Jul 29, 2009

Almond & Banana Pancakes!

Breakfast for dinner yeaaaaah!

I refuse to make pancakes out of the box. Most boxes contain trans fats, and homemade ones are so much better! Here's my recipe:

1 cup old-fashioned oats (I used a packet of Quaker Oats High Fiber Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal MMMM)
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup (packed) brown sugar
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon (cinnamon helps stabilize blood sugar)
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
3/4 cup fat-free milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup almonds, smashed
Cooking spray

Whisk first 6 ingredients together in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk yogurt, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture just until blended. Never overmix pancake batter! Yuck! Fold in bananas.
Heat a non-stick skillet with cooking spray over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cupfuls in skillet. Cook pancakes on one side until bottom is golden-brown and the top side begins to bubble (about 2 minutes). Turn and cook another 2 minutes. ENJOY!

We also made bacon--Brandon found the healthiest bacon I've ever seen. Haha. By that I mean, lower calorie, lower fat, and lower sodium than regular bacon. It was Maverick Ranch's Nautral Applewood Smoked Bacon! So good!

First one in the pan--always a fail for me:

I ended up slicing the bananas and placing them in the batter:

Brandon's monster pancake:



Jul 28, 2009

Naughty Sunday

Typical lazy Sunday...

We didn't feel like cooking today, but wanted something sweet. I had made a blonde brownie recipe before that I really liked and wanted to try again. This recipe comes from the blog http://smittenkitchen.com/ The writer, Deb, has some awesome dessert recipes. Her blondies recipe is very simple and you can add whatever you'd like to it. The first time I made them with bananas and they came out very moist. Today I omitted the bananas and they came out just as delicious. The recipe can be found here:

Beating the eggs into the sugar:

Brandon's serving with ice cream...haha
Thanks Deb for the great recipe!!

Jul 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Megan!

today is brandon's sister's birthday. she's 20! (one more year, honey). brandon made 4 different types of burgers, corn on the cob, and asparagus. and i made the healthiest cake that i know of: angel food cake. one type of burger was an asian burger. the meat was mixed with sweet chile sauce before it was grilled. it was topped with a roasted red pepper and some ginger coleslaw from whole foods. the other burgers were topped with either boursin, american, or blue cheese. everyone just added the toppings they wanted and enjoyed them on some whole-wheat buns.

megan and her friends at the table, with brett:

let me tell you what brett is thinking: "hurry up and take the stupid picture so i can eat. i ran like 6 miles today at the gym and there's a burger in front of me. i want it in my mouth." right b?

as for my cake...i stole the recipe from my hero, alton brown. all i have to say about angel food cake is eggs eggs eggs and whip whip whip. angel food cake recipes call for TWELVE egg whites. yep. at least you get your practice cracking eggs. and it involves so much whipping with the electric beater my hand went a little numb. just kidding. but it did get tingly. the recipe can be found here:


isn't alton so cute?? and bald?!

the cake came out so light, yet moist, and heavenly. no wonder why they call it angel food cake. i topped it with some sliced strawberries and we wished the no-longer-a-teenager a happy birthday. soooooomebody forgot to buy candles, so she blew out the flame of a lighter. haha.

brandon's serving. with ice cream. haha.

the little nugget and me with her cake:

normal people:

a better one:

Jul 17, 2009

Goat Cheese & Spinach Stuffed Chicken with White Wine Lemon Sauce

sooo i (christina) created this recipe all by myself--you can tell it's me typing because i hate using capital letters. brandon is much more proper than me and loves punctuation. sometimes if he's sitting next to me when we're blogging (and i'm typing) i feel the need to use punctuation. boooooooring. but i will tell you that i am a grammar FREAK. (there's some caps for you). brandon is too. grammar is not a joke. seriously, people, start writing and speaking correctly. nothing gets on my nerves more than bad grammar. i have a list of what i find to be the most annoying grammar mistakes that people commonly make. that's a post for another day. i don't know where this obsession with perfect grammar came from. oh, wait, yes i do. when my grammy answers the phone and the person calling asks, "may i speak with meredith?" she replies, "this is she." growing up, i would think "ew. she sounds so weird." and then oh, around 10th grade, i learned why this is correct. sorry, but i don't have time to tell you why right now. look it up. anyway, it sort of became an obsession. i promise during my teenage years i used an inappropriate amount of slang and acronyms (i referred to my best friend nicole as my BFFL), but i KNEW right from wrong. holy moly. did i just start a new blog? sorry. onto the food.

we love chicken. we love cheese. we love wine. we love spinach. why would we not combine them into something oh so delicious?

i thought about the aforementioned ingredients, looked up some recipes online, and created my own. i would like to tell you a hundred times how delicious this is, but i also don't have time for that. but i will SHOW you!

1 lb chicken breasts
2 oz goat cheese
fresh spinach leaves
salt & pepper
1 lemon
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
8 oz mushrooms
2 cups white cooking wine
2 cups fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
fresh thyme

1. Preheat oven to 350*. Using a mallet or the back of a pan, flatten chicken breasts until 1/4" thick. Lightly salt & pepper. Across each flattened breast, lay a few pieces of spinach and crumbled goat cheese. Roll up each breast and stab those babies with a couple of toothpicks so they stay together in the oven. Now, here's the fun part. Take the lemon and grate a little zest atop each breast. This gives just a little hint of lemon flavor that really ties in with the sauce...Bake chicken for 25-30 minutes.
2. Place a large pan over medium-high heat and add cooking spray. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and let those cook for just a couple minutes. Add the chicken, wine, thyme, and juice from the lemon. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, and let it reduce to about half. If you want to thicken it, you can sloooooowly whisk in some flour towards the end.
3. When the sauce has thickened, pour it over your cooked chicken.

we wanted corn with this recipe, so we just boiled 2 ears. we cut the kernels off the cob and brandon sprinkled them over our chicken. he likes to make things pretty. i just like to eat.

Jul 8, 2009

Shrimp, Spinach, & Goat Cheese Risotto

Brandon had been craving risotto for over a week and since I had never made it myself I decided we should try it together. I spent some time looking at recipes online, decided on some ingredients I wanted to use, and Brandon picked them up at Whole Foods. Making risotto is a laborious process, but definitely worth the effort. I alternated arms so I could get buff. Haha. It came out really good. We actually used the juice of a whole lemon, but I adjusted the recipe below because that was a bit too much. You could use fresh dill in place of thyme if you'd like. We will definitely make this again.

Here it is in the pot:

And in the bowl:

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 pound small shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion (about 1/2 medium)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • 3/4 cup white cooking wine
  • 4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 5 oz bag of fresh spinach, coarsley chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon
  • 2 oz crumbled goat cheese


1. Coat a medium pan with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook for about 5 minutes, or until done. Remove from heat and keep warm.
2. In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add wine and cook until nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.
3. Add broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly for 5 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed before adding the next. When adding the final 1/2 cup of broth, add shrimp, spinach, thyme, lemon juice, and cheese. Salt & pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings; about 1 1/2 cups each.

Jul 1, 2009

Christina's 25th Birthday

today i am old. brandon did all the cooking. i sat. he grilled sesame crusted tuna, pineapple and placed it over warm spinach with a citrus vinaigrette. he also grilled sweet potatoes that had marinated in ummm something.

for dessert he made dark chocolate covered strawberries, raspberries, and, my favorite, blueberries. mmm!