mondayyyy

And….we’re back to that Monday grind. How was your weekend?

I kicked things off on Friday with a run! And then satisfied my craving for In-N-Out as I watched my husband Chris Evan’s film Captain America Civil War. I know, it’s shocking to me that I haven’t seen it too.

On Saturday, I spent the morning brunching and the afternoon at the beach.

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That evening, I hung out with my friend as we drove around LA. Always lovely.

Sunday took me to Knott’s Berry Farm with my cousins Meghan and Sebastian. It’s no Disneyland, which is off limits thanks to the annual pass holder blackout dates, but it’s still fun!

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I’m quite the daredevil with all those roller coasters (some scarier than others). I guess I just have a need for speed. Ew.

Sunday night, I finished some blog posts, watched the West Wing, read, and went to sleep. Happiest of all Mondays!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Stuff ‘Cakes

I saw a recipe online that included chocolate stuffed pancakes and I was very much for it. My usual go-to pancake recipe is one I’ve shared before on the blog. In the past, I’ve mixed my favorite chocolate peanut butter into the batter and while tasty, it never quite tasted as chocolatey and peanut buttery as I’d hoped. Cue the internet!

Frozen chocolate peanut butter discs. The original post I found this from used Nutella, but I’m not a huge hazelnut girl, so I stuck with what I knew.

I used my own pancake recipe, minus the peanut butter in the batter.

Don’t mind the creepy hand shadow. These discs were spread onto plastic wrap (the only thing I had for it) the night before in anticipation of making this recipe. Once I’m up, I want to eat, so there would be no waiting for a pre-freeze in the morning.

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Once everything was prepared, I dropped a dollop of batter onto the hot pan, delicately plopped the peanut butter disc on top, and covered it with more batter.

UM.

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Served with eggs of choice (scrambled), preferred hot beverage (coffee), favorite fruit (all the berries), and topped with syrup or nothing at all because the chocolate peanut butter upped the ante. The perfect weekend breakfast.

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Yes, please and thank you to the blogger who inspired this meal!

The Thong Song

Welcome back! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and are still feeling good vibes heading into the new year. I for one had a wonderful time, but I’m ready to get back into the groove of solid routine, especially in terms of food. Too many tempting sweets!

Let’s get right back into it!

Yesterday, after Yoga and a brief, but sweaty run, my friend Katie came over for brunch. I’m always saying I make better breakfast/brunch than restaurants, so I needed to prove myself. A ham and cheese omelet, toast, and a side of spinach and peppers was a solid force.

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I worked for much of the day, so lunch was a quick bite of leftovers and dinner was Chinese food while watching the first Star Wars with my family. Side note, there is this game Fibbage you play on your phones and over some kind of video game device and it’s hilarious. I recommend it for New Years’ shenanigans.

This morning, I made myself a warm bowl of oats. Haven’t had this one in awhile! I was missing the mashed banana as grocery shopping still needed to be done, but it was an excellent breakfast.

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After a short shift at work, I fit in a workout with my friend Nouha. The focus was on triceps, shoulders, and legs, followed up with some core. We ran out of time on the cardio front, but it was still a good sweat!

My post-workout lunch included eggs, toast, veggies, and fruit.

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I really am on a huge egg kick lately, but I’m trying to back off on those waffles! Can’t go wrong with eggs breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Some random things to note.

I forgot how comfortable boots are! They’re like cushions for my feet. I’m not pleased that the reason I pulled them out of the closet was due to a pending snow-something (I won’t say storm), but my feet are happy in their ignorant bliss.

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In an this-would-happen-to-me-scenario, a few days ago, Facebook wanted me to share a “special memory” that occurred 8 years ago. I don’t know why they thought this one should be re-posted, especially because they only prompt such a thing once every few weeks, but I had to screenshot it and share the oddness.

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That is a thong…lying on the ground at a tourist site in some European country my sister visited 8 years ago and I tagged myself in to be funny. I really hope someone took the time to do this, but it’s probably just the computer being random. (OR, computers are gaining senses of humor/irony, which means we’re all pretty much screwed.

Anyone else have the Thong Song stuck in their heads now?

 

Bump-y Weekend of Fun

Well, hey. It’s been awhile, which isn’t intentional and I’m not quite sure what happened to delay my posting. All I can say is that I’m back now to our regularly scheduled blogging. October is busy and somehow basically mid-way thru?

Let’s continue with a little weekend recap. Saturday morning started off at work, but after, I rushed home to finish up putting a few things together before hightailing it my friend Katie’s apartment. Our college friend Erin is getting married at the end of this month and we’ve already kicked off some of the celebrations with her bridal shower in August, but this time it was all about the Bachelorette.

My friends from school refer to ourselves as “the core four” as there are four of us who are really close and we’re all bridesmaids (except for the bride of course).

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We started off with a delicious potluck meal that included a buffalo chicken dip, chicken parmesan, pasta, garlic bread, salad, and cupcakes for dessert. Yum!

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I would zero in on the cupcakes, but hey! I made them and I have a hell of a sweet tooth.

Second event on the agenda was an improv show in the city. So freakin’ funny. There’s something about improv that is so raw and re-actional. As a writer, I’m all about the planning and the wording, but it’s so important to have instincts and gut reactions. Color me so so impressed! Definitely something to do again soon! Though I will say they should work on their margarita.

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The rest of the night was focused on celebrating Erin with some drinking and dancing. You have to dance when you drink because you burn off all those calories and it’s just so darn fun. It’s a rule. Look it up!

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The next day, started off with some brunch and lots of water and coffee. I went simple with eggs over easy, toast, sausage, and some home fries. My eggs were half raw, which would never happen in my kitchen. Brunch is about the experience and the people you’re eating with (sometimes) and not always about the food (we’re going with that for now). The woes of being a cook in a restaurant!

Once I got home, I focused some more on rehydrating before I headed out for a run. I am so sick of my feet falling asleep- I know I need new sneakers but I was in denial- but I still made it through a wonderful 6.25 mile run on a gorgeous day. Seriously, the weather this weekend was phenomenal. I walked another two miles home and just enjoyed being outside and listening to my music. Good music is everything when it comes to running and getting in that groove.

I made a hunk of a salad for dinner to pair with the pizza my parents brought home from their lunch. I didn’t have the biggest appetite after running, but the meal hit the spot. For the rest of the night, I watched some episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer  studied (okay, so I did a little studying and a lot of watching). I also wrote quite a bit and ended up falling asleep later than I should have.

Regardless of my late start to sleep, I woke up early on Monday morning for our weekly grocery shopping trip. There was nothing but angst and pain when I realized the store didn’t have blueberries OR raspberries. That is a true nightmare. Thankfully, there were strawberries so I could keep it together. Also, I can eat apples again so we’re all good on the fruit front.

A strength training workout was also on the agenda. Despite feeling tired and somewhat affected still from Saturday night, I killed it at the gym with my lifting session and felt even stronger than last week when I hit a few milestones. To top things off, I worked through a body strength/plyometrics circuit that left me feeling nice, sweaty, and accomplished.

I should mention that I whacked my head yesterday too and am rocking the bruise and bump combination. It really was completely a moment of stupidity because all I did was bend over and knock it off something I knew was there. Whoops. I seemed to sleep fine last night and woke up so I doubt there’s a concussion…

Before work, I had a nap before a productive study session that cleared up a few points I wasn’t grasping before. I just used “before” a lot in that sentence. I was going to change it, but then I decided to mention it, so you can’t judge it. It’s a thing.

So here we are on Tuesday, which feels like a Monday, but we’re already that much closer to another Friday!

I started my day off with an egg and two egg white omelet with chicken sausage and cheese and a fresh homemade whole wheat waffle. Notice the grapes for fruit as there were no berries and the strawberries required a lot of moving other things around to get to them and I was hungry.

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Still delicious and spot-hitting!

Now for even more productivity, less head hitting, and a lovely (albeit rainy) day! Promise I won’t go as long between posts.

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Baked pumpkin oatmeal was a great way to start off the week. This included pumpkin purée, maple peanut butter, pecans, banana, and blueberries and it was excellent even after a night in the fridge. Oatmeal is a quick, healthy, easy meal in any of its varieties, particularly if you make it a night in advanced. Whether you prefer cold with over-night or hot with baked, it takes just a few minutes of prep and then it’s ready to go when you need it in the morning.

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My peanut butter pancakes were on the menu the next day, enjoyed as they usually are with peanut butter, jelly, shredded coconut, and an assortment of fresh fruit. I can’t ever get sick of these!

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Another one of my favorites is poached eggs over toast. I tried putting jelly on one of the slices of toast because I’ve heard the sweetness pairs well with the saltiness of the yolk. Not bad, but this dish is just as good in its classic form. I also had some fruit, but I don’t like my fruit stewing in egg.

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Some more oatmeal, this time the stove top variety with some peanut butter, jelly, banana, strawberries, and blueberries. Toasted shredded coconut on top completed this deliciousness.

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This next breakfast was a bit of a fail. One thing I am working on is trying new dishes without a recipe. I had the brilliant idea to make some coconut crusted French toast and all was going well until the coconut burned in the pan without fully cooking the bread. It was good, especially dolled up with the usual concoction of peanut butter and jelly, but indefinitely has room for improvement. Experimenting in the kitchen is what makes cooking fun! My friend Andrea suggested next time I try baking it in the oven.

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As you can see, it’s not very pretty.

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Now it’s very pretty.

This is actually a different pancake recipe I tried to devise. I just threw together some Greek yogurt, whole wheat flour, oats, and an egg and topped nitwits peanut butter and jelly. Predictable, I know. They were excellent though a bit more indulgent than my other protein pancakes, particularly because I went with coconut yogurt.

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Breakfast on Sunday came much earlier than usual these days because I knew I had a busy day ahead and limited time to fit in my workout. I had a quick, light, and healthy peanut butter on toast and fruit meal to fuel heat ended up being a pretty good workout, despite still being a bit sore from my previous two workouts.

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My first lunch was enjoyed at a Barnes and Noble cafe as I was waiting for a meeting. While browsing, I was appalled at the calories of some of the dishes, including the veggie quiche that I had been eyeing and ended up being over 600 calories for not a lot of food. Instead, I opted for the more friendly egg, cheese, and spinach on non English muffin for 300 calories along with my brought from home veggie sticks. To be honest, I can make it far better.

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I jazzed up some pasta leftovers by tossing it with peppers, broccoli, asparagus, cheese, and black beans. All very good!

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A salad and yogurt was on the lunch menu the next day. I was so excited to find pumpkin chobani at Target and couldn’t wait to try it when I got home. I included a half of a whole wheat pita to go with my salad.

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Nouha came over to try an online Yoga class that had good intentions, but was not what we expected. I suppose it was a good stretch, but I’m glad that it was my rest day from the gym. After, I made stir fries using chicken, zucchini, peppers, carrots, and mushrooms on top of quinoa and mixed with a Thai peanut sauce I found at Target. It was very good! For dessert, Nouha brought some frozen yogurt that made everything a little sweeter.

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After a long workout that kicked my butt and has still left me sore, I was craving carbs. I threw together some more pasta and black beans, a couple of meatballs, cheese, and an assortment of vegetables. This left me so nice and full, I wasn’t hungry for dinner until way later in the night.

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To start off the weekend, my cousin Michael, my grandma, and I had a wonderful lunch out together at Bertuccis. Along with the best company and conversation, I enjoyed some Bertuccis rolls (the best kind), salad, and the pasta abruzzi in which I had some of the pasta and all of the peppers and sausage. I forwent most of the carbs in the meal because I couldn’t resist having two rolls! Pick and choose!

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My final lunch of the week was actually brunch out with my friends Lauren and Andrea. There was a bit of a wait to be seated so we sipped on mimosas and snacked on some homemade biscuits. For my meal, I went with eggs over easy, I had two yolks and most of the egg whites, but did not need the third yolk they offered. The eggs were so fluffy and buttery, I need to improve my egg technique. I loved the sour dough toast and slice of watermelon that came with it. Finally, I chose French fries over home fries and shared the huge plate with my friends and we didn’t come close to finishing them. All very good!

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Dinners this week included quite a bit of pasta, including this first dish. This is a chicken cacciatore that was served with whole wheat fussili, peppers, and asparagus. I couldn’t resist also having a side of toast, though this is something I am trying to cut out!

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Teriyaki chicken with spinach, a huge baked potato blanketed in a bit of butter and cheese, and the most delicious roasted squash dish ever was another dinner this past week. Seriously,the squash (and everything else), was so good!

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More pasta this week, this time whole wheat spaghetti with meatballs, peppers, mushrooms, and kale along with a salad I didn’t snap a picture of. I had to demolish this fairly quickly because my kickball game was on the earlier side and I wasn’t hungry until it was close to kick-off.

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I have been on the lookout for an easy, healthy curry recipe I could make myself and though I’m still searching, I found a substitute at Target that worked nicely. This is a Taste of India brand that was easy to put together, just toss in the paste (no artificial ingredients or preservatives, just a brief list of spices and things I’ve heard of!), water, and chicken and veggies of choice and heat on the stove top. It was spicy and delicious and reminded me a lot of the Indian food I’ve eaten at restaurants. I was quite pleased and enjoyed it over coconut basmati rice also found at Target- I’m loving their brands!

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After a long run, I threw together a quick salad with leftover teriyaki chicken and a pumpkin spice English muffin with a couple of teaspoons of peanut butter. Simple, quick, and filling, perfect for after a workout!

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My final meal of the week was enjoyed with some family at my aunt and uncle’s house. After snacking on a few appetizers, though I tried to keep it light, we ordered in some Mexican. I went with steak tacos, but put aside the tortillas in exchange for some of the chips. I also only had a couple of bites of the rice, but I ate all the beans because they were so good and fluffy. To get more of a veggie fix, I cut up some pepper and carrots when I got home to try and end the week on a healthy note!

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Though I seem to be starting the week off with a bit of a cold and it’s still warm outside, I’m feeling good and excited that it will soon chill off so I can wear layers and boots again!

Eat any good meals this week you want to share?