Recipes

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I've been Tagged!

Fun!! My first blog tag...I was tagged by Meghann, so here goes:




4 Things I Did Today
  • the usual 8-5 at work...boring I know
  • Made a quick gym trip
  • Hit up WF's and Starbucks for a little post-gym snack and energy boost
  • Went to my review class...tonight topic was Construction Management
    (wow what a boring day...tomorrow's will be better)

4 Things on my To-Do List

  • pick a Caterer for the wedding (this has to be decided by the end of the week!)
  • pack my bag for tomorrow night (staying at Brian's)
  • Study! (perpetual to-do item until Oct 24)
  • Find an outfit for my engagement pictures

4 of my Guilty Pleasures

  • I suppose almost ALL of my TV shows (gossip girl, the hills, 90210, One tree hill, Greek...etc, anything involving teenage drama haha)
  • Clothes and Shoes....and purses
  • food shopping! (specifically WF's)
  • Ice cream and cheese :)

4 Random Facts about Me

  • I was on my high school dance team, college dance team, and an Arena Football dance team! (almost made Celtics dancers...made it to finals last year but it was a no go)
  • I graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2004 with my B.S. in Civil Engineering
  • I'm an only child, but have 25 first cousins
  • I'm mostly a girly girl (love PINK, and make-up, clothes...etc), but I really like to go camping once in a while with the fiance...but only for a couple days :)

That was fun! Hmmm...I think I'll tag...Erica at Itzy's Kitchen



Back to my day.

First of all I finally tried a Cherry Pie Larabar...SO GOOD...I think it's now my favorite. I just loved how the cherry made it a little tart. My previous fav, Cashew Cookie, is delicious but much sweeter and couldn't eat it all at once, but this cherry one is awesome!

After the gym, my WF's/Starbucks trip consisted of a couple cheese samples, then this little sampler from the cold salad bar.

In my small soup container (with a few bites gone already), there are a couple pieces of grilled chicken, a piece of grilled summer squash, a few pesto tortellinis, and green peas.

My Starbucks du jour was a tall non-fat iced latte with 1 pump mocha...haven't had anything with mocha in SO long...it was awesome!!

After my review class, which was actually bearable tonight, I came home still hungry. So I ate a roll-up of 1 slice provolone, 2 slices turkey pastrami, all rolled around 2 grape tomatoes!

I also had a small piece of low carb pita and hummus, and a small handful of PB Puffins for dessert.

Now one last thing on my To-Do list...GO TO BED!!

Need to Slow Down

My eating that is. I've eaten fast for as long as I can remember. My dad was a really fast eater, and my mom wasn't too slow herself whether she was always fast or being with my dad sped her up. So all my life I just watched them eat so quick and adopted those habits along the way. This is something I wish I could change. You tend to eat too much when you eat fast because you don't give your stomach enough time to tell your brain that you're full...and then its too late and the "ohhhh I'm soooo fullllll" sets in haha. This is especially bad around the holidays. Lately I've wanted to make a conscious effort to slow down. The only time I seem to do this is when I'm at a really fancy restaurant savoring some incredible food that I don't want to end. I try to remember on a day to day basis...BUT...it's usually not until I have finished my meal so quick that I remember that I wanted to slow down...

How do I remember BEFORE I start eating?!???! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Now onto the things I have quickly eaten today ;)

Breakfast...same as yesterday...but still so good. One of my muffins toasted with a tiny bit of light whipped butter and some cinnamon/sugar sprinkled on top. Along with a half cup of TJ's non-fat plain Greek yogurt with raspberries (I then topped it with some granola and a honey drizzle).

This held me over for longer than normal :) Around noon I had a pre-lunch snack because I didn't want to eat lunch just yet. I had a banana, and then found a big fruit salad in the work fridge...yum!I love when there's nice fresh cut fruit around!

A little later I was hungry for lunch and was really excited to eat my spaghetti squash and sauce leftovers!

Delicious! Although the re-heated squash seemed to need some seasoning because I felt like it "diluted" the sauce. I love a sauce that I can just eat plain...mmmm. Great lunch! Full now (and as soon as I finished eating I felt that feeling like I just ate way too fast!) I should leave little post-its on my lunch Tupperware...SLOW DOWN!!

For dessert I had a miniature Milky way dark from the secretary's desk, and 2 choc. covered espresso beans from a little stash I brought in....YUM Nothing like chocolate covered Coffee!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Back to the Gym

Just a quick one tonight. Luckily we ended up at Fresh City for lunch so I was able to eat healthy easily. Had half of a hummus and veggie sandwich and a small cup of chicken soup (I was cold). It was good and kept me full. Had a late afternoon snack of a small apple and PB on the way to the GYM!

Yay! After what felt like a long time sans working out (well a whole weekend), it was good to get back. I did my 40min iTrain workout, and as usually it kicked my butt! Did some triceps, biceps, and hamstring work as well.

I was starving when I walked in the door and immediately ripped off a piece of pita bread to dip in hummus. I made a little wrap for dinner...


1/2 Joseph's low carb lavash wrap
approx. 3oz of turkey pastrami
1 slice provolone
baby spinach and tomato slices
whole grain mustard





With a little side salad that had romaine, baby spinach, green pepper, and grape tomatoes with Newman's Light Caesar dressing.

For a sweet treat while watching Gossip Girl (so good btw...) I had some cantaloupe, a few animal crackers, some delicious Earl Grey Creme tea from Teavana. It's a delicious version of earl grey...sweet but not sweetened just sweet as is. I'd highly recommend trying it if there is a Teavana near you.

Good night blog land!

Sunday Baking and Cooking!

Yesterday was one of those "lazy" Sunday's. I put lazy in quotes because it didn't really feel lazy, but to me that just means no set plans. I woke up to rain, made muffins, ran errands, grocery shopping, studying, and dinner! Full day actually!

First was the muffins! I had two over ripe bananas that I put in the fridge last week because I knew there were muffins in my future. I don't know why but I always make muffins instead of loaves of bread...I just like the pre-portioned packages they make themselves into :) I tend to make my recipe as I go, but I always write them down in case they need tweaking. Although I'd say that these came out great! Hearty, banana-y, and not too sweet. These wouldn't be "bring to work" baked goods because I know everyone at my work's idea of muffins are the high-calorie sugar bombs you get at Dunkin Donuts...not my kind of muffin. Those are like cake hiding in a muffin body.

On to the recipe!

Banana Hazelnut Muffins
(I had bought some hazelnuts and hazelnut meal when I was in Oregon and finally used them!)

Pre-heat oven to 375 F

1 1/2 cups White Whole Wheat Flour (I use the King Arthur brand)
1/2 cups Oat Bran
1/4 cups ground flax
1/4 cups Hazelnut meal (could use almond meal or any other nut meal I suppose)
1 t Baking Soda
2 t. Baking Powder
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. nutmeg


(feel free to increase the cinnamon or nutmeg to your liking...you don't taste it much in these muffins but if you really like a cinnamon flavor in your banana muffins then go for it!)


1 cup vanilla soy milk
2 T Canola oil
1 T Honey
2 T Agave Nectar
1 Egg and 1 Egg white
2 Ripe Bananas (mushed)
1/4 cup hazelnuts (chopped)
1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)




- Mix Dry Ingredients together in 1 bowl

- Mix wet ingredients together in another bowl

- Add wet ingredients, nuts, and choc. chips to dry and mix until combined...DON'T OVERMIX!!

- Spray muffin tin cups with cooking spray (I use spray canola oil)

- Divide batter among the 12 cups

- I like to top wet muffins with oats and raw sugar

- Bake for 18min

- cool and enjoy!
Batter:

Before going in the oven:



Muffins!


Personally I think the banana flavor really comes through better after they have cooled for a while (even better the next day). I'll calc the nutritional facts later but I'm guessing around 200cals per muffin but that also has a lot of fiber and protein that normal muffins don't have :) The flavor is much more of a banana muffin than hazelnut, so feel free to play around with extracts or amounts of the hazelnut meal if you want a more hazelnut tasting muffin.
On to dinner... I had bought a spaghetti squash a couple weeks ago, but just never got around to it. For some reason they always intimidated me because it just seemed like a complicated process...I never really knew how easy it was until I saw Kath's video. However, before I got around to the squash I took a package of extra lean ground turkey out of the freezer for some homemade tomato sauce!
The Sauce of the day:

Started by sauteing 1 chopped onion, 4 cloves of minced garlic, a little over 1/2 of a green pepper (chopped, and 2 grated carrots.

Saute in 2 T Olive Oil and seasoned with salt and pepper

Meanwhile in a non-stick pan I cooked up the package of turkey with about 1/2T olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little Penzey's Tuscan Seasoning

After adding the turkey to the pot, I added 2 280z cans of crushed tomatoes, 1 15oz can tomato sauce, 1 small can of tomato paste, 1 bay leaf, some dried oregano, and more S&P.

For the squash: Cut in half length wise (remove seeds) and place open side down on a cookie sheet and put water in the cookie sheet (I put just enough to cover the whole sheet). Baked at 375 for about 40min until tender. Let cool for 10min or so, and then take a fork and scrape out the "spaghetti"! This was so easy and fun! I'd eat it straight out of the squash!

At the end of the sauce cooking I added half a package of baby spinach and let it wilt in.


Dinner is served! The sauce is really thick and chunky and there wasn't a ton of squash so I had a big bowl of sauce with squash on top! Topped with a little shredded parm, and I made two slices of "garlic bread" with whole wheat spread with smart balance, sprinkled with garlic powder and salt and toasted. The two slices cut in quarters for three of us :)

The roomie and fiance LOVED it! So did I! Why have I never had spaghetti squash before!? It's my new favorite...I wish I cooked up more squash to have around.

Breakfast today was a muffin and 1/2 cup of TJ's plain Greek yogurt with raspberries, granola and honey.

I was really looking forward to my leftover sauce and squash for lunch but one of the girls here got engaged over the weekend so we are going out to lunch! I guess I'll save it for tomorrow :\


Sunday, September 28, 2008

More weekend items!

Man I feel like I'm behind on my blogging!

Where was I? Oh yes, so the morning after the wedding I wanted to take Brian more into Newport because he'd never been. So we drove down and had breakfast at a great little place called the Ocean Breeze Cafe. The iced coffee flavor of the day was Banana Hazelnut! SO GOOD! I'm a sucker for fun iced coffee flavors! I ordered the Ultimate Veggie omelet, with egg whites, and whole wheat toast.

This thing was massive! It had green pepper, broccoli, olives, onion, spinach and tomatoes (the omelet is hiding under the toast but you can see the veggies all around), and was served with home fries and cantaloupe! The omelet was good, but it had a little too much cheese so I only ate the top half that had less cheese and most of the veggies (too many olives too). Over all very good, a lot of food so I def. didn't finish, but it kept me full for a long time.

I then drove Brian around the mansions, and coast so he could see all the Newport things, then we headed back to MA. First stop was my aunts house for a family bday party. She made a meal based on recipes from this months Bon Apetit! There was also a yummy cheese platter and delicious desserts.

This is all the incredible cheese! She (and most of my family) likes to get cheese from this specialty cheese shop in Wellesley, MA.

This was my plate :)

We had roast pork, polenta, roast sweet potato, and braised collard greens (my first time having collard greens...I really liked them!). I heart family parties...there's always such good food. She also made an apple crisp/pie...it had a crust bottom but a crisp topping. My grandmother made a cheesecake as well. I split a little sliver with Brian.

Not usually one to eat and run, but we had to be back to go to the Belgian Beer fest! Its like Disney world for my fiance. I like trying a few beers but sometimes they just start to blend together. Not sure if I'll go next year...its fun, but I don't think worth the $$ for me. This was my favorite of the evening... Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence!

It really did have a rich chocolate/coffee type taste to it!

Didn't end up going to the walk this morning since it was POURING out, so I'm really feeling lazy. This weekend hasn't been the healthiest for me, and I hate that feeling, but I'll get back on track tomorrow. Looking forward to a nice long workout tomorrow after work! I also made some really good banana hazelnut muffins this morning, and will post the pics and recipe tomorrow along with whatever I make for dinner. Right now I'm planning to make some homemade tomato sauce with ground turkey and lots of veggies and serve it with Spaghetti squash!

Right now though...study time :(

So Many Things!!

Wow, I feel like I haven't been on here for weeks and its only been about 36 hours.
First...the wedding! It was so great seeing so many of my friends from UNH. We were all staying at the same hotel so we had a little fun pre and after party there! The wedding ceremony was beautiful. I don't know what it is about weddings but I definitely get choked up. Jess (the bride) was loosing it during her vows and her groom had a tissue to dry her eyes...it was so cute. She looked beautiful. Here is the happy couple as they walked down the aisle after the ceremony.
We then headed over to the Glen Manor Estate for the reception!
(that's Brian on the right side of the pic). This place was gorgeous, unfortunately I didn't get a good look at the grounds (its on the ocean too), because it was raining and my straightened hair was already curling. Here's all the champagne glasses with raspberries waiting for toasting time! I didn't get any pics of the passed appetizers because #1 I was starving and they went straight from the trays to my mouth, and #2 I was already trying to balance my drink and purse while trying to eat apps, so getting a camera involved was just not happening. However, they were serving... mini phyllo cups with brie and raspberry sauce, mini beef wellingtons, chicken on a stick that you dipped in a chutney then in toasted coconut, mini pizza's, and scallops wrapped in bacon! They were all yummy...then it was dinner time!


The salads were already on the table waiting, it had some yummy candied pecans, Gorgonzola, and a sliced poached pear.
For entres, Brian and I almost always get 1 of each option so we can eat half then switch! The first was a chicken francaise with puff pastry hearts.

The second was tenderloin in a sauce Merlot. Both served with mashed potatoes and a grilled veggie stack held together with a sprig of rosemary. Both options were simple, but really good, and really well prepared.
The rest of the night was DANCE DANCE DANCE!! It was really really fun...we were dancing the whole night. I was getting sweaty almost from it all...thank god too because that was my exercise for the day.

This was the beautiful cake (the "ribbon" was actually a pink/purple color). I actually didn't even have a piece!!! I was too full from dinner, and pretty full til the end of the night!


Along with the cake, there were frosted sugar cookies with their monograms on them.


The evening flew by, but at least we all hung out at the hotel for a little bit afterwards. I can't believe its all over! I have lots more to post about...breakfast, family bday party, and beer fest...but I think I'm going to fall asleep with my head on laptop...so I'm going to go to bed :) Walking with some friends in the Liver Walk tomorrow morning. A little 5 mile walk to support the cause for Liver Disease (one of my friends sisters has it). I NEED some exercise!!

Back tomorrow with more weekend recaps!






Friday, September 26, 2008

Rainy Friday

It's been such beautiful weather the past like 2 weeks, and figures today its crappy and raining out with my friends wedding tonight! I feel so bad for her, but what are you going to do!? Make the best of it, I know it's going to be so fun anyways. The only thing that it may mess up is their pictures, I know she wanted some outside.

Only working a half day today :) Then heading down to Newport, RI. The ceremony is in Newport, and the reception is here. Can't wait to see so many friends from college! The girl getting married, Jess, was one of my good friends in my major and we lived together for a year right after graduation.


I was so happy to get to the gym last night, and did 35min on the treadmill alternating some fast walking, running, and high incline walking! Then did my WF/Starbucks run before class. I didn't feel like a smoothie today, so I got a little salad bar...

A chunk of grilled chicken, some peas, and a few bites of Pad Thai...random. I wanted some protein, then I really like peas sometime, and the Pad Thai looked better than it tasted. It was good just didn't have that really good Pad Thai taste. I also got an iced coffee with soy milk.Class went later than normal...grrrr... I even left before it was over, I had a lot to do. I wanted to straighten my hair for the wedding and really needed to do that last night...takes way too long to do it in the AM.

This morning I finished off the rest of the container of TJ's plain Greek yogurt, with a banana, a couple strawberries (they are hiding in the pics), and a H2H waffle on top with drizzled maple syrup! SO GOOD!

I'm heading out of here at 11:30, stopping at my apt to get my stuff, then heading down to the hotel!

Tomorrow after we leave Newport, we are stopping at my aunts house for a family bday party then back to my apt to meet up with people before we go to the Belgian Beer Fest! My fiance brews his own beer, and is really into craft beers, and brewing and all that stuff. One of his favorite types of beer is Belgian's...so he is SO excited for this fest every year. I don't drink much in general, and usually cant finish a whole glass of anything but light beer, but a lot of these really taste good. Blue Mood is a good example of a Belgian.

So, I'm not positive when I'll be posting next but it will have LOTS of pictures :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Possible Shoe Success!

But first, some snacks... For my mid morning snack I chomped on a delicious Macoun apple. Apples you pick are just SO much better than anything you buy.
















I also wanted to try a new bar I picked up at Trader Joe's this past weekend. I only ate about 1/3 of it because the whole thing is 280 calories and I just wanted a little bit. I thought it was pretty good! Not amazing, but was nicely chocolaty and coconuty.















It had a similar "raw" texture of a Larabar, but the ingredients seemed more finely ground than a Larabar. The ingredients are: Cashew, Agave Nectar, Date, Coconut, Cocoa Powder processed with Alkali, Almond, Sprouted Flax Seed. All ingredients are certified organic and the bar is 82.2% Raw. I find the first bite interesting, and then the more I eat it the more I taste the coconut and chocolate flavors and like it more and more!
Then I set out on a mission...find some interesting shoes! I hate buying shoes because I feel like I have to. In reality I do own a pair of black shoes that I COULD wear, but I always like to add an interesting/different element to my outfits. My dress is more simple, but classic...its dark green satin, one shoulder, just below the knee, and it pretty fitted like a pencil skirt. Its got some black around the waist and on the shoulder. I wanted to find a really FUN shoe, like dark purple or something! My black shoes at home are okay but have seen better days.


Unfortunately I didn't find the FUN factor I was looking for but these were on clearance ($25), and may look better than what I had at home.















I'll have to try them on with the dress later tonight. Also while at Marshalls I picked up a bag of coffee that was screaming my name...

YUM! Can't wait to try that out tomorrow morning.

When I got back to the office I ate my lunch at my desk. Nothing too exciting...a half of a PB and J on Sprouted wheat bread, and a salad consisting of:

- romaine
- avocado
- green pepper
- cucumber
- tomato
- croutons
- cheddar cheese
- Annie's honey mustard vinaigrette

This pic was taken after I shook it up with dressing so you can't see everything...

I'm currently sipping some Tropical Acai Berry Green Tea! Its nice and fruity and tart.

Class tonight, and I DO HAVE MY SNEAKERS! So definitely going to the gym.

Back on later tonight!