Sunday, August 28, 2011

An Amazing Day, and Faux-Fried Zucchini!

Today has been an AMAZING day!!!!! Love having days like this! Smiles all around! It started off having a wonderful brunch date with my super awesome friend, Deliesse. She planned a brunch at South Coast Winery for my birthday (since she wasn't able to come down for my birthday weekend last weekend). I had a deliciously healthy omelet; spinach, mushrooms, and pepper jack cheese. Yummmm!!!! And a mimosa to wash it down! It was so lovely. Gotta love having such a wonderful friend in your life. I am not going to waste your time telling you all about our girl date, but I am gonna post a couple pictures because she truly is an amazing friend and I want to share our awesomeness! :D
Windblown cuties!

I <3 my best friend!

Deliesse and her yummy mimosa!

Happy birthday to me! Oh and look at that omelet! Mmmmm!

Beautiful winery!

Alright, so now back to baking! My neighbor told me he had an overabundance of zucchini growing in his backyard garden and asked if I would like any. Hellllllooooooo!!!!!!!!! Yes I would!!!!!!! Love zucchini! I headed over to his house and snagged up those zucchini and came straight home and started chopping and smashing away! Fried zucchini is oh so yummy, especially slathered in ranch dressing, but trying to live a "healthy" lifestyle and watching the weight (aka calories), I decided to make some faux-fried slices......or "oven-fried", or "baked" (whatever you want to call them). They are actually pretty easy, and turn out just as oh so delicious as real fried ones do.

So here is all you need to replicate this yummy treat......

(adapted slightly from Hungry Girl)
-1 extra large zucchini (or 2-3 small ones, depending on how many slices you want) 
-1 cup Fiber One Original cereal (this is the main staple for anything faux-fried, so I recommend you pick up a couple boxes if you're gonna do lots of faux-frying! *Plus, it's really tasty if you decide to eat it as just what it is......cereal* (The idea came from Hungry Girl)
-Fresh ground pepper
-Lawry's Seasoned Salt (just a dash of this will do. You don't want to add too much sodium; besides, a little goes a long way anyway!)
-Onion powder
-Garlic powder
-Milk or 1 egg; beaten (I used the milk this time, but the egg will help hold the cereal mixture on the zucchini better)
Look at that ginormous zucchini!!!!!! =0

WalMart Milk.....and aren't my bowls so cute??? ;D

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2) Place cereal into sealable plastic bag
3) Sprinkle all seasonings into bag with cereal
4) Crush cereal mixture until it is a fine powder (some small chunks are ok), or, if you are fortunate enough to have a food processor, USE THAT!!!!!! It is sooooo much easier, I just have yet to acquire one! :/
5) Slice zucchini into 1/4 inch slices (it doesn't have to be exact, so don't go bustin' out that ruler to check each slice)
6) Dip slices in milk, or egg, and then flip around in cereal mixture
7) Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place zucchini on top
8) Bake for 15 minutes 

Baggy of cereal mixture. Smells so good!

Ready to go into the oven! :)

9) Remove from oven and let cool.....then dig in. Dip with ranch dressing, or your favorite dipping sauce....or just eat them as they are cuz they are sooooooo yummy!!!!!
Finished product....I had already helped myself.....because I couldn't resist! They were so good!

With it being almost 7pm, the weekend is coming to an end. Hope you all have a great week this week and I am so excited for Labor Day weekend! I get a 3 1/2 day weekend and am going to plan on making my margarita cupcakes, so look forward to that long as I don't drink too much tequila to type! ;)

Much <3!!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Healthy Pineapple Pizza

Pizza......who doesn't love pizza??? I know it is one of my most favorite foods ever! I have been good in the past year and have only eaten MAYBE 4 slices of real pizza. It has been hard, but with Smart Ones and Lean Cuisine pizzas, I can manage the temptation. It's especially hard when I stop in at Little Caesars to get the hubby a deep dish pepperoni pizza and I can't have a slice of that I pop in a microwavable "diet" pizza and pretend it's Little Caesars (or when I am really dreaming, a slice of Stadium Pizza's pizza)!!!! 
Yes, that is a heart shaped pizza! In case you don't know, Stadium Pizza makes them for Valentine's Day and I love getting one!!!!

Mmmmm.......ok, sorry, I am awake now! My favorite pizza of all time is pepperoni and pineapple (as you can see from the above picture). A little knock-off of a Hawaiian style pizza, but I just love the pepperoni over the Canadian bacon any day. Once I went in to "diet" mode, I knew how hard it was to find a Hawaiian pizza, let alone one made with I set out to make a really good one. I am also a fan of BBQ chicken the pineapple, some cilantro, bbq sauce....mmmmm! Muy delicioso! 
For the pizza "crust" I used a whole wheat tortilla. Stick it in the oven at 400 degrees for 2-4 minutes, flip, and heat for another 2-4 minutes (in case I have to the tortilla on a cookie sheet.....and for ease, I like to put aluminum foil down first so you can transfer off the cookie sheet without any mess......). If you have the privilege of owning a sweet toaster oven, use that!!!!! I had one at my old job and loved how easy it was to use instead of having to heat up the oven.....and you get both sides toasted at the same time, so you don't have to flip! :D Anyway, here is the rest of the recipe....

(adapted from Biggest Loser Recipes)

-1 (about 8") low fat, whole wheat tortilla
-2 TBSP Barbeque Sauce (for the healthiness of it, use one that has 7 grams or less carbohydrates per    2TBSP serving) 
     *I found it is hard to find such a BBQ sauce at a normal grocery store, but did manage to snag a bottle of Stubb's BBQ sauce and like the flavor it gives the pizza.
-3 TBSP goat cheese crumbles (don't be scared to try a new kind of cheese. It is a little sour tasting, but you will love the flavor it gives this pizza. I now use goat cheese in my salads.....I love it so much!)
-3 TBSP drained diced or crushed pineapple, in juice....or you can use sliced pineapple, but then you have to chop it yourself
-1 1/2 finely chopped cilantro; more or less to taste (and I just use whole leaves of it cuz we all know how much I LOVE cilantro!!!!)
-3 TBSP chopped red onion; more or less to taste 

All the ingredients, minus the onion and picture fail.... ;)

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-Place foil on cookie sheet and then place tortilla on top. Bake in oven for 2-4 minutes on each side. If bubbles form, use a spatula to press the air out
-Remove from oven and apply sauce, cheese, pineapple, onion, and cilantro. 
-Place back in oven to melt the cheese; about 2-4 more minutes
-Slice into 4 wedges, or just dig in!!!

Ta da! Finished pizza!!! This one is minus the onion though....didn't have any at the time! :(

Play around with veggie toppings if you want, but this pizza is tasty just the way it is! I may try adding some jalapenos next time I make it......mmmmmm!!!!

Have a super fabulous weekend!!!!!!
<3 Amy

Friday, August 26, 2011

Amy's Kickin' Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

I never used to be into buffalo wings or anything "buffalo" flavored!!! I know what you're thinking.....who the hell DOESN'T like buffalo wings? A krazy lady, that is who! ;) It wasn't until about a year ago that I actually started getting a taste for that spicy, savory sauce. Once those taste buds were activated, though, it was ON! I couldn't get enough. I craved buffalo wings and anything with buffalo wing sauce on it, all the time! Well, one weekend, the hubs and I (and a few friends) headed out to Blythe to chill in the water. We stayed in this "resort" place. People own homes in this "resort" and it's a little tight nit community. It was a cute little place. Inside this community was a little restaurant and we ate there one night. They had a buffalo chicken sandwich on the menu. I read what was in the sandwich, and me being "healthy" and calorie conscience, I asked for them to leave off the ranch dressing and to put it on a wheat bun instead of white. Now, this little place was nothing fancy, but super cheap (4 of ate there for a whopping $24!!!!! Yes, you read that correctly, that was NOT a type-o......$24 for 4 people to eat, including beverages!) Anyways, our food came and I was set back by what was placed in front of me. I guess they didn't have wheat buns, so I got it on wheat bread, and not some high quality wheat bread, like Wonder Bread wheat bread. I kept an open mind, though, and took a bite........OMFG!!!! This was the most delicious buffalo chicken sandwich I had ever sank my teeth in to. I realized that I needed to make this at home, so that is exactly what I did.....only with MY spin on it! ;)

So here you have Kickin' Buffalo Chicken it's ghetto glory and all! :)

1 thinly sliced chicken breast, seasoned with whatever you want (I used garlic and onion powder and fresh ground pepper).
2 TBSP Buffalo Wing Sauce ( I use the kind by Sweet Baby Rays since there is no going wrong with SBR!!!)
1 slice pepper jack cheese (here is my spin on it! I love bleu cheese, but I like a good kick, so I used pepper jack)
1 slice of tomato
2 leaves iceberg lettuce
2-4 slices of onion 
2 slices whole wheat bread (I prefer to use Orowheat's Double Fiber bread)
The special Buffalo Wing Sauce!

Super yummy, healthy bread

Together! ;) 

My frozen chicken breast.....needs to be grilled.....and no, that is not a breast enhancer chicken cutlet....I don't own any of those, ok!!!!!!!

-Grill chicken until it is no longer pink inside
-Spread 1 TBSP of buffalo wing sauce on each slice of bread
-Put completely cooked chicken on one slice of bread and cover with cheese
-Top with lettuce, tomato, onion, and other slice of bread

I cut it in half and eat one half and save the other for later. 

Calories: (half of the sandwich) 210

Enjoy with any side you want!!!! :) I got french fries with mine at the restaurant (so I guess I wasn't being TOOOOOO calorie, or at home, I accompany it with some baked Cheetos! Mmmmmmm!!!!!

Enjoy! :)
<3 Amy

My First Cake Decoration Store Journey!

Happy Friday everyone! Hope your day is going well and you get your weekend off to a wonderful start! I went out exploring a couple of cake decor places in town today. I wanted to pick up some stuff for my new cupcakes I am going to make next weekend!!!! I am so excited to be making MARGARITA CUPCAKES! I also can't wait to blog about them either.....with LOTS of pictures!!!! Yayayayyaya! The first place I went to was Pila's Pantry. It was a cute little hole in the wall store with lots of cake decorating things. They had everything you could need. I was bummed since I didn't find anything that would go well with my margarita cupcakes.....they didn't even have lime green sanding sugar, but I turned onto another isle and almost screamed!!!!!! I found these super amazingly awesome cupcake baking cups. They had regular sized and mini! Woo hoo!!! Love the mini cupcakes! The best part.....there were zebra ones and leopard ones! Totally cute!
Cute, huh? I know! :D I also picked up a couple plastic "to go" cupcake containers for transporting my creations, and a couple frosting tips. I then headed down to pick up a couple things for the hubby from another store. I had wanted to go to this other cake place, but it was allllllllllll the way in Murrieta, and I didn't feel like driving all the way over there. Well, after deciding to head home, I got a wild hair to make a U-Turn and head back towards Murrieta! What the hell, why not???? So, I made the journey to the far away place (like a 10 minute drive) and pulled up to The Cake Cottage. I walked inside and was blown away at how super cute this place was. It was the total opposite of Pila's Pantry; all done up cottagy and cute! I looked around for more cupcake decor ideas. I was so stoked that I found my lime green sanding sugar!!!! Woot woot! Then searched some more and looked over and this time, I had to hold my scream in......I did a silent scream!!! ;) I found the cutest cupcake cups ever! (Well, they would have been more amazing if they had stars on them, but I am not going to push my luck for today!!!) I am not going to tell you about them, just take a look for yourself:

Mmmmm hmmmmm.....I know, you're jealous! But if you really want some, I am sure they have more (cuz I grabbed all the ones that were out)! I was so glad that I had decided to make that U-Turn on Jefferson and head to Los Alamos!!! The lady working in there was so friendly and made me feel warm and welcomed! They even sell cupcakes there and decided to pick Davey up a German Chocolate one! 

Now I have my sugar crystals in hand and super cute cupcake cups....I am ready to make my cupcakes......right after I go to the store and finish getting all the ingredients (don't need to worry about buying the tequila, I got plenty of that around!)!!!!!!!

Well my weekend is starting off fabulous and I hope yours is too! Sorry about no recipe here, but there is one to come, I promise. Just had to share my amazing finds!!!!

<3 you all!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Chicken Spaghetti

My dad made this spaghetti one time and for years it was the only spaghetti I would eat. I have since expanded my palate and enjoy a good plate of spaghetti, although I don't eat it often due to the high amount of calories it contains. Like most of my recipes, I do things the easy way. I am no culinary perfectionist, but I think I do make some pretty tasty stuff. Plus, working full time takes away time that I could be spending cooking (which I am fine with; I want to be a contributor in my family's income). The cool thing about this recipe is that you can make it as simple or difficult as you want, depending on the amount of time you have and how much you are wanting to put into it. I use jarred spaghetti sauce and canned chicken, but you can always buy a whole chicken and roast it and then shred it for the chicken used in this spaghetti. My dad always made a whole chicken, but like I said, I like to do things the easy way!

1 jar (any brand) 3 Cheese spaghetti sauce
1 block mozzarella cheese
2 cans chicken meat (like canned tuna, but its actually chicken.....)
Season salt
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Shell noodles

-In a sauce pan on medium-high heat, mix together sauce, chicken, and add as much seasonings as your little hearts desire!
-Shred 1/3 block of mozzarella cheese into sauce
-Bring to a boil
-Let boil, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.
-Remove from heat
-Cook noodles as directed on package (use whole wheat noodles for added healthyness! ;) )
-Spoon out desired amount of noodles and then pour sauce over. Mix together until all shells are covered in sauce.
-Top with more fresh shredded mozzarella cheese

*The sauce will be an orangey color from all the cheese, but the mozzarella makes it super yummy!!!!! :D

<3 Amy

Super Awesome Healthy Burritos!!! AKA: The Blog Inspiring Burrito

Ahhhhh, home from what seemed like such a loooooooong day at work. Dinner has been made (though I must say that I only "cooked" for the hubby a yummy sandwich from a bbq place in town). So with that being said, I am sure you are all asking yourselves, "what did you make for dinner"??? Ok, I am sure you weren't, but hey, gotta be optimistic, right? :)

If you know me, you know that for the past year and 4 months I have adapted to a new lifestyle of working out and eating healthier. I am not a health food fiend and I do splurge on the yummy essentials of life (in my world they are essentials) like cupcakes, candy, french fries, cheeseburgers, and burritos!!! But, for the most part, I like to eat healthy to keep the weight off and to feel better about myself. It has been a hard road, but I definitely DON'T want to gain back those 50lbs that I lost!!!! They can stay far far away! Since I love burritos ohhhhhh so much though, I went on a hunt for some really good, whole wheat tortillas. I finally found some that I absolutely LOVE and use them all the time! They are technically a "wrap", so the packaging states, but they are HIGH FIBER and LOW CARB....along with (the best part) being LOW CALORIE!!! Woot woot! Each tortilla (I am going to call them that) has only 71 calories and 12 grams of fiber!!! That means they will keep you full on a calorie budget! Triple woot to that! I have only found these awesome tortillas at WalMart Super Center, but I am sure they are hiding around some other stores.

Enough with the tortilla talk know you're thinking that! ;) Ok, ok, so back to the reason for this post. I was making dinner the other night and grilled up some chicken on my "oh so wonderful George Forman grill" (best invention......EVER) and had defrosted 2 chicken breasts (for me, since the hubs doesn't like chicken.......picky picky picky.....). I seasoned them both to perfection and slapped them on the grill. I ate one for dinner and shredded the other for a burrito I was going to make for my lunch the next day. To accompany my yummy chicken I made some brown rice and steamed some veggies; instant rice that may be and a steamer bag of mixed veggies.....I roll the easy way! I threw the shredded chicken in a container along with some left over rice and veggies. I then chopped up some onion (I absolutely LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE onions, so you will see them in so many recipes....and garlic too, so don't be scerred! ;) ) threw in some cilantro (another fave) and called it a night! Well, actually, no I didn't.....I proceeded to make my burrito for the next day.

Next day at work, lunch time rolls around (my second favorite time of the day....with getting off work being my favorite time ;) ). I heat up my burrito and start to eat it. Sooooo delicious! I just had to take a picture and post it to Facebook. I got so many comments about how good it looked and people wanting to know what was in it. A dear friend, Marian, suggested that I start a cookbook.....I decided on a blog.....and tah I am, blogging to you about my burrito! So, here it is, the recipe for the appropriately titled: Blog Inspiring Burrito!!!

1 Thinly sliced chicken breast (approximately 4oz), shredded (cut in half after cooked)
1/3 cup cooked brown rice
1/3 cup steamed veggies (straight up from a steamer bag....if you want) I used a bag with broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots, but whatever veggies float your boat, go for it.
A few leaves of cilantro (I just plucked off the vine thing and threw them in. Since I love cilantro, I used a lot, but use as much or little as you prefer, or you can omit it all together if you don't like it)
Chopped onion (use as much or little as you want, just like with the cilantro)
1 slice pepper jack cheese, cut in half
1 Ole brand whole wheat tortilla wrap
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Freshly ground pepper
Chili powder

-Season chicken breast however you like, but I used the onion, garlic, and chili powders and fresh ground pepper.
-Grill it up until the chicken is no longer pink on the inside.
-In the mean time, cook rice and veggies. Brown instant rice takes 10 minutes, which is 5 minutes longer than instant white rice (so get that started asap). I also added garlic and onion powder, as well as some pepper to the water before it boiled so that the rice had some flavor to it (told you I love onion and garlic)
-Chop onion and cut cheese slice in half
-Once chicken is done, shred as thick or thin as you want. You will only use about half of the chicken because the burrito is going to get fat, fast! So save the remainder of stuff for another burrito! :D Now that's a good idea! Those are the only kind I have! (Thank you to Grandma's Boy for that one!!!) *insert chuckle*
-Take tortilla and layer half a slice of cheese, meat, veggies (including onions and cilantro), rice, and top with other half slice of cheese.
-Now, carefully fold into a burrito. This is going to be difficult due to the plumpness of it, but with some patience, it CAN be done.
-If going to be eaten right away, then enjoy. If saving burrito for later, wrap in parchment paper (since it can be microwaved in this paper, unlike in foil). Heat for 1 1/2-2 minutes and enjoy!!!

Calories: 350

Everyone always asks me where I bought the burrito and are surprised to hear I made it! It is sooooooooo yummy!!!!!! Take a look for yourself! :D
Best lunch ever! ;)

PS: Made another burrito with the leftovers tonight for dinner.....that is the answer to your question from the beginning of this post, in case you were wondering! ;)

Have a wonderful night everyone.....and an awesome weekend!!!!!!!
<3 Amy

Delightfully Delicious Pancakes!

So, the other morning the hubby and I woke up and were deciding what we were going to have for breakfast (like we do every weekend morning). I suggested pancakes since I had been having mad cravings for them lately!!! I get up and go straight for the pantry to grab out the Bisquik! I opened the box and to my dismay what did I find???? BUGS!!!!!! Eeeeeeeks!!!!!!!! So, what does any wonderfully amazing wife do? I put on my thinking cap and decided to make them from scratch! I knew we had everything to make pancakes, it was just a matter of putting all the ingredients together. Davey said that I didn't have to go through so much effort for breakfast....but how much effort does making pancakes take??? Not a whole lot!  Besides, it was a very valid excuse to use my oh so loved KitchenAid Stand Mixer! ;) Love that thing! LOL! I busted it out, all like, 50lbs of it...(I know, an exaggeration, but it feels like that at times) and started mixin' away. I mixed 2 different recipes together to make them a little extra special...and that they were! They were the most delicious pancakes I have ever eaten! IDK if it was just cuz I had been craving them, or if they really were that awesome, but the hubby loved them (which is not common for him to say he loves a food) so all was good in my book!!!!

I didn't get any pix since I made them before I decided to start my bloggin' journey, but here is the recipe for Amy's Delightfully Delicious Pancakes!

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I highly recommend Pillsbury, not a store brand name. I have had bad luck with store brand flour for some reason)
3 1/2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 TBSP white sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
3 TBSP butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients together any way you like.
Heat a skillet on medium heat and melt the butter in the skillet.
Pour 1/4 cup batter into skillet. Heat for about a minute and a half to 2 minutes, then flip.
Pancakes are done with golden brown on both sides.
I like to wipe the old butter out of the skillet and melt fresh butter for each pancake.....but BEWARE.....skillet IS hot (duh) so don't burn yourself! ;)
Serve with butter, syrup, and/or jelly......or any pancake toppings your heart desires (powdered sugar, bananas, fresh berries.....)

Hope you enjoy!!! :D
<3 Amy

First Ever.....

Ok, so I have NEVER blogged before! I decided to start doing this last night before I went to bed after a friend of mine told me that I needed to make a cook book! Lol! Thanks Marian!!!! You are my inspiration! ;) If there are any ways I can improve on my blogging, please let me know!

I plan to post a bunch of recipes and baking stuff that I have done in the past and of course, ones that I do in the future. I hope you all enjoy my recipes, and please, leave me feedback on any ways I can the kitchen or on the site!

Thanks so much!!!!