Jul 19, 2009

Chefs That Influence My Cooking

First, sorry it has been a while since my last posting. I have been busy putting in extra time at work.

Anyhow, on to today's topic. I'm sure some of you may ask, "Where does your cooking influences come from?" Great question! Here are a few chefs that influence my everyday cooking.

1) Rachael Ray
Yeah, I know she can be a little obnoxious and goofy. She reminds me of myself when I get caught up in making dinner and get all excited when it's turning out perfect. For her to whip up a tasty meal in 30 Minutes is so helpful for those of us who have busy schedules. I love the fact that she can take some simple ingredients, add lots of flavor with spices, and not over complicate a meal. That's my kind of lady! http://www.rachaelray.com/

2) Rick Bayless
You can ask Joel, when Rick's show "Mexico-One Plate at a Time" is on PBS after work, it's like heaven. (Not really but you get my point.) The world seems to stop and for 30 minutes, I am in la la land. As you are may be aware, I am half Mexican and I am addicted to Mexican food. Since I only learned the basics of Mexican cuisine, from my dad, I knew I needed to expand my knowledge of Mexican food and try new things. That's where Rick's expertise has come into play. He has helped me understand how to add flavor and fun twists to everyday Mexican food. If I could buy stock in his Fontera brand I would. http://www.rickbayless.com/

3) Christina Pirello Christina is quite amazing. She is able to use organic whole foods and make great recipes. Her recipes are mainly vegan, which mean they do contain any meat or dairy. From the reading that I have done, I have learned that incorporating a vegetarian meal really helps our digestive system. Because Christina's recipes are made with organic whole foods, you do not feel bloated and heavy after a meal. http://www.christinacooks.com/

Well, now that you know where I get my influences from, I want to know where your cooking influences come from. Either post a comment or send me an email. Also, let me know one of your favorite recipes. I will post your comments on an upcoming post so we can all expand our recipe boxes.

Jul 7, 2009

Mixing Bowl Tuesday-Exercise

Ah, yes, exercise. That wonderful activity we all love doing. YEAH RIGHT! I admire those who can get up early, before work, and fit in 30 minutes of exercise, breakfast, a shower, and leave for work relaxed. That is just not my style, although I would really like to work my way into exercising in the morning so my evenings are not as busy.

Here is pics of what is currently on my TV stand for exercise options/DVD selections.
So, all that to say that I have successfully completed two consecutive days of exercise. On Monday I did 25 minutes of Jillian Michael's Cardio. Today I completed 45 minutes of Turbo Sculpt by Chelene Johnson. She is the one who created Turbo Jam. All in all I feel really good.

My main goal for exercising is to loose some precious pounds before trying to conceive "Baby Morse". I refuse to put on any baby weight on top of my current weight. Also, Joel and I will be going on vacation in August and we have a wedding to go to in October. You can bet that I refuse to freak out over trying to squeeze into a dress or pair of shorts that are too snug.

I have struggled with my weight since I got married in 2005. Prior to 2005, I was a very active. I played in a fall and summer volleyball league in high school so my body was in tip top shape. I admit to staring in the mirror and admiring muscle definition. I felt good, could eat what I wanted to, and could buy clothes right off the rack. Even into college, I was able to maintain my weight and stay fit.

Since 2005, I have gotten very lax in my exercising and have been eating poorly. The joke in our household was that I never learned how to make dinner for just Joel and I. I came from a family of five and we ate big. Let me rewind just a bit. I am half Mexican and my heritage's philosophy is eat until your full but make sure you get a second helping. It didn't help that many family get togethers were centered around amazing Mexican food. Anyhow, back to where I was. Oh, yes, my portion control issue. I would make a meal that would feed 4-6 people and Joel would ask, "Who is coming over for dinner?" I didn't value left overs so Joel and I would just eat everything that I made. That on top of not exercising lead me to putting on 20 lbs at the end of our first year of being married. Let me also add that I was also working nights at Outback Steakhouse. Stop all the food! I know, it sounds odd coming from someone who loves to cook and eat. Truth was that it was not healthy at all.

My goal is to stop late night snacking, watch what I eat, drink lots of water, and exercise 5 days a week. I'm not going to go gang busters and swear off ice cream or the occasional trip to Taco Bell. I have done that before and drove myself nuts. I will give myself boundaries and make sure if I have a "cheat day" that I put in a few more minutes of exercise.

With 4 weeks until we go on vacation in August, I would love to loose 10 pounds and fit into my clothes easier. That means I need to loose around 2 to 2 1/2 pounds per week. From what I have read, that is very obtainable. I am sure a day of detoxing to clean out the junk in my digestive track will also help rid myself of unnecessary weight.

Here's to the next four weeks to making healthier choices! I will keep everyone updated on how the health journey goes.

Jul 6, 2009

4th of July-Weekend Review

So it's been a great weekend. On Friday, Joel and I went to my parent's apartment for a BBQ/birthday party. It was great to spend time with my parent, grandparents, brother, sister, and brother-in-law. Our family get togethers are surrounded by great food, laughs, and family updates.

So I have to share what we purchased for my mom's birthday gift. We bought my mom Green Pans, see below.
http://www.green-pan.com/ . The GreenPans have been added to my "must have" list. Joel, hunny, (wink, wink) these would make a great anniversary gift.
Joel and I found these AMAZING pans at Target. My mom had originally found them on HSN (Home Shopping Network). Here's what makes these pans so AMAZING! The pans are not coated with Teflon, which is know to chip and be toxic, they are coated with Thermolon. The Termolon coating will never breakdown, the pans are oven safe, and can be heated up to 850 degrees. For more information, please visit

On Saturday, Joel and I went to his parents house for a 4th of July BBQ. We ate lamb chops, fillet mignon, salad, and cheesy potatoes. Boy were we stuffed. Joel's parents are great because, like my family, Joel's family loves good food. We had a great evening chatting, making s'mores over the campfire, and watching a variety of fireworks.

I have to share my favorite new kitchen/entertaining bowl that Joel bought me for my birthday. It is call Cold Bowl on Ice, picture below.

This new and nifty addition to my entertaining collection was used twice this weekend. I used it for fruit salad and a tossed salad. You simply put ice in the bottom of the bowl, set in the ventilation insert, and presto! Chilled salad or fruit that stays cold for the whole party. I loved the divider insert that has the dip cup, too. Since the bowl is made of clear acrylic, you get to see everything making for a nice presentation.
I am looking forward to having Monday off of work and getting some work done around the house. I really need to do some organizing and throwing out things I do not need or donating them to the Salvation Army.
Hope everyone had a safe, enjoyable, and blessed 4th of July weekend. God Bless!

Jul 3, 2009

Posting/Recipe #1

Welcome readers to The Morse Mixing Bowl! I call my blog The Morse Mixing Bowl because I have an obsession with cooking. Some ladies scrapbook, knit, or craft as a hobby. I find joy and relaxation in cooking. I almost went to culinary school in 2002 but instead honed my skills by watching endless hours of Food Network. Prior to 2002, I couldn't boil water. So a big thank you to Emeril, Bobby Flay, and Paula Dean for your wonderful recipes and techniques that I have learned over the past 6 years.

Ok, so I finally took the plunge into the wild world of blogging. I'm doing this in an effort to keep friends and family up to speed Joel and I's busy life. Oh, for those who just asked, "Who's Joel?", he is my wonderful husband of 3 1/2 yrs. I will expound more about him in posts to come.

So it's after midnight and I know I should be heading to bed. I have a long day ahead of me with a family BBQ to celebrate my mom and I's birthday. It is worth the little loss of sleep to get my blog finalized. Here's to many more great posts to come!