Posted in Recipes

Recipe of the Weekend: Chicken Balls

**Disclaimer: I absolutely LOVE chicken. I could eat it everyday, and just about do! You will be seeing a ton of chicken recipes from me.**

Last night I made one of my other favorite, go-to recipes: Chicken Balls. I first had it when my sister made it, and I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread! They are baked chicken balls stuffed with cheese and rolled in bread crumbs… who doesn’t love chicken and cheese?!? (if you don’t, well…. like the buffalo haters I have recently discovered exist *gasp*, bless your heart too!).

The originals my sister made (and I have no idea where she got the idea or recipe from), was just chicken rolled in bread crumbs… after making it a few times, I decided to step it up a bit and add some more flavor. Mine are BBQ Chicken Balls. And they are darn good!

So, here goes!

 

First off, you’ll need the following ingredients (full recipe at the end of the post):

2 lbs of ground chicken meat (can be found at H-E-B or Wal-Mart)
Either cheese cubes (your favorite flavors) or Fat-Free Mozzarella Sticks (sliced into fourths)
Panko Italian Breadcrumbs (they have more flavor)
BBQ Sauce (I use Stubbs) (you can also roll it in Buffalo Sauce also!)
Seasonings (Garlic, onion, chicken seasoning, salt, pepper… to taste)
Disposable Gloves (because it feels GROSS) (optional of course)

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Don’t forget to lay it all out on the counter and take an awkward picture of it.

Put the BBQ sauce and Panko breadcrumbs in 2 separate small bowls. You can use regular breadcrumbs that you get from the grocery store, but I find that the Panko Japanese Style Bread Crumbs are more coarse and gives it a better crunch and texture (basically like it’s fried).

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Put the chicken in a bigger bowl, and add the seasoning… I go all Food Network Chef Star in this aspect, I just add some and don’t tell you the exact amounts… because I literally don’t know. You can’t really screw it up too much.

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THEN, set it all up, assembly line style. It will make it way easier and less messy, trust me. Remember to set out the cheese cubes BEFORE you start messing with the chicken… I always seem to forget those and have to take off the gloves and grab it out of the fridge. I use gloves because I ain’t about that salmonella life!

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Then, the fun part. Mix the chicken and the seasoning up good. Grab a little bit of chicken meat and put some cheese (1-2… heck, 3 if you’re feeling feisty) in it.

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Then grab some more chicken meat and pat it into a ball (should fit in the palm of your hand, or smaller).

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After making it into a ball, roll it in the BBQ sauce. As much as you want (this step is optional of course, you can leave it without rolling it in a sauce). Then roll that in the bread crumbs until it is covered. Put the chicken ball on a baking sheet with parchment paper (or a greased baking sheet).




Then bake it for 25 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

After they are done, and a nice golden brown, cut into a big one to make sure they are, in fact, done. If not, put them back in for a few minutes.


Enjoy these delicious chicken balls. I usually make them early in the week and bring them to work in my lunch throughout the week. Josh loves them, and Kingston (the pup) loves when I “accidentally” drop cheese cubes on the floor while making them. 😉
Recipe:

BAKED CHICKEN BALLS

425°F for 20-25 minutes      |      5 WW SmartPoints for each chicken ball

Ingredients:

2 lbs ground chicken meat
4-6 sticks of Mozzarella string cheese (or cheese cubes)
1-2 c. Panko bread crumbs
BBQ sauce (or buffalo, or anything your little heart desires)
salt/pepper, to taste
garlic/onion powder, to taste

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a bowl, combine ground chicken meat and seasonings.
  3. In 2 small bowls, put bread crumbs in one, and BBQ sauce in another.
  4. Grab a small handful of chicken meat, put a piece(s) of cheese in the middle, then grab another small handful of meat and form into a ball.
  5. Roll in BBQ sauce, then roll in bread crumbs and place on a baking sheet with parchment paper (or greased baking sheet).
  6. Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes (I cook more towards 25 minutes to ensure that they are done).

 

And that’s it. Simple, painless, and delicious. This makes about 7-8 balls, you can maybe get 9 or 10 if you make them smaller. When looking for the ground chicken in the grocery store, check out near the ground beef and pork section, I usually find it there. ALSO, it wouldn’t be a recipe from me without some WeightWatchers points: these are about 5 WW SmartPoints for each chicken ball (this all depends on what types of cheeses you use, I use the fat-free/skim milk mozzarella string cheese). Not bad!

Enjoy!

 

-Jill

 


Posted in Weight Loss

Operation: Shrink that Booty

Okay, so if you have ever seen me, or especially have known me since high school/middle school, you know I’ve always been a bit of a “chunky monkey” (you will come to find out that I don’t say the 3 lettered “F” word).  I’ve never been that popular, skinny girl.  I’ve gotten by with my absolutely-positively sweetness  and big booty all my life.  It’s not easy for a chunky monkey out there… especially growing up.  It got tough at times (and I’m SO glad social media wasn’t as big of a factor back then).  I can’t imagine what kids these days have to go through…. kids are MEAN!  Although some of those that made fun of me growing up have grown up themselves and became great, respectful individuals… I pray that they raise their children to not bully others for ANY reason.

I cannot blamed on my parents, or my health (thyroid, etc.) for me growing up chunky…. it was always MY eating habits.  My parents tried their hardest to get me to eat healthy, but I never wanted any of that… bless their hearts.  Within the past 10 years, I found that I have binge-eating disorder, meaning, I can eat and eat and eat, and never feel satisfied (although I feel full and to the point where I can’t eat anymore)– not the same as bulimia (I’d never vomit, that’s nasty), but I would eat till I literally couldn’t, then feel regret and depression from eating that much, and then eat those feelings away too.  I take medicine for it now, which helps A LOT, but growing up, I didn’t know that I may have had it… I was just always hungry! And not hungry for veggies (which I just started eating about 2 or 3 years ago– I’m 27!), or fruits, or anything healthy for that matter. I was hungry for corndogs, hotdogs, chicken nuggets, french fries, chips, cookies, and more cookies (and can’t forget the twinkies!).  It was about my freshmen year in high school when I hit my highest weight… I got to 275 pounds… and that was just the number I remember before I stopped getting on the scale, Lord knows what my heaviest was (for reference, Clay Matthews of the Packers weighs 255 lbs) – see the pics below for what I looked like in high school.

Now, fast forward 4 years– I went away to college, to Texas State University – San Marcos.  It was there that I finally figured out that not only are kids mean, but sorostitutes (sorority girls – sorry, just the annoying, rich, mean girl ones… no offense if you are/were in a sorority, they are in fact fine organizations! ,<3) and frat dudes (can’t put on here what I really call them) are even meaner.  That whole first year, I did not make any friends, minus my roommates and one I already had before I got to San Marcos.  It got lonely, but I began to focus on myself and really began to “find myself”.  Sophomore-Senior year of college I found myself alright… under almost 100 lbs of fat that I had been hiding under. I got to my lowest of 165 during my senior year of college.  I lost it fast, but I felt great and was finally gaining confidence. It also helped that San Marcos is FILLED with hills and I worked in a restaurant where I was constantly on my feet. Those Texas State calves of steel baby! I had officially had the “Freshman -100 lbs”, instead of the notorious “Freshman 15”.

Fast forward again, to a few years ago after graduating college. I moved back home and packed on about 50+ lbs. It was devastating to myself to know that I had worked SO hard to get all of those pounds off and then I went and put half of it back on. I tried that first two years to go to the gym… although the gym membership I had before my current one, I only went to the gym TWICE… once to sign up, and one more time and found that my membership had expired a month before. Oops. I lost about 15-20 lbs with just walking in the afternoons and riding my bike. When Josh moved in, he would join me, which greatly helped.  He has and continues to be VERY supportive about my weight-loss goals.

But I was TIRED of feeling like I had disappointed myself.  So, I put my head into gear and joined WeightWatchers on December 31, 2015.  I decided that I wasn’t going to do the “New Years Resolution” bull-donkey crap. I was going to start that day– the day before new years AND on a Thursday, no less.  None of this “I’ll start Monday” crap.  Life doesn’t start on Mondays, you life is right now, it isn’t going to wait on Monday to get here for you to “be good”.  I did GREAT on WW throughout 2016. I lost 30 lbs, then I hit the dreaded plateau where I just couldn’t lose anymore pounds to save my life. I had hit a rut and all I wanted was ice cream and more ice cream, with a dash of kit-kats. Because.. ooooh child….. do I love me some ice cream and kit-kats.  I joined a gym in April 2016 and went 3-4 times a week ALL year (minus 1 week where my lower back decided that I needed to sit my happy ass down and rest).  I am continually proud of myself for actually going, and at 5-5:30 in the MORNING, at that!  Also, anyone who knows me knows that I love me some sleep… Oh, do I! I worked out so much last year that I actually got this month free at the gym with my rewards points!

After hitting that plateau, I mentally went on a food eating frenzy. I ate and ate and ate.  I wasn’t tracking my points for WW, and I could tell!  I was dehydrated from not tracking/drinking the water I needed, I began feeling my pants getting tighter… and I was totally, and completely ignoring my scale. I like to say that I put that bitch in the corner and it couldn’t come out until it apologized! I ignored my scale for 2 months (because of course I wanted to eat a bunch during my birthday month… then Thanksgiving came… excuses, excuses, excuses, blah blah blah).

It was 2 weeks before Christmas that I finally made peace with my scale, dusted it off, and stepped on it… only to find out… it was still a little bitch…. a little digital, cold, heartless little bitch. I had put on 10 lbs since I had hit my plateau months before. I had ignored myself, ignored my goals, and let my old habits take hold again.  I had felt disappointed in myself once again. So… even though I KNEW Christmas was coming, and that meant my mom’s cookies were in my near future… I threw out all the junk food in the house and started to detox from my old habits.  I began to track my food everyday again, and not eat too much candy and pace myself on my mom’s Christmas cookies.  I did good and I began to feel better.. not only about myself, but just physically, I could tell the difference between my old self and the me that tracked what I ate.

Its been a few weeks since then, and I have steadily been tracking what I eat, staying within my WW daily points, not eating out as much (and eating salads if I do…. minus the trip to Austin, which… well, when in Austin, eat as the foodies do), and bringing my lunch to work. Since the beginning of the year (which I didn’t track my weight in my WW app for December… it was too depressing).. I’ve lost 6 lbs. And I’m feeling more and more proud of myself again. I’ve already hit my goal for the month (which is to lose at least 1 lb per week).  If you think about losing 1 lb a week, that doesn’t seem like much… BUT if you lose 1 lb a week, that’s 52 lbs in a year! That would make me little miss skinny-minnie (*insert sassy whistle here*). This month, my little mini “monthly resolution” was to not eat any sweets… and I’m proud to say that I am 22 days clean. But Lord, I can’t wait for February 1st to have a little slice of something… anything sweet!  But going to pace myself.

I feel like I should introduce myself as, “Hi, I’m Jill. And I’m a sugar-holic. It’s been 22 days since my last irresistible, sweet bite of glorious fro-yo.”

So, I am vowing to myself… not only because I get married in 62 days (but who’s counting)… but I’m going to stay on-track with my WW and see what I can really accomplish! I AM going to hit goal weight this year… I AM going to continue to be proud of myself… I AM going to try to encourage others to accomplish their goals… I AM going to continue to be ME…. and I AM going to live this little thing we call LIFE.  Every day is a gift, and sitting here wasting it away elbows deep in a gallon of Blue Bell isn’t really being gracious for that amazing gift (even tho Blue Bell is the bomb.com (kids still say that don’t they??)).  I am going to show appreciation to myself and give myself what I deserve->  A happy, healthy life that I can be proud of.

Here’s to LIFE and to HAPPINESS and to GOALS!

^^I’d say I am doing pretty good! ^^

-Jill

Posted in Recipes

Recipe of the Week: Baked Cheesy Buffalo Chicken

So, I always turn to my little cookbook that I write recipes in that I have tried and they have won over the dinner table (and my tummy). This recipe is definitely high up on the list. This recipe is for the Baked Cheesy Buffalo Chicken. I LOVE buffalo chicken, don’t know why, but put some buffalo sauce on it and I’ll chow down.

I first saw this recipe on Pinterest last year, and had to try it. It comes from the Peanut Butter & Peppers blog (click to get to original recipe) and is originally a grilled chicken recipe. I am a PICKY eater. Like really picky…. or rather…. particular. Yeah, I like that title better. Anyways, try this and you’ll love it, I eat it, so you know it’s gotta be good. If you don’t, well… bless your buffalo chicken hating heart. It has so much flavor and is so easy and cheap to make. Also, it’s 4 SmartPoints WeightWatchers points! Win! I bake it instead of grilling it (mainly out of ease, but I don’t know how to grill anything, it’d still be raw on the inside if I tried). I’m going to give you the baked version of the recipe; if you want to grill it, follow the link and it’ll have those directions.

http://www.peanutbutterandpeppers.com/2014/03/18/grilled-cheesy-buffalo-chicken/

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^^ pretty pic of the finished product from the website I got it from (via Peanut Butter & Peppers)^^

Baked Cheesy Buffalo Chicken (4 WW SP per serving)

Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4 servings
  • Serving size: 4 oz.
Prep time:  10 mins
Cook time:  35 mins
Total time:  45 mins
Ingredients:
1 lb. Boneless Chicken Breast
Black Pepper
1/4 c. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (I use mozzarella slices – 1 slice per chicken breast)
1 tsp. Butter (I use Olivio Light “butter” spread – available at HEB)
1/4 c. Franks Hot Sauce
1/4 tsp. Celery Salt (or garlic powder – I use celery salt tho)
Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 375°F.
2.  Butterfly chicken breasts.  Sprinkle the inside with black pepper.  Evenly top the chicken with cheese (or put 1 slice (halved) in each breast) and fold over chicken to close it. Repeat for each chicken breast. Place in a greased glass baking dish.
3.  In a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave.  Stir in hot sauce and celery/garlic powder.
4.  Brush one side of the chicken with hot sauce mix, turn over, and do the same to the other side.  Repeat for each chicken breast, and spread the remaining wherever you want or just pour into dish (that’s where it all ends up anyways).
5.  Cook in the oven at 375°F for about 35 minutes, or until done.

Now enjoy the deliciousness of this juicy chicken (have yet to have it turn out dried out). I served it tonight with sweet potato fries (lightly seasoned with sugar and cinnamon mix) and a side salad (with buffalo ranch of course!).


Hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!

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^^my crummy cell phone pic of my finished product. I PROMISE it’s good!^^
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^^the cookbook I use (and my mom does too) to write recipes in… I got it at LTD Commodities for $6.98 and I’m slowly but surely filling it up (at least the dessert and chicken sections).^^
-Jill
Posted in General

First Post!

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So, I’ve been thinking and thinking and thinking. And I have a lot on my crafty mind, and I love to share it, but wanted an outlet where it would be easier to share my creation, general thoughts, stories, or journeys I’m currently on. Answer: this blog.

A little bit about me: My name is Jillian Lee (soon to be Jillian Layton). I live in Southeast Texas with my fiance, Josh, and fur-baby, Kingston (long-haired English cream dachshund). I’m an introvert, but internally I have TONS to say, but have always been too shy and timid. I’ve grown so much as a person in the past 10 years (woah, 10 years ago seemed like yesterday, it flew by!). I LOVE doing crafts. Like LOVE. I have a Silhouette Cameo and it’s for real my best friend (don’t know how I lived without it before). I like doing little projects around the house… which goes back to crafting. I have a Pinterest addiction. I am a “planner girl” and love decking out my planner (I have an Inkwell Press). I love snuggling with the boy and the pup (you’ll hear a lot about these two). I’ve been doing WeightWatchers for a little over a year now and have lost over 30 pounds (still going!). I go to the gym 4-5 times per week in the mornings (5:30am… ugh). I’m pretty much a loner when it comes to being social (I’ve never been good at making friends), but enjoy spending time with work friends and especially family. I’m OBSESSED with FixerUpper and dream of a life like Chip and JoJo. OHH. And I’m getting married in 67 days (3.25.2017)! And I CANNOT wait (more on that later… a lot more)!

Anyways. Here’s to a year of blogging (try to do it at least once per week… or whenever I have a craft or recipe to show off because I can’t contain myself). Hoping it will be a better outlet for me than constantly being on facebook and social media (will NEVER give up my Pinterest though… you can’t make me!).

I’ll mainly be posting about my crafts (past and present)… maybe some tutorials (if I can remember to take step by step pics), my WeightWatchers journey (add me on WW Connect: jl1527), share some recipes I love (and add WW points if I remember), and some planner ideas.

Bless your heart if you just read all of that (told ya I’m an introvert with a lot going on upstairs). But here goes!

 

Weekly/Daily Posts: (no promises…. just a dream if I actually keep this thing up)

Sundays/Saturdays – none! It’s football and craft days (unless I want to catch up)

Mondays – More to Plan Monday (Planner updates)

Tuesdays – Totally Delicious Tuesdays (new recipes)

Wednesdays – Wine Not Wednesday (random posts… wine may be involved)

Thursdays – Weigh-in day for WeightWatchers (WW journey update)

Fridays – Craft Fanatic Friday (new crafts/diy posts)