Monday, January 28, 2013

Recipes and Reviews

Hola!  So I have been a pretty good wifey lately...cooking some fabulous and healthy meals!  Last week I made Spinach Lasagna Rolls, Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Meatballs, and Honey Mustard Pretzel Chicken.



These were so good and so easy!  I added Turkey to mine because Dave is such a carnivore.

Ingredients
  • 12 Whole Wheat COOKED Lasagna Noodles
  • 10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 15 oz fat free ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesean Cheese
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper
  • 32 oz Tomato Sauce (the big can)
  • 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese
  • 1lb. ground turkey
Preheat oven to 350°. 

Brown Turkey in pan on oven top.  Drain excess liquid.

Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper and turkey meat in a medium bowl. Ladle about 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish.

Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles are dry. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over noodle. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.

Ladle sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and top each one with 1 tbsp mozzarella cheese. Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts. Makes 12 rolls.

To serve, ladle a little sauce on the plate and top with lasagna roll.



This one is really my pic!

This was so amazing!!  It makes A LOT of meatballs so you will have left overs!!   I also cooked the squash in the microwave this time instead of the oven and it turned out perfect and in less time!


Ingredients
  • • 1 lb. ground turkey 
  • • 1 egg
  • • 1/3 c. grated parmesan cheese (plus 2-3 TB. more for topping)
  • • 1/3 c.  Italian breadcrumbs
  • • 1/3 c. finely shredded carrot
  • • 1 TBS dried basil (1/3 cup if using fresh)
  • • 1 TBS dried chopped parsley (1/3 cup if using fresh)
  • • 2-3 diced garlic cloves
  • • 2 c. Light/No Sugar  Marinara Sauce
  • • 1 large or 2 medium spaghetti squash
Instructions
  1. Pierce squash several times with a knife before microwaving to release steam (like you do to prepare baked potatoes). Place whole squash in a microwave safe dish (to catch juices) for 12 minutes, rotating halfway through - or until soft. I read a few places a general rule of thumb is 5 minutes per pound. When it is done, the squash should be easily pierced with a butter knife.
  2. Allow squash to cool slightly (or wear oven mitts if you are impatient like me because that sucker is HOT). Cut the top off of the spaghetti squash then split the squash into two even halves.
  3. Remove the seeds, and discard.
  4. Using a fork, loosen the ’spaghetti’ strands from the inside of the squash, scraping them into a bowl or plate. I found a colander worked best because of all the extra juices.
  5. MEATBALLS- In a bowl combine turkey, egg, cheese, carrot, zucchini, basil, parsley, garlic, and spices. Fold ingredients together with hands, but be careful not to over-mix. Too much mixing can dry out your meatballs.
  6. Pour marinara sauce into a 9x13 dish, and then grab your bowl of meat. Roll your meatballs into about one inch thick balls and place evenly through out casserole dish. (I was able to make 30 meatballs from this batch)
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked all the way through




This turned out AWESOME...don't forget to separate the sauce before you dip the chicken that way you have some to pour over it after it is cooked.  I forgot to do this and couldn't use the sauce that had been contaminated by raw chicken! #blondemoment

I served this with roasted brussel sprouts and corn!

Ingredients

4 cups hard pretzels (like sourdough), coarsely crushed
1/2 cup  olive oil
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cupwater
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 + 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Set a wire rack (like an oven-safe cookie rack) over a large rimmed baking sheet.
  2. In a food processor pulse the pretzels until coarsely ground (small crumbs with some small pretzel pieces) then add them to a large, shallow bowl. Wipe the crumbs out of the food processor.
  3. Add the oil, mustard, honey, water and vinegar to the food processor and pulse until smooth.
  4. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the flavor to suit your own tastes by adding more mustard or honey.
  5. Pour half of the dressing into a large shallow bowl and add the chicken breasts. Turn to coat them evenly then dredge them in the pretzel crumbs using your hand to pat them on if needed.
  6. Set them on the wire rack and bake 20 - 25 minutes or until cooked through (internal temperature 165 - 174 degrees F.).
  7. Let the chicken sit 5 minutes before serving with the remaining honey mustard dressing.



This week on the menu is Chicken Stir Fry, Jambalaya, Turkey Meatloaf and Fig/Prosciutto Pizza! 




This weekend Dave and I purchased Apple TV (WHICH I LOVE) and while at the Apple store I was looking at the Nike Fuelband and the Jawbone UP. I quickly learned that neither are able to measure your heart rate which is what I really want.  I have a strap that goes around my chest but a bracelet would be so much better.  The Jawbone does have some cool features like measuring your sleep patterns, calorie counting program in the app, and an alarm clock that causes the bracelet to vibrate.  Overall it sounded awesome just not for me.  I took back the $129.00 toy today!   I want something that tells me exactly how many calories I burn if I am sleeping, doing Barry's Bootcamp, hot yoga, etc.   I have come to the realization that they don't make what I want, however this handy dandy bracelet comes out in April so I may have to try it out!   






   Look for some awesome Work Out Playlists later this week!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hot Yoga and Lululemon!


This past weekend I went to Hot Yoga Plus.  I bought a Groupon for a month unlimited.  My sweet friend Jen and I went together...and got in trouble for talking before class even started...imagine that!  I really liked it and I STRONGLY DISLIKE YOGA!  It was very hot and my clothes were completely soaked when we left class.  The class was 90 minutes long!  I enjoyed it for a Saturday workout and enjoyed the change from my normal sprinting and weight lifting!  If you try it out you will need a yoga mat, a towel to cover your mat so you don't slip, a had towel to wipe your face and chest and a LARGE bottle of water!  I even put a magnet on my car!  Sign up and check out their class schedule here. http://www.hotyogaplus.com/



OK so this could be a weird topic but I'm just gonna throw it out there and if you workout a lot you will get it....SWEAT!  Yep let's talk about SWEAT and this part definitely doesn't include any Sequins!  

So I was on the hunt for some strong laundry detergent...I mean I sweat in my workout clothes everyday and  it doesn't smell like roses.  I love the smell of fresh laundry and some of my work out clothes weren't smelling so "fresh" lately.  I asked my new sweet friend Kayla that I met at Barry's Bootcamp (check her blog out here http://gymkitchenlife.blogspot.com/) what she used since she works out like twice a day everyday of the week!  She sent me to Victoria's Secret.  Who knew they even had laundry detergent???  OMG it is awesome...even though I won't be washing Dave's clothes in it.  It smells amazing and I can't wait to wash my sheets in it.  If you need something to get your gym clothes smelling super fresh....try this!!  The only bad thing is you have to buy this instore....it's not online. Sadface :(


I also found another detergent that was for sale at Hot Yoga Plus.  It is called No Sweat and is made especially for sweaty clothes.  I bought the Freesia fragrance and really like it!


I found it on Amazon here.

I have been so good about eating lately.  I haven't had any chocolate in 7 days and I am still sane....I didn't know it was even possible.  So to reward myself I took a little trip to Lululemon on my day off Monday with Kayla.  Below are my purchases!


I love this Pump It Up top!  It comes with a sports bra so it's like a 2 for 1 :)


These are the Ebb and Flow Crop pants and they fit so well!!!


I love the Bang Buster headband! No more hair in my face!





Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Catching up...


Well this THREE DAY weekend was filled with a whole lot of CLEANING!  Dave and I were in a commercial today and they filmed at our house...naturally I went in freak out mode and cleaned absolutely everything in our house.  This weekend I  was also able to see Justin Beiber in concert, catch up on some Pinterest projects, enjoy my first session of hot yoga, dine with friends and go to Barry's Bootcamp.



I purchased two old windows at the flea market a little while ago and couldn't decide what I wanted to put in the glass.  I found this beautiful greenish yellow and gray wrapping paper at Home Goods and thought it would look great in my house.  I put the paper in every other piece of glass and I LOVE how it turned out!





I also found these metal letters at the flea market. I bought a frame and some board at Michael's and taped the letters on the board. I love having our wedding photo with our monogram!





Another thing I found on Pinterest and HGTV was framing our master bathroom mirror. I didn't do this this weekend but I realized I hadn't put it on my blog. We just used 2x4's, crown molding, and some trim. Of course my dad came to help with his handy dandy mitre saw. This was a pretty big project but so worth it!!

So about the commercial Dave and I were in.... it is a Scott paper towel commercial on GAC! They filmed at my house and my office! It was so fun plus my hair and makeup looked fabulous! Check out the photos!


Makeup Time!


Just hanging out in the pantry!


More Pantry footage!




This thing was so cool!


Filming at the office!



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Gettin' Busy in the Kitchen!

So it came or was supposed to come an ice storm in Nashvegas today and I acted like a smart adult and went to the grocery store after the gym and before work so Dave wouldn't have to eat Cheerios AGAIN! Then our office left early because we all feared the black ice but much more the people in TN that freak out when anything other than sunshine comes out of the atmosphere! I decided to cook a healthy dinner and a strawberry cake for an office birthday tomorrow! (The cake was pretty healthy too)

I made Kale salad and Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Rotisserie Chicken for din din! I was so pleased with how everything tasted and more importantly Dave loved it!!





Kale Salad!

There are two great places in Nashville (Tavern & Kayne Prime) that have an awesome Kale Salad!  I found the recipe on eat-drink-smile.com via Pinterest!  I only used normal raisins.  It was cheaper just to buy one bag of those!  I used walnuts and shredded parm. cheese!  It was perfect and enough to have as a salad with tomorrow night's dinner!



Parmesan kale salad with raisins

Serves 4-6

ingredients:

1 large bunch of kale, washed, de-stemmed and torn into pieces
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup golden raisins
juice of 1 freshly squeezed lemon (2-3 Tbsp)
1/2 - 1 tsp lemon zest (from lemon above)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup chopped, toasted nuts (I used walnuts, but any kind will work!)
Salt to taste

directions:

Take torn kale pieces and in batches, pulse in food processor until finely chopped*. Place chopped kale into medium bowl. Add raisins, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Toss together.
Stir in parmesan and olive oil, evenly coating all kale. Add in nuts and toss. Salt to taste before serving.
*It took 3 batches in the food processor for me to get it all chopped. You should have approximately 4 cups of finely chopped kale when finished.




Pesto Spaghetti Squash!

This was so good and SOOOO healthy!  I had never cooked spaghetti squash before!  It was so easy and I loved it!

I found this recipe on http://theskinnyconfidential.com.  I cooked the squash in the oven instead of boiling it and added rotisserie chicken.

1 medium to large spaghetti squash
4 tablespoons store bought, all-natural pesto
1/2 tomato, sliced
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts [ warm in a pan until golden ]
3 tablespoons Italian Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon shredded fresh basil
1 rotisserie chicken ( I only use a little less than half for two servings) 
1/2  lemon
Sea salt and pepper to taste
 Pre heat oven to 375. Cut squash in half with a serrated knife and remove seed portion. Add to  1/2 cup of water to a casserole dishwater and lay halves with the skin side up. Bake until tender for 30-35 minutes.  Allow to cool enough to handle.  Use a fork going to lengthwise, scrape entire squash until you’re left with just the skin. Discard skin. While still warm, add pesto, cheese and salt/pepper and toss. Cook pine nuts stove top on low heat for seven minutes. Add nuts, a dash more cheese & fresh basil on top of spaghetti squash. Squeeze lemon.  I added chicken and then put it in the microwave so that everything was the same temperature and the cheese melted on top.
+ This can be made ahead of time and then be heated up later to serve.





Strawberry Cake-
Tomorrow is Jordon's birthday, (Also known as Love Always, Nancy J) We are all on a healthy eating kick at the office and she is getting married this year so I tried to make this as low-fat and sugar free as possible.  It is a Paula Dean recipe "Lightened Up"  The icing turned out a little thinner than I would of liked but it tasted so good!  


1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
3 tablespoons sugar-free strawberry jam
1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix
1 (0.30-ounce) package sugar-free strawberry gelatin
3 large egg whites
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
Fresh Strawberries for garnish (optional)
Strawberry cream cheese frosting:
1 (8-ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons softened butter
1/4 cup sugar-free strawberry jam
1 teaspoon strawberry extract
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
Freshly sliced strawberries, for garnish, optional

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F degrees. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray. Line with wax-paper rounds; spray with nonstick spray.
Puree the strawberries and jam in a food processor. Set aside.
Combine the cake mix and gelatin in a large mixing bowl. Beat in the strawberry puree, egg whites, oil, and water with hand mixer at medium speed until thickened, about 2 minutes.
Divide the batter evenly between the pans. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Invert the layers onto racks and remove the wax paper; let cool completely.
For the frosting: With clean beaters, beat the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with a hand mixer until creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the jam and the strawberry extract. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth.
Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate. Spread 1/3 of the frosting over the cake layer. Top with the remaining layer. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Garnish with the strawberries, if using.
Original recipe courtesy Paula Deen:  Simply Delicious Strawberry Cake
















Thursday, January 10, 2013

Deals!

I love a good deal and I have had so many of them lately.  I found a new eye shadow pallet that I love, a great cash back shopping website, and recycled an old light fixture.

E.L.F- http://www.eyeslipsface.com/



I am an avid MAC user thanks to my bestie Kari.  I came across this nude pallet on another blog and had to have it!  I bought it for $9.99 on this site and two days later it was only $5.00.  If you buy $25.00 worth you get free shipping...and I got A LOT of stuff for 25.00.  I bought the shadow pallet, bush cleaner, primer, blush brush, pink lip gloss (to add to the 1, 500 I already have) and bronzer/blush compact!



The best part about this site is that it is on EBATES.  What is Ebates?  It is my new found shopping website thanks to Jordan Hall.  (You can check out her fab blog here Love Always, Nancy J. )



Ebates is the ultimate cash back shopping website.  They basically pay you to shop.  You receive a check 4 times a year.  I got about $30.00 back from a few Christmas present purchases.  They have pretty much every store you can imagine. Some stores give you up to even 10% cash back.  They always have every coupon code and you can even sort vendors by FREE SHIPPING.  I am a huge fan of FREE SHIPPING!  I suggest you try it out!


This weekend Dave and I cleaned our entire house!  We also changed out 2 light fixtures (with the help of his wonderful mom and dad) in the spare bedroom and spare bath.  This light fixture used to be an ugly brown and be in our dining room.  Whoever thought that was a good idea was wrong.  We got an awesome new light for our dining room last year so I spray painted this one white.  We bought the circular piece at Lowe's instead of having to repaint the part of the ceiling where the old fixture was.  My hubby is so handy!!





I just read about this site Twice on another one of my favorite blogs (http://www.pbfingers.com/)  Twice is like an online Plato's Closet where you can send them your used clothes FOR FREE...yes they pay for shipping and then they review them to make sure they can sell them and you get paid.  If they choose not to use them then you can get them shipped back for $5.00 or they will donate them to Goodwill!  

Ok that's all I have for today!!

XXOO

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Well it is 2013...

I really cannot believe that it is 2013 and I will be 28 this year! HOLY MOLY!  I have been trying to think of some New Year Resolutions and I can't think of anything big honestly.  Of course I need to eat better, save money, listen more, shop less, slow down, etc.  I feel like those are everyone's resolutions though...so maybe I will come up with something fun or maybe not.

I should really concentrate on doing more for others.  I tried to complete the 26 Acts of Kindness before Christmas.  I made it to 16 and it was awesome! I felt so good after making a difference in someone's day.   I don't want to list them all out because I don't want it to seem like I am bragging or that I did those acts of kindness for myself.  I truly was inspired by Ann Curry and her movement to try to get people to complete 26 Acts of Kindness to honor the 26 victims at Sandy Hook.  Just think about how awesome it would be if we could all just do one act of kindness a day?  I am so guilty of running around like crazy all the time and not noticing what day it is much less what other people are going through.  So maybe I will try to notice more...and that doesn't mean notice more sales at Macy's...I mean notice more in life.  Notice when an elderly person needs help with their groceries, notice when someone is having a bad day and give them a compliment, notice when the leaves change and admire how pretty they are (Mom, that was for you).

Sorry to go all inspirational on you!  Now for the girly stuff.  Here are a few things I have purchased lately that i am in love with!

This hair treatment is AMAZING!  It is almost like a leave in conditioner for people who dry, straighten or curl their hair daily.  It also smells so GOOD! Highly recommend this!    Of course it was in my BirchBox! Check it out here!

Just got these Jessica Simpson Boots on sale at Dillard's  I have a pair of dark brown Frye's but really needed this color! They are super comfy and with just enough heel!




This is a new favorite of mine in Nashville.  It is in Cummin's Station which is near downtown!  I have been there for lunch and dinner.  I had a gumbo soup and grilled cheese for lunch which was great and the Shrimp and Grits I had for dinner was fabulous!  It is a great lunch and dinner date place!  You should totally try it!