Category Archives: Food

Semi Oat Fail

I’m back with an Oats report.

The crock pot oats I made last night were absolutely delicious. However, I ended up with a super burnt crock pot and a giant crack in the ceramic bowl. Waaahhhh.

I sprayed the pot with cooking oil like the recipe recommends, but my batch still ended up burnt around the edges. Like, I-need-a-chisel kind of burnt.

Bad crust!

It looks like the crock pot was much hotter on the left side. I’m not sure why that happened? Next time I plan to cook it for only 5-6 hours, instead of 7. I also think I sprayed the pot WAY too far in advance. I go to bed early (like 9) and asked Brian to just plop all the ingredients into the bowl and turn it on. I sprayed it around 8:30 and he didn’t add the ingredients until 12. Maybe the spray evaporated?

Despite the ugly looking turnout, these oats were TASTY. Very creamy, not too sweet, and definitely filling.

Get in my BELLY.

Next time I’ll probably add some blueberries and nuts. I also doubled up the flax ingredient since I have convenient little flax packets.

I let the crock pot cool for about 30 minutes before attempting to rinse it out. Maybe the pot was still too hot, but the ceramic insert ended up cracked. BOO! Brian is planning to make a huge batch of pulled pork tomorrow, so this was particularly bad timing. Thank goodness for BB&B giftcards, because I already snagged a new one! Can’t let that pork butt go bad..

The best part of this recipe is that it makes a TON of oats. I’m guessing it’ll need me for about 4 breakfasts. Oh and the house smelled divine all morning.

The original recipe can be found here (great blog!).

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Cross Your Fingers…

I’ve got this cooking in the crock pot….

From the fantastic Yummy Life blog!

I am pretty good about eating breakfast in the AM. In fact, I rarely skip it. But I want to try something that really sticks with me through lunch. And it’s just time to spice things up a bit. I have a feeling this will be a winner (assuming I didn’t skrew up the recipe!).

Can’t wait to wake up to the smell of apple pie…G’night!

Soup’s On!

For the past few weeks I’ve been wanting to try out a crock pot soup. It seems easy enough…throw some veggies, quinoa, and veggie broth into the pot and let it simmer for 6 hours.

I finally tried last night. The results were kind of blah, but it looked oh so pretty.

Here’s my recipe:

Throw into a crock pot…

  • 1 box of veggie broth
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • Frozen broccoli (as much or as little as you want)
  • Frozen tri-colored peppers (as much or as little as you want)
  • 1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 sweet potato (cubed)
  • salt and pepper
  • hot pepper flakes

Then cook on low for 6-ish hours. I ended up adding in the broth over time, as it seemed the quinoa was sucking up all the liquid. I ended up just using the whole box of broth plus a little water to make it more soupy.

BEFORE. So pretty.

I kept tasting the concoction along the way, and it just didn’t have much flavor. I thought the broth would make it tasty and flavorful, but it pretty much tasted like bland veggies.

AFTER. Looks like soup.

Next time I might add a bouillon cube or two, or at least figure out how to make it taste a little more like SOMETHING. I also ended up cooking some corn muffins but totally forgot to line the muffin pan. I used a silicon pan but they still stuck. We ended up just eating the tops of the muffins. Cooking fail #2.

This soup may taste like nothing but I think it’s got some potential. And now I have 3 giant Tupperwares full of the stuff…

Brian thinks I should try out for the show, “Worst Cooks in America”. I think I have a good shot!!

Watermelon Beer and a Good Run

I think I found my beer calling…

 

Heaven in a can?

At the beerfest last week I tasted this gem (tasted it probably 10 times before I felt like the people serving the beer started to recognize me) and I was instantly smitten. When I saw it in Kroger I almost did a happy dance right then and there. Instead I scooped up a six pack and bolted through the self check out. Forget waiting in the damn deli cheese line…mama needs her watermelon beer.

It’s a wheat beer with a subtle watermelon flavor. No crazy sweetness going on here. Love. Love. Love.

In running news, I accomplished the best 6 miler of my life. For the Saturday long run, my “team” with the Half Marathon Training Team, the Falcons, is supposed to start running at 7:15am. I had some last minute bathroom needs to take care of before I left the house (sorry, TMI), so I ended up arriving at the meeting point at 7:10, a little later than I’d hoped. I figured I still had 5 minutes to spare, that I was early. But NO. Our leaders decided to leave early and the late comers were left standing there a bit clueless. Luckily there were several other teams leaving at the time so I jumped in with the Zebras. I spent the entire run attempting to find my friend with the Falcons so the time passed quite quickly. It was also pretty awesome to pass EVERYONE…something I’m definitely not used to. I didn’t end up reaching my friend until mile 5.98, but the run was pretty awesome in my eyes.

9:12?! I’ll take that any day. I felt strong the entire time and loved every minute. It looks like running in the morning may be possible for me after all…at least if I’m chasing people the entire time.

I’ve got a watermelon beer calling my name – over and out!

 

 

Happiness in a Photo

Fresh flowers ($3.99 at Trader Joes…hell yes).

Wine.

Watermelon.

Happy Hump Day to me.

Goat Cheese for Breakfast

I stumbled upon this delicious little treat in the giant artisan cheese section of the new Kroger in town.

It’s spreadable goat cheese by Belle Chevre and it’s yum yum good. I am a goat cheese fan, but usually enjoy it in salads or on pizzas. I’ve never actually spread it on bread or crackers, let alone eaten it for breakfast. They have several other flavors as well, like fig, cinnamon and coffee (?!). The spread is slightly sweet, definitely thinner than cream cheese, and has a distinct goat cheese flavor. I spread mine on cinnamon raisin bread and it was the perfect addition.

It’s got more oompf than butter but less cream than cream cheese. And the nutrition facts and ingredients aren’t so bad either…

1 oz has 100 calories, 8g of fat, less than 1 gram of sugar and 6g of protein (and a few other things like 20mg of cholesterol and 140mg of sodium). The ingredients include pasteurized goat milk, culture, enzymes, salt, and honey. Pretty simple, I love it!

Compare this to your run of the mill Philadelphia Cream Cheese…

1 oz has 100 calories, 9g of fat, 105 mg of sodium, 1g of sugar, and 2g of protein. It’s made of milk, milk fat, cheese culture, salt and stabilizers Xanthan and/or Carob Bean and/or Guar Gums (no idea what any of that means).

So generally the goat cheese has more protein and less sugar and fat (barely) than cream cheese and the ingredients are all recognizable. I’ll take more protein anyway I can!

When I finish this batch I plan to pick up the cinnamon and coffee. Could be interesting!

Smoothalicious

It’s no secret that a lot of people in the blog world, especially the “healthy living” blog world, like to eat smoothies. I don’t really consider myself a “healthy living” blogger, but I do consider myself a smoothie fan. Lately I’ve been loving a particular combination…

MMmmmMMMmmMM

  •  A few giant spoonfuls of Greek yogurt
  • A large handful of fresh spinach
  • A handful of frozen pineapple (Trader Joe’s!)
  • Half a frozen peach
  • A hefty scoop of frozen blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons of flax seed
  • And enough chocolate milk to get it all wet

I’m not really a measurer (probably why I suck at cooking), so this method works well for me. I do measure the flax though, since I don’t want it to be overly flax-y. The end result is a delicious, creamy concoction that really hits the spot after a long day.

Oh and the chocolate milk is KEY.

Imposter? Or Awesome?

As I was paroozing the organic/natural aisles of Kroger yesterday (and spending WAY too much money) I noticed a few “healthy” knock-offs of some of my favorite “bad” products. I’ve since tried three of them and am happy to report my findings. First up, Cinnamon Toast Crunch vs. Mom’s Best Naturals Toasted Cinnamon Squares.

VERSUS

In my opinion, these two cereals taste exactly the same. Of course I wasn’t eating a spoonful of the real stuff followed by a spoonful of the knock off, but I’ll be damned if these things aren’t basically the same thing. So is the “natural” product REALLY that much better for me? I’m no nutritionist, but I can read a label…

The "real" thing...CTC.

 VERSUS

The "knock off"...Mom's Best.

Again, at just a glance these two labels look pretty much the same. In fact, CTC has LESS sugar and fat. So, uhhhh, what’s so great about the natural product?? How about the ingredients…

CTC: Whole Grain Wheat, Sugar, Rice, Flour, Canola and/or Rice Bran Oil, Fructose, Maltodextrin, Dextrose, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Cinnamon, Soy Lecithin, Trisodium Phosphate, Caramel and Annatto Extract Color, Zinc and Iron (Mineral Nutrients)Vitamin (Niacinamide)Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride)Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)Vitamin B1 (Thiamine Minatare)Vitamin A (Palmitate)Natural Flavor, A B Vitamin (Folic Acid)Vitamin B12, Vitamin D

VERSUS

Mom’s Best: Whole Grain Wheat, Evaporated Milled Sugar, Rice Flour, Sunflower Oil, Fructose, Maltodextrin, Dextrose, Salt, Tricalcium Phosphate, Cinnamon, Soy Lecithin, Trisodium Phosphate, Annatto (For Color), Caramel Color, Natural Flavor, Nonfat Milk. Contains Wheat, Milk And Soybean Ingredients.

Again, not much of a difference. Maybe the Sunflower Oil and fewer ingredients in Mom’s??Both are made with Whole Grain Wheat…

Bottom line, I’m not really sure how much better Mom’s really is for me, if at all. I obviously haven’t done a detailed analysis of the two, but as your “average Joe,” I can’t really tell a difference. Bummer!!

Floor Sleeping & Food Fails

For the past 2.5 months I’ve been sleeping on a mattress on the floor.

Not because I don’t love snuggle time with my main man, but because I literally could not sleep in our old, curvy bed. We got our queen size bed and frame from my parents when we bought our house two years ago. They upgraded to a tempurpedic and we happily accepted the freebie. However, considering the bed was purchased in the mid-90s, it was already past its prime.

Old bed. Painful mattress.

I started to have A LOT of trouble sleeping…just tossing and turning and feeling so uncomfortable. There was basically a giant ditch in the middle of the mattress and no matter how many times we flipped it and rotated it, the ditch was still there. Brian didn’t have a problem with the mattress (homeboy can sleep through anything), but I opted to move to a twin mattress on the floor of our office (my brother is occupying the guest room). Eventually I started to feel like I was sleeping in the maid’s quarters. Not only was my house full of boys/men (of the human and cat variety) constantly playing Playstation and making messes, but I was also forced to sleep in a cramped little room away from all the hustle and bustle. Maid’s quarters.

So I put my foot down and decided it was time to invest in a big people bed. I even got to the point where I said we could cancel the honeymoon if it meant we could get a new bed. Not having an adult bed was really driving me insane. FINALLY Brian gave in and we went bed shopping. Thankfully that whole experience only took about 20 minutes since I am an expert Consumer Reports investigator and I determined exactly what we would need to keep me from going postal.

The bed of glory and sanity arrived on Saturday.

Thank you for saving my sanity (and future marriage).

That little slice of heaven is a king-sized Original Mattress Factory bed of angels. It is ridiculously comfortable and provides ample space for two greedy bed-hoggers and one fat cat. We had to do a little rearranging of the room, but I really love how it turned out. I plan to scratch the mismatched pillows and find a few that compliment the room a bit better.

Goodbye college hand-me-downs...I have old people sleeping problems now.

 

The view from my side.

I am not so good at interior design, but overall I enjoy the space. I love color, hence the massive orange rug. There’s nothing better than sprawling out on that baby (especially when you’re a cat).

In other news I ate HORRIBLY today. I don’t normally talk about food – I eat a pretty healthy, balanced diet. It’s really not that interesting. But today was weird for me. I like the taste of healthy foods (I could live off avocados, hummus and bagels), but I do enjoy the occasional treat. If I’m in the mood for something “bad” I just eat it. I must have been in a “mood” today. I ate:

  • A delicious smoothie for breakfast…I started out on the right foot. Spinach, greek yogurt, pineapple, blueberries, and chocolate milk.
  • Two pieces of plain pizza for lunch (provided by work…we loaded trucks today and it was brutal)
  • An M&M McFlurry (I NEEDED this after the truck loading)
  • A small McDonald’s fries (I honestly can’t remember the last time I ate at McDonald’s)
  • A handful of sweet potato chips (doing better here)
  • A bag of mini carrots (go me!)
  • A “real” grilled cheese made by my brother (white bread and kraft singles cheese)
  • A handful of buffalo pretzel bites

Talk about unbalanced. Maybe I’m having health food withdrawls since I ate McDonald’s today. That’s enough to last me at least a solid year. Tomorrow it’s back to my regularly scheduled programing.

Time to relax around these parts…I’ve got an EARLY morning tomorrow!