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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Slipcover finished!

When we bought this couch from Ashley the big selling point was the fabric was stain resistant. Will took that as a personal challenge. Ashley furniture lost. With all my calling and e-mailing photos of the stains that were supposed to be covered under their extended plan we bought. We got nothing from them. So next came the task of looking for a slipcover to fit it. None to be found. So what is a pregnant girl to do??? Of course make her own.
The lovely job a 3 year old can do. Stain resistant my butt.

Here is the before couch. Sorry about all the pillows on it (I made those too).


With the help of Design Intervention blog I figured my way through many hours and finally finished the slipcover!!



I think it turned out pretty good, considering I've never done one, and had NO pattern. At least I know next time. Look for a couch that I can find a pre-made slipcover for.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Birthday French Toast.

Yeah, I've been lazy. But I haven't seen anyone complaining about my laziness, so I let it continue. But now I do have a recipe to share. This is one that I actually made for my canning party, and I'm going to have to make some more, because it was just so good, and I could see so many uses for it. It's Praline syrup. I know, your thinking why make it when you can buy it. But seriously, I've never had syrup this good, and it was easy to make. Not the healthiest, but delicious anyways.


For my canning party, I made homemade bread from scratch. It was delicious, especially since I don't have a bread machine, it was all BY HAND.
For my birthday I made french toast with my homemade bread and praline syrup. It was so deliciously rich. That is truly how french toast is to be made.

The original recipe calls for dark corn syrup and brown sugar, but says you can replace it with light corn syrup and brown sugar for a lighter molasses flavor. I used the light ingredients and it tasted like a pecan pie.

Praline Syrup
2 cups light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 cup pecan pieces
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine syrup and water in a saucepan. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Bring to a boil, boil 1 minute. Reduce heat stir in pecans and vanilla; simmer 5 minutes. ladle hot syrup into glass jar or heat proof container.

*For canning- Ladle hot syrup into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 10 minute in boiling-water canner, time starting when water is at a constant rolling boil. After the 10 minutes, turn stove off, and remove lid, let jars sit in hot water for 5 minutes, then remove and let cool, check to make sure they are sealed, if not reprocess.

Told you it was simple.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

House of Boys.

The last 19 weeks I could have put money on the fact I was going to be buying pink and purple. Auburn hairbows, and dance recital videos... 21 weeks down and BAM, we are adding another boy to this household. I kinda thought I would have some disappointment with it being another boy, which I probably did for all of 10 seconds. Then the thought of how Will always needs a hug from his mom and how much fun it is to watch Will and Michael doing stuff together.

After experience with Will's ultrasound, I had taken the last month to figure out what makes this baby wake up and be active, since Will was so laid back that it took 2 ultrasounds to even get a 75% chance of boy. This time I didn't want to leave anything to chance. McAllister's sweet tea was the winning beverage. On the way to the ultrasound I stopped and got one.

By the time we got down to business, this baby was pretty active. The tech said that the he would get the shot he needed, then baby would move or jump before he could save it. The tech said baby had his arms just moving and even looked like the baby was throwing gang signs. Nice. He said the baby kept trying to swat the wand away.

Then comes the favorite part of this ultrasound... time to find out gender. At first he had his foot in the way, but with some wiggling and prodding. He finally moved his foot and BAM he dazzled the room with his boy parts. No doubt it was boy parts and not the cord. Then the tech went up to his face, and the baby was smacking his lips, sucking his thumb and at one point was actually licking his fingers, sticking out his tongue, basically putting on a show.

Now we are just going to wait and see if this one comes out with as much hair as Will did, and how well Will takes the whole sharing his trains and cars. It's going to be a fun ride with my boys!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Turkey Tetrazini.

I'm not sure what made me look for this recipe. But it had to be something with the noodles and creamy sauce.. Too bad I didn't have any Chicken like the recipe called for, so instead I found a bag of leftover Thanksgiving turkey (yes, thanksgiving). So I improvised and it was pretty delicious. I also had some elbow noodles instead of spaghetti open, so I threw those in.

Thanks to EatatHomeCooks.com, it is where I found the original recipe, before I altered it. She had a variation that had it in the crockpot, but I forgot to start it, so I had to go with the oven recipe. Either way- Easy, Yummy, Filling dinner.

Turkey Tetrazini (makes 8 servings)

3 cups Chopped Turkey (or Chicken)
1/2 cup Fat Free Chicken Broth
2 cans Cream soups (I used 2 C. of Chicken)
8 ounce F.F. Sour Cream
8 ounces cooked Spaghetti noodles (or Elbow macaroni)
1 cup low fat/fat free mozzarella cheese

Cook noodles according to package directions. Preheat Oven to 375. Mix Turkey, Broth, Soups and Sour Cream in a bowl together. Rinse noodles the mix into Turkey. Spread into 9x13 pan. Cover with Mozzarella cheese. Bake for 30-45 minutes (until cheese is golden brown and bubbly). Remove from oven and let sit for 5-10 minutes.

We served it with steamed broccoli, which was the perfect side for it. The only thing I could think that would make it better would be a dash of pepper and garlic salt. It's definitely a keeper!

Now I'm off to decide what type of pie I really need... B/C it's that or a cupcake, neither of which I have in the house and both I'm craving like crazy.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Pregnant Nesting.

With Will I went through a couple weeks of Nesting, near the end of my pregnancy. You know, like most normal pregnant women. It was crazy enough, my multiple page, single spaced list of things that just had to get done before the baby got here. What baby doesn't realize that the baseboards in the entire house haven't been wiped down, and the dogs room hasn't been hand scrubbed... Yep, Michael willingly (I think) sat down and did every last item on my silly list.

So this time around I thought I would have several months before the crazy nesting started. WRONG. The minute that first trimester was over, and I got my energy back, it has been crazy nesting. Last week it was painting the guest room. Yes, the pregnant girl, was down there for 3 days straight, 5 coats of paint, 2 coats on all the trim work, and touch ups... But dang it looks so much better now (and yes it was the low VOC paint, and well ventilated).

This week was my sewing corner, which was in desperate need of some organizing. So I went on a hunt for a cute little shelf. Low and behold, I found one for $10, at my In-Law's flea market. And thanks to the paint sample coupons, I got all the paint for it for 10 dollars!! Yes I did spend more on the buckets for the shelf than I did on the shelf itself, but they were the ones I HAD TO HAVE. Luckily, my very smart husband, who I guess knew not to question the hormonal pregnant wife, smiled and held them while I counted them out. So here is my shelf done!!

This was when we brought it home, and I had sanded it down:
Not much to look at. Yet.

This is what a little paint will do.
Please excuse the toys in the background, my sewing room is also Will's playroom.

And this is the final product, all my fabrics organized by type and color!

Like I said, I still have the rest of the house to do, but hey I still have like 20 weeks before this baby gets here, so I have plenty of time to tackle each corner of this house!!! Now onto the desk/and Will's arts and crafts!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Chicken, Bacon, Spinach & Artichoke Pizza.

A friend of our had introduced us to Papa Murphy's Pizza a while back at a get together. Especially to their Chicken, Bacon, Spinach & Artichoke Pizza. I would probably never have tried this pizza if she hadn't ordered it and had it baking in her oven when we came over to eat. Since then, we've eaten this pizza more times than I can count. Except this time, I decided to try and make it at home. And I must say, it was delicious, and probably healthier than getting it from Papa Murphy's. After buying everything for the pizza it was probably cheaper to just go to Papa Murphy's but this one didn't give me heartburn like Papa Murphy's has lately. Which is a HUGE upside.

The sauce isn't a normal tomato based sauce, but actually a ranch based. I ended up mixing a little of the red sauce on top of the pizza and it gave it a better flavor. So I've got to tweak the sauce recipe a bit, but it's still quite edible and was really good leftover.

Chicken, Bacon, Spinach & Artichoke Pizza
(makes 8 slices)

1 can Pillsbury pizza crust (if you don't want to make your own-like me)
1/2 cup low fat ranch
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
1 can Artichoke quartered, in water, chopped to smaller pieces
2 cups fresh Spinach, cleaned and dried
1 package bacon bits
2 chicken breast, cooked and cut into cubes (I used the Tyson Ready grilled breasts for ease)
2-3 cups lowfat mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl mix ranch, garlic and parmesan, and set to the side. Roll out pizza dough, and place onto a cookie sheet. To get a crispy crust, poke holes using a fork in the dough so it doesn't bubble up, and bake for 5-8 minutes.
When dough is a little crispy, but not browned, take out of the oven. Place ranch sauce, then layer with the artichokes, chicken, spinach and bacon, then top with cheese and bake until the dough is cooked and cheese is melted.

Cut and enjoy!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

ABC's of me.

A. Age: 28
B. Bed size: King Size
C. Chore you hate: raking leaves
D. Dogs: 2 dogs (1 great dane & 1 black lab)
E. Essential start to your day: going pee. Sorry it's true.
F. Favorite color: blue
G. Gold or silver: silver
H. Height: 5' 8
I. Instruments: Does Recorder count?? That was a long time ago though.
J. Job title: Mom, Cook, maid, seamstress. But wouldn't change a thing.
K. Kids: 1 & 1/4 (we have an apple this week)
L. Live: Huntsville, AL
M. Mom’s name: Jenny
N. Nicknames: Jolly Green Giant, Cleanie, Momma
O. Overnight hospital stays: 2 (1 when I had Hand, Foot and Mouth when I was little, & 1 with Will's birth.
P. Pet peeve: Rude people
Q. Quote from a movie: "Ogres are like Onions, we have layers"
R. Right or left handed: lefty
S. Siblings: 1 whole sister, 1 step sister
T. Time you wake up: somewhere between 6 and 7:30 am.
U. Underwear:
Victorias Secret (yes I counted 1 time after Michael made fun of me and have over 100 pair)
V. Vegetables you dislike: collard greens
W. What makes you run late: Will not listening.
X. X-Rays you’ve had: teeth, wrist, ankle, back, shoulder (no I'm not that accident prone, I swear)
Y. Yummy food you make: umm, might need to ask my husband
Z. Zoo- favorite animal: Polar Bears

Monday, May 2, 2011

What a week.

Since most of the people that follow me know that we are ok. I just had to share the crazy week we've had in detail. It's one that I don't particularly want to ever replay, as I'm sure most of North Alabama would have to agree.

Wednesday morning around 5 am the first crack of thunder rolled through our house. Which leads to a set of feet running down the hall as he is crying all the way. I never "liked" thunderstorms as a kid, but I don't remember having the level of fear that Will does. By 7:15 am that first line had moved through, with just some strong winds and rain, mostly what we usually do around here. So I figured before the next line hits Will and I were going to run to the grocery store and get our groceries. Which entailed going to Target and Publix. As I was walking out of Publix putting the groceries in the car the sirens start going off, again. We headed home and get home before anything hit.

We made it through that round, and the news was reporting that we would have a lull of storms until that night.... wrong. At 11 am, me being the crazy pregnant girl decides that I have to have Subway sandwich for lunch. So Will and I head out to Subway which is all of 2 miles away. Standing in line while the wonderful Mr. Gordon (who give Will free cheese) is making our sandwich, the sirens go off, again. We get home again, and can see some dark clouds coming. We are watching our news waiting to see where the warning was coming from.

Then all of a sudden it starts to Thunder, no lightning, just thunder and got so dark. I got creeped out. So Will and I grab the dogs and head downstairs, I put Will in the shower and am shutting the doors when I heard the wind pick up a little. Will came out of the shower looking for me, and standing in our den downstairs we watched as our huge grill was moved about 4 feet, it was hailing and the strongest wind I've ever seen. Then comes the fun. All I hear is the crunch, snap, and THUD. I figured it was just a big limb from the old trees we have in our yard. And within 2 minutes it was gone. I went into our dogs room and went to turn on the light... NO POWER. Looking out the window to try and find which tree lost the limb.. I found this:
The left side of the picture is the larger tree that took out our power, and then you can see 2 others snapped and covering the road.

A few minutes later my mother in law called and asked if we were ok, because she was watching on the news and said they had "significant rotation" on Weatherly (which is 2 blocks south). They also said that they were registering 90-100 mph winds. By my guess it may not have touched down but was probably tree top and around our house. Since around our house and down behind our house had all the trees down and on peoples houses.

Michael finally made it home in between pop ups and I convinced him that we needed to go buy a generator before they were sold out. I'm glad we did, we bought the last one that the store had, and it was our lifeline and sanity for the proceeding 5 days. We got it set up and shortly after heard the sirens blaring again, we have the radio on and hear there was a confirmed tornado cross the parkway and around lily flagg rd. (2 blocks north of us). A hired company had come around and was cutting the power lines free from the tree in our yard that fell. Michael ran outside and made them come inside our house, because I couldn't have lived with myself if I hadn't made them come in and something had happened. One of the workers said he heard the roar, but it never even rained or got windy. While they were cutting the tree, they noted that our power line was still connected at the line by the road, which meant that our power line was ripped out of our meter box attached to the house, but caught in the pole that goes to the top of the house.

After they left we sat in the dark listening to the sirens going off time and time again. Until one tornado took out power to TVA line (local nuclear plant) that supplies power to Northern Alabama. Which took down power to thousands of homes, including the emergency siren system. At one point Madison County had 5 tornado warnings going off at once. I've never seen or felt more helpless and scared not only for us, but for everyone as you listen to the radio calling out the same towns and communities that had already been hit and not even have the security of the sirens anymore. The radio is what kept many people safe and informed of where all these storms were tracking. By 9 pm, the last storm cell had come through our area. Only 14 hours of warnings. Will had only had a 20 minute nap, in the car as we drove to buy the generator. We were all exhausted. We finally crashed.

Thursday we woke up and started trying to check on all our friends to make sure they were ok and no damage. Then we proceeded to start cleaning up. We had 4 men come by and see the trees down covering the road from our yard, and offered to help cut 1 of them down. It was such an amazing generous offer. Yes, I did take them up on it, and am so grateful. After all the storms we were very lucky to have 4 days of beautiful weather. Since we had to spend most of the day outside, cutting up trees and dragging them to the road. Yes before you scold me, I'm 15 weeks pregnant and was dragging branches and trees to the road. I did take all the smaller ones. But I couldn't just sit there and watch Michael do all this by himself.

Today came the fun part. Overnight our section of Huntsville got power. We had already called an electrician and confirmed what was wrong and he was coming today to repair the problem. He showed up at 8 am, and went to check the pole... The wires in the pipe were live and very dangerous. He said that someone had to have been watching over us because if 2 of the 3 wires had touched each other or the metal pipe they were enclosed in, it would have caused an explosion to the side of our house. So he clipped them, and we tried to call the Utilities to report a live wire. With no luck, my father in law called his friend whose a police officer and he came over, and somehow called it in and Huntsville Utilities to come over. But while they were here to cut the power to the line, they figured the would just go ahead and restring the power line. Meaning we got power back after 5 days.

We are very lucky that no one we know was seriously hurt. And only 1 of our friends had some damage to her house. Which I'm hoping insurance or FEMA is going to help her and her family out

Here are some photos of the trees and cleanup that we have gotten to do right now.
This is the tree that goes WAY back, because I couldn't climb over the tree to go back and see how tall it was. In this picture you can't even see the end of it. But it fell within a foot of hitting our barn.

This is what's left of our plum tree. To give you an idea. This pile is eye level with me, and I'm 5 foot 9 inches.

And this is the panoramic of the cleanup from all the trees and branches that we've cleaned up. This pile is over my head all the way down our street. And we still haven't touched the biggest tree or the one next to the barn.

So that was how my week have gone. We are very thankful and grateful for a solid roof over our head and a family that is all safe.

Monday, April 25, 2011

I Heart Faces Weekly Challenge: Pet faces.

There are a few challenges that I have entered, when I see the theme, I sometimes go straight to the picture in my mind of which one I want to enter.

This weeks, I knew right away. A few months ago, my mom got 2 new basset hound puppies. One weekend they came to visit and brought the puppies with them. We fell in love. I couldn't help but take some photos of Walter and Ben. This one photo of Walter is amazing to me. Because I actually got him to sit still, I mean come on, how many times do you know of that you can get a 2 month old puppy to sit still??

So here is Walter. In all his big floppy eared glory.


To see more photo entries check out:
(click on logo to go directly to page)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas.

I saw this recipe on EatatHomeCooks.com, it looked pretty good. And while I don't usually do green chilies, I though I'd give it a try. I deviated from the original recipe and added some fat free refried beans into the mix.

And while I don't have any on hand. I do have to give a shout out to a product that we LOVE. Most everyone knows of the Wholly Guacamole. Did you know that the Wholly brand also makes a queso? They have a white and yellow queso, that is beyond delicious. Seriously, when we had it in the house Michael and I would eat the whole thing in 2 days. That's a LOT of queso. This is the reason why I don't have any in the house, or we would be having that queso. Since Cinco De Mayo is coming up faster than Easter bunnies procreate, I thought I would let you guys know so you can keep an eye out for it for Cinco de Mayo. Heat it up and take it to your party (or eat it at home) and people will think you are a queso genius.

Green Chilies Chicken Enchiladas
Makes 8 enchiladas

  • 2 chicken breasts cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel-Normal)
  • 2-3 cups shredded reduced fat cheese (I used all of the block of Monterey Jack and added cheddar too)
  • flour tortillas
  • 1 can green chili enchilada sauce
  • Fat Free refried beans

Mix the chicken, tomatoes with green chilies, refried beans and 1/2 or a bit more of the cheese together in a bowl. Fill the tortillas with this.

Place the filled tortillas in a 9×13 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Pour the can of enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly.


We made the mistake of using the Hot Rotel... and BOY it was spicy. We served it with fat free sour cream and guacamole.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Homemade Turkey Pot Pie.

I do realize that it's April and not the normal time you would have leftover turkey on hand. When you find yourself digging through the freezer for the popsicle you dropped, and find a bag of leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, well you've got to find a recipe to use that turkey up (or at least some of it). I'm not sure which magazine I pulled it out of, because it was a Swanson Broth ad.
The other thing that drew my attention is that a lot of times Michael doesn't like all the extra crusts, which I LOVE, I could eat his and mine. But this recipe only had a top crust, no bottom, so I figured it would cut down on some of the calories. I missed the extra crust, but not enough that I would throw this recipe away. It was chocked full of vegetables and had great flavor.

This picture was just because the pot pie looked like something out of a magazine. It was beautiful and smelled delicious.


Then I actually cut it so you could see all the veggies inside. I had a bag of mixed veggies with carrots, corn, green beans and peas in it.

Turkey Pot Pie
(makes 6 servings)

1 egg
1 Tbsp, water
6 cups diced cooked Turkey or chicken
5 cups frozen mixed vegetables
2 Tbsp Butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 cups Swanson chicken broth (low sodium)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 of a package of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry (1 full sheet), Thaw
2 Tbsp chopped herbs (parsley, thyme, rosemary and/or oregano)

Heat Oven to 400 degrees. Beat egg and water in small bowl with fork.
Stir turkey and vegetables in 13x9 baking dish. Heat butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Gradually stir stock into saucepan. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until mixture thickens. Stir in black pepper. Pour stock mixture over turkey mixture.

Unfold pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll pastry sheet into 13x9 rectangle. Place pastry over filling. Press pastry to the rim to seal. Brush Pastry with egg mixture and sprinkle with herbs.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and filling is hot and bubbling.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Super Easy Salisbury Steak.

To add to my confused pregnant cravings, which is getting a little out of hand. My latest craving would make pickles and ice cream sound like chips and salsa to the normal person, 2 items that go together.... Cheese Pringles and Prunes? No, Not so much, huh? The other night I had made my Flounder with mustard cream sauce recipe, that I always enjoy. Except this time around, I had like 4 bites of it and just couldn't eat it. It didn't taste right to me. So I quit eating. 30 minutes later, I decide I want something sweet. Open the fridge to Prunes, they sound good. So I eat a serving of them. Then Michael gets up to go get his dessert and I sweet talk him into getting me the cheese Pringles that I had bought that day. It was delicious and disgusting all at the same time.

After that crazy night, I've had a few normal days, except for the extreme urge to have Taco Bell Nachos. Tonight's is a new recipe that my friend Michelle sent me. She swore by this recipe. She has a family of 5, so I can see why she likes doubling this recipe. It really is super easy. She gave me a great piece of advice for serving kids, make mini patties for the kids portions. Since my munchkin won't eat normal food I just made big patties. They were delicious, and I did improvise with the sauce a little. She found this recipe on Allrecipes.com and I think we both changed the original recipe to make it right for our family. I served ours with Instant Mashed Potatoes and Corn. Not the healthiest options, but just right to go along with this meal, real comfort food. We will definitely make this one again, even if it is giving me really bad indigestion at the moment. Apparently the baby isn't appreciating it as much as I did for dinner.


Salisbury Steak
makes 4 servings

1/2 medium onion diced
1 lb ground lean turkey (you could use lean beef too)
1 -10 ounce can Campbells French onion soup
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I had to use a little more b/c of the turkey needing extra binder)
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp All purpose flour
1/8 cup Ketchup
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp Dried ground Mustard
1 cup Beef Broth or 1 can beef broth

Saute the onion in 1 tsp oil, in a pan. In a large bowl, mix 1/3 can of French onion soup, ground turkey (or beef), bread crumbs, egg, salt & pepper. Shape into 4 patties (or multiple sizes for kids and adults). In same skillet with onions, brown patties on both sides. Pour off any excess fat (I didn't have any excess fat with the turkey).

In a small bowl, blend flour and remaining soup until smooth. Mix in ketchup, water, worcestershire sauce, mustard and beef broth. Pour over meat in skillet. Cover and lower heat to medium-medium low. Cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally and spooning sauce over patties.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Shrimp and Cheese Grits.

Tonight I achieved a new culinary feat. I made grits. I know, some of you are going to roll your eyes and say big whoop. But for a girl that has grown up in the South since she was 6... and have had grits a handful of times (out of not wanting to be rude, so taking the smallest serving possible) rather than the desire to actually eat them.

Tonight's recipe came out of Southern Living "May 2009" issue. There is a restaurant that they got this recipe from. It's called the Hominy Grill. Now I have no idea where in the south this restaurant exists but I have got to give them credit. Their recipe looked better than mine, and I only had 1/2 the recipe instructions... so I had to improvise a little. It was delicious, and besides this pregnancy, I'm not sure I would eat it otherwise. But for tonight, I made it, ate it and LOVED it.

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

With all that said, I'm not sure how to make it diet friendly besides cutting back on the amount of cheese it calls for. So this may just end up being one of those "splurge" meals that you enjoy every once and a while. I used Yellow grits, because I couldn't find the grits they called for in the recipe.


Shrimp and Creamy Cheddar Cheese Grits (makes 4 servings)

Creamy Cheddar Cheese Grits
Make recipe according to package just substituting 1/2 water and 1/2 milk, instead of all water.
Then stir in 1/2 a block of reduced fat Extra sharp white cheddar cheese (shredded) and 1/2 cup reduced fat Cheddar cheese. Salt & Pepper to taste. I added 2 tsp of butter to it, which wasn't on the package.

Shrimp
1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
5 bacon slices, chopped (I left that out)
1- 8 ounce package sliced fresh mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp salt (optional)

Heat saute pan with 2 Tbsp Olive oil. Saute shrimp and Mushrooms until shrimp are pink and done through, should be 3-5 minutes. Remove shrimp and keep warm. Add garlic and saute with mushrooms. Add lemon juice, hot sauce and green onions. Add shrimp back and mix together.

To plate, Put grits in bowl or bottom of plate, then top with shrimp and mushroom mixture. Serve hot.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This baby.

So from the beginning of this pregnancy I swear this baby is a girl. Everything is different than it was with Will. I'm already more emotional than I ever was with Will. I have to admit that the commercials for "Coming Home" on Lifetime... make me ball like a baby. Funny story for your Wednesday afternoon.

Picture me sweating it out at the gym at 9:30 am. on the elliptical, watching the television attached to my machine. While there are 30+ other people "working out". (And by "working out", I mean standing around chatting, staring at themselves in the full length mirrors while they flex their muscles- yes there are multiple people at my gym that do this). When all of a sudden this commercial comes on:



And thus starts the tears rolling down my cheeks, and then snotty nose starts, all while I'm trying not to completely burst into tears in front of all these people who don't know me or that I'm pregnant or even care for that matter. The one part that gets me is of course the little girl at the very beginning getting to see her dad and the guy sitting down and start crying when he sees his dad... After that day, I try and flip the channel when I start to even see the commercial coming on. Because I know tears will be flowing in the minute that the commercial rolls.

On top of that, Michael swears this baby is a girl, because it can't make up it's mind. Normally I can't stand grits. The thought of the texture of them, grosses me out... So guess what I just had to have... you guessed it Cheese grits... and I ate the whole bowl. This is on top of craving Taco Bell quesadilla and salad... seriously. So much for the whole... no fast food goal. I've already eaten Taco Bell 2 times this week. And it was delicious both times.

There you go. My crazy pregnant life. Unfortunately we still have like 8-10 weeks until we actually get to see if this baby will cooperate and show us whether it's a girl or a boy.... So should we start a betting pool????
GIRL OR BOY????

Thursday, March 24, 2011

7 Layer salad.

Our great Hawaiian vacation didn't go very well. So instead Will and I are in Huntsville while my husband is in Hawaii for work. This will have to wait for a whole other post to explain what all went down and why I had sobbing meltdowns in 3 of the 5 Atlanta airport concourses... Not sure I could type the whole story without crying again... so it will have to wait.

For now though. This baby can not make up it's mind what it wants. If any of you ever watched Gilmore Girls, when Suki is pregnant and changes her mind like 40 times..... that is me this time. And it's annoying. Last night all I wanted was a donut and Taco bell quesadilla. Yes, I gave into both. I ate Chick-Fil-A last week with my stepdad while he was in town. So my streak of 2 years, 3 months and 19 days of no fast food came to an end. But MAN was that grilled chicken sandwich and waffle fries worth it. Sorry, little detour there. Back to the point. This baby is so culinarily confused. This morning I woke up and all I've been able to think about was this 7 layer salad that my mom has made for years... so what did I do.. went to the store bought the stuff to make it, came home. Made it and dug into it for lunch. And it was GOOD.

So here is the recipe: I know you may read the ingredients and say "Really Colleen... that's good". But honestly it is delicious and perfect for summer get togethers and BBQ's.

7 Layer salad
WW Pts Plus will vary depending on the ingredient brands you use

1 head of iceburg lettuce, cleaned
1 green pepper, chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 small bag of frozen peas
1 small bottle of lowfat or fat free ranch dressing
1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1 package of bacon pieces

In a large casserole dish or something that you can cover. Break the lettuce into small bite size pieces. Layer lettuce, then green pepper, onion next. Thaw the peas in a strainer with warm water, then place on top of onions. I usually put just enough ranch to lightly cover the peas. It will thin out while it sits. The top with cheese and bacon pieces on top.

It's usually best if you let it sit for a couple hours before serving. And will last in the fridge for 2 days before the lettuce gets too mushy.



Monday, March 14, 2011

Cheesy Shrimp Stuffed peppers.

This recipe I actually pulled out of a Costco cookbook that Michael brought home ages ago from a guy he worked with. So of course I went through pulled out this recipe and stuck it in my 3 ring binder of recipes out of magazines... I finally flipped to it and was like hmmm, baby doesn't hate the sound of that. We'll try it.

The original recipe didn't have shrimp in it, it actually had no meat, but I had 1/2 a pound of shrimp that we need to eat and it sounds like it would go good. And pretty healthy, if you use fat free/low fat cheese. The peppers turned out better than I expected. They were also more filling than I thought, I ate my serving and sat there for a minute and realized I was completely satisfied. The pepper were soft but not mushy, the cheese/ranch flavor was delicious on top of the sweet peppers. I think I actually like this recipe better than any other stuffed pepper recipe I've ever had.... It's is a keeper in our house!!

Cheesy Shrimp Stuffed Peppers
makes: 4 servings

2 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers (whatever is cheaper)
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1/2 onion chopped
1 cup diced yellow pepper
1 cup diced red pepper
1 cup cooked brown rice
2 Tbsp dried ranch seasoning
1 cup low fat shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 lb shrimp, cooked and diced

Preheat oven to 375. Split whole peppers in half and seed them. Set Aside.
Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add chopped peppers and continue sauteing for 3-4 minutes, or until peppers are tender.

In a large bowl, stir together rice, ranch dressing, shrimp and sauteed pepper/onion mixture. Fold in cheese. Stuff pepper halves with the rice/cheese mixture. Place in a baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, or until heated through.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pasta Soup Classic.

With it being cold and dreary here today I decided that Soup was the way to go. I've made this recipe before but had added a mexican flavor. This time I opted for an italian flare, since apparently this baby is not a fan of the mexican food like Will was. I had added a notation to this one that it was low in points.

I forgot to take a picture. We were hungry and have been smelling it for an hour, so it got devoured before I even thought about it.

Pasta Soup
(makes 4-6 servings)

1- 32 ounce Box Fat free chicken broth
4-8 cups water (depending on how "soupy" you want it)
1 medium onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1- 15 ounce can Tomato sauce, no salt added
2- 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, no salt added
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 cup of pasta (any type, I used Penne, b/c I had a box of it open)
salt and pepper to taste
* For the italian flare I added: A sprinkle of garlic salt and Crushed rosemary

Mix all ingredients, except pasta. Bring to a boil and let simmer 1 hour to 1 1/2 hour, then add pasta and let pasta cook until carrots and pasta are tender.

I sprinkled the bowl of soup with a Tablespoon of shredded parmesan.

Besides the little to much pepper I added, it was perfect. Exactly what I wanted today!! You can't beat a meal that feeds a whole family for 1-2 dollars.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Bacon Tomato pasta.

We actually made this recipe a week ago, but that night we got to have my friend from Auburn up here for the night, so I was busy chatting with her, then the whole excitement of telling everyone about our pregnancy. Then of course my laziness of just being so tired because of the pregnancy that I'm a little behind. So bare with me.

This recipe was pretty good, although I'm still not sure why the parmesan cheese in my recipe clumped and the original recipe off of Eat At Home cooks.com didn't. I even went so far as to email her and ask if she had that happen. No such luck. The only thing I can guess is I added it to fast.

Bacon Tomato Pasta
(makes 4 servings)

  • 6 ounce (or 1 1/2 ounces per adult) pasta – I used penne, but you could use any shape you like
  • 2 Tbs. butter + 2 Tbs. olive oil (this didn’t make it into the picture)
  • onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups half & half
  • 1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese, shredded or grated
  • salt & pepper
  • 6 slices turkey bacon, cooked and diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained, no salt added
  • fresh basil leaves, chopped

Boil the pasta according to the directions. Melt the butter and olive oil together in a pan and add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is tender. Add the wine and cook for a minute or two. Add the half & half, whisking to blend. Stir in the cheese slowly in sections and let it melt. Season with salt and pepper. Toss in the bacon, tomatoes and basil.

Drain the pasta then mix it with the sauce. Serve it with extra parmesan and black pepper if you like. Yum!


Friday, February 25, 2011

Changes.

Yesterday was my Will's 3rd birthday. 2:05 pm on February 24, 2008, after 12 hours of natural labor that crazy little cutie pie entered our life and made us parents. It was the most surreal and frighteningly fantastic moment all bottled into one. I wouldn't change that moment for the world.... except..

To start over. My blog is going to officially be about my kids not just kid anymore.... Yep, we are pregnant and super excited. I went to the doctor Wednesday and sure enough... What made me laugh, is that the doctor walked in, looked at my chart and we started talking about when I stopped birth control... 1 week to be exact. So he laughs, turns to me, and says "Give me a high five", then proceeded to give me a high five for being super fertile. He cracks me up.

We waited to tell our parents until Will's birthday. His last present was a Big brother T-shirt, which he threw on the floor to move onto all the cool toys he got..Meaning my Mother in law picked up the t-shirt and read it. Watching their faces as they read the shirt and it sunk in... priceless. They were crying and laughing and hugging. We are so lucky to have parents that are so supportive and around to help!!

So we are going to have a pumpkin. Our due date is October 21 (ish). So if this one comes late, like Will did... Pumpkin!!

So here comes the twist, you all get to watch as my cravings come out and if you dare.. try the same recipes that this baby is going to want. Plus I'm pretty sure you guys are going to want to hang around to see what my hormones do to my husband...

Someone else had done this, and it just made me laugh. So just in case you didn't get it...
I'm Prego!!!! hehe. I know clever right... or stupid. Either way, it made me laugh, and apparently I've got a stupid sense of humor. So go with it, humor the pregnant girl for a while.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Party preparation = quick dinner

Yes. I've been lazy about posting. But we've been eating a lot of recipes I've already posted. So instead of reposting them, I've just been having dinner.

Except tonight. Tonight since I'm trying (trying is the operative word there) to finish as much of the food prep for tomorrow. Since I've been on the go since this morning. Tonight we are trying an easy meal. It's a Chicken and Dressing Casserole from EatatHomeCooks.com. I haven't figured up the point plus value for them. The only thing I would have done differently with this recipe is probably used a little less milk, b/c the stuffing was a little mushy and I like mine a little crunchier, maybe leaving it uncovered the whole baking time too would have done it. I'd definitely make it again!!

Chicken and Dressing Casserole
(makes 6 servings)

3 cups Cooked chicken (I used the Tyson ready Chicken strips I got on sale)
1 box of cornbread stuffing mix
1 can chicken broth (99% fat free)
3 Tbsp butter (I forgot to add)
1 1/3 fat free milk
1 can cream of chicken soup (99% fat free)

Put chicken in the bottom of 9x13 pan. In a large bowl mix the stuffing and broth. Set aside while you mix the rest. Melt the butter in the microwave. Mix butter, milk and cream of chicken soup together. Pour soup mixture over chicken, then put the stuffing over the soup. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes- 1 hour.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Birthday Cakes.

One thing I love about Birthdays are the cakes. Last year I did a firetruck. This year Will decided on a Cars Theme.

So immediately I knew I was doing a KaChow cake. KaChow is Will's name for Lightning McQueen. You know in the movie when he's acting like a jerk, he goes "KACHOW" and shines his lightning bolt into other cars eyes. So he's always been KaChow in our house.

My little dude turns 3 next week. I know, 3 years where did that go. His party is Saturday with a bunch of his friends at his house. So with everything else I've got to do this week. I knocked out the cake today.

Did you know that an iced cake that hasn't been cut can last up to 2 weeks. Now I don't know about any of you. But I've never known an iced cake to last that long in our house.

So here it is. Will's Lightning McQueen Cake.
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Picture 1 of Lightning McQueen Cake.

Picture 2 of Lightning McQueen

The top of Lightning McQueen.

The tires for Lightning McQueen (chocolate donuts with piping).


Will thinks its pretty cool. So that is good enough for me!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Day 2011.

Today has been a great day.

I woke up to an almost 3 year old munchkin climbing in bed, turning on the T.V. and watching Finding Nemo on at 6:30 in the morning. Then Michael came upstairs after eating his breakfast to get ready for work. Surprising me with a gift certificate for a massage at the YMCA! Which I've been pining over but couldn't bring myself to spend the money on myself.

Going to the gym, running a couple errands. Then home to eat lunch and let my mini valentine take a nap. 3 hours later!! (Score for me) We got to go outside and play for the first time in months and it was wonderful. 60+ degrees outside is perfect weather for February if you ask me.

Then DH gets home and we made dinner together, of my 5.00 Filet Mignon (2- 8ounce steaks), Roasted asparagus and baked potato. It was delicious and better than any restaurant steak to be found in the state of Alabama. The only steak that has ever come close to Michael's is Morton's Steakhouse.
For dessert we each got to choose a cookie that Will decorated yesterday.

Tomorrow we are going out on a date night, to The Melting Pot, where we will pay way to much to cook our own food. But we will be doing it minus Will. So it's worth it for the time to ourselves!!

All in all, a great Valentines day. No flowers or expensive overpriced chocolates a great dinner with my husband and munchkin. Hope you had a great Valentines too.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Swagbucks is awesome!

If you've looked at my blog, which I'm guessing you have, because your reading it right now. You might see a banner for Swagbucks. A friend turned me onto the site, and boy am I glad she did.

Just in case you guys don't know what it is, let me share a secret. It's totally free. When I say free, I mean I get free stuff... completely free, no spam mail, no catches, nothing.

It's actually pretty easy. If you sign up for Swagbucks, you can "Like" them on facebook.

Then instead of searching Google or Yahoo or Bing, search on swagbucks and you have a 1 in 6 chance of winning swagbucks. They also give out free swagcodes that you can redeem for swagbucks. The swagcodes that they hide on pages, in their blog sometimes involve scrambling words, or just looking. It's pretty easy. Plus if you did like them on facebook, they will alert you to when there is a code out there.

Here's the great part, when you earn enough swagbucks you can buy stuff. The best are giftcards to iTunes, Amazon, Starbucks, and a bunch of others. So far I've earned 50-60 dollars in giftcards for free. Which comes in handy for buying Christmas or Birthday presents!

If you guys aren't already doing swagbucks, click on the banner at the top of the page and sign up. It's super easy and who doesn't love FREE stuff!!!!

BTW, It's Superbowl Sunday! My prediction is Packers are going to win it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

B1G1 plus Coupons = Free.

Couponing is so fun when you get a really good deal. It almost feels like I'm cheating the system. When in reality I'm working the system better than most consumers. Yesterday was one of those days at Kroger for me!! Every single item I bought I had a coupon for. Plus they were on sale!!
Here is how it played out

Kroger has great deals like buy 10 participating items get 5 dollars instantly off. And you can still use coupons on top of that. Check with your customer service desk and find out what coupons they will accept. The Kroger and Publix here will take competitor coupons. So I'm able to use 5 dollar off a purchase of 50 dollars or more that come in the school fundraiser books here. So usually walking into any grocery store I know I've got an instant 5 dollars off.

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Wholly Guacamole/Salsa/Dip is having a B1G1 Free and on some packages of the queso it had buy this queso get the salsa free...

They are normally 3 dollars. So with B1G1 they were 1.50 each.

Now with the coupon on the package of queso you get the salsa for free.

Now print: (you can print several *hint hint*)
http://www.eatwholly.com/getofftheranch/assets/WG_Coupon.pdf
Then add this $1.50 coupon for the queso dip. And you get both for free!!!
Did all that make sense??

With that deal I bought 12 packages 6 salsa and 6 queso. Since it is Superbowl Sunday this week! Can't beat free stuff.

Also Target has coupons on their website at the bottom of their homepage. Some will print out Manufacturer and some will print out Target coupons. The target coupons you can add on top of Manufacturer coupons which is how I got free Kraft cheese slices for Will's lunches.

With all of that and my other sales & Coupons.

I spent $46.35 and saved a whopping $69.36


Monday, January 24, 2011

Firecracker Tilapia.

Tilapia was the fish that we had on the menu for tonight. But I never wrote down how I had planned on cooking it. So I winged it. Ok, I didn't really wing it. My mother in law gave me Secret Restaurant recipes for Christmas, so I flipped through it until I found a fish recipe. Which just happened to be one from Chili's. I'd never heard of it or tried it, and I didn't have all the ingredients it called for, so I did have to improvise that is why I'm claiming to have winged it.


Fire Cracker Tilapia (makes 2 filets)
WW points plus: 5 pts per serving

2 Tilapia filets (3-4 ounce each)
1 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce, reduced sodium
1 Tbsp Rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
1 tsp to 1 tbsp Chili garlic sauce (depends on how spicy you want it)
2 Tbsp Brown sugar
4 Tbsp Panko Bread crumbs

Turn Broiler in oven on Low.
In a saute pan, heat oil on medium, add garlic and saute 1 minute. In a small bowl mix Soy Sauce, Vinegar, Oyster Sauce, Chili Garlic Sauce and Brown sugar. Pour into pan with garlic. Stir until sauce thickens and is bubbly. Turn stove eye off.
On a cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil spray with PAM, then spray 1 side of Tilapia with PAM, place sprayed face down. Spray top then sprinkle with Panko crumbs. Then spoon garlic mixture over the top to cover. And place under the broiler 8-10 minutes or until the fish is flaky.

We served it with Broccoli, and I was going to do rice, but didn't have any brown rice (how did I run out of that?? eek) So instead I did a Fresh steamer bag of Broccoli, Cauliflower and Carrots in Cheese sauce.

I have to admit the fish was better than I thought it was going to be. The sauce and panko crumbs made it a little crunchy, and was a great texture to the flaky fish!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Spicy Chicken Cacciatore

Way back in 2005 when I first joined Weight Watchers they had a program that was divided into Core and Flex. Flex used the points system that Weight watchers has evolved into a healthier program. Core was the other version that had certain foods that you could eat until you were satisfied (NOT STUFFED). It was a more regimented eating plan, where you ate lean meats, protein, fruits and veggies, some whole grains. Basically a healthy well rounded diet. When I first joined I never thought of doing the core plan. But after 8 months on a plateau. I was beyond frustrated. I can remember leaving meetings after not seeing a loss, or seeing a gain on the scale and crying out of frustration.

I finally told myself that I would try the Core plan, honestly for 8 weeks. And if it didn't get me off my plateau then I would quit Weight Watchers... within a week I was losing again. And after having lost another 30 pounds, I ended up pregnant with my little munchkin. Or I would have probably lost more.

While we were doing Core, I collected a 3 ring binder full of recipes. Some were great, while others were so so. One of the great recipes is this Spicy Chicken Cacciatore recipe. I haven't changed the recipe, but just re-calculated it for Weight Watcher's new points program.

Spicy Chicken Cacciatore (makes 4 servings)
WW Points Plus: 8 pts a serving

4 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup onions, chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 medium green pepper, diced (or sliced)
1 cup mushroom, sliced
4 Chicken Thighs with skin removed
4 Chicken drumsticks with skin removed
2 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1- 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, no salt added, drained
2 Tbsp dried parsley

In a large saucepan or stock pot over medium-high heat, add onion, garlic, green pepper and mushrooms. Saute until vegetables are tender and mushrooms release juice, about 4 minutes. Add chicken and saute until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add basil, curry, salt and pepper. Stir to coat.
Add tomatoes and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 30-45 minutes or until chicken is done.
Meanwhile cook pasta according to package directions and keep warm. Transfer pasta to bowls and spoon 1 chicken thigh and drumstick then top with Tomato mixture.
Serve hot.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Week O' Ham.

If you guys haven't figured it out I like a good deal. Coupons, sales, if it means saving some money. I'm in.
Last weekend my sister and I headed down to Auburn to celebrate my mom's "significant" birthday. I'm not giving it away, because we all know how women don't like to tell their age. While we were down there my stepdad decided to play "Let's Make a deal"... for anyone who doesn't remember that show. It's the game show where the host offers a guest in the audience money or they can take whatever is behind a door... sometimes it works out good. Sometimes they get Zoinked. When my stepdad decided to play the game. I decided ahhh what the hell let's just go for it.
I chose to make the deal with him. I told him I'd buy him an Auburn Championship sweatshirt in return he would give me a piece of paper.... sounds like an iffy deal right. Well the paper was actually a coupon for a Honey Baked Ham!!! SCORE for me.

So I bought him his 22 dollar sweatshirt. We went to pick up the Ham, and of course they happen to be out of their 7 pound ham. So they gave me an 8 pound ham instead. SCORE AGAIN. It was a 60 dollar ham that I got for 22 dollars!! 48 dollar savings!

Here is where it gets even funnier. As you could have guessed we have been eating ham all week. We even invited my In Laws over to help us knock some of it out. So Wednesday my Mother in Law calls laughing. Michael's (my husband) grandmother went shopping and found a ham on sale... and is cooking it tonight for dinner. So we get to go out there and have a ham dinner. AGAIN. Haha (sort of)

So just in case anyone is counting.
This morning eggs with ham,
Lunch- Ham with chips and salsa
Dinner- Some for of ham with sides...

I AM OFFICIALLY DECLARING THIS THE WEEK O' HAM.

The upside is next week I'm making Cajun White beans with the ham bone!! I'm gonna get every last bit out of that ham I can!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Shrimp Caesar Salad.

Last October when Michael went fishing with his dad down to the Mississippi gulf, they caught a shrimping boat coming back into the docks, and got the shrimpers (is that even the right word to call them??) to sell them some fresh right off the boat shrimp. Then the came home, and proceeded to let me separate them into 1 pound bags. Leaving us with a LOT of shrimp. Good thing it's healthy when cooked in the right way. I know the point value seems high on a shrimp caesar salad, but it's mostly the dressing, which eats up the majority of points.

Shrimp Caesar Salad (makes 2 servings)
WW points plus : 9 pts a serving

1 pound raw, peeled and deveined shrimp
1 tbsp light butter or margarine
4 tbsp Newman's light Caesar dressing
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 head of romaine lettuce, rinsed dried and chopped
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp rosemary, crushed
1 tsp oregano

In a large bowl or tupperware container, place lettuce, and drizzle with the caesar dressing. Stir to mix up or place lid and shake it up. Shaking the container more evenly coats the dressing on the lettuce. Meanwhile in a saute pan, melt butter over medium heat, Add shrimp and cook 3-4 minutes on each side. Mix in garlic salt, rosemary and oregano.
Plate the lettuce, then add the cooked shrimp. Before you serve sprinkle with parmesan cheese.


It's a pretty simple recipe, light and fresh when you can get fresh shrimp. If we don't have fresh shrimp I usually look for the shrimp on sale in the seafood department. If I can find it at 3.99-4.99 lb or cheaper, I usually buy 2-3 lbs and separate it into 1/2 or 1 pound packages!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Stuffed Chicken breast.

I'm still working on getting used to Weight watchers new Points plus program. But I'm really liking it. When I bought the new material it had a cookbook. We have started to go through the cookbook trying all the recipes. One of the first ones that caught my eye was this recipe. It turned out delicious, and was surprisingly filling.

Feta Stuffed Chicken Breast (makes 4 servings)
WW points plus value: 4 pts a serving

2 ounces fat free cheese, crumbled
2 moist packed sun dried tomatoes (not packed in oil), finely chopped
1 Tbsp basil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup panko (japanese bread crumbs)
4- 5 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast
4 teaspoons fat free mayonnaise

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray nonstick baking sheet with spray.
2. With fork, mix together feta, sun dried tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper in small bowl until blended. Spread Panko on sheet of wax paper or shallow pan.
3.With small sharp knife, cut pocket, about 2 1/2 inches long in each chicken breast. Put one-fourth of cheese mixture into each pocket. Brush top of each breast with mayonnaise. Press coated side of chicken, one breast at a time, in crumbs. Place, coated side up in prepared baking pan.
4. Lightly spray crumbs with nonstick spray. Bake until chicken is cooked through and crust is golden, about 25 minutes.

We served it with side of Sliced mushrooms sauteed. And fresh spinach sauteed in 1 tbsp olive oil.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Shepherd's Pie & Tuscan Bean Soup!

I have had a few recipes that we are trying from the new Weight watchers points plus recipe book. So far we have 2 that have turned out fantastic! I forgot to take a picture of the Shepherd's Pie. But instead I will just have to post the recipe for that one until next time we make it and we will make it again.

Shepherd's Pie (makes 6 servings)
WW Ppts: 6 pts a serving

1 1/2 pounds (3 potatoes was enough) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks.
1/2 cup plain fat free yogurt
2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley (I used 1 Tbsp dried parsley flakes)
3/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 pound lean ground beef (5% or less fat)
1/2 pound ground turkey (breast meat only)
1- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen peas (I used peas and carrots mix b/c it's what I had)
1/2 tsp dried thyme

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Put potatoes in medium saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain. With potato masher, mash potatoes until smooth. Stir in yogurt, parsley 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
3. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, cook, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes. Add beef and turkey, cook breaking apart meat with spoon. Once fully cooked, drain off any fat.
4. Add tomatoes, peas, thyme, and remaining salt and pepper, bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.
5. Spread meat mixture in 10 inch deep-dish pie plate or 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Spread mashed potatoes on top. Bake until potatoes begin to brown and filling is bubbly about 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

The only thing that I can think that would have made it any better. Is some brown gravy. But that is only b/c I'm used to Shepherd's pie with gravy. There are some low fat option out there that only use water to mix. Which I would have made except I didn't have any.

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The Tuscan Bean Soup was delicious, but I "bulked it up a bit". Without making it go way up in points, and it was worth it.

Tuscan Bean Soup (makes 4 servings)
WW Ppts: 5 pts a serving

2 tsp Olive oil
1 Onion, chopped
2 Carrots, diced
2 Celery Stalks, diced
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1 - 15.5 ounce can Cannellini Beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups Chicken broth, fat free
2 - 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp dried basil
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp crushed Rosemary
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 package of Tyson Ready Grilled chicken breast strips

1. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery; cook stirring, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant. About 30 seconds. Stir in beans and broth. With potato masher, coarsely mash cannellini beans.

2. Stir tomatoes, basil, and pepper into soup. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes or until carrots and celery are soft but not mushy. Heat Chicken strips in microwave and then mix into soup.

3. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.


Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year. Same goals.

The title pretty much says it all. For 2 years I have made New Year resolutions and actually stuck to them. Kinda weird. So this year they are going to stay the same. And I'm putting them out here in print for all to read.

1)Lose weight. I know everyone says that as their #1 resolution, but I'm 23 pounds from my goal weight and by December 31, 2011 I want to be able to say. I'm a Weight Watchers lifetimer. I WILL DO IT.
2)Keep Couponing. It may seem a little silly handing over my stack of coupons at the register every week. But at the end of 2010. I had saved $2,976... Not including the coupons I used at Bed Bath and Beyond (which there were several).
3) I've gotta take you back to December 30th, 2008. That was the last day I went through a drive thru. It was Chick-Fil-A. Grilled chicken sandwich and french fries. I know most fast food have "healthier" options, but I'm gonna be straight with you. I would always go with the best intentions. Then get to that magic little box to order and poof out of my mouth rolls my old standby's that got me 105 pounds overweight. So for 2009 my New Years Resolution was to go 1 year without going through a drive thru... and I've stayed true to it. 2010 rolled around and I honestly don't need it anymore. Yes I do sometimes still get the cravings for a chicken quesadilla from Taco Bell or Chick-Fil-A nuggets... but I know I've gone this long.. I can make it through 1 more meal without it.

My only addition to these goals is:
To try and do more stuff just for me. I haven't figure out the specifics on this, but I'm thinking it's going to involve more girls nights out. Pedicures, clothes shopping for just me. Take more time for just myself.