Monthly Archives: February 2013

Low Carb “Buffalo Chicken Burger & Fries”

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This is my low carb version of a buffalo chicken burger & french fries. I’ve been craving this ever since I let myself have the real thing on vacation. I could have done a boring chicken breast with no bun smothered in hot sauce but what fun would that be? I’ve said before that you can stuff a mushroom with ANYTHING and here’s more proof. I took my buffalo chicken dip recipe (see previous post) and instead of baking it as a dip, I filled portabella mushrooms with it and baked them to a bubbly, buffalo, burger-like perfection. It was a fork & knife burger, but boy was it good! Filled my buffalo chicken craving and exceeded my expectations! I paired it with butternut squash fries….MOVE OVER sweet potato fries, these are WAY better and LOW CARB!

Buffalo Chicken Portabella Burger

What you need;
4 large or 8 small portabella mushrooms
1 10 oz can of chicken
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup Franks Red Hot Sauce
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

How to make;
Wipe off mushrooms with a damp towel, place on a baking sheet. Mix all other ingredients together until combined to make the filling. Fill each mushroom evenly with filling. Bake at 425 for 12-15 min until filling is bubbly.

Butternut Squash Fries

What you need;
1 med. size butternut squash
2 tbls olive oil
1/4 tsp of each; salt, pepper, paprika

How to make;
Peel the squash and cut in half, scoop out seeds. Cut each half in half again. Then cut those pieces in half so you have 8 long slices. From there make “fries” by cutting them into your desired length. Put the fries in a bowl and coat with oil and seasonings. Spread fries evenly on a cooling rack stacked on top of a baking dish (do this so the heat distributes evenly) and bake at 425 for 30 minutes. No need to flip with the cooling rack on top of baking sheet method.

Use the smaller portabella’s for “sliders” or the larger caps as “burgers” would make a great appetizer too! If you like sweet potato fries, try the butternut squash fries, similar flavor but I think these are way better!

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Low Carb Cheesecake

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Yes, you read that right, this is a recipe for low carb cheesecake. It’s similar to a “no bake” cheesecake but without the added sugar. This is light, fluffy and very satisfying for your sweet tooth. I made this last night for my dad’s birthday and everyone enjoyed it. It’s made with sugar-free jello, I choose cherry this time, but I’ve made lemon, lime and strawberry before. Any flavor you’d like would be delicious. Orange is next on my list. Here’s the recipe, it’s soooooooo easy and very good!

What you need;

  • 1 8oz pkg of softened cream cheese (do not buy light or fat-free, those both have sugar in them)
  • 1 cup of whole milk cottage cheese (large or small curd, it doesn’t matter)
  • 1 container of cool whip (again do not buy light or fat-free, those have more carbs)
  • 1 4-serving size box of sugar-free jello, any flavor you want. I used cherry this time
  • 2/3 cup of boiling water
  • 2 whole graham crackers
  • Whipped cream for topping (optional)

How to make;

Pulse the 2 graham crackers in a food processor until they are crumbs. Put the graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of a pie plate, spread evenly. This will be a very thin crust, just gives you a little of that graham cracker crust flavor. Dissolve the jello in the boiling water, stir well and put in the refrigerator to cool while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Put the cup of cottage cheese in the blender or food processor and blend until smooth, add the cream cheese and pulse until incorporated, slowly pour in the dissolved jello and pulse until combined (it’s ok if the jello water is still warm). Pour the mixture into a bowl and fold in one container of cool whip. Do not blend the cool whip, fold it in so it stays light and fluffy. Pour the filling into the pie plate on top of the graham cracker crumbs and spread evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours to overnight. The longer it sets the more firm it gets. Slice and top with whipped cream if desired. This cheesecake melts in your mouth, it’s light, slightly sweet and creamy. Totaling around 8 carbs per slice (carb count may not be 100% accurate), this is a dessert that you can really enjoy.
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If you aren’t low carb, you could easily make this low-fat by using low-fat cream cheese, cool whip and cottage cheese. Would be delicious topped with fruit!

Check out my other low carb sweet treats here…..

https://simple2something.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/low-carb-peanut-butter-balls/
https://simple2something.wordpress.com/2013/02/05/low-carb-sweet-tooth-snacks/

Chicken Capri

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It’s my dad’s birthday today (Happy Birthday Daddy), and for the last 6 or so years I have made him a home cooked birthday dinner. We usually have Chicken Capri, it’s his favorite dish from a local restaurant and I love it too. I’ve adapted the recipe to make it as low carb as possible. I think changing it has added more flavor and everyone loved it tonight, as usual! It’s easy to make and smothered in a white wine and cheese sauce….Mmmmmm….here’s the recipe.

What you need;
4 chicken breast (yes, there are 5 in the picture, the sauce could easily accomodate 6 chicken breast for a larger crowd)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup dry or semi dry white wine
1/2 cup provel cheese (if you don’t live around St. Louis you won’t have provel cheese so use an Italian blend)
1 lemon
Salt & Pepper

How to make;
Cut lemon in half, juice one half into a bowl, rub the other half on both sides of each chicken breast. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Pour 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese in a shallow dish and dip each chicken breast in the parmesan cheese until lightly coated. Brown chicken on both sides (do not cook thru).

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While chicken is browning, mix the wine, cream of chicken soup and left over parmesan cheese from dipping the chicken with the lemon juice from earlier. You must use the parmesan cheese in this dish, it has touched raw chicken and must be cooked in this dish or thrown away. I usually add a few more shakes of parmesan for good measure 🙂 season the sauce with a little pepper. Once the chicken is browned, put it in a casserole dish, cover with sauce, top with provel cheese, cover with foil and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

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After 25 minutes, remove foil and let bake another 5-10 minutes until the cheese and sauce are bubbly. I traditionally serve with broccoli and a salad but if you aren’t low carb, make some kind of bread to soak up all of that delicious sauce!

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This picture doesn’t do this dish any justice, a perfectly cooked and seasoned, juicy and moist chicken breast smothered in a cheesy white wine sauce topped with more cheese……is your mouth watering? 🙂

More Money Saving Tips & Tricks

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This is a follow-up to my original post “Money Saving Tips & Tricks”. You could say that I’m addicted to saving money, I’m also addicted to spending money….hmmm…..isn’t everyone? I almost enjoy spending money to see how much money I can save. I challenge myself to new saving habits all the time, I research ways to save money and I reward myself with expensive items that I pay next to nothing for. My original money saving post was about cutting costs, clipping coupons and finding ways to save in your daily spending and shopping habits. This post will be about long term savings options for you and your family. Ways to reduce your monthly or yearly costs. I’ve implemented all of these in my life and have reaped the biggest reward of more time with my son, I can work part time and enjoy more of these years with him that are flying by too fast.

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Here are some ways to save hundreds of dollars each month……

  1. Refinance your home. Interest rates are at an all time low right now, talk to a mortgage professional today to see if refinancing would be in your best interest. This is a great option for those who plan on staying in their home long-term. If you plan on moving soon, the cost of refinancing will probably not be paid back in your monthly payment savings before you move. If you do qualify this could save you hundreds of dollars each month!
  2. Adjust your insurance policies, all of them. Shop around, I found better coverage for our automobiles at a lower price. More coverage and less money, that was a no brainer. I picked one company for our auto’s and home and received a multi-policy discount too. Don’t over purchase insurance, buy as much as you need with a little help and guidance from your insurance agent, but be careful not to over-insure which costs you unnecessary money.
  3. Adjust your cable, internet and phone packages. Do you really need HBO, Showtime, etc? If you don’t, cut your cable package down to what you need. Reduce your internet speed to save between $10-15 per month. Get rid of your home phone (unless you need it for your home security system), how much do you use it anyway? Also reduce your data package on your cell phone and connect to wifi when you are at home, work, etc. Cut your minutes if you can too.
  4. Cut your grocery spending in half. Get creative with your menu, clip coupons, shop sale ads and DON’T WASTE! Use up all of the food in your house before you go buy more. Reward yourself with a nice dinner out once a month, it’s something you will look forward to and the rest of the month you will enjoy the extra money in your pocket.
  5. Transfer credit card balances to a low or no interest introductory credit card. You can pay them off faster if you aren’t being charged interest.
  6. Conserve energy and water. Run the dishwasher and washing machine only if they are full. Line dry your clothing. Set a timer for your shower so you don’t waste unnecessary water. How long does it really take to shower? Not 30 minutes……Unplug items that you don’t use daily, turn off lights when leaving a room, turn off the tv and computer when not in use. Open your blinds to naturally heat your home from the sun during the day and turn your thermostat  down or up when you leave. All of these things can reduce your water and energy costs by $5-$50 a month!
  7. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle……EVERYTHING……I’m not just talking about recycling cans, glass and newspaper, I’m talking about recycling and reusing things. Those glass jars that spaghetti sauce and pickles come in make great storage containers for the bathroom and garage. Coffee containers make great storage containers for Lego’s and small toys for children. Milk jugs make great watering cans, poke holes in the lid. Diaper and shoe boxes can be transformed into decorative storage bins with some cheap fabric and spray adhesive. You get the idea……get creative and reuse and recycle items you already have instead of going out and buying new.
  8. Did you know you can grow many herbs and veggies from plating the leftover root and it will re-grow? I haven’t tried this yet, but I will when I plant my garden this summer. You can re-grow celery, green onions, herbs, etc from keeping the root end and re-planting it. Google this for specific instructions. This goes along with re-using and not wasting anything. Re-plant it if you can and continue to reap the rewards of ONE PURCHASE!
  9. Make toys for your kids from empty tissue boxes, paper towel and toilet paper rolls, construction paper, egg cartons, etc. My son loves things he’s not suppose to have so when I give him a paper towel roll or an empty water bottle to play with he thinks it’s the best thing since sliced bread. Kids don’t need expensive toys to be happy, they need love, affection, attention and an imagination. Let their imagination run wild with unconventional and FREE toys. Toys are expensive and kids have a short attention span, I have a living room full of toys and my son would rather have an empty box and a paper towel roll.
  10. Make as many things as you can yourself. Life doesn’t have to be so complicated. Take a minute to get back to the basics. It’s so easy to go out and buy things these days, and we pay a pretty penny for those conveniences. Don’t get me wrong, I love the modern-day conveniences that we have today, but I also enjoy making things for myself. You don’t have to be crafty or creative, you just have to believe in yourself. Make something you’ve been wanting to try instead of buying it. You will save money and you will be doing something for yourself. Cook more dinners at home, try making your own household cleaners and detergents, re-use, recycle, up-cycle, conserve, create and believe in yourself.
  11. Put yourself on a budget. It’s as easy as writing down your income, then your set expenses, then your adjustable expenses and then what you wish to save every month and figuring out where you can cut costs. Challenge yourself to save money and reward yourself with that pair of shoes you’ve been eyeballing if you meet your goals. Make sure you find a coupon though 😉
  12. Bring your lunch, make coffee at home, pack snacks to avoid the vending machine. I can easily spend $10 a day on lunch at my favorite restaurant, Panera OR I can spend about $2 a day on lunch by packing it myself the night before. That’s $8 a day I’m saving by putting forth a little effort and making my own lunch. My favorite coffee from Panera is $4 a cup. I estimate that a cup of coffee from home with a delicious creamer I might add is probably about $0.10 a cup. I bring pre-portioned snacks to work to avoid overspending on carb and sugar filled snacks from a vending machine. This saves me money and unnecessary carbs!
  13. We all love to do activities, go to the movies, tour a museum, do a sporting adventure or attend a sporting event, but all of those activities can add up. Think about a matinée instead of an evening show. It’s less money and you are less likely to spend money on concessions because it’s right after lunch or right before dinner. Find free activities and museums in your city. St. Louis has a beautiful, huge and FREE Zoo! That is one of my favorite places to go, right in the middle of Forest Park which has many other free activities and the animals are always doing something new. It’s great for the whole family and FREE! We pack a picnic and make a day of it. Find Groupon’s or saving certificates for sporting adventures or events. Look for discounted sporting tickets on Stubhub.com or buy them on a promo day.
  14. Try the 52 week money challenge, see my original post. It’s not too late to start…..what will you do with your savings?
  15. Do yard, home and auto maintenance yourself. I’m very lucky to have a handy husband who can do oil changes, who takes care of all the home and yard maintenance and saves us tons of money by doing the not so fun homeowner chores himself. Get out there and get your hands dirty, cut your own grass, landscape your own yard, build yourself something. Change your own oil (if you know how) instead of paying someone else to do it. Clean out your gutters yourself, maintain your own lawn instead of paying a company to do it. Fire the maid and get your kids to help clean. Teach them responsibility and pay them to help with chores. Teach them how to spend and save their money wisely. Win/Win!

All of these ideas might not work for you, but I urge you to try some of them. It’s amazing how much money we throw away each month until we step back and look for it. A happy family doesn’t consists of riches, it consists of love, memories, laughter and fun. All of which can be created without a single penny! Challenge yourself to live more frugally and then reward yourself with the savings if you wish. Take that vacation you’ve been dreaming about, you’ve earned it! Combine these tips with my original money saving tips post and you have many options to help you save money!

Use What You’ve Got

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This post is inspired by my creativity with dinner last night. We came home from a wonderful vacation in sunny, warm and beautiful Fort Lauderdale, Florida to a cold, miserable, snow and iced over St. Louis. We flew in about 45 minutes after the snow/sleet started and as we walked off the plane they were making the cancellation announcement for the rest of the day. Over 300 arrivals and departures were canceled, whew we got very lucky to make it home…….or did we…….after about an hour of waiting for our bags and then a 2.5 hour drive home from the airport in the thick of the storm, we finally made it home to a house with no food. I immediately wished our flight had been cancelled and we were back at our beach house laying around in the sun or splashing in the pool! Snapping back to reality, I realized that we hardly had any food in the house and we were snowed in. After that treacherous trip home, we weren’t getting back out. I found some meat in the freezer and some milk that my dad had bought for us before we got home (thanks dad for everything, including coming to the airport to get us). That milk was essential in the dinner I threw together last night and Cade was very happy to have his nightly cup of milk.  I found baking mix in the pantry and a chunk of pepper-jack cheese in the back of the fridge. We usually have one week a month, usually at the end of the month where we use up our pantry and fridge stock. That week happened to be the week before we left for vacation so that nothing would spoil while we were gone. Our flight landed at noon and I had planned on making a grocery run when I got home, but mother nature had other plans. When I’m trying to use up items, or make a cheap dinner, I often go to my favorite internet tool…..the Google search bar and I start typing in items that I have on hand and see what recipes come up. I did that last night with the following “baking mix, ground beef, cheese, milk” because that’s pretty much all we had and this is the recipe that came up. http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/impossibly-easy-cheeseburger-pie/8c78aa78-c368-40fa-8a88-1654640c7525. I thought, I can work with that….I realized we didn’t have any eggs so back to the Google search bar to find out what you can substitute for eggs in hearty dishes. I know you can substitute applesauce for eggs in sweets but I didn’t know what you could use in savory dishes. I found that mayonnaise can be used as a substitute, 3 tablespoons per egg that you need. Mayo is made from eggs and oil and I must say it worked as a great substitute. Thinking this dish was going to be a little bland, I spiced it up a bit. I found a can of rotel in the pantry and got out some cumin, pepper and garlic salt. I followed the base of the recipe, but this is what I changed………

Kelsey’s Kicked Up Cheeseburger Pie

Brown one pound of ground beef, drain and return to pan, add 1 tsp of cumin, 1/2 tsp of garlic salt and 1/2 tsp of black pepper. Drain one can of rotel and add to beef and spices, stir well. Mix 1/2 cup of baking mix (I had Jiffy brand on hand) with 1 cup of milk and 2 eggs (I didn’t have eggs so I used 6 tbls of mayo and it worked great). Mixture will be runny. Spray pie pan with cooking spray and pour beef mixture into the bottom. Top beef with about 1 cup of shredded cheese (I had pepper-jack, use what you have) and pour baking mix over the top. Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes or until lightly brown on the top. I had sour cream and hot sauce to top it with but next time I’ll add lettuce, black olives and salsa too. I will be making this again on my use up the pantry/fridge weeks! It made 4 large portions so we had dinner last night and lunch for today! Super easy and really good!
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*This recipe is not low carb. For those of you who follow me for low carb recipes, more of those coming soon*

Malibu Rum Soaked Pineapple

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I’m feeling a little blue today having just come home from sunny and warm Fort Lauderdale and now I’m wrapped in a blanket with hot tea watching Jake shovel snow…….I have to share this delicious treat that I made in Florida. Its great by itself or dropped into drinks to add more flavor. I liked it best dropped into a mixed drink of Malibu rum and orange juice (as pictured).

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What you need;
1 pineapple (cut into chunks)
1 cup of Malibu Rum

Put the pineapple chunks into a container with a lid, pour the Malibu over the pineapple and let soak overnight (moving the pineapple around a few times). Drain the pineapple on top of a bowl to keep the juices (now you have pineapple infused Malibu rum to use in drinks). Enjoy the pineapple by itself or dropped into drinks! Perfect beach or pool snack!

Money Saving Tips & Tricks

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If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I like to save money. I get asked how I score great deals all the time and I’ve spent a lot of time compiling this list to help you save some money too.

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– I shop around…..I don’t buy something at the first store I see it at. There are many app’s for your smart phone that can help you compare prices. I also type in a certain item in the Google search bar and see what comes up.  I then compare the price of the item at different stores and check for any deals or discounts I can find.

– I shop sales, clip coupons and participate in many store rewards programs. Shopping sales is easy, all you have to do is check a store’s sale ad for the time you are wanting to shop. Clipping coupons can be time-consuming but the savings can be tremendous, especially at stores that have their own store coupons that you can combine with manufacturer’s coupons. I go through the coupons that come in the Sunday paper, I check websites like www.coupons.com, www.redplum.com and www.smartsource.com for coupons for products that I use. These coupons you print at home. Many retail stores also offer coupons on their websites, or you can register your email to get sales and coupons emailed directly to you. Go to a stores website and look for their “coupons” tab. Also check stores coupon policies, some stores like Kmart offer double coupons everyday (up to $1).  Lastly, I sign up for many rewards programs which reward you with extra discounts and points earned on your purchases. Ask at your favorite stores if they have a rewards program.

– You need some self-discipline with this one, but it can pay off with many discounts. Retail store credit cards often offer extra discounts throughout the year to their users. These are coupons that you would not get unless you have a credit card with that store. You usually have to use the credit card to redeem the discount, but you can pay off the balance immediately. Another thing to look for is major credit cards with rewards programs. I have stayed in very nice hotel rooms for next to nothing with credit card rewards points. I also just got 50,000 free airline points through Southwest Airlines after signing up for their credit card and making a minimum purchase. You can pay the balance off immediately, but still reap the rewards of the rewards program. Like I said before, you need self-discipline with these savings options because it is easy to get carried away with spending on credit cards which defeats the purpose of saving money. This idea is for those who want the extra discounts of being a credit card holder, but will pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t get charged any interest.

– Buy generic, I urge you to try generic items! Many “store brand” items taste just as good as the “name brand” and the cost savings can be tremendous! Also try smaller stores like Aldi’s which has their own brand of products and a wonderful, fresh produce section. I buy a lot of their products, and prefer their produce over many of the larger chain stores. You have to bring your own bags to bag your groceries, but that’s one of the reasons why they can keep the cost of their products low.

– Ask for discounts. It never hurt to ask, right? All they can say is no….you can handle that two letter word that no one likes to hear. You will be surprised, you will probably hear yes more than you will hear no. Just like you ask at a restaurant what their specials are, ask at stores if they have any coupons or discounts. Many times they will have un-used coupons from other customers sitting at the register that you can use or they will tell you about their rewards program that will give you discounts. Send brands that you like an email and ask them to send you coupons, this can be food, baby items, clothing, etc. More times than not, I’ve received an email back asking for my address and within a few weeks I’ve received a coupon in the mail. It’s as easy as that!

– Sign up for daily deals from websites like Groupon and Amazon. I most recently got a great mount for a tv for $39 with free shipping from a one day deal website. The original price was over $100, and it was a nicer mount with more features than the original one we were considering which was around $50. I’ve also bought discount spa treatments and other discount certificates through these types of websites.

– This tip is for my fellow Target lovers. Target offers its own debit or credit card. The debit card links to your checking account and immediately takes the funds from your checking account after purchase. The credit card is a true credit card that you have to make payments on. The benefit of either of these options is that you get 5% off your total purchase every time you shop. This is in store and online. Online you also benefit from free shipping on all purchases. Target offers their own store coupons on their website and you can get them sent to your mobile. They allow you to combine their store coupons with Manufacturer’s coupons for additional savings.

– Many restaurants offer rewards programs and coupons or discounts. Ask about their frequent dining rewards or their kids eat free days. Another way to save at restaurants is to check out www.restaurant.com. It’s a website with discount gift certificates to restaurants in your area, you buy the gift certificate on their site, print it and take it to the restaurant with you. Be sure to read the fine print, some exclusions do apply.

– If you don’t have the benefit of using rewards from a credit card for hotel stays, then look into hotel rewards programs. They often offer a discount after so many night’s purchased. Also inquire if they offer a discount if you are active military, a veteran or a member of AAA, AARP, NRA or any other organization.

– If you are a senior citizen, be sure to take advantage of the senior citizen discounts at many stores and restaurants. They may not always offer it because some people get offended if they are offered the discount and aren’t a senior citizen, but if you qualify, be sure to tell them to take off your senior citizen discount which is usually around 10% off.

– I tend to shop online more than I do in stores because I don’t have the time. I’ve posted about this before, but I can’t encourage you enough to check out Ebates. It’s a website that literally pays you to shop online (check out my previous post about Ebates for more info). You can find a lot of discounts when shopping online from free shipping to certain percentages off your purchase. My favorite site (besides Ebates) to check for online savings is www.retailmenot.com. This website has a list of discounts for certain stores. Check the store where you are wanting to shop and see what discounts they have to offer.

– Pay with cash. I know this sounds like I’m contradicting myself, but some stores offer a discount if you pay with cash. They are charged every time they swipe a credit card, so to avoid that charge, they offer discounts to cash paying customers. You will find this more in small businesses, but the savings can vary from 1-10% when paying in cash.

– Buy an Entertainment book. Yes those coupon books that organizations and kids sell to make money for a certain cause. They actually have good discounts in them and most of the coupons will pay for the cost of the book in the first use! Ask to look through a book before you purchase it to make sure there are enough savings that you would use.

– Travel during “non-peak” times. Look up the destination where you are wanting to travel and research their peak travel times. If you are flexible, then don’t travel during their peak period. Airfare, rentals and activities will all be more expensive during their peak travel season. Deep discounts can be found during non-peak travel times. Research the area before you arrive and look for coupons or discounts to places you wish to try.

– Lastly, being organized and planning will save you money in the long run. Research, take your time, save money, look for discounts and plan our your purchases.

Blackened Tilapia & Roasted Zucchini

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This is my go to blackened fish recipe, and I made roasted zucchini for the first time with it and O.M.G its my new favorite way to eat zucchini! Serve these two items with a salad and you have a delicious and filling low carb dinner!

Blackened Tilapia

  • 4 Tilapia filets (pat dry)
  • Cajun blackening spice (store-bought or make your own)

Homemade Blackening Spice – Equal parts of each ingredient, for this recipe 1 tsp of each will be enough, you may have a little left over. Garlic salt, black pepper, onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper (1/2 tsp of this if you don’t like spicy). Mix together well.

Lay Tilapia on a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet, this makes the fish bake evenly. Evenly distribute the blackening spice over each filet until covered (one side or both sides depending on your taste). Bake at 425 for 10-12 minutes until flaky

Serve with fresh lemon wedges or homemade tartar sauce.

Homemade Tartar Sauce – 1/2 cup mayo, 2 tbls miracle whip, 2 tbls sweet relish, 1 tsp hot sauce, 1 tsp dill (dried or fresh), 1/4 tsp garlic salt, 1/4 tsp onion powder, squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

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Roasted Zucchini

  • 2 large zucchini or 4 small/medium size
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbls olive oil

Wash & dry zucchini, cut in half, then cut in half again and cut those wedges into thirds (like large french fry shape). Mix seasoning together and coat zucchini with oil and seasoning. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and bake at 425 for 10 minutes, turn and bake an additional 10 minutes. Season with sea salt if desired. These have a fried zucchini taste but without the carbs and guilt!

Toddler Valentine Ideas

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My son, Cade won’t be at daycare on Valentine’s Day so I sent his Valentine’s for his friends today. They are all toddler’s and don’t really get the idea of Valentine’s day so I wanted to include a treat with the Valentine. Guess where the idea came from…….yep, you guessed it, Pinterest! The whole thing cost me $4.00 for 7 Valentine’s (with 2 packs of goldfish left over) and I must say they ended up pretty cute.

I bought the sweet variety of goldfish crackers, it is Valentine’s day after all. 9 come in a pack for around $4 at your grocery store (look for them on sale or find a coupon). I made the Valentine’s on the computer with the business card template and then cut them out and taped them to pack of goldfish. Cheap, easy, cute and the kids will love getting a snack! Follow me on Pinterest to see where I get some of my inspiration for my ideas. https://pinterest.com/kelseydavies/
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My other favorites were a small plastic shovel placed in a clear treat bag, then fill the bottom of the bag with some type of treat and tie the top with a tag that says “I Dig You”. Another fish idea is Swedish Fish in a clear treat bag tied up to make it look like fish you bring home from the pet store with a tag that says “Out of all the fish in the sea, I’m glad we’re in the same school”. Instead of a treat, a cute toy option is a Hot Wheels car with a Valentine that says “I wheelie like you”. Lastly, a 2 pack of Starburst taped to a Valentine that says “You’re a star”. I’d love to see the Valentine’s you or your children have created, share them with me here!

Additional Benefits of Honey

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As promised, a follow-up to my original post about honey. Another all natural miracle product that I can’t live without! Do yourself a favor and go take a tsp of honey right now!

See my original post about honey for even more health benefits!

  • Honey is a natural product that heals and cures all kinds of diseases without any harmful side effects. Safe for diabetic patients when taken in the right dosage and even children like the taste of it.
  • Honey & cinnamon are a lethal combination when mixed together. The combination can reduce cholesterol, relieve arthritis pains, cure a bladder infection, kick a cold to the curb, ease a stomach ache, relieve gas pains, strengthen the immune system, soothe a sore throat, cure skin infections, aid in healthy weight loss, reduce fatigue and help restore hearing.
  • Honey contains flavonoids and antioxidants which help reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease.
  • Hangover cure when mixed with orange juice.
  • Honey balances the 5 elements in your body which are the kidneys, liver, heart, stomach and lungs.
  • Honey can promote relaxation and help you sleep. Taking a spoonful before bed can help you get a restful sleep.
  • Honey increases athletic performance. The glucose found in honey combined with the natural sugars can provide a boost to athletes instead of consuming refined sugars and high fructose corn syrup.
  • Honey’s anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce the itch and irritation of bug bites or other skin conditions.
  • Honey can help relieve asthma symptoms by taking it orally or put 1/2 a cup of honey in a basin of hot water and make a towel tent over your head and breath in the honey steam.
  • Honey is a laxative so it helps relieve constipation.
  • Gargle in the morning with warm water, honey can fight bad breath and clean your mouth and gums, helping to prevent gum disease.
  • Honey can help with impotence in men and infertility problems in women.
  • Honey helps reduce fat buildup and metabolize cholesterol which will aid in weight loss. Honey contains many vitamins and minerals that the body needs when you are on a diet.
  • Honey contains the following vitamins which each do so much for your body; B2, B6, B3, H, B, K and Carotene
  • Honey is an alkaline food which is good for those who need to reduce the acidity in their bloodstream.

Raw, unheated, organic honey is the best for you because it contains all of the natural vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants that can be lost in filtered and heated honey that’s commonly found at your grocery store. Look for honey at your farmers market or health food store.

This information is based on research I conducted myself from various sources. Consult your doctor or perform your own research if you are unsure about adding honey to your daily routine. Honey is not safe for infants under 1 year of age.