I am so happy that you have landed in my little corner of cyberspace. If you join me here, you will, hopefully, get to know a little about me. You will read my thoughts, my hopes and dreams, and see some of my favorite things. I hope you will visit often. I will try to update it regularly and hopefully you will see an improvement in the blog along the way. Thank you for stopping in to see me as I travel on this journey called "life"!













Monday, May 28, 2012

Always remember and never forget....



We live in the "land of the free
because of the brave"... author unknown

Amidst all of the fun in the sun, barbecues and social gatherings today, may we never forget that we enjoy the freedom to do all of these things because of the sacrifice of many.

To all those men and women who have served our country, continue to daily serve our country and to all of the family members of those who have bravely served and continue to serve in our military...

Thank you!

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day, friends.



Sunday, May 27, 2012

Israeli Couscous Salad with Apples, Cranberries and Herbs

What do you get when you combine whole wheat Israeli couscous, toasted slivered almonds, diced apple, orange scented dried cranberries, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, fresh parsley and a delicious dressing made of apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and olive oil?


You get one delicious and refreshing salad packed with flavors that remind me of Thanksgiving without the heaviness that you get by eating stuffing and cranberry sauce.


My stepdaughter made this salad first and was nice enough to share some of it with us last weekend.  I always make a Mediterranean flavored couscous salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, black olives and feta cheese so this was a new and fresh way for me to have it.  We loved it.  So much so that I bugged her for the recipe and finally Googled the ingredients to find the recipe when she didn't get it to me fast enough.   The recipe credit belongs to Giada De Laurentiis.  I was not surprised.  She ranks right after Bobby Flay as the TV chef that I most want to cook for me.


This salad was the perfect meal to take to the office for lunch.  My stepdaughter generously shared enough that I was able to take it two days in a row; but, because I enjoyed it so much, I knew that I was going to have to make some more of it.  Not only was the salad delicious, it kept really nicely in a covered container in the fridge.  The flavors just seemed to get even better each day.  I was pleasantly surprised that the apple didn't turn brown and yucky and the almonds did not soften at all.  The only negative...if you can call it that...was the outcome that I received when I ran the ingredients through the points calculator on the Weight Watchers' website tonight.  If you only get 6 servings out of the salad, the points plus values are around 13.  That's a very good reason for me to limit my portions and eat more whole foods the rest of the day.   This is one salad that I'm definitely going to be working into my meal plan this week.

I know that some of you will be shocked that I didn't change anything at all from the original recipe.  So for the ingredient amounts, I'm going to steer you over to the Food Network site  here.
Thanks so much for stopping by! 

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Spicy Stuffed Peppers

Snow was falling and chili was on the menu.   Not that it has to snow for us to have it; but it seemed like the thing to do at the time.  You have to have a big pot of something hot on the stove when the weather outside is cold and nasty, right?  

For the past few months, I've been really trying to be careful about what I've been consuming.  I'm trying to be mindful of how much I'm eating and get a handle on my portion sizes.  In order to do that, I've been counting Weight Watchers points.  I find it incredibly hard to count points when I'm cooking big pots of stew, soup or chili.  I'm a "throw a little of this and that in the pot" kind of cook and it's not easy to count points when you do that.

Some beautiful yellow peppers in my fridge were just the ticket for portion control.   While the pot of chili was perfect for the guys, I got creative with something for me. 



Spicy Stuffed Peppers
2 bell peppers in the color of your choice 
4 oz. ground white turkey breast
2 tsp. taco seasoning
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 cup green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup sweet potato, diced and roasted
with cinnamon, cumin, smoked paprika and sea salt, to taste
1/2 cup chopped blanched kale
2 Tbsp. Jalapeno Salsa
1/4 cup fire roasted tomatoes
4 Tbsp. Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Jalapeno Cheese
chopped fresh cilantro

Slice peppers in half and scoop out seeds.  Lightly spray the peppers with oil and roast in a 400 degree oven until roasted. Dice sweet potato and spray lightly with oil.  Season with cinnamon, cumin, smoked paprika and sea salt to taste.  Roast in the oven with the peppers until tender and browned.

While the peppers are roasting, blanch kale for a couple of minutes in boiling water.  Drain, chop and set aside.  Lightly spray a skillet with oil and saute onion, garlic and bell pepper. Add turkey breast and taco seasoning and cook until turkey is done.  Add Jalapeno Salsa and fire roasted tomatoes. Stir until combined and heated through.  Remove from heat and gently stir in black beans, kale and roasted sweet potatoes.  

Fill bell pepper halves with turkey mixture.  Top each half with 1 Tbsp. cheese.  Bake in a 400 degree oven until mixture is heated through and cheese is melted and browned on top.  Remove from oven and top with chopped fresh cilantro. 

This post reminds me that it's time to make these again....

Have a beautiful day!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

TANDOORI BBQ CHICKEN

I work with some really nice people.  We are not really compatible though.  While I read food blogs and cookbooks and magazines full of beautiful food with lots of flavor and dine frequently on Indian, Thai and Mexican foods (the spicier the better), my friends at work look at me funny when I bring in my leftovers for lunch or attempt to share with them about the wonderful dinner that we made the night before or over the weekend.   
When we order pizza together at work and I am looking forward to the Buffalo Chicken pizza, they are hoping that at least something "normal" was ordered, as well. 
 Yeah, I don't fit in very well sometimes.
  I'm okay with that. 
While I'm definitely the minority there, I'm not alone.    I have one friend there who is a foodie.  We share highlights of meals that we have recently dined on....food that we plan to dine on....ideas of things we want to try...learning from one another and our eyes are opened to new food and new ideas. 
Thank God for her.
One of the yummy food ideas that she has shared with me was for Tandoori BBQ Chicken.

 
Originally an Aarti Sequeira recipe, I took the basics of the recipe and tweaked it just a little bit.  Aarti used chicken thighs and I used breasts.  She used tandoori masala.  I used garam masala.  She cut the chicken up and added it to the sauce.  I served the sauce on top of the chicken breasts.  She served hers over a scallion blini.  We had rice on the side.  Minor differences didn't change the integrity of the recipe at all and definitely did not make it my own.  It was spicy and full of flavor and definitely something we will make again. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Bleh...



Nuff said....

Have a wonderful Wordless Wednesday!