Friday, September 28, 2012

Roasted Corn & Black Bean Queso Dip

I know I said I was going to post a soup recipe today, but I decided that sharing this dip could not be delayed one moment longer.  But FYI, I did post a gumbo recipe over at Endless Simmer that you should check out.

This dip is the most unappetizing color, but it tastes so very good.  I mean, just look at the ingredients.  It will be a party in your mouth, for sure.

Make it for a regular old day or for a football party.  That way while people are watching football, you can station yourself by the delicious chip & dip station.  What?  Not saying that happened to me or anything...

Roasted Corn & Black Bean Queso Dip

2 ears corn
butter (for rubbing the corn)
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
8 oz block of pepper jack cheese, cut in cubes
8 oz block of mozzarella cheese, cut in cubes
1/4 cup cream cheese (low fat or not)
1/4 cup salsa
2 tbsp (or more) hot sauce

Throw your corn in the microwave (still in the husks) and microwave for 3 minutes.  Once it is cool enough to handle, peel back the husks, remove the strings and rub with butter.
Sear on a gas grill until roast-y looking.  You can also sear it over the flame of a gas stove.
While that is cooling, dump your remaining ingredients in a small crockpot or a pot.
Then cut the corn of the cob and add it in.
Stir until perfectly melty and what not.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

WIAW: Pumpkin Alfredo Tortellini

Peas and Crayons

Oooh, it's time for another super fun and fabulous installment of What I Ate Wednesday!  Yay!

Let's get it started in here.

Breakfast Part 1: Toast
I've said it before and I'll say it again.  Half a piece of toast with peanut butter (or jelly...or both) is the best pre-workout snack for me.  I ate this ultra photogenic half piece of toast before 5 a.m. boot camp.  Is my flip flop tan line showing?

Breakfast Part 2: Protein Shake
Another photographic masterpiece, y'all.  Can't stop, won't stop.  This shake was actually pretty stellar.  It was a peanut butter, banana, honey oat shake.
Here's how I made it:
I drizzled honey all around my glass, then combined..
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • handful of frozen peach slices
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp oats
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
Blended it all up and topped it with some fat free whipped cream.  Yum!
Also, coffee was consumed.

Morning Snack: Cukes & Hummus
If you have ever read another WIAW post from me, you are probably like, "Ok, I get it.  You like hummus."  Ha.  I do, indeed, enjoy the hummus.  I enjoyed it today with some cucumber slices.

Lunch: Greek Sampler
Oh, I am such a bad little blogger today.  I almost forgot completely to snap a picture of my lunch.  Luckily I remembered right as things were about to wrap up.  I shared this sampler platter with my sweet friend that included baba ganoush, tabouli, stuffed grape leaves, and of course hummus!  We had a small order of lamb meat on the side as well.

Afternoon Snack: Granola
I picked up this granola at Target this week and it was quite yummy.  I ate it out of the bag, but it would be great in yogurt or milk.

Dinner: Pumpkin Alfredo Tortellini & Spinach
I am going to have to make this recipe again soon, because it did not turn out too pretty in the pictures.  Also, because it is yummy and I want to face plant into it.  Hmm, that's a weird thing to say, no?
Whatever.  Here's how I made it.

Pumpkin Alfredo Tortellini
Serves 2

1 9 oz package of refrigerated cheese tortellini
2 tbsp cream cheese (I used Tofutti brand)
2 tbsp goat cheese
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1-2 tbsp grated parmesan
salt & pepper

Cook your tortellini per package instructions and sautee some garlic in olive oil in a separate pan.  If you don't want to do fresh garlic, just use a sprinkle of garlic powder.  Combine all other ingredients in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds to make it "stirable."  Drain pasta and top with sauce.
I served mine over some fresh spinach that I sauteed in garlic and olive oil.

I also had some vanilla frozen yogurt later on, but slacked on my picture taking.  

K, hopefully I'll be back on Friday with some delicious soup.  Have a great day, all!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

WIAW: Pumpkin Protein Pancake

Peas and Crayons

Hey there, bloggy readers!  Is everyone else enjoying Fall as much as I am?  It is just lovely here.  I even got to bust out my jean jacket this week, so I am a happy camper.
I also have been working on the "falling into good habits" theme as suggested by Peas & Crayons blog (this is where What I Ate Wednesday originated)...and am obviously documenting it for you all right here.

So, anyways, here's some food stuff.

Breakfast 1: Toast
My pre-boot camp food was a half a piece of wheat toast with some super shiny fig jelly on it.  Probably my favorite pre-workout snack with some sugar and carbs to get me energized.

Breakfast 2: Pumpkin Protein Pancake
After my workout, I needed some protein.  And today it came in a pancake form.  I made this using a recipe from Dashing Dish (click on the name to see recipe) & it turned out good.  I made two pancakes and threw the other one in the fridge for another day.  So, I topped my pancake with half a banana, a drizzle of syrup, then a forkful of caramel almond butter.  Coffee on the side (don't worry, I added creamer and sweetener after this picture).

A.M. Snack: Carrots & Hummus
My morning snack was some carrot sticks and red pepper hummus.  I'm trying to get all my fruit & veggie servings in, so I was pretty stoked about this snack (2 servings down-including breakfast).

Lunch: Chicken Taco Soup
For lunch, I had another veggie serving in my Chicken Taco Soup that I made the night before.  This is actually like my most viewed recipe on the blog.  It is pretty darn tasty, if I do say so myself ;)

Then for dessert, a ginormous iced coffee with soy milk consumed while enjoying the beautiful weather.

P.M. Snack: Kind Bar
This bar that I had for snack was tasty, but kind of hard on my teeth.  It's possible it could have been old?  I'm not sure, but I love the coconut flavor, though.

Dinner: Impromptu Mexican Food
My dinner plans for fish and pasta were trumped by dinner with my family.  My mom, brother and I shared some beef fajitas.  Possibly another veggie serving (that's a pretty big hunk of green pepper)?
 The main reason for our visit is that Tuesday is dollar beer night.  Can't get any better than that.  And limes are totes a fruit, in case you didn't know (another fruit serving??).
Dolla Dolla Beers, Y'all!

That about wraps things up for my food consumption.
If you want, you should go check out the pizza I made on Endless Simmer's blog this week.  It is a Shrimp Po'boy Pizza & it is worth a look-see.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sharpie Doodle Mugs

Guys, I used to be a hard core doodler.  I doodled like nobody has ever doodled before (possible exaggeration??).  I would write notes in bright marker, draw dogs and cats on my work clipboard, sketch some Fall leaves on my September calendar.

A shift happened somewhere in my adulthood and now I doodle no more.  Well, rarely, if I do.

I need to get back to that place and get my doodle on-I hear it is good for the brain.  I'm going to lay down some butcher paper on my dining room table and pretend like it is Macaroni Grill.  I will doodle some of these:
And a little of these just to get me warmed up:

But before I do all that, I had to break out the Sharpie markers and made some fun mugs.

All you gotta do is.

1. Go to the Target dollar section (or Dollar Tree) & get some mugs.  This pair of 2 stackable mugs was $3.
2. Doodle to your heart's content on the mugs with some Sharpies.
3. Bake in the oven to set the marker (350 degrees for 30 minutes).
4. Handwash only, y'all!

If you are just going to use mugs to hold pens, you can skip the baking step.

I keep trying to think of other doodles I used to do a a kid/young adult.  There was the face of the boy made from the actual word "boy."  Did anyone else do that?  
Feel free to share your doodle ideas with me.  It will only help me in my journey ;)

Have a great week!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Last Taste of Summer Pasta

Well, everyone is talking about pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin flavored everything.  It seems as though the world was collectively bitten by the "Fall" bug and there is not turning back.

I bet people already have ideas in their minds about what costume they'll wear for Halloween and what sides would be good for Thanksgiving.

To all this malarkey, I say, "Slow down, people.  Let's live in the present."  

Presently, zucchini is still affordable at the grocery store.  We all know how I love me some zucchini.  It screams "Summer!" and is healthy to boot.

So, I created a last taste of summer in the form of pasta, so that I can cling to the hot days by the pool, the fair corn dogs and the pile of flip flops littering my closet floor.

Let's have one last hurrah, shall we?

Last Taste of Summer Pasta
serves like a million (ok, more like 8-10 people--it makes alot!)

1 box wheat pasta 
turkey sausage (or whatever kind of sausage you fancy), cut in quarters
2 medium zucchini, diced
1 large summer squash (or 2 medium), diced
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 red pepper, diced
2 ears of corn, cooked and cut off the cob
1 cup shredded cheese (I used Gruyere)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt & pepper to taste
4 cloves garlic, minced

Boil your pasta to al dente.  Throw 2 tbsp of butter in a large skillet and melt it.  Toss in the diced peppers and cook for about 2 minutes.  Then add garlic and zucchini & squash.  Cook for about 5 minutes and then add the mushrooms and corn.  Toss it all around.  Season to taste.
Preheat the oven to 425 and spray a 9x13 pan with spray oil.
Throw in the pasta and veggies into the pan.  
Heat the other 2 tbsp of butter until bubbly and turning a little brown.  Throw in the sausage and sear for about 3 minutes.  Pour all of this goodness over the pasta/veggie mixture and stir it to combine.  
Top with grated Parmesan and shredded cheese and heat in the oven until melt-y (about 10 minutes).  Top with additional cheese if you are feeling saucy ;)

Have an awesome weekend.  I'll be back Monday with a craft (say what??!!)!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WIAW: Fall Veggie Chili

Peas and Crayons

Well, howdy folks!  Hope everyone is having a great Wednesday.
Let's talk about some food stuff, okay?

Breakfast, Part 1: Kind Bar
Before 5 a.m. boot camp, I enjoyed a lovely bar.  I saw this new (to me, anyways) Kind bar at Kroger this week and had to get it.  I love the flavor combo of cinnamon, chocolate and pecans.  Definitely a winner.

Breakfast, Part 2: Scone, Fruit Smoothie, Iced Latte
A little later on, I made a fruity protein smoothie (made with frozen mixed berries, a frozen banana, some frozen peach slices, a scoop of protein powder an some almond milk) and ate a leftover cinnamon stuffed scone from a brunch on Sunday.  I used this recipe, but used butterscotch chips in place of chocolate chips.  They were pretty killer.  Here's an up close view.
For my iced latte, I brewed some super strong coffee, added my pumpkin spice syrup, sweetener and almond milk & poured it over ice--yum!

Morning Snack: Carrots & Hummus
This morning's snack was pretty good.  I think red pepper hummus is my favorite flavor.

A short time after, I had a 10 calorie lemonade energy drink while I caught up on some very important work stuff ;)

Lunch: Wrap & Veg
Before eating lunch, I went on a run in the neighborhood around work.  I just had to take advantage of the cooler weather.  You know what I decided is my favorite thing about running?  I love how I think I can't do it...and then I totally do it.  That is a cool feeling.
Anywho, for lunch I made a wrap using a low carb wrap, a little dijon mustard, 1 slice of pastrami, 2 slices of turkey and 2 slices of light provolone.  Then I had a double serving of roasted zucchini on the side.  So filling!
Afternoon Snack: Fruit!
I snacked on a bit of this fruit salad that I made for the same brunch I mentioned above.  I brought the rest to work and have been snacking on it here and there.  The mix includes fresh pineapple, strawberries, red grapes and canned mandarin oranges.  I would have thrown blueberries in the mix, but boy has the price gone up on those suckers!

Dinner: Veggie Chili
I finally satisfied my chili craving with some impromptu chili!
Here's how I made it:

Veggie Chili
serves 4-6

1 lb lean ground meat
olive oil to coat pan
1/3 cup tomato paste
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 can white beans
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large zucchini, chopped
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 small onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper

Brown the meat in a little oil (I also add a little water when it starts to stick), season with a bit of seasoning.  Remove from pot.  Add chopped onion and green pepper and sautee for about 5 minutes.  Add minced garlic and carrots and cook for another 5 minutes.  Add some liquid from the meat if it starts to stick.  Throw in the rest of the seasoning.  Add zucchini and cook for about 2 minutes before adding mushrooms.  Cook for an additional 2 minutes and then dump the meat back in there.  Add the can of beans and tomato paste.  Fill up the can from the beans with water & put that in there, too.

That's about it.  Adjust seasoning to taste.
I served mine with a piece of bread I toasted in an oiled pan.  That black junk is fresh garlic and oregano.

While I cooked, Baby the Cat sat on the Target bags I had just unpacked.  What can I say?  That girl loves her some Target!
And Boscoe lounged on his favorite chair!  (That's not a grumpy face at all..)
You're welcome, for giving you an update on my cats' evening, also ;)

Ok, have a good week, all!
Be sure to check out my indulgent treat on a stick over at Endless Simmer!

Friday, September 7, 2012

What I'm Pinning

Hey, y'all.  It's Friday!!  Time for a happy dance!
Carlton makes me happy, and so does Friday!

So, I thought I'd be a lazy blogger and show you some of my latest pins from Pinterest.  If you don't know what Pinterest is, I explain my love for it here.

Here are some lovely things that have caught my eye over the last few weeks.  The sources can all be found on my Pinterest page.  Go on over there and follow me!

Strawberry Shortcake Made with a Glazed Doughnut
Glazed Donut Strawberry Shortcake
I don't even think there are words for this.  Except yum.  And brilliant.  Ok, there are words.  Doesn't this look scrumptious?  I'm gonna have to make this on a caloric splurge day (We all have those, right?).

Goodwill Table Makeover
Goodwill table, flat marbles, glue, grout.
I've been staring at this on and off for about a week.  It's so pretty!  I really love mosaic looking stuff, but this takes it to a new, colorful level.  I heart re-doing old furniture, too!

Eye Makeup Tutorials
For some reason, it took me 30 years of life to become interested in eye makeup.  Totally about to try this little wing tip/cat eye look.

Fall Crafts!!
Leaves and a hammer to make pretty nature prints
I'm officially excited for Fall!  I can't wait to try some pretty leaf prints.  This person hammered the leaf onto paper to get this effect.  Cool, huh?

Treadmill Workout
treadmill workout
The Fitnessista is so awesomely creative with her workouts.  Who knew you could use the treadmill for more than just walking and running?  Definitely going to incorporate this into my workout on rainy days when I can't workout outside.

Chili Bar
chili bar-for a Fall party
I have had chili on my brain lately.  And, yes, today it is going to be 99 degrees with a heat advisory.  But as soon as that temp dips down to below 80, it is on.  This chili bar would be perfect for a football watching party, too.

Ombre Hair
short, ombre, curls
I dig the ombre, dip dyed look here.  So much so, that my sweet little cousin (who is an amazing beautification expert-ad on the sidebar) did it on my hair!
I love it, despite my expression in the picture ;)

moo point (<3 joey)
I use this quote everytime there is a moot point.  It's one of my favorite Joey quotes!

K, guys.  Hope you have a lovely weekend.  Be sure to look over at Endless Simmer over the next few days for this treat on a stick that I made: