birthday countdown

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday's Weigh In....

Well I was happily surprised to be down 1.4 pounds this week. I am planning on working extra hard this week, and trying to be more careful with my eating this week. Since my hubby is back, life should be a little bit more normal around here. Which means completely crazy and busy but better than doing things as a single mom!  :0)

By the way I have taken a challenge that my Husband gave to the youth at church today. So I am 'un-plugging' myself from media and electronics for a week. So I won't be blogging this week. I hope to have lots of good news and great recipes to report next week.  I have found some news things I want to try out this week.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Quick and Easy Honey Mustard Chicken

This is a recipe I made up some time ago. I just mix a little honey and some dijon mustard together
(I always taste it so it's not too sweet or not too strong on the mustard flavor)  pour the mixture over chicken tenderloins and bake for about an hour.  You might want to line your baking dish with foil or be prepared to soak it overnight before washing. The honey makes a big mess when baking.

BUT It's easy, quick and yummy! We had it with some whole wheat pasta with a little cheese and herbs, and broccoli and carrots.

Craving Carbs like Crazy!

I have hard a tough time this week, I have been craving anything with bread and cheese this week! I don't know if it's hormonal changes, or the fact that my hubby has been gone and it has thrown me off? Anyway I have still been eating well, just too much of a good thing! So I don't know how my weigh in will be. I am keeping this positive since this is likely to happen from time to time. I am also behind in spin days  this week. I tired to get into a class early this morning, but it was full. So I did elliptical instead,  But since I am friends with the owner, and she is super amazing, she let me have my own spin class after her's got over. She even left me her ipod so the music was new. I stayed in there for an hour and it felt great! I feel good about the day and ready for anything, which is good since my kids are all off of school today!  I always feel like I can take on the world after a good cardio work-out!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Had two days of good workouts.. feeling good!

I am going to have to get a bit creative the rest of this week with my exercise plan. My hubby is out of town which means I have got early dog walking duty, and getting the kids to school- plus still trying to make my spin classes. I have a plan, hope it works out. If not I've got the dog as my treadmill and he NEVER gets tired!  Here's to a good week and flexibility!

Breakfast this morning! Pumpkin Cranberry Oatmeal

This is from Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious cookbook. 
It is a favorite in our house, but we are pumpkin freaks!

Serves 2

1 cup Skim Milk
1/2 cup Pumpkin (canned)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 cup Old Fashioned Oats
1/4 cup Dried Cranberries

Mix the milk, pumpkin, vanilla, spice and cranberries to a slow boil. Stir in the oatmeal until soft and creamy.

I don't add the sugar that is called for in the original recipe and let my kids add it to there own bowls. 
I had mine with a little pure maple syrup. YUM!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Feeling a little discouraged....

Okay I said from the first day that this would be an honest blog. That I would report the up's and the down's. Well today was one of the downs. I did my weekly weigh in this morning and was up .4 pounds. Nothing to freak out over but I don't feel like I did anything different this week than I have been doing. In fact I exercised more this week. Anyway this is where I have gotten to in the past, given up and thrown in the towel... but not this time! That would be silly. It is only the 17th of January. But in the past that is the attitude I might have taken. So I will keep doing my best to eat quality food, exercise, get enough sleep, try to fight off stress and keep going.  I am not in this for a quick fix, but a lifestyle change. Or in other words... A change for life!!! Here's to another week of taking care of myself!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sautéed Spinach with Garlic and Smashed Red Potatoes With Buttermilk and Scallions

I made these to go a long with some more of the maple mustard pork chops (recipe already on my blog). We loved those and I had a boneless pork roast in the freezer that I sliced up and used.  The spinach was great prepared this way and the mashed potatoes have a healthy twist by adding buttermilk instead of butter and cream. Yum!

Sautéed Spinach with Garlic

1 lb Baby Spinach (I used one bag)
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 cloves Garlic Clove
1/2 tsp Salt
Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute, until the garlic is just beginning to brown. Add the spinach to the pan, packing it down a bit if you need to with your hand. Use a couple spatulas to lift the spinach and turn it over in the pan so that you coat more of it with the olive oil and garlic. Do this a couple of times. Cover the pan and cook for 1 minute. Uncover and turn the spinach over again. Cover the pan and cook for an additional minute. After 2 minutes of covered cooking the spinach should be completely wilted. Remove from heat. Drain any excess moisture from the pan. Add a little more olive oil, sprinkle with salt to taste. Serve immediately.

Smashed Red Potatoes With Buttermilk and Scallions

Serves: 6
2 1/4 lb Red Potatoes ( about  8-10 medium)
1 1/2 cup Chicken Broth
3/4 cup Lowfat Buttermilk
1/3 tsp Salt
1/3 tsp Pepper, Black
1/4 cup scallions
1.In a heavy large saucepan, place the potatoes, broth, and enough water to barely cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover, and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until potatoes are very tender.

2. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. With a potato masher, mash until fairly smooth.

3. With a wooden spoon, a bit at a time, beat in the buttermilk and enough of the reserved cooking water to make the potatoes moist but with a chunky texture. Stir in the salt and pepper, and sprinkle with the scallions.

Whole Grain Banana Muffins

I combined a few recipes from my new "Eat and Be Lean" cook book to make these muffins. They turned out fabulous and my kids loved them!


2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
6 Tbl. Frozen Apple Juice Concentrate
2 Tbl. Canola Oil
1 cup Quick Oats
1 cup Lowfat Buttermilk
6 Tbl. Honey
1 whole egg
1  egg white
2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pure Baking Soda
4 large banana's mashed
1/2 tsp Nutmeg, Ground
1 tsp Cinnamon

Mix together all the wet ingredients (bananas, honey, apple juice, buttermilk, oil, eggs) add in the spices (Baking powder, soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon) Add the whole wheat flour and oats. Stir just until combined.  Bake in paper muffin cups for 12 minutes at 400 degrees.

Makes 24 (You could easily half this to make only 12- but I am sure they would freeze well too!)

If I can do this, anyone can!

It's been another busy but productive week. I was able to reach my goal of exercising every day and my eating was great. It hasn't been easy and I have had to make an effort to make myself a priority. But I have found that when I do that. I feel better about myself and then can better take care of my family. Did I get everything done that I wanted to this week? NO! Did I have to go out in public in my workout clothes, sweaty and not looking so great, YES! Did the world stop because of that? NO! I guess what I am trying to say is that I am learning that all of that is okay. I know now, more than ever that exercising really makes me feel good. It makes me feel good physically but also emotionally. I feel happier, have more energy and feel more productive. Eating quality food does the same. I don't feel sluggish or tired. My cravings for sugar and other junk food have virtually disappeared. Food is not on my mind all the time. I have found that I am paying more attention to when I am hungry and when I am full. If I can make these changes, ANYONE can! I am a serious emotional eater, I thought that my hunger scale was broken. I can't believe I can watch someone eat a brownie in front of me and not freak out! In fact I don't even want the brownie at all. I have found that food tastes different. I really enjoy how things taste. A cold grapefruit or orange is like juicy candy in my mouth. Making a sandwich on very healthy whole grain bread is delicious. I have also learned that I can still enjoy baking and cooking without sacrificing the healthy changes I am starting to make. If you are reading this thinking, there is NO WAY I could do that. The answer is YES YOU CAN! 

Read on for some more recipes to try!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 A Great Site to Track Your Daily Food and Fitness

My oldest son found this site and it is awesome and free! It is Lance Armstrong's site at It is easy to use and lets you not only count calories, but gives you a breakdown of fat, carbs, sugars, fiber etc. Lets you record exactly what you did for exercise with TONS of options. It also lets you set goals for yourself so you know how much you should be eating to maintain, lose or even gain weight ( if you are one of those lucky people!) It also has tons of other great things to help you track! I  just tried it out t and thought it was great! So I thought I would share it with all of you! Enjoy

When plans fail.... don't quit!!!

Today was a perfect day of  'life happens!" My little boy was home sick from school. I must admit my first thought was "Oh shoot, how will I get my work out in now? " In the past a simple thing like this would throw me for a loop, I would decide that it's okay to skip my workout, then I would be mad at myself for the rest of the day because of it. I might have even thought. "Well I HAD to skip my workout plan, and now I feel sorry for myself, and I do have a sick little boy, maybe we should make cookies together! " Well not today folks! Yes I took care of my sick little boy, I even read stories and had a short nap when he did. BUT the big difference is I made sure to make time for myself to get a workout in anyway. I waited until my older kids came home and then asked them if they would mind hanging out with their little brother while I took the dog for a walk/run. Of course the idea that THEY wouldn't have to take the dog for a walk sealed the deal. So I headed out, in the rain, with my muddy-overly hyper dog, my ipod and my watch. After the first 20 minutes or so, I actually started feeling great! I had time to think, I was exercising, getting some fresh air, wasn't cold anymore because I was moving and sweating. and I was away from the house. Perfect! I ended up doing my first walk to run day from my training plan. I walked for 14 min. / ran for 1 min.  until I had walked for about 45 minutes! I came home to my kids still watching television ( happy as can be), a tired dog and a happy attitude! The point of this story is that I am learning to  STOP MAKING EXCUSES!!! Sure life doesn't go as planned but you can always find someway to get in some exercise. Now what about tomorrow.......

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Can't believe I did this! But love it anyway!

Well since I am all about changing things up, I decided to add my hair to the mix. It is going to take some getting used to, but it was fun to do something new! Not sure if my family will feel the same!!! ha ha

Monday, January 11, 2010

Cranberry and Herb Turkey Burgers

This is another great turkey burger recipe. I found it this summer on (aka Dr. Oz). I am going to serve it tonight without buns and with a side of homemade whole grain stuffing,  sautéed veggies and pumpkin custard for dessert. Sounds like Thanksgiving!

Cranberry and Herb Turkey Burgers

1/4 cup(s) whole-wheat couscous, plus 2 tablespoons
1/2 cup(s) boiling water
2 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
1  small onion, finely chopped
1 stalk(s) celery, minced
1 tablespoon(s) chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoon(s) chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
1/2 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup(s) dried cranberries, finely chopped
1 pound(s) 93%-lean ground turkey

Place couscous in a large bowl. Pour in boiling water, stir and set aside until the water is absorbed, about 5 minutes. If grilling the burgers, preheat grill to medium-high.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add celery; cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add thyme, sage, salt and pepper; cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds more. Transfer the mixture to the bowl with the couscous, add cranberries and stir to combine. Let cool for 5 minutes. Add turkey and stir until combined; do not overmix. Form the mixture into 6 patties.
To cook on the stovetop: Coat a large nonstick skillet, preferably cast-iron, with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the patties, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 4 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side for 2 minutes. Cover and continue to cook until lightly browned but still juicy (the juices should run clear, not pink), about 4 minutes more. (An instant-read thermometer inserted in the center should read 165 degrees F.) To grill: Oil the grill rack (see Tip) and grill the burgers for 5 to 6 minutes per side, flipping gently to avoid breaking them. Serve immediately.

Whole What Blender Pancakes

If you are a mormon, then you probably have this recipe somewhere and don't even know it! I have seen it in a ton of places. It is a great recipie to use whole wheat, especially` if you don't have a wheat grinder. I changed it up some from the original. They were quick and filling and I had to make two batches because my kids ate them up so fast!

Whole Wheat Blender Pancakes

In blender add:
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup of whole wheat berries (kernels)

Blend this on high for about  5 minutes.
If your family isn't awake by now, they will be, and so will the dog! It's loud!

Then add to blender mixture:
3 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp soda
2 Tbl. Oil
1 Tbl. honey
1/4 tsp. salt

Blend until smooth. Cook on hot griddle! Yum!
This recipe works well for waffles too, just increase oil to 4 Tbl.

Mahi-mahi with Macadamia Nut Crust, Island Rice and Fruit Salsa

This was so good! I have not been a fan of fish for most of my life. Then I had some great fish tacos a few years ago and since then I have been a little more daring. Mahi-Mahi is super mild. I buy mine at Costco. It comes in a bag with individually frozen fillets. It is very reasonably priced, which is a bonus. This meal did take me a longer to prepare than most of my recipes. I don't know if I was just having an off day or the constant interruption of 4 boys made it so slow, but it was well worth the wait! I found this recipe at the Mayo Clinic Site, but I changed it up just a bit.

Mahi-Mahi with Macadamia Nut Crust

1/3 cup fresh whole-grain bread crumbs ( I just whiz up my favorite bread in the blender)
6 tablespoons macadamia nuts, finely chopped
1.5 tablespoon parsley ( I used dried)
3/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup lite coconut milk
6 mahi-mahi fillets, each 5 ounces and about 1-inch thick
1/3 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 450 F. Place a small wire rack in a shallow nonstick baking pan.
On a plate, stir together the bread crumbs, nuts, parsley, lemon zest and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Pour the milk into a shallow dish. Dip each fillet in the milk and then dredge in the nut mixture, coating completely and pressing lightly so the mixture adheres well.
Place the fillets on the rack in the baking pan, making sure that they don't touch. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and the pepper.
Bake until the fish is opaque throughout when tested with the tip of a knife and the crust is golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to warmed individual plates and serve immediately.

Island Rice: I got this recipe recently from my sister in law. I liked it a lot, but it got mixed reviews from my kids. I think I let it overcook a bit, since my fish took longer than I thought. It calls for dried pineapple. I found some dried pineapple without any added sugar at Trader Joe's. I went there over the holidays with this same sister in law. She is teaching me all sorts of great stuff!

 Island Rice

2 1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice ( I used brown rice)
1/2 cups chopped dried pineapple
 2 teaspoons butter
 1/2 teaspoons grated lime rind
 1/4 teaspoons salt
 1/4 cups chopped fresh cilantro
 1 tablespoon chopped green onions
 2 1/2 tablespoons  fresh lime juice

 Bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan; add rice and next 4 ingredients (rice through salt). Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro, onions, and juice.
 Yield: 3 cups

Fruit Salsa
We love making this and it is always a hit. It is good with lots of meats.

Cut up any tropical fruits you like. This time we used pineapple ( I used canned) mangos and kiwi. Chop up a green or red pepper, red onion, jalapeno pepper (finely diced I just use 1) and some fresh cilantro. Squeeze in the juice of one lime and mix well. Let sit in the fridge for at least one hour before eating.

Citrus Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Carrot Apple Slaw

Citrus Pulled Pork
Super easy... Just get a boneless pork roast ( mine was still frozen), about half a can of 100% frozen orange juice concentrate. Put that in the crock pot and sprinkle with some all purpose seasoning. I use "Fantastic Farrer's" My brother invented it last year, if you want some just ask me! Anyway let the roast cook on high for 6-8 hours. Or until it easily shreds with a fork. Shred it up and eat it on those healthy hamburger buns from last week!
An easy and quick dinner for those busy days.

Carrot Apple Slaw
I found this recipe in a cookbook we got for our wedding. It is a vegetarian cook book. "Moosewood Cookbook" by Mollie Katzen. I was looking for something different then just coleslaw. So we tried it. About half my family liked it, I thought it was a nice change, plus you get your veggies and fruits at the same time!

1 pound carrots, grated
2 medium apples- grated
1 cup plain yogurt
1- 2 Tbl. honey ( I let me 5 year old tell me when it was sweet enough)
pinch of celery salt
1 Tbl. lemon juice
A handful of raisins

Mix all together and chill for at least an hour to let flavors combine.

Sweet Success!

I have been dying to get on my blog all weekend. But my kids and their homework projects were taking over the computer. But here I am, everyone is at school and I can write all I want! I have to say that blogging has totally changed my attitude about eating and fitness. I am so excited to report on what I am doing just in case someone is reading!!! Have you ever read the book a'Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel?' Well it's been all of my boys favorite book at some point. Anyway, in the book he says that when people come to watch him dig with his steam shovel they work a little harder and a little faster. That is how I am feeling. Anytime I hear that somebody has read something on the blog, it makes me even more motivated. So tell all your friends to come and check out what I am doing,  it will only make me work a little harder and a little better at reaching my goals!

So the big news of the week... all my exercise and eating right is paying off. I lost 3.2 pounds this week! I cant remember the last time I saw that kind of number in just a week. I am feeling terrific and excited to continue!
We've had some yummy but very healthy meals since I last posted so read on......

Friday, January 8, 2010

I am thankful for supportive and encouraging friends!

I was having a tough morning, things weren't doing as planned. Feeling picked on by my family, I was just pretty much being a big baby. Took the dog on a walk and went to spin, that helped me feel much better. Then after a conversation I had with someone at the gym I started doubting myself and my goals. Am I doing enough? Will I really make it? Then I ran into 3 of my most supportive and encouraging friends( I have lots of those, thank goodness!) and now I am feeling better. 

Yes, this is going to be a tough challenge, it is not going to be easy. BUT that is what I am looking for right? A challenge!I've taken the easy road for far too long, This year I want to do things I have never done before. I can do hard things, and I will succeed! Thanks guys my outlook is much better! 

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Meatballs and Pasta for Dinner

Tonight I decided to make meatballs to go with our pasta for dinner. Since the turkey burgers I made the other night were such a hit, I decided to use the same ingredients for my meatballs with just a few changes:

I added a bit of milk, and some italian seasoning. I mixed it all together and used a cookie scoop to scoop them on to a baking sheet. I baked them at about 400 degrees  for about 15 minutes.

They were tasty and with  Barilla Plus Penne Pasta (whole grain with a bunch of other awesome stuff in it!)   NEWMAN'S OWN SPAG SAUCE  (one of the only one I can find with out added sugars), and broccoli we had a great healthy dinner in about 30 minutes that everyone loved!

Spin Class at NIAC with Amy ROCKS!!

Well if know me at all you know I LOVE SPINNING!  Well today we had an extra long bonus class. We rode for 1 hour and 35 minutes. I burned 1382 calories... I can't believe how great it felt. I think I could have ridden forever. It made me super excited about training for the 80 mile race in June! I am ready to bike my buns off! And I really hope I do!  :0)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Peachy Pork Picante

Here's what's for dinner at my house tonight. I love this recipe and use it lots. I have to modify it a little bit because I can't find any peach jam made only from fruit. So I am substituting apricot preserves instead. I think it will still be delicious.

Peachy or Apricot Pork Picante

Pork Roast or Boneless Pork Chops- cubed
16 oz. bottle of your favorite salsa
taco seasoning
peach or apricot jam

In a ziploc bag place the pork cubes and taco seasoning. Shake well to coat. Brown the pork cubes in a large skillet until brown. Add the salsa. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add about 2 Tbl. of the jam and stir until combined. Serve over brown rice.

My New Favorite Quote!

One of my best friends, you know the kind that really know you, well she sent me this quote that I just had to put on my blog. In fact if it wasn't so long, I might paint it on my bedroom wall! ha ha

I have to give you just a bit of background information. This quote is by Patricia Holland, the wife of a very prominent LDS leader. I love her, I have some talks and quotes from her that have gotten me through some very tough times. I have never met her, but feel like she is a friend of mine and that she really 'get's' it! Anyway this quote is perfect for what I am trying to accomplish with my fitness goals.

“Anyone who reads a newspaper or magazine is constantly reminded that proper diet, appropriate exercise, and plenty of rest increase our daily capacities as well as our life span. But all too many of us put off even these minimal efforts, thinking our family, our neighbors, and our other many responsibilities come first. Yet in doing so, we put at risk the thing these people need most from us: our healthiest, happiest, heartiest self. . . .
“The issue for me then, is accepting that we are worth the time and effort it takes to achieve the full measure of our creation, and believing that it is not selfish, wrong, or evil. It is, in fact, essential to our spiritual development.
“My oldest child tried to teach me this principle years ago. I had not been feeling well on a day I had promised to take this then three-year-old son to the zoo. As my aches and pains increased, I finally said in exasperation, ‘Matthew, I don’t know if we should go to the zoo and take care of you or if we should stay home and take care of mother.’ He looked up at me for a moment with his big brown eyes and then stated emphatically, ‘Mama, I think youshould take care of you, so youcan take care of me.’He was wise enough even at that age to know where his best interests were ultimately served. Unless we take care of ourselves, it’s virtually impossible to properly take care of others” (“The Many Faces of Eve,” in Jeffrey R. Holland and Patricia T. Holland, On Earth As It Is in Heaven[1989], 66–67).

If that doesn't inspire me and make me realize that what I am doing is worth it and okay, I don't know what else anyone could say that would. Hope it inspires you too!

Best Ever Belgian Waffles...made with whole wheat and no refined sugar of course!

We recently got a belgian waffle maker and I have been trying all sorts of  healthy recipes in it. Some have really failed but here are two that are awesome! 

This first one I modified from

Hearty Whole Wheat Waffles

1 1/2 cups  whole wheat flour,  white whole wheat or traditional (I used the white and it was awesome!)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons honey
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups milk ( I used half milk, half buttermilk)
1/3 cup melted butter or vegetable oil ( I used canola oil)

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and butter or oil. Mix together the wet and dry ingredients, stirring just till combined.

Cook the waffles as directed in the instructions that came with your waffle iron.
Yield: about eight 8" waffles.

This one we had on Christmas Morning: I modified a recipe I found at

Pumpkin Gingerbread Waffles
3 cups whole wheat flour
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground ginger
2.5 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 eggs
2 egg whites
1.25 cups pumpkin puree
1/4 cup molasses
1.25 cups low fat buttermilk
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
1.5 tsp. vanilla

Sift together the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
In another bowl, beat the eggs and egg whites with the until fluffy. Add the pumpkin,maple syrup,  molasses, buttermilk, butter and vanilla and beat until just incorporated. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients–don’t overmix.
These are great with applesauce on top! Yummy!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Why I love Spinning!

Spinning is by far my favorite exercise. I love how it makes me feel and I love the hundreds of calories I burn. (880 yesterday, 791 today!)  If you have never taken a spinning class you need to try one, okay you need to try 3 before you say you don't like it! It does take a few times for your behind to toughen up!
I am a member of North Idaho Athletic Club and they have AWESOME spinning instructors, great music, great workout! Try it out!

Greek Chicken in the Crock Pot with Whole wheat Pitas

We are having this for dinner tonight. I love it because it is so easy to make. I got this recipe a few years ago from my sister in law and I make it often.

Greek Chicken

Frozen chicken breasts ( as many as you like I usually do 4 large ones)
Lemon Pepper
Onions, fresh or dried

Put chicken in the crock pot, sprinkle with lemon pepper, add some onions. Cook on high 4-6 hours. Shred chicken up. Stir in some plain yogurt. Serve in Whole Wheat Pita's with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, feta cheese, whatever! I also like it on a big salad.

Whole Wheat Pita's
These are super easy to make also, and I have been making them for years. They are so much better than anything you can buy. The recipie is from a cook book Bread Machine Magic. I used lots of recipes from this book when I had a bread maker.

 Whole Wheat Pita Bread (This recipe makes 8 pitas, but I double or triple it because I don't make it in the bread machine anymore)

1 1/8 cup water
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbl. olive oil
1  tsp. honey
1 1/2 tsp. dry yeast

Mix dough, let raise until double. Roll our dough and divide into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth ball. Roll out each ball with a rolling pin into a 6-7 inch circle.  Let pita's rise for about 30 minutes, until slightly puffy. Position an oven rack ( I use my cookie rack) in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 500 degrees. Bake pita's 4-5 minutes our until puffed and slightly brown. Remove form oven and immediately cover with a damp kitchen towel until soft and flat. Store extra's in the fridge or freeze for later.

Super Smoothies with a Secret Ingredient

Okay these smoothies are so yummy, but you will have to make them without any kids watching!
We had them for breakfast today and everyone downed them, no questions asked!

Super Smoothie  (Makes about 6 cups)

2 (6 oz) cans of 100% pineapple juice
1 1 /2- 2 cups frozen blue berries or a berry mix with blueberries ( you have to use blueberries to hide the secret ingredient!)
1 1/2- 2 cups fresh baby spinach ( obviously the secret ingredient!)
1/2- 1 cup of milk ( I am not sure how much I added, but I needed to thin the smoothie down)
1 banana
2 scoops of protein powder
some ice cubes

Blend it all up and drink your fruits and (Shh... veggies) for breakfast!

Super Yummy Turkey Burgers( to go on those buns you just made!)

I have not been a huge fan of turkey burger in the past. I remember buying a bunch of it when I was pregnant with my first baby and it has taken me almost 17 years since to try it again. But I have found some recipes that I like with it now. I like to buy the Turkey Burger that is all breast meat. I watch for it to go on sale and stock up. These burgers were really good and everyone liked them, even my pickiest eaters.

Now when I cook I am not very good at measuring things out, I will try to be better about that. But here is what I did: I modified a recipe I found at

Turkey Burgers

1 pound of white breast meat ground turkey
1/2 cup cracker crumbs ( I used Kashi TLC Snack Crackers, Asiago Cheese that I whizzed up in my blender)
1 egg,
garlic powder
dried onions

I mixed this all together and made 6 patties. I used a little water on my hands to form them because it was pretty sticky.Then I baked them on a brolier pan in my oven for about 15-20 minutes, turning on time in between. I cheked them with a meat thermometer to make sure they were cook through.

Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

I got this recipe from and they were awesome and super easy to make. Just like rolling out and cutting cookies but with bread dough. My kids loved them! Really they did!

Homemade Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns 
5 cups  (+) whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 pkgs regular or active dry yeast (4 1/2 t.)
2 T. honey
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup milk
2 T. butter
2 t. sea salt

In a large mixing bowl, stir together 3 cups of whole wheat flour and 1 1/2 cups warm water.  Set aside to let rest for 30 minutes.  In the meantime, mix together 1/4 cup water, yeast and honey.  Allow this to sit for at least 10 minutes to activate the yeast.
Melt butter, milk and salt in a small saucepan on the stove.  Do not allow the mixture to get above 120 degrees.
Pour yeast mixture and milk mixture into flour mixture.  Add remaining two cups of flour (more if needed). 
Knead for about 10 minutes until dough begins to look “shiny”.  Put dough back into the bowl, cover and let rise for at least an hour…or until it has doubled.
Pull dough onto a clean countertop and knead for a couple of minutes to get any air bubbles out.  Roll dough on a lightly floured surface until about 1/2 inch thick. 
Cut circles from the dough with a large drinking glass or wide mouth jar.  Place circles on in a well buttered baking dish about an inch apart. 
Allow to rise for about 30 minutes.  Bake for 20-25 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  Makes about 18 buns.

Whole Wheat: Hard Red vs. Hard White

Okay I have always had whole wheat in my house, I am a Mormon, that's what Mormon's do right? I even use mine from time to time! Now I am using it all the time, ha ha. Anyway I have always bought and stored Hard Red Winter Wheat. However I discovered that there is also Hard White Winter Wheat. A good friend told me I could buy some at Rosaures here in Moscow where you can even grind your own in the store. Again this is in the Huckleberry's Health Food section. So I marched right down there and bought some. Since then I have made some whole wheat hamburger buns, waffles and bread and I can't tell you how awesome it is!! What is awesome about it is my kids are not complaining! They loved it, it looks almost like white flour and is much lighter and sweeter. BUT it has the exact same protein content, fiber, etc. as my regular wheat. It was an exciting discovery. I asked if I could buy a bag from the store, since I have my own grinder at home. They were happy to do that for me, so tomorrow I will pick up a 50# bag for $28.00. Now I just have to figure out where I am going to put it! Since my food storage closet it full??
Another important thing about whole wheat. After you grind it, either use it up, so store it in the freezer. After three days it loses over 75% of it's nutrients. Just think how old the stuff you buy on the shelf could be? I always grind a bunch at a time, because it is easier and my grinder is so messy and  loud so I use it outside.  The neighbor's probably think I am remodeling my house so something.  :0)
Anyway here are some new recipes I made with it.. YUM!!!

You are what you eat!

Okay it has been super crazy since my last post and when I had time to blog, the kids were needing the computer for homework! So here I finally am. I have been feeling fabulous. I suppose the saying" You are what you eat" is true, at least for me. Since I have been eliminating all refined sugars, flours and hydrogenated fats I feel so good! It has been over a month since I started and it is getting much easier. I even helped my son make brownies last night and didn't even feel like licking the bowl! To be fair though,  I did have a piece not a whole bar)  of dark chocolate last night, I am allowing myself to have that once a week, otherwise I might go insane!  So I have a stash of high quality dark chocolate bars hidden in my sock drawer, so no one else will eat it. ha ha! My favorite kind is Newman's Own Organics Orange Dark Chocolate Bar  One piece of that is like heaven.   The only thing, right now, that I am really missing is Ketchup! So far I cannot find any ketchup that does not have cane sugar in it. So I am still on my search. I might have to figure out how to make some. If anyone out there has a recipe send it my way! I have been trying out some new recipes and will be posting those soon too. Speaking of things I love. I was so excited to find dried cranberries that are sweetened with apple juice instead of sugar. They have them here in Moscow at Rosaures- in the Huckleberry Foods bulk section. They were kind of spendy but I love those on my hot cereal or with almonds for a quick snack. Now on to my big whole wheat discovery!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Easiest 100% Whole Wheat Bread

I love this recipe for 100% whole wheat bread. I don't know where the recipe is originally from but I got it from some great friends of mine. I make it a lot, and tonight I added some ingredients to make a loaf of raisin date bread for breakfast. This is super easy and fast and turns out perfect every time!

Easy 100% Whole Wheat Bread

Makes 2 loaves (I usually double this and make 4 loaves)

3 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour- fresh ground is best
1/3 cup gluten flour
1 1/4 Tbl. instant yeast - (SAF is the best!)
2 1/2 cups steaming hot tap water
1 Tbl. salt
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup honey
1 1/4 Tbl. lemon juice
2 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour


Mix the first three ingredients together in a mixer with a dough hook (Bosch, Kitchen Aid etc.)  
Add the water all at once and beat for 1 minute.
Cover and let rest for about 10 minutes
Add the salt, oil, honey and lemon juice, bear for 1 minute.
Add the rest of the flour, one cup at a time, beating between each cup. Beat for 6-10 minutes, the dough will be very soft.
Preheat the oven for 1-2 minutes at about 200 degrees and then turn it off.
Turn dough on to an oiled counter top and divide into 2 equal pieves, shape into loaves and blush in oiled bread pans.
Let bread rise in the warm oven for 15-30 minutes
Do not remove bread from oven, turn oven on to 350 degress and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Remove bread from pans and cool on rack                                                                                  

To Make Raisin Date Bread:
Roll out portion of dough into a rectangle. Spread on about 2 Tbl. of pure maple syrup, sprinkle generously with cinnamon. Sprinkle on a handful of raisins and some chopped dates.  Turn edges in and roll up. Making sure seams are pinched together well. Place in oiled pan and bake as above.

Pork Chops with Maple Mustard Sauce

I made these for dinner and they were a hit. We also had some wild and brown rice that I cooked with a little dried onion and some beef bouillon, and steamed carrots and zucchini. The recipe is from

Pork Chops with Maple-Mustard Sauce
Serves 6

4 1/2 tablespoon(s) Dijon mustard, divided
3/4 teaspoon(s) kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper
6  (8 ounces) boneless pork loin chops , trimmed of fat
3 teaspoon(s) canola oil
3/4 cup(s) cider vinegar
6 tablespoon(s) maple syrup
4 1/2 teaspoon(s) chopped fresh sage , or 1/2 teaspoon rubbed dried sage

1. Combine 9 teaspoons mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub all over pork.
2. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook until browned on both sides and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and cover with foil.
3. While the pork is resting, heat vinegar in the skillet over medium-high heat. Boil, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon, about 30 seconds. Whisk in the remaining mustard and maple syrup. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the sauce is thickened, about 3 minutes. Add any accumulated juices from the pork to the sauce, along with sage. Return the pork chops to the sauce and turn to coat or serve the pork topped with the sauce.

Great Start to a New Year....Down 4 pounds!

So I started off the New Year by weighing myself just to see if the changes I made for the last month did anything positive, as far as the scale says. Yes! I lost 4 pounds. Which is great considering the average person gains 5 pounds over the Holidays. But more importantly than that I feel great!! I ate well today and had a great workout too. Here's to a great New Year!!