Monday, January 28, 2013

Menu Plan Monday~Jan 28, 2013

I didn't get to a few meals from the past few weeks, so I'm trying them out this week! Hope your New Year is starting out well and you are enjoying some good meals! If you have any new healthy recipes for me to try, pass them on :)

Light Chicken Pot Pie
(1 cups): Calories 482; Fat 19 g; Sodium 795 mg; Carbohydrate 47 g; Fiber 5 g; Protein 31 g
Minestrone Soup
Serving Size1 1/2 cups • Old Points: 4 • Points+: 5Calories: 215.7
 • Fat: 0.7 g  Protein: 8.7 g  Carb: 42.0 g  Fiber: 6.7 g   
Easy Whole Baked Chicken

Greek Chicken Bread Salad

Serves 4- 325 calories, 14.2g fat, 18 carb, 19g fiber, 254mg sodium

Chicken Fajita's and Guacamole

New Recipe Review: 

Grilled Salmon Salad Ease to Make 8/10; Taste: Tim 7/10, Julie 8.5/10 - Tim loved the taste, but didn't think it was quite filling enough. I thought it was light, yet filling. The dressing was a pureed cucumber, yogurt, and dill dressing - so fresh! It would make a perfect spring or summer salad! It's a GO!

Cheddar Chicken Chowder  Ease to Make 7/10; Taste: Tim 7.5/10, Julie 8/10 It's a GO!

Broccoli Cheese Soup  Ease to Make 8/10; Taste: Tim: 6/10  Julie 7/10, It was creamy and had lots of flavor, but couldn't really stand on it's own as a meal.  It's a NO GO.

I'm linked up with Orgjunkie

Monday, January 21, 2013

Menu Plan Monday~ A Month of Soups and Salads, Wk. 4

I have really enjoyed these past 3 weeks of trying out so many new soups and salads. It's been stretching for me to find and try new recipes.

I have enjoyed eating lighter and have actually lost almost 7lbs just by planning my meals, calorie tracking, and exercising consistently in the New Year! Woohoo! Now, don't cheer for me just yet though. FIVE of those pounds were ones I had gained in my time home in the States, haha! But I'm glad I was able to lose it quickly and get back on the DOWNWARD spiral again! I'm thankful for some friends that I check in with every night on facebook about my exercise, eating, and water intake. It's such a help!

BUT I am not sure Tim has the same positive sentiments about the soup and salad month :) He said to me the other day, "If I don't have something besides soup or salad soon, I'm gonna lose it. I just want some chicken Fajitas!"  Hahah! Let's just say not all of the recipes have been as satisfying(read filling) for him as they have been for me ;) So he's glad this is the last week!

But all of that said, there have been plenty of recipes that we will use again for entrees, others for lunches, side dishes, and appetizers! So it's been a worthwhile endeavor.

Well, here's the last week of soups and salads...

Crock Pot Minestrone Soup

 Serving Size1 1/2 cups • Old Points: 4 • Points+: 5Calories: 215.7 • Fat: 0.7 g  Protein: 8.7 g  Carb: 42.0 g  Fiber: 6.7 g   
317 Calories, Fat 14.6g,  Protein 37g,  Carbs, 8.1 grams,  Fiber 2g, Sodium 392 mg

Broccoli Cheese Soup
1lb. broccoli
1/2 lb. butter
1c. flour
1qt. chicken stock
1qt. half & half
1t. salt
1/4 t. White pepper
*I'm going to add some shredded carrot for color and variety

Cut broccoli into small pieces: steam in 1/2 c. water (which you will not drain). Melt butter; add flour. Cook 2-3 min. Add chicken stock (use whisk) & bring to boil. On low heat add broccoli, milk, salt & pepper. Heat but do not allow to boil. Serves 8-10.

* I got this recipe from my sweet mother in law. She mentioned that you could also blend it to make it creamy if you wanted. 

New Recipe Reviews:

Classic Chicken Noodle Soup Ease to make- 8/10 Taste -Tim- 8/10, Julie-7.5/10 It had a really nice flavor. I didn't use all fresh herbs. I just couldn't find them all, so I ended up using several dried and it was fine. I didn't like the noodles. I think I would have preferred brown rice. But I would make this again. It's a GO!

Chicken BLT Salad Ease to make- 9/10- very easy to make, Taste- Tim 8/10, Julie 8.5/10 - so tasty, fresh and filling! Even Tim said this salad was a MEAL ;) Its a GO!

Creamy Tortilla Soup Ease to Make 7.5/10,  Taste -Tim 7/10, Julie 6.5/10 -excellent flavor, but I think I made it wrong! The tortillas never "melted" into the soup fully, so it was kind of chunky. Maybe it's because I couldn't find corn tortillas and just used flour instead. I'm sure if Shanna had made it for me, it would have been amazing! But even so, Tim said it wasn't filling enough on it's own. But you may still want to try it. For us it's a NO GO.

Basic Beef Stew with Carrots and Mushrooms Ease to make 8/10, Taste -Tim 9/10, Julie- 9/10 -WOW! This stew was absolutely amazing! You need to try it. I feel like some stews are so bland and blah, but this was bursting with such rich flavors! It's a GO GO GO!

Creamy Light Potato Soup Ease to Make 6/10 - it seemed like it took me forever with all of the chopping, cooking, creaming etc., Taste - Tim- 6/10, Julie- 7/10 - It seemed too creamy. I would have liked it more chunky. The flavor was good, but nothing to write home about. NO GO.

Cranberry Avocado Salad with Candied Spiced Almonds Ease to Make- 7/10, Tim- 7/10, Julie 8.5/10 - Tim again didn't think this was filling enough. He said if I added chicken it might be ;) But he and I both agreed that the flavors were amazing together! Those spiced pecans were so good just on their own! They had a great sweet and spicy thing going that paired perfectly with the homemade dressing, the cranberries and avocados. I'll definitely do this one again. It's a GO!

I'm linked with orgjunkie

Sunday, January 20, 2013

#012 You Might Live in Scotland If...

 ... you burn coal to heat your home!

Since we moved to our flat here in Aberdeen, we have been heating our place with radiators and a fire place. There's no central heat, well at least in our place or actually in any of my friend's places for that matter.

Because of the cost of heating, we only heat the rooms when we are in them. Each room, including the kitchen and living room has a door to help keep the heat in. So that definitely helps, but at the same time exponentially ups the number of times Tim says to the girls, "Close the door; you weren't raised in a barn!"

Our living room has a fire place, so this winter we have been burning coal for heat. It's our first time using coal for a fire. Coming from central Pennsylvania, Tim and I had a pretty good idea how start and keep a wood fire going, but coal has been a bit of a learning curve.

But after some practice now I think we have the hang of it and are really enjoying the chance to sit by that warm glow in the evenings with a book and a cuppa tea when the kids are in bed!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Guest Post at "Carissa Miss"

I had the wonderful opportunity to write a review of Mexican Stuffed Peppers for Carissa Miss's blog.  I tried the recipe first on this menu plan. Carissa is an avid meal planner and has many DYI ideas. You'll no doubt enjoy checking out her blog!

And let me tell you, those stuffed peppers were SO amazing. I'm definitely going to make them again! You should read the review and then go make them - like now :)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Menu Plan Monday~ Month of Soups and Salads, Wk 3

So I got a Cooking Light subscription for my birthday, so EVERY one of these recipes is from the December 2012 Magazine ;) I just couldn't help myself; they all looked so amazing!

Creamy, Light Potato Soup
1 1/4 cup soup- 223 calories, 6.7g fat, 29.7g carb, 3.5g fiber,  478mg sodium
Greek Chicken Bread Salad
Serves 4- 325 calories, 14.2g fat, 18 carb, 19g fiber, 254mg sodium
Classic Chicken Noodle Soup
1 cup of soup- 302 calories, 9.2g fat, 16.2 carb, 2.1g fiber, 483mg sodium
Roasted Cauliflower Soup
1 cup of soup- 245 calories, 12.6g fat, 21.7g carb, 5.6g fiber, 646mg sodium
Chicken BLT Salad
 368 calories, 23.5g fat, 12.1 carb, 2.1g fiber, 538mg sodium

New Recipe Reviews: 

French Onion Soup - Ease to make 8/10 (I kind of hated chopping all of those onions, ha!) Taste- Tim 7.5/10 - bit too salty and not filling -oops! Julie - 8/10 - I really enjoyed it and would make it again but probably only as a side or appetizer. It's a conditional GO ;)

Shrimp, Avocado and Grapefruit Salad - Ease to make 8.5/10, Taste - Tim- 8/10 good, but not worth it to make again, Julie- 7.5/10 I liked the salad better than I liked the dressing, but I really didn't like the whole thing enough to make it again. It just kind of fell flat for us. NO GO.

All-American Chili - Ease to make 8/10, Taste-Tim 5.5/6 His answer to what he thought of it was, "bleh" ;)  Julie- 7/10 - It was actually much better the second day. The first day the spice outweighed the complexity of the other flavors, but by the second day it had a much better flavor. But I think I'll keep looking for a better recipe! It's a NO GO.

I'm linked with Orgjunkie

Monday, January 07, 2013

Menu Plan Monday~ A Month of Soups and Salads, wk 2

Monday ~ French Onion Soup
Servings: 6 • Serving Size1-1/2 cups • Old Points: 6.5 • Points+: 8
Calories: 312.8 • Fat: 11 g  Protein: 17.9 g  Carb: 31.6 g  Fiber: 3.3 g  
Tuesday ~ Shrimp, Avocado, and Grapefruit Salad
4 Servings- 291 Calories,  17.7g fat, 15.5g carbs, 6g fiber
Wednesday ~ Creamy, Comforting Tortilla Soup

I got this recipe from my friend Shanna's food blog,  Food Loves Writing. Everything she does is amazing! Her recipes taste fantastic and her writing is beautiful and real. You should definitely check her out if you haven't before
*I'll also be making my own vegetable broth for this.

Thursday ~ Cranberry Avocado Salad with Candied Spiced Almonds
*I'll actually be substituting pecans for the sliced almonds because I couldn't find any ;)

Friday ~ Basic Beef Stew with Carrots and Mushrooms
Serving size: 1 cup - 303 Calories, 9.8g fat, 26.8 Carbs , Fiber 2.3g

Review of New Recipes: 

Honeyed Winter Salad - Ease to make- 8/10, Julie- 9/10, Tim- 8.5/10, It's a GO!

I will definitely be making this salad again!  Tim and I were both surprised with how tasty and filling this was! The grilled veggies were tender, but had a bit of crisp. And they had a sweet and salty thing going on with the salt/pepper and honey combo. So good!

I'm linked up with Orgjunkie

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays!

We had an absolutely wonderful time home with family in the States for Thanksgiving and Christmas! I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to see so many I love and have so much time home.

Our trip ended up looking like this:
1 Week in Chicago (Tim presenting a paper and preaching at The Orchard, and catching up with our dear friends) Here are some of those pics. There are so many pictures I wish I would have taken, but forgot! I didn't get one pic of my LIFE group gals from church or with our time with Suzanne and her sweet family including their new lil' bundle!

But I sure did enjoy the time with everyone :)

Rose and Finley
Maddy and her friends Michael and Graham
My dear friend Kim and I
All the kiddos from my sweet momtourage friend that I taught with in Chicago

1 Week in Philadelphia and State College for Thanksgiving with our families
Cousins on the Baylor side over Thanksgiving. It was gorgeous out!
Four girls with their flowers ;)
Tim and his brother Jon with the two littlest ones. 
My sister's two kiddos (Rylee and Jordan) with my two

1 Week in Vancouver, WA with Ryan and Kelly Beardsley while Tim preached at their church. We got to see the West Coast and the Pacific for the first time! Our parents and Tim's sister shared the load of watching the girls, so Tim and I were able to be ALONE together. It was a wonderfully refreshing time! Here are all of the pics of our time there.

Kel and I in Portland

Tim and I at Canon Beach, OR

3 Weeks in Pennsylvania (split between Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, State College, Bellefonte, and Altoona) This was the most relaxing time because we were able to just BE in one place for a while and rest with family. What a wonderful opportunity! Here is an absolutely massive amount of pictures from our time in PA. These are my faves though :)

My sister Rachael and her husband Joe doing a magnetic Manger Scene Christmas Story with the kids

Grandpa Jordan building a gingerbread house with the girls

Tim and the girls dancing before church

Nana and Poppy Baylor with the girls

Grandma Jordan snuggling Rose

The girls in anticipation of Christmas morning

Mom Baylor and I sledding with the girls ;)
Grandpa Jordan watching Tinkerbell with Rose

Menu Plan~ A Month of Soups and Salads, Wk 1

I've decided I am going to make only soups and salads for the first 4 weeks of 2013! I'm excited to try out some new recipes and add them to the mix permanently!

I'm also trying to kick start my healthy eating again in the New Year after 6 weeks of binge eating amazing American Cuisine -eek!  Don't get me wrong, it was worth it. But I'm feeling very ready to get back on track again and lose those last pounds- hopefully before Summer!

*If you have any yummy  and healthy suggestions, please post them for me :)

Monday~ Stuffed Pepper Soup  
Servings: 6 • Size: 1 1/3 cups soup, 1/2 cup rice • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 7 pts 
Calories: 261.2 • Fat: 4.8 g • Carb: 37.5 g • Fiber: 4.7 g 

Tuesday~ Honeyed Winter Salad (with grilled chicken for Tim ;)
4 servings, 414 calories, carbs 66g, fat 13 g, fibre 13g, salt 1.3 g

Wednesday~ White Chicken Chili * I recently slimmed down this recipe by changing over to low fat sour cream and half and half (or single cream in the UK) in place of whipping cream (or double cream).
(Serving size: 1 1/2 cups, 326 calories, 13.49 g fat, 26 carbs, 6.8 fiber)

Thursday~ Chicken Ceasar Salad
4 Servings, 227 calorie, 16 g fat, 9 carbs,  1g fiber

Friday~ All American Chili and Cornbread
Chili Serving Size: 1 1/4 cup, 1 T cheese- 375 Calories, 12g fat, 33.7 carbs, 8.2 g fiber
Cornbread Serving size: