Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Week in the Meals of Feaux: Day Six

HELLOOOOOO SATURDAY!!!  I’m so happy to see you again!  How’s ya mom ‘n them?

As I mentioned yesterday, we’d be driving up to Kansas City to watch the Cardinals (ahem) stop the Royals.  It was a 1:10p game, and we planned to tailgate before the game…and we live 3 hours away…which means we had to wake up at 5:40am.  UGH.  I know some of you readers are moms and have to get up at the butt-crack o’ dawn on a regular basis and have no sympathy for me, but I typically sleep in until at LEAST 8am on weekends. 


Breakfast (6am)

We ate light, since we knew there would be gluttony later in the day.

1 bacon cookie (they’ve got to disappear somehow) –91 calories 2.2 g fat, 2.3 g protein

2 oz leftover pork tenderloin – 60 calories, 2 g fat, 9 g protein

8 oz coffee w/Splenda & fat free creamer – 20 cal, 0 fat/protein


MidMorning Snack (9am)

1/2 Great Value chocolate chip chewy granola bar – 45 calories, 1 g fat, 0.5 g protein


Lunch – TAILGATING! (10:30a-12:30p)

Everyone brought something to contribute, so we had quite the spread:  Nathan’s hot dogs, pre-made hamburger patties, pasta salad, baked beans, chips, garden fresh tomatoes & cucumbers, cookies, condiments…and of course, rum-soaked pineapple chunks.

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(I apparently suck at taking pics sometimes, so these were taken by my cousins.)

Over the course of the two hour period before the game, we all munched & snacked & chowed down & snacked some more.  This represents the dent I put in our stockpile:

1 Nathan dog w/ ketchup & mustard – 300 cal, 10 g fat, 10.6 g protein
1/2 fresh tomato – 12 calories, 0 fat/protein
8 cucumber slices – 7 calories, 0 fat/protein
1/2 cup pasta salad – 102 calories, 1 g fat, 3 g protein
1/2 cup baked beans – 140 calories ,  1g fat,  6g protein
3 pineapple chunks w/rum – 70 calories, 0 fat/protein
3 mini choc chip cookies – 90 calories, 4.2 g fat, 0.6 g fat
1 3 oz burger w/ketchup & mustard (I probably didn’t need this burger, but the BBQ sauce on it was beckoning me) on high-fiber whole wheat bun w/ketchup & mustard – 343 calories, 17 g fat, 16 g protein
2 light beers – 220 calories
1 bottle water – 0 calories

1 Pepsi Max – 0 calories

Tailgating Total: 1284 calories, 33.2 g fat, 36.2 g protein (OUCH.)


Dinner (7pm) – Buffalo Wild Wings

We had originally intended to go to Stroud’s post-game; however, there was an hour wait & I don’t think any of us had enough room in our stomachs for the onslaught of foods at Stroud’s (a family style restaurant w/fried chicken and all the sides).  BWW was convenient & quick.

1 fried pickle slice (stolen from my cousin) – 25 cal, 0.6 g fat, 0.4 g protein

6 traditional wings w/Honey BBQ sauce & ranch – 528 calories, 36 g fat, 36 g protein

16 oz Leinenkugel Summer Shandy – 150 calories

16 oz water – 0 cal


Total for Day: 2203 calories, 75 g fat, 84.4 g protein

UGH.  Yeah.  I overdid it.  But I knew that I had, & I felt it.  As you may have noticed from my previous posts, I typically eat about 5-6 times a day, small portions.  I technically wasn’t even hungry when we went to BWW, and probably would have been better off not eating.  Normally a midday meal would not carry with me that long.  Could I have made smarter decisions?  Absolutely.  If I had a do-over, I wouldn’t have eaten that burger during tailgating (that I didn’t even need) and I wouldn’t have ordered that beer with dinner.  Those two small changes alone would have saved me about 500 calories.  And since I wasn’t really all that hungry at dinner, I could have also skipped the wings altogether & just ordered a side of chips & salsa or potato wedges (about 280 calories, which would have been a savings of another 250 calories).


However, all in all I had a great day with family, and of course, the Cards demolished the Royals, so it was still a great day.

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Tomorrow’s Day 7…let’s see how this experiment wraps up, shall we?


To Be Continued…

Friday, June 29, 2012

A Week in The Meals of Feaux – Day Five

Hooray for almost the freakin’ weekend!


Day Five: Friday!

Last work day of the week.  Since I cooked last night, I was able to bring leftovers for lunch.  Tonight, I have a Girls Night planned to meet my friends for tapas & cocktails, and then we’re headed to watch Rock of Ages, which we really hope doesn’t completely suck.  We are a bandy gang of former theater & choir gals, so musicals have a big appeal.


Breakfast (9am)

1 cup coffee w/ 1 Splenda packet & 1 tbsp Peppermint Mocha creamer – 35 calories

1 oatmeal, chocolate chip, & bacon cookie (WHAT???  Bacon…oatmeal…it’s pretty well a breakfast cookie.)– 91 calories, 2.2 g fat, 2.3 g protein

1 serving Oikos Key Lime Greek yogurt – 160 calories, 4.5 g fat, 11 g protein


No Mid-Morning Snack – I was in a meeting.


Lunch (1pm)

20 oz unsweet tea – 0/0/0

1 serving homemade pasta w/turkey meat marinara – 378 calories, 4 g fat, 19 g protein

1 small cucumber, raw, sliced – 35 calories, 0 fat, 2 g protein


Afternoon Snack (4pm)

1 oz Frigo light string cheese – 60 calories, 2.5 g fat, 8 g protein

1/2 cup red grapes – 52 calories 0 fat, .5 g protein


Dinner w/Friends  (6:30pm)

Somehow I managed to NOT take a photo of our awesome spread of food.  My apologies. So here’s a photo of someone else’s delicious spread of tapas.

In case you’re not familiar, tapas are “small plates” or snacks—small orders of appetizers or finger foods.  They’re intended for sharing, or so that you can order small bits of many different things to try.  We ordered a small cheese & meat tray, a variety of dips & spreads w/crackers, a grilled cheese & pesto sandwich, and one of their daily specials.  There were five of us, so I’m estimating 1/5 of each item for the most part, except for the items I know I had a larger portion of.  For the spreads/dips, we were given about 1/2 cup of each and I took about a tablespoon of each of them.

As I’ve mentioned before, I love Ophelia’s infused vodkas.  So for my cocktail, I ordered the citrus version this time.

Cocktail – 150 calories

1/4 cup Garbanzos Fritos (chickpeas, chorizo, and tomatoes) – 94 cal, 6 g fat, 3.2 g protein

1/2 pita – 83 calories, 0.4 g fat, 2.7 g protein

1/5 oz parmesan (22 cal, 1.5 g fat, 2 g protein), cheddar (24/2/1.2), gouda (22/1.8/1.4), & salami (104/8/6.3)
1/4 grilled cheese – 130 cal, 6.5 fat, 3 g protein

1 oz artichoke dip - 50 cal,  4.5 g fat, 2 g protein
1/4 oz boursin – 24 calories, 2.4 g fat, 0.4 g protein
1/4 smoked trout dip – 79 cal / 5.5 g fat / 5 g protein

1/5 hummus – 15 cal, 1.2 g fat, 1.4 g protein
1/5 red pepper spread - 15 cal, 1.2 g fat, 0.2 g protein
7 water crackers – 90 cal, 1.5 g fat, 2.3 g protein

Dinner Total – 902 cal, 42.5 g fat, 31.1 g protein


Total for Day: 1713 calories, 55.7 g fat, 73.9 g protein

Another overage from the “target”, but still under the typical caloric requirement for my day, so not horrible.  Girls’ Nights are not a regular occurrence; we’re lucky if we can arrange to get together once a month.  However, Friday nights are typically Date Night for me & The Hubs, so I would normally be eating out on Friday night anyway…though it likely wouldn’t be quite the onslaught of calories we see here.

This is also a good example of how a “little” of a lot of things still adds up to a lot.  Because you’re only taking a small portion of each thing, it FEELS like it’s not a lot of food, and you FEEL like you’re being fairly good.  But it all adds up to quite a bit, especially when cheese is involved. :D

So tomorrow is Saturday! Hooray for the weekend!  However, tomorrow I’ll be out of town, as we’re taking my dad to see a St. Louis Cardinals game* as a belated Father’s Day gift.  I’m really looking forward to it because we’ll be meeting my cousins and my aunt up there as well.  And we’ll be tailgating, which could spell utter disaster for this experiment!  Let’s see how it turns out!!!!


…to be continued…


(*Bloggers Note: if you haven’t realized, this “week in the meals” is actually the foods I ate LAST week, so that I could post in a timely manner each morning.  And The Cards crushed the Royals.  Go Redbirds!!!)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Week in the Meals of Feaux – Day Four.

And the experiment continues yet again!

Day Four: Thursday. 

More work.  I’m groggy from staying up later than usual the night before (pretty typical for trivia nights).  But it looks to be a fairly easy work day…*knocks on wood*…



Breakfast (9am)

COOOOOFFFFEEEEE (w/Peppermint Mocha coffeemate) – 35 calories

Microwave Oatmeal, Strawberry, & Chocolate Muffin – 164  calories, 2 g fat, 10 g protein


Mid-Morning Snack (10:30am)

1 cup fresh pineapple chunks – 82 calories, 0 fat, 1 g protein


Lunch (1pm)

1 can Diet Sierra Mist – 0 calories

3 oz roasted BBQ pork tenderloin – 120 calories, 4 g fat, 19 g protein

1 cup baby carrots, raw – 70 calories, 0 fat, 1 g protein

1/2 cucumber, raw – 23 calories, 0 fat, 1 g protein


Afternoon Snack (4pm)

20 oz water

1 oz Frigo light mozzarella string cheese – 60 calories, 2.5 g fat, 8 g protein

1/2 cup mixed pecans & walnuts – 150 calories, 10 g fat, 3 g protein



food 001

Dinner (8pm)

Homemade pasta w/semi-homemade turkey meat marinara  – 378 calories, 4 g fat, 22 g protein

1 slice garlic bread – 100 calories

1 glass white wine – 110 calories


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Dessert (10pm)

1 homemade oatmeal, chocolate chip & bacon cookie (recipe coming soon) – 91 calories, 2.2 g fat, 2.3 g protein


Total for the Day: 1383 calories, 29 g fat, 67 g protein


Back under target. Good thing, because tomorrow night I have a Girls Night Out planned, and we’ll be starting the evening at Ophelia’s for cocktails & tapas!  Two of the friends I’ll be dining with are also on a My Fitness Pal diet.  Can we all make good choices?  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Week in the Meals of Feaux – Day Three.

And the experiment continues!

Day Three – Wednesday.
Still a work day, but also Trivia Night!  Which means I’ll be having a drink in the evening, so I try to eat well throughout the day to allow myself those extra empty calories.  Wednesdays are also a day that I go to the gym, because of the large time slot between “end of work day” and “start of trivia”.  We live about 30 minutes outside of town, so it just doesn’t make sense for me to go home before trivia.  So, I go to the gym, sweat a lil’ bit, rock out to some tunes, and/or read my Nook (while I’m doing cardio).  This also means I don’t eat dinner at home.  So I either a) bring food from home to eat at the office, b) pick up something quick to eat (usually to-go sushi from the nearby suprmarket), or c) meet the Hubs & Friends for dinner.

Breakfast (7am)
2 slices bacon, cooked in the microwave & blotted – 69 calories, 5 g fat, 5 g protein

Breakfast Part Deux (at the office, 9am)
Coffee w/1 Splenda & 1 tbsp Peppermint Mocha coffeemate – 35 calories
1 serving Oikos Black Cherry Greek Yogurt – 130 cal, 0 g fat, 12 g protein
1.5 graham crackers – 89 calories, 2 g fat, 1.5 g protein
(I dipped the grahams in the yogurt & it’s like having cherry cheesecake for breakfast!  YUM!)

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Lunch (1pm)
1 can Diet Mug Root Beer – 0 calories
Leftover pan fried fish (2 small crappie filets) – 277 calories, 16 g fat, 20 g protein
1 serving steamable veggie medley – 80 calories, 1 g fat, 2 g protein
Cinnamon applesauce – 80 calories, 0 fat/protein

Afternoon Snack (4pm)
6 oz Spicy V8 – 30 calories, 0 fat, 2 g protein
1 oz light mozzarella string cheese – 60 calories, 2.4 g fat, 8 g protein

feaux 003
Dinner (7pm)
Note: I had planned to bring some leftover pork tenderloin for dinner…but my brain wasn’t quite engaged yet when I left the house. So instead, the Hubs decided to meet me for dinner.  We had a Groupon for Houlihan’s and they run “Savour” Specials on Wednesday evenings—this day it was $7 burgers/sandwiches.  I ordered the Farmhouse Club w/fries, Hubs ordered the Brentwood Chicken sandwich w/steamed broccoli, and then we divided our meals in half & shared.
1/2 Farmhouse Club – 270 calories, 12.5 g fat, 19 g protein
1/2 Brentwood Chicken sandwich – 434 calories, 21.5 g fat, 32 g protein
1/2 order fries – 135 calories, 6 g fat, 1.5 g protein
1/2 order broccoli – 27 calories, 0 g fat, 2 g protein
20 oz unsweet tea – 0 calories
16 oz half & half tea – 60 calories, 0 g fat/protein

 At Trivia (9pm)
 I typically go for beer at trivia (200 calories per pint)…however, since dinner was so monolithic, I ordered a Diet Coke w/ vanilla vodka.  That only has 60 calories, although it’s twice the price.

Total for Day: 1836 calories, 66.4 g fat, 105 g protein

Ouch. Higher than I would have liked--but still lower than my daily caloric need of 1900, so at least I'm not gaining anything.  We would have been much better off just packing up our other half-sandwich from dinner & having it for breakfast or lunch.  But as a control for this experiment, I am purposely not looking up nutritional information before I go out to eat—I just try to make good decisions, and then see how “good” or not good they were afterward.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Week in the Meals of Feaux: Day Two.

The experiment continues!

Day 2: Tuesday 
Another work day, but this time I had to go in the field, which means eating out, since I’m frequently too lazy to make myself a sandwich before I leave my house at 6-7am.  Our project site has an onsite restaurant, which is a mix of good & bad.  Good, because it’s convenient, but bad because it’s a diner full of delicious fried things.

Breakfast (7am)
3/4 c (1 serving) Lucky Charms w/1/4 cup skim milk: 130 calories, 1 g fat, 4 g protein (I went with a light breakfast since I knew I’d have to eat out for lunch)
12 oz Diet Mt. Dew (I need my caffeine in the morning!)

Mid-Morning Snack (10am)
1 apple: 95 calories, 0 fat/protein

Lunch (1pm)
Water with Lemon; Half-size tenderloin sandwich w/lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, ketchup & mustard: estimate of 600 calories, 14 g fat, 26 g protein, based on various websites (since it’s a diner type place, there’s obviously not nutritional info on the menu). 

This was a judgment call, based on cash & flavor.  This diner is well-known for their pork tenderloin sandwiches, and they are QUITE delicious.  Breaded pork tenderloin is something I love, but not something I eat frequently—maybe 4x a year.  So I considered this a treat. But like all treats, one has to use moderation.  I knew their “whole size” sandwich was monolithic, so I ordered a half-size, and I opted for no side item, and just a water for my drink, and I was plenty full when I left.  This diner DOES have a wide variety of salads available, but they charge $9-10 for a salad, whereas the half-size sandwich with no fries is only $5.65.

Afternoon snack (4:30pm)
2 oz mixed nuts (pecans, almonds, walnuts) & raisins – 200 calories, 16 g fat (monounsaturated), 8 g protein

Dinner (8pm)
Iced tea – 0 calories
3 oz roasted BBQ pork tenderloin – 120 calories, 4 g fat, 19 g protein
1/2 tomato w/salt & pepper – 15 calories, 0 fat/protein
1 serving of Steamable veggie medley – 80 calories, 1 g fat, 2 g protein

Total for the Day: 1240 calories, 36 g fat, 59 g protein

Woohoo!  Under target, even with that pork tenderloin sandwich!  And I never felt hungry (though I did feel a little sleepy after that sandwich).  It's all a matter of balance.

Monday, June 25, 2012

A week in the meals of Feaux: Day One.

This is part experiment, part informative.  Once upon a time, I used to do a better job of tracking calories & food eaten.  In fact, I was nearly religious about it. However, these days I feel like I just generally make good choices most of the time, and I’ve spent so much time in my past tracking foods, that I feel like I have a pretty good handle on how many calories I take in each day/week.  This will show whether I’m right or not.  

Based on the My Fitness Pal's website, my recommended calorie intake (for maintaining or losing up to 1lb/week) would be 1400 calories.  So we'll see how close I come to that over the course of a week, without checking calories BEFORE eating something.

Day 1: Monday
Today’s a work day, and I typically eat breakfast at work.  So this is what I packed & brought with me today.
feaux (I don’t love having prepackaged food for lunch, but we had a busy weekend so I didn’t have a chance to cook anything.)
Breakfast (8:30am)
Coffee w/ 1 tbsp Peppermint Mocha creamer & 1 Splenda: 35 calories
Microwave Oatmeal Muffin w/Strawberries & Mini Chocolate Chips: 164 calories, 10 g protein, 2 g fat (this is SUPER filling & delicious.  I didn’t start craving my mid-morning snack until 11am. And any time you can start the day with a little chocolate?  That’s a good day.)

Mid-Morning Snack (11am)
Oikos Black Cherry Greek Yogurt: 130 calories, 12 g protein, 0 g fat

Lunch (1:30pm)
20 oz water
Michelina’s Lean Gourmet Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo – 270 cal, 7 g fat, 15g protein
Cinnamon Applesauce – 80 calories, 0 fat/protein

Afternoon Snack (4:30pm)
2 cups mixed veggies – 70 calories
1 oz light mozzarella string cheese – 60 calories, 8 g protein, 2.5 g fat
8 oz can V8 – 35 calories, 0 fat, 2 g protein

Dinner (7 pm)
Pan fried catfish (I prefer to use this method since it requires significantly less oil than deep frying) - 380 calories, 19 g fat, 27 g protein
Corn on the cob w/light butter: 75 calories, 1 g fat, 2 g protein
Broccoli, 1/4 cup: 24 calories
1 tbsp Cajun dip, made w/light sour cream: 20 calories
1/2 tomato w/S&P: 16 calories
1 serving white wine: 110 calories

Dessert (9pm)
1/2 cup pineapple sorbet: 63 calories, 0.4g fat, 0.2g protein

Total for the day: 1478 calories, 76 g protein, 31g fat

So slightly above the target.  But not too far off course.  Based on my height & activity level, (again, according to My Fitness Pal--but it will vary depending on what site you look at & what algorithm they use), my burn about 1900 calories a day just by existing.  And in order to lose a pound, you need to burn a total of 3500 calories.  So, if you have a caloric deficit (ie - you eat less than you burn) of about 500 calories a day, you would lose a pound in a week.  For most "diets", 1 lb a week is the recommended amount (assuming you're not a contestant on The Biggest Loser).

I know a lot of people who take in significantly less in an effort to lose faster.  Which can work for a while, and can work for longer if you're making sure that the foods you take in are the most nutritionally dense options possible.  If you can meet your body's needs in less, and you never get hungry, then you're on target.  But if you take in too little food, you're going to be cheating yourself.  Back around my wedding last year, I hired a personal trainer for 4 months to help whip me into shape for The Big Day, and she used this analogy:

Think of your body as a car.  A car needs fuel to operate, and the fuel has to be IN the car FIRST before you can drive it (this is why breakfast is so important).  If you don't put gas in the car, you're not going anywhere.  If you put bad gas in your car, or sugar in your tank, your car is not going to run right.  

 If you don't eat enough, you won't have any energy.  Plain & simple. And if you don't have energy, you're not going to "feel like" going to the gym, or cooking that healthy meal when you get home.  That's how diets fail.  They're not a sustainable lifestyle choice.

Well--I have to go in the field for work let's see how that works out...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Homemade pasta!


Not just sauce.  PASTA.  NOODLES. 

Let’s set aside my love of Cajun food for a moment.  Because my first food love, aside from “Mom's cooking”, was Italian.  My grandpa (Pawpaw) used to make spaghetti all the time when we visited him—it’s actually the only thing I remember him cooking, since my Grandma (Nana) typically did most of the cooking.  It was the only way I would eat mushrooms—in PawPaw’s spaghetti.  When we ventured into the big city & went out to eat, Olive Garden was always my top choice—and ALWAYS fettuccini alfredo.  ALWAYS. Ravioli, fried or canned?  LOVE.  There’s just something about carbs & meat and tomato sauce in a big bowl that sets one’s mind at ease. Or maybe that’s just the carbo overload.

Anyway… my friends Jenn & Paul gave us the Kitchenaid pasta roller attachment as our wedding gift…but up til now, we hadn’t had a chance to use it.  But there’s no time like the present—especially when you have half a jar of Prego in the fridge.

Though it took a few tries to get it right & get the hang of the roller, here’s the nice thing about making your own pasta—it’s very forgiving.  It’s meant to be kneaded & rolled & rolled again to get it to the perfect thickness & consistency.  So if it doesn’t come through your roller nicely the first time, just fold it over & pass it through again.

Ingredients: (makes enough noodles for 4 servings)

1 cup all purpose flour (some recipes call for durum flour, but it’s not cheap, and AP worked just fine for me)

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1.5 tbsp water

.5 tbsp olive oil

1 beaten egg



Add your dry ingredients into a large bowl & mix.  Then make a slight indention in the center of the flour & add the beaten egg.  Begin the mixer, and then add the water & oil.  Continue mixing until well combined and it forms a ball. 


Lay some wax paper on your counter & lightly flour it.  Sprinkle some flour on the dough as well & knead.  The oil should help it from being sticky, but you can sprinkle with more flour as needed.  Then, set up your pasta roller (you could probably also roll out with a rolling pin if you don’t have a pasta roller) to the thickest setting, and roll through. Pass through a few times till you get a good even sheet.


Then, start thinning it down.  Move the setting down a notch, pass through again, and so on. If it starts to tear or weaken, no worries, just fold over & pass through again.  Continue to ratchet down one level at a time until you get to your desired thickness.  For the record, I stopped at a “4”, on the Kitchenaid roller, 1 is the thickest, and 8 is the thinnest.

Once you’re happy with the thickness, lay it out on the wax paper & sprinkle w/a bit more flour so that your cutter won’t stick when you start slicing into noodles.

I don’t have the Kitchenaid cutter attachment because I just can’t seem to justify the cost.  Rather, I have a hand roller like this one, that I got for 75 cents at the thrift store.

Works just fine & makes a lovely pile of noodles.


If you don’t have either of these, a pizza cutter also works just fine.

Then all that’s left to do is whip up a quick sauce:


(1/2 jar Prego, 1/2 lb cooked turkey sausage, 1/2 package fresh sliced mushrooms, 1/2 onion, 1/2 bell pepper, 1 tbsp minced garlic, & Italian seasoning to taste)

Set a pot of water to boil, and add a pinch of salt & a tsp of olive oil.  Once the water boils, add your pasta.  The oil will help keep the noodles from sticking together.


Boil for 1-7 minutes—it’ll depend on the thickness.  Taste them to check for doneness.

Then mix with your sauce & serve!!!




Calories 378.6  

Total Fat 15.3 g   

Saturated Fat 4.0 g   

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.7 g   

Monounsaturated Fat 3.0 g  

Cholesterol 86.3 mg  

Sodium 1,332.1 mg  

Potassium 137.0 mg  

Total Carbohydrate 39.1 g   

Dietary Fiber 5.1 g   

Sugars 9.2 g  

Protein 21.9 g

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thirsty Thursday: The Bloody Southern

I found myself craving olives the other day.  Which then causes me to crave Bloody Marys (Maries? *shrugs*).  Don’t ask why my train of food cravings runs that way, it’s just how I’m wired.  Occasionally, I don’t crave Bloody Mary, but rather, I crave the “Mexican Martinis” served at the Hula Hut in Austin Texas, which are served with jalapeno-stuffed olives.

But this time, I wanted olives and Spicy V8 and all the other things that come with that.  But I had to mix it up a bit.

A while back, I bought a mini bottle of Southern Comfort Pepper, since it sorta screamed “Cajun”.  Southern Comfort is made in New Orleans, and the Pepper version was released in fall of last year.   However, after I did some investigating (aka: texted Primo, my official cocktail connoisseur), I caught word that this stuff is pretty well ONLY good in a Bloody Mary.  But hey—that works for me!



2 oz SoCo Pepper

6-8 oz Spicy V8

3-4 dashes Worcestershire sauce

3 dashes Louisiana hot sauce

Juice of half of a lime

1 tbsp olive juice

dash Cajun seasoning



Shake ingredients together in a shaker w/ice, then pour into a fancy glass w/fresh ice.  Serve with a garnish of lime, pickle, and, of course, jalapeno stuffed olive!



Next up might have to be the SoCo Mojito…maybe with SoCo Lime???

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Snack time!!!


The hubs & I were in dire need of caffeine & sweets, so we whipped ourselves up a pretty fabulous lil’ snack the other day:

Our beverage of choice? 1/2 Mt. Dew Voltage, 1/2 Diet Mt. Dew.  (And it just happens to be our wedding colors!)


And our snack of choice?

1 graham cracker

8 mini marshmallows

1 fun size Reese’s PB cup

+ 1 microwave (about 20 seconds)



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Homemade kolaches!


Since I busted out the biscuit recipe last week, it got some gears turning in my head about making some kolaches at home.

What’s a kolache (co-lah-chee) you ask?  Think “savory stuffed donut”.  Or, “giant pig-in-a-blanket”.  We used to buy them by the dozen from Home Cut Donuts in Lafayette, LA (conveniently located one block from my old office).  A pretty darn tasty way to start the day.  Available with cheese, jalapenos…yum.

So I took the biscuit recipe from last week, & mixed it up a bit—rather than using straight all-purpose flour, I used half AP flour, and half wheat pastry flour to give it a lighter texture.


RECIPE: (makes 4 kolaches)

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup wheat pastry flour

1/2 tbsp sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cajun seasoning

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 cup shortening (we used light margarine)

1 egg white

1/3 cup milk

2 smoked Polish sausages, casing removed

4 slices cheddar cheese



Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl, then cut in the shortening until crumbly.  Add the egg & milk and then stir until the dough leaves the side of the bowl.

Turn onto a floured surface, and  knead gently, about 20 strokes.  Then roll or pat out to about 3/4 inch thick, then cut into 4 strips.

Once the casings have been removed from the sausages, wrap a piece of cheese around the sausage, and then wrap a strip of dough around that.  Pinch the seam closed, and place seam side down onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.


Bake at 450F for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.



Now THAT’S a tasty bite.



Calories 398

  Total Fat 25.1 g

  Saturated Fat 10.1 g

  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g

  Monounsaturated Fat 2.6 g

  Cholesterol 80.4 mg

  Sodium 674.3 mg

  Potassium 47.1 mg

  Total Carbohydrate 26.1 g

  Dietary Fiber 3.7 g

  Sugars 3.1 g

  Protein 18.9 g

Monday, June 18, 2012

Skinny Monkey Cookies: A Pinterest Recipe!


You’ve probably seen this one on the interwebs, or at least a variation of it. We had some overripe bananas that needed to be used up, so this seemed like the perfect thing to help me out with that! (I’ve modifed the original recipe a bit & added walnuts & coconut for some extra protein & fiber). 



3 ripe bananas, mashed

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/2-1 cup peanut butter (use 1/2 cup if you prefer a banana-y flavor…use closer to 1 cup if you prefer the PB flavor)

4 tablespoons maple syrup (we used sugar free)

2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup black walnuts, chopped

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (we used mini chips, because I like chocolate in every bite)



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, mix bananas, vanilla, peanut butter, and maple syrup until creamy.

3. Then add the baking powder, flour, and oats & stir with a large spoon.

4. Fold in the chocolate chips, coconut, and walnuts.


Place tablespoon-sized balls of the batter onto a cookie sheet that’s been lightly sprayed with cooking spray (can also place on wax paper) and bake for 15 minutes. 


These won’t spread out much while cooking, so you don’t have to worry about spacing them out a bunch while baking.

Makes around 2 dozen DELICIOUS cookies!




NutriFacts (per cookie):

 Calories 89.4

  Total Fat 3.7 g

  Saturated Fat 1.3 g

  Polyunsaturated Fat 1.4 g

  Monounsaturated Fat 0.8 g

  Cholesterol 0.0 mg

  Sodium 29.3 mg

  Potassium 85.8 mg

  Total Carbohydrate 13.3 g

  Dietary Fiber 1.5 g

  Sugars 4.5 g

  Protein 1.9 g

Friday, June 15, 2012

Homemade Biscuits (And sausage gravy!)

I love weekends, because they mean sleeping in with my hubs (and occasionally the pup—we don’t always let him sleep on the bed because he somehow manages to occupy 90% of the bed with his 18-lb body), and making a REAL breakfast… not cereal or quick toast & bacon.

Friday night, just before bed, we managed to watch an episode of Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives that featured Ruth’s Diner in Salt Lake City, featuring a biscuit & gravy recipe with Ruth’s Mile High Biscuits as the centerpiece…

…so of course, when we woke up Saturday morning, all I could think about was biscuits & gravy.

I reached for my handy-dandy American Legion Auxillary cookbook, because if there’s anyone who knows how to make good biscuits, it’s the lil’ old ladies of the Midwest.  These were referred to as “Cloud Biscuits” in the cookbook.

So while I whipped up some clouds, the Hubs whipped up a sausage gravy.  Yes, you heard that right, this is the first entry where both myself AND The Hubs will be contributing to the post!  I’m pretty well crap with gravies (unless it comes from a packet or can) so I leave that to his mastery.

RECIPE FOR BISCUITS: (makes 1 dozen regular sized biscuits [or 16 small ones])

1 cup sifted flour

1/2 tbsp sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup shortening (we used light margarine)

1 egg white

1/3 cup milk



Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl, then cut in the shortening until crumbly.  Add the egg & milk and then stir until the dough leaves the side of the bowl.

Turn onto a floured surface, and  knead gently, about 20 strokes.  Then roll or pat out to about 3/4 inch thick.

Cut with a biscuit cutter (note: I misplaced my big round cutter, so I had to use a little 1.5-inch diameter round, though I could have used a glass turned upside down) & place on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet.

Bake at 450F for 10-14 minutes or until lightly browned.


Seriously… how stinkin’ kewt are these?


And while these are quite a lovely lil’ bite with some strawberry jalapeno jam…


They’re even more delicious with fresh sausage gravy.


GRANDMA DAKE’S SAUSAGE GRAVY RECIPE (transcribed by me on behalf of The Hubs):

1/2 lb pork sausage

salt & pepper

1/4 – 1/2 cup flour (depending on how thick you like it)

2 cups milk + more to desired thickness



Cook the sausage in a large pan with some salt & pepper to taste. 

Once browned, you remove the meat from the pan, and then discard about 2/3 of the grease. 

Then add the flour & stir.  You want enough flour so that it’s still runny in the pan—if it gets clumpy, add more grease to thin it out.  Mix for 1-2 minutes over medium heat until it becomes a dark brown (but not burnt).  But don’t overdo it-- Remember that the roux you’re creating will absorb the milk, so the more roux you make, the more milk you’re going to have to add to turn it into a good gravy.  So if you’re not wanting to eat gravy on everything for the next week, err on the side of less.

Then add milk and continue stirring, about 2-3 minutes.  Make sure to scrape the edges of the pan to keep everything well combined.  At this point, you can add more milk if you need to thin things out a bit, and you can season with more salt & pepper to taste.  Remove from heat when you’ve reached the desired consistency, otherwise it will continue to thicken.

Spoon onto your biscuits, and chow down.


In my case, enjoy with your favorite coffee (in your favorite coffee mug):



NutriFacts: (for two biscuits & 1/2 cup gravy)

Calories 318.4

  Total Fat 16.3 g

  Saturated Fat 4.4 g

  Polyunsaturated Fat 1.6 g

  Monounsaturated Fat 5.5 g

  Cholesterol 43.9 mg

  Sodium 654.0 mg

  Potassium 287.0 mg

  Total Carbohydrate 30.9 g

  Dietary Fiber 0.8 g

  Sugars 5.8 g

  Protein 12.5 g