Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Exhausted.

Sometimes (more often than not) motherhood is NOT pretty (example above of no makeup/greasy ponytailed hair). I don't want to bust the bubble of anyone who has all these grand, wonderful, ideals of motherhood...b/c some of it is...but there are days *sigh*....there are dark days. There are days when you question yourself at every turn. There are days when you CAN'T do it yourself. There are days when you'll fight against a teething baby, and they'll fight against you...until they collapse against the sound of your heartbeat and surrender. You haven't won, this is not a victory. It's just a quiet reminder that you are the BEST thing in that baby's world. It's just hard to see it all the time.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tomatillo chicken with stuffed jalapenos

Our local supermarket isn't really 'known' for having good deals or foods of a different culture. I mean sure, we've got a little 'spanish' section where you can get salsa and taco shells...but when I saw tomatillos in the produce section, I about flipped! Had I ever cooked with them before? No..but I couldn't wait to try them out!
The resulting dinner might not have been the prettiest, but it was VERY tasty!!

Cream cheese and chorizo stuffed jalapenos
Oven on 350
8 large jalapenos cut in half and seeds removed
1 block of cream cheese (8oz)
1 tube of pork chorizo (cooked/crumbled)

The heat of your cooked chorizo will melt the cream cheese, so just toss it on top, and then after about 5 minutes mix it together with a spoon to make a glorious cheese/chorizo paste. Then take about a tablespoon and put in to the little jalapenos. Bake 20-25 minutes, then let cool for a few minutes (that cream cheese get h.o.t.-you have been warned).

Tomatillo Chicken  (adapted from tlc.com)
1-2 tablespoons oil
3 chicken breasts-cut in half (thinner and now you have more to feed more people)
6 small-med tomatillos (husks removed,rinse them off, then cut into quarters)
1 small can of diced green chiles
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon (give or take) of cumin

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Season chicken breasts with cumin and add to pan. Brown chicken slightly.
Add tomatillos, chiles, chicken broth, and cilantro-
Cover and simmer 20-25 minutes
Remove chicken to plate, and take the remains of the pan and add to a blender and pulse slightly (you just want to smooth out any really big pieces)-top chicken with 'sauce'-then top with cheese if desired (I always desire cheese!)

If we hadn't have had company (and we almost ALWAYS have company) Husband and I could have taken down this entire dinner ourselves. The jalapenos...perfect with that creamy filling! The chicken was awesome too! The tomatillos give this slight tartness that almost had me thinking there was lime in there. But...since I was the one that cooked it, I knew there was no lime! Yum! It will be made again..and maybe next time with a pitcher of margaritas! Ole'!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Veggie pizza, but not what you are thinking...

If you are wearing socks, you might want to slip them off before this recipe KNOCKS them off....


What? This isn't what you think of when you think of veggie pizza? Hrm...you're right..it does just look like your ordinary run of the mill thin crust Buffalo chicken pizza.
Oh, but it's not. It's a life preserver for all of us low-carbers out there! You see I stumbled upon this website a few weeks ago...and she had posted a Cauliflower pizza crust. Hrm....And um...Husband couldn't even tell. Honestly..if I hadn't have been the one that physically MADE the pizza...I wouldn't have known either. You can go to the linked site above for her original recipes..and you should b/c she rocks! The possibilities are ENDLESS! This is a prebaked pizza crust. So you make it up, bake it up, then top it with whatever, then just bake it until it's warm and bubbly. I'm soon going to try to make up a few of these bad boys to keep in my freezer! I made the crust in the morning, then the pizza for dinner. So not only is this basically carb free and healthy (depending on the toppings of course)..it's super quick once it's baked. It's the PERFECT way to sneak veggies in on your non-veggie eating kids/spouse/family!
Cauliflower Crust for Pizza (adapted from here)
1 steamer bag of cauliflower (from the freezer section)
1/2 cup sharp cheddar shredded*
1 egg, beaten
Oven on at 450-
Follow the instructions on the bag to steam the cauliflower. Remove from bag to strainer/collander (whatever you might call it), let cool. No really..b/c when it comes out of the steamer bag it is H-O-T!
Cooled off? Ok...get a clean kitchen towel and put the cauliflower in it, and now squeeze it with all of your might (over the sink preferably). Think it's all dry now?
Squeeze it again! Ok...see there was more liquid than you thought! Move the squeezed cauli into your food processor and chop it up!
Take it out into a new dry kitchen towel and squeeze it again!! You want this stuff very dry!
Alright..into a bowl add your egg, your cheese, and your cauliflower. Mix it together.
Now..time to get a little messy. On a lined and greased baking sheet (parchment would have been AWESOME here but I was out-but seriously...it would be best b/c mine stuck to the aluminum even though I greased it up) plop your mix down into the center.  You can either put a tiny bit of water on your fingers or oil but work it into a circle (or whatever pizza shape you prefer). I was able to get mine into about a 10 inch circle.
Now into the oven. This bad boy needs to go until it's golden brown. I left mine in there a good 30-40 minutes.
Once it's cooked it should be fairly firm, crispy edges. You can let it just hang out while you prepare your toppings. Mine were chicken tossed in buffalo sauce, some ranch mixed with bleu cheese, chopped onions, and pepperjack cheese.
It cuts up and eats just like regular pizza...but you won't have the regular heavy gut afterwards...or guilt!

*use your imagination with this. If you are going for a traditional pizza instead of cheddar you might want to use provolone or parm!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Butteriness brownies

One layer lovely, chocolate, butteriness
One layer dreamy, creamy, peanut-butteriness
and all in 6 little ingredients!
1-chocolate cake mix (I used Butter Fudge Recipe for that extra butter kick)
2-eggs
1-block of cream cheese (softened)
1-stick of butter (melted)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Oven at 350
Combine cake mix, 1 egg (beaten), and the entire stick of melted-this will get nice and pastey-and pat it into a greased 9x13*
In another bowl combine softened cream cheese, the other egg, the peanut butter, and the powdered sugar and beat relentlessly until combined. Then smooth that mix over the cake mix.
Bake 20-25 or until top layer doesn't jiggle.
Let cool (yes, sorry, you really do have to b/c that cream cheese layer is like lava right now). Cut and enjoy! I know the birthday boy did! And even though I'm restricting I did have a very small sliver...and I approve. The Butter fudge mix + the actual butter + oven heat gave the chocolate layer an awesome browned butter/almost carmel flavor, and of course the top layer of just creamy peanut butter silk. It was a REAL test to stay away from them!

*if you wet your fingers a bit they won't stick to the cake layer as you are patting it in the pan!

Tomorrow, I've got a recipe that will change your life. Not kidding.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The magic veggie

I'm talking about zucchini (which I'm always worried I spell wrong, btw). It might just be one of my FAVORITE veggies ever. So versatile, so pretty and green. I love you zucchini! No really...I ate two of them yesterday. Pre-marriage the ONLY time I had zucchini was in bread...and really the ONLY other veggies consumed in the maiden house were potatoes, corn and green beans. After I got married I became more accquainted with the magic veggie. My Mother in Law (who doesn't cook unless she HAS to) makes this dish that is zucchini, onions, tomatoes, and hamburger meat...it's really good. And it really got me hooked on zucchini!
Yesterday's food:

 Zuc #1-zucchini and sausage coins with ranch dressing
1 smallish zuc cut into rounds and sauteed up with jalepeno/cheese sausage rounds -the sausage makes the fat, the fat cooks the zucchini
 Zuc #2 zucchini noodles topped with spaghetti sauce
1 smallish zucchini cut into ribbons on the mandoline slicer with the julienne blade. Then sauteed with a pat of butter..then topped with spaghetti sauce and parm.
While the rest of the family gorged themselves on the above-Husband's birthday dinner..spaghetti, homemade rolls, salad, green beans (I did eat a salad and green beans)..I had a dinner of basically NO carbohydrates. Yay me! (and down another lb on the scale this morning as well!)
I pinched off a tiny (literally) piece of the rolls I made, and had a sliver (literally) of Husband's birthday brownies (that I'll post soon!)...but other than that..no white starchey carbs for me. And it didn't really bug me. Which is weird..and cool at the same time!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fake

Ouch, really. Being a stay at home mom-not easy, we've covered that. But I think the HARDEST part is knowing I'm not contributing financially..at all. So when an opportunity comes highly recommended to me, I jump at it. And I understand that these online 'ways to make money' have a TON of applications, I do. I know that this blog is mainly viewed by family, friends, and an awesome handful of other bloggers that have been with me since I started (3 years ago). But in the email I got declining my blog (with good reason, not alot of traffic here)-the FIRST thing listed was "blog is suspected as fake". Fake? Wow. Ow. I'm hoping that it was just an automated response/kiss off note that all blogs w/out sufficient traffic get, but fake? I emailed the 'support' link for the website and told them I understood why I wasn't chosen, but asked them to please consider changing their word usage to something less hurtful.

 Today is day 10 of the Atkin's. Whew...I did really well the first eh...8 days. I even make a chocolate cake w/chocolate frosting (boxed mind you) for Husband last week and didn't eat a bite...THAT is willpower! But when Sunday evening rolled around..I really wanted the pancakes that Husband made for himself and the littles instead of JUST my eggs and bacon. I had to have something sweet....this sweet tooth, I tell ya! Luckily whipped cream/whipped topping (as long as you don't eat the entire tub) is ok. So-whipped topping + 1tbl melted peanut butter + gentle squirt of sugar free chocolate syrup...cured the craving! And in 10 days I've had a very moderate loss of 5lbs...but that's still 5lbs gone! I'm gonna keep at it, and we'll see if that number on the scale goes down some more for me!
When whipped topping doesn't cut it.....pure SUGAR from my Little Man...well it fixes ALOT of things.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I wanna talk about me...

So here's me...and despite the color of what I was drinking-Little Miss stated "That sure does look like puke, Ma"-it was delicious!
I've never had a good self esteem. Ever. I could go all Freshman Psych on you and explain it, but I'll spare you. And I've got a bit of an anxiety issue, which sometimes turns to stress, which sometimes turns to depression (not the suicidal kind-just to bluesy/angry kind). I'm not gonna preach to you about medicine, or depression-but I do want to jump on the soapbox for just a sec and say *clears throat*-It's ok.- No really..that's it. It's ok to be depressed, or feel anxious...and it's also TOTALLY ok to seek help and medication for it. There is no shame in it. None...zero...zilch. Why should there be? You need help and it's not something you can fix on your own (I know, I've tried)-so reach out. Ok? Because it is...ok.
That being said...I went to my own Dr a couple weeks ago b/c I wasn't feeling ok. I've got everything in the world to be happy about...beautiful kids, great husband, a house, a car, pets, loving family, and a best friend like none other (yes you Heather!)...and yet I could NOT get happy. The kids and husband were getting the worst of it. Short tempered and quick to snap. The family and bestie were at a loss b/c their "normal" Suze just stopped communicating with them. The house suffered more than usual. I had a severe case of "I don't want to". So I went and talked to my Dr about it, and we decided that a change in medication was in order. And back on the self-esteem bit-my weight doesn't help. She counseled me on that as well. We (together) decided that since I'd had success (10 years ago mind you) on the Atkin's diet...to try it again. Just for 4 weeks, along with the new medicine and then we'd see how I feel.
Are you asking yourself why I'm being so honest? I have no reason NOT to be.
It's only been a week...a no..it's not like I'm automatically happy. That's not how it works. But I am a little more focused. I've been low-carbing for 9 days now...and I read the newest Atkin's book (well, up until it changes phases b/c I'm not ready for that for a few more weeks). I'm still cranky..but I'm blaming that more on the fact that I just really want a poptart. But I'm also commited to making a change, seeing if the meds will help, and plowing through as best I can.
The sludge I'm drinking in the pic...in case you were wondering...it's a Green Monster of sorts..and there are ALL sorts.. but this one...only 4 carbs...and a great way to help out my sweet tooth!
Suzy's Sweet Sludge
Into a blender
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
1 tbl sugar free chocolate syrup
6 ice cubes
1 handful of baby spinach
If you aren't looking at the color of it...and just focusing on the taste-it's awesome..really. Tastes alot like a chocolate shake!

I hope you guys will hang in there with me...despite the fact that I'm flawed. But you already knew that! :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

One hour rolls

Dinner rolls..in an hour. No really. Yeasty, fluffy, nom-tastic rolls in an hour.
Calling these my go-to rolls is a bit of an understatement b/c they are made at my house at least weekly...if not twice-three times a week. You see..when it comes to some things..I have NO patience. NONE. Like dinner rolls..and bread in general. Recipes that take hours upon hours...drive me crazy. I usually end up rushing them, then ending up with dense craptastic dogs won't even eat results. Sad..and a waste of good flours. But these...these I have good luck with each time...and they are ready (not just ready to bake..ready to EAT) in an hour!


Into your mixing bowl-
3 tsp fast acting yeast
5 tbl powdered milk
2 tbl sugar
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups AP flour
1/2 tsp salt
mix to combine
THEN add in-
2 tbl oil
3/4-1cup HOT water
mix to combine.
Do not fear the stickiness of the dough
Let it sticky-sit for about 5 minutes
Preheat the oven to 400
Melt 3-4 tbl of butter
take about a palmful of flour and get your hands all dusty and toss the excess on the dough-while still in the bowl and play with it a little...I usually roll mine into a long log, then break it in half and pinch off doughballs and roll into rolls that way..and I get about 9-11 into a greased 8x8 pan.
Then put those up to proof for about 20-25 minutes. (remember my microwave tip here!!)
Remember that butter you melted? Well...pour it over the risen rolls. Don't ask...just do, ok?
Into the oven for about 15-20 or until golden.

The resulting rolls are good with EVERYthing.  The mix of the wheat flour gives them that nice nutty flavor..plus you feel like it's kinda healthy since it's wheat. The butter you poured over them? Yeah that...it gives it this awesome buttery crust all over, b/c the butter seeps through all the little nooks and crannies. These babies just beg to be dunked into soup, to be reamed around your almost empty spaghetti bowl, or just doused with some sticky sweet jelly..and more butter of course.