Car-Free and Carefree

WARNING: this is a LONG post for a LONG weekend!

The BOY and I have had two fantastic weekends!

Last weekend, we did our weekend getaway to Wisconsin and this weekend, we went down to Chicago.  But first, we decided to sleep in and play Saturday morning by ear.  Since I wasn’t running the race, we had tons of possibilities.  I didn’t set an alarm and took my time drinking my morning tea and enjoying a breakfast stirfry.

IMG_20150523_091949519

Then, the BOY and I went out to play tennis in the sunshine.  Our usual outdoor court was full, but we were able to find another available court near by.

IMG_20150523_104215250

It took us a little bit of time to get into our groove, but once we did, it was really fun.  That might be because I won almost half the games!

IMG_20150523_104249137_HDR

After tennis, we picked up a light lunch at Panera and then swung by DSW for new shoes to support my foot during tennis.  We went back home to pack up our stuff for the city and then hit the road.  We got downtown around 4pm and decided to walk up and down Southport doing a bit of shopping.  Then we ordered Thai food for dinner, planning to bring it in to watch the Hawks game (just like last year).

IMG_20150523_182944

While we waited for dinner, we grabbed a beer at The Green Lady, which has tons of local Chicago and Illinois beers on tap.  We both tried something new that we really liked!

IMG_20150523_182744542

We picked up our dinner and walked back to my brother’s where we were staying.  One of my favorite things about staying in Lakeview is all of the walking that we do.  And what little time I spend in my car!  We cracked open a bottle of Napa wine and sucked down our amazing Thai dinner during the exciting game.

IMG_20150523_191205016

Unfortunately, I was not able to stay awake for the two over times, but was happy to see that the Hawks pulled off the win.  My alarm went off at 6am Sunday morning and it took me some time to get organized.  By 6:30, I had some (but not enough) air in my tires and was heading east to Lake Shore Drive.

IMG_20150524_065034647

My goal was to get down to Grant Park where I knew there were a few different bike shops offering free support to the riders.  The weather was a bit unpredictable and a few miles in, it was clear that I would need my jacket to keep me warm and dry.

IMG_20150524_065842996

I made it down to the park, and was lucky to find some friendly guys to put air in my tires.  Then, I was back on the drive heading south towards the museum.  There were bouts of rain throughout, but the roads were still packed with riders.

IMG_20150524_075026478

At the south end, I stopped for a quick snack, chatting with some other riders before hopping back on the drive north towards Soldier Field.

IMG_20150524_075636818

I rode 15 miles up north to the Bryn Mar turnaround, stopping to take a few photos along the way. 

IMG_20150524_083017475

At the north end, I stopped again to stretch my legs.  It seemed that maybe the rain was going to stop, but as I headed back to where I began, it picked back up.  It was clear that after a chilly (but totally awesome) 30+ mile morning on my bike, a latte was needed : )

IMG_20150524_092905017_HDR IMG_20150524_093940911

When I arrived back home, the BOY was awake and ready for breakfast.  We walked over to Wishbone, where I had the most delicious breakfast sandwich and potatoes!  I didn’t realize how hungry I was until the food came out and I scarfed it down.

IMG_20150524_104933268

We walked back and packed up our car to head back to the suburbs.  It continued to rain on and off, which was perfect to crash on the couch and watch a Lifetime movie.  Around 2pm, it looked like the sun was starting to creep out, so the BOY suggested tennis.  I was excited to try out my new shoes, so I agreed.  I was also excited that after my longest bike ride of the year, my legs felt good enough to play tennis.

IMG_20150524_142632987

40 minutes in, the rain returned and sent us back to our car.  We had a fun birthday party for the BOY’s aunt Sunday night.  We decided to have a little more fun when we got home, so we opened up a bottle of wine and played Yahtzee (a new game we picked up in Wisconsin). 

IMG_20150524_222956066_HDR

It was funny to watch Cooper chase after the dice!  We slept in again this morning and then I ran off to the store to pick up mimosas and fruit for Memorial Day brunch with my friends and their kids.

IMG_20150525_092934501_HDR

We had so much fun and then the rest of Monday just flew by…next thing I knew it was dinner time and the BOY was marinating ribs.  YUM!

IMG_20150525_162247

It was definitely a carefree weekend, and I was happy to pack so much in.  But now I am exhausted and ready to crash on my couch.  I wish I had just one more day of weekend…then I would be able to stay up late enough to watch tonight’s Hawks game!

 

What did you do this weekend?

Advertisements

Monday Matters and Tuesday Troubles

So…with my 2 week long sickness and our weekend getaway in Wisconsin, I’ve had a lot of time to think!

IMG_20150516_151744991_HDR

While I was sick, I was mostly thinking about all of the things I would rather be doing than laying on my couch watching reality TV.  I found myself desperately missing my biweekly yoga classes.  In Wisconsin, I was thinking about how much fun it is to spend time with the BOY, reading, fishing and playing games.  And I appreciated not feeling the stress of having to fit in a 90 minute BRICK during out weekend away.

By Monday, I had a few decisions to make…

Monday Matters

Number 1- I have decided that I am not going to participate in a triathlon this summer.  Last summer, I wasn’t able to fit in a tri and knew that but promised myself I’d make up for it this summer.  Between my big test and wedding planning, spring has flown by.  And after 2+ weeks of sickness, May has kind of been a workout wash : (  It is clear that I would be pushing and stressing to fit in a big race.  I have always made the decision to only train for a race if I know that I have the time to train safely and have fun while doing it.  Throughout the past few years, I have made numerous decisions about this, choosing to pursue professional goals over running a marathon and then choosing to do a race when life is less busy (or when the BOY moved into the library at the start of law school).  I’m not sure if this is the right way to do things…I know plenty of people who seem to be able to do it all, but so far it has worked for me.  I have run a few marathons, tri’s, and half marathons remaining relatively injury free and always finishing with a smile across my face.  I hate to take two summers off in a row (I’ll feel like a newbie at my next race), but all of this just confirms that not doing a tri is the right decision for me…for right now. 

 IMG_4236

Which leads me to Number 2– I need to quit the gym again!  It’s true that I just joined this gym a year ago and I really like it.  It has an indoor pool, awesome track, friendly staff, good classes, and a rock climbing wall that I still haven’t climbed.  But it is not cheap and to be honest, I’m not going consistently.  I am exercising most days a week, but it’s with my trainer, at the yoga studio, or outside on my bike or on the tennis courts.  And I would much rather do that than run around the indoor track or sit on a spin bike.  So it’s just not worth the money.  Gym…I leave you with fond memories but may be back for your indoor tennis courts next winter : )

IMG_20150425_170940

Speaking of tennis…Number 3 involves the fact that I blew off my trainer yesterday to go play tennis with the BOY.  I had my yearly physical in the morning (my cholesterol rocks!) and then did a grocery store run. I was supposed to meet my trainer later in the day, but the BOY and I had a lot of returns to do so after our trip to the mall, we decided to play tennis.  We showed up to find busy courts (apparently it was a meet up group).  We were able to nab a court and attempted to play in the strong winds.  We aren’t great players, so the wind just adds another element of fun and frustration.  By our second game, I found my groove and ran my butt all over that court.  We are a funny duo to watch attempt the sport because the BOY is an ex-volleyball middle hitter (who loves to charge the net and smash the ball down) and I am an endurance queen who runs all over the court (and can get to the ball most of the time surprising the BOY).  Even with that, we had a blast playing for 90 minutes last night enjoying some sunshine and exercise before picking up PotBelly for dinner.

Tuesday Troubles

I planned to go for a run this morning, my first one since being sick, in order to test the running waters and make sure these new running shoes were a go.  When my alarm went off, all I wanted to do was go back to bed and so I did…until Cooper stuck his nose in my ear and crawled into my arms for love.  When I finally dragged myself out of bed, I reminded myself how happy I would be that I got out this morning while I spent the rest of the day indoors at work.  My first step revealed an achy right foot, but I didn’t think about it, got dressed and headed for the path.  I had time to do about 4 miles.  I immediately felt my lack of recent activity. I was slow (averaging around 9:30 miles) and struggled a bit, still congested and coughing with an overall feeling of fatigue.  But my shoes seemed to be working and I LOVED being outside in the cool morning, and was even more excited to see a baby deer.

IMG_20150506_184709966

I returned home, pet Cooper (again), and got myself ready to go to work.  Where my right foot continued to hurt and ache, getting worse throughout the day.  Often, I take my shoes off at work padding around the mats and equipment in socks, but I was not able to tolerate it today.  By the time, I returned home my foot was hurting REAL bad and continues to bother me.  I am not sure if this is from playing a lateral sport like tennis in the wind in my running shoes, or running this morning, or because I don’t have the best feet.  But no matter what the reason, it sucks.

IMG_20150508_145028111

So finishing up with my Number 4 thought is that I might not be able to run the Soldier Field 10 Miler this weekend.  Even though I am back to work and getting back to exercise, I am somehow still not over this illness and this morning’s 4 mile run confirmed that I am not ready to rock out 10 miles.  Very few times have I not participated in a race that I signed up for and I’ve done this race the past, like 5 years, and love it, but is it really worth it to push myself?  What do I have to gain?  And although my thought is that I will wake up pain free tomorrow and this sore foot thing will be a distant memory by Saturday…that just might not be the case.  I think that the BOY and I will still spend some time downtown (maybe hit up the Green City Market?!), and I am still planning to ride Lake Shore Drive for Bike the Drive on Sunday, but I have warned my running buddy that I may not make our 10 Mile Coffee date on Saturday.

IMG_20140525_064431409_HDR

For now the only thing to do is to head to bed and see where tomorrow finds me, putting off decisions about this weekend until Thursday and crossing my fingers that my foot feels better (or that one of my coworkers can fix it)!  And of course cheer for the hawks…go Blackhawks!

 

Anyone else got Tuesday Troubles?

How do you decide what races to do?  Do you struggle to say no to races?

Weekend. Family. Photos. Food.

My long weekend was  HUGE success!

Friday started with a tough strength session (I’m still sore).  Then, I did some wedding stuff with my number one assistant, my mom…followed by dinner and NY vs NY baseball with my dad.  I was in bed pretty early cuddled up with Cooper while the BOY stayed out playing poker.

IMG_20150424_221144153

Saturday morning I woke up to grey skies and rain.  I thought about a run but instead settled into the couch with breakfast and tea.  I spent the morning with Law&Order reruns researching some wedding invitations.  There are so many cute options!  The BOY slept in and Cooper I enjoyed a quiet (although wet) start to the day.  Around noon, I convinced the BOY that we needed to do a Costco run.  A big mistake on my part as it ended up costing me more money with all of the stuff he threw into the cart (ie new fancy toothbrushes).

IMG_20150425_160454438

On the way home, we met my brother and SIL at our favorite Mediterranean place to take in lunch.  They were visiting the burbs for a wedding so we offered them a place to stay.  They left for their wedding and the BOY and I hit up my gym for a tennis date.

IMG_20150425_170940

We are trying to get back to playing weekly and although neither one of us is very good (as evidenced by the child tennis prodigy playing two courts over), we always have a lot of fun with it!  We stopped by the store on our way home and then got cozy for the night.  There were sports to watch (Bulls and Blackhawks) and the BOY made dinner while I started working on our weekly meal plan.

IMG_20150425_194328780

Cooper struggled to stay awake and I wasn’t sure I’d make it until our guests came home.  But they didn’t stay out too late and so when they got back, there was plenty of time for wine, cigars, and a  2am cheese plate.

IMG_20150425_221529573

Sunday morning is best when brunch is involved.  The BOY and I made TJ’s cinnamon bread, bacon, eggs, and fruit.  We hung out a bit eating our breakfast al fresco enjoying the sunshine after yesterday’s yucky day. 

IMG_20150426_111821

I had to eat and run to an 11:45am coffee date with a friend of mine, who I dragged along to the gong meditation.  It turned out that she wasn’t able to do the gong due to her schedule but was able to take another class at the studio. 

IMG_20150426_115724060

All week, people were asking what I had going on this week and I got mixed facial expressions and comments when I told them I was headed to another hot yoga and gong meditation.

IMG_20150426_145259

What can I say…I love the gong! 

IMG_20150426_152049552

This morning’s session did not disappoint.  I left feeling incredibly refreshed, reenergized, and cleansed.   I had one last stop at the grocery store where I treated myself to a green smoothie while I shopped.  I really wanted to bake/cook at least one thing this week.  And I’m prepping for next month’s goal of eating more whole foods.

IMG_20150426_170221469

When I came home, I found the BOY and Cooper resting where I left them (we stayed up way too late last night).

IMG_20150426_163838813_HDR

I unpacked my groceries and got busy whipping up some Zucchini Bread.  With the windows opened, it really felt like spring and perfect time for a delicious spring bread.  I tried a new recipe and although the dough looked a little thick and sticky, my mini breads turned out beautiful!

IMG_20150426_174147

IMG_20150426_175303513_HDR

The BOY and I are settling in for a quiet Sunday night movie.  I’ve had the most amazing day and a fun weekend and I can’t wait for one more day of the weekend to come!

IMG_20150426_164035189

Meal Plan 4/26/15 (might go something like this)

Sunday: Tilapia Asian Salad

Monday: Crockpot Turkey Sloppy Joes (new recipe)

Tuesday: Grilled Pork and Veggies

Wednesday: TBD

Thursday: Premade Costco dinner that the BOY picked out

 

Here are a few of my other favorite quick bread recipes!

Banana Strawberry Bread

Blueberry Muffin Bread

Cinnamon Apple Raisin Bread

Coconut Ginger Zucchini Bread

Paleo Zucchini Almond Butter Bread

Zucchini Pineapple Bread

Not a Moment to Spare

I jammed so much into this past weekend that there wasn’t a moment to spare…like I haven’t even been to the grocery store and we have no food.  Now, to be fair, the weekend was really short!  I worked Saturday morning, which as always, was SUPER fun!

IMG_20150418_123418

We did a superhero theme for the littlest ones, which they loved. We were the Super Yogi’s spreading peace to everyone (plus fighting off some bad guys with punches…their idea and peace signs…my idea).  Then it was on to the seesaw hamstring stretch for my older group followed by some amazing acro yoga with the last crew.  After yoga, I raced home to eat a quick lunch and await the arrival of my family for our fun, family tennis date.

IMG_20150418_145739000

It all started because my dad has been interested in getting back into tennis.  The BOY and I haven’t played since last summer and although we are rusty, we were exited to get back on the court this spring.  Since my brother was out visiting my parents, he tagged along too allowing us to play doubles.  We are all equally bad at tennis, but good enough to keep a game going.  We played for 2 hours, knowing we’d probably all be sore the next day, while my mom went for a walk and took pictures.

PhotoGrid_1429412164463

From the tennis courts, we went to the last of the three stores where we are registering for pots, pans, and fingers crossed some gorgeous Le Creuset pieces.  On the way home, we swung by the Jewel to pick up dinner.  Saturday night, we BBQed and my brother came to hang out with us.

IMG_20150418_193817

I was up early Sunday morning because my mom came to get me for another trip to the salt spa.  We started with a stretch and meditation class.  Recently, I have been reading and listening to podcasts about meditation and was excited to give it a go.

IMG_20150419_101340

We followed that with 45 minutes in the salt cave…see our attempt at a salt cave selfie!  And then lunch and a little bit of shopping, where we of course picked up some Himalayan salt.

IMG_20150419_101653491

I got back home just in time to have a quick snack and get myself organized for trip number 2 to Bed Bath and Beyond for more gun shooting fun.  I should admit that the BOY and I are NOT gun shy.  We register for a whole lot of everything, and then I have to come home and organize things online.

IMG_20150419_174505342_HDR

Last night, we closed down the bed bath and beyond and were way too tired to do the planned upon grocery store shopping.  Instead, we swung by Chipotle and arrived back home around 8pm with enough time for me to fold a little laundry, tame our online registries, and cuddle with Cooper.  Prior to realizing how nuts the weekend was going to be, I had plans to bring ya’ll some recipes this weekend.  Instead, I prepared some Overnight Quinoa in a Jar (basically overnight oats with quinoa instead of oats) and crashed into bed.

IMG_20150419_222003033 

This morning, I started my week off early with a 6am hot yoga class. 

IMG_20150420_074949

#postyogaglow

When I got home, Cooper dove right into the fridge in search of my oats (he LOVES almond butter).

IMG_20150419_222104021 IMG_20150420_074546411 IMG_20150420_074646326

And then tried to eat my breakfast before I could scarf it down.  Ugh!  Then I left the BOY and Cooper back home and headed off to work.  I am working Monday this week instead of Friday (hence the super short weekend and lack of food in our fridge).  The BOY ordered Thai for dinner tonight…which was his idea of cooking dinner : )  Luckily, there will be enough leftover for me to take for lunch tomorrow since I’m exhausted and heading to bed.

Looking forward to next weekend with (hopefully) a few extra moments to spare!

 

What did you pack into your weekend?

What do you do when you don’t go to the grocery store?

Five for Friday XX

1.  Thank you guys for all of your awesome brussel sprout suggestions!  The BOY and I will definitely be eating more sprouts this spring!

 

 

2. The BOY and I had our second Friday night tennis date tonight.  We played from 8-9pm and instead of practicing strokes with the ball machine, we warmed up, practiced serving, and then played a few games.  Although I’m still not as good as the BOY, I did beat him in 2 games and was in the process of beating him in a third when we ran out of time.

 

IMG_20140328_203419309

 

 

3.  I have a new Starbucks obsession.  It’s Chai tea with steamed soy milk.  It is creamy, filling, and takes care of one of my servings of dairy every day.  Ok, so I don’t have one every day, but I wish I did : )

 

IMG_20140325_080557433_HDR

 

 

4.  Cooper created a new game this morning.  I call it Ice Cube in a Box, and I totally went along with it because it meant that I could eat my breakfast in peace without him stealing my eggs.

 

IMG_20140328_064908609 IMG_20140328_065209251

IMG_20140328_064844164

 

 

5.  I have watched basically none of March Madness this year.  Usually, I am way more into it, but with Indiana not making the tournament and my weeks being really busy, I just haven’t turned on any games.  I’m hoping to catch up on some basketball this weekend…starting right now.

 

Does your pet steal your breakfast?

Are you watching the tournament?

Monday Reflections and Spinach Turkey Burgers

This morning, my trainer and I sat down and talked goals.  I’ve been working out with her for about 2 months and it was time to reassess where we’re at.  Last week, we started talking and it became obvious that I’m not totally dialed in.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I am exercising a few days a week and making some healthy meals, but my weekends are pretty boozy and french fry filled.  For example, this midnight trip to Wiener Circle on Saturday!

 

IMG_20140323_242303462

 

It was with that in mind that I reluctantly agreed to let her retake my measurements this morning.  We did circumferential measurements and body fat.  And although my weight is the exact same, I have lost an inch in my middle and almost 3% body fat.  Which was pretty good news.  I was feeling a little lost and misdirected before the appointment and left feeling motivated with a game plan.  And some serious goals to work towards, including strength training at least 2x week and being strong enough to do a pull up.  I wouldn’t typically share these details on the blog, because I know most of you don’t care.  But, I thought the lesson of measuring your success by more than one number was enlightening and an excellent reminder to all of us who put in so much effort each week in the gym and the kitchen that we sometimes forget to celebrate our small victories.

 

IMG_20140324_095145243

 

Afterwards, I had some errands to run, most of which included grocery store shopping and of course Costco, where I stocked up on healthy foods and snacks.  I came home for leftover Thai for lunch and then the BOY and I were back at the tennis courts.  We played on Saturday as a make up for last week and I was feeling rusty.  It felt good to be back on the courts today.  We are both doing a little better, I do think I would benefit from another refresher lesson, and I am counting down the days until we can get outside and play in the sunshine.

 

IMG_20140322_104317330

 

The BOY and I went to the grocery store on the way home to get food for dinner.  While the BOY worked on his homework this evening, I prepped our turkey burgers.

 

IMG_1312

 

While we were at Mariano’s, the BOY asked why I wasn’t buying the premade turkey burgers that we like so much.  Great question…right?!  I guess I had planned on trying this recipe and was looking forward to having a few burgers for lunch during the week.  Plus, it takes no time at all to mush together some burgers.

 

IMG_1314

 

This recipe is really easy and even though it was originally meant to be sliders, it worked perfectly in big burger form.

 

IMG_1326

 

I should probably tell you that after I made the burgers and prepped the brussel sprouts, I retreated to the couch and let the BOY finish out dinner.  He made the burgers on the grill pan on the stove (I am counting down the days until we can grill outside) and sautéed some mushrooms and onions to add to his burger.

 

IMG_1335

 

Our entire dinner was easy and satisfying!  It was a real team effort in the kitchen!

 

IMG_1338

 

 

How do you celebrate the little victories?

Have you grilled outside yet?

 

Meal Planning 3/24/14

Monday: Spinach Turkey Burgers with Brussel Sprouts

 

Tuesday: Crockpot Tikka Masala from The Wanderlust Kitchen

 

Wednesday: Salmon and Veggies

 

Thursday: Leftovers

 

 

Spinach Turkey Burgers

Adapted from Bon Appetit

 

Ingredients

Flat-leaf spinach, thick stems removed, leaves chopped (about 1 cup)

4 scallions, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 pound ground turkey

1 teaspoon ground cumin

 

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.  Mix with your hands until well combined.

Form meat into 4 patties.  Place on a paper plate and cover with press and seal.  Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Grill burgers on outdoor grill or on indoor griddle for about 8 minutes each side.

Serve with your favorite toppings.

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.