Friday, September 19, 2014


Morning, all!  Sorry for my delay, but here sums up my Wednesday:

Breakfast- Pumpkin quiona
Made with:
  • 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin butter
  • cinnamon & nutmeg
  • dash of almond milk
  • diced pecans
  • craisins
Workout:   Power Yoga
Done in a Benadryl haze...I'm still shocked I didn't face plant any of my poses.

As suspected, Katie so generously shared her cold with me and left me dazed & drowsy for the rest of Wednesday and part of Thursday.  At least I'm already on the mend and Thursday made for a WEE bit more of an interesting food dayJ

Thursday Recap:

I totally missed this in my Trader Joe's haul since my Mom & I split a couple things and this (and one other treat I'll share sooooon!) ended up in her bag.

I'm not usually a huge fan of packets of oatmeal since I think they are WAY too small for WAY too many calories.  But this one, with its diced pecans, held me over for quite awhile.  Plus it was perfectly pumpkin & spiced deliciousness.  Can't complain about that on a cool, FALL morningJ

(image source...since I forgot to take a pic of the box...oppps!)
While the rice & sauce were spot on, I have to say the chicken was...weird.  Initially I kept thinking it was frozen, since every time I went to cut it, it felt TOUGH.  After making sure it was warmed through, it definitely was just the chicken that was tough.  It didn't TASTE bad, but was just kinda odd.

Snack- 1/4 cup banana chips & 1 cheese stick
Yes...that is ONE 160 calorie SERVING of banana chips, folks!  PROCEED WITH CAUTION around dried fruit.  I've been wishing for the sweetness & crunch, but dried fruit is hardly ever on my shopping radar and here's why.  Just BE CAREFUL with your serving size and only have these as an occasional treat.  (and after I thought about it, a 35 calorie Laughing Cow cheese would have been a MUCH smarter idea here)

Workout:  Tone it up "Frisky Fall HIIT" + 6 minute arm workout
Not sure if it was the lingering cold or not, but that new HIIT routine was TOUGGGGHHHH.  I had to take a breather in the middle of the FIFTEEN MINUTE WORKOUT.  Fifteen minutes, folks.  It's really not pushin the boundaries here and I STILL needed a breakJ  Try it out and see how quick you break a sweatJ

Comfort food is ALWAYS the answer when you feel lousy, AMIRIGHT??  I made a few swaps to this recipe, including swapping the cream for 1% milk, tarragon for thyme & cheddar cheese for the Gruyere since I had all of those things on hand.  But, ummmm, as you can tell:  I didn't skip that BROIL stepJ  

The polenta added a little something extra to your standard pot pie topping.  It almost made it very chicken & dumplings-esq.  And despite it seeming a little 'involved,' it actually came together in ALMOST 30 minutes.  Not too bad.
Alrighty, well I have a FALL-ish weekend on tap to usher in the BEST TIME OF YEAR!  Hope you guys have a great weekendJ

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Giving PEAS a chance...

Tuesday Recap:

Workout:  2 mile walk away the pounds with weights

Breakfast:  2 slices Flaxseed toast with peanut butter & salty strawberry jam

AND I had to eat an early breakfast so we could get to Trader Joe's before the rush!  It's the only time of the day where you can WANDER in that place.  The rest of the time, you're fighting your way up the aisles.  So here was my 'haul' of the day...

Morning snack:  Dunkin Donuts small pumpkin spice coffee
First of the season!  Weeeeeeeeeeee!!!

Lunch:  PEAS & Yogurt
Sooooooooooo lunch began the very second I finished that video and ripped open this bag of baked Inner Peas.  I HAD the thought process of "Wow, I need to portion these into mini bags cause these are SOGOOD that you can down the whole bag."  I stopped within a reasonable portion and moved on toooo... video mentioned new FAVORITETHING of these flip-cup yogurts.  I mentioned the banana + chocolate + almonds was awesome and this coconut (OBVIOUSLY) was just as divine.  These are FANTASTIC and so worth a few extra calories for all those satisfying add-ins...

Snack-  YEP...
I had succumb to the peas.  Sigggghhhhhhhh...  Next time they are purchased, the bag is being IMMEDIATELY divided up into smaller portions.  Those things are ADDICTING.   

Dinner- Kale, tortellini & thyme-turkey meatball soup
This wasn't in the original weekly menu either, but yesterday's gloomy day coupled with Katie's cold just made chicken soup sound WAY too appealingJ

I sauteed some carrots, celery, onion & thyme in olive oil for about 10 minutes before pouring in about a box & a half of chicken broth and brought that to a boil...

While it was boiling, I got to working on the mini turkey meatballs (ground turkey, egg, breadcrumb, thyme, Parmesan, salt & pepper).  I gave them a quick roll and tossed em into the soup and let them boil for about 10 more minutes...

Lastly, I tossed in a couple handfuls of diced kale & the tortellini...
I had gotten these fresh at Trader Joe's, so they only needed a couple minutes to cook, but usually they would take about 7 minutes.  So just plan your soup & meatball cooking appropriatelyJ

This was soooo warm & cozy and tasted like it had been simmering for hours.  I suspect the little flavor burst from the fresh herbs, but experiment and use whatever you have on hand....just make this soup!

Let's just say my allergies cranked up to 7000000000 and Katie's cold lingering in the background led to craving MORE warmth at the end of the dayJ  Figured this was a 'healthier' way to goJ

Alrighty, well I'm just BARELY standing on the edge of not falling over and catching this cold, so I foresee some more warm & cozy meals possibly in the mix for today, tooJ  Oh yeah...and a mess of exercise classes I have scheduled for the day...let's see how much energy I have to make them allJ

Have a great WednesdayJ

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

First cozy meal of the season...

Hey, all!  Well, another weekend and barely any food picsJ  I was too busy runnin Katie to the boardwalk one more time...

...over a friends house for a playdate, with 7 amazingly well-behaved kids!...

...and a lazy Sunday lunch date with Scott & IJ

She liked her requested soup & crackers enough that she gave us enough of a window to actually eat our pizza in peaceA rarity these days with this little booger...but such is the life with a 2-year oldJ

And to counter act the pizza and boardwalk goodies from this weekend, it was time to kick off a healthier week...

Monday Recap:

Morning Workout-  Full-body Tone it Up workout

8:30am:  Breakfast- Toast with peanut butter & jelly
Mmmmmm...I bought this SALTY Strawberry Jelly from the farmer's market this week and it HIT the spot on this toast!  Sweet & strawberry with SALT!  I'm in LOVVVEEJ

12:30am:  Lunch- Autum Squash soup & Fiji Apple Salad
While my Mom & I were out and about running errands, our stomach's started rumbling mid-Katie shoe shoppingJ  So we hit the local Panera and both got one of these combo platters.  A TOTAL FALL win since the soup was ABSOLUTE FALL perfection!  And the salad, topped with dried apple chips, was not too shabby either.  All together they clocked in around 500 calories.  A little more than I usually like to spend on lunch (and did leave almost half the salad), but not bad for a decadent/healthy lunch combo.

3:30pm:  Snack- Extra Sharp Cheddar + 7 dried mandarin orange slices
I am OBSESSED with these 90-calorie Cracker Barrel cheese sticks.  They are NOT the usual 2% ones I have, but the portion control keeps the serving in check so you get ALL of the full-calorie cheese goodness...that you CAN tell the difference vs. the low-cal cheese.  Sometimes it's worth itJ

Mmmmmmm...I'm positivly GIDDY to announce the FIRST COZY MEAL OF THE SEASON!!!!!  WEEEEEEEEEE!!  It was all-set for salad last night, till I spent nearly the whole day bundled up in a sweatshirt, which just meant we needed WARMTH for dinner!

So I took these beauties from the farmer's market...

...gave em a quick dice (along with a few cloves of garlic) and drizzled em with olive oil, salt & pepper, then tossed em in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, I whipped up the polenta.  Which is as easy as heating up 3 cups of milk to a simmer and whisking in about 1 cup of polenta, then adding a pat of butter, 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese & a handful of diced fresh basil...

Layer up the poletna & tomatoes and dinner is servedJ
I'm not sure if it's just these lovely September zebra tomatoes, but they roasted to sauce-y perfection.  And polenta was the perfectly creamy companion to bring this to our faces.  EASY & COZY...they may just be the THEME of FALL this yearJ

Evening workout:  Beginner's Power Yoga's already late because I did some special food shopping today...I'll share more tommorrow!

Have a great TuesdayJ

Friday, September 12, 2014

Love at first bite...

Morning, all and Happy Friday!  WeeeeeeeeeeeeJ  

I'm SUPER GIDDY this morning given that we went from cloudy & humid yesterday to SUNNY AND BREEZY THIS morning.  Happy, happy, joy, joy.J
And did anyone else see this list circulating the web this week???  I was CRACKING UP since I've done nearly ALL of them...and LOVE itJ  (ps-and who even knew "Friendsgiving" was a 'thing' with OTHER groups???  We've been bringing Friendsgiving realness since pre-blog 2008!J)  

ANYWAY...back to my post for you today, I just HAD to share a lunch I had with my Mom on Wednesday afternoon as we made our way down to Haddonfield, NJ to "The British Chip Shop."  Seeing as how we had SOMUCHFUN there at Harry Potter Trivia Night, I was anxious to go back and sample a few more menu delights.

We started with the bean dip, thinking Katie would INHALE THIS.  She didn't.

But WE did...salty deliciousness topped with cheese...ummmmm, OK???

And for lunch, we did our favorite 'half-sies' and split both of our entrees so neither of us had TOO much decadence.  In the 'lighter corner,' an INCREDIBLE Beet salad...  
This salad was PERFECTION, with the fresh beets, creamy and tangy goat cheese, crunchy walnuts and the perfect compliment from the lemon vinaigrette.  It was definitely a salad you would have been HAPPY to have as an entree (cause, let's be real, some just do NOT fit that bill)

And my Mom got her FIRST EVER taste of Indian food from my order of Chicken Tikka Masala..
I know that seems like a random selection at a BRITISH CHIP shop, but apparently Indian cuisine is very prevalent in England, so I was OK with skipping the fish & chips for the dayJ

Tender chicken in the rich & creamy masala sauce with just a KICK of spice at the end, all served over a bed of sticky Jasmine rice.  Not to mention, the dish was HUGE and lasted enough for my Mom & I + dinner of leftovers for Scott.  Not too shabby.  And it made my Mom a TOTAL fan.  It was love at first biteJ

And there was just NO WAY I was leaving without the STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING!!!!!
This brown sugar/date cake is one of my favs that I don't attempt to make for myself all too often, so I thought I'd let the experts do their thangJ  Soft and caramel-laced cake drizzled with toffee sauce and served warm with a scoop of ice cream.  I I even need to say anything else???

OK...but we DID have one other dessert that we picked up in Haddonfield, but I feel as though I must return and take enough photos to document the experience as this place deserves it's own properly-documented shout out since they had....some of the BEST CUPCAKES EVERRRRRRRRRRR!  
And I don't say this lightly as I am a FIRM BELIEVER that all cupcakes are NOT created equalJ  How's that for a tease??  And I tease because I know we are going back in the VERY near future and can't wait to give a full reviewJ

ANYWAY...back to FALL, shall we???  My Mom spied some FALLEN LEAVES and I was SOOOOO excited...

And the pretty weather is supposed to keep on keepin on right through the weekendJ  Hope you guys have plans for a great oneJ

Enjoy it!
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