Friday, September 30, 2011

No Cooking Today

Yesterday I was in a funk. :(

It happens to all of us.  I was busy with work.  Kai was planning a "sleep over" with her friends from school (no parents are involved in this plan) and planning her wedding but she's having trouble "picking which boy she's going to marry"! YIKES!!  And I just did not feel like cooking....anything.


Breakfast was the oatmeal that Kai didn't finish for breakfast, an apple and some more hot tea.

Only now I'm out of pumpkin. :(

See what I mean?  It was a funk of a day. 

Fortunately I happened to have some coconut whip in the fridge.

Though it's no pumpkin, I have to say it was an EXCELLENT substitute....

Hot Green Tea + Large Spoonful of Coconut Whip + Cinnamon

As a mid morning snack I had the last of the Pumpkin Humus and a LOT of carrots.  Probably too many carrots.  I was really digging the crunch and the bag was ALMOST empty so I went ahead and finished it off.  I'm sure I saved some energy or something by not having to open the fridge to put the bag back, right?  So it was good for the environment.  :)

Lunch was a tossed together taco salad.  

The last of the spinach + tomato salsa + black bean & corn salsa + avocado + broken chips...

Super Quick and Super Easy.

Kai of course had a jelly sandwich. :P


Have you noticed a theme yet?  "the last of..."  Yeah, we need to hit up the grocery store!  As dinner time came around I kept coming up with ideas and then checking for ingredients.  Every time we came up short.  Finally the Hub's suggested Chinese!

Ding, ding, ding, ding - we have a winner!!

I ordered Vegetable Chow Mein, with a side of Egg Drop Soup.  What I THOUGHT I was ordering was the one with noodles but this is the one with rice.  See, it said it came with noodles but it was those deep fried stick thingies that I HATE.  Fortunately it was VERY good which made up for my lack of Chinese Ordering skills. :P

I ate it all!  All the rice, all the Chow Mein, all the Soup!
I LOVE Chinese food!!
The Hubs on the other hand knew what he was doing and ordered Shrimp Lo Mein, which DOES come with noodles (see, Chow vs. Lo makes all the difference).  I shared my rice and the hubs shared his noodles & broccoli with Kai.  They also shared some Crab Rangoon.

And once she saw my chop sticks she needed some of her own....

After a few tries, she had them mastered! :)

So that was my day of no cooking.  Of course I'm already making up for that today.  I've already prepped my dinner for tonight...BBQ Lentils!  :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Good Eats

Yesterday was a day of good eats!  

I started out with some hot pumpkin tea...My newest obsession.  

In the summer I drink mostly ice water or ice tea but the idea of drinking something so cold in the fall/winter makes me want to curl up under a warm blanket and hibernate...which I simply don't have time for.  


Hot Pumpkin Spice Tea
1 mug of hot tea (I brew green tea and then keep a pitcher in the fridge.  Then it's just a matter of filling my mug and heating it in the microwave for 3 minutes)
1 large spoonful of pumpkin puree
Splash of Almond Milk
Sprinkling of Pumpkin Pie Spice
Drizzle of Honey

Stir it all together & enjoy the warmth!

Adding the pumpkin!  Yum!!

Drink Me!
Obviously a mug of tea, no matter how big my mug is, isn't enough to fill me up, so after taking Kai to school I made myself a delicious smoothie.

Ginger Green Smoothie
1/4C oatmeal
1/4C water
1/2 C Almond Milk
1 t Ground Ginger
1.5 T Molasses
1 T Chia Seeds
1/2 Frozen Banana
BIG handful of spinach

Puree it all together...

And then, since I was STILL hungry, I had an apple with a spoonful of Almond Butter.

For lunch Kai wanted a Jelly Sandwich.  She would eat a jelly sandwich for breakfast, lunch and dinner, 7 days a week, if I'd let her.  The girl LOVES her jelly sandwiches!!

So onto her bread went some Nutritional Yeast & Strawberry Jelly.  The last of our jelly.  I had a little panic attack and will probably be stopping by the grocery store in the morning to buy more!

I decided to also have a sandwich.  Onto mine went...

Nutritional Yeast
Pumpkin Humus
Raw Sunflower Seeds
Sun-dried Tomatoes
Avocado Pieces

And to go along with our sandwiches I made up Mashed Cauliflower-Potatoes (see below) and some Baby Carrots.

My sandwich was UNBELIEVABLE!!  Between the sweetness of the tomatoes & humus and the creaminess of the avocado & humus it was perfect!!

Mashed Cauliflower-Potatoes
Into my Pampered Chef Microwavable Steam bowl went some cauliflower & potatoes.

Nuked for about 6 minutes then mashed with a splash of almond milk.

Couldn't be easier!!

We received that steam bowl for our wedding and for about  a year I had no clue what it was or how to use it!  But once I figured it out, I started using it all the time.  If you're going to a Pampered Chef party then this would be my recommendation for your next purchase. :)

Dinner was with some High School Alumni at a little place called Kazablanca.  Once again I did not take pictures while eating. :(  I got the salad bar which included a fruit salad that I just loved. Big grapes, melons, strawberries...yum. :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Corn Soup

Wow, can you tell new TV has started.  I'm going to have to drop some shows if I'm going to keep up with everything!  Some of the new shows I've watched are the New Girl, it's still finding it's groove but I'm really enjoying it; Pan Am, I'm not sure about this one was almost like there was too much they wanted to convey in the first episode; and Terra Nova.  I had no interest in Terra Nova (I saw Jurassic Park, how much more is there to tell, lol) but the Hub's wanted to watch it so I'm giving it a chance.  The first episode was OK...again there's a lot of ways it could go.   Are there any new shows any of you like?  Dislike?  Can't wait to see?  To be honest I'm dying to see Once Upon A Time, but that one doesn't start for a while yet. :(

Anyway, on to the food...

I made this a few days ago and never got around to posting about it.  I guess that's what happens when you take the weekend off.  But I loved how it turned out and even though it's a few days late I really think you'd enjoy it too. :)


1 small Onion
1/2 Bell Pepper -  I used an assortment of pre-cut/cleaned bell colors
4 Petite Potatoes
1/2 T Thyme
4 ears of corn - kernels cut off
2 Leaves of Kale - torn up and destemmed
Veggie Broth to thin out
1/2 can of corn - drained or corn from 4 more ears or frozen corn - what ever you have. :)
Handful of Chopped Cilantro

In a little Olive Oil - saute the onion, bells, potatoes & thyme until soft.
In a blender puree the kernels from 4 ears of corn.
Stir the corn puree & kale into the sauteed veggies.
Add Veggie Broth to the soup consistency you'd like - I like mine thick like a stew so I don't add much. :)
Stir in your corn kernels & cilantro & let simmer until the flavors are all deliciously merged.



Blend it all together.

And the best finish to any meal....


Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Just like how my summer snacks revolve around watermelon, this time of year most of my meals & snacks center around pumpkin. :)

So I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite pumpkin uses...

But first, How to make your own pumpkin puree...

Usually I just buy it canned, but since it would seem that I'm not the only pumpkin hoarder, sometimes I can't find the cans, and so I make my own... I use this method to cook just about all my winter squash.   :)


1 small pie pumpkin

Cut your pumpkin in half.
Scoop out & save seeds.
Put in a dish, cut side down, and add 1/4" of water.
Bake at 400° for about 45 minutes.
You'll know it's done when a fork easy pierces the skin.
Remove from pan & let cool so you can handle it.
Scoop out the flesh and puree.

Cut in half

Scoop out Seeds

Put in a dish with 1/4" water

Roast until a fork easily pierces the skin

Scoop out the flesh


Now that you have the puree here's a few ideas for what you can do with it...

· Add it to your oatmeal, of course!
· Eat it plain or mixed with some Greek Yogurt, topped with some pumpkin seeds & cinnamon. :)
· Blend it in a smoothie with Almond milk, a frozen banana, Pumpkin Pie Spice, & a little sweetener.
· Add it to your drinks - I love hot green tea with a spoonful of pumpkin, a splash of almond milk and a shake of cinnamon stirred in!...Or stir a spoonful into your hot apple cider!
· Make yourself some Pumpkin-Yogurt Humus...

1 Can Chickpeas - drained & rinsed
1/4 C Pumpkin Puree
2 T Maple Syrup

Puree it all together.
For a Fancy presentation top with cinnamon & pumpkin seeds. :)

I've really been enjoying this humus!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cheese Sticks

I de-lap-topped this weekend.  No e-mails, no Facebook, no blogging. :)

Of course I still had my phone & could sneak peeks at what was going on but for the most part I took the weekend off.

Well, until yesterday.  I had to update my Fantasy Football team.  All that effort of turning on my laptop and I STILL lost. :(    I blame Philip Rivers.  What kind of a QB only gets me 6 points!?!

So this weekend I continued my Pumpkin affair and have lots of pumpkin uses for you, that I'll be posting about later.  We also got to visit with my sister while they were in town to see their new nephew (born on Friday!), celebrated my father in-law's birthday and picked out Kai's birthday present.  (We're going to get her a big-girl bike that has a seat on the front for "Baby Doll".  Yeah, we're very creative in naming the toys. lol!)

Today I'm going to keep it short & sweet with our game watching snack from last night.

I made cheese sticks, which are incredibly simple to do but also require some freezer time so you have to plan ahead.  Perfect for the Sunday Night game. :)

Makes 6

3 Mozzarella String Cheese sticks
1/4 C Whole Wheat Flour
1 Egg Whites
1/2 C Panko Crumbs
1 T Italian Seasoning

Set up 3 bowls - one with the flour, one with the egg whites, and one with the Crumbs & Seasoning mixed.
Cut your String Cheese in half so that you have 6 sticks.
Dip all the cheese sticks into the flour.
Now the messy part...
Dip the cheese stick into the egg & coat, then dip and cover with the seasoned crumbs.
Dip AGAIN into the egg and then the crumbs.
Set the sticks onto a cookie sheet (I used parchment paper so that they wouldn't stick).
Once you have them all coated put the entire thing into the freezer for 1-2+ hours.
Just before your ready to serve pop them into a 400° pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes...until the cheese is soft.

Ready to begin...

All coated and ready to go into the freezer

Served up with some marinara sauce & pumpkin apple cider

Friday, September 23, 2011

Making Chips

Have you noticed I've been on a smoothie kick lately?  I don't know if it's the fall weather (Yes!!  I can finally call it Fall!!!) or what but they're so quick and easy...and I can take it on the go with me.  

But I still need it to be good and filling so I always start out by putting my 'oatmeal' into the blender and let it sit in the fridge while I prep for the day... 1/4C oats, 1/4C water, 1/4C almond milk, & 1 T Chia seeds.

Then, to make my Green Smoothie,  I added:
1/2 frozen banana
1/4 Avocado
Big handful of spinach - very big :)
more milk to thin it out so I could actually get it through the straw. lol!

and blended it all together.

It was nice and creamy.  Just what I needed. :)

After breakfast, and catching up on some work, I decided I needed to deal with some of my apples.  I already have cider in the fridge, as well as apple butter.  What to do...what to do?


Out came my favorite veggie slicer and the dehydrator.

3 Apples later my dehydrator was full (only 3 apples!)

Sprinkled with some DIY pumpkin pie spice*
2 T Cinnamon
1 T Nutmeg
1 T Ginger
1/2 T Cloves

Or you can just buy it in the store, but I've never been able to find it and mixing it yourself is just as easy. :)
A few hours later and they're all crisped up.

Close up of the tastiness!
Lunch was left over rice + heated up California Veggie Mix + Nutritional Yeast with a Peach on the side.

After the Apple Chips were done I thought, "why not keep going since I had everything out?"

So out came a beet & a sweet potato - both peeled & then sliced...

A few hours later and I had more chips!

So pretty!
Dinner was soup...  Sauteed Veggies, Kidney Beans & Broth. :)

And a Fancy Dessert...

Pumpkin topped with coconut whip* with chips to decorate
*You can find different versions of Coconut Whip all over the place but here's what I do:

1 can full fat coconut milk
3 T Organic Sucanat
1 t vanilla

Open the can of coconut milk & set in the fridge so that it can thicken up.
Scoop out the meaty part/drain the liquid.  (Use the liquid in smoothies, soups, etc...)
Put the 3T of Organic Sucanat in a coffee grinder & grind.  It will become a powdered sugar.
Whip the vanilla, Sucanat powder & coconut meat.  
And you're done! That simple.  It just melts in your mouth!  
Just store left overs in the fridge.  :)

The Hubs & Kai had Chicken Noodle Soup for dinner.  
I sauteed veggies - onion, carrot & celery - in a pot.
I added the frozen chicken broth from when I cooked up the chicken in the crock pot.
I added a pouch of frozen chicken.
Once it was all boiling I added some store bought noodles & a bit more water.
When the noodles were done we all ate. :)

And remember that jar of Dessert Humus from yesterday?...

Yep, it's all gone.  

Technically it was more than 24 hours so that's ok, right? :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dessert Humus

Today I went to the store and look at what was on sale for 75 cents.

Justin's Chocolate Almond Butter!

Well for only 75 cents I couldn't not just walk by.  

I picked one up with the full intention of just squirting it into my mouth! (don't judge)

But then I started thinking....Dessert Humus.

I don't know where the thought came from.  Perhaps it was my shoulder angel.  Perhaps the house elves were sending out inspirational vibes.  Maybe it was God whispering in my ear.  Wherever it came from, clearly it was a good idea.  I mean seriously, CHOCOLATE almond butter humus.  YES PLEASE!

1 can chickpeas - drained & rinsed
1 packet Justin's Chocolate Almond Butter (2 would have been even better!)
2 T Nutritional Yeast
2 T Maple Syrup
2 T Almond Milk
Chocolate Chips

Puree everything except the chocolate chips until smooth.
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Try not to eat it all in one sitting.  :)

Put everything but chocolate chips in your blender

Blend until smooth

Stir in your chocolate chips.
This jar is already half empty.  :(

Breakfast today was Ultimate Fall Oatmeal.  I told you you'd be seeing it again.  :)

Lunch was a simple wrap.  Tortilla, spinach, yellow bells, avocado, carrots and a bit of yogurt to help keep it closed.

Good luck getting that thing closed!

Ok, the yogurt didn't work - at all - it just kept popping back open.

...but who cares when you have a side of dessert humus! :D

Ok, I had to hold it closed with my finger. :)

Dinner was rice topped with sauteed onion, eggplant, kale, tomato, and black beans; and a side of pumpkin puree....and then maybe a spoonful of dessert humus.  I can't stop myself.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

More Soup!!!

Do you remember the cook in Alice in Wonderland who was always screaming for more pepper??   I kinda feel like her but with soup instead of pepper. lol!!  More soup!  This day needs more soup!

So yes, I'm still on my soup kick.  

The other day for lunch I made a lentil & quinoa veggie soup...


Saute every veggie you can find! :)
I included onion, celery, carrot, eggplant, Kale & mushrooms

Add in your veggie broth, 1/2 cups of lentils & 1/4 cup of Quinoa

Enjoy topped with some nutritional yeast

Then, yesterday, I decided I wanted egg drop soup...

1/4 Chopped Onion
1/2 C Chopped Carrot
1/4 C Chopped Mushrooms
2 Kale leaves - destemmed
1/4 C pasta noodles
Veggie Broth to cover it all
1 egg

Saute the veggies on Med Heat.  
Add  your broth and bring to a boil.
Add noodles and cook until the noodles are Al-Dente.
Scramble your egg and gently pour it into the soup.
Serve & Enjoy


Boil the Noodles

Add the egg.

Ready to serve.


In addition to making soups Kai and I made our first fall craft and I wanted to share.  :)

Covered toilet paper rolls in orange or white paper
Added Pumpkin & Ghost Faces.

Strung them up for a Halloween garland. :)