Monday, January 31, 2011

Recipe Review: Antipasto Pizza

Two words: absolute deliciousness.  I love all things antipasto....the cheese....the meat....the pickled vegetables, I could eat it for days.  This recipe was really easy and was ready in just about 10 minutes.  This is also a Prevention recipe, so it makes me not feel too guilty to eat more than my fair share.

I played around with the recipe a little bit, but it still turned out delicious and looked a lot like the picture.  I ended up not taking a picture of mine because by the time I got back to the kitchen with my camera, KB had eaten almost half of it already.

Instead of sun dried tomato pesto, my grocery store only had the regular basil kind.  My pizza was a little greener, but still tasted delicious.  I also opted out for the marinated artichokes since I'm not a big fan.  I also added on a little parmesan cheese to the top and it got really crispy and brown.

Overall I would eat this again.....and again.....and again.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Menu Sunday...

Here's what the Browns will be eating this week:

Mon: Scalloped Chicken and Pasta from my Pillsbury Everyday Dinners cookbook
         This reminds me of the macaroni and cheese that has the breadcrumbs on the top, expecit it's got mixed veggies and chicken added in.

Tues: Sicilian Pasta
         This looks super simple and I always hate cooking on Tuesdays for some reason.  I may leave out the raisins, since I'm pretty sure KB ate all of the stash that he got in his stockings at Christmas and I hate them.

Wed: Lemon Twist Chicken from my Brand Name Mixes cookbook
          I love lemony things and this recipe looks really easy.  Pretty much all you do is cook the chicken in a mixture of dry onion soup mix, lemon and honey.

Thurs: Pesto Minestrone Soup
          I mainly wanted to try this recipe because I still have about half a jar of pesto left over from my antipasto pizza that I made last week.  It's also a slow cooker it's an automatic plus!

Fri: Tuna Cheese Flips from my Pillsbury cookbook
      These seem a little weird to me, but KB seems to think they will be the greatest thing ever.  It's basically a biscuit filled with tuna and cheese that is rolled in crushed potato chips and baked.  KB has some weird obsession with tuna, but I may make mine with just cheese or throw some veggies in.

The antipasto pizza last week was to die for (stay tuned for a post about it), so I'm thinking about making a weekly installment of a recipe review from that week's menu.  We'll see if I actually keep up with it!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thoughts on a Thursday

Link up!

My thoughts:

I'm super excited to make an antipasto pizza tonight.  I love all things antipasto and all things pizza....this can only be good!

KB has band practice tonight, so it's just me and the puppies.  I like being here alone sometimes and just doing my own thing.

All day I thought today was Friday and all day on Tuesday I thought it was Wendesday.  I'm going to be so disappointed tomorrow when I have to go to work.

We're going to the movies tomorrow for the first time in a really long time.  I think the last movie we saw together was the last Batman movie.  I'm not sure what we're going to see (probably True Grit even though I'm not a big Western fan).  We're also going to go out to eat.  The town we work in has lots of good restaurants, so there's no shortage there.  We haven't been out on a date in a long time.

These are my thoughts on a Thursday!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Workout Review: The Firm 500 Calorie Workout

All I can say is one word:  woah.  This lady, this workout, this music is all insane.  The entire workout is about 55 minutes, split up into alternating 5-10 minute strength and cardio sessions.

The lady is a little scary.  At one point I was pretty sure she was going to come out through the TV and get me because I wasn't "plio-ing" hard enough.  Even though she screams a lot and talks really fast, it is kinda motivating....or scary, take your pick.

The workouts themselves are intense.  There is a "beginner" level, but the lady doing the beginner exercises looked so dumb and out of it, so I didn't do them.  The cardio sessions move really quickly and sometimes it's hard to keep up.  The music is also super fast.  I felt like I was at some kind of exercise rave.  I even noticed some of the back-up exercisers (what do you call these people anyway) were losing track of things.

Overall, this will kick your butt.  I don't doubt for a minute that this burns 500+ calories. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ding Ding Ding

I'm the winner (well was)!  I happened to win a lovely little giveaway from the fabulous Erica over at Fashion Meets Food

I do love some yogurt....and what's better than a Yogurt themed goodie bag!  Inside was some coupons, a pedometer, a wrist wallet and this neat little bag.  I used to have tons of these little freebie bags, but somehow they've all disappeared.  You can never have too many bags.

I also got this pedometer.  I've never used one before, but I'm really interested to see how many steps I take per day, even though it's probably not enough!  Any suggestions for how to use this thing would be greatly appreciated.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hint, Suggestion, Idea...

I recently got my hands on some of this stuff:

I'm not too sure what to do with it.  It's chocolate dulce de leche.  I haven't tried it, but KB ate it on some ice cream and really liked it.  I'd like to try a cake or cookie recipe with this, but I've never cooked with dulce de leche before.

Even though I haven't tried it, I already love it.  It's got cows on the jar....and it's chocolate.....and it's in Spanish...all of these things make me happy!  The back also tells some story about the cows and how they are milked and stuff.....I grew up on a dairy farm, so this isn't really new, but thinking about the Argentinian cows makes me smile.

I need some ideas to use this....por favor?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Menu Sunday

I'm proud to report that last week's menu was a big hit!  KB really liked all the dishes out of my new cookbooks and they were all really easy to prepare.  I'm thinking I'm going to be trying to incorporate at least one dish from each of my new books each week.  Let's hope this week's menu goes as well:

Mon: Slow-Cooker Meatball Stew
         I saw this on my Woman's Day recipe feed that I get weekly and thought it looked great.  I'm sure you could also use pre-packaged meatballs.

Tues: Pineapple Chicken Salad from Quick Fixes from Brand Name Mixes
         Ranch, chicken and pineapple....sign me up

Wed: Salad Bar Stir Fry from Everyday Family Suppers
         This will be our meatless meal for the week.  I'm hoping the stir fry sauce will cover up the fact that there's no meat.....but I'm pretty sure KB won't be fooled.

Thurs: Antipasto Pizza
          I love pizza....and sundried tomatoes.....and roasted red peppers.  I'll probably only do half of the pizza with olives though.....not a fan!

Fri:  Turkey Chili from the freezer
       I made this a few weeks ago and had a ton left over, so we'll be eating what was left.

What goodies will you be eating this week?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Guilty Pleasure

I'm not a huge movie watcher.  I normally just wait until something comes out on Netflix and even then sometimes I'll wait a while to watch something.  One type of movie that I can't get enough of and watch as soon as I get.......the Scary Movie remakes.

I got this from Netflix yesterday and couldn't wait to bust it out last night.  I even like Twilight, but I love watching people make fun of it.  Whether it's the real Scary Movie, Teen Movie, Date Movie.....I love them all.

What types of movies are you afraid to admit you watch?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thoughts on a Thursday

Thursday's thoughts:

  • It's my first link up...I'm not so sure I did this right.  Let me know if something looks weird
  • KB sort of made dinner tonight.  He was in charge of baking it.  I'm not exactly sure it is all the way cooked.  I hope I don't end upwith some weird foodborne illness.
  • My darling Panchy decided to eat all my shoes today!  Apparenlty the door ot my closet room somehow got open and it seems like ONE of every pair I own is chewed on.
  • It's going to be cold this weekend.  I had just gotten spoiled with it being over 30 degrees and now it's going to be sub zero (ok maybe not that cold) again.
  • Tomorrow is Friday and I get to leave work a little early!
  • I have worked out every day this week.  I'm trying to only weight myself once a week so hopefully I'll see results and not get discouraged.
What are your thoughts on a Thursday?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Think Strange is an Understatement

When someone tells me about a show where people eat weird things, do things obsessively and are just weird overall, I can only say one thing.....

What channel is it on and when can I watch it?

I first saw My Strange Addiction last week....and I loved it. 

Seeing people eat laundry detergent.....sign me up......
Eating couch cushions.....oh cool......
Tanning entertaining....
Dressing up as an animal in a fur suit all day.....what?!? I feel uncomfortable

For some reason this chick gives me the willies!  I'm debating on whether or not to even watch the show.  Just the thought of someone creeping around in big pink fox like animal suit makes me want to jump out of my skin.

I'm thinking an understatement.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dehydration Update

I'm glad to report that the fruit roll ups were a big success!  We've almost eaten all of them since we've been home.  They are very sweet like the store bought kind, but are made with only fruit and yogurt.  I'm going to have to invest in more fruit roll up sheets!

I also decided to put some grapefruit on the dehydrator just to see what happened.  They are excellent!  They have a really sour burst at first, but then get really sweet.  I like grapefruits anyway, but KB is not a huge raw grapefruit fan and he really liked the dried ones.

I dried them with the peels on this time and I think I like that way better.  You can press on the center part and the fruit in the middle will peel away from the rind.

Pretty soon I'm going to be as bad as the crazy midwestern lady that I made fun of when I first started drying fruit!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fruit Roll Ups

I decided that I wanted to try making my own fruit roll ups in our dehydrator.  I'm a little worried about them.  I made up my own recipe of some super ripe frozen strawberries that I blended with some blueberry Chobani yogurt (which was also a little old).  The mixture was more like a fruit smoothie than anything else.  I spread it out on my little "fruit leather mat" and it was really thick.  I'm a little worried that instead of looking delicious....

It's going to be a gross food borne illness nightmare.  If you don't hear from me for a few days.....I've got the fruit leather-itis.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Menu Sunday...

Today's Menu Sunday is going to be le boring.  I got a lot of cookbooks for my birthday and Christmas and decided that this week I would cook meals only using those.  I've looked around online and I can't find any of these recipes in an online format, so if you want a recipe for one of these meals....let me know.

From this book we'll be having:

Mon: Tomato Dill Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandiwches
Tues: Cheesy Broccoli Loaf
Wed: Tuna Pita Sandwiches

From this book we'll be having:

Thurs: Mushroom Beef Stew
Fri: Mexicali Cornbread Casserole

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Stupendous Saturday...

Because Friday wasn't fabulous enough, today's Stupendous Saturday has consisted of...

A new nail color and manicure....

The color is OPI's "You Don't Know Jacques".  I love it!  It's the perfect combo of brown and gray and is even appropriate for work.  I also am convinced I have the best manicurist in the world.  Michah is my homegirl and can work magic on even my weird elfin bitten fingernails.  She also told me a great chicken recipe!

I ended up cleaning my house last night (I know what a swinger I am to clean house on a Friday night).  Normally I clean house on Saturday, so now I feel like I have a whole day off.  I get to lay around and do what I want to do!  I had a good workout this morning, got a manicure and went to the grocery store and library.

It's sunny and warm(ish) today.  Even's not going to snow this week and it will be above freezing.  The snow is starting to melt in our yard and little Rose is very happy about that.  She's quite the diva when it comes to doing her unmentionables in the snow.

What makes your Saturday stupendous?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Fabulous Friday....

Today is a fabulous Friday because....

I've got turkey chili in the crock-pot and it's supposed to be really cold today.  I love coming home on a Friday to a dinner that is hot and ready!

I started The Hunger Games last weekend and I'm looking forward to having another weekend to finish it.  I really didn't think I was going to like it (especially with all the hype around it), but it's really easy to get sucked in.  I'm definitely putting the rest of these books on my reading list.

My Yu-Be lotion seems to be working.  My scaliness factor has definitley been knocked down.  Before I was applying Eucerin Aquaphor at least 4 or 5 times throughout the day, but now I just put a little of this on in the morning and I'm good to go.  It smells kind of mediciny, but I like it!

Since it's Friday, I can come home and pile up under my electric blanket.  I have a slight obsession with my Sunbeam heated throw (or the love rug as my inappropriate parents call it).  Me and the puppies love to pile up underneath it and turn it on high.

As you can see, my Friday night is going to be a barrel of excitement!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Workout Review: Biggest Loser Last Chance Workout

Let me just start by saying that I'm not the world's biggest Jillian Michaels/Biggest Loser fan.  She's a little annoying in an "I'm healthier and smarter than you" way and the Biggest Loser seems a little out of touch with the rest of us trying to lose weight AND do something besides sit around the "ranch" all day.

Nevertheless, I do love a good workout and every time I flip the channel to the Biggest Loser they seem to be sweating like crazy, so I thought I'd give this a try. 

First of all, there are a TON of workouts on this DVD.  Each week (there are 6 weeks) has a workout for every day.  So far I've only done a couple, but they are quite a workout.  Each one consists of a 10 minute warm up, 25 minute cardio and strength training, and a 10 minute cool down.  Jillian also seems to be a big fan of intervals.  Both of the workouts I did consisted of cardio intervals with strength training.

Probably the best part of this whole DVD is the fact that you can watch it without having to listen to Jillian Michaels!  I got a little lost just working out with the music, but overall I had a pretty good last chance workout.

Now I have to go stand on my giant scale wearing only bicycle pants and a sports bra.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Yu-Be the Judge

For my bday this awesome girl bought me all types of Sephora goodies that I adore.  I'm a big product/makeup junkie, so anything in this arena is most greatly appreciated!

In my bag of free goodie samples that Sephora always sends out was this little guy:

I saw the words "cures the symptoms of eczema" and was immediately interested.  I have the driest, nastiest skin in the winter.  Yesterday it was so bad that KB called me a "scaly man fish" (if you haven't seen the Old Greg skits you probably wouldn't think it was funny like I did).  I'm always on the lookout for a good moisturizer.  Even my Eucerin Aquaphor isn't really working anymore!

Has anyone tried it out?  Does it really work?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ode to Ina...

Since yesterday was a snow day I spent some good quality time with my television.  KB was like a caged animal all day and was getting on my nerves, so I spent some quality time snuggled up to my favorite TV person.

My home gurl Ina.  After a day spent under my electric blanket with her, I've come to realize she has the perfect life.  Awesome house on the beach, cool garden, neat clean kitchen, endless supply of gay florist/designer/fabulous friends, cute town to go shopping in, a really good food processer...the list goes on.  The one I was most envious of today was her phantom husband Jeffrey!

So yesterday while KB was pacing around asking me where I put his 12 Bass Pro Shop gift cards he got LAST Christmas or being outside raking (yes raking) snow off of the driveway because he couldn't find a snow shovel.....I just wanted to be like Ina.

PS...if you like these pictures....go won't regret it!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day!

We woke up to a winter wonderland this morning:

Our street is covered....oh great!  We couldn't make it in to work this morning because the interstates were closed.  Working from home is definitely not as fun as I though it would be!  I've been on conference calls and a really crappy remote email system all morning.

Blogger is being dumb and not uploading my pictures right....but look at my poor little bird feeder.  I always feel sorry for the little birds in the I made KB put some food out for them this morning.

I'm making the slow cooker potato soup from yesterday's post and so far it smells delicious.  Now that I'm officially OVER working from home, I'm just going to give up and watch trashy TV with my electric blanket.

Happy snow day to me!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Menu Sunday...

This is what the Browns will be eating on this cold and snowy week:

Mon:  The Crock-Pot potato soup from last week
          I went to PF Changs for my birthday last week and didn't make it!

Tues: Cheddar Vegetable Quiche
         This recipe looks super easy.  I already had a pie crust in my fridge, so all I had to get was a carton of egg beaters and some frozen veggies.

Wed: Roast Vegetable Chowder
         It's supposed to snow a foot and be -2 all week long (ok maybe not all week) so I thought lots of soups would be delicious.  I may add in some bacon or ham for some protein for KB.  He gets weird about not eating meat.

Thurs: Stovetop Ziti
         I like this recipe because it is quick and will probably use up all of the ricotta in a container.  I never know what to do with leftover ricotta cheese and I end up using one little spoon in one recipe, then have to throw the rest of the container away later because I never know what to do with it.

Fri: Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
      Chili is the best.  This one has lots of beans and not a lot of meat, which I like, but some people (I'm looking at you KB) are a little weirded out by.  I'll probably add in some hot sauce just to give this more of a kick.

What goodies will you be eating this week?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Fabulous Friday....

It's a fabulous Friday becauuuuuse.......

from here
It was doing this at our CEOs house.  So he let us go home.  Yay him.....and his donkey!

Since I'm home early I actually have time to work out today.  This is quite possibly the cheesiest workout video I have ever seen, but it's on Instant Stream from it'll work.

I'm going to put some carrot chips in the dehydrator tonight.  I think they'll be delicious, but the people I work with think it's weird.  We'll see about this one.

My coworkers took me out for a birthday lunch to one of my favorite restaurants in town.  If you're ever in A-ville, you should stop by Tupelo Honey.  They have the best biscuits, jam and pickled okra.

Why is Friday fabulous for you?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me

Because the holidays just won't's not only mine but also my sister's birthday this week.

I'm hoping for lots of this:

New workout clothes....because all of mine are holey (and not in the good way) and the elastic is all stretched out.

A good manicure....because I need all the help I can get to not bite my nails.

A new phone.....because mine is on its last leg.  I'm still waiting on my Christmas/birthday iPhone.  C'mon Verizon!

A new restaurant......because I've never eaten here before and A-ville just got one!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


 Fruity goodness!

We broke out our dehydrator this weekend and made some goodies.  Overall we ended up dehydrating 4 small apples, 2 bananas and 3 oranges (plus peels).  I was a little skeptical about the oranges, but KB assured me that he found "some crazy yankee lady" that said it was ok.  I think I found the crazy lady.  She's really not any crazier than I am...since I've now dried oranges.

The fruits took over 24 hours to completely dry and I was starting to get a little worried about them.  The apples and bananas are delicious!  The oranges aren't too bad either.  They remind me of the candied orange rinds that people make at Christmas.  So far I've only eaten the dried oranges, but I'm thinking of making some tea out of them.

I also dried the rinds.  I'm not really sure what to do with them, maybe use them in a recipe instead of zest?  Though....suggestions....ideas....anyone?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Something's Fishy...

Now that I'm a married woman, I eat a lot of fish.  Growing up we never ate fish.  We just didn't do it.  KB being the avid fisherman and hunter that he is, will catch fish and freeze them for me to lovingly prepare.  I'm always a little scare when making fish.  I never know when it's done, what it's supposed to taste like or how it should look.  I got this little gem for Christmas:

While most of the recipes call for weird things that we can't get here in podunkville (like prickly pear cactus juice....seriously who can get that)  I found one that I thought I could make.  I ended up making the Red Fish and Red Rice with Lemon Butter White Wine sauce.  I cheated and ended up using catfish from our freezer.

The results:

DELICIOUS!  KB loved it and ate seconds and thirds of the rice.  It's fairly easy to make (compared to the other recipes) and it seems like really any fish could work.  The lemon butter sauce is really really lemony, so if you're not a huge fan of sour you may not want to make as much.  Overall, this fish is a winner...winner winner fish dinner?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Menu Sunday...

Here's what the Browns will be eating this week:

Mon: Spiced Pork Chops with Red Cabbage and Raisins
         I'm off work tomorrow for New Year's (woo hoo), so I thought I'd make something a little special.  I love red cabbage, but KB isn't a big fan.  I'm hoping the raisins will sway him.  He eats copious amounts of raisins and it's just about the nastiest thing ever.

Tues: Chicken and Garden Vegetable Stir Fry
         I'm trying to get us back on the fit train and this recipe looks to be pretty healthy.  I cheated and bought frozen stir fry veggies instead of all the fresh veggies.

Wed: Slow Cooker Cheesy Potato Soup
         I love soup, I love a slow cooker.  While this isn't the healthiest recipe on the block, it's easy and KB will love it.

Thurs: Slow Cooker Chicken Posole
          I really like Mexican food, but it's pretty bad for you (no bueno).  This soup has all the flavors of mexican food, but with lots of healthy fresh veggies and not a lot of refritos and cheese.  I picked up some super spicy green enchilada sauce, so hopefully that will give this some kick.

Fri: Carmelized Portobello and Onion Pannini
     Sandwiches are the best and this one looks delicious.  While our podunk grocery store does not sell an extensive amount of exotic cheese like Chaumes, I did score some Amish Havarti.  I'm hoping it will be a close match, but you can't exactly go wrong with caramelized onions and cheese.


Noel Spritzer
We actually had this on New Year's Eve and even KB liked it.  He's not a huge fan of white wine, but the cranberry juice and seltzer made it taste more like fizzy alcoholic kool aid.

What goodies will you be eating this week?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Resolution Schmesolution....

I normally make New Year's Resolutions and I normally end up keeping them a total of maybe 2 months.  Go me!

This year I would like to:

Get healthier!  KB eats like an elementary school kid (probably the fat, smelly one at that), yet he magically maintains a -3% body fat.  In 2011 I'd like to get us on the fit train.  We need to take the puppies for more walks and not eat 2 boxes of Little Debbies a week.

Save Money!  The Browns are pretty tight when it comes to money.  Neither one of us are crazy spenders and most of the time we live pretty cheap.  These past few months though, we've kind of gotten lazy.  We eat out for lunch too much, buy things we don't need and just don't save as much money as we could.  In 2011 we'll be packing our lunch, re-evaluating whether we really need the $50 deer feeder and hopefully just like Lil Scrappy, we'll have money in tha bank.

Look better!  This one is mostly for me.  I've gotten pretty lazy when it comes to my appearance.  I stopped working out about September, I've started biting my nails again, ever since I got my hair cut I don't (and can't) really fix it, and I've gotten lazy about my makeup routine.  In 2011 I vow to take better care of myself in the beauty department; whether that means having to get up early to do my makeup or getting my nails done every few months so I won't bite them.

What are your New Year's resolutions, goals, whatevers?