Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A new place to fit

This afternoon my fiance and I are doing something major that will change our lives forever. No we are not running away the courthouse haha. We are buying a house!!!!! Over the past year we have discussed, browsed, changed minds, and decided. We love St. Pete, we are not leaving. When the perfect thing comes along at the perfect time, you know it's just meant to be. Our new construction(yay!) townhouse is in a great location and it's just what we had in mind. We have room to grow and room to relax. These past few months have been a roller-coaster of paperwork and signatures and today we will sign our lives away and get the keys! Tomorrow, with the help of his parents, we'll start moving our stuff and slowly get settled. I don't plan on unpacking or decorating quickly since work and life will be so busy over the next few months but I don't care. We are buying a house today and I'm so excited!
A picture from the front before it was done!

Friday, December 23, 2011

A different kind of Christmas

Every year for Christmas my family has a routine, get a tree, decorate the house with the same things we've had for years (that's not a bad thing Mom), make goodies for the neighbors and the dough for the sticky buns, wrap presents, go to Christmas Eve mass, open one present before bed and listen to The Night Before Christmas recording that was made for us as kids. Christmas morning is relaxed as my Dad wakes up early and gets the sticky buns in the oven. We wake up and make our way to the kitchen. Yes of course as kids we were up much earlier and ran straight to the living room. With sticky buns ready and coffee in hand, we head to the living room clad in comfy pjs and slippers. As Christmas music plays in the background we sit around, open presents and simply relax. After a while we slowly proceed with our day which includes baking or cooking and preparing for dinner.

For as long as I can remember (with very few exceptions) we spent holidays with our pseudo family. They have 2 daughters close in age to my sisters and we grew up with these girls. Us 5 girls grew up living time zones away from biological family but are very blessed to have each other. Christmas dinner is always at one of our houses. Good food and lots of entertaining conversations fly as the day winds down. Don't forget the post dinner movies (either Muppets or an equally wonderful classic).

This is the first year I will not see my family or pseudo family for Christmas. The fiance and I have bought a house and we are moving next week! His parents are in town to help us move and celebrate Christmas. I won't be alone this weekend but it just won't feel the same without the routine. I'm still going to make sticky buns and coffee, and it will still be a relaxing day with family. I'll wear shorts and a t-shirt, for the 80 degree Florida weather, instead of my hoodie and sweatpants, we'll watch the Packers/Bears game instead of the Muppets, and I don't have my Night Before Christmas recording to listen to before bed. Just as my blog title states, it's time for a new fit and I can't wait to see what new traditions we start.

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dance is my Zen

Dance isn't just a part of my life, it's part of who I am. As I sat and tried to think of a new blog topic over the weekend I realized this is a huge part of me that I've never written about. For me dance is not about working out, a childhood dream, or being a prima ballerina. Dance is my Zen. Some people go running, some do yoga, some go to church, and others prefer a bubble bath. It's all the same. It's a chance to center myself and calm my brain of all the crazy going on around me. When I'm dancing I have to focus on dance and tune out life. I'm either focused on improving that technique, performing, or just dancing until my body and brain are numb.

I used to think it was only when I put on those pink ballet shoes and tied my hair back in a bun that I found a zen moment. I recently joined a tap company (just to try something new). I hadn't taken a tap class in over 10 year so I didn't think this would be relaxing...or pretty for anyone watching. Now don't get me wrong, after a 2 hour rehearsal, my dogs are barking and my mind is tired, but I can still have my zen. I'm working on getting to the pretty to watch stage, but in the mean time I have made some wonderful new friends and I know that once a week I have me time.

People may describe dance differently but for most a good wikipedia definition will do. For me, dance is my zen.

dance
verb (used without object)
1.
to move one's feet or body, or both, rhythmically in pattern of steps, especially to the accompaniment of music.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Life

Life is constantly changing, and that's a good thing! I'm one of those people who needs a plan for life. When I have no plan for myself I start to stress. Now before anyone tells me that I shouldn't try to plan everything out let me just say my plan has changed more times than Dennis Rodman changed his hair in the 90's. This time my plan is short term: get to the wedding. The wedding is in March and between now and then we have to close on our new house, move, half a dozen (or so) dance performances, 2 work events, 2 work trips, my bachelorette party, a half marathon (and all the training), training for a triathlon relay (I'm only doing the biking), and finish actually planning the wedding. Phew... I'm tired just thinking about it but know that everything will work out in the end. I can't imagine my life being anything less than busy and I think by the time the wedding is here I'll really appreciate getting to slow down and spend time with family and friends. I really can't wait for our adventure packed honeymoon in Costa Rica! Has anyone ever hiked Mt. Chirripo or gone mountain biking at Arenal? If so please send suggestions my way!

A year ago today...

One year ago today I was laying a hospital bed begging for something to be found so the doctors could fix me, the pain would go away, and I could go home, shower, and sleep in my own bed without someone coming to draw blood at 4am. One year later I can say the doctors never found anything. That sounds discouraging....but I don't see it like that. The doctors never found anything because there is nothing wrong. Yes there was something wrong that made me very sick, but for some reason that thing never showed up on any test and all the other symptoms seem to slowly fade as time goes by. That icky sick feeling only pops up sometimes and I'm learning what changes I can make to avoid it next time. I'm not a huge fan of taking a lot of medicine, but it helps so who am I to argue. I don't think we'll ever know what made me so sick last Thanksgiving. I am moving on and I'm happy to do so.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

One of my favorite blogs Simply Southern Girl posted this and I thought it was fun. Here are the ABC's of me!

Age: 26

Bed Size: Queen
Chore you hate: folding the laundry
Dogs: In love with dogs, especially service dogs but don't currently have one because I couldn't dedicate the time it would need
Essential start of your day: chai tea or coffee
Favorite Color: pink! it has been since I was little and now it means so much more
Gold or silver: silver or white gold
Height: 5'10

Instruments: used to play piano but not since about 8th grade
Job Title: soon will be Marketing and Communications Manager :-) can't wait to start my new job!
Kids: I want one maybe two
Live: St. Petersburg, Florida.

Mom's Name: Eileen

Nickname: Katie, Griffers, Katie Beth, (my mom has a few others but I won't share those here)
Overnight hospital stays: ugh 2 times, the first wasn't bad the the other was for 5 nights
Pet Peeve: people who complain about their lives but don't do anything to change it
Quote from a movie: I don't quote movies very often
Right or left handed: Lefy!
Siblings: 2 younger sisters
Time you wake up: 7 on workdays
Underwear: usually vickies
Vegetables you dislike: Cauliflower
What makes you run late: late nights
X-rays you've had done: Teeth, wrist, foot, I think that's it
Yummy food you make: I have to admit that my lasagna is pretty darn good
Zoo animal: monkey

There you have it, just a little more about me.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Gluten free baseball...needs work

Baseball season is back and I am so excited! Ever since my mom took me to my first basball game (Colorado Rockies) I have been a fan. She taught me all the rules of the game and helped me learn the players stats and numbers. I am a proud owner of the entire original Rockies roster in cards. The other things baseball taught me to love was pretzels with cheese. This has always been by far my favorite ballpark snack.

Fast forward to last week as I made sure my Rays attire was prepared for Friday's opening game. While I will always root for the Rockies, the Tampa Bay Rays have been my team since coming to college in Florida. Since gluten is not currently part of my diet I was a tiny bit upset that I wouldn't be able to have a pretzel during the game. Then it was announced that the Tropicana Field would have a gluten free food stand that would include options such as...........drum roll please..........PRETZELS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday came and I practically ran into the stadium to get that food. I was so excited until.........

...there were no pretzels, didn't even have beer. My only options were cider, and dogs. While they did have gluten free buns for the hot dogs I was just over it so I didn't get one. The menu board was half empty so I can only hope that the stand is not complete.

Hopefully I can have my pretzel at the next game I attend.


Let's Go Rays!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hi. My name is Katie and I.....

have celiac disease. It's always fun to joke about support groups when someone starts a conversation like that...but are support groups bad?

Since the recent removal of gluten from my diet I have done some online research. The one thing I found most interesting is that there are celiac support groups. Now, when I first saw this I will admit that my initial reaction was less than positive. But I saw this as an opportunity to get a recommendation for a doctor who has experience in the field. So I call the president and hope he has a list of doctors ready and boom my work is done.....no such luck.

So one Saturday morning I jumped out of bed with enthusiasm was encouraged/told to drag myself out of my oh so comfy bed, and head to the meeting. As I headed out the door the fiance said to have fun. I wasn't sure at the time whether he should say have fun or good luck. Either way, I made my way to the meeting and slid into a seat at the back of the room. Thoughts of maintaining my cloak of invisibily were soon squashed when all the newbies were asked to share "their story...." hmmm sounds like a different type of support group to me.

After sharing my story and sitting through an informational hour I not only had 4 doctor recomendations but a slue of email addresses and plenty of people saying "oh yeah I've been there, but here's how to make it easier". These crazy symptoms I try to explain no longer seem so crazy when there's 10 other people who totally understand that feeling.

While I'm not sure I will attend every meeting, I do plan on returning when I need to feel less alone in this gluten free journey or need advice on cooking or eating. I suggest a similar group to anyone out there who's body is requiring a gluten free diet.

Have a great weekend!

Go Rays!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Easy Crock Pot Beef and Veggies

A few weeks ago life was insane at my house. We were both busy with work and then over the weekend my best friend got married! I was in the wedding and had 2 guests staying at my place for the weekend as well. Thursday night was the bachelorette party, Friday the Rehearsal Dinner, and Saturday the wedding. Needless to say it was a crazy busy week and planning dinners ahead of time really paid off.

I knew I would need a hearty dinner before heading out for a night of fun with the girls on Thursday and wouldn't have a lot of time. This crockpot dinner was the perfect solution.

Line the bottom of the crockpot with red potatos (slices into quarters) onions, carrots (I used baby carrots), celery, and some garlic chunks. I placed a chunk (I have no clue how much it weighed) of chuck roast on top and added some vegetable broth that we had in the fridge.

Set the crock pot to 8 hours on low and off to work we went. When I got home I had about an hour to go on a run, get ready for the party and eat dinner. I came in from my run and the house smelled so good and I was able to eat and set the crockpot to warm (so the fiance could have some when he got home) and headed out for a night of fun.

The best part about the meal was that I had some food leftover for lunch the next day was I was sleepy and exhausted.

Hope everyone is having a great spring so far!

Friday, February 18, 2011

A celiac's letter to friends

As I learn more about celiac disease and avoiding gluten, I try to inform those around me what's going on so they understand. A friend mentioned to me that she understands food allergies but this is completely unknown to her. That conversation led me to realize that even though I tell people I can't have gluten, they may not understand why. Below is a letter I sent to my close friends last week and I thought I would share it with all of you. I'm sure there is a better way to explain it to friends but this will have to do for now.


Dear friends,

Many of you may already know that I have finally figured out what was wrong with my stomach last fall. I have been diagnosed with Celiac disease and am waiting confirmation from a second doctor. This is good news for me because I will not have to be on medicine or under constant care of a doctor. The bad news is that I will need to avoid gluten for the rest of my life. This is similar to an allergy because my body doesn't tolerate the food but reacts very differently. If I ingest gluten there is no immediate fear of anaphylactic shock or a need to use an epi pen though there is the likelihood I will get sick to some extent. Every time gluten enters my system, my stomach is unable to handle it and it has slowly destroyed my stomach. I am eating carefully now and my stomach is healing but any time I eat gluten, even a small amount, it could reverse the healing and result in ulcers and inflamation again.


It will take me some time to adjust to this and to figure out what I can and can't eat and what restaurants I can eat at safely. Please don't be offended if I don't join you out to eat or don't eat anything you have cooked. And please don't think I don't enjoy your company or your food. I'm always up for non food related adventures and events and still want to spend time with all my friends.


How would you explain celiac disease to a friend?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Best Valentine's Present Ever

This year my fiance and I decided that we would celebrate Valentine's Day on Sunday. I told him that all I wanted was to not cook and not worry about my food being "Katie safe". We decided on Kona Grill. I figured they have sushi so I could at least have that, without soy sauce, if I couldn't find anything else that was nut, seed and gluten free. At the beginning of the meal the server asked what we were looking for and I said Gluten Free. Expecting him to have a minimal understanding I was shocked when he said, "oh that's no problem here, just about anything can be prepared gluten free. The kitchen knows what is and isn't gluten free."

After going through many options and explaining how it would be gluten free I was left with a huge problem....I actually had options and now had to pick something!  :-) For those of you on my boat, you can understand how exciting this was. See, I normally have one maybe 2 items on the menu that will work so having a dozen or so choices I felt so normal!

After deciding on sushi, because they have really yummy rolls, the server brought out soy sauce....dun dun dun......not gluten free. I was bummed because I love soy sauce and it was like he was teasing me. I wasn't going to say anything, but my fiance made a comment about soy sauce not being gluten free. The server said "oh yeah, hold on we have gluten free soy sauce."

OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We asked to see the bottle, just to be sure, but low and behold it was safe.

I also got to see a sneak peak at a new menu coming soon that shows gluten free, vegan, and vegetarian options! I can't wait to go and feel like it's no big deal to eat out. I don't expect every restaurant to have a gluten free menu, but the fact that Kona Grill understands and is willing to be flexible for those of us who have no choice is amazing. I never doubted that my food would be safe and to top it off the food was good!

I'm excited that I have a restaurant that I can go to with friends and family without it being a hassle for anyone. Thank you Kona Grill for my Valentine's Day present of safe food!

Monday, February 7, 2011

a new thing to fit into life

As many of you know I was ill this past Thanksgiving and have not been given a diagnosis...until now! The whole thing is a bit complicated but the important part is that I am now avoiding gluten. When the call came on Friday I couldn't have been happier to finally get a diagnosis. Over the weekend my super planner mindset kicked in and I realized it would take some adjustment.

The doctor has said that even though blood test for Celiac disease came back negative he is almost positive that's what it is. Apparently it is not unheard of for someone to have Celiac but a negative blood test. I will be going gluten free for about a month (suggestions from those more experienced than I always welcome) and then we'll see how symptoms have changed.

We are hoping my symptoms disappear because then we for sure know what is going on. In the meantime look forward to my gluten free recipes that will be posted.

No menu planning for this week because of crazy busy schedules but still look forward to delicious dinner suggestions.

Thank you all for your support!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Turkey Spinach Roll

There are recipes that I have printed out and saved but for some reason have no memory of whether it was liked, needed to be tweeked, horrible, or just ok. I came across a recipe called Turkey- Spinach roll that I vaguely remember making over a year ago, but for the life of me the results are more than vague. So being the ground turkey and spinach loving household that we are, I figured it was definitely worth a try. The results were so yummy. I used a monteray jack cheese because that's what we had. I will probably use egg whites next time (guessing about 3 eggs worth), reduce the bread crumbs to 3/4 cups, and add chopped mushrooms. Other than that, here's the recipe and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Prep Time: 25 Min
Cook Time: 50 Min
Ready In: 1 Hr 15 Min

6 servings

Ingredients
1 cup meatless spaghetti sauce, divided
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup soft whole wheat bread crumbs
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 pound lean ground turkey
3 cups of fresh spinach -I put in microwave for about 30 seconds to wilt it

4-5 slices or 2 cups of preferred
Directions

1.In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup spaghetti sauce, eggs, bread crumbs, garlic, basil, oregano and mustard. Crumble turkey over mixture and mix well.

2.On a sheet of waxed paper, pat turkey mixture into a 12-in. x 8-in. rectangle. Sprinkle with spinach and cheese. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a short side and peeling waxed paper away while rolling. Seal seam and ends. Place seam side down in a baking pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Coat roll with a thin layer of tomato sauce.

3.Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 50-60 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing. Heat remaining spaghetti sauce; serve over turkey.

Let me know if you make any modifications that you really like!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Chili...kind of

It's always fun when you make up your own recipes and they don't fail, especially when you don't do it on purpose. :-)  Last week I went to make chili. Originally the recipe was for a white turkey chili but as you'll see the results were nowhere near that haha. I had chicken instead of turkey, no big deal. Never cook after a really hard spinning class if you want the recipe to come out exact.

In my post workout daze I grabbed curry powder instead of chili powder....yeah opps. It ended up like a curry chicken soup and we loved it! Below is the recipe and I hope you can enjoy as well.

Prep Time: 15 Min
Cook Time: 30 Min
Ready In: 45 Min

Servings: 8

Ingredients

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
about 5 chicken breasts chopped
1 (4 ounce) can canned green chile peppers chopped
1 tablespoon ground curry powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
ground cayenne pepper to taste
ground white pepper to taste
3 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans
5 cups chicken broth
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Directions

In a large pot over medium heat, combine the onion, garlic and ground turkey and saute for 10 minutes, or until turkey is well browned. Add the chile peppers, curry powder, oregano, cinnamon, cayenne pepper to taste and white pepper to taste and saute for 5 more minutes.

Add two cans of the beans and the chicken broth to the pot. Take the third can of beans and puree them in a blender or food processor. Add this to the pot along with the cheese. Stir well and simmer for 10 minutes, allowing the cheese to melt.
 
 
Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Super Easy and healthy baked chicken

You have chicken, don't want to take time to cook but need dinner. That happens a lot in our house so we often turn to baked chicken. Throw the chicken in a casserole dish (we usually use chicken cutlets in a glass or stone baking dish) and put your favorite marinade on the chicken. I use just enough to cover but not soak the chicken. *Last night's marinade was a ginger soy dressing.

I bake (covered with foil) for 45 minutes at 400 degrees.

Cook up some spinach or your favorite veggie and there you have a quick and healthy dinner option.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Week 2 of planning

The first week of menu planning was somewhat successful. Things had to be moved around and 2 of the meals didn't get made because of our busy schedules. We have another busy week ahead of us so I have created a plan so that we hopefully can get the most of our evenings. 


Monday: leftovers
Tuesday: baked chicken leftovers
Wednesday: smoothies
Thursday: slow-cooker Moroccan chicken
Friday: Date night 
Saturday: leftovers and a concert
Sunday: slow-cooker corned beef


I hope everyone had a great weekend!


Till next time...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Ragu: stolen recipe :-)

This recipe is stolen from a blog written by Kate. I claim no originality only modifications. Here is a link to her original. 
http://www.ifyoucanmakethatyoucanmakethis.com/core-recipes-savoury/pasta-with-things-you-can-buy-at-the-deli/ragu

I used it with spaghetti and the fiancĂ©e and I loved it! We didn't actually use any cheese on top but it was still so yummy and it made the kitchen smell amazing. This recipe is perfect for an afternoon when you are busy but staying in the house. 

1 large onion
1 stick of celery
1 carrot
3 cloves of garlic (1 fat clove for 2)
1 bay leaf
about 1 lb of turkey meat
1 bottle of wine (1/2 bottle for 2)
1 small can of tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp butter
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme or 1 tsp fresh thyme
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

  • Dice the onion and fry gently in about 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter to soften
  • Dice the celery and the carrot and add to the pan. Cook for about five mins until starting to soften (keep the heat low so that the onion doesn’t burn)
  • Grate in the garlic
  • Add the meat and stir with a fork to brown and break up a bit. Season well.
  • Add the tomatoes, the sugar (brings out the tomato-y-ness of the tomatoes), the wine and the bay leaf, put the lid half on, then simmer on a low heat for 2 hours (or put in the oven at around 180 / 200ish for an afternoon)
  • The sauce should be rich and thick. It can now sit in the fridge for a few days and be re-heated when needed (about 10 mins on the stove top).
  • Cook your favorite pasta according to the packet instructions
  • Stir the sauce through and eat, with parmesan to grate over

I hope you all find it as easy and delicious as I did!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lasagna virgin no more

Unless you are my sister, everyone loves lasagna. It's comfort food. The Italians will probably claim lasagna as theirs, but it is historically a British dish. I am neither Italian or British but I love it and have always wanted to make my own from scratch. I had turkey meat so I found a recipe online, modified it, and here it is.
    • 9 whole-wheat lasagna noodles
    • 1 teaspoon olive oil
    • 1/2 cup chopped onion
    • 1 pound ground turkey
    • 3 cans tomato sauce
    • 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
    • 3 tablespoons Italian seasoning
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 2-3 cloves of garlic
    • 6 cups chopped fresh spinach
    • 2 cups fat-free ricotta cheese
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

  1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 2 minutes. Add ground turkey and garlic and cook 5 to 7 minutes more, stirring to break up any large chunks of meat. Stir in tomato sauce, mushrooms, Italian seasoning, and black pepper. Simmer for 2 minutes and season to taste.
  4. Combine spinach, ricotta, and nutmeg in a large bowl.
  5. To assemble, arrange 3 noodles lengthwise in the bottom of a greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Spread with 1/3 the ricotta mixture, 1/3 of the turkey mixture, and 1/3 of the mozzarella. Repeat layers, ending with remaining mozzarella. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.



A few tips to keep in mind:
  • make sure there are no bare noodles poking out the top or sides
  • You can add as much or as little spinach as you prefer. We love spinach so I used 6 full cups
  • This is not a spicy meal so you could easily add crushed red pepper for a kick

Enjoy with a glass or red wine or cold milk!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Game Night cookies!

  • Game night was a huge success! Everyone had such a great time and we may have going through a bit of wine and beer. Another thing we went through were my domino cookies that I found on the Country Living website. 

  • They were basically chocolate sugar cookies with whit chips placed to be the pips of the dominoes. 
chocolate domino cookies with glass of milk
Country Living Image

  • 1 1/2 cup(s) unsweetened cocoa

  • 1 1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 3/4 cup(s) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup(s) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup(s) light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup(s) heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup(s) large white chocolate chips

Directions
  1. Sift the cocoa, flour, and salt together into a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. Beat the butter and sugars with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the cocoa mixture.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and cream and beat until a dough forms. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness, cut 16 2- by 4-inch rectangles, and place on baking sheets. Score each rectangle in the middle — the short way — and press in the chips to create dominos. Place the cookies on a prepared baking sheet. Chill for 15 minutes. Bake for 13 minutes. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

I hope if you have a game night your cookies go over as well as mine did!

Enjoy!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Yummy and Easy Breakfast casserole

My last post was about people who actually plan ahead. Well I am experimenting with that idea this week and included in the menu was a breakfast casserole that I could freeze part of for those mornings when you don't want to cook but need something warm. I cannot take credit for this recipe since I stole it from my mom. I did slightly alter for someone's dislike of onions but he seemed happy this morning eating 2 pieces :-) 

4 cups cubed day-old bread
1 lb. turkey sausage, cooked & drained
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
10 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cans evaporated milk
1 tsp. dry mustard
¼ tsp. onion powder (didn't use the onion powder)
Black pepper to taste

Place bread in greased 13 X 9 baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Combine milk, eggs, mustard, onion powder and pepper in bowl. Pour evenly over bread and cheese.  Sprinkle with sausage. Cover; refrigerate overnight.  Next morning, bake at 325 for 55-60 min. Cover with foil if top browns too quickly.

My goal is to slowly modify this to be healthier for the future by trying egg whites and a possible evaporated milk substitute. Since it is an egg casserole I'm not sure an egg substitute would work for those with allergies but if someone tries it please let me know. 

Enjoy!

Friday, January 7, 2011

People actually plan menus?


Have you heard that there are people who actually plan ahead and plan a week worth of meals before they go grocery shopping? Ok so it might not be strange, but I don't normally plan my meals that far in advance. Life is always busy and I am always willing to trying something new...this time it is planning our meals ahead of time. I'm hoping it helps reduce post-work craziness of what's for dinner, and keep me on top of my resolution to post 1-2 new recipes a week.

My first step is to take into consideration what is already in the fridge and what needs to get used up. Then I look at our calendar and see how many nights we actually need to cook. From then I head to the internet to find something new that we haven't had in a while (or ever :-)  ).

This week we have some ground turkey I want to use. We only have 5 nights where we will be eating at home. I typed in ground turkey online and got some ideas. Also thank you to some great people on twitter for even more ideas.


Sunday: Ragu sauce with ground turkey and pasta (Thanks for the recipe @youcancookthis
Monday: Lasagna (will be my first homemade attempt)
Tuesday: Crockpot dinner- probably a chicken something (suggestions welcome)
Wednesday: Leftover night! (I have a meeting for Komen so I won't have time to cook)
Thursday: Fiance will be out for the evening with work so I will just snack on leftovers
Friday: White chili with turkey meat
Saturday: Date night out! No cooking for me!

I'll post each recipe (assuming it is delicious) after we do our taste test. I usually take a standard recipe and modify it either for food allergies or preferences.

Does anyone else plan meals like this? Does it work?

Monday, January 3, 2011

What a year :-)

2010 has been a busy year with many ups and a few downs. Here are a few of the highlights:

The Ups

  • I got Engaged!
  • Did my first road bike race in Colorado with my Dad
  • Ran my first (and maybe last haha) half marathon
  • Spent our anniversary in Phoenix 
  • Started taking dance classes again (a very exciting up)
  • Ran/biked (and completed) Muddy Buddy in Orlando
  • Bought a new car :-)
  • Joined the Race for the Cure board
  • Spent a weekend with friends at a secluded cabin
  • Spent a weekend in northern NY for a friend's bachelorette weekend
  • Dog sat my parents awesome service puppy for 2 weeks
  • Visited St. Augustine for the first time with the fiance and my parents (and the service puppy)
  • Spent Christmas with my sisters, parents, and the new service puppy
  • Started my blog!
The Downs
  • Diagnosed with food allergies
  • Decided running might not be my thing (not necessarily a horrible thing :-)  )
  • Spent 5 days in the hospital because of stomach infection and a yet to be diagnosed stomach problem

Overall I'm going to say this was an amazing year for me. I had a few down moments but I have such great support from people around me that it makes it all ok. I have my resolutions for the new year planned and I'm ready to hit the ground running with a busy 2011. 

Happy New Years to all!

Till next year!