Quinoa Bite Me!

Yesterday I had leftover BBQ chicken from the previous nights din din, so I decided to whip up some quinoa BBQ chicken salad.  Nom nom nom.   Well today, I had leftover quinoa.  People ask me all the time, how do I get my kids to eat veggies.  Simple, I trick them or a shrink down foods into mini bites so they can pick them up and gobble away.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a HUGE advocate for farm fresh and having my kids taste veggies (and fruits) in their purest forms, but let’s get real.  My kids are 3 and a half and 2 and a half, you plop a plain piece of zucchini in front of them, they are not touching it.  Well, except my daughter Maryn because she will eat anything (as long as her brother and sister are not around to tell her it tastes like poop) and she doesn’t care what it is.

So, leftover quinoa, kids who need some veggies, lunch right around the corner….QUINOA ZUCCHINI APPLE BITES!!!   I did make one batch sans apple, but the apple made them even more yummy.  These took about 5 minutes to throw together and 25 minutes to bake.  The best part, no oil or butter so these are super healthy and I promise you, your kids will LOVE them.  If you don’t have my specific ingredients on hand (and you will not unless you are in Traverse City, MI and shop at Bay Bread and get dried apple slices from Nature’s Treats), don’t worry.  Use what you have or get creative and put your own spin on these.

 

Quinoa Zucchini Apple Bites

3/4 cup cooked quinoa (note that I cooked my quinoa the day before in some simple chicken stock)

2 medium to large zucchini, skin on, grated

1/2 vidalia onion, grated

1/2 cup dried cinnamon apple slices, crushed in big (not fine) pieces

3/4 cup asiago cheese breadcrumbs (I made these myself using a leftover asiago cheese baguette that I had on hand.  Note also that my breadcrumbs were more rustic aka coarser than a traditional fine ground breadcrumb.  So maybe try using some garlic cheese croutons pulsed in the food processor for a few seconds)

2 large eggs

1/2 fresh grated parmesan (cheddar would be awesome too)

Few healthy shakes of some granulated garlic, sea salt (to taste), and hot shot (red/black pepper mix, also to taste), and a smidge of celery salt.

 

1.   Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2.  Put all ingredients into a bowl and mix mix mix

3.  Using a small spoon, spoon into a mini muffin pan.  If using a traditional non stick pan, spray with a little Pam (or a spray equivalent).  I used a non stick silicone mini muffin pan so I didn’t even spray it and they pop right out after a few minutes of cooling.

4.  Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes

5.  Mow down and thank me later

 

I got about 36 mini bites out of this recipe.   They will not last, they are SO good. Now go, cook, eat, be happy.  : )

 

 

 

Could It Be…SEITAN

It’s Friday, it’s Lent, but who says you have to eat fish again?  I always like to try to sneak in new foods without my family knowing.  2 weeks ago, I made a meatless veal parm if you will.   I found this seitan roast a while back that I really liked and thought, I could totally turn this into a meal my family would love.   They did.  My husband, the total meat and potatoes, lettuce is for rabbits guy, really loved it.  So there you have it.  There is a decent meat substitute out there even for the pickiest of palates.   I have tried numerous brands of seitan, but none have come close to Mama Mo.  This is a local MI company which is even better.   Check their site, see if they are in your area.  http://mamamofoods.com/mama_mo_home.html

Anyway, I seem to gravitate towards their seitan roast.  It’s meaty without being meaty and it’s seasoned fairly well.  Really, you could heat it up and eat it on its own, but where’s the fun in that?   Plus, those who follow my blog should realize that I always jazz stuff up.  I’m using the roast again in this recipe because it holds up well and it resembles a burger and tonight I’m making patty melts! 

This product is vegan, so technically you could make a vegan patty melt, but let’s not completely scare the crap out of my husband and kids by taking away their dairy cheese too.  One step at a time. 

There’s not much to this recipe really.   Slice the roast, grill in a pan, throw on some caramelized onions, some cheese of choice, russian dressing (aka 1000 island dressing), rye bread…done.   Simple right?  The only recipe I really need to tell you how to make is my version of russian dressing, which is equally simple to make.  

Russian Dressing

1/4 cup Mayo

2 heaping TBSPN Chili Sauce

2 heaping TBSPN Sweet Pickle Relish

1 TSPN Ketchup

Throw all ingredients into a bowl, mix, chill in the fridge, done.   If you want it with a little more heat, stir in a scant amount of horseradish.  

I like to jazz up my caramelized onions on patty melts as well.  So right when they are starting to caramelize, I add in a splash of Zip Sauce (also a MI thing), a splash of sherry, and a splash of Worcestershire.  Makes all the difference in the world.  Totally not necessary, but why not go the extra step?  Try it, you’ll love it.

How you build your patty melt is up to you.  You can make it thick as can be or a more traditional thin sandwich.  You can cook it in a panini press, throw it in a pan and simply toast up like you would a grilled cheese, or you can heat the insides, so to speak, in the pan, toast the bread separate, and then assemble.  It’s all up to you.   The kitchen is your oyster!  My bad metaphors slay me.  LOL  ; ) 

I’ll post pics later when it’s closer to dinner.   It’s 3 pm and I’m caramelizing my onions as I type.  They smell amazing. 

Edit to add pic. 

 

Scotch Scotch Scotch…I LOVE Scotch…Eggs That Is

Scotch eggs are one of those things that you see off in a little corner of a pub menu and think to yourself, there is no way in hell I’m ordering eggs from a bar.  Then about 4 or 5 drinks in when you flip back open the menu because you’re getting drunk hungry, you think to yourself, fried eggs encased in meat….HELL YES!

For those who don’t know what a scotch egg is, I’m here to help.  Scotch eggs are hard boiled eggs, rolled in sausage (and really, you can get creative, ground turkey or ground chicken mixed with maybe a little bacon paste would be awesome too), rolled in breadcrumbs, and then deep fried.  It’s one of those things that I would generally never order out because I always think to myself, I could make that 10 times better at home.  Plus, for the most part, I like to eat healthy.  Once in a while it’s good to splurge though.  However, I decided to make a healthier version and my recipe is baked in the oven.   I’m still using sausage, but again, feel free to use turkey sausage or whatever you want to experiment with.  Some of the greatest dishes in the world were created out of kitchen accidents.  So get to creating those fabulous accidents.  ; )   In the meantime, make my scotch eggs first.  You will not be disappointed.

Scotch Eggs

6 hard boiled eggs

1 pound of bulk sausage, depending on the size of your eggs, you may need maybe 1/2 pound more sausage (feel free to kick it up, add some maple syrup, some fresh garlic, maybe a little hot sauce, etc.)

Breadcrumbs of choice to dredge eggs/sausage in  (I made homemade breadcrumbs using equal parts of panko, finely crushed Wheat Thin Cinnamon Kick Stix’s, and leftover homemade banana bread…yep, that’s right, I made breadcrumbs out of banana bread.  The sweetness of it goes great with the salty sausage)

Cooking Spray (I like buttered flavored Pam)

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1.  You can hard boil your eggs early in the morning and throw them in the fridge until later or you can even do this step the night before if you want to eat them for breakfast or brunch.   I personally like to use my eggs the same day I make them, it’s just a personal preference.  Ok, it’s because I am a bit neurotic when it comes to eating day old eggs.  LOL  You will be fine if you prep them the day before.  The trick to having the perfect hard boiled egg is using fresh eggs and not over cooking them.  I bring my eggs up to a hard boil, shut the heat off, and continue cooking for about 20 minutes or so.  Perfect   BUT this all depends on how many eggs you boil at once, size of eggs, etc.

2.  Flatten your sausage into a circle and place the egg in the middle.  Cover with the sausage making sure you see no egg.  You don’t want the layer of sausage too thin, otherwise it will crack open during the baking process.

3.  Roll in the breadcrumbs mixture until covered.   If you feel you want a thicker layer of breadcrumbs (I like a thin layer), dip your sausage balls (stop laughing) into an egg wash (aka a beaten egg or use an egg white) first and then roll into the breadcrumbs.

4.  Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray, place the eggs on the cookie sheet, and spray the eggs with some cooking spray.  Bake for about 20-30 minutes until the sausage is cooked all the way through.

Serve hot, warm, or some people even like them cold (no thanks).  Feel free to eat as is or make some honey mustard dipping sauce.  I make mine very simply, with a really good dijon mustard and a local star thistle honey from Champion Hill Farm in Beulah MI.  Star thistle honey tastes far different from clover honey and I only keep star thistle in my house.  Love it and love that it’s local.  You could also stir in some apricot jam to the honey mustard and that would be equally awesome to eat.

I will edit later to add the pictures when I bake them.  It’s only 10:30 am right now and I just finished peeling my eggs.

Behold…the scotch egg!

Sh*T Toddlers Say

I don’t know who started all these shit people say videos, but I find them hysterical.  Well, I find most of them hysterical.   I’m sure a shit toddlers say video exists, but I’m sitting here listening to my three children thinking, OMG, where did they even hear that to be able to repeat it?  LOL   What makes their convos so funny is that they are out of the blue and random.   I should just get my video camera out and record them because seeing is believing, but until then, I will give you this lovely list of shit toddlers say.  And trust me, if you just had a baby or are thinking about having a baby, your kid WILL say probably 95% of these things at some point.

1.  I want that!

2.  I don’t want that!

3.  Not that one!

4.  I want a different one!

5.  Not those socks!

6.  Can I have another cracker?

7.  Not that cracker, I want a BIG cracker!!

8.  I can do it by myself!

9.  I can’t do it!

10.  No!

11.  Look at me!

12.  Don’t Talk!

13.  Again!

14.  Fart

15.  Poop

16.  Penis

17.  Vagina

18.  Butt

19.  I have little boobies, you have big boobies.

20.  I’m naked!

21.  Look at my belly.

22.  I don’t want to wear pants!

23.  Where’s my tutu?

24.  Where’s my hat?

25.  Where are my blocks?

26.  Get me my dolly, it’s in the bedroom.

27.  I’m thirsty!

28.  Take this!

29.  I’m going shopping.

30.  I’m done!

31.  I’m not a baby!

32.  I’m a baby!

33.  I don’t want to go to sleep!

34.  I want to sleep in the big bed!

35.  Not like that, like this.

36.  YUCK!

37.  YUM!

38.  I want cookies for breakfast.

39.  Leave me alone!

40.  What’s that?

41.  What are you doing?

42.  I want to talk to Tom (or Larry).

43.  It’s broken!

44.  Fix it!

45.  I didn’t do it.

46.  I’m stuck.

47.  I want a different fork

48.  Not that sippy cup.

49.  I have a booger.

50.  One, Two, Three, Nine, Three, Three, Ten.  I counted to ten.

51.  Wipe my hands

52.  I have a boo boo

53.  Don’t sit there!

54.  I did it!

55.  I want a snack!

56.  I’m a pirate.

57.  I want to be a chef.

58.  I’m wet.

59.  I spilled.

60.  Mommy needs coffee.

61.  MOM!!!!!!

62.  Dad said so.

63.  You eat it!

64.  I’m full..what’s for dessert?

65.  Get it!

66.  Leave it!

67.  Don’t touch it!

The list could go on and on.

 

I had to edit this to add MINE!!  How could I even forget to put MINE on this list?  LMAO

Nothing Tastes As Good As Skinny Feels

Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.  Really?  Bullshit!  Bacon, tastes AWESOME!!  Nutella, that tastes pretty damn good too.   A nice bowl of homemade 5 cheese (at least) mac & cheese, come on!  A piece of challah with a schmear of chopped liver, YUM.  Ok, I realize that I may have lost some of you with that last one, but let’s be real.   Food tastes good.  We are a nation obsessed with weight.  Obesity rates are at all time highs across the board and getting skinny has now become a huge (no pun intended) business.

Everywhere I look there are advertisements for this new magic diet pill or this new shake…just do this workout for 15 minutes a day and you will have flat abs…wear this body wrap and it will take inches off…buy into my “vitamins” and cleanse your body of toxins…eat this, don’t eat that, do this, don’t do that.  Can we all just call shenanigans already and agree that there are no magic pills, no magic workouts, no magic clothing, not even magic surgeries that can make people thin?  Can we also agree that you CAN eat real food and still be thin and that food tastes great?  One does not need to drink 2 shakes, take 15 supplements, eat tree bark and beans for the one and only meal of the day to be thin.  Oh sure, you may lose weight, but I guarantee you will gain it all back and then some.  Can I charge $19.95 for that guarantee I just gave?

I have been on every fad diet on the planet.   I dieted for more than 10 years before ultimately having weight loss surgery.  Let me tell you something, that’s no walk in the park or magic fix either.  Like anything else in life, it takes hard work and dedication to make it work.  I will admit that I had that surgery, not to be healthier in life, but because I wanted to be skinny.  Society, friends, family…they had all burned into my brain that I was nothing unless I was skinny.     When the Dr asked me what I wanted to weigh when all said and done, I blurted out 120 pounds.  He laughed because every woman whom he asked that question all answered with the same 120 pounds.   Apparently that’s the skinny number.   If you weigh more than 120 pounds as a woman, I guess you’re fat.  COME ON!!  That’s crazy.  Yet here I sit thinking to myself, got to weigh 120 pounds.  Again, crazy.

For about 2 seconds I made it to 119 pounds.  Let me tell you all something.  Life, it feels better than being skinny does and frankly it tastes better too.   I am by no means fat at this point.  I am not one of those women who gained all her weight back, but I am also not 120 pounds.  My body was not designed to weigh only 120 pounds.   On a good day I maintain between 130-135 pounds.   I have a TON of unresolved medical issues going on, but if you have been keeping up with my blog you already know this, so I will spare you the rehashing of the story all over again.  But back to my 2 second 119 pound victory *eye roll*.

Do you want to know what I was eating to get to my 119 pounds?   Broth, rice, and Coke.  That’s it.  I went from 132 pounds to 119 pounds in a few weeks time.   I was sick as a dog, vomiting every 5 seconds, and on death’s door, literally.   Ah, being skinny sure felt awesome.   NOT!!  Again, I will not retell my long drawn out surgical nightmare story as to why I got to that place and why I’m still living in that nightmare.  So moving on… When I was in my prime health and feeling awesome, I weighed 132 pounds, I worked out 4 days a week, and ate 3 meals a day WITH SNACKS!   I ate healthy, but I also didn’t have this unrealistic notion that I would have to give up food to be thin.   You can eat bacon, Nutella, mac & cheese, etc. and still be thin.  The magic answer?  You just have to do it in moderation and not do it every day.   Diets will set you up for failure, lifestyle changes will set you up for success.

I get so aggravated when I see fad diets and crazy unrealistic exercise programs being advertised because in our heads, it has been drilled in that nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.  To profit off someone who is clearly vulnerable and who would give anything to be thin, with you knowing full well that there is no magic concoction you are selling makes me mad.   What pisses me off more, is when I see people who have had weight loss surgery peddling diet products without disclosing they have had weight loss surgery.  Try my yummy shakes.   If you buy a 30 day supply, you get a free exercise band and ball.  I did it and look at me now!  Yes, look at you now.   You forgot to mention that you had gastric bypass 5 years ago, plastic surgery after that to remove all your excess skin, workout at a real gym at least 3 days a week, and you use your crap product to maintain not to lose the 200 pounds you claim it’s going to help a person lose.

Have we become that gullible or are these stupid little nothing tastes as good as skinny feels posters getting into your heads?  Do you even know who said nothing tastes as good as skinny feels?  Kate Moss.  That’s right, this motto was coined by a drug addicted, anorexic, waft model.  How does that taste?   I’m sure some of you think she’s hot, she’s gorgeous, I would love to look like her, blah blah, but you are going to have to shoot a lot of heroin, smoke crack, and live on Tic Tacs and diet pop for the rest of your life.   Again, how does that taste?  Better yet, how does that feel?

Kate Moss probably burned away all her taste buds from her many drugs and other vices, which is why she said nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.  She doesn’t know what the hell food is supposed to taste like!!  I’ll take my occasional slice of bacon over her lifestyle any day.

No one wants to be fat, let’s get that straight right now, but we need to learn that healthy and skinny are not one in the same.  People that try to sell you the magic thin potion in a pill, drink, body wrap, or fad exercise program (yes those exist too) don’t have your best interest at heart.  What they have is your hard earned money month after month.    Gastric bypass surgeons who feel the need to tell you that their one type of surgery is better than the next and you will fail with any other type of surgery other than the one they offer….yeah,  they are full of crap too.  If you are considering GB surgery, you as the patient need to do your research and decide what surgery is best for you.  This business about my surgery is better than yours because everyone who had yours gained ALL their weight back is ridiculous.  You want to know why gastric bypass patients gain all their weight back?  And I’m not talking about 20 pounds, I’m talking about 100 pounds or more.  Gastric bypass patients who gain all their weight back do so because they ate it back on.  Let’s be real.   One does not gain over 100 pounds because they are following all the rules.   Gastric bypass is just a tool that one uses to lose weight, it’s not the fix.   ALL types of gastric bypass have the potential to give a person successful weight loss.  Really, it’s just a way to help a person have portion control and get a jump start on losing weight.

So I ask you all again, does nothing really taste as good as skinny feels?

 

Awkward

We all have those moments in life where we sit back and think, well that was awkward.   You know, when you walk up to a friend you haven’t seen in ages, congratulate them on their pregnancy, and realize they are just fat.  Or when you venture into the time suck that is Pinterest and see your friend’s pinboard full of wedding dresses and hair-do’s, congratulate them on their engagement, and realize your friend is still single.   AWKWARD

Certain situations are just awkward, there is no getting around it.  Really, I don’t even know if it’s awkward, maybe uncomfortable is a better word.   Take smelly office coworker.  Have you ever worked in an office with someone who smelled so bad that it made you gag?  I’m not talking about a simple I forgot to put my deodorant on today so I smell bad smell, but I’m talking about the person who probably hasn’t showered in a good 6 months and thinks it’s ok to wear the same pair of underwear over and over and over again even though they have a slight bladder control problem.  Yeah that person.   You think they have to know they smell bad, they just have to, so you never say a word.   You dry heave quietly when he/she walks by, but you go on about your business like everything is normal.  Why?  Why do you we do this?   To spare feelings?  Is it because you think this person has a medical condition that makes them smell bad and if you say something you will just make them feel worse?  Well if that was the case, you would know about it.  Smelly coworker would  be apologizing to you for the offensive smell that a Dr diagnosed, but come on.  You know it’s not a medical condition, it’s poor hygeine.   It’s awkward and uncomfortable to sit down with someone to say, hey you smell like rancid meat on a hot hot day, so we keep our mouths shut.   What if, just what if, smelly coworker really doesn’t realize he/she smells?   Smelly coworker hears from another coworker that B.O. doesn’t really stand for beautiful office and then comes back to you to question why you never said anything about the funky smell.  Awkward.   I guess either way you’re kind of screwed, but if you had a piece of spinach in your teeth wouldn’t you want someone to tell you?  Of course you would.

Ok, so maybe smelly coworker is just a little too much for you to handle, but I think you get the picture.  What do we do though if we find ourselves in those socially awkward situations?  How does one recover from going on and on about what a cute little girl the stranger at a grocery store has only to realize it’s a boy and that the stranger is really your bosses wife?  How do you handle it when your child is going through the penis/vagina/butt blurt outs in public phase or even better, when your child has found themself and I mean FOUND themself….in a church pew?   When you go to dinner at a relatives house and the meal is beyond bad, but you lie and say it was fantastic, so they invite you back next week for more of the same?  I guess until we find the answers we just continue to live red faced, nauseated by bad smells, and have vile tastes in our mouths from bad food.   Things could be worse.  You could be this chick.

 

 

 

What Women REALLY Think Men Think

We have all heard the jokes, read the stories, looked at the funny pictures, etc., of what women think and what men think.  Then we have the whole other world of what we women think you men think.  You want the truth?  Nothing.  We don’t think, we KNOW that you think absolutely nothing.  That or you think about food and/or sex.  We just like to make you believe that’s it’s this big thing and we are all upset and we told you A when really we meant XY and Z and clearly you should have known what we meant and now what are you thinking, you’re thinking about some new hot thing that just started working in your office, why aren’t you talking, you should communicate better…   Yeah, no.  We know full well that no matter what the circumstance, your minds are big giant blank thought bubbles.  We say, as you stare off into space, why are you thinking about that hot chick?  Of course you reply with, what hot chick?  We claim to not believe you knowing full well that as soon as we said “hot chick” your mind went to buffalo wings.  Except we walk around the house pissed for days clinging to some imaginary hot chick.  No we don’t fellas.   You want to know what we just did?   We bought ourselves a nice tasty snack of hot wings (Because after that thought was put in your head you craved them, again no you didn’t, WE DID.  We just made sure that you were on board and drove to get us some.)  We also bought ourselves some flowers, possibly chocolates, hell maybe ever a new outfit or pair of shoes.  See how that works gentlemen?  Those blank thought bubbles are filled with whatever the heck we see fit.

Notice that there is a woman in control

Honey, I need a new pair of shoes.  The heel is coming off this one.    You think, go to the shoe repair and get it fixed, but then quickly realize that’s not the right answer.  So, you either sit silent because you have no idea what the right answer is and you need us to fill your empty thought bubble or you’re smart for a second because this conversation seems vaguely familiar due to our excellent training and you say, you should buy yourself a new pair of shoes.   If you actually paid attention in I have a woman now so I’m in proper man school, you hand over cash or credit to boot.   If you have the balls to utter your original thought, you fail and you’re eventually going to get the right answer because we are going to see fit that you do.

FINE!  *big sigh* I’ll try to find a shoe repair.  Now we know at this stage you know we are pissed, but that your mind instantly went back to being blank because you don’t care and you think that’s the end of it.   BWAHAHAHAHAHA   We go about our business, loudly, move a few things around as we pretend to clean (you sick women really clean, lol), throw some food your way, and then institute the death stare.   You have zero idea why the hell we are looking at you like we want to skin you alive because after all that random crap we just did you truly forgot about our previous shoe convo and start to panic.   We tell you over and over again that nothing is wrong and we are not mad at anything.   This could go on for days if we let it.  Why don’t we just come right out and say what we want?  Well because that would be easy and it’s WAY more fun to screw with you guys.

I dare you to ask your significant other if this is true.   She will deny this and it will start WWIII.  You want to throw her for a loop and get your Master’s Degree today?  Go look in her closet, find out her shoe size and buy her a pair of shoes.  You want to do one even better?  Go look in her closet, find out her clothing size and pay attention to the brand, go to the mall and buy her an outfit.  BUT make sure the outfit is at least one, better off making it two, sizes too small.  Make sure you have a gift receipt.   You know what you just did?  You made her feel skinny and gave her an excuse to go shopping because she has to return what you just bought.  You’re welcome.  ; )

Ladies, don’t worry.  99.9999% of the men didn’t get past the first line.  Your secret is safe.  The men that actually finished this entire blog already know to just hand you their money in the first place.