"The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook."- Julia Child

Extending a helpful hand

With the spring season coming up I fully intend on going to the food truck park as much as I can! There is a new park that just opened up called Clearfork Food Park and it’s unfortunately  close to work! It’s super spacious and right along the Trinity River, and has a full bar, not to mention several different food trucks. They have big screen TV’s so it’s the perfect place to kick back, watch the game, try some new food and grab a drink.

A few weeks ago, Josh and I tried a truck called First Bite. I had been stalking following it for a while on Facebook because I knew I wanted to try their food. Carne Asada is what they are known for and it’s in almost every thing on their menu (they also have a nuts looking vegetable flat melt sandwich, for all the vegetarians out there). Lets face it, I love steak! Put it in a street taco, or a spring roll, or loaded on top of some french fries, I’m all over that! I got their Street Tacos (taqueria style corn tortillas, carne asada, cilantro, chopped white onion, avosauce, and lime) with a side of cilantro rice and their spring rolls (spring roll filled with juicey carne asada, black beans, corn, red onion, cilantro, and red bell pepper all infused with their cilantro lime dressing, deep fried and served with avosauce.) Both were absolutely delicious!!

So aside from their food being spectacular, the owner and the people working there are super nice! I’ve been so some trucks where the food was OK, but the people serving weren’t the greatest.

But the real reason I wanted everyone to know about this truck is because of what they are doing for the community! The headline on their webpage says

IF EVERYONE GAVE A LITTLE,
NO ONE WOULD GO HUNGRY. YOUR FIRST BITE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
So what are they doing about it?? Well a portion of every sale they get goes to stocking up their pantry and going around to the homeless around the Fort Worth area! The pick an area that has a lot of homeless and serve them a warm meal!  How awesome is that!So, go hit up their Facebook page and make sure to head out to the parks when they are there!

I have a lot of blogs to catch up on, last semester was a nightmare and I had zero time to do anything, so hopefully this semester will be better. Stay tuned for my next blog about this amazing little winery Josh and I went to over this past weekend for dinner. It literally blew our minds how good it was!
THIS JOURNEY BEGAN BECAUSE KAMI HAD A PASSION IN HER HEART TO DO WHAT SHE COULD TO FEED THE HUNGRY IN HER COMMUNITY. A NUDGE CONTINUED AS A PASSION WAS BIRTHED, ASKING THE QUESTION, “WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF EVERYONE GAVE UP THEIR FIRST BITE OF EVERY MEAL? WHAT IF WE USED THOSE “FIRST BITES” TO FEED THE LESS FORTUNATE?”
THE FIRST BITE GOURMET IS A GOURMET FOOD TRUCK/CATERING COMPANY THAT WILL DONATE A “FIRST BITE” PORTION OF EVERY MEAL PURCHASED TO FEED OUR HUNGRY NEIGHBORS. WE WILL GIVE UP OUR “FIRST BITE”, WE WON’T MISS IT, PEOPLE WILL BE FED.


It gets me thinking about what can I do to make a difference in the community? If anyone has any ideas of things around here that I can get involved in, let me know! Until then, I’m gonna keep supporting the First Bites cause!

Until next time,

You can chew on that

Stephanie
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New things and roasted artichokes

I’m back… again.

Whew, I can’t even believe it has been over a month since I last posted anything!! September came and went to quickly, and I’m betting… the rest of the year will also.

I was in Houston for 2 weeks, then came back to Fort Worth for 2 more weeks of training and it just about did. me. in. Thankfully, I will only have to go to Houston 1 week this month then not again (cross my fingers) until February.

As you have probably noticed, I made a few changes on my blog. I figured, since I usually post recipes and talk (a lot) about food, why not embrace it for that it is! The new name “Will Work for Food” seems to fit just perfectly (I should also add wine to the end of that statement too…. 🙂 ) I will continue posting recipes but also letting you know deals (relating to food.. and heck some that don’t) and places me and my husband try out around town. I hope you will for sure enjoy it!
So, one of my new favorite things to do, is to cook with my husband! We have been trying lots of different recipes lately. Some of them are things we have had in a restaurant and loved so we try it at home. One of them being the Roasted Artichoke at The Cheesecake Factory. Whats funny is, Josh still talks about that even though he has not had it in about a year!

While walking through Central Market last week, they had Artichokes on sale, so I thought,” what the heck, how hard could it really be to roast this??” Answer… NOT HARD AT ALL!!! And not to mention delicious! Here is how we did it….

(ps.. don’t worry about the pokey tops of the leaves, they soften up after you cook it)

Roasted Artichoke with a Garlic Dipping Sauce

What you need: For the Artichoke

Artichoke (s)
Garlic Cloves
Lemon
Olive Oil
Salt
Foil (preferably the heavy-duty kind)

What You do:

Preheat your oven to 425

You first start by chopping off the top third of the artichoke off (you can’t eat that anyway, so you’re not wasting anything)

Next you cut off the stem, so that it sits up nicely

Quickly put some lemon juice on the top and bottom of it, because once you cut it, it will brown easily, but try to save some lemon juice

Put it in a bowl (so that you can use all the juices you are pouring on it)

Make some in certs with your knife in the very top center of the artichoke and poke, 2-4 whole garlic cloves down there (depending how much you like garlic)

Fan out the leaves a little, don’t get crazy or anything, just enough so you can get the olive oil and lemon juice down there

Now, juice the rest of your lemon over the artichoke, make sure you get it really good, all down in the different layers, then drizzle it with olive oil and sprinkle it with salt.

Place artichoke onto come heavy-duty foil (if you don’t have the heavy-duty kind, that’s OK, just use like 5 or 6 layers of the lighter stuff), you want to make sure to wrap it very tightly so it can basically, well roast it!

If you are using a larger artichoke, then an hour and  half in the oven will do it!

Once it comes out, wait for it to cool a bit (cuz it will be HOT), and (for those of you have never eaten a roasted artichoke before) you peel off the leaves, dip in the sauce and scrape the artichoke meat off with your teeth. So yummy!!

To make the sauce

What you will need: For the sauce

1/4 cup mayo
1 chopped garlic clove
1 1/2 Tbs lemon juice
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

What you will do:

Mix all of them together in a bow, done! It’s better served cold, so I would make it before you are ready to eat it and chill it for a while.

What is also fun about replicating these dishes at home is all the money you can save! Think about it, If I went to Cheesecake Factory to just get this, and nothing else (which lets face it, would never happen)… It would cost me any where from $10-$15!! The only thing I had to buy, was the $3 dollar artichoke, I had everything else in my kitchen!

We ate every bit of it! Josh loved it! I can totally see us doing this pretty often 🙂
Hope you will try it and love it as much as we did! If you have any questions, comments or recommendations please feel free to let me know!

Until next time,

You can chew on that 🙂      <– trying out new closing line haha

Stephanie

Blueberrys and Rainy Weather

 

With all the rain lately, and Josh feeling under-the-weather I was in the mood to try my hand at baking something for breakfast that he would like. Josh loves blueberries so I stocked up on some when I went to the Farmers Market last time. I put 2 pints in the freezer, for Josh to snack on (and to feed the dogs one frozen one every now and then…. FACT: Blueberries are great for dogs (within reason)! They have a ton of nutrients and are actually better for them than store bought treats, but I digress…) I also had a pint in the refrigerator that I needed to use up.

I woke up early Sunday to take care of the dogs so Josh could sleep in and came across a recipe for Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast “Cake“, and it just so happened that I had ALL the ingredients… including Low-fat Buttermilk, which I rarely have on hand. So I whipped it up so Josh could have something homemade and yummy for breakfast

Buttermilk-Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • zest from 1 large lemon
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cups sugar (plus more to sprinkle on top)
  • 1 egg, room temperature (if your like me, and wait till the last min, I learned a neat trick to getting it room temperature quickly. Run it under warm water for a few min until it’s no longer cold to the touch… you’re welcome 🙂 )
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • ½ cup buttermilk (I used low-fat buttermilk, you know, to keep it “healthy healthier “)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350ºF

Cream butter with lemon zest and the sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.

Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.

Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.

Grease a 8 x 11 glass dish (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. If necessary, return pan to oven for a couple of more minutes. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

*if you want to get crazy, I put the sugar on top of it, then went and got the butane lighter in the garage and Brûléed the top to caramelize the sugar* -when Josh woke up and saw that in the kitchen, he just laughed at me 🙂

NUTRITION FACTS (WARNING: NOT WEIGHT WATCHERS)

Serves 9 (depending on how big/small you cut them) 30g Carbs, 11g Fat, 1g Fiber, 4g Protein. 7 WW+

So it’s not a diet killer, you just have to adjust your count for the day, that’s all 🙂 But it’s the low-fat buttermilk that makes a huge difference.

Josh said this is the BEST blueberry thing I have ever made, and I will have to agree. The cake it’s self was super moist and the lemon zest adds a great flavor!

Stay tuned later this week, I will be trying several Hatch Green Chili recipes in honor of Hatch Green Chili Week at Central Market... which PS.. tomorrow is the last day of it. So if you haven’t made it out there, get out there and get their green chili burgers, they are to die for, and so are their green chili tortillas…

Tonight, Josh is taking me to a nice restaurant in Downtown Fort Worth called Grace. They participate in an event called Restaurant Week (that will be another blog for another day) So I’m looking forward to that.

Stay Tuned,

WEST OUT

I’m back!!

Well, after about a 2 week hiatus it feels good to be blogging again!

These past few weeks have been crazy!!

We went on a cruise with the family for Jared’s Graduation and had a BLAST!! I will say the best part (besides being with the family) was the food!! Now, I know what your thinking… “did she take pictures of the food?” the answer, OF COURSE I DID!! It’s really the best place to try out food you never would have before *clears throat* like frog legs! So, with the tradition of  posting food pictures, I give you… “Cruise Food”

Ceviche- (for those of you who don’t know what it is) -A South American dish of marinated raw fish or seafood, typically garnished and served as an appetizer. And it was spectacular!

Alligator fritters Anything fried is good in my book!!

Pork Chops- With the most AMAZING Mac & Cheese ever!! You know that didn’t come out of a box!

Heaven– OK, not really heaven, but pretty dang close. This was a warm chocolate melting cake! Even typing this is making me drool. I am currently in the hunt for a recipe to replicate this!

Yes, I took a picture with the frog legs that I ate! They were surprisingly good! People say they take like chicken, I would have to disagree.. they taste more like fish!

Dad! – So a pretty unknown thing about eating at the “formal” or nice restaurant for dinner, is you don’t just have to order 1 appetizer, dinner and dessert. You can order every single appetizer if your little heart desires. In fact, on “formal” night, my dad ordered 3 entrees!! He tried the lobster, steak and the ribs!! My cousins like had 5 lobster tails! I’m not kidding, order away!

Our dinner table on the night we though it was just going to be us 2… Jared ended up showing up, for his 3rd dinner, which was cool, because I kind of like that kid.

But of course, it was not all about the food, we had a great time with family and traveling around. We went snorkeling in Cozumel which is one of my favorite places ever! I have never seen such blue water in my life. Josh and I hope to next year stay at an all-inclusive resort there and stay longer than 8 hours (which we have done twice)!

Like I said, the water was so clear! (so glad Shark Week is this week, not 2 weeks ago, can I get an AMEN)

Also, side note- if you are often in the water or swimming or anything, these photo were taken with Josh’s iPhone. I bought this thing off Amazon.com for like $25 and it worked like a charm! Totally worth it in my book!

Well, lunch is over, time to get back to work! I will leave you with a picture of my wonderful family who we had such a blast with that week! I love them so very much, no matter where in the world we live, from Mexico to the Carolina’s or New Mexico to Tennessee a part of my heart is always with them!


Thank you for letting me indulge you in a multitude of pictures, hope to be back to my “normal” postings next week 🙂

Until next time,
WEST OUT!

What a week!

This entire week has been CRAZY!!! This the reason I have not been able to update my blog lately… (which makes me sad :()

I’ve literally been in training all week-long for work! During this training I found out that I will be doing some traveling come August and September… But it’s not anywhere cool… just Houston.  I will be gone the week of August 27-31, then again September 4-7, then I will be in local training again September 24-28th. Ohy, my head hurts just thinking about it! Oh, the first week of school… I will be out-of-town... So I’m hoping my teachers are going to be OK with Josh filling in for me that week… is that legal?

Even with this crazy week, I had time to bake a cake! (totally random I know…) . A Peach Amaretto Upside Down Cake to be exact! Boy did it hit the spot. And no, this is not a Weight Watchers recipe (but it does have fruit hmm…) I enjoyed every last bite of it, and I guarantee… so will you (expectantly if you top it off with Blue Bell Ice Cream)

Peach Amaretto Upside Down Cake

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 3 Tbs Amaretto liquor (always take a sip or 2 before to make sure it tastes good ;))
  • 2 peaches, cut very thin
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 cup milk

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350.

Whisk together the flour and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.  Stir together the brown sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter, and amaretto in a 9-inch pie pan until the sugar starts to dissolve.  After sugar is dissolved,  place the peach slices on top then sprinkle the top with the chopped pecans; set aside. Beat 1/4 cup melted butter with 1/2 cup white sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then add the almond extract. Pour in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated. Gently pour the batter into the pan, over the top of the peaches and pecans.

Bake for about 25 min, or until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let is cool in the pan for about 10 min before you flip it onto a plate. Before you flip it, you may want to run a knife along the edges so that nothing sticks.

Be sure to eat it warm with some ice cream (do yourself a favor, and get Blue Bell)! It’s sooo delicious! I’m drooling thinking about making this again and eating it!!!

 

Oh did i mention I would be gone next week also, my family is going on a cruise!! We will be stopping off in Cozumel and Progreso, Mexico. I can’t wait to be snorkeling and eating local food in Cozumel!! Not sure yet what Pregreso will bring, but I know there will be sun and the Beach involved! All I know is, I cant wait to be on a vacations and get away for a while… I sure will miss my babies though, but not to worry, we have them all set up to go to their own resort for the week (Dogs Rule Resort :))

Well as they say “Bon Voyage

WEST OUT!

I love me some fast food…

So one of the hardest things about eating healthy (at least for me) is not eating fast food! Once you get to looking at the calories and fat (and WW+ points) just 1 stinking taco, I just can’t being my self to waste my points on it. I can honestly say, since I have started Weight Watchers, I have only had fast food maybe twice (which is a long way from where I was eating it once or twice a week).

Hungry Girl has been a huge help for my nasty problem of loving fast food.  She has a “Chew The Right Thing”  section on her website that takes some of the popular fast foods, and shows you how to make them healthy-er!
Lets dive into Taco Bell… (which makes me sad, because this is my favorite all time fast food place)

 

Some of the popular items may include..

  • Crunchy Taco- 4 points, 10 grams of fat
  • Soft Taco- 5 points, 9 grams of fat
  • Bean Burrito- 9 points, 11 grams of fat
  • Beef Taco Salad- *SHOCKER* 20 points, 42 grams of fat
  • Crunch Wrap Supreme- 14 points, 21 grams of fat

 

This makes me sad… I do love that crunch-wrap, but that’s almost HALF my points for the whole day! When I saw the Hungry Girl swap, it’s safe to say my taste buds were singing “hallelujah, hallelujah”  🙂

 

Hungry Girl’s “Chicken Crunchtastic Supreme”

Ingredients

  • 1 large La Tortilla Factory Smart & Delicious Low Carb/High Fiber tortilla (at Kroger, these are in the bakery section, not with the other tortillas, and WW fans, they are only 1 point!)
  • 3 large, baked corn tortilla chips
  • 1/4 cup drained 98% fat-free chunk white chicken breast (next time, for 1 more point I may sub for 1/2 cup 98% fat-free ground beef, but the chicken was killer good too)
  • 1/4 cup shredded fat-free cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded lettuce
  • One-third plum tomato, diced
  • 1 tbsp. fat-free sour cream
  • 1 tsp. dry taco seasoning mix
  • 2 dashes cayenne pepper, or more to taste

 

Directions

Using a fork, break up the chicken so there are no large chunks. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine chicken, cheese, taco seasoning mix, and cayenne pepper, and mix well. If you like, season to taste with extra cayenne pepper. Microwave for 30 seconds, or until cheese begins to melt. Set aside.

Warm the tortilla in the microwave for 10 seconds (making it easier to fold without ripping), and then lay it out on a flat surface. Place the chicken mixture in the center of the tortilla. Flatten the mixture into a circle, keeping it about 2 inches from the outer edge of the tortilla. Next, layer the tortilla chips on top of the chicken mixture. Evenly top with sour cream, lettuce, and tomato.

*Folding instructions*- starting at the bottom of the tortilla, fold edge up a few inches to the tortilla’s center. Then, going around the edge of the tortilla, repeatedly fold, overlapping sections to meet in the center for a total of about six folds, until filling is completely enclosed. (poor Josh got my tester folded one, and it looked bad! But once I figured it out, he said I looked like I worked at Taco Bell… which I’m not sure I really want to hear ha-ha)

Bring a pan sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat, and carefully place the folded tortilla in the center of the pan with the folded side down. Heat for 4 – 5 minutes, until the tortilla is browned. Carefully flip it with a spatula, and heat for another 30 – 60 seconds.

Source: HG’s Spicy Chicken Crunchtastic Supreme

Here’s where it gets good!

For 1 serving (which is the whole dang thing!!)

Hungry Girl Style  Taco Bells Crunch wrap Supreme
210- Calories 530- calories
4.5g- Fat 21g-Fat
27.5g- Carbs 67g- Carbs
13g- Fiber 4g- Fiber
26g- Protein 19g- Protein
5 WW+ Points 14 WW+ Points

 

That’s saving 320 calories!! and 9 points!!

 

Let me tell you, it was just as good as the full fat version!!  They were super easy to make, and super fulling! I was worried about Josh not liking them, but in fact, he LOVED them!
If you have never looked at the calories and fat at the fast food your eating, you may want to take a regretfully take a look. You wont be sorry… or maybe you will 😉

PS  there are tons of apps (for iPhone users) that help with this. Some of my favorites are “Restaurant” and “Dotti”… Don’t have an iPhone, NO PROBLEM, almost all fast food joints have their nutrition posted online! Just Google “Taco Bell nutrition”,   or any of your favorite places and “read em’ and weep”

Until Next Time,
WEST OUT!

 

 

Quick and easy crock pot chicken!

I know many of you work long hours, like I do, and when I get home I would love a nice hot home cooked meal fully prepared  … but ya right who am I kidding!

However, the next best thing is………………. THE CROCK POT!!!

I use to be so nervous to use it because I was always concerned with it catching fire, or burning down my kitchen while I was away… but once I started to use it, I fell in love with it! So much so I actually have 2!  Some of my favorite recipes come out of that bad boy!

When I make recipes in it, I usually get it all ready to go the night before, so that Josh can throw it on in the morning or at lunch. Mine has a ceramic  bowl that comes out so that’s what I put in the fridge.

But seriously, the possibilities are endless as to what you can cook in it.  So here is my latest, Josh is the one that actually threw it all together for me (ya, it’s that easy ;))  and he said it was a HOME- RUN!  So without further ado…

Santa Fe Crock Pot Chicken
Original recipe at skinnytaste.com

Ingredients

  • 5-6 chicken breasts
  • 14.4 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
  • 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 14.4 oz can fat-free chicken broth
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • salt to taste

Directions
Combine all the ingredients (minus the chicken) together and put it in the crock pot, then top with chicken. Season the chicken with a little salt. Cook on low for about 10 hours or on high for 6. About half an hour before serving, take the chicken out and shred it using 2 forks. Put the shredded chicken back in the crock pot, give it a good mix, then it’s ready to eat when you are!

Servings: 8 servings, Size: 1 cup, Old Points: 3 pts, Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 190,  Fat: 1.5 g , Fiber: 5.6 g , Carbs: 23.1 g,  Protein: 21 g

See how easy that is!!And trust me, your belly will thank you!!

The even better part, it’s a WEIGHT WATCHERS dinner, of course you have to add points for the tortilla or rice or whatever you serve with it!!

We used it to make

  • tacos
  • quesadillas
  • taco salad 
  • what ever you want!!

So do your self a favor, throw these things together, and enjoy a nice warm cooked meal….courtesy of your crock pot 🙂

Enjoy

WEST OUT!