My Days Off

Two days off from work left me with a little time to do a lot of things. I bought Marlene Koch’s new cookbook, Eat More of What You Love, and I’ve been wanting to try some of the recipes out of it. I had bought some blueberries from Sam’s Club that were begging to be made in to coffee cake (from her first book) and I had some bananas on the counter that really wanted to be made into banana bread. Well wouldn’t you know it, she had a recipe for that in her new book.

Let me just start by saying, sorry I don’t have a picture of the banana bread. When I took the picture, I couldn’t figure out why it was so dark. I later figured out that I hadn’t changed the exposure back since the concert this past weekend.

But this banana bread used molasses, Splenda, bran flakes and wheat flour instead of the normal sugar, brown sugar and extra stuff that’s no good for you. Given, one piece is still 120 calories, but that’s an after lunch treat I can afford. If you’re a lover of banana bread like I am and have some bananas sitting around that you should have eaten days ago, try out this recipe.

My dinner adventure also came out of her new book, though I altered it just a smidge. Its a chicken sandwich with barbecue sauce and bacon (and healthy?? What??), and instead of the lettuce, I used avocado. I also mixed some hot sauce in with my barbecue sauce.

A.Maz.Ing.

And so simple.

Chicken breast, pounded, and seasoned with salt and pepper then cooked (grill or pan, your choice). Cheddar cheese, barbecue sauce, a wheat bun, lettuce, tomato, and a piece of bacon. Done.

Love this sandwich.

So an update about the diet. Weekends as of late, not so great for me. I get too excited about a Saturday and my honey being home and cheat too much on my diet. Or I have a really bad day at work and have a Jack and Coke or two. But during the week, I’ve been really good. Like eating salad every night, and only going over my calorie count by maybe 100, very seldom. Working out, I don’t run as much as I should, but when I do work out, I push it. And guess what? My little accomplishment this morning… I fit back into a smaller pair of my jeans. Not as well as I used to, but before the wedding I couldn’t even get them buttoned. Yay!

Muffins, Bread and Breakfast

This weekend was pretty laid back and relaxed, and it was perfect. I got to spend time with my hunny, and made some tasty treats for us to enjoy.

It all started with blueberry muffins. Don’t tell him – but they’re healthy! I got them out of the Eat What You Love  cookbook that I’ve mentioned on here before. They use Splenda with just a little bit of granulated sugar, and they’re just slightly golden when they are done – but they’re moist and the blueberries pop in your mouth. Delicious!

Pair a muffin with some fruit and eggs for breakfast, and you’ve got a fantastically healthy, delicious and energizing breakfast. I even got to eat some of that yummy pineapple I mentioned in my last post.

And then I made this bread. I’m calling it BAM Bread. Banana, Apple and Mango Bread. When I bought the mangoes with the pineapple the other day, I planned on putting it in muffins or something. Well I found a recipe for a Mango Lime Bread. I used that and instead of the “plump golden raisins” it called for, I put in 2 mashed bananas. Baked it for the same amount of time, added everything else the same and it turned out simply beautiful. Oh, and tasty. I wouldn’t post it if it wasn’t tasty.

Here’s the recipe.

Finally cooking two nights in a row…

So I got a new job, and it means that I might actually be able to come home and cook more often! Go figure! I’m really excited, and I got an almost sneak peek this week, when I got to cook two nights in a row for the first time in months!

So night one. I got this seafood mix from an oriental store that a friend of mine introduced me to, hoping to make a dish reminiscent of the frutta di mare (fruit of the sea) that we had gotten in Italy. But of course, I can’t remember exactly what went into it, so I just threw some stuff together and called it good. Well the sauce rocked. The fish…well that left a little to be desired. This particular mixture had crab meat in it…I mean, imitation crab meat. Soft and gushy did not mix well with the other textures, and frankly was a little sickening. Unfortunately, the squid/octopus was chewy, but the clams were good! I think the same sauce with fresh seafood would be significantly much tastier.

The sauce though. The sauce was amazing. I used oil with garlic, tomato paste, tomato sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano and hot sauce and let it simmer with the seafood. It was so so good! I think it would be good on really any kind of protein.

For my second night, I made a chicken kebab. Now this wasn’t just any chicken kebab…this had Korean BBQ sauce on it that I got at that same oriental market. I used some of the veggies from our Halloween get-together to make these that much more scrumptious, and added some very flavorful rice along with it. These kebabs had piece of bell pepper, then a pineapple chunk, and then a very sturdy carrot, and that pattern sandwich some marinated chicken tenders. Then the skewers were put in to the rotisserie and cooked for approximately 40 minutes or so. The tenders weren’t very thick, so they didn’t take long at all to cook. Let me just say, I added a little bit of chicken broth to the rice with the water, and that gave it such a good flavor! I should have cooked it just a tad bit longer though…It became like this sticky sushi rice almost. But I tend to like rice like that better. It just seems like it almost goes down smoother.

Can’t wait to keep up my cooking spree 🙂