Does a recipe need to be complicated to be good?

100_2805 100_2820 100_2824I say no way!  A recipe does not have to be complicated to be good.  I pride myself on cooking simple recipes especially during a work week.  Who has time in today’s society to cook complicated recipes with 15 to 20 ingredients?  I don’t.  I am by no means saying that I won’t clip and collect those complicated recipes with every intention of one day hoping to find time to cook what ever that dish may be.  It would definitely have to be a day that I am feeling extra relaxed and have nothing but time on my side.

I have to say that I have thought about spending all day in the kitchen trying to cook family meals for the week or even for the month in hopes of saving me a little time.  OK..so maybe I am just a little lazy when it comes to cooking and I am perfectly OK with that assumption.  Maybe things would be different if I didn’t have to work.  I am sure if I did not have to work, that I would probably spend more time cooking then I do today.

Maybe I could give in and cook a gourmet meal and make my husband happy but then again, I don’t think that my husband expects it nor would my 9 year old son who would probably just turn his nose up and ask could he have macaroni and cheese.  So much for the gourmet meal…  Just like any other kid, my 9 year old could probably eat macaroni and cheese everyday and I don’t mind being frank when I say, I could care less.  I have come to terms in picking which battles I want to fight and what he eats for dinner is just not one of those battles I care to spend alot of time on.

I always say to myself, if I could take the time to cook one new recipe a week which would probably look a whole lot better to my husband instead of me collecting piles of recipes and never cooking any of them.  I am probably just not good at organizing and planning ahead in regards to what I am going to cook.  Unfortunately with all the other things I have on my plate to do, I just don’t make planning a meal a high priority.

I guess for now, I will just keep doing what I normally do which is figuring out what I am going to eat and cook that meal on the fly.  If that doesn’t work, then I guess I can always resort to take out…Why not keep the economy going by keeping restaurants in business…

Tell us your tips on how you cut down your cooking time or maybe you have a recipe for busy cooks.  We would love to hear from you!

I have included some pictures of my famous cookbooks that I have put together with all of the recipes that I will one day test….I promise!!

 

 

 

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Are you looking for a coupon code to purchase an item?  Visit http://www.currentcodes.com which is a website for all you bargain shoppers that will allow you to search for the most current coupon code available for whichever store you need a coupon for.  You can browse by merchant, alphabetical or by category.  Good luck you bargain hunters!

Girlfriend of the Month

Meet our June 2013 GUTS Girlfriend of the Month!

Chelsea Whitten Photo

Name: Chelsea Whitten

Age: 27

Occupation: Electrical Engineer

Why we think she is Girlfriend of the Month material:

In addition to being successful in a very male-dominated occupation, she manages to find time to run the wellness program in her office, coach CrossFit classes and be a part-time guest blogger.  No doubt in our mind that she is girlfriend material.

 

Q. How do you define success?

A. Success is when you and those around you recognize that you have worked hard to achieve something, and then achieved it. There is a huge social component to success as well as a personal one. Though the personal one should be more important, the social part of it has always heightened the experience for me. Having others acknowledge your accomplishment makes you feel good.

 

Q. What makes you feel successful?

A. I feel successful when I set a goal, work hard, and then achieve it. This could be anything from getting a list of errands and chores done in a day, to studying for a licensing test for my job and passing or learning a new exercise at the gym and practicing until I master it. There is always something new to conquer and learn, and the continuing experience of challenging myself and succeeding is what makes me feel successful.

 

Q. What traits or characteristics of yours do you most attribute to your success?  Where does your drive come from?

A. I think a personal love of learning (all sorts of things) has always been my driving force and what has made me successful. If you don’t have an interest in something and a desire to learn, it is very difficult to be successful. That being said, I am certainly not interested in everything, and my interest in other things waxes and wanes over time. Choosing the things that most interest me and keep me passionate to put my time into is also an important factor in my success. 

 

Q. Have you always been driven or did you find that quality later in life?  If you found it later, what was it that motivated you?

A. I think I have always been driven. It helped that my parents and family were encouraging of my successes, and held high expectations for me. I wanted to live up to their expectations, and even surpass them. 

 

Q. What makes you happy, peaceful or contented?

A. Good food, friends and family, and making small improvements every day at work, at the gym, and at home makes me happy. I also take comfort in checking off lists!

 

Q. Who inspires you?

A. The people around me, especially when they do small things for each other without asking just to help each other out. The kindness of community has always been the most meaningful to me.

 

Q. Do you have a personal song, anthem or mantra?

A. I don’t have a song, but I do have a couple of latin phrases that I love. One is “Acerbus et Ingens” which means “Fierce and Mighty”. Another is “Temet Nosce” which means “Know Thyself”.

 

Q. What is your one indulgence/splurge?

A. Food! I spend money on the best grassfed beef, organic veggies, and high quality oils because I know that putting good fuel into my body makes me feel awesome. Also, I just love to eat!

 

Q. How do you chase away the bad thought demons or the nasty gremlins of self-doubt?

A. By recognizing where those feelings are stemming from. Most of the time, all it takes is some self-awareness of why you are feeling doubtful or bad, and thinking about it in a broader context to make you realize that things really aren’t so bad.

 

Q. What time do you get up in the morning?

A. After the sun comes up, preferably! I don’t like getting up in the dark.

 

 

 

Gym etiquette- Is it just me?

Is it just me?

Several months ago, in one of my more healthy and productive stints, I was at the gym.  I was feeling pretty good about myself at the time because I had finally achieved my goal and gotten to the point where I could run 3 miles and not immediately go into cardiac arrest, even if my beet-red face made me  look like I might perish at any moment.  I had been really working at it and my ticker was good, but my hips were staging a coup for running in shoes that weren’t really designed for that kind of running.  I guess the $30 TJ Maxx sneakers I had been training in weren’t exactly ideal.

Anyway, to celebrate my achievement and in an attempt to prod myself toward continued progress, I splurged and bought myself a fancy new pair of running shoes, like the real ones that cost a gazillion dollars.  For some reason, they only make running shoes now in obnoxious designs and colors.  Gone are the days of the discreet and low profile athletic shoe.  I guess they figure if you are crazy enough to run further than a city block for recreation as opposed to dodging raindrops or bullets and if you spend enough money on them to finance a small country for a month, then you should probably flaunt it so they made these iridescent shoes to help get you noticed or something.

My Adidas

My Adidas

I did not buy my shoes for the looks of them, but honestly for the function.  I needed something that wasn’t going to jam my right hip all the way up to my shoulder blade every time I landed my stride.  So, I got a pair of wonderful Adidas Supernova Glides.  And they really are wonderful.  Luckily, they mended my hip and I have had no injuries to report since making that modest investment.  And they most definitely got me noticed.

I was on my lunch break from work and had just finished up my 3 miles on the treadmill.  I was down in the locker room getting dressed to head back to the office.  I was hunched over a bench in the little section in between a bank of lockers when a woman sauntering back from the showers stopped and commented on my shoes.  She was telling me how much she really liked the color of them and how funky they were.  I didn’t initially look up while we were talking because I was busy trying to get out of said shoes and gym clothes and back into my work clothes.

I am a pretty modest person, even in locker rooms.  I just feel like clothes were made for a reason other than to make J. Lo and P. Diddy bajillionaires and in my case that was to cover my privates and to keep me from getting cold, even in 78 degree weather.  Hence, being naked just isn’t really my thing.  I much prefer being overdressed than underdressed.  Yes, I know this may make me out to be a prude.  So be it.

Well, my shoe admiring friend obviously didn’t have this particular hang-up because when I finally cast my glance in her direction my gaze landed a foot too low.  She was completely without apparel.  Naked.  The funny thing is that she actually did have a towel in her possession in her right hand but she clearly had no intention of using it for the proper purpose.  I was very disoriented at this point.  Wait a minute… I thought I was at the Y.  How did I end up in some B rate porno?  At this point, as I was trying with all my might to fix my eyes on a more neutral focal point, she was getting into significant detail about my shoes and her numerous podiatric issues.  By this time, I could tell that she was in no real hurry and would be perfectly content to sit around and have a very naked conversation about shoes or foot ailments or the absurdity of towels right there in the middle of the locker room.  What was going on here?

What is so wrong with me that this left me completely flustered?  I did everything I could to keep my line of sight just above her head.  I didn’t want to see anymore of her stuff than I had already seen- at all.  But here’s the thing- if she was confident in her non-scuplted, Medicare aged body, why couldn’t I be happy and proud in my pre-40 body?  But,  prude that I am, I almost felt like she was taunting me with her towel held out at arm’s length, draping across her wrist like a handbag and nowhere near the rest of her as if her body and the towel were magnets of the same charge and thus repellent.

Is it just me or should conversation be kept to a minimum, even in a locker room, until all clothing has been properly restored to its rightful place or should we just treat locker rooms as a naked communal space where we divulge medical histories, trade fashion advice, swap recipes and maybe pass around a hookah pipe?  Isn’t there an unofficial, unwritten law against that somewhere?  Shouldn’t there be a gym etiquette document posted prominently in the locker room that specifically discourages any kind of naked interactions?  Or is it just me?

 

 

Buffalo Chicken Dip

BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP

I hosted a fun little cosmetics party this weekend and by far the most popular dish I served was the Buffalo Chicken Dip.  A friend of mine served it at a previous gathering and I just had to get the recipe from her.  It’s easy and very tasty.  Enjoy!!

1-8 oz pkg cream cheese

2- 9.75 oz cans Swanson Premium Chicken Breast-drained

1/2 cup any flavor Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

1/2 cup blue cheese salad dressing (sometimes I use ranch dressing instead and it works just as well)

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Assorted fresh vegetables, crackers or tortilla chips

 

Stir the cream cheese in a baking dish until smooth.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until hot and bubbling.  Serve and enjoy!

 

 

 

We did it!!

Here we are.  The moment we have been anticipating for what seems like forever!  After 6 months of meeting, planning, designing and deliberating we finally get to write our first blog post on our brand new website.

I don’t mind saying how intimidating it is to stare at a blank page and to hope that we are somehow able to write something meaningful and connect with our readers.  I think it is going to take some time to hit our stride, but I can tell you now that we are just like you.  We are professional women running the gauntlet every day, trying with all our might to strike a delicate balance.  We want to thrive in our jobs, be the perfect mothers to our children, the perfect wives and girlfriends, the thoughtful friends who never forget a birthday or anniversary and the kind of women who change the world and leave it better than we found it.

It’s a tall order and there are days when this seems an impossible feat.  Who do you turn to on those days when you’re exhausted and you don’t think you can keep up the break-neck pace?  Your girlfriends!

This will be our place to encourage and inspire one another, exchange ideas, and celebrate all of our accomplishments, no matter how big or small because we deserve it!

Here’s to all of us!

Sincerely,

Jennifer, Floretha and Amy

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