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