It's a love/hate kind of thing...

So I hopped on to Pinterest for a second, 
just to grab a recipe off one of my boards, 
and of course couldn't help but take a quick looksy over a page of pins.
And now I have to vent....
I am all for being original and creative, but I'm gonna have to admit that
a peanut butter cup chocolate chip snickerdoodle 
candy upside-down brownie cupcake bar 
is a little (okay, a LOT) over the top!! 
Is anyone else getting tired of seeing these 
"one ups" from the food bloggers?? 
My oh my.

Now on a more positive note,
I found this on my car window today...

That boy sure knows how to win over his lady friend.


Chicken Fajita Salad

When it comes to comfort food,
fajitas have always had a cushy spot in my "top 3."
We could probably even attribute them to my pre-teen chubby stage. 
And the chubby stage that lasted past pre-teen. 
Poor kid. 
I think that without fail, I ordered fajitas every single time I went to Chili's
for a consecutive decade of my life.
And to give you a little taste of how often I went to the beloved restaurant, my mama may or may not have had them on speed dial... just sayin...

Tonight when I was planning out our meals for the week, that familiar blend of tender carmelized onions and peppers tossed with scrumptiously seasoned chicken was seriously calling my name. There was only one problem--
I didn't have time to make corn tortillas,
and flour tortillas are a no-go on our current diet.
 So. I had to improvise...

Here is what happened:


*1 TBS vegetable or olive oil
*4-6 chicken tenderloins--diced or cut into strips
*1/2-1 tsp dry oregano
*1 med-sized yellow onion--thinly sliced
*1 green bell pepper--thinly sliced
*1 red bell pepper--thinly sliced
*1 clove garlic, minced
*2 TBS water
*1 8.5 oz pkg of quinoa & whole grain brown rice 

(you could obviously just cook up some quinoa and/or brown rice, but I was in a bit of a rush)
*1 15 oz can black beans
*Shredded cheddar cheese/sour cream (or greek yogurt. Mmm)/guacamole opt for garnish

1. Heat oil in large skillet over med-high heat. Add sliced green & red peppers, onion and garlic. Cook 3-4 min. or until crisp-tender (don't overcook), stirring occassionally. Once cooked, remove veggies from pan and set aside.

2. Add chicken and oregano to skillet. Cook 4 min. or until chicken is no longer pink in center--stirring occassionally.

3. Return veggies to skillet. Add water. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Cover and continue cooking 2 min. or until heated.

4. Serve veggie and chicken mixture over rice and black beans. Garnish with cheese, greek yogurt and guacamole.

Okay, maybe this doesn't look entirely appetizing. But it was delicious.

As if this wasn't enough already, I served it alongside my current love-affair.
Quick and Easy Salsa.
Which can be found in this cookbook
and possibly on this blog.

Quick and Easy Salsa
*2 fresh tomatoes
*1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
*1 clove garlic, minced
*1/3 cup sliced green onions
*3 TBS chopped cilantro
*1/4 teaspoon chili powder
*1 medium lime, juiced

Combine all ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

The end.
It's that quick. And it's that easy.
Which is why I have made it every week for the past three weeks.
That, and because it gives me an excuse to use gobs of cilantro.
Mmmm.... Cilantro....


Orange Chicken...Healthified!

You may have noticed the title of this post...
yes, I made up the word "healthified." 
It's a word I've been using a lot lately to describe 
what I've been trying to do to all of my favorite meals.
Orange chicken being one of them.
I LOOOVE Chinese food, but never realized until quite recently 
how quickly you rake in the calories by eating it!
So, I've resorted to seeking out healthy versions of the asian deliciousness.

Although I found an orange chicken recipe on hungry-girl.com, 
I decided to test this baby out first. 
And that, my friends, 
was one of the best decisions I've made all week! 
(That, and deciding to splurge on one (okay, three...) 
of those huge Cadbury caramel eggs. Pure heaven.)
The chicken turned out so light and tangy 
unlike the dense and calorie-filled nuggets of orange chicken
with which I usually stuff my face.
If you want to do yourself (and the ones you love) a favor tonight, 
or tomorrow night, or really any night of any week... 
TRY this recipe!

I wish I would have taken pictures throughout the cooking process, 
but I was in a bit of a hurry...So all I got was the finished product. 

Pictured is a stir-fry I also threw together. 
It was so simple and you can do it too!!
Here is all you need:

1 small box sliced mushrooms
3 carrots--peeled (you will be using the peels, don't throw that part away!)
1 small package of edamame--steamed/cooked and shelled
1 green onion--thinly sliced
2 cups cooked brown rice
Soy sauce
Sesame oil
Garlic powder

Just throw the mushrooms in a medium-sized frying pan, and saute them in a small amount of liquid (I used probably 2 tsp of butter and a squirt of soy sauce--
the butter was obviously unnecessary, 
but it made the mushrooms oh so good!)
After the mushrooms have softened, about 3 minutes, add in the carrot peels
Add in some more soy sauce (probably about a Tbs) 
and let everything tenderize.
Then add in the edamame, green onion and cooked brown rice.
Add more soy sauce and sesame oil, just until flavored.
Also add 1-2 tsp of garlic powder and salt to taste.

And...It's done!
Within 10-minutes, you've made a simple side-dish that will 
have your lover swooning over your every move.
It's that easy!
And the best part about stir-fry is that you can add any amount of anything, and it all still tastes good and impresses guests.
Do you see why I love Chinese?


Being healthy...is it worth it??

Hello, long-abandoned bloggees!
As some of you may know, the husband and I have been on a health-kick lately.
It may or may not have something to do with the fact that we have a potential of winning over $400 if we (and by we, I mean Jake only...) win the two biggest loser competitions we (ha.) are currently participating in. 
(I say we because although Jake is the only one officially participating in the competitions, I am providing all of the healthy meals and running music mixes, plus cheer leading on the side. :) This is hard work, people!)

So I have a couple of questions for you all. 
And I would really like any comments or suggestions I can get. 
I know there are many of you out there who don't comment because you are a "closet reader" 
(It's okay...I do it too...) 
but here is your chance to verbalize your thoughts. 
I welcome you, one and all.
My questions are these:

First, do you think this is true? 

"The forty-year-old campaign to create low-fat and nonfat versions of traditional foods has been a failure: We’ve gotten fat on low-fat products. Why? Because removing the fat from foods doesn’t necessarily make them nonfattening. Carbohydrates can also make you fat, and many low- and nonfat foods boost the sugars to make up for the loss of flavor … You’re better off eating the real thing in moderation than binging on “lite” food products packed with sugars and salt."    
--Michael Pollan

I have not done much research on the matter, but I've heard this before and am trying to decide how "healthy" I really want to be. I know there are so many "healthy" routes the husband and I could take...
should this be one of them?

Second, and most importantly...
What is your favorite "healthy" meal? 
It is HARD WORK to come up with recipes that are not only tasty, but also relatively low-cal and nutritious. It would be nice to say that I have all sorts of hours in my day to spend surfing pinterest or googling "healthy meals" to find the latest and greatest quinoa concoction...
but I don't. 
(Although, I will admit...
I spend way more time doing this than any semi-normal person should...)

Thank you very much for your input, I really do appreciate it!
My gift to you is coming soon.
Watch for it...
Her name is "Karma."

P.S. We had this for dinner yesterday, but I switched out the ground beef for ground turkey and added some lime juice and cilantro to the meat mixture. 
We also used Greek yogurt as sour cream:

 My new favorite obsession?
Try it and tell me what you think!
Also, just because I love pictures, I decided to add this.
The colors alone make me SO excited for summer!

*And for the record,
just to prove I am not turning into a crazy health-freak...
I generally don't like fruit.
I just force myself to eat it 
and having it already cut up and on hand makes it much easier. :)



I've been thinking a lot lately about life...and time..and having time to do things I want to do rather than doing all the things I have to do.

Upon wishing and wishing that I had time to do the things I want to do, I've realized that life is made up of all the little moments...
the times when I'm doing both the things I want to do, 
and the things I don't so much want to do. 

Life is each day that I let slip by 
without seeing the beauty in the mundane things.

Life is the satisfaction that I get from working hard at my job 
and knowing that I'm doing my best.

Life is accomplishing assignment after assignment just to pass a class...
and seeing that it all paid off in the end.

Life is studying hard and doing well on a test.

Life is cleaning all day long and wishing endlessly that the dust and dirt would be so kind as to take a vacation for a while, but knowing it will never happen. Yet, seeing the end product and knowing it was all worth it...
at least for a day.

Life is living the gospel.... even when it's hard.
Life is seeing my husband late at night for the first time that day and being glad that at least I was able to see him once.

Life is making sacrifices to do the things you don't really want to do and yet somehow finding the joy.

If there's one thing my husband has taught me, 
it's that no matter what, the glass is always half full. 
It just depends on which way you look at it. 

I've decided that taking a moment to soak up the silver lining in every experience I face is one of the most profound things I could do with my life. Obviously it isn't always going to happen...
but a girl can dream.... right?


Just checking in...

Here's proof that I am alive and well....

And ready to quit everything for a while so I can just take a breath and RELAX!
Husband, if you are reading this...I am ready for a vacation!!

Also...We had this for dinner the other night.

Photo courtesy of Perry's Plate

You will not regret making it.
I swear on my life.

And for those of you who care...Since the biggest loser challenge began, my husband has lost 20 big ones and I've lost a whopping 3! Woop, woop!