WannaBe Chef

Recipes and randomness from Amanda's kitchen.

Junk Galore! July 3, 2010

Filed under: Holiday,Life — WannaBe Chef @ 7:35 pm

Happy Fourth of July eve!  So far, my weekend has consisted of a lot of overindulging.  It started innocently enough with my first ever Passion Tea from Starbuck’s yesterday.  The guy convinced me that the Passion Tea Lemonade was better, so that’s what I had.  It was really good, but I think I will stick with the straight up tea next time since I don’t need the extra cals from the lemonade.

I had margaritas on the brain, and I was determined to have one last night.  We found a new-to-us Mexican restaurant, and I wasted no time ordering this “Midnight Margarita.”  It was pretty much the size of my head.

Despite drinking this monster and eating my weight in chips and salsa, I found it necessary to order another drink… this time a Strawberry Margarita on the rocks.  Had to represent the Fourth of July colors, right??  Sorry about the crappy cell phone pics here!  Plus, the sun was shining right on our table.

And let’s not forget our actual dinner.  I have no idea why we ordered food, but after repeated pressure from the waiter, we did.  I had the “Azteca Salad.”  I took a cell phone pic, but it’s so terrible, you can’t even tell it’s a salad.  Anyway, I was pretty impressed with this salad… it had grilled chicken/shrimp/mushrooms, carrot ribbons, red bell peppers, SEEDLESS cucumber rounds, fresh pico de gallo, and AVOCADO.  Very impressive, indeed.  However, I could only stomach about 1/4 of it and the rest went into a doggy bag.  We came back to the apt for awhile to digest slash try not to pass out by 6:30 PM!!  I’ve become a complete lightweight and don’t drink very often.  Awhile later, we went to a nearby bar… had some more drinks (including my beloved Disaronno and Diet!)… and… and… a basket of fries!!  Mind you, this was hours after the Mexican place, but jeeeez, just not necessary.  So I started out this morning with the desire to eat very light today, and I had this glorious bowl of fresh strawberries and pears with PB and poppy seeds.  It was seriously the best breakfast I’ve had in a LONG time.

Then we were off to the beach… well… lake. 

I packed a little lunch cooler that contained turkey sandwiches, BBQ chips (both unpictured) and peppers with hummus. 

We lasted almost 2 hours in the sun then headed out.  The healthy-ish eating was going fine until Wayne dug out a coupon for Papa Murphy’s take-and-bake pizza.  I tried to fight it, I really did…

but I was weak.  And we didn’t really have any groceries to make a decent dinnner.  And the coupon expired today.  And I’m weak.  I’m feeling a little guilty, but it all balances out in the end I suppose.  Now Wayne and I going to watch two movies that I swore I’d never watch… Twilight and New Moon!!!  Aaahhh… I guess I’ll finally get to see what all the hype is about!  Hope you all are having a great holiday weekend so far!!  Toodles for now 🙂


Dress nightmares and purple tulle June 29, 2010

Filed under: Life,Meatless,Side dish,Vegetable — WannaBe Chef @ 7:36 pm

Hola, bloglettes!  Sorry for leaving you post-less yesterday.  I was much too mentally exhausted from trying on at least 30 dresses in hopes of finding something to wear to:  1 bachelorette party, 2 wedding rehearsals, 1 wedding, and 1 wedding shower.  Shoot me now.  I don’t see why it’s so difficult to find a couple affordable, summery, appropriate dresses for a tall girl.  Not being a “junior” anymore, but also not being 50 years old left me with few options.  Aaaanyway… good news is that after many purchases and returns, I finally have the outfit lineup set.  Now only if my skin wasn’t see-through and I had some cute shoes…. The errands continued today, and I got a lot accomplished (including groceries, finally) woooot!  That’s where the purple tulle comes in.  I’m not gonna say anymore, though, on the 0.05% chance my sister actually reads my blog.  Unlike yesterday, I did manage to snap a couple pics of my food today.

Breakfast was comprised of the few groceries I had in the house… 2 over-easy eggs and 2 pieces of toast.  I doused the eggies in Frank’s after I took the pic since the red stuff can look a little disturbing at times.

Lunch was thrown together veeery quickly once I got home… I was on the verge of hangry.  Monster salad contains:  Romaine, pea-less sugar snap pea pods, turkey, Sabra Classic hummus, Cholula (my first time having this, yum!), and a little light Ranch. 

Din din was this delicious, pre-seasoned salmon… with a pop-up timer?!  Has anyone out there ever seen a salmon fillet with a pop-up timer?!

I also whipped up these little gems…

These were beyond fantastic.  Here’s what I did:

  1. Sautee veggies and seasonings of choice – I used mushrooms, broccoli, roasted red peppers, and onions seasoned with S&P.
  2. Cut a baguette into slices on a severe angle to get the most surface area.  Line up on a baking sheet covered in foil.
  3. Spread each slice of bread with a little real mayo and minced garlic.
  4. Top with the sauteed veggies and some cheese – I used feta and mozzarella.
  5. Broil for a couple minutes until cheese browns. 

Here’s the recipe I used as my outline… I pretty much used all the same ingredients but changed up the method a little.

Mayo might sound strange (it did to me at least), but it was definitely the clutch ingredient and paired beautifully with the garlic, veggies and cheese.  These were so easy to make, and I can think of a ton of different combinations that would be equally as yummy!  


  • Are you tan?  Have you ever had a spray tan or “mystic” tan? 
  • Do you enjoy wearing dresses?
  • What’s your favorite hot sauce? 

Our first visitors: Part 2 June 22, 2010

Filed under: Breakfast,Life — WannaBe Chef @ 3:39 pm

Part 2 = Saturday.  First, we had to start off the day with a proper breakfast.  I had my Quick Crustless Quiche planned, so we had that with some toast and fruit.  I’ve made this quiche many times before, and this one had spinach, onions, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, cheddar cheese, and turkey bacon.  I topped mine with lots of salsa. 

We decided Saturday would be “downtown Minneapolis” day.  Wayne did some googling and found out that the Stone Arch Festival was going on, so that’s where we ended up! 

There were a TON of vendor booths full of pottery, paintings, and everything in between.  My cousin is going to be a pilot and is obsessed with everything to do with planes, so my aunt bought him this plane… handmade from a Sprite can!

We also dabbled in some festival food, of course.  First up was homemade kettle corn.  It might not look like much, but this was hands-down, no question, the BEST popcorn I’ve ever had.  Ever.  It was very light and crispy with just a hint of sweetness, therefore making it extremely addicting!  I would have been happy just eating this for the rest of the day.

Then we saw a booth labeled “Walleye on a Stick,” and Wayne couldn’t resist.  I had one of the little nuggets, and it was amazing, crunchy, melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness. 

We wandered around for awhile longer and stopped at a very busy bar/restaurant for lunch.  Can’t remember the name of it for the life of me, though. 

Adult beverages

Chili cheese fries and chips and salsa shared among the table

After our fat lunch, we walked for what seemed like hourssss trying to find a museum that Wayne saw online.  We finally found it, and I thought it was just OK.  These are some pics from the walk and from way up high in the museum.  The view was pretty spectacular!

Whew, that was a lot of pictures!  I do have a couple pics of Wayne, the fam and I, but I think my mom would fly back here and kill me if I posted them!  Perhaps I will be brave and post the ones I took on Sunday 🙂  Stay tuned for the last part of the weekend!


Wham Bam June 15, 2010

Filed under: Life — WannaBe Chef @ 6:37 pm

Well, it’s been another pretty uneventful day here!  A couple things…

  • I’ve been working on some new tabs for the blog, so please pardon the slacker meals and posts lately!
  • I just watched Behind the Music: Pink, and my love for her has officially been renewed.  I’m listening to vintage Pink as I type this… “Most girls want a man with the mean green, don’t wanna dance if you can’t be everything that I dream of…”
  • In less than 48 hours, Wayne will be back AAANNNDDD my mom and aunt will be here!!!  WOOOOOO!!!!!!  With the exception of driving to the airport twice in one day, it’s gonna be a greeeeaat day! 
  • Apparently you all liked my little fashion show yesterday.  Thanks for all the nice comments!  I don’t think I will be doing that very often, but it’s nice to know you all appreciated something different on the blog. 

Ok, now let’s do a quick food viewing.  I say that like it’s a funeral for a reason.  My meals were absolutely boring and unattractive today.  I apologize but feel as if I must post something food-related.  In my defense, I’m trying to clean out the fridge to make room for all the yummies I’m going to purchase tomorrow for my visitors 🙂  So let’s make this quick and painless…

Breakfast:  Sandwich thin with PB, banana and cinnamon.  I proceeded to drop the whole bunch of ‘naners on the floor, therefore brusing them to death and giving me no choice but to slice and put them in the freezer for banana soft serve.  Oh well, I could think of worse fates.

Lunch:  Hooorrrrible, post-stirred picture of a junk salad containing romaine, pickles, cucumbers, snap peas, leftover turkey tenderloin, BBQ and light ranch.

Dinner:  A lonely summer squash sauteed with salt, pepper and garlic powder alongside a Morningstar black bean burger w/ hummus and BBQ.  Interesting fact:  By weight, that is TWO Tbsp of hummus and ONE Tbsp of BBQ.  Weighing my food has been very eye-opening slash annoying because it’s almost always less than you think or even measure otherwise.

Let’s try some more questions:

  • Have you had a blast from the past lately with a certain artist or song? 
  • What do you do when you have visitors?  Make lots of plans or wing it?  Pack in the activities or just chill?

Stuck! June 14, 2010

Filed under: Life — WannaBe Chef @ 7:12 pm

Today I bring you food, of course, and a first ever on WannaBe Chef:  fashion!  I ordered some dresses from Chadwick’s since I have a lot of wedding events to attend in the next couple months.  Well, they came today and I decided to share them with you since my food has been less than stellar.  First things first, though…

Breakfast was NOT an oatmeal pancake!  I had an almost-empty jar of PB and decided to make a quick batch of oats in a jar.  I wasn’t that hungry this morning, so in the jar was simply: 1/3 cup oat bran, 1/2 cup water, cinnamon, Splenda, and a pinch of salt… all zapped in the microwave for a minute or so. 

After taking Wayne to the airport (AGAIN), I had lunch:  Morningstar Black Bean Burger on a Flat out wrap with BBQ sauce and romaine; delicious watermelon on the side.

Dinner was another microwave delight.  I made a turkey tenderloin last night, so I had the leftover turkey with BBQ, cooked carrots and some raw sugar snap peas.

Ok, now that’s out of the way.  Here we go with pics of me… in clothes… eeekk.  First up was the green, “slimming” dress and the inspiration for the title of this post.

Looks harmless enough, right?  What you don’t see is the tight, hot Spanks-like girdle thingy that was built into the dress from the waist to the knees.  See that criss-cross waistband?  Well it was SO tight, small, and unforgiving, that when I went to take the dress off, IT GOT STUCK.  The stupid zipper in the back did NOT go all the way down through the waist, so there was absolutely no wiggle room.  I couldn’t get the dress over my hips OR up and over my ribs/boobs!  There I was, fuh-reaking out thinking OMG, I’m stuck in this dress for the next 3 days because Wayne was already gone and couldn’t help.  The worst part is that I really hurt my right shoulder/upper back trying to get it off, so much that my right arm/hand started tingling and going numb later on!  Yes, I finally got it off after like 10 minutes and a lot of “stretching.” 


On to the next… a knit black dress.  It goes just over the knee.  Cute but very lightweight and casual, kind of nightgown-ish actually.  Not sure if I’m keeping it yet, but at least I didn’t dislocate any body parts getting in and out of it. 

Next up was another black number.  This one was more formal, flowy and structured, but it doesn’t really come across in the pics though.  Cute, love the neckline, but it was doing some funky things around the boobs and the darts didn’t quite lay right.  This one’s a “maybe” too, but I don’t really want/need two black dresses..


Last dress was the cutest one of them all.  One problem, though, I couldn’t get it over my head.  Once again, there was no zipper in the back, just a tiny like 4″ zipper under the left arm.  What the hell good does that do??  And after the green dress nightmare, I was not about to force this one on. 😦 

The buttons were silver, that's paper on them.

Lastly was a random tank top I ordered at the last minute.  Despite the intense wrinkles, I thought it was cute and plan to wear it with a thin tank underneath, as the fabric is quite thin and breezy.

Holy balls, I need a tan.

Well, that’s all for this edition of Food and Fashion!  I hope you don’t think I’m too conceited for putting pics of myself on here!  It feels a little odd doing it, and I probably won’t be doing it very often.  Let me know whatcha think.  Tata for now!


That is all. June 8, 2010

Filed under: Life,Oatmeal,Sandwiches,Turkey,Vegetable — WannaBe Chef @ 7:06 pm

Just a couple things I want to say before I get to the food:

  • As you may remember from this post, I love me some Lady Gaga.  Well, the queen’s new video for “Alejandro” came out today (watch it HERE!).  I absolutely loved it, along with all her other videos.  Yes, my eyes widened and my jaw dropped during a few parts.  Yes, it’s racy/controversial/thought-provoking/weird/and a hundred other adjectives.  But that’s the whole point, people!  That’s the beauty of Gaga.  She doesn’t do weird just to do weird.  She does weird to make a point and get a message across.  You may not understand it, but don’t hate what you don’t understand!!  That is all.  Just sayin’.
  • I did my second “real” day of The Shred today (still Level One, obviously).  It wasn’t a whole lot easier, but I shall press on.  That is all.

Now let’s forge on with some food.  Breakfast was another oatmeal pancake!  Nope, still not sick of ’em yet.  In fact, with some minor tweeks, I’m liking them even more.  So, don’t count on them going away anytime soon.  Today’s mix was:

  • 1/3 cup quick oats
  • 1/3 cup liquid egg whites (from a carton)
  • pinch salt
  • lots of cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder

I forgot to make this last night, so I thought I’d just try it without the whole “refrigerate overnight” thing.  (It did sit in the fridge for like a half hour, though).  I think I liked it even better this way!! 

Lunch was a glorious, delicious wrap.  Why don’t I have wraps more often?  Anyway, I saw a bloggie (aah, can’t remember who though!!) who grilled some veggies on a Foreman grill, and I thought to myself “BRILLIANT.”  So in this Flat-Out wrap is grilled summer squash that I seasoned w/salt and balsamic, then combined with hummus, lettuce and just a wee bit of Light Ranch.  Oh-em-geeeee this was good. 

Then I made a quick trip to SuperTarget (again) and met a new friend.  His name is Sunbutter, and he was on sale.  I’ve been stalking him for a long time now in the blogosphere and finally decided to say hhhaaayyyy!  After a taste, I only wish we would have met sooner..

Then I added to my Chobani collection.  I can’t even tell you how much I love the raspberry.  I have never been excited about yogurt before, until now.  And I don’t even need any add-ins, I just eat it plain!  Which is saying a lot for me and my “gag texture” thing.  Raspberry is where it’s at.  Oh, and I thought I’d throw in a 2% pineapple since I’d never had it before.

Dinner was a simple turkey burger and salad of romaine, toms, amazing sugar snap peas, feta, balsamic and EVOO.  I haven’t had much meat lately, so the burger actually really hit the spot. 

And that is all for today.


Exercise and a first from the hubby June 7, 2010

Filed under: Life,Meatless — WannaBe Chef @ 6:59 pm

Hello, my peeps!  I’m back with a semi-normal post.  Get ready for a little wordiness here.  First, I’d like to talk a little bit about working out.  If you’ve been reading my blog for very long, you may have noticed that I never talk about working out.  Well, as much as I’d like to say I workout and just don’t talk about it, I can’t!  I have a love/hate relationship with exercise, and by that I mean it’s mostly hate.  I never played sports growing up and had never seen the inside of a gym until college.  Since then, I’ve gone in and out of exercise phases.  I workout consistently for a few months, usually “for” some event like spring break, a vacation or wedding, then I get bored and take a “break.”  Also, I have a definite “all or nothing” personality, which isn’t really a good thing when it comes to working out.  I feel like if I don’t workout 5-6 days a week like a crazy person, then what’s the point?  Surely taking a walk twice a week isn’t going to do anything, so why do it at all??  Yeeeeaah, I know, I know.  So, I’ve been on a “break” from any consistent exercise for quite awhile now.  With the exception of a handful of elliptical sessions and walks, I haven’t done much since just after my wedding in April ’09!!!!!!!  Aaahh, did I really just write that?  While I have put on a few pounds since my wedding, I don’t consider it a huge deal since I was at my lowest weight ever for my wedding, which lastest about 2 minutes, I’m sure.  So anyway, while I would like to lose 5-10 pounds (the same damn 5-10 pounds I’ve gained/lost a hundred times…), I’m more bothered by all the squish and flab.  Our apartment complex has a fitness center, but it’s a pretty sad little place, and the thought of doing the same old elliptical routine day after day makes me cringe.  So, last week I blew up my exercise ball, unrolled my yoga mat, and dug out my hand weights and seriously old Core Secrets dvd.  I also bought Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred dvd.  The first day I tried the Shred, I couldn’t even make it halfway through Level One.  For the next two days, I had serious issues with walking thanks to the lovely “squat presses” that I barely even did!  I quickly realized how out of shape I am.  And thanks to my years of “phoning it in at the gym,” as Jillian would say, I am definitely NOT used to strength training.  Today, I sucked it up and made it though Level One, sort of…  It definitely feels kind of good to be sore again, and I’m hoping to keep it up and eventually make it all the way through Level One without taking any breaks.  I debated on whether or not to post about this because it kind of makes me accountable…. eeekk!  ANYWAY, since this is a food blog, I should probably give you a little something to munch on… 

Speedy Tamale Pie
Based on recipe found HERE with topping taken from recipe HERE

Bean mixture:
2 cans pinto beans, rinsed/drained
1 zucchini, chopped
1 small can green chilis
1 can corn (use 1 cup here and remainder in topping)
1 cup frozen edamame
1 cup salsa
2 tsp chili powder
salt, hot sauce to taste
shredded cheddar cheese and light sour cream for topping, optional

3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup fat-free milk
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp Splenda (or regular sugar)
1 egg white
salt, chili powder
remainder of corn from above

  • Combine bean mixture ingredients in a large saute pan and let boil/simmer for about 10 minutes
  • Pour bean mixture into a baking dish coated with cooking spray
  • Spread topping mixture evenly over bean mixture
  • Bake at 400 F for about 20-30 minutes or until bubbly around the edges
  • Top with cheese and cook another couple minutes until melted, if desired
  • Top individual serving with sour cream and hot sauce if desired

Ok, so here’s the deal with this dinner… I’ve said before that Wayne is not picky and will eat or try just about anything I make.  Even if he doesn’t “like” it that much, he will usually still say something like “It was OK.”  Well, tonight was a first.  After he finished his whole plate, he let out a sound similar to “Eeeeuugghhh!!”  That would have been plenty to get his point across, but he continued to say that it didn’t have any flavor and that he didn’t want me to pack him a lunch tomorrow if this stuff was in it!!!!  I was shocked.  Sheeeesh!  I will admit, it may have been a little bland, but it wasn’t that bad!  If you make this, I would suggest pumping up the seasonings and maybe using just one can of pinto beans, as they overpowered the dish using two cans.  Also, I skipped the canned tomatoes because I thought the salsa was enough, but you might wanna use them for the extra moisture.  Not that I really expect you to make this after Wayne’s glowing review lol!