Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Slow Cooker Red Beans & Rice

It's official! I have spring fever. It was 80 degrees here today! February 29th and it was 80 degrees. If I haven't mentioned it before, I love living in South Carolina. What's ironic is some of the women on my WW message boards are talking about all the snow they have. They can keep that! I know its supposed to cool down again this weekend, but I'm definitely going to enjoy the nice weather while I can. I'm so glad I have this Friday off work, too! Definitely a day for a run, if you ask me.

I know Mardi Gras was last week, so I'm a little late in making this meal. But it's better to be late than never, right? I guess I think of this more of a Southern meal than a Cajun meal. That's probably because I didn't add the cajun seasoning that they call for, but I don't even own cajun seasoning. Does Creole seasoning count? Is that the same thing? Can you tell that I'm not a big fan of spicy foods? Ha! Here's the recipe:

adapted from Plain Chicken
Servings: 8
Points+ 6

1 pound dried small red beans
1 pound turkey smoked sausage
5 cups water
1 cup tomato sauce
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low 8-10 hours. Serve over hot white rice.

TC really liked this. That's probably because its a meal he's used to eating. Southerners love this. It's also called red beans & sausage or red rice and sausage. You can make a pretty healthy version of any of the variations, too. What made me feel even better was that Addison said she liked it, too! Bonus!

So long for today...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Slow Cooked Meatballs

Well, today was my official WW weigh-in day. After the food fiasco that I had on Saturday, I wouldn't have been surprised with staying the same weight or even a gain. Apparently, my hard work from yesterday must have paid off because I had a loss of .4 lbs today! Yea! I was very happy with that.

It was such a beautiful day today, so Addison and I asked our neighbor to go for a walk this evening after work. It was nice to catch up with my friend while also getting some APs. After Addison goes to bed tonight, it's off to let Jillian work me out.

Dinner was very good tonight. TC even commented on how tender these meatballs were. This is definitely a recipe that I'll be making again. Here's the recipe:

adapted from Can You Stay for Dinner
Servings: 4
Points+: 7

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
1/2 large onion, minced
2 gloves garlic, minced
1 T. dried oregano
1/2 t. dried parsley
1/2 t. dried basil
1/4 c. reduced fat parmesan cheese
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 c. milk

1/2 large onion, chopped
2 c. spaghetti sauce

Combine all meatball ingredients in a large bowl using your hands. Do not overmix. Roll the mixture into balls roughly 1 1/2″ in diameter.

Combine all meatball ingredients in a large bowl using your hands. Do not overmix. Roll the mixture into balls roughly 1 1/2″ in diameter.

Scatter the onion over the base of your slow cooker, followed by the meatballs. Pour the sauce evenly over the top, making sure to coat everything.

Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

I already have the red beans and sausage in the crock pot in the refrigerator ready to be cooked in the morning. Can't wait to see how this recipe turns out.

So long for today...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Grilled Honey Lime Chicken

Did you miss me? It's been 5 days since my last post. I'm sure you were sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for me to return. You probably think that I've spent the last 5 days in my kitchen whipping up all kinds of delicious foods to share with you through my blog. I'm sorry to disappoint you, that's not what happened.

Thursday evening, we attended the Trident United Way Annual Soiree. It was a fun night out for TC and I. Mimi and Papa stayed with Addison for the evening. For the last two years, I have been a member of the United Way campaign team at the company I work for. I've dedicated a lot of my time to meeting our goal, which we were able to do both years. As a reward, I was able to attend this party and hobb knob with the who's who of the local United Way and the business leaders that serve on the board and are on the various committees for them. I didn't get to go last year, so I wanted to be sure to make it this year.

We spent the weekend with my cousins and their kids in North Carolina. It's too bad that we don't get to spend more time with them, but we are all busy and don't take the time to do it, although we should do it more. I like for Addison to know my family, too. They're the most local family that I have, so we like to make a couple of trips up there a year and spend time with them.

Dinner tonight was Grilled Honey Lime Chicken. It's also known as the Cracker Barrel Chicken that I made a couple of weeks ago and forgot to take pictures of. Since I had a non-WW-friendly weekend, I wanted to try my best to keep the scale as low as possible for my weigh-in tomorrow. What that means is some sort of chicken, brown rice and green beans. Here's the recipe again:

adapted from Plain Chicken
Servings: 4
Points+: 6

1 lb. chicken breasts
1 c. FF italian dressing
3 T. honey
3 t. lime juice

Combine all ingredients and allow chicken to marinate overnight. Grill chicken until well done...enjoy!

This is a very simple and delicious way to make chicken. If you haven't tried it yet, you definitely should! I've already made the meatballs for dinner tomorrow and have them in the fridge in the crockpot. They already smell so good! Can't wait to share the recipe with you tomorrow!

So long for today...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Baked Penne Pasta

I want to start by patting myself on the back for getting in a bonus run this week. It was such a beautiful and warm day here today, I wanted to take full advantage of it, and I'm so happy that I did. I got a 3 mile run in today at a 9:05 pace. I felt like it had been so long since I had run. Since last weekend was so busy and rainy, I only got to run on Friday. I will hopefully be able to get a workout in tomorrow during lunch because I definitely won't get one it tomorrow evening...

Ok, now for the food...Wow! 13 points for a dinner. Is that still WW-friendly? This is an example of when I made a recipe, then went back and plugged in all of the ingredients to see how many points were in it. I know this is pretty high in points. I mean, come on, that’s half of my daily points right there. Needless to say, I did a lot of scrimping on my other foods today in order to save enough for dinner. But let me tell you, it was worth it. This meal was so good! Usually, when I make a baked pasta meal, I have to put a ton of cheese in it in order to make it creamy and delicious. But I didn’t have to add all of those extra points of cheese to this one. The Philly Cooking Crème did that for me. The way it blended with the other ingredients was just perfect! I had seen these cooking crèmes last year when they first came out and bought one in every flavor. Once again, though, I didn’t check the points in them and of course, they ended up being higher in points than I was willing to sacrifice. So a couple of weeks ago when I saw that they had come out with reduced fat versions of a couple of them, I was completely on board. Count me in and sign me up! It was a good day when I found these on shelf at my grocery store. Here’s the recipe:

Adapted from Plain Chicken
Servings: 4
Points+: 13

4 c. cooked penne pasta
½ lb. extra lean ground beef
½ c. onion, chopped
½ c. green pepper, chopped
2 c. spaghetti sauce
¾ c. Reduced Fat Italian Cheese & Herbs Philadelphia Cooking Crème
1 c. reduced fat mozzarella cheese

In a large non-stick skillet, brown ground beef. Add onion and green pepper and cook until vegetables are tender. Stir in spaghetti sauce, cooking crème and ½ c. mozzarella cheese. Stir until combined and cheese is melted. Transfer to a 2 ½ qt. baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

There are so many different ways that this could be tweaked according to your personal preference. You could use turkey instead of the ground beef. You could add mushrooms to it. You could use any shape pasta that you wanted to. This is definitely a recipe that I will make again, it just might have a few changes.

This stuff was so good! The portions were pretty big, too. So I guess the 13 pts.+ per serving isn't unreasonable. Pair this up with a nice tossed salad on the side and you've got a delicious and filling dinner.

So long for today...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Deep Dish Pizza Casserole

TC is a self-proclaimed "meatatarian". He absolutely loves meat lover's pizza. I saw this recipe a few weeks back and thought it sounded pretty good. When I started following the recipe for it, I decided that it needed something. I decided that that something was some turkey pepperoni, which I just happened to have already cut up in the refrigerator. If you're going to do a pizza casserole, it definitely needs to have pepperoni! You could also add onion and green peppers to this, or any other vegetable you like on your pizza.

We've recently developed a new meal rating system at our house. When I make a new recipe, TC tells me how much he likes it by telling me how often he wants me to make it. If he really, really likes it, its a weekly meal. If he just really likes it, its a monthly meal. And so on and so on. He must have really, really, REALLY liked this one, because after dinner, he asked me how hard it was to make, because he thinks he might make it as a weekend lunch sometimes. Those are pretty high praises! Here's the recipe:

adapted from Emily Bites
Servings: 6

1 lb. extra lean ground beef
14 oz. jar pizza sauce
oregano to taste
onion powder to taste
garlic powder to taste
3/4 c. turkey pepperoni, chopped into small pieces
1 10-oz. refrigerated pizza crust
4 oz. shredded reduced fat mozzarella cheese
4 oz. reduced fat cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Cook meat (seasoned with oregano, onion powder and garlic powder to taste) in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned, stirring until it crumbles. Add pizza sauce and cook until heated.

While meat cooks, coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Unroll pizza crust dough and press into bottom and halfway up the sides of baking dish. Sprinkle half the cheese over the bottom of the crust. Top with meat mixture.

Bake uncovered in the oven at 425 for 12 minutes. Remove and top with remaining cheese. Put casserole back in the oven for 5 additional minutes or until crust is browned and cheese is melted. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

The rest of the week is going to be a busy one. Tomorrow evening, I have to make cupcakes for a friend of mine's birthday at work. Thursday evening, we are tied up all evening at a United Way soiree. I'm looking forward to this as its my first "soiree". Also, before we leave Friday after I get off work, I have to make brownies and alabama firecrackers. I also have to wrap the presents for Sydney and pack everything. I'm hoping to cut out of work a little early Friday so that I can get a run in before we leave...but I'm not sure if that will happen or not. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

So long for today...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Ranch House Crockpot Chicken

I love having things to do on the weekend. And I really do appreciate my family and friends. But sometimes, you can have too much to do on the weekends. This was one of those weekends. As much as I hate to say it, I was looking forward to going back to work this morning so that I would be able to relax...Really? Yep, that's right. Our weekend was so hectic and busy, that work was going to be relaxing. And you know what? It really was.

Over the weekend, I prepped a couple of dinners for this week so that I wouldn't have so much to do during the week. So I was really glad that I had planned for a crockpot dinner for tonight. I would say that this was just ok. I have another crockpot chicken stroganoff recipe that I like better. I might be able to tweak this one a bit to make it better, but I'm not sure if I will since I have another one that is very similar that I know we like. But you might like this one better. Here's the recipe:

adapted from Life as a Lofthouse
Servings: 3
Points+: 5

1 can 98% FF cream of chicken soup
1/2 packet dry ranch dressing mix
1/3 c. milk
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

In crockpot, combine soup, dressing mix and milk. Stir until well combined, add chicken breasts and toss to coat. Cook on low heat 6 - 8 hours or high heat 4 - 6 hours. Serve over rice.

Now I will say that TC and Addison both ate this up. Neither one complained about it in anyway, so it must not be too bad. You could probably stir in a couple of things to make this a little better, too. Who knows, maybe I will work on this one.

During lunch today, I came home and made a couple of batches of Flourless Oatmeal Raisin cookies. TC, who doesn't usually like raisins, liked them. They were really chewy and were only 2 pts. per cookie. Can't wait to share that one with you!

So long for today...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pink Lemonade Confetti Cupcakes

Today was a rainy South Carolina day. Normally, I would complain, but we definitely needed it. The only bad thing is that I didn't get my run in. Hope it doesn't set me back too much. Since TC was helping his cousin move again today, I did get to spend a lazy day with Addison which is always a good thing. While she was napping I got to make these confetti cupcakes for dessert at my sister's house this evening.  I love the tartness that the pink lemonade gives them. I did add some buttercream icing to the cupcakes for anyone who wasn't watching their weight, which was pretty much everyone but me. Here's the recipe:

adapted from Skinnytaste
Servings: 24
Points+: 3

1 box confetti cake mix
2 1/2 t. sugar free pink lemonade mix
1 c. water
1 T. oil
1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
Confetti Sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 24 liners in muffin pans. Mix water with lemonade mix and mix until dissolved. Combine cake mix, lemonade, oil & applesauce and mix with electric mixer until blended. Distribute evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle with confetti if using. Bake at 350 degrees for 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

These are a sweet treat that everyone seemed to enjoy this evening. I think these would be so good in the summer with a cream cheese frosting. I think that's an idea for this coming summer.

So long for today...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Fiesta Chowder

Today was such a busy day! We went shopping to catch some of the President's Day sales. Let me just say, we definitely helped the economy today! I had been planning to have my family and PA friends over for dinner tonight. I wanted to make Fiesta Chowder. Luckily, this soup comes together relatively quickly and we were still able to enjoy dinner before 7:00. This is a soup that we've enjoyed many times in the past

with our neighbors. Last week, I took the recipe and tried to figure out how to make it WW-friendly. I was actually surprised that it wasn't too bad already. I made one small change to the original recipe. We like to eat this with some fresh bread and Tostitoes Scoops. This is especially good on a cold winter day.

adapted from Southern Living
Servings: 8 - 10
Points+: 7

4 chicken breast halves
1 pkg. fajita seasoning
1 medium onion, chopped
1 t. garlic, minced
1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn with red and green peppers, drained
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles
3 cups FF chicken broth
1 cup uncooked instant brown rice
4 oz. 2% milk Velveeta

Toss chicken breast halves in half of fajita seasoning. Cook in skillet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray until cooked through. Shred chicken and add to large dutch oven with the rest of the ingredients, except Velveeta. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to boil for 5 minutes, then stir in Velveeta. Continue to cook until desired consistency.

I was really surprised when I first figured out the points in this soup. It is so creamy, I thought it had to be pretty high in points. Since it ended up being relatively low already, it wasn't hard to lighten it up. For tonight, I made 1 1/2 recipes and it was all eaten during dinner. So I would say that everyone else liked it too!

So long for today...

Friday, February 17, 2012

Cool Whip Cookies

Ah! Another flex Friday. I love having every other Friday off of work. What makes them even better is that TC has every Friday off of work so we get a bonus family day together. Sometimes we have definite plans and other times, we just relax and see what happens. Today was a day that I had a definite plan, but the rest of the family didn't. First, I wanted to get a run in, which I did. I also needed to run some errands to get the documents that I needed to renew my passport with my married name. Even though we got married 5 years ago, I hadn't changed my name on my passport. I figured that, until I had to, I wasn't going to. Well, since my passport expires in March and we're going on our cruise in April, that time has come. Since you never know how long it will take this Federal Agency to work, I wanted to get this taken care of well in advance. Apparently, that is today. So I needed to take care of getting my passport photos taken and getting a certified copy of our marriage license, both of which I did. It's a good feeling to know that I got everything accomplished today that I wanted to.

Some good friends from Pennsylvania came in last night and are staying at my parents house. Since Addison was talking about seeing "Bucky" all day, we decided to head up there for the evening. Not wanting to go empty handed, I made a batch of Alabama Firecrackers and Cool Whip cookies. I've been playing around with the different cake mixes that I've used when making these cookies. I've already tried lemon and strawberry. So far, lemon have been my favorite. When I looked in the pantry, I saw a French Vanilla cake mix, so I decided to try that one today, assuming they would taste similar to a sugar cookie. While I did like these ones, they're still not as good as the Lemon Cool Whip Cookies. Here's the recipe:

adapted from Slender Kitchen
Servings: about 48
Points+: 1 per cookie

1 cake mix, any flavor
2 eggs
1 medium container fat free Cool Whip
1/2 c. powdered sugar

Combine cake mix, eggs and cool whip and mix until well combined. Mixture will be pretty thick and sticky. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour, until mixture has thickened a bit more. Drop tablespoons of mixture into powedered sugar and roll until coated. Place on cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 14 - 16 minutes, or until edges are slightly browned. Allow to cool for 2 minutes before removing from cookie sheet.

You can also make these the day ahead of time and chill the batter in the fridge overnight. I've made these quite a few times since I found this recipe. Most everytime I make them I get compliments on them. People are really surprised when I tell them that they're WW-friendly. I would definitely recommend taking these to your next get together. All your friends will thank you!

So long for today...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Oven Baked Fries

I love a french fry as much as the next guy (or gal). But I don't like all of the fat and calories that go along with the traditional french fry. For a couple of years, I've been cutting my potatoes into chuncks and baking them. I actually made these pretty often. I think my husband got tired of them, so I had to find something new to make. For Christmas last year, I received a french fry cutter. I was so excited to try it! It comes with two different sizes. I've tried them both. I actually like the bigger setting, but during the week, I like to use the smaller setting so we don't have to wait all night for our dinner to be ready. When we have our hamburgers on the grill (which is pretty often) sometimes I like to make oven baked fries so that we can have our burger and fries, just a healthier version. Here's what I do...

Servings: 4
Points+: 4

4 medium russet potatoes, washed and dried
olive oil non-stick cooking spray
salt and pepper, seasoned salt or garlic salt

Using french fry cutter, cut all fries to your desired thickness. Dry potatoes very well after cutting to remove any moisture and place in large bowl. Spray cooking spray onto fries and toss to coat. Add seasoning of your choice and toss until potatoes are evenly coated. Place fries on cooling rack above baking pan. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes, or until desired crispness.

These are pretty simple to make. The french fry cutter makes them a lot easier, too. Now go grill yourself a burger with some healthy oven baked fries.

So long for today...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bubble Up Enchilada Casserole

So apparently, I've never had enchilada sauce. You can ask most anyone, and they'll tell you that I don't like a lot of spice in my food. My sister gets annoyed when I eat her lasagna because it's a litle too spicy for me. But I can't help it!! So today, I was just following the recipe for this casserole and added all the ingredients that it called for, plus a couple other ones. When I tried it, I made the realization about the enchilada sauce. It's still a very good casserole that I will probably make again, but I was just a little surprised at how spicy it was.

slightly adapted from Emily Bites
Servings: 6
Points+: 9

1 1/4 lb. extra lean ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (7.5) can refrigerator biscuits, cut into quarters
1 c. 2% milk mexican cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Brown turkey in large skillet. Add onion and garlic and cook until tender.

Add the enchilada sauce, tomato sauce and black beans and stir to combine. Stir the biscuit pieces into the meat mixtures.

Transfer the entire mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread out evenly. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Like I said, I think I will definitely make this casserole again. I might add some corn to it next time. We'll see. When I am making a new recipe, I like to follow it pretty close before I start changing it up. It must be good the way it is though, since we were all members of the clean plate club. TC liked it. He told me for the third time as he was eating his second helping.

Now go make this casserole and laugh when you taste it because you don't think it's spicy. Go ahead, it's ok.

So long for today...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Loaded Dutchess Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes = Good! Loaded Mashed Potatoes = Better! Loaded Dutchess Potatoes = THE BEST!! I saw these years ago in Cosmo. They were part of an article telling how to make your Valentine a romantic dinner. Awww! I thought I had kept the magazine with the recipes, but after a brief search today, realized that I didn't. So this recipe was all my creation. I love the dutchess potatoes and I love loaded baked potatoes. So I decided to combine the two and this is what I came up with...

Loaded Dutchess Potatoes
Servings: 4
Points+: 4

4 medium potatoes
1/4 c. skim milk
1/4 c. FF sour cream
1/3 c. 2% milk shredded cheddar cheese
2 T. bacon bits
1 t. garlic salt

1/4 c. egg beaters
1 t. skim milk

Peel and dice potatoes. Cook until fork tender. Using hand mixer, mix together potatoes and milk until smooth. Add remaining ingredients. Using piping bag, pipe into small mounds onto greased baking sheet. Chill for 20 - 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine egg beaters and milk to make egg wash. Remove potatoes from fridge and brush with egg wash.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with chopped scallions, bacon bits - what ever strikes your fancy! These are great because they're really not hard to do, but they're so fancy. Make them when you want to impress your guests. Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

So long for today...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cracker Barrel Chicken

When you think of restaurants that are WW friendly, Cracker Barrel doesn't usually come to mind. At least, it never did for me. I've never really been a big fan of Cracker Barrel. The last time I had gone, I ordered the Chicken and Dumplings and just didn't care for them. So one day when my husband suggested we go there for dinner, I wasn't too thrilled with the idea. After I started looking up the Points values of some of their foods though, I realized that they do have some really healthy options. This is what my typical meal at Cracker Barrel now consists of: Grilled Chicken Tenderloin(6 Pts.+), Brown Rice (3 Pts.+), Tossed Salad (0 Pts.+) w/ FF Italian (1 Pts.+) Total: 10 Pts.+ - Not bad for an "Old Country Store." Here's the recipe for the chicken:

Servings: 4
Points+: 6

1 lb. chicken breast, cut into tenderloins
1 c. FF italian dressing
2 t. lime juice
3 T. honey

Combine all ingredients and allow to marinate at least 1 hour or over night. Remove from marinade and grill.

This chicken is so delicious, it's so easy and it's so WW friendly. I really wish I had a picture to share with you, but my evening was pretty busy. I have a sick little girl tonight and I completely forgot to take a picture. I will make this again soon so that I can remember to take a picture to post. So in place of a picture of dinner, I will share a picture of the cupcakes that I made for Addison's class at school.

Hope everyone has a Happy Valentine's Day!

So long for today...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Crockpot Chili

I moved to South Carolina from Pennsylvania 6 1/2 years ago. One of the reasons that I did was to escape the cold. Today, it didn't seem like I had succeeded in my escape. It didn't get out of the 40s here today! To a transplanted Yankee, that's cold! I was talking to my mother today about how it was a lot colder than what we have been used to. I told her I try to remind myself that at least it's warmer here than it is in Pennsylvania! On a cold day, whether its a cold Pennsylvania day or a cold South Carolina day, nothing is better for dinner than Chili!

Today was the perfect day for chili. I have a trick that I use for my chili. I sneak in some extra veggies and also bulk of the chili by adding finely chopped carrots. They blend in so well and take on the other flavors in the chili and no one knows they're there! Over the years, we've changed up how we eat our chili. Growing up, we always ate our chili over mashed potatoes. After I moved out on my own, I decided to try my chili over pasta. After I met my husband, he told me that he liked it over rice...but then again, Southerners like just about anything with rice! We also like to add different toppings, such as cheese (of course!), chopped onions or Doritoes! If you've never had cheesy chili with Doritoes, you don't know what you're missing. Of course, that combination isn't very WW friendly. My usual option for my chili is over pasta. That's how we had it tonight.

Here's my recipe:

Servings - 8 - 10
Points+: 5

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. carrots, finely chopped
1 can tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can dark red kidney beans, undrained
1 can light red kidney beans, undrained
1 can chili beans, undrained
1 t. cumin
3 t. chili powder
1/2 t. basil
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper

In large skillet, brown ground beef. Add pepper, onion, garlic and carrots and cook until veggies are tender. Add meat mixture puls remaining ingredients to crockpot. Cook on low 6 - 8 hours or high 4 - 6 hours.

I love that this is a crockpot recipe. I love to use my crockpot, especially on a cold day! There's just something about the great smells developing and spreading through the house...What's also great about this recipe is that it makes so much! We usually have enough for dinner, a leftover dinner and some to add to the freezer. Addison loves my chili, too. That's always a bonus.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Go Red Heart 5k

Today was my big day! I ran my first 5k. Even though it was on the chilly side, I still had such a good time!

After a restless night's sleep, I finally got up shortly after 6:00. I had the eggs and bread that I had brought with me. After we relaxed for a little while, I also ate a banana. We headed down to the pavilion around 8:15 to see what kind of action was going on down there.
After some introductions and some awards for the best red costume, we all lined up and stretched. After the gun went off, I hung towards the back so that I wouldn't get caught up in the crowd.
Unfortunately, this strategy didn't work as I had wanted it to because I spent the first couple of minutes winding my way through the walkers.
After I was through though, I was on my way. I didn't think the race would be hard since my runs are usually around 3 miles. But let me tell you, it was harder than I thought it would be! I don't know if it was the cold or the lack of sleep or the race environment, but I wasn't sure I was going to finish!! But as soon as I saw the first runner headed back my way, I knew I could do it! I stayed at the same pace until I could see the finish line.
After I finally saw that glorious sight, I high-tailed it over the finish line as fast as I could!
I crossed the finish line with just over 29:00 on the clock, so I'm guessing that I ran it in about 28:00. I keep checking the site, but they still haven't posted the results.

By the time the race was over, Addison had had enough and wanted to be anywhere but there!
After the top three for my age category were announced, we retreated back to the hotel to collect our things and headed home, where I decided to join Addison for her afternoon nap.

This was such a fun experience and I'm so glad I did it. I'm trying to figure out when I can do it again and still considering running the bridge run.

I will give you a sneak peak at the White Chocolate Almond cookies that I made this afternoon.

But that's the topic of another post.

So long for today...