Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Another Pinterest discovered recipe for you but this one I modified ahead of time. Due in part to not having a couple of ingredients and part because they are seasonings I use in almost anything.

The Quick and Easy Shrimp Salad recipe came from Erren's Kitchen.

Erren did choose to use fresh shrimp, which she prepared because they tend to have a bit more 'crunch' to them as opposed to the precooked/ thawed version. Due to the fact that I waited too long to prepare this and was past dinner time, I opted for the quick thaw of the pre-cooked. The cat was happy as he always gets a shrimp for his very own :-D  She also used fresh Dill, Mustard Powder and lemon juice. I am not a fan of lemon juice on ANY seafood so I skipped that one. I didn't have fresh Dill but did have dried and no mustard powder. But I did use Onion powder and Seasoning Salt.

Her recipe called for #2 of shrimp. I had a 12 oz bag, which since I was only cooking for one, I divided the package between to meals/ blog posts.

I think I got a bit heavy on the mayo. I've tasted the final product and it's okay - just a bit over mayo'd.. which I expected. I've covered the dish and put it in the fridge for the flavors to meld and that will be lunch tomorrow. (this post was written and scheduled on 7/13/15)

I may wind up scraping part of the mayo out of the way and plan to either put in Romain Lettuce boats or eat by itself. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

RECIPE WEDNESDAY - Crock Pot Broccoli Beef

A couple weeks ago I tried the Crockpot Broccoli Beef recipe from Just A Pinch that I found on Pinterest. While I need to make some adjustments to this recipe, I did like the concept over all. For one, I could not get the sauce to thicken up until I'd separate the juice from the rest of the goodies. However, by the time I'd made that move, everything was cooked too much. I also don't think the beef needs to cook as long (6-8 hrs on low) since I sliced mine much thinner. I could do this in 4 hours easy.

Here's what we started with:

This chuck roast was just under #2. I keep chuck/ pot roasts on hand as pot roast is one of Bob's favorite meals.. and very easy for me to do on a busy office day. 

One thing to keep in mind when slicing any meat. Always cut across the grain. If you cut with the grain, you are going to wind up with long pieces hard to chew. Here's an example:

Notice the piece on the right is cut with the grain. Long strips that will be difficult to bite unless you cook them beyond recognition. The slices on the right were cut cross-grain. These pieces will be tender. If you are not sure how a grain is running, cut a slice and see. Then you can rotate the cut if necessary and slice the other direction.  

This is what I wound up with:

In the crockpot with the recommended additions (see recipe at Just A Pinch).

As I said, slicing thin would have given me a cooking time of 4 hours before adding the broccoli. I'm also thinking next time I will quick steam the broccoli while I'm thickening the sauce then toss everything together. I realize this kind of defeats the purpose of the whole crock pot thing but keep in mind, the meat cooking in the juice will be very flavorful and slowcooking meat is usually the best way to get a tender morsel. Making the sauce and steaming the broccoli only takes five minutes at best and if you are serving over rice, you are going to take time to cook that anyway... so no real time inconvenience at all to do this in layers.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

RECIPE WEDNESDAY - Pork Steaks with Stuffing

While this might not be the most appetizing picture, trust me.. Pork Steaks with stuffing in the crockpot tasted rich, gooey, yummy.

I needed something that would feed four - 6 of us rather inexpensively. I probably could have done a half recipe and been fine but when Bob's home, I overcook so I have left overs in the freezer for when he's gone. This was also not so much on the new eating plan but every once in awhile you need the comfort food.

I took this version from a Pinterest recipe for Chicken and Stuffing in the crockpot but used pork steaks with beef Stove Top stuffing instead. The recipe is on isavea2z site. The recipe calls for green beans but I omitted them from the crock pot and served them on the side.

For now... I started by browning the pork steaks in the skillet. I just seasoned them with a bit of Lawry's Seasoning Salt and lightly peppered (Bob is not a fan of pepper so I use it sparingly then add more to my personal serving)

Then I made the sauce. This picture looks like a cream sauce but it is not. The ingredients are simply Cream of Chicken Soup and Sour Cream. 

Then I layered everything into the crockpot. I started by spraying the inside of the crock with a butter flavored olive oil from my Pampered Chef oil mister. I never thought I'd want one of these but would be so lost without the tool now. Of course they no longer have it now but I did find one similar at The Kitchen Store (for about 1/2 the price) that I use in my art journals for misting water on canvas.

I put some of the sauce in the bottom then a layer of the pork steaks, topped with some of the dry stuffing mix (DO NOT make the stuffing. Use it straight from the package) 

Topped with sauce then continued the layering process. My final layer was stuffing mix and sauce:

Put the lid on the crock pot and let it cook on low - 4-5 hours. You'll know dinner is ready when the contents look like the first picture. I'll put the picture here, too. Notice how everything has pulled away from the sides.

All I had to do was make a vegetable and dinner was served. Clean up is easy!

Even with all that cooked on goodness, When you've taken everything out of the crock, fill it with water, put the lid back in place and let steam on low over night. In the morning, your crockpot will wash up easily or go into the dishwasher. No more scrubbing and scraping!

Monday, July 13, 2015

WEEKLY PLAN - Almost there!

I'm off to a good start this week by being down another pound since Friday. This leaves me with only 2 pounds left this week to reach my goal of 6 pounds in 21 days... the 21 days Bob is gone. We have our standard bet of $100 on who loses the most in the time period and we are each doing the process our own way. He has switched back to counting calories - a plan that worked best for him in the past.

So I'm staying the course with the Fast Metabolism.
Monday - a little of whatever from all the program today
Tue/ Wed - good carb/ healthy fat days
Thur/ Fri - Protein/ Vegi days
Sat/ Sun/ Mon - little of everything from the program day.  I like those best because that also opens up seafood. yum!

I do need to make a trip to Springfield one day this week for some studio pieces shopping. Fri & Sat are all you can eat crab legs at the chinese buffet. Just might have to enjoy that. Though I might have to switch up a day. Not crazy about going on Saturday so would have to be a Friday thing.  We'll see.

Plan your week and make it awesome! And rememeber...
Enjoy the Journey!


Friday, July 10, 2015


This has been a good first week for Bob being gone. I've stayed pretty close to program and tried new recipes... which you'll see over the coming weeks. They are already scheduled ;-)

One guilt-free treat this week was a piece of sour cream raisin pie. Probably my favorite pie and the gal who does all the baking for the local restaurant (we call her grandma) always calls me when she has one made up. The good thing is I can go into the cafe and have ONE piece without having a whole pie here to tempt me. Unless my sister comes for a visit, I'm the only one that will eat Sour Cream Raisin so I don't make them.

I am down 3 pounds from Bob and I's weigh in just over a week ago. We're half way through his hitch so if I can lose 3 more pounds I will have made my personal goal. Now that the rain has stopped for a few days I'm hoping to get out early in the mornings or late in the evenings and walk.

Enjoy the journey!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

RECIPE WEDNESDAY - Spelt Tortillas & Quesadillas

I have been learning a lot about grains since starting the Fast Metabolism Diet. One of which is the different types of flours we have to choose from. Most of us were raised on processed white flour such as Gold Medal or Pillsbury. Don't get me wrong, I have used those products a lot in my career as a competition baker as well as personal use. However, I am finding a whole different flavor profile... one that actually HAS a flavor.

Spelt flour is lighter than the traditional whole wheat which carries a nutty profile and a bit of sweetness. The grain is easily digestible and high in protein. As the tortillas were toasting in the skillet I had a waft of what could have been steel cut oats.

I found this recipe on Pinterest and of course, can not find my Pin now. But here's a link to the website with the recipe. We eat a lot of Tex-Mex food so finding a healthier version of a tortilla was a huge boost to my new eating options.

There are 4 ingredients plus about 1/2 c. of water:

The recipe called for 2 Cups of Spelt flour (in the bag) but I only made 1/2 a recipe and got 8 decent sized tortillas. If you want the big ones for like burritos, then you would get four from a 1/2 batch.

Mix everything together in a bowl adding just enough of the water to form a soft dough. You also don't want to overmix. Just till you geet something like this:

As a breadmaker, I knew to toss this onto a Spelt flour covered surface and coat it the dough good before portioning out and rolling.

As I said, I got 8 from a 1/2 batch. I rolled each ball really thin then lightly toasted in a very hot (400*) electric skillet. This only takes a minute or so per side.

Be careful not to overcook. You want them to stay soft and pliable. as soon as you start seeing little bumps on the first side, flip the tortialla over and toast for about 30 seconds. Then transfer to a dish and cover with a dishtowl ( have flour sack towels that I use - lint free)

Use these as you would a flour tortilla. To warm mine, I lay them on a paper towel and in the microwave for about 5-10 seconds. Because microwaves vary, you'll want to do this as a trial and error. Start shorter times and go from there. 

After making these, I doubt I'll buy store tortillas again. Even if I do choose to use white flour, making these are so easy, why buy them!