And Now Peanut Butter Disgusts Me

Morning! Happy Thursday 😀 Can’t believe how fast the week has flown buy. I know I always say that, but I guess it’s always supah fast when things get busy. ahem.

Last night after training I client, I decided to try out running a four mile run. If my body wasn’t up to it, I’d stop. I’ve been going light on exercise this week just to give my body a bit of a break. However, I got through the four miles and called it done. I was at about a 9:15 pace – so an easy pace for my training, and it was just the heart pumping cardio I needed.

Once I left, it was already getting a bit late for dinner. So I flew in the door, begun slamming around pots, pans, knives, and ingredients and wound up with this:

 

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This would be (never)homemaker’s peanut sauce over some brown rice and grilled, chopped portabello mushrooms:

 

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it was ok. The sauce was just a little too much. Too … sweet? salty? flavory? I’m not sure what was off about it.

tofu marinated in EVOO, tamari, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar:

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tasty, as always

And sweet potato fries that I sweetened up with a marinade of honey, EVOO, water, and salt.

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too. much. sweet.

These dishes were good, but not good all together, ya know?

Since tomorrow at the BIC we are celebrating November birthdays for the month, it’s encouraged that everyone bring in a dish to help the celebration.

So, i finally made Mama Pea’s dough balls.

 

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And sampled the obligatory piece of dough or two before popping them in the oven.

 

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Then it happened.

It came on all the sudden, like a bad cold.

I think I OD’d on peanut butter.

Even now, the thought of it repulses me. I know, I know. Blasphemy! What will this morning’s breakfast consist of?! I sure don’t know!!

What’s your favorite breakfast that doesn’t contain any nut butter?

It’s going to be a busy one at the BIC today. Deadlines! Deadlines! However, tonight is Power Yoga and then dinner with the girls! 😀

Semi-Homemade Indian Feast For Two

Holler!

Holy wind! It’s like a tornado outside– 37 mph winds – not even kidding. And a tornado watch. And pouring sideways rain!! What’s going on!?!

Man am I dragging this morning! Last night’s late game impeded me of getting anywhere near eight hours of sleep since today starts with an early morning client. Combine that with waking up which seemed like every 10 minutes.

Did I mention my client was a no call no show? Yep.

Now it’d be easy to let this start a snowball into a Murphy’s Law kind of day, but I think I’ll stop it riiiight here 😉 On my way home from the gym this morning, I saw a bunch of people standing outside a Labor Today place – in the pouring rain. That made me thankful for having a job, and clients oversleeping is just part of the business. So hey, I’ll think of it this way – I only had to be at the gym for a half hour for an hour’s pay!

Onward and Upward!          

So last night before the game, I did a little work in the kitch.

When I told Shane we were having Indian food involving a new recipe of mine for dinner, he gave me a quizzical look. He gets scared when I say “new recipe” 😉

On the Indian menu:

Madras Lentils

Brown California Basmati Rice

Garlic Tandoori Naan

Pumpkin Rice Pudding w/ Fresh Whipped Cream

This dinner is what you can call semi-homemade, that’s for sure!

I started with the brown basmati rice. I’ve never cooked basmati rice, so I was a little skeptical myself.

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Then moved onto the honey gobi.

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We had this one time at a local Indian restaurant and I haven’t been able to get it off my mind since.

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I will post the recipe for this on my recipes tab this week!

Garlic naan – semi homemade.

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OK, maybe just a teensy homemade. It’s TJ’s Garlic naan with butter on top, ready to go into the oven 😉

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And last but not least, the lentils!

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Haha 😉

Tasty Bite sent me some of their vegetarian options to review on the blog. The last one I tried was the spiced chickpeas, and they were fabulous.

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It’s such a great concept – it’s all natural, ready to go, and only takes 90 seconds to cook!

 

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This meal was whipped up in about 30 minutes. The rice obviously took the longest.

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It ended up being very very good! The husband was impressed and so was I.

A fabulous Indian meal!

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The only thing that wasn’t perfect – the rice. It was a litttttle bit undercooked. After telling this to my client I trained shortly after eating dinner, she declared she was getting me a rice cooker. She spent three years in Japan and feels strongly that everyone needs a rice cooker! Apparently it comes out nice and fluffy and perfect every single time!

I had to leave quickly after eating, so the pumpkin rice pudding went un touched. I’ll leave that for the next post 😉

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What’s your best semi-homemade meal?

Do you have a rice cooker? If not, do you have problems getting the rice to the perfect consistency?

Fall Means to Me…

Hey guys! How’s your Monday shaping up for ya? 🙂

So it sounds like we’re all omelet eaters when it comes to eating breakfast out. It’s funny because at home I almost always eat a sweet breakfast (waffles, oatmeal, cereal, etc) but when out, it’s omelet time!!

I’m at the gym working away, but I thought I’d throw in a post for some afternoon reading 🙂

I’ve always been known to say my favorite season is summer, and the rest all pale in comparison. But really, guys, I’m realizing just how awesome fall really is.

I know it’s a super short season.

And it means winter is coming.

And the fall colors are just there because stuff is…dying.

But it’s also one of the prettiest, most nostalgic and wonderful times of the year.

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And it’s the best weather for…

going Frisbee golfing on a Sunday afternoon:

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Biking down the trail…

 

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…to a local pub for some FOOTBALL:

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and the obligatory beer that goes along with it 😉

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And last but not least, comfort food:

 

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Yesterday after taking a long bike ride on the trail, I came home and wanted something soothing for the soul.

Can anyone tell me a dish more soul soothing than macaroni and cheese, please? Didn’t think so. And none of that blue box stuff (though it is mighty tasty…)

 

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So I cooked up a box whole wheat elbow noodles – and snuck in some veggies in the form of cauliflower 😉

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then warmed up the three dairies (1.5 c. cheddar, 1 c. manchengo, and 1 c. Greek yogurt)

And combined them to make one super duper comfy meal:

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Simple, no? Delicious, no? 😉

This makes WAY more than one serving by the way – probably more like 5 or 6? That bowl is HUGE.

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Back to work I go…

What’s your favorite comfort food? What dish soooothes your soul? Besides macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes just do it for me.

 

PS –> Check out this week’s seasonal recipes from other bloggers!

Keeping (Seasonal) Tabs on Baking

Hi everyone! I just finished baking up a storm in the kitchen!

I was looking for pumpkin cookie recipes, and came across this pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe on the Food Network, and knew it was the one 🙂

I followed the instructions exactly – no adaptations here!

From the wet ingredients:

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To the dry ingredients:

 

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To the sweet, sweet lovechild they produced:

 

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LOOK AT THAT LOVECHILD!

 

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And Niko got the leftover pumpkin (loves it!)IMG_9625

 

Before:

 

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The cookies taste amazing, but the dough was some of the best I tried…or so I’ve heard. I didn’t lick the bowl when I was finished or anything 😉

Seasonal Tab

 

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But I didn’t just post to tell you about the amazing cookies that I’m going to take to the winery tonight. I posted to tell you about my new tab! If you look at the top of the page, you’ll notice a new tab, labeled “Seasonal.”

While one batch of cookies was baking and the next was waiting to be cooked, I was searching YOUR blogs. Searching them for fall-inspired recipes! This morning, when I asked if anyone saw any good pumpkin recipes this week, it occurred to me how useful it’d be to have a repository for seasonal recipes from everyone’s blogs.

So, each week as I read and look for fall-inspired recipes, I’ll book mark each one, and at the end of the week, I’ll put it in the “Seasonal” tab. This way, we’ll all have a repository for all things pumpkin. and apple. and squash!

However, I need your help! If you either create your own or you see a recipe that should be in the Seasonal tab, email me the link, and I’ll include it with the rest:)

Then, as the seasons change, I’ll archive recipes from last season, and create new ones!

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a kitchen to clean. Have a fantastic Friday night, everyone!!

Plans for this weekend?

Put Your Skills to the Test

Hey hey hey! Happy Friday! What’s one exciting thing going on in your life today? I’m excited to finally tackle a to-do list that’s about a mile long 😉

Last night I knew I’d be getting home from training a little late for dinner, so I had Shane preheat the oven about 10 minutes before I got home. Because…we were having squash! It finally feels like it’s the weather to start having squash for dinner.

But first…

 

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Putting our newfound wine skills to the test.

Sidenote: Jason, the instructor for the wine class, told us that we should make the first drink of the day a new bottle of wine we’ve never tried before. The husband chimed in, “I usually go with coffee, but whatever you say, Jason!” heheh 😉

I told Shane to go grab a bottle of wine from the wine hutch downstairs, and surprisingly, he came back with an Australian Shiraz (aka Syrah)

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The husband usually picks fruity wines, so I was impressed that after one class, he’d gotten over that! And I knew he didn’t mistakenly think it was fruity, because he mentioned the alcohol percentage. The higher the alcohol, the lower the fruitiness

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 Not surprisingly, this bottle came with a screw cap or a Stelvin closure.

 

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Since this bottle traveled allll the way from Australia, a Stelvin closure makes sense, as they have the lowest failure rate out of the cork, rubber cork, and Stelvin closures. That’s a lot of shipping costs to have to ship back a bad bottle of wine due to a closure 😉

 

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“decanting” going on. I’m horrible at this. I end up inhaling wine which is never a good thing. LOL

45 minutes and a half of bottle of wine later, dinner was ready and we were ready for dinner.

 

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For the squash, I just cut it in half, placed each side upsidedown in a baking dish filled with a half inch of water, and baked at 425 degrees for about 40 minutes. While the squash was cooking, the black beans were marinating in a mixture of apple cider vinegar, tamari, maple syrup, and a little sea salt. During the last 10 minutes the squash was cooking, I flipped the sides over and added the beans.

 

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Topped with goat cheese, this dish was FANTASTIC. The flavors went together impeccably!

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However, don’t pair a shiraz with this dish 😉

As we were cleaning up the kitch, look where I found Clarabelle!!

 

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In between the two panes of glass in our dining room table!! Clearly I had to snap a picture before chasing her down and cleaning;)

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Well I’ve got a to-do list to tackle! You – have a fantastic Friday 😀

What’s your favorite squash? Mine’s the buttercup!

Recipe Inspiration

Hey there!

Sounds like we have a LOT of pumpkin enthusiasm ‘round here! Although there were just a couple of ya who said pumpkin’s not your thang, seems like the majority of you are on the lookout for Libby’s.

I typically use pumpkin in breakfasts and desserts as documented in yesterday’s post. Well, I did indeed use up the rest of the can for yesterday morning’s breakfast as well:

 

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Let’s just call this (GREEN) pumpkin pie in a bowl, shall we?

This had ice, a frozen chopped nanner, water/almond milk, protein powder (vanilla,) chia seeds, ~ 1/3 c. pumpkin, ~ tbsp pumpkin pie spice, and one extra large handful of organic spinach.

 

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I wanted a little chew action with breakfast, so I made it a la bowl w/ half the pumpkin bread + half the homemade granola bar I’d already put in my lunch bag:D SO SO good.

This year I think I’ll try and use pumpkin more in other meals too, like dinner.

Lately I’ve been look to Food and Wine for recipe inspiration. I’ve never claimed to be a master recipe…maker, so this usually means I just do what the recipe tells me to do. Inspiring;)  Luckily, Food and Wine knows what they’re talking about!

The other day before heading to the gym to work for a few hours, I made this mushroom and goat cheese pasta:

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I actually wasn’t so sure about this dish until I stirred in the goat cheese at the very end. It went from sub par to WOW in a matter of seconds:D

 

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The only thing I changed for this recipe was the type of pasta. But that’s just because while I was grocery shopping my mind told me spiral pasta=ziti. It does not, in fact. Since Shane thinks he doesn’t like goat cheese, I used extra parm for him, and he told me it was something he’d order in a restaurant!! [that’s a huge compliment coming from him.]

 

This Curried Chickpea and Eggplant dish was a delectable dinner!

 

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I basically followed the recipe exactly, and I’m glad I did – what a winner! A blend of spinach, eggplant, and chickpeas, this meal was fresh, healthy, AND delicious:

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On the side I used up this little cutie I found at the market:

 

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A buttercup squash! Anything that’s called a buttercup is good in my book. This was no exception! Sweeter than an acorn squash, it almost made for a dessert!

 

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Almost 😉

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There we go!

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Where do you look for recipe inspiration? Do you have a favorite cooking website? Cookbook? Blog?

Have a wonderful Wednesday! Let’s make it over the hump!!

Raspberry Ricotta Tofu French Toast

Hi guys! It’s Friiiiiday 🙂

I woke up this morning not so hungry. I had a dessert of chocolate covered banana chips before going to bed, and it left something to be said for my appetite this morning.

However, while drinking a cup of coffee and finishing off the chapter in my book, I thought of something amazing.

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When I think of tofu, I always think of dinner or leftovers for lunch. As far as breakfast goes, there are plenty of tofu scrambles recipes floating around the internet and blogosphere. But I didn’t want a tofu scramble.

I wanted french toast.

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But I wanted more than French toast. French toast always leaves…something to be desired for me. A little protein wouldn’t hurt this breakfast staple.

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That’s not an egg sticking out there!

Neither would a bit of raspberry ricotta filling…

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Raspberry Ricotta Tofu Stuffed French Toast

Ingredients

serves one

1/4 block of drained and pressed (for just 10 minutes or so) extra firm tofu

2 T. whole wheat flour

1 T. olive oil

Two pieces of whole grain bread

1 egg or flax egg

1 t. vanilla extract

1 T. milk

2 T. raspberry jam (or flavor of choice)

2 T. part skim ricotta

Directions

Slice the tofu length wise into three 1/4 in sliced (down the widest part of the block to get a thin slice of the whole front) and lightly coat each slice in the flour. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan on the stove over medium heat, and then place each slice of tofu in the pan, sauteeing for about 3-4 minutes per side. Set aside on a paper towel to drain oil. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and vanilla. Dip each piece of bread into the egg mixture and place on the same frying pan used for the tofu (you can also use the extra oil leftover in the pan) frying over medium heat. Cook each piece of bread 2-4 minutes per side, checking frequently so not to burn. Meanwhile, heat the raspberry jam in a sauce pan (orrrr the microwave) over medium low heat until it melts slightly. Add the ricotta, and cook until heated through.

Assembly: First place one of the bread pieces on a plate. Then spread a thin layer of the ricotta/jam mixture on top, and then a tofu slice, followed by another thin later of the jam, continuing with the tofu until you top it off with the second piece of toast. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if your heart so desires:)

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This French Toast left nothing to be desired and rocked my breakfastworld! And although it tastes decadent, it didn’t leave me feeling full and overloaded.

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In other news, I signed up for a 5k!! My work (at the BIC) is hosting a 5k for United Way that would coincide wonderfully with my training. A 5k and the end of this month, a 10k at the end of next, and a 15k at the beginning of November. Sounds good. I kinda wish there were a half marathon somewhere in the schedule, but nevertheless, I’m pumped:)

My goal is to PR, but I’m not quite sure where I want the PR to fall. My fastest 5k is 26:46, so I’m hoping to blow that out of the water.

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Speaking of racing, I’m keeping my training plan dynamic just to show how I was telling the complete truth on how flexible I am with it. You’ll see cross outs and progress check ins all over the place!

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Well I’m off to clean the house, run a couple errands, and then train some clients. Bunco tonight! (I’m excited, but a little beat…it won’t be a late night for me.)

Have a fabulous Friday, everyone!!!

PS – I’m currently putting together all the blogs I love to add a tab at the top of the page. Let me know if you’d like to be added – either shoot me an email or leave a message in the comments! 🙂