Tag Archives: cooking

It’s been too long…

Man oh man do I make futile promises or what?  I have seriously missed the blog world over the past year.  Even though I’ve been caught up in the whirlwind of being a busy college student and working, I still read everyone’s blog like it’s my job.

I figured summer would be low-key enough to pick this thing back up but time is flyin’ on by and I haven’t posted once! In the meantime I’ve been staying busy…

traveling…

being a mommy to this little baby…

cooking and eating lots of good food with friends…

trying to survive the heat down in good ol’ College Station…

and I am now officially certified as a personal trainer!!!! Praise God!

My passion for fitness and healthy-living has not wavered one bit.  I have so many fitness-related goals for the next year that I’m so excited about!

I hope to keep updating the blog and getting back on track, even if it means short and sweet posts.  This online community blessed me so much last year and it left a gaping hole in my heart!

Here’s to a new start (hopefully) 😀

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogging, College, Life, Travel

September goals

First, thank you SO much for all of your encouraging comments yesterday!  It’s nice to have people to relate to and I’m so thankful for this community and your honesty! 😀

I must say I’m quite impressed with my diligence in cranking out a post every day so far despite a busy schedule.  Let’s see how long I can keep this up, shall we?

Happy September!

It should look like this outside.  Instead, the days still fall in the 100-degree range and the landscape is brown, aka dead.  But I’m not bitter.  Because a new month means fresh goals!

August goals recap:

  • went out of comfort zone many times – be it staying out late, actually going out, going on yet another trip with no guarantee of exercise, moving back to school

  • conquer the weight room at the school rec center – did NOT happen because GOOD NEWS: I joined a new gym!  This is my first paid gym experience, and it’s been worth it so far.  It even has a ladies’ room that some of you mentioned, so all of the fear is gone.  [the eye candy in the main gym doesn’t totally suck either]
  • followed a new split strength training plan & loved working my individual muscles hardcore

Sunday: legs
Monday: back & abs
Tuesday: chest & shoulders
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday: back & hamstrings
Friday: shoulders, bis & tris
Saturday: OFF

  •  grocery budget – much success on my first [food] shopping spree, filled an empty fridge and pantry for under $50 ! and that’s including spices, flours, etc


  • rested alot – in Asheville, took a few days off here and there after I moved in

September goals: 

1) Focus on abs more – devote 3 days a week to a full ab routine.  Gotta get that 6-pack in time for the winter! 😉

2) Try a new recipe – send me your favorite!  Time isn’t on my side during the school year so I won’t have time to make all the goodies I want.  ONE recipe is my goal.  Sounds easy, yet I know if I don’t make it a goal, it won’t be happenin

3) Join an organization – I’ve joined my fair share of groups and clubs since coming to college, but haven’t found my “niche” yet.  THIS is the semester, I can feel it!

4)  Stretch daily – I’m super bad about stretching, yet I have a desire to do the splits at some point in my life.  Even if it’s just for a few minutes while catching up with my roomies or taking a study break, I am declaring stretching a MUST.

5) Wake up 5 minutes early every morning for prayer time – it’s crazy how fast prayer gets pushed to dead last on the to-do list of mine every day.  5 minutes is nothing and really, should be much longer.

———-

Any recipe suggestions?  Specifically ones with pumpkin since it’s *officially* time for me to start celebrating fall despite the wicked temps

Are you in/have you been in any organizations?  I’ve tried just about everything – from intramurals to bible studies to all girls organizations to community service groups. Obviously I’m hard to please 😀

18 Comments

Filed under Blogging, College, Life

I put mayonnaise & butter on my cornflakes y’all!

Phew, I survived my first day of classes…not that there was much to survive through.  There was alot of this:

Reading and snackage.  And not a whole lotta work.  Done at 1:30?  Yes please. Although I know later in the semester the afternoons will be reserved for study time and such, it was nice to come straight home, prop my feet up and relax.

Besides the dogs peeing multiple times on our new carpet, and waking up super early only to  realize I didn’t actually have a class at 8:00 AM, the morning started off swell:

Enough about school.  On Saturday, I was able to go to a private pastry-making class where I learned all the dirty tricks and tips that real bakers live by.  Thank you Sur la Table!

Personal apple pies (fall, come now), blackberry & nectarine galettes, and macadamia nut brittle were on the menu and in my tummy.

macadamia nut brittle - reminds me of Christmas

the galette - SUPER DELICIOUS

We learned to make the perfect pie dough and made all of our goodies from the same recipe.  The class definitely peaked my interest in baking professionally even more.  I’ll be posting the pie dough recipe soon because everyone needs to try it.  It might rock your world.

Naturally I have to [quickly] relate this back to recovery. 😉

1) Butter is not only OKAY but it is GOOD.  Give me olive, coconut, sunflower seed oil, but don’t touch me with a stick of butter.  I don’t even remember the last time I cooked with butter-sad!  Sometimes you have to go all out and have the real thing (in small quantities of course).  Besides, butter is what makes the consistency and flavor of real pastries so perfect.  I realized it’s time to get over my incessant fear of using that creamy substance because we used a boat load. My homegirl Paula Deen would have been proud.

2) The class interrupted my mid-afternoon snack.  Crazy right?!  I snuck a bag of kettle corn in from home just in case, but how disgusting would it be if I was shoveling food down my throat and then digging my fingers into a community pastry?  I started feeling faint, fungry, and famished…which got me thinking…how in the world did I ever live like that on a daily basis?  How did I survive while denying my body food?  There are still days when I’m tempted to eat less or not at all, but that was a huge wake up call.  It. was. miserable. to not have food in mah belly!

Butter is good.  Food is good.  

———-

Do you cook with butter a lot?  
Favorite kind of pie?  Cinnamon apple or sweet potato pie.  Ohmygosh I can’t wait for the holidays.

 

21 Comments

Filed under Baking, Blogging, ED thoughs

Indian Food, What What???

Indian food is my lover.  Although I’d probably say that about every single genre of food.

When I saw a recipe that involved curry, sweet potatoes, and eggplants all in one, how could I resist?!

Five-Vegetable Curry
Adapted from EatingWell 

1 Tbsp EVOO
3 cloves garlic OR 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 jalapeno, seeded & chopped
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup water
1 eggplant, cubed & unpeeled
12 oz potatoes, cubed
12 oz sweet potatoes, cubed
8 oz tomatoes, chopped OR 8 oz canned diced tomatoes
4 oz green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tsp curry powder

Once you start cooking, everything comes together quickly.  It’s the chopping and popping (green beans) that takes so gosh darn long.  Prep everything before turning up the heat.

Heat oil in a skillet until hot.  Add grated ginger and chopped garlic (if using garlic powder, do not add yet).  Add jalapeno, cumin, and turmeric.  WASH hands-jalapenos in the eyes is no bueno!

Add sugar, salt, and water.

Bring water to a boil, and add eggplant, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.

Add green beans and simmer 18 minutes more, or until vegetables are tender.

Mash potatoes and sweet potatoes to make a thicker sauce.  Stir in curry powder, and remove from heat.  Let sit atleast 20 minutes before serving (to allow the flavors to blend and absorb).

Is that real food?!

This was paired with an easy curried chicken for my fellow family members who can’t fathom eating eggplants or sweet potatoes.

Rub for chicken:
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/16 tsp cardamom (can omit)
1/8 tsp ground ginger (the powder)

I whipped up some green bean fries (totally not Indian food), and some brown rice cooked with fresh ginger and fresh mango.  Winnaaaaa fo shizzle.

5 Comments

Filed under Daily Eats

Eating More (Apple Cake) ?

Good EVENING!  Why do I have no life and choose to sit around watching ABC News and baking healthy treats on a beautiful Saturday night?  I will never understand my thought process…or maybe it’s this adorbz face that is making me stay home.

Ahhhhh I can’t get over the beauty of a rest day.  Working the morning shifts means I get off at 2:00 and have the rest of the day to do…nothing!  It’s so nice to have a clean-slate day to be a total bum productive citizen.

I noticed a few days ago that my head was exploding mid-day.  every. single day.  First I chalked it up to maybe a lack of sleep (yeah right I sleep like a baby), dehydration, allergies, whatever else.  So I got more sleep, rested more during the day, and drank more water.  No change.  WebMD=heaven for hypochondriacs.  One of the only things that matched my “symptoms” was hypoglycemia but cmon, if I don’t get enough sugar from apple cake, nutella cookies and the sort, then I atleast get it from the massive amounts of fruit I shove down my throat on a daily basis.

Then I was blog stalking and came across Run With Spoons and voila, a post about hunger being a possible demon behind the headaches, moodiness, and tiredness.  Hunger?  Honestly, in my mind I think I eat a TON.  So I started jottin down what I eat, when I eat, when the headaches come, when I’m fatigued beyond function, etc etc.  And I realized I really don’t eat that much.  As I increase my exercise load, I def don’t purposely increase my caloric intake because ‘that wouldn’t help me lose weight.’  Psh.

So eating more is on my agenda.  More food?!  Okay, this kind of scares me.  And every time that I went to snack today, I had to convince myself that it was best for my body.  It’s trial & error, but hopefully this works for my body and doesn’t take over my mind!

**********

After bumming around for a few hours watching My Strange Addictions (yet again, loser status!) on TLC, I cranked open the blenda for some smoothie action.

Leftover sweet potatoes from last night are better lukewarm anyways.  It was about a half cup of sweet potatoes, half a banana, 1/2 cup plain greekyo, 1/4 cup almond milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, agave (for extra sweetness), and ice ice ice.

Laziness can only last so long, and experimenting in the kitchen was a must.  Gotta take advantage of open schedules before school starts again.

Recipe tomorrow!  Don’t turn up your nose at my weird freaky food cravings.

After a walk with this crazy child, it was dinnertime, yet hunger was nowhere to be found.  I really need to stop eating dessert before dinnertime.  Where are parents when you need them?

I typically eat dinner even if I’m not hungry, because I don’t want to binge late at night.  But I also don’t want to eat when I’m not hungry.  Such a predicament-any suggestions?

I kept dinner light so I could load up on excess apple cake for the real meal.   I seared a raw tuna steak rubbed with a Caribbean jerk seasoning and sea salt, sauteed red pepper slices, cucumber, and onion, and laid it all over some expired fresh spinach.  Mustard has been MIA the past few days and I have not been a happy girl.

Spicy Honey-Lime Mustard Vinaigrette

1 Tbsp distilled white vinegar (or balsamic)
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp honey
dash of nutmeg
3 drops of lime juice

This made the plate.  When doesn’t mustard make a plate?

Enjoy your Saturday night-hopefully you’re doing something exciting for me!

Do you tend to eat at certain times, even when you’re not hungry?  Or just eat whenever your body decides it’s time?
Weird smoothie combinations? 

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Caramel Macchiato Cake Bars

Tonight was the first time in a while that I was at home all night and had time to prepare dinner.  Gosh I’ve missed the kitchen.  Don’t judge me for having canned fish two nights in a row, but I’m not ashamed.  It’s so easy and versatile, not to mention a good buy for cheapos like me.

Black Bean Tuna Burgers

1/2 can tuna, white albacore
1/4 cup black beans
1/4 cup onions
1/4 cup cucumber
1/4 cup red pepper & yellow bell pepper
handful of spinach

Chop the veggies.

In a food processor, combine all ingredients and process until completely blended. Add an egg white to hold everything together, and form in the shape of one (big) or two (small) patties.

In a Tbsp of EVOO, heat the patties over the stove. Covering them helps firm them up. Cook approx. 5 minutes on each side.

I threw my two patties on a sandwich thin and loaded it up with a crap ton of mustard.  I roasted more zucchini and yellow squash for 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  I’m obviously a creature of habit, because this looks exactly what I had last night.

For dessert, I snacked on some Apple Cinnamon mini rice cakes, and made a dark chocolate pudding bowl with strawberries, plain nonfat yogurt, and a few squares of melted dark chocolate.  Oh…and a graham cracker for some crunchy goodness!

**********

Working in a coffee shop 8 hours a day has my mind always spinning with ideas to turn the drinks that are ingrained in my brain into tasty desserts.  Because I love baking 259395039 times more than I love making coffee drinks for caffeine-deprived customers.

A caramel macchiato is probably my favorite flavored coffee drink.  I prefer black iced coffee, specifically an Americano, but a macchiato takes a close second.  And it’s pretty 🙂  It’s a layered drink, and the presentation is always flawless.  From the bottom up, you have vanilla syrup, milk, espresso shots, and caramel sauce.

Caramel Macchiato Bars

1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup water
1 Tbsp veg. oil
1.5 cups chocolate chips
3 Tbsp instant espresso powder
3 Tbsp caramel sauce

I cheated and used a cake mix. Measure out 1.5 cups and pour in medium-sized bowl.

Mix water and cake mix. Add in vegetable oil. Stir but do no over-stir. There should be small clumps.

Pour into pan of your choice. I settled for a bread loaf pan. Even out with spatula. Cook in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Immediately after taking out of oven, poke holes all over with toothpick to allow melted chocolate to seep into the cake.

While the cake bakes, melt chocolate chips with the vegetable oil and espresso grounds in the microwave in 30-second intervals. Stir often to prevent burning.

Smear chocolate mush over cake. Let the chocolate harden.

Drizzle caramel over chocolate. Put in the fridge overnight, and slice into bars.

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Homemade Tomato Sauce

I definitely had an itch for the kitch(en) this morning.  Cooking is my passion, yet I have nobody to cook for and I hate wasting food all the time.  Can a school cafeteria please hire me please?

Last week at a farmer’s market (on the side of a road in the middle of nowhere-sketchy?) my dad and I picked up some fresh cherry tomatoes.  As well as an 8-ball squash, some yellow squash, and my favorite-sweet potatoes!  Homegrown really are better than store-bought.  I’m officially on that bandwagon.

So what to do with expiring squash and tomatoes and an appetite for Italian food?  Make homemade tomato sauce, of course!  I pretty much threw this together in my head while in the shower, and it turned out so beautifully.

Homemade Tomato Sauce

Serves 2
1 Tbsp EVOO
1 cup cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup yellow squash, chopped
2 Tbsp tomato sauce/marinara sauce (I used Ragu-yes I realize this is semi-cheating)
1 Tbsp bread crumbs
1 8-Ball squash (this isn’t necessary, this is just what I filled with the sauce)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried basil
1 bay leaf
dash of cumin
1/4 tsp pepper

The necessary ingredients

Cut the 8-ball squash in half

Let soak in boiling water for 15 minutes

Chop veggies

Saute garlic and onion in 1 Tbsp EVOO

When onion is translucent and garlic is browned, add celery and yellow squash

Add tomatoes, spices, and bay leaf. Also, add tomato paste/prepped marinara sauce

Mash everything together. Cover and let simmer 15 minutes.

While sauce is simmering, scoop out seeds from squash halves. It's like carving a pumpkin in summertime 🙂

Post-simmering. Simmer until all liquid from tomatoes is absorbed. Mix in 1 Tbsp bread crumbs.

Stuff yo squash.

Cover with fresh cheese of your choice-I did one with goat cheese and mozzarella and one with just mozzarella.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes; broil on high for 3 minutes or until cheese browns.

 

********

Snacky time after my workout this morning was a fresh berry smoothie.  My family is taking advantage hardcore of berry season and I’m loving it.  In the mix went a handful of strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries, with a container of honey almond yogurt (Target brand).  It was so filling and so summery!

For lunch I had half of my 8-ball squash.  The sauce was too die for.  Seriously.  The squash I could’ve done without.  I’ll stick to butternut and spaghetti, please and thank you.  I paired it with saltines and lots of Caramel Corn Quaker Mini Rice Cakes.

Dinner tonight was eaten at work.  Normally I prefer to pack a dinner so I won’t be tempted by the pizza store and all the other fast food restaurants around town, but today I just wasn’t feeling it.  I knew I probably wouldn’t be too hungry come dinner-time since my appetite isn’t back in full swing yet, so I figured I would come back home during my break to prep something quick.

When I was faced with the dilemma: eat Chinese food with my co-workers or go home to my comfort zone and eat what I wanted and control the calories.  I chose to eat Chinese because I knew that would be the harder thing to do, yet the necessary thing.  I chose a “light & healthy options” dish called Buddha’s Delight, and was severely disappointed.  Chinese food has never let me down before tonight!  It was basically water chestnuts, snap peas, carrots, mushrooms, and cabbage…not too much flavor and way too watery.  Thankfully I packed in the carbs in the form of steamed rice.  Why is that stuff so addicting?  I belong in China.

I came home to a bag of kettle corn sprinkled with cinnamon and sea salt, and now I’m ready to hit the pillow because I’m a total grandma.

[source]

Have a good night!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized