Thursday, March 26, 2009


First off, I apologize for the presentation and not so stellar photo. I need to fix that for next time.

But, onto tonights menu, Lamburgers with homemade tzatziki sauce and roasted potatoes. (Please note, I don't really measure stuff when I'm cooking on my own, I just eyeball and adjust accordingly)

For the burger:
  • 2/3lb ground lamb
  • Feta cheese
  • Red onion

Mix ingredients together and split into two patties (1/3lb each) and cook on an outdoor (or indoor) grill until lamb reaches an internal temperature of 160-165F. Top with a little bit of feta and stick under the broiler for a couple of minutes and top with thinly sliced red onion.

Tzatziki sauce:
  • 8 ounces Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cucumber (peeled and seeded and finely chopped)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (I used about 1/2 tablespoon)
  • Red wine vinegar (about 1 teaspoon)
  • Lemon juice (probably used a teaspoon or two)
  • Minced garlic
Blend ingredients in a food processor until well blended. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

Top the burger with some tzatziki sauce and serve on Greek style pita or eat plain (like I did, it was such a big burger!).

For the potatoes, I used my cool new Pampered Chef Crinkle Cutter (Colleen, that thing is great!) to jazz up the potatoes a little, and baked them in the oven for about 40 minutes at 375 with some olive oil, red wine vinegar, red onion, salt and greek seasoning.

***Serves 2***

We also decided (since the potatoes were taking forever to get done) to make a quick appetizer, and the results were good!

  • Tostitos scoops (Jalapeno flavor)
  • Black beans
  • Corn
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
Top each Scoop chip with the black bean and corn mix and top with some shredded cheese and bake in the oven until cheese is melted.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Eating out vs. eating at home

I love to eat out. However, for me, it is more of a treat then anything. Not only from a cost standpoint, but a nutritional standpoint as well. Did you know that some restaurants will give you, say, a serving of pasta that is more like 4 servings?? And a serving of steak is 3 ounces, yet you go out and get a 12 ounce steak. (Although I could put away a 12 ounce steak if it's on my plate). That's why I like to measure out my own portions at home. I love when the grocery store has boneless, skinless chicken breast on sale (this week it's $1.77/lb). Do you know what that equals per 3 ounce serving?

About 35 cents.

Porterhouse steak was just on sale for $4.99/lb, and yeah, I bought one! Got 3 servings out of it too (about 4-5 ounces each). I just checked the menu for a local restaurant here, and do you know what they charge for a 16 ounce steak?


I love cooking, and prefer to cook at home, although sometimes there's nothing better then going out for a nice meal with friends/family, and it's not like I'm not NEVER going to eat out, and like I said, when I eat out, it's more of a treat for me, so I'll indulge. Last week I went to a local diner by my house and got a french dip sub with onion rings for about $7. Good deal and good food.

Next post I'll have a recipe for a breakfast sandwich since I got off on a tangent here.

Orange Julius

Do you remember these when you were younger? Well, I really don't, only because there wasn't any Orange Julius places near me (at least none my mom never took me to!).

A few years ago I received a recipe from a friend (my Shaklee rep) for an Orange Julius concoction, and it is yummy!

Orange Julius:

1/2 cup milk (I use soy milk, either plain or vanilla)
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons Shaklee vanilla soy protein powder (although I'm sure any brand would work)

Combine ingredients and blend.

Add a couple of ice cubes if you like a colder, thicker drink.


More fun with smoothies

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and I am a firm believer in that! I never leave home without breakfast. And I know a lot of people are in such a rush to get out the door in the morning, they often don't stop to make a quick snack.

Well, this is perfect for you!

Chocolate Banana Smoothie:

1 cup chocolate milk (I use Trader Joes chocolate soy milk)
1 small banana cut up
3 tablespoons protein powder (I use Shaklee soy protein powder in vanilla)

Add ingredients to a blender and mix until smooth.

You can also add some flax seed or flax oil if you have it on hand.

Also, for the workout folks out there, a recent study shows that chocolate milk (or regular milk) has the optimal ratio of protein and carbs for a post-workout replenishment.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Peppers galore

I have recently started a love affair with bell peppers. Now, I think I'm the odd person out here, since I don't like green peppers all that much, and, I really don't like cooked or roasted peppers. Kroger had a sale a few weeks back, bell peppers for $1 each. I bought 5 or 6 (red, yellow and orange), and yay me, ate them all over the course of the next several days. (And I can't wait until I get my vegetable garden going so I can grow my own because it's a splurge most times considering at the grocery store they are about $3.99/lb!)

So, I thought I'd pay tribute to my little vitamin C packed friends with some info on just how good they are for you :) (Compliments of

Bell Peppers (Sweet Peppers)

Bell peppers are a great source of vitamin C. If you thought citrus fruits packed a powerful punch when it comes to being a good source of vitamin C, peppers have them beat. Green peppers have twice the amount of vitamin C by weight than citrus fruits, and this powerful punch of vitamin C is an antioxidant that may be effective in preventing certain cancers. Red bell peppers have three times as much vitamin C as the green varieties and are a good source of beta carotene.

Sweet PeppersVarieties
Bell peppers can be found in a rainbow of colors and can vary in flavor. The variety of the pepper plant and the stage of the ripeness determine the flavor and color of each pepper. For example, a red bell pepper is simply a mature green bell pepper. As a bell pepper ages, its flavor becomes sweeter and milder. Red bell peppers contain eleven times more beta carotene than green bell peppers.

Bell peppers are available and are in good supply all year, but they are more plentiful and less expensive during the summer months. Fresh peppers come in variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, but when selecting them, they all follow the same guidelines. Their skin should be firm without any wrinkles, and the stem should be fresh and green. They should feel heavy for their size. Avoid peppers with sunken areas, slashes or black spots.

Store unwashed bell peppers in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. They will stay fresh for about a week. Green bell peppers will stay fresh a little longer than the yellow and red ones.

Make Bell Peppers Part of Your 5 A Day Plan logo-5aday_small
* Use them to create colorful and exciting meals by adding a mixture of different colored sliced or chopped peppers to your favorite salads, pastas, and Chinese or Mexican dishes.
* They can be used as a colorful garnish.
* Include sliced peppers on your next veggie tray.
* Carve out peppers and stuff them with rice or use them as colorful containers for dips or other edible items.


Man, looking back at all of these photos I took is making me HUNGRY!

This pizza I made back in September, and if I remember correctly, it was....

Trader Joes whole wheat pizza dough (it was already made in the package so I just had to top it)

To that I added:

  • Extra virgin olive oil (I used this in lieu of sauce)
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Goat cheese (love how creamy that is!)
  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Artichoke hearts
Bake according to directions on dough package.

Creamy Shrimp Rolls

I made these back in the summer and was surprised at how tasty they were! I love lobster rolls, but I don't always have the money to buy lobster and when I tried making it with frozen, canned lobster, well, it wasn't that great, but these shrimp rolls are kind of like a poor mans lobster roll ;)

Recipe courtesy of Real Simple magazine:

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds cooked medium shrimp, cut in half crosswise
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced chives (optional)
  • 4 hot dog buns
  • 1 small head butter lettuce, torn into pieces
  • 1 5-ounce bag potato chips
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  • Fold in the shrimp, celery, and chives, if desired.
  • Line the buns with the lettuce and fill with the shrimp mixture. Serve with the potato chips.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spinach salad

I came across this picture the other day and it made me want it again!

Spinach salad:

I use baby spinach, fresh strawberries (although judging by this picture I was out that day), mandarin orange slices, red onion, walnuts, gorgonzola cheese and raspberry vinegarette dressing.

Very simple, very light, and super tasty!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

40 Clove Chicken

Seriously, 40 clove chicken is one of my favorite things to make, if not at the top of the list. It comes out looking like it took forever, when really it's all roasting time. And it's super cheap too! If the grocery store has whole fryers on sale for $.49/lb., I'll stock up and get a couple. You can never have too much chicken on standby!

Toss some red potatoes in the oven to roast with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and you've got a meal. And, you can use the cloves of garlic (which are super soft from roasting) to mix with some butter to make a great garlic butter for rolls

Smoothie madness

Another versatile food? Smoothies. One of those other things that when I make them, I think "why don't I do this more?". It's a super quick breakfast, and can be quite filling.

This morning, I mixed the following:

1/2 cup of lowfat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup Almond milk (I would have used soy milk but I am out!!!)
3 Tablespoons vanilla soy protein powder (I like Shaklee brand)
A handful of frozen fruit (I think mine was a tropical fruit blend, pineapple, melon, berries, etc).
Approximately 1/4 teaspoon of Crystal Light Raspberry Iced Tea powder

Blend until smooth and enjoy!

PS-I would add some flax oil, but when I pulled the bottle out of the fridge, I saw the "best by" date was April 2009. Oops!

Stir Fry

Why don't I make more stir fry? It's such a versatile meal!

I played a game a couple weeks ago called "let's see what I can make using ingredients that are going to go bad if I don't use them soon" and the result was what I called B-Fry. Beef, broccoli and bean sprouts.

I used thinly sliced sirloin, broccoli and bean sprouts. I added some Kikkoman stir fry sauce and Sriracha and it was pretty tasty. Too bad I didn't have any rice (seriously, who doesn't have rice in their house???). I first browned the meat then cooked the broccoli seperately, and added the beef and bean sprouts back in and stirred in the sauce. And you know what? It was really good! Made enough for leftovers too (I never measure stuff, so it's hard to post an actual recipe).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Egg Drop Soup

I love egg drop soup. I had some on Sunday from the Chinese takeout place (and I never get Chinese, I just don't love it) but I loved that soup. So yellow, so thick, perfect flavor.

So today I made my own. EVERY recipe I found online called for chicken stock, so, I used Tyler Florence's recipe that I found on It was so basic, and it was just like almost every other egg drop soup recipe I've found.

My dilemma? I just don't get the whole chicken stock thing. Well, I do because for flavor, but overall the taste was just too chicken-ey and I didn't like the soy sauce in there. It's okay, I added another egg hoping that would help, but it's just not the same.

I want the really thick, really yellow, really good egg tasting soup they have in the restaurant!

Sweet Potato Buttermilk Rolls

I decided to try making these after seeing the recipe over at Pinch My Salt to go with Christmas dinner.

They came out absolutely delicious! However, I don't think I'll be using the stand mixer to knead dough anytime soon as it was more tedious then kneading by hand, so back to my old standby method, kneading by hand. The biggest problem I had was that the dough did not rise (at all) so the rolls came out incredibly dense, but still delicious. They freeze very well too.


Welcome to my latest blog, which is dedicated entirely to one of life's

Here I will talk about some favorites, post recipes/pictures of things I've created and well, talk about anything food related!

(And if you know me, you know this will be busy as I love to eat!)