Tuesday, June 8, 2010

two of my favorite things - slow cookers & leftovers...

Good Tuesday afternoon! Hope you’re having a good day. It’s not too sunny here today and we are in a high risk area for storms, possibly through tomorrow. I hope they just pass right over! Tomorrow my daughter and I will be driving to Highland Heights, Kentucky (just outside of Cincinnati) in order for her to attend her college freshmen orientation program. I’m really hoping it doesn’t rain. We intend to get there early in the evening and spend a little time together walking around downtown Cincinnati. Just us girls!
Last night in my low carb kitchen, I whipped up a quick and easy meal – thanks to leftovers. Leftovers & slow cookers – 2 of my favorite things. I had a lot to get accomplished at home on Saturday and I knew later in the afternoon, close to dinnertime, I was going to be beat. So I made peppered pork loin in my slow cooker. It took me about 10 minutes to prep the pork loin and put it in my slow cooker. For dinner last night, we had leftover peppered pork loin, sliced with horsey sauce drizzled on top. We also had a couple of pieces of cantaloupe and creamy coleslaw, which was leftover from our graduation party on Sunday.
Again, leftovers and slow cookers are 2 of my very favorite things! Thanks to both, I was able to put together a nice, cool meal in about 5 minutes. And speaking of cool meals, I had a great lunch today - spicy egg salad on a bed of fresh baby spinach leaves. It was awesome! The last couple of days, I’ve put on 5 eggs to boil while I was getting ready for work. I’ve eaten 2 hard boiled eggs for breakfast and used the remaining 3 to make egg salad.
Yesterday I had a special treat when I came home from work. If you like cold coffee drinks – I highly suggest trying this idea – I fill a large glass about 2/3 full with ice, then add cold/room temperature coffee, a little heavy whipping cream and a tablespoon of Splenda. You could also add a little sugar free chocolate syrup for a mocha style drink or maybe even some cinnamon. After a long Monday, this was just the little pick me up that I needed. I’m looking forward to another one today!
Well, it’s time for me to go. I’ll be whipping up something good in my kitchen tonight and I’ll fill you in on the new recipe tomorrow. Have a good evening and take care!

Monday, June 7, 2010

summer fun & some quick meal ideas

Good Monday afternoon! Although it’s not technically summer yet, it seems as if the summer is in full swing! Softball games, tournaments, graduations, graduation parties, summer camp for the kids and all the other fun things associated with this time of year. Not to mention the not so fun things like yard work, gardening and house cleaning. The list just seems to go on and on. With that being said, sorry I’ve been not so timely in my blogs lately! I’ve got lots of recipes to post, I just haven’t gotten to them, yet. So begins my to-list for the week.
We’ve been really busy around our house. First and foremost on our agenda has been all the activities associated with my daughter’s high school graduation. We had a very nice graduation party for her & my nephew yesterday. Later this week, her and I are attending her freshmen orientation at the college she will be attending this fall. It just seems as if everyone I know has a flurry of activities packed into their summer.
In addition to the recipes I’ll be posting later this week, I wanted to share with you some quick and easy summer meal ideas. One of my favorites things to purchase from our local deli is roasted whole chickens. You really can’t beat their price, especially when you consider the precooked chicken ends up costing not very much more than an uncooked chicken! One night last week the four of us – me, my husband, my daughter & my son – had cold chicken & cheese for supper. Of course everyone’s taste in my house varies – my husband ate his chicken on a sandwich made with low carb bread and a few pickle spears, my daughter had a chicken wrap & a few strawberries, my son had chicken & pork rinds with a dressing he made using Frank’s hot sauce, while I had chicken, cheese slices and a tablespoon of chunky peanut butter.
On another night, I cutup the precooked chicken and mixed with mayo for a quick and easy chicken salad. Again we all prefer something a little different – I had my chicken salad on a bed of lettuce, my husband had a sandwich & my daughter had a wrap – and we all had a few strawberries, too. Delicious, quick and easy, too! For a quick and easy snack, we almost always have pork rinds and cheese slices on hand. Also, several times last week, my son & I both had fresh slices of cool cucumbers with a bit of salt. I love cucumbers, so stay tuned for some quick and easy recipes.
Well, it’s time for me to go. I hope you have a great evening. Take care & I’ll be back tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

hot, humid weather and a cool, crunchy oriental style coleslaw

Good afternoon! What a hot, hot day here in the Ohio River valley. I
went for about a mile walk this afternoon. When I started out, it was
hot & sunny but there was a nice breeze. About 5 minutes later, there
was no breeze - it was so hot and humid. I once heard our summers
compared to a hot humid jungle! That's funny! Thank goodness for air
Over the past weekend we had several family get togethers. Luckily, we
all pitch in and bring food, so that not just one person is left to
plan, prepare and cook a meal. Lately, my favorite thing to take to a
get together or potluck is a salad, preferably one that I can make ahead
of time. By preparing my food ahead of time, I don't feel so rushed and
it's just easier for me to have everything ready ahead of time.
During the summer or warm weather, one of my most requested salads is a Napa Salad. If you haven't had Napa Salad it usually consists of Napa
cabbage, green onions, nuts, salad dressing and Ramen noodles toasted in
butter. Basically, it's cool & crunchy. I've made this salad many
times and also made many different versions. My favorite versions use a
prepackaged coleslaw mix, instead of Napa cabbage. Cutting the amount
of net carbs in the traditional version is pretty easy by reducing the
amount of nuts and eliminating the Ramen noodles. It's still good, even without the Ramen noodles. So here's my low carb version -
Notice I call it coleslaw since it doesn't include Nappa
Well, it's time for me to go. I hope you have a great afternoon &
evening. See you tomorrow! Take care!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

busy memorial day weekend & a new recipe

Good Tuesday afternoon! Although after the long weekend it sure feels like Monday. I hope you had a great weekend! We had a busy but very, very enjoyable weekend. On Friday we had a celebratory early dinner with our kids to celebrate my daughter, Lori’s, high school graduation. Then it was off to graduation – she was so cute – she kept looking for us in the crowd & when she spotted us, her & I kept waving at each other. She was so excited. At the after graduation party sponsored by her school, she won 2 beach totes, 2 beach towels, 2 beach chairs, a cooler, a grill & a flat screen tv! Saturday was a work day around our house – thanks to the person that did a little hit and run number on our fence & gate. Sunday was pool party time with my in-laws – we had a blast! Monday, I spent the day at the pool – nice! I love swimming!
I’ve been behind on blogging – sorry about that! But, I have been spending some time in the kitchen, so I’ve got a back log of recipes to post. My first recipe, which I made earlier last week, is zesty chicken with tomatoes & chiles. This recipe is a quick recipe with basically no prep and it all cooks together in 1 skillet – which means only 1 pan to wash – yeah!
It’s funny, so many of our family members are following a low carb lifestyle. I heard at least 4 or 5 people say at our pool party on Sunday, that they were gonna carb up for the day and go back to low carb the next day. Actually, most of our summer picnics include hamburgers, hot dogs or another grilled meat – so that’s a pretty easy way for us to stay low carb. But I think we all splurged on my mother-in-law’s world famous potato salad! That’s the good thing about low carb. If you eat a few carbs at one meal and then you just go back to low carb – it’s easy.
Well, it’s time for me to go. I hope you have a nice evening! See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

last day of school, fishing & crispy fish softshell tacos

Good afternoon! Hope you’re having a great day! Today is the last day of school for my daughter, Lori. Yesterday, the seniors at her school did something they hoped to be remembered by for a long time. The students arrived 2 hours early for school, setup a ping pong table and played orange juice pong. They had loud music, doughnuts & bacon. And they ended up causing quite a commotion! It reminds me of what my senior class did immediately following our graduation ceremony – along with tossing our caps in the air – we all threw handfuls of super balls, the kind of small balls that bounce really, really well. Our family & friends thought it was pretty funny but the teachers and janitors at the stadium – not so much!
With the arrival of the warm weather comes lots of fun activities and one of my favorites is fishing, even though I haven’t been fishing in years. We have a friend that keeps his boat in our back yard – it’s just a small 2 person boat with a motor. He’s been having a lot of luck lately – this past weekend he even caught about a 4 pound catfish. After he’s finished fishing, he cleans & fillets the fish. He’s stocking them in his freezer and when he gets a few more we’ll be having a fish fry at our house. I can’t wait, we just love fish!
Speaking of fish, in my low carb kitchen last week I tried out a new recipe - crispy fish softshell tacos. It was kind of funny, every time I mentioned to my husband that I was going to try a new recipe for fish tacos, he kind of sneered. Then I realized why – his idea of any kind of Mexican dish revolves around beef, and sometimes pork, but mostly beef. So I asked if that’s why he didn’t like the idea of fish tacos and he said yes. So I told him just to think of them as fish wraps. He liked that idea… too funny! Anyway, I used tilapia but you could also use other kinds of fish, like cod. I also used whole fillets but you could use chunks instead. You could also use leftover fish fillets.
Well, it’s time for me to go. I hope you have a good evening. We’re having a quick supper and then heading out to our high school for one last time – to attend Honors Night. It’s a special recognition program for the seniors to receive their awards and scholarships. I’m excited about going but I’m also a bit sad to think it’s the last time we’ll be going to the high school for one of our children…

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

finally - steamed asparagus...

Good Tuesday afternoon!! Hope you had a great weekend! I sure did. Had a chance to spend some nice quality time with my daughter. On Friday night, we had dinner together & then Lori had an appointment for a haircut. Then we watched a movie together & were at our local Old Navy store on Saturday morning (at 7 AM) to purchase $1 flip flops - we bought 17 pairs! On Sunday during church, Lori, along with the other graduates, were honored.
So, what's been cooking in my low carb kitchen? Well, I finally got around to cooking steamed asparagus. I thought it turned out really well & my husband enjoyed it, too. It turns out my kids didn't even want to try it. That's okay - it just left more for my husband & I. Actually, I never ate a full order of asparagus before trying this recipe. Recently when we were out of town visiting my daughter's soon-to-be college, my husband ordered asparagus and insisted that I try it. I was sure it would be awful but much to my surprise, it was really good. So that's my inspiration for my recipe, which I think turned out just as well.
Whether your fixing burgers, brats, steaks, chicken or fish, this recipe would be a perfect side dish. And it's low in net carbs, too - only 2.1 net carbs per serving. It's also high in fiber.
Well, that's my recipe for the day and speaking of recipes, my husband is in the kitchen cooking - I can't wait to see what he is fixing! I think I need to check on him. Have a good evening & take care! See you tomorrow!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Yeah - it's Friday, graduation soon & chicken curry

Hello & good Friday afternoon to you all!! I am so glad it's Friday - how about you? Even though it is my daughter's last Friday to attend high school. Next Friday she graduates. I'm so proud of her. On Sunday she will be honored at our church and on Wednesday she will be honored at her high school's Honor Night. She has always been such a great student - I don't think I have ever had to remind her to do homework. Her first graduation party that she's attending is tomorrow - I hope she has a blast! There were so many parties this year that she decided she didn't want to have one just for friends. But that's okay, in a couple of weeks we will be celebrating graduation with a party for her and my nephew, Saxton. Too much fun!
As I said yesterday, I've been trying to come up with some quick and easy recipes for the summer. I also like a big variety, too. My family has never been big on having a menu that we follow each week. I know some
families that have spaghetti every Monday, pizza every Friday, etc. But we always like to mix things up! And speaking of mixing things up, I bought some curry powder a few weeks ago and I've been hard at work
researching curry chicken recipes. Here's what I came up with - easy chicken curry. Just a few ingredients - chicken, oil, a little onion, celery & curry
powder. My kids and I also topped our servings with sour cream - just be sure to check the carb count on the sour cream. Everyone really liked it!
So, of course, I forgot about the asparagus once again. I will work on my recipe this weekend and if all goes well, will post it on Monday or even over the weekend. I hope you have a great day & a great weekend. Take care!!