Let the Fun Continue…Greek style.

May 27, 2009 at 12:55 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Bring on the snacks!

We went with a Greek kind of theme tonight

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After the fun night we had with Tomas on Saturday, we wanted the fun to continue and invited him over for some din on Sunday.

To start off we had a bunch of niblies out while the main course was baking in the oven.

Various olives, pita triangles, sundried tomatoes, celery, carrots

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Sorry for the blur!

Tortilla chips (not Greek but whatevs James wanted em and I’m not one to deny)

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Trader Joe’s Hummus quartet. Yum!!! man I love Trader Joe’s hummus. I can never get my homemade kind to be as light and delicious as theirs. What’s your secret Trader Joe’s??

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Shrimp with cocktail sauce (also just something I wanted..hellooo ketchup and horseradish!!)

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Then it was time for the main feature:

Spanakopita

  • 1 lb. frozen spinach, defrosted
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup fat free cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup part skim ricotta
  • 8 sheets phyllo

Mix all ingredients together except for the phyllo.

Grease an 8×8 pan and place one sheet of phyllo down. Spray or brush with olive oil. Layer another piece of phyllo and spray or brush with olive oil. Continue until 4 sheets are laid down. Spread spinach mixture inside. Layer another 4 pieces of phyllo on top using the same olive oil spraying/brushing technique. Bake at 350* for 35-40 minutes.

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James was in charge of assembling. He got a little creative and sprinkled some cheese on top and didn’t really trim the sides.

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Mmm wine and spinach pie!

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I didn’t finish this since I had filled up on snacks but the filling was delish! I didn’t even think it needed the phyllo outside. The sundried tomatoes added a good contrasting flavor to the other more neutral flavors.  I like adding cottage cheese to ricotta too.  I think it gives it more flavor.

The other main feature: Frost/Nixon. Anyone else see this? It was a cool movie and worked out well since James loooves documentaries but I like movies with more of a story line. We thought it was interesting how they cast Nixon in such a sympathetic light, as someone to pity rather then someone to hate. We gave it 4 stars on our netflix..though it could have used a 3.5.

 

TACO BUS!

May 25, 2009 at 12:36 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

There is something amazing and mystical about a taco truck. You never know where they’re going to be or  when they’re going to be there. You basically have to go into stealth ninja mode to hunt them down (I think that reference is stemming from the fact that James made me watch Beverly Hills Ninja last night..but I digress)

On Saturday, James and I ventured over to Durham to visit our friend Tomas. Last time James had gone he had gone to a taco truck and said how amazing and cool it was. I mean come on, it’s a taco truck. It HAS to be amazing and cool. So I had one requirement when we went there…I want a taco truck!

But Tomas did me one better, and he found a taco BUS!

Behold:

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Unfortunately, this bus had no vegetarian options. Instead they had things like cow head, cow tongue, and pig innards wrapped in lard. Yummmm….

The boys each got a chicken taco for a steal of 2 bucks each!

Mmm homemade taco bus salsa…..

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And seriously, dig the presentation. I mean this is take away, folks! I was v. impressed.

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They said the taco bus was even BETTER than their previous taco truck experience! Woo! A reason to go back to Durham! Oh..and the visit Tomas.

Next we ventured over to Green Room which was basically a huge room with billiard tables and a juke box. It was a very cool and laid back atmosphere. And, most importantly, they let us bring Toby inside! Sweet!!

Toby wanted to come sit next to me.

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He seriously thinks he’s a people! What’s up with this dog??

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Note how he is sitting with his butt on the upper step and feet on the lower one. Weird dog I tell you.

Overall, a very fun night!

Would you eat/have you eaten from a taco bus?? Seriously Durham has all kinds of food trucks! Later that night while we were at a different bar we saw a burger truck! Nuts.

Pad Thai + Planners

May 19, 2009 at 1:40 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

My hip is feeling SO much better today!! There was nooo pain at all during the day and very little after my workout..which was great! I did an interval hill walking workout on the treadmill.

Minute Speed Incline
0-5 3.5 3% – 5%
5-7 3.7 7%
7-9 3.7 8%
9-11 3.9 7%
11-16 3.9 10%
16-21 3.7 8%
21-22 4 7%
22-23 4 9%
23-24 4 11%
24-25 4 7%
25-26 4 9%
26-27 3.7 10%
27-29 3.7 12%
29-31 3.8 13%
31-33 3.8 14%
33-35 3.8 11%
35-38 4.0 7%
38-40 3.7 5%-3%

 

I love doing intervals like this!! I get so sweaty and feel like I’ve gotten a great workout even though I’m not running (maybe even better??). I also love when I start and I feel like 7% is so high and then I get up to 14% and 7% seems like NOTHING! It makes me feel so strong!

Tonight’s dinner was so easy. I usually don’t like buying pre made meals but I recognized all the ingredients with this one and sometimes it’s just nice to not have to prepare something crazy.

Trader Joe’s Pad Thai

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Since I really didn’t want to just have noodles for dinner, I bulked it up with some frozen veggies: Trader Joe’s Harvest Hodge Podge, and some Trader Joe’s String Bean Mix. I also wanted some protein so I added chick peas which tasted really good with this!

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I didn’t use the whole package of sauce either. Just personal preference! And I’m taking leftovers for lunch tomorrow so this definitely turned this into more than just 2 servings!

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We added a scrambled egg to it and some crushed peanut on top that made it taste more “authentic”. The sauce was spot on and so were the noodles. James wanted it to be spicier. He didn’t think it tasted like restaurant pad thai, but still thought  it was good. Since there wasn’t any spice to it really (but I like it like that!) and in all fairness, it said mild on the package.

Caution: Dorky organizational side about to come out….

CHECK OUT MY NEW PLANNER!!!

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Isn’t it SO CUTE?!

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And it has boxes where you can check off things when you do them!!!!

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I’m in love. I can’t believe I have to wait until June to start using it. Think this will suffice for law school Ms. Healthy Lawyer??

Toby’s version of DOGA….

So as I’m many other dog owners know, doing yoga or basically any exercise on the floor while your loving and adoring friend is nearly impossible. Every time I’m in child’s pose Toby tries to dig his head under my head and start licking my face. And not gently or anything..I mean this dog is DETERMINED to get to my face and lick it. Because obviously that’s why I’m on the floor. 

James got a picture of him stalking me while I was listening to a yoga podcast. This was post him trying to wash my face with his tongue.

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He wants to be a yogi!

Time for some R&R before another day at trabajo!

Roasted Veggie Salad

May 18, 2009 at 12:07 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Now that the weather is getting warmer, I’m trying to switch my cooking gears into some lighter fares. And what better way to kick of the season then with a big ol salad?

Last night we got to roastin with some zucchini and yellow squash. In case you haven’t noticed…I really like roasted veggies…

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And I feel like adding roasted veggies to a salad makes it a lot more satisfying and like you have a complete meal in front of you.

You may notice..I’m not so good with cutting the veggies evenly so some have are a little more cheetah like then others. Eh.

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  • Romaine lettuce
  • oven roasted squash and zucchini
  • black beans
  • corn
  • steamed broccoli
  • Dressing made with balsamic vinegar, spicy mustard and rice vinegar (I love vinegar. If there’s a shirt out there that says that..I need it.)

With some Zicam on the side. This stuff is great if you feel like you’re getting sick.

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So good. So full of veggies and wholesome whole foods. I felt fantastic after eating it.

Then James brought this out to me:

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Evil evil man.

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I was pretty much in heaven when this was set in front of me. Angel Food desert cakes from Whole Foods, whipped topping, fresh strawberries, defrosted mixed berries from Trader Joes.

This was so good.

Just looking at it is making me crave another!

James helped me eat it and every bite was absolutely delicious. I was I had a light salad for dinner 😉

Anyone ready for Monday? Me neither. Boo. 3 more months until law school!!

Saturday Experiment

May 16, 2009 at 5:46 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Last night James told me he wanted to take pictures of everything he ate for a day.I didn’t even ask why he wanted to (I’m going to make a great lawyer..so inquisitive!) I’m assuming it’s because his man food groups are bread and cheese….and maybe taking pictures would give him some perspective on his eating habits.

Of course I said I would do it too..you know..to be supportive 🙂 So I figured I would post it up here! Plus James made a delish breakfast!

For accountability sake, I had a small handful of peanuts when I first woke up and was waiting for breakfast…I was hungry!

I was given a piece of toasted Arnold’s Double Fiber bread,  and 2 eggs scrambled with some mixed frozen veggies. What service!!

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With the appropriate condiments:

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Oh Texas Pete, how I love you!! I think it’s that vinegar base that gets me every time.

James was running around getting ready for work and asked me to make him a smoothie. I was oh so tempted to throw some spinach in there…but I was nice since he made me breakfast.

So I made him a gigantic man smoothie. Well if a man smoothie has lots of strawberry yogurt, frozen strawberries and a banana in it. With a straw. Duh.

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Like his container of choice? We have travel mugs but he prefers empty bottles of salsa. Whatev. At least it’s environmentally friendly, right?? Reuse!!!

Then I ran out the house to the gym while James was leaving for work. I always feel so guilty leaving Toby so I try to leave at the same time as James. Strength in numbers. And I avoid eye contact.

Workout:

  • Time: 70 minutes
  • 50 minutes treadmill – 2.7 miles, 3.9 mph, 8%-12% incline
  • 50 crunches on a stability ball
  • 15 X 3 tricep kick backs with 8 lb weights
  • 15 X 3 shoulder presses w/ squats, 5 lb weights
  • 15 X 3 bicep curls

OO feel the burn!!!

I hung around the apartment doing laundry and such and then decided it was time for a smoothie. I couldn’t resist the urge of taking the end of the banana I was using in my smoothie and smothering it in TJ’s Smooth Unsalted PB. It was everything I imagined it would be.

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Then it was green smoothie time!! I hadn’t had one in a few days so this really hit the spot.

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  • 3 cups Kale
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • handful of ice
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 6 frozen strawberries
  • 1/4 c. frozen pineapple
  • 1 banana (minus the end 🙂 )

I don’t know how I feel about the pineapple in it. I think I like using mango instead. Need to get some more of that!

Action shot:

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I had a hard time getting my smoothies to blend when I first started making them. Now I think I have found the trick! First I put in the ice then I put everything else in. I turn it on and THEN pour in the liquid, while the blender is on. That does the trick!

Now I’m going to go get a planner from Office Depot. For some reason whenever I refer to my planner, I can’t help but say it like a geeky 13 year old with their glasses taped together.

Happy Saturday!

Crab Cakes + Cole Slaw

May 15, 2009 at 10:43 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Happy Friday!!

This week has FLOWN by! Wednesday night I went to a new yoga class and, lucky for me, the instructor had tight hips so she stretched our hips out sooo well! So well, in fact that on Thursday I went for a run! Okay maybe I wouldn’t call it a run…but I walked about a mile, then ran a mile, then walked a mile. I must have looked like the biggest goof because I was running with a huge grin on my face! There was minimal pain in my hip and I stopped running before it started hurting.

I REALLY needed that run! However short it was. I was starting to feel like I wasn’t a runner anymore and those first few strides my legs felt heavy and I was heartbroken thinking I had lost my “running groove”. But it only took a couple minutes and I started to feel amazing to be out there.

Needless to say I’ve started doing every Yoga for hips I can find!! The one from yoga download is great and today I tried Polly’s for the first time and it  was fantastic!! I can see why everyone wants to do her videos. I will definitely be doing more! Thanks Polly!!!

Okay now rewind to last night’s dinner.

Well first I wanted to show you the pretty orchid my folks got me when I got into UNC law:

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Toby likes looking out the windows in our apartment.

I love getting crab cakes at restaurants. They’re such a nice treat and I love the crispy outside and creamy filling. I knew that I could make some great crab cakes without paying the high price out at a restaurant. The last time we were at Trader Joe’s I saw a can of crab meat and knew we would be having crab cakes this week!

I highly suggest this crab meat from Trader Joe’s. I think it’s the fact that it has 15% leg meat in it because it was much better then the crab meat we had tried before.

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I wanted to have something green on the side so I also oven roasted some asparagus. I cut up about 3 cloves of garlic and put it on top and also put 1 tsp of olive oil on top of them.

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We had a huge head of cabbage in the fridge so I thought making some coleslaw would be fun! Unfortunately, it didn’t really come out that great. I mean it was okay..but I could have gone without it…so I’m not even going to bother with the recipe. Anyone have a good coleslaw recipe that doesn’t have lots of mayo and sugar in it??

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Whenever I get crab cakes in restaurants, they always have a yummy honey mustard sauce that goes so nicely with the crab. I tried to make some last night by combining brown mustard, a little greek yogurt and some honey (sorry no exact measurements!) It turned out really great! I could see maybe using this sauce for some coleslaw!

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I got the creamy filling that I love about crab cakes with the use of Greek Yogurt. I also added some brown mustard, panko bread crumbs, cropped parsley and chopped spinach (for some color!). I sautéed them in a pan in about a teaspoon of EVOO, cooking them for 4-5 minutes on each side at medium-ish heat.

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Ah! I’m so glad it’s Friday!! We are watching a superman movie tonight and I got a season of This American Life (the TV series) from Netflix that I’m SO PUMPED to see since I absolutely love the radio show on NPR. AND James has this Sunday off! Woot! Hopefully we will have good weather and can go outside!

Anyone have fun plans this weekend??

Calzones + Superfood

May 13, 2009 at 1:04 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Okay I have multiple things to apologize for….

1. My lack of attention being paid to the blog

2. Lack of pictures of my insanely delicious dinner

Man! I’ve been slacking!! Well in all fairness, I was sick last week (not the swine flu I promise!! I’m all better!) and then I went out of town this weekend. I know..excuses excuses.  But I’m back! And there are delicious new meals and products just WAITING to be displayed on here. I promise 😉

Today has been an AWESOME day made possible by my awesome boyfriend. He has today off (he has random days off) so I came home for lunch to find none other then a waffle bar!! He made waffles using the Trader Joe’s Multi Grain Mix that we had used for biscuits and set up a TON of toppings for me to put on my waffles. I would have taken a picture..but it just was NOT pretty…and I wanted to spare you. When I’m given the option of a ton of toppings..I’m going to use them all. Bananas (which I proceeded to mash up), blackberries, defrosted bluberries, peanut butter, whipped topping (just a little 😉 ), maple syrup, and unsweetened coconut. Oh yes, yes I did. It was delectable. Just a taste of everything. It was like each bite was something different!

Then I came home to an empty apartment since James and his caddy (aka Toby in his frisbee filled backpack) went to play frisbee golf. So I headed over to the gym and a did a sweaty 40 minute walk on the treadmill at  3.7 mph and a 10%-15% incline. This morning I also did Hip Opening Flow #4 from Yoga Download and some ab stuff. Pretty good for being my first mayjah workout after being sick for a week!

Calzones

Tonight’s dinner was sooo good!! Seriously. And so easy! You need to make these. ASAP.

At first I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to leave mine open and just make a pizza but I’m so glad that I decided to fold it over!  It made everything so warm and the double whole wheat bread was heavenly. I ate half of mine and will eat the other one for lunch tomorrow. I can’t wait!!!

We used the same Whole Wheat Dough recipe we had the made before and divided it in half. Then James and I went to town and I put lots of veggies in mine and James put cheese in and on his. See if you can tell whose is who.

Before baking:

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After:

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See all that green bursting out of mine?! I should have taken a picture of it open. You would have seen a veggie bonanza!! Mushrooms onion, spinach, broccoli, marinara, fresh tomatoes.

MMmmm…

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MMmmm….

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Good! I love making fun meals like this. It’s a nice way to unwind and hang out when I get home from work. Plus hello..it’s delicious. And Leftovers to take to lunch tomorrow?? Yes please!

Superfood

I’ve seen this Amazing Grass product on a few different blogs and wanted to give it a try myself. I figured when I was coming down with something would be the best time to put it to the test!

I tried the chocolate variety:

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It had the kind of chocolate taste you get when you add pure cacao powder to something, which I liked. It definitely didn’t have a fake taste or made it seem chalky. James even tried it and said that it was good! And he usually isn’t a huge fan of my green smoothies.

Here’s a link to all the information about this amazing supplement.  It’s pretty dang impressive.

It claims to have the antioxidant power of 5 servings of vegetables! Plus it mentions more then a few times that it boosts your immune system and that was exactly what I needed. With only 30 calories that’s MORE than a worthy investment. I’m sure if I had drank this everyday it would have helped my cold. If it wasn’t so expensive I would definitely buy a big container of this. I may anyway….

I still have one more packet of the regular flavor to try out and I will definitely let you know what I think!

James left again to go see Star Trek at the IMAX tonight. He’s such a party animal. He doesn’t have work tomorrow so a 10 pm movie is no big. Toby and I are here chillin at the casa…I hope Law and Order is on!!!

Have a good night!

Cinco De Mayo!

May 7, 2009 at 8:19 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Okay so I’m a little late putting this up. I’ve been feeling under the weather lately so excuse the lack of blog posting! But man do I have some good stuff to show you guys….hopefully that’ll make it up 😉

For a festive Cinco De Mayo meal, James and I got to have something we’d been craving for a while: Fish Tacos!

Since James had the day off, he was in charge of lots of the prep work so lots of the pics are his handy work.

For the taco shells, we used Angela’s recipe for whole wheat tortillas. These are so easy to make!! James used 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 white flour.

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Bubbling…

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James used a spatula to fold them in half while they were still warm so they made the perfect sturdy taco shells! They stood up to being full of delicious ingredients without breaking.

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Our other toppings included an onion and cabbage mixture that were sautéed.

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Then I used an ingredient I never have before: Plantains!! I decided to cut them and bake them instead of the traditional way of frying them. I love plantains. They bring me back to living in Miami and eating delicious Cuban food!!

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And some corn on the side (yea this meal had a ridic amount of components..but it made it more fun!)

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Fish (I honestly don’t remember what kind…some kind of white fish!). I’m not sure what James did to it exactly…I know I put some liquid smoke and chili pepper on it while he wasn’t looking 🙂

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All together:

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This corn was so delicious and sweet. No butter or salt necessary, my friends!

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I will definitely be buying plantains again.  So incredibley easy to make. I just baked then at 450* with some cooking spray and salt for about 20 minutes. I highly recommend going and buying one!!

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James’ plate:

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I ended up not really eating the fish from mine but gave it to James instead. I just like veggies more!

So I was watching The View today (don’t judge..) since I’m working from home and Barbara Walters says that she is starting to lean more towards being a vegetarian! What sparked this was the story about a cow that escaped a slaughterhouse and was wandering around Queens. She says she’s bringing veggie burgers with her to a BBQ today! Love it.

Breakfast For Dinner

May 5, 2009 at 1:10 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Last night, breakfast for dinner just seemed like the perfect way to start off the week. We debated on savory (biscuits and eggs) or sweet (pancakes) for a while but eventually James decided we decided to go with savory.

It’s nice because we have this Trader Joe’s Multigrain Baking & Pancake Mix allows us to do both!  (plus it has a recipe for Blueberry coffee cake that looks killer) Gotta love having multi uses!!

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Making the biscuits could not have been easier. Just mix the ingredients together, role out and cut into biscuits. Since we don’t have a biscuit cutter, I used the opening of a glass jar we had (I think it used to be either a salsa or PB jar), it worked like a charm! You just have to be sure to put flour around the opening when you cut each biscuit.

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Another product we tried for the first time tonight was from Morningstar Farms, which we got a coupon for. It’s their new Maple Flavored Sausage Patties.

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I cooked them in a pan so they could get a little crispy

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Split between us, we had 2 egg whites and 2 eggs scrambled. Seriously, James has making eggs down to a science. These were perfectly fluffy and stuck together enough for me to put on top of my biscuit without having them fall off.

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The biscuits were great. They aren’t as light and fluffy as normal white biscuits but that’s to be expected. I like whole grains because they give are heartier flavor and texture then white flour and these definitely had that.

James’ Review: These were great. They were the perfect size with a wholesome taste and a crusty exterior. As a biscuit lover, I was happy”

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The maple flavored sausages were so good! I don’t usually like to buy frozen meat imitations because of the price and the numerous ingredients but the flavor of them is just so good and I was pretty much ecstatic to get a coupon for these! The maple flavor in these was not overwhelming but definitely present. They had that great smoky flavor that all sausage does and was such a great compliment to the milder taste of the biscuit and eggs.

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And a half of a grapefruit on the side to get some vitamin C and a little color into our dinner.

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The most perfect bite (okay several bites) with Texas Pete on top of course:

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Here’s a peek at James’ man plate, which had some cheese on it too

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I was so happy and satisfied after this dinner. It didn’t make me want to go to work any more today but at least I went to bed with a happy tummy.

This morning I started my day like I’ve been starting so many of my mornings (okay how I start every morning). Green monster to go:

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Mmm so good and refreshing! I’m craving one already! Good thing my co workers think I just have some coffee in there. I don’t know what they would say about my green monster…especially when I got weird looks when explaining what was on my salad (hummus – they thought it sounded gross! Oh well more hummus for meeee!) 

Here’s some Toby love too:

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Have a good night!

The Joys of Living with a Boy….

May 3, 2009 at 6:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Look what I came out to this morning and a note with my feeling on the matter:

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A partially eaten piece of bread on our TV stand!

When James came out and saw my note he said "Oh! I was wondering where that went!” and then proceeded to eat the rest of the bread. I was about on the floor laughing. 

Dinner last night was a new product we tried from Trader Joe’s. We like to let ourselves get one fun thing to try new each week! It’s a fun way to try new things and makes for fun dinners! It’s less expensive then going out but keeps things interesting and gives us something to look forward to.

Dinner consisted of: Artichoke Ravioli, marinara sauce with veggies and steamed broccoli

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These raviolis were HUGE! Look how much of my bowl they take up:

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James wanted me to take a picture of his plate because he said it looked better…I had to agree.

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Simpler Times beer from Trader Joe’s – James loves this stuff so much he got a flat of it! It’s really a bargain for the quality of beer it is. I think it’s $4.99 for a 6 pack of cans? Am I right James?

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French bread from Whole Foods, steamed broccoli with a little balsamic vinegar on top.

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The marinara sauce has some frozen mixed veggies, peas, onion, and some stewed tomatoes I had leftover from the taco salad I made the other night.

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Mmm mmm good! I’ve gotta say, I wasn’t sure how the stewed tomatoes would be in this sauce but they were really fantastic! I loved the extra dimension of flavor it gave to this. I will definitely be doing that again!

The Artichoke Ravioli from Trader Joe’s were pretty good. I wish the taste of artichoke had been a little more prevalent. The pasta tasted fresh though. I don’t have pasta often but I really enjoyed these, especially paired with a lot of veggies!

Well I have my appointment to get my nails done at 3! Woohoo! I’m still trying to decide on a color….Then when James gets home we’re going to go walk around this lake.

Hope you’re all having a nice Sunday!

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