Eggplant Pizza

Today is Day 8 of my clean eating challenge. I am down 3.6lbs, I can go 30 minutes on my exercise bike at resistance number 3, I am lifting 10lb weights, and I still want to eat everything in sight.

Seriously. I am so freaking hungry like 75% of the time. Not for anything good though, so I guess its not hunger, just cravings. I want pasta, and bread, and anything with gluten and carbs and sugar. But I am standing strong as of now.

We have been pretty busy for the past few days. I took the girls shopping for summer clothes, we did a work out at the park one morning, we did the grocery shopping, etc. etc. This weekend was extra fun because Wonderful Husband got to come home and we took the girls to a spring carnival at the school they will be attending when they are older.

The school is very small, only about 10 rooms total. Their cafeteria is also their gymnasium and auditorium. It was nice to see where the girls will go and meet some of the people and teachers they will be around. We didn’t stay long but Little Darling won some tokens for prizes and got a lollipop. She was happy. Afterwards we ran a few errands and came home so the kids could nap.

Sunday was an awesome day! We went to church in the morning, and then in the afternoon- My dad and I got matching tattoos!

The tattoo parlor that we always go to was having a fundraiser for a local music program called Popshop, they were doing walk in tattoos and the proceeds went to the program. They had about 25 different designs to choose from, all music themed. We went down, there wasn’t any wait, and we got a music note with a heart. It was so fun! Afterwards, we let the girls nap at his house and then we went to the Chinese buffet where I got to try sushi. I actually liked it (despite being terrified of it for years) and ate 4 pieces!

Today we had some catching up to do since we were away most of the weekend. I still had to get the car inspected since we had transferred the registration to West Virginia, we had laundry and dishes and general tidying. Not to mention, there was a smoke alarm in the living room that has been chirping since Friday night.

Took the car in first thing, only took about 30 minutes and $15 for an inspection- score! We came home and pulled in the garage, as I was getting the girls out of the car I noticed it. The BIGGEST spider I have ever seen. Literally, the size of my palm. Perched on the wall by my car door. You can imagine the scene I caused. When I went back later to try and capture and relocate, he ran away. Another sweaty scene of me screaming like a small child. Now it’s somewhere in the garage, hiding, waiting for its revenge I’m sure. And probably breeding. Yuck.

After the spider incident, it was time for the smoke alarm. I got the ladder out, carried it upstairs, set it up, climbed 12 ft in the air (the only time I have hated our vaulted ceilings) and popped the battery out. Climbed down, folded up the ladder, and heard a chirp. What.

After an investigation, I realized it was actually the carbon monoxide detector that was chirping. You know, the one the is plugged into the wall, a foot off the ground. So I climbed back up the ladder, plugged the battery back in the smoke alarm, took the ladder down, carried it to the basement, put it away, and came back upstairs.

Chirp.

You’ve got to be kidding. Both batteries were going in both devices and I hadn’t noticed. Repeat ladder getting, battery popping, cursing. Hopefully the great room doesn’t catch on fire or fill up with poison gas, because we won’t know.

By that time I was exhausted and didn’t even want to think about dinner. Little Darling was begging for pizza all day, so I decided to indulge her. I made eggplant pizzas. They weren’t too bad, pretty similar to zucchini pizzas. Definitely not the same as gooey, delicious, bad-for-you pizza, but pretty ok. And even more than ok when you are on a calorie restricted, clean diet and are craving something cheesy and delicious.

I sliced my eggplant pretty early this morning, around 10am and let it sit, salted, on paper towels all day to try and combat the mushiness I often get when I make zucchini pizzas.

Enjoy!

Eggplant Pizza

1 Eggplant
Pizza Sauce
Mozzarella
Cheddar

  1. Slice your eggplant into 1/2in slices, sprinkle with salt and set on a paper towel for at least 20 minutes. Blot with paper towels to remove excess water.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with oil, lay your eggplant in a single layer and spray the tops with oil.
  3. Bake 20 minutes.
  4. Spoon sauce onto the tops of the eggplant and top with Mozzarella and cheddar (we also did a few with pepperoni)
  5. Bake another 10-15 minutes until cheese is melty.

Enjoy! If I did my calorie counting correctly, you get 4 slices for about 250 calories. I am hoping I can stay strong this week and keep on track with my diet. The work outs are getting much easier, and I don’t dread them as much. The cravings are intense at times, but mostly manageable. Wish me luck!

Well, that didn’t go as planned..

Today has been EXHAUSTING.

Like for real.

Lets take a walk through my day…

We got up, we had breakfast, we got dressed in clothing that doesn’t contain the words “pjs”, “sweat”, or “yoga” (ok, confession, I was wearing leggings. But they were LulaRoe and a fun springy blue flower pattern, so they are basically real pants OK!?). We put a movie on TV and played on the floor. It was a soggy, grey morning, but who cares, we were having fun. It was gonna be a good day.

My phone had been dead when I woke up, which was weird, because it had like 25% when I went to bed, so it should have been fine. Maybe I had a billion notifications on Facebook (or a certain blog that had been recently updated) and it had killed my phone. I plugged it in and went about my day.

Yea. My phone was dead because Wonderful Husband had been trying to get a hold of me for about three hours regarding the DMV, transferring our registrations to WV, and Uhaul receipts we needed to turn in to his employer to get reimbursement.

Whoops.

Soooo, by the time my phone turned on and one of his 6,000 phone calls came through, you can imagine what I heard on the other end of that line.

What ensued, can only be described as complete an utter chaos, or also commonly referred to as a normal day in a house with two under 3.

As I was trying to simultaneously call the bank with our car loan, make a bottle for Little Littles, and explain to Little Darling that I was, in fact, NOT on the phone with daddy, some random old guy shows up at my front door.

Thankfully, old dude was looking for a different house. Easy peasy. Nope, wrong house, k bye.

The bank is drolling on and on about how if the DMV has faxed the paperwork and they haven’t received it there is nothing they can do. Perhaps I could personally fax a request on DMV letterhead, and then wait 2 hours and call back with the date, time, number of pages, and fax number from which the fax had come from and perhaps they could track it down. Then they could fax the title to me, and I could hand deliver it to the DMV.

I can smell poop.

I look over and Little Littles, while still wailing for a bottle, is on all fours and poop is leaking out the top of her diaper, centimeters from her shirt, and mere inches from my brand. New. Rug.

So now I get to argue with The Bank about how I am not doing any of the nonsense they are suggesting, they and the DMV need to handle it or my car will just stay registered in PA forever, while I wrestle a screaming baby to floor and try to change a poopy diaper with one hand. All while Little Darling is still circling me saying “I TALK DADDY??”

I finally completely lost my shit, told The Bank to go to Hell, and hung up. Click. I got the bottle warmed up and ready for Little Littles, we are only about 15 minutes behind schedule for LL’s first nap,  and Little Darling announces she has to go potty.

This is my life.

So we run to the potty and spend 3 minutes fiddling around until I, again, lose my cool and shout GET OFF THE POTTY!

Now Little Darling is laying on the floor pouting, Little Littles has her bottle and is happily eating, and Wonderful Husband is blowing up my phone for the Uhaul receipts that I have, yet again, forgotten to send. I can’t imagine how it slipped my mind.

Little Littles drinks her bottle and goes to sleep. I send the Uhaul receipts. I get a load of laundry going, Little Darling gets a snack, and we head to the basement to clean.

Little Darling is playing in the guest room, getting in and out of the bed and fluffing the covers. I am cleaning the litter box, organizing some items in the pantry, and realizing it was much, much too quiet.

I head over to the guest room and Little Darling is sitting dead silent and still in the bed.

She looks at me and says “potty”

I became a raging lunatic. I ripped her out of the bed and saw the huge wet spot where she had indeed peed on our guest bed.

I spanked her. And then for good measure, I spanked her again. I couldn’t even form a sentence I was so angry. I was screaming words like BED and BATHROOM and JESUS CHRIST over and over again.

I grabbed her hand and half dragged her up the stairs to her bathroom. I forced her into the shower, which was too cold and she started crying. I rinsed her off, gave her a towel, slammed her into bed and told her not to move until I came back.

I could hear the wails echoing as I was stripping the bed, starting a new load of laundry, and cursing whoever thought up potty training. I cleaned up pee prints up the steps and down the hallway. I scrubbed the mattress with vinegar and set up a fan to help it dry.

Wonderful Husband calls to tell me I have sent the wrong part of the receipt (with much more colorful language) and requests I take new pictures and send the correct part.

I have had about as much of this day as I can possibly handle.

I finally went to face my child, who was still half sobbing in her bed. I explained that she is definitely old enough to know better than to pee anywhere but the potty and it was totally unacceptable to pee on the bed. However, I know I was a bit harsh in my reaction and I should have handled it better. We hugged it out and I told her that while I was sorry, she still couldn’t watch tv for the rest of the day, and if she pees on another piece of furniture I will beat her until she can’t see straight. She agreed and asked if we could color at the new table. Yea, really scarred for life. Not.

We spent some time coloring and building with blocks. Little Littles woke up and we had a nice lunch. We re-entered the basement and the girls played happily together while I dragged all the gym equipment into the house from the garage and set up the home gym in one of our spare rooms.

Then it was nap time. Glorious afternoon nap time. When both girls nap at the same time and I get two hours of child-free, mommy time. Today, I collapsed in bed and decided I would take a nap and not even feel guilty.

Little Littles had other plans, of course, and only slept for about 40 minutes.

Since she was up, I decided I would start on some dinner plans. Which is how I came up with this delicious Chicken Spinach One Pot Meal. Easy, full of veggies and protein, and just enough pasta to be a comfort food on a crappy day.

Chicken Spinach One Pot Pasta

3 chicken breasts, cut into pieces
Olive Oil
1 Tomato
1 small Zucchini
4 Garlic Cloves
2 Cups pasta- I used Penne
3.5 Cups water
Salt
Pepper
Basil seasoning-  I used Pampered Chef Sweet Basil
3 Cups chopped Spinach
3oz Cream Cheese
1/2 Cup Milk
Parmesan Cheese

1.In a big pot, heat up some olive oil and add the chicken. Cook until the chicken is about done, no visible pink on the outside

2. Add tomatoes, and garlic. Cook until tomatoes start to get tender.

3. Add water, salt, pepper, and seasonings. Bring to a boil.

4. Add the pasta and cook until pasta is tender, most of your water should be about gone.

5. Add milk, cream cheese and zucchini. Stir and bring to a simmer.

6. Add the spinach and stir well. Keep it simmering and add some Parmesan cheese to taste.

There you go. Easy to make, easy to clean up, and super delicious. Little Darling cleaned her plate, and had seconds. Little Littles ate almost a whole portion by herself.

So. Today was a shitty day. I fought with my husband. I flipped out on my kid. But tomorrow is another day, and I intend to make it great!

 

 

Ham Pot Pie

The first time I ever had ham pot pie was at my in-laws house. We were gathered around the table and my FIL was busily making what everyone was referring to as “pot pie”. I was expecting the traditional pot pies that you see in the super market freezer aisle, flaky crusts on little individual pies filled with chicken and veggies. Having never been a huge fan of anything on chicken pot pies except for that delicious crust I was trying to decide how I would politely refuse eating.

Imagine my surprise when my FIL sat down a huge bubbling pot of ham and noodles. My eyes lit up, and I knew I belonged with this family.

There is a festival every year in Wonderful Husbands home town and there is always a pot pie booth where you can buy both ham pot pie and chicken pot pie, this year it was cold and rainy and wandering around chomping on the deliciousness got me to thinking why I had never tried to make the dish myself. My MIL had given me the recipe at my bridal shower, but I had never had the nerve to try it. It was so delicious, it must be complicated, and I don’t do complicated.

Then, for some reason, I bought a ham at the grocery store. It was there, I was there, suddenly it was in my cart and we were checking out. I have never made a ham, ever. And to be fair, this was an already cooked, pre-sliced, warm up in the oven ham, so it’s not like I was really making this one either, but I needed to find something to do with it. *light bulb* I can make pot pie!!

Here are the ingredients:
2.5 qt ham broth
2.5 cups Ham
Ham Boullion
5 medium potatoes (chopped)
2 cups flour
2 T shortening
2/3 cup cold meat broth (or water)
*if you want to make chicken pot pie, just swap all the ham for chicken

How To:
Cook Ham until done and cut into pieces
Use broth from the meat, along with water to make 2.5 qts of broth. Use boullion if the taste is too weak.
Bring broth and meat to a boil in a 6qt pot
Mix flour and shortening and then add cold broth, dough will be the texture of pie dough.
Roll dough out on floured surface, make it very thin.
Cut dough into squares
Add the potatoes to the boiling pot
Add the dough to the boiling pot
Stir well, cover, and reduce heat to simmer for 20-25 minutes

The recipe says it serves 6-8 people, this is laughable because I will eat the entire pot in one sitting. Like, I will bite your fingers off if you try to touch my pot pie, its that good.

This is a traditional pie made in a pot, and its delicious. However, I did learn a few things from my adventure with making this recipe..

Use a good ham!

I used the cheap Aldi ham that was precooked and presliced and all that supposed helpful stuff, it was not flaky or flavorful and it really toned down the goodness of this dish. You need a good quality ham to make this work.

If you think the dough is thin enough, you probably need to roll it a little thinner.

I rolled mine out to where I was sure it was paper thin.. nope. Some of those noodles were as thick as pizza crust. I happen to love homemade noodle/dumping/pie dough stuff so that isn’t a problem for me other than it was hard to shove the whole thing in my mouth. But, if I had rolled it thinner, I could have had more noodles.

Now that I know how incredibly easy and affordable this dish is (other than the ham you will probably have everything already on hand) I will definitely be making it way more often. It is so perfect for a cold rainy day or a snowy day. Or a warm day, or a summer day, or any day that ends in “y”.

My next plan is to attempt to freeze this dish and see how that works. If it does, you better believe I will be cleaning out the ham section of the grocery store after every holiday so I can make huge batches of pot pie and stash them in my freezer. Mwahahaha.

Hope you enjoy!

Garlic Alfredo Sauce

I have perfected the most amazing, delicious, and addicting Alfredo sauce. And what’s even better, is that I did it on accident.

Last night, Wonderful Husband was digging through the freezer looking for something to make for dinner, and pulled out some shrimp. He wanted shrimp cocktail. I tried explaining that shrimp cocktail is not a meal, besides, I don’t even like shrimp. So we settled with I would make pasta and sauce and he would make shrimp and Brussels sprouts and we would have a full dinner. Winning.

So here is how this happy accident occurred:

Wonderful Husband was using all the nice pots, so I dug out a little sauce pan and put a few spoonfuls of garlic in it. While that was browning up, I mixed up three chicken bouillon cubes in a mason jar of hot water and poured it into the pot. When that started to bubble, I stirred in several shakes of Parmesan cheese. Then I added about 1/3 of a block of cream cheese. While that was all mixing together into delicious-ness, I squirted in some lemon juice. It seemed a little too thin for our liking so I whisked in several pinches of flour. Then I let it simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring often. I added Italian seasoning and some Onion Onion seasoning from Tastefully Simple.

When Wonderful Husband taste tested it, he thought it needed more citrus, I had used the last of the lemon juice so we squirted in some lime juice. We let it simmer a bit longer to thicken and then spooned it onto our penne pasta. It was divine. I ate two platefuls and then had another plate as a snack later. Even Wonderful Husband ate a bunch of it, and he was dead set on having shrimp cocktail for dinner.

This will definitely be my go-to recipe in the future when I need a good sauce. I think it would even be delicious served as a dip with a big loaf of crusty bread. Yummmy!