Sunday, March 25, 2012

4 Day Challenge: Day Three

My Baking Addiction has a ton of great recipes! 

Day Three's meal happened but I wasn't able to document it with photos. Bummer.  

Let's get right to it.  We enjoyed some tasty shrimp & scallop tacos with avocado sauce, inspired from this recipe; my corn salad for a side; and delicious No Bake Nutella Cheesecake for dessert.  Both the tacos and cheesecake were new recipes... and I would say were a total hit!

Tip: if you try your hand at the cheesecake, plan to prepare it in individual dishes- it made for a pretty presentation and would be difficult to serve otherwise.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

4 Day Challenge: Day Two

Sorry for the delay but it was Jake's birthday week, so as you can imagine celebrations were in order... for what felt like every night!

The 4 Day Challenge ended up being more like a 3 Day Challenge which was fine because Jake had a work happy hour on Wednesday night and that is the same day our community group meets, so needless to say time was tight.  Anyway, I'm not worried about it, I gave it an honest effort and I think that's what matters.

Tuesday's dinner (aka Day Two) from was OK.  The chicken was a little dry which was totally on me... I didn't realize toaster ovens cook hotter than the oven.  Lesson learned.  I will say however that the squash side was delicious and definitely something I'll make again.  Check it out.

Panko Crusted Chicken Stuffed with Ricotta, Spinach, Tomatoes, & Basil: 

  • 1 cup of low fat ricotta cheese
  • Small handful of baby spinach, chopped
  • Small handful of grape tomatoes, diced (remove the seeds if possible)
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • Dash of oregano
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Italian seasoned panko crumbs
  • 2 tsp olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Combine the ricotta, spinach, tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, basil, garlic, sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Mix until thoroughly combined.
3. Rinse the chicken breasts then cut a long horizontal slit along the center of the thin long edge of the chicken breast, nearly through to the other side. Fill the cavity of the chicken breast with the ricotta mixture. Season each side of the chicken with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Carefully dip the chicken breasts in the panko crumbs until both sides are evenly covered. Close the slit together with toothpicks.
4. Heat the olive oil in an OVEN PROOF skillet on the stove over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, place the chicken in the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown, flip the chicken over and place the skillet into the oven. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
I followed this recipe for the side but replaced the zucchini with a squash and left out the pine nuts.  d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

midweek confessions

I'm really getting the hang of this whole linking up concept.  Go me.  Go me. Go me.  Too much?  Understood.  Well, the good news is this week that I think I'll be able to actually write about more than one topic (aka no tax talk here!).  Yay for movement out of my self pity party.  Here it goes...

-I am cooking dinner from scratch this week for Jake's birthday which is a true gift since he does 90% f the cooking (don't judge me) and I'm already not a fan.  I personally don't know how some women do it.  I commute to work, put in my 8+ hours, get home, go for a run, and start cooking as soon as I get back.  I try to clean as I go but by the time I'm taking a seat it's 8:00!  I don't know how some people do it, I mean could you imagine inserting a small child into that schedule?  I.don'

-Today when I came home the minute I came through the door I found Tank laying in the submissive position on the couch.  Not good.  I dropped my bag, looked down, and found the sole of Jake's new loafers completely chewed and thrown across the carpet.  I disciplined Tank and then called Jake to confirm he in fact left his shoes out (as if I didn't know).  I can see the remnants out of the corner of my eye right now as I blog and I'm not going to clean it up.  I think Jake needs to see what his "pup pup" is capable of.

-I have absolutely no discipline when I walk into stores these days.  I don't know what's wrong with me but I'm crazed for new clothes and I'm not very good about telling myself no.  To my defense, a lot of my clothes are old and have been worn well past their prime, but replacing them gets expensive.  I try not to hide my shopping endeavors from Jake, but I know his anxiety is growing as he sees me sporting new outfits.  Don't get me wrong, we're both fans of my style these days- he definitely prefers it to my sweats, sport bra, and t-shirts (strange, I know) but I still sort of feel bad.  Also to my defense, my clothes from before aren't fitting right.  They are too big, which is a good problem to have, or are severely "worn in".  I'm talking sweat and bleach stains, faded colors, etc. it's bad news bears when you work in the kind of office environment that I do.  

-My new boss starts next Monday and I went from nervous to excited to anxious all over again.  I have only met her briefly and she seems really nice, but for whatever reason this weekend I started questioning whether that is really her or if her "true" side will reveal itself with time.  Eek, I guess I won't know til I know.

-Jake's birthday is tomorrow and I don't really have a good gift for him.  I replaced is cologne which jut ran out from high school and bought him a nice pair of VT work out shorts.  He is the worst when it comes to gifts, so I just don't stress over it anymore.  As a matter of fact, I'm fully prepared for him to ask me to return both things... and I will, without hurt feelings because it's just how he is.

-I'm considering hitting the tanning bed.  Terrible, I know.  It's just that it's getting warmer and I'd like to let my legs out to play without blinding innocent onlookers.  Know what I mean?  We'll see if I do it or not.  In past years when I've gone it's given me the base tan I need to avoid a harsh sunburn when I finally hit the beach.  Decisions, decisions.

Hope you're having a good week!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

4 Day Challenge: Day One

Well what do we have here?  Looks like a successfully prepared shrimp, avocado, and tomato pizza to me.  One day down, three more to go.

Truth be told, I got the recipe from Pinterest (they got it from Spice is Nice) and if I had to describe it in three a few words I’d go with easy, fresh, and filling (but not heavy).

Jake gave it 3.5 out of 5 forks (5 being one of the best home cooked meals he has ever had).  I’ll take it.
Directions below.  Try it if you dare.
Shrimp, Avocado and Tomato Pizza:

1 pizza dough ball
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. olive oil
1 cup shredded mozzarella and/or provolone cheese
2 scallions, chopped
2 large tomatos, chopped and drained
1 t. adobo sauce or 1 t. finely chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (this ingredient adds a lot of spice, so feel free to opt against adding it or go for more if that's your thing)
10-20 medium sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 avocado, diced
1/2 a lime's juice

1. Preheat oven to  475°.  Roll out the pizza dough, preferably on a pizza stone. Brush with 2 T. olive oil and 4 cloves of minced garlic. Then spread cheese evenly over the top.

2. In a medium sauté pan  add 1 T. olive oil and bring to medium-high heat.  Add remaining 2 cloves of garlic and stir until fragrant.  Then add the shrimp to the pan and stir for a 1-2 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes, scallions and chipotle peppers to the pan, and sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes to soften the tomatoes and flavor the shrimp.  
Note: The peppers will really add a kick, so if you don't like spice consider leaving them out. 
4. Spread the shrimp mixture over the pizza and top with a little bit of cheese.
5. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and immediately top with cilantro and avocado.  Squeeze lime juice over top of the pizza, let sit for 5 minutes, and then serve.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

4 Day Challenge

Jake’s Birthday is coming up so I decided to enter into a four day challenge of cooking homemade, new recipes for dinner each day this week up through his birthday.  This is my gift to him since last year I did the same thing but just for his actual bday.  Since this year he made the same request, I thought I needed to up the ante just a little bit to make it better than the last.  This may or may not be a very difficult thing to do since I rarely make elaborate (using the term lightly) dinners and traditionally save experimental recipes for baking.  Thank goodness for Pinterest!

Regardless, the cat is out of the bag since I told him already that this was his gift starting Monday.  Eek!  The week’s lineup is:

Shrimp, Tomato, & Avocado Pizza
Panko Crusted Chicken Stuffed with Ricotta, Spinach, Tomatoes, & Basil
Scallop Tacos
Avocado Chicken Parmigiana

Stay tuned to see how things turn out!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

midweek confessions

Good news and bad news.  The good news is that I'm reaching "consistent" status with linking up for midweek confessions.  And now for the bad news..

-We got our taxes done today and are basically getting nothing back.  Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful we don't owe, but I am the type of person that looks forward to getting a big refund and was shocked with the amount we're getting.

-Still on the tax return topic, the person working with us said numerous times that we should buy house based on our income, etc.  She reviewed all the benefits of doing so and went on to talk about how other clients of hers who made less money than we did purchased a home and were seeing a much better tax return than we were... not to mention they owned a home.  I get it.  I got it.  Understood.  Trust me, we aren't renters because we are interested in buying a home, but we're not there yet.  Slow and stead wins the race, right?

-Keeping with the tax return theme, because of this unexpected and disappointing news I spent the evening stress eating.  I walked out of the tax place, passed my car, and did a slight jog to Just Cupcakes because it was in my line of sight but closed at 6... and it was 6:05.  The owner was packing up and told me they were closed.  Despite being defeated I held the door open for him anyway as he loaded boxes into his car.  This act of kindness paired with the pure look of desperation on my face must have pulled on the heartstrings because before I knew it he said he could check to see what they had in the back.  Hallelujah.   And he had me at mint... $3.00 later I was stuffing my face in my parked car right in front of the tax place.   Once I got home I had a Breyer's ice cream sandwich and moped around the house.

That's all for now, obviously I can't talk about anything unrelated to our tax appointment at the moment.  Sorry, maybe next week will be balanced with more good news.

these look better than the one I had

Sunday, March 11, 2012

one step forward

Well, I promised I'd let you all know how my weigh in went and I'm happy to say that I lost just under a pound!  I know that isn't within the 1-2 pound range I was hitting a few weeks back, but it's certainly better than gaining and finally got me over the hump I'd been bouncing between since the end of January.  I mean going back back and forth 1-2 pounds for a month was frustrating and I'm hoping this will give me the motivation I need to keep things moving.

I was pretty good in meeting my challenges set last week.  I ran twice (once with Tank) and walked him another time.  I didn't exceed my 15 extra weekly points and only went over my daily points twice; the first for my Mom's birthday and the second at a fundraiser with way too many appetizers (my downfall!).

In general, I'm really happy with how the week turned out and if I can keep this up, am looking forward to my next weigh in!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

midweek confessions

I'm going to attempt week two of participating in midweek confessions over at a friend of mine's blog.  I don't feel like I have anything outstanding to share, but I'll give it my best shot.

-On Saturday morning I woke up to a clicking sound that I thought was Jake clipping his toenails.  Odd.  After listening to it for what felt like forever I got out of the bed determined to make him stop and save the little bit of his toenails that I assumed were left.  To my surprise, when I opened the bedroom door I was hit with a drop of water.  Yep.  I looked up and saw that we had a leak coming through our attic and it was slowly making a pool of water right on the carpet (I'm using "pool" lightly, it's more for dramatic effect).  Jake had to climb into the attic, move around our Christmas decorations, and temporarily patch it with duct tape.  It worked... and all I can say is I'm seriously glad it was a leak and was not an aggravated attack on Jake's toenails, they are short as it is.

-When I run with Tank I slow him down.  It's sad really.  He just looks back at me, encouraging with his little eyes to come on.

-Speaking of running, I tripped (and fell) on my run after work.  It wasn't the best way to kick start my running-after-work-routine,  but it happened and I hit the ground hard.  I ran walked away with a welt on my side, scratched hands, and a busted earphone.  For the record, I did eventually shake it off an ran another mile and a half.  But still... embarrassing.

-Still no computer bag.  Hopefully my luck changes before my two work trips in April.

Monday, March 5, 2012

squash and zucchini pizza

I may have mentioned before that Jake and are big into making a pizza each week... but if I didn't, then consider yourself now in the know.

We traditionally rotate between a BBQ Chicken or a Squash and Zucchini pizza, but lately the latter seems to be the constant victor.  Here's how we do what we do:

Squash & Zucchini Pizza

-one squash
-one zucchini
-red onion
-wheat pizza dough (we buy ours from Trader Joes, but you can make yours or find it at any grocery store)
-1/3 a block of Parmesan cheese shredded (if you go with a bagged option, opt for Mozzarella)
-Alfredo sauce

Preheat your oven to 375° and roll out your pizza dough, using the flower to keep it from sticking.  Spread the alfredo sauce (no need to use the whole jar, not even half) evenly across the dough.

Next, sprinkle your shredded cheese.  Note: you can quickly grate your cheese by using your food processor with the grater plate; this will take less than a minute.

After that go ahead and cut your squash, zucchini, and red onion (use as much or as little onion as you'd like) and throw everything into a pan on medium-high heat.  Over the next few minutes toss the veggies to keep them cooking evenly and add some pepper and salt to your preference.  Once the veggies are cooked spread them evenly over the pizza.

Bake for 15 minutes, then let stand for 5 before cutting.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

kickin it up a notch

In keeping with the confession trend, I have to admit that I am struggling with Weight Watchers lately. I'm not as zealous about tracking my points or my daily point allowance. The way WW works is that I get so many points a day plus a weekly point allowance. When I first started on the plan, I rarely exceeded my daily points and only occasionally tapped into my weekly ones. However, now it seems as though that commitment has gone out the window. Something has got to give and I'm fairly certain it isn't going to be my weight... so it's got to be me.

I have challenged myself to not exceed my daily points at all leading up to the weekend (what a novel concept!) and am also decreasing my weekly extra point allowance from 49 to 15 points. I also was thinking I might kick it up another notch with some additional exercise. And by additional I mean adding it to my routine period. I've been averaging working out once a week which, shocker, hasn't really done much. My plan is to walk Tank at least 3x this week and get two runs in over the weekend. I can't wait for daylight savings so I can get back to running after work, something I surprisingly look forward to.

I feel a little embarrassed that I've been yo-yoing around the 18-19 total pounds lost point and really want to hit 20 gone by next Sunday. WW has all of these articles on hitting your plateau and I've heard the last 10 pounds are the hardest, but at this rate of around half a pound a week (sometimes not even that) it's going to make me f.o.r.e.v.e.r. to knock off another 15-20. I'm only half way to my goal (which as changed a few times to be a bit more aggressive) so I've got to up the ante to keep moving the scale. Wish me luck, and I'll give you an update next Sunday!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...