Over Night Oats & A Weekend Recap

One of the things I love about the blog community is the fact that you come across some darn good ideas that you never would have thought of yourself.

Over Night Oats

One thing that has changed my life is Over-Night Oats. I was first exposed to Over Night Oats at the Blend Retreat this year because Chobani was the official event sponsor and provided us with a spread fit for queens on Saturday morning. One of the dishes was, you guessed it, Over-Night Oats made with Chobani! However, I didn’t actually eat them here, it took me many more months to actually get on the band wagon.

I jumped on for three reasons:
1. Its easy!
2. It tastes good!
3. I hate cleaning out the empty peanut butter jar to put out for recyclable day!

No matter how long you let the jar sit with hot soapy water, the peanut butter jar never comes clean easily.  Problem solved!

By making overnight oats in your empty PB jar this ends the jar dilemma! I saw my friends doing this week after week on instagram, and one day I had three…..count them……one, two, three empty nut butter jars. I’ve never looked back.

Over Night Oats
1 empty nut butter jar
1/3 cup of oats
1/3 cup almond milk
handful of dried fruit, mixed nuts, fresh fruit ~ anything you want!

( I just used up the last of my Naturebox Tart & Tangy Fruit Medley mix)

Add everything to the empty jar, refrigerate overnight!

Eat the next day!

This makes the perfect travel breakfast too!

If you are not on the O-N-O wagon yet, your missing out.

 

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Friday night I headed into the city with my neighbor to celebrate her new job opportunity and that she is again, moving back to Boston!  Insert sad face here <============== !

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We hit up CobaBanana for happy hour and had one too many margaritas and black bean tacos! $5 margaritas from 4-7 is an awesome deal.  Need I say more!

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Notice all the glasses, yeah, well there was just the two of us!  The waiter kept bringing us new glasses with fully salted rims! He was a great waiter!

After happy hour ended she took me on a tour of the University of Penn and showed me around her lab.  It was kinda creepy walking through the hallways at night and then we came across this!

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I was waiting for a creepy zombie person to walk out of it and attack us from behind.  We ended up grabbing a coffee and walking around the city a bit more, because it was such a beautiful night and then grabbed the 10 o’clock train back home. 

Saturday I recovered from Friday night! All. Day. Long. Ended up going to dinner at Firebirds Wood Fired Grill and ate steak and mac n cheese! It was a much needed meal. Trust me! 

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Sunday I had the opportunity to head over to New Jersey and dig for potatoes.

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I really felt a sense of accomplishment and very connected with mother earth while I was digging around in the dirt trying to find the potatoes. You would dig a few inches and then BINGO! Up would pop a potato and then ususally two or three more at a time.

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We worked our way down two full isles and ended up with over 100lbs of potatoes. My take was about 40 lbs!  Yes I weighed them!

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It was so much fun and very theraputic I might add. Here is my haul! 

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 Washed. Scrubbed. Sorted. Weighed.  All in a days work of a type-a farmer girl wanna be! 

Now if anyone has suggestions on how to use up 40+ pounds of potatoes I’m open for suggestions!

Recipe: Crock Pot Apple Butter

What’s a girl to do when she’s given a FREE 1/2 bushel of Honey Crisp Apples?

Honey Crisp Apples

She makes Apple Butter of course.

Well this version of apple butter is like the most laziest form of cooking I know of but perfect for when you have a ton of other stuff to do.  So yesterday morning I woke up early, peeled, sliced, and diced until my fingers were all wrinkly from apple juice and threw everything in the crock pot, cranked that sucker up to high and walked away.

Think it would be done 10 hours later, I was wrong.  It still needed another dose of slow cooking to cook the apples down to a nice creamy spreadable consistency.

But it’s tasty and I’ll get to enjoy those apples all winter long!

Crock Pot Apple Butter

  • 12 lbs of apples, any variety, cored, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp all-spice
  • 1 tsp ground cloves

Add the apples to a 6 quart crock pot.

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Top with the sugar, spices and salt.

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Cook on high heat for 2 hours, reduce to low and continue to cook until thick and spreadable.

After 9 hours I used my stick blender to puree the whole apples.

This allowed the mixture to reduce and become nice and smooth and creamy.

I continued to cook my butter for another 6 hours and then processed in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.

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Doesn’t get any easier than that!

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Fitness Friday: Life Lately

Did you miss me? Well I’ve certainly missed you guys! I have so much catching up to do on blog reading this morning my bloglovin’ feed says 455 unread posts! Geesh!

Things have been so crazy over the last couple of weeks, but I think I’m settled in and we are getting used to our new back to school schedule. I’m hoping anyway.

So what have I been up to, you ask?  Well first I’ve been going crazy with Pinterest Projects…….the most dramatic was this Chevron Wall.  I love my new kitchen wall!  Dramatic statement, Right?

Chevron Wall

Also my little baby boy is now an official adult! He turned 18 and it makes me teary eyed and nostalgic to say the very least. Number one I cannot believe I am old enough to have an adult child and number two….where did the time go! 

Happy Birthday Josh!  Love you boy! 

We celebrated this past weekend with a family party!

 
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View the entire collection of cards.
 
 

We had a really great time eating drinking and visiting with family. I got to meet some new additions to the family (Baby Abigal) and visit with relatives that I haven’t seen in quite a while. It was a perfect day!

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Another Pinterest Project was this cheese plate!  Isn’t it just beautiful. 

Cheese Plate

If you  follow me on Pinterest (and if you don’t you should)  you know I  have a board called Things I’ve Tried From Pinterest!  Its fun looking back at some of the projects I’ve tried so far!  I added these two projects just this month! 

And finally, we scored a 1/2 bushel of Honey Crisp Apples from one of our customers yesterday, and I wasted no time coring, peeling and slicing them up for a batch of Crock Pot Apple Butter.  Hopefully it turns out so it can turn into a blog worthy post!  If nothing else, my house smells fabulous right now!

Apple Butter

This is about the extent of what I’ve been creatively cooking in the kitchen these days.  Oh and last but not least:

I am now a Sweat Pink Ambassador!  So exciting to join this community of fitness and nutritionally smart women!  I feel honored that they welcomed me into their group! 

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Other than that bloggies I have nothing else to share except that I am still running and am signed up for my third 5K on Sunday morning. I am making great progress and hopefully can take some more time off my pace. I will hopefully be shopping for some really good running shoes here soon because I’ve been having some pain in my calves that I am thinking is from not stretching properly. I’m back to incorporating Yoga into my routine so hopefully that will get my legs in a little better place to handle all this pavement pounding.

Now I’m off to catch up on the 455 posts that I’ve missed over the last few weeks!

Fitness Friday: Running Update

Its Friday ALREADY! This week just flew by, not sure where the days went, but when I woke up this morning and realized it was already Friday again, I was like what the heck!

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I have recently started concentrating on building up my running skills. I’ve been running at the gym on the treadmill for a few years, but only as a last resort to get some added cardio into my schedule. About two months ago, I decided that I wanted to really amp up my running and see if I could actually finish a 5K race.

I downloaded a running app on my phone to track progress and back on August 31st wrote a post about my progress. A few days after that I was signed up to do a 5K at the Wilmington Waterfront in Delaware. It’s a perfect course for beginners as it is mainly flat and on the water so the sights are great which makes running more pleasurable (for me anyway).

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I committed early that week to running the race (not walking) and geared up both mentally and physically. My goal was to finish the race in 40 minutes. Up to this point I hadn’t run a complete 3 miles on the road yet and was a little nervous, but knew I could walk when I needed a break.

I arrived 30 minutes early picked up my registration packet, pinned on my bib, and did a little stretching. Prepped my mappy thing so I could time each mile as I went so that I could look back afterwards to gauge my progress. The BF also came down to watch and support me, which meant the world to me. He encourages me in everything I do, and always says he knows I will do whatever I put my mind to. It was important to me that he be there at the finish line when I crossed. He was. And it made my night.

The gun went off and we headed through the gate and over the timer mat. I took off quickly passing people right out of the gate. I don’t know if it was the adrenaline or what, but I completed my first mile in 10:49. That was the fastest pace I had ever done. Dont’ really know how that happened but it was a cool feeling when the voice in my headphones said “split pace 10:49.” I was like yeah girl you go (in my head of course).

The second mile was not as good as the first, my breathing was crazy out of whack and I started walking/running/walking/running. I finally got my breathing in check and found a good pace after the second mile and found myself next to a younger girl and we were in synch the rest of the way to the finish line. Thinking back that helped me out tremendously getting through the third and last mile.

When I realized the end was coming up and I rounded the corner, I took off for the finish line. There were two older women in front of me the entire time, and I was like “no way I’m coming in behind these two” so I picked up my pace, passed them on the right, rounded the corner to the finish line and crossed with a time of 37:44. Whew!

I beat my 40 minute goal by 2 1/2 minutes. I was exhausted, proud, and really really sweaty.

That was Sept 4th.

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Last night my co-worker and I competed in a second 5K on the same course. This time I ran the entire time only walking to grab water at the water station. My goal for this week was to run from beginning to end without walking and hopefully dropping my time a bit.

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I was late getting there, quickly grabbed my bib and lined up just in time. They decided to start the race 10 minutes earlier because a severe thunderstorm was in our near future. We lined up, listened to the National Anthem, the gun went off and out we went. I felt good even though I hadn’t had a run in a few days.

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First mile pace was 10:17. Slightly better than last weeks race even though the sky opened up and it downpoured on us for the entire first mile and a half. I was concentrating so hard last night to keep my breathing under control because I knew if I was going to run the way, I needed to keep that in check.

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Second mile pace ended up being 12:21 not sure why except maybe that I was just over thinking everything at this point and just kept telling myself “don’t stop running”. I crossed the half way point and grabbed a water took a few walking steps and finished the cup of water and got right back to running. By this time i felt good, my feet were moving at an even pace, my breathing was no erratic (like last week) and I found a good pace that carried me all the way to the end.

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I finished this weeks race (without walking) in 36:36 with an average pace of 11:48. My best time yet!

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I am loving this process. I am thankful that my body can handle what my mind wants it to do. I can’t wait to get better, faster and more efficient in my running. I find it very impressive when they announce at the end of the race the top 70-75 age bracket winners. I want to be one of those women at age 75 still running races. I love that! So encouraging.

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Fitness Friday P90X Review: Recovery Weeks

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Weeks 4, 8 & 12 are your recovery weeks during the 12-week P90X program. This recovery week is just as important in your training schedule as any other week. Don’t take it lightly. And by no means get in your head that because it is labeled “recovery week” that it is easy. Because it is not. The Core Synergistics is just as challenging as any of the other workouts you have already completed.  Core Synergistics is just that ~ a hard core workout.  It’s like Ab-Ripper X but on steroids. 

Week 4 Schedule:

Day 22 Yoga X
Day 23 Kenpo X
Day 24 Core Synergistics
Day 25 Yoga X
Day 26 Kenpo X
Day 27 Core Synergistics
Day 28 REST or X Stretch

This is also the final week of the Fat Shredder Meal Plan phase.  Phase 2: Energy Booster starts with week 5  and  the macros get a change-up and you add a little more carbs into your diet and a little less protein. You might be feeling sluggish about now due to the lack of carbs, but that will all change next week. 
Phase 2 of P90X Week 5-7 were my absolute favorite weeks of the entire program. I started feeling the pump after each workout, I started noticing good results after 4 weeks of hard work with little changes.

Weeks 5-7 were my game changer weeks. I was more dedicated, seeing great results, amping up my weight, doing more reps, in general, just feeling like a rock star at this point. 

My advice if you are thinking about doing P90X, or are just starting out and not seeing drastic changes right away, is to give it time. I didn’t see the most dramatic results until about week 8. It takes time, your body is adjusting, but it if you stick to the nutrition plan and do your workouts YOU WILL GET RESULTS!  Just stick to the plan and give the workouts and your body a chance. 

What are/were your favorite weeks of the P90X program?

Recipe: Sprouted Lentil Pancakes

 

Sprouted Lentil Pancakes

I am fortunate enough to be learning the art of Indian cuisine from my dear friend and neighbor.  Nothing is better than learning to cook ethic cuisine from someone native to the country.  She has fed me some truly amazing and flavorful dishes out of our neighboring kitchens.  And to boot I get all the inside scoop on the healing properties of each ingredient that goes into each dish.

If you have never tried to sprout beans or legumes of any variety give my post Do you Sprout? a run through and you’ll be amazed at how simple it really is to start sprouting on your own.  It requires as little as a cup of beans an empty jar, rubber band and a piece of linen or cheesecloth. 

In my meal prepping mode last Sunday I soaked two types of beans.

One was the brown lentil and the other a moong bean.

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After two days they looked like this:

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And then I made a zippy crunchy salad with the moong beans (top) that turned into something like this Sprouted Bean Salad.

Sprouted Bean Salad

Sprouted Bean Salad

However with the brown lentils my intentions were much different from just adding them to a salad.

Sprouted Lentil Pancakes

(Chilla) : a pancake made with gram flour batter, is a popular street and fast food in India.

  • 1 1/2 cups of lentils, sprouted
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 TBSP Besan Flour
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp crushed/ground red chili
  • 1 tsp salt
  • coconut/olive oil for frying
  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and process until very smooth paste.  If the batter seems to be to thin add a little bit more besan flour until the batter comes together. But you don’t want it to thick.
  2. Heat a small non-stick fry pan over medium heat.
  3. Add a small amount (1tsp) of oil to the pan and swirl.
  4. Add 1/4 of batter the pan and shake the pan in swirling motion until the batter is evenly distributed.
  5. Cook for approximately 1-2 minutes until the edges start to brown and the batter becomes dull.
  6. Start at one edge of the pancake and carefully lift up the edges all the way around the pancake being careful not to break it into pieces.
  7. After you loosen the pancake, flip it to the other side and cook for another 1-3 minutes until lightly golden brown.
  8. Set aside and repeat until all the batter is used up.

These little pancakes can be served with any type of chutney or curry.  My neighbor served them up with a carrot and pea curry, but I chose to eat mine simply with a Tamarind Chutney and a sprinkle of cilantro.

Sprouted Lentil Pancakes

This dish literally took me all of 10 minutes to prepare (except the sprouting process) and is a perfect dish for a hot summer night.  I was so impressed with how they turned out they will be sure to make an appearance quite often now on my dinner table.  Above was served with a little cilantro and a side of tamarind Chutney. 

What types of beans do you like to sprout? Did you know that the sprouting process changes the macro content of the beans by increasing protein and lowering carb counts?

What I Ate Wednesday #16

How is everyone doing on the this fine Wednesday morning?  It is beautiful and only 67 degrees here in Philly this morning, so I’m not looking forward to spending my entire day sitting behind my desk, but you gotta do what you gotta do!

Labor Day weekend went rather quickly.  It was a pretty uneventful holiday weekend per se, but still had a nice few days off from work.

Saturday I signed up for a 5K with my friends from work.  We just walked because the course was nothing but insane hills.  Since I’ve pretty much just started running outside I didn’t want to kill my shins, ankles, heels, legs, and anything else steep hills do to your body parts when running.  Plus they don’t run and I wanted to stay together ~ I’m just happy they are getting serious about a healthier lifestyle.

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Sunday was spent at the pool for a few hours then when to check out a movie. Good thing we hit the pool for one last time on Sunday because Monday was a complete washout! 

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 Plus on top of the rain we had no power for a good part of the day!  But by the end of the day the sun was out, power was back on and we were prepping for our “last” first day of school!  My son is a senior this year in high school. 

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Gawd!!!!!!!!  How’d that happen????????? 

And now here we are at Wednesday already.  Love when we have short work weeks, but it always seems like I get really behind in my “must-do-list”.

Anyway, a big congratulations to Jenn and her family and a warm welcome to that new bouncing baby girl are in order! 

However with all the big news, the WIAW link up is still going on so I am contributing this week with these tasty treats that might inspire you to try something new this week.

Breakfast

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I am not a cereal/oatmeal kinda person.  Rarely do I enjoy a carb loaded breakfast and when that happens it is usually an everything bagel slathered in cream cheese.  I’ve been eating egg whites and sautéed zucchini for most days this week.  Not very pleasing to the eye, but most definitely pleasing to my belly!  Keeps me full until lunch and doesn’t make me bloated.

Lunch

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I have been sprouting beans like a crazy person lately.  These sprouted brown lentil pancakes have been on my daily meal plan for at least two weeks.  If I’m not noshing on these tasty little cakes as an after work snack, they have been on my plate as the main meal.  These are Brown Sprouted Lentil Pancakes with Tamarind Chutney

4:30 PM Snack

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Hot pickled green tomato slices with Triscuits and a few slices of mozzarella! Yum!

Dinner

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I also hit up the Traders Joes this week.  I haven’t been to see Joe in quite sometime.  Loaded up with a bunch of stuff for this weeks meals, like this polenta, some frozen mahi mahi, pork carnitas, and a handful of snacks for after school nibbling. 

This Organic Polenta was actually a last-minute add to the basket as I went back to grab some canned beans and it caught my eye.  Turned out to be a really good end of summer treat.  Sautéed it up in a little coconut oil just to crisp up the edges.  Then I sautéed the rest of my cherry tomatoes from my garden pots added a little salt, pepper and chopped fresh basil and BAM ~ yummy!

Some other fun things I was playing around with this weekend was attempting to make my own nut butter!  Wow! I can’t believe I haven’t been doing this all along.  With the price of some nut butters out there, nothing beats making your own.  In this batch I threw together a bunch of nuts I had left over in the cabinet.  Almonds, Cashews, Peanuts, Sunflower Seeds and at the end I threw in a TBSP or two of chia seeds.  BEST NUT BUTTER EVER! 

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What fun recipes did try over the holiday weekend in your spare time?

Looking for other WIAW inspiration?  Head over the Peas & Crayons to check out what everyone else is showing off or check out my latest  WIAW  posts!  #13, #14 & #15

 

 

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