March 31, 2011

Homemade Peanut Butter

When I was younger my mom would occasionally buy almond butter. My brother and I would watch in amazement as mom set the clear plastic cup under the machine at the store and with the push of a button the cup would fill with the almond butter. It was amazing to see the whole almonds change into paste. It was mom's special treat with her special crackers. As a child I didn't understand why mama got special treats and we didn't. Of course we got special treats... just in those moments as a child you don't see it that way.

Being a mama now I understand what it's like to have those special treats. Mr. Sideline Chef once brought home a bag of smoked almonds from a smokehouse he visited while working on the road. It was so thoughtful of him and I wanted to make them last. I would ration them out for itty bitty since he takes after me and could eat an entire can of nuts in one sitting, especially cashews. If I wanted some of those smoked almonds while he was awake I'd sneak into the kitchen and as quietly as could be I'd open the bag and pull out a handful.

Typing this almost makes me feel selfish.

If itty bitty wants or needs anything he always comes first. If he really wanted I would have given the bag of almonds to him but he was happy with his portion and I got to have my special treat that was bought with me in mind.

Nuts have been making an appearance on every shopping list since starting the Flat Belly Diet because of the healthy fats they contain. Peanut butter is another food item that is always in this house. Mr. Sideline Chef requires it for his cheese sandwiches. You read that right. Itty bitty loves "pean-fur san"(dwiches) as well. They are a part of his lunch rotation.

I was giddy when I saw a recipe for homemade Peanut Butter in the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook. While making Old-Fashioned Peanut Soup (recipe tomorrow) I ran out of peanut butter that I had bought from the store. I only had about a tablespoon left and then I remembered the recipe was in the cookbook and I had all of the ingredients to make it homemade instead.

3 ingredients. A food processor. That's it folks! Don't think I can ever buy it from the store again. It's cheaper to make it at home as well. That's a big plus.

The taste of homemade Peanut Butter is unlike the store bought stuff. Much more of a nutty taste, fresh, and I know exactly what went into it. Amazingly simple to make.

Homemade Peanut Butter
Makes about 1 cup

Stars of the Show:
  • 2 cups shelled, roasted peanuts
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 tsp salt (optional) - My peanuts were unsalted so I added the salt.
And Action:

Process all ingredients in a food processor until smooth or to your desired texture. Make sure to use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides on occasion. Transfer to a jar and keep in the fridge.

March 30, 2011

Granola Parfait

I hear that a lot of people dread grocery shopping. I don't get that. I absolutely love picking out recipes, making a list, checking it twice, and taking my time walking the aisles to get the items I need. This morning we got down to the last of our food and I only had enough to make one Flat Belly meal. After eating I flipped through my Flat Belly Diet Cookbook and picked out a handful of recipes to try.

After a somewhat stressful morning with having to take the dog in to get his manhood striped from him I needed to destress. Shopping was it for me with itty bitty. A cart full of produce. I noticed that since starting this diet I mostly shop the perimeter of the store with the occasional walk down the snack aisle for the nuts and peanut butter or baking aisle for my oils. I avoid a lot of the processed junk in the middle aisles.

Once home it was nap time for itty bitty. After laying him down I got to making a Granola Parfait. It was just what I needed. Something quick and easy and oh so delicious. Bananas, raspberries, plain yogurt, and granola layered in a tall glass. I kicked my feet up and took a couple minutes to myself and enjoyed my snack. The granola and bananas tamed the tartness from the raspberries. So yummy!

Makes 2 Servings

Stars of the Show:
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 container (5.3 oz) fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups granola
And Action:

Layer the banana, raspberries, yogurt, and granola in 2 tall glasses. Grab your spoon and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
MUFA: Your nut of choice that is in the granola. My granola had cashews.
Calories: 420
Protein: 14 g
Carbohydrates: 67 g
Fat: 13 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 140 mg
Fiber: 14 g

March 29, 2011

Poundin' The Pavement

My lungs held up to a 45 minute workout after being sedentary for a month and recovering from a lung infection.

A success!

Happy to be able to workout again and feel the sweat pour down my face. I sure did miss that "after workout high" and feeling like I worked my ass off... um... well with being on the Flat Belly Diet it'd be more like worked my waist off. Just doesn't sound as intense.

Looking forward to tomorrow's sweat session and that sore muscle feeling and the rewarding post-shower.

March 28, 2011

Birthday Diet Disaster

Itty bitty and I were invited to his best friend's 3rd birthday party yesterday. I had the best of intentions to follow the diet making sure to eat veggies and fruits and a MUFA while there. I had no idea what the menu would be so I was only hoping these items would be available to choose from. What I didn't know was that I was going to be served the food. I never touched a serving spoon. My plate was brought to me. How can you say no to grilled fajita beef and chicken, rice, guacamole, corn tortillas, and charro beans? What I could have said no to was another helping. But I couldn't help myself. It's not everyday I get to celebrate a birthday and eat like this. After looking at the plate I did follow the rule of having a MUFA. The avocado in the guacamole. I ate before the four hour mark and later that night I did have a slice of the tres leche cake. I've never had it before and I am glad I didn't miss out on that opportunity.

The Flat Belly Diet does have a section about what to do for the occasional slip up and how to get yourself back on track. You definitely want to skip the guilt. I wasn't the least bit guilty. I enjoyed the hell out of my time at the birthday party with great friends and watching itty bitty and the other toddlers jumping to their heart's content in the bounce house. It also states to compensate by adding in some exercise. I got in my "exercise" alright! I chased itty bitty around and made sure that our playdate afterward was extended an hour or two. Parenting is a workout. Do you know how many times a day I pick up 30 pounds?

In the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook it states that even when you overindulge they do NOT want you skipping meals because of it. The Flat Belly Diet is not about deprivation. Instead pick and dust yourself off and get right back on the wagon.

I knew that I made a conscious decision to throw the diet out the window once I saw the other partygoers with their plates of food and I knowingly ate until I was uncomfortably stuffed.

In a way, my inner fat kid will always be a part of who I am. I was born a foodie. I live to eat. Not the other way around.

I feel that the Flat Belly Diet has taught me a lot in just this past week. I can still eat delicious and nutritious meals that help fuel my body and keep me going for hours until the next fill up even with an occasional indulgence. Eating every 4 hours, 400 calories each meal, and adding a healthy fat has given me a few noticeable changes. Nothing to do with my weight or waist measurement. My energy level has improved, my skin feels softer, my hair is shinier, and the biggest change... my confidence level is throw the roof.

The confidence comes from feeling like I'm actually accomplishing something. Making a commitment to my mom to do this with her and to help spread the word to others has me standing a little bit straighter than normal. I feel proud.

Whether you are on a diet or not be proud to be living your life the way you want to and let that confidence shine through.

March 27, 2011

Flat Belly Diet and One Week Down

My mama and I have been on the Flat Belly Diet for one week now. It's the morning of Day 8. Sunday mornings are my weigh ins. I actually ended up gaining a half pound bringing my total weight loss to 1 1/2 pounds and 1/2" lost from my waist. The reason this is not surprising to me is because I was sick this entire week. I was on prescription medication for steroids, not able to catch my breath long enough to take even a five minute walk, and the 1600 calorie meal plan is set to help you maintain the weight loss from the 4 Day Jumpstart. For being sick I'm still proud of my results.

This upcoming week will be different for me. I'm off the medicine and will be able to go back to building up my workouts. The diet claims you don't need to workout but I don't see how you can lose weight on 1600 calories a day (unless you've been eating way more than this prior to the diet). I'll weigh in again next Sunday and see if I'm getting the results I should be seeing.

Speaking of seeing the results... my mama has been having great success. She actually sent me an email this morning and wanted me to share with you all. So in the words of my mama (copy and pasted, of course) I bring you her testimony...

"My daughter, Rochelle, and I began the Flat Belly diet one week ago.  I eat CONSTANTLY on this diet!  Much planning in advance and that part of the program is getting easier.  Making meals in advance to freeze will be my next move.  There are a lot of easy options to choose from.  That is a plus, especially when traveling.  Any grocery store has an abundance of my needs...and believe me I can be very needy!  Five pounds lost and 2" reduction off waist and 1" off of hips. My main goal is not weight loss.  I just wanted to feel better and have more energy.  And that I do!  I just wanted to share this with you because I believe we as women are taught deprivation when it comes to food and made to feel guilty by society regarding food. I feel my connection with food is a healthy one now and without the guilt whenever I enter the kitchen. Please do not take offense that I am sharing this with you.  It is not intended to point a finger .  This is with only love in my heart because I want to share the success of my recent energy level change and feel very vibrant internally. I have been losing my hair again and due to stress or not enough of the the right foods, a change for me was in order. The secret is pairing the right fats with the right foods.  Amazing! Yesterday I was able to go for a 30 minute walk.  Huge accomplishment because I have really only been able to actively do anything for 5 minutes at a time.  If you would like to check it out on the internet just look up Flat Belly Diet, it is by the Prevention folks. One of the guilty pleasure snacks is popcorn and cashews drizzed with dark chocolate."
My daily check in calls confirm my mama's energy levels. She sounded as though she was bouncing off of the walls last night while just preparing her stir fry dinner and talking a mile a minute. Her excitement is contagious. I couldn't help but be excited for her and more willing to be a support system to her.
Keep in mind with any diet... every body is different and everyone will see varying results. Case in point.
The key to success is to continue trying to make each day healthier than the last. Even better, make each meal better than the last. Drink lots of water and get your bodies moving!
Wishing you all a happy, healthy, and safe day!!!

March 26, 2011

Chocolate-Drizzled Popcorn

My mom provided some of the best childhood memories. Fridays in particular were my favorite days. We would be woke up with our feet being tickled and a laugh to start the day. Mom would send us on our way to school after preparing a warm breakfast and a sack lunch in hand. Mom didn't just send us to school with the run of the mill sack lunch. My sack lunch was true bartering material. Gourmet sandwiches... my mom once sent me to school with a spruced up tuna sandwich on pumpernickel bread... a foodie in the making was born. Sliced fruits, veggies, and then the giant chocolate chip cookies. No sack lunch would be complete without a note from mom as well. It made my day... everyday!

After stepping foot off of the school bus my brother and I would be in a foot race to see who would be first through the door to see what after school snack mom had whipped up for us. Most days the house would smell of roast chicken and vegetables in the oven for our dinner. At that point I could care less about the snack and would instead count down the hours until we were pulling juicy pieces of chicken apart and dunking it into those pan drippings.

The best part of our Friday nights was what followed an hour or so after dinner. Mom would have us hang out in our rooms and get our homework done so that way we could have the entire weekend dedicated to fun. While we were at it mom would be setting up the "party". A large blanket would be spread on the floor, TGIF (remember when ABC network use to have their Friday lineup?), and snacks galore. One of my favorite snacks was the popcorn! Mom would make Jell-O popcorn balls or buttered popcorn. Then we would spend the night watching Full House, Home Improvement, Family Matters, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Boy Meets World, and Hangin' with Mr. Cooper.

Looking forward to our Friday nights made the school weeks go by so much quicker with things to look forward to during the week. Just wait until I tell you more about Wednesday night family workouts and Survivor Thursdays where mom set up immunity challenges for us as a family. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to cast any members off our "island" though.

Itty bitty is only 2 1/2 but I'm already looking forward to carrying on these "traditions" my mom etched in my memory. It's Friday and I made Chocolate -Drizzled Popcorn to celebrate! Best of all it's in the Flat Belly Diet. A sweet ending to the week and beginning of the weekend!

Makes 4 Servings

Stars of the Show:
  • 12 cups air popped popcorn - Easy to do with just a brown paper bag and the kernels!
  • 1/2 cup roasted, unsalted, cashews
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
And Action:

Spread the popcorn and cashews on a large baking sheet.

Melt the chocolate in a small bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. Stir often until the chocolate is melted. While the chocolate is still hot use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate over the popcorn in a back and forth motion. Let cool at room temperature for about 20 minutes or until chocolate sets.

Make sure you have a paper towel nearby. Oh hell. Who am I kidding? Lick those babies clean!

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
MUFA: Cashews
Calories: 392
Protein: 7 g
Carbohydrates:  51 g
Fat: 22 g
Saturated Fat: 9 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 9 mg
Fiber: 6 g

Linked this recipe to:

7 days down, 25 to go!!!

March 25, 2011

Pineapple and Pork Tacos with Avocado Crema

Mamas really do know so much. During my check in call with my mama about how the Flat Belly Diet is going for her I asked if she knew how to speed up the ripening process for the avocado I just bought. "Put it in a brown paper bag overnight." Before starting this diet I wouldn't have even been able to do that considering the fact that I've never had reason to buy brown paper bags before.

I pulled out the brown paper bag (I have them for the Popcorn Drizzled with Chocolate.) and placed my bright green avocado in the bag before bed. I woke up this morning to a black skinned avocado that was slightly tender to the touch. Magic I tell you!

My sights have been set on making these tacos as long as that Chicken Pad Thai was. The reason I wanted to make these Pineapple and Pork Tacos with Avocado Crema was because when I was 13 years old my brother and his wife came to visit us. We decided to take a day trip and visit Multnomah Falls and then head to the Dalles for kite flying. After a couple hours of kite flying we decided it was time for lunch. My brother suggested a taco stand he knew of and I had my first ever tacos al pastor. The pork and pineapple were a memorable combination. I have not found a better place for that kind of taco since. I don't even recall the name of the place or where it was located exactly. What 10 years does to the memory! After filling our bellies on these tacos we finished the day out by touring the "Fruit Loop" and hitting up every produce stand we came across. I even had my first taste of blackberry soda. The bounty of produce and memories we walked away with that day was unforgettable.

When I was reading through the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook and came across the recipe I immediately bookmarked it. The flood of memories came back. I miss my brother and his wife terribly. Too many miles between us. They are quite a duo. Always a party when they are around. Cupcake and dance parties! You're sure to feel like you've had a great abdominal workout after a visit with them from all of the laughs. I love them both so very much!
These tacos are a tad bit time consuming to make. Took about 45 minutes to prepare but so worth it. The serving size of 3 tacos left me uncomfortably stuffed but in a good way. It was one of those meals you keep eating because the punishment tastes so good. I can't get over how filling the foods are on this diet. I'm about an hour away from my next meal time and not even hungry yet.

Pan searing the pork tenderloin kept the cooking lean and it also intensified the sweetness of the pineapple. The pork was flavored beautifully and the ground cumin really stood out. The avocado crema was cool and refreshing. Next time I would leave out the sour cream though. I want to be able to taste the avocado (one of my favorite foods and I like to really taste it) and I felt the sour cream took over. I try to like corn tortillas because I knew they are a better choice but I still can't really say I'm crazy over them. With that all said these tacos truly were outstanding and packed a flavor punch. They are crave worthy. I think when I reheat the leftovers I will bake the corn tortillas into chips instead and make these as nachos. After the diet though I will use flour tortillas for the tacos.

These are a must try!

Makes 4 Servings

Stars of the Show:
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 12 oz pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 fresh pineapple, cored and sliced crosswise
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 12 corn tortillas (6" diameter), warmed according to package directions
  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • 2 tbsp fat free sour cream
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/8 tsp salt
And Action:

To prepare the pork and pineapple: In a one-cup measuring cup mix the sugar, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, pepper, and salt. Mix half of the spices with the pork and toss with the oil. I did this in a ziploc bag. Mix the remaining spices with the pineapple. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Prepare the avocado crema while the pork sits. Mix the avocado, sour cream, lime juice, and salt in a small bowl.

Coat a large nonstick skillet with olive oil spray and heat over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the pork and cook, turning a couple of times, for 8 minutes or until browned and cooked through. Add the cilantro and toss to combine. Transfer to a plate and cover loosely to keep warm.

Add the pineapple to the pan and cook, turning a couple of times, for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden. Remove from the heat.

Assemble the tacos by placing 3 tortillas on each plate. Divide the pork and pineapple between each tortilla. Top with the avocado crema. Roll 'em up and enjoy!

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
MUFA: Avocado
Calories: 420
Protein: 24 g
Carbohydrates: 50 g
Fat: 16 g
Saturated Fat: 3 g
Cholesterol: 56 mg
Sodium: 310 mg
Fiber: 9 g

6 days down, 26 to go!!!

March 24, 2011

Chicken Pad Thai

The 4 Day Anti-Bloat Jumpstart is officially over. In 4 days I lost 2 pounds and a half inch from my waist. My mama lost 4 pounds and 1 inch from her waist! Looking at our results shows that the Flat Belly Diet must be onto something. Both my mama and I would recommend this diet so far.

What's next?

For the next 28 days we still follow the same basic rules:
  1. Eat a MUFA with every meal.
  2. Stick to 400 calories per meal.
  3. Never go more than 4 hours without eating.
Let's talk about the food in the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook. The recipes in this cookbook look incredibly delicious and crave worthy. Chicken Pad Thai was the first recipe I opened up to and couldn't get my mind off of it since the book ended up in my grubby little paws.

Thinking about this recipe made my days on the Jumpstart drag on. So glad we're to the good part now.

Lunch time rolled around and after a very traumatic morning at the dentist office for itty bitty's first appointment ever I was left emotionally and physically drained. Having to restrain him for x-rays and the teeth cleaning took a toll on me. I cried. I was ready to get the hell out of there. Mr. Sideline Chef will be going back in six months. I don't think my heart can handle that again. My protective instincts kicked in and I wanted to get him out of there.                                                                                                                                                                  
Off to the store we went afterward where mama got him Almond M&Ms to make everything better. Obviously wasn't thinking that those will be the reason we end up back at the dental office. Should have bought lots of apples.

Once home I wanted a nap but remembering rule #3 I knew I had to eat. My stomach was telling me to as well. I was more than pumped after setting out all of my ingredients for the Chicken Pad Thai and was giddy to finally make one of my favorite takeout dishes.

The meal came together in about 15 minutes and was so much healthier than going down the street and picking it up. I never knew how easy or tasty making it at home could be.

The recipe makes 4 servings and when portioned out it is a hearty serving size. I am giddy about having this recipe to reference for when those cravings hit and that it makes for plenty of leftovers, well, in our household anyway, since Mr. Sideline Chef doesn't care much for Asian flavors.

His loss is my gain and finally not a gain in the waist or thighs! An absolute score in my book!

Makes 4 Servings

Stars of the Show:
  • 4 oz flat rice noodles
  • 4 tbsp lower-sodium ketchup
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil, divided
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 12 oz boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves cut into 1 1/2" strips
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 scallions, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, finely chopped
  • lime wedges (optional)
And Action:

Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions.

Combine the ketchup, fish sauce, and sugar in a small bowl. Heat 1 tsp of the peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the egg and cook, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes or until set. Remove the egg from the skillet and set aside.

Add the remaining 2 tsp peanut oil to the skillet. Add the chicken and cook, stirring often, for 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the noodles and cook for another minute. Add the ketchup mixture and cook, tossing, for another minute. Stir in the scallions and egg and remove from the heat.

Garnish each serving with 1/4 cup of the bean sprouts and sprinkling with the peanuts. Serve with the lime wedges, if desired.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
MUFA: Peanuts
Calories: 386
Protein: 26 g
Carbohydrates: 36 g
Fat: 15 g
Saturated Fat: 2.5 g
Cholesterol: 102 mg
Sodium: 425 mg
Fiber: 3 g

5 days down, 27 to go!!!

March 23, 2011

Anti-Bloat Jumpstart Day 4

It's the final day of the Flat Belly Diet Jumpstart! My excitement about this revelation had me jumping out of bed when itty bitty decided once again that the day would start before the birds were even chirping outside the window.

I think my body has taken a liking to the eating schedule even if my brain still has not. I no longer am waking up feeling hungry. I ate breakfast and was completely satisfied. In fact, I almost feel like the amounts of food are too much. I am having a hard time eating all of the food.

What I really like about the Flat Belly Diet is the fact that I am eating a well balanced diet. No food groups are restricted. I am also not having to lower my calories significantly. The Jumpstart follows a 1200 calorie a day eating schedule and starting tomorrow the calorie count jumps to 1600 a day following the same rules:
  1. Eat a MUFA (good for us fats) at every meal.
  2. Stick to 400 calories per meal.
  3. Never go more than 4 hours without eating.
In the past 4 days I've learned that breakfast doesn't mean eating before noon. I've been consistantly eating within the first half hour of waking up and have noticed a significant increase in my energy level.

I'm looking forward to checking in on my progress tomorrow morning. I have to keep in mind that I have been prescribed steroids and this will affect my weight and because of my lung infection I haven't been able to workout. It'll be nice to get back to those sweat sessions once this clears up. I will also be sharing with you my mama's progress so you can have something to compare to mine. Every body is different and everyone will see varying results.

Another thing I am looking forward to tomorrow is the food! CHICKEN PAD THAI!!! I've had my eye on this since I've opened the cookbook. I'm also going to be making Pork and Pineapple Tacos with Avocado Crema and then some Popcorn Drizzled with Chocolate for dessert.

4 days down, 28 to go!!!

March 22, 2011

Anti-Bloat Jumpstart Day 3

My only downfall on this diet is being a foodie. I think about food all day long and having to wait 4 hours between meals can feel like torture at times. I find myself constantly checking the clock and counting down the hours until I can eat my next meal. This is my least favorite part of the Flat Belly Diet. This is the first time I've seen a diet that doesn't suggest eating vegetables, at least, if hunger hits. It does allow me to eat my cucumber from the Sassy Water... all too generous...pssh!

Itty bitty decided that wake up time would be before the birds. I was not ready to get out of bed but on my priorities list, sleeping, is not one of them. After I walked the dogs I came in the house feeling more refreshed and ready to start the day.

During breakfast I had to force myself to get all my food ate. Even though I was hungry last night after eating, I didn't wake up to a growling stomach. Most mornings I wake to find that I am ravenous and ready to eat everything in sight. Not so much the past couple of mornings. Obviously what once was considered breakfast, a cup of coffee and a slice of toast with an egg, wasn't as filling or as balanced of a meal for my body as the way I am eating now.

This has been the best day so far on the Jumpstart. I ate everything according to plan and wasn't a bit feeling deprived. I think the medicine is doing it's job and I am on the path to getting better. I think my not feeling well intensified my perception of my hunger and I pretty much was acting like a man with a cold. Haha!
3 days down, 29 to go!

March 21, 2011

Anti-Bloat Jumpstart Day 2

Woke up and surprisingly didn't have that hangry stomach growl like I expected. It was my weekly Sunday weigh in. After walking the dogs, using the restroom, and getting undressed I stepped on the scale. Let me remind you, I have been sitting at 133.0 lbs for the past three months. I stepped on the scale and to my shock and amazement I saw 131.0 lbs! Two pounds down! That is amazing.
Maybe they are onto something with the Jumpstart meal plan formula and these so called MUFAs (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids). One thing I surely do not believe in is spot reduction. I do not believe that the diet will target belly fat alone.
To prove this point even further I took my measurements as well. Sure enough... inches lost in areas other than my belly.

Progress is progress and as long as that scale (and measurements) keeps moving in the right direction than I will continue to be giddy about any number reduction.

Day 2 seems to be going much much much better. I still have a slight cough and am still taking my prescribed steroids. I felt like I had more energy this morning which was a welcomed feeling since the past month I have felt like I was being dragged through the blackberry bushes in my birthday suit.

Breakfast held me over until lunch. I was satisfied enough to resist the urge to pick at itty bitty's pizza I made him for his lunch since he needed to eat before his nap. At first the sight and smell instantly triggered those "gotta have it" thoughts but after reminding myself of the progress I've made so far it wouldn't be worth undoing it.

Do I think a bite of pizza would have undone my progress so far? No. That's not the point. I've made a commitment to myself and my mama that I would stick this out and I have ever intention of doing so. To the T.

Following the Jumpstart to a T just plain sucks. From lunch to snack I'm hungry. From snack to dinner I'm hungry. After eating dinner I wasn't left satisfied and am still hungry. Thank goodness there is only two more days of this. Mr. Sideline Chef should be grateful he is on the road to avoid having to put up with my hangry feelings. I'm sure I'm a handful right now. At least I have the weigh ins to look forward to and getting to finally make all of these delicious looking recipes in the cookbook.
I will weigh in again after the 4 day Jumpstart is officially over and then go back to my once a week weigh ins. In the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook a claim is made that it is possible to lose up to "7 pounds and 5 inches in just 4 days." I want to be able to say how many I lost in my first 4 days. So far the total is 2 pounds. At the end of my 32 days I will post my before and after pictures and measurements.

2 days down, 30 to go!

March 20, 2011

Sassy Water and Anti-Bloat Jumpstart Day 1

I'm a straight shooter. If it wasn't for making a commitment to my mom to stick it out for the 32 days I would have already decided to throw in the towel. Maybe that's not fair of me to say considering the fact that I have a lung infection, lack of energy, and no extra hands to help. I don't know if my thoughts would be different for Day 1 if I was feeling my usual chipper self and not little Ms. Cranky Pants.

The morning didn't start off well. While taking my "before" photos the camera dropped and I broke the lens. Go me! Mr. Sideline Chef always knows how to perk me up. After a phone call explaining the situation his only response is, "Why does that not surprise me?" No angry reaction for me breaking his new camera. Just a shit happens response.

Official weigh in, measurements, and photos taken I was ready for breakfast. While eating I was surprised by how full I felt after my bowl of cereal and before I had even touched my fruit or glass of Sassy Water. That feeling lasted for about 3 hours.

Having to wait 4 hours to eat just plain sucks. I dream about food. Feeling like food is off limits until a certain time and then being limited in choices just plain sucks. I have to keep telling myself that it's only another 3 days and then I'll be able to get to the good stuff... Eggs Florentine with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto, Chicken Piccata, CHICKEN PAD THAI!!!, Pineapple and Pork Tacos with Avocado Crema... Maybe I should tuck the cookbook away for another 3 days so I don't keep torturing myself with these images.

When lunch came I was ravenous. The most satisfying item was my Wild Planet Albacore Tuna (which happens to be on Prevention's list of the best packaged food). This was the only meal I ate for the day that kept me satiated until the next meal rolled around. I think the protein helped me stay full until snack came around... 4... hours... later.

Snack was a fruit smoothie. Blender blunder made for a not so enjoyable snack. I was pissed that my fruit smoothie wasn't everything I hoped it to be. Tomorrow I'm going off the Jumpstart "way" and eating my berries and drinking my milk separately. Forget about dirting dishes for a not so stellar end result. My mama on the other hand LOVED their fruit smoothie recipe.

Dinner couldn't have come soon enough. Once again my Wild Planet Albacore Tuna saved the day. This time I was able to use some olive oil. I drizzled it with my allotted 1 teaspoon of lime infused olive oil. Heavenly! Paired with a pint of cherub tomatoes I was one happy girl.

With 3 meals and a snack ate my first day is done. Not easy for being in an irritable state with feeling under the weather. Hopefully the steroids and cough medicine prescribed will run it's course and have me feeling back to 100% within a week. I wasn't able to do the 5 minute walks after each meal because I was out of breath and light headed just from that little bit of exercise. I can't wait to be back to my fitness level I was at before getting sick a month ago.

On second thought, I wonder if all the running to the bathroom counted as my exercise with all of the water I drank. At one point I hurdled over itty bitty and tucked and rolled my way into the bathroom. That performance got a standing ovation and a perfect score!

My Sassy Water is made and I'm ready for breakfast. Wake up can't come soon enough!

Flat Belly Diet Cookbook
Drink all of the water by day's end.

Stars of the Show:
  • 2 liters of water (about 8 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tsp finely grated ginger root
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 12 mint leaves
And Action:

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and chill in the fridge overnight.

1 day down and 31 to go!

Sorry for the lack of photos. As if breaking one camera isn't bad enough the other has come up missing. The primary suspect is fast asleep for the night while his mama is tearing the house apart and down on hands and knees with a flashlight trying to find it. Photos of the Sassy Water will be up as soon as the missing camera is found and the suspect gets his cuteness sleep. You wanna know what Mr. Sideline Chef's reaction to this one was? Yep. You guessed it. "Why doesn't this surprise me?"

*Update on March 19, 2011 at 10:33 p.m.

Who could blame anything on this cute, sweet, and innocent lil guy?
I would like to strike my accusation from the record. After doing what anyone other than myself obviously would have done, retracing their steps, I found the said missing camera right where I had left it this morning. Out of reach from itty bitty on a box by the clothing I wore for my "before" photos. As my punishment I will have the unpleasure of putting the house back together from tearing it apart to find the camera. I accept full responsibility.

If you really want to make my day head over to James Harrison's Fan Page, LIKE it, and then find my comments (there are 2 of them for Rochelle Bishop), and LIKE them. I'm trying to win Mr. Sideline Chef a jersey from his favorite player. I have until 8 p.m. Tuesday to get the most LIKES on my comment(s).

March 18, 2011

Prevention's Flat Belly Diet

My mom overheard a woman credit her 80 pound weight loss success to Prevention's Flat Belly Diet. Intrigued my mom wanted to know more. Hearing that popcorn that has been drizzled with dark chocolate and walnuts had my mom giddy. Yes, my mom too like me gets giddy. Where do you think I get it from?

Wanting to share the news she immediately dialed me to see if I had ever heard of this diet before. I had not. Now I was intrigued. Let me state this... I am not one for diets. I don't like the strictness of most and the monotony. I don't want to smell like a cabbage or have kisses that are tart like grapefruit. I don't believe in fad diets, weight loss supplements, or a magic formula or potion. Now here is where I'll say what you are thinking... what a contradiction!

After giving birth to my son 2 1/2 years ago I tipped the scale at 170.0 pounds. I set out to lose the weight the "healthy" way by counting calories and getting my ass in gear. Here I am at 133.0 lbs. It took a long time to take the weight off but it came off at a consistent pace and set up habits that I was able to keep up with for a healthy lifestyle.

My body has been holding onto my last 10 pounds something fierce. I'm comfortable with the progress I've made so far and continue to look to each day as another step in the right direction... with the scaling moving down or at least maintaining m hard work to date. My problem is that I have been sitting at this weight now for over 3 months. My body needs a shake up.

After purchasing my mom and I both copies of the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook I decided to give this one a try. Why would I break my no diets rule? This plan has me eating at least 1200 calories a day and encouraging weight loss by eating healthy and working out (optional but highly recommended). It is based off of a "Mediterranean Diet" which emphasises whole grains, seafood, fruits and veggies, nuts, olives, and olive oil. It's about getting enough good fats in our diets (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids). The Flat Belly Diet refers to these good fats as MUFAs. Cute. I get it.

Rules are meant to broke, right? At least that's what I hear.

The Flat Belly Diet claims that you can possibly lose up to 15 pounds in 32 days. I don't expect these kind of results. I don't expect any weight loss. Anything I do lose will be noteworthy for me. The scale moving in the right direction is my goal.

Starting today for the next 4 days I will be doing the Anti-Bloat Jumpstart. I'll be eating three meals and a snack around 400 calories centered around my MUFA in each sitting every 4 hours, drinking Sassy Water, and following it up with a 5 minute walk to help release pressure and keep from bloating. Yay for no longer having to worry about not being able to button up the pants! Well... that's the hope at least.

Follow me for the next 32 days to watch my progress.

March 13, 2011

Prevention Magazine's List of 21 Best Packaged Foods

On March 1, 2011 Prevention Magazine hosted a live web chat which I actively participated in to discuss the best packaged foods for 2011. The food on the list was chosen based on taste and health factors such as: not containing more than 500 mg of sodium per serving, whole grains, low sugar, and trans fat free choices.
This was my first live web chat and I was pleasantly surprised by how entertained I was and the interaction between the hosts and the viewers was very active. They answered questions and held giveaways while running through the list of packaged foods.
At the end of the live web chat a grand prize winner was announced.... YOURS TRULY! I was informed that I would be winning some of the products discussed, a Prevention tote bag, The Salt Solution, and The Salt Solution Cookbook.

After impatiently waiting I heard a knock on the door and a rather large package was just laying on my doorstep. Could it be? It was! I ripped the box open and started sorting through my goodies. I am beyond giddy to try these products and read through my new books. 
Itty bitty and I opened this bag of tortilla chips up this afternoon as a snack. Holy deliciousness Batman! These tortilla chips taste so hearty and have a nuttiness from all of the multi grains in them. I have been turned on to a new favorite chip. Sorry Baked! Tostitos you are out of the running. Find a store near you and get to dippin' or dunkin'!

I've recently tried Wild Planet's Sardines when I made Chris Mooney's Sardines Tartines Platter and their product tasted incredibly fresh. The best canned fish I've come across. Looking forward to seeing how their tuna stacks up. No pun intended. Although I usually have a stash of tuna in the pantry. Okay, so pun intended.

These babies are spicy! Mr. Sideline Chef will love these. A little too spicy for my liking. They will make a great on the go snack for him for his next road trip.

My first experience with KIND bars was when I was visiting Mr. Sideline Chef down at the beach in Corpus Christi, Texas and wanting to stick to my healthier eating I sent him to the corner store to pick me up some nuts or another "healthy" snack. He brought me back two KIND bars, Almond & Apricot and Fruit and Nut Delight. I don't like raisins. These are chockful o' raisins. They are on my "Cringe Worthy" list but like I said if someone can mask the taste than kudos to them. KIND bars deserve a big KUDOS! These are hands down the best fruit and nut bars I've ever had. The bars are crunchy and sweet. You feel satisfied after eating just one. Word of caution... make sure you carry floss with you!

Upon opening the bag I could already see the difference from this product and my standard store bought jarred pasta sauce. This had chunks... chunks that I could make out... tomatoes, onion, and herbs! I could also see the olive oil floating on top. The taste was as close to my mama's that she makes homemade. The best bowl of spaghetti I have had in a long time.

I sat down and read this magazine while itty bitty napped. If you aren't a subscriber yet this is a wonderful magazine. It is full of health tips ranging from working out to beauty. It even comes in a compact size that would be perfect for your purse for those long waits. Why not purchase a subscription for yourself or someone else? Go to Prevention Magazine and purchase today!

I sat down yesterday and flipped through this cookbook front to back. I bookmarked all of the recipes I want to try while I follow the 6 week eating plan. Before I got my hands on these two books I agreed to try Prevention's Flat Belly Diet with my mom so I am going to make good on that agreement and then try out their newest diet plan. I am not one for diet plans. The reason I am doing this is because I need to shake the last 10 pounds my body is holding onto and I'm willing to give a "diet" plan a try as long as I'm still consuming at least 1200 calories a day and not feeling deprived. Both of Prevention's diet plans look like healthy lifestyles that someone would be able to stick to. I look forward to sharing my experiences with you once my Prevention's Flat Belly Diet book comes in.  

Packed full of useful information this book is a worthy read. Can't wait to sit down, kick up my feet, and read some more of this book today while itty bitty naps.

If any of you have any of these products in your pantry I'd love to hear how to use them.

For a chance to win a box of Petit Tea Variety Pack Tea Sticks and a box of Mango Monsoon head to Smart Girl Reviews and enter the giveaway!

March 11, 2011

Orange Spiced Chai Tea

Over the past couple of weeks I had seen Facebook updates from my brother and his wife talking about all of the yummies that my niece, Kierra, has been whipping up in their kitchen. The other morning she chatted with me and after wishing her a very "Happy 14th Birthday!" we made small talk about how school was going, gymnastics, and about food.
It's hard to believe that she has grown up this fast. I still recall the day my brother and his wife brought this sweet little bundle of joy to our home where I had to sit on the couch without moving so I could hold baby Kierra. Such a beautiful baby she was and now such a beautiful and very athletic young woman she has become.
I asked her if she recommended anything for me to make and Paula Deen's Orange Spiced Chai Tea it was. Being the foodie that I am it made me giddy to see my niece taking such a liking to being in the kitchen and sharing the love with others.

From word of mouth by Kierra and now myself I recommend making this Orange Spiced Chai Tea. It has a spicy bite from the cardamom and cinnamon and a sweetness from the honey with subtle hints of orange. Delicious! So yummy!
Makes 4 Servings

Stars of the Show:
  • 4 cups water
  • 6 cloves
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 4 black tea bags
  • Peels from 1/2 orange
  • 1/2 orange, zested
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons honey
And Action:

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, add the water, cloves, cinnamon sticks and cardamom. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and cover. Allow to steep for 10 minutes. Strain the liquid, return it to the pan and reheat. Add the black tea bags, let them steep for a few minutes, and then add the orange peels and zest. Add the milk and stir in the honey. Pour into mugs and serve

March 08, 2011

Golden Olive Oil Roasted Potatoes

Go to any "Country" cafe here in Texas for breakfast and homestyle potatoes are sure to be on the breakfast menu. Crispy golden fried potatoes that are well seasoned.

Loving a hearty breakfast any day of the week and not just for Sunday morning I decided to make a "Sunday" style breakfast for Monday morning. Nothing like starting the day off with good food and a full belly. Breakfast gave me the energy to push through the Monday wall.

Now I know the recipe title says Golden Olive Oil Roasted Potatoes and my photo is telling a different story. The original recipe directed me to soak my potatoes overnight in cold water in the fridge, then in the morning boil for 10 minutes, drain and dry out for 10 minutes, then roast in a 475° oven. I think the 10 minute boiling time was too much making these mushy and more like mashed potatoes which didn't make for very good roasting or for a golden color. (I didn't read the directions correctly, what else is new? The directions say boil until the potatoes are barely fork tender. That would be why.)

The end result was still a very tasty olive oiled potato. It made for a great breakfast side dish with fried egg whites and jalapeno sausage. Since these didn't turn out as they were supposed to I think I like my first breakfast potato recipe I made much better. The Yukon Gold Potatoes Sauteed in Clarified Butter tasted and photographed much better.

I'm not ruling out making these Golden Olive Oil Roasted Potatoes again though because they would make a wonderful side dish with any meat.

MyRecipes and Sunset, December 2008
Makes 8 Servings

Stars of the Show:
  • 5 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp sea salt
And Action:

Put the potatoes in a large bowl, cover with cold water, and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 475°. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes and cook until barely tender when pierced, about 10 minutes. Pour into a colander and let drain and dry for 10 minutes.

Set potatoes in a single layer in a large rimmed baking pan. Drizzle evenly with olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 tbsp salt and stir gently to coat.

Bake potatoes until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes, turning halfway through baking. Sprinkle the potatoes with more sea salt to taste.

Nutritional Information: (per serving)
Calories: 255 (18% from fat)
Protein: 6g
Fat: 5.2g (sat 0.8)
Carbohydrate: 45g
Fiber: 3g
Sodium: 383mg
Cholesterol: 0.0mg

Want to win a case of Oogave Soda? Then head over to Smart Girl Reviews for a chance to enter the giveaway! Tell her the Pretend Chef sent you! Thank you! Or how about some Smiley Cookies? Click here for a chance to enter.

For a chance to win a pair of Kushyfoot tights head over to Have Your Cake and Eat It Too and enter the giveaway. Best of luck!

March 06, 2011

Carrot Ginger Soup

I did not buy a pound bag of carrots with any other intention than making some Crispy Carrot Fries or cutting them into sticks for snacks for itty bitty. Carrots are hands down his favorite vegetable. With his selectiveness, sounds so much nicer than pickiness, I didn't want to use up all of his carrots but when I opened the bag they were needing to be used since they were losing their crispness.

Needing to show my blog some love and make a worthy recipe to share I searched through some recipes at MyRecipes and came across this recipe for Carrot Ginger Soup. Believe it or not I have gone all winter without making soup. There is something seriously wrong with me. Thankfully today's weather here in Houston, Texas was perfect for soup. Rainy and cold. I'm sure with my backwardsness I'll end up making lots of soup this summer in 90+ degree.

If eating too many carrots turns my skin orange than so be it. This soup would be worth it! Carrot Ginger Soup... CRAVE WORTHY!!! I'm trying my best not to drool on my laptop as I type this. Pureed to a silky smooth consistency flavored with ginger. Low in fat and high in Vitamin C makes this a perfect healthy eating dish. Off the charts delicious! Thank goodness this soup freezes well for those busy nights or when a craving hits.  If you forget to double the recipe for leftovers to freeze than no worries because this is one easy soup to put together.

MyRecipes and Health, October 2009
Makes 4 servings (Serving size = 1 1/4 cup)

Stars of the Show:
  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tsp seasoned rice wine vinegar, divided
  • 3 tsp toasted sesame seeds, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp finely grated ginger - I used ground ginger.
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
And Action:

Ribbon one carrot with a vegetable peeler and transfer it to a bowl with 1 tsp rice wine vinegar and 1 tsp sesame seeds. Set aside for garnishing the soup.

Place the remaining carrots in a saucepan covered with water. Bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes or until very tender.

Using a slotted spoon transfer the carrots to a food processor. Add the garlic cloves, 3 cups of the cooking water, and ginger. Puree until smooth. Add in the remaining 1 tsp rice wine vinegar and the sesame oil.

Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with the carrot ribbons and remaining sesame seeds.

For freezing: Make a double batch and put in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Just thaw and heat! Simple!

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 119

Fat: 3g (sat 0.0g,mono 1g,poly 1g)

Cholesterol: 0.0mg

Protein: 3g

Carbohydrate: 23g

Fiber: 7g

Iron: 1mg

Sodium: 157mg

Calcium: 99mg

I'll be marking #2 off of my "Stir the Pot" page. 6 down, 18 to go!

March 03, 2011

Cafe Au Lait Granita

Since I have yet to purchase an ice cream maker I've resorted to making granitas. These warm and beautifully sunny days have me wanting frozen treats. I really wanted a Coffee and Almond Milk Granita but since I didn't have any almonds or enough sugar that was a no go.

I searched, MyRecipes, and found a recipe for Cafe Au Lait Granita. Nothing more than coffee, milk, and sugar all combined together and then froze and shaved with a fork to make granita flakes. Easy enough, all ingredients on hand, and that makes for a perfect recipe to make.

My love for coffee and it's presence in this frozen treat made for one tasty treat while I basked in the sun and watched itty bitty enjoy and his bestest little buddy run around and play together.

One change I would recommend making is reducing the amount of milk in the original recipe to half the amount. I like a stronger coffee taste and reducing the amount of milk would do that. and Cooking Light, July 1997
Makes 2 Quarts (Serving size = 1 cup)

Stars of the Show:
  • 3 cups hot strong brewed coffee - I used a Gingerbread Coffee from Trader Joe's my mama got me for Christmas.
  • 3 cups 1% milk - I used nonfat milk. Next time I would cut this amount in half for a stronger coffee taste.
  • 1/2 cup sugar
And Action:

Click here for the original recipe's directions. I didn't see the point in making more dishes dirty than needed. If you don't like doing dishes you can follow my method.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir until sugar is dissolved. Freeze for 4 hours.

Take a fork and start shaving through the ice to create large granita flakes. Repeat this step every 30 minutes until the liquid is completely frozen.

10 minutes before serving let it sit out and then serve into individual bowls.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 89 (10% from fat)

Fat: 1g (sat 0.6g,mono 0.3g,poly 0.0g)

Protein: 3.1g

Carbohydrate: 17.2g

Fiber: 0.0g

Cholesterol: 4mg

Iron: 0.4mg

Sodium: 48mg

Calcium: 114mg

March 01, 2011

Ricotta Smothered Mushroom "Burgers" with Sweet Onion-Olive Topping, Prosciutto, and Arugula

There's a large portobello mushroom cap hiding under all that ricotta cheese!
That recipe title is a mouthful and so is this mushroom burger. There are so many flavor players in this burger that it's hard to even put into words. On a toasted kaiser roll is a portobello mushroom cap that is marinated in balsamic vinegar and olive oil then roasted in the oven and then smothered with a ricotta cheese and pesto topping. The sweet onion-olive topping is red onions and kalamata olives in a tomato paste. You'd think that would be where someone would stop adding to this burger but not Rachael Ray! Layered on top of the ricotta smothered portobello mushroom cap is two slices of prosciutto and then a handful of arugula.

Heads up: Don't mash the burger down in hopes of "thinning" it out to fit your mouth around this. The ricotta will ooze out of the sides. In fact, Mr. Sideline Chef and I agree that half the amount of ricotta topping could be made since so much of it ends up on your plate instead. Double the sweet onion-olive topping instead, you'll thank me later for that suggestion. If you're looking for a "Meatless Monday" meal you could even leave out the prosciutto but it does add another layer of flavor. The peppery arugula is a must! So much flavor play going on sandwiched between one kaiser roll.
This is one hefty burger and made a meal all on it's own. Adding a salad as a side dish would have been overkill seeing as how I almost had to be rolled to the couch after eating this.

For a quick and easy meal give this mushroom burger a try!

Ricotta Smothered Mushroom "Burgers" with Sweet Onion-Olive Topping, Prosciutto, and Arugula
Rachael Ray's 365: No Repeats A Year of Deliciously Different Dinners
Makes 4 Servings

Stars of the Show:
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • salt and black pepper
  • 4 portobello mushroom caps
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 rounded tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese - I used fat free ricotta cheese.
  • 3 tbsp store bought pesto sauce - I laughed at the fact that she wants you to use store bought pesto sauce. If you make it yourself I promise I won't call you out for it. I used a basil with nuts pesto.
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • 4 crusty Kaiser rolls, split in half, and toasted
  • 8 slices prosciutto di Parma (optional)
  • 1 small bunch arugula, washed and trimmed of any thick stems
And Action:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large Ziploc bag combine the balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add the portobello mushroom caps. Zip the bag completely and then shake the bag to coat the mushrooms. Arrange the mushrooms on a baking sheet gill side up. Roast the mushrooms for 12 minutes or until tender and cooked through. While the mushrooms are roasting prepare the caramelized onion topping.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add the sliced red onions, garlic, tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Cook the onions, stirring frequently for about 8 minutes, or until nice and brown. While the onions are caramelizing prepare the ricotta cheese topping for the mushrooms.

In a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese and pesto well. Once the mushrooms are done roasting for 12 minutes remove them from the oven and divide the ricotta mixture evenly among the 4 mushroom caps onto the gill side. Return to the oven for about another minute just to heat the cheese.

Add the chicken stock and chopped olives to the onions. Turn the heat to high and continue to cook until the stock has reduced almost completely.

Arrange one cheese topped mushroom on the bottom of each split roll. Top the cheese with some of the caramelized onions. Top that with two slices of prosciutto and some arugula. Place the top of the roll on, roll up your sleeves, brace yourself with elbows on the table, lean over your plate, and enjoy!

Marking #10 off of my "Stir the Pot" page. 5 down 19 more to go!

For a chance to win Tru-Kid Cool Conditioner, Silly Shampoo, and Bubbly Body Wash check out Smart Girl Reviews and tell her the Pretend Chef sent you!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...