Wednesday, June 26, 2013

AFAA Certification

As y'all know I've been working on my AFAA PFT Certification.  On the 19th I took my practical.  I studied for atleast 2 weeks.  Ken helped me, the girls helped me, I worked on it by myself, at home, at the GYM.....I studied really hard.

The exercise I was given was the crunch {Original thought:  YES!!  EASY!!  I got this!!}  I had to modify it for an obese, deconditioned chef with back problems.  {Honestly??  I laughed because it reminded me of Ken, minus the obese part}  I nailed the demo.  I knew what I was doing, I knew the modification and I nailed the spotting.  Easy-peasy.

Then came the questions.  I had to show 2 stretches, tell the opposing muscles {easy}, and tell an exercise for the opposing muscle.  

The examiner told me that when I answered the questions I wasn't "confident enough," and it sounded like I "was guessing at the answers."

I'm sorry that I have 3 kids, and a house to take care of, PLUS my nerves were so wracked due to the test causing my answering not to be in the very front of my brain.

The next day I was emailed my results.  I had "failed" 3 portions of the test.  After looking through my book I realized I was wrongly failed.  BUT, when I called to find out about appealing the score I was told there was nothing that could be done.  WTF??!!??  Anyway, as soon as I get my multiple choice grade I will be retaking my practical. 

I took my multiple choice yesterday.  It's a timed, proctored (they watch you the whole time), 2 hour,  120 question multiple choice test.  I started to worry when I realized I had skipped over the first 30 questions.  I was afraid I wasn't going to finish on time.....or I was going to get them all wrong.  The last 20 questions are all pictures.  You have to put them in order from easiest to hardest, tell what body part is out of alignment, etc.  \

I am very happy to say that I PASSED!  I'm so excited.  Now all I have to do is study for the practical again and in a few weeks I'll be certified!!  

Anybody need a trainer starting at the end of July? 


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Cookies For Breakfast

Seeing the look on a 4-year-old's face when you tell them that we are having cookies for breakfast is priceless.  "COOKIES??!!??  REALLY??"  Well, these cookies are the perfect breakfast item.  Low calorie, fat and sugar.  Kaylee and Mo were only surprised when I told them "You can't have more than 4."  You should definately try these for breakfast tomorrow.  Make sure to keep them in the fridge since they don't have any fat.  The only fat in them comes from the oatmeal.  No fat = no preservatives which means that they will rot if you leave them on the counter.

I made these because I had a bunch of overly brown bananas and needed something to do with them yesterday morning.

Super Banana Breakfast Cookies
Adapted from: Watching What I Eat: Banana Oat Breakfast Cookies
Makes 12 cookies
Calories: 82
Fat: 0.8g
Sugar: 7.0g
Protein: 1.7 g

1 1/2 cups oatmeal
3 bananas
roughly 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup craisins
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon  or pumpkin pie spice

  1. Preheat oven 350
  2. Mash 2 bananas and mix with vanilla
  3. Mash the 3rd banana and add enough applesauce to equal 1 cup. (mash the banana then put it in your measuring cup and top it off with enough applesauce to reach 1 cup)
  4. Mix everything together
  5. Let rest for 10 minutes
  6. Drop onto cookie sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes.

They are perfect for the on-the-go morning family.  Oh and if you wanna be fancy you can whip up a maple glaze for the top.  Combine a bit of maple syrup with some powdered sugar and drizzle on top.  YUM!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Recipe Redux -- Sowing Seasonal Seeds

The Recipe Redux theme this month was "Sowing Seasonal Seeds".  As we all know seeds are not fat free so, I don't use them often.  I honestly wracked my brain trying to figure out what I could make using seeds.  Then I realized something...MUSTARD is a seed!  Did you know that??  Many other spices are seeds too but, mustard is the one I chose for today's recipe.  

I love fish.  I could never be a vegetarian due to my extreme love of seafood.  Steelhead trout and salmon are the only 2 type of fish {that are not of the "stick" variety} we can get Sunny to eat.  She only eats it because it's pink. 

Mustard Topped Stealhead Trout
Adapted from Olga's Flavor Factory

Calories: 230
Fat: 10.2 g
Protein: 30.8g
Carbs: 1.7g

3 T + 2 tsp Dijon mustard (I used Publix brand with horseradish)
2 T sugar free syrup
1 T rice vinegar
1 T lemon juice
1 T horseradish or a few shakes of hot sauce (both optional)

1 lb Steelhead Trout


  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl except for the trout
  2. Heat broiler on high.  Line a pan with tin foil and spray with pan spray
  3. Lay trout skin side down and broil for 5 minutes
  4. Slather mustard on the trout and broil for another 8-9 minutes.

I have two suggestions for this dish.  The first one is that if you like spicy mustard then make sure to add hot sauce or horseradish.  The mustard gets very muted when it's cooked.  The other problem was that the fish skin doesn't get crispy like I like it.  I would suggest getting skinless fish if you don't like limp skin or, you could try cooking it for the first 5 minutes skin side up then flip it when you put the mustard sauce on it.

Do your kids like fish?  What kinds will/won't they eat?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

New Recipe!

Ever had one of those days when you don't feel like cooking?  All you want to do is make a hearty dish for the family that doesn't take much time.  That was how I felt today.  I love simple dishes.  More specifically I love simple one-pot dishes.  This is one of those "throw everything into a dish and bake" dishes.  You don't have to do anything more than open a can and do a little mixing.  The kids loved it.  The hubbard squash that I used actually came out of my garden.  This is the second thing, besides the green onions and chives, that I have been able to use.  I'm actually quite proud of using food that I've grown myself.  This dish was the first time I tasted hubbard squash.  I'm not a fan of it.  It will not be making it into my garden next  year.  

The nice thing about this dish is that you could totally throw some meat in it if you wanted to.  A bit of ground beef or cubed poultry would make a nice addition.   

Sage and Garlic Vegetable Bake
Taken From: Betty Crocker Casseroles Recipe Cards book
Servings: 4
{I entered the recipe into my calorie calculator and got a different number from the book.  I will give you both numbers.  The first one is from the book, the second one is the number I got}
Calories:  280 / 148
Fat: 1g / 1.1g
Carbs: 61g /  32g
Protein: 6g / 5.6g

3 cups of squash, cut in 1 inch pieces (I used hubbard and the recipe calls for butternut)
2 cups of carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 (14 oz) cans of stewed tomatoes (do not drain)
2 cups of frozen green beans
1/2 cup of chopped onion
1/2 cup quick-cooking barley
1/2 cup water
2 T minced garlic

  1. Heat oven to 375
  2. Mixed all the ingredients in a large casserole dish
  3. Cover and bake for 60-75 minutes 

How do you feel about one pot dishes?  

Monday, June 17, 2013

Belated Father's Day Dinner....A Restaurant Review

For Father's Day Ken had to work.  So, we celebrated it tonite.  Over the past 3 years of living here we have only really eaten at 2 restaurants in town, Golden Corral and the Chinese buffet.  After 3 years we have come to realize we are sick and tired of Chinese buffets and Golden Corral {ESPECIALLY Golden Corral}. Plus we want the girls to experience different types of food.  

Tonite we chose Salsa's Mexican Restaurant.  The server was great.  They messed up my order and even though I was just going to suffer and pick around the cheese and other stuff I couldn't eat he insisted on taking it back and getting me one that was made properly.  

I had the vegetable fajitas.  No tortillas, no cheese, and no oil.  
Ken had the mixed fajita.  He said it was "okay"
Kaylee got a fish dish that she really like.
Mo tried an enchilada.  She said the inside was really tasty but, she didn't like the enchilada sauce on top or the fact it was made with a corn tortilla.
Sunny got a burrito.  She was very happy with it.

All of the meals came with a side of rice and refried beans.  

After dinner we went to try a new-ish frozen yogurt place in European Village.  It's a self serve, pay by the ounce (47 cents an ounce, to be exact) place.  They had either 8 or 10 different flavors.  And atleast half, if not more, were fat free.  90% of them were atleast low fat though.  They have a variety of fruit and candy toppings and syrups.  There's something for everybody.  Unfortunately I didn't get pictures of it.

The 2 best parts about this evening?  1) I didn't get any stomach pains!!  So, even though the food wasn't the most amazing we've ever tried I consider it a place to keep on our list due to the fact I didn't feel like death.  2) We had a nice relaxing family night.

Here's our meal in pictures:

Salsa's has a few locations around the Daytona area.  Click Here to check out their site.
Yo'Belle has locations across the US.  Click Here to find your closest one.

What's your favorite ethnic cuisine?  What is your kids fave?


Monday, June 10, 2013

Pie Burger

I love Next Food Network Star.  I've watched it religiously for the past 4 seasons.  This season the owner of a pie company, Dangerously Delicious Pies is on there.  Last nite's challenge was a Burger challenge.  He made a pie burger.  A burger sitting on top of a piece of pie dough.  It was so stupid.  As soon as he said his idea I started thinking about how I would do a pie burger.  My first thought was to wrap the burger in pie dough.  Ken agreed that my idea seemed like a logical one.  Since I can't make pie dough fat free I used a simple bread dough.  The dough was wrapped around some mushrooms and onions, seasoned with some garlic and worcestershire sauce {to help give it a "burger-y" taste}, and cheese.  It was really good.  I will definitely be adding this to my monthly rotation.

"Pie" Dough
Adapted from Whole Wheat Slider Bun Recipe from Fleischman's
Makes 10 (2 per person)
Calories: 230
Fat: 0.9 grams
Protein: 7.9 grams
Carbs: 46.5 grams

 1.75 -2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
5 t yeast
1/2 cup skim milk
1/4 cup water


Mix together flour, sugar and yeast

In a small saucepan combine milk and water.  Heat over medium until the temp reaches between 120 -130

Add milk mixture to the flour mixture.  Stir together and knead for 8-10 minutes

Let sit for 10 minutes.

Divide into 10 equal pieces and roll out.  Let rise for 30 minutes

"Burger" Mix

1.5 lbs of mushrooms (I used a mixture of button and baby bella), sliced
1.5 medium onions, diced
2 T garlic
1 T Worcestershire sauce


Heat a large skillet sprayed with a bit of nonstick spray

Add onions and mushrooms and garlic and saute until soft

Stir in Worcestershire sauce


To Put Together

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
After dough has risen place cheese on each 

Place 1/3 cup of mushroom mixture on top of cheese followed by any other toppings you'd like

Fold sides of dough up around fillings

Place it on a greased baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until dough is golden brown

Now I need y'all's help.  I've been trying to think of things that I could add to the burger to amp it up.  I'm drawing a blank.  What would you do to bump it up?

Kinda Successful Cookie

I know I posted on Facebook that I had given up on cookies.  But, I came across this recipe for cookies in my Happy Herbivore cookbook.  I had to give it one last shot.  These came out alot better than my other tries.  Still a little cake-y but, I can deal with it.  The original recipe calls for chocolate chips but, I substituted craisins.  I accidentally smooshed this one after I baked it.  They came out still round and not very flat.  I recommend after you put them on the baking sheet lightly press them down so you get a flatter, more normally shaped cookie.

Craisin Cookies
Adapted from Happy Herbivore's Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
Makes 14
Calories: 49
Fat 0.1 grams
Sugar: 2.9 grams
Protein: 1.1

1/3 c applesauce
1 T  Brown Sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 c skim milk
1 c white flour
1 t baking powder
1 T cornstarch
1/4 c craisins

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease cookie sheet
  2.  In a large bowl combine first 4 ingredients
  3. In separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and cornstarch
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix well
  5. Fold in craisins
  6. Drop spoonfuls onto cookie sheet and flatten a bit.  Bake for 8-10 minutes for a cakey cookie.  Bake a bit longer for a firmer cookie

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Homemade Protein Smoothie

 Don't you wish that all protein shakes looked like this?

I'm all about getting my necessary protein.  It's kind of hard for me because the foods I normally eat don't have much in them.  I have a ton of go-to protein sources that are very low fat or nonfat.  I love protein powder because it's only around 200 calories, has about 20 grams of protein and it's fat free.  Spiru-tein is my personal favorite.  You can find it at most health food stores.  Click Here to check them out.  They come in all different flavors.  Banana, cherries jubilee, chocolate chunk, cookies and cream, peanut butter.....the list is so long!  

But the thing I DON'T like about protein powders is the cost.  They seriously take a chunk out of my bank account.  I don't buy them very often due to that fact.  I came up with my own protein shake for at home though.  It comes in at 250 calories, 3.5 grams of fat and 25 grams of protein.  You can customize it as you'd like too.  The only downside is that it isn't portable like the protein powders.

Homemade Protein Shake/Smoothie 
1 cup (227 g) Nonfat, plain Greek Yogurt
2 T PB2
1 T Cocoa Powder (optional)
.75 - 1 cup Light Soymilk (I like Vanilla)

  1. Place everything in a blender and blend until smooth.
Quick, simple, easy!  

Friday, June 7, 2013

Baked Marshmallow Bananas

The dessert I made for our Iron Chef competition was so simple.  I'm not going to lie, I picked Baked Bananas with Roasted Marshmallows because it's what I wanted for dessert.  It would have been prettier if I had a blow torch to roast the marshmallows with.

Bananas have a whole bunch {pardon the pun} of health benefits.

  • The average banana has 467 mg of potassium.  It may prevent high blood pressure and atherosclarosis.
  • They protect against stomach ulcers
  • Slow digesting
  • Good source of fiber
  • Helps your eyesight
  • Promotes kidney health
This dessert hits the spot for me though.  Healthy, sweet, simple, and it has a bit of crunch.

Baked Bananas with Broiled Marshmallows
1 banana
1/2-1 tsp cinnamon (depending on taste)
1 T sugar free maple syrup
1/4 cup mini marshmallows (enough to cover the top of the ramekin)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Spray small ramekin with pan spray
  3. Slice banana into small chunks in a medium bowl
  4. Sprinkle with cinnamon and maple syrup and toss to coat (or you can just put it all ontop of the bananas in the ramekin)
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes until soft. 
  6. When it's done turn broiler to HIGH and top bananas with marshmallows
  7. Place ramekin back in oven on top rack and broil for 1-3 minutes until marshmallows are brown and charred {watch them carefully!!  They go from slightly brown to burned VERY quickly}

I personally like mine slightly brown and Ken likes his basically burnt.  How much you roast them is your personal preference.  I bet that apples would also taste good under the marshmallows.  

What other fruits would be good topped with marshmallows?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Iron Chef Raymond

While Ken and I were on our trip in January we came up with the idea of having an Iron Chef style cooking contest.  Yesterday we finally did it.

We had the girls pick a protein, and 2 vegetables out of a hat.  The possible proteins were; tilapia, salmon, veggie crumbles, shrimp and eggs.  The vegetable list included; mushrooms, parsnips, greens, radish, okra, winter squash, summer squash, bean sprouts, eggplant, and artichoke.  The "mystery ingredients" ended up being tilapia, greens and mushrooms. 

The rules were really simple
  1. All the ingredients had to be used
  2. It had to be 1 or 2 dishes.  A main or a main and a side.
  3. There was no time limit
We also had a dessert round.  The rules were a little bit stricter for this round.
  1. It had to contain a fruit
  2. You could only spend $10 on ingredients (I spent only like $2 on a bunch of bananas)
  3. It had to adhere to my dietary restrictions
We were judged on tast, presnetation, and creativity.

Here's Ken's dinner.

Wonton wrappers filled with sauteed mushrooms, onion, spinach, garlic and tilapia with mozzarella cheese.

My dinner:

A spicy fish sandwich on a homemade slider bun with chive mayo, onions and sauteed spinach.
The mushrooms are stuffed with spinach, feta, onions and garlic.

Ken's dessert...

Sponge shells filled with mixed berries that are coated in jam.  He ended up topping it with Cool Whip also.

My dessert (the one in front)...
Baked bananas topped with broiled marshmallows and a dollop of Cool Whip

(I will post the recipe for the bananas in the future)

I am proud of myself that I beat Ken!!  Don't know how I did it but, I did.

The girls had a blast judging.  Next time THEY get to cook.  I'm actually considering making this a monthly thing since it was such a success.

What ingredients would you include as your mystery ingredients?  Would you add any other rules?

Monday, June 3, 2013

You Aren't Forgotten

Hello my loves!  I know I haven't been posting much recently.  I assumed that when I finished college classes life would settle and I could get back to my normal blogging schedule again.  

Well, obviously that hasn't happened.  I am still studying for my AFAA exam and my time is spent on that, in the gym and with the girls.

Luckily I'm getting closer and closer to being done.  Not much longer now!

I just wanted to give you a quick update and let you know that I'll be back soon.  I've got a few good posts in the works.  Some reviews, recipes and fun stuff.  Oh!  And there will be a new Kooking with Kaylee post in the next few weeks.

And since every post should have a picture on it, I leave you with this.

Courtesy of: Moist.Baby.Hippos

Why a baby hippo?  Because there's nothing cuter!  And anyway, why not??!!??