Category Archives: Food

Where Have You BEEN?!

Have you been asking that question? Where did that girl go? Well, here’s some of what I’ve been eating and doing for the last month or so…

Fresh peaches and greek yogurt (quickly became one of my favorite late summer snacks)

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Homemade Chicken (non)Marsala

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The dragon roll of my dreams!! The eel was on the outside, instead of tiny pieces stuffed inside with the cucumber and avocado, and it was the entire thing, tail and all! They even stuck little cucumbers in the other end to make it look like a little dragon, and set the eel sauce on fire. Simply amazing—thank you, Ocean Zen!

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The World’s Best Chili (seriously, dang good stuff!)

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Chris’s Grilled Salmon (deeeelicious!)

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Tacos In A Pan (easy peasy and so yummy!)

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I tried my hand at Mom’s Beer Bread

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The cake I baked for my best friend’s bachelorette party (hehehe)

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Me out waaayyy past my bed time for that same bachelorette party

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The BFF’s St Louis Cardinals garters

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At The Wedding—it was beautiful and she did so much of the décor herself!

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The cake (I want to be this good at cake decorating!)

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Boyfriend and I all dolled up for the wedding IMG_1166

My cutie butt niece spent the night after my sister’s bday party, and devoured a popsicle!

Airi loves popsicles 

Besides that, I’ve been working, working, and working!! I finally finished up training, and now I’m a “real” manager. Since things have settled down and I’m starting to get into a routine, I promise to post more regularly again.

I missed you!

 

Amber

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Filed under Baking, Cooking, Dinner, Family, Food, Fun, Work

Zucchini Lasagna

This week’s new-to-us recipe was zucchini lasagna, and it was delicious! Instead of lasagna noodles, I used thinly sliced zucchini and couldn’t even tell the difference! It was so good, we ate leftovers of it twice.  Here’s what I did, for your dining pleasure…

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What You Need:

  • 1/2 lb Italian seasoned ground turkey (or Italian sausage)
  • Zucchini—3 small ones or 1 big one
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 t dried basil
  • pinch dried oregano
  • 1/3 c parmesan cheese
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lb chopped mushrooms (approximately)
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce
  • 8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

What You Do:

Brown and crumble the turkey in a skillet.

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Thinly slice your zucchini lengthwise using a mandolin or a very steady hand and sharp knife.

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Combine the ricotta (and think of Giada de Laurentiis pronouncing it) and parmesan cheeses, herbs, and salt/pepper in a medium bowl.

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Lay one layer of zucchini slices in a Pamed pan.

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Spread half of the cheese mixture over the zucchini. This isn’t a smooth spread, and your fingers will get messy trying to keep the zucchini in place.

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Sprinkle on some sliced mushrooms.

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Sprinkle on half of the turkey.

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Pour on and spread around half of your jar of spaghetti sauce. Note: Don’t buy the huge bottle of Ragu that has the built in “handle”, buy the next size down or don’t use the entire bottle if you do buy the giant one.

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Repeat this process—yes, I know its messy—until you have two layers of everything.

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Top with lots of shredded mozzarella cheese.

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Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is all melty.

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Serve it up! We enjoyed our with steamed broccoli (use the frozen steam-in-bag kind and save yourself a step the dirty dishes) and Caesar salad. Boyfriend also had cheesy garlic bread with his.

Obviously, I used entirely too much sauce, as the first night we had a goopy (but delicious!) mess.

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Leftovers were much better looking, since the sauce was thicker.

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Try this one for yourself and let me know what you think by clicking “Leave a Comment” below. 

Amber

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Filed under Cooking, Diet, Dinner, Food, Health, Special Diet

Cupcakes and Leftovers

Good Saturday morning! How did your week turn out?  Mine was, again, busy and exhausting!

On Tuesday, we decided to have Chris’s birthday party on Wednesday. I came home from work and spent from 5:30pm to 9:30pm in the kitchen baking, filling, and decorating 4 dozen of these cupcakes. I also managed to fix dinner in there somewhere (I think that’s the night we had tacos in a pan?).

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Half of the cupcakes were taken to work Thursday for a bake sale auction to raise money for MDA, and the other half were either eaten Wednesday night or sent home with our families.

Wednesday night, of course, we had my parents and Boyfriend’s parents over to celebrate his birthday. We kept it simple by grilling burgers, my mom brought her famous macaroni salad, and Chris’s mom brought her famous baked beans, and we had chips/dip and fresh veggies.

Thursday I decided that I wasn’t doing ANYTHING when I got home from work. I heated up leftovers for each of us for dinner, took a shower, and then chilled on the couch the rest of the night.

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Don’t get me wrong: I love cooking, I love baking, and I love having family over, but coming home from work every night and not getting to relax and re-energize for the next day wears me out!

Last night was pretty much a repeat of Thursday night, but with different leftovers and TV shows!


Today I’m off to the farmer’s market to see what goodies I can find.  I also need to make a stop at the natural food store to pick up some nutritional yeast—I want to give kale chips a try. Then I’m going to Michael’s to see what I can find to spend my 40% off coupon on!! Smile  I’m pretty sure I have more things than that on my To-Do List for today, but those are the two that stand out in my mind right now.

Have a happy Saturday!

 

Amber

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Filed under Baking, Cooking, Dinner, Family, Food, Fun, Health, Shopping, Work

It’s Been A While…

Since I had an iced latte from Starbucks…

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Since I’ve had pants that aren’t too big

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Since I saw raindrops on my windshield…

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Since it’s been under 95 degrees in the middle of the afternoon…

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Since I’ve been on the treadmill (okay, only a few days)…

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But not since we had tacos!!!

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This was my Saturday, hope yours has been fantastic as well!

 

Amber

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Filed under Dinner, Drinks, Exercise, Food, Fun, Shopping

An Improvised Dinner

Hey there! How did the week treat ya? I’m so tired my eyes are burning! I had big plans to come home and workout today, but I only got as far as putting on my workout clothes…

I wanted to share with you what happened the other night, and how I saved dinner!

The plan was to have BBQ chicken, grilled zucchini, and grilled corn on the cob (for Boyfriend)… On the grill. I got everything ready for the grill, took the chicken out and put it on, closed the lid, and came back inside to get the veggies. When I got back to the grill and opened the lid, I noticed the flame I had left on “High” was looking more like “Low”. I thought it was just the wind keeping it from coming up; but then, right before my eyes, it slowly disappeared!!!

I’m not the griller in this house (he was in the shower), so I went and asked him what was going on—and learned I was out of gas!  OMG!! What am I supposed to do now?!

George Foreman to the rescue!!

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I got that plugged in and hot, put a skillet on the stove for the zucchini, and transferred the corn from aluminum foil to saran wrap.

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It took a little bit of improvising, and a lot of quick thinking on my feet, but dinner turned out delicious!

The zucchini got caramelized and yummy in the skillet…

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And the chicken cooked up evenly and stayed moist.

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I had a giant pile of zucchini with my chicken breast:

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And Boyfriend had a sweet potato with his:

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(That corn is from my parent’s garden, thanks Mom and Dad!)

I’m going to classify this dinner as delicious and successful, even if it didn’t go quite as planned.


Tonight we’re having breakfast for dinner—scrambled eggs with veggies, and hashbrowns and bacon for Boyfriend. I’m wishing I had picked up a watermelon to go with this tonight, but oh-well! 

After dinner is figure-out-which-insurance-plan-to-choose time and then probably early to bed. My to-do list for this weekend is extensive, starting with an oil change tomorrow morning.

Are you a quick on your feet type of person, or do you freak out when things don’t go exactly as planned?

 

Amber

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Filed under Cooking, Diet, Dinner, Exercise, Family, Food, Fun, Health, Special Diet, Work

Zucchini Bread Muffins

Remember last week when I told you our house smelled of the amazing aroma of zucchini bread… And that I would share that recipe with you? Well, better late than never, right?

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This recipe can be made into loaves, muffins, or a combination of the two, like I did.

There is also flexibility in how you use sugar. The recipe calls for a total of three cups, which can be split into any combination of your choosing between white sugar, brown sugar, and splenda. We’ve found that the best flavor comes when the ratio of brown to white/splenda is 1:2. For this batch, I used 1/2 cup splenda brown sugar blend (equal to 1 cup of regular brown sugar), 1 cup granulated splenda, and 1 cup of sugar.

This batch was better than when we made them with only real sugar and brown sugar. Chris took the loaf to work to share with the guys, and they told him this zucchini bread is so good that we should sell it! I jokingly named these Devil Muffins, and I bet you can’t eat just one! haha

What You Need

  • 3 1/4 c flour
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1 t ground nutmeg
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 c vegetable
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 c water
  • 2 c grated zucchini
  • 1 t lemon juice

What You Do

Measure and combine all of the dry ingredients into a very large mixing bowl. Little clumps of brown sugar make for extra yummy bites!

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Peel your zucchini, and shred it in the food processor. Squeeze the juice out and pack it into the measuring cup, then put it in a medium bowl. A little extra doesn’t hurt Winking smile 

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Measure out the liquid ingredients and mix them into the zucchini. It doesn’t look delicious at this point…

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Next, add the wet mixture into the dry mixture, and mix it up well.

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Now is another time where you get to make your own choices: pour it into a well Pamed loaf pan…

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… muffin pan, or both like I did!

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Bake in a preheated, 350 degree oven. The loaf will take about 63 minutes, and the muffins will take about 25 minutes.

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Make sure you stick a tester knife in it and don’t just go by looks!

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Let it cool about 10 minutes, then remove it from the pan to let it cool completely. You can either eat it plan like this, or kick it up a notch by whipping up a simple powdered sugar glaze to brush on top!

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These are absolutely delicious! You will gobble them up and everyone you allow to try them will be begging you to make more of them soon!

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Please go try these, and let me know what you think!

 

Amber

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Filed under Baking, Cooking, Family, Food

Who’s That Chick?

Hey there, happy Friday! 

I was so busy this week, it flew by and today doesn’t quite feel like Friday.

Monday I started the classroom training part of my new job, which lasts through the next three weeks. It’s going great and I’m learning so much more than I had expected (based off what others told me), and I’m so glad!!

Tuesday, Boyfriend worked, which made it feel like Monday for me. He’s usually off Tuesdays so that threw everything out of whack.

Wednesday night, my mom and dad came up to take us to eat at Lambert’s, and surprised us by bringing the World’s Cutest Sweetest Funniest Baby with them—my niece! Smile  I love that chubby little red head!!

Last night, I did something I haven’t done in about a year:

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I had gotten so used to my hair being dark, I thought it was normal (which technically it is I suppose). My hair has been highlighted since I was in middle school. When I was really little, it was naturally platinum blonde but has gotten progressively darker as I’ve gotten older. I never knew how dark until I went a year without doing anything to it!

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It was also begging for a trim, and was getting completely unruly. My bangs had grown out about three inches past my chin! They were no longer bangs.

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(The crazy frayed ends are after I CHI’d it!)

All night last night and all day today, I’ve been taking second looks at myself when I walk past a mirror. It doesn’t look like me, even though my hair looked like this my entire life (except for a couple times I intentionally colored it super dark).

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Tonight, we are chillin’!  We’re having a delicious dinner (I’ll give you three guesses what it is, and the first two don’t count!) and getting a movie. We’ve been busy all week and Chris had to work outside today in the 105 degree (that’s without the heat index!) weather so I’m sure he’s beyond drained.

I feel pretty again (if you don’t agree, I don’t want to know!)!! Smile

Have a fantastic night!

 

Amber

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Filed under Cooking, Diet, Dinner, Family, Food, Fun, Work