Grocery Challenge Underway!

After work, and fighting traffic for an hour, I dropped into the grocery store to get just a few things. I had $8 and a bunch of change in my wallet and I knew I didn’t want to spend more than that.

010 011

Total: $8.24! Booya! And yay for 30% savings!

The Silk Soy Nog was a total splurge. Obviously. The yogurt was to get Jodus through next week (and it was on sale! Only 59 cents each!). The flour and yeast are for the bread… that is currently cooking away in the bread maker!

Leah’s Agave Amaranth-Wheat Bread

1 1/8 cup warm water

1/4 cup agave

2 Tbls canola oil

1/2 tsp salt

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup amaranth flour

1 1/2 tsp yeast

I based this off of reading a few recipes. It was hard to find something that didn’t require additional gluten or milk or some other ingredient I didn’t have. We’ll see how it turns out.

Dinner was my third impromptu sort of night in a row!

I started by sautéing a few sliced mushrooms, half an onion, and some minced garlic in some canola oil and butter.

014

Then I added a bunch of asparagus and simmered a bit longer.

015

And about a pound of shrimp, simmer a few.

016

Lots of salt and pepper.

017 

The juice of 1 lemon, simmer.

019 020 021

3 diced roma tomatoes.

023

Serve over pasta, top with parmesan cheese.

026 027 028

Jodus gives it a B. I feel like it is a lot like other dishes I have made in the past. I’m rather unadventurous with shrimp I suppose. Not sure why.

Our evening will be filled with grossness.

029

Ew. We are watching THEM ALL throughout the next week or so!

This weekend, Jodus and I are planning on deep cleaning and purging our place. I get the itch to do that from time to time. 😉

Do you have any fun plans for this weekend?

I am sad I won’t be in San Fran at the Foodbuzz Festival! 😦

-L4L-

Advertisements

Mini Muffin Monster

This morning, I was stuck on a web-conference call for over an hour with technologically challenged individuals. I wanted to shoot myself. Instead, I ate a fruit leather and scowled.

Lunch made me think I was doing a trial run for Thanksgiving day leftovers.

Leftover roasted turkey chicken, 1/3 of a  sweet potato, and delicious bacon-y but gross looking asparagus.

The last couple bites were amazing, scooping up gravy, potato remnants, and bacon! Yum!

But alas, I had a sweet tooth that could not be ignored. Lucky me, there were mini muffins leftover from a big wig meeting this morning!

I immediately helped myself to a chocolate one.

It wasn’t very good.

So I had to try the other flavors while I was at it.

One was a cinnamon-y one with struesel topping (yum) and the other was a lemon-y blueberry (mega yum)!

Now I just have to stay away from the box for the rest of the day… though there is another flavor I have yet to try… hmm.. looks like banana nut!

At least they are mini, right?

-L4L-

Lemon & Garlic Chicken

So the only reason we had bacon at breakfast this morning is because dinner called for half a pack of bacon.

After my crockpot chicken last week, my mother sent me a recipe for Ina Garten’s Roasted Chicken.

 

 

Lemon & Garlic Roast Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 (5 to 6-pound) roasting chicken
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large bunch fresh thyme
  • 4 lemons
  • 3 heads garlic, cut in 1/2 crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 pound sliced bacon
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry. Place the chicken in a large roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the thyme, reserving enough thyme to garnish the chicken dish, 1 lemon, halved, and 2 halves of the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Cut 2 of the lemons in quarters and scatter the quarters and remaining garlic around the chicken. Lay the bacon slices over the chicken to cover.

Roast the chicken for 1 hour. Remove the bacon slices from the top of the chicken and set aside. Continue roasting the chicken for an additional 1/2 hour, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove to a platter and cover with aluminum foil while you prepare the gravy.

Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the bottom of the pan. Add the wine and chicken stock and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, or until reduced by half.

Slice the chicken on a platter. Garnish the chicken platter with the bacon slices, roasted garlic, reserved thyme and 1 lemon, sliced. Serve with the gravy.

 

Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry.

052 053 054

Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken.

056

Stuff the cavity with the thyme, reserving enough thyme to garnish the chicken dish, 1 lemon, halved, and 2 halves of the garlic.

058 059 061 064

Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper.

068 070

Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. I do not own kitchen string. So I improvised with toothpicks!

065 066

Cut 2 of the lemons in quarters and scatter the quarters and remaining garlic around the chicken.

071 072

Lay the bacon slices over the chicken to cover.

075 077 080

Roast the chicken for 1 hour.

081 082 085

Remove the bacon slices from the top of the chicken and set aside.

087 088 089

Continue roasting the chicken for an additional 1/2 hour, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh.

097 098 103 104 107

Remove to a platter and cover with aluminum foil while you prepare the gravy.

Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the bottom of the pan. I used 2 Tbls of bacon fat from breakfast and got to work on the gravy while the chicken was still cooking to save some thyme time. Add the wine and chicken stock and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, or until reduced by half. I had to add cornstarch to get it to thicken nicely like I like it!

091 102

Slice the chicken on a platter. Garnish the chicken platter with the bacon slices, roasted garlic, reserved thyme and 1 lemon, sliced. Platters are for pansies or dinner parties. We just cut it up on the cutting board and left it there! But I did garnish our plates with some thyme! Serve with the gravy.

112

On the side, I sautéed asparagus in butter and added the chopped up bacon from the top of the chicken and some shredded parmesan.

101 106 110

And Jodus and I split a sweet potato topped with plain Stonyfield yogurt.

109

With some Black Box Chardonnay.

116

Dinner was divine.

108 113 114

Best chicken I ever had. 😉

115

Actually, it was indeed much better than the crockpot chicken though not as easy or healthy but totally worth the effort.

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

-L4L-

A new toy!

Morning Snack

I had fruit salad, that I prepped the night before, topped with Yami Peach Yogurt and a few fresh raspberries that one of the girls at work gave me!

Blog 001 Blog 003 Blog 004

So yum!

Lunch

Leftover Shrimp Gumbo from last night.

Blog 005

It was also delicious but I could tell today that the okra was rather overcooked. Oops! (Don’t worry, I adjusted the cooking time to take that into consideration on my recount of it yesterday.)

Afternoon Snack

The boy did a great job chopping veggies yesterday so today I munched on mushroom, bell pepper, and carrots dipped in Sabra hummus.

Blog 006

I also had a juice box! 😀

Blog 007 Blog 010

I worked a little later today because my carpool buddy had a late meeting and I need to stay on her good side. 😉 I picked up the boy, who was patiently waiting for me, we grabbed the car from the shop, and headed home. By this time, it was nearly 7 so we vetoed the run we had planned and just got to work on grub.

Dinner

Inspired by this recipe, I made Walnut Crusted Salmon with Horseradish. Very easy to make! Just slap some horseradish on the fillets, salt and pepper, press in crushed walnuts and drizzle in melted butter. Bake at 425* for 12 minutes!

Blog 015

While the salmon was baking, I whipped up a quick batch of couscous. To fix up the couscous, I added some halved grape tomatoes, feta and green onions.

Blog 012

With a side of steamed asparagus

Blog 014

I only had a half of a fillet, the other half was put away for leftovers!

Blog 011

Dinner only took maybe 20 minutes to throw together! Not bad, eh?

(Again, I live close enough to Canada to get away with the ‘eh’!)

Also! Amazingness! When we got home, there was a beautiful package waiting for me from Jodus’ mom! It was her hardly used breadmaker which I am sure cost a small fortune to ship but I am super excited to start making my own breads!! Yay! That shall come in the near future after some research. 😉

Signature L4L

More of the same

Morning Snack

Same as yesterday, surprise surprise! Just flipped over!

 

Blueberry Lowfat Yogurt with a peach and 2 kiwi.

Lunch

Leftover Chicken Tortilla Soup

 

We were out of the blue corn tortilla chips so I mixed it up by using FSTG Buffalo Tortilla Chips. Boy did that kick it up a notch! Yummers!

On my lunch break today, I hit up Plato’s Closet in hopes of finding a fabby new dress for a Russian Birthday Party I’m attending on Saturday! I think I have purchased maybe 3-4 party worthy dresses here before and always come out with a slammin’ good deal and get oodles of compliments on the goods! 😉

I came away with 3 dresses and 2 pairs of shoes for ~$100. Not too shabby considering one of the dresses was Simply Vera by Vera Wang and still had the tag on it! Another one was BCBG for only $35! I plan on wearing one this weekend, one for my birthday, and I’m not sure about the third. A nice date night, maybe?

Afternoon Snack

The standard, yet again. But such a good standard!

 

Veggies (mushroom, bell pepper, carrots) with Sabra Sun dried Tomato Hummus.

A little while later, I had a piece of pie.

Pecan Pie Larabar, that is! 😉 My first time! And oh so good! I think I might have a new fav! It was a little crumblier and so delicious. I heart nuts.

When I got home from work, I tried out a free trials from Yoga Download. As I’ve said before, I’m relatively new to yoga but love the idea of it so I’m giving these 20 minute sessions a try before I start ordering them like a crazy lady.

I tried Yoga For Weight Loss – Beg. It is a level 1-2 class. There was a lot of flow which I hadn’t really done before and it took me a little bit to get the hang of it. But I liked it! I might need to invest in a yoga mat. Hm… So I’m thinking about starting to do a 20 minute yoga every morning. If I got up when the boy’s alarm went off, I’d have plenty of time to fit it in then go downstairs and start on breakfast. I’ll give it a try tomorrow.

I downloaded this one (Yoga For Buns) to try! It’s a level 2-3 so we’ll see how I do. I may need to find some more level 1 and 2’s to learn some of the moves so I’m not stupidly flipping through pages to figure out what the heck I’m supposed to be doing. I like this so much better than the DVD’s I’ve tried though! I think yoga, coupled with cardio and strength training might be a good way to go!

Dinner

Direct from Cooking Light, tonight’s menu was BBQ Mustard Glazed Chicken with grilled asparagus and Confetti Couscous.

I fired up the grill and got to work on the Confetti Couscous. I prepped the veggies for the grill. Some slight modifications: I used 3 Japanese Eggplant, 1 zucchini, 1 summer squash, 1 orange bell pepper.

I tossed them in oil, salt and pepper and threw them on the grill then started prepping the chicken.

I used 3 chicken breasts that were rather large so I filleted them into smaller pieces. The rub consisted of chili powder, sugar, paprika, salt, garlic powder.

Flip the veggies.

Couscous – so nice, they named it twice! hehe… This was actually my first time using Israeli Couscous. Upon initial investigation, it’s just bigger and takes longer to cook.

After brief research, apparently it is a toasted wheat? Hm. Well, whatever. I cook it.

While the couscous is boiling, I got to work on the Mustard Glaze. I didn’t have smoked paprika, so regular old paprika will have to do just fine. I contemplated adding a drop of liquid smoke but opted not to; that stuff is potent. Light brown sugar will have to do as well. And a real grill instead of a grill pan which I do not own. It’ll do. (I’m feeling very Julie/Julia-esque in my dinner recap tonight!)

By now, the boy was home and took over the grill duties, as a man should. Not saying that women aren’t capable or anything. But men belong on the grill. With a beer in hand. Guess I’m a traditionalist like that. 😉

While he was working on the chicken, I trimmed and prepped some asparagus with a little bit of Goya.

We threw the asparagus on the grill towards the second half of the chicken being done, and then I enjoyed a nice mocktail!

 

Mint, Club Soda, Lime Juice, Ice. So yum!

I worked on finishing up the couscous.

The viniagrette:

Cooked Veggies

Plated Grub:

I spy….

…with my little eye…

A place mat!

Don’t worry, ya’ll. I’m not getting rich on you. These are the only place mats I own. They are double sided though! Maybe one day, I’ll feel daring and show you the other side!

The chicken turned out well. I really liked the flavor. I see this recipe going on baked tofu in the future. I’m iffy on the couscous salad. It wasn’t bad at all. It was just a lot of effort for what you get. And I tasted it along the way and I actually think it was better before adding the viniagrette to it. You could actually taste the grilled veggies and basil. After the viniagrette was added, all that was muted. It was tasty, yes. Would I make it again just like this? Probably not. Am I glad I tried it? Indeed.

 

L4L

Kinda liking the 3-post day!

Sundays are totally amazing. I can’t get over it. Before we tapped into Scrabble, I read the Edmonds Beacon and the PCC Sound Consumer. I’m trying to talk the boy into getting at least a subscription to the Sunday paper. At least it’ll pay for itself with coupons. 😉

During our afternoon full of Scrabble and movies, we munched on some chips and dip. We are oh so healthy! 😉

The dip recipe came from Cooking LightBasil Parmesan Dip (here) and we subbed blue corn tortilla chips for the pita chips.

 

It was tasty. I think next time I’ll add more basil. And garlic. And I used shredded parmesan that I ran through the food processor, finely grated might have given a better consistency? Delicious none-the-less.

 

Eventually, we cracked down on dinner.

Tonights dinner features another Cooking Light recipe: Bow Ties with Tomatoes, Feta, and Balsamic Dressing

 

I didn’t have any bow tie pasta on hand so I used Healthy Harvest Penne instead, and slightly more than what was called for, just to use up the rest of the box and it’s pretty dumb to save 3/4’s of an ounce of pasta.

 

I thought this recipe was pretty interesting because it called for grapes with the salty feta so I knew it would be delicious. I love contrasting flavors in dishes.

 

I also happen to think that using the fresh, local basil and shallots from the Farmer’s Market were the key. 😉

Cooking Light recommended serving it was pan grilled asparagus so I did roasted asparagus with tilapia.

 

The tilapia was seasoned with a simple lemon pepper dry seasoning mixed with a little EVOO and lemon juice.

Dinner was amazing!

I’m excited to see it as leftovers tomorrow. I think salads are always better the second day.

It was a little hectic in the kitchen on the tail end of making dinner and after dinner. Tomorrow night is another crockpot sensation so that was prepared tonight. As well as packing lunches for tomorrow. And the boy chopped up a bunch of veggies to get us through most of the week. And of course, there were dishes. And the boy is amazing at usually taking care of them for me! We make a good team. I dirty the kitchen, he cleans it. 😉

Googlicious!

Today, I took a day off of my day job as an Administrative Assistant to be a Day Porter at Google! They have offices in Kirkland and I know someone that knows someone that works for…. well, nevermind. You don’t need to know the details. Just know that this is something I am going to be doing occasionally, just because it mixes things up, pays me a bit more than my day job, and the best part?

 

I get to wear jeans and tennis shoes instead of slacks and heels! Actually,the best thing might be a tie between the jeans and the bathroom literature in all the stalls:

Yay! I’m actually really active when I work at Google because I am walking around a lot and doing the stairs a bunch. I sometimes wish my full time job was more like this, even though it is mindless work. But it’s nice to throw in the mix sometimes for sure!

But let me back up to my morning.

Breakfast

 Since I was working at Google, I had an extra hour to myself this morning. I still got up at the usual time of 5am and made the boy and I oatmeal. I got to be honest with you about oatmeal. I have never been a huge fan. Until I figured out how to make it BOMB! I started experimenting with it while doing a 3 week detox. I don’t like plain oatmeal. It’s boring and bland but if you do it right, it can be a deliciously warm, filling, and healthy.

I have mastered a few different recipes that I really enjoy but this one is the all time BEST. And the BF would agree I think. I use unsweetened almond milk, Quaker Rolled Oats, whey, flax, and a banana. That’s the basics of all my oatmeal. And then I go crazy with the toppings. Today was dates, walnuts, and shredded coconut.

 

 

Perfectamundo!

After the BF left, I goofed off on the internet a tad to let my food settle, then I used Yoga Download for the first time. Kath introduced it to me. I did 20 minutes of Gentle Hatha Yoga. I really enjoyed it. It was short, sweet, easy, and great for beginners (which I am!).

So on to Google. This place is freakin amazing, ya’ll. They have mini-kitchens on  every floor of the building, and a cafe in every building. The mini-kitchens are equipped with espresso machines, coffee makers, chips (even healthy ones like Baked Lays, Terra Chips, Stacy Pita Chips), candies, juices, etc. All free to employees, including me! I woulda taken pics for you but it’s pretty tight security and I had to sign non-disclosure agreements and stuff when I got hired to do temp work. But ya’ll can just imagine. Google was in the top 5 for best workplace in Washington.

 

So I took advantage of all the goodies!

I sipped a mineral water all morning.

 

Had a morning snack of low fat cottage cheese, free-range hard boiled egg, and fresh, local raspberries.

 

A perfect morning snack! (I might have also munched on some dried mango slices, with sugar, oops.)

Lunch

For lunch, Google has a salad bar, sandwich bar, 2 hot lunches to choose from, and a dessert bar. I took full advantage of the salad bar but couldn’t pass up the fish tacos!

 

Wowsers! Here’s what I ate!

  • Mahi Mahi soft taco with black beans and mango salsa
  • 4 pieces of blackened tofu
  • grilled zucchini
  • corn pudding
  • salad equipped with:
  • avocado
  • grilled mushrooms
  • roasted corn
  • edamame
  • roasted bell peppers
  • chili infused white vinegar for a dressing

With some water that was provided at every table.

 

It was all so amazing. I was completely full but not uncomfortably so. I had to get dessert, of course!

 

A small brownie, fresh fruit, and 2 chunks of Beecher’s Flagship Cheese, my local favorite!

 

I might have also munched on another brownie… some Reese’s Pieces… mmmm… It was all mindless munching. Food was everywhere and I apparently have no control when it comes to free food.

AND I still had an afternoon snack….

 

Curried pita chips, hummus, and grape tomatoes.

Then I made myself a No Sugar Added Soy Hot Chocolate:

I feel a bit sheepish about the quantity of food I ate today. But I guess I was a little more active than usual and this kind of thing isn’t an everyday occurrence. I can’t tell you how amazing Google is. They really have it figured out: keep your employees happy!

When I got home, the BF and I went on a jog/walk for 3 miles in 42 minutes. Burned just under 400 cals. I am soooo not a runner. I used to despise it. I don’t now. But it’s not my favorite. Slowing down really helped to make it more enjoyable. Honestly, my happy pace is ~12 min/mi. I know, I know. I’m pokey. But at least I am doing it, right?

I also am having some serious foot issues. I don’t even know how to describe it. I am currently trying arch supports in my running shoes but it hasn’t been helping. I know I need to probably get orthotics but I have no health insurance and I’m poor.

Dinner

Another Cooking Light recipe from June 2009: Bulgur Salad with Edamame and Cherry Tomatoes. It was light, refreshing and easy. It seems like something that might be better suited for a picnic in the sun. The flavor was quite good, seasoned with lemon, mint, dill, parsley, salt and pepper.

 

  Served with steamed asparagus, and thanks to Ziploc Steambags, they come out perfectly every single time.

 

And baked salmon seasoned with garlic powder, dill, and lemon juice. This salmon is frozen Costco Atlantic salmon. I wish we could afford to buy the wild salmon but again, we are poor. So we get the farm-raised.

 

Dinner was delicious and ridiculously easy.

 

 Watching You’ve Got Mail and then hitting the sack.

Oh yeah, one more thing…. a week late but better late than never:

( Operation: Beautiful)

G’Night!