If at First Your Car is Frozen…Take Your Boyfriend’s and Head to the Store

After my first attempt this morning failed, I still had hope that I might actually leave the house.  My strategy…the BOY’s car!  Since I was starting our cars every 3 hours or so, I decided that if it started at 1pm, then I would drive off in it.  And it did!  And so I did!

 

My first stop was the Dollar Store, which was sadly closed.  It’s right next to the grocery store, so it wasn’t really a problem!

 

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After the grocery store, I made a quick stop at the party store.  On my way home, I happened to pass Target and since I had my list with me of things we needed, I swung in there too.  I needed to get child locks for Cooper who continues to crawl into our cabinets under the sink with cleaning supplies.  Do you know how hard it is to find child locks when you don’t actually have a child???  Luckily, the store was pretty empty and there were plenty of people around to help.  Hint: they are in baby not home!  When I got back home, after 2 hours out and about, it felt great to soak in some Vitamin D (even in the sub zero temps).  The remainder of my afternoon was spent in the kitchen, baking up more goodies for next weekend and making food for the week ahead before crashing to watch the BCS championship game.

 

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Although we probably would have been for at least the first half of the week, now we are really all set.  It’s not like me to adapt a recipe out of a crockpot and onto the stove, but since Tuesday’s dinner was in the crockpot, I gave it a shot.  This Meatless Monday recipe turned out pretty good, but still not as tasty as our favorite Indian restaurant. I think that next time, I may use the crockpot to allow the flavors to blend a little better.

 

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And just because my phone is full of photos of him, take a look at how Cooper stays warm (yup he’s right in between the BOY’s legs) and grabs some love at the same time!

 

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Hope everyone stays warm, safe, and healthy this week!!!

And keep your fingers crossed that our cars start tomorrow!!!

 

 

What is your favorite meatless Monday recipe?

Share up your links!

 

 

Meal Planning 1/06/13

Monday: Chana Masala

 

Tuesday: Clean Peanutty Thai Chicken

 

Wednesday: Salmon with Veggies

 

Thursday: Leftovers

 

Friday: TBD

 

 

 

Chana Masala

Adapted From 5 Dollar Dinners

 

Ingredients

3 cups water

1 large onion, diced

1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes

1 6-oz. can tomato paste

2 tsp. garam masala

2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. cumin

½ tsp. cayenne pepper (use less or omit if you don’t want a quick…a little goes a LONG way)

1 tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. sea salt

2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained

 

Directions

Heat oil or cooking spray in a large Pot or Dutch oven.  Add in onions and stir frequently until soft and fragrant, about 7 minutes.  Stir in all of the spices and salt.

The pour in water, tomatoes, and tomato paste.  Stir well and bring to a boil.

Stir in chickpeas and simmer on low, covered, for 1 1/2- 2 hours until chickpeas are soft and flavorful.

Serve with rice or naan.

Weekend Update

The big talk of the weekend is the weather!  Is this true by you too?  Mostly, the extremely cold temperatures approaching on Monday (and in our case, possibly some snow first).  It’s been hard to tell what is really going to happen with the weather because each news source has a different story and the truth is, we just won’t know until Monday gets here.  However, there is already talk of cancelling schools.

 

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Our Backyard!

 

I was in bed early last night and looking forward to a good night’s sleep.  But that didn’t happen.  The BOY has been sick with a cold since New Years and it took a turn for worse last night. He was up most of the night coughing.  In hope of a better night’s sleep for me tonight (and for his health), I had him at immediate care this morning minutes after they opened.

 

The BOY has a sinus infection and possibly double ear infections (although nobody thinks this is possible as we’re supposed to stop getting ear infections at age 9), so we went straight to the grocery store to pick up his prescriptions.  With all of the talk about weather, we decided to stock up on groceries for the weekend ahead, pulling together an easy meal plan.  I can’t tell you the last time I was at the grocery store on a Saturday morning before 10am!

 

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We got the BOY back home, medicated, fed, and settled in his chair. And then I threw an easy turkey chili into the crockpot.  The only thing I had scheduled for today was an orthodontist appointment. I was able to bump it up earlier and since I was heading out, stopped by the indoor track for a run.  I’ve been pretty inactive this past week and was looking forward to catching up on some workouts this weekend.  I wasn’t about to let our adventurous morning in health care get in the way of that.  I ran for 40 minutes and after a week off, I felt great!  I was really energized and happy that I took the time to go to the gym! 

 

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I couldn’t choose just one sleeping Coop picture…he’s just too cute!

 

When I came back home around 1:30pm, I knew I was in for the rest of the day.  The BOY was snoring by 3:30pm (with Cooper in tow) and I found Adventures in Babysitting on cable.  With the cold weather has come the return of hot lemon water which I have been sipping on ALL day!  Dinner tonight was chili, which turned out fantastic…especially for how easy and pain free it was to make.

 

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Now we are all tucked in to watch possibly my 10th movie in the past week, Monster University.  Perhaps we are tucked in for the next two days or maybe just the night, but either way, we will be prepared!

 

 

What’s on your weekend update?

 

 

Easy Crockpot Turkey Chili

 

Ingredients

1.25 lbs ground turkey (I like 93/7)

1 onion, chopped

1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes with basil and garlic

1 8 oz can of chopped green chilies

1 14 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained

1 14oz can of hominy, rinsed and drained

2 tbsp chili powder

2 cloves of garlic, chopped (or 2 tsp of the pre minced kind)

 

Directions

Spray pan with cooking spray and brown meat over medium high heat, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon.

Spray crockpot with cooking spray.  Place meat on the bottom of the crockpot and layer the rest of the ingredients on top.  Stir well and set on low heat for 8-10 hours until flavors are blended and beans soft.

Top with your favorite toppings!

Fall Fiesta Part Dos

Last year, the BOY and I had an end of summer Fiesta BBQ, and it was a BLAST!

So…we decided to do it again this year!

 

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Last night, my girlfriends, their hubby’s, and adorable kids came over for delicious Mexican fajitas, sangria, and a super fun evening!  Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate as dark skies and storms rolled in as our first guests arrived.  I was a little worried since we wouldn’t be able to play outside, and the BOY and I don’t have tons of great kids toys, but luckily Cooper gave us some cred with the 2-4 year old age group.  The kids loved him and his toys, and he did fantastic with all of his new friends.

 

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We BOY braved the rain to grill up some tender meat and chicken fajitas and we decided to roast the veggies in the oven.  The kids began the night with a few servings of blue box mac n cheese : ) 

For the first time, I made a batch of homemade salsa.

 

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A coworker gave me a HUGE bag of tomatoes from her garden, which worked out fabulously!

 

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I followed a recipe I found on My Frugal Adventure.  However, when I added the second batch of ingredients, I automatically hit ON instead of PULSE.

 

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My salsa ended up a little too watery, which was nothing my strainer couldn’t fix!

 

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Ta Da!  My first batch of salsa!

 

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That really was soo easy, I will be making more again soon!

 

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For dessert, I kept with the end of summer theme whipping up a batch of S’mores Bars from Averie Cooks.

 

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I knew these bars looked spectacular and couldn’t wait to try them!

 

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But you do have to let them cool before you slice them!

 

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Or if you want to cut them immediately, place them in the freezer to cool for a few minutes.

 

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To drink, I made a sweet batch of White Wine Sangria.

 

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I just really hope that Cooper does not think he was helping me in the kitchen because I did all of the work!

 

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You can find Averie’s recipe for Soft and Gooey Loaded S’mores Bars on her blog!

This morning, the skies are still dark with booming thunder and bright flashes of lightening.  The BOY and I are thrilled to have a house full of leftovers (including sangria and s’mores bars).

 

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Mexican Breakfast

 

 

Simple Homemade Salsa

From My Frugal Adventure

 

Ingredients

6-8 fresh tomatoes

⅓ sweet onion roughly chopped

bunch of cilantro

1 jalapeno, deseeded and diced

1 lime

salt

3 cloves of garlic

 

Instructions

Roughly chop the tomato and place in a food processor or a blender.

Add the onion and cilantro and garlic.

Give the mixture a quick few chops in your mixer.

Slice one lime and squeeze the juice on top as well as a few pinches of salt and any other spices you want to add.

Add the pepper and blend.

For a chucky salsa you want to just do a few quick pulses in the food processer.

 

 

Thank you friends for an awesome evening!

We are looking forward to Fall Fiesta Part Tres in 2014!

Post-Superbowl Cucumber Tomato Feta Dip

One of the benefits of CrossFit is that you have to sign up a few days in advance.  Why is this so good?  Because it holds me accountable to get to the gym on Monday mornings like this one, when I’d much rather stay in bed.

 

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I did take a quick peak at the website to see that we were doing ‘Tall Paul’ this morning, but I had no idea what that meant!  I brushed off my car for the third morning in a row (thinking again how cool it would be if I had snow shoes) and trekked off to the gym.

 

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Confession…I stayed up a little later than usual last night watching the Superbowl and then Elementary, of course.  We had so much fun at my best friend’s house eating dinner, watching football, and hanging out with her two adorable children. 

 

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The appetizers were unique and delicious!  This Feta Dip was a big hit.  Because the BOY doesn’t like tomatoes, I only added them to half of the dip and didn’t stir everything together.

 

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I used an herb flavored feta, and the addition of Cavendar’s (one of our all time favorite seasonings) was perfect!

 

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We had a very un-football like dinner.

 

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And every single thing was flavorful and satisfying!

 

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It’s amazing how colorful this spread was!  We all dug right into the food, going back for seconds.  I mentioned to the BOY that we should bring in Indian food more often!

 

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The exciting thing is that we even have leftovers for lunch today.  After CrossFit, I refueled with a Green Juice Smoothie (I have been craving this ginger infused drink since last week) and am about to dig into some tasty leftovers.  I know compared to most, I have it easy today with a quiet day at home watching Biggest Loser, doing chores, and prepping for Friday’s trip to Florida!

 

Oh Yea and we are going to Yogurtland!

Yogurtland is having free yogurt and toppings TODAY from 4-7 pm.  We’ll see you in line!

 

 

Did you stay up late last night?

How are you recovering today?

 

 

Cucumber Tomato Feta Dip

Adapted From The Girl Who Ate Everything

 

Ingredients

about 1/3 cup olive oil

1 container of grape tomatoes, diced or quartered

4-5 green onions, sliced thinly

1 small cucumber, diced in small cubes

8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (see Note)

2-3 teaspoons Cavender’s Greek seasoning

 

Directions

On a large platter drizzle olive oil until you have a thin layer on the entire platter. You may use more or less here depending on your preference.

Add the tomatoes, green onions, cucumber, and feta on top of the olive oil. Sprinkle with the Greek seasoning to taste.

With a spoon carefully combine the ingredients.

Serve with warm sliced baguettes or pita chips for scooping up the dip.

First Workout of the Year

Finally!

I made it to Hot Yoga yesterday morning with my Mom!

 

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recycled picture but we were just as bundled up!

 

I really haven’t done much activity the past few weeks, so I had to remind myself a few times during the intense class that it is okay to hold back and rest.  But I LOVED getting back into my weekly workout routine, and it was even more special to have my Mom yoga-ing right next to me.  After class, I tried to convince her to come to Whole Foods with me, but she was headed another direction in search of veggies for her own Healthy New Year Soup.

 

I love shopping at Whole Foods!

 

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I picked up some fresh fruits and veggies to make one of Jenna’s hearty stews.

 

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And then came home to chop veggies and warm up the crockpot.  Right on cue, the BOY started to smell the Indian flavors from upstairs and hollered down ‘Honey, what are you making? Smells Good!’

 

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I’m hoping that he will dig right into the stew and won’t even notice the butternut squash.

 

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Without interesting (to me anyways) football today, I was a little bit lost with what to do with my Sunday.  After I got my stew into the crockpot, I baked up some Pumpkin Pear Bread.  Then did a little bit of cleaning and organizing before settling into some comfy clothes on my couch.  I was really excited to finish my book Eat & Run, and it did NOT disappoint!

 

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This recipe requires about 10 hours to get a thick and hearty stew.  Perfect for a Sunday!  The only problem…I was exhausted last night and not going to be able to stay awake until 10pm.

 

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So I put the BOY in charge of unplugging the crockpot and putting my stew into the fridge before he came up to bed.

 

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I was eager to see (and taste) the results this morning!

 

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These pictures don’t even do it justice!  Not only is this the ideal stew texture, but the flavors are incredible.  Everything blends together marvelously, so you know what I will be eating for lunch today.  I love having a house full of healthy food options and fingers crossed, I will be getting in workout number 2 today!

 

 

Crock Pot Chickpea, Butternut Squash

and Red Lentil Stew

From Eat, Live, Run

 

Ingredients

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 tbsp olive or canola oil

2 large carrot, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced

2-3 tsp garam masala

1 butternut squash (about 3 lbs–average sized), peeled and chopped

1 28-oz can diced tomatoes in tomato juice

1 quart vegetable broth

1 cup red lentils

2 15-oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1-2 tsp sea salt (to taste)

 

Directions

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrot and jalapeno and sauté for about six minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 30 more seconds, and then add the garam masala, stirring well to coat. Take off heat.

Place the chickpeas, butternut squash, canned diced tomatoes, red lentils, vegetable broth and onion mixture in your slow cooker. Turn the heat on LOW and cook for 8-10 hours…the longer you cook, the thicker your stew will be.

Season with sea salt to taste and serve with minced cilantro on top (I didn’t do this). This stew freezes extremely well and will keep in the fridge for up to five days.