Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hump-Day Confessional

photo courtesy of stock.xchng

So, my friend Ashley started doing a "Monday Confessional" on her blog and I absolutely LOVE it, so I am totally stealing the idea!  I think it is a great way to get to know me a bit more.  Some will be serious, some fun, some probably a little TMI....but it is all the glory of me, lol!
Hold on tight cause here we go!!!
  1. I confess....I love to make up songs.  Songs about nothing...songs about whatever I am doing at the moment...songs about what I am trying to make my kiddos do.  Sometimes I will be in the middle of a of a conversation, and I will just finish it in song.  All I need to do is add-in some swanky dance moves and jazz hands and I would  be a freaking walking musical.  My poor children.
  2. I confess...At this moment, I have approximately 7 pairs of underware dangling off my bedroom ceiling fan.  I am not even sure how it happened.  Maybe some sort of leap-year gag?  Perhaps an underware gnome thought it would be HI-larious to see the look-o-shock on my face last night when I went to bed.  But I was a smooth operator.  I just looked, shook my head, and walked out.  HA!  I will show them.
  3. I confess...I am honestly starting to get freaked out that my ear is going to stay plugged forever.  Have you ever gotten sick for so long you start to forget what it was like to feel well?  That is how I feel. 
  4. I confess...I really, REALLY want a French Bulldog.  Like, really bad.  I want to get a girl and name it something obnoxiously French-like.  Maybe Coco or Odette or Eloise or Esme. 
  5. I confess....I returned $85 dollars worth of groceries to Trader Joe's this week.  I cleaned out my pantry to rid it of all the stuff we are not eating anymore.  At first, I was going to throw it out or perhaps donate it.  Then I remembered that Trader Joe's has an AWESOME return policy.  So I called them and explained we aren't eating sugar or higher carb items and could I return 3 bags of groceries from my pantry.  They said yes, so I did.  I still felt chumpy about it though, so I drove to the one on the other end of  town so I wouldn't be known as the "crazy lady who returned a pantry load of food" when I go in to the one by the house.

So, come on...join in the fun...what do you have to confess today?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Menu Plan 2/27/2012 - 3/2/2012

I was DREADING my weigh-in this morning.  Totally DREADING.  This past week, the doctor put me on a round of Prednisone to try to clear out my ears...totally didn't work.  Anyway, this particularly crappy steroid is often referred to "Pregg-nisone" because it makes you feel pregnant.  Emotions completely out of control, cravings up the yang, water retention, and STARVING.  Yup, that was my fun week.  My poor kiddos and hubby.  I was a wack-job.  And sick.  And a wack-job. 
So, between feeling like I was eating way too much, not drinking enough and yet retaining water, and not really doing much on the "down-side" if you know what I mean, I was sure I would be up this week. 
But guess what?  NOPE!  I have released another 4.4 pounds this week!  YAYYYY!!!!
Now onto the Menu Plan for the week. 

Grilled Steak, Potato Skins, Salad

Crockpot Chile Verde (Mexican Pork Stew), some kind of veggies

Cajun Shrimp Scampi, Veggie Heavy Dirty Brown Rice

Easy Peasy Chicken Legs, Cheesy Cauliflower, Spinach Salad

Make Your Own Pizza Night, Italian Chopped Salad

Monday, February 20, 2012

Menu Plan 2/20/2012 - 2/24/2012

Oiy!  I was down all last week with ear, eye, and sinus infections...thank you kiddos for the mass-germies you bring home.  A week later and my ears are still plugged.  It is making me bonkers!  I have been on antibiotics, steroids, Zyrtec, and Sudafed for a week and they are still freaking plugged...UGH!
Enough about that...even with the clogged ears, I am so blissed-out right now.  I just did my 4 week weigh-in and measurements.  This week, I released 3.2 pounds bringing my 4 week total to 13.8 pounds and are you ready for this....29 inches!!!  (((happy dance)))
Whew, got a little dizzy there for a second with all the happy dancing.  Let's just move to the menu for the week shall we?

Chicken Tortilla Soup, Southwest Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs, Pasta Pomodoro Sauce, High Fiber Pasta

Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs with Grilled Veggies

Broiled Parmesan Tilapia, Roasted Asparagus, Spinach Salad

Make your own pizza, Italian Chopped Salad

Hope you all have a FABULOUS week...sending lots of (((hugs))) and sugar-free kisses your way!  

Monday, February 13, 2012

Menu Plan 2/13/2012 - 2/17/2012

So, after 3 full weeks, I have released a total of 10.6 pounds, 1.6 of them being last week.  I know it is not the staggering amount some people experience, but I will take it!  Why?  Here's why:
  1. The slower you lose it, the easier it will be to maintain
  2. When you lose a bunch of weight quickly, your skin cannot keep up to shrink down with it.
  3. When you lose it slower, I think it puts you into a better frame of mind.  Your expectations aren't so high that when you don't see that big number in a week, you think it stops working, which can discourage you from working it.
  4. I am eating REAL, PURE food.  Plain and simple, I am eating cleaner and healthier than I have in a long time.  I am not eating artificial junk for the sake of saving some calories. 
  5. Tortoise and the Hare baby!  Slow and steady wins the race...I will take the Tortoise anyday!  Now, I am not saying those who have lost huge numbers are going to fail, not maintain, or not finish;  I am simply saying this is why it works for me.

Onto my menu for the week:

Eastern Carolina BBQ, Veggie Heavy Pasta Salad

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs, TJ 3 Cheese Pasta Pomodoro Sauce,  1/2 serving Pasta, Grain-Free Garlic Bread, Ceasar Salad

Almond Crusted Chicken with Lemon Cream Sauce, Steamed Broccoli

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan, Roasted Cauliflower, Spinach Salad

Make your own pizza

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Seasoned Tilapia with Dill Sauce

I never ate fish growing Dad was a meat and potatoes type of guy.  As I have grown older, I have found I am pretty particular about it.  If it tastes fishy, I am outta there!  That is one of the reasons I love Tilapia.  No fishy taste!  It easily grabs any flavor you put on it and holds together really well while cooking.  This recipe was SO yummy...the balance of spices along with the creamy dill sauce was a match made in heaven.  Just like Edward and Bella, Romeo and Juliet, Sookie and Bill Eric Bill,   Bert and Ernie...well, you get the idea.
What type of fish do you like?  How do you prepare it?

Seasoned Tilapia with Dill Sauce
Recipe Source:  This Mommy Cooks
For the sauce:
  • 1/8 cup Mayonaisse
  • 1/4 cup Sour Cream
  • 1/8 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 TBSP fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 TBSP chopped fresh Dill (1/2 TBSP dried Dill Weed) 
  • dash of salt
For the fish:
  • 1 TBSP Paprika,
  • 1/2 TBSP Onion Powder,
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt,
  • 1/2 tsp dried Oregano,
  • 1/2 tsp Thyme,
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper,
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder,
  • 1/4 tsp Celery Seed 
  • ground Cayenne Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 pound Tilapia (3 large fillets) 
  • 1/8 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
For the sauce:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.
For the fish:
Mix all seasonings together in a small bowl. Place fish in a shallow baking dish sprayed with nonstick spray. Sprinkle seasonings on top of fish covering completely, flip the fillets over and season the other side. Place in fridge for 30 minutes.
When ready to cook, heat olive oil in skillet for a couple of minutes. Add in fish and cook on each side for 4 minutes, or until fish is cooked through and flakes easily. Remove from pan, letting the excess oil drip off. You could drain it on paper towels to be a tad bit healthier.
When ready to serve, place on a plate and top with dill sauce. Go ahead and put the bowl of dill sauce on the table, because you'll want more than you think. That stuff is so good!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Menu Plan 2/6/12 - 2/10/12

This week, I am down 2.2 pounds.  While I am happy about that, I was slightly disappointed it wasn't more.  BUT, one benefit to tracking your meals, snacks, fiber intake, and daily water is that you can go back and see what happened.  Even though I was under on my sugars and carbs everyday (yes, and each meal), I was also woefully under on fiber and water.  That combined with this weekend being filled with salty crap theatre popcorn, Red Robin Burger (lettuce wrapped but still INSANELY high in sodium, fat, and calories), hot wings, and potato skins...I should be happy I didn't gain weight.
BUT, it is the start of another week, so that means another meal plan.  Here is what is on our dinner agenda for the week:

Chicken Broccoli Ranch Foil Packets, Salad

Grilled Steak, Garlic Grilled Shrimp Skewers, Roasted Asparagus, Salad

Roasted Boursin Chicken, Garlic Mashed Cauliflower, Spinach Salad
(we were still a house under siege with the plague last week, we didn't get this one made)

Bacon Cheeseburger Salad, Deviled Eggs

Friday, February 3, 2012

Japanese Steakhouse Chicken and Veggies with White Sauce

This is an A-MAZING recipe.  While it may seem like a simple stir-fry, this White Sauce is OUT OF THIS WORLD!  Now, this recipe will take a little advanced planning since you need to make the sauce the night before.  It isn't optional, it needs that long for the flavors to completely transform the taste of the sauce.  Just trust me on this.  You can use any veggies you would like in this dish.  I used a combo of mushrooms, zucchini, a few red pepper slivers,  broccoli, and cauliflower.  I seriously could not get enough dipping the chicken and veggies in the sauce.  I hope you all have had a great week and have a great weekend!

Japanese Steakhouse Chicken and Veggies with White Sauce
Recipe Source:   Recipe very slightly adapted from  This Mommy Cooks
  • Chicken, cut into bite size pieces (or any meat you choose)
  • Salt
  • Lemon Pepper
  • Choice of veggies, cut into bite sized pieces
  • Soy Sauce (I used 1 TBSP total)
  • Oil of choice
White Sauce
  • 1-1/4 cup real mayonnaise  (Hellman's or Duke's) 
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 TBSP melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sugar  
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • dash of cayenne pepper
For the White Sauce:
The night before you want to serve this, make the White Sauce by using a fork or a whisk to combine all ingredients together until mixed and the sauce is smooth. Refrigerate overnight for the flavors to blend.
For the chicken and veggies:
In separate pans, heat a small amount of oil. Season chicken with salt and Lemon Pepper.
Cook chicken, careful not to over cook, add some real soy sauce to taste.  For the vegetables, you pretty much do the same thing. Slice up your chosen vegetables, and place in heated oil, season with a little Lemon Pepper and Soy Sauce.  Cook until still slightly crisp.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Perfect Iced Coffee

I grew up in an itty bitty small town in Colorado.  I always knew I was destined for the "big city".  After all, out of the whopping 32 (?) people that were in my graduating class, 12 of us (the Dirty Dozen) started kindergarten together.  With barely a wave goodbye later, I went to college in the Seattle area and fell in love with it.  One thing Seattle is known for, aside from rain, is coffee.  I became addicted instantly, especially to iced coffee drinks.  On my first trip back home, depression set in when I saw there was not a coffee stand in sight.  I just sat on a hay bale and watched the tumble weeds blow....sigh.  Just kidding.  Well, kinda :)
Eventually, marriage and kids takes over and you find other things to do with your money than spend $5.00 a day on a coffee drink.  $5.00 a day....$35.00 a week....$151-ish a month....$1820 a year.  Yeah, it adds up.  So, I tried doing the "responsible" thing and make them at home.  I would take hot coffee and pour it over ice.  Bleck, it was just a watered down mess.  I would take leftover coffee and put it in the fridge, but it always turned bitter and acidic.  So, imagine the happy dance I jigged when I saw Mommy's Kitchen put a technique on her site that cold brewed coffee into a coffee concentrate that is way less acidic and bitter than just sticking coffee in the fridge.  YES!  I tried it and immediately fell in LOVE!  Do yourself a favor and start a batch of this tonight and tomorrow you too can sip on a scrumptious, just the way you like it, stickin' it to the man Iced Coffee!

Perfect Iced Coffee
  • 1-Cup ground coffee - fresh ground is great but not necessary
  • 32 ounces cold water
  • small pinch of baking soda
  • Favorite Milk Substitute
  • Cream or Half and Half, optional
  • Choice of sweetener, optional
  • Choice of protein powder, optional
  • 1 Glass container with lid to hold at least 32 ounces. You can use a canning jar, or like me, a washed large applesauce jar.
  • 1 smaller glass jar with lid to store coffee concentrate in fridge. I used a washed out spaghetti sauce jar.
  • French Press
  • Strainer
  • Coffee filters - largest you can find. Not the cone shape, but the bucket/basket shape. I changed filters after straining half of the mixture.

Place coffee grounds in container. Pour 32 ounces (4 cups) cold water over the coffee grounds. Put on the lid and gently swish to get all the grounds wet. Let it sit on the counter overnight, or 12-15 hours. Pour coffee mixture into your french press and press this amazing concentrate OR place your strainer over a large bowl, and put a coffee filter inside the strainer. Slowly pour coffee into the filter and allow it to sit until it has drained through. As I said, I changed filters about half way through. Keep straining the coffee mixture through a filter until jar is empty. Pour coffee concentrate in another smaller jar along with a small pinch of baking soda to keep in fridge for further use.

To make the iced coffee, fill a glass with ice and mix equal amounts of coffee concentrate and choice of milk alternative, or water depending how you like it. I like to add in a good splash of cream or half and half to make it nice and thick and rich.  Add sweeteners if desired. I have made it using 1/2 cup coffee concentrate and 1/2 cup chocolate almond milk, splash of cream, and some Truvia  making a yummy mocha-ish drink, I have also made it using 1/2 cup coffee concentrate and 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, adding 1/2 scoop of low sugar vanilla protein powder. You could even get fancy and blend the coffee concentrate with ice, add some dark chocolate or sugar free chocolate chips, chocolate almond milk, top with some Redi-Whip...Viola! Mocha Frappacino! What is great about this is you can totally adjust it to how you like it with flavors or control the amount of sugar and fat with the type of sweeteners and milk product you use.  Plus, once you have the coffee concentrate made, whipping up a scrumptious, HEALTHY coffee drink takes under a minute!

You can also make 1-cup hot coffee by using the same method and heating it up.