Monday, January 31, 2011

P90X Day is Here

This weekend, after seeing the results that Darrin and Stacey were achieving, we decided to start P90X. After work today we will start our workout videos. Mark your calendars!
We went out and bought what seemed like a million dollars worth of start up equipment which included fancy heart monitors
These come with straps to put on your chest, my monitor is pink!
 We bought protein powder (from Costco) and Recovery Drink Powder to help with our workouts and to help with the soreness after workouts. I wish I had a picture of all of our food before we started putting it away. The first month you start doing P90X you focus on fat burning so you need a lot of protein. For the food plan this equals lots of meat and hardly any carbs. The good thing about this is you can eat cheese (not that I like cheese, but a lot of diets you have to cut that stuff out). I have no idea how I will last a month with hardly any pasta. You can eat brown rice, wild rice and Quinoa though.
We purchased a gigantic pork tenderloin from costco for $15 and it will yield 16 servings of Island Pork Tenderloin (I'll post recipe after I eat it). Sorry, I know raw pork is gross, but I wanted to show you how big it is.
Here is my mess while I portioned our pork out and seasoned it before freezing. This seriously could be a full time job, with all the cooking and portioning things out to make sure you are eating the correct foods.
 We also purchased salmon, lunch meat (fat free), frozen strawberries, veggies, salad, cheese, rice, etc.. Here is what we are going to eat this week. Breakfast we are doing a protein shake made of skim milk, frozen strawberries, banana and protein powder. Oh, and did I mention that we got a magic bullet and it is AWESOME!! If you don't have one, you need to consider buying it, there are no dirty dishes, you blend in the cup you are going to drink with! Lunch will be a Cobb salad filled with a TON of lunch meat (ham and turkey), avocado, cheese, roma tomato and low fat dressing. Dinner will be salmon (already seasoned) with asparagus  and wild rice. The other nights will be Island pork tenderloin and turkey meatballs/burger (minus the bread). Sorry no before pics, because they aren't too pretty and we are half naked. Wish us luck! Pin It

Friday, January 28, 2011

Finally a Weekend Warm Up

It looks like we will be in the low 60's this weekend here! It has been so cold and I am over the cold weather, but still would like it to snow in NC next month when we go please.  I am excited to do a little walking/hiking this weekend on the green way. It's a stretch of paved path that connects 2 parks and spans 7.5 miles long. Once you get further in you can choose to go off the path and hike through the wooded areas.
 Here are some of the views along the path.
Hope you have a temporary warm up where you are this weekend!
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Using Etsy for Your Exact Project Needs

So I recently discovered on Etsy that you can submit a request for a certain project and Etsy store owners can look at what you requested and decide if they want to bid on the job.  A few months ago I found this chalk board at Goodwill and have been wanting to turn it into a menu board.
My inspiration for it was this one above (I wish it were mine). You login to your account and go to Alchemy tab. This is where you can set up your request for a project and even put an image for an example. I received 9 bids for vinyl letters for days of the week and the header. I put my ideal price and deadline. People have been submitting mock ups of fonts and layouts for me, for free! All of their work only for $10. People are really passionate about fonts or they are desperate for $10.
My front runner is Signs by Scott, he is awesome. We have been talking via etsy for a few days now and he must love what he does. Here is a quote from one of his emails: "This is YOUR project not mine.  I am only here to help you get something YOU want...not someting you have to settle for. If I am not able to make what YOU want, then neither one of US is going to be happy.  It is not important to me that we make several reworks...this is part of my job and I am here to make YOU COMPLETELY SATISFIED!!" I realize this is a bit crazy on his part, but he does good work and is super nice.
I am going with the bottom Buon Appetito and he is adding flourishes and underlining similar to my picture. I'll keep you posted on the final product and when mine is all complete! Pin It

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Straight Hair and Snow Gear

Next month we will be taking a little weekend trip to NC for snowboarding. The reality hasn't set in yet that I will actually be snowboarding so I'm still having fun gathering my snow supplies (Thanks Leah for letting me borrow your jacket and pants!).
This past weekend I went to Target and found a great deal on this thermal long sleeve shirt. It was only $3 and it has bears and mountain type scenery. I also got little thermal leggings/pants to go under all my layers (don't mind my ugly socks). Oh, and I got a haircut so you can see my straight hair look. I don't usually straighten my hair because it takes too long, but when the hair dresser does it for free I take full advantage!
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Homemade Chicken and Spinach Raviolis

I'm very excited to be sharing this recipe with Debbi Does Dinner... Healthy & Low Calorie for this week's Presto Pasta Nights!
 We can now say that we have made our own raviolis from scratch! We enlisted the help of Davids parents for this ravioli making extravaganza.
 We started with the basic pasta dough recipe for the kitchenaid mixer. 
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Start by combining 2 cups of flour and the remaining ingredients into your mixer and mix until combined. Slowly add in the rest of your flour until it no longer sticks to the side. Divide your dough into 4 balls and cover with a damp towel for 20 mins.

 While we were waiting for the dough to be ready, I went ahead and made the filling for the raviolis. I choose a Chicken and Spinach recipe.
  • 1/2 pound ground chicken
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Asiago cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar marinara sauce
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese for topping
 In a skillet over medium heat, cook the ground chicken until evenly brown; drain.  In a food processor, mix the chicken, spinach, and onion. Transfer to a bowl, and mix with butter, 3 tablespoons Asiago cheese, salt, garlic powder, nutmeg, and pepper. I doubled the recipe because I saw that we made a ton of dough.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out each part of the dough to 1/8 inch thickness. We used the kitchenaid pasta attachment to flatten our dough. This step is needed before you cut any pasta so it was very easy and made it the perfect thickness. Place about 1 teaspoon of the chicken mixture on to the dough in a staggering pattern. Use another long strip to cover your filling or we just had extra long dough strips so we folded it over top. 
 Seal the edges of the circles around the filling with your fingers to make sure you don't loose any filling during cooking.
We used a small espresso cup to cut out our raviolis. You can easily use a cup, cookie cutter or whatever you can find.  To better seal them up use a moistened fork around the edges. They look like real raviolis now!
David was first up to experiment with our process.
 Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, and cook the ravioli in small batches for about 8 minutes, or until al dente.
Drain, and rinse under cold water.

Place the marinara sauce in a saucepan, and cook until heated through. Serve ravioli topped with marinara sauce and remaining Asiago cheese.
We had so much fun learning how to make this with Frank and Cora. They picked it up right away and were a huge help in making dinner. The whole process did take 1.5-2 hours from start to finish, but it was WELL worth it. Very fun night. We had so much dough we ended up making a little bit of fresh pasta, too! We felt like real Italians making this and of course we had to listen to Frank Sinatra to set our mood. Pin It

Monday, January 24, 2011

Bathtimes and Bottoms Baby Shower at Work

On Friday at work we had Leah and Holly's Baby Shower.  Holly, who is the customer service manager,  is due around Feb. 19 and Leah is due March 10.  Unfortunately Holly had a stomach ache and was ill and could not come in.
 We used our already beautiful conference room and made it even prettier.
 Christen in sales supplied all the pretty decor and cupcakes.
Lacey made our awesome banner signs that said Holly & Leah's Baby Shower.
 Me and Lacey
 Our beautiful decor.
 Since the theme was "Bathtime and Bottoms" there were lots of diapers, lotions and body washes for baby.
 Gals from our Sales, Product Development and HR department.
 Lacey and Leah
 Leah with the e-commerce gals Broke and Elena
 More lovely ladies
We even had some of our few guys stop in at the end of the party to scope out all the goodies.
It was a very fun time and I can't wait for Baby Emery's arrival in March.
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Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy Friday!

Sorry, I forgot to blog post today, we've been busy here at work throwing a baby shower for Leah. The shower was also for Holly, but she came down sick and couldn't make it (so much for the big surprise). I'll save the actual post for next week, but here is the invitation and theme.
It turned out really cute and they got tons of diapers and accessories for their soon to be bundle of joy!
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cajun Meatloaf- AKA the best and only meatloaf I make now

When you think of meatloaf sometimes you think of plain, dry meat, but the Pioneer Woman has transformed the regular stereotype of meatloaf.  Her recipe calls for 3lbs of meat, I portioned it out smaller and used 2 lbs and it made 2 loaves.  So click here for the original recipe (great for freezing and leftovers).
One thing that I love about the recipe is the use of vegetables. I actually feel somewhat healthy eating this. Those peppers look so fun to me. Have you ever been to California Pizza Kitchen and seen their wall art of Vegetables? I LOVE them and wish I could steal them off their walls. Okay on to the recipe.
  • 1 1/2 Bell Peppers (I used a red and half a green)
  • Medium Onion
  • 1 bunch Celery (I used 4 Ribs)
  • 4 cloves Of Garlic
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • Optional: A Few Shakes Of Hot Sauce
  • 1 cup Ketchup
  • 1/4 cups Milk
  • 1 cup (to 2 Cups) Breadcrumbs
  • 1 pound Of Lean Ground Beef (92% Lean)
  • 1 pound Ground Pork
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey
  • Extra Ketchup for Topping

Chop all of the fresh vegetables (peppers, onions, celery) into a small dice and mince the garlic.  Over medium-high heat, melt 4 tablespoons butter.  This takes the longest time so if you are in a rush you can do most of this ahead of time.
Once butter begins to start browning, add the diced vegetables and garlic.  Add about 1 teaspoon salt.
After these have cooked for a few minutes add 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon nutmeg and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper.  If you like it hot, add a couple shakes of your favorite hot sauce (I left this out).  Next add about 1/4 cup of ketchup.  Continue cooking and stirring for a few more minutes.  Remove from heat.  Don't the colors look magnificent in the pan, am I the only weird one that thinks so?
After allowing the mixture to cool for a couple of minutes, add about 1/4 cup of milk.  Stir until combined.  Next add at least 1 cup of breadcrumbs.  Continue adding breadcrumbs and stirring until mixture is a nice, thick paste.
In a large mixing bowl place the ground beef and pork.  Whisk 2 eggs and add to the meat.  After allowing the pasty vegetable mixture to cool down a bit, begin incorporating it into the meat.  Keep working all of the Cajun-Vegetable mix into the meat until all is blended well.  Spray meatloaf pans with cooking spray and put the meat mixture evenly between the 2 pans (I had plenty for 2).  You can also form yours right on a baking sheet (Pioneer Woman does that) or I sometimes make meatballs from this.  In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix together 1/2 cup of ketchup with about 2 tablespoons honey. Slather this sauce over the whole meatloaf. Place in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes.
I know this doesn't look that appetizing, but it really is great. It has just the right amount of spice, but not too much. Hope you enjoy!
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fitness Pal and Rain Boots!

At a family birthday party this weekend Stacey and Darrin told us about their P90x workout and eating plan. They are doing it for the 90 days and are loving it although it seems pretty tough. I am just trying to workout more and get in shape for a snowboard trip we want to take next month. I have never tried snowboarding or skiing, I know big shocker even though I'm from NY. We stuck with sledding and making snowmen. Stacey told me about an Iphone app called My Fitness Pal where it tracks your calories and it really is the best one out there (and free). I typed in Kroger carbmaster yogurt thinking it wouldn't come up and it sure did. So it has a lot of food and brands to choose from. You can even record your water intake and workout for the day.
 They have a website that you can do it on also if you don't have an iphone (looks like its available for Android as well). It syncs your info. to the website so you can see the same things and record your food intake there. When you sign up you can choose if you want to lose weight, gain weight or just maintain. The photo above is what I ate yesterday and I had fun looking throughout the day and planning my meals around how many calories I had left.
This is what the app looks like on your phone. Another good app she told me about is Whole Foods. They have some really great recipes on there that I can't wait to try.
This weekend I finally caved in and bought adorable rain boots. I don't have any good boots to get wet and go outside in and I have been thinking about these for the longest time. I bought these at Sams Club for $30 and I love them! Pin It
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