Tag Archives: olives

Cuban Picadillo

Hey friends!  Well we’ve made it to Thursday (what, it’s Thursday already, what a week?!) 😛

Anywho, last night’s dinner was super delicious & also fun bc The Man got in the kitchen and really helped me out!

On the menu?

Cuban Picadillo

“Fanatic Style”

Ever had it?

After purchasing some local ground beef at the farmer’s market last week, I was looking for fun & new recipes to try and stumbled across this one.

What is picadillo? A traditional dish in many Latin American countries made with ground meat, tomatoes and other ingredients that vary by region.  The Cuban version usually includes ingredients such as peppers, onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, olives, raisins and olive oil.

With the salty addition of green olives plus the sweetness of plump raisins, let’s just say that this recipe had me at hello 😀

So The Man & I proceeded with mixing up our own version of this dish!

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 1 lb local grass fed ground beef
  • 2/3 can green olives, drained & sliced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 small package raisins, soaked in water for about 20 min to plump up
  • salt & pepper
  • approx. 1 tblsp cumin & coriander

1.  Saute onion in olive oil.  Add garlic towards end, plus spices and S&P to taste.   Holy smell, deelish 😛

2. Add in ground beef, cooking through until close to done.

3, Then comes the tomatoes, olives, tomato paste and raisins.  Let’s all be friends!

Then turn down the temp to med-low and cover to let finish cooking through.

Served unconventionally atop a bed of egg noodles…

We adored this dish!  The saltiness of the olives paired with a sweet bite of raisin here and there, plus the heartiness of the grass fed beef really made this dish unique.

We both mmmmmm’ed and yummmm’ed through the whole thing, loved it 😀

Oh yea, we also had some side salads to go with, per usual, his & hers…

… which featured this farmer’s market buy!

This cheese is spectacular!  I can’t wait to try a new flavor next time around too.

Such a fast and easy meal, plus I love spending time together in the kitchen.  It was just what I needed after yesterday’s long work day and it fully rejuvenated me to my core!

Good thing…. because it’s time to tackle another day 😉

After work we have a bazillion and one errands to run for the Cinco de Mayo party this weekend (menu is planned, sneak peak tomorrow perhaps????) so we’ll be busy bees tonight!  Hoping I can squeeze in a workout too, but we’ll see.

Until later my friends, enjoy your day!


Morocco for the night :)

Quick post before Gossip Girl!!!  Me and Rob have a date since The Man won’t watch it with me (he hates it hahaha) 😉


After gettin’ home late from work & taking Lucy Dog on a walk, got started on tonight’s menu which included

  • Moroccan fish w/ tomatoes & olives
  • Couscous w/ pine nuts, feta & roasted peppers

I found the Moroccan fish recipe in a hand-me-down issue of Woman’s Day (thanks ma!) that I was perusing on the way back from VTech this weekend…. the flavor combo really intrigued me (cinnamon again!) even though I have always been hesitant on using frozen fish :/  Well, here goes nothing!


Here were the players


Saute the chopped onion in EVOO (medium heat) for a few minutes, add the chopped garlic, cinnamon and cumin and cook another minute or so til fragrant


Then add the can of tomatoes and about half a can of olives, sliced in half


 Get the defrosted fish ready for baking by drizzling with 2 tsp EVOO, sea salt and pepper.  Bake at 425F for about 11 minutes, til done.



Onto the couscous, here’s team 2!! (I am such a nerd haha)


Prepare the cous cous according to the directions (which btw peeps, is so freakin’ super easy, boil some water and spice packet then take off heat and add the cous cous and let sit covered for 5 minutes – I mean seriously, easier than heating a slice of pizza fo’ realz!)  Stir in some chopped roasted peppers and crumbled feta yummm 🙂

Here was the final product



My plate!


So how was it you ask?!?!?  Easy, fast, delicious, yummy, healthy, do I need to go on?? 😉  The first words out of The Man’s mouth were “Oh God this is good”  Here’s the breakdown

  1. fish w/ the moroccan inspired ‘sauce’ was incredibly delicious… the spices were insanely good w/ the tomato/olive combo and it was a cinch to make… plus I am no longer scared of frozen fish 🙂
  2. couscous was fabulous, I had made us the plain kind before and it was kinda blah but this pine nut flava w/ the addition of the feta and roasted garlic peppers was awesome!

Overall this meal was done in under 30 minutes and tasted fabulous — WIN! 🙂 🙂

One last quick thing and in the spirit of surprise guest appearances (ala Fitnessista & FoodieintheCity style!) – although not the woman herself, but her delish looking recipe instead – check out what my mom made for din last night over at her house!  Holy yum does this look good 🙂

This lady knows where it's at

This lady knows where it's at

How good does that look?  Yea, go Mom!!

Here’s what she had to say about Mrs.Paula Deen’s recipe:  “This recipe could be tweaked a lot…I used low fat sour cream (you could use some sort of broth if you didn’t like sour cream) and low fat cheddar.  When I make it again I probably will add red pepper flakes.”  Check the recipe out here if ya wanna!

Alright bloggies, 10 minute countdown to Gossip Girl and some cookies n’cream ice cream is callin’ my name!! I love being 15 again 🙂  Night blog friends!

Bff = blue cheese/apple pizza ;)

Hey there my fellow bloggie bloggertons!  Hope everyone trucked through today alright even though it was a MONDAYYYYYY :/ grrr :/ But it’s OVA whoop whoop!  Anotha one down 🙂

Black Belt training today went very well – but I sure am glad to be home! 🙂

I was planning on a J.M. Shred sesh however no-go tonight — 2 days of intense exercise + not enough time = day o’ rest for this exercisin’ fanatic!  Girls gotta do what a girls gotta do right?!  So J.M. and I will meet tomorrow, luckily she is pretty cool w/ me pushin’ our sessions around 😉

Speaking of J.M. – check out Caitlin’s post regarding diet supps that our fave weight loss fanatic is now selling – I must say that I was pretty disappointed to read this however, life must go on :/

So after that I set out to get a head start on dinner! 

First up:  Tomato/Mozz/Olive Italian salad!  I love this combo of flavas (inspired by The Man’s momma 🙂 ) and like to prep the salad a few hours before eating to let the flavas blend.


Oh we're ready for this one

Oh we're ready for this one

  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1/2 jar roasted red peppers
  • 1/4 onion
  • 1/2 can sliced olives
  • 1/3 block mozzarella
  • Ken’s olive oil & vinegar dressing (or any Italian you like)

Just chop up all the veggies and throw them in a bowl – oh and don’t forget the tomato choppin’ trick that I posted a while back!

Ummm so you plan on dressin' me or what??

Ummm so you plan on dressin' me or what?

Before you throw on the dressing, add a bit of these guys for some additional flava

Oregano + S&P

Oregano + S&P

Then stir it all up and put it back in the fridge-a-daire til you are ready for din – look, half of the meal is DONE!

Get to marinatin' salad!

Get to marinatin' salad!

After my salad fiesta I decided it was time to pour a glass of vino – Herding Cats Chard/Viogner blend – some things never change haha!  (check out the new stemless digs peeps)

I break too many wine glasses w/ stems :/ haha

I break too many wine glasses w/ stems :/ haha

 Me likey!  Then I sat down to catch up on some google reader – however Lucy Dog seemed to have gotten a head start for me 😉



 JK peeps, we haven’t mastered typing yet, we’re still trying to teach her how to vaccuum up all her fur! (gross eh?)

After some bloggalicious chill time, I got to some pizza makin’ with my homegirl Sandra Lee

Gettin' jiggy w it?

Gettin' jiggy w it?

Canadian Bacon, Sweet Onion & Apple Pizza time – fanatic style (I always gotta modify somethin?! 😉 )

Let’s make the crust first – it needs to sit, covered for about 5 minutes before flattening into the pan

  • pizza crust mix (umm best stuff eva – 88 cents what what!)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/3 cup hot water
Saucy apples make the crust moist & sweet!

Saucy apples make the crust moist & sweet!

Stir this mix up a few times (20 or so) til’ incorporated then cover in a bowl and let rest for 5-10 minutes while you prep the toppings!
  • 1/8 cup light blue cheese dressing
  • 1/2 apple, sliced
  • about 4 slices of onion
  • 3 slices Canadian bacon
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 2 tblsp grated Parm
  • fresh pepper
Pizza preppin' peeps!

Pizza preppin' peeps!

Ya’ll, don’t be scared of Canadian bacon (unless you’re veggie of course, you can omit this step 🙂 ) — 3 slices of this stuff only has 60 cals – really no biggie! 🙂
Slice ’em up!
Let's do this!

Let's do this!

Then just take the crust and spread it out in a pan (coat w/ cooking spray first) to get ready for topping time.  Crust sticking to your hands? No prob-just dust them in some trusty flour!


Top with the apple & onion slices & some fresh pepper
We're gettin there!

We're gettin there!

Then add the Canadian bacon, cheeses & some more fresh pepper! 
Bake me already!

Bake me already!

Then pop it into a 450F oven for 12 minutes and ta-da……!!!
This is the stuff dreams are made of *sigh*

This is the stuff dreams are made of *sigh*

Time to serve it up! 
Can I get a heck to the yea?!

Can I get a heck to the yea?!

Dinner turned out perfecto – this go-to Sandra recipe always hits the spot!! 🙂  And thanks to The Man’s mom for the superfab tomato/mozz salad idea! 

And onto other things before I race to finish this so I can watch the GOSSIP GIRL SEASON PREMIERE (yes, I am 15 years old, check it 😉 )

HOW WAS THE PB&J LARABAR YOU ASK?!?!  It was definitely dee-lish – I wouldn’t put it above Coconut Cream Pie and Ginger Snapizzle in my book – but I would def get this flava again! 🙂

So all in all bloggies, today was a great Monday – one of the best in a while actually! I hope that the week continues like this… esp since I’m goin to visit my fave sista this weekend at VA Tech (yes Kim, I know you are my onlyyyy sisterrr… haha I love u!)

Have a great night peeps – see ya for another day tomorrow!! 🙂

First time Frittata!

 In response to my bad rainy day attitude :/ earlier today I found this:  “A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.”  🙂

Love it.

So after work today I came home to this: 

Let's just say there were a few dishes to be put away as of 7am this morning :/
Let’s just say there were a few dishes to be put away as of 7am this morning :/

 The Man had not only taken out the trash & made the bed but also put away all the dishes & loaded up the dishwasher before heading off to work. Best. Guy. Ever.

So w/ no chores to do I quickly tackled some Shred3 and it felt great! Lucy tried to get me to let her join, but I told her it just wasn’t safe for dogs 😉

Pleaseeee let me do it tooooo?!?!

Pleaseeee let me do it tooooo?!?!

I’ll say it again peeps, I love this workout — 25 minutes of some of the most effective cardio & strength exercises I have ever done.  I’ve had people ask me what I do to stay in shape, and seriously, the key for me is variety.  My usual week consists of nothing too rigorous or crazy, just effective, and includes a Shred session, a yoga practice and one or two cardio/kickboxing classes at the gym 🙂
In other news, Jenna over at EatLiveRun had an awesome post today.  Homegirl has inspired me to partake in a renewal of the freshness, focusing on increasing my healthful eats and decreasing, well, we all know what types of things need this! 😉  Here will be my goals for the next few weeks:
  • increase & corporate fruits & veggies into each mealfor me making sure to stay on track can be a struggle with the summer months waving goodbye (along with their summer bounty) therefore I will try to utilize fall/winter seasonal fruits & veggies more (here I come apples & squash!)
  • decrease random chocolate consumption no, I do not NEED a hershey bar with lunch everyday :/
  • decrease wine consumption1 glass with dinner is enough, 2 or 3 on occassion only 😉 !

Let’s start with tonight, which incorporated the following VEGGIE-TA-BULLLS into the mix:  romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, potatoes, roasted red peppers 🙂


I made our salad with the following:

  • romaine lettuce
  • tomato
  • onion
  • cucumber
  • roasted red peppers

Then dressed it with one of our favorite salad dressing inventions ever — blue cheese vinagrette! 

Great way to lighten up if you crave blue cheese flava but don’t want all the cals associated – by thinning it out w/ vinegar you get some “tang” and the sugar/agave adds sweetness to balance… plus it thins out the blue cheese so the dressing goes a long way (vs. reg bl cheese which is thick and hard to coat the salad!)

Mighty agave strikes again!

Mighty agave strikes again!

  • 2 tblsp. blue cheese dressing
  • 1 tblsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tblsp. agave (I usually use sugar – however the agave made the dressing EVEN BETTER OMG seriously!!)
Stocked full o' veggie goodness!

Stocked full o' veggie goodness!

Do any of ya’ll have a great homemade dressing recipe you would like to share?  I adore homemade dressings and would love to know your secrets!!  



Then I set out to make the Potato-Olive Frittata from the Vegetarian Cookbook I featured earlier this week – never made one before so I was excited!

Simply saute 2 cloves garlic, 1/2 onion sliced thick, 3 red potatoes sliced thin, salt/pepper in 1 tblsp EVOO for about 15 minutes flipping occassionally (use an oven proof pan if you have one, if not you can always wrap foil around the handle of the pan before putting in oven – Rachel Ray taught me that 😉 )



Meanwhile combine 4 eggs, salt/pepper, 1 tblsp dried oregano.  Once taters are done pour the egg mixture over top and sprinkle with sliced black olives.
What's up with my new olive obsession?

What's up with my new olive obsession?

Let cook over medium for about 5 minutes til egg starts to set but still remains glossy on top.  Sprinkle with some Parm cheese and/or provolone and put in a 450F oven for about 4 minutes to finish cooking and melt cheesy.  It’s done!
Here was the meal spread
Lovin' veg night in this house!

Lovin' veg night in this house!

 I drank this beauty alongside (thanks Man’s Mom, I was trying to help you “clean out” the bar post-party! 😉 – which was a lovely shiraz, nice and light surprisingly and perfect with this bistro style meal!
Cute Koala :)

Cute Koala 🙂

 We plated up and devoured — both the salad and the frittata turned out SO AWESOME!!

You will be seeing this again, oh yes!

You will be seeing this again, oh yes!

If you like blue cheese ya’ll I really recommend trying this dressing sometime…. and if you like simple, healthy, cheap, delicious meals then try this frittata – fo’ real – I am sold, soooooo gooooood!!!
Alright, well off to relax and catch up on some google reader — big meeting planned at work tomorrow so gotta get some beauty rest too!  Hope you all have a wonderful evening 🙂

Oh Cooking Light, I love thee so!

Before the absolutely deeeeee-lish (true dat) dinner post, I have a quick side note for my fine state of residency:

Dear VA,

What the heck, I leave you for 5 measley days and all of a sudden you decide that it’s mid-fall, long-sleeve, pant-wearing weather…?!  You’re really taking this September 1st thing seriously this year.  What is up with the 60 degree temps, totally not normal…  My body is in shock adjusting to the HUGE difference from the tropics, would appreciate just a couple of degrees boost before October.

Sincerely, Steph.

Haha but for real, I gotta say that it’s actually kind of nice to have some cool temps so I’m just gonna roll with it 🙂

Dinner tonight featured night 1 of theme week:

  • Chicken w/ Tomatoes & Olives (Cooking Light recipe w/ a touch o’ Cookinfanatic flair)
  • Parmesan CousCous
Tomatoes, feta, olives - I'm so in!

Tomatoes, feta, basil - I'm so in!

So when I got home from work I threw (not literally) the chicken breasts in some of this guy – the recipe didn’t call for this step however it happened anyway, bc that’s how I roll.

Doesn't it look yummy?!

Doesn't it look yummy?!

Then I had an appointment with J.M. – you see folks, all day I knew that my lady would not be pleased if we didn’t have a get-together… not after all those cruise mojitos 😉 !!  So in order to not disappoint the drill instructor, I shredded out some serious Level 3 whoop whoop!

Then I got started on din – guys, this recipe was SUPERFAB SIMPLE & turned out FREAKING DELICIOUS….omg I couldn’t believe my eyes how fast this came together & then how awesome it tasted, for real!  Here’s what you need (I tweaked the recipe a bit, go figure 😉 )

  •  4 chicken breasts
  • 2 big red tomatoes – chopped into large chunks
  • 1 can large olives – chopped in half
  • few tablespoons olive oil/vinegar salad dressing
  • crumbled feta
  • fresh basil
  • salt/pepper/oregano 
Let's get ready to rumbbbblllleeeee!!

Let's get ready to rumbbbblllleeeee!!

So I got to cookin’, but not before having some Columbia Crest Shiraz — pretty good I must say!  Put the chicken in a skillet at medium heat (1 tblsp. olive oil to coat pan will do) and cooked about 3 minutes each side, then I turned down the heat a bit and covered the lil’ guys and let them finish up cooking — getting nice and moist.  Once the chicken was done I removed it from the heat and set aside.   Then it was time for the veg mix – cooked the chopped tomato and olives in a few more tablespoons of Mr. Ken’s deelish dressing over medium heat in a medium pan, adding some salt/pepper/oregano/fresh basil for flavaaa flave
QUICK TIP O’MINE (courtesy of Mrs. Ray) – have a bowl for garbage/food scraps out while you chop & prep – saves so many trips to the garbage can guys, this is seriously such a wondeful idea!  Shout out Rachel Ray!
Endless trips to the gar-bahge... I think not!

Endless trips to the gar-bahge... I think not!

Once this mixture cooked for about ?10 minutes? I poured it over the cooked chicken breasts, sprinkled it with some feta then popped it in a 350 oven for 5 minutes to soften/melt the cheesy.  Oh yea, and don’t forget to just prepare the couscous in the meantime – I mean seriously guys, you boil water/EVOO and dump in a sauce pack and the cousy – then let sit for 5 and fluff.  Rocket science?  I think not!  Here’s how it turned out:
Try this. Now. Seriously, I didn't even like olives much before tonight, I'm totally not joking!!!!

Try this. Now. Seriously, I didn't even like olives much before tonight, I'm totally not joking!!!!

And here was the plate of delight — blog buds, I really can’t tell you enough how good this was esp for being so freakin’ easy.  This is going on the menu again soon, totally not kidding!!!!!!!  I really don’t love olives (or so I thought) however they tasted awesome in this dish, the blend of fresh flavors was just supurb (Cooking Light, you’ve done it again!) and it is even uber-healthy for the ol’ bod 🙂  Winner winner chicken dinner?  I think so!
Plate it up!
Serve chicken & veg over cous cous

Serve chicken & veg over cous cous

Alright blog friends, I gotta hot date w/ a certain Man to watch our favorite show EVER on demand (we missed it Sunday!) — can’t say that the Dark Chocolate PB won’t be dipped into during however (OMG Jenna this shizz is sooooo good, The Man is hooked too – I’m totally expecting to find that jar gone like in 3 days haha).
Night all! 🙂