10/31/12

Deer Creek Chili Festival 5K Run/Walk

BOO!  

HA!  Got ya.  

Moving on.  

Well.  I didn't dress up for that 5K.  BUT I did wear a maroon t-shirt in support of the 'dawgs AND I got some solid bonding time in with Chickey AND I finished in a time of which I am quite proud (31.12ish) SO all's well that ends well.  

Here we are before the race.  It. Was. Freezing.  
  
See that head band that kind of makes me look like a crazy person?? Best happy ever from Brandon right there. 

We took this as our #webelieve picture for the Alabama v MSU game that night.  I would imagine that the reason the 'dawgs didn't win is because I forgot to add @danmullen and @whoeverthatstricklinguyis.  Wherps. 

Here is Chickey trying to ensure that her blood continues to circulate pre-run.    
 Eeee.  I'm shivering just thinking about it.  

Here's a little action shot:

image credit:  Jamie Harden Photography

Now despite what it may look like I am, in fact, NOT wearing a puffer jacket under that t-shirt.  Not quite sure where that extra bulk came from.  I'm blaming that T.

This is comical.  Several friends were cooking chili for the contest; they set up together behind this nifty wind shield number.  Big pot/little pot.  Heee hee heeeee.  It kill me.    
I mean, tickles the stew out of me.

I think that the only thing that the chili fest is missing is a white bean chicken chili point friendly number. Oh yeah.  Who's with me next year!!!????

Despite the chilly temps it was a very run race to run.  Can't wait until next year!! 

Stay warm, my friends.   

  

10/30/12

Layered Tamale Dip

I < 3 Hot Tamales.
So much that it requires italics and a fancy heart made out of a three and a greater than (or is it a less than?) sign.  
Sooooooo.  Since I love dips (as we covered yesterday) and I love tamales doesn't it only make sense to layer a bunch of goodness up on a McCarty dish and go with it?  Yes.  That makes sense. 
It's like Seven Layer Dip but even more awesome.  Is that possible?  Yes.  I believe it is.  

This, along with bacon cheeseburger balls (stop it, so good), was the sidekick to that Beer and Cheese dip that we discussed yesterdayPull out the stretch pants, ya'll, it's getting really dippy over here. 

Gettin' dippy with it.  Na-na-nana-na-nana   Na-na-nana-na-nana say what?? 
Layered Tamale Dip
from Delta Magazine

12 hot tamales
3 ripe avacados, seeded and chopped
2 roma tomatos, seeded and chopped
1/4 small onion, chopped
juice of one lime
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz sour cream
3 shakes of Tabasco sauce
1/2 tsp ground cumin
4 oz canned diced green chilis
12 oz monterey jack cheese, shredded
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped

Mash hot tamales and spread them out on the bottom of a platter.  Combine the avocados, tomatoes, onion, lime juice and salt together to make guacamole. Spread this out over the tamales.  Combine the sour cream, Tabasco and cumin and spread out over the guacamole.  Layer the chilies, cheese and bell pepper over that.  Top with cilantro.  

Chill until ready to serve.  Serve with tortilla chips.     

   
  

10/29/12

Beer Cheese Dip

Beer + Cheese is always a winning combination.  Or at least in my book.  

Those of you that have been reading this bliggity-blog for a while know that I've never met a cheese I didn't like.  The same is true for most dips and many beers.  When I saw this beer cheese dip in the most recent issue of Delta Magazine it was pretty obvious town that I would make them.  

This dip was muy fallish.  Couple it with some buddies, wine and a firepit and it was insta fall gathering worthy of a roof raise.

It was also worth of a sharp in front/blurry in the back pretzel picture.  What, what aperture??  

A word on this dip...it has a very stout flavor to it.  I thought it was going to be to much BUT it's oddly enough evened out by the the pretzels.  I guess it's a food science thing...perhaps I'll call Alton Brown!   
Beer and Cheese Dip
from Delta Magazine

1 8 oz package cream cheese (softened)
8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
3/4 cup of beer
1 1/2 tsp dried mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 clove of garlic (chopped)
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp salt

Cut cream cheese into chunks and place in a food processor.  Add 1/2 cup of beer and pulse until smooth.  Gradually add small amounts of cheese and pulse until combined.  dd remaining beer and rest of the ingredients and blend well.  Chill until ready to serve.  

Serve with pretzels.       

10/26/12

A Few on Friday

Well hi!  How are you?  Me? I'm good.  Excited that it's Friday.  Excited that it's supposed to get a little cooler.  Excited that we're all here on the land of the living. 

1.  I'm also excited that I watched Moonrise Kingdom this week.  I. Love. Wes. Anderson.  LikewithallofmyheartRoyal Tenenbaum's is one of my all time faves, this one might be a close second.  I'm not sure why I dig his movies so much.  Perhaps because they are about nothing and so much at the same time.  Whooooooaaaaah.  I'm being Deep Spice over here.  Check out the trailer:

2. Did anyone catch the sky last night?  Like, whoa.  It was on fire.  
 This picture, obviously, doesn't do it any kind of justice.  I snapped this last night while taking the hound for our nightly stroll.  The whole situation was made even more intense by the face that I was being eaten absolutely alive by maniacal mosquitoes who were swarming like they'd never swarm again.  

While on this walk, I also took some time to play with the panoramic feature on my iPhone (download that software, ya'll).  See those black edges?  That's where the camera shook as I was swatting the mosquitoes away.  

The hound was just annoyed.    
He might possibly stay annoyed as I often look at him and tell him he's going to need to learn how to vacuum.  

3.  This is happening on Saturday.  You should come.  
 
 Jump on over here to visit the facebook page!  Unless you're at work and not supposed to get on facebook then don't.  Just come on out.  It's in Leland, starts at 8am.    


4.  Look at this lettuce growing like a champ!
We've got some red leaf and some butter crunch.  Green salads for everyone!  Or, rather, green salads until the lettuce runs out.  Which ever happens first.  Anyone know when this stuff is ready to pick?  It's only been planted for about two weeks so I'm assuming not yet. 

5.  Guys.  If you take the flu shot, be sure to pop a few tylenol (or your preferred method of pain reliever) afterwards.  I had mine yesterday and whoa is my arm sore.  

What are your thoughts on the flu shot?  Some people are aggressively against it.  Like you ask them if they get it and they look at you as if you've just suggested they light themselves on fire.  

Me, I take it.  I didn't start taking it until I started working in hospitals....haven't had the flu since and never had the flu before.  So is it helping?  I'm not sure.  But I am sure that after saying all of this that I will not only get the flu this year, but get something crazy like the bird flu.  

Here's to you making me casseroles....

So happy weekend dear friends!  Take care of yourself, don't get the flu, do something you love.  

Hugz.  

     

 

10/25/12

Quinoa with Asian Flavors

Upon deciding to whip together that Healthy Sesame Chicken, I knew that some sort of a quinoa situation was going to need to happen. 

I mean why not?  Quinoa is pretty much like a beige couch.  Or a little black dress.  Or a noodle.  

Sounds like a test question, eh?  What do the following unrelated things have in common?  Dresses and couches and noodles?  Well.  They are all good vehicles.  Quinoa is a good vehicleErgo.  They are all pretty much the same thing.  Right?  Right.  

Soooo.  One of the reasons that I'm glad that I have that 45 5 lb bag of quinoa is because it's like an insta-side dish all the timeIt's the new brown rice.  Or little black dress.  Or something.....       
Quinoa with Asian Flavors
adapted from All Recipes

2 tsp olive oil
1 cup of uncooked quinoa
2 cups fat free chicken broth
2 tbl soy sauce
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1 clove of garlic, chopped
2 green onions, chopped

In a medium sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the quinoa and saute for 2-3 minutes.  Add the chicken broth, soy sauce, ginger and garlic.  Increase heat and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce to a simmer.  Simmer until all liquid has been absorbed, about 25-30 minutes. Fluff with a fork and stir in green onions.  

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

10/24/12

Healthy Sesame Chicken

This was one of those meals that upon taking my first bite, I had to lower my head and silently raise the roof for a few seconds.  Like, had to.  Some dishes are just that good.

What makes it even better is that it was homemade and healthy-ish.  

The alternative is Mai Little China which is perhaps "homemade" but is not even a little bit close to "healthy-ish."

Brandon and I are both pretty quick to give up on supper and get take out.  All I have to do is sigh deeply and proclaim my monumental tiredness and he says, "Sweetie don't worry about cooking!  I know you are tired.  Let's just pick something up." 

Which is awesome because that was my plan all along.  Mua-ha-haaaa-ha

But.  Remember that time I said I was reigning it in?  Yup.  Still doing that.  Soooo when one is reigning it in, one finds healthy quick dishes to whip together on a weeknight.  

And then one raises the roof....  
Healthy Sesame Chicken
from Food.Com

1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut up into chunks
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp dark sesame oil
2 tbl sesame seeds, toasted
green onions, chopped (I left these out because my side had some green onions in it)

Combine the flour, salt, pepper and chicken in a large zip lock back.  Shake to coat.  

Spray a large skillet with cooking spray, heat to medium high heat.  Add the chicken and cook until it is done.  Remove and transfer to a plate. 

Reduce the heat to medium.  Combine the soy sauce and the sugar to the skillet.  Cook, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.  This will turn into a hot, sticky mess...you've been warned. 

Add the sesame oil and the sesame seeds.  Add the chicken, stir to combine.  

Serving size 1/4 of recipe
Points Plus 6        
 

10/23/12

Pumpkin Muffins

Hey guys.  I'm afraid I've fallen victim to the fall time trend of freaking the freak out over pumpkin.  

I've got the creamer and the front door decor.  My pinterest boards runneth over with cheesecakes and breads and  biscuits.  

Oh my

Naturally, I was delighted when I found what appeared to be a kick-a pumpkin themed recipe in my trusty Chapel of the Cross cookbook.  It was for pumpkin muffins and seeing as how we were about to head to King Biscuit, I was looking for a portable breakfast something.  I also had everything except for the pumpkin in my pantry.  

It's kind of like the heavens opened and revealed this to me. 

You may not think that God has time to point out what recipes I should try but I do.  I believe God is, among other things, a dessert lover so of course he wanted me to try this . 

Duh, guys.  

These are almost more cake than muffin.  I would imagine that slathering a cream cheese based icing would not only be good but ridiculous as well.  If you try it, let me know!

Peace, pumpkin people.    
Pumpkin Muffins
from Chapel of the Cross

1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups AP flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 stick unsalted butter, cubed
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 15 oz can of pumpkin
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extrat
2 cups chopped walnuts (I omitted those)

Preheat oven to 375.  

In a large bowl combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Cut in the butter using two knives.  In a separate bowl, combine the sugars, eggs, pumpkin, milk and vanilla.  Add to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.  If your using them, fold in the walnuts.  Divide batter among 24 muffin tins.  Bake for 18-24 minutes or until done. 

10/22/12

Southern Style Cuban Sandwiches

I'm a lot tad obsessive about the oddest things.  For example, before going to King Biscuit a few weeks ago, I was absolutely obsessed with what food we were going to take and eat.  I guess I had King Biscuit confused with a legitimate camping experience where packed nourishment is essential to survival.  

Nah.  Not at KBBF.  If you run out of food then you just saunter over the It's Greek To Me trailer and grab yourself a gyro.  Done and done. 

So anywho.  While making my of things to remember to pack, I was sure to include grocery lists and recipes.  I wanted to step it up a notch from your typical turkey and cheese sandwich, I hit up the September issue of Southern Living for some really awesome ideas.  Done.  Thanks, Southern Living, for always being awesome.  
I made my sauce, carefully packed my wheat rolls and purchased a pound and a quarter of sauce-less pork from Abe's in Clarksdale.  

Isn't there some saying about the best laid plans and how they often go wonky?  I believe there is.  But I'm not interested enough to research it.  

These plans were sure as heck well laid, the rain and cold came in and made them totally wonky.  But it's cool. I kept everything on ice and toted it all back home.  The next logical thing to do was to gather some friends and cook them over an open fire in someones back yard.  Well, that open fire didn't happen either sooooo the third logical thing to do was to just pop them in the oven.  Probably should have started with that but all's well that ends well.   

Now.  Go make these sandwiches.  Dooo it.   
Southern Style Cuban Sandwiches
adapted from Southern Living

6 servings of bread (sub rolls, ciabtta, whatevs)
6 slices of provolone cheese
1 1/4 lb sliced bbq pork without the sauce 
chipotle remoulade
Wickles wicked pepper strips

Layer the pork  and the cheese on the bread.  Place under the broiler until cheese is melted and pork is heated through.  Layer with remoulade and pepper strips.  

Serve warm. 

Chipotle Remoulade
adapted from Southern Living 

3/4 cup mayoniase
2 tbl creole mustard
1 tbl sweet pickle relish
1 tbl dill pickle relish
2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
1/2 tsp of lemon zest
2 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients.  Refrigerate until ready to use. 


10/19/12

A Few on Friday

Happy Friday!  Here are a few things for you to mull over on this lovely, lovely morning. 

1.  I'm thinking of investing in small talk lessons.  Why?  Because things like this happen to me:

I'm quietly walking my hound when someone that I know kind of, but not well, walks towards me.  I get what I'm sure appear to be crazy eyes and a buzzing sound starts up in my ears.  They look at me, I look at them.  I blurt out "GOOD!" before anyone has said anything.  Acquaintance looks afraid and keeps walking.

Cute, huh?  My awkwardness kill me.

2.  I'm still trekking through on that level 2 of the yoga meltdown DVD.  A few things are still the same.  For example, I still can't do crow and Jillian is still an ass.  BUT some things are changing.  Like I feel more confident in my abilities and have ordered another video to up my skillz.  I'm also thinking about returning to the in town classes that I often convince myself I have no business attending. I'll go then do something silly, like cry into my mat at the end of the class, and then I'll stop going. 

In related news, I've signed up for a workshop entitled Mindfulness, Yoga and Compassion: Principals, Benefits, Practices - Clinical Interventions for Depression, Anxiety and Stress.  Heck.  Yeah.  I love a lot of things, a good solid clinical intervention is one of them.   

Gah. Things are getting kind of deep over here.  Let's do something about that.

3.  Let's all let the fall themed pumpkin psychosis that is fall continue with this jazz. 
Pumpkin-Walnut Focaccia with Gruyère Recipe
find it here

pumpkinwalnutfocacciawithgruyere

Allegedly, sister Jennifer (my sister, she's not a nun) made this recently and sister Chickey took a picture of it and sent it to me.  For starters, I'd like to state for the record that I think it's rude that they are hanging out together, eating pumpkin walnut focaccia with gruyere without me.  Tis the poor, poor life of the middle child of three girls.

For seconds, "focaccia" and "gruyere" are two of the hardest words in the whole language of English to spell.  Freaking A, y'all, that just took me way longer than it should have to figure out.  Lots of going back and forth between two tabs. 

ANYWAY.  I want to make some.  But I'm scared.  It seems scary.  What do you think? Maybe you'll make some and give me a piece.  But has to be either on Friday or Saturday. Every other day it's strict point counting, by George.  I realized the other day while eating a package of chocolate brownie Grandmas cookies for an afternoon snack that I should probably reign it on back in.   

Ugh.  Reigning anything back in is for the birds.

4.  This is one of the most amazing apples I've ever had.
It's a honeycrisp and it's from Kroger and I love it.  LOVE IT.  Me and this honeycrisp.  We reigning it in together.  

5.  Greenwood got itself a new website!!  While I did not win the new iPad at the unveiling party, I'm sill pretty jazzed about what appears to be such a usable site.  Visit it here:


6.  I still don't have any ideas for a Halloween costume for that 5k that is in, like, a week.  Win suggested that I dress up like a bowl of chili.  I passed this onto Chickey as she would be the perfect saltine cracker.  That's about as far as we've gotten.  I'm still accepting your suggestions. 

7.  Big Browne is still brown.  But my lettuce is doing well.  Green salads all around in approximately 48 days.  Also, the shedding has chilled out.  If we were comparing this to microbial growth, I'd say that we are in the stationary phase. 

That's all, folks.  Keep it klassy and do fun things this weekend.  

Peace!  



10/18/12

Gorilla Bread

Today I'm going to do something that I don't do very often.  Today I'm going to share with you a Paula Deen recipe.  And not a post diabetes, she's turned over a new leaf recipe.  No no.  We're talking a legit, Fatty McFatFat, over the top, O.G. Paula Deen recipe.  Eeeeeeee!  Can't you just smell the butter already?  

I made this a few weeks ago to have for breakfast when my friends came to spend the night with me and Brandon.  The two moms of babes had to get up and head home pretty early which left a lot of gorilla bread for not a lot of people.  Whoops.  

Win and I enjoyed some along with a cup 'o coffee and the Clarion Ledger, Brandon had a taste when he stumbled in the den around 830 AM.  My favorite, however, was Lindsey.   Lindsey had three pieces and then proceeded to do little else for the next four hours.  Three pieces doesn't sound like to much until you remember that three pieces of gorilla bread = three biscuits.  I informed L-Dog of this when she was lawling around in a pre diabetic coma. 

It could have been worse, though.  I reduced the amount of sugar and butter by a good little bit. Mainly, you know, because I like my teeth and would like to have them for at least a little bit longer.  
Gorilla Bread
adapted from Food Network

1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
6 tbl butter
3/4 cup brown sugar, paced
1 8 oz package of cream cheese
20 refrigerated biscuits

Preheat oven to 350.  

Spray a bundt pan with nonstick spray . Mix the granulated sugar and the cinnamon well, set aside.  In a sauce pan, melt the butter and brown sugar over low heat, set aside. Cut the cream cheese into 20 equal squares.  Lay the biscuits out and gently smush them out a little.  Top them with some of the cinnamon and sugar. Place one bit of cream cheese into the center of each biscuit and form into a ball.  Place the biscuits into the pan, sprinkle with some of the Cinnamon sugar and pour half of the melted butter on top.  Repeat one more time.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Invert over a plate and serve. 

Serving size 1 biscuit
Points plus 6

10/17/12

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup

You can tell when it's starting to get cold around here as there's always a run on ranch dressing packs up at the wal-mart.  

Why?  Well because a ranch dressing pack is one of the main ingredients in taco soup.  Taco soup.  Wonderful, glorious taco soup.   

Well a ranch packet was the main ingredient in taco soup until now.  Oh yeah.  Ranch packet-less taco soup.  Can you handle it?  I wasn't so sure I could handle it.  That ranch packet gives such a tubular twang to the soup that I wasn't to jazzed about letting it go.  

But I did it.  And you should do it.  Believe me.  Have I ever led you astray?  No.  Or at least I tell myself I haven't. 

But just try it.  You'll lurve it.      
Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup
from Day in the Country

1 onion, chopped
1 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
2 10 oz cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 package of taco seasoning mix
1 16 oz can chili beans, undrained
1 15 oz can corn, drained
12 oz of beer
2 boneless skinless chicken breast.  

Place everything but the onion in a slow cooker.  Stir to combine.  Lay the chicken on top, pressing down slightly until it's just covered by the other ingredients.  Cook on low for 7 hours.  About 30 minutes before serving, remove the chicken, shred it, return it to the slow cooker. 

Serving size 1 cup (makes about 9)
Points plus 5

Serving this with saltines, sour cream, shredded cheese and green onions was one of the best decisions I've made in a while.  Just sayin. 

 
 

10/16/12

September Cookbook Club :: Baked Orzo with Peppers and Cheese

I almost forgot to tell you about cook book club!  Eeep!

Unfortunately, all I have is a few phone pictures.  I tried to edit them up all fancy, complete with text and various jazz, but I got frustrated about 3 minutes in and figured I'd just go bare bonezz.  

This picture is not all inclusive.  There were two apps that were really good as well as a dessert that brought tears to my eyes.  

Guys.  I wish I was kidding when I said that desserts sometimes bring tears to my eyes but I'm not...

Lets move on. 

We had a savory cheesecake, stuffed mushrooms, spicy vegetable soup, corn casserole, cheesy orzo with peppers, grilled dove and a ridiculous chocolaty ice cream situation.  And rolls.  Gotta love a roll. Especially a home made yeast one.  Be still, my heart.  

Soooooo.  My contribution was the cheesy orzo with peppers. I picked it because anything with cheesy in the name is automatically my favorite AND because I had all of the ingredients in my pantry already.  Well.  Almost all of the ingredients.  I thought I had roasted red bell peppers but really I had sun dried tomatoes.  Two jars of them, in fact.  All's well that ends well and the tomatoes worked out just fine.  Just fine indeed!  

PS.  People might say "Oh my, is that goat cheese?" when they taste this dish.  But really, it's just some trenchy sour cream and jack cheese mixed together.  This dish is all actin' fancy when really it's not.  My fave.     
Baked Orzo with Peppers and Cheese
from Prime Meridian

1 cup orzo
1/3 cup of roasted red bell peppers (or red bell pepper sauteed in butter)
1/3 cup mild green chilies, chopped
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tbl butter, cut into small pieces 

Preheat oven to 450. 

Cook the orzo according to the package directions.  Drain and dump it into a mixing bowl.  Add in the bell peppers, green chilies and Monterrey jack cheese.  Spread it into a casserole dish.  Top mixture with sour cream and Parmesan cheese.  Top with pieces of butter.  

Bake for 15 minutes or until or until the top is golden and puffy and the edges are bubbly.  Serve hot.