Recipe: Goat cheese chicken breasts

As you know, I’ve been trying to get some new recipes into my normal food rotation.  I’m such a creature of habit.  I’m always eating the same things over and over.

A couple of weeks ago, my local grocery store had a sale on chicken breasts.  99 cents a pound was a good deal, so I bought a package and it sat in my fridge while I decided what to do with it.

This particular chicken was bone-in, which is a little unusal for me.  I wanted to make something fast and easy, so I started looking for fast and easy chicken recipes.  Unfortunately, many were for boneless breasts.

Then, inspiration hit me.  I LOVE goat cheese.  Have you ever been to Carrabba’s and had their goat cheese chicken breasts with spinach and tomatoes?  It’s so tasty.  Their’s are boneless, so I decided to emprovise and created a goat cheese stuffed chicken breast. 

Here’s the recipe:

As many chicken breasts as you need, washed and patted dry.  Leave the skin on!

Get a small package of goat cheese and put it in a bowl to soften.   Add a few minced up garlic cloves and several sprinkles of whatever spices you like.  I chose basil, oregano, and some pepper.  Mix this all up in the bowl and keep adding the spices.  I tasted my goat cheese spread a few times and added more spice.

Take your chicken and put on a baking sheet that’s been greased.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Take each chicken breast and gently put your hand under the skin to loosen it.  Don’t break the skin- this is where your cheese mixture goes!

Unfortunately, there’s no good way to do this cleanly.  Just grab a glob of cheese and shove it under the skin.  Be generous and spread it around.

Pop the birds in the oven for about 35-45 minutes until the chicken is done.  I used a meat thermometer.  At the end of the cooking process, some of the cheese had dribbled down onto the pan and the juices were sizzling, but the whole thing held up really well.

The verdict?  Super tasty, moist chicken.  I had some leftovers the next day for lunch and they were equally delicious.

I calculated the chicken to be 5 points and the cheese was 1-2 points, depending on the amount of cheese used.

Wednesday Weigh-In

Well, today’s weigh in was not what I had hoped for- I gained a pound. 

I’m not really sure why I gained.  I exercised four times in the last week and I was really good about eating my veggies every day.  I tracked my weekend points. 

Maybe it’s just one of those weeks?

I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing well!

Goal for the upcoming week: Exercise 5 days!

Meet My Owl: An apple a day…

I’m behind on Meet My Owl!  After a very busy weekend, I realized I didn’t post my weekly owl- oops!

This week I bring you a cute little guy who carved out of wood to look like an apple.  So cute!  He’s another one who resides in my dining room.  You can’t tell from the picture, but he’s no bigger than a 5 inches tall.

Time flies!

Today marks 13 years that Kevin and I started dating.  Happy anniversary, Mr. Hall!

I can’t believe it’s been such a long time.  For fun, I took a photo of us from 13 years ago.  Sorry, I don’t have a scanner, so it’s a photo of a photo.

Aren’t we cute?!  I loved Kevin’s hair long.  And the red velvet couch?  Miss it.

So here’s to another 13 years, Mr. Hall.  Thanks for all of the laughs, friendship, and love.

It’s not about perfection, it’s about direction

In the Bikini Quest, I’ve been derailed many times by perfection.  If there’s anything in my life that’s been my greatest strength and my greatest curse, it’s my perfectionistic tendencies.  Perfectionism served me well as I went through my doctoroal program.  It does not serve me well in my personal life.

Every year, I quietly resolve to be kind to myself and try to be less perfectionistic.  The Bikini Quest has been this up and down ride because I beat myself up when I get hurt, cheat on my diet, and fall off the wagon.

One thing that keeps me motivated is to track my actions.  Whether it’s food or exercise, I like to mark things off on a chart.  This morning I got up and exercised for two hours.  I did an hour of cardio and an hour of stretching and ab work.  Happily, I went to the calendar and marked off my exercise.

My pride turned to shame as I looked at my pitiful week of no exercise last week.  How quickly can my mood change?  For a perfectionist, pretty fast when you have a visual reminder.  Ugh.

I keep myself motivated by watching You Tube videos too.  There’s one person I like to watch who is going through a weight loss journey herself and using Weight Watchers.  She posted a video last night about perfection and I really liked what she said.

She said that it’s not about perfection, it’s about DIRECTION.  Say it with me three times, people.

This really spoke to me as a perfectionist.  I need to start looking at my small victories and not the bigger picture if Bikini Quest is ever going to work.

It’s not about perfection, it’s about direction.

Wednesday Weigh-In

I’m happy to report that I have lost another 2 pounds!  This means I’m down 4.4 pounds.  Granted, it took me a month to get it off, but it’s coming off slowly.

Things I did this week that helped me be successful: I was really good about adding extra veggies into my daily eating.  I upped the salads too, which helped me feel fuller without using up points.  I also was really good about drinking all of my water. 

Even as much as I love water, especially cucumber water, I have to admit that it gets hard to drink as the week goes on.  Kind of boring, you know?  I don’t drink coffee either.  Someone suggested that I try a flavored tea and gave me a Bigelow I Love Lemon tea bag.  It is wonderful!  It’s not a black tea, rather it has rose hips, lemon, peppermint, and lemongrass.  I have been drinking two mugfuls a day and it really helps get the water intake up.

As far as things I think I could have done better this week:  tracking my points on the weekend.  Although I’m sure that I stayed within my extra point allowance, I wasn’t really diligent with calculating my restaurant meals.  In addition, I got ZERO exercise in this past week because I was fighting off either a cold or really bad allergies.  I’m feeling much better this week, in fast yesterday was the first day in a while that I’ve felt normal.

Goals for this upcoming week:  get back on the exercise wagon.  Try a new recipe.

What I love right now: Margaritas!

I don’t know about you, but there is something about springtime that makes me crave a margarita!  The warm weather teasing us for the past few weeks hasn’t helped either.

Last weekend, we went over to John and Annette’s house and they have a fancy Margaritaville machine.  We made tasty drinks all night- on the cheap!  It is so expensive to go out for margaritas.  We can’t get out of a restaurant without spending $40 in margarita money.  Ridiculous!  I don’t even want to think about how much money I spent last summer in margaritas.

So yesterday I decided to do something about it.  I told Kevin we were going to make an investment in our own Margaritaville machine.  Now these things are expensive, people.  I’m not gonna lie.  But I was on a mission.

At Bed Bath and Beyond and other retailers, you can’t get out of the store without paying over $250-$300 for one of these machines.  However, I am the super shopper and found out that there is one model of the Margaritaville for $200 that was sold last year at Walmart. After checking out several empty stores, we went to one last store, ready to give up on our beloved Margaritaville machine.

Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon one lonely machine, marked down to $150!  Mr. Hall snatched that thing up quicker than I could say, “on the rocks or frozen?” and we were out of there!

Both of us had a lot of work to do around the house, so we didn’t get to the machine right away.  But, after many hours of waiting….margaritas!!!

Here is my review of the machine:

First of all, this is a heavy machine.  I was surprised how much room it takes up on the countertop.  The glass pitcher holds 36 ounces, so it’s enough for a few drinks.  The top part is where the ice goes and that shaves the ice into the pitcher.

You put all of your mixings in the bottom part and the shaved ice falls into the pitcher.  Then, it blends it up. 

Verdict?  The best damn margarita I’ve ever made at home.  EVER.  Totally worth $150 to avoid $6 or $8 margaritas at a restaurant. 

I also enjoyed the Trader Joe’s margarita mixer, which is super tasty.  Kevin has some issues with artificial sweeteners, which give him allergic type reactions when we get margaritas at restaurants.  The TJ mixer is all natural so he appreciated that too.

Two thumbs up!!!

Meet My Owl: Smartypants

In this week’s Meet My Owl, I am pleased to introduce you to Mr. Smartypants.  He’s an owl that sits on my bookshelf at home.  Kevin got him for me a couple of years ago from Starbucks (I think).  Isn’t he cute with his corduroy fabric and glasses?

He’s one of the first owls that Kevin got me when he realized that my owl obsession wasn’t temporary.  🙂


Wednesday Weigh-In

It’s Wednesday weigh-in day!

I was pretty nervous when I stepped on the scale this morning, but thankfully, I lost some weight this week. 

Today, I weighed in at 161.2.  That’s a loss of .8 pounds for the week.  It’s almost what I gained last week, but not all of it.  Either way, I’m happy to be on the downswing again.  Kevin lost 2 pounds this week- I’m so proud of him!

Things I did well this week:  I was really good about my exercise and got in 5 days (not perfect) of cardio and stretching.  I also am eating more vegetables and plant-based proteins. 

Things I did that may have been detrimental to my weight loss:  I ate ALL of my activity points and weekly extra points.  I had a really naughty meal on both Saturday and Sunday night, which blew through my points.  If I had not eating these “extras”, I may have lost more.

My goal for this upcoming week: try not to eat ALL of my extra points.  Continue exercising at least 5 days a week.

Meet My Owl: Bronzed

In this week’s Meet My Owl, I am sharing a recent gift from my sister, Beth.  She knows my owl obsession, so of course she got me this cute bronze owl for Christmas!  He’s currently on a small shelf in my dining room.  I think he may actually be a paperweight, but that’s okay.  He’s happy on the wall for now.

I love that he looks so substantial even though he’s small.  Plus, it’s pretty rare that you see metal owls.  Usually, they’re wood or ceramic.

Couldn’t you envision him atop a stack of old books in a dusty library somewhere?