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?
8. Hardest person to buy for?
My grandmother and her husband. They have everything they want.
9. Easiest person to buy for?
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?
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

  • 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
  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

  • 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
  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???