Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Summer comes to an end...

Well hello there! :) It's been quite awhile since my last post! I had to take a break from blogging because I had a week off from nannying and I was sooo busy enjoying the last few weeks of August. I couldn't have had a better ending to my summer. I had a family reunion and then took a mini vacation with Brian, spending 5 days in Cape Cod and 2 days in Vermont! We both haven't had a week off in years so we truly enjoyed it. We had gorgeous weather and spent practically everyday at the beach. I also ate healthy anything I wanted the whole vacation and I made sure to drink plenty of H2O twisted tea's and margarita's as well. ;)

 Getting a little twisted...
My reading partner <3
Killington, VT

Here's a few recipe's I've been meaning to share that were quite the hit at my family reunion! Especially this delicious concoction...



  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup triple sec
  • 1 lemon, sliced into rounds
  • 1 orange, sliced into rounds
  • 1 lime, sliced into rounds
  • 8 maraschino cherries
  • 2 cups carbonated water (optional)...I forgot to put this in my batch!
  1. In a large pitcher or bowl, mix together the brandy, lemon juice, lemonade concentrate, orange juice, red wine, triple sec, and sugar. Float slices of lemon, orange and lime, and maraschino cherries in the mixture. Refrigerate overnight for best flavor. For a fizzy sangria, add club soda just before serving. adapted from Allrecipes 

Creamy Avocado Dip:


1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt (I use Chobani)
2 ripe avocados, peeled and seeded
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Pita chips, tortilla chips, cut up veggies-for serving


1. Place the yogurt, avocados, garlic, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, and cumin in a blender or food processor. Mix until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
2. Scrape dip into a serving bowl and serve with pita chips, tortilla chips, or cut up veggies.
 adapted from twopeasandtheirpod

Mozzarella Basil Tomato Skewers:


  • 16 bamboo skewers
  • 48 grape tomatoes
  • 48 small basil leaves
  • 1 lb fresh mozzarella, cut into 32 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic
  • Salt and Freshly cracked black pepper


In a small bowl, combine olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Marinate mozzarella in dressing about 30 minutes. Thread tomatoes, basil and mozzarella onto skewers. Arrange on a platter and serve. 
adapted from Skinnytaste 

I hope you had a great ending to your summer!

Friday, August 10, 2012

BBQ Roasted Salmon with Cilantro Lime Quinoa

TGIF! Friday's are the best especially when you have the day off! Sleeping in would have been nice but that was not happening especially because my internal clock wakes me up at 6:15 :( So the first idea was the gym and the second idea was getting breakfast. I remembered about the new Panera Bread that opened up so Breakfast won and I headed there this morning for this delicious breakfast...
It's the perfect environment for blogging this morning. Although I do wish I had my headphones on so I didn't have to listen to this loud distracting classical music.

So for dinner last night...

I enjoy cooking for a group of people and who is better to cook for than your family?! So I put together a family dinner for my parents, my brother John, and Brian. Unfortunately my sister Emily is living in Massachusetts so she was missed! I decided on a BBQ Roasted Salmon that I had found on the lovely site Pinterest with a side of Cilantro Lime Quinoa and Roasted Broccoli. They were both so easy to make! I will definitely be making this again. :)

 BBQ Roasted Salmon:

  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Cooking spray
  • Lemon slices (optional)
Combine the pineapple juice, fresh lemon juice, and salmon in a zip lock bag. Marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator, turning occasionally.

While the salmon is marinating, combine the brown sugar, chili powder, lemon rind, cumin, salt, and ground cinnamon in a bowl.

Preheat oven to  400°

Remove fish from the bag and discard the marinade. Place salmon in a 11x7 baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Rub spice mix over the salmon and place in oven for 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve with Lemon slices.

adapted from Cooking Light

Cilantro Lime Quinoa 

2 cups of Vegetable Broth
1 cup of quinoa, rinsed and drained (follow cooking instructions using vegetable broth)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a large pot, bring the 2 cups of vegetable broth to a boil. Stir in quinoa and cook until broth is evaporated and quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes. Pour quinoa into a medium bowl and fluff with a fork.
2. Stir in garlic, lime juice, cilantro, and sugar. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve warm.

*I doubled the recipe because I was cooking for 5 people*

 From the lovely blog Two Peas and Their Pod.

Time to go it's getting crowded in here and I need to go buy something to wear for the MS Golf Tournament tomorrow since I DO NOT own any collared shirts!  Enjoy your FRIDAY! :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

PB Banana Smoothie

I quickly threw this together in my magic bullet before heading out the door this morning! YUM :)
1 scoop of whey vanilla protein
3 ice cubes
1 tbsp of natural peanut butter 
1 tbsp of flax seed
1 whole banana

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Baked Eggplant Fries

So this past weekend I dragged Brian to the Coventry Farmer's Market with our friends. I had a great time but he didn't care for it at all. Though he did care for these eggplant fries I made from the eggplant I had bought. :) I served these as an appetizer and then we ate the homemade garlic and parsley linguini I also picked up from the market. I mixed it with a pesto sauce and sliced chicken. Kept it pretty simple!


  • 10 oz eggplant
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/2 cup Italian Seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg white
  • oil spray 
  • 1 cup marinara sauce for dipping (extra points)
 Try to cut them all the same size so they cook evenly.
Sorry I forgot to take a picture before they were almost gone!


Preheat the oven to 450°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly spray with oil.

Cut ends off the eggplant. Slice eggplant in half, then into 1/4 inch thick slices. Lay each slice on the cutting board and cut into 1/4 inch strips.

Mix breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese in a bowl, and egg whites in another.

Take a few strips of eggplant at a time and dip them into the egg whites, then into the breadcrumbs. Using a fork, remove eggplant from crumbs and place on the baking sheets. Spray with more oil and bake 10 minutes in the middle rack.

Turn over and bake an additional 5 minutes, or until golden. Serve hot.

After dinner we cut up this sweet pink watermelon which was another good buy from the market. We ate this juicy dessert while watching the movie The Dark Night. Which I tried very hard to stay awake for but that was unsuccessful! Clearly it wasn't a movie I picked to watch. ;)
Run update- I ran 4 miles yesterday, I will be running 4 miles tomorrow, and then 6.5 miles on Saturday or Sunday.

10 weeks until the Hartford Half Marathon!

Eggplant fries adapted from skinnytaste

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Simple Beef Stir-fry

For dinner last night I decided on a stir fry. I really never make sit fry so I looked for an easy recipe and I found a site for 15 basic stir fry sauces. I made it very simple for myself and I bought a bag of frozen stir fry vegetables and 1 lb of prepared beef stir fry. It was nice that I had all the ingredients for the sauce on hand already, but for you that might not be the case.

I'll be sure to buy a Wok before my next stir fry.

First I browned the meat in my large Skillet for about 4 minutes. Not too long because I like my meat to have a pink center. Then I removed the meat and cooked the vegetables with 1 tbsp. of oil for about 8 minutes. While the vegetables were cooking, I mixed the sauce together in a separate boil. Once the veggies were ready I added the meat back into the skillet along with the stir fry sauce below. I decided to mix a packet of brown rice into my stir fry. Whatever floats your boat...

And there you have it dinner in about 15 minutes! :)

  Soy Sesame Stir-Fry Sauce

1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 tsp. rice wine vinegar
4 tsp. toasted sesame oil
2 tsp. hot red pepper flakes
2 tsp. sugar

Thursday=Running day
This morning I ran 4 miles with the cutest running partner ever! :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Birthday Balls

These were quite the hit at Lindsay's 30th Birthday! 
adapted from Bakerella

1 box of funfetti cake mix
Ingredients on box
1 can of funfetti frosting
 2 bags of vanilla candy melts, any color
1 tbsp. shortening to thin the chocolate

Make cake according to directions on box. Once cake has cooled crumble it into pieces into a large bowl (you could also use a mixer). Mix with can of funfetti frosting, beware it get's pretty messy! Roll into small balls and place on a large cookie sheet.  You can use butter on your hands to help it not stick. You should get about 4 dozen. Place in freezer for at least 20 minutes to chill.

Melt candy melts in microwave according to package directions. You may add a tablespoon of shortening to thin if needed. Remove a few cake balls (I recommend no more than 5) at a time from the freezer. Use a toothpick to dip entire ball into melted chocolate. Swirl around to remove excess. Place ball back on baking sheet and let cool. Repeat process with remaining cake balls.

 Be careful! These are very addictive!