Category Archives: 1

Don’t forget I’ve moved!

Head over to my new website as I will no longer be posting on this one!



Psssst! I have a secret…

And the secret is at!

Please switch your readers and head on over to the new site. :mrgreen:

Today is a Special Day

First off, I would like to thank all of the servicemen and woman who serve and have served our country. I would like to thank you all from the bottom of my heart, you are all amazing people.

Today is even more special to me because it is my mama’s birthday!!


Now, you already know how amazing she is in taking Petrie in until Mike and my lease is up.

But words cannot even express how incredible she is as a mom, sister, friend, career woman, and the list goes on and on. Most importantly though, she has raised my brother and I to be the strong and successful individuals that we are today. She would do anything for us in the world, but she also taught us tough love.

As any family has, we’ve had our bumps in the road, but my mom has kept the three of us a tight-knit family through thick and thin. She is my best friend in the whole wide world and she deserves a long life of happiness for years to come. Happy birthday mama, I love you!

Moving on to today…

I got 8.5 hours of sleep last night and practically sprung out of bed this morning.  It think a good nights sleep was exactly what I needed to not feel sickly and run down.  Since I am obviously feeling better and have loads of energy, back to the gym routine it was for me.   7.2 miles in 67 minutes.  Whoohoo!

For breakfast this morning, I dug into the freezer for inspiration last night.  Guys, I love the freezer, and the freezer loves me.

Whenever we have leftovers that I won’t eat before they go bad, bread products, fruit, meats, etc., they all go in the freezer for future eating. 

Now I obviously didn’t find my Barney Butter in the freezer, but is the star of my breakfast.  How could Barney Butter not be the star of any meal that it is included in? 


But what I did dig up out of the freezer is a pumpkin bagel!


I love buying ‘last nights bagels’ from the local bagel shops such as Brueggers and Panera. However, they don’t have the added preservatives, so they go bad much, much quicker than store-bought bagels. So into the freezer of love they head for purposes like today.


So yes, I am having a bagel + Barney Butter for breakfast. And a banana to have with breakfast or as a mid-morning snack.


Lunch today will be bought. 🙂 Reasoning? Because my company has today off, but I am working. So if I am working, you best bet I will be treating myself to something good! (No worries, I get an extra vacation day for working today).

While I am out for lunch, I will also be sending Petrie, as well as one of my favorite bloggers and best bloggie friend, packages today. :mrgreen:

Does your work/school have today off? If so, what are you doing to enjoy your day off?

Rusted Engine

I’m totally not feeling all that with it today, a little bit like a rusty engine that isn’t wanting to turn on.

I woke up in the middle of the night sweating and feeling a little cruddy. I am crossing my fingers whatever it is just works its way through my system. I am feeling slightly better already having gotten up and moving around. Positive thoughts!

Needless to say, my appetite is present, just not 100%. So I packed the components for a yogurt mess to make at work.

First up, the star of the show. Pomegrante Yumberry yogurt. It looked intriguing at the store. Has anybody ever tried/seen this flavor before?


The cereal component is one of my long lost loves. Go Lean Crunch. I always forget about this gem. It has the best crunch and fabulous staying power for me.


And an overripe banana. Nasty to many, delicious to me. And makes the perfect, easy mix in.


Soothes the soul, those yogurt messes. 🙂

For lunch I packed a hearty, comfort food meal. Leftover Shepard’s Pie and mini salad with spinach, snap peas and TJ’s three layer hummus.


I love hummus as a ‘dressing’. Especially this TJ’s flavor with the zesty cilantro layer.



Here’s to another work day, my friends.

My company gets tomorrow off, but I am working and catching up. I then in turn will get another vacation day. I am estatic because here is my vacation lineup:

  • Next Friday off, my brother will be in town
  • Thanksgiving day and the day after
  • The whole week before Christmas
  • New Years Eve

And that still leaves me with three days to burn.  Whoohoo!

Do you like overripe bananas?  Or do you like yours more green?  I have found people are VERY particular about their bananas.  Mine need to be overripe.

Don’t forget to enter your recipes into this weeks Blogger Secret Ingredient Contest!  The ingredient is ricotta cheese.

Guest Post: Mike’s Beef Stew

Hi everyone! Mike here, and I hope everyone had a wonderful day. My day was both good and bad. I woke up this morning feeling a bit under the weather so I took a sick day today. While feeling ill is unfortunate, I strongly believe that a full day of rest is often times just what the doctor ordered in order to regain your motivation and health. It worked and I am looking forward to hitting the grind hard tomorrow and getting some things done.

Since I was at home all day, and since Jenna and I had purchased rough ingredients for it during one of our recent trips to the grocery store, I figured today would be the perfect day for slow cooked beef stew. So, when I got out of bed at about 8:15, I got to work right away so I could rest up and get better. If any readers haven’t used a slow cooker (honestly my first time using it for something other than an appetizer or dip), those things are awesome! Super easy to use and the outcome was delicious. Here is all it took to serve 2 (many recipes out there call for a family of 4-5):

1 lb. of Beef Stew Meat (usually comes pre-cut in the meat section – both inexpensive and convenient)

2 Carrots – chopped (obviously)

1 and a half of a Jumbo Russet baking potato – peeled and cubed

2 Celery stalks – chopped

about a handful of frozen pearl onions

1 cup of water

Half packet of McCormick Beef Stew Seasoning

3 Jalapeno Rings – chopped (Optional, Jenna and I add Jalapenos to just about everything if you had not noticed!)

Additional Spices as desired. For this guy I added in: Garlic Salt, Black pepper,  a little over a teaspoon of both Roasted Garlic Worcestershire Sauce and Franks Red Hot for a kick.

All you need to do is toss all the veggies and meat into the slow cooker, mix the seasoning in a separate bowl with the cup of water, toss onto the goods, stir, add your extras, stir some more and cook on low in the slow cooker for about 7 hours. It was ready by the time Jenna got home.

Here are the photos, served with a side of sourdough baked in the oven:




Overall pretty outstanding meal if you ask me. Perfect for a cool, fall evening. Definitely will be using the slow cooker much more often.

Dessert is more of Jenna’s to-die-for apple crisp a la mode (aren’t I lucky to get all of these treats all the time?? I mean, come on!):


Thanks for reading. To go along with Jenna’s question theme: What is your favorite slow-cooker meal? Any good suggestions for something else to try?

Looking forward to posting again soon!


Another week, another ingredient

It’s another week and another Blogger Secret Ingredient. 🙂  Week 56 to be exact.

Thank you, Julie, for selecting me to host this weeks secret ingredient. As a reminder, here is how all the fun goes down:

Each week, a new host picks an ingredient and anyone (food blogger or not) can submit a recipe.

The rules:

  1. The host picks an ingredient, preferably one that is in season, readily available, and not too expensive.
  2. The host links back to all the other previous weekly hosts.
  3. Participants create a unique recipe using the BSI and e-mail the host with their recipes.
  4. You do not have to have a food blog to participate, and you do not have to submit a photograph (although it is preferred).
  5. If you don’t have a blog, you can submit your recipe to the host, and she will post your recipe for you on her blog.
  6. The host reviews the recipe submissions by Sunday night of each week.
  7. The hosts pick a recipe that is her favorite.
  8. The host posts the winner Monday morning and sends the winner a token prize of her choosing.

    Make sure you visit all of these fabulous bloggers that have hosted the secret ingredient week in the past.

    Week 55: Savvy Eats– Maple Syrup

    Week 54: Sound Eats – Dried Fruit

    Week 53: MegaNerdRuns – Acorn Squash

    Week 52: Healthy Tipping Point – Pancake Mix

    Week 51: Live, Laugh Eat – Almond Butter

    Week 50: Balance, Joy and Delicias! – Cauliflower

    Week 49: Healthy San Diego Living – Chickpeas

    Week 48: Thought 4 Food – Yogurt

    Week 47: London Foodie in New York – Chocolate

    Week 46: Johnstone’s Vin Blanc – Oats

    Week 45: Guilty Kitchen – Figs

    Week 44: Ordinary Recipes Made Gourmet – Peanut Butter

    Week 43: The Sophisticated Gourmet – Brown Sugar

    Week 42: My Kitchen Addiction – Lime

    Week 41: Nutmeg Nanny – Coffee

    Week 40: Chaya’s Comfy Cook – Broccoli

    Week 39: Healthy Delicious – Plums

    Week 38: Zoe – Feta

    Week 37: ChezWhat– Potatoes

    Week 36: Cinnamon, Spice & Everything Nice – Blueberries

    Week 35: Girlichef -Greens

    Week 34: The Ungourmet – Watermelon

    Week 33: Bread + Butter – Bell Pepper

    Week 32: Burp and Slurp -Corn

    Week 31: Say Yes to Salad – Kabocha

    Week 31 1/2: Simply Fabulous Now– Cherries

    Week 30: Thinspired – Bananas

    Week 29: To Be The Whole Package – Almonds

    Week 28: Kristas Kravings – Lemon

    Week 27: From French Fries To Flax Seeds – Coconut

    Week 26: Plentiful Plants – Avocado

    Week 25: Training Fuel – Eggs

    Week 24: Dinner at Christina’s – Cabbage

    Week 23: Hey What’s for Dinner, Mom? – Strawberries

    Week 22: One Bite at a Time – Basil

    Week 21:  Just Sweet Enough – Black Beans

    Week 20: What I Ate Yesterday – Kale

    Week 19: What’s for Dinner – Orange

    Week 18: Bran Appetit!–Spinach

    Week 17: Tales of Expansion -Dates

    Week 16: Biggest Diabetic Loser – Zucchini

    Week 15: Sweet & Natural –Peppermint

    Week 14: bella eats [and runs] – Ginger

    Week 13: Coffee Talk – Walnuts

    Week 12: For the Love of Oats – Pumpkin

    Week 11: Trying to Heal – Sweet Potatoes

    Week 10: The Inner Workings of a College Graduate – Eggplant

    Week 9: Itzy’s Kitchen – Pears

    Week 8: The Fitnessista – Cranberries

    Week 7: Tri to Cook – Lentils

    Week 6: Rhodey Girl Tests – Polenta

    Week 5: Eating Bender – Butternut Squash

    Week 4: Care to Eat – Apples

    Week 3: On a Lobster Placemat – Mushrooms

    Week 2: Hangry Pants – Tomatoes

    Week 1: sportsnutritionliving – Quinoa


    My secret ingredient came to me right away.  So what is it you ask?  Ricotta cheese!

    Ricotta is such a versatile ingredient.  It can be used for sweet and savory.  My kind of ingredient.

    Remember when I used it a few weeks back for my Super Stuffed Buffalo Chicken?  I also have been meaning to make a stuffed french toast with the secret ingredient as well.

    How you are going to use it is the most important question, my friends. :mrgreen:

    How to win/things to note for this week’s BSI:

    • Get creative and get cooking and baking in your kitchen!
    • Please e-mail me when you post your BSI recipe on your blog. If you don’t have a blog, send me your recipe and picture to
    • The BSI winner will receive a small prize!
    • You have until Sunday, November 15th at 8 PM EST to enter
    • Recipes will be posted on Monday morning along with the winner.

    Have fun!

    Blonde Moment

    I just pulled a major blonde move. Wow.

    But prior to the blonde moment happening, I had some delicious eats today. It was mostly a ‘snack yourself throughout the day’ type of day today, which most days are for me, post long run.

    Here are a few things that I did capture though…

    Pumpkin Honey Wheat Psncakes with mixed in berries. And, syrup of course.



    Many, many thoughtless handfuls of this combo. Veggie Cheddar Goldfish and Baked Cheetos.


    And then, my blonde moment came when it was time for dinner. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize until after dinner what had happened.

    I was snapping photos of my dinner without the memory stick in the camera. And we have no cord for our camera. Ummm, duh Jenna! What makes it even better is me asking Mike how there were pictures of dinner on the camera. Yep, I forgot that cameras have a limited memory to hold pictures on the camera itself. Wowza.

    I can describe my dinner though. 😉

    First up, a pumpkin beer on our rooftop deck. It was a lovely evening in Minneapolis.


    For our meal we made TJ’s Orange Chicken with rice. Also, cooked up some green bell peppers, snap peas and onion to mix into the dish to add some veggies.

    Our thought on the TJ’s Orange Chicken? Pretty nasty. We didn’t look at the package when buying it to see that is said ‘dark meat’. We both aren’t fans of dark meat. While it was edible, there were some pieces that looked very questionable to us. And for Mike to say he wasn’t a fan of anything Chinese, that is saying, A LOT.

    It was also my first experience not liking something from TJ’s. 😦

    On the side, some TJ’s potstickers with peanut sauce. You can’t go wrong there. Regardless of the not so great chicken, I am definitely full and content.

    And for dessert, the best part of any day, right?

    We bought a school bus yesterday. But not just any school bus, one from Appletown School District.


    I know, I’m so clever. 😉

    The bus turned into a lovely crisp, using this recipe for Maple-Walnut Apple Crisp.

    I made a few adaptations based on what I had on hand. I used agave instead of maple syrup, nixed the walnuts and made the crumble topping x1.5.


    I can’t wait to have a large portion of this crisp tonight, with whipped cream and Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream melted on top.

    What are you having for dessert tonight?