Sharing our food successes and failures, new recipes and old favorites
...and throwing in some great money-saving deals here and there!

Monday, January 30, 2012


Please forgive me if you’ve read about this ad nauseum on Facebook, or if you’ve heard me go on about it otherwise, but I am officially registered to do the Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk for breast cancer in October! It’s 60 miles in three days and all of the proceeds generated go toward global breast cancer research and local community outreach (screening, educating, treating, etc.). It’s an unbelievably worthy cause, with more than a quarter-million women being diagnosed EVERY YEAR. I’ll be walking with a team of more than a dozen women under the team name, “Girls Need Cleavage” (GNC) – because really, we do!

I’ll be doing many different fundraisers throughout the next 8 months to meet my goal of $2,300. While you all have the opportunity to donate to me directly if you are interested, there will also be some opportunities that can be mutually beneficial. My first fundraiser – the one I’m sharing with you about now – is through Tastefully Simple (you know – those delicious dips, breads, and dessert mixes). A friend of mine is a consultant and has offered to donate all of her profits of sales to our team. So, all you need to do is put together an order of any size and you’ll get the great treats of your choice, and I’ll get some help in raising funds. This first leg of the fundraiser will run through the end of February and since the sales ship directly to you, there’s no need for you to be local. And yes, I know this may seem pretty far in advance, but with Baby #3 on his way in just about 3 ½ months, I want to get a leg up on fundraising!

If you'd like to make a purchase, here are the instructions:
Go to, click on "Shop Our Products", and select "G.N.C." (first name) "3 Day Walk" (last name) as your "Host/Event" at checkout. Your order will ship right to your door, you'll receive it within 7-10 days.

If you have questions or need assistance with ordering, feel free to contact Sharon Massey, Sr. Consultant, at 610-357-3007 or Want to see a catalog? Just contact her with your address and she'll mail one to you.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Alfredo Sauce

Today is day six of my unintentional meat strike. It started on Tuesday when I saw a photo of mechanically separated chicken (that at first looked deliciously like raspberry soft serve ice cream, but I later realized totally was NOT)...and since, the thought of any kind of meat makes my stomach turn. I'm really hoping this is a pregnancy thing because I love buffalo chicken dip, fresh grilled burgers, fettuccine carbonara, and all sorts of other meaty dishes. But, for now, I'm sticking to fish and veggies. It's making for a monstrous inconvenience as far as meals - making one thing for myself, another for the boy and Linds who want "real" food, and Luke not eating anything but mac-n-cheese or some sort of PB and [fill in the blank].

Anyhoo, I decided to do a big pot of alfredo pasta tonight and make things simple. I hadn't tried this exact recipe before, but it's a pretty basic alfredo recipe, so I knew it would be fine. The original calls for heavy cream, which I don't keep on hand just because of the ridiculous amount of calories, cholesterol and saturated fat contents, so I use a 1% millk/flour roux. I saved 700 calories in the dish AND it tastes just as delicious!

Alfredo Sauce
1 (16 ounce) package pasta of your choice
1 cup milk
1 T flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
A few shakes of parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. Meanwhile, combine milk, flour and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Heat until butter melts, stirring occasionally; be careful not to bring mixture to a boil. Stir in Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt, pepper and garlic powder. 
  3. Toss with cooked pasta and serve immediately.

Burritos w/ Marinated Beef

Wednesday was burrito night! I had a pound of flank steak sitting in the freezer and before I started my unintentional meat strike (see the Alfredo Sauce post for more about that one), I was hungry for beef burritos. I mixed the marinade and let the beef sit in it for about 12 hours, and then cooked it and the juices in the crockpot all day. It shred easily and was nice and juicy in time for dinner. My burritos wound up being black bean burritos, but nonetheless delicious.

I recommend this beef marinade - definitely tasty according to Scott and Linds!

Marinated Flank Steak
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pounds flank steak


  1. In a medium bowl, mix the oil, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic, and ground black pepper. 
  2. Place meat in a shallow glass dish. Pour marinade over the steak, turning meat to coat thoroughly. Cover, and refrigerate up to 24 hours.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bacon Mac-n-Cheese

The conversation started innocently enough at the gym...talking about an overly cheesy slow-cooker mac-n-cheese recipe...and I got to thinking I was in the mood for a good homemade bowl of it. Then I jumped onto Facebook yesterday and there on a friend's wall was a post for a bacon mac-n-cheese recipe. I figured if I got it twice in the matter of hours, then it was divine intervention - the gods were telling me that I had to make a batch. And with the exact amount of bacon the recipe calls for in the refrigerator? Well, that just was yet another reason to go for it.

Now, it calls for heavy cream, which I didn't have, so I made my own little roux and hoped for the best. It turned out just as well! Again, not quite the healthiest dish, but damn delicious!

Bacon Mac-n-Cheese
1 tsp salt + more for pot of water
1 lb rotini noodles
3/4 lb bacon
2 cups milk (I used 1%)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup whole wheat flour (I'm out of the regular stuff?!)
2 cups shredded cheese (I did half mozzarella and half sharp cheddar)
1/4 tsp pepper

  1. Bring water to a boil. Salt it generously (it should taste like the sea). Stir in the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Drain (but don’t rinse, or you’ll rinse away starches that will help thicken the sauce) and return to the empty pot.
  2. Meanwhile, place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat for several minutes. When hot, add the bacon and sauté until browned and crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and, using a slotted spoon or spatula, remove the bacon from the pan and drain on paper towels.
  3. Pour off the fat from the pan and return the pan to medium-high heat. Add the milk, butter and flour and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat to medium and continue to simmer until the cream is reduced slightly, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the Cheddar cheese and bacon. Stir well and cook over medium-high heat, stirring now and then, until the cheese has melted and the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper.
  5. Stir the sauce into the cooked and drained pasta in the pot. Place over medium heat and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes to thicken the sauce and allow the pasta to absorb the flavors, stirring now and then.
  6. Garnish with chives (if you'd like) and try not to eat the entire thing ;-)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rigatoni w/ Sausage & Peas

So, this is definitely NOT a healthy option! If you're looking for something that isn't laden with calories, skip this. It's one dish that I don't make often simply because of the fact that it uses 1/4 cup of straight up butter and 1 and 1/2 cups of heavy cream...but there are peas in it, so it has a glimmer of nutrition buried deep down.

The boy and I love this dish, Linds likes the noodles and peas, and even Luke is coming around - although my little "miva" (man-diva) got a bite that had a little sausage and proceeded to stand at the trash can for a couple minutes spitting it out and whining that it was "NOT NUMMY!" Someday these kids will come around to the awesomeness that is sausage?!?

Rigatoni w/ Sausage & Peas
1 16-ounce box rigatoni pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound ground sausage
2 cups frozen green peas
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil and sauté garlic over medium heat. Add sausage and brown.
  2. Once brown, add frozen peas and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3.  In the meantime, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. 
  4. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. 
  5. Slowly add heavy cream and butter to sausage skillet; bring to a slight boil. 
  6. Cook for 5 minutes. 
  7. Toss with cooked pasta and top with Parmesan cheese. 
The whole process should take just about half an hour. The estimated calories per serving is 611 (and this is an 8-serving dish). You can probably make some substitutions to get that number down (anything from cutting back on the amount of sausage to substituting ingredients in the sauce). The end result, however, is try it on a splurge night (if you are food obsessed like me and count calories/fat/etc.!)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Corn Chowder & Bread

Finally made it to the grocery store! About damn time, huh? I always know when it's time to shop because I get cranky when there's no food...and then stressed because I have this marathon list to tackle...and it just gets ugly. In the whole attempt to have a full, nutritious meal, I opted to do corn chowder and whole wheat beer bread. Everything turned out pretty well - it wasn't necessarily the most delicious thing ever, but it tasted good and was super easy to make. Linds helped me with the bread and keeping me company while I chopped the veggies for the soup, so it was a nice bonding experience for us :)

One thing to remember about the chowder...the soup needs at least 15 or 20 minutes to simmer at the end to thicken up. I always forget about this and when it's warmed through I think I screwed up because it's all runny and thin. After 20 minutes, however, the consistency is MUCH better! Between a bowl for the boy, a bowl for myself and a smaller bowl for both kids, the soup was gone - I'd say it's barely 4 servings (although just a little over 200 calories per serving!).

Corn Chowder
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons finely diced celery
2 tablespoons finely diced onion
2 tablespoons finely diced green pepper
1 package frozen whole kernel corn (10 oz.)
1 cup peeled, diced, 1/2" raw potatoes (I use frozen hashbrowns)
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups low-fat (1%) or skim milk
Cheese to sprinkle on top

  1.  Heat oil in medium saucepan. 
  2. Add celery, onion, and green pepper and saute for 2 minutes. 
  3. Add corn, potatoes, water, salt, pepper, and paprika. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium; and cook, covered, about 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. 
  4. Place 1/2 cup milk in a jar with tight fitting lid. Add flour and shake vigorously. Add gradually to cooked vegetables and add remaining milk. 
  5. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Serve garnished with shredded cheddar.

Whole Wheat Beer Bread
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer (I used Stella)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar. Pour in beer, stir until a stiff batter is formed. It may be necessary to mix dough with your hands. Scrape dough into prepared loaf pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Chicken Veggie Burgers

It's the beginning of a new year, which means I have all sorts of outlandish goals to eat less meat, healthier meals with more fruits and vegetables, keep the kids more active, maintain my dedication to the gym, etc. I know I'm like 99% of the other people out there...these will all last a good week to 10 days before I give up and say, "screw it - it's mashed potatoes and Twizzlers for dinner!" But, for now, I'm going to go back to planning out nutritious meals.

I decided to make chicken veggie burgers tonight - a recipe I came across a long time ago that's chock full of veggies - and in my haste to get a meal on the table for the kids before they melted down, found nothing to pair it with except curly fries. Okay, so half a decent meal is an okay way to start the year, right? RIGHT?!? The boy enjoys these burgers surprisingly enough, Linds didn't mind hers, and after spitting out the first bite, Luke dipped his in ketchup and licked the ketchup off. I don't think he ingested any of the actual burger, but here's hoping he got a nutrient or two in there.

Chicken Veggie Burgers
1 lb ground chicken
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup red pepper
1/4 cup green pepper
1/4 cup red onion
1/4 cup celery
2 T chopped parsley
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T soy sauce

  1. Preheat skillet to medium.
  2. Mix all ingredients until just combined.
  3. Form into 8 patties.
  4. Fry in canola oil (about 4-5 minutes each side).
(Sorry for the raw burger shot - forgot to take one of them cooked.)
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