Monday, December 31, 2012

My Favorite Recipes of 2012

As 2012 comes to a close, I have been reflecting back on all the recipes I have made this year. When my daughter was born in late 2011, I was too exhausted to cook.  I found myself heating up freezer meals and ordering take-out most nights. My love of cooking had diminished considerably. Eventually, the baby started sleeping through the night, and I decided I needed to get my cooking mojo back.  

Thursday, December 27, 2012


A few weeks ago, my husband and I ventured to Downtown Athens for a date night.  It was much busier (and colder!) than we anticipated, due to a show at the Classic Center.  After trying to get a table at a few different restaurants, and not even being acknowledged by the hostesses, I felt my annoyance growing.  When I'm hungry, I have very little patience, unfortunately.

Sweet Potato Souffle

This year's fall garden yielded a ton of sweet potatoes, so I knew that I had to make a sweet potato side dish for Christmas this year.  I settled on Paula Deen's Sweet Potato Souffle, because of the hundreds of glowing reviews, and the fact that it was topped with pecans instead of marshmallows.  Don't get me wrong--marshmallows have their place--but not on a beautiful Southern sweet potato souffle.  I altered the original recipe by adding more sweet potatoes and reducing the amount of sugar.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Soft Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies

The other day I sent my husband out to the store for some chocolate chips.  I was annoyed when he returned with milk chocolate chips instead of the normal semi-sweet chocolate chips. They sat unused on my kitchen counter for a few weeks, while I contemplated what to do with them.  My brother's birthday rolled up, so I decided to make cookies for him using the milk chocolate chips. Well, my husband's erroneous purchase ended up being quite a blessing! Everyone loved the large milk chocolate chips in the cookies.  My Cookie Monster-like brother liked them so much that he announced that they were the best cookie he ever had, which is literally the highest of compliments.  

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mashed Cauliflower

You may have seen a few recipes on Pinterest lately for Pureed Cauliflower.  Basically the idea is to use cauliflower instead of white potatoes, and make mock mashed potatoes.  You may be wondering, what is the point of the substitution since white potatoes make such splendid mashed potatoes?  From a diet standpoint, there are huge benefits.  Cauliflower has about a fourth (!!!) of the amount of calories and carbs as white potatoes.  There are also advantages strictly from a health standpoint too, as cauliflower contains significantly more Vitamin K and C than potatoes.  My husband is not a fan of cauliflower and was very reluctant about trying out this substitution.  To both of our surprise, he loved it.  He said it tasted exactly the same as really good mashed potatoes.  I've made it a few times since then, and I have found that it is vital to puree the cauliflower very, very well, so that the texture is creamy.  It is also vital to make sure that the steamed cauliflower is well-drained (or the water is completely evaporated), or you will end up with a watery taste.  Finally, it really does need that tablespoon of butter to put a richness in it.  Feel free to add cheese if you have calorie room too!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Ten (Diet) Commandments

I have been on what I lovingly refer to as the "Lifestyle Change Diet" since September.  As I mentioned in my Weight Loss Update, it has helped me lose twenty pounds and counting. My husband also has been following this diet and has lost 26 pounds without even having to exercise.  Although I definitely recommend at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day, that is mainly for overall health benefits. If you want to lose weight, your primary focus should be on what you eat. My Ten Diet Commandments outline the rules I have been following since I began my weight-loss journey. It is not from a peer reviewed medical journal, it has not been endorsed by Jillian Michaels, I don't have any client testimonials, and it is not intended to be a bunch of rigid rules that I think everyone should have to live by. My Ten Diet Commandments are just my own personal guidelines that were created from my own beliefs, experiences, and research.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Losing the Baby Weight, Update #3

It has now been over a month since the last Losing the Baby Weight update.  I'm happy to report that not only have I reached my goal weight, I'm actually two pounds below it.  I have lost 20 pounds by eating healthy and jogging. No fad diets or extreme exercising for me! My ultimate goal wasn't just to lose 20 pounds; it was to make a lifestyle change. Sure, a strict diet or doing intense workouts probably would have helped me lose the weight quicker, but those things have always been impossible for me to maintain for more than a few months.  Eventually I would tire of it, and the pounds would slowly trickle back on.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Peanut Butter & Banana Pancake Muffins

I recently found a recipe on Pinterest called "Toddler Muffins" made with pancake mix and bananas. I made them and my kid loved them, but I just didn't feel good about giving them to her on a regular basis. The recipe called for 1 cup of pancake mix (the "just add water" kind), 1 diced banana, 2/3 cup water...and 2/3 cup of maple syrup.  That's a lot of sugar.  It's no wonder my 14 month gobbled it up. The little voice inside my head was repeating "increasing her risk of diabetes" over and over every time I gave it to her, but she's become such a picky eater, and it was literally (and I mean literally) one of the few things I've been able to get her to eat lately.  So I decided to create my own Toddler Muffins recipe; one that was made with a little  bit healthier ingredients.  Fortunately, my first attempt was met with resounding success.  She gobbled them down just as quick and happily as she did the high sugar ones.  

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Last Resort Grill

My favorite restaurant in Athens for a sit-down meal is Last Resort Grill.  The food is great, the prices are reasonable, and their menu reflects the Athens' food culture.  It is my recommended restaurant for out-of-town visitors to get a feel for Athens' adventurous take on southern cuisine.

Skinny Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

Ever since I made the Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie, I have been dying to try out more healthy cookie recipes.  After a bit of recipe searching, I decided to once again trust Chocolate-Covered Katie, who has yet to steer me wrong.  I changed a few small things in the recipe to suit my own tastes (i.e. chocolate chips!).  The cookies turned out amazing.  Like so amazing that I honestly think they are superior to traditionally made peanut butter cookies.  They were gooey and soft, with the perfect balance of salty and sweet.  It was incredibly hard not to eat the entire batch in one sitting!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gnocchi with Swiss Chard & White Beans

One of the first recipes I "pinned" on Pinterest was Skillet Gnocchi with Chard and White Beans from Eating Well.  Since I have been avoiding high-carb foods, the recipe was put in my "someday" pile and forgotten.  Yesterday, however, was cold and rainy, and I found myself craving something hot, gooey, and full of carbs; aka my comfort food.  Instead of declaring it a "cheat day", and ordering out for pizza, I decided to try the Eating Well recipe instead.  Although higher in carbs, it is still packed with vitamins and low calorie. Plus, it's a great way to sneak some swiss chard into your kid's diet! I already had most of the ingredients on hand, and the recipe was a breeze to make.  More importantly, it tasted excellent.  It was hot, cheesy, and carby; everything I had wanted in a meal last night.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Slow Cooker Chicken & Sweet Potato Curry

My husband's fall garden yielded a huge amount of sweet potatoes this year, and I've been trying to come up with recipes that will utilize them.  This is not a difficult task, as our family loves sweet potatoes.  The weather has finally turned chilly, so I decided to make a chicken curry and swap out the regular potatoes for the nutritionally superior sweet potatoes.  I'm glad I did, because it turned out fantastic.  This dish is easy, inexpensive to make, and has the added benefit of being healthy and diet friendly.  Plus, it makes your belly warm and happy on these cold winter evenings.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

I had been dying to try out another one of Chocolate-Covered Katie's recipes, and Thanksgiving gave me the perfect opportunity to do it.  I decided immediately to make her Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie, as I am a huge Cookie Monster.  I love, love, love cookies; especially chocolate chip cookies.  Fun fact: chocolate chip cookies were the first recipe I ever made by myself.  I used to make them all the time when I was a kid for my family.  Some of my fondest memories are of me sneaking into the kitchen to steal a cookie in the middle of the night, and running into my dad doing the exact same thing.  We wouldn't say a word to each other, we'd just eat our cookies together in happy silence, chase it with some cold milk straight from the carton, and then sneak back to our respective beds.  

Broccoli Blue Cheese Casserole

Broccoli Blue  Cheese Casserole was my contribution to our family's Thanksgiving feast.  I chose it because it is easy to make and it is always gobbled (pardon the pun) up.  Since I'm on a diet, I needed to make something guaranteed to not leave leftovers.  Well, it did its job! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

DIY Nursery Decor

I spent the first half of my pregnancy daydreaming about what the nursery would look like.  When it came time to actually work on the nursery, I was hit by a hard and cold reality. Nurseries are expensive!  Our nursery budget was quickly depleted on the essentials: the crib, a diaper changer, and a glider.  There was hardly anything left for decor.  I did extensive searching at even the most budget-friendly places (Walmart, Amazon, Hobby Lobby), and all I could find was over-priced, ugly decor.  Since I was hormonal, I literally cried over our plain and boring nursery.

Eventually, my pregnancy hormones switched my mood from sad to motivated, and I knew what I had to do:  DIY Nursery Decor!  But there was one problem...I'm not crafty, at all.  I can't sew, I can't paint, heck, I can't even color within the lines.  So I did a lot of brainstorming.  Eventually I came up some DIY ideas so easy that an idiot (aka me) could do it.  And you know what? Everything turned out even better than I anticipated! In fact, it turned out so well, I'm going to share my ideas with you guys.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

2 Ingredient Pumpkin Brownies

What if I told you that you could easily make a fudgy, rich brownie packed with vitamin A and fiber in 20 minutes?  And that said brownie is only 124 calories and 2 grams of fat?  Well folks, I'm here to tell you that such a thing is possible. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mama's Boy

Mama's Boy, although less than a decade old, has become an Athens institution.  Along with Last Resort, it is the answer to the question, "Where should we take out-of-town-folks that shows off Athens' cuisine?".  The restaurant's slogan is Southern Fun Dining and that couldn't be more true. With items like Chocolate Cake for Breakfast, the food really is both fun and delicious (and Southern!).

Monday, November 12, 2012

Fruit Bites

On Pintrest this week I stumbled upon Homemade Healthy Fruit Snacks, and pinned it immediately.  I'm always on the lookout for an easy snack to give my toddler that isn't just Cheerios.  Lately she has been picky when it comes to fruits and vegetables, so I'm having to be sneakier with them.  This snack provided the perfect solution, and since I already had the ingredients on hand, I decided to give it a try.  

Friday, November 9, 2012

Farm 255

Farm 255 has consistently been one of our favorite Athens restaurants for a few years now.  With its farm-to-table set-up, and its rotating adventurous menu, it is almost always a great eating experience.  So when my husband and I were trying to decide on a restaurant for our first date night in over four months, we felt pretty confident in choosing Farm 255.  After all, our last time eating there was easily one of our Top 10 best meals...ever.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Yesterday was Election Day.  This presidential race has been a particularly nasty one; not just among the candidates, but also among my friends and acquaintances.  My Facebook news feed has been jammed with political arguments for months now.  I have heard people say such hateful, awful things in the name of politics. I feel this is the real problem with America right now--people are unwilling to compromise or allow themselves to really hear other people's point of view (and I can be guilty of these things too).  We spend so much time arguing that we are the ones who are right, that we do not take the time to really listen to the other side.  After all, we do not live in a world of black and white, but in a world made up of shades of gray.  Anyways, I knew last night, as the votes were tallied, there would be a frenzy of finger pointing and anger all over the country.  Wanting to avoid all the negativity, I knew of one sure-fire solution:  Posole night!  

Monday, November 5, 2012

Healthy Peanut Butter Pie

As you may have noticed, I have been on a healthy dessert kick lately.  I was never a huge dessert person until I got pregnant.  Now, two years later, it looks like that sweet tooth is here to stay.  Since it's sticking around, I have to make sure it doesn't stick around my thighs, waist, and arms!  It's been tricky finding low calorie desserts that can be considered healthy too.  For instance, my previous Skinny Peanut Butter Pie is certainly diet-friendly, but with a base of whipped cream and cream cheese, I wouldn't say it's super nutritious.  After last week's roaring success making Healthy Fudge Pie, which can definitely be considered healthy, I decided to try to create a healthier--but just as delicious--peanut butter pie.  I'm happy to report that it was a resounding success!  P.S. This recipe is only 150 calories a slice AND vegan! Woot woot!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili

Happy Fall!  Okay, I know, technically the season of fall began two months ago. However, in Georgia, it doesn't actually feel like fall until November.  Today is November 1st, and it is finally cold enough to put a little frost on the grass in the early morning.  In celebration, I made my first pot of hot, comforting stew of the season:  Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili.  My lovely friend Jessica sent me the recipe a few weeks ago, and I took one look at the recipe, and fell in love.  Sweet Potatoes? Cocoa Powder? Cinnamon?  In a chili?!  I had to make it!  

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Healthy Fudge Pie

Thanks to Pinterest, I have discovered an amazing dessert blog called Chocolate-Covered Katie.  She takes all your favorite desserts, and re-creates them using healthy ingredients.  When I say healthy, I mean healthy.  She replaces unhealthy ingredients with things like garbanzo beans, black beans, and dates.  So far everything I have made from her site has been amazing.  Last week I saw Katie's recipe for Ultimate Fudge Pie and I knew I had to make it right then.  I'm so glad that I did, because it was freaking amazing.  Rich, decadent, creamy, sinful.  Everything you desire in a fudge pie. You would never guess that is made with....tofu.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tofu & Avocado Taco Scramble

Just as I have Food Commandments, I also have Food Goals that I try to live by.  One of my food goals is to eat vegetarian several days a week.  It's good for your health and your wallet. When doing my meal planning this week, I just could not find a vegetarian recipe that I felt like eating.  So I ended up creating my own recipe, and it turned out very tasty!  I served it to my husband and brother, and they both gave it a very big thumbs up.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Losing the Baby Weight, Update #2

A month has passed since my last Losing the Baby Weight Update, so it's time for another update.  Things have been going pretty well!  I have now lost a total of 14.2 pounds: 7 pounds last month and 7 pounds this month. My weight loss looks pretty consistent from that vantage point.  However, if you look at it from a weekly stance, it has been way less consistent. Despite exercising and dieting pretty evenly, I'll gain a pound one week, only to lose 3 pounds the next, and then lose only half a pound the next week, followed by a 1 pound loss the following week, and so on.  However, despite the fluctuations, I'm now very close to my goal weight.  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Skinny Peanut Butter Pie

Peanut Butter Pie has everything I love in a dessert: it's sweet, salty, creamy, and crunchy.  Unfortunately, it's also crazy high in calories and fat.  Yet my recent discovery of Better'n Peanut Butter (now known as my "peanut butter crack") gave me hope that I could make a diet-friendly peanut butter pie.  After a bit of googling, I came upon a Skinny No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie from the wonderful  Just as I did with Skinnytaste's Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake recipe, I fiddled with the recipe to make the calories even lower per serving.  The final product is a 146 calorie mini pie from heaven! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Steak & Sweet Potato Fajitas

This Real Simple Magazine recipe has been one of our family favorites for years.  We liked it so much, we barely altered the original recipe at all!  The combination of sweet potatoes, poblanos, and steak is surprisingly a match made in fajita heaven.  

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

I have been meaning to make spaghetti squash for years now; mainly because it is an incredibly healthy alternative to regular spaghetti noodles.  It is low in carbohydrates and calories, yet packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, and many other cancer fighting nutrients.  Since I love a good casserole, I decided that my first attempt with spaghetti squash should be in my favorite form of comfort food.  I used a recipe from Prevention Magazine as my inspiration. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

Fall is officially here and that means it's time for pumpkin flavored everything. I'm super excited about this trend, because pumpkin is fantastic for you. Not only is it low calorie, it is also a wonderful source of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. So when I saw a Pumpkin Spice No-Bake Cheesecake on, I knew I had to give it a try.  The recipe as written clocks in at 239 calories a serving, which is great for an every-now-and-then-treat.  However, as you may remember, I'm a dessert-once-a-day girl, so I needed something I could eat daily without guilt. So I played around with recipe, and came up with a creamy, pumpkiny, sweet dessert that is only 121 calories per serving.  Happy Fall!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tilapia Parmesan

The famous Broiled Tilapia Parmesan recipe on Allrecipes has been a favorite dinner of mine for a very long time now. Through the years, I've tweaked it until it fitted my personal taste: which of course means the addition of garlic and MORE sauce!  The sauce is the best part of the dish, and the recipe on Allrecipes skimps on the sauce (in my gluttonous opinion).  Obviously though, if you increase the amount of sauce, you drastically increase the calories and fat too.  Yet I have managed to do the impossible:  create a Tilapia Parmesan recipe that has way more sauce, but is still very diet friendly!  You are welcome!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pinterest Hits & Misses, Part 3

Drum roll's time for Pintrest Hits & Misses, Part 3!  If you missed the earlier entries, I have also done a Pintrest Hits & Misses Part 1 and a Pintrest Hits & Misses Part 2.

So which Pins were Hits and which Pins were Misses?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Artichoke Tuna Salad

I'm always trying to increase my fish intake, but decent tasting fresh fish is incredibly difficult to get in our area.  The only store that sells consistently good seafood is Earthfare, but the prices are super high.  Since one of my food goals is to eat fish at least once a week, this often means I have to rely on canned tuna a lot.  The problem with canned tuna is that it usually needs massive amounts of mayonnaise to make it taste good.  My personal favorite use of canned tuna is a tuna melt; made with plenty of mayonnaise and vinegar, topped with a bunch of melty, gooey cheese.  Oh, and lots of garlic. Mmmmmm....  However, obviously, this recipe is not diet-friendly.  So I've been playing around with healthier tuna salad recipes, and I finally found a winner!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Skinny Enchiladas

I've been seeing a recipe for "Skinny Sour Cream Enchiladas" pop on Pinterest for months now, but I've ignored it because it seemed too good to be true.  Mexican food is my comfort food, and comfort food is rarely diet-friendly.  So I've been avoiding making Mexican (my favorite cuisine) because I haven't been able to bear the thought of turning my beloved recipes into something that tastes "healthy".  But on the hundredth viewing of this recipe, I finally gave in and decided to give it a try.  I went in feeling very doubtful.  I must have warned my husband ten times not to expect too much because it was made "healthy".  I started feeling hopeful, however, when I saw that the recipe was very similar to my own enchilada recipe.  So I combined my own recipe with Skinny Mom's recipe, and...oh.... my....gosh...  It was crazy good.  It was gooey and creamy, and spicy and hot.  It did not taste "healthy".  It tasted like the comfort food I've missed so much since I've started this diet.  I can say, without a doubt, this is by far my favorite "healthy" recipe I've made so far.  Did I mention it's under 300 calories a serving?!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Losing the Baby Weight, Update #1

It's been a whole month since I started Operation Lose the Baby Weight.  It feels like it's been a lot longer! But I'm happy to say that it's working. Slower than I would like, but at least the weight is coming off.  I've lost 7.2 pounds so far.  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My Food Commandments

Every person has their own food commandments and rules: foods that must be avoided, the number of sides (if any) that must be made, a cuisine that is adhered to the most, how often dessert is offered, and so on.  Obviously, my own food rules play heavily into this blog.  Some of my rules you might have already noticed or suspected. Or maybe you've just been wondering why I never use a certain ingredient.  If you know me in real life, then you probably are already aware of most of my "rules".  But for those of you who don't know me, here is a list of my food rules and commandments:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Roasted Kale Chips

Every year, there is a new "it" vegetable:  a veggie that become crazy popular due to it being revealed as a nutritional powerhouse. Last year it was sweet potatoes; this year it is definitely kale. Kale is packed with vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin C, and has significant health benefits such as cancer protection and lowering cholesterol.  It is also a great source of potassium, iron, magnesium, calcium, and fiber.  Plus, it is super low in calories, making it a great diet food.  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Chicken & Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

Lately, I have really been wanting to enjoy some comfort food.  Of course, almost all comfort food is high in calories and fat, so I knew it was going to be difficult finding a healthy substitute. I found a couple casserole recipes that used quinoa instead of rice, and I was intrigued. I love quinoa; I think the texture is incredibly pleasing, and it has the added benefit of being super nutritious too.  I had some leftover cooked chicken and a bag of frozen broccoli, so I decided to try to create a healthy Chicken & Broccoli Quinoa Casserole. Not only did it turn out great, I also managed to keep it under 500 calories a serving! 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Stuffed Portobello Pizza

I love pizza; it might be my favorite food in the world.  It's got everything you'd want in a meal, including stomach-filling bread and gooey delicious cheese; both things that I sorely miss in my diet. This week I developed an intense longing for pizza, and if there is one thing I learned about being a successful dieter, it's to not ignore those pesky cravings. The trick is to satisfy those cravings either by moderation or by modification.  Since I knew that I wouldn't be able to restrain myself to just one teeny slice of carb-loaded pizza, I decided to figure out a way to make a healthier pizza. I looked into the Cauliflower Crust craze (you make a pizza crust using cauliflower instead of flour), but I saw that the recipe called for copious amounts of cheese. So while it may be a healthier choice than a traditional crust, it wasn't at all diet-friendly.  Then it hit me: I could use delicious, meaty giant portobellos for the crust! After all, it's already in a tiny pizza shape!  The result was heavenly, and it satisfied my pizza craving to the fullest. I had two huge and gooey Stuffed Portobello Pizzas, and it clocked in at only (approximately) 300 calories; and it is filling.  For those that have a smaller stomach than me (or want to make it for lunch), one "pizza" would probably be enough at only about 150 calories. And of course you could alter the toppings and/or cheese to either reduce (or increase) the calories and fat.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

86 Calorie Cupcakes!

Gosh, I love sweets. It's one of life's greatest pleasures.  So diet or no diet, I'm going to need a dessert once in a while. The problem is, it's hard to find low calorie treats that aren't made with artificial sugar.  For example, you can mix a box of cake mix with a diet coke (or diet sprite) and omit the oil and egg, to make low calorie cake (or cupcakes). It works great, but diet soda isn't very healthy.  So I did some research and learned that you can mix pumpkin puree with the box of cake mix instead, and get a healthy sweet result.  I read that it makes a very moist cake, so I decided to try it with Devil's Food Cake so that it would be fudgey. It turned out perfect: incredibly moist and decadent, at only 86 calories! I plopped a tablespoon of light Cool Whip on top (10 more calories), and I was in dessert heaven for under 100 calories. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Turkey Meatloaf with Goat Cheese & Sun-dried Tomatoes

When looking for healthy and flavorful recipes, I stumbled upon a recipe on Pinterest called Skinny Giada's Turkey/Chicken Goat Cheese Meatloaf .  I clicked on the pin, and was taken to a wonderful blog called What Runs Lori.  I loved the way the author wrote, and I loved even more the way she altered the original recipe (by Giada from the Food Network), and making it even healthier and tastier. It turned out fabulous.  It was actually this exact recipe that convinced me that I could diet and still eat well.  I've changed a few small things about the recipe, but nothing major.  

Monday, August 20, 2012

Losing the Baby Weight

It's time. Time to focus on losing the extra 15 pounds I've been carrying around.  15 pounds that used to be just baby and placenta, but now has been replaced by a gut and a double chin. I was lucky enough where I didn't gain very much weight while pregnant; in fact I only gained 25 pounds total, which is the minimum amount most doctor say that you should gain while pregnant.  Unfortunately, my luck ran out there, because although it wasn't that much gained, it apparently was too much to easily lose.  

Sunday, August 19, 2012

How To Cold Brew Coffee

I have loved coffee since I was an angsty teenager, hanging out for hours on end at the local Huddle House. However, when I was pregnant, even though I limited myself to a cup a day, that cup irritated my sensitive stomach.  I tried to go without my daily dose of caffeine, but not only did I miss the routine of my morning cup o' joe, I also suffered horrible caffeine withdrawal headaches. 

My husband is what I call a "Coffee Expert"; partly because he was a barrista at Jittery Joes when he was in college, but mainly because he is a coffee addict. You will rarely see him without a cup of coffee in his hand if it's before 2pm.  He is kind of like the boss in the movie Office Space.  Anyways, he recommended we try making cold brewed coffee, as opposed to hot brewed coffee.  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Homemade Pedialyte

This past weekend, my baby girl had too much dairy, which is problematic because apparently she is still has cow milk sensitivity.  Lesson learned (and hello, Goat's Milk!).  She had diarrhea for several days, and I was worried about dehydration. She didn't seem too keen on drinking plain water, so I considered going out and buying some Pedialyte for her.  However, after some research, I learned that I could make my own Pedialyte with ingredients that I always have on hand.  Not only was it super easy to make, it was  extremely cost effective!  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

During my pregnancy, I had gestational diabetes, which meant I had to follow a strict low-carb diet.  I really wish Pinterest had been around back then, so that I would have seen a delicious low carb recipe for Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers from a blog called Peace, Love, and Low Carb.  Even though I'm not longer afflicted with diabetes, I still try to watch my carb intake.  This is especially difficult for me, because sandwiches are my favorite type of food. However, this recipe is honestly even better than the sandwich to me; which is nothing short of a miracle.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mini Frittatas

As I mentioned in my Overnight Oatmeal post, I like to make my breakfast in large batches on Sunday evening, so that I'll have an easy-to-eat-and-go breakfast for the entire work week.  I often crave a savory breakfast, so I was super stoked when I stumbled upon this Mini Frittata recipe on Pinterest.  I changed the recipe to make it healthier and to increase the serving size, and was incredibly pleased by the results.  They taste great, are easy to eat on the go, and keep fine for the entire work week.  

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thai Spoon

When I first started thinking about writing a blog, I wanted it to focus on one thing: restaurant reviews. My husband and I are major foodies. We love to go out to restaurants and critique everything we eat.  For us, dinner is not the activity preceding the date; it is the main event.  However, having a baby has changed all that. So dining out has become dining in for us.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Overnight Oatmeal

One of my favorite finds on Pinterest is Overnight/Refrigerator Oatmeal from the blog The Yummy Life. Basically you throw a few ingredients in a mason jar, shake, store in the fridge overnight, and voila: a healthy, to-go breakfast for the morning.  However, since I'm a Stay At Home Mom, and my husband eats breakfast with my daughter and I before he goes to work, I didn't need a transport-ready meal. What interested me was the idea of making a healthy breakfast for a whole week ahead of time.  This recipe does this beautifully; I make a big batch on Sunday evening, and we eat off of it for the entire work week. I have made the recipe many times now, and have changed the recipe just a tad, and increased the measurements in order to make it in bulk (as opposed to a single serving).  The Yummy Life Blog has all sorts of complex and fun ingredients you can mix into your oatmeal to get different oatmeal recipes.  However, I found it is far easier just to stir in your favorite jam, jelly, or pumpkin butter into the oatmeal to get different flavors. I use low sugar jam to keep it healthy, but feel free to use whatever floats your boat. If you aren't counting calories, I imagine that some brown sugar and maple syrup would be heavenly. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pinterest Hits & Misses, Part 2

It has been almost month since I did my "Pinterest Hits & Misses" post, and of course I have since experimented with plenty more Pinterest finds.  Which means...dun, dun, dun, DUN:  time for Pinterest Hits & Misses, Part 2!  

Friday, July 20, 2012

Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken

The latest recipe "Pin" I'm seeing popping everywhere is actually unnamed; instead just described as "The Easiest Dinner Ever", with a picture of chicken, tomatoes, and a block of cream cheese sitting in a slow cooker.  Since I love all three of these things, I decided this would be my next Pinterest recipe to test.  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Chocolate Chess Pie

For the Fourth of July, I made a Chocolate Chess Pie for dessert. Apparently, Chess Pies are a Southern thing, so if you are from the North, you are seriously missing out.  Chocolate Chess Pie is especially decadent. The filling tastes like brownie batter. That's right; this here is Brownie Batter Pie. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Fresh Corn & Goat Cheese Salad

Fourth of July is coming up, and you might be wondering what sort of side you should offer with your hot dogs and burgers.  Lucky for you, I have the perfect accompaniment to any shindig, hootenanny, or barbecue:  Fresh Corn & Goat Cheese Salad. This recipe is super easy to make, travels well, and can be served at room temperature. It's my go-to recipe when I need to bring a side dish to a gathering. However, it is so tasty that I make it for myself all summer too. It keeps great too!

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Behold, one of the best sandwiches ever created:  The BLAT:  Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, Tomato.  The combination of these four ingredients might be the most amazing creation of all time.  The sweetness of the tomato, contrasted by the saltiness of the bacon, next to the creaminess of the avocado, paired with the crunchiness of the lettuce...absolute perfection.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pinterest: Hits & Misses

Pinterest is a one of my favorite websites; and its rising popularity suggests that it is many others favorite website as well. People use it to plan their dream wedding, build a gorgeous nursery, or put together perfect outfits. However, upon closer examination, it becomes apparent that Pinterest is often not actually an "inspiration" site, but instead more of a "daydreaming" site. The women with hundreds of adorable baby outfit pins are usually not even pregnant, nor in any hurry to become so. The ones with boards covered in beautiful wedding dresses and crafty centerpieces were married ten years ago. The women who spend hours putting together an expensive designer outfit probably do most of their clothes shopping at Target. Pinterest, for many, is a place to fantasize about a different life.  We pin, knowing that we are unlikely to ever follow through with most of these pins.  And, yes, that's part of the fun of Pintrest.  

Monday, June 25, 2012

Black Bean Stew

I lived in Mexico City for several years as a child, and as a result, my favorite cuisine is Latin American.  We make so much of it, that Kroger actually started sending our coupons in Spanish.  Healthy sides can be a bit tricky with this style of food, and low fat canned refried beans get old pretty fast (not to mention that refried beans in the States taste NOTHING like they do in Mexico; not even the ones that are shipped here from Mexico; so if you happen to find yourself in Mexico, pick up a few cans of beans and send them my way!).  Anyways, one of my favorite healthy sides to make is Black Bean Stew.  

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chilled Cucumber Soup

My favorite perk of summer is the produce.  You just cannot beat the in-season vegetables and fruits of summer (sorry, root vegetables of winter!).  Our garden is producing its first produce already: cucumbers and tomatoes.  I knew immediately what I wanted to do with them: make Chilled Cucumber Soup.  Not only is this recipe incredibly delicious, it is incredibly healthy as well. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Homemade Baby Teething Biscuits

My daughter began teething at 4 months old.  It was awful: constant drool, increased fussiness, chewing on everything.  She is a sensitive baby, it seems like she feels things more acutely that most other babies.  It took two months for that first tooth to pop through, and it was quickly followed by another.  We had a short reprieve, and then at 8 months, teething began again.  Those two top teeth just haven't broke through yet! Stubborn little things.  So we are doing the tricks we did last time: ice cubes in a mesh feeder, teething toys, wet frozen washcloth, and Tylenol for the bad nights.  However, since she is older and eating solids now, there is a new thing to add to our repertoire:  teething biscuits! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Moroccan Chicken

Several years ago, I tore a recipe for Moroccan Chicken out of a fitness magazine.  My wedding was in a few months, and I was looking for healthy recipes.  Although I can no longer remember what magazine I found the recipe in, the recipe itself has been permanently embedded in my brain.  It was declared "The Best Recipe of 2009" in our household, and has been made at least monthly since then. Through the years I have played with the recipe until it reached perfection.  Since I am a kind and generous soul, I'm going to share this delicious and healthy dish with you!