Thursday, February 28, 2013

Spicy Sausage Pasta

This was really good.  I mean, really, really good. Probably my second favorite Pinterest recipe. Simple to make with easy ingredients.  Here is the recipe for Spicy Sausage Pasta.  Her blog is great.  Lots of  awesome recipes. 
 
 So, here's a few pics of my cooking the Spicy Sausage Pasta.
 


 
Ingredients
 

 Sausage and onions


Adding liquids and pasta


Finished dish.
Very yummy and freezes great.  Try it!


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Juicing

So...
Juicing...
I've heard good things, and I've heard bad things.  More good than bad so I'm giving it a go.

Fat Sick And Nearly Dead check it out.  This documentary has inspired me among other documentaries like - Forks over Knives 

'
A mass of fruits and veggies and my new juicer in the back.
 

My first juice.  Um, yuck.  It's funny because I've done smoothies with these ingredients.  My smoothies also include almond milk and bananas that mellow things out.  I managed to get this glass down and had to blend with a banana later to drink the rest.  Too "green."


A little better this time.  Carrots, oranges, an apple and a handful of spinach.  Actually pretty good.

The only solid food I ate today was a whole wheat tortilla with a slice of cheese melted.  I HAD to have something solid. 

So not bad for the 1st day I think.  Can't wait to try different combos.  Also can't wait for the weight to drop.  Starting weight - 193.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Maze Runner Trilogy

 
I love to read.  Unfortunately I don't get much time to do so except for at lunch at work and for about a half hour before bed.  As far as the reading before bed, it's only because reading is my sleeping pill.  I struggle to keep my eyes open.  As riveting as the book may be, my eyes just won't stay open.  At work I can read because it's the middle of the day and I'm a little more awake. 
 
Anyway, this is a series I picked up after reading reviews.  I read The Hunger Games trilogy some time ago and was surprised that a young adult series could grab me like THG did.  Saw the movie and can not wait til the next.  This was a nice series to read after THG.  It's similar as it's set in a post-apocalyptic setting but with a totally different story.  If you read THG and are wanting something similar, try this trilogy.  I liked it very much.  It was not THG of course, but a very good read.
 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Homemade "cream of" soup mix

 
Do you like to cook with cream of _____ soup? I did. Loved making casseroles with the stuff.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm slowly adapting to the Clean Eating idea of eating.  I'm down 17 pounds since Thanksgiving.  Yeah, I know, such a small amount of weight and such a long period of time.  But you know what?  This is the 1st time I've been below 200lbs in almost 10 years.
 
Anyway, back to the point.  When I looked at a can of cream of soup, the sodium content alone made me stop using it.  Also, unless you find a really good sale or buy store brand, the stuff ain't cheap. 
 
I saw a few different versions of homemade cream of soup mixes on Pinterest so I thought I'd give it a try.  Here is where I found the recipe I went with.   
 
 

 As you can see I made a few exchanges due to choice and lack of listed ingredients.  The sodium free chicken (and beef) bullion I discovered some time ago is awesome.
  

Throw it all in a bag or airtight container.
 

Conversion.
 

Nice consistancy.
 

 
 
Made my chicken and noodles with it where I would have used Cream of Chicken soup.  The only difference was the lack of all that sodium.  But for my high blood pressure, that's a necessity.  Sorry about the steam effect, lol.
 
 
 
 

 
 
 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Walking Dead

In case you do plan on watching this show and you are not up to the current eposode, there are spoilers ahead!
 
 
 
In case you've been living in a hole, The Walking Dead is a show on AMC in it's 3rd season.  As a matter of fact, the mid-season break ends today with Episode 9.  (They're running a marathon right now as I type.  I love marathons.  (Just for clarification, not the ones that involve actual running.)
 
 
The show is based on a comic that started in 2003 and I believe is still ongoing.  I first saw it on Netflix and thought what the heck, it's streaming and if it sucks, I'll just stop watching.  I watched the entire first season in 2 days.  I was hooked.  Now I know what you're thinking... zombies blah blah blah.  Yes, I know zombies have been getting a little old lately, but this show is different.  I haven't been so hooked on a show since Lost. 
 
 I'm not going to go into some critic like review about how the storylines are compelling and the characters are so real and so on and so forth.  I'm just gonna say I LOVE THIS SHOW!  I do have to warn you though.  The creator has a habit of killing off the most loved characters. 
 
So far my 2 favorite characters have been safe.
 
Glenn
 
Glenn is played by Steven Yeun.  Steven hasn't been in to much, maybe 2 dozen spots in a TV show here and there and a couple video game voice rolls.  He was at Dragon*con last year and I missed his panel because of a conflict with another which took priority. (sorry Steve) I'm hoping he'll be back this year and I'll see him since I'll be there Fri-Mon instead of 1 day.  
 
and Daryl
 
Daryl is by far the show favorite, at least for the ladies.  But as bad ass as he is, I'm sure he's a lot of the guys favorite too.  He's played by Norman Reedus who I first saw in Boondock Saints.  (If you have not seen this movie, you need to)  He's a great actor that has been in tons of movies and TV shows, although none are really that well known.  Boondock Saints is probably the only thing people would know him for unless you are an avid fan and follow him. 
 
His crowning moment of glory was when he took Lori's baby and held her and was bottle feeding her.  Memes came out like pumpkin flavored everything in the fall. 
 
 
 

Anyway, I got off track there...  Daryl kind of does that to me...
 
Check out the show if you're into this sort of thing.  If you've been avoiding it thinking it's just another zombie show, it's not, I promise.
 
 
 


Homemade Pockets


 
 
I used to love those pocket type frozen snacks from the freezer section.  I stopped eating them for a while for whatever reason and picked some up one day when they were in sale 2 boxes for 3$  I figured what the heck, I'll have them on hand for a quick lunch.  Then I had one.  The pepperoni pizza I think it was.  All it was was a big lump of dough with some pizza flavored smear in the middle.  There was no filling.  I ate the rest only because I wasn't going to throw them away.
 
So then I thought, why don't you make your own?  I know I'm trying to stay away from processed food, but I had a can of biscuits in the fridge that I wanted to go ahead and use. I also made a huge crock pot of meatballs and sauce a while ago and needed to use them all up because they were just hanging out in the freezer.  Well, as you can see, the rest is history.
 
 
I defrosted them and mashed the meatballs into a mixture. 
 

 
These were the biscuits I had.
 

 
Does popping the can scare the bejeezus out of anyone else?
 

 
Spread them as this as you can and put half a slice of cheese in the middle.  I had sliced mozzarella in the fridge, but you could use shredded.  If I had had shredded I would have mixed some of it in with the meat mixture then some on bottom and top.
 
 
Put some meat in the middle and top with rest of slice.  Just make sure you don't put too much or it will split the dough.  If you get a hole in it, it's very hard to get it to stick back together and stay.
 


Gather the tops and smoosh them up as tight as you can so they stay and bake for the amount of time it says on the biscuit can.  Line your cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray for easy clean-up if one does open and spill out.

 
They turned out really good.  As you can see, the one on the bottom opened a little and you can see the cheese.  No biggie.

These went in the freezer and when I wanted one, I took it out the night before and let it thaw.  Then put it in the microwave for about 2 minutes and then the toaster oven for a few to finish it off.  They weren't as good as fresh out of the oven for obvious reasons, but  a heck of a lot better than pockets of flavored goo.
 

 
The possibilities of filling is endless and plan to do this again with a homemade pizza dough.  Philly cheese steak, pepperoni pizza, Buffalo chicken, chicken enchilada.  You could even do a sweet version with maybe apple pie filling, berry cobbler.
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bread

 
I want to make bread.  I need to make bread.  I've never made bread.  Until now.  I've tried a couple recipes and failed.  I don't have a stand mixer (which I hope to remedy soon) or a bread maker which seems to come in handy when it comes to making bread. 
 
The other day, I made bread.  The recipe I used is here.  I'm not going to list recipe because you can find it in the link, but I will share some pictures.
 
Ingredients
 
 
After mixing and going for 1st rise
 


 After rising for hour and a half


After 2nd rising in loaf pan

 
Baked bread
 

1st slice


1st bite of soft, warm bread with butter.  Success tasted so good!

 
I'm not sure what happened the first couple of times but this recipe worked for me.  Next time I might just skip the honey because I don't really want it sweet which this one was.  Not saying that's a bad thing, I'm just looking for more of a whole wheat sandwich bread.  Come to think of it, this would be a perfect bread for French Toast!  Anyway, bread success!
 
 
 


Friday, February 1, 2013

Homemade Dog treats

Dog treats are pricey, especially the good quality ones like chicken tenders and dried sweet potatos.  I don't know why the sweet potatos are so expensive, it's not like it's a rare item...  On that note, I need to learn how to do my own sweet potatos...

Anyway, there's a million ways to make dog treats.  Here's a great page that shows you how to Make Your Own Dog Treats.

If you are going to do this though, and maybe come up with your own recipe, it's a good idea to review the foods that dogs can and cannot have.

So, here's mine that I've done for a while.  I used to make them for Aspen all the time.  I was out of cookies for Calli and after browsing the pet section in the local store, I thought to myself, maybe I should start making these for Calli. 

As I was getting my ingredients, Calli got a little curious and joined me in the kitchen.


So here we go...

 2 cups wheat flour
1 cup oats (doesn't matter what kind)
2 egg whites
1 cup chicken broth - I use a low sodium organic broth (water is fine too)
1 tbs olive oil
flavoring - this time I used 2 jars of Beech Nut Sweet Potato & Turkey baby food - you can use cheese, peanut butter, bananas, or other types of baby food.  Just adjust your liquid according to what you use.
 
 
 Mix everything together in a bowl and drop onto a cookie sheet with parchment paper.


You can make them whatever size you want.  The consistancy should be about that of chocolate chip cookie dough.  Since there's no butter and minimal oil, you can put them close together since they will not spread.
 
 
 Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, take them out and flip them.  If you have more dough you can put this on the same cookie sheet.  Since they are set, you can put the first batch right next to eachother or even on top if you need to.

Go for another 30 minutes.  When the time is up, take off the 1st batch and flip the second and go for another 30 minutes.
 
This is where you have to decide if these are good enough for you and your pup, or you wand a more dried out crunchy cookie.  I like a dried out crunchy cookie.
 

I did give Calli a bite just to see how she was finding the treat so far.
She approved...


 
 Break them up in smaller pieces if you want to and bake at 200 degrees for about 3 hours.


Finished product


Needless to say, Calli also approved of the finished product.
 
Have fun with the variety!