Not Your Everyday Football Fare

Any Saints fans out there?  Tonight was a big game for the “Bless You Boys" against the “dirty birds.”  And thankfully the New Orleans Saints pulled it together to get a W on the board against the Atlanta Falcons.

Earlier today Mom and I went to La Madeleine’s for lunch and she asked if I was planning football food on the dinner menu.  I desperately needed to cook my spaghetti squash that I purchased a few weeks back, so I wasn’t planning on typical game food, but more of a meal to go along with squash.  Just before the big game I asked Chris what he felt like eating for dinner with the squash and replied pork chops.  So on to the store I went to collect much needed staples and pork chops, which just so happened to be buy 1 get 1 free today.  Score!

Prior to running to pick up groceries, I turned on the oven and prepped the squash for roasting as previously done here roasting the whole squash.  I asked hub to stick it in the oven so it would be nearly done by the time I got back. 

Once home, I seasoned my center cut bone-in pork chops with salt and pepper and browned them in a pan sprayed with nonstick spray for 5 minutes on each side.  The chops were removed and I added a sliced green pepper, sliced onion, and a tad of water to the same pan used to cook chops stirring and scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  As the vegetables cooked sown I removed the seeded pulp from the squash and then scraped out the spaghetti strands to be added to the pepper and onion mixture.  Along with the veggies, I added about 3/4 cup of teriyaki sauce to the pan.  The chops were placed on top of the veggie mixture, covered, and  cooked on low for twenty minutes more to ensure they were cooked through. 

This meal came together on a whim and turned out great!

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The squash did not keep its natural yellow color; it absorbed the teriyaki brown color, but it was still tasty.  The dish reminded me much of braised cabbage and pork.  Chris said “dinner was great” and it reminded him of french onion soup. 

As for my earlier eats today, I started with oats—more because I wanted to use my new bowl and less of the fact that I had no banana or milk to put in it.

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So I stirred sweet potato pecan butter into my very plain oatmeal and topped it with Fage Greek Yogurt with Honey.  It turned out to be a satisfying, not very warm breakfast.

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Mom and I headed to the gym a while later for cardio.  I did 20 minutes on the killer of a stair stepper, 20 minutes on the arc trainer, and 10 minutes on the bicycle.  I finished with some stretching to try to relieve the pain in my lower back/tailbone area and left hip.

Mom and I then stopped for lunch at our usual.  I ordered the wild fields salad and a bowl of country potato soup with cheese and bacon, please.

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Spring mix with balsamic vinaigrette

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Totally.hit.the.spot.

I also had a few bites of Mom’s pasta salad and sandwich.

While waiting for dinner to cook I shared a piece of cheese with my German Shepherd, Niko.

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And during the game—no beer for me, just coffee…

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No nachos, wings, or burgers; just an apple.

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Happy Thanksgiving Y’all

Happy Turkey Day!

I have so much to be thankful for:

~I thank the Lord for giving me life free of too many complications. 

~I am thankful for my family–especially the miracle baby, my nephew, who brings joy to the hearts of so many.

~I am thankful that I have live in a country given the freedom to say what I want.

~I am thankful to spend this day with far too much food than any family needs, but we are blessed.

And for a sneak peek of what I’ll be eating today:

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That’s what I was busily working on til midnight last night.  But that is okay, I am up and at it.  Just got home from a two mile jog/walk at the park.  Thankfully, my body can do that. 😉

Gonna head to my sister’s house today for family time, food time, and football time.  Go SAINTS!! Who Dat!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!! 🙂

Grew Dat!

Happy Halloween!  I’m not much of the “dress up and party all night person.”  I think the last time I dressed up was as a Junior in high school.  My friends and I were all roaches and one of the more dramatic, comedic friends was the can of Raid.  Fun memory!

Chris (my husband) works almost every Saturday so we rarely get to enjoy a night out on the town regardless of Halloween although it may be fun on occasion.  For the most part I am a homebody, but being home today just left me in a funky, unhappy mood.  I think it largely had to do with the fact that I knew so many others were out and about celebrating Halloween, attending VooDoo Fest, and getting pumped up for some “Who Dat’in” with our Saints tonight!

My day started early with some pumpkin spice coffee and a giant pancake.

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I used 1 serving of Bisquick Heart Smart, an egg, 1/4 cup lowfat milk, and a teaspoon or so of peanut butter for the pancake.  I topped it with Greek Yogurt, Black Seedless Raspberry Preserves, and a few blueberries.  Those other small broken pieces are from dried banana sheets Mom brought me from Trader Joe’s Chicago.  The ingredient list says “bananas.”  It is much like the texture of a fruit roll-up.  My pancake was a little overcooked on the other side, but it hit the spot.

Shortly after breakfast I went to Lafreniere Park to get in some cardio.  I jogged/walked 4 miles total.  Once around the track is 2 miles so I did it twice.  My first two miles were done in 24:34 and the second two took a little longer at 28:15.  On average, that is a 13 minute mile.  Not great, but hey it’s exercise.  And like I said before, I’ve never been much for running, though I am starting to enjoy seeing what my body can do.

Once I got home I helped Chris install our new dishwasher.  Well, not brand new, but new to us.  Some close friends gave us theirs since they upgraded.  The dryer component on my old one went out so it was time for a new dishwasher anyway.  I just didn’t want to fork out the money because I hope to remodel my entire kitchen in the near future. 

By the time we were done my stomach was screaming for some food.  I blanched some green beans after snapping the ends off and ate half of a Think Thin Bar while waiting.  I added pre-cooked shrimp defrosted from frozen, mushrooms and made an Asian sweet and spicy sauce to mix all together.

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To make the sauce I cooked down low sodium soy sauce, honey with macadamia nuts, rice wine vinegar, dry sherry, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, water, and a pinch or two of flour.  I did not measure, but went along making additions by taste and consistency.  In the process of tasting I seriously burnt the heck out of my inner lower lip so be careful if using the “flavor as you taste method.”  I then tossed the shrimp, beans, mushrooms, and sauce in a saucepan until heated through.  Chris liked the sauce enough to suggest I make more to go with the fish he prepared later in the day for dinner, but I wasn’t feeling it enough to put over fish.  Maybe chicken or pork, but I don’t know about fish.

I had a Fage Honey Greek Yogurt for some snacking.  DSC00124  

Okay, my snacking did not stop there, but I did not take pictures of it all.  I also had some more coffee, a reduced fat colby jack cheese stick and some of this (maybe too much of this).

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Had to get it just in case we get some trick-or-treaters!

Chris harvested some of his veggies this afternoon–sweet taters!  While I snapped pictures.

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He also came up with this post’s title.  As a who dat fan, he wanted you all to know that he “grew dat!”

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Yesterday, hub went fishing and caught some speckled trout, so fish and of course sweet potatoes were on the menu.  Chris fried the fish in “buerre noisette” or brown butter after dredging in egg and flour. 

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Usually we are not very good at frying fish, but it came out crispy and tasty tonight.  We ate baked sweet potato fries and steamed brussel sprouts on the side.

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I would have preferred baked trout to forego all the butter used, but it was a nice treat to not have to be in charge of cooking dinner and have fried fish—which is a favorite around this city.

Okay, I am off to watch the second half of the Saint’s game.  Who Dat Say They Gonna Beat Dem Saints?  Not the Steelers! 

Don’t forget to let me know which symbol you associate with from the Personality Symbol Test.  Check back tomorrow for what the symbols represent.

Good Night and Stay Safe! 🙂

Family, Football, Food

Today was my usual relaxing Sunday.  I started the day off with some coffee to give me a bit of a pick me up.  I can’t recall who, but last week another blogger recommended adding cinnamon to the coffee grounds before brewing.  Well I took her advice and tried it.  It was a very nice addition to my coffee and chicory brew.  So if you like cinnamon give it a try.  I dare you!  :) 

Shortly after my first cup of coffee and blog reading/email checking/bill paying it was time for some food.  I fixed myself two pancakes using Bisquick Heart Smart mix.  The directions call for milk, but I was all out. 

My mixture included:

  • 1/3 c bisquick
  • 1 egg
  • water
  • fat free powdered coffee creamer (to replace milk)
  • splash of vanilla
  • dash of cinnamon
  • cottage cheese (on top)
  • maple syrup (on top)

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Pancakes on hub’s garden box containing broccoli plants

After devouring these bad boys, I felt the need to go to the gym.  I had not been in over two weeks due to getting a cold and my attempts to let my hip heel, but I haven’t felt my best self lately.  So I went to the gym for some cardio and strength training.  I started with 15 minutes on the elliptical machine, followed by 30 minutes of weights, and 15 minutes on the arc trainer.  My weight routine looked like this with 3 sets of each:

  • 12 reps biceps at 15 lbs.
  • 15 reps triceps at 30 lbs.
  • 12 reps pectorals at 30 lbs.
  • 10 reps leg lifts at 30 lbs.
  • 12 reps leg extension at 45 lbs.
  • 20 reps total abs at 60 lbs.
  • 18 reps adductor at 60 lbs.
  • 15 reps abductor at 50 lbs.
  • 12 reps leg press at 40 lbs.
  • 10 reps row at 40 lbs.

When I got home from the gym I needed some food.  The Saints game was on so I quickly heated up a slice of pizza left from Saturday night.

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It was still tasty and filling.  After eating I headed to my sister’s to visit with her family and their new addition.

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She is such a little angel!

I may or may not have brought and eaten some of my oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and some of my nephew’s goldfish crackers.

After watching the miserable loss of the Saints (we’ll get those birds next time) I headed home after stopping at the grocery to get some staples for the week.

Instead of cooking dinner, I nabbed one of the rotisserie chickens to throw onto a big spinach salad.

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Spinach, strawberries, cucumbers, tomatoes, chicken, gorgonzola cheese, fat free raspberry vinaigrette—yummy restaurant style salad!

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I finally finished off my night with this sweet treat my hub surprised me with.9-21-10 015

Not the healthiest, more like portioned controlled, but still 170 calories.  And it was appreciated and delish!  Thanks babe! 😉

Question of the Night:  What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

My favorite ice cream flavor is, hmmmmm….., peanut butter cup or pistachio. 

Ladybugs for Lunch

Today has been quite an off day!  My work schedule was changed from 12:00 to 7:oo for Parent Conference and Record’s Day.  So I woke up later than my usual 5:15 a.m. time.  After waking up, I was undecided as to whether I wanted a savory breakfast versus a sweet breakfast.  I thought, “Why not have both?”  Accordingly, I made an egg to put on one half of my sandwich thin and topped the other half with a smear of natural peanut butter and half of a sliced pear.

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I also had a cup of hot black tea.

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Savory Egg Over Medium

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Sweet Pear and Peanut Butter

Lunch was off as well!  At work today, myself and the other 4th grade teachers threw a baby shower for one of our coworkers.  Her theme for the baby’s room is “ladybugs” so we kept the shower in the same theme.

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Ladybug Red Hot Favors

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Meet Jamie!  Her baby girl is due in November; I’m looking forward to meeting Isabella Grace!  What a pretty name!!Jamie's Shower 020

We decided not to have any snack foods other than the cake because we figured most ate before coming in at 12:00 and teachers would probably want to get work done in their rooms while they had some spare time without children.  Nonetheless, the shower was a joyful event—even though the surprise did not go quite as planned. 😉

Since I didn’t eat lunch at home (though I did bring some, just didn’t eat it) I ate some cake.

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And more cake!  This was my first piece, but I did get another slice about the same size.  It was so moist and delicious I just couldn’t resist!  So I had the ladybug cake and called it my lunch.  Someone actually made a comment saying, “I bet you didn’t eat any.”  “Oh yes I did; I ate two slices!”  My rice and veggies from last night’s dinner will be consumed at tomorrow’s lunch.

I did eat the snack I packed in my lunch at my 3:00 break.

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Other half of pear from breakfast + Mixed Nut Remnants + Several Diet Cokes from Shower

I didn’t get home from work until nearly 8:00, so I wanted a quick fix for dinner.  I ate some baked potato fries with olive oil, sea salt, and red wine vinegar that were roasted for 25 minutes at 400*.  I also had a Boca Veggie Burger on a sandwich thin with lettuce, pickles, mustard, and ketchup.  No picture was snapped because my camera had an off day as well!  The battery life  was 3/4 full, but it went dead every time I tried to take the picture. 

Now my computer is about to shut off, so I gotta go!  Plus my Saint’s are playing! 🙂

Celebrations Abound

Today is a big day for our city’s football team!  The start of the new season has arrived and there are celebrations taking place all around New Orleans including second lines, concerts, parades, and the like.  People are sure to be seen walking the streets in their Brees #9 jerseys, Bush # 25 jerseys, or simply donning the black and gold, baby!  (Bobby Hebert, former Saint’s player and current radio host, always adds “baby” at the end of his statements in his heavily Cajun accent, so I was emulating him in the latter sentence for those of you who are not from here.)  And an abundance of fleur de lis will be making a debut as well in the form of jewelry, stickers, bedazzled shirts, jeans, purses, scarves that have been screenprinted, drawn, or designed in some way or another.

Today, I joined in the chorus and wore my semi-bedazzled “Saints” shirt (thanks to my sis-in-law, Amy, for the shirt) along with my fleur de lis jewelry just as all, but maybe four of my coworkers did.

Before heading off to work, I fixed up a yogurt bowl due to my need for something quick and cold.  In the mix was a Fage Strawberry with a 1/4 cup of granola, and a handful of raspberries.

In the Mix

Enjoyed with Earl Grey Green Tea

For lunch, I threw together a fruit and veggie salad mix of romaine, squash, bell pepper from the garden, carrots, avocado, and strawberries.  The ounce of peanuts were just the right “icing on the cake” to make my salad extra special.  I topped my salad with Light Raspberry Vinaigrette.

For some extra carbs and fiber I ate some Triscuit Thin Crisps.

Just before leaving work, I ate a homemade King Bar (see Recipes if interested), much like a Larabar.

You might notice my sub plans for tomorrow in the background above.  I certainly did not go out partying for the Saint’s and need off, but I do have some exciting news and my own celebrating to do with my family tomorrow so stay tuned.

About thirty minutes prior to leaving work it began raining, torrentially.  So I tried to wait it out, but knew if I waited any longer I probably would not make it home due to flooding that happens so quickly here.  New Orleans and its surrounding cities are below sea level; thankfully, we have the levees protecting us from Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River.  Nonetheless, I made my way to my normal route home along River Rd. and came to flooded waters.  I saw about five cars stalled, so I made a rapid decision that I needed to turn around.  But due to the meandering of flooded water and chain of trucks behind my small car I could not turn around.  With a nervous shaking foot I reversed on the heightened hill of the levee until I was able to turn around.  Once back to the main expressway, the rain shortly stopped and opened up to sunlit skies.  Then it was smooth sailing to all the way to the gym.

Today’s cardio consisted of 30 minutes on the elliptical, 10 minutes on the bike, and 10 minutes of stretching/abdominal work  all while watching Food Network for some inspiration with dinner.

Though I did not see anything I wanted to fix on the Food channel, I knew i wanted some type of party style food to go along with all the Saints’ festivities–not that I would be attending any.  On my way home I decided to attempt BBQ Hamburger Sliders.

Using a pound of organic lean ground beef, I formed five miniature patties that were seasoned with salt, pepper, minced garlic, and BBQ sauce.  Now I know hamburgers normally contain egg to eliminate crumbling, but I was all out.  So I gave it a shot regardless of the missing egg.  I did in fact have crumbling as I pan fried my patties in Canola Oil, anyhow they came out just as tasty as I expected.  For a little something special, I caramelized some onion in the same oil used for the patties.  Before plating the sliders, I absorbed as much oil from the patties and onions as possible using paper towels.  I used whole wheat toast as my bun by cutting a square to size for the bottom and using one of the curved edges of the toast for the topper.  I layered toast, dijonaise, romaine, burger, a smidge more of BBQ sauce, onions, and toast to get these beauties.

Three of the sliders were for hub and two for me with some squash fries roasted at 400* for 25 minutes.

My Slider Plate

I added a dill chip to each of my sliders and chowed down.

I’ve been reading about the use of Canola Oil and cannot seem to get a straight answer as to whether it is healthy or not.  It is a monounsaturated fat which is a “heart healthy” fat; however, much research states the chemical make up can be changed when heated and can become a “bad” fat.  Additionally, a study was done in which it was fed to rats; and those rats seemed to have more cases of hypertension, heart disease, and shorter life spans.  Generally, I use olive oil when cooking, but figured I would go with Canola for the sliders.

As for my meal, I think overall it was a much more healthified version than say….Applebee’s or Chili’s sliders–but I still got the taste of party fare that I so craved in honor of my Saints.

Saints–1 & 0, baby!

Question of the Night:  What are your thoughts on using Canola Oil for frying food?  Healthy or unhealthy?