Monday, February 28, 2011

143.0…Muffulettas For Dessert


After all the crazy rain and hail we had on Saturday night, I was really worried about the weather for the baby shower my friend was hosting on Sunday. The weather turned out so beautiful!

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As soon as I arrived, I poured myself a glass of champagne to get the party started.

My friend Cathi threw a baby shower for her daughter in law who is having a little girl. Cathi decorated everything in pink….it was beyond adorable. There was even a cotton candy machine and COTTON CANDY vodka.

What is a girl to do!?!

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I actually ended up putting some of the cotton candy vodka in my champagne. It rocked my face off.

You know what else rocked my face off? Lunch. Cathi made these unbelievable Muffuletta sandwiches.

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What is a Muffuletta sandwich you ask? You can read Wikipedia’s description here but Cathi’s contained salami, provolone cheese and a marinated olive salad.

They were so good that I had another when the extras came around. When it was time for dessert (ice cream), I skipped it and had ANOTHER sandwich. In my defense, they weren’t that big, I swear. :) The funny thing  is is that I really didn’t like olives before tasting this sandwich. I think I am a changed woman!

After the party, I came home to change and then the whole family went over to my friend’s house to watch the Oscars. I brought my Chocolate Cupcakes. I had half of one…..they were pretty darn good I have to say! I didn’t eat much else…a little salad and a few chips. I was still so full from all the Muffulettas I ate!

I wanted peanut butter when I woke up this morning. I made toast with peanut butter and a side of cantaloupe:

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Hubby took the kiddos to school this morning so I went for my half marathon training run today. Today’s run was  3 miles but I had to incorporate hills in my run. The path I choose was entirely uphill (a big hill) for the first mile and a half.

Mile 1 – 11:57

Mile 2 – 10:36

Mile 3 – 9:38 (After that hill, I felt like I was flying!)

Afterwards I went to Cardio Muscle class. I was already exhausted even before class started. I don’t think back to back running and weights class works. I was just way too tired today after both. I may have to run in the afternoons on Mondays. I really don’t want to miss my Cardio Muscle class.

My friend Lisa suggested sushi for lunch. I haven’t had sushi in awhile and it sounded so good and I was SO hungry after all that calorie expenditure. Hunger satisfied:

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Yep, that was all mine. :) It’s been over 4 hours and I’m still stuffed.

Hubby and I are going to a meeting at the school tonight and will grab some dinner afterwards. Have a great evening!

Ever had a Muffuletta before?

Do you like olives?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

142.8…Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

I was so lazy yesterday! I didn’t want to do anything. When dinner time rolled around, I didn’t want to make anything. But I was hungry. On nights like these, I turn to pasta.

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Linguine, marinara sauce and fresh spinach….dinner is done.

I washed the dishes, put the kids to bed  and went to bed myself.

Breakfast was a breakfast burrito:

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Egg Beaters, refried beans and salsa on a wheat tortilla.

I’m going a baby shower this afternoon. Then over to a friend’s house to watch the Oscars. At least I’ve seen a couple of the movies nominated. Normally I haven’t seen ANY of them nor have I even heard of them. :)

I decided to bake some treats to bring over to the Oscars party. Still feeling slightly lazy, I decided to use a mix to make cupcakes:

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I bought this at Costco during the holiday and hadn’t tried it yet. Ghirardelli makes my favorite brownie mix so I thought I’d give it a try. I used the frosting recipe from the back of the box.

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Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Original Recipe: Ghirardelli

2 2/3 cup powdered sugar

6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/3 cup milk

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Place frosting ingredients in mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, mix on low speed until moistened. Scrape bowl. Change mixer speed to high and mix until light and fluffy.

I was able to frost all but 3 cupcakes so I tried a cupcake without the frosting. Pretty darn good! It would be a very good bundt cake! :)

Have a great rest of your weekend!!!

Are you watching the Oscars tonight? Have you seen any of the movies nominated?

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

143.2…Running in garbage bags

How’s your Saturday treating you? We had a lot of rain this morning but it seems like it’s let up.

Yesterday I had some Wheat Thins and a Laughing Cow Cheese after bringing the kids home from school.

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They had movie night at our club so I dropped them off there and planned to go home and chill. Lisa convinced me to go have a drink with her at the club before her husband arrived. I would have been a terrible friend if I had say no right? :)

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After said drink, I came home to make a quick dinner. I reheated the last of the vodka sauce (sniff sniff) and added a bunch of fresh spinach to it. I put the sauce on some penne. I also made a salad with the lettuce and radishes I received from the Great News Farmer’s Market class:

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I had glass number two of wine with dinner:

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I ate dinner on the coffee table in front of the TV. This is where I ate before the kids got older and I didn’t want them to eat there and spill food all over the carpet. I love eating there but can’t do it in front of them for obvious reasons. :)

I picked up the kiddos from movie night and went to bed.

Getting up this morning at 6AM was rough. It was dark and pouring rain. I had to meet Team in Training for our Saturday run. I fueled up with toast with peanut butter and some coffee:

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Fortunately,  it was a “rest” week and we had only 4 miles to run. Our coach gave us our own special rain gear to wear: a 33 gallon trash bag.  Cut a hole for your head and arms and you have a customized rain jacket for about 13 cents. Super cute! Not. :) It rained the entire 4 miles. Although I know I looked ridiculous in my garbage bag (I actually wish I had had someone snap a picture), it did the trick. It kept me dry (at least the parts of me that were covered) and somewhat warm.

It was a hard 4 miles. I don’t know if it was the cold, rainy weather or the extra glass of wine last night but I was glad when it was done.

Mile 1 – 10:57

Mile 2 – 10:40

Mile 3 – 10:38

Mile 4 – 10:58

I skipped the bagels this week and brought my own food:

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The dates I received from class yesterday….they are so delicious!

When I got home, I took a HOT shower. I was so cold after the run. The shower felt fabulous.

Lunch was a turkey sandwich on wheat with a salad using the last of the lettuce I got yesterday. That Vulcan lettuce was so good!

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I had a new internet service installed today but they cut off service to my phone in the process. I didn’t know until after they left. Apparently someone is coming back tonight to fix it but I won’t hold my breath.

After awhile, I had accumulated several different beverages:

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I have no idea what to make for dinner. Usually I have a plan….actually I always have a plan but I don’t feel like cooking anything. This weather makes me so lazy!

What do you do when you don’t feel like cooking?

Where do you normally eat dinner? Kitchen table/coffee table/somewhere else?

Friday, February 25, 2011

142.2…Ultimate Mac and Cheese with Bacon

What is more comforting than a bowl of Macaroni and Cheese? I know! One with bacon!

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This week’s Great News Cooking School Recipe of the Week is Ultimate Mac and Cheese with Bacon.

Get your ingredients out.

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Melt some butter and sauté a clove of garlic for a couple of minutes.

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Add flour and cook for three more minutes.

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Add in chicken broth, milk, Dijon mustard and Tabasco.

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Bring back to a boil and continue cooking until the mixture thickens.

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Remove the pan from the heat and add in mild cheddar & white cheddar cheeses and stir until the cheese melts.

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Add in cooked macaroni and cooked bacon. *Note: I left out the bacon because my husband does not like pork. I had it with bacon in cooking class and it was amazing!

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You can add it all to a 13x9 casserole dish or individual ramekins like I did!

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To make the bread crumb topping, melt some butter in a sauté pan add garlic, sautéing for a minute.

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Pour over fresh bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.

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Add grated cheddar to the mixture.

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Top the mac and cheese with the bread crumbs.

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Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

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YUM!!! I had mine with a simple green salad.

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Cheesy goodness! I did the individual ramekins so I could bake what I needed and froze the rest. You can keep them frozen for 1 month.

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I snuck some chopped jalapenos into mine portion. I like it hot!

Ultimate Mac and Cheese with Bacon (serves 6)

Original Recipe: Diane Phillips, Great News

Printable Recipe

8 slices thick cut smoked bacon, cooked crisp, crumbled and drained

1 pound elbow macaroni or cavatappi, cooked 3 minutes short of al dente

1/2 cup unsalted butter, divided use

2 cloves garlic, minced, divided use

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup chicken broth

1 1/2 cups milk

1 tsp Dijon mustard

6 shakes Tabasco

2 cups finely grated mild cheddar cheese

1 1/2 cups finely grated sharp white cheddar cheese

1 cup fresh bread crumbs

2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a 3-quart saucepan, melt 4 Tbsp of butter, and sauté one clove of garlic, for 2 minutes.

2. Whisk in the flour, and cook for 3 minutes.

3. Gradually add the broth, milk, Dijon and Tabasco, whisking until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens.

4. Remove the pan from the heat, add 1 3/4 cups of the mild cheese, and 1 cup of the sharp cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted.

5. Coat the inside of a 13x9 inch casserole dish (or ramekins) with non-stick cooking spray.

6. Stir the sauce, and reserved bacon, into the macaroni, and transfer to the prepared pan.

7. Melt the remaining butter in a small sauté pan, add the garlic, and sauté for a minute or two until fragrant.

8. Toss the garlic butter with the bread crumbs and parmesan.

9. Stir in the remaining cheddar cheeses and sprinkle the mixture over the top of the mac and cheese.

10. Cool, cover and refrigerate for 2 days, or freeze for 1 month. OR, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes until bubbling, and the crumbs are golden brown.


Breakfast this morning was Cinnamon Burst Cheerios with almond milk and a side of cantaloupe:

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I took the kids to school and stopped at Starbucks to do some work and grab a tea:

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Next stop: Great News for another cooking class! Today’s class was a special one!It was called: It’s in the Farmer’s Market Bag! Great News teams up with Specialty Produce in downtown San Diego and puts on a Farmer’s Market class once a month. The instructor, Diane Phillips, find out earlier in the week what will be in the bag and creates recipes around it for Friday’s class. Everyone in the class gets to bring home a bag of the exact same produce! And it’s all locally grown!

Check out the goods!

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Vulcan Lettuce, Pea Tendrils, Fresh Dates, Asparagus, Cauliflower, Cara Cara Oranges, Easter Egg/French Breakfast Radish, Gold Beets, White &Purple Bell Peppers!

The first two recipes we got to try were: French Breakfast Radishes with Unsalted Butter and Fleur de Sel AND Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Parmigiano:

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I was surprised by the delicious simplicity of the radishes on the baguette slices. They were mild radishes and just gave that little bit of crunch. The Dates were OUT OF THIS WORLD. There’s a party coming up in a few weeks that requires everyone to bring an appetizer. I think I’m going to make these!

The next recipe was Roasted Golden Beet Salad, with Vulcan Lettuce, Pea Tendrils, Fleur de Sel Pecans, Mango Ginger Vinaigrette and Crumbled Goat Cheese:

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I loved everything but the beets. I don’t like beets.

Three more recipes: Garlic Herb Marinated Bavette Cut Brandt Beef (also available at Specialty Produce), Pepperonata with Purple and White Peppers AND Breaded Roasted Cauliflower:

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Loved everything! I especially loved the cauliflower that was roasted with dry bread crumbs! I will have to make this at home for sure!

Dessert somehow escaped my camera: Cara Cara Orange Pound Cake with Orange Glaze. A great cake! I will make this one too!

Whew!!! I have to get my kids to movie night at our club now! Have a great evening!

Do you like beets?

What is your least favorite food? I’m going to have to say bananas. Ick.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

141.8…Winner, winner quinoa dinner!

Don’t you love it when you pull a few ingredients out of your pantry and create an incredible meal?

I’ve been trying to use things I already have instead of buying more food at the store. I cooked up some quinoa in chicken broth. When it was done I added some Trader Joe’s Curry Simmer Sauce, fresh spinach, cherry tomatoes and jalapenos. Fabulous!

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Here’s the sauce I used:

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What a fast, delicious meal!

I ate said meal at 4:30PM yesterday. I had to meet my team for our first track practice at 6:30PM and didn’t want to run on a full or empty stomach.

We ran a few warm up laps around the track and did some strength training exercises. Then it was relay time! We teamed up into groups of three and would each run around half of the track (1/8th of a mile) until we each had done it TWELVE times. Not only that, we had to run faster than we normally run so that you were working at 80% of your max heart rate. Track practice really helps with your speed and stamina. It makes our normal runs, that much more efficient and easier!

On the way home, I ate a few fresh dates and went home to hit the hay. I was pooped!

I was pretty hungry when I woke up not surprisingly. I needed something filling. To me that means eggs. I added some cooked egg beaters to a wheat tortilla with a little refried beans and salsa. I had some cantaloupe as well.

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I took the kids to school and then took care of my half marathon training for the day: 4 miles.

Mile 1 – 10:39

Mile 2 – 10:45

Mile 3 – 10:02

Mile 4 – 10:13

I guess the track workout helped…I was faster today without even knowing it while running. I just ran at a comfortable pace for me.

When I got home I had an orange:

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Shortly after I was ready for lunch. I heated up the rest of last night’s delicious quinoa:

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I got a ton done. Paid bills, cleaned up my desk, read blogs, answered email, the works.

On the way to pick up my kids, I had a few dates:

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I guess I’m really snacky today. I had a light Babybel cheese when I got back:

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I’m making the Great News Cooking School Recipe of the Week tonight and I’m excited about this one!!

If you run, do you ever run on a track?  I hadn’t run on a track since middle school. :)

What coffee shop makes the best coffee in your opinion? I’m a Starbucks girl but I buy Dunkin Donuts for home. I don’t have a Dunkin Donuts near me so I’ve never tried the coffee at the store.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

143.0…Hello again old friends.

What old friends you ask? Well, fruits and vegetables of course! They have seriously been lacking in my diet lately. Time to put a stop to that! But first, let’s take a took at last night’s meal(s) that also lacked in the old friend department.

I had planned on going over to a friend’s house for a last minute “game night” after the kids went to bed, so I had a light meal with the hubby. I cooked up some penne pasta and reheated the last of the fabulous Vodka Sauce. I will miss that sauce greatly. I took about half the portion I really wanted to eat. It was hard.

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But I’m glad I resisted. Once at my friend’s house, I was greeted with various homemade pizzas:

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And wine:

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I did practice a little self control while there…I didn’t eat ALL of the pizza. :)

I almost passed up dessert but glad I didn’t:

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Pound cake, vanilla ice cream, lemon curd and biscotti. Why would you ever say NO to that?

We played a few games and went to bed way too late but had a freakin blast!

Well, saying NO is something I must learn to do. Enough indulging and back to the basics, folks. Bring on the fruits and veggies!

Breakfast: Cinnamon Burst Cheerios (love this!) with almond milk and a ton of cantaloupe:

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I took the kids to school, went to Target, the bank, the drycleaner, the pet supply store and the grocery store.  I was home by 10:30Am. Efficient.

Lunch was a salad bigger than my head:

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I put some hummus in the bowl, poured balsamic vinegar over it and stirred until it came together. I added tuna, mixed greens, cucumber, carrots, mushrooms, red onions and tomatoes. I missed you salad.

I need to have a super early dinner tonight because I’m meeting my team for our first track workout.  We start at 6:30PM. I know I need to eat something first…there’s no way I could wait until 8:30 tonight to eat dinner. So I guess it’s the early bird special for me tonight.

Do you workout in the morning or evening? I always get it done in the morning. This is going to be weird tonight. :)