Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's Beginning to Feel A Lot Like Christmas

I can't believe that Saturday is Christmas Day. I am mixed about it because I go back to work on January 3rd. I remember when John was first born, and I thought how long it would be before January, and now, it's right around the corner.

I'm so sad to be going back to work, but that certainly doesn't make me a Grinch. It's beginning to look and feel a lot like Christmas.......






John's Christmas ornament
Of course, John had to put the ornament on the tree with the help of his daddy.
He looks thrilled, doesn't he? haha
The finished tree.
Last weekend, my brother dressed up as Santa for John and my nephew. It was an amazing time. I think next year he won't be so happy about sitting on Santa's lap!




Family shot.





I LOVE this picture!
I hope you enjoy this Christmas!
Question of the day:
What's your favorite holiday?
Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Friday, December 17, 2010

Good For You Dessert

I love dessert, almost to a fault. I grew up eating dessert (and lots of it), and now, as I'm trying to get my pre-baby body back, I'm trying to make my desserts healthier. When I started Weight Watchers in 2006, I found a dessert that tasted like a treat but was very healthy as well.

Last night, I revisited this dessert and had to share it with you.

Core an apple and cut it into pieces. Sprinkle with some Splenda and cinnamon and microwave for about two minutes or so.
















When it comes out of the microwave, you'll be greeted with warm, apple pie smelling apples. Add a little fat free whip cream and you're good to go! I swear it tastes like an apple pie minus the crust.

I didn't have any whip cream in the house, so I substituted the next best thing-peanut butter.

Serve with a glass of milk, and you've got a good for you dessert fit for a queen......or a very hungry food blogger.


(Please excuse the bottle rack in the back!)
I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! The hubby and I have two Christmas parties to go to and a visit with Santa.
Question of the Day:
What's your favorite healthy dessert?
Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Forgetting the Best Part!

The hubby and I had a very low key Christmas party to attend, and we signed up to bring the
salad. I went out to the store and bought the necessary ingredients:
  1. Lettuce
  2. Dressings
  3. Grape Tomatoes
  4. and the best part.....croutons
I went to assemble the salad right before we left and couldn't find the croutons. I searched everywhere for this key ingredient with no luck. I even went so far as checking the receipt to see if they were there. Turns out that they must have went with the next person's order-there weren't any croutons on my list.
I did the only thing I knew how to do.....I fudged it. I added some shredded cheese and some peanuts, which were the hubby's suggestions.
Doesn't look so bad, right?
By the end of the night, the salad bowl was empty, and everyone commented on how much they loved the peanuts in the salad. I guess the best part wasn't the croutons after all!
Question of the Day:
Have you ever forgotten to buy an ingredient for a recipe? What did you do?
Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Busy World

In my world, it's hard to get five seconds to yourself. Almost every time I go to do something either John wakes up from his nap or the phone rings. Now, I wouldn't change any of this for the world, but it's worth mentioning. Since 'me' time is rare, I've got to get things done quickly, which translates into dishes left in the sink and clothes that are sitting in the dryer wrinkled.

In the morning, I want coffee, and I want it quickly, so I've switched to this.





















Instant decaf coffee.
I figure it's not worth making and dirtying an entire pot of coffee when I'm the only one who drinks it. A cup of coffee in two minutes?















Yes please!

Question of the Day:
When you get time for yourself, what kinds of things do you do?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Combining Spices

If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you'll know that I love making chicken. To me, chicken is just a canvas for a multitude of ideas. I remember someone joked once and said I should rename this blog something with chicken in the title.

I'm not sure of the last time I posted a chicken recipe, but I've got one for you today.

I took the easy way out and combined Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil and Chipolte Seasoning. The result was delicious!

















I baked the chicken for about 20 minutes and when it was done, it looked like this.








I actually thought I over seasoned them a tad, but the hubby really liked them. I loved how the chipolte powder added just a little kick of spiciness.
Question of the day:
What are your favorite spice combinations?
Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Monday, December 6, 2010

Homemade Applesauce

I know I say this a lot, but one of my favorite things about blogging and reading blogs is that I am constantly flooded with awesome ideas from other bloggers. It's amazing how creative some people are when it comes to coming up with recipes.
I've had this recipe from Nicole's blog bookmarked for quite a while, and I just had the chance to try it out.

I made a few modifications to the original recipe. I omitted the lemon juice and brown sugar and increased the amount of cinnamon.
I started by coring my apples and cutting off the skin.









I put the apples, vanilla and cinnamon in the crock pot and cooked it on low for two and a half hours.




The apples cooking away made the house smell amazing! Someone should seriously bottle this scent!



When everything was done, I was left with the most amazing tasting applesauce. This doesn't compare to the store made version at all. I loved that this recipe was so simple to make and tasted delicious. If you love applesauce, go out and make this ASAP!
Question of the Day:
Is there something homemade that you make that tastes so much better than the prepacked stuff?
Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Friday, December 3, 2010

Quirks

I'm the first to admit that I have some quirks that are down right strange.

1. When I'm eating dinner, I always eat on the salad plate instead of the larger dinner plate, unless I'm eating spaghetti. Spaghetti always calls for a large plate.

2. Along with the plates, I eat with the smaller forks and spoons because it takes me longer to eat. If left to my own devices, I think I'd inhale my food!

3. When I make coffee, I have to add the milk before the sugar. If I add the sugar first, it tastes funny.

4. When I shut off the car, I always make sure the radio is on a certain station.

5. I love odd food combos.....like meatballs and eggs.

I know I've posted about this before, but I just had it again the other day and was reminded of its goodness. This is an awesome way to use up leftover meatballs.

Start by heating up the meatballs in a skillet.
Once they are heated, crack an egg and add some milk to the pan. Stir around and cook until the eggs scramble.

When the eggs are finished cooking, add some mozzarella (or another good melting cheese) and enjoy!
I ate my first meatballs and eggs without cheese the other night, and I really didn't miss the cheese!
So, so yummy!
Question of the Day:
Do you have any quirks? Tell me one!
Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Good Deal!

Happy Thursday!
Today, the baby and I set out on a new adventure-Produce Junction! Produce Junction is a store where you can buy fresh fruits and veggies in bulk for a discounted price. I can't believe I've waited this long to actually shop here.
Last week, the hubby mentioned to me that he wanted to start eating more fruits and veggies instead of lots of processed bars and snacks. Even though I'd rather eat healthier, sometimes getting lots of fruits and veggies can get super expensive. It seems that the prices in the grocery stores are going up and the quality of the produce is going down.
After John drank his milk, I packed up the car and headed out. As soon as I got there, I couldn't believe how crowded it was, especially for a weekday at 12:00. I didn't get to spend as much time there as I would have liked due to a sleeping baby and lack of a coach to walk around with, but I enjoyed walking through the store. I immediately headed to the fruits because the hubby and I are more likely to eat them throughout the day more than veggies.
I was super impressed with the loot I came home with for $7.50.
A huge crate of clementines, 2 lbs of bananas and a bunch of apples.
The most expensive item were the clementines at $4.00 a box, but compared to the $6.99 price at the grocery store, I thought that it was a steal. The apples were $1.50 and the bananas were $2.00 for 2 pounds.
The only downside to Produce Junction is that you can't pick your own fruit or veggies. Everything is prepackaged, so if there are a few rotten pieces, you're kinda stuck.
Considering that I've spent almost $10.00 on four oranges and a few pears at the grocery store, I'd say that this was a good deal.
Question of the Day:
Where do you go for good deals on your produce?
Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Yummy Oats!

After yesterday's incident, there was no way that I was up for creating something new to eat for breakfast. It's not that I don't like different things, but when you've got a good thing, sometimes it's better to stick with it.

This morning, while I was looking for the cinnamon, I came across this....














I like chocolate, I like oats, so why not combine the two? I nuked my oats and when they were done, I mixed a little bit of the baking cocoa and some sweetener and came up with my own version of chocolate oats.















I realize that this picture doesn't look very 'chocolaty', but believe me, they definitely were! I think the only thing that could have possibly made this better was some peanut butter. That will have to be tried on another day.

Question of the Day:
What's a food combo that you love?

I love chocolate and peanut butter. It doesn't get much better than that!

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sticking With What I Know

Happy Tuesday! Yesterday I received a free sample of Cream of Wheat Cinnabon flavor to try.

Confession time: I've never had Cream of Wheat. Heck, I just got into oatmeal a few years ago, so please hold off on throwing stones. :) Anyway....I thought that it would be good to try, considering that the nutritional information was pretty decent.












The second I opened the packet, I was hit with the aroma of cinnamon. I was more than excited because cinnamon is something that I love!
I put it in the microwave for a minute and a half and it came out looking like this:
Not to bad, right?
Well...that's pretty much where the goodness stopped. I tasted it and thought it was gross. I don't know whether it was a consistency thing for me or what, but I dumped it down the drain a few seconds later.
I had to eat something for breakfast, so I stuck with what I knew....
OATMEAL!
There, now that's what I call breakfast.
Question of the Day:
Have you ever tried Cream of Wheat? What do you think?
Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Saturday, November 20, 2010

John's Baptism

I'm blogging today from bed. Seems that almost everyone in my family has gotten some sort of of stomach flu, and I woke up not feeling too hot. My solution was to send the hubby and the baby off to my mother-in-law's house and park myself in bed with my laptop. What better thing to take my mind off of the way I'm feeling and focus on other things.

So, what's been up with me? Last Sunday, John was baptized. It was a little (okay, a lot) hectic-there were 14 baptisms going on at the same time!

My younger brother and mom are John's Godparents. We took a picture with the priest (who we love!) and I thought I'd share it with you.
















Of course, I had to share with you the most fabulous cake I've tasted in a long time. My Uncle Pete and Aunt Lisa bought the cake-it was completely amazing. There was a layer of vanilla icing in between the cake layers, which only added to the deliciousness!















Being a mom sure inhibits your ability to take pictures of food....not that I'm complaining!

Question of the Day
Tell me something going on in your life....I've been so out of the blogging loop lately and I miss everyone!

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Monday, November 8, 2010

Traditions

Happy Monday! It looks like the time change has finally caught up with my son, so he got very little sleep last night! Consequently, here I am blogging while he's napping. Everyone says to nap when he naps, but right now, I'm wide awake!

Last week was my grandmom's birthday, and the hubby and I took John to see his Gigi. Before I left, my grandmom explained to me that when a new mom brings her baby to a house for the first time and she nurses the baby there, the owner of the house is supposed to give her two eggs, salt and bread. Apparently, it's supposed to make the mom's milk come in better if you eat it within the week that it's given to you. I'm not one to mess with tradition, so I took grandmom's loot home.

















I made some scrambled eggs with salt and put the bread in the microwave to warm up for a bit.















Delicious!!

Thanks for the loot, grandmom!

Question of the Day:
Any fun or weird traditions in your family? Tell me about them!

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mom's Quiche

Happy Wednesday! How is it the middle of the week already? Since becoming a mom, the days are flying by faster than I could ever imagine.

The hubby and I have been so lucky in that my mom has been cooking meals out the wazoo so that we don't have to think about what we are having for dinner. It has made life that much easier knowing that dinner is already made and that I didn't have to think about it first. As a food blogger, I guess that sounds pretty bad, but this momma is busy! I often wonder how other moms do it!

The other night, we ate a quiche that she made. I don't have an exact recipe, but I can tell you that there's a pie crust, cheese, ham, spinach and eggs. Bake in the oven and get ready to be greeted by this beauty.
















Aluminum dish means less dishes for cleaning up!

A peek inside.
This tasted amazing and was extremely filling. Thanks for the meal, mom!
Question of the Day:
What's your favorite dish that someone else makes?
Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Monday, October 25, 2010

Starting Back Simply

Thank you for all of your sweet comments and well wishes about the birth of my son. I have to be honest - blogging has taken a back seat since becoming a mommy. Getting adjusted to little sleep, two hour feedings and round the clock baby watching has taken me away from the blog, but I have to say that it's been worth it!

The hubby and I spent last week with my mom, which was a huge help. This week, I'm officially on my own - hubby is back at work and it's just me an John. It's been amazing.

I've gotten the urge to blog again when I saw this picture. It's nothing stellar, but it made me take out my camera and take a snap shot. So I guess this is my return to blogging. It may not be every day, but I'll try my hardest!

While at mom's last week, I was feeling cold. When I went into the hospital to have the baby, it was nice and sunny and by the time I left, the weather had done a complete shift! So, I did what
lots of people would do in my situation....I made some hot chocolate and topped it with whipped cream.



So yummy and it totally hit the spot.

Question of the Day:
Do you find it hard to adjust to new things?

Until next time!
  • ~Anne Marie

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It's A.....

After a few days of being in the hospital, I'm happy to announce that it's a boy!





John Peter.

He is the most amazing little guy ever. Normal blogging to resume when I'm not busy loving on this little guy.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!

I have a baby update for you! I went to the doctor's yesterday and he is going to induce me tomorrow at 12:00. Please keep me, baby and hubby in your thoughts and prayers!

A little while ago, I was thankful for the gift of time. Well, I have to say that today, I am thankful again for the gift of time.....but this time it's a little different. For the past few weeks, my family has been super duper awesome in making sure that I'm not by myself when the hubby works late....just in case I went into labor.

During that time, I've had the opportunity to spend more time with my aunt, cousins, grandmom and mom, and I've enjoyed each and every moment.

I'm a lucky girl, and I am so thankful.

Question of the Day:
What are you thankful for today?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Current Obsession

Happy Wednesday!

I go through stages when it comes to food. Sometimes, it's a fruit stage.....two summers ago, I couldn't get enough of pomegranates. Other times it's ice cream...there have been weeks where I have to have a little taste of ice cream before I'm finished with my dinner.

Lately, my stage has been peanut butter....the chunky kind to be exact. My favorite way to eat peanut butter? On top of a banana, of course!



I could literally sit down with a spoon and a jar of peanut butter and go to town. It's just that good to me!

Question of the Day:
What's your current food obsession?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

One of the Benefits....

Since the doctor wants me to stay out of work from now until the baby gets here, I've been trying to keep myself busy so I don't drive myself too crazy! One of the benefits of staying at home is blogging at 7:00 in the morning and knowing that after this, I could take a nap if I wanted to.....hehe.

Last week, I asked the hubby to pick up some fruit from the grocery store. I had mentioned to him that I'm loving the Fall season because of spaghetti squash.....I think it's one of the best things about Fall!

Lo and behold, when I came home from work, the hubby had this sitting on the counter.


Yay for spaghetti squash!

I was first introduced to this when I was on Weight Watchers. It's a veggie that resembles spaghetti strands once cooked. Although it has more of a bite than spaghetti, it definitely gives the impression that you are eating spaghetti. It's such a good vegetable for you and it keeps you full for hours!

There are different ways you can make it, but I take the easy way and have cooked spaghetti squash in about 10 minutes. First, cut the squash in half length wise. When you cut it open, it should look like this.



Take one half of the squash and wrap it in saran wrap. Put some water on a dish and place the spaghetti squash seed side down on the plate. Pop it in the microwave for about 10 minutes, depending on the size of the squash.

Once it's done, make sure to let it cool for a bit......believe me, I've gotten hurt more than once trying to scrape out the spaghetti squash.

Next, scoop the seeds out with a spoon. After that's done, take your fork and run it down the length of the squash. You will start to see spaghetti-like strands coming from the squash.


See?
Put it in a bowl and top with your favorite sauce. I usually put marinara sauce on mine, but I've also used an alfredo sauce and I've heard of people putting butter and cinnamon on it. I haven't been tempted to try that combo yet though!

Yummy!
Question of the Day:
Do you like spaghetti squash? What's your favorite sauce to use with it?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie


Monday, September 27, 2010

Still Here...With No Baby!

Hey everyone,

Still waiting for the baby to arrive! I have a doctor's appointment on Wednesday and another non-stress test on Thursday. I'm hoping it won't be much longer now, but I guess we'll see!

Lately, I've been craving chips, but instead of indulging in the greasy kind, I decided to make my own.

I started with a whole wheat wrap and cut it up into chip-sized pieces.




Next, I preheated my oven to 350 degrees and seasoned the chips with some salt and garlic powder.



I popped them in the oven for about 10 minutes and sooner than I thought, I had......


CHIPS!!
They were delicious and guilt free, which is best, in my opinion :)
I'm hoping the next time I blog, there will be a baby here, but it doesn't look like it's going to happy any time soon. This baby is nice and cozy in there....
Question of the Day:
What's your favorite flavor chip?
I love BBQ chips....I could literally eat an entire bag!
Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thankful Wednesday?

Happy Wednesday!

Since I won't be around tomorrow (because of my non-stress test), I thought I'd make today's post my thankful Wednesday post instead of thankful Thursday.

Today, I'm thankful for the gift of sleep. Sounds silly, but the more I talk to others about the baby's arrival, the more I hear the advice of "sleep while you can!" So, even though it's a sleep that's interrupted, I'm thankful that I am still getting a decent night's sleep.

I know it's about to change soon, so I'm holding onto it as much as I can!

Question of the Day:
What are you thankful for today?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cold Weather Food

Happy Tuesday!

This weekend I was in the mood for some more cold weather food. I found this 15 minute vegetarian chili recipe and knew that I had to make it for a few reasons:

1. It looked tasty
2. It didn't require much cooking time
3. The recipe was beyond easy


All you need to make this vegetarian chili are kidney beans, corn, tomato sauce and stewed tomatoes.

Put it all in a pot and you get this yumminess:



Sorry for the not so nice looking picture-right after I snapped it, some friends were knocking at the door.

Hot food on cold days warms not only the tummy, but also my heart.

Question of the Day:
What's your favorite cold weather food?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Sweet Things

Happy Monday! We are officially at the "baby's supposed to be here" week. Each day that goes by, I wonder whether or not the baby is going to decide to show up, or whether he or she will wait until next week, when the doctor said he would induce labor.

What's a girl to do during this time? I don't know about you, but I've been craving (and eating) the sweet things in life.....







COOKIES!!!
Lately, it seems like I can't get enough of them!
I'm hoping that my ripened bananas will magically turn into a sweet, healthier treat of banana soft serve.
Question of the Day:
What sweet things do you crave?
Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Friday, September 17, 2010

NuStevia

I've seen a lot of NuStevia on blogs lately, so when I won a blog giveaway for the stuff, I was pretty excited!


The giveaway came with packets, a baking blend and vanilla extract.

According to their website, NuStevia contains a part of the Stevia plant (Rebaudioside-A), which is FDA approved. I think that is a pretty cool aspect of this product, not to mention it's added fiber.

Being a Splenda girl myself, I can't wait to dig in and try NuStevia. Do any of you use this product? What are your thoughts?

Question of the Day:
Fun weekend plans, anyone?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!

Today, I'm thankful that I have, at the most, two weeks before I meet the baby. I went to the doctor's last night, and while there is no change, he did say that if I don't deliver by next week (on my due date) that he wouldn't make me go past 41 weeks. I can't believe it's this time already, and the more I think about it, the more anxious I become!! Thankfully, I've got an amazing support team behind me :)

Question of the Day:
What are you thankful for today?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It's the Simple Things

In the hustle and bustle that is life, sometimes it's nice to sit back and reflect on the simple things that make life so wonderful:

A warm bath
A nice day
Smiles
A walk in the park
New life
Dancing
Love
Family
Friends

.....and on the food front....


Tuna melt......

....with tomato soup



It doesn't get much simpler than that, but oh my, this combo is so satisfying.

Question of the Day:
What are some of the simple things you enjoy?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It's Back!

Happy Tuesday!

After last week with no pasta, I had to bring it back on this week's menu.


Boiled, drained and ready to be baked.
Ah....all is right with the world again.
Last night I had the strongest urge to make homemade pasta. I've made it a handful of times, and for some reason, I had been bitten by the homemade pasta bug. I started measuring out my flour and I noticed something seemed off. I tasted it and realized I was adding powdered sugar and that I was out of flour. DOH! Oh well....at least I hadn't started the mixing process.
Question of the Day:
What's the silliest mistake you've ever made in the kitchen?
Until next time!
~Anne Marie