Monthly Archives: September 2009

Sweet potato of lurveeeee

 Whole Foods post-work was a success my bloggin’ friends!  I got a great stash for my trip this weekend…..

tripstash

I plan on packing oats & bananas as well so I can make sure I have a breakfast of champions! There may or may not be some wine drinking takin place so gotta fuel up 😉

I also picked up these beauties

basil

My previous basil plant has been lookin’ a lil, shall we say, lackluster (bad plant mommy 😦 ) so I decided it was time for a replacement…. sayonara sucker!

I also decided to splurge on a honeycrisp apple (or 2) after seeing them on Kristin’s post and drooling on my keyboard 😉

 And since it was beautiful 70 degrees and partly sunny out, I chose to partake in some of this on our back patio

wineapple

while watchin’ this crazy fool bark at squirrels 50 feet away up in a tree — ’cause that’s ever gonna happen Lu!

lucy

 Once The Man got home we set out to run some errands and the weirdest thing ever happened to us, I don’t quite know how to describe this situation hahaha but let’s just say it included an 80 year old lady, us being blocked into a Pier 1 parking lot and then said lady backing up at like 20 mph onto a curb — I’m talking a half cars length jacked up there…. yea, no words.

 

Why so dark :(

Why so dark 😦

After that minor incident it was time to head back home for dinner!  

Tonight I made a recipe I saw over at homegirl Lauren’s website that I knew I just HAD to try 🙂  Check out her awesome site for the ingredients!

SENSATIONAL STUFFED SPUDS!!

I had baked the sweet potatoes (400F for about 45 minutes) right after work while I was sittin’ on the porch w/ my wine (multi-tasking?) – and just left them in a baking dish covered while we were out errand running/bein’ run over by grannies (??)  and when we got back they were ready to go!

Here’s what you need for the topping (plus salt/pepper to taste)

ingred

Check out how super-fantastic this avocado was — it was at just the stage of ripeness perfection

Juicy

Juicy

Here’s how THAT turned out —- can you say absolutely ah-may-zingly gorgeous?!?!?!?
 
topping

Then I just heated up the ol’ oven to 375F and put the taters, topped with feta, back in for a few to warm up and heat cheese

tater

 Then top the sweet taters with the bean/avocado/tomato topping and voila!!

oh. em. gee.

oh. em. gee.

No words once again.  All I can say is this dish was FANTASTIC to the max.  Holy cow!

Lauren, you rock girlie, thanks for this fantabulous recipe that I hope others will get to try too — sooooo healthy, soooo good, ah yes 🙂

Well I have mountains of laundry to tackle before this weekend’s adventures, but I want to leave you friends with these last things tonight!

Gushy mushy moment of the century haha (praying the Man is not reading today, or any of his friends, sorry honey!)

Me emailing the man at work:  “How’s work? I am really missin’ you today for some cuuuurrraaazzzzzy reason ;)”

The Man back to me: “Now u know how I always feel!!!!!!”

Okay, I literally may have almost started crying right then and there from the sweetness…. yes, I may be a bit lame 😛

ANDDDDDD………

Check out this awesome pumpkin butter giveaway (sound familiar peeps?!) 

Not only could you win a jar of TJ’s finest, but the lovely Danica is giving away some other pumpkin goodies to go with, does she rock or what?!?!

Alright my lovelies…. see everyone tomorrow for perhaps a few more hints on this weekend’s adventures 😉 NIGHT!!

A sneak peak…

….at where I am going to be spending some time this weekend with 3 of my BEST college girlfriends (when I’m not in the car that is!)

images

weekend

I’ll give ya’ll some more hints as we near the weekend 😉

Brekkie this morning was back to my trusty oats – this time with banana, pb, chia seeds and agave — ahhh an oldy but a goody!  It was brrrrr at 57 on the way to work (I get to walk 5 blocks in along the river, winds can be chill-ay!!) so those oats were a great choice!

I bet it’s gonna be even colder however where I’m gonna be this weekend 😉  gahhh hint 2 escaped!

I was really excited about lunch today peeps, as it featured my leftover swiss chard from last night and a “chicken transformed”!

Started with a flat out + melted mozz –> toaster oven style

breadcheese

Microwaved some of this good stuff

lunch

Put the chicken on top

breadchick

And rolled ‘er up served with some mustard!  “Chard” on the side 😉

sammie

With the extra pieces of toasted wrap I decided to do some dippin’ action — kinda like spinach dip — twas deelish!

dip

Then the last of these soldiers were consumed 😦 Another sad day for this gal…..

cookies

Ahhh stuffed 🙂

Well, another busy afternoon awaits! 

After work I am making a pitstop at Whole Foods for some road trip essentials (larabars, individual size oats, etc…. hey, I like to prepared!!!) and then I am making the fabulous Lauren’s SENSATIONAL STUFFED SPUDS for din tonight!!!

Think sweet potatoes, avocado, tomatoes, white beans galore 🙂  I’m pumped!

I can’t wait to see how they turn out…

We may also be doing some errand running to pick up a new master bedroom rug, but we’ll see if that comes through…

Last thing before I go, wanted to tell ya’ll that last night I received the most wonderful email from Lori over at Pure2Raw in regards to the Yoga.Fitness.Plus practice I had tried and posted the other night (which was fantastically awesome btw!)  She gave it a whirl and really enjoyed it too, I just LOVE getting wonderful emails from you guys and hers really made my night  🙂

With that being said, you bloggies rock my world (!!) and I hope each and every one of you has a FANTASTIC day!

Swiss chard + Parm = <3

Hello fellow blog-a-licious friends!  How is everyone doing tonight?  Is it just me or has this been the longesttttt day ev-ah?!  Ah well, as the story goes…. well, don’t really know how that story goes but what-ev — moving on!

After a long day at work (it’s been busy peeps) I finally made it home and knew that I needed to squeeze in some form of cardio today.  So guess what I did — this actually is really unlike moi! – went on a run/walk around the neighborhood!!! 🙂 

  1. First off, it was gorgeous outside today and after the day I had I knew I needed some fresh air like woah! 
  2. Secondly, Lucy Dog was looking at me with those precious dog eyes sayin “please take me outside lady, pleaseeeee!” 
  3. Third of all, I had some serious energy to burn off after today and I knew that an at-home routine just wasn’t gonna cut it!

So I did what I wanted, cause that’s what I do (yea right).  Lucy Dog and I went about 1.5 miles, which peeps, for us is good stuff.

I always tell everyone that I could do cardio/kickboxing/bootcamp classes for a solid hour or Shred at level 3 and love every second, hardly ever getting uncomfortably winded…. however running seems to knock the breath right outta me.  I don’t know why, but the dear Lord never meant for this lady to be a runner!  However, I gave it my best shot, and it felt GREAT!  So that’s all that matters in the end folks, right? 😉

I rounded the corner of our street to see a stud muffin mowing our lawn whoop whoop!  It was The Man peeps, silly friends 🙂  So that was my queue to get started on some dinner!

First up was the Swiss Chard Gratin!!!  I got this recipe from the Whole Foods website – check it out here

I actually somewhat closely followed the recipe for once (haha) — only changes were :

  • using 1 1/2 bunches of swiss chard instead of 2
  • using 1/8 cup bread crumbs
  • swiss chard took a bit longer to cook down than they said
  • cheese sauce took a bit longer to thicken up than they said
  • didn’t combine the chard/cheese sauce before putting into the baking dish but instead just poured cheese over top.  

Here goes!

1. Cook swiss chard (wash and chop, leaves only) in 1 cup water over medium heat about 10 min — check out the how crazy this cooks down!  Then drain, set aside 1/4 cup of cooking liquid.

 

OOC!!

OOC!!

Where'd it go?!

Where'd it go?!

2. Make cheese sauce by melting 1 tblsp butter in 1 tblsp olive oil.  Slowly whisk in 2 tblsp flour for ~1 minute.  Then slowly add 1 cup milk and reserved cooking liquid, continuously whisking.  Add 1/4 cup Parm a few minutes in.  This took about 8 minute to thicken up.  Season w/ salt/pepper.

sauce

What else can I put this sauce on yum?!??!

3.  Assemble for baking (@350F for about 20 minutes).  Spoon swiss chard into baking dish.  Pour cheese sauce on top.

step1

Sprinkle another 1/4 cup Parm cheese and 1/4 cup bread crumbs on top.step2

4.  After 20 minutes here’s what you get!

Bubbly cheesy goodness!

Bubbly cheesy goodness!

 Best part of this dish (aside from the phenomenal flavor?!) — only 140 cals per serving!  🙂

I loved this recipe — in fact I am already thinking of what else I can put this sauce on haha.  The chard was lovely too, althought The Man was not a fan 😦  However I totally dug it, and will make it again…. sorry dude 😉

To go with this I also made some chicken tenderloins marinated in these guys (just mix some of the seasoning with some EVOO and water, let chicken soak it up for 20 minutes or so)

spices

After a cook through in a skillet (medium heat) here’s what ya get!

 chicken

And because I am such a good girlfriend (hope The Man is reading… mwuhaha!) I made some butter/Parm bowtie noodles just in case he didn’t like the swiss chard….. and these actually turned out really good! I like the simplicity of this side dish, and I def had a few with my din 🙂

Here was the plate

Awesome combo of flavors

Awesome combo of flavors

So what are my thoughts you ask?  Check it peeps 🙂

  1. The swiss chard gratin was amazing, served piping hot it was deliciously healthy cheesy Godness goodness.  I want to make this for my parent ASAP, they would love it! 
  2. The parm/butter noodles were a fabulous last minute side dish, very flavorful and deelish (almost had a nutmeg flavor?)
  3. The seasoning on the chicken is always a great taste – never fails
  4. Overall I just loved the combination of all these flavors — each dish complimented the others perfectly! 🙂

Happy, full girl 🙂  Butttttttt not too full for some of the infamous COCONUT M&M’S that the fabulous Brandi sent to me a few days back…..

….. holy crap I HAVE to find these immediately…. I am rationing them out right now to me and The Man bc they are so good 😦 Brandi, you rock!

K, well gonna go hide the M&M’s from myself in hopes that they will last more than a night and also get to some google reader!   I’ll leave you with this funny from The Man tonight:

“What’s in that grizz grizz you are making?”

HAHAHA I coulda fallen over laughing…. he was referring to the swiss chard — yea, I don’t know but I love him bc he cracks me up! 

Have a great night peeps 🙂 !!

Eating peanut butter under my desk?

Let’s get to the important stuff first bloggies… anyone ever done this before?

Yes, this totally happened.

Yes, this totally happened.

Last night I totally ate a piece of mozzarella cheese topped with peanut butter. Boo-yah!  That shizz was deelish.

Has anyone ever had pb/cheese?  Maybe I am just crazy – but I love it! I used to eat apples with pb & cheddar when I was younger, gettin’ my nostalgia on last night 😉

Anyways, so this morning I *gasp!* didn’t have oats for brekkie bc I decided to switch it up a bit…. yea, I know, rebel over here 🙂

Instead I had a most deliciously lovely bowl of these guys

kashi

with a sliced naner, 1% milk and a spoonful of this girl will obviously eat it on anything peanut butter.  Twas a yummy way to start a new day!

Runner up to oats ;)

Runner up to oats 😉

I also decided this morning that I would bring my best friend 4-evah PBLoco cookie dough peanut butter to work for a lovely afternoon jar eating event under my desk….. (Jenna would appreciate haha 😉 ) 

JK guys, I really don’t eat peanut butter under my desk so people don’t look at me funny and so I don’t further gross out my boss, or do I?

I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Well, Mr. PBLoco did not make it to the afternoon.  In fact, he didn’t even make it til 11am when I found a spoon and got my jar-eat on…. killed it.

twas a sad morning in this cubicle :(

twas a sad morning in this cubicle 😦

So long good friend…. until we meet again

I actually did do some work in between all this pb eating fun — lots of productivity goin’ on again this morning!  Soon enough it was lunchie time 🙂

The starting line-up:

Turkey sammie is back

sammie

Gettin’ my beet on

P9290279

Some leftover canned pumpkin mixed with pumpkin pie spice & sf maple syrup

pumpkin

And of course, pumpkin cream cheese cookies!

cookie

Perfect lunch 🙂 Now I must go find some hershey kisses… bc that’s how I roll 😛

On tonight’s agenda is some sort of cardio workout, not sure exactly what yet but I’m just goin’ with the flow today peeps! 

Also, here’s an idea of the din tonight, which is using the swiss chard that I got from the farmer’s market (ABC’s!!)

  • Swiss chard gratin
  • Chicken tenderloins — gonna surprise myself with how I cook ’em… just wingin’ it (get it haha) – bad, I know 😉
  • Side noodle dish (tentative, in case the Man despises the chard :/)

Alright bloggertons, gotta get back to the grind, meetings all afternoon then another wonderful night at home with my fave peeps/dogs/foods!!!

HAPPY TUESDAY 🙂 🙂

“Care if I eat the rest of those beets?” (!!!)

So today was an exciting day for this newbie food bloggin’ fanatic peeps…. bc I got an email from a company that I have heard so much about to try one of their new products on the blog!!! I can’t tell you yet who it is, but I am soooo lookin’ forward to this one 🙂 

Was anyone else really excited the first time they were sent some free swag and asked to do a review?! Or am I just an uber-nerd-geek over here…. :/

K, party for myself now over.

Onto DINNER!!

Me & the beet??

Me & the beet??

Me and the beet.  We’re in lurveeee haha.  And my chest has gone up 4 sizes, rightttttt…….

So when I got home I decided to switch things up a bit and try out a new yoga practice on-demand, and boy was I ever glad I did! This yoga sesh was intensely wonderful, 45 minutes of toning and stretching bliss…. wow!!

Yoga.Fitness.Plus. with Elise Gulan.  Amazing.   Has anyone else tried this practice before? If not, I highly recommend it!  Looks like they have it on the ExerciseTV website to try out too — note to self when I am traveling!  It left my legs and arms literally shaking and really worked my core 🙂 but yet I was so relaxed at the end, awesome.

While I was doing yoga, I simultaneously tackled the beet roastin’ — beet is a fun word eh?

Ready for trimmin!

Ready for trimmin!

Right after work I prepped the beets for roasting by washing and trimming so only 1″ stem remained.  Then wrapped each beet in foil and then popped in a 400F oven for about an hour. 

Roastin' ready!
Roastin’ ready!
After my yoga sesh was up, so were the perfectly roasted beet goodies!

Now I have all these leftover beet greens, which I think you can eat?  Anyone have any good recipes for beet greens?? I’d love to know! 🙂

Once the beets were done I let them cool for a bit while I prepared the vinagrette, loosely based on this recipe.

  • 1.5 tblsp EVOO
  • 1 tblsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tblsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tblsp chopped onion
  • salt/pepper

Just whisk this bad boy together and let hang out til you are ready to slice the beets.

To get the beets ready for serving, just remove from foil and peel (beet peel will basically fall right off), slice into whatever size you like then top with the vinagrette & some crumbled feta 🙂

Time for the pork chops!  Luckily I had also been on top of things and remembered late last night that I had to get those fresh, chemical-free pork chops in some sort of marinade to soak it up overnight and be ready for dinner tonight!  Here was the random concoction (my new favorite fyi, read on bloggies)

  • soy sauce (about 3/4 cup, maybe a bit less)
  • brown sugar (about 1/4 cup)
  • sliced ginger (about 1 tblsp)
  • chopped garlic (2 cloves)
  • olive oil (1 tsp)
  • fresh black pepper

Then I whipped out the trusty cast iron best friend forever skillet and got to ‘grillin’

Sizzler

Sizzler

7 minutes on my trusty friend and we were in business.

I also made some white cheddar mac n’ cheesy to go with (had to make sure the man was well-fed in case the beets didn’t go over well 🙂 I got his back like that!)

Ummmm then the best moment ever happened when The Man pronounced to me “these are the best beets I have EVER had!” — not sure how often he has had them but let’s just roll with it?

Then he went back for seconds.

Then he looked at me and said “do you care if I finish the rest of these?”

What a shockingly delicious surprise!

What a shockingly delicious surprise!

Yes ladies and gents —- these beets were FANTASTIC!!!!!  I have already been instructed to make them again.  Soon.  And I will, bc I lurveeeed them 🙂

Gahhhh and it got even better bc the pork turned out better than ANY pork I have ever cooked omg!! The marinade permeated the meat so beautifully over night and they were cooked perfectly…. I love that skillet! Plus the fact that this pork was the real deal from the farmer’s market made so much difference – I don’t know if I can go back to grocery store pork, ever :/

 This is probably going to be a marinade recipe that I use over and over…. so easy, fresh and delicious!

Oh, you want to see the plate you ask?  Duh… silly me!
Best Monday dinner evah!

Best Monday dinner evah!

I also had some of this Spanish wine to go with dinner — it’s really yummy 🙂
Spanish lurveee

Spanish lurveee

If I were a teacher, I’d give this dinner a score of 98.5%.  Exactly.  Haha (such a CPA nerd)  The only thing bringin it down were those cheddar noodles which we barely ended up touching ….. 😉

Alright bloggertons, gotta finish up some things before Gossip Girl!!!

However, I’ll leave you with this:  best search that led to my blog today = my mom is dad   ????????

Uhhhh not sure about that one?

Night bloggies, see ya for Tuesday!!!  🙂

Forget you Monday, it’s Beet-day in this house!

Hey hey my upbeat, Monday lovin’, can’t wait to get back to work bloggin’ friends!  Right? 😉

So any-who, hope everyone had a fantabulous weekend (I know I sure did!) and is starting off their week right.  This week at work I am focusing on my new project so it should make for a fly-by week — especially since I have my girls trip this weekend to look forward to with my fave college homiez (we go way back!)

But more on that to come…. didn’t think I was gonna spill the beans yet did ya?

I’ll start you off with this for some Monday inspiration…. I think it is just beautiful 🙂

“I take nothing for granted. I now have only good days, or great days. “
Lance Armstrong, famous cyclist

How is it that certain sayings can just be so inspirational and really warm the heart….?

Onto lunch, which today was another quick sammie wrap using the Lowfat Italian Flat Out, peppercorn turkey, mozz cheese and mustard (quick heat up in the toaster). 

sammie

To go with I had this soup (shocker eh? and no, I do not work for Campbells haha)

soup

If you’re wondering why this is a staple for quick lunches for me, here’s the deal… it only costs $1.50 usually and check out the stats, which aren’t too shabby for a quick can of soup – minus the sodium level but personally I’m not too concerned with that

stats

And obviously a pumpkin/cream cheese cookie (umm or 2 :/) and some hershey kisses!  I’d only love to guess what my co-workers think of me when I do this with my lunch eats haha

DESSERT

Fast lunch makes for faster “work gettin’ done” — and that’s how I roll!

And to keep with the positive vibes here peeps, how about we  forget all these Monday blues….?  ‘Cause today is beet-day in our house!  Yep, it’s time to start the fall veggie adventure with these guys after learning our beet ABC’s here last week!! 

What’s on the menu you say?  Here’s a sneak preview:

Lookin’ forward to this one folks…. but not before some much needed post-work Yoga to start off this fine week.  Quick tip:  I’m gonna roast the beets while I yoga it up so they are prepped and ready for me to cook once I start din! 

I suppose I shall take Lucy Dog for a walk as well since it’s forecasted to be 80 degrees today and sunny 🙂 

Oh, and check out who else got on the beet bandwagon!!  Homegirl over at SavvyEats has planned Beet Risotto in her menu plan for the week — I can’t wait to see the results!

Alrighty kiddos, time to get back to the grind, see ya tonight for Monday night football din recap! 😉

3 cheers for chili!

Oh Sunday night, why must you be back already again?!  Does anyone else have a love/hate relationship with this day :/ bc I sure do! On 1 hand I love that I have a full day of rest and relaxation with no work, on the other hand I know that the work week will begin tomorrow and makes me 😦  Ah well, life must go on!

So I spent the afternoon/evening over at The Man’s parents house watchin football chit chattin’ with the girls (his mom & his brother’s gf) while the men watched football…. 

When we arrived I spotted this “small” pot of chili on the stove cookin’ away — and by small I mean could feed a small country ha!

Chili bucket ;) ??

Chili bucket 😉 ??

There were also plenty of “man snacks” to go around — all the basic food groups were equally represented 😉

MEN.....

MEN.....

I came bearing gifts of the banana doughnut and pumpkin cookie sort — had to share these guys — but only a few *sigh* haha.  Then I was a bad gift giver and ate one to hold me over til din… hey, these things happen.
Dear pumpkin cookie, will you marry me?

Dear pumpkin cookie, will you marry me?

After some superfab girltalk time we worked up quite the appetite ….. and went inside to find the boys asleep?!?!?  Is this really what “watchin’ football” is all about …. hmmm I am beginning to get a tad suspicious!  Anyone ever notice that men can sleep forever — or am I generalizing here based on my boyfriend’s sleeping patterns?  Ah well, whatever makes him happy! 🙂

 

For din I fixed myself an awesome bowl of this homemade chili topped w/ tortilla chips, shredded cheddar, sour cream & black pepper (can’t live without it!).  Twas deelish!
Chili lurveee

Chili lurveee

I also had some of this over the course of the afternoon and with dinner…. however didn’t capture the pic till after the damage was done 😉
Spanish wine

Spanish wine

I picked this up at Total Wine the other night… tastes quite similar to sauvignon blanc which I love.  And yes, we have a random brick wall on the inside of our house (and no, it’s not an old house that would make sense to have such a thing like my downtown apartment had… but we love it anyway!)

Alrighty bloggies, time to relax and get to bed for the start of what is going to be a very busy work week for this lady. 

However I have a roadtrip planned next weekend with my best college gals so countdown to that begins tomorrow!  It’ll be like the first weekend The Man and I have spent apart since March (yes, we are that pathetic) so I think I am already starting to miss him now (don’t hate)…. :/ 

It will be fun though to catch up with my fave ladies and I think we are visiting a winery while we are there (you’ll just have to stay tuned as to where!)

Night friends!