Friday, November 15, 2013

Bargain Christmas shopping.

Before I get into my "shopping" finds, I have to tell you about today's lunch...OMG! I need to go back through my page of recipes and implement the star system...this one would be a 5 out of 5! First I found a great "skinny" Greek salad, though it wasn't a Skinny Taste recipe, it was yummy.

Ingredients For Salad:
1 bag romaine lettuce, about 6 cups
1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped, about 2½ cups
3 medium tomatoes, chopped, about 2½ cups or cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped, about 1 cup
16 Kalamata olives, sliced in half
½ cup fat-free feta cheese, crumbled

Ingredients For Dressing:
¾ cup Paul Newman’s Light Balsamic Dressing
⅓ cup fat-free feta cheese
¾ teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1. In a large bowl, add all salad ingredients except feta cheese. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. In a small bowl, add dressing ingredients. Whisk together to blend well. Refrigerate until ready to toss.
3. To serve-toss dressing with salad. Divide among 4 plates. Top each with 2 tablespoons of feta cheese. If you’re serving buffet style, add feta cheese to the salad before tossing.
Makes 4 main-course salads (about 3½ cups each serving)...1 main course salad, 194 calories, 11 grams of fat. I had this as a side salad, only had a little over a cup.

With this scrumptious salad we had Garlic lime marinated pork chops...fabulous, just fabulous! It has a nice spicy fire to it and the lime is a tasty touch.

4 (6 oz each) lean boneless pork chops
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 lime, juice of lime zest
salt and fresh pepper

Trim any fat off pork. In a large bowl season pork with garlic, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper.
Squeeze lime juice and some zest from the lime and let it marinade at least 20 minutes.
Line broiler pan with foil for easy clean up. Place pork chops on the broiler pan and broil about 4-5 minutes on each side or until nicely browned. 1 chop is 195 calories and 8 grams of fat.

You can see a tiny bit of rice on my plate (those extra tomatoes were going to the kids BTW) I like rice, but I don't like that it takes up so many of my calories for the day. Jason made this Cilantro lime rice and it was so good he insisted I try...I'm glad he did, it was awesome...and went perfectly with the chops.

Cilantro lime rice....Chipotle's done "Skinny"

  • 1 cup extra long grain rice or basmati rice
  • 1/2 lime, juice of
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
  • 3 tsp vegetable oil

In a small heavy pot, add rice, water, 1 tsp oil and salt. Boil on high until most of the water evaporates. When the water just skims the top of the rice, reduce to low and cover about 15 minutes. Shut off flame and keep covered an additional 5 minute.

In a medium bowl, combine chopped cilantro, lime juice, rice and remaining oil and toss until completely mixed. 3/4 cup is 201 calories and 3 1/2 grams of fat.

In other cooking news...Our neighbor was nice enough to share some of his venison with us. We cooked some of it today and the conversations with Xander have been fun. I tried to explain hunting to him. He said "The deer attacked Mak, Mak had to protect himself" LOL, now every time he sees any of the meat he refers to it as "the dead animal." Yup, we are having some dead animal for dinner tonight.  He even has Jericho calling it the dead animal. Mak better prepare himself for a very curious 5 year old boy to interrogate him on hunting the next time Xan sees him.

We made the Skinny quick skillet recipe for dinner tonight using the venison instead of beef steak. It didn't come out great...I think we need to read up more on how to make good, read not chewy, venison. We have lots more to try again.
Jason has been trying to get some more work done in the is still a disaster.
Thankful project continues...
Yesterday...Day 14: I am thankful my in-laws are awesome. I hear so many stories about monster in-laws, I'm lucky to have become part of such a great family.

Today, Day 15: I am thankful for Craigslist. When you have a bigger family, and are making it on one income, you work with what you've got. I have come by some great finds on good old Craigslist. I am also happy to be giving things a new home and purpose, instead of them ending up in a landfill. Reduce, reuse, recycle  

Speaking of Craigslist being awesome...the people of CL are helping us put together a pretty great Christmas for our kiddos! Not only did I find this huge dollhouse for $45 on CL, but I found all these pieces of furniture and people for $35 last week.
They are a little small for the big house, but we had nothing to put in this house...and I had no idea how expensive this stuff is, like $20 per 3 or 4 item set (ex. a bed, chair, dresser and lamp would be $20.) So all this stuff is a great start, and will give the girls lots to play with while we add to the collection.

Lily asked for a baby doll for Christmas...a "real" baby doll. We found one that we liked on Amazon, then started thinking we should probably get Haddie one too. I decided on a whim to look on Craigslist, and wouldn't you know I find one like we were buying 40+ outfits and some other stuff for $30. Funny ended up being the same lady that sold all the dollhouse furniture to us LOL.
Isn't she the cutest...oh waiting until Christmas is going to be so hard :)

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