Wednesday, October 31, 2012

WIAW: Starve a Fever, Feed a Cold?

Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats
Well, hey there.  It is Wednesday again up in this piece.
A Happy Halloween is probably in order ;)
We had an 80's themed Halloween!  I'm in the center as 80's Madonna ;)

Sooo, I got myself a lovely (sarcasm) cold this week.  It's definitely affecting my food mood.  When I'm sick, I either do not want to eat anything at all or I want to eat everything.  I feel like this is one of those "everything" situations.  The problem I'm having is my body or maybe my brain wants candy candy candy!  Good thing I have very little candy in my house!
This week I have been force feeding myself nutritious meals...with a few slip ups.  Like when I convinced myself last night that it was a good thing to eat half a box of Lemonheads because citrus soothes the throat.
Well, let's see how I did yesterday, shall we?

Breakfast: Cream of Wheat
Needless to say, no boot camp this morning.  Walking to the kitchen is a chore when you are, you know...  I had a bowl of instant Cream of Wheat with some walnuts on it for breakfast.  I wanted Laffy Taffys.

Snack: Apple & Nuts
More protein in the form of almonds and a fruit to boot ;)  I wanted a lollipop.

Lunch: Chicken Chili & Multigrain Crackers 
I had eaten 1/3 of this chili on a potato the night before, so I finished it off for lunch alongside some multigrain crackers and a cheese wedge.  It was fine, but what I really wanted was a box of Nerds.

I noshed on 2 squares of this after lunch to try and squelched my sweet tooth....

Snack: Hummus, of course ;)
Look what I found!  A little pod of happiness!  This snack sized hummus/pretzel pod was in the produce section at Target.  Awesome.
 I added some carrots to get some veggies in (there are more under the hummus bowl).  Yum yum!

 On the way home, this happened.
Blue Airhead!!!  Um, yes, I look like death warmed over.  Please ignore that, mmkay?

 Dinner: Soup & Bread
The sugar from my Airhead put a bit more pep in my step, so I headed home to chop some veggies for a homemade veggie, chicken soup & bake some super quick and easy beer bread with bacon and cheddar.
 You heard me.  Want the recipe??
Oh, it is super crusty (in a good way) on the outside and fluffy on the inside.  And it all comes together with no kneading or rise time.

Bacon & Cheddar Beer Bread
serves 8?

12 oz beer (any kind works)
2 2/3 cup self-rising flour
6-8 slices of bacon, cooked & chopped
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
Olive oil

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Mix the beer and flour, then fold in the bacon and cheese.  Oil your pan & spread the mixture in there.  
You can bake in a loaf pan, a deep pie dish or in my case, my brand new dutch oven pan!

If you bake it in a a loaf pan, bake for 55 minutes.  Since the dutch oven made the bread more shallow, I just baked it for 45 minutes.

 So good!!!

Dessert: Pumpkin Pie Yogurt
I found some Yoplait pumpkin pie yogurt at Target (best. place. ever.) this week and it is quite delish.  I topped it with two crushed gingersnaps and some fat free whipped topping.

Hope everyone has a safe & splendiferous Halloween!!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

National Pumpkin Day!

Hey, there.
Long time no see ;)

Well, I had to do a lazy blogger post, because today is national pumpkin day!  Yay!

So here's a round up of my favorite pumpkin inspired recipes..

Start the day off right with a skinny version of a pumpkin spice latte.  It's worth it.

These guys are also lightened up, but super moist and delicious.

This is probably my most popular pumpkin recipe.  It is like a dense blondie brownie with cinnamon swirl, pumpkin flavors and white chocolate chips.  Drooling yet?

This is a secret pumpkin recipe.  It makes one perfectly rich and decadent (while still diet friendly) serving.

These little pies are no-bake and super easy to throw together.  I made them in tiny mason jars.

This is the newest of my pumpkin recipes, but actually has no pumpkin in it.  It's the spice that makes these cookies shine.

Wow, looking through my recipes, I really need to make some pumpkin bread and some savory pumpkin recipes.  So, I better get crackin'!

What are your favorite things to make with pumpkin?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Pumpkin Spiced Chocolate Chunk Cookies

It is a challenge to think of a post to frame a cookie recipe when you are trying to sit still in the office with just 2 hours before vacation.  I should explain that it has been years since I have had a vaca.  It's kind of a big deal.
So, cookies....cookies are like a vacation from your day.
Yeah, let's see where this goes.
Traffic sucks, bosses are terrible.  It's just the nature of the beast.  The beast being daily life.
Cookie breaks (especially when accompanied by coffee) can give you a few precious moments to reflect on the good in life.
When you bite into a chewy, slightly spiced cookie littered with chocolate chunks how can everything not seem okay?
I'm not really leaving you much of a choice.
You need to make these cookies, if only for your own sanity.

Pumpkin Spiced Chocolate Chunk Cookies
makes about 2 dozen cookies

1 1/2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 to 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
2 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp vanilla extract
12 oz bag of chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line some cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Melt the butter in a saucepan on medium heat while gathering your other ingredients.  Wait for it to get bubbly with a slight hint of brown deliciousness on the bottom of the pot.  Whisk it around and then pour it over the brown sugar.  After that dissolves, whisk it (whisk it real good) and then throw in the eggs and vanilla and whisk some more.
Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then combine that madness.  Fold in the chocolate chunks and scoop onto parchment with a cookie scoop.  Bake for 12-14 minutes.

Happy vacation, everyone me :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

WIAW? Zombie Head Brownie Bites

What I Ate Wednesday Someecard
Confession time: I totally blew off What I Ate Wednesday yesterday (I technically post what I ate on Tuesday, FYI).  I did, however, take a picture of my breakfast.
How could I not??  I mean, it was my first successful egg poaching experience.  I modified The Pioneer Woman's eggs Benedict recipe (just to make it a little healthier).  It was soooo good!  And pretty easy, actually.

So, I thought in lieu of posting an actual WIAW post, I would repost the zombie brownie bites I posted on Endless Simmer last week.
Lazy blogging much?

Whatever.  Make these.  They rock.


 Eeek!! The zombies have invaded!! Ok, don’t panic.  You probably would already know if they actually invaded and the zombie apocalypse was upon us.  What they have invaded is my thought process as of late. 
 Any fans of The Walking Dead in the house?  I love love love it.  So, since the premiere is on October 14th, I thought I’d celebrate with some zombie treats.  Plus, with Halloween right around the corner, you should probably get crackin’ on making some zombie-themed desserts. If you know anything about zombies (which I didn’t prior to TWD, which I take as the most factual representation..whatever), you know that to kill them, you have to destroy their brains.  For that you will need weapons.  If you follow me on Twitter, you probably saw that due to lack of tiny weapons in the stores I just had to make my own (more on that in a minute). These are like cake pops…except, not on a pop..and they are brownies.  So, they are zombie head brownie bites.  Let’s do this thing.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

WIAW: Italian Chicken Meatloaf Minis

Peas and Crayons
Wow, it is Wednesday already!  You know what that means ;)  Another installment of What I Ate Wednesday!
Are you excited?  I know I am.
Breakfast Part I: Cereal
I had a yummy half cup of this Kashi cereal before my 5 a.m. boot camp.  It was killer this morning-lots of upper body work.

Breakfast Part II: Omelet & Bagel Thin
For my main breakfast, I made a ginormous omelet.  It was probably my prettiest omelet to date.  It has 1 egg, 2 egg whites, 1/4 cup spinach, chopped tomato and a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese.  I enjoyed a Thomas Everything Bagel Thin along with that & coffee, of course.

Morning Snack: Grapes
What can I say about grapes?  Hmm, healthy and delicious ;)

Lunch: Wrap & Sides
For lunch today I had a low carb wrap smeared with a Laughing Cow lite Swiss cheese wedge, lettuce, tomato and a Boca burger.  Veggies and chips on the side.  Yum yum.
In case you are wondering, this is the wrap I've been eating lately.  It's just okay in taste, but pretty good nutritional stats.
Here it is all wrapped up.
Lunch was super filling today, so no afternoon snack.  I did make an early dinner, though.

Dinner: Mini Meatloaf, Smashed Potatoes and Veggies
What a winner of a meal this was.  My nephew would call it "winner winner, chicken dinner" and he'd be spot on ;)  I had some mini Italian chicken meatloaf "cupcakes" with some vegetables and smashed red potatoes.  To make the potatoes, you just cook them until fork tender, smash, drizzle olive oil and spices and bake until crispy.  Here's the recipe for the meatloaf.

Italian Chicken Meatloaf Minis
makes 6 "cupcakes," serves 3
1 lb ground chicken
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed and dried with a paper towel
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 egg white
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder
sprinkle of black pepper
*optional topping: shredded cheese and a sprinkle of Italian seasoning.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Mix all this together in a bowl and separate into 6 pieces.  Spray a muffin tin with non stick spray and put the 6 meat hunks in the tin.  Sprinkle with topping and bake for 20 minutes.
This would also be good with lean sirloin or ground turkey.

Have a nice week!!  Look out for some Halloween related treats on Endless Simmer this week :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

WIAW: Brown Sugar Turkey Chili

Peas and Crayons

Ok, all this fair/festival food (not to mention dollar beer night) is making my jeans tighter.  I am not a fan.  So, my Fall habits that I'm focusing on this week are more fruits & veggies and less starchy carbs.  Let's see how I did today (actually Tuesday).

Breakfast Part I: Nutri-Grain bar
Ate a quick Nutri-Grain bar before 5 a.m. boot camp.  You gotta have some carb/sugars before a workout like that.  It's chilly out, so I wore pants as you may notice from the pic above.

Breakfast Part II: Scramble
This protein packed breakfast was a winner.  I had 1/2 cup of Egg Beaters scrambled with some frozen spinach and smoked salmon.
Of course, I also had some coffee ;)
Hey, Baby the Cat

Morning Snack: Apple
I am loving apple season!  Had a lovely, delicious gala apple for snack.  Snagged some honey crisps at the store today, so I can't wait to consume them.

Lunch: Bento Box of Goodness
Bringing back the bento lunchbox!  I had some butter lettuce topped with some leftover roasted chicken and sliced avocado.  I enjoyed some baby carrots & strawberries on the side.
As a dressing to my mini "salad," I used a scoop of this hummus.

Afternoon Snack: Trail Mix
Dangit, starchy carbs.  You plague me.  Eh, it was probably a better choice than most, though.  140 cals and possibly whole grains?  Whatever.

Dinner: Brown Sugar Turkey Chili
full of the magical fruit ;) 

My mom made this chili on Monday and shared it with me (sweetest, most awesome-ist mom ever).  It was yummy!  You should make it.

Brown Sugar Turkey Chili
serves 6
1 cup diced onions
2 tbsp mustard
2 tsp chili powder or to taste
1/2 c brown sugar
16 oz tomato sauce
2-15 oz cans of pinto beans
1 lb turkey 93% lean (cook with a little olive oil)
cook the turkey and onion til done, add chili powder, stir in mustard and brown sugar,
add tomato sauce and beans, either put in crock pot for 2-3 hrs on low or simmer for 30 min
and serve.

I hid some spinach under mine.  For the win!
All in all, not too bad.  Definitely going to try and stick to my healthy Fall habits from now on!

Baby & Boscoe say "hi!"
See y'all next time :)