this is me now

April 26, 2009

Covered in Pollen

Filed under: cooking,nutrition,recipes,weather — by heatherdc @ 10:04 pm

Spring is, quite literally, in the air.

My car was completely covered in yellow pollen today, and the temperatures were around 90 allllll weekend. Whoa.

Every weekend this month has been spent visiting a friend or with a visitor. In other words, I’m completely baffled that it’s almost May, pumped that the Fam will be here in about one month, and beyond excited that two months from TODAY I’ll be done with the internship.

Oh, happy dayyyy.

I’m suddenly very interested in cooking for myself. No frozen meals this week!! Usually I allow myself¬† just one, because there’s at least one night where I just don’t feel like making something. A sudden desire to use the stove and oven does Not coincide nicely with stifling heat and no AC.

But! I’m determined to use the 2 lbs of chicken I bought last week (on sale like whoooa!), the extra shredded cheddar I have from breakfast burritos, and the random things in my pantry. For the first time in quite a while, my grocery list was well planned out to provide actual Meals – not just the random weekly necessities. I’m very proud of this accomplishment.

On the menu for this week, a la Kraft Magazine (my first Foodie looove):

Easy Tomato Baked Chicken
(found here –> KRAFT Foods!)

I’ll admit it doesn’t look extremely appetizing, but its “Easy!”, uses a lot of ingredients I already had (also Easy!), and it’s a “Healthy Living” recipe. Yes yes and yessss!

Cheddar, Chicken and Rice Skillet
also found at KRAFT)

This one stood out because it uses Cheddar, and I need to get rid of some Cheddar! I’m not a big cheese person, so it’s very likely that the shredded stuff will sit in my fridge for the next month and I’ll wonder what to do with it. I’d probably make a quesadilla here and there. But I know it has more potential, sooo, I’m goin’ all out. Again, this is a “healthy living” recipe that incorporated many things I already had. Budget and nutrition, good stuff!


December 16, 2008

Waiting for the winner!

Filed under: Entertainment,nutrition,things I Looove,TV Shows — by heatherdc @ 10:35 pm

Are you watching “The Biggest Loser” finale???? You should be. This show is amaaazing.

The first hour is almost over, and they’ve brought out all of the former contestants. We have one more weigh-in before the “Home” winner is decided, and….WoW. These people have stepped it UP. I haven’t watched a season before this, so I can’t compare, but I’m seriously in awe.

The truth? 60% of Americans are overweight. Around 30%….are classified as Obese.

These numbers are just that, numbers, until you see it everyday. I see quite a wide range of patients. But half of them, on a daily basis? Overweight. Obese. Type 2 DM. High Blood Pressure. High Cholesterol. Etc. Or…..all of the above.

I have quite a job ahead of me in this Nutrition path of mine.

What’s the one thing that most people don’t get? Or maybe just choose to ignore?

The health problems that are related to obesity, they go away. With the weight.

Thats part of why I love this show. It brings a face – and this season, a family – to the epidemic. You pull for these contestants, you watch them become healthier week by week. You watch their diseases, health complications, insecurities, and (obviously) weight melt away.

Anyway. Thats my spiel! This show is awesome. I’m already excited for next season. Maybe I’ll be done by the time they film Season 8, and they’ll introduce a new cast member….Heather-the Trainer. ūüėČ Yessss.

UPDATE: And the winners are……HEBA (at Home) and MICHELLE (overall). Who both look like completely different people! Gorgeous. Congratulations!!!

November 20, 2008

This is what I know

Filed under: about me,blogging,nutrition — by heatherdc @ 12:06 am

If you read me over here on this little blog even once a week you probably know I graduated in May. And that I’m borderline obsessed (um, definitely obsessed) with my alma mater (…..PENN STATE. Whooo.)

But what I don’t talk about as much is what my major was. I talk about it here and there, but ya know. That’s not as interesting and I’m here to write, to get away from science and diseases and ahhh.

Then, I go and read blogs that talk a lot about exercise, running, diets, food, cooking, etc. So, really, I never get away from it. Which is awesome. Clearly I love it all. And I’m always up to learn something new. And they pose questions about all of the above, and I’m like “Hi! I can help! I mean, ya know…if you want…”. I’m always pleasantly surprised by the response. A lot of you have questions, and I could talk Nutrition allll day!¬† (and Disney and running and football…..ehhh, we won’t get into that).

I’ve never done this before, but I’m opening this up to You. If you don’t respond, it’s cool. That just means maybe I’ll spend more time working on the homework I probably should be doing anyway. Dangit. But! If you do, then sweeeet. I’ll dedicate a post to You.

With answers, obviously.

December 2, 2007

This is me, Cooking. Part 1

Filed under: cooking,food,nutrition — by heatherdc @ 2:32 am

This post will be the first of many, reviewing recipes from my beloved Cooking Light and Kraft magazines. Today’s will feature a delicious dinner and a decadent desert. Enjoy!

Creamy Basil & Red Pepper Pasta

Straight from my Recipe Box, on, this recipe is so simple and requires basically no preparation. Perfect for a night where you are a little crunched for time, but craving a tasty homecooked meal.  The total cooking time is only 25 minutes!

Incase I haven’t convinced you yet, this is¬†also a Healthy Living Recipe. It’s a great source of¬†Protein, Calcium, Vitamin A,¬†Vitamin C,¬†¬†and Iron!

Makes 4 servings (1 1/2 cup each)

2 cups Penne  pasta, uncooked (feel free to substitute the pasta of your choice)
4 oz Fat-free Cream Cheese, softened (1/2 of an 8 oz package)
1/4 cup Fat-free Milk
1 jar (7 oz) Roasted Red Peppers, Drained!
1/2 cup FRESH Basil leaves
2 tbsp grated Parmesan Cheese
1 lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

Cook pasta as directed. Meanwhile, place peppers, cream cheese, milk, basil and Parmesan cheese in blender; cover. Blend until smooth; set aside.

Spray a large skillet with cooking spray. Add chicken; cook on medium-high heat 3 min., stirring frequently. Stir in pepper mixture. Reduce heat to medium; cook 5 min. or until heated through, stirring frequently.

Drain the pasta. Add it to your chicken mixture; stir until well blended.

Done! Eat and enjoy!

Time for dessert??

Butterscotch Blondies

These delicious treats can be found in December 2007 edition of Cooking Light magazine.¬† This recipe only consists of 6 ingredients, and yields 24 servings.¬† The end result is a moist, sweet and “light” butterscotch brownie!

2 cups all-purpose Flour
2 1/2 cups firmly packed Light brown sugar
2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Salt
10 tbsp Unsalted butter
3/4 Egg substitute (i.e. Egg Beaters)

¬†((I decided to throw in a little “personal touch” to my blondies; add 1 cup butterscotch chips to the final mixture.))

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lighly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.  Combine flour, firmly pakced light brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. 
Place butter in small skillet over medium (4-5) heat.  Cook 6 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.* Pour into a small bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.
Combine butter and egg substitute, stirring with a whisk.   Pour the butter mixture over flour mixture; stir just until moistened.  Spoon batter into a 13 x 9 inch pan coated with cooking spray; smooth the top with a spatula.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
Cut into 24 squares. (Yield=24 servings, 1 square each)

*Butter will begin to “bubble” and may brown sooner. Mine only took about 4-5 minutes.

At a mere 170 calories per square, this dessert packs less than 5 grams of fat per serving! Perfect for a light after-dinner treat!

While I was home for Thanksgiving my sister decided to bake these, and I was amazed at how great they turned out.  Healthier desserts can be tricky and sometimes turn out dry and tasteless, but these little blondies defy the odds!  I baked a batch today for me and my roommates.

So get cookin’ and bakin’ and let me know what you think!

November 13, 2007

Chili…my Style

Filed under: cooking,food,nutrition — by heatherdc @ 3:48 pm

This weekend I made chili, from scratch. No recipe or list, just a big pot of whatever I wanted to include. I realized that this is honestly the first thing I can “cook” without any sort of reference or guideline. Being from the Southwest, I found this appropriate and have decided to share the list of ingredients so that you can cook chili too…My way!

1 can Kidney Beans (can substitute and/or add Black beans too)
2 cans Diced Tomatoes (undrained)
1 cup Celery, diced
1 cup Onions, diced
1 cup Green Peppers, diced (feel free to add/substitute Red and Yellow Peppers as well!)
1 lb Ground Beef (if you’re going for a slightly healthier version, use Lean Ground Beef)
1 packet Taco Seasoning
1 1/2 cup Chunky Salsa
Salt and Pepper
1 tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Chili Powder

Spray a non-stick pan with cooking spray, heat & brown the ground beef. Once it’s browned, add the Taco seasoning (use directions on packet, they vary according to which brand you use).
In a large pot, combine the following: beans, tomatoes, celery, onions, peppers, salsa, sugar and the meat (when it’s finished). Stir this all together and bring to a boil. Add the salt, pepper and chili powder. Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 20 minutes (or until the diced vegetables are tender).

Done! Easy, right?! And it’s sooo good! The salsa is definitely optional, and feel free to use more/less depending on how spicy you like things. I like to use a little more, it adds a lot of flavor and I love the spice! I got this idea from my mom, good stuff.

You can also top it off with some shredded cheddar, crunched up tortilla chips, a dollop of sour cream, or the new onion-flavored Premium crackers. Mmmmmm. This is also a healthy meal when using lean ground beef, and a great source of protein (from beans and meat), fiber (beans), and lots of vegetables!

I’d say this recipe makes about 5 servings (approx. 1 1/2 cups each), and takes about 30 minutes all together. Pretty quick and super easy. Plus it’s the perfect way to warm-up after a cold rainy/snowy day. Along with a nice cuppa’ tea of course ūüėČ

October 10, 2007

My morning

Filed under: food,nutrition,roommates — by heatherdc @ 12:27 am

Number one indicator that I’m awake in the morning: our apartment smells of warm maple syrup and brown sugar.

I never skip breakfast. Honestly, I can’t do it. I love breakfast. I love sitting down, with my warm bowl of oatmeal (topped with raisins and maple syrup), and enjoying my first, most important, meal of the day. Even those mornings when the alarm clock doesn’t do the trick, or I spend too much time checking email/perusing the internet, or I’m just moving slowly and definitely running late…I have my breakfast.

As a Nutrition major, I have been educated on all the reasons we should eat breakfast. A well-balanced breakfast can:
-Jump start your metabolism, kicking it in gear for the rest of the day!
-Help us focus and perform better in the mornings
-Prevent over-eating later in the day
-Provide a boost of energy that most of us can definitely use in the morning!
-Help get in all the nutrients you need every day
Calcium is something that most of us don’t get enough of, but it’s in a lot of breakfast foods including cereal (milk), oatmeal, yogurt, cream-cheese, and even Calcium-fortified Orange Juice!
-Give the body energy that it needs to engage in physical activities

All these things aside; it’s five minutes of your morning where you can sit, relax, eat and enjoy. Then, feeling satisfied and energized, get on with the rest of your day!

I have to give credit to those roommates of mine; great breakfast makers! Especially on Sunday mornings…

LB: queen of the pancakes!
S: master of eggs, potatoes, and incorporating Ketchup!
E: best breakfast-sandwich-maker, no doubt!

…one of my favorite parts of the weekend. ūüôā

September 14, 2007

food & family

Filed under: cooking,food,nutrition — by heatherdc @ 12:07 am

As an avid reader of (and hopefully future writer for) Kraft Food & Family magazine, I eagerly await the fresh new recipes, articles, and tasty treats featured in each new issue.

My interest in these mini-magazines started at home when my mom began receiving them in the mail. This was far before I had acquired my interest in food, nutrition, and cooking; the days of browsing colorful pictures of Kraft mac-n-cheese variations and dreaming of those Jell-o pudding pies. The days when all I knew about cooking was how to boil water… and of course add the butter, milk and cheese packet to those macaroni noodles. Also the days when recipes for innovative appetizers, simple lunch ideas, family dinners, and fresh new twists on classic deserts carried the magazine themselves.

Don’t get me wrong, this magazine is still full of all these things, and they’ve even expanded the wide array of what are labeled “Healthy Living” recipes. Yet, these staples tend to stand in the shadows of brand names for every ingredient, full page advertisements for crackers and pizza, and even two page spreads of “What’s New” on the market for brands that are now within the Kraft family.

For those who may not know, Kraft is the #1 food company in the United States. Somebody’s doing their job right! They’ve expanded to include Jacobs, Milka, Nabisco, Philadelphia (cream cheese anybody?), Oscar Meyer, and Post. (Source: Yahoo! Finance) Not that I wouldn’t brag if my company was #1 in the U.S., but when I’m looking for a fun new recipe to try and cook for my roommates sometime soon (yes, roomies, always thinking of you ūüėČ ) I don’t want to see a full page ad telling me how easy & delicious frozen pizza will be if I just heat it up!

Alright, Kraft…I can only be upset for so long. The truth is that even if the magazine inflated to 100 pages (with half of them being advertisements), but kept its heart of fabulous foods, healthy options, decadent deserts, quick-tips and up-with-the-times articles…I’m 100% content.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to fold in the corners of those irresistible recipes that I fully intend to cook for those lovely roommates of mine…soon…

Another wonderful resource that Kraft has set up is their website:
Check this out! I can’t say enough good things about this site! You can search everything from 20-minute dinners to crafty seasonal deserts. You can set up your own “recipe box”, essentially “bookmarking” those dinners that you know you’ll make…someday. ūüôā Users can also rate recipes so you know which to try and which to pass-up, or maybe change-up to your own likings.

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