Thursday, November 24, 2011

Zone Diet Breakfast Burrito

Zone Diet Breakfast Burrito

I've been working out religiously since January of this year and have lost all of the weight I wanted to lose after having the baby. When we moved back from NC to FL, I met up with my old trainer who started his own Crossfit gym. Click here to check out his website. He introduced me to some amazing exercises and great eating. I noticed a change in myself about 1.5-2 weeks after eating properly using the Zone Diet. All the information about the Zone Diet can be found here and here. Check it out!

2 eggs, scrambled
1oz cheese
2 pieces of cooked bacon
1 medium tortilla
salt and pepper to taste
1tsp sour cream

Directions:Heat your griddle or pan and scramble your eggs. 

Once the eggs are cooked all the way, add them to your tortilla, cheese and bacon.

Roll your burrito ... like so ...

Do it like this so everything stays inside while you brown it on the griddle.

If you're in a rush, grab and go!

Place it on the griddle and brown on both sides. Keep it low or it can burn easily. It takes about 3 minutes per side. Don't walk off and forget to flip it!

Serve with full fat sour cream. I have contemplated using avocado inside but they haven't been on sale and I just cannot bring myself to pay $2.00 for one.

Eat and Enjoy!

Zone Diet Nutrition:
21G Protein from eggs and cheese
25G Carbs from tortilla (should have 27G so I'll grab a few pieces of grapes or cut a little bit off a banana)
6G Fat from bacon and sour cream

Good Morning, Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Pancakes!

Good Morning, Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Pancakes!

My boys love chocolate chip pancakes. I make them almost every morning because it's so simple to make and since I don't have to rush off to work, I have time to make them. My kids are really great and they deserve something special in the mornings.

Today, I added some cocoa powder to make them extra special this Thanksgiving Day morning. Here's what I did!

Pancake mix
1Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Follow your instructions on your pancake box and add 1Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder. I added a little bit more water to the mix so that it wouldn't be too thick.

Cook your pancakes, or waffles, like you normally would. I added chocolate chips to the tops of mine when I placed them on the griddle. If you'd like, you can add them to your batter before scooping onto your griddle or pan.

I think I had my first chocolate chip pancake at my step-sister's house in 2004 after Hurricane Ivan ripped through our city. With 3 kids between my sister and myself and 7 days of no power and cold showers, we decided to take a road trip to Stephanie's house in GA where they had power and no hurricanes! Thanks for introducing chocolate chip pancakes to me, Steph. Ayden's tummy thanks you!

Cook your pancakes all the way through and add some butter and powdered sugar. It only makes it taste that much better!

My main pancake eater, Ayden, was my hand model today. Say hello to Ayden's hand, everyone :) He thoroughly enjoyed these and so did my other little guy.

These are so easy to make and the cocoa powder just gives it a little something extra. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. Find something to be thankful for and dwell on that all day!

Eat and Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Need a quick cookie recipe? Do you like peanut butter cookies? If so, this is the cookie for you. I found it in a magazine and made the dough and had cookies to eat in 15 minutes. Beat that, Martha Stewart!

P.s. ... yes, I know, they look like boobs :)

1 egg
3Tbsp vegetable oil
1Tbsp water
1/2cup creamy peanut butter
1/2cup granulated sugar
1.5cups all purpose flour
1/2cup packed brown sugar
3/4tsp baking soda
1 bag of Hershey kisses or Reese's peanut butter cups

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix everything (minus the chocolate) in a bowl. Scoop 1Tbsp cookie dough and roll it into a ball and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 8-10 minutes then immediately place the chocolate you chose in the middle of the cookie.

Eat and Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Juicy Chicken for Thanksgiving!

Juicy Chicken for Thanksgiving!

I make chicken in the crock pot all the time and since we celebrated Thanksgiving early since my husband is working on Thanksgiving Day, I decided I'd make it special and put it in the oven instead. If you're prepared, you can make a delicious and juicy bird with hardly any effort. Here's how I did it.

Whole chicken or turkey, giblets removed
1/2 stick room temperature butter
about 1/2 cup parsley
3 cups chicken broth/stock
1 celery bunch
1 large white onion

Preheat oven to 325. Mix the chopped parsley and butter together and put to the side. In a large broiler pan, add chicken broth, celery and onion. Lift the skin of your bird on the breast and add the butter/parsley mixture. Don't remove the skin, lay the skin back down on the breast.

Place our chicken breast side down. For the first hour in the oven, cover with tin foil. Once it's cooked for 1 hour, flip it over to breast side up and raise the temperature to 350 degrees, uncovered. Baste and bake for additional 1/5-2 hours.

Let your bird rest for 10-15 minutes covered with tin foil before slicing and serving. This will give it ample time to redistribute the juicyness.

Eat and Enjoy!!

P.s. I did place 1/2 of a white onion in the cavity of the bird. You can never have enough onion!

P.s.s. Save the juice in the bottom of the pan for gravy or strain it and freeze it for another recipe!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mom's Sweet Potato Souffle

Mom's Sweet Potato Souffle
There is nothing better to me during the holiday's besides my mom's sweet potato souffle and cornbread stuffing. I'm so excited to share both recipes with you. If neither one of these are on the table for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I'd be really upset. Thankfully, that won't happen since I have the recipes now and I'm sharing them with you.
P.s. Another one-bowl-stop recipe!

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup room temperature butter
2 beaten eggs
1tsp vanilla
1/3 cup milk (hey, how about some buttermilk instead!)
1/8tsp cinnamon

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup white flour (I used wheat flour and it rocked all the same)
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking/baking spray.
Mix all ingredients together with a mixer. Add to greased baking dish.

For the topping, stir all ingredients together and all to the top of the sweet potato mixture that's already in your baking dish. Add the nuts now if everyone likes nuts. Sprinkle on top.

Someone in my family doesn't like them so I added half of the nuts to my side of the dish after I sprinkled the topping mixture.

Now, if you like nuts, add them here.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes and let cool at least 10 minutes before serving. This is also a great recipe that tastes good cold the second day right out of the fridge.

You can make ahead and freeze this or bake it then freeze it. Pull it out and place in the fridge the night before serving. If you need to bake it, set the pan out (defrosted) for at least 30 minutes before baking. If you pre-baked it, you can bake it again to warm it up in the oven about 15 minutes or until bubbly.

I like this as a side or a dessert. It's sweet and tasty! Thanks for the recipe, mom. I love you!

Eat and Enjoy!

Easy Homemade Gravy

Easy Homemade Gravy

I never knew how easy it was to make gravy until a few weeks ago. I've tried and tried and tried but always have to strain it because it had lumps. It tasted good and had great flavor, but it was lumpy. Guess what my secret is to a lump-free gravy? Warm Liquid!!!! Man, I tell you.. when I discovered this (really on accident I suppose), it changed my life. I made gravy three times the past two days and it's been spot on every time. WOO HOO!

3Tbsp butter (not that fake butter.. I'm talking about butter in stick form)
3Tbsp white flour
1tsp corn starch
1 3/4 - 2 cups WARM liquid (water, chicken broth, beef broth, veggie broth) 

Melt your butter over medium heat. Believe me, turning it up on high isn't going to do anything but burn your butter and waste your time. This is a patient gravy, so be patient and wait. It'll happen, I promise. (I watch pots all the time and guess what? They boil!)
After your butter is melted, add the flour and corn starch. The flour and corn starch are thickeners but please measure this or you'll have too much in there or not enough and you'll wonder why you messed it up. MEASURE, PEOPLE!

Stir this around with a wooden spoon. Make sure your heat is on low to medium-low. It needs to bubble up. If you want a light gravy, you can add your warm broth in now but if you want a brown gravy, you need to stir with a wooden spoon every 20 seconds or so for 5-7 minutes. It'll get brown on the underside of the flour/butter mixture and looks light on top first so this is why you have to stir it.. keep your eye on it, browned and burned are two different things!

Once you have your gravy the color you want it, put your wooden spoon away and get your warm liquid out and a whisk. Add 1/2 cup, roughly, at a time while whisking quickly. The cornstarch will make your gravy pretty fluffy and bubbly. Don't worry, it's just a cool reaction. Science project!
Keep whisking and adding your warm liquid and once all of your liquid is whisked in, you can use a spoon to stir and make sure all of the lumps are out.
If you still have lumps, just strain it.. It's going to taste good either way.

Serve and enjoy!

Buttermilk Coconut Pie

Buttermilk Coconut Pie

Everything tastes better baked with buttermilk. I love how rich and creamy it makes desserts and cornbread. It helps it maintain it's moisture even under a hot oven. Buttermilk is really the way to go if the ingredients suggest adding regular old milk.

(Tip: If you don't use all of your buttermilk, pour it into ice cube trays and freeze it. Once they're frozen, you can pop them out and put them in a freezer bag and pull out buttermilk cubes next time you need it. Less waste and saves money!)

Ingredients for 2 pies:
6 beaten eggs
2.5 cups white sugar
2Tbsp flour
1 stick melted butter
1cup buttermilk
1tsp vanilla
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped pecans (This recipe really needs nuts in it. I'm not a fan of nuts in my dessert, but this is delicious!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix all ingredients together. Tip: I mixed the sugar and flour together first then added everything else to the bowl. Another one of those one-bowl-stops!

If you have a frozen crust, let it thaw out almost completely before filling the pies. Bake 40-45 minutes. It will be custard-like so if the middle has set while still in the oven, you're good to go. It'll have a nice golden color and shouldn't be jiggly at all.

The pie is tasty when it's warm so let it cool at least 20 minutes before slicing. I like this pie cold, right out of the fridge on the second day.
I made this pie already and have it in my freezer for Thanksgiving. I will pull it out of the freezer the night before and place it in my fridge. The day I plan on eating it, I'll set it out on the counter a few hours beforehand, just to make sure it's thawed out completely.
This is a good idea to make ahead since it can be frozen after baking. If you make two, eat one now and freeze the other for later. Never know when someone is going to have an impromptu dinner/dessert date!

Eat and Enjoy!

*Thank you, Miss Hella, for the recipe!*

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Coconut Biscotti

Coconut Biscotti

Coconut! Mmm! I love almost anything with coconut in it and again, had me at 'hello' with this recipe. Go here to find the original recipe.

I've tried baking biscotti once and it was a total flop so I thought I'd try it again. It is a very simple recipe that uses one bowl. I'm all about not having to get out a bazillion bowls and measuring cups to bake something. One pot stop!

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4tsp baking powder
1/4tsp salt
1/4tsp baking soda
3/4cup sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1cup flaked sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Beat sugar, eggs and vanilla on medium-high for 2 minutes until it gets thick and creamy.

Add the remaining ingredients to bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. I added the coconut after I had stirred all of the flour/powder ingredients together. On a floured surface, kneed the sticky dough 7-8 times.

Pat and roll with hands into a log of 15x3. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and lightly press down until the dough is about 1" thick.

Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown then move to wire wrack to cool for 5 minutes.

Cut roll diagonally in 1/2" slices and bake again for another 20 minutes.

Slices will be slightly soft in the middle but will harden when they cool completely on a wire wrack.

You can dip them in melted white chocolate and sprinkle with some coconut flakes or dip them in dark chocolate if you prefer. I don't have white chocolate so I used semi-sweet chocolate on some and powdered sugar and food coloring on some.

(Mix a little bit of water and powdered sugar. Add food coloring for festive colors!)

If you want, you can add white or dark chocolate chips in the batter before you cook it. Also think about adding almonds or walnuts before cooking if you're a nutty type of person.

Eat and Enjoy!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Cinnamon and Sugar Muffins

Cinnamon and Sugar Muffins

I found a very easy muffin recipe whilst browsing It is an awesome website and now I believe I'm addicted to it. Of course, I made my own version of these muffins since I don't enjoy overly sweet desserts anymore thanks to zone eating and Crossfit! Here's the original recipe and I'll have my notes at the bottom of what I changed.

1/3 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. sugar*
1 egg (preferably room temperature)
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg**
1/2 c. milk


1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a medium bowl, stir together all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir until combined. It’ll be a little bit lumpy and that’s okay. Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop batter into muffin tins that have been sprayed. I got 6 large muffins out of this batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until they just start to turn a bit golden at the edges.

If you'd like to bake them without the extra step of dipping them in butter then sugar/cinnamon mixture after they bake, sprinkle the tops of the muffins with the mixture minus the butter and bake accordingly. They'll turn out just as good.

*I used a little bit over 1/4cup sugar instead of the entire 1/2cup
**I used a little bit of cinnamon instead of nutmeg (I hate nutmeg).


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped Potatoes

I love, love, love scalloped potatoes! They are creamy, rich, and cheesy and I love anything with cheese! This was a great side dish we had tonight and very easy.

2tbsp unsalted butter
+ more for the dish
1/2 to 1 tsp salt
1/2tsp pepper
2 large baking potatoes
2tbsp all-purpose flour
2cups whole milk at room temperature
3/4cup grated cheese + 1/4cup grated cheese

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Bring to boil enough water for the potatoes and salt the water. While the water is coming to boil, thinly slice the potatoes with a mandolin or a food processor. Boil the sliced potatoes for 8-10 minutes.
In the meantime, butter a 9x13 baking dish and have that ready.
Once the potatoes have cooked, strain them and set them to the side.
Over medium heat, add 2tbsp butter and 2tbsp flour and let the flour come to bubbles but make sure you don't burn this. Stir it with a wooden spoon.
Once the butter has cooked approximately 1-2 minutes, whisk in the room temperature milk and keep whisking for 3-5 minutes. You should add it slowly but whisk quickly .. this will help ensure there are no lumps in the mixture. If there are lumps, simply strain it before moving to the next step.
Add the salt and pepper and stir to combine.
Add the potatoes and the milk mixture to a large bowl and combine. Add 3/4cup grated cheese and combine. Pour into baking dish and sprinkle with remaining 1/4cup cheese.
Bake 10-12 minutes.
Turn the broil on high *and make sure you watch it so it doesn't burn!* This will brown the cheese on top and give it a delicious taste. If it's golden brown, it's ready to come out.
Set to the side for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Eat and ENJOY!