9/28/12

A Few on Friday

Did you know that we are possibly in for a "porkpacolypse" and / or a "hamageddon" next year?  I know that both my husband and my hound will be upset by this, they do love the ham.  Gotta love the Today show.  This is where I get my information.  I think they get their information from the twitterverse.  

We're all screwed, I'm afraid.  Between the porkpocalyse and the news coming from the twitterverse, things are looking bleak.

Well.  Only if we allow ourselves to focus on the crazy will things look bleak.  Let's instead shift our focus to things that are awesome.  Here are a few.  

1. The Roy Martin Delta Band Festival/Christmas Parade
Mary Neff shared this with me this week and I've been jazzed ever since.  I've also been thinking about a specialty Christmas Parade cocktail.  I'm thinking a peppermint milk punch white Russian situation.  Eeeeeee!  

I know, I know.  I should let the temps get out of the 90s before I start rambling on about the Christmas parade but I just can't help it.  It makes me giddy-happy.  

2.  A fresh denim jacket 
find it here

There were a few items of clothing that I was devastated to get rid of after the Great Weight Loss.  One of them was my trusty jean jacket.  It was Arizona, I purchased it from the JC Penny's in Starkville my freshman year of college.  Who knew I would love that old thing as much as I did. A jean jacket is a must have, especially in the Delta.  It gets chilly but not fur parka cold; a denim jacket is a nice way to feel a little warm without the bulk.  

Leah was wearing this jacket the other day in Memphis, consider us soon-to-be-denim-jacket twins. 

Don't you just love how I talk about my friends like you know exactly who they are?  I knew you did.....that's why I do it. 

Moving on.  

3. Tori Amos :: Gold Dust
You may or may not know this, but I'm a sucker for a good female voice.  AniPattyThe Indigo Ghis.  Love em.  I think it's because I so enjoy singing and so so so enjoy singing alone in my car, all of these ladies are a treat to sing along with.  They also have a killer way with the words; that is always good stuff. 

My love of Tori Amos started several years ago, got to give a shout out to Lauren for that.  She's dark, a little nuts, always a good time.  Admittedly, I haven't gotten very into her new stuff.  Mainly because I hate change I guess but also because it just hasn't hit my ears quite like the old stuff does. Turns out, sister girl is coming out with a new album next week entitled Gold Dust.  It's all old stuff slightly redone to be new stuff!  At least that's what I think it is.  You can apparently stream it over at Paste Magazine.  I say apparently because it's not quite working for me.  Hurmph.  Annoying.

Anywho.  Looking forward to this one!

4.  Exercise Music
Check me out dying a little running like the wind. Perhaps the end of this run would have been a little less painful had I would have had some tunes!  Well, check out this site to learn about Pandora and how they have created exercise stations!!  Heck yeah!  There's 80's Cardio, Alternative Endurance Training, Country Fitness.  Get it, Pandora!  And get fit, ya'll!  Especially Mississippi.  We've got that obesity epidemic thing happening. 

Whoops! 

5. Awesome glasses 
We had cookbook club on Wednesday and enjoyed delicious Pim's Cups out of these festive glasses.  The glasses were provided by Lauren, I just couldn't get over them.  I'd sure like to find me a set.  Someone!  Get on it!

Cookbook club was good stuff this month.  Good food, good company.  I was having my quiet disease (that's what Ginny calls my introverstic ((I don't think that's a word) flair ups) but I sure did enjoy the heck out of listening and watching and being.  I've got some good buddies in my town.  Good buddies. 

6.  The Nature Trail
Greenwood has gone and created a really sweet nature trail down by the river.  I am in love.  BB is in love.  He is able to hone his hunting skills, I am able to keep my heart rate slightly more elevated than it is on our usual strolls.  Wednesday, he caught scent of something and just about took my arm off.  I'm hoping it was only a possum and not a rattle snake or a killer.  Whatever it was he was leaping and hopping and grunting and perking his ears up like a spry little beast. 

This was his response when we turned back around and headed towards civilization...
Let us all remember that this guy weighs 113 pounds.  You really have to put your back into to get him to do something that he's not to keen on.  Luckily, after some encouraging words and scratch behind the ears we were off again.  

7.  Company
I got company coming this weekend.  The ghis.  Not all of them, but a good chunk of them.  My heart is happy about this.  And about the fact that we are eating at the Bistro.  And that I am making Gorilla Bread for breakfast on Saturday.  

So bring in on porkpocolypse and twitterverse!  I am not afraid of you!  I got good stuff happening....

Happy weekend to you dear reader-friends.  Take care and don't forget that you are awesome. 

Hugz. 

        

9/27/12

Butternut Squash Soup

So if you're cooking along with me, you might have some squash leftover from Tuesday's Hearty Chicken Stew.  Or maybe you don't.  If that's the case, then just run on out to your local grocer and pick yourself up a squash.  Go on, now.  Do it.  Might want to also pick yourself up a hand blender while your out.  We're making a lot of soups this fall / winter.

Although, I'm not sure what they'll be as I appear to be pulling out all of my soupy big guns before it even gets cold for real.  

Huh.  I hope we don't run out of soup recipes. Wouldn't that be tragic?  What would I take to work for lunch?  

Shudder.   
Butternut Squash Soup
from Cooking Light

1 tbl butter
3 1/2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
3/4 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups fat free chicken broth
1/4 cup half and half
1/8 tsp salt

Melt butter in a large sauce pan over medium high heat.  Add squash, carrot and onion and saute for about 12 minutes.  Add chicken broth and bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.  

Remove from heat and stir in the half and half and the salt.  Using your hand blender, blend the soup until it's creamy and awesome.  If you don't have a hand blender then you can use your regular blender.  Just remove the center portion of the top to allow the steam to escape and cover up the hole with a towel to prevent spatters.  Don't want a repeat of that time I attempted to make tomato soup.... 

Serving size 1 cup (makes 4)
Points plus 4

**Don't try to be all lean and use fat free half and half.  Buy the real stuff.  Do it. 

9/26/12

Mushroom Risotto

Geeeeeze.  Risotto is a commitment.  Next time someone makes it for you, perhaps you should give them a big hug around the neck.  And perhaps you should come in mid way and offer to help stir.  

This risotto came about after I picked up some fish at the whole foods in Memphis.  For Brandon, it was a tuna steak and for me it was a piece of salmon.  

My salmon turned out disastrously and I don't even want to talk about it.  

Brandon's tuna turned out amazing and I'm happy to say that I am now a fan!  Can't wait to try it again.  We used this recipe as a starting point. 

Since my fish was such a flop, I just ate Brandon's tuna and loooooots of Risotto.  

After it was all said and done, I could have cared less about the salmon.  However, if the Risotto had been a flop, I might have gone and stood in traffic.  

Thank goodness there was wine to go with the stirring.  And Instagram.  And support from the Akita and the husband.  All of these things combined made errything OK. 

Mushroom Risotto...you have my heart forever.      
Mushroom Risotto
adapted from All Recipes

1 tbl olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 tsp minced fresh parsley
salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup of whole milk
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1 cup of arborio rice
5 cups of vegetable stock
1 tsp butter
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a sauce pan over medium high heat.  Saute the onion and the garlic until the onion is tender.  Remove the garlic and stir in the parsley, salt, pepper and mushrooms.  Reduce heat to low and continue to cook until the mushrooms are soft.  

Pour the milk and cream in the pan and stir in the rice.  Heat to a simmer.  Stir the vegetable stock in, one cup at a time, until it is all absorbed and the risotto has thickened.  You have to stir constantly and for a while in between adding each up.  Towards the end, I started tasting in order to know when the rice was really done.  

Remove from heat and stir in the cheese and butter. 

I did not calculate the points on this one but according to WW Online, 1 cup of risotto is 11 points.    

9/25/12

Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash and Quinoa

Turns out, constant inconsistency can make rats a little schizophrenic.  

Ok. Well.  I just oversimplified like years and years of psychological research but that's pretty much the gist of it.  

The MS Delta's constantly inconsistent weather is one of the reasons that i believe everyone around here is (a little) nuts.  

It's hot.  It's cold.  Turn on the air, no turn on the heat.  Wear a jacket with a tank underneath it.  Layer, layer, layer.  

In an effort to cope with all of this inconsistent weather, I'm saying to heck with it and just making soup.  BUT I'm adding in quinoa, a summer staple, to account for the random heat waves.  

Done and done.  

Speaking of schizophrenia, the preparation of this meal could cause it.  Lots of bowls and setting aside and timers.  But don't let it get you down.  Accept the fact that your kitchen will be a mess when you finish and jut move on. 

But, whatever you do, don't leave out the kalamata olives.  They kind of make it.   
Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash and Quinoa
adapted from Cookin Canuck

1 1/2 lb butternut squash; peeled, seeded and chopped
3 1/2 cups of chicken broth
1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 tbl olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 can of diced tomatoes
2/3 cup of uncooked quinoa
3 oz of kalamata olives, chopped
pepper, to taste

Steam butternut squash for about 10 minutes.  Remove half of it and continue steaming the remaining squash for about 6 minutes or until it is very tender.  Remove and mash.  Set aside. 

In a large sauce pan over medium high heat, bring the chicken broth to a simmer.  Add the chicken thighs, cover and cook until chicken is cooked through (about 15 minutes).  Transfer the chicken to a plate to let cool and pour the broth into a bowl.  Set aside.  

Return the pan to the stove top and lower the heat to medium.  Add olive oil and onion and cook until onion starts to brown, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic and oregano; cook for about a minute.

Add the tomatoes, butternut squash, mashed butternut squash, stir to combine.  

Stir in reserved chicken broth and quinoa.  Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa is done, about 15 minutes.  

Shred the chicken and stir it into the soup.  Add in the olives and the black pepper.  Simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes. 

Serving size 1 cup (makes 6)
Points plus 8 

9/24/12

Quinoa Tabbouleh

"Wow! That dish was good but what it really needed was more parsley!"

Said no one ever. 

This simple fact was reinforced in my life recently when I made this dish, more specifically DOUBLED this dish, for a party that I couldn't even attend due to a bad headache.

I know, I know.  "A bad headache" is like the worst excuse ever to miss a party but cut me some slack.  I get the migraines and sometimes lose my words when I have them.  Instead of scaring everyone at the party into thinking I'm having a stroke, I choose to just stay home.

ANYWAY. 

Sooo the parsley thing.  This dish really was tasty.  Fresh, crisp, nutritionally dense.  The package. 

But 'cept. 

That parsley. 

Never have I ever had an issue with parsley. Until now.  It was just to much!  Ooorrrr it was not chopped fine enough.  Seriously, guys, it was probably that.  It probably would have been fine had I simply taken a few extra minutes to acutally chop it up to the size it should have been.  But instead, I had my rushey-pants on and took the quick way out. 

Shame on me. 

And shame on YOU if you don't try this!! 
Quinoa Tabbouleh
adapted from All Recipes

2 cups water
1 cup qunioa
1 pinch salt
1 tbl olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, diced
1 bunches of green onions, diced
2 carrots, grated
fresh parsley, chopped (the recipe calls for one cup but you already know how I feel about that)

Bring the water to a boil in a sauce pan.  Add the quinoa and a ping of salt, cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes. Bring to room temperature and fluff with a fork.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl, add in quinoa. 

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

9/22/12

A Few on Friday (Or, Saturday)

Well hey!  Sorry for the delay!  My day kinda got away from me yesterday.  Heck, the week kind of got away!  It seemed to skedaddled on by.  I worked and fire-pitted and drove to Memphis. 

Speaking of Memphis, I took my yearly trek up there this week for my yearly doctor visit (hey ladies, get your parts checked); this trip is always enjoyable as I usually get to meet my buddy Leah for either a coffee or a geriatric early dinner.  This time, we opted for dinner.  More specifically sushi and a glass of wine.  I always enjoy a good solid visit.  

But the fun didn't stop there.  I also picked up a tuna steak for Brandon and some sassy new jeans for myself.  

What I didn't pick up was a pair of wedge booties.  If you aren't doing anything this weekend then you should try to find me some.  

Wedge.  Bootie.  Tan or black.  Cheap-esq.  But not cheap looking.  Go. 

And I can't even give you a picture to go by.  I know what I want in my mind.  Aparently, it doesn't exist.  Which is weird because it's real simple.  

Moving on.  

Guess who finally fixed the lighting for the light box?  This girl, that's who. 
Check out this artful shot of a tiny mason jar.  

BAM.  

Hindsight being 20/20, I probably should have hunted down a larger box.  Prepare for lots of up close and personal shots of soups, etc.  Maybe if you're that close to the food, you'll actually feel how tasty it was.  

Turns out, those day light light bulbs were simply across the aisle from the regular light bulbs.  Close attention to detail has never been in my "strengths" column. 

I stirred risotto for 1.5 hours last night.  But more on that next week. 

We are within the two week mark of the King Biscuit Blues Fest.  For the sake of preparing, Brandon was wrapped things in bungee cords and I have purchased a large bottle of germ x.  I have also endlessly researched snack mix.  I'd say we are pretty much prepared. 

Any legit campers out there?  What are your must have items on a camping trip? 

Well, I'm off to make pancakes.  

You guys rock, I hope your weekend is awesome!     

 

   

9/20/12

Chicken PIccata

**OK before I start rambling on about chicken piccata...do me a solid and say a quick prayer and / or send some positive energy for a sweet friend's baby boy King.  He's having a few surgeries at 9 am CST in Nashville today and you know what they say about prayers...the more the merrier!  Thanks a bunch** 

It is my belief that every situation in life can teach you something. 

For example.  From living and cooking and our little rental house I have learned that a vent-a-hood (is that what it's called?) is not just a fancy extra thing to have but a necessary thing to have.  And while I'm not blaming the burning of the chicken on our lack of vent-a-hood, I am blaming the smoke filled kitchen on it.

I also believe that I need to find some light bulbs that put off some light that is more natural in my light box.  I've built myself a new one, hoping that it doesn't get crushed by a falling anything this time.  

Anyone have light bulb suggestions?  Anyone?  I don't even remember what I have in there now.  But I'm sure it was cheap.  I'm sure I was all like "Ooohhh.  It doesn't matter. A light bulb is a light bulb don't you know!"  

Turns out, light bulbs are all very different creatures.  

But that's enough about light bulbs.  

Let's get back to supper.  Chicken Piccata to be exact.  I L-O-V-E a piccata.  Reminds of supper at Sherman's with my dad.  Only difference was that Sherman's wouldn't burn their piccata. 

Probably because they had a vent-a-hood....     
Chicken Piccata
adapted from Life As A Lofthouse

2 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut in half length wise to form four thin cutlets
1/2 cup Italian style bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
2 tbl butter
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup chicken broth, fat free
1/4 cup capers, rinsed
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
8 oz whole wheat pasta
1 tbl butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Pour bread crumbs into a shallow bowl and egg into another shallow bowl.  Dredge each chicken breast through the egg then through the bread crumbs. 

Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat, melt one tablespoon of the butter.  Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.  Melt 1 more tablespoon of butter and cook the other two chicken breasts.  Set aside and keep warm. 

Pour the lemon juice, chicken broth and capers into the skillet.  Stir and scrape up any of the brown bits.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer for about five minutes.

Meanwhile, while all of this is happening, cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Drain.  Toss with Parmesan cheese and butter.  Top it all with some parsley. 

Serving size (makes 4) 1 chicken cutlet and 1/4 of pasta
Points plus 4

9/19/12

Spinach and Quinoa

I believe that quinoa is the food of the fall.  Why?  Because. I have five pounds of it.  Soooo I'm making it the food of the fall.  That and pumpkin anything.  Bread.  Coffee.  OK, I can't think of anything else pumpkin-esq.  

Bread and coffee should do it. 

Speaking of pumpkin-esq things....have I ever shared with you Peggy's Pumpkin Bread recipe?  It's the business.  It's got, get this, cream cheese frosting.  Eeeeee!  It makes me giddy just to think about it! I'll look back in the archives and see.  If I haven't shared it then that needs to happen.  Stat.

In the meantime, whip up some of this quinoa and spinach.  
Quinoa and Spinach
from WW Online

1 tb olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cups fat free chicken broth
black pepper, to taste
crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
3 cups fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
salt, to taste

Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is tender.

Add quinoa to the skillet.  Stir frequently and cook until golden brown, about two minutes.

Add broth, pepper and red pepper to the skillet and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 13 minutes.  Stir in the spinach.  Cover skillet and cook until spinach and quinoa are tender and liquid is absorbed, about 3-5 minutes.  Season with salt. 

Serving size 1/2 cup (makes 8)
Points plus 3  



9/18/12

2012 300 Oaks

300 Oaks is reason number 48 that I L-O-V-E living in the 'Wood.  Even though I've lived here for 5 300 Oaks, this is the first one that I've actually run in.  I've walked one, water stationed one, but this was my first actual run.   
I ran the 10k race and while I feel I was physically prepared for it, it absolutely kicked my butt.  But more on that later.  Let's talk instead about the fun stuff!  Chickey ran in it (first race, go Chickey!) and came to stay with me the night before.  Here we are carb loading at Giardinas.
And here are the glorious carbs.  Now I know, I know.  "Carb loading" isn't necessary nor is it really a good idea.  But it sure is tasty!  Look at those meatballs!  Giardinas really outdoes themselves on their pasta gravy and meatballs.  Meltinyourmouth.
We woke up bright and early on Saturday morning, I took Big Browne on a walk in which he attempted to tree a cat, we made our way to the starting line.  At the starting line, we met up with Emily (right) who was going to be my running buddy.   
As I stated earlier, the race kicked my butt!  Emily and I challenged ourselves to run to each mile marker then walk for one minute.  I usually run for 9 minutes, walk for 1 minute so this was an increase for me.  Emily was a great running buddy, supportive but not obnoxious.  We kept a great pace throughout the run, I was pretty darn proud.  In the end, I decided to listen to my body (or was it my mind?) and ran the length of two light poles.  I ended up finishing in 1 hour 5 minutes 44 seconds, a time of which I am extremely proud!

Speaking of extremely proud....Chickey came in 3rd in her age group!! Get it, Chickey, with  your first 5K!

Here's a shot of after the race.  Errybody was enjoying those Michelob Ultras. Best part of running a race, PS, the Michelob ultra you get when you finish.  

Good looking bunch!  I am the queen of the red face. 
Interesting fact:  Chickey and I purchased the exact same shoes without knowing. Whoa.....freaky sister stuff. 
Soooo all in all it was a muy successful 300 Oaks.  I'm taking a little run break until Friday, for both my mental and physical well being.  The next big race I'm planning to run is the MS River Half Marathon in February.  I'm thinking of and planning on upping my during the week run game so that I can be super prepared for it.  

I'm also thinking of purchasing tie dye shoes.  What do you think?   

9/17/12

Chex Party Mix

Dudes!

Thanks for all of those chex mix suggestions!  They rock and I would like to try them all.  

The weekend after I called on yous guys to help me, I whipped up a test batch to make the herz-band happy.  It was based of the Pioneer Woman's recipe and I must admit, it kind of rocked. 

Needed more butter, but still kind of rocked.  
You know what else kind of rocks?  the fact that the points situation is not horrible.  It's not, really.  

Well.  That's only if you can eat only 1/4 cup chex mix.  Tough.  Doable, but tough. 

Kind of like whistling.  

Doable, but tough.   
Chex Party Mix
adapted from Pioneer Woman

3 cups corn chex
3 cups wheat chex
3 cups rice chex
2 cups of mixed nuts
2 cups of cheese its
1 stick of butter, melted
3 tbl worchestersire
Tabasco sauce (to taste)
3-5 cloves of garlic, pressed
1 tsp Krazy Jane's seasoned salt
1/4 tsp onion powder

Preheat oven to 250.

Combine the cereal, nuts and cheese its in a HUGE bowl.  In a smaller bowl, combine the butter, worchesterhire, tobasco, garlic, salt and onion powder.  Pour over the cereal situation and combine well. 

Spread the mix out in any sort of receptacle with a tall enough rim on it so that you don't fling chex mix out when you are stirring.  I used a pyrex dish.  I was happy with this choice. 

Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, giving it a good stir every 15 minutes. 

Serving size 1/4 cup
Points plus 2

9/14/12

A Few on Friday!

Oh, hello!  Happy Friday to you!  Hope you're week has been some kind of awesome.  I know mine has!  Hopefully, it's only going to get better!  

Again, with the exclamation points. I usually work on these few on Friday posts throughout the week, it's now Friday morning and as I re-read what I've already written I'm a little startled by all of the yelling...

Anywho!!!!!!

Looking forward to 300 Oaks tomorrow.  Are you running?  Walking? Spectating?  Wondering what the heck it is?  Learn more about it here.  It's not to late to sign up!  Unless you are reading this Saturday morning, then it's to late to sign up.   

Did any of you fine folks get to go see Elton John live and in concert this week?  I, unfortunately, did not.  BUT after reading some comments on the twitter feed I did croon this song in the herz-hand's ear while he attempted to watch the season premier of Sons of Anarchy. 
 
Ahhhhhh Almost Famous.  I must watch you again, soon.  To bad I only have (had) you on VHS.  

Sticking with the music theme, I heard this little jam whilst running errands in Ruleville the other day. 
 
What do you think?  I think it's the catchiest darn thing I've heard in a while.  Get it, ZZ Ward. 

While we are watching videos, let's check out Smart Girls Ask Amy.  Amy Pohler absolutely rocks with this one.  Mothers....share this one with your daughters!  Aunts with your nieces!  Friends with your friends! 

Who doesn't love a little healthy body image inspiration?  

Dude.  You're enough.  Just how you are.   

And this guy is enough.  And the sweetest hound of all.  I snapped this picture of him this morning; that blurred leg action is him pawing at me to give him a belly rub.  
As most folks do, he prefers belly rubs to single shots.  I plan to spend 83% of my weekend with this guy; going on walks, singing him songs, rubbing his ears.  

I'm also going to make some Chicken Piccatta but that's a whole other post.

Peace out, friends!  Keep it klassy. 

9/13/12

Chicken Cheese Steaks

Guys.  I have an announcement.  And it goes a little something like this: 

I. LOVE. CHEESE STEAKS.  

This should surprise no one, really, as if a meal is cheesy and gooey and worthy of a "Heck Yeah!" I'm probably going to lurve it.  

I gotta say, though.  I haven't had a ton of cheese steaks in my day.  Guessing that it's because I don't live in Philly.  But I can say that it's been my experience that Lenny's makes a mighty fine one.  My hurz-band and I have been known to have a hot date or two at this sandwich shop,  when we feel sassy we will meet at the one in Cleveland on lunch breaks / class breaks.  

I usually just get the turkey sandwich.  Ya know.  Because I like pretending like I'm healthy.  But really, all I want is their chicken philly cheese steak.  And a cookie.  And mayyyyybe a Dr. Pepper!  

Eeeeek!

(This is why I have to count points)  
Homemade Chicken Cheese Steaks
adapted from How Sweet It Is

1.8 lb of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 1/2 tbl olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
1/2 tbl flour
1/2 tbl butter
3/4 cup of fat free half and half
8 oz white cheddar cheese, shredded
6 wheat sub rolls 

Preheat oven to 400.  In a medium oven proof skillet, heat 1 tbl of oil over medium high heat.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Sear, cooking for about 2 minutes on each side.  Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let the chicken cool a bit.  Transfer it into a large bowl and shred it up.  

In a smallish skillet, heat the remaining 1/2 tbl of oil.  Add the onions and peppers, season with salt and pepper and cook until soft.  Add them in with the chicken.  

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter until its sizzling.  Add in the flour, stir constantly to create a roux; about 3 minutes or until brown and nutty smelling.  Pour in the half and half, bring to a bubble and let it thicken.  Add in 5 oz of the cheese, stir until melted. 

Tear off six sheets of foil.  To create a sandwich, place 1/6 of chicken/onion mixture on each roll, top with 1/6 of the cheese sauce and a handful of shredded cheese.  Roll it up super tight in the foil.  Repeat with remaining ingredients.  

Cook in a 300 degree oven for about 15 minutes.  

Serving size 1 sandwich (makes 6) 
Points plus 15

9/12/12

Quinoa and Tomato Salad

Whoa.  I just may or may not have eaten a veeeeeery large portion of shrimp lo mein from Mai Little China.  

But let's not talk about that.  Let's talk about quinoa instead.  Yes, let's. 

Looks like the quinoa train isn't stopping anytime soon.  This is not a bad thing.  

Why,  you ask?  Because you can take some quinoa, mix it with simple ingredients and have something that is completely awesome town.  Just like (snap your fingers) that!
The quinoa train also isn't stopping anytime soon because I'm going in with Emily on a 25 lb bag of it.  I'll only get about five pounds but still.  That's a nice amount of quinoa.

And good reason for the quinoa train not to end.  

Speaking of Emily...today is her birthday! Happy Birthday to you, sweet friend!  Send her prayers and positive energy for a happy happy day!  

Sooooooo.  This is a dish that I made to go with the rack 'o ribs that I prepared for the Labor Day.  I was trying to to balance out the fatty meat with a light side.  It all went beautifully until Brandon surprised me with a chocolate bar.  

Geeeeeze.  Confession time tonight, eh?  

What's next?  Stick around.  Maybe there will be something real juicy.  

But probably not.  Probably I'll just share a recipe with you.  

That is all.  Carry on.   
Quinoa and Tomato Salad
adapted from WW Online

1 cup of uncooked quinoa
2 cups of grape tomatoes
1 tbl olive oil
1 tbl white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 green onions, chopped 

Put the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer.  Place under cold water and rinse until the water runs clear.  Drain well. 

Place the rinsed quinoa in a medium sauce pan and cover with 2 cups of cold water.  Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce down to low and simmer for about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to sit for about 5 minutes. 

Meanwhile, finely chop the tomatoes, reserving about 2 tbl of the juice.  Combine the tomato juice, the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and green onions.  Stir well.  

When quinoa has cooled, toss it with the tomato juice mixture and the chopped tomatoes.  

Serving size 1 1/4 cup (makes about 4 servings)
Points plus 5

9/11/12

Fritatta for One

I love a potato.  But not a sweet one.  Also, I don't fall over myself getting to a baked one. 

So really, I just like french fries.  And hashbrowns.  And home fries. 

So I like potatoes that are fried.  That's probably a better way to describe things. 

You know where a potato works?  In a frittata.  Yes mam.  Works beautifully.  

You know what is a lovey vessel for cooking said frittata?  A baby black iron skillet.

I made this the morning of Labor Day.  That's one of the reasons that I like a random day off of work, it's a great excuse to spend a little bit more time making breakfast. Most people would say it's a great time to spent a little bit more time in the biscuit.  But not me.  I'm pretty much awake every morning at six regardless of anything and frankly, I get a little bored.  No reason not to get up and experiment with frittatas.    
Veggie Frittata

2 oz red potatoes, chopped
bell pepper
onion
green onions
1 egg
1 egg white
2 slices thin swiss cheese (or 1/2 oz of other cheese)

Preheat the stove the medium heat, spray your skillet with a little bit of cooking spray.  Add in the onion, bell pepper and potatoes and cook until everything gets soft.  

Lightly beat the egg and the egg white.  Pour it into the pan.  Season it all up with salt and pepper and let it sit there for a bit, firming up and cooking through. Place the two slices of Swiss atop the frittata.

Put the oven on broil, stick the skillet in the oven.  Let it cook for a few more minutes until it puffs up and browns and the cheese is melted.  

Enjoy!

Makes one serving
Points plus 5  

9/10/12

My Monday Gift For You

I had to break out of my regularly scheduled posting to share this little jewel with you fine folks. 

I give you...

Guy On A Buffalo

If you've never seen it, you're welcome. 

If you have seen it before, how dare you not share with me?

It's a perfect Monday pick-me-up.  Thanks be to Ginny for sharing this one with me.  

Episode One:

Episode Two:

Episode Three:

Episode Four:

You can learn more about the Possum Posse here
 


Loaded Baked Potato Dip

Whoa.  

Easiest.  Dip.  Ever.  

OK that's a lie.  That french onion dip (the one where you mix together the sour cream and the onion soup mix) is the easiest dip ever.  

But this is a close second.

I made it last week to take to a meeting.  It's a good thing it was easy because I totes forgot that I was supposed to bring something.  PTL for people that are way more prepared than me or else I would have just gotten a few bags of Doritos and hollered "make it work, ladies!" 

Here's a super professional picture that I snapped of it.  Of the dip, that is.  Not of me trying to make Doritos work.   
And here's a snapshot of my little plate.  I may or may not have eaten the leftovers for supper.  Wait, what?  Yeah.  That probably happened.  But seriously.  Taste it and you'll completely understand and be like "Oh yeah. Why on earth would you not eat that for supper?"
Loaded Baked Potato Dip

16 oz sour cream
16 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped up (I used 8 slices of bacon and a bag of real bacon bits as that's what I had.)
1/3 cup of green onions, sliced
2 cups of shredded mild cheddar cheese

Combine all of the ingredients.  Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavors to party down.  

Serve with ruffles.  Because ruffles are amazing.  

As far as the WW points go on this one....you're on your own!  I was to a-scared to figure them out.