Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ready for the WEEKEND!

I am SO SO SO excited for this upcoming weekend.

1) I have 2 good girlfriends (Katie and Sehar) coming to town (we all lived in Atlanta until June of this year)! We have a training class for our jobs next week so they are coming to town before hand to have a day of shopping (and dining at our good friend Chef Matt's apartment)!

Katie and I have some REALLY exciting plans for Sunday. I asked (ok, BEGGED) for our company suite tickets for the TAYLOR SWIFT concert on Sunday. NEEDTOBREATHE is also opening up the concert and last year became one of my favorite Christian artists.This concert sold out MONTHS ago and Taylor had to reschedule back in July. Those of you that know me, know that I am slightly obsessed with Taylor's music and her! (Just ask my dad - I forced him to listen to her for 15 hours driving me to Atlanta from Chicago) Needless to say, I am SO excited for Sunday. Katie and I are going to make brunch (her sausage pinwheel recipe) then start the getting ready process. 
We also decided to go to Taco Mac at Phillip's Arena before the concert. Taco Mac has DELICIOUS food and you can take the pickiest of eaters there and they will still likely find something to eat! Katie and I both like the Shrimp and Avacado Salad. It is SUPER low in points without the cheese and using salsa as your dressing!
Source: tacomac.com
We are going shopping Saturday with Sehar to try to find me a new outfit! We are going for a cowgirl look! :) I'm sure I will take 1289797 pictures, so I will post some here!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

RECIPE: Corn and Red Pepper Chowder!

In honor of this "fall like" weather we are experiencing here in beautiful Metro Atlanta, I wanted to share with all of you one of my favorite recipes! I found this recipe in an old Better Homes and Gardens magazine when they were featuring heart healthy recipes. Heart health is very important to me. Last year, I had two catheter ablations to fix an issue called SVT. I am HAPPY to report that since Thanksgiving of last year I have had NO heart problems! YAY! :) Taking care of your heart by eating right and exercise is probably the biggest gift you can give yourself!

Corn and Red Pepper Chowder (Better Homes and Gardens Magazine Feb 2010, with modifications)

5 cups frozen corn (I use 2 regular size bags, no need to measure)
2 leeks (cleaned and chopped - see below)
1 onion (chopped)
1 red pepper (chopped)
2 chicken bullion cubes (you can leave out the bullion and water and replace with reduced sodium chicken broth if you have it on hand - 2 14 oz cans)
4 cups water
3 tablespoons cilantro (or more if you'd like!)
1/8 tsp cayanne pepper (to taste, no need to be precise)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Take your 4 cups of water and add the chicken bullion and dissolve. Set aside. Next, take the leek and chop (white and light green parts only). Place leek into cold water and seperate then drain. (This is important to make sure all the dirt gets out!). Next, take the onion and sautee with cooking spray in a large pot or dutch oven . Add the leek and cook for 5 minutes until tender. 

Add the corn next and cook until the corn softens (~5 min). Add 2 cups of your chicken broth and bring to a boil reducing the heat once boiling. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until your corn is tender. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Transfer half of the corn mixture into a blender or food processor and add your cilantro. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Return pureed mixture to your pot.

Add the remaining 2 cups of broth and the chopped red pepper, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Heat through and enjoy!

When I put this into recipe builder, I get 5 P+ per serving (Total 6 Servings at 1 1/3 Cups per Serving). I have also added salad shrimp before reheating and want to try adding crab or rotissiere chicken! This will alter the P+ values, but will add protein! :)

While you are here, I would like to recommend checking out the American Heart Association's website! Lots of good ideas and recipes regarding a healthy heart can be found on their site! I personally like their Go Red for Women campaign and got a free cute red dress pin just for registering!

What do YOU do to keep your heart healthy?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hello Monday!

So I have started of list of blog topics of things I feel are worthy of putting on here. Here are a couple of product reviews from some 'newer' items on the shelves that I have tried recently!

1) Snackwells
White Fudge Drizzled Caramel Popcorn:

Many of you might remember 'old school' snackwells. Fairly flavorless, boring packaging...but behold Nabisco has chosen to revamp the Snackwells brand and in turn have come up with a couple of new tasty treats! My first sampling of this delicious white chocolate covered Popcorn was over Memorial weekend when I visited one of my best friends in Raleigh. His mom works for Nabisco and had given him a couple of boxes. I expected it to taste kind of bland, but boy was I wrong! This white chocolate covered caramel popcorn is DELICIOUS! For only 3 Points+ for all you weight watcher friends out there it is a 'bargain' pointswise. There is just enough in the bag where you don't feel the need (okay, maybe you do) to open 10 bags! I highly recommend. (PS: the milk chocolate fudge drizzled is pretty good as well)

One thing I would recommend NOT buying from the new Snackwells line is their Rich Vanilla Creme Brownie Bites. These things are just very BLAND and not worth the money (or the Points+)!

2) Lean Cuisine Market Creations

One thing for sure, I LOVE to eat. I almost ALWAYS hate when the end of my meal is near. I must not be alone in this since Lean Cuisine has decided to come out with a line of 'larger' meals that come in steamer bags. These are typically included on the 4 for $10 or whatever sale your local grocer offers and it is a great value for lunches when you simply don't have time or energy and need a quick grab. I have tried a few different flavors that I have rated below! I have also tried one of the Weight Watcher Smart One bags, but being more expensive (typically) and less flavorful, the clear winner is Lean Cuisine! These meals have around 7 Points+ per bag!

Chicken Poblano: A- (A little spicier of a sauce would put this over the edge to an A+) - Thanks to my brother for recommending this one! Definitely the All-Start of the ones that I have tried!

Asiago Cheese Tortelloni:  B (Needs a little more salt - I also try to add more vegetables since there is plenty of sauce to go around)
Mushroom Tortelloni: B- (A little sweeter than I like my meals, but still VERY good)
Garlic Chicken: B- (Just your average chicken, broccoli and pasta...)

Good job to the folks over at Lean Cuisine! Keep these bigger (MORE FILLING) portions coming our way! My only suggestion would be ADD MORE VEGETABLES!

Okay - these were the top two reviews I have wanted to write for a while! I am always on the lookout for new products!

Do you have any new (or old) products that you just LOVE? I'd love to hear your comments/reviews as well!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Welcome...or should I say... HEY!

It is no secret to my family and friends that I am VERY opinionated. And, let's be honest I believe I am ALWAYS right. I wanted to find a way to express my views/opinions/reviews to the World. I was inspired by a good friend of mine (thanks Katie!) to start blogging. I already have a list of potential posts! I'm not so great with words (definitely did not inherit that from my high school English teaching mother), so please bear with me. While my posts may not be lengthy, I do hope you will enjoy.

Let me start with a little about me:
My name is Betsy Lynne Godwin (and YES, I am a Betsy by birth not an Elizabeth). I am VERY sassy 26 years old living in Atlanta, GA. I am originally (and always will be in my heart) from North Carolina. I grew up in a small town called Spivey's Corner (Home of the NATIONAL Hollerin' Contest) and went to college a mere 45 minutes away at North Carolina State University (GO PACK!).  After graduating from NCSU, I took at job with Newell Rubbermaid that moved me to a suburb of Chicago, IL. Knowing I would only be there for a year, I tried to make the best of it (weather and all). Needless to say, I was relieved to be moved back to the south and landed in Atlanta in the summer of 2009. Fast forward 2 years, I am still working for Newell Rubbermaid as an indirect buyer. I have a good job, a nice apartment, and a very handsome boyfriend (see picture of us below). Life here in Atlanta is good! North Carolina will ALWAYS be home, but Atlanta is starting to feel that way!

Now I want to discuss the purpose of this blog. It is my intent to start sharing some reviews on recipes, restaurants, and new products.  I am always on the lookout to try the 'next new' thing whether upon recommendation from a family member or friends, I tend to ALWAYS have an opinion! I am a Lifetime member of Weight Watchers (WW), so many of my recipes and such will be WW friendly. Of course NOT all will be WW friendly, what fun is life without a little indulging every now and then?

I do hope you enjoy reading my blog!