Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chile-Crusted Flounder No-No

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Knowing it was going to be in the 60s today, all I wanted to do was wear leggings and a sweater dress. So I searched and searched, but could I find my leggings? No. I had to wear pants, as usual.

I was really looking forward to the leggings, too. How many 60-degree January days do we get? Not that many. Give in to my spring fever a little and skipping the pants and thick socks to pretend it's March sounded like such a good idea.

I also really wanted to make the husband a dinner that he'd like just as much as last night's meal. Unfortunately, like the leggings incident, life doesn't always go as planned.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Pulled Chicken With White Barbecue Sauce

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Pulled Chicken With White Barbecue Sauce
So far, we're two for two. Tonight marks our second night in a row of sticking to my menu plan for the week. I know, it's only Monday, but this is pretty huge for us. Something always seems to come up when I'm so organized as to plan an entire week's worth of meals: the meat doesn't thaw in time, we don't have beef broth when I swore we did, the husband gets mad at the dogs and decides to take me out instead of staying home for the evening.

Nothing got in the way of our pre-planned meal tonight, though, and I'm patting us on the backs. Not only did we eat the dinner I had planned, but we both really liked it. 

I'll admit I was a bit worried about dinner when I was making the sauce this morning. You see, I wasn't even sure the husband would go along with white barbecue sauce. 

Vinegar? Are you kidding me? Why isn't the sauce red?
I could hear it coming. 

But he saw the photo in my Cooking Light Cookbook before I could even bring up the subject and told me he thought it looked pretty good. Score!

And then there I was in the kitchen this morning stirring this sauce when I decided to lick the whisk before putting it in the sink.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Menu Planning & Eating Carne Asada

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grilled steak recipe
Grilled Steak ... and onions ... and avocado ... and salsa
People who have their lives together enough to plan the entire week's worth of meals impress me. I always imagine those people live in organized houses with clutter-free kitchens. Those people probably even have dogs that don't shed - or roll in dormant grass that gets stuck to their brown fur the day after, yes, the day after you just gave them a bath.

So in an attempt to be one of those people, I sat down this morning with a big cup of coffee and planned our dinners for the week. I'm happy to say I've got us eating a new meal almost every night this week. Who knows, maybe I'll even get around to cleaning up the pile of magazine pages I have sitting on the kitchen cart this week.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday: Week 1

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I like to eat. I like to take photos of what I eat. What I Ate Wednesday and I are a match made in heaven. (Thank you to the beautiful mind behind Peas and Crayons!)

Keeping track of what I eat every day is nothing new. I'm constantly tallying calories, carbs and protein grams to make sure I'm on track for the day, as in getting enough protein but making sure not too many carbs to keep my doctor happy while making sure I eat enough calories keep the husband happy. (Whatever would I do without my LoseIt app?) 

The new thing here is that I've never taken photos of everything I've eaten in a day - or shared those details with anyone else! Now that it's all out there ... wow. It looks like a lot! 

So here you have it: what I ate Wednesday, er, Tuesday.

half-caff coffee and a vanilla whey protein shake
scrambled egg whites with peppers, onions and low-fat cream cheese
threw some grapes in my mouth while making the husband's lunch
from the top, but not necessarily in the order they were eaten: a salad with blue cheese; another protein shake on the way home from work; chicken & egg salad; water; low-fat cottage cheese, almonds and flaxseeds; coconut la croix; carbsmart yogurt and walnuts; steak, ribs, green beans and broccoli
Many of the photos were taken when I was supposed to be drying my hair and getting ready for the day, which means I was rushed, or they were taken with my phone, which means they're extremely low-quality shots. Oh, well. There's always next week!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Happy National Peanut Butter Day

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The first spoonful from a brand-new container of natural p.b. is a bit runny, but still great!
Just in case you were wondering, my three favorite things in life are the husband, brown dogs and peanut butter.

OK, I kid. Surely our parents, grandparents and my Big Little Brother - and black and silver dogs - rank above p.b. But I'd be lying if I said this all-important food source isn't on my top 10 of must-haves. (That's right: I said food source. The fact that peanut butter can be sandwiched between slices of bread, blended into a smoothie, made into cookies, licked off a spoon, or eaten with fruit, chicken or chocolate and more proves my point. Silly you for thinking peanut butter is just a spread!)

So how did I not know it was National Peanut Butter Day until this afternoon? True story. I had no idea everyone was celebrating this beloved staple of mine until Momma emailed me the news.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Grilled Whole Wheat Pizza

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Grilled pizza: one of those things I'd only read about in magazines. It was intriguing, but I was scared. You couldn't possibly grill pizza without making a huge mess, could you? 

But the thought of a hot homemade pizza with a nice crisp crust fresh off the grill sounded so good. Mess or no mess, I thought, we had to give this a try. We just had one little issue: I don't grill. I knew I had to get the husband on board. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes

whole wheat pancake recipe

This morning was anything but our typical Saturday morning. We woke to an unusual January thunderstorm. Instead of drinking coffee and watching the news, we turned on the radio hoping to calm Chance.

The husband cleaned out the linen closet.

And, no, we don't keep dog food in the linen closet. We had to put Chance's breakfast up because he wouldn't eat, but someone else wouldn't stop eating.

It didn't feel like usual morning for me, so I didn't feel like my usual breakfast: egg whites and a protein shake. I've been dreaming for weeks about pancakes, but I hadn't been able to find a recipe that didn't make me feel like I'd be jumping off the carb-conscious wagon.

At least that was the case until this morning.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Healthy "Fried" Rice

healthy fried rice recipe

Thursdays have always been one of my favorite days of the week. Sure, I love Saturdays and Sundays, but I've always been a fan of Thursdays. I was born on a Thursday. Maybe that has something to do with my favoritism. Or maybe I just love Thursdays because they're such promising days. 

On Monday, I'm mourning the weekend. By Tuesday I'm usually revved up for the week. On Wednesday, though, the weekend seems so far away. 

And then comes Thursday. And when it's Thursday, it's almost Friday. There's hope in the air!

So how in the world did I forget on Thursday that today would be Friday and Friday means Freestyle Friday? When it's Freestyle Friday, I can ramble about whatever I want - even if it isn't food-related! I can't believe I forgot.

Oh, well. It looks like I missed my chance this week, 'cause I promise the Twitter followers this recipe would be happening today. So here it is: a fab recipe for "fried" rice that the husband and I both loved - two nights in a row.
It's a low GI recipe, so even though it's a little high on the carb meter, it's filled with vegetables and nutrients and, therefore, good for me!

And here's something that's good for you: the Weekend Potluck. Looking for a weekly roundup of fabulous recipes? That's your ticket. I'm sure you'll find something perfect no matter what day of the week it is.

Healthy "Fried" Rice

Slightly Adapted From Rick Gallop's Recipe

1 1/2 cups low-sodium fat-free chicken broth

3/4 cup wild rice
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon light olive oil
3 oz. sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup light soy sauce

In saucepan, bring 1 1/4 cups broth, rice and salt to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Fluff with fork and set aside.

In large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook mushrooms for a minute or two. Add onion, carrot, celery and cooked rice. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes.

Add remaining chicken stock and soy sauce and cook for 5 minutes.


Makes 4 servings

As per the ingredients in my pantry: 113 calories, 1 g fat, 21.9 g carbs, 1.75 g fiber, 4 g protein

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Low-Carb Cheesecake Squares

In my dreams, I don't have to wash my hair every morning - my bangs don't stick straight up in the air when I get out of bed. I'm also the same weight I was the day I married the husband, and I can wear size 4 Banana Republic jeans without squatting to loosen them up in the butt area.

Chance doesn't bark constantly in my dreams, and he isn't afraid of thunder. Stella wriggles just as much in my dreams, but she doesn't snore.

We live within 30 minutes of Macy's in my dreams, and our parents live nearby, too. They take turns having us over for Sunday dinner every week.

In my dreams, I can eat just as many carbs as the husband and my body does everything it is supposed to with the insulin.

But this is real life.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Guest Blogger: Comfort Potatoes From The Mom Chef

I first started writing this blog mainly because I needed a good excuse to feed the husband new dishes. I was tired of serving the same old, and I wanted him to hop on the healthy wagon with me. Never in my wildest dreams would I start reading so many blogs, bookmarking so very many recipes and truly looking forward to other bloggers' posts.  

Today I'm happy to share the words of one of those bloggers with you. Christiane, aka The Mom Chef, tests out magazine recipes on her hubby and beautiful little girl, always offering up her honest opinion and often with a bit of humor. I can still remember the first post I read of hers about making a blue igloo cake. She cracked me up - and made a pretty impressive dessert that I'd never imagine tackling. I was hooked.

I have a feeling you will be, too.

Country-Style Potatoes - Comfort From Things That Go Bump in the Night

di·chot·o·my: division into two mutually exclusive, opposed, or contradictory groups.

I am a dichotomy. I love sunlight. I love Mary Poppins and Brigadoon. Many things make me cry; videos of returning soldiers surprising their children, Lassie being kicked, Folgers commercials. I could never go hunting because I couldn't kill anything. Even spiders are sent out of the house, unsquashed, though I loathe the critters. And I never, I mean never, watch horror movies because they scare the bejeebers out of me.

And yet, that contradictory flipside of me relishes reading the king of horror. Sitting directly behind my desk sit two bookcases. One entire case contains over fifty Stephen King books.  I'm entralled with his writing style and I adore his humor. The fact that he can make me laugh in the midst of scaring my pants off is amazing. In print. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bacon & Egg Muffins

bacon and egg muffins recipe
A Bacon & Egg Muffin and a Low-Carb "Faux" Waffle. (Don't worry, the black stuff in the muffin is just pepper!)
Before work
Wife: So it looks like we're having breakfast for dinner tonight.
Husband: Does that mean we'll have bacon?
Wife: It can.
Husband: OK, then, we're having breakfast for dinner!

After work
Husband: Bacon and eggs for dinner, bacon and eggs for dinner!
Wife: Well, I wanted to make something like bacon and egg muffins.
Husband: What?
Wife: It's like scrambled eggs, but I'm going to bake them.
Husband: But they'll look like muffins. [hesitates] Alright. Just because I love you. Do whatever floats your boat.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Low-Carb Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

cheese-stuffed chicken breasts
Old spices and all, the husband really liked dinner. I just wish I liked the photo better!
We keep a clean, well-organized house around here. At least, I liked to think that. 

I sweep, vacuum and mop; the husband always makes sure the dishes are put away. We change our sheets regularly, clean the bathroom, you know the drill.

And then company will come and I'll realize the baseboard in the hallway has a big brown dirt spot on it. Yes, a huge dirty mark running about a three-foot span. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Green With Envy for Good Photogs

spinach smoothie recipe

Because today consisted of a whole lot of egg whites, leftovers, apples and protein shakes - nothing too interesting, as you can see - I thought I'd give you another look at that Green Goddess Smoothie.

Can you see the green now? Can you?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Green Goddess Smoothie

heatlhy breakfast smoothie recipe
Still working on the camera settings ... this smoothie is greeeen!
Many o' my childhood mornings were spent at my Mama and Pa's house. I have fond memories of opening up the lower cabinet door directly beneath where Mama's plastic cookie container always sits - full - and swinging out the pullout drawer to grab a prepackaged crumb muffin. Who am I kidding? They came in pairs of two, and you know I always ate both of them.
I've basically always been about breakfast.

But it wasn't until recent years that I started eating what you'd call exceptionally nutritious breakfasts. Crumb muffins, sugary cereals and white bagels with butter were my staples. And boy oh boy did I love Carnation instant breakfast shakes.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Freestyle Friday: Guest Bloggers Wanted

We're lookin' for bloggas, Momma.
*Sometimes there's a little more to my life than food. Friday's the day I'll share, I mean, most Fridays I hope to share those bits with you. We'll cover crafts, music, travel, who knows.

Long weekends make me forget what day of the week it is. I worry the alarm needs to be set. I contemplate what I should make for the husband's lunch, knowing we've run out of cold cuts only to realize I don't need to pack the man anything. I get confused when the morning news program I wish I could watch on weekday mornings is on TV, yet I don't have to rush out the door to work. 

Wait. What day is it again, Husband?

And then I forget to blog on Friday, even though I've been thinking all week long about that Friday post. I wait and wait, and the next thing I know it's Saturday, and I've missed the boat.

So here we are, a week late. Oh, well. The message is still the same.

Happy New Year! I'm hoping this year will bring me the opportunity to open the blog - and these Friday posts - up to some of you, you fabulous bloggers.
That's right: I'm looking for guest bloggers. Do you cook? Craft? Sew? Parent? Farm? Take photos? Raise llamas? I'm game.

Send an email to
scratchmadewife [at] gmail [dot] com if you're interested (and I sure hope you are). Let me know what you'd be interested in sharing with my readers, and we can go from there. Posts will be published on Fridays.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Healthy Southwestern Burgers

southwestern burger recipe
The husband's Southwestern burger, served on a whole wheat bun with rice on the side.
Whenever we have company we end up eating out more than usual. Sure, I enjoy cooking for our visitors, but when we're out and about it's a given we're going to end up at a restaurant - at least when it comes to lunch.

We ate our last lunch with Da and my stepmother last weekend in a downtown pub. None of us had ever been there before, so it took us awhile to order, but eventually we all chose typical pub grub - sandwiches, wraps - and Da ordered a burger.

The thought of ordering a burger crossed my mind, but I hate ordering the same thing as someone else when we go out to eat ('cause I'm weird). So I went with a Buffalo chicken wrap that had the husband asking me in front of the bartender if I needed some sour cream to go with my meal, embarrassing me all to heck and making me want to kick the husband under the table, but that's another story.

Wordless Wednesday: Our NYE Feast

I hope y'all had a great holiday weekend and are easing back into going to work!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Caramelized Onion Dip

Caramelized onion dip and baked chips = good stuff!
I'm a planner. OK, maybe I often forget the grocery list when we go to the store, but I almost always make a list. I like to plan ahead - especially for special occasions, like when we have company coming. I get super excited about what we'll do when our guests are visiting, and I really look forward to the food I'll be able to serve.

This dip is perfect for those occasions, as it's best made a day ahead. I made this the day before New Year's Eve as our visitors were readying for the day and served it the following afternoon when everyone was ready for a snack. All I had to do was grab a serving dish, lay out some chips and veggies, and scoop the dip into a bowl. How simple is that? So simple. 

The most beginner of beginner cooks can make this, and I have a feeling even the most forgetful shopper will be able to remember these ingredients at the store.

Caramelized Onion Dip

Adapted, I think, From Cooking Light

4 tablespoons light butter

2 large onions, chopped finely
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
4 ounces neufchatel, softened
salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the onions and cook, stirring regularly, until the onions are light brown and have caramelized. This process may take 20-30 minutes. Just keep stirring. Just keep stirring.

Remove the onions from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Once the onions have cooled, add in the yogurt, sour cream and neufchatel. Season with salt and pepper. 

Refrigerate until ready to serve; serve with chips, carrots, celery or whatever you'd like.



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