February 27, 2012

New Things Monday

I came across a cute Whoopie Pie kit from Pillsbury one day while out getting groceries. You do know what a whoopie pie is don't you? If not here is the wikipedia link. :) I first heard the name Whoopie Pie when Kristen and I went to Dover, Delaware on a girls weekend. Kristen told me when she was little her family would go to Dover and stalk the Amish. That's pretty much what we did when we went too. haha Anyways, Kristen's family went to a farmers market type place and they would always get a Whoopie Pie among many other fresh Amish Baked goods. Fast forward to adult hood.....Whoopie Pies seem to be new trend. Kristen has made all sorts of delicious whoopie pies. You can make what ever flavor you want.......Pumpkin, Chocolate Chip, Red Velvet, Chocolate etc.

I picked up a whoopie pie kit box and thought I'd try em' out and see if they taste close to the ones from scratch. :)

You mix and bake them according to the directions on the box. Once they are cool you put icing on one half and match it up to a top that's close in size. You can then add sprinkles all around. I wasn't a fan of the sprinkles. So, I did a few with the sprinkles and left the others plain.

They turned out pretty cute. They were good too. It was like a little chocolate cake. I liked them! :) If you don't have time or all of the ingredients to make them from scratch, the box mix is just as great in my opinion.

Just a Saturday night concert. :)

I got tickets from work for the Blake Shelton concert that was this past Saturday night at the Patriot Center. I took my BFF, Kristen. We had 4th row seats! It was awesome!! :)

Dia Frampton (from the TV show 'The Voice") opened the show.

She was cute. I loved that she was barefoot the whole time walking around, dancing and singing. :) She sounded great too.

Next came Justin Moore. He was good.

Kristen liked the guitar guy. He kinda looked like Blake with long hair.

Then Blake Shelton came out from these big silos set up in the background of the stage. The first song he sang was "Footloose".

It was hard to get pictures of them b/c they kept moving around and then when they would look towards my direction I missed the shot. LOL It was a fun concert with big huge speakers blasting in your face in ears. haha :)

February 20, 2012

New Things Monday

While out shopping one day, Nate asked me to pick up some Chobani Greek Yogurt. Luckily, they were on sale......5 for $5. I picked up 2 strawberry, 2 blueberry, and 1 pineapple.
I've never really been a fruit on the bottom kinda girl but I grabbed a strawberry one on my way out to work one night. Before I tried it, I mixed the fruit and yogurt together real good. Greek yogurt is much more thick than regular yogurt. I tried a spoonful and I just loved it!! :)

The next night, I took a pineapple yogurt. So far, I'm going to say that the pineapple is my absolute favorite. :) I didn't try the blueberry. Nate had both of those. He really liked it.

I see on the Chobani website that they make a 'passion fruit' yogurt. I have yet to see it in the store but I will find it and give it a try. :)

The only bad thing I find with the greek yogurt is that it's more expensive than the regular. I did however find that the Wegmans brand greek strawberry yogurt is really good and it's a little cheaper. :)

UPDATE: I found the passion fruit greek yogurt today. I don't think I'll get it again. It was just weird eating the seeds. I know they are safe to eat but they were just a turn off for me.

February 14, 2012

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

Happy Valentine's Day to you! <3 For a treat today I made Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies. I got the recipe from this blog. Since I'm trying to lose weight I only kept 2 cookies for myself and 2 for Nate for a surprise after dinner tonight. The rest of the cookies I took to work today and they were all gobbled up. :)

To make:

1 box of red velvet cake mix (I used Duncan Hines like the original poster)
2 tbsp flour
2 large eggs
1/2 cup oil (I used vegetable but you can use canola)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Powdered sugar (in a small bowl for rolling the cookies)
Heart shaped cookie cutter (Optional....mine was too big so I skipped the cutter)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with pam spray. (If you don't want to use spray you could use parchment paper). In a large bowl, combine the cake mix and flour with a fork until clumps are gone. Mix in your eggs, oil and vanilla with your stand or hand mixer. The mixture will seem dry but keep mixing until everything is combined. Take about a tbsp of dough and roll into a ball, then roll into the powdered sugar and then place the ball cookie onto your cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 13 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean. The cookies will crack (crinkle) and the edges will set. Let the cookies cool for about 2 minutes. If you're using a cookie cutter to make shapes then go ahead and use it. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and let them cool completely. Store them in an air tight container.

They are so good and simple to make! :)

Yummy! :)

February 13, 2012

New Things Monday

Last month, I used part of my Panera Bread gift card I won from work. I ordered my lunch (turkey sammich) and then a cookie caught my eye. I asked the Panera worker what kind of cookie it was and she told me it was called a 'mint crinkle'. She said it was really good and it tasted like an Andes mint with some powdered sugar and it was only $1.00. I decided as a treat to get one. After my lunch I couldn't wait to eat my cookie. :) The first bite was fudgey with a little mint. It was very soft in the middle and a little crunchy on the outside. The mint flavor wasn't that much to me. I love mint and chocolate so I would have liked more mint. I also would have liked it with less powdered sugar. But that's just me. It was a good cookie but not my favorite. Photo credit from this blog. :)

February 11, 2012

Homemade Taco Seasoning

I decided it was time to make my own taco seasoning. Those little packets are good but not good for you. They are loaded with tons of sodium and things you just can't pronounce. I found some pins on pinterest that got me started. Here and here. It's funny b/c most of the spices I already had in my spice rack. YEY! :)

How beautiful do those spices look? :)

4 tbsp Chili Powder
3 tbsp, plus 1 tsp paprika
3 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp, plus 2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper
2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper

Put everything in a bowl and mix together well, then put into a ball jar or a plastic container. Use 2tbsp per pound of meat, chicken or turkey and add some water while cooking.

All mixed up....

I put a funnel on top of my ball jar to get it in there. :)

I used a small ball jar.

Do you like my lid? I got that great idea from Pinterest from here. Who knew that those lids screwed onto a ball jar so perfectly? :)

Look at the mix! I can't wait to try it the next time I make tacos. :) I'll give an update once I try the mix.

UPDATE: I made chicken tacos Monday night for dinner with my taco seasoning!! It was awesome!! I added more black pepper and a pinch of salt while the chicken was simmering in the spices. Nate said that it tastes so much better than those little packets and I totally agree. :)

Spicy Chicken and Pepper Jack Wontons

Yesterday, for lunch I used leftover Spicy Chicken and Pepper Jack mixture from dinner the other night. Instead of making pizza, I made wontons. :) I never knew how easy it was to make things with wontons. They are so good and only 20 calories. :D

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. I sprayed pam spray on 4 cupcake tins. I then placed 2 wontons in each tin. I sprayed those with pam as well. I baked them for 7 to 8 minutes. I placed some pepper jack cheese in the bottom of each wonton, filled with chicken mixture and topped with a little more cheese. I baked for another 5 to 6 minutes until all the cheese was melted and everything was nice and hot. :)

Enjoy! :)

February 9, 2012

Chicken Fried Rice

I know I've made Chicken Fried Rice before but I couldn't find the blog so I thought maybe I never blogged about it before. :)

Eggs (scrambled)
Rice (I used 90 second whole grain brown rice)
green pepper (chopped)
red pepper (chopped)
red onion (half, and chopped)
Chicken breasts (I cooked up 2 in my baker, and cut them up)
low sodium soy sauce
black pepper
w sauce (worchestire sauce)
minced garlic
olive oil
ground ginger
parsley flakes
crushed red pepper flakes

I added the raw chicken breasts to the baker and cooked them in the microwave for 9 minutes. :) (If you don't have a baker from pampered chef I highly recommend investing in one....I don't know how I've ever lived without it). While the chicken was cooking, I heated up my pan with olive oil and a little minced garlic. I then added the red onion and cooked it for 2 minutes. Then I added the red and green peppers and let them cook together for 5 minutes with a little ginger, parsley flakes, crushed red pepper flakes, black pepper, w and soy sauce. I then set aside and cooked up some scrambled eggs. I set the eggs aside when they were done. Once the chicken was done and cooled for a 1 min. and I cut them up. While I was cutting up the chicken I cooked the rice. I then added the chicken, scrambled eggs, and rice to the onions and peppers and cooked together for about 3 minutes. It's easy and delish and you can add whatever you want to yours and make it your own. :)

Spicy Chicken and Pepper Jack Pizza

I made a pizza last night that was inspired from this blog.

What I used:

chicken breasts (cooked, and cut up)
minced garlic
olive oil
red pepper (chopped)
green pepper (chopped)
red onion (half, chopped)
black pepper
pico de gallo (tomatoes, cilantro)
Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese (I used about 1/2 of one bag of Sargento)
1 pizza crust (homemade or pillsbury)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

I put 2 chicken breasts in my awesome pampered chef baker and cooked them for 9 minutes.

I then heated up my pan with some olive oil and minced garlic. I threw in my half chopped red onions and cooked them for about 2 minutes. Then I added chopped red pepper and chopped green pepper and cooked them for about 5 minutes.

I Cut up the chicken breasts and added it to the onions and peppers. I also added pico de gallo and black pepper and mixed together.

I then pam sprayed a baking sheet and put my pizza dough on the pan. I baked it for 8 minutes and then took it out and added the chicken mix and shredded cheese on top and continued baking for about 10 more minutes until it was golden brown.

Nate really loved this and it's a healthy pizza. :) It was soooo good. I might be making it again next week b/c it's so quick and easy. And best of all.....it's homemade and not delivery. :)

February 6, 2012

New Things Monday

Back during the holidays, Kristen told me about a new addiction she had. It was, white chocolate covered peppermint pretzels that she'd gotten at Trader Joe's. I don't have one of those stores in my town. One day, while we stopped into Bloom for a few things, I saw these from Snack Factory. I got them b/c I just had to try them. They were so good. Kristen, liked them too and said they were very similar to the TJ ones. They are the perfect sweet and salty snack. MMMM MMMM :)

February 3, 2012

Dijon Chicken Club Sandwiches

For dinner tonight, I made Dijon Chicken Club Sandwiches. Pinned from Pinterest of course from this blog. My picture isn't the best, but I was starving and took the picture rather quickly so I could eat. haha My husband bit into his sandwich and said "You kicked that in the ass with the flavors". LOL :)

When I looked over the marinade recipe on the blog the only things I didn't have was apple cider vinegar, thyme, and paprika. So, I left them out. I added some other ingredients to it (see below). I made the dijon marinade yesterday so that the chicken would absorb all the wonderful flavors overnight.
Dijon Marinade

1/3 cup dijon mustard
2 tbs honey
1 tbs lemon juice
black pepper
red pepper flakes
bbq sauce (couple little squirts)
parsley flakes
onion powder
minced garlic

I whisked everything in a small bowl. I'll admit, I tasted the marinade and I thought it had a kick to it. I was a little worried but figured it would be okay. I poured the marinade in the bag of raw chicken breasts. I massaged the chicken in the marinade for a few minutes, and then put in the fridge.
This afternoon, on the way home from work (I worked for my boss today) I picked up the sliced cheese, wheat bread and I got a little bottle of apple cider vinegar.
As soon as I was ready to make dinner, I pulled the chicken bag out and added 2 tbs cider vinegar and massaged everything together. I dumped the chicken breasts and the marinade in my pampered chef baker and baked them. (It's about 4 min. per each chicken breasts in the microwave in your baker)

While the chicken was baking in the microwave, I put some bacon slices on a foiled cookie sheet and baked it up in the oven. I then took my wheat bread and put some butter on one side (top and bottom) so it was ready for the pan. When the chicken was done, I cut each piece in half, lengthwise. Yes, I tried a little piece of chicken at this point just to make sure the flavors were good. :) I also cut each slice of bacon in half.

When the pan was hot and ready, (that's what she said) I added a buttered side of bread to the pan. Then a layer of mozzarella cheese, bacon, slice of chicken bottom, cheese slice, slice of chicken top, bacon, cheese slice and top of bread. ;)

I served with some UTZ reduced fat rippled potato chips. (my favorite)

This will have to go into dinner rotations because I will be making this AGAIN! :)

February 1, 2012

Roasted Potatoes, Chicken Sausage and Peppers

For dinner tonight, I made Roasted Potatoes, Chicken Sausage and Peppers which was inspired from this blog.

1 package of Chicken Sausage (I had 4 in the pkg)
1 Red bell Pepper (diced)
Half a large onion (diced)
Olive Oil
black pepper
little salt
parsley flakes
red pepper flakes
minced garlic
3 to 4 potatoes (I used russet, and left skin on)

First I preheated oven to 350 degrees. I washed my potatoes and diced them up real small. I added them to a cookie sheet that I put olive oil on. I also sprinkled some pepper, salt, parsley, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes and a little olive oil on top. I did the potatoes first, b/c they would take the longest to cook.

I then added some olive oil and minced garlic to my big skillet and heated up the pan. Once it was hot, I added the onion and red pepper. I let it cook for about 2 minutes. I zapped the chicken sausage in the microwave for 1:20 to heat it. Then I cut it up real small and added to the onion and red pepper. I also added in some parsley flakes, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper and let everything cook together.

I then checked the potatoes, and they were soft. So, I added the chicken sausage mix to the pan. I mixed everything together and put back in the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes.

It tastes so good. All the flavors are wonderful together and the house smells great too. Nate came in from work and said "wow, that smells great". :)

Again....another great pinterest idea. I love that site!! So many wonderful recipes and ideas. If you're not on it you're missing out. Go check it out! :)

Baked Chicken Parmesan Wonton Cupcakes

Yesterday, for dinner I made Baked Chicken Parmesan Wontons. I had leftover chicken parm mix and wonton wrappers and thought I'd make something for lunch today.

Here's my 'Baked Chicken Parmesan Wonton Cupcakes' :)

To make you will need:

Leftover Chicken Parm mix
wonton wrappers
shredded cheese

Coat your cupcake pan with pam spray. Lay 2 wonton wrappers in the cup. Spray pam on top of wonton.

On 350 degrees, bake your wonton shells for about 7 minutes to crisp the shell.

Fill your hot wonton with cheese on the bottom. As little or as much as you'd like.

Then fill with leftover chicken parm mix.

Sprinkle some more cheese on top and put in the oven until cheese melts and everything is hot.


Yummo! :)
How good does that look? It was the perfect crunchy shell with delicious chicken parm mix. :)