Tag Archives: new

March Foodie Pen pal!!!!

It is that time again!!!!  The time of the month (no, not that time of the month) where I receive a very exciting package in the mail!!!  I get my foodie pen pal goodie box.  This is now something that I get so excited about!!  I love trying new things and seeing what people come up with to send me!!  I received wonderful goodies this month…so without further ado…

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It was a great balance of local  yummy items and delicious chocolate to feed my 24/7 cravings!!!  Of course, we opened it in the car after our speed run, which meant we had to taste test every little thing we saw!!!  First I went right for the granola…a huge favorite of mine!

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I loved the cranberry orange pecan…it was a nice mixture of flavors and I will be adding it to my yogurt for sure!!!!  The Vanilla Almond will be making it’s way into my tofu pudding that I just made a huge batch  of!!

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I busted open the pretzels for Eric to try out first!  They were a thumbs up and were also a yummy treat for Gavin as well.  He loved them.  I have to hold off on my chocolate indulgences, so I will be waiting until Sunday to try a few and make them into a nice little trail mixture with my new granola and some yummy yogurt!  The Clif bars will be gladly used for my post long runs!  I am not sure which to eat first…I think I will take half of each and then I get the best of both!!

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This chocolate bar was totally different than anything I have ever tried!! It had a hint of lime to it, and it was actually a nice little blend!!  It had some sort of kick to it while still being sweet!!  The truffles are going to be the death of me!!

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These received a huge squeal of delight!!  Some local yummies for me to bake up and enjoy!  It is a Double Chocolate Scone Mix, then a Chocolate Dessert Mix, plus a Chocolate Raspberry Spread!!  I think I need to make sure all three of these go together!  I plan to bake the scones for Easter morning and then add the sauce for a nice little dipping action!!!  Oh, so many yummy snacks and treats to enjoy!!!  A huge thank you to my foodie pen pal who sent me this wonderful package!!!  Now, to sign up for April!!  Hooray! 

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Seriously, you need to give this a try!!  Click on the button in my side bar or on the link above!!!!

FOODIE PENPAL!!!!! Hooray!!!!

I was so excited to take part in this program, mostly because I love having pen pals, but also because I love healthy new finds!!  We are limited with what we can get over here, and so any healthy goodness that comes from the states is always welcome in a very over-dramatic and excitable fashion!!!  I was so lucky to get hooked up with a pal who is also a military wife and mom of two great kids!  She totally came through and hooked me up BIG TIME!!!!

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As we know, I am a huge fan of chocolate, granola, oatmeal, chocolate, grains, green tea, chocolate, etc!!!  I swear, this package was seriously 100% bang on with things I am now in love with.  There is literally NOTHING in this package that I can get here!!!  That makes me really excited, because it is all new and all a treat!  My hub could barely get a clear picture because I was bouncing around and cheering like a total loser foodie!!

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We are in love with the granola, and he is in love with the spicy goods that were sent just for him (how sweet is that??!!).  I have already enjoyed the oatmeal, and it was super good!!!!  I am actually going to hoard it so I can have it for my next half marathon!  I might have to order some on-line!  There were delicious single servings of trail mix, Lara bars, Dove chocolate, THEN packages of flavored quinoa, veggie rotini noodles and couscous!!!! I was in foodie heaven!!!

 

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We are going to dig into the couscous and quinoa this week and then the pasta this weekend!  It could probably be seen as pathetic how excited I am about this!  I am literally saving the Lara Bars because I know once I eat them they will be gone…yes, that really does sound pathetic!  Oh well, I am sure there are others out there who get equally excited and pathetic about new foodie finds!  In the meantime, I have a new pen pal (not just a one time thing, hooray) and that excites me!  I am a lover of sending mail and handwritten letters, so a permanent pal is always a heart warming addition to my life! Now, we prepare for Spring (3 consecutive days of nice weather…) and look forward to being outdoors!!!!

 

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What was your most exciting part of the weekend???

Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Pockets

After stalking the 100 Days of Real Food blog, I came across a recipe I figured would work well in my household!  I didn’t really follow her recipe, just her idea; however, her recipe looks good!!!!  We all love pizza, and I have never bought Pizza Pockets…seriously….NEVER!  I have never even had one before.  I am not kidding.  So since this form of pizza would be a whole ‘new’ thing for my kids, I wanted to try it!

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It was an exciting day for me because I was able to get a new food processor.  I know that may sound really lame and very unexciting, but I am a self-proclaimed loser, and it was an exciting moment for me.  I fangirled when I saw this processor, I am not kidding.  Ask my husband.  He was probably giving me a pathetic look, but I was too busy ‘ooh-ing and ahhh-ing’ over this thing.  Now, I am not one to go spend hundreds of dollars on appliances, so the fact that this was $119 (AND we got it for free with reward points), was even more exciting to me! 

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It has so many possibilities…again, probably not as versatile as others, but for me…it is perfect!  As long as I can make my own oat flour, process my dateballs, blend up my own hummus, and whip up some tofu pudding….I am more than pleased!

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Seeing as that was a highlight of my day, I was even happier when I realized I would get to use it to make my pizza dough.  I simply dumped 3 cups of whole wheat flour into the processer with the food blade/hook, and then added the water/yeast/oil/salt mixture.  I blended on the lowest setting for maybe 10 seconds, and it was done!  My last processor would have taken about 5 minutes, and a lot of shaking/banging around!

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So before I just keep showing pictures of this processor and how it works, let me actually give you the recipe!!!

Whole Wheat Pizza Pockets

1 cup warm water

2 tsp active dry yeast

1 tsp salt

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 cups Whole Wheat Flour

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Filling

Spoonful of sauce

1 Tbsp shredded Part Skim Mozzarella

Plus any other pizza topping you love, I added:

Roasted Broccoli

Grilled Bell Peppers

Pepperoni (for my husband)

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Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Pour 1 cup of warm water in a glass measuring cup.

Add 2 tsp of Active Dry yeast, and let it foam up a little.  Add salt and EVOO.  Stir if you need to. 

Add 3 cups of flour to food processor (with blade/hook), and then pour in water mixture.  Blend under a ball forms.

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Coat a large bowl with EVOO and place the ball of dough inside, covered for about 20 minutes.

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Flour your counter and break the dough into six pieces.

Roll one piece out, making sure it is coated with flour, so it doesn’t stick. 

Add sauce and toppings of your choice, then fold and seal.

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Place, sealed side down, on parchment paper covered cookie sheet. 

Poke holes in the top with a fork

Place cookie sheet on middle or low rack and cook for 12 minutes.

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Let them cool a few moments, and cut top or cut in half to let the steam out.

I served these with carrots and peas (2 veggies to keep with our ‘2 fruits or veggies at every meal’ goal)

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The ultimate test, was seeing if James would approve.  As I have mentioned, he is our picky eater! 

He dug right in and then signed “Mom, I love this.  I love you”….WIN!!!!!

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I took the 4 left over pockets, wrapped them in foil and will freeze them for future lunches or dinners.  I plan to make another batch just for freezing, since it would be easy to re-heat and use on a busy night!  It was pretty easy to make, and took a lot less prep than I originally thought it would.  I think I was still in excitement mode over my processor…again, because I am a loser. 

Give these bad boys a try, and let me know what you think!!!!

A new favorite!

I love my staples, and I stick to the same things over and over….we have established this many times!  I never used to like herbal teas, I wanted milk and sugar in my tea just like I was taught by my Nanny.  I just could not understand the concept of tea without milk and sugar…then I had green tea in Korea back in 2006.  That was the only tea I would drink without milk and tea.  Then I had simple black tea in Japan with only lemon…okay, I am starting to convert.  Now, in Germany, I had gotten hooked on Jasmine tea…see, we are all capable of change!

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My neighbor got me this lovely little gift package for my birthday.  It was a mug/tea pot combo, a package of Jasmine tea with some blossoms, and tea bags.

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I was a bit skeptical at first since I had never drank a cup of jasmine tea before, but I bagged those tea leaves (also a first) and let ‘er steep.  It says to steep for 3 minutes, but I went with 2 minutes…I don’t like it toooooo strong.

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It smelled amazing, my whole (small) kitchen smelled of relaxing jasmine!  Even James asked what the smell was (in a good way).  I was very pleased with the taste, it was not too bitter or too strong!  It was nice, calming and very lovely to be quite honest.  Now I know why people use the word ‘lovely’ to describe tea time!

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Now, I enjoy a cup of day with my pretty little mug and tea pot while thinking about nice it is to enjoy a moment of relaxation amidst the craziness that often takes place while raising two boys!  I got James onto the green tea in Korea, now lets see if I can get him to have a jasmine tea tarty with me!

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How do you like to enjoy a cup of tea?  Have you tried anything new lately?

Some P90X, Clean Crispy Chicken Bites, and a new job!

It has been a pretty good week so far….it is only Wednesday, so I am hoping a positive attitude will make the weekend get here faster (pretty please?).  Missed the gym last night due to some stuff that popped up, but I got my arse on that treadmill, busted out 30 minutes of sweaty hill intervals, then an ab workout, and some yoga stretching!  Today I am hitting up a P90X workout (shoulders and arms), some more hill intervals (Doctor said no running for at least 2 weeks, grr) and then some hoping that Gavin will stop screaming 24/7!

 

I am adding in some P90X in order to switch things up a bit, I was on the same workouts for almost a month and that means my body was getting used to them.  I wanted to use this for a sub-in so I can get some more weights in my workouts, not for bulking- just for toning.  With these football shoulders, the last thing I need is any form of bulk going on…I am top heavy enough as it is!  I am going to do the the chest/back, legs/back (on alternating weeks), and arms/shoulders then add in some biking, treadmill (H.I.I.T training) and plyometric drills.  The goal is to buy a bike this month, I already bought a child seat for the back…now I just need the actual bike!

Bell Bicycle Child Carrier Seat in Ramstein

Other news is that I should be starting a new role as an on-line English Teacher soon…oh, how technology is taking over!  I will be able to do it for 4 hours a day and make a pretty decent amount of money in order to save towards a home and so on.  We are hoping it all goes smoothly and that our schedules will work in order to make sure I am not always teaching with Gavin on my lap (I would not actually teach with him on my lap).  So that is something exciting…I know I really don’t need much else added to my plate, but at least it is something for ‘me’ that I really enjoy doing!

So now for some eats!  I planned this whole weeks’ meals out and I used the Eat Clean Cookbook that is for family and kids.  I was able to get 4 great new recipes out of there for us to try out.  James learned a hard lesson while I was doing this- eat or go without!  I was really getting irritated with making three different meals each night, so I figured if I can eat clean- so can everyone else!  The great news….they are (for the most part)!

So far the Crispy Chicken Bites have been a favorite!  I like eating the left overs cold in a WW wrap with spinach, tomato and a tiny bit of mustard.  So here we go with the recipe:

Clean Eating Crispy Chicken Bites

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Ingredients:

3 Boneless Skinless Breasts

1/4c oat bran

1/4 c wheat germ

1Tb Ground Flax Seed

1/4c coarsely ground almonds

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp pepper

Pinch of Garlic powder

1/2 cup low-sodium broth

1 beaten egg white

Clean Cooking Spray

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degree, line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Cut chicken breasts into nugget sized pieces, set aside
  3. Combine all dry ingredients in a large container, mix well.
  4. Combine water and egg in a separate bowl, dip each piece of chicken in this mixture, then place in the ‘coating’ mixture
  5. Make sure each piece is well coated before placing on the baking sheet, and then bake for 10-15 minutes.

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Serve with some Cajun sweet potatoes, veggies, and your choice of clean dipping sauce!  These were a hit, I plan to make these often for the whole family!  Give them a try and let me know how they turn out for you!!

What new recipe have you tried out lately?  Have you changed up your exercise routines?  Any new exciting news?

C’mon Internet, give a girl a break!!!

So the internet has been WAY too wonky out here for the past few weeks.  It will work for 10 minutes, then go down for 2 hours…I will not even get into how many posts have been written and then erased because of the internet crashing while I was trying to publish them.  I gave up for the past few days until I realized I could just write one out in Windows Live Writer and then save it for when the internet is reliable…duh!

So I have been eating clean and really trying to stay positive during the stressful times we have been facing!  I turned 32 on Wednesday and celebrated with a relaxing day indoors with my boys…not too relaxing since Gavin is sick and James is going stir crazy with that cast holding him down!  We are going to go for a little jaunt around Germany this weekend in order to get some fun things to send out to my gorgeous step daughter (I hate that word because it sounds negative, but she is super) to hold her over until she can get out here to experience this place in person!  We also have to send out some ‘thank-you’ cards and care packages to our family who SPOILED James with ‘get well’ packages!

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I am hoping to start up with a trainer at the closest base gym, my neighbor and I are going to start working out Monday and Wednesday evenings since those are the nights our Hubby’s are home to care for the kids.  I figure we can maybe get a trainer for a few visits just to get our measurements, etc. and then just follow up once every two weeks or something in order to change things up and give us some variation!  I will also be doing my treadmill runs and hill intervals, as well as my oxygen workouts, yoga and pilates.  Variety is the key to avoiding plateaus (which I am the master of)!

I have found some great recipes for protein balls (let’s call them truffles so they don’t sound so suggestive) and bars that I have been incorporating into my daily snacks, and then of course my overnight oats which I have beefed up with some protein powder, so I am not eating egg whites every morning…can it be possible to love my oats even MORE now??!!  Yes, it can!  I even have some people on the Eat Clean Diet eating up my overnight oats, while I eat up their protein bar recipe!!!

So this is my little update to give some August goals and to touch base before this internet crashes again! 

So the goals for August are:

1.  Get measurements and fitness evaluation from a trainer

2.  Lost at least 3-4% body fat

3.  Lose at least 6 inches

4.  Get a bike with a seat for Gavin (and a bike rack for the Jeep)

5.  Go hiking at least 2 times this month in two different locations

6.  Bike on a biking trail at least once

7.  Get re-certified in Yoga

8.  Have one spa day with a manicure, pedicure and massage!

 

What are your goals for the month?  What changes or new things would you like to adopt into your daily life?  What goals have you reached?

New times with old friends…

Today started off with a glorious reunion with an old friend.  I had been anticipating it all last night, and was way too excited to just hurry up and rush out of bed!  I get attached quickly, so when I am separated for long(ish) amounts of time, I start to get a little anxious and antsy!  Today was the day and I was totally like a kid on Christmas morning…

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Hello my lovely, long lost, overnight oats!!  I have missed you, thought about you and drooled about you for about 2 months!!!  So glad to see you again!  My yummy oats (minus the chia seeds, those are being shipped as we speak), with some homemade granola, and sliced banana!  I got to enjoy these on my sunny front balcony this morning as the boys were still sleeping!

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I did have one new addition this time around ~ Organic Agave Nectar…I was never able to get it before, and I found it in the store this week.  I may or may not have jumped and screamed a bit with excitement when I saw it in the store!  That was mixed in this morning before the toppings…nice, sweet and light!

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Nothing can go as well with my loyal oats as my equally loyal (yet sometimes forgotten) green tea….in my Korean tea set!  I got this set after my first temple stay with Dok Jin-Sunim one chilly January weekend.  We had a tea service in his living area while he spoke to me about the losses I had faced (miscarriages) and how to re-connect with, and trust my body again.  He taught me about being the creator of all things in my life and also how to slowly re-train my  mind to become slower, more calm, and more patient.  

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I get away from this way too often; however, every time I whip out my tea set, I think of that time and our few visits together and it helps me slow it all down…even if just for a little while!  So what time could be better for that reminder than a gorgeous morning on my balcony, with my oats and daily journal? 

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Besides, it is always nice to reminisce of times past while in a new place!  I find it very comforting to drink my tea and know that I have enjoyed this tea set in Korea, Japan, and now Germany!  Oh the stories this tea set will be able to tell…like how James and I used to have evening tea ceremony together when he was two years old…

Some things never get old!

What old things feel new again after you have not seen/used them for a while?  What old things always help you tell new stories, or help bring comfort to new situations?