Senin, 29 November 2010

Brittany's Kitchen Adventures- Turkey Chili

Hope everyone had a great thanksgiving!

Welcome to Brittany's Kitchen Adventures!
Before going on a "diet", I had practically never stepped foot inside the kitchen. I've had to teach myself how to cook/bake, but there's still a lot of things I've never tried, because they intimidate me. I'm a Deliciously Healthy cook/baker in training. Come on a journey with me as I conquer the kitchen! Every Monday, I pick something new and challenging to try in the kitchen! I blog about each kitchen adventure, whether it was a success or not. There's bound to be some disasters, but hopefully a lot of Deliciously Healthy successes!

I have a confession to make.
I. Brittany@Deliciously Healthy. Am afraid of crockpots.

Yup. It's true.
I finally bought one about 6 months ago, but I've used one excuse after another to not use it. Crockpots intimidate me. Why? I'm not sure. I guess it's because I went my whole childhood without even seeing one with my own eyes. From what I remember, the first time I saw a crockpot was when I was 14, at my aunts house. "You leave it on all day? Huh?"
And I've been intimidated ever since.

Another little fact about me: I LOVE chili. Mmmm. So good. But, I've always been too intimidated to make it. It's so good, it has to be out of my cooking league.

So for this weeks kitchen adventure, I'm tackling 2, yes TWO things that scare the chubbiness right out of me.

I used this recipe, because it had the word "quick" in it. And that made me feel better.

First up, I cooked the ground turkey in a skillet. I thought I was going to cook the turkey IN the crockpot. Apparently slow cooking meat was one of the things that intimidated me, because I was relieved when I saw that I just had to cook the turkey the way I've done a thousand times before. That, I can do.On a side note- You want a cheap Christmas decorating tip? Slap present bows on everything!

Next I chopped up some onion, and bell pepper.

Then I just threw the tomato soup, canned beans, veggies and seasonings in the crockpot.
And started to stir everything together. At this point I started talking out loud to myself. I was telling myself how easy this was. That it was absolutely silly of me to be afraid of the crockpot, and of making chili, and I should believe in myself more. And just then, I realized I forgot a step. I forgot to spray the inside of the crockpot with cooking spray. Whoops.

I finished up stirring, put on the lid, turned it on high, and walked away, giving myself a pat on the back. 30 minutes later I came back to check on it. "Hmm. I thought it would be doing something by now?" Then I realized I forgot to plug it in. Silly me.

4 hours later, we dug in!Mmm. The fact that I made it, makes it the best chili I've ever had. Seriously delish.

It's the perfect dish to eat while sitting in front of the Christmas tree, and listening to Christmas music.
I feel myself getting more and more courageous in the kitchen. I'm realizing how silly it is of me to be intimidated by things like this. It's actually pretty empowering. Before you know it, I'm going to be making things I can't even pronounce! Like in french and stuff. I can't wait!

Is there a kitchen appliance that intimidates you?
Have you put up your Christmas tree yet?

Senin, 22 November 2010

Brittany's Kitchen Adventures- Pumpkin Pie

With Thanksgiving around the corner, I thought it was time for me to learn how to make pumpkin pie. I have visions of me pulling my homemade pumpkin pie out of the oven every year. I used this recipe for the pie crust, and the pumpkin pie filling.

Here's how it went:

First up, I needed to make the pie crust. This was definitely the most intimidating part for me. I figured making the filling would be a piece of cake. Or a piece if pie in the case. I've always heard people talk about what a hassle it is to make pie crust. So I just figured it was something I would never do. I was excited to face my fears, and try it as a part of my kitchen adventures!

First, I mixed the dry ingredientsEasy enough.

Then I slowly poured melted butter mixed with canola oil, into the dry ingredients, while mixing it with a fork. Then it said to mix in 3-4 tablespoons of ice water, until the dough was moist, and held together. Well, after 4 tablespoons, the dough was still pretty dry. This is what it looked like after the recommended amount of liquid:It could kinda hold together, but it would crumble easily: So, I added another 2 TBS of ice water.

Here's what the directions said after that: "Overlap 2 sheets of plastic wrap on a work surface, place the dough in the center and cover with 2 more overlapping sheets of plastic wrap. Roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. Remove the top sheets and invert the dough into a 9-inch pie pan." That part just seemed a confusing, and a little pointless. Although now it totally makes sense to me. I skipped the plastic wrap business, and just formed the dough into a ball, and started working it from there. That proved to be hard. The dough wasn't very easy to work with (mind you I have RA). So I thought I'd give myself a little help, and roll it out. Which now I see that that's what the directions were trying to tell me to do in the first place. Silly me. I was hoping it would roll out to a perfect circle, and would fit perfectly inside. That didn't really happen. At this point, I almost wanted to give up. It just didn't look like it was going to work.
But, I didn't
And soon this became this. And I was pretty proud of myself.
Looking back on it, it wasn't that hard to do. Especially if I would have paid more attention to the directions.

Then I moved on to the filling. Making the filling was very simple. I just had to mix the pumpkin, evaporated milk, spices, and eggs in a bowl, and pour it into the crust. Although I wasn't sure if it was supposed be this runny?Into the oven it went.
When it came out of the oven, it was still a little liquidity. I wasn't sure if that was normal, or not? I figured it would continue setting while it cooled down for 2 hours. But that never happened. I'm pretty sure I under cooked it.
Aside from being a little runny, it wasn't the best pumpkin pie I've ever had. I did like the whole wheat crust, but the filling wasn't all that great to me. I don't know if it was me, or the recipe? My husband liked it, but you know how that whole thing goes. I don't know if he really liked it, or if he was just trying to prevent me from crying over my first pumpkin pie.

I will definitely be trying it again though.
Practice makes perfect!

Have you ever made pumpkin pie?
Any tips?

Jumat, 19 November 2010

Easy Apple Dumplings, and my :Deliciously Healthy Thanksgiving Menu

The one and only Pioneer Women has this amazingly delicious apple dumpling recipe. It involves 2 sticks of butter,
1 1/2 cups of sugar, and 2 cans of mountain dew, among other things.

It's so good...but you know that's going to go
straight to my hips

I also love her recipe, because it's very, very simple and quick. The prep time is seriously like 10 minutes.

Simple + Delicious = It has to find a place at my Thanksgiving table this year.

I just had to figure out how to lighten them up a bit.
A little less heart-attack in a casserole dish, and more Deliciously Healthy.

And I think that's exactly what I did.

I cut out some of the sugar, cut the butter in half, and used
apple cider in lieu of mountain dew
.And it tastes exactly the same.
That always amazes me.

(because I was experimenting with this, I cut the recipe in half, making only 8 dumplings, instead of 16. I've listed the full recipe, but my pictures are of half the recipe)

Deliciously Healthy Apple Dumplings:

What you need:
  • 2 granny smith apples
  • 2 cans of Pillsbury crescent rolls
  • 1 cup apple cider or apple juice
  • 1 stick of smart balance buttery spread (it's half butter, half margarine... and half the cal.)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cinnamon
What you do:
Preheat your oven to 350. Butter a 9x13 baking dish. Peel and core apples, then cut each apple into 8 slices, so you end up with 16 apple slices. Roll out the crescent roll dough. Then roll up an apple slice into each of the crescent rolls. Lay them side by side in your greased baking dish. Melt 1 stick of butter in sauce pan over low heat. When butter is melted, add apple cider, sugar, vanilla, and just barely stir together. You want it to be lumpy. Poor the mixture over the top of the dumplings. Sprinkle cinnamon over top, and bake for 30-40 minutes. Then get ready for some warm gooey goodness.
My husband may, or may not have screamed like a girl when he had one.I added a little low-fat whipped cream. It would be divine with vanilla ice cream.

servings: 16
serving size: 1 dumpling
calories per serving: 230
How many calories are in a traditional slice of apple pie? 410!
I nearly cut the calories in half.
I'm making these apple dumplings in lieu of apple pie. Because by the time you're done eating your turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and everything else, there's just no room to eat 5 different kinds of pie. You always hope there's going to be, but there never is. These apple dumplings are going to be the perfect solution, to the too many pies problem. A slice of pumpkin pie, and one of these, and I'm
good to go

What other Deliciously Healthy yumminess is going to be on my table?
Funny you should ask:
  • Turkey, of course ;)
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Gina's stuffing
  • Whole wheat rolls
  • Cranberry sauce out of the can. Thanksgiving isn't thanksgiving to me, without a can shaped mold of cranberry sauce on the table.
  • And pumpkin pie. This is going to be this Monday's kitchen adventure. Wish me luck, and tune in on Monday to see how it goes!
I hope everyone has a very happy, and healthy thanksgiving!

Rabu, 17 November 2010

I heart eggnog.

When I was a kid, I thought eggnog was the grossest thing ever. I thought adults were insane for drinking it. Then, when I was older, a friend forced me to try it. I should send her a thank you note, because in that moment, I realized that
eggnog is awesome

A couple days ago, that moment happened, that only comes but once a year. The moment when you're walking down the grocery store isle, and you see that eggnog is back! I love that moment. It's like when you see the 1st Christmas commercial of the season. I thought I'd have to pass on this holiday drink this year. It's so rich and creamy, sure it can't be good for a diet. But, I thought I'd at least stop and admire the assortment of eggnogs. And that's when I saw they had low-fat eggnog."Hmmm. Surely I can have this. But will it taste the same?"
Well, you never know until you try. So in the cart it went, along with my turkey, and other thanksgiving items.

As soon as I got home, I had me a glass. Hoping it would be as good as the regular eggnog, but preparing myself for disappointment.

It tastes exactly the same!
It's still rich, creamy, and taste like the holidays in a cup.
Only it has 55% less fat, and 32% fewer calories.
How do I know this?
Because it says so right on the carton. So convenient.

I put a little low-fat whipped cream in mine, because it's delicious.And it goes perfectly with a pumpkin cinnamon roll cupcake. I'm just sayin'.

What's the conclusion of this post?
The cool kids are drinking low-fat eggnog this year

Are you an eggnog person?

Senin, 15 November 2010

Brittany's Kitchen Adventures- Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

Welcome to Brittany's Kitchen Adventures!
Before going on a "diet", I had practically never stepped foot inside the kitchen. I've had to teach myself how to cook/bake, but there's still a lot of things I've never tried, because they intimidate me. I'm a Deliciously Healthy cook/baker in training. Come on a journey with me as I conquer the kitchen! Every Monday, I pick something new and challenging to try in the kitchen! I blog about each kitchen adventure, whether it was a success or not. There's bound to be some disasters, but hopefully a lot of Deliciously Healthy successes!

A while ago (like as in a very long time ago. Okay, okay, it was LAST thanksgiving:), I bought everything to make pumpkin cinnamon roll cupcakes. Sounds yummy right? I thought so too. Everyday, I thought about making them, and everyday, I chickened out. Soon, the pumpkin season was over. As it rolled around this year, these popped in my mind everyday, just like before. But I was still too intimidated to make them. Yeast? Rise? Kneading? Hmmm. That's a whole lot of scariness right there. I saw it very fitting to make these for my first Kitchen Adventure. These weekly adventures are all about me trying new things, and pushing myself out of my comfort zone, so I can one day conquer the kitchen!

I got out all the ingredients, took a deep breath, and got started.

I started with "activating" the yeast. That was pretty scary to me. I don't know why. Now I know that all it involves is pouring a packet of yeast into 1/4 cup of warm water. What's so hard about that? See, I'm already growing. Master yeast: CHECK!

Next I put the first 9 ingredients into a mixer to combine everything, then pulled out the dough to knead it. That part was intimidating, hard on my hands, and fun at the same time! 10 minutes later, the dough was kneaded, smooth, and my hands were dead!
I kneaded dough for the first time!
Yay me!
(Oh yeah, I cut my hair:)
Then you're supposed to cover the dough, and store it in a warm place for 45 minutes to let it rise. ???. What counts as a warm place? A little bit of stress kicked in at this point. Where the heck do I put this thing? My house is 69 degrees. I don't think that counts as warm. So, I turned on the oven for a couple minutes, then turned it off, and set the bowl in there, for 45 min.
Is there a better way to do this? What do you do?
It seemed to do the trick. It said if it leaves indents when you poke it with your fingers, then it's done rising. Looks like indents to me!
From this point, I started to get a little more comfortable. I rolled it out into a rectangle sprinkled the cinnamon mix, and the pecans, over the dough rolled it up cut it, and put it into the muffin pan. Then I stood in front of the oven, and watched the heavenly goodness, rise out of the pan!
Hot out of the oven:
When they were done, I drizzled the glaze over the top of the cupcakes, with a pipping bag and viola! They were done!
I did it!

And they are pretty darn yummy! And only 219 calories!

And if I can do it, YOU can do it!! Go HERE for the recipe!
I added 3 TBS of pecans to the mix, and I made them into cupcakes. Cause cupcakes are just better :)
Come back every Monday
, and watch me try something new!

I think next week I'm going to make pumpkin pie, for the first time! Cause we gotta get ready for Thanksgiving people :D

Senin, 08 November 2010

I'm ready to get my butt back in the game!

For the past couple months, I've been in one funk after the other...
I've been in a funk, since getting back from California. But this funk was pretty bad. Worse then all the others. This time I was actually doubting that I could do this. I was an inch away from throwing in the towel. Scary stuff. I hadn't felt that way, since starting this journey. I think it was a combination of things, that led me to that point: For one, I got lazy. I got in the habit of just going out to eat, and skipped the whole grocery shopping/preparing meals thing. I've also gotten comfortable where I am. I'm still chunky, but I'm not 206 pounds anymore either. So what if I stay a chunky 165 my whole life? I'm the kind of person who thinks chunky women are prettier then skinny women. I even think I like the way I look right now, verses me at my goal weight. But like it says at the top of my blog, this isn't about me getting into skinny jeans
(I tried some on by the way. Still can't rock those;)
It's about becoming :Deliciously healthy

My knees have started hurting me a lot lately, and it has reminded me that I need to continue to work on lightening their load. It's either that, or get
knee replacements
. Plus, we are still trying to get pregnant, and there's a number of reasons why I need to be healthy, and eat healthy for that! One being that eating healthy gives me a period each month. It's true. When I don't eat healthy, I don't have a period. I need healthy fuel for my body, so it can combat my PCOS, and help me produce an egg each month! There's so many reasons why I need to continue this weight loss journey, that has nothing to do with looks. On top of all that, I just feel icky inside. Eating Deliciously Healthy really does make me happy. I just have to get back into the swing of things.

I'm ready to do this!!
Again ;)

Senin, 01 November 2010

California, Cheeseburgers, and our new puppy!

I thought it had just been a few days since my last post, but it's been over a week! Yikes!

My husband recently got a new job, where he's traveling a lot. Last week, he was in California. I grew up in CA, and hadn't been back in 5 years! So, I decided to take a last minute trip, and tagged along with him! It was lots of fun, and I'm very grateful I got to go!
It also meant I got to spend my hubby's birthday with him!
(b-day dinner at Rain Forest Cafe)
There was lots of food temptation in CA! I wanted to eat all the food I grew up on, like In-N-Out!And I did.
I feel like I got back handed by a cheeseburger
Truth of the matter is, I didn't exercise moderation while I was in CA. I went a little over bored on all the good food CA has to offer. I came home a little dumbfounded. I thought I had more control then that. I thought I had learned how to have a balanced life. I guess I still have a lot to learn...
Aside from the calories, isn't this the cutest caramel apple?
I gained 6 pounds during my stay in CA. Yikes!!
But 6 pounds isn't going to get me down. I've learned a lot from this experience. Like to never let my guard down. I'm going to move on, with my head held high. It's not the end of the world, and I will reach my goal!!

Besides being on vacation, there's another little thing that's been soaking up all my time...

Meet Moxie:Our new little puppy!
We now have 3 dogs! :
Kisses, a lab mix: Thumbalina, a Carin terrier, Poodle mix: and Moxie, a Pomeranian, Yorkie mix:House training is brutal, but we love her, and all of her puppy kisses!
Aren't puppy kisses one of the sweetest things in life?