Tagged: potatoes

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??

WIAW #28 – Noms and Motherhood

Hello, friends!!

After a brief blogging hiatus thanks to this little beauty:
Emma at her Baptism

I have returned with my favorite post of the week… What I Ate Wednesday!! I figured this was my best bet for getting a post up these days, as I haven’t been cooking too much of anything new to share a recipe with you, nor have I been working out regularly yet, as I still have two more weeks until I see my doctor again (though, I won’t lie, I’ve been trying to squeeze in a few minutes of yoga every day and I’ve been taking the little miss for walks in her stroller around the neighborhood!)

As always, shout out to our lovely host, Jenn, at Peas and Crayons!! First, we shall discuss my eats from yesterday…then…motherhood!

Breakfast: Every morning is a little different lately, as Emma’s sleep schedule is still not exactly a schedule quite yet. Yesterday I was up from 4:30 to 6:30 nursing her and changing her and lulling her back to sleep but I went back to sleep and she woke me up at 9:00 with her “MOM I’M SO HUNGRY!” cry. So first thing as soon as I’m up I feed her for a half an hour while my belly rumbles. I’m starving by the time I get to make my own breakfast…which winds up being 2 eggs plus 2 egg whites with Frank’s Red Hot, a whole wheat English muffin with smart balance, a handful of sliced strawberries, a banana, and a giant mug of English Breakfast Tea. While I was making my eggs…which were meant to be over easy…I heard Emma poop from two rooms away (she is a powerful pooper) so I ran to change her and my yolks cooked all the way through. If that’s not unconditional love I don’t know what is. 😉

eggs and fruits

Snack: My first snack of the day was a Kashi Chocolate Almond and Sea Salt with Chia bar…which is mighty tasty and fairly healthy for a prepackaged granola bar…while nursing the little lady. My second snack of the day, also enjoyed during a mid day nursing sesh, was a perfect plum! It was less than two bucks for two pounds of these babies at Wegmans this weekend and I was all over it!
kashi bar
plum

Lunch: Lunch was kind of an ordeal yesterday. Just in that, in a perfect world, both snack times would have been lunch were I not feeding a hungry, hungry baby. I finally got the munchkin to fall asleep so I made this delicious taco salad. My father in law walks into the kitchen and says “it’s quiet in here”…sigh…and right on cue she started screaming. I put my salad down, change her diaper to discover she had a huuuge blow out and I needed to change her onsie, too, and of course I actually put away the laundry so they were all upstairs. I finally had her dressed again and she starts sucking her hands like a maniac ( that’s baby talk for “feed me immediately, woman” for those who don’t know) so of course, I fed her…for forty minutes…while staring at my salad waiting to be eaten.
taco salad

Snack: An oldie but a goodie…plain Greek yogurt with peanut butter, honey, and some chocolate chips. Although after 4-weeks it does feel like my appetite has finally evened out, I pretty much feel starving alllllllll the time. This snack helps. 🙂
pbchip yogurt

Dinner: Sometimes I think everyone needs some cheese and bacon. Yesterday was one of those days for me. I had my cheese and bacon on top of some homemade potato wedges with some scallions, broccoli, and a quick chipotle dipping sauce (1/2 cup plain greek yogurt, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/2 of a minced chipotle in adobo, and a pinch of salt.) It was banginnnnn!
cheesy bacon potatoes

After dinner it was about 8:00pm and I made myself a glass of chocolate milk before I sat down to feed the baby again. By 10:00 she was satisfied, changed twice, and snoozing…so I hit the hay, too. We slept from about 10:30 to almost but not quite 1:00am before she woke me up for more noms.

Late Night Snack: These Luna Protein Bars have been a godsend during my late night feedings. They are pretty small but pack a whopping 12 grams of protein – which means I can eat them quickly and actually feel satisfied for a while! I enjoyed this bad boy in bed by the soft glow of a nightlight, while feeding my baby girl at 2:00am. Obviously I would choose the chocolate peanut butter flavor…but the cookie dough is quite delightful, too.
luna protein


So there we have a full day of eats for nursing mom, me!!

NOW ONTO MOTHERHOOD!!
I’m not gonna lie to you…these last four weeks have been a whirlwind for sure! I am completely flabbergasted that my baby girl is four weeks old today and will be a full month old this weekend!! Even when my days have no real distinct beginning or end it’s astounding how quickly time is going by. I’m doing everything I can to soak up the moments I have with my daughter while she’s this teeny tiny person…but I notice changes in her every day and I can’t help but be excited by what the future will bring!!

ABOUT BREASTFEEDING
My decision to breastfeed is one thing I receive the most questions about and I can say without hesitation that I know it was the right choice. “Are you sure she’s eating enough?” is a common question. Here’s a fun fact: yesterday I fed Emma for a grand total of 6 hours and 24 minutes. I’ve been using a fancy app the last two weeks recommended to me by my dear friend and fellow new mommy, Desirae, called “Feed Baby” which helps me to time and keep track of feedings, diapers, sleep, and it has been SO helpful! Then we get to “Are you sure she’s not eating too much?” *sigh* Sometimes I think it’s a bigger pain in the fanny to EXPLAIN breastfeeding to people then breastfeeding is itself! Even when I’m running on two hour of sleep at a time I am very patient with my baby. I am much less patient with grown-ups. Lucky for me, I feel very blessed that the important people in my life support my decision to breastfeed! I really wish more people would educate themselves about breastfeeding…and in general…before making assumptions about the well-being of my child.

ON MY POSTPARTUM BODY
Something I find particularly fascinating about some other women, and society in general I suppose, is how often you hear that a body is “ruined” after having a baby. It’s so common to hear other women complain about how their body was never the same after giving birth. There was even a part of me that was concerned I may feel the same way after having Emma. I can tell you now, though, that I cannot for a moment understand how anyone can feel that way about their body after their baby is born. I LOVE my postpartum body. Sure, there are parts of me that are still squishy…I had a baby four weeks ago! But my squishy body was the home of my beautiful, baby girl for 40 weeks. My hips may be wider, my butt may be smaller, and my clothes may fit me differently, but I could NEVER hate my body after it gave me the greatest gift I have ever received. Once I’m in the clear to work out again, I will be doing so of course. But I certainly won’t be obsessed with “getting my body back.” What I will be focusing on is making the most of this new, beautiful body I have now, and seeing what other amazing things it’s capable of doing.

Get Loaded

Howdy ya’ll!

Happy Tuesday!

Is it frrrrrrreeeeeeezing by you?? I can’t tell you how many screenshots of thermometer apps I’ve seen on Facebook today. We all know it’s 2 degrees out. I found it hard to believe that so many schools and businesses shut down today. So…. it’s a cold day instead of a snow day? Meh, whatevs! It’s probably only 7 degrees in my office (but that’s every day). Gosh, do I sound kind like a grump or what?! I guess I’m just jelly because I would have enjoyed a cold day, too. *sigh* In honor of these sub-zero (well…almost) temperatures today, I decided the best solution is to get loaded (baked potato soup)!!

Whhhatttt?!

Gosh. I know, I’m hilarious.

But seriously.

This Loaded Baked Potato Soup is awesome and pretttttttty foolproof. It’s even more foolproof if you have an immersion blender (thanks, Mom) but is still quite simple with a potato masher or regular blender. This soup is so think and rich that you’d never guess it’s actually quite lite!! I leave the skins on my potatoes, because that’s where all of the good stuff (ya know, nutrients and the like) are! If you don’t care for them, feel free to peel your potatoes. The topppings are what make this soup extra fun (if you read my recent chili post you know how I feel about toppings!) – I use bacon, cheddar, and green onions. If you dig sour cream – throw some of that on here, too. I’ve added steamed broccoli on top before, but I was fresh out when I made this last night. I’ve also added some frozen sweet potato chunks to the mix in the past, too. It makes the soup look extra cheddar cheesy without adding the extra cheese!. I didn’t have any of those last night either. But this soup is delicious no matter how you make it! Stay warm!

 

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

  • 5 russet potatoes, scrubbed clean, chopped into bit sized pieces
  • 1 28oz containter of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 8oz block of nefchatel or reduced fat cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Toppings: Cooked Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Green Onion, Sour Cream, Steamed Broccoli, or Whatever Else You Fancy!

Add the potatoes and the chicken broth to a large pot. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and mashable.

Remove the soup from the heat. Add the cream cheese, cheddar, garlic, salt, and pepper. With your weapon of choice (mine was my immersion blender) carefully puree your soup until all of the ingredients are combined to your desired consistency. I prefer this soup to be creamy, but if you want to leave in some chunks go ahead!

Return the soup to medium heat. Add the milk and stir well to incorporate.

Serve immediately with whatever toppings you like!
baked potato soup

Quincy was like “Daaaaad, is there any bacon left?!” He’s too cute sometimes! Quincy smells bacon

Monday Morning Munchies

Happy Monday!!

I hope everyone got to enjoy their weekend as much as I did. Do anything exciting??

Mine was pretty casual and super relaxing. That’s the best kind of weekend in my opinion!

I got to my Zumba class on Saturday morning which was awesome! Johnny and I went out a bit and I bought a new workout top at Target for $12 which I’m super excited about. It’s just a simple short sleeved top but anytime I find a nice workout top for under $15 I always take advantage. I LOVE certain brands and lines of workout attire but I can NOT justify ever spending $60 on a tank top. Ever, ever, ever, ever, ever. *sigh* When you work out, do you prefer tank tops or short sleeved tops? I totally prefer short sleeves. No idea why. 

We also went to a local Mexican place to celebrate my father-in-law’s birthday for dinner Saturday night. I got tamales and they were ridic! Ya know, in a good way. I was so hungry I forgot to snap a picture though. *OOPS!*

Sunday was delightful, too! I got to my yoga class and we had a substitute instructor who teaches in the Kirpala style, rather than the standard Vinyasa style most folks (including myself) are accustomed to. It was different and refreshing to try something new! Kirpala yoga focuses more on holding poses for longer periods of time, or “surrendering” to the poses. Vinyasa – which means “flow” – is much more intense and you flow from pose to pose moving with the breath. I love my Vinyasa yoga, but Kirpala was a nice change of pace. I also felt super energized after the Kirpala class so I hopped on the treadmill and ran for a solid 20 minutes. This, for me, is quite an accomplishment! We hung out for most of Sunday after the gym. Johnny was super sweet and made dinner with me!! That’s a rare occurrence that I was thrilled to take advantage of. We made mini turkey pesto meatloaves with mac &  cheese and peas. They weren’t particularly photogenic, but I may post the recipe on here soon if I make them again!

Anywho,  onto the morning munchies!!

I was up early enough over the weekend to take a little longer to prepare my breakfast. The recipe I’m sharing with you is one of my absolute favoritessssssss. I used to make it all the time when I was in college and I’ve recently revamped it a little bit – nutritionally and flavorly (because this is my blog and I can make up words if I want to). No butter, just 1 teaspoon of oil, and loadssss of flavor…and Frank’s Red Hot!

*Please be advised the amount of hot sauce in this recipe is to taste. I use a BOATLOAD of it…but you could even omit it if you don’t care for spicy and this will still be a hella cool (or hot 🙂 ) way to start your day*

Red Hot Breakfast Hash & Eggs

serves 2

  • 1 large russet potato, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 yellow (or green, or orange, or whatever) bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot
  • 2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 green onion, sliced (for garnish)
  • 4 eggs (cooked to your liking)

Add the olive oil to a small skillet and heat on medium heat. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Toss the potatoes to coat with oil and then let them sit, untouched for abour 5 minutes. They will start to form a delicious, crispy, brown crust!

Add the peppers and onions to the pan, stir, and let sit for another 5 minutes. Turn the heat up to high and continue to cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes more. Add the garlic powder and Frank’s Red Hot, stirring everything to coat and combine. (You may want to stand back when you add the hot sauce…or you may suffer a coughing attack from all of the spicy goodness hitting the heat.)

Once everything is coated, turn the heat to low to keep warm. Sprinkle with cheese.

If you’re like me and you like an egg with a runny yolk – here’s how I make my eggs.

In a separate pan, spray with nonstick spray to coat and set over medium-low heat. Crack in your eggs and let cook until the white is mostly set. Add 1 tablespoon of water to the pan, cover, and crank the heat. Let cook until the yolk is set to your desired doneness. (This technique is called Steam Basting the egg…though some restaurants may do this butter or oil…the water will create steam which will cook the top of the egg. KNOWLEDGE!)

Serve your hash and eggs topped with more green onions and – you guessed it – more hot sauce!

redhothash&eggs

 

 

This Little Pork Chop Went to Market

Today was such a lovely day.

I know Spring doesn’t technically start until Sunday, but today was a nice taste of what’s to come!

Although the weather definitely affects the way I cook, that is, using seasonal ingredients and such, I try not to limit myself to certain methods of cooking to certain times of the year. I’ve grilled in the winter, (granted –  it was in my icy cold garage – WORTH IT!) and I will pull out my slow cooker for way more than the standard stews that usually come out of it. Prime example: pork chops!

It has taken years for me to truly come to appreciate the gloriousness of the pig. Growing up, I always thought they were cute …

And how could you not?! Honestly, look at that face! ADORABLE!

But anywho, I could never really separate the animal from the food. Cows, no problem. Chickens look funny. I’ve just always loved pigs. Then, of course those of you near and dear to me recall my almost-vegetarian-but-not-quite-health-nut-I-don’t-eat-bacon-or-anything-that-comes-from-a-pig phase when I first started college.

It was one recipe that changed my mind about bacon and, as a result, the whole pig in general: Coq au Vin.

If there is one thing I am a stickler for it’s tradition, and Coq au Vin is a very traditional French peasant dish that is cooked in bacon fat and topped with crispy bacon lardons (a.k.a fancy strips). When I decided to make it for the first time, I decided to overcome my bacon prejudice. It was either go big or go home -and ladies and gentleman – I always go big. 🙂

After the success of my Coq au Vin, I proceeded to experiment even more with bacon when I made my  Chicken Corn Chowder, and my love bugs most favorite Bacon, Broccoli, and Cheddar Quiche.

And then… there were pork chops. Sometimes, I blame my parents affinity for Shake n’ Bake growing up for my original distaste towards them, but these days, my pallet for pork is ever expanding, and I decided to give them a whirl this past fall. The following recipe is one I came up with in a pinch when the only produce I had on hand was an apple and an onion.  I liked it so much, that I whipped it up again this week!

Slow Cooker Apple-Onion Pork Chops

  • 4 lean pork chops
  • 1 large apple, cored and sliced
  • 1 large onion (I prefer red, but whatever you have works!)
  • 1 (heaping) tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth (+ 1 cup optional for gravy)
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided (optional for gravy)
  • 1 tablespoon flour (optional for gravy)

Begin by melting 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season pork chops with rosemary, thyme, sage, salt and pepper. Place pork in the hot skillet and brown on all sides, about 2 minutes a side. (Note: Pork will not be cooked all the way through in the pan. You can skip this step if you’d like, but it results in a much richer flavor.) Remove from pan and set aside.

Spread half of the onions and apples on the bottom of your slow cooker. Top with browned pork chops. Add the remaining onions and apples, chicken broth, and worcestershire. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.

(Optional)When it’s just about time to eat, remove 3/4 of the liquid from the slow cooker. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until combined a a paste (or roux) has formed. Add the hot liquid and whisk vigorously until combined and any lumps are removed. Add the remaining cup of chicken broth and whisk until combined. YOU JUST MADE GRAVY! GOOD WORK! Now sit down and enjoy your pig – erm – porkchops. Perhaps with some rosemary potatoes and green beans like me. 🙂