3. So it's 620 am and I'm standing in my kitchen drinking coffee, blawging, in a full running outfit. I'm not running my scheduled seven miles because it's 24 degrees outside. I'm afraid I've gotten even more cold natured which really isn't good, y'all. It's also not good the aversion to running I've developed this week. Someone please tell me that this too shall pass!
4. I decorating for Christmas last night and was reminded of how much I adore Christmas cards. They are they best! I keep them all in my Christmas card bucket and love looking back through them.
5. This fabric is on sale at fabric.com if anyone is interested:
They have this fabric every year which means that every year someone buys it. I'm so confused. Somewhere out there, is someone making curtains with this? Quilts? A-line dresses? I can't even talk about it.
6. Check out this guy! So full of turkey still.
Happy Friday, friends! Enjoy yourself, be present, eat up those leftovers.
Each year at work, we have a little Thanksgiving feast to show our appreciation to those that use our services. It's a way to say "Hey guys. Thanks for coming to us with all of your mental health needs. Have some greens."
Since my dish always has to travel with me on my commute and has stay warm while I'm doing group, I usually rely pretty heavily on the crock pot.
Oh crock pot. Rock of ages. Savior of potlucks. Where would I be without you? Sad. Very sad. But I digress.
The who brings what to this party list usually fills up pretty early, I decided to do channel my energies to a rice dish pretty early on. I researched several different recipes, tossed a round the idea of doing something daring like adding cranberries to my rice. Then I decided to stop acting cray and just find something that had lots of positive reviews on the All Recipes BECAUSE.......
Work pot lucks + All Recipes = Success Work pot lucks + Bon Appetite = Lots of left overs that you have to deal with
This theory was almost flawless except for that my fear of not having enough food led me to double the recipe...it was successful but not that successful. There's a bucket of this left at my office if any of yous guys are in Ruleville this week.
Let's be real. Would I make this for a small family gathering of people that love interesting and flavorful food? Probably not. Would I make this for a church pot luck / big huge family gathering? Abso-freaking-lutely.
Tis the season for processed cheese loaf and a little bit of cream of. Stay classy this Thanksgiving!
1. The rain has been doing a lot of getting in the way of my Friday runs as of late. I'm trying to use it as an opportunity to practice patience but as I sit here in my running gear with the rain pouring on the outside, my teeth are kind of gritted.
2. Do you ever have those things that you want to do but you don't really want to do what you have to do in order to do it? You know what I'm talking about. Liiiiike I want to make this dress for my nieces:
But I don't want to actually want to sit down a do it. Same goes with making quilts. And reading all those books about therapy. And following a budget.
Lazy sack of bones. And biggest nerd on the world wide web. Well, maybe not. Lot's of nerds on the WWW.
3. I can't stop researching dips.
4. How do you know if your boots are waterproof? I should google that, I guess. Have you ever thought about how insane people might think you were if they got a copy of your google search history? That happened on a show that Brandon was watching recently and it really made me think. Mine would look something like this:
Akitas. Akita puppies. Akita rescue. Dips. Running vest. Some freaky health condition that I'm convinced I have. Advent. Labile. Leather boots waterproof.
Just a little glimpse.
5. I'm sure ya'll have seen this commercial but I saw it for the first time last night.
Can't even handle it.
6. Have you donated to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance yet? There's still plenty of time if you want to donate. This is a good thing since I keep missing these 7 mile Friday runs.
Another huge thanks that everyone who has donated so far. Yous guys are awesome!
7. Looking for something to read this Holla-day season? Check out The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I know I've gabbed about it before but it really is good. And much easier to read than you'd think as it's so dang big.
8. I cannot handle how terrified of thunder the 140# Big Browne Hound is. I'd take a picture of him but he is huddled up in our dark bedroom with the Brandon. 9. Heading to Oxford tonight to eat at Jinsei and scoot my (hopefully waterproof) boots to Dickey Do and the Don'ts. This has inspired me to create a Toby Keith station on Spotify which led to me rocking out to My Maria by Brooks and Dunn. Dance to that one real quick and then try to not have a good morning.
Happy Friday buds! Have a good one and be present!
Sometimes I get struck by a stroke of breakfast genius. I can't predict when it's going to happen but I can say that the likelihood is pretty high that said breakfast genius is going to involve an egg.
Eggs, don't you know, are incredible. Incredibly nutritious, incredibly versatile, incredibly cheap. But guess what? I don't love them. Things sure would be easier if I did, though. Such a great protein source. Such a great dinner on the fly.
Not loving eggs is kind of new for me. I can't explain it. I can't trace any recent trauma that occurred while eating an egg that might have caused it. Alls I know, though, is that I kind of have to force them down.
You may find yourself asking why in the world did I craft a breakfast with an egg (or two) in the leading role? Well. Because they are nutritious. And versatile. And cheap. And eating greek yogurt on the weekend just isn't something I can talk myself into.
When faced with having to eat something that you don't like it helps to add something that you do like. In this case, I added smoked turkey sausage. Bam. Done.
This is meal is one of those meals that makes me think that I can throw things together without step by step instructions. That I can function on the fly. That I might survive in a zombie apocalypse after all. These thoughts, all of them, are comforting.
Sausage and Egg Scramble
2 oz smoked turkey sausage, sliced up 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1 green onion, chopped 1 slice of swiss cheese (I used Sargento ultra thin)
In a small skillet sprayed with cooking spray, heat the sausage until starting to brown. Pour in the eggs and the green onion, stir until egg is cooked through. Throw the slice 'o swiss atop the eggs and let it melt.
2. I skipped my 6 mile run this morning for no reason other than I'm a lazy sack of bones sometimes. I'm planning to go this afternoon. I'm promising myself Pasta Carbonara for dinner if I do it after work. Bam.
3. Pandora station that is rocking my world right now: Of Mice and Men's. Check it.
5. I've got holiday parties on the brain...thinking obout what sweets and treats I'm going to but together for it all and it's kind of making me feel giddy. Anyone got any tricks up their sleeve for jaw dropping party treats??!!
Happy weekend, yo! Start doing a no-rain dance for me as I'm gathering with some fine folks to celebrate the upcoming birth of a sweet baby boy. We want to be outside!
So I'm trying to cook from what I've got and with this meal...it paid off big time. Why? Because what I got wound up being heavy whipping cream. Anything with heavy whipping cream is going to end in a big payoff. Even the Big Browne Hound agrees.
If we were being honest, though, we'd all agree that the Big Browne Hound is going to try to stick his big browne head in whatever is on the table. He can't help it...he just loves to eat. He get it from his mama. Other things he get from his mama: lack of patience, dislike of long car rides, hardheadedness.
But that has nothing to do with anything.
So, this pasta. It was simple and tasty and if you've already got your chicken in the fridge, pretty darn quick. The spinach makes it healthy. Right? Right. Whip it up, get creative with your add ins, do the darn thing.
Chicken Alfredo adapted from All Recipes 5 oz pasta, cooked2 handfuls of spinach 2 cups of shredded, cooked chicken 1 clove of garlic, pressed 1/4 cup of butter 8 oz heavy whipping cream 3/4 cup fresh Parmesan, grated
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Once it is cooked, drain out the water and toss it with the spinach to get the spinach to start to wilt. Toss it into a big bowl along with the chicken. Meanwhile, combine the garlic, butter, cream and Parmesan in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Once it is all smooth, remove from the heat and allow to thicken up. Pour it over the pasta and toss to combine. Serving size 1 cup Points plus 13
The topic of frozen chicken was recently discussed over at Somehow We Manage. I was grateful for said discussion as it combined something I hate (dealing with chicken) with something I love (my crock pot). Since one situation contained two such extreme emotions, the end result would be (I hope) a feeling of neutrality.
I put frozen chicken breast on my grocery list and looked forward to chicken and avocado soup as a Sunday night dinner. When I got to the Wal Mart to do my shopping, I was immediately freaked out by the bags of frozen chicken breast. I kept seeing the word glaze and imagining the horrors of chicken processing. It was a tough few minutes.
Mine eyes soon found this box of chicken; it claims on the package to raise the chickens humanely. Do they? Who knows. I'm pretty convinced that all of these big companies are lying to me but am to afraid to do the research. In the meantime, I guess, I'll just make cute banners proclaiming my wish that people treat their chickens kindly.
can anyone spy the little piece of hey i wonder what this does editing I did on this photo and then forgot to delete?
You may be wondering hey girl...if you're that horrified by chicken and the state of meat in general, why do you still eat it? That's a good question. For one, I've got that husband that isn't ready to go off the meat. I enjoy cooking meals that we both can enjoy. For two, I've got to get my protein in especially since I'm doing all of this crazy running. Yes, I'm aware that I can eat beans and other plant based proteins but sometimes, a gal just needs variety. This leads me to the debacle part of this (thank God, her readers say) and that is this:
How does one balance the desire to eat things that are healthy for my body, the desire to eat food that is minimally processed and/or humanly treated, the desire to eat things that are tasty and the desire to not have a grocery bill that rivals a family of six.
And that's kind of where I am. These things fall into a different order of importance on different days. Also gotta factor in that the Mississippi Delta isn't exactly a healthy/clean food oasis. Getting better, though. Just not quite there yet.
Debacles are chaotic, don't you know.
Thoughts on this? (Aside the fact that I'm kind of a nut...that ones pretty well established.) Where do you get your meat / animal products? If you don't eat meat, what are your favorite protein sources? Discuss.
And in case you were wondering, frozen chicken in the crock pot comes out beautifully....
Two for two on pasta Friday, dudes. But this is not surprising. If you put pasta on a night when it's OK to let yourself splurge a little then how can it not be a winner?
It's my belief (wish ya'll could have seen that before spell check stepped in) that this dish was one reason why my 12 mile run went so well on Saturday morning. The other reason, obviously, was well shuffled spotify playlist entitled Run, Girl. It had the protein, it had the carbs, it had the cheese; all the good stuff was there. What wasn't there, though, was the spinach. I thought had a bag (or two) shoved in a crisper drawer somewhere. I thought about batting my eyes at Brandon to get him to run grab me some from the store but I'd already used that trick earlier in the week for milk chocolate chips and butter. It was worth it though, my toffee for the Fall Bazaar would have been a little off had I used that Save-a-Lot margarine that he picked up on his first run to the store that day. But I digress. This pasta, it's quick and it's cheap and it's good. What else is awesome about it is that you can use your leftover turkey sausage and Monterrey jack cheese and make a sausage and cheese plate for dinner the next night. You know I don't hate that....
Creamy Spinach and Sausage Pasta from Budget Bytes 6 oz smoked turkey sausage 1 tbl olive oil 1 medium onion, chopped 1 14.5 oz can of Rotel 2 cups of chicken broth 8 oz whole wheat pasta 3 cups of fresh spinach 1 cup of Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded 1 green onion, chopped up Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook until browned. Add the onion and cook for about five minutes or until it's soft.
Add in the rotel, the chicken broth and the pasta. Make sure the pasta is all under the broth. Allow it to come to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer; simmer it up for about ten minutes or until the pasta is cooked.
Add in the spinach one cup at a time, stir until it's wilted. Sprinkle the cheese on top, cover again and allow the cheese to melt. Uncover the pasta and add the green onions on top. Serve hot.
1. Ya'll. The new book for the book club that I'm in is 700andonemillion pages long. According to my calculations, I'm going to have to read 31 pages per day to finish it on time. It's called The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and people say it's real good stuff. I'm about 40 in so far and am whole heartedly agreeing with the people.
2. Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? I'm starting this weekend. I refuse to feel crazy town this holla-day season.
3. What about these 30 Incredibly Powerful and Moving Images ? Check them out. Some of them are tough to look at but they are really, really beautiful. Here's a glimpse of a sweet hound that when he died, was buried in India with full honors. He was a bomb sniffer.
4. Guys! The MS River Marathon is exactly three months from today. Time, she's flying. I've got a 12 mile run in the morning....anyone want to donate 12$ in honor of that? Do it!
Happy weekend, dear friends! It's bee-u-ti-ful outside....take advantage. Be present!
In the spirit of looking for the good, I've created Pasta Friday. Pasta Friday is a way for me to try new recipes, carb load and treat myself before the dreaded Saturday long run. Ok maybe dreaded is a bit dramatic. I don't dread them. I fear them. Well, maybe not fear them. I wish that I could just run the marathon and not have to do them. How's that?
Can you even handle that melted mozzarella? I cannot. I cannot even handle it. To know me is to know that there are few things that I love more than a carb and a cheese, it's only natural that I would get squeely excited over something called Pasta Friday. Looking forward to this little tradition. Hit me up with your favorite pasta dishes!
Tomato, Basil and Cheese Baked Pasta adapted from Food Network
1 lb smallish pasta (I used rigatoni) 1 tbl olive oil 3 large cloves of garlic, chopped 1/2 onion, chopped 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes 12 fresh basil leaves, torn salt and pepper 1 cup basil pesto 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 lb fresh mozzarella
Boil the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and transfer to a large baking dish. Stir in the pesto, the ricotta cheese and half of the Parmesan cheese.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the garlic and the onion, cook until soft. Add the crushed tomatoes and heat to a simmer. Stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over the pasta. Top with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Grate (or tear, that grating gets annoying) the mozzarella on top.
Preheat the broiler on your oven. Place the pasta in the middle of the oven, broil for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese is just starting to brown and bubble. Divide into 8 equal pieces
You may be wondering why I'm telling you not to be scared. I guess it's because Brandon was scared upon learning that this is what would be for dinner. Well, maybe not scared. Maybe scared is the wrong word. Maybe reluctant is a better word. Or hungry. Protein deprived, even.
As it is with most things, there was nothing to worry about. It tasted great, was easy to put together and was filling. This meal was full of green triangles, which is a WW way to say that it was nutritionally dense. Or full of armoured calories.
You maybe be wondering how I know such fancy nutrition terms. Maybe you've never heard about the time that I was going to nursing school? Yep. I was going to go to nursing school with the long term goal of becoming a psychiatric nurse practitioner. There was only one small kink in the plan and that was my inability to pass microbiology online. And my inability to make above a C in A and P one AND two.
FYI: Your adrenals are not in your brain. Wherps.
So I'm still in the business of talking about problems rather than medicating them. In the mean time, though, I'm grateful for fancy words I learned in my nutrition class (made a B!!) and I'm grateful that my my teacher said "vegan" with a soft "g" (think gin and juice) instead of a hard g (think "guns.")
You really have to think work hard when you are doing meal plans for the veh-gins!
Not sure how I got off on that but anyway. Make this chili! Don't be scared! Don't feel bad about yourself if you aren't successfull in online classes! Be grateful for new words!
Quinoa Chili from Cooking Classy 2 cups of cooked quinoa 1 tbl olive oil 1 large yellow onion, chopped 4 cloves of garlic, minced 1 (14.5 oz) cans of diced tomatoes 1 (15 oz) can of tomato sauce 1 1/2 cup of water 1 (7 oz) can of diced green chilis 2 1/2 tbl chili powder 2 tsp ground cumin 2 tsp cocoa powder 1 1/2 tsp paprika 1/2 tsp sugar 1/2 tsp ground coriander 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste) 2 (15 oz) cans of kidney beans 1 (15 oz) can of black beans 1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped juice of 1 lime
Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute until tender, add the garlic in at the end. Add in diced toamtoes, tomato sauce, chili, quinoa and all of the spices. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture to a boil an dreduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add in the beans, corn, cilantro and lime juice and cook until heated through.
Guys! We all know St. Jude in Memphis does amazing work...let's help them to keep up the good work. I'll be running the St. Jude Half Marathon in December and have signed up as a St. Jude hero with a goal to raise $1000. Donate here!
Wife, Akita mom, runner, therapist, wanna be yogi, most of the time weight watcher, sometimes seamstress, full time nerd. Lover of rap music, friends, family, and french fries. Trying to figure out how to stay a size six(ish) and put out more good energy than bad. Let's do this...
Have questions, comments, recipe ideas? I would love to hear from you!