Turkey Day Anticipation


Tomorrow is one of the best holidays of the year, Thanksgiving! I love the gluttony and indulgence, the family time, the wonderful decor and of course the entire holiday season! This year I am starting a new tradition: I will be running my very first 10k race Thanksgiving morning, and I hope to run a race every year from here on out. I have been training a lot to get up to the 6.2 miles this race will cover, and my body is paying for it in the form of an overuse injury in my IT band.  This comes from increasing mileage or speed too quickly. Those three weeks I took off to heal from my egg donation cycle put me back a bit in my training, so last week I really pushed it, running a 5k race my first day back to exercising, then a 4.5 mile run, a 5 mile run, and finally a 5.83 mile run this past Monday which left me gasping in pain in the last quarter-mile as it felt like someone was jabbing me in the outside of my right knee. I have been aware of knee pain through a lot of my training and have been crossing my fingers I wouldn’t end up here, but it’s pretty inevitable for a runner to have some sort of injury. Because running hurts. It can also be pretty wonderful. And so you have my love-hate relationship with running. It hurts me, but I love it.

This Thanksgiving I am most looking forward to and am thankful for:

My first ever 10k race in the Almaden Valley Run Turkey Run event

Making Grandma Ople’s apple pie and healthy mashed potatoes for my family

25% off my entire purchase at Sports Authority which is quickly becoming one of my new favorite stores. They are open 9am-3pm and I’ve already been there twice this week alone haha (got myself a sweet new long-sleeved running shirt and an Under Armour visor, a foam roller, KT Tape, a hot/cold pack and GU chomps with caffeine for my race)

Having two Thanksgiving dinners, one with each of Billy and my families

A fantastic day off

Shiver inducing temperatures that make being cozy and warm inside so much better (it doesn’t snow here, but it will be the California equivalent of low 50’s tomorrow hehe)

Seeing Harry Potter 7.1

Getting and decorating our Christmas tree

Visiting friends

What are you looking forward to this Thanksgiving? Do you have any special traditions, or any healthy dishes to share? Do you participate in Thanksgiving day runs or walks in your community?  I want to hear from you!

Recipe Swap in Full Swing!


I love to share recipes that I am making on a regular basis with my lovely readers for several reasons. One, because I love to cook and bake, and two, because I think other people should get to enjoy some of the yumminess that fills my home, too!

Trish over at This Life of Ours seems to feel the same way, and has created a “What’s Cooking, Good Looking?” recipe swap. I think this is a fabulous idea, and I hope you get a chance to hop on over to Trish’s blog and post your favorite recipe for her to try out sometime.

I would also love recommendations and favorite recipes from you! Just follow my blog (through e-mail subscription or just use the follow button on the right) and post a comment here with your favorite recipe and I will give it a whirl and blog about it! Now how’s that for cooperating and swapping recipes?!

I simply can’t wait to try out some new recipes from my lovely readers!

Apple Pie a la Grandma Ople


Bryn, one of the kids I nanny for, asked me to make an apple pie with her a few weeks back, and of course I couldn’t say no, even if it meant that I would be making the pie myself. I have made an apple pie once before and forgot to peel the apples, and while it was OK, it wasn’t a recipe I was going to try again. So where to look? A lot of women can ask their mom or grandma for a trusty pie recipe, however my grandma is not really known as a cook. She can get along all right in the kitchen, but she will be the first person to let you know she isn’t very good. Instead of asking my own grandma for her apple pie recipe (because she doesn’t have one) I looked to allrecipes.com for a yummy apple pie recipe. One of the first recipes I looked at was Grandma Ople’s apple pie. It looked easy enough and had delicious ingredients, so I decided to give it a try.

Like I imagined, Bryn didn’t help much other than to ask “is it ready yet?” over and over again. I followed the recipe very closely, only adding a little cinnamon, and using trader Joe’s frozen pie crust, even making the lattice top crust. The pie was amazing. I mean melt in your mouth, buttery perfection. I have never had an apple pie that delicious. The only bad thing was it wasn’t very pretty with the lumpy lattice top.

I made the pie again this past Friday for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner party I was attending, and decided to use a full crust this time. It turned out even better this time around, and I got so many wonderfully sweet comments on how yummy it was! The other day, my friend Adrienne asked for apple pie recipes, and of course I had to offer her Grandma Ople’s recipe! I don’t know who Grandma Ople is, but I just want to hug and kiss her for creating this wonderful recipe! I am giving you the recipe with my own little additions and changes so you can try it for yourself!

 

Grandma Ople’s Apple Pie, a la Adrian

1 pkg Trader Joe’s frozen pie crust (includes 2)

6 large (8 small) Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

1/2 cup unsalted butter

3 tbls flour

1/4 water

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, cinnamon, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer for 5 minutes.

2. Place the bottom crust in your pan. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes, remove and let cool for a few minutes.

3. In a separate bowl, pour sugar and butter mixture over apples, saving just a little of the mix for the top crust. Toss to coat, then fill pie crust with apples, mounding slightly.

4. Cover with full crust and paint with leftover sugar mixture. Pinch both crusts together, making a pattern if you want all the way around the pie.

5. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F. Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.

Remove, let cool and enjoy!! Let me know if you use this pie recipe, I want to see if you make any adjustments and what you think!

Meatloaf Monday


Every evening Billy or I will take Marlo for her walk. When I take her, I always make note of the strange, exotic, and mouth-watering dinner smells that emanate from all of the homes in our apartment complex. This past weekend, I happened across the most delicious smelling meatloaf. I am not a huge meat fan, and meatloaf isn’t at the top of my list for meals that make me salivate, however, the aromas coming from this apartment were definitely yummy and it made me crave meatloaf of all things! So while many people are taking part in the Meatless Monday campaign and eating their veggies on this cool fall evening, I made turkey meatloaf instead.

I was inspired by this recipe, but was out of eggs and milk, so I improvised and came up with something new. Here is the recipe I used instead. It smelled delicious while it cooked, and now that I am eating it, it totally wins! So glad I made the substitutions that I did 🙂

Adrian’s Italian turkey meatloaf

  • 1lb lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup ketchup (you can also use marinara sauce, but I like ketchup)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl combine turkey, ricotta, and bread crumbs. Mix in salt, pepper, oregano and garlic powder. Add water as needed and combine until sticky. Transfer to a loaf pan and top with shredded mozzarella, then ketchup.  Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour.

Makes 4 servings

calories: 287, fat: 11.32, carbs: 18.3, fiber: 0.4 and only 7 Weight Watchers points per serving. (I created this recipe on the daily plate and it gave me the nutritional information based on the ingredients I listed, such a helpful tool!)

Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes (via Stay Calm, Have A Cupcake!)


Seriously just drooled on myself when I found this blog post over at Stay Calm, Have a Cupcake! I couldn’t imagine a more perfect pairing for autumn then chocolate caramel cupcakes. I’ve been jonesing lately for this flavor combination, and was pretty set on making chocolate caramels with sea salt, but candy making is intimidating, whereas cupcakes are right up my alley. Now, I just have to come up with an excuse to be baking, or Billy will put his foot down and tell me forget about it haha

Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes Happy Monday readers! Last night I made Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes – complete with gooey caramel centers, milk chocolate mousse, and rich chocolate cake. The recipe took me longer than I had hoped, and I had to make some adjustments along the way, but I came out with a great cupcake and a flawless recipe. Please enjoy!! I’m warning you thou … Read More

via Stay Calm, Have A Cupcake!

Zucchini Bread


The end of summer is a wonderful time not only for the weather, and the fact that my favorite season is arriving, but also because of the bountiful crop of late summer vegetables that is ready to eat! The weather as of late hasn’t felt much like fall, (hello upper 90s!) so I had to add this recipe while it still feels like summer 🙂

The family I nanny for has a garden planted by the landlord, who happened to go on a trip and left his big beautiful zucchini plants to fend for themselves. A quick wander through the giant leaves, and I found myself a specimen of supreme proportions that begged me to take it home and make it into something delicious. I obliged! I found this wonderful zucchini bread recipe, but wasn’t feeling super adventurous so I omitted all the far eastern nuances and kept it simple. My final product was so good! Billy and I really enjoyed the moist, rich bread this recipe makes, so I hope you get a chance to check it out! If you are feeling frisky, add the curry powder, walnuts, poppy seeds, lemon zest and crystallized ginger and tell me how it goes!



I just put the fork down


Recently I got to hang out with my friend Jenn. She is a clever girl and unintentionally funny in a sarcastic and irrelevant way. Our conversation of course came around to her smoking hot body, and how she has recently lost a little weight. I asked her how she did it, to which Jenn replies “I don’t eat anymore.” Dead pan, as if that makes perfect sense and should easily answer my inquiry. Of course I wasn’t satisfied with that answer, and continued to pry. “But really, you can’t just not eat, you have to eat, so how does that work?” I asked. “It’s easy, I just stop eating” she casually replied. “But how do you stop eating?” I entreated. “It’s easy, I  just put the fork down” she said.

I was cracking up at this point, knowing she was only half serious and it wasn’t something to worry about. It made me wish I had that kind of self-control, to just put the fork down and stop eating! Life would be a whole lot simpler if I could stop eating.  If that were the case, I wouldn’t be banned from making chocolate chip cookies (my diet kryptonite) or cupcakes on a daily basis, because I would be content to just have one, and save the rest. Instead, I will eat a whole batch of cookies, and 6 cupcakes before I get full, and you better believe I am thinking about whatever is left over, obsessing really, until I end up finishing the rest! No. self. control. This is why Billy says I am not allowed to bake unless I have a predetermined agenda for it, so nothing stays in the house and is all pawned off on someone else, and not left to tempt me!

Peach Crisp


I picked up a flat of peaches from Costco recently and got busy enjoying them, however I found it difficult to get through the amount of peaches I brought home before they went bad. Ripe peaches are amazing. So aromatic, juicy and sweet, but they only stay perfectly ripe for so long. Soon their skin begins to pucker and loosen, and there are more noticeable blemishes marring their rosy flesh. I had 3 big peaches just begging to be used up before they went bad, so I scrambled for a dessert recipe that would do these California girls justice. I found this recipe and  substituted 3 fresh peaches for the canned peaches it calls for. It was super simple, and tastes delicious! I was a bit skeptical when it came out of the oven, it looked a bit mushy, but wow it tasted great. Billy went back for seconds, which isn’t something he normally does with non chocolate peanut butter desserts.

Food Diary


OK friends, here is the horrible food diary I have kept this week inspired by Lindsay of Fooditude. It kept me in check for the most part, but I probably could have picked an easier week to try to stay “good”! I don’t suggest trying to stay away from freshly baked chocolate chip cookies when you are about to start your period, but Billy helped by cleaning out my stash (the first one!), and I gave a good portion of the batch away. It was pretty nerve-wracking to think, ‘oh man, people are going to know what I actually eat in a week, and see my humongous sweet tooth for the terror it really is”, but here it is anyway…

My daily calorie allowance should be 1317 to lose weight. I  ran 3 miles on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so my intake can be up to 400 calories higher than days I don’t run, but I still like to keep it close to my normal allowance. I think I do better the beginning of the week, whereas the closer to the weekend I get, the worse I eat!

Monday

Breakfast: 2 scrambled egg whites with 1 piece of oat nut toast with Better n’ peanut butter, and 1/2 cup strawberries, 205 calories

Morning snack: 2 homemade (sooo delicious) chocolate chip cookies, 220 calories

Lunch: Bagel thin with left over chicken breast and laughing cow cheese wedge, 1 cup steamed broccoli, 1/2 cup fat-free cottage cheese, 365 calories

Afternoon snack: 10 green grapes, 30 calories

Dinner: Homemade mac and cheese, homemade chocolate chip cookie, 570 calories

Monday total calories: 1390

Tuesday

Breakfast: carb balance whole wheat tortilla with 3 scrambled egg whites, light sour cream, salsa and oven roasted turkey breast, 338 calories

Lunch: 2 slices double fiber bread with laughing cow cheese wedge and oven roasted turkey breast sandwich, 235 calories

Afternoon snack: small slice of berry pie, 250 calories

Dinner: Jack Daniels pulled chicken on 1 slice of country buttermilk bread, 220 calories

Dessert: homemade chocolate chip cookie (last one of the batch!!) 110 calories

Tuesday calorie total: 1153

Wednesday

Breakfast: 1 slice double fiber bread with better n’ peanut butter, 3 scrambled egg whites, 1/2 cup strawberries, 207 calories

Morning snack: Detour lower sugar creamy peanut butter protein bar, 170 calories

Lunch: 2 slices wheat bread, 1 tbl jiff organic peanut butter, 1 tbl sugar free raspberry jam, 305 calories

Afternoon snack: 1 cup strawberries, 1 Detour peanut caramel protein bar (amazingly good!), 247 calories

Dinner: Safeway deli Tuscan chicken sandwich, 445 calories

Wednesday calorie total: 1374

Thursday

Breakfast: Toast with better n’ peanut butter, 1/2 cup strawberries, 2 scrambled eggs, 191 calories

Morning snack: Detour protein bar, 170 calories

Lunch: Subway 6 inch turkey sandwich, 280 calories

Afternoon snack: 1/4 cup nut and fruit trail mix, 150 calories

Dinner: Sarah’s homemade pasta with tomato cream sauce, 370 calories

Dessert: 2 small pieces Claim Jumper chocolate silk pie, 410 calories

Thursday calorie total: 1571 calories

Friday

No breakfast or morning snack, the time got away from me after my run

Lunch: leftover pasta with tomato cream sauce, 370 calories

Afternoon snack: 2 sandwich cookies, Detour protein bar, 280 calories

Dinner: McDonald’s chicken nuggets (6), French fries, diet coke, 510 calories

After concert meal: 1/2 order Denny’s bananas foster French toast, 1/2 chocolate shake, 652 calories

Friday Calorie Total: 1811 calories

Saturday

Breakfast: Jimmy Dean breakfast croissant sandwich, 420 calories

Snack: Detour protein bar, 170 calories

Dinner: Il Fornaio for Michelle’s birthday dinner, 1 piece of bread, 2 pieces of bruschetta, cannelloni al Forno, strawberry cupcake with chocolate frosting, 1078 calories (yikes!!)

Saturday calorie total: 1678 calories

Sunday

Breakfast: Jimmy Dean breakfast croissant sandwich, 420 calories

Lunch: better n’ peanut butter and sugar-free jam sandwich, 200 calories

Afternoon snack: 1 slice spice cake a client brought in for me, 58 calories

Dinner: 6 homemade chocolate chip cookies (tee hee), 1 glass of fat-free milk, 750 calories

Sunday calorie total: 1438 calories