Wednesday, February 27, 2013

a little glass and a little paint


you know what today is....pinterest challenge reveal day! =)



when katie and sherry decided awhile back to host a (very unofficial) pinterest challenge to get us to stop pinning and start doing...i got right on board!  this year they have a couple of co-hosts, megan and michelle.  (you should definitely click through to see their awesome blogs and projects!)  i've made several pinspired projects and recipes since getting hooked on pinterest and i love sharing them with you.  and of course, you know i shared not one, but two! recipes with you yesterday that i found on pinterest.

so today, i'm sharing a glass painting project.  and i need to be 100% honest.  i don't love my final project...but i am inspired to try again!

here's what i was inspired by...



i love the look of those jars!  aren't they so moroccan looking?

well, i had a bunch of clear glass votive holders that were just begging to be painted for this project.  so my bff and i got to work and made our own little candle holders.

we used gold puffy paint for the outside and glass paint for the inside.



and here are our creations!









my bff got even more creative and tried using color for the puffy paint on the outside of one.  i think it looks super fun.



we still have a few more we can paint...along with other glass jars we have around from spaghetti sauce and whatnot.

so, while i'm not in love with the candle holders i made, i can't wait to try again! 

so what creative things have you been up to? 

=) andrea


Linking up to the Pinterest Challenge with Megan (The Remodeled Life), Katie (Bower Power), Sherry (Young House Love) and Michelle (Decor and the Dog)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

{two-for tuesday} another pinspired recipe


so, i'm back again -- with another pinterest challenge post! 


i know the 'official reveal day' isn't until tomorrow, but it wouldn't be a proper pinterest challenge without challenging myself, so here we go again - with another awesome recipe!

how about...

philly cheesesteak stuffed peppers

i was totally inspired by this image:

{image via}


i mean, who doesn't love a good cheesesteak?  i love 'em...but since i'm avoiding carbs, i can't exactly have a sandwich.  but that doesn't mean i can't mimmick the flavors of a cheesesteak in a low-carb way...right?

right!  here we go!

i never actually looked at the recipe, i just decided to go for it.

here's what you'll need:

large bell peppers, halved for stuffing (one half = one serving, i only used one pepper for this)
steak-umms (or sliced roast beef...or leftover sliced steak...whatever you want!  i used four slices of steak-umms, two per pepper half.)
bell peppers, sliced (optional.  i figured more veggies inside - why not?)
mushrooms (optional.  i love 'em, but i know not everyone does.)
onions (optional.  i opted out this time.)
provolone cheese, 2 slices per half (or another cheese if you prefer)
olive oil
salt 
pepper

here's what you'll do:

preheat your oven to 375.  place your halved peppers (that will hold the cheesesteak filling) in a baking dish and put in the oven.  (it's okay that it's not hot yet.  you just want to get the peppers to start cooking a little so they aren't still raw and super crunchy after they're cooked with the steak filling.)



in a large saute pan, heat up a little olive oil.  once it's hot, add your onions, mushrooms, and sliced bell pepper (or whatever combination of these you choose).  season with salt and pepper.



once the veggies are cooked, you can either remove them from the pan and set aside or just add the steak-umms to the hot pan.  season with salt and pepper and cook thoroughly.




once the steak is all cooked, it's time to stuff the pepper halves.  (feel free to mix the onion/pepper/mushroom mixture in with the steak-umms.  i just layered them inside the pepper halves!) 

start by putting a piece of provolone cheese in the bottom of each pepper half.  then top with your steak/mushroom/onion/pepper mixture.  and top with another piece of provolone cheese.



and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the pepper is softened.



don't they look so yummy?!?!

if you like a good cheesesteak (with peppers of course), this is a great alternative to the carb-fest a cheesesteak sub can be!

don't forget -- i love hearing from you!!!  email me here to share a recipe you want me to feature here on my kinda perfect!

in steak and cheese...and fewer carbs...

=) andrea 


Linking up to the Pinterest Challenge with Megan (The Remodeled Life), Katie (Bower Power), Sherry (Young House Love) and Michelle (Decor and the Dog)

see what i've cooked up for the pinterest challenge!


with my pinterest project 'reveal' tomorrow, i decided to up the ante for myself.  (i know, after a week of being so busy i couldn't see straight i now decide to challenge myself more.)  so guess what?

you will get not one pinspired project, but three!!! =)

my 'project' post will be tomorrow, so stay tuned for that!  but since i've been experimenting a lot in the kitchen with new recipes, many of them found on pinterest, i decided to share a couple extra pinterest challenge posts with you this week...starting now!




so what's cookin' today?  one of my new favorites!

jalapeno popper chicken  (highly adapted from ellysaysopa.com)

i was inspired by two things....a hankering for jalapeno poppers and this image on pinterest:

{image via}

doesn't that look a.m.a.z.i.n.g?!?!  needless to say, i pretty much couldn't wait another minute to make this dish once i saw this picture.  although, i needed to adapt it to omit the bread crumbs, but that was easy.  

check out my version of jalapeno popper chicken!

here's what you'll need:

chicken breasts (1 per serving, i made 4)
4 oz. cream cheese
2 jalapenos, diced
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
salt
pepper
spices, as desired

here's what you'll do:

preheat your oven to 375 and prepare a baking dish with cooking spray.

in a small bowl, mix cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, and diced jalapenos.  (i used 2 rather large jalapenos for my 4 servings and it was good, but i could've used it a little spicier. next time i'll leave some of the rib of the jalapeno and maybe use 1-2 extra.)  set aside.



to prep your chicken, you want to create a pocked inside the breast to hold the jalapeno filling.  i ended up just fully butterflying my chicken.  you just carefully slice into the chicken breast while slowly opening it up and carefully cutting more.



once your chicken is ready, season it up.  i used salt, pepper, and a fiesta spice mix (from tastefully simple) that i thought would go well with the spicy nature of the dish.



now that your chicken is ready, you just need to stuff them with your jalapeno mixture.  i just evenly scooped the mixture onto each breast to make sure they all had the same amount.  then i spread it out on one side of the chicken breast, like this:




and then i used a toothpick to close each piece of chicken, placed them on the greased baking dish, and popped them in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

when i opened the oven i was overwhelmed with the delicious aroma of jalapeno poppers.  and the cheese had melted and was starting to ooze out the chicken.  

total yumminess.



looks pretty good, am i right?  if you like jalapeno poppers, this is right up your alley!

the original recipe i followed called for breading on the chicken, but since i'm avoiding carbs, i clearly omitted that...and you know what?  i didn't miss it.  at all.  

the chicken is so juicy and flavorful.  the jalapenos added just a little kick...and who doesn't like cheesiness in their meals?  not this girl!

so, i highly recommend this recipe.  i made this for dinner one night and had three leftover stuffed chicken breasts for lunch the rest of the week.  it worked out perfectly.  and i got to savor the flavor all week long.

this really is a fantastic chicken dish.  my mouth is watering and telling me i need to make it again.  soon.  like tonight.

in pinspired culinary challenges...

=) andrea


Linking up to the Pinterest Challenge with Megan (The Remodeled Life), Katie (Bower Power), Sherry (Young House Love) and Michelle (Decor and the Dog).  

Monday, February 25, 2013

moments called now


so, i took a blogging vacation last week.  it wasn't exactly on purpose...but it was necessary.

it wasn't anything planned...i definitely didn't make any kind of announcement, so i'm sorry about that.  i missed being here.

but i was...well...busy.  and that i'm definitely not sorry about.  =)


{image via}


sometimes life just happens...and as its happening, it's nice to be present.  so that's where i was...present in my own life as the moments were happening.

there wasn't anything super exciting happening, there was just a lot going on.  between working forty-plus hours at my full time job...squeezing in work at my church job...working out 5 times...laundry and food shopping that needed to be done...trying to plan and execute eating properly...getting quality time with mah man...catching up with friends...driving here, there, and everywhere...and everything else done that gets thrown in the mix -- it was busy.

and i'm so grateful to be able to do all these things.  and blog.  i love doing this.  i love sharing my projects, recipes, and my adventures...and i love hearing from you too.  your recipes i love to share and your encouragement in my fitness journey is overwhelming.

seriously, you guys rock.  so next time you pour yourself a drink (or grab a beer or brew some coffee or have a glass of milk, whatever), pretend to clink glasses with me -- because i will do the same for you!  you guys are such an awesome audience and i love you -- so let's 'cheers' to that!  =)

so, thanks for your patience during my i'm-not-even-at-home-enough-to-turn-on-the-computer-let-alone-actually-blog break...i'll be back in full force this week.  you know i'm excited to share my pinspired project for the extremely unofficial pinterest challenge!


i'll be posting my project on wednesday!  and there may even be some extra pinspirations. =)

stay tuned!

don't forget to email me your recipes!  i look forward to featuring some more reader recipes on my kinda perfect this year -- just send 'em to mykindaperfect (at) gmail (dot) com.

 
=) andrea

Friday, February 15, 2013

friday philosophy


sometimes i come across a quote that bears some kind of significance and i want to share it with you dear readers.  sometimes it's based on where i am in life or a certain event, sometimes a quote just reminds me of a friend, or sometimes it makes me think.

{image via}

sometimes the hardest part of being a grown up is learning the life lessons that we never thought we'd have to.  there are a lot of tough lessons to be learned in your life...people will come in and out of your life...and things will constantly be changing.

but sometimes changing can be just what you need.  

so, no matter what's going on in your life...whether you're happy, sad, frustrated, hurt, excited, anxious, challenged...

things will change.  

you will change.

just continue to be the best you that you can be.

don't let anyone or anything hold you back.

just keep marching forward, knowing you're on your path to your best you.


happy friday!!

=) andrea  


p.s.  this, too, shall pass.
 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

hey girl


i don't know if you've seen all over pinterest or blog land the 'hey girl' memes...

well, they're hilarious.  and mostly include ryan goseling, so it's wildly entertaining.

here's a few...

{image via}

{image via}

{image via}

so naturally, i couldn't resist joining the party.



i love you mike! =)

=) andrea

 

day of love


february 14th:  valentine's day.

whether you're in a relationship or not...i hope you feel a bit of love today.  and if you're feeling a little down...i'll share my flowers with you!



and, i even got an extra little gift...(that i told the florist, morgan from valley flower company, that i specifially wanted one via instagram...and hinted told mike to get when he called for my flowers. who can resist spray painted exotic animals with plants in them?  not this girl!  especially when it comes to giraffes...they're my favorite.  **orange giraffe** was my "hint"!  and it worked!)


isn't he cute?

 

besides getting a special delivery of flowers on this day...i happen to like having a special day, in addition to anniversaries, to focus on your partner.  mike and i aren't planning anything elaborate or anything, but we'll make it special for us just the same.

you may remember i made a little craft last year for mike and i to share for valentine's day...and it's been really fun to keep it going throughout the year.



i just used an empty frame, some scrapbook paper, and some puffy paint to decorate the inside, and we have a wet erase marker we use to keep updating our love notes to each other.

we've updated it with lovey-dovey phrases and funny ones like 'i love you because...

...you're so good at doing the laundry!'

...you did the turkey torture with me!' (mike came to the gym with me on thanksgiving!)

it's a fun and easy craft to put together for valentine's day or for an anniversary! =)

so, i hope you all have a wonderful valentine's day full of love...whether it's from your parents, your children, your partner, your friends, your co-workers, a stranger, whoever...i hope someone makes you smile today and that you feel special....because you are! =)

so, what's our plan for our 5th valentine's day together?

we're having lobster for dinner!

okay, so it's not much of a plan...but it is something out of the ordinary that we both love.  and -- we'll be doing it together which is what matters most.  sometimes it's mostly about turning the t.v. off...putting our iphones down...and just getting back to basics:  talking, laughing, cooking, and just enjoying each other's company.

'cause being with the one you love really is the best company...am i right?

happy valentine's day!

=) andrea

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

choosing healthy meals


let me say this:  eating right is hard.  eliminating (or limiting) carbs from your diet is challenging.  saying 'no' to a cookie or chex mix or whatever yummy-tasting item is in front of you is difficult.

but...(and there's always a but, isn't there?)...

once you see how making healthy choices positively affects your body, it gets easier.  once you learn to manage your intake of less-than-nutritious food, it becomes simple.

if i say no to this cookie today, i can have a glass of wine with dinner on saturday.  (or whatever your personal choice cheat item is.  i go for wine.  maybe you go for cookies.  so say no to this cookie today, and you can have one for dessert on saturday.)  it's all about balance...and i'm constantly learning how to make it work.

last week i showed you a bunch of recipes i want to try...well, i've tried a few healthy, low (or no) carb options since then and i'm happy to report that they have been absolutely delicious.  i can't wait to try more!

today i want to share a recipe (and an alternative) for pizza!

(yes, you read that right -- pizza!  it just doesn't have a traditional crust.  but the flavor is all there.)

portabella mushroom pizzas

here's what you need:

portabella mushroom caps (2 per person)
pizza sauce
toppings of your choosing (i chose diced green peppers and mini pepperonis this time)
provolone cheese (1 slice per mushroom cap)

here's what you'll do:

preheat the oven to 350.

using a damp towel, wipe down the mushroom caps.  i also remove the remnants of the stem just to have more space for the stuff that goes into it.  place the mushroom caps in the oven for about 10 minutes.


if you need to, prep your toppings - chop peppers, onions, black olives, whatever you want.  i use a small bowl to mix my toppings with the pizza sauce and then spoon the mixture onto each mushroom cap.


(you'll probably notice it looks like there's some shredded cheese under the toppings -- there is.  we had like a tablespoon of shredded mozzarella in the fridge, so i threw it in too.)

spread the mixture around and top with sliced provolone cheese.  (if you don't like provolone or prefer a different kind of cheese or have something else on hand, use it!  i just like that provolone is round and melts nicely on the mushroom cap!)


bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.



and...enjoy!



i absolutely love these little pizzas!  mushrooms are my absolute favorite pizza topping, and these duplicate that cheesy, mushroom pizza flavor perfectly.  i swear - i didn't even miss the crust!  just yummy pizza flavor!!

if you don't like mushrooms...which i understand because they're not for everyone, you should try making a cauliflower crust!  (confession:  i've tried and f-ed up the recipe, so that's why i'm not sharing my experience here.  i didn't measure properly.  shame on me.)  so instead, i'll share a recipe i'm confident is awesome.  (and i can't wait to try it her way!)

here's a recipe for cauliflower crust pizza from one of my favorite bloggers, andrea from a farmer in the dell.

for the crust:
  • 1 very large head of cauliflower (about 4 cups total after steaming and processing)
  • 4oz goat cheese
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 egg

preheat oven to 400 degrees.

roughly chop cauliflower and process in a food processor. mix until a fine “rice” like consistency is achieved. you may have to do this in batches.

then transfer cauliflower to a large pot filled about 1 inch high with boiling water.  steam it in the water for about 5 minutes.

drain in a fine mesh strainer.

then place mixture on a large clean dish towel and let cool. wrap the mixture in the towel and strain out all the excess water.

once you have done that mix the cauliflower with the beaten egg and the goat cheese.  use your hands to do this!

then place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  use your hands to form a pizza-like shape. (it won’t feel like regular dough, but this is ok!)

bake in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes.  then remove from oven and spread out all of your toppings!

sauce, cheese, basil…anything you want!

then put it all back in the oven for about 5-7 more minutes.

doesn't it look yummy?!

{image via a farmer in the dell}
 
let's just say that the farmer in the dell andrea's cauliflower pizza worked out much better than the my kinda perfect andrea's.  hers looks delicious and the crust looks crispy.  mine was a soggy mess.  i definitely look forward to trying this recipe too!

so, if you're on a low/no carb journey, know that there are plenty of options out there...even for pizza!  and you know i love to hear from you - so if you have a recipe you want me to try, send it my way and i'll feature it here on my kinda perfect!

in choosing healthy meals...

=) andrea

Friday, February 8, 2013

friday philosophy


sometimes i come across a quote that bears some kind of significance and i want to share it with you dear readers.  sometimes it's based on where i am in life or a certain event, sometimes a quote just reminds me of a friend, or sometimes it makes me think.


the 'new year, new you' contest is underway...and check out our team's tshirts:

{image via}


so, that's pretty much my philosophy for the past week and the next five weeks.

brenda, marileigh, and i are committed:  we're eating right and using our food journals...we're sweating buckets to burn fat...and we're showing everyone just how we do:  like a boss!

we just pretty much wake up every day, look at ourselves in the mirror and choose to be champions.  we've got our eyes on the $1,500 prize and nothing is getting in our way.

that snickers bar?  not worth $1,500.

that pasta dish?  not worth $1,500.

those crackers?  not worth $1,500.

skipping the gym?  not worth $1,500.

those brownies/cookies/muffins some thoughtful coworker brought into the office?  not worth $1,500.

we're just not giving in to temptation.  instead, we're rocking this contest...like the bosses we know we are.

so....what are you rocking at lately? 

=) andrea


p.s.  sorry for the lack of posting a.) this week and b.) about things other than the 'new year, new you' contest.  it's been hectic up in here...you know, with working full time, part time, going to the gym four to five times a week, trying to fit in some quality time with mike, and attempting to have a mini social life...there's little to no time to think creatively let alone actually get a project done, post a recipe, upload/edit pictures, etc.  so, now that football season is over, there will definitely be fun things coming... and remember -- email me if you have a recipe you think i'd like to try!  i'll feature it here on my kinda perfect!


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

new year, new you...new recipe!


the 'new year, new you' contest is officially underway -- it started yesterday!  and after sharing a bunch of photos last week of recipes i'd like to try during the contest... guess what?!

i've made two! =)

one i'm sharing here today:  chinese turkey lettuce wraps.

i was inspired by andie over at can you stay for dinner?.  her blog is one of my favorite daily reads.  it's a go-to site for recipes, but even more so, inspiration.  she successfully lost 135 (!!!!!) pounds about six years ago and has kept it off since.  it was a long journey to lose the weight, but it was a necessary life change that has created endless opportunities for andie including book deals in the works and traveling the world.  (sounds like a pretty good life to me!)  hearing her story and following her blog, full of wisdom and deliciousness, i can't help but feel so proud of andie...even if we are just virtual friends.

if she can lose half of herself, she knows the secret:  that there is no secret.  it takes discipline.  it takes hard work.  it takes exercising more and eating less.  but it doesn't mean that you take away flavor.

and this recipe for lettuce wraps is full-o-flava!

let's get to it, shall we?

chinese turkey lettuce wraps

(inspired by can you stay for dinner?)

here's what you'll need:

2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 lb. lean ground turkey
2 cups chopped mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1" knob of fresh gingerroot, finely minced
1 broccoli crown, chopped
1 1/2 to 2 cups of grated carrot (i bought a bag of matchstick carrots for convenience)
6 scallions, chopped
1 (8 oz.) can of water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped (i chose to omit.)
1 head lettuce (iceberg, boston bibb, romaine)

here's what you'll do:

pop your chopped broccoli in a small bowl with a tablespoon of water, cover and microwave for a couple minutes.  it doesn't have to be completely cooked...it just needs a headstart.

in a small bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, and hoisin sauce.  set aside.

in a large skillet (or wok if you have one), heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  add ground turkey and cook for about 5 minutes.  (it will still be a little pink.)  



add the chopped mushrooms and continue to cook until the turkey isn't pink anymore.



add salt, chili powder, garlic, and ginger.  stir to combine.



add the broccoli...



add the soy sauce mixture to the skillet, stirring to coat all the ingredients.  you can let that cook for a few minutes to reduce.



then add the carrots, scallions, and water chestnuts (if you're using them...i didn't...i detest them.).



give it one final stir and remove from heat.  



get your lettuce leaves washed and plated.



spoon the turkey mixture onto your lettuce (i used boston bibb), and enjoy!





how delicious does that look?!  well, let me tell you...it's better than it looks!  and it's full of veggies -- broccoli, carrots, scallions, mushrooms, and lettuce!  and lean protein in the ground turkey!

i look forward to having this for lunch most of this week.  full of veggies and full-o-flava!

now i just need to figure out which recipe i'll make next!

if you have any recipes you'd like me to feature here on my kinda perfect, just email me here!

=) andrea

 
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