Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What the Crust?!

Another stressful work day for this girl! Why is it that the 2 people who I dislike working with the most are ALWAYS the ones who stop by my office to make marketing requests with the most regularity?? WHY?! I seriously cringe every time I see these two people coming and today I had the pleasure of a visit from BOTH of them. Joy.

I'm also semi-stressed at home because we are preparing for a long weekend trip to my family's ranch with 4 of our friends this weekend. I'm sorta stressed about it because I've never been the hostess at the ranch before...usually there's tons of family there who take charge on things. Eek! Menu planning and grocery shopping will ensue and I hope I get it right!

Anywayyyyy, pizza was on the menu for tonight and we decided to try a new pizza dough recipe. You see, a couple weeks back I made Pioneer Woman's Olive Focaccia and it was a HUGE hit at a party we went to. Unfortunately I failed to take a picture of it so I haven't blogged it.

In her recipe, she mentioned that the dough was basically just a pizza dough recipe. We liked the end result of the focaccia so much that we decided to try it as a pizza dough! To make it a bit healthier, we used half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose and prayed that it wouldn't screw up the recipe, as whole wheat flour sometimes does. We also made the dough in the bread maker, but you could just as easily make it in the kitchenaid.

GOOD NEWS! It was fabulous! The whole wheat didn't seem to affect the texture much at all. This is definitely our new favorite pizza crust recipe. We did think that it could have been a little bit crispier but that's our fault for not cooking it long enough.

Here it is the crust the way we made it:

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

Adapted from Pioneer Woman

  • 1-½ teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
  • 1-½ cup Warm Water
  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ⅓ cups Olive Oil
Sprinkle yeast over 1 1/2 cups warm (not lukewarm) water. Let stand for a few minutes.

While the yeast stands, put all other ingredients in the bowl of the break maker. Then pour the yeast mixture in the bowl too.

Turn the bread machine to the Dough setting and let it do its thing.

Once the bread machine is finished you can either use it immediately or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

When ready to make the pizza, roll it out using a little flour if needed to keep it from sticking.

This recipe will make enough dough for about 2 or 3 large pizzas, depending on how thin you like it.

Pre-bake the crust at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Pull the crust out and then put on the toppings. Bake another 10 minutes at 425 degrees.

Our Toppings:
  • Pepperoni, Mushroom & Garlic
  • Tomato, Basil & Garlic
And of course, CHEESE! :)

What are your favorite pizza toppings?

And how do you deal with stress? I tend to kind of shut down when I get stressed. :(

Monday, June 28, 2010

No Chance in Hell

Did anyone else have a manic Monday like me? Gahhhhh. It was even harder than usual to get back in the swing of things at work this week, I think because last week I was out of the office in a training class most of the time. Playing catchup stresses me outtttttt. I don't like being overwhelmed. Humph!

I came home feeling pretty wiped but forced myself to do 30 Day Shred level 2...Gotta burn off all those calories I drank and ate this weekend!

There wasn't a chance in hell I was going to cook dinner tonight, so luckily we had planned a meal that is super easy and Alex was completely willing to put it together. Sometimes things just work out the way they should in life. :)

That would be one of very favorite easy and healthy{ish} meals:

-Whole Wheat Spaghetti with jarred sauce
-Grilled Hot Italian Turkey Sausage links
-Steamed-in-a-Bag Broccoli

Seriously one of our favorite meals and it is so easy. Gotta love that!


Now switch gears with me and rewind to last night because I still need to fill you in on what we ate for dinner! The in-laws were still in town last night so my father-in-law cooked! YES! House guests who cook me dinner on occasion are MORE than welcome in my house! :)

He made an amazing deeeeeeelicious seafood dish with a tomato sauce called Cioppino, which he saw featured on Diners, Drive-ins & Dives earlier in the day. I forgot to take a picture {bad blogger!} but here's a link to the recipe that he took inspiration from. It was sooooo good! Ours had crab legs, mussels, clams, shrimp and fish. He served the tomatoey seafood with fresh bread for lots of dipping.

Alex and I loved it so much that we plan on making it again sometime soon so hopefully I will get a picture of it then for blogging's sake. :)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Weekend Recap

This weekend has been fun but also super busy! But first let's start where we left off:

Thursday night was another Fajita Bowl night because we just weren't feeling up to doing any real cooking and we still had plenty of fajita meat to eat through. I think we're finally almost done with the fajitas though! :)

Friday night Alex's parents came into town to stay with us so we cooked up a nice meal:

-Grilled Mahi Mahi with Basil Lime Butter
-Chickpea Panzanella with Capers
-Whole Wheat Orzo

It was a light and summery meal that we all really enjoyed.

I got inspiration for the fish recipe from this Cooking Light recipe for Grilled Grouper with Basil Lime Pistou. However, we subbed Mahi Mahi for the grouper and also ended up subbing butter for the olive oil because we ran out. The basil lime butter was delicious and added just enough zing to the fish.

Here's the link to the Chickpea Panzanella with Capers salad which was a BIG hit with everyone. The only change we made was to sub baby spinach for arugula, because that's what we had on hand.

Saturday we all headed to Austin for Alex's cousin's wedding. My camera battery was dead {which I didn't realize until I went to turn it on} so I got zero pictures but they served BBQ at the wedding. We all probably drank a bit too much but it was fun night and I enjoyed getting to know some of Alex's family better!

Sunday This morning we had breakfast at one of my favorite Austin restaurants, Kerbey Lane Cafe. If you're ever in Austin I highly recommend you eat at this local haunt. It's nothing fancy, but it's super delicious and open 24 hours. I got the Mushroom, Artichoke & Spinach Omelet with Raspberry Pancakes which were both SO GOOD. I'm totally planning on recreating that omelet at home...mmmm!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Life is Like a Bowl of Fajitas

Tonight's dinner was an attempt to use up the mountain of fajita meat that we had left from last night's dinner. Alex smothered his fajitas with tons of provolone cheese and topped them with buffalo sauce....I find this to be extremely odd {the buffalo + beef fajita combo} but he assures me that it was delicious. And it MUST have been since he had two giant servings of it!

My dinner, however, was much more sophisticated. I decided to make mine into a Fajita Bowl of sorts:

That would be a bowl with a base of baby spinach which was then buried under a dollop of refried black beans, guac, beef fajita meat, sauteed fajita vegs and a small handful of crushed tortilla chips. After the photo I also added some salsa to the bowl.

SO, SO, SO GOOD! Like, perhaps even better than the fajitas themselves GOOD! I think I might eat my fajitas like this from now on whenever possible!

Here it is all mixed up:
Not quite as appetizing looking is it? But I assure you, it's still JUST as tasty as it looks in the pretty picture! :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Giveaway Winner

Time to announce the winner of my 200th post giveaway!

I can't figure out how to copy and paste the proof on the blog but I promise I went to Random.org and plugged in the minimum and maximum numbers and it gave me the number.....4!!! That means the winner is.....JENN!

Jenn said...

It's such a hard decision because I love your recipes. I am learning to cook so I love trying new things. I also love your deployment posts because I am going through my brothers 1st deployment and they really help me understand a little bit more about what to expect and what's going on.

Congrats, Jenn! Email me your address to cupcakesandcombatboots@gmail.com so I can send you your loot!

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway!


Confused by the title? That's the way my dad pronounces "fajitas"...fuhjytuhs. He cracks me up! My mom is a spanish teacher so my dad clearly knows how to properly pronounce the word "fajitas"...he just chooses not to. :)

Our local grocery store often features "meal deals" where if you buy one thing you get like 6 things free. Recently they were featuring a fajita meal deal: buy a huge pack of pre-seasoned fajita meat and get a pack of tortillas, a 2 liter soda, a package of guacamole, tub of sour cream, package of shredded cheese, a can of refried black beans and a bag of chips. I couldn't pass up that deal since we LOVE fajitas!

I debated for a while between chicken or beef fajitas but ultimately decided on beef. Beef fajitas are definitely our favorite, although chicken is a bit healthier.

Alex was daunted by the fact that the package of meat was so huge for just the two of us but I assured him I would find ways to use it all over the next week or freeze it for future easy use.

What's for Dinner? 6/22/2010

-Pre-seasoned Beef Fajitas on Whole Wheat Tortillas
-Refried Black Beans {thinned out with a little water}

-Sauteed onion, bell pepper & mushroom sprinkled with fajita seasoning
-Fat-free cheese
-Light sour cream


Are you a chicken or beef fajita person? What are your favorite toppings?

Bloggy Makeover

If you're reading this from a feed reader, do me a favor and click on over to the blog and check out my NEW LOOK! My blog underwent a little makeover!

I was getting really bored with the plain 'ole header I had before and I'm lucky enough to have a talented graphic designer as one of my very best friends so I asked her if she would create something new for me.

And boy did she deliver! Less than 24 hours after I asked her if she would be willing to create a new header for me, I had a brand spankin' new and ADORABLE header in my inbox.

Since uploading the new header, I've also been doing some redesigning of the layout in an attempt to make everything as user-friendly as possible. For right now I'm still experimenting with different things to see how I like them so expect to see a few tweaks over the next couple of days.

Check out Emma's design webpage or her online portfolio for more examples of her amazing work! She is a truly talented freelance graphic designer who can design everything from logos to wedding invitations to business cards! She is a dream to work with!

What do you think of the makeover? All feedback is welcome!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tried and True

Tired summer nights are the perfect times for one of our favorite, easy meals: BLTAM's!!!!!

What's for Dinner? 6/21/2010

-BLTAM's on Whole Wheat
-Half a Nuked Sweet Potato with a dollop of low-fat vanilla yogurt


We did try cooking the bacon in the oven for the first time...but it just turned out kinda "eh". Kinda soggy, not crispy at all, kinda greasy. Not sure what we did wrong. We cooked it at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.

Do you cook your bacon in the oven? How do you do it? Our bacon needs your help! :)

Obvious and Unoriginal Chicken

Sunday was a day of laundry and a little shopping {Old Navy}. I was in a bit of a funk all day and I'm still not sure why. I just felt super exhausted, despite the fact that I'd had an adequate amount of sleep and I wasn't in a particularly good mood {poor husband}. I tried to lay down to "take a nap" at about 5pm because I felt so exhausted but then I couldn't fall asleep. Instead of sleeping I got sucked into the book I was reading and before I knew it it was 7pm!

We had chicken thawed for dinner but no idea what to make with it. I took a gander at the fridge and saw that we had some on-the-edge-of-going-bad broccoli and cherry tomatoes.

I wasn't feeling up to doing much actual "cooking" so I just tossed the chicken breasts, tomatoes and broccoli in a glass baking dish, drizzled some olive oil on top of it all, sprinkled generously with salt & pepper, and baked in a 425 degree oven for about 40-45 minutes or until the chicken reached an internal temp of 185 degrees. {I ended up having to cover the baking dish with foil about halfway through so that the broccoli didn't brown too much}

To spruce it up just a bit more I topped the chicken with some crumbled goat cheese and buffalo hot sauce after it came out of the oven. We also served the meal with whole wheat buttered toast on the side. It wasn't the most exciting meal in the world but the chicken was tender and the veggies were flavorful {because they cooked in yummy chicken juice}.

I've decided this is a great go-to meal when I'm feeling super lazy because it literally requires NO prep {other than maybe cutting up veggies} and you just toss it in the oven and forget about it for 45 minutes!

It could also be made with any vegetables you have on hand I have visions of making it with sweet potatoes, red potatoes, squash, red onion, etc. etc. etc. Super versatile and easy! I think I shall dub this dish: Clean Out Yer Fridge Roasted Chicken and Veg

{Side note: I know this meal isn't earth shattering or new, but sometimes I find that I tend to forget about the simplest things and try to complicate everything we cook too much. If you're like me, maybe you could use a reminder that something so simple can be so good. If you're not like me, then just disregard this post because you're probably rolling your eyes at the fact that I would dare make an entire blog post dedicated to something so obvious and unoriginal!}

After dinner we watched True Blood, which OMG I'm obsessed with! I watched the first 2 seasons on DVD but now that we have HBO I can watch them as they premiere the episodes. This is actually quite dificult for me though because they leave each episode with such a suspenseful ending that I literally scream "Noooooooooo!" when the credits roll because I'm so dying to find out what happens next. It's addicting!!

Do you have any obvious and unoriginal recipes to share with me? I'll appreciate them, I promise! ;-)

Weekend Recap Time!

I had a great (albeit too fast) weekend so here's a little recap...


We went to a minor league baseball game with friends! We ate dinner at the ballfield and I got a grilled chicken sandwich with curly fries (plus a beer!). The chicken breast was so itty-bitty it was laughable! I wish I had taken a picture of it but it was so HOT out there (even at 7pm) that I was pretty much doing everything I could to stay cool (including not moving to grab my camera).


We went to a going away party for friends who are (obviously) moving away. The husband is getting out of the Army and joining the FBI, which is very cool, but we will miss them both dearly! Again, I was feeling lazy with the picture-taking so I took exactly ZERO photos. Doh! That's so unlike me!

Anyway the party was a potluck and there was a nice spread of brisket, macaroni salad, baked beans, etc. I brought s'more bars, olive focaccia, strawberry balsamic salad and guacamole. Quite the random assortment of food, yes, but all delicious!

The party entertainment consisted of many games of Cornhole. I had never played before {apparently it's a Midwestern thing?} but it is basically tossing a bean bag into a hole. Sounds easy, right? I thought I would be especially good at it since I played softball in highschool but....not so much. I don't know what my problem was but I was NOT good.

Have you played Cornhole before? Are you any good at it? What's the secret?

Also, what's your favorite dish to bring to a potluck? I always have trouble deciding on what to bring {hence the reason why I brought 4 things...ha!}.

I planned on recapping Sunday in this post too but after typing it all out it's getting to be a super long post so I'll do it separately.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Summer Bedspread

With the temps getting up in the 100's these days, I realized we needed a lightweight, summer bedspread. I was also growing tired of our neutral comforter and wishing for a little more color in our bedroom.

When I was at Target the other day I browsed the bedspread section and found a great candy apple green quilt-like bedspread that I really loved. I figured it would go perfectly with the throw pillows that we already had so I snatched it up. {Side note: Why are King size bed linens SO expensive?!?!}

Here is the BEFORE:
Nice, but neutral.

Here is the AFTER:
I couldn't seem to get photos that properly represented the color but trust me, it's a bright and punchy green!

I'm really liking the color change and I'm loving how lightweight the quilt is too. Perfect for summer!

Do you change out of your bedspreads for the seasons? This is the first time I have done this but I definitely think it will be a habit I will continue from now on.

Super Sales

FYI Ann Taylor Loft is currently having a sale of 40% off all sale styles PLUS you can get $15 off for every $75 you spend with the code sale15 at checkout! ANNNNNND free shipping on all orders over $125.

I bought 8 really adorable item {a pair of capris, 2 skirts, a dress, and 4 tops} for $200 total, which is REALLY good for ATL.


Also, Bath & Body Works is having their semi-annual sale right now. Wallflowers are on sale for $5 each, candles are 50% off, antibacterial hand soaps are $3 with purchase of 4 or more, and LOTS more deals.
I'm about to go load up my cart with some candles, soaps & wallflowers right now! :) A girl can never have enough of that stuff! :)

Or if you'd rather get a FREE B&BW candle & wallflower, go enter my 200th post giveway!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pushup Police

Why are pushups so hard?!?!

I hate them.

And I can't do them {well not properly, at least}.

It doesn't help the fact that my hoss of a husband can knock out 78 pushups in ONE MINUTE for his Army PT tests.

WHAT?!?! That just baffles me. It's not even something that my brain {or body} can process.

I was doing some "pushups" {and by some I mean like 5} tonight while we were watching TV and my husband, aka the Pushup Police, laughed at me and said I was only doing halfway pushups. Well.....screw you! I'm doing my best here, Hubs!

But his little mockery of me may have lit a fire under my ass because now I am DETERMINED to be able to do real pushups.

Do you do pushups? If so, do you do real ones where you practically touch your nose to the ground or do you only go halfway down like me? How many can you do in a row?

Also, don't forget to enter my 200th post giveway!

Potatoes Please

What's for Dinner? 6/17/2010

-Chili's Bar & Grill

We planned to cook tonight but when it came time to start we just weren't feeling it. So we decided to be lazy and go to Chili's for din-din.

As we were sitting there waiting to order, a dish went by with loaded mashed potatoes on it and they looked SO GOOD. I loooooove mashed potatoes...they are like the ultimate comfort food for me.

I decided that was what I wanted and I asked the waitress if I could just have a side order of loaded mashed potatoes & steamed broccoli. She said it was no problem.

They brought out this GIANT serving of mashed potatoes and broccoli!

I took off about half of that cheese and bacon because there was TONS OF IT. Next time I would definitely ask them to go easy on the toppings. I also only ended up eating about 3/4 of both the potatoes and broccoli and I was STUFFED! {Granted, we had also started our meal with chips, salsa & guacamole....mmmm.}

It may not be the healthiest meal out there but it sure hit the spot!

Added Bonus: It was super cheap!! If you're looking to eat out on a budget ordering 2 side dishes as your meal is definitely the way to go!

What do you get when you go to Chili's for dinner?

Also, don't forget to enter my 200th post giveaway!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Impressive Balls

Sorry...I couldn't help myself with the title. :)

Since this is my third post of the day and we're in the middle of watching Avatar, I'll keep this short and sweet.

What's for Dinner? 6/15/2010

-Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs
-Steamed Brocc

When I was gone on my girl's trip Alex informed me that he tried his hand at making turkey meatballs for dinner one night and that they turned out really well. He was anxious to make them for me so that he could show me just how good they are.

And he was absolutely right! These turkey meatballs really ARE delicious and also surprisingly easy to make. He had the meat mixed and in the oven in no time flat and then it's just a waiting game until they're cooked.

Alex's Italian Turkey Meatballs
Source: Husband

-1 pound 93% lean Ground Turkey
-1 egg
The rest of these measurements are approximate because he didn't really measure when he was making this. Just use what seems right to you.
-1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
-1 Tbsp garlic salt
-1 Tbsp lemon pepper
-1 tsp Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and then spray the foil with cooking spray {this well help immensely with cleanup}.

Mix all ingredients together by hand in a bowl just until ingredients are incorporated. Do not overwork the meat. Form into balls that are a little smaller than the size of a golf ball {about 1-1.5 inch diameter} and place on the baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes and then turn the broiler on and leave them in the oven for another 2 minutes {this gives them a crispy top}.

Okay so I guess this wasn't really all that short and sweet after all. :)

Oh and be sure to go enter my 200th post GIVEAWAY!

25 Books in 2010: Book #7

I'm still behind on my 25 in 2010 challenge! It's more than halfway through the year now and I'm only on book #7. Ugh!! Life has just been super busy lately and by the time I crawl into bed I'm ready to go straight to sleep.

I'm hoping the summer months bring me a little more time to relax with books, because I have a to-be-read pile that is growing bigger by the day!

1. The Gastronomy of Marriage by Michelle Maisto {click here for my review}
2. Shelter Me by Juliette Fay {click here for my review}
3. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks {click here for my review}
4. Dead as a Doornail {Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood, Book 5} by Charlaine Harris {click here for my review}
5. The Mercy of Thin Air by Romlyn Domingue {click here for my review}
6. The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond {click here for my review}
7. Definitely Dead {Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood Series, Book 6} by Charlaine Harris
Definitely Dead was another great addition to the Sookie Stackhouse series! A hot new romance develops for Sookie and she learns a lot more about the Vampire Queen of Louisiana in this book.
After the disappointment of the last two books that I read, I decided it was time to go back to a series that I know will keep me enthralled and entertained. This Sookie series book fit that bill perfectly!
4 stars

200th Post GIVEWAY!!

Dearest blog readers,

This post marks my 200th blog post on Cupcakes & Combat Boots. I can't believe we've already reached this milestone!

There were the times that I used this blog to vent about deployment.

There were the 115 times {and counting} that I blogged about What's for Dinner and hoped that I wasn't boring you.

There were the times that I let you in to my dirty house and hoped you wouldn't judge me too harshly.

There were the times that I tried my hand at being crafty and it didn't always turn out perfectly.

And so, so much more. I seriously love blogging and I'm so glad that I've found a creative outlet that fits my lifestyle.

This blog and you, my readers, bring me so much joy each day. I love reading your comments more than you know. Anytime I get an email about a new comment or notice that I have a new follower I get so happy. Because yes, this blog is a way for me to vent or inspire myself....but I also hope that maybe, just maybe, it can serve as an inspiration to you too.

So in honor of my 200th post on Cupcakes & Combat Boots, I am having my very first GIVEWAY!!

I decided it would only be appropriate to give away some of my favorite things, so here's what you'll get if you win:

A Bath & Body Works candle in White Citrus scent

And a Bath & Body Works wallflower in Black Amethyst scent

{FYI these items were 100% purchased with my own money...nobody is "sponsoring" this giveaway.}

It almost pains me to give these away because I love them so so dearly, but it's worth it for my readers!

Here's how you can enter:

1. Leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite type of post on C&CB.
What do you like reading about the most? {Ex: what's for dinner, Army life, cleaning, shopping, deals & discounts, etc.}.

2. Become a follower of Cupcakes & Combat Boots and leave a comment letting me know that you just became one. {Click on "Follow" in the upper left hand corner} If you're already a follower then just leave a comment that says "I'm aready a follower".

3. Blog, tweet, or Facebook about this giveaway and link back to C&CB on your post. Leave a comment below with the link to your post.

So that means you can potentially enter THREE times for this giveaway! Be sure you leave a comment for each one separately.

Entries will be accepted until Tuesday, June 20th, at 8 AM central time.

Happy entering!

NOTE: This giveaway is only open to people with a shipping address in the continental US or APO/FPO.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Vegifying and Healthifying my Lunches

Through reading some amazing healthy living blogs lately I've begun to realize that my lunch routine was not as healthy as it could be. So I've been trying out some new things and trying to develop new habits when it comes to lunch.

First new habit: Meat does not have to be present in every meal. I think up until now I've automatically based my eats for lunch and dinner around what meat the meal will have in it. I've blogged a couple times in the past about how I occasionally enjoyed a meat-free meal but those were honestly few and far between.

Unfortunately my husband is not on board with the meat-free thing so I really have to limit my vegetarian dinners to once in a blue moon. Lunch, however, is all mine and I can do with it what I want! :)

And I'm learing now that just because it's vegetarian doesn't mean it isn't filling! I use protein-packed, non-meat products like hummus, avocado, eggs and canned beans paired with delicious veggies to make a light, filling and yummy lunch.

Second new habit: Limit frozen meals. My go-to, take to work & eat at my desk lunch choice, Lean Cuisines, are not as healthy as they want you to think they are. I probably ate 3-4 Lean Cuisines a week for lunches and I always thought I was being "good".

I'm seeing now that LCs are usually packed with sodium and processed grains and severely lacking in the fiber department. Also, they never really filled me up with those tiny portions. I think deep down I really knew they weren't that good for me all along, but the convenience factor always won me over. Grab and go. No lunch packing required. That brings me to new habit number three...

Third new habit: Take time to pack healthy lunches.
Confession: I am a chronic late-to-work offender. No matter how hard I try, it always seems like I'm rushing out the door in the morning with wet hair and no time to prepare anything for breakfast or lunch. Just dedicating the time to packing a good lunch really makes all the difference in the world!

So with trying out all these new habits, I've already found a meat-free and non-frozen lunch that I am seriously in love with. All it takes is a little prep at night or in the morning and I'm enjoying this delicious and filling meal midday:

That would be a vegetarian sandwich consisting of the following:
-Sandwich Thin {whole wheat}
-Hummus {schmeared on both sides...probably a little more than a tablespoon total}
-Baby Spinach
-Bell Pepper Strips
-Red Onion
-Avocado {1/4th of a big fat one}

Seriously, SO. FREAKING. GOOD. So good that I proclaimed to my coworker, Kelsey, as I was eating it "This sandwich is so good!" She agreed that it looked delish.

The sandwich alone fills me up quite well but I pair it with some fresh fruit {cantaloupe, blackberries & raspberries were in the mix today} to round out the meal.

Oh and a FUZE...I'm loving these lately because sometimes water just gets boring. Although, be careful that you check the nutritional label...only a few of the FUZE flavor choices have 5-10 calories per serving. The rest have anywhere from 60-90 calories per serving.

Yes, this is a self-pic taken at my desk. Welcome to my closet of an office! :)

Today I also packed a banana and a greek yogurt in case hunger struck me later. It's important for me to have healthy snacks on hand because who knows what I would eat if I got hungry and didn't have any healthy options! :/

However, my lunch really filled me up and I actually ended up not even needing the snacks. It's about 5:45pm right now and I'm just now starting to feel the grumble in my tummy. Maybe I'll have a small snack before we head over to our friend's house to eat some dogs and celebrate a birthday!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Puttanesca Please

What's for Dinner? 6/13/2010

-Grouper with Puttanesca Sauce
-Whole wheat orzo

Grouper was on sale at the grosh {grocery store} this week so we snatched some up for $7.29/pound {which is still kinda expensive by our standards but we decided it was worth it}.

I did a quick search for "grouper" on CookingLight.com and this recipe for Grouper with Puttanesca Sauce popped up and sounded too good to be true. I looooooove puttanesca sauce! It's salty and acidic and has a little kick to it. Have you ever had Pasta Puttanesca at an Italian restaurant? If not, I highly recommend you do. It's delicious!

Anyway, back to the fish. This dish was very tasty! So far I have loved every fish recipe that we've tried that had a tomato-based sauce on top of it so it must be a fail-proof combo!

If you're not a fish fan, this sauce would also be great served with some crumbled Italian sausage and pasta.

Grouper with Puttanesca Sauce
Source: CookingLight.com

Keep your pantry stocked with the sauce ingredients to make this dish anytime. Serve with orzo to soak up the sauce.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 fillet, 3/4 cup tomato mixture, and 1 tablespoon chopped parsley)

4 (6-ounce) grouper or flounder fillets
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cooking spray
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained
1/3 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
2 tablespoons capers
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)

Heat a nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add fish to pan; cook 5 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

While fish cooks, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook 4 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic, oregano, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in olives and capers; cook 1 minute. Spoon tomato mixture over fish. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, if desired.

CALORIES 238 (18% from fat); FAT 4.8g (sat 0.8g,mono 2.5g,poly 0.8g); IRON 2.4mg; CHOLESTEROL 63mg; CALCIUM 142mg; CARBOHYDRATE 12g; SODIUM 736mg; PROTEIN 35.5g; FIBER 1.5g

Cooking Light, JULY 2004

{I didn't post last night because we went out to dinner for a last minute date night at BJ's Brewery. I enjoyed a beer and the grilled shrimp tacos with steamed veggies instead of chips. Then I asked {forced} Alex to take me to the fro-yo place. I got my "usual" which is cheesecake/strawberry swirl with fresh raspberries and mini chocolate chips. YUM!}

Friday, June 11, 2010

A New Glue for You

What's for Dinner? 6/11/2010

-Honey Mustard Pretzel Crusted Chicken Fingers
-Steamed Brocc
-Microwave-Baked Sweet Potato w/ a pat of buttah and a sprinkle of cinnamon

Chicken fingers are loved by everyone, right? But sometimes it's hard to healthify them and still keep them crispy and delicious tasting. When I saw Bees Knees Life blog about coating her chicken fingers in pretzels I thought "Why the heck didn't I think of that?!"

In her adaptation she actually used egg whites and Honey Mustard flavored pretzels to coat the tenders but I decided to change it up a bit. I thought I would use actual honey mustard as the "glue" and regular pretzels for the coating. I love using dijon or honey mustard as glue for coating meat because it adds more flavor than just egg and has about the same amount of calories.

I'll definitely be making these again!

Honey Mustard Pretzel Chicken Fingers:
Inspired by Bees Knees Life

Crush about 1 cup of pretzels into crumbs. Dry off a package of chicken tenders with paper towels. Brush each chicken tender with enough honey mustard to coat them and then roll around in the pretzel crumbs until completely coated. Place the fingers on a rack placed on top of a baking sheet (so the bottoms don't get soggy) and bake in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.

By the way, there was no What's for Dinner post last night because we had an Army dinner function thingy to go to {Hail & Farewell}. I don't want yall thinking I am starting to slack off or hiding dinners from yall! :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Healthy Paula Deen...Say WHAT?!?..

When Alex went to the grocery store yesterday, I asked him to pick up some fresh fish for tonight's dinner. I didn't have any other ideas in mind besides that I wanted fish. {Normally we do try to menu plan and shop on the weekend but I was out of town all weekend and on Monday/Tuesday so this week is a fly by the seat of our pants kinda thing.}

He chose Mahi Mahi, which I was really excited about because I think it's a delicious fish! I knew we had to find a recipe that would really let the fish shine.

Then, my crazy day at work happened and I ran out of time to even think about how to cook the fish and ended up working late. Luckily my wonderful husband stepped in and found a recipe for Mahi Mahi Lettuce Wraps on foodnetwork.com. He stopped by the store for a few ingredients on the way home from work and then cooked it all himself.

And it was finger-lickin' good! Seriously we were both licking our plates to get every last remnant of it in our bellies.

The big shocker? It's a Paula Dean recipe. Let me repeat that...this healthy, light, butter-free recipe belongs to Paula Deen. WHAT?!? I'm still in shock over this fact.

What's for Dinner? 6/9/2010

-Mahi Mahi Lettuce Wraps
-Guacamole & Chips

Mahi Mahi Lettuce Wraps

Source: Paula Deen on Food Network

Prep Time: 5 min
Inactive Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 8 min

Serves: 2 servings


* 1 mango, diced
* 2 plum tomatoes, diced
* 1 red onion, diced
* 1/2 jalapenos, diced
* 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
* 2 limes, juiced
* Salt and pepper
* 2 mahi mahi fillets
* Olive oil, as needed
* Lettuce leaves (recommended butter or romaine)


Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.

Combine the mango, tomatoes, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice in a medium mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. Season the fish with salt and pepper and brush with olive oil. Grill for roughly 3 to 4 minutes per side, until just opaque in the center. Set aside to cool

When slightly cool, chop into large chunks. Add to the reserved salsa and fold carefully as to not break up the fish. Add mixture to the middle of the lettuce leaves and roll.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Back to Reality

I'M BACK! The girl's trip to the lake was wonderful! I accomplished all of my goals mentioned in the previous post, and then some! I also found a new love for kneeboarding and managed to make my entire upper body extremely sore from all the effort.

It was a great little break but now it's time to get back to reality. I came home this evening to my hubs cooking up some delicious ground chicken taco filling. I decided to eat mine as a taco salad because after all the indulging I did the past 4 days I needed something lighter.

What's for Dinner? 6/8/2010

-Chicken Taco Salad {for me}, Chicken Tacos {for Hubs}
-Refried Black Beans

To make the filling, he just cooked ground chicken in a saute pan until cooked through. Then he added a sprinkle of chili powder, cumin & salt.

My salad consisted of romaine lettuce, fat-free shredded cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes, salsa, and I had black beans on the side.

Alex's tacos consisted of all the same as my salad, only it was served in whole wheat tortillas.

Glad to be back home with the hubs, but definitely missing the lake!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Lake Bound with the Girls

Today after work I'm headed to the lake to spend 4 glorious days playing on the lake with seven of these wonderful ladies:

On the Agenda:
-LOTS of gossip! Especially about a certain scumbag, soon-to-be ex-husband. {Not mine...don't worry. I'm still keeping my scumbag husband. haha just kidding, Alex!}
-LOTS of eating! We're loaded down with plenty of munchies! I have a feeling I'm gonna need to work out extra hard next week.
-Maybe a little adult beverage consuming. Or maybe a lot. Only time will tell. {Except for the two pregNERDS coming on the trip who will only be enjoying their fake beer and wine.}
-Hopefully not too much sunburning. I am extremly fair-skinned so I'm loaded up with plenty of SPF 70, yes 70, sunblock. Inevitably, I will still get burned at least once. It's Murphy's Law.
-No primping and/or looking cute. This is a tshirt & shorts only zone. No blow dryers and/or straighteners. Minimal makeup {some of us fair-skinned types need at least a touch of makeup to keep us from looking like a ghost}.
-Oh yeah and some fun on the boat and jet skis. I guess that is the point of going to a lake right? I will attempt to waterski again, although I have failed the last two times I tried. Hopefully I won't wipe out too hard. I don't like water up my nose. :)
So that sounds like a pretty good list. I'll be out of touch through Tuesday so everyone enjoy your weekend!
{P.S. In case you were wondering, I didn't post a "What's for Dinner?" last night because I went out to dinner at Boston's with the girls. I got an individual whole wheat Florentine pizza...my favorite! Oh and a margarita.}

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hodge Podge

What's for Dinner? 6/2/2010

-Salad with leftover Queso Poblano Sausage & balsamic vinaigrette
-Buttered Toast

Another quick and easy dinner because I had to meet up with some of the girls tonight to do our grocery shopping for the big trip! It was a successful trip and I certainly don't think we're at any risk of going hungry this weekend. A few of the must-have items on the list: wine, cookie dough, guacamole, chips, and alcohol. I think I'm gonna have to let myself have a break from the healthy eating routine! :)

I left Alex to fend for himself for dinner and he ended up having a Healthy Choice frozen meal and THREE hot dogs. WTF?!? How random is that? Men are so freaking weird!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sausage on the Run

What's for Dinner? 6/1/2010

-Grilled HEB Queso Poblano Chicken Sausages
-Steamed Broccoli
-Mashed Sweet Potatoes

This week is proving to be a very busy one. Things at work have exploded and at home I'm busy trying to get ready for the big Girl's Trip to the lake that I'm going on this weekend! I've been instructed to pack light since we will have 7 girls and not much space in the cars, and packing light doesn't exactly come easy for me! It takes a lot of preparation!

Needless to say, dinners this week will be super simple and quick because we just don't have much time for anything else.

Enter the simple {yet delicious} dinner:

If you have an HEB grocery store in your vicinity, you should definitely try their Queso Poblano Chicken Sausages. They are really very tasty. I did a quick Google search and found this nutritional info on them:

HEB Queso Poblano Chicken Sausages
1 link, 220, 17g, 2g, 18g

Not super healthy, but not too bad either! I ate 1.5 links so that's about 330 calories. {I'm not counting calories but I do like to have a general idea of the calorie count in my head.}

We steamed some brocc in a steamer bag and mashed up some sweet potatoes with a little honey and a bit of Smart Balance.

I will be topping off this delicious dinner with my favorite thing in the world: frozen yogurt!! The girls and I are meeting at the local self-serve yogurt place in a few to discuss last minute plans for this weekend and I am SO excited to get a delicious yogurt concoction.

{Good thing I worked out today or I would feel semi-guilty.}