Category Archives: Dinner

Life Lately

Good morning! Happy National Coffee Day!!

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I don’t usually celebrate all those National “Whatever” Days but National Coffee Day is a different story. I’m willing to celebrate a day when places give out free coffee just because it’s September 29th!

So thank you Mcdonald’s for my free coffee this morning. Does anyone remember when McDonald’s used to have free coffee Mondays?! Those were the days…

My favorite coffee mug:

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I love all the Charlie Brown holiday movies and Jaden got me this mug for Christmas last year from Barnes and Noble.

So, what has been going on in my life lately? Well, I got a job promotion! Yay! I will now be working full time mostly afternoons and evenings so it will be quite an adjustment in our household.

I haven’t worked full time probably since my oldest son was little so it’ll be a quite different for me. Before, my concentration was always my kids but now that they’re getting older, I ready to go back to work full time.

To celebrate, Danny and I went to Lucky Monk over the weekend.

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I had hazelnut crusted talapia with orzo salad which was delicious.

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I don’t usually order fish when I go out to a restaurant because although I like fish, I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite but this tilapia was really amazing especially with the hazelnut crust.

I also celebrated by buying a new workout tank and sports bra from Victoria’s Secret.

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I’m in love with the sports bra which is strappy in the front. I really wanted it in black also but they didn’t have any in stock. And how cute is that tank?!

Food wise, I have been loving overnight oats lately. Probably the wrong time of year since it’s starting to get cooler out but oh well. I like what I like. :)

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I have been making pumpkin pie overnight oats with Quaker oatmeal, pumpkin pie Greek yogurt, almond milk, mini chocolate chips, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. You just stir it all together and let it sit in the fridge overnight. It’s perfect for those days I’m in a hurry in the morning because I can just grab it out of the fridge and eat it in the car if I need to!

So pretty much, I’ve just been working, working out, and living life. Would you like to see a picture of our cute doggy, Baylee?!

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Please notice I said cute and not good. Because she is a destroyer!!

She was crate trained as a puppy but we’ve been trying to leave her out of her cage during the day because she’s usually only home for a few hours at a time. Sometimes she’s really good and sometimes she does this:

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That’s the insides of a packing envelope if you were wondering. And she knew she was so naughty because she refused to look at me when I got home!

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We want to be able to leave her out of her cage so Danny has started taking her for a walk early in the morning to help her get some energy out. We also have the Kong dog toy which we put a treat or peanut butter in to keep her busy for awhile.

At least she’s not chewing the furniture, right?!

And that’s what’s been going on in my life lately! Have a great day!!

  • If you have a dog, is he/she crate trained?
  • What’s going on in your life at the moment?

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Filed under Breakfast, Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Back Day Compound Set Workout

Good morning and Happy Labor Day! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!

Danny and I did an awesome back workout at the gym on Saturday. We did compound sets which I love because they keep your heart rate up and since you’re doing exercises back-to-back, you finish your workout faster. Also, you work the same muscle in different ways.

*Both supersets and compound sets involve doing at least two exercises back to back, but a superset works two opposing muscle groups (ie. back and chest) while compounds sets target only one area of the body (in our case, back).

Warm-Up

First, we warmed up with 1000 meters on the rowing machine.

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Back Compound Sets Workout

Perform the two exercises back-to-back, resting 1-2 minutes in between each compound set. Repeat each compound set for desired amount of reps and sets. Danny and I did between 10-12 reps and did each compound set for three sets. 

    • wide grip lat pull downs x 10
    • cable face pulls x10
    • good mornings x12
    • bent over barbell rows (close grip, underhand grip) x10
    • single leg deadlifts  x10 each side
    • one arm dumbbell row x10 each side
    • half kneeling one arm cable row x10 each side
    • Superman Row x10 (click for video on how to perform)

Here are some pictures of the exercises Danny and I did:

Wide Grip Lat Pulls Downs

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Cable Face Pulls

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Good Mornings

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Bent Over Rows

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Half Kneeling One Arm Cable Rows

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We finished up our workout with some stretching and foam rolling.

On Sunday, my family came over for a make-your-own salad night. And pretzel rolls from Costco because they are delicious. :)

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Be sure to check out my Instagram for pictures and stories from this weekend!

Have a great day!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Favorite back exercise?

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Back At It

Happy Friday!

Today is my youngest’s first day of 4th grade!

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He has a little bit of a cold, which Danny and I now have, but he was super excited for his first day of school. And at least it’s Friday so he has the weekend to rest.

Off to school!

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Side note: I am so good at adulting that I burned my face with a curling iron. My face. With a curling iron. And for the record, I am also one of those people that trips going up the stairs.

My oldest son starts his sophomore year on Monday.

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(I don’t even care that he’s not looking at the camera because just getting him to let me take his picture is a rare occurrence. And for some weird reason, he doesn’t like to take 2,968 selfies like I do and then pick the best one.) :)

Sophomore year means he’ll start driver’s ed. I can’t even talk about it because I’m in denial.

Now that school is back in session, I feel like I can get back on schedule. I’ll start working the fitness desk again next week and hopefully my sleeping and eating will get back on track. With all the vacations, birthdays, and parties this summer, I may have gained a few pounds. I try to avoid the scale and go by how my clothes fit instead. And since my clothes are feeling a little tight lately, I’m ready to start tracking my food/macros again.

In fact, my family has started a weight loss challenge between ourselves. It’s a good way to keep each other motivated. It also helps that the prize is $250.

I’ve been making sure to not overeat at meals. I’ve been making rice bowls with brown & wild rice, tilapia, and veggies.

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Soy ginger salmon with rice and veggies.

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Lettuce wraps with chicken and salsa. I also added some cheese because life is way better with cheese!

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I always make sure to save some room for treats too. Cutting out an entire food group or depriving yourself can often backfire so I make sure a treat fits into my calories/macros for the day.

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I like Baby Ruth but I’ve decided that Snickers are much better.

Danny and I have also been getting back to the gym on a more regular basis.

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Since Jaden was at school today, I was able to spend a little more time at the gym this morning. I warmed up on the rowing machine for a bit, then I took an impromptu Zumba class with a friend, then I did a kettlebell circuit, and finished up with an easy ride on the stationary bike.

According to my Polar A300, I was at 315% activity level by 11:15 am! I’ve never had my activity level that high – it must be from all the jumping in Zumba!

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This evening, Danny and I are going to my cousin’s wedding and on Sunday, we’re going to my nephew’s birthday party. It’s going to be a busy weekend!

Have a great weekend!

  • What are you plans this weekend?

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Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness

Garage Sales and Taco Pizza

Good morning!

This past weekend, we had a garage sale at my brother and sister-in-law’s house.

Waiting for customers:

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We have a couple vacations coming up so we’re trying to get a little extra cash…and we have a lot of stuff.

My brother and sister-in-law were selling a motorized scooter which thankfully sold.

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The first night we were there, we had a make your own pizza night. My sister-in-law has been making taco pizzas lately and although I was leary to try it, I ended up loving it!! See what happens when you try new things. :)

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We used the Pillsbury refrigerated dough for the crust. The taco pizza had refried beans, Mexican cheese, lettuce, sour cream, and yes those are crushed Doritos on top.

Danny’s pizza had ground beef on it and my brother and sister-in-law made theirs with black beans. I’m not a black bean fan but the pizza was good with refried beans. I’ll definitely be making this at home.

I made the other have of the pizza with my favorite toppings – onion and pineapple. Sometimes I add bacon and I have yet to find someone who loves the bacon, pineapple, onion combo as much as I do.

On Sunday afternoon, my sister-in-law, niece, mom, and I met at a nail salon to get pedicures. My niece’s birthday is tomorrow and she wanted us to get together to get our nails done.

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Working Out

On Monday evening, Danny and I went to the gym. With summer, the kids, and other stuff going on, I took a little break from the gym.

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Sometimes, I think it’s good to give your body a little break. And I often tend to overdo it so this little break was good for me. But I was very happy to get back to the gym!

Danny and I did a leg workout which included:

  • deadlifts
  • split squats on the bench
  • weighted sumo squats
  • calf raises in the Smith machine
  • leg press machine

Danny used 16 45-pound plates on the leg press machine for a total of 720 pounds.

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I used four plates. :)

And finally, I have to share a picture of my tacos from dinner last night.

We found this Mexican restaurant near us which has quickly become my new favorite Mexican restaurant.

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Mexican food is my favorite and I could eat tacos every day!

I hope you all have a great day.

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  • What’s your favorite pizza topping?
  • Favorite leg exercise? (I’m always looking for new ones!)

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Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Birthday Fun

Good afternoon! How are you all doing?

Last Friday was my birthday so we spent the weekend celebrating. Last weekend, we went over to my dad and stepmom’s house for dinner and cake.

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On my actual birthday, my dad took me out to lunch.

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I had the macadamia crusted halibut with lemon cream sauce which was amazing and they brought me out tiramisu for a birthday dessert!

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On Saturday night, my mom watched the kids when Danny and I went out to dinner with my brother and sister-in-law.

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We went to the Grand Crab Buffet at Shaw’s Seafood Restaurant (also known as the most expensive dinner in the world). At least the all-you-can-eat crab legs were worth it. :) Crab legs are one of my favorite foods but reserved for special occasions.

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After dinner, we went to a local bar and had a few drinks. We picked the kids up on Sunday and my mom had a birthday cake for me.

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Thank you to all of my family for making my birthday so wonderful –  I truly am blessed with the best husband, kids, and family.

My step-brother turned 21 yesterday so of course we had to add a few decorations to his house as a birthday surprise.

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His girlfriend’s 21st birthday was the day before mine so we will be going out this weekend to celebrate! We have a lot of May birthdays in my family. My son, Jacob, is in May as well as both my in-laws.

Besides all the birthday fun, I’ve been working at the gym and working out at the gym. Basically, I’m at the gym a lot – which is what I love!

Have a wonderful afternoon!

  • When is your birthday? Favorite age so far?

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Life Lately

Good afternoon! How have you all been?! I have been busy with life and work and kids and all that good stuff. :)

Last week  Jacob turned 15!

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Celebrating with a cinnamon roll for breakfast.

It still boggles my mind that he’s 15 years old and will be gtting his learner’s permit later this year. It seems like only yesterday he was born 15 weeks early, weighing in at only 1 pound and 14 ounces. Now he’s almost done with his first year of high school. It’s amazing how fast the time goes.

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We also celebrated Mother’s Day on Saturday with my mom, brother, sister-in-law, and niece. Sunday was the first Mother’s Day that I was able to sleep late for the first time in about five years (and by late, I mean about 7:30 am). I usually run the Run Like a Mother 5k with my family but unfortunately the race wasn’t held this year. Hopefully it’ll be back this year!

Jaden picked me some beautiful flowers for Mother’s Day.

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On Mother’s Day morning, I had Dunkin Donuts coffee and a delicious jelly dount for breakfast and then Danny and I went to the gym.

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We worked legs and Danny pressed 650 pounds on the leg press machine. Impressive.

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After the gym, we had lunch, and then took the kids and Baylee to a local outdoor trail to walk and enjoy the weather.

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The trail recently added some exercise machines along the way. Jaden and I stopped to do some box jumps.

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I love that they have a little drinking fountain for dogs but Baylee was a little scared of it and we had to pour water in Danny’s hands for her to drink instead. Princess.

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In the evening, we went out to dinner and I had a wonderful Mother’s Day!

I’ve been trying to walk and run with Baylee more but the weather around here is always so unpredicatble.

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One day it’ll be warm and sunny and the next day it’ll be cold and rainy.

This morning, I went to the gym and did a quick chest and triceps workout followed by a HIIT workout.

Post workout:

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The exercises I did included:

  • stability ball chest press
  • stability ball chest flies
  • medicine ball push-ups
  • tricep dips
  • overhead tricep extensions

The HIIT workout included:

  • running laps
  • box jumps
  • kettlebell swings
  • burpees

After the gym, I stopped at Target and found three new products.

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The Fage Crossover yogurts are delicious! This is the only one that I’ve tried but it is amazing. I was also excited to see that Applegate now carries pre-cooked chicken. It just makes life so much easier. And pickles because who doesn’t love pickles?!

And that it pretty much what I have been up to lately! Have a great night!

  • What have you been up to lately?
  • How was your Mother’s Day?
  • Pickles: yes or no?

 

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What I Eat in a Day – IIFYM

As I’ve mentioned before I follow a IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) based diet. Rather than count calories, I count macros – fats, carbs, and protein. I eat a certain amount of fat grams, carb grams, and protein grams every single day. For me, these numbers are always the same every day no matter what my workout is or if it’s a rest day.

The purpose of IIFYM for weight loss (or even maintenance or bulking) is to eat healthy foods but still eat treats and what you love in moderation. I try to eat at least 20 grams of fiber a day. In order to hit that number, I need to make sure I’m eating enough veggies and fruit. Once I hit my protein and fiber for the day, I usually have enough carbs and fats left to have a treat that I enjoy.

Basically, it’s about not depriving yourself and enjoying what you love while still eating healthy foods the majority of the time.

Please note that my macros were specifically calculated for me based on my height, weight, activity level, and goals. What works for me might not necessarily work for you.

Without further ado, here’s what I typically eat in a day (every day is slightly different but this is just a normal day’s food).

Vitamins

First thing I do is start my day out with my daily vitamins.

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Breakfast Pre-Workout

I start every morning out with one cup of coffee. I use one Stevia in the Raw packet and one tablespoon of sugar-free creamer.

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And yes, I write the date I opened my coffee creamer on the bottle. I’m weird about expiration dates.

For breakfast, I had scrambled egg whites with asparagus, spinach, red onion, and a Laughing Cow cheese wedge. I also had Fage plain Greek yogurt with one Stevia in the Raw packet mixed it. I topped it with thawed frozen berries and a little bit of Special K Protein cereal.

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I cook the veggies on the stove first and then add the egg whites.

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Snack Post-Workout

Right after my workout and before I taught my Women on Weights class, I had a Pro Pudding.

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Lunch

For lunch, I had a salad with butter lettuce, carrots, Applegate gluten-free chicken tenders, crouton and bacon bits topping, and honey mustard Greek Yogurt dressing.

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I also had a bowl of veggies with garlic veggie drizzle.

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And a bowl of watermelon and a mandarin orange.

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Snack

Yummy Snack peanut butter bar.

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Dinner

For dinner, I had salmon, veggies, brown rice, and cucumber dill Greek yogurt dressing.

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I also had an apple with a little bit of whipped peanut butter and a mandarin orange.

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Treat

For an after dinner treat, I had a Light & Fit Caramel Fudge Pretzel Greek yogurt.

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My after dinner treat usually varies. Most of the time it’s a Yasso Greek yogurt bar. Sometimes if I have enough carbs and fat left, I’ll have a Snickers ice cream bar.

Most days, I eat fairly similar. Lots of eggs, veggies, fruits, salads, lean protein, and my favorite Kodiak Cakes waffles.

After a day of eating, my macros were pretty much spot on.

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I use MyFitnessPal to keep track of all my food.

  • What did you eat today?

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Filed under Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch

Valentine’s Day Food and Treats

Disclaimer: I received the PRE 100% grass fed beef at no charge for part of a Valentine’s Day post. As usual, I only work with companies whose products I stand behind. All opinions are 100% my own…and Danny and Jacob’s. :)

Hello!

I have a fun post for you guys today – Valentine’s Day food and treats! I have always said that I believe Valentine’s Day is for celebrating all those in your life that you love – your spouse, significant other, parents, grandparents, kids, neighbor, etc.

I have a few fun Valentine’s Day food ideas that you can give to others as a gift, cook for those you love, or even cook together with someone. My little helper for a lot of these recipes was my son Jaden.

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He absolutely loves to cook and bake.

Heart Shaped Pancakes

First up, is a super easy breakfast idea – heart shaped pancakes!

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These pancakes are super easy to make. All you need to do is make pancake batter or use a pre-mixed batter and put it into a Ziploc bag. Push all the batter into the corner of the bag and cut off just the very tip of the bag.

On a hot pan, use the batter in the Ziploc bag to make a heart shape and fill it in. Cook a few minutes on both sides and you have a cute heart shaped pancakes. This is great for kids but really who can resist a heart-shaped pancake?!

  • PRE 100% Grass Fed Beef

Steak is always a great gift! Danny and Jacob love steak and when PRE Brands contacted me about their 100% grass fed beef I was so excited to have Danny and Jacob try it out! It would make a great Valentine’s Day dinner or just a great gift in general.

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Here are some of the things I liked about the PRE beef:

  • the whole package is transparent so you can see both sides of the meat. Often with cuts of meat in the grocery store, you can only see one side of the meat. PRE has a 360 degree view so you know exactly what you’re getting.
  • it’s vacuum sealed which leads to a consistent quality and temperature, and a long shelf life.
  • it’s sourced from the top 10% most trustworthy sources in the world,making it extra fresh and tasty
  • PRE Brands uses a trademarked “15-point Obsessive Pick Process,” putting every single cut under a microscope, resulting in the very best quality and taste.

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(Baylee really really wanted that ground beef!)

While I don’t eat beef myself, I do believe in feeding my family quality, fresh, trustworthy food and PRE lives up to that. And Danny and Jacob can vouch for the taste – they both loved it!

I used a grill pan on the stove to cook the steaks medium-rare and the boys feasted on them with mashed potatoes. They both gave them two thumbs up!

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  • Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

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This was my first time ever making brownies from scratch and they turned out delicious! I found a recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction, and Jaden and I got to work making them! (Sally’s Baking Addiction has the best dessert recipes I have ever tried!)

I was worried at first that making brownies from scratch would be hard to make but they were fairly easy. You just have to make sure that measure ingredients perfectly when baking – that’s why I always measure ingredients with my food scale.

We made the brownies and then made the cream cheese topping. We swirled them together for some delicious red velvet cheesecake brownies. Just make sure that you don’t over swirl!

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  • Chocolate Chip Cookies

Finally, we baked chocolate chip cookies because they are delicious and who wouldn’t love receiving fresh baked chocolate chip cookies?! (And yes, it’s another recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction).

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These cookies are perfectly soft and melt in your mouth. Just to be sure not to overbake them!

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You could add Valentine’s Day sprinkles to the cookies batter or just use them to decorate the plate!

  • What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?
  • Do you have any Valentine’s Day food or treat recipes to share?

 

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Birthday, Coffee, Workout

Hello friends!

Birthday

Over the weekend, Danny and I went out to celebrate my best friend, Jenny’s, birthday.

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We’ve been best friends for 22 years since 7th grade.

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We went to Seasons 52 and had a wonderful dinner. I didn’t get a picture of it but I had the cedar plank roasted salmon with roasted vegetables & crushed potatoes, dill-mustard sauce, and grilled lemon. It was amazing and the dill-mustard sauce was the best sauce I have ever had. I could have ate just that sauce and been happy. Hungry but happy. :)

The waitress brought out a tower of mini desserts with a candle in the top so we could sing happy birthday.

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Those mini desserts were also amazing. The flavors: key lime pie, pecan pie, Belgian chocolate s’mores, mocha macchiato, chocolate peanut butter torte, and raspberry cannoli. Yum.

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Coffee

My UpCup came at the perfect time because I just ordered a bunch of coffee from Keurig.

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I ordered a 24 pack of Golden French Toast, a 22 count variety pack (Caramel Vanilla Cream, French Vanilla, Hazelnut, and Wild Mountain Blueberry), two 12 packs of Peppermint Bark, a 5 pack of Southern Pecan, a 5 pack of Butter Toffee, and a 5 pack of Raspberry Chocolate Truffle.

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Yes, that’s a lot of coffee. The Peppermint Bark is one of my favorite flavors and my grocery store stopped selling it after the holidays so when I saw the Keurig website had it, I had to get two boxes.

This morning I tried the Raspberry Chocolate Truffle in my favorite coffee mug.

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Usually, I’m not a fan of chocolate flavored coffee but this flavor was really good and didn’t taste too chocolatey. I also like that Keurig offers 5 packs of coffee. That way to can try it out without committing to a whole bunch of it.

Workout

This morning at the gym, I did a chest and triceps superset workout before teaching my Women on Weights class.

I did the following exercises:

  • Barbell chest presses
  • Triceps dips with feet on bench
  • Dumbbell chest flies
  • Barbell skull crushers
  • Decline chest press machine
  • Tricep rope pressdowns

And that’s all for today! Have a great day!

  • Are you a coffee drinker? Favorite coffee?
  • Any workout today?

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Chicken Enchiladas

Good morning!

This weekend, I tried out another new recipe – chicken enchiladas. If you haven’t noticed by now, I love Mexican food.

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I searched a whole bunch of enchilada recipes on Pinterest and just ended up piecing together ingredients I thought my family would like the best.

This recipes calls for cooked and shredded chicken. To make shredded chicken, I  just cook boneless skinless chicken breasts in the crockpot with a little bit of water for a few hours and then shred them.

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Chicken Enchiladas         Serves 6-8

Ingredients: 

  • 3 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 can (4 oz) green chilies
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cans (or 1 large) can of red enchilada sauce
  • 3 cups shredded cheese
  • 10-12 flour tortillas (or you can you corn tortillas)
  • Optional: green onion or cilantro for garnish

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent.
  2. Add cooked chicken and chilies to the onions and stir to combine. Stir in cumin. Add approximately 1.5 cans of enchilada sauce to the chicken and stir until chicken is coated.
  3. Reduce heat to low and stir in sour cream and two cups of cheese (save other cup of cheese for top of enchiladas).
  4. Remove from heat. Spray 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray. Add enough enchilada sauce to just cover bottom of dish.
  5. Take a flour tortilla, spread a little bit of remaining enchilada sauce on top, spoon chicken mixture down middle of tortilla. Roll up and place in dish. Repeat for all tortillas.
  6. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over tortillas and spread evenly. Sprinkle the rest of the shredded cheese over the top.
  7. Bake uncovered approximately 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  8. Optional: garnish with green onions or cilantro.

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Recipe loosely adapted from Popsicle Blog

Yum!

These turned out amazing! I can’t wait to make them again! :)

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  • What is your favorite food? 
  • Favorite Mexican food?

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