This Friday night…

Friday nights are my favorite night of the week and I don’t mind the routine of it one bit. The promise of over 48 hours of freedom and not knowing what the rest of the weekend will bring excites me! I have become increasingly lame in my old age and just like to stay in on Friday nights. I love to relax, catch up on DVR, read magazines, and sleep. The best part is waking up not hungover on Saturday morning. It’s such an amazing feeling!

After yesterday’s sort-of mental breakdown, I picked myself up and was extremely productive. I was mostly well-rested at work today, I got cast iron skillets and Target popcorn on my lunch break, and left work early because I am working on Sunday afternoon. I went to the gym and spent a record amount of time on the treadmill (90 minutes). Pick your jaws up off the floor. Then I went to SuperTarget and saved 40% on a $100 bill! Pick your jaws back up off the floor.

After a day like today, a girl’s gotta eat. Tonight I made a Morningstar grillers burger on a sandwich thin with chipotle cheddar cheese (what?!?!) I know. I had the same reaction. Go buy it at Target. It said ‘limited time only’ on the package. Get some before I buy it all!

After going back and forth on what side I wanted to go with my burger, I settled on getting some veggies in today. I had been craving cauliflower for a while (weird.) and decided to make a cheese sauce for it. I think I finally perfected my ‘light’ cheese sauce tonight, which has made an appearance in mac and cheese before. This picture is about 1/3 of a head of cauliflower with the cheese sauce as prepared below.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon light butter
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk, but usually use skim)
1/4 cup 2% shredded cheese (I used mild cheddar but sharp gives it a stronger cheese flavor)

Recommended seasonings: salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash garlic and herb, garlic powder, dry mustard, and cayenne pepper. The list goes on…

Directions:

Start steaming the cauliflower in a vegetable steamer (or on the stove). While veggies are steaming, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan on the stove over medium heat. Once melted, add the flour and blend. Cook the flour mixture for about three – five minutes. Now add the milk and stir until the flour mixture is blended. Bring this to a boil and then reduce the heat so that it is simmering. Add your desired seasonings, Continue to stir until the mixture is thickened. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Then add your main ingredient – in this case, cauliflower.

As prepared this cheese sauce has about 200 calories. You can pour this over pasta, cauliflower, eat it with a spoon…

Time to watch more TV and eat peanut butter Cheerios for dessert. Oh yeah, they make peanut butter Cheerios now. Happy Friday!

Friday Cooking Adventures

I have been a busy bee today. Aside from having a very long and somewhat challenging day at work… I got to leave at my regularly scheduled time of 4 PM and was so thankful that it is the weekend.

I have decided that Friday’s are my favorite day of the week. Usually, the work day goes by quickly and I feel semi-fulfilled because of what I accomplish there. And now that Fall TV is back on, me and my TiVo have a lot of catching up to do by the time Friday rolls around.

This afternoon, I was inspired to do a longer workout than normal. I coincidentally wanted to go to the grocery store to pick up a few things for this weekend’s cooking adventures. So, I decided to combine the two! Working out seems to go by much faster when I have a purpose. I jogged the 1.5 miles to Harris Teeter, loaded up (well, bought what I could stow away in a canvas shopping bag) and walked on my merry way back to my apartment – I decided to take the long(er) way around. There was a cool, crispness in the air and I really enjoyed my walkjog today. It also might have to do with my new (amazing) shoes. They deserve a dedicated post. Stay tuned.

I had an unfortunate hair tie emergency mid-jog. Note to self: always store a backup on your wrist. Whoops. My hair was too much for this hair tie. I did the best I could, but this was the result…

Oh well! At least I didn’t trip and fall…


I mentioned I was a busy little bee – In the kitchen! I sliced, diced, boiled, baked, and slow cooked. All in all, it was a successful evening in the kitchen.

In the mini-Crock Pot: Crock Pot Applesauce courtesy of SkinnyTaste

I will let everyone know how this turns out tomorrow! It will be a nice accompaniment to my Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes in the AM. 1 point plus per serving!

In the Rubbermaid Glass: Tortellini and Tofu Soup recipe a la Katie!

This turned out delicious. This was my first time cooking with tofu, legit tofu, on my own. I bought super firm, already cubed. I am proud of my first adventure with tofu and can’t wait to try cooking it again soon! 6 points plus per serving.

On the cooling rack: While the tortellini and tofu soup was on the stove, I whipped up some Pumpkin Softies. Hungry Girl sent out this recipe in her e-mail yesterday, and I knew immediately that I had to try making these (and I don’t really bake…) They. Are. Heaven. I substituted chocolate chips instead of raisins (ew.) for no change in points plus values.

Check it out! The perfect nighttime snack. 3 points plus for the softie, two for the glass of skim milk.

How do you relax on a Friday night? Working out? Cooking? Eating? Watching TV? All of the above for me!!! I am ready to get in my freshly made bed, with clean sheets and watch Chopped or a bad Lifetime movie on demand. I hope everyone enjoys their evening as well!

Thursday’s Thoughts

And I am back from a whirlwind trip to Atlanta. As soon as I finished my 5K, I scarfed down some black bean burger leftovers and hit the road. When I road trip solo, I basically have a concert in the car. I may not be the world’s best singer but I sure do have fun. This was a Taylor Swift themed trip in honor of her concert on Sunday night (that deserves it’s own separate blog post).

The trip to ATL flew by.. some of the highlights include: shopping, dinner at Matt’s (spaghetti and meatballs and some delectable mushroom puff pastry appetizers), out at Twisted Taco, naptime, getting ready for Taylor Swift, Taco Mac for beer, food, and waiting for Taylor Swift, and the Taylor Swift concert. That was just the weekend – then I had a very full three days of work.

Enough of that nonsense.. I am just thankful tomorrow is Friday (and next week, I am on vacation on Friday). I have never been more excited to have no weekend plans. Lately, I have been falling off the food bandwagon every weekend and gaining what I have lost during the week (not. healthy.) I am looking forward to staying on track this weekend and getting back in to my workout routine.

Tonight I made what I like to refer to as ‘Po’ Gal’s Soup.’ I am not a huge fan of chicken, but I had a shredded rotisserie chicken and fresh corn in the freezer – so I decided to make some homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. I happened to stop by the Dekalb Farmers Market in Atlanta (one of the best places in the world) and stocked up on some fresh homemade pasta. If you have not been there and are anywhere near Atlanta, you should check it out. Everything is super cheap and there is an amazing selection of fruits, vegetables, and so much more.

The whole pot of ‘Po’ Gal’s Soup’ cost me about $10 to make and I will get about 8 meals out of it. The best part is you can throw almost anything in the mix! You could make with pasta, or rice, any kind of vegetable or meat you wanted to and I believe it would still be delicious with the chicken broth and thyme base.

In this pot:
Fresh Pasta ($2)
Chicken ($3)
Canned Okra, Corn, and Tomato ($1)
Canned Garbanzo Beans ($1.50)
Canned Green Beans ($.50)
Box of chicken broth ($2)
Fresh corn (frozen from fresh – free, thanks mom and dad!)
Fresh thyme (free – from my probably dying herb garden)
On another note, I would like to give a big shout out to Calphalon. I love their Unison line of pots and pans – non stick and dishwasher safe. While the pots and pans are pricey, the investment is worth it. In fact, I just got my Unison grill pan in the mail today. I am looking forward to cooking something on it this weekend. I am thinking black bean burgers, peppers, and chipotle ranch! I will probably be eating that and chicken soup all weekend and well in to next week. With the farmshare that we get each week, I am really trying to cut back on my grocery bills and focusing on eating out of the fridge/freezer/pantry, and have been pretty successful and resourceful so far!

If you made it all the way to the end, thanks for reading a super exciting post. Be on the lookout for a concert update. The Taylor Swift concert was certainly an adventure.. and one of the most fun nights of my life!