Just Hold On, We’re Already at Home

Hi 2014! I’ve had more than a handful of friends ask, “Are you still blogging?” The proof is in the sugarless pudding gals, I’m back.

back

What’s new since Christmas you don’t ask? Take a peek at the collage below and we can talk about it.

Ribbet collage

First, I must introduce you to my newest and bestest friend ever, my juicer. I don’t have a picture of her, but she’s flippin’ awesome! She is a Breville Fountain Elite, not a lady who hangs out in my kitchen squeezing limes. I don’t have her picture in the grid, but I do have some of her handiwork there. I’ve been loading the fridge each night with juices for the next day and I’m a total addict. Best Christmas gift from my parents, ever. Possibly tied with the Vitamix. I love both my kids equally.

My favorite juice is called the Red Lemonade and is a mix of beets, celery, kale, lemon, apple and ginger. It may sound like your worst nightmare, but it becomes totally addictive and gives you more energy than you know what to do with. Ok, ready?

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Five of the seven days of the week, I swap my morning coffee out for a juice. I know that may seem disgustingly blasphemous, given my history, but I can’t keep that kind of secret from you, I just can’t.

If you don’t have a juicer, and you have $8.99 to drop on a beverage, give the freshly squeezed juices at Whole Foods a try. They are awesome and nothing like Naked or Odwalla juices, which I now consider to be junk food.

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I know, I know, that was a super obnoxious thing to say. BUT, now that I’ve seen fresh juice and watched how it separates after about 5 minutes, I’m totally opposed to drinking whatever chemical or seaweed is used to hold Odwallas together. Plus, they are loaded with sugar and not enough veggies. Let the slapping of me commence.

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So, uh…I just did a search for “let the slapping commence”, wanting to add yet another meme, you know…for the sake of overkill. My Google Chrome TRIED to warn me that there might be inappropriate content. I took that as maybe some swear words. Now however, I kind of need to bleach my eyes. I feel like innocence has been stolen from me. Please don’t search that image!

Welcome back to those of you who didn’t listen. Hope you learned your lesson.

Distract ourselves with food. Distract, distract, distract. But don’t get fat, ok?

There are a couple of smoothie photos up there too. The smoothie in a glass is my new favorite afternoon snack; dark cherries, banana, coconut milk, whey protein and dark cocoa powder make for a heavenly drink.  There’s also a picture of the $25 in smoothies I bought when we ran out of frozen fruit. Someone remind me why I am the poorest girl in my zip code again?

Speaking of, I really, like REALLY wanted to take a picture of a woman at the grocery store yesterday. My blogging ethics kept my phone in my purse, but let me describe her to you.

  • Expensively bleached, long hair
  • Wearing size 2, possibly size 0 $100 yoga pants
  • Bright, brand new looking athletic shoes with bouncy squares underneath
  • A puffy, yet very slim vest over her slouchy, Bloomingdale workout top
  • Enough makeup to be camera ready
  • Purse that could be sold to pay off my car
  • Diamonds, diamonds, diamonds

So you can see why I love living where I do, I have SO much in common with this type of woman. She’s probably the nicest thing ever. Who am I kidding? She’s probably awful and has an awful husband to go along with. Just kidding, she’s probably great. (Believe what you will). Don’t get the impression that there aren’t awesome and fun women around here, there are. There are just lots of not-awesome women too. Where am I going with this. Ah yes, noodles!

I bought a spiralizer! Now I can make zucchini noodles that rock my world.

That Vietnamese Home Cooking book? I mostly put that in there to remind myself I want to buy it. That photo was taken at an author event with Danielle Walker, who wrote Against All Grain. I did some recipe testing for her book and finally got myself a signed copy. See that photo? It’s in there too.

There’s also a cup of trail mix, made from the Whole Foods trail mix bar. Again, mostly a reminder to myself to set up a home trail mix station.

The last photo is of a display for essential oils. I wanted to ask you all, have you had any good experiences with oils? I’d love to get my house full of these. I’d also like to put the bottle that says something to the effect of “Calm and Peaceful” in my classroom. Some days I kind of wonder if the kids in my class are chugging down their dads’ Red Bulls before school.

So you are now caught up with me. Do you want your money back? I can make it up to you. Watch this video. I’m so obsessed with this song right now.

Sorry about that. I totally tricked you. It’s like the worst video, possibly ever. Love you! Night!
 

 

Triple Cheese Apple-Strawberry Pecan Stack

What would you call this? An appetizer or dessert? It’s something in between and it’s a great way to make someone your friend. Take a bite or two, sure, but don’t fool yourself by thinking the apple slices make this dish healthy. It’s fat and it’s proud, baby!

And no, it’s totally not DAMY friendly.

Here’s what we’ve got put together: three cheeses (brie, mozzarella and cream cheese) melted together with butter and pureed with strawberries, spread over toasted bread, with roasted pecans, crispy apple slices, cinnamon and honey.

So yeah, you’re gonna just want to go out and buy yourself some fat pants, ok?

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I can only wonder what this would taste like spread over angel food cake. Someone else please, make it and tell me!

With everyone asleep, I have some time to chat. So let’s hurry up and talk about nothing, shall we?

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Check out my cute little Seattle Starbucks mug. I love it! Every month I swap “Fit Boxes” with other members of a Facebook fitness group. The idea is to send a shoebox filled with goodies to inspire your friend (of the month) to get her butt off the couch and exercise. There are a few hundred ladies who participate and it is a blast! My buddy last month sent me a big fat mug, along with other goodies. I always want to buy myself the San Francisco or California mug at Starbucks, but will never plop down (um, ew?) the cash. So, this was an awesome surprise.

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I found this new Trader Joe’s Cold Brew Coffee and can’t wait to try more. I over-milked it this morning, so the jury is still out. My hopes are high, though! The coffee was brewed cold (not sure how that is done), which means it was never heated and won’t have that bitter, old coffee taste that a lot of bottled iced coffee does. I promise to report back.

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Here’s my kids, digging into each other’s ice cream. They seriously choose the grossest flavors. Why do kids think Gummy Bears taste good mixed with ice cream? They just don’t kids, they don’t.

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Here’s my before and after chairs. My brother let me know how my last recover (the pink floral) would fit perfectly in a retirement home. Hopefully my new (unstained and playdough free) material has a more youthful floral pattern to it. Maybe my chairs are now suited for Baby Boomers instead? I’m sure there are plenty of young patterns out there, but I have two small boys and I need something to hide yogurt stains.

Ok, I’ve got nothing left to chat about. However, before I get to the recipe, I wanted to remind you that granola is yummy and totally isn’t just for hippies. Yeah, if you eat too much of it you’ll expand your own hippies, but you won’t magically end up with Birkenstocks on your feet. 

And if you do find yourself in that situation, please make an appointment with a podiatrist. Sandal shaped fungus is no laughing matter. 

I have Jamie Oliver’s 25 minute recipe you can try, it’s the gateway recipe into the serious stuff. Serious granola I mean. Not drugs. Don’t do drugs. They are expensive, they make you ugly and kill brain cells. Other than that, goodnight!

granola

 

Triple Cheeseberry Stack
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Ingredients
  • Spread:
  • 1 part mozzarella
  • 1 part brie
  • 1 part whipped cream cheese
  • ½ part strawberries
  • ¼ part ghee (clarified butter)
  • dash salt

  • sliced bread of choice, gluten free, rolls, french bread...anything works
  • raw, unsalted pecans
  • thinly sliced apple
Instructions
  1. Sauce:
  2. Over low heat, gently melt Ghee, brie and mozzarella. Don't overcook, you'll just want to get the cheese soft and runny.
  3. While sauce melts, blend strawberries in a food processor until they are a saucy consistency.
  4. Pour the melted cheese into the food processor with strawberry puree and process until well combined.
  5. Add cream cheese and blend until smooth.
  6. Sprinkle in a dash or two of salt and blend again.
  7. Turn on oven broiler to high.
  8. Assembly:
  9. On a large baking pan, spread cheese dip over sliced bread of choice. Sprinkle pecans over the top and let broil in the oven until sauce is melted and smooth.
  10. Don't over-broil!
  11. Remove pan from the oven and transfer bread to serving tray.
  12. Gently lay sliced apples over the top of bread.
  13. Sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with honey.
  14. Enjoy!
 

 

Flash DAMY Sale. Melt Off that Ice Cream!

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I’m on vacation, but I needed to stop and send a message! DAMY programs are 20% off this weekend. If you missed the last flash sale, don’t miss another.

You have until July 9th at midnight to join DAMY and you’ll receive 20% off your program.

Use one of the links below and use code HOTJULY to get going on creating a healthier you!

Here’s how to choose your plan:

  • Past or current Member – Lifestyle Membership

The Bikini Body Program is for you if:

  • You are looking to take your fitness to the next level
  • You want to lean down to look great in your bikini or slim outfit
  • Your goal is to be tight and tiny
  • You are serious about your fitness goals
  • You are a no-excuse kind of woman
  • You are ready to jump in and commit
  • You can workout 5-6 times per week and give this program your all
  • You are ready to achieve a lean, sexy body
  • You understand that this program is a commitment and is intense
  • For more information about the Bikini Body Program click here.

The DAMY Method could be for you if:

  • You have 30lbs or more to lose
  • Are new to working out or just getting back into it
  • Are looking to start a healthy lifestyle
  • You want to workout 3-5 times per week
  • You want a variety of fitness levels to choose from
  • You are a nursing Mother
  • You want to lose weight but not be overly restricted or regimented
  • For more information about the DAMY Method Program click here.

Use coupon code: HOTJULY for your 20% off. You only have until July 9th!


Bikini Body Program


Fisherman’s Soup

I found what looked to be a delicious soup on Pinterest and could not wait to give it a whirl. So much of the time, what you find on Pinterest is pretty much just a pretty photo or novel idea. Not this time! I had a feeling about Cookin’ Canuck’s recipe for Fisherman’s Soup and my instincts set me in the right direction.

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Every so often, I develop a new blog crush. My longest one-way relationship was with The Pioneer Woman. My newest? Cookin’ Canuck of course! I love that she is super down to earth, totally adorable and she’s been through a weight loss journey herself.

Fisherman's Soup
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Seafood
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded & diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ⅛ - ¼ tsp dried (crushed) chile flakes
  • ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 can (28 oz.) petite diced tomatoes (juices included)
  • ¾ cup vegetable broth
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1¼ lb. firm white fish (such as tilapia), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ lb. medium shrimp, shelled
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, red bell pepper and carrot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and peppers are tender, 7 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add the oregano and chile flakes, and cook for 1 minute. Add the parsley and white wine, and cook for 1 additional minute.
  4. Add the tomatoes and vegetable broth, and bring to a simmer.
  5. Add the tilapia pieces and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fish is almost cooked through, about 4 minutes.
  6. Add the shrimp and continue to simmer until the shrimp is barely cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in capers and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.
 

The worst part of this soup was peeling the shells of the shrimp. Follow the recipe and get shelled (meaning no-shell) shrimp. I could have never married a food critic or adventure loving eater like Anthony Bourdain. Shelling the shrimp was super traumatizing.

Now, off to get in a workout. Dallas is helping me stay on track with exercising; we have a calendar to mark all our workouts. One month and I’m rewarded with a mani/pedi and he gets a new Wii game. After my four month (16 week) DAMY plan is over, I have made Jy promise me a big, fat, long date in San Francisco. Time to go sweat and forget about the WORST picture of me posted on my dentist’s Facebook page. Seriously, the worst. I had to ask them to take it down it was so awful. Talk about a tearful motivation.

We Survived the Mayan Apocalypse

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Happy last week of 2012, FoFo friends! I vowed all December to not have the attitude of “I’m so glad it is over!” I didn’t vow hard enough I guess, because I am glad we are quickly rolling towards January. It isn’t necessarily all the shopping and wrapping that knocks me out, it’s the ridiculous amount of time I spend running quick errands or buying groceries. It’s all the extra cleaning and baking, balanced with keeping a cheerful demeanor and ensuring I squeeze in every tradition my five year old can remember. He can remember a lot of them! The class party, field trip, church parties, brunches, lunches, dinners, parties and decorating, it’s all so much fun, but exhausting too!

I haven’t really kept it a secret that I have been battling the weight I put on after working so hard this spring to take it off. Between a pulled neck and a head cold, I haven’t been able to really give it the big start I  have wanted to. Luckily, I am now set up for success and ready to say goodbye to the pounds that don’t belong to me.

Starting with, protein shakes! I wish I took a photo of the shake I am drinking right now, it’s great! Dates are the best way to sweeten a tart smoothie  and I’ll have to remember to post more about that. For now, check this out:

It’s the 6300, baby!

The mother of all Christmas gifts! The Vitamix 6300. It’s beyond amazing and it’s proof that my parents can buy my love. Just kidding, I loved them first and actually now feel a little bad they spent that much money on me and Jy.

Stop! Grammar time!

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I’m pretty sure it was my friend Jody who taught me this trick, remember it, it’s good!

If you are unsure whether to use I or me in a sentence, take out the name of the other person (or object) and see which sounds best. If you aren’t sure whether you should say, “The cashier gave Max and I a free cupcake” or “The cashier gave Max and me a free cupcake”, use the trick.

The cashier gave I a free cupcake.

The cashier gave me a free cupcake.

Bingo!

Now you know to say, “The cashier gave Max and me a free cupcake.”

Back to regular programming.

I found a nice See Jane Run gift card in my stocking. The hilarious errand of the day involves this gift. I’ll be taking my boys with me today to be fitted for a sports bra. Please, please pray for me.

My fridge and pantry are both stocked and I am ready to make 2013 my healthiest year yet. Not too late to DAMY with me!


DAMY Method Natural Online Weight Loss Program


Some Fresh & Easy Notes

If you can find this tea, you must buy.

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It tastes like a wintery, magical Hallmark movie, that’s pretty much the only description I can come up with. Delicious find from Fresh & Easy. Oh! I almost forgot, I wanted to show you what F&E sent me!

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The Fresh & Easy holiday party was on a weeknight and I wasn’t able to attend, so they sent me a goodie box instead! I had already made two boxes of the Ginger Bread Mix, which is super simple and totally yummy, the whole family loved it. When the box arrived, we were just about out of the Jolly Java Peppermint Coffee too, so the timing was perfect. This coffee doesn’t taste like overtly sweet, it just has a hint of pep to it, no pun intended. Jolly Java is great for bleak, rainy mornings. The caramel corn was new to our house, but quickly devoured. Can you see how 70% of the bag is gone?! And you KNOW I love me some coupons!

I am heartbroken about Fresh & Easy being bought and possibly resold by Tesco in the coming future. Hopefully, someone will figure out a way to keep the doors open with a bit of restructuring.

A Kick in the Pants

I’ve been able to drink some Peet’s Holiday Blend for the past couple days, as Jy scored it in our family’s White Elephant gift exchange. I love this stuff! It’s seriously the best. The best. Sorry Auntie Didi, I love you and I love Starbucks, but this stuff rules!

Now, I am off to spend my sports bra and Sephora gift cards (hand cream, woot-woot!). I’m strapping my BodyBugg back to my arm and saying adios to my tight jeans (which used to be my loose jeans). Shake off your latke hips, your egg nog bootie and poundcake thighs with me!

I hope you live no where near me, friendly readers. I’m learning how to run. Yeah, you read that right. It is NOT pretty! So much bouncing and hunching over. If you see me, pretend not to recognize me, ok?

Happy Thursday!
Kim

Lemon Maple Cheesecake Squares (Healthy and Clean)

First off, Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband and best friend, Jy! I’m sure you have heard me say enough nice things about my husband, but he’s just really nice. He is a wonderful father and patient, caring and funny husband. Happy big 35, Jy!

Jy with his older brother, Donald, Max’s (middle) namesake.

To celebrate his big day, both of our boys got the stomach flu this week. Dallas is over it, but can’t shake the sick blues, so he hitched a ride to Grandpa’s house from preschool today. Max is also over the worst of it, so please pray for a peaceful evening for Jy!

Today, I tried making one of the many cheesecake squares featured on the site DamyHealth.com. This recipe can be changed in a number of way, all of which seem delicious. Chocolate, strawberry and pecan are a few of the cheesecake recipes you can find on the DAMY website. Warning: if you choose to visit DAMY, plan to feel fat. Her recipes are great, but just going to her site will encourage you to get off your booty and start moving. I think  that is a good thing.

I used the “Healthy Lemon Coconut Cheesecake” recipe with a few changes. While I didn’t have any greek yogurt on hand, I did have Brown Cow Creme Top Maple. While the full fat yogurt added calories, it also added flavor and I didn’t need to use any honey. My pantry was also a bit shy of cashews, so around a quarter cup of chopped pecans went in the crust, too.

I don’t know enough about Stevia to judge one way or another, but “apparently” the sweetener is natural and much better than Splenda. I’m sure I’ll find out that I’m wrong as soon as I post this.

If you are interested in learning about clean eating, check out Tiffany’s wonderful site!

Makes 12 squares

Go check out this recipe and all the other fun and tasty bites while you are at it! They can be found at damyhealth.com

While these squares don’t look like your typical cheesecake, I can promise you, the flavor is out of this world. I’ll have to try these again in the summer as a sweet, frozen treat. They take about ten minutes to whip together, too. Hope to see you tomorrow for another Oscar themed Movies & Munchies, Moneyball!