Wednesday, March 14, 2018

RECIPE WEDNESDAY- Ree's French Toast Sticks

This week we are back in Ree Drummond's kitchen for her French Toast Sticks. When I saw that her recipe called for rolling the dipped pieces of bread into crushed Capt'n Crunch Cereal, I knew we were in business.

Last fall I found Cinnamon Roll Capt'n Crunch at our local Dollar General.

Bob loves Capt'n Crunch and Cinnamon Rolls so I knew this was something I needed to stock up on. I bought several boxes and vacuum sealed them in wide mouth quart jars for longevity storage. So I popped open a jar for this recipe.

Ree's recipe calls for mixing the crushed cereal with Panko Bread Crumbs. I bought Texas Toasting Bread specifically for this breakfast fit for a tug boat Captain.

I mixed the egg-dip the way I always have - milk, eggs, cinnamon, sugar and vanilla. While this might seem like too much sugar, I believe you need the layers of flavor. 

While this was supposed to be a coated cookie rack I recommend spraying with a non-stick spray. I did line the cookie sheet with parchment for easy clean-up.

Breakfast is served. These were quite tasty, though a bit sweet (duh!) LOL What we didn't eat, I froze in packages of 4 in the vacuum sealed bags for future quick breakfasts.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

FLYLADY - Living Room

I am moving Fly Lady to Tuesdays for now. I'm getting better at having recipes for Wednesday so Tuesday's it is.

This week is all about the Living Room.
After what seemed forever, I finally got the Christmas tree down over the weekend. Don't judge! I had not been putting the task off because it was difficult but because I love the colored lights.

Every morning, I would come out and turn the tree on. Seemed so peaceful while I enjoyed a cup of fluffy and cruised Pinterest or watched YouTube videos. The living room looks soul-less without the pretty lights. But I have a plan... :-D

However, the tree coming down meant there was room to pull the Gazelle out so I can finally start getting the exercise I so desperately need. I'll be talking more about the Gazelle on Thursday.

We use sheets to cover our micro-fiber relciners. I detest micro-fiber fabric but since Bob was graciously spending money to build my office AND I was getting the sleeper sofa in the bargain, I told Bob to pick out the new recliners.  Two Words - ANIMAL HAIR! We have 3 cats in the house and a Beagle/ Basset/ Spaniel mix. All shed horribly and trying to keep that micro-fiber clean was a task I just don't have time for. So sheets it is. Didn't our grandparents cover their furniture? Remember those pretty crocheted arm and head rest covers. So pretty.

Ours are covered with $15 flat sheets from Walmart with a coordinating pillow case on the headrest. I have brown ones with cream pillowcases for fall. White with red pillow cases for Christmas. This week when I go shopping I'll pick up a couple of cream sheets and soft blue pillow cases - or vice versa. The everyday drapes, which are blue, need to go back up so that will work. I've already purchased flannel backed table clothes in spring blues/ yellows for under and on top of the dog kennel.. which sits between the two recliners, serving as a coffee table.

Now if I could just make myself tackle the small book case and top of Adrian's dresser that sits here in the dining room. A MUST! but I'm thinking next month's deep clean zone of that part will be soon enough.

A Clean House is a Healthy House and all a part of...

Enjoying the Journey!

Monday, March 12, 2018

WEIGH IN 3-12-18


Weight is hanging in there. I didn't accomplish much of anything last week. A bit of house cleaning but mostly just enjoying the quiet. I did run errands three days last week. One was really stressful. On that errand I realized I am not a stress-eater. I'd never thought about that aspect of how I eat or don't eat. I was hungry so I went to Coltons. I was so stressed I couldn't enjoy the meal. I ate the 6 oz steak and brought everything else home... giving me two meals at home over the course of the weekend. Not bad for $22.

Which brings me to this week's question. When you go out to eat, do you eat everything? Leave some on the plate? Bring leftovers home?  I'd love to hear your thoughts. Sometimes vocalizing what we do puts things in perspective so please share.

Me. I seldom eat everything. Don't get me wrong, there is an occasion when I devour. But for the most part I eat half and bring the other half home. Experts say a good thing to do is to order your to-go box when you place your order. As soon as your meal arrives, put half in the to go box and set it aside. Aside from preventing us from over-eating, this gives us the opportunity to get more bang for our buck. .. and leaves  room for dessert :-D

I'll be scheduling recipes this week. I've done a couple of things. I also have the editorial calendar done, I just didn't do any writing to speak of last week. The month is ticking away and I really need to accomplish something.

Oh, and I got the Gazelle set up again. Not sure it will see activity today but I'm going to start with two days a week and build from there. I have started wearing my pedometer again. Seems like I walked a lot on my errands last week yet barely logged 3000 steps each of the three days. I've also switched to a better walking shoe. This one has an rocking arch support, forcing me to walk heel-toe or rock forward on my nose. :-P

Whatever's on you plan for the week... remember

Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, March 5, 2018

WEIGH IN - 3-5-18


I'm back on the roller coaster. I'm up a pound from last week but there should be a big change. Bob left last night and is back on the boat as I type. Whether he'll be gone for three weeks or five... who knows. With him gone I'm back to my fifteen-hour days, lots of vegies/ fruits and my eating schedule. I'm on my first cup of coffee. I'll have a second cup with my morning glory muffin.

I bought a loaf of English Toasting Bread. Relatively soft bread and thinly sliced. Since I can't bite into French bread, I'm going to try the English Toasting Bread triangles as a base for Shrimp Bruschetta. Bob's not a fan and I have a taste for it. The pesto in the fridge is calling my name. 

I've restructured the post schedule. I did that while having coffee with Bob one morning and have no clue what is coming up next. With Bob gone, I can get several blog posts written and scheduled so tht is my plan for this week.

What's your plan? Menu ideas for the week? Please share!
Enjoy the Journey

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


Traditionally, when we hear banana bread, we think of this fabulousness baked in a loaf pan.

I like mine cold, smeared with real butter... or served as the base for a chicken salad sandwich. I know that sounds like a really weird combination, but trust me on this. It is delicious! I first had the chicken salad on banana bread at the Twin Towers in Detroit MI years ago. One of those food combinations you remember in a good way. 

Bob and I've been wanting to try the Red Copper 5- Minute cooker like the one shown below:

Our thought was this would be something good for me to cook single meals when he's out on the boat. Less microwave more home cooked or if we want to do something like individual pizzas where I can pile in the vegies while he is strictly meat/ cheese.

We've done the customary omelet and it was good. That said, an omelet is just as easily done in the skillet. 

So I thought I'd try banana bread for Bob. One of his favorites. I've started making banana bread with a Spice Cake as a base but I found a Banana Cake mix by Duncan Hines to give it that extra punch. 

Mix the dry cake mix with:
1 tsp of ground nutmeg (I use fresh)
1/2 tsp of ground cloves
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

You can adjust these measurements to your taste or substitute 1 tsp of Pumpkin Pie Spice for the first to then adjust the cinnamon.

In a separate bowl slice up 2 ripe bananas then mash them up with a potato masher or mixer.
1/2 C Applesauce (I've taken to buying the individual servings - 1/2 cup - until I can replenish my                                                    homemade)
1 C. warm water

Mix these to combine then add the dry cake mix mixture and stir just til combined. My favorite tool for this is a 3-pronged salad serving fork I got with our flatware set. While I have great tools in my kitchen, this has become my favorite 'mixing' tool. 

Preheat the 5- minute cooker until the green light comes on. Then open up the cooker and place to 2 ice cream scoops - roughly 3/4 of a cup - of the cake mix into the well, close the lid and snap closed. Cook for 5 minutes. 

HOT!! Carefully transfer to a plate. I sprinkled the top with cinnamon - sugar while still warm. Powdered sugar would also be a good option.

Banana Bread for breakfast. This only took about 10 minutes total from start to finish. We got 6 of these from one bowl of batter. I barely made it through one while Bob ate two. He wrapped the remaining three in waxed paper, slid them into a zippy bag and put them in the freezer in our 'breakfast' bin. 

Monday, February 26, 2018

WEIGH IN - 2-26-18


I'm finally down a pound this week. I know the culprit has been soda. Even switching to the 100 calorie cans doesn't help much if you drink two a day. I try to limit myself to one but there are days when I just need the carbonation. I hear you thinking seltzer water. Ewww!

I have a couple of those acrylic mugs that when you turn them upside down in the freezer, the stuff between the walls freezes and will keep your drink cold longer. Using one of these, I can make my own frozen coke. So for the past two days I've been sipping on one of these. I pour a large coke into the glass and let it set up in the freezer to slush point then after a couple of drink, I top it off with a mini coke. I put this in the refrigerator and just pulled it out when I needed a bit of carbonation. I'd take a couple of sips through the straw then put it back and switch back to drinking water, which sits in my Ozark Trail glass on my work-table or desk. 

I keep saying everything in moderation and this is how I plan to moderate my soda in-take from now on. I also seldom order soda when we go out to eat (which we have done a lot less of in recent weeks). Most always water or unsweet tea. I know.. I moved to the south and I don't drink 'Sweet Tea' LOL.

Speaking of moderation, I've been hearing a lot of comments about the 'FreeStyle' program from Weight Watchers. Some people don't feel it's working for them. If you are freestyling, I'd love to hear your take. You can share with me here or on my Instagram account - kellyscountry. Just look for the cowboy boot/ hat logo.

Enjoy the Journey!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

RECIPE WEDNESDAY - Mushroom and Swiss Burger

Good morning!
My plan is to start sharing more recipes. The Menu Planner is working great. I know what's up for the week and I'm spending a lot less money, allowing me to focus on a hard savings account. 

While losing weight is a journey, you can't eliminate your favorite foods. Find alternative recipes or indulge once in awhile. This recipe is an indulgence. That said, this is a healthier version of the one you'll get in a fast food place. For one... JUST HAVE THE BURGER. Don't add a large order of fries - those are the 'die' on the plate. Serve with slices of tomato or simple side salad and enjoy the luxuriousness of this Mushroom and Swiss Burger! I'm a firm believer in that moderation is the KEY to successful weight loss.

I'm really enjoying the recipes in Ree Drummond's cookbook, 'Come and Get it!'

One recipe in particular called to us. Hamburger Steak with Mushroom Gravy from her 'Under 40' chapter... meals in under 40 minutes. I did give the recipe a bit of a twist but here's the result:

These were DELICIOUS!

I started with two 1/2 pound burgers so they would be rather thick so as to be medium -rare in the center and I wanted to allow for shrinkage. I wanted them to cover the bun edge to edge. Seasoning Salt, Garlic Powder and a bit of pepper (on mine only) is all I used for seasoning. I used a cast iron skillet for the best heat radiation/ browning capabilities. You can not beat a cast iron skillet when it comes to meat or grilled cheese.

After removing the burgers from the skillet, I added a Tablespoon of butter to saute sliced baby bella mushrooms in. I followed this up with another Tablespoon of butter and 2 Tablespoons of flour. I used about 1-1/2 cup of beef broth and a 1/2 cup of red wine. Still seemed a little thin so I made a thickening of milk/ flour and added it, stirring til smooth. Then I turned the flame down to low and let everything reduce til I had a nice, thick gravy.

Ree served hers on a plate but when I saw the recipe I knew this would be the best Mushroom and Swiss burger I'd ever made. I was right.

I used Baby Swiss for Bob and I chose Provolone. After brushing the buns with butter and grilling them on another iron skillet, I placed one slice of cheese on the bottom bun, smeared about a Tablespoon of gravy, then the burger, another slice of cheese then a generous serving of the mushroom gravy.

If you are a fan of Mushroom and Swiss burgers, I recommend you give this one a try. I'm adding this recipe to our Recipe Favorites.