Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rosemary Beach

On the IPOD "Orange Colored Sky" by: Natalie Cole

Ugh! I feel like I've been holding back for a week, but it is a scary world out there and it was just better to not expose that my entire family was out of town!

So last Friday night my brother Adam, his wife Audra, my brother Andrew, his girlfriend Natalie, Mike, my Mom and I set out on an adventure to Rosemary beach, Florida. My mom rented a house there for all of us to stay in to celebrate her 70th birthday, which was in March but this is when we could all get away. We drove there; 3 cars, 14 hours, at least 3 hours of blinding rain on the way there, not exactly fun, but we made it at about 2pm Saturday afternoon (this is why the timing on the shot last week was so important...didn't really want to pull over on the side of the road with my mom in the back seat!!). I have been looking forward to this trip for months, I was also slightly nervous about it (a large amount of very strong personalities = disaster.) But I had gotten myself ready with the mantra "I will not be engaged!" And I held my ground pretty well.

I decided to let the diet go for one week and to enjoy this time with my family. I went into it knowing that the hormone shots were going to make me bloated and hungry and guess what, they lived up to it. I'm still carrying about 5 pounds of water weight and I'm not thrilled about it but hopefully in the next week it will all even out. The best thing about the trip was my morning run. Every morning I got up around 5:30 or 6:00 and ran on the beach. I'm not a big runner but running on the beach is different, it is like a meditation. The sand between your toes, the waves crashing against your feet, and the sun rising above your head. It still takes my breath away when I stare out into what looks like a never ending horizon of water. For that hour, I allowed myself to be in my head. This week I'm going to delve into all of those plan was to write blogs while I was in Florida each day and wait to post them until we got back but on the first day my husband gave me this look and said, "I need you to be here, that can wait." Well what are you supposed to say to that??? That is why you got two very short blogs in the last week. although the recipe part was true I did make some awesome dinners on the trip!!

To be honest, I am being extremely hard on my self about the 4-5 pounds staring at my face when I step on the scale, but I'm hoping since my hands hurt when I squeeze them together and my ring is tight, that it really is just water weight! I posted some more pictures from the trip on my facebook page. And today I'm going to post a video of the ocean that is pretty calming. If you are not my friend on facebook feel free to add me! This was a really emotional trip for me and I can't wait to share my thoughts with you...stay tuned!

xoxo chef a

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

3 way mirrors

On the IPOD "Black Horse and The Cherry Tree" by: KT Tunstall

Bathing suit shopping is like society's cruel game on every female. First of all you have to take at least three days to get yourself mentally ready to look at your body in a three way mirror(aka the devil). Then once you get to the store you have to wade through all the beauties modeling the tiniest bikinis available (the only glory in this is knowing that they are most likely looking at their bodies in disgust as well.)

A couple of days ago I went on a mission to find a bathing suit that looked...well...good! I got to the store grabbed a stack of ten and headed for the dressing room. At first I was hoping that I was going to find a fantastic suit that made me look like a supermodel, but as I became more beat down by the vision in the mirror my desire to look like a supermodel turned into a desire to find one that just fit and looked half way decent. The most difficult thing about buying a bathing suit is spending a bloody fortune on something that you feel just ok in... I finally settled on a two piece tankini, a little black skirt and a teal (yes i said teal) halter tank with a built in under wire bra. The bra was a necessity... it is amazing how much skinnier you look with a good bra on, it made such a difference that I was willing to turn my back on my signature color of black. I mean don't get me wrong I am not going to be wearing it out on the town any time soon, but if I need to say go to the beach I will at least be prepared!!

I made the best fish tacos last night. I used a fish called Cobia, it was fantastic! The tacos were whole grain crispy shells, blackened Cobia, shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, feta, and a little guacamole. But the best part was the spicy avocado cream sauce that I served on top. You could use it in about a million ways: enchiladas, taco salad dressing, as a dip with queso and salsa. Here is the recipe:


1 pint sour cream (You can use light) but I always use "Daisy"
1 large avocado
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 cloves of garlic
2 T red onion, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Put first 5 ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. And chill until ready to use.

xoxo chef a

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My trip to the vet...

On the IPOD "Ghost" by: Indigo Girls

So this fertility stuff is getting quite humorous. I went to the doctor Friday morning to get a trigger shot, not knowing that there was going to be a firm time table on when we had to "do laundry". When the doctor and I realized that the time table didn't work he explained to me that I could just give it to myself and the nurse went ahead and taught me how. I'm pretty sure that during the lesson I completely tuned her out and was just focusing on the prospect of putting a needle into my own skin... So I left the office knowing that I needed to find a way to get this shot in the next 4 hours. I called anyone who I thought might be able to do it and timing wise nothing worked. I finally had a last minute thought to call my vet. Yes you read correctly I actually called the vet to see if by any chance they would give me a fertility shot. You know you've hit rock bottom when you are getting shots at the vet :) . They were totally on board no problem at all thank goodness. I just wish I had a picture of me bending over right next to the dog scale!!!

Hey I went away thinking that if by chance I actually do get preggers at least I will have a really good story to tell my child about how much we wanted him/her.

To be honest the shot sucks, I feel slightly (lol) emotional and I'm surrounded by family, which leads to a fun mix to say the least!!! "May the force be with me!!!" Anyways I made an amazing dinner last night:

Chopped salad with cajun grilled shrimp and bloody mary sauce
Lemon Butter Grilled Mahi-Mahi
Smashed Potatoes
Oven roasted Asparagus

Yum so good!!

And now Im heading off for a run... to work off that lemon butter sauce!! Ill check back in later...

xoxo chef a

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Checked Out

On the IPOD "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

What does the idea of NO MORE DRAMA mean? I think that in general we as a society have mixed feelings about it... On one hand we really don't want to be involved and on the other we just can't seem to look away.

It has been brought to my attention that I'm an easy target for drama. It probably stems from the fact that I'm a pleaser... I allow myself to be right in the thick of it... And I can't anymore!

When I wake up in the morning I have to make a conscience effort to pick myself. I'm so used to spending my time "working" on all of my friends that I can honestly say it is painful at times when the phone rings and I know that I shouldn't pick it up.

Yesterday morning I had a visit with the OB/Gyn. The nurse calmly sat me down in the waiting room and said, "I feel your tenseness, the stress needs to stop if you want to get pregnant." Ha! easy for her to say...trying to get pregnant is like waiting for water to boil. You want it to happen so quickly so you just sit there watching it, like somehow that is going to speed it up. Unfortunately the more she spoke with me the more I realized that she was not talking as much about my stress over the pregnancy, it was more about the outside stress that she could see permeating through my brain. Who knew I was so transparent??

I guess I'm a slow learner because it is just now hitting me that sometimes you just have to sit back and watch the drama pass you can't help the ones drowning in it without drowning yourself. And it is extremely difficult to watch!

My friend Lisa and I have created a code word...whenever we are being engaged by the drama, instead to picking up the phone or sending a unnecessary text to the drama devils, we just simply text each other the word, vagina! I mean in general it's pretty hard to not laugh when you see the word (or derivatives of the word) pop up on your phone. I guess it's our simple cry for help...

I completely checked out yesterday...I needed a day to feel the frustrations of infertility. I needed to cry and mope and really give myself an opportunity to grieve over the fact that I'm not one of those girls that can just think about having a baby and then all of the sudden be pregnant (BTW I have thought I was this girl my whole life, like a Fertile Mertle) This infertility stuff is like a bad dream!

I ended my day with a chef meeting at a place called "Chocolate Secrets". They have the most beautiful delicious french chocolates. And it is true, chocolate just makes you feel better!!

I do have one exciting bit of news... I was shocked to get on the scale last night and see that I have lost 7.5 pounds in the last 10 days. WHOO HOO!!!

xoxo chef a

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

No More Drama

On the IPOD "No More Drama" by: Mary J. Blige

So tired
Tired of all this drama
You go your way
I go my way (no more, no more)

So tired
Tired of all this drama

Broken heart again
Another lesson learned
Better know your friends
Or else you will get burned
Gotta count on me
Cuz I can guarantee that I'll be fine

No more pain (no more pain)
No more pain (no more pain)
No drama (no more drama in my life, no ones gonna make me hurt again)
No more in my life

Why'd I play the fool
Go through ups and downs
Knowing all the time
You wouldn’t be around
Or maybe I liked the stress
Cuz I was young and restless
But that was long ago
I don’t wanna cry no more

No more pain (no more pain x2 )
No more game (no more games messing with my mind)
No drama (no more drama in my life, no ones gonna make me hurt again, no more)
No more in my life

No more tears (no more tears, I'm tired of crying every night)
No more fears (no more fears I really don’t wanna cry)
No drama (no more drama in my life I don’t ever wanna hurt again)
No more in my life
Wanna speak ma mind wanna speak ma mind

Hooh it feels so good
When you let go
Of all the drama in your life
Now you're free from all the pain (free from all the pain)
Free from all the games (free from all the games)
Free from all the stress (free from all the stress)
So find your happiness

I don’t know
Only god knows where the story ends for me
But I know where the story begins
It’s up to us to choose
Whether we win or lose
And I choose to win

No more pain (no more pain, no more pain, tired of crying)
No more game (tired of your planning games with my mind)
No drama (no more drama in my life)
No more in my life (no more x6)

No more tears (No more tears, no more crying every night)
No more fears (No more waking, be up in the morning)
No drama (leave me alone, go ahead)
No more in my life (hey yeah)

No more pain (no more)
No more games (no more games, I’m tired, I’m so tired)
No drama (No more x6)
No more in my life
No more

No more drama (I’m tired of all this drama)
No more drama (go ahead, go ahead, you demons getting out of my face)
No more drama (go get a my life, I'm about to lose my mind)
No more drama (help me, help me sing)

No more drama (no more drama, no more, no more)
No more drama (yeah)
No more drama (no, no more)
No more drama (help me sing, I need a piece of mine 3x)

No more drama (yeah all I need, hide but nicely I need to know that you are free)
No more drama

Oh no x2
No more x2
No more drama x2
In my, in my... life

So tired (I'm so tired)
Tired of all this drama
(Oh help me please....)"


xoxo chef a

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fields of Gold

On the IPOD "Fields of Gold" by: Eva Cassidy

It feels like I've been waiting forever to use this song, but here it is... One year ago today I said I do to the most incredible man I know and this is the song that I picked to walk down the isle to. To be honest the song was picked way before we were even engaged! The lyrics say it all:

"I never made promises lightly,
and there have been some I've broken
But I swear in the days still left,
We'll walk in fields of gold"

I can only hope that every year is like this past year... Full of excitement, love, and growth. I don't think I would have been able to take this blog journey without all of the support and encouragement from Mike. As cliche as it sounds, he completes me.

We started celebrating on Saturday night with an unbelievable dinner at Five-Sixty by Wolfgang Puck in Reunion Tower Downtown. It was phenomenal!

First Course:
Hamachi and Tuna Sashimi, Daikon Kaiware Salad, Sticky Rice, Yuzu Ponzu
Sauteed Crabcakes, Red Thai Vinaigrette, Mango-Cucumber Relish

Second Course:
Beef Filet "Au Poive" Snow Pea, Wild Mushrooms, Smoked Shallot Sauce
Wok Fried Whole Sea Bass, Ginger, Ponzu and Thai Chili Sauce

Dessert: Fuji Apple Crumble a la mode

After dinner we met some of our best friends for a drinks and then headed home. Such a good night!

This morning I let Mike sleep in and I went to have birthday breakfast with my favorite two year old Asher. We had a blast, there is nothing like seeing a 2 year old on a sugar high!

After breakfast, I came back home and Mike and I spent the day relaxing, well with one trip to the furniture store (geez we're so married lol!)

We went for a quick low key dinner and managed to get back in time for The American Country Music Awards... I love me some music awards shows :)

So last year I went to a lot of trouble vacuum sealing the top of our wedding cake. For a year it has looked perfect, completely air tight and ready to just be defrosted. Well here was the day, I let it thaw in the fridge over night and even though our bakery provided us a new cake (which we got in the grooms cake flavor since neither of us got to have a piece at the wedding!) I still insisted that we both take a bite of the original to insure some good luck. Well let me assure you that it doesn't seem to matter if it is just frozen in plastic wrap or vacuum sealed, year old cake is just gross!!!

Now it's Monday morning and it's off to work once again...

Happy Anniversary Mike! I love you with all of my heart!

xoxo chef a

Friday, April 16, 2010

Blame it on the Clomid...

On the IPOD "Crazy Bitch" by: Buckcherry

Have you ever had an out of body experience??? Well I can honestly say today I did!

Background story but not an excuse... I have not been feeling great...Infertility drugs are definitely wreaking havoc on my stomach, upside is I can't eat (lol) downside makes me a "tad" irritable. So much so that I cancelled my client Friday morning because I knew I had a big dinner party last night. And I just needed some time... I also don't normally discuss client issues but to tell you the truth I need to vent!

I would say that in general I'm pretty even tempered at work, but I have my moments... I do like things done a certain way but usually I'm pretty calm about it. Friday was different! This dinner party has been planned for months...the menu was agreed too as well as the price but about 2 days ago I was called and asked to add some things. I explained that adding the items would change the price and that I would send her the invoice asap. Yesterday I got a call from her pretty much screaming at me telling me that she hired me because she thought I would be cheaper than another caterer (One I actually know!), but now we were the same price! She went on to say that because I don't have as much overhead as him then my prices should be cheaper! Note to client: not a good idea to tell Amanda how to run her business when you have no idea what her business costs are and especially when they just raised her dose of clomid.

Well let's just say this rubbed me the wrong way... And I lost it! As my friend Jessica would say, I completely fell off my rocker! Just to be clear I am not in the business to be cheap! When you hire a large caterer you are paying some 20 year old kid who has no training and is making minimum wage to make your cheap food. When you hire me I do all the work myself with minimal help. I shop at local stores and buy the best ingredients I can. And guess food is way better! It is like the difference of going to a real doctor and going to the nurses office at a high school. Come to find out later in the night that the real reason I was hired over the other caterer is that I can make one of her mom's recipes and "blah blah catering company" can't do it (they have tried and failed!) My real issue is that if you have a problem with the price just call me and we will figure it out. I am in no mood to be talked down to!

It took everything I had to pull it together before the party started but I did... Funny thing is that all I heard all night was how amazing the food was. There was even a man there who used to be a caterer in the Dallas area but has since moved and his remarks were simple, "Your food and service were magnificent. How do you do it all by yourself? It's really amazing!" That comment right there definitely made the night more worth it! I have worked way too hard in my career to be referred to as the cheap one!!!! Thank you very much!

xoxo chef a

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


On the IPOD "Keep Breathing" by: Ingrid Michaelson

First off I have to tell you that I just took the most amazing Nia class called "Soundings". The music is like an opera, it tells the story of a warrior who goes off to war and then once the war is over he has to figure out who he really is... It is interesting to me that this happened to be the routine we did on a day that I was already so introspective about my own journey...

I want to talk with you about love! What does it mean to say that you love someone...I wish that there were a million other words to describe types of love but unfortunately there is only one real word that describes whatever love is supposed to mean. I hope I'm not rambling...

Is it possible to love someone if you don't love yourself?

For years while I was just dating Mike I thought we were in love...we lived with each other and had a life together, but looking back it wasn't real love. It was a sort of toxic love...each of us taking a turn hurting each other and then loving each other. Most likely if we had married then we would surely be divorced today. I cant speak for him but I know that for myself there is no way that I could have possibly loved him when I was so unhappy with myself. I would say that we truly fell in love with each other about a year and a half ago. I was slowly recovering from the death of my father and we went to see a therapist to see if there was something worth saving...

Our therapy sessions ended when we were at a crossroads... Pretty much the therapist asked, "What are you looking for in this relationship?" We had all the wrong answers and we left the session thinking that our relationship was over. There were tears and hurt feeling and fear for what the future held. But something happened on the drive home, I let go ... I let go of my incessant need to control the situation. I let go of my fear of abandonment. I let go my constant worry that he didn't love me for me and I decided that whether he loved me or not I was going to try to love myself. I slowly realized that I was worth something and I gave myself permission to be loved. And then all of the sudden nothing on the list of what I was looking for compared to my desire to share my life with or poor, kids or no kids, house or no house...

Over the last year I have realized that eveything I thought about love was just Hollywood. I have learned that real love is not about presents and romantic get aways (although those do help!) It is really about helping each other become the best version of yourself. I know now that love is selfless. And although it is hardwork and can even be painful at times there is not a minute in my life that I question my choice.

So I guess my question to you is what does love mean to you and are you really allowing yourself to be loved?

xoxo chef a

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Poteet Karaoke

On the IPOD "All-American Girl" by: Carrie Underwood

It is Sunday night, Day 3, of the Poteet Strawberry Festival. We have sold thousands of dollars worth of jelly. The hours have been ridiculous, Saturday was a 15 hour day...We have dealt with wind storms and overcast and even a little rain, but it was actually pretty fun!

I'll start with yesterday to get you caught up...

So the most amusing part of yesterday was that while I was looking through the schedule of events I noticed that there was Karaoke from 12-6 on one of the stages. Well since not everyone of you know me personally, I have to explain that Karaoke is in my blood. I just can't seem to stay away if I know that it is happening. So I told everyone I'd see them in a little while and headed to stage #7.

When I walked up I was inundated with pageant girls, some young some old, but all dressed up with their hair done. I walked right up to the DJ and explained my situation. "I'm here selling jelly and I only have a couple of minutes, is there any way you could squeeze me in?" She agreed to let me up in two people! As I waited and watched the little girls singing their pre-rehearsed duet with their mom mouthing in the audience and the older man sing to his girlfriend, I wondered if I would be less or more nervous than when I sing at bars with all of my friends... I wasn't nervous at all, it even felt like the old days in high school and college when I actually preformed (I majored in Vocal Jazz Performance before switching to culinary school.) When I left the stage I felt great! Singing makes me feel stronger in my soul and I tend to forget that until I do it again. I was even approached by a woman looking for talent to play in a couple of bars in Corpus Christi (a small beach town in Texas)...I explained that although I was flattered, I live in Dallas.

When I got back to the booth, I told everyone what had happened and explained that if my parents had just taken me to Corpus as a child I could've been a contender!

I have to say that the most amusing thing about the weekend is that I am by no stretch of the means a wilderness girl...I'm not big on dirt, I don't really wear jeans, I don't like the outdoors unless its a beach and I have a very big problem with bugs. It is such a problem that my friend Lacey, whose mom runs the booth next to us, has to save me from various critters on a regular basis. It's not just "Princess Amanda" though, my aunt and my mom scream at a pretty high pitch too..

Food wise I didn't do terrible... although I did break down and have fries and teddy grams for dinner tonight! Lol!! But I walked around the festival so much that surely I worked off every calorie I put into my mouth and the fries were totally worth it!

I'll miss my friends here in Poteet and of course my family, but I'm very ready to get back to Dallas. I miss my husband, I miss my friends, I miss Nia and I miss Wonton. I don't really miss work :P !!

Signing off from the 2010 Poteet Strawberry Festival!

xoxo chef a

Thursday, April 8, 2010

And Poteet Begins...

On the IPOD "Sex on Fire" By: Kings of Leon

What does a girl really need on a short weekend trip to sell jams and jellies at the Poteet Strawberry Festival??? Well if your name is Amanda you need way too much stuff! You would have thought that I was moving in...

I'll give you the low down on what I brought, its quite enlightening!

4 pairs of black yoga pants
2 short black skirts
6 black tank tops
2 black sweaters
4 sets of black panties, bras, sports bras
1 black sweat shirt jacket

Do you notice a trend yet??

3 pairs of shoes
2 laptop computers (I wasn't going to take any chances...)
various beauty products
every possible medicine that I might ever need...
celery sticks
carrot sticks
A Box of Kashi Go Lean Crisp
Fresh made Tuna Salad, my little low cal cream cheese cups, and a bag of Baked bagel chips no oil or butter (from my favorite deli in Dallas!)

Nothing like being prepared for anything right?

I have made a big plan for the weekend. My plan is to work out as much as possible so that I can eat whatever I want! Good plan right?

So of course I had to work a little before we were able to leave town...What a shocker? 5 hours later we arrived in Pleasanton, Texas. Pleasanton is actually considered the "big town" next to Poteet. Poteet doesn't actually have a hotel or even a restaurant...

We went to Chili's for dinner which to be quite honest left a lot to be desired, but it is the only restaurant besides a trailer like building that has a sign saying, "steak house", uh... no thanks! When we got back to the hotel I went to work out and then called it a night...

The festival actually begins tonight, but we set up all morning and are now taking a short break before the fun begins! The fact that my mom, my Aunt Dorothy, my cousin Jeff and I are all staying in the same room (The hotel was overbooked) should make the trip all the more amusing...

Well I really just wanted to touch base with you... Before I get knee deep in jelly! My posts over the weekend will most likely be pretty entertaining and I will try to post lots of pictures so you can get the full effect.

Lots of love from Poteet, Texas

xoxo chef a

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Expectations of Gold Stars

On the IPOD "Save Me From Myself" by: Christina Aguilera

Yesterday was a tough day! As I said to my friend Jamie I seem to be just frustrated with my own personality. I know I have touched on the fact that I'm a pleaser, but I am discovering little by little that it is deeply related to my issues, food included! I think it has less to do with the actual pleaser part of me and more to do with my expectations of how I should feel after the pleasing is done. I guess in some ways I'm looking for a gold star. It is really not fair to my family and friends that I tend to give them so much power over how I feel about myself. I don't think anyone wants to feel like something they say or do is really going to phase someone else's self esteem. But I think probably more times than not our actions do phase others even if we don't want to...

I have a sometimes annoying need to spread the wealth... I feel very lucky that I have such amazing clients and that I have had unbelievable opportunities in my career. That being said I sometimes feel like it is my duty to help out the new guys on the block, whether they are other chefs or just friends that are small business owners. I think I sometimes forget how hard I worked to get where I am today... 11 years ago I think I might have walked away with about with $25 on my first cook day which easily took 7 hours. To get in with the right clients I have done much more than a standard cook day...I have organized their kitchens and gotten involved in their charities, I have rocked their kids to sleep and counseled their teenagers, I have been a secretary, a toddler tamer, a carpooler and a friend. I have been there when they first made their money, when they almost lost it and when they made it back again. I have cried with them, I have hugged them and I have in most cases I have become part of their family. My job is much more than just being a chef...sometimes I might bitch and moan about it, but I know that the dues that I paid have in general made me a better business owner.

So that being said I think I need to just stop helping people so much! Mainly because I am obviously not doing it just for them, I am somehow expecting to get something out of it, like say a gold star! To say that I'm going to stop helping my friends and family is a joke, it won't ever happen. But I really need to work on what my expectations are because the under appreciated feeling really sucks!

I still can't get over the fact that I rely so heavily on food to make me feel better. It is like in my head I have decided that it is just the miracle cure for anything. Unfortunately then the cycle continues... I have a bad day...blame myself for it...try to find some amount of comfort in food (and believe me its not a grilled chicken breast)...then I feel horrible guilt for eating the terrible off limits food...and then I just end up feeling bad again...

I know some of you feel that at times I am too hard on myself, well in general you are right but writing about this in such an honest way seems to be an eye opening experience and even though it doesn't always stop the behavior it at least allows me to see it and really be aware of it...

xoxo chef a

Sunday, April 4, 2010


On the IPOD "Crucify" by: Tori Amos

I'm going to start off by saying that I still can't get over my tan. My husband actually looked at me last night and said, "Alright stop looking at yourself already!" Ha ha I can't help it!

I am of having shpilkes(pronounced SH-PILL-KEYS)...Shpilkes is a Yiddish term that means nervous energy; to be feeling "antsy." You might ask me, "Amanda, why are you having shpilkes?" Well to be honest I don't know if I have ever not had shpilkes...But at the moment I think it has to do with going out of town for work in two days...The Poteet Strawberry Festival!

First of all, I'm not keen on leaving my husband on the only days he has off! Second I'm really annoyed that I'm going to miss Nia (I have even looked three times to make sure the hotel has an adequate workout room, which in the small town of Poteet, Texas is actually asking quite a lot!) And lastly but probably the most troubling is that I am very concerned about my eating situation... The food there is not healthy to say the very least... There are lots of gorditas, burritos, strawberry shortcake, pies, chocolate covered strawberries, tacos etc....

I'm a tad frustrated that it is taking more and more discipline to lose each pound and it scares me that this one weekend could throw me into a tail spin. Don't worry I have already decided that I'm going to grill a bunch of chicken breasts and take some other standard healthy food but to be real honest I cant imagine that I'm going to want to take my chicken out of the cooler and eat it instead of the authentic Tex Mex that is being prepared and sold by the locals all over the fairgrounds and on every street leading up to the entrance!

I know some of you are thinking, it's only one weekend Amanda just don't worry about it and have fun. Well unfortunately, I don't trust myself... Even after all the weight I have lost and all the good choices I am still currently making, I know that the bad choices are just lurking around the corner waiting for me to ask for their is a constant battle of good versus evil. This just leads me back to my ongoing wish that I would just wake up would solve everything! Ugh!

xoxo chef a

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Newest Hawaiian Tropics Plus Size Model

On the IPOD "Just Dance" by: Lady GaGa and Colby O'Donis

So as you all know, I started this blog to find the real me. Because of that I decided a while ago that if I have an opportunity to try something new then I'm just not going to not think about it and instead just take it.

For the last 20 years or so I have been ridiculed for my extremely fair skin. My brothers, who are both extremely tan not just because they spend time outdoors but because it is just in their genes, constantly made fun of me for it. They would tell people I was scared of the sun! As I grew up I took full ownership of my magnolia colored skin. If someone made a comment I would quickly quirk back, "well tell me how you feel about it in 20 years when I have no wrinkles!"

If truth be told I would love a little sun glow, but believe it there is no way in hell that I am going to be laying out in a bathing suit! So when I was approached to try this new all natural spray tan called SunFX and I found out that it was mobile and that this amazing girl would come to my house and do it right there for me in complete privacy, I immediately signed up! The best thing about it is that it is custom so she is able to highlight your best areas and distract from your worst.

All day yesterday I had butterflies in my stomach...I was not only worried about changing the color of my skin (yes I'm aware it's not permanent) but I was also more worried about the whole undressing factor.

When Tiffany arrived at my house, she completely put me at ease. She even agreed to work around the armour that I refused to take off, (boy-shorts and an old tank top that I had in such a way that she could spray my chest without being fully exposed.) Hey lets be honest I wasn't really worried about the tan lines that no one except my husband will ever see. I explained to Tiffany that she was dealing with virgin skin, I have never spray tanned or even used tanning lotion and lets be honest I am a little scared of the sun!

I decided to stick with a level one because I didn't want to get crazy or anything. So after she set up her completely private tanning tent, I lotioned up my hands and feet and we got right to it...It was a little cold but not too bad and I was much more comfortable that I thought I would ever be. Even when I had a boob pop out...I just grabbed it real quick and shoved it back in. Within about 5-10 minutes I was done! And all I have to say I looked pretty amazing. I have never been tan like this in my life.

I actually can't stop starring at myself. I have this completely natural looking glow with even skin tone and on top of that it makes me feel skinnier!! I called Mike at work and told him that I hope he is ready to see the newest Hawaiian Tropics plus size model, he laughed! Who would have ever thought that a tan would make me feel so good about myself. I'm pretty sure that I'm signing up for this on a regular basis. SunFX is completely different than other formulas out there...I mean I see girls all the time that have gone way too far and are various shades of orange but this is a beautiful golden color that looks totally natural.

If you are in the Dallas area call Tiffany Ackerman, she is a trained specialist with SunFX and she will either come to your house or you are able to go to her at the Michael Flores Salon. She is completely professional and she has a good heart which are the two things that matter the most to me. This is not just for movie stars but it does make you feel like a movie star! When I told her that I was going to write about how good I feel she offered to give all of my readers a 15% discount on a home or salon visit. Pretty cool of her if you ask me. Just mention Chef Amanda when you call!!!

Tiffany Ackerman
SunFX Specialist

If you are not in the Dallas Area but are still interested in SunFX Spray Tan, you can go to their website and find a salon near you.

xoxo chef a

Disclaimer: I was not paid nor did I receive any compensation for featuring this service on my blog!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Happy Birthday Sharon!!

On the IPOD "And So It Goes" by: Billy Joel

I'm feeling a bit of mixed emotions at the moment...I just got back from an amazing Nia class and group dinner to celebrate Sharon's Birthday. Sharon is an amazingly strong unbelievable woman in my class who is fighting a very difficult battle with cancer.

Last week I made Sharon a playlist ie:mix tape for her to listen to during chemo. It wasn't just that I wanted to but more that I had to... After following her story and hearing about the infusion room which I remember way too well, all I could think about were the playlists still listed on my ipod under such titles as: For Daddy, Chemo, Joe Bill... What you don't know is that my Dad was the ultimate playlist maker. He made CDs for everyone of his friends and not just one but tons...He would usually put a picture of himself (Gotta love the narcissistic behavior) on the cover and either hand deliver or mail them all over the world. When he got sick, we bought him an Ipod...and when he felt the worst I would put together playlists of music for him and load it on to his very own ipod. Today when I go into the back rooms of my mom's house and still see the rows and rows of CDs, I feel a certain amount of comfort, knowing that these were his favorite things. My brothers and I feel like sometimes it is just too quiet in the house without the blare of music coming from the back...maybe that's why the music is so important to me in class...

I don't think my Dad ever accepted that he had cancer and that's what makes Sharon different. She is so incredibly positive about the situation, I mean are you kidding me she went from a chemo treatment to Nia class today! She said something last night that made me really think...She said that she doesn't understand why people refer to the chemo as poison, when what they should think is that how could you call something poison that is going to save your life! My Dad called it poison hopefully that was his mistake and hopefully Sharon's incredibly positive spirit will cure her.

All I know is that seeing this woman, who is fighting for her life, dance is one of the most inspiring things I think that I have ever been lucky enough to witness. Chances are that Sharon will receive many more playlists from me...I mean I am my father's child.

This all kind of makes it silly that I'm still somewhat worried about the 2 ounces of salad dressing that I used at dinner!

I'm giving you one of my favorite recipes...It is a weight watchers recipe that I have tweaked a little bit.

Jalapeno Chicken

4 Servings or more

8 4oz thin chicken breasts
4 tsp or 1 package of low sodium taco seasoning (homemade if you want)
1 tsp of olive oil
4-6 ounces of really good pepperjack cheese

Heat grill or (non-stick saute pan). Trim chicken well and mix with the oil or a little bit of cooking spray and taco seasoning in a plastic bag. Grill chicken about 3-4 minutes on each side or until nicely marked and cooked through but not dry (times many very based on thickness of the chicken.) Place in a glass pyrex dish and cover with shredded cheese. You can either bake now or prepare up to this point and heat to serve later.

Bake at 350* for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly and chicken is hot.

Hope everyone has a great day!

xoxo chef a