Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Crock Pot Yummy Chicken

If you go to my Ideal Protein page you can read all about the wonderful Lenton promise I made! Here is another yummy and healthy recipe!!


Crock Pot Chicken (adapted from Chicken Delicious in the Fix It book)
6     Boneless, skinless chicken tenders (you can use breasts, but I like that the tenders are already pre- portioned out)
1 can Fat Free Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can Fat Free Cream of Celery Soup
1 package white button mushrooms
1/4 cup white whine or sherry
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons of paprika ( I use a lot!) 
Parmesan cheese
Seasoning of your choice--I used salt and pepper, oregano, some garlic powder, onion powder and cavenders but you can really use whatever you want!

In a bowl mix the lemon juice, soups, wine, and seasonings. Dip the chicken in the mixture to coat and place in the crock pot. Next add the mushrooms straight on top of the chicken. Then pour the remaining mixture on top of the chicken. Add on however much parmesan cheese you want-if you want to be healthy, just a thin layer will do. You can either do it on low for about 8 hours or high for 4-6. I love the crock pot but I am not the most patient person ever. I did it on high and waited about 5 hours.

Here is a picture of mine! As you can see the paprika turns it kind of a reddish color! 



Now I will admit when I tasted the mixture I thought I had screwed up...it tasted funny. But I pushed through and once the soup actually melted and got soupy it was SUPER delish!

I ate this plain, in a bowl, with a fork-I shredded the chicken and go lots of saucy goodness. If I were in the later phases of my diet I would pour this over rice! It would be superb!

***in the picture above I added a can of Fat Free cream of chicken soup as well....I used more chicken and wanted more sauce! So that factors in another 150 calories or another 50 per 2 chicken tender serving! SO about 300 calories for this one! 

STATS
Serving Size: 3 (2 tenders a piece)
Calories per 2 chicken tenders: 256
*this includes mushroom and sauce and all the good stuff
Fat: 5.5 g
Sugars: 1 g

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Healthy Bacon Wrapped Chicken

For lent I started the Ideal Protein Diet, which basically means I am eating a lot of lean protein and veggies right now. Today I was thinking about what to eat for lunch with the ingredients I had in my fridge: chicken, turkey bacon, asparagus, spinach and parmesan cheese. Here is what I created!!

The finished product ended up being about 175 calories per chicken breast!

Ingredients:
5 boneless skinless chicken breasts-mine were actually the skinny tenderloins
10 pieces of turkey bacon
1/2 a bundle of asparagus
1 cup fresh spinach
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Salt
Pepper
Toothpicks

Step One: preheat oven to 450

Step Two: Put the skinny chicken in a baggie and pound it flat with a mallet. The skinnier you make it, the faster it cooks.

Step Two: Salt and pepper both sides of chicken

Step Three: Lay out the chicken and begin to layer it! I cut the asparagus in half! Please excuse the semi-blurry pictures!

*As you can see, I did it all right on my roasting pan so I wouldn't have to clean up other surfaces!


Step Four: Layer on the spinach!

Step Five: Add the parmesan! We had big flakes leftover from making Spaghetti but any kind will do. This would be DIVINE with tons and tons of Swiss cheese on it but since I am going low fat, low carbs and low sugar that is not in the cards for me! 


Step Six: Begin to roll up the chicken...I rolled up the chicken first and then set it on the two pieces of bacon but you can do whatever you think is easiest! 



Step Seven: Put toothpicks in them to secure them and pop them in the oven! I had them in for about 20 minutes or so--the bacon should be crispy looking! I also turned them about halfway so the bacon got crispy all around.


Step Eight: EAT! Oh wait, take the toothpicks out first! 


**I used colored toothpicks because that is what we had...they turned the chicken green! I still ate them, but you might want plan ole wooden toothpicks! Also the bacon on the inside was not very crispy. I would actually microwave them for about a minute before you roll them up...that way they will be extra crispy!

178 Calories each! Eek! How super is that?!

I did not make aside for them because they had the asparagus and spinach in them , but they would go great with any veggie! Broccoli maybe?
And next time I am adding mushrooms!



Friday, February 24, 2012

Allergy Relief

Yesterday it was 80 degrees and sunshine here in Little Rock and today it is 48 burrrrrr! With all this temperature change it can mess up ones allergies! Here are a few of my favorite "remedies" for curing the allergy blues! I am obviously no doctor, so heed this advice with a grain of salt :)

1. In general: Over the counter allergy meds
 I asked a pharmacist that I had as a student what the difference was between Kroger brand items and the Fancy brands (tylenol, advil, etc.). His response? Pretty packaging. So why spend all the money for the name brand stuff when you can get generic for mere pennies!

2. For sleepy time: Nasal Strips
Seriously have you ever tried these? There is no worse feeling that not being able to breathe while you are trying to go to sleep! yuck! So try out these strips! I am not kidding! While I generally wake up to them attached to my pillow, they at least open up my nasal passage so I can breathe a little bit better. Anything helps, right? Though I do suggest not putting lotion/moisturizer on your nose if you are going to wear one...they will not stick very well.






3. Sore throat? Two suggestions here:
A. Gargle Hot Salt Water: YUCK is right...this is no fun task. But you know how it is when your throat is sore, short from ripping your throat out itself, you will stop at nothing to find ANY sort of relief. So turn the sink on hot (not scalding) and put in a little salt. Gargle/gurgle/whatever it is you do! DO NOT SWALLOW! It is yucky! But man of man does it help!

B. Q-Tips: basically take a q-tip and stick it in the back of your throat and rub...sounds weird, and yes you might gag, but it really works! It is like scratching an itch-you get immediate relief! 

Unfortunately these are only short term fixes...so I end using all sorts of q-tips and salt water for days! Real life remedy? Go to the doctor! duh! 

4. Ultimate Relief: Bubble bath and a glass of wine
Ok so this is not a real remedy but when you feel like hell doesn't a bubble bath and a glass of wine sound lovely? And let's face it, if you drink enough wine it might knock you out and you can sleep off the pain (preferably not in the bath tub). Oh and don't mix the meds with alcohol-duh! So grab some netflix (I literally pull my laptop into my bathroom on a stool and snuggle up in the bubble bath and relax! Stress makes it worse! 

Happy health to all!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

random things you never knew you needed

I have slowly been accumulating what I like to call my "shower list". You know when you get brilliant ideas in the shower and you just HAVE to write them down?? Well here is my random assortment of ideas from that list.

1. A bath tub strainer
Sounds gross right? But really it is very practical. How many of you have dogs that you wash in the sink or bath tub? Or even for right in your very own sink--my parents have a double sink with a disposal on ONE side, so this little guy is perfect for the other side.
Place it in your sink or tub and it catches everything! My dog sheds big time so one of these is perfect for the bath tub. That way you don't have to mess with clogs and such down the road! Brilliant! They can be found HERE on amazon for merely $3.00!

2. An Audible Account
How many of you travel for work or are always in your car? This is the perfect solution! Audible is an Amazon run company that does (you guessed it) books that you LISTEN to! Dying to listen to Game of Thrones but don't want to spend $45 on the audio CDs? Have no fear! Audible is here! Basically you spend $15.00 a month and get credits-these credits can then be used to buy any audio book you can find on audible. It downloads straight to iTunes so you can put it on your iPod, iPad or burn it to a CD. We are a big traveling family so I LOVE to listen to books during those 10-14 hour car trips! You can also use them on airplanes! It is like reading with your eyes closed. Click HERE for the audible website. 

3. Ribbon Hair Ties
You just wait, this is going to be big! They are hair ties that DON'T LEAVE CREASES in your hair!! I think I have said enough....oh and Jennifer Anniston wears them....DUH! 

They can be found at Sephora by clicking HERE or you can get them in zillions of different colors at Emi-Jay by clicking HERE

4. Dishwasher Magnet
If you live in a busy household where the dishwasher is constantly running then this is your new gem! Basically the magnet has a clean and dirty side-that way there cannot be any excuses when someone doesn't put their dish in the dishwasher because "they didn't know if they were clean or dirty". This and sheer laziness are a huge problem at my humble abode! 
We got one with a poodle on it for sweet little Louis :) 
Dishwasher face not magnetic? Don't worry, they make them for that too! Click HERE to find them on amazon. 

5. In Shower Note Pad
How can you have great ideas in the shower and keep track of them? With a waterproof notepad, that's how! You write in the shower (or even leave it outside in the rain!) and then rip off the note you need! BRILLIANT! They can be bough HERE at amazon! 



So get cracking on your list making! Happy Lent everyone! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

King Cake Recipe

Happy Fat Tuesday everyone! To celebrate this glorious day of gluttony I am posting what I have been told is the BEST KING CAKE RECIPE EVER! I have heard this from a few people and I am dying to try it myself! It is from Southern Living so you KNOW it has to be good. For the orignal link from MyRecipes.com click HERE.

P.S. What is everyone giving up/taking on for Lent??? I am going to do Ideal Protein (you know how I do with those crazy diets)! Eek!! Click HERE to read more about that! And wish me luck!!


  • YIELD: Makes 2 cakes (about 18 servings each)
  • COOK TIME:10 Minutes
  • PREP TIME:30 Minutes
  • STAND:5 Minutes
  • RISE:1 Hour, 30 Minutes
  • BAKE:16 Minutes
  • COURSE: Cakes/Frostings, Desserts

Ingredients

  • 1 (16-ounce) container sour cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (1/4-ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6 to 6 1/2 cups bread flour*
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Creamy Glaze
  • Purple-, green-, and gold-tinted sparkling sugar sprinkles

Preparation

Cook first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until butter melts. Set aside, and cool mixture to 100° to 110°.
Stir together yeast, 1/2 cup warm water, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a 1-cup glass measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.
Beat sour cream mixture, yeast mixture, eggs, and 2 cups flour at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until smooth. Reduce speed to low, and gradually add enough remaining flour (4 to 4 1/2 cups) until a soft dough forms.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top.
Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until dough is doubled in bulk.
Punch down dough, and divide in half. Roll each portion into a 22- x 12-inch rectangle. Spread 1/3 cup softened butter evenly on each rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border. Stir together 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle evenly over butter on each rectangle.
Roll up each dough rectangle, jelly-roll fashion, starting at 1 long side. Place one dough roll, seam side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bring ends of roll together to form an oval ring, moistening and pinching edges together to seal. Repeat with second dough roll.
Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 20 to 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
Bake at 375° for 14 to 16 minutes or until golden. Slightly cool cakes on pans on wire racks (about 10 minutes). Drizzle Creamy Glaze evenly over warm cakes; sprinkle with colored sugars, alternating colors and forming bands. Let cool completely.
Cream Cheese-Filled King Cake: Prepare each 22- x 12-inch dough rectangle as directed. Omit 1/3 cup softened butter and 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Increase 1/2 cup sugar to 3/4 cup sugar. Beat 3/4 cup sugar; 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened; 1 large egg; and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly on each dough rectangle, leaving 1-inch borders. Proceed with recipe as directed.
*6 to 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour may be substituted.
Southern Living FEBRUARY 2006

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Candle Crazy

I feel certain I have mentioned it before, but I have a crazy sense of smell. I mean I can smell anything and everything from a mile away. It is a blessing and a curse (cause if something smells bad, I will gag for sure). So with this hound-like sense comes a love for wonderful smelling things. Add that to my love of products and you get...well a lot of good smelling products :) Today I will share with you my love for candles! Who doesn't love a great candle right??

1. Votivo-Red Currant
If money were no object I would own approximately 100 of these candles. They smell soooo heavenly to me and the scent is strong and lasts all day! This one costs $26 which in the grand scheme of things is not too shabby! Click HERE for the website!

2. Voluspa Makassar Ebony and Peach
Another of my favorite scents. This candle smells like a deep peach. It also lasts forever and can make the whole house smell great with just one candle! Now I normally get these at a local boutique for about $36.00 BUT I just found them on Amazon for $18.95! Click HERE to purchase! 

3. Seda France- French Tulip

The cute packaging says it all! This candle is fabulous! My grandmother first gave it to me (as a re-gift I think, but I sure didn't care!) and I fell in love! They have such a great floral scent and come in loads of colors and scents! Click HERE to purchase!

4. Skeem-Grapefruit Zest
These I like not only for the smell but the packaging! Once the candle melts down you are left with a glass jar and lid that can be used for anything! I have a smaller one that I keep my loose change in! But they would also be cute for cotton balls or q-tips in the bathroom! Now a days they are sold at Anthropologie! But you can also find them on their website HERE!

My last favorite candle is actually no longer made (boo hoo) so rather than torture you with information about a candle that you cannot find anymore we will call it quits! Go get some candles going!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

What's in your purse?


Yesterday I did the big purse clean-out! I have a bad habit of carrying oversized purses....and by oversized I mean HUGE! For example, I am currently carrying this Big Buddha Bag that can hold a small child, among other things. Needless to say, it holds A LOT. As I was going through it to make it not weigh 800 lbs, I stumbled open my little zippered bag of lip glosses. I decided I should probably go through it too and next thing you know I have them all laid out on the floor. Basically I am carrying close to 15 different lip glosses at one time!! AHHH! Who does that??? And that is not even it! Alongside the lip gloss we have perfume (yes that is right I have a sample of Justin Beiber's perfume!) a mirror, face lotion, 3 mascaras, mini spot concealer stuff and more! Who really needs all of this stuff?? Obviously I do. So I decided to do a big list of all of my favorite things to keep in your purse! Maybe this will help me slim things down :) MAYBE
1. Sephora Lip Gloss: Really any shade you like! I prefer Hot Coral but of course you may choose your own! Mine comes in a little squeezy tube but now they have made them fancy! They come in about a million different colors and are $14 a pop. Click HERE for the master list! 
Or you can try the tube kind for only $10! Which is the one I prefer! Click HERE for those! 

2. Perfume in a Rollerball! This vary in shapes and sizes but basically it is a magic wand of perfume! Yay! I already did my spotlight on scents but I will say that I carry the Viva La Juicy Rollerball everywhere I go! Perfect for on the go scents! 
OR you can try this awesome new device! It is called a perfume atomizer! Basically it is a travel sized tube that you fill with your favorite perfume! It is the perfect size for airplanes and really any sort of travel! The other end unscrews and you can spray or pour your own perfume in there! And it has instructions for cleaning it out! It is $16 and can be found HERE! It might be my new favorite thing from sephora! 

3. Concealer: Now I am not big on foundation but I totally understand when you need something just to cover up some not so pleasant spots. With this mini cream foundation from Benefit, you always have something on hand! It is only $9 and can be found HERE! I use it under my eyes, on my nose, on the elusive zits and much more! This is a must have! 
4. Last but not least, MASCARA! I have a couple of favorites in this department. But one of my favorites is BadGal Lash from Benefit. It has a big scary brush but it does not cake on the mascara which I love. It also comes in a mini version which is perfect for keeping in your purse! For all of the BAD gal lash products click HERE
So here is just a sneak peak of SOME of the things that can be found in my purse! As you can see I carry WAY too much stuff. Let's just say that I like to be prepared. What do you have in your purse?!?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Healthy Baked Onion Rings

Since I have been on my healthy food kick I have been playing around with all sorts of recipes. This one comes from Hungry Girl. If you have NOT checked out her site you should!!! Click HERE! She has the wonderful ability to turn not so healthy foods that you love into healthier versions that are actually quite good! She also has a whole series of fabulous cook books out!! And I LOVE them!!! Especially 200 under 200--just like the name says, it has 200 recipes all under 200 calories. YUM! She also recently came out with a 300 under 300 book!

The recipe I want to share today is one for onion rings. Who doesn't love a good onion ring? Well these bad boys are not only delish but they are BAKED!! That's right, BAKED. No oil or deep frying required. When I made these at home my dad said "oh my god, these are really good" and then he ate a whole bunch. I would say that means they were a success!

You can also go HERE to sign up for their daily emails! She sends out recipes, tips and more!!

AN ENTIRE BATCH OF THIS RECIPE IS ONLY 155 CALORIES!!! THAT IS AN ENTIRE ONION!!!!! so you can eat with reckless abandon--trust me, you will want to.

Here is the recipe straight from Hungry Girl herself. Click HERE for the original.

Lord of the Onion Rings
PER SERVING (entire recipe): 155 calories, 1g fat,
515mg sodium, 41g carbs, 16g fiber, 7g sugars, 9g
protein -- PointsPlus™ value 4*
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes



Ingredients:
1 large onion
1/2 cup Fiber One Original bran cereal
1/4 tsp. garlic powder, or more to taste
1/8 tsp. onion powder, or more to taste
1/8 tsp. salt, or more to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
Optional dip: Vivi's Original Sauce Classic Carnival Mustard

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Slice the ends off the onion and remove its outer layer. Cut onion into 1/2-inch-wide slices and separate
into rings. Set aside.
Using a blender or food processor, grind cereal to a breadcrumb-like consistency. Season crumbs with
the spices and transfer to a plate or bowl. Set aside.
Fill a small bowl with egg substitute. Prepare a baking sheet (or two) by spraying with nonstick spray. Set
aside.
Pop-Up Tip! For the following step, use tongs or a fork to dip the rings into the egg substitute and cereal
crumbs -- it'll keep your fingers from getting eggy & crumb-covered. (Don't pierce the rings with the fork;
just balance them on it.)
One at a time, dunk each ring in egg substitute, give it a shake to remove any excess, and then coat it in
the seasoned crumbs. Evenly place rings on the baking sheet(s).
Bake in the oven until outsides are crispy and insides are soft, 20 - 25 minutes, carefully flipping rings
over about halfway through. Serve with mustard, if using. Enjoy!
MAKES 1 SERVING


Thanks Hungry Girl!!! I sure do LOVE you!!!