Monday, August 27, 2012

Thursday, August 23, 2012

On the Menu: Pinterest Recipes

So I realize this is *sort of* of a copout, but I've tried so many pinterest recipes lately that I haven't had time to photograph all of them. So instead, I'm just going to give a rundown of ones we've tried recently and the REAL results of how they turned out (those professional pictures always make everything look easy and delicious). I'll also let you know what I would have done differently. Let's get started:

1. Chicken with vegetables and red potatoes

Here's the quick rundown of the recipe online: 4-6 raw chicken breasts, new potatoes, green beans (fresh or canned-really any green veggie would work. Broccoli is good, too). Arrange in 9x13 dish. Sprinkle with a packet of Italian dressing mix and then top with a melted stick of butter. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

I pretty much just cut this recipe in half. It turned out really well and was super easy. HOWEVER, I was disappointed with the Italian dressing mix. It tasted a little too fake for me. I prefer spice mixes made from scratch. Here's what I would have done to replace the dressing mix: 1 tsp. basil, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp thyme or rosemary. We also cooked it uncovered and it was fine.

2. Multiple Variations of Things Wrapped in Crescent Rolls

Yes to the pepperoni and cheese stick roll-ups with marinara sauce (we do ours homemade from my cast iron skillet pizza recipe).

Not so much for the french dip crescent rolls. The idea sounds great - and maybe it was the type of roast beef I used, but they were hard to roll-up and the bottoms of the crescents got soggy. It would probably be easier to just go the traditional route with a french dip sandwich.

And Yes to the cream cheese and chicken roll ups. I actually did a more detailed post on this one HERE.

3. Cool Whip Cookies

Source: via Amanda on Pinterest

Oh my goodness. YES to these! They really are the easiest cookie in the world. The simple instructions say combine the dry ingredients from any entire package of cake mix, 1 8oz tub of cool whip, and 1 egg. Drop spoonfuls into powdered sugar and roll into balls. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

These cookies get better the longer you have them. I don't know why, they always taste better the next day. We've done chocolate with regular cool whip, chocolate with chocolate chips and light cool whip, and strawberry with light cool whip. I get the same results whether I use full fat or light cool whip. Next we're going to try french vanilla cookies with french vanilla cool whip. The possibilities are endless!

4. Asian Marinated Chicken

Two big thumbs up for this one. I followed the recipe exactly except for cutting the amount of chicken in half for only two people. We made it with just drumsticks one night and just thighs another night. Definitely follow the recommended preparation and let marinade for 24 hours!

5. Taco Casserole

Source: via Amanda on Pinterest

This one was just ok. The chips on the bottom got a little soggy which gave the whole casserole a sort-of unpleasant chewiness. I would leave them off the bottom and just sprinkle them on the top instead after the casserole is done.

6. Summer Tomatoes, Corn, Crab and Avocado Salad

I really liked this one. I made it and we ate it wrapped in tortillas. I also liked it as a sort of dip for tortilla chips. It tastes very fresh and healthy... despite the fact that I think I'm developing a crab allergy :(. I liked this one much more than my husband did. I would add that this makes a LOT if you follow the recipe. Definitely more of a party dish than a simple salad for two people.

Well, I think that's all for now. Yes, I have been one busy little cook! I hope to get more detailed on the menu posts up soon, but this is just the quickest way to showcase what we've been trying. I will say there have been SO many good looking dessert recipes I've pinned lately that I can't WAIT to try. Happy eating!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

My Fitness Pal

Have you heard of this website/app MyFitnessPal? Alright, I feel like I'm really behind the game because it seems like everyone I know has already signed up. According to the program, and my sedentary lifestyle, I should keep to 1200 calories a day to reach my goal weight... Yikes. Looks like I only have 300 calories left for the day. Ha! And with fall coming up, I know I'm going to have a problem. For example:

Martha Focker!

Anyways, if you were curious, my week only water challenge went well. I've been keeping up with it and have seriously cut back on my sweet tea consumption, so hopefully that's good. I lost 0 pounds, but I do feel better overall. Hopefully this MyFitnessPal thing will help. And no, unfortunately they are not paying me to shill their app.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Post Partum Shape Issues

So, this is a post I've wanted to write for a while. I just wasn't sure how to go about doing it or where to begin. Pregnancy... changes your body (this fact brought to you by the Captain Obvious Research Foundation). I guess I thought that I was young and thin and things would automatically go back to the way they were? At least after a few months? I know, I know. Naive.

When I was younger (10-15 years ago), I was super active. I did ballet and dance team about 15 hours a week. That and a lovely autoimmune disease that affects my metabolism (Graves Disease) meant I could pretty much eat whatever the hell I wanted and stay thin. Then in college I walked EVERYWHERE and actually went to the gym with friends on campus, etc. So any residual shape I was in since graduating was the result of a mixture of good genes, being active when I was younger, and, oh yeah, and that pesky autoimmune issue.

Fast forward to today. I have a sedentary job where I sit at a desk for 45 hours a week and a 5 month old. I don't exactly find the motivation to get out and be active. I still eat whatever I want (see: all my "On the Menu" posts), and I have since had my thyroid ablated with radioactive iodine (oh that's a fun story for another time). This means that my body is definitely not what it used to be, and I'm having trouble knowing where to begin to change things.

It's not about being a certain weight or wanting to lose a certain number of pounds. For me, those numbers aren't really an indication of health and wellness. It's more about feeling comfortable in the new body I've been given (wider hips, ok I can deal with that). And don't get me wrong. I wouldn't trade the best body in the world for the prize I got at the end of pregnancy - my beautiful son.

I know a lifestyle change doesn't happen overnight. So for me it's going to be all about baby steps. When I was staying home with Judah in those early weeks of motherhood, I had to make weekly challenges for myself. The would be simple things like, "Get out of the house once a day, " which you don't know how difficult that can be with a newborn!

So my challenge for this week: DON'T DRINK YOUR CALORIES. This is a hard one for me. I love my sweet tea and starbucks, and even diet sodas can make you bloat. So, I'm going to try a week of nothing but water to drink. Some people will laugh, but this is actually a big challenge for me. Wish me luck on my first week of healthy new steps! And feel free to add your tips to staying healthy if you wish to share...