Sunday, January 29, 2012

Better'n Peanut Butter Chocolate


So I have discovered something new...The Skinny Taste blog introduced me to Better n' Peanut Butter.  She uses it in some of her recipes, and I was hoping I would love it as much as I love peanut butter.  Peanut butter is one of the greatest food, and I can eat it out of the jar {which is not a good thing when each heaping spoonful has 200 calories}.  Better'n PB only has 100 calories per serving.  I was very disappointed with the taste of it though...I think it will be good in a baking recipe, so I will let you know how that goes!  When I bought the regular Bettern' PB I also bought the chocolate version which I do love! 


I found both of them at Sprout's, and they were pretty reasonably priced.  I also spotted them at Target, but they were about $2 more.  I dip strawberries in the chocolate :) so yummy. There chocolate version is only 100 calories, 2 grams of sugars, and 0 grams of trans fats.


 {Leslie}

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Shredded Santa Fe Chicken {Crock Pot}


I was so pumped when I saw this Santa Fe Chicken Recipe on Skinny Taste {which by the way is a fabulous healthy food blog}, because it meant I got to use my new crock pot!!!  I love the idea of throwing something in the crock pot, and it being ready come dinner time.  :) I made this a couple weekends ago, and it might be my favorite chicken recipe...holy cow.  Soooo good, and a little SPICY, arrrrrriba!!!  I used the Skinny Taste recipe with just a few adjustments. 

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken
Serves 8ish (maybe I served myself to much, but I think I got 7 servings out of it)
  • 2 - 10 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
  • 15 oz can black beans
  • 8 oz frozen corn {I omitted}
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 14.4 oz can fat free chicken broth
  • 3 scallions, chopped {I omitted}
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • salt to taste
  • 24 oz Chicken breast

Combine all the ingredients except the chicken in your crock pot . Salt your chicken breast then add to the crock pot. There are two cooking options.  I cooked mine on high for 6 hours, but you could also cook it on low for 10 hours.  At the 5 and half hour mark {or 9.5} carefully remove your chicken, and shred.  After shredding return chicken to the slow cooker for 30 minutes.   Add more salt if needed.  I used a slotted spoon to drain the juice, and made a chicken burrito.  You could also serve this over whole wheat rice!  

Gina {the genius behind skinny girl} said this recipe has 190 calories per serving, and only 1.5 grams of fat!  Mine was a little higher calorie, because I added my favorite whole wheat tortillas (80 calories) and reduced fat cheese.  Hope you are having a good week!  

{Leslie}

Sunday, January 22, 2012

DIY LOVE Burlap Sign


 Happy Sunday!  I just graded a HUGE stack of homework's, make up quizzes, and tests...yuck.  I am SO glad to be done with that!  I have been slowly adding Valentines decor to my apartment.  With Tall Tan Man being in Australia I have to do something with my time. :)  Look how hott he is:


To make this LOVE Burlap Sign you will need:


  • 9 by 12 inch canvas
  • Red Paint
  • Red Burlap
  • Staple Gun {these are only $8ish at walmart (: }
  • LOVE Wooden Letters
  • Paint {for the edges of the letters that are not covered by paper}
  • 12 by 12 Scrapbook Paper
  • Mod Podge and brush
  • Hot Glue
  • Tacks {optional, and you will need to use a hammer}
 {almost everything was from Hobby Lobby}

1.  Paint your canvas a similar color to your burlap so the white of the canvas will not show through. For some reason I just painted the front...I am not sure why.  Paint the sides too. 

2.  Staple the burlap onto canvas.  


3.  Now hammer in your tacks.  I found my tacks at hobby lobby.  I needed about 60 tacks {the pack came with 48 and I had some left over from a previous project}.  I finally figured out a way that worked really well {this *was* pain...}!  I used a ruler, and marked every other centimeter with a sharpie.  The tack ends up covering up the mark.  This was wonderfully easy. 

4.  Now it is time to work on your letters.  Paint the sides of your letters to match your scrap book paper.  I painted mine an off white.  

5.  Stencil your letters onto the scrapbook paper, and cut out very carefully.


6.  Mod Podge your papers letters onto the wooden letters.  I applied the mod podge to the letter and did not put any on the top of the paper.

7.  Hot glue letter onto your canvas.  

I'm in love...





I hope y'all have a fabulous week :) 

{Leslie}

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Crepe Paper Rosette Balls


I will pretty much use any excuse to craft.  Valentines is a holiday that in the past I had not done much decorating for, but there is this sadness that overcomes me after Christmas and I hoping this will help. :) I had seen these crepe paper rosettes made on The House of Smiths, and I was so excited to try them out!  {Before you get to excited I wanted to give you a warning: this takes a while...I made them over a couple of days}.


Shelley is fabulous.  I love everything she does.  One of my next posts will be something she inspired me to do also.  To make these rosettes you will need:

  • 3 - 3 inch Styrofoam balls
  • 2 Red {or whatever your heart desires} streamers
  • Glue gun & lots of hot glue

If you are trying to figure out if 3 inches is the right size for you, look at this comparison:


First you will need to tare lots 24 inch strips of crepe paper.  Then you will need to crumple up your strips into balls.  This helps the rosettes look more like flowers, and less like cinnamon rolls. 



I start by folding the edge of the crepe paper {about a 3rd} over. 



Then I begin the flower by folding over one of the corners.  


Now begin to loosely wrap the paper around your finger.  I held the inside with my right hand, and used my left to wrap it around. 


I dabbed a little bit of glue on the end to keep it from coming unraveled {looks like I could of done a better job of that from my piture}, then I put a lot of glue inside the flower.  When you squeeze the bottom together a little bit of glue will come out, and you can use that to attach.  


Now repeat and repeat and repeat... :) 


The lighting in my apartment was terrible yesterday, because it was overcast {and I only have 3 windows}...It was hard to get a good "finished" picture :(

{Leslie}

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cauliflower Pizza


Yep, you read it right.  Cauliflower pizza.  Stop making that ugly face...This is delicious.  My good friend Sarah had pinned this on Pinterest, and I couldn't believe how good it looked.  I had been so over carb-ed during the holiday season I decided to take a couple weeks off.  This was a perfect recipe.  Beth from Eat.Drink.Smile is a genius, and her WEBSITE is fabulous. 

Ingredients:
  • 1 Cup Cooked Cauliflower 
  • 1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
  • Pizza Sauce
  • Toppings
  • Shredded Mozzarella

Preheat your oven to 450.

I had never really dealt with cauliflower before, and I wasn't quiet sure how to remove all the stems.  I just started hacking at the bottom, and I began pulling "trees" off, and dealt with them individually.  After you just have the top of cauliflower place it in a food processor. Process until cauliflower looks like a grain like substance not a puree.  Place cauliflower in a microwavable bowl, and cook for 8 minutes. 


Add 1 cup shredded cheese, egg, and spices (You should have about 1-2 cups left over that can be refrigerated up to week).  Form a 10 inch circle on a greased cookie sheet, and brush on olive oil to create a cruncher crust.  


Bake for 15 minutes at 450. 


Doesn't it look good?  YummmmmY.  Go ahead and turn your oven broiler on.  I used this pizza sauce I found at sprouts, it is fabulous:


Spread pizza sauce on "crust".  I only added chopped bell peppers, but you could add meat or other toppings if you wanted.  After this add your shredded cheese.  About 1/2 - 1 cup.   I realized after I made this that there was a total of 2 cups of cheese in mine, and wished I would of not used so much.  Do not get me wrong it was wonderful, but I would like it a little lower calorie.  :)  This produces about 2 servings.  If you are feeding a man you might want to make two, and leave out the part that the crust is made out of cauliflower.  :)


Enjoy!

{Leslie}

Sunday, January 8, 2012

OSU & JOY Burlap Signs


Happy New Year!  I made this sign for my fabulous cousin who happens to go to OSU.  My dislike {i bleed crimson and cream} for Orange Power did not stop me for making this for her.  :)  That's real love.  What you will need to make this is:

  • 12 by 24 in canvas {Michaels.  I am pretty sure on that size...Sorry :( }
  • 1/2 yard burlap {Hobby Lobby}
  • Staple Gun
  • Wooden letters {Hobby Lobby}
  • 3 Sheets of Scrapbook Paper
  • Mod Podge
  • Tacks {Hobby Lobby or Home Depot}

1. Wrap fabric around canvas, and use your staple guy staple to secure the burlap onto the back of the canvas {the wood part}.  Make sure you pull fabric tight as you do this.  I used a lot of staples...

2.  Trace letters onto your scrapbook paper, and cut letters out perfectly!  Mod Podge the paper letters on to the wooden letters.  This step can be challenging.  Make sure you work slowly, and it matches perfectly {little OCD maybe...}.

3.  Hammer in the tacks.  I tried a couple different methods to do this, but didn't find a perfect way.  I just used a ruler making sure everything was centered, and equal distance from each other. 


4.  Attach the letters using hot glue.  You could use another adhesive if you think it would work better!

Finished!


I know it is a little late for Christmas decor ideas, but here is the JOY sign {I guess we should be joyful year round for Jesus :) }!  I did use a larger canvas for this one.



{Leslie}

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Italian Wedding Cake!


Ciao Bella.  
I am not really sure if this cake originated in Italy, but regardless of that it is one of my favorite desserts.  Growing up I did not like nuts on any desserts , but then I turned 20 and things changed {thank goodness}. I made this cake for our Christmas Dinner.  It might not be one of the most beautiful thing I have made, but it sure did taste good.  I got the recipe from Sandra Lee on Food Network right HERE.  I really enjoyed the flavor, and the light and fluffy texture of the cake.  Most Italian Wedding Cakes I have had in the past are not as fluffy, and more like a carrot cake texture.  With that being said, it was difficult to move the cake from the pan to the counter, and it was also difficult to cut.  The pieces did not come out nice, and clean like I would of wanted them to.  I do want my desserts to look nice, but my main concern is taste and this cake definitely passed.  Sandra Lee recommended using canned frosting.  I was trying to be a little more Suzy Homemaker, and I used the recipe I found HERE.  The frosting recipe is at the end of the cake recipe.  I might eventually try that cake recipe too.  Sandra Lee's cake recipe was just a little less involved :) Enjoy...

I do love Italy...





These pictures are from my backpacking trip I took the summer after my sophomore year of college.  I am so glad that movies like Taken and Hostel were not out when I went over {one night my friends and I had to sleep in the same room as an Italian man that just liked to wear his underwear to sleep...it was awkward}.  Hope you have a FANTASTIC Friday!!!

{Leslie}

Monday, January 2, 2012

My West Texas Christmas

I have been going to Pampa, Texas (home of The Harvesters) for Christmas since I was born.  My Grandad lives there along with many of my wonderful cousins.  Before heading up there I decided to make the oh so fabulous Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Rolls.  These are ridiculously good.  So good I am upping my workouts this week...I only had one "hiccup" while making them...


She said to almost let you milk boil, and I was thinking mine was taking a long time to get there... I obviously missed something.  My Mom and I drove together up to Pampa.  When we got out to my Cousins ranch the tree was up, and look so beautiful!


My Dad and brother drove out a day later.  The roads were pretty bad.  I would like to tell you that after getting back in town I immediately cleaned my car but no, it pretty much still looks like this. 



Christmas morning is something I truly love, but I missed Tall Tan Man this year.  It was very strange not having him there, and him celebrating Christmas the day before us {Australia is quiet far from Texas}.  We ate the PW cinnamon rolls for breakfast, along with an egg and sausage bake that I will share with y'all later.  After this my Grandad prepares to grill the beef tenderloin.  This is by far the best meat I have had ever in my life.  My mouth is watering as I type this.  Here he is working on it:


Who doesn't love side dishes?


Time to enjoy what we have been working on!  Pretty sure I am always first to get seconds. 


Then the men watch football fall asleep...


That is my little brother, Michael.  This little guy below is a new addition to the family this year.  


He is precious.  After Christmas we headed back into town, and spent some time at my Grandad's house.  This place holds a lot of memories. 



Sorry for the picture overload...figured Tall Tan Man might want to see all of it.  :)  Hope y'all are having a fabulous week!  

{Leslie}

P.S.  I'm doing a no-sweets January!  Whose in?!? 
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