Friday, May 31, 2013

Favorite Things Friday!

Happy Friday!!! The weekend is here! I kicked off my Friday with Insanity the Asylum Strength workout. I was a sweaty, happy mess by the time I finished! It got my day off on the right foot. I did some cleaning, took the kids to the pool, and came home for some more cleaning. I love having the kids at home for the summer, but I haven't gotten into a good rhythm with my housework yet. We'll figure it out!

I haven't done a Favorite Things Friday post in awhile. Frankly, I had been thinking long and hard about my favorite things to come up with a list that wasn't all food! So this time the split is 50/50. 

Have you tried this cheese? I don't know what it is about that "touch of Philadelphia," but it really does make the cheese a little creamier! I love it!!!

Next on my list: Foldit Flatout Bread with rosemary and olive oil! I picked up this package on a whim at Publix a few weeks ago when it was on sale. The hint of rosemary just adds something special!

I have had several sandwiches this week on the flatout bread with turkey, bell peppers, spinach, mustard and a few hot banana peppers. SO good!!!

Next is my entryway from the garage. My friend Sarah helped me come up with this layout, and I love it!!! This is where the kids hang all their backpacks, jackets and lunchboxes when they come in from school. We also hang our swim towels here to dry during the summer. Each child has a bulletin board as well so I can keep up with all their birthday invitations, school supply lists, etc. I got the boards and hooks from Pottery Barn, and I have been so impressed with how well they've held up! Nearly 3 years and still going strong, and we put a lot of weight on them!!!

Finally, I have my "Wall of Carol." I named it after my friend and favorite photographer who takes all our family photos. She inspired this wall with her portraits and a little help from Pinterest. If you're local and you need a good photographer, you should definitely check out Full Life Photography! Carol is not only gifted, she is just a precious person! And patient. Very patient. She has photographed my FOUR children. She's the epitome of patience.

View going up the stairs.
Close-up of the "Wall of Carol."
Have a fabulous weekend!!!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Try Something New Tuesday: Epic Fail

So I was all excited about this week's Try Something New Tuesday post. I was going to make my own veggie burgers in honor of Memorial Day! I couldn't wait to try them!!! Even the kids were looking forward to testing one out.

I assembled all my ingredients.

Then I whirled them all around in my food processor. This is when I first realized I had a problem.

Appetizing, huh? Yeah, I know. It looks like something you would retrieve from an infant's diaper. Still, I was optimistic. So I began assembling the burgers.

I soon realized this mixture was way too messy and was never going to hold its form on the grill. After a quick reevaluation of the ingredient list, I discovered I'd made an error that would prove fatal. I was doubling the recipe, but I had inadvertently quadrupled the amount of lemon juice in the burgers. 

I tried to salvage them by adding more flour. For awhile, I thought it actually might work.

I even put them on the grill. After a few minutes, they went from large, flat, and messy poo piles to large, flat, brick-like poo piles. Yum.

Still, I didn't want to give up on my dream of making amazing veggie burgers from scratch. So I tasted one. And that's when I knew without a doubt that this dream was...well...going down the pooper.

Oh well, at least someone enjoyed them.

Meanwhile, I put another veggie burger on the grill from the delightful folks at Morningstar Farms. People who apparently know better than I do how a veggie burger is made. It was delicious!

And for dessert, a berry trifle that the kids and I made together! 

I guess every new recipe can't be a winner!

Question of the Day:

Have you ever made veggie burgers?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Skinny Peanut Butter Pie

Happy weekend, y'all! Hope yours if off to a great start! I have been busy planning a fun Memorial Day cookout menu for the family. Dessert is usually where I start. Because that's my favorite part. There are a few ideas running through my mind right now, but among them is the Skinny Peanut Butter Pie I made a couple of week's ago for Mother's Day.

I found this recipe on Pinterest a few months ago. Anything with the word "skinny" and "pie" in it is sure to get my attention. And Mother's Day was the perfect opportunity to try it out. 'Cause my mom was coming over for lunch and she and I like to have our pie and be skinny too.

Here's the ensemble.

Start with the cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl.

Beat those together until smooth.

Then add 1/3 cup Better'n Peanut Butter. I actually didn't have any of this, but I discovered it's pretty much the same thing as reconstituted PB2, and I did have some PB2 on hand. So I reconstituted it myself. 8 Tbsp. PB2 and 4 Tbsp. water worked out to just about 1/3 cup.

Mix in your PB2 or Better'n Peanut Butter and beat until smooth.

Then fold in your whipped topping.

Finally, spoon it into a pre-made graham cracker crust. Don't forget to lick the spoon when you're done.

I stored mine in the freezer. It was great that way, but I wish I'd let it set out on the counter for a few minutes before serving. I did add some chocolate syrup to the pie just before I sliced it.

Pretty, huh?
I figured this is around 275 calories for 1/8 of the pie, and about 225 calories for 1/10. So still a bit of a splurge but certainly lighter than its traditional counterpart. And it was delicious!!! We polished off the whole thing in that one sitting!

Skinny Peanut Butter Pie
  • 5 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese (I only had regular cream cheese on hand)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup reconstituted PB2 (8 Tbsp. PB2 mixed with 4 Tbsp. water) OR Better'n Peanut Butter
  • 8 oz. whipped topping
  • Pre-made reduced fat graham cracker crust
  • Chocolate syrup
~Beat the cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl. Mix in PB2 or Better n Peanut Butter and beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon into pie shell. Refrigerate or freeze at least 2 - 3 hours before serving.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Summer Break Workout

Aaahhhh. Sweet, sweet first day of summer vacation for my children. No lunches to pack. No children to wake. No rushing out the door. I even slept until 7:15!!! When I finally rolled out of bed, I fed the kiddos some breakfast, made the hubby his Shakeology, and headed downstairs for my workout.

I was planning to do Insanity Max Interval Plyo today, and to be honest I wasn't looking forward to it. I think it's the toughest of all the Insanity workouts. And when my 2nd dear daughter asked if she could accompany me, I tried to dissuade her. I told her how hard it was. I told her she should just make up her own exercise instead. But she insisted on doing mommy's workout. And I am so glad she did!

We really had the best time! We did power jumps.

We did pogo jumps. (Remember the pogo stick?!?!)

We did burpees.

And globe twists.

And let's not forget kickstand touch the floor.

55 minutes, people. 55 minutes of hardcore cardio, and my baby kept going the whole time. My favorite part was when she told me, "Mom, I feel like I'm going to die. As in die and go to Heaven." I told her she had my permission to take a break. 

She really made my workout so much more fun! It was a perfect way to start my day...and our summer break! 

Question of the Day:

What's your favorite summer break memory?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Try Something New Tuesday: Southwest Chicken Soup

You may recall that I recently challenged my May Madness group to share some healthy recipes with me. One that spoke to me as soon as I saw it was Karen's Southwest Chicken Soup. Anything that sounds like it might have a little spicy kick to it is definitely up my alley! And it is so simple to make that I knew it would be perfect for our hectic life!

Here's what you'll need.

There is also supposed to be a 1/2 package of frozen corn in here. I totally forgot about it! I'll do better next time!

First you're going to cook about 3 cups of chicken. This will probably be about 3 - 4 chicken breasts, depending on size. I boiled mine then chopped it up in the food processor.

Next you put 12 oz. of salsa verde in a large saucepan. I'm going to be honest: I used the whole 15 oz. jar instead. I like it spicy! Let the salsa warm over medium heat for about 2 minutes.

Then you add your chicken.

And stir in your cannelini beans, corn (assuming your don't forget like I did), chicken broth and seasonings.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

That's it!!! It's done! So easy! And the verdict?

They all loved it!!!

This one loved it so much she had 2 bowls!!!

We served it with some sour cream and corn chips, just like chili. I had mine plain, and it was delicious! It will definitely be on our regular rotation.

I loved the nutrition on this dish too! I calculated it to be under 300 calories and about 40 grams of protein for a sixth of the recipe. And I would say we definitely got more than 6 servings from it. Hearty, filling AND low-calorie?! Yes, please! It meant I got an extra piece of chocolate after dinner!

Thanks, Karen, for the wonderful recipe!!! I am so thankful to have you for a friend and neighbor!

Karen with one of her sweet boys.
Southwest Chicken Soup

  • 12 oz. salsa verde (I used an entire 15 oz. jar)
  • 3 c. cooked chicken (about 3 - 4 chicken breasts, depending on size)
  • 1 15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained
  • 3 c. chicken broth (I used 4 cups)
  • 1/2 package frozen corn
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
~Empty salsa in large saucepan. Cook 2 minutes on medium-high heat. Add chicken, beans, broth, corn, cumin and chili powder. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Bittersweet Endings

The school year is winding down here which means things are busy, busy! Friday was the boy's last day of preschool...EVER!!! When did this happen?!?! Here he is when he started preschool 2 years ago.

And here he is Friday on his very last day. *Sniff*

Dear daughter #2 also had a field trip to the playground on Friday. She has had the best year at school! So many sweet friends in her class and a truly amazing teacher!!! I am looking forward to having her home with me for the summer, but I am sad to see her time with this class and this teacher come to an end.

Here she is with her BFF and amazing teacher!
Friday was a divide and conquer kind of day. The hubby took the girls to a soccer game while I took the boy to his baseball game. He has improved so much in the last few weeks; it was a lot of fun to watch him. He had a great hit every time he went up to the plate. I was a proud momma!

The weekend brought with it more rain. I'm pretty sure it's rained here every weekend for the last month. The rain resulted in game delays, so we were able to sleep in. Then I headed down to the basement for P90X Core Synergistics. I love this workout! It's challenging, but it's different than most of the other P90X videos. Every exercise focuses on the core; it's a nice change of pace!

After my workout, I showered quickly and headed out to the last soccer game of the season! I am so proud of this girl and what an amazing soccer player she has become! She is one tough little lady!

We went straight from the soccer fields to the ball fields for the boy's last baseball games of the season! Baby girl had some fun in the mud .

We finally got home about 3:15. The only thing I'd had to eat at that point was my Shakeology on the way out the door Saturday morning. It kept me satisfied the whole time we were gone! Just another reason I love it!!!

And now we are officially done with all our extracurricular activities for the season...until next week when swim team starts. I wouldn't have it any other way!

Question of the Day:

Do you workout on the weekends?