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Showing posts from August, 2010

Chrsitian is doing great!

Soccer season is winding down. The playoff tournament has started and Christian has 2, possibly 3, games left to play.  He scored his first goal on Monday evening and helped his team to a 3-0 win.  It was really exciting for him and we took him and his friend, Brandon for DQ icecream afterwards.  A little treat is ok occasionally. 

Throughout the summer Christian has played 2 games a week and has really enjoyed it.  He has improved in his play, as have the other players on his team.  One thing that I think is very noticeable about Christian now compared to the beginning of the season is his running.  He can run faster and run harder without having to stop for a breather.  Sure, he still gets tired, but so does his teammates.  Christian is now more conditioned and most importantly...getting healthy!

Philly Steak & Cheese

When we lived in Virginia we occasionally would go to this little place in Norfolk that made the best Philly Steak & Cheese Subs.  We'd get a foot long sub piled high with meat and oh boy it was delicious!  We made our own for dinner last night that were very yummy!

I picked up a 3-pack of red, yellow & orange peppers and Millard picked up some local onions from a road side veggie stand. I would've liked to have fresh mushrooms too, but I had to settle for canned from the pantry.  I sliced everything and put it on the Wolfgang Puck Grill and fried it in a little olive oil.

We had bought the frozen Philly-style steak meat at M&M Meat Shops.  Millard put it on the grill, poured a little water over it and covered it with a pan to cook and steam it.  He seasoned it with a dry mix that I will post the recipe for below.

Then he added the already cooked pepper/onion/mushroom mix.  We didn't have any mozzarella cheese on hand so we improvised and used with cheese strings…

Mexi-Mozza Burger

Burgers were on our menu for tonight, but I wanted to try something different.  I had a little burger recipe booklet from "All You Need is Cheese" with a Mexi-Mozza in it that I decided to try.  I had the ingredients for the patties, but didn't have the recommended garnish, but I figured I'd give it a go anyway.  I served it with side salad.  I always have a fresh supply of lettuce from my dad's garden and my uncle's garden. 

Before we started eating healthier our burgers used to be massive.  This time I broke out my scales and measured out six 4oz patties...a much more reasonable portion size.  The recipe called for Salsa which made the burgers a little wetter than usual... and made it a little tougher to keep them from falling apart when cooking.  The recipe also called for 1 tablespoon of chili powder and 1 teaspoon of ground cumin which as you can imagine was very strong tasting in the burgers.  As I already said we didn't have the suggested garnishes…

Chocolate Pudding with Strawberries

Today was grocery day.  I shopped the sales fliers and came home with some lovely looking strawberries.  I knew they would go great with the Fat Free Jello Pudding that we already had in the pantry.  I prepared the pudding with 1% milk and spooned 1/2 cup into each dessert dish.  I washed and sliced the strawberries and layered them on top and lastly added a heaping tablespoon of cool whip on top.  A very simple and low fat, low cal dessert and oh boy was it ever delicious!  For dinner we had Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Coleslaw.  We tried Renee's Salad Dressing for the first time tonight and it was very good.  Overall our meal was about 4 carbs which was perfect!

Picnic at Cape Spear

There's nothing like eating a good meal in the great outdoors!  A couple of weeks ago we packed up our picnic basket and headed to Cape Spear National Historic Park for dinner at The Most Easterly Point in North America. 

We don't use my picnic basket very often but I love the darn thing.  Millard bought it for me at a store in Lynnhaven Mall, Virginia Beach.  I've had it for maybe 10 years, but it is still in great condition.  It actually came with its own cutlery, plates, cups and salt & pepper shaker, but I hadn't taken the time wash them all up after taking it out storage therefore I used real forks, paper plates and canned coke and disposable cups.

For the meal we had chicken and veggies.  I'm sure you heard of Beer Can Chicken, well we did Diet Coke Can Chicken.  Same idea, just a different beverage.  We filled up Rubbermaid containers with the chicken, the veggies, and cantaloupe.  We sat at the picnic table just next to the parking lot and had a…

Pizza Burger Lunch

We have been really working on balancing out lunch for the kids.  It used to be so much easier to open a can of  Chef Boyardee or throw some chicken nuggets & french fries in the oven.  I have learned though that making a better lunch is not all that difficult.  I was just stuck in a rut but now, with some lazy day exceptions, I have done a full 360!

This is one of Christian's favorite lunches:  Pizza Burger (this one I used Turkey Pepperoni), Celery Sticks... and well the applesauce is not necessarily his fav, but he manages.   It was served with Milk.

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

Ok, so it seems as if I have a little bit of a 'stuffed' theme happening here.  A few weeks back we made Crab Stuffed Mushrooms.  I had found some nice mushroom caps ideal to stuff and couldn't pass them up.  Christian, being the seafood fan that he is, wanted to stuff them with crab.  I cannot remember exactly how we made them, but I do know that we used canned crab.   They turned out good, but next time we will use 'lump crab' to get more crab flavor.

I just wanted to share this photo of Christian stuffing the mushrooms.  As you can see he really enjoys helping in the kitchen and he is also trying to piece together his own recipe ideas.  He even made his own soup one evening!

Ground Turkey-Stuffed Peppers

They say that ground turkey is a great healthier alternative to ground beef, but I thought that it would be bland and tasteless.  I was wrong!  A few weeks ago I picked up some pretty red peppers and had a hankering for stuffed peppers.  Yes, a hankering!  And with trying to stay on track I picked up a package of ground turkey to stuff them with. 

I knew that I had to give it a burst of flavor so I grated some carrot and diced up some peppers, onions, and a little garlic. The butter was calling my name, but I kept my composure and sauteed them in a little olive oil.  I removed them from the pan and put the ground turkey in there with a little freshly ground pepper and oregano.  When it was about finished I put the sauteed veggies back in to blend with the meat.  I took a little taste test and I was pleased with the flavor.

It was time to put them together now, but I was putting cooked meat into a raw peppers so I nuked the peppers first in the microwave for a few minutes to cook them …

Spinach-Stuffed Pizza

Around here we are known for our Saturday night pizza... especially during hockey season.  We usually fill the pizza up with extra cholesterol and fat and have the family in, but last weekend we tried a different approach.  Millard had seen a recipe for Spinach-Stuffed Pizza in an "American Heart Association" cookbook.  He adapted the recipe to a creamed spinach filling.  It was hard for us to make a pizza without the greasy pepperoni and oodles of cheese, but we did it!  And it was delicious.

He made a double batch his own whole wheat dough, one for the bottom layer of the pizza and one to place on top layer of the pizza... just like a pie.  The dough was a half-and-half mix of whole wheat flour and white flour.  I do not have his recipe to share at the moment, but below you will find the one from the AHA cookbook. 

Spinach-Stuffed Pizza

The Filling

600g Frozen Spinach (you could use fresh spinach)
1 can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese(We used Complime…

Chili-Lime Grilled Salmon

Christian love salmon!  While pizza or burgers are usually an 8 year old's favorite meal, Christian always chooses seafood, especially salmon.  So last week I  decided to try a new salmon recipe on the grill.  Normally we smoke a whole salmon with a brown sugar rub.  It's always delicious, but it was time for a change along with smaller portions.  I found this "Chili-Lime Grilled Salmon" recipe in an old cooking magazine of mine that sounded good.

I served the salmon with Mediterranean Barley Salad and Sauteed Red Swiss Chard with pine nuts, mushrooms, and a tiny bit of Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle.  The salmon was very tasty and everyone enjoyed it, except for Alexander who was too busy eating the barley.  It was a great summery dish that I will try again.

Chili-Lime Grilled Salmon


1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
2 tsp lime juice
4 salmon filets
4 lime or lemon wedges


1) Mix all ingredients except salmon & wedges.  Spr…

Mediterranean Barley Salad

In keeping with my brilliant idea to try new things, aka "my test ingredient", I decided to try barley!  Growing up my dad always made Barley Soup which I liked, but that's the only way I've ever tried it.  So, why not try something different?  While flipping through a Chatelaine magazine, passed on from a family member, I found "Mediterranean Barley Salad" and I decided to give it a try. 

I made the salad last week and served it cold.  Neither me nor Millard liked it.  Actually I hated it!  Christian ate his, but said it was "Nasty!".  Alexander at 15 months of age absolutely LOVED IT!  He gobbled his up and wanted more!!  Surprised the heck outta me!  I am unsure if I will make this recipe again.  Maybe just a tiny amount for Alexander.

Mediterranean Barley Salad


1 cup Pearl Barley
2 tbsp White-Wine Vinegar
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/8 tsp Salt (I omitted this)
2 tsp Olive Oil
1/2 cup Sun-Dried Tomatoes, chopped


Pour 1 c…

Menu Planning

Wow, I've really bee slacking on updating here.  Along with the regular family stuff and household duties I am honestly finding that menu planning is taking up a great deal of my time.  I used to just plan dinner for the week.  Now I am planning breakfast, lunch, dinner & snacks for the entire week.  I am constantly searching for ideas online, flipping through cookbooks and magazines and putting together meals that I think that the whole family will enjoy with a new "test ingredient" thrown in here and there to make things interesting.  Something else I have to consider these days is that my hubby is now on a carb-counting diet to help control his diabetes.  I am onboard with his carb diet and it is great for the entire family yet it adds that much more stress to managing the menu just right.  It all takes up a lot of time!  But I know that his health... our family's health... is so worth the effort!!  So as I was prepping lunch for the kids today I thought "…