Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Dumps

I am officially down in them.

This post was supposed to be about how excited I am to jump on the healthy lifestyle bandwagon. Look at these cool new apps I found by following healthy living blogs! I can track my water intake! I can track my caloric intake! I can track my exercise goals! I’m gonna be healthy and skinny and fit in no time! And I’m going to ENJOY doing it!

But, that’s not how I feel. Instead, I feel sad. And a little mad. And kind of frustrated.

Now, just as a general disclaimer – I know I’m not immensely overweight. I know I don’t have to lose any weight to be a healthy, happy person. But I want to. I want to look and feel great and I want to do it the right way. Not the crash diet, lose 20 pounds but gain it all back after my first cupcake in 6 months way.

So why am I so sad? Because I feel like life’s not fair. (Cry me a river, I know.)

By counting calories I know my eating habits aren’t terrible. I’m always around the 1500 a day mark, sometimes more, some times less, which is pretty average for someone my size.  I actually enjoy eating vegetables, and eating a salad isn’t a chore for me. My exercise habits, while admittedly could be better, aren’t terrible. But at the end of the day, I know I still have changing and growing to do. I need to monitor my portion sizes, and I need to be more cognitive of what I eat, not just how much of it.

The reason this makes me sad, mad, frustrated, etc is because, if you hadn’t gathered, I love food. I love cooking and baking and EATING; and while I enjoy healthy meals, I also enjoy unhealthy ones. White rice? Sign me up. Pasta? For days. Don’t even talk to me about cookies and cake and CHOCOLATE.

I know there are healthy alternatives for all these things. Cognitively, in my little brain, I know it. But emotionally and realistically? I don’t want alternatives. I like these things that are bad for me, and it makes me mad that I have to make sacrifices. I know this sounds completely unreasonable. I’m aware. But them’s the facts.

So, what am I going to do about it? Well, I am going to track my water intake. I am going to track my calories, and my exercise, and I am going to make sacrifices. But, cold turkey’s never the way for me, so while I make some changes and some sacrifices, I’ll allow myself a few indulgences, too. Not too many. But maybe, just maybe, I’ll get to the point where I like the “healthy” stuff more than the “good” stuff. Fingers crossed… wish me luck.


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Tiny Things are Better

Mostly. The only time this sentiment is untrue is with dogs. Big dogs are better.

Okay, maybe tiny things aren’t always better, but when it comes to food… they usually are.

Cupcakes > Cake

Mini quiches > Regular quiches

Chicken fingers > Chicken breast

Red Onion Close UP

They taste better. They’re more fun. There’s less clean-up. You have an excuse to lick your fingers. The tiny serving size means you don’t have to share. And usually, they mean less calories. (That last one might be a stretch.)


Enter: Tiny Pizzas! This is a really fun, fast meal that you can make with ingredients you have on-hand. It’s great for busy work nights or lazy Saturdays. We make ours on pocket-less Pitas, which provide just enough crust, with enough density to support allllll that cheesy, saucy, vegetably goodness. Load it up! If your pita can’t support it, you can use a fork. I won’t tell the other tiny foods you needed a hand with this one.

pre-bake 1

  • Enough pitas for each person to have (at least) one. I use whole wheat.
  • Marinara or pizza sauce – you can go home made here, but for a quick meal I use store bought
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Bleu Cheese
  • Feta Cheese (are you catching on? CHEEEEESE!)
  • Onion
  • Green pepper
  • Turkey sausage
  • Whatever you want! Tiny pizza doesn’t discriminate.

What You Do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350.
  2. Put 2-3 tablespoons of sauce on each pita.
  3. Load up with toppings!
  4. Bake at 350 until cheese is melty, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Switch your oven from bake to broil (high) and broil for 2-4 minutes, until cheese is golden and bubbly.
  6. Cut into quarters and enjoy!




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Who says three little ladies can’t put away some sushi?

Interwebs, meet Colby.



You’ve met her before, but, also meet Katie (again).


Last night, Katie, Colby and I went out to Koi Koi in Falls Church for some chit chat and a heck of a lot of sushi.

Sushi Spread 2And some free edimame. 🙂

It was delicious. Yes, that is six rolls of sushi you see there. I can’t even remember what everything was, but I DO remember that it was all fantastic and delicious. This post has no other point except to prove that no amount of sushi will go uneaten when we put our minds to it.






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Acorn Squash and Sweet Potato Soup

You guys. I told you. I have an addiction.

Finished SoupI can’t stop making soup. And therefore I can’t stop eating soup. I’d say it’s bad, but it’s really just so, so good.

Acorn SquashThis recipe is adapted from Tartlette. I’m sure I’ll be making it again, although I will admit it was missing… something. I still can’t put my finger on it. More maple syrup? Apples? Bacon? Probably bacon. But I don’t eat pigs anymore, so that idea’s shot. Suggestions, please?

Sweet Potatoes & OnionBut other than the missing ingredient, this soup was pretty good. I ate it for about a week after I made it, so it couldn’t have been terrible, right? It did pack a lot of flavor. Squash based soups are always so deliciously creamy without all the extra calories. Plus, they’re chock-full-o-nutsvegetables so they’re like, healthy or something.

What You Need:

  • 2 mini acorn squash, peeled and cubed (about 3 cups)
  • a little more than 2 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
  • 1 sweet onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 8 cups vegetable or chicken stock 
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • dried spices to taste (thyme, rosemary, oregano, nutmeg, whatever you can find!)
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

What you Do:

1. Preheat the oven to 375F.

2. Put cubed squash in a baking dish, drizzle with one teaspoon of olive oil (or use your handy dandy MISTO!!!) and roast until soft – 20-30 minutes.

3. Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a large soup pot over med-hi heat. (le sigh, someday I will have my Le Cruset cookware…). Add the onion and curry powder and cook until onion is soft and almost translucent.

Onion & Curry Powder4. Add sweet potatoes, stock, syrup, spices, and cooked squash. Bring to a boil for a moment, then simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are soft. (This should take about 30 minutes.)

Simmering Soup

5. Let the soup cool a bit, and then blend the ish out of it with your immersion blender. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a blender or food processor.

Blended Soup


What’s your favorite winter soup? Any I should try to recreate here?

Finished Soup 2


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Goal Update … Click It?

Hello friends! It’s past the halfway point of January, so I thought I’d give you a quick update on where I stand with my goals. Warning… it’s not pretty. But, it could be worse!

You may recall that my first due date was on Tuesday, the 15th. It was admittedly the easiest goal on my list… and I didn’t exactly accomplish it. Oops. The goal was to put my training clicker on a bracelet so it was easily accessible and so I could use it whenever Jameson starts acting like a brat. (My baby, act like a brat? Never!)

8388573814_077750d0b3_hWell… the clicker didn’t make it on to a bracelet, but it DID make it onto my coffee table! Baby steps. And I’ll even call it a win (maybe a tie? work with me here) because it achieved the goal of being easily accessible. We’re working hard on the no barking thing, and I think it’s very slowly starting to sink in. You bark, you go to time out on the stairs. We’re having to do less and less time outs, so I think it’s working! Here’s to actually accomplishing goals and doing what we say we’re going to…

I’m not going to go into detail here, but you may have noticed some extra awesome pictures on the blog lately. Dan has taken it upon himself to be my own personal photographer, and I think he’s doing a damn good job. 🙂



Filed under Dog Training, Goal Progress

Chicken Schnitzel and Brussel Sprouts

Full Meal

Growing up, we had a pretty standard list of dinner options that we cycled through weekly: Spaghetti (with sauce from a can usually), Stouffer’s Lasagna, meatloaf, baked chicken with bar-b-que sauce, and my favorite – chicken schnitzel. I’m pretty sure that traditionally, schnitzel is made with pork, but my dad grew up in Israel, where pork is hard to come by. Jewish schnitzel = 100% chicken.

Schnitzel Cooking

This is one of those recipes that you could make your own, this is just my family’s take on it. It’s still one of my favorites, and is up there with spaghetti as one of my go-tos in the kitchen.  It’s one of the only ones I make regularly that I don’t use a recipe for 🙂 This is alllll from my memory baby. This meal can be made in about 30 minutes, and tastes like it’s out of a restaurant kitchen. (Maybe it’s all the oil? Who knows.) I dip mine in honey. I have no idea why, but it’s delicious. Dan uses ranch. My brothers have been known to use ketchup. Whatever you do, it’s okay to make it your own!

Schnitzel Cooked

What You Need (Schnitzel):

  • 1 lb of chicken breast, thinly sliced 
  • 1-2 eggs, beaten
  • 1-2 cups of Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil

What You Do (Schnitzel):

  1. Heat oil in large skillet on med-hi heat.
  2. Lightly beat the chicken with a meat tenderizer. (If you don’t have one of these, or if you’re lazy like me, it’s okay to skip this step.)
  3. Dredge chicken first in egg, then in bread crumbs. Be sure to thoroughly – this is what gives your chicken that beautiful brown crispiness!
  4. Place chicken (carefully!) in HOT oil, it should sizzle as you put it down, and cook until golden brown on one side. Flip and repeat on the other side.
  5. Place on a plate with a paper towel underneath to catch the excess oil.
  6. Serve over rice or mashed potatoes with a vegetable.

What You Need (Brussel Sprouts):

Sprinkled Sprouts

  • As many brussel sprouts as you can eat, quartered
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp of Olive oil

What You Do (Brussel Sprouts):

Cooked Sprouts

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Place quartered sprouts on a baking sheet – I line mine with tin foil for easy clean up
  3. Mist or pour olive oil on sprouts, coating evenly – I use my Misto and I LOVE IT IF YOU DON’T HAVE ONE GO GET ONE RIGHT NOW!
  4. Salt and pepper to taste – you can play with the spices. I also use garlic powder occasionally
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until edges start to turn brown and crispy


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My New Obsession

Does it count as an obsession if I’ve only made it twice?


I think at this rate, I’m well on my way. I simply cannot stop making and eating soup. Not like from-a-can-Campbell’s-condensed-crap. Good, hearty, home made soup. I think it all started with making Lasagna Soup at Gretchen’s a few weeks ago. Last week I made this delicious Broccoli, Cheese and Potato Soup from And it was. So. Good. Plus, it gave me a good excuse to use my immersion blender for the first time in forever, so, win for kitchen gadget usage! It wasn’t even that hard! The most time consuming bit was the chopping – other than that it could have been ready in less than 45 minutes. Not too shabby for a weeknight meal. And then for lunch a few days as well.

Onions, Carrots, Celery

One quick note about reheating – it does get pretty thick in the fridge from all the potato starch, so adding some milk or water when reheating is not a bad idea.

Recipe from

Soup 3

What You Need:

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 1/2 cups fat free chicken or veggie broth
  • 1 cup fat free milk
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced small
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 4 cups (about 2 heads) broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces
  • 1-1/2 cups 2% shredded sharp cheddar
  • 2 slices 2% American cheese
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese

What You Do:

  1. Chop onion, carrot, celery, garlic in a chopper or mini food processor.
  2. In a large soup pot, melt butter.  Add chopped vegetables and sauté on low heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add flour, salt and pepper to the pot and stir until smooth.
  4. Add broth, milk and potatoes and set heat to high until it comes to a boil, then cover and cook on low until potatoes are soft, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Add broccoli florets, parmesan cheese, and stir well. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.Cook uncovered until broccoli is cooked, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add cheddar and American cheese, stir well and remove from heat.
  7. Using an immersion blender, quickly blend part of the soup for a quick second or two. If you don’t have an immersion blender, remove about 1-2 cups of potatoes and broccoli, place it in your chopper, then add it back to the soup. This helps thicken it a bit.

Soup done

**Note: The broth adds a lot of salty flavor, so go easy on the salt!

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