Day Light Savings Monday

One of the best things about the blog world is learning that I am not the only one who is struggling with the time change!  I slept until 9am on Monday morning (and was in bed by 10 last night) and I should confess that the BOY isn’t even awake yet (as of 10am).

 

IMG_20140309_211456011

Sleeping Early Sunday Night

 

Cooper on the other hand seems to be adjusting just fine and was more annoyed than anything as he pounded his 11.2# body against our door this morning in request of breakfast, which eventually I provided.  To him and to myself…

I ate a quick breakfast of rye toast and an egg with spinach and then changed into these awesome new workout tights that I bought at the GAP yesterday.  I mean, yes they are awesome because they are bright and obnoxious, but even more so because they only cost me 5 dollars and some change.  I like the GAP workout clothes and I got two other adorable long sleeve shirts on major sale too!

 

IMG_20140310_092736533

 

This morning’s workout was another tough one, but I think my arm muscles are starting to emerge.  Woo Hoo!

The rest of the afternoon was jam packed.  I met a friend and her little one for lunch and then raced back home for the BOY and my 3pm court time at the tennis gym.  It was great to try out my new racket and I learned that in tennis, like biking, the right (and possibly more expensive) equipment can help a beginner look better : )

 

IMG_20140228_200615129

 

The BOY and I followed up tennis with our weekly grocery store run.  I swear I spend way more when he comes with me than when I go alone.  I had a plan, but apparently the BOY had a different plan for this week.  I had totally forgotten that it is his spring break, so I picked up some things that he could make for dinner while I was working.  When I got back home, I was starving!  I snacked on some cheese and crackers while unpacking our groceries and putting chili in the crockpot for this week’s lunch.

 

IMG_20140310_183212798

 

I cheated a little bit and bought pre cut sweet potato, and it made this recipe come together really quickly!  We had the most beautiful day today, finally, and so I almost didn’t want to make chili.  I eat chili all year long, but just like everyone else, I am craving some warm weather and spring foods! 

 

IMG_20140310_183428377

 

That being said, I like having a healthy and tasty lunch and knew that this would do the trick.  While my chili simmered in the crockpot, the BOY made an awesome dinner tonight.

 

IMG_20140310_193629493

 

We had our first taste of spring today and with the time change, there will be more sunshine ahead (I hope!)

 

Did you have trouble adjusting to the time change?

 

Meal Planning 3/10/14

Monday: Shrimp and Pasta

 

Tuesday: Crockpot Chicken Pesto

 

Wednesday: Salmon (for me) and Lamb Chops (for the BOY) + Veggies

 

Thursday: Pork Tenderloin with Broccoli

 

Lunch: Sweet Potato and Quinoa Chili

 

 

Crockpot Sweet Potato and Quinoa Chili

From Iowa Girl Eats

 

Ingredients:
1lb ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups chicken broth
28oz can crushed tomatoes
15oz can beans (I used black beans, rinsed and drained)
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 large sweet potato (about 1lb,) peeled and chopped small
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes

 

Directions: 

Add ground turkey and onion to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until no longer pink, breaking turkey up as it cooks. Add garlic then cook for 30 more seconds then add to a 6 quart crock pot. Add remaining ingredients, except toppings, into crock pot then cook on high for 3 hours, or low for 5-6 hours, or until sweet potatoes are tender. Serve with your favorite toppings.

Saturday in Snapshots!

The BOY and I had date day today!  It started with breakfast at the bakery around 9:30 and we spent the rest of the day tooling around town until 3pm, when I headed off to an afternoon Hot Yoga class.  Afterwards, we spent the night in with Cooper, cooking crab legs and playing poker.  PS I won!

 

IMG_20140308_095208901

 

 

IMG_20140308_095934460

 

 

IMG_20140308_103251830

 

 

IMG_20140308_111319452

 

 

IMG_20140308_124037480

 

 

IMG_20140308_134313550

 

 

IMG_20140308_135109666

 

 

IMG_20140308_162017055

 

 

IMG_20140308_162919129

 

 

IMG_20140308_171655608 IMG_20140308_172042705

 

 

IMG_20140308_175405096

 

 

IMG_20140308_182536536

 

 

IMG_20140308_200928399

 

 

IMG_20140308_204813493

 

 

IMG_20140308_223853785

 

 

IMG_20140308_224103253

 

 

 

How did you spend your Saturday?

 

2 New Banana Bread Recipes

IMG_1197

 

So it really is tough to come up with new banana bread recipes that I haven’t shared with you guys.  I swear this blog could be titled the Banana Bread Blog : ) But with a bunch of brown bananas, I was up for the challenge. 

 

IMG_1182

 

I had motivation too!  We had our last week of tennis lessons at the park district, and I wanted to bring sometime to say thank you to our pro.  I also wanted something to serve to our overnight guests this past weekend.

 

IMG_1188

 

This first recipe adds in one of banana’s favorite companions.  Chocolate!

 

IMG_1200

 

With chocolate swirled throughout, it makes a beautiful marbled bread and also a great gift!

 

IMG_1207

 

I was only sad that I couldn’t dig right in.  It seems wrong to bring a loaf of bread as a gift with a slice missing!

 

IMG_1210

 

While bread number one was cooling, I got started on making my second loaf.  Since I’m a huge gingerbread fan and still have robust molasses in the pantry, I was excited to use it again.

 

IMG_1202

 

This bread smells delightful and puffs up beautifully!

 

IMG_1216

 

I was thankful to be able to slice off a bite to try.

 

IMG_1220

 

I am a huge fan of this flavor combination!

 

IMG_1225

 

This bread froze well and I loved eating another slice smothered with almond butter yesterday.

 

IMG_1227

 

Both breads looked and smelled wonderful!  Perfect to heat up these cool end of winter days!

Here are more recipes from the Banana Bread Blog.

 

What do you do with your brown bananas?

 

 

Marbled Banana Bread

From My San Francisco Kitchen

 

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

¼ cup butter, softened

2 ripe bananas

2 eggs

⅓ cup plain low-fat yogurt (I subbed in sour cream)

½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.

Add sugar and butter to a large bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended.

Add banana, eggs, and yogurt; beat until blended.

Add flour mixture and beat at low speed until just blended.

Melt chocolate chips in a microwave or in a double boiler, stirring until smooth.

Add 1 cup batter to chocolate, stirring until well combined.

Spoon chocolate batter alternately with plain batter into a greased 8½ x 4½-inch loaf pan.

Swirl batters together using a knife.

Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack, then remove from pan and cool 10 minutes before serving.

 

 

 

Banana Gingerbread

From Framed Cooks

 

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

3 medium very ripe bananas, mashed

1 stick butter, softened

1/2 cup molasses

3 eggs

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375, and grease a loaf pan (or you can use 3 mini pans).

Combine flour, sugar, ginger, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.

Mix in banana, butter and molasses until well blended, about 2 minutes on medium speed.  Stir in eggs until well combined.

Pour into loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool in the pans for about 15 minutes, then continue cooling on wire racks.  When completely cool, gently spoon powdered sugar into a wire mesh strainer, and shake the strainer over the loaves to garnish.

Sore Sunday + Tamale Pie

It was a week on the go that ended with a full Friday.  The BOY and I played tennis at 8pm, which was really fun and  a great way to get in a workout on Friday, my usual day off.  I was up early Saturday morning debating if I had time to fit in some exercise.  I ended up taking a Core Twist class at the yoga studio.  It turned out to be less yoga and more twisting : )  We did maybe 30 minutes of standing ab work holding a large exercise ball (it was brutal) before transitioning to some floor work.  On my way home, I picked up Mediterranean for lunch and a HUGE cupcake for that night’s birthday celebration.  I had just enough time to eat lunch and change my clothes before the BOY and I were back in the car for our official last tennis lesson.

 

IMG_20140228_184308678

I finally wore my new Happy Socks….so cute!

 

After tennis, it was another quick transition before heading off to the casino with my family to celebrate my parent’s birthdays.  There was more tennis, in the form of Wii tournaments all throughout Saturday night.  As of Sunday evening, everything is sore!  My abs hurt every time I breath and especially when I twist.  My legs are sore, my shoulders are sore, and my wrists are sore.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the feeling of a good sore!  But it did play a role in my decision to take the day off of exercise.  That combined with all the new snow and the fact that I fell asleep on the couch with Cooper instead of going to the gym : )  Tomorrow is my weekly training session, so I know more soreness is coming my way.  And, the BOY and I have decided to keep Monday as tennis day (even though our lessons are over), so we rented the ball machine again on Monday afternoon.

 

IMG_1246

 

Having nothing to do with soreness, I made a Tamale Pie for dinner tonight which we ate while watching the Oscar’s and then finished off the rest of my Dad’s ice cream birthday cake with forks on the couch (also while watching the Oscars).

 

IMG_1251 IMG_1252

IMG_1258 IMG_1261

 

This recipe was suggested by my brother’s finance before our grocery store outing this morning.  It looked easy enough to pull together on this lazy Sunday without looking (or tasting) like a lazy meal!

 

IMG_1263

 

What I ended up doing was making my favorite 2 Ingredient Crockpot Chicken when I got back from the grocery store and used that as the shredded chicken in the pie.  My thought regarding future meal plans…this is the perfect opportunity to make a huge batch of chicken to eat day one and then use the leftovers in this amazing pie day two.

 

IMG_1265

 

Unfortunately, this recipe doesn’t picture nearly as good as it tastes.  Although that could also be due to my lack of food photography skill and the fact that I was just really excited to dig into dinner!

 

IMG_1274

 

There is a great kick in the corn bread and I’m pretty sure it will be just as tasty, if not more so, for lunch tomorrow before tennis.

 

IMG_20140303_120719062_HDR

#Leftovers Rock!

 

Do you like to be sore?

Are you watching the Oscars?

 

 

 

Meal Planning 3/02/14

Sunday: Chicken Tamale Pie

 

Monday: Honey Sesame Chicken

 

Tuesday: Baked Shells with Winter Squash

 

Wednesday: Salmon with Veggies

 

Thursday: Leftovers

 

 

 

Chicken Tamale Pie

From Pinch of Yum, adapted from Cooking Light

 

Ingredients

⅓ cup fat free milk

¼ cup egg substitute

1½ tablespoon taco seasoning, divided

1 (14¾ ounce) can cream-style corn

1 (8.5 ounce) box corn muffin mix (I used Jiffy)

1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained

1 (10 ounce) can red enchilada sauce

2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (I used 2 Ingredient Chicken)

1-2 cups shredded cheese.

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°.

Combine the first 7 ingredients (milk through green chiles), using just ½ tablespoon of the taco seasoning, in a large bowl, stirring just until moist. Pour mixture into a round pie plate (mine was glass) coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 400° for 25 minutes. While corn is baking, toss the chicken in the remaining 1 tablespoon taco seasoning.  Or just use the salsa chicken.  When corn is done – it will be just barely set and golden brown – pierce entire surface liberally with a fork (it might stick a little bit to the fork). Pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with chicken; sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces.

Saturday Shenanigans and Crockpot Thai

I just woke up from a little cat nap, that actually involved a cat as Cooper and I curled up on the couch, breathing deeply, eyes closed, and unaware of anything around us, including the movie on the TV.  Snowy Sundays were made for naps! 

 

IMG_1248

 

Yesterday was my Dad’s Birthday (Happy Birthday Daddy!) and Tuesday is my Mom’s Birthday (Happy Birthday to you too Mom!).  To celebrate, we all went to the casino yesterday and when we ran out of money, ate dinner at their awesome and creative burger place.

 

IMG_20140301_171044945

 

The BOY ordered the largest Oreo milk shake and the biggest burger EVER!

 

IMG_20140301_171037158 IMG_20140301_173158720

 

Then we came back to our house for desert and presents.

 

IMG_20140301_185855214

 

Due to the snow storm, my parents didn’t stay too late, but my brother and his fiancé spent the night.  We were all finally recovered from the last time they spent the night.  Shortly after the Blackhawk’s game, a rematch Wii tournament began.  We were back to our favorite games of bowling and tennis and Cooper tried to keep up with all of the action.

 

IMG_20140302_011548655 IMG_20140302_011355675

 

We all complained about sore arms this morning and some mild headaches from the bubbley : )  Despite, we were able to do a grocery store run this morning around noon to get started on meals for the week ahead.  Which is why, I really need to share last week’s recipes with you guys.  So cat nap over and blogging begins…

 

IMG_1170IMG_1171IMG_1172

 

Early in the week, I made Thai Peanut Chicken.  I like to use homemade peanut butter in recipes like this  I tried to be lazy and use my blender to make the peanut butter, which was a major fail.  I ended up having to pull out my mini food processer which worked fabulously.

 

IMG_1192

 

This recipe is similar to my other favorite crockpot Thai recipe.

 

IMG_1240

 

The flavors are wonderful and I’m a sucker for shredded chicken.

 

IMG_1237

 

And the leftovers were even better!

 

IMG_1241

 

Kind of a random post to round out the weekend, but I have a few more were that came from…

 

IMG_20140302_165022225

 

After my next cat nap!

 

 

Crockpot Thai Peanut Chicken

From Rachel Schultz

Serves: 3-4

 

Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 red pepper, diced

1 white onion, chopped

½ cup creamy peanut butter (use homemade, just stick peanuts in your food processor and blend until smooth)

1 lime, juiced

½ cup vegetable broth

¼ cup soy sauce

½ tablespoon cumin

Scallions

 

Directions

Place chicken in the base of crock pot. Top with red pepper and onion.

In a bowl, mix together peanut butter, lime juice, vegetable broth, soy sauce, and cumin. Pour sauce over chicken.

Cook on low for 3-4 hours. Do not overcook.  Shred with two forks and let sit in sauce for another 30 minutes or so.  Remove from slow cooker and serve over brown rice.  Top with scallions.