Quick & Healthy Dinner Ideas

For the past 2 years, I’ve had to modify my diet.  I’m almost 51 and it’s harder to keep weight at bay… so I’ve cut out gluten, sugar and most dairy… and eat Low fat now.    I think I’ve finally weaned myself off sugar because my sweet tooth seems less demanding!  I never thought I would see that day coming!

I love how the grocery stores today are helping with the prep work!   Already cut up veggies makes this a super simple supper!

Just throw all of these ingredients into a skillet with a little broth, add lid to “steam” and then add some low sugar full of flavor Fra Diavlo sauce and some crushed red pepper and you have yourself a meal!  I’m a huge fan of spices to really kick up simple dishes a notch!   Add some protein… some sautéed shrimp, chicken or chicken meatballs 🙂  and you have a super healthy meal in less than 20 minutes!

So next time you’re at the store, avoid the pre-packaged foods with lots of preservatives…. go with fresh ingredients…. cut up if necessary to save time and you’ll be on your way to healthy in no time!

What are your go-to healthy meals?  I’d love to hear!

 

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Hot Hot Hot!

Cooking skinny so you can get in that bathing suit this summer?    Here’s a no fat, no carb, no sugar and no dairy,  PACKED with flavor Mexican chicken recipe with Spanish Riced Cauliflower that is YUMMY!!

You’ll need:  Chicken, Chipotle Seasoning, Cilantro,  Rotel Tomatoes, Jalepeno slices, and Juice of 1 lime to make the chicken!  It takes about 5 min of prep and 20-30 min of bake time depending on the thickness of your chicken.

Just shake chipotle seasoning on both sides of your chicken in a large baking dish.  Sprinkle chicken with chopped cilantro and then dump on can of Rotel Tomatoes on top,  sprinkle some jalapeño slices on top of that and then squeeze lime juice over entire dish of chicken.  BAKE!

As a perfect SIDE dish with no carbs… .Try Spanish Riced Cauliflower instead of Spanish Rice

Here’s what you’ll need in addition to your riced cauliflower you can find in your local grocery store!

Just saute your riced cauliflower in chicken broth… Just enough to cover the bottom of the pan.   Add and mix in a can of Rotel Tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, Garlic salt and Oregano to taste…. cook until cauliflower is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated.

All you’ll need is a side salad to compliment this meal!

Enjoy the flavor and none of the guilt!

 

 

Maybe Tomorrow…..

No pun intended… but Maybe Tomorrow I’ll get something done!  Today I’m reflecting on my past….. Enjoying the nostalgia and thinking about touring the country with the National Broadway Tour of Annie when I was 13 and 14!

At the time, I didn’t really realize the magnitude… the iconic show that truly was a phenomenon. I was simply doing something fun!  I begged my mom to let me try out and because I was an only child, she helped me fulfill my dream!   I was truly blessed!

Today, at the age of  50, I look back to what seems like a lifetime ago.  I feel blessed to have been a part of this musical!    We recently had a 40th Anniversary reunion of all the Annie’s thanks to Inside Edition and we all had a special bond whether we worked on stage together or not!   For me, it was a family of sorts.  I never had sisters or brothers so touring with 6-7 girls gave me that sisterhood…. some of the adults in the show were like aunts or uncles to us! It was magical!  We marvel at the thought that this was “back in the day” when there were no child labor laws and we performed 8 shows a week…  we didn’t have child wranglers to keep us contained back stage and we didn’t have body microphones so we had to sing LOUD! :).  It was a different time.   We marveled at how this show became so iconic… possibly because it was one of the first Broadway Musicals that was family friendly…. and it had a positive message with kids and a dog!   Who knows why it became such a success and will continue to be performed for years and years.

I’m just thrilled to have been a part of it and I will look forward to our 50th reunion and all the little ones in between!

 

Wednesday Wisdom

Admittedly, I’m almost 50 years old….. (How did that happen?)   But I love where I am in life because I have figured out a lot!   Of course, my elders would say, “You don’t know what you don’t know.”, and that is true.   I say that about my kids.   They are very responsible and make good decisions so far in life but they don’t know what they don’t know… and that can ONLY be learned through experience.    Life is a series of experiences…… and experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want most of the time!

I’ve learned a lot in my short life so far…. even had to deal with the death of two parents and that, my friends, will give you experience.  I have thought a lot about my blog and where I want it to go….  My passions are family, faith, food and entertaining, creative ideas like decorating and fashion/accessorizing along with my passion for gadgets and products I love…. I also LOVE organization and love to travel.  I love to cook healthy food and FINALLY figured out how to keep my “mid-life weight” under control by choosing healthy food….. REAL food and not products I have to purchase.  THAT makes me excited!

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It gets me excited to share this wisdom with people who have not figured it out yet….. Being a woman today is an interesting journey…. Many of us work, either part time or full time and want to maintain a balance of work/life and family…. while trying to be organized enough to cook healthy meals, take care of ourselves and do all the things that make us happy while not losing our sanity as we try to take care of the ones around us that we love.

I really feel like I have some great tips and great ideas to help women keep that balance, feel productive and feel sane doing it because of “experience”.      We won’t all be perfect… but we will find some peace and sanity doing it.

Follow me on this journey of blog posts….. if nothing else, my daughter can read this one day and get advice from her mother 🙂

 

Happy New Year

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Does anyone else feel like they are just coming out of their summer “fog”?   I am.  It seems to take a while to get back in the groove after having no schedule in the summer.  Don’t get me wrong… summer was productive.  It wasn’t just sitting by the pool and sipping drinks….. we got a lot of projects done around the house but it has seriously taken me until MID- October to feel like things are settling into a groove!  Crazy!

So… The reason I said “Happy New Year” is because I think August or September (depending on when your school starts)  should be the NEW YEAR!    It’s a time when we start over…. refresh…. get into a routine again after a summer of being less structured.   Kids go back to school, Mom’s start to get things in order around the house.. and maybe start to take care of themselves again.   Work schedules out of the house seem more relaxed during the summer because everyone is on vacation here and there and Fall, well, everyone is back to business!   Even the calendars you buy at the store either begin in January or  academic calendars begin in EITHER July or August? How confusing!

I seem to place less emphasis on the “new year” in January and seem to feel a lot more inclined to start over and start fresh in September?  How about you?

I begin to eat healthy again after a summer of indulgences…. I begin to exercise again because there is a routine and I begin to organize after a summer of having everyone in the house.   September seems to be MY new year!

So… I am taking it on… Got new glasses to start off the “new me” and I’m back to cooking healthy and eating better!   I’m reflecting on the past with perspective… and dreaming of my future.

Are you ready to see some posts because I took most of the summer off?  What do you want to hear more of?  Here are my passions:  Decorating, entertaining, fashion & accessorizing, product junkie, food and cooking, parenting, travel,  some DIY projects, and Organization and business!   I feel like my years of experience can serve me well as I’m venturing into the “mature adult” phase of my life!  Tell me what you want to hear more of!  I’d love to share!

Calorie Free Yumminess 

Do you love a little treat in the evening? But the glass of wine or bowl of ice cream in the evening is doing a number on your weight?   Try my calorie free Mojito!  This is my new favorite concoction!    Seltzer, Lime, Mint and a little liquid Stevia!  Stevia takes the place of simple syrup.. and gives you that sweet taste!   Since good Mint is hard to find… I buy a lot of it, wash, remove the leaves from the stems and freeze!

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When I want a little mint in my drink, I simply remove from the freezer… crush a few leaves and enjoy!    Now… if you want to turn this into a cocktail for the weekend… add a little Titos Vodka or Organic cucumber Vodka for a little something low carb!

I’ve been enjoying my mocktails every evening…. and if you don’t have mint… just do lime, seltzer and stevia…. Let me know what you think!

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Summer in the Kitchen

I love Summer! I love summer vegetables and cooking on the grill! There’s something about summer that makes it more fun to cook!   I think because it feels more relaxed … Eating outside and not having as many activities to go to with kids. 

What are some of your lighter fare dishes you love to whip up when the weather is hot?    Grilled shrimp, grilled chicken, chopped salads and corn on the cob and fresh tomatoes and cucumbers are some of mine!   I love a chilled gazpacho soup too!   Let’s share some favorites!

Summer nights

Oh how I love Summer nights!   Grilling yummy food and enjoying the evening sunset!   My husband and I have been trying to eat healthier…. you know how that goes!  So we recently found this new favorite recipe for Cedar Plank Salmon!  It’s absolutely to die for!

We also found that the marinade works great on shrimp!  We’ll skewer the shrimp after marinating and grill those too!   So incredibly yummy!

You can find Cedar Planks in your grocery store in the fresh fish section – at least you can in ours – and I recommend stocking up.  We only use our boards once.. they are not very expensive and really make the dinner amazing!    We also keep a jar of crushed/minced Ginger on hand so we don’t have to grate it for this recipe AND finally…. If you buy scallions and chop them.. you can freeze what you don’t use and use them for the next marinade.  We’ve also substituted minced onion in a pinch and it works great!

CLICK on photo for recipe!

Now enjoy your evening at home… a delightful dinner… relaxing in your own back yard! Priceless!

All Decked Out!

My husband and I were getting the house ready for Spring/Summer….and were disappointed that our deck stain/waterproofer was peeling up after a long cold winter!

Reluctantly… in order to do the job right… we sanded the deck to remove the peeling stain and are planning on reapplying the stain/waterproofing again…

So if you live in the North East, and are subject to harsh winters, what deck stain/waterproofer do you use that does not peel up season after season!  We are all decked out!   #wishIhadTrex #Patio #anythingbutwood  Would love your thoughts before we stain this coming weekend!  

Surprise Party!

SWEET 16!

My daughter turned 16 last week… and we had already agreed not to have a “Sweet 16” party in the modern sense…. inviting 50 or more kids or something like that.   My daughter wanted something more intimate with some close friends…. but I definitely wanted it to feel special for her.
I find it funny how different boys and girls are too!  My son was totally peplexed by even THIS amount of work to make her 16th birthday special…. as he doesn’t want a party at all…. but then again… he’s almost 18!  🙂
Anyway… I was excited to pull of some fun surprises to make her 16th special.
First… a Surprise Sleepover with close friends….. The girls totally loved being part of the surprise!
Second… Disco lights, fun music with  a club-like theme in the basement complete with CANDY BAR and snacks!
Third… A “photo booth” type set up where the girls could take fun photos of themselves all night!

 

I was told that the HIT of the party was the Candy Bar!   In this sugar averse culture we live in… and trust me… we don’t eat much sugar around here…. THIS was definitely a treat! And of course… it is called SWEET 16 for some reason, right?   Sweedish Fish seemed to be the big hit… just saying.

 

I pulled this surpise off in just a week….. so I went to Oriental Trading Comlpany and ordered the Photo Booth essentials….. mustashes and lips on sticks… “frames” and the little white board bubbles to write captions on…. the girls had fun!  I pulled out some accessories from my costume box such as boas and fun sunglasses and hats and they just took selfies all night!    One friend had a selfie stick…. I think that would have been a good gift for the Birthday Girl too but I didn’t think of that one! 😉    I did take a few of the photos the “old fashioned” way with me taking the photo!
Anyway…. It was a fun filled evening…. Pretty simple to pull off and tons of fun!   I do believe it will be a birtday to remember and THAT is the best thing a Mom can do!
Good luck with your party planning!   Post other fun ideas you’ve tried or wanted to!  I’d love to hear
what you have done!
Theda