Friday, May 31, 2013

48 Hour Trip

Phew! I’m exhausted! We just went on a 48 hour trip to Philadelphia to watch Josh’s amazing brother graduate from medical school.


Traveling to a northern city threw us outside our comfort zone, but we had an absolute blast.


Kay was a total trooper. She slept through the plane ride on the way there and back, and went all day Thursday without a real nap.  


She was a little confused by the whole graduation process:


and was proud (as we all were) to see her Uncle Jer graduate:


she passed out right after he walked across the stage for about 10 minutes:


Go Jer!


Then we had an amazing lunch at Maggiano’s with friends and family to celebrate the big guy:


and then drove a bit:

 IMG_4110 to have a family dinner at Elizabeth’s:




Congratulations to Jer!! Medical school is a ridiculous amount of work (I had no idea how intense it really is). Words cannot express how proud we are of him.

And now- weekend time!!! What are you up to? After we flew back in this morning, Kaylin and I went for a run and went food shopping. Tonight- easy dinner! Tomorrow, teaching and time with Josh and Kay. Sunday, probably a run and dinner with friends.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Strawberry Shortcake Bake

It has been such a fun weekend! Ours has been filled with family, food & fitness. On Saturday morning, I taught step and then we met out-of-town friends for brunch. After a walk & nap, we headed to Josh’s parents for a yummy dinner. I made Maria’s chickamole dip as an appetizer:


We swam, ate & enjoyed time together. It was just wonderful!

Sunday morning, I got up early to put together a dessert for a party at my parents house. I wanted to make a strawberry shortcake bake. I sort of “winged it” and it turned out pretty darn good (recipe below):

IMG_4066 I also made a batch of cookies:


  We spent lots of time outside at my parents, it was such a beautiful weekend:


What have you been up to this longgg weekend? I am off to teach pump and then am hoping to get in more time outside!

Strawberry Shortcake Bake:


  • 1 1/2 lbs strawberries (cleaned and quartered)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or any other kind of milk)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 3/4 cups oats


Pre-heat oven to 350 F

In a large bowl, mix together strawberries and sugar. Let mixture sit while you prepare the “cake”

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and brown sugar. Add the egg, flaxseed, milk, and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Stir in AP flour, baking soda & oats. Mix until combined.  Press 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of a 9x 13” pan sprayed with non-stick pan. 

Bake for 8 minutes.

Remove base from oven, top evenly with strawberries. Drop remaining bits of cake over berries. Return to oven and bake for 20 minutes (until lightly browned). Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Healthy Spinach & Artichoke Dip (with white beans!!)

Its been a crazy week. One of those weeks that makes you want to spend an entire day in bed just relaxing & sleeping. Given that I have an (almost- whaaat) two year old and a slam packed weekend, an entire day in bed isn’t looking likely ;). BUT, I did take a little time off work this week to get my hair done:

IMG_4032 I’ve also had some good quality time with the peanut, including picking strawberries from our garden. Her carefree attitude always picks up my spirits:



Time in the kitchen always makes me happy too!! I re-made a recipe I made a longgg time ago, a healthier spinach and artichoke dip.  I am re-posting the recipe because it is that good! Note: this isn’t like the dip you get a restaurants (packed full of fat), so you must actually enjoy the taste of artichokes to like this ;)).


  • Fresh spinach- bowl full (or desired quantity)
  • 2 15-ounce cans of artichoke hearts
  • 1 15-ounce can of white beans (whatever white beans you can get your hands on)
  • 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • chopped garlic (desired amount)
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese (+additional cheese to top dip)

Preheat oven to 350

On the stove over medium/medium low heat, wilt spinach in a little bit of olive oil. In a food processor or blender, mix together wilted spinach, drained artichokes and white beans, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, red pepper and parmesan cheese. You can either blend until smooth or leave some chunkier pieces (however you like it!).

Place mix into baking dish, top with additional cheese. Bake for 45 minutes. Enjoy with veggies, tortilla chips, or pita chips.

This is a picture pre-bake I didn’t nab one post bake):


Josh enjoyed it (again) so much, he asked me to make a batch for his man day on Friday!

Are you having a busy week???

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Baked Vegan Pineapple Black Bean Burgers

I love black beans. I’ve passed the love onto Kaylin…she can house them! Then her entire face gets covered in black bean “juice”. We call her the coal miner ;). I wanted to make up a batch of black bean burgers, but I wanted them to be on the lighter side:


Baked Vegan Pineapple Black Bean Burgers


  • 15 oz black beans, drained and rinsed (I used Bush’s low sodium- always do!)
  • Crushed pineapple in pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup panko (or bread crumbs)
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mash the black beans to desired texture using a fork or potato masher (I like mine a little on the chunkier side). Add 2 tablespoons of the crushed pineapple in pineapple juice, onion, bread crumbs, ground red pepper, and flax seed. Mix until just combined. Form into 4 burgers.

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the burgers on the paper. Bake for 8 minutes on each side.

I used the burgers to make burger bowls. For the bowls,I  mixed some of the remaining crushed pineapple in with cooked brown rice. I topped the rice with steamed vegetables, the black bean burgers, and avocado. mmmm….



In the bowl, pre-avocado.


These were super tasty. Are you a bean burger fan??

Sunday, May 19, 2013

My Favorite Breakfast & Meal Plan

OK! I swear, I’m getting back on track with blogging this week! Did you have a nice weekend? This weekend was almost completely unplanned for us…which was amazing! Friday night, we went to dinner with friends and did a little shopping.

Saturday morning, I had step and then went to the farmers market:


Saturday afternoon, we got a bundle done around the house and then went swimming at Josh’s parents house:

 IMG_4001Saturday night was an easy dinner/relaxing at home. 

Sunday morning, we went to my favorite breakfast spot.

 IMG_4006 We hadn’t been there in a while and I was missing it! We started off with coffee and then Josh/Kaylin/I split a fruit parfait & oatmeal. SO yum. I didn’t get many pictures because we were balancing the toddler zoo:

IMG_4007 Sunday afternoon, I went for an easy run and then got a few more things done around the house. It was a perfect weekend!

This weeks meal plan:

  IMG_4010 IMG_4013

IMG_4017   Josh and I are huge fans of this recipe! I cannot wait to make it again! Thank you Maria!!

Tell me something you’re planning to eat this week.

Friday, May 17, 2013

MIA (Instagram Dump)

I apologize for going totally MIA this week! It was one of those weeks where everything was crazy busy (especially work!). Given this, I ran on coffee:


and fresh fruit (strawberries from our garden!):


We got Kay a new picnic table that I’m obsessed with:


Kay got to spend a lot of time with her Uncle Jer!


I taught a bundle of classes and Kay worked on her step form:


Summer un-officially arrived. MMmm melon!


I plan to go to the farmers market tomorrow to get more! Tell me one thing you did this week.  I promise to be back this week with more recipes.

Are you on instagram? If so, follow me: itzyskitchen

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother’s Day & Meal Plan

Hope everyone is having a great weekend & a happy Mother’s day (to all the Mom’s out there). A very SPECIAL Happy Mother’s day to my Mom & Josh’s Mom!! Our weekend has been just perfect:


And my Mother’s day has been a joy:IMG_3967Words can’t describe how much joy my peanut has brought to my life.

I wanted to share with you our meal plan for the week:

Friday: Kabobs, green beans & pineapple

Saturday: Spicy turkey burgers (I added panko, diced jalapenos, diced pineapple into the burgers), cauliflower, more pineapple

Sunday: Out- Chipotle!!

Monday: The burrito filler was such a hit, we’re having it again

Tuesday: Work dinner

Wednesday: Stuffed potatoes

Thursday: Omelets

What is on your menu this week?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Happenings & Friendship Dairies Giveaway

Phew! Thursday is my work “Friday” and boy am I ready for the weekend! How about you? What’s been going on this week? The usual work, teaching at the gym, & spending lots of time with the peanut, who gave Maria’s pasta bake a thumbs up:


My strawberries are finally turning red in my garden!


I wore my new Ellie top that I won in a giveaway on Heather’s blog:


and I got an amazing facial for Mother’s day! We purchased a groupon for the Face Therapist on Isle of Palms. IMG_3950

I hadn’t had a facial in…gosh, I don’t even know how long..years and years, and I was SO excited. Pam is just amazing! Outside of the usual facial goodness, she applied a light peel to my skin, gave me a fabulous arm/hand massage, and used healing touch therapy. I cannot rave enough- if you live in the area, go see Pam! After (no makeup, no nada):



And now, for a giveaway!! Friendship Dairies has some exciting events going on!! They are sponsoring an upcoming food truck tour with celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito that will be passing through the New York Metro area this month. According to Friendship Dairies:

“The mobile mixer truck will be serving free 5-ounce Friendship Fit to Go™ 1% Low Fat, 1% Low Fat Pineapple, and 4% Regular cottage cheese samples.  Taking a more innovative approach to traditional toppings, Friendship is offering mix-in options including Instant Wasabi and Granola Glee.  Chef Rocco DiSpirito brings two new recipes to the brand, including Apple Pie Smoothie and Smooth and Creamy Cottage Cheese with Crunchy Walnut & Blueberries.  These four creations together highlight how easy it is to turn a wholesome snack into a delightful treat.  It’s a new way of thinking about cottage cheese.”

The dates are as follows:

FCC_FB_May June Posts 2-01

To help promote these exciting events, Friendship is offering one Itzy’s Kitchen reader a really fun gift including:

-Branded Friendship cloth grocery bag ($15 value)


- $15 iTunes gift card (to create a mix for your workouts)


- Brita Filtered water bottle ($10 value)


- Rocco DiSpirito’s new cookbook: “Now Eat This! Italian: Favorite Dishes from the Real Mamas of Italy--All Under 350 Calories” ($26.99 retail)

Rocco Now Eat This

- 2 Coupons for FREE Friendship Dairies products ($8 value)*

I want to enter ;). You do NOT need to have a blog to enter. This giveaway is open to US residents only. To enter, leave a comment on this post by Saturday, May 11 at noon telling me your favorite way to eat cottage cheese, sour cream, or your favorite recipe that uses buttermilk. You can leave 3 separate comments (one for each ingredient)! The winner will be randomly selected and notified via email.     

What are you up to this weekend? Any Mother’s day plans? I’m going to a graduation party on Saturday and am hoping to go to step. I also plan to go on a few walks with Josh, Kaylin & Frank, go to a fun Mother’s day lunch with my Mom, and dinner with Josh & Kay!

*Disclaimer: The company will be providing this prize to the winner for free

Monday, May 6, 2013

Weekly Meal Plan & Collective Coffee Co.

Hello! After about a week straight of rainy days in South Carolina, the sun is finally shinning! I’m super excited!! Today, I’d like to share with you our weekly meal plan and a restaurant review of a newer coffee/food spot.

So, what’s on tap for this weeks eats? I food shop on Fridays, so that's where my weekly plan starts:



  • Wednesday: Burgers (beef for him, veggie for her), broccoli & fruit
  • Thursday: Vegetable soup with grilled cheese

What’s on your plan?

On Sunday morning, Josh, Kaylin & I had the opportunity to try out a newer restaurant in Mount Pleasant, Collective Coffee Co.


Collective Coffee is just beautiful inside:



Beyond beautiful, the restaurant offers delicious pour over coffees, fresh squeezed juices, and tasty dishes:

IMG_3913According to the owners, everything at The Collective is made to order, using organic components when possible, and most menu items are homemade.  You can check out the full menu here. Josh started with the fresh squeezed orange juice:

IMG_3914 I stole a sip. It was so yummy. I also let Kaylin have her first sip of juice, she liked it a lot (I don’t let Kaylin have juice because most are packed with sugar and artificial flavors/colors):


I, of course, tried out their coffee. Bold and so yum. I also was a big fan of their mugs:


When I saw the menu, I knew I had to try the parfait! It was made with vanilla bean yogurt, granola, fruit & honey:


It was amazing and so filling. Josh had the chorizo wrap which contained egg, black beans, queso fresco, pickled jalapenos, avocado, and cilantro. On the side were bagel chips:


   Gah! Everything was amazing! If you live here, or are in the area, please give collective coffee a go!

Collective Coffee Co. on Urbanspoon

Giveaway coming up later this week!!

*disclaimer: we were allowed to try the restaurant for free, but all opinions are our own!!