Tonight's dinner was finally worth posting... I've had a lot of things going on in my life (mostly good!) and have basically neglected the crap out of this blog (per usual since I started working), so I'm not going to make excuses, I'm just going to cut to the chase and give you the recipe :)  This came about because I had some stuff in my fridge that I had purchased with the intent of making other things and then had extra and/or never made those things (oops).  Here's what I had, and what you would need, to replicate this insanely easy dish:

The Elements:
1 bunch of asparagus (I prefer the thinner variety)
2 handfuls of coarsely chopped spinach
2 chicken breast halves (or one full chicken breast)
1 box whole wheat penne pasta
4-5 oz. goat cheese
Olive Oil (for drizzling)
Salt and Pepper to taste


So remember how I bought a whole bunch of chicken sausage because I had a billion coupons? Well don't worry I'm putting them to work! I also just got an awesome deal on a panini press because I had a gift card to Williams-Sonoma (aka my favorite store ever). So I went with the Cuisinart one because the reviews were fantastic and it was cheaper than the Breville (which I had used during my stint at WS and loved!)

So this recipe came about because I had a ton of chicken sausage left and thought I'd try something in the comfort food realm. I think this would work with any kind of chicken sausage (or any kind of sausage really) but I found the andouille to be a great flavor to really contrast with the Parmesan polenta and leeks.

The Elements:

1 cup polenta cornmeal

1 cup Parmesan

3 TBS butter

Salt and pepper

3-4 leeks

Olive oil

4 andouille chicken sausages

Oh em gee, y'all.  Cover your ears real quick because I'm about to toot my own horn (I know I'm ridiculously cheesy and lame but I can't help myself).  I made a homerun tonight.  Matt loved it.  I mean LOVED.  Muggsy went totally crazy over not being able to have it (sorry muggs it has onions).  And I had to keep myself from going back for more, but packed some up to bring to work for lunch tomorrow.  It also had the added benefit of taking 30 minutes (and like 5 minutes hands-on time, which is usually all I take into consideration when I think about how long something is going to take).  Like it will literally take me longer to write this post than to make this meal.  It ALSO cost me like $3 per serving (maybe) thanks to my couponing (I'll get into that later)

This is seriously the simplest, easiest, (I might even say cheapest) meal that I have made to date.  It's so simple I'm not even sure I should be telling you about it because you could easily figure this one out yourselves, but in case there is someone out there who reads this blog who doesn't know that much about cooking, or thinks they are a bad cook, try this one out.  Seriously, I promise you cannot mess up.  It's so simple that I feel like I have to give knife-skill tutorials and a couponing blurb along with the recipe so you don't think this is a total cop-out.  

Honestly, I know there are some people out there who read this little blog who call themselves people who "can't cook" but you CAN...and if you are a little nervous, that's ok, but this is a great place to start and this would be a FANTASTIC recipe for 4th of July!  It's perfect to bring to an outdoor barbeque or even make it on a grill (I chose roasting because I don't have a grill) but it would be a great option for people who don't eat red meat.  And if you feel like trying something a little more complicated, here is a video tutorial for making an American Flag Cake!

Oh hey y'all.  It's me.  Lynn.  Yes, I still exist and am aware of the existence of this blog.  I'm the worst I know, I haven't posted to this blog in months.  YES months.  How.embarrassing.  I could go on and on with excuses about where I have been but the truth is, sometimes life just gets in the way.  I've had a lot of changes going on in my professional life, and some things in my personal life as well (mostly good, *cough cough* I went to London), but basically it's just a problem that I need to figure out how to address.  It's not that I don't want to talk to you, it's just that when I get home from work, all I want to do is lay on the couch and relax... it's pathetic really.  Honestly, I've also been surviving off of things I can make in bulk or ahead of time, like this chili, and this pizza, and things I can make on the cheap (like the two things I just mentioned).  Cooking had started becoming a chore, and I just wasn't enjoying it, so I took a break.  Motivation was hard.  It was difficult to come up with a reason to slave in the kitchen just for a recipe and some pictures.  But then my motivation arrived to get back in there... 

I know I have been very absent for a very long time, but I'm doing my best and hopefully you are still with me :)  I have been fairly busy at work and in my free time I've been getting involved in a new hobby... couponing! To some of you this is probably not a shock because I instagram and tweet about my couponing ventures but it's definitely something that I'm really enjoying.  I so far have been doing a good job of resisting clipping coupons for items I don't need and I have not bought anything we don't already use.  So no hoarding for me!  

One of the things I really love about couponing is it almost makes meal planning easier!  Instead of planning our meals for the week based upon what sounds good, I go through the stores' circulars and find things that are inexpensive and plan that way!  It makes a world of difference.  It makes planning the meals less confusing and allows me to feed Matt and myself on the cheap :)

I absolutely adore chili.  Usually filled with tomatoes.  Big plump, juicy tomatoes.  But as I've mentioned in posts pasts, my significant other cannot stand them.  So as much as it pains me, I have created a recipe for tomato-less chili.  I find this chili to be really good, despite it's lack of tomatoes.  I use tomato paste to get some tomato flavor in there without having the actual tomato pieces in there.  I think this recipe is perfect for someone looking to de-tomato-ize their chili (not sure how many of you exist!)  You can also make this a more traditional chili by adding 2-3 fresh tomatoes :)

Hey guys!  I'm back after a little hiatus... crazy holidays, lots of stuff going on at work and was sick all week!  I just had to tell you about this asparagus.  My Aunt Beth made it for Christmas Dinner and it was the biggest hit at the table.  I immediately harassed her via text for the recipe and she sent it to me right away (she's a sweetheart!)... This is a pretty healthy side-dish as long as you don't use too much sugar.   As you all know from my previous post, I've been really trying to watch what I eat, without depriving myself.  This is the perfect dish for that.  I felt like I was eating the most amazing thing ever and it was not going to destroy my healthy eating.  Truth be told, I ate more of this than anything on my plate.  I accompanied it with some veal cutlets and it was lovely.  We had it with beef tenderloin on Christmas, which was a far superior pairing than my veal cutlets but for real, I'm not made of money. Anyway, make this immediately and then thank me later ;)

So, the other day I posted a photo on Instagram.  It was a picture that depicted my progress throughout my weight-loss journey.  I received a slew of comments and emails with questions such as "what are you doing?" "how did you do it?" etc.  I had one reader contact me via email and I tried to answer her questions in as much detail as possible.  I decided mid-way through that email that I would make it a post on here, so that others could read and benefit from seeing how one person has done it.  I do not profess to be an expert and I don't know how to advise people in the same way that a professional could, but I wanted to share my experience and knowledge in hopes that it would help at least one person.

Here's the picture that started it all:
This picture depicts 4 months of work and approximately 18-19 pounds lost, muscle developed and super increase in energy levels!

Sorry for the dork-fest post title, it's just from one of my favorite shows, New Girl, which, if you don't watch it already, you definitely should and it's all available on Hulu.  So Matt and I were discussing how deli turkey just doesn't cut it sometimes.  Sometimes you want the real thing.  And by real thing I mean the thing that you are normally only lucky to have once a year? Black Friday.  The perfect Turkey Sandwich with real turkey meat and not some processed sliced turkey sitting in water or some other liquid wrapped in a plastic container (and it won't expire for like a month?? Weird).  So anyway, I had some time to spare, which is incredibly rare for me.  A day off is a fantastic blessing in my life, so I use it to make turkey for "real turkey" sandwiches for Matt all week.  Yum-my.

Need a quick fall snack?  I've got just the thing.  Pepitas!  Also known as pumpkin seeds, these are super simple to make and delicious to snack on for days (keep in an air tight container).  You can season or flavor them however you'd like, I just thought I'd take them in a bold direction with Tandoori!  I followed this exact step by step from The Pioneer Woman and used sea salt, a teaspoon or so (maybe 1.5) of Tandoori Spice, and a few pinches of smoked paprika.  Click "Read More" to see my step by step photos and final product!