Friday, August 1, 2014

I solemnly swear I'm up to no good...

*This post is going to end with a little mayhem & mischief.  Stay tuned...

Thursday Recap:

9:00am:  Breakfast- Chocolate Brownie Clif Bar
NOT wise to have this first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.  It was WAY too rich for me.  I had to down 1/2 a Laughing Cow cheese (for the protein), a glass of water and have a seat for about 20 minutes just to let the gross feeling pass.  I know that's not a rousing endorsementJ  It WAS tasty...just not "first thing in the morning food" for meJ

After that, Katie & I got to putting those peaches to WORK!

THIS is called "Cooking with a 2 year old:  The Reality"J
It actually seemed more messy than this picture would suggest...probably due to the mound of dishes that were in the sink behind meJ

Anyway, we 'healthified" this recipe just a littttle bit to give it an extra nutrition boost...

Spiced & Sweet Peach Cobbler Muffins
  • Topping
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 6 tablespoons flour 
    • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
    • LOTS of cinnamon (Katie poured use your imaginationJ)
    • 2 shakes of nutmeg

  • Batter
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed  
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
    • 3/4 cup light sour cream
    • 2 cups oat flour  
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • Shake of salt
    • LOTS of cinnamon
    • Couple shakes each of:  Nutmeg, ground ginger & cloves
    • 2 cups diced peaches, coated in flour  (about 3 tablespoons, enough to coat the peaches)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare muffin tin with non-stick spray or line with cupcake liners.
  2. Beat the egg in a large bowl before adding the brown sugar, apple sauce & sour cream.
  3. Add the flour, baking soda, salt & spices to the wet ingredients & stir until just combined.  Gently fold in peaches.
  4. Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl and mix until crumbly.  (As Katie is demonstrating in the above pictureJ)
  5. Spoon batter into pan and sprinkle with topping crumbs.
  6. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
Mine took a little longer to bake (maybe around 35-40 minutes or so) since the peaches were VERY ripe and added a little extra moisture.  Did NOT effect the outcome, however, since these were spiced, sweet & studded with tons of fresh peaches.  Swooooooooooooon!  
And like I said, the added health 'benefits' didn't effect the taste in the slightest.  Going to try cutting the sugar even more next time AND swapping the 'flour topping' for more OATS.  I actually ran out of oats mid-flour processing and even had to add in some 'TOUGH' steel cut oats.  Shockingly enough, this didn't effect the taste or texture at all.  Just a good thing to note if you come up short making oat flourJ

12:00pm:  Lunch-  Peach & Mozzarella caprese salad
Cause, ya know, it's been a hot 3 seconds since I had anything 'caprese-related.'

And here's with this post descends into mayhem and all-out NERD HEAVEN!

And in case you need to see my membership card into nerd-central, here's how my friends & I celebrated the midnight release of the final Harry Potter book many years ago....
I'd also like to add that we all worked together at the time and SHOWED UP TO WORK in this jokeJ

And here's what an unsuspecting Scott walked home to that day....

He took it well. back to last night where we rallied up a fabulous team known as "That's so Ravenclaw" and met up at The British Chip Shop in Haddonfiled, NJ for an epic battle...

And any well-fought battle begins with good eats, AMIRIGHT??  And as if the night couldn't get any more adorable, I present to you:  THEME FOOD!  Weeeeeeeeeeee...

Appetizers were passed around family style, so you got to taste little bites of each.  The spicy Thai noodles (no pic) & cheese and rice balls were delish...

...and the eggs were cute & all, but ya know, I didn't try thoseJ

And everyone got their own entree all for $20!  Not a bad deal for a fun night out.  My beef stew with herbed dumplings was warm, cozy and HEARTY...
...but I also had samples of my friend's fish & chips and the AWESOME cottage pie and both were fantastic.  Me thinks I'll be back to the British Chip shop soon, even sans triviaJ

And do I even need to explain THIS cuteness?

I mean...

But besides food, it was SERIOUS business round the table...

Those questions were NO JOKE and thankfully I was surrounded by folks who were WAY more versed than I on the subject!  I think I contributed 2 answers to the entire THREE rounds.  Let's just say one round involved "Tapestries."  I'm tellin ya:  NO JOKE.  (although I believe I would have ACED decorative shirts & Harry Potter home decor back in the day, if I do say so myselfJ)

But in the end, our team actually came out VICTORIOUS!  It was crazy-fun how exciting it was when we were announced the winners after each round and then the final victors.  I imagine it's what it's like to win a gold medal...ya know, if your sport was book trivia in NJJ

Did I promise you mischief & mayhem?  I feel as though I delivered on this postJ Hahahahahaha....  Definitely not a normal night out, but a FUN one had by all.  Wish this was a weekly eventJ

Annnyyywaaayyyyssss, hope you guys have great plans for the weekend.  I can't say for certain that any are going to live up to THIS level of fun, but Lord knows I'll tryJ

Have a great weekend, all!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Peak of summer...

Hey, all!  Sorry for the delay.  My camera decided it wants to be fussy on me this week, so I had to rely on my ole phone camera to take most of the photos on here.  I was trying to get it up and running before I posted again, but since I'm having no luck I thought I'd just post away before it gets to be mid-AugustJ  hahahahaha  Hope ya don't mind.

Tuesday Recap:

So I had attempted to do these two 'smaller' workouts since I wasn't too much in the mood for a 'tougher' full body workout.  Ummm...WRONG-O!  These were both tough on their own, but together made for a KILLER workout.  My legs and shoulders were BURNIN for a looooonnnnnggggg time after this duo...phew!

9:00:  Breakfast- Flax pancake with almond butter & syrup

12:30pm:  Lunch- Tuna lettuce wrap & pickle

2:30pm:  Snack - 1/2 KIND bar 
Which I shared with my BFF while we made, ahem, Halloween craftsJ  Not even kidding.

BEST burger we've made in a looonnngggg time!  The hummus makes the burger SUPER moist, while the sauce (which we made with mayo, lemon juice & chipotle garlic powder) and caramelized onions put it over the TOP!  You MUST try this while grill season is in its prime.

And speaking of prime, corn on the cob is in its 'doesn't even need butter' stage...swoooooooon!  

Wednesday Recap:

9:30am:  Breakfast- Peanut butter & Jelly oatmeal
The natural PB & blueberry jelly coming directly from Emery Farms, giving this oatmeal a little extra seasonal kick.  Yum.

Workout:  Power Yoga

12:30pm:  Lunch- KIND bar
This time a WHOLE one to myselfJ  We had to fuel up a bit before we went out to enjoy the unseasonably cool weather here in Jersey.  We headed out to Russo's Orchard Lane Farm in Chesterfield for some peach pickin...
I mean, I'm sure most people are used to (and um, possibly enjoy??) 'picking your own' in the blazing heat of summer...but ummmm, not meJ  I made sure the ole thermometer wasn't going to cross 85 before we headed outJ

Russo's is family owned and after a visit to the country store, the owner's grandson hopped on a golf cart to take us out to the peach trees.  We were left with a basket, wagon and instructions that we needed to pick 10 pounds which I GASPED, but felt bad since he took us all the way out there AND we were the only ones out there while he had to sit around waiting for us.  So we picked and picked...

And picked ourselves 17 pounds.
You can't make this stuff upJ  Me thinks Katie & I are going to be VERY busy putting these to use before they go badJ

Once we headed back to the little country store to pay for the SEVENTEEN POUNDS OF PEACHES, I picked up a small bottle of this peach cider to enjoy on the way home...
Peach Cider Bottles
Made at Circle M Farms in Salem, NJ, this 90% peach juice cider was SOOOOOOOO sweet & refreshing and tasted of pure, fresh summer.  Only problem?  The small bottle came with a 300-calorie nutrition label.  I drank 1/2 and called it my snack for the afternoon.   It was TOUGH to stop at half, let me tell ya!  It was just soooooooooooo good.

5:30pm:  Dinner- Whipped Basil Ricotta pasta with fresh tomatoes
Oooooooooooo.Mmmmmmmmmm.Gggggggggggg.  This may have been one of my most favorite & best dishes in the last few weeks, using even MORE of those fresh tastes of summer.

It started with these GORGEOUS tomatoes that I had picked up from a roadside stand last week.  How pretty are they?  They were just SPEAKING to me from the refrigerator shelf...

And in an attempt to slice them quick, I tried the new 'life hack' trick of putting a few (a few too many in that pic!) between 2 plates and slicing with a serrated knife right through the pack...

It definitely works better with maybe a handful of tomatoes at a time, but when all was said and done, it only took me about three minutes to slice ALL of them.  A great time saver.

I sauteed the tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil and 4 diced garlic cloves for about 10 minutes or so...

...and they broke down into a glorious sauce...

While the tomatoes were cooking, I boiled up some pasta (for 7 minutes) and made the quick Whipped basil ricotta.
Into the food processor went:
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 2 handfuls fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper
Give it a quick whirl and you are good to go...

Once the pasta was cooked, I tossed it with the basil ricotta...

...and covered with the tomatoes...
I can't even TELL you how good this was.  The tomatoes were just sooooooooo sweet and saucy, their sweet bites sent the basil ricotta to stratospheric heights of deliciousness.  And best of all?  It all came together in under 20 minutes.  Gotta love THAT the most, huh?

8:00pm:  Dessert- Skinny Mini peach crisps
These came together in a blink and were JUST enough to satisfy your sweet tooth.  My only addition to the recipe was a little nutmeg in both the peaches & the toppings AND a pinch of sea salt in the crisp.  It always works a little magic.

Alright, well I should have something fun to show you tomorrow since I have a really fun event tonight that's definitely not in the normJ  Not to mention Katie & I are gonna start putting those peaches to workJ  

Have a great Thursday!  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Trip to Fantasyland and back...

Hey, all!  Hope you guys had a super weekend!  I didn't visit here yesterday since I figured I didn't have much to show you, seeing as our weekend felt like it was more running around than foodJ  (shocker, I knowJ)  And then around 10 o'clock last night I remembered I had 2 GREAT things to show you...starting with that often teased and finally a reality trip to Emery Berry Patch in New Egypt for some blueberry picking...

...on what was an absolutly GORGEOUS day in the Garden state!
Emery's takes you on a little hayride out to the blueberry patch where you can pick till your hearts content (they also provide the 'picking buckets').  My Mom & I found this fascinating since neither of us had ever seen blueberries 'in the wild'J  Definitely a fun experience...especially on a NOT TOO HOT day in JulyJ
(Although ONE degree hotter and it would have been enjoyable for no one.  Just sayingJ)

BUT the REAL winner of the day was a trip HERE!  (right on Route 539)
How cute is THAT place???  Retro + Ice cream = SIGN ME UP!

And all while you listen to the tunes of "Johnny Angel" & "Boy from New York City," you can mull over your selection...which is A LOT!  TK'S Ice Cream had about 9,000 varieties and options to choose from.  Every other second I was going "Oh, hot waffles and ice cream!"  "Oh, ice cream sandwiches made on fresh peanut butter cookies!", ect.

But my pick was chosen at the last second from when I got up to the window and saw a sign for "Crunchi cream."  Say what???  
After the girl explained it was toppings added INTO the swirled soft ice cream, I was SOLD (you know I love me some texture!  It's what makes the world go roundJ)

And I was SOOOOOOOOOOOO excited to notice the JIMMIES were not just on the outside of the cone, but swirled allllllll the way throughout.  Ummmm....THAT's how you do it! much as I loved my jimmies, it was only after the fact that I was kicking myself since mini Reese's pieces were at the top of the blend-in listJ  My brain couldn't compute that one quick enough at the window...but make no mistake, it WILL be happening at some point within the next summer monthJ

ANNNNYYYWAY, thought you'd enjoy that little trip back to Fantasyland known as the weekend, before heading back into the reality of MONDAY...

Monday Recap:

9:00am:  Flax pancake with almond butter & syrup

And can I just tell you how I did an ACV shot with ORANGE JUICE yesterday (rather than the ole mango/pineapple).  OMG...NOT pleasant in the SLIGHTEST.  Shudder...

12:30pm:  Lunch- 

3:30pm:  Snack- "Tone it up" Smoothie

6:00pm:  Dinner- Guacamole Club Salad

Workout:  Power Yoga
Not only did I miss my first class with my usual favorite Monday teacher, BUT I drove out to a different fitness center when I found out my OTHER (Wednesday) favorite teacher teaches in Princeton on Monday night....only to get there and it to be a sub.  GRRRRRRRRR!!!  Not that I didn't still like the class and get a great workout from a great instructor...but OH MAN that was a bummer when I walked in.  You know how that is....I mean, right??

Oh well...Namaste.

So it is straight up FALL in NJ today!  The high for the day is 79 and the breeze is making it feel BEYOND glorious.  Hoping to get Katie out for some activity today and I MIGHT have a good idea of what to doJ

Have a great Tuesday!!
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