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