Friday, July 29, 2011

Quickie Friday: Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

The BF has a tendency to complain about the lack of potatoes in his diet and, I suppose, I don't blame him.  He did grow up in Iowa, after all, in the heart of "meat and potatoes" land (I, also, grew up in meat and potatoes land, but grew up liking neither (red) meat nor potatoes).  To make him happy (and to keep him from annoying me further) I whipped up some mashed potatoes and gravy, just for him.

The potatoes were nothing fancy:  butter, garlic, milk, and potatoes, and the gravy even less fancy (I actually used bouillon cubes to make it . . . easy as pie), but it managed to keep the boyfriend quiet, which was more than I could ask for!

For today's quickie Friday shoe, I bring you a designer that I absolutely LOVE and have repeatedly requested be shrunken down to pocket-size so I can carry him with me all the time.

I have been an avid Project Runway-watcher since season one, and am thrilled that Christian Siriano has done so well for himself.  His collection for Payless is no exception; I have no idea as to the quality, having never seen them in person, but they're certainly thousands of steps up from the normal Payless inventory.  I am definitely making a note to venture in and check out his line very soon.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cumin-Spiced Chicken with Chunky Tomato Sauce

I really should re-title this blog "Recipes I Pulled from Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast: Over 280 Incredibly Flavorful 5-Ingredient 15-Minute Recipes".  I won't, of course, because that's NOT all I do and I am perfectly capable of preparing meals that are not found within this cookbook's pages . . . I'm just in a rut, I guess.

I sprinkled (thinly pounded) chicken breasts with cumin and cilantro, then grilled them until browned on both sides.

I used habanero Rotel tomatoes for my sauce, and topped the chicken breasts with low fat cheddar cheese.  As I side dish I served Chili-Lime Corn on the Cob:

(I apologize for the poor picture quality, buttered corn is surprisingly difficult to photography).  The compound butter, made for the corn, is a combination of butter (obviously), chili powder (I used a mix of chili powder and cayenne pepper), lime zest, salt, and white pepper.  It gave the corn a nice kick and a zingy flavor (yes, I'm using words like zingy now.  It's the best way to describe lime corn, by  far).


Diego Dolcini via Neiman Marcus

These are SPECTACULAR.  ZINGY.  INSANE.  I can imagine absolutely no life event in which these would be appropriate, for me, so I'd probably wear them when it was entirely inappropriate:  grocery shopping, flea market, anywhere in North Dakota while visiting my family.

Monday, July 25, 2011

It Happens Once a Month . . .

Contributing, that is!

Today, you can find me over at:

JC's Loft

  Check it out!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Quickie Friday: Another Waffle Idea

In my never-ending quest to make delicious and nutritious breakfasts, I present to you, this quickie Friday, whole wheat waffles with (very little) nutella, blueberries (frozen, unsweetened) and almonds.

I pulled the waffle recipe from Eating Well and use half a tablespoon of nutella.  When I pop the blueberries in the microwave to defrost, they get nice and saucy, perfect as a sort of "syrup" with no added sugar!

Since it's been a loooooooooooooong time since I posted shoes that I actually own on this blog, I thought I'd change it up today and do just that.

They make me SO TALL and I can't get enough of them.  I can't believe I'm about to say this, but that Jessica Simpson, in all her horrific-clothing, billion-dollar-making madness, makes a comfortable pair of shoes.  Good work, J.Simp., good work.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip & Coconut Muffins

I love muffins.  They are definitely one of my favorite breakfast "treats," and I've never met one I didn't like.  I adapted this recipe to suit my tastes (meaning I swapped in toasted coconut for the pecans) and they were absolutely perfect.

I topped the muffins with some remaining toasted coconut and brown sugar, as the recipe suggested to do with the pecans, but I shouldn't have . . . the coconut got a little burnt in the process.

Otherwise the muffins were perfect:  super moist and very sweet.  They definitely don't fit into the "diet," but a little treat never hurt anybody, right?!

These never hurt anybody, either.

I am loving the details on all of the shoes I'm seeing right now.  Things that wouldn't catch your eye unless you were up close and personal.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Spicy, Roasted Red Pepper Pork Chops

Because the BF is not a big fan of pork (and I am), I have to find a way to dress it up (while still keeping it within the weekday diet).  This recipe (from Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast: Over 280 Incredibly Flavorful 5-Ingredient 15-Minute Recipes, of course) was quick and easy, and fit the bill for both pleasing the BF and fitting into the diet.

Prior to grilling, the pork chops were sprinkled with a little Montreal steak seasoning (I used McCormick) and the sauce is made of roasted red peppers, adobo chilies, and some seasonings.  I added more of the chilies for an extra kick.

I made a little bit of extra sauce, and it went a long way.  The BF even took the leftovers for lunch the next day (and told me it was even spicier on day two, so that's something to keep in mind)!

Despite the fact that this country is experiencing a serious heat wave, I have fall shoes on my mind.

Elie Tahari via Neiman Marcus

The nude-colored suede and cutouts make these just about perfect, and they'd be a great summer-to-fall transitional shoe to add to my wardrobe (not that we have much of that, in Florida)!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Quickie Friday: Steak Dinner

There was a time (pre-BF and pre-endless visits to my beloved hematologist) that I would NOT eat beef.  No way no how.  The taste was icky, the texture even worse, and I would have rather been eating chicken.  The chicken part of that is still super-true, but since I have to eat red meat, I find that making a nice meal out of it suits me just fine.

(Yes, that's the world's biggest steak.  Thank you, BF).  Combined with corn on the cob, spinach salad, and homemade biscuits, it wasn't all bad. 

File under things I also don't do/won't touch:

These ugly flip flops do, however, have me feelings waves of nostalgia remembering my college roommate, sophomore year, who would wear nothing BUT platform flip flops and who once tried to turn her laptop on with a television remote.  Ahhhh, college.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Todd's Famous Burritos

Alright, how's this for me being obnoxious:  this is a recipe for burritos that's not actually a recipe because it's a family secret and I'm trying to pull off an air of mysteriousness by not posting it.

Whew!  I will, however, tell you the one thing that makes this recipe (both the sauce and the meat):  bean dip.  And, hell, I'll even tell you how to make the sauce (and you can use any kind of burrito-insides you like)!

1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (8 oz.) can water
1 beef bouillon cube
1/2 can bean dip
Slurry of flour and water

Combine the first three ingredients over medium heat until the bouillon cube dissolves.  Whisk in the bean dip, then slowly add the slurry until the sauce has reached your desired thickness.  That's it!

I top mine with a little shredded cheese (and pop it back into the microwave to melt), sour cream, tomatoes and avocado (lettuce is also a popular option, but I don't eat lettuce on hot foods.  True story.).

It is hard for me to believe that, when it's 100 degrees and 99 percent humidity outside, I am shopping for fall shoes.  But I am.  And these are IT.

Alexander McQueen via Bergdorf Goodman

Ya know, THESE would look really cool with my graduation cap, gown, and hood.  And I will spare no expense to compliment the hood.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Grilled Chicken and Tomatoes


That is to answer this question:  You DO realize that you forgot to post a quickie Friday last week, right?

And I do, peeps, I do.  Truth be told, I am just now getting caught up on sleep from the whirlwind that surrounded my 4th of July (which involved the beach, tattoos, shopping, two job interviews for MY DREAM JOB that would turn into MY DREAM CAREER [seriously, all, keep your fingers crossed for me] and lots of quality time with the BF and his sister!) but I'm back!  With recipe posts!

None of you will be shocked to know that this recipe is from my new favorite cookbook**, or that it is tasty, simple, and extremely low-calorie.

This recipe, seriously, had me at queso fresco.  Need I say more?

And need I say more about THESE?!

Alexandre Birman via Neiman Marcus

(Yes, I realize I haven't said anything.  I don't NEED to.  That's the point!)

**The cookbook I'm referring to is, of course: Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast: Over 280 Incredibly Flavorful 5-Ingredient 15-Minute Recipes.  Duh.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Slow-cooker Beef

Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast: Over 280 Incredibly Flavorful 5-Ingredient 15-Minute Recipes is seriously the best cookbook ever.  You'd think I was getting paid for recommending it over and over, but I'm not!  The recipes are so quick, easy, and healthy, that it was a great investment and addition to my cookbook library!

For this recipe, you just throw some flank steak (that's been browned in a grill pan), onions, beer, and canned tomatoes (with peppers) in the slow cooker, put it on low for 8 hours, and voila!  Delicious dinner.

Served over rice, it's totally filling and very low calorie.  And because it's in the slow cooker, you don't have to worry about slaving over a hot stove (which sucks when it's 100 degrees out, which is how the weather has been in these parts, lately!).

In my opinion, the Olsens (and their seemingly endless clothing lines) just keep getting better with time.

Elizabeth and James via Bergdorf Goodman

The texture on these is just great, and I love the tapered heel.  And they're not THAT expensive.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!


Being my (second) favorite holiday, I will be spending the day with the BF and his sister,  sipping cocktails and listening to live music overlooking the waters of Tampa Bay.  Enjoy whatever festivities you have planned!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Quickie Friday: Day Off

Quickie Friday's taking a day off, peeps, cuz the BF's sister is back for a visit!  She and I will be up to no good, shopping and spending time at the beach (with the BF tagging along) and then I'll be back! 

Happy Weekend!!!