Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dinner on the go!

Like I said earlier, I had a busy day.  For lunch I threw together a baked potato with bbq turkey and a side of leftover veggies with cream.
 Quick lunch..pretty tasty.  I just added bbq sauce to the leftover turkey and put it on a baked potato with cheese.
I went straight from work to a prayer service at our church.  I ate this in the parking lot!  This yogurt is so good-tonight was the first time I tried it.
The prayer service was very good.  God has been teaching me a lot about grace and the amazing gift He gave us in His Son.  I grew up learning about God and loving Him, but through some trials and hard times God has really shown me truth about forgiveness and freedom in Jesus.  It is a good time of year to be thinking about these truths because Jesus is what Christmas is all about.  I am thankful and if you are looking for scripture on this Hebrews is full of grace and truth.  Have a great night:)
P.S. I had a free small hot chocolate from McDonald's on the way home...the coupon expired after today so I had to use it!  I may have also snacked on some graham crackers and peanut butter...I have a new snack addiction;)

Happy to be Here!

I just want to say I am happy to have this blog!  It is fun to post recipes and keep track of the things I make.  I used to make something delicious, then I would forget how I made it.  Now I can just go to my blog if I want to remember how to make something.  This morning I went for a run on the trail.  I braved the cold and I was glad I did.  I alternated running and walking in 5 minute intervals (40 minutes total).  I was craving eggs when I got back so I decided to make a 2 egg and cheese omlete.  I used to make these a lot (sometimes for dinner), but haven't made one in a while.  It was really good.
I also had a half a wheat bun skilleted with butter.
 I mixed 2 eggs with a little milk, put it in my small skillet with olive oil.  Once it was almost cooked through I carefully flipped it and added cheese!
I also put some black cherry jelly on my skillet bun (that sounds funny).  It was a satisfying breakfast!

Last night I went to our small group Bible Study!  It is good fellowship time with friends.  I heated my leftover mac and it tasted really good with the veggies.  I came home and had a yummy cookie from our apartment office (I got it earlier in the day). 
I also had sleepytime vanilla tea!  Isn't it all cute and Christmasy:)

Cliff was awesome and sent me a picture of his dinner:)  Sometimes when he is on a business trip he gets to eat delicious food for free
 Toasty chicken sandwich and warm chocolate chip cookies and milk!
Looks very tasty to me!
Well, I guess that is it for now!  I have another busy day ahead:)  Hope you guys have a great day.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Freezing My Buns Off

For some odd reason I decided to make myself miserable this morning by drinking a smoothie for breakfast.  I am not handling the cold well...don't get me wrong-I am happy to have cold weather, but I am not adjusting to it as well as I usually do.  We don't turn on our heater because it is kind of fun to "save money" and maybe we think it is awesome to be freezing.  LOL, so I was drinking a smoothie in a 60 degree apt.  Anyways, I got over it and the smoothie was delicious.
 Good thing I had Pumpkin Spice Coffee to warm me up!
Milk, yogurt, strawberries, blackberries, banana, a handful of oats, ice, and a huge glob of peanut butter...creamy, cold :/, and delicious!
For the next hour I had a beanie on, gloves, my pj's, my awesome bootie slippers, and my fuzzy robe while I read!  I'm sure it was a funny sight....but only for my eyes:)  I went to the 9:30 step aerobics class and the Y.  Ok, I used to dominate this class at Gold's Gym...but the one at the Y is old school step and they are crazy awesome.  I looked like a complete idiot...I was out of step at least 50% of the time.  I seriously thought about walking out...but I could not give up, so I stuck it out and got a good sweaty workout...and mental workout too.  I got hungry pretty soon after that so I re-heated Split Pea Soup.  Amazing!
I had to laugh when I saw the picture of this roll.  I guess I was too excited and just ripped it to a flat weird blob and slathered butter all over it.  Doesn't make the best picture but I am sure you can relate-bread is so delicious.  These Thanksgiving rolls are still good!  The soup was as good as last night.
I took the liberty of taking a picture of my dinner ahead of time...because I will be in a rush after work and I will just heat this up at Bible Study tonight.  
Leftover Skillet Mac and Veggies!  Hope it warms up well.  Hope everyone is having a good Tuesday.  I may post a little tonight if I have time. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Warm and Delicious

Ohhhh I'm excited-the dinner I just ate was so good!  Ready for it?  I made Split Pea Soup for the first time.  I got this recipe from Mels Kitchen Cafe and I can't tell you enough how good it was.  I guess I was worried about it because I have never made Split Pea Soup.  Also, I have never cooked with split peas or barley.  I found comfort in the fact that Mel hadn't either when she made this recipe:)  I used a ham bone with ham chunks on it instead of the chopped ham in her recipe.  Other than that I followed it exactly.
This is the finished product which was so warm and cozy in my stomach:)  I'm glad it is a cold night.  Check out the process:
 Best part of this is I used more leftovers:  celery, carrots, onion, and the ham bone...or ham hock...I always call it a ham hock but it sounds funny.
 It looks funny too but here are the ingredients, you place them in the order listed on the recipe.  It did not take long to put it together.

 Crock-pot on low for about 7 hours and this is what you get.  I had to take the ham off the bone and chop it up...that was not the best.  Good thing I have no heat sensors on my fingers (from working in the food service and burning them so much)! 
 Ham back in the pot and stir until it looks like this.
I have only had Split Pea Soup about two times, so I put it in my bowl and I was thinking....cheese?  No!  I am trying to eat things without cheese sometimes LOL.  Cliff and me eat A LOT of cheese if you have not noticed.  I was glad I did not put anything on it.
It was delicious as is with a side of a leftover Thanksgiving Roll toasted with butter!

Split Pea Soup
*Serves 4-6

1 cup dry split green peas
1/2 cup medium pearl barley (not quick-cooking barley)
2 cups chopped ham or ham bone with a little meat left on it
3/4 cup chopped carrots
3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
5 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes (or 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules)
1 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf


In a medium round slow cooker (about 4-quart), layer peas, barley, ham, carrots, onion and celery. Do not mix. Pour in the water and add spices, bouillon cubes, and the bay leaf to the slow cooker. Don’t stir! Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours or on low eight hours, until the peas reach the desired creamy, soft texture. Remove the bay leaf, stir well, and add salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Serve immediately. Upon sitting and/or refrigerating, this soup thickens considerably. Simply add water or chicken broth to thin the soup to the desired consistency before reserving.

**Adapted slightly from Mels Kitchen Cafe

I was so excited to blog about this because it is always nice to have success the first time you cook something.  I loved this and it made plenty for leftovers (probably lunch for the next few days).  If you have ever wanted to make this soup...let this be your first recipe-you will not regret it.
I was reading Iowa Girl Eats blog and she is doing a 20 Day Workout Challenge!  I am thinking I need to get in on this.  I workout almost every day anyways, but this might be a good way to mix up my routine a little it will be a little extra motivation to get moving even when it is cold outside!  As you can tell...I probably won't be cutting back on sweets this month:)  I ate a mixed nut cluster for dinner...I only have one left:(  Help Aunt Kathy!!!!  Hope everyone had a great Monday.

Monday Monday

I had to make some oatmeal this morning because I wanted to try it with blackberries!  It tasted really good and it was a good way to use my rather tart blackberries.
I cheated and used Maple and Brown Sugar Oats.  Every now and then I crave the instant stuff.
I also added toasted walnuts and a scoop of peanut butter.
I kind of cut off the bowl but I had this with a big mug of Pumpkin Spice coffee!  I am loving this stuff.
This was a very good breakfast.  I had time to read my Bible for a while before I headed to Body Pump.  I went to a later class today because I wanted to be able to see Cliff before he headed to work this morning.  I think Body Pump was a new release and it was really good.  Other than that, I have been working on stuff around the house and I started my Crock-pot dinner for tonight!  I made a turkey melt for lunch-it was tasty and toasty.  
It's pretty simple, I diced up leftover turkey and put it on an english muffin.  Topped that with avocado, tomato, and cheese and put in the toaster.  I baked it for 3 minutes at 350, then toasted it for about 4 minutes.  I don't know what I would do without my toaster oven.  Served some grapes on the side.  
I am drinking apple spice tea right now debating on what to have for snack.  Either pretzels and pb or a tangerine.  I am about to head to work and I wanted to sneak a quick post in before I did.  Hope everyone is having a good Monday.  Can't wait to post about dinner tonight-I am trying a new recipe!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Unplanned Amazing Dessert

I am eating an amazing ice cream creation right now!  I made it on the spur of the moment and I am happy I did.
Dutch Chocolate Blue Bell, a Reese's cup, 2 Oreo's, a mini Twix, banana, and peanut butter.
First I chopped all the toppings:)  Then, last minute I decided to put the ice cream into the ninja with a little milk and 1/2 of a frozen banana.  I whirled that together about 10 pulses.  Then I added a scoop of peanut butter and all the toppings.  I pulsed it about 6 more times and viola:
I split the creation into two bowls. I put it back in the freezer for about ten minutes so it could freeze a little more.  I used almost an entire pint of Blue Bell, but it did not make a huge bowl.  I was a little surprised but it was so good I did not need a huge bowl.

Okay, on to dinner!  I made homemade skillet macaroni and cheese and Vegetable Sauté with Simple Cream Sauce.  If you are looking for a simple veggie side dish, this would be a good one to was a nice change from my plain skillet veggies.
Veggies in the skillet.  The cream is not heavy on these...just a light coating.  I was happy because I used up the uneaten veggie tray veggies from Thanksgiving. 
This meal is fast and super delicious.  I have made this mac and cheese two times and it was great both times.  Here is the process:

 Water, milk, and noodles to simmer!
 Add milk and cornstarch mixture and get ready to add cheese.
 Stir, stir, stir!
 Until it gets all creamy and cheesy, beautifully thick.
 Here is my stove full of dinner:)
Onto the plate and into my stomach.  You have to try this macaroni and cheese it is so delicious.
Skillet Macaroni and Cheese

2 cups water, plus extra if needed
1 cup milk (I used whole)
6 ounces (about 1.5 cups) rotini
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
3 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (3/4 cup)
3 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (3/4 cup)
1 tablespoons butter
Ground black pepper to taste
Bring 2 cups water, 1/2 cup milk, the rotini, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a simmer in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat. Cook at a vigorous simmer, stirring often, until the rotini is tender and some of the liquid has disolved, 9 to 12 minutes.
Whisk the remaining 1/2 cup milk, the cornstarch, mustard and hot sauce together in a small bowl, then stir into the skillet. Continue to simmer slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
Off the heat, stir in the cheddar and Monterey Jack, one handful at a time, adding water as needed to adjust the consistency of the sauce (I didn’t need any additional water when I made it). Stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
*This is modified from MelsKitchenCafe (the first time I made it I followed her recipe exactly, this time I needed to half it, so I tried it exactly how it is above.

Blackberry Breakfast

It was pretty cold last night so I decided against the morning run.  I woke up feeling really stiff anyways so pilates was the better option for me.  For breakfast I made Kodiak Cakes with walnuts with a side of blackberries!
 I sampled these blackberries at Kroger yesterday but the ones I bought were not as sweet.  That is Dunkin' Donuts Pumpkin Spice coffee with sugar!  The coffee was extra delicious this morning.
 Warm toasty walnuts were delicious in these fluffy pancakes.  I love Kodiak Cakes-all you do is add water and they are whole wheat!
I put butter and pure maple syrup on mine:)
This was a nice yummy breakfast before I got ready for church.  I had a hard time getting ready this I tried on so many outfits (usually I get ready really fast).  Church was great.  We came home and I made the EXACT same thing we had last night...even a cluster after.  It was delicious.  This afternoon we are relaxing and putting up Christmas lights!  We live in an apartment so we don't have many to put up...but we still decorate our entryway.  
 Cliff did an awesome job putting the lights up.
We had to run an extension cord from our side window out to the walkway!
Christmas lights make me really excited if you can't tell. 
Finished product!  It will look even better at night:)
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.  I am making a yummy dinner tonight using more leftovers!  I love finding new recipes to use up ingredients I have on hand.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Best Thanksgiving Leftovers

I just made the most amazing meal with leftover turkey.  This is now my favorite thing to make with leftover turkey.  I have my Aunt Kathy to thank because she gave me the idea.  Her family used to own a Mexican food Restaurant and she is a great cook so trust me on this-you need to make these Turkey Tacos.
It was so yummy.

This is pretty easy to make.  After lunch I made pico de gallo (tomato, jalapeno, lime juice, cilantro, onion, and garlic-chop them up and add each thing to taste).  I let that sit in the fridge so the flavors could meld before dinner.  When I was ready to make the tacos, I just chopped up the leftover turkey (white meat) in my ninja food processor.  I warmed it in the skillet with a little oil over high heat.  I put a little water in the skillet as it was cooking to keep it moist.  While that was cooking I made guacamole (a little salsa, garlic salt, lime juice, a tiny bit of Worcestershire and mash-I added a little pico de gallo last minute).
 Once the turkey was warm and the water was absorbed I turned off the heat and added pico de gallo. 
Stir that and toast your tortillas and you are almost done!
After the tortillas are warm you just have to assemble.  I just wanted the turkey mixture and guacamole on mine.  Cliff had the mixture with cheese and no guac.  We both loved it and decided this is the best way to use leftover turkey from now on!  
 Mine all rolled up and ready to devour.
Cliff's looks really good also!
After dinner I cleaned up and we watched You Again on Nexflix.  It was kinda funny but I felt like it dragged on.  Either way it was relaxing and fun.  I also had to eat a mixed nut cluster.
I feel like these might be better than my peanut clusters-I did not know that was possible.
I think I am going to catch up on a few blogs and head to bed a little early!  I need to catch up on some sleep.  I am hoping to go for a run on the trail in the morning and make a nice breakfast!  Good night.

Turkey Tacos

1 big piece of leftover white meat turkey (probably about 8-10oz)
2 tsp. canola oil
1/2 tsp. taco seasoning
1/2 cup pico de gallo (more or less to taste)
2 tortillas
guacamole/sour cream/cheese (optional)

Chop turkey into small pieces (I use my Ninja).  Warm it in the skillet over high heat with oil.  Add about 2 Tbsp. water (to keep meat moist) and taco seasoning.  After about 8-10 minutes, turn off the heat and add the pico de gallo.  Stir your mixture and warm your tortillas.  Put mixture in tortillas and add guacamole, cheese, or sour cream.  Devour.

Black Friday

I used to enjoy Black Friday shopping but it has gotten a little too scary/crazy for me.  I have watched a couple of videos and it is insane how crazy people act to get a good deal.  Don't get me wrong, I love bargains, but sometimes good deals are not worth it (hours in front of a store, hours in line, the possibility of getting punched or sprayed with  Craziness.  Instead of Black Friday shopping we slept in a little and made a yummy breakfast.  We wanted eggs benedict but there was not enough leftover ham:(  Cliff said we should try it with bacon so we did.  LOL he and my mom did-I could not bear the thought of messing with the already glorious eggs benedict.
Here is their eggs benedict with bacon.  We also used scrambled eggs instead of poached (because we had way too much going on with frying bacon and making sauce).
Here is my bacon egg and cheese english muffin!  Very yummy. 

 I am not going to lie, I wanted cake right after I ate this breakfast sandwich.  I didn't have any, but the rest of the day I was craving sweets and junk.  I think it is because I knew my parents were going to be leaving and I was just sad.  We had leftovers for lunch and I ate a mixed nut cluster for a snack.  In the evening we went to my Aunt Brenda's and had Taco Soup and hung out.  I ate lots of chips and guacamole (mmm I was craving this stuff), Taco Soup, Cake and some coffee.  We didn't stay long because my parents wanted to get to bed early so they could get on the road in the morning.  When I got home I snacked on some pretzels, peanut butter, and chocolate chips (I am pretty sure I was just emotionally eating).  I hate it when I do that but I think it happens to almost every woman at some point.
This morning I felt a little better but my parents left in the morning and that was sad.  I ate a Kodiak Cake with peanut butter and black tea with steamed milk for breakfast.  Then we got to work cleaning the house and doing laundry.  I made some menus and went to the grocery store.  I had a big salad for lunch with leftover turkey and veggies plus the last of my Sweet Potato Casserole.
 It was pretty good-especially the sweet potatoes...I am going to have to make those as single serving for myself when Cliff is out of town.
After I got back from the grocery store I make a homemade hot cocoa:  steamed milk, 2 Tbsp. Dark Chocolate Hershey's Syrup, 1 tsp. Torani vanilla syrup.  It was good but not as good as the one I had at Hubble and Hudsen.
I sat down to blog and drink my hot cocoa and then I got the munchies.  I ate lots of Whole Wheat Cinnamon UTZ pretzels (amazing), and about 4 barkin dogs (those things are addicting).  I actually wanted to keep stuffing my face with the barkin dogs, but I know I have had enough sweets so I am going to try not to snack until dinner!  I am making something yummy with the leftover turkey.  Hope everyone is having a good weekend.