Thursday, March 22, 2012

Got the 6 O'Clock Blues?

Coming home from work?  Chaos has ensued?  Still need to feed the Littles cause it's apparently in the Parent Handbook and you just totally don't feel like cooking?  


Ditch the boxed mac & cheese.  Forget the nasty chicken patties.  Keep the hot dogs in the freezer!


I've got a really quick easy dinner for you to make.


I'm talking SUPER quick??  


And somewhat nutritious too!  


I found it on Pinterest and I tried it out on the family last night for our dinner. 


EVERYONE, including the two picky little munchkins, went back for seconds.  I think I might have even seen the Z Man go back for thirds.  It was THAT good.  For reals.


First...let's wet your appetite a bit, shall we?  


You won't be able to resist.  


Ready?



I'm not kidding you when I say, this is exactly what mine looked like.  Unfortunately, we ate ours so fast (I don't think we even chewed...just inhaled), I forgot to take a picture of my own....but I promise that I will totally take one the next time.  

Is your mouth watering?  

Mine is.  And I just had the left overs for lunch.

Here's the recipe!  

Easy Peasy Brown Sugar and Garlic Chicken

Ingredients:


  • 4 boneless skinless breasts or chicken thighs
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • a sprinkle of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:


  1. Preheat oven to 500°F and lightly grease a casserole dish. Line with Foil.  Trust me on this.
  2. In small sauté pan, sauté garlic with the oil until tender.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar.
  4. Place chicken thighs  in a prepared baking dish and cover with the garlic and brown sugar mixture.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Bake uncovered for 15-30 minutes.


My chicken was frozen cause I wasn't smaht (hey! My RI accent came out on that one!) enough to take anything out of the freezer BEFORE I left for work because, well, because  then that would actually make sense.  If you know me...I don't tend to make much sense.  So I threw some thighs into the microwave and defrosted them for 10 minutes.  It worked just fine. 

I doubled this recipe and used boneless chicken thighs.  I also used half brown sugar and half  SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend  cause I'm trying to be all healthy and stuff.  I'm pretty sure the second helping didn't count towards my Weight Watcher points.  And if it did, please don't tell me.  

Quick Tip - Line your casserole dish with foil - cause if you're lazy like me....you don't want to have to take the chisel to the dish for an hour.  

I served this with buttered carrots seasoned with salt and pepper and some Uncle Ben's done in 10 minutes Wild Rice.  This was such a breeze to prepare...and divinely delicious to eat!  

Enjoy!

P.S.  If anyone's curious...Weight Watcher PointsPlus® value is 5

Monday, February 20, 2012

Plain and Simple


*WARNING* 
Immature curse words ahead.


My husband and I have been fighting these last couple of days. He'd kill me if he found out I told you.  I guess he wants everyone to think we're perfect.  Aren't we?  So...this is between you and me.  M'kay?  Pinky swear?

The fight started over something that was so stupid and ridiculous.  Then it grew into something bigger.  Way bigger than what it actually was.  You know...the "you hurt my feelings" - "no you hurt MY feelings" crap. Silly, mundane, stupid stuff when you look at the big picture. We don't fight often, but when we do, it's usually a doozy. That's what happens when you put a Latino and an Irish/English/Italian Red head together.  What?  I DO TOO have natural red hair...er...I mean highlights.   

I'm not proud of how I talk to him and I'm pretty sure that after all is said and done, he isn't proud of how he speaks to me during these times either. What can make matters worse now, is that our girls are usually within ear shot. I don't want my girls to grow up saying the things that come out of my mouth, yet I can't seem to stop myself when my feelings are hurt, or I feel as if I was wrongfully treated. I want my girls to stand up for themselves, but I pray they do it more intelligently and with less curse words than I do. I hope they are more mature in their arguments. Refrain from the F word. Don't call each other names. Don't stomp your foot like a two year old. Don't walk away from an argument when things need to be said. Now that I have children, I do try so hard not to do the same immature and irrational things I used to....but still...crap runs out of my mouth before I have a chance to think about it. And when I finally do, it's too late.

Fuck me. There goes that Mother of the Year award again.

I'm kind of getting off point here. My original intent for this post is to really state the obvious. 

Life is just too short. 

 Why fill it with hurtful words and regretful arguments? Fighting between spouses is said to be healthy for the relationship. Is it? Is it REALLY?? I love my husband with all of my heart and soul. He truly is my very best friend in this world. Yet, we can say such hurtful and malicious things to each other. How is that healthy? What if the last words I said to him were "fuck you" before leaving the house? What if, after I left the house, I was in a horrible car accident and God Forbid didn't make it out alive? Those words would hang over his head for the REST OF HIS LIFE. Would I care? Nope. I'm dead. But the thought of him having to replay those disrespectful and downright mean words over and over and over in his head for the rest of HIS life makes me cry. Why can't I think of this BEFORE I say these things?

I read blogs...lots of blogs.  One of the blogs I follow religiously is In Jennie's Kitchen. It was (and still is) a food blog. A damn good food blog. She's a great writer and her recipes rock. One day, her husband died. Very suddenly. Leaving her with two small daughters. And, as you can imagine, her life was ripped apart. Her eloquence, her raw words, are absolutely heart wrenching and captivating. I don't know this woman. I will never ever meet her. But I feel as if I have taken this journey with her. Her words help me understand better, my own friend's feelings who lost her husband a little less than a year ago. Not all grieving paths are the same, but her words  certainly puts things into perspective. It helps me realize that, although we can be angry at the loves in our lives, we have to stop and take a moment to think about the big picture. Is being angry over a form that wasn't filled out, REALLY worth a screaming match? Were the hurtful things that came out of my mouth really necessary? Was the look on my daughter's face as my husband and I retaliate really what I want to be imbedded in my memory for the rest of my life.... or his...or worse...theirs? Everyone has a right to be angry or have a bad day. But everyone has a choice on how they handle those angry moments and bad days. We all have to stop what we're doing and look at the big picture. Not so easy in the heat of the moment....I know.....but "we" HAVE to. As people. As humans. We ALL have to.

Because when all is said and done....when the dust has settled...those words, those actions, cannot be taken back. 

 Life is too damn short people. 

 Plain and simple. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hot Fudge Sundae vs. Baby Carrots

I want...no...no....I NEED...a big hot fudge sundae with coffee ice cream. 

RIGHT NOW.  

HOT HOT fudge...none of that cold hot fudge crap.  You know what I'm talking about.  So hot the ice cream gets all melty and deliciously soupy.  Just the way the Z-man hates it.  Quite honestly, I don't really care if he hates it.  More for me.  It'll keep his grubby paws off of my Hot Hot Fudge Sundae. 

Instead of a Hot Hot Fudge Sundae though, I'm sitting here eating baby carrots with Light Ranch Dip.  

Blech.  

So not what I'm craving.  So not a messy, scrumptious Sundae.  So not even CLOSE to a messy, scrumptious Sundae.

Queue sad face.  

It's day 10 for me on Weight Watchers.  I weighed in on Monday (day 7) and I'm down 5 lbs.  Yay me!  Not bad considering we went home to Rhode Island this past weekend and engaged in two days of pure Rhode Island foody bliss.  Foods that I grew up with and love and dream about and miss.  

Coffee Cabinets, Fish and Chips, my Mom's French Toast, my Aunt's chicken wings and her Champagne Punch, REAL pizza....GOOD pizza....the drippy greasy cheesy pepperoni kind you can ONLY get in Rhode Island....wieners and clam-cakes....the list goes on and on. 

*sigh*  

Pure, unadulterated, R.I. foody bliss. 

Even with all of that happy food in my reach, I still managed to keep the overeating, overindulging, to a reasonable amount and didn't gorge myself *too* much.  Oh, I wanted to.  Oh.My.God, how I wanted to.  I love to eat.  (Doesn't everyone?  If not, then they are big fat liars or they have something seriously wrong with them and they need to seek help immediately.)  I REALLY love to eat Rhode Island foods.  But.....I love to be skinny more.  Or at least skinnyish.  I'll never be my 120 lb 20 something self again....but I WILL fit into size 10 jeans someday!  Why are you laughing?   I will.  I swear it. 

Of course, while I'm sitting here dreaming of soupy ice cream, and my size 10 jeans,  I'm also thinking about what I'll be making for the big game that's coming up.  You know the one.  The game that involves men running around a big field  wearing really tight tight pants and doing these funny little dances when they spike a brown ball at the end of said big field.  The game that I only watch because my husband makes me, er...I mean because.... I want to see the commercials and the half time show.  (Madonna this year?  REALLY? That's just WRONG)  Of course, I'll be making all the delectable fattening foods that REALLY makes this game worth watching....like Chicken Wings and Chili and Jalapeno Dip and Nachos and Pigs and a Blanket and the various chips and desserts and alcoholic beverages.  Along with those heavenly bits and bites, I will be attempting to make things a bit lighter (so I can eat more) and a bit more healthy (because...well....just because).  I recently came across this fun little recipe and I think it looks pretty doable...and I think they might even be...um...GOOD.  I think that even the Men folk might try them. 

Buffalo Wing Turkey Lettuce Wraps. 

Come on. You know they sound kinda good. 

No? 

 
Really?

 
You don't think so?

What's throwing you off? The Turkey part or the lettuce part? Both kinda scare me too. But they look really good and they might just take the place of that deep fried buffalo wing craving. 

 
Aww, who the hell am I kidding. That's never going to happen....but...we're still going to give it a whirl. 


I got this recipe off this website the I recently found (and cannot wait to read more of).  

I will be adapting this recipe to my own special needs on Game Day.  When I do, I will post my adaption and hopefully a photo or two, and a review of how it turned out.  Keep your toes crossed that everyone will like them!

Here's the recipe in it's original form:


Buffalo Wing Turkey Lettuce Wraps

1 lb lean ground turkey
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3/4 cup carrot shavings 
1 cup celery, chopped
1 head iceberg lettuce, leaves removed to form cups
salt and pepper 

1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot (or your choice of Wing Sauce--use more if you like it saucier)

Bleu cheese crumbles or bleu cheese dressing to drizzle over the top
  Recommended:  Litehouse Bleu Cheese Vinaigrette   You only need a tiny drizzle.

1.  In a large skillet, saute the onions over medium heat until golden (3-4 minutes).   Add ground turkey, season with a dash of salt and pepper, brown meat and cook until cooked through.  Drain any grease if necessary.


2.  Return to pan and stir in Frank's Red Hot or other Wing Sauce.  Reduce heat to low.


3.  Prepare lettuce cups.  Place spoonful of meat into lettuce cup, top with a few carrot shavings and chopped celery.  Drizzle with Litehouse Bleu Cheese Vinaigrette. Wrap and enjoy! 

Here's the picture of these little baby buffalo lettucy wraps that kinda made me think they might be good:



I know...it looks pretty yummy right?  I pinky swear I will let you know how they turn out!




Thursday, January 12, 2012

Here We Go Again....

Ooops, I did it again.  


I'm channeling my inner Brittany here...


But there's a reason for that.  


I want her body.  I REALLY want her body.


No...you dirty people.  Not like THAT.  Shame on you for thinking that (especially YOU Z-Man!)


I mean, I wish my curves were like hers.  A small little waist like hers.  Nice perky boobs like hers.  Thighs like hers.  I know I'll never be like her...although my singing IS pretty good despite what my family and friends think....but to be something close like that would make me happy.   


So I did it again.  The same thing I did last January.  I joined Weight Watchers.  And this time I'm serious. 


Stop laughing.  I mean it this time.  


 I'm challenging myself to complete a week without failing.  Then, if I meet THAT challenge, I will challenge myself to complete two weeks.  And then three weeks and on and on.  Baby steps people.  Baby steps.  


I like food.  Obviously.  I'm not telling you something you didn't already know.  Here's my problem.  I like food with actual taste.  Food that smells good.  Food that looks good.  Those so called healthy foods don't do a damn thing for me.  Nothing.  Zip.  Nada.  And I have to force myself to eat them.  Which then becomes a chore.  I hate chores.  Ask my Mom.  So I have to learn how to cook food that is "healthy" and low in fat/calories/carbs/taste so that I can learn how to eat them, and maybe even *gasp* like them.


I went to the market yesterday and I got myself cottage cheese and Egg Beaters® , turkey sausage and  LEAN CUISINE®   meals for lunches, even though I normally wouldn't purchase these tasteless items any other time.  First, I must say...when you doctor up the cottage cheese with some chives, salt and pepper...it's pretty damn tasty.  And the  LEAN CUISINE® meals?  They've come a long way baby.  Some are still nasty lacking in flavor and texture but I will say the two out of the five I bought, so far, were pretty tasty.  More on that to come.  But my all time favorite surprise???  I whipped this little baby up for my breakfast today.  Easy.  Really Easy.  Almost too easy.  But it didn't taste like nasty 'ole' healthy crap.  It tasted like the fatty. luscious, tasty, divine food that I prefer to eat.  


Here it is.  Are you ready??  


Ahem.  


Drum roll please.....






Yep.  It's exactly what it looks like.  Well, if you think it looks like Cheesy Scrambled Eggs, that is.  I know.  Simple.  But oh so very yummylicious.  Seriously.  It was like a little breakfast party in my mouth.  And the BEST part???  It was ONLY 4 points! 4 POINTS for breakfast?  What?  Holy Macaroni!  And it tasted good.  I mean really really GOOD.  All from these 3 simple ingredients:





 Just measure out your serving size (1/4 cup of Southwestern style Egg Beaters® , 2/3 cup of turkey sausage crumbles and 1 slice of cheese) and throw them in a pan.  2 minutes later....oila!  A hearty and good portioned breakfast!!  


I'm psyched!  Healthy breakfasts are hard for me.  


I could so have this every single morning and be perfectly content!!  


Who knew?


Maybe this weight loss stuff will work after all.  




Got a favorite low fat meal you want to share here?  I'll be happy to post it if you have one!!



Saturday, January 7, 2012

Another Stinkin New Year's Resolutions Blog Post

New Years.  Again.

Ugh.


Must mean it's time for "Resolutions".  Every single article, news piece, magazine and blog I've read lately has done nothing but mention these hellacious formal expressions of intent.  I swear every single year, on December 31st, I feel refreshed, renewed, reinvented and most of all, hopeful....and I go crazy with making resolutions for my self.  Which is pretty damn silly if you think about it.  I don't finish what I start. Ever.  Ask the Z-Man.  

Go ahead.  I'll wait.


See?  I can hear him now.  I bet he told you these exact things:  "She never ever finishes a project."  "She has 12 projects started. 0 Finished"  "She's the sexiest most amazing wife but can't finish a project to save her life."  


He DID say I was sexy and amazing.  Right?


RIGHT?????



Anyway, the point is, as I've often said....I don't finish many things that I start.  I'm surprised my kids all came out in one piece for Gawd's sake.   I think we've all seen examples of this just reading my blog.  I've promised weight loss.  I've promised recipes.  I've promised laughter.  I promised to bring you the "latest deals and steals".  Sure I've given you some of these things...but not consistently.  Hell, I barely post to this blog anymore.  See?  There I go again....not finishing what I've started.  



So after all is said and done, it's a New Year and I still feel obligated to make some resolutions. To pledge my commitment to you and put them to paper so I have something to refer to and you can all hold me accountable (uh, yeah....we've all seen how well that works, refer to my "Commitment" Post from January 2nd, 2011).  





This year, imma gonna (yes, you crazy literary, grammar loving people....I wrote "imma gonna" - because I CAN)  make me some lazy mom resolutions!  Resolutions even a commitment phobe, non project finisher mom like myself can keep!

Ahem.


*Tap *Tap *Tap.


Is this thing on?


Good.  Here goes nothin!



I, Misha Z, resolve to:


~ do less laundry ( I can do this one easy....the Z-Man is my Laundry superhero...leaping over tall piles of laundry in a single bound)
~ cook less and eat out more ( I figure, if I cook less, I'll eat less, 'cause I can't really afford to eat out more - which might just help me lose that weight I resolved to at the start of last year.  Right?)
~ drink more caffeine and more wine (I can soooooo accomplish this one)
~ not get stressed out about things.  like living paycheck to paycheck.  

~ not yell at my children as much.  (this one might be tough)
~ kiss said children MORE.  (this one is easy peasy lemon squeezy)
~ listen to my husband often.  (there ya go Z-Man - it's in WRITING-but ONLY because you called me sexy and amazing) .
~ make lemonade (add vodka) and enjoy the lemons life throws at me.


and last but not least:



~ blog more.  seriously.  I will.  maybe.  probably.  ok, fine.  Sometimes. 



So.  What have you resolved?  Got some good ones?  I would really like to hear them.  Here.  Not on my Facebook.  Not on my Twitter.  HERE.  On this blog.  Fess up people.  'Cause at the end of the year, we're going to see how many of us held ourselves accountable to our stupid ass resolutions.  


Oh...and just one more thing.  I want to wish every one of my family, friends and readers this wish:







Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2012 - Gotta Get My Poop In A Group

As I ponder the upcoming new year, I think about all that I am blessed with.  A beautiful, healthy family, a fabulous, sexy, husband, amazing friends,  a roof over our heads, food on the table and jobs that help us with all of that.

But I have a deep dark confession to make.

Although we might appear to be living comfortably, we struggle.  Every single week we struggle.  We struggle enough that I lie awake many nights, with a sinking feeling in my belly, thinking about how we're going to make ends meet.  I seriously can't do this anymore.  Sleep is very important to me.  Almost more important as my children.  And that sinking feeling?  I hate it.

We make a pretty decent amount of money on a regular basis - thank the higher power you happen to believe in for that.  Sure, I could make more, but I happen to love my job.  It's super easy, convenient and occasionally very entertaining.  My husband rocks a pretty good income too.  It could definitely be better.  I truly believe he doesn't get paid for what he's actually worth....but...he does get paid pretty well and I'm not really complaining about that.  We have a very nice home, albeit it needs repairs and upgrading...but it's big, it's beautiful and it's mine.  We rarely go without.  My children have every stinking toy imaginable.  We have iPhones, and nice TV's, computers, etc.

And yet, we struggle.

I know, I know.

Priorities.

It's all in the priorities.

I understand that it's pretty much my fault.  I want the nicer things in life.  I grew up with a parent that was ALWAYS laid off.  My Mom did everything to make ends meet, and although my parents might have gone without, they made sure I didn't.

Well, there was that one year I was going to absolutely DIE if I didn't get a pair of Nikes.

I didn't get them.

I also didn't die.

I really hate when my Mother is right.

But I only have one life to live, and I really don't want to go without.  See?  My fault.  I justify spending money I don't have and I can't stop.  

So, with all of this said....I am tired of robbing Peter to pay Paul.  WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT????  And for the love of God, Who IS Peter and Paul? 

I'm on a mission to stop living Paycheck to Paycheck in the year 2012.

Are you living paycheck to paycheck?  A lot of us are.  See? 


So come on.  Confess.

Did you before and now you're not?  I've been checking out all kinds of websites, and looking for an actual person to sit down and go over my budget and bills with me, but to no avail.  Has anyone used BalanceFinancial.com?  Or how about PNC Virtual Wallet?  A personal bookkeeper?  A financial consultant?


What do you use?   Tell me.  I need help.  I need ideas.  I need inspiration.  I need encouragement.  I need to get my poop in a group. 


Most of all, I really, really need to hit the lottery. 


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Addiction

We're going to tackle a very serious subject today.


Addiction. 


Yep.  


I am an addict.


There.  I said it.  Out-loud. While I was typing it.  


The definition of addiction is simple:





ad·dic·tion

  [uh-dik-shuhn] 
noun
the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to somethingthat is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, tosuch an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.

Yep.  Sounds about right.  




The thing is though, I'm not addicted to drugs. Or cigarettes. Or sex (although my husband wishes I were). I'm not addicted to gambling. I'm not even addicted to fun things like shopping or chocolate.


Nope. My addiction lies within the megabytes and gigabytes of the internet. You've heard me mention it before....you know...my "addiction" to Facebook. Yeah, I'm pretty much always connected - except in my sleep - and even then I sometimes dream about it. But I have a new obsession. A new compulsion if you will.

It's called "Pinterest".

Pinterest.com

It's a beautiful thing.  I can spend hours and hours just dreaming and wishing and dreaming some more on this website.  It's full of fun.  Of inspiration.  Of ideas.  It gives me this VERY FALSE sense of Creativity.  It makes me believe that anything is possible.




This website caught my eye when another fellow blogger had a simple photo of a delicious looking unusual food that caught my eye.


I clicked.


I stared at awe.


And I immediately became hooked.  




The rest, as they say, is history.




So what is Pinterest you ask? Good question...




Let me see if I can describe it for you...




Pinterest is a place for visual bookmarking that you share with others. It’s a great way to keep track of all those things you’ve been wanting to try, and a fabulous way to discover new and inspiring ideas!




It has these things called "Boards". This is how you can organize your "Pins".




This is what it looks like:





Cool right??




Then, once you create your boards, you "follow" people. And the people you "follow" are pretty awesome, 'cause they find stuff you might not, and then you want to "pin" it to your board to save it for later, because some day you're going to fit in those clothes, buy those shoes, decorate your house like that, travel to that beautiful far off destination, make that fabulous crafty thing, bake those delectable sweet treats or cook that gourmet dinner.




Stuff like this:






Look at this Yumminess!







Are these boots not the COOLEST???






Can I get a What What? Look at these Cinnamon Bun LOLLIPOPS!





How friggen cute is this cupcake??





May I please live here?





A little hint though?


You won't do any of the stuff you pin.  You might make a few of the recipes...but you certainly won't make them all.  You won't buy that cute outfit, or that shnazzy product. You won't make the fun little crafts that you think you have time for.  You won't.  But it's nice to dream.  


You'll sit at the computer for hours just dreaming of the day when you WILL do all that.




And then there's the Eye Candy. OOOhhh the Eye Candy......




Look at this man. Ohhh My Lordy...






Or....






Are those pictures AHHHHHmazing????


Is it warm in here?  It feels warm in here.




I thought so....anyway....






So join me in my addiction.




Come on. You know you wanna.




You have to be invited to start pinning.....but I'll invite you.




Because misery and addiction LOVE company!




Pin On My Friends.


Pin On...

(And please, if anyone finds a 12 step program....let me know.)