Tag Archives: xanthan gum

Well, it worked

21 Sep

I got the job that I applied for last wk!!! I was waiting for the bus after work and got a call from the recruiter and they decided to extend an offer to me! I will still be working for my company but for a completely different department doing a completely new job function and I even got a raise! I start October 18th and cannot wait. Thank you thank you thank you everyone for your warm wishes and thoughts, it worked!!!! I’m free!

Some notables from the past two days have been:

Roast beef and provolone on a sun dried tomato wrap courtesy of the deli at Bloom. They have $2.99 sandwich specials for 6 inch subs and for wraps each day. This was a fabulous meal for super cheap. I love Harris Teeter because they also have a $2.99 sub of the day and you get a point for each one you buy then when you get 15, you get a free footlong sub however I may start patronizing Bloom more often now that I know they have this deal.

I finally caved in and bought a microwave on Sunday. I thought I could get more creative in the kitchen by not having one but some days when I get home from work I just don’t feel like cooking so I am psyched to have one again.

Spirutein Blueberries and Cream Protein Powder. Yay for new protein powder that isn’t vanilla!

Leftovers for lunch. What is about Chinese and Mexican food that makes it even better the second time around?

For dinner last night, I make pork chops with a cranberry sauce made from cranberry preserves, water and agave nectar. As that was finishing up on the stovetop, I added some xanthan gum. I added a little more than desired which kind of made it into a jellylike substance but it was still tasty.

I had some shroomies and spinach cooking on the side while the pork was baking and then paired it up with quinoa on the side

I am sure everyone has heard about the Police Chief’s Daughter that went missing last week in Charlotte . This story really hit home since the bar that she was last seen in is one I frequent quite often and sometimes go alone (I know not a smart move on my part). I just can’t believe that it happened here and especially in a part of town I know so well. One of my co-workers is really concerned about me since she knows I go out all the time and started crying yesterday when she was talking about it and didn’t want to see my wind up like her. Given, I’m not 23 years old anymore, I wasn’t the smartest 23-year-old when I was. I *may* have left the bar a few times with guys I didn’t know too well which again, not a smart move on my behalf. But now, I am ultra paranoid.  I live in a very nice, happening area right outside of the Uptown area and have never felt like I had to question my safety while walking around at night. But last night I went on a walk and couldn’t help with checking over my shoulder a few times when I thought I heard something behind me. I stayed on a route I know that was well lit with a heavy traffic flow and didn’t wear my headphones but hate when things like this happen and make me question my safety. I was watching her dad on GMA yesterday morning and it was just horrible. I can’t imagine being a parent and losing a child like that but thank God they found the guy and I hope he gets what he deserves.

I was dragging this morning and apparently so was Lincoln. I didn’t even have the energy to wash out my coffee pot however I had enough energy to make a green monster-wtf?

I made one with strawberries, spinach, almond milk and my new Spirutein Blueberries And Cream Protein Powder.

Can I say how much I love this stuff? Their Cookies And Cream is my absolute favorite but I usually made fruity smoothies so it wouldn’t taste too good with the Cookies And Cream. But now I’m thinking about more savory green monsters combinations such as with that, Chocolate almond milk and peanut butter. Hollar!!

Anywho, me without coffee is just no bueno. When I rolled into work, people could tell I hadn’t had my coffee yet and when they tried to talk to me, I was just wasn’t comprehending anything said to me. Thank God Starbucks is in my building —I quickly went down and had my morning java and all was right again with the world.

I went to visit my hippies this morning and stopped by Einsteins because I had a coupon for a $.50 pretzel bagel that is expiring this week. I love pretzels and love bagels even more so the two together are just a heavenly combination for me.

While walking back over to the hippies, I noticed a bake sale going on. A couple of girls who I used to work with were running it and everything was $2 —we’re talking cupcakes, brownies, cookies, etc and ALL proceeds were being donated to the Susan B Komen for the Cure. Eating sweets for breast cancer research? Yes please! I ended up getting a bag of cookies since I didn’t want to be walking around with a cupcake (let’s be real though, it would’ve been gone in three bites). When I got back to my desk, I made one of my co-workers take one so I wouldn’t scarf them all done in 60 seconds.

I like to think since my money is going towards a good cause that the calories don’t count. Sigh, I wish. They were absolutely delicious and I hope they do it again!!

I was at work later than normal tonight (but it’s all good b/c I got a new job!!!!) and was starving when I got home so I decided to the try the pretzel bagel from Einsteins. When I opened up the bag, I was kinda bumbed  because it was a bagel with the salt on top like a pretzel and not so much a bagel. I topped it with sliced chicken deli meat, provolone, mustard and baked in the oven for 10 minutes to create some ooey-gooey goodness

On the side, I threw in some Jay’s Potato Chips—-the best potato chips in the world. We had these in Indiana when I was growing up and then we moved to Florida and never could find it there. I don’t know what it is about these chips but they bring me back to my childhood and put a spell on me.

On another note, anyone know how to add a video into a blog post? I keep trying to upload a video from my files on my computer and it won’t recognize ir and tried adding it to my media on wordpress but same thing. It’s a tad frustrating.

That being said, I’m exhausted. And kinda dirty. I haven’t washed my hair since Saturday and my dry shampoo only works to a certain extent so I gotta go lather up.

I got a new job—–ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! Sorry, happy and in shock still!

Can We Talk About……

11 Aug

Can we talk about how much I love zumba?  I went to zumba  after work on Tuesday and my co-worker showed up to dance it out with me. I have so much fun each time I go and get such a terrific workout plus I never dread going. Oh and hello calorie burn!

Breakfast was a bagel with cream cheese, nothing too exciting.

Can we talk about how much I am loving the dry shampoo lately? I got this bottle at Ulta with my free gift coupon and am sad it’s running low.

I love it primarily because I get lazy and don’t feel like going through the whole process of washing, conditioning, drying and curling my hair with the humidity going on. I do my hair, step outside and whoosh-I look like a white Diana Ross. But check it out, I used it on Tuesday morning (after last washing it on Saturday morning) and it made my hair so voluminous and bouncy.

Can we talk about how I put my foot  in my mouth in a major way this morning? This dude on my floor was dating a girl who works at Starbucks and I just found out it about. I love the Starbucks girl because she is so sweet and helpful. Oh yeah and last week, I spilled my coffee twice. And I’m not talking about spilling it a little. My motto is go big or go home so both times I spilled coffee all over my new Vera Bradley wallet and my bus pass (RIP Bus pass). Anyways, I was in the elevator with him and my coffee buddy today heading to Starbucks and said to him “I love your girlfriend so much, she is so patient and helped me twice last week when I spilled my coffee”. He looked at me and said “She’s not my girlfriend anymore and she isn’t that patient”. Eek—sorry! Of course, the elevator seemed to slow down at that point and it was a tad awkward. I can usually make it until 3P without sticking my foot in my mouth so today was a fail.

I had leftover Penne Franco from Carrabba’s for lunch on Tuesday

Can we talk about  James Franco and his hotness?  When did he get hot? I always thought he was kinda skeezy looking but apparently skeezy does it for me.

Can we talk about how much I love hippie produce day?

I keep telling myself that September is not around the corner because September is when the hippies leave until spring. I wonder what they do during their hiatus from their fruit stand. Do they do hippie-licious activities at home? Make tye dye? Listen to the Grateful Dead? The possibilities are endless!

Can we talk about how sometimes a simply dinner can be so fulfilling? Dinner was a roast beef and cheese sandwich on whole wheat with cold quinoa salad with lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, red peppers, carrots, red onions and tomatoes

With a side of olives

Lastly, can we talk about how much I love my Magic Bullet? I  made a green monster in a bowl with blueberries, POM Wonderful, almond milk, ice, xanthan gum and baby spinach for dessert

I really want to try the recipes in the book that came with the Bullet, anyone try anything out of there?

Weekend Recap

9 Aug

 On Saturday, I was up and at em at 5A. WTF is that all about? Let’s just say I was not a happy camper about the situation but couldn’t go back to bed so I laced up my shoes and got to walking. Ok, well not quite…..it still a bit dark so I watched some infomercials then walking I went. It was so peaceful out and I only saw a couple other people out running and walking, I absolutely love desert early mornings.

Not bad for almost an hour of walking. I stopped at Starbucks on the way back and got a grande coffee and then made a breakfast smoothie with blueberries, half a packet of Spiru-Tein Banana Protein Powder, Almond Milk and Xanthan Gum

 As many of you know, I am not a nut butter fan at all. I will eat it every now and then (especially when covered in chocolate) and have read many rave reviews of Peanut Butter & Co. Bloom had it on special for $3 a jar this week and I bought a jar to see if I would like it.

Success! I haven’t had oats since it was cooler outside and decided to bring it back on Sunday morning. I sliced a banana then sprinkled the slices with cinnamon, laid rolled oats over that and then topped with a dollop of the Cinnamon Raisin Swirl. Yummy. I think if I bought the White Chocolate Peanut Butter they had I would be done (thankfully they were sold out when I bought this jar)

 After seeing this recipe on Tamara’s site, I was in the mood to bake. I still have a supply of POM Wonderful on my hands and haven’t baked in a while so I bought the few ingredients I didn’t have on hand and got to baking! I don’t have a cake pan but have muffin pans on hand so I made cupcakes with this recipe and bought Fun-Fetti cake mix instead of vanilla cake mix.

I love playing with food dye

 These were great but I was expecting more pomegranate flavor so I would use more next time.

After seeing the cooking demonstration on pesto at Carrabba’s on Saturday, I decided to make my own.

 

Lincoln was even eating good. I had to either use or throw away the last turkey burger I gave the other night and knew he would appreciate it

I made home-made pizza with Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Pizza Dough topped with mushrooms, olives and fresh basil and scallions.

I met up with some girlfriends for lunch at Fox and Hound It was Sunday at noon and  hot outside. Why not have a drink? I tried the Fruit Loopy-Three Olives Grape and Cherry vodka, Triple Sec, hurricane and sour mix with a splash of Sprite.

OH

MY

GAWD

Can I just drink this forever? Ok, maybe not forever because I would go into sugar shock but I could seriously down this in a few sips since it was so good!

I kept flip-flopping between wings, a burger, sliders or a sandwich. I love bar food so much but everything else looked good. I finally had to just close the menu and decide on something because if I didn’t I would have never made a decision. I hate that. I wish more restaur ants would have Choose Two options because sometimes I want to try something new but then what if it disappoints?

Anywho, I got the Black Forest Sandwich—grilled turkey, applewood bacon, Monterrey jack cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and honey mustard on a Bavarian pretzel roll.

I stopped at Earth Fare after that to look around and ended up getting a Magenta Magic Smoothie

It was great but this alone reminded me that I can make my own smoothies at home and save $4 or $5 a pop. Damn you smoothie cravings!

I went to Ross and got some great deals—two dresses and a Nike Fit Dry shirt (for only $5—holla!!)

I went on a two-mile walk and then did some yoga poses when I got back home. I even ran a bit on my walk and it didn’t hurt too bad and my knee isn’t hurting any more from when I don’t run so I may start incorporate more running into my program again. Well, when it gets cooler at least, I am so not a hot weather runner.

I really had no clue what to make for dinner. I have lunch for the next couple of days courtesy of Carrabba’s but then I remember my beautiful white eggplant I bought the other day

Eggplant Parmesan it was!

I cut the eggplant and dipped in eggwash then in seasoned breadcrumbs and baked for 17 mins at 400 degrees. I flipped half way through and sprinkled with marinara sauce, mozzarella and gorgonzola cheese a few minutes before it was finished then placed on noodles. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out since I wasn’t frying it but it was delicious and the texture was similar to meat.

Oh, Lincoln got pretty! I almost forgot about his day of beauty.

Dirty Dog

Clean Dog

I am really confused where this weekend went. I feel like I just got off work on Friday and once again, back to the grind. This needs to change soon.

A Pom Kind Of Day

1 Aug

The friendly people at POM Wonderful contacted me a couple of weeks ago in regards to trying their pomegranate juice. I was so excited because I love all things pomegranate but have only tried the actual juice a couple of times before (I prefer to get my pomegranate from pom flavored beer thank you very much! 🙂 )

A little about POM Wonderful from their site

  • contain no added sugars, preservatives or colors
  • are a good source of potassium
  • are gluten-free
  • are flash pasteurized to retain both flavor and nutrients
  • are certified kosher
  • Plus they have different flavors of Pom juice that I never knew about-such as mango, kiwi, blueberry, cherry and nectarine with a myriad of different products like tea, bars, iced coffee (say whaaaaa??!!?!), shots, pills and more.

    I got their package on Friday and have been brainstorming what I could make with it. Yes, I could make a cocktail or green monster but I wanted to try cooking with it.

    With that, I decided to make Feta, Walnut and Parsley stuffed pork chops with a creamy pomegranate sauce and a side salad with pomegranate balsamic dressing

    I finally bit the bullet and bought some xanthan gum. I’ve been wanting to get these to use in my green monsters since they turn out soupy a lot of the time and to use in sauced instead of corn starch. Most recipes only call for one to two tablespoons of cornstarch so this bag is going to last me awhile!

    For the stuffing, I threw in 1/3 cup walnuts, 3 tbsp of feta and a few tbsp of parsley in the food processor and pulsed on low for about 10 seconds.

    I butterflied two pork chips and stuffed with the filling then secured with toothpicks. I rubbed a little extra virgin olive oil and black pepper on them and then cooked at 350 for 25-30 minutes

    For the creamy sauce, I threw  1/4 cup half and half with 3/4 of a POM Wonderful bottle on the stovetop with one tbsp xanthan gum and let cook on a low setting for 10 minutes until thick and bubbly. I know it kinda looks like the River of Slime from Ghostbusters 2 but don’t fear, it was tasty!

    Side salad with carrots, tomato, extra stuffing mix, quinoa topped with homemade  pomegranate balsamic vinegar. I liked the dressing a lot and never knew how easy it was to make your own dressing!

     This was such a fabulous, filling meal. It was nice to experiment with the POM Wonderful for a different flavor for my meals and I cannot wait to try it with more stuff—thanks POM Wonderful for sending me and giving me the opportunity to try your juice, I am loving it!

    I also found the mythical Chobani Pomegrante Greek Yogurt I’ve been seeing all over the blogs lately. I’ve never seen this flavor in the store before so when I saw it this past week, I practically screamed and started doing my happy dance right in the middle of Harris Teeter!

    And I got to use the free Chobani coupons I won over at Nutrition Nut on The Run so free Chobani is always nice. It was terrific! I am a bit skeptical with new flavors ever since trying Chobani’s Pineapple flavor but this did not disappoint. Thus being said, I may just turn into a pomegranate by end of day.

     Fail to plan, plan to fail….yep that’s what I would say about my lunch today

    Microwave popcorn-yum! I love the stuff but it is not filling at all. Oh, I didn’t mention I had this at work did I? Yeah. Another so busy week that I went in for five hours today just to catch up on my emails so I could get some peace of mind. I was annoyed by having to go in to do that but I kept repeating to myself “time and a half-pay, time and a half-pay, time and a half-pay” to make it bearable.

    Oh and I know how I was singing praises to Jackie Warner and her workout dvd yesterday but today? I curse the day she was born. My everything hurts and each time I step up or sit down today, I whimper a bit. It’s sad. No pain no gain right??

    I made a yummy plate of eggs topped with avocado and tabasco for breakfast.

    Hey healthy fats!! Just wanted to say that I heart you.

    I got a Magic Bullet for my birthday this past December and finally opened the box today to try it out with a green monster with blueberries, almond milk, baby spinach, Spiru-Tein Blueberries & Cream protein powder (half a packet), one Splenda and 1/2 tbsp of xanthan gum

    Holy crap-why did I wait so long to use this? I absolutely loved how easy it was to use, quick it was and way more quiet than my blender. And xanthan gum, I just love it. It came out like sludge (which is a good thing!) this was more like an ice cream treat than a smoothie.

    Happy August to everyone as well, I completely forgot its first of the month!

    Things to work on for this month

    *Drink less beer. I was out of control the month of July. Ok, not alcoholic out of control but drinking way more beer than I normally do due to the ridiculously hot weather out.

    *Have a more consistent workout schedule each week. With moving and going on vacation twice in July, I didn’t get much workout time in. Again, add the nasty weather and it was a recipe for laziness on my part.

    *Cook more at home, eat out less. Now that my kitchen is all squared away and I am somewhat getting used to cooking in a smaller kitchen, I need to get back into the swing of things.

    All in all, today was a great day with work, new recipes, etc. Hope everyones August is off to an equally fabulous start!

    PS—Check out Eat, Move, Love for a fun giveaway!

    PPS-Anyone else have Blogger issues? I keep trying to comment on Blogger blogs and can’t, it’s a tad frustrating!