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Archive for July, 2009

These were the first words my husband uttered to me at 3:00AM as he was rolling out of bed.

First of all, is it really necessary to say anything at such an hour of the morning when the person you’re talking to has another good hour and a half of sleep ahead of her? I don’t think so, but I let it slide because at least it was something nice.

What he was smelling was Monday night’s supper that I popped in the crock pot Sunday night before I went to bed. When I got up, I spooned everything into a big Pyrex mixing bowl, covered it and popped it in the fridge. More details on that dish later.

Breakfast was a new-to-me breakfast treat. I spotted these Nature’s Path Organic Frosted Blueberry Toaster Pastries in the clearance bin during our grocery trip on Sunday and decided to give them a try.

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I really like the taste of these. They are extremely sweet. Overall pretty similar in texture and flavor to a regular Pop Tart. They are vegetarian, contain whole grains, are low sodium and contain no trans fat. That said, the calorie content is a little on the high side (200 per pastry; 400 per pouch) and the total fat/saturated fat content isn’t significantly lower than the mainstream counterpart. Overall, I’d say these are a better alternative to many non-organic breakfast options, but by no means should it be considered “healthy.”

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Lunch was again mooched from my parents. They had leftover chicken stir fry and rice from their Sunday night dinner. No picture, but it was loaded with veggies including zucchini from our garden that I’d taken to them last week.

I hit my daily sugar slump around 4:00 and decided to break out my last packed snack. I was FINALLY able to get my hands on this Luna bar flavor over the weekend after hearing so many bloggies rave about it’s goodness.

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It was everything I’d hoped for and more. It tasted kind of like cookie dough. I can’t quite put my finger on which kind, though. Not chocolate chip or peanut butter. The bar refueled me and I was wide awake and alert for my drive home.

The same cannot be said for my navigator.

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With the pork main dish waiting in the fridge, dinner was a cinch. I popped it in the microwave to reheat while I got to work on long grain rice and cornbread. Hello carbohydrate heaven!

I also sliced up two medium-sized zucchini, dipped them in egg whites, coated them with a mixture of breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, paprika and parsley flakes and then baked them on a greased cookie sheet at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.

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The meal wasn’t very colorful, but it was tasty. I ended up passing on my cornbread because I was just too full from the pork, rice and zukes to eat another bite.

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Do you ever do prep work ahead of time for your meals?

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Saturday was a laaaaazy day in the UFC household. Well, for me anyway. My husband was up and at ’em at his usual time (2:30AM) and out the door at 4 for a Saturday work meeting. I got up long enough to see him out the door and then headed back to the cozy bed for more rest and cuddle time with the pup. We ended up lounging there until about 8:30. I was still tired, but decided it was well past time to get up and moving.

Breakfast was a fiesta for one:

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  • flour tortilla (we were out of the healthy kind)
  • Morningstar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger chopped into chunks
  • scrambled egg
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • dolop of sour cream
  • salsa

It was delicious and very filling! It was enjoyed alongside a good book and some hot maple tea from Canada, courtesy of my aunt on her last visit.

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There was also a hungry, hungry hippo at the table:

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Breakfast was followed by reading on the porch and a nap on the couch. I had the brilliant idea of a 30 minute workout to boost my energy. It felt good to move, but afterward I was back to lounging.

My husband finally got home around 3 and was pooped. I’d purchased some video games for him from eBay and told him I’d at least like him to test them all out and make sure they worked before I left feedback for the seller. His comment? “I never thought I’d hear my wife tell me that I NEEDED to play my video games.” He did just that while I read some more. Neither one of us found motivation to do much more than that for the rest of the evening.

Sunday I was determined to be more productive than Saturday. We got up fairly early (AKA before 8:00), got dressed and headed to town. My husband got his hair cut while I walked the perimeter of the shopping center. Next was lunch out. We always think that we want Buffalo Wild Wings, but it turns out to be a disappointment every time. Too bad none of the local places are open on Sunday.

After lunch was grocery shopping. We came in under $75 which isn’t bad considering I didn’t shop at all last weekend. I also found this gem in the clearance carts:

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Regular price $12, marked down to $5! I love videos from The Firm and have been wanting this one for a while. It’s high impact so I won’t be doing it anytime soon, but it will give me something to look forward to later.

I was putting groceries away when my husband walked in the back door with a stressed look on his face. All he said was “I’m going to need some help. Grab some bags.” I had no clue what the problem could be until after I’d followed him to the garden. We filled 4 bags with yellow squash, banana peppers, a few cherry tomatoes (FINALLY!) and some ginormous zucchini. Now I know what everyone meant when they told us that these things can quadruple in size overnight.

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What’s the best way to prepare an arm-sized zucchini?

I spent the majority of the evening cleaning and organizing in the baby’s room. I filled the trunk of my car with things to take to my parents for their garage sale and listed a few items on eBay. I LOVE the feeling of getting rid of things I don’t need!

By Request

I’ve had some requests to see pics of the baby bump. Ask and you shall receive.

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29 weeks down, 11 to go! I know that I am growing a life and that these extra 40 (!!!!) lbs. are necessary to protect the Peanut. That said, I really want my body back.

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I’ve had to combine 2 days into one post due to some technically difficulties. Note to self: Do not attempt to upload pictures at 5:00am before having coffee. It’s bad news and doesn’t work out so well.

Wednesday lunch was eaten not only by myself, but by my camera. It wasn’t part of my Clean Out the Pantry week because I dined out with BFF, my mom and another friend.

Wednesday dinner was a bit of a cheat. It didn’t require me to purchase any veggies. When I told my dad that my husband was staying out of town for the evening, he offered to send me home with one of the extra stuffed peppers my mom had prepared. It’s one of her specialties so I just couldn’t resist.

On the side, I had a little buttercrunch lettuce from our garden drizzled with EVOO and balsamic vinegar.

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After dinner, I headed out to visit my husband’s cousin and his wife who are scheduled to have their second child tomorrow morning at 8:00AM. They seem to be prepared mentally and the house is ready. *healthy surgery vibes* to H! My husband and I can’t wait to meet their new little one.

You guys are really going to think I’m slacking when you see my Thursday lunch. My mom and her friends get together every Wednesday for dinner at a fantastic restaurant. Since the portions are large, she tries to order something she knows I’ll like and then just takes her leftovers home for me to try.

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Today it was quinoa-stuffed zucchini with spinach, red onions and marinara sauce.

Delicious and extremely filling.

Lunch was followed by time with the girls.

Millie (my parents’ miniature dachshund) was quite the princess, just lounging on her throne bed.

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Macy (my pooch) and I fetched:

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and fetched:

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I’m very lucky that my parents live so close to my office and have a fenced yard. Macy makes the hour and a half commute with me every morning, stays at “doggy daycare” with my parents during the day while I’m at work, and then travels home with me every evening. Otherwise, she’d be at home alone or in an outdoor pen every weekday for 12 hours since my husband and I both work too far from home to go there at lunch. We never would have adopted her if we didn’t have this option. Fortunately, she likes car rides and is the perfect traveling companion. Well, except for the snoring in the backseat.

My husband is making this whole Clean Out the Pantry thing really easy. His request for dinner was leftover baked spaghetti. Easy enough. The quick & easy dinner meant more time for some housework and this stability ball workout from FitPregnancy.com.

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Today’s post will be a quickie.

I was running a little behind yesterday morning so I only had time to either snap a picture of my lunch and snacks pre-pack OR stop for coffee.

Guess which one I chose?

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Don’t worry. You’re not missing much. The snacks were a repeat of Monday and lunch was leftover angolotti topped with leftover zucchini from Monday’s dinner.

Dinner was a request from my husband. We happened to have all of the ingredients so I happily obliged as it fit with my theme for the week.

Baked Spaghetti with whole grain pasta, lean ground beef, four cheese sauce and topped with 2% mozzarella cheese. Not rocket science. It was quite tasty and not too bad nutritionally as long as the portion is kept under control.

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Our home phone became Grand Central Station just after I snapped the above picture so I didn’t get a picture of the small salad I had on the side.

Inspired by Sarah‘s wonderful post earlier this week, I did the Love Your Body workout from FitPregnancy.com after cleaning up the kitchen.

That makes 2 days into my goal of 15 minutes minimum strength training every day this week. I’m already feeling an increase in my energy level and resdiscovering muscles I’d nearly forgotten I had. Hello hip flexors and triceps! It feels good to do something a little more “workoutish” than just the walking I’ve fallen back on lately.

Tea for 2?

My caffeine intake has been creeping back up into the “not okay” category over the last few weeks. I’m working hard to bring it back down and have decided that I need to restock my supply of tea. It has a much lower caffeine content than coffee, but still fills that hot beverage need that I have almost every morning at my desk.

The problem is that my doctor has deemed herbal things off limits during pregnancy. As much as I love my herbs, I’m choosing to err on the side of caution and heed his advice. Unfortunately, this means many of my favorite teas of the herbal variety have been banished to the back of the cabinet.

Anyone have any recommendations for non-herbal teas? Any favorite brand?

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Is anyone else watching The Next Food Network Star? I am. Last season was the first time I watched with any regularity and I’m hooked back in this time around. I’m really pulling for Melissa d’Arabian to win this time around. I love all of the tips, tricks and info she shares during her demos and feel like her show would be something I would actually watch.

As a soon-to-be-stay-at-home mom, I enjoy her frugal shopping strategies and home cooked meals that are both healthy and picky-eater approved. On a recent episode, she talked about how she likes challenging herself to skip the grocery and make meals for a week using what she already has in the house.

I find myself going to the grocery just for fun sometimes and end up spending waaaaay more money than is really necessary. I decided to adopt Melissa’s strategy this week, skip my usual Saturday grocery trip and get creative. When I sat down to menu plan, I was extremely surprised at how much food we already have in the house. I’ll be posting our meals as they appear this week.

Lunch

I snapped a pic of my eats for the work day before sticking them in my lunch bag.

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In the picture:

Dinner

We purchased a roast on sale several weeks ago and it’s just been chillin’ in the freezer since then. I popped it into the crock pot (still frozen) with a can of beef broth and a small can of mushrooms. To season, I sprinkled the top with some Garlic, Garlic and Onion, Onion. 8 hours later, voila!

I saw a commercial for these the other day and it reminded me that I’d received a package from the generous folks at Buitoni to sample.

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***Product Review***

Wild Mushroom Agnolotti

Here’s what the manufacturer’s website says about them:

A blend of earthy mushrooms, including sweet, rustic portobellos and delicate criminis, creates an impeccable pairing with fresh-roasted garlic and imported grana padano and parmesan cheeses, wrapped inside thin layers of stone-ground semolina pasta.

I’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to break them out and this seemed to be it. The verdict? Delicious! My husband and I both agreed that this pasta needs no heavy sauce to make it flavorful. The rich mushroom filling does the trick just fine. We topped ours with just a bit of beef broth that cooked in the crockpot with the roast. The nutrition information wasn’t necessarily the most figure friendly, but I found that 1/2 of the recommended portion was more than sufficient as a side dish. These were nice for a casual weekday supper and I think they’d also be great for a more formal event as well.

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Tonight’s veggie was zucchini from our garden, cooked just until tender in a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and garlic. I topped mine with a little paprika.

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Dinner is served!

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My meat and potatoes husband, was over the moon with excitement for this meal. It makes me feel great when I can prepare something that he really enjoys.

After dinner, I straightened up the kitchen, packed lunches, this workout (3 sets, 15 reps of the advanced moves) from FitPregnancy.com, tossed in a load of laundry and chilled with the hubs and the pup.

It’s off to bed for me now. Hope everyone had a great Monday!

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Life is Good Today

I have concluded that peeling wallpaper border is the least fun activity on the face of the Earth. Wes and I spent nearly 4 hours working on this today and still have a good 1/3 of the project left to accomplish tomorrow. It was raining and miserable outside for most of the day so at least we didn’t miss out on enjoying any sunshine or boating.

We rewarded our hard work with date night at our absolute favorite local restaurant called The Old Canal Smokehouse. I ordered my usual “Catch of the Day” which was either Potato Crusted Cod or Garlic Crusted Tilapia. I couldn’t decide between the two so our extremely nice waiter, Zac, had them plate me up a half portion of each. Probably my favorite part of the meal is their house salad dressing. It’s a tangy sundried tomato. Out. Of. This. World. Sorry about the photo slacking. It was pouring down rain when we left and I just didn’t want to risk ruining my camera.

I’ve had my favorite song of summer stuck in my head all day. For your viewing pleasure (and so it gets stuck in your head, too), Toes by the Zac Brown Band:

Adios and vaya con Dios!

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Houston, we have some veggies!

Well, just zucchini for now. Lots and lots of zucchini. This picture was taken after my sister-in-law took 8 (to make zucchini bread), my mother-in-law took 4 and I set aside another 4 to take to my parents tomorrow.

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And a few banana peppers. My husband failed to remember which row he was picking them from so we weren’t exactly sure which were sweet banana peppers and which were hot banana peppers. Good thing we both like spicy food.

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I was solo for supper tonight and decided to go meatless. Pasta (as always) sounded delicious. I was determined to use a zucchini in my dish so I whipped up a quick and easy marinara with not only a zucchini, but also 2 banana peppers. It seemed a
shame to combine canned ingredients with my fresh-from-the-garden veggies. It still tasted good and I think it turned out quite pretty. 🙂

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Has anyone tried whole grain pasta? I’ve been a strictly whole wheat girl for a couple years now, but the grocery had whole grain on sale for ridiculously cheap a few weeks ago and I stocked up. I’ve had it several times now and both my husband and I like it. The nutrition information and health benefits seem very similar to whole wheat and it sticks together like whole wheat when cooked. However, the color and texture are more like regular white pasta. Am I missing some key piece of information that makes it healthy only in name?

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