Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Homemade Meal...Finally!

I can't believe after not cooking a meal for almost a week, how much I missed it! And I have to say my meal choice was a winner, easy and delicious. Perfect since I wasn't feeling so hot!

Last night I made a recipe that I found on Tina's blog, Carrots N' Cake for Last-Minute Lasagna.I love eating lasagna but hate making it, cooking the long noodles is such a pain and then trying to layer them in a dish evenly is next to impossible, especially for an ocd person like myself! ;) So replacing them with the cheese filled ravioli is genius!!  Another great thing is this recipe has only a few ingredients that get cooked in one dish for easy cleanup!

I didn't take step by step pictures because it was raining and my kitchen was very dark. So all I did was layer some refrigerated cheese ravioli's, a jar of your favorite pasta sauce and some spinach ( I used frozen) along with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Can't get any easier than that! Cover it and bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes and uncover for another 5 minutes.

This will definitely be one of my go-to-quick dinners that I can depend on during a crazy busy week. If I was feeling better I would have added a side salad, just wasn't in the mood! The only think I will change next time is either make my own sauce or add another 28 oz jar, I like it more "saucy" and it was just a touch dry for my liking.

Bummer Alert!!! Hubby is back on nights...booooo!!!! :(

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Catching Up

The title of this post seems to sum up my life for the past week in a nut shell! Hubby went on nights last week along with working during the day so he was basically working a double shift. With that said I didn't do much cooking. I hate cooking dinner for just myself when he isn't going to be home, I just feel like its a waste of time and money so last week consisted of a lot of boring, sandwiches, soups, eggs and cereals. I am one of those people who would be completely satisfied with a bowl or two of cereal and be completely satisfied! lol

Here is a grown up grilled cheese sandwich that I made one night last week.

Extra sharp cheddar cheese, montery jack cheese, cooked red onion and slice tomatoes. Layer these ingredients between a whole wheat roll and cook in pan until cheese is just melted. Delish!!

So with our schedules back to normal this week I was really looking forward to making some meals until I woke up this morning feeling like crud! I could feel myself fighting the sniffles all weekend, hoping it was just allergies...wrong!! And talk about a bummer, today I was suppose to run, not happening! :(

Today I will be chilling on the couch with some tea and my dvr. Tonight I plan on making a recipe from a blogger and I will be posting it tomorrow! :D

Hope everyone's week is off to a great start!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Trail Mix You Don't Want to Miss!!!

Hold on to your taste buds, ladies!!! I have an amazing trail mix recipe that could easily become the new "crack" trail mix...seriously!! I've had this recipe that I found on Food Network for months and just never got around to making it, what was I thinking? My house smells like a combination of a maple barn and Autumn.

by Claire Robinson of Food Network

2 cups baby pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
6 tbls. pure maple syrup
1 cup dried cherries or cranberries

I switched up the recipe a bit, I didn't have slivered almonds so I just cut up some whole almonds and along with the cherries I added Trader Joe's orange flavored cranberries (yum)! To save a few calories, I didn't add all the syrup, I added just enough to coat everything.

So all you do is mix up the seeds, nuts and maple syrup in a bowl then spread out on a lined baking sheet and sprinkle with a little salt.

Put into a 300 degree oven for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let the mixture completely cool and then break apart into pieces and add the dried fruit. Don't be alarmed if it sticks to the parchment paper a bit. I must have had a few handfuls while doing this, it's so addicting!!!

 Doesn't it look like a big bowl of crunchy Autumn? This recipe is so versatile, next time I may add some cereals or oats maybe even so spices! It says to store in an air tight container at room temperature...I'm going to have to hide this!!! What if hubby and the girls like it??? Do I REALLY have to share??? :D

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Blah, blah, blah

I'm not a big fan of Tuesday, today was just blah. I don't mind Mondays because for some reason I get so many things done that I didn't get to over the weekend. When Tuesday comes, I don't seem to have any ambition left...I know, weirdo! lol It's just an in between day with no weekend in sight, I guess!

Today for breakfast I made a little concoction of Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Banana Oatmeal on the stove with some water and a little milk. After it was done cooking I added some cinnamon, cocoa powder, sliced banana, a nice big scoop of Barney butter and chia seeds. It was quite delicious  and hit the spot for fueling up before my run.

After my run I had a handful of walnuts and water before hitting the shower. My run went well, it was a beautiful day! I think the Fall is going to be my favorite season for running, the cool, clear and crisp mornings are so refreshing!

For lunch I had some leftover chowder, it was so much better than last night!! Yum!!! :D

For dinner I decided to try this new dinner packet from Good Earth, Mediterranean Chicken

They were on sale last week for $2.99 and I had a $1.00 coupon so I thought what the heck if it's not good it was only $1.99 down the drain! The packet included whole wheat angel hair pasta, seasoned whole wheat flour, cream sauce with olive oil and a Mediterranean seasoning with tomatoes. All you have to do is add your chicken and I always have that in my freezer, just dredge the chicken in the flour and cook in a little bit of olive oil while the pasta is cooking. Once the chicken is done you add water, milk and the cream sauce and simmer for 8 minutes. Then add the pasta to the pan and serve.

It was good, for a packaged dinner. Very flavorful and the seasoning on the chicken was perfect! For the price, ease of use and quality of ingredients, it is something I may go back to on night where I don't have a lot of time.

Did you know that The Biggest Loser Season 10 premieres one week from tonight?  Can't wait!! All the contestants inspire me in some way to want to be a better, healthier person. If they can do it so can I, although Jillian would make me cry at the drop of a hat...just sayin' ;)


Monday, September 13, 2010

A New Start…

Happy Monday everyone, hope it was good to you! I am off to a great start for the week, love days when I get so much accomplished and still have energy left for when the girls get home!
Breakfast was the usual, cereal and fresh fruit.  After this weekend I’ve decided that I’m sticking to my usual routine of meals. They are safe and they don’t  involve a lot of planning or thinking.
mid morning I had my last granola bar, time to make some more! :)
Lunch was Chobani Raspberry Greek Yogurt with granola
For an afternoon snack I had 2 Wasa multi grain crackers, Laughing Cow Cheese and watermelon
For dinner I made a chowder similar to Taste of Home’s Garden Chowder, click here for the recipe.
Here are some of the veggies, I added frozen peas which is not in the original recipe but hubby likes them! I also have broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and celery. I used low fat milk and only sprinkled a little bit of cheese over each bowl of chowder instead of using a whole 3 cups to try and lighten up the dish without losing any flavor.

By the time the chowder was finished, we were in the midst of a huge thunderstorm and my kitchen was pitch black so the next picture is awful. I am having the leftovers  for lunch tomorrow so I will take a better pic then.
Tomorrow is Tuesday and to me that means running day! I have really come to enjoy my training, can’t believe I am already starting week 3! Last week I was on my own without hubby, our schedules just didn’t work out so we will see what this week brings. I have to say I do enjoy running by myself, he likes to talk and that gets me out of breath! lol :D

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Do - Over

Have you ever felt you needed a do-over in life? Maybe you didn’t study for a test as much as you should have, made an impulse buy, didn’t completely follow a recipe properly or in my case ate lots and lots of yummy but oh – so – terrible for you things!!! :(
I need a do-over for this entire weekend from start.….
Pumpkin Muffin from Dunkin Donuts…We’ve had a tradition with our youngest daughter that on her first soccer game of the season we take her to DD.  It was yummy and little did I know it was the first of many poor choices for the next two days.
For lunch a Chicken Sandwich from Mc D’s…just because it was convenient at the time,  I felt completely horrible after I ate this!!! After eating well for so long and then having fast food, I can’t believe how awful it instantly made me feel!
We had dinner at a friends and I completely let loose with the appetizers and drinks not to mention pizza!! We came home early because I wasn’t feeling well. Gee maybe it was the half container of dip and chips that I devoured!!! lol

This was suppose to be my one indulgent I was saving  for the weekend! The most delicious cannoli that my sister-in-law, Jane brought back  from Mike’s Pastry shop in Boston.  You would think that I would just take a bite or two here and there and be content with that…nope, ate the whole damn thing in one sitting!!
So I guess this just proves that I am still striving to find a happy healthy balance in my life between eating and indulging.  As for this weekend I am giving myself a big fat “F”!  With that said tomorrow is the start of a new week and I can’t wait to get it started out right,  I know my body will be thanking me. ;)
I am determined to see some good come out of these past few days so  I am ending this post on two positive notes:
1. I held myself completely accountable and didn’t blame my hubby or any other influences for my food choices. This is my journey, not his.
2. I am still on track with my couch to 5k plan and loving it!!!    

Thursday, September 9, 2010

How to – Steak Fries

Hope everyone’s week is flying by as fast as mine, not sure if it’s the short week or the fact that I have been so busy! Whatever the reason I am welcoming a relaxing weekend with open arms! :) My meals for the past two days have been the usual, cereal for breakfast, yogurt and fruit for lunch and  either a sandwich or canned soup for dinner on the run to soccer or field hockey practices.
I have had so many questions regarding my fries and how I get them so crispy! I am happy to report that they are REALLY simple, you just have to have a little patience. I am all about quick, casual meals but when it comes to baking crispy fries you have to be willing to give them some baking love!
Steak Fries
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wash 2 medium  potatoes and dry thoroughly. Cut each potato in half and then cut each half into thin wedges. Coat wedges with about a tablespoon of olive oil and layer the wedges in a sheet pan. Here’s the key, try to  make sure every wedge is touching the pan and that they are in one single layer as best as you can. Otherwise if they are all bunched up and laying on each other they won’t crisp up and instead be very soggy and flimsy. Place in the oven for 20 minutes, take them out and sprinkle a little parmesan cheese (1/4 cup) (if desired) and put back in the oven for another 20 minutes. Sprinkle with a little salt before serving.
Before placing them in the oven…
half way done, sprinkled with parmesan cheese…
done and ready to eat!!!
These steaks fries are the perfect addition to any burger or sandwich, they are crispy on the outside and nice and fluffy on the inside!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ending of the Summer

No, summer can’t be over yet!!! I remember the last day of school like it was yesterday, with the girls getting off the bus with their backpacks stuffed with another school year behind them and the anticipation for what the summer was about to hold for! So long summer of 2010 it was wonderful while it lasted! Looking forward to see what the Fall has in store for us, I hope it has something to do with pumpkin muffins, hot soups simmering on the stove, warm apple crisp and beautiful foliage!
This morning was the coolest it has been in awhile so I was in the mood for some warm oatmeal on the stove! I searched some blogs and came across Kath’s (Kath Eats Real Food) Carrot Cake Oatmeal.  HELLO!!! If you like dessert for breakfast then you HAVE to try this recipe!!!  It was so easy and quick to make the only down side for me was I had to share it with hubby. :(   I literally was counting the spoonfuls between the two of us, I didn’t want to get jipped of any of this delicious goodness!! lol
This dish  is definitely drool worthy!! :D
After breakfast I did the 30 Day Shred and then we decided to take the girls and dogs on a hike. We packed a lunch with Veggies and hummus wrapped in a whole wheat wrap for us and barney butter sandwiches for the girls.
We didn’t hike very far, Jordyn’s allergies started to act up so we called it a day before it was ruined! One thing I don’t look forward to with Fall is ragweed. :(
Dinner was courtesy of another blogger, Jessica from How Sweet It Is! A few weeks ago she made Buffalo chicken burgers so I knew I had to try them since I am such a sucker for anything with buffalo wing sauce!
The burgers were so easy to make and delicious! I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, I omitted the cheese, added some scallions to the burgers then dressed them with lettuce and tomato and made my own ranch dressing. YUM!!!! :) Can’t forget the steak fries with parmesan cheese!!
What a great way to end a beautiful summer!!
Hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend! I am starting week 2 of Couch to 5K tomorrow, can’t wait!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Date Night

Hope everyone is enjoying their holiday weekend, the weather here has been spectacular! Yesterday I did my 30 Day Shred along with another run with hubby!

For breakfast I had a whole wheat bagel thin with almond butter, chia seeds and banana.  Love eating this before working out!!


For some reason I just wasn’t hungry at all  for lunch but we were heading up to the lake so hubby made me a little something before we left.


It was a perfect light lunch, he even took the picture! heehee

We enjoyed the day at my dad’s house on the lake, actually I think the dogs enjoyed it more than us!



Date Night!!!! :D  These only come once in a blue moon lately so I was really looking forward to it! We decided to keep it casual since it is Labor Day weekend and tried out a new place, The Citizen which is a wine and cheese bar! 

We started off with a Warm Cheese Dip spiked with roasted tomato & garlic with grilled pita

Dinner 5

Here is my pressed sandwich with a few different cheeses, homemade chips, pickle and some spicy whole grain mustard and Vidalia onion mayo all served on a cheese board.

Dinner 3

Dinner 2

We ordered fondue for dessert, it came with strawberries, apples, pretzels, dried apricots, bananas and biscotti. YUM! :)

Dinner 4

Some well deserved indulgence and end to a perfect evening!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Goodbye Earl and Hello Weekend!!!

Happy Labor Day weekend, everyone!! Hope everyone is enjoying this last bit of summer, I know I will be! We usually start to close up the pool by the end of the weekend but since this summer has been so hot we are thinking of leaving it open for a bit longer…fine by me! :D

Yesterday, we eagerly awaited Earl to see what he had in store for our northeastern coast line! All we saw inland was a little bit of rain and waking up this morning to see the news, looks like he didn’t even stop to say hello! Rain and wind with little damage on the coast, no biggee!!

I did the 30 Day Shred yesterday, no running scheduled. For breakfast and snack I had a bowl of cereal and then a banana. And for lunch I had plain greek yogurt  with granola and fresh berries!


Dinner was so-so, pizza of course since it was Friday. I had to admit all the while I was putting this pizza together I couldn’t help but try and think of a backup plan…I didn’t have one!

This recipe is from Fitness Magazine and it’s for Thai Chicken Pizza. Click here to get the recipe! The main ingredients are chicken, red pepper, scallions and a peanut butter sauce with mozzarella cheese, of course!

It was easy to put together, the only thing I wasn’t  crazy about was the sauce. The base of it was peanut butter, I used Barney butter and I just thought it was a little too overwhelming! I never thought I would complain about too much peanut butter, lol!! Another thing I wasn’t crazy about was pre-baking the crust, just another step that bugs me when I want to be in and out of the kitchen!

Here’s the finished product..


Looks good, right? It actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Hubby loved it but in my opinion, it just doesn’t old a candle to Buffalo Chicken Pizza,  just sayin’!! :)


Off to get this beautiful Saturday started, date night with hubby tonight! :D

Enjoy your day!!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Heat Wave

I am so over this heat wave!!!!!!!!!! Fall  hurry up and get here!!! But before that Earl please go away and do not harm anyone or anything!! I will not be affected by this hurricane because I am more inland but if anyone is PLEASE stay safe, my thoughts are with the people in NC…
I did the 30 day shred this morning, I really enjoy this video! It’s just a quick 20 minutes to get my heart pumping and energy up to start the day off on the right foot!
Breakfast was a bowl of Go Lean and Cheerios with fruit, morning snack was a banana!
For lunch I made myself a bowl of plain greek yogurt with granola and fruit, it’s so pretty I almost don’t even want to eat it! :)
And dinner was tuna wrapped in a whole wheat wrap with salad mix and veggies. I am really getting sick of these quick sandwich/wraps but there is no way I am heating up the kitchen in this weather! I JUST WANT TO COOK A REAL MEAL!!!! :D
Today was my second run, hubby and I waited til it was almost dusk to head out, despite the temp we had a great run. I’m really enjoying it and I completely understand everyone that commented on my last post about running with a partner who is faster. Poor Keith was almost doing a power walk just to stay with me. lol He’s not complaining so neither will I !


Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Holy cow where has the day gone?! Sorry this is going to be another quick post, getting back into school routine is tougher than I thought!  Teachers sure don’t wait to start shoveling out the homework!  Grrrr!
I have to tell you about my first run last night, it went great! Loved it and I am really looking forward to my next one. Don’t think I stretched enough because I was a little stiff this morning. One of the best parts about my run was, I had a surprise partner…my hubby! Not sure if he’s in it for the training or wants to keep me company but either way is a bonus for me! :D
Here we are after our first run last night!
It has been so hot here, my appetite has gone down the tubes! If it’s not water or fruit I don’t feel like eating. One more day of this heat and our temps will be down.  I am really looking forward to the fall with the cooler weather, hearty soups and baking with apples and pumpkin!  Mmmmm!!!
Breakfast and lunch were the same, cereal and yogurt with fruit and some granola. Dinner was fast and light, toasted ham sandwich with spinach and tomatoes with some veggies cut up.
I like my toast a little burnt….just sayin’ ;)
Do you like to run alone or with someone or a group?
I am off to hit the hay, hope everyone had a great day! 
Did not intend for that to rhyme! lol