The "Good" Jeans

Hello All!

As many of you know, when it’s someone’s birthday in our office, it’s customary to bring in a treat for the entire office. Many people go the easy route and buy donuts or coffee cakes from the grocery store. While others will bring in huge platters of sweets and other goodies. Well, I looked on our interoffice calendar for next week and there are 6 birthdays! You all know what that means – food overload! I’ll try to snap a few covert photos whenever possible.

This morning, I was able to get out for my run and finish just before the rain started – perfect timing!

Breakfast was cereal bowl trifecta…

10.8 breakfast

A mix of Cheerios multi-grain, Kashi Go Lean, and Nature Valley nut lover’s granola (a sample received from the company). Crunch, crunch!

Next up was deciding what to wear. Now, during the months of October – December, we are allowed to wear jeans on any day of the week (I think they feel sorry for us because we’re so crazy busy preparing for our big shindig at the end of October!). The catch is, unless it is a Friday (when we are normally allowed to wear jeans), we have to pay a $1 which goes toward our Foundation. Money isn’t the problem. I just never seem to have a good pair of jeans available to wear! And this morning, that’s just what happened. I woke up thinking that I would just wear jeans, pay the buck and be done with it. Not much thought or effort, etc. But I realized that I didn’t have my “good” jeans ready to wear (I really only have one pair of Gap jeans that I like enough to wear to work). They are not fancy, they just fit really well and don’t have that faded/worn look that probably would not be acceptable to wear to work.

So I went back to the closet for 20 minutes trying to figure out an alternate outfit. Because of this extra time spent on outfit hunting, I didn’t arrive at work until 9:15 AM!!! Yikes! Has this happened to anyone else…where you’re late to work because of a clothes dilemma? What is your go-to brand of jeans? I’m asking because I’d like to invest in a few new pairs.

Anyway, I settled on brown pants and a burnt orange v-neck sweater – very fall-ish, I thought. 

Work was very productive and went by super fast. If it weren’t for the handful of people who kept bugging interrupting me with unnecessary issues, I would have been even more productive. I need to put a sign on my cube that says please save all unnecessary questions or issues until after Nov. 6! But, I’m sure that would appear rude and not very team-oriented.

Lunch happened to be leftovers once more….

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My favorite sausage-leek pasta dish sprinkled with a few red pepper flakes for extra kick!

Around 6:45 PM, I arrived home to an empty house, which wasn’t so bad because it was quiet and it smelled completely like chicken soup! Scott (who was home sick for most of the day) made homemade chicken noodle soup for himself and kept it warming up on the stove for me. So thoughtful, even when he’s sick. The soup must have helped him feel a little better since he did end up going to class tonight.

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After my hearty bowl of soup, I indulged in… more cake? No, I did NOT have cake! There was actually one little piece left in the cake dome and I thought about eating it to put it out of it’s lonely misery, but I walked away. Instead, I had a date with Edy’s…

10.8 dessert

I mixed a scoop of Edy’s chocolate with a scoop of Edy’s spumoni. So good! Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE cake! But, a girl can only have cake so many days in a row. It’s really that old saying – too much of a good thing….and so on.

I have a little more work to do tonight, so gotta run. But, I think I can smell a loaf of pumpkin bread in my near future!

Have a great night ladies!

The End of Gourmet

Hi Girls! If you haven’t already heard, Gourmet magazine is no more! That’s really too bad – it was such a reliable foodie magazine. I only hope that the other foodie mags don’t follow suit.

Well, our foodie lives must go on….

Today was a very busy day! I arrived at work around 9:30 AM (that’s really late for me as you know) and didn’t get up from my desk until near 12 PM! I swear I could feel a blood clot forming in my leg. I am so happy to be home right now and doing something away from the office.

Before heading to work, I ran about four miles outside. It’s getting so chilly in the morning these days, but as long as it doesn’t drop below about 30 degrees, I’m solid. After the brisk run, I munched on some cereal…

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I changed things up a little and had Cheerios multi-grain mixed with Kashi Go Lean. Plus, I topped it with 1/3 banana and a handful of walnuts!! I absolutely love walnuts. I love their crunch and that they’re packed with nutrition.10.5 breakfast2

Speaking of walnuts, next week is the Annual Walnut Harvest Celebration in northern California. I so wish I could go and enjoy all of the walnut-based recipes! If you want to learn more about walnuts and related recipes the California Walnut Board has a great Web site with a ton of information.

On my way to work, I stopped off to get a Starbucks Mocha frap. I’m getting kind of burned out on these, I think it’s time to switch my drink to the skinny vanilla latte again.

After working nonstop for 4 1/2 hours, I finally ran out to get some lunch…

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I went to Go Roma near the office for a little minestrone soup! Hmmm,,.it was really good on a chilly day.

For dinner, Scott made a dish that I usually make – my sausage-leek dish...

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The dish was exceptionally flavorful tonight. Hmmm…maybe Scott should cook it from now on 😉

After dinner, dessert was calling my name in the form of a green-frosted cake!

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Oh my, how I love devil’s food chocolate cake – or really any kind of cake.

I have a little more work to do tonight so I’ve gotta run for now girls. It’s going to be like this from now until mid-November, but I’m used to it by now.

Have a great night!

Nature Valley Goodies

Evening everyone! I was actually able to run this morning – yes! It was a little rough at first because of a some tightness in my chest. But I made it through 4 very strong miles!

Prior to my run, I grabbed a quick snack…

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I had 1/2 of my new Nature Valley granola bar. It was very chewy and had a great cranberry and pomegranate flavor.

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After my run, I made a cereal mix of Multi-grain Cheerios, Kashi Go Lean, and another NEW product…10.2 breakfast1

Nature Valley’s Nut Lovers granola clusters. These little clusters had such an awesome nut (cashew!!!) flavor that I could have eaten them straight out of the bag.

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But instead, I smashed them up a bit and put them on top of my cereal.

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Although the new granola clusters had a great flavor, they are very low in fiber (1 g) and high in calories – 150 calories for a very small bag. This would definitely deter me from actually buying them, although I wouldn’t turn down a sample!

This afternoon I attended a retirement lunch for our CEO at his country/golf club. The event started with an open bar and a few passed appetizers. I only one small piece of a chicken quesadilla, which honestly was NOT very good. But I did order one of these..

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An apple martini! Whoa – this is SO uncharacteristic for me in so many ways. First, I very rarely drink. Second, if I do drink, it is usually wine. And third, if I do drink, it is typically in the evening with dinner not at noon! But, when I saw another coworker order this electric green drink I couldn’t resist! I only drank a few sips of it though – it was way too sweet and had too much alcohol in it for my taste.

Lunch started with a strawberry and mandarin orange salad with sliced almonds topped with raspberry vinaigrette – very tangy and tasty! 

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Next came a family-style meal that included two of our CEO’s favorites – lamb chops and white fish. Unfortunately, I do not like either of these, so I went with the third option – eggplant parmesan.

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I also had some awesome red-skinned mashed potatoes, rice pilaf, and mixed veggies. The potatoes were, by far, the best thing that I ate. Dessert was a trio of ice creams (very small scoops), including chocolate, coffee, and vanilla. Sorry – no photo – people at my table were beginning to really stare at me taking photos of my food by this time so I thought it best not to push it.

The rest of the afternoon was spent around the house, working and lounging. It was pretty cold and rainy here the whole day. And, because I’ve been sick, I really didn’t feel like venturing out of the house after the party.

For dinner, my husband made turkey chili, another one of my favorite dishes…

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It was a little spicier than normal, but that’s probably a good thing because of my cold.

After dinner, my husband and I ran a few errands, then he so nicely made me a homemade chocolate milkshake…

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This is seriously nothing fancy – just Edy’s chocolate ice cream and milk blended together. But it tasted so incredibly good!

I’m debating whether or not I should do a little work before I go to bed or if I should just relax and watch NUMBERS with my husband. I’m leaving toward the latter 🙂

How Should Bloggers Reject a Free Sample?

Hey all. I am really ready to crash right now. It was very challenging for me to concentrate all day with only five hours of sleep.

For lunch, I brought the last of my homemade turkey chili

9.14 lunch

You probably can’t tell, but it has baby spinach in it. I love that you can put baby spinach in just about anything and have it blend so much that you don’t notice you’re eating it.

After lunch, I stepped outside for a 20 minute walk to wake me up. It was 85 degrees and sunny here today so the walk was quite warm. But, it was also well worth it. I love these last days of summer. The afternoon went by very fast, although I felt extremely tired around 3 PM so I popped open a diet coke. Ah…a cold diet coke on a hot day – love it!

I arrived home around 6 PM and was pretty beat. But, I still managed to pull off a fab dinner – a creation of my very own I am proud to say…

9.14 dinner

I made, what has become, my signature dish. It’s my Italian sausage-pasta dish with tri-color peppers and leeks. This is such an awesome one pot recipe and it really makes a lot more than you think so it’s great for leftovers. For all of you vegetarians out there, you could probably substitute tofu or portobello for the sausage – just a thought.

After dinner, I scooted off to the library to return some books, then it was off to Party City to get a few supplies for my first staff training program I’m implementing on Thursday this week. Then, I headed to the local dairy/ice cream store for Scott. He loves mint chocolate chip ice cream and had a special request for it tonight.

I decided to save money and just eat the leftover Breyers vanilla bean ice cream at home. But, I added a few extras – like dark chocolate chips and watermelon, for all of those antioxidants you know!

9.14 dessert

Question of the Day

Ok, now for the question of the day, what do you do when you keep getting emails from a company that is trying to give you a sample of a product you absolutely loathe? There is a company that is trying to send me samples of cigarette pack decals/decorations, I assume to make them trendy. But, I am against smoking in every way. Do I not answer their emails? Do I politely say no thank you, or do I really tell them that I think their product disgusts me? At the very least, they really need to get a better PR firm because they obviously did not check to see what I write about – health and wellness. And, since when do cigarettes promote health and wellness?

Ok, enough griping. I’m off to bed. Have a great night!

As American As Shopping and Apple Pie

Good evening everyone. Hope you had a great Sunday! Scott and I did a little house cleaning – OK, I did the cleaning while he made an apple pie – but that definitely counts as work.

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Scott comes from a long line of pie-bakers so I was highly anticipating the first apple pie of the season. Except for the crust, my husband made this pie from scratch – even peeling all of the apples himself. But, at the end, I had the important job of taking the pie out of the oven.

With the pie cooling at home, we headed for lunch at the local Italian eatery.

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I had a cup of minestrone soup and a veggie-goat cheese personal pizza. I was getting full after the soup and two slices of pie (pizza, not apple) so I saved two pieces of pizza for lunch later in the week.

After lunch, we headed to Williams Sonoma so that I could sign up for my first-ever cooking class! It’s not that I don’t know how to cook (although Scott may disagree), but I’ve always wanted to take a culture-specific cooking class. This one, which is next Wednesday, is all about French cooking. So cool! And anyone who reads my other alter-ego blog knows how much I love France and Europe in general.

The rest of the afternoon was full of more shopping with a trip to Barnes and Noble and a highly worthwhile trip to Ann Taylor Loft! They have these new very feminine t-shirts in all different colors. I may or may not have bought the shirt in a few different colors, as well as a few camis.

For dinner, I made homemade chicken soup with orzo soup (see I can cook!).

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The soup was really easy to make, full of flavor, and very low in calories. 

After soup, I got busy making homemade caramel sauce for the apple pie. I’ve made caramel sauce before but just couldn’t find the recipe anywhere. So, I found a simple recipe on the Internet and went to work. Well, the first batch I made burned so bad it turned back into hardened sugar. Not fun. The second batch turn out ok, although I did not let the sugar brown as much as I could have and the color looks more like dulce de leche, rather than caramel. But, it still tasted good over the apple pie…

9.13 dessert

So messy, gooey, and yummy – all at the same time! The flavor of the caramel was fantastic! Along with sugar, water, and cream, I also used a very posh vanilla that was sent to me called Nielsen-Massey Mexican Vanilla. Oh my gosh, if you’ve never had high end vanilla, this is so worth it! Nielsen-Massey also sent me several other extracts – coffee, lemon, etc. – which I can’t wait to try this holiday season! FYI – you can get the extracts at Williams Sonoma but they are expensive!

Now, it’s off to bed for me. Monday mornings have been coming very early these days.

Night all!

Pork – The Other White Meat

Happy Friday everyone! I’m so glad that the weekend is here and I’m sure you are too. I only stayed at work until 3 PM today. I was getting a little stir crazy. Plus, my body and mind still think I’m supposed to be off on Fridays.

When I arrived home I was happy to find that my husband had gone to Costco and Trader Joe’s to buy a bunch of things we were out of – including olive oil! I can’t believe we actually ran out of olive oil since we usually have stash of it somewhere.

Before dinner, I made us a little appetizer plate of white and orange cheddar cheese, black grapes, and mulit-grain crackers….

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I indulged a little too much in this department. I guess I was hungrier than I thought because I just kept eating those crackers! By the time dinner was ready, I really wasn’t that hungry (this is why mom used to tell me, “no eating snacks before dinner!”)

For dinner, my husband made one of his own creations –  roasted potatoes, fresh off the grill…

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He peeled and sliced 4 red skin potatoes, divided the slices and put them in foil, then layered the slices with onions and butter. Then he sprinkled salt and pepper all over them, covered them with foild, and threw them on grill for 40 minutes or until they were crunchy. I remember the first time I had these potatoes – I just couldn’t get enough.

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With our potatoes, we also enjoyed grilled boneless pork loin chop and steamed carrots. My hubby can be such a healthy cook when he wants to be. I NEVER used to eat pork (aside from Easter ham) until I started dating my husband. I just didn’t like the taste. And it’s not that I love the taste now, but pork is a nice change from chicken and turkey, which I have most days of the week.

Now, my husband is making homemade, fresh-from-the-stove popcorn in a “popcorn” pot he’s had, what looks like, his whole life. It smells great but I really don’t want to have a lump of popcorn sitting in my stomach when I go to bed. Instead, I opted for something on the creamy side…

9.11 dessert

I had a scoop of Breyers all-natural vanilla bean ice cream topped with 2 tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips, and about 1 tbsp sliced almonds. This was just enough to satisfy my dessert fix for the night.

I’m going to try to make it to 8 AM yoga tomorrow and I need to get there EARLY. The 8 AM Saturday class is a drop-in class, so if you don’t get there early, you don’t get a spot. I missed last week because of apple picking so I don’t want to miss two weeks in a row.

Have a great night everyone!

Sweet Smell of Apple Cake Success

Evening everyone! Well, I am very happy to report that my first-ever homemade apple cake turned out great! Other than slightly over baking it, it was very moist on the inside and has a super yummy apple cinnamon and sugar flavor!

9.8 apple cake

After an hour of baking, I let it cool for about 10 minutes and cut into it just to see what the inside look like. I was skeptical at first because the crust looked so thick and bland. But after cutting into it, I could see the very cake-like texture and was quite pleased with myself. 

Then, we were off to see Harry Potter in IMAX. I love this movie! It was incredible how much they were able to include from the book (although they did leave quite a bit of the unnecessary story lines out). I even became teary-eyed in a few parts. That was the first time I’d every gotten choked up at a Harry Potter movie – ha!

After the movie, I went shopping for a few hours as part of my last hurrah for vacation. I went to Lucy to see if the store had any good sales. The sales girl convinced me to try on one of their petite size new Hatha yoga pants. They looked fantastic! But, then I looked at the price tag – $88! I love yoga and Lucy, but $88 on yoga pants? I think I’ll pass.

Scott was teaching again tonight so I made a few leftovers for dinner…

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I had homemade fried chicken, veggies that I picked from the pasta salad, and some freshly-made Trader Joe’s white cheddar shells and cheese. I really love mac and cheese, and Trader Joe’s has one of the best all-natural, organic boxed mac and cheese that I’ve tried.

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Then, for the BIG finnish… Apple Cake!

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Ahhh, so yummy! Not exactly like my mom’s famous recipe (in our family it’s famous!), but it was truly very good. I took one small piece, dusted it with powdered sugar and added one small scoop of Breyer’s natural vanilla ice cream. A practically perfect September dessert!

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As for this recipe, I can’t take all of the credit. The Betters Homes and Gardens cookbook did help me quite a bit. I took the BH&G recipe and modified it slightly to make my own version of the cake, ie. used walnuts instead of pecans, used nutmeg instead of allspice, etc. Not bad for my first time!

Now, I’m off to bed. It’s going to be hard going to work tomorrow after being gone for 5 days!

Have a great night all!

Whole Foods Saga….

Hi Everyone. I am so glad to be home and on the verge of going to bed. I’m really tired tonight for some reason. Could be the pending change in the weather (it’s supposed to be in the 70s for the rest of the week). Or maybe it’s because I’ve only been getting about 6 hours of sleep a night. No matter the reason, I’m trying to go to bed early tonight.

My morning just flew by (probably because I didn’t get to work until 9:15 AM!). Before I knew it, it was time for lunch at 1:30 PM. I didn’t bring much for lunch because I was rushing around the house this morning trying to get out the door.

8.19 lunch

I just had about a cup of chicken noodle soup. I’m going to turn into a chicken pretty soon after having so much chicken soup!

I was really busy this afternoon, so much that I didn’t get to go to Whole Foods like I had planned – sniff. I still really wanted to get to WF to do a little new product shopping, so I did the next best thing. I did a search for some of the new products coming out at the store. Whole foodsBut instead of finding new products, I found a bunch of very recent articles and blog posts about people boycotting Whole Foods. What gives? I don’t get into politics very much, but I understand the issue relates to something WF’s CEO said about President Obama. Sounds like Whole Foods needs a very good Public Relations company to get them (and the CEO) out of hot water. 

Late this afternoon, it started pouring down rain. There were even tornado watches and warnings near our area. Despite the rain, my husband and I made a date to meet at the local Cheesecake Factory for dinner. I arrived early so I decided to step into the nearby Barnes and Noble for a quick read of the new magazines. The new Body and Soul magazine looks awesome! It features 25 very easy and healthy recipes. I was so tempted to buy the magazine (but it’s kind of expensive at $4.99 right off the rack). I’m glad I didn’t because, come to find out, you can also get these recipes online! Awesome!

For dinner at the Cheesecake, I had a cup of their baked potato soup. None of the photos in the restaurant turned out very well as you will see….

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It honestly tasted much better than it looked! I also had a few bites of my husband mixed green salad with balsamic vinaigrette. The salad just tasted like a basic salad, but the photo turned out terrible – not even worth posting.

We decided not to have dessert there. My husband and I don’t care for cheesecake – so why even go to the Cheesecake Factory, right? Well, they also have amazing cakes! That’s usually what we get for dessert if we get anything. Tonight, our waitress was moving pretty slow – or so it seemed – so I didn’t want to wait even longer for dessert. We just headed home and called it a night.

I’m starting to fall asleep as I type so I better wrap this up. See you all tomorrow!

A Healthy Ice Cream Sundae

Hello All. I had such a great day today. I was really focused at work and was able to get quite a lot done (although there’s still more to go!). I love it when I’m super productive, it makes having to leave early so much easier.

For lunch, I packed some of the homemade split-pea and ham soup that my husband and I made a couple weeks ago. I froze some of the leftovers in individual containers (mostly for me, because Scott won’t eat the leftovers) and knew they’d come in handy for work lunches.

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I only had about a cup of the soup but it was sooo rich and filling. That’s why legumes (peas, beans, etc) come so highly recommended – because they are full of fiber and they fill you up, even with a small amount.

I left work around 2:30 PM to make a 3:15 PM doctor’s appointment. After that, I perused the local Barnes and Noble for the September issues of Natural Health and Yoga Journal, but didn’t have time to read more than a few pages. It was my night to make dinner so I needed to scoot home and get that started.

Tonight was chili night! I made my husband’s homemade turkey chili with beans, but I added a few variations to give the chili more veggie power.

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Scott’s Original Homemade Chili

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1-2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1-2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 green or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 24 ounces canned tomato sauce
  • 1 McCormick’s Original Chili packet
  • 1 16-ounce can chili beans
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2-3 cups whole wheat elbow or other short noodle, cooked and drained

Add oil to a large sauce pan and heat for 1 minute. Add turkey meat and chop into fine pieces. Add garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cumin, and pepper to meat and cook until 3/4 of the way cooked. Add green pepper and onion and continue cooking until meat is completely cooked through. Add tomato sauce and chili packet and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add beans (with juice) and simmer for 10 minutes. Add cinnamon, stir, and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Serve over noodles, bread, rice, or plain. Add cheddar cheese for extra flavor. Leftovers can be frozen and then reheated in the microwave or on the stove.

Serves 8 people.

I’ve been eating this chili for as long as I’ve known my husband and never thought I could love chili so much! But tonight, I threw caution to the wind and added two secret ingredients…1) when I added the beans, I also added about 1 cup of sliced grape tomatoes; and 2) when I added the cinnamon, I also added about 2 cups of baby spinach and mixed it into the chili thoroughly.

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I absolutely LOVED my new variation of the chili! The tomatoes added even greater flavor to the chili and the spinach (although you couldn’t even taste it) added a ton of vitamins that spinach is famous for.

However, my husband was not so pleased. He immediately asked, “what did you do to the chili! Did you add spinach to it!?” And then he grumbled a few things under his breath. I calmly explained that, on more than one occasion, he has complained that he does not eat enough vegetables. So tonight, I tried to sneak a few more in for him. Hmm, it’s not always a good thing to be a sneaky vegetable cook. After all was said and done, he did admit that the chili tasted good (although he had picked over most of the tomatoes and spinach which defeated the whole purpose – I get points for trying). As for me, I would definitely try this variation again, but for newbies, you may just want to stick with the original recipe provided above.

After dinner and clean up, I needed to the head to the library to return a book. I ended up bringing about 20 more books and DVD’s home! I’m so glad there’s no limit to what you can check out. 

Then it was dessert. Scott and I made homemade sundaes.

8.17 dessert

For my sundae, I started with 2 small scoops of Breyers all-natural vanilla/chocolate ice cream. Then I added:

  • 1/4 sliced banana
  • 1 tbsp chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp hot fudge sauce
  • 1 tsp sliced almonds

It sounds so indulgent, but it was actually quite healthy. Bananas are a great source of potassium and fiber and the almonds are an awesome source of monounsaturated fats (MUFA’s) or the good fats that our body needs to stay healthy. Combine all of those goodies with the antioxidants in the dark chocolate I used, and the sundae is practically a health food! Ok, I shouldn’t go that far, but more nutritious than a Dairy Queen sundae, and much smaller too.

Now, I’m finally going to read my new Marie Claire magazine that’s been sitting on my nightstand for two weeks.

Have a great night!

Introducing the New Running With Cake!

As I’m sure you can tell, Running With Cake has a new look! My husband worked all day on setting up the new theme, graphics, colors, etc. and it looks fabulous. I do plan on adding a couple new features in the next week or so, including a few pics of me. Stay tuned for more health, fitness, and fun with RWC. In the meantime, let me know what you think of the new look.

Even though my husband was locked up on the basement for most of the day (don’t worry, we have a walk-out basement, so there is natural light) working on my new theme, he managed to help me make an awesome dinner.

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Chicken soup? Yes, chicken soup even tastes great in the summer, especially when you’ve been sick. But, the biggest reason we decided to make this homemade specialty is the weather. Being from the Midwest, we know that the weather can change on a dime. But, I was so surprised today, when it went from 85 to 65 degrees in about 2 hours. Because of this drastic change, and the fact that we still had the central air on in the house, we were both freezing. Chicken soup sounded like a perfect meal to warm us up.

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My husband’s chicken soup includes all sorts of healthy goodies, not to mention it’s a very low-calorie dish.

Scott’s Chicken Noodle Soup

  • 2 chicken breast halves, thawed
  • 4-5 carrots, chopped in large chunks
  • 3-4 celery stalks, chopped in large chunks
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 9-10 cups chicken broth/stock
  • 2-3 tbsp dried parsley
  • 3 cups wide no-yolk noodles, cooked and drained

Add all ingredients (except the noodles) into a large stock pot or soup pot. Bring to a boil over the stove burner, then let simmer on medium-low heat until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Carefully remove the cooked chicken from the soup and either shred or chop it. Return the chicken to the soup pot. Add cooked noodles. Ladle into bowls and serve with crusty bread.

Just as I mentioned in the recipe above, this soup is great alone or when paired with crusty bread for dipping. Tonight, we had our soup with a 1/2 loaf of multi-grain bread with oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping.

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I also add a little sprinkle of parmesan cheese to my soup. It’s just a habit after working at an Italian catering hall for 4 years in high school. It gives the soup a whole different flavor!

Well, after warming up a bit with our soup, my husband had to run out to get gas for one of the cars. It just so happens that one of our favorite ice cream parlors is right by the Costco gas station. So, not only did he get gas, but he came home with ice cream for both of us…

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Scott had a huge chocolate malt, but I ended up with a mere kid’s scoop of chocolate peanut butter ice cream – hmmm, that’s doesn’t seem very fair to me. No, I’m just kidding of course. The ice cream was an awesome treat and a great way to end our day, and our weekend.

Now, I have to get ready for bed. Monday morning seems to be hitting me extra hard these days. Have a great night everyone!