Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fancy Fabric Flower Hair Clips ... say that five times fast! I dare you! I double dog dare you!

So, several months ago my two year old started talking about her upcoming birthday. Seriously, it's been months. I asked her about themes several times, but she always said, "I'm going to have a PINK party." As in the color, not the singer. Her third birthday is now rapidly approaching. Only six more days, I can't even believe it. Luckily, it falls mid week so that buys me a few more days to party plan. It's going to be an explosion of pink goodness. I wanted to share with you the announcements I made for her party, because, to say the least, I am thrilled with how they turned out. They are TOTALLY un-frumpy. Mmm hmm.

It all started with the idea of PINK as a theme. I was an English Minor in college, so I decided to muster up whatever skills I gained from that aspect of my education and create a catchy rhyme for her invites. I came up with, "Oh my goodness I didn't think, that time would fly by in a blink, but it has, oh gosh, oh gee, come Pretty in Pink, Hadlee's turning three!" Poetry, I know. HA! (And I paid HOW MUCH for that degree?)

Next, I KNEW that there would be a photograph on her invite. Although you cannot tell from my less than mediocre food pictures, I am a professional photographer in real life.

Of people, not food.

I snapped a shot of my little girl recently standing by the window of our back door and loved it. It was mainly of her face, and I knew I wanted to use it as the invite. That's how I got the idea for including hair clips on the invites. The little girls could keep them and wear them to the party if they could come. Clipping them onto the invite would make it look as if my little girl were wearing the clip in the picture. Cute!

So, I found this awesome tutorial on mrspriss and decided to give it a go. Check out her tutorial, then come back and check out my results. Awesome.

This is the overall idea of what I came up with. I followed the mrspriss tutorial to make the flowers. One of the comments on her site said to try using a candle and tweezers. Genius. It makes the process much easier and less painful. I used the extra long tweezers from my surger which made it even better. Don't get the material too close to the flame because it will singe too much or burn, and your fingers will hate you for it too. I also suggest having a little more fabric than you plan on using. You will have some flowers that cut out crappy or don't singe right. It's better to be prepared than have to run to Walmart, yuck, and scrounge for any material that will work. Yes, this happened to me half way through.

Some other handy dandy tips: First, instead of trying to cut out each piece individually, the route I originally, and foolishly, took, fold your material over itself however many times you need to create however many pieces you need, be it the flowers or petals. Once folded, you can pin the layers together in the middle and cut around the pins. Your pieces still probably won't be identical, unless you're WAY better than me, but imperfection is pretty in this project, so no worries. We're going for un-frumpy, not perfect, remember?

Second, accessorize. I had some net-ish material (I don't know what it's called, I'm only a wanna be seamstress,) feathers, and little scrapbooking gems on hand from past projects. I got the feathers and gems at Sierra's, I'm sure Michael's would also sell them. The fabric came from Joanne's. Use whatever you have access to that fits your fancy. Or your un-frumpy.

Last, add an alligator clip and clip it anywhere. On a headband, directly in hair, somewhere else, on an invitation. Viola. It made my idea complete, and everyone commented on how cute the invites turned out. I should tell you, I hot glued everything, but needle and thread wouldn't be much harder, also, I used CS3 to put the invite design together, and ordered the invites as postcards from Costco. They turned out great. Most of the ones I made clips for were for people who live close, so I just dropped them off as opposed to sending them. Long distance ones I left the clip off and mailed. They were still cute without the clip, but the clip was SUCH a nice touch. Thank you mrspriss! I plan on using her tutorials again. The yarn wreath is in the plans. YAY!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Huevos Rancheros and Mexican Rice...Yum!

SO, I love Mexican food. As I sat on my couch tonight agonizing over what I could make for dinner, I started craving mexican food. But I WOULD NOT give in to super fatty delicious temptation again! So I looked at what I had on hand and came to a brilliant solution (if I do say so myself.) I decided to develop a recipe for Huevos Rancheros (why I'm always abounding with eggs, I don't know,) and a lighter mexican style rice to accompany said eggs. This is what I came up with. I hope you enjoy it.

Huevos Rancheros

Corn Tortilla - sprayed with olive oil spray, baked at 400 until crispy
1 fried egg
1/2 package Marketside Guacamole (app. 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup black beans, low sodium
1/4 cup pico de gallo
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 tbsp crumbled/grated cotija cheese
shredded lettuce - as much as you'd like

Bake tortilla until crispy. Fry egg on non-stick pan. Warm black beans in microwave safe bowl. When finished, place fried egg over baked tortilla. Top with beans, guacamole, pico de gallo, cotija, and cilantro. Serve with shredded lettuce if desired. Enjoy.

According to MFP, one serving has: 336 calories 13 grams of fat 16 grams of protein 597 milligrams of sodium

Mexican Rice

3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups white rice, long grain, dry
1 cup water
1 cup salsa ( I used the black bean and white corn kind, it had lower sodium than others I checked)
1/2 large onion, diced
1 stalk celery, sliced
2 tbsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 400. Combine all ingredients in a 13x9 pan. Bake for one hour. Stir and let sit for five minutes. Serve.

MFP nutritional info, 6 servings, each has: 217 calories 0 grams of fat 5 grams of protein 498 milligrams of sodium

Monday, March 28, 2011

Chicken and Pesto Pasta

Try this one for sure! It's not the healthiest meal I've posted, but it's definitely very quick and very tasty! I needed a last minute dinner idea, and luckily I had everything on hand for this. Things I almost always have on hand: frozen boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, whole wheat pasta, and shredded parmesan. My husband's first response to this thrown together meal was, "ah, this reminds me of Italy." Nice. One thing the Italians get right: keep it simple. And pretty much everything else when it comes to food, in my opinion.
Buon Appetito!

whole wheat rotini, 2 cups dry
basil pesto, 1/2 cup
cooked and cubed boneless, skinless chicken breast, 1 pound
yellow onion, diced, 1/4 of whole onion
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
olive oil cooking spray
garlic powder, 1 tbsp
basil, 1 tsp

Boil pasta according to directions on box. Drain. In a pan, saute onion until tender. Add cubed, prepared chicken. Add spices and 1/4 - 1/2 cup water. Cook until water evaporates. Add drained noodles to the pan. Spray once with olive oil cooking spray. Stir. Add pesto and parmesan to pan. Stir to coat. Serve.

MFP nutritional info for 4 servings, each has: 439 calories per serving 22 grams of fat 35 grams of protein 426 milligrams of sodium

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Commitment to Change!

So, as you know, this site is about more than just food and weight loss. It's about overall change for the better, and getting to like myself more. It's about becoming un-frumpified in all aspects of my life. A while back, I planned on dedicating 30 days to testing out Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred, but had to postpone it to April. Well, April is fast approaching and I haven't forgotten. I've also began some other plans as well. Check them out:


April - Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred - I will be dedicating April to testing this video. I will split the thirty days up into tens, so the first ten days I'll do level one, the second ten I will do level two, and third I will do level three. I will compare my beginning weight and measurements with my progress every ten days, with updates in between. I'm even toying with the idea of including update pictures...yikes! We'll see about that one.

May/June - This one is REALLY going to be a challenge. Ok, so, I've always had this dream in the back recesses of my mind that one day I would like to be a runner. Not just a runner, but actually run in a 5K, and maybe bigger races later. I am not a runner. But that doesn't stop me from dreaming. Then, recently, I stumbled across a program that might really assist me in obtaining this dream. It's called "Couch to 5k," or C25K. You may have heard about it. It's a program that's set up to take you from a couch potato to running a 5K in app. 9 weeks. I will be on vacation for one week in May, so I'll have to stretch it at least one extra week. Possibly more if I need more time to get in shape. Either way, I hope to start the program in May and get my start into becoming a runner. On my off days, I still plan on including some Zumba and other fun exercises. Nothing wrong with cross training, right?


I've had so much success with that I plan on continuing to use it as my diet plan. It's so great. If you haven't checked it out yet, do so.

Up Keep (I didn't know what to call it):

I will continue to try to progress in the "Sink Reflections," program. I have seen it work for me, but haven't been as consistent as I need to be. I will keep working on cleaning up my life with the guidelines in this book.


This is an important aspect of my life I haven't mentioned much, but it is probably the largest part of my life. And it's HARD. I could use any help I can get. I've started reading about the, "Love and Logic," method. I'm currently reading, "Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood: Practical Parenting from Birth to Six Years." I hope to study it more and start implementing it with my toddler. As soon as my baby is old enough, I will start young with her. I will let you know if this helps me in maintaining my sanity.


I've already graduated college, but I believe in always learning new things. I want to learn to use the surger and sewing machines my husband bought me for past holidays. I've always wanted to learn, and I can do some things, but I want to get better. And, I can't wait to recycle a bunch of old t-shirts and jeans into useful products.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Savory Cottage Cheese Crepes

I had a ton of eggs to use up before they went bad, so I went looking for recipes that called for egg whites. I found this here and knew it was worth a try. My husband and I love crepes. I made a few minor adjustments, and they turned out really tasty. Enjoy!

Instant Oatmeal, 3 packets
Nonfat Cottage Cheese, 1 1/2 cups
Eggs, whites only, 3 cups
Garlic Powder, 2 tbsp
Italian Seasoning, 2 tbsp
Olive Oil Cooking Spray

Combine Oatmeal, Cottage Cheese, Egg Whites, Garlic Powder, and Italian Seasoning in a blender and mix until smooth. Add water if needed, no more than 1/4 cup. Heat skillet over medium. Spray with olive oil spray. Pour 1/2 cup of crepe mixture onto heated skillet. Tip skillet in a circular motion until mix spreads into a circular shape. Heat until bubbles cover all of the surface. Carefully and slowly flip the crepe to the other side. Heat for one to two minutes, then check. If golden brown, remove from heat. Serve with savory toppings (i.e. I used reduced fat feta, spinach, sauteed red onions, and 2 oz of deli turkey. Next time, I think I will try turkey sausage or prepared chicken breast instead of the deli meat.) Put toppings on center and fold outsides over the toppings.

MFP nutritional info for crepes (without toppings) for 12 crepes, each has: 81 calories 1 gram of fat 11 grams of protein 222 milligrams of sodium

It's about to get heavy up in here...and I'm not talking about the scale!

So, when I started this journey I initially just considered the, roughly, 110 pounds I wanted/needed to lose. As I began my weight loss leg of the journey, I got infused with the feeling of satisfaction self improvement brings. I decided, there is so much more I want to improve about my life. If I could control my weight, why couldn't I control the other areas I'm lacking in as well? So I began my full on journey to un-frumpiness. I've had small trip ups, which I've learned are normal, and you just have to get back up and brush yourself off and start hiking again.

Once, when I was eleven or twelve, my Dad took my younger brother and sister and I hiking to the top of Multnomah Falls, just outside of Portland, Oregon, on our way back from a family trip. As you get higher up, the hike gets harder, and more slippery. Plus, I've been overweight for pretty much my whole life, so I wasn't exactly fit at the time. Anyway, I remember as we were beginning the journey back down, my tired legs began to get shaky. I hid it well because my father and siblings were much healthier than I was, and there was a man with his cute son hiking in the same group. A pre-teen girl cannot lose face in front of a pre-pubescent hottie. All of a sudden, the terrain got really rocky and slippery and my legs gave out and down the HUGE hill I slid, terrified. Heights have NEVER been my thing, and I'm pretty sure this moment intensified that phobia. Thanks to the help of strangers (including hottie's dad), and my Dad being my super hero, I didn't slide far. But, I got pretty tore up. As if my legs hadn't already been sore and shaky, they were know scraped, bleeding, and embedded with gravel. As well as my arms and hands. I think I even scraped my face. I knew that despite the pain, it would be impossible for anyone to carry me down. Hurt or not, I had to push myself to make it back down. And I did. My poor dad, unable to accompany me or help, sent me into the women's bathroom to clean up the best that I could. As I stood by the sink dabbing with paper towels and crying, a stranger came up to me and got to work. She had a first-aid kit with her. She took out alcohol pads and cleaned my wounds, blowing on them as they stung like a mother would, and picked out rocks with tweezers. A perfect stranger.

Why do I bring this up? Since starting my journey I've been loved and supported by family and friends, but some of the most instrumental people in picking me up and pushing me forward have been perfect strangers. I'm a paranoid person by nature, another thing I'm working on, so I really had to break out of my comfort zone and let my guard down to add friends I didn't know on MFP. But I'm so glad I did. These perfect strangers have been like angels in helping me on my journey. Just like the lady in the bathroom.

Sometimes we fall. We have to get back up and keep going. Mostly, we have to let people, sometimes perfect strangers, help us and be the angels we need. I'm grateful for the angels on my journey.

Also, It took me app. 2 months to lose my first 15 pounds. If I keep it up at this pace, by next May, a little over a year, I can reach my ultimate goal. That feels pretty awesome. I can do it. Thank you all for your support.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lentils and Spinach

Lentils, 1 cup
Red onion, 1/2 cup
White onion, 1/2 cup
Baby Spinach, 6 cups
Chicken Broth, 4 cups
Carrot, one large, sliced
Celery, on stalk, sliced
Garlic Cloves, 6 minced
Olive Oil, 1 tbsp
Cumin, 1 tbsp
Curry Powder, 1 tsp

Prepare Quinoa or rice in rice cooker. Meanwhile, slice carrot and celery, and dice onions. Mince three cloves of garlic. Saute carrots, celery, onions, and garlic in olive oil in pressure cooker. When they begin to become tender, add chicken broth, spices, and lentils. Bring to a boil. Apply lid and stabilize pressure at the second red ring. Cook for 20 minutes, then remove from heat and release pressure using the natural release method. Add remaining three cloves of garlic into mixture. Add raw spinach and cover until spinach is wilted into the lentil mixture. Serve over one cup prepared Quinoa or rice.

MFP nutritional info, 6 servings, each has: 220 calories 7 grams of fat 12 grams of protein 432 milligrams of sodium

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pumpkin, Pear, and Potato Curry

I love all Asian foods, and curry is one of my favorites. I saw this soup on another food blog and got inspired. So I altered it into a curry that will make your house smell so good, and your taste buds will be thanking you as well. Also, it's not too hard on the waistline. Enjoy!

Canned Pumpkin, 2 15oz cans
Potatoes, 4 large, peeled and diced
Pears, 2 large, peeled and diced
Carrots, 2 medium, peeled and sliced
Vegetable Broth, 4 cups
White onion, 1/2, diced
Butter, 2 tbsp
Curry powder (I used red for a little kick, but yellow is milder), 2 tbsp
Garlic powder, 1 tbsp
Ground ginger, 1/2 tbsp
Coriander (or cilantro), 1 tsp
Cinnamon, 1 tsp
Cloves, 1 tsp
Orange Peel/zest, 1 tbsp
Vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp
Water to cover ingredients/ to achieve desired consistency

In pressure cooker, saute onion, potatoes, and carrots in butter until onion is tender. Add broth, spices, pumpkin, and pear. Bring to a boil. Apply lid. Bring pressure to second red ring. Stabilize. Cook for 30 minutes. Let pressure release using the natural release method. If desired, use hand blender to achieve desired consistency. Serve over rice.

MFP nutritional info, 6 servings, each has: 241 calories 5 grams of fat 6 grams of protein 418 milligrams of sodium

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Slow Cooker Vegetable Lasagna

No Boil Lasagna Noodles, 5-6
Low Fat cottage cheese, 1 container (app. 2 cups)
Baby Spinach, 4 cups
Yellow Squash, sliced, 1-2 cups, or 3 large
Zucchini Squash, sliced, 3 large
Shredded Mozzarella, 1 cup
Shredded Parmesan, 1/4 cup
Pasta Sauce, 2 1/2 cups
Garlic Powder, 1-2 tbsp (to taste)
Oregano, 1 tbsp
Basil, 1/2 tbsp
Egg, Whites only, 2 large

Prepare all vegetables. In a bowl, mix spices, cottage cheese (ricotta could also be used, but calories will be a little higher,) parmesan, egg whites, and all but 1/4 cup of the mozzarella. In a slow cooker, pour 1-2 tbsp of pasta sauce in the bottom. Top with no boil lasagna noodles. Break to fit. It doesn't have to be perfect. Top noodles with app. 1/2 cup of cheese mixture. Top cheese mixture with spinach, then sliced zucchini and yellow squash, and then some sauce. Repeat layering until crock pot is filled. Finish with a layer of noodles topped with remaining sauce and reserved cheese. Cook in slow cooker on low for 4-5 hours. Do not over cook or the noodles will get very soggy. Serve.

MFP nutritional info for 6 servings, each has: 297 calories 9 grams of fat 25 grams of protein 830 milligrams of sodium (Yikes! Sorry about that!)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Radiatori Pasta with Fresh Vegetable Sauce...a.k.a. last minute throw together, HA!

So, yesterday I spent much longer than anticipated out running errands, and I didn't get my slow cooker lasagna started. I had to throw together dinner out of ingredients I had on hand. This is the pasta that resulted. It was pretty tasty, and pretty nice to look at as well. Enjoy! I'll be putting the lasagna in the slow cooker in an hour or two, so you can get that recipe tonight.

Garofalo Pasta - Radiatori, 1 container (app. 6 cups if you're using other pasta)
Classico - Tomato & Basil, 2 cup (Or 2 cups of another pasta sauce, watch out for sodium!)
Yellow Onion, 1 large, diced
Yellow bell pepper, 1/2 diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Baby spinach, 1 oz (app. 1 1/2 - 2 cups)
Shredded parmesan, 1 cup
Black Olives, sliced, 2.25 oz can
Garlic Powder, 1 tbsp
Italian Seasoning, 1 tbsp

Prepare noodles according to package, minus one minute (when I boil it as long as it states, it always gets too soft and breaks apart.) In a pan, saute onions and pepper together with crushed garlic until they begin to get soft and lightly browned, but still a little crisp. Add seasonings, 1/2 cup water, and 2 cups pasta sauce. Simmer until the water is evaporated and the sauce has thickened. Combine with cooked, drained noodles. Add parmesan, olives, and spinach. Mix well. Serve.

MFP nutritional info 6 servings: 457 calories 9 grams of fat 19 grams of protein 555 milligrams of sodium

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Baked Egg Rolls and Carrot Ginger Rice...thank you For The Love of Cooking :)

2 cups shredded savoy cabbage (I didn't have any, so I just used regular cabbage.)
2 cups shredded carrots
1 can bean sprouts
1 can water chesnuts, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
2 tbsp Soy Sauce (I didn't have low sodium on hand. I will use it next time.)
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup water
14 Egg Roll wrappers
1 tsp olive oil

Heat oil in a large pan. Add cabbage, sprouts, carrots, chestnuts and ginger and saute until vegetable begin to get tender, but not too soft. In a small bowl, mix water and cornstarch until blended well. Add mixture to pan, as well as soy sauce and green onions. Cook until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. When the veggie mixture is cool, spoon two tablespoons onto each egg roll wrap and fold (see FTLOC site for good pictures of this process.) Place egg rolls on sprayed cookie sheet. Spray the top of the egg rolls. Bake for 8-10 minutes, then turn. Bake another 5-7 minutes, until golden and crispy. Serve with sweet chili sauce.

MFP nutritional info before dipping sauce, 14 servings: 185 calories 2 grams of fat 4 grams of protein 562 milligrams of protein

Carrot Ginger Rice

2-3 cups prepared white rice (I didn't have basmati rice on hand)
2 carrots shredded
2 cups chicken broth
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 tsp ginger
4 cloves garlic (we love garlic. 1 clove just wasn't enough)
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cilantro (I was all out of fresh cilantro, but I will use it next time.)

Prepare 1- 1 1/2 cups rice in rice cooker with broth. While it cooks, saute onion and garlic until tender, add carrots and spices and cook a little while longer. Add rice to carrot mixture, making sure everything is mixed well. Serve.

MFP nutritional info, 4 servings: 185 calories 2 grams of fat 4 grams of protein 562 milligrams of sodium

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cabbage and Split Pea's so good, and so good for you.

1/2 cup split peas
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 head cabbage, chopped
1 large yellow onion
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp parsley (dry cilantro will also work)
1 tbsp basil
1 tbsp cumin (or curry, whatever your preference)
(I don't add salt and pepper, but you can add it to yours to taste. I'm trying to lower my sodium intake.)

In pressure cooker, saute diced onion, cabbage, potatoes, and carrots in the olive oil until they start to become tender, but not completely browned. Add chicken broth, split peas, and seasonings and bring to a boil. Once boiling, put lid on pressure cooker and stabilize heat at the second red ring. Cook for 20 minutes, then remove from heat and let pressure release using the natural release method. Blend if desired using a stick blender. If you'd like a soupier consistency, add more chicken broth or water until desired consistency is reached. It will be really hot, so if you want to eat right away, have ice cubes on hand to cool down your soup. Enjoy!

According to MFP, 6 servings, each has: 136 calories 3 grams of fat 7 grams of protein 445 milligrams of sodium

Italian Cheese Biscuits

2 cups Bisquick Mix
1 cup milk (we use fat free Lactaid)
1 tbsp italian seasoning
1 cup shredded parmesan
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 450. Mix all ingredients in large bowl. When blended, spoon onto Silpat lined cookie sheet (if you don't own one, spray with cooking spray.) Bake for 8 minutes. Pull out and immediately apply garlic butter to hot biscuits. Let sit another 5-10 minutes. Serve.

12 servings, calories BEFORE garlic butter: 146 calories 6 grams of fat 7 grams of protein 341 milligrams of sodium

A New Day, A New Commitment! Another step closer to UN-FRUMPY!

Hello all you beautiful people! And YOU ARE beautiful.

So, lately there's been a whole lot of what I'm eating on here, but not a lot else about other tools I'm using on my journey. Today, that is changing.

I've had a book ever since my wedding that I've picked up, about once a year, read two or three pages of the first chapter, and got discourage and gave up. Pathetic, I know. Today, I saw that book sitting on my headboard as I was cleaning my room (gasp, I was actually cleaning, hurrah!) Determined, I picked that book up and read the whole first chapter. And I am committed.

This isn't a fiction novel, or a nonfiction novel, or any kind of just for entertainment book. This book is a sort of self-help book to help girls like me get organized, and CLEAN! It's called, "Sink Reflections," by Marla Cilley - The FlyLady. I am pumped. Pumped, and a little nervous, but mostly pumped.

Perhaps why I've been intimidated so much in the past is because when the first chapter addresses stay-at-home mom's in their underwear/bathrobe all day, taking naps, everything, I was ashamed at how close that hit to home. But I'm ready to not be that person anymore, I'm ready to FLY, as the book says.

I'm starting this leg of the journey today, and I'll let you know how it goes. If you've read the book and have comments or suggestions for me or anyone who reads this, please comment. Thanks!

(Also, in case you were wondering, dinner tonight is Cabbage and Split Pea Soup with Italian Cheese Biscuits. The soup doesn't sound that appealing, but trust me, it's delicious. And, good for you.)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Braided Pizza...YUM! Three different kinds.

(Original idea for braided pizzas came from and then I altered it to fit my family's taste.)

Chicken and Pesto Braided Pizza

2 Packages Jiffy Pizza Crust Mix
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken cooked and sliced
1/3 bottle of Kirkland Pesto (or about 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup or 4-5 green onions, chopped
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 red onion, diced
2 cups baby spinach

According to MFP, 10 servings, each has: 345 calories 16 grams of fat 19 grams of protein 527 milligrams of sodium

Turkey Sausage and Onions Braided Pizza

3 Turkey Sausage links, casings removed, browned
2 Packages Jiffy Pizza Crust, prepared
1 white onion, or 1 cup, diced
1/4 Red onion, diced
1/2 large yellow bell pepper, seeded, cored, and diced
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
6 oz. Pizza Sauce

According to MFP, 10 servings, each has: 247 calories 9 grams of fat 12 grams of protein 635 milligrams of sodium

(The next one is NOT diet friendly! Beware! It was designed for my husband and our family friend.)

Meaty Madness Braided Pizza

2 Packages Jiffy Pizza Crust, prepared
1/2 package of pepperoni
1/2 package of Italian dry salami
3/4 package (app. 12 strips) fully cooked hickory bacon
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 large green bell pepper, seeded, cored, and diced
1 2.25oz can sliced black olives
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
6 oz. Pizza Sauce

According to MFP, 10 servings, each has: 411 calories 23 grams of fat 17 grams of protein 1251 milligrams of sodium

Instructions for all Braided Pizzas: Prepare all vegetables and meat. I highly recommend that you saute the onions with the meat as it's browning, to allow them to soften a little, before putting them on your pizza. Set aside/in the fridge. Prepare pizza crust mix as instructed on box. (It was way too runny for us, so we added flour a tiny bit at a time until it started to pull away from the sides of the Bosch Mixer. We also let the Bosch do most of the kneading for us. Then we pulled the dough out with floured hands, put it on a floured surface, and kneaded it a couple more times. It should still be a little sticky. Don't let it get too dry.) MAKE SURE to let the dough rise for a while. It will make the dough much softer and fluffy. When the dough is done rising (at LEAST five minutes, our best rose for 10,) spray a cookie sheet with olive oil, or use a Silpat if you have one (makes it sooo much easier and nicer, just remember not to cut on your Silpat. They're too awesome to ruin.) Spread the dough out on the pan until it almost touches all of the edges. Spread a line of sauce down the center of your dough, leaving sides alone (they will be braided over the toppings.) Then, add meats and veggies. Finish off the toppings with cheese. Once cheese is on, cut slits in the dough along either side of the toppings, about two inches wide. Pull the ends of the dough over the toppings first. Then "braid" the remaining strips over the toppings. (For really good pictures of this process, see the link at the top of this post.) Spray with olive oil and sprinkle with dry basil. Bake at 425 for 18-20 minutes. Enjoy!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Stuffed Tomatoes...finally. HA! (Last night we went out for our anniversary.)

4 large red tomatoes, insides removed (I save the insides to use in other recipes)
4oz baby spinach (I've also used a mixed blend with arugula and it was tasty)
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 turkey sausage links, casings removed
1 can garbanzo beans
1 package Feta cheese (app. 8 oz)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp shredded parmesan
1 tbsp basil

Cut insides out of tomatoes, forming them into little bowls. Place in a 9x9 baking dish. In a pan, brown sausage and break into crumbles. Drain excess fat. Add red onion and cook until onion is tender. Preheat oven to 400. In a blender, combine beans, spinach, olive oil, basil, feta, and garlic. Blend until smooth. Add sausage and onion (I like to run this through my Food Processorfirst to really break it up.) Blend again until mixed, not too long. Distribute blended mix into tomatoes. Top each stuffed tomato with one tbsp of shredded parmesan. Place in oven. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and they are heated through. Serve. I like to serve it with Quinoa. I prepare it in my Rice Cooker.

Info according to MFP: 228 calories 13 grams of fat 17 grams of protein 598 milligrams of sodium

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Well, it turned out pretty tasty! Jordon's Mexican Slow Cooker Chicken...

1 lb of boneless, skinless, chicken breast
3 carrots peeled and sliced
1/4 red onion
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp Tabasco Green Pepper sauce
3/4 cup of fresh cilantro
6 tbsp shredded parmesan

Combine all ingredients except cheese and cilantro in slow cooker. Cook on high for 6-8 hours. Use fork to shred chicken. Serve as is or over rice, top with shredded parmesan and cilantro. YUM!

(According to MFP) 6 servings, each has: 172 calories 4 grams of fat 18 grams of protein 430 milligrams of sodium

Change of plans...flexibility is a good thing, right? (Look for the give away!)

I'm going to do the stuffed tomatoes tomorrow night. I didn't want two italian-ish dishes two nights in a row. SO, I made up a slow cooker recipe that I will post tonight. I'm calling it, Mexican Slow Cooker Chicken. It smells good so far, hopefully it will taste good. I had some things that needed used up, so I utilized them. No sense in wasting.

Right now, I'm going to share with you a few of my FAVORITE kitchen tools, as well as links where you can get them.

1.) Pressure Cooker

I love, love, love my pressure cooker. It's Kuhn Rikonbrand, and I've been nothing but happy with it. As far as I'm concerned, it's a must have for any kitchen and makes life easier.

2.) Slow Cooker

Another must have, a good slow cooker. I have a small Crock-Potbrand cooker that we got as a wedding gift and it's had MUCH use, and I got my new Crock Pot brand cooker from Costco on an AWESOME sell. You can buy them lots of places though. Just watch for good prices.

3.) Bosch Mixer and Accessories

Notice, I didn't just say "mixer." I LOVE my Bosch Mixer. It is much easier to clean than a KitchenAid and you can prepare many more loaves worth of dough in one batch. Plus, I use the attachments ALL the time. The blender is awesome. Note my smoothies from a while back. I also have the Food Processorand the Slicer/Shredder. All are great! If I'm making treats to take to an event, my Bosch makes the whole process MUCH faster. I can make several dozen cookies with one batch of dough. It's fabulous.

4.) Hand Mixer

I just purchase mine, and again I say it, I am in love. It's so nice to take the lid off the pressure cooker and be able to stick the hand blender right in to blend up soups to the desire consistency. It's great. I haven't used it for much else yet, but I'm looking forward to doing so. I'm sure it's amazing for mashed potatoes, and if I allow myself a milkshake (better be careful,) I can't wait to see this baby in action! Mine is a L'Equip Stick Immersion Blender.

5.) Ginsu Bread Knives

Okay, so they're supposed to be bread knives, but these babies are fantastic. I use them for everything! They are sharp and cut through everything so easy. Not kidding, I have like ten of these babies because I keep buying them, and the ones I bought forever ago are still good. Just because I love my followers, HERE'S A GIVEAWAY: the person who can get the most people to follow my blog in the next week will win TWO free bread knives (or everything knives as I like to call them.) Just have the people who join leave a comment on one of my posts, letting me know you recruited them. Then, I will contact you for mailing info. I will post a link to buy them after the contest ends. :)

As for my kitchen wish list, I want to, someday, invest in a Wondermill, or maybe both the Wondermill and the Wonder Junior. I don't make a lot of bread now, because I don't eat that much, but as my kids get older I want to, and to have my own grain mill to make flour would be awesome. Not to mention healthier and cheaper. Plus, I can make several loaves at a time with the Bosch.

I also really, really, really want a Vitamixblender. They are pretty costly though. I've seen them in action, and they are AMAZING. My Bosch blender works pretty well, better than a lot of other blenders I've seen, but the Vitamix is superb. I can't wait to have one someday. They're $100 off right now, and I still can't afford one, ha ha ha.

Oh, I forgot my rice cooker. I LOVE it. I make rice and Quinoa in it all the time. I've even cooked spelt in it. It works so well and is absolutely worry free. Just put it in and leave it to cook. It even keeps it warm for you once it's done cooking. Awesome. I have the Zojirushi Rice Cooker and Warmer.

Well, leave a comment and let me know what YOUR favorite kitchen tools are!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Turkey Meatloaf with Spinach and Feta


1 pound 97% Fat Free white ground turkey
2 cups baby spinach
1 8oz package Feta cheese
3 egg whites
1/2 box chicken flavored stuffing mix, dry
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 cup water
4 garlic cloves minced (or 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
1 tsp oregano
1 tbsp basil

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well with hands. Form into a loaf. Place in pressure cooker on trivet. Add 1 cup of water to the bottom of the pressure cooker. Apply lid. Bring pressure to the second red ring. Stabilize and let cook for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let pressure release using the natural release method. I like to serve it with prepared Quinoa (I cook it in the rice cooker just like I would rice,) and 1/4 cup spaghetti sauce (I like Classico) poured over the Quinoa/meatloaf. Don't use too much sauce. It will drown out the flavor of the meatloaf, which is VERY tasty, and it is packed with sodium.

Nutritional info for the meatloaf, not including Quinoa or sauce, is as follows (according to MFP:) (6 servings)
230 calories 7 grams of fat 25 grams of protein 538 milligrams of sodium

Don't miss the stuffed tomatoes tomorrow! I will be using baby spinach and Feta again.

Tuna Salad...

2 5oz cans of tuna, drained
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 cup broccoli florets
5-6 green onions, sliced
2 cups dry whole wheat elbow macaroni, prepared
1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeded, cored, diced
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp Nature's Seasoning
1 cup Nonfat Greek Yogurt

Prepare noodles as instructed on box. Let cool. While they cool, prepare all vegetables. When noodles are cool and veggies prepared, mix together with drained tuna in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix spices and greek yogurt together. Add to tuna mix. Coat well. Serve cold.

I will say, that in the past I've made this with a cup of mayo as opposed to greek yogurt. There was over 100 calories more per serving, and much more fat, but I admit, I like it better with the mayo. Next time, I might sacrifice some calories for light mayo, or even cottage cheese. You guys try it. I might also add a peeled, chopped cucumber, and two diced roma tomatoes. As is, if it's split into 6 servings, the info according to MFP as is follows:

241 calories 2 grams of fat 18 grams of protein 514 milligrams of sodium

Monday, March 7, 2011

Happy Monday all you Beautiful People!

I FINALLY was able to exercise again today and not die coughing. I only did the Wii Fit Free Step for 30 minutes, but it felt good. I also weighed in...GOOD NEWS! I've lost 3 more pounds, shockingly. That's 10.2 altogether since starting my journey to un-frumpiness! I have a long way to go, but you have to celebrate every small victory. I'm still not well enough to start my 30 Day Shred mission, I'm thinking of incorporating lots of other exercise to lose 10lbs in March, and then dedicating April to my 30 Day Shred, since I missed my starting point this month.

Also, I've decided to start a non-food related project to help me on my journey. I have A LOT of clothes I don't wear, and amongst the slue, I have many FRUMPY old t-shirts. It's so hard not to just throw on sweats and one of those shirts every morning. So, to kill the temptation, I've decided to get rid of most of my t-shirts (I'll allow myself to save a few for working out.) I'm not a person who likes to waste though, so, I've decided to salvage them by cutting out the graphic side of my shirts and using them to make a big picnic blanket for this spring/summer. My husband bought me a surger a while ago, and I've been dying to learn how to use it. I figured this would be a fun and useful project. I will post pictures and updates as I go. YAY! One step closer to becoming un-frumpy. When I lose fifty pounds, I'm promising myself a weekend for ME, shopping included. I'm planning on getting rid of a lot of clothes I don't/can't wear and donating them to Deseret Industries or Goodwill. An empty closet will be great motivation to lose the weight and fill it up with un-frumpy new clothes!

Also, on the agenda for tonight and this week: Tonight I will be utilizing some of that canned tuna I seem to stock up on for NO reason. I will be making a healthy, low fat, veggie packed tuna salad that is quite delicious. I am not a seafood, or tuna, fan, but I do like this salad. Pictures to come. I will also be making a recipe I created tomorrow, turkey meatloaf with spinach and feta. It's so good. And, SO low calorie/fat. The next day, I will be using more feta in some delicious stuffed tomatoes. make sure to check in for recipes and reports!

Friday, March 4, 2011

YUM! A tangy, fresh new recipe I tried tonight. It was a winner.

Moroccan Chicken (originally found and adapted from,

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
2 large carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 zuchinni, sliced
1 can italian stewed tomatoes
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 1/2 cups chicken broth (I use free range organic by Pacific Naturals)
lemon juice, 1 tbsp
fresh cilantro, 1/2 cup
ground ginger, 1 tbsp
paprika, 1 tsp
cumin, 1 tsp
oregano, 1 1/2 tsp
turmeric, 1 tsp
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (I left this out because my husband doesn't do spicy.)

Cook chicken ahead of time, then cool and dice (I did this in my handy dandy pressure cooker, then rinsed it out to cook the rest.) Prepare all vegetables. In pressure cooker, saute garlic, onions, carrots, and celery in olive oil until they begin to get tender. Add zuchinni and spices, saute for another one to two minutes. Add chicken broth and tomatoes. Let come to a boil. Add beans and chicken. Stir, then apply lid. Bring pressure to first red ring and stabilize. Cook for ten minutes, then remove from heat and release pressure using natural release method. Once released, open lid and stir in fresh cilantro and lemon juice. Serve over white rice (separate calories than what's listed below). YUM!

This dish has large servings and is very filling, perfect for watching calories. Here is the info according to
Split into 6 servings: 192 calories 5 grams of fat 19 grams of protein 641 milligrams of sodium

I served it with Moroccan Carrots as a side dish, the recipe was posted by a user on mfp, who said she found it on a weight watchers website. Sorry I can't site it better. The original recipe called for A LOT of olive oil. I used 1/4 of what it said, and it turned out fine.

Moroccan Carrots

1 lb. fresh carrots, peeled and cut into 1/8" slices
4 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, partially crushed or minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika

Boil the carrots in salted water until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain, and immediately cover the carrots with cold water to stop further cooking. Drain again. In a medium pot or skillet, gently saute the garlic cloves in the olive oil for two or three minutes over low heat. Add the carrots, lemon juice, cilantro, and spices. Saute over low heat for another two minutes, and remove from the heat.

Split into 4 servings: 113 calories 4 grams of fat 3 grams of protein 154 milligrams of sodium (thank you MFP)

I leave the salt out of recipes on purpose, because sodium levels are so outrageous in things we eat. I figure, if it's good without, don't add it. If you need a little, add it after.

For dessert, I ate one cup of nonfat greek yogurt with 30 red grapes and a little splenda. YUM! It's becoming one of my faves.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


So, it turns out I'm not as well yet as I thought. Just being on my feet and walking around for several hours yesterday had me coughing up a storm again. So, I'm going to postpone my Shred commitment for a few more days, but NOT give up on it. Some good news, yesterday I felt it a little after wearing my Shape-Ups out and about, and my mother brought me her Zumba kit she wasn't using, so I'm PUMPED to start that as well! Sorry for the little delay, but this battle isn't over. No worries.

Low Cal, Low fat, Slow Cooker Chili....mmmm

Low Cal, Low fat, Slow Cooker Chili....mmmm
Check out the steam coming from the slow cooker!

Served with my Italian Cheese Biscuits...if you want the recipe ask.

Served with my Italian Cheese Biscuits...if you want the recipe ask.

Vegetable Lo Mein with Chicken

Vegetable Lo Mein with Chicken
NOT a food photographer, ha ha ha. Hopefully I'll get better.

Ingredients for Vegetable Lo Mein

Ingredients for Vegetable Lo Mein
Aren't those veggies pretty?