Friday, April 29, 2005

Chicken Tacos

Last night I made chicken tacos. Just decided to throw some things together, and it turned out great!

Chicken Tacos
from my own creative head

2-3 chicken breasts (or equivelent chicken strips)
1/2 - 1 cup salsa
1 packet taco seasoning and amount of water called for in instructions
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

Spray frying pan with cooking spray and cook chicken until done. Cut chicken into small bite sized pieces. Add salsa, taco seasoning, water, and pinto beans; stir. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.

Serve with whole wheat tortillas, tomato, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, etc.

The filling makes about 4-5 servings, about 4 points each.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Good-Bye Constantine... grrr...

I didn't post about AI the last two days, because I didn't want to jinx it. I thought for sure it had to be Scott... I actually thought if the voters flubbed it, it could be Vonzell... but it was Constantine, who had a poor performance last night. But it's a hard song... ask Chad, he can't sing it on Karaoke Revolution. He gets boo'ed every time!

Otherwise my day was pretty ok. We went to look at a house in Bloomington tonight. It had a $50000 kitchen. Which was a little much for a 2200 sq. foot house. Small backyard, where the cat escaped to, when Chad opened the door! And a frightening exercise room. So you think exercise room, and it's "oh nice, a room for a treadmill and a tv, maybe a yoga mat..." but in reality, it's this long room with mirrors on all the walls and a treadmill and about 5 different weight machines and stacks and racks of weights. Just odd!

Anyway, that's my story for today. I'm off to bed. Maybe have to get the flannel pajamas back tonight! brrr!! I just hope I don't wake up to snow!

Tuna Meltaways

I have never had a tuna melt until last night. I like tuna sandwiches, especially on toast, but I've never tried a melt? Is that crazy? I think it's because I never order tuna when I eat out, because I am hesitant about vegetables and amount of dressing, etc... not to mention the fat now.

But the other day when I was cleaning the cupboards, I found a recipe on the back of the tuna box for these melts, so I made them for dinner last night! Chad said he would prefer his on regular bread (not me, I love tuna on a toasted English muffin) Easy recipe for a weeknight or a weekend lunch! And they were delicious!

Tuna Meltaways
From the Starkist box

1 7oz pkg tuna
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I used about 1 ¼ cups reduced fat)
½ cup finely chopped celery
½ cup finely chopped onion
½ cup shredded carrot (I chopped them since I had my food chopper out)
2 tbsp light mayonnaise
4 English Muffins split ( I used whole wheat)

Heat broiler.
In medium bowl, combine all ingredients except muffins; mix well.

Divide tuna mixture evenly onto muffin halves.
Place on broiler pan; broil 4-6” from heat 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.
Serve warm.

Weight Watchers: 3 points - the way I made them with less cheese and whole wheat english muffins.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

House For Sale!



We're putting our house on the market next week! If you know anyone that is interested or know someone who knows someone who might be interested, please forward them the following website: http://home.comcast.net/~3850reservoir/

Check out the pictures of our basement! New carpet and all!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

I Scream, You Scream...


I finally found the new Ice Cream treats from Weight Watchers and Blue Bunny. I found them at Cub in Fridley. Last week, Cub in St. Anthony didn't have them. I've also heard they can be found at Kowalski's. These English Toffee Crunch bars are awesome! You would never guess that they were light. The ice cream inside is creamy and filling! Yum!!

Only 2 points per bar! For those of you who don't know how that adds up: 110 calories, six grams of fat and two grams of fiber.

Can't wait to try all the flavors!

Don't Be Shocked... it's my Living Room!





The Living Room is ready for market... Slowly but surely! Everytime I shampoo carpet, I'm amazed at how dirty it really was! yuk!
Posted by Hello

Friday, April 22, 2005

Baked Spaghetti Squash Dinner

I made Baked Spaghetti Squash Dinner last night. It's a recipe I found on the internet somewhere. It was my first experience with spaghetti squash, and it really comes out of the shell looking like spaghetti!


Baked Spaghetti Squash Dinner

1 spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise
1 lb. hamburger, extra lean
1 sm. onion, grated
Salt and pepper
1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 c. canned tomato sauce
1/2 tsp. basil leaves, crumbled

Boil halves of spaghetti squash face down in 2 inches of water for 20 minutes or until mildly tender. Break hamburger into small pieces and partially fry with onion, salt and pepper in butter. When cooled, remove inner shreds of spaghetti squash from both halves and mix lightly with hamburger and tomato sauce. Add basil; return mixture to spaghetti squash shells. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

I haven't figured out the points yet... I know I was a little lax the last couple of days with my points! Gotta get back on track this weekend!

I did do some variations. I cooked the squash in the microwave. I put each half face down in 1/4 cup of water and covered it with plastic, and microwaved on high for 7 minutes. I also used my new oval microwave cooker from Tupperware to brown the ground beef. It was awesome! And I added garlic, Italian Seasoning, and used pizza cheese. Next time I make it, I will add more garlic, basil, and more seasonings. This would have been terribly bland if I hadn't added the additional seasonings. Posted by Hello

The Dive From Clausen's Pier



I just finished reading The Dive From Clausen's Pier, by Ann Packer. It was an interesting book. Great writing, interesting story, but dark. Wednesday I actually think my mood was a bit cynical and depressed, because I was just not liking the main characters at the time.

The book is about a girl, Carrie, and her journey in the months following her fiancé’s diving accident which leaves him paralyzed. Mostly I couldn't condone Carrie's actions, but at the same time the situation is pretty unfathomable, and I can't imagine how I would have reacted in the situation.

I think it's a great book. Good story, but I think it would be good to read this book a little less aggressively than I did, and sub-fuse that time with something light, like magazines or something...

Thursday, April 21, 2005

g'morning

I told Sarah I would boycott AI if either Scott or Anthony made it into the Top 5 and one of them did last night! AND I can complain, because I even voted for Anwar on Tuesday, because I knew he needed votes... I should have voted more :( But now I have to decide if I keep watching... I could deal with it if they both go next... leaving Bo, Constantine, Vonzell, and Carrie in the Top 4.

Chad and I told our realtor last night that we want to get the house on the market end of next week! April 29th! It may be aggressive, as we have a ton of work to do, we just needed a deadline! We're going to send an email out this weekend, to see first if we know anyone who knows someone who wants to buy our house. So if you know someone let me know! It's a great house! :)

After yesterday, I gave myself a guarantee that I would have something to be happy about this morning..

I finally ordered myself a Jessie Steele apron. They are adorable. I had trouble choosing which one. I wish they had a picture of the chocolate brown and pink one. I'm sure it's cute. I just couldn't risk it without actually seeing it, so I got the black and white pictured above.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Scott Savol goes home tonight?

Scott and Anthony did better than I was hoping last night. I hope Scott goes home tonight. I voted last night though. For Carrie and Anwar, because I felt they were both kind of forgettable last night, and I don't want them to go.

One of Those Days

Today is one of those days, when I have no ambition to do anything. No motivation for work. I could use a shopping or coffee break, except I don't have money to spend shopping and don't want to spend my "points" on coffee today...

Maybe it's this book I'm reading. It's definitely longer than my other recent books, and definitely darker... good but a little dark, and I have so many mixed feelings about the main characters...

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Beware of Arby's

Did you know that all of the Market Fresh sandwiches at Arby's have more calories and fat than a Big Mac at McDonald's??

The best thing on the menu from a Weight Watchers point value is a Junior Roast Beef, next is a regular roast beef.

They no longer sell their light sandwiches, and not even a side salad, which I thought was odd since it was an Arby/Sbarro combo restaurant.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Sunday evening

Today was a beautiful day! It still is 71 degrees out! So nice! I went for a run this morning 3.3 miles! woo hoo!

Then Chad and I did a lot of cleaning and small projects around the house. I'm now exhausted, but it was a very productive day!

Yesterday was a good day yesterday too, even though it rained. Chad and I booked flights to Seattle for Labor Day weekend. We both got to use our miles, so we're going for free! We're going to meet Dan and Heather out there. Take in a Mariners game and see the Vikings play the Seahawks in pre-season... It'll be a blast!

We also spent last night with Sarah and Curt. We grilled out and then watched a re-cap DVD of American Idol from the first 3 seasons. We're kind of geeks, but we're all geeks together!

All in all, Nice weekend! But I know I will be tired tomorrow!

Home Fries

Another one from Weight Watchers. We had these for dinner tonight, although they would be excellent for breakfast! I halved the recipe for Chad and I, and I used cooking spray instead of margarine. Very good! A great hint, not just for this recipe, but others. Buy frozen chopped onions, so that you can just pull them out of the freezer when you need them, instead of hoping your onion in the drawer isn't soggy...

Home Fries
From Weight Watchers

1 tbsp margarine or butter
1 large onion, diced
2 tsp paprika
½ tsp each garlic powder and onion powder
¼ tsp each salt an dground pepper
2 cans (15 oz each) sliced potatoes, drained

In 9” or 10” nonstick skillet melt margarine. Add onion; cook stirring constantly, until softened, 2-3 minutes.

Add paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper; cook stirring until combined.

Add potatoes; stir to combine. Cover skillet; cook until mixture begins to get crispy on the bottom, 2-3 minutes. Stir lightly; cook again until crispy on bottom, 2-3 minutes longer.

Makes 6 – ½ cup servings.

85 calories; 2 g fat; 2 g fiber (with margarine)
Weight Watchers: 1 point

Marinated Cucumbers

Here's a recipe from some Weight Watchers paperwork I have. Very good! This reminds me a lot of the "Refrigerator Pickles" that my mom used to make. Yum!! and 0 points!

Marinated Cucumbers
From Weight Watchers

2 medium cucumbers
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
½ red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
2/3 cup distilled white vinegar
6 packets sucralose non-caloric sweetener (or ¼ cup granulated white sugar)
Dash ground red pepper

In medium saucepan, combine vinegar, sweetener, and ground red pepper; bring just to a boil. Remove from heat; let cool.

Cut cucumbers into thin slices; transfer to large bowl. Add onion and bell pepper; set aside.

Pour vinegar mixture over cucumber mixture. Refrigerate, covered, until chilled. Serve with a slotted spoon.

Makes 8 – ¼ cup servings.

14 calories; 0 g fat; 1 g fiber
Weight Watchers 0 points (without sugar, 1 point with sugar)

Friday, April 15, 2005

Nice... Let's vote one of them off next week!

Scott and Anthony are tied for last in this poll!

Freaking Fridays!

What is up with Friday afternoons! Again I had Friday afternoon disaster! But this time not until I got home. I logged onto my email to check something in a personal email, and I find that a wrong file got shipped to a client!

And people emailing me. It's a disaster of a project, that I was only supposed to be working part-time on, but was being dragged into it, because the others on the team didn't have experience with the product.

URG... Oh well. I'm going to blow some steam (and maybe some points) at the Minnesota Swarm game tonight.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Macaroni-Bean Skillet

New recipe last night. It was very good. I think Chad liked it, but won't admit it to his A-List, because there isn't any meat in it! It was super fast, super easy, and really tasty! Plus it is one that ingredients would be easy to always have on hand! I think you could make it without the cheese if your stomach so desired, but I can't imagine that at all!

Macaroni-Bean Skillet
From Betty Crocker’s Healthy New Choices

1 cup salsa
2/3 cup uncooked elbow macaroni (2 ounces)
¾ cup water
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 can (15-16 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (8 oz) reduced-sodium tomato sauce
½ cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese (2 ounces)

Heat all ingredients except cheese to boiling in 10” nonstick skillet; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until macaroni is just tender. Sprinkle with cheese.

Makes 4 servings. Weight Watchers: 4 points.

This stinks

There's no way that both Anthony and Scott should have scored more votes than both Bo and Nadia... Guess I need to vote!

For Better, For Worse


I just finished reading For Better, For Worse, by Carole Matthews. It was Steph's pick for April book club. Also chosen by Kelly Ripa (of Regis and Kelly Live) for her Reading With Ripa book club. This would definitely be considered chick lit, but it also had some of the same themes from Serendipity and Three's Company. By that I mean that there were many events where discoveries were made accidentally and, of course, many misunderstandings. But unlike many chick lit, there was no shopping, so it was refreshing in that way too. The book was written so that different chapters focused on different characters who centered around Josie, the main character, so it wasn't all about her and her feelings.

Overall, I thought this was a good book. A quick light read, and it was definitely very enjoyable. I think this again is one that if you can't get at the library, that you should buy (maybe used) and your friends will want to borrow.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Tuesday TV

I hate that my two least favorite singers in American Idol, both sang Hall and Oates songs! Probably the only time we will ever have the chance to hear 2 H&O songs in one night on AI, and they are performed by my 2 least favorite! How cruel! Although I think Nadia did the worst tonight, but I may be biased, because rumor has it that she has hooked up with Scott. yuk. I think she will be in the bottom 3 along with possibly Anthony, Anwar, possibly Bo. But hopefully Scott is in there too!

On to my new favorite comedy...



This show rocks! In tonight's episode, Dwight (self-proclaimed "Assistant Manager", but really an "assistant to the manager") attempted to create an alliance with Jim, in order to vote the others out so he wouldn't be downsized... Too funny! I highly suggest watching this show! It's basically a 30 minute "mock-umentary" of office politics. The boss (played by Steve Carell, who also plays Brick in Anchorman) is so not PC. And Chad only laughs harder at Napolean Dynamite!

Monday, April 11, 2005

The long awaited Roman Shades


Chad cleaned, so now you get pictures... The Insulated Roman Shades I made for the 2nd bedroom (aka Chad's room) It only took me a year to finish them. And I finished them, thanks to my mom!Posted by Hello

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Moving at $2.14 a gallon.

I borrowed my brother's SUV this weekend to get our excess furniture out of our house, so we can get it cleaned and on the market.

It was kind of fun tooling around in that, until I filled it up with gas to return it! I'm really loving my 33 mpg Prizm right about now!

What a beautiful weekend we had! I got out my spring/summer clothes. And went through all my clothes. I had clothes that moved with me to this house, and that I know I haven't worn in the last 5 years! We will be making a trip to Goodwill this week. Now I just have to convince Chad that the flannel shirts he had in college and high school, can go with too!

Friday, April 08, 2005

The Honk and Holler Opening Soon



I just finished reading The Honk and Holler Opening Soon. The author, Billy Letts, wrote Where the Heart Is, which was an Oprah book, about a girl who had a baby in Walmart... But that's beside the point, unless of course you've read that book and enjoyed it, then I think you will enjoy this one.

But this book is a heart warming story, about a group of "down and out" people who all find each other and kind of become a family of sorts. The book is somewhat predictable, but it keeps you hoping for a happy ending.

I'd say this is definitely a book to get from the library.

Friday

Is it just me or does this happen to everybody?

Friday afternoon... beautiful day in early Spring. Can't wait to get outside!

Work is going smoothly, no reason that I won't be on the first bus home to eat and then go to the baseball game with Chad... Wait it's 3:45, and now all of a sudden issues that we've known about for a week are urgent and we need the tech team, but the tech team is gone for the day (or non-responsive, I don't know which)

And we're scrambling... meanwhile I'm thinking I will be lucky to make the latest express bus in order to meet Chad to go to the game but there probably won't be time to eat a healthy meal so that I'm not tempted by dome dogs and Nachos at the game!

arrrggghhhh..... How many points is a beer?

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Chinese Pepper Chicken

This was our dinner tonight. It was really good. Probably a little more fussy than I like on weeknights. I'm just not used to making things that cook on the stovetop for more than 10 minutes. It's usually a quick meal, or it's baking in the oven. But it was good! Great Veggies! For those of you who don't know I'm trying Weight Watchers right now, just to lose 10 lbs for good (and because work paid for it) This recipe makes 6 servings, and each serving is only 7 points which is pretty good!

Chinese Pepper Chicken
From Betty Crocker’s Healthy New Choices

2 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce *
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp red pepper sauce
2 tsps sesame or vegetable oil
3-3 ½ # cut up broiler-fryer chicken
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp finely chopped gingerroot
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 medium green onions, sliced (3 tbsp)
1 ½ cups sliced mushrooms**
3 medium bell peppers, cut into 1” pieces

Mix soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, and pepper sauce in shallow glass or plastic dish or heavy resealable plastic food-storage bag. Add chicken; turn to coat with marinade. Cover dish or seal bag and refrigerate, turning chicken occasionally, at least 1 hour, but no longer than 24 hours. Remove chicken from marinade; reserve marinade.

Heat vegetable oil in 12” nonstick skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook chicken in oil about 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until brown on all sides. Cover and cook over low heat about 20 minutes or until juice is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut. Remove chicken from skillet, using tongs; keep warm.

Drain all but 1 tsp drippings from skillet. Heat 1 tsp drippings and the marinade in the skilled over medium-high heat. Stir in gingerroot, garlic, and onions. Cook and stir about 30 seconds or until garlic is light golden brown. Stir in mushrooms and bell peppers. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until bell peppers are crisp-tender. Serve with chicken.

* I was out of soy sauce, so I used 2 tsps. Balsamic vinegar and 4 tsps molasses and a touch of extra sugar
** I didn’t use mushrooms

Time To Go

It's time for Scott Savol or Anthony Federov to be voted off.

That's all I have to say.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Sleepy Sleepy

I hate "Spring ahead" Daylight Savings Time... So hard! Doesn't help that Illinois made it a close game last night! Too bad they didn't win!

Monday, April 04, 2005

The Kalahari Typing School For Men



I just finished reading The Kalahari Typing School For Men, by Alexander McCall Smith. It was good. I don't think I enjoyed it as much as The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, but it's a part of that series. I am also having a hard time finding out if there is an order to the series. If I missed a book between this and The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, it didn't matter, but it seems to be some details I may have.

I would say this is probably a good one to get from the library, or at the very least used. But if you enjoyed The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, you will probably like this.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

1998- The technology is outdated: the memories unforgettable!

I've been going through old floppy disks, trying to find if there is anything I really need to keep. And I found this picture.

It is from November 1998, I spent a weekend in Chicago with Lisa, Dano, and Mikey. We had a unforgettably fabulous time. Today I found the pictures that I had developed to a disk, and the quality is crap. But the memories are still great! Here's Lisa and I in the hat the bartenders made her for her birthday! Posted by Hello

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Walmart and my weekend.

Walmart is hard. I don't like what they stand for. I don't like how they take advantage of their employees, and how they drive small businesses out of business, plus many of the stores are super yucky, and there is no denying that the clientele is so different from Target. BUT when they have the lowest prices it's hard to say no to that.

We just got a brand new Walmart in St. Anthony. It's much closer than either Target, and it's new, so it's still clean and nice. I bought a slipcover for our sofa there, not even the cheapest one, but it was $60 and cute! So I couldn't resist! And I need cheap, because we are not moving that couch! Hopefully when we move, we can leave the sofa here...

We got our new carpet installed. It is amazing! The room downstairs looks so nice! and finished! and clean! My mom also helped me get my insulated shades project finished! We finished sewing the last one, and got them hung on the windows. They look nice too! Too bad we won't be here for the winter to see how the insulating works :) I will try and post pictures once Chad cleans that room! My dad helped me figure out a plan for our garbage can area, which was looking completely trashy. So all in all, we mainly just need to de-clutter some more, and we should be ready!

We see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Friday, April 01, 2005

April Fools!

So it's my day off. It's currently 8:30. I am a morning person, so don't panic, but here is what I have done today so far:
  • I woke up at 6 out of habit (well that habit is usually earlier than 6, so technically I slept in)
  • I finished pulling old carpet staples out of the last stairs.
  • I cleaned up the crap that was under the carpet (sand, crayons, broken tile pieces, more sand).
  • Then I cleaned/polished the wood paneling (You would not believe the difference, it is shiny now!)
  • I took a shower.
  • Then I checked my email and sent out my "recipe of the month"

The carpet installers won't be here until 2 at the earliest, and my parents not until then either. So I should have the whole morning, right? Nope APRIL FOOLS!

Our living room has one available seat right now, and I should really go to Home Depot. I'm not actually that upset, because it's why I took the day off. I just wish I hadn't showered before the carpet installers called to give me my "window", then I could go for a run. Oh well. I guess I will make breakfast and clean.

Enjoy your day!