Tag Archives: Cooking

Our Christmas [2013]

How was your Christmas??

Mine was so wonderful, seriously wonderful. I love spending time with my families!

Christmas TreeOur Red, White, & Blue Tree

I grew up living very close to my aunts and cousins so holidays were always filled with arguments, fighting, and stress. Although, I miss my cousins with all my heart- its pretty nice to spend time with just my immediate family.

I also love being with my husband’s family! This was my fourth Christmas with them, and seriously it’s like I’ve been a part of the family all along. I feel very lucky to be a part of their family.

For Blake and I, the Christmas season starts on Christmas Eve with a big family dinner and gift exchange at his Grandma’s house. The whole family is always there, and we have delicious, delicious prime rib…its such a great time.

familyAfter dinner we had a gift exchange where we had previously drawn someone’s name and one of those Chinese Gift Exchange type gift exchanges. It’s always fun to watch people’s gifts get stolen and traded.

Christmas morning is spent with Blake’s parents, his sister, and her boyfriend. The last few years we have spent the night at their house to make things easier, but next year we will live a lot close to them!

I feel so blessed because the one “big thing” I still wanted to get for the baby’s room was a glider rocker, like this one.

I’m so thankful! I can’t wait to rock the baby to sleep in her quite room, in this super comfy chair. Its going to be so wonderful. My goal this weekend is to get the one last piece of furniture that needs painted done!

After all the fun was had, we loaded up the car to head home because I had to cook big dinner for my family! I LOVE cooking Christmas dinner! This is my third year cooking for my family and it was by far the best!

We had turkey, ham (using this crock pot method), garlic mash potatoes with turkey gravy, layered sweet potatoes, stuffing, corn, green beans, and rolls. Plus I made two pumpkin pies!

Roasted TurkeyOk, I was super proud of my beautiful roasted turkey! Sure it was a little over cooked, but still delicious. I rubbed the outside with a little mix of olive oil, fresh “poultry” herbs, salt and pepper – which I blended in to a pesto of sorts and Inside was a honeycrisp apple and a lemon. It really turned out great. And for the first time ever I used the drippings to make gravy which was big hit with everyone!

We have tons of turkey leftover so we are going to be picking it off the bones and making some freezer meals for when the baby comes! I’m thinking some turkey chili, turkey noodle soup, and rice casserole!

Presents with my family is so much fun because my brother has little kids! AH! Kids are just too fun! As a family “us kids” got my mom a Kindle Fire and she loved it! She was just as excited as the kids! Once she opened that thing she was zoned in!

DSC_0080My niece Evelynn playing with Uncle Tommy!

Then we took our family picture!

DSC_0071What good lookin’ family! Well except the one on the end, but we don’t claim him very often.

Our Christmas was a huge success! Although by the end of the night, I was exhausted. A busy Christmas day at 8 months pregnant is like running a 8 miles…afterwards I had to take an ice bath for my feet and ankles. In fact, I’m still a little sore today.

But I’ll take the soreness right along with the amazing family! Love them all!

Tell me about your Christmas! Leave a link if you wrote about it!

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Our Christmas [2013]

How was your Christmas??

Mine was so wonderful, seriously wonderful. I love spending time with my families!

Christmas TreeOur Red, White, & Blue Tree

I grew up living very close to my aunts and cousins so holidays were always filled with arguments, fighting, and stress. Although, I miss my cousins with all my heart- its pretty nice to spend time with just my immediate family.

I also love being with my husband’s family! This was my fourth Christmas with them, and seriously it’s like I’ve been a part of the family all along. I feel very lucky to be a part of their family.

For Blake and I, the Christmas season starts on Christmas Eve with a big family dinner and gift exchange at his Grandma’s house. The whole family is always there, and we have delicious, delicious prime rib…its such a great time.

familyAfter dinner we had a gift exchange where we had previously drawn someone’s name and one of those Chinese Gift Exchange type gift exchanges. It’s always fun to watch people’s gifts get stolen and traded.

Christmas morning is spent with Blake’s parents, his sister, and her boyfriend. The last few years we have spent the night at their house to make things easier, but next year we will live a lot close to them!

I feel so blessed because the one “big thing” I still wanted to get for the baby’s room was a glider rocker, like this one.

I’m so thankful! I can’t wait to rock the baby to sleep in her quite room, in this super comfy chair. Its going to be so wonderful. My goal this weekend is to get the one last piece of furniture that needs painted done!

After all the fun was had, we loaded up the car to head home because I had to cook big dinner for my family! I LOVE cooking Christmas dinner! This is my third year cooking for my family and it was by far the best!

We had turkey, ham (using this crock pot method), garlic mash potatoes with turkey gravy, layered sweet potatoes, stuffing, corn, green beans, and rolls. Plus I made two pumpkin pies!

Roasted TurkeyOk, I was super proud of my beautiful roasted turkey! Sure it was a little over cooked, but still delicious. I rubbed the outside with a little mix of olive oil, fresh “poultry” herbs, salt and pepper – which I blended in to a pesto of sorts and Inside was a honeycrisp apple and a lemon. It really turned out great. And for the first time ever I used the drippings to make gravy which was big hit with everyone!

We have tons of turkey leftover so we are going to be picking it off the bones and making some freezer meals for when the baby comes! I’m thinking some turkey chili, turkey noodle soup, and rice casserole!

Presents with my family is so much fun because my brother has little kids! AH! Kids are just too fun! As a family “us kids” got my mom a Kindle Fire and she loved it! She was just as excited as the kids! Once she opened that thing she was zoned in!

DSC_0080My niece Evelynn playing with Uncle Tommy!

Then we took our family picture!

DSC_0071What good lookin’ family! Well except the one on the end, but we don’t claim him very often.

Our Christmas was a huge success! Although by the end of the night, I was exhausted. A busy Christmas day at 8 months pregnant is like running a 8 miles…afterwards I had to take an ice bath for my feet and ankles. In fact, I’m still a little sore today.

But I’ll take the soreness right along with the amazing family! Love them all!

Tell me about your Christmas! Leave a link if you wrote about it!

Guest Post: Healthy Scones

Hi everyone! I’m so happy to be posting my very first guest post today! My friend Alicia from Losing With Cooper wrote this healthy recipe just for us!

—————————————-

Hello all!

Fotor0919123054I am so excited and honored to have the opportunity to write a guest post for Erin’s blog here at Living Made Healthy! She is one of the first people to start following my blog, and we have a similar backstory, (both young newlyweds and both have similar weights) so we quickly became blogger friends! I love reading her blog and was more than surprised when she asked me to write for her! It’s a dream.

So I wanted to write a recipe that I can utilize on a day where all I want to do is cuddle up on the couch with a cup of tea, so I put the thinking cap on, and here it is!

Everyone craves a treat everyone once and again. We are only human. Often when I am craving something that doesn’t align with my healthy habits I try to come up with an alternative that is a bit healthier (and to be honest sometimes it comes out awful, and others are great!).

This is where my idea to “healthify” scones came about. I love scones. I am a die hard coffee drinker, and having a little something to go with it can really just be the icing on the cake. Sometimes the calorie count can also be just that, as much as cake with the icing on. No joke. Scones from Starbucks can run you about 400 calories, and even worse, the scones from Panera Bread can be almost 800 calories. So I set out on a quest to make some healthy scones as I have decided that every once in a while I NEED a scone in my life.

Here is the Recipe for my Cranberry Almond Scones that taste so sinful, and yet are about ¼ the calories of normal scones, coming in at 171 calories per scone.

photo 2Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 cup Oat flour (Either can be substituted to be a gluten-free pastry, but the calories will be slightly different)
  • 4 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt (can be omitted)
  • 2 Packets Stevia or other alternative sugar. You can also use honey or agave.
  • 5 tbsp. butter
  • ¼ cup chobani (any flavor. I used vanilla)
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup nonfat milk or almond milk
  • ¼ cup cranberries
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • Coconut oil

You will also need a baking sheet and a cooling rack!

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375

Place all dry ingredients in mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add butter and Chobani and use your hands to crush the butter throughout the dry ingredients. Do this until it becomes the texture of sand. In a small bowl combine egg and milk, and then add to the mixing bowl. Sprinkle in cranberries and almonds. You can add more or less cranberries/almonds, but I think this ratio worked out really well. This batter will look a little wet, but trust me; these will be some flaky scones. Coat a baking sheet lightly with coconut oil. Use an ice cream scoop (I have the kind with
a lever that works perfectly. You can use a ½ cup measure as well) and coop batter onto baking sheet.

photo 1This SHOULD make 12 scones, although I ended up with 11. Go figure :P The 171 calories is for the 11 I made. SO they will be just under that if you manage to make 12!

Place in the oven for 15 minutes or until slightly browning on the bottom. 15 minutes was perfect for me, but it will depend on your oven.

Once golden brown, remove from oven and transfer to baking sheet to avoid over baking. Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy!

I had mine with a little bit of sugar free apricot preserves and a cup of nonfat milk!

The breakdown for nutrition is as follows:
8g fat
21g carbs
5 g protein

Lastly, let me just say that Erin is one of the most patient people I have ever worked with. I was asked to write this post a long time ago (like before Erin made her pregnancy public long time ago! Whoops). And despite the fact that it took me FOREVER, I really enjoyed coming up with a recipe to share with you all on Erin’s blog! This has definitely been an experience, and I hope to have the chance to return the favor and have Erin write for me!

Thursday Thoughts

Totally random post here…

1. I’ve been super sick this week, which has come hand and hand with two big deadlines at work. Sick + stress + long hours = cranky me! Plus not a ton of extra time for blogging.

2. We are going to Seattle this weekend! I’m really excited because Blake and I have never been to Seattle together! I’m not really sure how that is possible. We are going to NHRA NW Nationals drag races. But I’ve booked us a pretty nice hotel using Travelocity. It will be a fun weekend!

3. I currently have two loaves of banana bread baking in the oven! I used this recipe but may or may not have sprinkled the top of one loaf with walnuts and dark chocolate chips. Which means I will get that load all to myself because Blake doesn’t like either of those toppings! I wish it was already done!!

4. There is quite the little storm happening outside right now. Black sky, rain, thunder and lightening.

5. The banana bread is starting to smell AMAZING!

6. I have a bunch of posts to write up, one about baby A, another about blog school, and some about workouts.

7. After my pro & con list, I went ahead and cancelled my gym membership. I’m all paid through the 19th, so I will be going until it runs out, but then its back to at home workouts!

Now I need to catch up on some blog reading and get to bed early. My car has a check-up early tomorrow.

 

 

New Recipe: Almond Butter Banana Oatmeal Protein Cookies

When I’m bored or avoiding housework I like to peruse Pinterest. Everyone does right?

Lately, I’ve really started to miss baking. I haven’t really made anything interesting because there is no one to eat them. Obviously I don’t want a ton of sweet treats sitting on the counters, and Blake sure as hell doesn’t need to eat a whole batch of anything, so I’ve just haven’t made anything. Poor KitchenAid mixer is getting dusty!

red kitchen aid

I’ve seen this recipe for Peanut Butter Breakfast cookie before and always passed it over, but today I deiced to take a look at the recipe. It’s actually not bad! There is no sugar, no flour, and no butter! Wow! Sounds way too good to be true!

I decided to try it out. Of course, in true Erin fashion with some adjustments. Seriously, I can’t follow recipe to save my life, even when I try I mess something up!

Now this isn’t your typically cookie. I already mentioned there is no sugar, flour, butter or even oil, so don’t expect you a so-sweet-it-hurts-your-teeth type of cookie. It get its sweetness from the banana and the applesauce.

Almond Butter Banana Oatmeal Protein Cookies
Adapted from Watching What I Eat

1 mashed banana
1/3 cup almond butter
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used Designer Whey French Vanilla)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Optional: chocolate chips about 1/4 cup (I opted out to keep the sugar low.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In large bowl smash banana until really smashed up! You don’t want any big chunks. Then add everything else to the bowl and mix really well. You know how recipes say to mix the wet and dry ingredients separate and then combine….I never do that. Not purposely either, I just forget that they are supposed to be separate.

After you mix all the ingredients, let the dough sit for about 10 minutes. This is so the oats can absorb some of the wetness from the applesauce and banana.

If you want to make sure you get the calorie and portion size uniform in each cookie you need to measure the dough to get the same amount each time. I used a medium size ice cream scoop, two scoops per cookie. Put them on the cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or spay with nonstick spray. Flatten them out a little, they don’t spread. If you want a really crunchy cookie flatten them a lot.

Bake for 15-25 minutes. Depends on your preference, if you want them more chewy or more crunchy. I found 18-22 minutes to be about perfect with crunchy edges but chewy center.

cookie

Stats per cookie (recipe yields 10): 141 calories, 7.8 g fat, 14.8 g carbs, 4 g sugar, 5 g protein

These babies are good! They taste like almond butter banana bread, even just one banana packs a powerful punch! I was a little worried about the protein powder but you can’t taste it at all, not even a hint. I really want to emphasize they are not what you expect in a cookie, they are delicious but nothing like a regular peanut butter oatmeal cookie. And so versatile, you could use any type of nut butter and any type of nut or leave em out.

These will work in my Insanity Elite Nutrition Program for meal two there is a nutrition bar option. It says to pick one around 200 calories, less than 25 g of sugar, and at least 10 g of protein. So if I have two of these it will be just about right. A little over in the calories is ok because with 5 meals per day it easily balances outs.

Let me know if you try these!

 

I Hate Sneezing!

This weekend was a whirlwind of birthdays, football and food. Plus me with a cold.

Saturday was Blake’s birthday! After work we quickly picked up the house, then headed over to his parent’s to visit for little bit then some friends came over for pizza and beer. I added a ton of veggies to a take n’ bake cheese pizza for a healthy an option. Plus a side of mixed greens.

spring greens

I found this clover in my spring green, is that normal? Mmmm….organic weeds.

The next morning we make breakfast for our friend that stayed over. Biscuits and gravy. Then we went to Blake’s parent’s house again to watch the Seahawks vs. Red Skins game. Go Hawks! I really don’t care about football, so I read and snacked. They made tiny tacos, taquitos, hot wings, potato skins, BBQ pork sliders and coconut shrimp. Of course everything was good and delicious, but I tried not to eat too much, I had one or two of each thing. I’m sure it was too much but it was better than 5 or 6 of everything. I also ate avocado mixed with salsa -my version of guac to add some good stuff.

By the time we got home I was exhausted from this cold. I finished my book, then frosted the cake I made for Blake, then to bed early.

cake

Cherry chip cake (from a box) but I made white chocolate butter-cream for the frosting. He loves my frosting.

Today I’ve spent all stinking day sneezing. I hate it so much. And I ended up with a bloody nose. Ugh. We just got home from the grocery store with an expensive (tear), but healthy haul of delicious groceries. I’m going to work on blogging, and then get sweaty.

 

Grocery Shopping & Exciting News

One of my rules for the weekend was to get prepared for next week, that meant going grocery shopping. Which meant planning what I was going to eat all week before I could go to the store.

Let’s start with the exciting news though. We are moving! We don’t know when yet, but Blake and I are moving to a bigger house. I’m really exciting because the new kitchen has a lot more space, there are tons of cabinets and drawers, so many more than my current kitchen. There is also a separate dining room and pantry. I’m really excited for my new kitchen because I hate having limited space, I hate that I have open shelves in my kitchen. I need to hide my junk! I’m also happy to have room for a pantry and stocking up on good stuff! I have a bunch of saved jars and I think it will be really fun to use those jars to hold bulk items. The bad news is that we have no idea when we will be moving.

Ok, back to meal planning and grocery shopping. This week I wanted to keep things easy. I found two new recipes that I wanted to try out. One for Asian Lettuce Wraps and the other is a Chicken and Asparagus skillet (found on the Better, Homes, and Gardens iPhone app). The wraps are made in the slow cooker which will be so easy! And I already have most of the ingredients. These two dishes make a total of 14 servings so I can eat them for lunch and dinner each day. Plus I picked up a butternut squash ravioli meal for a change of pace. For breakfast I decided I wanted to have waffles and smoothies.

So here’s what my grocery bill looked like:

Wild, Long and Brown Rice mix

Whole Wheat Pancake mix
2 Sobe Coconut Life Waters (for fun)
Eggs
Asparagus (frozen)
Strawberry (frozen)
Peaches (frozen)
Plain Chobani
Boneless Chicken Thighs
Beef Roast
Bananas
Celery
Green Onion
Grapes

Grand Total: $62.28
(I wanted to get a few bags of frozen veggies, but I forgot which is kind of nice because the freezer is full!)

I thought I spent a lot more money so its nice to see the total I spent on meal just for me, because I did shop for both Blake and I but we don’t eat together most of the time. The total I spent was outrageous! But now that I calculated my total, it seems a lot better. I also got a few things I need to make this crusty bread recipe I found on pinterest.

My meal ideas for this week are:

Breakfasts: whole wheat waffles with peanut butter and bananas OR yogurt, fruit, and scoop of protein smoothie (340 cals OR 265 cals)
Lunch: Asian Lettuce Wrap with rice and carrot chips (340 cals)
Dinner: Chicken & Asparagus skillet (320 cals)
Snack: Grapes and coffee (300 cals)

This keeps my total daily calories at 1,308, so I think I can have a really fantastic week. I’m looking forward to really succeeding this week.
On a side note: I’m trying to get away from snacks, but I have some things like instant oatmeal or toast if I need it.