Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pollen, Pollen Everywhere!!

I've heard the pollen count is more than double it's normal numbers.  I guess we can attribute that to the warmer than usual winter as well.  It is wreaking havoc on my poor little Princess though.  Yesterday,  she came in from playing outside and this is what her poor little face looked like. I didn't even take any pictures of her hives, but you can see them starting on her neck. :( Poor baby!!
I have to admit, I got a little excited for a minute (and I'm not usually an excitable type mom).  However,  I know that facial swelling, as an allergic reaction, is not a good thing.  Bless her heart, she felt miserable too.  I quickly put her in the shower and gave her a double dose of Benadryl, hoping to help with the itching.   So what if she sleeps a little longer, she felt awful with the itching, her little lip doubled in size, and her eyes all swollen.  We can't wait until all this pollen is gone.  She is pretty much stuck in the house until that happens.  She is NOT at all happy about that.

Daddy did make it a little better by bringing her home a caramel egg.  He's so sweet!  Such a good daddy!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Blueberry Dump Cake

Yep, you read that right, dump cake.  Now, my kids immediately said "a dump cake, really mom, that doesn't sound very good".  Little did they know.

Hubby had asked for cookies just the other day,  so I figured this would cure his sweet tooth craving.  As an added bonus,  it was much easier than baking a batch of cookies or anything else I could think of to fix and only required 5 ingredients.  It was so easy,  I put it together in the middle of fixing dinner.

Here's your ingredients:
     1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
     4 cups fresh blueberries
     1/2 cup white sugar
     1/2 cup butter, melted
     1 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Mix the berries, sugar, and cinnamon in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan.  Cover berries with dry cake mix.  Pour butter over cake mix, do not stir.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until light brown.  Serve warm or cold.
I served mine with a little bit of icecream.  YUMMY!!!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Homemade Taco Seasoning

It's taco night and I don't have a kit,  OH NO!!!!  No problem!  My sister-in-law makes her own taco seasoning, so I go searching.  Unfortunately,  I couldn't find hers,  but I did find one I had all the spices for, so doesn't hurt to try right?  The kids declared it a success and hubby said it was better than the mix in the kit (just like the taco sauce).  No more taco kits in this house.

Simply mix together:
     1 tbsp. chili powder
     2 tsp. onion powder
     1 tsp. each ground cumin, garlic powder, paprika, powdered oregano and sugar
     1/2 tsp. salt

Once you've browned and drained your hamburger, add your homemade taco seasoning and 3/4 cup water.  Mix it up and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes. Then serve with your favorite taco fixings.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday

Well, another week has come and gone and I have to report............. minus 1 pound!!!  Whooohooooo!  Still not the big numbers I would like,  but I'll take it.

I have to admit,  I was VERY nervous this morning.  I had been spoiled all weekend by hubby.  He got Outback on Saturday and we went out to eat after church Sunday.  I'm not sure if he was being nice after my episode Friday night, or trying to make me have the BIG ONE!!! LOL  Either way, it was a lot of good food that I should not have eaten.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Homemade Taco Sauce

In my desire to make more meals from less processed foods,  I started making tacos the other day (without the box kit) and realized I hadn't accounted for the taco sauce that comes in the kit.  So, I got online and found a super easy recipe that tasted super good.  I even got a "that tastes better than any of the stuff you've bought" compliment. 

Here's all you need:
         3 cups water
         2 teaspoons cornstarch
         1   6-ounce can tomato paste
         3 tablespoons  white vinegar
         4 teaspoons chili powder
         2 teaspoons salt
         1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Dissolve the corn starch in the water then add all the other ingredients.  Bring to a boil on medium heat and boil for 1 minute, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, cool to room temperature and serve.  

This is not a very good picture, I know, but it was good taco sauce.  This is only the little bit I kept out for our dinner. The recipe made a little over 3 cups.  I froze three other containers for future use. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday

So, I have to admit, I'm a little disappointed this week.  I didn't gain, but I didn't loose anything either.  I get so aggravated when I completely stall out. I guess it would be worse though if I had gained.   But, I gave up chocolate milk, and for those that really know me,  that was a BIG thing.  Chocolate milk is my coffee in the morning!!!  I also started the exercise chart, so what happened????  

I'm not giving up though.  This just means more P.E. time for the kiddos and more monitoring of what I eat,  because obviously I messed up this past week.  Maybe it was the turkey and fixins' I made on Thursday that we ate on all weekend; gravy, rolls, candied sweet potatoes, and stuffing.  So, I guess that's what happened:( 

Oh well, let's move on to next week.  The goal is -10 pounds by Easter so my dress is a bit more comfortable:).  I can do this. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Garlic - Parmesan Bread

I don't know about you,  but my house is full of bread eaters.  We especially like to have bread with our pasta.  So, when I found this recipe, I knew it was going to go with the next spaghetti meal.  It was delicious!!   The best part, it was so simple. You just throw the ingredients in the bread machine and push a button.  Love it!!!

Here's what you need:

1 1/3 cup water
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cup bread flour
2 1/2 teaspoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder -- (or to taste)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese -- up to 1 c

Place the ingredients in your machine in the order listed, except for the last two they need to be added on the last knead cycle.  I used the basic setting on my machine so I added them at the 2:30 mark.

I said it before, delicious!! The only problem I found with it is that this recipe only made a 1 lb loaf. That is just not big enough for my bread loving family.  I think I need a second bread machine. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cran-Apple Pork Chops with Sweet Potatoes

I'm back in crock pot mode.  This one sounded a little different, so thought I'd give it a try.  Hubby and I liked it,  the kids ate it (but I don't always count them cause' they're so picky).  It was also very simple to put together. 
Here's what you need:
         1 cup applesauce
         2 tablespoons honey
         3-4 sweet potatoes peeled and sliced (about 4 cups sliced)
         2 1/2 pounds of pork chops or cutlets
         1 (20 oz) can whole cranberry sauce ( I made my own)

 Pour the applesauce in the bottom of the crock pot,  place the sliced sweet potatoes on the applesauce and drizzle with the honey or brown sugar.

  Place your pork chops on top of the sweet potatoes salt and pepper lightly.

Then, pour the cranberry sauce on top covering the pork chops.  Cover and cook on low 7-9 hours.  Mine cooked 7.5 hours and it was a little too long, so you might start checking at 6 hours and see.  Everything had a cran-apple taste, even the sweet potatoes.  Plus,  it was easy on the diet.  We will be eating this again. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Weigh - In Wednesday

I got a little slack posting on my Weigh - In Wednesday, but I do have an excuse.  It's  not a good excuse, but one none the less.  I missed two weeks of weighing in due to vacation and then, when I came back,  I was really surprised by the weight I gained back.  I expected to gain back a pound or two,  but 4?  I was really disappointed,  after all, we did a LOT of walking.  I guess the eating out and popcorn, funnel cakes, cotton candy, and sodas outweighed all the walking.

So,  being a bit disappointed, I didn't post anything.  It took me a couple weeks to get back in the groove.  However,  I have arrived!!! I have lost the weight I gained in Florida, plus two pounds.  That brings the total to 10.2 pounds.  I do wish things were going faster,  but I will take what I get, especially since I haven't gone hardcore and completely removed some favorites like chocolate milk and breads.  That's what I like about Weight Watchers,  you can still incorporate things you like,  just making adjustments for them.

The battle continues on.  My goal for this week is to loose three more pounds.  I think that is completely attainable.  Plus, I will be starting an exercise program for beginners, nothing too involved, just something to get moving, as well as walking the Bella puppy.  Time to get moving!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

One of my biggest weaknesses is bread!! I'll admit it.  That is the first step to getting help, right?  This one can't be all that bad, though.  It's WHOLE WHEAT!!!!  Well???   It was very tasty. 

Fresh out of the bread machine.  Mmmmmmmmmm....... And yes, I've already cut myself a piece.  If I don't,  I won't get any.   I think I need another bread machine to make two loaves at a time. 

This one is simple.  Here's what you need to make a 2 lb loaf:
             1 1/2 cups warm tap water
             1/2 cup honey
             1 tablespoon oil
             1 teaspoon salt
             4 cups whole wheat flour
             2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Measure the ingredients into the bread machine in the order listed.  Make a well in the flour and sprinkle the yeast into it.  Set the machine to it's whole wheat cycle and press start.  How easy was that?  When it's finished, take the bread out and let cool before slicing.  This will be gone in no time flat.  Guess I'd better get started on another loaf.