Monday, October 20, 2014

{Recipe Recap} Enchilada Quinoa and Black Beans with Shrimp

I did make something sweet this weekend, but those bars haven’t been reviewed yet so I’m going to wait to see how they turned out before I write about them.  For now, though, let’s just say I have very high hopes.

I was pretty excited about this quinoa, um, skillet for lack of a better word.  Enchilada flavor?  Taco seasoning?  Shrimp?  What’d not to love?

I was a little disappointed in the flavor of the quinoa after I added the can of enchilada sauce.  Luckily, the shrimp only used about two tablespoons of a packet of taco seasoning so I just added the rest of that packet to the quinoa and stirred it in.  Bingo!  That was exactly what the dish needed.

If you like things spicy like we do, I’d think about adding some chopped jalapenos with the onion or maybe even a can of diced chopped jalapenos.  I didn’t do that this time, but if – when – I make this again, I’d try one of those things.  Also, I’d think about using the enchilada sauce (and maybe two cans of it) in the place of the same amount of the chicken broth so that the sauce’s flavor would be stronger.

I just took the one picture because, let’s face it, something like this is going to be hard to photograph under the best conditions and since I was taking my picture after dark under artificial light… 

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If you want to see a much more appetizing look at this, check out Deborah’s pictures.

I didn’t do the math on the nutrition, but I think this is a fairly healthy meal.  Quinoa can be a little calorie dense so you do need to watch how much you pile into your bowl, but if you leave out the cheese like I did, and use shrimp instead of beef or chicken, there’s a little more room for quinoa.

Don’t let my bad picture dissuade you from making this.  It was delicious!  Also, it was very easy to make.  I don’t spend nearly as much time on my Sunday dinners as I used to and often rely on my crockpot so there isn’t much to do between putting Connor to bed and us eating.  This skillet meal is simple enough for a weeknight dinner, or for a tired busy mom on the weekend, especially when you see what kind of leftovers you’ll have for at least a couple days.

{Recipe adapted from here}

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Links

I’m going to let the internet help me do my blogging tonight.

The McHusband sent this to me yesterday.  In a perfect world, I would work part-time but be paid for full-time and still have Connor in daycare four days a week so that he and I would have one extra day together and I would have one day to myself.

But I don’t live in a perfect world and this article made me feel better about being a working mom.

I saw this article about allergies and antibiotics over the weekend.  I’m not all that surprised, to be honest.  I truly believe that overdoing the antibiotics is going to be very bad for us in the long run.  I mean “us” as a general population because too many people pop antibiotics like the vitamins they should be taking and the germs are getting stronger, slowly but surely.  “Us” also refers to a single person taking antibiotics every time their nose runs so that the bacteria in their body are learning a little bit each time they get a taste of the antibiotic.

I’m not anti-medicine.  I think vaccines are great things and drugs can do amazing things.  But maybe they shouldn’t always be the first and immediate line of defense.

Just some food for thought for your Hump Day.

Monday, October 13, 2014

{Recipe Recap} Double Chocolate and Toffee Cookies

Good thing this is a dessert post because I’m going to keep things short and sweet.  I’m finally sitting down to write this at 9:45 Sunday night, which is supposed to be when I’m just sitting on the couch vegging until 10 before we head up to bed. 

I made the dough for these cookies last Monday when I was home with Connor.  The cookies were meant for the Women’s Night I hosted this past Friday, but I had to bake up a couple test batches to share with our coworkers.

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I used some mini semisweet chips, some of those new caramel-filled milk chocolate morsels, and toffee chips as my mix-ins.  I really liked the little bit of crunch that the latter provided.

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For the cocoa, I used both regular unsweetened cocoa and some Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa.  I think my proportions were a third to two-thirds, respectively.

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The mix of cocoas was a good choice.  The dark chocolate gave these cookies a deeper, stronger chocolate flavor but since I didn’t use ALL dark chocolate, the cookies were still sweet and not too bold.

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The texture of these cookies was SPOT ON.  I loved loved loved how they turned out.  Not cakey, not chewy, just soft with a touch of crispness on the outside.  Perfect!

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I guess this post isn’t turning out as short as I anticipated so I might as well keep going.  I tried taking pictures of my cookies on the floor below the dining room window since the light was low thanks to the cloudy day, but my “assistant” went from conveniently asleep on the job to not-so-conveniently interested in what I was doing.

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If you like chocolate, make these cookies.  They were superb!

{Recipe slightly adapted from here}

PS  Happy day-after-his-birthday to Owen!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Lo siento

That’d be, “I’m sorry.”

I just haven’t had the energy to blog nor the fodder to blog about this week.  I have been busy every night with boot camp (my only exercise unfortunately) and prepping food and the house for Women’s Night tonight all while making at least a little downtime and an early bedtime priorities.  Since I can’t catch up on my sleep or TV on the weekends any more, I need to make sure I don’t get so far behind during the week that I’m a “mombie.”

I hope to get back to normal starting this Saturday.  I’ll still be tired – I think I just need to accept that as a norm now – but I want to get in at least 4 days of exercise (from Saturday to Friday), do some blogging (a certain someone turns 8 months old next week), and continue to make downtime and an early bedtime a priority.

I’m definitely having a hard time with the whole balance thing, and I’m pretty sure most moms (and dads) can relate. This isn’t meant to be a “woe is me” post because I don’t really have any good reason to complain.  I have a job, a nice home, my health, a wonderful family, a fantastic husband, a great group of friends, and a beautiful baby boy.

If I could just have a few more hours in the night to sleep, my life’d be perfect.

I hate to do posts without pictures, and I couldn’t stand to do two in one week.  So here’s a quick glimpse at the start of my Women’s Night table.  All it needs now is some food!

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TGIF and have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Beach trip

The McHusband and I spent a couple days at Myrtle Beach last week.  We went down on Thursday and stayed through Saturday.  Odd timing, I know.  We had a special deal and had a limited window of opportunity.  It actually worked out really well so that I had a wonderful long weekend that extended through Monday because the sitter took some time off for her birthday.

But back to our little getaway.  The McHusband and I had so much fun.  Immediately upon arriving, we walked on the beach then he made some travel arrangements for a work trip while I took a nap.  Yep, we started this vacation off on the right foot. Smile

That night, we had some of the best pizza we’ve ever had (Ultimate California Pizza) before two rounds of Putt Putt.  We had to play the second game after I beat the McHusband during the first.  He did win the follow-up game…barely.

On Friday, we slept in, ran on the beach and nearby boardwalk before walking around Barefoot Landing, checking out an RV park for the McInlaws, and finally going to the timeshare presentation we were committed to.  We didn’t buy into the program, but I will tell you this: they have some REALLY good salespeople.

That night, we had a blast at Broadway at the Beach.  Dinner at Margaritaville, drinks at Wet Willie’s, more drinks at a karaoke bar plus some skee ball, then a slice of pizza from a cart.  Hit.the.spot.

To my McHusband: Thank you for a wonderful trip.  I had the best time with you, and I’m so thankful that we were able to get away and spend a couple days  together without work or chores or kids (of the two- and four-legged varieties) stealing our time.  When can we do this again?

We got home Saturday around 4:00 and I was so happy to see Connor.  I needed the break from the real world, including my life as a mom, but I did miss the little guy and I was counting down the minutes that last hour of the drive home.

My mom stayed with Connor while we were gone, which is partly why we were able to have such a good time.  I knew Connor was in great hands, and I knew my mom was happy to get the quality time with her youngest grandson.

My mom was kind enough to stay another day and work on a little project for Vanessa’s baby shower.  I can’t wait to show you guys, but you’ll have to wait until mid-November.

To my mom: Thank you for making the trip here to stay with Connor and Morgan* so that we could get away.  I am grateful that you are able to spend the time here and it makes me so happy that you and Connor enjoy each other’s company.  Thank you for spending your Sunday in the dining room working on my project.  Hope your back isn’t still sore!

Connor and I had a great day on Monday.  I got a few things done around the house, but we mostly just hung out and he took two good naps.  I think his vacation from daycare was good for him as it let him catch up on his rest with some quality naps.  I hope the trend continues at the sitter’s this week, but we will see.

And today, it’s back to the real world for me.  But it’s a short week because in addition to it starting on Tuesday, I’m leaving early on Friday because I’m hosting Women’s Night that evening.

I could get used to this schedule.

*Monte also went on vacation.  We dropped him off at the breeder’s house on our way out of town and picked him up on our way home.  I think he’s still recovering from his time on the farm.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Primetime

Contrary to what the title would have you believe, this isn’t another post about more shows I’m watching that I’m not actually watching.

So I’m no make-up expert, but I do wear it almost every day.  Certainly I get made up for work, then I put on at least the essentials if not a full face on Saturday depending on my social schedule.  I may or may not wear the bare minimum (mascara and powder) on Sunday for my Walmart run.

During the week when my make-up needs to last just under 12 hours, I have been disappointed that my eyes don’t look half as good after lunch as they did before breakfast.  So I read up on eye primers and decided to give Clean Slate 360 Creaseless 12-Hour Smoothing Eye Primer by Tarte a try.

I bought it on Saturday and have used it for three days.  Verdict?  It works!  I won’t say it’s perfect as there’s the littlest bit of eye-shadow creasing toward the end of my workday, but it’s not much and the overall look is still there.

I got mine at Ulta for $18.  Guess what was in my mail that afternoon?  A coupon for $3.50 off a purchase of $10 or more. Guess I need to go back and buy something else.

Now I have a question for you guys: Anyone have an undereye concealer they swear by?  Forget stretch marks (which I didn’t get, by the way), it’s the undereye circles that are the long-lasting signs of pregnancy.  Well, the results of a pregnancy anyway.

Another thing that results from pregnancy?  Adorable babies. Smile

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What-am-I-gonna-watch-Wednesday

I have a confession: I haven’t watched any of the new shows I’ve blogged about.  I was able to record a rerun of the Gotham premiere so I don’t have to watch that episode On Demand.  I just don’t have the time I used to have to park myself in front of the TV and knock out three shows in a couple hours.  #workingmomproblems

But just because I’m behind, that doesn’t mean I’m giving up.  In fact, I’m forging ahead and adding ANOTHER new show to the must-watch-will-watch-eventually list: Stalker.  This one stars Dylan McDermott who I’ve liked since his days as Bobby Donnell on The Practice.  Can you believe I actually remembered his character’s name?  That show’s been off the air for 10 years!  Most recently, I watched him on Hostages and while the show was a little (okay, a lot) far-fetched, I didn’t mind it.

The idea of this show generally appeals to my mystery-loving self so I hope it’s worth the 42 minutes of my time, when I finally find that time, to watch.

Stalker preview

And since my next show is on tomorrow night, it’s another two-fer!

I’m really intrigued by Gracepoint, which starts tomorrow.  It’s apparently based on a British show called Broadchurch.  I’m happy to see “Skylar” from Breaking Bad in another show as she was amazing as Walter White’s wife.  I don’t know much about the show except that a young boy is murdered in a small town and everyone’s a suspect.  I know, sounds like every other show, right?  But this one supposedly has a heck of a twist to keep things interesting.  We’ll see…

Gracepoint trailer

Happy Hump Day!  Hope your October’s off to a good start!