Blog number two.... it might explain my current lack of enthusiasm for blog number 1

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Parmesan Knots

I am a lover of bread and always have been, so when a soon to be in law posted on facebook that she had just made parmesan knots and they were delicious... I was very intrigued. I looked the recipe up and when I saw they were made with canned biscuits I was very excited. I had not-so-recently bought a TON of canned biscuits because they were on sale plus coupon. The only problem was they were in cans of 8... and there is only two of us. So I had been saving them for recipes... recipes which I had not tried looking for because I have so many other things going on.

The original recipe is on and makes 60 knots. I scaled it down quite a bit, but it did say they freeze/reheat wonderfully if you want to go ahead and make 60.

Parmesan Knots - with slight changes

one 16.something oz can of Grands Buttermilk biscuits (8 biscuits)
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon evoo
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons parmesan (shaker parm)
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

preheat oven to 450*

cut each biscuit in half, roll each half out into a 6-8 inch rope, tie in a knot, set on baking sheet/stone. mix the rest of the ingredients.

here is where my recipe differs from theirs - theirs says to bake the biscuits and THEN brush on the mix. i brushed on the mix, baked and then made another batch of mix and brushed on again. do which ever you like. I can only attest to my method and I was very pleased with my results.

Either way, they bake for about 10 minutes, watch for browning around 8 minutes and take them out a little early if necessary.


These were SO good. You could of never guessed that they were made from biscuits. This recipe is one of those that transforms something everyday into something totally different. It's also very easy and very addicting. I made 16, planned on freezing the leftovers and there were only 6 left over!

Camera phone picture - sorry!! I'm pretty certain I accidentally threw my camera battery charger away....

Spin Off

My go to beer bread recipe is wonderful. But like everything else, it gets old after a while. Its just so darn easy to whip up though, so I thought I would put a spin on it and create something new.

I was inspired by this recipe, but just did not have the time or ingredients to make biscuit dough from scratch.

Bacon Cheddar Beer Muffins
recipe by me, inspired by TPW

2 and 2/3 a cup self rising flour
one 12 oz beer (i always use michelob ultra when making bread)
half pound bacon, fried and roughly chopped
1 and 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar

preheat the oven to 375*

spray 12 muffin wells with non stick cooking spray

mix all ingredients with a rubber spatula, being sure to scrape the bottom so there isn't any dry flour. divide the mixture evenly into the 12 muffin wells. bake for 25 minutes. let them cool a little in the muffin wells, and then "flip" them onto their side in the well to cool a little longer. best eaten warm.

These were really good! A great spin off!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Bring it on!

It's the most wonderful time of the year!! There are ref's that are yelling and kitchens are smelling and every one's telling you be a good cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer..... it's the most wonderful time OF THE YEARRRRRR!!!

Football season, baby. Bring on the yummy hand foods. This one is a sweet dish, because that is what I crave lately. Sweets. My thighs are so happy. So happy that they are beginning to share the wealth with my calves. I would be concerned if I could see either of them.

Best Ever Apple Dip
recipe courtesy of a friend

8 ounces cream cheese (whipped is easiest to work with)
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 bag heath bits

Cream the first 3 ingredients with a hand mixer on low speed until combined. Pour in the bag of heath brickle and mix on low speed until combined. Refrigerate.


This dip is awesome. I'm not just saying that because I'm pregnant. I had it before I was pregnant and loved it then too. I also think adding some mini chocolate chips couldn't hurt!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Best Yet!

I'm still learning but picked up a GOOD tip today in grocery shopping. Really stock up on "money making" items. Meaning items where the coupon discount is for more than you are actually paying for that item. That will put you in the negative and you'll have to use "filler items" to bring you back to the positive, aka - FREE GROCERIES!

I literally had ten minutes and 9 dollars for today's Publix trip and I plan on going back Sunday or Monday when I will have more time and can take advantage of the penny item, which I never get to do because I am always so impatient about going to the grocery and seeing how much I can save. Since we are back on the full side in our stockpile I can focus more on buying only the deals and trying to beat my best savings. This weeks best deal for our family was the Beneful dog food. The 3.5 pound bags were bogo making them $2.74 and I had 5 coupons worth $3.50 each, meaning that each coupon would put me negative $1.50. I actually got paid to buy dog food, and when you have to feed an 80 pound rottweiler... well, you can imagine how thrilling that may be. I really could of saved even more if I had of "bought" a couple more bags of dog food, but live and learn.

Once again, I only bought what was on sale and had a coupon for everything but the bread. My bread coupon was for bunny bread and they didn't carry bunny. Is that odd to anyone else but me? Our Piggly Wiggly carries bunny bread but I hate shopping where coupons aren't doubled. It seems like a waste to me. But if Publix doesn't carry the bread, I don't want the coupon to expire so I will probably use it at the Pig sometime. Luckily Sara Lee bread was on advantage buy making it cheaper than the other brands by $0.20

5 3.5 pound bags of Beneful dog food
4 packs of Knorr pasta/rice sides
2 boxes general mills cereal
2 loaves Sara Lee white wheat bread

Can you believe that without sales or coupons that little bit of groceries would of cost me $49.08??? Instead it only cost me $8.37 which is an 87% savings! If I had of picked up 5 more bags of dog food my total would of been under $1. I'm not too bright, am I? :)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Eat Fresh

And I don't mean at subway. I love seafood, we both do. But store bought just usually isn't as good as eating it at the beach. My father in law recently went deep sea fishing and his team caught an enormous amount of fish. He gave us some fresh amberjack steaks to tide us over until the big fish fry and we could not of been more excited!!

Fresh is the way to go, it was so mild, so light, not at all fishy. Bradley blackened it with our new favorite blackened seasoning recipe and we paired it with a simple baked potato. It was a great summer dinner!

Blackened Seasoning Recipe
found here
  • 2 teaspoons ground paprika
  • 4 teaspoons dried leaf thyme
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, or to your taste (we used ground red pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Combine all into a ziploc bag or jar, seal, shake to combine. This makes a good bit - but you'll be thankful! Pat seasoning onto all sides of rinsed fish and blacken!

The way we blacken fish is to heat a cast iron skillet outside on the grill burner. You want it to get it really steaming. Then drop in a tablespoon or two of butter and when it melts lay the fish down into the pan. Watch the sides, when they start getting cooked through, flip and finish the job.

It's easy to over cook fish, especially when your pan is THIS hot! So keep a watchful eye!

three's a crowd

For some strange reason I thought it would be wise to hit up three stores for their sales in one day. And actually it wasn't even a day, it was after work. I will never do that again. The main reason being that once it was all said and done, I didn't see a big enough savings in adding an additional grocery store to my trip.

First up was Walgreen's. I was actually very excited about adding the walgreen's into my trip... until I read Publix sale ad and saw that most of the things on my walgreen's list were actually cheaper at Publix. My list of about 10 items dwindled down to 3, only one of which was on sale and the other two I had coupons for. I still did good, but it was thanks to my large discount coupons and not the sales. Doubt I will be going back. I bought Cascade gel which was on sale for $3.99 (discount of $1.50) two twix bars and an old spice deodorant. I had a 3 $1 coupons making my total $5.80 with a savings of $4.50.

I think the deciding factor in my "let's go to three stores!" idea was the face that we had been living off our stockpile and pretty much depleted it. We were out of everything. Literally I do not know what we would of eaten for dinner had I not gone to the store, and we still need a few things, but they either weren't on sale or I didn't have a coupon for them so they can wait until next week.

Winn Dixie was next. This is my opinion, "their sales... are not sales". At least not compared to Publix. Everything I bought was on sale except for one thing and I had a coupon for the full price so that doesn't count. I had a coupon for 7 of the on sale items and my total still shocked me. I will list out what I bought, since it wasn't that much:
2 packs of cole's garlic toast
2 big tubs of yoplait yogurt
2 tubs of breakstone's sour cream
3 16 slice packs of kraft singles
2 packs of ball park franks
2 packs of plumrose bacon
2 hillshire farms deli meats
3 martha white muffin mixes
cascade rinse agent
2 Tennessee pride pre-cut sausage patties
1 macaroni grill box dinner
2 bags of lays potato chips

My total was $53.29 and I saved $28.57, $18.73 in store savings and $9.84 in coupons.

Publix... ahhhhh! I wish I had of taken a picture of my buggy.... geez louise. Even the under carriage thingy was full. The cashier actually asked me how many people were in my house. But I got some awesome steals. Pop tarts were pretty much free when I combined a target coupon and a manufacturer's coupon, I got a free degree deodorant with a target coupon and I had several free coupons for baby items. Sadly I do not know my exact savings amount because she tore my receipt in the middle of my coupons. But I think it was $89.something and I spent $151.16. Much better!!!

Our pantry and fridge and even toiletries are well stocked back up now and I totally learned my lesson with taking on too much.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I've been trying my hand at CVS sales for a little while. Nothing major. Today I actually learned alot from my CVS trip. The most important thing being to READ FINE PRINT on the ECB earning. Most earnings are one per card. Now I'm not going to cheat the system and get multiple cards, but I definitely would not of bought an additional razor if I had of realized before hand that I was only going to get 2 ecb's and not 4. Either way I only paid $5 for a $10 razor.... but still. Next time I will know!
The second thing I learned is to go to the little hub that scans your card and prints out any coupons you have waiting to be used as soon as you walk in. I was all depressed because my $5 off $25 coupon expired on 7/23 but a new one printed out when I scanned my card! Yay!! I was hoping for a neutrogena coupon I had misplaced to print out, but I guess it had already expired as well.

I purchased:

one 12 pack coca cola
one 12 pack sprite
two twelve packs 12oz dasani
one Schick quattro for men
one Schick quattro for women
one Aussie shampoo
one Aussie conditioner
two Colgate 360 toothbrushes
one Colgate total advanced toothpaste
two Irish springs 3 pack soap bars
one Palmolive dish soap
one neutrogena mascara
one neutrogena lipstick
one gallon milk
one Gillette fusion for men shave gel

total (with tax) before any sales, coupons or ecb redemption - $101.90
total (with tax) after sales, coupons and ecb redemption - $46.58

I saved 54%! I know that is a good thing, but I just feel like it could of been more. Do any of you have tips on working the CVS sales ad? What is your average savings at CVS?

My next venture is to try out the Walgreen's sales. I have NEVER sale shopped there but they had some good deals that matched up with my coupons, so I plan on trying them out Friday. Woo Hoo Friday night out on the town - saving! Ha!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Be Prepared!

Always makes me think of the Lion King song. Where Scar is singing with the laughing hyenas. Tee he he.

Anyway - Now that I have a baby on the way quick and easy dinners have been at the top of my list. Not only in the here and now when I am too tired to cook my usual over the top dinners, but for when we bring home our son. Something that can be made in minutes and is easy enough that Bradley won't freak out when I ask him to make it.

When I was little, mom use to make me "philly cheese and noodles". (I was actually in college before I was told that cream cheese was not called "philly cheese") Well these days there are tons of flavored cream cheeses out there. From sweet to savory. Two new kinds were introduced this summer, one of those being spinach and artichoke.

Bradley loves spinach and artichoke dip. So I bought it. I actually bought it when I was still battling nausea and I was nauseous when I bought it so just looking at the tub made me feel nauseous again. The pregnancy brain is an odd creature. But today I decided to bite the bullet, open the tub and make philly cheese and noodles.

Talk about quick AND easy!! This takes all of ten minutes. I boiled three servings of small sea shells in salty water, drained them and returned them to the warm pot. Then I scooped out a little less than half the tub, and stirred the pasta until the cheese melted and covered the noodles. I then stirred in a splash of milk to keep it from setting back up. There were actually big pieces of spinach and artichokes in the cheese, not just tiny specks.

Next time you're at the store pick up a savory blend that catches your eye and try it out. I promise you won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Blog Number 2

it might explain my current lack of enthusiasm for blog number 1

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

weekly publix trip

this week I needed a LOT - so I knew my ticket would be expensive but I still expected to get a lot and save a lot. I did both and my ticket was cheaper than it normally would of been. The BEST deal I found, and this was just luck, was that the b/s chicken breasts were on sale for $3.99 a pound.... but my publix (trussville) had them priced $1.99 a pound!! They even had them under a sign that said $3.99. I didn't say anything so go get you some extra cheap chicken before they notice. I should of bought more than 3 packs....

Some of my favorite deals this week were:

French's yellow mustard - BoGo - regular $1.39 after a coupon for each - FREE!

Taco bell home orignals dinner kit - BoGo - regular $2.69 after a coupon for each - $0.34

Kraft Mac n Cheese (blue box) - BoGo - regular $1.19 after a B3G1 coupon - $0.44

Uncle Ben's Country Inn rice - BoGo - regular $1.49 after a coupon for each - $0.25

I could just tell you my total and my savings.... but you wouldn't get a very good idea of how much I actually got (and I'm trying to get some friends on the bandwagon) so I'm going to list it out.....

2 bags Alexia frozen parmesan potatoes (delish, btw!)
philadelphia spinach artichoke cream cheese
2 18 count kraft cheese slices
2 8oz blocks Cabot cheese
3 packs boneless pork chops
3 packs boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 packs ground beef
2 pack oscar meyer bun length hotdogs
6 pack vienna sausages (for bradley.... im not THAT pregnant - yet)
4 can hunts tomato paste
8 cans hunts tomato sauce
2 shakers weber grill spices
2 bottles heinz vinegar
handle of publix veg oil
2 taco bell dinners
2 frenchs mustard
5 lb domino sugar
2 uncle bens rice
4 kraft mac n cheese
1 pack peanut butter chips ahoy (pregnant)
2 50 count boxes ziploc gallon storage bags
one clorox ready mop refill
1 4 pack of fresh corn on the cob
1/4 watermelon (pregnant)
publix white bread
publix hot dog buns
2 bags baked lays
publix tortilla chips
24 pack aquafina

Grand total $97.42.... savings of $48.86!!!!!!!!!!

I've only been doing this 2 weeks and so far I've spent $108.80 and saved $75.85. I think that is a GOOD DEAL!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

ok im hooked

A couple of months ago I decided to start clipping coupons. Well, I did, but I didn't use them in conjunction with sales, so it was depressing. I would save a little, but nothing fun. Lately coupons and saving has been the talk of the town. It seems like everyone I know has a coupon binder and only shops for items that are on sale and saves BIG. So I took the time to put together a binder and separate my coupons by month of expiration, then I matched it up with this weeks Publix sales ad and - voila!

3 - 1 pound boxes of muellers pasta
2 - 16 oz bottles of kraft dressing
2 - 16 oz bottles of kraft bbq sauce
2 - 16 oz containers breakstones sour cream
2 - 8 oz tubs kraft cream cheese
1 - 13 oz bag lays potato chips
1 - 10 oz box wheat thins
1 - 10 oz box triscuits
2 - 16 oz packages of Cole's garlic toast

All of these items were on sale, and I had a coupon for every item except the lay's chips, in some cases a coupons for each item (ie. I only had one coupon for all 3 pastas but had a coupon for each garlic toast). After the sales discounts and my vendor coupons........ my grand total was $11.38 and i SAVED $26.99!!!!!! I saved over double what I spent!!! And it's all good name brand stuff. Plus my wheels were turning, and as I was going down my grocery list I was coming up with meal ideas. Dressing as a marinade for chicken, cream cheese to make a sauce for the pasta. It is all becoming clear to me and I am definitely HOOKED!

Some highlights of my trip were -

the pasta was bogo and ended up being $0.75 a box. I had a coupon for $1 off 3 boxes so I paid $0.50 cents for three boxes, or - $0.17 PER BOX!! The boxes are regularly $1.49

the bbq sauce was bogo and ended up being $0.75 a bottle. I had a $1 off coupon for each bottle. So, these two bottles were FREE. The bottles are regularly $1.49

the cole's bread was bogo and ended up being $1.40 each. I had a $0.50 coupon for EACH package that doubled to $1, so I paid $0.40 PER PACKAGE! The packages are regularly $2.79!

The best part..... I never dug through a bunch of newspapers looking for coupons. I simply went to this website, where she has the sale ad posted for you with links to the coupons for each item. I just printed out the ones I wanted, made my list and went to the store! EASY!!!

I love this because Publix is my favorite grocery store. I despise wal mart. Publix's groceries and meats and produce are SO much better. Most people think that Publix is the highest priced grocery store around.... but you would be surprised! They also accept ALL competitor coupons. Just the other week I had a CVS coupon that entitled me to $5 off a $25 purchase, and Publix accepted it!

Friday, January 30, 2009

three quick things, ya gotta try!!

first of all, for anyone who may read my blog but not my friend jaime's - the grocery game is something that really intrigues me and i plan on signing up for soon. i despise coupons...... UGH! but love saving money, and now that im buying a lot of fresh fruits and veggies for full price i need to be saving money else where. well that and the whole economy thing. basically im a sucker for easyness. go into the grocery, get what you want, get out. making a list and clipping coupons does NOT appeal to me, but its something i need to grow up and do. i dont budget and im a horrible impulse buyer. which is so not mature! i need to act my wage, so im going to use the grocery game to help me out and i wish you would, too!! ive already been clipping coupons and checking out the sales paper, and i cant wait to pick up a sunday paper for even more coupons! yay for growing up!!

number two - and this kind of ties into the grocery game and eating healthy. is a co-workers sister's business. (jaime, look at the picture and guess which one, they look exactly alike!) the grocery game helps you make a list, emealz goes one step further and creates your menu!! how awesome is that!! for just $5 bucks a month, you pick your plan (points, low fat, just for two, family size, etc...) and pick your store and print out your recipes complete with grocery list. it even puts the correct price by each item!! this is also something i plan on implementing.

lastly, and not nearly as exciting as saving money and having a meal plan made for you with the push of a button..... but still tasty.... is asian pears. oh.... my.... gosh!!!! also known as (thanks to me) "appears", they are delicious bites of heaven. so juicy with a honey like sweetness. please go get one. i have found them at wal mart and publix and am totally addicted to them.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

diet pizza

gross, right? wrong!! :D by far one of the best pizzas i've ever eaten, i can't wait to eat the other slice for lunch tomorrow!!

i got the inspiration from this recipe

Caramelized Veggie and Goat Cheese Pizza
recipe by me, inspired by above

one precooked 4 serving whole wheat thin pizza crust (mama mary, buitoni)
1 & 1/2 cup sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 teaspoon sugar + pinch of salt
1 teaspoon evoo
2 cups thinly sliced onion (about one medium onion)
1 "cup" fresh spinach leaves - its hard to measure spinach, just get a nice handful
4 ounces reduced fat feta
1/2 to 1 whole roma tomato, thinly sliced

preheat the oven to 450*
heat a skillet and brown the mushrooms
drizzle the pizza crust with a little evoo and rub it in
crumble the feta evenly over the crust
once the mushrooms are browned, remove them from the pan and heat the oil, sugar and salt
add the onions and cook until they're see through and starting to brown, remove
add the spinach and toss around in the hot pan until it wilts
top the feta with the slices of tomato and then the rest of the veggies
be sure to cover the feta with the veggies, exposing it will make it harden
lower the heat of the oven to 425* and put the pizza in for 10 minutes
let cool and enjoy!

this pizza serves 4 at 400 calories a slice. that may seem like a high number for a single slice of pizza, but you are eating a quarter of the pizza and it is very filling. also verrrrrry good! the saltiness of the cheese goes perfectly with the sweetness of the veggies.

i only made half a pizza, but posted the recipe to feed 4. the other half was "meat lovers" and im sure not nearly as healthy, or good in my opinion! but bradley loved it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

patato patoto

I am a carb-oholic, I would never last on atkins.

This mashed potato recipe is perfect! I subbed 1/2 cup of fat free milk for the 2 tablespoons of light sour cream and achieved great results without altering the calorie count. I left the skins on, but actually think the end result would be better without them. They all kind of clumped at the bottom of my stand mixer bowl anyway. Sprinkled lots of salt and pepper, this mashed potato recipe is not only fool proof but taste proof. You have no idea you are eating a healthy side! And with only 178 calories per 3/4 cup, you could easily sprinkle some cheese on top and not feel guilty.

I usually boil my potatoes with a chicken bouillon cube, but was running low and opted not to. I think it would of given them even more flavor, so if you have an extra one, throw it in!

Mashed Potatoes
recipe and picture courtesy of

3 pounds baking potatoes (about 8 potatoes), peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
Salt to taste
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth, heated
2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
Freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Place potatoes in a large heavy pot and cover with cold salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Off the heat, mash potatoes, adding enough hot broth to make a smooth puree. Stir in sour cream and season with salt and pepper.

PS - this is my 100th post; YAY!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

4th and 4th

Jaime tagged me to go to my fourth folder and upload my fouth picture.

I only have two picture folders, one is a catch all and one is a holding tank for blog photos. After I upload them to here I delete them to save space on this dino.

So how bout a pic from the 1st and 4th??

This is me at my fiesta wedding shower thrown by my office. This expression came with the sentence "why are you taking a picture of this??" I had spilled the drink on myself, haha!

That's a weight I wouldn't mind getting back to....... sigh!!

I tag........ amanda, je yall and annemarie

Recipe Review

I have several low cal recipes book marked, and I plan to try them all and see which ones fool my husband and which ones will be filed under the "never make again it tastes like cardboard" tab. I don't wanna use the word diet here...

I eat whatever I want. Nothing is off limits. However, I only allow myself a set number of calories a day, so I have to budget them. Kinda like a bank account. Now, say I have $100 dollars to spend at the galleria. As soon as I walk in I see a shirt in the window at express and swoon and go try it on. It's $48 (and you know that's true!). As I'm walking out of the dressing room I notice the clearance rack and realize that I can get two shirts and a pair of jeans for $35. Why on earth would I blow half my money on one shirt when I could get one shirt plus an entire outfit for $13 less??? It works the same way with calories. At the end of the day, I want to come in on budget, and not overdrawn :D Sure I could have a coke, but for the same amount of calories I could have a string cheese and 16 wheat thins, with calories (money?) leftover!!

So when I saw a recipe on entitled No-Bake Macaroni and Cheese, I wanted to give it a shot.

picture borrowed from who borrowed it from

First of all, it should be titled Broccoli Alfredo. It in no way tastes like macaroni and cheese and if you dive in expecting it to then you might be turned off. With that aside, this is a great recipe! The recipe feeds four at 412 calories per serving, which is a little on the high side but it makes a TON and the serving size is really big. I think they intended it to be the main course, serving it as a side, you can lessen the portion and have fewer calories.

When I saw the calorie count I made one change and used fat free cheese instead, which lowered the count to 327.

Also - We tried whole wheat pasta for the first time. It has slightly fewer calories but extra good for you stuff. Well worth it. I couldn't tell a difference, and once you boil it the dark brown color fades a little. Covered in the white sauce, it looked like regular pasta.

This recipe will be tucked away for future use, filed under "Alfredo".

more, more for less

Tuna salad is one of my comfort foods. Especially the way my mom use to make it, with noodles that were still kinda warm and diced cheese and pickles. Yum! The cheese would get just slightly melty. So good. I try to re-create it but Bradley is a "no noodle in my tuna" person.

While Bradley had traditional tuna salad, on wheat bread with cheese and bacon (ugh!!) I turned mine into "Tuna Noodle Salad... Salad...". This is a dish that you can play with to taste how you want. I used fat free ranch instead of mayo thinking not only would it get rid of all the calories in the mayo, but add a nice taste to the salad. Wrong. You definitely need to add spice/seasoning. I usually add dill to my tuna salad, but got in a hurry last night and forgot. So my dinner was a little bland but still worth it! Next time I'll just have to remember to add the dill!

Tuna Noodle Salad Salad
recipe by me

one serving size your choice pasta, boiled, drained, slightly cooled
1/2 cup tuna
hard boiled egg
1/4 cup fat free shredded cheese
2 tablespoons fat free ranch
add ins of your choice - dill, relish, chopped onion, chopped tomato, dash hot sauce, etc...
bed of lettuce

fork up the tuna and the egg to about the same consistency, stir in the cheese, stir in the ranch, stir in the noodles and add ins. serve atop a bed of lettuce.


Without any "add ins" the calorie count was 470. I ate mine with 10 saltines for an additional 120 calories. Lots of protein!! Big serving!! Also - please excuse my shabby pictures, hopefully my digital camera will turn up soon! Maybe its hiding where my coastas are hiding!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

more for less: lunch edition

With the economy the way it is, gas the way it is and fast food the way it is..... it only makes sense for me to eat lunch at home. I can control the portion, I can control the calories and I get to see my puppies mid day :D

Most of the time you want lunch to be your biggest meal, because you are going back to work and using those calories for fuel, unlike dinner where you're going to sit on the couch afterwards and do a little channel surfing. But today I already knew what I was making for dinner and wanted to save my calories for that.

Last week I did a major grocery haul and cooked/prepped everything I could to make coming home for lunch quick! I bought a "family pack" of yellow squash for $4 that I sliced and browned on the nonstick griddle and stored in the fridge. I also cooked two bags of brown rice that I keep in the fridge until I need it. That way lunch is as easy as measure heat and enjoy!

So today when I stopped by the house to eat lunch and see the swearing in of America's new president, I reached in the fridge for starch and veg and to the freezer for protein. Gorton's seasoned fillets are so great and cook quickly in the toaster oven.

Brown rice really isn't that appealing to me all by itself, but I love to eat it because it keeps me full for hours. So today I added two low calorie condiments and it really impressed me! I now am a brown rice lover.

So lets count it up:

Cajun Blackened Fish Fillet - 100 calories
1 cup yellow squash - 40 calories
1/2 cup brown rice - 75 calories (mixed with the following 2 ingredients)
1 teaspoon margarine - 17 calories
1 tablespoon parmesan (the powdery stuff) - 25 calories

Now obviously the calories are slightly different depending on which brands you buy, but I'm sure this is a good estimate. That comes to a grand total of 257 calories! That is less than most lean cuisines people!! And just look at the amount of food it was:

Still hungry? Add some lettuce and low cal dressing for ~50 more calories. Still hungry? Add a clementine for dessert for 35 calories - and you're still under 350 calories for lunch. Now I know I have seen lean cuisines with a higher calorie count than that!

Monday, January 19, 2009


Well its a new year.... and you know what that means! Everyone is back on their diet. This year I decided I didn't want to make a diet resolution, I wanted to make a healthy resolution. I want to be healthy. I want to be fit. I want to weigh what I weighed when I got married..... 2 and a half years ago. It was NOT that long ago, how have I gained this much weight?!?! Oh... I know how, I was eating bite for bite with my stick figure husband. Damn his metabolism!!!! So while he went to work every day and performed manual labor to sweat off what he ate last night, I set on my butt answering phones and typing binders. When I went out into the PR world last summer I thought, "Here's my chance, I can move around all day, I can resist snacking by not eating in the car, I can get up and walk around the neighborhood in the mornings since I no longer have a 45 minute commute to work." And I did all of those things..... and I gained weight. GAINED WEIGHT!!!!!!! OHHHH MYYYYY GOSHHHHH!!!

I was mad and I gave up, convincing myself that this is who I am and I'm happy. But the truth is this is not me, and I'm not happy. I mean I have never been that girl who could eat whatever she wanted and still be thin, actually I've never been "thin" but I have been healthy and a decent size before. That is all I want.

So it started small, cut out cokes and tea. Only water and lowcal milk. Easy enough. Then step two, portion control, no more second helpings!!! Little harder. Step three, actually start counting calories. Which is where the sneaky part came in. Making a little bit of food into a lot of food by adding fruits and veggies. That was easy.

In between all of this I was reading, reading and reading about what all my body needs and how many calories I need a day to lose a pound a week. I found lots of inspiration on youtube, seeing ACTUAL people with an actual need to lose weight, actually lose it. That helped a lot. Not seeing some skinny ho on the nutrisystem commercials with before pics that may or may not of been her telling me that I'm a fatty.

Now I've lost 6 pounds and I'm really starting to get excited about it. Almost instantly my face cleared up, as I had been a victim of dietary rosacea for a while. I knew exactly what was wrong with my face, but when people would ask why my cheeks were so red I would blame it on me being hot or sunburned. It was embarrassing to say, "I'm all flushed looking cause I eat pure crap".

One of my main reasons for not eating healthy was, "It's hard to be on a diet and feed your husband too, he isn't satisfied with a lean cuisine and a salad for dinner." Which is true, but this time I wasn't going to let that stop me. Now there have been nights when I had a grilled chicken salad and he dined on a chicken quesadilla AND chicken nuggets, but those are few and far between. He has been very supportive and even joked with me that, "Just because you're on a diet doesn't mean I am" as he tried my new slim version of a once calorie laden dinner.

I said all of this to say, I know I am not alone. So I am going to put this culinary brain to work and come up with some man pleasing dinners that are easy on the waistline.

The first being, taco salad. BIG on taste, BIG on portion, small on calories! And the best part, you stay full for hours, and I mean HOURS, like eat for dinner and go to sleep and wake up still full. That's what I'm talking about!!!

Taco Salad
recipe by me

cook a pound of ground turkey and then season it with taco seasoning like normal.

lay out a bed of lettuce

mix 1/2 cup of each of the following: turkey taco meat, fat free refried beans, brown rice - and kinda spread it out over the lettuce.

top with 1/4 cup of kraft fat free cheese

top with 1/4 cup rotel

top with 2 tablespoons light sour cream

sprinkle 1/2 of an avocado, diced over that


Now I forgot to take a picture, but this took up an entire plate and was mounded way up high. So so so good! All for 585 calories!!! It is full of protein, which keeps you fuller longer. Don't be afraid of the ground turkey, once it is seasoned and mixed with all of this, you can't tell a difference.

Now I'm off to step four.... THE GYM!! :D