Archives for posts with tag: food

I know it’s spring but it feels like summer here in Michigan.  We have had record-breaking temps lately.  Here is a refreshing treat that even my little one approves of.  I offered her a sip of my smoothie and she ended up downing the whole thing making head back to the blender.

I know there is tons of recipes for smoothies out there but I am really into this combination lately.  I don’t normally like to use supplements either.  I would rather get my greens from spinach or kale in a smoothie but I am out of both and I had this on hand.

I won this bottle from Gabby Reece’s website last year.  It is a great product in my opinion.  It tastes better than any other “greens” product I have tried.

Here is the recipe:

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 scoop Catie’s Organic Greens
  • 1 scoop Jay Robb protein powder (vanilla)

Give it a whirl in the blender and enjoy, unless a pre-schooler decides she wants it.

It was great after my elliptical workout.  I can’t say enough about using an elliptical machine.  It gives me a great cardio workout and keeps my IT band and runners knee feeling pretty good.  I’m not quite back to running yet.  I think I should be soon and when I do I am not training for anything for a while.  I just want to enjoy running again. 🙂

Have a great day!  Go on a  nice run for me too.  🙂

Every year on St. Patrick’s day I make my Irish Soda Bread.  This year it has been so incredibly warm here in Michigan that I just couldn’t justify turning on the oven.  So this year my homemade Irish treat is frozen yogurt!  I am sure there is nothing Irish about this dessert (except maybe that I am making it :)?)

I have been craving it and since I have not made it in a long time I decided it was time to do it.  My daughter loved dumping in all the ingredients in the food processor and watching it whirl around.  I think her favorite part of it all (other than tasting the pre-frozen product) was seeing it begin to set up in the ice cream maker.  I have a Kitchen Aid freezer bowl attachment that I use to make ice cream like treats in.  If you don’t have one no worries, just put it in a cake pan (9″x13″) in the freezer and scrape it occasionally until it is semi-firm in the center and set on the edges.

My little girl did most of the work.  Here is another simple, simple recipe (Like my date treats are).  I was inspired by a Gabby Reece post she had about 2 years ago for this recipe and I change-up the fruit to whatever I have on hand.  Here is what I did this time:

  • 3 cups of fresh blackberries
  • 2 cups of low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

Like I said above, place it all into the food processor whirl it, put it into your ice cream maker and put it into the freezer until soft in the middle and set on the edges.  Put it into something green and you get an Irish treat to impress your friends and family.  🙂

I enjoy it drizzled with honey or chocolate sauce.  Enjoy it however you like!

Have a happy and safe St. Patrick’s day!

Talk to you soon!

Lately I have been craving my chocolate date treats.  This morning I set out to curb that craving and make them.  It is super easy to do, and a healthy sweet treat that is three-and-a-half year old approved!

It’s a bit different from my other bars that were a take on a Dr. Mercola’s Cocoa Cassava bars.  This one drops the unsweetened coconut (I’m out :() for extra chia seeds.  You will be so amazed at the chocolatey goodness, the coconut will not be missed!

Into the mini food processor (I like to make small amounts because they are dangerous!  Serious damage could be done on a big batch. :))  :

  • 1/3 C pitted dates + one to two more (ok heaping cup! I like Medjool.)
  • 1/3 C walnuts halves
  • 1 TBSP Hershey’s cocoa powder
  • 2 TBSP chia seeds

Let the machine rip until you get a decent mixture with some recognizable walnut pieces.  Dump it out onto some waxed paper and form a large bar.  Cut into smaller bars or desired shapes.  Make a small depression with a tsp. (or thumb) and pour on some chocolate topping (see below).

Chocolate topping:

  • 2 TBSP or so of dark chocolate chips
  • 1 scant TSP coconut oil

Microwave in 10 second increments until melted. Top the bars with the chocolate and refrigerate until top is set and then eat away!

I hope you try them.  They are amazing!

I have had this Betty Crocker cookie book since 1998.  I got if from my boss at the time.  I used to work seasonally at a tree farm/garden center.  I did it all the way through college (8 years to be exact, yes it took me that long, I changed my major a few times. :)).

It the winter we would be off of work for the season, and I would meet my boss for lunch often.  We went to a book store after lunch one day, and he told me to pick out a book.  I chose that one, and he laughed and called me a “little shit” or something like that since the book I picked was not on sale.  It sounds awful, but he was an older man and was like a grandpa to me more than anything.  I think that is why I chose to stay and work so long (he also paid for my school!).  I really enjoyed it there (It also was the biggest reason I first changed my major from nursing, to horticulture, and then I ended up in biology).  It was so beautiful there. We still talk and see each other to this day.  Anyway, in the book there was a date bar recipe.  I love dates!

If you remember last summer almost every day had some dates stuffed with walnuts in it.  I am somewhat over that phase, but dates have not left completely.  Sometimes they show themselves still stuffed with walnuts, but lately they have transformed into a bar of yummy deliciousness!

I changed up the recipe a bit and here is what I came up with:

Crusty Stuff

  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 3/4 cup of oats (old-fashioned)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Mix it all together and put half of it in a 8″x8″ dish.  Press it out evenly.

Date Filling

  •  2 cups of pitted dates (then roughly chop them, I love Medjool!)
  • 2 TBSP sugar
  • 3/4 cup of water

Boil the three ingredients above until it is thick.  Spread it out over the crust in the pan and put the rest of the crusty mixture on top.

I sure wish I had not waited since 1998 to make these bars.  My husband thinks they should now be a staple in the house!  I agree!

Have a good one!

According to foodimentary it is National Peanut Butter Lover’s day!  I recommend celebrating with at least a glob or two today.  🙂

Oatmeal anyone?

How will you celebrate?

This morning I set out to make a new green drink.  I planned on using grapefruit as one of the ingredients.  I peeled him, and  got out all of my other ingredients including my old blender.

I decided to have just one bite before loading it all in the blender.

It was like saying “I’ll have just one chip!”  I ended up devouring the whole grapefruit membranes attached and all!  Normally I peel each section after peeling the grapefruit skin off!  I must have needed some C or something.  It was the best tasting grapefruit I can ever remember!

Anyway, this week I plan on doing the following:

Monday-Tabata/yoga streatching

Tuesday-Elliptical/IT streatching

Wednesday-Tabata

Thursday-Elliptical/IT streatching

Friday-Tabata

Saturday-Elliptical and yoga

All the Tabata workouts will be from, you guessed it Gabby Reece.

This is pretty much my schedule every week.  Tabata/circuit and cardio.  I am just writing it out this week, because my knee is feeling pretty good and I need to tell myself not to run just yet.  This is the point where I add running in, just when my knee is almost better.  The key word here is almost.  I want to go at least one more week (maybe more) of cross-training before I try running again.  I’m sticking to it!  🙂

After my workouts I like to hit the shower.

I received this body polish (among a whole slew of other products) as a prize from one of Gabby Reeces challenges.

I was reluctant to use it.  I hate using lotions (I don’t like the feeling of it on my hands) and I am not a bubble bath kind of person.  Get in the shower, get out.  I am not a pampering person!

Since I had this product since last summer, I decided that I should probably use it.  Oh my goodness!  It was the best thing ever!  It exfoliates, moisturizes and makes your skin look amazing!  After trying it, I used it sparingly.  I was at the end of the jar and did not want to think about how much it might actually retail for.  Then I read the ingredients.  Pretty much oils, sugar, and dried embellishments.  I decided to make my own!

To make a sugar scrub:

  • 1 cup sugar (any kind, mix and match)
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • dried flowers or herbs

Mix it together and you have a great scrub!   It’s very invigorating after a tough workout.  I just cleaned out my sugar scrub jar and filled it up again.

I filled it with sugar and dried lavender.

Mixed in my olive oil.

Now I have a great scrub that looks and performs like the original, with stuff I already have in my pantry and my garden.  🙂

Here are a few tips:

  • You will probably want to use a plastic container in case you drop it in the shower (slippery oil and glass do no mix).
  • If you do use glass scoop out a small amount into a plastic cup to bring in the shower.
  • Make small batches so you can use it up ( I have read it lasts about a month or more).
  • Avoid getting water in the jar (I have read it prevents rancidity, but my damp hand in the jar did not seem to matter much.  I think they mean don’t flood it with shower spray etc.  Keep it closed and away from water.).
  • If giving as a gift, please keep in mind Peoples allergies!
  • Use it on your body.  I would not use it on my face.  I have very sensitive skin!  (In highschool my friend put vitamen E oil on my face because she loved what it did for her skin, and I broke out for a week.)

Sorry gentlemen, if this is not for you maybe you have a mother, daughter, sister, or loved one that might appreciate it.  It’s super easy to do.  A small canning jar with this stuff in it would be a nice gift!

I hope you all have a great day!

Tonight I had a dinner that I can say I have honestly never had before.

Breakfast was simple scrambled eggs (sans teflon) and toast (with Michigan tart cherry jam!).  For lunch I had a giant salad made up of mixed greens, pecan crusted chicken, all with a raspberry vinaigrette!  It was fantastic and I wished I had my camera.  Oh, and a freshly baked breadstick too!

For dinner I was not all that hungry but I needed some little snack.  Fruit and cheese (my white Irish Cheddar) sounded good.  I threw in some wheat crackers for good measure and decided why not a glass of wine too!

I probably drink about 1-2 times a year (if even that!).  Today for some reason it sounded good.

Out and about this afternoon,  I crossed some wine that sparked my interest. It is a Cherry wine that is made from 100% Northern Michigan tart cherries.  Since I am on my tart cherry kick, it was the perfect one to bring home!

I really enjoyed it!  To finish of my “meal” (if you can call it that) I had a bit of dark chocolate.  I love Green & Blacks 70%.  It is my favorite.  🙂

That was my silly eats for the day!

I hope you have a good night and had a good weekend  too!

Talk soon 🙂

This morning after my workout (elliptical again), I decided to have another one of my green drinks.  I also had some fresh strawberries and raspberries that I needed to use up.  I made a puree and combined the two.  The result was so beautiful!

I had it with some oatmeal.

I love all the mottled colors on the chia seeds.

For lunch it was the left over salmon.  Lately I am into multi-grain bread as you have been seeing lately.  Toasted, with cream cheese, and topped with salmon is a delicious and quick lunch or snack!  Filling too.  🙂

For dinner I was feeling my Irish roots (that and I had some left-over mashed potatoes to use up). I made Boxty (Potato Pancakes).  They are so light!  You use egg white and whirl it all up.  So tasty!

They were topped off with a Apple-Cherry Sauce!

I finished the meal off with some Irish white cheddar and an apple.  It was a great Irishy meal!  I guess a warm up for next month.  🙂

My knee is feeling a bit better than last week but still not 100 percent.  I am excited for my circuit workout tomorrow in a Tabata style.  It’s a Gabby Reece one of course.  The one I have planned has lots of my favorite moves!

I’m not sure what else the day will bring.  Have a great night!

Hello!  Happy Valentines Day!

This morning I started my day with some cardio.  Today is my cardio day and I chose to do the elliptical machine (my Valentines day present from my husband!).  I have not used one in years.  My body knew it too!  I think I am a fairly fit individual but after a 30 minute training program I was dripping in sweat!  I am not used to this type of workout.  It was great and my knee felt wonderful afterward!

I read that this is a good sub for running.  With IT band problems like I have, sometimes biking can irritate it.  I am so happy the elliptical worked.  I felt great this morning.  After the workout I had a great green drink!

I was inspired by a Costco blender demo.  I did not end up with the blender (one day I would love a vitamix! Not on display at Costco, I just want one. :)) but I walked away with a great drink combo idea.  It was not a combo I would have come up with but I am glad I discovered it!

Into my 10-year-old blender (she gives it her blending best)  went the following:

  • Two giant handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1/2 a large apple
  • 1/2 an orange
  • 1 TBS of chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup of filtered water (or more as needed)

Whirl it up and you have a great drink. It’s really fresh and has such a beautiful color!  With the seeds in it reminded me of a kiwi.

I paired it with some of my multi-grain bread and crunchy peanut butter topped with golden flax seeds!

Here are some of my other eats so far this week:

You gotta love a good old PB&J sometimes!

Chicken quasadilla!

Last night I was craving a simple meal and this fit the bill!

I was also going through my pictures last night (trying to empty my SD card) and I came across these pictures I don’t think I got a chance to show you.  If I did sorry for the repeat, I just love seeing the thyme go from being in the snow to in my dish, and did not want to delete them before sharing.

My thyme peaking out of the snow.

It still looks great when picked!

Don’t you love the color of the thyme on the pizza sauce I made? The purple and green of the thyme are so pretty!

The sun was shining yesterday morning (a rare sight in Michigan) and was illuminating some ice cycles that I tthought looked beautiful!

Well I hope you all had a great Valentines Day.

Talk to you soon!

One morning my husband and I made scrambled eggs.  It was more like I was cooking them after he scrambled them.  He is an excellent scrambler.  When he is finished scrambling the eggs they always look almost artificial to me.  They are shockingly uniform in color.  Whenever I scramble them there are usually bits of white here and there which does not bother me much.

After I cooked them and plated them we noticed that there were small black bits in the eggs.  Neither one of us had put pepper in the eggs.  It made me go back to the pan that we used.  Sure enough, the Teflon (Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)) coating on the pan was beginning to come off and went into our eggs!  I know that the coating is supposed to be non-toxic (unless you are Avian!).  I am not a bird, but even so I decided to go back to my cast iron pans.

My mom gave me all of her cast iron pans probably 10 years ago.  She has arthritis pretty bad and they can be heavy especially armed with food.  I used my cast iron pans quite a bit, but I still would use my Teflon coated ones the majority of the time.

They come in all shapes and sizes! Here is a sampling of the pans I have.

My favorite one is this little guy.

My mom would always make my breakfast in it before I went to school, whether it was eggs, little pancakes, or French toast!

Some of the pans I have were even used by my grandma!  She made my mother food in them!  I hope they last long enough for my daughter to cook for her family in them.  I find them easy to use and care for.  If you can get your hands on some of your relatives pans, I highly reccomend that you do! Here is what works for me:

If they are brand new you will need to season them.  This may sound complicated but basically you are just going to bake the pan in the oven with a coating of some type of oil on it.  I like vegetable shortening the best (I tried olive oil with bad results.  I’ll have to try it again because I like the idea of it better.)

Once seasoned I maintain it by doing the following:

  • Avoid using soap-clean with water only when possible.  Sometimes kosher salt on a damp cloth is enough.
  • Clean the pan immediately after cooking.  Remove the food and wash the pan!  It makes cleaning easier.
  • When clean, I like to heat it up on the stove top and wipe it out with shortening.  Once it all melts on the pan you can shut off the heat and wipe out the excess.

That’s pretty much it!  One bonus to the pans is that they can add small amounts of iron to your food.  Many people could benefit from that.  I’ll take a bit of that instead of Teflon any day!

In the background of the small cast iron pan you could see my cupboards.  We have been in our house for 12 years (in August) and things now need to be updated and replaced.  The cupboards are oak and they look(ed) a bit worn.  Not warped or anything, it’s just the finish that has worn off.  Another thing that bothered me was that they were trimmed with fake wood.  My husband was willing to purchase new ones, but I just felt bad for the oak.  It bothered me when I thought of ripping them out and just throwing them away.  So, I decided to tackle re-finishing them.

I have been working on it for about a month here and there.  I choose one area, remove the doors and hardware, and begin the task of stripping the old varnish off, sanding, and painting on new polyurethane.

Here is what they look like with the old finish (like the gold hinges with bronze knobs!  I tried painting the knobs a few years ago and it did not work out too great.  They peeled and I never got around to the hinges. :))

This is what they look like post stripping:

I complete one area and then move on to the next.  This is nice because my kitchen does not feel completely torn apart, and I get to see the effort that I am putting in is worth it.

Here is the finished product!

I have found new oak veneer that I can trim them out with, which gives me the solid oak look I always wanted and now I am getting the new finish I needed!

You can see the sides of the cabinets are in fake wood which is what I did not like.

I did buy new hardware which is slightly annoying because the new hinges look identical to the old (but are stainless steel not shiny gold of the old ones) but are just a bit off so that I need to fill the old holes with glue and toothpicks and drill new ones!

It’s a process but it is going good!  I am about ¾ of the way finished.  Next up will be new counter tops, hood fan, a sink, and painting too!  We replaced our refrigerator with a new stainless steel one (the old one was on it last legs and we wanted to replace it on our time not when it decided to die!) and now the white stove and dishwasher are staring at me.  In time they will get replaced too.  🙂

Here are some cookies my daughter and I made (decorations don’t stick too well to chocolate chip cookies.  :)).

We made them with dark chocolate chips.  I wanted to make cookies or a cake or something for Valentines Day, and thought I should wait to make them but the chocolate chips kept calling to me so I gave in.  It was a super cold and snowy day today so baking was almost a requirement anyway!   We will just have to make something else for Valentines Day too!  We used the good old Toll House recipe (shh don’t tell, we used Ghirardelli chips!).  I was inspired to make the cookies by a blogger named Alexandra.

She made them using the new Toll House dark chocolate recipe which I checked out and it’s the same as the old original one, it just uses ¼ cup less chocolate chips!  Go figure!  So I did leave out the extra ¼ cup.  My husband did not care for the dark chocolate in them, but he is not exactly a dark chocolate fan.  My daughter thought they were fantastic!  She is a dark chocolate lover like me.

This was sort of a test of my intuitive eating skills.  I said it was a good day for baking, and it was, but I also wanted to put my newly found skills to work.  Normally when making cookies, I would eat half the dough, eat 5 cookies after they came out, say what the heck and move on to ice cream!  The act of baking always felt like a trigger to me.  Today I made them after I had dinner and was full.    So, I knew I was not vulnerable (ravenous) and did not think it would set me off.  I still have not had any cookies or dough yet.  I am just not feeling like it.  I am still full from dinner and it’s not appealing.  I know they will be there when I want them and they will be great!  I think most of my binge eating problem was never having enough good food in me to feel satisfied, and then I would taste something like cookie dough and my body would make up for it.  I really feel like I am on a roll with intuitive eating!

That’s enough of my intuitive eating talk for a while.  It may get old to you but it’s pretty amazing to me that it is working!

Have a great night!  I will talk to you soon!