Category Archives: Self Improvement

Cinnamonroll Pancakes

After all the Thanksgiving cooking, it’s amazing we were up for a fancy breakfast recipe today.  But, my Mom really wanted to have these, so my Dad and I set to work. First my dad prepared the batter with Pamela’s Products Gluten-Free Pancake mix (he used buttermilk instead of water. Meanwhile, me and my kid cousins set to work making the cinnamon filling with:

1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

After mixing it all together until it was smooth, we put it in a plastic sandwich bag so my dad could add it to the top of the batter in a spiral:

After the batter bubbled a little bit, he flipped it over to cook the other side. It takes one or two pancakes of practice to get it so the cinnamon filling doesn’t “escape”.

Now it’s time for the cream cheese spread! Put these in a microwave safe bowl:

4 Tablespoons butter
2 ounces cream cheese

and whisk. After you get it smooth, whisk in:

3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

When you’re ready to serve, spread this mixture on top the pancakes.

YUM!

 

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This Thanksgiving (as always) I’m Thankful For Family

Today at dinner my aunt thanked all of us because her children could call us family, and that nothing is more important than family. Maybe it’s because I have such a great family (no arguing, no dry turkey), but this fits with my feelings every Thanksgiving (not the part about her children, but they are super adorable kids to call cousins). Even my family in MN was on Skype with me in the kitchen for about 4 hours. You are the people who keep grounded and smiling.

http://piccsy.com/2011/11/be-happy-no-thankful/


Spicy Yellow Chicken Chili

When I was younger I hated chili, but I LOVED the smell. My best friend’s mom would make a whole bunch of it on cold days, and as I bundled up to make the quarter-mile walk back home, she would hand me a little Dixie cup full to keep me warm. I always ended up picking out the big chunks of beef, carefully maneuvering around the tomato chunks and “unknowns”.

I’ve never made chili before this year, but now I’m on a kick. I like mine with chicken, lots of spice and corn. I also strongly contend that all vegetables should be minced, no piece larger than a corn kernel.

This weekend I used a white chicken recipe my friend Emily gave me, and gave it a twist based on what I had in my kitchen, and my perfectionist desire to have a color theme. I had corn and yellow peppers, so the theme was yellow. If I was really motivated I should have gotten some squash or yellow tomatoes…next time.

First I browned my chicken in a large saucepan with a minced onion, garlic salt and some canola oil. Meanwhile I minced my yellow peppers.

After the chicken was cooked, I added 2 cans of great northern beans (drain the juice out), a can of chicken broth, my corn, spices and my peppers.

Bring the concoction to a boil, then put on low to simmer for a half hour


All you have to do then is throw in the sour cream and whipping cream to make it creamy, then put in a bowl with some sharp cheddar cheese for garnish.

I makes about 6 servings, but between me and Logan it was miraculously gone in 12 hours. Hmmm…

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cans (15-1/2 ounces each) great northern beans
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
1 yellow bell pepper
1 cup frozen corn
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream
Sharp cheddar cheese for garnish.


Betty Home Skillet

The next project I’m going to be working on–in light of the holiday season and the visitors it brings–is being a better home-maker. While this house doesn’t look like a frat house, I’m certainly not the neatest person. Actually, I think my aunt Janessa is the “neatest person,” and she’s going to be visiting for Thanksgiving. Even more reason to DEEP CLEAN. What I really want to focus on during this project is cooking. Here’s some recipes I’ve been meaning to tackle, and finally have an excuse:

Homemade Butterfingers

Buffalo Grilled Cheese

Southern Chicken & Corn Chowder

Carried over from past projects:

  • Working out at least 3 times a week
  • Being open to try new things
  • Stay within my budget
  • Gluten-free diet.
  • More fresh veggies and fruits.
  • More hobbies and activities, less TV.
  • Avoid things that insult my soul
  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Maintain a positive attitude
  • Be more charitable and generous
  • Put my friends/family first

Cheesy Lasagna Hotdish, Or Why Erika Will Die Early

Got home from work tonight and had a craving for pasta, so I boiled some gf elbow noodles and stole the cheese mix from a box of Kraft mac and cheese. While the noodles were boiling I looked into the fridge for an appetizer. Instead, I found red meat sauce, which reminded me of lasagna. Naturally I looked for cheese, and check. Ricotta? Amazingly, check.

Here’s how I made a Cheesy Lasagna Hotdish off the top of my head with a weeks worth of recommended dairy.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and oil a smallish casserole dish. Put 1/3 of prepared mac and cheese at the bottom. Then layer about 2/3 cup meat sauce, 1/2 cup ricotta cheese and 1/4 cup mozzerella. I repeated those 4 ingredients again. Finish with the last 1/3 of mac and cheese and some more mozzerella. Then bake for 20 minutes.

I may die before Thanksgiving even gets here, but Lord, this is was good.


OK

Whenever I spend too much time “partying” I have a sever down-swings. First I obsessively clean and work, then I sleep, then I require an excessive amount of hugs and reassurance. I’m currently in sleep stage.

This project is partially about self acceptance, and in the following year I will almost certainty:

-Stay awake at night with a rushing mind

-Try to over justify my emotions

-Do something people have advised me not to do

-Disappoint my parents

-Be insulted by a stranger and care deeply

-Be unkind to a stranger

-Doubt my purpose in this world

-Get headaches, mosquito bites, bruises and colds

-Allow the laundry to pile up

-Agree to something I don’t want to do out of perceived social obligation

-Complain it’s too hot or too cold

-Act needy or desperate and feel embarrassed

But I will be OK.


Energy Bites

I know you’re all thinking, “Where does she find the energy to sit in a cubicle at a low/mid-level job, run 13 minute miles, fix dinner for one and lead such an active hulu account?” Well, this week I’ve been experimenting with some energy friendly foods.

One thing I found that was really easy, delicious and gave me a bit of a boost, was these no bake “energy bites” from Smashed Peas and Carrots:

All you do is mix 1 cup oatmeal (I used Bob’s Gluten Free Oatmeal), 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/3 cup honey (I used agave), 1 cup coconut flakes (which I don’t really care for but Logan likes), 1/2 cup ground flaxseed (apparently you find this near the spices), 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (I threw in a little more) and tsp vanilla.
Then you chill the mixture for a half hour, roll into balls, and snack before work outs, as a morning pick me up, when you have a craving for chocolate, or because it’s there.
Peer review? I gave a couple of these to Joe and Logan as they were playing baseball on the X-Box. They both said they were good and tasted like “candy bars with a lot of fiber.” Within an hour of eating them, they were in the car, driving to the club to party until dawn. These bites are that good, or it was just a typical Friday.