Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Foods

Healthified Cream Cheese Brownies

Prep Time:15 min
Start to Finish:1 hr 55 min
makes:24 brownies

1 package (8 oz) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese (Neufch√Ętel), softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 box (1 lb 2.3 oz) Betty Crocker® fudge brownie mix
1/4 cup canola oil or unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup water
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in remaining filling ingredients until well blended.
2. In large bowl, stir brownie mix, oil, water, 4 egg whites and 1 teaspoon vanilla with spoon until well blended. Spread in pan.
3. Spoon filling mixture over brownie batter in pan. Cut through filling mixture and batter with knife several times for marbled design. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
4. Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until toothpick inserted in brownie 2 inches from side of pan comes out clean or almost clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour. For 24 brownies, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

Nutritional Information

1 Brownie: Calories 160 (Calories from Fat 50); Total Fat 6g (Saturated Fat 2g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 5mg; Sodium 125mg; Total Carbohydrate 22g (Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 17g); Protein 2g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 2%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 0%; Iron 4% Exchanges: 1/2 Starch; 1 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 1 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 1 1/2 *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Today makes one year ...

... since you left this earth to be in heaven. I miss you every day mom, and wish I could say the pain has eased but the tears still fall and I still feel empty inside. While I will never understand why God took you from me at such an early age, I will accept that He has a plan. I know you are watching over me and I love you very much.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Girl Fest Weekend

I totally went all girl this weekend and indulged in all things girly. Well, I take that back I didn't get the mani and pedi I was hoping to get, but that is OK.

My girl weekend started out Saturday when I went to see Dear John. I am an avid Nicholas Sparks fan, in fact he is my favorite author and I have read so many of his books. Unfortunately, I have not read this book, but I couldn't pass up on seeing Channing Tatum half naked. The guy is HAWT! Even if sappy lovey stories aren't your thing, it's worth it to see him. Haha, well I loved the movie. I thought it was really great. After the movie I went to my fave Mexican restaurant and indulged in some fajita chicken enchilada's and it was amazing.

Sunday, I had to write a paper and that wasn't fun at all but the day was made so much better by going out to see Valentine's Day. I wanted to see this movie last weekend so bad, but was kind of blown off. So, I went this past weekend and I will tell you it was pretty funny. I'm not a huge fan of Ashton Kutcher, but he plays his role perfectly in this movie. You should definitely see this one, no matter if you are in love or if you are a bitter romantic. I also had Mexican again on Sunday. Do you think I like Mexican food? Haha. I can't help it. We tried this new restaurant and it wasn't to bad. I wasn't sure what to order so I stuck with beef enchilada's. They were pretty good, but I like my favorite place so much more.

So all-in-all I had a pretty good weekend. I think the only thing that would have made my girl fest better was a piece or cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory.

How were your weekends?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Foods

Pesto Chicken Pizza

Prep Time:10 min
Start to Finish:25 min
makes:4 servings

1 cup cut-up cooked chicken breast
2 tablespoons refrigerated reduced-fat or regular basil pesto
4 whole wheat pita (pocket) breads (6 inch)
1/2 cup pizza sauce
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese (1 oz)
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Heat oven to 400°F. In medium bowl, mix chicken and pesto until blended.
2. Place pita bread in single layer on cookie sheet. Spread 2 tablespoons pizza sauce on each pita. Divide chicken mixture evenly among pita bread. Top with remaining ingredients.
3. Bake about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cut pizzas into wedges.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): No change.

Nutritional Information
1 Serving: Calories 280 (Calories from Fat 80); Total Fat 9g (Saturated Fat 2 1/2g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 35mg; Sodium 490mg; Total Carbohydrate 30g (Dietary Fiber 4g, Sugars 6g); Protein 19g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 8%; Vitamin C 10%; Calcium 15%; Iron 15% Exchanges: 1 1/2 Starch; 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 2 *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

I have yet to try this, but I plan on making it this weekend. It looks too delicious to pass up!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Change happens

Change happens. And with change comes growth. I am still trying to learn and accept this philosophy. Unfortunately, it is not going too smoothly.

One week from yesterday will be one full year since my mother passed away. Exactly five months prior to February 24th, (Sept. 24) my grandmother passed away. In five months, I lost two of the most important people in my life and have yet to really accept that loss.

I have drowned my sorrows in alcohol, food, ice cream and countless amounts of tears. Sadly, nothing seems to fix it. I went to the doctor a little over a month ago and he referred me to some counselors. I plan on my appointments with them asap. He also put me on anti-depressants. Honestly, they have helped so much more than I could imagine, but they don't kill the pain.

So yes, change is inevitable, and I am learning to adjust. Spring is the time or rebirth and with that I am trying to be "reborn."

In case you didn't know, Wednesday was Ash Wednesday and also the first day of Lent. While, I grew up Catholic I don't go to church regularly (even though I should). But every year, I tend to give something up for Lent. I feel as though it is something I can do to better myself.

Since last year was the first year in a very long time that I have not given anything up, I decided to give up two things. Yes two! I decided the first thing I would give up is greasy fast food, yes I will still eat the healthy stuff like subway. Since my mom passed, I have been stuck in such a rut that fast food has almost been my lifeline. That is not healthy at all. I figured giving up greasy fast food would allow me to get back on track in my personal life and make myself do one of the things I love to do, cook.

The second thing I am giving up is more personal. It is the inability to process change. Sounds deep right? Well, I am making it my goal to work on myself and make myself happy. I am tired of crying almost everyday and I know my mom and grandma do not want me to spend the rest of my life like this. So, while I know there will be tears shed over the next 40 days, I do know that I am going to make a constant effort to make myself smile at least once a day.

Do you celebrate Lent? If so, what are you giving up?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Yes, I am in fact a Twilight nerd. :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Foods

I am so excited to be starting this! I am calling it Friday Foods because each week I will feature a different recipe I have tried, or will be trying. While my New Year's Resolution is to be healthier, I occasionally might slip in some "not-so-great for you foods."

Spinach Manicotti

Prep Time:15 min
Start to Finish:50 min
makes:7 servings (2 manicotti each)

1 box (8 oz) uncooked manicotti shells (14 shells)
1 1/2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend (6 oz)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 container (15 oz) reduced-fat ricotta cheese
1 box (10 oz) Cascadian Farm® frozen organic cut spinach, thawed, drained, squeezed dry
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 jar (25.5 oz) Muir Glen® pasta sauce (any flavor)

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Cook manicotti as directed on box. Rinse with cool water; drain well. In medium bowl, stir together 1 cup of the Italian cheese blend, the pepper flakes, ricotta cheese, spinach, garlic and egg.

2. In bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch baking dish, spread 1 cup of the pasta sauce. Spoon ricotta mixture into manicotti; place over sauce in dish. Pour remaining sauce over manicotti. Cover tightly with foil.

3. Bake about 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbling. Uncover dish; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Italian cheese blend. Bake uncovered 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Increase first bake time to about 45 min.

Nutritional Information
1 Serving: Calories 340 (Calories from Fat 100); Total Fat 11g (Saturated Fat 6g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 65mg; Sodium 690mg; Total Carbohydrate 43g (Dietary Fiber 4g, Sugars 8g); Protein 19g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 70%; Vitamin C 6%; Calcium 35%; Iron 15% Exchanges: 1 1/2 Starch; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 2 Medium-Fat Meat Carbohydrate Choices: 3

This is delicious! I make it pretty often and love it every time. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Random Thoughts

Today has been a rather strange day for me. I don't know, maybe it is the weather or maybe it is just me going insane. I decided I'd just write down some of my random thoughts or happenings from today. Enjoy.

  • I got a shout out from my professor yesterday about how great I am doing. Did I mention everyone in the class got to see that shout out? I still feel like a rock star.
  • It's snowing ... again. I'm not sure if it is going to be a bad storm or not. I'm so ready for warm weather.
  • I'm still going crazy at work. I still feel overworked and underpaid. I guess that is why I am pursuing my masters to begin with.
  • I need a vacation.
  • Here lately I have had this weird obsession with kettle cooked jalapeno chips. It is starting to get bad.
  • Have you ever wanted to just hit someone with your car? No, I don't mean like run over someone. I just wish I could add padding and rubber to my car and knock all the jerks off the highway. Grrr, I hate stupid drivers.
  • I keep getting an itch to move. I constantly check the newspaper and craigslist for some sort of house to move into. I'm so over apartment life. Sadly, with the market being crappy rent has skyrocketed on houses.
  • Why is it people with diabetes continue to drink nondiet soda and eat candy all day? I mean this is the same guy constantly complaining about the possibility of insulin shots. Well drinking a 2-liter of sugar loaded soda at work and poppin the m&ms won't help, I swear.
  • I'm not feeling well. I want to go home.

Hope you are all having a Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

This was my fave Super Bowl commerical this year.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thursday Thunks

I haven't really ever posted any meme's and I figured I'd post one today so you could get a laugh out of my ridiculousness.

1. You walk into a room, someone turns and looks at you and laughs. What do you do?
Give them the finger

2. You find an egg, take it home and keep it warm. It hatches. What type of dinosaur is it? Do you keep it and name?
It's a triceratops. I would name it Cera and keep it for a few days then get rid of it.

3. Which superhero would you want to be related to and why?
Mrs. Marvel, because she is a total bad ass.

4. A drunken sailor comes up to you on the pier...he begins harassing you in a most repulsive way....what'll be your defense?
Kick him in the nuts and run away. That's what mom always said to do.

5. Entering a CLASS A piano bar, you're encouraged to sing atop the grand grab the microphone and sing.....
Achey Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus. Wouldn't that be hilarious?

6. If you were a character in a Dr. Seuss book/movie, who would you be and why?
I would want to be a Who, because they are awesome.

7. If you have just been called to be a substitute in the Winter Olympics for your country (apparently everyone else was busy), what sport(s) will you compete in?
I'd want to be in the Jamacian bobsled team!

8. Did the audience from the piano bar in question #5 applaud when you were done with your song?
Of course

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, February 1, 2010

It was like deja vu

My pants are wet, my feet are cold, and there is slush everywhere. It was like deja vu.

I don't know what is up with the weather in Oklahoma this year, but it sure has been interesting. After we had our Christmas Eve blizzard, we were cursed blessed with another bout of ice and snow.

So what did I do? I stayed in all weekend. On Friday, I couldn't even get my car out of the parking lot. I was parked on pure ice and the thing was not in the mood to move. I had to call in sick, and I spent my day writing a paper. Fun right? Not so much.

I hope you all had a comfy and cozy weekend like I did. I was warm and basically did nothing. It was grand. I will say that I am very thankful that I was not one of the thousands of people that lost power. Ice is no joke, it destroyed a lot of things, but I can't help be see some of the beauty in it.

Here's a look at Oklahoma Ice Storm January 2010.

*Most of the photos are from The Oklahoman, the bottom two are from a family friend and are pictures of her property.