Monday, October 27, 2008

When The Cat's Away...

...the mice will eat simple dinners not loaded down with potatoes, pasta and tons of bread!

With Justin being gone for the month, I've taken advantage of being able to cook whatever I want for dinner! He's a big pasta, potatoes and bread kinda guy so a lot of what I make for dinner includes at least two, if not all three, of those ingredients. Sadly, I was not blessed with a metabolism the speed of a Lamborghini. I can't eat all the carbs I want and still live a content life, happily strolling along in size 2 jeans. Le sigh. I was super excited for tonight's dinner to be light, major veggie-centered, with no carbs in sight!

I found this recipe in a recipe booklet at the grocery store over the summer. I've only made it once before and Justin loved it! I had an eggplant in the fridge and a couple frozen italian sausages so I thought it would be perfect for a light, small dinner for one. The recipe calls for cheese, but I didn't have any in the house so I figured it'd be fine without it! It is very good with the feta though. I chopped up a lot more veggies than the recipe called for so that, paired with the fact that I also only used one eggplant, made my stuffing a little too overzealous for my teeny eggplants. I made good use of my new ramekins and baked the extra stuffing in there.

Stuffed Eggplant
1 pkg turkey italian sausage (I always get hot, not isn't very spicy but has a TON more flavor!)
2 eggplants
1 Cup Reduced Fat Feta Cheese (Didn't have any)
1 Can Diced Tomatoes, drained
1-2 Tbsp Basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Diced veggies of your choice (This time I used zucchini, squash, red & green pepper, onion and mushrooms)
Salt & Pepper to taste (be easy on the salt...the sausage is a bit salty!)
Cook italian sausages over medium/medium-high heat. Cut up and set aside.

Cut eggplants in half lengthwise. Scoop out the pulp to make a well in each eggplant. Set pulp aside.

Combine veggies (incl. eggplant pulp), garlic, basil (Confession: I was too lazy to dice up a bunch of garlic and basil so I used onion powder, garlic powder, Italian Seasonings and pepper...delish!) and sausage together in a bowl. Fill eggplants. Top with feta cheese.

Set stuffed eggplants in a casserole dish for baking. Don't use a cookie sheet! The eggplant softens and the juices will run out and alllll over the oven. Bake at 360° (random, but does make a difference!) for 17 minutes or until eggplant has softened and feta becomes gooey. I dipped bites in a small side of marinara. Yum!
Confession #2: This is another "Before" be honest, it pretty much looked the exact same after being cooked so I figured another photo session wasn't necessary!)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Happy Birthday To You ME!!!

Happy Birthday Me! (And Usher and Tommy Hilfigger, who also share the fabulousness that is an October 14th birthday.)

Right now, I am celebrating my birthday by happily floating along and bobbing around in the Gulf of Mexico...hopefully blowing out candles on a cake somewhat resembling this:

Since this is the first birthday I have ever spent without my Mom (Don't cry Ma!), I wanted to take the time to say THANK YOU for being such a trooper back in '84, even though I was almost a month late and weighed 10lbs! (I was worth it, eh? ;) ) Thank you for making my birthday so, so, so wonderful weeks before it even began! I love you and miss you!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ME!!! (I get to say it again...because it's my birthday, which legally gives me the ability to do what.ever.i.want. [Lindsey taught me that.])


Sunday, October 12, 2008

All My Bags Are Packed, I'm Ready To Go...

We depart tomorrow for our first cruise! And I'm proud to say that, at 8:00pm the night prior, I am already packed, suitcases standing by the door, ready to go.... I'm exagerrating a little. Or a lot. My suitcase isn't packed. I haven't decided what I'm bringing yet and my room may or may not resemble this: Anyone who knows me, or even worse, has lived with me (Sorry Mom and CR...but hey, look on the bright side...y'all survived!) knows the act of Congress it takes to get me to decide on an outfit to wear for one night, let alone 5!

Justin came into the bedroom today during one of my earlier attempts to pack and said, "Our cabin is going to be pretty small, so I'm trusting that you will be smart when packing and not bring too many clothes or 8 pairs of shoes to take up what little space we have, like when we went to the Dominican."

.....So cute at that age.

(And in my defense, I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who also think it is completely necessary to bring 10 dresses, 3 skirts, 4 pairs of pants, and 12 pairs of shoes for a 6-night vacation.)

So, anyway, I'll be a little absent this upcoming week! I'm not quite sure what to expect on the cruise. I've been getting lots of advice from other past cruisers. All I really know is there will be lots of food (and thankfully, a gym!) I'll definitely give everyone a complete run-down when we get back!

And I'll pack eventually. In the meantime, football and Planet Earth are on television and I just discovered yesterday that we have Picture-In-Picture! Yay!...perfect timing!

Have a great week everyone! And to all who know me, be sure to take a brief moment at some point on Tuesday, October 14th to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! (I kid, I kid. Okay, I completely don't kid.)

Love you, mean it!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Weekend Recap

Sundays are so bittersweet. They're part of the weekend...but they're the worst part...the end. I love relaxing all day, doing nothing, but then Sunday evening comes around and my relaxation goes out the window once I begin thinking about everything I have to do before Monday rolls around again in just a few short hours.

I definitely needed today to relax. On Friday night, Justin and I hung out around the house for a bit and then headed out to grab some drinks with two friends here. We went to a pretty fun bar up around the Medical Center area. It was a gorgeous night so we sat outside, listened to great music, drank and had a good time!

I was determined to do one thing and one thing only this weekend...lay out. We leave for our cruise in ONE WEEK! (YAY!) and I currently look like I have just spent the summer in Antarctica. So when Justin trotted off to play golf Saturday afternoon, I headed to the pool to catch some sun. Mission accomplished!

We were both looking forward to Saturday night because Justin finally got his birthday present! Back in August, I got him 2 tickets to see Carlos Mencia, one of his favorite comedians, here in San Antonio. Before the show, we headed to T.G.I. Friday's to grab a couple beers with a gift card (Thanks, Mom!)

So then, I drove us to first the wrong venue (Apparently, while taking pictures of the tickets, it never registered to pay attention to the venue location to make sure we ended up in the right place! Oops!) But, we made it to the Municipal Auditorium with plenty of time to spare so Justin let me live. Get this...they have waitresses that bring you drinks at your seat! We definitely took advantage of the service! Crown Royal! Yummy!

The show ended up being awesome! My stomach hurt this morning from laughing so hard last night! Carlos Mencia used to perform a lot in San Antonio years ago when he was first starting out, so he wanted to make this show special as a Thank You. He was paid to do a 45 minute set...and ended up going on for 2 and 1/2 HOURS! Nothing but solid hilarity! It was so fun and such a great night!

Justin is on call today and tomorrow so I had the day all to myself! My Sunday started with me hanging out with John, The Locksmith, who came to fetch my keys out of RHonda. Oh yes, I was full of brilliant moves all weekend long! I spent the rest of the day at the gym, at the mall and in the kitchen (foreshadowing!!).

This upcoming week is CRAZY! I think I have three or four hours all week long that are not taken up by appointments! Busy, busy! But I have a sushi lunch and a Happy Hour (or two!) scheduled. Then, I'm off for A WEEK!! WOOHOO!!!

Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


So, it is officially Lindsey's and my FAVORITE MONTH!!!!


P.S. This is what comes up when you Google Image "October"....

Coincidencce? I think not.

Who Do I Think I Am, Betty Crocker?!

I’ve been on a baking kick lately, which is surprising since that was usually Lindsey’s deal when we were growing up. I like having portable breakfast-type items around the house so Justin and I can grab them and go in the mornings.

I came across a banana bread recipe a couple weeks ago that looked too easy to be good, but I gave it a shot. I didn’t splurge on buying nuts since I wanted to try it out first. I’ll definitely make it again and definitely with nuts!

Banana Sometimes-Nut, Sometimes-Not Bread
1 ½ Cups Flour
1 ½ Tsp Baking Powder
¼-½ Cup Chopped Nuts (Walnuts, Pecans, etc) (I omitted until recipe was deemed worthy of using expensive nuts...hey gotta save the $$ for my wine!)
¼ Tsp Baking Soda
¼ Tsp Cinnamon
¼ Tsp Nutmeg (I added)
1 egg (I used ¼ cup Egg Substitute)
1 Cup Mashed Bananas
¾ Cup Sugar (I used ¼ cup Splenda Brown Sugar and ½ cup Splenda)
⅛ Tsp salt
¼ Cup Vegetable Oil (I used ¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce)

Preheat oven to 350º. Lightly coat a loaf pan with cooking spray.

Combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls. Then combine. Pour into loaf pan.

Bake for 50-55 minutes, until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Makes 10 Servings....

Calories 121.1
Total Fat .4 g
Protein 2.8 g
I know, super easy, right? And super good! I love it with my healthier substitutions so I doubt I’ll ever revert to the unhealthier recipe. Gotta save those calories for my wine!

If You Like Pina Coladas Chicken Enchiladas...

It's been a busy week down here in Texico...Justin's Dad and Step-Mom drove in from Virginia (Yes, drove!) on Friday afternoon and spent the weekend with us. We had a great time! I'll post about their visit a bit later.

On Saturday night, we were tired from our day-trip up to Fredericksburg, TX (they drove from Fredericksburg, VA and ended up visiting Fredericksburg, TX!) and didn’t want to go out to eat. So, I volunteered to make Chicken Enchiladas…it wasn’t until everyone was excited about eating said Chicken Enchiladas that I realized I had only made them once and they weren’t too good…yikes!

So, on to I ventured, per usual. I found three recipes that looked good and combined what I liked from each one until I had a recipe I thought would be yum…and it WAS! So super easy and so super delicious!

Chicken Enchiladas
3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
1 medium onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Red. Sodium Taco Seasoning (such as Ortega or Old El Paso)
½ pkg of Red. Fat Cream Cheese (I used Neufchatel b/c it’s what I had, but I know some people don’t like it)
1 Cup Salsa
1½ Cans Reduced Sodium Enchilada Sauce(I only used had one can on hand and I was wishing there was a bit more sauce when I ate it. If you only have one can, it’s great! If you have more, use it!)
Approx. 10-12 Tortillas (depends on the size of your dish)
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar or Mexican Blend Cheese
Diced Tomatoes, Red Onions, Lettuce, Green Onion and Sour Cream for toppings

Preheat oven to 350º. Lightly coat a casserole dish with cooking spray.

Heat large skillet to Med/Med-High. Spray with Cooking Spray and add chicken. Sauté for about 2-3 minutes then add taco seasoning (enough to coat all of the chicken). Continue to cook the chicken for about 5 more minutes, until a little over halfway done. Add garlic, onions and peppers to the same pan. Sauté all together until onions become translucent, about 3-4 minutes.

Add cream cheese to the chicken and veggie mixture. Stir until melted and combined. Then add salsa. Remove from heat.

Soften tortillas in the microwave, about 25-30 seconds for 12 tortillas. Spoon a little less than ¼ cup of the chicken/veggie mixture into the center of the tortilla. Roll tightly and place seam-down in casserole dish. Continue with remaining tortillas and mixture, tightly packing them together in the dish.

When finished, pour enchilada sauce over the tortilla rolls and top with shredded cheese of your liking. Bake 25-30 minutes, until cheese is nice and melty and starts to get golden brown.

Top with the usual taco-ish toppings. I thought they were awesome...but I drank about 4 margaritas while cooking them so maybe that's why! ;) But seriously, they were so good! And pretty healthy, for chicken enchiladas at least!

Makes 10 Servings....

Calories 324
Total Fat 10 g
Protein 29 g