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
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
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
- 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 “
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.
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
- 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
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
- 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 🙂
So, one of the hardest parts of eating healthy and weight loss that I struggle with, is the fact that I have a huge sweet tooth! It’s pretty embarrassing to open my desk drawer and to see the plethora of Hersey kisses (just about any flavor they make it in)…
In my search for “healthy” or low-fat/cal satisfying sweet things, I have come across the recipe for mini cinnamon rolls. I did not have high expectations for these, because they are not Cinnabon rolls. But let me tell you, they are FANTASTIC!! I am eating them as breakfast and desert (if i need something sweet at night… it’s a much better choice over ice cream), Josh has also been eating them and loves them! If Josh likes it, then you know it’s gonna taste good 🙂
Skinny mini Cinnamon Rolls
For the Cinnamon Rolls
- 1 can (13.5oz) Pillsbury refrigerated pizza dough (I used a 11oz because that’s the only I could find)
- 1 1/2 TBS reduced fat butter, melted (like smart balance)
- 4 TBS sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
For the icing
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1 1/2- 2 tsp non fat milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or coat with cooking spray.
Open the can of pizza dough and stretch out flat onto lined baking sheet. With a brush or spoon, spread ½ of the butter over dough.
Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, and mix. Sprinkle 2 TBS of this mixture over the top of pizza dough, covering the butter. (Don’t worry, we will use all of it) Now start at the shorter side (, roll the dough so the mixture in on the inside. Rub the remaining butter on the outside of the roll and add another 1 1/2 TBS of the cinnamon/sugar mixture on the outside of the roll.
Cut into rolls, depending on how many oz of pizza dough you used, you should get 12 -16 mini rolls. Put on the baking sheet with a little room around each of them, then sprinkle the tops with the left over cinnamon/sugar mix.
Bake about 10-15 minutes then set aside and let cool (it’s gonna be hard to not eat one right out of the oven, but trust me, the icing makes this thing!)
To make the icing, just combine powdered sugar and milk until it’s think icing constancy. Drizzle it over the rolls (Now you can eat these!!)
Nutrition info: 90 calories, 1g fat, 2g protein, 18g carbs, 1g fiber, 185mg sodium, 7g sugar,2 WW pluspoints
as compared to the Cinnabon Rolls
*SHOCKER* (730 calories, 24g fat, 127g carbs, 127g carbs, 20 WW pluspoints) OUCH!!!!!!!!
Original recipe can be found at skinnykitchen.com
They really are sooo yummy and for sure will satisfy my sweet tooth! I will take 1 of these over snacking on Hersey kisses (at 25 calories each) any day!
I have made several more WW recipes this week (cream of zucchini soup and coconut chicken) and hopefully get to post them this week.
Until next time,
Since I told my mom I would be posting this recipe today,I feel somewhat obligated to do so 🙂 However, you may have to excuse any “mess ups” that may in this post because the energy drink I was expecting in the refrigerator for me this morning was magically missing… so much for being awake in my early morning meeting… Oh well, on to the food!!
So in keeping with my healthier eating I have gathered many recipes from all over the place, and one thing I really love is that a lot of the time they are adding the Weight Watcher points+ in with the nutrition information… which ROCKS! The one I made this week was fantastic and have been eating on it since (due to the fact Josh really wont touch shrimp)
I believe this recipe was really meant for eating plain, but for only 2 extra points, grab a corn tortilla and throw it all in there and make a taco.. Delicious (even Josh wanted to try a bite)!
Grilled Shrimp Tacos
- 5 Tbs light mayonnaise
- 2 Tbs finely chopped scallions (those are the green onion things, not to be confused with shallots 😉 )
- 3 Tbs Sweet Chili Sauce (you can find this with the Asian ingredients at your grocery store)
- 1 tsp Sriracha, more or less depending on your love of spice
For the Shrimp
- 40 raw shrimp, that have been shelled and deveined (I can usually find them deveined, but shell them myself)
- Fresh cracked black pepper
- A pinch of salt
- 8 Metal skewers, or 8 wooden skewers that have been soaked in water for a bit
Mix all of the ingredients for the sauce together in a bowl until well incorporated, then set it aside.
Next, shell the shrimp (if you can’t find them without it)throw them in a bowl and lightly salt and pepper them. Put 5 shrimp on each skewer. Don’t over crowd them because it makes cooking them on the grill difficult.
Put on a clean and oiled grill over medium heat for about a total of 5-6 minutes, depending on the size of your shrimp. These little guys cook really fast so as soon as they turn opaque and cooked through, take them off. An over cooked shrimp is a sad shrimp…
Once they are cooked completely, brush the sauce over the shrimp. You should have just enough to give these guys a good slathering of sauce. And eat immediately, because the only thing worse than an overcooked shrimp, is a cold one…
Now you can stop there and have something super yummy… (please excuse my cheap plates, I did not want to mess with dishes 🙂 )
Or you can warm up some corn tortillas on the stove and make yourself a taco with some lettuce. (<So good!!!)
Nutrition Info: Servings: 4 , ( Serving Size = 2 skewers) Old Points: 3 pts , Points+: 3 pts w/o tortilla, 5pts with tortilla, 140 Calories, 4.7g Fat, 18.5g Protein, 4.2g Carb, .1g Fiber
Original recipe can be found at skinnytaste.com
Remember Fathers Day is this weekend! Be sure to tell your pops you love him! I sure do love mine like crazy! ❤
That’s all I got for now,
So I have another confession to make….I LOVE CORN!!! I can honestly just pop open a can of it, and eat it right out the can! Thankfully Josh likes it to so we usually have some lying around.
This weekend, we had 4 sweet ears of corn we needed to use up.. in fear they would go bad (gasp) So I could not let that happen! I decided to throw somethings together and make a Mexican Corn “salad”. IT WAS NUTS!! Literally me and Josh kept going back for more, which can be dangerous because it’s a carbs. So here is how I made it!
Banging Mexican Corn
- 4 ears of sweet corn (we grilled outs for about 12 min, then cut off the corn and put it in a bowl)
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (or 1/4 tsp if you don’t want a big spicy kick)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (for less heat, take out all the seeds and membrane)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or chopped
- 1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese (my absolute favorite cheese ever!)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Put the corn kernels at the bottom of a skillet (I used nonstick but if you want it to be “blackened corn” you can use a non-nonstick skillet), and sprinkle the cumin, sea salt, and cayenne pepper over the corn. Turn the corn gently over with a spatula as it cooks, then stir in the onion, jalapeno pepper, and garlic. Stir the corn mixture every few minutes. Cook for about 15-20 min until the onion and peppers are soft. Once done put it into a bowl and top with cotija cheese and cilantro. (another option, is put it in an oven save bowl and top it with the cheese (even motzz if you got it and prefer to use that) and put in the oven and melt the cheese a little bit)
Nutritional Info: Calories: 179, fat: 7.5g, Carbs:21.3g, Fiber: 3.1g, Protein: 8.6, WW PlusPoints: 5
This definitely had a big kick to it. So for a less spicy version, you can always not add as much cayenne powder, or you can always replace the jalapeno with a red or green pepper.
We ate it with some steak and crab! It was a very yummy dinner! The crazy thing, is the crab was Josh’s idea!! I’m so happy he is liking some seafood now 🙂
Until next time,
So, truth be told, I have always loved pastas and carbs… But I know how unhealthy the white and cream sauces are or can be so I try not to make them. (Not only that, but Josh doesn’t like creamy sauces…Who doesn’t like creamy sauces?!?!) That being said, I have been looking around for some
healthy healthier pasta dishes and last night I HIT THE JACKPOT!!!
1 lb thin asparagus, cut into 2″ pieces (tough ends trimmed)
6 oz uncooked pasta such as Ronzoni Smart Taste
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
salt and fresh cracked pepper
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (I used KRAFT BRAND)
In a large pot boil 4 cups water with salt. When boiling, add asparagus and cook 3-5 minutes, until tender crisp. Drain asparagus in colander reserving 1 cup liquid before draining.
Fill pot with salted water, cover and boil for pasta. When water boils cook pasta according to package directions for al dente about 8-10 min.
Meanwhile, in a sauté pan heat olive oil. Add garlic and cook until golden, add asparagus, salt and pepper and sauté about 1-2 minutes, tossing with oil and garlic.
In a small bowl combine egg yolk, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, 1/4 cup reserved asparagus liquid*, salt and pepper. Mix well. After pasta is drained return to pot and mix with egg mixture. Cook on medium-low about 2 minutes, until sauce thickens and sticks to pasta. Toss in asparagus and mix well. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. If pasta seems too dry add more reserved liquid a tablespoon at a time.
*I was nervous that the egg yolk would cook if you added the hot asparagus water to it, but if you do it slowly and whisk it quickly as you pour it, it worked out just fine (No scrambled eggs for this girl!)
Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1 1/4 cup •
Calories: 227.6 • Fat: 7.0 g • Protein: 5.4 g • Carb: 38.3 g • Fiber: 6.9 g
Then eat it.. ALL OF IT!! OK maybe not all of it, but it’s so good, you will have to stop yourself from going back for more!
My workouts like mentioned in my last blog are going good. 🙂 I worked out Monday night using this work out DVD called “Slim in 6” and the first DVD is a lot of lunges and squats…. and O…M…G….. I have not been able to walk normal since Monday! We took Tuesday night off because (lets face it) neither Josh or I could move. Last night we took the pups out and walked a little over a mile and did the ABS workout part of the DVD… Today I still am pretty sore but I will be attempting to
make a fool out my self go to a Zumba class as my gym with Jessica. It will be a sight to see, that’s for sure! But we decided as long as we can laugh at ourselves (which I’m sure there will be a lot of) we can have a fun time!
Any way, it’s almost the weekend! Any one have fun plans? Hope everyone has had a good week so far!
Until next time,