Thursday, April 29, 2010

Baby Con

We are patiently awaiting the birth of Baby Con. Amanda was due April 23rd, but the sweet boy has yet to make his debut. She is being induced today and began the meds this morning in the hospital at 9:00 am, so we are waiting and waiting and waiting. Daniel and I made bets on when the baby will be born...I said 6:00pm ish and Daniel said 10:00 pm ish. We'll see who wins...we made these bets early this morning...I have a feeling Daniel may be winning this.

I can't wait to become an Aunt to my brother and sister-in-laws baby. Babies are such precious gifts from God. I already have three wonderful nephews and nieces on Daniel's side of the fam, but this is the first for my side of the family...and I could not be more excited. Many prayers have been going out to Amanda, Michael and Baby Con today.

I found this Irish Blessing and thought it was appropriate:

"A new born babe, rings light to the cottage, warmth to the heart & joy to the soul, for wealth is family - family is wealth"

I will update the blog when he is born...

Soon, this "Baby Con" will have a name...stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Life has been so busy lately that I have not had as much time to cook as I'd like. Tonight, Daniel and I were going to go out for sushi (my fav!), but was my one night of the week where I actually had time to cook. So, I lived in the moment and whipped up a DELICIOUS meal. It was so good, that the hubs said I should make it once a know your meal is good when your husband is in love with it! :) Yay for success!

The recipe is for Steak and Cheese Sandwiches with Mushrooms. Now, I am not a big fan of red meat therefore I rarely eat it. I do however; try to eat some every few months to get some good Iron into my body. When I eat red meat, I typically prepare it myself...never do I get it when going out to eat...I don't know...something about it grosses me out. (haha...yes, I'm weird) Anyways, I decided it was time for us to cook some steak, but I wanted to do something different with it. Sooo...I found this recipe from Cooking Light. It was so easy, so favorable, melts in your mouth, pretty healthy...and did I mention---easy?!! I made some slight changes, so see revised recipe below. Enjoy!

Steak and Cheese Sandwiches with Mushrooms


1 t. olive oil
2 cups sliced onion
2 cups green bell pepper strips
2 t. minced garlic (or more if you love garlic like us)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
3/4 lb. top round steak, trimmed and cut into thin strips
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. black pepper
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
4 slices reduced-fat provolone cheese
4 hoagie rolls
2 T. low-fat mayo

1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic to pan; saute 3 minutes. Add mushrooms to pan; saute 4 minutes. Sprinkle beef with salt and black pepper. Add beef to pan; saute 3 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in Worcestershire sauce; cook 1 minute.

2. Bake bread in oven, so it gets nice and crisp on the outside but warm and fluffy on the inside (depends on your bread, but I baked ours at 400 degrees for 9 mins.).

3. Take bread out of oven, place one cheese slice on bottom half of each roll, spread lightly with mayo, then top each serving with beef mixture. Top with other half of roll.

Link to the recipe.

For dessert last night, the hubs made Cookies and Cream Rice Crispy Treats. Man, they melt in your mouth!

Cookies and Cream Rice Crispy Treats

4 Tablespoons Butter
4 Cups mini marshmallows
6 Cups rice crispy cereal
8 oz bag mini Oreo cookies
1/2 Cup chocolate chips, melted

1. Place butter and marshmallows into a large microwavable bowl. Microwave for a few minutes until marshmallows puff up nice and large. Remove and stir in cereal and Oreos. Pour into a large 9×13 inch baking dish. With the back of a large spoon that’s sprayed with cooking spray press and smooth treats. Drizzle melted chocolate over top and let cool. Cut into squares.

That's enough for me tonight...I'm off to eat a rice crispy treat with a cold glass of milk! :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Moroccan night!

We both really enjoyed this meal. It's actually a recipe from Men's Health. It was very filling, healthy, and packed with some great flavors. The spices are not overpowering, allowing the true flavors of the garbanzo beans and the tomatoes shine through. I don't really even love garbanzo beans that much, but they were a must in this dish and really made it.

I served this on top of cous cous with corn on the cob.

Moroccan Stewed Chicken

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used chicken breasts and cut them in small, finger-like pieces)
1 large zucchini, cut into cubes
1 can (16 oz) garbanzo beans
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chicken stock or water
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan or a wide pot over medium-high heat.

Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper, place them in the pan, and cook them for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until they brown thoroughly. Add the zucchini and continue cooking, stirring occasionally.

When the zucchini pieces have browned lightly, add the garbanzo beans, tomatoes, chicken stock, cayenne, cumin, and cinnamon. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the chicken is tender and cooked through. Season to taste with more salt and pepper and garnish with chopped cilantro (if desired).

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

One delicious dish and one delicious dessert

I had chicken and broccoli on hand tonight, and wanted to make a chicken/broccoli stir fry. I quickly searched online for a yummy recipe and found one from The recipe was very tasty and I highly recommend it!

Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry

yield: Serves 4


1/4 cup canned low-salt chicken broth (I didn't have this on hand, so replaced it w/ was just fine)
3 tablespoons soy sauce (I used low-sodium)
2 tablespoons dry Sherry (I didn't have this on hand, so didn't add it and still turned out great)
1 tablespoon cornstarch

4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 cups broccoli florets
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly slice
Large pinch of dried crushed red pepper (optional)
1 t. honey (I added this and was a perfect touch of sweetness)
1 cup peanuts or cashews (I also added these for some crunch)
Hot cooked white rice (I used brown)


Whisk chicken broth, soy sauce, Sherry and cornstarch in small bowl until cornstarch dissolves.
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat vegetable oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add garlic and ginger and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken to skillet and stir-fry until white, about 2 minutes. Add broccoli florets, bell pepper, onion and crushed red pepper, if desired, nuts, and stir-fry until vegetables are crisp-tender and chicken is just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add chicken broth mixture and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Cook until sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Serve with rice.

For dessert...these blondies are the perfect, light summer treat :)

Raspberry White Chocolate Blondies


1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
2 eggs
2 T. light sour cream

1 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
2 T. sanding sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter in microwave safe bowl. Stir in 3/4 cup white chips until melted and smooth. In a large bowl add the sugar, brown sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and 1/2 cup white chips. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and sour cream. Pour into the dry ingredient bowl along with the melted white chip mixture. Mix until just combined.

2. Pour into an 8x8 inch baking dish that's been sprayed with cooking spray. Top evenly with 1 cup raspberries. Mix the chopped pecans and sanding sugar in a small bowl until combined then sprinkle over top of blondies. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick comes clean from center.

Makes about 9 blondies. Enjoy!

p.s.-I just realized my last post had chicken and broccoli in it...oh my. I guess that's what happens when I haven't been able to post as much lately!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Chicken Broccoli Peanut Pasta

Daniel and I love anything peanut butter. One of our favorite pasta dishes that I make has peanut butter as the main ingredient...yum. I found this recipe on a blog recently and gave it a try. This dish was easy and equally delicious, not to mention fairly healthy (especially after our great work out!). The amount of peanut butter was perfect - just enough to make it the slightest bit rich, without overwhelming the other flavors. Next time I would increase the amount of crushed red pepper and add Sriracha to this - which if you like heat, I definitely suggest it for this dish.

Chicken Broccoli Peanut Pasta

1 tsp olive oil
6 small or 3 large chicken breast
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1tsp ground ginger
4oz whole grain pasta, such as Ronzoni Healthy Harvest
10oz package frozen chopped broccoli
pinch of crushed red pepper (I used 4 pinches!)
1 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp natural creamy peanut butter (I used crunchy)
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp agave nectar or honey
A pinch of cornstarch (or flour, if you do not have cornstarch on hand)
fresh chopped cilantro, for garnish

Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions. When there are about minutes remaining, add the frozen broccoli. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, blend together chicken broth, peanut butter, soy sauce, and agave until smooth.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cut the chicken breast into bite-size chunks and season with salt & pepper. Add the chicken to the pan and brown on all sides; remove from pan. Add scallions and garlic, cook one minute more. Add ginger and red pepper; cook for about 30 seconds more. Add the sauce and the chicken to the skillet with the onions, garlic, ginger and pepper. Add cornstarch (or flour), simmer over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes, until thickened. Toss with drained pasta and broccoli and heat through. Serve with fresh chopped cilantro.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

I hope you have had a great Easter and have remembered the true meaning of why we celebrate this holiday. Daniel and I had a wonderful day! I made a breakfast of eggs, hot cross buns (a tradition in our family) and fruit, then we went to church with my parents, then to my parents for an Easter lunch (ham, green beans, potato casserole, salad, carrot bread and coconut cupcakes--YUM!). After lunch we went to an Easter "parade" off Monument was a perfect day weather wise for this event. Then, we took the rents to see our new home. After this, Daniel and I went on a long walk. Perfect, lovely Easter Sunday...and, I had the day off work and this felt ammmmaaazing!! :)

Love to you and yours!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Shrimp Boil

Good Friday turned in to a Great Friday. My long week ended with an amazing massage that was MUCH needed, and then Daniel cooked dinner!!! Such a special treat! :) He boiled shrimp and had corn on the cob, biscuits and salad. Oh, and he got a shrimp ball for an appetizer from our local fish market...a similar recipe can be found here It was fabulous! Enjoy the basic recipe below:

Boiled Shrimp (this recipe makes 2-5 lbs. of shrimp)

1. Fill pot halfway with water
2. Put the shrimp boil seasoning in (Zatarain). The amount depends on how much shrimp you have. We used one pouch for 2 lbs. of shrimp (but you can use more lbs. for one pouch...specific direction on Zatarain's package if you are confused)
3. Add 1 T. of salt per pound of shrimp (I just told Daniel this is probably not needed...but, we did so anyways)
4. Add one lemon cut in half
5. Add 5-6 cloves of garlic
6. Add 1 T. white vinegar

Next, bring water to boil. Add shrimp (with shell on), boil 5-7 minutes or until pink. Make sure to not over boil shrimp. Simmer/soak shrimp for another 6-10 minutes. It is important not to re-boil the shrimp. Then take out and sprinkle with Old Bay Seasoning and lemon juice. After we took the shrimp out, we put the corn in the water mixture (you can also add potatoes, but we forgot to get these). Boil corn for 5-10 minutes. ENJOY!

Shrimp Sauce:

Ketchup, mayo and horseradish to taste...mix all together and dip shrimp in this.

*Daniel thanks Steve (his brother) for this recipe...turned out great and perfect on a warm summer night!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Get movin'!

It's beautiful you have no excuses of not getting your daily recommended exercise! in the yard...clean...DO SOMETHING. Your body will thank you. Oh, and while you're at it eat some delicious fruits and veggies that go along so well with warm weather. Go here for more info.