Sunday, March 29, 2009

March Half Marathon

I just wanted to give you an update. I did my half marathon in 2 hours 15 minutes. I really want to get faster because this is the same time I ran the same half marathon last year, and I trained a lot harder this year. I think I need to add speed work and spend more time running outside. I have another half marathon May 3.

We are eating at our friends' house tonight. Hope you enjoy the last few hours of your weekend!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Taco Pizza

My husband had made me so many wonderful meals that he adapted to be meat free. When he was in school he worked at a pizza shop that had a taco pizza on the menu. Last night he decided to make a meat-free taco pizza, and it was out of this world good!

He placed a bag of Morningstar crumbles in a pan with some water and a package of vegetarian taco seasoning from Whole Foods and cooked it until the seasonings were absorbed. He then took a whole grain pizza crust from Trader Joe's and put a layer of vegetarian cheese on the crust then the seasoned crumbles, followed by another small layer of cheese. He then baked it in the oven until the crust was crispy and the cheese melted. After he took the pizza from the oven, he topped it with shredded lettuce and tomatoes.

Here is my piece with some Fage mixed with salsa on the side.

Another close up...

This was really a great meal that I never would have thought of. I'm so happy Steve is a wonderful and creative cook!
Sophie went to the groomers yesterday and they shaved her :( She was not amused and I miss her cocker spaniel ears (she is a cockapoo).

HAPPY FRIDAY!! I'm enjoying today and resting up for my 1/2 marathon in the morning, see you tomorrow.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Falaffel Pita Pizza

I have talked about Aladdin's Eatery several times before, and last night we decided to pick up food there. We are cutting back on eating out, but Aladdin's only ended up costing $14 for our meal. We picked up dinner, so we didn't have to buy drinks or pay for a tip.

I had a Pita Pitza, which was a menu item I always had wanted to try. I had Farrouk's Falaffel Pitza which features Tahini Yogurt dressing topped with chunks of falaffel, yellow pepper rings, and diced tomatoes and garnished with chopped parsley.

I really enjoyed every bite of this meal!

I need to make homemade falaffel, I love it so much, but have never tried to make it myself.

If you haven't heard, Tina is having a Pure Bar giveaway!!

It is pouring down rain here in Pittsburgh, so I hope you are enjoying better weather where you are!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I made the most amazing baked good last night. I looked in my pantry and saw my Coconut Cream Larabars staring back at me....

I made Veggie Girl's White Chocolate Coconut Almond Blondies, although I didn't have white chocolate so they were just Coconut Almond Blondies. I also doubled the recipe because I don't have a 8 x 8 pan.

In addition to using 2 larabars in these blondies, I also used some unsweetened coconut. My milk of choice was unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Also I didn't have any nondairy yogurt so I used Fage, but I promised to bake these again using a nondairy yogurt, so they are vegan.

Thanks Veggie Girl for sharing your wonderful recipes with us. These were super moist and very flavorful. My husband really enjoyed them too!


Based on my lack of certain kitchen essentials (the 8x8 pan), I thought it would be a good time to post this article from that suggests great kitchen gifts.

Kitchen Gifts for Your Favorite Foodie

Shopping for the friends and family members that seem to have it all can be a challenge which is why it’s important to really hone in on their hobbies or passions in life before choosing a gift. Whether the person on your gift list has little experience in the kitchen but loves trying all different kinds of food or has grown up cooking all of their lives, buying a unique kitchen tool may just be the answer to your shopping challenge. Giving an interesting kitchen accessory will allow your favorite foodie to experiment in the kitchen and enjoy a fun, new addition to their dinnerware and cookware collections.

Luckily the culinary industry is always coming out with something creative that any food enthusiast will enjoy. One example of this would be a pizza stone, a terra cotta platform used to distribute heat evenly while cooking your favorite pizzas, baking bread, or reheating leftover meals. Adding a pizza stone to your foodie’s kitchen provides a versatile tool that can be taken from the oven inside to the grill on their back porch. Another great kitchen addition to consider is a wine or bar accessory kit to complement your friend’s next dinner party. Anyone would truly appreciate a wine opener kit that includes a decorative wine stopper, pourer, or decanter.

If the food enthusiast in your life has a knack for baking anything from breakfast muffins to delicious desserts, look into unique storage containers that will hold all of their basic ingredients and complement their kitchen’s style. Perhaps they have a few baking appliances and tools hanging around their pantry but are in serious need of an accessory upgrade. For this case, check out a silicone rolling pin and pie plate package that will inspire the foodie in your life to get their delicious baked recipes started! Any addition to your friend’s kitchen not only will look wonderful but it will get them excited to start on a new recipe to cook for their friends or family.


Enter to win some great Newman's Own products from Erin Bee.

Get another chance to score some Annie's Bunnies at Danica's Daily.

You also have until 3pm to enter to win some Barney Butter from the Hungry Yogini.

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Giveaways around Blogworld.

My eats have been pretty boring and basic, so I haven't had much worthy to post about. Also no updates on my job search. I have applied for some jobs, but I'm not hearing anything.

I have been reading blogs as usual and I thought I would do a post on some great giveaways worthy of checking out!

I love Annie's Bunnies and Danica's Daily is giving away some yummy Annie's products!

There is a Vita-Mix giveaway at Jumbo Empanadas's site.

If you like chocolate head over to Yogurt and Berries's Blog.

I finally bought a foam roller to help my muscles this week before my half marathon. Although today I heard that there may be thunderstorms and rain on Saturday. I never train in the rain, so I don't know if I'll be able to run 13.1 miles in rain!

Because I hate to have a post without pictures, here is Sophie sleeping in Steve's arms.

See you later, and have a happy Tuesday!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Another Blogger Inspired Breakfast

Before I get to breakfast, check out the cakes from my nephew's birthday party yesterday. The cake had a layer of real strawberries, it was so delicious! It was actually the same cake flavors and baker that my brother and sister-in-law had at their wedding. The baby cake was for the birthday boy to make a mess of himself.

We have 2 boxes of Van's frozen waffles so a few days ago I though that I should try french toast waffles that I saw on Caitlin's blog. This morning I asked Steve to help me make them, because he is the pancake and french toast king in our house. I toasted them lightly while Steve got the egg mixture ready.

With my french toast waffles, I had some sugar free rice pudding and blackberries. I also topped the waffles with some warm maple syrup. I feel full and think that this yummy breakfast will keep me full for hours.

I may try to go on a longer run today. Yesterday I ran 6 miles, when I should have ran 10 miles. I really don't feel like running today, but I am running a 1/2 marathon next Saturday. Before I head outside though, I'm going to apply for some jobs.

I hope you enjoy your Sunday and that the sun is shining where you live!
And if you want a chance to get some free PB, head over to Food Snob's Blog.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Baking makes my day brighter!

Happy Saturday. I'm so happy that I woke up on the right side of the bed this morning, because yesterday I did not. I was planning on going to a networking event in town with a group of women lawyers, but I decided that I was not in the mood to get dressed professional and network with a room full of people that I don't know. Are you good at networking? Do you have any networking tips?

I already emailed a few well respected female lawyers in town to schedule a meeting with them. I'm hoping to discuss the profession with them and how they were able to find success. I also found a company that needs contract attorneys, and the pay is more than unemployment, so I may apply for that. The contract work would be the most dreaded work any attorney can do - document review, which means all day you just sit in a room and read through old documents.

I was upset that I didn't go network and sad that I have no idea what to do with my life (and college and law school degrees), so I decided baking would make me cheer up!!

I decided to try and make up a recipe for Almond Cherry Oatmeal Cookies.

1/3 cup apple butter (although apple sauce should work too)
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup rolled or instant oats
Dried cherries
Sliced or slivered almonds

Mix the first 7 ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a smaller bowl. Add the flour mixture to the larger bowl with the liquids. Once mixed, fold in the oats, cherries and almonds. I didn't measure the cherries and the almonds, I just poured some in until it looked good.

Next time, I think I'm going to add some white chocolate chips to this recipe.

Sophie makes me want to take a nap, and I just woke up :)

Steve and I are planning a long run today (inside), because next Saturday we are scheduled to run a 1/2 marathon. Then at 11:30 I am going to my nephew's 1st birthday party. I hope your Saturday is a great one!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Blogger Inspired Breakfast

This morning for breakfast I wanted an almond butter sandwich, but I didn't have any banana. I have been intrigued with Meghann's love of fruit on her sandwiches, so I thought I would give it a try.

This was really good, and I loved how by using the strawberries I was enjoying natural sugar unlike when I use strawberry jam which has added sugar. I have a ton of strawberries to use up, so you may see this again this week!

Yesterday it was in the 70s in Pittsburgh, today it is in the 40s! I think I may run inside today. After my run, I need to get to applying for some jobs and do some networking.

Talk to you all later today!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Foggy Morning

The news said the visibility was 0 this morning! I was worried about husband walking in the dark to the bus stop, but he got to work safe and sound.

Last night I made some banana bread, that I finally tried this morning. I made peanut butter -banana bread with chocolate chips from the Vegetarian Times, that I saw on Danielle's blog. Husband was happy that it had chocolate chips in it. I had this slice at about 7am with some tea.

About a half hour after my slice of bread I had a smoothie. I had made this smoothie at 6:30am, because I was making my husband one, and just stuck it in the fridge until I wanted it. It has frozen berries, greek yogurt, wheat germ, flax meal, skim milk, and protein powder.
I am getting ready to go for a run, so I had a Pure bar for a morning snack. This was the first time I had a Pure bar. I loved the flavor and loved how moist this one was. I didn't like how small it was for 200 calories. It seemed a lot smaller than the larabar to me. VeggieGirl is always raving about Pure bar and now I know why!

Okay some of the fog has gone away, so I'm getting ready for a run. See you for lunch!

Monday, March 16, 2009

JamFrakas a healthy snack bust!

The girls I coach at Girls on the Run hated the JamFrakas bar that I brought for them at their healthy snack. I bought them all a Chocolate Chip Cosmocrisp from Trader Joe's after their run, but half of the girls spit them out!! Only two girls liked them, and one was the girl that is allergic to wheat (that is one of the reasons that I bought the JamFrakas). Then they demanded apples and peanut butter for next time. I told them that I have bought a lot of different snacks, so they will have to wait until those are used to have apples and peanut butter.

On to my afternoon eats...

Around 3pm I had a Luna Bar (sorry about the light ruining the picture). Then I took my puppy on a 2 mile walk.

For dinner I had stir fry vegetables (carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, and chickpeas) mixed with cous cous. I also had an Amy's All American Burger on the side.

After coaching Girls on the Run and going to my hour long Pilates class, I had a small bowl of ice cream. I love this cute little bowl that I bought at Le Gourmet Chef. This ice cream was a little mixture of Edy's Tagalong and Edy's Samoas. We bought both kinds over the weekend because Edy's was on sale.

Head over to Jenn's website to wish her a happy 1 year of blogging and to enter her giveaway.
See you tomorrow!

A first time lunch post

In over 130 posts, I have never posted three times a day, but I'm trying while I'm unemployed. I have a very productive morning so far. I did 3 loads of laundry, drafted a cover letter, and applied to one job. I hope that you are getting a lot done today too.

Around 11am I had a small snack of 1/2 serving of Genisoy Tortilla Chips and a few nuts.

With my snack I had some sparkling water and a few ounces of POM juice.

For lunch I had some leftovers. I had a layer of spaghetti squash with salt and pepper, baked tofu, a tomato, one piece of roasted polenta, and a small piece of vegetarian pepperoni roll that my fabulous husband made yesterday. I put all these items on a small appetizer plate. I love how eating on small plates make me feel like I'm eating so much more.

Because I didn't get to post about the vegetarian pepperoni roll we made for lunch yesterday, here are the photos and a brief recipe for this foodie masterpiece.
We started with whole wheat dough we bought at Trader Joe's.

When my husband was younger he worked at a pizza place, so he knows how to work with pizza dough. here is a picture of him laying out the dough that he rolled in some flour and corn starch.

Once the dough is placed out on the baking stone, Steve filled it with vegetarian pepperoni and some Trader Joe's cheese (which uses non-animal rennet).

Here is the filling all ready before the dough was rolled over. The left side is already filled and rolled.

Once the roll is closed up, brush it with some olive oil. We also sprinkled with some sesame seeds.

Here is the roll fresh out of the oven. We just baked it until it looked brown, maybe about 20 minutes.

See you later tonight after I coach Girls on the Run and go to Pilates.
Check out Run to Finish's giveaway for some YouBars and FoodSnob's giveaway for Holey Donuts which has been extended until March 17.

Being a (desperate) house wife?

Good morning my blog friends. Because I am at home now, focusing on my job search, I have time to try to post my meals three times a day. I am still waking up when my husband wakes up around 6am. I fixed some black tea when I woke up and read the employment section of the paper. Sophie relaxed with me as I read the paper...

Oh the life of a spoiled pup!

Before I get to breakfast, I wanted to mention a new product I tried yesterday. I went on a 9 mile run Sunday morning and took with me a package of Carb Boom Energy Chews that I received in a race packet a few weeks ago. I have never tried these before, but I might have liked them a little more than Luna Moons or Clif Bloks. We have a couple of the Carb Boom gels too, but I haven't tried them. I'm not a fan of the gels, now that I have tried so many chews.

These chews helped get me through the last mile or two. I had a few around mile 7. I should have had some sooner maybe.
On to breakfast. I tried a brand of bagels from Whole Foods that I have never tried. They had 250 calories and 10 grams of protein per bagel. I really liked them, but I have liked ever sprouted wheat product I tried.

On my bagel I had some Trader Joe's Almond Butter and Polaner fruit spread.

I also had a piece of banana on one side of the bagel. These do have a hole, but how I topped them, they look like english muffins!

Off to clean the house, search for jobs, and care for my pup Sophie. So basically I'm going to be a house wife and a desperate job searcher.
Have a wonderful Monday and see you for lunch!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Amazing and fast dinner

Thanks so much for all the kind and supportive words about losing my job. Starting Monday I may post my daily eats again, because 1) I have the time and 2) being at home all day makes it so tempting to eat more, so I want to keep that in check!
The other night for dinner we had some fresh pasta from an Italian market that needed to be used. I decided I wanted to do something different than just plan pasta sauce, so I decided that I would try pesto for the first time. I loved it. I followed Heather's recipe for pesto. To her recipe, I added some pine nuts and nutritional yeast. This was so amazing and actually reminded me of a healthy Alfredo sauce, because it was so creamy. Once the pesto was processed in the food processor and the pasta was cooked and drained, I placed it back in the pot with the fresh pesto and a few fresh tomatoes that I diced.
This picture does not do it justice, because it was so yummy!

We are going to dinner at our friends and I'm taking some No Pudge brownies (which some chocolate chips mixed in)! I hope you all are enjoying your Saturday.

Also sometime tonight I have to get together 5 recipes for the blogger cookbook, because tomorrow is the deadline!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hit by the Recession

First, thanks to the new readers that have been leaving comments, it means a lot. Second, sorry that I was MIA, but first thing Monday morning I was laid off from my big law firm job. I am very proud that I haven't raided the chocolate bowl or succumbed to emotional eating this week. I have used exercise instead to try to get my mind off the bad news!

Because I am now at home searching for a new job, I have more time to prepare new meals.
Last night I made polenta for the first time ever. A week ago I bought a roll of polenta from an Italian market. I sliced part of the roll and covered it with a little olive oil, parsley, salt and pepper. I baked it at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. I really enjoyed it.
With my polenta I had some baked tofu that I covered in a mixture of Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce, Dijon Mustard, and Annie's Barbecue Sauce. I had some kale that needed to be used, so I started by sauteing some garlic in olive oil and added the kale, some chick peas, and tomatoes. I seasoned it with a pinch of cumin and garam masala. I really enjoyed this meal, and it was nice to be able to make something new on a weekday.
Last night I also decided to do something with some ripe bananas that were sitting on the counter. I have been wanting to try to make baked donuts ever since I saw them on Angela's website. I followed Angela's posted recipe almost exactly, although I only used 1/2 cup of brown sugar and I didn't sprinkle them with white sugar before cooking. Before cooking though I did add some chocolate jimmies.
Mine turned out a lot bigger than Angela's, and I only ended up with 7 donuts not 12! I had only one of these with some fruit for breakfast and it kept me full until lunch.
I am so happy that I have Sophie to keep me company during this transition in my life after losing my job. Here is a picture to brighten your day too!!

I plan to try something new again tonight. So I'll post more about that tomorrow. Now that I have more free time, I should be able to post daily.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A weekend of trying new recipes

Before I get into some of the fantastic meals I ate this weekend, I am going to tell you about the exercise video I just tried: Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones. I bought this DVD and Jillian's Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism DVD from Sam's Club about a month ago. Reading about Caitlin's journey with Jillian's 30 day shread, inspired me to finally unwrap this DVD. WOW, was this rough for me. Maybe it is because I haven't lifted weights in a couple weeks, but I was using 5 pound weights and for a few exercises I had to drop my weights and just do the exercises without them.

Jillian is very amazing, so if you haven't tried one of her DVDs yet, you should. Now on to some eats.

Before I get to the new recipes I tried, I wanted to thank my husband for making pancakes. He is the pancake maker in our house, and today he really decorated them nice with all my favorites. There is some fat free cool whip on there, I haven't bought it for months, because it is full of crappy ingredients, but I really love it, so I picked some up this weekend.

I have wanted to try a Mushroom Stroganoff recipe for a long time and finally tried one. I found one online for Tofu Stroganoff. I followed the basic recipe, but instead of tofu I used more mushrooms and some morningstar crumbles. Also instead of sour cream, I used Fage. We had it over some fresh whole wheat pasta we bought at an Italian market.

Also this weekend, we tried, for the first time, to make Indian food. First, I knew that the recipe called for chick peas, and being previously inspired by Heather making beans from dried beans, I made the chick peas instead of using them from a can. I soaked the chick peas overnight, and then just cooked them in boiling water for 20 minutes when I needed them. This was so easy, I can't believe I was buying canned chick peas for this long and never tried this.
Here is a picture of my chick peas:

I used some of the chick peas in a Indian dish I found for Indian spiced kale and chick peas. I really liked how this one turned out. With that, we finally made Happy Herbivore's Red Lentil Dal, which I have seen on so many of my favorite blogs. I think we made this too spicy for me. My husband liked it a lot, but my mouth was burning. Steve had leftovers of the Red Lentil Dal for lunch and still loved it. So I'm sure we will make both recipes again.

Finally with our Indian, we attempted to make our own whole wheat Naan bread, but it didn't work out for us. Steve still loved this bread, but it didn't turn out to be or taste anything like Naan. I attempted this recipe for the naan bread. Has anyone else tried to make Naan? I even went to Bed Bath and Beyond to buy a baking stone to bake it on!

Time to get ready for bed. I'm so sad the weekend is over!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Chocolate Covered Dinner

No I didn't actually eat anything chocolate at dinner, but I did make one of the Chocolate Covered Vegan's recipes. When I was looking over Katie's recipes in order to get some extra submissions in her contest (which you can go enter by commenting on her post here), I found a dinner that sounded great. Katie talked about making a chick n'parm sandwich. I love Garden Burger grilled chick burgers, and I also had recently bought Morningstar Farms spicy buffalo wings. I don't know why I haven't thought to make a vegetarian chick'n parm before. Instead of using bread I used spaghetti squash. I topped it with some soy cheese.

Even my husband, who usually doesn't like the meatless chicken, because he loves real chicken so much, loved this meal!! On the side I had some raw Kohlrabi with a little salt. I love this vegetable. My mom always loved it in the summer time when I was growing up, and I love to eat it because it reminds me of good times when I was younger. Kohlrobi is full of nutrients, so if you have never tried it or heard of it, check out information on this great vegetable.

Last night I finally got around to spending a $50 gift card to a fun kitchen store in the mall: Le Gourmet Chef. My younger brother knows about my blog, so he thought this would be a great gift for me. Thanks Cliff, this gift card worked perfect!

I bought a lot of ingredients that I needed for a meal I am planning to make tonight. I also bought some chocolate jimmies that I hope to use for healthy donuts this weekend, a zester/grater that I can use for fresh ginger, nutmeg, or lemon, and two small snack bowls.

These two cute bowls are made of bamboo and are biodegradable. They are a perfect size for a little after dinner dessert of puffins and chocolate chips :)

I am going to have an attempt at making Indian food for dinner tonight, so I needed so many spices. I was able to find most of the spices I needed at Le Gourmet Chef. The spices containers are more than I really needed, because for some of the recipes I only need 1/2 teaspoon. Even my husband said as I was buying these that it looks like we will be eating a lot of Indian in the future.

Now that I warned you that I am preparing Indian food for dinner, you can expect a full report on my first attempt at an ethnic food that my husband and I really enjoy!

Sophie and Wendy (Sophie's wiener dog) say have a happy Saturday:)