Tag Archives: dinner

What’s On My Plate?

6 Feb

Guess who forgot to take a picture at dinner tonight?
I just can’t seem to get the hang of Wednesday Night Suppers and taking pictures.

I love getting to be in community with our church family but it is a high stress meal and I easily get out of my routine. I did have several ladies who I go to Weight Watchers with ask what I was eating. I love the accountability! I made really good choices with lots of veggies.

Now if I could just get them to follow me home and keep me accountable when it is just me and my shaky self-discipline to make it through the evening.

I did 2 miles after dinner while the girls were in choir.

One hour till bedtime…

What keeps you accountable?


Where’s My Nutella?

5 Feb

Today is National Pancake Day or National line up and wait forever for a free pancake at IHOP day. Either way I can get behind a good pancake.

National Pancake Day ecards

Guess what was for dinner tonight?

photo (90)

Tonight I used a new pancake mix: Bob’s Red Mill Buttermilk Whole Grain Pancake Mix. (Tell me that graphic artist didn’t earn their money trying to get that name on such a small bag). I like making pancakes from scratch but my go to recipe must have at least10 lbs of butter–I really need to find a lighter recipe.

I used an old trick I learned from Allan Todd. He was my youth pastor and dear friend. He always used Sprite to make pancakes on retreats which makes for super fluffy pancakes and very little clean up. Mix + Sprite= Pancake Goodness. I didn’t want the sugar from a Sprite so I added seltzer water instead. All the bubbles, none of the sugar. Maybe it was the weight of the whole grain mix or my seltzer trick didn’t work because these were not the light and fluffy pancakes I was hoping for. They were tasty if rather flat. I added Al Fresco Chicken Breakfast Sausage and fresh fruit on the side.

Pancakes as prepared~3 points a piece. Sausage~1 point per link and fruit~0 points plus.
photo (92)

Sorry for the blurry photo. I might have deleted the two clear shots I had as I attempted to download them. What? delete and download both start with D and it is after 8 p.m.

I wish I could say no one was injured in the making of this meal. Me+wet hands+sharp knife= a band-aid. I had to call in Kevin to help me finish prepping the fruit salad. I wanted to be all Iron Chef and throw a glove on over my bloody hand and keep chopping heroically but, then I remembered Alton Brown was not commentating my meal so I could just stop and go ask for help. In my defense I was hurrying because Kevin had to be back at the church in just a few minutes for a visitation for one of our church members who passed away. Pastors should never be late for anything that has to do with weddings or funerals. I am pretty sure that is in the Bible somewhere.

Kevin was on time. My finger is nicely bandaged. All is well except I somehow missed the fact that today was also World Nutella Day. Really, that would have been good to know three hours ago. Warm pancakes and Nutella….yummy.

This is going on my calendar for next year.

Right now.

When CB was 4 years old she would always say as she learned something new..”Do you know this, Mama?”

No, Mama did not know this? Really, how did I not know this? Nutella, I won’t forget you again.

What is your favorite kind of pancakes? I like fall flavored ones like pumpkin or spice.

Turkey Makes You Sleepy, Right?

4 Feb

What can Monday bring that can top blackouts and Beyoncé?

Frankly, I’ve got nothing.

Before I go further let’s do breakfast:

photo (68) photo (70)


Poached egg, fresh berries, 3 Jones Farm Light Sausage, and 2 pieces of Nature’s Own bread~7 points plus.

While we’re talking food, let’s do lunch:

photo (71) photo (72)

Salad with mixed greens, beets, carrots, mushrooms, chickpeas, cranberries, sunflower seeds, avocado, pasta salad, and 1TB ranch dressings~10 points plus.photo (73)


Check mix~4 points plus. (Do you pick through the bag to make sure you ‘handful’ has the crispy bagel bites? I do.)

The day started off with a beautiful sunrise that dissipated into a gray day. How does that happen? I admit that if it was up to me I never would have seen the sunrise this morning but alas, there are buses to catch and jobs to get to. The five-year old version of myself wants to yell–That’s not fair! I want to stay in bed!

I am one sleepy girl. My head-fog matches the gray clouds outside. My sleep patterns are shot. I haven’t been sleeping well for over a week now. Sleep does matter. I can tell when I haven’t been sleeping well. Besides being tired I get irritable, munchy, and achy. It is not fun nor helpful for weight loss. I make horrible food choices when I am sleep deprived. I feel like I should treat myself for just rallying through the day. I have also read that lack of sleep makes you crave sweets or starchy carbs.  I would say I have found that to be true.

I think my insomnia has been part of my life for so long that I just write it off as “that’s just the way I am” and I haven’t put any effort in trying to get into a more normal pattern. I am going to take some real steps to try to get a good night’s sleep more nights than not.

Step 1: go to bed by 10:00 pm. Lights out.  It takes several weeks to make a habit….

Dinner: The secret ingredient is….

photo (74)

I added a heaping 1/4 of rolled oats to my ground turkey to make the burgers juicy. You use it like breadcrumbs. The rolled oats just have a greater nutritional punch.photo (75)

Mexican inspired Turkey Sliders: Mix 1 lb of ground turkey, 1/2 rolled oats, garlic, dried cilantro, cumin, salt, and pepper to taste~4 points plus per patty (the bun was an added 3 points plus)photo (76)

I served them with roasted sweet potato ‘fries’ on the side. Two sweet potatoes sliced into fries and mixed with olive oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Roast at 425 degrees for 25 minutes~3 points plus per serving.
photo (77)


Homemade guacamole:~3 points plus  per serving.

2 Hass avocados

1/2 onion, diced

1/2 tomato, diced

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 garlic powder

juice of one lime

I made things easy and used my mini food processor. I added the onion and pulsed them till they were the right consistency  Next, add avocado, spices, and lime juice. Mix until the texture you like. Remove from processor and stir in tomatoes.

I have to say every time we make this at home I vary the recipe depending what we have on hand.


Now if I can just keep away from the cookies the girls made last night until bedtime….those cookies do have a siren song.

Do you have any tips for hitting the hay and getting a good night’s sleep?






31 Jan

Dinner was a grab and go kind of thing tonight. CB had scouts. ZB is still recovering from her bug. Kevin was at an all day clergy meeting across town and visited his dad in the assisted living center on his way back home. We grabbed Subway. This was not my first choice but it was what the girls wanted….

I had a ton of points left for dinner tonight and I was eating somewhere I didn’t really want to eat. This is usually a recipe for disaster. I was hungry and I didn’t look up points before I left which led me to underestimate how many points a sandwich I have never ordered had.photo (56)

Chipotle and Chicken Special on Flatbread~19 points plus.

photo (55)

Lay’s Kettle Cooked Chips~6 points plus.

And just like that I blow through my points (and them some).  This is why at WW they drill it into  you to plan, plan, and plan more. One hungry outing with no plan in sight and you’re looking at a surprising number on your tracker.

I hate it when I get blindsided like this. I don’t mind splurging when I mean to because there are times when I really need to treat myself. It is annoying I didn’t even mean to—I just didn’t want to order the same thing I always get and I didn’t take the time to look up something new. I keep hearing Emerald Lagasse, BAAM! ringing in my head.

I don’t have much wiggle room until weigh in on Tuesday so I have to be careful or – BAAM!

I will have to be on top of my planning  or- BAAM!

Well, …BAAM!

Live Well,


Do you like to plan ahead what you will eat? If you wing have you been surprised?

From Cuba with Love

29 Jan

I love the calm a slow cooker meal brings to meal time for me. There is not frantic cooking as I try to get dinner on the table before someone has to be somewhere. No, it was easy because the pork had been simmering away all day making my house smell great. I mean it smells so great that if someone were to stop by they would be impressed by my domestic prowess by the sheer aroma. They would forget the mess, overlook the laundry, and dismiss the clutter and think, “this gal knows what she is doing”.

Tonight’s meal was a home run in that everyone in the family liked it. Success! I have used the Slow Cooker Pernil before and it is always tasty. Tonight I adjusted the recipe for the ingredients I had on hand and it was still good.

I made rice, guacamole, and roasted sweet potatoes for the sides. I had originality planned to make soft tacos but I realized too late that we were out of tortillas. So, I made some rice and decided to serve it over the rice.

I cubed two large sweet potatoes and tossed them in one Tb of olive oil. I added 1/4 t of cinnamon and nutmeg. Salt and pepper to taste.
photo (31)

I placed them in a pan and roasted them for 25 minutes at 400 degrees. They were soft and sweet and yummy. I didn’t think they needed any brown sugar but if you wanted a sweet treat you could definitely sprinkle some sugar on top. The nutmeg and cinnamon made a good flavor match to the heavy cumin in the pork.
photo (30)

photo (32)I always feel so fancy when I use whole nutmeg and grate into my recipes. It does taste so much better than the dried spice.

photo (29)

I shredded the pork using two forks directly in my slow cooker.

photo (27) photo (25)


Pernil pork~4 points, homemade guacamole~3 points plus, 1/2 cup of roasted sweet potatoes~2 points plus.

I opted out of the rice and just stuck to the pork, guacamole  and potatoes. I added a few extra tomatoes slices to the top of my guacamole. I would have taken pictures of the making of the guacamole but CB was helping me make it. It seems like when I have a ‘helper’ in the kitchen I am busier keeping calamity at bay. We added two avocados  half an onion and tomato diced, cilantro, garlic, salt and pepper. Topped with the juice of one lime (I used lemon because that is what I had on hand.)

Total Meal: 10 points plus

ZB, our youngest, came home with a fever and cough today from school…I am contemplating how long it would make the smell of rubbing alcohol to dissipate if I sprayed the whole house down.

We won’t get sick. We won’t get sick. We won’t get sick…

The rain has started outside and we are all tucked warmly at home tonight.

I see coffee, reading, and maybe some tele in my future.

How do you judge if a meal was a success?

Live well,




So Grand

29 Jan

I ran by the new Kroger that just opened in town. Grand Opening. A new grocery store in a small town is big news! Especially one with a Starbucks ;). I am so happy to have a decent grocery store nearby. I usually drive over and hour round trip to go grocery shopping because it is important to me to shop where I can get good deals and have the selection I want.

Today I gave the new Kroger a shot. So far I like it. Kroger usually has some good deals and since I am a couponer I like good deals. They also have a large organic food selection. I just grabbed a few things today. I will have to see how I like it when I am doing a ‘big’ shopping trip.photo (22)

I do like that they have a salad bar. I heart salad bars! This one didn’t blow my mind– I am looking at you Whole Foods— but it did have a new item that I wanted to try, the edamame caviar salad.photo (23)

I went for a low point salad. Everything is zero points but the edamame and the touch of bacon bits~2 points plus.photo (18)

I thought I would show you my grocery cart. Whenever I run into people from church when I’m out grocery shopping they always look at what is in my cart–like they want to catch the preacher’s family buying something scandalous. No matter where we have served it is always the same. People are so funny. This is one of the things they don’t tell you in seminary–Once your spouse is a minister people will care what you buy at the grocery store. So I just posted my cart for the world to see. I think avocados are the raciest thing in there.
photo (19)
I almost always shop with a drink in my hand. I either buy a coffee on my way in or get a soda in the store. It keeps me from wanting ‘treats’ while I am shopping because I already have a treat in my hand.

I got home from the store and started prepping tonight dinner. I pulled an old faithful recipe from Skinnytaste.

photo (21)

I didn’t follow it directly but was inspired by it and adjusted for what I had on hand.photo (17)

I plan on using the pork in soft tacos with homemade guacamole and roasted sweet potatoes on the side.photo (24)Dump everything in the slow cooker and walk away. Love that!


I brought home the salad I made at Kroger~2 points plus and added dressing~1 points plus and 1/4 cup of chicken salad~3 point plus.DSCN2297 DSCN2298

Total Points: 6 points plus

Snack:photo (15)

I had most of a Cascadian Farm granola bar (that ZB didn’t finish from lunch…)~3 points plus

My house is smelling good and I am happy to know that dinner will come together quickly tonight!

What is your favorite kitchen appliance? My slow cooker is a close second behind the coffeemaker!

Meatless Monday: The Secret Ingredient Is…

28 Jan

This Monday morning was rough.  Real rough. Occasionally I have bouts of insomnia that come on out the blue and keep me from sleeping well sometimes for days sometimes for weeks. I dragged myself out of bed with just over three hours of ‘sleep’ last night.

Not my favorite way to start the day…

It took a lot of these to even be able to utter complete sentences.


Because I slept late, I only had a few minutes to throw together breakfast. I used the leftover pancakes from yesterday and just added some fruit.

Lite Pancakes

Pancake and one Tbs of maple syrup and fruit~6 points plusPancakes

I used a mix to make the pancakes Sunday morning. I doctor  up the mix by adding a tsp of vanilla and let it sit on the counter for about 10 minutes before I start cooking them up. The extra time allows the mix to activate and the pancakes turn out extra fluffy. I like to make pancakes from scratch but you show my a preacher’s wife who is making from scratch pancakes on a Sunday morning and I will stand in awe.

Several cups of coffee later I was able to yawn my way through preschool today. The kiddos came in ready to play and have fun. I had to really rally to keep up with them! Kevin asked ZB and I out for lunch after we got done with school. One of the perks of us working on the same campus are our occasional lunch dates.


El Toro Loco…


Seven Tortilla Chips~2 points plusKevin and ZB huevos rancheros meal

Lunch portion of huevos rancheros~13 points plus (I didn’t eat the tortillas served with the meal).

Total Point: 15 points plus
huevos rancheros

I shared my meal with ZB as she is never hungry after school. She takes her snack seriously during school and doesn’t  usually eat much lunch. I still counted all the points for the meal because her few bites won’t change much.

diet cokeMy vice…diet coke.  I only drink them when I am out somewhere…maybe one day I can clean these out of my diet. Today is not that day.


I manged to fit in a cat nap while ZB was napping and before CB got home. Zoey claimed the sunny spot so I had to make do but I think we both needed our beauty rest.

Me and ZBPost nap snuggle time.

Meatless Monday Dinner:


Did you spot the secret ingredient? Pumpkin!


First, I started the mushrooms in a small pat of butter. ( I already had the mushrooms in the pan before I took the ingredient shot- sorry)

spag with pumpkin

I added a jar of spaghetti sauce and one can of pumpkin  I heard about adding pumpkin to sauces to up their nutritional value sometime back and it took me awhile to try it because I am the only one in my family who likes pumpkin. Gasp. I know. I started by adding just a few Tbs. then 1/4, 1/2, and so on because I was convinced you would be able to eventually taste the pumpkin. You can’t!  I added a whole can of pumpkin tonight and no one could tell.

spag with pumpkin  mixed Just stir in the pumpkin. If it thickens your sauce too much you can add stock or just water to get it back to the consistency you like.

pasta spag with pumpkin

I tossed it with whole grain thin spaghetti.spag with pumpkin bowl spag with pumpkin close up

8 points plus for one serving of ‘pumpkin’ spaghetti. (The added fiber of the pumpkin brings down the points value).

It is 8:15 and I am seriously thinking about putting out the THE END sign on this day and call it a night.

Do you have any secret ingredients to help boost the nutritional value of one of your go to meals?

Silent Sabboth

27 Jan















Sometimes it Takes Two

26 Jan

First and foremost I got in my second run today. I did just shy of two more miles for a grand total of four miles on the day. It felt good to get back out there – like I accomplished something big. I was a little achy but felt good overall.
Dinner Time:


This is what I call ‘A Best Of’ meal. Doesn’t that sound better than leftovers? Kevin was out at an Emmaus event that some of the kids from the youth group were participating in so it was just us girls. It is tough to try to fix something that is worth the effort when only two little mouths are eating besides myself. Leftovers to the rescue!

Leftover Chicken Breast from dinner last night~6 points plus
Broccoli~0 points plus
Annie’s Mac N Cheese~5 points plus
1/2 C of Egg Drop Soup~0 points plus
1/2 Avacado ~4 points plus
Total meal: 15 points plus

This meal filled me up and I was hungry after getting my metabolism up and running twice today!

The avacado completely made the meal. It made the leftovers feel new and rich in flavor. I love avocados! I could eat them on everything. They do have a lot of points so I try to use them wisely but they are a superfood. It seems like if I am going to use a lot of points to eat something it should be something off that list of superfoods.

I have settled in for the night with a movie and my cup of coffee. Good times!

Good night!

Is there a go to food or condiment you use to spice up leftovers?

Sharing the Love

25 Jan

Right after school we headed out to get the girls’ hair cut. I love their long locks of beautiful flowing waves but I am DONE with the tears, the fights, and the overall drama my long-haired dears have brought into my life. I realized sometime last week that there was no need for all the stress dealing with long hair. This was a choice and I could make a different one. I told the girls it was time for the hair to go and scheduled an appointment for all three of us. CB was hesitant at first but I reminded her the reason she originally started growing out her hair was to donate it. She was on board and once I convinced ZB it wouldn’t hurt the whole family loaded up and drove to the studio where I always get my hair done.
CB and ZB

Last moments of the long hair.

CB donating her hair

CB had far more than the required eight inches to donate (she ended up donating 12 inches) in four separate pony tails! She has a ton of hair like her mama! She is sending her hair to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths program. My mother passed away from ovarian cancer just after CB’s fourth birthday. She and CB were very close and CB wanted to donate in her honor. She remembers Grammie having ‘hat hair’ or what she called her wig. She like the idea of her hair going to help make someone else a pretty wig like her Grammie had. So sweet.

ZB not sure about hair cutZB was too young to donate her hair but she had just as much cut off. I love her “what you talking about Willis” facial expression here. I am not sure she believed me when I told her it wouldn’t hurt.

ZB short hair CB short hair dinner datesPost haircut celebration at Beef O’ Brady’s.

Beef O Brady's Grilled Chicken


Grilled Chicken Plate with rice and broccoli. I only ate one chicken breast~6 point plus. Broccoli~2 points plus. Seasoned rice~7 points for the portion I ate.

Total points-15 points plus


Greek TCBY


Coffee Espresso TCBY


I made as smart of choices as I could with the yogurt so I could have a few tasty treats in the bowl. I added strawberries, blueberries, five whoppers, and a couple of cheese cake bits~5 points plus for the lot. I am a huge cheesecake fan but these bites were not tasty. I could eat the entire bowl full of whoppers. I love malt candy. I counted out five and then put the spoon down and walked away.

So my whole night out on the town was just over 2o points plus for dinner and dessert. I tried to use as few as possible while staying satisfied so I wouldn’t binge on something later.  I definitely dipped into my weekly allowance today and I know that this week’s trip to the scale will probably be tough (to see why click here).  However, I am trying to make the best choices I can on this day and hopefully those each of these days will add up to something good.

Good Night!


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