Domain or Blogger?

I like you wordpress, I really do.  BUT it is a complete pain to customize a layout and having to pay money!  I originally moved to wordpress, but now I feel like I should of either stayed with Blogger OR purchase a domain.  What do you guys think?

I already created a new blogger, but have yet to customize and might look into actually going back to Blogger and purchase a custom layout from someone.  We will see!

 

My Instagram Life

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Life has been good.  DH left Monday at the wee hours of the morning and we miss him so much!  We did get a chance to have a great weekend with amazing weather (I think we had 3 days of sunshine!).  Since DH had a 4 day, we went out to Outback for dinner on Thursday and on Friday we went on a hunt for a treadmill.  After going to a few places, we ended up just getting one at the Lewis PX for $799.  One of the best things about buying goods on post… No Tax!  I think we ate out that night too… at a Greek place in Puyallup.  Saturday we went on an adventure to Bellevue and Seattle and just drove around and explored.  We also went to Home Depot to purchase our first lawn mower!!  Sunday was Easter.  We don’t celebrate, but the weather was at 72F and we spent the day in the backyard playing with the dogs and DH doing yard work.

 

Anyways, I’ll try and post a recipe soon.  I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow and I hope it goes okay.  I know I ate pretty bad over the weekend and tonight I had a caesar salad from BK… yikes!  I should probably do dishes which I’ve neglected for the last few days and get ready to work out.  Hope everyone is well :)

Quick Baked Veggies and Sausage

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Had a busy Saturday running from one grocery store to the next looking for Ezekiel bread which I did find at Trader Joe’s, but they didn’t have the one I was looking for.  DH headed out to Bellevue for a BMW meet and ended up just picking up Jack in the Box for himself since I can’t eat that anymore.  I got home a little late and was starving and really didn’t want to slave in the kitchen, but I remember seeing a grilled squash and sausage recipe online awhile ago.  Instead, I baked mine for about 20-25 minutes til the sausage is cooked through.  Delicious quick, healthy (maybe not so much on the sausage) and simple!

Baked Veggies and Sausage

1 Yellow Squash, cut into bite size chunks

1/2 Zucchini, cut into bite size chunks

1 Sausage, cut in half

Drizzle of Evoo

pinch of salt

dash of black pepper

sprinkle of onion powder

sprinkle of Parmesan cheese (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 350F

Place everything in an oven proof dish, drizzle with evoo and seasoned to taste.

Bake everything for about 20-25 minutes til vegetables are soft and sausage is cooked through.

Baked Basil Balsamic Chicken

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Where do I begin about this chicken?!  It was AMAZING good!  Sweet from the honey and basil, a little tart from the balsamic and I honestly have to say, one of the best chicken dinner I’ve made thus far!!  Best of all, NO SALT ADDED!  You must, must I tell you, to try this recipe.  Everything should already be in your pantry, so there’s really no reason not to.  If you don’t like it, add some salt, but I personally think its not needed.  The original recipe calls to grill it, but I baked it instead.

 

Baked Basil Balsamic Chicken

1 tsp evoo

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 TBsp honey

3 TBsp basil, roughly chopped  (definitely use fresh!)

3 medium garlic cloves, minced

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (i only used 2)

 

1) In a large bowl or ziplock bag, add all the ingredients and marinate in fridge 15-30 minutes.

2) Preheat oven to 350F

3) Put marinaded chicken on baking sheet lined with foil and pour leftover marinade over chicken breasts.

4) Bake for 30-35 minutes til cooked through. 

 

Linguine with Tuna and Broccoli

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I’m not a huge tuna fan, except that once in a blue moon tuna sandwich, but with a new diet comes new foods. I’m not huge of fish alone. Something to do with this lady I knew as a kid and she got a fish bone stuck in her throat and she had to go to the ER to get it removed. I think that alone scarred me for life!

This is a really great busy week night meal. A can or two of tuna cooked with garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and linguine (or your pasta of choice) cooked with broccoli. Perfect. Only one pot and one skillet, now I definitely like that!

Linguine with Tuna and Broccoli

Recipe from Diabetes & Heart Healthy Meals for Two

3 oz uncooked whole grain linguine (or any pasta of your choice)

4 oz broccoli florets, broken into bite-sized pieces

2 tsp olive oil

2 medium garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 (3oz) pouches chunk light tuna in water, flaked (i used canned tuna which was a little mushy but still good)

2 tsp shredded or grated Parmesan cheese

1 medium lemon, halved

1) Prepare linguine using package directions omitting salt or oil.  Three minutes before the end of cooking, add broccoli florets.  Cook 3 minutes.  Drain well.  Return linguine and broccoli to the pot (heat should be off).  Cover to keep warm.

2) In a small nonstick skillet, stir together the oil, garlic and red pepper flakes.  Cook over medium high heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the tuna.  Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently but being careful not to break the tuna into small pieces.

3) Spoon the linguine and broccoli onto plates.  Spoon tuna sauce on top.  Sprinkle with Parmesan and squeeze generously with lemon.

Warm Spinach Salad

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I won’t get into full detail, but this week I was diagnosed with Diabetes.  It literally crushed me, but I’ve been pushing on, doing some research, gone to the bookstore to get some diabetic cookbooks and so far I’ve been pretty positive.  That positivity can only last so long before I crash and burn.  

Cooking dinner takes over my day.  I can’t just whip up a meal and eat it without worrying about how much carb, sodium and sugar.  Last night I made a warm spinach salad with quinoa.  It was really good, but I was still hungry afterwards.  Thank you sugar-free fudgsicle.  Quinoa is new to our diet and I know DH doesn’t like it, but he’s a trooper and still eats as much as he can.

Warm Spinach Salad

recipe from Eat what you Love by  Marlene Koch

1/4 cup chicken broth

2 tsp minced garlic

1 TBsp olive oil

2 TBsp balsamic vinegar

Pinch of Salt

Pepper to taste

8 cups spinach (I used 3-4 handfuls)

2 TBsp grated Parmesan cheese

 

1)  Add chicken broth and garlic to large saute pan and place over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for 10 minutes to soften and mellow garlic.

2)  Whisk in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.  Turn off heat and add spinach.  Using tongs, quickly toss the spinach in warm dressing just until coated. 

3) Top with grated parmesan cheese and serve.

House Update

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Sometimes it still feels like a dream… I can’t believe we’re homeowners!  Who knew buying a house consisted of buying lots of house stuff.  We always imagined ourselves painting the rooms, but we’ve only painted ONE room and that alone was exhausting.  Let me tell you… it was a small room.  A very small room.  My friend Jodee has been renovating her house and I honestly don’t know how she does it!  I’m weak. 

So, the picture above is taken from the entry way.  We kept it simple so far and there’s Frankie and Maggie’s butt wondering what I’m doing.  Frankie absolutely HATES it when I whip out my camera or point my iphone4s at him… he just knows.  Then there is Maggie who loves the attention, but never sits or stays long enough to care that her momma just want some photos.

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LOVE those prints I found at Ikea last weekend.  Our living room area is all dark brown/black with orange, yellows and reds and these prints just fit amazingly. 

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Here’s the living room area taken from the dining area.  The one thing about all this furniture (ie: entertainment stand, table to the left and hallway table) is all the holes that needs to be filled!  So far so good.  I would love to fill in the holes, but with what?!  What do you guys do??  I would also love to fill up more photos and things on that wall and try to add some greenery.

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Don’t mind the clutter and the huge dent in that seat when my butt was planted.  Our coffee are just cheap ottomans we purchased at Wal-Mart back when we were living in Drum.  The original Ikea coffee table we had was huge, but the bottom base board broke and when we got Maggie, her and her puppy teeth chewed up one of the legs.  See that lamp in the back?  LOVE IT!  Recent purchase from Marshall’s for about $35.  Deep down, I’m cheap and prefer not to purchase super expensive things especially when sometimes these dogs destroy things and when we move (that’s the Army for ya!), sometimes they mess up our goods. 

Upstairs is still a mess.  We did recently buy a bed frame, but we’ve been concentrating so much on the first floor we’ve pretty much neglected upstairs.  Except DH’s man cave. 

That’s all I got to show you for now.  Again, sorry for dark photos.  I used my iphone4s and then used a photo editing app.

Hearty Italian Beef Stew

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Sorry for the dark photo!  I apparently never take out my real camera and instead whip out my iphone4s because it’s just so much easier and what can I say… I am so lazy.  SO LAZY! 

 

Winter is still amongst us, but the snow has come and gone (i miss fort drum snow!), but there is still a slight chill in the air.  Nothing better than a hot steamy bowl of soup on a cold cold day.  Soups and stews are not specialty, but there’s no harm in just testing out recipes here and there. 

 

This Italian beef stew turned out good, but not great.  The meat and vegetables were tender and delicious, but I mistakenly added an extra can of tomato paste and on top, seasoned with a little too much salt.  If you make this soup, don’t make the same mistake I did!  I’m sure the stew itself is delicious!

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Hearty Italian Beef Stew

  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil, divided
  • 2 lb beef round roast
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 large onion, sliced into thin wedges
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces (split in half if they
  • 8 oz red potatoes, skin-on, quartered
  • 1 14.5 oz can reduced-fat/sodium chicken broth
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 4 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 sprig rosemary (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 2 sprigs each thyme, and oregano (or 1/2-1 tsp each dried)
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup spinach leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup basil leaves, chopped
  1. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large pan over high heat until very hot.
  2. Cut roast into 2-inch chunks and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add half of the meat to the pan, searing for 1-2 minutes, until nicely browned, before flipping or stirring.
  4. Sear for another 2 minutes and use a slotted spoon to transfer meat to the crock.
  5. Repeat for remaining meat.
  6. Add onion, potatoes, carrots to the crock pot.
  7. Add the chicken broth, wine, and tomato paste (I dropped it in by the spoonful and let it distribute while cooking).
  8. Top with garlic and herbs.
  9. Cook on low for ~8 hours.
  10. At the end of the cooking time, remove 1/4 cup cooking liquid and whisk in cornstarch until smooth.
  11. Stir slurry into the crockpot, cover, and let cook for ~20 minutes.
  12. Stir in the spinach and basil and serve.

Recipe from Better Homes & Garden

Biscoff Crunch

 

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Just like Pinterest, Biscoff cookies are all the rage at the moment.  When Biscoff first started popping up all over the food blogs, I was in the middle of packing and moving cross country, but I was lucky to find a jar at Hannaford’s in Watertown.  It was definitely love at first taste.  After moving here and while shopping at the commissary the other day, I saw packages of Biscoff cookies and I was over the moon since I’ve been dying to make Picky-Palate‘s Biscoff cookies.

 

The original recipe called for 20 cookies finely crushed and 20 more for the extra crunch.  I only bought one package of cookies, but the crunch is still very much there.  DH even commented saying they’re better then Girl Scout Cookies!  That’s saying a lot, especially coming from him.  I won’t be posting the recipe here, but definitely check out Jenny’s amazing blog Picky-Palate.
Biscoff Crunch