Category Archives: Workouts

Peaaanut, peaaanut butter. And chicken?

Monday’s word of the day was T-I-R-E-D!

After a post-Super Bowl bedtime of wayyyy too late o’clock followed up with the random early body-clock-alarm-wakeup I was seriously struggling for energy yesterday!

Good thing I had planned on throwing together a crockpot meal to be ready & waiting upon my arrival home 🙂

Gave me plenty of time to relax and get in a rejuvenating yoga session.

Has anyone else tried the Body by Bethanny yoga workout on ExTV?  I absolutely love her first of all, plus am really liking this workout on days where I want some physical activity but not too much, ya know?

Perfect for this particular Monday if you ask me 😀

After yoga was over it was time to serve up some dinner.

Crockpot, sometimes I think we may be soulmates… you make my life so easy on days that just seem to be so hard!

Here’s the recipe, courtesy a A Year of Slow Cooking.

Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Chicken

I kind of doubled the recipe to fill the 6-quart slow cooker I have (did you know you are supposed to make sure your slow cooker is between 1/2 to 2/3 full?)

I also didn’t have any soy sauce on hand, so substituted this wonderful SoyCha sauce instead.

For the sauce:

  • 2/3 cup MaraNatha peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup SoyCha (or soy sauce)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 container chicken broth

For the rest:

  • 2.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 red bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced

I mixed up the marinade (sans chicken broth) Sunday afternoon before we left for the Super Bowl festivities. 

I also chopped up the red bell peppers and onions so they’d be ready to roll in the morning.

After 9 hours on low, I came home to some pretty awesome kitchen smells!

Once I opened up the slow cooker I removed the chicken & veggies and drained most of the fat from the remaining sauce.

With the combo of peanut butter, chicken thighs and SoyCha sauce there was a bit of oil to remove, no big deal 😛

To serve, I cooked up some spaghetti to serve as well as some simple spinach.

Dinner is served.

Very very rich dish.  A little goes a long way!

But also very flavorful and tasty.  The cumin and lime added a different spin to the “normal” peanut sauce that I’m used to – but in a good way!

The chicken was also fall apart tender and just sunk itself into the spaghetti with each bite.

Good thing we liked this because we’ll be eating it for a few days (close to 3 lbs of chicken, what was I thinking? 😉 )

Does anyone else remember this song (in reference to the post title)?  Guess having a sister 7 years younger means I remember wayyyyy more Barney than any normal person should hahaha.

Here’s to a much more “awake” day today – thank you 8 hours of sleep!!!!

Happy Tuesday all 🙂

Cutie Pies & Veggie Gardens

Hey everyone!  Hope ya’ll are having a fabulous Monday 🙂

Well we spent the day yesterday visiting these cutie pies!

And one of my best college friends (the mommy) and her hubby!

The twins have gotten so much bigger and are outta control adorable 😛

The happy fam also has a big garden in their yard and was nice enough to let us go pickin’ (excited!)

Lotsa tomatoes (we all know my affinity towards these suckers…)

A giant watermelon (!!)

And some unseen poblano & green bell peppers.

It was a great visit, always so nice to catch up with good friends!

Then we spent the evening at a going-away party eating bbq chicken, beans, veggies & dip… you know, the usual summer party fare — however my camera was shy around new friends so sorry for no pics.  Twas deelish though 😀

And after a great Monday at work today plus some Yoga w/ Weights, it turned out to be a no-cook dinner kind of night.

Well that was more-so due to the fact that The Man had his playoff bball game, so I was on my own!

I decided to go with a trusty frozen option that was a zero-effort kinda deal.

I rarely eat frozen foods (I think I OD’ed in college) but this Cedarlane burrito is one that I go-to in a pinch.  I really like it!

Frank” and I are having a lil’ love affair 😉  I’d rather not talk about it haha….

To go with my easy peasy burrito dinner I whipped up some okra fries (told ya I was obsessed!) and a fresh heirloom tomato w/ sea salt & peppa.

I tossed the okra in 1 tsp olive oil, black pepper and sea salt then 20 minutes at 400F and they were ready.

Dinner is served!

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to hang out with my “tv boyfriend” for a little while 😉  Shhhh, don’t tell!

If you watch Bachelor Pad, who are your favorites so far?!?!  I really like Jesse Beck as far as guys go (could ya tell haha?) but the verdict’s still out on the ladies!

Soft Taco Dinner Winner

This week’s meals have been sort of ad-hoc if you will, considering I didn’t have much time for planning & grocery shopping with our busy weekend and beach day-trip extravaganza!

So I’m working with the fresh farmer’s market purchases as well as some items in our freezer & cupboards that have needed to be used up.  Feels good to “cleanse” the kitchen of this stuff and not let it go to waste.

Plus I like a good kitchen challenge, so weeks like this can be fun! Smiley

In an effort to use up the grass-fed ground beef in our freezer as well as some more of the farmer’s market veggies, last night I came up with a new recipe that turned out to be a star.

Beef, Black Bean and Veggie Soft Tacos

I just love when meals pull together perfectly like this and the flavors just “work”  … plus isn’t that the beauty of cooking anyways?!

Since we only had a little under 1/2lb of ground beef I decided to bulk it up using some canned black beans as well as diced veggies.  This also lightens the meal and sneaks in some yummy veggies at the same time —-> another win win?

I started by chopping the veggies – here we have onion, tomato, green bell pepper, red bell pepper and garlic.

Then I added the onion and peppers to a hot pan w/ olive oil and cooked over medium heat until they were tender, adding some salt & pepper along the way.

Next in went the ground beef and black beans, which I cooked until the beef was browned and done.  As the beef was cooking I added in the mixture of spices (cumin, chili powder, oregano) and hot sauce as well.

Oh the smells!

Last into the pan went the fresh tomato and garlic and the temp down to med-low, letting the taco filling do it’s thing for a few minutes while the rest of the meal was pulled together.

To serve, we have wheat tortilla, salsa and shredded raw cheddar (loving this stuff).

And a side dish of cooked zucchini and corn surrounded by fresh from the garden tomato (Fanatic Mom’s gift from their recent trip, which you’ll be hearing about soon!)

These soft tacos totally hit the spot!  I loved how they almost seemed like chili w/ the black beans and veggies, but still had the flavors of a delicious taco.

I got the seasonings perfect this time too, which I was excited about since last time around it took me a while to get there!

Take that taco seasoning packet mix <—– yuck Smiley

The recipe:

Beef, Black Bean & Veggie Soft Tacos

  • 1/2 pound grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans – drained & rinsed
  • 2 bell peppers, 1 red and 1 green – diced
  • 1 onion – diced
  • 1 clove garlic – minced
  • 1 tomato – diced
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • approx. 1.5 tsp cumin
  • approx. 2 tsp chili powder
  • approx. 1.5 tsp dried oregano
  • Frank’s hot sauce, to taste
  • salt
  • pepper

To serve:

  • wheat tortillas
  • shredded raw cheddar
  • salsa

Alright well I better get to work, mid-week is here hooray!  Have a great day all.

Exercise I am loving this week:

– ExerciseTV Less is More Pilates (hello abs & thighs!)

– YogaDownload.com Yoga with Weights (whoa arm work!)

– YogaDownload.com Solar Flow (total body stretch & strengthen!)

Crazy Peppers?!

After our night out Friday night, I spent yesterday being busy busy!  But busy doing things you love really doesn’t feel like “busy” now does it 😉

I talked mini-Fanatic into gettin’ up pretty early and hitting up the farmer’s market with me (she’s easily bribable with Starbucks friends haha), where we proceeded to buy everything they had.  Seriously.

Some of our bounty included these beauties:

Upon seeing these crazy peppers I may or may not have stated “this is something I HAVE to have!”

Who says that about peppers?  Really Steph?

A lady laughed “with” me about that one 😛

After a “necessary” Target stop we were famished, and these crazy peppers sure did make for a delicious lunch salad addition, sweet & flavorful!

Lil’ Sis and I pulled together an at-home salad bar with all our goodies.

Romaine, cherry gold tomatoes, cucumber, tomato, fresh basil, onion, peppers, white beans seasoned w/ oregano, farmer’s market pickles, S&P plus some Giada raspberry vinaigrette.

We picked these pickles up at the market from a new vendor and I love them more than Snooki loves fried pickles.

“This puts pickles on a whole new level.”  <—– anyone else watch it hahaha?!

We also gave a go at okra fries for the first time.

Cooking spray, S&P then baked for 20 minutes at 400F.

Verdict?  Unlike my aversion to the “beloved kale chip” of the blog world, these were DELICIOUS!  Lil’ sis and I are hooked.

In fact, so hooked that I made them again for dinner. I kid you not (proof’s in the picture haha?)

Pretty fan-spankin’-tabulous!

After lunch we headed to the pool for a bit and then continued our day of shopping with Fanatic Mom – peas in a pod I tell ya.

Once I got home I was beat!  I decided that some detox yoga was in order and it was a fabulous 20 minute quick workout.

After yoga-fying myself it was dinner time 🙂

I picked up some local grass-fed ground beef at the market so I knew that burgers had to be on the menu tonight 🙂

More okra fries (told-ya-so 😉 ) and fresh farmer’s market corn (found a worm in 1 of them *shriek!!* haha)

Made with a mixture of Dijon mustard, worcestershire sauce & Frank’s hot sauce plus S&P then cooked stovetop, these turned out beautifully.

I topped The Man’s w/ this buffalo wing cheese —> complimented the buffalo peanuts I got him earlier in the day.

I think he’d eat ice cream if it were slathered in buffalo sauce, it’s a bit ridiculous 😉

The fresh mozzarella was paired w/ some fresh Hanover tomatoes and topped w/ basil, S&P and balsamic vinegar.

Summer food beauty at it’s finest.  At least in my opinion!

And now it’s Sunday… and cloudy.  Looks like some around the house chores are in order (oh glamorous life!)

Enjoy you day everyone 😀

Fresh Fish Tacos!

We’re still here friends!

The Man finally arrived the other night and we spent a most glorious day at the beach w/ mini-Fanatic yesterday, the weather was hot but still felt great 😀

Nice pose honey haha…

I rocked it out hat style most of the day, that sun was strong on the face!

No one’s gettin’ any younger here 😉

I also had a lovely, quick Pilates session on ExerciseTV which left my abs feelin’ sore through today!

Once the sun went down it was time to start on another fresh seafood dinner!

I have to tell you friends that the fish market down the street from our house, Austin’s Seafood Company, has some seriously phenomenal seafood.

Fresh North Carolina shrimp & local grouper fish tacos were on the menu tonight!

It doesn’t get much better than this 😛

Strawberry grouper & snowy grouper

Seasoned w/ chili powder, sea salt, pepper, fresh lime juice & olive oil – baked at 425F for about 15 minutes until it just flaked apart.

With the addition of some local tomatoes (red & yellow)

Gaw-geous!

Chopped up with some onion, fresh lime juice, S&P – basically a salsa w/out the cilantro

The fish taco assembly went down!

  • tortillas
  • grouper
  • mock salsa
  • shredded lettuce
  • shredded pepper jack cheese
  • spicy roasted pepper salsa

Not only was it a beauty, but also so ridiculously delicious!! 🙂

Vacation eats have definitely been top-notch, can I please bring this seafood market home with me as a souvenir???

Ahhh a girl can dream…

Well today we have another day by the ocean lined up and then my best friend Laura arrives this afternoon… gonna be a packed house and I’m so excited!  We’re headed out tonight to a local bar too so should be quite the night!

Now off to detox with some yoga in prep for said night, after “wine wednesday” yesterday I think it’s necessary 😉

*sigh* vacation is rough….

Lata gatas!

The Perfect Storm?

Phew it was a hot one today!

Spent the morning doing some Yoga Sculpt on ExerciseTV and some ab work… it was glorious 🙂

Then we headed out to beach, but only lasted about 3 hours in the crazy hot temps!

So instead of frying ourselves for any longer, we went in search for some beach reads & fresh produce, check out the finds!

  • North Carolina tomatoes
  • South Carolina peaches
  • local peppers

Would you believe that all this only came to $7????  Crazy talk, right!?

Then early evening a crazy storm rolled through, well not technically through, because it circled all around us but never actually really hit… ?

Outta control rain, lightening and thunder over the ocean…!

So of course we decided to make a lil’ home video of the whole “situation” 😛

CHECK IT OUT HERE!

After that was all said and done, it was onto dinner!

But not before cocktail hour, obvi 😉

On the “fresh by the sea” menu tonight we have:

  • scallops, 2 ways
  • baked zucchini fries
  • garden salad
  • fresh 9 grain bread w/ butter

We made the scallops 2 ways, the first being a breaded recipe that I’ve done many times and one that is always a sure hit – so good!

Fresh local scallops, dipped in milk, rolled in seasoned bread crumb and then drizzled w/ a butter & worcestershire (melted) mixture.

This recipe tastes so decadent even though it only uses about 1.5 tblsp butter… this was the fave tonight!

We also gave some scallops, seasoned w/ key lime seasoning,  a saute in some coconut oil (is Fanatic Fam hooked yet??? 😉 it was upon Mom’s request!) until caramelized & perfectly done.

There were also some baked zucchini “fries” made w/ bread crumb, oregano, S&P and an egg – served w/ marinara sauce of course 😀

And a fresh garden salad to round out the meal.

Who needs to go out to eat when they can have meals like this at home?!??!

Alright, well off to enjoy the lingering lightening show out over the water and sip on some more vino… ah vacation, why can’t you last forever 😉

Have a great night everyone!

Beach Day #1 – A Success!

Hey everyone, hope ya’ll are having a great Monday! 😀

We’ve definitely been busy relaxin’ it up around here, beach day #1 a full success…!

Starting with this morning and a fabulous YogaDownload Yoga w/ Weights sessions with mini-Fanatic.

Invigorating and worked those muscles to the core!

The beach was also pretty awesome-tastic today

Sunny and hot, sounds pretty good to me 😛

Fanatic Dad definitely won super-Dad points for bringing us ladies some ice cold bud lights to enjoy by the shore mid-day too – ummm yes please!

No complaints here 😉

After a full day of relaxation and soaking up the rays, it was time for another delicious beach dinner.

On the menu tonight:

  • BBQ garlic chicken
  • Farmer’s market corn
  • Plaintains
  • Wanna-be tabbouleh, take 2

No one in the Fanatic Fam had tried plaintains before, and since ya’ll know how much I adore them, you know what that meant!

It was time to break them into this lovely treat 😀

Sprinkled w/ some cinnamon & sea salt, then “fried” up in 1 tblsp coconut oil

The verdict?

Fanatic Family loved them!!!!

Even if Dad did call them “delicious fried bananas” 😉

The BBQ chicken recipe is one that I learned while visiting the Jersey Shore many years ago, and one that I still make often.

A simple mix of Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce + 3 large cloves chopped garlic, marinated for about 4 hours and baked at 375F for 30 minutes.

Moist, flavorful and perfect!

There was also some fresh farmer’s market corn which we picked up on our way in yesterday.

And the return of the leftover wanna-be tabbouleh – I made enough for an army apparently!

This stuff just gets better and better I tell ya!

All served up…

Perfect way to end such a nice day!!!

And now we are enjoying some time on the deck and a lil’ Bachelorette action too – so. much. drama. tonight, ready for it!

Have a wonderful night ya’ll and see ya soon 🙂