Archive | September, 2012

Banana-Ricotta Pancakes

30 Sep

Good morning!

This morning I’m feeling much better and just in time for another busier Sunday.

I woke up and did one round of The Ab Mix Up Workout before cracking into leftovers from yesterday’s breakfast.

These were just as tasty as yesterday and with good reason.

As I was getting ready to post this recipe I found from All You Magazine, I noticed a very important detail I hadn’t noticed before making these sweet breakfast treats.

See that “D” word?  Yep, I made dessert for breakfast.  Oh well.  Talk it up to the 99 degrees of heat coming from my head yesterday.  🙂  It’s probably still better then a fried donut.  Plus, I was really excited to use the ricotta cheese in my fridge.

Banana-Ricotta Pancakes
Original Source: All You Magazine

Prep: 5 min.
Cook: 4 min. per batch
Serves: 4
Cost per Serving: $.80

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 small ripe banana, mashed
  • Caramel sauce, optional (I used syrup)
  • Sliced banana, optional

First, in a medium bowl, whisk all dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt).

In a larger bowl, whisk together remaining wet ingredients (ricotta, egg, milk, butter, vanilla, banana).  Gently add the flour mixture to the wet mixture until fully blended.

Heat greased skillet over medium heat and drop tablespoons of batter into skillet.  Flip pancakes until golden brown on both sides.  Take about 4 minutes total.

Stack on a plate and serve with your choice of topping (caramel, cinnamon, nutmeg, chopped nuts).  I chose sliced bananas and syrup.

Nutrition Information Per Serving

352 Calories
16 g. Fat (9 grams Sat. Fat)
95 mg. Cholesterol
2 g. Fiber
12 g. Protein
40 g. Carbohydrates
529 mg. Sodium

This was definitely a sweet treat for a Saturday morning breakfast, but tasty and filling all the same.  I love most anything with bananas!

What’s your favorite breakfast dish you like to “splurge” on?

Mine is definitely pancakes or french toast.  I never liked donuts and can usually limit my carb intake at breakfast time.  Eggs and lots of veggies are my favorite and most filling breakfast though.  I can put most anything in my eggs and be happy.  Veggies, milk, cheese, hummus.  They all taste good to me.

Recovery Saturday

29 Sep

While I’m recovering from my high fever, today was filled with lots of rest and lots of comforting and healthier food.

We started the day with these…

Drank a lot of this…

Snacked on some of these…

Ended the evening with a chilly and spicy dinner…

I have a lot of new and easy recipes to throw at you this week, as well as some new cardio circuits.  I can’t wait!

How was your Saturday?

Banana Custard

28 Sep

After my hair appointment this morning, I came home to get cracking on more sorting and organizing after donating so much last week.

My task was to go through my magazines.  I had a stack of favorite magazines that I wanted to save because of recipes or articles I wanted to keep, but it was getting to be to much.  So, I went through each one and tore out the recipes I wanted to keep before recycling them out of our apartment.

This was a tiring job, but it’s finally done.

When Ed got home, I started mentioning how hot it was outside and I wish the fall weather would just stick around already.  He gave me a weird look and said, “it is cool outside?”  He put his hand on my head, I took my temperature and it’s official, I’ve come down with some kind of bug.

Though I still feel okay, my energy is down and I’m burning up.  So, dinner was simple and sick friendly.

The soup was just plain comforting and the sandwich was packed with fresh deli turkey I picked up from Wegman’s this morning, a slice of provolone cheese and fresh mushrooms.  I sided that with the rest of the baby carrots.

Banana Custard

Last night, Ed and I were discussing our love for ice-cream.  He could eat plain vanilla ice-cream everyday while I love, well, lets just say I never met a flavor of ice-cream I didn’t like.

Truth be told, half gallons of ice-cream don’t last long in this house, so we don’t buy them often.  We have thought of alternatives throughout the summer besides buying expensive half gallons of ice-cream.  One of my favorite alternatives also coincides with my love for bananas.

First take 2 frozen bananas and pulse them in your food processor.

Once pulsed, add a splash of milk and pulse again till smooth.

Creamy!

Add flavorings as desired and mix well.  Examples include vanilla extract or cocoa powder.  I chose cocoa powder.  Chocolate is always the best choice, in my opinion 😉

That’s it!  This was the perfect snack tonight for my overheated body and it was inexpensive.  My sweet tooth was satisfied with the sweetness of the bananas and my waistline will feel much better in the morning.

Try it. You’ll love it!

What’s your favorite flavor of ice-cream? 

What foods do you crave when your not feeling your best?

Friday Run Around

28 Sep

This morning, my alarm went off at 6:15 AM and I was ready to conquer the world.  The weather had other plans though.  It was pouring!  This was no drizzle.  The storm started last night and stuck around awhile.  I would have been drenched within seconds.  So, instead of skipping the outdoor run, I cuddled up with my Kindle for a while until the rain subdued and was able to get a short run in around 7:30 AM.

The hills got the best of me today.

It had to be short since I had to shower, eat and drive to my 9 AM doctors appointment.

With the humidity during my run from the rain, I was a sweaty mess and wanted something cold and quick.  A refreshing Cocoa Raspberry Protein Smoothie was all that sounded good.

Ingrediants

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 large handful of frozen raspberries
  • 1 8 oz. cup of Raspberry Chobani Greek Yogurt
  • 1 scoop cottage cheese
  • 1 tsp. cocoa
  • Enough vanilla almond milk to get everything moving
  • 1 packet of instant coffee (optional)
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)

I added the coffee to put a pep in my step to get the day going and it worked 😉

Chocolate Raspberry Smoothie

It was such a pretty color too!

After the doctor, I zipped through Wegman’s for a few produce things before lunch and my hair appointment at 12:30 PM.

Lunch

In an effort to clean out the fridge I used the last of some spaghetti sauce to make mini pizzas with Nature’s Own Multi-Grain Sandwich Rounds in the toaster oven.  I added some extra mushrooms to the sauce and onions.  I sided it up with a big salad, with baby carrots and three different salad dressings (balsamic, zesty Italian and regular Italian).  There was a only a small amount left of a couple of those, so my salad was extra flavorful today. 😉

I added a clementine for some sweetness that I picked up at Wegman’s. These things are just so darn good!

Cute and delicious!

Soon I’ll be off to get my hair cut and I’m still unsure which direction I want to go.  I have been growing my hair out for some time and it is looooong.  I think I’m good with committing to 1-2 inches, but don’t want to go to drastic.  I was thinking about going darker, but I’m not sure I’m ready for that dramatic look just yet.  I’ve always been a blonde.

What is the most dramatic thing you have ever done to your hair?

When I was in high school, I was much more adventurous (and had a lot less bills).  I had blonde highlights with red streaks and low lights often.  I was constantly in the hair salon and usually just told my stylist to do what she thought would look best.  She loved seeing me come in because my hair type took to color so well and she got to experiment.  Now, it’s strictly blonde highlights.  I tried going back natural for a while in an effort to save money, but I’m a true “dishwater blonde” and I felt so washed out every time I looked in the mirror.

Oh, the things we sacrifice for beauty 😉

Winding Into the Weekend

27 Sep

One of my new fitness goals for the next month is to really pump up the cardio.  While I’ll never give strength training up cold turkey, I’m ready to challenge myself and sweat a little more.  This also means I’ll be inputting a lot more time into my workout routines outside of lunch workouts.  Even with a shower, too much sweat can leave me feeling a little nasty in the afternoon.

Just keeping it real.

Work has been pretty eventful this week, so when I got to the gym I knew I just wanted to zone out for the next 40 minutes.  Luckily for me, I have some pretty funny workout companions too.  So, some laughter broke out on occasion as well.

I did the following interval on the elliptical that included a lot of 2 minute, 4 minute, 6 minute and 8 minutes intervals and time frames.

The intervals helped for a fast 35 minutes and the pay off was pretty good for a midday workout.

Dinner

Ed and I have been on different schedules all week.  So dinner has been pretty simple again tonight.  After last nights 500 degree veggies, I didn’t want to power up the oven and decided on something quick and filling.

I pulled the following two items from the pantry and I made a quick and easy meal for myself.

My aunt gave me this crafty little gadget for making potatoes when I moved to Maryland last year.  You simply just wash your potatoes, wrap them in a paper towel, stick them in the fabric bag and place in the microwave for 6-9 minutes (depending on the size of your potatoes).

Their soft and warm in no time 🙂  As you can see, I’ve given it a lot of use.  See the upper right hand corner.  Yep, that’s a burn mark.

I heated up the turkey chili on the stove top, poured some over the potatoes with a little cheese and sided it up with some fresh green beans with a a spritz of butter.

Probably not going in the healthy meal hall of fame here, but it filled me up!

Oh…and a glass of vino because today is MY Friday!  Plus, it’s been chilling in the fridge for nearly a month now unopened.  It was time.  Since we never drink at home and wine is not my drink of choice, one sip and I’m already sleepy.

Good grief.

What’s your favorite way to wind into the weekend?  Are you ready for some relaxation, to party or a really stiff drink? 😉

I don’t know if I have a specific routine, but it depends if it was my four day week or my five day week.  On my five day weeks, I am so ready to crash in bed early!  Friday night is sadly my earliest night to bed all week long.  If I have plans for that evening, I have to nap or I turn into a pumpkin by 8:00 PM.

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

26 Sep

WAIT!  Before you turn away from the title, trust me, you want to stick around for this.

First, let’s talk about my less then steller run today.

Definitely not my best.  My body was speaking in hymns today and I just couldn’t shake out of it.  There is always tomorrow.

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts via Family Fun Magazine

I have this sneaking suspicion that many of you have never tried or won’t try this low cholesterol, cancer fighting, green and leafy vegetable.

Right?

Well then, what ARE you waiting for?!?

I get it.  Brussels sprouts, in my opinion, will always be the vegetable that everyone loves to hate, but don’t discount the major health benefits or the added tastes to make this veggie a regular side dish that everyone will love.

I bought this lovely little 1 lb. bag of Brussels sprouts last week at Harris Teeter and had yet to break them open.

Randomly, while purging magazine yesterday, I flipped through a Family Fun magazine and found a quick and easy recipe for Caramelized Brussels Sprouts.  I ripped it out and stuck it on the fridge for today’s dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds of Brussels sprouts (I only used 1 lb.)
  • 3 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I used 2 Tbs.)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon of table salt (I used less then 1/2 a teaspoon of table salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar (I used less then 1/2 teaspoon of white sugar)
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

First, set oven to 500 degrees (yep, that’s 500 degrees of HOT) and place a baking pan on the bottom rung to heat.

Take Brussels sprouts and trim the bottoms, remove any “unfriendly” leaves, cut in half and place in a large bowl.


Add extra virgin olive oil and toss till coated.  Then add salt and sugar and toss till coated.

Remove HOT pan from oven.

Side Note:  This pan is HOT, HOT, HOT.  I felt it right through my oven mitt and the oven set my very dramatic smoke detector off five glorious times.  PLEASE USE CAUTION.

Place the Brussels sprouts flat side done evenly across the pan.  You will hear them sizzling 🙂


Place pan back in the oven for 10-12 minutes.  I did 10 minutes and it was more than enough time.

While I waited, I prepared the rest of my meal and ate a banana which didn’t look like it was going to survive till tomorrow morning.

Success!

I sided the sprouts up with 2 scrambled eggs with a splash of skim milk and salt and pepper to taste.

Notice my spelling error? 🙂 “Caramelized Brussels Sprouts”

For more of an “adult” flavor, spritz some lemon on the sprouts.  You may also omit the sugar if you prefer.  It’s just a small amount and its there to caramelize the sprouts.

I loved this dish and looking forward to making it again.  The added lemon did just the trick and gave the sprouts the perfect balance of sweet and sour flavors.

Give it a try.  Maybe your least favorite vegetable will soon rise up to the top of your veggie list 😉

What is your absolute least favorite vegetable?

I’m not sure I have one.  I used to avoid raw onions whenever possible, but since I have married Ed, things changed.  I even told him before we were married that I never want to see onions on the grocery list and if I did, not to expect them.  I was such a charming soon-to-be wife, wasn’t I?  🙂  Needless to say, onions are now a part of my daily diet.  With the stench in my breath after eating them though, I’m wondering if Ed is regretting his decision 😉

Texas Life Giveaway (Closed)

25 Sep

This morning has been busy, busy, but I did stop for some leftover lunch and to share a fun giveaway from a good friend’s blog.  So, let’s breeze through lunch so we can get to the fun stuff!

Lunch

Leftover pasta under roasted garlic sauce with fresh mushrooms, sweet onion and tomatoes.  Sided up with fresh cut cantaloupe and carrots.

Texas Life Giveaway

I’m more than excited to share this post with you because it involves beautiful jewelry and two very beautiful lady friends.

Emily of Texas Life Blog is hosting a Giveaway to celebrate the start of her favorite season!

Vintage Tweet Necklace

The Vintage Tweet Necklace is made by Tricia of Mama’s Nest Designs (see her Etsy shop HERE) and it is beautiful!

Emily is giving one lucky reader a chance to win this necklace and it could be you  (Or me, but you know, I have to play nice :-)).

Enter to win this fall inspired necklace at Emily’s blog.

Texas Life: Giveaway {Vintage Tweet Necklace}

While you’re there, let her know how awesome she is after you visit her DIY projects and recipes she posts about 😉

To visit more with these lovely ladies, check out Texas Life Blog and Mama Marchand’s Nest on my Blog Roll.

Good luck!

P.S. Don’t forget to comment below and let me know you entered!

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