Monthly Archives: August 2010

Bedtime Snack

I have to admit that I’m a sucker for comfort food.  What says comfort food more than a homemade chocolate chip cookie paired with a cold glass of milk?

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85% of the time I aim to eat healthful foods that are good for the body.  But I see nothing wrong with indulging in foods that are equally as good for the soul.  And if we’re going to indulge, I sure as well want them to be homemade.  The pups helped bake these cookies. 

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I tried hard to keep little fingers out of the batter!

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Hey, you only live once, right?! 

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Apparently these were a hit!  It’s hard to keep these guys out of the cookie jar.

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We’ve been ending each evening with a few cookies, a glass of milk, and a good book. 

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“If You Give A Moose a Chocolate Chip Cookie Muffin”…a classic with the pups.

Speaking of baking….check out Marla’s giveaway…hurry, it ends September 5th!

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Sittin’ by the Dock of the Bay

Being a born and bread Marylander there’s just something about fresh crabs from the Chesapeake that make me drool. 

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This weekend we had friends over to entertain the only way we know how this time of year….with a crab feed! 

Crabs are best cooked with Old Bay, sea salt, apple cider vinegar and beer…you know, the eastern shore way.

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To me, they taste best warm and dipped in more apple cider vinegar and more Old Bay…can you ever have too much Old Bay?  We enjoyed them will all the fixin’s of a great feast.  Corn on the cob, salad, mac’n cheese (for the kids), crab dip, chips and crab salsa and some cold ones (another necessity for eating crabs). 

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My friend Carrie made a wonderful homemade almond cake.  It tasted just as good as it looked…I promise!

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But almost better than eating crabs is catching them.  Oh no, we pups don’t buy crabs…no, no, no…we hunt and gather them.  Typical.  The Chesapeake Bay is one of the most beautiful places.  And being on the water is so peaceful…

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and exhilarating! 

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And it’s a wonderful opportunity for all of us to bond as a family. 

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There’s just something about being on the water.  Maybe it’s the salty air.  Maybe it’s brotherly love.DSC_0342

Maybe it’s knowing that you’re about to have a really great meal.

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And make some friends along the way.

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The Lunchbox

Since the pups are so young and in daycare (a really nice one, where I don’t need to pack lunches yet) I’m the only one packing a lunch around these parts.  It always takes a bit of planning and deciding on grocery day but typically I stick with the same type of eats

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1/3 cup of rolled oats, a sprinkle of Red Mill’s 10 Grain cereal, some cinnamon and 1 tsp of brown sugar.  I heat this with hot water at work and then add my nut butter and sometimes 1 tsp of jam.  I used to put all of this in a Ziploc baggie, but I’m working “greening” myself and our house.  🙂 

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Next up is the “lunch” in lunchbox.  One of my favorites is a knock off of a Greek Wrap that I have gotten many times at the Common Market.  It’s a spinach wrap (sometimes I use a whole one, but lots of times I use half), a huge amount of hummus (I’m loving artichoke and spinach right now), cucumber slices and feta cheese.  Sometimes I even add carrot shavings or chopped tomatoes).  Yum.  This is so good and so filling.

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And almost always an apple with almond butter.  Pink ladies are my favorite!

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The afternoon snack is almost always a yogurt.  I have problems with frequent canker sores, so I try to have some type of yogurt at least 3-4 times per week.  I’m liking with wallaby organic variety, but my favorites are Chobani!  I top them with my homemade granola and sometimes a scoop of nut butter. 

And I pack it all in this handsome thing. 

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I need a new one don’t you think?  Any suggestions????

Today’s going to be a busy one.  We’re having guests over for one huge crab feed.  Stop back tomorrow for a recap!  Happy Saturday!

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Small Changes…Big Results

I mentioned in one of my first posts that since having my last little pup I really cleaned up my eating.  I switching to more natural, clean, healthy foods and less processed eats.  I started slowly and I have to say that since that time two years ago, I’ve come a long way.  I never set out saying that I would only eat fresh and organic food.  Rather I took baby steps…

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it’s really the only way to make lasting changes. 

So, I’ve started to do the same thing with the deeper development of my spiritual life.  I got the most ironic fortune today…

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Obviously our bodies aren’t the only things that need to be fed and nourished.  Our spirit is just as important.   For me, no amount of running and dieting and weight lifting can equal the feeling that I have by being fulfilled spiritually.  My faith is a critical piece of my healthy lifestyle. 

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I have to admit that I’ve been guilty of straying from my spiritual upbringing.  Not that I’ve ever abandoned my beliefs completely, but I can say that I wasn’t moving through life with my faith and values as my guide.  I didn’t come back to my faith in a serious way until the birth of my first child Sam.  As I’ve said before….being a mom has changed me in more ways than I can articulate.  But one of the most profound ways was my desire to explore my spirituality and raise my children in a Christian family. 

Coming back to my faith has been a slow and steady process.  The easiest thing for me to start with was to be grateful and thank God every day for what he has given me.  To stop and smell the flowers…..

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…and maybe play in the birdbath…and enjoy all of life’s desserts…

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And it doesn’t hurt to start a really great daily Bible Study. 

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This God Sightings bible study takes you through the entire Bible in one year.  But you know what….I’m not stressing if I skip a day or two or even a week.  Enriching your faith is a slow and steady process that is lifelong.  And I’m in this for the long haul. These small changes have made such an enormous difference in my life already.  Each day I try to practice my faith and get in touch with my spirituality.  Each day I give thanks for my Gifts and set an example for the people who mean the most to me.

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Fabulous Bean Soup

Well, I did it again….2 days in a row.  I hopped on the treadmill this morning at approximately 5:20am for 2 miles.  Easy peasy…I’m feeling great.  I just heard of a local 5K on September 25th…think I should go for it?  Or is that the endorphins talking? 

Let’s move to dinner tonight.  A wonderful bean and ham soup made with a leftover ham bone from about 3 weeks ago that I froze.  So easy and so good.  I made this and froze what we didn’t eat for a cool fall evening. 

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Ham and Bean Soup

1 cup dry navy beans

1 to 1.5 lb meaty smoked pork hocks or ham bone

3 stalks for chopped celery

1 cup chopped onion

1/4 tsp dried thyme, crushed

1/4 tsp pepper

1 bay leaf

Rinse beans.  In a large saucepan combine beans and 4 cups of water.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Simmer for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Cover and let stand for 1 hour.  Drain and rinse beans. 

In the same pan combine beans, pork hocks or ham bone, celery, onion, thyme, pepper bay leaf and 4 cups of fresh water.  Bring to boiling, reduce heat.  Cover and simmer about 1 hour or till beans are tender.  Remove meat.  When cool enough to handle, cut meat off bones and coarsely chop meat.  Discard bones and bay leaf.  Slightly mash beans in saucepan.  Return meat to saucepan and heat through. 

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Meanwhile, Sam decided that he wanted to “cook” some soup of his own.  This was a lovely combination of ham pieces, water, and corn stalks. 

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Creative…I’ll give him that. 

The entire time he was talking and mixing and explaining to me what he was doing.  Watch out Tyler Florence…there’s a new cook in town and he’s darn cute!

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We decided to pass on the “cream of corn stalk” and inhaled the Bean Soup with a few homemade corn bread muffins.  In our house there’s no such thing as too many cooks in the kitchen!   

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Tomato Quiche

With the days getting shorter, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that this is where I’ll be most mornings. 

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I’ve put it off as long as possible.  I’m definitely an outside runner.  I love the peaceful feeling of running outside first thing in the morning.  However, at 5:15am it’s too dark out to continue my weekday runs.  So, I’m going the safe route and starting on the treadmill.  I did 2 easy miles this morning and it felt great.  I made sure to hydrate adequately yesterday and it paid off! 

Dinner tonight was an old recipe passed down from my Great Aunt Betty.  Tomato Quiche.  Very easy and healthy. 

Tomato Quiche

1 pie crust

1 pack of mixed cheese

1 can of tomatoes with onions and peppers

oregano

salt and pepper

3 eggs

1 tsp sugar

bacon bits

3/4 c milk

Place half of the cheese in the bottom of pie crust

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On the stove, warm the tomatoes, oregano (to taste) and salt and pepper (to taste).  Pour this warm mix over the cheese in pie crust.  Add bacon bits. 

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Beat 3 eggs and milk together.  Add sugar to milk and eggs and mix well.  Pour egg mixture in pie pan.  Add the rest of the cheese package to the top. 

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Place on cookie sheet and bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.  This is so yummy and easy.  It’s great made in advance and re-heated.

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We enjoyed this with some Green Monsters this evening. 

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Got Green Monster

The gang loved it. 

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Oh wait….is that a chocolate cookie?  Puppy Daddy…..you’re busted!!!!!!!!!

But I promise, we had happy plates all around! 

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The Dinner Debacle

Sitting down to a nice peaceful dinner with the family is the highlight of a very hectic day.

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Lets rewind about 45 minutes…..

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….when all you-know-what was breaking loose because two little pups were fighting over the Cozy Coupe.  Let’s put it this way, preparing that nice dinner wasn’t quite as peaceful as I had hoped.  I can’t tell you how many times I had to wash and dry my hands from the preparation of baked chicken, garden fresh green beans, and Spanish rice to take a toy, pry hands off of necks and direct a pup to the time-out step.  Miraculously dinner was served….

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I won’t lie…I had a small glass of wine as well…

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Hey, the chaos is a bit more bearable that way.  It’s so much work to get a nice dinner on the table at the end of a long day.  But, it’s so worth it.  I’m a firm believer that some of the strongest bonds are made in the kitchen and at the dinner table.  I know my little guys won’t be small for long, but I sure hope we can maintain our nightly dinners…..a’ men! 

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