Hey gang!! How was your weekend? Friday my hubby and I went on an impromptu date in downtown Tampa. We are at a place called Oak and Ola and it was amazing. I wrote about it on Yelp (Michelle D. in Tampa), but may start writing more restaurant reviews here on the blog again this year.
Saturday we did some errands and went and saw “Jumanji” and we thought it was really cute and entertaining. We also hit up my favorite consignment shop as I still had money left over on my Christmas gift card.
Sunday I slept in which I always allow myself to do when I’m not training for anything, because I have to get up early enough every day for work. I also decided to meal prep for the week, as this is where my diet/exercise regime have gone to crap over the last six months. I made some egg muffins for the week, as well as a big pot of Chicken Soup. (Click the link for the basic recipes but feel free to change up whatever protein/veggies sound good to you!!!)
Tonight after dinner I went for a nice walk with my neighbor, and did my plank. I’ve been planking since October 1st, and haven’t missed a day yet. I did this back in 2016 when my husband was deployed, and managed to plank for an entire year straight.
How was your weekend? Does cooking ahead of time help you? Any tips for burning belly fat?
Today we had 100% chance of rain, and not just for an hour or two like normal Florida storms, no, it was going to rain from 4 am until who knows when. In fact, I think it is still raining as we speak. So both plans to go to Disney and my long run have been postponed. I will run my scheduled 6.2 miles after work tomorrow, and we can go to Disney another day.
Since it was raining, we figured it would be the perfect day to watch movies and relax. We ended up watching “Christopher Robin,” and we all enjoyed it a lot. It was light hearted but emotional all at the same time. Afterwards, we played the Disney version of Monopoly and I am proud to say after a several hour long game, I won!
Hubby and youngest daughter
Lastly, we cooked a simple Sunday supper. Pork loin that was cooked low and slow in the sous vide, and a broccoli mash (see recipe for my cauliflower mash but use a head of steamed broccoli instead and parmesan cheese vs. Italian cheese), and my daughter made us arugula salad with radish and mushrooms.
Sous vide (cooking in a water bath at a controlled temperature)
Hubby took my picture while I was making the mash
My daugher helping out!
Final dish, minus the salad
Which brings me to my thankful part of this post:
Dinner with my family. As busy as our lives get we almost always try to have dinner together, especially on Sundays.
Rainy days that force you to stay in, and having quality time while doing so. So often we get caught up with our faces stuck in our phones. This weekend has been nice and I’ve been mindful of not being on my phone so much.
The fact that my husband has gotten on board with healthier eating. He was cleaning out his closet tonight and found his “fat jeans” (not that he was ever fat) and I am so proud of how he’s embraced eating healthier and exercising more.
Sleeping in on the weekends. I don’t sleep very well, I never have, so I love that I have the weekends (especially when we’ve got no plans) so catch up on the little bit of sleep I get during the week.
Wine on Sunday evenings to calm me down for Monday morning. LOL. I just had to add that in!!
Have you watched any good movies lately? What’s your favorite board game? Does your family eat together in the evenings when possible?
This year has started out a little rough for me. While I had talked about Self-love last week on the blog, with intentions of making more time for the things I love AND me in general, I instead continued to battle this wretched cough/cold. This weekend I finally felt better enough to venture out of the house with my daughter, and we got our nails done, ran errands, had lunch with a great friend and did a little shopping. I was a little worn out this afternoon, but was determined to get back to my Sunday supper ritual.
Today’s menu consisted of Blue cheese beef meatballs, mushroom gravy, and cauliflower mash with a side of sautéed asparagus.
Blue Cheese Beef meatballs
One pound of ground beef
1 cup of blue cheese crumbles
Salt and pepper to taste (about 1-2 tsps. of salt, 1 tsp pepper
1 tsp of dried oregano
Combine and let chill for an hour. Bring to room temperature while the oven is pre-heating to 350 degrees. Bake for about 30 minutes or until fully cooked.
1 head of fresh cauliflower
1/4 cup of low fat cream cheese
2 tsps. of unsalted butter
1-2 tsps. of salt, 1 tsp of white pepper, 1 tsp of garlic powder
Cup up cauliflower and cook in boiling water until soft.
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process on high for around 2-3 minutes.
1 tsp of unsalted butter
6-8 portabella mushrooms, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 package of Lipton Onion soup mix
4 cups of unsalted/low sodium beef stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tsps. of corn starch and cold water, mixed well (this is called a slurry, you’ll add it to thicken the gravy)
In a sauce pan melt the butter and add the mushrooms and garlic. Cook until lightly browned. Add in the beef stock, and onion soup mix until combined thoroughly. Add in the heavy cream and the corn starch slurry and bring to a boil. Reduce down, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Puree or leave chunky! Your call!
I rounded the dish out with some simple sautéed asparagus with a little salt, pepper, and a pat of butter.
Here is the recipe for my spicy broccoli puree! Note, I failed to take proper pictures other than my perfect bite, so all but the first picture are from Amazon and Pinterest just to give you an idea. 🙂
Here’s what you’ll need:
2 cups of steamed broccoli or broccolini if you can find it. I think it’s a bit sweeter, but either will do.
Reserve 1 cup of the steaming liquid for puree
Calabrian chili flakes or crushed red pepper flakes to taste
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 pat of unsalted butter
Add the steamed broccoli, seasonings and butter to your food processor. Pulse on high until you get a creamy consistency, adding in little by little the reserved steaming liquid being careful not to get it too watery.
Serve with your favorite main dish!
Do you puree your veggies? What is your favorite veggie dish!
I hope you all enjoy this recipe, and I look forward to a lot more recipes to share this year!
I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t eat the greatest food last weekend. There were lots of burgers (which meant BUNS), chips, and other BBQ fare that left me a little heavier on the scale this morning. So I decided to keep dinner light, tonight.
Heat a medium sauté pan to medium high heat. Add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and let heat for a minute or two. Next, add 1/4 cup of diced pancetta, 1 clove of garlic that’s been minced, and a cup of Brussels sprouts that have been cleaned and cut in half. Lastly, add some red pepper flakes for some heat, if you like. Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 20 minutes or until the Brussels sprouts have lightly carmelized. In a separate pan, fry an egg lightly keeping the yolk runny, about 5-6 minutes.
Dinner is served!
Because everything is better with an egg on top, right?
What’s your favorite way to prepare Brussles sprouts? Do you like your eggs runny or fried hard?
In trying to keep with my “lower” carb diet, I’ve been playing around with my “zoodler” more often. Here’s the one I have, click here. Tonight’s dish was a hit!
1 large zucchini, zoodled
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bag of pre-cooked large shrimp, thawed (remove tails)
1 jar of red sauce, use your favorite!
Basil, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper
1/3 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese
Here’s what you’ll do:
Heat 2 tablespoons of EVOO in a non stick skillet, add your garlic, onions and red pepper flakes and sauté until the onions are translucent, being careful not to burn the garlic; 3-4 minutes. Add in the jar of sauce, herbs and salt and pepper and let simmer for 25 minutes. In the last five minutes add in your shrimp to heat through, and get a second sauté pan heated on medium high heat with 1 tablespoon of EVOO. Next, add in your zucchini, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until al dente, making sure the zoodles aren’t mushy!
Have you tried a zoodler yet? What’s your favorite low carb meal!
Have a great night everyone! If you try any of my recipes, please share your feedback!
Well, we’re going on 7 weeks down this coming Tuesday. As of late, things have somewhat evened out at least emotionally, that is until last week. See, we are our HUGE inspection at work that gives us our national accreditation and they show up unannounced. Ok, so deep breathes. I walk in to work on Tuesday with the news they’ll be here in an hour. No big deal, right? Its just ONE day, and how bad could it be? Well, when after introductions they announced they’d be inspecting our lab for THREE days. Gulp. Needless to say my long days and still needing to maintain our evening schedules left very little for working out. Good news is, we got through the inspection with only minor write ups that have already been fixed. If stress burned as many calories as working out does, I’d be 10 lbs. lighter after last week. ROFL!!!
Friday my oldest daughter, J, had plans with her friend, so I took my mini for Mani’s and Pedi’s after I picked her up from school and we ran a few errands. We never do things like this, so it was quite the treat.
Saturday J had a mandatory study session at school from 10:15-2:30 so after dropping her off my mini and I went out for breakfast. And guess who we saw?!? Donnie Wahlberg sat RIGHT there at the counter when I was paying for our meal. No, I didn’t take a pic, but YES it totally happened, LOL!!!! Sure, Mark is cuter, but I was star struck nonetheless!
Saturday night I was heading to Chicago to watch The Avett Brothers in concert at the Chicago theater with a very dear friend of mine. We headed downtown at around 4 P.M., had dinner at the Public House, and went for drinks at 3 Dots and a Dash before heading to the concert.
I haven’t been “out” in ages, I supposed more so due to guilt because I feel like my kids need me even more now that we are a single parent family. But J said, “Mom, GO! Have FUN!!!” And fun, I had. I smiled the entire evening, and sang my heart out during the concert.
Sunday I really wanted to relax. But, I had my fun last night so yard work trumped my plans of lounging on the couch. I spent 2 hours spreading turf builder and weed killer on my 1.5 acres of land. My arms are truly, officially SMOKED. LOL!!
Tonight I cooked a simple yet yummy dinner!!!
Here’s the recipe for my Asian inspired chicken. I marinated 4 chicken thighs in soy sauce, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper for 30 minutes. I took 1 bag of baby broccoli and drizzed it with extra virgin olive oil, 4 cloves of minced garlic, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper and place on a baking sheet, and roast for 40 minutes at 375 degrees. Simply pan fry the chicken (pouring the marinade over the top) in a non stick pan for about 12 minutes or until cooked through. Cut at a diagonal, and serve over your favorite brown rice/quinoa. Top with the roasted broccoli!
I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for the weekly wrap!! Please make sure to check out these (and all the amazing linkers) amazing ladies!!! How was your week? Try any new recipes? Do you have a big yard?
So after finishing my temper tantrum from the weekend, I decided this morning to pick myself up and start over today. Despite struggles, single parenting, and normal teenage drama I needed a clean slate. So here….we….go….
This morning I woke up on time, and allowed myself an extra snooze. I smiled as I cuddled my dog, and I took my time getting ready since I only had ONE child to tend to this morning. And it felt great. This is a new day.
Work was great, and I had time to organize and file a lot of paperwork that had been collecting dust on my desk. YAY to organizing, right?!
My hubby offered to take our youngest to ballet even though it’s something I normally do, stating, “You need a break.” He’s right… I do.
So I cooked the family dinner after work, and jumped at the chance to run. My legs are still very tight from Saturday, so it felt GREAT to stretch ’em out on the ‘mill. WAIT…did I say that out loud? A dready run that wasn’t so dreadful. Winning.
After my run, I ate dinner, showered, and have been sitting quietly at my computer working on the recipe section of my blog for about an hour and a half. Have you checked it out yet? It’s just a start, but I’d love for you to try some of my favorite recipes! You can check it out here! Feedback, comments, and ideas are always welcomed!
It felt great despite laundry duty to give myself a couple hours to do something JUST for me. Running. Writing. And cataloging recipes. Does it get better than that?
How do you spend your down time? Do you allow yourself time to just do YOUR thing at least once a week? If not, I highly recommend it. I tell ya what…my uninterrupted shower tonight was off. the. chain. LOL
Thanks, y’all! I look forward to hearing from you!
Ok, so I started last year at a pretty dark place, but managed to finish on a pretty high note with lofty yet achievable goals. Running, writing, and researching recipes are high on my list this year mixed in with some awesome photography…Right? Um…so yeah…about that…
Then, I cut my thumb on Christmas day, and my running, motivation, and goal making days halted all too quickly. BUT…thankfully only for just about a month. Whew…bullet dodged. I caveat this with saying I DID NOT/DO NOT want a repeat of last winter. Ever. Both the weather, and my mood were beyond frigid.
So here we go…
I started running again last week. My miles are minimal and my pace is slow as can be…but I’m MOVIN’…can I get a yahoo??? Today at work I had a leadership workshop of sorts to attend so my 8 hour day was squashed in to 4 hours of playing catch up. I was tired by the time the final ‘bell’ rang, so upon arriving to my daughter’s school I texted my Maria…”I’ll be on the dreadmill in 30 minutes in case you want to join me.” Of course she did, despite battling a migraine for 5 days, and her virtual hug and push helped get my on the mill. 2.6 miles, complete.
I hit the restart button after the holidays to try and lose my 5-7 lbs of marathon training/winter weight/I’m lazy and just ate all the food weight…so I’m back on MyFitnessPal for anyone else who uses this app, tracking my food and fitness and REALLY trying to stop eating all. the. chips. I have to giggle when it says I should weigh a certain weight if I continue to eat the way I am because yeah-pre-menopause obviously isn’t calculated in to the equation, and well yeah…I don’t see that number on the scale. BUT…I’ve just restarted in the last week or so, so baby steps, right? With that I have been eating high protein/veggie/fruit type of diet, so here is tonight’s easy peasy dinner recipe!
Baked Pork chop with white wine, onion and caper sauce over baby spinach salad
What you’ll need (pork chops):
4 thick cut boneless pork chops, seasoned with kosher salt, pepper, and a dash of lemon pepper seasoning on all sides-apply liberally and set aside for about 5 minutes while you get everything preheated.
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Pre-heat a non stick pan and add extra virgin olive oil and 1 pat of unsalted butter. Heat to high heat, and pan sear chops on both sides (5-7 minutes each side-don’t over crowd your pan!) until golden brown and transfer to a baking sheet. *Tip-line your pan with aluminum foil for easy clean up! Place in your pre-heated oven and cook for about 10 minutes or until your chops have reached 155 degrees-let rest for 10 minutes minimum-chops will reach required temp of 160 degrees by this time. *Tip-cover with foil while resting your meat. It helps hold the temperature.
While your chops are baking, make your “sauce.”
1 white onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
2 tablespoons of Kalamata olives, chopped
Zest of a lemon
1 cup of white wine
1/4 of cold water mixed with cornstarch to thicken
Kosher salt, pepper, and oregano to taste.
In the same pan you seared your chops, deglaze with the white wine (make sure it’s wine you’d drink!)
Add your onions, garlic, capers, and olives. Reduce down the liquid by half, and add your seasonings and cornstarch water to thicken. Add zest just before serving. I served the spinach and pork with the sauce, who needs dressing/gravy? Not this girl!
So in order to stay on track with food, fitness, and life in general my TRUE goal this year is to BE CONTENT. I have said it before, but I’ll say it again. I am, and I have, ENOUGH.
Who’s with me? How are your eats and exercise lately? How do you battle off season eating/motivation?
1. I was tagged to participate in a pretty fun post, but will have to work on that this weekend. HAHA, way to keep you hanging, right?
I did however get THIS cool notification after just over a year of having my blog on WP. 🙂 A HUGE thank you to those who have taken the time to like, comment, and engage with my quirky little place in the world. Mad love to you all!
2. After working 6 days in a row I realllllllllllllllllly wanted to come home and put my jammies on and…NOT. MOVE. But after work I picked up my youngest and ran a couple errands. I knew once arriving home I would HAVE to change in to my running clothes and hop on the mill. I texted my friend Maria, as we had another virtual running date, and got ready. She was running a little late, so I started on my own. Just after hitting the one mile mark (2 miles on deck) I really wanted to give up. My legs were sore after my run Tuesday and I found myself questioning if I’d be ready for marathon training in just ONE month after nearly a month without a single run. My legs were SORE from a 2 mile run…really? But then I got this text…and I knew I could do this. No quitting. (Thanks, Maria…truly!)
3. I admittedly haven’t cooked at all since I’ve been on single Mom duty this week. The kids are happy with left over, sammiches, and breakfast for dinner so it’s been pretty easy. Tonight after my run I decided to make an easy homemade pizza with a little help from the store. My friend Kristina from @Life laugh love run asked for the recipe, so I thought I’d share with you all!
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees, and line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil-set aside while you get your ingredients ready!
1 package of corn tortilla/gluten free tortilla/wrappers
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce. I am lucky to have an amazing Italian market just 1/2 mile away that makes their own homemade sauce that is totally organic/preservative free!
Your favorite toppings! Here are some of mine:
1 pepper, diced
Several mushrooms, sliced
1 package of lean/low fat/low sodium pepperoni. I get mine again, from my amazing grocery store so I know it’s “good” for my family.
Mozzarella cheese (I only use a little as dairy and I aren’t friends)
Line the cookie sheet with the tortillas, making sure NOT to overlap. Take 2 tablespoons of marinara sauce, and spread evenly over the tortilla. Add your veggies next, then the pepperoni. Sprinkle lightly with the cheese, and season with basil and oregano. Bake at 425 degrees for about 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
Have you struggled with winter running or injury? How do you get past the struggle? What is your favorite healthy go-to meal?