Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sweet Snack

Let me just say I have started going to a class called Cardio Challenge.  I have been going for about 4 weeks (only on Tuesday), and it makes me so hungry!  I really like it because it challenges me like soccer workouts used to.  I am glad it is only once a week for an hour.  Before my class I fueled up with an awesome pancake
 Peanut butter, diced pear with cinnamon maple yogurt.
 I made one for Cliff before he headed to work.
I am going to breakfast with Danielle tomorrow and I plan to try their new steel cut oatmeal....exciting!!!!  They also have great coffee and can't wait to hang out and chat with Danielle.  For lunch I made a chicken salad sandwich
Canned chicken, mayo, yogurt, grapes, carrots and seasonings.  I love chicken salad, especially with some kind of fruit in it.
I feel like this day is flying by.  I got a few errands done but have not even touched my cleaning list.  I am about to clean like a mad woman as soon as I finish this post.  I also worked on an application for a college advisor job that would be cool but their job site is being funky so I had to contact their help desk....booooo!  Oh well in the meantime I can clean.  Oh, I also went to the post office to mail off some cards my Aunt requested.  I finally used the self service mailing thing which was not as hard as I thought!
They are little encouragement notes and I am going to start selling on esty soon I hope!
You are probably wondering about the sweet snack!  I invented an awesome snack today because of weird cravings ha.  I blended yogurt + milk + 1/2 frozen banana + 2 ice cubes.  Poured that into a bowl and had cereal on top-the cereal was called vanilla almond cluster and it is amazing!  I actually ended up using the spoon and a straw.  The clusters tasted like a waffle cone and I need to buy more while it is on sale.  Hope everybody is having a great day sorry for the rushed post!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Happy Monday

I like to post on Monday because I feel like Monday's can be kind of rough for the full-time working crew.  I know they used to be hard on me.  Anyways, hope you are off to a great workweek.
 COFFEE and reading-what a great way to start a morning.
Oats to follow.  These were so awesome (my instant oats with strawberries and blackberries-peanut butter sunk to the bottom).
I went to body pump which was great.  I think that may be one of my favorite workouts ever.  Planning on getting a few things done around the house today and finishing up a card project.  Hope you all have a great day.
Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come near to God and he will come near to you.  Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded......Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will  lift you up.                                       James 4:7-10

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I Love Weekend Food

The weekends are always a little more relaxed for me with food.  I am usually with Cliff on the weekends so it motivates me to cook.  I had a leftover muffin this morning with milk before church.
 Buttered and warmed in the skillet!
For lunch I decided last minute to make black bean and jalapeno nachos.  They turned out great and we will be having them again soon.  I baked them which tastes awesome and is officially the way I plan to make nachos from now on. 
 A little blurry but they were melty and delicious.
 Topped with lettuce, tomato, avocado, salsa and sour cream.
For dinner I made chicken burgers.  I used this recipe and followed it really closely.  I made the following changes:
  • no olives
  • only used 1 lb of ground chicken
  • used panko bread crumbs (don't think it matters what kind you use, you could prob. use oatmeal)
  • used 1/4 tsp on most of the spices (but that probably wouldn't make much difference)
  • cook them for about 5 minutes on each side (3 was not near enough for me)
A friend made me these burgers about a month ago and they were so amazing.  She gave me the recipe and I'm excited that I had time to make them tonight.  I actually made the patties after lunch and put them in the fridge, because I had a meeting, then after my meeting dinner was super fast and easy.  There are a lot of ingredients (which I find kind of overwhelming, but it is not as hard as it seems).  They are so worth it:)  Hope you like these as much as we did.
 This is what they look like before we put them in the fridge.
 Into the skillet over med heat with a little olive oil.
So delicious.  I used Ora-Ida fast food style fries and they are so good.  Cliff said oh man I did not know frozen fries could taste this good....I agree!
I am about to paint my toenails and relax.  Cliff got a last minute assignment so he is working.  I ate some of the rest of my white chocolate pretzel bark for dessert!  I did not realize how amazing that stuff is.  All I did was melt white chocolate and add crushed pretzels and mini m&m's on top.  Gotta run hope everyone is having a great weekend!  We don't have cable or we would probably watch The Oscars...if you are watching them have fun and tell me what movies we need to watch now.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Where to Start

I have had so many things to blog about, but not enough time to do it.  First of all, I dropped my phone down a flight of stairs....yes it is broken.  Luckily Cliff had a spare so I had my info switched.  My pictures have been between two phones, so I finally sat down tonight to get it organized.  So, this blog will probably have a lot of pictures that have been taken over the past few days and they may be out of order so hope you enjoy!
 Wednesday night Danielle had me over for an AWESOME dinner!  Yes that is a homemade roll with cinnamon butter.
 Cinnamon streusel pizza.  It tasted like a cinnamon roll and it was great.
Thursday morning, my Bible study group was in charge of bringing breakfast so I decided to make my Aunt Mary's overnight quiche.  It takes a long time to bake, but other than that it is very easy.  Since you prep it at night it makes the morning stress-free (but my morning was not stress-free considering I dropped my phone in transport of this quiche..ha).
Oh, you HAVE to make this.  Everyone wants the recipe (see below) when I make me on this one.
 One morning I had overnight oats (I am going to try different things with oats because I want to start having them more often).  The flavor was really good but I will have to get used to the texture.  1/3 cup Coaches oats, 2/3 cup milk, handful of dried cranberries, 1 tsp. of chia seeds (place this in a container overnight).  In the morning add 1/3 mashed banana, walnuts, and maple syrup.  Pretty tasty!
 Oven baked burrito!  I will forever love this meal and it is so easy because I have my burritos pre-made and frozen.  Whenever I need an easy meal I just pull it out of the freezer the night before.

 This was my favorite weekday breakfast!  A Kodiak pancake with peanut butter, diced pears, and cinnamon maple yogurt.
 I am going to have this again very soon!!!
 We went to a really fun Rodeo Sweetheart Dance (the Houston Rodeo/Fair started this weekend and it is a really big deal so that was the theme) at our church last night and there was a dessert buffet.  I took funfetti cake balls and white chocolate pretzel bark.  There were so many good desserts (and bbq of course).  We ate and danced and met some fun couples.  I love country dancing. 
 After our dance I did some prep work for our Saturday morning breakfast.  I mixed all the dry ingredients for the banana jumbo muffins I made a while back.  Cliff didn't get to try them so I wanted to make them for him.  This is what I woke up to and this is what it became
So good!  I used oat flour (ground oats) for half the flour to make them a little healthier.
You have got to try these muffins.
I did some major kitchen cleaning and laundry today and it feels so good to have that done.  I went for a walk then we headed to a Birthday party.  It was a really fun was for Samantha (Wendie, a friend from churches daughter), and they were playing volleyball and dancing and there was tons of great food.  Wendie's Mom cooked Salvidorian food and it was amazing (something I could never re-create so I just had to savor it).
I also ate a lot of Cuban pastries (oh my gosh I would not call myself a pastry person but I feel like I could eat these pastries every day of my life).  They were similar to croissants with some sort of cream cheese and covered in sugar.  They just kept bringing us more food.  Next was a delicious fruit salad and then a vanilla jello thing.  Let me just say, they can really cook!!
Afterward Cliff had to work so I went to the grocery store.  I have not been very organized with menus and groceries lately.  I ended up going to 2 grocery stores (oh, I got an awesome chia latte with my Starbucks gift card) and they were out of ground chicken (both stores), so I will be making another trip after church tomorrow.  I am excited.  Hope everyone is having a great weekend.  We are going to catch up on some of our shows.  

Overnight Breakfast Quiche
1 loaf french bread, you may not use the whole thing (this time I used 5 bagels because I needed to use them up)
8 eggs (I used 10 because I was making it for so many people, but it almost overflowed)
1 3/4 cup milk
3/4 tsp dry mustard (found in spice isle-a powder)
S&P to taste
1 lb. breakfast sausage
2 cups cheddar cheese
for morning:  1/2 cup milk + 1 can cream of mushroom soup

Brown your breakfast sausage like you would cook ground beef.  While that is cooking, tear bread into pieces and place in the bottom of a greased 13x9 cake pan (enough bread to completely cover but it does not have to be exact or perfect).  Mix eggs, milk, mustard and S&P.  Put shredded cheese and sausage on top of bread, then pour egg mixture over all of it.  Cover with foil and place in the fridge overnight.  In the morning preheat your oven to 300 and mix your milk + cream of mushroom mixture on top.  Bake for one and a half hours (90 minutes), and let sit for 10 minutes.  This is a great recipe to make for a group of people.  If you are making it for two I would cut it in half and you will have leftovers....I have also used gravy instead of cream of mushroom and it was awesome.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cookies For the Weary

Cliff has had some really long work days and they told him yesterday he was going to have to work this weekend so I decided to make his favorite cookies today so he could take them to work tomorrow:)  I think they need a little boost.  I love this cookie dough these cookies.  I have to make myself wait until the bowl looks like this before I even try the dough or I will make myself sick (I have no self control with some foods).
 Okay, I didn't realize how much dough was under that spatula lol-I was pleasantly surprised and these cookies have a lot of oatmeal in them so I needed this snack;)  Back to the cookies in a sec.
 My oatmeal for breakfast with hazelnuts, peanut butter and blackberries.  This is my oatmeal mix by the way.
 Lunch a grilled turkey, avocado, tomato and cheese sandwich.
With blueberry yogurt and strawberries.
I had an appointment with a stomach specialist to try and figure out why my stomach is always hurting or upset.  She has several ideas so there are a few tests that I have to do over the next few weeks but she seemed confident we would figure it out so that is good.  I also went for a long walk on the trail and it was beautiful outside.  I was gone about and hour and a half-good prayer and thinking time.  Anyways, back to the cookies.  I made oatmeal scotchies in case you were wondering. 
So good!  I love the dough more than the cookies though:)
What a great afternoon.
I was planning on making myself a burrito for dinner, but Danielle invited me over for roast and homemade bread so I obviously accepted.  Then I am off to my night shift at the YMCA.

Okay, I am doing a Bible Study over the book of James so just a heads up, you may be hearing from James too.  Hope the scripture encourages/challenges you as much as it has me!
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.  But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.  James 1:2-8  (May I just add, if you are struggling with doubt ask God to help you with that!)
Hope everyone is having a great day.  I really enjoy spending part of my day with you.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Happy Tuesday

It was such a nice day here in Texas.  A nice 75 degrees and I had people over for lunch and dinner!  For breakfast I ended up eating a pancake (I made Cliff one and it looked so good) and I put some oats in it to make myself feel better about cholesterol;) 
 Oats AND chocolate chips-it was steaming when I took this picture!
With peanut butter, cranberries and maple syrup.
I went to an awesome cardio class today called cardio challenge.  It is just a mix of cardio drills and obstacles mixed with random strength exercises like push-ups and burpies.  I love the class because it is really hard (workouts like that make me feel so good-kind of like when I used to play soccer).  I had a friend over for lunch from my old job.  It was really fun to catch up.
 Paninis!  I am getting excited all over again.  I had turkey, avocado, tomato and provolone.
Along with yogurt parfaits.  Strawberries, blackberries, strawberry and blueberry yogurt-delish.
I spent my afternoon making some cards and prepping dinner.  I snacked on one of my granola bars with peanut butter and nutella.  For dinner I made twice-baked potatoes.  If you have never made them, you need to because they are really easy and you can try so many varieties.  First you bake potatoes and let them cool a little.  Cut them in half and carefully scoop out the insides and place them in a bowl.  Preheat your oven to 425.
 I added cream of mushroom (just a little and it is optional), bacon, chicken, chopped broccoli, sour cream, a little butter, milk and cheese.  Mix all that up and season to taste (I used garlic salt).
 Grease a baking pan and sprinkle salt on it.  Then put your potato shells in so they are ready to stuff with that awesome mixture you just made.  Top with a little more cheese and put them in the oven.
 Bake for 15 minutes then flip it to broil for about 5.
I had a little extra broccoli on the side.
Did I mention I had Danielle and Ben over for dinner?  Cliff is working long hours so he didn't make it for dinner:(  We still had a good time and I cut Ben's hair after.  Then we went to Bible study.  I am so thankful for our group.  I hope everyone had a great Tuesday (I kept thinking it was Wednesday).  Also, remember that healthy challenge I mentioned before?  Well, our first challenge is to get at least 2 servings of fruit each day.  I think I will make each challenge 2 weeks long.  Let me know if you are in on the challenge.  I had mine today-dried cranberries on pancake and in my granola bar, then fresh berries in my yogurt.

Monday, February 20, 2012

High Cholesterol

Would you believe me if I told you I had high cholesterol?  I found out Saturday, and it is messing with my mind.  I think there may need to be more healthy in my life than at times.  It is mostly hereditary but there are a few things I can do to help myself out like eat oatmeal more often and cut back on some of the high fat dairy/cheeses I so often eat.  Meat typically has cholesterol as well as fried food.  Good news is peanut butter does not have cholesterol so I am safe there (bad news is ice cream has stupid cholesterol)!!  Oh, and happy Monday.  I have decided that this is always going to be my Monday morning cup.

And every morning that feels like a Monday.
Happy Oatmeal Day Lauren, you better get used to it:)
I went to Body Pump which = me being extra happy.  I finally felt a lot better today so it is back to my usual working out.  I mostly just got things done around the house today because last week I was really out of it so I didn't do much.  I also went to the grocery store and berries are on sale so I got strawberries and blackberries (I love them in yogurt and on oatmeal).  I had leftover pizza from our girls night for lunch as well as delicious yogurt and berries.
 I had to take a bite before the picture oops.
I have had some homemade cream of mushroom soup in my freezer for a long time and it was taking up way too much space.  I finally decided what I was going to do with it (because I did not want it as soup).  I decided to add milk to it and thicken it with a little flour/corn starch.  It did not thicken as much as I wanted, but it tasted great.  Peppers and broccoli were also on sale at the store so I had an awesome medley.
 I put a little oil and about 1/4 cup chicken broth and let these simmer for about 15 minutes.
 Cooked some rotini noodles and topped it with some canned chicken (that I skilleted).
Cream of mushroom sauce on top with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.
It was a great meal, sorry I don't really have a recipe.  If you have leftover cream of mushroom (the homemade stuff) then you should make this.  Only downside is the heavy cream I put in this soup back in my freedom days lol.  Hope everyone had a great Monday (maybe some of you didn't have to work!). 

Sunday, February 19, 2012


There is this awesome Irish Pub in Pensacola, FL.  We have been there a couple times and they have really great things on their menu that I have never had or heard of.  One of their appetizers is Boxies.  Essentially they are deep fried mashed potato balls.  Last time we were there, I told Cliff that I was going to try and re-create those beauties.  Tonight I did and will be doing that with leftover mashed potatoes from now on.
The Boxies are the two little blobs at the top of the plate.  They were so delicious I went back for another.
2 cups of leftover mashed potatoes (I used cold ones)
2/3 cup shredded cheese
1/2 cup crushed ritz crackers + 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (mixed into a small bowl)
1 egg, slightly beaten + 1/4 cup milk (this is egg wash)
1/2-1 cup flour
A little oil for the pan
(Makes about 8)

Stir shredded cheddar into your mashed potatoes.  Take a spoon and scoop out golf ball sized blobs of mashed potatoes.  Roll them and then flatten them a little.  Place them on a plate with parchment and set them in the fridge until you are ready to fry them (mine stayed in the fridge for about 3 hours).  When you are ready to fry them, heat your oil over med heat.  I lightly coated my skillet (prob about 2-3 Tbsp. oil).  Dip your potato blobs into flour, then into your egg wash, then into the bread crumb mixture.  Let them sit on parchment paper for about five minutes as your skillet gets hot.  Place them into the skillet and flip after about 3 minutes.  I also cooked the edges and just moved them around until well browned (just be gentle so they do not fall apart).  Make these, they are awesome and you will love them.  Even Ben and Danielle wanted seconds and that is a first!!!
 I also made some granola bars today.  They are from an Omish cookbook and they are pretty healthy (but to be honest, they are not my favorite).  If you want the recipe leave a comment and I will give it to you, but they are kind of bland and crumbly.  However, Cliff really liked them and said he would be eating them as cereal or cereal topping.  I ate a bunch of them while I was cutting them and putting them away so I feel a little burned out already.  I don't know if anyone else does this, but I have been eating a bunch of junk lately!  I have been sick, and not exercising and have kept my meals pretty healthy, but have been eating lots of extra stuff outside of meals like candy and cereal, and peanut clusters.  I am going to try and get back to some normal eating this week and I really hope I can do a better job!  I have some good meals planned this week so I look forward to posting about them!  Hope everybody had a great weekend.  Also, check out this awesome pizza we had at our girls night last night.  Amber made homemade pizza dough and then we each got a portion of it to make our own pizza!  It was awesome and I stuffed my face.
 This is mine!  Tomato, pineapple, basil, bacon, garlic, bell pepper.