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Archive for June, 2012

foodiepal stamp2 Foodie Penpals

June Foodie Pen Pal Revel Day is here and I received my package just time. My Foodie Pen Pal Lindsey did not have an opportunity to mail out the package by the scheduled date, due to her busy schedule. The package went out this week and I just received it Thursday. So glad I got it in time to do my post. I understand things happen and people’s schedules get busy and sometimes overwhelming. No worries here, foodie box in hand = happy foodie girl. So here’s what was in my box.

  • Turkey Perky Jerky
  • Snider Farms Jalapeno Peanuts
  • Tazo Tea Bags

I am pleased that I received my package. Thank-you Lindsey for sending me some fun foodie items. I am looking forward to trying the Turkey Perky Jerky. I love me some jerky. Me and my husband make our own Venison Jerky. This jerky packs 9 grams of protein in each serving. That’s awesome, tasty and healthy.

I am also a fan of spicy treats so I plan on digging into the Jalapeno Peanuts right away! Spicy……..

I am a big tea drinker so these Tazo tea bags will be perfect for my purse.

This month I sent a box to Martha from MLLrungirl. She is a runner with 2 small boys and I really enjoyed reading about all the races she has done and her upcoming races. Hope you go over to her site and check her out.

Want to become a Foodie Pen Pal? 

Here’s a detailed explanation of the program:

-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treatsThe spending limit is $15The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.

Question of the Day:  What is your favorite item in your Foodie Pen Pal Box? I’d have to say I am super happy about the Perky Turkey Jerky!

Check Ya Later.

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Last week my best friend Jody put in a request for a virtual meal.  Jody lives in Miami and I was so excited she asked me to make this, because it has been a long time since I made them, and I love them. Jody has been my best friend for 13 years and I value her friendship more than words can say. She moved to Miami from Michigan a few years ago for an amazing job opportunity, I miss her everyday, but she is my forever friend and distance does not change our friendship.

So after work I ran out and got some ingredients and made her request. Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

This is an easy, fast recipe.

Lots of healthy ingredients.

Cooking time was less than 8 minutes.

Made a fresh salad to go along with this light dinner.

Yummy, crisp and light.

Love the crunch from the water chestnuts. Amazing how much flavor they absorb from the sauce.

Also made my new favorite dessert. I just love me some Chobani Cheese Cake.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Adapted from Real Simple. 

Ingredients

  • 3  tablespoons  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3  tablespoons  honey
  • 2  tablespoons  canola oil
  • 1 1/2  pounds  boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • black pepper
  • 2  cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1  tablespoon  grated ginger
  • 1  bunch scallions, trimmed and sliced
  • 1  8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1/4  cup roasted chopped nuts
  • 1  small head Boston or Bibb lettuce, leaves separated
  • Garnished with mung bean sprouts

Directions

  1. Combine the soy sauce and honey in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Season the chicken with ½ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes.
  4. Lower heat to medium and stir in the garlic and ginger. Add the scallions and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Stir in the water chestnuts and half the soy sauce mixture. Continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle with the chopped nuts.
  6. Divide the lettuce leaves among plates and spoon the chicken over the top. Serve with the remaining soy sauce mixture for drizzling. Top with mung beans sprouts for garnish.

Jody I hope you enjoy your virtual meal! I had fun making them. 

I also just found out yesterday that Jody is coming back to Michigan for the Thanksgiving holiday for a visit. Her family still lives in Michigan and when she comes to visit her family, they welcomes me into their home like I am part of the family. So I am over the moon with excitement that I get to see my Jody in 146 Days. Jeff and I went to Miami in March to visit Jody, so this is quite a treat that I get to see her twice in one year. 2012 is turning into an amazing year. Love you Jody.

Now onto a Fitmixer update.

So I have been doing the Fitmixer Bootcamp since May 14th. and we have just passed the 1/2 way mark. We completed a fit test on our first day and again at the 1/2 way point. I am happy to report that I was able to complete with ease several additional reps to each task. One exercise that I was really happy with seeing an increase was the Burpees. I did an additional 5 reps with ease and really felt like my form was solid the entire time, where the first time I felt like I was getting really sloppy towards the end.

So in addition to the workouts, I also walk a local farm trail which is a 2 mile walk. I walk it most weekdays and it ends up being a nice 30 minute walk. Walking helps keep me stretched after a good boot camp workout.

Question of the Day:  What’s you favorite workout right now? I am loving my boot camp workouts.

Check ya Later.

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Before work I made a treat that I could enjoy later in the evening. I am loving making my own frozen fruit bars. bars. Today’s pops are Lite Pom juice with Frozen Raspberries. Here’s a link to the other frozen treats I have made recently.

Chobani and Granola Pops

Frozen Fruit Bars

I had fresh raspberries that I froze with the intention of using them in the fruit bars. I thought having them frozen would make it easier to chop them up and add them into the molds.

I broke up the frozen raspberries and dropped them into the molds, then topped off with fruit juice.

The Lite Pom is really lite. There is no added sugar in this juice, so if you like your frozen fruit bars to have a sweeter taste you should buy the regular juice or add a sweetener to it. I like mine lite so the flavor works out great for me.

Frozen Raspberry Pops.

After making up these fresh pops, I made a cold salad to bring to work and enjoy at lunch, in the mix is, spinach, cucumber, avocado and a sliced egg. Topped with vinegar and a touch of oil. I love a cold refreshing salad on a hot day.

After work I came home and grabbed a Frozen Raspberry Pop. Loved it!

Stuart also thought they were good.

Random Question of the Day: Does this hot weather affect your workouts? I do my 2 mile walk in the early morning before it hits 90 degrees. What do you do to  stay fit in the summer without killing yourself in the heat?

Check Ya Later.

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Can a nice day get any better? Yes it can. All you need is a perfect dessert. It just so happens I just have a recipe for that dessert. Wait for it….

Pineapple Chobani Cheese Cake. Yep. Perfection.

Just make this easy crust and fill it.

No cooking is required. You just chill in the fridge and it is ready to enjoy. Healthy, cool and refreshing.

Think I will be making a few of these for a bbq I am having over the 4th of July, I think they will go over well with my friends.

Summer fun foods at its finest.

This little round delight made my husband one happy man after dinner. Now here is the recipe so you can make your family happy.

Pineapple Chobani Cheese Cake

Adapted this recipe from:
Ingredients: For Filling:
6oz  Chobani Greek Yogurt – U pick the Flavor
1/2 Tbsp Jell-O sugar-free instant pudding mix – vanilla flavor
Ingredients: For Crust:

1/2 cup fiber bran cereal
4 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp unsalted almond butter
1/4 tsp stevia
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Preparation: Add the vanilla flavored pudding mix into the yogurt and stir until well combined. Set yogurt mixture aside. In a food processor or blender, grind the bran to a fine texture. In a small mixing bowl, add the ground bran with all dry ingredients, (stevia, cinnamon, and nutmeg) and mix evenly. Then add the almond butter and water and stir until it becomes moist and sticky. If the batter is still crumbly, add additional water in 1 tsp increments until desired consistency is achieved. Pour the crust mixture into a small 4 inch circular pan. Pack the crust along the bottom and sides of the dish to create a pie shape. Pour the filling on top of the crust and smooth evenly along the top. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes and enjoy cold.
Question of the Day: What cool refreshing dish makes your family happy? 
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When I go to Sam’s Club I always get these salmon fillets, they are stuffed with seafood and they are amazing.

I have had this bag of Bob’s Red Mill Pearl Couscous since the Blend Retreat. I received this in my swag bag and was not sure how I wanted to use it until I saw the goat cheese in my fridge. I thought the creamy goat cheese would really compliment the Pearl Couscous.

My favorite goats cheese brand is this Chavrie, it is soft and smooth.

I also had some spinach on had and threw in a few handfuls to the dish. Never know until you try.

Cooked the couscous as directed on the bag and then added my other ingredients of spinach and goat cheese, and combined and cooked for a few minutes.

Roasted some brussels sprouts.

Here’s the couscous mix. It came out smooth and creamy just like I hoped it would, but it did need some seasoning, which I added after my first taste test. A little salt and pepper did the trick.

Dinner is done!

Question of the Day: Do you ever use goat cheese when you cook? I usually eat goat cheese on toast or crackers or add to a salad, so it was fun cooking with it. 

Check Ya Later.

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Summer is upon us and I get the urge to use my oven. Sometimes I’m not sure what drives us to want certain things when it is 95 degrees outside. Well at least it was worth it, I made these lovely little pizzas. On my last trip to Trader Joe’s I picked up a tube of Organic Polenta and thought about how I wanted to use it. I love using polenta in dishes, but I usually only use it in the creamy smooth grits type texture. So the tube was a bit of a mystery to me. Pizza snacks jumped out as a fun dish, so I went for it.

The tube is already pre-cooked polenta so it really just needs to be heated up and it is ready to be served.

I sliced the tube into thin pieces and placed them on a baking sheet and topped with pasta sauce and shredded cheese, then sprinkled with dried parsley. This was my test run on using the polenta so I kept it simple so I could taste it and see how I can use it next time as a main meal rather than as a snack or an appetizer.

Look at the little pizza.

Baked on 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Really made a great snack. I guess using the stove was not such a bad idea after all.

Question of the day: What new snacks or appetizers have you made or enjoyed lately? 

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Over the Thanksgiving holiday Jeff’s boss got us a Honey Baked Ham. We look forward to that ham all year-long, and we get the most out of it. Once I get my hands on the ham, I get to portioning it up. We have it for a few dinners and then I like to chop the rest up into bite size pieces and put them in snack size bags and keep them in the freezer for when I want to add them to my eggs.

They thaw fast and only require a few minutes to heat up. After they are heated I just pour in the eggs and scramble them all up with a little salt and pepper.

Pile the scrambled eggs and ham onto an  English Muffin.

Top with your favorite cheese.

And eat it up.

Question of the Day:  What is your favorite breakfast? 

Check Ya Later.

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When I saw this recipe over at The Lean Green Bean, I knew I had to make it. Plus Chobani just sent me a 12 pack of their Pineapple Yogurt, so I was all over this recipe. I am on a frozen fruit bar kick right now, so it only makes sense to try a frozen yogurt recipe next. I really love Chobani yogurt and I also love the company Chobani, I have so much respect for them after meeting them at the Blend Retreat. They are such a customer based company with healthy living as a priority.  So here’s how the pops came together.

Add your Chobani and Granola together and mix it up.

After mixing up the ingredients, you just spoon into an ice-cube tray.

I placed a toothpick into the center of each cube and placed them into the freezer to set-up. After they set-up it was time to dip them.

Dip them in what?

Chocolate, that’s what…

I tucked away this amazing chocolate disk I received from Alaina, at the Jogging Concierge. She sent me an amazing Foodie Pen Pal Box a few months ago and I have been waiting for the right time to break it out.

Well, the time is now.

So glad I placed in those tooth picks, they really helped me out when it was time to dip them in the chocolate, not so much help getting the pops out of the ice-cube tray, but they kept my fingers out of the chocolate.  Then I pulled out all the tooth picks, those little buggers are sharp.

Perfect treat for a warm day.

Here’s the Adapted Recipe from Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean

Frozen Granola Yogurt Chunks Dipped in Chocolate

Makes 14 Chunks

Ingredients:

  • 12 Ounces of Chobani Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Cup of your Favorite Granola
  • 1/2 Cup Melted Dark Chocolate

Instructions:

Mix the yogurt and granola together and spoon into ice-cube tray, place a tooth pick in the center, freeze until set. Remove from ice-cube tray and dip in melted chocolate. Place back into the freezer to let the chocolate set.

Then Snack Away.

Question of the Day:  What is your favorite summer snack or treat? It’s between chips and salsa and frozen fruit bars for me right now.

Check Ya Later.

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Dinner time is my favorite time of the day, it’s when I get to catch up with my husband and see how his day was. I love that we hang out, eat dinner and talk about our day and our schedule for the week. It’s our quality time together after being away all day at work. So when it comes to dinner I always try to make foods that we both enjoy. So tonight I made Jeff’s favorite vegetable, brussels sprouts and my favorite, sweet potato wedges. I love that I can roast them at the same time. Plus who says you can not have two vegetables. Certainly not me.

Wedges.

Seasoned with a Course Sea Salt.

Tossed with Olive Oil.

Garlic Gold for the brussels.

Roasted at 400 degrees for 35 minutes.

Also made a batch of Barley and Quinoa for tonight and enough for some leftovers to eat later.

Love the combination of the grain with the seed.

We grilled up some chicken breasts. Nice simple dinner = quality time together.

After dinner I had some brussels left over so I chopped them up and threw them on the Quinoa mix for tomorrows side dish.

Question of the Day: What’s your favorite Grain? I am loving Barley right now.

Check Ya Later.

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Have you ever made something that made you so happy, you could not stop smiling? Well look at what has me smiling!

The weather has been getting so nice, and I love it. I like hot weather, I do not like to be cold. Funny coming from Michigan seeing how cold our weather gets. We hit 90 degrees on Sunday and it was perfect. One thing I like when its hot is a frozen fruit bar, but when I saw how much they cost this year I decided to make my own. Who knew it was that easy. Just get some molds, cut some fruit and add fruit juice. I picked up these cute molds at the grocery store. The molds are cheaper than a 6 pack of frozen fruit bars.

So I just chopped up some strawberries and threw in some whole blueberries and topped off the molds with fruit juice. That’s it.

Stuck them in the freezer.

Look at these beautiful frozen fruit bars with no added sugar.

I am loving this. So simple, why have I not been making these all my life. I have so many frozen combinations I can not wait to make. This will be a perfect treat on those hot days.

For dinner I made a Buffalo Blue Cheese Chicken Burger. Wow, another keeper. I have been slightly obsessed with using ground chicken and making different burgers lately.

The spicy hot sauce and the sharpness of the blue cheese is so good together.

Even though it’s a big old burger, it’s not heavy at all. It’s actually a nice light meal.  Glad this recipe makes 4 burgers, now I can enjoy it again.

Buffalo Blue Cheese Chicken Burger

Ingredients

Makes 4 Burgers

  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 pound ground white-meat chicken
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 4 buns
  • lettuce for topping

Preparation

Add chicken, egg whites, carrots, breadcrumbs and cheese; mix to combine. Form chicken mixture into four 3/4-inch-thick patties. In a second bowl, stir cornstarch into hot sauce until dissolved; set aside. Coat grill with cooking spray. Grill patties over medium-high heat for 6 minutes; flip and grill 4 minutes more. Brush patties with hot sauce mixture; grill until internal temperature reaches 165°F, about 2 additional minutes. Garnish with cheese and lettuce, if desired.

Question of the Day: Have you ever made your own frozen fruit bars? What’s a good combination of fruit?

Check ya Later.

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