Tie Up Loose Ends

We made it through Tuesday!

After work today Dana ran some errands including a trip to Mall of America to try to find a backing to my iPhone. Apparently I am kind of picky about my phone accessories because I didn’t find one cover I liked in all of the M.O.A.! The trip was not a total flop though because we decided to get some frozen yogurt at Freeziac  which is self-serve frozen yogurt shop. We don’t have many of these in Minnesota, at least around where I live, so this is a big deal for us and a very special treat.

Yellow cake batter frozen yogurt with cookie dough, brownie, heath bar, chocolate chips, M & Ms (for color of course), a little bit of hot fudge, one pink gummy bear, and a cherry on top to seal the deal. This was heaven in a cup. This will be in my heaven except all the calories will have been removed so I can eat twice as much and not have to buy new pants. Good thing Dana and I were walking around the mall while eating this so we were actually burning calories while eating. Ha ha I know I’m funny. 🙂

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Dinner was one of my favorite salads: The Southwest Salad <——–Check out the recipe!

That is one good-looking salad if you ask me! I covered the fruit and veggie food group, protein food group, dairy food group, and even have some healthy fats in there with the avocado in this meal. I believe I’m just missing my whole grains. I had plenty of those earlier today though. I dare you to check this recipe out and try it at home. It’s a crowd pleaser.

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Remember a little while back when I mentioned I bought a new face moisturizer? Well it’s review time. Product: Aveeno Active Naturals Smart Essentials.

To those who may have missed it, I was looking for a moisturizer to help hydrate my extremely dry face, especially in my t-zone area. I have been using this stuff for a week and a half and I really feel it is making a difference. I am using it every night after I clean my face and in the morning I use just a little bit on my t-zone along with my daily moisturizer (Neutrogena Daily Moisturizer SPF 15). I no longer have dry skin and I feel like my skin looks more radiant. I would recommend it to anyone experiencing dry winter skin.

That was loose end #1 I wanted to tie up. Loose end #2 is my Home-made Tomato Soup Recipe! This was my first time ever making home-made tomato soup, and I was a little skeptical as to how it would turn out. It actually turned out really well. I even added a secret ingredient which helps create a creamy consistency (it’s pumpkin puree) without adding any dairy products. Not a secret anymore is it?

 

Tomato Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic
  • 1-32 ounce container low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1-28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • cooking spray

Directions

  1. In large soup pot coated with cooking spray, saute onion until translucent; add garlic and continue sauteing for 30 more seconds.
  2. Add broth, pumpkin, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and dried basil; stir.
  3. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce to simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat; stir in basil.
  5. Use immersion blender to puree soup to smooth.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with crackers, shredded cheese, grilled cheese, fresh basil, tortilla chips or eat plain. I hope you like it as much as I did.

I am realizing that this post was all over the place. I guess that’s just how my mind works!

I am off to continue learning about my new phone while sipping on a mug o’ tea. Good night my friends!

A Taste of Tuscany

First and foremost I have to say that my husband is a genius. He fixed my computer and I can now transfer pictures onto my computer from my camera. THANKS BABE!

This morning I actually got out of bed early to do my workout before work. When the alarm clock went off at 5:30 am I thought meh, I don’t know about this. I laid there playing the contemplation game in my head. Should I reset my alarm and sleep for another hour? Should I get up and just do it  Nike style? I don’t want to get up. Remember how good you feel after a workout and how much energy it gives you throughout the day? After about five minutes of contemplating I realize I am still lying there awake. Just get up. So I did.

I headed downstairs to the treadmill and started off with a nice little 4.0 walk. I slowly began cranking up the speed to 5, 5.5, 6.0, then felt comfortable at 6.4 for a while. I decided to run spurts of increased pace, I believe they’re called fartleks. I would crank up the speed to 7.4 and run at that pace for a song, then bring it back down to 6.4, and I did this little combination for 3.5 miles. I got real sweaty this morning and I am SO happy I got out of bed early! Now I don’t have to go to the gym after work.

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Breakfast

Breakfast was a success. I attempted oatless oatmeal again this time with a couple of modifications.

I mixed together 3 tablespoons egg white, 3 tablespoons almond milk, 1/2 tablespoon ground flaxseed, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, a dash of cinnamon and 1/2 frozen banana that has been thawed. I cooked this mixture on the stove top on low-medium heat for about 3 minutes. I removed from heat and added 1/4 cup blueberries, a little stevia to sweeten, and a touch of brown sugar (because I love the flavor of brown sugar). Voila. The consistency was great and the flavor did not taste like eggs one bit. I also had a small handful of almonds for added protein.

Tasted way better than it looks

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work I go…

Lunch

I decided to stop home for lunch because Dana was going to be home. I ate my packed lunch. Any guesses what it was? Sorry to bore you. But yes, peanut butter banana wrap.

I love seeing him at lunch break!

To jazz up the afternoon at work I brought some Celestial Seasoning’s Black Cherry Berry herbal tea  to sip on. I had never had this kind before but it was GOOOOD! It tasted kind of like fruit punch. That reminds me of kool-aid mustaches as a kid. 😛

Dinner

Another easy dinner tonight. I decided to pull some Rubollita soup out of the freezer that I made about a month ago. Since I made this soup before I started the blog, I didn’t write down the recipe, therefore don’t have a recipe to share with you. However, I will make it in the future again and will no doubt write it all down!

I discovered this wonderfully veggie filled soup when we were in Italy. Julie, a friend of mine, told me I had to try this soup when I was there and I am so glad she recommended it. Rubollita is a hearty Tuscan soup made with bread and lots of veggies. We were at a little Tratorria (a more casual type of dining restaurant) in Florence when I spotted it on the menu and decided to give it a go. It sounded like it was right up my alley. I topped it with fresh parmesan and devoured that bad boy. It was UNBELIEVABLY delicious, healthy, and very filling! I knew this was one I needed to recreate once I got home. So that’s just what I did. To give you an idea of the components of the soup, here are some components of the soup:

  • cabbage
  • tomato
  • onion
  • kale
  • carrot
  • beans
  • chicken stock
  • garlic
  • whole grain bread that has been dried in the oven

The process involves cooking all of the veggies in the stock, simmering, and then adding the bread at the end of the cooking process. You let the bread soak in for about 20 minutes then use an immersion blender to slightly blend the mixture. The outcome does not look the prettiest but it sure does taste good!

Don’t spill….don’t trip….

My bowl was filled to the brim. It tasted just as good as the first time if not better this time around. I love easy dinners like this. I’m thinking I need to whip up a batch of soup this weekend! What kind should I make? Hmm…..Creamy tomato? Pumpkin carrot? We shall see what this brain conjurs up.

I have a raging appetite today so I will no doubt be eating a snack later tonight. I’m off to relax and watch a little Wheel of Fortune! Good night!