Friday, August 28, 2009

Kicked Up Pimiento Cheese

On the 4th of July, I made this pimiento cheese. I had promised to post it on my blog so that everyone could have the recipe...then I got busy and forgot. Amy reminded me the other day, so here it is.

This recipe is an Emeril recipe that a man I used to work with at Pike made, but with some "tweaks" (which are in italics). He used 6-8 jalapenos with the seeds, but I only use 2 and I take the seeds out. You just buy a baguette from the grocery store and slice it up. Smear some of this on it and it is a yummy appetizer.
I found an old picture of the pimiento cheese spread on baguettes and decided to include it. It's Yum-O!

Kicked Up Pimiento Cheese

8 slices bacon, chopped
1/2 lb extra-sharp white cheddar cheese, grated (if you can't find it, use orange)
1/2 lb extra sharp orange cheedar cheese, grated
8 oz. roasted red bell peppers, chopped
3/4 c mayonnaise
1 c. spicy ham - I used deli pepperoni
1/2 c. chopped green onions
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp Essence of Emeril (recipe follows)
salt & pepper (optional)

2-3 fresh jalapeno peppers, chopped (I take the seeds out, but if you want more heat, leave them in there)
1/2 lb pepper jack cheese

In a large skillet, cook the bacon until brown and crisp. Transfer to paper towels and cool.

In a large bowl (very large), combine all ingredients.

I never feel like it gets mixed up enough when I just use a spoon to mix it up, so I put it in a food processor. Mine is kind of small, so it takes several batches.

Essence of Emeril

2 1/2 Tbsp paprika
2 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp black pepper
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp dried leaf oregano
1 Tbsp dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container. Yields about 2/3 c.

Still Saving and Losing

Today I went to Kroger and Publix (in the rain). At Kroger, I got $121.28 worth of stuff for $69.74. That's 43% savings! At Publix, I got $57.32 worth of stuff for $32.39. That's 43% savings as well! Wow, I can't believe it turned out that way.

I have a feeling that when I weight myself this evening, I am going to have gained a pound or two as a result of our crazy eating while on vacation. I am kind of dreading it. But, as of last week's weigh-in, I had lost 19.4% of my starting weight. I still have 3-5 pounds left to lose, depending on what it looks like tonight. I really need to do better about exercising, though.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Trip to Louisville

Scott and I just got back from a trip to Louisville, KY to visit Josh, Shana, and Truett. We also got to spend time with Judy and Dean. So, it was a fun, Stringer-filled few days. While we were up there, we saw some of the sites of Louisville and the surrounding areas. Scott and I weren't the best eaters while we were gone. So, it's back on the bandwagon now.

It seems like the only picture Scott took of me with Truett I was not wearing make up. Great. But, here we both are holding him.

We visited the Louisville Slugger Museum the first day we were there, Saturday. We visited Josh and Shana's church, Crossings, on Sunday. Afterwards, we all ate at a burger place called Red Robin with Darrell and Jenny Estepp, some friends of ours that we used to go to church with. Monday, we went to the Creation Museum close to Cincinnati (in Petersburg, KY). The Creation Museum was really good. I would definitely recommend it. They have the museum part and then they also have a botanical gardens outside. We drove through Indiana and Ohio just to say we'd been there. We also tried Skyline Chili, since we'd seen it on Food Network. It was an interesting flavor. It is not normal chili. There's cinnamon in it or something like that. We were googling things to do in Louisville, and Scott found that we could take a tour of the Jim Beam distillery. Not that we like bourbon, but processes like that are always interesting. So, we drive the half hour or so out there and it turns out that they are renovating the distillery so that people can tour the distillery, but the current "tour" consists of visiting the Beam house on the property, looking around a gift shop and sampling some Jim Beam chocolates, watching a video about the history of Jim Beam, and a bourbon tasting. Yeah, disappointing. We also went to have lunch at Tony Boombozz, which is the pizza restaurant that Darrell is part owner of. It was really very good pizza. Luckily, Jenny does some marketing for them, so she just happened to swing by to do some marketing so we got to talk to both Darrell and Jenny! It was great. If you ever want good pizza in Louisville, let us know and we'll tell you where Tony Boombozz is. The whole time we were there, we were invited to dinners at Josh and Shana's, cooked by Judy. It was all very good. Last night we visited this place that Josh and Shana love called the Pie Kitchen. Oh, it was good. I almost made myself sick eating half of the piece of pie Scott and I shared because we had had Graeter's Icecream after lunch. Graeters is handmade icecream. There are several locations in Louisville. Man, was that stuff good.
So, that was our trip, lots of good times with the Stringers, lots of good, bad food, and several tourist-y outings.

We drove home today and since we were going to be driving through Nashville around lunchtime, we asked our friends Kari and Eric if they wanted to meet us for lunch. It was so good to get to sit and spend some time with them. We also got to see how big Evan has gotten and meet Grace for the first time. We rarely get to see them now that they are living in TN.

Over all, we had a good trip. It was fun to spend time with old friends and to meet Truett and get to hold him and watch him change every day and see all the cute faces he makes. It is fun to see how Shana has gone from zero to Mom in 60 seconds.

Tomorrow it's back to work for Scott. I took the rest of the week off. I am going to see how much of nothing I can do the next two days. :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lauren's Baby Shower

A couple of Fridays ago, we had a baby shower for one of my closest girlfriends, Lauren. It was fun showering her with attention, gifts, and food. Lauren and Zach haven't found out whether they are having a boy or a girl. They got lots of good baby stuff. I think that the pictures say it all!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Two Delicious Treats

Lately I have found two treats that aren't really so bad for me that are really delicious.

The first is Laughing Cow Cheese. I get the Light Garlic and Herb flavor. One triangle of the cheese and 5 whole wheat Ritz Crackers is 2 points. Yum.

Next is something I discovered at Lauren's shower which we recently threw (which I still need to blog about). We had a parfait bar, just to have something different. We had all kinds of fruit, vanilla yogurt, and granola. It was delicious. So, I did some researching and I got strawberries, Activia Vanilla yogurt (the regular, not the light, which has artificial sweeteners in it), and Fiber One Honey Oat Clusters. The whole thing is only 2.5 points on WW. I use 1/2 c strawberries, a carton of yogurt, and about 1/4 c of the cereal. I have been having one for breakfast all but one day this week. Yum-O.

Just wanted to share.

Monday, August 3, 2009

New Hair Cut and Laptop

Here's my new hair cut. (It is a little bouncier earlier in the morning. This is after being up for 12 hours on a hot, muggy day).

Here's a picture of my new laptop.