhance my fly-ness by a couple of points.  So would  fresh wedge and a few breezy tops.  I don't think that's asking to much?  

I also don't think it would be asking to much for a Trader Joe's to come to Greenwood.  


I saw this on a WW blog I follow today and I really really really want some.  You can learn more about it here. Maybe I can copycat the recipe.  Can't be to hard, huh?  Any suggestions?  

OK, well that is all.  I'm out.  And I'm going on blog spring break next week.  Got some things going on and need my focus to be spot on.  So ya'll have a good weekend and week next week!  

Peace out!  


  



3/15/12

Fried Rice

Everyone knows that you can't have sweet and sour chicken without fried rice.  You just can't, it wouldn't be right.  

Comforting, flavorful, awesome.  This is a great base recipe!  Get all crazy if you want and add chicken, shrimp, pork, whatevs.  

 

Fried Rice
adapted from Life as a Lofthouse

3 tbl sesame oil
1 cup of frozen peas and carrots, thawed
1 small onion, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten 
3 cups of cooked white rice (best if made the day before) 
1/4 cup of soy sauce

Heat the oil in a large skillet.  ADd the peas and carrots, onions, green onions and cook until tender.  Scootch them over to the side and add the eggs.  Scramble them up until cooked.  Add the rice and the soy sauce, cook until everything is heated through.  

Serving size 1/2 cup (makes about 9)
Points plus 4 

3/14/12

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken

What is it about Chinese food that just makes me go weak in the knees?  It's like every bite is loaded up with rainbows and seratonin. Unfortunately, like all good things, there's a flip side.  

The flip side of this intoxicatingly delightful cuisine is the amount of calories packed into one serving.  Or at least the amount of calories packed into the servings of my favorite dishes.  Lo mein, orange chicken, sweet and sour chicken.  The shrimp and broccoli and the egg drop soup aren't to bad.  But who wants shrimp and broccoli?  Ok, well I do sometimes but that's not the point I'm trying to make here. 

The point I'm trying to make here is the beauty behind making your Chinese food at home.  It allows you to know exactly what you are eating and make changes to make it less of a caloric nightmare.  For example, with a few changes, I was able to make sweet and sour chicken into a caloric snaffou instead of a caloric nightmare.   

Save your points, you're going to want seconds....
    
 

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken
adapted from Life as a Lofthouse

For the Chicken:
3 boneless skinless chicken breast
1/2 cup of cornstarch
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup of canola oil

For the sauce:
3 tbl ketchup
1/2 cup of vinegar
3/4 cup of sugar
1 tsp of garlic salt
1 tbl soy sauce

Preheat the oven to 325.  

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cut into bite size pieces, place in a large bowl.  Add the egg and the cornstarch.  Stir, covering the chicken with the egg and the cornstarch.  Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Add the chicken and cook on both sides until starting to brown.  Do not cook all the way.  

Meanwhile, combine all of the ingredients for the sauce.  Place the chicken in a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.  Pour the sauce over it.  Bake for one hour, turning the chicken pieces every 15 minutes. 

Serving size 4 ounces (makes about 5 servings)
Points plus 10 



3/13/12

Old Fashion Pancakes

I think this pancake love is going to be around for a while.  I'm OK with it.  So is that rooster. 




I love that rooster.  And i love those flexible measuring cups.  And I really really loved these pancakes.



The recipe for them is called "Good Old Fashion Pancakes."  With a name like that and thousands of positive reviews on Allrecipes, how could one not love them? 

And here's what is awesome-town about pancakes. You probably have all of the ingredients already up in your cabinet.  this means that you can whip up "Good Old Fashion Pancakes" anytime your heart desires. 

I almost had all the ingredients up in my cabinet.  I ran out of all purpose flour.  So I used wheat flour.  I was good with this, Brandon was good with this.  Pancakes made with wheat flour absolutely have a different, wheat-y taste to them so you can go ahead and use all purpose if you want.  Matters not to me what kind of flour you use.  I'll still like you either way.  

 

Good Old Fashion Pancakes
adapted from Allrecipes

1 1/2 cup wheat flour 
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbl sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cup milk
3 tbl butter, melted

Combine the dry ingredients.  Maybe use a whisk to make sure everything is good and mixed up. Add the wet ingredients and combine well.  

Heat a skillet over medium heat, spray with cooking spray.  Add 1/4 cup of batter to the skillet, cook pancakes until done.  

Serving size 1 pancake made with 1/4 cup of batter (makes 8 pancakes)
Points plus 4

:: For blueberry pancakes, sprinkle blueberries on pancakes, uncooked side up, before you flip them.  Does that make sense?  You got this.  

:: Using all purpose flour does not affect the points for these pancakes.  

3/12/12

Feta Broccoli Slaw

You been to Zoe's Kitchen?  

It's good.  Real good.  Perfect for picking up a quick lunch when shopping at one of those big, fancy outdoor malls.  Think of it as a pit stop between Anthropology and Dillard's. 


A Greek-themed, healthy-ish pit stop.  Those are the best kind, I think.  I'd take them all the time if I could.    


But we don't have a Zoe's in Greenwood.  We don't even have a Zoe's in Mississippi. These things are not surprising.  


Thank goodness copycat recipes of restaurant dishes often spread like wildfire across the world wide web. This allowed me to take a mini Greek-themed, healthy-ish pit stop with my ham and cheese sandwich.  


Score.  

 

Feta Broccoli Slaw
adapted from Hope Heals

12 oz bag of broccoli slaw
4 oz crumbled feta
3 green onions, sliced
1/8 cup of red wine vinegar
1/4 cup of olive oil
salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients.  Refrigerate for a bit to let the flavors party.  

Serving size 1/2 cup (makes approximately 11 servings)
Points Plus 2

3/11/12

The Right Tunes

I got back and forth on the running with music.  Love it, don't love it.  It helps, it distracts.  Makes the time go by faster, makes the time drag.  


My recent routine has been short runs - silence; long runs - music.  This routine is one that I'm enjoying.  The silence on the short runs gives me time to reflect, get thoughts together, and be with the birds and shiz. The music on the long runs gives me something else to think about besides the fact that I've been running for a freaking hour.  


With this half marathon looming in the not so distant future, it's time to start thinking about the perfect playlist.  The perfect playlist is one that can pump me up while keeping me calm and help me focus while not being the only thing that I focus on.  Additionally, I've recently learned that the country music half marathon is 13.1 miles of pure fun.  There are supposedly lots of musicians set up along the route so I might want to switch my focus to them and not even fool with the playlist. But I still want to have it just in case.  


So here's what I got so far:


Spoon :: The Beast and Dragon, Adored 
Drake :: Make Me Proud
Jack White :: Love Interruption
M.I.A. :: Bingo
Phantogram :: Don't Move
Mumford and Sons :: Roll Away Your Stone
Paul Simon :: You Can Call Me Al
Pinback :: Penelope
The Police :: So Lonely
Salt n Pepa :: Whatta Man 
Savage feat Soulja Boy Tell'em :: Swing
Toad and the Wet Sprocket :: Walk on the Ocean
Waka Flaka :: No Hands
Ciara :: Ride
The Civil Wars :: Barton Holllow
Spoon :: Anything You Want
SBTRKT :: Wildfire
LCD Soundsystem :: I Can Change
Phish :: Cavern 


It's pretty schizophrenic and is by no means the final list. The order needs some for sure work and there's just lots more to think about.  


So give me your song suggestions!!!  What gets you moving? 

3/8/12

Burrito por Uno

You didn't know the Elevator was bilingual did you?  

Or maybe not.  Maybe I made a D in both Spanish I and Spanish II.  Maybe you have to actually go to class in order to be successful.  Maybe I thought that watching Passions when I should have been in class would help me to learn Spanish.  

Theresa spoke Spanish, after all.  

Lots of maybes up in this post.  But there's no maybe involved in this burrito.  It's awesome.  It's not maybe awesome, it's just legit awesome.  

I've made it several days in a row, switching up 0 point additions as I have felt led.  Even made one up in the morning time, wrapped it up in foil, and carried it to work.  Good stuff, this burrito por uno.  


Burrito por Uno
adapted from Naturally Ella 

1 low carb tortilla (2 pp or less)
2 tbl of guacamole
1 tbl of reduced fat sour cream
1/4 cup of black beans
1/4 cup of cooked brown rice
1 tbl of reduced fat Mexican style cheese
salsa, tomatoes, green onions,

Layer all ingredients in the tortilla.  Wrap it up.  Carefully, it's gonna be stuffed as a tick.  

Cook it until all ingredients are warmed and cheese is melted.  I've done this with a panini press, in a skillet, and in the microwave. The press and the skillet give it a nice crispiness to it, but the microwave works just fine, too. 

Makes one serving
Points plus 8 


3/7/12

Who Is Joseph Kony?


There’s a lot of evil out there.  There’s a lot of BS, a lot of sadness, a lot of pain, a lot of fear.  There're are a lot of people doing things for the wrong reasons, a lot of people operating out of habit, and a lot of people that don't quite know what to do. I’m pretty sure that all of this isn't going away any time soon. But there’s also hope.   

Hope. 

Hope is my favorite. 

Hope fires me up.  Hope reminds that whether you making huge policy changes, traveling around the world, or doing small pieces of work in your own community...we can all do something.  Just as long as you do something.  For someone, somewhere. 


This video changed my perspective.  Made me think. 


One of my prayers is that I always think.     


And that you do, too.  


You can find information about this popping up all over the world wide web.  There's criticism and praise for this organization...I'm sure the truth lies somewhere in the middle.  


Regardless, it's eye opening!


And P.S. Aren't movements rooted in social media amazing??

A Massive Taco Salad

Yes.  That's a salad in a mixing bowl.  


It got me a couple of strange looks at work last week.  But I don't care.  I don't even care.  

A salad this massive requires a very large bowl.  

Would you like a massive taco salad salad?  Here you go....

1 tbl of reduced fat sour cream (0 pp)
salsa (0 pp)
lettuce (0 pp)
1 tbl of reduced fat shredded Mexican blend cheese (1 pp)
1/3 cup of black beans (1 pp)
1 cup of taco filling (6 pp)
green onions (0 pp)

Since I carried this with me to work, I layered the sour cream and the salsa on the bottom and topped that with the cheese and the rest of the veggies.  I packed the black beans and the beef in a separate container and heated them up before adding them to the salad. 

3/6/12

Nine Mile Omelet

Who knew that two little slices of peanut butter toast could make such a difference? 


I didn't.  


I did a nine mile run on Saturday morning, my hips are still complaining about it.  But that's besides the point.  Back to the toast.  


The toast helped me to not pass out around mile 6.  I was grateful to not pass out around mile 6, especially since there were people out and about and it would have been very very embarrassing.  


Usually I don't eat before I run.  After the run a few weeks ago, however, I decided that a protein and a complex carbohydrate were in order.  Enter two slices of whole wheat toast and a cup 'o joe.  



But that's not what I came to tell you about.  I came here to tell you about my omelet.  


It was one of those whatever's in your fridge omelets.  Well, maybe not whatever.  I didn't put banana peppers or the bottle of Frog's Leap in there.  


It was dee-lish.  And really helped build me back up after running.  And helped me put a dent in that never ending tub of blue cheese. 


All of these are positives.  


Nine Mile Omelet

2 eggs
1 slice of deli ham, chopped
chopped tomato (about a palm full)
spinach (about a palm full)
1 tbl of blue cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

Place the eggs in a small bowl, break up the yolks with a fork and stir. Season with salt and pepper. 

Spray a small pan with cooking spray, pour in the eggs and allow them to set.  Flip it over when almost cooked through. Place the rest of the ingredients on one side, fold over and cook until everything is heated through.  

Makes 1 serving
Points plus 6


3/5/12

Taco Night!

I love taco night.  

Brandon loves taco night.  

Everyone loves taco night.  

This last one might kind of sound like a blanket statement but I really think it's true.  Show me someone who doesn't like taco night and I'll retract my statement. And then I'll change their mind by sharing with them this simple taco stuffing recipe.  

This simple, yet glowing, taco stuffing recipe.  

Added bonus: this recipe was found within a collection of freezer friendly recipes on Martha Stewart's website.  So go ahead....double it.  


Taco Filling
adapted from Martha Stewart

cooking spray
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 of a small jalapeno pepper, chopped
1/2 tbl of chili pepper
1/2 tbl of cumin 
1/2 tbl of coriander
1 lb of lean ground beef (95% or leaner)
14 oz canned crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
salt to taste

Spray a large pan with cooking spray.  Add the onions, cook for about 5 minutes or until soft. Add garlic, jalapeno, chili pepper, cumin and coriander.  Cook for about a minute.   

Add the beef and cook until browned.  Stir in tomatoes and cook until liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Season with salt.  

Serving size 1/2 cup (makes about six servings)
Points plus 3