Jun 29, 2011





One of my favorite things to do is go to the famers market. I love fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, and I love to save money! For the most part you can do all of those things at a farmers market. I love just walking around in hopes of finding a great deal!
Kevin and I went on Friday and had a lot of success! We ended with a lot of vegetables and fruit spending only $23! You can’t beat that for all we got!


Check out these beautiful  LARGE Red Bell Peppers! 2/$1 WOW now that was a steal! I guess that’s why I bought so many!




Jun 22, 2011




Here is just one of my recent shopping trips to the grocery store. It’s amazing how healthy you’re shopping cart looks when you are eating better. Low calorie bread, turkey this or that, sugar free, fat free. It takes me forever in the grocery store now because I read each label before I put an item in my cart. My husband even reads every label now. He told me yesterday that if we had eaten Healthy Choice soup verses the Campbell's it would have saved us 10 or 20 calories. LOL 

For the first time in my life you don’t see cookies, candy, chocolate anything (except sugar free pudding), and you won’t see chips or anything that has been fried. Honestly it feels great to see my life, and the life of my family changing before my eyes!

I am linking this post at:
http://www.shibleysmiles.com/
http://www.thelifeofrylie.com/
http://floridahoganfamily.blogspot.com/
http://jellybean529.blogspot.com/

I have been occasionally consuming a 100 calorie pre packed snack pack here and there throughout my diet the last 2+ weeks. My cousin aptly pointed out to me that there are many other snacks out there that you can have that are 100 calories or less and also a lot more satisfying and better for you. 

With that being said I took her advice and conjured up this little ditty tonight to have with our dinner, and I must say, although it’s nothing fancy or special, it was really good, low in calories, and easy to make!

Ingredients:
  • 45 grams Fresh Strawberry’s sliced (14 calories)
  • 47 grams Fresh Blueberries (27 calories)
  • Cool Whip Fat Free 3 Tbsp. (23 calories)
Directions:
Place your fruit and cool whip in a bowl and fold those fruit into the cool whip. You can allow the berry’s and cream to sit in the refrigerator a bite to allow the flavors to mingle or you can eat immediately. Simple, Sweet, Cheap, and Low Calorie!

Calories Calculated on www.myfitnesspal.com

Jun 20, 2011


Who says you can’t have something decadent on a diet! These little cheesecakes are fantastic especially when you haven’t had any good desserts on your diet! Kevin and I were both shocked at how good these are. I made them for his Birthday this past Saturday because we didn’t want to spoil our diet even though it was his special day. You truly didn’t know you were NOT being BAD!


Ingredients:
  • 12 Reduced Fat Nilla Wafers (180 Calories)
  • 8 oz. Fat Free cream cheese (softened) (210 Calories)
  • 1 cup cold fat free skim milk (90 Calories)
  • 1 Tblsp. lemon juice (4 Calories)
  • 1 small box Jello Sugar Free instant vanilla pudding (150 Calories)
  • 1 can lite cherry pie filling (I used lucky leaf) (245 Calories)
  • 12 Cupcake tins (no calories ;-) )
 Directions:
  1. Place 12 cupcake tins  on a cookie sheet with 1 Reduced Fat Nilla Wafer in each one, then set them aside. 
  2. In a bowl beat cream cheese until smooth. 
  3. Gradually add milk and lemon juice to the cream cheese and beat until smooth. Stir in pudding mix. 
  4. Evenly divide cream cheese pudding mixture between the 12 cupcake tins over the Nilla Wafers, then evenly divide the cheery pie filling over top of all 12 cupcake tins. 
  5. Refrigerate overnight for Nilla Wafers to soften. 
Calories Calculated on www.myfitnesspal.com

Original Recipe Source

Jun 19, 2011


This was so simple after dinner the other night I threw everything in the crockpot but the chicken. Once everything was in I used the whisk to mix everything together then I stuck the chicken in and covered the chicken with the sauce. 5 hours later it was ready! I let it cool, then stuck it in the refrigerator and heated it up the next day for dinner. Simple and great! It’s very flavorful and excellent! We all really enjoyed this recipe.

Ingredients:
  • 1 8-ounce can reduced-sodium tomato sauce
  • 1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon sweet or smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoon Honey Mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Montreal Chicken Seasoning
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

 Directions:
  1. Stir tomato sauce, chiles, vinegar, honey, paprika, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, ground chipotle and salt in a 6-quart slow cooker until smooth. Add chicken, onion and garlic; stir to combine.
  2. Put the lid on and cook on low until the chicken can be pulled apart, about 5 hours.
  3. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred with a fork. Return the chicken to the sauce, stir well and serve.

 *Calories 91 calories for 4oz. We ate our chicken on 45 calorie pieces of bread served with 1 serving of Alexia sweet potato puffs. Total Calories for the meal= 311*


Calories Calculated on www.myfitnesspal.com
Original Recipe

Jun 18, 2011


I liked the salad but I was not a fan of the dressing. If you are a huge fan of red wine vinegar then you will love the dressing. It was a little too overwhelming for me. Next time I make this I will just make the salad and use some bottled vinaigrette. Over all the salad is excellent and it's low in calories you get 3 cups for 343 calories! 

Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, or oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken, (about 12 ounces; see Tip)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced ripe black olives
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions:
Whisk vinegar, oil, dill (or oregano), garlic powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add lettuce, chicken, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, olives and feta; toss to coat.

Calories Calculated on www.myfitnesspal.com


Original Recipe

Jun 14, 2011


We really enjoyed this meal. It was very filling and the taste was great. I left out the ground beef because I didn’t think it would add anything to the recipe, and it would save on the calories. It’s super easy and would be really easy to make ahead for a quick dinner. I would bet you could even make extras and freeze them for a quick meal. I ended up serving a 1/2 cup of cottage cheese on the side with these, but I couldn't eat it!  Like I said they are very filling!

Ingredients:
  • 4 medium russet potatoes
  • 8 ounces 90%-lean ground beef, (see Variation)
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, finely chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 scallions, sliced
Directions:
  1. Pierce potatoes all over with a fork. Place in the microwave and cook on Medium, turning once or twice, until the potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. (Or use the “potato setting” on your microwave and cook according to the manufacturer’s directions.)
  2. Meanwhile, brown meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Increase heat to high, add broccoli and water to the pan, cover, and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the broccoli; add to the meat.
  3. Carefully cut off the top third of the cooked potatoes; reserve the tops for another use. Scoop out the insides into a medium bowl. Place the potato shells in a small baking dish. Add 1/2 cup Cheddar, sour cream, salt and pepper to the potato insides and mash with a fork or potato masher. Add scallions and the potato mixture to the broccoli and meat; stir to combine.
  4. Evenly divide the potato mixture among the potato shells and top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Microwave on High until the filling is hot and the cheese is melted, 2 to 4 minutes.

Calories Calculated on www.myfitnesspal.com

Original Recipe 

Jun 12, 2011



Kevin and I were in the mood for a light meal after a very hot day last week. I racked my brain for something I thought we would both like and was light and healthy at the same time. I decided to recreate a salad I recently had when we were out for lunch one day. I could have just gone and bought one, but I didn’t want to leave the house to do so. I made a few changes to the cheese and salad dressing to bring the calorie count down, and the salad turned out great! We both really enjoyed it.


Serving: 1
Calories: 259
Carbs: 19
Fat: 8
Protein: 13

Ingredients:
  • ¼ cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • ¼ cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 oz. canned chicken 98% fat free
  • 2 cups organic greens
  • 2Tbs wish bone light raspberry walnut vinaigrette dressing
  • ½ oz. mozzarella part skim milk cheese
  • 1Tbs natural raw sliced almonds
Directions:

  1. Place your greens on a plate then layer on top, chicken, cheese, fruit, sliced almonds, then your dressing. 
  2. I personally like to put everything in a large bowl and mix everything up. This helps to spread the dressing throughout the salad. 
  3. Originally I didn’t think this would be enough dressing, but after a good tossing it was perfect! 
Calories Calculated on www.myfitnesspal.com

Jun 11, 2011


This is an excellent recipe! It’s filling and full of flavor! I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it, but I didn’t… I LOVED it! I was so impressed by the amount of flavor that this recipe has! It’s just so good! The only change I made was that I added a few teaspoons of Tabasco Sauce to give it a little kick and some added flavor.

Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (see Tip) or frozen, thawed
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked long-grain brown rice (see Tip)
  • 1-15-ounce can black, kidney or pinto beans, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup prepared salsa
  • 2 cups shredded iceberg or romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese
  • 2-1/2 cups coarsely crumbled tortilla chips
  • Lime wedges for garnish
Directions:
  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and corn; cook, stirring, until the onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Coarsely chop 1 tomato. Add it to the pan along with rice, beans, chili powder, 1 teaspoon oregano and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the tomato cooks down, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  2. Coarsely chop the remaining 3 tomatoes. Combine with cilantro, salsa and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon oregano in a medium bowl. 
  3.  Toss lettuce in a large bowl with the bean mixture, half the fresh salsa and 2/3 cup cheese. Serve sprinkled with tortilla chips and the remaining cheese, passing lime wedges and the remaining fresh salsa at the table.
*Save Calories by leaving the chips out! You won't even notice the difference)


Jun 10, 2011


I fell in love with this recipe. Before I made it I had had little to no expectations. I mean seriously how good and filling could low calorie “healthy” meals be? To my surprise this recipe exceeded my expectations it’s easy to make, filling, and excellent!

  • 2 5-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and tenders removed (see Tip)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushroom caps
  • 2 tablespoons dry vermouth, or dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives, or scallion greens 
Calorie Count Per Serving: 275
  1. Season chicken with pepper and salt on both sides
  2. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning once or twice and adjusting the heat to prevent burning, until brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°F, 12 to 16 minutes. 
  3. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. 
  4. Add shallot to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 2 minutes. Pour in vermouth (or wine); simmer until almost evaporated, scraping up any browned bits, about 1 minute. 
  5. Pour in broth and cook until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in cream and chives (or scallions); return to a simmer. Return the chicken to the pan, turn to coat with sauce and cook until heated through, about 1 minute.

Calories Calculated on www.myfitnesspal.com


Original Recipe

Jun 9, 2011


I knew I needed to find something low calorie for lunch, but I also wanted to make something that I had all the ingredients for (because I was starving), and I wanted something that would be quick and easy, and give me the most bang for my calories. I also wanted to avoid adding cheese to anything because I have recently learned that cheese is loaded full of calories! I came up with the recipe and it turned out fantastic! I have adapted this for a serving of one, but you can easily adapt it to what you need!

Ingredients:
  • 2 ounces Swanson White Premium Chicken Chunks Canned
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 tbsp Pace Picante Sauce (I used medium)
  • .5 ounce Organic Greens
  •  2 Tia Rosa White Corn Tortilla (Try to find something lower in calories this is what I had on hand, but each tortilla is 60 calories each)
Calorie Total: 217 according to http://www.myfitnesspal.com/


Directions:
  1. Add chopped onions to a small frying pan cook on medium high until they start to brown (You don't need to add any fat or sprays to the pan to keep these onions happy just use a non-stick pan), then add chicken.
  2. Cook until chicken is heated up, and the onions are being translucent.
  3. Add picante sauce and mix together well then heat through
  4. Heat tortillas in the microwave for 20 seconds
  5. Then top each corn tortillas with the organic greens, then top your greens with the chicken mixture

Enjoy! 

Jun 8, 2011


Monday morning I decided if I was going to start my summer slim down I had to do it right. By doing it right I decided that I have to clean out the cabinets and rid them of anything that might have tempted me to eat it. I threw an entire large garbage bag full of cookies, chips, and so on away. I really didn’t feel like I was losing much because most of it I didn’t even realizes we had in the house and I would bet most of it was stale.  Goodbye garbage! Hello skinny jeans!


Because of a really great sale I ended up with about 30 cans of Pillsbury Grand’s Biscuits. I ended up giving most of them away, but I still have a few cans I wanted to do something with. I decided to make Super Simple Cinnamon Sugar Donuts. These are definitely not for your calorie conscious or anyone on the Summer Slim Down Challenge, but they are REALLY good especially warm. Quick, Easy, Cheap, and Delicious!



Ingredients:
  • 1 Can Pillsbury Grand’s Biscuits
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 4Tbs Cinnamon
  • Vegetable Oil for Frying
  • 1 zip bag
  • 1 soda bottle cap (I used my red wine vinegar cap)

Directions:
  1. Heat your vegetable oil to 350 degrees about 3-4 inches deep
  2. In a zip bag add cinnamon and sugar, zip up the bag and shake, set aside
  3. Open up the can of biscuits and flatten them slightly
  4. Take your soda bottle cap and punch out a hole in the middle of your biscuits. (Don’t throw away the center hole they make great donut holes)
  5. Cook donuts until they are golden brown on each side cooking long enough to insure they are done in the middle. Flip several times during the cooking process. Make them in small batches to insure you are not crowding the oil. I made 2 at a time.
  6. As each donut comes out of the oil add it to the cinnamon sugar filled zip back, close up and shake, then set the now cinnamon sugar aside and continue the process until you are done. 


Jun 7, 2011


The original recipe for this says that it's the copy cat recipe for Panda Express's Orange Chicken. Being that Panda Express's Orange Chicken is my very favorite item on their menu I beg to differ! Don't get me wrong this is a great recipe we all really enjoyed it, but it's not even close to the Panda Express recipe. What I like about this recipe is that it's really great the flavor is nice and mild yet has really stands on it's own. Next I would triple the amount of orange sauce. What I do not like about this recipe is the fact that it's time consuming. Yeah a little more time than I care to spend in the kitchen on a weekday. 


Ingredients:
 Orange Sauce for Stir Fry

Directions:
  1. Make Orange Sauce for Stir Fry adding all the ingredients to a bowl, mix, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl place egg, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon oil and mix well. 
  3. Cut chicken into bite sizes pieces and place them in the bowl with the egg mixture.
  4. In another bowl mix cornstarch and flour together. 
  5. Take one piece of chicken at a time and roll it in the Mix flour mixture then set the well coated chicken aside. 
  6. Heat oil in a frying pan or dutch oven to 375 degrees. 
  7. Add chicken in small batches, and fry 3 to 4 minutes or until golden crisp. (Do not overcook chicken). 
  8. Remove chicken from oil with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels; set aside. 
  9. Clean frying pan and heat 15 seconds over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil. 
  10. Add ginger and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant; about 10 seconds. 
  11. Add and stir-fry crushed chilies and green onions. 
  12. Add rice wine and stir 3 seconds. 
  13. Add Orange Sauce and bring to boil. 
  14. Add cooked chicken, stirring until well mixed. 
  15. Stir water in remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth 
  16. Heat until sauce is thickened. 
  17. Stir in sesame oil and orange zest if desired. 
  18. Serve over jasmine rice.


Jun 6, 2011


One thing I love about this recipe is that it's super simple, but messy. If you like chili this will be a keeper for you. It's very chili enchiladas. Most everything in the recipe is something that I keep on hand at all times. You can use any chili you like you could probably even use a hot dog sauce and it would be good. Beautiful ... NO.... Yummy...YES! I used my convection to make this recipe though it calls for a 11x7 pan I used the one that came with my convection because an regular 11x7 will not fit because of the handles.
Ingredients:
  • Pam
  • 2 Cups of Shredded Cheddar Cheese 
  • 1 4oz Can diced green chilies (drained)
  • 19oz can of Chili 
  • 8 corn tortillas (6inch)
  • 2TBS Water

Directions:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 Spray a 11x7 inch pan with Pam or some other non-stick spray. Stir together cheese and green chilies in a medium bowl.
  2. Spoon 2 tbs of chili and 2 tbs of the cheese mixture onto each tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in prepared baking dish. (If you tortilla tears don't worry about it because it will be covered in chili and cheese anyway. You can also soften then with warm or or chicken broth to make them easier to handle)
  3. Combine the remaining chili and the remaining water and spoon over the top of the enchiladas. Top with extra cheese if you would like. (I added an extra cup of cheese)
  4. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes or until enchiladas are hot and the cheese is melted.
  5. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes and Serve.



Jun 3, 2011



Sign up for $5 in Kellogg's Coupons! Right now there seems to be a lot of great cereal sales going on! These will be a lot help!   

SAVE 70¢

Kellogg’s Raisin Bran®

When you purchase any ONE package of Kellogg’s Raisin Bran® Cereal


SAVE $1.00

Kellogg's® Special K®

On any TWO packages of Kellogg’s® Special K® Cereal


SAVE $1.00

Kellogg's FiberPlus™

On any TWO packages of Kellogg’s FiberPlus™ Cereals



SAVE $1.00

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On any ONE package of Kellogg’s® Smart Start® Cereal



SAVE $1.00

Kellogg’s Corn Flakes®

On any TWO packages of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes® Cereals


SAVE $1.00

Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies®

On any TWO pkgs of Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® and/or Cocoa Krispies® Cereals


SAVE $2.00

Kellogg's™ Special K™

On any TWO packages of Kellogg’s™ Special K™ Protein Products


SAVE $1.00

Kellogg's Frosted Flakes®

On any TWO packages of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes® Cereals


SAVE 50¢

Keebler® Ready Crust® Pie Crusts

On any TWO packages of Keebler® Ready Crust® Pie Crusts


SAVE $1.00

Kellogg’s® Crunchy Nut™

On any TWO packages of Kellogg’s® Crunchy Nut™ Cereals


SAVE 70¢

Kellogg’s® Corn Pops®

On ONE package of Kellogg’s® Corn Pops® Cereal




SAVE $1.00

Morningstar Farms®

On Any ONE package of MorningStar Farms® Breakfast Biscuits


Some can say I am jealous, but the fact of the matter is I wouldn’t want to be Kim Kardashian to save my soul. I don’t envy that lifestyle, and to be honest with you I think her engagement ring is unattractive and complete overkill. Seriously who really needs a 2 million dollar wedding ring? No it’s not bitter grapes! Good for her for landing a man that can give her such a wedding ring. My only hope for her is that she is happy!

A 2 million dollar wedding ring is not only way over the top, but in my opinion it’s ridiculous, and looks ridiculous on her finger. I tried on a 2.5 karat wedding ring when Kevin asked me to marry him and it was too big for my hands, but how about a 20.5 karat wedding ring? Can you even imagine?

I find it hard to imagine that anyone would spend that kind of money of one piece of jewelry much less wear it. I wonder if she will spend her life walking around with a body guards now. I don’t know about you, but I would never feel comfortable wearing anything that cost that much if it didn’t come with a body guard. It seems like you would be a marked woman.

At what point is "the who can top who", and "who has the biggest this or that" too much?  I get that you have millions and millions of dollars, but would you have thought twice about marring someone if the ring had only been 2.5 karats? Not saying that it’s a materialistic thing, but would your “love” have been any less, or would you have been any happier, or unhappier?  

I was once in a relationship with a man who could give me just about anything and everything I wanted, and I was miserable. Instead I married a man who initially had very little to offer me except himself, and I couldn’t be happier. I wonder if Kim K could say the same thing?

Jun 1, 2011



This is my GE Convection Toaster Oven (well a picture of it from walmart.com). This was one of the gifts my husband got me for Christmas. It has really come in handy so many times. For instance when our oven when out Easter weekend this worked like a charm to get everything I needed to cook cooked.


I have decided that this wonderful creation is going to become my new best friend this summer. If I cannot cook it either on my stove top burners, the microwave, the fryer, or in this convection oven, then it’s not going to be made.

Not only will using this verse the oven keep my house cooler, but it will also keep my light bill down. Our light bills are always high, and it’s always hot during a Texas summer.

The long and short is if I can I will be converting my recipes to fit in my convection one way or another. It will toast (not very well), broil, and bake! It even has a rotisserie on it which I have never used. Let the Convection Oven Summer Begin!

Update: My oven died in November of 2013 so it was 3 years old when it died!

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