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Posts Tagged ‘snack’

..with all the frills upon it
You’ll be the grandest lady
in the Easter parade.

That’s the song my grandma used to sing to us every Easter when my mom’s family got together for a massive Easter egg hunt. It was stuck in my head all day yesterday. I must say though, this little lady was the grandest:

I was so excited to share photos of the Easter dinner we hosted at our house, but I completely flaked on pictures (again) because I got so wrapped up in playing hostess. Our guests were my in-laws and sister-in-law. My parents were supposed to come, but my dad called earlier in the morning to say my mom had a rough night and was just too exhausted to make the trip. That put a bit of a damper on the day for me because I was looking forward to seeing them. We still had a delicious meal of ham, salad, potato casserole (a la my mother in law) and white chocolate amaretto cheesecake (a la my sister-in-law). The highlight of the day for me was sitting on the porch and soaking up the beautiful weather while drinking coffee and chatting.

Since I don’t have pictures to share, I decided to update y’all on some new eats (and drinks) I’ve tried recently. I purchased all three of these products on my own. I am not affiliated with any of the companies who make these products and I have not been paid or compensated for my reviews.

Barbara’s Bakery Chocolate Chip Snackimals

I really liked these. Crunchy and delicious. The cookie part reminded me more of a graham cracker than a traditional animal cracker. There was just the right amount of chocolate to get my fix without making them overly sweet. Their animal shapes are really fun and it made me feel like a kid again. The monkey was my favorite. 🙂 These cookies are vegan and I could pronounce everything on the ingredient list, although there were a few things that weren’t entirely natural. Each serving of 10 cookies is 120 calories, 4g of fat (no saturated, no trans), 0g cholesterol, 8g of sugar and 19g of carbs. Overall, a decent snack when you’re looking for something sweet. A little on the pricey side, but I’d buy them again if they were on sale.

Pacific Rim Sweet Riesling

My husband and I were searching for a riesling at Sam’s Club and this was the only one we could find. I’m not a big fan of overly sweet wines so I was nervous when the label said “Sweet Riesling.” I was pleasantly surprised. This wine was absolutely delicious. It’s sweet, but in a crisp way rather than a syrupy sweetness. The flavor is very fruity and refreshing. To top it all off, the price is very reasonable. We paid $8.99 and will absolutely be buying this again. The company’s website recommends this as a pairing for spicy foods. That sounds perfect to me, but so does just enjoying a bottle by itself in the evening. 🙂

Sam’s Club Member’s Mark Chicken Sausage (Spinach & Asiago)

First of all, I have to give a huge shoutout to Jenny from This Winding Road! I’ve been seeing these chicken sausages on her blog for sometime and they always look delicious. I commented on one of her posts about them and she was kind enough to e-mail me and let me know where she bought them and which varieties she preferred.

Thanks to her help, I decided to finally give them a try and I’m sooo glad that I did. My husband threw some on the grill for me last week while he was cooking brats for himself. Delicious! They’re full of flavor and a bit spicy, but not overpoweringly hot. Very, very juicy, but not at all greasy. While they taste great on their own, these sausages are also very versatile. So far I’ve tried them alone, in a wrap, in an omelette and in pasta sauce. They tasted great in every dish and I look forward to finding new ways to use them. This is a definite “buy again” and I’m looking forward to trying some of the other flavors.

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Sorry for the sporadic posting lately. It’s been a hectic past few days and my mind has been going in a million different directions. Unfortunately, none of those directions has involved my camera so it’s been spending more time at home than in my purse.

It’s time to spill the beans on my surprise now that we’ve shared with our parents and my sister-in-law. In case you haven’t figured it out, my husband and I are expecting our first child. We’re absolutely thrilled! My first doctor’s appointment is on Thursday so I should find out my due date then. Right now my best guess is early October.

On to the weekend eats!

For breakfast on Saturday I had a biscuit with spray butter and blueberry jam along with a glass of milk. Afterwards I headed out to the grocery.

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The good grocery news: I found some Clif Iced Gingerbread bars! The bad grocery news: My store is no longer carrying plain Fage. Yes, the very same Fage I was so excited to find just weeks ago. I almost cried when the lady told me. It was a sad, sad day.

I was STARVING when I got home so I made some Annie’s Whole Wheat Shells & Cheese.

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I also made a mini-parfait of organic vanilla low-fat yogurt, blueberries & Bear Naked Fit granola.

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My appetite and my energy headed south for the rest of the day. I did a little laundry, cleaned out the refrigerator and took the recyclables to the bins in town. My husband was craving pizza for dinner so we ordered from the little local place. It smelled really good when he brought it in so I had two small squares. We spent the rest of the evening curled up on the couch watching TV with the dog. I enjoy lazy evenings like that every once in a while.

Sunday I slept in waaaay later than I had intended. Honestly, I probably would have slept longer if my growling stomach hadn’t woken me up. I wanted something quick and filling. The result is something I can see myself eating on a regular basis. It was just an organic banana (cut in half lengthwise) spread with peanut butter and sprinkled with granola. It tasted like dessert!

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I took advantage of my morning energy to finish up laundry, scrub the kitchen and clean the floors. While I was doing that, my husband was busy cleaning all of the vehicles. My car looks so shiny and new!

Lunch was four Ling Ling’s vegetable dumplings drizzled with reduced-sodium soy sauce and dipped in Ben’s Sweet & Hot mustard. I bought these the first time because I had a coupon and they looked interesting. Now they’re a regular purchase. They’re frozen, but taste pretty fresh and flavorful after they’re cooked. The bag comes with a sauce packet, but I don’t care for it. The mustard is a local favorite.

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I also had the rest of my Annie’s Mac & Cheese.

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After lunch I cut up lettuce to make a big salad for the week. Then I headed back out to the front porch to enjoy the sunshine and my February issue of Martha Stewart Living. It’s amazing how quickly the temperature changed! Early last week it was in the low teens. Sunday it was almost 50! It makes me so ready for spring. In fact, when I took my break from reading we wandered around the yard and planned a few landscaping projects.

I had something new for snack, a CocoaVia bar.

*Product Review*
CocoaVia Crispy Chocolate Bar

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Yum, yum, yum! This was the perfect cure for a chocolate craving. It’s dark chocolate (which I prefer) and has a really rich taste. My take on the texture was that it’s both chewy & crispy. The nutrition information was very reasonable. I can’t wait to try the other varieties I bought!

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Dinner was kind of rushed and frazzled. I was getting everything together for our nachos when my in-laws pulled in for an unexpected visit. I put them on hold so we were both pretty hungry when they left. No picture, but I can assure you they were good. 🙂

After dinner I got clothes ready for the work week and made sure everything I needed was in my bag. I don’t typically watch awards shows, but I somehow got sucked into the Grammy’s this year. All of the performances I saw were really good. However, it seemed like their sound was a bit off and I could barely hear the people singing over the musicians. I was disappointed that I fell asleep before Sugarland performed. Love them!

Would you rather watch an awards show for acting or one for music?

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Sorry to leave you all hangin’ this weekend. It was a bit hectic and my eats weren’t too exciting. Here’s a quick recap:

Saturday – I went to the grocery. It wasn’t my favorite place to shop. I only went there because they have polenta and I can never find it at my favorite store. It was a madhouse with all the Super Bowl shoppers stocking up on soda, chips & beer. I didn’t spend much time perusing because of the crowds. When I got home my husband and I went to the Amish store and stocked up on cheese, jams and other goodies. My sister-in-law called when I got home and asked if we wanted to go sledding at her house. The flower girl from our wedding (she’s 7) loves to sled so it was a snow party! Soooo much fun. Here’s my husband and I. Don’t laugh. Okay, you can laugh. It was hysterical:

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We came home and had the classic after-sledding snack: hot chocolate. I paired mine with a few whole wheat fig bars from the Amish store. They are delicious! Yes, those are napkins from our wedding in March. We have so many leftover and we’re still using them. At this rate, it will be 6 years before we’re through them. I ordered the wrong color the first time so we had 6 boxes of the color shown plus 2 boxes left over from the wedding in the correct color (sage green).

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I wasn’t really hungry at dinner time so I just had some Kashi crackers, Cabot reduced fat sharp cheddar and summer sausage from the Amish store.

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Sunday – The day started around 3:30 when I got up to go to the bathroom and found something out that might slightly alter the content of my food photos for a while. I’ll post more details later, but it’s good news. Very, very good news. 😉 Breakfast was an omelet courtesy of my husband.

The rest of the day was very low key. I cleaned the house, took a nap and then a few things together for munching during the Super Bowl. My husband made cheeseburgers for himself and my sister-in-law. I had a Gardenburger Portobello burger on an Arnold’s Sandwich Thin with smoked hot pepper cheese & spicy sweet mustard. We watched the game, said goodbye to sister-in-law and then headed to bed. So exciting.

Today – I had a lot of things on my mind this morning and forgot my camera. My food for the day was pretty uneventful. Breakfast was organic waffles, lunch was a repeat of my Super Bowl dinner with a Chik’n patty in place of the Portobello burger, snack was green pepper slices with balsamic vinaigrette and dinner was homemade enchiladas.

I’ll be back tomorrow night and there will be pictures. Have a great night!

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I work in the finance department of a medium-sized city. Income tax season has already begun so everyone pitches in to help with everything that goes along with this time of year. I spent almost the entire day folding letters and stuffing envelopes. Riveting work, lemme tell ya.

Overall today was a pretty good day. For starters, it’s Friday. To make that even better, it’s payday. My checks are direct deposited so the only thing I see is a pay stub. I don’t physically touch my money, but I know it’s there.

Breakfast was probably my favorite oat concoction so far. I stirred in a dollop of peanut butter and then put a plop (a scientific unit of measure) of Amish store blackberry jam right on top. That ended up being stirred in as I went, but the picture looked prettier this way:

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Lunch was something new for me. I love tofu, but I’ve never tried it as a sandwich. Why? I have no idea. It was very tasty and very filling. I put some reheated leftover Gliding Calm tofu, a slice of 2% American cheese and some dijon mustard on 2 slices of low-cal toast. This picture was before I added the 2nd piece of toast:

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One of my coworkers brought in a box of Celestial Seasonings Gingerbread Spice tea to share and, being the tea lover that I am, I was happy to accept. Unfortunately, I think it’s just seasonal. I may have to check my grocery and snag some if it’s still on the shelves because I really liked this one. It was the perfect balance of ginger and spice. One bag made two pretty strong cups.

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Snack was very refreshing. I had slices of green and yellow peppers dipped in a cup of Chi Chi’s medium salsa. I love these individual serving packs. So convenient for transporting to work.

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Shortly after I left for work I got some news that made my day even better. I won Kelly’s giveaway over at Every Gym’s Nightmare for the book The World is Fat by Barry Popkin. I’ve heard great things about this book from several sources so I’m really excited to read it. Thanks Kelly!

No dinner picture tonight. My super sweet husband made spaghetti tonight. I started to take a picture, but my camera battery was out of juice. We were both really hungry so I didn’t want to wait for it to charge. Basically what you’re missing is a pile of whole wheat spaghetti noodles with sausage sauce and a some baby carrots with Annie’s Goddess dressing for dipping. Mmmmmm. I’ve been spoiled lately. I’ll be a bit out of sorts when he goes back to working 5 (or more) days a week. This is the off season for his company so they’re working four 10-hour days and getting Friday off. That will end as soon as the warmer weather kicks in. By summer, he’ll be working 80-90 hour weeks including LOTS of Saturdays. For now, I’ll just enjoy having him around more.

After dinner we digested and then hit the gym. I had a pretty good session of walking on the treadmill, upper body & lower body. I did all my strength training in front of the mirror today. I don’t do this every time I lift weights, but I do like to do it every once in a while as a way to check my form.

No big Friday night plans for our household. My husband is watching his favorite show, Friday Night Lights, and I’m catching up on blog reading. I hope you’re all having a fabulous Friday night!

What’s your busiest time of year? Why?

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I went back to work today which was probably a mistake. The news made it sound like the roads weren’t too bad. My husband called shortly after he left to tell me that the streets were snow covered where he was, but that I’d be fine if I slowed down and took it easy.

Wrong. What normally takes an hour and a half took over two hours today. Basically my entire commute was like driving on gravel because of the ice with snow packed on top of it.. My car was shaking. I was shaking. It was loud. I thought if I just kept driving a little further it would get better. That was not the case, but by the time I decided I should probably turn around I was already halfway there. I kept pushing and eventually made it only to almost get stuck trying to pull into the parking lot.

Anyway, enough of my whining. I got to work safely and that’s really all that matters. On to my eats!

I wanted to get out the door as early as possible so I grabbed a Clif bar for breakfast. This was the first time I’ve ever had the Chocolate Chip flavor and it was good. Just enough chocolate without being overly sweet. I really like the texture of these bars. Not only are they hearty, but the consistency forces me to slow down when I eat. Here’s an after picture of the wrapper:

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Lunch was a Lean Cuisine Chicken Club panini. Not exactly the most “natural” food ever, but they have good flavor and stick with you. I don’t like to have packaged lunches like this every day. However, they do work well when you’re in a hurry and they’re better than icky fast food.
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An hour or so after lunch I was feeling anxious so I had a cup of Tazo Calm tea and did some deep breathing at my desk.
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Snack was a few Kashi TLC crackers (one of my new addictions) and a wedge of Laughing Cow Light swiss cheese.

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I worked through my lunch and got to leave at four so I could pick up the pooch and be home before dark. They’re calling for more snow tonight and I didn’t want to chance getting stuck in that if it came early. The drive was a little better than this morning. Still pretty icy and slow going.

I cooked Ranch Chicken & Potatoes in the crock pot yesterday so that we could just heat it up for a quick dinner tonight. My friend gave me this recipe and I’m not exactly certain of the original source.

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1lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 can cream of chicken soup (I use 99% fat free)
1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix (powder)
1/4 cup diced onion
20 oz. Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed & parboiled 10-15 minutes

Put all the ingredients in a slow cooker and stir together. Cook on low 4-6 hours.

On the side I had cottage cheese and a romaine & green leaf lettuce salad with a drizzle of Annie’s Goddess dressing. I won’t bore you with a picture of another of these salads. Seems like it’s becoming a trend.

I’ve had a horrible headache all day and ibuprofen isn’t touching it. Not sure what’s up. I normally don’t get headaches, but they’ve been an every other day thing for about the last week. I’ll be taking it easy this evening and probably heading to bed early again. Looks like I’ll need to be up and at ’em early again tomorrow.

I’m really excited to be participating in the Valentine’s Day Blogging Exchange! Click here for more information or to sign up. You need to do so by January 30th (which is tomorrow) so don’t wait!

What’s your “go to” lunch when you’re in a hurry to get something together?

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I’ve seen the Gliding Calm tofu earn rave reviews on so many blogs lately and today was the perfect day for me to finally give it a try. Three words: Oh. My. Gosh. So good! I had some as an early afternoon snack with dijon mustard on the side for dipping.

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Like Kath, I enjoy preparing and eating lunch at home. I typically eat at my desk during the work week so cooking is something I really look forward to when I have a day off. Today I tried something new. The original recipe is from the February 2009 issue of Real Simple magazine. I prepared it mostly as instructed and thought it was a little bland so I added my own flair. I made enough modifications that I’m sure it’s safe to post my version here. I apologize for some of the vague measurements.

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Lemony Shrimp with White Beans

(makes 4 servings)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 15.5-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed & drained
2 teaspoons dried parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon(?) Old Bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon(?) cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until melted. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.

2. Add the shrimp and cook until they are pink.

3. Stir in the beans, parsley, lemon juice, chicken broth, and all seasonings. Cook until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.

The original recipe said to serve over couscous, but I was in the mood for pasta so I plated mine over some whole wheat penne. Baby carrots standing in some Annie’s Goddess Dressing made a perfect side. Can you tell I’m a bit addicted to this dressing right now?

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After lunch I did a little laundry and put away some clean clothes. It is unbelievable how much dirty laundry two people can create. It’s a neverending battle. Laundry is probably my favorite chore so I don’t mind too much. The pup and I went back outside and played for a bit. The freezing rain started and it hurt when it hit my face so we didn’t stay out for too long. I went back inside, got comfy on the couch with a warm blanket and read for a while. Incredibly relaxing and highly enjoyable. The pup was pooped and just slept on her bed.

My husband, sister-in-law and I headed to the gym this evening for my 2nd workout of the day. We did the Plyometrics workout from the P90X DVD set that my sister-in-law borrowed from one of her coworkers. Holy smokes! It was pretty intense and I could certainly feel my muscles working. Workouts like that are awesome in my opinion. The final count was 520 calories in 58 minutes.

A shower was the first thing on my agenda when I got home. I wasn’t hungry for dinner so I just had some Kashi TLC crackers, a wedge of Laughing Cow Light swiss cheese and lots and lots of water to rehydrate.

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RIght now I’m chillin’ in my comfy fleece pajamas and watching The Biggest Loser with my husband. I don’t watch much TV, but this is one show I try not to miss.

The freezing rain is still coming down and we can hear it against the windows. It’s supposed to continue through the night and then turn back to snow early in the morning. Work tomorrow doesn’t seem too likely, but I’m not counting my chickens before they hatch. Have a great night!

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It seems like my days off are super short. I feel like I just woke up and now it’s almost time for bed. I did have a productive day which makes me feel good.

One of the productive things I did was make this Quick Quiona & Turkey Stew from GreenLiteBites. Holy yumminess! It was really easy to make and tastes amazing. The only modifications I made were that I left out the onion (because I hate it) and used chickpeas instead of pinto beans because it’s what I had. After a couple of bites I divided the whole batch out into individual servings and popped them in the fridge. Ta-da! Lunches for the week are now taken care of.

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After that I worked around the house (laundry, dishes, prep for the work week) and watched an episode of Jon & Kate + 8. Love that show! Those kids are just so stinkin’ cute. I know a lot of people say Kate is out of control and I agree that she has her over-the-top moments. All in all though I really admire her because of her planning and scheduling skills.

I wasn’t hungry right after my workout. It just hit me all of a sudden that I was starving! My late afternoon snack was a small glass of organic skim milk and a chocolate VitaTop. My grocery FINALLY started carrying these and I’m ridiculously excited.

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My husband called as he was leaving work and I popped the pork chops and baked potatoes in the oven. The timer went off at almost the exact moment he walked in the door. How’s THAT for timing? 🙂

I wasn’t really in a meat and potatoes mood so I fixed myself an alternative. I had a salad of romaine lettuce, black olives, whole wheat croutons and a little drizzle of Annie’s Goddess dressing.

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I also sliced up a tomato and topped it with cottage cheese and freshly ground black pepper.

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After dinner I just relaxed and read my book for a while, dreading going back to work tomorrow. Oh well. Just gotta do it. I am excited to try new oat concoctions starting tomorrow. Stay tuned for the results!

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