Quite a random update.

I have a lot of little things to talk about but nothing big so I have no clue how to title this post…

Anyway….
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I was cleaning out the display cases and he decided he needed to get in there.  He’s clearly not afraid of being in them anymore!

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My mom was getting home late Friday so I went by to let her dogs out for a few minutes and put them back in.  While I was chasing her wild child of a dog Oreo around Rylan decided to hang out with Bailey in her kennel!  haha

Saturday was blah.  We rested.  It was rough.  I’m not really a sit and rest kind of person.  I apparently needed it though because I was supposed to go to Zumba that morning and I slept in.

Shock.

I know.

I had a headache too.  Sometimes your body just needs that I guess.

On Sunday I was in a cooking mood.  I’ve been looking for a good chili recipe.

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I found this one from The Pioneer Woman.  At first I wasn’t too crazy about it but I made a few tweaks to it and I really like it.  20150712_163308

I also made some monkey bread.  It’s not that great for you but everyone needs a treat every now and then.

20150712_162421My little man eating his supper.  He’s such a big boy.  He won’t sit in his high chair anymore.  I guess he’s too “cool” for that now.  He does great in a regular chair though so that’s where he sits.

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Rylan had to go for his well child checkup Monday.  He’s 34.5″ and 25lbs!  20150713_125205

 

He had to have a finger stick and his last Hep A shot.  He HATED the band aid on his finger.  The prick wasn’t bad but when she put the band aid on he was not a happy camper.  I’m guessing this is when it probably started throbbing too.

When it came time for his shot he started telling the nurse “Peese, Peese, Non’t”.  Poor little feller.  :(  He’s so smart and so cute.

As for a workout update:

I’ve wanted to try Yoga for years now and it has just not worked out for me.  I finally gave it a whirl last Monday though and I love it!  You really do use muscles you haven’t used in a long time, if ever.

My arms and my abs really got a good workout.  I felt it for the rest of the week…no joke!

I went again last night and it was wonderful!

I burned 383 calories in an hour and was completely challenged.  I now get what all the fuss is about.  I’m going to add a Yoga class into my routine once a week for sure.  I wish I could do it 7 days a week honestly.

I’d take pictures but in such a calm environment with so much concentration (and lets face it…weird positions) I don’t really feel like it’s appropriate.  I know I wouldn’t want someone taking pictures of me trying to do any of it.

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My Go To Breakfast

My new go to breakfast.  I have to say though, the berries on the side were Rylan’s.  Mom made some Fruit and Mint salad and that was part of his breakfast.

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Anyway, the smoothie is super simple.  I have two seperate variations on it that I do.

Strawberry Protein Smoothie

  • 1 Scoop Vanilla Chai Protein Powder
  • 1 c. Frozen Strawberries
  •  1/2 c. Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/4 c. Water

158 Calories

This one has more into it and has some more calories but sometimes that’s needed, especially if I’m really working out hard.  Everything in it is super healthy and delicious.

Strawberry Kefir Protein Smoothie

  • 1 Scoop Vanilla Chai Protein Powder
  • 1/2 c. Strawberry Banana Kefir
  • 1 tsp. Chia Seeds
  • 1 c. Frozen Strawberries
  • 1/2 c. Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/4 c. Water

248 Calories

 

This powder is also just fine mixed with unsweetened almond milk, skim milk or even water.  It has a great flavor on it’s own and it mixes extremely well.

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Mother’s Day Cooking Class

Gotta start off the post with some cuteness!

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Saying “Mommy!” when I was leaving.

For Mother’s Day I reserved two spots at one of the Cooking Along the Crooked Road cooking classes at the Higher Ed Center.  This one focused on heart healthy vegetables.

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Me and Mom before the class began.

We made a fruit salad, a green salad with Asian dressing and chicken stir fry with rice.

The vegetables that we used that are currently in season locally came from Deni Peterson’s farm (one of the class instructors).  She is the Learning Landscapes Education Coordinator for Appalachian Sustainable Development.

Our other instructor was Kim Evans who is a local personal chef.  Her company is Moveable Feast.

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Aren’t these bell peppers beautiful?20150601_185625

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We were in charge of cutting the bell peppers.20150601_192225

We also had to chop the garlic and mix up the thickening agent for the stir fry.20150601_183507

I think I could have eaten this whole bowl of fruit.  It was delicious!20150601_195243

My fruit salad and regular salad plate.20150601_195837

The stir fry and rice.  It looked prettier before I plated it! haha20150601_202102

When we came out to get in my car we saw such a pretty rainbow.  The picture doesn’t do it justice.signature

Chicken Teriyaki

This is my recipe.  I just got in the kitchen one day and began working and tasting and came up with this.  This is something that we love at our house!  It is fairly quick and has plenty of flavor!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Fresh Chicken Breasts
  • 1 tsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 c. Rice (Quick Cook, I prefer Brown)
  • 1 ½ c. Vegetable Broth
  • Frozen Broccoli (I use Green Giant Steamers, half the bag)
  • 1 Red Onion, quartered and pulled apart
  • Mushrooms, roughly chopped (about a cup)
  • 1 c. Teriyaki Sauce
  • ½ c. Honey
  • Crushed Red Pepper (to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder for honey
  • ½ tsp. Garlic Powder for rice
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp. Pepper
  • Sesame Seeds, 1 tsp.

Teriyaki mixture:
Mix teriyaki sauce, honey, 1 tbsp. garlic powder & red pepper flakes to taste.  Whisk together and taste to see if anything needs to be adjusted.  Sit this aside.

Rice:
Add rice, ½ tsp. garlic powder and vegetable broth to a sauce pan and prepare according to rice directions.

Chicken:
Cube chicken breasts.  Add olive oil to pan turn to medium heat.  Add chicken and salt and pepper the chicken to taste.  Brown chicken.

Veggies:
Before chicken is done add the onion so that it can be caramelizing but not burning.  Then add mushrooms and broccoli.  Cover and let it cook for a couple of minutes.  Make sure not to burn anything by stirring occasionally.

Add rice to the chicken and veggies along with teriyaki mixture.  Stir well and cover another couple of minutes.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Serve it up!

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So-Easy-It-Is-Ridiculous Potato Soup

Yesterday Jason was at our rental property working on the remodel and I was running around the house doing laundry, wrestling my toddler and trying to get my house in order before the work week began.  It was getting closer to supper time and I needed something that wasn’t really labor intensive but still filling and warm after such a long day.  I decided on potato soup.

I came across this recipe late last year that one of the YouTubers I follow posted.  She used frozen hash browns and cooked it in the Crock-Pot.  I tweaked it to make it my own, cooked it on the stovetop, used my own potatoes and I am so in love with it!  This is my new go-to soup for cold weather.  It is always a hit at my house.  We can usually have this one day and have two days worth of leftovers.  The Husband isn’t big on leftovers but he won’t turn this down!

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Soup

  • 2 Small Onions Chopped
  • 3 Cans Chicken Broth
  • 1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • ¼ tsp.Seasoning Salt
  • ½ tsp. Black Pepper
  • 5 Medium Potatoes
  • 1 Block of Cream Cheese (Full Fat)

 

Garnishing

  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Crispy Bacon

In a large stock pot combine onions, chicken broth, cream of chicken soup, seasoning salt, black pepper and potatoes.  Bring to a boil and then put the heat back down so that it is steadily simmering.  Let it simmer for 20 minutes.

Add cream cheese to soup and let it melt and mix in.  This will probably take 5-10 minutes depending on how cold your cream cheese is.  I always keep extra stored in the freezer just for this soup.  Even though the texture changes if you thaw it and try to use it on a bagel it is just fine for soup.

Garnish and serve!

We really like this with yeast rolls but biscuits or cornbread would be great too.

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Spicy Turkey Soft Tacos

This is a recipe that I love to make and freeze.  My husband isn’t much on spicy things.  He likes a little spice but this is too much for him so I just make regular soft tacos for him and these for me.  It works out great.  This recipe makes quite a bit so I always freeze what I’m not eating.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs Ground Turkey Breast
  • 1 Can of Chipotle Peppers in Adoboe Sauce (7 oz)
  • 2 Packets of Mild Taco Seasoning
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 Cans Fat Free Refried Beans
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato, diced
  • Cheddar Cheese, Fat Free
  • Sour Cream, Fat Free
  • Whole Wheat Tortillas
  • 3/4 c. water
  • Cooking Spray

Spray your pan well with cooking spray and heat medium to medium high on your stove.  Add the chopped onion and move them around as the sautee for a minute or two.  Add your ground turkey breast and brown completely.  After it is completely cooked add both packets of taco seasoning, water, beans and the chipotle peppers.  Simmer for 5 minutes stirring and mashing up the peppers, mixing everything very well.

Serve on the whole wheat tortillas with lettuce, diced tomato, cheddar cheese and sour cream.

If you want to freeze, portion out the size that you want and put in freezer bags.  I like to use Ziploc Freezer Bags with the Ziploc Perfect Portions Bags.

 

Easy Vegetable Beef Soup

Brrr….It’s COLD!!!  It is 2pm and it is only 16 degrees…and the temperature is dropping.  We had a dusting of snow last night and the low for tonight is -3 degrees but with the wind chill being miserable.  I almost can’t believe it will be 53 degrees Friday.  Anyway, my Little Man and I have been home all day today staying warm.  I’ve been cleaning and getting everything washed up in case of an electricity outage and he has been playing like a wild man.  When I laid him down for a nap I started to think about what I should make for supper tonight.  There was one thing that popped into my head: soup!  Then I had to narrow it down and I decided on Easy Vegetable Soup.  It really is a perfect day for it!

I use a Dutch oven anytime I do soup, stew, roasts, steaks…a lot of things.  That’s what I used for this soup.  The one I used today is by The Lodge.  It’s an enameled cast iron Dutch oven.  I think it is the 6-quart size but I’m not 100% on that.

Ingredients:

  • 28 oz Crushed Tomatoes,
  • 6 oz Tomato Paste
  • 14oz Can of Beef Broth
  • 1 Onion, Peeled & Cubed
  • 8 – 10oz Steak cut into chunks (Any kind that suits, I happened to have tenderloin)
  • 12 oz. Frozen Mixed Vegetables (Peas, Carrots, Green Beans)
  • 4 Medium Potatoes, Peeled & Cubed
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive Oil, about 2 Tbsp. give or take
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Cup Beef Stock
  • 1 ¾ Cups of Water, more if needed

Prep the food first.  Peel and cube potatoes and onions.  Cut the steak into chunks, salt and pepper liberally.

In my Dutch oven, I put roughly about 2 Tbsp of olive oil and heat till it’s pretty hot, about medium high heat.

Olive OilAdd the onions.

Onions 1Let them sweat a bit…

Onions 2And brown a bit.

Onions 3Take them out and put them to the side.

Onions in BowlAdd the steak.

Sliced SteakLet it brown a bit.

SteakTake it out and set it to the side.

Steak in a BowlThe bottom of the pan should look like this.  All of this is FLAVOR.

Bottom of the PanPour the Beef Stock in to the still hot pan

Beef Stock

Whisk getting all the bits of flavor off of the bottom.

Adding Beef Stock

Put the steak back in…

Add Beef BackFollowed by the onions…

Add Onions BackAnd all the other ingredients…

Frozen Vegetables

Added Frozen Veggies Potatoes

Added PotatoesTomato Paste

Added Tomato PasteCrushed Tomatoes

Added Crushed Tomatoes

Water & Beef Broth

Added WaterStir mixing all the ingredients

Stirred & ready to simmer

Simmer for 3 hours on medium low heat.  Keep a check on it and add more water if needed.

Enjoy!

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