I like to eat.

Not much is new here on the Burr front. Mike is still enjoying his job after 3 weeks, we're getting health insurance (hooray!), I'm working and crafting a lot because Firenzi sales are up, and I've taken up couponing again (love getting free/cheap stuff). I've mostly been occupying my time with planning presents for future birthdays and Valentine gifts. I'm back to my old pre-planning crazy self.

Here is just a piece of my plan for tomorrow at CVS from thekrazycouponlady.com:

Crest 3D White, Crest Pro-Health, or Crest with Scope, 4-4.8 oz $2.99
Crest Pro-Health Rinse, 8-8.4 oz $2.99Buy 1, Receive $2.00 ExtraBucks, Limit 2

Use $0.50/1 Crest Toothpaste or Liquid Gel, 4 oz or larger, excludes trial/travel size, Limit of 4 like coupons per household per day from PG 12/30 (exp 1/31)
Pay $2.49, Receive $2.00 ExtraBucks
Final Price: $0.49

These are a few new recipes I tried last week from Pinterest.

This first one I whipped up last night for Mike's home teaching families and my visiting teach-ees. I love how these turned out, considering most things lemon are mostly gooey-bar consistency. These cookies were fluffy and had just enough chewy to them (just right).

Lemon Cool Whip Cookies

  • 1 box lemon cake mix
  • 8 oz. container of Cool Whip
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 c. powdered sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine Cool Whip and egg, then mix in cake mix until just combined.
3. Roll spoonfuls of dough (it will be sticky) in powdered sugar, then place on greased or non-stick baking sheet.
4. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges toward the bottom start to tan.

Needless to say, they're all gone.

With this next one, make sure ALL ingredients are fresh - basil, vinegar, garlic, everything - or you won't get much flavor. Omit mushrooms and/or onions if desired.

Balsamic Vinegar Chicken with Sweet Potato Strips

Sweet Potato Strips
Slice a few large sweet potatoes into long spears no more than 1" thick. Toss in a bowl with 1-2 T olive oil and your favorite seasoning [I used a little curry powder]. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until crispy to your liking [mine were only slightly so].

Balsamic Vinegar Chicken
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts [I used two cans of shredded chicken in water from Costco, which seemed nearly the equivalent]
  • 4 - 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 c. fresh basil [use fresh or you won't get much out of this dish]
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1 c. sliced mushrooms
  • 1 package cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1 c. fresh broccoli
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brown the chicken breasts in a pan. In a blender, place the garlic, basil, olive oil, vinegar, water and pulse until pureed.
2. Place the browned chicken breasts in a glass baking dish and cover with the basil/garlic mixture. Top with mushrooms, tomatoes and onion and bake for about 40 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.
3. Serve with: brown rice or pasta, and a salad. I boiled the pasta the last ten minutes of baking the dish, and added the broccoli in with it.


Professional-quality Art

Michael taught me how to use textures! 1 - Original image. 2 - After Lightroom. 3 - After Photoshop and texture. For the longest time I've wanted one of those fancy Deseret temple photos, but they are so expensive. Now I can make my own for a third of the cost! It pays to be a good photographer. We bought a 16 x 20 frame today, and I just ordered the print and will pick it up tomorrow. Very, very excited.


Cream Cheese Puff Rolls

Oh yes, another recipe so soon. This one is adapted from my college days. One of my roommates made these, and I'm pretty sure they're one of the main reasons why I gained ten pounds. Going by this recipe, I'd estimate these to be about 180-200 calories each without chicken. If you DO add chicken to make this a fun meal, they'll be about 250 calories each. Two of them are pretty filling.

What's fun is that you can get creative with what you put inside. Make the taste completely different by putting a different chunk of cheese in the middle, or make it healthier with veggies in the middle.

Cream Cheese Puff Rolls

- 8 oz. lite cream cheese, soft
- 1 package Pillsbury rolls of your choice - I used Grands Original
- 1/2 c. bread crumbs
- 1/3 c. almond milk
- 1 T herbs providence (or basil or any garnish on top you'd like for a hint of extra flavor)
- [optional] 4-6 oz. shredded chicken

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Take each roll one by one, and flatten them out to pancake thickness. Place a dollop of cream cheese in the center of each one, and seal it inside the roll, making a puffy ball shape. [If you're adding chicken, mix it in a bowl with the cream cheese, then enclose in rolls.]
2. Place almond milk and bread crumbs in separate bowls. Take each roll and roll it around in the almond milk. Then, roll it around in the bread crumbs until completely covered. Place roll on ungreased baking sheet and repeat. Sprinkle herbs providence (or garnish of your choice) on top of each roll. You can also mix in the herbs with the bread crumbs.
3. Bake rolls for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown, or until the recommended time on the Pillsbury container you chose.
4. Eat. Say "mmm."


Life and an Easy Dinner

2013 is fantastic, says I on day seven. The motto that will not lead you astray:

Mike is learning a lot at his job and loves it. He comes home and we make lunch, or if we want to order something, I buy it and bring it home by the time lunch rolls around. We have daytime hours together, hooray!

I've continued my boot camp exercises at home, though admittedly it is more difficult without a trainer and a gym. I'm still waiting for my HOA's gym to depopulate this week before I go back to use their equipment. Sometimes I get stuck and can't remember a variety of exercises, and repeat the same ones. I'll have to keep a list handy. And, there's the problem of dog faces greeting me every time I go down for a plank, push-up, mountain climber, or burpee. I love/am annoyed by it.

Here's what I made for dinner tonight. One of our favorites, and so easy to make.

Grilled Fish Tacos

- Tilapia
- olive oil
- corn tortillas
- pepper, to taste
- lemon juice, to taste
- any other taco bar sides you like: sour cream, avocado, salsa, grated cheese, diced tomato, etc.

1. In medium skillet, warm up 1-2 tsp olive oil on medium heat. Place Tilapia strips in the skillet, and cook 3-4 minutes until all fish is white and no longer translucent. I like to sear it and chop it up with the spatula I'm using into a nice fish hash. Place in serving bowl and sprinkle with pepper and lemon juice, or leave both on the side.
2. While waiting for the fish to cook, grate cheese, dice tomatoes, dice avocado, anything else side-related you'd like.
3. Serve. Eat. Say "Yum."


Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

Since it's been frigid for us So-Cal people, my mom and I made this soup when we were visiting after Christmas. She had a lot of extra sweet potatoes that weren't used on Christmas day, and we made good use of them.

This soup turned out very well, although it could use less lime and more curry. Enjoy!

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled
and cubed
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh
salt to taste
1 large roma (plum) tomato,
seeded and diced

1.In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream and lime zest. Set aside in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to blend.
2.Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add sweet potatoes, and chicken stock. Season with cumin, chili flakes and ginger. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
3.Puree the soup using an immersion blender or regular blender. If using a counter top blender, puree in small batches, filling the blender just a bit past half way to avoid spillage. Whisk peanut butter into the soup, and heat through. Stir in lime juice, and salt.
4.Ladle into warm bowls, and top with a dollop of the reserved sour cream, a few pieces of diced tomato, and a sprinkle of cilantro.



This coming year is looking good. We are excited to make a fresh start since Mike will start his new job tomorrow... we hope he enjoys it, for one. Any money that I make will be saved up for fun adventures and future plans...

My 2013 goals:

  • Eat healthier (more veggies, less meat)
  • Exercise daily (even if only 50 jumping jacks)
  • Read the Book of Mormon daily
  • Go to Brazil (highly likely due to Mike's job)
  • Go to 2 new US temples

...and I'm dragging Mike along with me, whether he likes it or not :P

Happy new year to all. Enjoy this time for its feeling of renewal and hang on for the ride.

Skinnylicious chicken enchiladas, Cheesecake Factory