Sunday, September 26, 2010

During your lifetime...

Did you know...
During your lifetime you’ll about 60,000 pounds of food! That’s the weight of about 6 Elephants!

Another weekend come and gone. We had beautiful weather in Indiana for the marathon on Saturday.
Elann, Mark, and I geared up for the run Saturday by drinking our coconut waters, eating bananas, and a spoon full of peanut butter! We wanted to load our bodies with essential running nutrients to keep the cramps away, it worked beautifully for all 3 of us. They are now both believers in Coconut Water, hooray! I got to experience Mark and Elann's first marathon, we had a great time. Mark finished at 27 minutes and Elann and I came in at 31 minutes. After the marathon we enjoyed Mallow Run's wine, Bazbeuz pizza, and live music.

-Marathon pictures coming soon!

I try to get as much baking done on the weekends as possible. I have a passion for baking and a love for cooking. I made pumpkin spice cookies for the marathon on Saturday. I used a Martha Stewart recipe but made my own tweaks for a "healthier" cookie, still delicious! The smell of pumpkin filled my apartment immediately.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies-

1 cup all purpose flour
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 stick unsalted butter
2 heaping table spoons Oikos 0% Greek Yogurt
2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (14 ounces)
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside.

Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs. Reduce speed to low. Add pumpkin, evaporated milk, and vanilla; mix until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add flour mixture; mix until combined.

Transfer 1 1/2 cups batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip (such as Ateco #806). Pipe 1 1/2-inch rounds onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart.

 Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until tops spring back, about 12 minutes. Cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely.

Here are the results! Some have icing, some don't.

How about some Pumpkin Whoopie Pies?

Sunday Cooking & Baking:

I made my dad and I Kodiak Cake flapjacks this morning. Instead of 1 cup flapjack mix and 1 cup water I mixed 1 cup flapjack mix, 3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt, and 1 tbsp Chia Seeds. The Greek yogurt made the pancakes extra moist and the Chia seeds added the extra omega 3's and protein! Sorry I didn't snap a pic before we gobbled them down. I really suggest ordering these if you haven't had them...whole grain deliciousness!


Lamb Burgers with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

I purchased ground lamb at the Farmers Market and finally got the opportunity to cook for more than 1 or 2 people! As you can tell, this makes me really happy when people want to try my food : D

Ground Lamb Burgers-
Ground Lamb
1/3 cup diced white onion
1/2 clove garlic
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup bread crumbs

Sauté onions in olive oil and garlic for 3-4 minutes on medium. Once brown, add to ground lamb, then add breadcrumbs.
Form burger patties as you would a hamburger.
Cook in same skillet on medium high until meat is thoroughly cooked.
(I found this takes a little longer than hamburger does)

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus-
1 can garbanzo beans
1 tbsp parsley
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp cayenne (optional)
1 Roasted red pepper in oil

Put all of this together in the food processor. Whirl around for about 3 minutes! You're DONE! Mmm..

Next I made Walnut Pecan Cinnamon Butter for my dad to take home.

1 cup Walnuts
1 cup Pecans
1 tbsp Coconut Milk
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp cinnamon

Add walnuts and pecans to food processor, let it roll for 9-10 minutes scraping the sides as needed.
Add Coconut Milk, cinnamon, and Honey; process for 1 more minute.

For the Colts game I made an Apple Crisp.

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
1 stick unsalted butter cut into cubes
1 cup old fashioned oats
7 apples, cored and peeled
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare your apples. In a large bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, salt, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Cut butter into flour, using a pastry blender or two knives, until mixture is the texture of coarse meal. Add oats, and use your hands to toss and squeeze mixture until large, moist clumps form. 

In another bowl, toss apples with lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Transfer to a shallow 2-quart baking dish, and sprinkle with topping mixture. Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until golden and bubbling, 55 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

I had mysterious roses on my dresser this morning...
My dad bought me some Witch's Brew! I can't wait to try it :)

I had an acorn squash that I bought at Fresh Market a week or so ago. I've never had it before but I thought today would be a good day to bake it. Oh myyyy goodness it's SO yummy!

Cut lengthwise, scrape out all seeds and put face down on a baking sheet that has 1/2 inch water for moisture. Bake 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

Garnish to your liking. I hear brown sugar and butter are good!

I thought this was cute :) My taste testers at their finest!

My dad was nice enough to let me use his Nikon D-70 this weekend...LOVE that camera. Until I can afford one of my own I can just use his on occasion ;)

Keep it Happy, Keep it Healthy, Keep it Sweet.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Today included classes and running. My run went well, it took a while for me to get into the groove but after 1.5 I was there. I always feel SO good when I run, why did I just start now? I hit 5 miles again today! This Saturday is "Wine at the Line" at Mallow Run! My second marathon and I get to run with my friend ElAnn :)

Here is what I munched on after my run. Plenty of protein and "good" carbs to fuel my body.
I was working on homework last night and Mark said, "Hey babe look to your left." This is what I saw...ha!
Dinner tonight was semi-homemade. I purchased a Honeysuckle White Lemon Garlic Turkey Breast Tenderloin and popped it in the oven on Low Broil for 40 minutes. Totally awesome and easy! Very moist.

I have a new love for Orzo. If you haven't tried it you need to it's cheap, easy, and yummy! It's basically pasta in the shape of rice. I've had this recent thing with Parmesan, I want to use it in everything I make!

Garlic Parmesan Orzo

2 cups Orzo
1 tsp minced garlic
3 tbsp diced red onion
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tbsp parsley
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese

Cook orzo as directed. (2+ cups water, until boiling, pour in orzo, cook for 9 minutes covered on med low)
Strain water and put pasta into a separate bowl.
Stir in all ingredients. You can serve this warm or cold, it's great either way.

I also had some of my Traders Point Cottage Cheese!

Dessert [ because Mark loves dessert, & so do I ;) ]

Healthy & Simple Apple Crisp

2 Janigold apples
2 tbsp Smart Balance Butter
2 tbsp Brown Sugar
1 tbsp Cinnamon
>1/4 cup raisins (add to your liking or leave out)
2 tbsp Granola (add to your liking)
Free Whipped Cream

Rough chop apples.
Melt butter in saucepan over medium high heat.
Once butter has melted add brown sugar & apples. Stir & Cover
Let cook 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally
Add raisins, let cook 1-2 more minutes
Remove from heat & add cinnamon. Stir
Pour mixture into separate dishes
Garnish with granola & top with whipped cream

Keep it Happy, Keep it Healthy, Keep it Sweet.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Protein + Greens

Success! Dinner tonight was great, a perfect mix of protein and greens. I bought two Grass Fed Chicken Breast at Traders Point last Friday and decided tonight was the night to bring those babies out! I purchased them from a vendor who has a local farm here in Indiana, check them out!
 This Old Farm <--- The chicken was so moist & tasty! I could honestly tell a difference between Organic Grass Fed and Store Bought. (Mark did too!)

I was craving a mix of salty and sweet, as usual. This is why I LOVE NUT BUTTERS! (More on that later).

Here are the recipes:

Walnut Pistachio Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breast

2 Servings

2 Boneless Chicken Breast
1/4 cup Walnuts
2 tbsp. pistachios
2 tbsp. Parmesan Cheese
1 slice Whole Wheat Bread
1 egg

Place Walnuts, Pistachios, Parmesan Cheese, and bread slice (broken apart) into a food processor until crumbs form. Pour into a rectangular shallow dish; I used Tupperware.
Froth 1 egg in a shallow bowl
Once Chicken Breast are thawed and all excess water has been soaked up by a towel, place into egg mixture until coated. Let excess egg drip.
Place chicken breast into coating mix, thoroughly coat and place onto a greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 425 for 20 minutes.
Broil on Low for 2 minutes (I love doing this because it makes the breading crispy!)

Garlic Green Beans

1 pound fresh snapped green beans (I purchased mine at the Farmers Market)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp EVOO (As Rachel Ray would say!)
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp parsley

Heat skillet to medium, place 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper on skillet.
Place green beans on skillet and let cook for 4-5 minutes (Just until spotty brown)-STIR OCCASIONALLY!
Add 1/4 cup water to skillet, cover, let cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add lemon, garlic, thyme, and parsley to beans, increase heat to high. Cook on high 2-3 minutes.
Remove from heat, and enjoy!

This meal (1 serving) is less than 400 calories and 5 grams of fat. Low Carb too! Yippee!
This dinner was perfect before a night full of studying.

The pictures didn't turn out the way I wanted them to, sorry! I am working on my food photography skills :)

Also, I FINALLY perfected my Cinnamon Vanilla Peanut Butter! Recipes coming soon!

Keep it Happy, Keep it Healthy, Keep it Sweet.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Goodbye Summer, Goodbye Zuchinni

Wow, where did the weekend go? As I look back, I had a pretty awesome weekend. Let me tell you a little about it.

Friday evening Mark and I met my brother and his wife for dinner at YATS. Hands down the best shrimp gumbo I have ever had. It wasn't too spicy, but had a great kick; just how I like it. After dinner we wandered over to The Flying Cupcake. This place is adorable, full of pink decor and all the cupcake flavors one could imagine. Check them out! After filling our bellies we headed to Trader's Point Creamery! This was the highlight of the evening. We lead on through the Farmer's Market which had numerous vendors from around Indiana. I purchased a few things, maybe more than a FEW things but that is the fun in waiting to buy organic, fresh, and grass fed produce and meat. I bought 2 small white eggplant to try, the gentleman selling them told me they are more rich than a purple eggplant, I was all game. I also bought ground lamb, pork chops, green beans, Traders Point chocolate ice cream, TP Cottage Cheese, TP raw milk white cheddar cheese, and a few other things. I had to snap this before leaving, it was a small paradise :)

Saturday was another great day. I feel so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family. I spent the afternoon at my little cousins soccer game. He is only 3 so you can picture in your head how cute the game was. I snapped a few pictures, I couldn't help myself.

After the game I met my friend ElAnn for wine tasting at Mallow Run. It was great to taste all of the summer wines. I really like the ones infused with apples and strawberries! They were out of our favorite Rhubarb, better luck next time. After wine tasting we headed off to Apple Works. Now let me tell you a little about Apple Works, it's amazing. The property is filled with animals, apple trees, barns, train rides, sunflowers, tree house, and much much more. There is a store that sells fudge, ice cream, cider, the list goes on forever! ElAnn and I really enjoyed relaxing and soaking up the beautiful fall weather! Afterward I was able to shadow my Aunt who is an RN, and a Respiratory Therapist for a 12 hour shift, this was a life changing experience! I now want to be a Respiratory Therapist AND an RN! Can you become both? Wow, I really can't wait 2 more years until I've completed the schooling!

Now to the RECIPES!

Tonight I was able to run 5 miles! I was feeling very strong and it helped that my favorite shows were on Food Network. Secrets of a Restaurant Chef made some pretty yummy stuff today that I can't wait to try! I came back and cleaned, it was much needed! For dinner I made a delicious mix of my summer vegetables alongside a fillet of Tilapia. Both turned out great, I highly recommend trying them. You will be surprised by the apples added in the Summer Gratin :)

My own concoction of Citrus Tilapia:

1 large fillet of Tilapia
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup orange juice
dash salt
dash pepper
1/2 tbsp Smart Balance butter

If the fillet is frozen thaw in a pan of warm water. After Tilapia is thawed soak up excess water with paper towels (this is important). Place Tilapia on a baking sheet with foil. Set the Tilapia in the foil and curl up the sides to there isn't any leaking. Sprinkle both sides of Tilapia with salt and pepper; spread butter on very thin. Drizzle on lemon juice and pour on the orange juice; let sit for 5 minutes. Heat over to 375 degrees and bake for 9 minutes. After 9 minutes is up set oven to Low Broil and Broil for 3 minutes.

Summer Gratin (my way)

1 large zucchini
4 small tomatoes
1 small eggplant *I used white eggplant, delicious!
1 small apple
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup goat cheese
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Thyme (amount used will vary)
1/3 cup Tomato Sauce (Can use any kind, I used leftovers from my pumpkin pasta)

Cut all vegetables in slices, including the eggplant. Sprinkle with salt and lay flat on a baking sheet for 15-20 minutes to soak up excess water. Spray pan with non-stick.
Place eggplant down first, this will be your base or bottom layer.
Then place tomatoes over eggplant, just laying over each other. Sprinkle with Thyme and Parmeasan Cheese.
Layer zucchini and apples over previous layers. Again, sprinkle with Thyme and Parmesan Cheese.
Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil over entire dish.
Heat over to 375 degrees. Place in oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes set over to Low Broil, add tomato sauce, goat cheese, and Bread Crumbs. Broil dish for 3 minutes to make bread crumbs and cheese crispy on top! Sprinkle with salt and pepper as you wish. The apples were an incredible addition to this, I've never seen it done before but I like to mix my savory and sweets :)

FYI: These recipes combined are under 300 total calories and 5 grams of fat. Always Keeping it Healthy!

Now it's homework time. I hope you enjoy!

Keep it Happy, Keep it Healthy, Keep it Sweet.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Celebrate Good Times

Well I had my test this evening, I think it went pretty well but we will see on Monday :)

Sorry for the delay in posting, school comes first! I would love to sit on my blog all day and create recipes in my kitchen to share with all of you, but that is just not reality for me right now, maybe one day.

Things to be grateful for:
-My parent's house sold in 4 days, pretty amazing. They will be moving closer to me, yay!
-My Aunt Lynda was able to schedule me in for shadowing hours at the hospital she works at observing Labor and Delivery, NICU, and Respiratory Therapy!
[P.S. if she ever reveals her cookie recipe I will love her even more!]
-Running 3 days in a row.
-Spending time with my brother and sister in law tomorrow evening at Traders Point Creamery.
-A supportive and encouraging boyfriend.
-The list goes on and on..

Running Update: I have been preparing for the Mallow Run Winery "Wine at the Line" Marathon scheduled for next Saturday and the French Lick Family Classic on October 9th. They are both 5K and you're rewarded with goodies and prizes at the finish line, I'll run for food! I developed a love for running recently. Before last year you couldn't get me to run half a mile. It takes dedication and once you're finished you feel like a new person. Pushing through the piercing side pains and boredom of a treadmill. It pays off in the end! Here is how I make it through my runs..

I swear by Coconut Water. I used to get really bad Charlie horses during the night when I ran that day. I would stretch properly and eat bananas but nothing helped. UNTIL I found Coconut Water and won't run without it. I have not had one charlie horse since drinking this before, during, and after exercise. One for each run; my favorite flavor is the peach mango! Here are the benefits:

You see that? Prevents cramping. I think this is one reason people quit running, the pain in your side hurts so bad that you have to stop and walk. Coconut water takes that away, I promise :)

Tonight has been low key since my run. I got home from my test, went to the gym, came home and popped some tofu into the oven. I cut tofu into cubes and coated it with salt, pepper, celery salt (just a dash), BBQ Sauce, and honey. I baked it on 425 for 30 minutes, perfecto!

I suggest buying tofu and trying it. It's cheap and very good for you, it's made from soybeans! I mix mine in spinach salad, and eat in plain. You can season it to your liking. I  suggest buying firm or extra firm and make sure to soak up the water with a paper towel before baking.

My tofu salad:

2 cups baby spinach
4 slices tofu
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
Brianna's Poppyseed Dressing

Now to the SWEET stuff!

Do I smell German Chocolate?

I could make muffin tops out of a few of these! Ha, get it? Muffin tops.. :-/ They can potentially make muffin tops..

Keep it Happy, Keep it Healthy, Keep it Sweet.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

School Comes First :)

Hey Followers!

Quick post while I am preparing for a big exam tomorrow.

Would everyone please take this survey? It is an assignement in my sister in laws class and she would greatly appreciate the feedback!

Please Click Here for Survey

Thank you.

Keep it Happy, Keep it Healthy, Keep it Sweet. (I am repeating this in my head while I study)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Crispy Coconut Chicken Fingers & Fresh Fruit Bruschetta with Orange-Honey Cream

These recipes were found on OUR BEST BITES. I made them for my sister in laws bridal shower and added a few of my own ideas. It was enjoyed by many so I feel the need to pass these recipes on:

Crispy Coconut Chicken Fingers
Recipe by Our Best Bites

12 chicken tenders (ya know, more or less...)
1-2 eggs (start with one and crack another if it runs out)
1/2 C Whole Wheat Flour
1 C sweetened coconut flakes
1 C panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp table salt
3/4 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

-Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
-Give coconut a rough chop so it's about the same size as the 
panko pieces

-Combine it with Panko and spices in a shallow dish. Mix well to distribute all of the spices.
-Place the flour in another shallow dish, and the egg in another. Give the egg a quick beating.
-Working with one chicken tender at a time, dredge in flour...

then dip in egg..
-And then finally coat in the coconut Panko mixture. Press in with your fingers to make sure the entire thing is well coated.
-Place chicken tenders on a foil-lined baking sheet (for easy clean up!) that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. I give mine a teeny drizzle of olive oil on top to help them crisp nicely, but it's optional.
-Bake in your 450 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until juices run clear. Try not to overcook them because chicken tenders go from perfect to overcooked really fast! If your tenders are on the small side, they could even be done in about 15 minutes so keep an eye on them. If they're big they can take more like 25. 
-The coconut will be nice and golden and the panko crisp, but light in color still.

Nutrition Facts
  Servings Per Recipe: 4
  Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving
  Total Fat5.1 g
     Saturated Fat3.1 g
     Polyunsaturated Fat0.2 g
     Monounsaturated Fat0.2 g
  Cholesterol20.6 mg
  Sodium296.2 mg
  Potassium132.4 mg
  Total Carbohydrate13.1 g
     Dietary Fiber0.7 g
     Sugars1.9 g
  Protein9.3 g

Fresh Fruit Bruschetta with Orange-Honey Cream

-Let's get started.  You can use any fruit you like.  I pick mostly based on color and then what's in season or on sale. In this case, I'm going with strawberries, mango, and kiwi.
-You'll want all of your fruit chopped in a small dice, and in similar sized pieces.  You can definitely do the chopping in advance; just keep the fruit covered, and in the fridge.
-You'll mix sour cream, honey, and orange zest.  If you need any extra moisture to get the consistency you want, just add a little of the juice from the orange.  That can be covered and stored in the fridge as well.
-For the bread, try to find a whole wheat loaf. You'll want to use either a baguette or a thin french bread loaf.
-Slice your loaf into about 1/2 inch slices or a little thinner.
-Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet (I always line mine with foil for easy clean up!) and brush the tops with melted butter.
-Next you'll sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar.
-After they've toasted in the oven and cooled to room temp, you'll spoon the fruit mixture on each one.
-Then give them a drizzle of the yummy sour cream sauce and you're done!  

Fresh, beautiful, and absolutely heavenly.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Stuffed Peppers with Cinnamon

I have a new cookbook, that means new ideas and recipes! Tonight I chose something a little different, peppers and cinnamon.

Recipe & Procedure:

1 3/4 cups water
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup chopped onion [white or red]
1 tsp chicken bullion cube crumbles
1/4 tsp salt
1 dash cinnamon
3/4 cup quino [Prepare as directed on box]
1/3 cup raisins
2 Large Red or Yellow bell peppers
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese or Parmesan
2 tbsp sliced almonds
2 tbsp sunflower seeds

In a large skillet stir together the water, carrots, onion, bullion cubes, salt, and cinnamon.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Let simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.
Prepare quino as directed on box, set aside for later use.
After 5 minutes of simmering, stir in quino and raisins to water mixture.
Cover, remove from heat, and let stand for another 5 minutes.
Drain all excess liquid.
Cut peppers lengthwise and remove all seeds.
Stir your mozzarella cheese into the quino mixture, and spoon into pepper halves.
Add 1/4 cup water to skillet, set stuffed peppers in skillet, cover, and let simmer on low heat for 5-10 minutes.
Sprinkle with almonds & sunflower seeds

Brussels Sprouts:

1 pound Brussels sprouts, fresh or frozen
1/3 cup dried tomatoes (not packed in oil) - I found mine near the produce at the grocery store
1 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp Garlic Gold Nuggets Olive Oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Wash Brussels sprouts
Melt 1 tbsp butter in skillet on medium heat
When butter has melted add Brussels sprouts, onion, Garlic Gold, salt, and pepper
Cover and let cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. [Be careful they will burn if you don't stir]
In the meantime, in a small skillet boil 1/2 cup water over dried tomatoes and cover. Let stand 2 minutes until softened. Drain and set aside.
After 10 minutes, combine tomatoes and Brussels sprouts.
Sprinkle with pine nuts if you would like an extra nutty flavor.

  With a side of basil whole wheat pasta

2 Servings

Halve 3-4 figs
Slice 1 Pear
4 apple halves
2 tbsp Goat Cheese
3 Wanton Flat Noodles
1/4 cup toasted almond halves

Prepare apples by coring, halving, and placing flat side down in a pan with 1/3 cup boiling water + dash of cinnamon. Cover and let simmer for 7-10 minutes on medium low
Layer Figs, Pear, and Apples on top of Wanton Noodles
Top with 1 tbsp Goat Cheese
Sprinkle with toasted almonds
Place in oven on LOW BROIL for 3-4 minutes

A martini was tested tonight. I am trying to replicate the Watermelon Martini at Bonefish Grill. Mark and I's waitress told us how to prepare it but we forgot one ingredient. Stay tuned for the perfected recipe!
We made this out of our mistake and it was WAY too sweet..

Here are some pictures for your viewing fun :)