Thursday, April 28, 2011

Boat Shoes

Not many things cuter than a toddler in boat shoes. He just calls them "boat" though.

We are ready to wear shorts, sandles, and boat shoes every day now. Summer can not get here fast enough!

Asian Turkey Meatballs with Lime Sesame Dipping Sauce

We are having great luck with and the recipes there. We made these last night and loved them. I will be buying enough to double and freeze the leftovers next time I make them.

1/4 cup panko crumbs
1-1/4 lbs 93% lean ground turkey
1 egg
1 Tbsp ginger, minced
1 cloves garlic, minces
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup shopped fresh cilantro
3 scallions, chopped
1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil

Dipping Sauce
4 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp water
1 chopped fresh scallion

Preheat oven to 500.

Mix ground turkey, panko, egg, salt, scallions, ginger, cilantro, 1 Tbsp soy sauce and 2 tsp sesame oil and mix with your hand until combined well (I used a rubber spatula to mix). Shape 1/4 cup meat mixture into a ball and transfer to a baking dish. Repeat with remaining mixture. Bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes.

For the dipping sauce mix together lime juice, water, soy sauce, and remaining 2 tsp of sesame oil in a bowl. Add scallions.

Transfer meatballs to a servings dish. Stir sauce, then drizzle meatballs with 1 Tbsp sauce.

Serve meatballs with remaining sauce, about 1 Tbsp per person.

We served it on brown rice.

Makes 12 meatball and serves 4. 7 PointsPlus per serving.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Eastser Weekend

We kicked off Good Friday by going out to Lucky Ladd Farm and visiting the animals and playing outside. I love taking Colin there and I am excited to have found out that they are open every Saturday now throughout the summer!

When we got home I got to work on my cake pops. I did ok for my first try. I have many more I want to try from my book so I am taking volunteers to eat them when I am done.

On Saturday we met up with Colin's friend Ben and hunted eggs at his church. Colin won a new toy car and a chocolate bunny!

Easter Sunday we went to church and came back to have brunch with family.

Colin got his Easter Basket after church and was checking out all his goodies: a Sesame Street book, egg shaped sidewalk chalk, animal crackers, a little chocolate bunny, and a new coin to start a collection like Daddy's.

Then it was time to hunt!

Hope you had a wonderful Easter, too!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cilantro Lime Rice

A recipe that is pretty darn close to Chipotle's rice!

1 cup extra long grain rice or basmati rice
1/2 lime, the juice of
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
3 tsp vegetable oil

In a small heavy pot, add rice, water, 1 tsp oil and salt. Boil on high until most of the water evaporates. When the water just skims the top of the rice, reduce to low and cover for about 15 minutes. Shut off flame and keep covered an additional 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl combine chopped cilantro, lime juice, rice and remaining oil and toss until completely mixed.

Serves 4 and is 5 PointsPlus points per serving.

Slow Cooked Sweet Barbocoa Pork

2.5 lbs pork loin roast, all fat trimmed
salt and pepper
garlic powder
6 oz Coke Zero
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water

Step 2
8 oz Coke Zero
6 oz can sliced green chilies
8 oz tomato sauce
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp chipotle chili powder (to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup brown sugar (unpacked)

Season pork with salt, pepper, garlic powder and place in crock pot. Add 6 oz of Coke Zero and 1/4 cup brown sugar. Marinate refrigerated for a few hours or overnight turning meat at least once while marinating.

Remove crock from refrigerator, add water, and cook on high for about 3-4 hours (or until it shreds easily). Remove pork from crock pot and discard any liquid left in the pot. Shred pork with two forks.

Step 2: in the crock pot combine 8 oz Coke Zero, green chilies, tomato sauce, chipotle chili, garlic powder, cumin, chipotle chili powder, and remaining brown sugar.

Put shredded pork back in the crock pot and combine with sauce. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and cook on high 1-1/2 hours more.

This serves about 10 and is 5 PointsPlus per serving.

We made Cilantro Lime Rice and topped it with black beans and then this pork. It was delicious. Another winner from!

Weekly Meal Plan

Monday I start the 24-Day Challenge, so I may tweak some of these recipes from the original version to sub in whole grain options or leave cheese out of my portions. Wish me luck!

Sunday: Easter Food
Monday: Grilled Chicken/Vegetable Kabobs with rice
Tuesday: Crockpot Three Bean Turkey Chili
Wednesday: Asain Turkey Meatballs with Lime Sesame dipping sauce (another new Skinny Taste Recipe) with brown rice
Thursday: Left over chili or meatballs
Friday: Pasta Primavera
Saturday: Maybe spaghetti with homemade sauce

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday: Lasagna - we are making it with ground Bison meat, so I will update the PointsPlus value if we like it this way
Monday: Left over Lasagna
Tuesday: Santa fe Chicken Casserole (bumped to this week b/c we never got to it last week)
Wednesday: Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas (using the marinade like the recipe but grilling them before slicing)
Thursday: Slow Cooked Sweet Barbacoa Pork with Cilantro Lime Rice (new recipes from Skinny Taste) and black bean
Friday: Left over pork and rice
Saturday: Ordering pizza or making Crispy Mozzarella Chicken with veggies and mashed potatoes. Getting ready for Easter brunch and we need something easy. Wish me luck. I will be working on some Easter themed cake pops. Pictures to come...if they turn out decent.

Friday, April 15, 2011

I found the clip!

Here is the clip that is being played on NPT. You can see my cutie at 1:40 and 2:05. He is with his Papa and loved the trains!

We have Easter Bunnies!

We have had bunnies running around our yard for a long time. Even with the fence gate closed, we noticed that they use the little hole at the bottom of the front of the fence where a board is broken to get in and out. We have seen 4 big rabbits.

Last night we let Molly out back and she chased them out. Then Andrew noticed she was playing with something. There is a little burrow of baby bunnies in our back yard! We were afraid that Molly hurt the rabbit, but Andrew said it looked fine. Just stunned. And it was right by its burrow. He also said it was as small as the palm of his hand.

For now, we are keeping Molly out for the backyard and will avoid cutting the grass right there for a while. I have been using Google but can't find the answer to my question: how long with they stay in the burrow? And how long should I keep Molly inside? And will they keep having babies over and over again or move to a new home?

Will I have to eventually call animal control to take them somewhere else? I don't know what to do.

Also, if you watch NPT (which I know all of you do, right?) keep your eye out for Colin! He went to Cheekwood with his Papa and Granny last Saturday to see the brand new train exhibit. NPT was there filming and my Grandma called me last night to tell me she was Colin on TV! It seems to run after Tennessee Crossroads so I am going to keep my eye out for it.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A little update to the blog

You may not notice this right away, but at the bottom of each post now there is a button to take you to a printer friendly version of the post. This is especially helpful if you want to print out a particular recipe.

You can also save it in PDF format by clicking the same button. Let me know if you have any trouble opening any of them in the printer friendly format.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I rocked at the grocery this morning

Today I rocked at the grocery store. I got:
  • 6 packages of instant mashed potatoes (Andrew eats these as snacks...)
  • 7 bags of Birds Eye Steam Fresh veggies (Might last us a week. We love these.)
  • 4 bags of Kraft shredded cheese
  • 2 containers frosting (making cake pops for Easter!)
  • 1 boxed brownie mix (Giada made an amazing dessert recipe that needs this mix for)
  • 1 boxed cake mix
  • 2 cans Dole pineapples
  • 3 pack Greenwise Paper towels (the Penny item)
  • $50 AMEX gift card
All this for $60.30

Seems like a lot at first. But I had a $10 off coupon for that AMEX gift card. There was also a $4.95 activation fee. Essentially, I made $5.05 on that transaction.

Had I not had that gift card purchase, I would have still only paid $15.35 for all those groceries.

But, considering the fact that I gave the cashier $60.30 and she gave me my $50 card back to me with my merchandise, I only paid $10.30.

I am pretty happy with that.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sage & Garlic Turkey Burgers

2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped sage
1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1 pound ground turkey
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 lime
4 whole wheat buns or rolls, toasted

Mash garlic, sage and salt together in a bowl or with a mortar and pestle. Knead mixture into the turkey and season with pepper. Form into 4 patties and transfer to a plate. Cover and chill for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add burgers and cook until firm and lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Check that turkey is completely cooked through. Serve on toasted rolls with a squeeze of lime.

Use 99% fat free ground turkey and each patty is 4 PointsPlus points value. I am not including the points for the bun since this can be different depending on what kind of bun you use.

The only changes we made: we used 1 Tbsp dried sage isntead of the fresh and we only used 1 Tbsp of the pre-chopped garlic you get in the jar in the produce section. We also just squeeze a little lime juice right into the burger, otherwise we foret about it. =)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday: Lunch - Sage & Garlic Turkey Burgers; Dinner -  Egg Plant Parm
Monday: California Chicken Burgers (didn't get to have the week before)
Tuesday: Pasta Primavera
Wednesday: Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken
Thursday: Sante fe Chicken Casserole
Thursday: Friday: Girls Night dinner and cake decorating class; Pizza for the boys??
Saturday: Not sure, maybe Chicken Fajitas to use up the corn tortillas from Thursdays dinner

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pay full price or wait?

I've been watching this Extreme Couponing show. These people are nuts.

We coupon but I don't keep my garage full of "Extras." I do have a spot in my closet for cans and pasta, but that is it.

This got me thinking - what items do you refuse to pay full price for? Because either you know they go on sale or you frequently get coupons or you just don't think they are worth the retail price?

I will never again pay retail for:
  • pasta
  • cereal
  • prego pasta sauce
  • gold fish crackers
  • graham crackers, nilla wafers, ritz crackers, or those boxes of 12 individual snack packs (teddy grahams and such)...or cookies in general
  • eggo waffles
  • broth
  • bagelfuls (I love these)
  • back to nature granola
  • most granola/cereal bars (excluding Gerber bars)
  • canned veggies or tomatoes (unless I am in a pinch they are are needed and I have none on hand)
  • dry cake/cookie mixes
  • salad dressing
  • bbq sauce/ketchup/mustard, etc
  • bagels
  • candy
  • ice cream
  • Discovery Center membership - I mean, come on...most of the stuff in there doesn't work properly. I hope one of those half off things come around again when I need to renew.
Things I am willing to pay retail for when needed but stock up on when I can:
  • frozen veggies
  • cheese
  • low sodium french fries
  • lean cuisine meals
  • rice
  • yogurt
  • Buddy Fruits
  • low sodium pretzels
  • juice
  • salsa
  • tortilla chips
I will always pay retail for milk, eggs, organic meat, fresh fruit and veggies just because you can't really stock up on a good deal. I do try to buy fruit and veggies depending on what is on sale and in season.

What do you refuse to pay retail on?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake

From Skinny Taste, this "diet" cheesecake is pretty good! Don't be fooled. It isn't the thick monster cake you get from the Cheesecake factory, but I will be making this again and often, trying out different flavors. (Click the skinny taste link to see apicture of hers...I guarentee you will try it once you see the picture.)

non stick cooking spray
1/2 cup crushed graham cracker crumbs
1 Tbsp light butter, softened
8 oz package reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
6 oz fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt
2 large egg whites
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 cup strawberry jam (or whatever you like)

Heat of to 350. Coat and 8-inch square baking pan with non-stick spray.

Mix together graham cracker crumbs and butter with a fork until evenly moistened. Press evenly into bottom of prepared pan.

Gently beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth using an electric mixer. Gradually beat in fat free yogurt, egg whites, lemon juice, and flour. Do not over beat. Pour over graham cracker crust.

Stir jam until smooth. Drop by small spoonfuls over surface of filling. Using a knife, swirl jam gently through to create marble effect.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool to room temperature. Chill a few hours in the refrigerator.

This makes 9 servings.
PointsPlus: 4 pts per serving

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Crock Pot Three Bean Turkey Chili

A good recipe from!

20 oz fat free ground turkey breast
1 small onion, chopped
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (16 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (4.5 oz) can chopped chilies, drained
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, undrained
1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, undrained
1 (15.5 oz) can small red beans, undrained
1 Tbsp chili powder

Brown turkey and onion in a medium skillet over medium high heat until cooked through.

Drain any fat remaining and transfer to crock pot. Add the beans, chilies, chickepeas, tomatoes, tomato sauce and chili powder mixing well.

Cook on low 6-8 hours

Garnish with onions, cilantro, and cheese and enjoy!

Serves 12 and is 5 PointsPlus per serving.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Pico de Gallo Salsa

I was recently told about a great recipe website: She includes the Weight Watchers Points which makes it a great resource for me!

There are a ton of great recipes and we tried this pico one last night to go with our fajitas.

4 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
2 Chile peppers, mild or hot, seeded and finely chopped
2 Tbsp chopped bell pepper
1 close garlic, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves (no stems)
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
salt and pepper, to taste

In a bowl combine all ingredients. Let it marinate int eh refrigerator at least an hour for best results.

We actually like a finer texture, so I pulsed this in the food processor until I got the texture I like.

This makes 4 servings and is 0 Points per serving.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday: Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas
Monday: Breakfast - Waffles and Omelets
Tuesday: Crock Pot Three Bean Turkey Chili
Wednesday: Tacos
Thursday: Sweet & Sticky Orange Chicken
Friday: Baked Ziti
Saturday: California Chicken Burgers and fries