Archive for January, 2010

A Better Loaf

While it’s not perfect, this loaf of sourdough turned out better than my first try a few weeks ago.


And yes, it’s half gone already 🙂


For dinner tonight, I went pretty easy with the chicken + veggies since the bread took up so much time and prep work this afternoon.


I thawed some chicken thighs this afternoon and coated them with a mix of:

  • Dijon mustard
  • Whole grain mustard
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon Juice
  • Herbes de Provence
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic

The chicken went into a 375 degree oven once the bread was  finished, and they baked for about 30 minutes.

While the bread was cooling and the chicken was roasting, I made a vegetable side dish that my mom made for us over Thanksgiving.


I cooked some sliced peppers and onions in a little olive oil until they were softened, and then added in some frozen green beans. Once the veggies were heated through, I added in some salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and the last of my garlic-almonds for some crunch.

It was a great dinner! Pretty easy, too, and the star was definitely the freshly baked bread.

But I’m pretty sure the smell of fresh bread lingering in the house is always a good thing.

Maggie just decided to snuggle down with Nick and we’re actually done with everything tonight! I folded the last load of laundry a few hours ago and put clean sheets on the bed. Nick vacuumed for me tonight while I was getting the laundry done – he’s the best.

I love heading into Monday with a clean house, clean sheets, and a good meal.

The only left to do tonight is put on my pajamas, cuddle down, and watch some Iron Chef 🙂


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On Bread Alone

We didn’t stay awake long enough to watch a movie last night!  By the time the cookies were done and we got settled, it was already 9 so we just watched tv until we fell asleep on the couch with Maggie.

The perfect ending to a fun day 🙂

We got up this morning to a small layer of ice on the road and a few more inches of snow. Nick had to do sound today at church, though, so we headed out with plans to grab breakfast from Panera.


I got a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on their whole grain bagel and ate that with an apple I brought from home.



And since our homemade coffee is better than theirs, we brought our own 😉

After eating, we headed over to church to help set up and get things ready. The parking lot was still filled with snow so we weren’t sure how many people would make it today, but it was packed! There were originally plans to have a pizza potluck after church today, but those plans got moved because of the weather so pizza will be next week.

It’s a good thing we had leftover strata at home! I didn’t have any plans for lunch today otherwise.


While I mixed up my sourdough bread, I heated up the leftover strata, some broccoli, and some butternut squash for a quick lunch.


After eating lunch and setting my dough aside to rise, I grabbed a couple of supercharge me cookies and headed outside to play in the snow with Nick, Maggie, and our two neighbor kids, Eric and Gary.


Maggie had a great time in the snow again – she just runs, full speed, with her nose in the snow. I have a feeling that little nose will eventually get her in trouble – she just can’t turn it off! And she has to follow every scent she finds.

We just came in a little bit ago, so I’ve got laundry going and I’m about to set the dough for its second rise.


I’m hoping this loaf looks more like a loaf! But as long it tastes good, I’ll be happy 🙂

Bagel for breakfast, strata for lunch, and hopefully bread with dinner? I guess it’s a carby kind of day.

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Rollin’ in the Dough

Well, today has been fun. Even though we couldn’t really get outside of our neighborhood, it was great because we were able to just spent time together.

Me, Nick, Maggie, and Roxy.

We talked to our neighbors, played in the snow, took naps, and enjoyed the day.

Nick and I made a strata for dinner!


They’re his new favorite thing. 🙂

Thanks to Foodbuzz and their Tastemaker Program, I got a coupon to get some Eggland’s Best eggs this week, and I definitely took advantage of it.


I typically buy Eggland’s Best eggs anyways, but I was happy to get even more and use them tonight! They really are the best eggs.


While the oven was preheating, Nick cooked some bacon for the strata and I chopped some onions, scallions, and roasted red peppers.

After the bacon was cooked, he sauteed the veggies along with some cremini mushrooms until they were all softened.

We added the veggies to 1/2 a loaf of Nature’s Pride Honey Wheat bread that I cubed. Then I mixed 6 Eggland’s Best eggs with about 1/2 cup of milk, salt, pepper, and oregano.

We poured the eggs over the bread/veggie mixture, sprinkled it with 1/2 cup or so of cheese and baked it at 375 for about 30 minutes.




So good and so easy! I love that you can put anything in a strata – it’s so versatile.


We had our strata with some broccoli for a quick dinner.

Why so quick?

Well…because I had cookies in the oven 🙂


I made MORE Supercharge Me Cookies tonight!

A double batch – and this time, I used creamy peanut butter and dark chocolate chips (instead of the normal almond butter and carob or semi-sweet).



I decided to try the recipe with peanut butter after Heather recommended it the other day, and we love them! They smelled amazing while they were baking away in the oven, and I think the dark chocolate chips go perfectly with the peanut butter.

On top of the cookie dough in this house, I also have some sourdough getting ready for tomorrow.


I’m so proud of my sourdough – it’s SO sour! I’m hoping to try another bread recipe tomorrow, so we’ll see how it turns out. The flavor is spot on – I just need to get enough practice to make my bread look good enough to eat 😉

And I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the sourdough, so I’ll be posting about that soon. Believe me – once you get your starter going, it’s so easy.


I think we may watch a movie tonight. We have Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang, and 500 Days of Summer from Netflix – I hope whatever we watch is good!


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Snow Dreaming

Days like this make me wish we finally had the old farm house we want (or at least a log cabin), tucked into a little hollow somewhere, hidden away from our closest neighbors.


Someday, I want to be able to watch the flakes fall from the sky while sitting in a big, cozy chair in front of a roaring fire. A coffee (or hot chocolate) by my side, a good book, and some play time outside are all you need on days like this.


I love the quiet that a big snow brings. I always feel like I hear so much more  while walking around in this frigid weather than at any other time. Birds chirping, trees creaking under the weight of the powdery snow, houses dripping with icicles.


Ah…I can dream about having an old farm house, right? 🙂

We let Maggie run around in the snow this afternoon and took her on a short walk down to the mailbox (to find nothing), and she is worn out. I have a feeling she’ll be sleeping the rest of the night.


After we watched this week’s episode of Burn Notice and took a short late-morning nap, Nick and I heated up the leftover pizza from last night for lunch before heading outside.


I had one slice of pizza and a HUGE salad with some ranch dressing, romaine, carrots, red onion, and garlic-almonds.

Maggie tried to have some of Nick’s pizza, but she wasn’t quick enough.



I ended lunch with a few supercharge me cookies 🙂


These are so addicting, but that’s okay because they’re good for you! Nick’s already requested another batch, so I have a feeling I might be baking again tonight.


I’ve got some laundry going, and we’re finally all inside and drying out from the snow.

Maggie is officially asleep again – we may have to wake her up and make her eat dinner soon!


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8 and Counting

It is definitely a winter wonderland here!


We have at least 8 inches, and it’s still coming down strong! I think we’re getting the best part of this storm, though, because I know the lower sections (in Carolina, especially) are just getting ice and no snow.



The roads are completely covered here, even with all the prep work VDOT did yesterday, so we’re in for the day.

Nick just took Maggie back out for another bathroom trip, but she loves the snow.

In fact, she doesn’t mind it one bit – she wants to roll in it, jump in it…and eat lots of it.



And it’s really fun trying to dry her off once she comes back in because she also likes to attack the towel.



The snow started sometime late last night and we had about 6 inches already by the time we woke up this morning.

Definitely a good morning for lots of puppy play and a lazy breakfast 🙂 And morning phone calls with the fam – we talked to my family and Nick’s this morning, and they both have snow too!


Nick made us some amazing coffee this morning using his coffee syphon, and cooked some bacon + eggs. I got some great grapefruits at the store last night, so we split one for breakfast.


This grapefruit was so juicy! And I picked a good one – Nick and I don’t really like the red ones, but this pink grapefruit was just perfect.


Having bright and tart citrus fruits is one of my favorite things about winter. They’re just a little reminder that spring is coming.

On the agenda for today?

Play time outside with Maggie, for sure. Probably some hot chocolate? Maybe some laundry, maybe some baking.

And lots of laziness 🙂

I love snow days!


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Local Pie

The weekend is officially here!

And by tomorrow morning, we’ll be probably be celebrating by playing in the snow 😉 The storm hasn’t hit us yet, but it should start snowing here later tonight.

I’m kind of happy the snow didn’t start this afternoon – it gave me time to get some stuff done tonight.

Before we left work, I called and ordered a pizza for dinner from this awesome local place, Mikie’s 7th. The owners of the restaurant also have a farm here, and everything in the restaurant is local + organic. I’ve bought meat from them before in their store and at the farmer’s market, but we’ve never ordered dinner before tonight.


I got “The Works” for us tonight – it had pepperoni, onions, green peppers, sausage, and mushrooms.



This was our first time ordering pizza here, and I loved it! The crust was perfect – a little chewy and not too greasy or oily.

We picked up the pizza on our way home tonight, so all I had to do once we got home was throw together some salads to go along with the pie.


I had a salad of romaine, carrots, scallions and a little ranch dressing.


Plus 2 slices of cheesy pizza.



Right after I finished eating, I drove up to the grocery store to get essentials + the other food we needed.

I knew it might be crowded since the storm is supposed to hit tonight, but it actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. The lines were a little long, but it wasn’t much worse than normal.

I got everything off my grocery list for the week, so we’re set if we do get snowed in!

Nick’s got a movie in right now and I’m hoping to convince him to stop it at 9 so I can watch What Not to Wear 🙂

I’m ready for pajamas, puppy play time, and maybe a few supercharge me cookies.


Happy Friday!


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Have Bag, Will Travel

That lentil soup just keeps on giving!

Nick and I are finishing off the soup leftovers for lunch today, along with some leftover veggies + hummus.


Is it bad that Nick and I can polish off one of these little tubs of Sabra in just over a day? It’s so addicting! I definitely have to buy that huge tub from Costco soon. At least that one lasts for more than a week in our house.


I also brought the other half of my banana from breakfast this morning and 2 supercharge me cookies for an afternoon snack. 


The verdict?

I love them! I ended up using all whole wheat flour and NO dried fruit – just chocolate chips. I love the maple flavor in the cookies, and they were so easy to make. I can’t wait to try them with peanut butter + dark chocolate chips.


Today’s lunch errand should be pretty fun. Nick and I are going to look at a bag for me for our trip to Spain, and I’m excited to try some on!

We’ve decided to go with backpacks instead of the normal “roller bags”. On our trip, we’ll actually be visiting a few different towns and will be moving around a lot and taking trains, and we don’t want to be lugging a roller bag behind us the whole time.

Since Nick and I love hiking and backpacking, we have a few of the internal-frame bags, but most of them are too big to be able to carry on the flights.

Thankfully, we have one day-pack at home that will work, but we need one more for me to take.

Nick sent me one bag option that he found on Campmor today, and it’s a great price!


The best thing about these internal-frame packs is that they keep the weight distributed on your back in a way that normal “bookbag” doesn’t.

You know how carrying a lot of stuff in a bookbag just makes the bag lumpy, uncomfortable, and makes the bag slouch and hang on your back? Internal-frame bags don’t do that. Plus, they usually have a strap that goes around your waist so you carry a lot of the weight there instead of on your shoulders.

Here’s hoping we find one that works!


What do you pack in when you travel? Do you always pack too much or do you have it down to a science?

I’ll admit. I TOTALLY overpack. I’m talking 4-6 outfit choices for a weekend trip. I just like having options, I guess!

But this trip will be different…because I’m going to have to carry all my stuff with me almost the entire time. So the packing will really have to be the bare minimum, especially if I want to save room to bring stuff back with me (like paella or a bull).



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Made Overnight

It’s Friday! Who’s ready for the weekend?

I’m crossing my fingers this storm isn’t too bad, but I’m pretty sure we’ll be waking up to snow tomorrow morning.

For breakfast today, I had something I haven’t had in a while.


Overnight oats!


Last night, I mixed:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Greens+ Chia Seeds

I let that sit in the fridge overnight, and then added the rest this morning:

  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup plain Oikos
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter


I love overnight oats, but I normally can’t even think about them during the winter! I just like having hot breakfasts when it’s so cold outside.

It just sounded so good last night, and at least I had some hot coffee with my cold oats 🙂


Off to work!


Do you change your breakfasts based on the seasons? Or do you eat the same things all year long?

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I feel so torn about this weekend – I’m SO ready for Friday and a few days off, but we’re also supposed to get more snow starting tomorrow…I thought winter was close to being over!

Right now, the prediction is anywhere between 4 – 12 inches from tomorrow night through Saturday afternoon, so I guess we’ll see if we get snowed in this weekend 😉 I better try to get some groceries tomorrow, just in case.

This afternoon was filled with puppy cuddling & playing and lots of work. Thankfully, Maggie napped for a good chunk of the afternoon, so I got a lot of work done without having to worry about her.

I also had some good chats with a few bloggers, which made my afternoon 🙂

Before I knew it, it was 5 pm!

And dinner was super easy since it was leftovers – plus hummus.


Right before Nick got home, I got out some broccoli, carrots, and celery and chopped them up to have with some Sabra hummus.


After chopping the veggies, I played with Maggie and worked with her on her tricks until Nick got home. (She’s getting “shake” really well!)

Then all I had to do was cook the rolls and heat up the soup.


We both had some lentil soup, veggies + hummus, and a yeast roll with kerrygold butter with dinner. Well, I had one roll – Nick had two.


We love the Sister Schubert Frozen Yeast Rolls – they’re so good, have a pretty good ingredient list (for not being homemade), and they’re so easy! We can just bake however many we want for that night and keep the rest in the freezer.

After we ate dinner and played with Maggie for a while, I made my first ever batch of Supercharge Me Cookies.


After seeing them all week on http://www.eatliverun.com/Jenna’s blog and all the pictures Heather has been posting, I knew I needed to try them for myself.

They’re cooling right now, but Nick just got up to try them – I better get in there and get some while I can 😉

Up next:

The Office and Burn Notice (if we can stay up that long)

Nite guys!


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The Joy of Leftovers

Today’s lunch rocked.


Baked pasta for one? Sign me up.


I love when meals turn out even better than you imagined.

I had about 1 cup of the pesto + kale pasta in the fridge and knew I needed to eat it today. I also knew that 1 little cup of pasta wasn’t going to fill me up, so I bulked it up with some broccoli + butternut squash.


While the oven heated up (to 400), I quickly steamed about a cup of broccoli and 1/2 cup of butternut in the microwave.

Then I just mixed the veggies with the leftover pasta, topped it with a little bit of parmesan, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper and sprayed it with a little olive oil from my Misto.


Baked it at 400 for about 10 minutes, or until the pasta was heated through and the cheese melted.


Why can’t every lunch be this good?

And for a sweet ending, I’m digging into a little yogurt with jam + almonds.


I’m about to take this sad face for a walk – it’s actually pretty right now! Blue skies and the sun is shining, but considering the snow storm that’s supposed to hit tomorrow, we better take advantage while we can.


On the topic of leftovers

I got a question today asking about eating the same stuff for a whole week or multiple meals.

We (obviously) eat a lot of leftovers. It’s only 2 of us in the house, and I don’t always want (or have time) to cook a new meal every night. Most leftovers are GREAT, and some often get better the day after you make them (think pastas, soups, stews, chili, etc).

I don’t mind having “the same lunch” for a few days if it means I’m not wasting food. And, if that happens, I try to make sure I’m not having the same breakfast AND dinner, just so I can get some variation and different nutrients!

We don’t mind having a meal more than once, although I’m more likely to take leftovers for lunches than Nick.

I used to make something on the weekends (a soup or grain salad) JUST to have for easy lunches during the week! I love having things in the fridge that are easy to grab for lunches or quick dinners, but I know some people just can’t take eating the same thing for more than 1-2 meals a week.

What do you think of leftovers?

Love ‘em? Hate ‘em? Wish you had them more?

Do you make certain things JUST so you can HAVE leftovers? (I’ve done that before) 🙂


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