Posts Tagged ‘Recipes’

Hallie, one of my best friends in the world, came for the night this weekend and brought me the most delicious pumpkin bread in the world. Even after from traveling from Cleveland, this was the most moist and tasty bread! Thanks so much Hallie!
And how funny is this: I was telling Hallie about Allison from GDW because they went to high school together, different years. I was talking about how I know so much about her and her life and how we are blog buddies and Hallie said she would watch for her in Cleveland because they go to a lot of the same places. The following night, Saturday, they ran into each other!! I was so jealous I wasn’t there to hang out but glad they had a good time! Small world… 🙂
Here is Hallie’s recipe:
3 1/3 C flour (She used 2 cups of wheat flour) 2 C brown sugar 1 C white sugar 2 t. baking soda2 t. cinnamon 2 t. nutmeg 2/3 C water 1 t. pure vanilla extract 1 C applesauce 4 egg whites 2 C pumpkin
1. Sift the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. 2. Add water, applesauce and eggs and mix well. 3. Stir in pumpkin and mix again. 4. Pour into baking tins. 5. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees. 6. Let cool and enjoy yummy guilt free pumpkin bread 🙂

A random picture of Hallie and I with the Emilys!IMG_0046.JPG

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There are lots of occasions that give me a chance to make dinner for other people. From hosting people at our house, to taking dinner when a loved one is lost or a new baby is born, I love cooking for other people. I usually find it easiest to cook when people are coming to my house, but this meal challenges my original thought.

I took dinner to the cutest family, who live down the street and just had a baby girl! I wanted to make something they could reheat and that would travel easily, so this meal fit perfectly!

Chicken Feta Artichoke Orzo – a variation of the shrimp-artichoke- orzo


  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts – quartered
  • 1 lb. orzo
  • 2 grilled chicken breasts
  • 1 container of reduced fat feta cheese
  • garlic, salt and pepper, italian seasonings, basil, etc.
  1. Put the can of tomatoes and artichokes (with all of their juice) into a pan to simmer.
  2. Add seasonings if your prefer.
  3. Boil water and cook orzo as directed.
  4. While things are cooking, chop up the grilled chicken into small pieces
  5. When orzo is done, drain but don’t rinse, and add tomato/artichoke mixture, plus chicken and 3/4 container of feta.
  6. Stir until mixed. Top with remaining feta!

*This can easily be reheated!


Bread to go: Fresh French bread, sliced and buttered with herb butter (italian seasonings, garlic, s+p, stirred into room temp. butter)

Wrapped in foil for easy reheating!

Spinach – Wheatberry – Goat Cheese – Cranberry salad


Just like it sounds! I put the walnuts in a bag for them to add in case of allergies!

🙂 Super simple to make and take!!

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Farmer’s Market Quinoa

  • 1 c. quinoa cooked as directed
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 15 baby carrots – cut into pieces
  • 1 zucchini cut into pieces
  • 1 ear of corn – raw, kernels cut off the cob
  • balsamic salad dressing
  • reduced fat feta cheese
  1. Make quinoa as directed.
  2. While quinoa is cooking, cut carrots, zucchini and corn.
  3. Open can of chickpeas and drain liquid from can.
  4. When quinoa is done cooking add all veggies to the quinoa. You can keep the dish like this for a day or so before serving and then you can serve cold or heat up.
  5. Right before serving, drizzle as much dressing as desired on dish and add feta.
  6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper!
  7. Enjoy!

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Mom’s Awesome Appetizer

My mom threw this delicious appetizer together on Saturday while we were waiting on dinner! IMG_5321.JPG

  • 1 Boboli pizza crust – thin crust
  • a little leftover onion dip (cream cheese and onions and a few spices)
  • fresh tomatoes
  • artichoke tapenade
  • cheese
  1. Preheat the oven for 400 degrees
  2. Cover the Boboli with the onion dip – or you could use white pizza sauce
  3. Top with sliced fresh tomatoes, artichoke spread and cheese.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is crunchy.
  5. Enjoy!

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I had the third grade reading teachers over for dinner on Tuesday night. We had a good time and got a lot of “discussing” done. I set the table with a new notebook and pen for each person at their place. What teacher doesn’t like a new notebook and pen? They came in handy when we were talking about the year.


The meal turned into a potluck and my favorite dish was Aura’s Shrimp Orzo Salad:


Mediterrean Shrimp:

1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatos w/basil, oregano &garlic
1 jar (12 oz.) quartered marinated artichokes
1 1/2 cups orzo
1 lb cleaned/deveined med. size shrimp
1/2 cup crumbled feta
optional things I’ve added: handful spinach, 1 or 2 roasted red bell peppers

Bring pot of lightly salted water to boiling.
In large skillet, simmer diced tomatoes and liquid from the artichokes over med. high heat. Cook for about 10 min, until some liquid has evaporated. Cook orzo in boiling water for 5-7 min. drain well, do not rinse, put in large serving bowl. Add artichokes, shrimp, spinach, peppers to skillet with the tomatoes. Simmer 5 min, pour into bowl with the orzo, mix. Add in feta ,serve 😉

I also made the WW yogurt/Coolwhip Pies in lime and raspberry.



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First of all, Happy Birthday MOM!!


We had a great time cooking out with our new neighbors who live down the street on Sunday! They are they cutest family with twin three-year olds and a baby on the way! For the cookout I volunteered to bring dessert. So like usual, I went through every dessert idea in my head debating what I should make. It had to taste good and be healthy. After going through the list of ice cream cake, cupcakes, brownies, raw cookies (I wasn’t sure these would be a hit) I went with the classic fruit pizza bars, modified of course.

While they were baking I was a little nervous they would taste like rubbery low fat squares, but they turned out ok. 🙂

Fruit Pizza Squares

Cookie part:

  • 2 pouches of sugar cookie mix, such as Betty Crocker
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 c. water – maybe this was a little too much because they were more cakey than cookie
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce

Bake until you think they are done at 350. You can’t go by the directions because you changed all of the ingredients.


  • 1 block light cream cheese
  • 1 box of vanilla sugar free pudding mix – mixed with 3/4 skim milk
  • 1 tub of fat free cool whip

Mix the pudding with milk then beat in the cream cheese. Once this mixture is creamy, add in the cool whip.


  1. Prepare and bake the cookie bars.
  2. Prepare the topping.
  3. Add topping to the cooled bars.
  4. Top with fresh fruit!


While this isn’t the most wholesome recipe, it is light and summery and makes for an easy BBQ treat!

Today’s plans include:

  • brunch with Jen and Jody and baby Addyson
  • walking or laying out with Bethany
  • 2 grad school papers
  • a marathon training run of 5 miles
  • a bike ride with Katie
  • who knows what else!

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Here is a super easy meal that you can make with only a few ingredients and a little time.IMG_5064.JPG

Super Simple Soy Salmon

  • 1 or 2 pieces of fresh salmon
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • big drizzle of maple syrup
  1. Simply marinate the salmon in the soy sauce and maple syrup
  2. Broil the salmon for about 12 minutes. The sauce will get black but not burn and the fish will stay really moist and flavorful.

Super Simple Broccoli Water Chesnut Salad

  • 3 c. of broccoli
  • 1 can of water chesnuts
  • sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • red pepper flakes
  1. Heat the broccoli for a minute in the microwave so it getting tender.
  2. In a pan, mix oil, soy sauce, vinegar and sesame seeds. Heat.
  3. Add broccoli and water chesnuts.
  4. Warm up together and add red pepper flakes.

Serve with leftover quinoa or make a fresh batch by cooking 1 part quinoa with 2 parts water!

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Today was a good day. I ran about 6 miles with Katie this morning, after a delicious mug of iced coffee.

Then I …

  • watered the plants, especially the garden
  • weeded
  • vacuumed the whole house
  • dusted the down stairs
  • cleaned out my hair stuff – headbands and ribbons I don’t use anymore
  • folded laundry and put it away
  • washed the kitchen floor
  • cleaned the bathrooms
  • wrote a few belated thank you notes
  • unloaded the dishwasher
  • painted the mudroom
  • wrote a grad school paper on Increasing Reading Comprehension

I didn’t really leave the house today because I had a ton to do and if I went anywhere, chances are, I would have ended up shopping!

Somewhere in the middle of the list of things I was doing, I stopped for lunch. The perfect lunch. A repeat from last night’s dinner with the addition of some sprialized beets.


IMG_5002.JPG IMG_5003.JPG

In the collard greens:

  • hummus
  • guac
  • refried beans
  • spiralized beets
  • mango salsa
  • a spoonful of rice
  • spicy taco sauce

Lunch Dessert:


Cherries, Strawberries and AB

Then I had a purple monster(blueberries, banana, Vega Smoothie Infusion, almond milk) around 3:30pm, while I was working on the paper. It was the perfect day to sit outside on the deck and write, warm and sunny but not hot and sweaty.


Then Janelle, Brady’s sister, and I rode on the bike path for about an hour. When we got home, we were hungry!

I have an obsession with cookbooks and cooking magazines, as I assume many people who read food blogs do, and Brady called me out on it this weekend. We were driving to the lake and as always, I was looking through a magazine ripping out recipes I want to try. Brady looked over at what I was doing and said “why don’t you every make any of the those recipes, you are always finding them.” True. Very True.

So tonight I made my own adaptation of Cous Cous Cakes from this month’s Cooking Light. We enjoyed these little cakes/piles of whole grain goodness, with salmon.


Balsamic Honey Salmon

  • balsamic vinegar
  • honey dijon mustard
  • honey
  • salt and pepper

Cover salmon with the listed ingredients and marinate all day!

Quinoa Cakes – adapted from Cooking Light’s CousCous Cakes

  • 1 c. quinoa cooked in 2 c. water
  • 4 fresh basil leaves chopped into little pieces
  • 3 small peppers, chopped into little pieces
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 laughing cow light cheese wedges
  • salt and pepper
  1. Mix cooked quinoa with above ingredients.
  2. Spoon quinoa mixture into a sprayed frying pan.
  3. Let quinoa cook until golden brown on one side and the egg white is cooked.
  4. Serve warm!

* I believe these should be fried a little bit, but I didn’t want to do that so they fell apart. Next time, I will put them on for longer before flipping them!


This recipe was great and I am excited to try some of the other 4083508243 recipes I have ripped out over the past few years!

I am off to do an online grad school chat and visit our neighbors new baby!


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I LOVE pesto and all things basil! At the moment I have 4 basil plants growing, one in the ground and three in pots. I know, it is a little excessive, but to make pesto you need a ton of basil.

This picture is pretty ugly, but you can imagine how delicious this creamy spread tastes!


Almost Oil-less Basil Pesto Recipe/Ingredient List

  • huge bunch of fresh basil
  • handful of raw almonds
  • big splash of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. olive oil – I don’t know if you even need this.
  • handful of fresh parmesan
  • salt and pepper

Blend everything in the magic bullet or a small food processor. Add more of anything you like. This recipe is based on taste preference.   

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Since I am considering today my first real day of summer vacation, I slept in! I was awaken to my phone ringing around 8am and thought it was afternoon. It felt great!

After some iced coffee and things around the house, I went to the gym. There, I did 35 min. on the stairs followed up some upper body and ab work. I feel like I haven’t been there in forever because it has been so nice out, I can’t pass up a run outside! Today was rainy and super humid so it was a good gym day.

I stopped at Trader Joe’s on the way home to get a few essentials – AB, sprouts, ff feta and mango chunks for green smoothies! When I got home I was starving and ready for my new favorite lunch:

Flat out (crack wraps) stuffed with sprouts and veggies.

“Crack Wraps” are a term given to a sandwich that becomes addicting. The term was first used by the beautiful mom Sarah This sandwich consisted of :

  • Sabra hummus
  • fat free swiss cheese ( I am a little sketched out by this, but it tastes good and gets really melty!)
  • sprouts
  • tomato
  • avocado
  • salsa
  • lettuce


Then, I did more errands by bike and Brady’s sister, Janelle, came over for dinner.

We had seen a sign at the Arts Festival yesterday for broccoli burgers and were dying to try them, but we weren’t hungry then, so we decided to make them for dinner.

Broccoli Burgers

  • 1-2 c. steamed broccoli
  • 1 c. brown rice, cooked
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 pieces sprouted grain bread
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/3 c. egg whites
  • 2 tbsp. hummus
  1. Cook broccoli and rice as directed
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a food processor
  3. Use mixture to make patties
  4. Spray a pan with cooking spray and cook the patties
  5. Serve on a sprouted bun or bread or over salad


The verdict: We loved them! They tasted great. Not too much of anything but good veggie flavor!

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