Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mahi and Bone Marrow Donating.

Odd title, no? Keep reading to the end to see why.

Another delicious dinner from the pages of my latest issue of Cooking Light magazine! This was the meal that we were supposed to have yesterday, but ended up postponing until tonight. I'm so glad we got around to making it!

What's for Dinner? 7/28/2010
-MahiMahi with Bacon-Tomato Butter
-Sauteed Spinach with Garlic
-A tiny bit of leftover brown rice

This one caught my eye because it had the words "bacon" and "butter" in the title. I bookmarked that baby faster than you can say "MahiMahi".

And it sure did not disappoint. But when would bacon and butter combined in a dish EVER disappoint?!



Yummmmm.

Although the bacon-tomato butter was AWESOME, I also have to say that I think mahimahi may just be my new favorite fish. It's meaty and not too fishy tasting and also pretty darn cheap {HUGE bonus}!


We made the recipe pretty much exactly how it's written {other than tossing in an extra slice of bacon because we're baconaholics...oops} so I'll just link to the recipe:

Mahimahi with Bacon-Tomato Butter {click the link for the recipe}

The sauteed spinach was delicious and very simple to make as well. Here's a quick rundown of how I did it:

Sauteed Spinach with Garlic & Lemon
Source: me

1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 large bag of baby spinach
Juice from half of a lemon
S&P

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic in the hot oil for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently so it doesn't burn. Then add in all the spinach {or as much as will fit in the pan and then add the rest later as it starts to wilt} and let cook for a minute or two. Using tongs, toss the spinach so that the leaves at the top get down to the heat. Add the lemon juice and S&P and continue tossing until all the spinach is wilted{about 4 minutes}. Immediately remove the spinach from the pan so it stops cooking and serve.


Now I'm off to pack and finish up laundry! Hubs and I are headed back to my family's ranch tomorrow after work. I'm sooooooooooo ready for some R&R after a crazy couple of weeks!

Although I don't know how relaxing it will actually be, since it will be like a mini family reunion with 35 members of my dad's side of the family.

There will also be one very special guest at the ranch: My 15 year old cousin's bone marrow donor.

My cousin, Thomas, was diagnosed with Leukemia when he was 13. It was an extremely rough road but eventually he was matched with a donor and received a bone marrow transplant. That transplant saved his life and he is now in remission.

This trip will be the first time for all of us (including Thomas) to meet this person who so selflessly donated his marrow to save my cousin's life. It turns out he's a 22 year old college student...I don't know about you but I sure wasn't thinking about donating bone marrow when I was in college!

We feel so blessed that this person came into our lives and we are SO excited to spend a weekend with him, surrounded by the people who care the most for Thomas.

I'm planning on updating from the ranch on occasion but we'll see if that happens! It seems like all my plans always go out the window when we're there.

Question of the Day: Are you in the bone marrow registry? It's the simplest process ever! All you have to do is take a quick swab of the inside of your mouth and then BAM...you're in the registry and could potentially save someone's life.

Scared of the donation part? It's a simple, non-surgical procedure in which patients usually can go home the same day. I admit I don't know that much about it firsthand {from the donor's perspective} but I plan on asking Thomas' donor ALL about it this weekend. I'll be sure to report back. Here's a link that answers a lot of "myths" about donating though so check it out!

Now go order your kit!!! :)

UPDATE: I just realized that my link to the marrow registry website was actually linking to the recipe...OOPS! :) I fixed it now so you should be able to get to the right place.


UPDATE #2: I was also just reading more about the registry and found this regarding U.S. Military personnel (and their dependents) who wish to join the registry:

U.S. military personnel are asked to register for the Be The Match Registry through the Department of Defense (DoD) using one of these options below. Military personnel is defined as active duty U.S. military personnel and their dependents, reservists, retirees, National Guard, Coast Guard and DoD civilian personnel.
Attend a DoD donor drive
Call 1-800-MARROW-3
Visit a walk-in registration center

I work for the DoD (as a civilian) so I signed up when they had a donor drive at my office one day. It was so easy! All I did was walk down the hall, take my swab, fill out a form, and voila!

For more info on military pesonnel who are interested in becoming a donor go here.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Best Laid Plans

You know what they say about best laid plans....

Wait...what do they say?

I think the gist of it is that the best laid plans don't always work out. Right? Right.

Tonight's best laid plans of a delicious Mahi-Mahi dinner did not work out. Why, you ask?

Well, without boring you/whining about my no good, horrible, very bad day I'll just tell you that it was....well a no good, horrible, very bad day. Stressssssful day at work, to say the least.

Which was topped off by a commute home in pouring sheets of rain in which I couldn't see a damn thing and some LOSER almost t-boned me because he was an IDIOT and then proceeded to honk at ME. WTF?!

{Road Rage much??}

I walked in the door feeling mega-stressed and decided to scrap dinner plans. I came this close to giving in to a major craving for a Sonic cheeseburger and tater tots....but I resisted.

Actually, I'm not gonna lie, that cheeseburger probably would be in my belly right about now if it weren't for the aforementioned pouring sheets of rain that discouraged me from going back out.

So we scrounged for dinner instead:



It included such gems as this frozen twice baked potato that I rescued from the depths of my freezer:
Healthy? Nope. Satisfying? Yep.

And a Morningstar Spicy Black Bean Burger on a sandwich thin with mustard:
{Shout out to my vegetarian BFF, Emma, for introducing me to these burgers last summer. I can't get enough of them!}

And some of these new Beanitos chips that I impulse purchased at the grocery store the other day:
Beanitos Black Bean Chips

These were surprisingly delicious!! Even Hubs gave them the thumbs up. They're lighter than normal tortilla chips but still super crispy. They have great flavor too! I may even like these better than normal tortilla chips...GASP!

But what really sends these chips over the top is the nutritional info:


Look at that ingredient list!! All things I can pronounce! Amazing.

And chips with omega-3's, fiber, AND protein?? YES please!


All in all it was a very random dinner, but it worked. In case you're wondering Hubs did not eat what I ate.

He made some sort of odd Tuna Croquette-ish things which he drenched in balsamic vinegar. No, not vinaigrette...VINEGAR. Ewww.

Yet again, a perfect example of how WEIRD guys are!

Do you ever crave a certain fast food meal? Do share! I used to think I didn't like Sonic's food but recently I basically had no choice but to eat it and the cheeseburger just hit.the.spot. So now that's pretty much my biggest fast food craving. YUM.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Supremely Scrumptious Salsa Burgers

Inspiration for this meal came from flipping through the pages of my latest edition of Cooking Light magazine.

"Southwest Salsa Burgers? Hmmm those sound delicious. I shall add that to my meal plan for this week."

Oh how I love Cooking Light. LOVE.

I decided to substitute ground turkey for beef because we just really like turkey burgers.


What's for Dinner? 7/26/2010

-Southwest Salsa Turkey Burgers
-Sweet Potato Oven Fries & Regular Fries
-Steamed Broccoli


Yum yum yum. Supremely scrumptious.

Southwest Salsa Burgers

Other Time: 20 minutes minutes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 burger)

1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
3/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper (I didn't have this so I just used a dash each of chile powder, paprika, and cayenne instead)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound lean ground round (Ground turkey)
1/4 cup refrigerated fresh salsa, divided
Cooking spray
4 (1-ounce) slices Monterey Jack cheese
4 Boston lettuce leaves
4 (1 1/2-ounce) (whole wheat) hamburger buns, toasted
8 (1/8-inch-thick) tomato slices

1. Combine first 5 ingredients and 2 tablespoons salsa. Divide mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty.

2. Heat a large skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add patties to pan; cook 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Top each patty with 1 cheese slice; cook 1 minute or until cheese melts.

3. Place 1 lettuce leaf on bottom half of each bun; top with 2 tomato slices, 1 patty, 1 1/2 teaspoons salsa, and 1 bun top.


CALORIES 385 ; FAT 15.7g (sat 8.4g,mono 4.5g,poly 0.5g); CHOLESTEROL 86mg; CALCIUM 282mg; CARBOHYDRATE 24.3g; SODIUM 720mg; PROTEIN 36.7g; FIBER 1.3g; IRON 4mg

Cooking Light, AUGUST 2010

What's your favorite meat for burgers? Normal old beef? Or turkey? Or something more exotic?

Make Your Own Greek Yogurt

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

We've all heard that statement before. But have you heard the lesser known version?

When your grocery store runs out of greek yogurt, make it yourself.

No? Well, you should.

It all started when for the 2nd week in a row, my grocery store was completely out of all types of greek yogurt. Apparently they decided it would be a good idea to rip out and remodel their yogurt section right about now.

So for the past two weeks in a row I've been desperately searching every nook and cranny of the store for where they might have stuck the greek yogurt....to no avail.

I knew I couldn't go another week without my beloved greek yogurt. I've been eating greek yogurt for breakfast EVERY MORNING lately. With fresh peaches and granola and a drizzle of agave nectar. YUM.

Needless to say, I was becoming desperate.

So instead of my missing greek yogurt, I picked this up:

Plain old regular yogurt. YUCK. For some reason I seriously can't stomach regular yogurt but I LOVE LOVE LOVE greek yogurt. I think it's something about the watery nature of regular yogurt that I hate...which also explains why I love greek yogurt because it's not watery.

I know it seems irrational but I never claimed to be a rational person.

Anyway, I bought the regular 'ole yogurt and had a plan up my sleeve.

You see, I'd once read somewhere that you could easily strain your own yogurt and make it into greek-style yogurt. I just so happened to have cheesecloth on hand (yes, I'm serious and yes I know I'm a foodie dork who hoards things like cheesecloth "just in case").

However even if I didn't have cheesecloth, I've read that you can do this with a coffee filter or a thick paper towel too. So don't despair if you don't keep things like cheesecloth on hand like me!

I lined a colander with two layers of cheesecloth and then placed the colander inside a glass bowl to catch the water that drains out. Then I piled in the yogurt and stuck it in the fridge overnight.

When I woke up in the morning, I found this gloriousness:


I was SHOCKED by how much water came out of the yogurt overnight! SHOCKED. And really excited.

The consistency was PERFECT and it tasted just like greek yogurt.

I proceeded to pile half of it back into the container and half of it straight into my mouth.


Now there's no reason to distress if the grocery store runs out of greek yogurt.

PHEW!

Major relief.

Now THAT'S making lemonade out of lemons!

Bowl in One

On Saturday night we hosted two other couples at our house for some mexican food and margaritas in honor of it being National Tequila Day (!!).

Unfortunately I was a reeeeeeally bad blogger and didn't take a single photo throughout the night. DOH!

So instead of photos, envision this:

-Chicken & Beef Fajitas with all the fixins
-Ranch-style Beans
-Guacamole (brought by one of the guests)
-Queso (brought by one of the guests)
-Chips
-Margaritas (OF COURSE)
-And Sopapilla Cheesecake for dessert (YUM...also brought by one of the guests)

Did you get the picture? Good.

It was a great, low-key night with good friends!

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Sunday night we used up some of the leftovers from the previous night and made FAJITA BOWLS!!!


This one consisted of:

-Ranch-style beans
-Brown rice (leftover from several nights ago)
-Chicken fajita chunks
-Sauteed onion & pepper leftovers
-Avocado
-Mexican cheese
-Salsa

Let's go in for a close-up, shall we?


I don't know about you, but to me that looks DEE-LISH! And it tasted that way too.

Fajita bowls rock my world!

What's your favorite thing to eat out of a bowl?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Brand Loyal: Yay or Nay?

So I tell you that I'm going to be better about staying caught up and then I end up getting behind again! Gah! Where is the time going these days?!? It seriously feels like it's flying by!

Sometimes when life is going by so quickly I just feel like doing this all day long:

Which is exactly what I did yesterday (Sunday) pretty much all day long! It was so nice. Other than church and going to lunch, I read like 150 pages from my book and then took a nice 2 hour nap. Bliss!

But needless to say I ran out of time to catch up on blogging. Oh well! Here we go...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So Thursday night I went to a farewell party for my husband's unit's family readiness advisor (that's a mouthful) or "FRSA" for those of you who speak Army.

I neglected to take any photos but the food spread included chips & queso/guacamole, cinnamon pita chips with fruit salsa (AMAZING!), veggie tray, pizza, peach & balsamic salad (that I made), and lots of desserts.

I ate TONS of the cinnamon pita chips with fruit salsa, quite a bit of chips dipped in guac & queso, a few nibbles of veggies (but who wants veggies when you have all that other deliciousness?!), one piece of pizza (had to use major restraint on that one), and a chocolate chip cookie. Oh and a glass of white wine!

All in all, not the healthiest night but also not as bad as I could have been (and wanted to be). :)

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Friday night I was exhausted after an extremely crazy workday so we kept it low key.

Hubs heated up a frozen Kashi margarita pizza for dinner which he spruced up with extra toppings (extra cheese, pepperoni, jalepenos, etc.) a la Shelby at Eat, Drink, Run....


If you're new here, yes we usually eat at the coffee table. I know it's bad but we dont' care. :)

It was our first time buying the Kashi frozen pizza and he said it was just okay. The size was way smaller than it appeared in the box and the crust was extremely thin. I tried a couple bites and agreed with him on it just being "meh". I doubt we'll be dying to purchase any more Kashi frozen pizzas in the near future.

For my dinner I first enjoyed some liquid relaxation to help wind down from my crazy day...

And then made myself a delicious salad with hummus and pita chips on the side...

Bright and beautiful, don't you think? It was a nice light summer meal.

The salad consisted of:

  • Spring Mix bagged salad
  • Romain bagged salad
  • Avocado chunks
  • Carrot chunks
  • S&P
  • Newman's Own Light Balsamic dressing (see below)

Really good dressing! Probably my favorite bottled Balsamic dressing I've had. Two thumbs up!

As far as the hummus, I went with the only pre-packaged hummus that I will buy these days....

SABRA!!! It's way better than any other packaged hummus they carry at my grocery store. If you haven't tried this brand, do it now. So good!

One last look at the colorful dinner spread:


Do you have certain brands of food that you are loyal to? I'm not usually much of a loyal person (I like to try new things) but with certain products I'm extremely loyal (like Sabra hummus).

P.S. Katie at Health for the Whole Self is hosting a fab giveaway for a $50 gift certificate! Oh please oh please oh please let me win! :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Double Duty

What's for Dinner? 7/21/2010
-Asian Salmon
-Sesame Sauteed Snap Peas
-Brown Rice

Sometimes things just work out the way they should.

For example, when you buy too much salmon for just two people on accident and end up stumbling across a recipe that is perfect for freezing.

The problem began when I asked the lady at the seafood counter for 2-3 servings worth of salmon. Somehow that translated into 1.6 pounds and enough for at least 4 servings....uhhhh okay then. Time to figure out something to do with extra salmon!

I knew I wanted to make the salmon Asiany {shut up, spellcheck...it's a word!} but I didn't have a recipe pinned down. When I got home from work I typed "Asian Salmon" into the Googster and a recipe popped up that looked good and required very few ingredients {all of which I had on hand}.

As I started reading over it I realized that not only was it perfect for tonight, but it also was perfect for freezing and eating later. SCORE. This recipe could pull double duty!

Freezer salmon getting ready to be put in the freezer and tonight salmon getting all flavory {also a word}.

Getting ready to go to the oven.


As the salmon baked I cooked some brown rice and sauteed some snap peas for side dishes.


And here's the finished product! Aint she a beaut?!? It tasted great too! Alex and I aren't huge salmon fans so we were a little apprehensive about how we would like this but we both gave it two thumbs up!



Asian Salmon
Source: Joelen's Culinary Adventures
My changes in purple.

4 salmon fillets, skinless {ours had skins...no biggie} and deboned
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons good soy sauce
6 tablespoons good olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 stalk green onion, sliced for garnish
{I upped the amounts of the dijon, soy sauce, & olive oil a tiny bit so I would have enough for the freezer salmon and the tonight salmon...we like lots of sauce}

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper {we used foil}; set aside.

Whisk together the mustard, soy sauce, olive oil, and garlic in a small bowl. Drizzle half of the marinade onto the salmon and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.

Place marinated fish on parchment lined baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 5-7 minutes {I baked for closer to 10 minutes and it was still a little on the rare side}. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 2-5 minutes. before serving. Garnish with sliced green onions and serve.

* To make ahead/freezer meal - Whisk together the mustard, soy sauce, olive oil, and garlic in a small bowl. Pour marinade in a quart size freezer bag and add the salmon fillets. Seal and freeze. When ready to prepare, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place salmon on baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 2-5 minutes. before serving. Garnish with sliced green onions and serve.


Sesame Sauteed Snap Peas
Source: Me

1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 cups of fresh snap peas
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds

Heat sesame oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add snap peas to the pan and stir fry for about 3 minutes. Then add the garlic, ginger & soy sauce to the pan and continue to stir fry for about 3 more minutes. Sprinkle sesame seeds on the peas and then remove from heat. Serve.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Catching Up

Okay so clearly I've been taking a little unintentional bloggie break. It's just been a bit of a whirlwind lately between our trip to Houston for the weekend and then jumping back into another work week full force. This will probably be a longish post to get us all caught up.

FRIDAY
So Friday we drove to Houston after work and then I bid adieu to Alex and hopped in the car with my momma. We hauled bootay downtown to the MICHAEL BUBLE CONCERT!!

Because we were in such a rush, we just ate Jason's Deli turkey wraps with fruit for dinner in the car on the way to the show. {And no pictures were taken}

Then we arrived in time to grab a beer and we went to our seats. Michael Buble awesomeness ensued....


Seriously, SUCH a great performer! I don't think I've ever seen a more wonderfully put together concert! He really works hard to make the show as intimate as possible in a giant arena and you can tell that he truly loves and appreciates his fans.

One of the things that surprised me about him was his self-deprecating sense of humor. He wasn't afraid to admit that every man in the audience thinks he is probably gay and make a joke of it. He made several hilarious jokes that had us rolling in laughter.

Another thing I love about him is that he plays the songs people want to hear! So many artists these days only want to play their "new stuff" but he played a great mix of old and new.

If you ever have the chance to see him in concert, DO IT! Enough said.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SATURDAY:
Saturday we enjoyed some time playing in my aunt and uncle's pool and then we decided to go out to eat with my mom {dad was out of town}. She took us to a newer restaurant in the CityCentre called Yard House, which serves American fusion cuisine and has an extensive beer list.

First, sorry about the blurry photos that I'm about to show you. My camera unfortunately ran out of juice before this meal so all photos were taken on my blackberry.

To start we ordered a Raw Tuna Stack thingy:

It was basically raw tuna on top of a fried chip of some sort, on top of a slaw salad. It was good, but not the best raw tuna dish I've ever had.

We also decided to be a little bad and ordered the Spinach Cheese Dip:
Which was also very good, but not necessarily better than any other spinach cheese dip I've had at other restaurants.

For my entree I ordered the Seared Scallops which were described as being served over a sundried tomato and mushroom orzo:
Unfortunately the dish was EXTREEEEEEEMELY oily. The flavor was good but it was seriously swimming in oil and I couldn't eat much of it.

Instead I munched on bites of my mom's sliders {which were AMAZING...best sliders I've ever eaten} and my husband's crab cake sandwich {and some of both of their french fries....they were shoestring fries...I can't resist the shoestring kind!!}.

I also had one and a half strawberry mojitos throughout the meal....mmmm mojitos are my fave. However now looking back over what all I ate and drank I am feeling like it's amazing I didn't gain 5 pounds overnight! It was a bit of an indulgent weekend!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SUNDAY:
Sunday we drove home but didn't get home until close to 7pm. We had a giant and late lunch at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants before we left so we weren't really wanting a "real" dinner.

My mom had sent us home with some of her "famous" chicken salad so I fixed myself a quick and easy chicken salad sandwich late that night when I finally got hungry:


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MONDAY:
Monday we grilled up some steaks with sweet potato oven fries and steamed broccoli & cauliflower for din-din:
I wasn't really feeling the steak at all though so I only ate a few bites of steak and instead chowed down on the sweet potatoes and veggies. I don't know what is wrong with me because usually I'm all about steak but it was honestly not appealing to me at all! I think maybe I'm losing my taste for red meat?!? We shall see...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

TUESDAY:

Tonight I had Bunco night with my group of friends. The hostess, the lovely Lindsey {whom we call "OTF", which is short for "On The Floor"....don't ask!} made us breakfast for dinner: {another blackberry photo....sorry}
A girl after my own heart!! She must have known how much I love me some breakfast for dinner! I had a pancake, a large serving of scrambled eggs, a piece of bacon {okay so maybe I went back for a 2nd piece later}, a piece of sausage and some fruit.

Later I had a piece of cheesecake too. But it was a Cooking Light recipe soooooo doesn't count! Right?!?

It was delicious! Alas, I didn't win any prizes at Bunco this time but at least I got some yummy food and fun times with my friends out of it!

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Annnnnnnnd DONE. Phew!! I feel so much better now that I'm all caught up. It was making me anxious knowing how behind I was getting. I'm so glad to be caught up!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and hopefully I'll be back to my normal blogging schedule tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Out & About

Tuesday was the last night this week that we ate at home. The rest of the week has been spent out and about!

Wednesday night we met up with friends at Chili's to celebrate one of our friend's 25th birthday.

I ordered the "Guiltless" version of the Santa Fe Chicken Wrap, which came with steamed broccoli on the side....


It was pretty tasty! I'm not sure how "guiltless" the wrap actually was though because it seemed like there was a decent amount of cheese and some sort of creamy sauce {I think it was ranch}. Despite that, it all tasted good and I would order it again.

Oh and don't be fooled, I also enjoyed some tortilla chips dipped in Chili's ranch {we all LOVE Chili's ranch...it's so good!} and a few bites of the brownie a la mode that they brought out for the birthday girl after dinner. It was well worth it!

Thursday night I had an Army wives dinner to go to where we welcomed the wife of our new battalion commander. These can be pretty formal events and I was on the committee who helped with it so I was in charge of ordering and bringing the flower arrangement for the table.

Unfortunately because I was helping {and because I didn't know what kind of first impression it would make to whip out a camera and take a photo of my food} I didn't get any photos of dinner but I had the Linguini Puttanesca, which was very good!

I think it was probably pretty light too which is a plus. It's mostly just a spicy tomato sauce with olives, capers and anchovies {don't make that face at me...they add good flavor!} served over linguini. I ate about half of the serving {which was huge} and took the rest home for Alex's lunch the next day.

I also ate two of the amazing italian rolls that they set out before the meal....I am a carb maniac! Lovvveee bread at restaurants.

We had a cake at the dinner but I'm not a big fan of cake so I took my piece home for the Hubs.

Okay well that pretty much sums up Wednesday and Thursday night. I'll probably have to wait until we get home tomorrow night to catch up on this weekend because I'm blogging from my mom's computer and we're about to head out for the rest of the evening.

But let's just say that last night involved someone who makes me swoon....MICHAEL BUBLE!! My mom and I went to his concert last night. I'll post a full review later but OMG he's such a wonderful performer!

Are you a Buble fan? What's your favorite Michael Buble song? I love his new hit "Haven't Met You Yet" but I also love some of his other songs like "Georgia". Ok, let's be honest, I love all of his songs! :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Measured Meal

Hi there! Sorry I've been MIA lately! We had a lot going on towards the end of this week and then we left for Houston yesterday (Friday). I'm going to try to get caught up...

Tuesday night we made a delicious dinner of Chicken Meatball Subs with steamed broccoli on the side. The inspiration came from this post on How Sweet It Is.

My husband is a BIG fan of chicken parmesan so I knew he would be up for it! He also really likes making meatballs so I was able to rope him into taking charge of dinner....suuuhweet!

These were seriously sooooooo satisfying. Perfect healthy-ish comfort food. A little cheese and carbs never hurt anyone! :)

Alex wanted me to make sure that I mention that he cooks the meatballs on a pan covered in tin foil. He was very proud of himself that the clean up for this meal was so easy because all I had to do was take off the foil and throw it away!


Filling the subs with balls, covering with sauce and then laying on the cheese...

Ohhhh yeah! So good!

Another thing Alex was proud of himself for was remembering to write down the measurements that he used when putting together the balls.

Getting that boy to use actual measurements is like trying to get a pig to fly! But I threatened his life if he didn't so he obliged...the things we do for the sake of blogging!

Alex's Healthier Chicken Meatball Subs
Adapted from How Sweet It Is

1 lb ground chicken
1/3 c. whole wheat bread crumbs
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp lemon pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 Tbsp worcestershire (I'm too lazy to look up the actual spelling of that word)
1 egg

Whole wheat hoagie or sub buns
Sliced provolone cheese
Spaghetti sauce (we used the kind out of a jar)

Mix all ingredients together with your hands until incorporated. Form into small golf ball size balls and place on a tin foil covered baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers at 180 degrees.

To assemble the subs, place 3-4 meatballs inside of a bun and then cover in warmed tomato sauce and lay on a slice of provolone cheese. Broil in the oven for about 2 minutes or until the cheese melts. {Don't be like us and let these go too long or you'll get extra crispy a.k.a. burnt buns!}

Are you a measurer or a toss everything in kinda person? I'm a total measurer but my husband is not.

Crab & Cream Cheese Wontons

What's for Dinner? 7/12/2010

I'm on kick with making recipes that I spotted on other blogs lately and so far I'm batting 1000!

Katie at Health for the Whole Self recently posted about these Crab & Cream Cheese Wontons and they immediately reminded me of a healthy version of Crab Rangoon. I freaking LOVE crab rangoon so I added them to the menu for this week right away.

YUM! They were tasty little suckers.

The only problem with them is that they are little and cute and delicious and that made me want to eat about 50 of them. It was hard to stop. I don't have a lot of self-control when it comes to bite size things!



First you mix up a teeny bit of cream cheese with some crab meat, chives {or green onion if your grocery store doesn't have chives like ours}, garlic powder & pepper.

Then you get to the hard part. FOLDING WONTONS. :::dun dun dun::: I had no effing clue how to fold these things and my wonton package was lame and didn't explain it to me.

I quickly turned to my friend Google and typed in "how to fold wontons". This video on How to Fold a Wonton from youtube came up so I watched it. At this point I thought I was good to go. Seemed easy enough!

Well, I wasn't so "good to go" after all. My first one started out decent but then it all started going downhill from there. I could.not.figure.out how I made the first one so pretty and the rest sucked so bad!

Alex walks into the kitchen at about halfway through the wontons after he hears my cussing from the kitchen.

Him: "Hey! That one looks like a stealth bomber! And that one looks like a paper airplane. Are they supposed to look like that?"

Me: ::::evil glare:::: "Well if you are so judgey about it why don't you just try it!"

That was a mistake. He did try it and was COMPLETELY winging it...not even sealing the edges.

Me: "Nevermind! I take it back! Unless you are going to watch the video and actually do this in an educated way I do NOT want your help!" {Have I mentioned that I'm a control freak on this blog before?}

He did actually go watch the video and then he came back with an improved attempt. And yet, neither of us could master the dang wonton folding technique! It seems so easy on the video...

Here they are all prepped in the oven and ready to be cooked. My first attempts are on the left side of the pan and then as you look to the right those are the last ones. Notice the ones on the right look more like origami than wonton. :)

As the wonton baked I stuck some brocc & caul in one of my beloved steamer bags...

Then I pulled the wonton out of the oven...Mmmmm! Some of them burst a little bit but they still tasted just fine!

Here is the recipe with my notes in red:

Baked Crab and Cream Cheese Wontons

Seen on Health for the Whole Self

Makes about 20 wontons {I got 28 wontons out of it}

Ingredients

Wonton wrappers (about 4×4” in size) {The ones I bought said "Medium Wontons" and can be found in the freezer section of my grocery store...with the other international frozen items.}

4 tbsp cream cheese, softened {I had to google how many tablespoons were in an ounce, since my cream cheese is labeled in ounces. FYI 1 oz = 2 tablespoons. Also I ended up adding another ounce of cream cheese because I thought it needed it. So 6 tbsp or 3 oz total.}

6 oz. can of crab meat (4 oz. drained) {Found in the canned tuna section of the grocery store}

freshly ground pepper (to taste)

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 cup fresh chives, finely chopped

1. In a small bowl, mix together the crab, cream cheese, pepper, garlic powder, and chives.

2. Dollop a heaping teaspoonful onto the center of each wonton wrapper, then wet the edges and fold into a “hat” shape (per the directions on the wonton wrapper package). {See above for my explanation of how I attempted to fold them}

3. Place the wontons on a baking sheet lined with foil or sprayed with nonstick spray. Spray the wontons liberally with more spray (I used Olive Oil spray).

4. Bake at 400ยบ for about 7 minutes {I baked mine for closer to 10 or 11 minutes}, or until lightly browned.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Heaven in a Bowl

Also known as Peanut Butter Ice Cream.

OMG. WTF. @#$%%^&*!!!


It should probably be a sin to eat this.

My hubs LOOOOOOVES peanut butter....especially peanut butter and chocolate together. I was itching to use my ice cream maker attachment so I decided to surprise him with some homemade peanut butter ice cream.

It was a huge success! There's just nothing else like homemade ice cream....nothing else compares!

I will admit though, the thing that really sold me on this ice cream recipe was that it didn't involve any cooking. A lot of ice cream recipes require you to "cook" the milk or cream, which I hate doing. Perhaps I've had one too many bad experiences with curdled milk. But the point is this recipes is super easy!

First you mix together the ingredients. I thought the recipe said you could use a mixer for this step....


But it turns out it says "blender or food processor". I quickly realized that I chose the wrong option. It just wasn't incorporating the peanut butter very well...mostly it was just breaking the peanut butter into chunks and spewing me with half & half.

So I switched to the blender....

Muuuuuuch better!

Then I chilled the mixture for a few hours in the fridge. I just stuck the whole blender container into the fridge.

Then you follow your ice cream maker's directions for freezing the ice cream. I didn't get any pictures of this step because I was too busy drooling.

Then you enjoy a super soft serving straight out of the ice cream maker....

With Reese's crumbled on top, of course!

If you're not into the super soft ice cream {in which case, you're crazy}, you can then place it all into an airtight container and freeze for a few hours to firm it up.

Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Seen on Annie's Eats

Ingredients:
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
2 2/3 cups half-and-half {I only had 2 cups of half & half so I supplemented with 2/3 cup of 1% milk...it turned out fine!}
Pinch of coarse salt
Dash of vanilla extract
1 heaping cup mini Reese’s cups, wrappers removed, frozen and chopped (optional)

Directions:
Combine all of the ingredients (minus the candy) in a blender or food processor; and puree until completely smooth. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator {for at least 2-3 hours}. When the mixture is chilled through, freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. To mix in the Reese’s, transfer the ice cream to a storage container and gently fold in the peanut butter cup pieces until evenly distributed. {We just crumbled Reese's on top when serving}

Source: adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz