Go ahead, eat with your eyes today!

 

I’m just throwing pictures at you today … enjoy this buffet for your eyes!

 

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Here’s a perfect party food.  I made this as a snack while my husband and I watched the Penguins during their (miserable) playoff run. It’s a really easy Trisha Yearwood recipe that I remembered seeing on her show.  We used the pulled out bread center to then dip with, chips and veggies (carrot & celery sticks) were options as well.  Here’s a hint for buying 6 oz of corned beef – head to your deli counter and ask them to slice thicker pieces and you can dice them up at home.  Pretty fancy looking, right? Make this and it’ll be a show stopper at your next gathering! Or make it for yourself and your husband … who says you have to share 😉

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These next two recipes are courtesy of Ree Drummond, surprise surprise!!! She’s always in our weekly menu.  First up is a pepperoni pizza burger … how fun is that?! I figured this would be the perfect dish to make plenty of, so my husband would have leftovers while I went out of town for the weekend. I made 5 patties (I used a full pound of the ground Italian sausage); they are yummy reheated … I had the last one yesterday 🙂 Love having leftovers of my creations! It’s a one pot meal, hello! I mean, you mix the meat and whatnot but everything is cooked in 1 pot! It will get smoky cooking the burgers on the stove so throw that fan on & open a nearby window if possible.  My healthy swaps: ground turkey and sandwich thins.  No excuses that you can’t do a “grill out” if the hubby isn’t home; whip this dinner up on the stove and have an indoor BBQ.

Second in line is a simple foil pasta dish. I thought it was weird but went with it anyway. Follow the directions and TIGHTLY wrap that foil package or the shrimp WILL NOT finish cooking.  Trust me. I experienced this firsthand with my husband’s dinner. I made mine first – which turned out perfectly. When he came home I threw his foil bundle in the oven however I clearly didn’t pay attention when I wrapped up the pasta, there was a hole at the top which let the steam out … the shrimp were partially cooked 😦 We threw it in the microwave – IN A BOWL – NOT IN THE FOIL!!! The shrimp finished cooking just fine then.

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FISH STICKS! HOME MADE! I can’t believe that when I put this on my menu board my husband literally thought I was buying frozen Gorton’s Fishermen … WHAT?! I got so mad! Seriously, all of my cooking adventures and he thought I was buying frozen nastiness.  ROAR! He also kept calling them an inappropriate name; I won’t write it.  There was a dipping sauce included in the recipe and it was GROSS – Giada, what were you thinking? Were your taste buds not working when you made it?  Ok so I bought 2 BEAUTIFUL-FRESH salmon filets, my husband pulled the skin away, cut each in half, then length wise to create “sticks”. The breading was crunchy and the parm cheese had that nice salty flavor. Usually cheese and seafood don’t go together but this one worked (unlike the sauce, ha!). Oh fortunately I had some pesto (also needed for the veggie bake) in the fridge and that was a great choice to dip the fish sticks in.

Onto the veggie bake that you see … courtesy of Instagram! YES! A fellow military spouse posted a chicken casserole she made topping the chicken with artichoke hearts, fire roasted tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms. I drizzled pesto over the top, tossed the veggies, and put it in the oven maybe 20-30 minutes BEFORE the fish sticks; I used the same temp to make planning easier. Total cheat: I bought all canned/jarred items for this veggie bake. Sorry but not sorry, ha! I will try this again and absolutely make it with chicken breasts, maybe even on the grill. Yummmm imagine those flavors!

 

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Last but not least, straight up simple salmon filets in a yummy brown sugar/honey/mustard glaze – thank you Bobby Flay.  Halved potatoes so they cook faster … add a salad – DONE!

 

Bon Appétit!!!

 

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dinner table discussions

I’ve been hooked to Instagram lately – one of my photos got over 300 likes and quite a few followers … I can’t take full credit because it was a Pioneer Woman recipe and when you use that tag, let me tell you – it will be seen! I’ll talk about that recipe in a minute.

Why have I been stalking IG so much? I decided to search photos with any tag related to Type 1 Diabetes. Healthy food creations, pump readings, and body builders. Yes, body builders. The diabetic diet is one that most body builders follow so it seems that a lot of Type 1-ers become a body builder by default. You wanna live? You need to work out. I don’t mean these people have thighs bigger than their head, but they sure are more muscular than your average gym goer. This has to do with the amount of protein that is consumed and the (almost) zero intake of sugars. My husband walks 12 miles a day (due to his job) and runs another 6 at least 3 times each week (again, due to his job). He’s very fortunate however we all know that depending solely on running as your workout isn’t very healthy for you. He lifts 5x per week, maybe 2 hours at the gym ON TOP of the 18 miles of running/walking each day. He’s a beast! But he’s got to, this isn’t a choice and he certainly sucks it up when he’s not feeling up to a gym trip.

What kills me is then doing a search of Type 2 IG tags. Mounds of sweets, ice cream, people saying “if I eat this I might just get diabetes” (can I smack those people?), and overweight people complaining about their pump readings. Oh man, where do I begin. First of all we know by now that eating ice cream doesn’t cause diabetes *face palm*. I know most are joking but it’s really freaking annoying. Just as annoying as people who use the R-Word to describe an object *double face palm*. I digress … on to the overweight people who complain. Y’all can do something about Type 2: get rid of it completely, maybe need 1 pill, or only evening insulin.  You can make a change FOR THE BETTER. So why not? The people who have a disease for the rest of their life are working their butts off to live a healthy life knowing diabetes will never go away. The overweight people should start working their butts off to live a healthy life knowing they could get rid of having diabetes. Although, most of the overweight people got diabetes from being lazy in the first place … they may not ever change and it’s really sad. 

I guess there are the people who take the wheel to control their lives and others who like sitting in the passenger seat. To each their own, just don’t complain about it. Please and thank you.

Roar roar roar, sorry for that rant – it’s been a discussion in our house for the last few weeks and I had to get it off my chest.

On to some of my creations over the last 2 weeks. It was concert season at my school so that means I’ve had pretty much no free time (except to cook amazing meals). I’m getting this post in real quick before I write out some music for graduation. BUSY BUSY BUSY.

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These are the yummy pork chops I mentioned in my last post … zucchini and onion “salad” with a honey mustard vinaigrette, pork chops with blue cheese/cranberries chunks, and of course biscuits. When there’s this much yummy food we can add a “no no” side like biscuits 😉

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Ok, these 2 dishes are now our favorites … I’m sure that’ll change in a few weeks when I find another amazing recipe but for now, we’re in love.  A flatbread pizza taco by the Pioneer Woman herself. This is the IG post that got over 300 likes. It’s the small things in life that make a day better. We made some healthy substitutions, as usual.  Now, that sandwich you see is by Rachael Ray .. the pierogi-wich. Sorry, there’s no cheating this one … adding pickles makes it healthy, right? Just kidding. One was filling so please do not make extra … helping yourself to seconds on a meal like this will surely send you into a food coma.

 

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Ah, ending the week with steaks … I love when my husband is home to grill 🙂 And yes you are seeing double with the rice/broccoli/cheese casserole. My version was loosely based off of the link I provided (I changed a few ingredients) but I measured for 6 servings; I wanted leftovers but not THIS much! A week later and I still have 1 casserole in my fridge 😦 .

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Here’s Cinco de Mayo! Enchiladas from the Pioneer Woman. I used corn tortillas for my husband and flour for me. They were so good!  I was feeling a little guilty from the lack of seafood on my menu so I whipped up this easy fish bake, courtesy of…. drum roll…. Rachael Ray! I used cod filets, topped with a mixture of mayo & diced garlic (A LOT OF GARLIC because we don’t care for the taste of mayo), and panko mixed with parm cheese; finished off the leftover mashed p’s from the pierogi-wich and microwaved some veggies. Don’t judge me based off of that last side dish.

 

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Annnnnd here’s our big cheat for the week. Bacon wrapped meatloaf. Sheesh, stop drooling! Oh Ree Drummond, you get me every time with your amazing creations! Yes, that’s the leftover rice casserole. From the 1st dish. I told you it was an insane serving amount!

Woo Wheeeee! That was a long post. That’s what I get for not posting after 2 long weeks.  Please don’t get mad with my opening rant, I’m not saying that all Type 2’s are lazy and don’t want to change their lifestyle … it’s the posts I saw on IG that upset me.  I’m sure the people who are changing their lives aren’t on IG (hence them actually losing weight, not being glued to their phone).  Just understand where I’m coming from and enjoy some of these delish/healthy meals before you bash me.

 

Eat to Live!

I was determined to have a vegetarian night this week.  Back in the day (ha) I was able to plan an entire week of meatless dishes, I’ve lost my inspiration.  However Tuesday’s dinner was yummy and so easy to make – no meat!  Monday, total meat dinner … salsa meatloaf. Don’t be grossed out by using salsa – try it first.

Ok, meatloaf Monday + bacon wrapped asparagus + peas. Josh worked a late shift so I wanted to make something that would be tasty reheated (aka doesn’t turn into shoe leather after nuking it).  I put his bacon wrapped asparagus in the oven when I got the “on my way!” text message. I obviously got the peas (asparagus = aspara-gross); sorry, I don’t care for it all that much. I do like most other veggies, even lima beans!! Yeah so this salsa ingredient… it does indeed make the meatloaf soggy so you must add a good mound of breadcrumbs or panko; don’t forget eggs, you still need something to act as a glue.

I follow my mom’s cooking instructions- 350 for 1 1/2 hrs. PERFECTION! Low and slow baby, low and slow.

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I add extra red onion because we love the flavor – feel free to try a sweet or white onion.

 

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Use a potato masher to mix the meatloaf! DUH! Once things are sort of combined switch to mixing with your hands.

 

 

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And those are our yummy veggies 🙂

On to vegetarian Tuesday – delish veggie melts courtesy of Martha Stewart. Slice the mushroom caps, 1 small head of broccoli, 1 green pepper, and 1 red pepper – for 2 people it made 8 melts (or open face sandwiches).

I actually purchased a jar of mayo … OMG it’s been a minute since I’ve done that! I needed a bit more than a Chick-Fil-A packet so I caved in, got the smallest jar I could find.  Adding the garlic was crucial, it was so good! And then topping the veggies with shredded Gouda cheese – oh stop me now!

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I’m sure you recognize that side dish … opted for the yummy mushroom/orzo dish I made at Christmas.  A huge whoopsies: I forgot to buy chicken stock! Seriously … I didn’t write it down therefore it never had a chance.  Luckily I had an unopened bottle of wine so I used that in place of the stock. Holy moly was it just as good.

There you go, 2 days down and we’re at hump day. I’m so over this cold weather and no I won’t be the one complaining when it’s “too hot”. It’s never too hot in my opinion. I like the pool and I like the sun. Don’t get me wrong, sweating after a short walk to the mailbox certainly does suck but at least I’m not shivering and unable to feel my fingers. CAN’T STAND COLD WEATHER!

Cheeseburger Pie tonight; ham and pineapple pizza tomorrow; Italian sausage and peppers on Friday.  Then we celebrate Valentine’s Day on Saturday 🙂 ❤ Yes it’s early but that’s what fits our schedules.

Quit Yer Belly Achin’

I love the Facebook posts around holiday season: “Oh my God I ate too much” or “Oh my God I REALLY ate WAY too much”.  I say, host your own gathering and control the food spread. Obviously you may not be able to do this every year but it could be a start; show your friends how you can create an amazing buffet and not feel disgusting at the end of it.  Oh the other part of that is, freaking control yourself! Just because 10 trays of cookies are prepared doesn’t mean you need to sample a few from each.

Honestly sometimes I eat a light snack before going over to someones house. It’ll hold me over in case there are some bad foods offered – I won’t be hungry to eat; it can also curve my hunger in case there aren’t any finger foods and one must wait until dinner.  I don’t want to scarf my dinner down so fast that my belly hates me. It’s all about self control.

I may be blessed in the sense that my good friend Chelsea is all for eating healthy and cutting processed foods, it made Thanksgiving easy. There were no cries from the peanut gallery when I introduced my low carb/low calorie menu.

On to Christmas, my family came to town! I got to cook one dinner (Christmas Eve) for them, Chicken Marsala.  It was a bit difficult cooking for 5 adults when I’m used to only myself and my husband (even though he counts for 3 or 4 sometimes 😉 ) Dinner turned out great and they liked it.  Clean plate clubs all around. I added prosciutto this time (now that I don’t live in the ghetto, my new/fancy grocery store sells it!) and now I can taste why it’s necessary.  You need some kind of salty flavor since mushrooms are quite bland – the flavor of the Marsala wine cooks out and even using s/p on the chicken, the dish was still missing something the first time I made it.

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Everyone was in the kitchen! Josh requested ‘rusty mashed potatoes’ so he had to prepare them. They are pretty easy because they don’t require any peeling. He lucked out. My mom is a slicing and dicing machine.  She turned her nose to my mandolin and said “I’m your mandolin, give me those veggies”. Yes that’s my standard peppers, zucchini, and squash medley. It’s easy and tasty. Plus how pretty is it? So many colors!

We did have Christmas dinner at home, it was prepped and cooked by everyone.  It started with marinating a 3 lbs beef tenderloin the night before. I’m still getting used to the fact that my fridge can hold such an item – I love marinating food over night, the flavors are amazing! Easiest marinade ever, I didn’t “food process” it, just throw everything in the baggie (yes, dice the shallots and I put the rosemary branches in whole). I doubled everything since this piece of meat was extra special. Let that baby sit over night, pull out 30 minutes prior to grilling and you’re set.

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My dad braved the cold San Antonio weather to man the grill. He is the ultimate grill master; I won’t EVER order steaks at a restaurant.  He has made me expect the best when it comes to meat.  We’re slowly working on our grilling skills so hopefully Josh learned a thing or two while my family was here. I never experienced an oven cooked meat for a holiday while growing up. Even in 5 feet of snow, the grill was going.

Of course we had a theme for dinner, surf and turf! The seafood market at my new/fancy grocery store is fantastic. Obviously so is the meat market; they trimmed the tenderloin to perfection.  Seafood counter purchases: large scallops, jump shrimp, crab legs, and salmon. We kept it simple with the first three items: melted butter and threw in garlic, boom, there’s your sauce.  I used my favorite Martha recipe for the salmon.  Chelsea helped prepare a double recipe of it, brushed some on prior to cooking the salmon and then people could spoon on whatever they wanted once it was on their plate.

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I know you must be dying to find out what side dish I served. Drum roooolllllllll…. Mushroom Orzo! Geeze it was delish! I went back for seconds and there was only a small spoonfull! WHAT! The chef missed out! I have officially added it to my recipe box and will be making it again.  I actually didn’t have enough orzo so I threw in some quinoa. It was so pretty!

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I went with probably 2 dozen pearl onions, I don’t even know where the creator got only 8 from. Each of us would get 1/4 of an onion? Ridiculous! You’ll have to peel these stubborn suckers. Boil them for a few minutes, let them cool, and you should be able to pop the skin right off. Do this, save your sanity. Why yes that is a wine measuring glass! An awesome gift from my parents, based on the cooking regime Julia Child believed in: “I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food I’m cooking.” One side of the glass is “sips for the chef” and the other is an actual measuring cup.

I’ll leave you with an assortment of pictures from that day – going back for 2nds or 3rds isn’t so bad when you prepare a healthy dinner! Enjoy!

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I have not abandoned you…

My daily routine has been nothing close to normal which explains why I have been scarce on posting.  I have however made some pretty tasty meals (and 1 near disaster, lol).  Here’s a peek at the last 2 weeks, I’ll include recipe links under each photo description. After the holidays my goal is to be back blogging 2x each week, with better updates of our diabetic eating adventures and life changes to being healthier.

IMG_4608   Good ol’ Martha is back at it … baked shells with winter squash

Of course I couldn’t find winter squash puree like the recipe calls (hunted 4 stores) for so I had to put some elbow grease into this dish and dice up my own squash. What a pain. I thought to myself “I am not making any more recipes that call for squash”… peeling and dicing it took FOREVER.  I used the amounts in Martha’s recipe and ended up with enough for 2 fairly large casserole dishes. That was actually okay because I now have a fridge that can hold leftovers. Delish, filling, seasonal, comfort food, hearty, vegetarian … I’d absolutely make this again!

IMG_4631 Ain’t nothin’ wrong with buying dinners prepared by your local grocery store.  Now that we live near a fancy ‘HEB Plus’ we have a lot more to choose from. The seafood counter is 10x better than our previous HEB.  Josh requested seafood burgers and I added Maryland style crab cakes plus vegetable couscous.  If I recall those were bruschetta salmon burgers – O.M.G.  Everything you’d find in bruschetta (tomato and basil) + salmon.  The vegetable couscous was made by yours truly from a diabetic cook book – pick your favorite veggies and add them to couscous. It couldn’t be easier.  I’ll be buying crab cakes from the store again too; being from the East Coast I was satisfied with what Texas had to offer as their version of “Maryland style” crab cakes.

IMG_4632  Again, store bought pre-marinated beef kabobs.  Yeah I was a bit lazy that week. Actually, no I wasn’t! I decorated our house for Christmas, had a dress rehearsal at my school, had 1 studio recital, finished unpacking our last 5 boxes … and purchased a living room. I wasn’t lazy. So, kabobs + leftover veggie couscous. Easy dinner!

IMG_4660 This is my happiest meal yet … I made it on Wednesday with Josh’s help. I had him home for 3 dinners this week; I am one lucky wife 🙂 His sister had actually pinned a similar recipe but when I clicked on the photo that annoying alert came up “this link might contain nudity”. What? A picture of a chicken breast? Haha. Anyway, the link was removed so I just Googled “mini chicken pot pies” and found this little gem!  From start to finish, dinner was ready in 35 minutes.  I purchased chicken tenders for easier prep and a can of peas/carrots. These would be so cute for a pot luck, they fit in your hand and are not messy! Once they cooled you could pick them up to eat, no fork needed.

IMG_4673  Yeah, remember that whole “I’m not making any more butternut squash recipes” comment? HA! After going a few times to Panera and having their Autumn Squash Soup I insisted on trying to make my own. Round 1: blah. Round 2: I won! I purchased 2 large squash which made enough soup for an entire week. Again, my fridge holds plenty of leftovers 🙂 thankfully that gave me an opportunity to improve the flavor.  Sadly, round 1 was a Marta recipe … I don’t know what she was thinking but it had ZERO flavor.  I then searched for a copy of Panera’s version – there are quite a few bloggers out there that devote their time to copying restaurant favorites and posting the outcomes.  So round 2 was thanks to this chica;  well sort of. I added honey, cinnamon, and curry that she suggested – I already had a decent base so didn’t feel the need to add milk/cream or apples. WOW what a huge difference those spices made and holy cow it was sooooo freaking good. I’m pretty sure I did a happy dance around my (huge) kitchen.  If you want a creamy base then add cream or milk, but those are diabetic no-no’s and I don’t feel my taste buds missed it.

IMG_4674 Ah, a classic…stuffed pork chops.  I might have blogged about these already but whatever. Blue cheese and cranberry stuffed pork chops. Easy. Done and done. You can stuff a pork chop with anything!

I do have other meals that I made but WordPress doesn’t like video files I guess … or at least won’t allow them on a free site. Oh well, I shall describe them!
1) vegetable tostadas which turned in to vegetable tacos, lol. Saute zucchini, mushrooms, and scallions – layer that on a tortilla and top with feta cheese and your favorite salsa. Super simple yet a incredibly filling dish. I added chorizo and queso fresco stuffed jalapenos as a side. Yes, Martha’s tostada recipe calls for the veggies being grilled … well an “arctic blast” came through Texas and it seemed silly to start up the grill. The stove worked out just fine.
2) curry chicken. Martha, you redeemed yourself from that bland soup. A year ago I would have turned my nose to curry but I wanted to test it out in my own kitchen to see if I’d like it, I’ve heard good things about “curried” foods. Oh man, it was so tasty and not really all that spicy – that was my biggest fear. I used a lot of curry, in my opinion and Josh said he could taste all of the flavors, we both loved it!  I cooked up some brown rice and stirred it in the pot of chicken curry, let everything sit for a few so the rice could absorb all of that yummy-ness.

I think that’s it… my last 2 weeks.

This week: chicken bombs + baked beans and a salad; gouda/spinach stuffed pork chops + green beans and mashed p’s; standard spaghetti + garlic knots; steaks + sweet potatoes and a salad.

Have you started thinking about the week of Christmas? I HAVE, I HAVE! My family is coming!!!!!!!!! Time to show them my new found love for cooking.  Of course we’ll be hitting up a few restaurants but what is planned: chicken marsala + garlic mashed p’s; lasagna roll ups + pork/quinoa meatballs; and for Christmas DRUM ROLL >> SURF & TURF! Salmon filets, crab cakes, scallops, beef tenderloin and a few veggie sides.  LOVE IT!

OH! MY NEAR DISASTER MEAL! I found this pork tenderloin marinade and let’s just say I won’t be making it again. Blah flavors. Honey, lime juice, and garlic.  No more needs to be said about that meal.

Feel free to follow me on instagram MRSDLH50 … my pot pies were “liked” by TLTFOOD – season 2 winners of the food truck race on the food channel. HOW COOL!!! HA!

To give thanks … part 1

Author’s note: I wrote this on Thanksgiving Eve … we’re without internet for a few more days but I was feeling the urge to blog.

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How do you prep for a diabetic Thanksgiving and keep traditions going?  I’ve gotten some grief for changing recipes you’d typically see on the table.  My gut feeling tells me that once you actually see what I’m doing, you might be inclined to change your eating habits for next year … or why wait, try it for Christmas.

1 carb count (1 dose of insulin) = 15g of carbs … be shocked as you read some of this info.

Green bean casserole … you know, the one drenched in cream of mushroom soup.
My spin on it: green beans, low sodium vegetable broth, sliced mushrooms, flour (to thicken), and top with a light sprinkle of crunch onions
Classic: 1 carb count/161 calories (per serving)
Diabetic Friendly: 1 carb count/98 calories (per serving)

Sweet potato casserole … you know, the one covered in candied pecans and marshmallows.
My spin on it: twice baked sweet potatoes – brown sugar, cream cheese, and various spices.
Classic:  3 carb counts/326 calories (per serving)
Diabetic Friendly: 2 carb counts/under 200 calories (per serving)

Cream corned / any kind of “gratin” dish / some kind of overloaded veggie with cheese
My spin on it is a huge stretch actually: cheesy mushroom casserole – grits, sliced mushrooms, and topped with shredded cheese.
Classic: creamed corn – 4 carb counts/376 calories … gratin dish – 2 carb counts/360 calories … veggie & cheese – 2 carb count/295 calories (all per serving)
Diabetic Friendly: 2 carb counts/235 calories (per serving)

So those are the sides that I’m whipping up and to keep people from going back for 2nd and 3rd helpings, I’m making 4-6 servings for each recipe (there will be 4 adults eating).  That’s the easiest way to cut your intake – if it’s not there to eat then how can you over-indulge?  My partner in crime (Chelsea) is taking on the task of mac n’ cheese, stuffing, and a few appetizers.  She’s also keeping in mind the 4-6 serving limit and is swapping out some bad ingredients for better choices.  Just to give you an idea: the stuffing calls for apples which are a complete no-no for diabetic folks. She opted for apple & chicken sausage; it calls for sausage anyway so by doing this she cuts out the ground beef too. You might be wondering about the mac n’ cheese; there’s no way to cut corners on this dish.  It is what it is and Josh will only be able to have a spoonful. Not everything can be improved!

At the end of the day Thanksgiving isn’t all about food, we need to be thankful for our family, friends, and health.  The last thing takes on a bigger meaning in this household.  I am thankful for the night I saw a diabetes commercial and forced Josh to see a doctor. I am thankful for my friends who we get to be with on this holiday but I’m also thankful for our long distance friends.  It’s hard to maintain friendships when hundreds of miles separate you but I think we’re all doing a pretty good job. I am thankful for our family, that no matter the distance our parents find a way to visit and they understand (with Josh’s job) it’s easier for them to come to us. Trust me, we sure do wish we could visit Florida and Pennsylvania but give us a few months and we’ll be able to make that happen. 

And to end on a lighter note, please, for the love of God … I hope you watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Not the Macy’s Day Parade (unless the Pilgrims had Macy’s, then by all means…).

We’ve Been Bad…

Real bad.  I’ve cooked only a few meals since last Wednesday.  

Days I cooked: Wednesday, sort of Friday, and tonight (Monday)
Days we cheated: Thursday (Panda), Saturday (Flying Saucer), and Sunday (Panera)

On top of that, I already know we’ll be cheating this Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.  Oh shoot, just add Sunday to that list as well.

This is clearly not typical but with our move fast approaching (SATURDAY!!!!) … I’ve given up on my current kitchen. I’m literally sick of it; knowing my new kitchen is so close to being ours, I can’t help but dream of the meals I’ll get to cook starting next week. I honestly have dreams about recipes I’ve been meaning to try. Please don’t think I’m strange.

So I’ll let you know what we’ve had on the days I cooked … Very tasty meals actually: one new recipe, a total cop-out pot roast, and a twist on something I’ve made 2x already.

Wednesday: Pasta with a TON of veggies.
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Don’t have time for fresh veggies like the recipe calls for? No worries, frozen is clearly the next best option.  I threw them in frozen, HA! Talk about being impatient.
Anyway, so SO easy.  Toss the veggies in a large pan – top with sauce – add cooked noodles. This is only a 2 pot meal! I picked up cute noodle nests (1 nest = 1 serving, all the measuring done for me).  Add a side salad and it’s complete!

Friday: lazy persons pot roast
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These kits exist that have the veggies chopped and vacuumed sealed… meat too, duh.  I was skeptical but Josh had picked it out when I really sent him to find a good hunk of beef to make our own roast.  Eh, figured I’d give it a try.  Just to note most kits don’t come with seasoning (why call it a kit then?!); this one came with “complimentary” spices.  Thanks Tyson, for “throwing in” a spice packet. I’m sure it was a difficult step to add in the assembly line. Sheesh.
End result: not too bad actually! It wasn’t like a homemade roast but if this is going to keep you from hitting up fast food, then purchase it (I know I’m not one to talk after all the cheats last week and coming up). 
My suggestion is to add an extra cup of water. The instructions say 1 cup but it just didn’t look right, the meat was hardly covered. Even with 2 cups it was still a bit dry so I’m going to guess that only 1 cup would make you some tasty shoe leather.
1 kit is perfect for 2 people; zero leftovers.

Tonight made for the saying “third time’s the charm” with spicy shrimp.  This version was our favorite, using hot sauce to marinate and then cook the shrimp (in it) was key. I probably used a 1/2 cup of hot sauce, added the 2 tbsp of lime juice, 1 tbsp of evoo, and then all the dry spices (cumin, chili powder) … mix together and let the shrimp sit. I dumped everything together in a pan and stove top cooked it for 4 minutes. Please PLEASE do not over cook shrimp unless you like rubber.
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I also swapped quinoa for brown rice because we were out of the first. It all turned out the same.  I put about 1 tbsp of lime juice in the rice along with cilantro for flavor. Delish!  Hopefully I can create this version or something close to it, in the future. 

Considering we’ll be eating out quite a bit over the next few days I think I’ll blog about those meals. I’m going to make a conscience effort to order as if I’m cooking a normal meal at the house.  Hopefully by making that statement public, it’ll hold me accountable! FINGERS CROSSED that I don’t turn into a blob.