Wednesday, July 27, 2011

WIAW Casino Edition

This past weekend Matt and I made our way over to Biloxi, Mississippi. One of the many perks of being married to a musician is all the people you get to meet. Matt played in an 18 piece orchestra for Regis Philbin at the Hard Rock Saturday night. I got to hang out backstage during rehearsal, eat lots of yummy food, watch the show (obviously) and meet Regis! Most of us honestly had no idea what Regis was going to be doing for this show. I mean, he is a funny guy, and I love him on Regis and Kelly...but what was this show?? Turns out he is also a fabulous vocalist! So basically he sang a lot of songs and told some jokes in between, and best of all, incorporated his "host chat" he is so famous for. It was such an awesome show and I'm super happy I got to go. 

We were given free tickets to eat at the huge buffet in the casino. I don't know about you...but Laura + Buffet = food piled 5 feet high! well...maybe not quit that high, but you get the idea. ;) I forgot to take a picture of my first plate of food...haha..but I did manage to get the second. (missed dessert too-figures).

Ribs, salad, cranberry sauce, limas, some other kinda bean?? yams, biscuit
 Those yams were soooooo goooooood! I had a lot more on my first plate. I've only had yams a couple times in my life and have never cooked them. I have no idea why, but it's def something that needs to change!!!

Since I forgot to take pictures of the rest of my food (I'm always so hungry), here is what I'm going to be filling up on today. I'm probably not going to eat the lunch box ;)

Matt made more Ooey Gooey Banana Bread.
He also made that lamb stew (I'll probably post a blog tomorrow with the recipe)
I had been eating edamame for snacks, but I ran it's trail mix for me!
We havn't quit run out of peaches, but Matt informed me the rest are for "cooking"...looks like we need to make another trip to Chilton County :)
Check out all the other WIAW posts over @Peas & Crayons

Here are some other non-food pics from the day :)

L-hallway to dressing room,                R- dressing room
Matt tried to have Regis be in the middle...Regis offered me some advice, "Make sure you are always in the middle." Yes sir! (He was holding my hand too, so sweet)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Changes For The Golden Arches

I just read an article called, Happy Meal Change a Step Toward More Nutritious Fast Food Options. (Click the title to link to the article). I'm not sure how I feel about this yet. On the one hand, yes encouraging more fruits/veggies is always a good thing. But are we forgetting what else is still coming along with this healthy side?? Either a burger, nuggets which we know have 30 some odd ingredients (check them out here), and french fries. Last time I checked, eating a few carrot sticks doesn't cancel out a plate full of fried food. Second, with the way people latch on to the media and advertising, it wouldn't surprise me if we just end up with more kids going to McDonalds more often, because hey! you get...some raisins? Apparently McD's thinks they "may have a small impact on the childhood obesity epidemic." What a joke! Yeah you have an impact all right. Here's an idea: don't go to McDonalds?

It's no secret that the catalyst to this change is stemming from the pressure of consumers and government.

What do you guys think about this new change? A step in the right direction? or just more advertising tricks disguised as "healthy" to increase customers/profits??

Another great article on this topic from NY Times

Friday, July 15, 2011

Birthday Heaven!

Yesterday was my 26th birthday and as usual Matt's culinary talents exceeded my expectations. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful husband who loves me so much. He put so much effort into making my special day more than I could have asked for. He had a glass of wine waiting on me when I walked in the door after work. Then...he served this "appetizer". I can't even explain to you how amazing this was. And all completely made from scratch.

Baked Brie, Peach & Cherry Compote, Candied Pecans
I could have eaten that all night! But I had to save room for the main course. Rack of lamb!!! My absolute fav!!!!!!!! It was cooked to perfection. And the, I was speachless. The potatoes were mighty delicious too. I pretty much just dove face first into this...
Lamp Lollipops, Tempura Fried Okra, Okra & Tomatoes, Baked Fingerling Potatoes

We had this delicious red wine with dinner, Coppola Rosso. Matt's pretty great at picking out our wine selections too...of course ;)

After dinner, I wanted to open my present!!! But made had made me a dessert and wanted to sing me happy birthday first :) So sweet. All I've been wanting for a week is chocolate chip cookies and I haven't had any! So what did he make me? Chocolate chip cookie cake! With some champagne on the side.

Now it was present time!!!! Yay! I had no idea what Matt was getting me!! When I saw how big the box was, I was even more confused. You can tell by my face that I was quit pleasantly surprised :)

Acoustic/Electric Fender Guitar
 Now I just have to learn how to play this thing!! And now I'm ready for some birthday dinner leftovers :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I'm Allergic To Low-Fat

A 300 pound pregnant woman just came in my office with a prescription for whole milk...let that sink in...

We only give whole milk to 1 year olds, and children/adults who are malnourished. Her excuse? "I don't like the way it tastes." To make it better, she got really mad at me when I (nicely) told her no. Not that I'm surprised. If you're 300 pounds do you really think you need whole milk? Really? REALLY??

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

WIAW + F/V Stand Goodies

It's Wednesday again, and I'm just as unprepared as usual! Figures. I wasn't feeling so hot yesterday so I really didn't eat much. But Matt was in Tuscaloosa for a few days and last night he came home with some goodies!! I was raving last week about how much I am IN LOVE with JIMMY JOHNS. Well my sweet hubby brought me back an Italian sub and jalapeno chips all the way from Tuscaloosa. It was heavenly, as expected :)

If you are from the south and you know anything about peaches, you know Chilton county has the best peaches you will ever eat! They are sooo beautiful, delicious, juicy amazingness. So every summer we always stop at this stand on the side of the road, in the middle of the country (Chilton County) to get our peaches. Well Matt made sure to pick us up not only plenty of peaches, but some okra and tomatoes too(our tomatoes in the garden are being stubborn and insist on turning red! I can't wait to eat them all!!!
 On a side note, tomorrow is my BIRTHDAY! yay! :) Can't wait to share with you guys the, what I'm sure will be incredible, meal Matt is going to make me! In the meantime, go on over to Jenn's page @ Peas & Crayons and check out all the other WIAW posts!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

AnyDay Picnic Salad (WIC Recipe)

Florida WIC has a new cook book for our clients called Healthy & Homemade Recipe Book. Sometimes the recipes I see in these books seem a little odd to me. But this one is actually pretty great! On a staff meeting day, a bunch of the girls cooked different recipes from this new book and we all tried them. I had a few favs, and this is one of them:
1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 apple, cored and diced
1/3 cup chopped celery (about 1 stalk)
1/3 cup light ranch dressing or creamy salad dressing
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Optional: use 1 cup halved seedless grapes instead of an apple

Serves: 4 - Serving Size: 3/4 cup - Per Serving: $.59
1. In a medium bowl combine chicken,apple, and celery. Add dressing and pepper and stir to coat. Stir in pecans or walnuts.
2. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours. Serve on a lettuce leaf, spread on bread or tortillas for a sandwich, or spoon into a halved tomato or cucumber.

Cooking Tips:

* If desired, use two 6-ounce cans of water-packed tuna instead of  cooked chicken. Drain off the liquid and flake tuna with a fork before adding. Cooked roast beef or pork also can be substituted.

* To make a full-meal salad, add 2 cups cooked pasta.
Anyday Picnic Salad from Iowa State University Extension on Vimeo.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Ooey Gooey Banana Bread

We all know Bananas are good for us. They are packed with Potassium, Vit. C, Fiber, and a long list of other important vitamins and minerals. But I'm not gunna lie, I really can't stand the things! But the one way I WILL eat a banana?? Banana Bread! Lucky for me, Matt makes the most delicious gooey banana bread.

This is the "recipe". Apparently you need 1/2 cup butter too :) Plus we added some walnuts for an extra crunch and protein. We used some bananas that were starting to get soft, not so good to eat plain, but great for banana bread!

You pretty much just mix everything together in a big bowl then pour into your bread pan! Easy Peasy!

Bake in the oven for about 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees F. When you cut it open, it is super gooey!
You better eat some now, because this stuff disappears quick! Yummy for breakfast or a snack :)
Making Monday Marvelous Linky Party

Friday, July 8, 2011

Say Yes to Folic Acid

I had the most pleasant mom come see me today who is pregant with her third child. While her diet is...kind of a wreck a the moment, she was determined to get it right. However, there was a bit of confustion about Folic Acid. When I asked her what she knew about folic acid-she said the doctor told her it was good for brain development. She took this to mean, it will help make her baby smarter. While she wants her new little one to be smart, as I'm sure we all do, this didn't really weigh on her mind to much. When I explained to her what folic acid actually does, in detail, she was shocked.

Folic Acid:

Folic acid is a naturally occurring B vitamin. It helps a fetus's neural tube develop properly. The neural tube is the part of a developing baby that becomes the brain and spinal cord. When the neural tube does not close properly, a baby is born with a very serious birth defect called a neural tube defect (NTD).

The good news is that folic acid can help prevent neural tube defects. However, folic acid only works if taken before getting pregnant and during the first few weeks of pregnancy, often before a woman may even know she is pregnant. Since nearly half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned, it's important that all women of childbearing age (even if they're not trying to get pregnant) get the recommended daily amount of folic acid.

The best way to get enough folic acid is to take a multivitamin with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid in it and eat a healthy diet. Most multivitamins have this amount, but check the label to be sure. You also can get folate (the natural form of folic acid) in your diet, but most women don't get the recommended amount of folate or folic acid from diet alone.

About 3,000 pregnancies are affected by neural tube defects each year in the United States. If all women took adequate folic acid before getting pregnant and during early pregnancy, up to 70 percent of neural tube defects could be prevented.

Once you're pregnant, you should increase your folic acid intake to at least 600 micrograms of folic acid. Your prenatal vitamin should have the right amount of folic acid you'll need during pregnancy.

Most women should limit the amount of folic acid they take to 1,000 micrograms a day unless otherwise directed by a health provider. For example, women who have had a previous pregnancy affected by birth defects of the brain and spine and women with sickle cell disease should be sure to talk with their health providers about the need for more folic acid.

Folic Acid In Food:

Fortified breakfast cereals (look on the label to see if the cereal has been fortified with folic acid)
Black beans
Peanuts (only if you do not have a peanut allergy)
Orange juice (from concentrate is best)
Enriched breads and pasta
Romaine lettuce

Info on Folic Acid comes from the March of Dimes

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

WIAW + Holiday Desserts

Last week I did a pretty good job of capturing all my food! This week...not so much. I think I got lazy over the holiday weekend. I had to steal borrow my dinner picture from the restaurants website ;) hehe BUT I did get some legit dessert pics from the Holiday weekend! (Actually...I stole those too...from the hubby and brother in law...I know I know).

Last night's dinner was this yummy Italian sub from Jersey Mikes. I am completely obsessed with the Vito Italian sub from Jimmy Johns, but unfortunately there is not one anywhere near me :( SO! Jersey Mikes is the next best thing. I normally get the jalapeno chips from JJ's, but lately I have been loving some Cape Code Salt & Vinegar chips. I basically just love Kettle Cooked chips ;)

The Original Italian
Provolone, ham, prosciuttini, cappacuolo, salami and pepperoni
4th of July Dessert! My mother in law made a Poke Cake, which I had never heard of, for the holiday. Apparently it is called this because you poke holes in the cake with a fork so the hot liquid jello you pour over it seeps in and makes it look all pretty Red, White & Blue. It was delicious!

So not only was this weekend the 4th of July, but it was my nephew's 3rd birthday! His mommy is an AMAZING baker/artist so of course she made him this birthday cake masterpiece. (she also made our wedding cake, maybe I'll share that later if anyone wants to see??). You can check out more of her fabulous creations on her website: Sweet Dreams Cakery "A Boutique Bakery" , on Facebook, or Etsy. Not only was this cake stunning, but it tasted just as great as it looks!

Think these are yummy? Head on over to Jenn's page @ peasandcrayons to check out all the other delicious What I Ate Wednesday bloggers!