Friday, December 31, 2010

Review: Bang Bang Mongolian Grill

Bang Bang
Mongolian Grill
6240 Mills Civic Parkway
West Des Moines, IA 50266
(515) 440-2264
 
Open: Sun—Thurs 11am-10pm and Fri—Sat 11am—11pm

  Most recently, the restaurant that I have visited is Bang Bang Mongolian Grill out in the Jordan Creek/West Glen area of West Des Moines.  Now with the area littered with both local and chain restaurants, this one caught the eyes of both my sister and I as we are both fans of the very similar joint HuHot.

  Similarities include: various appetizers to choose from (egg rolls, crab rangoons, lettuce wraps, nachos, etc; soup or salad, and your meal.)  The meal always consists of whatever you choose, and as many times as you choose.
  First off, there are two kinds of soup to choose from (all self-serve). That particular day was clam chowder and egg drop. I am not sure if it changes on a daily basis or not.

  Next was a salad bar, with run of the mill toppings, and all kinds of dressings. I am a self pronounced ranch dressing connoisseur and theirs DEFINITELY stands up to some of the best of I’ve tasted. Side note, probably not the healthiest options as they do have various vinaigrettes and low fat options.
 Next is the meat (steak, pork, chicken, various seafood, tofu) and then noodles (soba, spaghetti, and rice). Veggies galore come next, all kinds with even more variety than HuHot. Then there is a spice bar that include both liquid and dry spices. Nice touch! Then onto the grill where the concoction is freshly made and served piping hot!
 There is even a nacho chip bar with sour cream, cheese dip, salsa, and tortillas if you want fajitas!!

 Launa loves CHOPSTICKS!!!

 
  Overall, great experience and highly recommend giving it a try!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

So Sorry.......

Sorry I've been out of commission lately. My laptop screen has decided to look like this permanently.....


And after having to deal with your stereotypical techie nerd for a week or so I'm thinking of refurbishing the look to something like this....



Its irreparable.  I DEPLORE my desktop since its slower than molasses....

I'll try to post some things now and again but we are on a hiatus until we shell out the dough for a new laptop.
On another note, I'm getting lots of work outs and cooking in since I'm not carrying the laptop around the house on my hip like a colicky baby.

Ta Ta for now!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Gobble Gobble!

Hi all!
Challenge update: Since I posted about the challenge back last week, I will say that it has been a rocky time with Thanksgiving thrown in there! Overall, exercise wise, I was able to meet my calorie burn everyday except rest day(which ended up being Saturday) either through the *desired* 60 minutes on the gazelle.  There was a few days (Thursday and Friday) where I, probably like most Americans, used my cooking time (4+ hours) and Black Friday early morning shopping(8+ hours) as my form of exercise for the day. Otherwise, I have been able to get at least 45 minutes of gazelle in each day(only one day at 45 minutes the rest 60) so I am pretty proud of that. The scale seems to moving down but of course fluctuates daily (which angers me beyond belief) so I'll be updating that soon as well.

Don't get me wrong, I find nothing wrong with using those forms of activity as "exercise". I wanted to squeeze in 30 minutes of cardio each day(and had planned to by bringing my workout clothes with me!) I mean I was up on Turkey day at 6 getting things going, went back to bed for a bit, then got up at 8 for the day, where I proceeded to chop, saute, bake, instruct, and burn with lots of food items! Our Turkey day celebrations(we are lucky enough to eat and enjoy two giant meals that day, spread out about by 4 hours. Isn't that enough time to digest? NO NO NO!) went off without too many hitches (undercooked chicken at the first and blah gravy at the second) and good times had by all.  The pictures were accidentally deleted but I do have one that Chris made me take at his sister's house(gross pic, I'm EXHAUSTED!!!)

The entire Thanksgiving weekend went so fast! As always! We stayed in Polk City for Wednesday night and had movie night with my sister and niece(oh how she loves Toy Story 3!) and made some rockin' nachos(sans pics of course). It makes me warm and fuzzy staying in, making a delish din din, and spending time with the rugrats that I love the most! Thursday morning/afternoon was spent with my immediate fam, ending in the annual Michigan Rummy card game and I was able to score a victory narrowly but I still WON!! That's all that counts, right? We scooted off to the in-laws around 3pm where the father in laws bro and sis came to eat. We played a white elephant game that we normally play during Christmas so that was delightful. I was able to score a pretty huge draft dodger that I am for sure re-gifting at the next White Elephant party on December 11th. It still has tags people! I died when I got home around 10 Thursday night and was up and at 'em bright and early with the sis for deals to be found. A good recap is here.

Friday was the annual Foosball tournament for the all the men in our lives, from high school and beyond. It is always a good time, the girl usually start to congregate after giving the boys a good solid 4 hours alone. Hilarity always ensues, as these pictures can tell you:



video

Saturday we spent more time in PC, some in the hot tub and some not. Ended up watching Grown UP's before leaving for home. So so movie. Nothing too funny but just enough to keep me awake (sometimes just barely!) Sunday, the sister and niece went with me to Trader Joe's for their first time and I think that they picked up some good loot. She already used the pizza crust so I am totally JEL there but my time will come. I HEART TRADER JOE'S. I will get pics when I make my pizza. There is so much good, different stuff out there for decent prices. Locals GO THERE NOW!!!

Off to make some dinner(shepherds pie with leftovers from Turkey day--second meal--SCORE!)
Stay tuned tomorrow: restaurant review on Bang Bang Mongolian Grill!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

A pre-planned post as I am sure I am either elbow deep in dishes at my parent's house or trying to get a quick nap in between the two huge meals. I mean, why why must we have to eat at both families on the same day? Crazy I think! But no will change so we deal. :(

A holiday inspired survey to bide my time to get my grub pics up ASAP!
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Wrapping paper for the kids. Bags once the boxes run out.
2. Real tree or Artificial?
Fake. 7ft slim pre-lit with white lights.
3. When do you put up the tree?
When I have time and feel like it. Usually after the first snow.
4. When do you take the tree down?
Usually the weekend after Christmas. It's on the weekend this year. Touche!
5. Do you like egg nog?
Oh, YEAH!! Too bad its calorie laden!
6. Favorite gift received as a child?
I really enjoyed when my dad installed a automatic start on my car secretly. AMAZE!!
7. Do you have a nativity scene?
No
8. Hardest person to buy for?
My grandmother and her husband. They have everything they want.
9. Easiest person to buy for?
Children.
10. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards?
Mail. Getting free ones this year!
11 .Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
The globe from my parents! Otherwise, husband takes the cake with nothing a lot.
12. Favorite Christmas movie?
A Christmas Story.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
December 26th for the following year usually.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Hells yeah.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Ham balls, iced sugar cookies, anything from our ladies cookie baking day.
16. Clear or colored Christmas lights?
White inside and outside.
17. Favorite Christmas song?
Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney and Wings
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Travel with 30 minutes, 2 hours a couple of weekends ahead of time. Nothing crazy.
19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeers?
Of course!!
20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
Star.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Gifts with the aunts and uncles on Eve then immediate families on Christmas morning/evening.
22 . Most annoying thing about this time of year?
Snowy roads.
23. Favorite ornament theme or color?
I like a color coordinated tree so I had red and silver, then Chris throws his random uglies in there. PUKE!
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner?
Ham loaf with baked potatoes and rolls with butter
25. What do you want for Christmas this year?
Ultimate list: A new car, winning lottery ticket, Oprah to pay off my mortgage(s)....
Biggest wish: a puppy beagle
Real list: Rachael Ray's new Lookbook Cookbook, a metal cooling rack for the oven, another pampered chef large bar pan, a book called Fit from Within, a new camera

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Recipes...Tried and True!

I recently made two new recipes and I thought that I would share with you! Both turned out fairly well and both were easy to make; both done within about an hour and half, most of that waiting(as you'll see or cooking time).

Super Moist and Very Easy Banana Bread: The Big Batch

Ingredients:
  • 8-9 overly ripe bananas, the browner the better in my opinion
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 C sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups flour
Directions:
  1. Smash bananas. I do this with my hands.
  2. Mix in melted butter into bananas.
  3. Add in eggs and sugar.
  4. Add in vanilla, salt, and soda.
  5. Gradually add in flour.
  6. Put into greased pans.
  7. Bake at 350 for 45-ish minutes.
I used 6 small pans so I could take 2 to work, my family's Thanksgiving, and the in-law's Thanksgivings. I also like to use the small pans because if not everyone likes the flavor of bread, you can freeze the other remaining loaf or pack it up and take elsewhere rather than toting along a already cut into loaf of bread. If you do the bigger pans, increase the cooking time to an hour. You could also do muffins and I would say probably 20-30 minutes would be good. Add chocolate chips or nuts of choice and these would be awesome still. Lots of possibilities here!

Next up was an adaptation of something I buy all too frequently in the store in single sized but overpriced portions for the husband: Planter's Heat Peanuts. Don't get me wrong, I can buy him some of his fave snacky snacks, but I wanted to see if I could buy a huge thing of peanuts and just make them myself for pennies compared to $1 a tube! This is the recipe I used from a PDF recipe book I received via email like ages ago that has all the "copy cat" recipes from restaurants, brands, etc.:

Mock Planter's Heat Cashews

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups hulled raw peanuts (or almonds, pecans, etc.) I used cashews.
  • 3 teas. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1−2 Tbls. liquid smoke
  • 2 Tbls. butter
  • 2 teas. distilled white vinegar
  • 2 teas. hot pepper sauce
  • 3/4 teas. salt
  • 1/8 teas. cayenne pepper
Directions:
  1. Line jelly roll pan with foil.
  2. Toss nuts with liquid smoke and Worcestershire sauce and let marinate for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325F. I used 350 because of the above bread!
  4. Melt butter in heavy large skillet over med−low heat. Cool slightly.
  5. Stir in vinegar, hot sauce, salt, and cayenne. Return skillet to heat.
  6. Scrape in nuts and marinade.
  7. Stir to coat nuts, about 30 seconds.
  8. Return nut mixture to jelly roll pan. Bake until deep golden brown, stirring at times, about 20 min.
  9. Transfer pan to rack to cool. Nuts will crisp as they cool.
  10. Store in an air tight container.
  11. These came out more smoky flavored than the fiery hot like the Heat nuts. When I make them again, I will add more of the hot pepper sauce and less liquid smoke and cook them low and slow. I will have to follow up.
    I did however mix them with some white cheddar popcorn after work and that was AMAZE! Those boy scouts can really make some righteous popcorn!
    Stay tuned for more recipes to come in the following weeks, I mean I'm trying 3 different sweet potato recipes on Turkey Day!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Viva la...Holidays!

First and foremost, I would like to say SORRY to those that read and check this blog regularly. I’m SORRY! I know the feeling when you go to the website and there is no update or new blog post. The good news is that should not be happening from now on….

How or why can you believe me this time? Usually because I take weekend hiatuses (is that a word?) to do things like this:



75 days…75 DAYS!!! No, not 75 days until Waitangi Day. I am starting a new 75 day challenge!

WHY? There are ONLY 75 days until a much needed and spur of the moment recently booked vacation to Cancun!!! We are staying at the resort Riu Caribe for 4 glorious day and 3 beautiful nights in February for my sister's DIRTY THIRTY birthday celebration!

So far, it's myself and hubby and herself and spouse. We are hoping to see a few more couples or peeps book but I'm sure it will be an AMAZING time either way! Trip advisor reviews are mostly good(there's always that one guy who can't be pleased) and we got a good deal so I'm busting at my seams with excitement! Chris and I have been to Mexico before (a la Honeymoon) but never with anyone else so that will be a blast. I see margaritas, guacamole, and Miami Vices for everyone's futures! Hopefully nothing to do with a nature trail… for those who know that story, I DIE!!!








Holy crap Mama! How I am supposed to lose weight during the freakin' holidays? This is the time for friends, indulgence, family, wine, and hangovers ugly Christmas sweaters. I know that I can have all of these things this holiday season even with my 75 Day challenge goals that I want to obtain. There are 2 main things that I want in 75 days:
  • Lose 15-20 lbs: This would put me at 45-50lbs lost and about a year since I started. Shut your mouth when you're talking to me! Talk about an accomplishment! I said that's worth a small trip to land of sun, fun, and salsa and chips galore.
  • Go down 1-2 sizes in pants.
  • Get a boob job
How am I going to get to that next step? Can you hear the move line "YOU CAN DO IT" ringing in your head? I CAN!!
  • I will work out 6 days a week with at least 60 minutes of intense cardio(Px90 or Gazelle), 3 days of strength training(which is going to be Px90 or another DVD I can make my ass do), and 1 one rest day(most likely Sunday's) where I will still attempt to hit calorie burn, not sit in bed all day and look at pics of the Riu, dreaming of a Enrique Iglesias type masseuse rubbing my body!
  • I am too late to register for another blogger's Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge but I am going to follow it and track my points and if I can come with 25 points of the winner, I get a new swimsuit for the trip. Or something that I would rather have!
  • I am drinking booze only one day per week (if that) until end of new year then it's drinking is off like a slut bag's prom dress until I hit the airport white sandy beaches for the Mexico!
  • We (hubs and I) are not going to go out to eat for the months of December or January for two reasons: calorie counting and penny saving. Both of these areas of been lack as of late so need to KICK IT INTO GEAR!!! Mexico doesn't pay for itself people!
What are you doing to maintain your weight this holiday season or are you going to attempt to lose too? Who is joining this challenge with me???

Saturday, November 20, 2010

More insight on me...

I'm either lounging around on this Saturday afternoon or knee deep in tailgating! Either way, hope you have a good day and enjoy a bit more about me!

1) Are you an Aunt/Uncle?
Yes, two wonderful nieces and two wonderful nephews!

2) Can you do a cartwheel?
Not in the slightest

3) What was the last movie you saw in theaters?
Not sure, either Alvin and the Chipmunks or Couples Retreat…not a very often movie goer!

4) Do you eat vegetables regularly?
Raw, baked, frozen, sauteed. I am really a vegetarian at heart! Love them all.

5) If you were going to get a body piercing, where would you get it?
I have my ears pierced already. Not really feeling anything else.

6) Do you ever hang out with someone of the opposite sex?
Yes, frequently. I'm married.

7) Are you a jealous person?
For certain things.

8) Do you believe in life on other planets?
Sure. You've seen ET right?

9) How many times have you been to Canada?
None. Would like to go though eh!


10) Have you ever had a reptile as a pet?
Is a turtle a reptile? If so, yes. Otherwise, not sure.

11) What is your favorite fruit?
Blueberries, strawberries, or watermelon. Again, not a picky eater.

12) What is the ring tone on your phone right now?
Depends on who is calling: my hubby: At last by Etta James, my sister Beyonce's Single Ladies and everyone else Michael Jackson's Beat It

13) Who was your last missed call on your cell phone?
My hubby just called over his lunch break

14) Where are you most ticklish?
Knees

15) How many hours a week do you normally work?
40 grueling hours for the MAN

16) Who’s your best friend?
Sara, Kayla, Lindsey

17) Do you have any deep dark secrets?
One to 4

18) When was the last time you were sick?
Sniffling this morning and usually a day of cramps that bed rid me each month but other than that Sept 2009, the WORST head cold EVER!

19) How many siblings do you have?
One.

20) Did you ever try running away from home when you were younger?
No.

21) What makes you the happiest?
Not working or being on a set in stone schedule set by someone else.

22) Where do you want to be right now?
On a vacation, anywhere.

23) Have you ever finished a Rubik’s Cube?
Bah, no. No patience. Only held one once, too.

24) When was the last time you rode a bike?
The last memory is about age 9 when I wrecked, soon to be Feb 5th BRRR!!!!

25) Do you have any vacation plans for this summer?
Florida in May but for sure somewhere else after that!

26) Where were you 1 hour ago?
Chained to this desk via a headset.

27) Who will be your next kiss?
The hubs or a dog :)

28) What is in your desk drawer?
At home: no drawers At work: work crap

29) Three words to explain why you last threw up:
Pizza Rolls + Beers

30) What is the equation for the Pythagorean theorem?
That's literally all Greek to me!

31) Do you believe the guy should pay on the first date?
Don't expect it but definitely like it.

32) Do you think Barbie is a negative role model for young girls?
Who cares aren't children supposed to live in a fantasy world.

33) What kind of car does your father & mother drive:
Depends, they have a lot of vehicles for two peeps. Cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles.

34) Do you like Scrabble?
Sure. I'm very competitive!

35) Where did you attend high school?
North Polk Junior and Senior High

36) Favorite scientist?
Bill Nye the Science Guy

37) Do you like mornings?
Don't mind them just hate chit chatting in the AM.

38) Last television program you watched:
DVRd episode of Rachael Ray show

39) If you'd been born in the opposite sex, what would your name be?
Fred something. Dad didn't get a boy so his dog is named Fred.

40) Does your family own any boats:
My parents used to. It wasn't utilized very often so it got SOLD!

41) Something you can’t live without:
Water and sleep. DUH!

42) Can you whistle?
Nope.

43) What swear word do you use the most?
Fuck.

44) Do you have air conditioning in your room?
Yes, the entire house actually. Welcome to the 21st century.

45) What do you do when a vending machine steals your money?
Shake the machine. Livin' on the edge!

46) How often do you read books?
Not often enough, usually cookbooks only or magazines about cooking :)

47) What did you have for dinner last night?
Beef stroganoff and broccoli w/ cheese.

48) Describe the computer you are currently using:
Work computer IBM with a monitor the size of VW Beetle that is from when peeps could smoke in buildings and has the smoke color to prove it!

49) How long does it take you to get ready to go out?
Depends on where I'm going: work like 15 minutes and I'm good. On the town: 60+ I like to take my time!

50) Will you donate your organs after you pass?
Yes all of them, especially my lady bits.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm a bad blogger...

Sorry readers, long time no chat! And I'm not really much better right now! I promise to post something interesting tomorrow night, right now I'm tired. Went to the Rockettes tonight. Nice but long!

For your reading pleasure....
1. How old is the oldest pair of shoes in your closet?
I would have to check when I get home but I'm sure there are some oldies in there, although I recently did closet clean out. I suspect it would be a pair of tennis shoes, I can't seem to throw them out unless they are caked in mud. That’s why I save them even after I buy new :)

2. Did you buy Girl Scout cookies this year? If so, what variety?
I haven't been approached yet but if so, would buy stock in the do-si-do's (for the hubs) and samoa's(for myself).

3. Do you know how to ballroom dance?
Nope.

4. Were you a responsible child/teenager?
50/50, I got good grades and held a job but dabbled in mischievous-ness at times.

5. How many of this year's Oscar-nominated movies did you see?
From this last years: The Blind Side (great!), Precious (slow but good storyline), and Up in the Air (also slow but didn't turn it off)

6. If you're going to have a medical procedure done, such as having blood drawn, is it easier for you to watch someone else having the procedure done or have it done yourself?
Not a big deal either way to me.

7. What is your favorite day of the week and why?
The weekends are obvious choices but I really like Fridays, the work day is a lot less intense, everyone is happy for the most part, and the entire weekend is ahead of you!



8. Do you miss anyone right now?
A few but nothing can be done about it.

9. Do hospitals make you queasy?
No, other emotions typically come out.

10. At which store would you like to max-out your credit card?

Sam's Club, they have it all! And in huge sizes!

11. Are you true to the brand names of products/items?
A few things (Q-Tips, Anderson Erickson cottage cheese, Bath and Body Works for body spray are the ones that come to mind) I'm not too picky.

12. Which is more difficult: looking into someone’s eyes when you are telling someone how you feel, or looking into someone’s eyes when he/she is telling you how he/she feels?
Both. I'm freaked out by intense amounts of eye contact.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

If I were a...

If I were a poptart... S'mores would be my flavor.

If I were a song... I'd be singing Journey's "Don't Stop Believin' "

If I were a movie... Julia Roberts would play me.

If I were a tree... I'd be a weeping willow.

If I were a salad... I'd have all the toppings allowable and have a full fat ranch on it!

If I were a chocolate bar... I'd be stuffed full of peanut butter.

If I were a color... I'd be white, it goes well with my skin tone.

If I were a season... I'd be autumn for its warm days and cool, starry nights.

If I were a beverage... I'd be packed full of alcohol.

If I were a journalist... I'd like to cover gritty stories from real life.

If I were a hockey team... I'd never play since I can't skate.

If I were shampoo... I'd de-frizz and make you shine like a star!

If I were lotion... I'd be fruity smelling.

If I were a font... I'd be carefree and funky!

If I were a hymn... I'd be hopefully only hummed, cuz I can't carry a tune!

If I were a cartoon character... I'd be Rainbow Brite, a fellow ginger.

If I were a sweater... I'd be winter white and v neck.

If I were a food... I'd be cheese and lots of it.

If I were a berry... I'd be a blueberry.

If I were a perfume... I'd be something fruity,

If I were a car... I'd be a pearl colored Escalade.

If I were a children’s book... I'd be Alexander and his terrible no good very bad day.

If I were a dessert... I'd be cheesecake.

If I were a sport... I'd be sand volleyball.

If I were an egg... I'd be deviled.

If I were a place... I'd be Riveria Maya, Mexico.

If I were a sandwich... I'd be Havarti and muenster grilled cheese.

If I were ice cream... I'd be vanilla with a little chocolate fudge and chopped peanuts.

If I were a muppet... I'd have someones hand up my ass.

If I were a dress... I'd be a champagne colored halter wedding dress.

If I were a Pez flavor... I'd be the yellow ones.

If I were a Pez dispenser... I'd be a Dorothy from Wizard of Oz.

If I were natural disaster... I'd be an hurricane.

If I were an accent... I'd be Irish!

If I were a potato chip... I'd be baked BBQ southwestern ranch

If I were a fictional detective... I'd be Nancy Drew(since I already am!)

If I were a Starbucks drink... I'd be white chocolate mocha (full fat) or skinny vanilla latte with extra sugar free caramel shot.

If I were a book... I'd be about food.

If I were a building... I'd be open 24 hours.

If I were a lake... I'd be clear and deep with lots of fish and happy campers.

If I were a store... I'd be Sam's Club.

If I were footwear... I'd be high heels, open toe, preferably pink.

If I were a flower... I'd be a a calla Lily.

If I were a holiday... I'd be Thanksgiving, full of food and beer.

If I were a painting... I'd be the one in my living room so I can see what happens when I'm not there.

If I were a TV show... I'd be a reality show and peeps would love it!


***Answer yours in the comments***

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Firsts?

Holy balls I'm posting on a Friday!
And I'm taking my REST day today!

As a fam, we went to celebrate our October birthdays (myself, brother in law(which we have same bday--weird!) and father in law) at one of my faves The Waterfront Seafood Market and Restaurant in WDM. Again, enjoyed ourselves thoroughly! Everyone enjoyed what they got, the service from Pete was amazing (no matter what the table of blue hairs across from us said) and the price was right!

This time I went with the crab cakes and hubs went with the halibut basket. Both were AMAZE! So AMAZE I forgot to snap pics! It was a fun time, the niece and nephew are so cute! Getting so old and really starting be a little person that actually knows stuff.

I wanted to also post a recipe/slash method for making a healthy dip for veggies, fruit, etc. I got this from my friend Lindsey's grandmother. What a gal! Who would've thunk it? SO SIMPLE!!
  • Start with 320z. fat free plain flavored yogurt. I've tried Dannon, Weight Watchers, Anderson Erickson. They all work.
  • Get two small colanders/strainers with really fine meshing.
  • Line both with coffee filters.
  • Divide yogurt between containers. Cover with remaining coffee filter.
  • Put in fridge overnight, straddling medium sized bowls.
  •  Remove from fridge. There will noticeably less amounts of yogurt left in each container. This is a good thing and is supposed to happen. There will noticeable amounts of liquid in each container underneath. Discard of that.
  •  Combine both yogurts amounts into one bowl. Notice how much volume has been taken away from straining liquid.
  •  Add flavorings. This time I went with ranch. I have done dill before(dried dill weed and garlic salt) and next time I am going to try a sweet concoction of possibly powdered sugar and vanilla or almond extract or orange peel, for a fruit dip.
  •  Enjoy! The entire container of yogurt before straining is 400 calories. I don't know if taking most of the liquid takes off calories or not. Does anyone know this? This amount could easily satisfy into 4 portions with veggies and be 4 days worth of afternoon snacks with about 150-200 calories. though MY GO TO!!!
Well I'm off to finish my load of laundry and get in bed and finish an already started episode of the Good Wife. LOVE IT!

GO HAWKEYES!!!
Big Game tomorrow that my hubby gets to go to. How does he get to go to 2 games, tailgate at another and I get to only tailgate. That may change next weekend my friends, next weekend.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Random 50 Questions!

****Let's have a little fun today! Feel free to answer all or some of these questions in the comments section.***

1. What is your best friend's Mom's name? not including my sister, probably Terri or Lou

2. Where is the weirdest place you have a mole? My only mole is in the crease of my leg and hip area…near the lady bits.

3. Who was the hottest teacher you ever had? Steve Latimer. Too hot…even to this day, I get nervous.

4. Have you ever made out in a movie theater? Nope I'm too busy screaming or laughing out loud and please, I can have the hubs interrupt movies at home for FREE!

5. What body part do you wash first? My face

6. Do you hover over the toilet in public bathrooms? I don't, toilet seats are typically cleaner than counter tops so who cares unless visibly disgusting

7. What's the strangest talent you have? I cannot think of one at this time. Please ask again later.

8. Do you have an innie or an outtie? Innie all the way.

9. What's your favorite flavored Pringles? BBQ

10. Have you ever been tied up? Do you want to be? I can't recall being tied up, and I don't want to be tied up. I don't see a need for me to be restrained.

11. What was the last thing you ever got grounded for? I got grounded by my husband for smoking in our Jeep. I'm cool but he's way cooler.

12. Do you parallel park or drive around the block? I am AMAZING at parallel parking

13. Have you ever had two dates in one night? I wouldn't necessarily call them dates.

14. How many times have you been cussed out? I think once, via facebook message and recently. What a skank-a-rilla!

15. Which shoe do you put on first? Whichever one I pick up.

17. Have you ever been to a gay bar? Yes, several times.

18. Girls-- just wanna have fun!

19. Is there one thing all of your love interests have had in common? They are all male. I have a very diverse attraction spectrum!

20. Did you French kiss before you were 16? Yes, I did. You only live once!

21. Have you ever been cow-tipping or snipe-hunting? No, although not 100% sure what a snipe is.

22. Who is the last person you usually think about before you fall asleep? Depends on the day's drama.

23. Have you ever had a poem or a song written about you? Not sure about me, but to me/us for our wedding.

24. If you had to choose to not ever wash your bed sheets again or not wash your bath towel ever again, which would you rather not wash? Bed sheets, then I would never have to put them back on!

25. Have you ever found anything in your parents' bedroom that was questionable? Yes but shall remain unmentioned.

26. What was your childhood nickname? Darce-train, Red, a lot to name.

27. When is the last time you played the air guitar? Within the last year I'm sure, it’s the only instrument I play.

28. Have you ever peeked in the opposite sexes locker room? Hells yeah!

29. What's the weirdest thing you have done while driving? I am really good at multi-tasking so can do it all. Daily, makeup and driving while intext-icated. I KNOW I'M BAD!

30. Have you ever bitten your toenails? No, not flexible enough.

31. How do you eat your cookie? What kind? Size matters here!

32. When working out at the gym, do you wear a belt? No, my weights aren't that heavy!

33. Name something you do when you're alone that you wouldn't do in front of others. Hold my arms above my head to have my boobies be where they should be still!

36. How many drinks does it take before you get drunk? Depends on whats being served, but median amount, just seems like a little because I drink so fast.

37. Have you ever sniffed an animal's butt? Um, no.

38. How often do you clean out your ears? Daily, more than once often.

39. Do you scrunch or fold your toilet paper? Depends if its in a dispenser or not.

40. About how many times a day do you pick a wedgie? Impossible when you fly commando!

41. Do you have any strange phobias? Snakes, don't necessarily enjoy heights, being punched.

42. Have you ever stuck a foreign object up your nose? Only the necessities.

43. What is the stupidest thing you've ever done at a bar? Pretty much the second I put my ass hat on, something stupid happens.

44. Have you ever been dared to do something you totally regretted? Nope, I have no regrets about any action, decision, or behavior I've ever done.

45. Have you ever called your love interest by an ex's name? Not that I recall...

46. Have you caught a guy/girl farting while on a date? If you can catch yourself, then yes.

47. Have you ever played naked Twister? Not with all these loosey goosey parts!

48. Have you ever been drunk at work? Drunk @ work parties, woops!

49. Have you ever found your date's/lover's brother or sister more attractive? Not that I recall.

50. Do you want to bring sexy back? Already did.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordy Wednesday!

Evening all my loyal followers and those that lurk in the shadows. You know who you are, see that button to the right that says "Follow" I dare you to click and it see what happens. You will be thoroughly impressed from here on out. I promise.

Anywho, stepping off soapbox. Today was a pretty good day, I think my body is getting used to the new shift(starting an hour earlier than I had previously) because I enjoy so so so much leaving work at 4pm. I feel like I have so much time after I get home! I LOVE IT!

Eats for the day:
Breakfast: Yoplait Greek blueberry yogurt with honeycrisp apple and small brownie (damn you bake sale!)
Lunch: Lettuce salad with diced chicken, cucumbers, green onion and tomatoes with Caesar Italian Dressing and some tortilla strips (for the crunch factor!)
Snack: 1 cup sugar free strawberry jell-o with 100 calorie pack of cheez-its (pictured are carrots but didn't eat them)
Dinner: Biggest Loser night at Sara's: Steamed broccoli with cheese, beef stroganoff (THE BEST)!

Over all, not bad for eats but a REALLY good day for exercise. After work, I rode the gazelle for over an hour(OK like a minute over but that was awesome!) and burnt nearly 850 calories AND went a little over 4.5 miles!!! I sweaty and it was good. With the new shift I won't hardly ever work out in the am (just not into 5 am anymore) and I'm fine with that as I feel like I work out harder and longer after work. This could be the start of something beautiful! So far so good for week 3 of working out at least 5 of the 7 days with 6 of those days hitting the calorie burn goal on BodyBugg! A girl has to rest! I am planning on not being a huge lazy anymore on Sundays and hitting goal but not doing anything structured, maybe a little shopping or some cooking.

Also, wanted to touch on my recent visit to Trader Joe's. Recently, a new store opened in the West Glen/Jordan Creek area. A friend and I went on Sunday afternoon thinking that the hype would have went down a bit. Sadly mistaken. It will still buzzing with peeps all hopped up on preservative free food! I can see what the hype is about though from the products that were left on the shelves. Good prices on produce, a very different selections from the normal stores around here and A LOT more vegetarian/vegan/gluten free options. I escaped with a few sampled and purchased green Chile Verde salsa (which is HOT) and a frozen roasted veggie enchilada dinner, which has been shown here a few times. These enchies are TO DIE FOR! And I'm actually not a big veggie only type eater. I topped it with a couple of tablespoons of sour cream and salsa but really could have scarfed it down the same without the extra calories of either!

I'm actually attempting a re-create this Sunday, I'll hopefully document the entire process, planning on making a couple of pans for the freezer! Sunday is working out to be a day filled of cooking for me! YUMMO!

Time to hit the hay. Trying to keep this house guest entertained but it's not working very well!

Stay tuned for a fun 50 random questions to show up tomorrow! Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I'm ALIVE!!!

Sorry for the long lapse in posting!
 I've been going going going since last Thursday morning! I am EX-HAUST-ED so I'm just going to post an array of pictures over the last 5 days that I've been doing, eating, drinking, slicing, etc!!

Thursday mornings breakfast on my way to volunteer...WHEW! What a hard day, kinda appreciate the desk job more after that day...but really motivated to donate some fluids!

Side note, not sure if these small-ish size bars are worth the average of 200 calories per...although ate it at 8 and not again til 12:30 and wasn't hungry at all. Good for on the go for sure!
A Cake that a worker of the Blood Center baked for the volunteer appreciate luncheon...amazing. The de-headed it and separated for lots of peeps to take home to their kids. Everyone liked it a lot.
 Friday off from work and lunched in WDM with my sister at Biaggi's and think that I just ordered the wrong thing. I got the lunch combo of soup and salad. Ordered the veggie minestrone and was so unimpressed that I couldn't snap a pic. The bread however is to die for and ate 2 pieces of BOTH kinds!
 My salad choice was the wedge, drenched drizzled in blue cheese, bacon bits, and tomatoes. It was overall ok, I would have preferred a nice ranch but wanted to see all the hype.
 Friday night was my niece's birthday party at my sisters house and she had her first sleepover. I was supposed to bake a cake but time got away from me on Thursday night so ran to Sam's club and came home with this number for only $10!! It was a good deal as those sponge bobs were rings and the girls went a little CA-RAZY over them! It was a nice party overall and the important thing is the girls had a blast with each other!
 Saturday=HAWKEYE football. Went to Grimes, IA to a friend's house for a house party which eventually turned to garage/yard party but when the game got close it was ON! Tons of food to chow down on: veggies and dip, meat/cheese/crackers, pickle wrap dip, (not pictured: chili, hot dogs, prime rib sandwiches, cheese dip, pumpkin bars, chips/salsa/cheese dip, bloody Mary bar and beers of course!)
 Josh relaxing during the game!
 Buffalo chicken wraps that I brought, overall pretty good.
I'll be making again (with a different thicker tortilla) so stay tuned for recipe!
 Erin Miller and Aaron Wise
 Justin Frampton, Josh Taylor, Josh Gibson
 Aaron Wise and Josh Taylor
 Josh Gibson, Melissa Snyder and Justin Frampton
 Melissa Snyder and Erin Miller
 Wyatt and Josh Gibson
 Morgan Wise and Justin Frampton
Josh Gibson, myself, and Morgan Wise

Well off to shower, just worked out for 45 minutes, see daily mile widget to left for last workout. Got in 4 days last week and that again is my goal. It will be hard, my dad had surgery Monday so was only able to get in a 25 minute walk around the block of the hospital during his recovery and had to squeeze in tonight. As long as I can "watch" the food that goes in, shorter workout should be fine!

Thanks for reading and good night!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Baking Cookies

Good evening all!
Sitting here just waiting for the next batch of cookies to come out of the oven. Not such a great idea to start them so late but can't stop now.

Today was my Friday for the work week so I'm pretty stoked about that! Volunteering tomorrow until around 3 then going to hit a local bank here to see what kind of bargain they can give us on our mortgages. The interest rates are crazy so may as well take advantage right now and cut like 10 years of payments off! Who do you get your mortgage through? Do they offer online access?

Workout wise, I squeezed in a almost 45 minutes session of the gazelle again today. Am I going to get all 6 days in again this week? I KNOW SO! I am thinking about buying a CoreFusion DVD, anyone ever done it before?

Today's eats was pretty normal except we went to dinner out with a friend! Menu plan FAIL!
Breakfast: Gala apple and bagel thin with laughing cow cheese wedge
Lunch: Chicken Tortilla Soup with roasted Brussels sprouts (the last of them so sad)
Snack: FiberPlus Dark Chocolate and Almond fiber bar
Dinner: Chicago Speakeasy--see pics below

We really like this place not only because its 4 blocks from our house but because we have never been let down here! Tonight was no exception; actually we were outdone by our waitress who FINALLY allowed us to order the "lunch" fries instead of thick, non crispy steak fries that we just don't love. I definitely recommend a visit sometime soon.
 Started off with the hubby's all time favorite onion rings, not so much for me.
I like mine thick sliced!
 My salad bar trip. Words CANNOT describe what this salad bar is all about. Of course the salad itself is top notch but I also love the crab salad, macaroni salad, a weird yellow pasta salad, and the Oreo fluff. New addition since last time we went there was a new crouton type, soft and garlic-y like it was leftover garlic bread, which theirs is also TO DIE FOR! The husband and I are known to go here just for the salad bar. LOVES!
 My meal: The Speakeasy which is a piled high french dip with sauteed onions and Swiss cheese galore. I actually had 3 slices of cheese on and they were all the way ooey gooey so I actually took so off. I know me, the purebred American CHEESE FANATIC! I just couldn't had that many calories on Swiss. Now you had Havarti or Muenster or white American on there, WHOLE 'NOTHER BALL GAME FOLKS!
 The husband ordered the special of the night: BBQ Pork Ribs, a whole rack for $12.99. He didn't eat much so I plan to make a BBQ pork rib panini with onions and pickles sometime in our near future.
Our friend ordered the Alaskan king crab legs! This was her first time here and she had heard good things about these(I've never been with anyone who ordered them) so she bravely went there. And they didn't disappoint. Quite possibly the biggest crab legs I have ever seen and I've been to Seattle folks!
Oh the drawn butter! Butter holds a special place in my heart.
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Buzzer just went off for the cookies, gotta make the swap and keep the assembly line going. These cookies will be posted about tomorrow but are soft and cloud like, I may make a whoopie pie or two out of them just for shits and giggles.

Oh, and forgetful me forgot to weigh in this morning so will be posting something before heading out to volunteer tomorrow morning. Riveting I know but stay tuned!

Thanks for reading! I need to sleep!!!