Tag Archives: Dining

Nothing Says Fall Like Apple Crisp

The title of this blog is very true to me. Some people embrace everything pumpkin when the fall rolls around, but for me, it’s apples. You can keep your pumpkin muffins, pumpkin lattes and pumpkin pie. Give me crisp, delicious apples! I love the variety of apples that you can find (not to mention the cheaper prices) in the grocery stores and come on, who doesn’t love apple cider or a fresh caramel apple?!

The one thing I am not a fan of is pie. I don’t know why, but I just don’t like them. It makes Thanksgiving dessert a little tricky since most people associate pie with the holiday (I wonder why that is exactly…hmmm.) Anyway, since I don’t like pie I end up making apple crisp in the fall and right now, my kitchen is full of autumn scents as the brown sugar, cinnamon, apple goodness bakes away in my oven!

Apple Crisp

Warm apple crisp served with slow churned, french vanilla ice-cream.

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup regular oats
  • 1/4 cup butter or stick margarine, cut into small pieces
  • 4  sliced peeled Rome/Granny Smith/Gala or Macintosh apples
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • a pinch of nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Spray 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray (I use one meant for baking with flour added)
  3. Combine flour, sugar, oats, and cinnamon in a medium bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture is crumbly.
  4. Arrange apples in the baking dish and sprinkle with crumb mixture. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Now I know this is a fitness blog and it’s about being healthier, but I like to treat myself every now and then, and when I have apple crisp, I serve it with ice-cream. There are a lot of good, slow churned ice-creams on the market today, as well as varieties made with almond or coconut milk. I also like the Haagen Das Five line which isn’t full of ingredients you can’t pronounce. To me, as long as you don’t indulge in stuff like this everyday, it’s okay to enjoy!

Remember, it’s all about portion control and moderation!

blog sig

Leave a comment

Filed under Recipes, Snacks & Treats

Baked Ranch Chicken Fingers

Football season means finger foods, chips, salsa and beer! It also means a lazy day in my house, but I don’t like to toss out all of the hard work I’ve accomplished all week, nor do I like to give up all of the foods that I enjoy. I’ve been avoiding the beer and trying to keep the finger foods on the healthier side, which can be tricky, but I was pleasantly surprised by this recipe. It’s not picture perfect, but when compared to the deep-fried ones you might normally pull from your freezer and heat up, or order at your local sports bar, they are a gift from heaven. Plus, you can feel like you are cheating without all of the guilt!

Baked Ranch Chicken Fingers
(Makes 6 Servings)

Baked Ranch Chicken Fingers – served with baked sweet potato fries and bbq sauce.

Ingredients:
8 boneless skinless chicken breasts (sliced into strips) – or a package of chicken tenderloins
1 cup corn flakes (crushed)
¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 (1 ounce) packet Hidden Valley dry ranch dressing mix
1 cup milk (I use 1%)
1 egg

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with non stick cooking spray.

In a shallow dish combine crushed corn flakes, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, black pepper, and dry ranch dressing mix.  In a small bowl beat together eggs and milk.

Dip each chicken strip into the egg/milk mixture and then roll in the crushed corn flakes/ranch dressing mixture. Repeat until all of your chicken strips are well coated.

Place chicken onto your coated baking sheet and bake, uncovered for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through ( internal temperature 165 degrees).

This recipes is really quick and simple, plus it goes great with some baked sweet potato fries. I have made it a few times already and even my son, who is a VERY picky eater LOVES them!

What are your healthy football snacks?

blog sig

Leave a comment

Filed under Main Course, Recipes

Spicy Honey Brushed Chicken Thighs

Another week…another new recipe to try!

While trying to figure out what to make for dinner tonight, I stumbled upon some boneless-skinless chicken thighs in the freezer. I know most people shy away from dark meat chicken and opt for the white breast meat, but I love the juiciness of chicken thighs, especially when grilling.

Of course, I didn’t feel like going to the grocery store so the challenge of the day turned into what to do with them. I didn’t want boring ol’ BBQ chicken, so I started looking on Pinterest for recipes and took a little of this and a little of that from different recipes to create tonights meal.

Spicy Honey Brushed Chicken Thighs

Ingredients:

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs, about 2lbs (you could use breasts if you prefer)

Spicy Honey Brushed Chicken

For The Rub:
2 teaspoons granulated garlic (you can sub 1 teaspoon garlic powder here) 
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 tsp brown sugar

For The Glaze:
6 Tbsp Honey
2 tsp Cider Vinegar

Instructions:

Combine the rub spices in small bowl and mix well.

Trim off any excess fat from the chicken pieces. Pat dry. Toss chicken with the spice rub to coat all sides well. Use your hands to rub the spice mixture into the chicken well. Grill chicken for 3-5 minutes on each side, until cooked through.

While the chicken is cooking, warm the honey in the microwave for a few seconds to thin it out a little and then add the vinegar. Combine well.

Reserve about 2 Tablespoons of the honey glaze for after the chicken has cooked. You’ll drizzle it over the chicken right before serving. Use the rest of the glaze to brush on the chicken in the final moments of grilling. Make sure you brush both sides!

The glaze can get messy on the grill, and since it is technically sugar, you may experience some flare up as it drips into the fire.

If you don’t have a bbq, you can use an indoor grill pan or use the broiler. I actually cooked these in the oven tonight because it got very dark and started thundering just as I was preparing to start my charcoal. <sarcasm font> Thanks Mother Nature! <sarcasm font>

I served these with roasted veggies (sweet potato, zucchini, yellow squash and peppers) and some broccoli sauteed in garlic & a little olive oil.

blog sig

Leave a comment

Filed under Main Course, Recipes

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas

I love Mexican food. I mean seriously LOVE Mexican food. My love for it is not as passionate as my love for pizza but it comes in a close second. As a result, I wanted to try something new for Cinco de Mayo this year, but I also wanted to keep it on the healthy side. After searching tons of recipes, I decided on this one and served it with Mexican rice and black beans.

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas

Makes about 10 flautas
Prep Time: 15 minutes – Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 16 ounces beer
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 3 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 5 burrito-size flour tortillas (9 inches)
  • 6 ounces shredded cheese (I used a Mexican blend)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, or cooking spray
  • Salsa and sour cream to serve on the side
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450*F.
  2. Put the chicken thighs in a deep saute pan; cover with the beer and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the liquid and shred it. Mix together the chicken and seasonings.
  3. Pour out all but 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the jalapeno and spinach and cook over low heat until for 2-3 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted.
  4. Cut the tortillas in half. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the chicken (I used a small ice cream scoop) along the long edge of a tortilla. Repeat with the spinach and cheese. Roll the tortilla up, starting with the straight edge. Place them seam-side down on an oiled baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  5. Brush the flautas with olive oil or spray with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn them over and bake for until 10 minutes, or until crispy. Serve with salsa and sour cream (if desired)

Each flauta has approx. 180 calories, 9 grams fat, 6 grams carbs, 1 gram fiber, 18 grams protein – The tortillas and cheese you use change these numbers greatly so be careful.

blog sig

4 Comments

Filed under Main Course, Recipes

Hortizontal Movie Watching at AMC Dine-In Theaters

Last night I was able to experience the new AMC Dine-In Theater at our local mall during a special “blogger preview”.  I went as a guest of my friend, Melysa, and we met up with “ComplicatedMama” and “MrComplicated” (a truly adorable couple) for a night of “horizontal movie watching”.

Normally I do not blog about stuff like this, however I love going to the movies and I know how it can truly mess up a persons “diet”. I felt that this was an interesting approach to movie/date night and I really enjoyed it, so I thought I would share.

So here’s how the AMC Dine-In Experience works:

1. Select your movie, showtime and reserved seating preference.
2. Price includes your movie ticket plus an experience upcharge. ($10 for Fork and Screen/ $15 for CinemaSuites
3. Menus are available at your seat. Press the call button and a server will arrive to take your order.
4. Relax and enjoy the movie while you dine at your seat. If you need anything else, simply press the call button.
5. The server will deliver your check before the end of the film. A portion of the bill, up to the total of the experience charge will be deducted from your bill.

Sweet! Right?! I thought so….

Upon entering the newly renovated theater you are greeted by a bar and lounge area, all with a  very nice modern theme. (Forgive the photos, they were taken with my iPod Touch)

To start our special “blogger preview”, we were taken on a tour of the two different types of theaters that they offer and our guide explained how everything works :

A more casual dining experience featuring seat-side service and reserved seating. There is a $10.00 experience fee in addition to the regular movie admission, which is then deducted from your bill once you place your food or drink order.

*Guests must be 18 years or older to enter this theater. If they are not, they must be accompanied by an adult.

The menu includes a variety of items from starters (buffalo wings and onions rings) to entrees (pasta, burgers and quesadillas) as well as dessert, alcoholic beverages and all over your standard movie concessions (popcorn and candy).

To view the Fork and Screen menu on-line Click Here

I was surprised to see that they did have some “healthy offerings” such as a Fresh Fruit Salad and Lime Chicken Griller, which were marked with a heart symbol on the menu.


Next up on the tour, we were taken to theater where our experience would be taking place…dinner and INCEPTION!

An upscale theater experience equipped with luxury recliners. It also features eat-side service and reserved seating. There is a $15.00 experience fee in addition to the regular movie admission, which is then deducted from your bill once you place your food or drink order.

*Guests must be 21 years or older in order to enter this theater.

It has the same menu selections as the Fork and Screen with the addition of a premium menu insert, which includes items such as Blackened Salmon, Lobster Ravioli and Tenderloin Steak Tips.
To view the CinemaSuites Menu on-line click here.

You also receive a small cup of gourmet caramel popcorn when you choose the CinemaSuites as your experience. (aka ComplicatedPopcorn)

There is approximately 9ft of distance between each row and the theater is not keep dark, like a traditional theater. They want it to have a feeling as if you were watching a movie on your couch at home with your friends.

We picked our seats, got ourselves comfy and began flipping through the menu. Shortly, our server came over and introduced herself as Dre, (with a line over the e) – her words….not mine!

The food was ok…I’m not going to lie. It wasn’t anything phenomenal. I don’t know if it is because the staff is still training or if it will always be that way. It was traditional, overly greasy food that you receive from places like Friday and Applebee’s. I’ll admit I did NOT order one of the Healthy Options (I know…bad coach).

We ordered onion rings and loaded potato skins to share and I ordered the Chicken Fajita Wrap as my entree. The onion rings were really good but the potato skins were way to greasy to me and I couldn’t eat them. The wrap was good but there was a lot of cheese on it, so after a few bites I was satisfied and finished.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience and I highly recommend “horizontal movie watching” to everyone. It was nice to be super comfy while watching a film, having someone come to refill my beverage anytime it looked almost empty and I love the fact that you have to be 21 years or older to enter the CinemaSuites. I do not get go for Date Nights often and when I do, it’s nice to know that my night will not be ruined by obnoxious teenages or children who won’t sit still.

Here are some photo’s from our night:

Thanks to Melysa for inviting me and ComplicatedMama for making me laugh! Excuse me ma’am….We R Who We R!

blog sig

Leave a comment

Filed under Family Fun