Friday, April 30, 2010

Rachael Ray's Peasto

Friday is so wonderful, isn’t it? Hope you are having a great day thus far. Thank you all for the sweet comments on my last post. I used to dislike my muscular legs, now I love them and all their strength! Never take for granted your amazing body and all that it can do!!

The rest of my work week has been going well. In terms of workouts, Wednesday was a rest day (glorious) and last night I taught 45 minute Body Step & 45 minute Body Pump. This morning, I did a 4 mile run. Love, love running outside!

Earlier this week, I tried out a new recipe, Rachael Ray’s Peasto. I lightened it up just a bit by mixing asparagus in with the pasta and using a less sauce than what the recipe called for. In Josh’s version, I added some chicken.

I wanted to send a BIG thank you out to Josh who got me (a little early) two of the sweetest “Mother’s” day gifts (Frank counts as a child ;)). He got me this funny tshirt, and this book:

I’m already about 50 pages into the book and am loving it.

What are you up to this weekend?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Body Attack Launch & Dinner at Five Loaves

Hello Hello! Happy Wednesday! This week is just FLYING by for me, how about you?

Monday, I taught Body Pump, worked and made up a lovely Rachael Ray dinner (recipe to come on Friday!).

Tuesday, I worked, did some cleaning, and then headed out for the Body Attack launch. Body Attack 68 is a lot of fun. They played around a bit with the choreography and added some challenging combos. Running track:


Group Fitness Instructors shot. We did a beachy theme and wore surfing tops (I'm in the lime green and am apparently a junior lifeguard ;):

One of the other instructors took lots of pictures, so hopefully I will have some more for you on Friday! After the launch, I headed to Five Loaves Cafe for dinner with a friend.

The restaurant has both outdoor and indoor eating space. We chose to eat outside to enjoy the beautiful Charleston weather. The menu is amazing and includes SO many great vegetarian options. I could NOT decide what to get, everything sounded so good.

I gave the waitress a few of my top picks and asked her to make my final selection. She went with the Fresh vegetable stir fry (vegetables, diced tofu, spicy hoisin peanut sauce, cilantro and a touch of coconut). It was amazing...mmm

My friend got the tomato and crab soup:

and chicken sandwich (Marinated chicken breast, fresh mozzarella, raspberry vinegar marinated tomatoes and a basil pesto sauce):

She really liked both. I will definitely be back to try more of their vegetarian friendly options.

Five Loaves Cafe on Urbanspoon

And for the winner of the ticket to the Greenville, SC Taste of the Nation is....LORI!!! Please let me know if you're still able to attend this Sunday (email me at itzyskitchen at gmail dot com).

OK- does anyone do work on blog design/layout? I am in desperate need of a new look around here. Please email me any ideas you have and the price to make the changes at itzyskitchen at gmail dot com! I have some thoughts on content changes I want to make to the blog and would LOVE to have a new look to go with it ;)

Enjoy the rest of your week and "talk" to you on Friday!!

BTW- New vegan blog you should all check out: Happy Little Vegans

Monday, April 26, 2010

Weekend Update (Including a Blogger Meet up!)

This weekend was packed with activity, but all good stuff! Friday afternoon, I made up a batch of Vegan Pumpkin Chip Muffins to bring to a party we were attending. Since I could not find regular canned pumpkin at any store, I opted to use pumpkin pie mix.

To compensate, I decreased the amount of sugar in the recipe to 2/3 cup and left out all the additional spices. The outcome:

Packed up in my muffin/cupcake boxes:

The party Friday night was at one of the Group Fitness Instructors houses. It was an absolute blast. Saturday morning, I taught Body Step and then got back to baking. I made up some bars to bring to Sunday's blogger meet-up.

And then I ran off to an event being thrown in Mount Pleasant by the SPCA. They had some local artists, food, toys for the kiddos, and of course...puppies and kitties for adoption. I was only there for a brief time to drop off a donation. Love the SPCA!

I did some things around the house and practiced my choreography for our Attack launch on Tuesday. Then, Josh and I headed out for a dinner date:

We went to King Street Grille:

Josh got a burger covered with cheese, jalapenos and chorizo on a pretzel bun:

I ate like a six year old and got a side salad and french fries. I haven't had french fries in ages and was just craving them:

Sunday morning, I attended a WONDERFUL blogger meet up at my favorite spot and got the usual:

I met up with Lindsay from Pancakes N Pajamas and Christina from Hungry Meets Healthy:(please excuse my hair...rain and I aren't friends):

Both girls are as sweet as can be! I hope we get to meet up again soon:

Lindsay brought us these wonderful chocolates that I cannot wait to dive into!

The rest of my Sunday was spent working on the yard & starting our garden. I also did some work & housework.
How was your weekend? Best part?
Which bloggers do you want to meet up with?
Don't forget, you have until noon today to enter to win a ticket to the Greenville, SC Taste of the Nation (this only includes the ticket to the actual event, not transportation).
Edited to Add: Don't enter Julie's Spiralizer giveaway :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Everything but...and a Giveaway!

Hi guys! Friday at last!! I have lots to cover, so I'll try to keep the words to a minimum.

First up, have you heard about Sabrina's I Love Salad! Challenge? Go to her blog and check it out. My contribution? One of my favorite mixes- a Greek type salad containing spinach, cucumbers, artichokes, carrots, feta cheese & dried cherries, topped with olive oil and vinegar:

Second, I saw this recipe on the Fruit Not Fat blog for granola bars and knew I wanted to give them a go. I followed the recipe exactly (for once) and used two varieties of Galaxy Granola:

The outcome:

These bars PUFF up big time!! They're yummy, but more cakey like than granola bar like:

Third, lots of fun BAoK action going on:
  • Lindsay gave Madeline two fun BAoK gifts that really made her day!
  • Janetha (queen of BAoK in my book) gave Lauren a fun Starbucks gift card for her birthday
  • Melissa sent Sarah some Odwalla bars (because she can't get them in Canada)
  • And my fellow future housewife ;) Julie sent me the SWEETEST package containing TJs coffee (love it!) and the best protein powder flavor ever...because she knows how much Josh enjoys it hahaha (you're the best!)
Keep the BAoK going! Emails, cards, anything! Share the blogger love.
Ok, finally...for the giveaway! I mentioned previously that I had won tickets to the 2010 Taste of the Nation in Greenville, SC. I have one ticket to giveaway! If you want the ticket, please leave a comment below letting me know! The contest will be open until Monday, April 26 at noon. The winner will be randomly selected.
Have a great weekend!! What are you up to?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Body Step 79 Launch & Pizza Pot Pie (Vegetarian & Chicken)

Phew! It has been a busy week over here. How about for you? First off, Happy Earth Day on Thursday (since I probably won't post again before)!! Second, as I previously mentioned, I had a hectic Monday that involved work, teaching my usual Body Pump class and teaching at two Body Step launches. The launches went really well and we sweat-ed up a storm!

Launch 1 (love that you can see the South Carolina flag in the back), this is one of my fellow instructors teaching the lunge track):

Instructors from Launch 1:

Instructors from Launch 2:

And launch action shots:

So much fun! We didn't theme Body Step this time because it was hard to pick a theme that went well with the music. Next release is supposed to be 80's based (Body Step 80)- I can't wait!
Monday night, I used a new item I received from the nice people at the CSN stores to make dinner, Rachael Ray’s Bubble and Brown Ramekins(disclaimer- the company sent me this product for free).

I already had (and love) her casseroval set and could not wait to bake with these Ramekins. With them, I made a version of Giada’s Pizza Pot Pie’s. In Josh’s pot pie, I used Italian baked chicken, artichokes, cheese & sauce and in my pot pie, I used broccoli, artichokes, cheese & sauce:

The outcome:

Totally delicious! I love these little ramekins and can’t wait to use them again. Thank you CSN!!

Tuesday involved the usual work & teaching Body Attack (new launch next week- yikes!).

Do you have a favorite baking dish or do you always buy products from a certain company/store?

Look for another fun BAoK review and a giveaway in my next post.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Guilt Free Banana Bread & Flatout Flatbread Crisp Review

Hope your week is off to a good start! I have a busy day ahead that includes working & launching Body Step at 2 clubs. I am excited to show the members the new release (its a toughie!). What do you have on tap today?

The rest of my weekend (since my last post) was very nice. I decided to hang in on Saturday night and made up One Frugal Foodie's Guilt Free Banana bread (with a little added guilt ;)).

I followed her recipe almost exactly, but substituted unsweetened applesauce for the coconut oil and then added in a little guilt with some large chocolate chips. I also left a few banana chunks in the mix. The outcome:

Very tasty! I love that its just slightly sweet. I ate one slice and then gave the remaining portions to two of the instructors I'm launching Step with today.
I also received a VERY exciting package, New Flatout Baked Flatbread Crisps from the wonderful Jenn and the people at Flatout (disclaimer: I received these products for free). The company/Jenn sent me all four varieties to try, Sea Salt:


Four Cheese and Garlic Herb:
Josh had his friend Jeremy over and we all dug in! We ate the chips plain first and then I made some flatbread crisp nachos for the boys:

We ALL loved the crisps! They are sort of a hybrid between the flatout wraps and your typical cracker. They have a slight crisp, but are still sort of soft/doughy. I liked the multigrain best, while Josh and his friend Jeremy liked the Sea Salt best. Very tasty! Thank you so much Jenn & Flatout!!!!

Sunday morning, I had Body Step practice and then hit up the usual brunch with Josh. You know what I got....

The rest of the day was spent enjoying the weather, doing a few errands, and cleaning.
What is your favorite brand and type of coffee(if you drink it)?