Where Have You BEEN?!

Have you been asking that question? Where did that girl go? Well, here’s some of what I’ve been eating and doing for the last month or so…

Fresh peaches and greek yogurt (quickly became one of my favorite late summer snacks)

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Homemade Chicken (non)Marsala

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The dragon roll of my dreams!! The eel was on the outside, instead of tiny pieces stuffed inside with the cucumber and avocado, and it was the entire thing, tail and all! They even stuck little cucumbers in the other end to make it look like a little dragon, and set the eel sauce on fire. Simply amazing—thank you, Ocean Zen!

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The World’s Best Chili (seriously, dang good stuff!)

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Chris’s Grilled Salmon (deeeelicious!)

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Tacos In A Pan (easy peasy and so yummy!)

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I tried my hand at Mom’s Beer Bread

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The cake I baked for my best friend’s bachelorette party (hehehe)

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Me out waaayyy past my bed time for that same bachelorette party

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The BFF’s St Louis Cardinals garters

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At The Wedding—it was beautiful and she did so much of the décor herself!

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The cake (I want to be this good at cake decorating!)

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Boyfriend and I all dolled up for the wedding IMG_1166

My cutie butt niece spent the night after my sister’s bday party, and devoured a popsicle!

Airi loves popsicles 

Besides that, I’ve been working, working, and working!! I finally finished up training, and now I’m a “real” manager. Since things have settled down and I’m starting to get into a routine, I promise to post more regularly again.

I missed you!

 

Amber

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Zucchini Lasagna

This week’s new-to-us recipe was zucchini lasagna, and it was delicious! Instead of lasagna noodles, I used thinly sliced zucchini and couldn’t even tell the difference! It was so good, we ate leftovers of it twice.  Here’s what I did, for your dining pleasure…

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What You Need:

  • 1/2 lb Italian seasoned ground turkey (or Italian sausage)
  • Zucchini—3 small ones or 1 big one
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 t dried basil
  • pinch dried oregano
  • 1/3 c parmesan cheese
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lb chopped mushrooms (approximately)
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce
  • 8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

What You Do:

Brown and crumble the turkey in a skillet.

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Thinly slice your zucchini lengthwise using a mandolin or a very steady hand and sharp knife.

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Combine the ricotta (and think of Giada de Laurentiis pronouncing it) and parmesan cheeses, herbs, and salt/pepper in a medium bowl.

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Lay one layer of zucchini slices in a Pamed pan.

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Spread half of the cheese mixture over the zucchini. This isn’t a smooth spread, and your fingers will get messy trying to keep the zucchini in place.

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Sprinkle on some sliced mushrooms.

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Sprinkle on half of the turkey.

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Pour on and spread around half of your jar of spaghetti sauce. Note: Don’t buy the huge bottle of Ragu that has the built in “handle”, buy the next size down or don’t use the entire bottle if you do buy the giant one.

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Repeat this process—yes, I know its messy—until you have two layers of everything.

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Top with lots of shredded mozzarella cheese.

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Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is all melty.

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Serve it up! We enjoyed our with steamed broccoli (use the frozen steam-in-bag kind and save yourself a step the dirty dishes) and Caesar salad. Boyfriend also had cheesy garlic bread with his.

Obviously, I used entirely too much sauce, as the first night we had a goopy (but delicious!) mess.

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Leftovers were much better looking, since the sauce was thicker.

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Try this one for yourself and let me know what you think by clicking “Leave a Comment” below. 

Amber

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Cupcakes and Leftovers

Good Saturday morning! How did your week turn out?  Mine was, again, busy and exhausting!

On Tuesday, we decided to have Chris’s birthday party on Wednesday. I came home from work and spent from 5:30pm to 9:30pm in the kitchen baking, filling, and decorating 4 dozen of these cupcakes. I also managed to fix dinner in there somewhere (I think that’s the night we had tacos in a pan?).

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Half of the cupcakes were taken to work Thursday for a bake sale auction to raise money for MDA, and the other half were either eaten Wednesday night or sent home with our families.

Wednesday night, of course, we had my parents and Boyfriend’s parents over to celebrate his birthday. We kept it simple by grilling burgers, my mom brought her famous macaroni salad, and Chris’s mom brought her famous baked beans, and we had chips/dip and fresh veggies.

Thursday I decided that I wasn’t doing ANYTHING when I got home from work. I heated up leftovers for each of us for dinner, took a shower, and then chilled on the couch the rest of the night.

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Don’t get me wrong: I love cooking, I love baking, and I love having family over, but coming home from work every night and not getting to relax and re-energize for the next day wears me out!

Last night was pretty much a repeat of Thursday night, but with different leftovers and TV shows!


Today I’m off to the farmer’s market to see what goodies I can find.  I also need to make a stop at the natural food store to pick up some nutritional yeast—I want to give kale chips a try. Then I’m going to Michael’s to see what I can find to spend my 40% off coupon on!! Smile  I’m pretty sure I have more things than that on my To-Do List for today, but those are the two that stand out in my mind right now.

Have a happy Saturday!

 

Amber

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Noodle Legs

Hey there! Did you have a great weekend? Mine was busy, but good!

Saturday, I went down to Branson for an oil change and shopping adventure.  I had a 20% off coupon for Maurice’s, plus two full $10 off punch cards! I got two pair of work pants that fit perfectly, two work shirts, a necklace, a bling ring, and a cute dress to wear out for Chris’s birthday! Smile  All for $80 less than it should have!

Sunday was my normal grocery/laundry day, and I also got in a quick 20 minute workout on the treadmill. (For some great motivational tips to get yourself running, check out this post by Tina.)

Today after work, I had planned to run, but I got to talking to my momma on the phone and lost track of time. At 10 ‘til 6, I got off the phone and thought to myself that I didn’t have time to run and shower, but I could get in a strength/toning workout real quick and not have to shower since I wouldn’t get sweaty and gross… That’s what I thought.

I pulled some moves from this workout from fitnessmagazine.com, and now my legs feel like noodles! I only did one set of each because of time. I did the Fly Away (10 reps), In-and-Out Lunge (10 reps), Ski Boot Sit (10 reps), Duck Squat (10 reps), Side Shaper (1 rep), Crunch and Lift (20 reps), and Upside-Down Crunch (5 reps).

If you’re looking for a good leg/butt workout, try this out! It also has abs moves thrown in as an added bonus.

It’s bedtime over here, but let me know if you try out this workout!

 

Also, Cassie at Back to Her Roots is celebrating her 1 year blog birthday and is having some awesome contests to celebrate. Go check her out!

 

Amber

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Weekly Workout Wrapup

I’m happy to report that I was slightly more active this week! I’m making an effort to do something every day, but not getting too bummed out if I miss a day.

Here’s what happened this week:

  • Sunday 7/24: 20 minutes on treadmill (steady state) plus weights:
    • Single Arm Dumbell Extensions- 10 at 5lbs, 7 at 10 lbs, 3 at 5lbs
    • Dumbell Curls- 2 sets of 10 at 10lbs
    • Tricep Kickbacks- 10 at 10 lbs
    • Hammer Curls- 5 at 10 lbs
    • Upright Rows- 10 at 10 lbs
    • Single-Arm Dumbell Rows- 10 at 10 lbs
    • Bent Over Rows- 10 at 10 lbs
  • Monday 7/25: 15 minutes on treadmill (hard and fast, I didn’t have much time)
  • Tuesday 7/26: none
  • Wednesday 7/27: none
  • Thursday 7/28: none
  • Friday 7/29: I put on my workout clothes, but never made it to the treadmill.
  • Saturday 7/30: 20 minute run/walk on the treadmill

What did you do this week?

 

Amber

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It’s Been A While…

Since I had an iced latte from Starbucks…

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Since I’ve had pants that aren’t too big

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Since I saw raindrops on my windshield…

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Since it’s been under 95 degrees in the middle of the afternoon…

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Since I’ve been on the treadmill (okay, only a few days)…

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But not since we had tacos!!!

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This was my Saturday, hope yours has been fantastic as well!

 

Amber

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An Improvised Dinner

Hey there! How did the week treat ya? I’m so tired my eyes are burning! I had big plans to come home and workout today, but I only got as far as putting on my workout clothes…

I wanted to share with you what happened the other night, and how I saved dinner!

The plan was to have BBQ chicken, grilled zucchini, and grilled corn on the cob (for Boyfriend)… On the grill. I got everything ready for the grill, took the chicken out and put it on, closed the lid, and came back inside to get the veggies. When I got back to the grill and opened the lid, I noticed the flame I had left on “High” was looking more like “Low”. I thought it was just the wind keeping it from coming up; but then, right before my eyes, it slowly disappeared!!!

I’m not the griller in this house (he was in the shower), so I went and asked him what was going on—and learned I was out of gas!  OMG!! What am I supposed to do now?!

George Foreman to the rescue!!

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I got that plugged in and hot, put a skillet on the stove for the zucchini, and transferred the corn from aluminum foil to saran wrap.

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It took a little bit of improvising, and a lot of quick thinking on my feet, but dinner turned out delicious!

The zucchini got caramelized and yummy in the skillet…

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And the chicken cooked up evenly and stayed moist.

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I had a giant pile of zucchini with my chicken breast:

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And Boyfriend had a sweet potato with his:

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(That corn is from my parent’s garden, thanks Mom and Dad!)

I’m going to classify this dinner as delicious and successful, even if it didn’t go quite as planned.


Tonight we’re having breakfast for dinner—scrambled eggs with veggies, and hashbrowns and bacon for Boyfriend. I’m wishing I had picked up a watermelon to go with this tonight, but oh-well! 

After dinner is figure-out-which-insurance-plan-to-choose time and then probably early to bed. My to-do list for this weekend is extensive, starting with an oil change tomorrow morning.

Are you a quick on your feet type of person, or do you freak out when things don’t go exactly as planned?

 

Amber

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Filed under Cooking, Diet, Dinner, Exercise, Family, Food, Fun, Health, Special Diet, Work