Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Gotta Love the 60's

We had Horrible Movie Monday night and guess what? I OUTDID The FP horribleness that the Husband subjected me to with a little movie called, "Barbarella." Oh yeah in all it's Jane Fonda 1968 Shag Carpet awesomeness. Between the soundtrack, the fact that the plot mostly consisted on how many wardrobe changes they could squeeze Jane Fonda in after having them torn off of her, and my husband's comment, "We came for the breasts and stayed for the plot," it was an instant winner. My response to that comment, by the way, was, "What plot?" and he said, "Exactly."

4ft is loving Cub Scouts. We went to a Scout meeting last night and he had a blast, they made a Wolf Pack Flag with cutouts of their hands and decorated it. And last Saturday, I took him to the local car wash with another scout and parent - they sold popcorn for 2 hours. He had a lot of fun and actually sold quite a bit. He wants to, on top of getting to throw a pie at a person, earn enough in popcorn sales to get a camping kit that comes with a little pocket knife, binoculars, water bottle, flashlight, compass, and a bag to put it all in. So he's become a selling dervish -- please help support the Cub Scouts and 4ft by buying some 'corn -- http://www.trails-end.com/shop/scouts/email_referral.jsp?id=28430897I need to get a picture of him in his scout uniform so you guys can see how cute he is in it.

I made a few new recipes:

Italian Herb Roasted Chicken Breasts:

I didn't have any skin on bone in chicken breasts so I made it with boneless skinless. I think it would've been better the other way. I couldn't really get a crunch because there wasn't any skin -- but because I made it skinless I went ahead and had a small serving of smashed potatoes and gravy. It was still pretty good. 2/3 of the boys in my life ate it and liked it a lot.

Grilled Chicken and Black Bean Tostadas:

Nothing fancy, just some grilled some chicken breasts in taco seasoning and garlic powder. I sprayed a tortilla down with olive oil and threw it on the grill to give it some color and crunch and then loaded it up with a little bit of spanish rice, black beans, chicken, salsa, and a small dollop of fat-free sour cream. Super good. Grumpers ate a shell with cheese on it and ketchup and Husband and 4ft always love a fried shell with taco fillings.

Pork w/ Fig and Bulgar:

I got the recipe idea from Cooking Light -- but I couldn't find Farro or Wheat Berries -- all I could find was Bulgar which kind of looked like wheat berries so if it is great -- if not -- it was still delicious. I didn't tell the boys what it was stuffed with until after they tried it and 2/3 of them loved it. Grumpers wouldn't touch it with a 20ft pole but I wasn't really shocked, as I'm sure you're not. 

Gruyere Grilled Cheese w/ Tapenade: -- of course I forgot to take this one's picture. I tweaked the recipe a little bit I forgot to buy actual tomatoes and I added a little more cheese -- more Gruyere and some 2% Colby cheese. I'd never had Gruyere before. It's super good melted. Not that impressive raw. I had no idea the little block I got was freaking $11 until I looked at the receipt after I'd bought it. It was worth the money. I made the sun-dried tomato and kalamata olives tapenade -- it was super delicious. Grumpybutt never eats anything but the Husband and 4ft really liked it.

Grilled Chicken and Peach Chutney Sliders: -- I also forgot to take this one's picture. We were in a hurry. We had Cub Scouts and so we needed to eat and bounce. But it was also super delicious. I grilled the chicken, sprinkled with red pepper, black pepper, and garlic salt in olive oil. When it was done, I tossed 2 peaches (pitted) on the grill pan with a little more olive oil and roasted them. I threw them in a food processor with a garlic clove, tbs of apple cider, tbs of dijon mustard, tbs barbecue sauce, and a tbs of dark brown sugar. Then I shredded the chicken and mixed the chutney with the chicken and put the mixture on sliders with a couple thin slices of Gruyere cheese (for 11 bucks I have to make sure it gets eaten before it goes bad!). Grumpers didn't eat it but Husband and 4ft thought it was delicious -- 4ft so much so he took one to school for lunch today.

I also picked figs last weekend. Oh. My. Bob. I picked a LOT. I think I ended up with easily 5lbs if not more. So what did I do with the fig abundance?

Made jam. It turned out super delicious. I'm going to go and pick more so I can make some fig and walnut bread to go with it as Christmas gifts this year. The bread freezes wonderfully and is better for having been frozen really. So it'll be a great Christmas gift, I think. That is, if I don't eat it all. It turned out really good.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Busy Week

As much as I love blogging -- I'm going to have to come up with a new posting schedule. I just don't have the bandwidth to do it everyday anymore. I'm hoping to do it more than once a week but we'll see how it goes. Mostly, I just feel like I'm talking to myself -- which isn't a problem, I do it ALL the time but even that's lessened dramatically since I've gotten soooo busy.

So here's a recap of this last week.

Last week, after my genius friend Jessica suggested it, I ordered some Sugar-Free Torani syrup from Amazon at a much cheaper price. It came with delicious flavors and I'm now addicted to them. They're naturally awesome in coffee but they are epic in oatmeal too.

I also baked a carrot cake from scratch for my dad's birthday on last Saturday (I grated the carrots and everything). It turned out really delicious and it was a lighter version without sacrificing any of the flavor. A normal carrot cake has upwards to 1400 calories a piece and the one I made was around 250 calories a slice. I ate a piece on Saturday with my Dad and then I cut it up into little squares and sent it to work with the husband. One of his coworkers said it was "Da bomb!" so that totally made my day.

I tried a couple new recipes this past week as well.

The Parmesan Chicken Burgers, I got the base of from a Cooking Light recipe. I ditched the ciabatta roll -- that's a lot of bread and dipped the chicken patties in panko to give it a little more of a Parmesan chicken crunch. I added sauteed garlic spinach instead of fresh basil (I didn't have any) and it turned out super wonderful. Grumpybutt didn't touch his, but then I wasn't surprised. 4ft said it was super yummy and he took one to school for lunch the next day. So that was a win.

I also made  Rosemary Garlic Steak, oven fries (hooray for my julienne attachment and mandolin), and steamed broccoli. Grumpybutt had to squeeze every fry and say, "Yuck-yyy," with every squeeze and didn't even look twice at the rest of his food. 4ft said it was the best dinner ever and he wishes he could have the fries with every meal. So another for the win column. This one was my own "throw-it-all-in-and-see-what-you-get" recipes.

Lets see, 4ft has joined the Cub Scouts and the Wolf Den doesn't have a Den Leader so me and a couple of other parents of the Wolves are going to run the meetings and activities until they find someone. Which will probably be NEVER since we're doing it. So that's something else added to my already busy schedule. He's also selling popcorn to raise money for his troop if you're interested in helping a boy out here's the link to order it online: http://www.trails-end.com/shop/scouts/email_referral.jsp?id=28430897. And here's a sorry in advance to the fact that I will be driving you all nuts with this. If he can sell $200 bucks in popcorn he gets to throw a pie at the Pack Leader -- needless to say he's ALL OVER THAT idea. I thank bob I'm NOT the Pack Leader. He's in Pack #951. If the link doesn't work. It should though.

Other than that I've been wrangling my children (a never ending job), doing laundry, and working -- writing, drawing, coloring (I know, how awful are those jobs?), and website coding.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Work and Nubs

I've been working my fingers to the nubs between all my jobs -- web design, writing, art, and then illustrating Sugar and Spice. Not too mention the whole parent of three kids gig I have going. I can NOT tell you how hard it is not to post my rough sketches of Sugar and Spice on the blog. They are so CRAZY CUTE! I can't wait until November to show off The Great Gingerbread Goof. CAN NOT WAIT!

I also squeezed in 20 minutes of Zumba last night (insert thanks to the husband here). I didn't want to and he made me. It's the first time I have since Sunday night. I have a legitimate excuse. I came down with the mother of all bladder infections on Monday out of the blue. Crippling -- made me cry like a pansy -- pain. So luckily, doctor gave me a prescription over the phone and I went and got that and some cranberry tabs that I shall be taking RELIGIOUSLY for the rest of my life to NEVER have that happen again. To say it sucked puts it mildly. It was heinous seventh level of hell kind of suckitude. No, I'm not a drama queen. What makes you say that?

So since I finally felt better last night, not too mention I did eat some potato and of course I had to do quality control on the s'more brownies I'd made, the husband forced me to do it. I felt much better afterwards and thank goodness for endorphin highs. That's the only way the man survives when he "helps" me like that. I actually ask him too. He wants to help and that's the only input he can give that doesn't make me evil flip out crazy because of aforementioned endorphins. It works for us.

And, in my favor I only had a partial brownie. It was delicious and I savored every bite I took, but it was rich and I hadn't eaten anything like that in awhile so a couple bites scratched the itch and I was good to go. I'm happy to say that instead of like the old days where I licked the mixing materials clean enough to look like they didn't need washed I just let the Grumpybutt lick them instead. He did all my taste testing while I baked. But I couldn't resist one small square of s'more brownie goodness and I didn't have to.

 Confession: I had to remind myself that lifestyle change does not equal diet and I was allowed to have one without a shame spiral. Which is why I didn't feel guilty eating it and horked it down before anyone saw me eat it but instead savored every bite in chocolate bliss. Small steps towards healthy thinking about healthy living. Go me.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Fish Sticks FTW!

Shockingly enough, I'm starting to get tired of the foods I've been consuming en mass -- like salad. I'm so over lettuce, I can't even begin to tell you. Which is a total bummer because it's a quick and easy side to go with anything but I just can't even stomach one more bite. Plus, while my proteins never change I'm getting bored of the way I've been cooking them. So it was time to get out my Cooking Light and Clean Eating magazines and start leafing through them.

Well, I got Tilapia out last night to have for dinner and while I was perusing Clean Eating (Recipes are also found online -- which is where I got this one) I saw a recipe for fish sticks that looked amazing. It was also served with "chips" and "slaw" but I didn't have the ingredients for those so I just did the fish and paired it with some broccoli. It was amazing  -- of course I tweaked it a bit which is par for the course with me and recipes I find.

Didn't they turn out AWESOME looking -- they tasted even better!

1 slice of whole wheat Ezekiel bread (any slice of whole grain bread would do)
3 prepackaged boneless Tilapia filets (I have a huge bag of them from Costco)
1 egg
spice to taste: rosemary, garlic, sage, pepper, salt, parsley, and Old Bay Seasoning


  1. Preheat oven with cookie sheet in it to 400 degrees
  2. Using food processor (or some other machine that chops stuff up -- like a blender or something), grind up bread slice and set aside. 
  3. Using food processor, grind up the three rinsed and dried filets
  4. Beat egg and the seasonings together
  5. Combine egg, fish, and 1/4 bread crumbs in a square 8x8 glass dish (any dish would work but I liked this cuz it was easier to do the next step. Use your hands or spatula to mix it together really well.
  6. Divide into 8 equal sections (I just cut the square into 8 equal parts -- see? easier.)
  7. Make into sticks
  8. Put rest of the bread crumbs into a shallow dish and dredge the fish sticks through it.
  9. Place on parchment paper -- when oven and cookie sheet are preheated put parchment paper on cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Then crank the oven to broil for 2 minutes (I did this to make sure they were crunchy)
The recipe on Clean Eating sauteed them in oil but that's like effort and I wanted to cut out the extra fat so I tweaked it and baked mine. They also didn't season up the fish. But I live for spices. So I did. They turned out awesome. It was a much needed change in what I'd been eating. Plus, because no one else wanted fish -- 4ft opted to eat Beef Pasta with his Dad -- I made all 8 and then I put 6 in the freezer BEFORE cooking them and only baked 2. That way I can have crunchy fish whenever. I think I'm going to throw a couple in the oven and have a crunchy fish sandwich for lunch. Mmmm. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Space Herpes!!!

That was for my husband.

Last night was another installment of Horrible Movie Monday Night. And while the movie chosen didn't outdo The FP or Rubber, it still kept the streak going. Drum roll please...

Yep, we watched Ice Pirates. It was either that or Dragonslayer which is on the queue for next Monday. What decided us was the trailer. It was seriously hilarious and cheesey awesome. How could it not be when in a future where water is scarce in the galaxy, 2 space pirates are captured and are going to be castrated and enslaved but instead are sold to a princess they tried to kidnap to unwillingly help her find her father. Cheesy 1984 Space Comedy in all its glory. We laughed and groaned in pain the whole way through it.

My husband's favorite part of the movie was when the ship got Space Herpes. For the rest of the movie he kept calling it out thus the blog title is dedicated to him.

Monday, September 3, 2012

My New Best Friend...


I was at Safeway yesterday buying groceries (because why else would I really be there, right? Safeway is NOT my version of a teenager mall hangout -- just saying) and I was buying more cinnamon extract. It's delicious in oatmeal and in iced coffees and it's not gritty like the spice which doesn't mix in near as well. When I noticed there are a HUGE amounts (okay 5 - 7, I might be exaggerating a little bit) of different flavored extracts -- two of which were maple and butter. Um, hello...where have you been all my life. So I got a bottle of each filled with liquid calorie and fat-free gold.

I put an 1/8 of a tsp of butter and maple extracts in my oatmeal this morning along with my standard splash of vanilla. I kid you not it was like eating maple and brown sugar flavored oatmeal (which is like my absolute favorite). So now I think I'm becoming an extract junky -- cinnamon and vanilla in my coffee and a random mixture of other flavors in my oatmeal. Hooray for extracts.

My BF from high school, Nunan, Queen of the Jungle (yes we were way awesome back then), gave me a recipe for a chocolate strawberry oatmeal that sounds awesome. I just haven't gotten around to trying it yet. I'm always half asleep when I start making the oatmeal and I'm eating the first bite before I remember that I wanted to try her recipe. A mind is a terrible thing to waste -- so good thing I never had one to begin with.

I also checked out Sugar-free coffee flavoring syrups like Torani (or however you spell it) they are also calorie free and come in delicious flavors but they're like 10 bucks a bottle when I primarily use vanilla and I can get a good bottle of vanilla extract from Costco for like half that price. So cheap wins out and I'll stick with my extracts, thank you very much.

I Zumba'd again last night. I asked the husband if I looked like a total spasmodic freak and he (and I'm sure it's because he loves me) told me it looked like I knew what I was doing and looked good. I know he's lying but I appreciated the effort. I'm hoping to get to an actual class soon -- but with everything I have going I don't know when that's going to be. I know, I know, you have to make time for things like that but 20 minutes in my living room is a lot easier to schedule in than the drive time to a class, the class, and then the drive time home. But I'm going to try to go next Monday. Maybe.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


And if you find them DO NOT return them.

From July 10th to date I've lost 34lbs and 3 pants sizes.

I found out about the pants sizes Friday night when I had to buy new ones to go to my grandmother's funeral yesterday. (No you guys hadn't missed anything -- I tend to internalize the sad parts of my life and wasn't ready to share that the most amazing, big-hearted, woman in my life was ill and then passed.) I didn't have anything appropriate to wear and I had sworn off buying clothes until I could fit in the ones before I got pregnant with Snugglebear. I AM ALMOST THERE! Anyways... I digress.

I'm not much of a dress wearer and with the small kids I feel more comfortable wrestling around with them in slacks than accidentally showing off my panties (not grannies -- those are for drawing only) to the world. So I was trying on dress pants. I knew I'd at least lost one pants size because the shorts I wear now I can put on without unbuttoning them. I have to belt them on. So I grabbed a size 24 -- because yes, *sigh* I had gotten back up to a 26 while pregnant. So much for not gaining a lot of weight. But right next to them was a 22 so I grabbed it for kicks and giggles. The whole way to the dressing room I was psyching myself up to the fact that the 22's might not fit and I was not allowed to get upset and mope about it.

After another huge pep talk in the dressing room I went for the 22's. I figured to just get it out of the way. I pulled them up easily (which started the smile) and buttoned them and they sagged too big! I started laughing right there in the dressing room. I'm sure the people around me thought I'd clearly lost my mind. I tossed back on my clothes and skipped to the girl working and told her that I had to get a SMALLER size! It was glorious. I grabbed a pair of 20's and they fit perfectly. Not too tight. Not too loose. And the things they did for my butt -- I hadn't realized how much smaller it had gotten (the husband commented on my shrinking butt too when I showed off my pants that night).

I realized that all my jeans for the winter are size 18. I refuse to buy anymore clothes. I have so many cute size 18 stuff that I'm determined to get into them before the weather turns. So I'm going to more aggressive on working out every day. I was doing some walking but to be honest most of the weight I've dropped so far has been from healthy eating choices not sweating. That's about to change. I've been re-energized and I'm more determined than ever to continue my healthy lifestyle.