Let Them Talk

At some point in your life (if it hasn’t happened already which I find very doubtful) people are going to talk about you…they are going to talk behind your back…they are going to judge you…criticize you…belittle you…you name it.

gossip

People can be cruel.  People can be haters.  They are afraid of what they don’t know, of what they don’t understand.  They are afraid that you will be better than them, smarter than them, faster than them, stronger than them, prettier than them, more successful than them…and so…they  you down in order to lift themselves up.

You can’t control that.  That’s their stuff…their issues…NOT yours.

But here’s what you can control…YOU!  You CAN control how you feel about yourself, how you see yourself and whether you let others’ opinions (and that’s just what they are – opinions- not facts) affect you or not.

I may have mentioned this before but I was picked on A LOT growing up.  All through elementary, middle and high school I was ridiculed, scrutinized and bullied.  People made fun of me behind my back and to my face.  It didn’t stop until I went to college.

It took me YEARS and YEARS to finally understand…to really grasp the fact that it does NOT matter what others think.

That’s their problem, not mine.

you

If they don’t like what I’m doing…If they don’t like who I am or what I stand for…that’s their problem, not mine.

That’s not an easy lesson to learn.  In fact, it’s damn hard!

Sometimes I still find myself falling into this trap of – What will others think of me?  What will they say?

So I have to stop and remind myself that it does NOT matter.  In fact, I say – Bring it On- because it only fuels me to prove them wrong.

So let it be your fuel…let it be something you brush off…let it be something you learn from but do NOT ever let it be how you define yourself.

I’m Back!!!!

Hey y’all!!!!

FINALLY, I have gotten all the technical difficulties straightened out!!  Don’t ask me what that was all about because I really have no idea (my husband always says I don’t deserve technology) BUT the point is we are Rockin’ and Rollin’!!

 

IMG_1380I don’t know when school starts for y’all, but here in Kansas (yup, that’s right, we moved to Kansas while I was MIA) it has already started!  And I know with all of the craziness that comes along with this time of year, you and your family could use some EASY and HEALTHY recipes!

So….here you go….here are FOUR healthy dinner recipes (There’s only 4 because one night is leftover night)

Pork Chops with Butternut Squash and Kale

Ingredients

pork

  1. Check 1 small butternut squash (about 2 pounds)—peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 1⁄2-inch pieces – I recommend getting it already diced at the store- either in the produce or frozen section
  2. Check 1/4cup fresh sage leaves
  3. Check 2tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
  4. Check kosher salt and black pepper
  5. Check 4 bone-in pork chops (each 1 inch thick; about 2 pounds total)
  6. Check 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  7. Check 1 large bunch kale, thick ribs removed and leaves roughly chopped (about 14 cups)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400° F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash with the sage, 1 tablespoon of the oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Roast, tossing once, until tender, 30 to 35 minutes.
  2. When the squash has cooked for 20 minutes, heat 1 teaspoon of the remaining oil in a large skillet over high heat. Season the pork with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook until browned, 3 to 5 minutes per side.
  3. Transfer the pork to the baking sheet with the squash and roast until the pork is cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes more.
  4. Meanwhile, return the skillet to medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the kale, ¼ cup water, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, tossing the kale and scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the skillet, until the kale is tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Serve with the pork and squash.

Note:  If you don’t like pork, roast some chicken instead using this same recipe!
Source: http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/quick-easy/easy-healthy-dinner-recipes/pork-chops-squash

Sausage and Smashed Potatoes with Cornichons

Ingredients

sasuage

  1. Check 1 1/2pounds small red potatoes (about 18), halved
  2. Check kosher salt and black pepper
  3. Check 3tablespoons olive oil
  4. Check 8 Italian sausage links (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
  5. Check 1/2cup cornichons, chopped, plus 3 tablespoons of the brine
  6. Check 2teaspoons Dijon mustard
  7. Check 1/2 small sweet onion (such as Vidalia or Walla Walla), chopped
  8. Check 1/4cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions

  1. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and add enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add 2 teaspoons salt. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Drain.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add the sausages to the skillet and cook, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornichon brine, mustard, remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.
  6. Add the potatoes, cornichons, onion, and parsley to the bowl and mix, mashing gently. Cut the sausages into large pieces and serve with the potatoes.

Note:  Serve this with a side of your favorite veggies and/or salad

Source: http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/sausages-smashed-potatoes-cornichons

 

Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad

(This is something you can make ahead and have ready to go on a busy week night!)

Greek-Yogurt-Chicken-Salad-Sandwich-1

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rotisserie chicken
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup diced apple
  • 1/2 cup grapes, halved
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 slices bread
  • 4 leaves Boston bibb lettuce

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine chicken, red onion, apple, grapes, dried cranberries, sliced almonds, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Serve sandwiches on bread with chicken mixture and lettuce.

Source:http://damndelicious.net/2012/11/07/lightened-up-greek-yogurt-chicken-salad-sandwich/

Note:  Serve this with a fruit salad on the side

Another note:  For a low carb option, wrap the chicken salad in lettuce and lose the bread

Easy Burrito Bowls

burrito bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked rice (brown rice or quinoa is a healthy option)
  • 1 cup salsa, homemade or store-bought
  • 3 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
  • 1 (15.25-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

For the Chipotle Cream Sauce:

  • 1 cup sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
  • 1 TBSP chipotle paste
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp salt, or more, to taste

Directions:

  1. To make the chipotle cream sauce, whisk together sour cream, chipotle paste, garlic, lime juice and salt; set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan of 1 1/2 cups water, cook rice according to package instructions; let cool and stir in salsa; set aside.
  3. To assemble the bowls, divide rice mixture into serving bowls; top with lettuce, corn, black beans, tomatoes, avocado and cilantro.
  4. Serve immediately, drizzled with chipotle cream sauce.

Note:  You can easily add grilled chicken, steak or shrimp to this dish

Source: http://damndelicious.net/2014/09/10/easy-burrito-bowls/

I hope you are as excited as I am that my blog is up and running again!  Please feel free to share these recipes with others!

Enjoy!

The Permission Slip

I was multi-tasking, as I often do these days…so while I was driving to work I was listening to “Rising Strong” by Brene Brown and she brought up an excellent idea that I wanted to share with you:

Write yourself a permission slip – give yourself permission to feel _________________(fill in the blank) or be _________________or do __________________.

Give yourself permission to be authentically, unapologetically YOU.

To Whom itMay Concern_

Do you ever find yourself saying: I wish I could….I wish I was more….If only I had….

Well, guess what???  You CAN give yourself permission to be those things, have those things and do those things.

Here’s an example of a permission slip I wrote for myself today:

To Whom it May Concern:

Today I give myself permission to believe that I am enough, that I am doing the best I can and to breathe when I feel like I’m getting overwhelmed.

Write it on a slip of paper, keep it in your pocket, and pull it out WHENEVER you need it.

This is a wonderful, easy and cheap way to give yourself a mental boost when needed.

And believe me, if you’re human, (and I assume you are if you’re reading this) than you will need a mental boost at least once in your lifetime.  We all do!  And that’s okay!

Instead of looking to get approval from someone else or looking to get a push from someone else or looking to drown your sorrows in a bottle of booze or a binge session of Blue Bell Ice Cream…try this instead.

We can’t always count on someone or something else to give us what we need.

Be your OWN cheerleader.  Be your OWN source of support.  Let the energy come from within, envision who you want to be, what you want to be and what you want to have and…give yourself permission to do it!!!

And, don’t forget, write it down and keep it in your pocket.

Weekly Recipe Round (Up) 23

Y’all, it is HOT out there!!!  And believe it or not, I don’t have air conditioning in my house.

Say what?!?

I know, crazy right?  I’m from Texas and that just isn’t an option there but here, in the Pacific Northwest, it is a rare thing to find air conditioning in someone’s house.

So, not only do we flock outside and try to find a hint of shade, we go to Target or to the movie theatre where there’s air conditioning because they aren’t insane.  Also, we don’t cook!  We avoid it as much as possible because, come on, have you ever cooked in a kitchen with NO air conditioning on a HOT summer day?

I have…I don’t recommend it.

So, with all that being said, here are four healthy AND tasty dinner recipes.

Green Goddess Salad

green goddess salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 3/4 cup nonfat buttermilk (I used almond milk)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as tarragon, sorrel and/or chives
  • 2 teaspoons tarragon vinegar, or white-wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste, or minced anchovy fillet
  • 8 cups bite-size pieces green leaf lettuce
  • 12 ounces peeled and deveined cooked shrimp, (21-25 per pound; see Ingredient note)
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 cup rinsed and chopped canned artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
Preparation
  1. Puree avocado, buttermilk, herbs, vinegar and anchovy in a blender until smooth.
  2. Divide lettuce among 4 plates. Top with shrimp, cucumber, tomatoes, chickpeas, artichoke hearts and celery. Drizzle the dressing over the salads.

Source:  http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/green_goddess_salad.html

Chicken Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

chicken summer rolls

INGREDIENTS
For the summer rolls:

12 8 ½-inch rice paper wrappers
1 large English cucumber, thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled into ribbons about 3-inches long
2 large bell peppers, cored and thinly sliced
1 small head red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
1 bunch scallions, sliced lengthwise into matchsticks about 3-inches long
1 small rotisserie chicken, skin removed, shredded
3 large plums, cored and thinly sliced
2 large, ripe avocados, cored and thinly sliced
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves

For the dipping sauce:
3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons Sriracha
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

PREPARATION
For the summer rolls:

1.  Fill a large mixing bowl or flat-bottomed container with warm water.

2. Working with one wrapper at a time, soak the wrapper in the water until soft, about 30 seconds, then carefully lay the softened wrapper over a flat surface.
3. Lay a few pieces of each of the remaining ingredients (the vegetables and the chicken) in a row, roughly two inches above the bottom of the wrapper, leaving at least 2 inches on each side.
4. Form the roll by gently tucking the sides of the wrapper over the pile of chicken and vegetables and rolling everything up, from the bottom to the top.
5. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and ingredients.
Tip:  If you don’t want to use rice paper you can use a flat out wrap or a lettuce wrap.

 

Source:   https://www.buzzfeed.com/christinebyrne/chicken-summer-rolls-peanut-butter?utm_term=.sfQBB6aD9#.vqrgg1D2e

Creamy Avocado Cucumber Noodles with Smoked Salmon

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Creamy Avocado Cucumber Noodles with Smoked Salmon

Ingredients

    1. 1 • cucumber [noodled]
    2. 1 • avocado
    3. 1/4 • onion [thinly sliced]
    4. 3oz/8g • smoked salmon [thinly sliced ribbons]
    5. 1tbsp • capers
    6. 1/4 cup • cream cheese (I used plain non-fat Greek yogurt)

Instructions

  1. Blend the avocado until smooth, add a little bit of lemon juice to keep it from going brown. Season well with salt and pepper.
  2. Coat the cucumber noodles with the avocado “sauce” and divide into plates.
  3. Top the noodles with cream cheese (you can soften the cheese with a bit of milk if needed), then the smoked salmon ribbons, onions and lastly sprinkle the capers.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Source: http://www.livingchirpy.com/2015/creamy-avocado-cucumber-noodles-with-smoked-salmon/

Avocado Caprese Wrap

Ingredients
  • 2 whole wheat tortillas
  • ½ cup or so of fresh arugula leaves
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 avocado, pitted and sliced
  • basil leaves
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Layer slices of tomato, mozzarella cheese and avocado on ⅓ of the tortilla. Add a few torn pieces of basil leaves then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with kosher salt and pepper,
  2. Fold the tortilla in thirds and serve.

Tip:  You can use a flat out wrap for less carbs!

Source: http://www.foodiecrush.com/avocado-caprese-wrap/

 

Did you and your family enjoy these recipes?  Of course you did!!!  Please share them with your loved ones and on your personal social media pages!!

Weekly Recipe Round (Up) 22

I know I am a bit behind with these weekly recipes but the holiday weekend threw me off a bit.

We spent our Memorial Day running 3 miles with Wear Blue, Run to Remember, remembering soldiers who have given the ultimate sacrifice, followed by having a BBQ with friends and family and we finished the day off by playing with our kids outside in the sun.

memorial day

My husband was explaining Memorial Day to our 4 year old and what he said was this: We go to Run to Remember to honor the Soldiers who have died and then we spend the rest of the day with family and friends so we can enjoy what those soldiers have given us.

Wow.  I don’t think I’ve ever heard it explained better than that!

We grilled hamburgers, hot dogs and sausages and shared them with our friends who came over for lunch.  The sun was out, the kids were playing and running around outside and I thought – whoa…summer is pretty much here now and one of the things we love doing (or one of the things I like to ask my husband to do) is grill!

So….guess what???  All of these recipes I’m going to share with you this week are all done on the grill and…they only take 20 minutes!!!!

 Skewers of Chicken and Zucchini with Almond Salsa Verde

grill 1

Ingredients

Salsa:
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
3 tablespoons capers, chopped
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
Skewers:
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 small zucchini, cut into 1-inch slices (about 1 1/4 pounds)
Cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

1. Soak 12 (10-inch) wooden skewers in water 30 minutes to prevent burning.

2. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

3. To prepare salsa, combine first 12 ingredients; set aside.

4. To prepare spiedini, thread chicken and zucchini alternately onto each of 12 (10-inch) skewers. Coat spiedini with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Place on grill rack; grill 6 minutes or until done, turning once. Serve with salsa.

Tip:  Serve with a crisp, summer green salad and/or fresh fruit for a light and tasty meal

Source: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/spiedini-of-chicken-zucchini-with-almond-salsa-verde

Barbecue Lime Shrimp and Corn

grill 2

Ingredients

1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 ears corn, each cut crosswise into 4 pieces
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 cups cooked couscous

Preparation

At home, combine the first 9 ingredients in a heavy-duty, zip-top plastic bag, and seal. Place the corn, shrimp, and couscous in separate heavy-duty zip-top plastic bags, and seal bags. Place the shrimp in cooler.

At campsite, place lime mixture, corn, and shrimp in foil oven bag. Place directly on hot coals (or in a 450° oven if at home); cook 10 minutes. Serve over couscous.

Tip:  you could also add your favorite sausage to this!

Source: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/barbecued-lime-shrimp-corn

Sliders with Shallot Dijon Relish

grill 3

Ingredients

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ground sirloin
Cooking spray
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons butter, softened
8 (1-ounce) Parker House rolls
16 dill pickle chips

Preparation

1. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

2. Combine 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and sirloin. Divide meat mixture into 8 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/4-inch-thick patty. Lightly coat both sides of patties with cooking spray. Place patties on grill rack; grill for 3 minutes on each side or until done.

3. Combine shallots, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and butter in a small bowl, stirring well. Cut rolls in half horizontally. Spread shallot mixture evenly over cut sides of rolls. Layer 1 patty and 2 pickle chips on bottom half of each roll; top with top halves of rolls.

Tip:  Serve with home made sweet potato fries

Another tip:  Lose the buns and use Romaine lettuce instead for a low-carb version!

Grilled Sirloin Salad

Ingredients

1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound lean boneless sirloin steak, trimmed
8 cups spring-blend salad greens
1 1/2 cups red bell pepper strips
1 cup vertically sliced red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 (8 3/4-ounce) can whole-kernel corn, drained and rinsed

Preparation

Combine first 7 ingredients; rub over both sides of steak. Heat a nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat. Add steak; cook 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Cut the steak across grain into thin slices.

While steak cooks, combine salad greens and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; toss well to coat. Top with steak.

Tip:  Serve with your favorite red wine!

Source: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/grilled-sirloin-salad

I hope you enjoy these family friendly, healthy and tasty recipes on the grill!!!

Please share these recipes with your family, friends and loved ones!!!