Friday, August 22, 2014

Beer Cheese Spread

      I couldn't drink a whole beer if my life depended on it.  I just can't stand the taste.   But you give me some beer cheese and I will eat your under the table.  :-)  This dip/spread is SOOOOO ridiculously good!  I have heard it is an 'acquired taste' but I 'acquired' a taste for it after just 1 bite.  

Beer Cheese Spread
1/2 cup FLAT BEER
1/2 cup whole milk
16 ounces of cheese (freshly grated, not the prepackaged stuff!)
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
The night before, open the beer to let it go flat before making the dip.  To make the dip combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined.  You can add a couple of tablespoons more of milk if you want it smoother, but we like it chunky!  Serve with veggies and crackers!

Greek Yogurt & Dill Veggie Dip

          I am convinced anything made with Greek yogurt HAS to be healthy.  This veggie dip is so good, you can ACTUALLY eat raw veggies with it!  Who knew???? This recipe is from my fabulous sister (who just so happens to be an awesome photographer!  Anyone in the Birmingham, Alabama area look her up!)   I have found that, if I have a yummy homemade dip or dressing in the fridge, I am SO much more likely to snack on veggies!  I hope y'all like this dip as much as we do! 

Greek Yogurt Dill Dip
1/2 cup Whole Milk Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup Mayo
1/4 cup Fresh Dill, chopped
3 TBSP Feta
3 Garlic cloves, chopped
3 TBSP Onion, finely diced (Can substitute dried minced onion)
Salt to taste
Mix all together and refrigerate for an hour or overnight. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Meat Lover's {Ultimate} Rigatoni Bake

        I have been making this pasta bake for YEARS and can't believe I am just now getting around to posting it!  This recipe is so delicious and extremely easy, because it uses jarred pasta sauce!  No one would ever believe it came from a jar though because of 1 little secret ingredient>>>>> a splash of red wine!  Give this one a try!  :-)  We served this with a salad with Creamy Italian Dressing and Parmesan Ranch Garlic Bread.  

Meat Lover's {Ultimate} Rigatoni Bake
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb Italian Sausage, casings removed and crumbled
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup red wine
1/2 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
6 oz pepperoni, chopped
48 oz (6 cups) of your favorite pasta sauce
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
12 oz rigatoni noodles, cooked 1 minute less than al dente
16 oz cottage cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese (I really just dump a ton of cheese on top without measuring Ha!)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Add oil to the pan over medium high heat.  Add crumbled Italian sausage and onion and cook until brown.  Add minced garlic and cook for 1 more minute, stirring constantly.  Add wine, pasta sauce, italian seasoning, salt, pepper, cooked bacon, and pepperoni.  Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes or until heated through.  Remove from heat and stir in cooked noodles.  In a 13x9 pan, sprayed with pam, add half of the noodle and meat sauce mixture.  Top with cottage cheese then the other half of the pasta mixture.  Finally, add the mozzarella cheese then the parmesan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbling.  
Edited to add: If you DON'T want to cook with red wine, you CAN sub 1/4 cup beef broth :-)

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Monday, August 18, 2014

This Busy Bee's Weekly Workouts: Week 2

       Good morning!  Here is the wrap up of my 2nd week back at exercising!  I had a really good week.  I am over the initial soreness that I had the first week, which was so bad it was hard to sit down and get back up LOL.  Now I feel the 'good kind' of soreness.  Couch to 5 K is going AMAZING.  I am feeling so much more confident in my ability to RUN!  I had planned on adding more things and longer sets to my 'couch potato' workout that I do after my run, and I probably could if that was all I was doing, but my body is SO worn out after the run, that all I have added is some crunches.  I can't tell you how much more energy I have now though!  I am really feeling good and know it will just keep getting better and better!  Once again, I am working out with my kiddos, so this week we did 3 days of couch to 5 K, followed by the couch potato circuit, and 3 days of their choice>>> Wii Fit and/or Just Dance on the Wii.  (This wears my OUT and my kids LOVE to do it with!)  AND 1 off day.  Here is what my week looked like:

And here is the bodyweight 'Couch Potato' workout I did this week after my runs: 

I am super excited for this weeks workouts!  Thanks for following along with me on this journey!  It really motivates a lot knowing y'all are reading along and pulling for me!!!  {Hugs} <3 Aunt Bee

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

This Busy Bee's Weekly Workouts: Week 1

        Good morning!  I have something a little different for the blog today!  I am now officially 7 weeks post surgery and at my 6 week check up last week, I got permission to start exercising.  This was music to my ears, because even though my body was healed and pain free, after spending half of my summer recovering from surgery and infection, my energy levels were REALLY low.  
          So many of my friends and readers have asked me about my workouts and how I plan on getting myself back in shape, that I decided to do a weekly post about my workouts and progress.  I am obviously no expert, but apparently people want to hear from a real woman struggling to get healthy and not just from experts that have never been out of shape.  Although I will be posting workouts that *I* do, please check with your doctor before beginning any type of exercise routine!
          A  little bit of info about my situation:   We are a 1 car family and my husband works 2 jobs and goes to school.  So, a gym membership is out of the question for us at this time.  There just isn't enough time available where I would have access to the car, AND to be honest, I am not a big fan of driving.  Also, my kids are ages 9 and 4, and I wanted to include them in my workouts.  They both have SO much energy and love to be active and think it is just the most fun thing ever to work out with mom.  With that being said, I was already a huge fan of the 'couch to 5K' running workouts.  I completed it 3 years ago when I was getting back in shape, after having my son, and felt AMAZING doing it.  I only wish I had kept it up.  Couch to 5K is a 3 day a week program.  I just downloaded the app on my phone.  It was 2.99.  It tells me when to start running and stop running and really takes all the guess work out of it.  I HATE having to look at a clock while I am running. It makes the time drag on.  So this is perfect for me.  After completing each couch to 5K workout, I am doing a little body weight routine to build muscle and strengthen my core.  It is a very simple workout, since I am starting at square one, but it definitely is a workout for me.  It is so simple, I have dubbed it 'The Couch Potato Workout!' I will add to this each week as I am able, as I get stronger.

        On alternate days that I am not running, I am pretty much letting the kids pick what we do for now.  I am letting them choose between: swimming, Just Dance, Wii Fit, and some beginner exercise videos from youtube or from DVD's we own.  So that makes 6 days a week I am doing some form of exercise and then 1 rest day.  Here is what last week looked like.

So, how did this week go?  Pretty good!!!  I was SERIOUSLY sore the first few days.  But that is to be expected.  After 1 week, I already have so much more energy and am sleeping better at night.  I am really looking forward to getting more fit and sharing my progress with you all!   Thanks for all the sweet comments and well wishes y'all have sent me this week about my first week exercising!  I can definitely feel the positive vibes!!!  <3 Aunt Bee

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Friday, August 8, 2014

{One Skillet} Tex-Mex Goulash

{One Skillet} Tex-Mex Goulash

       I have been on a mission the past couple of weeks to come up with meal ideas that are either: 30 minutes or less to prepare OR one pot meals.  This AMAZING recipe is BOTH!  Y'all are going to love it!  DON'T skimp on the fresh cilantro or green onions.  

{One Skillet} Tex-Mex Goulash
1 lb ground beef
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup frozen corn 
1 packet taco seasoning
2 cups water
2 cups uncooked macaroni noodles
1/2 cup salsa
shredded cheese
fresh cilantro 
green onions
sour cream for serving
Brown ground beef in a skillet.  Drain off the grease and add tomatoes WITH juice, corn, taco seasoning, water, uncooked macaroni noodles, and salsa.  Bring to a boil then reduce to low and cover.  Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Top with lots of shredded cheese and replace lid, cooking 5 more minutes.  Top with cilantro, green onions, a dollop of sour cream upon serving and more salsa if desired!  

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Monday, August 4, 2014

Chinese Take-Out Fake Out

Chinese Take-Out Fake Out | Aunt Bee's Recipes

Chinese food used to be the only take out we ordered, but not anymore!  Over the past couple of years I have developed these recipes that we think tastes even BETTER than our old favorite take out place.  I included a few recipes from my dear friend Michaela, from An Affair From The Heart.  I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as our family does!  (To open the recipes, just click the name of the recipe below each photo!)  
Sesame Chicken

Mongolian Beef (P.F. Chang's Copycat)

Bacon & Egg Fried Rice

Shrimp Pad Thai

Bourbon Chicken 

Oriental Pork Soup

Peppery Pineapple Beef and Broccoli
Honey Garlic Chicken

Ginger Soy Dressing

Slow Cooker Bourbon Pulled Chicken 

Fresh Ginger & Garlic Roasted Broccoli

'Sweet Heat' Chinese Chicken

Sweet & Sticky Grilled Chicken 
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