Monday, September 30, 2013

Walking Nemo.

When I went to pick Xander up from speech class today, without my camera of course, I see him come walking down the hall with his teacher...and a dog. He was so excited to be holding "Nemo's" leash and walking him all by himself. I snapped a quick pic with my phone and then got to hear all about Xan's new friend, and how he wants to take Gangster for a walk. Love G, but a low key mellow old Black Lab he is not LOL, I don't think Xander will get much dog walking experience just yet.

I got a little start on my wish to organize our pantry...not bad for $5...but I need MOOOORRREEE :)

The kiddos are awfully excited for Christmas...and Santa. So excited that the girls spent all day switching off being Santa. Well a pimp limp version of Santa anyway LOL!
I'm a pasta girl. One of the hardest parts of this diet has been cutting me off from pasta. Until today...I feel like I should say "Skinny taste has an app for that" LOL. I give you Chicken and broccoli noodle casserole! Not only does it have noodles, but cheese too...and for a 1/6th serving it will only set you back 313 calories and 10 grams of fat...not too shabby.
  • 6 oz Ronzoni Smart taste noodles (or no-yolk)
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 12 oz fresh broccoli florets, chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1-3/4 cups fat free chicken broth
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 12 oz cooked shredded chicken breast (I put a couple breasts into the crock pot for 4 hours and shredded them)
  • 4 oz shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar 
  • cooking spray
  • 3 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp seasoned breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat)


Cook noodles in salted water until al dente, or slightly undercooked by 2 minutes. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and cook on medium heat until golden, about 1 minute. Add the broccoli and a little salt, sauté and cover the broccoli for about 3 minutes on medium heat until the broccoli begins to soften. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly spray a 9 x 12 casserole dish with cooking spray.

In a large pot, heat butter over medium-low heat, when melted add the shallot and cook until soft, 2-3 minutes. Add the flour and a pinch of salt and stir well, cooking an additional 2-3 minutes on medium-low heat.

Slowly whisk in the chicken broth until well combined over medium heat; whisk well for 30 seconds, then add the milk and bring to a boil. Simmer on medium heat, mixing occasionally until it thickens (about 6-7 minutes). Remove from heat and add reduced fat sharp cheddar and 1 tablespoon of the parmesan cheese; mix well until the cheese melts.

Add the shredded chicken, noodles and broccoli to the sauce and mix well until evenly coated.

Pour into a casserole dish and top with parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Spray a little more cooking spray on top and bake for about 20 - 25 minutes. Place the casserole under the broiler a few minutes to get the crumbs crisp and golden (careful not to burn).

It was yummy!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Sweet kids, sunglasses and steak.

My girls were feeling very princessey today, they got their dresses on and were playing all kinds of princess make believe.

Jericho featured in many stories, as all kinds of different characters....this one was some sort of little troll I think LOL.

Ah come on Haddie, don't look so pouty.
That is more like it :)

Making tonights dinner dinner got comical. Jason heard somewhere that is you wear eye protection when you cut up an onion it helps. So far he is not buying it...maybe he needs to try it with glasses in his size?
Dinner was so good, one of Jason's faves so far...figures, it features steak. Another skinny hit! Quick skillet steak with veggies.

1/2 lb thin cut beef round sandwich steaks
1/2 large onion, sliced into rings
1/2 tsp olive oil
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1/2 sliced red bell pepper
4 seconds cooking spray
garlic powder to taste
salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Have all your veggies sliced and ready, this goes fast.
Slice beef into thin strips. Season with salt, garlic powder and fresh pepper to taste.
Heat a large skillet over high heat. When the skillet is very hot, spray with cooking spray and add half of the beef. Cook one minute, then turn steak and cook an additional 30 seconds.
Set aside in a large dish. Spray the skillet again and when it gets hot add the remaining steak, cooking one minute, then turning and cooking 30 seconds more. Add remaining steak to the dish.
Return skillet to heat and spray once again with cooking spray; add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook one minute, then turn and cook onions an additional 30 seconds or until onions are golden. Lower heat to medium and add 1/2 tsp olive oil to the skillet, add mushrooms, bell peppers, salt and pepper and lightly spray the top of the mushrooms with cooking spray.
Cook 1 1/2 minutes, then turn mushrooms and cook another minute and a half. Add to dish with steak and onions and stir to combine. Serve over rice.
We added a dollup of fat free refried beans and fat free sour cream...Mmmm!
These would make great fajita's or a steak and cheese sandwich too.
1/4th of the dish of steak and veggies is 95 calories and 4 grams of fat (beans, sour cream, cheese anything else you add is extra.)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Throwback Thursday.

Here is a little throwback for you... October 2007 Jason and I...and my brother and sister and their significant others, went to a Seahawks game in Seattle. Little did I know 2 months later I would be pregnant with triplets.

Not even a year later...8/17/08. What the heck happened to Jason and I, we look like crap....oh yeah, those three little peanuts you see there happened. This was the Day Xander came home from the NICU and joined the rest of his family. They were 35 days old, it is hard to remember them so tiny LOL.
4 sickies joined their voiceless mom today. At least no one is throwing up *knock on wood. What a way to kick off fall. Though maybe this means my house will stay clean for more that 10 minutes.

I love movie days snuggling on the couch...thank goodness we have a big couch LOL.

In other news... Taking your big brothers Spider-man is a very serious offense. Punishment? According to older brother, Jericho must be taken back to the baby store. LMAO!!!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Tooth Fairy kept her word.

I am so glad the triplets are not in school this year, that way I can be the first one to get sick...instead of feeling like the little rugrats infected me with the cooties of their people LOL.
I woke up this morning with a sore throat, sinus headache and pain that went into my jaw and no voice at all.
Lucky for me the triplets must think something is really wrong with me. They have been scared my voice will be gone forever and I will have to start talking with my hands LOL. Every time I get off the couch they yell at me to rest, then they cover me with blankets and put their stuffed animals all around me. It has been sweet...when I don't have to talk to them.
I did take a break from my couch jockey position to check the mail...seems the Tooth Fairy does not offer door to door service.
The girls were so happy to see their Chica stufties, they even asked me to write a thank you letter to the Tooth Fairy...such nice girls :)

Chica was the star of the day...we had puppet shows, featuring Chica 1 and 2's friends Vegas prize duck and reading prize goose LOL.

Thank you, you've been a wonderful audience.

Next Chica got dressed and sat upon her very own block thrown.
Then it appears Chica was incarcerated for some reason....hmmm.

Jason was nice enough to let me grab a nap, he even fed the troops dinner while I was sleeping.

When I woke up he was getting everyone bundled up to take a little after dinner walk. We have seriously been slacking on that since we moved. I fear the weather is not going to cooperate for much longer though.

Hard to believe this whole outfit was Xander's just a couple years ago.

Haddie had made me a 'Get Well' card during my nap. She drew Hello Kitty all by herself! She is still writing backwards a lot.

They told me the walk was chilly...but they had fun playing at the little near by "park" for about 20 min. before heading home. Getting dark...ahh bedtime doth approach!!! LOL

I forgot to add Jason took while they were at the park. Our least athletic and most careful child, Bug, went up one side and came down another...way to go Lily :) She was so proud to tell me all about it when she got home.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My 4 reasons...

My 4 reasons for smiling, my 4 reasons for waking up early in the morning...even when I really don't want to.
My 4 reasons for laughing out loud each and every day, my 4 reasons for most of the gray hairs I have to color.
My 4 reasons for giving up the TV choices, my 4 reasons for having to clean my house 20 times a day.
My 4 reasons that my dreams of the future are happy ones, my 4 reasons for being on this earth.

The silly never stops...I love my life.

My monkeys were very entertaining on this wet dreary day.
Bonus, the kids kept the house semi clean today, I found $20 that I thought I lost 2 months ago, and I found a ring I thought I lost on our beach trip 2 weeks ago. I should send Jason out for a lottery ticket LOL!


Dinner tonight...yup, another Skinny taste meal.
Chicken Enchiladas!

For the sauce:
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 tbsp chipotle chilis in adobo sauce
1-1/2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 cup fat free chicken broth
kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste

For the chicken:
1 tsp vegetable oil
8.5 oz (2 breast halves) cooked shredded chicken breast (I tossed mine into the crock pot on low for 4 hours then shredded it)
1 cup diced onion
2 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup cilantro
kosher salt
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup tomato sauce 8
(7-inch) reduced carb whole wheat flour tortillas (la tortilla factory)
1 cup shredded low fat Mexican cheese
non-stick cooking spray
1/2 cup chopped scallions or cilantro for topping

In a medium saucepan, spray oil and sauté garlic. Add chipotle chiles, chili powder, cumin, chicken broth, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onions and garlic on low until soft, about 2 minutes. Add chicken, salt, cilantro, cumin, oregano, chili powder, tomato sauce, chicken broth, and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Spray a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with non-stick spray.
Put 1/3 cup chicken mixture into each tortilla and roll it. Place on baking dish seam side down, top with sauce. Then top with cheese.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes.
Top with low fat sour cream or scallions if you wish. (Extra cals) Makes 8 enchiladas.
320 calories and 12 grams of fat for 2 enchiladas....and honestly with a little fat free refried beans on the side 1 or 1 1/2 was plenty.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Moving on up!

Xander got to start his speech and OT classes today. They are held at the school the trio will be going to next year for kindy. He goes for about an hour, once a week. I am so grateful for all the help he has received over the last 2 1/2 or so years, I know he is not as behind as some kids...and that is probably due to starting speech and OT early instead of waiting and seeing. I hope we can get him to 100%, but I know he is already much much improved.

He was very excited...he was hugging and kisses all of us and telling everyone goodbye, even though we told him he was jumping the gun by about an hour LOL.

He loved being at his new school, and he was really happy to meet his new teachers.
Jason dropped him off today, he was nice enough to take a couple pics for me. The teachers ended up asking him to stay for the hour today, since it was Xander's first class.
Xan met a new friend, and seemed to like his teachers...until he realized he didn't get to run the show.
When Xander got home Jericho wanted to wear his Spider-man sweater. Jericho always seems to be right in line with the trio, this really shows us how much smaller/younger he really matter how well he can keep up.

The ratties are still too small for the McMansion...but I am tired of waiting, so they are moving on up today. We bought some wire mesh and zip ties and went to work.

This should keep them from squeezing out through the larger spaced bars. We only did the top part, for now.

Much better...and they love the extra space.

I had fun stocking their new home with some recycled odds and ends for the boys to play with. They love the egg carton "rock wall" I zip tied to the ladder. They got a little milk jug bed, and a couple box beds/play things. Down below is their little house and a hammock...I need to hang a couple more hammocks tomorrow.

Silly boys.
They never did get the whole litter box thing. I was hoping, but I guess boys are not as likely as girls are with litter box success. So we got this giant tub, which will hold the bedding and keep the mess contained...and be easy to just pull out and clean. Hopefully this works better. 

Lunch and dinner today were both something new, to us, from Skinny Taste.
Lunch was Cuban Picadillo in lettuce wraps...well mine was in a bowl as a salad, I think lettuce wraps are messy LOL.
1/2 large chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 pepper, finely chopped
2 tbsp cilantro
1-1/2 lb 93% lean ground beef
4 oz (1/2 can) tomato sauce
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1-2 bay leaf
2 tbsp alcaparrado (capers or green olives would work too)

Brown meat on medium flame in large sauté pan and season with salt and pepper.
Use a wooden spoon to break the meat up into small pieces. When meat is no longer pink, drain all juice from pan.
Meanwhile, while meat is cooking, chop onion, garlic, pepper, tomato and cilantro.
Add sofrito (onion mixture) to the meat and continue cooking on a low flame.
Add alcaparrado and about 2 tbsp of the brine (this adds great flavor) cumin, bay leaf, and more salt if needed.
Add tomato sauce and 1/4 cup of water and mix well.
Reduce heat and simmer covered about 15-20 minutes.
1/2 cup is 170 calories and 7 grams of fat. ...of course the low fat cheese and fat free sour cream Jason added to his would be extra :)

Dinner was so granted I am pretty limited in what I have been eating these last couple of weeks, so it could just be extra good to me since I am like starving LOL.
Skinny Salisbury steak with mushroom gravy, served with skinny Garlic mashed potatoes.

1 1/2 tsp oil
3/4 cup onions, minced
1 lbs 93% lean ground beef
1 lb 93% lean ground turkey
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 large egg
1 large egg white
2 cups beef broth
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper, to taste
8 oz sliced mushrooms
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, to taste
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/4 cup water chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

Sauté onions in oil over medium heat until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine half of the sautéed onions, ground beef, ground turkey, bread crumbs, egg, egg white, 1/4 cup beef broth, salt and black pepper.
Shape into 8 oval patties. In a large deep skillet over medium-high heat, brown both sides of patties. Set aside on a dish.
Add mushrooms to the skillet, season with salt and pepper and sauté 2-3 minutes. Return patties to the skillet with the mushrooms.
In a small bowl, blend flour and remaining broth until smooth.
Mix in remaining onions, tomato paste, vinegar, water, worcestershire sauce and mustard powder. Pour over meat and mushrooms in skillet. Cover and cook on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
1 patty with the mushroom gravy is 203 calories and 8 grams of fat.

2 lbs (4 medium) yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1/4 cup fat free sour cream
1/4 cup fat free chicken broth
2 tablespoons skim milk
1 tbsp light butter
kosher salt to taste
dash of fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup fresh herbs of choice: parsley, thyme, tarragon

Put potatoes and garlic in a large pot with salt and enough water to cover.
Bring to a boil.
Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Drain and return potatoes and garlic to pan.
Add sour cream and remaining ingredients.
Using a masher, mash until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
160 calories and 2 grams of fat in a 3/4 cup serving.