Fit 'N' Well Mommy

Being a mommy doesn't always mean sacrifice

Weekend Recap + Two New Recipes! November 19, 2012

Happy Holiday week! I hope you had a restful weekend! We had good weekend, but definitely a busy one (not enough rest!).

After coaching the weekend CrossFit class on Saturday (which went great!), we ran a few errands before heading home for Keenan’s nap.

Being silly in the shopping cart at REI!

That night, my husband and I had our date night: dinner at a fairly new restaurant in downtown Sacramento called, Trios and then we saw the show, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.” It is a musical about dating, falling in love, marriage and having kids, as well as how men and women interact with each other. It was so funny and so relevant to my husband and me! I highly recommend seeing it!

On Sunday, we ran more errands, such as going to Costco (such a bad idea the weekend before Thanksgiving!) and even visited our local animal shelter. We are thinking of adopting a dog. My husband and I grew-up with dogs and since we got married seven years ago, we have wanted to get one, but never had the space. We still don’t have the most ideal space (our back yard is tiny!), but Keenan loves dogs (especially my parents’ dogs), so we are thinking of taking the plunge and getting one. We are looking for a small/medium size dog that is low-key, cat-friendly, loves to go on walks or jogs, but is okay with a smaller space.  There are a couple of dogs that we are considering, in fact, we will be meeting one tomorrow! So, we’ll see… My husband and I still have a lot to discuss, especially since we love to travel and get away on the weekends. Having a dog will definitely change our lifestyle.

Before I forget, on Friday night, we had our “at home date night,” and made a yummy roasted cauliflower arugula salad that I want to share. We had a great evening (probably one of our best dates!) catching-up and just talking about life and our future. We talked so much, that we only watched one of our shows, “Parenthood,” that had us both in tears! It is getting SO good!

Anyhow, here is the recipe:

Such a satisfying salad and perfect with a glass of red wine!

Roasted Cauliflower Arugula Salad (serves 2):

Ingredients:

-1 large head (or 2 small heads) of cauliflower (chopped)

– 1 bag of arugula

– 4-5 slices of thick cut bacon (diced and cooked)

– 4 tbsp roasted pine nuts

– 1/4 cup of Gruyere cheese (shredded + extra for a garnish on top)

– 3 tbsp olive oil

– 1 tbsp champagne vinegar

– 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

– 1/2 tsp brown mustard

– 1/2 tsp honey

– pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Place chopped cauliflower on a baking sheet and drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil on top, as well as a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Combine, so all of the cauliflower is thoroughly coated. Roast for 20-30 minutes at 425 degrees (until golden brown).

2. Add arugula to a large bowl, along with pine nuts, cheese and bacon.

3. Mix the rest of the olive oil, vinegars, mustard, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

4. Add cauliflower to salad and pour dressing on top.

5. Toss and divide amongst two plates. Shave a couple of pieces of cheese and place on top of each salad for a garnish. Enjoy!

*Notes: We added some chopped roasted walnuts for extra protein. You can also add some roasted or grilled chicken.

Last night, after Keenan went to bed, I baked an apple for dessert that my husband and I shared. It was my first time baking one and it was delicious! It is such an easy and healthy dessert for a cold fall or winter night! Here is the recipe:

So good, especially with vanilla ice cream!

Baked Apple: (serves 2)

Ingredients:

– 1 large apple (any kind is fine)

– 1 tsp brown sugar

– 1/8 cup of cranberries

– 1/8 cup chopped walnuts

– 1/2 tsp butter

– 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 35o degrees.

2. Wash and core apple (making a deep hole in the center of the apple without cutting it all the way through).

3. Mix sugar, cranberries, walnuts and cinnamon together in a small bowl.

4. Add sugar mixture to the center of the apple. Top with butter and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until apple is soft and butter is browned.

5. Cut apple in half, divide amongst two dishes and top with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Before baking the apple.

Since we had such a busy weekend, Keenan and I had a lazy morning making pumpkin muffins (a new recipe coming soon!), watching “Sesame Street,” playing in his sandbox and cuddling with Slinky. It was the perfect morning!

Don’t you just love the PJ’s with his”Elmo” shoes?!

Hello!

Well, it is time to get ready for CrossFit. Today’s WOD is a partner one, so it should be fun! On the menu for tonight is one of our favorites: roasted broccoli with cherry tomatoes and a red onion, along with grilled country style boneless pork ribs!

Questions: Are you ready for Thanksgiving? What is your Thanksgiving menu? We are having turkey (of course), pumpkin sage risotto, my mom’s famous broccoli casserole, homemade cranberry sauce, artichoke torta (family tradition!), a green salad and my mom’s homemade beer bread. As Keenan said, “we will be eating a lot of yummy food!”

 

Friday Favorites! November 16, 2012

TGIF!! I don’t know about you, but I am ready for the weekend, especially since it is suppose to me cold and rainy here in Sacramento! Even though we have errands to run and things to get done around the house, it will be nice to have an excuse to cuddle up on the couch with a warm cup of hot chocolate. It is also crazy (and exciting) that Thanksgiving is less than a week away! Is it just me, or has this year flown by?

I’m also looking forward to a date night tomorrow night, thanks to an anniversary gift from my parents. We are going to dinner and then seeing the show, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” at the Cosmopolitan Cabaret. It should be a fun night! Tonight, we are having an “at home date night,” making a roasted cauliflower salad with Gruyere cheese, bacon, roasted pine nuts and arugula, along with a bottle of wine that we bought last weekend after Keenan goes to bed. We have a lot of shows to catch-up on, so I think we will be having a TV marathon after dinner!

Before I talk about my “Friday Favorites” for this week, I want to tell you how my coaching went last night. I coached the CrossFit beginner’s class again and it was SO much better than last week! There were only 8 people, so that made a huge difference, but overall, I felt more confident and more of myself. I was able to loosen-up, be louder, make people laugh and remember everyone’s names from last week. I had a blast coaching and I can’t wait to do it again! Speaking of, my coach asked me to coach the weekend class tomorrow morning, since his wife is in a competition all day in the bay area. It should be fun, and another great opportunity to practice my coaching!

Now, onto “Friday Favorites!” If you missed my post from a few weeks ago, I decided to start a new theme for my Friday’s posts. Every Friday, I plan to reflect back on my favorite moments and eats from the past week, as part of my new focus of living more in the present and cherishing each and every moment.

Favorite Moments:

  • Doing arts and crafts with Keenan yesterday: making a turkey using his hand cut-outs and hand prints!
  • Having our “morning family snuggle time” in our bed reading stories with Keenan.
  • Having breakfast with my favorite silly guy!
  • Coaching the CrossFit beginner’s class last night.

Favorite Eats:

  • Egg whites in a Mug over a bed of spinach with avocado, tomato, roasted pumpkin seeds and salsa or pasta sauce (another thing I just can’t stop eating!).

Have a great afternoon and weekend!

Questions: What were your favorite moments and eats from this week? Any fun plans for the weekend? Are you ready for Thanksgiving?

 

More Birthday Fun! November 12, 2012

I hope everyone had a great weekend (or is still having a great weekend, if you are off today)! We had a wonderful weekend with my birthday celebration part 2!

On Saturday, we spent the day at my in-laws. My mother-in-law made an AMAZING brunch for my birthday that included:

Quiche made with swiss chard and mushrooms

YUM!

Cinnamon Rolls

SO worth the splurge!

Deviled Eggs (made by Patty, their good family friend and neighbor)

So good that I ate three!

Cafe Bon (the yummiest coffee drink ever!): made with coffee, chocolate, Amarula liquor and whipped cream!

Best coffee drink ever!

Keenan enjoying Patty’s whipped cream in her Cafe Bon!

My birthday cake: A dense and gooey sweet potato cake with whipped cream and white chocolate frosting!

One of the best cakes I have ever eaten (and I’m not much of a cake fan)!

Everything was delicious and left us all stuffed, to say the least! When we got home that evening, my husband and I were still so full, that we just munched on a few carrots, a slice of turkey and some popcorn.

Yesterday, my husband planned a wonderful day of wine tasting with our friends in Amador County (while Keenan stayed with some friends). We started our day at Amador Cellars with some tasting and then a nice picnic with sandwiches and baked goods from Andrae’s Bakery. Everything was delicious, especially their yummy rosemary brie bread! If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend stopping at Andrae’s for lunch!

SOOO yummy!

After lunch, we made our way to four wineries, including Vino Noceto (one of my favorites!), Story (a new favorite!), Convergence and Helwig (least favorite). It was such a beautiful (but cold!) day, that we were able to get some good pictures! On our way home, we picked up some pizzas and salads from Hot Italian in midtown Sacramento for dinner (a yummy way to end the day!). All in all, it was a great day and my husband did well! He planned the perfect birthday celebration. I’m so blessed and thankful for having such a loving and supportive husband!

Our first stop at Amador Cellars!

Great friends!

The girls and our boots!

Well, today, has been a “semi-lazy” day, since my husband has the day off (though, he isn’t feeling too well). Keenan had his last music class of the year this morning (we start again in January) and we stocked up on groceries on the way home.

After Keenan wakes up from his nap, we are going to CrossFit to complete “Murph,” a hero WOD that consists of: run 1 mile, 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 squats and run 1 mile. I’m SO not looking forward to it and trying to think of every excuse NOT to go.  But, I know my body needs a good workout, especially after consuming so many calories this weekend!

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Question: How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun?

*REMINDER: There is still time to enter the Fiber Gourmet giveaway! Contest ends tomorrow, Nov. 13th at 8 p.m. PST!! To enter, click here!

 

Weekend Recap and Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 October 29, 2012

I hope you all had a good weekend! We had a great weekend, pretty low-key, which was nice for a change!

On Saturday, I headed to our box to do two WODs (my first double-day, in preparation for my upcoming competition on Dec. 8th). Our first workout was really heavy skill work of hanging squat cleans (95 lbs), toes-to-bar and thrusters (95 lbs), completing the movements in 24 minutes, every minute, on the minute. The second workout was push presses, over-the-box burpees, kettlebell snatches and one other movement that I can’t remember for the life of me! The second workout was time capped at 12 minutes, doing as many rounds as possible. Needless to say, both workouts were tough!

On Saturday afternoon, we went on a bike ride and got some frozen yogurt (which Keenan loved!). That night, my husband and I made a nice dinner of grilled eggplant, tomatoes and country style boneless pork ribs (sharing a bottle of wine, of course!) after Keenan went to bed. After dinner, we finally got caught-up with all of our favorite TV shows. It was a nice and relaxing evening!

Yesterday, we stayed home and had a wonderful family day. We made grain-free pumpkin pancakes for breakfast and carved pumpkins in the afternoon! I can’t take credit for the pancake recipe; I used Megan’s recipe, except I doubled the recipe (to have leftovers to freeze), added a 1/2 cup of almond flour, 1/2 tsp of baking powder (for more loft) and used 3/4 cup almond butter (since I didn’t have much left). I topped my pancakes with pumpkin butter and a little maple syrup. They were SO good; they tasted like pumpkin pie! Keenan enjoyed his so much that he devoured his pancake in seconds! Sorry, we were all so busy enjoying our pancakes, that I forgot to take a picture.

It was fun carving pumpkins with Keenan for the first time! At first, he wasn’t sure of the slimy pumpkin seeds/flesh and didn’t want to stick his hand in the pumpkin to take them out. After a while, he got the hang of it and enjoyed “scooping” out the seeds and helping to carve!

Not so sure…

Having fun with the seeds!

Our pumpkins!

Now, onto the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40!

Last Thursday, I was invited to attend a local blogging event, a home party for Graco’s new Snugride Click Connect 40. The event was sponsored by the SITS girls, an online blogging community of more than 40,000 women bloggers. It was a fun event, meeting other local mommy bloggers and some of their little ones, as well as learning about Graco’s new car seat. For attending the event, we all got to take home a car seat, which was quite a nice surprise!

The SnugRide Click Connet 40 allows you to have your child sit rear-facing from birth to two years old (or 40 pounds), which is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. It is the only infant car seat on the market that allows you to have your child rear-facing until they are two. The really cool feature about the car seat is that it grows with your child, adjusting to give your growing child/toddler enough room to sit comfortably (no frog legs, which is what happened to Keenan, before transitioning him to front-facing!). Another nice feature is that the car seat comes with different levels of padding, so you can start with the highest level for your newborn and gradually take the padding out, as your child grows. In addition, the car seat features a one “click” connect to easily transition your child from the car seat to the stroller. Last, but not least, the base of the car seat has a built-in seat protector that can be pulled up once your child is bigger, to protect your seat from shoe marks! You can find the new car seat at Babies R Us and it retails for $219.

Graco’s SnugRide Click Connect 40 will come in handy for our next child (whenever that may be!), because instead of transitioning them to the convertible car seat (facing front) shortly after they are one year old, they can be safer, staying in the same seat for another year! If Keenan is still riding in his convertible car seat at the time we have another child, it also saves us from having to buy another car seat!

The Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 – the first and only newborn to two-year infant car seat that actually grows with your baby from four pounds all the way up to 40 pounds. The car seat is designed for a parent on the go. The infant car seat can be easily removed from the base and used as a carrier when the infant is small, providing portability and convenience so you can easily move your infant in and out of the car without disturbing them.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently made the recommendation to keep all children in rear-facing car seats until the age of 2. Graco set out to make this product so parents can keep infants rear facing longer while still keeping them comfortable.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Graco. The opinions and text are all mine.

Questions: What did you do this weekend? How do you get ready for Halloween? Do you carve pumpkins?

REMINDER: There is still time to enter a chance to win a box of goodies from Artisana!! Giveaway ends October 31st at 8 p.m. PST! To enter, click here.

 

Friday Favorites October 27, 2012

TGIF! Another week down; where did it go? I can’t believe we are almost into November and even scarier, the holidays! This year has flown by so fast! Has anyone else felt that way?

Anyhow, as I was sitting down to write this, I was thinking about all of the things we have done this week, since it has been so hectic. When things get busy, I often forget to slow down and cherish each and every moment, especially those with Keenan. I often get stuck in the hustle and bustle of life and forget how important it is to live in the present, enjoy every moment (good or bad) without thinking about what needs to be done or what I have to do next. Most importantly, I need to appreciate the little things and not take things for granted. I need to remind myself of being in Alaska and what is truly important in life: Family, health, faith, food and shelter. Everything else is not that important (if at all).

With that being said, I thought it would be good (and fun!) to reflect back and cherish some of my favorite moments and eats from this week, aka “Friday Favorites!” Maybe this will be a new theme for my Friday posts…

Favorite Moments:

  • Yesterday, when I was getting ready to head to a blogging event (more on that later!), Keenan wanted to wear my hair clips! When I put them in his hair, he kept looking at himself in the mirror and giggling! He kept the hair clips on while he played with his toys for about 20 minutes! It was too funny!

    Having fun with my hair clips!

  • Dancing with Keenan to “Steve and Greg,” on Wednesday, while I was getting lunch ready. I had just changed Keenan’s diaper and he didn’t want to put his pants back on, so he was dancing in his red train sweatshirt, blue socks and his diaper. I was able to record it on video, but unfortunately, I shot it sideways, so it doesn’t make for great viewing, sorry!
  • Attending my first blogging/media event: The Fresh Market Roseville Sneak Peekon Tuesday evening! It was such a fun event and I met some other local bloggers and awesome vendors!

    The wonderful local produce at the The Fresh Market in Roseville!

  • Getting a PR (personal best) on power cleans at 125 lbs!
  • Cuddling and reading books with Keenan in his crib!
  • Having some much needed cuddle time and catching-up with my husband last night!
  • Today’s Halloween party that my MOMs Club put on was also a favorite moment! Keenan dressed up in his Fireman costume and had a wonderful time collecting candy in his bucket (practicing for Halloween!), decorating (or rather just eating) his cupcake and hanging out with his good friend!

    A picture with my Fireman before heading to the Halloween party!

Our little Fireman!

Buddies!

Favorite Eats:

We had a good partner WOD at CrossFit this afternoon: 100 m x 10 relay followed by 300 double unders and then 21-15-9 of sumo deadlifts and over your partner burpees and lastly, a 100 m wheelbarrel carry! Friday workouts are always fun, but SO challenging!

For dinner, we enjoyed chicken burgers with oven-baked sweet potato fries! My husband is off to see Eddie Izzard tonight with a friend, so I’m going to finish up some work and then snuggle on the couch with a movie, glass of wine and some popcorn! Have a good night!

Question: What were some of your favorite moments and eats from this week? 

REMINDER: There is still time to enter a chance to win a box of goodies from Artisana!! Giveaway ends October 31st at 8 p.m. PST! To enter, click here.

 

The Fresh Market Roseville Sneak Peek Tweet Up! October 24, 2012

Tonight (or last night, as I write this) I attended The Fresh Market Sneak Peek Tweet Up for their new Roseville store. I was so excited to be invited, because it was my first blogging/media event! It was a great evening, learning more about the store, meeting other local bloggers (which I got to see Giselle again!) and vendors, as well as sampling some delicious goodies! The Fresh Market is an East Coast gourmet grocery store chain and the Roseville location is their first store on the West Coast. The store is located at 2030 Douglas Blvd. in the Rocky Ridge Town Center. It officially opens Oct. 24th at 9 a.m.

The Fresh Market originated in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1982. The store was founded with one objective: to bring family, friends, neighbors high quality products in a friendly and inviting environment with the highest level of customer service. Since they opened, they now have more than 125 stores in 24 states mainly in the Southwest, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast regions.

The moment you walk into the store, your eyes are mesmerized by the beautiful array of flowers in the floral department, followed by a pristine rainbow color assortment of produce. The store reminds me of a smaller and more personable version of the Nugget Market and Whole Foods. Everyone was so friendly and willing to answer any questions that we had.

I just love all of the colors!

Such a perfect display!

Our tour started out in the produce section where most of the fruits and veggies are locally sourced within a 100 mile radius of the store,  following their awesome “100 miles or less” program. They have signs with the location, mileage and name of the farm (they had organic Fuji apples from my hometown!). When you look up above, they have signs that direct you to the specific region in California the produce is from. They also have produce from around the country and world, for those items that are not in season, but their main goal is to offer as many local fruits and veggies as possible. They offer organic and conventional produce. One thing that I noticed was the size of their organic produce; it was pretty much the same size as their regular ones. Most other stores’ organic produce is much smaller than their regular fruit and veggies.

From my hometown!

More signs, as part of their local 100 program!

Next, we headed to the cheese section and sampled a 24 month aged Parmesan cheese imported from Italy, which brought me back to memories living in Italy! They freshly grate and cut all of the Parmesan cheese in their store. They also feature 200 different cheeses to choose from and if you aren’t sure about something, they are more than welcome to let you sample before purchasing. You can select a cheese and have them cut it to amount you want. During the holidays, they are also going to offer baked brie!

YUM!

After we learned about the cheeses they feature, we headed over to the candy section. As we approached the candy, I must say it was the largest bulk candy selection I have ever seen! They have every color and type of candy you could imagine, even ones that looked like legos! They also have chocolate covered walnuts, pecans and almonds, as well as chocolate peanut butter caramels! 🙂

I just love the colorful display!

Aren’t the jars cute?

My weakness!

Their bulk foods section was a decent size, not as big as others, but very unique in that they offer veggie chips, such as okra and green beans (something I haven’t seen before). They also offer three types of “make your own” nut butters from regular peanut, honey roasted peanut and almond. All you need to do is get a cup, press the button to grind the nuts and you have fresh nut butter of your choice!

Good variety in their bulk foods section!

Honey roasted peanut butter, YUM!

Next up was their deli counter and hot foods bar. They feature fresh Indian food daily from a local restaurant, as well as Chinese food and some seasonal dishes. They allowed us to help ourselves and take home a plate of Indian food. I was quite impressed; the ikka masala was excellent! In addition to the hot foods, they also have a salad bar, featuring four types of lettuce and all kinds of fixings. In their deli, they offer twelve different salads, packaged salads to-go, fresh whole rotisserie chickens and chicken breasts.

Fresh and delicious!

Next to the deli counter was their large meat and seafood counter. They feature fresh (never frozen) and cut-to-order meat and seafood. Their seafood is locally sourced from San Francisco and most of their beef comes from the Mid-West (where most grocery stores buy their meat). They have a natural section of beef, but it is still corn-feed. They currently don’t offer any grass-fed beef, but are thinking about adding it in the future.

Speaking of beef, we watched one of their chef’s prepare a steak in a nonstick pan with some wine and blue cheese. Sine I’m not a blue cheese fan, I was a little unsure of how it was going to taste, but it was excellent! The steak was perfectly tender, rich in flavor and had a hint of sweetness from the cheese. I am definitely going to keep this in mind for when we have steak!

After sampling the steak, we headed over to the bakery. My mouth was salivating just looking at all of the delectable desserts! They offer cupcakes, whoopie pies (even pumpkin ones!), pastries, custom cakes, as well as fresh baked bread daily, including small quick breads, such as zucchini, pumpkin and banana nut (two loaves for $5.00!).

So decadent!

Pumpkin whoopie pies, YUM!!

Lots of different freshly baked quick breads to choose from!

As we made our way to the dairy section, I noticed it was a little smaller than other stores, but it was packed with several different brands. They offer organic and dairy alternatives (soy, almond, coconut and goat milk) for all of their milk and yogurt products.

Lots of different flavors and types of yogurt!

Last, but certainly not least, we made our way to the wine and beer department. Though their section is slightly smaller than other stores, they have a great variety of international and local wines, as well as a lot of craft beers. The best part about their beer selection is that you can mix and match, creating your own six-pack for $8.99! Most other stores don’t allow you to create your own six-pack, so I was excited to see The Fresh Market offering it! I can’t wait to bring my husband so we can create our own six-pack, since we always love to try different beers! Also, they have someone staffed in the wine and beer department daily to help provide suggestions or answer any questions that you may have.

Wine and more wine!

Mix and match!

In addition to taking a tour, we got to meet some local vendors and sample some of their products that are featured in the store.  We first tried some of the best toffee I have ever eaten from Toffee Boutique, which is located in the Sacramento area. Lisa, the owner, was very friendly and offered us some generously sized samples. I look forward to having my husband try some of her toffee!

Another local vendor that was present tonight was Snow’s Citrus Court. They are a family owned business that operates a citrus grove in Newcastle. They have a variety of products from mandarin orange syrup, marinade, salad dressing, oil, sauce, fruit spread and chocolate sauce. We got to taste their fruit spread, which was excellent on top of brie, and some of their chocolate sauce. I’m not a huge fan of orange paired with chocolate, so I didn’t care for their sauce.

The fruit spread with brie was a perfect combo!

The last vendor we got to meet was The Chef in Black, that makes salad dressing, marinades and dips. Dorene Humason, the owner, was featured on NBC’s “Shark Tank,” which helped kick-start her business. We were able to sample some of their salad dressing, which was good! Unfortunately, they ran out of their dip, so I couldn’t try it. 😦

A great salad dressing (or could be used as a marinade)!

Some other cool things about The Fresh Market is that they offer free cooking classes once a month, as well as a monthly publication called, “Inspirations,” that contains recipes, meal ideas, tips and tricks. They also have over 1,000 in-house products, including pumpkin cider (which was SOOO tasty!) and pumpkin spice almonds! In addition, they offer gift baskets for that special occasion where you need to bring a gift to an event or holiday gathering.

Pumpkin cider, yes please!

Soooo good!

Beautiful gift baskets!

All, in all, The Fresh Market is a fantastic store, featuring local produce and products, having superb customer service, and best of all, being competitive in its’ prices (lower than other local gourmet grocery stores!). I highly recommend checking out the store if you live in the Sacramento area. Since the grand opening is tomorrow (well, today, as I write this), they will have tastings throughout their store all week. I can’t wait to go back and shop there!

Since I had so much to say about The Fresh Market, I’ll post about our awesome roasted beet salad we had for dinner last night (well, on Monday night, since it is so late) later, as well as my PR (personal best) on power cleans! It is WAY past my bed time, so good night! As you can see, I still need to work on my sleep…

Questions: What are some of your favorite grocery stores? When you grocery shop, do you stick to your list, or do you tend to venture off and buy new items? I love the Nugget, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and now, The Fresh Market. With our budget, I stick to my list, but when I shop in a specialty grocery store, I tend to venture off of my list to try new things!

 

Oh, what a busy weekend! October 22, 2012

I can’t believe it is already Monday. I need one more day to rest and get things done, since we were so busy this weekend. Did anyone else feel that way? Either way, we had a good weekend, spending some time as a family, running our usual errands, including a trip to our farmer’s market and Costco, as well as seeing some friends.

On Friday and Saturday nights, my husband and I enjoyed our “at home date nights.” On Friday, we made a yummy antipasti dinner of eggplant rollatini and bruschetta (using some ciabatta bread we had in our freezer) with tuna. To top if off, we also enjoyed a nice bottle of wine. We ended up just talking and not watching any of our TV shows, as planned. It was a nice evening!

The eggplant rollatini recipe is from my cousin who lives in Tuscany. When my husband and I traveled to Italy the summer before Keenan was born, we stayed with my cousin Tony, and his wife, Vanda, for a couple of days. While we stayed with them, Vanda made us some AMAZING dishes, one of which was her eggplant rollatini that she served as part of her antipasti the first night. It was SO good, we knew we had to try and replicate it at home (which comes close, but it is not the same). Just thinking about her cooking is making my mouth water! Here is the recipe:

Eggplant Rollatini: (serves 4-6)

– 2 large eggplants

– 1 package ricotta cheese

– 1 large handful of fresh basil (finely chopped)

– salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Slice eggplants in very thin slices, using a mandolin kitchen slicer (if you have one).

2. In a nonstick pan, cook the slices of eggplant, for 2-3 minutes on each side or until browned. Let cool.

3. Meanwhile, mix ricotta cheese, basil, salt and pepper together.

4. Once the eggplants are cool, put a dollop of the ricotta mixture in the center of the eggplant and roll.

5. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve as an appetizer or a part of your meal!

*Notes: If you are in a hurry, you can skip the refrigeration step and serve the eggplant rollatini immediately. When chilled in the fridge, the flavors have a chance to blend together and the ricotta sets.

On Saturday morning, I made a new creation for part of our breakfast, a baked paleo pancake. We each enjoyed a square of the pancake topped with pumpkin butter, along with my husband’s “cheesy eggs!”  The pancake turned out pretty good, though a little dense, but the flavor was great. For my pancake recipe, see below:

Prior to being baked.

Baked Paleo Pancake: (serves 3-4)

Ingredients:

– 1/2 cup almond flour

– 1 banana (mashed)

– 2 eggs

– 2 Tbsp any milk

– 2 Tbsp flaxseed (ground)

– 1 tsp vanilla

– 1 tsp cinnamon

– 1 tsp honey

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prep an 8×8 pan with cooking spray.

2. Mix all ingredients together and pour into pan.

3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until slightly brown.

*Notes: cut into squares and serve with coconut butter, pumpkin butter, nut butter, maple syrup or honey.

Fresh out of the oven!

For Saturday night, we started off our evening with a wonderful goat Gouda cheese that we picked up at Costco, with some Fiber Gourmet crackers (look for a review and giveaway coming soon!), and a nice bottle of wine. Since I had some broccoli that needed to be used up, we roasted it with cherry tomatoes and a red onion, topping it with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of feta cheese. It was delish! Since we ate so much of the Gouda cheese, we didn’t feel we needed any other protein. Since we didn’t watch anything the night before, we had a TV marathon and got caught up on all of our shows that we missed last week. “Parenthood” had me in tears and “Revenge” is getting SO good!

Wine and cheese, the perfect pair!

On Sunday, we enjoyed a nice breakfast of french toast (using the leftover ciabatta bread from Saturday night), thanks to my husband! Of course, we had pumpkin lattes to go with it! After breakfast, we headed to a local CrossFit competition in Elk Grove, the WarriorZ Throwdown, to watch our coach compete. Some of the top CrossFit athletes from Northern California competed, so it was really inspiring to watch!!

After the CrossFit competition, we headed to our neighbor’s son’s birthday party (he turned 1). Keenan was SO tired, because he didn’t have a nap yesterday, so he was wired at the party. He enjoyed playing in the bonce house and having his fill of sugar! The theme of the party was from the book, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” and they had cake pops in the shape of a caterpillar; it was really cute! I have to say that the cake pops were some of the best that I have ever eaten; they were SUPER moist and very chocolatey! Keenan devoured his in seconds and my husband and I shared one. I could have had another one all by myself, because they were so good! 🙂

Today, has been another busy Monday with Keenan’s music class and finishing up some things around the house that I didn’t get to over the weekend. I also made a batch of Italian Carrots for Keenan, since he was all out of his cooked carrots. Since he still can’t eat raw carrots (I thought he could a while back, but when he had them over the weekend, he just spit them out, since they were too hard for him to chew), I like to keep some cooked ones in the freezer for easy additions to his meals. I just microwave a few carrots for 20-30 seconds and they are ready for him to eat, so easy! Here is the recipe, if you are interested in making some for your toddler, or if you just prefer cooked carrots:

So good, I like eating them, too!

Italian Carrots: (serves 6-8)

– 1 bag baby carrots

– 1 tsp butter

– tsp Italian seasoning

– 1/2 tsp pepper

– 2 tsp Parmesan cheese (grated)

Directions:

1. Steam carrots until tender with a fork.

2. Toss carrots with all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until all are well coated.

3. Either eat the carrots freshly cooked, or store in a zip-lock bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, heat as many carrots as desired in a microwave-safe dish for 25-35 seconds.

*Notes: When re-heating carrots, you might want to microwave for 20-25 seconds at first, to check to see if thoroughly heated, since all microwaves are different.

Well, Keenan should be waking up soon, so it’s time to get ready for CrossFit. I’m helping out with the beginner’s class tonight, so that should be fun! They are a great group of people! On the menu for dinner is a roasted beet salad with goat cheese and pine nuts! I haven’t roasted beets before, but I love ordering a roasted beet salad in restaurants, so I’m excited to try it out. I’ll keep you posted!

Questions: How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun? Did you make or try any new foods/dishes? If so, what new foods/dishes did you try?

**REMINDER: There is still time to enter a chance to win a box of goodies from Go Raw! Contest ends tonight at 8 p.m. PST!! To enter, click here.

 

 
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