Monthly Archives: January 2010

Gotta make it to the grocery store, go fig

Well guess what friends, we made it outta the house today whoop whoop!  Not in ‘Lady BMW’… oh no no no, rear wheel drive + unplowed street = ehhh not happenin’ 😉  Of course I go and buy rear wheel drive the 1 year that we get more snow than we have like my entire freaking life in this crazy city?!?!

Anywho, The Man used his man strength and shoveled us outta the foot of snow and luckily the SUV did fine getting out of the neighborhood.  All the main roads are in decent shape – excluding the car stuck on the side of a main road blocking an entire lane of traffic suddenly around a curve… smart people, real smart, heard of a tow truck?

We headed over to Kroger to get some groceries for the upcoming week and I was pretty much excited about the fact that we purchased $64 of groceries and only paid a fine $37!!! $bling bling$ 

That was my best sale browsing/meal planning/coupon using adventure yet… it’s an addiction this “being frugal but still eating great” challenge I tell ya 😛

Oh yes, we also stopped at Tom Leonards for our meats too, as I said before, I am really looking to more wholesome & local sources when it comes to meat consumption (TWSS?? Jenny this one’s for you haha :P)

Dinner tonight was a homemade leftovers kinda thang… remember our lil’ pasta adventure last night?  Well we ended up making some extra to use for tonight’s meal!

And remember when I cooked up 857 quarts 😉 of The Man’s Grandma’s most fabulously delicious pasta sauce last weekend?!

Well thanks to the freezer we have leftover homemade sauce at our disposal, and what better than a quick pasta dinner on a Sunday night?!

Homemade pasta is LEGIT.  Don’t know that boxed pasta will ever taste the same :/

To go with the pasta I made up a quick & basic salad but with a lil’ somethin’ extra:  homemade croutons!  Ever done it?  If not, you should, so easy and the flavor & texture is nothing like those boxed things (which I secretly despise, sorry friends)…. crunchy outside with a soft inside is what these croutons were all about, yum! 🙂

See how easy, seriously?

  • previously frozen Italian bread, cubed
  • garlic
  • 1 tsp EVOO
  • dried basil
  • dried oregano
  • black pepper

Just rub the garlic over a few bread slices before you cube, then toss with the EVOO and sprinkle with herbs and pepper.  Bake at 400F for about 7 minutes and lookie here, deelish!

Topped some romaine & sliced onions with these beauties + more black pepper & the simple salad was served!

Fast and easy for a Sunday night… and oh so delicious… 🙂

We are actually taking part in some Grammy viewing here tonight, I don’t normally care for award shows but this is the exception!  Actually, we just caught Fergie performing our new fave song and Lucy Dog was goin’ cuuu-raaaa-zyyyy with Mr. Squirrel to it, I think she has a thang for Fergie perhaps? 😉

Really. Seriously. I freaking love this dog ❤ 😛

Well, work in the morning is lookin’ a lil’ iffy to be quite honest… may be working from home for a few hours before trying to get myself downtown :/

Either way, gonna enjoy my Sunday night and I hope all you friends do too!!

Oh yea, and you know you want to enter the CHOBANI GIVEAWAY don’t ya?!  So what are you waiting for 😉


Trick smoothie ;)

Well well friends, the snow has finally stopped so now we are dealing with the “aftermath” of the storm…. for some reason the county/state/whomever did not feel that our street needed any plowing thus far, so it’s pretty nasty out there with the 12″ plus that ended up falling! 😛

The Man is busy digging out the SUV so we can head for a quick grocery store trip, but I think it’s safe to say that Lady BMW, with her rear wheel drive, will not be going anywhere for quite some time haha.

But let’s rewind to earlier today, shall we?

After breakfast and some meal planning, I decided that it was a perfect day for one of my fave quick yoga routinesYoga Sculpt with Maura Barclay – really got my blood flowing since I was a wee bit tired today thanks to my 8am wake up call (eh hmmm we won’t go there ok?!)  I also did a quick ab routine with “love-him-or-hate-him” Kendall Hogan 😉

Then I was more than ready for a yummy lunch

We had plenty of leftover homemade chicken noodle soup so that was obviously on the menu 😉

And to go with I made a most intriguing sammich using White Sharp Cheddar + Pumpkin Buttah! 🙂

What does pumpkin buttah not make better, sheesh?!?! 😛

After some serious laundry & other household fun, I woke up sleeping beauty to get the cars cleaned off so we could head out to the store right nearby… def won’t be doing this week’s shopping at my normal “food spots” but I think I still put together a pretty good plan considering (such a food snob, this girl 😉 )

While Mr. Sleep-Forever-And-Then-Some cleaned off the cars, I whipped up a smoothie using this guy:

which I won in a giveaway a while back and had been meaning to try out 🙂   If you haven’t noticed, I’m not a big “smoothie” person – I like to chew?! – but I must say that this product may have swayed me a bit!!

Blended up half the packed with:

  • 1/2 banana
  • few frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond milk
  • ice

And voila!


Packed full of great things for my body AND delicious… I loved it!

And get this, I brought some out to Mr. Snow-shoveler-extraordinaire to see if I could get him to try some (hey, 50/50 chance I figured :P) and he immediately took me up on the offer (what??) and then proclaimed this to be “just like the smoothies from the store” (haha whatever that means)… I’m taking it as a good thing though?

Little did Mr. Man know that he just had a trick smoothie with (1) almond milk and (2) natural plant-based super food!!  I was (1) shocked and (2) thrilled at his reaction, so shhhh, don’t tell 🙂

Alright friends, well time to see how car dig-out 2010 is going and get on over to the store….

Don’t forget to enter the Chobani Giveaway too ya’ll – you have til this Friday!!!

Have a lovely Sunday friends 🙂

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup + Chobani Giveaway (is it Christmas again?!)

Well hello there friends!!  How is your Saturday?  We have had a most lovely day here at the fanatic house being snowed in and enjoying some most delicious eats I must say 🙂

When I last left you friends I was in the process of making homemade chicken stock… which after 2.5 hours of simmering ended up smelling so fantastic that we switched up our dinner plans so we could incorporate it into the meal!!

What is better than a warm & comforting soup dinner on a cold & snowy night (right Jenna?)  Yea, not much right? 😉

Oh wait, perhaps a lil’ giveaway… yea, that could be better… but just give me a minute to get there, k 😛

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup!

Now this ended up being the real deal friends, if you remember a certain someone was the recipient of a pasta machine for her birthday earlier in the week so you knew it was coming…..homemade noodles for the soup made with homemade stock!  Oh yeaaaaaaaaaa

But let’s take it from the top, shall we?

Once the stock was ready I gave it a run through the strainer then put it into the fridge to cool.  Doing this allowed me to skim off some of the fat once it cooled down, easy peasy smelled so dreamy haha.

When dinner time rolled around, I got out some of the chilled stock and the following ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 4 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1 onion, diced large
  • EVOO

I gave the veggies a quick chop

Then a quick saute using about 1 tblsp EVOO

Meanwhile in another pot I brought the chicken stock up to a boil, added the chicken breasts to cook until they were done and then gave them a quick shred using the 2 fork method!

At this point I added the chicken to the veggie pot along with the chicken stock that I had used to cook the chicken and let it come up to a simmer, cooking long enough for the veggies to get nice & tender 🙂  Don’t forget the S&P too!

Then I made up a whole wheat pasta dough using 1.5 cups wheat flour, 2 eggs, few drops of H2O and EVOO.

Just combine using a fork and continue to add water unti the dough forms, getting your hands dirty is inevitable friends 😛

Then I found some handsome hunk 😉 to help me with the pasta making – benefits of having an Italian boyfriend yea yea yea (*Sammie sweetheart voice*)!


I think someone is getting into this whole cooking thing, no? 😉

Then we added the fresh noodles to the soup and let them cook for a few minutes….

And it was time to serve up!  But not without some fresh bread, butter, cheese and red wine of course 🙂

Plus a lil’ black pepper and grated Parm for good measure, and voila!

Stephanie, please meet the most fantastic Chicken Noodle Soup you have ever tasted (that I remember at least).  How uuuuu doin’??

So freaking good!  The homemade chicken stock was seriously the best. idea. ever.  Thanks Mom for hookin’ me up for that chicken “bone” 😛  And the homemade noodles were sooooooooooo much better than a box o’ pasta, for realz.  (Good thing we made extra for tomorrow’s dinner 😉 )

Served with the doughy bread and butter it was like heaven in a bowl…. this is the stuff dreams are made of my friends!

Speaking of dreams, I am so excited to let ya’ll in on a wonderful giveaway that the fabulous Shari at Chobani has been kind enough to let this Chobani Fanatic take part in since I know how much ya’ll love the stuff too!

That’s right, one of you friends have the chance to win your very own CASE OF CHOBANI!!!!  Oh yes, that’s right, so here’s the deal on how to enter, 1 entry per method of course 🙂

  1. Leave me a comment with your favorite flavor of the Cho-goodness, or if you haven’t tried it yet, which flavor you are most excited about trying!
  2. Tweet the giveaway and leave me a comment saying you’ve done so (“I want to win a case of Chobani from @cookinfanatic1 !“)
  3. If you have a blog, post this giveaway and leave me a comment telling me you’ve done so.

So that’s that friends.  I know I don’t have to tell you how much I love love love Chobani, so you probably can tell how excited I am to have the chance to do this wonderful giveaway bc you know how much I also adore all of you! 🙂

I’ll pick a winner using our fave random number generator and post it on Friday, February 5 dinner post… so get those entries rollin’!

Alright, time for even more some vino (hey, it’s a snow day 😉 ) and more coziness in front of the fire with my 2 faves – have a most wonderful Saturday night my friends!

Snow & an upcoming giveaway?!

Well friends, the snow is here!  Went to bed & by the time I woke up this morning this is what things were lookin’ like 🙂


And it’s still coming down (2″ per hour!)… I think we are at close to 7″ so far?!  I seriously can’t remember the last time Richmond got not 1, but 2 snow storms of this nature in one winter season.  I think probably never in my 28 years, seriously what is going on?!

But let’s rewind to last night, which was spent enjoying a few of these 😉

Oh yes, that would be vodka, sprite with a few frozen blueberres floatin’ around for good measure – this was deelish! 🙂

Well, this time around I was prepared for this mega-snow-a-thon and had some activities lined up since I knew we’d be stuck indoors.  And I must say that it was really refreshing to wake up this morning and have no obligations to run errands, etc. and just spend the morning doing whatever I wanted!!!

And there are like 87 accidents everywhere around town, so needless to say venturing out = not an option for this fanatic household!

So I started things off today with a some coconut oats & a side of Food Network 😛

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tblsp shredded coconut
  • 1 tblsp cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp coconut oil (!!!!!)
  • drizzle maple syrup

I got “adventurous” and decided to try the beloved coconut oil in my oats and holy coconut-oly this was fabulous!  Just a small amount gave the most beautiful coconut flavor to the whole batch, not to mention this stuff is so good for you it’s insane. 

Did I mention that I’ve been using it as a facial cleanser a few nights a week too?  Thanks to my fave twins who introduced me to it 🙂  It makes my skin feel amazing and I find that on nights when I don’t use it my face feels so icky in the morning… I’m in lurveeeeee!

After my tropical breakfast (hey, gotta warm up somehow 🙂 ) I let Miss Thang run around outside for a while in the snow, she really likes it for about 10 minutes then gets too cold I think haha.

Snow-face?  Woof?

Then it was time to get started on the first cooking adventure of the day!! 

Remember this guy from birthday dinner with Fanatic Fam a few days back?

Well of course I not only left their house with some fabulous bday presents, but also what was left of Mr. Chicken (sorry vegetarian friends, may be a bit much for you?)

As many of us know, leftover chicken “bones” make the most wonderful Chicken Stock that beats any canned version times a million.  Well, not that I would know from making it, but only from tasting… so you know what had to be done 🙂

Homemade Chicken Stock!

So easy, just gathered up

  • 3 carrots
  • 3 ribs of celery
  • 4 small onions

Did I mention I got this whole bag of cute lil’ onions for 88 cents — just pattin’ myself on the back for that deal 🙂

Anywho, just add the chicken “bone” (we all know the real word, just sounds so iiiiiicky hahaha, maturity Steph) and the veggies then enough water to cover (took about 8 pints) and bring up to a boil.

Simmer for 20 minutes, skimming off the top a few times.  Then just lower the heat, cover with a small crack left to vent and let cook away for 2 hours!  Your house will smell amazingggggggg too btw 🙂  And since the chicken was so well seasoned the first time around, no additional herbs necessary in making the stock.

It’s still simmering away and getting close to being ready to taste/strain… I can’t wait!  There may be some homemade chicken noodle soup in our future.

So what’s up next for today?!  Well here goes it friends:

  • waffle breakfast for The Man, who just arose at the fine hour of 12:30pm 😉
  • homemade pasta using the new pasta machine!

And finally, a GIVEAWAY for all you friends!!!  Want a hint?  Give a lil’ click  😉

Well, guess you know where I’ll be all day!  Whoa things are crazy out there 😛


Latest report of 40 cars stuck on a local bridge heading to the south side of town… glad I wasn’t one of those folks who decided to venture out, those people make me very frustrated!  Anyways, of course I hope they get home safely :/

Stay warm & safe wherever you are friends and see you back soon!!!


Friday Snow Storm it is!!!  Hey hey friends, hope all is well with ya’ll as we venture into the weekend finallyyyyyy 🙂

Can we start off with an Oh. Em. Gee. please?!  My thighs feel like they are on fireeee (nope, definitely doesn’t sound quite right?) bc I definitely felt the burn during today’s Exercise TV workout!  I tried out Kickboxing Bootcamp w/ Jeanette Jenkins & holy effin’ geeze that lady is serious.

Seriously intense that is.  A mixture of strength & cardio (my fave) that left me praying that it would be over soon towards the end haha… now that’s the sign of a tough workout!  I think JJ burned some 700 cals during it according to her counter, and although I’m not quite as buff as JJ, I think my calorie burn was definitely up there?! 

I also really liked her energy & combo of moves, not to mention the fact that it will probably be the death of me to try to walk up/down stairs tomorrow 😉  Good thing they’ll be icy, so I ain’t worried….

Dinner tonight was something I picked up at World Market last weekend (since I own their entire inventory of food anyways) and knew would be fast & easy to throw together!

All you do is add ground meat of choice (what’s up with all the meat this week? <insert joke here>) plue the rice & spice mix plus some H2O and voila!  Dinner served….

But not before I snuck these guys in there too, veggie power!

Sauteed up in some EVOO for a few

Then browned up some lean ground pork (from Tom Leonards obvi)

Added the rice mix plus H20 and in a matter of 10 minutes + 25 minutes cook time dinner was ready — oh, plus a few shakes of Frank’s (hot sauce that is) 🙂

I also had a few pieces of celery, which is really weird for me since normally I despise raw celery… but for some reason tonight I was a-okay with it?  I blame hormones 😉

This was a pretty darn good dinner – esp for an ‘out of the box’ kinda thang.  I think someone may be back to World Market (who me?) to stock up on some more of this for those need-an-easy-meal type nights!

Well we are gearing up for the big snowstorm, should be here soon!  Bread – check.  Milk – check.  Alcohol – check.  Okay, I think we’re all set 😛

Still not sure whether we may head out for a lil’ while since it’s one of The Man’s friend’s birthdays tonight….  guess we’ll just have to see.  Either way, we best be back home safe and sound before the snow, that’s a must for this lady!

I hope all of you are staying warm and enjoying your Friday night! 🙂

No words?

Happy Friday!  I’ve been a pretty busy lady today but I had to say hello to all you friends since we are celebrating the end of the week and all! 🙂

Here’s how today went, picture-book style 😉

Wake-up call, always tooooooooo early


Workin’ from my desk, per usual

Toothache that began last night, called my bff (the dentist, as it seems lately) and had him take a look


Lunched on a delicious salad & some fro-yo!


Back to my computer for some more workin’

And now for tonight’s forecast:

Maybe out for a few of these before that happens?

Dinner plans are still

Depends on if we go out for said

Be back for more later!  Happy Friday friends 🙂


Dinner Date Night-In!

Hey friends!  I hope that ya’ll are having as wonderful of a Thursday night as we are having here 🙂

I must admit that I was a bad “fitness fanatic” today after work and instead of a potential workout I went to the grocery store to “stock up” on a few last minute items… of course what I really mean by this is that I bought enough Chardonnay, Sparkling Wine and Chocolate to survive a frat party?  last through the looming winter snow-in this weekend 😉

So yea, those priorities were definitely straight today haha but hey, you only live once right!  And there’s always tomorrow 😛  ExerciseTV, here I come!

Tonight was also “fancy dinner date night” in our house, and for a mere $10 or so we had a restaurant quality meal based around the beautiful Delmonico steaks I found at Tom Leonards yesterday (bc I apparently have a grocery store problem, as is becoming quite apparent….)

So here goes it friends: 

Delmonico Steaks topped w/ Caramelized Onions & Bleu Cheese Sauce

WARNING:  This is definitely a decadent not-your-everyday type of meal.  However, when meals like this are enjoyed in moderation they can make an appearance in any healthy diet, at least that’s what I say!

First I started off by making some caramelized onions (hello mandolin, thanks for making this seriously the easiest thing evah)

  • sliced onion
  • balsamic vinegar
  • white wine
  • 1 tsp butter
  • black pepper
  • cooking spray

Just add the onions to a pan with some cooking spray, drizzle with balsamic, white wine & black pepper.  Then cover and let cook for a good while (45 min?) until they get tender and sweet – finish off with the pat of butter and voila!

I’ve never made these before and oh.em.gee. were they fabulous!!!

Then it was steak time!  A simple salt, pepper & oil rub was all the beautiful Delmonicos needed, then a quick sear in a hot pan followed by a covered low cook until cooked to about medium.

Not your low-fat steak friends, but holy yum the flavor of these freshly cut steaks was incredible…..

To finish off the steaks I also made a bleu cheese sauce using these guys, I mean seriously, can you go wrong with this?

Minced a garlic clove, dropped it into a small saucepan with some white wine and let it come to a simmer… then added the most delicious bleu cheese to the mix, stirring to incorporate (I used about half the wedge).


This Saga Bleu Cheese and is actually a Danish brie cheese (think soft & creamy) that is classified as a bleu cheese as it contains a delicate bleu mold that may not appear in other bleu cheeses – learn something new everyday huh?

Served with some fresh Italian bread too, such a treat!

All served up I present:  Delmonico steaks topped w/ caramelized onions and bleu cheese sauce, veggies and fresh bread 🙂

The Man made the following statement, I kid you not:  “Babe, this steak is better than any steak I’ve had at any restaurant, and you can put that on the blog!”

He had his steak with a side of pasta, veggies and bread — and I ended up trading him some of my steak for his veggies, that was alot of meat! (not going there haha….) 🙂

So all in all, date night-in was a super success!  I tackled my first Delmonico and I think came out a winner 🙂  Must say that this was by far one of my fave meals we’ve had, not gonna lie!

Alright friends, I’m outta here – you better have a great night and I’ll see you tomorrow for Friday (can I get a fist pump for old times sake?!) 😛