Follow Me!

I now have my own Facebook page! Please like it at

You can follow me on twitter also @Katjaneway. If you hate twitter, like I know a lot of you do, you can still subscribe to my blog via email below this heading. I'm also on bloglovin'!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Don't forget to comment, ya trolls! Thanks :)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Christmas Quiz

Read anothercleanslate's blog this morning and thought I'd take a crack at these questions.

1. What do you love the most about Christmas time?

I'll be completely honest here. It used to be all about the gifts with me. When I was in my teens, spending time with extended family seemed like a chore. All I cared about was what I'd gotten, and taking it all for granted. However though, within the last couple of years something clicked, and the presents weren't even important. (Although I really get excited to see people's faces with what I bought them). And although the food is delicious, I enjoy my time with extended family much more.

2. Do you celebrate the holiday in style or is Bah-Humbug for you?

I wouldn't really describe it as "bah-humbug". I just don't find it important to decorate my place, especially if no one is going to see it. I'd rather spend money on gifts, or things that I actually need, than to buy trinkets and weird things to decorate my place with (and then find a place to store it!). I'm just practical. I enjoy holiday lights, I don't mind other people who are in the spirit more than I am, it's just not my thing.

3. Are you leaving anything out for Santa Claus this year so he remembers to leave your presents?

I stopped doing that when I was 10 :P I honestly don't think I was ever told per se, that Santa didn't really exist. I just knew what my parent's handwriting looked like and they didn't even bother to change it up when writing on Santa's gifts to me. They actually tried to perpetuate the myth longer than I believed in it, which was... interesting. lol

4. What is the one gift you are most looking forward to GIVING? {It can be to your kids, another family member, etc – remember to be discreet if they read your blog}

Well, it was going to be the Keurig machine for my mom, but DAD had to ruin that. (Note my bitterness). But no, I got mom something else that I think she will hopefully like just as much!

5. What is your all-time favorite Christmas movie?

Santa Claus: The Movie. Note that I did NOT say "The Santa Clause [Movie]" (which I also really love and need to watch again!) which everyone thinks of when I say that. No, this is a rare gem I found a few years back that didn't do well review-wise (everyone says John Lithgow was the only thing holding that movie together. But I really liked Dudley Moore), but I really enjoy the story of not only the origin of Santa, but his need to change as society leaps into the 21st century. 

6. What is your all-time favorite Christmas song?

7. If given the opportunity, would you participate in an “Ugly Sweater” party and what sweater would you wear? Peruse one on the Internet or even if your own closet and show us!

Erm... No.

8. Have you started any Christmas traditions this year that you plan on carrying forward?

Well, none this year. Maybe next year. But what, I wonder? o_O

9. It’s Christmas morning… what does it look like outside where you live?

Pfffft. The same as it does in, lets see, October and November. Thank you, Washington weather.

We should have just decorated that tree instead.

10. You just found yourself standing under the mistletoe… who comes up to give you a kiss first?

Alton Brown!! Lol kidding. I think if he was at any party of mine I'd probably faint long before I got to the mistletoe. Mom would want Russell Wilson (of Seahawks fame). If I could give her that for Christmas I think I'd be set for life. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Recipe Change Ups

If any of you have been following along in my blog, I just got done with another round of the hCG diet. All in all, I lost 23 pounds in 42 days. There were a couple of hiccups along the way with no weight loss for some unknown reason, but I pushed through it. Now I'm on the "Atkins" 3-week stabilization period, where I've failed at least twice before and regained a bunch of weight back. Once you get out of shape during these 3 weeks it's really hard to get back on track and it's easy to give up. I was determined not to let that happen to me again! So, I've looked up a number of recipes online that are low carb. The only difference between Atkins Induction and this stabilization period (besides the fact that if you gain 2+ lbs you can't have anything to eat all day until dinner and then stuff yourself full of the fattiest steak you can find. I've done this before and it works, but I hate starving myself all day) is that not only does it need to be low carb, but also low fat (and as little sugar as possible), so not every Atkins Induction recipe will work for my needs.

So, I've scoured the internet looking for some good ones, and as always, I want to thank Alton Brown for giving me not just the knowledge of how to put together a recipe, but how to COOK in general. How to know what will work and what won't, and how to make changes to get your food to taste even better.

Case in point, a Cheesy Chicken Broccoli recipe I found on I'm sure it's good as is, but I knew I could make it REALLY good.

It calls to cook the chicken and bacon ahead of time, add some mayonnaise, sour cream and chicken bullion and mix it all together with the broccoli, sprinkle cheese on top and bake for 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Well, that's all well and good, but honestly, I hate the texture of melted cheddar cheese. It gets hard, plastic-y, and so greasy, so I had a better idea. Here is my recipe (which isn't quite as Atkins friendly unfortunately!):

Cook your chicken and bacon ahead of time and make a basic bechamel sauce instead. I used Alton Brown's recipe that he taught me for his baked Mac and Cheese. However, I ended up with WAY too much sauce, so you can cut it in half, or save it for another application! I did only 10 oz of cheese since he calls for 3/4 of it to be in the sauce and the rest to go on top. But I changed it up again - I had several different kinds of cheese, so I used  2 slices of pepper jack, 2 slices of provolone, 2 slices of Colby jack, and the remainder as shredded cheddar. It had a slightly queso-dip taste due to the pepper jack which I really liked.

[The basic bechamel requires 3 tbs of flour. Since I only used about half the sauce, that's only 1-1/2 tbs of flour, and that 1-1/2 tbs is divided into at least 4 servings, so I really don't think the carb count would be terrible. I did omit the garlic powder as she suggested to save on carbs as well.]

The only other change I made to the recipe was that instead of doing 1/4 cup mayonnaise and 1/4 cup sour cream, I saved some fat by doing 1/4 Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream. I also did what she suggested and just added the bullion cube to that mixture without any added water.

One word of warning: I wouldn't be too liberal with the salt, here. Cheese has a lot of salt, so does bacon and the bullion cube. My final product was a bit salty because I'd seasoned the chicken prior to cooking, and salted the cheese a bit. 

But the end result? Oh my goodness, it's amazing. I'm going to be making this over and over for sure!

I've done minor changes to a couple of other recipes as well, mostly by replacing some of the fat with Greek yogurt, which I can't even taste in the final product. I did it with an egg salad recipe I found on the same website, and it tastes just as good to me!