Kickin it up a notch

I must say, that I have been ravenous this week! I don’t know if it’s the rain or cold weather, but I have been eating non-stop! Check out my haul for Tuesday’s breakfast/lunch:

Check out that lovely piece of provolone cheese:

I came home a little early from work yesterday because of an eye issue, so I really had no excuse not to cook. I decided on Chicken Cutlets, but wanted to kick it up a notch. I added cayenne pepper to my Italian Style bread crumbs. You can add as much or as little as you want. I was in the mood to really be kicked!

Unfortunately, I didn’t have any cutlets on hand, so I made my own from chicken breasts!

Pounded nice and thin….

Dunked in egg whites and then into my Italian Bread Crumb mix – added cayenne pepper and some parmesan cheese. I had a pretty decent assembly line going.

While that was going on, I made my potato side dish. This to me is a much faster way to make potatoes and a majority of it is hands off so you can be doing other things. I started by cleaning and cutting holes into four decent size potatoes.

Then I microwaved them for about five minutes, or until they were soft all the way through. Then they were cubed.

I added in some EVOO, green onions, asiago cheese, fresh ground salt and pepper and a little rosemary.

Next, I added the potatoes to a frying pan (with a little EVOO at the bottom) and made those suckers crunchy.

I also roasted some asparagus EVOO and the Montreal Steak Seasoning (I’m obsessed). If you don’t have one of these fabulous dishes by Wilton Armetale, then you need to look into them. They go into the oven or on the grill, are easy to clean, and you don’t need to transfer the food onto a serving plate because it’s nice enough for a tabletop.  My aunts got me a plate and bowl for Christmas a few years ago and I use this one all the time. 99% of the time, I’m the only one in my house to eat vegetables (Don’t even get me started), so this is the perfect size for just one serving, as well as being big enough for two! Check them out here.

And…..Voila!

Well, my plans for Macaroni and Cheese have changed, which is why this post is so late. We headed out to watch the NO HITTER instead.  🙂  GO PHILS.

Have a good night!

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My Monday ended as gloomy as it began – in the dentist’s chair. Why oh why did I schedule a cleaning on a Monday?? I hate the dentist, as most people do. The ONLY good thing about my dentist is that he’s gorgeous! He can clean my mouth any day… ahem. Sorry for that. 😉

Foodnote: I should never have deli meats around the house, because this always happens:

This is me on the way out the door to the dentist. It was a must-have, I assure you!

Yesterday was such a cold rainy day, that I thought I’d finally break out these bad boys!

I love wearing my Hunter Boots. I feel invincible! I can walk through mud and puddles and not even bat an eye! (as I did with this bad boy)

I was able to bring in all my newly purchased goodies for lunch yesterday. Here’s what the workday spread looked like…

I stocked up on my Honeycrisp Apples!

All packed up and ready to rock.

I almost forgot my “milk’ for the week!

Tomorrow I’m going to work on perfecting my Macaroni and Cheese! I wanted something fun and cozy to watch the Phillies in Game 1 of the NLDS!! Go Phils!

Of course I’ll post pics and the recipe on Thursday!

G’night!

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Lust List

Accessories have been huge lately. While I’m not a huge jewelry person, sorry Mom, I do like to have a few key pieces on hand. I spotted this one and knew I had to have it.

This necklace is by Hive and Honey and I found it on Piperlime.com for only $30. I’ve discovered you can wear it with anything. I’ve worn it to work to spice up dresses, or casually with a t-shirt and jeans on the weekends.

Not a bad deal!

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Putting my two cents in…

Well, I read the Marie Claire article today.  For those of you who haven’t, you can find it here.  While I haven’t been blogging for long – one week to the day, actually – I have been an avid reader of some of the blogs called into question in the article, particularly CarrotsnCake, for a long time.  I have received nothing but inspiration – in AND out of the kitchen – from Tina’s posts.  I don’t believe for one second that she is preaching a certain lifestyle or trying to make anyone feel badly for not exercising or eating healthy.   We’re simply reading Tina’s story.  If you choose to read these blogs, the one thing you should take from it is that you should make your own story, as I’m hoping to do here.

There, I’ve officially stuck my face in where it doesn’t belong….

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Decoration and Crock Pots

Well, fall is officially here and I put my one decoration up.

We’re back to another work week and it’s once again cold and rainy.

At least we had one nice day this weekend. As reported yesterday, I finally got to the grocery store and stocked up on a ton of goodies. I thought the perfect fall weather screamed Crock Pot Beef Stew! I love doing Crock Pot Sundays – if I can get started early enough in the day.

Don’t throw away those leftover bits!

Yes, there’s wine in this!!

4 hours later…

Crock Pot Beef Stew

(as adopted from Real Simple)

Ingredients

4 pounds bottom round, well trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup olive oil (plus more if needed)

large onions, diced (2 cups)

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

1 cup dry red wine

1 pound potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)

1/2 pound baby carrots (about 2 cups)

2 cups beef broth

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1 bay leaf

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

Directions

  1. Coat the beef in the flour. Heat a few tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the meat, a few pieces at a time, adding more oil as necessary. Transfer to a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker.
  2. Add the onions to the skillet and cook over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and coat the onions; transfer to the cooker.
  3. Pour the wine into the skillet and scrape up any browned bits; add to the cooker. Stir in the potatoes, carrots, broth, salt, thyme, and bay leaf.
  4. Cover and cook on low heat for 7 1/2 hours, or on high for 4 hours. Add the peas and heat through.

Hope you all had a great Monday – stay warm and dry!

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Lust List

Today’s Lust comes from one of my favorite designers – Alice + Olivia.  I can’t afford one stitch her clothing, however enjoy torturing myself by looking at the different collections.

This coat is stunning.  I’m so over the simple, plain long black peacoat-type jacket for winter, that I love how this is simple, yet has sooo much style.  If anyone is curious, I’m probably a size 8 or 10.

[Image Source]

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Looks like I made it…

I totally have Barry Manilow in my head after thinking of the heading for this post.  Anyway, this morning I FINALLY went to the grocery store!

Luckily, our grocery store is right next to Starbucks, so I got myself my first PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE!

Yesterday was spent with good food and good friends.

How cute is this pacifier??

The food at the shower was based on nursery rhymes.  For example, Hot Cross Buns:

Sorry for the bad picture, but they were little sandwiches on tiny buns.  They also had a bowl of these bad boys:

Now, I can’t tell you how many of these things I’ve had over the past month.  Someone at work has had a bowl of these in front of her desk and every time I walk by, these suckers call to me.  So you can imagine how I felt to see a bowl at the shower!

I owed you guys a few pictures of the Buffalo Chicken Dip…

I didn’t get any pictures of it once baked – it was already being consumed when I arrived at the party.

Well, I’m off to do laundry and watch McNabb return to the City of Brotherly Love!  Should be interesting, to say the least.

Stop back tomorrow to for a great Sunday crock pot recipe PLUS this week’s Lust!  Ok, I’ll give you a sneak “foodpeak”:

Cheers!

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Baby Showers and Football

Good morning!  I’m up bright and early and have not a clue why.  I wish I could have slept in longer, but oh well.  I have a quick date with these folks this morning.

Last night included a few of these:

Now before you go accusing me of ordering two pizzas, let me assure you that I did not.  I did, however try both (one was red and one white) and they were delicious.  They went well with a few of these…

And don’t forget these….

Ok, I need to go wrap my gift and get some cleaning done before we leave for the day.

And I need to make my dip – all before 1.  Gotta run!  Go State!

Happy Saturday!

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Happy Donut Day!

I love Fridays and not just because it means the weekend is finally here. Each and every Friday at work is Donut Day. I love not having to pack a breakfast. Usually the individual whose turn it is to bring in breakfast has a decent donut to bagel ratio. I always go for the whole wheat bagel – which is well known throughout my group. I’ll get half a bagel and some fruit, if I’m lucky. The normal stomping grounds is Dunkin Donuts – not too surprising since they are everywhere! Sometimes its just too hard to pass up a good donut….

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See what I mean??

Lunch is more leftovers – still haven’t grocery shopped. I’ll spare you the photos. Last night’s dinner – CHIPOTLE – was awesome. Natch. Fridays are also a day when we order out. I refuse to cook on Fridays, unless we are shut in via blizzard.

We have a Penn State Party to go to tomorrow – Let’s Go State! Gotta finally beat those Iowa Hawkeyes!

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[Paaaay no attention to the arm fat in this photo!!!]

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This picture comes to via our television from our condo on Kauai. We spent our first day there watching PSU football. Doesn’t everyone do that on their honeymoon?

Every football season, I end up making this dip so many times that I can make it with my eyes closed. I’ve even politely declined to bring it to parties. Don’t get me wrong – I love that everyone loves and requests it. There are just so many other dips/party foods that are begging to be made! I received this recipe from a friend, and she got it from a friend, etc. I’m sure people have heard of it.

BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP

2 Blocks of cream cheese (I’ve used the fat free or the reduced fat and no one has noticed)

16 oz bottle of ranch (light or fat free)

12 ox bottle of Franks Hot Sauce

2 pack of Perdue Short Cuts cubed (or any other cooked, shredded chicken)

8 oz shredded cheddar cheese

Fritos scoops (approximately 2 bags)

Blend the cream cheese, hot sauce, ranch and chicken. Sprinkle a little cheese into the mixture, but save some for the top.

Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes until bubbly.

If you’re ever stuck for something to bring, this is always a favorite!

Sun’s finally out again and tonight I’m very excited to spend some time with this chick:

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Happy Friday!

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Slowing getting the hang…

Well today started off as promised….

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I passed the new Jimmy Johns on my way to work this morning. This place delivered a hoagie to my house in 7 minutes! This is going to be trouble…

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Breakfast was the same as yesterday – I’ll say it again – I NEED TO FOOD SHOP!

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Lunch was leftovers from last night’s dinner.

What? You don’t have a full set of silverware in your drawer at work too??

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H20

I’ve noticed the past couple days that I’ve been so busy at work, I’ve barely had anything to drink besides my coffee – which is, after all, the most important drink of the day! I always bring my water bottle that I refill throughout the day. Well, try to remember to drink and refill throughout the day anyway.  For me, its truly a conscious effort to remember to keep drinking. I try to tell myself to refill the bottle at least 2 times per day. Sometimes it works, sometimes, well, you know. What are some of your favorite tips to keep us hydrated?

Oh, and go ahead and laugh all you want at my Twilight mug…I’m a Twihard (as Perez Hilton would call me) and I ‘m not ashamed of it one bit. Team Edward!

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For dinner tonight, my husband send me an email asking if he should stop at a secret burrito place for dinner. For those of you outside of my marriage, that’s code for CHIPOTLE! I will spare you the visual of me eating my glorious burrito bowl. Simply put, there wasn’t a drop left of the glorious chicken, fresh pica de gallo and cheese. Yes, I get cheese (and a small dollop of sour cream). As if that was even a question when it came to Chipotle.

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Ok, let’s get back on track:

I began receiving daily updates from a website called VItal Juice. They have publish various editions for cities like, Los Angeles, Chicago, etc. While they don’t have Philly edition quite yet, I’ve been receiving the NYC emails. They update you on “new workouts, healthy eateries, spas and gurus”. Its a great way to hear about cutting edge workout trends, as well as new products. The update I received yesterday included Nicobella Vegan Organic Dark Chocolate Truffles. Has anyone heard or tried these? The reviewer absolutely adored this chocolate. It contains walnuts, flaxseed and blueberries and is only 40 to 60 calories! I’ve got to get my hands on some!

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Well, its Thirsty Thursday folks. It’s been a long week and may just pour myself a cocktail. I’ll leave you with a picture of the beautiful (and huge) lilies we received from my in-laws for our one-year anniversary. I needed something to brighten my day after all this rain and gloom!

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Have a good night!

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