Sunday, February 28, 2010

Getting back on the wagon

I have been slacking a lot in the last two weeks with workouts.  I did well the week before last getting in cardio workouts but just was not motivated to do any strength workouts.  And last week was very crazy.  At the beginning of the week I had a stomach virus thankfully I didn't get it full blown but two days of of being queezy was just as terrible to me.  I took it light the rest of the week.  Which consisted of me coming home to take a nap every day.  I was doing so well until then. 
So I am going to jump back on the wagon this week.  I need to get going and lose a few more pounds before my girls weekend in Natchez at the end of the month.  So I signed up for Self magazines annual Body Challenge.  I have actually done this for the last six years and totally forgot it started on 2/18.  The challenge consists of three months of food and workout plans.  I will start tomorrow.  I know I started to late this year to get my name in the magazine this time.  Four years ago I was one of the first 3,000 people to finish it so my name was listed in the magazine.  It was a great feeling of accomplishment.  I am looking forward to clicking I am finished in three months. 

Cheesy Chicken Chowder

Last night I tried to make a soup for the firs time.  I had wanted to make it earlier this week but caught a stomach virus.  ugh!  So I finally felt up to trying it last night.  To go with the chowder I made some garlic cheese biscuits.  I got the recipe for Cheesy Chicken Chowder from the Campbell's soup website.  And according to the print out I pull this in 2006.  About time to try it I would say.


Cheesey Chicken Chowder


2 cans (10 3/4 oz) Campbell's condensed cheddar cheese soup
2 soup cans milk
1 1/2 c. Pace Picante sauce
1 medium green or red pepper, finely chopped
4 green onions, sliced
3 c. cubed chicken
sour cream


Mix soup, milk, picante sauce, pepper, and onions in saucepan.  Heat to a boil.  Cook over low heat 5 minutes.  Add chicken and heat through.  Garnish with sour cream.



Next time I think I am going to switch out one of the cheddar cheese soups for the montery jack soup.    It was a really quick dish to make and will be great to do on a week night after getting home from work

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Surprise

I heard a several months ago that Goodwill would be opening shops in the area dedicated to books.  One is located in DeSoto county (where I live) and one in Memphis, at least that I am aware of.  I didn't realize until last week the one in Memphis is two blocks from my office.  This could be a really scary thing.  I needed to get out of the office today.  The shop is a small one which means I shouldn't get as lost during my lunch hour.  I am still totally amazed by what I found.


When I first saw it I thought surely someone has the wrong jacket on the book.  This was the third copy they had of Pop Goes the Weasel and I was trying to find the one with the best looking jacket.  Then I flipped open the book to find out it really does have this



It took me about 10 seconds to put the other two copies back on the shelf.  Whoever let this go wasn't paying attention when they boxed up items for Goodwill.  But it was a great piece of luck for me.  James Patterson is my favorite author.  I am working on adding to my collection all the Alex Cross books and this is one of the earlier ones.  To bad I didn't have more cash with me today.  What did I pay for this lovely find?  A whopping $3.59.   Now that made for a good Tuesday.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Chicken Tonight

One thing I cook quite often is chicken.  Mainly because you can make healthier items with it.  Tonight not so healthy though.  It is yummy and fun to make and very kid friendly.

No-Fuss Snack Mix Chicken

1 c. butter, melted
4 c. pretzel snack mix or purchased snack mix, crushed
6 boneless skinless breast halves


Preheat oven to 375°.  line a 15x10x1 inch backing pan with aluminum foil; set aside.  place melted butter in shallow dish or pie plate.  In another shallow dish or on waxed paper place crushed snack mix. Dip chicken in butter to coat; then dip in snack mix to coat evenly.  Place chicken in prepared pan.  Back until chicken is no longer pink.  Allow 30 minutes for chicken breasts.




Tonight I used the traditional Cherrio mix.   But in the past I have used Spicy or Cheddar Chex mix.  All have tasted great.  That is one great thing about this recipe.  You can make it taste different each time just by changing up the snack mix that you use. 

Have a great week everyone!!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Weekend Project


I should have posted this sooner.   Since we had a long weekend I decided to tackle a project I had been putting off for almost 2 years, painting the guest room.  My brother lived with me for a couple years.  And while he lived with me he put a few wholes in the walls and really dirtied the walls up.  The easiest solution was to just repaint the whole room.   I started picking out paint samples about 6 months ago.  Yes it took me that long to figure out.  At least I got in several great workouts last weekend.  I woke up Tuesday morning really sore.  I don't have a before picture that I can find.




Yes I know the tv is next to the bed but I don't have the cable hooked up in that room.   I hope the parents will take that back to Bama the next time they come.  I have been told I am stuck with the brother's bed until I am ready to sell the house.  Before the brother lived with me I had my antique twin brass bed in the room with a quilt.  The lamp fit in a lot better with that bed.  I am thinking of getting a plain light blue coverlet to put on the bed and fold up my quilt at the bottom.  I have a queen anne lace dust ruffle and pillow shams that match the tablecloth on the night stand.   It will make the room look a little more girly. 
The color is Pecan from the Eddie Bauar collection at Lowe's.  Just a tad darker and different undertones than the color I picked from the builder (I think I have been watching to much HGTV lately).
Can you tell Belle has made herself back at home?  She has decided that the guest room is her room.  She was not happy all weekend that she couldn't get in there to sleep.   
This weekend is shopping, workouts, and cross-stitching.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

These Irish Eyes...

are a smiling.  I am so excited that St. Patrick's Day is around the corner.  Yesterday a co-worker and I went to Target during lunch.  I wanted out of the building and be able to move around since I woke up sore.  And while we were wandering around I found a couple of cute St. Patrick's items.  I always get excited when I see some decorations because it seems we jump right from Valentine's Day & Easter.    I can't wait to wear this


And though I don't know when I will ever use these they were just to cute. 



I don't remember the last time I did shots.  But they were just to darn cute not to buy. 
It is supposed to warm up later this week and I will brave getting up in the attic to pull down the other St. Patrick's day items.  A total of 3 items.  A door decoration and two kitchen towels. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sliders

I love the slider sandwhiches, they are small enough to fit in my hands.  So I decided to give them a try.  Not to mention it is the first time I have cooked pork.  It took me three different stores this week before I found any pork tenderloin that was not already seasoned.  I was beginning to think I was not going to be able to cook Spicy Pork Sliders this week.  Thankfully on my way home I found some.  I only needed half the tenderloin for the recipe so I froze part for another night. 

Spicy Pork Sliders

1 pound pork tenderloin
2 tsp. canola oil
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. salt
freshley ground black pepepr
1/3 c. yellow mustard
2 tbsp. sweet relish
1 tbsp. minced shallot
12 2-inch slider or King's Hawaiian rolls
3 slices swiss cheese, each cut inot 4 triangles
3/4 c. jarred roasted bell peppers, patted dry & thinly sliced
5 large romaine leaves, ribs remobed, cut into 2-inch strips


Preheat oven to 450°.  Place pork on a baking sheet and rub with oil, spices, salt and pepper.  roast until internal temperature reaches 155° on a meat thermometer, about 20 minutes; cool.  stir together mustard, relish and shallot. (you can refrigerate the pork and sauce for up to 2 days).  When ready to assemble , thinly slice pork.  spread each roll with 2 tsp. mustard mixture.  Add pork, cheese, pepeprs, and lettuce. (heat briefly to melt cheese, if desired.)  serve or cover and chill for up to 2 hours; bring to room temperature before serving.



I am not a fan of mustard so instead I used Kraft 3 cheese ranch dressing.   And as I didn't think far enough ahead for a side dish.  I pulled out some okra and made parmesan okra.   




I am looking forward to having another one for lunch tomorrow.  And I will admit that I didn't have any canola oil and don't know how often I would use it so I used olive oil.   I will so make these again. 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Cookbook

I know everyone has thier favortie cookbook and a collection of favorite recipes you have collected from magazines and friends.  Well I got tired of the scraps of paper all over the place a couple years ago and created my own cookbook.  And it has now turned into two of them.  Yes I have a habit of collecting them from magazines.  And a couple from blogs over the last couple months.  


I have to admit the second one does not have a cover.   And it is almost full of nothing but drinks and desserts.
So I know I kept talking about making Beth, aka the Southern Lady, a birthday present.  She mentioned liking mine when she was in town back in August.  And so decided she needed one of her own.  I threw in recipes I love and ones I want to try.  And a few I took off her blog. 
They are simple to make.  All you need is three things, besides all those yummy recipes.



I use the plastic sheets so that while cooking if something gets on them I can just wipe it off and not worry about the recipe being destroyed.  I am a messy cook.  That is why I don't take many pictures for the recipes I put on here.  :)
You can use the tabs to put the recipes in any categories you want.  I even have section of tips in mine. 
For Beth I had to throw in several pumpkin recipes for the fun of it.  When I went to visit in the fall she was going crazy for anything with pumpkin in it.  So here is what hers looks like.



Well it is not the best picture.    I got a message yesterday morning that she loves it.  I can't wait to see what she comes back from Tokyo with in it. 
Well off to finish painting the guest room.  Oh and we are getting more snow tonight.  Already at least an inch on the ground.  I still live in the south right?

Monday, February 8, 2010

SNOW DAY!!!

I woke up to several inches of snow this morning.  The alarm went off and I headed to take Belle out and walked around the hall corner and thought man it is bright did I leave the back light on last night.  And then I noticed SNOW!!  And not just a dusting we normally get several inches.   I am happy that the office decided to close today otherwise I would have had to spend some of my PTO time.  I went out about 45 minutes ago and measured. I had 5 1/2 inches at that time and it was still coming down.  And it just stopped.  Why was I so shocked to see snow?  Because the weather guys didn't predict it.   Last night they were calling for rain and maybe a switch to snow or ice.  Boy did they get that one wrong.  Now they are stating it will turn to sleet this afternoon and then more snow tonight.  Yippee!!  A mini vacation.  I have no clue what I will do with myself today.  I am sure a nap or two will be involved. 
Just watched some neighbors build a snowman.  And it is the adults out not the kids right now.  I hope I get to watch the kiddos.  I know they will enjoy it.  For me I lived in North Dakota for a bit (I am an Air Force brat) and will leave the playing in the snow to the people who rarely get that chance.





I can't wait to see how much we do get.   And maybe a second snow day tomorrow. 
HAPPY MONDAY!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Savings

I am a penny pincher as my friends will tell you.  I love finding ways to save money.  Especially right now so that I can go on a trip, concert, and work on redecorating.   The first thing I do when shopping is hit the sales racks.  And I love getting the sale emails from Ann Taylor Loft, though they are a bit dangerous.  One area I am working on saving in is groceries.  I am working hard on eating healthier and that can get expensive so try and save where I can there.  I came across an article last summer about how to save on groceries.   One of the things I liked is http://www.shortcuts.com/  You can load your grocery store card number on to the site and then add coupons to it.  They have a great lists of stores across the country.  And I will admit that I load them sometimes and forget to look when I am making out my list.  I love that extra surprise when I save on something without expecting it. 
What tricks does everyone else use to save money?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Lazy Spaghetti

Lazy Speghetti was given its name by my grandmother.  She called one night while I was cooking dinner and after telling her what I was making she informed me I was making Lazy Spaghetti.  It is one of my favorite quick meals to make when I get in from work and the gym.  So what does it consist of?



And some frozen meatballs.  (Yeah I couldn't find a picture of those.)  Really quick and yummy! 
Sorry I was lazy tonight and no pictures.