Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Recipe Catch Up

Here are a few things I have cooked lately.  If it's posted in the blog, that means it was good so no individual reviews are needed : )

Baked Cod

I don't have a recipe for this.  I am trying to do more "from the hip" cooking without recipes.  I seasoned the fish with salt, pepper and a little dill and broiled.  The quinoa is seasoned with onion, garlic, salt pepper and thyme.

We loved this recipe.  The only strange thing about it was to grind up your own chicken.  It would probably be easier, but more expensive, just to buy ground chicken.

Cheeseburger Soup

Sounds weird, tasted good!  We especially like the baked croutons.

I have made this before and it made it's reappearance last night.

The mashed potatoes are actually cauliflower. Just cook your cauliflower, and put it in a food processor when done.  Puree with salt, pepper, milk and butter just like mashed potatoes.  Amazingly good!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Bake

I wish my kids were more adventurous eaters because I think they would really enjoy recipes like this.

I mean who wouldn't like ham, chicken, pasta and cheese?


I had some shrimp in the freezer and some chicken sausage in the fridge and thought, "Hmmmm, jamabalaya uses both of those" so this recipe was born.

I omitted the butter to make it more Weight Watchers friendly.  I also added more tomato and used white onion instead of the green.

Macaroni and Cheese Muffins

I love how these are portioned for serving size.  Perfect!

Casseroles with tons of leftovers are a hit in my house.  Lunch for the next few days?  Yes please.

Pepper Steak

I hate to admit this, but I forgot to add the pepper to this.  It was still really good though!

I have made this before and it made another appearance.  You can really add any vegetable if you don't like broccoli. 

Hodge Podge meal

This is what you eat when the rest of your family is eating pizza and it just doesn't sound good (WHO AM I?!?!?!).

The quinoa and chicken were leftover from the night before.  I topped them with fresh cilantro.  I had a butternut squash in the fridge so I cubed it and roasted it in the oven.  Dinner in under 20 minutes.  Score!

Deep Dish Sloppy Joe Casserole

Jason hates sloppy joes.  He think they are too sweet (weirdo).  I loved this and he will just have to deal with it if I make it again.


It was spaghetti night in our house the other night.  I wanted to make something other than just plain marinara sauce so I cooked up some ground beef and added my usual spice mixture:  Onions, fresh garlic, basil, Italian seasoning and some red pepper flakes.

Those green beans are making it into many of our meals lately.  They are so easy and so much better than canned.

Spicy Sesame Noodles with Chicken

Asian cooking with very few ingredients.  Winner!

Turkey Meatball Subs

This took a bit of prep but it was worth it!  I put mozzarella on the top of my boys' sandwiches.  I just had the called for Parmesan.

Enjoy!  If you make any of these, please comment and tell me what you thought.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Weekend Fashion

Weekend Fashion

On the weekends when I am running errands (grocery shopping, taking the kids places, going to one of my favorite places - Target), I like to be comfortable.  I usually throw on a plain colored sweater or shirt and some comfy jeans and my go-to shoes of the moment which are almost identical to the ones shown above.  Since I am still losing weight, I don't like to spend a lot of money on clothes but I do change up my accessories quite a bit.  I love my scarves and handbags.  I don't spend a lot on them but I do have quite a few that I can change up depending on my mood.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

More Fooooood

I have been making tons of new recipes these days and they are all Weight Watchers friendly.

Also, semi-related, I got a new phone and it takes MUCH better pictures than my old one.

All recipes have the Points Plus values listed unless they were not available.

Balsamic Pork
5 Points Plus

This is from one of my favorite recipe websites:  Skinny Taste

I think I took out too much of the liquid out at the end of the recipe.  It was too dry but still very tasty.  I shredded this and served it alongside potatoes (sweet for me, regular for Jason).  Next time, I will definitely keep more of the liquid so it's more moist.

Santa Fe Chicken
4 Points Plus

Another recipe from SkinnyTaste! This was pretty good and reminded me of her Chicken Taco Chili which is probably my favorite SkinnyTaste recipe of all time.

I love making these in the crockpot because it is so easy and takes the worry out of "what am I going to make for dinner?".

I served this over rice with a ton of cilantro on top (my current favorite herb) and a tiny bit of cheese.  Amazingly filling and delicious!

Stuffed Pepper Soup
7 Points Plus

If you are looking for an easy and DELICIOUS soup, this is it.  You can stop looking.  I have made this before and love it.  It has a tomato base which, if you need any of my previous posts, is my favorite.  Tomato is my favorite food and I could eat it at every meal.

You get a nice big serving for very few Points, which is something that I look for in a recipe.  The Points Plus includes the serving of rice that is shown on top of the soup.  This is a well rounded meal if you add another veggie.  I usually have a salad or a roasted green vegetable of some sort.

4 Points Plus

This recipe is SO GOOD.  I have made it a couple of times and served it alongside rice and tostones.  

Any meal that makes both Jason and I happy is a good one.  My kids didn't eat it although they did eat the tostones (I called them chips).  It's easy, takes minimal ingredients and delicious.

7 Points Plus

I have never cooked with chorizo before and to be honest, I probably won't again.  Although it tasted good, it was messy and kind of smelly.  I was expecting sausage bits and not sausage soup when this was cooking.

While this tasted good, it was messy.  And it's hard to make eggs to suit both parties.  I like my eggs runnier and Jason prefers hard.  I had to pull my serving out early and it was fine but still an extra step.  

Serve this with fruit and it's a perfect breakfast or dinner.

8 Points Plus

So I found a new favorite recipe website:  Emily Bites.  All her recipes are Points Plus friendly and delicious!  Everything I have made is yummy and easy.  It's nice to have another website to look at recipes for.

This pasta was good.  It was a deviation from my standard tomato sauce pastas.  Jason liked it and the kids maybe ate a bite (hey, that is a start!).  It made a ton of pasta and I ended up eating leftovers for lunch over the next few days.

It has a little bit of heat and I actually added extra heat since we like spicy stuff in this house.

5 Points Plus

This recipe was amazing!  I feel like I say that a lot but you know what?  I either pick good recipes or I just don't post the bad ones.  Trust me, there are some flops.

Jason adored this.  So much that he asked me to make it again.

It is easy.  You simply cut the chicken up, throw it in a bag and add the marinade ingredients.  When it's ready to cook, put the chicken on skewers and grill.  I used my grill pan for this since I didn't want to trek outside in the gross weather to fire up the grill.

I served this with peanut rice noodles with a ton of cilantro and roasted cinnamon pineapple.  So goooooooood!  

I didn't have the peanut butter powder the recipe called for so I improvised and used regular peanut butter and only served myself a tiny bit of the sauce.  Can I just say how much I am loving cilantro lately?  I feel like I serve it and use it in everything.  I love it.  

4 Points Plus

These were decent.  I might make them again.  I am not sure if I used the wrong cheese or cooked the cheese sauce too long but the sauce ended up a little grainy.  Don't get me wrong, they were still edible!  I like how individual portions are already taken care of so you don't have to worry about over-eating.

I allowed myself two muffins since I had other low Point food in my dinner.

That is all the recipes for today.  I have a ton more to post but I will save those for another day.  If you make any of these, post a comment and tell me what you think!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Knitting Projects

I have been knitting a lot lately.  It helps ease my stress, it keeps my hands busy at night so I am not constantly snacking, and I just enjoy it.

I try not to make goals for myself that I don't feel I can achieve, but this year I wanted to learn how to knit a sweater and I wanted to take a formal class on sock making.  I am proud to say that I have completed both!  I guess it's time to make a new goal.

Here are some of the projects that I have completed in the past few months.

I found this project before Christmas and made several pairs.  I love that it uses minimal yarn so if you have any leftover from another project, you can put it to good use.

Mmmalabrigo Glovies

These were so fun and fast to knit up.  I made a pair for my cousin, my aunt and a friend.  I want to make more since I have lots of scrap yarn left over from other projects.

You can see the finished product in the picture above.  My coworker enlisted me to make a hat for her Little Sister (she is in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program).  She wanted purple and a hat but she left the pattern and exact specifications up to me.  I made the hat above and it was fun!  It took a lot of new skills that I had to teach myself but I like how the finished pattern looks like a cable but is actually lace.

See how pretty?

Since I had some yarn leftover from the Elleby hat, I made a pair of glovies as well.  Since I didn't have enough of the purple, I added some black.  I really like how they turned out.


I don't have a pattern to link to this project since my instructor provided a print out of her personal sock pattern.

I really enjoyed taking a class.  The instructor was so nice and made it easy to learn.  We were to come to class with worsted weight yarn and needles and she would provide the pattern.  I learned a new cast on technique, how to knit on double pointed needles (this is huge for me as I thought they were intimidating) and how to make a gusset.

I adore how my socks turned out.

In progress:

Finished pair!

Details of how the sock looks:

I am just about finished the second pair and have plans to make a third and fourth pair.  The pattern the instructor provided has a calculation for any weight yarn and any size foot.  There are so many options for sock yarn out there and I am excited to try some!

Jazz Age Cowl

Every time I would shop at my favorite yarn store, Twisted, this cowl would grab my attention.  I looked at it probably 6 times until one day I decided to buy the pattern.

I made the double loop cowl in my favorite yarn and it turned out beautiful.  It is incredibly soft and will look gorgeous with a winter coat or just as an accessory to an outfit.  I haven't decided if I am going to keep this one for myself or give it away as a gift.  If I give it away, I will knit up a coordinating hat or gloves since I have a whole skein of yarn left over.

Cloudy Sunday Sweater

I got this pattern from a recommendation.  I wanted an easy pattern for my first sweater.  In hindsight, I should have made a child's sweater, but oh well.  This one knit up pretty fast.  I am not 100% happy with it because my seaming stinks and I am still learning how to pick up stitches.  The arm holes fit me pretty funny too but that is because of my poor seaming skills.  I made it in an extra large and it's plenty big.  It's big enough to wear with jeans, skinny jeans or leggings.

Also, I didn't use expensive yarn to make this.  I wanted to buy cheap-ish yarn in case it turned out terribly. Why waste over $60 in yarn if it looks awful?

What am I working on now?

I currently have two projects I am actively working on:  Socks and a sweater for Jack.  I also have a blanket that I pick up every now and than.  It's a simple striped blanket from the Purl Bee website in jewel tone colors.  Here is all the yarn and the progress of the blanket:

The blanket is a simple garter stitch which means I just knit the entire time.  It will be about the size of a lap blanket.  I have no clue if this will be a gift or not.  I guess I need to see how it looks when it's complete.

That's all for now!  I am sure as the holidays creep up on us, I will have a ton more projects.