Happy Thanksgiving!

Last night was the first of 2 Thanksgiving dinners I’m attending this year.  Confession. I’ve never cooked a turkey.

I’ve made some side dishes here and there, and definitely a great pumpkin pie but never attempted to mess with the bird.  But, why bother when my mom’s more than happy to take on that job.  Check out what a Cuban thanksgiving dinner looks like.  It’s a mesh of Cuban/American spanglish cuisine.

Turkey, Pork and baked chicharones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moros (black beans n rice)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green bean casserole with pecans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yuca with garlic and onion mojito

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a lovely evening with family and friends.  There was also some mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallows and mashed potatoes with gravy.  I can’t believe I don’t have pics of the dessert table!  There was sooo much sweetness there.  My two pumpkin pies, cheesecake tray, carrot cake, chocolate to die for cake, and quite a few others. 

Today was spent at home with my son decorating the Christmas tree.  Yay it’s up!  Not only did Hunter help me bring all the crates in from the garage and he actually put up the tree, put on the lights and decorated much of the tree.  I still have and use many of the cute things that he made as far back as pre-k.   I pulled out some of his letters to Santa and we were cracking up reading them.  One year he asked for a techno parrot??  Great memories shared, I love it.  He’s 17 now so I cherish these kind of days that I can have him all to myself.  I used to decorate 2 trees.  One, with his toys and cute stuff and then a big ‘grown up’ tree in the living room for me.  These days, one is good enough.

These are some of my favorites for the tree:

Hunt's 1st Xmas - carousel horsie with his name engraved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

His fave from his Looney Toon phase

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aahhh the gingerbread man he made in Pre-k

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And my all time absolute favorite…………….

The snowman......READ THE POEM! LOL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I built a snowman it had a big head, I didn’t know what to do with it so I went to bed”

Give me this stuff over diamonds any day!

Today marks the official beginning of the Holidays and it was an absolutely perfect day…..now on my way to our 2nd Thanksgiving dinner with more friends and family.  We are so blessed.

Eat well, live long and give your thanks!

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Breakfast for dinner anyone??

Have you ever just been sooooo busy and sooooo tired by the time you got home that no matter how hungry you are, you’re just NOT cooking up a hearty meal?  I know you have, I’m not the only one.  Twice in the past week, I’ve had those kind of days.  Whenever that used to happen I would settle for a bowl (or two) of cereal and milk.  But now that I’m putting a strong focus on what I eat,  I’ve substituted one breakfast item for another.  Is it healthier, I don’t know, heartier and more filling, maybe. 

Brown eyed baker posted a pic  of perfect scrambled eggs and that’s what I was craving on those crazy busy days.  So easy, quick and filling.  Doesn’t this make you want breakfast for dinner?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One night I added my homemade hummus to the bread and the other time I added guac.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many studies have shown that breakfast eaters tend to weigh less than breakfast skippers……Not sure what that means when you have breakfast for dinner.  Those same studies also show that when people eat eggs at breakfast, they felt more satisfied and consumed fewer calories throughout the day.  So, I’m thinking that when I have eggs for dinner, I won’t be craving or snacking in the evening which is one of my biggest issues with food.  Makes sense huh?

When was the last time you had breakfast for dinner?

Thai chicken lettuce wraps…YUM!

The women’s Bible study group at my church  had a potluck today and after much consideration, I went with the Thai chicken lettuce wraps.  It’s quick and easy, tastes really good and is healthy and nutritious.  I used a recipe from one of the foodies on foodbuzz, Kathy from Vegas. (sorry your link’s not working). 

  • 3 boneless chicken breasts (grounded)
  • 2 tbsp minced onion
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • small can of diced water chestnuts
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp finely minced lemongrass
  • black pepper
  • 2 tbsp oil

I used  Bibb lettuce, grated carrot,  basil and cilantro for garnish. 

The only ingredients I left out of Kathy’s recipe is the fish sauce, and I used regular onion instead of green onions.

  • Heat oil in pan and add the ginger and garlic, sauté for 1 minute
  • Stir in the chicken and cook until done
  • Stir in all of the remaining ingredients and saute an additional 2 minutes (except the lettuce, carrot, basil, and cilantro)
  • Let the chicken cool off a bit, then serve a tablespoon or two of chicken on each lettuce leaf.  Garnish it with the grated carrot, basil, and cilantro.  Roll it like a taco AND….VERY IMPORTANT, serve with Thai sweet chili sauce. That sauce could become my new addiction 🙂

ground chicken,chestnuts,onions,garlic,etc cooking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soo so good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were at least 3 or 4 different kinds of quiches and lots of other goodies there….check it out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breakfast pizza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yep, I tried some of this amazing dessert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything was delish and great fellowship.

Eat well, live long and enjoy a potluck!   WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE DISH TO MAKE FOR A POTLUCK DINNER?

Let’s talk….

I know what you’re thinking….Martica’s getting lazy with her blogging duties.  Not so!  I’ve been, well, busy.  With, you know, stuff.  The kind of stuff that keeps you busy.   Let’s talk weather.  It’s been nice, not hot.  There’s a hurricane lurking around the Gulf and I guess we’re getting those winds??  It’s a nice welcome change around here, just can’t spend too much time on the hair.

Let’s talk flax. 

I’ve added flax seed to my diet.   Some of the benefits I’m looking forward to include:  smooth skin, they assist in building muscle and burning fat, they’re good for heart health, are high in Omega3 oils and they might even help with arthritis.  Back up!  Did I say it assists in burning fat and it’s good for my heart?!  That my friends is a good enough reason to sprinkle a couple of tablespoons into my smoothies or yogurt every day. If you have or are a teenager with acne, flax seed is supposed to help clear some of that up also.   Here’s my first plate that included some milled flax:

Yogurt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s talk Biofreeze!  

Good, good stuff.  Ever since I started going for long walks and some light jogging, I always end up with back and hip pain.  I got a couple of  samples that were in my goodie bag from the 5k last weekend and felt instant relief after rubbing some on those sore spots.  I know it’s temporary relief and I have to get to the root of the problem, but the Biofreeze gel feels so good.  I’m hooked.  So I went and got a 4oz tube.

Biofreeze

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s talk food.  

Since this week really has been a busy one, I have found myself making lots of quickie, rushed meals.  Now for me that’s not a problem, because most of what I cook takes less than 20 minutes.  My favorite for a quickie morning meal is yogurt, fruit and of course, now some flax seed.  I was soooo busy one day that I actually burned….well take a look for yourself……

Burnt pan

Oh well!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No biggie, the chicken was salvaged,  and eventually was used for a couple of quickie wraps.

chicken,spinach,tomato,fat free cheese on a whole wheat wrap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also had some black bean soup topped with fat free cheese

Black bean soup, Yum!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And snacked on apples and peanut butter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh and that’s pumpkin butter in the corner…..love that stuff!

I did try something new this week, Shiratake tofu noodles that I heard about from Hungry Girl.  They smell, icky, really icky.  But once you get the smell out by boiling them for a few minutes they weren’t that bad.  I added some Boca crumbles, sauce and made a spinach salad with tomato and feta. The noodles were ok but they come in a small bag and we only got 2 small servings out of it.  Since they’re soooo ridiculously low on calories, I would have liked to have eaten more of the noodles.   Talk about a quick meal, 3 minutes to boil the noodles, a few minutes to cook the Boca crumbles, add sauce, make salad and you’re done in less than 10 minutes!

Shiratake tofu noodles topped with Boca crumbles and sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s talk sleep.

The time change this year has turned me into a napper.  I find myself wanting to go to sleep at 9pm.  On that note, this girl’s getting to bed, it’s late.

Eat well, live long, and add some flax to your life.

It’s taco night! kinda

What an absolutely beautiful morning! I got up as usual 6:30am, ate some peanut butter on bread, laced up my shoes and headed out the door. It felt so good to walk my 3 miles in the early a.m. On my last 1/2 mile I met up with a 95 year old sweet lady (YES 95!!) who was taking a stroll with her walker and friend. God bless her, I hope I can walk if I make it to 95!! So inspiring!

Well, my mom came for a visit yesterday and guess what we did…..yep her favorite….yardwork!

YARDWORK Nov3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made us an egg-white omelet with chopped onions, spinach and tomatoes. And my mommy loved my green smoothie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My mom always comes bearing gifts and this is what she brought me….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chestnuts from her recent trip to Alabama!  And this beautiful and delish avocado!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These lovelies from her garden…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and this adorable sapphire ornament for my Christmas tree….

Last night I made a yummy turkey taco but on Arnold whole grain bread instead of taco shells.  Soooo good.  This quickie meal was whipped up in 20 minutes.    Add adobo, chopped onions, paprika, sea salt and pepper to some Jenni-O ground turkey.  Cook until done. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toast the bread  and top with turkey, tomato, avocado and salsa!

 

 

 

Turkey taco on Arnold thin

Turkey taco on Arnold thin bread

One of these served up with some baked sweet potato fries is more than filling!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eat well, live long and enjoy a taco night!

Journey update

Buh-Bye October…You were a long and very busy month.

Let me start off with the info I promised to give you in October, but didn’t.  Stats.

I started to blog  about my weight loss journey a couple of months ago.  The goal is to loose 59 unwanted, very annoying and clingy pounds.  Also, to change my eating habits, add more veggies and fruits and eat less meat and/or chicken.  I’m very happy to report that at this point I could probably become a vegetarian and not miss the meat or chicken.   I’ve added new foods that I absolutely love, tofu,tempeh and greek yogurt (Fage) to get my share of protein and have become a sweet potato and spinach junkie

Not to mention that my green smoothies  have a become a huge part of my new wellness plan.

green monster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So here goes:

Start weight:  189 lbs  (I’m only 5feet tall or short so that’s a lot of weight for my little body)

Current weight:  178 lbs

Only 48 lbs to go!

Exercise:  walking  30minutes to an hour 3x each week and occasional yardwork.  On rainy days I may pop in a workout DVD.  I began a running program, C25K (couch to 5k) and completed my 2nd 5k this past weekend.  NO, No no I didn’t run all three miles but my goal is to do so in the near future. 

I do realize that some of the healthier food choices I’m making have higher amounts of fat but it’s the good fat you guys.  Don’t be afraid of the good fat! 

Healthy fats

Some of the choices are higher in carbs than I would prefer but they are still good for me.  My energy level has increased 100 %, and I’m sleeping like a baby (most nights).  AND! I love that I’ve been able to fit into some clothes in my closet that are a size or two smaller. So all in all, I’m happy.  I’m not rushing the weight loss by following a diet (been there, done that) but I am putting my focus on the quality of foods I eat.

November and December may be a bit challenging,  as there will be temptations everywhere, but I’m prepared.  It’s ok to splurge and eat the ‘not so good stuff’ once in a while in moderation.  This past weekend, while I was rushing around I snuck in two beef hamburgers, birthday cake and dulce de leche ice cream.  I even drank a coke and ate about 8 mini chocolate bars (IT WAS HALLOWEEN!)  BUTTTTT, because I’ve been walking and keeping super busy, I didn’t gain an ounce, am not bloated and am still on track.   Thank you Lord!  I feel great!

Blogger’s Block!!!

I know, I’ve been M.I.A. 

I just have a case of blogger’s block.   There just seems to be a lot going on and I’m a bit distracted.  So I will spare you all of the details and  entertain you with my eats for the last few days.  I really haven’t been cooking much.  My meals have been consisting of quickie sandwiches (healthy) and green smoothies.

A couple of mornings began with a great omelet and smoothie (FUEL!!!!)

turkey,onions,spinach,tomato,egg whites

added some pepper

And faa-lip

OMELET n SMOOTHIE

YUMMY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday was a busy one and it started with a 1/2 Luna bar and coffee. ( I hate running late).

White chocolate macadamia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That Luna bar has been in my purse for over a month.  I keep it with me for, well you know, emergency.  And this was an emergency.  I helped out with the Angel Food distribution  on Saturday and then spent the rest of my day running errands.

Angel Food ready for distribution I did sneak in a great tofu - veggie - stirfry.tofu,broccoli,onions,garlic,carrots,sweet potato

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
DOLLAR STATEMENT 005

Served the stir-fry over brown rice

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I also had a frozen ‘healthy’ meal while I was rushing around.  Pumpkin squash ravioli.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Healthy Choice pumpkin squash ravioli

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And that’s all I got! 

Love

This week has been wonderful.  In a very quiet, peaceful way, The Lord has continued to show up in my life and he just keeps reminding me (I forget sometimes) how much he loves me.  I, in turn am trying to show my love for others, just as he would want me to.  We love, but sometimes we just forget to show and tell people how much they mean to us.  I received this card this week from a friend…..thankyou.

Made my day!

Made my day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“A friend loves at all times…..”  Proverbs 17:17

Who is God putting on your heart today?  Give them a call, mail them a card, stop by for a visit, bake them a pie.  🙂  

My rant for the month

You know why many businesses go under??  Because they have NO business sense. NONE. ZIP.NIL.

Wednesday, after my mammo the receptionist at the center told me that I had a balance and owed $1.  Yep, one dolla.  I asked what for and she had no clue.  So after browsing thru her paperwork, she told me, don’t worry about it.  Well, today in the mail I received a bill, a statement for the $1 .  They spent .44 cents to mail it, included a self addressed envelope, not to mention the ink it cost to print that statement, and I’m sure someone spent a good 30 minutes to get this done.  GIVE ME A BREAK!!!  When I call them on Monday, someone in that office will spend more time trying to figure out what it’s for and waste even more time and money. 

And they used COLOR!!! envelope and paper

And they used COLOR!!! envelope and paper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, now that I’m done with that rant let me take you in another direction.

Unicef has a ‘trick or treat for Unicef’  campaign to get kids involved in fundraising to save children’s lives.  My 9 year old nephew, Ryan donated the money he had left over from his birthday, $40!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We watched a video about children from around the world who are not as blessed as he is and he understood.  He didn’t even hesitate.  He just said I want to give my $40 bucks!  I LOVE YOU RYAN….YOU GET IT!

Teach your kids the importance of helping others.

Tues to do list..mammo..check..lunch……CHECK!

Well I had another mammogram and man did that sucka hurt!!!!!!   The doctor wanted to see more of my left booby and so a spot compression was done.  And did she compress on that spot.  Seriously, it hurt!  Hopefully all is well and I won’t have to have that done again until next year. 

I have a long to-do list for today and so far, well I managed to make a great lunch and there will be leftovers for dinner tonight.  I love wraps and usually stuff them with lots of yummy, healthy foods.  Ok, so chicken was marinading since morning in my favorites,  Mojo, honey mustard, and spicy sauce.  If you marinade your chicken or steaks in these I guarantee you will be happy with the outcome.

my fave marinade

my fave marinade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, I added pepper, adobo, oregano flakes and paprika.  I love to use paprika to add color to the chicken.

seasonings

seasonings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cooking in its juices

cooking in its juices

While the chicken was cooking in it’s yummy juices I added some onions, carrot strips and spinach.
I wanted some fries with my wrap but they are off limits, so I cut up some sweet potato and sprinkled them with salt and pepper. 
Chicken’s still cooking and an amazing aroma is filling my house.   The sweet potato fries go  in the oven to bake at 425 for about 15-20 minutes.
Next, I cut up some avocado and before I know it….chicken’s done!  Start layering the whole wheat wrap with carrots, spinach, onions
chicken wrap
Add the avocados
chicken wrap
Wrap it up and start munchin’ on the ssaaaweeeeetttt potato fries
chicken wrap n sweet potato fries

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