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Who am I? Wife. Mother of 2. "Newbie" to fitness. Personal Trainer-in-training. Lover of health. Fitness. Religion. Family. Gluten and refined sugar intolerant. Welcome to my journey. Learn with me.

Friday, July 30, 2010

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

I found this recipe in the Deseret News "C" Section a while ago and I must admit, I haven't ever tried it. How many of you have recipes you WANT to make but haven't yet? Yeah.... Anyways! I needed to bring something to share for a family barbecue today and I just so happened to have all of the ingredients to these. And they turned out FABULOUSLY! Chewy and flavorful but not too overbearing. Easy to make and easy to make right (big instead of completely flattened, despite the lack of a good mixer.) This will be my go-to recipe for chocolate chip cookies from now on! If you are wondering why the cookies look "swirled" it is because my chips melted before cooking. Blast this wretched summer! But I think it adds some fun to the normal boring look of a chocolate chip cookie.

NOTE FOR INEXPERIENCED CHEFS! When you take a cookie sheet out of the oven it is, obviously, STILL HOT! If you don't want your cookies to keep cooking even while outside of the oven you need to take them off of the pan. I cooked my cookies for 7 minutes and took them off immediately (be careful to not let them fall apart) and they were fabulous. Make sure the EDGES are golden brown and then take them out of the oven.

EXTRA NOTE! Never add the amount of flour a cookie recipe calls for all at once, up front. I usually start with about 2/3rds of the amount it calls for and work my way up, little by little, until the batter is just very slightly sticky. If you add too much flour your cookies will be hard and not soft and chewy. For this recipe I used about 2 3/4 cups of flour and it was perfect. 


From Deseret News by Kimberly Barzee

2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla
3 ¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips

Cream butter, oil, sugars, egg and vanilla. Add four, salt, and baking soda. Mix well, then stir in chocolate chips. Drop from a cookie scoop onto a parchment-lined or greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 7 to 9 minutes; remove from oven just before they start to brown. If cookies are frozen, add a few minutes onto the cooking time.

FUNNY STORY! You'll be glad to know that these cookies are very versatile. I realized the day after I made them that 2/3 cups of butter is 10 + 2/3 rds Tablespoons. I only used 5 1/3 when I made them orginally. And when I made it again today for my family I forgot the butter entirely! And every time they were still very good. So maybe they would be even better if you but the amount of butter it actually calls for... :-)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Easy Chicken Curry

We LOVE curry and recently my parents got me a pressure cooker so I have been searching for new recipes specifically designed for the pressure cooker. Since I assume most (if not all) of the people that will see this will NOT have a pressure cooker, I am adapting it for stovetop. Curry is usually very expensive and complicated so I am grateful for this new, tasty recipe. The recipe is from Diana's Kitchen and can be found at the following address: http://www.dianaskitchen.com/page/pressure/p9910_11.htm


3 lbs chicken, cut into strips
2 Tbsp shortening or oil
2 tsp curry powder
2 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste (I would use a bit less next time)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp vinegar
1 cup water
2 Tbsp Cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk

Add oil to a skillet and heat on medium. Add chicken and brown through. Season with combined curry powder, salt, and cayenne pepper. Add onions, vinegar, and water. *DO NOT ADD COCONUT MILK AT THIS STAGE! Stir together and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Remove chicken with a slotted spoon and keep on a plate in the microwave or oven. Combine cornstarch and water. Stir into liquid in skillet at once. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Add chicken back into the skillet and mix to combine. Serve over hot, cooked rice.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Classic Repeat : One Egg Pancake

This is a great breakfast when you want something a bit different. Instead of cooking these in one big pancake this time I did them in a bunch of little pancakes. My husband and brother (who slept over at our house) both really enjoyed them, as did I. The pancakes are really thin, like crepes. They would be fabulous with veggies mixed in instead of the cinnamon as well. A bit of green pepper, ham, cheese, onion, maybe tomato would be really great. Fast, easy, basic ingredients, AND tasty = a great recipe! The picture is courtesy of A Scientist in the Kitchen and can be found here.


1 egg, beaten
3 Tbs. flour
4 Tbs. milk
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. baking powder
dash salt
Cinnamon (optional, but it is soooo good)

Mix all ingredients together and pour in buttered/sprayed saucepan. Wait till the edges look done, and then flip and cook on other side. This makes a really BIG pancake.

*This recipe is enough for 1 serving. I used wheat flour and the resulting pancake was a lot like a crepe, but sufficiently filling that I only needed to make one pancake per person. I didn’t just double the batter but actually made them completely separate so that the proportions would be identical.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Classic Repeat: Oven-Fried Chicken Chimichangas

This one is a classic. When you're tired and want a quick meal that will come together super fast and still be extremely tasty - this is the one. My husband and I love these! The recipe and picture are courtesy of Campbell's Kitchen and can be found here.

From Campbell's Kitchen

2/3 cup Pace® Picante Sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
2 green onions, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
6 (8-inch) flour tortillas
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Fresh cilantro leaves

1.Stir the picante sauce, cumin, oregano, chicken, cheese and onions in a medium bowl.

2.Place about 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla. Fold the opposite sides over the filling. Roll the tortillas up from the bottom and place them seam-side down on a baking sheet. Brush the tortilla rolls with butter.

3.Bake at 400°F. for 25 minutes or until they're golden brown. Serve with additional picante sauce. Garnish with cilantro.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Skillet BBQ Chicken Pasta

We haven't had pasta for quite a while and I really wanted it tonight. This is a great recipe that I found on My Kitchen Cafe and it turned out really well! It was very tasty and easy to make. The picture and recipe are courtesy of My Kitchen Cafe and can be found here. A few things to note:

IF YOU DON'T LIKE ONIONS: This recipe seems very versatile. If you sauteed the chicken with red or green peppers and a bit of garlic it would be just as good I believe.

IF YOU RUN INTO THE SAME PROBLEM THAT I DID: I brought the liquids to a boil and turned it down to low for 15 minutes to simmer and it wasn't even close to being "thick and syrupy." I wonder if you are supposed to leave it boiling. To fix this problem I turned it back to hi and dumped out most of the remaining liquid. I let it boil until it reached the point it says.

From My Kitchen Cafe

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks
1 red onion, diced
3 cups water
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 ounces penne pasta
2/3 cup barbecue sauce
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat (you could also use a large pot if you don’t have a skillet this big). When hot, add the chicken and onions and saute, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is browned and cooked through. Remove the chicken and onions to a plate and set aside.

In the same skillet, add the water, chicken broth, penne and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until the liquid is almost absorbed, the pasta is tender and the mixture is thick and syrupy. Stir in the barbecue sauce and sour cream. Once mixed, add in the reserved chicken, onions and shredded cheese. Stir to combine and cook until everything is heated through.

Serve immediately and garnish with additional red or green onions and shredded cheese.

Friendship Dip

I blogged about this one awhile ago but I definitely didn't give it the shoutout it deserves. This stuff is GREAT and a big hit at parties. And the best part? It is REALLY easy to make! My sister says it would be even better with tomatoes. I don't like tomatoes so I don't feel the least bit guilty leaving them out. :) The picture and recipe are courtesy of Real Mom Kitchen and can be found here.

From Real Mom Kitchen

1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, softened
1 (15 oz) can of chili
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies (I only use half)
shredded cheddar cheese
sliced olives
diced green onion (optional)

In a large pie plate (or a pizza pan will work) spread cream cheese. Then layer on top of cream cheese in this order: chili, green chilies, shredded cheddar cheese (enough to cover), and sliced olives. Bake at 350 degrees until hot and melted (approximately 20-25 minutes). Garnish with green onion and serve with tortilla chips.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Classic Repeat - Bubble Pizza with a TWIST

We did this a new way tonight and I really liked it! I had planned on making this recipe but when it came time to get to dinner pepperoni was about the last thing I wanted. I was craving tacos (go figure) so we did a Mexican spin on the recipe! The recipe below includes all of my changes. If you want the original recipe go here. The picture is courtesy of Flickr from Yahoo and can be found here.


1 lb. ground beef
1 taco seasoning packet
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup salsa
2 cups cheddar cheese
2 tubes buttermilk biscuits

Lettuce, sour cream, more salsa, or anything else you like on tacos.

1. Open the two tubes of biscuits and cut the individual biscuits into quarters. Place in bowl and set aside.
2. Brown ground beef; drain. Add taco seasoning and water according to package direction.
3. Stir in salsa with biscuits being sure to coat all of the pieces.
3. Add meat and frozen corn, NOT CHEESE. Mix well.
4. Pour mixture into a GREASED 9x13 pan (Pyrex is best).
5. Cook at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
6. Remove and sprinkle cheese over the top. You may not need all two cups (we didn't).
7. Bake another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Serve with additional toppings.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Pistachio Salad

I was informed that I was supposed to bring a salad to a dinner the next evening at 9:30 at night the day before... and then I had to work all morning the next day! AHH! So I started frantically browsing recipes for an easy and inexpensive salad that would still be tasty and I found this one on Real Mom Kitchen. I love pistachio flavor and normally I don't like these kinds of salads because of the chunks of fruit so I was especially happy when this one called for crushed pineapple. It was delicious and a great addition to our dinner!

The picture and recipe are courtesy of Real Mom Kitchen and can be found here: http://realmomkitchen.com/276/pistachio-salad/

Pistachio Salad

1 (20 oz.) can of crushed pineapple, drained
1 (16 oz.) container cottage cheese
1 (8 oz.) container cool whip
1 ( 3.4 oz.) package pistachio pudding mix
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
In a bowl, add cool whip and dry pistachio pudding mix. Mix until well blended. Then add pineapple and cottage cheese; mix well. If you like really soft marshmallows add them at this point, if you like more firm marshmallows, mix in just before serving (I like mine soft). Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Chicken Stir Fry Wraps

YUM YUM YUM YUM YUMMY!!!!! These were SOOO good! Once upon a time you could get lettuce wraps at Chile's Restaurants. Foolishly they have taken them off the menu. And I have been craving them ever since! When I saw this recipe on Delectable Dining I knew we had to try it out. And it definitely didn't disappoint!

One of the things I love most about this recipe (besides the fact that my husband loved it) was that it seems so versatile. If you WANT to do lettuce wraps they are delicious. But the filling is so flavorful and delicious that you could do so many different things: serve it over rice or noodles, in a tortilla, or honestly just by itself! YUMMY!

Another thing that makes this a fabulous recipe? It comes together in less than 30 minutes!!! Gotta love it baby! AND it is much better for you wrapped in lettuce leaves and so you feel refreshingly full at the end.

The biggest substitutions I made on this recipe were that I used a green pepper instead of a red pepper (because they didn't have red peppers at the store I went to) and we just used Iceburg Lettuce instead of the Boston Lettuce (again, because they didn't have it at the store I went to). The Iceburg lettuce was perfectly fine, however it is a bit hard to pull apart for your individual servings. If you can find Boston (or butter) lettuce - more power to you!

The picture and recipe are courtesy of Delectable Dining and can be found here: http://delectabledining09.blogspot.com/2010/05/chicken-stir-fry-wraps.html

From Delectable Dining

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves; halved horizontally and thinly sliced
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons grated, peeled fresh ginger
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (depending on how much heat you prefer)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
12 to 16 Boston lettuce leaves (about 2 heads)

Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over high heat.  Add half of the chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until opaque throughout (about 2-4 minutes).  Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken.  Add the remaining tablespoon oil to the pan, along with the onion and the bell pepper.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the onion is tender and golden.  If the onion is browning too quickly, reduce the heat.

Reduce the heat to medium.  Add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes to the pan.  Cook, stirring, until fragrant.  Stir in the soy sauce, vinegar, and cornstarch mixture.  Remove from the heat.  Add the chicken and any accumulated juices; toss to coat.  Serve in the lettuce cups.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Classic Repeat : Balsamic Chicken Noodle Bowl

This is one of our all time favorite meals. I gave this recipe to my mom after trying it and loving it and now she can make a HUGE bowl of this stuff and my brothers will stack their plates like it is their last meal. One of the big things I did differently this time was I actually used shredded chicken (normally we just cut the chicken into cubes). Let me tell you, it made a big difference! The shredded chicken helps absorb more of the dressing so that you don't have an oily puddle in the bottom of your pan/bowl. It made the taste a bit lighter while still leaving it FULL of flavor! YUM! And I just love how quickly this comes together. I got home from work at 5:30 and we were done eating by 6:10!

This picture and recipe are courtesy of My Kitchen Cafe and can be found here.

From My Kitchen Cafe

1 pound linguine
1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
4 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
5 garlic cloves, finely minced
½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoons ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons dried basil (can substitute 1 cup fresh basil)
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1 1/2 cups shredded or cubed mozzarella cheese
½ cup feta cheese
Heat a large pot of water to a boil. Add the linguine and cook until just tender according to package directions. Drain.
In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, garlic, basil, salt and pepper. When combined, slowly whisk in the olive oil until the dressing is completely combined.
While the pasta is boiling, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat and add the bell pepper. Cook briefly until crisp-tender. Add the cooked chicken and cook for 1-2 more minutes, until the chicken is heated through.
When the noodles have been drained, add the hot noodles to the skillet with the red pepper and chicken and toss. Add the shredded or cubed mozzarella and toss quickly to combine before the cheese melts. Pour the dressing over the top and toss with tongs to coat all the ingredients with the dressing. Serve warm or at room temperature.