Monday, August 26, 2013

orange cream floats


Just so you know, my family loved these and will have them again tonight BUT ours did not look like the photo in Real Simple magazine.  The photo was incredible...of course it was.  I think they must've doubled or tripled their recipe to make them overflow in such a beautiful, delicious way.  You'll want to double or triple your recipe anyway because they're delicious.  They were our family night treat.

orange cream floats (Real Simple, July 2013)
2 pints vanilla ice cream
2 cups orange juice
2 cups club soda or sparkling water

Chill 8 glasses in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Scoop the ice cream and divide evenly among the chilled glasses.  Top with the orange juice and club soda.  Serve immediately.

What I have to say- each of our goblets got 2 scoops of vanilla bean ice cream, 1/4 cup oj and 1/4 cup club soda.  They were begging for more.

Monday, August 12, 2013

sesame chicken noodle salad

This salad was a snap to put together because I already had grilled chicken in the fridge.  My girls loved it and it's super healthy.  Perfect for my new and improved diet healthier lifestyle.

sesame chicken noodle salad (Taste of Home "Eat Smart" recipe, June/July 2013)
8 ounces uncooked whole wheat angel hair pasta (I used about 4 ounces)
2 cups diced cooked grilled chicken
1 1/2 cups coleslaw mix
1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained
1 medium sweet red pepper, julienned
1 cup fresh sugar snap peas, trimmed and halved
3 green onions, sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup reduced fat Asian toasted sesame seed salad dressing (I used Paul Newman's light ginger sesame and it was GREAT!)
1/4 cup chopped salted peanuts (I omitted)

Cook pasta according to package directions.  In a large bowl, combine chicken, coleslaw mix, oranges, red pepper, snap peas and green onions; sprinkle with salt.  Toss to combine.
Drain pasta and rinse in cold water.  Add pasta and dressing to chicken mixture; toss to coat.  Sprinkle with peanuts

What I have to say- I'm sugar sensitive so I poured a couple tablespoons of dressing on the entire salad then let the rest of the family pour on the dressing to their liking.  I noticed most of my family picked out the mandarin oranges.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

summer shower

My friend Becky is having her 3rd baby very soon and as you can see her shower was amazing!  I didn't have to do much- I made a quilt which was hung from the trees (it didn't even coordinate with the theme-oops!) and threw the cheese platter together.  Kara provided the gorgeous outdoor backdrop and lots of friends came together to make the shower happen.  Look at the fun cupcake stands, cupcakes and pinwheels Lydia made.  I sat next to her last night hoping her creative juices would somehow rub off on me.  See the beautiful fresh figs?  I'd never had a fig before so I took one home and tried it.  It was delicious!!  Summertime in Oregon is magnificent.
Cupcakes, stands, caprese salad and pinwheels: Lydia
"Baby Shower Cookies" : Lindsey M.
Figs: Kara
Curry Chicken Salad (with coconut and all sorts of good stuff): Cherie

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

kate's awesome lemon cookies with white chocolate chips

My husband went to a barbeque with some friends from work and came home with this recipe which is very uncommon.  He said Kate's cookies were awesome.  Last night he let our kids help him make them and they turned out GREAT!  I saw how the kids plopped down the cookie dough and the cookies still baked up just right so I consider this a fool-proof, kid friendly recipe.  Thanks, Kate, for sharing your recipe!

kate's awesome lemon cookies with white chocolate chips
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3.4 ounce lemon pudding mix
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 14/ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups white chocolate cips
sugar for dipping

Cream the butter and sugars together.  Add the pudding mix, eggs, lemon extract and lemon juice.  Mix together the flour, baking soda and salt and add and mix until dry ingredients are incorporated.  Add chocolate chips.  Place large spoonfuls on a prepared baking sheet.  Flatten with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in sugar.  Bake at 350 degrees for 11 minutes.

i did it!

Thanks to a month of yumm bowls and making a few other small changes I lost the weight I needed to lose, roughly 5 pounds!  Time to celebrate by continuing to do exactly what I was doing- more intense exercise and less calories consumed.  Not fun but a fact of life.  I feel a trip to Yogurt Extreme for some no-sugar yogurt coming on... 

Monday, August 5, 2013

summer potluck ideas: aloha!

Summer potlucks are so fun!  Today I helped host a Hawaiian theme potluck lunch.  I made smoked pork with rice and you can see that some of our guests came up with some great ideas to share:
Aloha Burgers made by Angeli
Flip-Flop Cookies made by Lindsey S.
Zucchini Pineapple Bread made by Dee-Anna
Fruit Kabobs (not sure who made them but they were the prettiest I've seen and super tasty)
Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of the quinoa mango salad made by Lindsay P. that everyone raved about but you can find a photo and recipe at Best Bites.
There were a lot of people and a lot of good food; these were a few that caught my fancy.

greek chicken pasta toss

This dish was a success.  The entire family loved it except some did not care for the tomatoes which I will leave out next time.  A few did not love the artichokes but my husband and I did so we simply ate them all; seemed like a great compromise.  Super healthy and satisfying.

greek chicken pasta toss (adapted from cookbook: Weight Watchers Make it in Minutes)
1/2 pound rotini (we used whole wheat)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (7-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and thinly sliced
1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 ounces reduced fat feta cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the rotini and cook according to package directions; drain.
Meanwhile, sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and grill until done.  Dice the chicken.
Heat oil in a skillet.  Add the garlic and oregano.  Add the peppers, artichokes and tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes start to soften.  Add the lemon juice and chicken and cook 1 minute more.
Transfer to a large bowl and add the pasta and cheeses.  Toss well.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

What I have to say- the next time I made it I threw in some capers- delicious!!  Once I even tossed in some pepperoncinis into my own bowl and loved that too.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

plum jam

My kids picked no less than 35 pounds of plums, I kid you not.  The plums weren't going to sit around waiting to be eaten like good little plums should (they were mighty ripe) so we rolled up our sleeves and got to work.  One of my daughters, the one who adores jam the most, cut all the seeds out of them and placed them into the Vita-mix and then started the day-long process of canning each and every little plum into jam.  Tasty, tasty jam.

plum jam
6 cups plum puree
8 cups sugar
1 package pectin
1/4 cup water

Wash the plums.  Cut the seeds out of the plum (or break open the plum and pull out the seed; we thought using a knife was faster- my daughter thought a knife was more fun).  Place the plums in a blender.  Blend away!  Place 6 cups of plum puree into a big canning pot.  Add 1 package pectin and 1/4 cup water.  Stir and cook until plums come to a rolling boil.  Add 8 cups sugar and stir.  Bring back to a rolling boil.  Boil for 1 minute.  Now you're ready to pour your jam into prepared jars.  Process the jars for 10 minutes.

Friday, August 2, 2013

blackened tilapia with remoulade sauce

To be truthful, I am getting a wee bit tired of Yumm bowls for breakfast, lunch and dinner (remember that revised diet healthy lifestyle I told you about?) so I found a few healthy meals such as this one.  This fish is very satisfying and delicious.  A repeat for sure.

blackened tilapia with remoulade sauce (adapted from cookbook: Weight Watchers Cook it in Minutes)
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
2 scallions, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
4 teaspoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons capers, drained and chopped
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tilapia loins
2 teaspoons canola oil

Combine the mayo, yogurt, scallions, parsley, vinegar, capers and mustard in a bowl.
Mix together the paprika, thyme, oregano, garlic powder, cayenne and salt in a small bowl.  Sprinkle the mixture over both sides of each tuna steak.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet until just starting to smoke.  Add the fish and cook until done.  Serve with the sauce on the side.