Monday, April 25, 2011

Magical Mini Meatloaves on Monday. Mmm...

I started Weight Watchers today. One of my friends at work gave me all her material, plus a bunch of yummy looking recipes. Unfortunately, at this point in the day I have only one point left to eat dinner with. Oops. That might be because I looked everything up after I already ate it. Doritos have 4 points per serving? Reese's eggs have 4 points per egg?? What?? This isn't diet food?? And that my friends, is what tomorrow is for.

Anyway, I had to share this fantastic meatloaf recipe. I made it last week and it was yummy. I LOVE meatloaf, my Grandma Frank makes a mean one and pairs it with mashed potatoes, green beans, and corn. Comfort food to the max. This recipe is from Cook Yourself Thin and is great because it makes individual meat loaves that are low in calories but don't taste like diet food. (Gross) The hub even liked them! (I didn't tell him about the calorie count.) Maybe that is the magical part. Or maybe because we've been Harry Potter-ing it up over the weekend...

Turkey Mini Meatloaves from Cook Yourself Thin
Makes 4 mini meatloaves, 227 calories per meatloaf. I'm going to guess this would be about 4 points per meatloaf.

1 slice whole wheat bread
1/2 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
5 oz bag baby spinach
1.25 lbs ground turkey
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

3 tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce

*Note: I halved this whole recipe and it turned out perfect

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Grind bread in food processor (or just tear it up really good with your fingers) and put in large bowl. Pour milk over crumbs.

3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat, add onion and stir until soft and golden. Add spinach and stir just until wilted.
I love onions. I'm sorry, I just do.
Or in my case, keep the spinach separate. Caleb would never eat anything with cooked spinach in it, are you kidding?
Spinach, you are beautiful.

4. Add to bowl with bread and milk. Add in turkey, cheese, egg, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Combine with your hands until well mixed.
This is not well mixed, fyi,
5. Pack into a 1 cup dry measuring cup and invert on rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with rest of mixture.
(I did one cup for Caleb, then added the spinach in and did a second cup for me.)
Ok so the spinach is less noticable after its cooked. Also maybe you should chop it up a little.

6. Bake mini meatloaves until cooked through and golden, about 40 minutes. While the meatloaves are cooking, make the glaze. In a small bowl mix ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Brush over meatloaves. (I did this with about 15 minutes of cooking left)

7. Root veggie side: Slice up potatoes and baby carrots. (I think asparagus, zucchini, and squash would also be good) Toss with about 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried parsley. Cook alongside meatloaves for about 30-35 minutes. If you were normal, you could toss all your veggies together.

I didn't do many carrots because I didn't think Caleb would eat any. Wrong. He ate a bunch.
8. Serve it up and enjoy. This was a hit!

This was just good. I like real food. The end.

I think for dinner I will be having points...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Weekend in Charlotte: delicious.

Sometimes you need to get away. And go anywhere that isn't here, wherever that is for you. For me, it's Tennessee. Don't get me wrong, this lovely state is growing on me. But after a few months of soaking up some good Tennessee livin', I begged Caleb to take me somewhere. Preferably the beach, Hawaii, Chicago, a cruise, somewhere tropical. Many options. But we do have this thing called work. And student loans. And car payments. So we landed on a weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina, which is about three and a half hours from Kingsport. And it was wonderful.

We left Friday night and listened to some Harry Potter on the way down. Good start to the weekend. Slept in till 7 on Saturday morning (which is sleeping in for us, so sad) and explored Charlotte. First up, the beautiful South Park Mall. Full of designer stores and beautiful things.

I've never actually bought anything at any of these stores.

A beautiful kitchen store...
I'm so happy because I'm surrounded by kitchen goodness.

We did buy something at the gorgeous mall: a graduation gift for Jordan. But I can't post a pic of it in case he reads this blog, which I'm pretty sure he doesn't. But don't worry Jordan, we got  you a sweet gift.

Next, Caleb made the mistake of saying that we could do whatever I wanted to do for the whole day. Did I mention that I have an awesome husband? We drove around the downtown for awhile, ate some Panera, enjoyed being in a different state. Then we decided to go to a vineyard and do a wine tasting. North Carolina has all the billboards about how awesome their wineries are, so we take them up.

And come to find out, $7 buys you a wine tasting of 13 different kinds of wine, plus chocolate and crackers, and the glass you drank the wine out of. Bring it.
I suggested that we buy some wine for my wine loving sister in law, Audrey. Caleb said that would be mean because she is preggers. True fact.

Shopping, wine...this day keeps getting better and better. On to mall #2, Concord Mills outlet. Packed with people and reminiscent of the creepy Great Mall of the Great Plains (in Olathe...and isn't it creepy?) we were hesitant. But not disappointed.

A giant sign with Kobe Bryant...don't do it, Kobe. Don't do it.
A Lexus with an awesome vanity plate...yes Lexus owner, you are blessed.
And an AMC...we miss you, AMC.

And we found a boot store. And I had to buy some boots. Because a good Tennessee girl should have some boots, right?
So many boots.

Then we feasted on Red Lobster. Which I've had like twice in my life. Those cheddar biscuits are freaking good. Like so so good. Like I think I could go there and just eat the biscuits. The lobster was incredible as well. But no pics because we didn't want to look obnoxious, which usually doesn't stop us.

Last but not least, photo shoot for you.

We came back this afternoon. The drive is amazingly beautiful with mountains, pictures really don't do it justice. We missed our families and Westside Church, since it is Easter and all. But we had a beautiful weekend.

Caleb's Easter basket, which I try to make as awesome as the Easter baskets my mom used to make. Because they were always amazing!
And I feel the good kind of refreshed you should feel after vacation, even if it was just two days. Happy Easter everyone!

Awesome link to my favorite Easter video ever: That's My King. Pretty much sums it up!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A good day

First of all: Go to my sis in law's blog for a sweet giveaway! This girl is awesome. And that sweet child of her's is my favorite.

A good day starts with the Warblers from Glee on the Today Show. Have I mentioned that I love the Today Show? Seriously. Does that make me an adult? I don't even care. Then I almost bought all of Jill's Steals and Deals. But I stopped when I remembered that I'm on this thing called a budget. Boo. And then I made a pot of coffee and some breakfast. This is one reason I love days off. Because I love breakfast. And I always cook a good one when I'm home.

Check this out. This is from my leftover fajitas from Chili's the other night.
Just add an egg and you get breakfast burritos! Yummy!

Then I debated going to the gym. And I picked doing my nails instead. Good choice. I also booked a weekend mini trip for me and the hub. Win!

Next I met up with my friend Stephanie for lunch. We went to the hotdog place across the street and it was gooooood. Next door was this cute store. With random cute stuff. Like soap and baby stuff. 
Onesies in mason jars! 

Then we had to do some walking since I skipped the gym and ate a hotdog for lunch. The cupcake store finally got a sign! I resisted the urge to go in and congratulate them with a purchase.
I love you, cupcake store.

We also found a used bookstore where a little girl followed us around and chatted us up while we shopped. She had on a crown, red sparkly shoes (Holla to Dorothy!), and one of those horses on a stick that she was riding around on. I wanted to take a picture of her but it is generally frowned upon to take a picture of a child you don't know and post it online.
I love books as well.
Love this cross in front of a church that we walked by. Gorgeous.
Happy Easter!

I risked large bumblebees to get this shot. Appreciate it.

Steph and I. Because I made her take a pic with me.

Love my bag, ps.

And now I'm going to cook some meatloaf and mashed potatoes for my man. Because that is what men eat. And that is what a good housewife cooks. (Ha.)

I love relaxing, happy days. And I love spring. And Easter. And Jesus. And meatloaf.

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Food City Expo: how a giant shopping cart and millions of samples can make my day

Today is my day off before the weekend work madness happens. I decided to celebrate by going to the a food expo at the convention center near by. They lured me in with promises of food samples and celeb chef Jon Ashton (I don't even know who that is. But I do now because I caught a glimpse of him from afar.).

I drove up to the convention center and was greeted with this. This is hilarious. And for my sister in law Audrey, who thought Food City was hilarious. Who doesn't want a race car/go cart with a giant shopping cart on the top? (We are in Tennessee, Nascar is like a religion here.) Excuse all the phone photos.
This is awesome/awful/hilarious.

I thought it couldn't get better than the giant shopping cart. But don't worry, I got to meet Miss Food City herself and snag an autographed pic.
Can I be the next Miss Food City? I think if you are queen of a grocery store you should be a little fatter...just saying.

And then the rows and rows of booths with food. I ate lunch from all the samples. I learned how to make "healthy" snacks from a lovely cooking demo (that Miss Food City participated in!). I saw Chef Jon from afar. And I took home tons and tons of food samples and coupons and recipes. It's actually kind of amazing. I learned fast that if I stopped to talk to vendors for more than 2 seconds they would either give me 1. extra coupons 2. extra samples or 3. the full size product. Yesssss.
The loot. Which included deodorant, a wooden spoon, and fresh produce, thank you very much.
I was also super excited because Famous Dave's bbq sauce was featured and there is a Famous Dave's in KC and I love all things Kansas City. AND the Indiana kettle corn was there which I have not had since I was in Indiana last summer. I walked by the booth 3 times before the man offered me a full size bag. Yes please. I am shameless.

Mostly this was funny and I wanted to share. This is what I do alone on my days off. I need some hobbies...

Happy weekend everyone! While everyone else enjoys sunshine and 70s, I will be working all weekend (darn those student loans). Enjoy the spring weather!

Monday, April 11, 2011

State of the House: Project Kitchen

I just had a seriously beautiful weekend. Five wonderful days off in a row. What kind of crazy job do I have that gives me that many days off in a row? Oh, that's right, one where I wipe up poop and push drugs. Regardless, it has been pretty awesome. I spent a lot of time sleeping and cleaning and hanging out with my hub. We went to see "Arthur" on Saturday night and it was super cute. Funny and sweet. Also I just like Russell Brand. And dates with my husband. But I have no picture documentation of it. Because of this annoying thing with my camera. Here is the story. Last week, I got my camera out and noticed all these dust specks when I looked through the viewfinder. Super annoying. I took everything apart and noted that the filters were super dusty. I tried to clean them, it didn't work. I went and bought new filters, thinking the problem was fixed. I took the camera out again, noting that some of the dust specks were still there. I knew that it wasn't on the lens or the filters or anything. So I the lens off and saw the dust specks in the camera! Booo. I took it to the camera store and demanded they get the dust out. The camera store man said that you shouldn't touch anything in there and asked me if the dust was affecting my pictures. I said maybe. (Ok so I didn't really know because I stopped taking pictures after I noticed the dust.) He took some pictures and said that the pictures were fine and explained this whole mechanism to me about the reflection and the dust not affecting the pictures, ect ect. I asked him to please get that dust out, that I can't take pictures when I have to look at dust. He said no. He told me that I was under no circumstance to try and clean anything on the inside of the camera, that they normally get dust in them from being outside and switching lenses and stuff. He said maybe I should concentrate on what I'm taking pictures of instead of the dust.

So I tried to take a bunch of pics today to try and prove to myself that the pictures are find. And they really are.

It really is spring! You can see green things!
Things from my kitchen this morning:
1. A flower from a patient who claimed she was a pain in the butt. She was.
2. What my hub wrote on the white board this am. We love you Rebecca Black. And your horrible, horrible song.
3. My breakfast. Egg, bacon, spinach, on toast. Yum.

Happy Monday!

Anyway, moving on. I did some serious spring cleaning in an effort to revive my State of the House resolution. The kitchen got some major cleaning and serious reorganization. I really hate when the kitchen is messy/dirty and part of my project is making sure it stays this way. I took all my large platters that were taking up space and put them above the shelves. I took all the small appliances that were clutter the counters and put them on the top shelf of the pantry behind the cereal, which was now clear from the large platters. Win win. Win.

I even reorganized the pantry.
Unfortunately I have no before pictures. Because I was annoyed with the dusty camera. But trust me, it was pretty out of control. It is April and most of my house is reorganized and clutter free. Now is the really hard part, keeping it clean.  My April State of the House goals include the only frontier in the apartment not yet conquered: the bathrooms. And general maintenance of the rest of the house. I'm going to come up with some kind of plan for that...I'll get back with you.

I spend the afternoon walking around in the sun with my hilarious friend, Stephanie. The Kiewit girls have to stick together! I have a sunburn to show for it and I love it. I missed you, Sun.

I hope you are having a beautiful Monday and a start to a wonderful week! Any tips for getting the dust out of my camera without touching it or blowing on it (which the camera guy also said was prohibited) would be much appreciated...

Friday, April 8, 2011

Some delightful links for your Friday

This is a quickie post for you. I am spring cleaning today. Yes, you heard it right. Pictures to come. After the month of March, things were a disaster. It was really really bad. But I am making it right. State of the House project will continue to move forward.

Link #1: For the love of all that is good, someone please buy me these. And buy them for yourself while you are at it. My floors and my time management skills need these. Cleaning slippers

Link #2: In case you are the only person in America who hasn't heard of Rebecca Black, in honor of Friday, treat yourself to this song.

Link #3: After watching Rebecca's stellar video, watch the Colbert/Fallon remake. Play this for your man when he gets home from work and your weekend will be off to a great start. I'm doing it.

Link #4: Treat yourself to some Mary Kay products from my momma.

Link #5: Spring clean your house with me!

Link #6: Make some yummy food this weekend.

Have a good weekend! Spring clean update photos will be posted soon!

Monday, April 4, 2011

April Fools Prank: For the man who isn't ready for kids

This is my one day off in between runs of work. Like the tiny creme part of an oreo. The part that should be bigger. But I just need to document and share my April Fools prank on the love of my life. Because it's probably a one time shot. And it was hilarious. Even if only to me. And my coworkers.

(Also I downloaded this photo effects app for my phone so my phone pics can have funky effects. Its fun.)

Friday was a great day at work. My patients were wonderful. I am orienting someone (Hi Cecile!) and soo its kinda like two people to do the work and it is mostly very good. Friday was so good that we had time to come up with a great prank. Actually, my pregnant coworker thought of it. She takes pregnancy tests, we all take them home to our husbands. I am all in.

Puzzle effect. Oooo.

So we call up our boss to go to the dollar store to buy us some pregnancy tests (no need to overspend here, folks). I debate actually taking the pregnancy test home. But know that I probably can't pull it off because I cannot lie. I do not have a poker face. At all. 

Pink effect. Very nice for the girl child that the test indicated. Kidding.

I decide I should text him. Because that is how I would tell him I am pregnant for reals. (So not!) Someone suggests I start the texts early in the day ("Baby, I am so nauseated, maybe from that salmon we ate last night?" "Bleh, I have been throwing up all morning" "Everyone at work thought I should take a pregnancy test...")

Negative effect. Like the result of a pregnancy test if I took one right now.

I didn't really know what to do. Sometimes he doesn't keep his phone on him at work so I thought maybe my texts would be in vain. But at lunchtime the pregnancy test arrived and my adorably pregnant coworker, Stacey, donated some urine to the cause.

Black and White. 

Coworkers gathered around (all girls plus the pharmacist Jason, who just happened to be situated in our place of gathering). I sent the following text to my unsuspecting hub: "We need to talk tonight." Nothing scares a man more than the threat of a good talk. He immediately texted back "Ok...why?" I sent the following picture and waited for response.

Check out that plus sign. It means pregnant.

I waited for a couple minutes. Then my phone rang (not really rang but buzzed. I was at work people). "OMG should I answer it???" "UM YES answer it!"

(Some shuffling in the background)
"Good joke honey."
"What? What are you talking about?"
"You aren't pregnant"
"Umm...yes I am...oh whatever...April fools! Did you at least freak out?"
"Yeah! Till I counted on a calendar and realized it wasn't possible."
"Haha. But you freaked out for real?"
"Yes. Not funny. I love you and I'm glad you aren't pregnant and I have to go back to work now."

*Laughter from me and coworkers* It was mostly me who got the humor out of it. But it was worth it. And it made the day so much funnier.

(Note: all the patients still got above average care. My joking did not cause any harm or neglect. Don't you worry.)