Friday, February 28, 2014

Kale and Sweet Apple Salad With Brown Sugar - Apple Cider Dressing

I am so addicted to this Sweet Kale Salad mix from Costco.  It comes as a kit with dressing, cranberries and pumpkin seeds, but I am making up my own salads, just using the greens from the mix, adding other things and then making my own dressing. 

I started with the greens, an Empire Apple - cored, sliced, and drizzled with lemon juice (no browning), some sliced almonds and Craisins.  The dressing - 1/4 cup of no pulp orange juice, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup canola oil, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of sesame seeds, salt and pepper to taste.   Shake in a shaker or whisk together.  Dressing will separate, so shake or stir before pouring.  Makes 1 cup. Store any leftover dressing in the refrigerator.
 Pretty salad, good for you and tasty to boot- dig in!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Home Improvements - The Kitchen and The Dining Room

My kitchen and dining room need a face lift.  They have not been painted in 6 or 7 years, so it's time.  I went to my local Home Depot for paint chips, brought them home, held them on the wall and decided what colors I wanted to get in sample paint, before I commit myself to any colors.  These sample colors are Behr Premium Plus Ultra Paint, are only $2.94 each for 8 ounces, and if you don't like it on the wall, you can use it as craft paint or for something else, so it won't be wasted money or paint.  
 As I am standing at the paint counter, waiting for my paint to be mixed, I glanced down on the counter and saw these nifty little things they have for you to use, instead of painting different colors all over your walls.  They are called SureSwatch, are about 8 1/2 x 11 inches once you pull the tab off.  They are easy to use, but READ THE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY!  You paint your color on it, wait for it to dry, then peel it and stick it to the wall, don't worry it's removable!  They are only 98 cents each (I purchased 3 of them), and well worth it.  No more second guessing what color you pick, these decide for you.  Stay tuned, these two rooms will be transformed soon.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Just A Couple Of My Finds

I was on the hunt, looking for sales, browsing the stores to see what I could find.  I was really surprised to see, no store had anything out for spring or summer in their clothing departments.  I was about to walk out of one store when these caught my eye, they were buy one get one 50% off.  So I snatched them up.

Silver and Turquoise Cabochon Bracelet - Avenue $16.00
Silver Link Bracelet - Avenue, originally $14.00, sale price at 50% off $7.00
Dark Green Skimmers with Bow Detail- Kohl's, originally $39.99, Sale price $11.99, then I had a 15% off coupon and $10.00 Kohl's cash - Total cost for shoes was 19 cents!!!!!  Look for the deals ladies, they are out there waiting for you.  Use your coupons it's always worth it.  I keep them organized in my handbag and never leave home without them.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Angel In The Clouds

I didn't have a light dessert for after dinner on Sunday night, we always have something to top off the meal.  But since eating lighter, I don't really bake anymore. I miss it, but I have gotten more creative when I have to put something together to eat.  I had some leftover Angel Food Cake sitting on the counter, so I cut it up and spread it out on a baking sheet and toasted it in the oven for about 10 minutes.  I pulled the fat free whipped topping out of the refrigerator, some fat free - sugar free chocolate pudding, then had the hubby cut up some strawberries and wash some raspberries.  Then it was time to assemble my new creation - Angel In the Clouds.

Toasted Angel Food Cake, Topping and Chocolate Pudding
Layer pudding on the bottom, berries, topping, then cake.  Repeat and dig in!  Light and fluffy, sweet but only because of the berries, and easy on the calories - GOOD!

Monday, February 24, 2014

These Pork Chops Really Cut The Mustard!

I found these little beauties, center cut boneless pork chops at Wegman's.  I am not much of a pork eater but thought I would give them a try, you know to get off the beef, chicken and pasta merry-go-round.  I got my brain working as to what to do with them, aside from the old breading and frying them in a pan, not really good for me to eat, or anyone else for that matter.  So I took out my new BFF, my trusty grill pan.  I left the pan naked, no oil and no cooking spray.  I seasoned them with salt and pepper, and let them go for about 8 minutes on each side with nice grill marks on them.  
Then I added the magic sauce, 2 tablespoons of Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard and 2 tablespoons of Pure Maple Syrup whisked together.  Pour over the chops and let cook until the sauce thickens.  Look at those juicy, tender, tasty, center cut pork chops. And all it took to make them that way - two ingredients and a whole lotta love! 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Coupon Madness

I don't go anywhere and shop without coupons.  Whether it's a restaurant, clothing store, supermarket, car wash, etc., I keep them in my handbag at all times and remind myself to use them. My local thrift store even gives out coupons to use.  While out and about I found these deals.  Check them out.

Red and Black Studded Dress Shoes - $17.00 each at Payless Shoes and I got a coupon back to use on another pair!
 Vera Bradley Hand Bag, Wallet and Eyeglass Holder - I used a 40%  off coupon they sent me in the mail for my birthday to purchase these!  Pale Yellow and Silver Bead Necklace and Earrings - Dressbarn, was $28,  then I used a 30% off coupon they sent me in the mail, came down to $19.60.  Don't be afraid to give retail stores your email address they will send you good things in return.  Happy Saving!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Quinoa - A Tasty Grain

I am not afraid to try new things, and since my son is experimenting with foods, I joined him in trying Quinoa.  Quinoa is a nutrient rich grain and a great source of iron and protein.  You can make it with water, or try chicken, beef or vegetable stock to bump up the flavor.  Adding vegetables and herbs, make it into a pilaf or tabbouleh, takes Quinoa to a whole new level of goodness.  Good food that's good for you, and it's as easy as making rice.

Dried Quinoa looks like tiny sesame seeds.  
 Get the water boiling.  Pour in the Quinoa once the water boils, stir, bring back to a boil and cover.  It takes about 12 minutes to cook and absorb the water.  
We had the Quinoa with homemade crab cakes, roasted green beans and grape tomatoes.
 My husband opted for Lemon Orzo with his!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Steak For Two

I made a steak dinner for me and the hubby last night.  These petite sirloin steaks are awesome that I found at Wegman's.  They are tender, juicy, and look and taste just like filet mignon, but much cheaper. 

I grilled up the steaks and sweet onions in my grill pan with some cooking spray.  Served them up with homemade potato skins with bacon, fat free cheddar and light sour cream, roasted asparagus and whole grain wheat bread.  It was delicious and...........
Accompanied by a mixed side salad of  broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, kale, chicory, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and a slightly sweet poppy seed dressing - IT'S FANTASTIC and it's SUPERFOOD!  You can find this salad kit at Costco.
 To drink - Unsweetened iced tea with lemon.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Good For You Good Foods

Take some time and look around your supermarket, you never know what you'll find.  I went to Wegman's and Costco over the weekend, been cooped up so long I even went while it was snowing!  Check out what I found.

For the vegetarian in your life - Baked Spinach and Quinoa Cakes, pop in the microwave and ready to eat.
Almond Snack Crackers - made with rice and almonds
For the sweet tooth - Fiber One Chocolate Chip and Lemon Bars - good stuff!
These are new - It's kind of a wrap but you fold it in half like a soft taco shell, but bigger and better for you.

These light cheeses are really good.  The cinnamon cream cheese is great on a toasted bagel flat.  They come in many flavors, 8 wedges to a carton, and are good as a spread, instead of mayo, on a sandwich. 
And the Cadbury FLAKE, not for me, but for my daughter who spent time in London last year and became addicted to the light chocolaty treat.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I Promise Spring IS Coming!

I was tired of being cooped up in the house and made a run for it!  I went out to my local Home Depot looking for a new dishwasher, because we need a new one.  After checking out the dishwashers, I bought a broom and this African violet, hoping the plant would give me a sign of warmer temperatures, and the broom is for cleaning up the outside, when I start planting flowers in the Spring.  While I was at the store, the weather was awful outside, it was snowing with mixed freezing rain.  When I walked outside, I was pelted with that, along with the freezing temperatures.  Spring is coming soon I know this for sure because.....
when I got out of bed today, I saw this beautiful small herd of deer at my bird feeder and they already have their summer coats!  Poor babies are so hungry, all they have left to eat is birdseed!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Purple People Eater

I spent a lot of time at the market yesterday, reading labels and food shopping.  I actually like doing that, seeing what I can get that's good to eat, while saving money at the same time.  I stumbled upon these purple potatoes in the produce section and thought I would give them a try.  Purple potatoes are rich in antioxidants, high in potassium and have a nutty flavor.  You can steam them in the bag, which I did not do because I wanted to use some of them for another meal.  I popped them in the microwave anyway and just pricked them with a fork.  In less than 2 minutes the potatoes were done.  I then drizzled olive oil onto a baking sheet, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and laid the potatoes cut side down. Along side was my fresh broccoli drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper. 
 They both came out fabulous!  The broccoli is always crunchy, which I love, and the potatoes were crispy  on the outside and creamy on the inside.  I bought the crab stuffed tilapia and all I had to do was bake it.  So in less than 40 minutes this whole delicious meal was prepared.
 And then my son walked in with this fresh baked roasted red pepper and herb Italian bread, meal was complete!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Lighter Me

I am on this weight plan for the last 5 weeks now, and lost 11.5 pounds.  Slow, but sure I'll get to where I want to be.  I don't want to be skinny, just healthy. While I am out and about, cruising the aisles of my favorite supermarkets, I look for foods that will satisfy me and my cravings of sweet and savory flavors. Check out what I found.

Jello makes these single serve mousse type desserts and boy are they good!  Kellogg's puts out these cookies and creme pastry crisps, there are 2 to a pack, great with coffee or tea, they have other flavors too.
I have fooled the whole family with this great tasting pasta from Barilla.  And who knew they sell fat free croutons.  They're bread and you know I love bread!
 Sugar in the Raw, I can't say enough about this, I love it and use nothing else in my coffee and tea.  My daughter found these True Lemon and Raspberry Lemonade water flavor enhancers at BJ's Wholesale, no sugar and all natural.
 Thin Addictives By Nonni's, they have a few different flavors, mine are cranberry and almond. They are a thin sliced biscotti, crispy and tasty with coffee, tea or just as a snack.  Nature Valley Granola Thins, the bottom is covered in chocolate and they taste just like a candy bar.
Special K Moments and Special K Cracker Chips come in many flavors.  The Moments are like a candy bar, and the chips are great with fat free cheese as a snack when hunger sets in, or a bag of chips with a sandwich.
I found these Rice Rollers at Costco.  They are great to snack on, or I use them as a cereal.  I break them up in a bowl, top them with a sliced banana and pour skim milk over it, tastes great.  Wegman's has the best Lite English Muffins around.