Tagged: pasta

WIAW #29 – Finding my Groove

Good morning, ladies (and gentlemen? I don’t really know who reads this, after all, but I do know that it’s typically only ladies that comment…so thereladies it is) How are we all doing?? We’re spectacular! And by we, I mean me. And I guess technically my little honey bear who is chatting up a storm in her lil’ sleeper next to me as I type this. EmGosh she’s adorable.

Anywho, I’m so pleased to be participating in What I Ate Wednesday, this week, brought to you by Jenn at Peas and Crayons!! Emma and I are really starting to get in a groove, which is making finding time to take pictures of my food (heck – make and consume my food, too) much easier to do! Though everyday is still a little different, we’re really starting to get in a nice routine. At 15 weeks (3 months…baby age is so weird), I couldn’t be happier!! Here is how my yesterday went.

I woke up when the hubby was up yesterday, right around 5:00am. I woke up Emma, who had been snoozing since about 10:00pm and my milk makers were ready for her breakfast. She ate from one side for about an hour, then I pumped the other and had a banana. You all know what a banana looks like, yes? Because I did not snap a photo of it. Oopsies!

Emma usually falls back asleep for an hour or two after her breakfast, and since my MIL didn’t have to go in to work until 9:30am, I took advantage, strapped on my running shoes, and headed out into the cool autumn air!! I find there is no time I enjoy running more than on a nice fall morning. I love the sound of the leaves crunching under my feet and the scent of fires burning in nearby fireplaces in the air. Ah, bliss. Two and a half miles of it yesterday. Not bad, considering I ran three miles (farthest post-baby) on Saturday and was still pretty sore from it. Once I got home I even had time for an AM shower and to make myself a nice post-run breakfast!

Breakfast: Eggs and potatoesssssssss. Whenever I make baked potatoes, I always always always make extras.It requires minimal effort, since I’m already baking potatoes,  AND it means I can make breakfast potatoes in no time at all the next morning. This here is my favorite combination: 1/2 of a potato with some diced bell peppers, lots of granulated garlic, and even more Franks Red Hot! I saute the potatoes and peppers in just a tiny bit of olive oil until the potatoes start to get crispy and the peppers soften over medium heat. Then, I sprinkle (it’s actually more like a downpour) in the hot sauce. I  crack two eggs on top, pop a lid on it, and let it cook until the eggs are set. If I’m feeling really crazy I sometimes add a handful of shredded cheddar cheese on top, too. Yesterday I was feeling super crazy and topped it with some scallions and even more Franks Red Hot. Ugh. Once I get going on a Franks Red Hot kick…it’s hard for me to stop.

breakfast potatoes and eggs I also had my giant mug of English Breakfast Tea while Kelly and Michael was on since Emma was still snoozing.

tea for meSnack: By around 11, the hubby comes home for lunch, and I needed a snack. While I heated up his lunch for him (because I am the best wife, ever) I munched on a little pumpkin chocolate chip cookie I made Monday night. I’m still working on the recipe, but I hope to share it soon!

punkin cookieLunch: I always try and get a bit of laundry done midday, and yesterday I succeeded! Then it was time for more food. I had some leftover pulled pork from dinner Monday night, so when in doubt….I just make a quesadilla! Pulled pork, some shredded cheddar, and green onions. Plus leftover frozen veggies from the night before…I mixed in extra edamame for good measure. I love leftovers, man. Who’s with me?


pulled pork quesadilla I had just a few errands to run yesterday afternoon so the little lady and I went out for a few. I made a pit stop at Barnes and Noble to pick up the latest issues of Runners World. Once we got home, I plopped Emma on my lap and we enjoyed our magazine together while I sipped my first Pumpkin Spice coffee of the season!! Yummmers!! I also wound up snagging a handful of trail mix before dinner. Wegmans had a “Trail Mix Bar” and my recent obsession is a combination of dry roasted almonds, honey roasted peanuts, pumpkin seeds, annnnnnnd dark chocolate chunks. Love it!

pspice and magtrail mixDinner: Have you ever just had one of those nights where you knew no matter what you made for dinner you just wouldn’t be happy with it? That was me last night. I wound up throwing together a quick pasta with chicken, white beans, spinach, garlic, and lemon. I’ve made it before and loved it. I really just wasn’t feeling it last night, though. I guess that’s kind of a good thing when I think about it though…it stopped me from going back for more!

pastaAnd that, my friends, is all she wrote! After dinner the hubs and I sat down to watch some Once Upon A Time on Netflix (My latest obsession. I can’t wait for the new season to start!) and Emma snooze/ate from 7:30 until 9:30…then she just snoozed. I decided to join at about 10:00!


So…what is your favorite time of the year to run outside??

Do you have a favorite pre and post run routine?

Lastest TV obsession??

Real Food Recipe Roundup #2 – Shrimp Scampi

It’s Thursday, ya’ll!! That means it’s thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiissssssss close to the weekend!! I’m particularly excited for a pretty chill weekend. I’ve got yoga on Saturday morning and I’m meeting some of my favorite gals for coffee on Sunday. Otherwise, I plan to read, clean, cook, and eat….and that’s about it! Does that make me lame? I don’t really care! It brings me joy…just like shrimp do!! (I am a fantastic transitioner – obvi!)

I was cravvvvvvvvvvvving shrimp for weeks. I still wish I could eat my weight in them. But alas, they cost monies. These particular shrimp were free, though, thanks to Kyle and Melinda!! (Woot! You guys rock!!) So when ya got shrimp, ya make shrimp scampi!

This recipe is sooooooooooooooo simple. The ingredient list is pretty short, too, which makes it even better in my book! And they’re all just real, tasty, albeit not the most healthy, but if you’d like you can go ahead and substitute whole grain pasta if you’d like. My hubby doesn’t love it, so this time around I stuck to plain old pasta. I also use a combination of real butter and olive oil here…the butter is important so I wouldn’t recommend omitting it completely, but if you’re more comfortable using more oil than butter I’d say go for it! Here’s the recipe!!

Twenty-Something & Starving

<a href=”http://twentysomethingandstarving.com” target=”_self”><img src=”http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h130/Jennifer_Yoder/46133fa4-d3da-44aa-bd3a-92bd35349c37_zps9dc148ce.jpg” alt=”Twenty-Something & Starving” width=”250″ height=”150″ /></a>


shrimp scampi Shrimp Scampi

  • 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 lb spaghetti
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Parsley, for garnish

Bring a large, salted pot of water to boil. Prepare the spaghetti to package directions.

Meanwhile, melt the two tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and garlic and saute for about 4 minutes until fragrant.

Add the shrimp and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until pink. Add the wine, lemon zest, and lemon juice and cook for another 5 minutes until the sauce reduces just a bit. Season with salt and pepper to your liking and toss in the parsley.

Serve immediately over spaghetti!

shrimp scampi close up

Do you have a Real Food Recipe you’d like to share?! Share your Real Food Recipes with other folks like you and me who love to cook and eat!! No judgement. Nothing fake. Just the real deal!!

Bacon … and that’s all you need to know!

Why hello, friends.

I’m so pleased to share with you that yesterday our little baby boy Quincy turned 4!!!!


I remember when Q was just a little pup who always threw up in the car without fail, was absolutely terrified of his crate, and was way too scared to jump up on the bed by himself. Now, 4 years later,  he’s just a little snuggle muffin who takes every opportunity he can to jump up on the bed – particularly when I’m making it – loves car rides except that he sits backwards like a weirdo, and is STILL absolutely terrified of the crate. Ha. *sigh* Time goes by so fast. I’m sure it will go even faster once this little munchkin arrives.

In honor of  my Quincy’s birthday, every year, I make him bacon.


Because he’s a puppy and puppies love bacon. Duh!

Who DOESN’T love bacon?

Check out Quincy’s “You makin’ me bacon?!” face. Don’t you just want to snuggle him?!

quincy loves bacon

Now of course, that whole pan of bacon wasn’t just for puppy. What kind of Mom would I be if I let him eat ALL of that bacon all by himself?! No, no no. Quincy got a little puppy sized plateful. The rest was utilized in what is one of the most delicious and simple (though absolutely not even close to the healthiest) recipes I have ever come up with.  I came up with it a while back when my pantry was looking pretty bare but I wanted something delicious.

The ingredients required are pretty minimal, you’re likely to have them all on hand already. I’d say this dish is nice paired with a lite salad…but who am I kidding…I just eat two bowlfuls of this instead. Life’s about balance, remember. Just don’t eat this every day and you’ll be fine…I promise!

Spicy Bacon Rigatoni

  • 1 lb rigatoni pasta
  • Anywhere between 6 and 12 slices of bacon (depends on how healthy you want to be, really)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 of a small red onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup white wine or chicken stock
  • 1 cup baby spinach, chopped (gotta try and get those veggies in where ya can, right)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for sprinkling on top)
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until just shy of al dente – about 1 minute shy – as it will finish cooking in the sauce. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water before draining.

While the pasta is cooking, chop your bacon into bite sized pieces and cook them in a skillet over medium high heat until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and let drain on paper towels.

Drain all but about 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings from the pan.  Lower the heat to medium and add the onions, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Let saute until fragrant and the onions and garlic begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the wine (or chicken stock) and let reduce for about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, spinach, and garlic powder. Stir well to combine and cook until the spinach is wilted. Reduce the heat to low.

Drain the pasta and add it immediately to the sauce. Add the Parmesan and a splash of the reserved pasta water and toss well to combine.  If the pasta seems a bit dry or stiff, add some more of the pasta water to reach your desired consistency. Remove from heat and add the bacon and basil and toss until just combined.

Serve immediately topped with more Parmesan in gigantic bowls so that you can eat as much as possible of this in one sitting because it’s so effing delicious.

Behold spicy, garlicy, cheesy, bacony perfection.

spicy bacon rigatoni



Happy Spring & WIAW #3

Hey ya’ll!

Happy First Day of Spring!!

Does it feel spring timey where you are? It’s a bit chilly here if I do say so myself. I can’t wait for it to warm up a bit.  Then Johnny and I can resume our lunchtime walks! I haaaaaaaaaate sitting all day, and once the nice weather resumes I won’t have to (as much, *sigh*)!

Sheesh, I’ve been so busy this week I haven’t posted since last Wednesday! I promise I’ll have some new recipes for you soon!

How do Black Bean Mango Stacks, Balsamic Chicken and White Bean Pasta, and Morning Glory Muffins sound to you?

Good?! Good!!

Because that’s what you’ll be getting from me soon! 🙂

Anywho, did you enjoy your St. Patty’s Day?

I had a great time in NJ over the weekend with some awesomeeeeeeee family and friends. I even had my first ever green beer this year!! I didn’t’ really start drinking beer until fairly recently so I was excited to finally partake! Check out this awful picture of it! (It was a tiny guy – the way I like my beer – In small, adorably packaged quantities!)

















Me and the hubs. Aren’t we just the cutest?





















Here’s me and my girl Susan at Dave & Busters. Me with a vodka tonic (extra lime of course) and Susie with her ‘Bu and Coke (Malibu that is). Did you know they have four person air hockey?! I didn’t until this weekend!!! SO FUN (and terrifying)!





















I indulged at bit over the weekend, though it definitely could have been worse. Only one stop at a diner isn’t all that bad all things considered! Haha. More specifically, I indulged in what I can safely call my favorite breakfast sandwich of all time … taylor ham, egg, and cheese!!! (Anyone out there with me on this?! Jersey!!) Oh gosh. It’s so glorious. I’m happy I don’t live in NJ anymore so I don’t down one of these babies every day.
















After such an awesome and indulgent weekend, how about we move on to some healthy eats?! This WIAW, hosted by Jenn at Peas and Crayons, is actually what I ate yesterday. I’ve stuck pretty much to the same routine all week so far, just changing up my dinner. Hope you enjoy!!



Breakfast: Homemade whole wheat morning glory muffin with plain 0% Greek yogurt mixed with lime zest, mango, and toasted unsweetened coconut
Snack: String cheese!!!
Lunch: Half a pouch of Campbell s Go Soup Spicy Chorizo & Pulled Chicken with Black Beans (with a little extra frozen corn and shredded chicken I had on hand mixed in). It’s got a tiny kick to it, and it’s super tasty. These soups are becoming a new staple for me when I don’t have time to make my lunch!
Snack: A baby handful of YumNuts Chocolate Cashews. I can’t get enough of these guys!
ANOTHER Snack: Hey look! Finally some green (packaging). I usually don’t be pre cut fruits or veggies but a pack of 8 of these little apple pouches was less than $2. I effing love Wegmans.
Dinner: I threw together dinner super fast last night so that I could get to my yoga class on time. I had some pasta I cooked over the weekend in the fridge ready and waiting for me so I just sauteed some chicken thighs in garlic and olive oil, tossed in some bell peppers, spinach, and lemon zest, and added the pasta. Fin!
After Dinner (Not Photographed): I always love to have a cup of tea at night. Last night was decaf English Breakfast Tea with some skim milke and half of a splenda.  I also had a mini morning glory muffin (because I made big guys and mini guys) while Johnny and I watched the latest (HILARIOUS) New Girl.

Ah!!! I love it!!!!
Big thanks to Vulture for making this/my day!!


Mac n Cheese My Way

Who doesn’t love mac n cheese??? Really, raise your hand if you don’t…

That’s exactly what I suspected.

Everyone loves mac n cheese! How could you not?! Mac n cheese is the ULTIMATE comfort food. Think about it. It’s cheesy, creamy, carbohydrates in all of their glory. Then, of course, you pop it in the oven to form that crispy crust on top. *Sigh* Heaven. How else can you describe it?

Everyone has their own way of making it, too, and that’s half the fun! I make several different versions and I LOVE experimenting with  different combinations. But “my way.” The way that I’m most proud of and most likely to devour an entire pan of…



Mac n Cheese.

I don’t know about you, but for me, there is nothing like a meal that encompasses four of my most favorite foods – chili peppers, chicken, pasta and cheese. Wonderful, glorious cheese. This particular mac n cheese isn’t even all that bad for you, which makes it all the more appealing if you ask me!

Typically you’ll find recipes for mac n cheese with whole milk or even half and half or heavy cream! I used nonfat milk for my béchamel and I also used whole wheat pasta. The veggies and chicken bulk out the dish with vitamins and protein, too!

The tortilla chips on top are optional and maybe not that great nutritionally, but I love how they mimic the typical crunchy crust on your standard mac n cheese. And ya only live once… so I say lay them on thick!

Chipotle Chicken Mac n Cheese

  • 1/2 box whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large bell pepper, sliced into strips
    (I actually used half of a red pepper and half of an orange one – because I had them and they were pretty. Whatever color you have will suffice though, I promise!)
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Salt &Pepper to taste
  • 3 chipotles in adobo, diced, plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup nonfat milk, heated
  • 1 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • Tortilla chips

Cook the pasta to package directions but drain just before al dente.

To make your chipotle cheese sauce, begin by melting the butter in a small saucepan. Add the flour and whisk together until it forms a paste. Let cook until all of the flour and butter are combined and become fragrant. (It’ll smell kind of nutty, this is called a roux! ) Slowly whisk in your heated milk. (I stress that it’s heated – be it on the stove top or in the microwave – because, particularly with nonfat milk, if cold milk is added to the hot roux it’ll become lumpy and pretty funky. So please, heat your milk!) Whisk vigorously until combined and a smooth sauce is formed. Remove from heat and whisk in the cheddar cheese, chipotles and adobo sauce.

Meanwhile, season the chicken with chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook until brown, about 5 minutes. Add the peppers, garlic and onion. At this point t should look something like this.

Add the cooked pasta to the chicken mixture and stir to incorporate. Add the cheese sauce and frozen peas. Stir to combine.

Serve topped with tortilla chips if it strikes your fancy.

Devour. Swoon.
Repeat as often as possible.