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Pinterest Wednesday: Flavored Waters

Everyone knows they need to drink more water, myself included. But lets be honest, plain water can get a bit boring. So I pinned this set of recipes for Naturally Flavored Water a while ago. The Yummy Life posted five different I tried the citrus water a few times and it’s pretty good. The only thing is that it’s not sweet like most things we’re used to drinking. This week I decided to give the other flavors a try.  The only one on her site that I didn’t try was the watermelon one.  The Blackberry Sage looked really pretty, but the flavor wasn’t quite there.  I think I had the same problem she mentioned in her post, the blackberries just weren’t ripe enough to compete with the sage.  Next up was the Raspberry Lime, which I think was The Man’s favorite.  It reminded me a little of Cherry Limeade from Sonic, which I love.  The only thing I didn’t like about it was sometimes the seeds would get through the strainer., but that could be fixed with a better strainer.  I think my favorite was the Pineapple Mint, it was really crisp and refreshing.  I could really see it taking the place of lemonade in the summer and it was perfect for a drink after a workout.

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Her post actually inspired me to try making my own flavored water.  I’ve been under the weather with a stomach bug lately.  Since ginger naturally helps settle the stomach, I’ve been drinking ginger all like you wouldnt’ believe.  I decided to use fresh ginger (to settle my stomach) and oranges (for the vitamin C) to come up with a flavored water that had the added benefit of helping me get over whatever bug I caught.  I don’t know if it helped me get better, but it did help my stomach and it was really tasty!

Baked Fried Pickles

Lately, whenever The Man and I go out to eat somewhere they have fried pickles on the menu. We both love them, but they’re not so great for you. Then I found a recipe on Pinterest for Baked Fried Pickles. The recipe comes from Full Flavored Food and it’s pretty amazing.

I thought I would try to add some dry ranch mix into the breadcrumbs. Yeah, don’t do that. It was way too salty, but if you just follow her recipe they turn out perfectly!

Baked Fried Pickles-001

Slow Cooked Steel Cut Oats

I love oatmeal for breakfast. It’s fast, easy, and good for you. Especially since I learned that some of my bloodwork numbers were starting to get a little higher than I’d like them to be. Not to mention it’s one of the few things The Man will stop to eat in the morning. We usually eat the Better Oats brand of oatmeal because they have a ton of tasty flavors and the packet is designed to be used as a measuring cup for the water, including a “fill to here” line on the side. Really doesn’t get a whole lot easier than that, and easy is important in the morning before coffee. Well, a couple years ago I started hearing about steel cut oats and how they were supposed to be even better for you than regular rolled oats, but that they took a bit more work to make. As I said, I like my morning routine as easy as possible, so I put off giving them a try. Then Pinterest came along and I kept seeing recipes for steel cut oats, and I knew it was only a matter of time before I made them. I found this pin for Rise and Shine Oatmeal from a blog called Cooking and Living on a Ground Beef Budget that made oatmeal in the slow cooker overnight. And I’m pretty sure you guys know how much I love using my slow cooker, so I had to give it a try.

The recipe uses the slow cooker as sort of a water bath, you put the ingredients in a glass bowl and place it inside the slow cooker, then fill the slow cooker itself with water. This was really the only difficult part and it’s wasn’t the recipe’s fault. I had problems finding a glass bowl that would fit correctly inside my slow cooker. I finally discovered that my four cup measuring cup did the job pretty well. The recipe also said that it makes two or three servings worth, but The Man and I discovered that it was just enough for four servings (so two days worth). I didn’t add any dried fruit to it the first time around, but I can definitely see trying it the next couple times I make it. Or maybe adding some fruit puree to it. Either way, I’m glad I pinned the recipe and it’s definitely going to one I make a lot!

Slowcooked oatmeal-001

Pinterest Wednesday: Spaghetti With Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce

This week’s Pinterest Wednesday recipe comes from Yum Sugar. The Spaghetti with Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce looked incredibly delish. Unfortunately, The Man and I didn’t care for it as much as I thought we would. It was good, just not great. The comments under the recipe said that the sauce to pasta ratio was off, and I totally agree. There wasn’t hardly any sauce, not to mention the serving sizes seemed really big. I think this recipe will be a great starting point to develop the recipe a little more.

Spaghetti Creamy SunDried-001

Pinterest Wednesday: Creamy Garlic Pasta

Oh my creamy, garlicky goodness! I found this pin from The Cheese Pusher and I knew I just had to make it. The only change I made to the recipe was I added some broccoli and chicken to the pasta to make it a bit more of a complete meal. It was seriously quite amazing, The Man and I both had to have a small second helping! I calculated the nutritional values for her version of Creamy Garlic Pasta.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 474.8
Total Fat: 24.4 g
Cholesterol: 88.6 mg
Sodium: 1,341.6 mg
Total Carbs: 45.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.1 g
Protein: 18.9 g

When I make it next time (and there will definitely be a next time), there are a few changes I’m going to make to lower the fat. In my version I didn’t include meat in the ingredients, because I could easily see adding beef or chicken to it.

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cups chicken stock
6 ounces spaghetti or angel hair pasta
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 10 ounce package frozen broccoli
3/4 cup fat free evaporated milk
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Directions
In a pot, bring the olive oil to medium-low heat. Add the garlic and stir, allowing it to cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the salt, pepper and chicken stock. Raise the heat to high and let it come to a boil.
Once it is at a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook for as long as the box’s directions indicate. Reduce the stove to medium heat. Add the broccoli and mix in the parmesan until completely melted. Turn off the heat and stir in the evaporated milk and parsley. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 336.0
Total Fat: 9.8 g
Cholesterol: 34.6 mg
Sodium: 1,282.8 mg
Total Carbs: 43.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.0 g
Protein: 19.8 g

Creamy Garlic Pasta PW-001

Pinterest Wednesdays: Homemade Hot Chocolate

If you’re following me on Pinterest (just click the “Pinterest” button on the right), you can see I have a ton of recipes pinned. So I’ve decided to start Pinterest Wednesday. Once a week I’ll try out one of my pinned recipes and share the results, both good and bad. If you decide to try out the recipe, please let me know how it turned out for you!

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For my first recipe I went with a fairly easy one, Homemade Hot Chocolate. Besides, making it helped me with my homemade Christmas presents this year. The recipe can be found here: http://penniesonaplatter.com/2012/02/10/homemade-hot-cocoa-mix/.

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It only required a few ingredients, unsweetened cocoa powder, powdered milk, powdered sugar and white chocolate chips (the recipe called for salt, but I don’t typically add it when I’m cooking). You mix them all together in a large bowl, then run it through a food processor until the chips have become extremely small pieces. Actually, The Man (my husband) helped me with the food processor part. Then just stir 1/3 cup of mix into a cup of hot water. I have to say, I think this was the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had.

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