getting better

Hello! I didn’t want anyone to think I gave up on blogging :) While I thought I was getting better, I definitely was not. It turns out I have bronchitis so I’ve pretty much been in bed since Saturday. I was tempted to post a scene by scene review of Teen Mom 2 (please don’t judge- I’ve been in bed for a week), but instead, I will leave you with a picture of puppy Reilly.

Be back to regular posting in a few days :) Have a wonderful weekend!

…and i’m back!

Sorry to have disappeared for a few days- I caught the husband’s flu :( BUT I made a quick and speedy (well, not really, but that’s okay) recovery and was still able to at least semi-enjoy Valentine’s Day. I even made him cookies, though I wouldn’t recommend anyone who hasn’t had the flu eat one :)

I should also point out right now that I’ve never claimed to be a great decorator ;) Either way, these were soooo good! You can find the recipe here. As Jenna promised, they are exactly like the sugar cookies you can get at Wal-Mart or Publix. Incidentally, I think I’m addicted to cookie dough. On that note, back to bed I go :)


What’s your favorite food that you remember from your childhood?


Good evening! I hope you’ve all had a great Friday! I started out my morning making a big ole pot of marinara sauce

marinara is one of those things that I just really prefer to make rather than buy. Even when I use canned tomatoes, it just tastes so much fresher. What’s nice is you can make a big pot every few weeks and just freeze portions of it in Ziploc baggies. Then, all you need to do is pop a baggy of sauce in the fridge the night before you need it! I have a few different kinds I make, but this one is super quick and simple: just saute 1 medium chopped onion and four finely chopped garlic cloves in olive oil over medium heat until translucent (this normally takes about 6-8 min.). Add 2 cans (28 oz. each) of crushed tomatoes, 1/2-1 tsp. of red pepper flakes (depending on how much spice you want), and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer with the lid on for about 30 minutes. Add a handle of torn basil leaves and 1 tsp. of dry oregano and you’re done!

After drooling slaving away all morning over delicious marinara, I decided that eggplant parm was also in order. I love (love!) eggplant parm, but it’ tends to be preettty greasy. I mean, I’d be lying if I said I’ve turned down plate of fried egglplant drenched in cheese an marinara, but still. I tried to go a little healthier with my version! Instead of frying the eggplant rounds (patties?), I breaded them with whole wheat bread crumbs and broiled each one. You really couldn’t tell the difference- the only thing missing was the grease. While it’s pretty simple to make, it’s a bit time consuming- don’t worry though, it’s totally worth it!


1 eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds

about 3 1/2 cups marinara sauce, homemade or jarred

1 cup mozzarella cheese (you can use less if you want to be even healthier)

3/4 cup parmesan cheese

1 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs

2 large egg white

1 TBS milk

1/2 cup flour

about 3 TBS olive oil


1. Put the flour, egg whites, and breadcrumbs in three separate dishes. To the egg whites, add 1 TBS milk and whisk together. To the breadcrumbs, add 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Dredge each eggplant round in the flour and shake of any excess. Dip it into the egg whites and shake off any excess. Press it into the breadcrumbs and make sure it’s evenly/completely coated. Place the rounds on a foil lined baking sheet. Let sit for 30 minutes.

2. Lightly brush one side of each round with olive oil. Place under the broiler until golden and crispy, about 3-4 minutes (check them after two to make sure they don’t burn). Flip each round over and lightly brush the other side with olive oil and broil the same way.

3. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Pour about 1/2 cup of marinara on the bottom of a baking dish. Put down a layer of eggplant and top it with 1 cup marinara, about 1/3 of the mozzarella, and 1/3 of the remaining parmesan cheese. Repeat two more times, ending with a layer of mozzarella and parm on top. Cover with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes or until it’s bubbling. Uncover and broil for 2-3 minutes to make the cheese nice and crispy.

Seriously, make this. You will not regret it.

Have a great night!


Somebody needs a haircut… (I’ve been singing this to her all day. She’s been avoiding me since noon)


Well, my husband is no longer just worn out. He is downright sick- sick as in fever (101), chills, and pretty much any stomach issue you can think of :( The doctor was able to fit him in, so hopefully he’ll be on his way to feeling better soon. I’ve been living downstairs for the past few days to try to avoid catching the sickness. Luckily, the kitchen is in my half of the house :) I feel like maybe I misled you guys last night about my “secret recipe”. I made it sound as though it’s some brand new, totally original recipe when really it’s not. But it is pretty yummy. Before getting started, I ate a big bowl of plain yogurt (I’m trying!) for breakfast. I added some raw oats, a few chocolate chips, and dried cranberries. Not bad. I realize now how unappetizing the picture looks though

Then I got to work on these chewy almond bars. Yum!

I’ve been mulling this idea over in my head for a few days and finally decided to test it out


3/4 cup raw or toasted (unsalted) almonds

6 TBS honey

1/4 cup PB (or almond butter would be perfect, I just didn’t have any)

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp pure almond extract

pinch of salt

1/2 TBS sugar

3/4 cup oats

1/3 cup dried fruit (I used cranberries, but I think chopped apricots would be best)


1. If you have raw almonds, toast them in a pan over medium heat. Stir them occasionally and keep an eye on them! They can go from toasted to burnt in just a second. You can tell when they’re done when you smell the delicious almond aroma!

2. Put about 2/3 cups of almonds into a mixing bowl, and the rest into the food processor and pulse them until they are finely ground. Don’t go too far or you will end up with a paste. Add the ground almonds to the bowl with whole almonds along with the oats and cranberries. Mix together.

3. in a small saucepan, heat the rest of the ingredients (honey, PB, salt, sugar, almond and vanilla extract) over medium heat until it comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Let it cook for 2 minutes while you stir. Pour the honey/PB mixture over the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon until evenly distributed.

4. Press evenly into a foil lined pan (I greased the foil with a bit of Pam) and put in the fridge for about an hour so they can set up. Cut into equal bars (makes about 8).


The nice thing is you can make so many different variations of this bar; I think it would be even better if I’d had dried apricots on hand. Enjoy!

two more weeks

As delicious as it tasted yesterday, I’m not sure I’ll be drinking coffee again anytime soon! Besides tossing and turning all night, my heart was racing all day- it was honestly such an uncomfortable feeling! Because of the lack of sleep, I ended up taking a long nap this morning and didn’t wake up until I had to leave for my dentist appointment at 11. A few weeks ago I had my regular 6 month check-up and found out I had my first cavity ever! Not really knowing what to expect, I was super nervous about getting it filled this morning (I’m sure that contributed to my not sleeping). But guess what! It wasn’t bad at all! My dentist didn’t even need to use Novocaine since it was such a small cavity. Whew! I am glad that’s over- hopefully I’ll never have to do it again :) I also had an appointment with my Doctor today to get cleared to go back to work. I wasn’t. :( She extended my leave for two more weeks. I’m glad I have more time to heal up, but I’m starting to go stir crazy and was really looking forward to going back to work this week! This also means it will be another two weeks before I can work out again. Double :(.

Because I had such a crazy day (again, relatively speaking:)), it was hard to find time to squeeze in normal meals. By the time I woke up this morning, it was too late to eat a huge breakfast so I just grabbed a muffin before my appointment. After appt. #1, I only had about an hour before appt. #2 so I quickly scarfed down a bowl of lentil soup

This time I added avocado to the top- yum! By the time I walked in the door after that I was starving so I made a quick and easy dinner of and orange and a grilled cheese pita with some more avocado.

So good!! I avoided trying an avocado until I was probably about 23 years old; who knows why because they are delicious! Tomorrow I have big plans in the kitchen! I have a secret recipe I’m working on to share with you guys! We’ll see how it goes- wish me luck!

What foods have you been scared to try, only to find out how good they are?

easy lentil soup

I hope everyone had a productive morning! I finally got around to some organization that needed to happen around this house- It feels so good to be organized :) After my organization spree, I got to work on lunch. I decided on lentil soup because I had some veggies in the fridge that needed to be used up and what’s an easier/better way than soup? I think this soup kept evolving as I went along and while the finished result wasn’t anywhere near what I’d planned, it was still quite delicious.

What you need:

small yellow onion, diced

3 carrots, diced

1 large parsnip, diced

2 celery stalks, diced (I would have used 1 more if I’d had more)

olive oil

1 TBS tomato paste

2 TBS red wine vinegar

1 1/2 cups dried green lentils

2 quarts water

salt and pepper to taste

What to do:

1. Heat about 2 tsp olive oil in a large pot over medium high. Add all the veggies, season with salt and pepper and let cook until tender, 8-10 min.

2. Stir in the tomato paste and let it cook for about 2 min. De-glaze the pan by pouring in the red wine vinegar and scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.

3. Add the water and lentils and bring to a boil; turn the heat down to medium low and simmer for about 30-45 minutes until the lentils are tender.

4. (This is where I would have changed what I did) I pureed about half the soup in a blender, and then stirred in back in. Next time, I may not do this, but you can either puree it or not. Either way, season with salt and pepper to taste. I topped mine with a bit of sour cream and hot sauce!

Sorry for the poor picture quality- I was having issues with steam. I’m hoping I can get the rest of my organizing done today so I can try and relax for the rest of my last week off!


How do you avoid having steam make your pictures blurry? I tried every angle and no matter what I did, they were blurry!


junk food eatin’ husband

After a day of not so great eating (my dinner was comprised almost entirely of these), I woke up feeling slightly less than stellar. I love how a small act such as eating a healthy breakfast can make your body feel so much better and ready to take on the day! I will confess, however that for the first time in 6 weeks, I started my morning off with this:

It tasted so. good. I normally drink decaf, but we were out so I’m sure I’ll be bouncing off the walls all day! I paired my coffee with a delicious bowl of oatmeal- I am now addicted to the cranberry, chocolate, and PB mix. Yum!

I also had an orange, and it was kind of blah. I don’t know, oranges just don’t seem to be as good this year. I gave up on Clementines a few weeks ago (okay, those are tangerines, but still) and switched to oranges. You know how there’s not really a middle ground with oranges? They are either delicious or just pretty awful and these have all fallen under the pretty awful category :( Oh, well, next year I suppose.

I need some advice! Overall, I’m a pretty healthy eater- I eat tons of veggies, fruit, whole grains, etc. I’m really trying to cut back on my processed food intake now, which hasn’t been too bad except for one small issue: my husband is ADDICTED to bad eating. Cheetos, Oreos, Lays, Tostitos, Chips Ahoy, Pop Tarts, and Coke are all staples in our kitchen. The problem isn’t that these foods are so tempting I can’t stop eating them- for the most part I don’t have any desire to eat them, but I hate the idea of him being so unhealthy. I try to encourage him (by the way, I feel like I’m talking about a 3-year-old) to eat more fruits and veggies, and he will if I ask, but it’s still hard. Lately I’ve been buying less of the desserty type foods and trying to make him stuff like chocolate chip cookies or brownies. I guess I figure it’s better because at least I can control what’s in them and they’re not processed. Dinnertime is the worst as he doesn’t like many of the ingredients I like to use- beans, tofu, cheese (he only likes “pizza cheese”). I’ve tried to “hide” things like feta or blue cheese in our meals, but seeing as he’s not actually a 3-year-old, he just doesn’t eat it and I really can’t make him. At this point I’m cooking two versions of our dinners each night, which is a pain, but at least he’s eating something fairly healthy. It’s so frustrating! Have you had to deal with an unhealthy partner? How did you convince him/her to eat healthier?


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.