Category Archives: Gratuitous Boo

His and Her Meals

When I started writing this post, I had no idea how appropriate it would be.

Initially, this was going to be your basic “how to keep meals balanced while in a relationship” especially if you’re trying to stay healthy. WELL, as of December 16th I will have to create his and hers meals for the rest of my life!  I’m getting married to my best friend, my partner in crime, my better half, my puzzle piece, my soul mate.

I’m OVER THE MOON! It was a special surprise proposal; he really did his best to throw me off cause I’m very sneaky and curious! I always joke that I got a bachelor’s in Nosiness (or Journalism if you prefer) And I’m a VERY hard person to surprise!

I’m overjoyed! And I can’t wait to transition from recipes for one to recipes for 2 different tastes! In the meantime, here’s my original post:

It’s been well documented that while in relationships, women tend to gain weight. And I’m sure there are many women who can attest to this fact! Myself included!

One of the hardest things to do is create a meal that is healthy, delicious and nutritious! Especially when you have to make something that appeals to someone with VERY different taste buds.

I’m totally happy munching on nothing but vegetables, whereas Military Man would not be happy crunching on cauliflower and cauliflower alone.

So how do you transition your significant other to eating healthier foods and, by proxy, keep your own health in check?

Start simple!

Military Man loves Italian food so I’ve been making the switch from white pasta to whole grain and veggie pasta. The taste difference is minute. Now there are different pasta sauces out there that contain a “hidden” serving of vegetables, and they taste just as good as the regular non-veggie sneaking sauce. Plus Low Fat Ricotta Cheese is all the flavor with half the calories and fat!

More examples of his and her meals:

  

His: two eggs over medium, 1 biscuit, and a strawberry banana smoothie

Hers: 1 egg and 1 egg white, scrambled with spinach & mushrooms, with a dash of Texas Pete and Nature’s Seasons! (not pictured: 1 ginormous smoothie with spinach, banana, berries and protein powder)

Smoothies are a great way to sneak in veggies and fruits for even the pickiest of taste buds! For Military Man, the key is a smoothie that matches the taste and consistency of a milkshake. And with ripe fruit and a tasty protein powder, it is easy to create a sweet smoothie. (But if your fruit lacks ripeness and you find your smoothie lacking, add 1 TB of agave nectar or honey!)

If you’re in a relationship, do your eating habits match up with your significant other’s? If you’re single, how do you create a menu for dinner guests?

Have a great week!

-Brittany

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Filed under Creative Concoctions, Gratuitous Boo, Healthy Living, Recipes by Brittany

On the Menu: Weekend Cozy Classics

First let me say that Gone With the Wind was…upsetting.

It had classic lines and, overall, I enjoyed it but the ending…COME ON! I was SO annoyed! I won’t go into detail just in case you haven’t seen it yet.

If you’ve seen it let me know your thoughts!! I’m curious!

Today Military Man and I took Boo for a nice walk to enjoy the gorgeous fall weather. We went to a nearby park and found a tennis ball…I think you can guess what happened next. Boo loved running around sans leash! He and Military Man ran around and I tried to snap some photos.

"Do you want the ball?! Hello?! Do you...hey quit sniffing!"

Boo, in his leashless enthusiasm, was often less interested in the ball and more interested in sniffing around. Can’t blame him!

So regal 🙂

After all of our running around Military Man and I grabbed some Pad Thai for dinner. I’m determined to figure out how to make Pad Thai at home…one of my many culinary goals!

In celebration of fall, I wanted to make food that is warm and cozy. So here’s what you can expect:

-Balsamic Apple Salad Dressing

-Grilled Cheese (not really new, but a way to make it low-cal and delicious!)

-Tomato Soup from the can…but my special modifications make it taste homemade!

-Freaky fast pasta dish

-Strawberry Banana Smoothies (easy, fast, healthy and delicious!)

~Might make~ Baked Apples (I haven’t decided if I’m going to make it or not so we’ll see!)

See you tomorrow with some delicious recipes! Have a great evening!

-Brittany

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Filed under Gratuitous Boo, On the Menu, Random Cuteness

They just don’t make ’em like that anymore

First a photo of a working lunch/hungry hound.

Lunch of champions: Everything bagel thin (obsessed!) with Smart Balance, hummus, goat cheese and 2 chopped up carrots. Plus a banana. Not pictured: JUG of water. Hydration overload here!

Carrot beggar! “Please mom…just one…just onnnnneeeeeee”

But back to the main reason for my post:

I’m a sucker for classic movies.

TCM owns me. In college, my ability to get things done solely depended on the TCM schedule and whether or not “Gypsy” was on.

I can remember the first time I saw “Singin’ in the Rain.” I was staying with my grandmother and I had worn out my tape of “Captain January” (Shirley Temple…anyone?!) so I went foraging for other movies and stumbled upon “Singin’ in the Rain.”

The cover looked fun, dancing with umbrellas and obviously singing was involved. I liked rain. So I popped it in and it changed my life!

Whenever it rains I start up that Gene Kelly dance routine. Also in college I had an annoying endearing tendency to sing, “Good Morning!” after every overnight cram session. My friends just LOVED me!

I miss the time when movies were called pictures, when diction mattered, and you had to have talent to make it in Hollywood. (Dancing, singing, and acting, often simultaneously.)

When movies had musicals within them…just because.

The Golden Age of Cinema.

I only wish I had been there to see it firsthand. I’d gladly give up Internet and Starbucks for the chance to go back in time and live large in the 50s.

But why am I going on about the movies?

Well folks I have a confession….

I’ve never seen Gone With the Wind.

And tonight I’m going to change that!

I’ll let you know what I think after I finish (it might take 2 days…it’s a long movie!)

Are there any classic movies you haven’t seen? For me it used to be The Sound of Music (Military Man changed that one) and  Gone With the Wind (Which will change after tonight) But one movie I never, ever, EVER, plan on watching is Titanic. NEVER.

How about you?!

-Brittany

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Filed under Gratuitous Boo, Healthy Living, Media

Anniversary Cinnamon Rolls

I’ve got a confession….I’m not a baker. While I enjoy eating baked goods, I’ve never been one to just whip stuff up off the cuff. But that doesn’t mean I can’t bake. I’m a firm believer in “If you have a recipe, you can make it.”

Anyone can cook (or bake, as the case may be.)

Just ask Remy the rat. (I love Pixar. And Ratatouille was right up my alley! It’s French. It’s cooking. It’s Pixar. IT’S PERFECT!)

My Busha (Polish slang for “grandmother,” don’t say I never taught ya nothin!) makes phenomenal cinnamon rolls. This is not her recipe. I’m not allowed to give away secret family recipes all willy nilly. I’m not that Baked Beans dog.

These cinnamon rolls were really good though. The dough was soft and yeasty…(what a terrible word!) and slightly sweet from my extra special secret ingredient. You guessed it! Vanilla Bean Paste. Go out and track some down. It will change your life!

So there is a significant lack of “step-by-step” photos and that is because…dough is messy. I didn’t feel like messing with my camera and then getting dirty again and then grabbing my camera…ad nauseam. But I got the money shot!

Before Icing

So how do you make such fluffy, delicious, cinnamon-sugar filled puffs of Heaven?

Not Grandma’s Cinnamon Rolls

Serves you… and maybe someone you care about

  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 heaping tablespoon vanilla paste

    Filling

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  •  generous helping of ground cinnamon

    Icing

  • powdered sugar
  • vanilla extract (optional)
  • milk
***This makes quite a few cinnamon rolls, depending on how well you roll out your dough…If you don’t want delicious carby-goodness haunting your house or your waistline for weeks then I’d recommend that you half the recipe. AAAAND I’m not giving you exact measurements for the icing because I am not going to tell you how much icing you are allowed to have. Go crazy!***
Additional Recipe Notes:
-Prepare to get messy.
-This is a time consuming recipe. DO NOT start this thinking it will take an hour. You have to let the dough rise for 40 minutes TWICE. And that is BEFORE baking even comes into play.
-Also, if you don’t have a silpat or large cutting board, SCRUB your countertop or wherever you will be rolling out your dough. Seems like common knowledge but I’d rather hedge my bets.
-If you don’t have a mixer (stand or handheld will work) then make sure you have a whisk, a strong Hercules-type whisk. Otherwise your dough won’t reach the right consistency and with this recipe it’s all about the consistency.
Ok enough jibberjabbering, let’s get to work.
1. Combine yeast, warm water, and sugar until dissolved. Add salt and 2 cups of flour. Whisk (or beat) until combined. Add eggs, oil, vanilla paste and whisk some more. Stir in the rest of the flour (I recommend 1/2 cup to a cup at a time depending on your forearm strength)
Whisk it (or start using your hands) until the dough has pulled together.
2. Once your dough is well combined and has pulled together, lightly flour your work surface and knead it. It should take anywhere from 3-6 minutes…again depending on your forearm strength. Once dough is elastic, roll into a ball, rub lightly in oil and place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and set it in a warm place to rise for 40 minutes.
Go read a book, watch a TV show, or put powdered sugar on your dog’s face to give the impression that he has a slight problem…Guess which one I did.
3. 40 minutes later your dough should have doubled in size. Resist the urge to grab it and run around yelling “It’s ALIIIIVEEEE!!!!”
I’m not saying that’s what I did. I’m saying it’s what you shouldn’t do…
So now you’ve got this HUGE ball O’Dough. Time to punch it down and roll out (like Ludacris! I hummed this to myself while I rolled out the dough. No shame.) At this point, if you’re like me, you’ll realize you don’t have a rolling pin. But again, I’m MacGuyver in the kitchen. Grab an empty marinara glass jar (Prego, Newman’s Own, Ragu etc) and get to it!
I divided the dough in half so it was easier to manage. On a lightly floured surface fight with roll out your dough.
Once you get your dough to a reasonable rectangle shape, use a butter knife and slice it into 6 long strips. (Repeat with the remaining dough)
4. You should have 12 dough strips and depending on the length you might want to cut some of them in half (unless you have already halved the recipe) or if you like cinnamon rolls the size of small countries then you will just disregard that remark.
Melt the butter in a bowl, using a spoon (or pastry brush, if you’re fancy) coat each “dough strip.” In a separate bowl mix together the brown sugar, white sugar and cinnamon. Spoon on a generous amount to each dough strip (the name stuck) so that each has a good amount of filling. (If you need to whip up more filling, it’s just equal parts brown and white sugar with a generous amount of cinnamon)
5. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Roll up the dough strips. Place onto a 9×13 oiled baking dish. Cover with damp cloth and let rise again for another 40 minutes. They will double in volume again and look like this!
6. Pop those bad boys into the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden delicious!

What can you accomplish in 25-30 minutes? I think we all know what I did…

7. Once rolls have finished baking it’s time to ice them. Add less than a 1/4 cup of milk (and vanilla extract) to a bowl and add one heaping tablespoon of powdered sugar at a time, while whisking. The mixture will begin to thicken and that is when you know you’ve struck gold. Slather it on your rolls and enjoy!
These were my anniversary gift to Military Man. He LOVED them. I figure if the guy buys me All Clad…he deserves some cinnamon rolls from scratch!
Have a great rest of your week!
-Brittany

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Filed under Gratuitous Boo, Recipes by Brittany

Random Cuteness

I know I owe you a cinnamon roll recipe…and I have one. And it is good….soooooo good! But you’ll have to be patient just a little bit longer.

But I’m not totally heartless.

Enjoy some pictures of the cuteness that is Boudreax!

The Sweetest Face EVER!

“Mama, let me sleep. Cease and desist with the camera already!”

See y’all tomorrow!!

-Brittany (& Boo)

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Filed under Gratuitous Boo, Random Cuteness