Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter Bowl O Rama

This weekend we went to Monterey for the weekend. We followed our usual trends; the girls going bargain shopping ( found a project at the second hand store-will post after I have time to start) and the boys went hunting...this time for Turkeys. They got one and it was a funny story, you have to ask Drew to tell it though it's funnier from his perspective then from Greg's. So, now I have a turkey fan drying in the garage ...nice!but I vetoed Greg's idea to put it over the bed ;) lol. Per usual we also ate way too much yumminess- I totally did not post in my food journal this weekend-way too scary !

We mixed it up a bit and went bowling much fun!

All six of us were there.

Tana & Drew

Me and Gregory .

Action shot.

Claudia & Big Greg

cheese!... what lucky boys~lol ;)

Thanks for everything Claudia we had an amazing time as always, thanks for raising a great catch ;) and being there for talks, yummy recipes and all your love and support.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Having fun with mini muffins

So, I have been loving my mini muffin tins (so much so that I just bought a second pan) for two reasons:

1. You can make super cute perfect pop in your mouth cuppy cakes.

I knew I wanted to make a treat for Easter to take to Monterey , but I wasn't sure what to make...too many options. Then, a couple weeks ago as I was going down the Easter isle at Target I spotted this and it made my mind up as soon as I saw it.

Now, to the untrained eye it might look like an ordinary box of cake mix and frosting, but look closer...

My all time favorite boxed cake mix ( p.s also a food memory) is the rainbow chip! Especially the frosting! And look at this spring chip ! I had to get it for the nostalgia. In high school this was THE cake mix. For softball be would have weekly dinners at each of the girls houses and this was always a staple dessert between my friends and I. For a double whammy of nostalgia when we had one of those softball dinners at my house, I made my mom make rainbow chip cupcakes in ice cream cones! She would make those for us when we were little and they were so cool-way ahead of the baking craze time ( I think they were my inspiration to become a baker lol).

and 2. They are great for portion control.

This week I made a really yummy and quick recipe from cooking light recipe. It was Smothered Green Chile Pepper Chicken and Corn-filled mini muffins.

The picture is not the best, but trust me it was really good. Two of these mini muffins is only 102 calories and 301 calories for the chicken.

Directions for chicken : (The recipe called for 2 chicken thighs per serving, but I used chicken breasts) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange chicken in a baking dish. Squeeze lime juice of a lime on chicken. Sprinkle taco seasoning over chicken. (Can of whole green chile's-drained) rinse and cut length-wise, but not through the other side and place 1 Chile over the chicken (I put two over each breast). Cover dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then sprinkle 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese over chile's on chicken and bake an additional 5 min uncovered until cheese melts.

Directions for mini- muffins: I halved the recipe to only make 12 muffins (but here is the recipe for 24). Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine 1 (6.5 oz) package corn muffin mix, 1/3 cup fat free milk, 2tbs. canola oil, 2 egg whites, 1 cup frozen shoe peg white corn...I also added a squeeze of honey. Stir until combined and coat mini muffin tin with cooking spray. Bake for around 11 minutes or until golden brown.

I will definitely make this recipe again, it only takes like 10 min. to prep, really easy.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Browned butter chocolate chip cookies

I know I know what you are thinking! Here I am blogging about how I need to slim down and watch my eating and what did I do today -make chocolate chip cookies lol. Total contradiction, but I saw this recipe from another blog and it seemed interesting and my friend Keely and her BF were stopping by for dinner on their way to Oregon so I wanted to make them a little treat.

I already had to put on my fitness pal-2 cookies which were only 248 calories by the way not horrible, but I packed the rest for Greg to take on his fishing trip this weekend (out of sight out of mind lol).

The reason this recipe caught my eye was because first they were titled perfect chocolate chip cookies, but also because you do something different with the butter.

I doubled the recipe because the single recipe only yielded 16 cookies. My picture measurements might not match but I'm going to give you the single recipe measures.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. For the total batch you will use 14tbs butter (1 3/4 sticks). Put 10 tbs of the butter in a medium skillet over med/high heat. Allow the butter to melt for 2 min and then swirl it around the pan allowing it to brown. Keep the butter moving and browning takes about 3 min. It will turn golden brown and smell nutty/caramely.

Put melted butter in a heat safe mixing bowl and add the remaining 4tbs cold butter and stir until it's melted.

add 1/2 cup white sugar, 3/4 cups packed brown sugar and 1 tsp salt to butter and whisk together.

Add 1 egg and 1 egg yolk into the mixture (I added the vanilla to my eggs 2tsp)

Greg said I needed a face make up no shower thanks babe ;)

mix for 30 seconds and then let it stand for 3 minutes. Repeat that 4 times.

I know it seems like a lot lol, I went with it and at this point I got excited it got thicker and smelt caramely...yum!

add the flour mixture ( 1 3/4 c flour and 1/2 tsp baking powder) and stir until combined.

add choc chips. The batter at this point delicious!

2 things you must get a cookie dough scooper and silicone baking mats. I used my cookie scoop and then pressed them down a little with my finger.

Bake until golden brown about 10-12 minutes. After all the steps these cookies were good, I was disappointed that they turned out so flat-so I think I would add a little more flour?

Love you Keely so glad you stopped by-you made it the perfect Sunday !!! xoxo

Saturday, April 9, 2011

My worst enemy...portion control

Lately, I have decided to really give it my best go (well... a go at least lol) at loosing some extra weight I have put on and slim down. After talking to my trainer ... lol that makes me feel cool saying I have a trainer which is really my friend and boot camp instructor Kristin (I put her website on my blog list check it out...just don't look too closely at some videos you might see me lol). The two main things I need to do we decided on were watching my portions and working out on days that I don't have boot camp. Lately, I had been lazy missing some boot camp days , definitely not working out on the other days and eating whatever I wanted. Well the jeans are getting a little tight and I figured I should take advantage of Kristen's awesomeness while I still am in Sacramento.

At boot camp Kristen gave us a website ( which is a really easy way to track calories. Now I have never counted and written down my calories so I was against this step thinking it was going to take forever to log in my food for the day. But, this site makes it so easy and it tells you after each entry how much you would weigh at the end of a month if you kept eating the way you are. I have been good this week...minus a doughnut mishap which when I put it in I found was 460 calories SO not worth it and I will think twice!

A really cool thing about the site too is that for example I made two recipes from a cooking light magazine for dinner this week and I thought that I would have to enter in all the ingredients. I just thought hey I'll try typing in Cooking light and the name of the recipe (provolone mushroom patty melt/pasta with lemon cheese and spinach). And it totally popped up and the calories it said per serving matched what the magazine says!! It also saves what you have entered before so you don't have to constantly type in a turkey sandwich for lunch you can just click it again if you have entered it before.

Now again it's only been a week so we will see if I stick with it lol...

Here is the pasta with lemon, spinach and cheese recipe-it was really good and I made sure I portioned it to the serving suggestions for dinner and then packed them for lunch for Greg and I also using the serving size. Normally it would be a free for all and we would go back for seconds and pick at it, but were both trying to be good. For the patty melts (which were yummy too) I wrapped up the extra meat and bread for lunches before we even sat down for dinner so it was out of sight out of mind.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. cook pasta ( 10 oz. either casarecce or fusilli-I used the fusilli just think short and twisty)8 minutes or until al dente. Remove from heat and add 1 package of spinach. stir and let sit 2 min. so spinach wilts. Drain mixture well.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1tbs. olive oil and 4 cups chopped onion. Cook 15 min until golden brown. Add 1/4 cup of flour and garlic and cook 1 min. stirring constantly. Gradually add 2 1/2 cups low fat milk and 1/2 cup dry white wine (I don't do wine lol so I used chicken stock) cook 8 min until the sauce boils and thickens stirring constantly. Stir in 3/4 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese (I bought weight watchers shredded cheese that was parmigiano-reggiano and mozzarella blend) salt and 1/4 tsp. grated lemon rind. Remove from heat add pepper and salt to taste and add pasta mixture to onion mixture and toss to coat.

Spoon pasta mixture into a 13x9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. sprinkle 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs over pasta and then top evenly with 1/4 cup cheese. Bake for 50 minutes or until brown and bubbly.

Serves 6.

This morning we went for a hike around lake folsom. Taking time for our health and each other. Hopefully we can keep it up... just stop me if you see me pick up a doughnut lol.

Thank you

I wanted to make a quick update and thank everyone for their prayers and words of encouragement. I got a call on Thursday from my hopeful employing school district and I have made it into the hiring pool! She also, said they were very interested in me... so fingers and toes crossed that means I will be Ms. Eckles this upcoming school year! Keep you posted xoxo