Yeah. We’re THOSE people.

So I decorated the day before Thanksgiving.  Sue me.

Peyton had been asking since last week to put up the tree.  Who am I to squash her Christmas spirit? 😉

Speaking of SQUASH (like the seguay?)…….

While decorating for Christmas, I was pondering what to do with all of our lovely gourds from Thankshallowgiving.  I had 2 sugar pumpkins in the bunch so I did some recipe searches and decided to make Pumpkin Casserole!   The rest went with my dad out to the shooting range.  I think he had fun.  Who doesn’t love an exploding pumpkin?

Back to the casserole.  So I had 2 sugar pumpkins, BUT….Peyton had decorated one for Halloween and refused to let me cook it.  After a while of coaxing, it did seem morbid, I mean- he had a face ☺! – so I let her keep it.  To fill in for that pumpkin I decided to use an acorn squash.  PERFECT!! 

So without further ado – Pumpkin/Squash Casserole

(original recipe adapted [and then hacked to pieces] from allrecipes.com) 

1 Sugar Pumpkin

1 Acorn Squash

Butter cooking spray

Cinnamon

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the gourds in half and scrape out the seeds.  Place on a baking sheet, spray with sooking spray and sprinkle cinnamon.  They’ll need at least an hour to get nice and soft.  Once they’re done, let them cool completely and then peel the skins away:

Use an immersion blender to puree it. 

You’ll need 2 cups of this for the recipe.  I have enough left over for protien bars!!

Ok, next you’ll need:

4 egg whites

1/2c Evaporated Milk – Skim

1 c Wheat Bran (Bob’s Red Mill)

1/2c Sweetener (Splenda)

2tbsp Buttery Spread – melted (Smart Balance Light)

1/2tsp Baking Powder

1/8 tsp Baking Soda

1tsp Cinnamon

Mix everthing into the puree and pour it into a prepared casserole dish. 

 Bake this bad boy for 1 hour at 350. 

Slice into 6 servings:

IT WAS LIKE HAVING PIE FOR DINNER!  NO LIE!  MMMMmmmmmm…………

Now if you want something more savory you could reduce the sugar and add in curry powder.  Or you could add more sugar and pumpkin pie spice for a sweet dessert dish. 

Stats~ 6 servings:

112 cals  /  2 fat  /  22 carb  /  9 protein

And now for a quick survey:  Real tree or fake?

White Wednesday

It IS a nice day for a white Wednesday!  Ahhh, Billy Idol – how I love thee…..

Sorry.  To much info?

Today is a slooooow day.  We meandered about the house this morning seeing as it’s getting too cold to walk in the early mornings and, really, I’m pooped.  I have kickboxing tonite so I don’t want to be suckin’ wind in class.

I took the kidlets with me to the grocery store and made them some pizza for lunch when we got home.  I used a store-bought crust and sauce, low-fat italian cheese and sprinkled on some Trader Joe’s Broccoli Slaw mix on top to up the veg factor.  I also ran out of Pumpkin Protein Bars so I made a fresh batch today:

I finished the other half of the Stuffed Acorn Squash from yesterday for my lunch.  I left it for Officer M to eat when he got home, but he won’t voluntarily eat most squash type dishes.  HIS LOSS! 

Anyway, this afternoon I have to do the whites. 

I hate doing laundry.  I do maybe 1 or 2 loads a day so that I’m not bogged down at the end of the week.   But the whites……ugh.  I think there are quite a few of you who can relate to me here. 

Officer M has, probably 8 different types of white socks.  Some have a gold toe, some have a red stripe on the toe, some have a red stripe on the heel and toe, some have ribbing on the arch, some have a brand name.  But the one thing they all have in common – they are ALL white!  Matching them is an epic event.  😦

Maybe I could train him to maybe fold the top of one over the other to keep them together before he puts them in the wash?  Who am I kidding!  I can’t even get him to close his dresser drawers, shut the light off when he leaves a room or put the peanut butter back in the cabinet!

If you’re reading this honey, I love you and appreciate all the things you DO do!  😉

What about you?  What’s your biggest pet peeve when it comes to your spouse / significant other?

Pumpkin Monday!

Happy Monday Folks!

Being a Stay-At -Home-Mom means that Monday’s don’t suck so much anymore!  In fact it’s been quite nice.  Sorry for all those with ‘out of the home jobs’, I’m not trying to rub it in. 

After having the Best.Breakfast.Ever, I met up with Ivy for a power walk and then made a quick pit-stop at my Mom’s.  She’s become my sister’s granny-nanny since she was laid off and the kids wanted to see my nephew.

When we got home I made the kids some leftovers for lunch and fired up the grill.  I feel compelled to have Balsamic Grilled Veggies and Warm Bruschetta on hand at ALL times. 

When Officer M got up he helped us carve our pumpkin:

Wait for it:

Ta Da!

Spoooky!

There was a rotted part in the back that we decided to cut off (lest it rot the rest of the pumpkin), so to plug the hole:

But the absolute best part of carving pumpkins is:

SEEDS!

Tossed in Olive Oil spray and salt and roasted for 45 min at 325:

Salty goodness 🙂

Ok, off to feed the little ones and then to kickboxing!!

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Today was the 5K for Farmland Race and we couldn’t have ORDERED better weather!  I started today with old faithful:  Pumpkin Protein Pancake!  I topped with PB made from 2 tbsp Trader Joe’s peanut flour and 9g of my vanilla protein powder.  Less the a quarter of the fat of regular peanut butter with a bunch of protein. 

 Ivy showed up right on time (I was running late!):

I think I was a lot less nervous this time around.  We got there in plenty of time to get our numbers and hit the potty (you know you’re a mom when it is forever referred to as ‘the potty’) and do a warm up jog.  We were mid-pack at the starting line, but ended up weaving through the crowd a bit in the beginning.  Ivy stayed with me for almost the first full mile and then hit her stride.  It was an up and back run so it was very easy to gauge distance.  Ivy finished ahead of me with a time of 25:10 (WHOOT!) and I finished a full minute better than my last race at 26:32.  Over all Ivy was 71 out of 221 and 5th in our age range.  I was 98th overall and 8th in our age range.  Not too shabby.

On to the chicken dinner!!

Last night I set my frozen chicken in a salt and garlic spice brine.  This morning I rinsed it down, patted it dry and seasoned it up:

I forgot to take a picture of the finished product because I was STAHVING!!!!  But it looked pretty much exactly like this:

And now it looks like this:

To make this SUPER easy Chicken/Turkey Brine:

4.5 lb chicken

3-4 tablespoons Kosher Salt

Enough Water to cover the chicken

Spices of your choosing (put in LOTS cause you’ll end up dumping it later)

If your chicken is frozen, let it sit overnight in a pot in the fridge.  If it’s fresh, it won’t need more than 4-6 hours.  This brine will suck the juices into the meat making it unbelievably tender and juicy.  Before putting it in the oven, rinse it, pat it dry and brush it with Olive or Grapeseed oil and rub on some more spice.  I don’t add any more salt.  Bake it at 350 degrees for 20 min per pound.  Remember to let it sit 10 minutes before cutting in!

Once the carcass is picked clean of all desirable meat; toss into a large pot a bunch of carrot, celery, onion and garlic.  Add the carcass, salt, pepper, 8 cups of water and let it simmer for a couple of hours.  Drain through a mesh colander.  Discard the veg and meat and you’ve got an easy stock.  Once it cools, I pour it into ice-cube trays and freeze them into little cubes.

That’s all I got for today.  I’m out!

🙂

Rain, rain go away (and take the humidity with you!).

Today has been weird as far as the weather goes.  Rain and humidity.  Looks like fall, feels like summer.  Whatev.

Kinda slow around here as we’ve been trapped indoors for the most part. 

Breakfast rocked my face though:

Pumpkin protein bar with 2 tbsp Trader Joe’s peanut flour (that I mixed up with some water and a pinch of salt) and a sprinkle of cinnamon.  MMMMmmmm.  I think this has taken over the #1 spot of  Best. Breakfast. Ever. 

I did another round of Insanity this morning and let me tell ya, it ain’t getting easier!  But that’s ok.  I pushed hard and was a sweaty pile of quivering flesh by the end.  Good times! 

Short post tonite, so I’ll leave you with some photographic artwork by my (soon to be) 4 year old:

EXTREME CLOSEUP!

^^^Remember those troll dolls with the crazy hair? 

G’nite y’all!  🙂

It’s BAAAAAAACK!

Ha!

I haven’t been completely pumpkin deprived like so many I know, but it has been sporadic in the grocery stores.  Also, it’s damn expensive.  Supply vs. Demand = $$$$

This can has protein bars and pancakes written all over it.  No, really:

Guess what else I got?  Go ahead, guess.  Can’t?  Ok, I’ll tell you:

KACHOW! 

I’ll be taking the fit test on Sunday as I had already planned on the E and strength training today and kickboxing for timorrow.   I’ll keep you posted with my progress.  I know you’ll be holding your breath. 😉

>>>>>>>>(@)<<<<<<<<

Last night we finished up the invitations for Peyton’s birthday party (and by we I mean she helped for 10 minutes and got bored so I finished them myself).  I bought a package of multi-colored 3×5 notecards at Chez Marshal’s (love) for $4.99:

I just wrote the info on the cards and embellished them with some scrapbooking stuff I forgot I had:

Peyton has been all about Arts N’ Crafts for the last few days too:

^^^She’s mad at me there because I spilled my water bottle all over her tags.  Oops….

((((((((^^)))))))))

This afternoon I made some Zucchini Lasagna Towers for lunch and some Mexican Turkey Bake for dinner.  Figured I’d do both while the oven was on.  Not super creative, but I always have the ingredients for both on hand.

Recycled photos:

I’m off to get annihilated at Candy Land.  Have a super day! 🙂

Happy First Day of Fall!

In case it hasn’t become completely obvious to you, I LOVE AUTUMN!  So the fact that it’s 80 degrees and humid outside kinda burns my biscuits!

I was supposed to be sitting in 8 hours of continuing ed today, but I got the time wrong and showed up 30 minutes late.  I got kicked out.  Can’t be more than 10 minutes late per the licensing commission.  Oops.

AAAANNNNYYYWAAAYYYY…

Yesterday was a SUPER fun day!  We spent the entire day at the Eastern States Exposition (aka the BIG E).  The kids spent the majority of the ride tickets on this race car ride:

As the car comes to the turn it literally WHIPS around.  The first time on it, they weren’t sure what the heck happened!  Hysterical!

We checked out all the vendors in the outside kiosks and paroused the Better Living Center (nothing really grabbed me this year).  We also stopped in to see the Budweiser Clydesdales and then the petting zoo:

 

Peyton talked Officer M into paying $2 to see the “Unicorn Cow”.  I hear it was a bit of a let down.

[insert imagination here]

As far as the food went, well, let’s just say I’m not the biggest fan of carnival food.

I’m sorry – this just crosses a line.

The kids had a hot dog, a waffle with some PB, Chocolate milk and ice cream at lunch.  I can live with that.  Officer M had a Gyro (he loves those) and I ate the banana and Pumpkin Protein bar I had brought with me.  Later in the day Officer M and I enjoyed something magical:

Just one more reason to LOVE autumn!

 Throughout the rest of the day I also had half a gyro (no sauce, extra veg), a couple of bites of Bugga’s soft serve, some teriyaki jerky and 3 sweet potato fries.  So basically a tiny bit of food for 1500 cals….Oh well.  The beer was worth every carb and calorie – YUMMMM!

Also, I figure the 7.5 hours of walking worked it off!

Oh and just because it’s cute:

Yoda Gourd.

__________________________________________________

Monday night I made Officer M a lightened up version of Philly Cheese Steaks.  I got the idea from www.mariahealth.blogspot.com  She has a ton of recipes that are Diabetic and Celiac friendly.

Anywho, I kinda just winged it with the ingredients I had on hand.

I had a 1lb pkg of beef stew meat (next time I will use a leaner cut).  Browned those up with a small pat of Smart Balance light and a sprinkle of Montreal steak seasoning.  Toward the end of the browning I cut up 1/2 a vidalia onion and threw the rings into the pan.  Once the meat was sufficiently cooked I put it all in a crock pot with 1 can of reduced sodium beef broth and a can of french onion soup (because I had one) and a good shake of the Montreal seasoning.  Now you could easily add mushrooms to this and in fact, you probably should, but Officer M hates fungus so I skipped that part.  Cook on low for 4-6 hours until the meat is nice and tender. 

At around the 4-5th hour I cut the tops off 2 large green peppers and put them in the crock pot too.  I flipped them around a few time in the next hour.  Once everything is cooked, I transferred the peppers to a baking dish and stuffed as much meat and onion as I could fit into each.  Sprinkled with a couple shakes of hot sauce and topped them off with a generous slice of provolone.  Bake at 400 until the cheese is melty and gooey.

I’m off to make invitations for Peyton’s birthday party.  Have a great first day! 🙂

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_*-_

Autumn is, by far, the best season of them all!  Go ahead – try to argue….YOU CAN’T!  The temperature is perfect, the foliage (in New England) is breath-taking, and it’s Pumpkin Season!!

On my last trip to the grocery store I found a MOUNTAIN of canned pumpkin 🙂 ~ at 2.69 a pop though. 😦

This calls for Pumpkin Protein Bars:

(adapted from www.foodsofapril.com)

 

1c Bobs Red Mill Wheat Bran

100g Vanilla Protein Powder (I use BSN Syntha6)

2 egg Whites

1tsp Baking Powder

1tsp sweetener of your choice (I use Stevia)

3/4c Cottage Cheese (FF)

1/2 c Pumpkin

Cinnamon and Pumpkin Pie Spice to taste – I don’t measure these, I just dump them in until it smells like Thanksgiving!

Pre-heat the oven to 350 and prepare an 8×8 (or 9×9) pan with non-stick spray.  Mix the bran, protein powder and baking powder together.  In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and add in the cheese, pumpkin, sweetener and spices.  Pour the wet mixture into the dry.  Fold it all together and pour into your dish.  Bake for about 25-30 minutes.

  • Servings Per Recipe: 8
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 98.1
  • Total Fat: 2.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 18.9 mg
  • Sodium: 206.6 mg
  • Total Carbs: 11.6 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 5.1 g
  • Protein: 11.6 g

****IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU EAT THESE WITH A SMATHER OF ALMOND/PEANUT BUTTER***

{{Foodgasm}}

You can thank me later.