Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Eating Healthy with Cheeseburger Casserole

We've started something new in our house - it's called MyFitnessPal.  Even more extreme - Andy has joined me with getting a FitBit.  Oh my yes.
More than a year ago, I started wearing a FitBit, just started getting into the groove of 10,000 steps a day, then got pregnant and tired.  SO very tired.  Well, several months ago I started back at getting more steps.  Then decided to use MyFitnessPal to track the food I was eating.  It was so easy!  Andy saw how easy and decided to also do it.  It's been a huge encouragement to be able to do this together.  Now we both pay attention to the food we make, being sure to eat a bit healthier. (Note: Indulgent recipes are on hold in our house for a while.)
This recipe was part of the hunt for something a little lighter to eat.  It doesn't seem light - but it isn't horrible for you.  We even thought it could use less cheese.  Bronwyn loved it because it had noodles and anything with noodles is a win in her book.
I would tell you how much weight I've lost but I schedule these posts WAY in advance... so by time you read this I'm hoping it's double than when I'm write this post. :)  Guess you'll have to ask me if you really want to know.  If you use MyFitnessPal or FitBit - I'd love to be friends!  Let me know!

Cheeseburger Casserole
 2 cups (6 oz) uncooked rotini pasta
2 tsp oil
1 1/2 cups onions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 lb lean ground beef (95% lean)
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp tomato paste
28 oz diced tomatoes
2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 cups reduced fat grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped dill pickles (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to the package directions for al dente and drain well.

 In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the beef and cook until browned; season with salt and pepper. Stir in the tomato paste, then add the tomatoes and mustard. Let the mixture bubble gently until it is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.


Toss the meat mixture with the pasta and spread it into the prepared dish. Top with the cheddar and bake until the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle the chopped pickles over the top and serve. Makes about 9 cups.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Sneak Peek - One Winter's Night

Sneak Peek - One Winter's Night
New Punch Needle and Cross Stitch from 
Myrtle Grace Motifs 
debuting May 30 - June 1, 2015 
at 
The Needle Arts Trade Show 
in 
Columbus, OH.

Home Stitcher?  Contact your local needlework shop to be sure to get a copy!
Shops?  Be sure to contact Norden Crafts or Hoffman Distributing to stock up!


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Sneak Peek - EverJoy

Sneak Peek - EverJoy
New Punch Needle and Cross Stitch from 
Myrtle Grace Motifs 
debuting May 30 - June 1, 2015 
at 
The Needle Arts Trade Show 
in 
Columbus, OH.

Home Stitcher?  Contact your local needlework shop to be sure to get a copy!
Shops?  Be sure to contact Norden Crafts or Hoffman Distributing to stock up!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

How NOT to clean your piping tips...


Duchess Potatoes are one of those fancy dishes that you just don't make at home.  Why?  When you can just as easy make a boxes mashed potato mix or even boil and mash your own spuds?  Well for Easter I wanted the potatoes to be special - Duchess Potatoes.  I thought finding a recipe would be easy.  Oh sure there are plenty of recipes out there, but they were all boring and had no pizzazz to them.  I wanted something with garlic and taste to them.
I noticed that one of the big differences with Duchess Potatoes and make ahead potatoes were egg yolks.  Well that's easy.  I made a modified make ahead mashed potato recipe and added a few egg yolks.  Perfect!  I used one of my big piping tips to pipe them out onto a pan - oh so pretty!  Into the fridge they went with some plastic wrap on top so they wouldn't dry out, then off to clean my dishes.  I'm not sure how you clean your piping tips, I usually try to get as much out of them as possible, using my finger, just slip your finger in and most of the extra comes out.  Well, all of the extra came out, including my finger.  Please note the extra sharp points of this tip.  Yeah, digging into my finger.  I tried to pull it out, not dice.  So I thought about it for a bit.  Tried not to panic, thought of how silly it would be to head to the ER or immediate care with this dumb metal tip on my finger.  I could see myself on some website talking about dumb things people go to the hospital for.
I tried a few things and finally decided to take a needle nose pliers, pull the tip back as far as I could on my finger and bend each tip back.  Sacrificing the tip to save my finger seemed worthwhile.  It wasn't really the kind of bling I like to wear anyway.
Anyway, these potatoes are awesome.  Try them.  Don't stick your finger into the tip!  That's stupid!  Trust me - I know stupid.

Duchess Potatoes
6-8 potatoes
1/2 pkg cream cheese (4 ounces)
1 cup French onion dip-sour cream style
3 egg yolks
garlic salt to taste
Egg Wash:
 1 egg 
 1 tablespoon milk
Paprika (optional)

Peel and boil potatoes until tender; drain.  In large mixing bowl, combine softened cream cheese, dip and garlic salt.  Mix until blended and add hot potatoes one by one, beating until light and fluffy.  Temper the egg yolks with some potato mixture as to not cook them, then add them into the potatoes.  Fill a piping bag fitted with a large tip and pipe out round motions creating a mound of potatoes.
These can be baked immediately or covered with plastic wrap in the fridge for a day.

When ready to bake, mix egg wash and brush on potatoes.  Sprinkle a little paprika on for color, and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until potato edges are golden brown.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Sneak Peek - Hitchin' a Ride

Sneak Peek - Hitchin' a Ride
New Punch Needle and Cross Stitch from 
Myrtle Grace Motifs 
debuting May 30 - June 1, 2015 
at 
The Needle Arts Trade Show 
in 
Columbus, OH.

Home Stitcher?  Contact your local needlework shop to be sure to get a copy!
Shops?  Be sure to contact Norden Crafts or Hoffman Distributing to stock up!

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