Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Spicy Crab and Cucumber Salad

I am into week two of Biggest Loser-Office Edition. I have officially lost 1.6 pounds which equals 1.01% weight lost. Woohoo! I am taking the slow and steady approach. I figure the slower the loss, the longer it stays away. That is my mantra "Slow and Steady, Slow and Steady." I wish my weight was slow and steady instead of fast and furious when it piled on hah! Well anywho, I am trying to take a lower carb approach to this thing and I am failing pretty bad. Sorry but cant live without my bread or tortillas. I guess I just have to remember that like any diet it is alot about dedication and finding ways to live healthier and still try to enjoy what you are eating.
A big apology to my foodie followers but I like imitation crab. *GASP!* Yes, I admit it. I love the stuff. Yes I know it isn't even crab. Whatever. I like it and I eat it. And one of my favorite ways to eat it is in a Spicy Crab Roll. Oh my mouth waters just thinking about it and since I live about 2 hours from a legit sushi place, it is a huge luxury for me. So you also know, I plan on learning and mastering the Spicy Crab Roll very soon. Watch out! Back to my salad. I wanted to eat something low in carbs and high in protein but also high in flavor. I made my spicy crab mixture and put it on top of some chilled cucumbers that had been soaking in vinegar water. I think that instead of slices of cucumber, that I will do matchsticks next time. Overall I was pretty full, although I did go a little overboard on the Sriracha. :) Enjoy!

Spicy Crab and Cucumber Salad
1/2 Package of Imitation Crab (I prefer the sticks)
1 Tablespoons of Mayonaisse (DO NOT use Miracle Whip)
A couple squirts of Sriracha
1 Organic Cucumber

Chop your cucumber into slices or matchsticks and soak in vinegar and salt water, if desired.Cut your crab sticks into thirds and shred or chop finely. Add mayo and sriracha. Drain your cucumbers and pat dry. Top with crab mixture and enjoy!

Sriracha me!

 I love cucumber

 All sliced up. Next time I will do matchsticks.

The finished product. Delicious!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Parrilla Fajitas

Recently my workplace has started a biggest loser competition. I am never one to turn down some motivation to lose some weight. ( I have about 8 more baby weight pounds to lose) So I weighed in and yesterday and set my mind to start a new diet. One that I could stick to. With no carbs. (Ok maybe some carbs) And no sweets. (Maybe on a special occasion) And lots of exercise. (Walking to the fridge counts right?) Well I have already broken that diet by eating tortillas to go along with my fajitas.....meh.
The word "parrilla" is the Spanish word for grill. So essentially these are just your basic chicken fajitas prepared on the grill and served on delicious warm tortillas.  My husband is the grill master so I just did the prep with the peppers and chicken and he did all the cooking. Then it was up to me to dress and serve. I think these would have been best served with a frosty margarita or even a Negra Modelo. I had neither, so I drank it with a giant bottle of water....meh.

Onions and peppers with salt, pepper and fajita seasoning. Ready for the grill!

The finished product. Yums!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Silhouette Cameo-I Love (Hate) You

So it has been well over a month of monkeying around with the Silhouette Cameo. Well not the machine itself, just the software. I have bought and downloaded the free weekly image. I have even created my own awesome cupcake wrappers. But I have yet to cut anything out. Until today. I decided that I needed to try this crazy machine out and I have mixed reviews.
I am going to be honest. I am not a crafter. I am more of a wannabe. But for the first time ever in my life, I went into Michaels knowing more than the associates. And I was secretly doing fist pumps because they thought the Silhouette was a baking kit.  Nonetheless I was still pretty grumpy that they did not have the tools I needed and ended up leaving with a just few sheets of card stock and a new piping tip.
But back to my cutting experience.....I followed the directions to a T. Stuck the card stock to the WAY too sticky mat. Loaded the mat. Pushed Print. Waited. A few crazy sounds later, a totally messed up mustache came out. Apparently you need to adjust the blade setting to the type of paper you are using. My machine thought it was smart and decided to set itself to what it wanted. And I ended up with a mat that was almost cut all the way through. :( Sadness. After I figured out the blade settings though I was good to go!

 Mustache success!

The my hubby asked me to do something more intricate. And while the machine ( I think I will name it Stan) can do amazing pattern work, that darn sticky mat pretty much hosed me. 

You can see the outline of the mustache that almost cut through my mat. And the pieces of the pattern stuck all over.

I decided to give up on ol Stan for the evening. I plan to do a few more test runs before I dive head first into the mustache mania that is Little E's 1st birthday party. I will be posting up all the neat things I make or fail miserably at making. Adios!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Penne with Tomatoes Goat Cheese and Arugula

I am a cheese person. I like everything from Gouda to good ol American sliced cheese. I even appreciate a stinky cheese every now and then. But one cheese I just cant get a taste for is goat cheese. I don't know what it is about it. It has a pungent and tangy aroma that makes me catch my breath in my throat. And while I know I am not a fan of this type of cheese, I keep trying it over and over again. I really want to like it! I feel like a foodie failure carrying around this dislike of such a versatile cheese. I have tried it rolled in herbs, spread on crackers, thrown in salads. But I just cant make myself love it. My latest attempt at using goat cheese was in a pasta dish. It makes sense to let the cheese coat over the warm pasta, tomatoes and wilted arugula...sounds delicious right? Well, I will say this has been the best way I have eaten it so far. I will go with a mozzarella or a smoked cheese next time for sure. Maybe I will give goat cheese another try soon but for now I still feel pretty "meh" about it. Any suggestions or recipe recommendations? Until then Enjoy!

Penne with Tomatoes, Goat Cheese and Arugula
3 ounces goat cheese
1 cup coarsely chopped arugula, stems included
1/2 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
 1/4 pound penne pasta
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Crumble goat cheese into a large serving bowl. Add arugula, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper. Drain pasta, and toss with goat cheese mixture. 

Adapted from All Recipes

 It sure was a pretty dish

  I used a spinach/arugula mix. I also think basil would have been a nice addition.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sweet Sunday: Oreo Stuffed Brownies

For those of you who know me well....I have a crazy sweet tooth. I could live off of sweets. I used to never be this way, but when I got pregnant with little E all of that changed. I crave cookies and dream of donuts. Oh its pretty awful :)...well maybe only for my waistline.
I cannot believe it is almost August. This means that the birthday festivities are about to begin! Some of my most favorite people have August birthdays...including myself. So Happy Birthday to all my friends, family, and everyone else who are awesome August babies. If you have time treat your favorite person to these delicious brownies....even if it isn't their birthday they will feel special after eating these.

 Oreo Stuffed Brownies 
1 box dark chocolate brownie mix
1 package Oreos (you will probably only use about 10-12)
Sprinkles (if desired)

Prepare brownies according to package. Pour half of the mix into your brownie pan. Layer Oreos on top of batter. Top with the rest of the batter. Bake and Enjoy! 


I think next time I will use double stuffed Oreos.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Strawberry Peach Jalapeno BBQ Sauce

One thing that I am not very good at is gauging how much food I need to buy to make a meal or dish. I have never been really great at following recipes and I like to improvise, this causes me to buy enough food to feed 8 rather than 4. When I was buying ingredients for my Mini Fruit Pizzas, I totally over shot the amount of fruit I needed. I also went nuts and bought a ton of locally grown jalapenos for a different recipe. The result? Too much unused strawberries, peaches, and jalapenos. All of them together sound pretty awesome. I thought maybe a strawberry peach pico de gallo, or maybe a peach version of a Chupacabra. (I am obsessed with this cocktail!)
Well since I have made a different fruited BBQ sauces in the past I thought i might try my hand at it again. I cooked down the strawberries, peaches and jalapenos with a little apple cider vinegar, sugar and a tiny bit of water. I then added all the other sauce ingredients, simmered and used my hand blender to smooth it all out. I chose to serve it on chicken but I think it would be delicious served on ribs or even grilled shrimp. Overall I thought it was a success! Enjoy!

Strawberry Peach Jalapeno BBQ Sauce

1 quart strawberries, stemmed and halved
3 peaches, peeled pitted and halved
2 jalapenos, halved and seeded
1 cup ketchup
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a large sauce pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 to 2 hours. When sauce has reduced, pulse in food processor or use hand blender and strain through a sieve. Salt and Pepper to taste Use immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks.

 The fruity spicy awesomeness that was the beginning of my sauce!

 I ended up putting the sauce on chicken but I am pretty sure I would be happy licking it off my fingers!

So yeah...I accidentally cut my chicken before plating.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mini Fruit Pizzas

As I have stated before, the Hubby and I do not do too much on the weekends. We work pretty hard throughout the week and our weekends are all about rest and relaxation. But that doesn't mean we don't like to spend some time with friends at BBQ's! The best part about going to a barbecue or a picnic is getting to try all the good food people make. I tend to hover around the dessert table since I have a horrible sweet tooth.Yeah, I am totally that creepy person.
When J told me his workplace was having a picnic I was more than excited to take advantage of all the fresh fruit I had just bought. I am a huge fan of fruit pizza but I really wanted to make it easier to eat and sometimes the sugar cookie crust it hard to roll in a square. The solution? Mini Fruit Pizzas! They were really tasty and pretty easy to make. I don't use the typical frosting you find in most fruit pizza recipes. I use and adaptation of a really good fruit dip I have been making and eating for years. These little guys are perfect for showers and picnics. I highly recommend taking advantage of all the great fruit available right now and making these. Enjoy!

Marshmallow Frosting Topping

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme

Using an electric mixer, blend cream cheese and marshmallow creme until mixed thoroughly.  (Its that easy!!) Will frost 12 cookies.

 The delicious fruit I scored for the mini pizzas!

 Finished Product

Ready for a picnic!

Recipe adapted from Pilsbury

Thursday, July 19, 2012

My New Toy....That I Am Afraid Of

So my new toy came in the a week ago. I have yet to remove it from the box. To be completely honest I have no idea where to start with this thing. What is this thing, you ask? Well it is a Silhouette Cameo Electric Cutter. I bought it to help out with the details of Little E's first birthday party. Bring on the Mustache Bash! I am so excited!!! I am so scared!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sunday Brunch Casserole

I am not a breakfast for breakfast person. I like breakfast for lunch and I am all for breakfast for dinner...but the thought of actually eating breakfast for breakfast sorta makes me queasy. I will choose a slice of cold pizza over eggs and bacon anyday! Well luckily my husband is as much of a morning person as I am a breakfast person so our weekends are usually all about some brunch. It usually consists of some biscuits, gravy, sausage, and eggs. Occasionally we will throw some pancakes in the mix or even some omelets. Since we were both feeling like we were in a brunch rut, the hubby suggested that I make a breakfast casserole. I am not a casserole lady either....hmmm I suppose I am realizing a lot about my self lately. Well I found a decent recipe for a breakfast casserole and decided to have a go at it. Well 45 minuted longer than the listed cooking time, a few tears and a hungry tummy grumbles later I came out with a pretty decent casserole.

And of course no casserole is complete without a little extra extra bacon...and of course homemade sausage gravy. mmmmmm! Enjoy!

Adapted from Bob Evans