Plated Week 2 Plate 1

Last night I made Blood Orange Wild Sockeye Salmon with Brown Butter Gnoochi.  It was the best plated meal yet!!  The meal was 790 calories per serving, and said it would take 20-30 minutes.  It took me about 35, but I at least was able to unload the dishwasher and wash dishes throughout the process.20150106_175340

There was a lot less chopping in this meal, just garlic, sage, and kale.  But there was SO MUCH KALE!


I’ve made kale before (and kale chips nom nom nom), so I know it loses a lot of volume when it’s cooked.  The recipe said to discard the stems, luckily my two dogs LOVE crunchy veggies and were happy to eat the scraps.  My older dog looks at them as treats and takes them into the other room to enjoy in his standard treat spot.

I felt that of all the recipes so far, this was one I am most likely to try to cook on my own.  The easy glaze of a blood orange + soy sauce + Worcestershire sauce is something I could whip up without a fancy recipe card, and my hubby LOVES gnoochi.   And now I know how to brown butter!  I mean, it’s pretty easy.  You just put butter in a pan and stir it occasionally until it’s brown.  But I do feel like Plated is teaching me a lot of new cooking techniques.

Here’s a photo while it’s cooking, I was using the same spatula in both pans, so that’s why there is kale on the salmon.


20150106_183841I thought I had a picture of the two finished plates, but unfortunately my phone misled me.  Could have been operator error.  But here’s a picture of my half eaten plate, haha.

20150106_183848My puppies were very interested in what we were eating, and made sure that they were available if I were to drop anything.  They got a treat on Sunday when I accidentally spilled lentils all over me and the couch, I’m sure they were hoping for a repeat!





A couple people have asked me if Plated is worth the cost.  It’s not cheap, it’s a minimum of $12 a plate, so $24 for a meal for 2.  It’s not cheaper than cooking.  That being said, if I was to attempt to recreate this, I would easily spend over $24 in gathering the necessary ingredients.  You can’t typically buy just a tablespoon of this or a single spring of sage, but having the larger quantities would lend it to other meals.  But knowing me, it’s just as likely to go bad before I use it.  If I wasn’t using Plated, I would probably order in, get carryout, or go to a restaurant.  All of which would easily cost more than $24.  Plated is not for those who are on a tight food budget, or those who don’t want to spend 30-60 minutes prepping, cooking, and cleaning.  But if you are a person who typically eats out but wants to learn to cook, I think it’s worth a try.  My code below will give you 2 free plates!

Plated Week 1 Plate 3

My 3rd and final plated meal from my first shipment!  Not my final ever, I have a box coming today and another one coming on the 20th.  I am going to do this every other week to start, because it’s not cheap.  But it is delicious, teaches me new recipes, saves time at the grocery store, lets me hone my chopping and cooking skills, and gets me off the couch for 30-45 minutes.

On Sunday I made Sausage with Lentils.  This recipe was 810 calories per serving and said it would take 30-40 minutes.  It took me about 45.  I’ve never made lentils before.  I had unfortunately lost the recipe card due to a cleaning binge, but luckily was able to download it to my husband’s tablet for easy viewing.

20150104_124025 20150104_124018Once again I had lots of chopping to do and chose a way too small cutting board.  I had to chop the onion, carrots, celery, and ginger.

At one point, my husband was trying to talk to me and I had to (nicely) ask him to check in with me later as I had to take the bread out of the oven, turn the sausage, and add the red wine vinegar to the lentils.

Other than that, I once again had a nutritious and delicious meal that my husband said he would eat again.  I also had lots of dirty dishes.  I forgot to take a picture of the food plated, but I think you can get the idea from this one.


I am really excited for my next box, it includes Steak Gyros, Butternut Squash Ravioli, and Blood Orange Salmon.

If you are interested in Plated, please use my referral code so we both get free meals!!

Oldest items yet

So this morning I went to my closet to find my 5 items to donate or toss.  I have a lot of old purses, so it’s something I can just grab and get done so I don’t have to worry about it in the evening.

Most of my purses had something in it- gum wrappers, time of the month products, etc.  But one held the oldest items I’ve found so far.


Yep, that’s a paystub from August 2002 from my brief time at Outback Steakhouse.  I worked there the summer between high school and college.  Those coupons are for Long John’s Silver and expired October 5, 2002.  The receipt is from Meijer, 10/17/02.  I bought gum, blow pops, Twizzlers, a candy necklace, a poster, and a large hook.  I also found anti-bacterial hand gel that was completely liquified.  It expired in 2000.

I’m trying to remember myself in 2002.  I was so excited for college.  I was ready to make new friends, have new challenges, and escape the small town of Ada.  I’ve been with my husband since April 2003, so this even pre-dated him.

This purse has been with me for FIVE moves.  Unused, in a closet.  All because I was afraid I might want it again someday, even though it’s not something I would even carry now.  It’s an off-white canvas purse that’s too big for a wristlet, not big enough to even hold my phone and sunglasses.  Hopefully someone will find it at Goodwill and give it a better home.  🙂

Progress on New Years Resolution

After multiple trips to goodwill, and multiple trips to the garbage can, I now have an office/dressing room I can use without dancing around debris on the floor.  I can actually sit on my desk and USE it.  I could lay on the floor if I wanted to!  I still have a ways to go,  my drawers aren’t all closing, my closet is a mess, and I still have clothes in storage that I should probably just donate without looking at.  But I have stuck to my resolution of finding 5 (or more) items everyday to donate or toss.  I threw out my old makeup bag that had dust in it (GROSS) and transferred only the makeup I use to a new bag and threw out the rest.  I have a designate place to put items that will end up at Goodwill, once I fill up a bag I’ll drop it off.  It is so nice to get ready in my room now, and be able to see all of my jewelry options and not have to get dressed in the hall.

20150102_115234Happy smiles on the way to Goodwill!

Plated Week 1 Plate 2

On New Years Day I made the Long Life Noodles with Seared Tofu, Mushrooms, and Scallions.  The recipe card said that it was a traditional New Year’s meal in China, as they are “considered good luck for a long life”.  I know that Chinese New Year’s is a different date than 1/1, but figured it would bring good luck anyway.

20150101_204640I’ve never made tofu before, so that was a first for me.  The meal was 720 calories per serving and said it would take 30-40 minutes.  It took me 34.

There was a good amount of chopping- the scallions, garlic, ginger, and mushroomies.  I should have used a larger cutting board, I ended up storing some of the items temporarily in the empty tofu container.


Yes I said mushroomies, it’s a family thing and it’s adorable.  Deal with it.  🙂


I had a hard time with the tofu, it was NOT in pretty 1′ squares despite my best efforts.  Also, I didn’t make sure to rinse AND separate the noodles, and they ended up sticking together too much.



Even so, this was a delicious nutritious meal, and taught my husband and I that you don’t always need meat.


If you are interested in Plated, here’s my referral code.

First night with Plated!

My husband and I decided to try Plated.  It’s a meal delivery service where they send you the ingredients needed to make a delicious meal that’s under 800 calories.  Hubby and I both need to lose a substantial amount of weight, and one of our biggest problems is portion control.  The second problem is a combination of laziness and lack of time.  We both work full time and tend to order pizza or Toledo’s version of Seamless.  Both of us are good cooks, while he tends to cook special occasion meals, I tend to do the daily regular meals.  I compared Plated and Blue Apron, and after reading some blogs and reviews decided to try out Plated.  I like being able to choose what meals I get.  I found a coupon code for 4 meals free, so I paid $30 for my first box of 6 meals total, 3 dishes serving 2 people each.  Each meal is $12-18 per person.

So here are pictures of my first box!!

20141230_182832 Each box comes with a recipe card for the meals you will make.


20141230_182908 Everything is individually packaged in the exact portions you need.


For my for first dish, I decided to make Sesame Ginger Wild Salmon and Tatsoi in Miso Broth.  It was 470 calories per serving, and listed as taking 20-30 minutes.  It was either easy or medium difficulty, I can’t remember.


I had to slice the scallions, mince the ginger, and cut the potatoes in half, which was the most labor intensive part.  Everything else was just a “rinse and pat dry” or open and pour for the most part.  Hubby helped with some chopping for a couple minutes, in total it took me 34 minutes to make dinner.


Here is one of the finished plates!  I was really impressed with myself and the ingredients, because I thought mine looked almost as good as the picture.  It tasted delicious, too.  Hubby and I are fans and really excited to make and eat our next meal.


If you are interested in Plated, here’s my referral code.

We both get 2 free plates if you use it.  🙂

Decluttering is a good thing

Since my last blog I have discarded or donated at least 5 items each day I was home.  I was gone two days, but I had donated a bag of clothes to make up for it before I left.  It’s still fairly easy, I haven’t had to make too many tough decisions yet.  I’ve donated items I never wear, some were my sister’s that she gave me when we were both losing weight a couple years back. I’ve thrown away expired medicine, makeup, and more.  Things in the past I would have kept “just in case”.  But NO more.  I have already been better about buying things I don’t need – really pondering – do I REALLY need this?  How much would I wear it?  Where will I keep it? etc.

I’m really proud of myself.  I know it will get harder, but the thought of being able to always put clean clothes back in drawers is my light at the end of the tunnel.

I found this Decluttering guide on Facebook and I plan to follow it.

Here’s the first week:

Who knew you could donate old Christmas cards?

My mission for this weekend is to clean out my office/dressing room.  I am taking everything out but heavy furniture and putting it in my husband’s office next door.  Then I’ll vacuum and be judicious about what goes back in.  It’s pretty gross, but the carpet hasn’t been vacuumed in probably over a year. because it’s been covered with stuff.  Next I will empty all of my dressers and purge those of clothes I can’t remember wearing.  I’m planning on getting a smaller desk so that I can have more storage space and will be less likely to use my desk as a shelf.  I do sometimes work from home, so it will be nice to have a set place.

I won’t tackle my closet just yet – once my room is back in order I’ll have a closer space to sort and purge.  That will be a project for another weekend!

So obviously I sucked at my challenge

It was a lot harder than I expected and required a lot more money than I wanted to spend.  So I gave up.  Sadness.


But now I am going to use my blog for something better.  To chronicle my new adventure of GETTING RID OF STUFF!!

My official 2015 New Year’s Resolution.  I have too much stuff. I have clothes over a decade old that don’t fit and/or shouldn’t be worn in public. I have makeup from high school that is unsanitary and needs to be tossed. I am a hoarder in the making who attaches emotions to objects. I have a whole extra bedroom as my personal closet and it’s not enough.

So my NY Resolution – EVERY day find FIVE items to either throw away or give to Goodwill. Items will immediately go into the garbage or a bag to take to Goodwill when filled up. When I can put clean clothes in drawers, stop using the floor as a shelf, have a closet I can get in and out of and use to store current clothing, and have a desk I can actually work on, I can stop.

I posted it on Facebook and my friends posted so many awesome things that I got super excited and started early.

Yesterday I found out some friends of a friend had a house fire and were in desperate need of clothes.  These ladies happened to be about my size, so yesterday I took 10 minutes and filled up a whole garbage bag of clothes I haven’t worn in a year and/or don’t plan on wearing in the next year.  There was more than one item with the tags still on it.  😦

I plan on filling up at least 2 more bags for these ladies over the weekend.  🙂

Today I went through my makeup in the bathroom and threw out 5 things.  One was eyeshadow from 1998.  GROSS!!!!!

I am so excited to get rid of stuff, it’s very weird for me.  But I can’t wait to have full use of my closet/room again.  🙂

California – The Mai Tai

EWW coconut!  Seriously, that’s all I could think of when I drank this.  I just don’t like coconut or coconut flavored things.  But for the challenge at I had to drink the Mai Tai anyway.  I returned to the APL to try this concoction.

Recipe : 1 shot each of spiced rum and coconut rum, grenadine, pineapple juice, orange juice

Seriously, I just hated this drink.  I drank all of it, for the sake of my blog, but it tasted awful to me.

Taste:             2     People who like coconut might score this higher.  But it is my blog, my rules

Difficulty:     8    My bartender was familiar with this drink, but was used to making it a little differently.

Lushiness:    6     This drink was not that strong, despite the 3oz of booze, it was watered down by the juices

Overall Score : 5.33

In other news, I officially own the URL  This lush is moving up in the world!!