Archive for March, 2012

Killian wanted to say Hello, he’s very social!  He loves to let you when he’s hungry, which is the same time I get home from work, this picture is him barking his head off at me and throwing himself around his bowl. He is just too funny, that is one think about my Killian, he makes me laugh every single day.

After he ate, he then attempted to taunted the Geese, he loves to run up and down the sea wall patrolling. He will stalk them slowly down the path, then pounce at the sea wall in an attempt to scare them. In my head I hear the Geese laughing and saying “Geese Don’t Care”, all sounding like the Honey Badger. I have a strange habit of imagining what animals would sound like if they could talk, and also what they might say.

To really make his point he will run out on the dock and try to intimidate them that way, and again the Geese respond with “Geese Don’t Care”.

As a last attempt Stuart will run out to help Killian, but again the Geese get bored and swim away saying Geese Don’t Care, We Go Where Ever We Want”. 

Tonight dinner was easy, but I really loved every single bite. I love the convenience of a quick, yet still semi healthy meal.

Dr. Praeger’s little spinach bites are my favorite if I don’t have fresh vegetables on hand. Paired with Yukon Gold Fries these two frozen items make great side dish’s.

Boca meatless chicken patty with Wholly Guacamole, a slice of cheese, and lettuce.

Perfect light dinner for a busy night with not a lot of time to cook.

Question of the Day: When you have a burger or a non-meat patty do you have fries?

Check Ya Later.

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Today’s post is all about the Foodie Pen Pal Program, this is my first time sending and receiving a box. I am so glad I joined in on the fun!  Big shout out to Lindsey @ The Lean Green Bean for setting this all up, this is such a fun group to join. Thanks Lindsey. Now let’s get to What’s in the Box.

foodiepal stamp2 Foodie Penpals

I received my box from Alaina, the Jogging Concierge . She made her amazing Snickerdoodle Cookies. Let me start there because they did not last long. They were gigantic first off, they were soft, fluffy and sweet with a cinnamon sugar dusting on top. I was having a really hard time resisting them as I took pictures. I love home-baked treats, I really appreciate the effort that went into making them, they were delicious.

I think I have a new favorite cookie.

Other goodies in my box included:

  • Box of Passion flavored Tazo Tea
  • Taza Dark Chocolate Disc
  • Cranberry Healthy Trail Mix
  • Along with a Wonderful Hand Written Letter

I just have to show you the Snickerdoodles again! Gigantic right!

Then I went straight to the Cranberry Healthy Mix. This is from Cardullo’s gourmet shop in Harvard Square. Alaina you really got me on this one, cranberries are my all time favorite dried fruit, and this mix is so flavorful and fresh.

I just cannot get over how bright and plump the dried fruit is, it’s a thing of beauty.

I can see it going down handful by handful.

Then came the chocolate. Taza Chocolate from Alaina’s home town. How cool is that to have chocolate made in your own home town. It’s a dark 70% chocolate. It says its perfect for hot chocolate, so I am really looking forward to making a Hot Chocolate Smoothie. Oh yeah I said that “Hot Chocolate Smoothie”.

Alaina also sent this lovely box of  Tazo Passion Tea. I love tea and I cannot wait to try out this flavor.

Alaina really did a great job putting together a really fun and well though out box, I really appreciate it, not only did she send a great box, but more importantly I found an amazing blog to follow.

This was such a fun experience sending and receiving a Foodie Pen Pal Box. I also have to say that I loved getting the handwritten letter, it was on beautiful stationary and it just gave it that special touch. If your interested in joining the Pen Pal Foodie Program go to this Link and sign up.

I’d also like to say a Big Hello to Page. She sent me a lovely thank-you card for the box I sent her. I’m hoping she will do a guest post one day.

On another subject: Is anyone else having problems posting comments to others blogs? For the last few days I’ll type a comment and enter my information and hit the post comment button, and the comment never appears? Most of the sites I’m commenting on post without approval so I’m confused. Have you had any problems? Maybe it’s a hosting problem?

Question of the Day: Have you ever had a Pen Pal?

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I can Barley Contain Myself. Sorry, sometimes wordplay makes me think I’m clever. Well anyway I made a great batch of Barley as a side dish for our dinner and I have to say it really has a unique flavor. I have had barley in soup and mixed in with other grains, but I have never had it alone, so I was excited to try it out.

1 cup of barley to 3 cups of water with a vegetable broth packet for a little added flavor. Bring to a boil and simmer for 50 minutes.

This little grains packs 6 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein in each serving which is 1 cup.

Barley really plumps up, so 1 cup of raw barley is more than enough to make 2 large servings.

They come out chewy and nutty. I love the texture of this grain, so hearty and filling.

we also had Sweet Potato Discs drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt. Baked at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until crispy on the edges.

Made a basic baked pork chop, breaded in Panko bread crumbs and seasoned with garlic salt’s, I used liquid egg whites for the egg wash. Just a nice and light breading.

Pan fried for 5 minutes to brown the meat, then baked in the oven on 400 degrees for 40 minutes, I baked the Sweet Potato Discs and Pork Chops together.

This meal made my husband very happy, he loves a good chop. I am not vegetarian, but I do prefer a plant-based diet. It seems like I eat meat less and less and when I do I am always wishing I had a second vegetable on my plate instead of the meat.

For dessert I thawed a few Protein Pumpkin Cookies. I love these little babies, they really satisfy a sweet tooth.

Just after eating the cookies I noticed this lone pear that needed to be eaten tonight or I’d be feeding it to the Lovely Ladies on the Farm. So I sliced it up and Jeff and I ate that also.

This pear was super ripe and was super juicy. I loved every single bite.

When I took my first bite, I told my husband it was Peeaarrfect! He responded, “Your such a dork.” He could Barley stand my comedic genius.


Boot Camp is rolling on, even on vacation I made Boot Camp work for me, I was only gone 4 days and my friend’s apartment had a very nice gym. So before the day got started I would dash to the gym and complete a workout. I put the workouts on large index cards and laminated them so I would have them handy on my trip. Plus Tina has the program set up to be flexible.

On top of the workout’s I also got lots of extra cardio, we walked a few miles on the Allure Cruise Ship Tour, and we swan and went fishing. The fishing was a really big core and arm workout, the waves were rolling so anytime you stood up to reel in your catch you really engaged your core. Well I count it as extra!

Plank Club is going strong, I even got my friends and husband to do them with me, it was really fun. I managed to hold my Plank for 55 seconds each day, so I am happy to be holding steady, but I hope to make a break through any day now. I love how my husband can take months off from working out and just jump in and kill it. If I take anytime off from working out I lose strength.

Question of the Day: Do you count any housework/yard work as a workout?

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I love vacations, I love traveling, I love everything about vacations, but with all good things comes the reality of getting back home. I got right on getting my favorite foods prepped and ready to go.

I boiled up some eggs.

I must have my one a day egg, while on vacation I only had one egg and I really missed my favorite source of protein.

In between all my catching up the most important thing is to catch up on all the missed kisses from these 2 crazy kids.

Making a batch of OIAJ, to bring to work as breakfast was a must do item on my list.

I used the last of my peanut butter on this batch of oats, what a bummer, I need to plan grocery shopping trip, how can I survive without peanut butter.

Sticking to my favorite OIAJ. I used 1/2 cup of oats, 1 teaspoon chia seeds, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and my favorite coconut milk with a few shakes of cinnamon.

My parents came down from Upper Michigan to watch our dogs while we were gone and they didn’t eat the bananas I left for them, but that’s okay I need some more for my smoothie stash.

Just peel, slice and bag up and when you need a smoothie, you will have frozen chunks ready to go.

Bagged up my favorite lunch time pretzel snacks.

The organizer in me loves to prep and I love the convenience of having things ready to go, that means I can hit the snooze button 1 time in the morning when I am prepped and ready to go. Count me in.

Question of the Day: What is a good gift to send to someone who hosted you while on vacation?

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Last night my husband and I returned to Michigan from a 4 day trip to Miami visiting my best friend Jody. We had a great trip. Jody and her boyfriend Ira showed us an amazing time. We stayed at her apartment which is in the heart of Miami. The view is so amazing. I kept singing; I’m in Miami Trick. 

This was my second trip to Miami visiting Jody, my first visit was in June 2010. That was way too long to go without seeing my best friend.

Jody and Ira have a corner apartment so they have this amazing L shaped balcony, I could stand there all day and just watch the city.

We spent time at the pool and soaked up the sun.

The weather was perfect, it was 86 degrees during the day then it cooled down to 74 at night. The best part was the low humidity, we sure did pick a good time of the year to go.

We had a blast on a Swamp Boat Tour.

We met a local. He kept his distance, I was glad for that.

Got up close and personal with a local favorite named Lefty.

Had a blast fishing. We had a full day of catch and release, but just being on the ocean is such great way to spend the day.

We caught some beautiful fish.

Got really close to this guy, he was very friendly, until he realized we didn’t have any fish for him.

We toasted friendship and spent time catching up.

We toured the Allure of the Sea Cruise Ship.

We meet an officer of the ship. That was really fun.

He spent some time showing us around the ship.

We ate amazing food.

Lots of amazing food.

Every time I turned around Jody had another snack to keep us going.

Did I mention sushi, oh we ate lots of sushi.

I love sushi, it was so fresh.

We also had a few cocktails, it was a vacation after all.

Describing the size and the beauty of the Allure Cruise Ship would be impossible to do, it is just out of this world.

Dessert was a wonderful cupcake from the cupcake shop on the Allure of the Sea.

Going to see Jody and Ira was so much fun, they have an amazing life in Miami and I cannot wait to start planning our next trip. Maybe it will be a cruise?

Question of the Day: Does your best friend live near you? 

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One thing I love is to snack. I do try to keep my snacks healthy and thought it would be fun to list a few of them.  Pretzels are my favorite, I love to dip them in Wholly Guacamole.

Roasted chick peas are great to keep on hand, they are packed with fiber and they have the nice salty bite.

Yogurt and cereal are a great combo.

English muffin with Peanut Butter and bananas are a must to satisfy a sweet tooth.  I used Peanut Butter on the left and Nutella on the right.

Dried fruit/fruit leather is a favorite of mine after dinner. I love this fig bar, it really has a great flavor and it is naturally sweetened.

Keeping this on hand is a must, I love to pack these for lunch, or snack on them after a workout.

These have white chocolate chunks in them and I cannot get enough of them, the crunch and the smooth chocolate make a great granola bar.

Near and dear to my heart is Hummus. I eat hummus nearly every single day. I love it with carrots, and pita bread. The key to my heart is Hummus.

Whole wheat tortilla with Peanut butter and chia seeds are a great snack option, popped in the microwave makes a nice warm tortilla and melted peanut butter.

Sometimes you just need a crispy and sweet apple.

I also try to keep hard-boiled eggs on hand, and I take one to work everyday. What an excellent source of protein. Hard boiled eggs pack 17 grams of protein in their perfect little shell.

I just love these little snack items, they all are healthy options.

Question of the Day? Whats your go to snack?

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Crock Pot Chicken Taco’s are a favorite meal. How can they not be they are so easy to make and they taste amazing. That’s What’s in the Crock.

Crock Pot Chicken Tacos

  • 16 ounces Chicken Broth
  • 1 Envelope Taco Seasoning
  • 3 Pieces Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Can Mexican Diced Tomatoes
To be added later:
  • 1 Can Black Beans
  • 1 Can Corn

Spray the crock pot with non stick spray and add the diced tomatoes to the bottom then, add the chicken breasts, mix the spice packet with the chicken broth and pour over the chicken breast.

Cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours.

The last 30 minutes of cooking, I add a can of  drained and rinsed black beans and a can of rinsed and drained corn to jazz up the tacos. When done, the chicken should shred easy. Just use a fork to separate.  You may need to drain some of the broth. I used a  ladle and scooped out all the good stuff.

For tacos, serve the chicken with soft flour or corn tortillas, lettuce, shredded cheese, sour cream or guacamole. Make it to your own liking.

Here I made a nacho bowl, I had fun eating this one.

Making a soft taco or a rolled burritos.

Do I dare to eat it all, ah yep.

Question of the Day: What’s you favorite nacho topping.

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I have a new favorite breakfast. All week-long I think about what I want to make on Saturday and Sunday mornings for breakfast. There has been one recipe that I have wanted to make for a while now and finally got to it.  Tone It Up Protein Pancakes.

They are easy to make and all you need is about 5 minutes..


  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 2 tbs vanilla almond milk or skim
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbs ground flaxseed
  • After above ingredients are mixed together add 1/2 banana (mashed)- mash first, then add
  • Add a handful of fresh or frozen blueberries

Pour into a pan that has been sprayed with olive oil cooking spray and heat on medium. Cook one side until you see the little bubbles just like cooking any pancake. Flip over (careful!) and cook on the other size until the middle is done (peek inside with a fork).

I was really happy I got to use my Swanson loot on this recipe. I used Swanson Ground Flax Seed and Swanson Cinnamon.

Now flipping is not my best kitchen skill, but I don’t mind a misshapen pancake, I’m all about the flavor.

I really loved the flavor of the pancake, and appreciate the protein value of the pancake, but I will add some ground oatmeal next time I make this I just love the fluff that ground oatmeal gives pancakes.

Question of the Day: Blueberry’s or Banana pancakes? 

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My love for Roasted Brussels Sprouts started a year ago. I had tried it before many ways but never fell in love with the flavor, until I simply cut them in half sprinkled with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.  It’s pure perfection. Roast on 400 degrees for 35 minutes.

So in keeping with simple preparation, I did the same thing with my Tilapia fillets.  Drizzled with olive oil, Splashed with Lemon Juice and Seasoned with Old Bay Seasoning salt.

Spray the foil with cooking spray, wrapped the fish, bake on 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

I made my favorite couscous as a side dish.

When the fillet came out it just fell apart, it was so moist and juicy.

Sprouts were roasted to a crispy crunch, I roasted them in my toaster oven while the fish was baking in the oven.

This meal only took a little over 35 minutes total. I find myself wanting this meal once a week, and with grilling season just beginning, I cannot wait to take this meal to the grill.

Sometimes it’s the simple things in life.

Question of the Day: What are you looking forward to grilling?

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So I have a new recipe that I think will Sell You On Kale, if you haven’t already bought into it.

This recipe was so easy to throw together and fun. I loved making the little ravioli’s.


I made this two-way, as a wonton ravioli and as a mini bite.



Dipped in Marinara Sauce, it’s so hot right now.

So here’s the detail on this little recipe.

Kale and Tofu Wonton 2 Ways:

1 Bunch of Kale Torn from the Stem

1 Block of Tofu

1 Clove Garlic

1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan

48 Wonton Wrapper

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Cooking Spray

Marinara Sauce for Dipping


In a large pot of salted water boil the kale until tender, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon transfer the kale to a colander. When cool squeeze out excess water and finely chop. In a medium bowl, mash together the kale, the tofu block, the Parmesan cheese and the garlic.  Season with salt and pepper.

Assemble ravioli, by arranging wonton wrappers on a sprayed cookie sheet. Fill each wrapper with about 1 tsp of  mix.

Wet fingers and run along two sides of the wrapper. Fold over and seal. Spray completed ravioli with cooking spray and Bake on 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

(or) Take a mini muffin tin, spray with cooking spray and then line the tin with a wonton wrapper and then fill with about 1 tsp of mix. Lightly spray cooking spray on filled wontons and bake on 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with a side of marinara sauce.

Have I sold you on Kale yet? I’m telling you, you have to try it, it is so good for you. Kale Rules.

Question of the day: Are you sold on Kale?

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