Loaded Potato Soup

 

Look at me! Blogging two days in a row!!

This one will be a short one, I don’t have any pictures of the preperation of this soup, but it’s so easy it would almost be an insult to instruct you through it.

It’s great. I mean, look at it, creaminess, cheesyness, green onion, bacon.. All that yummyness in one bowl- can’t go wrong. And not to mention, it’s super easy to whip together. OH and one more thing- it’s made with 1% milk, so you won’t feel too guilty going for the second bowl you can’t resist ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Loaded Potato Soup

Prep Time: 25 mins | Cook Time: — | Servings: Yield: 4 servings | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 4 (6-ounce) red potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/4 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 bacon slices, halved
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 teaspoons thinly sliced green onions

Directions:

1. Pierce potatoes with a fork. Microwave on HIGH 13 minutes or until tender. Cut in half; cool slightly.

2. While potatoes cook, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sautรฉ 3 minutes. Add broth. Combine flour and 1/2 cup milk in measuring cup; add to pan then add the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk. Bring to a boil; stir often, being careful to not let the milk boil over. Cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream, salt, and pepper.

3. Arrange bacon on a paper towel on a microwave-safe plate. Cover with a paper towel; microwave on HIGH for 4 minutes. Crumble bacon.

4. Scoop potato into soup and discard potato skins. Coarsely mash potatoes into soup using a potato masher. Ladle soup into four bowls and top with cheese, green onions, and bacon.

Source: http://www.handletheheat.com/2010/10/lightened-loaded-potato-soup.html

 

One thing to keep in mind: Make sure you let the potatoes cool down before you scoop them into the soup. I didn’t, and it hurt a lot (imagine burning hot potato mash all over your hands).

 

Enjoy!

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Feta & Bacon Stuffed Chicken & Watermelon-Feta Arugula Salad

Well, Hello there.

It’s been a while, I know. That is what happens when I go to school, but on the brightside- I am HALF done my 5 year degree! Whoot whoot.

Since I haven’t blogged in forever, I thought I’d start back up again with an absolutely mouthwatering meal. Even thinking about it makes me hungry (& I just ate!)

One of the best things about this meal is that both parts, the chicken and the salad, use Feta so the block doesn’t sit in your fridge for a few months before you’re like “Oh crap! I forgot about the feta!” I served the feta in one block on top of the salad because that is how feta came on top of the Greek Salads in Greece, but feel free to crumble it.

 

The chicken is supossed to be stuffed, but my chicken breasts weren’t thick enough so I pounded them out some more and rolled the stuffing into them Cordon Blue style (Is it Blue or Bleu??)… anyway, they were delicious… messy to prepare, but yummy.

Before going to Greece I did not like feta at all. But with it being everywhere I had to eat it, and now I love it.

How to make it? If you really want to know…

Feta and Bacon Stuffed Chicken with Onion Mashed Potatoes

Prep Time: 30 Min | Cook Time: 35 Min | Servings: 3 chicken breasts | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 pound bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/8 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 (4 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 sweet onion (such as Vidaliaยฎ), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned but still soft. Reserve the bacon grease in the skillet, and cool the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate. Once cool, mix the bacon together with the feta cheese, 3 tablespoons of sour cream, oregano, and black pepper in a small bowl; set aside.

 

Lay a chicken breast flat onto your work surface. Use the tip of a sharp boning or paring knife to cut a 2-inch pocket in the chicken breast. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts. Spoon the bacon mixture into the pockets. Pour the flour, egg, and bread crumbs into separate, shallow dishes. Gently press the chicken breasts into the flour to coat. Dip each into the beaten egg, then press into bread crumbs.

 

Reheat the bacon grease over medium heat. Brown the chicken breasts on both sides in the hot fat, about 2 minutes per side. Reserve the bacon grease in the pan. Place the breasts on a baking dish, and bake in the preheated oven until the chicken is no longer pink and the filling is hot, 20 to 25 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

 

Meanwhile, place the potatoes into a large pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain.

 

While the potatoes are boiling, cook the onion in the remaining bacon grease over medium heat until very tender and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Once the potatoes are done, mash together with the onion, butter, and remaining 3 tablespoons of sour cream. Serve the chicken breasts accompanied by the mashed potatoes.

Nutritional Info:

Amount Per Serving Calories: 1498 | Total Fat: 84.2g | Cholesterol: 360mg Powered by ESHA Nutrient Database

Source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Feta-and-Bacon-Stuffed-Chicken-with-Onion-Mashed-Potatoes/Detail.aspx?ms=1&prop25=58580727&prop26=DailyDish&prop27=2011-05-09&prop28=DailyRecipe&prop29=FullRecipePhoto&me=1

 

You may have noticed that the recipe has a side dish with it… I just ignored that. This time. I’ll probably try it with the chicken next time… Maybe next week actually.

Instead of those potatoes I made a salad. A delicious salad. Who does not love watermelon? I think in my entire lifetime I have heard one person actually say “I don’t like watermelon,” and I didn’t know them, it was at work.

The first time I encountered a watermelon salad was at a restraunt in Sudbury called Ripe, and it was instant love. Move over Buttermilk Nectarine Salad, there’s a new guy in town. It is so SO so refreshing, I think about it sometimes, just ‘pop’ in my head when I’m hungry but watermelon and feta are, unfortunately, not items I keep on hand. Maybe I should.

The salad is supper easy to whip together, the thing that took me the longest was cutting the cucumber because I bought a normal cucumber and not a seedless one- but, if you buy the correct cucumber it would take only as long as it takes to chop up a watermelon (unless you bought it pre-sliced, which I do not advise because it is a money scheme).

Another, yes, another good thing about this salad is that the left over watermelon can be used for breakfast or lunch the next day, or for a nice refreshing after school snack for kids (or college/university students!!)

Watermelon & Feta Salad Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes | Servings: 4 Servings | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1โ„4 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1-lb piece seedless watermelon
  • 1โ„2 seedless cucumber, sliced into half moons
  • 3 cups baby arugula
  • 3 oz feta cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, lime juice, and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Add the onion and let sit, tossing occasionally, for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, remove and discard the watermelon rind. Cut the watermelon into thin 2-in. pieces.

3. Add the watermelon, cucumber and arugula to the bowl of onions and gently toss to combine. Top with the feta.

Source: http://www.womansday.com/Recipes/Watermelon-Feta-Salad-Recipe.html

So simple. So yummy, with the chicken, a great meal!!!

Mac n’ Cheese Soup

 

Most people cringe when I say I’m making “Mac n Cheese Soup”… but it’s actually very yummy. Or so I think, my brother doesn’t agree but he lives 4 hours away so I don’t really care.

 

I have decided to blog instead of putting away laundry and unpacking from my trip down south for the weekend. This is my second bought of procrastination- my first was heading to the mall today with my old roommate who moved back up to Sudbury while I was visiting my parents.

My mall trip was very exciting. I got some undies from La Senza, which should have ended up costing me $57 and I paid $1.17!! I had a card that they scratched at the cashier, and it could have been $5, $10, $50, or $500. And you know how it is, it’s always $5… Well, MINE was $50! Using that, plus my prestige card, I ended up paying $1.17!! Gotta love saving money… Which I then spent on other things ๐Ÿ™‚

Going back to the soup. I made this last winter for my parents and brother, then a few weeks ago for Chris. This time I made it I used half Almond Milk and half normal milk,ย and couldn’t even tell the difference.

The soup is pretty much just a cheddar soup with macaroni noodles in it. Can’t go wrong there, not to mention my love for classic meals with a twist ๐Ÿ™‚

Mac and Cheese Soup

Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 25 mins | Servings: 4 serving | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • Kosher salt
  • 4 oz elbow macaroni
  • Cooking spray
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 shallots
  • 1 carrot, cut into 1-in pieces
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into 1-in pieces
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 3/4 cups fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
  • 11/4 cup 2% milk
  • 6 oz shredded cheese (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Bring medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook, drain.

Mince the shallots, carrot, and celery in a food processor. Mist a saucepan with cooking spray. Add the vegetables and cook over medium-high heat until softened, 4-5 mins. Add the flour and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Gradually stir in broth and bring to a boil; cook, stirring, until thickened, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add the milk, cheeses, and macaroni and stir until cheeses melt. Season with pepper. Serve.

And this ^^ is some Summer Sparkle, which I found in one of my MANY MANY cookbooks. It’s Grapefruit juice, OJ Concentrate, Lemonade Concentrate, and Sprite ๐Ÿ™‚ Yummy yummy.

 

 

Pecan Crusted Chicken Strips & Cucumber Salad

These Pecan Crusted Chicken Strips are so very yummy and easy to make. And SO much healthier than the frozen chicken strip variety. I made them once when I visited my parents.

I really enjoy going home and making dinner for my family. It’s almost like going home and saying, “Hey look what I can do!!” Looking back now that I have been out of my parents house for nearly two years there are only a few meals that my mum would make that stand out to me Monster Brains (tortelini in a creamy cheese sauce), Curry, and a few others. My family ate very generic ‘family friendly’ meals and, don’t get me wrong I loved dinner, but I enjoy having different meals week after week and trying new meals.

So now, whenever I go home I make meals that are ‘family friendly’ with a twist. A meal we had often enough when I was younger was chicken strip wraps. Frozen Chicken strips, baked, and used as the protein in wraps for dinner.

So one week when I was visiting home, I made Pecan Crusted chicken strips. They were really good, so the other week I made them for Chris.

When I made them for my family, I served them with ‘bacon fries’ I.E. French fries that have been tossed in Bacon Salt, which I saw in a food network magazine- Coarse salt mixed with crispy bacon that has been food processed to the same consistency as the salt.

When I made them for Chris I took a healthier approach to sides, and make Cucumber Salad. From Canadian Living.

These chicken strips are something I will make for my kids, when I have some, and when they think back to meals they had as kids they will remember Mum’s Pecan Crusted Chicken Strip wraps. But I won’t make then too too often, because I don’t like repeating recipes too often. I like making new things every week.

Pecan-Crusted Chicken Fingers

Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 14 mins | Servings: 6 serving | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin and cut into strips
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup panko

Directions:

In shallow dish, whack together flour, 1 tsp chili powder, salt and pepper.

In Separate bowl, beat eggs.

In another shallow dish, place pecans, panko, and remaining chili powder.

One at a time, dip chicken strips into flour, then egg, then pecan mixture.

Bake on parchment paper lined baking sheet at 425 until golden and no longer pink inside, about 25 minutes.

 

Cucumber Salad:

  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) liquid honey
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) hot pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced diagonally
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

In large bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, sesame oil, hot pepper flakes and salt. Add cucumber and mix until coated; set aside in refrigerator until ready to serve. Stir in green onion.

Jalepeno Popper Grilled Cheese

This post is not going to contain recipes. I just want to show off a different way to enjoy classics.

The first is a Jalepeno Popper Grilled Cheese.ย A different take on a classic grilled cheese sandwich. I htink I actually might have posted the Jalepeno Popper sandwiches before, since Chris LOVES them.

They taste just like a Jalepeno Poppers, the appy. You crush nachoes and put them in the sandwich, just to give them a little crunch. Yumm.

 

The second classic you can enjoy with a twist is Sloppy Joes… on a tortilla.

Make your favorite Sloppy Joe mixture, slop onto tortillas and sprinkle with cheese. Voila.

How HOW simple, and since you use your favorite Sloppy Joe, it’s always going to be delicious.

BBQ Pulled Chicken Lettuce Cups & Apple Crisp Cups

They look gross, they look really really gross. But they didn’t taste gross, and that’s what counts.

 

So, yeah. It looks a little unappetizing. But the flavour was so nice. I found this recipe while stumbling, only they were on buns as sliders, and I put the meat mixture on lettuce to make lettuce wraps- which is something I just do every now and then for a healthier take on certain meals.

One of the best things about this recipe is that it can be transformed easily into a SLOW COOKER recipe. I love slow cooker recipes, it’s so easy to put everything in the slowcooker on days that I know are going to be busier than usual, and this recipe converted easily.

 

Shredded BBQ Chicken Sliders

Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 10 mins | Servings: 10-12 Sliders | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 1 ยฝ Cups ketchup
  • 3 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 4 Tablespoons worstershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ยฝ Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

 

Directions:

Combine all ingredients into a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring often. Reduce heat to low and stir in shredded chicken. Let simmer

Notes:

Add a chipotle pepper in adobe sauce, minced, to make chipotle pulled chicken sandwiches

Source: http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2kXE13/picky-palate.com/2008/09/04/slide-on-over

To make this a slow cooker recipe just put all of the ingredients into a slow cooker, replacing the cooked chicken with frozen chicken breasts. Cook on low for about 6 hours. Take out chicken breasts, shred, and stir back into the slow cooker pot. Serve hot.

Chris and I dressed ours up with shredded cheese, ranch, and Franks hot sauce. Yumm Yumm.

 

After eating the ugly but yummy BBQ Chicken wraps, I made Apple Crisp Cups.

There isn’t much to be said about these, other than that my apartment is awful for getting butter the right temperature for making Crisp topping. My kitchen is way to hot to keep the butter out, but the frige is to cold so it solidifies. It’s a frustration I am forced to deal with and makes me want to go buy Apple Crisp instead of making it. But other than that, it is such an easy dessert to make. And making the Apple crisp into muffin tins makes portion control all too easy. Just pop one of these into the microwave for half a minute, then add some ice cream and enjoy.

 

Apple Crisp Cups

Prep Time: 45 Min | Cook Time: 20 Min | Servings: 4 dozen apple crisp cups | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 3 large McIntosh apples – peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 4 12-cup mini-muffin tins.

 

Mix apples, water, white sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon together in a saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Simmer until apples are partially cooked, about 5 minutes; remove from heat.

 

Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl; cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Place a heaping tablespoon of the crust mixture into a mini muffin cup, and press it into the cup so that it covers the bottom and pushes up the sides of the cup. Make the crust go all the way to the top of the little muffin cup, and patch any holes with more crust mixture. There will be crust mixture left over. Place about 2 teaspoons of apple filling in the crust. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of the remaining crust mixture on the filling.

 

Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Nutritional Info:

Amount Per Serving Calories: 109 | Total Fat: 6.1g | Cholesterol: 15mg Powered by ESHA Nutrient Database

Source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Apple-Crisp-Cups/Detail.aspx

Lasagna Cups & 30 Things about me.

Last year I attempted to do this “30 Day Facebook Challenge” which I got to day 14 of.
Here is what was supossed to happen. Post a picture for each day that goes with the description:

Day 01 – A recent picture of you and 15 interesting facts about yourself.
Day 02 – The meaning behind your Facebook status.
Day 03 – A picture of you and your friends.
Day 04 – A habit that you wish you didn’t have.
Day 05 – A picture of somewhere you’ve been to.
Day 06 – Favorite super hero and why.
Day 07 – A picture of someone/something that has the biggest impact on you.
Day 08 – A picture that makes you laugh.
Day 09 – Something you’re proud of in the past few days.
Day 10 – Songs you listen to when you are Happy, Sad, Bored, Hyped, Mad.
Day 11 – A picture of something you hate.
Day 12 – A picture of something you love.
Day 13 – A picture of something you crave alot.
Day 14 – A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without.
Day 15 – A picture of something you want to do before you die.
Day 16 – A picture of someone who inspires you.
Day 17 – A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently.
Day 18 – Nicknames you have; why do you have them.
Day 19 – Put your iPod on shuffle: First 10 songs that play.
Day 20 – A picture of somewhere you’d love to travel.
Day 21 – Someone you see yourself marrying/being with in the future.
Day 22 – A picture of something you wish you were better at.
Day 23 – A picture of your favorite book.
Day 24 – A picture of something you wish you could change.
Day 25 – A picture of your day.
Day 26 – A picture of you last year and now, how have you changed since then?
Day 27 – A picture of yourself and a family member.
Day 28 – A picture of something you’re afraid of.
Day 29 – A picture that can always make you smile.
Day 30 – A picture of someone you miss.

So… since my post for today food-wise is going to be super short, I am going to relive the 30 day facebook challenge.

 

This is what I did last year:

Day 01 – A recent picture of you and 15 interesting facts about yourself.

1- I can touch my tongue to my nose
2- I grew up in Alberta
3- I have a ridiculously large family, and love every single member of it.
4- I live with my boyfriend
5- I am only 19 and lived by myself in an apartment in a city I barely knew for 5 months
6- I get really excited about historical stuff
7- I am a comic book geek.
8- I don’t have cable
9- In 8th grade I peirced my own ear.
10- I’m addicted to painting my nails, even though I always chip them
11- I play online RPG’s
12- I have 3 sets of Shampoo & Conditioner and rotate between them
13- I can easily spend more time in Chapters than in a mall. And that’s saying something.
14- I LOVE halloween.
15- I work at a Golf & Country Club, and have never played golf or curled, ever.

Day 02 – The meaning behind your Facebook status.

I posted a picture of the Alice in Wonderland Tea Party because my status was

“If everybody minded their

own business, the world

would go around a great

deal faster than it does”

I love Alice in Wonderland, and this is one of my favorite quotes. That crazy Duchess knows her shit.

Day 03 – A picture of you and your friends.

I posted a picture of my girlfriends from Highschool. We called ourselves the Sextuplets ๐Ÿ™‚
Day 04 – A habit that you wish you didn’t have.

Shopping, shopping, and more shopping…. I shop a lot.
Day 05 – A picture of somewhere you’ve been to.

I put up a picture of the Calgary Stampede. I grew up in Calgary, so I have been to the Stampede many times.
Day 06 – Favorite super hero and why.

Ironman. My reason? He is awesome.
Day 07 – A picture of someone/something that has the biggest impact on you.

Family. I love my family.
Day 08 – A picture that makes you laugh.

A picture my friend took of herself with my camera where I am behind her pushing her boobs up so it looks like she has clevage… but you can see my hands LOL
Day 09 – Something you’re proud of in the past few days.

A picture of Chicken Fajita Lettuce Wraps ๐Ÿ™‚
Day 10 – Songs you listen to when you are Happy, Sad, Bored, Hyped, Mad.

Lady Gaga- anything Lady Gaga.
Day 11 – A picture of something you hate.

Peas. Yuck.
Day 12 – A picture of something you love.

My boyfriend, Chris and my brother, Addam.
Day 13 – A picture of something you crave alot.

McDonalds Soft Serve Ice Cream.
Day 14 – A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without.

Chris.

 

This Year (without the pictures!):

Day 01 – A recent picture of you and 15 interesting facts about yourself.

I’ll borrow some that are still true…

1- I can touch my tongue to my nose
2- I grew up in Alberta
3- I have a ridiculously large family, and love every single member of it.
4- I live with my boyfriend
5- I plan on getting a PhD

6- I get really really excited about historical stuff
7- I am a comic book geek.
8- Even though I’m Canadian, I know all the lyrics to the American Dad theme song, and belt them out when the show starts ๐Ÿ™‚

9- In 8th grade I peirced my own ear.
10- My cabinets are perfectly organized with all the labels facing out, and I know if something gets moved.

11- I play online RPG’s
12- Every summer I watch the entire Sex and the City series, start to finish… In about a week.

13- Commercials make me cry, all the time.

14- I LOVE halloween. I start to plan my costumes and recipe for the family party on November 1st.
15- I want to travel to Hoboken NJ just to go to Carlo’s Bake Shop (LOVE Cake Boss)

Day 02 – The meaning behind your Facebook status.

My status is from last night and explains itself: “Everyone in my family seems to be posting what they had for dinner…. so, Mac n Cheese Soup. Nothing special, but easy to make and a cool twist on a comfort food classic”

Day 03 – A picture of you and your friends.

I would probably post a photo of my old room-mate and I.

Day 04 – A habit that you wish you didn’t have.

Still shopping too much. It’s a problem I have, I have to hide my VISA so that I don’t max it online.

Day 05 – A picture of somewhere you’ve been to.

Greece- I would put a picture of Santorini.

Day 06 – Favorite super hero and why.

Still Ironman. Why? Many reasons, but mainly because he is awesome.

Day 07 – A picture of someone/something that has the biggest impact on you.

Family, always my family.

Day 08 – A picture that makes you laugh.

Day 09 – Something you’re proud of in the past few days.

Organizing my closet- it’s a 2 day mission.

Day 10 – Songs you listen to when you are Happy, Sad, Bored, Hyped, Mad.

Taylor Swift

Day 11 – A picture of something you hate.

Mess.

Day 12 – A picture of something you love.

Sunglasses!!

Day 13 – A picture of something you crave alot.

McDonalds Soft Serve Ice Cream.

Day 14 – A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without.

Christopher. He means everything to me.

Day 15 – A picture of something you want to do before you die.

O man. I have no idea how to answer this. There are so many things I want to do before I die. Get married, buy a house, decorate that house, have children, host children themed birthday parties, have a career, host dinner parties, cry when my kids grow up and move out, grow old with Christopher, retire somewhere beautiful and have a big garden… But I guess one thing out of the ordinary that I want to do before I die is vacation in Italy and go to Verona, and see Juliet’s Balcony.

Day 16 – A picture of someone who inspires you.

There is no single person who inspires me. Every part of my life is inspired by a different person who has impacted me in a certain way.

Day 17 – A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently.

Money and Time. Those two things pretty much dictate everything during the summer. Come fall… School.

Day 18 – Nicknames you have; why do you have them.

I have two main nicknames that I will admit. The first is Nickers. Right now there is only one person who calls me Nickers all the time, and that is my Auntie Becca. When I was younger, most of my family and my closest friends called me this. How did the nickname Nickers come about? My Dad’s side of the family is VERY VERY British, and my Nanny pronounces words that end with an A as an ER, so Veronica is Veronicer, and eventually the fmaily just cut off the Vero and just called me Nickers.

My other common nickname is V-Ron. Why? I’m not sure… I guess it’s jsut quicker and easier to say than Veronica. My Dad and Brother started it, and now most people call me V-Ron. (Or just V).

Day 19 – Put your iPod on shuffle: First 10 songs that play.

It’s 11:20pm, I have no idea where my Ipod is… I’m not getting up.

Day 20 – A picture of somewhere you’d love to travel.

Egypt.

Day 21 – Someone you see yourself marrying/being with in the future.

Chris.

Day 22 – A picture of something you wish you were better at.

Working out.

Day 23 – A picture of your favorite book.

Hmm. My favorite book? That’s difficult. I have different levels of favorite books..

Favorite Series = Harry Potter, growing up my Mum would read HP out loud to the family and the books became a big part of my family, so they will forever be my favorite series.

Favorite Book for a long long time= Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.

Book that I was forced to read for school and have since then gone back and reread, and absolutely adored= Atwood’s Oryx & Crake.

Day 24 – A picture of something you wish you could change.

Parents who want children but can’t have them. This situation breaks my heart.

Day 25 – A picture of your day.

Today? Organizing Closet, doing laundry.

Day 26 – A picture of you last year and now, how have you changed since then?

Physically, I’m a little more round in the middle, my hair is a bit frizzier, and I have a lot more worry wrinkles (and I’m only 20!!)

Pictures can’t show the changes that I have gone through in the last year.

Day 27 – A picture of yourself and a family member.

I would put the picture I took of My aunt, my God daughter, and myself at lunch a few weeks ago. It’s an adorable photo.

Day 28 – A picture of something you’re afraid of.

I am one of those people who have many irrational fears. I have a phobia of Balloons and I am terrified of open waters- terrified. Also, I am afraid of disorder- I don’t like it when things are unorganized or when I don’t know what is happening.

Day 29 – A picture that can always make you smile.

Day 30 – A picture of someone you miss.

Here is where I would put the picture of my ‘sextuplets’. I miss them like crazy!

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Alright. So. There is some insight into my life and how I feel at this very moment in time.

Lets get back to the food: Since it is what really matters ๐Ÿ™‚
As the title of this post stated, At some point in time last month I made Mini Lasagna Cups.


They were enjoyable, a cool way to present a traditional food. And, they were great portion sizes for just Chris and I because we never would have gotten through an entire normal Lasagna. Having said that- They weren’t anything special. I prefer a good sloppy lasagna. Which these were not- I’m sure with a little tweeking I can make them sloppier and more like a good old fasioned Lasagna. This is definatly a recipe that needs to be adjusted to the person making them- Every family has a lasagna recipe they love, and once I find a way to incorporate it into the cup portions, this will become a popular item on the menu.

… Incorporating Chris and I’s favorite lasagna into the cups might be a little more difficult than it seems because we don’t actually make the lasagna- it is from the Curuso Club in Sudbury (Spelling?). They make the BEST lasagna, when Chris’s family has big family dinners, sometimes they order a lasgna from the Crusoe (spelling?) Club and it is just DELICIOUS!

Here is the recipe I followed for the Lasagna Cups:

Cupcake Lasagna

Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 15 mins | Servings: 24 | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 1 package gyoza wrappers
  • 1 small container parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1 medium package mozarella cheese (we used aged cheese but you can use fresh if you like)
  • 1 jar marinara sauce or homemade marinara (about 24 oz)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced small
  • 1/2 medium eggplant, sliced very thin and diced into 1 inch strips
  • 1 cup diced crimini mushrooms
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • fresh basil
  • olive oil
  • Italian herbs (rosemary is great)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Sautรฉ the onions and eggplant in olive oil over medium-high heat until both are tender. Add mushrooms and garlic and continue to stir and cook until the vegetables are soft and slightly browned. Season with rosemary, salt and pepper.

Prepare your cupcake tins by coating them with a light layer of olive oil or unflavored cooking spray. Drop a small dollop of marinara in each cup. Press a gyoza wrapper into the cup, pushing down until it fits snugly into the bottom of the cup and the sides of the wrapper curl inward. Top with grilled veggie mixture, shredded mozarella, and more marinara (remember not to

overflow the cups). Seal the cup with another gyoza wrapper, tucking it in as you did with the first. Top with a dab of marinara and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

Bake at 375 until the gyoza wrappers are browned and the lasagna is bubbly. Remove from the tin with a spoon, and top with a curl of basil. Enjoy!

Source: http://kristinandparisa.blogspot.com/2011/06/cupcake-lasagna.html

๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ –> Still excited about Paprika!

Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce & Microwave Smashed Potatoes

My favorite pop in the entire world is Dr. Pepper. Actually, I hate pop unless it is Dr. Pepper. So, when I stumbled upon a recipe for Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce, I HAD to make it and as soon as possible.

And so, it happened, and it happened within 48 hours of me finding the recipe.

 

But, in the end it didn’t meet my extremely high expectations. This is mostly my fault because I imagined heaven in a sauce. It was good, but not great.

The BBQ sauce was extremely tangy!

I think it would have been better with Chicken, it tastes like a chicken sauce not a pork sauce, but I had defrosted Pork so that is what we had it with.

 

 

Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 1 hr 35 mins | Servings: Makes 2-3 cups | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups Dr. Pepper
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes, about 15 ounces
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

1 Heat the vegetable oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sautรฉ for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.

2 When the onions are just beginning to brown, add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine. Simmer for 30 minutes.

3 Pour the sauce into a blender or food processor and purรฉe it until it is smooth. (Note that if you are using a blender, either work in batches, filling the blender no more than a third of the way at a time with the hot sauce, or slowly add the sauce while the blender is running on low speed.)

4 Put the sauce into a saucepan, bring to a simmer and continue to simmer, uncovered, for 1-2 hours.

The sauce will store for several weeks in the fridge.
Source: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/dr_pepper_barbecue_sauce/

 


What we had with the Dr. Pepper Pork Chops was ‘Microwave Smashed Potatoes’ which were So so SO easy to make, and tasted as though I had slaved over the oven to make the real deal.ย They look like normal potatoes, I pressed them into a bowl and served them in neat little piles because I think they look fancier that way ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

Microwave Smashed Potatoes

Prep Time: — | Cook Time: 20 MINUTES | Servings: 4 | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 4 (6-ounce) baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Place potato pieces in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; cut a 1-inch slit in center of plastic wrap. Microwave at HIGH 10 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes. Add sour cream and remaining ingredients to bowl; mash with a potato masher.

 

SOUTHWEST VARIATION: Omit sour cream and chives; decrease milk to 2 tablespoons and salt to 1/4 teaspoon. Add 3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt; 1 tablespoon chopped chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce; and 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1 cup). CALORIES 206; FAT 1g (sat 0.6g); SODIUM 236mg

 

ROASTED GARLIC VARIATION: Note: You can find roasted garlic cloves at the salad bar in many grocery stores. Omit sour cream and chives; increase milk to 3/4 cup. Add 1/4 cup coarsely chopped roasted garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1 cup). CALORIES 223; FAT 2.9g (sat 0.7g); SODIUM 329mg

 

BACON AND CHEDDAR VARIATION: Decrease salt to 1/4 teaspoon. Add 1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded reduced-fat extra-sharp cheddar cheese and 1 slice center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled; mash with a potato masher to desired consistency. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1 cup). CALORIES 254 (0% from fat); FAT 6.1g (sat 3.7g); SODIUM 280mg

Nutritional Info:

Amount per serving Calories: 225 Fat: 4.1g Saturated fat: 2.5g Monounsaturated fat: 1.1g Polyunsaturated fat: 0.2g Protein: 5.6g Carbohydrate: 42.6g Fiber: 2.8g Cholesterol: 13mg Iron: 0.8mg Sodium: 333mg Calcium: 78mg

Source: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/microwave-smashed-potatoes-50400000112982/
That night Chris and I had the Bacon & Cheddar Variation, but I have since then made the normal ones using only 1 potato as a lunch with some left-over gravy and it was great! (Not a very healthy lunch, but yummy!)

Overall, the Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce was great to try but next time I will be making changes to it just using this recipe as a guide line, and the potatoes were super easy and yummy- an easy and quick side for a busy day =D

Buffalo Chicken Burgers

ย ย ย ย ย ย ย ย Alright, so, what feels like forever ago Chris and I had Buffalo Chicken Burgers for dinner. We used pre-breaded chicken filet thingy’s from Janes and Dipped them in our favorite Hot Sauce. We didn’t invent the hot sauce, but we use it all the time.

How to make the hot sauce:

  • Butter
  • Hot Sauce, about 1.5X the amount of butter (We like it hot so we use a little more than that)
  • White Vinegar, just a splash

Melt butter, mix in hot sauce and white vinegar. Easy as pie.

It was a pretty easy main for dinner that night, so to dress it up a little I mixed together a Strawberry Spinach Salad with a homemade Poppyseed Dressing.

The poppyseed dressing was really yummy. Here is the recipe, I’m not sure where it comes from, I got it from Chris’s mom.

Poppyseed Dressing for Strawberry Spinach Salad:

  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Rice Vinegar
  • 1 Tsp Onion, grated
  • 1/2 Tsp Dry Mustard
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Canola Oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Poppyseeds

Combine sugar & vinegar in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Add grated onions, mustard & salt. Whisk in oil until well blended, then stir in poppy seeds. Pour dressing in a jar, cover & refrigerate until ready to use. Add about 1/3 dressing to salad. Excellent when chilled for about an hour.

The Salad was great and light on the side of the spicy Buffalo Chicken Burgers.

June Cooking

 

Okay. I suck at blogging. Hopefully now that my trip is out of the way I can catch up and get back to normal. But, this post is not about my trip (which was AWESOME), that will come later.

This post is about all the meals I made in June so that I can catch up a bit.

 

So this ^^ is a low fat Alfredo dish that I got from a Food Network magazine, google it. I didn’t like it very much, it was too thick and pasty in my mouth, but that can be easily fixed… If I make it again I will add some more liquid to make it a bit creamier.

Turkey Quinoa Chili, I think I have posted about this before. It’s SO SO yummy. I hate beans so I eat around them, but other than that, I love this chili- such a rich flavour.

Curry Beef Stir-Fry.. I did NOT like it… at all! I think I might have done something wrong, but I can’t figure out what. It was bland, just gross. I got the recipe from Canadian Living, which usually means it will be delicious, but this one just didn’t work for me.

Darth Taters. Eat, Shrink, and Be Merry. Anything from that book it bound to be good. Chris’s Aunt made these when we went to dinner May long weekend… and we fell in love with them so when we had company we made them.

To go with the Darth Taters, we made Katie Lee’s Logan County Hamburgers: Think grilled cheese making the woo-hoo with hamburgers. Yepp, that good.

These did not work. They were on my list of things to do this summer, and they did not work ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
They are supossed to be Turtle Feudge Chocolate Chip cookies… but they are smushy mud puddle cookies. As Chris just referred to them: “The Suck Cookies”

Chicken Fajita Lettuce Wraps, from 200 under 200. Love that cookbook. Healthy version of Fajitas, how can you not love them. Cucumber Salad from Canadian Living, restored faith in the fact that Canadian Living does not indeed suck ass.

Teriyaki Pork Chops, I made the sauce myself ๐Ÿ™‚ Got the recipe from Healthy College Cookbook.

Yummynummy.

Superby Herby Sauce Exposed Pizza’s from 200 under 200. A light dinner for a hot day ๐Ÿ™‚ Served with Raspberry Poppyseed Salad.

Sweet Chili Thai Chicken…. Just chicken breasts covered and cooked in a sweet chili thai sauce. Easy, Quick, Yummy…. nummy.

 

 

Oh thank goodness that is all out of the way. Now, I can go make todays dinner ๐Ÿ™‚ โค