Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A partner at the gym this morning!

Good morning! This morning the fiance and I got up bright and early for a before work workout. This morning was special because FH was going to stay with the boys until they got on the bus since I had to be at work at 8 am this morning. We NEVER get to work out together in the mornings since he goes in at 6 am, so this morning was a treat indeed! However, he hasn't been to the gym in a good while, so we did 50 mins on the elliptical and that was about all he could handle. haha Also, I can usually wake up, drink a little water to hydrate me a little and get through 30 - 60 mins of cardio with no problem. Not everyone is built this way and I think FH is one of those people. If he works out first thing in the morning I think he needs a little piece of toast with pb or something to give him a little fuel. Either way, 50 mins cardio is good for me! I get so "annoyed" I guess is a good word...his calories burned are usually so much higher than mine. For 50 mins I did 3.46 miles and burned 359 calories (according to elliptical). He did 3.40 miles and burned 446 calories. So unfair!

I forgot to blog about my pumpkin oats on Monday! W-O-W! The pumkin yogurt was merely "alright" when compared to pumkin oats! That is truly an awesome combo! I had 1/3 cup oats, 1/3 c. almond milk, 1/2 c. water ( I like it liquidy) with about 1/2 cup of pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice + extra cinnamon, a drizzle of grade A maple syrup, sprinkes of brown sugar (1/2 tsp?) and a couple of drops of vanilla. Oh. My. Gosh. Delicious! For toppings I added about 6-8 organic chocolate chips, a little granola plank and some sliced almonds. Totally hit the spot.

So, this morning, after the gym, I logged mine and FH exercise, jumped in the shower and got dinner started. haha That's right....dinner. Since tonight is shuffleboard, I wanted to have something semi-prepared for the fiance to eat before he leaves. So I tried a crockpot recipe that I kind of tweaked for my own benefit. I can't wait to try it tonight!

Because of the 15 mins it took to prep the chicken and crockpot I didn't have much time to spend on my own breakfast or lunch. As much as I was looking forward to having more pumpkin oats this morning, I had to settle for cereal. I had a mixture of Mother's Best Mallow Oats and Kashi Vive. I really like the Kashi Vive! Its a good combo. The mallows really add a yummy sweetness. I also made a sandwich for lunch. The fiance talked me into buying some prepackaged bologna because we got all this other stuff free. AFTER I made my sandwich, I turned it around for the nutritional info and saw 12g of fat! Yikes. As I was walking out the door I looked in my little bag (forgot my lunch box at work AGAIN) and I must have had a frown because FH laughed and asked why I looked in my little bag like that. I told him I was having such a sad breakfast with (gasp!) cereal and even sadder lunch with a bologna sandwich with 12g of fat! Of course he laughed at me and said at least we worked out. He has a point.

When I got to work I had to go straight to training, so I didn't get to eat my cereal. Then, afterwards (and after the boss left for a meeting across town) I had to meet with IT to get setup for our training sessions tomorrow and Friday. I was starving by this time, so I ate the other half of my blueberry crisp CLIF from the other day. Only AFTER that was I able to enjoy my bowl of cereal. What a morning already!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pork Chops w/ breaded eggplant and fresh corn

The fiance and I went to go workout. He is determined that he wants to go with me so I hope he sticks with it! I love to workout with him, but a lot of times if I wait for him we DON't end up going. So, many times I go twice (as is the case today), just in case if he is too tired or we decide something else takes precedence.

Since I get home before he does and he actually left work later than usual, I went ahead and made dinner so we could eat as soon as we finished.

I love getting fresh corn for the farmer's market! So I decided to make it since the fresher the better. I was going to stop by the store and buy some frozen veggies until I remembered I had fresh veggies! We have been going to HEB on Sunday evenings and they have been having good meat specials. The fiance has convinced me to buy some of this stuff even though it isn't necessarily lean meat. Desperate times call for desperate measures. As everyone else, we're trying to cut corners where we can and that means groceries. So, I decided to take out some pork chops. I steamed the corn in my steamer for about 35 mins. and I cut the eggplant into about 1/4"-1/2" slices. I mixed an omega-3 egg with about 1/4 cup of Annie's Goddess dressing to dip for the coating. then I used about a 1/4 cup of AP flour and 1/2 bread crumbs and 1/4 cup shredded parmesan. I dipped the slices in the coating them in the bread crumbs and instead of frying in oil or baking, I fried them on my square griddle with some Pam. It worked out pretty well. I sprayed the Pam on the pan first, set the slices on there then sprayed the slices with Pam. I think the Goddess dressing realling gave it good flavor too.

This is what they looked like when they were cooking:

While I was "frying" the eggplant, I pan fried the pork chops with a little lemon pepper, garlic powder, salt free seasoning and Pam.

Here was my plate. The fiance talked me into having a G2 with dinner since we had just come back from working out:

I got seconds of the eggplant because it was THAT GOOD! With a little organic ketchup:

We got home around 8 pm and watched the last of Dancing with the Stars. I am glad the football player is on there because the fiance will actually watch this with me! haha

Feeling refreshed!

I will admit, I did not get any pictures this past weekend. However, the weekend was great and I am feeling very refreshed for a Monday! Yay!
First, I will start where I left off Friday. Once, home, the fiance and I got ready so that we could take the boys to the fall festivals. We hit the one in our neighborhood first. They had a few bounce arounds basically which the kids enjoyed. I guess I could have taken a picture of my hot dog since I had my camera. haha I am still not comfortable with people thinking I'm a weirdo taking pictures of my food. Hopefully, I'll get more comfortable with it. Anyhoo, I had a hot dog with chili and cheese at that festival.
Then, it was on to the next festival! The boys (all of them including the fiance!) had a blast! There was a rock climbing wall there - my youngest was really good at it! He just shot right up there; I think he looks like a monkey or something. They boys also did laser tag, some pitching thing that measured the speed of your pitch, basketball, a funhouse and several bounce arounds. They also had free corn dogs with 100 calories sodas and chips, snowcones and free ice cream. I had one corn with some mustard, half a bag of lays potato chips and a 100 cal coca-cola..
Adrian and Gio at the first fall fest:

Me and the boys:

Me and the fiance:

After we left the festival we decided to go home and watch a Journey to the Center of the Earth in 3D. I had bought that for the boys as a little Halloween surprise. Of course, having 3 growing boys is dangerous because despite the fact that we at a little something at each festival, they all decided they were hungry! So we stopped at Wendy's and I grabbed a 5 piece chicken nuggets. Good thing we did some walking around!

Saturday, I got up and went to the Farmer's Market. I tried to talk the fiance into going and then we could pick up some breakfast tacos or something but instead he convinced me to go alone and then come back fro him and the kids and let them choose what they wanted for breakfast. He knows I am a sucker for giving the kids choices. So off to the farmer's market I was. I didn't get a whole lot, but I still managed to spend $17! I honestly don't feel like I got bang for my buck this time though. I got:

local honey
a poblano pepper
jalapeno peppers
1 onion
4 ears of corn
2 potatoes
2 apples
1 cucumber
1 zuch
1 yellow squash
1 small eggplant

I think that was it!

The boys decided they wanted IHOP for breakfast. My kids love breakfast. They would eat eggs, pancakes, bacon and hashbrown morning noon and night if I let them. At IHOP they had pumpkin pancakes and they were delicious! I got the BIG breakfast with two eggs, hasbrowns, two slices bacon and two pancakes. To my amazement, I ate almost all of it. I usually can't finish two pancakes for some reason. The doughy breadiness is too much for me I guess. I ate about half the pankcakes, but all the rest. Afterward, we took the kiddos over to Game Stop to spend their gift cards their grandmother gave them for Halloween. We went home and let them play while the fiance and I took a nice little nap. The funniest thing is that the day before, the fiance was playing with our male dog and he accidentally ripped into our down comforter! We forgot to fix it so as we tossed and turned feathers would float around. It was doing a number on my nose though!

After our nap, we did some lounging. The boys played outside, the fiance did some online gaming and I used the peace and quiet to read! We had dinner at a new burger place that we were NOT impressed with. It was worth a try though.

Sunday we enjoyed being lazy. I can't remember what we ate to be honest. haha

Monday morning I woke up and went to work out and it felt great. I did a little stat bike and about 20 mins of weights. I forgot how good it feels to do weights!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Feeling Snacky

I am blaming today on PMS. I know it doesn't excuse, but had a horrible lunch and now I am feeling snacky! So, I ate the rest of my Pear Apple Strudel CLIF bar from yesterday. It seems a little too sweet for me. I think that is what it is with the fruity type bars.

My co-worker is finally gone. hehe My boss is gone too and it is so hard to stay here at work and act like I'm working. Oh well, Only another hour and a half to go - I'm leaving a little before 5 pm which is fine with my boss anyway. Hope everyone is having a Happy Halloween!

Breaking bad habits are so hard


My co-worker was in the office this morning so I had to be a little sneaky about taking a picture of my breakfast. haha He drinks coffee ALL DAY LONG so I knew it would be a matter of time before he had to make a trip to the bathroom. Breakfast today was pumpkin yogurt again. this time I added 8 organic chocolate chips, drizzle of maple syrup, sliced almonds and pumpkin butter. Yum yum! I caught a little blur trying to hurry. Chamomile green tea with stevia and lemon next to it.

This morning my co-worker asks, "What's for breakfast?" and I replied, "Pumpkin yogurt!" and he said, "WHAT?!?!" haha What is funnier is that was the same response from our boss when he saw me preparing it yesterday. I assured him he'd want no part and he asked how I'd guess that. I told him because neither do my fiance or either son. I already know the reactions I am going to get for certain food! Although the fiance saw a recipe for pumpkin muffins I had saved and asked why I hadn't made them. That made me wonder....


I didn't picture lunch because no doubt my co-worker would have laughed at me if I was taking pictures of my food. hahaha I laugh at myself, so he definitely would have! I went to Wal-Mart to get some Halloween treats and went ahead and bought my kids Journey to the Center of the Earth. They will be so excited! As I was heading out, I could not resist the smell coming from McDonald's (bad Becky). I ended up grabbing a double cheeseburger and small fry with an A& W Rootbeer once I got back to work. When will I ever learn?! Breaking bad habits are so much harder than making good ones!

I am excited about tonight! the kids have opted not to trick or treat this year and we are hitting up the fall festivals around our area. I love fall festivals! I love festivals period! One of them is at a church and the fiance wanted to know if it was all "churchy". I asked him hadn't he ever been to a Church festival and he said no! What? I assured him it was pretty much a normal fest but the proceeds go to the church - no one would be making him pray or preeching to him. We are not without religion, but we are not practicing Catholics so to say. However, I do like the ambiance and I like going to church festivals because it is for a good cause. So, anyway, stoked about that! Also, my mom gave the boys gift cards to Game Stop for Halloween so we're going to take them this weekend, probably tomorrow, to go spend them. Other than that - I really don't think we have much planned! Yay! I'm excited to be able to be a bum if I want. haha

Can't seem to catch up

Don't you hate it when work is so busy it doesn't allow internet time? hehe

Here is yesterday's breakfast. It is kind of boring I know, but it was good. I decided to try pumpkin yogurt. I just mixed my yogurt container with 1/2 cup pumpkin, some pumpkin pie spice, more cinnamon and a little stevia. Not sure if this is Kath's recipe or not, I just tried to do it from memory. I added some almonds for a little fun.

I had that a little late so I wasn't really that hungry for lunch. As usual, my eyes were bigger my appetite when I go to HEB. I had planned on just getting soup, but for some reason all the various chicken salads and pasta salads looked so yummy! So I got a spoonful of a few of them. The mustar potato salad was not that good. I also got about 4 oz. of baked potato soup. It's not the most healthful soup, but its was I was craving. I really only ate about 1/2 - 2/3 of the salad and saved the boiled egg for later.

For snack, I ate the boiled egg and about half of this bar. It was pretty good.

Then, I ended up getting dinner started a little late. I made stuffed golden acorn squash for me and a stuffed bell pepper for the fiance. The kids had the meat/rice mixture on the side of a baked potato.
My plate:

The fiance's - it was a little messy because the bell pepper didn't sit upright:

I didn't picture the kids because they gobbled it up. haha
The rest of the night was a little bit of tv and some reading. I rather enjoy those nights though. I think it is a good way to end the day, you know?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A day late...

I didn't have a chance to get on the computer last night so I couldn't post yesterday's lunch and dinner.


I had leftovers for lunch. It was the rest of the spaghetti squash with half the leftover meat sauce with some parmesan cheese.

Yesterday was the last day of physical inventory in the building where my department works. We are the only ones that have nothing to do with what they do. haha We are quality and they are all distribution, but it is helpful because we do sort of work hand in hand. Anyway, they've been catering food for breakfast and lunch for it and yesterday was fried catfish. OMG, it smelled delicious! Then, I got the call that there was a lot leftover - I could not resist! I got a little even though they encouraged me to get more. I had to explain I had actually already eaten. Here's my little plate. The piece of catfish was actually smaller than it looks I think. This was on one of those really small styrofoam plates.


Tonight was shuffleboard night so we had "fend for yourself" night. The boys opted for mac and cheese so I made some enchiladas out of leftover chili. I could not decide if I wanted queso cotija or colby cheese, so I sprinkled both and make it very tasty! I also made some kale chips on the side. Amazingly I made 3 enchiladas and ate them ALL! Probably should have only had 2...

As I waiting for the fiance to get home from shuffleboard, I decided to make some homemade vanilla cupcakes:

I'm not sure why the picture came out so dark. I was going to make a lemon icing to go on top, but I decided they tasted delicious just like that!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hooray for Pumpkin!

Sorry in advance, these are taken with my phone.

This morning before going to gym I was hungry so I toasted a slice of fiberwise bread (I think that's what it is called) spread with some pumpkin butter. Mmm-mmm! I ended up leaving later than intended talking to the fiance, so I only did 45 mins of elliptical today. I had intended on adding 15 mins of weights to it, but I had to stop at the store. I stopped at Randall's after the gym to pick up a few things and got a nice hot cup of pumpkin spice coffee from the Starbucks inside the store. I forgot to get it skinny though! Wah!
Once I got to work, breakfast was made up of Oikos honey greek yogurt, pumpkin butter, 2 tbsp. omega-3 trail mix from WF and a little broken up granola plank.
Here's the yogurt. This is one of my only choices for greek yogurt around here and the best one that I like. I have found Fage, but #1 it is expensive and #2 its usually when I already have yogurt so I don't want to buy more and risk any of it going bad.

I put my pumpkin butter in this little container from....Chinese takeout! Who knew? The place we order from used these very sturdy bowls for their soups - ingenious! I hate it when a place delivers soup in a styrofoam cup with foil all over it and soup spilling out of it anyway!

Lastly, here is my finished product:

I had chamomile green tea and an orange with this, but I was too full to eat the orange. Usually I put some kind of fruit in my yogurt, but we're all out of bananas and apples and a peach just didn't appeal this morning. I thought about picking up some raspberries or blueberries while at the store but they are all from CA right now, so I thought better of it. I'm sure I'll cave eventually, but I was being locally conscious this morning. hehe

I will tell you what - that pumpkin butter is a great companion to yogurt! I really enjoyed it. It made it even sweeter than the honey. I think that can be a regular addition until the jar is gone.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pleasant surprises


Today was a day for experimenting and the experiments going pleasantly well. First, I found a snack size cup of Sabra Roasted Red Pepper hummus with pretzel chips. I was a little hesitant to try this because I am not the biggest fan of chickpeas. However, I really liked it! It tasted sort of like bean dip!

There was actually a lot of hummus for the portion of pretzels. At least I thought so. Luckily, the two cups fit together tightly so I could save it. I have some snap peas that I might take tomorrow. Exciting! I wanted something I could eat with some veggies!


The second experiment was spaghetti squash! I considered it a success since everyone ate it, including the kids. Of course, I did bribe them with ice cream. hehe

The fiance and I decided to have a beer before dinner as I was cooking and he relaxed playing a video game. Here was my Jack's Pumpkin Spice Ale:

Here is the "spaghetti" in a casserole bowl. I personally thought the spaghetti squash was really good and a delicious change from pasta. I could have stopped eating about 2/3 of the way through my bowl, but it was so good I managed to finish it. Here is my bowl with spaghetti squash, meat sauce and shredded parmesan cheese with bread "crackers" as Kath says:

I didn't drink the beer with my dinner, btw. It just happened to be next to it. I threw the rest out and drank a La Croix lime sparkling water with dinner.
Spaghetti Squash "Spaghetti"
1 spaghetti squash
1 lb. ground beef
1 jar prepared pasta sauce
1 can roasted diced tomatoes
1. Cook the spaghetti squash in the oven. I think I cut mine the wrong way. I cut it length wise but the spaghetti was short and not long like I've seen in other pictures and demonstrations. It was still good. I put it cut side down in a baking pan with about 1/2 inch water. I baked at 400* for 30 minutes, then dumped the water turned over the two halves andbaked for another 15 minutes. It seemed to work out well. Let it cool and then use a fork to scrape the spaghetti strings out of the squash.
2. Season ground beef to taste, cook and drain. Return to pan and add pasta sauce and simmer adding fresh or dried herbs. I used fresh basil and oregano. Add the can of diced tomatoes.
3. Once everything is ready, portion some "spaghetti" in a bowl and a couple of spoonfuls of the meat/tomato sauce. Top with parmesan cheese.
Simple as 1-2-3!

Chicken Pot Pie

It was supposed to get really cold yesterday and it did! So, I felt like making some comfort food and something that would make us nice and toasty but that I could hide veggies in for the kids as well. I looked up some recipes for chicken pot pie and came up with this one:

Chicken Pot Pie

1 can Healthy Request Cream of Chicken
1 can Cream of Potato
1 cup skim milk
1 bag frozen mixed veggies
5 chicken thighs, deboned and shredded (about 2 1/2 - 3 cups worth I guess)
1 potato

1 cup Heart Smart Bisquick
1/2 cup skim milk
dried herbs
1 egg

1. Cook your chicken and debone and shred with two forks. I used thighs because we have a lot of them since they were on sale a couple of weeks ago. Typically I would have used boneless breasts.
2.Peel the potato and boil for about 20 minutes or until soft through out but not mushy.
3.Meanwhile, mix the veggies, soups and milk. Add shredd chicken.
4. Dice the cooked potato into desired size chunks and add to the filling mixture.
5. In another bowl mix Bisquick, milk, egg and dried or fresh herbs to liking. Note: A whole egg made it very moist. Next time I might try just using the egg white and perhaps 1/3 cup of milk instead. I want more of a flaky crust. The herbs did give it a plesant twist IMO.
6. Pour filling into a rectangular casserole and pour the crust over it. Another note: I would also double the crust recipe if you use a rectangular casserole. I didn't quite have enough to cover the top of the filling as its supposed to.
7. Bake at 350* for 45 minutes or at 400* for 30 minutes. Note: I baked mine for 30 mins. at 400* and the filling was nice and bubbly and the crust was nice and brown.

I sprinkled some sea salt and pepper on the filling before adding the crust mixture and I thought it was enough. The fiance, however, added his own salt. All in all, I'd say it was good even though my potato didn't cook all the way, which is why I suggest 20 mins. instead of 15 mins. I think 5 minutes in boiling water should do the trick. My youngest son really liked it and asked me to make it again and the oldest said it wasn't the best but it was ok. He didn't like the veggies so much, but I think in time he will get used to it. I will definitely make this again!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Good time with good friends

I didn't picture a whole lot yesterday. We were pretty busy! I got up and decided to take a drive to the farmer's market and then to pick up some breakfast. Here was my bounty from the farmer's market. I found some fun things!

From left to right:




yellow onion


sweet potatoes

poblano pepper



green grapes

green bell pepper

pumpkin butter

apple jelly

I am most excited about the non-produce foods. I planned on making chili for dinner so I figured I'd try this chili mix. I've ready about the pumkin butter of Kath's ( blog and was curious about it. I'll be opening this soon! I LOVE apple jelly! So, even though I don't normally buy jelly (I usually buy spreadable fruit), I couldn't resist.

Afterwards, I went to the meat market and picked up:

barbacoa (Mexican bbq)

corn and flour tortillas

Cotija cheese


red salsa (even though I had some, I love the meat market's)

I didn't get a pic, but that was breakfast - barbacoa tacos.

Later, we spent the next two hours or so cleaning the house as we had some friends coming over and spending the night. Our friends from Killeen were in town and we were happy to have them stay with us! So, afterwards we made a trip to the store so I could double or err triple the chili recipe and buy some entertaining spirits. hehe

I didn't picture the chili, but this is what my girlfriend and I drank last night:

We started out this, but we didn't feel it not one bit after finishing two bottles of raspeberry beer and one small one of black cherry. Honestly, I don't even want to think of the calories I consumed!

So, then we moved on to this organic wine I had in my wine stash. It was good. It didn't have that bitter bite at the end like some Merlots do.

The men had a beer fest, literally. There was miscellaneous beer from last weekend and from the last time they stayed with us which was about 2 months ago! We also bought a few more six packs and ours friends brought a 6 pack of Blue Moon pumpkin ale. I have been craving it and they looked for it last weekend but never found. We didn't find the Blue Moon pumpkin ale yesterday, but we found another pumpkin spice ale that I thought was pretty good. Very nice of them to think of me! I have to admit he was the one that turned me and the fiance on to Blue Moon. I had one of the BM pumpkin ale's before the real fruity drinks. Here was the variety available:

We spent the night playing Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero World Tour (the fiance and I are junkies), talking and just having a good time. I'm really glad they came!

Lazy Day

Today, I made some breakfast consisting of pork sausage with green onion and eggs, hashbrowns, toasts and fruit. Again I didn't take a pic. We played more Guitar Hero WT before our friends had to venture back home. Now I think I am going to lay in bed next to the fiance (he's napping) and read. Lazy Sundays are the best.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Cool days = Barbeque time!

At least in the Houston area it does. Our cool fronts aren't normally so "cool" but this was pleasant and didn't need the air conditioner for a few days. Always a nice thing! So, the fiance and I decided to grill some t-bone steaks we got on sale a couple of weeks ago. We decided to use an A-1 Marinade, I think it was "New York Steakhouse". It was actually pretty good! We used it on the steaks and also marinaded some squash too. Here's on the grill:

We also had some chiles from our plants that were very ripe so we decided to roast them along with a tomato to make roasted salsa. It was very tasty!

Our his and hers plates. The steaks were actually HUGE, so the boys and I split one in 3! It was more than enough meat!

My plate up close:

We also had some orzo on the side made with olive oil, red bell pepper and some fresh basil with lemon juice.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Successes and failures

Half of dinner was a success. The other half - er, not so much. I made an albondiga type soup tonight. It wasn't exactly like my mom used to make as I don't remember her putting a lot of veggies or potatoes. But I used to love it when she made albondigas! So, I made my own version.

This was my portion.

When I put my spoon in, I noticed it elevated the ingredients a little.

The pictures don't do it justice. My oldest son is the pickiest eater, so I usually gauge how "friendly" recipes are by him. He loved it! My youngest wanted more salt...
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 c. brown rice
2-3 carrots, chopped
2 potatoes chopped into 1-1 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup of fresh green beans
4 mushrooms sliced
1 can beef broth
1 can vegetable broth
4-5 cups water
1. Mix ground beef and rice with your favorite seasonings. I used cumin, garlic powder, onion power, pepper and a little sea salt. Make little meatballs.
2. Meanwhile, heat a dutch oven. Coat with a little cooking spray and start cooking the meatballs. until browned all around. Depending on how lean your meat is, drain any fat.
3. Add your two cans of broth and water. I don't like the rich flavor of using only beef broth so thats why I only used a can of beef and a can of vegetable broth. I usually just put enough water to cover or make enough soup. My family loves the liquidy part of the soup.
4. Chop carrots and potatoes if necessary and add to the soup and let come to a boil. I let it boil for about 10 minutes. Then add the green beans.
5. Lower heat and simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Add the mushroms. Season with your favorite spices again. I used cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, dried cilantro, dried Mexican oregano and a little salt. I don't use a lot of salt and figure it is better to let people add it according to their own taste in my house. Once the mushroom look cooked and the rice looks cooked ( a few loose grains will rise to the top), its ready!
All in all it takes about 30- 45 minutes to cook. The one thing I had planned on adding that I didn't was a can of corn. Its a good thing I didn't because that was enough carbs and starch with the rice and potatoes. I will probably interchanged the potatoes and corn in this recipe. I really liked this. It had a healthier twist to a down home favorite from my childhood. Next time I might even try it with turkey instead of beef!
Another Fiasco!
Now for the failure. Dum dum dum dum! I attemped to make kales chips. All was well until I got side tracked with taking the pics of my soup. Then, they burned!

I tried to use Kath's Kale Chips ( ) but it didn't work. I'll have to try again. All I could taste was the burned taste. I was looking forward to them too!

Well, FH wants to use the pc so laters!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Divine Reserve No. 7!

The FH has a beer he likes from St. Arnold's brewery. Every 6 mos or so they come out with a new beer. It doesn't stay the same and they don't continue to reproduce it. They make a certain amount of cases and once its gone its gone. And yes, this one is gone. It usually sells out within a day or so. Every time a new one comes out it goes up a number. So far, he has liked 5, 6 & now 7. This one is a hefeweizen (sp?) bock. Here is the description from their website:

This is a dark, slightly chocolatey weizenbock with an undercurrent of bananas and cloves. There is a slight spiciness from the hops and a balanced malt that hides the strength of the beer. It was brewed with Dark Wheat, Light Wheat, Chocolate Wheat, Pilsner, Munich, Special B and Chocolate malts and Northern Brewer hops. We used a traditional Bavarian hefeweizen yeast which gives the beer its distinctive clove and banana character. It is unfiltered. Enjoy at 45°F or warmer. We are curious to see how this beer will age.

A friend at FH's work has some extras that he sold to him. This is what it looks like:

This was my taste. You can't really tell but it is thick and kind of cloudy. It reminds me a little of the consistency of Guiness just not as thick. It was a little stout for my taste so I only had this little bit.

Well, I'm off to read a little and then go to bed. It looks like we are going out of town tomorrow and are supposed to get an early start!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Acorn Squash experiment

I bought an acorn squash on Wednesday at Whole Foods and could not wait to try it! So I baked it for dinner and filled it with a chicken, rice & bean bake I made for the family. I knew the kids would not like the squash so I didn't make them eat it. I simply baked this at 350 degrees for about 45-50 minutes. I first brushed some EVOO on it and them sprinkled it with light salt and some pepper.

I think it could have used a little more flavor. Maybe some garlic and onion powder. I am going to buy it again and perhaps try it with butter and maple syrup as I saw Martha Stewart do. I did take her suggestion of cutting off a little sliver of the bottom so that it stood perfectly without moving around. Worked like a charm! I'll try to picture it next time. Sorry, didn't get a pic of the whole entree, I was too eager to eat that I forgot to take pics. hehe

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pirate Booty - yummy snack

I saw this at Kroger and figured we'd try it. There are 6 in a bag and they were on sale for 2 for $6. I'm thinking regular price is about $3.99. The bags are pretty big for 1 oz. It is puffed corn and rice with aged white cheddar. Very tasty. The kids really liked them! My oldest said they were absolutely delicious! He is the picky one, so when he says something is yummy and it isn't that bad for him, I run with it. I gave a couple to one of our dog's Cristal and she loved it. She's the picky one too. haha I saw it as a win win situation all around!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Best Rice Blend Ever

I forgot to mention this delicious rice blend we had the other night. (I made it the same night as the butternut fiasco) My oldest son, who is a rice fiend, said it was the best rice I ever made! I was so happy considering it was one of the healthiest wholesome rice I've probably ever made too.

Its Lundberg Wild Blend. I found it at HEB. It was a good blend of wild and brown rice. Very colorful. I was scorned for only making the necessary servings to feed our family. haha

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Eggplant lassagna

Last night I made eggplant lassagna. I just kinda took the idea from someone that said they used zucchini instead of lassagna noodles. This was fairly easy with the exception that I made my own sauce so it took a little longer.

Here is the lassagna when it first came out:

Then, once I added the cheese:

This is the final product with some fresh steamed corn:

This was fairly simple to make. I only used about 12 slices of eggplant, but you could always overlap your slices to cover the casserole dish completely and use the whole eggplant. I used about half. Here's the recipe:

Eggplant (12 slices or more to cover casserole)

Pasta sauce ( 1 jar or 1 homeade pasta sauce recipe)

1/2 lb lean ground beef (I don't use a lot of meat these day just enough for the fiance to be happy)

2 cups of mozzarella (Fat free, reduced, part skim or whole milk; I used 1/2 fat free & 1/2 part skim)

15 oz. ricotta cheese

1/4 cup reduced-fat parmesan

1 egg ( I used 1/4 cup breadcrumbs bc I forgot I didn't have an egg)

Cook your groud beef and add the pasta sauce and simmer for a few minutes. Cut your eggplant slices. I had a fat eggplant so I used 6 slices per layer. I did have some open areas, so if you want to cover completely, I would overlap slices until covered. Pour a little sauce in the bottom of the casserole dish; about 1/4 to 1/2 cup to lightly cover the bottom. Arrange eggplant slices next. Mix the ricotta cheese with the parmesan cheese and egg (I used bread crumbs this one time for lack of an egg). I then spread the ricotta next, but I would suggest switching the ricotta cheese layer and the mozzarella layer. So, sprinkle 1 cup mozzarella over eggplant, then half of the meat sauce, then ricotta. Layer eggplant over that and the the remaining meat sauce. Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Then, take it out, uncover the foil and sprinkle remaining cheese on top and return to the over for 5-10 more minutes until cheese has melted to your desire. I got 6 servings out of my casserole.

I would definitely layer first:

the sauce, eggplant, mozzarella, meat sauce, ricotta, eggplant, meat sauce, mozzarella


the sauce, eggplant, ricotta, meat sauce, mozzarella, eggplant, meat sauce, mozzarella

It was still good, but the mozzarella layers were to close together. Also, because I used bread crumbs unstead of egg to keep the ricotta together, it changed the taste of the ricotta a little. Not bad, just different.

The nutrition for the way I prepared it is:

346 calories

14g fat

859g sodium

26g carbs

5g fiber

30g protein

It was a little more fat than I would have liked, but that can be fixed with turkey instead of beef and using all fat free mozzarella next time and fat free ricotta.

Butternut Squash fiasco!

I bought a butternut squash and looked up recipes to try. I found this one I thought would be fun and interesting with the different flavors:

Boy, was I wrong. I wish I would have taken a picture. It looked good, it smelled somewhat good, but the melding flavors just was not my family's style. I particularly did not like the onion and apple flavor. The onion specifically I think. What possessed me to think apple and onion would taste good I dont' know. I was trying to be adventurous I guess. It was just a big ole BACKFIRE! However, I do think the butternut squash tasted good. After I prepared it and tasted it, I realized that was what we had at Shogun the previous Friday in the vegetables tempura. I had liked that, but the fiance didn't.

This is what I had waiting for me when I got home...

Aren't they beautiful? The fiance decided he wanted to make me dinner and picked these up as well. He made us french toast which was all anti-health really. It hink he planned it that way a) to get me back for the horrible squash gratin I made him try (refer to butternut squash fiasco) or b) he was rebelling and just felt like eating unhealthy for a change. White bread, full eggs (not just whites or 1 full, 1 white), but he did have to use the skim milk. hehe It was delicious nonetheless and he made some sausage and eggs to go with it. I wish I would have taken a picture but the batteries were low in the camera so it wouldn't work long enough to take it. I ended up having 3 pieces of french toast, 1 egg and about a 1.5 servings of sausage, plus a glass of orange juice. Breakfast for dinner! Yum!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

One year ago today!

It was a year ago today that my love proposed marriage to me and became my fiance! It was a rainy day, Labor Day, and he was so determined to make it happen: THAT DAY and with our friends THERE. It was cute. Too bad I didn't have much warning though so I could have looked better and straightened my hair after the rain! haha


Sunday, August 31, 2008

I am a total dork, but who cares!

I am so excited about my grocery shopping. The fiance was even laughing at me. He said I was all happy and dancing around. hehe I can't help it. It feels good to know that you have armed yourself with very good things to make some healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners. I also bought a few extra items that I normally wouldn't buy and none of them (uh, well except one) is junk food. I want to try somethign new each time I shop until I've tried all I can.

This time I got:

Roasted Chickpeas - I tried a few...its a little different. It's not knock down delicious but probably something I will eventually crave when I haven't had it in a while LOL
Butternut squash - I really am excited about this! I have no idea how I am going to cook, but we WILL be having butternut squash this week darnit!
A small jicama - I debated between the jicama and the yuca root. I finally decided to try the jicama. I think I can put it salad?
Envirokids Peanut Butter Panda Puffs - finally something organic the kids are excited about!
Soy nuts! - this should be interesting
Vita muffins - I have been looking and looking for these! Apparently I was looking in the wrong place!
Tru North (I think) peanut clusters - this is mainly for the kids for snack
Organic tri-colored pasta from the bulk section
Amy's spinach and feta roll thingy
BLUE corn tortilla chips - very excited to try these too

I think that is all my "new" products. On my list so far for next time is:
Yucca root
Swiss Chard - I debated for a long time whether I should get this or not today LOL
Sunny bears (I think) - organic fruit candy sort of thing. I am thinking of making a trail mix with it for the kids to take to school. I think it would be fun!

The disappointing thing about my trip is that my HEB is supposed to be the 2nd biggest anywhere right? Why can I find more of the products I want at the HEB by my work than the one by the house that is supposedly bigger?! I am so disappointed that I could not get Oikos greek yogurt. I had to settle for Greek God, which the first time I tried was not that great. These are flavored (1 honey and 1 vanilla) so hopefully it will be better! Also, I could not find sliced almonds in the bulk section! ARGH!I NEED my almonds for my breakfasts. Wah! I am kind of putting together a list of things in my head I need to get from Kroger. HEB also did not have Annie's graham bunnies which I need for the kids lunches. So I settled for Famous Amos cookies. Oops! That was another new junk food. A couple of mini chocolate chip cookies a day won't hurt right? Although, I forgot to check for high fructose corn syrup. Darn! I'll bet they have it too!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wednesday is for complaining about stupid people!

Gripe #1

We decided we'd eat dinner, let our food settle and go to the gym around 8:30 or 9 pm. We got there about 9 pm I suppose. (We got caught up watching Jaws ) I dont' think we've ever gone that late, maybe around 8 but never 9. We get there and I take my Superfoods RX book bc I have been enjoying reading while on the elliptical lately. He was listening to my MP3 and all was well for about 5 minutes. Then these really annoying girls come in about 3 ellipticals down from us. One girl, decides she doesn't like the music the gym is playing - which is fine - BUT then she decides to BLAST music on her cell phone! Cell phones have come a long way yes. And when heard through ear buds, the sound quality of the mp3s are not bad, I had some on my phone before I had to get a new sim card. But, through your cell phone speaker - it is crappy! It was all staticy! I looked over at her because I could not tell if it was just her ringer or if she was really rude enough to disregard everyone else around her and listen to music on her cell phone. She looked right at me and didn't care one bit. By this time, the fiance took off his ear buds and learns why I am getting annoyed. Still, I tried to just ignore it and keep on with my reading of beans and why they are good for you. THEN, this heffer starts singing! And she wasn't any good either! By this time, about two other people have just plain left the area. The finace is looking at me and noticing I am beyond annoyed and I am about to just march over there and tell her something. So, being the peacemaker he is when I am the one getting angry, he tells me lets just go. I am about 20 mins into my 45 min session. I DID NOT want to go. So he tells me we will go downstairs and complain to a manager and do weights. I agree as long as he lets me make the 2 mile mark, so he does. Meanwhile, this girl is just grating on my nerves even more. And her friend on the treadmill is yelling at the people up front to turn up the music. So we go and complain and at that the manager wasn't very professional. Don't get me wrong, I agreed with him 100%, but when we told him the situation, we explained we didn't want to complain but it was very distracting and annoying and he responded with "No, I understand, they need to just shut their effing mouths". I totally agreed but, I was a little surpirsed he'd use that kind of language. Then, when he asked which girl it was, he asked if it was the "trashy looking one". I had to laugh bc yes it was, but again, was that professional? Eh, that wasn't a big deal. I feel a little bad for complaining but dammit! I didn't get to finish my workout! That pissed me off more than anything! We ended up leaving after talking to the manager (I think the fiance planned it that way). I was so pissed! I was looking forward to those 45 mins....

Gripe #2

I heard on the radio what had to be the stupidest reason for letting your child drop out of school. I don't think there is a good reason for that anyway. Apparently, some 16 yr old kid decided he was going to drop out to be a professional Guitar Hero player. That is not the stupidest part yet. The parents actually signed the release papers for him to drop out bc "they were tired of hearing him complain about it". SUCK IT UP PARENTS! They're kids, thats what they do, they freaking complain about not being able to do this or that. It doesn't mean you appease their every complaint...what is the world coming to?!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Houston Gas War of 2008!

So, yesterday we experienced the funniest thing ever! At the intersection of Eldridge and FM 529 there was a brand new Chevron and a newly remodeled Shell that had opened up. The fiance calls me yesterday afternoon that his friend's wife just called him and told him she put gas for $2.85! Everyone is like "WOW!". We haven't seen those kind of prices in a very long time! Well, then he calls me back and his mom saw it on the news and it is a gas price war. We get home turn on the news and sure enough. By then, the price had gone down even lower, I think in the $2.40s or $2.50s. So, his mom is telling us we should go gas up. Its not quite close to us, but its not far either, about 5 miles give or take. We werent' going to but we saw the 9 o'clock news and decided "Why not?". So we jumped in the car and made our way over there. It was crazy! There were cops everywhere directing traffic and news crews aplenty. There was a line out the wazoo but we kind of took a back street and it landed us near the front. We probably still waited a total of 20 minutes. The funniest thing is that we saw the price drop right in front of our eyes!!! Earlier on the news they showed one of the owners. He said they had dropped the price to promote more business and if the other gas station kept dropping the price they would too; they could do this all day. Apparently, they sure did! When we first got to the intersection the price was at $2.21. By the time we were in line, the price had dropped to $2.19. When we got into the gas station it was $2.17. As we were about to start pumping gas IT CHANGED AGAIN to $2.16!!! By the time we exited the gas station it was down to $2.15! It took us $27.00 to fill up his car. I still had plenty of gas since I only drive to work and back. In my big old Yukon it might not have been worth the wait. I probably would have wasted more than I would have pumped. haha I don't think we've ever filled up the Galant since we got it for less than $40. It was UN-BE-LIEVABLE! It was just one of those tripy things that happen.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Weekend trip to see my sister

Well, Friday we found ourselves with nothing to do for the weekend. My mom took the boys for the weekend and as the fiance and I were talking during I suggested, "What do you think about going to San Antonio?". So I got back to work, emailed my sister and low and behold she wasn't doing much that weekend either except redoing her floor. So the fiance got the day off Saturday and we made plans to leave in the morning. Since we have the dogs we couldn't leave them for two nights or else we would have left after work that day. We got there Saturday and went down to the Riverwalk for a little while. It was a very hot day! We cooled down by stopping at Rio Rio and having a nice cold drink! My sister had a margarita, I had a mojito and the men had ice cold beers. This was us at the bar which I believe was called "The Naked Iguana Lounge". lol

This is me and my sister:

We went back to their house and her husband barbequed for us and we ate lots of cheese dip and some yummy Julio's chips! This was the first shot of the night:

A drinking game that we played that started the night

Me and the fiance:

My sister is going to kill me for posting some of these (even though she's as beautiful as ever), but I think it is cute. This has been a love/hate relationship from the start, but they have really come a long way! You can see it in their eyes and grimaces. lol

Ok sis, I'd love to put some of the other photos on here, but I will cut you some slack. We had a wonderful weekend and I want to thank my sister and her husband for having us over. Love ya sis!