So I’m on day three of my diet and I think I might be starving to death. This morning when I walked into work there were about 4 dozen chick fil a chicken mini’s in the kitchen and the amazing smell of butter and fried chicken almost knocked me to the floor. I held strong though. With my smoothie in hand I walked right out of that evil kitchen.
Not two hours later another 4 dozen chicken mini’s were dropped off at my office. I headed to the kitchen to get some water thinking “I’m so glad those little suckers are gone” only to be accosted by the warm aroma of a new batch. I seriously stopped dead in my tracks and started to contemplate how bad one little mini could possibly be?? I mean, what if I picked all the breading off of the chicken and ate only that? I’m allowed to have butter on this diet so I could technically lick the butter off of the roll and then throw the roll away right??
But deep down inside I knew that if I even so much as opened the lid that all chicken mini chaos would break loose. My coworkers would find me hiding in an empty cube on the abandoned side of the office gorging myself on all 4 dozen mini’s.
It is only day three out of 21 days and I’m not sure I’m gonna make it. Who knew I was such a weakling??
To make matters worse I have dinner plans tonight with some friends at the best pizza place ever. I just looked up the menu and I’m going to have to order a salad with all the good stuff taken off and dressing on the side, while they eat a cheesy yummy pizza with fresh tomatoes and fresh basil…. I mean, I normally make fun of girls who order dressing on the side.
Maybe skinny knees are over rated?
Here is my answer to greasy Italian food. An easy Spinach and Shrimp saute that is uber healthy and just as tasty. I ate mine without the pasta and I was actually very satisfied. I served Michael’s spinach over whole wheat pasta. He thought it was amazing too!
Spinach and Shrimp Saute:
1 lb of shrimp cleaned and peeled (1/4 lb per person)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbls + 1 tsp of Garlic
2 tbls of olive oil total
about 1 tsp of chili powder
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
10 oz baby Spinach
Marinate the shrimp in the lemon juice for about 30 minutes.
Heat a large skillet to medium with the olive oil until the oil is hot in the pan. Add in the garlic. (the garlic should crackle but not burn and pop out of the pan) If you burn the garlic throw it out and start over. Burnt garlic is bitter – yuck!
Stir everything around and then add in the tomatoes, vinegar, sea salt and pepper. Allow the tomatoes to cook until they pop open and you have a nice thin sauce. This should only take about 5-8 minutes.
While the tomatoes are cooking heat a smaller skillet with the other tbls of olive oil. Add in 1 tsp of garlic.
Drop in the shrimp so that the shrimp is not too crowded. Dust each shrimp with a little bit of the chili powder. Sear each shrimp and then flip them all over to sear the other side. Dust the opposite side of the shrimp with the chili powder. Don’t over cook the shrimp! You want them just seared, not tough.
Add the shrimp back into the tomato mixture and then add the spinach on top. The heat will start to wilt the spinach. Slowly, stir the spinach to incorporate it. Let the spinach wilt just slightly so that it darkens in color.
Serve and enjoy!
I think the one thing I hate the most about Texas summers is the fact that I cannot avoid putting on a bathing suit. I try trust me. I have a myriad of excuses up my sleeve and more swim suit cover ups than anyone needs. I also hate my knees. I know it is weird but my knees are ugly. Ok EVERYONE’s knees are ugly but I especially hate mine. I feel like when I put on a bathing suit my knees are screaming for everyone to look at them. All my friends know that when I say “geez that girl has really great knees” that this is the nicest compliment I can give someone. My knees are white and chubby and I can never quite shave every hair off of every odd angle which is super attractive (sarcasm placed here). This summer I have decided I’m going to deal with this whole knees/bathing suit issue by just giving in. I’m going to go shopping in 3.5 weeks for a new swim suit because I have a lake party to attend and I’m pretty sure no one will let me on the boat in jeans…
I plan to face this swim suit issue head on and start working out my knees, amoung other obvious areas that lack in perfection that we really don’t need to talk about today. I mean for heavens sake this is a food blog right? I don’t want you all leaving grossed out!!
So for the next 3.5 weeks it will be all healthy skinny knee recipes for you! Are you ready knees?? Let’s do this.
Serves 4 people with chubby knees.
Hot Mama Tilapia:
4 Tilapia filet’s
1 tbs. olive oil
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 Red onion
1 tsp Garlic
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 ripe Avocado
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 TBS diced red onion
1 head of white Cauliflower
sea salt to taste
black pepper to taste
1 tsp crushed garlic
1/2 jalapeno de-seeded
Hot Mama Tilapia:
Pat each Tilapia fillet with a paper towel to make sure the fish is as dry as possible. Dice up the jalapeno and onion and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large pan. When the oil is hot add the garlic, red onion, and jalapenos. Cook for about 1 minute just enough to really let the garlic open up but not burn. Add in the Tilapia and spritz each fillet with the limes juice. Dust each fillet with the cumin, pepper and garlic. Flip the tilapia over and spritz with the lime and dust with more of the spices. It is ok if the red onion mixture is in the way of the fish touching the pan this will actually help with the flavor of the fish. Cook the fish all the way through and plate. This should only take about 5-8 minutes. Sprinkle each fillet with the left over ingredients in the pan.
In a small food processor puree the ripe avocado, garlic, onion, and about 1 tbls of veggie broth until creamy. Add more veggie broth as needed to reach desired consistency. Drizzle over plated tilapia.
Boil enough water to submerge cauliflower in a large pot. Cut off stems of cauliflower and discard. Add the tops of the cauliflower to the boiling water and cook until the cauliflower is soft. (You want to be able to stab the cauliflower with a fork easily) Don’t over cook or it will just disintegrate.
Pat dry the cauliflower and place it in a large food processor. Add all the additional ingredients and puree until you reach a similar consistency to mashed potatoes. This is normally when I would tell you to add Asiago cheese but I will have skinny knees so I’m not going to. If you have skinny knees than I suggest adding about 1 cup of Asaigo cheese and mixing it all together.
I gather most of my ideas for new recipes by looking at ways to recreate old favorites. Turn a traditional Italian dish into a Mexican version. Little additions can turn a simple meal into a fantastic one. With Memorial day coming up I have set out to do just this. I’m bringing a side and a dessert to a friends house this weekend that needs to work with the outdoor festivities we have planned. We will be grilling and swimming like most people do on Memorial Day so I need to find the perfect little side that might be grilled?? Or not… Hmmm. Well, while I contemplate the perfect dish here a few oldies to help inspire me and hopefully you.
Balsamic Grilled Eggplant - This would be a great healthy side for a day full of grilling.
This grilled blue cheese potato salad is amazing!
Grilled portobello mushrooms stuffed with sausage are very flavorful on the grill.
Mmmmmmm Grilled Brussel Sprouts!!
Good old southern favorite, Jalapeno cheese gritz. This would be easy to cook ahead of time and bring over.
Well I’m still not sure of what to cook but I promise I will let you know as soon as I figure it out. Hopefully some of these recipies have inspired you to cook this weekend and not pick up one those nasty containers of potato salad at your local grocery store. Don’t do it. Don’t buy that huge container in the deli section. It doesn’t taste good!!
Natalie and I were asked to take part in the judging of the Taste Addison Food Competition this year and we were super excited to do so. We are all about supporting local foodies so this event is a perfect match.
I met up with two other foodies and we drove all around Addison tasting the competiton entries and listening to each chef explain to us what their inspiration was for each item. I was very inpressed by all the entries and overall had a fantastic time. If you follow us on Facebook I documented the evening with pictures and quick descriptions. If you don’t, then here is a recap:
Chef Pete: Sloppy Turkey Joe
Chef Pete is a caterer and really impressed all of us with his presentation. When we first walked up he met us out side with some wonderful champagne. He surprised all of us by opening the champagne with a huge sword!! He later showed all of us his collections of swords. I asked him what he uses all the swords for and he humbly answered “to open champagne”. I mean of course he does! What else would you use them for?? I loved that answer! People who have a collection of swords specifically to open champagne are on my awesome list.
Chef Pete is also an ice sculpturer – awesome… He took us into his giant walk in freezer where he had mini shot glasses made from ice. It was really neat to hear him talk about the sculptures.
The Sloppy Turkey Joe was amazing and the little brioche roll made this little sandwich outstanding. The turkey was tender and the sauce finger lickin.
Chef Pete even gives cooking classes which I might have to arrange. I need him to show me how to make my ground turkey not so dry.
The Italian Club served up a pork “speedy”: (sorry for the picture, it absolutely does not do the meal justice)
Michael Trovalli, the President of the Italian Club walked us through the history of the “speedy” and how the peasants would use the scraps of meat that were a bit tough to make these sandwiches. They would marinate the meat for a long time to help break down that toughness, cook them and place them in a baguette or roll. A cheap filling meal that could be eaten quickly. We also learned that the Italian club is more than just a restaurant and that you don’t have to be a member to enjoy all that it has to offer. The wonderful establishment offers language classes, wine tastings, cooking classes and regionally themed dinners. The pricing was amazing and the food even better. I fully intend to bring my huge family to sit down and have a true authentic Italian dinner.
Chamberlians Steakhouse presented a fillet stuffed with spinach and apple-wood bacon. The steak was accompanied by a side of sweet potato grits topped and broccolini. The whole meal was drizzled with the most delicious Whiskey Cream Sauce. (worst picture ever, sorry.)
Chamberlains has never let me down in terms of a fantastic meal.
Executive Chef Lan was charismatic and open to all of our questions. Unfortunately we were all so busy ooing and awwing and eating that we didn’t ask very many. The steak was like cutting into butter and the Whiskey sauce was a perfect touch to bring the whole meal together perfectly. I would come here for the garlic herb butter alone. By far one of the best steaks I have ever tasted.
So I had quite the fiasco or what I like to call “Emily’s Epic Failures” on Monday night when I was attempting to make some red velvet cakesters. They were coming out super flat and no matter how many eggs I added they were little pancakes. My husband walked in the kitchen as I’m starting to panic and says “huh, they kind of look like tacos”. Have I mentioned my husband is a genius? I looked at him and said “dude, thats awesome” – yes unfortunately we talk like this. So I finished up making the red velvet cakesters/tacos for my coworkers to eat and starting planning these little suckers. My poor coworkers get all of my epic failures as long as they are still edible. I’m sure they look in the kitchen after I send out my dorky e-mail letting them know of said failed recipe that is in the kitchen and think “this girl has a food blog? Sccaaarrry!!”
These are super easy and perfect for a Cinco de Mayo treat. You can get super creative and stuff them full of great stuff. I went with the normal taco ingredients of lettuce and tomatos because I was a little afraid they were not going to look like tacos and I wanted it to be super obvious. They turned out so freaking cute!!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Makes about 50 tacos
1 box cake mix (I used a spice cake so that the “tortilla” looked a little more brown.)
Follow the box directions but use less water. For instance – my box called for 3 eggs, 1/3 cup oil, and 1 1/3 cup water. I only used 1 cup of water. You want the batter to be runny and not too thick or you won’t get that flat tortilla look.
Pour the batter in 4″ rounds on a cookie sheet. Bake for about 7 min. I kept them in for about 7.5 minutes. Yes I’m serious…. If they cook too long the “tortilla” will crack in half, too short and the “tortilla” is too sticky. You might have to play with the time on the first batch to get it just right.
1 block of cream cheese or 8oz
1 pound of powdered sugar (half a standard bag)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
using a mixer combine the cream cheese, vanilla, and the powdered sugar. Whip like crazy until it is combined and creamy.
I used coconut as the lettuce and chopped up hot tamales for the tomatoes.