I’m a Top 1st Grader

Don’t forget about my giveaway! It ends tomorrow! http://runningaroundnormal.com/2009/10/31/symbolism-haircuts-pink-tatas-and-halloween-giveaways/

Good morning! How’s everyone today? Hanging in there?? It’s almost Friday!

I have somewhat of a busy day planned for today at work, plus I have a deadline by tomorrow for something, so I’ll be working away at my desk and at meetings probably all day today. That’s sad because I had planned to go out to lunch with a group of friends, too. Oh well, I s’pose they’ll have to get over it, right? 🙂

I woke up this morning with more than a little scratch in my throat, so I’ll be continuing my inhaling of emergen-c and green tea. Speaking of inhaling, my sore throat might have to do with inhaling (literally) my water last night instead of drinking it. It’s like I went to take a drink, and my body inhaled instead of drank. And that ended in a major coughing fit. Thing is that isn’t uncommon with me. I’m special 🙂

So my quest yesterday throughout the day was to make sure I hit my fruits and veggies quota of my back on track goals. Here are some of the delicious fruits and veggies I ate yesterday:


IMG_0886   IMG_1922



And actually, I kept track on a little note card:


I definitely met my quota! Hooray! It really didn’t take that much effort. A great tip is to make sure you include at least one of each in every meal.

After work, I met my girl Missy at the gym to pound out some mileage. Missy has plantar fasciitis, and her heel has been bothering her, so this was quite a feat for her 😀 We did about 3 and a half miles total on the treadmill, and I ran intervals going from 2 minutes at a 9:30-9:30 min/mile to one minute at an 8:20 min/mile. I was jamming out to the Glee soundtrack (trying not to belt out in song while sprinting) and was a fabulously sweaty mess by the end of the 3.5 miles. Then we hit up the new elliptical and did about 15 minutes later.

When I got home, I arrived to see my husband on the kitchen floor and this in front of him:


Apparently it was clean-out-the-drawers night, and the hubski was absolutely astounded at how many bags I fit in that little drawer. I’m a bit of bag hoarder. It’s genetic, ok?!

Clarabelle was on my side though, when she showed daddy that it is a big drawer! “See! I can fit in here!”

IMG_1919 IMG_1920

If only we weren’t talking about the skinny one above it…mahaha

Then it was time to get started on dinner. I had a beautiful his and hers recipe planned, hers being from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan: Everyday Vegan Recipes Worth Celebrating’>Eat, Drink, & be Vegan 😀


The his and hers meal last night was

“His and Hers Spaghetti and Meat Sauce”

I boiled the whole wheat spaghetti from Fresh Market pictured above in one of the veggie pictures. This spaghetti was for both of us.

For my spaghetti, I made the Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto with Toasted Almonds and Pine Nuts:


I was hesitant, because as I was making the pesto, I could tell it was going to be extremely flavorful and pungent. Which is a good thing if you like the taste, but not so good if you don’t. Well, I didn’t have to worry, because it was freakin’ awesome.


Oh, my deliciousness. Plus, it kinda looks like spaghetti and meat sauce, eh?

And on Shane’s, I topped the spaghetti with the usual ground beef + mushroom tomato sauce:


On the side, I chopped up a zucchini, a couple carrots, and a sweet potato, coated them in EVOO, sea salt, pepper, chili powder, and cumin, and roasted them for about 25 minutes at 375º


And while cooking, I had a class of my new favorite pinot noir (at least that I can get in this city – Okeye still has my ♥)

IMG_1926 IMG_1927


Everything turned out amazing!


My setting:  IMG_1931 

And Shane’s (I added some naan to give his meal a bit more substance – though I think the spaghetti covered it, but I digress..) IMG_1934

See? His and hers! They don’t look all that different – but they definitely tasted different, and one was vegan. I’m finding this isn’t as difficult as I originally thought it would be 😀

Speaking of vegetarians/vegans, did anyone watch Top Chef last night? Natalie Portman, who is also a vegetarian, and the guest celebrity, and the chef’s had to cook a veggie meal. I couldn’t believe all the animosity towards vegetarians!! I was very astounded and how patronizing and belittling some of the chefs seemed with their comments, but I guess that’s a whole ‘nother post!! haha

So since I already had my big food processor out from making the pesto, I decided to wash it out, and use it again to use up the rest of the pumpkin I had in the fridge by making some pumpkin spread. This idea was actually fueled by Taylor and how she kept mentioning that delicious pumpkin cream cheese!

In the processor went neufchatel cheese, pumpkin, agave, and some pumpkin butter to add some pizazz.

IMG_1935 Blendy blendy, and voila!


Wow…this stuff is amazing guys. It tastes SO decadent. I tried some with my vitabrownie (I was scouring for anything to try it with!!) and it was delish with it!


Yes, Top Chef inspired me to try to get artsy with the spread. How do they do that and make it so pretty?! Mine just looked like a 1st grader playing with her food. Oh well, yummy nonetheless!

And I’m going to spread a wee but on the breakfast cookie I have waiting for me in the fridge (which already has a thin layer of pumpkin butter on top.)

IMG_1937 IMG_1938

    Ahh…this cookie is the best I’ve created yet. It’s got a 1/4 cup of oats, a couple T of pumpkin, a few golden raisins, a t of carob powder, a few carob chips, and a squirt of agave. SO good. I can’t wait to eat it up!

Eeek, it’s already 5:45 – I have to finish getting ready for work!!
I hope you all have a wonderful day!
Are you watching Top Chef Las Vegas? Thoughts?

21 Responses

  1. I think it is genetic. My mom saved them and other stuff, but she was a child of the Great Depression! Now, I save bags and throw them away once a month or so too. However, now that I use canvas bags whenever I remember to, I get fewer plastic ones:-)
    When do you find time to cook such awesome meals? Does your husband realize how lucky he is? That book sounds great.

  2. I’m a bag hoarder, too! So is my mom!

  3. OK I am obessesed with Top Chef & have watched every episode of every season since the very first! I’m a little behind right now, so I didn’t see last nights, but ya know, it seems every season they throw in a challenge involving dietary restrictions or that focuses on “healthy” food and every season the chefs whine and complain! Obviously, the world of gourmet & top chefery (real word???) revolves around decadence- foie gras, pork belly, butter, cream, butter, butter, etc. So ask them to remove these things they rely on to flavor their foods, and of course they get grumpy. But ya know, I just accept that as the standards of their world! I am super excited to see what they whipped up for Natalie, since this season especially seems to have a lot of fat/animal product reliant contestants.

    My guess would be that one of the MIchaels fared best? They seem to do the lightest stuff…maybe even Robin had a chance?? Don’t tell me how wrong/right I am !! 😉

  4. I LOVE Top Chef! I couldn’t believe how Jen was so against vegetarianism. And her vegetarian meal was horrible – it was totally just a side dish!

  5. that was actually the episode from last week – did they not have a new one at 10? I was already asleep and missed it anyways 🙂

    your dinners look great! I bet that pesto was amazing. It sounds like a great combo.

  6. I LOVE “Top Chef”. My husband and I have watched it every season. I was really bummed last night when they put a reunion show in the middle of a season. (I still watched it and enjoyed it – but that’s not the point!) I think Kevin is the winner this season – he’s definitely my favorite. I look forward to every Wednesday night!

    Did you hear that they are going to have a new spin-off next year? “Top Chef: Just Desserts”. That should good, too! I want to see “Top Chef: Masters” on again too. 🙂


  7. That looks like our bag stash! Hehe. I probably need to go through ours, too.
    Your vegan spaghetti looks absolutely delicious. I really need to get that cookbook! I have seen so many good recipes from it floating around blogworld!

  8. Yeah, there is a general animousity toward veggies and I’ve never understood it. It’s like, I’m not ostracizing you for shoving animal flesh in your mouth so leave me alone!

    Your “meat” sauce looked AMAZING!

  9. I just got Eat, Drink and Be Vegan from the library and I am loving it! I’ll have to go check that recipe out, that’s all stuff we love!

  10. mm you totally won me over with the pasta – it looks delicious one of my favorite meals by far!

  11. i haven’t really watched top chef this season b/c i have too much tv to watch! but lately i have been watching the judges b/c i have a foodie event to judge in may and want to sound intelligent!!!

  12. I haven’t really watched Top Chef, but a co-worker was telling me about that episode. Apparently, some of those chefs work in local Atlanta restaurants.

    I have a ton of grocery bags under the sink. I don’t even know where they come from since I try to use reusable bags!

  13. i love top chef this season! i always fear that the new season won’t be as good as the last, but they do a good job at picking some fine, entertaining contestants. i’m pulling for jen, she seems pretty hard core. 🙂

    loving the breakfast cookie action, and pumpkin cream cheese goodness? ahhh yummmm. i’ve also never tried a vita brownie. hmmm.

  14. Hahaha! I save bags like crazy too. I’m always like ‘well, we’ll never know when we might need them!’ So now, if I ever do need about 500 plastic bags, I know I’ve got them.

    Your meals look fabulous, especially dinner! Send me a plate okay? 😉

  15. […] Raisin Cinnamon toast with my newfound lover: cream cheese pumpkin spread. Seriously, it takes all I’ve got in me to not just grab a spoon and go to town on this […]

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